Thursday, December 29, 2005

The child of a King

A healthy self-identity is seeing yourself as God sees you - no more and no less.

Transforming your sense of identity is a matter of accepting and acting on what is already true.

In order to transform your sense of identity, you must put yourself in an environment where the truth about who you are abounds.

- from "See Yourself As God Sees You" by Josh McDowell

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!
God Bless and love ya!
Remember the reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

God and love

You cannot deny the power of God when faced with insurmountable odds and a miracle happens. When you know the devil is doing everything in his power to mess things up, and fearfully you do the right thing - and everything works out after all. God had a hand in all of that.

And I have always heard that fear is the greatest motivator. Well, when faced with fear, you realize also how very much you love. And real love is unconditional. No matter what, that love will never die, never fail, never give up.

Love you, Pumpkin.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The bumpy road

Sometimes you wonder if the bumpy road you're on is the right path.

Especially when you see someone else racing ahead on a clearer path.

Especially when you're told you are incorrectly traveling the path you are on.

That is when you need to listen to your heart and to God and abandon all doubt!

"Obstacles cannot crush me, every obstacle yields stern resolve, he who is fixed to a star does not change his mind."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Love is unpredictable

Not love that is established necessarily.

Love is unpredictable when it's going to hit.

In the quest to bring a little boy into the household, never predicted that a girl would enter instead. Never intended to fall in love with her, knowing how much it will hurt when she leaves.

Wanted two kittens after Hobbes passed away, but did not intend to get them before that happened. Didn't realize two black strays would enter the house and my heart.

Never realized how many wonderful friends I would make through the promotions of my books. Didn't forsee the love & support that would keep me going and how much some of these friends would renew my spirit and hope.

Can't predict when love is gonna hit. Question is, what will you do when it does?

"No man is so rich that he can afford to squander even one friend."


How to stay passionate:

1) Stick with what you're good at

2) Be willing to pay the cost

3) Be creative

4) Have a desperate desire to succeed

5) Don't be threatened by other talented people

6) Work on your weaknesses

7) Identify what you are passionate about

- Pat Mesit
from "Attitudes & Altitudes"

Friday, December 09, 2005


The movie I've been waiting all year for! Catching the afternoon showing. Read the books when I was a kid and loved them. Really hoping the movie stays close to the source - and does not omit the Christian themes. Of course, if they did, there wouldn't be much of a movie!
So here's hoping for the perfect Christmas movie!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Season

Haven't updated the Spunk for a few days, but been busy ... with Christmas stuff!

It really takes getting a tree up before the season really hits me. This year we have two trees - a new fiber-optic one in the living room and another large one in Ashley's room. (She uses it for a night light!) So far, Spunky & Rocko, our new kittens, have not messed with the trees - although I did catch Hobbes chewing on the new one!

And although I've done most of my shopping, I'm still picking up stocking stuffers. (Called stuffing stockers in our house - don't ask!) Getting things for others is still the funnest part! Giving is the best

And that is the reason for the season!

Friday, December 02, 2005



Yesterday, our home town gas prices finally hit $1.99!

I have been speaking $1.99 for months now. I know it's lower elsewhere, but after hitting $3.69 Labor Day weekend, $1.99 seems like a bargain. And not that it inhibited my driving any - I still went as much as before. Hit 31,000 miles on my Mazda's one year anniversary. But it's nice to see us finally catch up with the rest of the country.

Power of the spoken word!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


"If you refuse criticism you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism you are on the road to fame."
- Proverbs 13:18

Monday, November 28, 2005

Excercise clears the mind

And the spirit!

Sometimes, there's nothing like a good jog or hard workout.

Or ... a little DDR!

In all things

Our pastor had a great message yesterday, taken from II Timothy (I belive). It was "In all circumstances, give thanks."

Nor 'for' all things, 'in'.

That thankful people are positive.

That if you appreciate something, you will not so easily discard it.

That if you feel you deserve something, you will not be thankful for what you already have.

So, regardless of what you're going through or where you are at, give thanks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Things I am thankful for:

A devoted, loving husband!

A personal relationship with God.

A home I feel safe in.

My loveable, sassy big kitty, Hobbes.

My new, curious, sweet kitty, Rocko!

Friends & fans who keep me going when I get discouraged.

A purpose in life with my novels.

A fourteen year-old young lady to love and care for.

A reliable vehicle that just had its first birthday. (And has 31,000+ miles!)

And a Thanksgiving dinner at home with high definition football!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Life is a series of adjustments.

Rocko has spent one whole day in our house now. She's doing better, but has quickly realized not to come anywhere near the big, mean kitty. (That would be Hobbes, our 19 pound wonder kitty!)

We are adjusting, too. Time to kitty proof the house, teach Rocko "No!", and make sure she does not chew on any cords and zap herself. But it's fun - forgot what it was like to have a kitten in the house! (Hobbes is 15 & 1/2 - so it's been a while!)

It'll keep us busy. But hey - I already have to much to do - what's one more distraction at this point?

Especially when she's soft and cute!

And we did it to safe a life!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Being Adopted

Being adopted is to be carefully chosen. It is finding the perfect match in a whole sea of humanity.

I'm not talking about being adopted by people.

I'm talking about being adopted by cats!

Two little black kitties recently took up residence in our neighborhood. They mostly hung out at our neighbors (who had begun feeding them) and occasionally coming over to visit us. (Sensing we are 'cat people'.)

Well, knowing that it is getting below freezing at night and that they do not have a home, Craig purchased some kitten food and we set out a warm bed for them. They are curled up there right now, happy as clams. Obviously, they were somebody pets before they were dumped in our subdivision.

We did not intend to get new kitties so soon. Don't even know how how our old cat, Hobbes, will react. But come Monday, after a trip to the vet, they will become indoor kitties. And we have already named them - Rocko and Spunky.

Guess we've officially been adopted now!

People judge you by your actions, not your intentions.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happiness is ... trying something new!

Most of my friends are aware of my complete lack of balance and general uncoordination. I can walk down a ten foot wide hallway and still bump into the wall. That is why I ride roller coasters - a complete lack of balance means I do not feel out of whack when pulling five G's. (And when I get off the ride, my equliberium evens out!)

However, that said, I was duped into getting hooked on Dance Dance Revolution. While I can still only do the first two levels (half beats totally confuse me!) I can get single and double A pluses without a problem now and continue trying new songs.

Now - even better!

I also have absolutely NO singing voice. None. Zip. Zilch. ZERO. (I don't think I sound good just speaking!) I do not even mouth the words in church. Why bother faking it?

Now, because of the same coniving friends who got me hooked on DDR, I am actually playing Karaoke Revolution too.

No, it does not sound pretty!

Only Craig and Ashley (and said friends) have EVER heard me sing.

BUT! I can get a platinum record on a couple songs!

We just got version three, and there's a lot of songs I know on there. Strange thing is, I can only sing ones with higher notes. (I love Switchfoot's "Meant To Live", but with his range, I slaughtered it!) But I am bravely trying new songs and attempting to improve on the others.

Never EVER thought ANYONE would hear me sing, but now, it's kinda fun.

And I broke a barrier!

(And - I promise I will NEVER sing Karaoke in bar in front of live people. Don't want to break eardrums!)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Amazing people

Ever had a day where you ran into nothing but super nice people?

That was my Friday night.

I was in the Charlotte area for several book signings and a speaking engagement. It seemed as if I could meet no ugly person!

From the wonderful CRM who was generous and thoughtful beyond words, to the people who purchased my books that night, I was simply blown away! The spunky young lady from Georgia Tech simply made my night! She simply oozed genuine consideration towards her fellow human beings! (Not to mention that I greatly admired her confidence and obviously great self image!) And the gentleman who had no one to buy gifts for Christmas - he bought both books and I so enjoyed speaking to him for a great length of time. And then there were the employees at the other stores in the area - they were just so awesome! And the manager at the signing next day - I am still so touched she purchased BOTH of my books! Said she'd read a little of them, trying to determine where to place 'inspiration fiction', and I guess she liked what she read! And there was also a gentleman who said he would come back for a book for his wife later - and believe it or not, he did! (Yes, Ron, you restored my faith in humanity!)

Now, if EVERYONE could just put for a little of the effort these people did, just think how wonderful the world would be to live in!

Lord, I hope I exude that kind of positive enthusiasm every single day!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

True love

I got one of those forwarded friendship emails.

This one had something a little different - not just a friend, but a love that would make itself known if the message were passed along. I kinda liked it, so I will pass it along here ...

Yeah, once in a great while, I get a little romantic!
(Enjoy, 'cus it doesn't happen often!)

A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty, He She asked him if he would want to be with her forever....and he said no. She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry, and once again he replied with a no. She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down her face the boy grabbed her arm and said....
You're not pretty you're beautiful.
I don't want to be with you forever, I NEED to be with you forever.
And I wouldn't cry if you walked away...I'd die...

Monday, November 07, 2005

What's love got to do with success?

"The answer is ... Everything! Love has everything to do with it, because love is the most powerful emotion on earth. Love has the capacity to heal and to cure, to build and to restore, to renew and reform, to translate and transform. Love hopes all things, bears all things, believes in all things and endures all things. Love conquers all ... and love never fails!
Love, like anything else that changes your life, is a decision. Love is a choice which creates options. Hate is also a choice, but it removes options.
Once you realize that you cannot control the time, you cannot control the weather ... the only thing you can control is yourself. You can choose to love in spite of anyone of anything."
- Willie Jolley

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fourteen and a half

Meant to post this on November 1st!

Ashley has been proudly saying she is 14 & 1/2.

Well, November 1st was my 14 & 1/2!

And in memory-

"Now that I've tried to
Talk to you
And make you understand
All you have to do
Is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands

And touch me
Hold me close
Don't ever let me go
More than words
Is all I ever
Needed you to show
Then you wouldn't
Have to say
That you love me
Cause I'd already know"

- Extreme

Please, thank you, and friendship

We have worked hard to teach our foster daughter manners and the art of maintaining friendships, mostly be example.

I try to be polite and friendly with everyone I meet. I've tried to show her that by being kind to others, they will respond in a similar fashion. With friends, I try to compliment and encourage, always reciprocating their acts of kindness.

Sometimes I think people have forgotten that friendship is a two way street. One cannot simply receive all the time. Friends like to feel important, that their opinions and feelings matter. Acknowledging these things in a friend is the greatest act one can do.

Occasionally you'll find yourself in a one-sided friendship. A person can only give so much before their cup becomes empty. It's sad, but sometimes you just have to say bye.

I prefer not to give up on anyone.

"He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way."
- Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


It's not the same holiday it used to be.

We used to have trick or treators - had two batches tonight, which is better than last year when there were none.

Used to watch "The Crow" every year - with Ashley in the house, decided against it this year.

Did make "Zombie Vomit". Of course, thanks to a slip of the tongue, this year it's "Vombie Zomit"!

Did have some friends over for some Karaoke Rev. and DDR. I'm better at the DDR than the KR (and this from the person with no sense of balance or rhythm!), but tonight, I actually did not come in last in KR! I have to wing one song every time, but I'm okay at two.

One is Mr Mister's "Broken Wings". Beautiful song and I know all the words. That helps.

The other is "Like a Virgin".

I really, REALLY hate that song!

What a scary Halloween tradition!

Monday, October 31, 2005


When I grew up in Oregon, we always had a beautiful autumn. Cooler weather both night and day, changing leaves, occasional rain showers.

North Carolina skipped all that this year.

About a week ago, it was 85 degrees and humid. Two days later, it was barely 60 degrees.

I live in sun dresses and shorts all summer long, but I went straight from that to sweaters and long pants. And a jacket! After living in New Mexico, I still have some hard winter clothes, but I really didn't get to wear the stuff in the middle this year.

It'll be a cold Halloween for those out tonight. Could be worse, I guess.

In Oregon, it always rained on Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I bought a sheet of the new Muppet stamps at the post office today. Have loved them since a kid and thought Jim Henson was an amazing person.

There is a quote from Jim that echoes my own purpose with my novels.

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there,
- Jim Henson

Monday, October 24, 2005

Best Way to Learn

I have found that the best way to learn anything is to teach it!

Tonight I am doing a segment on "Seeing The World in B&W" for our local photo club. So much of what I know about B&W is instinct, so I really had to do some research so I could articulate that knowledge. They might not learn anything, but I have!

Same with a writer's group in Savannah when I did the topic of characterization.

And as the young lady staying with us continues to write, I learn from helping her.

The greatest among you will be the greatest servant.
- Jesus Christ

Friday, October 21, 2005


We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
- Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Encouraging Words

I was updating my website today and noticed some of the kind things people have said over the past year and a half.

Sometimes it's easy in the daily grind of things to forget that what I'm doing matters to someone. I'll be busy beating myself against one wall, desperate for a response, and not realize how many open doors surround me.

For all the kind words, for all the thank you's for being inspiring, those people do not realize how much they have given back to me, how much their words encourage me.

I can never quit now!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Little Joys in Life

Sometimes it's the little things in life that make you smile.

A few minutes extra in the morning to snuggle.

A fall drive through the mountains with leaves blowing over the road.

Dinner out, just the two of you.

Chilly mornings that make you realize fall is truly here at last.

Modeling a new mini skirt. (And having your husband toss a pen on the floor behind you just to watch you pick it up!)

A gourmet meal made at home.

A funny movie that you haven't watched in a long time.

These are the little joys of life!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Things I Have Learned on the Road

After years of driving the highways across this country, in moving from one state to another, traveling on business, or promoting my books, I have learned a few things about the road:

Never impatiently pass or cut off another car near your home town - you never know when they will follow you into your subdivision because they are one of your neighbors!

Always get a good running start when heading for a big hill.

Never fully trust MapQuest.

If you get bored, count flattened fauna - I always find roadkill amusing!

Never "pig" a trucker.

If you travel a lot, start noticing how many states use the roadside for "orange barrel storage".

Never lead the pack - make sure there is someone in front of you that is traveling faster.

Jello is difficult to eat while you are driving.

And my favorite-
Never use the wiper fluid while your windows are down!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Secret of Success

There are no secrets of success.

All of the truths, principles, and disciplines have been around since the beginning of mankind. There is nothing new under the heavens. Every day, we all get up under the same sky. The only difference is, we all see different horizons.

- Julio Melara "It Only Takes Everything You've Got!"

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Divine or Earthly?

During our pastor's sermon this morning, he threw out this nugget - How do you know when something came from God? Take your hand off it. If it dies, it came from you. If it lives, it came from God.

As hard as I work for my novels, I sometimes wonder if it's truly my purpose, if my vision is just that - mine and not divine.

My long southern tour was followed by the usual letdown (as I always crash the day after a signing) and a lack of any effort to do anything connected with my book. Essentially, I just let go for a while.

Now, not only has a special deal come through for the next installment, but this morning before church, someone excitedly asked when that book would be coming out.

Guess I've got my confirmation.

How do you know the difference between what comes to your mind and direction from God? There is persistency to direction. / Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 / Direction is a matter of fact; ideas are a matter of opinion.
- from An Enemy Called Average by John L. Mason

Saturday, October 08, 2005

More Amazing Things!

Adding to the list of things I have seen ...

The Very Large Array Telescopes in New Mexico.

The Oregon coastline from a sea plane.

The Hoover Dam. (Not to mention the entire Vegas experience!)

The St. Louis Arch.

Windsor Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

And a biggie - Mt. St. Helen's July 1980 eruption. Attending the dog races that afternoon in Portland Oregon and just sat there watching the mountain spew ash all evening!

Life is a journey - go exploring!

Dreaming of Love

Know what's the greatest thing to dream about? Being in love.

Something about that feeling when you first wake up ... those feelings of first falling in love are so strong. And while love is not just an emotion, it's wonderful to feel that sensation again. Usually it's not someone you know, but once in a while, it is.

Of course, sometimes reality intrudes on the dream.

Last night I had someone ask me how I could have just fallen in love ... when I've already been married to this person for almost fifteen years!

It was still a great dream!

At its peak, the "in love" experience is euphoric.
- Gary Chapman

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Things I Have Seen!

This recent trip involved many new and exciting adventures. Taking a tour around the Daytona Speedway was a real treat! You cannot imagine how big the track is until you are actually on it!

And that got me to thinking about some other cool things I've seen - and how many places I have been!

The biggest is still standing on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. After watching so many special about the Loch Ness Monster and seeing that beautiful place, it was amazing beyond words to stand on the point of the most photographed place on the loch! And touching the water - brrrrrr! It was cold. So was the air - we saw snow!

On a trip to Wisconsin many years ago, I took a solo walk through The House on the Rock - and was astounded! That place was deceptively massive, seeing as most of it is underground. Also home to the world's largest carousal. It was just a magical experience, all by myself, gazing at these incredible wonders like a kid in a candy store. If you've never been, it's better than anything Disney could put together.

Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in Canada was pretty incredible. I'm not into flowers, but seeing an entire valley sculptured and rainbowed in colors with trees, bushes, & flowers, was pretty darn cool.

Yellowstone! Old Faithful! Mammouth Springs! Actually, what I remember best was stopping by a rocky cliff and watching six mountain goats jump around on the sheer rock surface. Pretty impressive.

Speaking of mountains, Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM is beautiful to look at and look down from! So pretty in winter, covered in snow, and great for hiking in the summer. We lived at the base of the mountains, so looking out every morning, I saw that beautiful mountain range!

Which takes me right into four years of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Over six hundred balloons launched on the weekends, from before dawn to ten/eleven in the morning. Coolest thing was when someone allowed me to step inside a balloon itself as it was being filled to take pictures.

Walking along Beale Street in Memphis.

Riding Alpine Slides in the Pocono Mountains.

Snow sledding in Ohio.

First trip to Disneyland in California.

Seeing Denver at night for the first time as I drove through on one of my many cross country treks.

The first time I ever rode the Incredible Hulk roller coaster at Islands of Adventure.

Hey! You knew there had to be a coaster in there somewhere, didn't you?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Spunk is Home Again!

Wow! What a week!

Whenever I'm away from home for that long, it seems like a month rather than a week. The beginning of the trip is always hazy, too, like the whole thing was a dream. Weird to think I was just in Atlanta this morning as well!

Usually, I'm just happy to be home. But this trip really gave me the urge to relocate again. There's a lot I like about Florida. The mass of people living there is one thing! (And along with that goes a mass of bookstores!) And of course, easy access to many roller coasters. Most people would be terrified of the traffic, which was quite scary at times, but it doesn't bother me. Orlando kinda boggled me at how spread out the city and surrounding towns were, but then again, it used to take an hour to go across Albuquerque!

Most people are creatures of comfort. I like change. And I think I'm ready for one soon!

Monday, September 26, 2005


Did NOT mean to ignore the blog for a week, but been preparing for a week long book signing tour. (So, guess I'll be ignoring this for another week!)

I recently realized that the only consistency in my life is chaos - and I'm sorta happy with that!

One of the most unpredictable forces in nature is people. This drives some people nuts. They rather hide and not deal with people. I love it. It's like a character study. People are just so incredibly facinating and every person who crosses my path is a potential friend in my eyes.

It's the interaction with people that makes us who we are and gives meaning to our lives.

With all of the people whom I will come in contact, this coming week promises to be one I live to the fullest!

Nothing in life stagnates - you're either growing or dying.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Choosing to be inspired

Had a little challenge with writing this year.

Not because I've got writer's block. I've never had that. But rather, a little lack of inspiration and a tad too much pressure.

Book I took eight months to complete.
Book II only six months.
Book III should have been the hint when it required a whole year to finish. With promotions going on for the first book, I no longer had the free time I'd enjoyed before.

But it took until Book IV to realize - I simply could not get it done in the same time frame as the first two. I was pressuring myself to keep the same pace with everything, and it just wasn't going to happen!

The result - forced writing is very slow!

Now that I've relaxed, knowing the third is ready and I still have lots of time to do the fourth, inspiration has hit.

And the story is unfolding faster than I can write it down!

Have-to's put you in a position of pressure, whereas choose-to's put you in a position of power.
- from "The Power of Focus"

Thursday, September 15, 2005


There's a book by Robert H. Schuller called "Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do". It's got some really good stuff in it for times of struggle:

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.

I do believe I have than one down to a science!

Decision-making is easy if there are no contradictions in your value system.

I try to adhere to my morals and remind myself why I do what I do - to affect as many lives in a positive way as humanly possible!

The one battle most people lose is the battle over the fear of failure ... try ... start ... begin ... and you'll be assured you won the first round.

I guess that's the good thing about being innocently naive - I'll try anything once!

When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath - or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold min, with God's help!

Went through the Cascade Range - I'm working on the Rockies right now. Run into enough road blocks and you'll get pretty darn creative how you get around them, too!

There will never be another me - I'll make the most of myself.

Some people might say that's a good thing!
But I am proud to be unique and growing & changing every day.

Take care? People who take care never go anywhere. Take a chance! Take charge. Take control!

It's never the poor decisions - it's the opportunities not taken that one regrets.
I want no regrets in my life.
I am willing to take any chance.

And I'll end with -

It's impossible to fail totally if you dare to try.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Same planet, different worlds

Just a few things Mars & Venus need to know!

The average male uses 12,000 words a day, most of which are spent relating to people while on the job.
The average female uses 25,000 words.

Men process information internally, women process out loud through discussion, resolving issues as they converse.
Remember guys - she's not looking for a solution from YOU!

Women feel unloved when their emotional needs aren't being met and men feel unloved when their physical needs are not met.
Don't need to add to that one!

When other areas of a woman's life are in sync, sex is really good.
When a man is involved in a loving relationship, his chances for being healthy & having a strong immune system increase.
Love is really good all the way around!

taken from Gary Smalley's "Connecting With Your Husband/Wife" series

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Unexpected

What do you do when the unexpected happens?

What happens when your perfectly ordered little world is upset?

And it becomes a good thing?

What happens when someone enters your life, unplanned and unasked for, and against your better judgement?

And you suddenly find what you have been looking for?

What if this encounter will be but for a fleeting moment?

You thank God for the opportunity to love.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Burning Desire

I had to answer some questions for a newspaper spot yesterday. The reporter was amazed by the speed of my detailed resposes.

But when you're focused and determined, you know the answers already. A burning desire fills your world completely with a purpose. There is no hesitation, only action!

When your wants become needs and your needs become a burning desire, you will take action!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I came across this one today and after two months of having a delightful young lady in our home, it really hits home.

The deepest hunger of the human heart is to feel understood, valued, and respected. Sincere, empathetic listening feeds and satifies that hunger.
- Stephen R. Covey

Monday, September 05, 2005

Taking Time

Most people either spent the past three day weekend frantically cramming in everything they've been meaning to do for ages or simply wasted away the weekend as if they were a slug.

There is a happy balance between the two!

I had a few little projects to do this weekend, but combined them into leisure time with my family. (Husband and overly-furry cat!)

And for out & out relaxation, I worked out, got some sun, and spent many hours working on my next novel. (And the tragedy that involves a character in denial.)

Sometimes priorities get out of whack and one must step back and redefine what is truly important.

And then do them!

What's most important at this time in life?
Where should the time be spent?
If anything could be done, without restrictions, what would it be?
Are there areas that need attention?
Is there a secret dream or desire that is continuously put on the back burner?
- Cheryl Richardson, "Take Time For Your Life"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tough Times

Watching the news the past few days - it's been difficult to remain optimistic & positive.

People are without their homes after Hurricane Katrina.

In New Orleans, people are dying.

In Iraq, almost a thousand people died from a stampede yesterday.

And locally, gas prices soared to $3.50 and shortages are occuring as 95% of all gas supplied to North Carolina comes from a company whose pipeline lays damaged and without electricity in Mississippi.



I am thankful I have a home. I have air conditioning and plenty of food & water. I will remain safely in my home all weekend long, enjoying quality time with my husband and working on my next novel. While gas stations all around us are out of gas, I still have half a tank in my Tribute, enough to get me through next Wednesday.

Obviously God is trying to tell me that while it's tough out there, I am still blessed to be where I'm at right now. Things will get better!

Tough times never last but tough people do!
- Robert H. Schuller

Monday, August 29, 2005


Sometimes even I get tired and drained by what I do every week. And despite my normally positive attitude, I occasionally question whether my efforts are for naught.

Every time, God sends a little confirmation that I'm still on the right path!

Between the people I met this past weekend, the wonderful new readers and store employees, I was boosted again. From the woman who works with young people with illnesses and disorders to the the wonderful young employee who purchased both books, I felt regenerated and convicted.

It came from the most delightful email I received from someone to whom I had made a difference. Just knowing one chance encounter could change someone's life gives me such a drive to keep reaching out.

And it came from someone telling me that I spur on the efforts of other authors, setting the bar high.

Guess there's no quitting now!

The word 'encourage' means "to inspire courage". The latent potential within someone in their areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.
- Gary Chapman

Friday, August 26, 2005

When the dream's big enough ...

Okay, time for a sports rant.

If you still don't believe that when the dream's big enough, the facts don't count ... then take a look at New England's quarterback situation.

Brady starts - that's a given. They had a #2 and two people vying for #3. Well, now the former #2 is now one of those people.

And 42 year old, 5'10" Doug Flutie has taken over the #2 spot!!!

That is incredible!

Football players retire before they are 40.
Quarterbacks have to be at least 6'3".


It is totally amazing to watch Doug Flutie run around the field like a kid and throw the ball with such perfect aim. No one plays the game like he does. There really is "Flutie Magic"!

And proof, once and for all -

When the dream's big enough the facts don't count!!!!

Really loving & caring

It's amazing how quickly and quietly love can creep up on you. How much you can find yourself caring for another.

The young lady who has been staying with us has definately captured our hearts. And we will miss her when she leaves.

Hopefully she has learned from us as much as we have learned from her!

Love is a voluntary attitude towards people.
- Dexter Yager

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thoughts for the Day

Love does not make you weak, because it is the source of all strength, but it makes you see the nothingness of the illusory strength on which you depended before you knew it.
- Leon Bloy

Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than uponwhat they make us see in ourselves.
- Sara Grand

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Myths About Authors

It's amazing the comments I get and questions I am asked in my travels.

People must place authors in a whole 'nother realm. They seem surprised to meet a real, live author - like they think we hide in caves or something!

Authors are just like everyone else. Not totally normal, but close!

Yes, we write - a lot! And we complete our stories, which seems to amaze people. But there's so much more.

We make a lot of phone calls - daily. We talk to bookstores, the media, libraries, fellow authors, fans, and potential speaking engagement locations. We talk to PR agents. We speak to our publishing reps. And we do A LOT of emailing.

We have internet research, like you cannot imagine, and web sites to update every week. We spent a great many hours searching for new locations & media, and even more time researching for our next book.

We mail out a TON of promotional material, letters, postcards and press kits. Which means a TON of time spent printing all of this! And more visits to the post office than you can imagine.

And the biggest - we travel. Constantly. (I just did six book signings in eight days. Thank God my vehicle is comfy!) Every week, a different city, meeting new people, promoting our labor of love. This also means constant preparation for a book signing, like posters, book marks, etc. And maintaining a good repore with book store managers, which includes thank you notes, Christmas cards, press releases & updates.

So with that, I guess we are just a little nuts.

But I would not trade it for anything in the world. This is my dream. I will do whatever it takes!

When the dream's big enough, the facts don't count.
- Larry Winters

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Monday, August 15, 2005


Great things can be accomplished when you have a team of friends and supporters behind you.

They can keep you motivated, keep you striving to do better. Then you are no longer doing it alone and only for yourself.

I have heard many times that when you take your eyes of yourself and put them on other people, your own problems go away. And I think a support team helps you do just that.

And there may be times when your own belief fails - that is when you need encouragement from someone who has not lost their faith in you.

Everyone needs a cheerleader or two. I am grateful for the motivators in my life!

You can make it, but it's easier if you don't have to do it alone.
- Betty Ford

Friday, August 12, 2005

Positive self-image

Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a positive self-image. And when I come across someone who does not, it is glaringly obvious. It's really sad that so many people do not see their own self-worth. And a person's worst critic is always themselves. Anytime I hear someone running themselves down, I instantly correct them. Everyone is worthy and full of potential!
As the saying goes-
God doesn't make junk!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Daily Dozen

From "Be All You Can Be!" by John C. Maxwell-

The Daily Dozen-

Examine your life at the moment.
Exchange all of your little options for one big dream.
Expose yourself to successful people.
Express your belief in your dream.
Expect oposition to your dream.
Exercise all of your effort, all of your energy, toward the dream.
Extract every positive principal that you can from life.
Exclude negative thinkers as close friends.
Exceed normal expectations to make your dream come true.
Exhibit an attitude that is confident.
Explore every possible avenue to reach your dream.
Extend a helping hand to someone who has a similar dream, and both of you will climb together!

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Yesterday was one of those days that reminds me of why I do what I do.

It was a long day, on the road for two book signings, but so worth it! I met some incredible people who really enlightened my day and got reacquainted with a couple friends. One woman in particular had such an incredilbe spirit! She made a difference in my day. And hopefully I made a difference to everyone in return.

I remember being inspired twn years ago by the idea of having friends all across America and in every city. While it is not happening as originally intended, it is happening! And I appreciate each and every one of my new friends!

The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
- William Wordsworth

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Three decisions

There are three decisions we all must make in life:

What are you going to live your life in?

What are you going to life your life for?

Whom are you going to live your life with?

- from "Life is Tremendous" by Charlie Jones

Monday, August 01, 2005

Laid Back

I recently realized I am one of the most laid back people I know.

Not saying I don't have my moments of spaz or panic. They're usually short bursts of energy that result in frenzied activity and/or behavior. (And usually connected with my work as an author!)

But I'm usually pretty even-keeled and very slow to anger. I figure if something won't really matter a year from now, why freak over it? And as people around me begin to panic, I become more & more calm. No need for everyone to lose their heads! (And if I can't get full & solo credit for the spaz-out, why bother?)

At any rate, I tend to have a better time than most because I'm always in a good mood. And there's a lot to be said for that!

The first and best victory is to conquer self.
- Plato

Friday, July 29, 2005


Very good friends of ours are getting married this weekend, so I dedicate this entry to Brian & Kerri!

The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well being of the one you love.
- Gary Chapman

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Timing is everything

Things will happen when you are ready for them.

And you might not think you're ready - but don't miss an opportunity because of doubt.

Monday, July 25, 2005

God is a people person

Our pastor did a sermon yesterday called "God is a people person".

He talked about God's favorite pasttime & hobby being people and how when He answers prayers, He's thinking about how it will affect many people. He wants us to be people persons, too, loving others and thinking of their needs. God doesn't want to hear how much we love Him when we don't love others!

I try hard to be a people person. Sometimes I need time to myself, but I consider it a chance to recharge rather than hide! Giving of yourself can be very exhausting, but very rewarding. Giving to others is the whole reason I write!

The more we give, the more enriched our lives can become!

Are you a people person?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Life's complications

Sometimes life will throw little complications and distractions in your path.

Learn when to take care of these things and when to ignore them. Add the important ones to the list, integrating them into your journey, and let the others go.

And never let any of them keep you from your true purpose.

Never let a problem become an excuse. - Robert H. Schuller

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Loss of a friend

The loss of a friend is always tough.

We had to make a tough decision regarding a special family member and it is hard knowing she is no longer with us. But for all the pain we feel now, we wouldn't trade all of the wonderful memories with our little furry friend. She enhanced our lives in so many ways and we will never forget her.

And there is a special place in Heaven for little kitties.

Goodbye, Calvin.

Life is made up of many meetings and partings.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Relearning a truth

I had a partner on my trip up and back to Williamsburg yesterday. And not only did I have a delightful time, I relearned a basic truth-

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Finding your role

Everyone has a calling on their life, a role only they can fulfill.

Sometimes en route, you discover that your exact purpose is different than expected. And you've got to go with that.

Sometimes the way God wants you to give is not what you originally had in mind, but that's okay! He doesn't call you to do something you are unable to do. Follow that path and give of yourself completely.

You just might find that trail far more rewarding!

Giving is the highest level of living. - John C. Maxwell

Monday, July 11, 2005

Type A

Used to be Type A people got bad raps. They were accused of being stressed out and hyper and suceptible to heart problems. But they're not - they just can't hold still.

Tonight a Type A referred to himself as a gypsy, because he can't hold still. Said a desk job doing accounting nearly did him in!

I can relate!

I like to be constantly doing something. I thrive on productivity and welcome change. Which is why being on the road so much doesn't make me nuts. I love it! And I love being around people and learning new things and trying new things.

Now, I do like my privacy. Not about my 'personal life' or 'feelings', becuase I'm incredibly open, but with my time. I like a couple hours to myself, no one around to interupt. That's about the only time I can really focus, I guess. (Must be remains of being an only kid.) As long as I get time to recharge, I can go back out and continue to attack!

So let's hear it for Type A people!

... are the most willing to change, because they love new ideas and projects; enthusiastic & expressive. -- Florence Littauer

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Every day is a step forward, every day brings a new opportunity.

Every chance I get to speak to someone new opens yet another door.

Which is why I keep going, keep believing, and refuse to give up.

Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you. - from "Unstoppable" by Cynthia Kersey

Friday, July 08, 2005


I've definitely learned something about influence this week!

In how much someone can influence another's life in a positive way.

My goal from the beginning of writing my series has been to make a positive difference in someone's life. A thank you card today from a fan confirmed that the message in my stories and the attitude of my actions & words are being heard. And being around a young lady currently staying with us, being a good example and watching her read my first book, really has made me aware of influence. For both of these ladies, I hope they realize their full potential and never back down from their dreams!

And there's so many I'd like to reach! Like the alien in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who flies around insulting everyone, I'd like to go around and tell every person that they are a wonderful person, capable of accomplishing every goal. That kind of influence might take time, but it would be so worth it to see the light return to someone's eyes as they begin to believe in themselves again! I still have several people I continue to work on every day!

Who has influenced you recently? Who has made a difference, has believed in you no matter what?

And whose life are you touching?

The most important law for becoming influential is having a positve attitude. - Tony Zeiss

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

You are the master of every situation

That was in my fortune cookie. Not really a fortune, but pretty good advice. Considering what I've got coming up the next few weeks, I am going to put that to the test!

Author Napolean Hill said it best - the master key to riches is in the ability to control one's own attitude and mind!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Lazy Day

Today is, and continues to be, a lazy day!

While I am capable of relaxing even while still being productive, I rarely shift all the way down. (Probably because it's tough to shift back into gear again!) But I am enjoying the moment!

Watched a movie last night after enjoying a wonderful homemade Chinese dinner, plus played some Burnout 3 on the PS2.

This morning, sleeping in was until almost eight - but didn't really leave the bed until almost 9:30. (No details of what went on in between!) Made hashbrowns, checked my email, shared a piece of red, white & blue cake with Craig, and watched another movie - all before 11am and a shower! Now for me, that is the ultimate lazy!

Got the bikini on and will hit some sun later. If we watch fireworks, it will be from the house. Not leaving for anything!

When I was a teenager, we'd always go up to my grandparent's cabin on the Little North Fork river in Oregon. Swim & hike all day and get back into town just in time to watch fireworks. That was always great! Kinda miss it, but I've adjusted to all of the new locations of the past 20 years.

No swimming today - but there might be a little DDR!

All work and no play ... well, you know the rest!

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sleeping In

I had thought my next opportunity to sleep in would be July 16th - but I'll get to do it on July 4th!

Not that I will sleep late. Sleeping in to me is simply no alarm clock! I doubt I could sleep past nine anymore.

And this weekend will be a chance to relax - after a romp to Virginia Beach, of course! I was told recently that I needed to take time to chill. (From someone who had originally told me to go go go, too!) But I do take time out, in little bits & chunks. I'm just a Type A person - gotta always be doing something.

And Monday morning, I'll be sleeping!

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Not that I am!!

But type that word into a search engine, and wow! So much comes up! I was doing some research for my public speaking and thought I'd try the opposite of what I promote. It was scary!

People really do need hope! People get depressed when they have no hope, see no way out. No one seems to care and they are stuck in a rut! (And I've heard you're in a rut if you haven't changed the time on your alarm clock for three years!)

That just makes me all the more determined! Life is to be LIVED! Existance is not an option! No one wants to look back on their life and think, "Well, that was a waste!"

There is always hope! There are always options. You CAN have whatever you want in life.

Just got to want it bad enough!

Action cures fear - bet it works on depression, too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Try something new

Stuck in a rut? Try something you've never done before!

Friends introduced us to a new game, Dance Dance Revolution. While it was frustrating at first, it intrigued us enough to go buy our own.

And last night we had a blast with it!

While it won't improve our dancing skills, it did provide a great workout. More importantly, it was something we could do together and laugh about. That alone was priceless!

So if you need a little spice in your life, find something unique you've never tried before, one you can do with a friend, and enjoy!

And after coming home with a dozen roses & buying the game, my husband laughed and said he'd brought me flowers and took me dancing!

Play outside the box!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Conquering Fear

Busy weekend - as usual - but I heard something very profound:

Whatever your greatest fear, God will send someone into your life who does not share your fear.

And that person will assist you in getting over your fear!

I can think of several people in my life who have done just that. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Had a chance to impart some of my 'book' knowledge to someone today. (Amazing how much I'd crammed into my brain in the past 18 months!) And that was really neat. Anything I can do to help someone else chase their dream!

It's kind of like the 'use it or lose it' principal. Or like the Talents in the Bible. Horde what you possess and you'll lose it all! Most people don't realize that the more they give the more they will have. Like working out a muscle - sure you'll be tired, but all the stronger for it!

The only way you can truly get more out of life for yourself is to give part of yourself away. - Jim Stovall

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Worrying about problems

Seems like everyone has something to worry about. Health, finances, love, etc.

But you have to remember that over 96% of what people worry about never comes to pass. 96%!!! That's, well, most worries!

Concerns are good. Planning alternate routes is good. But why stress? Some things are outside of one's control!

Put Your Problems in Proper Perspective:
1 - Every living human being has problems.
2 - Every problem has a limited life span.
3 - Every problem holds positive possibilities.
4 - Every problem will change you.
5 - You can choose what your problem will do to you.
6 - There is a negative and positive reaction to every problem.
- Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do - Robert H. Schuller

Saturday, June 18, 2005

On the Road Again

Just got back from Charlotte last night - and getting ready to head to Virginia today. Last weekend it was Winston-Salem. The week before it was a 2000 mile round trip to Arkansas. My husband says that making my new Tribute go out of warrenty as fast as I can should not be a goal! But it's okay - the vehicle is just a tool.

I never really think about how many miles I drive, or how many phone calls I make, or how many letters I send out. I just do it. I just pay the price. It's all just an investment in my future, my dream. So I just keep going and going.

Speaking of going, gotta hit the road - and spend the time creatively planning the next scene in my book!

Be willing to do what others won't do and you will live like others won't live!

Friday, June 17, 2005

THE summer movie

Just a little chat about movies - I'm such a movie buff, need to throw this in now & then!

Every summer, it's the big rush for movie studios to put out THE summer movie. Sometimes it can be predicted which one will make the most money, which will get the best reviews, which one the audience will really enjoy - and it's almost never the same flick in even two of those categories.

This summer will see A LOT of potential THE summer movie. Which is good for us! We'll actually get some good ones that way. And it always starts earlier each year. (Pretty soon spring break will signify the start of summer movies!)

I'm looking forward to the rest of the summer now.

Tonight, I saw my first potential THE summer movie. (And sorry Star Wars fans, Episode III looked like a bad Saturday morning cartoon next to this flick!)

Can't wait to see what's next!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Don't Quit

This is part of a poem from an unknown author, called "Don't Quit"

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and debts are high,
When you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don't you quit.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse that you mustn't quit!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Great Quotes

After a tremendous time at a writer's conference recently, I came upon some quotes that captured the true purpose for the event perfectly.

Get in the presence of great people - avoid low-flying people.

Observing your close friends will speak volumes about you.

If you want to be great in any area of life, you must place yourself in the presence of people who are manifesting the level of greatness you desire.

You must do the things today that others will not do so that you can have the things tomorrow that others will not have.

- all from "The Resilent Power of Purpose" by Larry DiAngi

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Love is blind

It's a very common saying.
But perhaps a little too black and white.

Better translations would be - Love is accepting.

Love accepts shortcomings and looks beyond them.

Love chooses to focus on the strengths.

Love sees the full potential.

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Monday, June 06, 2005

Taking chances

A recent trip to Arkansas yielded so many great results! I met so many great people, it was astounding.

Funny thing is, most were stunned I would make a 15+ hour trip across country to be in Little Rock. Why not? Knew what I wanted and I found a way to do it! Back to that saying about selecting the goal and then figuring out how to accomplish it!

And I'm not Superwoman or anything. I get just as frustrated when I run into a wall as anybody else! Sometimes I whine about it, too. That usually happens when I've taken my eyes off my goal. (And when I am really tired! Always tackle problems when you're refreshed!)

I just believe that all things can be accomplished. Something to be said for pure, innocent belief! Being a little naive helps, too, but mostly it's just dogged determination.

I intend to continue taking chances. There's still some goals I need to accomplish - and I WILL find a way!

To feel alive, one must take risks!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Great Day!

Every now and then, everyone needs a great day.

Today was mine!

Thanks to everyone who made it possible!

More to follow when I return from Arkansas - hard to blog properly when one is on the road.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Right now, I am taking a relaxing day in Arkansas.

Yes, you read that right - Arkansas. I did live here five years you know!

Tomorrow, I dive back into the frenzy of book signing and such. Today, it's time to chill. I shopped, I chilled, and I worked on my next novel, which always relaxes me. Sometimes I forget how pleasant it is to delve into the world of my characters and just dwell there awhile!

So if you haven't taken time to just relax in awhile - do it!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Always move forward

Everything I do, every step I take, gets me closer to my goal.

It's not always taking me in the direction I expected - in fact, it almost never does!

But I'm still going forward.

Which is better than if I'd never moved at all! What if I hadn't? What if I'd thought it was impossible?

Then the goal would still be incredibly small - and I would have lost all hope!

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Acts of kindness

It never fails - it's the little things that matter. Remembering someone's name, holding a door open, a little note to say you care.

I try to remember special days and events in friend's lives. Sometimes I fail, because my own personal 'Circle of Friends' continues to grow rapidly! But I do make every effort.

A very special young lady, who is also one of my biggest fans, is graduating, so I made sure to drop off a card & inspirational book for her. I wanted to make sure she knew how much I appreciated her!

Wherever I go, I try to remember names. At signings, I take pictures so I won't forget my new fan/friend, and I put them up on my website. Some people get the biggest thrill out of this. It's a simple thing, but if it brings a moment of joy to someone, then I will continue.

I never want to become distant and unreachable. I've seen people buy a book at a convention, then pay $20 or more to stand in line for three hours to get it autographed - praying the time doesn't run out first. I could never do that. People are far more inportant than money or time!

So here's to little acts of kindness!

The Gift of Giving - The only way you can truly get more out of life for yourself is to give part of yourself away. - Jim Stovall, "The Ultimate Gift"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Trust in God

I hit a very major roadblock a week ago. I freaked a little, took steps to correct the problem, and then gave it to God, because there was nothing more I could do about it. Except worry. And that's no fun! I even started making contingency plans.

And then yesterday, my prayers were answered! Obstacle no more!

And I was having a great, relaxing weekend even before the news. Probably because I knew things would be okay.

I trusted God.

Let go and let God - Albert E. Cliffe

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Believing in others

See a man as he is, and he will never change.
But see a man as he could be, and he will move mountains to become just that.

The first time I heard that, I did not truly understand the impact of that simple statement, nor realize how true its meaning. But it's expecting more of others and them stiving to live up to those expectations.

How many amazing things would never have come to pass if someone did not believe? How many great men would have given up, or worse, settled for average, if someone had not believed in them? How many dreams would be laid to waste, their creators resigned to merely existing, if someone had not envisioned the dreamer achieving their goals?

And the worst place to be is average, wallowing in mediocrity. If you're at the bottom, you can clearly see that you need to rise above the cespool. But that middle ground is dangerous, because one can look down on worse and be comforted by many companions also wallowing in average. That is not living. To feel alive, you must take risks!

I'm still not where I want to be, but thank God someone believed I could come this far! And for those I believe in, I will not give up encouraging them to become everything they can!

All of us are shaped by waht others expect of and from us. We either live up to or down to what others believe about us and what we can do.
A person is no greater than his or her dreams, ideals, hopes and plans.

- Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


For every dark night, there is a sunrise.

So no giving up on your dreams or passions!

If you want something bad enough, you WILL find a way!!!!

"Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things."
- Diderot

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I've been told that I am determined, ambitious and a go-getter.

Sometimes I think I'm just too dumb to know when to quit! (I was a blonde once!)

Either way, I guess that works!

I usually have an optimistic attitude, too. Of course, sometimes that wavers a little! Crash through as many hurdles and obstacles as I have, and you'll get a little bruised now and then, as well! Sometimes it's more like being in the jungle. I never seem to find the clear path, but I always manage to blunder my way forward, slowly but surely. Every now and then, my goal seems hidden, but I try to keep that in front of me as much as possible. Otherwise, I would really lose my way!

I want to affect lives in a positive way. I want to matter and make a difference to someone!

Obstacles are the frightful things you see when your eyes come off the goal!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Try not to worry

Sometimes things seem to spiral out of control, like watching all the water in the sink go down the drain with no way to plug up the hole. And it's really difficult not to come unglued and panic.

When it's something outside of your control, or you've already tried everything you know, then you just got to put it in God's hands and not worry. If you are doing the right thing for the right reasons, He will clear the path for you. You just have to trust and believe!

Do your best and let God take care of the rest. Albert E. Cliffe, "Let Go And Let God"

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Hittin' the highway

Getting ready to hit the highway and head for South Carolina - with renewed enthusiasm! Doesn't take much - a couple uplifting words from some fans, and I'm ready to go again.

Some people just don't realize how far a simple word can go, too. Just a simple 'thinking about you' or 'you can do it' really go a long way! Knowledge might be power, but it's what the heart speaks that truly matters.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!

Saturday, May 07, 2005


During a setback, it's hard to see the potential rewards.

But every disappointment carries with it an equal or greater reward.

One door closes and another will open.

A setback is a set up for a comeback!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Enthusiasm & Sacrifices

I don’t talk much about my books, but I have recently been reinvigorated to work on the fourth installment of my series.

And I guess that’s because now that the second is out and my schedule is booked for many months and the third book is with my editor, the focus has returned to the next story. I always write everything in a notebook first, getting my thoughts down quickly, along with dialog, before committing it to the computer. I had written a lot of the fourth book, but just the other night began putting some of it into my computer – and now the inspiration is flying! The tragedies & triumphs have taken a life of their own, giving this character incredible depth. With every new story, it must get better!

I’ve also made some sacrifices, selecting my dream for the future over what I want right now. Tonight I could be at the Walnut Creek amphitheatre, watching a band I really like, Chevelle. Tomorrow, I could be going to Paramount Carrowinds for the day, riding the roller coasters I so love. I turned down both offers in favor of saving money for my book tour and doing a signing tomorrow night. Yes, you read that right – Diane passed up a roller coaster! The horror!!!!

But there will be many more opportunities to ride coasters – if I wait, then I can ride my favorite, The incredible Hulk, when I go to Orlando this fall! And I can listen to Chevelle anytime on CD. Besides, I always get the basketball player standing in front of me at concerts!
So here’s to enthusiasm and focusing on a goal!

The man is no fool who gives up what he can't keep to gain what he can't lose.
- Jim Elliot

The first law of leadership: Learning to get excited about your work.
- Charlie T. Jones

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Ever heard the story about the crabs in a bucket? Every time one of them tried to climb out, the others would pull them back.

And there's a lot of people out there just like those crabs. Some are obvious - negative and vocal.

But it's the silent ones who send messages of disapproval by their lack of action or words that can really get to you. I'd rather they got a backbone and got off the fence - pick a side!

Don't let either of these fool you, though!

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great,
- Mark Twain

Saturday, April 30, 2005


While being naive can have its downside, there is something to be said about pure innocence.

My husband tells me that my most endearing (non-physical) feature is my child-like innocence and enthusiasm. He says it livens up every situation and makes life fun. The main character in my first book possessed those qualities, too.

Sometimes I worry that I am losing that. What happens when if we adopt - will I become a responsible 'mom', or will I simply have someone new to bounce off? I hope the latter! But it is more in the day to day rituals that I must remember my true self.

Remember that life is still a roller coaster - one with lots of drops, twists & turns. And I'll be screaming with delight the whole time!

Friday, April 29, 2005


Some people enter our lives and leave almost instantly. Others stay, and forge such an impression on our heart and soul, we are changed forever.
- author unknown

Here's to all the people who have made a difference in my life! Thanks!

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I used to be a bit of a perfectionist.

I say used to.

Despite everything we are taught in school, there is no such thing as perfection. Only math could be considered pure, but then again, there's more than one route to any answer! For everything else, yo can do it over and over again and still not be satisfied that it's perfect.

The solution? Don't worry about perfection - just do your best.

I found it much less stressful to put forth a 100% effort and do my very best than to make myself crazy trying for perfection. Besides, perfectionists annoy people, because they're looking for perfection and can't give praise for effort.

And I think every noble first-rate effort deserves recognition!

Learn the difference between the hopeless pursuit of perfection and the satisfying seeking of excellence. - Dr. Kevin Leman

Monday, April 25, 2005


After one year of doing what I do as an author & speaker, traveling the East coast, meeting people, doing interviews, and continously plowing forward despite the obstacles, I can safely say - I have found my calling!

True happiness and joy is the pursuit of your dream - your purpose - when you choose the path that's right for you. - Bruce Garrabrandt

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Back to the Love Languages

Finishing off with the last three.

Gifts - this is someone who enjoys giving and receiving. And it doesn't have to be something big. A simple card, a bagel from the shop, one flower - those all count big time. A person whose love language is gifts will go nuts everytime you give them something or leave a little something for them to find later. This makes them feel loved - and by giving gifts to you, that is how they express love.

Acts of Service - just as it implies. It is not 'giving' something, but 'doing' something for someone. Like washing someone's car, cleaning the house, fixing a leak in a pipe - those are all loving acts of service. So is getting the car door for a woman or having a great meal prepared when a man comes home.

Quality Time - I've been over this one before, because it's the one I struggle with! Quality time is sharing moments together, either playing a game, going to an event, or just sitting and talking. It helps if the moment is very interactive, but even curled up together on the couch watching a movie can mean a lot to someone who needs quality time. They enjoy the presence of others.

Now the real trick - what love language do the people you care about speak?

If you express an act of love that is designed for the other person's benefit or pleasure, it is simply a choice. Gary Chapman "The Five Love Languages"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Out of the Comfort Zone

Quick break from the five love languages to talk about comfort zones!

I recently had to step out and do something beyond my comfort zone. Even after all of the media and public events I have done, when you get out of practice or do something a little differently, it can be scary. Fortunately, my nervous energy translated to enthusiastic energy and worked to my advantage. Not only did I accomplish what I wanted, but several new opportunities to expand even further presented themselves as a result!

New things are always a little frightening, but if you just do it, the boost in confidence and ensuing rewards with be well worth the effort!

The tendency of human nature is to enslave us to our past fears, failures and problems, rather than to launch out to new opportunities. - Pat Mesiti "Opportunity Knocks"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Love Languages - Physical Touch

Now, before everyone gets excited, physical touch does not just mean sex - although that's a good place to start!

If you know someone who is very touchy-feely, their love language is probably physical touch. It is the hand on the shoulder, the comforting hug and the warm handshake. For that person, touching is a powerful way to communicate and as important as words. A touch communicates acceptance, understanding and of course, love.

A person can have a primary and secondary love language, sometimes one they give and one they receive.

Knowing someone's love language, whether it be your own or not, can assist you in connecting with them in a big way.

Everyone benefits from physical touch, but for those of us with that love language, it's as important as air!

So - who have you hugged today?

Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. - Gary Chapman "The Five Love Languages"

Monday, April 18, 2005

Five Love Languages - Words of Afirmation

I talk about love languages all the time. A love language is how one expresses affection, be it love towards the opposite sex, love to a friend, love to a child, etc. It is also how an individual likes to have affection returned. There are five - Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts. The first two are easy for me to describe - they are my love language.

Words of affirmation is just that - the desire to hear affection verbally expressed, through compliments, praise and kind words. The phrase "I love you"goes a long way with a person of this love language. So do any encouraging words. While self-image should never be taken from the approval of others, this love language needs that approval to some extent. Without that kind of reassurance, they feel unloved.

A fifth of the people out there need verbal love & support. Have you spoken this love language today?

When we receive afirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate. Gary Chapman "The Five Love Languages"

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Watched some friends get married today - actually, was the photographer for their wedding. Guess it made me think of this subject. The couple was just so in love, even after over four years of being together. That's when you know it's love - when you can get past the "in love" stage and still like each other!

People think the 'opposites attract' means that he likes rock, she likes classic; he likes sports, she like reality TV, etc. NO! Opposites attracting means different personalities that actually compliment one another. I mean, you have to have something in common! When lust wears off, you have to still like that person. Opposites attracting means that while your personalities are different - he's introverted, she's extroverted, he's organized, she's not - that is actually a good thing, because where one is weak the other is strong. Your pairing basically forms a whole person.

Now, this does mean you'll be doing a few things you don't like - but then again, that means it's love!

When an action doesn't come naturally to you, it is a greater expression of love. - Gary Chapman "The Five Love Languages"

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Today has been an amazing day!

I put a call out, asking for the assistance of friends, and it was incredible to see who responded. Not surprisingly, these are the same people who would read my novels - considerate, thoughtful, honest friends. And every single one of them was appreciated! Their kind gesture mattered to me.

Which is ironic, because my ultimate goal is to matter to them!

Love is to be fortified by many friendships. To love, and be loved, is the greatest happiness of existance. - Sydney Smith

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Happy music

I don't know about the rest of the world, but music uplifts and inspires me!

That is why I have a series of home-made CD's called "Believe". (I, II, & III, of course)

I also have an eleven disc set called "Favorites". (Yeah, I like a lot of music!)

The "Believe" series is all uplifting music with positive lyrics. Some of it is on there for its high energy. All of it has to do with encouragement, fighting back and not giving up. Songs like ELO's 'Hold On Tight', Triumph's 'Fight The Good Fight', POD's 'Alive', Fuel's 'Won't Back Down', etc.

The "Favorites" are full of songs that simply have touched my heart. How much I like a song depends on how much it makes me feel - whether that be angry, sad, excited, whatever. And my 'Favorites' is a really big assortment - everything from Pink Floyd to Jean-Michel Jarre to Orgy to the Outfield to Enya!

The first song on disc #1 of both series has been my favorite for 24 years. That probably won't ever change, either. It's fast paced with a great message - a wake up call if you like.

And I'd like to end with some of the lyrics.

Stand up on your feet
Life is short as hell
You could be dead tomorrow
Today could be your last chance
To believe in yourself
Your last chance
Tto yell
Your last chance
To be good to yourself
Your last chance
To drink from life's well
- "Last Chance" by Shooting Star

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Comes down to self-image

I read an article recently regarding attractive people and their higher than average incomes.

Through studies, they showed that an attractive person makes 5% more than average while ugly people make 7% less than average. (They based this on attractiveness, weight and height.) One of two possibilities for this discrepancy focused on bias & discrimination - and how they could eliminate this among employees. The other possibility seemed far more viable, though.

Attractive people tend to have better self-images.

This, in turn, leads to more confidence when dealing with others and better people skills.

And while this does not always hold true, as there are many good looking people with low self images, I believe it contributes far more than most people realize.

As a person of average looks, I was plagued with being short. Really short. And while a thousand other things were also responsible for my low self-image as a kid, being shorter than everyone else really didn't help. So I can understand why someone of below average looks or who is overweight might struggle with confidence.

Everyone should always try to look their best, especially if weight is the problem, because then we're talking health and living longer. But the truth is, God sees everyone as a wonderful, perfect creature - and we all need to learn to see that in ourselves.

That would do far more to close that wage gap than a thousand discrimination lawsuits!

God's portrait of you reveals that He sees you as lovable, valued and competent.
- Josh McDowell

Friday, April 08, 2005


Small things still matter.

And opportunities come to those who leave the door open.

I recently sent a thank you letter. It was to a gentleman who probably had no idea I was in the audience at the event he spoke at, but I wanted to thank him for his time and effort. After all of the appearances I have done with my novels, I understand that a thank you can go a long way.

Obviously, it did.

I received a reply from him, and he did indeed remember me. His message also left an invitation to a greater opportunity for me as a writer. That was totally unexpected!

How many people would have missed an opportunity like this?

If only more people knew the art of the compliment!

I can live for two months on one good compliment. - Mark Twain

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Roller Coasters

I love roller coasters. They're a favorite pasttime of mine!

Some people don't like coasters, and I think they are really missing out. On more than just a great ride, too.

Experts say there is a distinct personality trait in people who love roller coasters and call it the "thrill factor". The fear that comes from being out of control does not paralyze but exhilarates them. It awakens all their senses. And after they've survived the intense journey once, they want to do it again.

I think most of life's situations are similar. The things that appear the most frightening will in fact become the most enjoyable once we've attempted them. It's taking that first step.

Most people are afraid to risk, afraid of losing what they already possess. But the tighter you hold on, the less you will have! Like the man in the Bible with the Talents - it's use it or lose it!

Like I said, I love roller coasters. And I will never stop riding.

What about you?

To feel alive, one must take risks.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Want a quick test to discover who your friends are?

Do something radically different, a positive step forward, something none of your friends are currently attempting.

You'll find out who your friends truly are then.

True friends will support you. They will recognize your efforts and be excited.

The ones who don't? Well, did you really want a friend like that, anyway?

Cherish the good ones!

A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. - Walter Winchell

Monday, April 04, 2005


Just a quick word on submission, because sometimes it really amuses me to watch other couples.

God did design the woman to submit to the man. And this is not a bad thing! He in turn must protect & provide for her. A fair trade off.

That's why men do not respond well to women who try to control them. Just a natural instinct.

But praise gets anyone faster results than criticism. Honey catches more flies. That's also a fact of life.

And a good one to live by.

A man will respond positively to compliments, acceptance, and apporval. He will respond negatively to nagging, controlling, and manipulating. - Gary Smalley

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Quality time

Once in a while, I have to be reminded about quality time.

It's easy to get caught up in the pursuit of a goal and almost be consumed by it. Focus is good. Eliminating distractions is good. Letting it come before family & God - not good!

I do enjoy quality time. It leads to doing fun, dumb stuff. It leads to meaningful conversation. However, it is not my primary love language - it's my husband's. Mine is words of afirmation & physical touch. Which I think is pretty easy, myself! Tell me you love me and give me a hug. How hard is that? Well, probably about as hard as scheduling quality time together.

I'm working on it, though!

One of the by-products of quality activities is that they provide a memory bank from which to draw in the years ahead. - Gary Chapman, "The Five Love Languages"

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Journey

Today, I had the most unique experience.

I conversed with a large number of people about something I feel very passionately about and it was a most fortunate, incredible experience! (I actually got to do it twice!)

And it really made me think about my goals and the road I have taken to achieve them. I realized a long time ago that it is not the destiny that is the success, but the journey. And today was one of those days that I felt blessed to be on the path I have set. There are so many things I would never have encountered, so many people I would not have had the pleasure to know, had I not set set off for my destination. My goal is to enrich the lives of others, and yet I find that this quest has done even more for me. The rewards have been countless and I cannot wait to see what lies around the next bend!

True happiness & peace can only come when one chases a dream!

Success is determined not by what you get for reaching your destination, but by what you become by reaching it. - Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Time Flies

Hard to believe it's almost April. I'm still having trouble writing 2005!

Remember all the time we had as kids? I mean, really! I had time to read an entire novel in one day! Could play a video game for five hours straight and only stop because my thumb got cramped. Too bad you can't bank unused time. There's many blocks of wasted time I could sure use now!

I think time speeds up as adults because we weigh ourselves down with all this responsible stuff. Clean the house, do wash, shopping, bank, cats (sorry, don't have kids!), fix this, organize that, run errands, etc etc etc! And yeah, some of that needs to be done. But we overloead ourselves with trivial things. Basically, we overload ourselves, period! Everyone's afraid to say no these days!

I've learned to say no to some things. (Ask my husband, who's gotten really good at cleaning the house!) Harder to say no to people, though. I want to do everything for everybody, and sometimes that just doesn't work!

So here's to finding balance! And giving myself room to breathe.

(Maybe even a free hour to play my RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 game!)

Don't ask time where it's gone; tell it where to go. Gain control of your time, and you gain control of your life. - John L. Mason, "An Enemy Called Average"

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Rising to the top

I don't know if you follow sports or not, but the NCAA Tournament is incredible to watch.

What makes March Madness draw so many viewers? It's the best of the best, the cream of the crop, and at a level where the athletes are really trying to give it their all. These kids still have a love for the game.

Considering how much these players have on their plate - basketball, school, a social life - it's amazing they are able to accomplish it all! One of the players in the Final Four intends to be an ordained minister by the time he graduates from college. Now that's a busy schedule! Most of us can't even imagine such a juggling act. (Most people can't imagine doing what I do, so I guess it's all relative.) After writing about several athletes in my novels, I have full & complete respect for the struggles they go through to achieve in their sport.

We won't discuss brackets though. Outside of UNC, mine has gone down in flames! Guess that's why they play the game!

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation. - Pearl S. Buck

Friday, March 25, 2005


As I sit here contemplating a major radio interview tomorrow, that word crosses my mind.

I don't fear the interview itself. I've certainly done enough of them! It doesn't bother me to think there may be a million people listening. It'll just be me and the interviewer on the phone. But I think it's the potential for failure that scares me. I don't want to treat this so casual that it lacks spunk & enthusiasm, but I don't want to place such a value on those few moments that I freeze up. Fine line to walk indeed!

But hey, if I stumble, it'll still be okay. This isn't life or death. And as long as I learn something from the ordeal, then it was a success no matter what.

And you have to treat every challenge that way. Failure only comes from inactivity or the inability to learn. So as long as you do something and then try to do it better the next time, then that's what truly matters.

If something really rattles you, then get some encouragement from a friend. That's what I did today. Several friends. Just needed to know someone believed in me! (Back to that 'words of affirmation'!) 'I believe in you' mean so much to me!

So here's to tomorrow's interview! So long as I do my best, give it my all, then it will be successful!

If everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life, yet so many are out there "doing it" despite the fear, then we must conclude that fear is not the problem. - Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

It's the little things ...

A little enthusiasm can go a long way ...

So can a kind word.

Sometime people just don't realize the power of the spoken word. But think about it - God spoke our world into existance and then made us in His image. Do you realize how much power that gives us with our words?

No one glows brighter than after a compliment. And it doesn't have to be something big, either. Women tend to favor compliments on their looks or personalities while men prefer encouraging words on their work or actions. (Although, switch that around, and you just might surprise someone with a compliment they were not expecting!) Every person needs affirmation that they are a worthy human being. A compliment costs so little, yet gives so much!

And this goes double for those whose "Love Language" is Words of Affirmation. They simply thrive on compliments! (I should know - that's half of my Love Language!)

You want to make a big difference today? Say something nice. To as many people as possible!

Daily Encouragement-

"I believe it is possible to say something positive to everybody about everything all the time if we want to." - Charlie T. Jones

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Success is a thousand setbacks, less one

As I sit here holding the first copy of my latest novel, I contemplate the journey that brought me to this moment ...


Gone are all the obstacles, the moments of fear, the long days of wondering why the heck I am doing this in the first place. I usually spend most of my time looking forward optimistically, but occasionally I look back and say wow! You'll never know how far you can go until you've given it your all!

Of course, the moment you arrive at a goal, a new one must be ready to take its place. And while this is a big moment, I know I have far from arrived. This moment opens a whole 'nother world of trials and tests!

Call it faith, that I know God will not forsake my labor of love.
Call it determination that I will not deviate from my path.
Or call it being completely naive that if I think I can, then I can!

There will be a wall in my path sooner or later. But that's okay! I'll either go over, under, around - or maybe just right through it!

"A setback is a setup for a comeback" - Willie Jolley

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Spunk is up and running!

Welcome to Diane's blog site, brand new and begging for use!

Here you will find daily triumphs, words of affirmation, and the belief that all things are possible to those who never give up!

There will be travels, encounters, and the making of new friends, as seen through the eyes of an optimistic author.

When the dream's big enough, the facts don't count!