It’s a New Year (Thank Goodness).

2016 unicorn

The last few years have been, well they’ve been something.

In 2013, I was all, “Look at me! I can work fulltime and freelance and be a good mom and WRITE A BOOK IN FIVE DAMN DAYS!”

In 2014, I was like, “Five days, huh? Well I can work fulltime and freelance fulltime and rewrite that first book twice and hey, write ANOTHER book (although the first draft took me a month that time) and stillbeagoodmomandwifewellokaymaybenotbutlookatmeimpublished!”

Then 2015 arrived, along with all the tools it needed to thoroughly kick my ass. Which is exactly what it did.

But, Internet, you know me. I’m nothing if not stubborn. So every time 2015 knocked me down, I got back up and kept moving as fast as I could.

In fact, it wasn’t until November, when I was downing 4000 milligrams of antibiotics a day to get rid of an ulcer and feeling like a raggedy stray cat on its last life, that I realized I was just being dumb.

I’m lucky. I’m smart, talented, and can do ALL THE THINGS. But I am not a superhero or an X-Men-type mutant (although I do have a pair of Wonder Woman socks, complete with capes).

And that means I can’t do all the things, all the time, and expect to stay healthy and sane (or do anything particularly well).

Most of you are probably going, “well, duh.”

And you’re right. It is pretty obvious—at least in retrospect. But I’ve always had to learn things the hard way. Plus, I’ve never been good at accepting limitations.

But now it’s 2016! And I’ve learned my lesson! Which means this year is going to be full of glittery rainbows and sparkly unicorns and fuzzy kittens and delicious cupcakes and, and, and… (okay, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little).

It’s going to be a good year. An awesome year. The kind of year that has me wishing for another one exactly like it when I blow out my birthday candles.

Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping. Fingers and toes crossed.

Happy New Year, everyone. May the force be with us all.




For the Love of Blogging.

glowing crystal ball on pink background

I tried to quit this place. Really, I tried.

I didn’t want to blog anymore.  I was tired of the constant pressure to get more page views, write more sponsored posts, and MAKE ALL THE MONEY.

Because let’s face it. This blog? It ain’t never going to make no cash money. I’m just not that kind of blogger.

But it turns out, I can’t quit. When I do, the words all scramble up in my brain, twisting things around, and keeping all the other words from getting out. Which is bad (especially when you make your living writing and you know, hope to publish more romance novels).

I’ve been writing myself posts in Evernote. Subjecting my poor Facebook friends to unnecessarily long rambles. And having really weird dreams.

All of which I was willing to accept. Until, that is, I went to my grandma’s funeral last week.

During the service, the chaplain took us through her life story. He told us how she met my grandfather, what she did for a living, and what she did to keep busy while raising my mom and uncle.

A lot of it was stuff I’d never heard before. Some of it was, according to my mom, not entirely true (she’s not sure when my grandma and grandpa started dating). And all of it made me sad.

How much more was there to my grandma’s life that I would never know about? What was it like living as a young married woman alone during World War II? What did she wish she could do? What was she glad she had done? Did she want to be a fashion designer like my daughter does?

I’ll never know the answers to those questions.

But my daughter (and her children) will know a heck of a lot about me.  She’ll know how I felt when she was born. What my frustrations were while she was small. How very much I love her and how glad I am that she is a part of my world. And how ridiculously stupid I get when I’m tired (or drunk).

And I’ll always have a window back to years past. When I’m 65, I’ll be able to picture those first weeks at home alone with her. I’ll remember how frustrating being a working mom could be. And why it was all worthwhile.

I want those memories to be there for my family to read. For me to remember. And for strangers to giggle over.

Why? Because I have a lot to say, and I am nowhere near as eloquent when forced to speak. Such is the life of an introverted attention whore.

And because I really do love my life, and I want the world to know that even amongst the evils of terrorist attacks, Donald Trump,  and global warming, happiness was not just a possibility, but a reality for most of us.

Here’s hoping it will continue to be for as far as I can see (and write) into the future.




Good Bye, Sweet Kiwi.

brown and white cat in heart shaped cut outThe year was 1999. I was newly wed, happy in love and in life.

My husband and I rolled up to the animal shelter in our little blue convertible, looking for a feline brother or sister for the kitten we had adopted just a few months before.

There were lots of kittens. Lots of them. But the moment we spotted the long-haired mutt of a cat with the corkscrew tail, our search was over.

We took the meowing ball of fluff home and spent the next few weeks trying to keep the older cat from killing him. It was so bad, we thought about taking him back almost daily for a while.

But eventually, peace returned to the household and the fluff ball (now named Kiwi) earned himself a permanent place on my lap and in my heart.

He’s been my constant companion ever since.

He stuck to me like glue through the worst of my depressions. Purred me back to health after three surgeries and countless broken joints and bones. He shared my lap through hundreds of late night Tori feedings and shared my desk through dozens and dozens of marathon writing sessions.

Heck, he even learned to say “mama,” in the same tone and with the same inflection as my young daughter. It was so eerily similar that I often couldn’t tell which one was calling me (and neither could  my husband).

He was my baby in every way that matters.

And last week he died.

It was time. He couldn’t eat anymore. Couldn’t walk more than a few steps. Couldn’t even seem to sleep. Every time I looked at him, he was staring at me with preternaturally green eyes.

I knew in my heart that it was time for him to leave. I’d been telling him to let go for days.

But it still hurts.

We will get another cat. And I will grow to love him or her. But no one will ever take Kiwi’s place.

I miss that special little guy. I miss him a whole hell of a lot.

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