Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Failure is Not the End

It has been some time since I've picked up my copy of SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD, but I read several chapters last night and was reminded why I enjoyed it so much previously.  I highly recommend this book by Vinita Hampton Wright regardless of which part of your life you may need some suggestions for getting unstuck.

In the section entitled Acts of Daring, Wright quotes Gregg Levoy in CALLINGS as saying,

"I was once told that if I am not failing regularly, I'm living so far below my potential that I'm failing anyway."

This really spoke to me. I suppose it seems a bit harsh to consider the possibility that one is failing if not "failing," but I think the idea involves taking some risks in life. If one doesn't try, and inevitably fail some, one cannot achieve his/her potential as it is only in putting oneself out there and being vulnerable, and sometimes failing miserably, that one can reach greatness.

I recall often hearing my mom say, "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again." It wasn't, "If at first you don't succeed, give up."

Much in our lives, both personally and professionally, is learned the hard way with great effort and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, so why should writing be any different?

Whether in the comments received from critique partners or the rejections received from agents or publishers (even those nice champagne rejections), authors must have a thick skin and press on.  Perhaps we need to adjust how we perceive those "failures" and consider them fuel for the proverbial fire within rather than a reason to give up on something. I am a firm believer in persistence pays and perseverance is as, if not more, important than anything else. It has certainly been the case for me anyway in many aspects of my life.

So, my friends, if at first you don't succeed, continue to work hard and press on regardless of the struggles encountered. I will be doing the same. For any road worth traveling has a few bumps along the way.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Celebrate Read Across America Day

Today, March 2, is widely celebrated as Read Across America Day. This day serves as motivation and awareness in calling every child to celebrate reading in honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  Who better to celebrate than Dr. Seuss who made reading and enjoying books so much fun for kids, and who continues to enchant and entertain children and adults today.

Motivating children to read, which, in turn, improves student achievement and performance in school, is so very important.  As a children's author, my goal is to write books that make kids (and the parents reading to their kids) want to read them time and time again.  I want to instill a love of reading and books in kids and make them want to pick up a book and read. 

Losing oneself in the pages of a book and the life created therein is what made me want to be an author in the first place.  To do this for children is the greatest honor and privilege, and I salute Dr. Seuss for helping the world see the fun words and stories can be for children.

So, today, grab your favorite book, Dr. Seuss or otherwise, and settle in to read. I know I will be doing the same.

Should you feel so inclined, please share your favorite Dr. Seuss book below.  It is hard to beat THE CAT IN THE HAT, but OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO is one of my favs! How about you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Made in Oklahoma Event

If you are in or near Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 3, stop by the Made in Oklahoma event from 11 AM-5 PM and visit the 4RV Publishing booth on the 2nd floor of the Public Farmers Market Building. I cannot be there; however, BEDTIME KISSES will be as will some staff members and authors of many terrific books published by 4RV Publishing.

Thank you, Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing, for your dedication to 4RV and your authors. I wish I could be there in person. Thank you, too, to those authors and staff members able to participate in this great event. Much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Reading for Research Month

I am excited to be participating in ReFoReMo again this year.  What a wonderful month of inspiration and information.  Join in the fun and dive into the reading-writing connection with wonderful posts and mentor texts.  Registration is accepted through Monday, March 4.

Learn more at

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Technology: Past Vs. Present

I am back...yippee!  I owe my daughter a huge THANK YOU!  I've been struggling for weeks unable to sign in or comment on my blog or reply to the comments others posted.  My daughter determined it was an issue with Safari after I updated my system to Mojave.  She downloaded Firefox to try that and...viola! I am back in business...or so it seems thus far, at least.

All of this started me thinking about the extent and degree to which technology drives and impacts our lives today.  I clearly see the merits and am frustrated by the negative issues; however, there are parts of me that would love to throw it all out the window.  Technology and social media have become such an intrinsic and important part of our world today, and there are certainly plenty of pros.  But there are also some cons.  Clearly, I have been struggling with one such issue these last weeks.

By nature, I am a paper and pencil person.  I write on yellow legal pads most often and then type and save on my computer.  I never used the computer lab in college (this was before taking a computer to college was as common as it is these days) and always typed papers on my typewriter.  I would probably still do so today were it not for the huge amount of submissions being accepted via email (and the greater difficulty erasing mistakes on a typewriter).  Don't get me wrong, it is a very big time saver to use computers and do so much electronically.  The biggest thing I struggle with is the fact that I am fairly (this is putting it very mildly) technologically inept and often have issues I cannot solve as well as the fact that social media and all it offers, albeit positive in large part, is a huge time suck and can often take away from time spent writing, butt in chair.  It is such a catch-22...the ease with which we can make connections and the speed with which we can accomplish so much of what we do is wonderful; however, the ease with which we can waste time on all that is offered online requires serious time management skills and strict self-control.

Which takes me back to my original were marketing and promotion done in the days before social media and all these outlets that allow us to create a platform and sell ourselves today?  How did authors help sell books? How did they make themselves known to others, especially those who were not published by the big houses?  And is there ever a way to scale back to more of that type of approach to focus more on the writing and less on the rest of what marketing entails?  Oh boy, it sounds like I want to have my cake and eat it too, doesn't it???  Therein lies the need for balance and a happy medium.

Okay, maybe not quite this far back (and mine was far newer and more functional than this model), but you get my drift.

I would welcome any input or comments anyone is willing to share.

Friday, February 1, 2019

StoryStorm Complete

Mission accomplished!  30 ideas in 30 days in the month of January...some of which I am very excited to pursue.  Thank you, Tara Lazar, for the month of focus and inspiration.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


HELP! I have a major issue.  Is there anyone out there reading this that uses a Mac and has updated the operating system to Mojave? I have a MacBook Air and updated to Mojave a week or two ago--don't ask me why as I am REALLY kicking myself right now!

Since that time, I have been unable to fully log into my blog and, therefore, cannot reply to any comments others have posted on my blog nor comment on other blogs that use Blogger.  I am unsure if this is an issue with Blogger or Google.

As you can see, I can post a new entry.  When I sign in using my google account, it shows I am logged into Blogger and can go to my reading list and read those I am following though cannot comment on any of those entries.  I can type a comment, but it will not post and, when I select comment via my google account (which is my only option), my picture is not there and it will not post the comment.  It is on this screen I can use the New Post button to post a new entry; however, when I go to the View Blog button, it takes me back to the main screen but I'm no longer logged in.  Grrrrr!!!!

I have noticed a difference in what I typically see when posting as my picture used to be there coinciding with my google account but is not any longer.  Also, the one time I was able to comment on someone's post, it gave me the option to manually do so with my name or anonymously and worked when I used my name though then did not work the next time I tried it.  I haven't seen that option again.  I have been able to comment on blogs hosted by Wordpress though it has been sketchy.

How is that for clear as mud???

I have researched issues with Mojave and sent Help requests--all to no avail.  Clearly, technology and I do not get along:(  Is there anyone with knowledge of this issue able to provide some insight regarding how I might rectify it before I lose my marbles?

I apologize to all those I typically comment on as I have been repeatedly trying with no success.  I thank you in advance for any help you can provide.