Note

NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Contact

Sunday, August 31, 2014

EMPTY NEST



I have been burning the midnight oil writing, rewriting, and editing the third volume in my Grave Obsessions series and finally submitted it to my wonderful publisher, Helping Hands Press.  The minute I hit "send" it was as if my child left for college.  I began to instantly suffer from empty-nest syndrome ... My thoughts had been consumed by the story, regardless where I was or what I was doing.  Even when retiring for the night (or at 4 a.m. in my case), my thoughts then and waking up were of the next chapter or a new plot twist - what am I to do now?

This is something I experience at the end of each project.  The emptiness doesn't last long as I have three other projects in the works, but for a few days I find myself a little sad and wondering how my child is doing so far away from home.

Grave Obsessions - Volume III - Shackled Souls is available for pre-order now!  Click here: http://ow.ly/AOyIq

Children of prominent San Diego citizens are disappearing. Detective Dallas Keegan returns to work and is assigned this heart wrenching case with a new partner, hired while she was on leave. Neither are aware the children are victims of a child laundering enterprise headed by a man determined to reap the financial rewards and notoriety as well.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life Interrupted


Well folks, it's almost here!  Fantasy Football starts in a little over a week.

As a writer, I struggle with stress due to deadlines, rewrites and editing, but the stress involved in Fantasy Football is different ... and excruciating.  The minute I got a reminder from Yahoo that it's time to get my league together, my blood pressure spiked and the competitor came out of hibernation.

This is what my life will be like during the season:

1.  Adding and dropping players in the middle of the night before anyone else gets a chance to grab the "good ones."

2.  Researching weekly statistics and projections daily for upcoming games ... adjusting my roster accordingly.

3.  Laptop, cell phone, television and Ipad tuned into games on Sunday (So many players, so little devices.)

4.  Fighting the temptation to turn on my cell phone and check my player points while singing in the church choir on Sundays.  (Thank goodness we sing on Saturday nights a lot!)

5.  Trying to keep my smack talk "clean".

6.  Checking injury and illness reports daily.

7.  Expecting to explain and prove to the neighbors (or cops at the door) there is no domestic dispute going on...

8.  Making sure I have plenty of comfort food for those bad weeks.

9.  Trying to keep my promise to my dentist that I won't grit my teeth.

10. Most importantly, constantly reminding myself meals won't cook themselves, laundry will not fold itself, the house will not clean itself, and the dogs can't open the door themselves.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FACING CHALLENGES WITH FAITH






Life somehow finds a way to pull the rug out from under us. During those times of despair we have two choices:  1) Hit the floor and stay there or 2) Grab His hand and rise.





The following is an excerpt from "Embrace the Morning - Rosary Meditations to Calm the Storm."


Luke 22:39-42: Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.”After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

Jesus, in his agony, remained steadfast in accepting the Father's will. We too are faced with agony in our life, and need to hold fast to the belief that God is with us. He will not saddle us with more than we can endure. In His mercy, he will give us the fortitude to withstand anything that comes our way – if we let Him.

Let us pray:

Jesus, in your agony you turned to the Father in faith and trust, knowing he would never forsake you. When I am faced with challenges in my life, may my faith and trust emulate yours.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: N.N. LIGHT!


N. N. Light was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband Mr. N.  she is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking.  Most of the time you can find her on Twitter (@NNP_W_Light) or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/nnlight).  For more information or to connect, please check out her website: 


What inspired you to become a writer?

I love to read to and have had my nose buried in a book ever since I learned how to read.  I always have wanted to be a writer and to create stories that people would love to read.  I have been blessed with this gift for writing and over the years have honed my craft.  I knew that I wanted to write a book but for several years struggled with it.  Inspiration kicked me in the head and the next thing I knew, I was writing, Princess of the Light

Which of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”. Why? 

I actually am about to release my debut novel, Princess of the Light.  It is my total pride and joy!

Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

I do.  I fill up my purple water bottle (it holds 32 ounces) with water, put on some good music and pat the head of my writing mascot (a cute teddy bear figurine holding books my husband gave me three years ago).  I take a deep breath and off I go.

If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

Wow, great question!  Let's see... Making Lemonade Throughout Life's Storms

If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be? 

I would love to have dinner with Ernest Hemingway.  He is one of my writing mentors and I would love to bend his ear on so many topics.  He had a love of good food so my husband, a retired chef, would prepare him a feast.  We would sit down, eat delicious food, drink some wine and talk the night away on life, writing and creating a memorable thought-provoking story.

We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

I agree it can be hard to juggle all areas of your life while writing but the easiest thing I have found is to stay organized.  I set aside the afternoon (1-5 pm) during the week to devote to my writing.  It works amazingly well because my husband is at work and once it became a habit, my mind would naturally be ready to write at the same time every day.

What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

Write what you would want to read.  I saw this quote years ago and I love it!  It is so true, especially for me.  I wrote a book that I would be interested in.  If I can't put it down, then hopefully many other readers will feel the same way!

Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you? 

My book is being published via Smashwords and Amazon on August 26th.  It will be published first as an e-book and in print in a few weeks (once I catch my breath). 



Here are the ways you can connect with me:




Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release?  

My debut novel is Princess of the Light, an urban fantasy novel.  The publication date is August 26th.  Here is the blurb:


Mary Miller never thought much about destiny until God's Archangel and Messenger, Gabriel, appears.  Gabriel reveals she is destined to vanquish Darkness by spreading the Light and she has a revelation:  she is the key.  Her first assignment is to restore the soul of a homeless man known only as the Walking Man.  She's thrust face to face with evil all the while losing her heart to a new love, Joe Deacons.  Can she win the battle the Lord placed her in without losing all she loves?


Saturday, August 23, 2014

GUEST BLOGGER DIANA ROCKWELL - INSPIRATIONAL WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY


I am honored to introduce my guest blogger, Diana Rockwell, who lives in Ramona, California. She is a daughter of the King of Kings, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a nurse. She serves on a Freedom in Christ ministry team where she is a trained encourager. She prays for people who are struggling with lies that are keeping them in bondage. She helps them walk through seven steps to victory over their past issues such as marital problems, sexual abuse or occult issue. She has taught women’s bible studies and shared her testimony in Nazareth on a mission trip to Israel where several people came to know Christ as a result. Her story will be published in Tracie Miles book “Your Life Still Counts” that will be released in October, 2014.  She has a wonderful blog - check it out!  http://www.diana2rockwell.com.  Thanks Diana for being my guest!!!!!




“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” 
II Corinthians 6: 16 

“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land.” Deuteronomy 30: 19-20 


I took a long time to realize that my body was God’s temple and I needed to care for it with extreme attention and care. My journey with weight loss has been a struggle. Countless diets, programs, and weight loss pills were entertained by me. Many times I met a healthy weight only to lose the battle and regain the weight plus more. I was frustrated and my health was suffering. I felt like a failure and food was my idol. Self-medicating with food to numb and to escape the pain became my way of life.  

At 233 pounds in October 2011, I began having serious health problems and was diagnosed as morbidly obese.  My blood pressure was elevated, I needed to have a right knee replaced, my back was hurting and yes I was in denial but I was pre-diabetic. I was at the end of my rope, after six months of classes and much soul searching I had a “gastric sleeve” surgical procedure. So in May of 2012, I had my right knee replaced and in July, 2012 I had the sleeve.  

At the time of surgery, I made a rock-solid decision that I would do everything that was needed for me to restore my health and I would never eat past full.  I always wanted to weigh 157 pounds, I breezed past that goal six months after surgery. At the one year anniversary I had lost 100 pounds. I just celebrated my two year anniversary, I am at goal with a total weight loss of 109 pounds. My health has improved I do not need blood pressure medication or pain medication for my knees and back. I can walk, climb stairs, get down on the floor, and I can ride on rides with my grandchildren at amusement parks.  

Today, I still have to eat but I do not live to eat. I realized that I was filling my heart with food, when what I really needed was God. Due to the struggles I had encountered throughout my life which involved physical pain, marital problems, abuse and heartache, in addition to the obesity, I thought God could never love me, forgive me, or use me. But when I discovered how much He loved me and that He had a plan for my life, my heart was changed forever. God filled me with a passion to encourage other women facing the challenge of weight to help them have hope that God is bigger than their appetite and victory can be theirs.   


Father God, I pray with the woman who is struggling with her body image and weight. Lord I ask that you become real to her. Your word challenges us to choose life, I was choosing food to meet my emotional needs and you are the only one who can meet all of our needs emotionally, and physically. Your word in 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because you care for her.” I ask that she come to you and give you her anxiety and pain. 
Amen

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Writer's Life




A fellow author, Clara Freeman, asked me to guest on her blog awhile ago about a writer's life.  I thought I would share it on my blog as well.





A writer sits at wooden desk pushed up against a large picture window that opens to fields of flowers. The room, located in a secluded area of the house, is quiet except for the chirping of birds and whispering breeze.

Ahh, the life of a writer … maybe in a perfect world!

For this writer, it’s a recliner with a laptop, in the living room with two dogs, a very loud parrot and bell-ringing cockatiel. I’m a caregiver for my 86 year-old father and 82 year-old uncle and they wander in to remind me of days gone by, provide commentary on recent world events or ask for a ride. When my husband comes home from work he joins the party. Such a glamorous life.

What do I do? 

I’ve become a creature of the night. During the day I care-give and delve into the world of domesticity. In my mind I ponder how I want to proceed on a recent project, sit down and do a little editing, work on social media promotions and take a mid-day nap. Once everyone is tucked tightly in their beds, the dogs asleep and the birds covered, my laptop screen comes alive and my fingers fly across the keyboard. My husband rises at 4:30 a.m. and finds me tap, tap, tapping away.

What do I write?

I am a cross-genre writer. I began with Christian devotionals and thanks to my ever-persistent and confident publisher, I’ve expanded to light romance and suspense/thrillers. Switching between genres (sometimes in the same night), keeps me from over-focusing which, for me, is the cause of an author’s worse nightmare – writers block.

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere; however, my devotional topics usually filter into my mind during prayer or Mass. Romance inspiration comes from daydreaming or traveling back in time … reliving romantic moments of my own. Suspense/thrillers are roused by nightmares and plunging my mind into my deepest darkest fears.

The Topic of Time

I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me and I have been known to finish one in a week. Yes! A week. Sometimes the Holy Spirit wants the word out immediately, and who am I to argue? The light romances and suspense/thrillers are a different story. In stark contrast to devotionals, my short-story fiction usually take three to four weeks. My pace slows as my mind wanders to, “How can I describe something that will result in the reader turning into a hopeless romantic or someone feeling the need to check the closets and under the bed?”

Faith in Genres

Some of my author friends have called me “Dr. Jekyll and Patti J. Smith”, or the “Sybil” of the writing world. Regardless of genre, I strive to bring faith into each one because faith belongs everywhere, and it’s the guiding force of my life. No one knows what word, sentence or paragraph within a genre will reach out and pull a reader towards Him so I plant seeds everywhere.


The Results

Devotionals:

~~A Mended Heart – Rosary Meditations on Forgiveness
~~Journey to Sunset – Rosary Meditations for Caregivers
~~Redeemed – Rosary Meditations for Post-Abortive Women
~~Embrace the Morning – Rosary Meditations to Calm the Storm
~~And God Still Loves Me – A Journey from the Dark Abyss of Sin to God’s Mercy – my personal testimony.
~~Moments with God – The complete collection of the above
~~Behind the Smile – Overcoming Depression through Scripture and Prayer
~~Steps of Faith - Living the Scriptures in Recovery
~~Uplifting Devotionals - Book I - Cooperative effort with four other authors

Light Romance:

The San Francisco Wedding Planner series. The trials and tribulations of a wedding planner – A cooperative effort with four other authors.

Suspense/Thriller:

Grave Obsessions Series
~~Chiseled Heart
~~Savage Sojourner
~~Shackled Souls (Work in Progress)

All available at http://www.amazon.com/author/pattijsmith.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HE IS MY REFUGE

This last Saturday my husband and I were sitting in the living room, enjoying dinner and watching televison.  The front door opened and in walked a scraggly blonde young man we'd never seen before.  He took off his jacket and hat and dropped them on the floor and said, "Hi."  Startled, the only thing I could mutter was, "Who are you, what are you doing and why did you walk into our home without knocking?"  He said he was sorry but was looking for his friends but couldn't remember where they lived. I advised him his friends were not here and politely asked him to leave.  He looked hurt and hesitated for a moment, so I stood up and escorted him out.  It was the oddest experience I'd ever had and it wasn't until a few hours later that I began to feel the fear.  

I reported the incident to the Sheriff and found out later the young man was arrested later that night for attempting to steal a car, and that he was definitely under the influence of drugs. God was definitely watching over me and my family that afternoon. Had I reacted angrily or with fear, the outcome may have been disastrous.  

2 Samuel 22:3
 My God, my rock of refuge! My shield, my saving horn,
my stronghold, my refuge,my savior, from violence you keep me safe.

I pray God watches over that young man and guides him in a new direction.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Have a Seat: Brenda K. Hendricks!

Author/illustrator, Brenda K. Hendricks uses her BS in Biblical Theology to teach children of all ages. Her blog My Quotes of Encouragement is a combination of stories, anecdotes, and personal experiences. Some of her artwork and book cover designs are featured on Brenda K. Hendricks. She has also written and illustrated a number of picture books including What’s the Buzz, Bumbly Bee?, What’s Better than That, Seren Dippity?, Much More to Christmas, and a tween novel Trouble at Turnabout Creek. Two short stories published by Helping Hands Press were recently added to her published works: Sly’s Christmas Surprise and Darkness Before Dawn. Brenda is a member of the, the Susquehanna Writers’ Critique Group and the John 316 Marketing Network. As part of her ministry, Brenda blends her artistic talent with her "gift to gab" to enhance the learning experience at women’s events and writers’ conferences.


What inspired you to become a writer?

The voices in my head inspire me to write. Okay, that sounds creepy. But I create stories and images in my mind that need to be written so I can figure out how the characters get to the end. I usually know where they start and where they’ll end up. It’s the getting there that has me puzzled. So I write their stories to satisfy my curiosity.
Mostly, my stories are inspired by situations or current issues that I can’t find the means to help other people understand any other way.

Which one of your books do you consider your “pride and joy”. Why?

That’s like trying to select a favorite among your grandchildren, you know that don’t you? My newest release, Trouble at Camp Turnabout Creek, would possibly be my “pride and joy,” at least for now. There were a lot of surprises that happened as I wrote the book. Like a bear showing up at the campgrounds and the theme that wove its way through the story and became very clear at the end. Should I admit I didn’t really plan those things? I don’t know, but I really like when that happens.

Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

If you consider a ton of prayer a ritual, that would be it. I also procrastinate a little by checking email and Facebook a dozen times before I actually get started.

If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

The Life and Times of a Procrastinator.

If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?

I always wanted to meet Bill Meyers. God granted me the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Meyers about a year ago. He’s a very personable and down-to-earth man. I think I’d choose him again.

We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

I’m not very good at balancing family, work, and other obligations with writing. I’m either very focused on writing or very focused on the rest of life. I hope that somehow in the end it all balances out.

What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

Rewrite! Rewrite! Rewrite! It’s the only way to hone the craft and gain the skills needed to improve.

Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

All of my books and short stories can be found at:
Friend me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaKHendricks


Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....

Man, I sure wish I had a definite answer to this question. I’m working on several projects at the moment. But I’m not sure what or when the next release will be. But there’s a good chance I’ll have another picture book ready in the next few months. The title is You Want to What, Nibs Rabbit? The third book in the Bumbly Bee series is about a rabbit who’d try just about anything to learn to fly so he can join the high flyer’s club. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Walking Away


From "A Mended Heart - Rosary Meditations on Forgiveness"

"Admitting fault is difficult enough but asking for forgiveness is one of the most difficult and humbling experiences we can face.  Pride and embarrassment sometimes holds us back, but we know it is absolutely necessary to admit our faults and make amends. We become vulnerable in our humility and repentance; we are sincere and anticipate forgiveness.
Unfortunately, there are some who refuse to forgive.  The past is continually recalled, and we are constantly rebuked.  Carrying grudges instead of forgiving inhibits the ability to be truly happy and creates a detachment from God and His will.  Whatever the transgression, there is nothing that cannot be forgiven.  Jesus sets the ultimate example."

If someone in our life refuses to forgive, we have to accept it and let go. If we don't, that person becomes toxic and we are at risk of being affected emotionally and spiritually.  It's okay to be protective and walk away, as long as it's done without malice and with a forgiving heart.






Saturday, August 16, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention ...



I recently met with my priest for confession, and one of the things I had to admit was missing Mass. By the time I made my appointment to meet with him, I was miserable.

In all honesty, I knew what was wrong, but needed to hear it from my confessor. Consumed by life's distractions; I lost focus and took a detour on my faith journey.  More Masses missed, more distance from God.  Instead of being filled with the Holy Spirit, I was deluged with fear, anxiety, sadness and restlessness.

I dreaded returning after so many absences, and when I dipped my fingers in the holy water, I halfway expected it to burn my skin.  That didn't happen, of course, and when I knelt down, facing the altar and the crucified Christ, a sense of calm slowly returned.  When I accepted the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit coursed throughout my body and soul.  I was whole again.

Lesson Learned:  Benjamin Franklin said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Attending and participating in weekly Mass keeps me connected to God and prevents me from becoming spiritually bankrupt and suffering the despair that follows.


 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reflection on Writing - Am I Crazy or What?

Here I am, in the middle of FOUR, yes FOUR works in progress.  It wasn't planned that way, it just happened.  My overactive brain evidently avoids even a teeny weeny bit of free space in it....

So, my nocturnal writing marathons look more like the silver ball in a pinball machine....bouncing from one project to the next. What's more fun is the necessary personality changes due to differing genres.  I start out prayerful, glide into romantic then dive into terror.

Crazy?  Yep!  But believe it or not, I like it this way.  I find by moving from one work in progress to another keeps me from over-focusing.  I can leave one behind and come back later and see it with fresh eyes.

It may not be the usual pattern for a writer, but it works for me ... now if I can just schedule time for sleep!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

HOPELESSNESS

The recent suicide of Robin Williams breaks my heart, not just because he was a nice guy, with extraordinary talent, or was involved in many philanthropic projects ... it's because I know that excruciating emotional pain he must have been experiencing.  I suffer from depression and at one time was suicidal ... resulting in institutionalization. Praise God I was able to keep the demons at bay, but so many others are not, which was why I wrote a devotional, "Behind the Smile". Treatment and faith go hand-in-hand.

Below is an excerpt that addresses the desire to end one's life. The highlighted boxes are the personalized scriptures.

----------------------------------

Behind our smiles are tears.  We are the victims of depression.  We are the ones who are fighting a war within ourselves - a war that consists of many battles on many fronts.  Of those won, the losses always seem to eclipse the triumphs.  This book addresses the spiritual side of the battle by utilizing personalized scripture, to bring the reader into God's word with the goal of providing serenity and hope.  We can be victorious ... through treatment, scripture and prayer.


HOPELESSNESS

Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “To live without hope is to cease to live”, and so it is. When we fall into that state of hopelessness, we see no future … No fantasizing about wonderful things happening, because we know they won't. All we see is more pain and misery... a tunnel with no light at the end. During these periods, the thought of leaving this world provides a sense of calm, because there's nothing to look forward to except more darkness. Death is the only option...

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD
plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.

For He knows well the plans He has in mind for me …
plans for my welfare and not for woe, so as to give me a future of hope.
Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.

The God of hope fills me with all joy and peace in believing,
and I will abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.

Isaiah 40:31

They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar on eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

Hope in the LORD will renew my strength, I will soar on eagles’ wings;
I will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
Proverbs 23:18

For you will surely have a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

For I will surely have a future, and my hope will not be cut off.

Lamentations 3:24

The LORD is my portion, I tell myself, therefore I will hope in him.

I believe The LORD is my portion … therefore, I will hope in Him.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I am mired in hopelessness that lures me towards self-destruction. Set me free from this agony. May my heart be open to support so that I can experience the hope Your son so lovingly gave to all of us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Have a Seat: Kathleen Kline

Kathleen Kline, a mother of three beauties -- now in their late teens and early 20s -- has been writing and editing for others (and for pay) for nearly 23 years. You will find her work under the last name of: Kline, Walton and Livingston and her pen name - Shannon Michaels. She decided to add a formal university level journalism & mass communications education and practical industry training to her self-started wordplay years ago while continuing to write for newspapers and magazines. She writes everything from hard news to feature articles, poems, essays, blogs, how-to(s) and book length manuscripts.  Kathleen lives her life in a "Pay It Forward" mode and hopes to effectively communicate real life and fantasy with each sentence while putting food on the table for her children and herself.


    What inspired you to become a writer? 

    "It's genetic really," she says with a snicker or two. "My grandfather, Fred Howard Wright, was pretty prolific. He wrote songs (one, "The Strawberry Roan" we still hear on the radio/Pandor often still), he wrote poems, lymrics, radio scripts, and I have this Vaudeville performer's manuscript here on my desk (I am proofreading it, not much editing to do) and a couple of his pen and inks darn my walls. I don't have any of his painting, though. So communication and story telling was pretty much handed down. Never knew I wasn't suppose to write. I have always been intrigued that short stories, the shortest - songs - can communicate so well. I figured beginning writing was just a natural progression in my life. Then, some 23 and a half years ago I needed a way to generate an increased understanding in the division of horse training that my husband and I did, so I began writing articles for trade publications. As a mom of a 6-month-old I found I could do this while living on the ranch, bring in some additional income and pay for advertising for the business without taking funds from the budget."

    Which of of your books do you consider your “pride and joy"? Why? 

    My pride and joy of writing is the current manuscript that I am writing -- "2nd Hardest Thing I Have Ever Had To Do" Because it is showing others how to survive the murder of your child. And my son, Ethan, was my first installation of my true pride and joys.

    Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write? 

    No. I write when and where I can. Unless you count the new ritual that my cat insists upon when I sit at the house desk-computer... typing around her. But seriously, I come from the journalism field and so I have learned to write where I am and on the go: standing, sitting, driving (ssshhhhh). Which means that if I am near a computer and have time I write, if I am at a public meeting I either pull out a notepad or a tablet and take notes, if I only have time and opportunity to write in a journal before I fall asleep or when I wake in the middle of the night I write or I write on a napkin if need be.

    If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be? 

    Never Ending Story, but I think that is taken, so Strap on Your Seatbelt.

    If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be? 

    Abe Lincoln

    We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project? 

    I maintain balance during writing projects by having taught my children and my (ex)husband to respect the time I need to write. And yet while doing this I make sure I don't let my family responsibilities go by the way-side while I write or edit, because that would bother me as a mom which would, in turn, distract me from my wordplay. When I started writing for pay, 22 years ago, I tried to work when they would not need me (i.e. - while my baby slept). That didn't always remain the case as more children came, they aged and I was stringing for more than one publication with different deadlines. I also call it "Work" so that I teach anyone who comes into my life that they need to respect what I do, even if I am lucky enough to work at my home computer in my 'jammies. After all they need to respect working at home as much as they do I go to the office of my employer. Add to that that I go through patches were I get up at 4/4:30 a.m. and write before they get up - sometimes this is because what I am writing needs undistracted me time. Other times I just say, "I am on deadline, I need to be able to write/edit." But recently, I was editing at the desk beside the kitchen (I have an open living room, dinning room, kitchen) while my fiance was cooking breakfast. I was reading some of the funnier spots out loud to him and my teen daughter, on a Sunday morning. You see, I was close to deadline on a client's manuscript and this way I was able to share my work, my writing/editing with my family which I think is important so they understand and respect your work as work - it helps them to see that you are not just messing around. Just like my lawyer of a fiance shares his work with me. I even take my daughter to the Writer's Group I belong to. I let her hear passages from my manuscript and interact with other writers. It's not about separating family and writing, no. It's about sharing this passion for wordplay, like my grandfather, mom and dad have with me.

    What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most? 

    Set a writing goal of "one paragraph a day. Because some days that is all that you will get done, other days you will get a page written and other days you will get pages done."

    Where can we purchase your books? 

    This is a question that makes me cringe a bit. I have short stories in anthologies, I have a horse oriented how-to in the paste up stage on my desk (due to an editing change) and I am working on the selling of one manuscript while writing another and not stopping the submission of other essays, poems and articles that are published sometimes weekly. Which is to say I am all over the place (I say this blushing). Currently, I have a short story/essay and one poem in "What's Your Story 2013 Memoir Anthology" -- it's on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Your-Story-Memoir-Anthology/dp/0989931846/ref=sr_1_fkmr3_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396323387&sr=8-3-fkmr3&keywords=what%27s+your+story+2013+memoir I have 3 poems in "Celebrating Poetry 2014 Anthology" -- it's available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Celebrating-Poetry-2014-Anthology/dp/0989931870/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396323532&sr=8-1&keywords=Celebrating+Poetry+2014+Anthology, I have many articles on www.TehachapiNews.com
    “A Winning End” by Kathleen Livingston (me) sold to The Ultimate Horse Lover’s Story (2008)
    “Telltale Moments” as Kathleen Livingston
    http://www.storiesthatlift.com/STL-stories/telltale-moments.htm
    can we keep up with you? (blog link, webpage, fan page) My blog is at: http://KatheensDragonflyDesk.WordPress.com

    Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release?

    My next release book will be the True Crime Memoir -- "2nd Hardest Thing I Have Ever Had to Do"

    It is a story about a 19-year-old boy who is murdered, his 18-year-old fiance who is kidnapped and rapped, her escape and how the mom of the boy, her first born, headed the family and lead the surviving family members do the path to surviving it all.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This Should Be in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders!



As I continue my fiction works, I thought it was appropriate to discuss characters again.  My first time killing one off was devastating, I mourned!  I had to do it again last night and figured I'd be okay, having one demise under my belt.  Yeah, right!  I was just as depressed as the first time and shed tears writing about it.  I guess it's a good sign that I have bonded with my characters but now I feel compelled to openly admit I am afflicted with "Character Attachment Disorder".

I'll list a few of the symptoms I'm exhibiting.....are you a fellow C.A.D.?