Gratitude + Gratitude = Awesome Life Happenings


This is a blog hop. At the end of my post, you can click on links and go from one blog to another and join your favorite authors as they chat about Fall, Autumn, Monsters, Halloween history and customs, etc. There is also a contest you can enter

Fall has finally arrived and I’m not the least bit sorry to see the hot days of summer fade away. Oh, I already miss having fresh tomatoes and realize I didn’t cook and freeze enough as I’m nearly out of frozen, crushed tomato sauce! But there’s next year.

Aside from the cooler weather, I love fall colors: the oranges, yellows, browns, etc. Here in California where I live, we don’t get the fall colors of the East coast but still, there is a change. I find fall colors soothing and restful.

The color changes isn’t all that I like about this time of year. This is a time I focus on gratitude and being thankful. This year is different though. In January, when I wrote out my goals (writing, personal, health, etc.) one of my personal goals was to focus on the good things in my life, to be grateful for what I have and what I am

When it came time to write this, I thought back to that goal and I have to admit, I’ve done really well with this goal. When something works out, or something good happens, or something horrid is dealt with, I take a moment to send my thanks out into the universe (good brings good, right?).

And it’s not just money related areas. I try every day to be grateful for something or someone, even my pets, like the little black kitten I just rescued. She was hanging around strip mall when I spotted her trying to get food near the garbage cans where the staff at Wingstop or customers were dumping chicken bones on the ground for her.

I decided to rescue her. Got some chicken, lured her out, and snagged her. Took her home. Found out from my hairdresser that the employees of the shops there were all feeding her but no one could catch her. From what I learned, she had to be around six weeks when she was most likely dumped and had been foraging on her own for 2 weeks.

I was afraid she might have lost some important social time and could have issues as she kept hiding in my husband’s office under the desk drawers. My friend thought I should just let her be but I knew that she could not stay afraid and in hiding for weeks as that would put her behind socially even more.  My instincts and work paid off. She’s been here a month and is well adjusted, friendly and very loving and not afraid of anything. On her behalf, I’m grateful that she probably had a good first 6 weeks and overcame her scary two weeks. Now, my other cats aren’t quite that grateful <g>.

Taking a glance back over the year, there are two major events I am grateful for. Last December I took a scary leap into the unknown when I took on a ghostwriting project from an online freelance site. I’d never written short novella length books and hadn’t written in the erotica genre, or the BDSM sub-genre. Turns out, I was good at it.

Not only did this writing gig bring in much needed income, it led me to my current career change from writing historicals to erotica. Because I changed my outlook and was looking for positive changes, I took a chance and ended up rebranding myself without setting out to do anything more than earn some writing income.

I’m very grateful to the woman who hired me because she gave me the confidence to write a story for myself to submit. So I’m very grateful to the The Wild Rose Press for taking me on as one of their authors.

So, the question is, had I not been focusing on the good, on being grateful, and being positive, would I have taken the chance on writing erotica for someone else? (It is very hard to sign away all rights to a story you write!)

I don’t think so. I had a positive mind-set, was looking for those doors or windows to crack open and then I was willing to step into the unknown.  And my goal to be positive and focus on gratitude allowed me to think outside the box.

So what I’m really grateful for is gratitude.

It’s not always easy to show gratitude in life but I firmly believe that if we concentrate on the good, be mindful of what we have, what we are, we attract the same. You know the saying: like attracts like or good brings good, negative breed negative. Focusing on gratitude brings more things into our life to be grateful for.

Here’s an exercise: write out a list of 100 things you’re grateful for. Do this often. It’s enlightening and healthy for your mind. Every day, think of one thing you are grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

How often do you just give thanks? Doesn’t have to be to a God, just stop and say thank you aloud, or I’m grateful for___.


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Once Upon A Dom Series by Sydney St. Claire 

Red & Her Big Bad Dom — October 31, 2014

Wealthy computer genius Graham Winters is in love with a woman who won’t join him for a


stingy cup of coffee. How can he prove he’s nothing like her jerk of an ex if she won’t give him a chance? Then he spots her at a BDSM club and devises a plan. During the day, he’s “that damn geek.” At night, he’s the masked Dom known as The Wolf.

When it comes to her love life, Lucy Sanchez has one rule—no geeks. Not even rich, good looking geeks. She’s attracted to Graham but rules are rules. Besides, she has her wolf, the mysterious Dom who makes her blood sing. Then she’s invited to a fairytale event at Pleasure Manor and this Little Red Riding Hood plans to enjoy every delicious moment with her big, bad Dom.

 Wild Rose Press       KINDLE      NOOK     KOBO      IBOOKS               

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Cinderella & Prince Dom — September 2014

Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved?

CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is naïve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true.

Wild Rose Press         KINDLE            NOOK          KOBO          IBOOKS            Bookstand                  All Romance    OmniLit

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The linky code doesn’t work right with my blog but here is the list. Not as neat and tidy as it should be but it works.

Sneak Peek Sunday

67cf2-sneakpeeksundaybanner This weeks Sneak Peek is taken from Red & Her Big Bad Wolf

Lucy burst in to a clearing slightly larger than the one where her wolf and Glorie had taken her earlier. She shouted and screamed. The distant sound of a howl startled her. She whirled around. Damn, was that her Wolf or did Bryce have real, live wolves on his property.

MBB_RedAndHerBigBadDom_CoverBanner Small twinkling lights, thousands of them flashed on and lit up the treetops. They winked down at her like stars. High above in one tree, a large yellowish-white globe hung suspended, as though the moon had fallen from the sky. Bushes and trees surrounded the entire area.

Where was her audience? She ran around the clearing, pretending to be seeking a way out and noticed that the bushes didn’t look wild and overgrown but planted and shaped and placed at precise intervals. She peered into one and grinned when she caught the wink of metal. They were tunnels. Her audience was well hidden, and the grassy area her stage.

Her body hummed with anticipation. She was the star of this show, and knowing that her wolf would burst into the clearing and have his way with her made her pussy contract. Moisture coated her inner thighs. Another howl sent her heart into her throat. “Help! The wolf is after me! Help me! Someone help me!”

The sound of a whip cracked the air. She whirled around, and there he was, her wolf, his steps measured as he stalked her. With a tree at her back, she had no place to go. He growled, pointed to the ground. Head bent, eyes down, she knelt.
“Tell me you are mine to do whatever I wish.” His voice, deep and as menacing as a wolf’s, boomed out so all could hear.

Keeping her shoulders rounded, she answered, “I’m yours, Mr. Wolf.” And god, he could do whatever he wished. Her nipples tightened as she thought about him fucking her out here with people watching.

To read chapter one click here

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Why Are We Drawn To Fairytales?

Why Are We Drawn To Fairytales?

canstockphoto17614356 Admit it, you’ve got at least one, if not a dozen favorite fairytales. Everyone knows Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, etc. to just name a few. Then there’s all the new ones which come out to become favorites of children today like The Little Mermaid and Frozen just to name a couple. I’ll admit, I’m not up on the new ones because my kids are grown but with a grandchild on the way, I have no doubt I’ll learn all about Ariel and whatever happens in Frozen!

And if you think fairytales are just for kids, think again. Look at ABC’s “Once Upon a Time. I was completely hooked on season one. I admit, life got crazy and I haven’t seen all of season two. Or maybe I just didn’t like the appearance of Regina’s evil mother…  And then there’s the movie “Maleficent that recently came out. It tells the Sleeping Beauty tale from the darker villain view point.

And of course, there’s taking the theme of favorite fairytales and giving them a fresh look. For instance, Pretty Woman is a Cinderella story and so is the The Princess Diaries. All these redo’s of fairytales are for us adults and we loved them.

So what is the appeal?

canstockphoto19825411 Fairytales are based on archtypes—recognizable character traits. We all know someone who is a Peacemaker, Caregiver, Warrior, even a Trickster personality (there are more archtypes). And the situations those ficticious characters  find themselves in also relate to our modern lives. Okay, not all of us are waiting for Prince Charming to ride up on his magnificent white horse and take us away to a castle, but we are dealing with life issues.

How do we handle “life”? Do we sing and dance like Cinderella, bury our nose in a book like Belle or become bitter like Maleficent. Those fairytales are about people working out values and their views on their world.  They are survivors because they are strong, and have fighting spirits, even upon their darkest moments.

canstockphoto14505177 We all know that Cinderella could have become a very depressed young woman and even
bitter. Today, maybe she’d be a child bullied? But she choose to see the good in her life, draw joy from where she could—animals, her world around her and maybe even an acceptance that she had a very sucky life. Yet it didn’t destroy in innate goodness or spirit. Her kindness and her dreams got her out of her awful family situation. Well, okay, she had a fairy godmother to spur things along but can’t we use our dreams or desires for change as goals to achieve that change? It was our lovely character’s inner strength that saved her and in the end, rewarded her.

Same with Snow White. Acceptance and a cheerful dispostion and a strong desire to survive and make a better life. If we study fairytales, we’ll see that they are about people, life, relationships and overcoming the odds.

Now all that is easier said than done but I believe that if we avoid adopting the “poor me” attitude, and look for opportunities (dream, plan, set goals), then we can overcome our life situations and challenges.

canstockphoto17502019 All this boils down to the fact that I think subconsciously, we turn to fairytales for hope and a way to escape, a way to learn how to cope and overcome adversity and deal with our demons and just renew our faith in ourselves and the people in our world. Maybe even in the world itself.

And of course, that Happily-Ever-After and the Dreams Do Come True that gives us hope for our own lives. Do I sound like Pollyanna? Yeah, I do have an optimistic outlook on life.

I was writing erotica with BDSM elements and the words, Once Upon a Time came to me. I wrote it down and then changed one word and had my new series: Once Upon A Dom. From there I had the idea of creating a setting, a castle of sorts using a mansion with turrets which became Pleasure Manor. Then it was a simple matter of filling it with my favorite fairytale characters and creating my Fairytale Event.

I’m having a blast with revisiting the fairytales of my childhood and spicing them up, giving my characters each their own happy endings.

So what is your favorite fairytale and why? What theme or lesson draws you to that story?

Here are some great quotes on Fairytales.

“Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.”
― Alfred Hitchcockcanstockphoto6361883

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” English writer G.K. Chesterton

“Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children?  Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf.” Alfred Hitchcock

“There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
― G.K. Chesterton

Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws.”
― Alice HoffmanThe Ice Queen

Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws.”
― Alice HoffmanThe Ice Queen

“If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.”
― Audrey Hepburn

Here is a link to find more quotes

Here are a couple of good blog posts on the subject

Cinderella & Prince Dom (Once Upon A Dom Series Book 1) Wild Rose Press

Order Amazon: NOOK    KOBO      IBOOKS

Red & Her Big Bad Dom (Once Upon A Dom Series Book 2)   Wild Rose Press

Preorder: Amazon

Sneak Peek Sunday #2

Cinderella & Prince Dom  

Here is a sneak peek at Cinderella & Prince Dom

Jaimie walked beside her prince. She wished she knew his name but also found it wasn’t hard to think of him as her prince. She sighed. The weekend so far was unlike anything she could have imagined and better than she’d hoped. Too bad it was nearly over. Unlike the fairy tale, there wasn’t going to be that magical happy-ever-after for her.

Still, she wouldn’t trade this weekend for anything. She’d been afraid of a weekend of boring sex and, instead, was having the best time of her life. Who’d have thought she’d find a partner who’d give her so much pleasure and introduce her to so many new and exotic experiences?

She did feel a bit weird whenever she remembered watching Lucy and her partner that first night, yet at the same time, she’d been totally aroused. She grinned, remembering the loving that followed when she and her prince returned to the cabin. As he’d promised, he’d given her a spanking, turning her ass pink and setting her on fire.

It astonished Jaimie to discover that she really didn’t mind being spanked, especially knowing it turned him on. He’d been hard and hungry and fucked her good, bringing her to a violent orgasm unlike anything she’d ever experienced.

That first day had been filled with primitive need that ended in explosive fucking and orgasms. Friday had been lazy, a time for gentle exploration of what each of them liked. She’d learned so much about herself on both days. She glanced sideways at her partner. What did he have in mind for today? They had hours before the ball.

She wished they had more time.

Thank you for visiting Sneak Peek Sunday. Come back for more “Peeks” and check out the rest of the offerings this Sunday. Visit my website to read chapter one and sign up for my mailing list. There’s also a new contest up on my site.

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Sneak Peak Sunday-Cinderella & Prince Dom

Welcome to my first post for Sneak Peek Sunday, a blog hop of authors posting 6 paragraphs of their published work or Works in Progress.

perf5.000x8.000.inddToday, I’m going to give you a sneak peek into my erotica romance, Cinderella & Prince Dom. Jaimie is about to set off on a weekend of fun and sex at at Pleasure Manor, a mansion turned castle, with her best friend Lucy.

Chapter 1

“Why do I have to be Cinderella?” Jaimie Newberry stared at herself in the mirror. Her dress was a plain white button-up top with sleeves that ended at the elbows in ragged points and an attached muddy-brown skirt. She swished her hips, pleased at least with the feminine layers of handkerchief ruffles that cleverly gave the appearance of rags hanging in tatters.

“’Cause you’re blond, blue-eyed, and innocent.”

Jaimie wrinkled her nose at her best friend. “Innocent? I don’t think so.”

Sitting on the bed, legs crossed and showing lots of thigh, Lucy leaned back on her hands and grinned. “Come on, Jaimie, you know you are.”

“Just because I’m not into whips and bondage doesn’t mean I don’t know what goes on. I’ve had my share of boyfriends.”

Lucy rolled her eyes. “You, my dear friend, are as vanilla as they come.”

Thank you for stopping by.  Next Sunday I’ll post the next 6 paragraphs.

Release Date: September 12, 2014

Publisher:  Wild Rose Press: Wilder Catalog



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@sydneystclaire Sneak Peek Sunday Blog Hop – Sydney St. Claire – Cinderella & Prince Dom

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Blind Man Walking or A Writer’s Leap of Faith

canstockphoto1552332Have you ever been walking and decided to shut your eyes and see how far you could walk without peeking? I used to do this while walking home from school. I’d pick a spot up ahead: a line in the sidewalk, a bush, etc., close my eyes and try to reach that precise spot before opening my eyes, letting my senses tell me when I reached that spot.

Amazingly, most of the time, I was able to do this. I’d open my eyes and I was right there or within inches. While walking, in my mind, I’d see what I knew was there as I headed toward my goal: the grass, a fence, etc. as I’d walked the path so often. My mind was able to see what my eyes could not and my body, my instincts, felt when I reached my goal. In a way, it was my own leap of faith that I could do it. Don’t ask me why i ever did this <g>. Walking home from school in the days when moms did not pick us up was boring!

Every once in a while, I still do this as an adult while out walking and find it enlightening to rely on other senses, not my eyesight. It’s a great way to really see the detail around me and feel my world, not just see it passing by. Of course, you do have to be safe—no cracks in the sidewalk, not close to a busy street, no hazards, etc. Being aware is key! It’s a way of letting go of the rush, stress and the sheer responsibility of our lives for just a few minutes. Instead of being in control, in the driver’s seat, we give ourselves up to just feel, not think.

1080361_53804077 As writers, we take a lot of leaps of faith, relying on our other senses instead of our eyes. We close our eyes and draw up on our other senses to write our stories. We aren’t seeing a live picture of what we write about but instead, draw from our memories and our senses and even call up on instinct, sensing the right words or tone for our stories.

But do we really see what we are writing about? Do our readers? How many times have we read that a day is beautiful or that our hero leaned against the trunk of a tree or have an author tell us how green the grass is? While we can all call upon our own life experiences to paint those pictures of tree trunks, green grass or beautiful days, a good writer lets us feel and see her vision of these examples in her writing, whether fiction or non-fiction.

By telling us what kind of tree, or how the trunk feels (smooth, rough, sappy, ants crawling up it, etc.) we become immersed in the story. We see each scene not through the author’s eyes, but the author’s ability to use his or her senses. How wonderful it is when we can close our eye and see those vivid images and details. That writer/author took a leap of faith and asked us to close our eyes and see what she felt.

louis_12_bg_101202 My challenge is to take a walk, somewhere safe and try to see your world using your other senses. We see so much yet we often aren’t really seeing what’s there. We take our world around us for granted and we miss so much.

With your eyes open, study the area around you, choose a spot, and walk slowly toward it. I’m not about to suggest to anyone to walk with his or her eyes closed just because I do this crazy thing, and always have. But let your senses guide you to that exact spot and once there, sit and record what you see? What you feel? Why did you pick that spot? Did something draw you to it?

Look close, at what is not obvious to the eye. An ant trail? A hidden bloom? Are the blades of grass tall and thin or short and wide? What do you feel? The sun on her face, on your back, a soft breeze? The buzz of a bee. What do you sense in this area that you cannot see? Now as writer’s we can have great imaginations. Is there a body buried in the ground, is it the perfect place for lovers to meet and make out (I do write erotica here), can you imagine the children who ran across the grass with their puppy? You can’t see any of this but I bet you can both imagine it and sense some of it. Well, maybe not the dead body!

Take off your shoes. What do the soles of your feet tell you? Can you feel vibrations, warmth, cold? How about your toes. Do they curl into the grass or sand or avoid contact? Why? Use your hands. Are the rocks warm or cold, rough or smooth? What does the grass feel like? Is there a tree in the area? What do you see and hear? Close your eyes and really listen. Do you hear the leaves rustling or birds or squirrels?

canstockphoto0480047 Every time you repeat this process, close your eyes and see what you’ve miss by only relying on your eyesight. This exercise can be done anywhere: your backyard, a park, a beach, in your house (okay, maybe you’ll fall asleep but hey, naps are one of life’s greatest pleasures, right?), office (maybe when the boss isn’t around). Any setting works. Then use what you discover in your writing. Maybe a short story about why you think a body is buried in the park next to your home.

Have you ever closed your eyes and just felt life around you?

Erotic Food-Asparagus

This  month’s entry in my Erotic Foods blog is Asparagus which has been said to stir up lust in men and women. Aside from it’s phallic shape which make it an obvious choice for an erotic food, asparagus in high in potassium as well as fiber, vitamin B6 and vitamin as well as thiamin and folic acid. Asparagus is full of nutrients that can boost histamine product which Is needed to reach orgasm in both sexes. So, let’s get to know this spear of delight .

First, this is a food you are allowed to eat with your fingers. Let  your inner caveman/woman out. There’s something to be said for picking up that yummy spear and eating it in a teasing manner that is sure to get your man in the mood. Asparagus is available for about 8 weeks so enjoy while you can.

Asparagus  Garlic Parmesan

Olive Oil Cooking Spray (or you can use enough olive oil to coat a 9×13 pan

1 lb Asparagus with tough ends cut off. I break off.  Seems to break where it gets too tough to eat

¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese grated. You can also use Romano or Asiago

1 tsp Salt (I use sea salt) or you can let everyone salt to taste after its cooked

1 glove garlic or more. Or ¼ tsp garlic powder. Depends on your love of garlic!

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Spray 9×13 pan

Sprinkle asparagus with  parmesan cheese, salt and garlic

Roast until tender—approx. 12 minutes.

Basic Nutrition Facts

-Protein. Asparagus claims half its calories from protein.

-Lose Weight. Asparagus Is low calories. Just 4 calories each spear.  Eat 7 of these powerful veggies to get one serving of your daily 5 servings of vegetables.

-Asparagus is high in vit A, folic acid and dietary fibre. Each of these is thought to play a vital role in fighting cancer.

-Asparagus contains high levels of potassium and may help with high blood pressure.

-Asparagus boosts the body’s immune system as it is rich in iron and rutin

-Cholesterol Free.

-Natural diuretic. –Asparagus contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine which means it is a natural diuretic. Increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. Great benefit for those who suffer from edema or high blood pressure.

– Asparagus is a rich source of glutathione which is a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. Eating asparagus may help fight and protect against certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

-Asparagus is packed with antioxidants and is ranked among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals which may help slow the aging process.

-asparagus is very high in vitamin E, which has long been thought of as ‘the sex vitamin’.  Vitamin E stimulates production of testosterone which is a critical sex hormone in a man’s sex life. The higher a man’s testosterone level, the higher his libido. And women, asparagus can increase your sex drive as well.

Now if all those health benefits isn’t enough, let’s get down to the number one reason to include Asparagus in your diet. It is viewed as a natural aphrodisiac. In other words, it is one horny beast of a vegetable. Here’s the science behind the claim. Lack of histamines has been linked to the inability of both men and women to reach orgasm.  It’s thought that Histamine production is triggered by folic acid which asparagus is high in.

Now this doesn’t mean you can go binge on this lovely, sexy veggie. There are some side effects, including smelly urine or as one article I read said “wiffy wee.” As with any food or change to one’s diet, do your research and check with your doctor.

Great informative links to other blogs about asparagus.

(This article is for fun. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions)

 Image from

Tweet: Aside from tasting great, did you know Asparagus is an erotic food with amazing health benefits? Check it out


Favorite 4th of July Memories

fireworks_blast_185682What are your favorite 4th of July memories? I have a few. The first is a childhood memory, gathering at my grandmother’s house. My dad is part of a large family (13) and I’m the eldest grandchild so I was fortunate to experience many large family gatherings before everyone scattered across the states. I have cousins I’ve never met from the ‘younger’ group of siblings. I wish they could have experienced the “Swenson” madness.

I always enjoyed our family gatherings, all the aunts and uncles and my younger cousins. The 4th was a great time in those days with fireworks and hand held sparklers. People weren’t so “sue” conscious and we had many adults to make sure we weren’t burned.

I always regretted that they were illegal by the time I had children. As a parent of young children, one of our favorite 4th activities was to go to Moffet Field (oops, not NASA) when they parked everyone in their cars on the runways and had a firework display. The kids would run up and down the runway with other kids and the car radio could be turned to the music for the fireworks. It was awesome.

green_fireworks_193088It didn’t last long before we had to find another venue. Great America Park (that’s what it was called then) became our place to go.  I remember the first time. My dau was less than 2 and she screamed. I realized later that the noise hurt her ears. She’d been cursed with many ear infections. Other than that, it was always a lot of fun. We had to stop when it became too dangerous out in the parking lot with gang activity. That was sad.

After that, we didn’t really seek out displays and our families all moved away so there weren’t any gatherings. Today, it’s just a quiet day at home. Much like any other. My grown children often celebrate with groups of their friends, and I hope that with a grandchild on the way, I can find a holiday tradition that they’ll remember  with the same fondness that I have of my childhood, when they grow up.


What is one of your favorite 4th of July memories (or two or three). Share. We’d love to know.

June’s Favorite Links & Why

Welcome to my end of the month feature: My Favorite Links & Why. I hope this will be a fun posting each month, both for you the reader and me, the writer!  So here goes.

For Writers

Abolutewrite is a hive of activity and a wealth of information. You can get feedback and information of editors, agents, publishers as well as writing tips and so much more. Here are
some of the areas. There is so much on this site, if you need an excuse not to write, here you go!

The Water Cooler is a gathering place with announcements, contests, events and more.

The Break Room has Office Party (writers goofing off and making friends), writing goals and Rejection & Dejection—tales of woe and how to deal with rejection.

love_of_books_202371General Writing Interest—Basic Writing Questions, Outwitting Writer’s Block, Blogging and Social Networking, various genre forums and more!

Discussion-Bewares, Grammar, Story Research and more

Publishing-Publishing FAQs and Resources, Ask the Agent, Ask the Editor, Self Publishing, Book Promotion and General Writing Discussions

Freelance & Work for Hire—Lots here as well

Writing Genre—The name says it all.

Pop Culture-Movies, TV & Theater, Art & Design, Bookclub, Politics, Games, and more

AW Writing Lab-Lots of labs including NaNoWriMo and Beyond

For Crafters is a free site for knitters and crocheters. You IMG_3160can imput your patterns, books, magazines then do a search. You can also your imput your stash, needles, photos of projects finished and in process, etc. And you can search for patterns and find many free patterns as well as buy patterns. Great site to spend time when you’re not writing.

Time to Reorganize/Redo

I’m trying to redo and reorganize my house. I’d love to redo our bedroom. My mother lives with us and we gave her the master bedroom and turned it into a small studio. That means my king-size bed is in a 10×10 room!  Here are some bed makeovers.

Have kids? Tight on space? Need guest room ideas?


My office is the family room converted and there is no door which means my office is a free-for-all for dogs and cats. At times, it would be nice to shut the door and lock the household out! This site is intriguing and I may want one of these! Let me rephrase that.
  I Want One!

For Fun

1sugar has a bit of everything from craft supplies and patterns to finished products in all areas that you can think of.  I have an Etsy shop. Check out my Crochet Diaper Cake. I have another one nearly ready to add.


What about you? I know you must have a favorite…

Share your favorite link (or two) and tell us what you like about the site or why you like it.




4121303If you have children in school, you know all about breaks: Spring/Easter, Winter/Christmas, Summer Vacation, and all the other holidays, staff days etc. our schools manage. If you work outside the house, there’s those wonderful days called vacation. Many work places allow workers to take a certain amount of off days. I know one friend who calls them her mental health days—days where she can just take a day off when needed. Kids and adults alike get or take breaks and vacations or even an occasional mental health day.

Except writers.

I’ve noticed that writer’s just keep going like that little pink bunny. Writers write, even during kids’ breaks, vacations, summers, etc. We’re always struggling to find those few precious minutes to write every single day. How about going on a vacation and taking that lap top or Alpha Smart to get another few pages written? How often do you declare to the world that you are on break, or are taking a vacation? And on those breaks or vacations, do you leave the writing behind; adopt a no writing allowed rule? How about a mental health day to let to relax and refill the well?

When is the last time you, as a writer took a break or vacation? Writers spend a lot of energy
1686891 writing. It may not be physical activity but it is mental work and in my opinion, more exhausting. No eight-hour job I had ever exhausted me as much as four hours of writing. Add to that, being hunched over the keyboard, eyes glued to a screen, and yes, there is the physical effect on our bodies.

For some reason, writers don’t take breaks. Somehow, we’ve convinced ourselves that real writers write every day, no matter what. It doesn’t matter that we’ve just spent six months or a year or more slaving over a manuscript. Take a break? No way. Have to start the next book. And if the book we just turned in was under contract, then we are already behind on the marketing, promotion, and social media.

So the cycle begins anew. One book after another, without taking real-time to just relax and let our bodies recover and our minds refill and even find some balance (that’s a topic for another time). In other words, no breaks or vacations. There’s much to be said for the breaks our children receive. Shouldn’t we as writers adopt this philosophy? And don’t forget those odd mental health days. If teachers get staff days and all the holidays and such, then we should as well.

In the long run, writer are better off for taking time off. It benefits our careers and our health. There is nothing wrong with taking a month or two off after completing a book to have that summer vacation, or a few weeks off during the holidays. Of course, deadlines and contracts might suggest that your vacation or break be only a week or two.

1687179Regardless, taking time off does not mean you’re not a writer. (Where did this idea that writers must write every day to be considered a real writer come from anyway?) It means that you are in tune with your mind and body. Sure, you can go from one book to another with no time off. For a while. But if you neglect your body and mind, both will let you down when you need them the most.

Listen to your body. If the writing isn’t coming, if you rebel against placing butt in chair and fingers on keys, then maybe you’ve pushed yourself too far and need a break. How long has it been since you stole a day of play? If you can’t remember the last day you didn’t write (days where the family or work claim your time and energy don’t count.)

So take that break. A spring break or winter break or a summer break. Maybe a once a season break. How long? As long as you need.

Now, by writing this, you’d think I live by my words, right? Um, no. I seem to be going from one project to another. A write-for-hire novella, then a novella from my contract with my publisher. A circle of projects. Luckily, I can at any point schedule the work for hire out or skip a month, etc. And my contract with my publisher has four more novellas due. I figure I’ll be done in November and you can bet your first-born that I’m taking December off. I’m claiming a winter break. Of course, I say this now, knowing that I’ll need to get a proposal done for the next contract but if I’m smart and savvy I’ll get that done in November so I can have my holiday.

What do you do to refill the well? Do you take a break or jump right into the next project” What advice would you give to the work alcoholic writer?