Monthly Archives: July 2012

Recognizing the calm before the storm

Is life ever calm? Mine sure isn’t. With an active toddler and three loving pets that think they run the house, I’m always on the move. However, it’s still hard to ignore what lies ahead and take some advantage of the calm before the inevitable storm. This Tuesday I will check into the Anaheim Marriott for the RWA National Conference. Just weeks after I return home, I will move to Saudi Arabia. My life is CRAZY right now!

So, this is precisely why I’m taking advantage of and enjoying the calm before my storm of craziness. Today I’m flying to California to spend some time at Disneyland with my family. It’s true, a Disney vacation is anything but relaxing. At least that is how it is with my family. With so much to do you don’t want to miss out, especially when this will be my daughter’s first Disney  experience.  But still the break from packing and preparing for the conference will be a welcomed one.

There are few stresses that can’t be eased by Disney magic! And I can’t wait to see the look of wonder of my daughter’s face. Disney is truly my happy place and I will use it to rejuvinate and recharge myself before diving back into crazy.

Do you have a favorite place (physical or mental) to go when you need to recharge? How do you harness the calm before any storm?

If you will be at RWA Nationals let me know. I’d love to meet some of my online friends in person!


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Finding the magic- In parenting and writing

This Friday my family and I are flying to Anaheim, California where this years National Romance Writers of America conference is being held. Though I don’t write strict romance, I’ve found this amazing group of writers and resources to be extremely helpful to me. I’ve grown so much in my fiction writing skills and have learned great tips on how to create magic on my pages. But before I dive into long days of workshops and meetings, I’m spending sometime at Disneyland, where magic truly lives.

This will be my first time to Disneyland but I’ve been to Disney World in Orlando an embarrassing amount of time. For me each Disney visit is the same. I love the excitement and anticipation that builds just before departure. Very much like the approach of Christmas day builds with amazing thrills. This time it’s different  and it’s not because I’m going to the original park for the first time or that I’m working quickly on last minute writing preparations for the conference. This will be the first time I introduce my two-year-old daughter to the magic of Disney.

We’ve been hard at work watching Disney movies and contributing to her overall Disney education but for me this excitement of knowing what’s in store for her and looking forward to seeing the look on her face when she sees her favorite Tinker Bell for the first time is priceless.

Then last night it hit me. As I sat up in bed writing out notes for a new YA project, I felt a similar excitement. It’s the excitement of experiencing a new world and meeting new characters. New writing projects are exciting. It felt like the anticipation of a magical trip to Disney or Christmas morning.

Writers should approach their plotting like parents with excitement for their children. Creating something new is magical and if it doesn’t wake you up in the night or distract you from things like laundry, then maybe you are pursuing the wrong project.

Share your experiences of magic while working on a new project in a comment below. Also, If you’re going to RWA Nationals let me know. I’d love to meet some of you in person!


Yep, Baby Markey is Disney ready!!! Now if only I could learn from her example and actually NOT wait til the last minute to pack! 





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A representation of America in our everyday lives

The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on patriotism. Fortunately with my pending move to Saudi Arabia (read about the move here) I’ve been thinking a lot about patriotism. I use to always think about those that serve our country on holidays such as the Fourth of July. I still am thinking about all those brave men and women today but there is another group of Americans that represent our Nation throughout the year and show others what it means to be American. I’m about to be an American expat and today I’m adding them to my patriotic thoughts.

An expat (or expatriate) is a person who is currently living and well established in a foreign country but is hired a foreign country or an International company. Technically I’ll be an expat’s wife but expats and their families do represent America wherever they are. Through kindness, caring acts and just overall respectful behavior, we will set the example just as the Saudi’s around us will demonstrate examples of their great country.

My father lives in the same city we are moving to and yesterday he was cooking food for the annual Fourth of July picnic. That’s right, American’s celebrate Fourth of July in Saudi Arabia. I may no longer be in America but I will take her with me wherever I go. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a little apprehensive of the move. Actually, I really just want to get past the packing and paperwork stage! But I really am looking forward to the adventure and being the patriotic American I’ve always been just in the Middle East.

You don’t have to live overseas to be a good representation of America. It’s easy to show the proud American spirit in simple, ordinary tasks. By helping an elderly person with their groceries at the store or volunteering to tutor a child, our Nation’s future. I feel that authors are very patriotic in the sense that we strive to contribute to the knowledge and entertainment of our society.

How do you represent America in your everyday life?

If you have a dog, don’t miss my article titled “Is your dog firework ready?”

Happy Fourth of July to all the Americans everywhere! I always celebrate holiday with food. Instead of posting a patriotic picture, here is a picture what I’m making today! I’m layering strawberries, blueberries, whip cream and angel food cake. Yummy! And I can’t think of the Fourth of July without some Lee Greenwood. Enjoy!