Apr 1, 2015

Learning Balance

The Write or Die Wednesday prompt asks: Which of the Seven Deadly Sins are you most guilty of?

The Seven Deadly Sins is an old Christian belief that classified the natural sins.  I'm not religious, and therefore, won't go much farther into that, but I find the entire idea of the seven sins to be fascinating.


These sins all clearly have something in common.  They involve putting yourself before others.  We should not want what others have or think ourselves better than others.  We should not be too angry or too lustful.

And if you really look at these sins, the antithesis of each is a trait of a good virtuous person.
Hard working

And these are all great traits.  There was a time when eating more than you needed to meant you were letting others starve, and well, that was a serious issue.  And now, it just means high cholesterol and tight pants.

No one's perfect, right?

So, the question is…which trait do I most embody?  And the answer is naturally, all of them.  Because I think it's okay to have some vices here and there.

At times, I do get so angry.  When my 4-year old just will not for the love of God put on his shoes and would rather scream and cry on the floor and demand a cookie before breakfast, yes.  Wrath.
But with every tantrum, I learn patience.

At times, I do get greedy.  Sometimes I just want MINE.  But that's usually because I'm constantly doing for others, volunteering my time, bathing/dressing/feeding/loving children.
But I'm learning to balance and know that sometimes it's okay to put myself first.

At times, I do lust…ahem.  Enough about that.

At times, I indulge.  No one is starving because I have another piece of cake, glass of wine, slice of cheese.  But moderation is my lesson to learn.  Especially after turning 30 and having kids.  Moderation is an important lesson.

At times, I can be lazy.  But like greed, I find  balance.  I work hard.  I deserve to relax.

At times, I do envy others.  As a mother, it's almost impossible these days.  She has more patience, a cleaner house, nicer furniture, and the list goes on.  But the things I have are things that others may be envious of me for.  The grass is always greener, and the antithesis of envy is probably gratitude more than anything.

And lastly, there are times that I am proud.  But sadly, this one is probably the most rare.  I think I could actually do with a little more pride than I exhibit now.  I should be proud.  I've accomplished a lot, and I do well for my children and community.  I should be more proud, but it's all those other things…envy, wrath, sloth and glutton that get in the way.  Not having pride should be a sin.

But still, with every smile on my kiddo's face, and yoga class I teach, and chapter I revise, I remind myself that I'm doing pretty darn well and that it's okay to be a little proud.

So, there you have it.  Thank you again to the duo, Vashelle and Mia, for another great Write or Die Wednesday prompt.  To see more posts on this topic, or to link up yourself, check it out here:

Write or Die Wednesdays

Mar 31, 2015

Cover Reveal: House of Royals by Keary Taylor

I don't normally do cover reveals, but I've been a follower and fan of Keary Taylor since her first book so I had to join in the fun on her new cover reveal for her latest Fantasy project, House of Royals.

Check it out.

Isn't it gorgeous?  I can't wait to read it!  Here's a little more about it...

House of Royals by Keary Taylor
Publication date: June 21st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Every town has its history and skeletons, but Silent Bend, Mississippi’s are darker than most. Ruled from the shadows by the House—the immortal Born and their aging, enslaved Bitten—everyone knows not to go out after dark and that the police will never look into crimes involving blood.
Alivia Ryan didn’t know the man who claims to be her father through a will even existed until she inherits the Conrath plantation. Instead of the sleepy house she expects, she finds a mansion and a staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.
Ian Ward tried to kill Alivia the first time they meet, and then insisted he train her to defend herself against the House, who he claims will try to manipulate and take her in for their own political reasons. And the growing attraction between them will threaten their lives—Ian is a sworn enemy of the House.
In Silent Bend, people disappear, the threat of a demented King and the legend of his resurrecting Queen hang over everyone’s heads, and proving loyalty means far more than blood. You’d better watch who you trust in this town…


Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night. She is the author of THE EDEN TRILOGY, the FALL OF ANGELS trilogy, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY. To learn more about Keary and her writing process, please visit www.KearyTaylor.com.

Author links:

Thank you, Keary for letting me be a part of your cover reveal!

Mar 26, 2015

The Book Chat that refuses to die

So, I've been trying to revive this blog for a year now.  But every blog post feels like the last, and it occurred to me recently that something was missing.


Just like that, the Book Chat is back.

Because I figure, why the $%#@ not?

So, here's what we're going to do. We're going to recycle old Book Chat topics because it's been that long.  Surely, you've read new stuff since then and you have new thoughts and opinions.  And if not, we'll come up with new topics and ideas.  Either way, I will be here posting about books on Thursdays.
And I'm inviting you over.

If I were really inviting you over, there would be coffee or wine or beer (depending on time zones) and cake or pizza, maybe a cheese tray…I'm rambling.   Point is…I miss you, and I'd like to get the gang back together.

And if you've never done the book chat before…get in here!

Basically, the book chat is just what it sounds like.  A weekly link-up where we discuss books using a weekly prompt.  That simple.  You don't have to be a book blogger, in fact, most of us aren't.  You really don't even have to be a blogger.  Be a tumblr.  Or Facebooker.  Or Instagrammer.  Times are a'changin.
The only rules are that you have to follow the host(s) via something like Twitter or Bloglovin.  Then, go around the link-ups and chat with others about the topic d'jour.

So, here you have it.  I'm in if you're in.

April 2 - What are you currently reading?
April 9 - Setting you wish you could travel to (real or fictional)
April 16 - Self-Published Books - Do you read them?  What are your favorites?
April 23 - It's my Birthday!  For my birthday, I want the gift of an excellent book recommendation.  Tell me what to read!  and why, of course.
April 30 - Film to Movie adaptations.  Your thoughts and favorites?

Won't you join us?

Mar 25, 2015

A Day in the Life

A day in the life of a writer/yoga teacher/army wife/mom …and more!

I haven't done one of these posts in FOREVER and I've been meaning to for so long.  Thankfully, I saw that this happens to be the topic of today's Write or Die Wednesday!  So here you have it.  A "typical" day for me.

Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze. (repeat 4-5 times).
On a good day, I'll get some writing/revising done while the house is still quiet and the coffee is still hot.  My brain isn't completely awake, but sometimes the product is better this way.  Writers are weird.

Make breakfast for the monsters. (It's usually cereal.  I'm just showing off the one day I put real breakfast effort in.)

Put one kiddo on the bus and shuttle the other to Kita (German kindergarten).

Teach a little yoga (or do a little Spin or if I'm feeling super ambitious, go for a little run)

This is usually the start of my "work day."  There are just not enough hours in the day, so if I'm feeling terribly behind on my manuscript, I'll skip the morning workout and get butt in chair by 9am.  This is when I try to cram a profession's worth of work into three hours.  And I'm lucky that I have these three hours, when so many others spend their days at a paycheck-kind of job.  I'm not ignorant of my blessings.

Currently, I'm also committed to a major position at my son's school as the PTA President.  It's been a rewarding and challenging position and one I'm glad I stepped up for.  I believe everyone should at least once in their life, so they understand what goes into these school programs.
So yes, a lot of my "work days" are spent emailing principals, making copies and planning events.  What is this life?

Pick up my little preschooler and kick back with some quality cartoon time.  Maybe clean if I'm so inclined.
I try to avoid the computer for these few precious hours.  I want my kids to remember me next to them on the couch, not the back of my head staring at a computer screen.

The big kid comes home which means chores, family time, dinner prep and all that suburban stuff.

We make it a point to sit down for dinner together every night no matter what.  It's an important part of our daily lives.  Even when it feels like a battle to get the little one to JUST EAT, I still cherish these fleeting moments when we're all just sitting at the same table.  Can't take this stuff for granted.

Baths // homework // PJ's // A Curious George book or two and it's time to tuck the monsters in.  By this point in the day, it feels like that scene in I Love Lucy where she puts too much flour in the cake and it's exploding out of the oven and she's just trying to cram it back in.  Putting kids to bed after a long, crazy day (every day) can feel like shoving that exploding cake back into the oven.

I try very hard to use the rest of my evening for relaxation and kicking back with Netflix or the hubby, depending on his location.

Sometimes, like an addict, I can't keep myself from my desk.  As much as I wish my days were always free of commitments, more often than not, this is the first chance I have to be alone with my work-in-progress.  I want to put my writing first.  I want to have a solid 8-hour day to spend writing, writing, writing.  But this is life.  So, there are days that my writing happens from bedtime to midnight.
Sherlock and Downton Abbey can wait.

My brain turns into a pumpkin around 11pm, so I have to budget in an hour's worth of reading every night.  This is normal behavior, right?

So, that is my day.  It's never the same, and always busy.  But I'm one of those strange beings who loves busy.  I love feeling like I have purpose.  I love the feeling of a day spent well where every minute is filled to capacity with to-do list crossing and encounters with friends.

And if it includes writing a blog post, then it was definitely a GOOD day.

Thanks to Vashelle and Mia for another excellent writing prompt!  Check out more WODW posts here:
Write or Die Wednesdays

Mar 4, 2015

Let's Go on Adventure

Adventure.  I love that word.  It reminds me of books I used to read as a kid and my favorite movies.  Adventure makes me feel young again.  Why don't we go on adventures anymore?  Why don't we use that phrase?
Let's go on an adventure.

I often wonder what my kids would think if I woke them up one day and said those words.  Let's go on an adventure.  Would they think of traipsing through the woods?  Traveling somewhere far?  Would it involve something dangerous, funny or scary?  I'm so afraid that they would pass on my suggestion and opt for staying home instead.

Everyone loves adventure.  I truly believe that, but I know too many who would rather steer clear of the unknown and stick with what's comfortable.  Perhaps, that's what books and movies are for.  We don't need to put ourselves at risk if Indiana Jones/Harry Potter/Dr. Who are willing to do it for us.  But if we don't adventure, who will tell the stories?

Adventure is often an euphemism in our family.  When we're traveling and things don't turn out right or the trip takes a strange turn, you'll hear us say: well that was an adventure.  It often means that whatever happened was not what we wanted or expected.  Getting lost in a big, foreign city.  Adventure.  Albeit, not one we wish to experience.  Still exciting, still new, still something that makes us feel alive.  And what could be better than that?

Living abroad, the sense of adventure is always there, lurking around every trip.  With every new place we see, we shed another layer of fear of the unknown.  We get a little bit more adventurous.

And what we want most for our kids to gain from this experience is that being adventurous doesn't always mean jumping out of an airplane (please don't) or hiking to a mountain peak.  Adventure can mean trying new foods you've never tried, speaking with locals in cultures you've never spoken with before, making a new friend, being open minded and level-headed. But mostly, it's about creating new memories.

It keeps the soul fresh.  It builds character.  It adds to the layers of who we are.

So, whether it be traveling, falling in love, making a change in your life or having children of your own, please just go on an adventure.

Thank you to Mia and Vashelle for the excellent prompt today!  Read the rest of the Write or Die posts at the link up here.

Write or Die Wednesdays