Posted in Thoughts

So Long 20-20

Happy New Year 2021, Good-Bye 2020

This year has been filled with many ups and downs. While some of you have been forced into quarantine and sought to fill your time with delicious books, I and many others were considered essential employees. For those of us blessed or forced to remain on the job, we’ve had to deal with more regulations and responsibilities. While my job isn’t an important one like being on the frontline nursing the sick, it is still considered essential and I try to do it with respect and grace. Working with the public I filled a role that many people felt was a necessity. For me, the biggest service I felt I could give to my friends and neighbors was a kind word and a caring heart. I have to admit that this year has been exhausting. Between the politics and the virus, family tragedies and dramas, extra responsibilities and expectations at work and in the public, I have been a bit overwhelmed. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt the weight of this year.

While we bid good riddance to this year with its many awful moments, I want to take this time to also reflect on the things that were wonderful and special about this year. I have two new grandbabies, twin boys who are healthy and after losing a grandson in May of this year, that is extremely important. I have a new and improved relationship with two of my sons and their families.

I have never been one to put myself out there, but due to Covid19 and having to do more online, I have started volunteering. I attended the RWA (Romance Writers of America) National conference and even hosted an online chat room. I have been able to attend the Heart of Carolina RWA meetings regularly and I’ve even accepted a position of leadership with the group. Our local writers’ group, the Pamlico Writers is still struggling to stay afloat during this time. Only a small handful of members attend the monthly Zoom meetings.

This year has been a struggle for so many. I know that I and my family have been blessed. My father-in-law has been the only one to truly suffer from the virus. He spent two weeks in the hospital but is thankfully well. Most of the family has kept working in one capacity or another. There have been a few struggles, some days it seems it is two steps forward and three back but with the grace of God and the help of family and friends, we are managing.

I know for many this year has been so much worse. Many have been trapped in their homes due to health concerns and regulations. Many have lost jobs, struggled financially, lost businesses and homes. Many have buried loved ones.  Our schools and small businesses have felt the greatest burden, trying to navigate a new world with new needs. Living in rural America where we are half-quarantined already has given us a bit of freedom people in larger communities haven’t had.

This year has been stressful on many levels. I only published two of the three books I’d planned. I’m hoping 2021 will be a more productive year. I have devoted more time to marketing and learning about marketing. I’ve come to realize that there are only so many hours in a day and I can only do so much within those bounds. If you haven’t taken Sarra Cannon’s HB90 course and you are a small business owner, especially an indie author, I suggest you take it the next time she offers it. It helps you understand how much time you really have and how to use it. I would also suggest her YouTube channel Heartbreathings, and her Publish and Thrive course. Sarra’s YouTube channel helped me through much of this year. Her uplifting spirit and honest approach to problems made me feel as if I too could be a best-selling author.

I’m ending this blog with some highlights from my year on my website and will follow it soon with my 2020 book list and highlights from my Creekside Café Author interviews.

Happy New Year!

HB90 w/ Sarra Cannon

Posted in inspiration, Thoughts, writing inspiration

So Much to Be Thankful For

Just half of my blessings!

As Thanksgiving nears, I become increasingly aware of all I have to be thankful for. Somethings are huge and often become just the background of my life. I don’t want to become complacent and forget what I have. I am blessed. I live in a country where I am free to speak my mind, worship the way I believe and have friends who have differences that both influence and inspire me.

I am thankful to God for the life I have. I am not rich the way some people might measure riches, but I have something so precious it cannot be bought with gold. The love and support of family and friends. We recently welcomed a new grandson, he is number twenty in the line-up. As I held him in my arms, I came to realize that no matter what number they are, they are all number one in my heart. Whether they were born into the family or came as part of a package deal, they are my grandchildren and I am so thankful to have so many blessings.

As an only child, I was lonely and often had to find ways to entertain myself, I believe that is a big reason why I started writing. When I married my husband, my sexy mechanic, he expanded my family to become our family of six sons. His outgoing mother and sister taught me what it means to be part of a large extended family. My own parents were quiet and a bit shy, preferring to keep to themselves mostly.

My handsome daddy

My dad’s parents died when I was very young, but his sister stepped in to be a surrogate grandmother to me and later to my children. She did her best to keep the family together and help us know our extended family. She was a vibrant woman who had a big influence on me as a person. I hope she is proud of the woman I have become.

My mom and our newest addition.

My mother’s parents, especially her mother, was the youngest of four and yet, in many ways she was the glue the kept us all together. I adored my grandmother though we did not always agree. She was a strong woman with a strong, loving spirit and I hope that I’m a little like her.

Each of my sons have given me something precious. They have influenced my thoughts and my writing. They have given me strength and courage. While I know that I have often failed them, I hope they know how much I love and respect each of them. They have taught me to stand up and be brave. Even if you are terrified, do what you know is right. Don’t let someone who says you cannot do have power over what you believe. Don’t give up. Anything worth having takes time, you cannot rush it. Pick your battles, fight the ones that truly matter and don’t let the others steal your joy. Be your own advocate. Believe in yourself even when others do not. Find something to celebrate every day.

As you all prepare to celebrate the holidays, no matter how you celebrate, take a moment to count your blessings. You might find you have more than you ever realized.

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving Eve

Tonight is Thanksgiving eve. I love this time of year. From Halloween to Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating loved ones. While here in the US, we celebrate Halloween mostly by dressing up and going door to door begging for candy, I have always felt it was the beginning of our family celebrations. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I love it even more than Christmas. It is not just about the eating but I have to admit, I love the turkey and all the trimmings. Forme, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. It’s about stopping to consider what I am truly thankful for. It’s about being thankful for little things as well as the big things. I know when people look at us, they see people on the edge of middle class. We’re hardly rich yet I have so much to be thankful for. I have six amazing sons and a husband who still takes my breath away. I have lovely daughters-in-law who complete our family with their talents and kindness. Ihave a tribe of grandchildren who make me feel like a little kid again. I am blessed and so very thankful for each of these treasures. I am thankful to still have my mom, my in-laws and my aunts and uncles who are always willing to give a word of encouragement or lend a helping hand. For an only child, it is the sense of belonging that comes with my large crazy family that is more precious than money or fame. I love cooking the turkey and dressing, using my mom’s recipes. It is the one thing I like to keep traditional. I enjoy experimenting with side dishes and like to try a variety of recipes, but there should always be something with cranberry and something with sweet potato or it’s just not Thanksgiving. When I first took over the bulk of the cooking I feared not being as good as my mom and mother-in-law. Now much of the responsibility for the dinner is being passed to the next generation. Part of me is sad to pass the torch but another part is glad that I have someone willing to take up the tradition. I know the children will not do everything the same way I did. I didn’t do everything the same way my parents and in-laws did. We take a little of the past and bring it with us into the future, creating new traditions along the way. Not all of my children come home for Thanksgiving and while I miss them, I know they have to celebrate with their families, creating their own traditions as they blend what they have learned from me and what their wives bring with them, creating their own. As I try to write this blog, I am sniffling and snotting over Hallmark Christmas movies. One of the great things about sharing this holiday with my daughter-in-law is not having to be in the kitchen tonight after having a busy day at the store. Before I endthis Thanksgiving blog, I want to list a few things I’m thankful for: I’m thankfulfor loving parents, both my own and my in-laws. I’m thankful for a husband whosupports my crazy dream and pushes me towards it, for good friends whoencourage, enable and console through the many trials of becoming a publishedauthor and the days when I was just trying to survive raising six sons. I’mthankful for my sons with array of personalities and talents, for their wives/girlfriendswho put up with them, and for the beautiful grandchildren they’ve given me. Recently,a friend told me of his idea to have a community Christmas tree. He hopes tobring the community together to spread the holiday cheer. Being a part of thiscommunity is another thing I’m thankful for. It is my love of my town and thepeople in it that inspires my stories. The people here have influenced theraising of my children, helped us when we lost our home to fire, and they haveoffered us friendship and support. Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted in Thoughts


I am so blessed to have so many talented family members. My daughter-in-law, Katelynn who came up with the title of White Gold and also took the photo used for the cover and my author photo. My other son’s girlfriend, Keri, was one of my early readers. My mom, father-in-law, oldest daughter-in-law and sister-in-law all act as proof readers during different phases of my writing.

With help from friends who read and critique, offer advice and assistance on research and character development, I have an army of people on my team.


Posted in Thoughts

Happy New Year

This has been a wonderful year not because I won the lottery or managed to get a book published, while I wish this were true I’m still happy with my life. We celebrated the birth of two new granddaughters: Trinity in January and Sophia in June, our beautiful princesses. I also gained two more grandchildren when my son Jason married a lovely woman with two children of her own. As I celebrate New Years Eve this is what is important to me: Family, Friends and being a positive influence on the people around me. My goal for 2015 is to be a better ME, a stronger ME and a happier ME. I will write from the heart, speak from the heart and tell those I love how much they mean to me. We are not promised tomorrow so make the most of today. God bless you all and Happy New Year!