About Me

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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Gallery of What Feels Like Day 392 of Our Captivity

I woke up to find it had snowed again overnight. Lots of people I'm friends with on FB have been complaining and longing for spring and signs of greenery. Despite my post title we have been able to get out and about some since the first snowfall hit. But today marks the 7th day in a row the kids have been out of school and already it's been announced they won't have school tomorrow. Since I'm woefully behind on getting any work done I've decided to just post a gallery of pics on what we've been doing to entertain ourselves while the deep freeze lasts...

My thirteen-year-old practicing the smoky eyed look with make-up on her favorite guinea pig--me.

Lots of baking...of scones...

...and elven flatbread. This was my daughter's first solo baking venture and the flatbread tastes great even if it isn't really flat. The recipe came out of my husband's DragonLance source book.

You can't have scones without a nice pot of tea. =)

Legos of course are a perennial
favorite...playing with them...reading
about them...coming up with new

And one of my perennial faves--reading. I got this in the mail last week. It's an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of C. Hope Clark's newest release. A new mystery series that takes place on Edisto Beach in South Carolina. I actually have to read it to do some reviews for the author. I love it when work and play can mix like this...

Next week I'll be posting about how to write reviews. The week following I'll be posting my latest one on the book pictured here. For now my daily writing duties and lunch are calling. Take care until next time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

10 Essentials When You're Snowed In

We got a little bit of snow in Kentucky this week. In many areas of the country 6 to 7 inches wouldn't seem like much. But in small communities where there are mountains and narrow roads to contend with that can be a lot of snow. Especially when there isn't a lot of equipment available to clear roadways and the snow comes all at once. So across the state there are quite a few people who are home bound with children out of school. That might be okay for a few days, but it can get stressful for adults and children alike when a day or two begins to look like an entire week and you hear more snow might be on the way. So I've put together a list of things you might want to stock up on or dig out when faced with the prospect of being snowed in.

10. A soft bed with lots of pillows and blankets. When you can't go anywhere take advantage of getting some extra sleep if possible--even if it is a midday nap.

9. Lots of warm clothing such as flannel shirts or pajamas, fleecy pants or sweats, or just sweats in general are comfortable and warm and still make it look like you made an effort to get dressed even if you can't go anywhere.

8. If you have one of these or a couple of these you might need a pair of these...

For those of you who have dogs or children you might be aware of the fact that they still need outside time. The dogs to relieve themselves and the children because snow=sledding=snow ball fights=snowmen. A warm coat and gloves are also highly recommended under these types of conditions. Also, if you get a little stir crazy boots are useful for walking down the road to see how other people in the neighborhood are handling the snow or just to see how the roadways are looking and how many people are still driving on them.

7. A sled, trash can lid, dining hall tray, or even in some instances a laundry basket can make for some great memories in the snow. You can rediscover your childhood by careening down the hill in the snow with your children or dog or spouse or partner. Remember what it was like find entertainment out of the simple things in life.

6. Movies are a great way to pass the time. Suddenly all those DVDs you've acquired over the years and only watched once after you got them are old friends again. You can use them to educate your children about your childhood too. That way they might be able to understand you when you make movie references to things that somehow only you or your partner or spouse find funny. It also might help alleviate the dreaded question, "So what are we going to do now?"

5. Books. One good thing about being snowed in is having a valid excuse for catching up on your reading. Only one of my children seems to enjoy this, but I'm still hoping to help the other one find a genre he loves. 

4. If you have internet access Netflix can seem like the greatest thing ever. Cartoons that you don't have to buy are in seemingly endless supply on instant streaming sites like this. Also, if you have internet access Buzz Feed links like these are also fun for amusing yourself and all your friends who also might be snowed in. You can share quiz results and important trivia via the internet or over the phone and feel like you are bonding even though you can't see said friends.

3. Hot chocolate. Even if you don't go out in the snow and cold this is still an essential item to have. It is warm and comforting and it tastes good. A mug of hot cocoa, a warm blanket, comfy clothes and a good movie or book. What could be better?

2. Board games. Unbelievably enough my kids to eventually grow tired of staring at a screen. When they roll their eyes at me for suggesting reading a book or I've run out of chores for them to do their eyes light up when I suggest a board game or card game. You can kill an hour or more without even realizing it playing monopoly.

1. Patience. The number one most essential item to have when you are snowed in is patience. It takes time for road crews to get caught up on clearing the roadways. People you love and get to have forced quality time with can wear on your nerves and you can do the same for them. It is important to remember that being snowed in is only temporary and keeping a sense of humor about it can help you keep your patience. And if all else fails you can always shovel some snow to help you keep your cool. Or better yet offer to shovel snow for a neighbor who maybe isn't spry enough to do it for themselves.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Greatest Inventor Ever

This week many people are gearing up for the Valentine's Day holiday to celebrate those they love. Some are buying presents, others are stocking up on favorite comfort foods to celebrate the holiday in their PJs with their favorite shows or movies. I fit into both categories. This weekend I don't have anyplace I need to be so I will be giving and receiving small tokens of affection from my family while eating (hopefully some chocolate) while watching TV or reading in my flannel pajamas.

But if you're a ten year old, aside from the idea of maybe getting some candy and a small gift from your parents, thoughts of love and Valentine's Day are not at the forefront of your mind. Instead, important questions crowd your thoughts. Questions that you ask your mom shortly after waking up to get ready for school. Things like, who is the greatest inventor of all time?

Now if my son had asked me this question in the afternoon when I picked him up from school, or later while I was cooking supper, or even while I was trying to get him ready to go to bed, I might not have given it much thought. But he picked the right time of day to ask it. First thing in the morning. Not that mornings aren't busy, they are. But the fact that he wasn't growling at me like a bear because I was making him get up to go to school was a novelty. I was happy that he was happy and awake enough to ask me a question.

I took the time to answer it the best way I could. "I don't know," I said. "I think that is a matter of perspective. For instance, the greatest inventor of all time for you would be the person who designed the first home gaming console, or the person who thought of the device that would become the precursor for the tablet."

My son considered this for a few moments. So I continued, "For me the greatest inventor would be Thomas Edison because he helped develop the first moving pictures. Or even better the first person to invent the printing press or movable type, because that's what helped us create books."

Fun Fact: While Johannes Gutenberg is the one many give credit to inventing the printing press, the first movable type to be developed is now believed to be credited to a Chinese peasant named Bi Sheng in 1041. http://www.livescience.com/43639-who-invented-the-printing-press.html

I continued to list other inventions that some people might think the greatest ever, like musical theatre (for his sister) or home computers, cell phones, indoor plumbing, antibiotics, etc. It is an endless list and it all depends on what you appreciate most. My son corrected me at the end of our discussion.

"You were wrong Mom," he told me. "I don't think the person who helped develop video games or tablets was the greatest inventor ever."

"You don't," I said.

"Nope, the greatest inventor for me is the person who invented Legos."

I laughed. "You're right, for you that would be the best inventor ever."

Who are some of the greatest inventors of all time for you? Maybe this Valentine's Day offer them up a tiny thanks as you celebrate love this year. =)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fun Facts About...


February is one of the most unique months of the calendar year. Here are just a few of the reasons to celebrate this month despite the vagaries of winter.

1. Since 2001, February has been the month we get to enjoy the Superbowl. Even if you don't like football you can enjoy the great commercials between plays.

 2. February is the only month of the whole year that actually celebrates groundhogs! We have set aside an entire day just for them to predict the weather for the next six weeks after Feb. 2. While we can appreciate this special and quirky holiday I don't think the groundhogs neccessarily do. Check out this link about Jimmy the Groundhog: http://www.weather.com/news/news/jimmy-groundhog-day-sun-prairie-mayor-wisconsin-punxsutawney-phil

3. This is the shortest month of the year and is the only one that gets an extra day added every four years for Leap Year.

4. Black History is celebrated in February. Though I think it would be nice if we celebrated black history and diversity equally all year long.

5. Two of our most famous presidents were born in February. George Washington's birthday is on February 22nd and Abraham Lincoln's is on February 12th. We used to celebrate their birthday's individually, but now we've combined them into one federal holiday, President's Day.

6. February is the month that celebrates love (most often with chocolate and roses). The roses are beautiful and I like them. But really for me the chocolate is the best part of Valentine's Day. Even if you don't have a special someone you can still eat chocolate which helps release endorphins in your brain and helps you feel happier. I'm not against love, but could we have a holiday that just celebrates chocolate? Just a thought, here are some links to support my idea. :)



7. And finally, the best part about February for me, is the fact that the days are starting to grow longer and you know that in just a couple more months the weather will be milder and we will be celebrating spring!