Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year


Wishing you all a very healthy, happy, prosperous and far less stressful 2021 than we've witnessed in 2020. As this new year dawns, I will be praying for peace, strength and well-being for all of you, in both your personal and writing lives. May this be a year of great productivity, great passion and newfound motivation and perseverance. 

Cheers to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Happy Holidays

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and blessed holiday season filled with much happiness, health and well-being. God Bless and be well!

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Calm in the Chaos


I received this book today as a Christmas gift (thank you, Robin!). I haven't started reading it yet but cannot wait to do so. The title alone draws me as does the cover picture. But more than anything, the line, "Finding Calm in a Chaotic World," really hits home. How exactly is one supposed to do so these days?

There is much about our current world which is chaotic and scary. One could debate and discuss a great deal of it from many angles, but that is not my intention in this post. I am merely looking at it from a writer's perspective.

Is your brain as chaotic and addled as mine these days? Trying to put the finishing touches on the holiday plans (such as they are this year), taking care of kids or a spouse, managing life on the work and/or home fronts? I don't know about you, but my writing often gets pushed to the back burner this time of year which typically frustrates the heck out of me. I've been trying to finish up edits on a manuscript I want to submit by the end of December but seem to be shuffling the words and papers more than accomplishing final edits. I've been meaning to post on this blog far more often than the sporadic posts of the past though have not been very successful at that either. I try to keep up with the newsletters and webinar replays that arrive in my inbox though still have a few yet to go.

What I can say I have been far better at in this last month or two (or have tried to be anyway) is spending more time reading (which does help with creativity greatly not to mention comfort) and, most importantly, being more present in the time spent with my kids which does this mama's heart good! 

So when I read the cover of this book today, for the first time in a long time, I felt a peace and calm in my writing (or lack thereof) knowing I will hit the road running once again once the holidays are over and the kids have gone back to school/life. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy and appreciate this time for tomorrow is never promised. A very difficult lesson many have learned this year more than any other. And that, my friends, helps me find calm in my chaotic world.

What helps you find calmness and serenity in your lives, whether it be writing or personal? I would love to hear what works for you.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Blessings


Wishing you and yours many blessings on this Thanksgiving holiday. While it will be a strange and different experience for many of us, I pray yours is full of peace, love and good health.

God Bless. Be well!

Friday, November 13, 2020

World Kindness Day


I'm not sure there has ever been a time in the world when this day is more important than now. November 13th is World Kindness Day. At the risk of sounding simplistic, it really isn't that hard. In a world where you can be anything, be kind. It really is that simple. If everyone would treat others the way he/she wants to be treated, the world could be a different place. It is truly the Golden Rule--treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. 

We don't all have to agree. We don't have to see life or religion or politics the same way. We don't even have to like each other. But we can be kind. We owe that to each other, to ourselves and, most importantly, to the children (and future generations to come) we are raising to go out and be contributing and active members of society going forward. Set a positive example. Be a positive leader. And just be kind.

How many random acts of kindness can you contribute to World Kindness Day today, and all the days to come. Lets start making this world a better place, today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Thank You, Veterans


Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to all who have, and continue to, serve and sacrifice to fight for our freedom. We all owe you a debt of gratitude unlike any other. Thank you for your service!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

International Stuttering Awareness Day


Today, October 22nd, has been designated International Stuttering Awareness Day and is intended to raise awareness of stuttering which affects 1% of the world's population according to The Stuttering Foundation.

Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions, or dysfluencies, in the forward flow of a person's speech.

As a speech/language pathologist, I encounter and try to help kids who struggle with stuttering. It can be a very frustrating and lonely experience for them and requires much patience and vigilance for all involved, especially on the part of the stutterer. My time working with these kids has been in equal parts rewarding (when I am able to help and ultimately discharge a student who no longer requires services) and frustrating (when a student is unable to reach a degree of fluency he or she deems acceptable). There are a great many facts and myths about stuttering in the world. I would encourage you to learn more about this communication disorder, particularly if you know and interact with a stutterer in your daily life.  

A good place to learn is The Stuttering Foundation at  or the National Stuttering Association at

I am currently working on a children's picture book (working title A BUMPY ROAD TO SPEECH) and look forward to sharing more in the future.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Do You Have the Courage?


I've owned Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC for some time and just haven't started it, for what reason I am not sure other than just not making the time. I am literally 7 pages in and already not wanting to put it down.

In the beginning, Gilbert discusses a poet, Jack Gilbert (no relation), who was, apparently, a wonderful poet and teacher, later in life. She shares some of his words gained from students she taught at the same institution in which he taught just prior to the time Ms. Gilbert began her tenure.

Her students shared that he had asked his students to be brave as, "Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known...their lives would remain small--far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be."

Wow! As writers, we do have to be brave to put pen to paper with our innermost thoughts, ideas, fears, etc. We have to be brave to submit our writing and send it out into the world, a world that may or may not like it and may be highly critical. And, more than ever, we must be brave as we forge ahead with the next piece of writing that follows and all those thereafter. Never ending bravery needed. I don't know about you, but, for me, it is easier to come by some days more than others.

Another student shared with Ms. Gilbert that Jack Gilbert, as her professor, had asked what she wanted to do with her life. His response when she indicated she wanted to be a writer was this:

"Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes."

This. Hit. Home! Moving beyond the fear, the what ifs and the blocks is all about cultivating the courage, mining the bravery and celebrating the true creative spirit within all of us to persist, persevere and find our niche in this writing life.

I am so looking forward to reading this book. Wishing you all a very creative, fruitful writing week.

Friday, September 11, 2020



Always remember; never forget!

God Bless America! Thank you to all who gave their lives and sacrificed for others.We are forever in your debt!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Nature's Promise


Our summer weather cooled considerably to more Fall like temperatures yesterday, and I was quickly reminded how much I love Fall weather and all it brings--cooler temps, a crispness to the air, beautiful trees and scenery. Not to mention pumpkins, gourds, mums, cinnamon and spice. I find it all energizes me and brings new life to my brain, my focus...and, hopefully, to my current WIPs as well.

How about you? Do you find certain times of year or specific seasons bring you added rejuvenation and inspiration? I would love to hear about it if you would like to share.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Quiet Your Mind

 I have been hearing of and reading about many who are struggling to write and create in light of all we face in the current state of the world these days.

Initially, I was doing well carving out more time to write and even completing new rough drafts, albeit "shi**y" first drafts. And then it was like...poof! My mind started spiraling and sputtering. I still wrote in fits and spurts but never felt very creative or productive. 

Recently, I've been making headway again and working more with a better mental frame of mind. This morning, I sat to read a chapter and opened my book to this...

"Shut Off the Information."


In SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD:  60 SUGGESTIONS FOR GETTING UNSTUCK, Vinita Hampton Wright says, "You receive more information in a day than your great-grandmother received in a month...if you watch television news, listen to the radio, read newspapers and magazines, and surf the internet, then you are constantly absorbing much more information than you have the ability to deal with."

Wow! What a catch-22 this is. As writers, we often look to places like newspapers to get story ideas. We need the internet for creating our platform and marketing ourselves and our work. But, the flip side, in today's world especially, is the overwhelming sense of concern, fear and frustration with many happenings, and this can be stifling.

Wright suggests we, "Take a break from information," because, "After a point it is no longer information, but merely more noise in your head." So. Very. True!

Ultimately, it goes back to the ever elusive balance in writing as well as in life. Manage your time; manage your balance and give yourself some grace.

"Your mind and soul need breathing space. They can't always be solving problems or forming opinions."

Seems terrific advice in this over-stimulated, always on the go, ever more chaotic world in which we live.

Monday, July 20, 2020


Wishing you a splendid and prolific writing week. I will be lounging on the shores of a lake in Northern MN relaxing and listening to the loons--my happy place!
It is amazing what a week of fun in the sun with family can do to help one rest, rejuvenate and recharge as well as inspire the creative soul. Years ago, I had an article published in Nostalgia Magazine entitled "Minnesota Memories" about my time at this lake as a child. It has been amazing to return with my own kids and sister's family each summer to carry on the tradition.

I hope you are having a wonderful and healthy summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Finding Inspiration

So, this morning I knew I wanted to write a blog post as it has been some time but wasn't sure what I wanted to write about as my brain appears a bit stagnant at this point. I started looking for inspiration in quotes which is what I often do and found the following.
For me, the struggle is real. It has been recently anyway. I've been working on edits of current WIPs, but my overall creativity and idea generating for new work has been minimal. Life has been chaotic with many aspects of life as is the case for all in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic but such is life. One must forge on, butt in chair, so to speak. And I am trying...some days better than others.

As I read through quotes, another caught my eye...
Yes! Why not think of it this simply? Just sit down and think...and write while thinking. That, I can do! Sometimes I know I over-think things and make it more difficult than it is actually.  Small steps and one thing at a time are important which leads to my final quote for today...
Break things down to small, achievable chunks and build from there. This is true in all facets of life, but especially so in writing. Thus, this is going to be my new mindset.

How about you? What are you experiencing and what works for you currently?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day

As we celebrate perhaps the most American of holidays while continuing to forge through these dark and difficult times, let us try to remember those who fight for peace and freedom for all in this great land. While the equality written about in the Declaration of Independence which led to this holiday is obviously far from achieved, I pray we can find a way to bring peace to America, sooner rather than later. We must treat others the way we want to be treated ourselves in an effort to honor the great sacrifice of those who provide us with "the land of the free because of the brave."

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 4th of July. God Bless and be well.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Daydream Believer

The word "create" is defined by Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as, "to bring into produce or bring about by a course of action or produce through imaginative skill."

I've been thinking of this word a lot recently in my efforts to be more productive with, and conscientious of, my time. It seems, however, more often than not, I find my brain here...
Between the COVID-19 Pandemic and the state of the world right now, my brain seems to be continually whirring while bouncing around various daydreams wreaking havoc on consistent productivity. At least, I felt that way until I read the following.

In another chapter of SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD (appropriately titled Daydream), Vinita Hampton Wright says, "Daydreams are little exercises, that's all." I love this! What a wonderful concept to be able to feel I am "working" while daydreaming. Clearly this is a productive thought process as a writer; however, I typically think of daydreaming more as "pre-work" than "work," per se. While my rationale mind knows this daydreaming is a necessary part of the writing process, I often feel like I am wasting time when sitting somewhere staring off into never-never land.

Wright goes on to say, "Give in to your mind's tendency to escape. It wants to escape for a reason. You're piling up too much pressure somewhere. Or maybe you're simply tired."

I am going to interpret this to mean I need to embrace my daydreaming self and cultivate my imagination in hopes of creating something from the myriad of ideas floating about my brain. Lord knows there has been enough pressure and tiredness for everyone these last few months. It is ongoing and will be so for some time to come. Give yourself a little escape and join me in the clouds for a bit.

Wishing you all continued health and beautiful daydreams.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day

On this day, we remember and honor those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice as well as their families. Thank you, and God Bless America!  A special shout out to my father-in-law who gave so much. We miss you, and we love you!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Be Okay With Relinquishing Control

Relinquishing control. I've been accused of not being able to do so very well. Is it more about feeling I have to do X, Y and Z or is it more about relinquishing control and being okay with something not being done "my way?" It is debatable.

This has been a life long struggle but particularly so during this period of the COVID-19 Pandemic with a jam-packed house full of people working and schooling from home without a functional basement. One of the positive things to come of this period of necessary quiet and being home-bound (and while there are a great many negatives, there are also some positives of quarantining with family) is the need to just be okay with letting some things go--the importance of which then diminishes greatly and guess what? It is okay!

It is okay to relinquish control and let a child help clean the house; it is okay to let the kids help make dinner (if they are old enough, of course). It is okay to not complete all the items on your TTD list for the day--or any of them at all, for that matter.

Life happenings right now have served to alter the definition of what is important in the world and, in turn, what is not as important despite what we thought previously. This can be applied to one's writing life, work life or overall way of life in general.

While relinquishing control (as much in what I feel I need to accomplish in any given day as much as my perception of how I think something should be completed by others, i.e. my kids or husband) is very difficult for me. I am learning and giving new meaning to the phrases, "such is life" and "this too shall pass." And you know what, I am more at peace on a day-to-day basis.

And then today, I read a chapter in SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD for the first time in a long while, and it was the perfect chapter to give voice to all I've been feeling. The title of the chapter was Choose Not to Care.  In it, Wright said, "Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to just not care so much about how something will turn out."

Clearly one has to care about many things in life, at least to some degree, and I am not suggesting otherwise; however, I do agree that, "If you care deeply about everything, you'll never be able to rest."

How many of us push and push to complete just one more task, finish just one more chapter, do just one more thing, etc. But will it really matter tomorrow? Some, yes. And that is what one must do. But, the nos...let them go. Spend those moments with your spouse or kids, reading a book or watching a movie, or just sitting quietly enjoying the calm and quiet for a few minutes. Take in the scenery, the sights, the sounds and smells and get back to appreciating life and all it entails, the good and the not so great. Be thankful and find the joy, even in the little things for, sometimes, the little things are all we can find.

Wright goes on to say, "The truth is, it's up to you to prioritize all the jobs and tasks in your life. You can decide what is most important, what is next in importance, what you can take or leave, and what has nothing to do with you."

The words that really are important here are, "it's up to you." It is, isn't it? Or it certainly should be. Decide what is important to you and for you and let the rest go. The world won't stop turning, the day won't end. It. Will. Be. Okay! Take care of yourself or you won't be able to be there for your family, friends, work or whomever and whatever your life holds that is important to you.

Take care and be well!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Picture Book Bonanza

In a world where chaos, fear and uncertainty reign supreme, sometimes you just have to lose yourself in a good picture book and revisit the wonder of childhood. As a picture book author, I do this all the time; however, I highly recommend it for everyone. It makes the heart happy!

Here is what is on my reading list for the next couple days. Some classics and some new, but all wonderful.

The Remember Balloons
Where the Wild Things Are
The Giving Tree
Goodnight Moon
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Velveteen Rabbit
Love You Forever
Oh, The Places You'll Go!
The Kissing Hand
Neck & Neck
I Wish You More
The Rainbow Fish
The Snowy Day
Owl Moon

And, of course, my own...

Friday, April 10, 2020

Happy Easter

Wishing you a blessed Easter holiday. May you find the peace and strength necessary to carry you through these difficult times. Enjoy time with your family, while remaining COVID compliant, of course, and stay healthy and well.

I find comfort in this verse and hope you do too...

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope."      Jeremiah 29:11

Hold on to a future full of hope. It will come. God Bless you and yours! Be well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Particularly important in these times. Wishing you all peace and well being. Stay safe and healthy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Find a Breath of Fresh Air

"If I take the moments to walk, will you bring me a breath of fresh air? If I move to a new space for a while, will you make it interesting and help my mind break out of its patterns? If I take time to look at clouds or flowers, will you fill my creative self with a new idea or two?"

The above comes from a little prayer at the end of a chapter in the book, SIMPLE ACTS OF MOVING FORWARD:  60 SUGGESTIONS FOR GETTING UNSTUCK.
I've posted about this wonderful book in the past and continue to find it so helpful. I had been struggling with stagnant writing, lack of time throughout the holidays and just an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy as 2019 wrapped up. I know I'm not alone in this feeling, but it can still be a very "alone" mentality at times.

As 2020 dawned, StoryStorm brought new ideas and inspiration (thank you, Tara Lazar). With the start of March came Reading for Research Month, known as ReFoReMo (thank you, Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call). Both have re-lit the fire within me and helped get me back on track with my writing and creativity. Today, I read more of this book and came across the chapter and prayer quoted above, and it just reiterated the importance of taking moments of self healing and care which will, in turn, create and open my mind and ability to put life in perspective which, in turn, creates a calmness and sense of relaxation that helps spur my ability to write and create. And it has helped considerably. Much needed!

What works for you? I would love to hear how you fuel the fires of creativity, especially in those trying and busy times of life.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Celebrate Dr. Seuss

Today is National Read Across America Day. This day is celebrated to mark the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss, who wrote and illustrated some of the most well-known children's books of all time. I know I have my favorite (Oh, The Places You'll Go!). What is yours?

Honor Dr. Seuss today. Pick up a book, read to your children or visit a library and celebrate the day!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Reading for Research Month 2020

It is go time!  Today begins the start of another Reading for Research Month (ReFoReMo). ReFoReMo is the brain child of Carrie Charley Brown and focuses on the many ways reading mentor texts can inform one's writing. It has been wonderfully enlightening and inspiring each time I have participated. Consider joining the fun!

To learn more, visit

Monday, February 10, 2020

Mission Accomplished

Another great StoryStorm finished.  31 picture book ideas in 31 days. Thank you, Tara Lazar, for the wonderful month of inspiration!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

World Read Aloud Day

According to, LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day in 2010 as an opportunity for people all around the globe to celebrate the joy of reading aloud, and advocate for literacy as a fundamental human right that belongs to everyone. Over the last ten years, World Read Aloud Day has evolved into a global movement of millions of readers, writers, and listeners from communities all across the world coming together to honor the joy and power of reading and sharing stories, and continue expanding the definition and scope of global literacy.

Today is the day. Grab a book, snuggle up and spend some time reading and enjoying books.

For more info on LitWorld or World Read Aloud Day, visit

Monday, January 6, 2020

Picture Book Inspiration

In the start of a new week, in the beginning of a new month, at the dawn of a new year and commencement of a new decade, where do you find your inspiration? This fun puzzle was great fuel for the creative fire for me. I believe I will shellac it and hang it on my wall for continued incentive.

How many of these classics have you read? Which are your favorite? I would be hard pressed to pick just one though would probably say THE GIVING TREE followed closely by GOODNIGHT MOON and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Any all time favorites you feel are missing?

Wishing you all renewed and continued inspiration and fruitful writing in the new year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Storystorm 2020

I'm in...are you? STORYSTORM is the brain child of Tara Lazar, and it is much fun.
How does STORYSTORM work? It’s simple…
  • Register.
  • Read daily posts.
  • Write down story ideas.
  • That’s pretty much it.
At the end of January if you have at least 30 new ideas, you can sign the STORYSTORM PLEDGE and be eligible for PRIZES.
To learn more or sign up, visit Tara's blog at 
Registration will remain open through JANUARY 7TH.