Monday, June 13, 2016

What Do We Plan to Do About It?

It’s all I can do to keep myself from coming undone when I hear people say it’s all about the shape of our country before quickly adding that they don’t plan to vote.

There are plenty of places around the globe you can live where you have no vote, thus you have no choice—the powers that be will decide for you how things will go and you’ll be forced to live with the result.  America offers each of us a different right—the right to vote.  We don’t have to love the candidates or everything they stand for because let’s face it—with hundreds of issues (such as education, medical insurance, human rights, immigration, finance, border control, welfare, equality and military might just to name a few) vying for attention, we’re all going to have a different set of issues that top our list.  But as Americans, we’re tasked with the responsibility to school ourselves on the issues and make a choice.
The sad fact of our time is there are numerous groups of people very vocal about their desire to kill us by any means possible; planes, trains, bombs, guns, chemicals, box cutters, women, children…  For some it’s our skin color.  For others it’s our religion.  Or who we love or where we live or how we handle our business affairs or sins of the father, or, or, or…  It’s a list that’s impossible to define because every day we continue to draw breath, we offend someone and another thing gets added to the list of things they hate about us—AMERICANS.

Which leaves us with a choice.  We can continue complaining about how much we dislike the things happening around us while praying they don’t start happening to us.  That’s one course of action. 

Or we can educate ourselves on the issues and try to make the best decision we can hope to make with what we have to work with.  If we were stranded on that proverbial desert island, I would like to think the people I love and those I rub shoulders with wouldn’t throw themselves in the sand and let us die because they didn’t want to touch a thorny plant, or study all aspects of what we were up against, or get a splinter, or consider other’s opinions about our odds, or eat coconut they didn’t like, or risk the poison sumac.  I’d like to think we’d humble ourselves and pray for rescue before teaming up despite our differences in ability and opinion.  That we'd fight against the odds, doing anything we thought would give us a chance to live one more day.

Which leaves me to wonder… Why are so many of us suddenly unwilling to do the very same thing for America?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Good morning, campers!

It's almost July, which means it's almost time for my writing colleagues and I to escape to a safe place for a few days to flex some creative muscles in a relaxed environment.  Camp NaNoWriMo (a writing event sponsored by the Office of Lights and Letters) is a fun way to get a story on paper, edits be damned (for the moment).  And it's just around the corner.

My camp project finds me working on a redo of sorts.  My first novel, Broken Together, was written at a pretty dark time in my life.  While I love the characters I created there, I've had several years to distance myself from the premise of the story and looking back, I can see I had it all wrong.  Oh the times I've sighed and said what I didn't know then...

As a young writer, I didn't know how to right the ship so I did what we all do at times, I jumped and let it sink, which is to say I abandoned my first series before I completed the third and final novel.  And you know what?  I've thought about those characters and their stories nearly every day since. 

Six years (and a boatload of experience later), I can't help but feel the time is right to step back and revisit the words on the page.  By the end of July I should have a new story well in hand.  And I won't be kicking myself for not doing the hard work of crafting a better story.

All that said, here's a sneak into my 2016 camp project--Twelve Corners...

It's not about a paycheck...

After Bryn Baxter’s world is nearly destroyed by a mortar attack while on assignment in the middle of the Afghan war, she finds herself in the grip of a soul-crushing depression so encompassing, most days it’s all she can do to leave the safety of her bedroom.  She’s shut out her friends and family, determined she can make it own her own.  But as loneliness sets in, the voices in her head don’t offer the wisest counsel. 

Desperate for anything to fill the void that’s taken up residence where her life used to live, it doesn’t take Bryn long to find comfort in the words of the men she meets online.  Unable to sleep and scared of the dark, Bryn seeks solace from the soft glow brought to her through a few strands of fiber optic cable.

It's about building a life...

Beck Reynolds would rather eat dirt than help another “lost soul,” especially the daughter of a friend.  He isn’t a therapist and he doesn’t have a degree in any of the ‘ologys.  Heck, he can barely manage to get the lid on the seat down most days. So he survived being shot by a madman intent on revenge and knows about unexpected life change firsthand.  Big deal. 

Still, when Beck reluctantly decides to help his buddy’s daughter find some inner peace, he never dreams he’ll be ignored.  Come to think of it, the woman he’s decided to help hasn’t said a word to him for nearly a month. 

As Beck tries to lift Bryn out of the shadows, she thwarts his every effort.  While his heart breaks for her on one hand, he has to admit there’s a part of him that wants to wring her neck.  Determined to end Bryn’s pitiful attempts at playing cat and mouse, Beck devises a game of his own, forcing Bryn from behind the screen and out into the open.   Every part of Beck is now focused on saving this wreck of a woman.  Question is, can he save her from herself?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Last Day...

What did I do with the precious minutes I had today before the kiddo stepped from the school building a freshman turned sophomore?  Procurement!  I learned a long time ago that a success summer for my family means activities with the kiddo as well as me staying on track with projects and goals, even though I'll no longer have an alarm clock as my boss for the next two months.  There isn't much sleeping in or lazy days to be found in our house.

So today I stocked up on scrapbook pages and threads for upcoming summer projects, snagged 273 photos from the printer and scored cookies from our favorite bakery so we can celebrate when the hubster gets home.  

Then I find a sweet little flower resting perfectly on my window ledge as I go to step in the car.  I’m taking it as a sign.  #igotthis #bestsummerever