Tag Archives: children

Musings: Last time for this life milestone

23 Jun

Yesterday, my youngest child, the Princess, obtained her driving learner’s permit. That’s the last time I’ll go through that particular milestone of life, hooray! Nothing is scarier than going through the process of teaching kids to drive, so I’m glad she’s the last one.

Life with the Princess has long been full of final milestones. With her, I’ve celebrated the VERY LAST diaper. (Well, until grandchildren. But you know what I mean.) The very last baby learning to crawl, to walk, to talk. The last bottle and binkie. The last time through the Terrible Twos and Tantrum-ridden Threes. The last first tooth lost. The last first day of school. The last graduate of elementary school. The final middle school student. The last time through every other measure of growth and change children go through to this point. She’ll be my final high school graduate in a couple of years.

I enjoyed those milestones with my firstborn, filled with wonder, because they were new accomplishments. I enjoyed them with sons 2, 3, and 4 because it was a measure of where they were in life, a sign they were growing up, that we were all moving along. But it’s different with the Princess. Partly because she’s female, and let’s face it, so many of those experiences are handled differently by boys and girls. So in a way, even though I’ve been through these things several times, with her they are new.

It also feels different to pass those milestones when you know it’s your last time. There’s a poignancy to tossing that last bottle in the trash, a wash of memories that accompanies the final act of the Tooth Fairy. Most of all, as her adulthood speeds ever closer, I leave behind more sure things and stare out at vast possibilities. Because when your children are growing, there are certain things you can count on. Certain experiences, milestones, that everyone passes through. You know, as much as you can ever know in life, that particular experiences are built into the timeline. There’s something stabilizing about knowing a bit of what to expect in the lives of your children. Once they graduate high school, the way-stations along that timeline become fewer. College or other post-secondary training options. A career. Marriage. Children of their own. My children may experience each of those, or only one or two. Or some more than once. It’s all unknown, a voyage of discovery.

I’m already there with my oldest three. Son 4 has one year left before he graduates and flies into the unknown. I’m glad I have a while longer with the Princess, to savor the last of the measured portion of her life, and of my own. After all, once she reaches adulthood and the world of possibilities opens before her, so will it open for me. Once I have completed the work of raising my children, and with my Helvetican still fully engaged in his career, I’ll find myself with nothing but a few vague possible milestones (grandchildren?) and a whole landscape of choices and opportunities. I’m going to have a blast!

If you’ve reached that point in your own life, what have you chosen to do as you move forward? If you’re not there yet, what do you dream of doing?

Graduation Day and A Twist on Pride & Prejudice

31 May

Happy Thursday! It’s a crazy busy day around here because son #3 graduates from high school today, woohoo! Three children down, two to go, I’m over the halfway mark. So, while I’m off to watch a class of nearly 800 students walk (and yes, that takes as long as you might think it does), here is something to brighten your day.

Have you seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? It’s a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, told as Lizzie’s video blog on YouTube. New episodes are uploaded every Monday and Thursday, and it is so much fun! Give it a look!

Updates

27 May

The last week of major schoolwork is done, hooray! There are a few teachers here and there giving tests on Tuesday or Wednesday, but for the most part, everyone realizes that the teens are not going to be using their brains post-Memorial Day vacation and are not really scheduling much for the remaining two days of classes. This means I can stop worrying about pushing the kids along with school. Whew. I love the end of the school year!

Now then, due to editing schedules and everything that goes into the end of prepping a book for release, the schedule for Finding Refuge has been pushed back a bit. It’s now slated for release June 14.

Also, after having Mending Fences exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, it will be available at other storefronts and in other formats starting June 17. Finding Refuge will be launching wide also, it will not be an Amazon exclusive.

The exclusivity thing can be very, very good for authors from a money standpoint. It’s very easy to boost a book’s visibility and the sales can be fantastic. Plus, when a book is available exclusively at Amazon, Prime members can borrow the book for free. Authors are paid for those borrows. So, honestly, leaving and choosing not to enter a book in an Amazon exclusive arrangement is scary. But I believe it’s the right thing to do. I want readers to be able to pick up my books in any format that suits them, without having to know how to convert or side-load or any other techie thing that’s required to read a book when you have something other than a kindle or a kindle app.

Please, wish me luck!

A Long Absence and a New Cover

16 May

My poor blog has been ignored lately. I feel terrible about that, I really do, but May is just One of Those Months, you know? Over the next three weeks, I have to keep my teens focused on finals and projects and myriad craziness that accompanies the end of the school year. Son #3 graduates high school two weeks from tomorrow. The week after that, son #1 returns from a two-year mission, and yes, I’m beyond thrilled about that. So, I shall try to stay current here on the blog, but if I slip over the next few weeks, don’t be terribly surprised.

Now, on to news…I have a cover for Finding Refuge! The book, a contemporary romance, is loosely linked to Mending Fences. Some of the MF characters do show up in the new book, but both can easily stand alone for readers. Click on the Books link above to check out an excerpt. Finding Refuge is tentatively slated for release on June 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do you think?

The Auction for Diabetes Research is ON!

1 May

auctionofyear

I’ve been missing in action for a while, sorry about that. It’s been a bit crazy around here, full of car repairs, forcing teenagers to attend school when they are suffering spring fever, and, of course, preparing the next book for release.

One of the best things I did while I was away was donate to Brenda Novak’s annual auction to raise funds for diabetes research. This is the eighth year of Ms. Novak’s auction, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it on the donation side, rather than just the bidding side! A Kindle Fire is loaded with a copy of Mending Fences, along with 25 additional contemporary romance and romantic suspense books donated by other authors, and the bidding is underway. Check it out by clicking the blue auction banner to the right!

There are some truly amazing items to bid on, for both writers and readers. Please, go explore and place your bids for a great cause!

A Glorious Sunday

8 Apr

The sun glows in a perfect blue sky, and a sweet, warm breeze weaves through branches laden with pink and white blossoms. What a beautiful morning!

For me and my family, it is a perfect start to Easter. As a nod to childhood, the teens still get chocolate bunnies, assorted candies, and a toy. This year, it’s kites and mini basketballs. Aside from that bit of fun, it is a day for family to join us as we celebrate the Risen Christ.

Today, I wish my Christian friends a blessed Easter, my Orthodox friends a happy Palm Sunday, and my Jewish friends a happy Passover!

And a final wish: for everyone just kicking back and taking the day off…if your weather is as perfect as ours today, I know you’ll have a great Sunday. Enjoy!

The Wednesday of Impending Doom!

4 Apr

Okay, not really impending doom, but today is the last day of school before Spring Break, when my teens and all their friends will fill up the house, have lightsaber fights in the living room, and consume all the food like locusts. They’ll pile up blankets and pillows all over the TV room floor, layered like sediment with empty chip bags, candy wrappers, and empty soda cans. They’ll fall asleep in the wee hours of the night without turning off whatever horror movie is running, so I’ll eventually have to drag in there and try not to stumble over bodies to shut the system down… Yep, I had it right at the beginning. Impending doooooooom!

I really don’t mind, though. If they’re all here, I know where they are and I know what they’re doing. Always a good thing with teenagers.

Make sure to stop in Thursday or Friday. I’m participating in a 60-author blog hop in honor of paranormal romance author Carrie Ann Ryan’s birthday! Each author is going to talk about birthdays or why they love (or hate) them.

What does that mean for you as a reader? Each author is giving away a prize at their blog AND we’re giving away TWO grand prizes.

  1. A Kindle Touch
  2. A $60 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card

You can comment on each blog and every comment is an entry for the grand prizes! How great is that? The hop begins tomorrow, April 5th, and you have until 11:59PM on the 6th to participate!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

1 Apr

I’m having trouble believing it is April Fool’s Day. Primarily because I have a house full of teenagers and not one prank so far. How is that even possible??

Mother Nature decided to prank me, following days of 75 degrees and sunshine with clouds, cold, and snow flurries. I’d complain, but I need to write today, and the icky weather encourages me to stay at my desk and get things done. I guess I should be grateful.

Have you suffered through any pranks today?

Where did March go?

31 Mar

I can’t believe it is the end of March already. This year is just flying so far! The weather is gorgeous. The grass is just starting to green, the fruit trees are blooming, the aspens are budding leaves and showing their seed tails, the daffodils are cheerily bobbing in the brees, and the air is warm and scented with blossoms and soil.

I really want to dig in the yard today, but the first priority is spring cleaning on the house! I’ve convinced the teenagers that if we clean this weekend, they won’t have to do it next weekend, during spring break.

The happiest of all in my crazy household about the warm weather are the bunnies. They are house rabbits, but the big yard at the side of the house is fenced off specifically as a play area for them. The dogs are friendly with the rabbits, but they play rough, so the bunnies are better off in a secure yard. They went out yesterday  to enjoy the sunshine.

Meet the boys! Smokey Jr. is the gray mixed breed on the right. He is a rescue, found abandoned in a parking lot, covered with grease from hiding under a truck. Who knows where the paint on his ears came from.

On the left is Oyster, a black satin. Also a rescue, he came to us with cigarette burns on his neck.

Next is Chelsea. She is a chinchilla rabbit. Though she came from a pet store, she is truly a rescue as well. She’d spent her first year at the store, living in a plastic tub with a wire top that was too small for her to stand vertically in or even stretch out all the way. The store owner said the only people who wanted her were those looking for snake food, and she just couldn’t sell her for that. I’ll never forget putting Chelsea on the grass for the first time. It took her several days to learn how to be a free bunny, to run and jump and stand straight up, but the other bunns taught her well. Especially patient Oyster, who adored her until she gave in and bonded with him.

Finally, we have Brownie. She is nine, our oldest bunny. The rabbit life span is usually seven to ten years, so we’re grateful for every day she’s with us. She’s outlived two mates before her current love, Smokey Jr. Not that Smokey had it easy with her. Brownie made him beg for her love for a couple of months before she gave in and decided he was a good choice for a mate. Brownie has bad teeth that don’t align properly. Most rabbits will wear down their constantly growing teeth as they eat and chew on wood treats. Brownie’s teeth don’t wear down, so once a month she visits the vet to have her teeth trimmed.  Oh, in case you’re wondering, all of these rabbits have been spayed/neutered. There are enough homeless, abandoned bunnies in the world. We rescue, we don’t breed.

Time to take the bunnies out for more fun in the yard. How is your weather? Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

Remembering to Rejuvenate

14 Mar

Today was my day off. Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, does it? In my world, it’s huge, because I don’t get days off unless I schedule them.

It’s not just the full-time mom thing that makes work a 24/7/365 aspect of my life, though my Mommy duties are a big part of it. The primary problem is that I work at home, in an office right across the hall from my bedroom. Work is always there, when I go to bed, when I go into the kitchen, or the bathroom, or to get the door. Yes, I can come and go as needed, in order to get all my mom/chauffeur/chef/errand girl/gardener/pet caretaker/laundry specialist/whatever-I-need-to-be-today stuff done. But I find myself in my office chair staring at the computer every spare moment when I’m not checking off something on my To Do list.

When you’re a writer, dealing with words and plots and troublesome characters and fact-checking and editing, etc., can become exhausting. I love what I do, truly. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl, and I’ve been blessed to grow up and make money doing exactly that. I’m lucky! But sometimes, I have to remind myself to shut it off and take a break. Most folks with a full-time job get weekends off, or at least a couple of days somewhere throughout the week. Their reminder to take a breather is built into the job. The change in schedule, in activity, in duties, is good for the soul. It lets you rejuvenate, refill your energy source, and prepare to face work again when the break is over.

The book I’m working on now, Finding Refuge, is a difficult book. It’s angsty, it’s emotional, it deals with some heavy, difficult life issues. I can’t immerse myself in that day in and day out without paying the price of my brain turning to mush and refusing to spit out words and flesh out plots. I hit that point last night. That was my reminder to take a break.

So, I spent the day hanging out with my Helvetican. We lazed around the house for a while after the kids went to school then took a long drive. We hiked around in the West Deserts, where the early spring warmth, the gentle breeze, and the rich scent of junipers overloaded my senses and washed away work for a while. It was glorious. Add in a nap in the car, and I’m right as rain.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work. I’ll be ready for it. But before I open the WIP, I’m going to schedule my next day off in red pen on my desk calendar. What do you do to rejuvenate on your days off?