Monday, September 29, 2014

Passion for Animals

It has been a long journey to bring the vision I had to life. I have loved animals my entire life. I have always had pets, my family would adopt dogs and cats and while I have been proud of the ones we saved I always wanted to do more. I understand that a person and a household can only hold so many animals physically but a heart can hold so much more.

When I moved to Las Vegas I became more involved with local rescue groups and shelters. I spent time assisting with adoption events and gave items that I had to spare. I joined a number of groups on Facebook that support and network animals attempting to give them the love and homes that they deserve. One of the biggest needs though of these organizations is funding.

That is where I struggled because I have lived paycheck to paycheck working hard just to make my bills. I wanted to help but I just couldn't figure out how to raise money. My family has always been good at fundraising but I just couldn't come up with an idea of how to actually bring in the money. I thought about events, selling homemade candy and sweets but ultimately I was inspired by a fellow author that created a book series that donates the proceeds to charity.

I came up with the idea to gather stories, poems and essays from various writers and put them together in a collection to sell and then donate the proceeds to a charity that works with animal rescue. War Dogs Making it Home is the organization that was chosen for the first book and I couldn't be happier with the choice. They are a wonderful group that rescues dogs and trains them to work with veterans that deal with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

It is my hope that someday I am able to raise enough money to sponsor at least a few veterans and their dogs to go through the program and get the support they so need and deserve.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Ok so not writing related but still on my mind so I feel like it would help to get it out, I am stressed about my health. I have been struggling for years to fight through warmer weather months and survive the flu and cold seasons. Every year I get the flu and pneumonia and because of a highly compromised immune system I am unable to get vaccinated against these or any other conditions like most of my family and friends.

The consistent illness I deal with have in the past cost me jobs and have put my current employment at risk which for the first time I am truly concerned about. I love what I do and do not want to put that in jeopardy. I have been working with doctors and am even trying to see a number of different specialists to try and come up with a diagnosis that would finally allow me to get better.

I must make it until March in order to reset the discipline I am under at the moment and that has me stressed further considering this is the most difficult time of year for me. I understand that having more time would mean I was able to write more and work harder to promote my work but that will not pay the bills at this time.

I am doing my best to balance the obligation of my day jobs, complete my writing projects by the deadlines and make sure that I keep myself in shape to help be as healthy as possible. I look forward to finding the balance so I can feel as successful and accomplished as I know I can be.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Excerpt from Breathe

Breathe is one of my current works that is being edited and rewritten right now. I am excited about this story because this is the first story to come completely from my imagination. I am looking at multiple publishing possibilities for this project. I look forward to seeing what people think.

Kelsey took the outstretched hand and allowed herself to be lead back into the hospital and up to the fourth floor where Daniel was sitting up in bed watching the door expectantly. His smile lit up the room when she walked in and he tried to raise his arms in a waiting hug. He quickly lowered the left arm as he winced in pain from where they had just removed the bullet, but the smile remained.
She walked over unsteadily but as soon as she was by his side she sat down into the curve of his arm and he wrapped her in a side bear hug. She had planned to go sit in the chair next to the bed but he didn’t let go so she shifted her weight and sat next to him with her legs stretched out next to his and her head on his shoulder. They sat there for a moment breathing in each other and enjoying the feeling of being together when his sister felt the need to break the silence.
“So when did this happen?” She pointed back and forth between them. She was smiling and seemed to be enjoying herself but also completely curious. “You tell me everything Danny. Why haven’t you mentioned Miss Kelsey before?”
He leaned his cheek down against her head and then turned and kissed her forehead. Stroking her arm he looked thoughtfully and the nosy woman sitting across from him. “I just met her yesterday Diana.”
“Really and this close already huh?” she wasn’t buying the just met explanation. She leaned back, never taking her eyes off her brother. “And how does that happen exactly?”
“If you must know I tried to rescue her. You don’t recognize her?” Diana shifted her gaze to Kelsey and examined her for a minute. Her eyes grew wider as it dawned on her that yes she did in fact know who Kelsey was.
“You are the girl from the bank robbery yesterday. They showed your picture one the news. What the hell happened anyway?”
Before she could answer Daniel raised a hand. “Diana you know you don’t get to know about ongoing investigations. Once everything is wrapped up we can tell you all about it. Until then you will just have to know that yes she was there and that is how we met. I don’t need any judgment from you either.”
“Judgment? Why would I judge? You have known each other less than a day and you are already in bed together?” She laughed as she said the last part, obviously enjoying the way it made him blush. “I am just teasing Danny. You can do whatever you want with whomever you want. You’re a big boy.”
“Yeah I will believe it when I see it,” he murmured as he leaned down and kissed Kelsey on the head again.
“Ok well I am going to leave you two love birds, or whatever birds you are,” she laughed again, “alone for a bit. I promised I would call mom and dad and let them now you were ok.”
She left before either of them had a chance to respond. Kelsey snuggled a little closer against him and tried not to look up. When she finally did she saw he was looking at her with concern. It was almost funny that he was the one that had just gone in for surgery and yet he was concerned about her. “What is it? Why do you look so sad?”
She really didn’t want to answer, she didn’t want to put the idea in his head and have him realize it was true, that them being together was crazy but she knew she had to tell him. “Your sister is right. You know she is. We don’t even know each other. It was just the intensity of the moment that made us feel so strongly.”
“Is that how you feel? You don’t think there is anything between us and this is all just going to pass and we will just walk away and forget?” He looked so hurt.
“I think there is a connection. I felt it yesterday the second I saw you, but it is crazy isn’t it?”

“So what if it’s crazy. I want to get to know you and to be a part of your life and I know I want you to be in my life. I want to protect you and take care of you.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fighting with Guilt

Just as I mentioned yesterday I have been struggling recently. There are many aspects to PTSD and they can effect everyone differently. For me I have fought with insecurity, feeling like I am not good enough. I was made to believe for so long that I needed everyone else's approval in order to be ok that I became afraid to trust myself and my own judgement.

I spent years hearing constantly that I was nothing. I didn't matter unless my boyfriend said I did. That I was lucky he cared about me because no one else ever would. Every decision I ever made was wrong unless I was agreeing with him. I was a model, a high school dance team performer, swimmer and diver and a gymnast but I wasn't good enough, pretty enough. Nothing was ok about me unless he approved.

He cheated on me but would find reasons that it was ok because I wasn't enough to satisfy him. He would flirt in front of me and let me know that if I ever was as beautiful as the other girls then maybe I would get his full attention. At a height of 5'11" I weighed barely 110 pounds but I had to watch what I ate. I had a very high GPA going into high school but I was either a nerd that spent too much time studying and not enough time dedicated to him or I wasn't smart enough.

On a few rare occasions I managed to be a problem solver and fix a concern that no one else had figured out but my reward was a "private conversation" in which I was humiliated into apologizing for showing off and more than once smacked for my efforts. It sounds like torture and it was but the worst part is that after being put through this with growing intensity for two years I accepted the lie that I believed it.

I had fantasies that I would escape and be loved but even in my fantasies it was him that turned over a new leaf and wanted me. I was scared all the time but didn't know why. I never stood up for myself, I couldn't. To this day if I try and defend myself in any situation and it gets confrontational I will back down immediately.

People always tell me I am strong and that I can handle anything but what they don't understand is that the strength they see is simply a front I have developed over years of hiding a terrified fourteen year old inside me. She never got the chance to cry and be heard and her story is the origin of my diagnosis for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The one thing I have been able to do is defend someone else. If I see someone being bad mouthed or worse, I witness violence, I can easily and without personal disregard step in and protect them. This ability however led to a dream that I am well aware is symbolic but at the same time broke my heart in its literacy. I defended someone else that I am extremely close to against a tormentor but the antagonist in the dream was a person I love very much and never deserved whether in reality of my subconscious to be seen that way.

I have no problem learning to conquer my fears and defending myself slowly in different ways but I have been plagued with intense guilt at the portrayal of someone so decent and loving in a dark and dangerous light. I am struggling today with how to move forward and forgive myself and ask them to forgive me as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Struggling today

I am struggling today. I have numerous projects that all are ripe and ready to be worked on. The characters are feeling chatty and coming off the book signings recently I am quite motivated to complete more of my writings.

Yet for some reason I am finding sleep elusive, health waning and focus impossible. I am plagued by a multitude of nightmares that cause me to feel not only exhausted but stressed and, in the case of one, even guilty. I understand what some of them stand for but I haven't found a way to resolve the concerns behind them.

I also have fought to overcome insecurities for years that invade my attempts to be successful. I finished Never Give Up years before it was published. I completed the word count for the writing challenge Nanowrimo and I immediately went into editing mode. Once I thought I had done a decent job rewriting I sent it off to be read and got a strong review.

That was when the fear set in. I had to put this story that I had worked so hard on out into the world and set it free to be scrutinized by strangers. I read several tips and books about getting published. I practiced query letters until I thought I had a solid hook and it wouldn't take long to get a response.

I was right that it didn't take long however the constant rejections I had prepared myself for still hurt immensely. I got discouraged but instead of stopping I sent out another round of queries. Most responded but they were all still thanks but no thanks answers to my publishing dreams. The rest simply didn't respond at all.

I did finally find an indy publisher willing to take a chance on me and have been learning a lot. I enjoy doing live events signing copies of the book and getting to hear what people think if the story. One would think that with this pushing me I would have conquered the insecurities that hold me back but it is almost the opposite. I feel pressure to continue to improve while also growing my audience. I need to make sure that I can keep growing as an artist as well.

I have allowed stresses from my everyday life to invade my writing causing the focus I usually enjoy to become muddled and chaotic. I am hoping to find harmony within my writing and personal life soon so I can get back to pursuing my dreams.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Because I have always written things either entirely from my imagination or based on events from my own life I have never done a lot of research. Now with two projects in the next year that have elements of history and in one case intertwines with true events I have to nail not only the story but also the details.

One book I have always wanted to do is a twist on Jack the Ripper. I cannot describe the book and twist without giving away a major element but the most important parts for me will be the timeline and accuracy with the language. I also have to make sure that I have the complete background of all of the crimes in order to make sure my theory is believable.

I have read a few accounts of Jack the Ripper and will be going back through them as well as getting a map of the area accurate to the time in order to keep my information on track as much as possible. I also intend while completing my research to develop character profiles that are in depth and honest not the time period and to the story. It will be one of my most involved works to date.

The other is going to be the only story that I can say will most likely be more involved than the Jack the Ripper twist. I will be creating a completely fiction series that is eight books long and is set during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. While the stories are fictional and the sequence is only set during that time it is still necessary that I make the setting true to the time as well as the language.

There are elements that I have to examine in order to make sure that someone familiar with the period wouldn't find out of place and because there is also a fantasy element to the stories as they involve witch craft I intend to research that aspect as well. I will have to decide if I want to include pieces of information from observed forms of the craft or if I will be creating my own form. In the event that I create my own I will still have to understand rules and beliefs that are involved.

The only reason I believe that this will be more involved is because I have a combination of both reality and imagination but also because of the length of the series. I have never written a series before let alone a progressive one that involves characters existing within several books but each in turn having their own dedicated story. I look forward to getting to watch as everything comes together for both of these stories.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Story Within A Story

I have been outlining my new romance novel and as often happens I got stuck. I have a deadline for the rough draft and it was driving me crazy that I couldn't get the characters to open up for me but now that I have I am thinking it will be a long relationship.

Jessica is the main character and I tried to get her to talk to me but she held back. I worked to coax her out of her shell but all I knew about her was that she had recently relocated to a small town to open a candy shop.

I was also aware that there is a guy in the town that falls for her named Charlie. He is very romantic and cares about her deeply but he can't figure out what is hiding inside her. It frustrates him and it hurts him to want so badly because he wants to rescue her.

I eventually was able to get Jessica to open and I can honestly say I was surprised by how much she revealed. She had been so quiet but once she started talking it was like opening the flood gates. Her back story that she had guarded from me ended up being almost enough to be its own book entirely. I felt for her, I understood her and I loved being her confidant.

She may not have had a dramatic life but she is very real and the heartache she suffered hit home for me. I am hoping that through not only this book but additional books in the series my readers as well as I will be able to get to know her even better. My deepest wish is that she finds the happiness she so richly deserves and that with her talent she finds a way to share whatever joy she finds.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Coming Up Next

With the motivation replenished and accomplishment overflowing I am extremely anxious to get home and get my office in order for the rest of the year. I am determined to get my files created and organized, any playlists I will be using set up and my checklist or deadlines posted so that I can finish out the year the best way possible.

I have three current anthologies I am working on with deadlines looming. I have my romance rough draft due by the end of October and I will of course be working hard on a project for Nanowrimo. For that book I have several opportunities but I have narrowed down the choices that I intend to choose from. November will either be dedicated to the first book in my Seven Deadly Syns series, Sabrina's Story or Annora's Story both of which are just working titles.

On top of my romance book, nano and the anthologies I am positive I can finish the rewrites on Breathe and can complete the first draft of the manuscript of Sharing Strength. Both are very important to me and I want to make sure I do justice to every story I tell. I am excited to see how far I can get and what success these projects may hopefully bring.

I will seeking a traditional publishing route for a few of my upcoming books while I will also be publishing through the charity series Rock and Roll Saved My Soul for Rescue Me which is my charity book that will be released by the end of the year. Should be a wonderful couple of months, intense and busy but very satisfying to complete.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I have had a lot on my plate the last couple of months and so have neglected so many of my interests in one way or another and that includes pushing my writing to the back burner in some senses. I have been preparing for my current mini book tour and feel it has gone well so far with still one more two day event left to go. I have had fun catching up with family and friend and I have worked hard at my day jobs in order to afford to enjoy some relaxation.

Now with deadlines looming and Nanowrimo coming back into sight I know I have to buckle down and focus for a few upcoming months. Luckily I do not have any trips planned until December and I only and expecting a few visitors to vegas that I know so I shouldn't have much to distract me. I have struggled to push myself to complete projects but after coming home and seeing people turn out to support me and getting the exciting chance to introduce myself as an author I know it is what I have dreamt about for so long and I am reinvigorated to make it a reality!

I will return to vegas on monday and though I will continue to work my two day jobs and pay off bills, build up some savings and do everything in my power to make my day to day living as pleasant as possible I now know what my true focus is and what my end goal will be. I can't wait to start checking off the projects and get to work making myself the successful author I know I can be.