Saturday, November 22, 2014


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It has been some kind of week. I am more than halfway through NaNoWriMo. I'm exhausted but I refuse to give up this far in. So I am planning writing sprints today.

Last week was a bit of a rollercoaster. Most of that ride is good and I will blog about it at a later date. Some of it was bad, and I shared about that on Middle Places, Thursday.

It's surreal to me how big things can happen but the little things go on the same. Basketball games get played. Homework gets lost. Nails puncture tires. I schedule Jamberry party games and send out samples. I scrub the cabinets and make a shopping list. The mail runs.

My kids have been cleaning their playroom for almost 4 hours. FOUR HOURS. And by "cleaning," I mean, they have been making up odd games, fighting, yelling, laughing, and pretty much doing anything except putting away toys and throwing out trash. They are not allowed to play Xbox or go to friends' houses until that room is clean. It is the only task I asked of them today. But they will go to any lengths to keep from just doing it already.

And the sound of them NOT doing what I asked? Even when it is laughter? It makes me want to yell.

But I have not yelled. So where is my gold medal people?

I'm in the part of my new manuscript where I can see the whole picture but also feel bogged down in the details and how the heck I am going to pull them altogether. I do this freak out at this word count every time I write a new book. I should be used to it, as I should be used to my kids avoiding their chores. But I am not.

I have cleaning to do. I have grocery shopping to do. I have words to write. But mostly I want to stay in my PJs and watch New Girl on Netflix.

How's your weekend?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Despair on Middle Places

A little while ago, I walked through glass doors with a breaking heart and tears I couldn’t control.
I’d been holding back those tears for five days, and I couldn’t hold them anymore.
On Friday afternoon, I was packing for a girls’ weekend. My mind was in my suitcase and my spirit was already behind the wheel, flying toward Brandon, where I would be part of a grace-filled gathering with two of my best friends. When my kids arrived home from school, I did the basic “how was your day” chatting and returned to the task at hand – getting the heck out of dodge.
As I was double-checking my list, I heard a knock on the bedroom door. My youngest son called, “Mom,” and I replied, “What?”
I expected to hear a homework question or a request that I sign a paper to send back to school. Maybe he was fighting with his brother and wanted me to referee. Those are the usual interruptions. Instead, I heard these words…
“My friend’s Mom died today.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Happy Gif-alicious Post

I started my week with a Monday morning disappointment.

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But it has only gotten better and better from there, so I am not complaining.

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Tomorrow, I hit the road for a girls' weekend, and I am so ready to see my friends and share some happy and definitely go to Target (because my town still doesn't have one of those, and I am still not done complaining about it, even if it does lump me in with the stereotypical white suburban housewife clique).

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Today I hit 23,000 words in my NaNo novel. Most of those words were written with a cat draped across my right arm while I typed. He is currently trying to also take over my left arm. Yup. There he goes. He wins. I am now typing with a cat pinning my arms to the keyboard.

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I know this post is entirely too gif-heavy. It will probably make me motion-sick just to proofread it, but it is a gif-filled kind of day.

Y'all have a lovely weekend.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Currently: When Leaves Turned and Fruit Ripened

Current Books: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is my fun read. With my coffee in the mornings, I am reading Seeking Allah Finding Jesus, and before bed I have a volume of poems by Mary Oliver. Also, my 7th grader has to read Night for his English project this semester, so I am re-reading that. It is heavy stuff and I want to be able to talk over what he read. Though, mostly, when I ask, he just says, "It's sad."

Current Playlist: For my current book, I need to think like a 16-year-old boy, so I made iTunes radio channels based on Eminem and Blink 182.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: soda

Current Colors: Hot pink on my fingernails right now. I needed something bright.

Current Food: Chili Cheese Fritos dipped in sour cream.  Don't judge me.

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Current Drink: Peach Nehi

Current Favorite Favorite: Girlfriend time. I got to spend some time at the lake with friends recently and next week I get to spend another three days with another set of friends. Heavenly.

Current Wishlist:  This Kentucky shirt, this dress in a medium, this blanket

Current Needs: Two dental crowns

Current Triumphs: Pitch Wars has ended and I got 8 requests in the agent round. *grins*

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Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Housework

Current Indulgence: Peach soda and Twizzlers while I write

Current Mood: Really good. I am writing everyday, and that always betters my mental state.

Current Outfit: Jeans, baseball sweatshirt and my black boots

Current #1 Blessing: My husband. He was just honored in a really awesome way, and he deserves it. He rocks.

Current Quote: “What I really do is take real plums and put them in an imaginary cake.” ― Mary McCarthy

Current Photo:

Title taken from:  “She looked like autumn, when leaves turned and fruit ripened.” ― Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why I Wrote my Pitch Wars Book

My friend Carlee asked all of us Pitch Wars mentees to blog the answer to this question:

Why did you write your Pitch Wars book?

I've thought over that all day. There are multiple answers.

I suppose it began with the shooting in CT. Something about that particular shooting shook me in a way I still can't account for. I wrote a poem about it. I fought panic attacks. I went from not being fond of guns to being terrified of guns.

Everyone was talking about school shootings in a way I hadn't heard since Columbine... when I was in high school myself. Everyone had theories and solutions and laments and fear and anger...

Somewhere along the way, I landed in a conversation about how the majority of school shooters are white middle-class males. And I asked myself what would make a girl pull off a school shooting.

I started writing a story then, but not this story. Instead, I wrote a story about a girl who is afraid she could somehow become a monster... in the background of Haven's story, there was a female school shooter on the news. Her name was Chris.

I danced around her.

I was afraid of her.

Haven's story couldn't hold me. I knew it was Chris's story I needed to tell, but I didn't know enough about her.

And being inside her head scared me.

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So I had to write her. Because writing what scares me is what I do.

Still, I was missing a piece. I didn't KNOW her story, so how could I tell it?

Eventually, a teacher made the news. And the news he made gutted me. I felt a violent sort of anger, and then I knew Chris's story. I knew what could make a girl pull off a school shooting.

There is a girl out there who never got to tell her story. She didn't kill a teacher or take a gun to school. She didn't live long enough to do any of that.

I wrote Renascence for two reasons... for justice and for truth.

The girl who didn't kill her teacher never got justice. I wanted to give her some in my tiny little way. But also, truth... the truth that violence isn't the answer. That no school shooter walks away in tact... even if they don't take their own life.

Like Harry learned about horcruxes... when we hurt someone else, we slice away parts of ourselves.

I wanted to get inside Chrissy's head AFTER the shooting, not before. We're all so familiar with the stories of before... the bullying and the depression and the video games and whatever other reasons or theories people come up with. The before isn't new any longer, and it's sad we live in a world where I can say that. The before is no longer surprising.

But the after... how would doing such a terrible thing affect the person who did it? How could she live after committing that crime? How would she feel?

Could the world ever see her as human instead of a monster?

Should they?

I don't have the answers to these questions.

All I have is a story. A story about a girl who makes a decision she may never be able to live with. I'll tell my story. You can draw your own conclusions.

Take a moment to visit some of my fellow Pitch Wars mentees and alternates at the following links:


Tuesday, October 21, 2014


To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel, WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:

The fastest Jessica Bell has ever completed the first draft of a book is ...
a. 3 days
b. 3 weeks
c. 3 months

What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours. If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until someone does.

Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours only from the time of posting.

If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions on how to download the book.

Click HERE to see the list of blogs.

*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Priscilla Watson, Fictional and Fabulous

I love a good writerly blog Meme. I was tagged by the fab E. G. Moore, and you can read her entry HERE.

My Pitch Wars book is dual POV, so I'm going with the MC that tends to get less attention.

1. What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Priscilla Watson. She's entirely fictional. I gave her the name Priscilla as a nod to Elvis. She has a brother named Aaron. Her sister's name is Marlena Presley Watson, but she goes by Marly and I never actually tell the reader her full name. My best friend gave her the name Watson. And I later laughed, because she spends the whole story trying to solve a mystery.


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