Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Facebook Shame Follow Up

If you're on my Facebook, you've already seen my husband's public humiliation.

His cousin's wife found a picture and shared it with the world.

Then his thoughtful wife shared and reshared.

His children scoffed and admitted total vindication in choosing their own style over good ol' Dad's.

Even though for years my hubs has told our boys that if a guy is man enough, he can carry a pink purse and pull it off.

That no man should ever be a slave to fashion.

Well, that argument has ZERO sway in this house now, because every single one of my boys knows-

They never want a picture like this to ever come back to haunt them:

The Seckman's circa 1987
my sister-in-law Corinne; their cousin Danny,
and that hot guy, with the toddler sized clothes on?
That's my man.

And just so the world knows...twenty-seven years later? 

He's still got it...

Chad Seckman
the anti-fashionista

The clothes of a toddler, that is. 

*This post and pictures were approved by Mr. Seckman, who is man enough to carry a pink purse...if only his wife would let him. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Threads, Sand, and Da Man

Did you check out M. Pax's Blog post this week? Did you see the sand under the microscope?

Check out more sand photos HERE

Seriously gorgeous right?

It reminded me of something my Sunday school teacher once told me about life.

From the back? 
This needlepoint is a mess.
We can't yet see how the different threads 
make a pattern that will be 

                                                           Beautiful. Perfection.

Life can be like that. Ugly. Messy. Difficult.

Stick with it and you will see...there is beauty in the disarray. 

This is a lesson I have carried with me through some tough times. 

Now, thanks to Mary, I have the sand to think of too.

Billions of grains. We trample it underfoot without a second thought. 

Who would have guessed something so common was made of such marvelous bits? 

Reminder: take the time to see the big picture...and the small. 

Life is about perspective. Don't forget to switch it up every now and then. 

                                  Can't forget this: 

Last week I got a HUGE box of chocolate in the mail. (Who'd have known poking fun at our favorite bald guy will reap such rewards?!) 

My husband, always the wary type, asked, "Who sent that?"

I said, "My cyber bro and buddy, Mark."

He asked, "What does this Mark look like?"

So, I showed him this:

Good sport and all around good guy
Mark Koopmans
My hubs asked, "Was that outfit a joke?"

"Certainly not," I said. "He likes to express his creativity in words and fashion."

"In that case, he can send chocolate." *

*For the record, the ONLY part of the above story that is true is the fact that Mark sent a HUGE box of chocolates. Way too much, in fact. He is far too generous. But! He did elevate my status among my men, hubs included...I mean if this whole blogging thing means food arrives via US Postal...then to the blog she should go! 

                                                      & there is this: 

Carrie Butler tagged me in this little meme. 

Thanks Carrie!

What am I working on? Working on a few stories. I like to work on several at one time. Suits my scattered brain's natural tendencies. 

How does my work differ from others of its category/genre? Just like those grains of sand- my words are a reflection of me, but one of many....

Why do I write what I do? I believe in true love. I think a bad marriage/relationship is a soul killer. Find the right person for you and it's life synergism. 

How does your writing process work? I imagine it, then I describe it. Sort of like a movie that plays out in my head and I just need to get in on paper.

My turn to pass the torch! The three writers I tag to tell us about their writing process next week are:  Tonja Drecker of Kidbits. She has a new home, some cows, and is back at her blog!
                    Mary Pax of M. Pax- the wise lady with the sandy vision.
                    Bryan and Brandon wouldn't we all like to know...just how many beers does it take to get to the center of a weekly post? 

photo credit: BevKnits via photopin cc photo credit: BevKnits via photopin cc

Monday, April 7, 2014

Come to Annalisa's!

I'm not here today, so no need to worry about commenting...

Just clickety click HERE and visit me at Annalisa's!

photo credit: Nuwandalice via photopin cc

Friday, April 4, 2014

Guests and Covers

So happy to be a stop on the blog tour for Jenny Morris and Kelley Lynn's new release!

Elizabeth, thank you for being a part of our blog tour. It means a lot to us!!

I'm just glad you had time to stop by!! 
I know you gals are busy, so let's get to the questions. 

1. Tell us a little about you...where you went to school/ where did you grow know...give us the dirt!
The dirt on me is I’ve little a little bit of everywhere. Born in South Dakota and moved to Arkansas when I was 8. Half of my family still lives there so I get to go have sweet tea and hear the lovely southern twang whenever I can. I went to college in Alaska (I didn’t actually move there to go to school, but for other reasons.) Then I moved to Arizona where I met my husband and he brought me back to his home state, Oregon. It’s funny because whenever I take all those quizzes on Facebook I get Portland or Oregon as the place I was meant to live. So I guess it took me a while to find where I belong, but I did.

2. How does your background influence your writing? 
I think being able to experience people from many different parts of the country has helped in understanding and creating characters. Where you’re from can really influence you a lot. My large family has also impacted my writing a lot. Road to Somewhere is about sisters and I have 3 biological and 3 that either married one of my brothers or I married into. And they really helped me create Charlie and how she interacts with Lucy. It’s funny because I’m the baby sister and Kelley’s the older sister. We picked the character that is the opposite of what we are, but I feel like it helped me understand my older sisters more.

3. Is this your first book? If not, what others; if so, what else do you have in the works?
This isn’t the first book I’ve written just the first one to sell.  My first book in its original form has been banished to the recesses of my hard drive. But I did take a ghost of the idea and write a different story, which I hope to sell. I have several other books in various stages of writing or editing. Some of them collabs with other authors. They’re all YA contemps.

4. You're writing a collaboration with Kelley Lynn. How does that work? Do you swap chapters or do a relay... one writer goes until beat and then passes the torch to the next writer.
With Road to Somewhere we swapped chapters (which is actually how I’ve done all my collabs). We decided who would start first, Charlie, and then I wrote a chapter. I then sent it to Kelley and she read it, put her thoughts in the notes, and then wrote Lucy’s chapter. It is extremely fun to do, and one of the best writing experiences I’ve ever had. There is some plotting and character building you have to do beforehand, but once you get going usually it just kind of flows.

5. Is Kelley, your co-writer, as sweet as she seems or is she a closet case bossy pants?
Well… I’m just kidding. Kelley’s actually so sweet sometimes I can’t take it.  (Only in the mornings when I’m trying to sleep). I was very excited when I finally got to meet Kelley in person. I talk to her almost every day via text, Facebook, or email but there is something about seeing someone face to face. She’s sweet, funny, and I just wanted to stuff her in my luggage and take her home with me.

Thank you SO much for doing this.

My pleasure ladies! Best of luck :)


Kelley Lynn was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

Jenny S. Morris is a YA author who loves all things geek, may have a Kdrama addiction, and prefers the rainy NW to any place she's ever lived. Road to Somewhere is her debut novel.

And now for some new cover love!!

Armageddon is coming…
Hannah is a Devada, a special breed created to kill Satan’s chosen four ~ his Kings of hell.
Hannah is on the hunt for the demons responsible for the death of her parents.  Their gruesome bodies still haunt her dreams.  Will these nightmares ever end?  Will she get to know peace once more?
When Raum was sent to Oklahoma to help a young girl transform into a Devada he knew there was something different about her.  She wasn’t like any other Devada he’d known.  When secrets are revealed he is surprised at how special Hannah really is.

Other Books By Alexandrea Weis

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Insecure Gardener

Alex Cavanaugh's IWSG

Special thanks to our host, the ninja captain- Alex Cavanaugh. Not trying to be a sycophant or make Alex blush, but I've tried walking that mile in his shoes and all I got were blistered fingers. So, thanks!

And thanks to this month's co-hosts:  Hart Johnson, Chemist Ken, Candilynn Fite, Terri Rochenski, Clare Dugmore, and Lilica Blake!

Now on to the post!

Years ago, when I was still working from my social work cubical, one of the ladies in my office asked me if I knew how to plant tulips. She'd bought some from Wal Mart, but didn't know how to plant them. 

Honestly, neither did I.

So, I called my grandmother. 

She got a pretty good laugh at us young folk not knowing which side of the bulb had the roots and which side had the shoot. 

I told her it wasn't our fault- the package they came in didn't have any directions.

"A package?" My grandma asked.

"Yeah, she bought them from Wal Mart."

Then she chuckled. "Why I have never bought a tulip bulb in my life. You just go get starts from another gardener." Then came the admonishment that I better not be buying bulbs...just come on over to Grandma's and she'd hook me up.

And she did. 

She's been gone three years, but as the weather starts to warm and the sun shines longer each day...the flowers my grandmother gave me are coming to life. 

My garden is far more than just plants I bought from the garden center. It's a living memory.

Now. What does that have to do with writing insecurity?

My grandmother loved her garden and she worked in it for hours on end. I don't recall her ever planning to quit because a pest invaded or the weeds were too thick. Nor do I remember a time when she felt guilt over the hours she spent toiling in the dirt. 

Nope. None of that. She was a wise woman who knew the value of loving what she did. 

She also knew there was more than one way to grow a flower, that a person didn't need the backing of the big box store. A bulb given can net the same, if not better, results. 

So, for the love words, why can't writers tend to our literary gardens without the guilt, the pressure, and the need to be number one? 

If it brings you joy, why quit?

 Somehow, writers have adopted this collective ideology that the only people who have a "right" to be in the field are the ones who have reached some constantly shifting goal...write a book, get published, get readers, get big numbers, cash big checks....

It's good to have goals, but you must also love the process and appreciate your small blooms. 

Even if it's just a legacy, a little piece of heart you leave the ones you love, isn't that an accomplishment? Why do writers feel the need to reach some pinnacle for writing to be a valid endeavor?

Ya know, I'm pretty certain no one ever said, "I have to be the White House gardener or I may as well quit."

Need some tips on adding some more stick-it-to-it-ness? Check out the Insecure Writer's Support Group Website! It's packed full of excellent tips and, well, support!

Mukumbura via photopin

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Worst Dater, The Best Investment, and a Cover Reveal!

Want more flops? Click HERE!

To celebrate Krista McLaughlin's new release, Breathless, she is hosting a blog hop! It's easy enough...tell the world of a romantic flop.

Romance flops was a specialty of mine. Honestly? You don't know happy I am to be married and not have to date.

Believe it or not- I am awkward.

New situations morph me into this clumsy, stuttering mess. This excruciating discomfort was even worse when there was the pressure of a possible relationship. 

Oh, Lordy! I hate to admit this, but...

I was once a compulsive date ender. I apologize to every guy I ever went out with and used any one of these lame excuses to ditch a date:

1. I just remembered, my parents lowered my curfew to um...however long it takes to drive home.
2. I just remembered, I have to get up really early and leave town, for like a month.
3. Oh look! It's my bestie! She'll give me a ride home now. It will save you the bother....thoughtful, I know.
4. Sure, I'd love for you to call me again, but I'm permanently grounded from the phone.
5. I didn't ditch you. You were talking and I suddenly got a headache/food poisoning/malaria.

I am shamed to even admit this. I wasn't even smooth enough to be clever!

Thank God my husband is a patient man. A very, very patient man.


I imagined Koopmans opening the box with the hideous little she-version of his alter-ego, Siggy (if you're confused, catch up HERE), and his little guys being scarred for life when they asked, "Poppa, what's in the box?"
And the answer was the bug-eyed creature created with my hot glue gun.

Sooo...I added a few pups...and got these in return:

Kodey (2) is by the table, Tobey (6) has the blue stripe and Corey (4) is standing on the couch :)

Grocery store puppies- 1.50
Little Koopmans's smiles- priceless
That's a great investment!


 Sometimes a single choice alters the course of a person's life forever...

        Coming May 12, 2014 from Truelove Press- a Western historical romance!

 Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Twitter @MelissaMaygrove
Goodreads author page

Congratulations Melissa!!! And best of luck to all you hearty A-Z'ers!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rejection and Triumph: 20 Years as a Pre-Published Novelist

I'm off to Atlanta, Georgia for the Novel Experience Reader Convention, but I've invited Stephanie Faris to keep you all entertained and inspired with her story of the road to publication :)

So...Welcome Stephanie!! 

“Pre-published.” That was what a romance novelist once labeled those of us who weren’t yet published. She 
said the word “aspiring writer” wasn’t quite accurate, since we were, in effect, writing. We just weren’t yet published.

I was pre-pubbed for 20 years. Okay, so several of those years I was sidetracked, spending far too much time blogging on MySpace to a large readership. I also spent far too many years doing everything but writing—attending conferences, serving on the board of my local writers’ group, etc. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the process of learning to be a writer and far too difficult to face that blank page head-on.

Why am I now a published novelist? One word: perseverance. I was rejected over and over and over again. I spent more than a decade as a “pre-published” romance novelist and saw many of my fellow Music City Romance Writers members get published long before I was. But, when I really think about it, the successful writers were the minority. For every Trish Milburn, there were probably a dozen hopeful writers who attended meetings for a while, then vanished. Where did they go? Chances are, they moved on to another pursuit. Some of them may still have aspirations of getting a novel published…someday. It’s easy to procrastinate once you’ve felt the bitter sting of rejection.

Why did I keep writing? It’s part of who I am. I probably write 5,000 words a day as a blogger for marketing firms and online magazines located around the globe. Writing is as natural to me as breathing and, when you find something you’re good at, it’s pretty hard for someone to stop you. Especially if you’re stubborn!

My advice to anyone who feels that inspiration to write is to keep writing. Don’t let a form rejection from an agent or editor stop you—have enough queries out there that one rejection means very little. When you get a rejection, mark it on your spreadsheet and say, “Okay, who’s next?”

One rejection, two rejections, 500 rejections…it’s all one step closer to achieving your dream.

Get your copy HERE!

Maddie Evans prides herself on being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School. She is the first person her classmates go to when they need the latest news on the ins-and-outs of TMS—and Maddie never disappoints.

Her best friend since birth, Vi, isn’t crazy about Maddie’s penchant for passing on rumors, but it’s never been an issue in their friendship. Until the day Maddie lets slip who Vi is crushing on—in front of her crush
My Photo

Stephanie Faris's first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, is now available from Simon & Schuster's Aladdin M!x, with her second book, 25 Roses, coming out in 2015. She is represented by Natalie Lakosil of Bradford Literary Agency. She lives in Nashville with her husband. Visit her website:

*Stephanie is offering a signed copy to a random commenter. Just be certain to leave an email address or some way for us to notify you if you win.