Saturday, November 24, 2012

Week of Thanks Giving - Last But Not Least

For my last day of giving thanks, I want to say THANK YOU to ... YOU! To my fans, readers, followers, and friends. I am so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you. I am where I am only because of you. I am living my dream because of you. I push through even when it's hard because of you.

You spread the word about my books. You send me awesome fan mail that brings tears to my eyes. You are my cheerleaders, even when you don't know it. You are my inspiration.

I am forever grateful to have you in my life, even if I've never met you, never chatted or emailed with you. I know you're there and I appreciate that more than you could ever understand. So THANK YOU, dear readers and fans. You are the best!

Don't forget to enter the INDIE-giving Blogfest Giveaway! It ends tonight at midnight.

If you know of others who might be interested in the Soul Savers Series, or maybe there's something you'd like for Christmas, we are having a sale on signed books and swag this weekend through Monday. Everything is 25% off if you use coupon code "holiday25". Thank you, again, for your support!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Week of Thanks Giving - Day 5

During this week of giving thanks, today I am grateful for those things we tend to take for granted - homes, clothes, transportation, jobs - when those are huge dreams for other people. Two years ago, that was almost us. We'd just come to the point where we actually felt comfortable with our financial situation. Finally, we weren't struggling to make ends meet each month and scared to death if something happened, like needing a new water heater or transmission. We were in the position to handle such emergencies, and even had money to go places and buy what had once been luxuries. We were reaping the rewards of 20 years of sacrifices and hard work. And then just after Thanksgiving 2010, The Man lost his job and there were none to be had. The survival of five people relied on me for the past two years. We could have lost everything and we did lose a lot, but God has blessed us. I will be eternally grateful for that.

I am thankful for the roof over my head, as well as those over my kids while they're at college. I may complain about the outdated kitchen, all the things that need to be fixed and the remodeling project that's dragging on forever (as well as the college housing costs), but at least I have a comfortable home for my family and me.

I am thankful for our vehicles that get us from Point A to Point B safely and reliably. Although I complain about gas prices or having to fix the A/C or automatic windows, I am grateful that we even have transportation.

I may complain about all the laundry, the cleaning, the water and electric bills, but at least we have clothes to wash, a washer and dryer, indoor plumbing and clean water. We have A/C and heat. We have towels and sheets and blankets. We have furniture so we don't have to sit and sleep on a bare floor. We have entertainment fed directly into our home. We have the internet and computers and gadgets for communication, play and work. Our complaints are all first-world problems that I am grateful for.

To be able to pay for all of these, I am grateful for the ability to work, to earn an income, to provide for my family, even when that often means putting in 80 hours a week. I am thankful for being able to do something I love and still be able to pay the bills and even have a little extra for fun. This year has been an insane year when it comes to work and careers. For the past four years, I've worked harder than I ever have, especially this year, and it really began paying off in the last few months. I am so grateful that I had the physical and mental ability to work so hard, and thankful for the rewards.

I am also grateful that after two years of being unemployed, The Man has finally found a new job, and he doesn't even have to be on the road for months at a time. It will take time for him to build up to earning a livable wage, but at least he is working again.

I try not to complain as much as I used to, because I know my problems are silly compared to many people's. This is also why I've been trying to give back by supporting The Hotline and domestic violence survivors, as well as First Book and Blessings in a Backpack for less fortunate children, and breast cancer research and support.

We all take things for granted on a day-to-day basis. Let's all take a moment to say "thank you."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Week of Thanks Giving - Writer Wednesday Edition

This week, in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I've been sharing something each day that I'm thankful for. Today, I want to give thanks for my gift as a writer. It's difficult for me to say "talent" or even "ability," because those seem to require quantifying, which I can't do. But I can say that I've been given a gift. That writing is the thing God has given me to contribute to this world.

It's something I enjoy doing and others are willing to pay me to do, whether with money (so I can pay my bills) or with appreciation and gratitude because they couldn't put the words down themselves (what I do for those who need such help). And now I'm actually able to make a living from it that not only supports my family and me, but also my business partner and her family. I couldn't be more blessed to do something I love and be able to make a career out of it.

Even if I earned nothing from it, though, I would still appreciate this gift because it gives me such pleasure to do it and share it with others. Of course, my audience would be limited to friends and family if that were the case, but the people I can help - those who want to learn how to write, whether a simple letter to a friend or their first novel - goes beyond my immediate contacts.

This is why I'm trying to share more about my lessons as a writer on my other blog, A Mused Writer. Which brings us to Writer Wednesday. I am so grateful for my other writers and the writing community at large. When I was a resume writer, we all talked about how friendly the community was. Resume writers didn't consider each other competition, but comrades. I realize now that it's a common characteristic of all types of writers. We want to help each other, and so many go out of their way to support others. I'm so thankful for writers!

In that spirit, today's post over on A Mused Writer is about writers and their rules and which ones you absolutely, positively should never, ever in a million years break. Or if you're going to, you better be able to explain it. And I'm not talking about grammar rules. I hope it helps other writers, especially new ones. One little way for me to give back for all the help other writers have given me.

I won't be here tomorrow and I hope you won't be either. I hope you'll be spending your Thanksgiving Day with family, as I will be. So... may you and yours have a very


And if you're not in the U.S., I don't see why that should stop you from giving thanks, spending time with family and eating copious amounts of delicious food.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Week of Thanks Giving - Day 2

This week I'm using each day to share with the world what I am thankful for. After God and His Son, I am most thankful for my family. I am grateful for my parents, who did the best they could and for their parents who also did the best they could. After all, that's all we can give to our children - our very best with what we are given - and I know my parents did for me.

I am so incredibly, undeniably thankful for my own immediate family - The Man and The Boys. They are the best family for me. I am so grateful that my kids are intelligent, able-bodied and healthy. I see them growing up right before my eyes, becoming wonderful young men working toward their own goals and dreams.

I am thankful for all of our health. There are a few things in question right now, but overall, we've all been blessed with able bodies, minds and spirits. May we use these blessings to give back to others who are less fortunate.

Tonight I will have all of my family under one roof when the last college boy arrives home. I'm so excited to have the next several days with them. As always, it will be difficult to say good-bye to them on Sunday, but at least Christmas is only a few short weeks away.

Also under this heading of family, I must include my business partner, publisher and more-than-a-friend, Chrissi. We've been teased before about introducing each other as "partners," but, of course, we both have husbands we love. We do agree, however, that our relationship (and any great business partnership) is nearly as tight of a bond as that between spouses. We're not only financially committed to each other, but we're always concerned about the other's best interests and well-being, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Unfortunately, not all business partnerships are like this. I am truly blessed and forever grateful to have Chrissi in my life.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Week of Thanks Giving - First and Foremost

With Thanksgiving being celebrated this week in the U.S., each day I'll be sharing something I'm immensely grateful for. I hope you'll share with me what you are thankful for, too.

The very first and most important blessing in my life is He who gives all the other blessings. I am thankful for my Creator and for His Son. I am thankful for all He does for me, even when it hurts, because I know in the end, He knows better than I do. This world is not all about me or you or the child killed by a natural disaster that makes so many wonder how a "real" God could do such a thing. We don't understand his "why's" because we are only human. And it's always good to remember that fact.

Thank you, God, for creating me, for blessing me, for loving me. Thank you, too, for this amazing world you have created and all the people in it. And thank you for reminding me often that You are the Almighty, not me or any other human on this planet.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Week of Thanks Giving - INDIE-Giving Blogfest

Yippee! Turkey day is this week! My mouth is already watering for all the goodness to come.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday, closely behind Christmas. I love cooking our traditional meal and adding something new for fun, and I am always the host. I enjoy getting together with family and friends without the added stress of the whole gift-giving thing. And most of all, I love the idea behind Thanksgiving - giving thanks for all of our blessings.

Of course, I do this every night before falling asleep, but it's not every day I get to shout to the world what I'm thankful for. So I'm taking this opportunity to do just that this week. Each day I'll be sharing my gratitude for the most important things in life.

To kick this Week of Thanks Giving off, I'm joining in the INDIE-Giving Blogfest hosted by the fabulous peeps over at the Indelibles.

As part of the blogfest, I'll be giving away a signed copy of the winner's choice of one of my books. Because I'm thankful for ALL of you ALL over the world, this is open internationally. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Then be sure to check out the other participants as they each give something back.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writer Wednesday - NaNoWriMo Lesson

As predicted, I've been pretty quiet here on the blog. If you didn't see why, it's because I'm doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. And it's kind of kicking my butt. I'm not crazed and sleepless like I was over the summer when trying to finish Power and getting it ready for publication while juggling a hundred other major life events going on. It's kicking my butt in a growing pains kind of way.

I explain how over on my blog that's more specifically for writers, A-Mused Writer. Whether you're participating in NaNo or not, if you're a writer or just interested in what it's like behind the scenes for a writer, I hope you'll check it out.

Otherwise, you can find me on Facebook (where I've been posting excerpts of this new project) and even on Twitter, where I'm checking in but trying not to hang too long. After all, I still have lots of words to write this month.

Thanks for your patience, my lovelies! You are the BEST!