Archive for the Miscellaneous Category

Recently, I drove my daughter to her first medical school interview at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.  I love history, so I took the opportunity to explore the historic districts the school is nestled between: the Ghent Historic District and the Freemason Historic District.

I was thrilled to tour the Moses Myer House, built in 1792 by the first Jewish family to settle in the Norfolk area after the Revolutionary War. The house is unique in that three quarters of the furnishings are original to the house. Five generations of the family resided there. Stunning!

After finishing my tour of the house, I walked around the corner to the oldest building in Norfolk, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. This church was the only building left standing after the British burned Norfolk to the ground in January of 1776 and sports a cannonball from Lord Dunmore in one of the exterior walls.  I took the opportunity to go inside and say a prayer for Leigh to do well in her interview, and she did.

Here’s where things get spooky…

While in the Moses Myer house, I “heard” the name Ellie or Ella called out. I felt it was a mother trying to comfort her baby. I experienced this while alone in the third story nursery. When I arrived at the church around the corner, I was drawn to a gravestone so old it was propped against one wall of the graveyard, having fallen over. The name on the stone was Eleanor Marsha Palmer, departed this life aged 9 months, Sept. 9, 1802. Did you get goosebumps? Let me tell you, I sure did.

While I know she was not a Moses or a Myer, it still gave me chills. Maybe she was the daughter of a family friend or relative. Who knows?  But it’s definitely fodder for a great story, correct writer friends?

 

Change is growth. I heard Sharon Sala say this during her talk at the recent ACRA Conference. She said a lot of things that stuck with me, but this one, I am struggling to implement. I’ve been a stay at home mom since my son was born in 1988. In 1997, I joined RWA and started seriously pursuing a career in publishing. In 2003, I began working part-time at the YMCA as a fitness instructor. What am I trying to say? For the last twenty five years, there haven’t been many changes in my life.

Now, my children are adults. I don’t need to stay home and take care of them. I am still with the YMCA and RWA. I am stagnant. While the people around me are changing, I am stuck and unsure of how to move forward. I’m sure many moms have faced this and I’d love to hear what worked for you. At present, I feel lost. When the main job in your life has been motherhood, how do you decide what’s next?

I want to be a successful published author traveling around the country, attending conferences, meeting other writers, and connecting with readers. That’s the dream. But I am still waiting for the call. How do I change and grow in the meantime?

Ever have a day when you just want to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed? This has been happening to me a lot lately. Middle age is not for the faint of heart.  I am looking at my 47th birthday in a few days and I feel every single year.  

On Friday morning, I unhappily woke up and climbed out of bed. My allergies are kicking my butt, and I was stuffy and cranky. I did not feel at all like going to teach Body Combat where all eyes would be on me and I would need to be perky and motivational. But, I forced myself into my workout gear and out the door. I’m so glad I did.

Unknown to me, one of my students has been fighting breast cancer, quietly and courageously. She arrived in class with a completely bald head and started her workout. I was in awe. And do you know, she rocked that bald head. She looked mad sexy, like some warrior goddess. I was humbled by her beauty and strength.

We all have struggles in our lives, but it’s our choice how we deal with them. We can stay under the covers and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can stay in the fight! I’m in, are you?

FAITH, NOT FEAR. This is my new motto. For too long I’ve allowed my own lack of confidence in my writing abilities to hold me back. Fear, and I will call it by its name, has caused me to miss opportunities and drop a lot of balls. Maybe I would be published by now if I had not allowed fear to rule my decision making.

At the 2013 RWA ® National Conference in Atlanta, Cathy Maxwell shared a story about a young artist who never signed his paintings because he didn’t think they were good enough. This spoke to me.  How many times have I hesitated to submit my work because I doubted myself? How many times did I fail to follow up on a ‘good’ rejection letter or a call for submissions because I was afraid to fail? No more.

It’s time to be fearless, to put myself out there, confident that I am a good writer and that my work is good enough. I’m taking chances without fear. Rejection will not stop me. I will continue to submit, revise, and repeat until my dream comes true. What about you?

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Oh, did I say that in my out loud voice? LOL! School starts on Monday, August 20th, and once again there will be a bit of alone time for me. I enjoyed the family trip to St. Augustine, but it will be nice to get back into a routine. And back to a productive writing schedule.

If you’ve never been to St. Augustine, I highly recommend it. I never tire of visiting and always feel inspired when I leave. This trip we toured the Lightner Museum and rode the Trolley of the Doomed. We ate lunch at the Columbia House restaurant on St. George street and shopped until we ran out of hands to carry bags.

There’s no shortage of things to do in St. Augustine. From the beaches to the historic district, one visit just isn’t enough and I know I’ll go back again.

My youngest daughter turned 16 yesterday. Yes, I feel more than a bit old these days and very nostalgic for those little hands in mine. Still, I’m extremely proud of all my children and the extraordinary adults they are becoming.

We had a nice lunch at Macaroni Grill in Lake Mary. I have to recommend the Vodka Rustica. Amazing! Then we went to see LIVE FREE AND DIE HARD. Awesome movie. Really enjoyed. Bruce Willis delivers!

I’d also like to recommend BURN NOTICE on USA. It’s a new show and worth checking out.

Currently, I’m reading the third in Julie Kenner’s demon hunting soccer mom series. Check out CARPE DEMON, CALIFORNIA DEMON, and now, DEMONS ARE FOREVER. If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you’ll like this.

Just had to share a great workshop I recently attended given by romance author Kathy Carmichael.

Kathy’s pitching workshop was fun, interactive, and definitely helped get everyone ready to pitch to an editor or agent. I highly recommend it.

Too much work and no play. Happy to say I finally have a few hours to myself, so thought I’d come on and post. Other than the heat, brush fires, and thunderstorms, not a lot going on in Florida. My daughter attended a cheer camp at UCF June 7-10 and had a great time.

Writing news…I’ve done more reading than writing. Found a great new vampire series by Lara Adrian. If you like J. R. Ward’s books, I think you’ll like these.

I’m looking forward to M&M in September. I sent my request in for Editor/Agent appointments. Fingers crossed…

Finally some fun! My husband had the day off of work and we decided to head out to the gun range. First we stopped for a nice lunch of fajitas, then went to Shoot Straight where we shot several hundred rounds of 45ACP and 9mm ammo. I love my Sig 9mm, but Jerry’s 45’s pack a wallop and are deadly accurate. See below for a couple of our targets:

I did this with my Sig 226 9mm:
Jan’s SIG 226 9mm
Jerry shooting his Springfield XD-45:

Wow, long time, no blog. But, I’m back. I did send in my registration for the Moonlight and Magnolia’s conference in Georgia. I also entered their contest. Now crossing fingers and toes.

It’s been a long day already and it’s not over. I got out of bed at the ungodly hour of 4 am to haul my friend, Kim, to the airport. She’s going for a visit to family and friends up in Michigan. Then I got home just in time to take my daughter to cheer practice.

I tried to catch a few winks before I had to go pick her up, but my cats had other ideas…

And this afternoon, I’m heading down to re-up my CPR certification for work. Hope I can stay awake. See? Nothing exciting is going on. That’s why I have to write!