Saturday, January 25, 2014


“Sleep is highly overrated.” That was my phrase growing up. I thrived on burning the candle at both ends. I truly believed that sleep was overrated. In fact if we happened to lose the need for sleeping and eating I would not be heartbroken. People who have known for many years will confirm this to be a fact.

Well, over the last few weeks I have learned the value of sleep. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and don’t have the energy I used to. Or maybe it’s because Hubby and I haven’t slept well in quite a while. Or it could be a combination of both. Who knows. I am just greatly appreciating a good night’s sleep, which is hard to come by for most of us.

It’s been very interesting how I’ve noticed that when I’m in pain, i.e. headaches and such, that often times it’s a short nap that truly relieves the pain. Or I tend to sleep longer then next day if I have been in pain the previous. I’ve also noticed, first with Hubby and now with myself, that if we consistently don’t get sleep, we physically get sick. That forces us to have to sleep and for me, I get better more quickly.

Then again, we all have lives. There’s work, kids, school, relationships, goals, commitments, church, and the list goes on. I’m finding that I have to make time for sleep and make it more of a priority than I ever have before in my life. It’s not an easy thing to do, but when I do, life is so much more bearable.

Here’s something I’ve found that really helps. If you don’t have time for a nap, and face it, do we ever have time for a nap? Try relaxing the muscles in your eyes. Weird, huh? But it works. It’s takes the longest the first time because it’s a matter of figuring out how to do it, but give it a shot and I promise it works.

Start by closing your eyes and relaxing all the muscles you can in your body. Try not to picture anything, just relax. Then move to your eyes. Of course that’s when all the images will start flashing, but do your best to shut them out and relax everything in your face and then your eyes. It’s amazing that if/when you get that to happen how refreshed you can feel afterward. Once you figure it out, I can get a good pick me up in about five minutes. Hey, it’s better than nothing.

Anyway, with this short post, I’m calling it a night because it’s been a week of not a lot of sleep and I have many more weeks of that. So snatch it when you can! :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I have a good friend who became a widow in the last year. She began talking on Sunday and prefaced what she said by stating that she wasn’t “normal” yet so she shouldn’t be sharing things yet. It immediately made me think of another friend who also buried a child in the last year. She feeling like she’d never be the same again and wondering when the hole in her heart would be filled.

Well, guess what. After experiences like these someone will never be “normal” again. The hole in your heart won’t go away. You will never be the same again.

That’s not a bad thing though. Experiences shape who we are. Hopefully, we learn and grow from our experiences whether easy or hard. I know that some experiences are very difficult to get through and the last thing people want to do is learn from it. But once the healing process (which I think is very different than becoming “normal” or going back to being the same again) is over, if we look at our situations, there is always something to learn from them.

The learning process depends a lot on our state of mind, I believe. If we’re not ready to learn something, it simply won’t happen. And that’s okay for a time. We need to give ourselves time to grieve and heal, but I think it helps at some point to look for those things that we can learn from our experiences. It’s amazing what we can find.

We learned a lot from Lion. We are still learning things from our experience. The entire experience has helped shape Hubby, me, and Tigger into better people. Is there still a hole in our hearts? Absolutely. Will it ever go away? No. Are we going to be the same again? No, however, we will learn to continue on with life. We will learn to embrace our experience and share it with others. That way we continue to heal, learn, and grow. And hopefully, our experience will help others get through their hard experiences as well.

So, if you have or currently are going through something difficult and you don’t think you’ll ever be the same again, you won’t. But that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I’d say it’s a wonderful thing because you are evolving as a person and becoming a better you. That may not be what you want, and believe me, I completely understand that, but realize that there is not much we can truly control in our lives. What we can control is our reactions and attitude toward things.

Even the most difficult situations offer opportunities to learn if we will allow ourselves to see it. I hope and pray that we all continue to learn and grow and that none of use will ever stay the same.


So I'm doing this to you guys again. It's much later than I want it to be. Time just keeps getting sucked away. I will have my usual post up later on Saturday or on Sunday. Thanks for understanding, and thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DOES THIS INSECURITY MAKE ME LOOK FAT? by Michelle Wilson--Interview

DOES THIS INSECURITY MAKE ME LOOK FAT? by Michelle Wilson. I loved this book. Take a look at my review here, and Michelle's awesome interview below.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I don't think I ever decided to become a writer. It just seemed I always was. I composed my first song when I was seven. It was a lovely (by that I mean awful)  little piece called "I'm Yours," written for my parents to tell them how lucky they were to have me. :) In 4th grade, when I won the school poetry contest (though I still struggle with poems that don't rhyme. Lol.)  I've kept a journal since I was thirteen. Just a few years ago, my parents handed me a large box of letters I had written them over the years. There is something cathartic about writing, something I've always loved.

If I could pinpoint the moment that set me on the path to where I am now, though, that would be about eight years ago, when I had had a pretty amazing experience. As I was telling my husband about it and how I wished I could share it, and he said, "Why don't you start a blog?" I had no idea what a blog was, other than it sounded really funny. But, I took the plunge and created my first blog. It was there that my love of writing inspirational non-fiction for women was solidified. 

A few years ago I was asked by an editor to write a fiction novel. As I took on that challenge, I discovered the joy of creating a characters that I loved, seeing them grow, and learning from them.

To me, there is something supernal about creating something tangible from thought. One moment it's in my mind, and the next it's on paper or a screen. It becomes real, it begins to make sense--and I am hopelessly addicted. 

Who inspires you?

That's a loaded question. Of course chocolate is my fallback. Lol!  But, I'm assuming you mean literary-wise. I grew up reading all of L. Frank Baum's books. My imagination soared, and I wished I was Dorothy. I wanted to go an adventures, to be special - to have my own scarecrow. I also loved the Nancy Drew books--you know, the ones with the yellow spines. I was drawn to characters that met their challenges head-on, and I wanted to be that way, too. 

As far as non-fiction goes, I love Jeffrey R. Holland's style of writing and speaking. He infuses doctrine with story and emotion, and I am moved every time. I do love me some Mary Ellen Edmonds, too. I love and believe in the power of laughter. She taught me that it was okay to be funny and teach/write things of an eternal nature.

What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

My theme across fiction and non-fiction is one of empowerment. I would hope that readers will come away from my book feeling great about themselves. I think a lot of women live apologetically, shy and short of their potential and right to be happy.  I want them to see who they really are, and the power they truly have. In the end, I hope they can see themselves more clearly as God does, for He thinks we are all pretty amazing.

I write what my daughter calls 'funspirational.' I like to laugh a lot, so in turn, I tend to mix humor into my writing. I also love to find deeper meaning and lessons in the everyday things around me. My readers, I hope, will laugh a lot, cry a little, and be motivated and empowered beyond their expectations.

You know, I was talking to a speaker/author once after I had attended a speaking engagement of hers. She said, "Most writers are writers that speak. I am a speaker that writes." That phrase describes me. As much as I love to write, my first love is speaking, in particularly, teaching about things of an eternal nature. I love to stand in front of people--especially a group of women--and teach the things I know are true. 

Where did this idea come from?

The title came before the book did. I had terrible self-esteem as a teenager. I allowed people around me to define my worth, and I was miserable. It was only when I looked to God for my worth that my confidence and joy grew. As I continued to write on my blog about the power of perspective and other things, the response I got was tremendous. Women would comment or email me and shared the struggles they had with fear, doubt, and insecurity, but how they also gained confidence, perspective, and love for themselves as they turned to God for direction and definition. I want as many women as I can reach to know that there can be relief from the weight of unrealistic expectations and comparisons, and that we really to have a great work to do here. 

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Yes! Write what you love. Study technique and protocol. Join a critique group and a writer's group. Embrace constructive criticism and the editing process. Believe in yourself and your book. When you done all these things, then be bold! Do what you can to get your book, fiction or non, into the hands of those that can help you reach people. Surround yourself with good writers and better friends. Attend writer's conferences and pitch, pitch, pitch your book!  I landed this contract from a pitch session. They can work!

Also, try to hone your brand- who you are. Not just what you write, but how and why. This will be the consistent adhesive that will glue all your projects together. This is what your fans will come to love and expect in each book. 

And, of course, have fun and love what you're doing!

What can we expect next from you?

I am currently working on my next book, a digital single, through Deseret Book. I'll be able to tell you a bit more about it in the coming months, but for now, I can tell you that it will be funspirational and empowering, too.

Where can we purchase your book?

It's available through, and in all Deseret Book and most LDS book stores, as well as on 


Saturday, January 11, 2014


I had several things happen this week that popped out as something I should write about. I'm not sure I can cover all of them, but I think I'll start with the one that's still going on. Well, they're all going on in a way, but I think you'll see what I mean in a moment.

Monday morning I was awakened by several text messages in a row. It was about 6:30 but after yet another night of not sleeping very well, (that’s a story in itself) I was a bit perturbed. I glanced at the messages and they all said the roughly same thing, “Are you okay?” I shook my head. Of course I was okay. What made them think I wasn’t? I set my phone back down and rolled over.

When another who knows how many texts came, or maybe it was my brain finally woke up, I realized that there had to be a reason they were asking. So, I replied that we were fine and then found out that they had received an email saying I needed some help. That, of course, lead me to getting on my computer knowing that someone had most likely hacked my account.

I logged into my email account and found it completely empty. No email addresses. No emails. Nothing. I began hoping that if I got my password reset that everything would magically appear again, after all, that’s basically what happened when my blog got hacked last year.

An hour later, after fielding who knows how many calls and texts I got my password changed, but nothing showed up. It was all gone. I was frustrated, very frustrated and overwhelmed at the task of trying to recreated literally about fifteen years worth of email addresses and all the emails that I needed for this week, all while trying to figure out how to get a message out to people to say we’re okay.

I remembered to get onto Facebook and put something there. (I also noticed several messages from people there too.) But that’s all I could do. I had no one’s email address. So for the rest of the day I replied to text messages, phone calls, and emails that kept coming in asking if we were all right or offering help.

By the end of the day, I should say that, from the very beginning of the situation I was irritated. I was irritated that I would be fielding all these messages. I was irritated that someone would erase all my emails and addresses. I was irritated at the entire situation. Someone had just made my live extremely complicated for no real reason. It really bothered me.

Then I had a thought. Grant it, it wasn’t until that evening as I was sitting fuming about the situation that I realized something. Every one of those texts or emails or phone calls or Facebook messages was someone who cared about me and my family. Every one of them would have been willing to help with whatever I needed. Some of the people that responded I haven’t heard from in almost ten years. Ten years, and when some hacker posted that I was in an uncomfortable situation and needed help, they contacted me to see what they could do.

In fact, I had people calling Hubby to get my phone number to see what they could do. People who have more contact with him than me expressed their concern to him, wanting to make sure that I was all right.

As frustrating as the whole situation was, I learned something. There are a lot of people out there that care about me and my family. I’m still getting emails and text messages to make sure that it was just an email hack and not a situation where I really needed help. When I turned my thinking that way, I was extremely humbled and honored that so many people would be concerned about little old me.

So thank you for caring, whether you responded or not, it doesn’t matter. I know that there are people out there that care about me and that are willing to help with whatever I need. There is a lot of comfort in that and I’m very grateful for that insight.

Every situation has a silver lining. I hope we can all find it someday. :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

THE OFFERING by Kimberly Derting--Interview

THE OFFERING by Kimberly Derting. I'm excited to read this conclusion. I'll have my review up of all three in the next month or so.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queen of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens all of Ludania and all that Charlie loves. Backed into a corner, it seems the only way to avoid war is for Charlie to offer herself to her enemy.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’ve pretty much known I wanted to be a writer since I was in the 7th grade and took a journalism class. Back then, I dreamed of becoming a jet-setting journalist who covered civil wars and famines. When I was older, and realized what being a real journalist really meant (living in tents without showers, facing gunfire and disease), I thought that writing books from the safety of my home (in my pajamas, sometimes) would be a little less dangerous...and a lot more comfy!     

Who inspires you?

I’d love to give some fancy, literary answer like Harper Lee since To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books ever. But to be perfectly honest, I was much more inspired (at least as a writer) by Stephen King. I grew up reading his books and wishing I could tell the kinds of stories he did (the ones that scared people the way he scared me).  Yes, I sound twisted. And yes, I blame Stephen King. 

What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

With this series, I spent a lot of time thinking about injustices in our world and trying to incorporate them into Charlie’s world. In THE PLEDGE, there was classism that I loosely based on India’s caste system and hints of Nazism. In THE ESSENCE, I took a page from the civil rights movement and included school integration. In THE OFFERING, there’s a much broader look at the toll war brings to a society as a whole. It’s not like I’m trying to be preachy or anything, but I definitely like to put issues under a microscope! Oh, and of course it would be nice if the readers actually enjoy my books! 

Where did this idea come from?

Unlike the idea for my other series, The Body Finder, which came to me all at once, the original idea for The Pledge came in pieces...more like a puzzle. The first piece was simply the question: “What would it be like if someone could understand all languages?” But I wanted the story itself to be more than that, so I spent over a year thinking about how Charlie’s ability would work, what kind of world she would live in, and developing the monarchies and her friends and family, before I’d ever written a single word. 

I talk more about how I got the idea here: 

Who was your favorite character to develop?

I always enjoy writing about Angelina because she’s so sweet, but to be honest I had the best time exploring Sabara and all of her past lives. That probably seems strange since she’s so evil, but I wanted to show that she hadn’t always been that way, which is why I revealed her history, and how she started using her power accidentally (taking her sister’s Essence by mistake), and then how she learned to use it to her advantage.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

I think it goes without saying that if you want to write, you should read everything you can get your hands on, even if it’s not in the genre you want to write in. You can often learn more in the pages of a book than you can in a classroom.  But most importantly, if you really want to get published, my advice is: Don’t give up! Ever! This is a tough industry and rejection comes with the territory. You have to learn to take “no” and move on.  

What can we expect next from you?

I’m working on the second book in The Taking trilogy—the first book comes out April 29th, 2014. It’s about a girl who wakes up after what she thinks is one night, only to realize that five years have passed and everyone she loves has moved on without her...yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Where can we purchase your book?

You can buy them at most online retailers (Amazon, B&N, Books-A-Million, Book get the idea!) and local bookstores as well. And if you can’t find them in your local bookstore or library, be sure to ask—that’s the best way to get them to carry your favorite authors! :)


*Back cover blurb and author picture taken from author's website.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sorry guys. My email was hacked and wiped out last night. I'm in recovery mode and will hopefully have everything in place for my Thursday post, an interview with Kimberly Derting, author of THE PLEDGE series. Thanks for your patience & understanding!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Happy New Year! I hope it’s the best one yet for everyone. Here’s something interesting that I learned/put together/relearned over the last little bit. After Lion passed away, my emotions were a little out of whack as you can imagine. My mom suggested I take a Vitamin B12 and a Vitamin B complex. I did and found myself amazed at how leveled out my emotions became.

For a long time I was vigilant about taking them because I noticed such a huge difference in myself. But over the past little while I haven’t been the best at staying on top of it. For a while I thought that I had things under control and that I didn’t really need the extra help the supplements gave me. Boy was I wrong.

It took me over a couple of weeks to figure out that I hadn’t taken any vitamins for that amount of time. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it again, and amazingly enough, I felt like I was a little more in control of things. Then I slacked again. (You’d think I’d learn, but no, I didn’t.) When I got around to taking them it was almost lunchtime if not later. I found that it wasn’t doing any good. So I went back to taking them with breakfast.

I shouldn’t be, but I’m amazed at the difference. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to someone who’s not use to having so many ups and downs, the Vitamin B supplements has helped tremendously. The fact that I took a “leave” from them showed me once again how helpful something as little a supplement or two can help.

The reason I share this is I know, or at least I’m pretty sure, I’m not the only one who has a emotional highs and lows. I hope I’m not the only one that feels like their riding on a roller coaster and just don’t have control of their emotions. It can’t hurt to try the Vitamin B supplements. My mom said she wished she knew about them sooner in life. 

So as she shared her wisdom with me, I’m sharing it with you. If you feel like things are out of control and you’d like to be able to approach things without blowing up or crying or whatever you’re extreme reaction might be, give it a try. This is a new year. Why not? Life is crazy enough as it is. We don’t need to be crazy ourselves. :) 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

DOES THIS INSECURITY MAKE ME LOOK FAT? by Michelle Wilson--Book Review

DOES THIS INSECURITY MAKE ME LOOK FAT? by Michelle Wilson. This is a great book for the new year. Michelle dives into some of the issues that woman have with themselves. She takes a humerous approach to subjects then teaches how The Lord sees women and how we should see ourselves. She makes things very obtainable and fun. This is an inspirational book that will be difficult to put down for anyone (including men) to put down. I highly recommend it to everyone.

:) :) :) :) :)

• Why do clothing stores hang fun-house mirrors in their dressing rooms?
• The laundry doesn’t cry when it’s not folded, so why should I?
• Can I be confident even if an elevator calls me fat?
Michelle Wilson’s humorous yet poignant insights help women examine the limitations we place on ourselves out of insecurity and self-doubt. We have faith in God, but do we know that He has faith in us?
When we see ourselves with God’s eternal perspective, we can feel confident and whole—even in our imperfection. Just think what we might accomplish if we truly believe that we are more important than we know, stronger than we realize, and extraordinary in every way.

*Back cover blurb and cover image taken from Review copy provided by publisher. Did not effect my review.