Category Archives: Books

Zen Me


I’m teaching a free workshop about Writing Zen (you can find that on my website It’s about clearing the decks and making a creative space for yourself in the world.  That’s a journey I began about six months ago when I realized that I hated my workspace. It’s been transformed into a place where I love to create. A space that makes me smile every time I walk in the room. 

So, I’ve decided to take those elements that I teach in the class and apply them to all aspects of my life. I had a seriously crap week. From finding out that a family member I adore has some wicked nasty cancer (all cancer is nasty, some more than others), to two different work situations where I had to stand up for someone I believed in — me. By Wednesday I couldn’t keep any food down and I was so tied up in knots it was ridiculous. I think my husband came in and said, “Hi,” and I started bawling. I won’t go into specifics, because all of that is in the past. 

And then I remembered a goal I made about a month ago.

That when things got tough, I’d get Zen.

I’d work on creative projects and things that brought me joy. I could read, crochet, knit, write, paint, whatever I wanted for 24 hours. Even sleep.

So far this year I’ve had the flu twice, food poisoning and three sinus infections. Oh, and I got so sick with the flu when I was in Colorado that I gave myself a hernia. Sigh. So I’ve decided that I need more Zen, more positive energy in all aspects of my life. I need to re-build my immune system through diet, exercise and possibly some vitamins. I need to create work environments where I’m doing what I love, and only what I love. I need to makeover my house to make it a sanctuary. And I need to makeover me. 

As the lovely Rachel Zoe says, Major. 

I’m new to all of this. Taking care of myself. And I only hope I’m not too late. 

I preach, especially about writing, to make it happen. Sometimes to be Zen, you have to work your ass off. Sometimes you have to be quite and rest. Sometimes you have to bring joy into your life. Sometimes you have to let go. 

So if you see me crocheting, taking French Lessons, knitting, redecorating… I’m not being lazy. I’m getting Zen. :) 

I’ll be doing a lot of letting go over the next few months, but I’ll also be venturing into new and exciting worlds. Ons that I’m passionate about. Ones that will feed my Zen. :) 

So tell me… How do you get your Zen on?


Faris Makes It Happen


Perspective. It really is all in the way you look at it. You can wake up one morning and find the planet Jupiter on your chin and think it’s going to be a bad day. Then you flip on the television and you see that many of the Eastern U.S. states are in danger of flood waters and damaging wind. Millions without power, others trapped and some will never see their loved ones again.

Maybe, your day isn’t so bad after all.

Perspective applies to writing, as well. It’s so easy for a writer to make up excuses as to why he or she doesn’t have time to write. In fact, we can be incredibly clever about it. Then someone can put all of that in perspective for you. It happened to me a few weeks ago. I make my deadlines and get my work done. But I’d lost my writing mojo in a big, big way. Some of that had to do with illness, but there was a general burn out going on.
Then I met Faris. He’s a student in my writing workshop I’m teaching at University of Texas at Arlington. A brilliant, creative mind, he has a great passion for writing. He’s beginning his first book with one of the best concepts I’ve ever heard. Ever. As in, crap, I wish I thought of that. But this is a fictional re-telling of something that happened to Faris and is from his unique perspective.

Did I mention he’s autistic, and can only communicate through a computer. He has an assistant who speaks for him in class, but he types everything out one letter at a time. He’s an incredible audio learner. He can listen  and then go home and type two hours of lectures up without missing a beat. But my favorite part of that, is he really learns. He takes the information I give him and applies it to his work.

Faris has done another favor for me. He reminded me how much I love to teach. His positive attitude and willingness to share, have made me want to find more Faris’ out there. Though, he’s a pretty unique guy, so they wouldn’t be exactly like him.

If you’re finding excuses why you can’t write, think about Faris. He’s somewhere in the world being productive and taking on life’s challenges one word at a time.

There are two excuses for no words on the page – death and coma. And I like to say, even if you’re in a coma you could be working on your story.

My work is done.

Ghost Stories and Winners


I’m posting the I Covet Take It Like A Vamp winners below. But I have another contest for you. I want you to share your favorite ghost story, or creepy, scary moment. Where were you? Who were you with? And what happened?

The best story wins either a B&N or Amazon gift certificate! If they’re all good, we’ll draw from a hat. Two GC’s available to win. :)

Winners you need to contact me through the email on my website at I need to know the email address where you want the gift sent and whether it should be in Kindle or Nook format. You can also give it to a friend, just make sure you send me the right email address.


Joy Kenney

Toshy Bell

Riley Merrick

Erin Fender

Serious Reader

Donna Simmonds

You are all winners. I’ve already contacted the other three. Send me your info.