Bucket List #MFRWauthor

Bucket Lists are interesting. They can change so much in such a short time and once you accomplish a list there is a new list. Isn’t there always something new and interesting coming along that could be added? But this post is going to be short and sweet. 😉

#5 Award Winning Books written and published by the time I’m 40, in both Romance and Science Fiction Genre’s.

#4 Take a vacation to Tahiti or Maldives before my 40th birthday.

#3 Live Stream Yoga consistently to help more people find the benefits of Yoga in their lives. Especially those who live to far outside of cities to take classes in the studio.

#2 Take my children to Europe and show them what other parts of the world are like.

#1 Write and traditionally Publish a Best selling book

Would you like to buy or leave a review for Olivia? Follow the links below, and Thank you!

Amazon     Goodreads     Twitter

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Weak Vs Strong Female Characters

Over the last few years, I’ve heard/read many writers talking about not seeing female characters that were strong, and that was their inspiration for writing their first novel. Que me on my couch like “yes! I want strong female characters. They stand up for what they want, they make their own decisions, and they own what they have done, good or bad.”

And then I read the authors book. And I get sad. Because their female character is putting up with behavior I would never put up with. They covet the stalkerish behavior of the billionaire showing up and taking over their company decisions. Their first sexual encounter, she says she wants things to slow down and he says no and pushes for them to go forward when she is obviously not comfortable, and she then does a 180 on her position and is orgasaming all over the place. (mixed signals much)

There may be a small part of the female population that does enjoy being pushed, becasue this is not pursel, but it isn’t being a strong female.

Strong is being where you want to be, doing what you want to do, and walking away from a man who pushes you to do things that you aren’t ready to do yet.

Why can’t a woman do what she wants? Why can’t she want to have sex with whomever and whenever she wants? Why does she have to act unreasonable and the man then has to make excuses and take on the blame, when the woman was being irrational? Why is he apologizing for the idiotic, irrational, un-thought out things that she did? He did nothing wrong.

This is not a healthy relationship. Why is it under the romance genre. These people will not stay together in this relationship for long after the book ends.

A relationship is give and take. It is admitting when you did something stupid, wrong, or irrational. It’s taking responsibility for our past, current, and future actions. It’s forgiving. It’s standing next to the person not behind, or in front, but beside. It’s talking about things, making decisions together, and doing those things with each other.

We all have ideas of what romance is. I get it. But can we come together on what costiutes abusive behavior both on the male and female side and not put that material in our romance stories? Please, oh pretty please.

 

Influential Authors #MFRWauthor

Because of the way I grew up, my reference was a little skewed from the norm. For instance I failed the test to get into kindergarten, not because I couldn’t do what they asked but because I did it different. When ask what a picture was I didn’t say bird, I said that’s a dove. Apparently specificity is not what they wanted for a kindergartner.

I also didn’t read well for whatever reason and was put in a special group to get my skills up to par in the second grade. It took a year and half but I finally tested out of that skills group. I was never special ed, but my school thankfully didn’t need me to test into special ed in order to get the help I needed. Unlike today’s school system, but that is a whole other post.

I was so borderline that I didn’t get a pass onto to the next grade from a teacher until after the fifth grade. Up until then my teacher would leave that part of my report card blank and leave it up to my parents on whether or not I would go to the next grade. When my tiny rural school closed it’s doors and we were all transferred to a neighboring (larger) district my parents wanted to hold me back. This spurred me to make better grades, barely.

I some how made it into the higher math class in Jr High, but I barely stayed in it with my C average that could dive perilously close to a D. Then I started reading…. a lot of reading. It helped me cope with the bullying I dealt with on a daily basis, not so much from the girls in my class, but the boys. And somewhere about the time I hit 9th grade my brain changed. I suddenly started being able to do the math and remember facts from history, my grades slowly improved till I was in the top ten percent of our class by graduation. I went onto get a Math degree and I currently teach Jr High math at a rural school. Where I try to see the potential in my students that they don’t see in themselves. The same potential that my Jr High math teacher saw in me.

Thanks Mrs J! (math teacher) And thank you Mrs Rhinehart (english teacher) for teaching a literature class my Junior year that just let me read for an hour everyday. You let us pick any book we wanted, Romance novels to classics like Jane Eyre and Fellowship of the Ring all the way over to The Fountainhead that year.

With all that being said here are some the books that have had the most influence on me over the years.

Dan Simmons (Sci fi extraordinaire)

Nora Roberts (My favored Romance novelist. Down to earth stories and people.)

Anne Rice (Teenage me loved paranormal.)

Danielle Steele (Sweet accessible stories of my teenage years)

Sandra Brown (Accessible romances that aren’t bogged down in details. They allowed my imagination to fill in the gaps)

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Four Stars…

So what does it feel like to get your first positive review from someone who isn’t invested in you in any way?

I kind of know. This morning a friend who had recently read my book “Olivia” was asking how she can write a review. So to make sure my directions were correct I went to Amazon and scrolled to the bottom, and woot woot I had another review. One by a stranger!

The review was in depth as well. Not just a one liner, but paragraphs of information about my book. And while I would of course love to have all five star reviews, let’s be realistic. Four stars is a positive review. If all an item gets is five stars I actually get suspicious of the product. I call it a win.

Unfortunately the strong wind we had yesterday blew in all the cedar pollen from down in West Texas resulting in me getting up at 2AM to take Benedryl and I’m still trying to leave the Benadryl hangover behind me at four o’clock in the afternoon.

I’m excited. I’m proud of me. I’m sure of it, even if my head feels like it is still hovering a few feet above my body and not attached properly.

Influential Story #MFRWauthor

What stories have been influential in my life?

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, Book 1) by [Simmons, Dan]

The first would have to be “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons. I personally prefer the old cover to this book, but the story is going to be the same inside, so I guess I don’t mind this change to much.

Why is Hyperion so influential, while it isn’t the first Sci-fi book that I read it is one of the first and only books/series to make me emotional. The first time I finished reading the series I could not pick up another book for weeks afterward. (Okay to be fair it did the second time I read it, and I knew what I was getting into that time.) The whole story line pulled me in from the beginning and made it hard to put down, even on a re-read.

It was one of the first books that my husband to be and I both read. And it will certainly help to shape any Sci-fi book that I write in the future.

Key Of Light (Key Trilogy Book 1) by [Roberts, Nora]

The second book is the Key of light Series by Nora Roberts. The ladies pulled together by Gods and Goddess’s, working together and forming a business when they don’t know each other…Its very close to my current story. minus the breaking of a curse in real life. For more on that see my earlier blog post Partner’s Episode I.

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So You Went Into Business With People You Really Don’t Know???….Or: Partner’s Episode I

A little background. Years ago I read a book that threw three women together on a quest to end a god’s stupidity. Over the course of the three books the women brought each of their own unique strengths together and founded a business. Strangers trusting the universe and their own gut instincts to go forward.

I’ve always been envious of that ability to trust and in my own passive way welcomed it into my life. (I don’t do things passively but in this case I didn’t say hey Universe I want this, I was in the corner meekly going isn’t that cool.)

Then my mother started going crazy, fast forward 18 months to getting the diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia and to say I was stressed would be a little bit of an under statement.

I had been doing yoga by video for a few years after school with a fellow teacher, but it wasn’t a match for all that we were going through. I have a friend who owns a Martial Arts Studio and I asked him to help me learn to meditate. For hours one day he set aside his time and put me through several meditations. I found one that resonated with me. Then I started carving out time once a week to go to a Yoga studio an hour away from home. Fast forward 8 months, by this time my mother died from a massive heart attack not the dementia or the brain aneurysm that they had found in her head.

I was not in great shape mentally. So I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training! What a great idea. You should be rolling around on the floor laughing right now. Teacher training isn’t just about learning the pose’s but also about getting to know yourself inside and out. That can be rough. But I and my fellow trainers made it through. Then our mentor brought an opportunity to open a branch of her studio not to far away. Great location and so on and so on.

Out of the peeps who wanted to go in, four of us were left standing and in the 6 weeks from hearing of the idea to opening the doors, we had a studio up and running. It was a lot of work, and we didn’t really know each other.

Half of the group felt like they weren’t pulling their weight even though I knew they would when their time came. I’m great at build out and big ideas and teaching, but the marketing and social media and the details of business are REALLY hard for me. So I was confident things would balance out. But we had to work to understand each other’s feelings.

Over these past 7 months we’ve had to learn how to communicate with each other. How to step back from a request so we can talk amongst ourselves and have a united front. That’s been hard at times. Five fingers forming a fist make more of an impact than five fingers trying to make a dent.

We’ve had to talk about healthy conflict, a term I disdain for some reason. We’ve had to cry because we feel we were mis-represented in anothers’ mind. We’ve had to look at something from another point of view. We’ve had to trust that we all come from a place of positive intent. Most importantly we’ve had to forgive ourselves and each other as we learn and grow through this process of getting to know each other.

These women have come to mean the world to me. Even though we aren’t on a quest to right a god’s idiodicy, I am forever grateful for you three ladies, Abby, Jessi, Nicole, and this magical journey of yoga and self growth that we are on.

Partners

 

 

So Many Things #MFRWauthor

This week on the #MFRW blog challenge the question is “What would I do if I couldn’t be a writer?”

wheat

Well, I have a varied background and have enjoyed doing many things over the years. I grew up on a farm, and I really enjoy getting to drive combines, grain buggies, and wheat trucks. Working the ground not so much. Being a farmer has its perks, and I could certainly do it, but it wasn’t the right fit. Now I’m married to a farmer and get to help him with my favorite parts of farming, the harvesting.

maths

I went to college just as my parents did, most of my extended family really and of course my husband has a degree in Agriculture Economics. I started out as an Engineer like my dad but after a couple of years killing myself to make the Dean’s honor roll (which I did by the way, honor roll not dying), I realized I liked math better. I’ve been a math educator for 13 years now. Obviously I like/love it or I’d be out by now. 🙂

Wine

I opened and operated my own micro winery for six years, where I did everything from grow the grapes, fermenting the wine, hand bottle and label every single bottle of wine that went through the winery, plus selling and marketing. I recently closed down the tasting room as it took a lot of time and energy away from my family.

Yoga

But I only closed down the tasting room so I could open up a yoga studio but this time with partners who can do the things I’m not the best at, like marketing. Or peeps who like doing accounting and keeping track of the details. I like big pictures and I can not lie.

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Then there is the One Room Schoolhouse that my husband and I bought, moved, renovated, and now use as an AirBnB and for weddings! Schoolhouse on Airbnb

So what would I do if I wasn’t a writer, so many things….

My book: Olivia

Hop hop hop on over to the next blog …

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The voices in my Head… #MFRWauthor

52 week blog challenge.

You may think I ‘m crazy for saying there are voices in my head and I actually talk to them, …. a lot. But you see, I have a secret. I also write down the things those voices say.

Sometimes those voices act a lot like me. Sometimes they do exactly the opposite thing that I would do.

I like my voices. And this year they have been kinder than usual. They talk among themselves more and leave me alone to lurk and record their musings, conversations, and intimate details of their lives. They let me walk with them to see beautiful places. Feel with them when they love and loose.

They’ve seen me through good times, through the bad times, and they put on a play every night to help me fall asleep.

So to answer the question of “How much of myself is in my writing?” All and none at all.

Hop on through to the next blog and see what the next author has to say!

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Re-purpose, Reuse, Recycle

I like my phrase better than the original. 😛

What am I re-purposing, reusing, and recycling you ask? Today it was concrete fence posts.

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Originally they were torn out of a fence row and deposited in a ditch on some of our property. It was an attempt to catch the dirt that wanted to wash out of this area. It didn’t really work this time. But because it didn’t go like we wanted I get to do something different. Like make them into a fence. Novel idea right?

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Why am I doing this? Well a few years ago my husband and I bought, moved, and fully renovated a one room schoolhouse. We now use it to run an AirBnB and event center outside of our little hometown. Since the Schoolhouse sits on a bluff, that means there has to be a drop off in elevation. Otherwise it would be a Schoolhouse on the Prairie, while scenic, not as pretty as being up above the surrounding area. In this sharp drop off, only weeds grow. This is where I’ve had a need for a couple of terraces to make the elevation change easier to manage. I am finally getting that.

We plan to string woven wire along the posts and allow this fencing to collect dirt and debris naturally allowing it to build up over time and fill in this area. It will take awhile but trying to get large equipment in this area isn’t safe. Partly because of the grade of the land and also, this is sugar sand and shifts so easily. Patience is key…and maybe some Pampas grass.

Want to stay at the Schoolhouse check out our profile on AirBnb. Scenic One Room Schoolhouse

Want to read a story that uses the area around the Schoolhouse? Check out my Debut Novel: Olivia.

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