Sunday, November 12, 2017

Life is Like a Playground

I have worked at my local elementary school since my son who is now a junior in high school was in first grade.  I wasn't always the librarian, I started out as a playground aide.  The one thing I have noticed over the years is the playground is a microcosm of life.  You get to choose what you want to do, where you want to play, but it's way more fun to be with others than all by yourself.

For example, playing on the teetertotter is much more fun with two people.  There are times in my life when I enjoy doing things by myself.  I love to go to the movies by myself.  I can sit where I want, I don't have to share popcorn, and no one talks to me during the movie.  I love going to my favorite restaurant with my favorite book.  Life however is meant to be lived with others. Some times I like sharing my popcorn.  Being along some of the time is fun, being alone all of the time is not.

There are people who have to make the best of it.  Who through no fault of there own are in fact alone.  Given the choice they would prefer to spend their time with others.  So like the playground they can either find some place of joy and be on the swing set alone, or they can search someone out to play on the teetertotter.  Either way people choose to go where they can find peace.  It is easier if you like who you are.

I enjoy my time alone because even though I am not perfect and I see all my own flaws, I have learned that I like me.  It's not always easy to admit my faults not even to myself, but I've found I can accept myself for who I am.  It's easier to accept others once you're okay with your self.

So like my young friends on the playground, be happy where you are and seek out the friendship of others.

Until next time.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Life is Precious

We all have life experience.  We all learn from our experiences, one thing I have learned from my life's experience is......life is precious. 

Many, many times in the last eight years I have needed the love, advice, and help from my father.  Unfortunately, my father died in 2009.  So I have learned this valuable lesson, never take the one's you love, or the life you have been given for granted. 

How many people were affected by the killing spree in Las Vegas?  How many family members will never be the same.  Whether the victims were killed or injured the loved ones as well as victims lives have been changed forever. 

What is the secret to living life to it's fullest?  I think it is to make everyday count.  Live like you mean it.  My daughter used to have this saying in vinyl on her wall. I loved it.

Dance like no one is watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Sing like no one can hear you
Live like its Heaven on Earth

Don't miss an opportunity to tell those you love, you love them. Don't miss an opportunity to be of service.  Don't miss the opportunity to be true to yourself.  

Until next time. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Utilitarian. What????

I live a very utilitarian life.  No, that is not a religion, it just means my life isn't all that exciting.  The last vacation I went on was a 2 day camping trip a year and a half ago. 

That's not to say my life is boring, okay maybe just a little.  I hear of my friends going on these wonderful European vacations, or trips to the islands.  That would be amazing.  But my life doesn't go that way.  So I look for ways to make my life a little more full. 

 What can I do to make my life more fun?  Well if you've been following me at all you know I have a boatload of hobbies.  I ride my bike, I read a ton of books, I write when I can, I cross stitch. I love to make homemade cards, and quilt.  I know that doesn't even compare to jet setting across the Continent, but we do what we can. 

The upside, and if you know me there is always an upside, I love my jobs.  Okay I love one of my jobs and the other I don't mind.  My life may not be all that exciting, but it's a good life.  I have a home and a family.  I have food on my table, and clothes on my back.  I believe God gives us a life and expects us to live it to the fullest. When I was younger I was blessed to see many things and visit many places.  I've spent a year and a half living and serving others in Ireland.  I have spent time in South Florida and New Orleans visiting family.  I've found myself in Southern California, and for that matter Northern California.  I even went to Hawaii when I was 13.  I have seen some of the world. 

Everyone's life is important.  Every way of life is important.  Living a life wishing things were different is a waste of spirit.  If your life is not what you want, do what you can to change it, pray for help, and hope for the best.  A life without hope is a hard existence at best.  Hope can bring you joy, peace and love. 

So always look for the upside.

Until next time. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Love/Hate

Has there ever been anything in your life you have a love/hate relationship with?  I mean something you know is a good thing, but whatever it is will cause some serious introspection and then cause you to create some plan of action?  Man that situation drives  me crazy.  

I think I am overall a good person.  I have many faults and too many times I fall short of my own expectations.  I have tried throughout my life to measure up to other people's expectations.  It has only been in the last few years I have come to realize how futile that is.  

I remember more than once when I was young hearing, "You have potential, you should be doing more."  Or, "You know you could get better grades if only you would apply yourself."  But "Why can't you be more like your sister?" was always my favorite.  My parents weren't bad people, they did the best with what they knew.  My childhood wasn't all bad, I was never physically or sexually abused.  Some of my friends parents believed in the adage "Spare the rod, spoil the child."  I was spanked as a child when I misbehaved, but never beaten.   I don't think as parents we try to make our children's lives miserable.  I know I could have been and still could be a better parent.  I didn't do everything right.  I hope I'm better at it than my parents and I hope my children are better at it than I am.  

So much of our lives are spent comparing ourselves to others.  And not always in mentally healthy ways.  I think it's human nature to want to better ourselves.  I just hope we do it in constructive ways.  I can sometimes still hear the echos of my parents "encouragement" in my ears.  It causes that love/hate thing I was talking about earlier.  It drives me to better myself but it also causes huge amounts of guilt to weigh me down if I don't live up to my expectations.  Don't get me wrong it helps me to get through difficult situations, my drive to not give up, or give in.  But it does cause extreme amounts of self loathing when I don't get it right.  See what I mean love/hate.  

I have wonderful friends who tell me not to be so hard on myself.  Who lift me up when I get down.  They help me to use more uplifting self talk.  But in the end it all comes down to how I feel about myself.  It's taken many years of "talking myself off the ledge" so to speak.  I know what it feels like to sink into debilitating depression.  I know what if feels like to claw my way back.  The process is never easy.  Trying to find a balance in bettering yourself and beating yourself up is tricky.    

My best advice is try seeing yourself as God sees you.  He loves us infinitely more than we can ever love ourselves.  He always wants the best for us.  More importantly He is infinitely more forgiving.  

Until next time.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

What a Girl Wants

What is it that makes a woman's heart beat faster, makes her palms sweaty and her knees buckle?  Why is it women love to read romance novels? I have been asking these questions a lot.  I am working on my fourth novel and I am stumped as to why the heroine in the novel would want to be involved with the hero. 

There are as many different types of hero's as there are novelists.  Should the hero be open and happy, or closed off and brooding?  Should he be strong and silent?  Or should he be some kind of combination of all of those things?   The truth is, it's difficult to write the best man for the job.  Women are by nature emotionally complicated.  So what ever mood readers are in that's the kind of man she wants to see in the book.  I think one of my favorite authors said it best.  We don't want the perfect man we just want the one that is perfect for us. 

So let's see if I can find the perfect man for my new heroine.  He has to be kind, loving, giving, caring, understanding, forgiving, strong, and physically attractive.  Should he have blonde, brown, or black hair?  His eyes should be brown, blue, hazel, green, or some combination.  He definitely needs to be tall and broad shouldered this much I know.  So no problem right?

What a girl wants?

Until next time.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Time Out!!!!

This time of year for me gets out of control time wise. School starts up again, which for most mom's means life starts to slow down.  But I have a son in high school who is in Marching Band, which means this is band competition season.  His competitions go all over the state in a 150 mile radius.  I try to make it to as many as I can. Plus it's no secret I work two part time jobs, in addition to doing all of the other things I do to destress.

The job I love the most is being an elementary school librarian, I love it.  I get to open my kids minds to new books and help them to love reading as much as I do.  It's the best job, especially for a book-a-holic like me.  My other job is working in a bookstore.  I know, I know, between the library thing, the reading, the writing, and the bookstore, it's clear I need a 12 step program.  I am a book-a-holic.

Book wise, this time of year gets crazy for me not only because, well, I do work retail coming up to the holiday season, for me that means Christmas.  But all my favorite authors come out with new novels the last half of the year, and I've always got my mind churning on plot lines.  Even though I rarely have free moments to write them down.  Plus for the first two months of the school year I am traveling to watch band competitions.

I was so excited yesterday to have a rare free Saturday afternoon. It was the perfect afternoon  I got off work at 3:30 and band didn't start until 6:00 so I had some time to ride my bike. YAY!!!! The weather was perfect for cycling.  Slight breeze, temps in the 60's, the sun was shining, ahhhhh heaven.  So after a brief nap I geared up and went into the garage to get my bike.  I always do a pre-ride check so I know everything is working right.  I found my front tire was flat.  It's not unusual to find bike tires have lost air from sitting.  So I got out my pump and pumped up my front tire.  I needed my sunglasses and to put on my bike shoes.  After all of that, I was so ready.  It was going to be a great ride.  I got back out to my bike and realized my tire was flat again. AUGH!

My ride was cancelled and I was bummed.  Not only could I not ride my bike, I have to wait until Thursday to fix it.  Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year to ride.  Because the weather is perfect, the colors are gorgeous, and I can be one with nature!!  Riding helps relax me and it clears my mind of all of the junk I stew over.  I can still enjoy the weather but it's just not as fun.

Upside, my husband did some dishes while I was at work, and even though I couldn't go riding, I got to kick my feet up and do some cross stitching before having to fix dinner and go to the band thing.  Which by the way I truly enjoy.  Watching my kids do their thing is a definitely parent perk!!!

So take a time out and do something you enjoy!!!!!

Until next time.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Giving Props Where They're Due

You know my daughter has been upset because of my books.  Not because they are taking up too much of my time.  Or because she thinks they aren't worth reading.  It's because she's not in them.  There is no one in it with her name, no one exactly like her.  In fact none of my heroine's have her looks.  She once said she wanted my heroine to look like her so she could be on the front cover.

My daughter is not only drop dead gorgeous, she's very athletic, and very tall....well I guess that one is relative.  Almost everyone is taller than me.  She is also very outgoing, my very own social butterfly.  She is very sure of herself, and out spoken.  All of these things can be a bit intimidating.   She would make a great book heroine.

The one thing she has yet to comprehend, she is in all of my books.  She is the best part of any of the heroines.  I just haven't used her 1st name. But their strength, love for life, and their ability to stand up for themselves and their friends is pure Jordan!!!!

In Explosive Chemistry, Jarrett, Courtney, Rob, Trent, and the rest of the college students at ASU were based on Jordan's roommates, and her circle of friends. 

I haven't used her first name in any of my books but here middle name is Elise, which is where I got Ellie's name for When Embers Ignite.  At the end of the book Trace calls Ellie by her full name which is Elise Isabella,  so technically she is in that one.

So I will say thank you to my daughter Jordan for being the inspiration for all of my heroines.  You truly are a remarkable woman.

Until next time.