private life

BLOG POST: 10 Things I Learned from My Mom

I realize that I’ve been quiet for a long while. Last year was hard for me. Amid the hustle and bustle of teaching full-time, raising two elementary kids, being a partner to my husband, running a household, and sneaking in writing, I was stopped in my tracks—my mom took a turn for the worse.

My mom had suffered for a long time with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy), think Parkinson’s disease on crack. There is nothing more heartbreaking than to watch an independent person be robbed of the things that they love most. My mother was an artist who made everything she touched more beautiful. This disease stole the use of her hands, then all motor function, followed by her ability to speak, and ultimately her life.

My multiple trips north to Oregon were to help my dad and see my mom as much as possible. In July, I flew up to help transition my mom to hospice care. They said she had a few months, but after I flew home, it was only a few days. My dad had tirelessly taken care of her. He meant it when he said “for better or worse, in sickness or in health.” This month would have been their 50th wedding anniversary.

It has been five months, and it has taken me this long to process enough to write about…well, much of anything. It is hard for me to be this open in public. By nature, I am very optimistic and upbeat, but I tend to keep my pain private. So, instead of not saying anything, I wanted to honor my mom and share a glimpse of her wisdom.

What I learned from my mom.

State of Things

The turkey is in the oven, the table is set, and the kiddos are coloring place cards. Now I have my first few moments of peace since early this morning. So, first things first, Happy Thanksgiving!

If you need a gravy recipe for later today, I have a great one! Robin’s Easy GravyEasy Gravy


Second, here’s a little update. It’s been…well, a really, really long time. Bad writer, I know (shuffles feet and looks down).

Life has been extraordinarily busy this school year. I’m still teaching high school and college classes in American and British Literature. Additionally, who knew that first and third graders would have so much homework? I’m spending my afternoons I am working on some projects, just slowly. I’m afraid I’ve missed my deadline for Light & Shadows: Watcher Series Shorts and Extras. Being late kills the perfectionist in me (Argh!).  I did complete a 25 page prequel extra with Joshua in Romania with Gabriel, Kez, and Samael. The book is still in the works, it will be out sometime in 2017. I may add a little post-The Fallen extra for those of you who have been asking. If you are dying to have something included, send requests through my contact page.

I am also working on my second Prompt Me book. Here is the cover reveal! (more…)

Resource: Oregon Backgrounds & Textures

FREE Background Oregon (1)

Escape to the Oregon Coast

Each year we hop in the car and head north to Oregon. We have relatives in several cities, and get to take in the breathtaking landscapes and partake in all sorts of outdoor activities. All of these photos were taken within a 20 minute drive of Florence, Oregon. This town is a favorite for those that live in Oregon. It offers an adorable downtown to hang out in, as well as, beaches, dunes, rivers, lakes, and forest. We try to fit in a couple of trips to the dunes on ATV’s, where several of these pictures are taken.

Sample quote using one of the backgrounds

“I alone cannot change the world

Photos are free for use with credit


Fan Question: Character Theme Music

Do you have theme songs for your main characters?

Yes! I am usually listening to music when I write. I have playlists for certain types of scenes, as well as, specific characters.Nexus Playlist

Bowen’s theme music is easy, “Hysteria” by Muse. I listen to this song almost every time I begin to write a Bowen heavy scene. “Hysteria” on Spotify or “Hysteria” on Youtube  (the video itself is no inspiration)

For Joshua, it is “Believe” by The Bravery, especially for the first three books. “Believe” on Spotify or “Believe” on Youtube (again, the video itself is no inspiration)

My theme music for Rosemond and George is “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra. I probably listened to this song 150 times while writing Allure. The yearning tone in this is perfect for the novel. To listen on Spotify: click here.

For both The Fallen Part 1 & 2 I have been listening to a lot of Hozier. Spotify.

I also have playlists for some of my books. The Nexus Playlist on Spotify: click here. (more…)


I just found a message from last year and though you might enjoy it:

My school went going bookless, so we were given iPads. We had two days of training from Apple pros. Anyway…I was being trained on the dictation app.

I said: “Split the keyboard.”
It wrote: “You will die.”
My iPad is now named HAL.

Mini Golf

In the car with my husband…

Me:  Hey, there’s Golfland.  We went there on our second date.

Him:  (Pleasantly) Really?  Huh.

Me: Yeah, I won.

Him: Really?

Me: Yeah.  My mom said I should have let you win.

Him: I knew I liked your mom.

Me: You would really prefer me to throw the game?

Him: (Ignoring me with a sly grin) Yep.  Really like your mom.

Me: (Shakes head and rolls eyes)

Teaching: Convo in Class

A Convo in Class

This is a funny little exchange that happened in my senior English class this morning.

[Student A walks in on a test day for the 2nd time this year (No, I’m not exaggerating)]

Me: Wow! You’re here today.
Student A: Yes, and it’s your fault, I can’t get behind anymore. [grumbles]
Student B: Wait, I thought you were a ground hog. You wake up see if is a test day and go back to bed.
Student A: [Looks back and forth between us and drops head to desk]

I just wish I had said the witty line. 🙂

Names have been removed to protect the guilty.  Ha.

Fan Question: Dialog

From Tumblr:
Do you ever have trouble writing dialog? Btw-love the banter in your books!
Dialog is one of my favorite things to write.  In general, no, I don’t have trouble.  I posted this on my Facebook Fanpage recently:
When I arrived home an afternoon last week, I found that the front door was unlocked. I stood frozen in the doorway for a moment. This was the text message exchange between my husband and I: (I’m in blue)

text message 10-17-14

I obviously have a lot of inspiration. 🙂