Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 Launching A Star Contest!


The deadline is nearing!  September 15th is the last day to submit entries for the Space Coast Authors of Romance writing contest, 2014 Launching A Star.

The contest is open to any author unpublished in book-length fiction, or any author who is not considered PAN-eligible under current RWA rules, or has not been published in the romance genre in the last five years.
There are eight categories: Historical, Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal, Series Contemporary, Single Title (Contemporaries, Women's Fiction, Romantic Elements, etc.), Young Adult, Romantic Suspense (ST), and Inspirational (ST).

Follow the link to view the complete contest rules: 2014 LAUNCHING A STAR.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July

This weekend as we celebrate our freedom please take a moment to thank those who are still on the front lines, both foreign and domestic. Happy Fourth of July!

Little bit of history:

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we’d followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Prodigal Writer Returns

STAR (Space Coast Authors of Romance) has been a part of my life since 2008.  Being away due to career and personal changes, I've noticed the lack of motivation in my fiction writing.  About a month ago I dusted off my works-in-progress (WIP) and red-inked them until a few bled to death.  Only one or two survived.     
Looking at the lifeless manuscripts I knew it was time to get back to what challenged and motivated me.  I found my muse, but didn't realize it until I started plotting and reinventing characters. Today, I returned to the monthly STAR meetings and just in speaking with a few members about my current WIP I was able to scratch out 2700 words towards another chapter.  

Just like any good relationship, with your family or friends and with God, it takes daily work to keep it strong.  Thanks to my STARs I can build a better relationship with my writing.  The critique groups, Deep Dish reads, guest speakers, online forums, conferences, and contests are a few things that help keep me on track.  

A good romance never hurt any book, so regardless of your writing genre you should attend a STAR meeting as a guest.  Go ahead...I dare you!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Release!

Today is a "happy dance" day for fellow STAR, Lynne St. James.  Go to her site at and read about out her new book: Embracing Her Surrender.  Congrats, Lynne!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Losing Weight Sucks

Losing weight sucks.  Hold on, before all you fitness freaks go off in the comment section hear me out. I've been THAT girl who could walk into a clothing store, see an outfit on the mannequin and say, "I want that in a size 6,"  buy it, and walk out without needing to try it on.  I knew my size.  I knew my body type, what did and did't look good on me.

Then I grew up.  I became a "mature" woman that needed extra support and big girl panties to fit into a size 8, then a 10 and 12.  And low and behold my ass grew to a size 14 at 180 lbs on a 5'10" frame.  Yeah that's right, I was the fat bottomed girl Queen was singing about.  The difference it made in my self-image was more profound than anything anyone else would ever see.  I walked with my head up and a fake smile because I knew people were more concerned about themselves than me.  But the struggle to lose weight, fluctuating between sizes, rummaging through my closet for something that fit between sizes, and paying more for healthy foods than quick and easy foods just pissed me off.  IT SUCKED!

I eventually dropped to a size 10 where I've maintained (plus or minus 10 pounds) the past few years.  Being on the road helped keep the weight off, but it wasn't keeping on the healthy weight--you know, lean muscle and such.  I exercised regularly, cut out sodas and junk food, tried fad diets and supplements, and even wasted money on equipment that I could have used for free at the gym in my office.

By the end of last year I had jumped back to a size 14 after an injury....mind you, I was running a mud/obstacle race so the injury was due to trying to be fit.  That pissed me off too.  Being stuck on light duty while everyone else was having fun pissed me off.  A week after knee surgery I was sitting in the doctor's office for my first post-op appointment.  The nurse asked me to step on the scale, and when I did I almost threw up.  I was certain had I been carrying my firearm there would've been an AD into the scale....multiple times. IT SUCKED!

Two weeks later I had another appointment after physical therapy was underway.  A few pounds down. I was limited, right?  Wrong.  The only thing limiting me was myself.  It was my own fault for being in this predicament to begin with.  No one else to blame but myself and my dentist for not removing my sweet tooth when I asked them to. IT SUCKED!

Still not happy and certainly not down a size, except in my boobs.  That pissed me off.  Really, fat fairy? You swoop in and add a little cushion on the thighs and waist, but to make up for it I get bigger boobs...yay?  Then when I fight back to lose the cushion what's the first thing to go?  Yep.  Boobs.  The fat fairy is a bitch.

I needed an outlet.  My writing was always the best way for me to blow off steam and focus on something other than the problem.  Well, my outlet became the problem.  You can't run and write.  You can't finish manuscripts while lifting weights.  But you can eat, you can graze on fast food, drink sodas, drink wine, etc. so much easier.  I felt great!  Fat and sassy, that was me.  And no stress!  Until I had to face reality and fit back in uniform.

There were opportunities I had to be prepared for and being fit was part of it. A personal goal was just that, personal. Down a solid fourteen pounds and I could see my clothes fitting lose, and looking nice again.  Wait, still a size 12?  F*#%&!! I wanted to give up.  So I made a pact with myself.  I was running that damn race again the following year.  October 2014 Warrior Dash was mine.  By mid-December I was back to full duty.  Some may think it was too soon, especially when I stressed my knee a week in by running a K9 track as back up.  IT SUCKED!

Fast forward three months later and I'm still struggling.  It's up and down like a nauseating bungee jump with a concrete back stop.  My age and health are subject to alter my once rapid metabolism, I know this.  My home life and work life sometimes make it difficult to eat right, and often, like I should.  I know this.  The one thing I do have in my favor is that I didn't give up, and won't give in.  It's okay to have my daily chocolate in moderation.  After all, you are what you eat and dang if I ain't sweet!  It's okay to run a mile instead of two when I don't feel up to it, at least I'm doing something and lapping everyone else who isn't.

Most recently I've found the motivation that I had misplaced long ago. It was stuffed under self-pity, excuses and a layer of denial.  Luckily it burst the seems before my butt did and I've found what works for me.  IT SUCKS, but it's paying off.  My kids see it and emulate better choices, my Hubs is supportive and my closet is growing in the number of clothes I'm able to fit in. That's really the key to losing weight and keeping it off, building strength, and progressing with your fitness...finding what works for you.  Not everyone is Cross Fit.  Not everyone is Zumba.  Not everyone is P90X or Insantiy.  But everyone is capable, with or without limits it can happen.

Yes, losing weight SUCKS, but the end result is worth it! ....oh, I'm not there yet so the before after pictures will come later ;-)