Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Dawn of Fall

Cold Weather is coming and the wind is changing.

Time to switch out the clothes and settle in for the winter.

It can also be a time to re-evaluate your goals and see if you are on track to where you want to be by the end of the year.

I have a short story I'm trying to get done and then I need to get going on a series I've been planning all year.

Guess I better get my rear in gear and get-her-done.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Reaching Your Destination

The journey of a thousand miles
starts with a single step.

Chinese Proverb.

Even once you're on the path some steps are harder than other and the need to rest can claim us. Stop take a breath and continue. As long as you keep moving forward you will reach your destination.

Have a wonderful week,


Friday, September 25, 2009

A Casual Comment

How many times has a friend or co-worker suggested you try something?

Your answer, "Sure, I plan on doing that, but today I’m just too busy."

Yet, one day for no reason, you don’t put it off. You go to the gym and meet a handsome hunk on the way inside the building.

"Never happen," you say, and you know it can’t happen to you.

But what happens when it does?

I have a friend that made such a casual comment to me.

"Hey, Tina. There’s this great publisher that might like your story. Why don’t you send it in?"

Now, I could have put it off. Said the timing wasn’t right.

I didn’t. I took a chance.

Guess what?

It paid off. I sold my first book.

Never happen to you.

I can’t say.

Just don’t let the undertow of despair wash away the waves of hope that come your way.


Monday, September 21, 2009


The courage to speak must be matched
by the wisdom to listen.

Well-timed silence
hat more eloquence than speech.

M.T. Tupper

A skill I'm still struggling to master.

Have a wonderful week,


Friday, September 18, 2009

Fitting In

This may sound like a strange topic for a person over forty, but if you think about it, we all want to fit in one way or another.

Some of us go to a job outside our homes where we have to get along with a grumpy receptionist or deal with a knit-picking boss. We shares our woes of our imperfect job with a friend, someone who makes us feel that we’re not alone on those days when we feel out of sync with our co-workers.

In that respect, I don’t have to worry. You see I write. There’s no one around when I write. It’s a solitary endeavor, which would make one think I’m home free, in paradise, away from the annoying people of the outside world.

Wrong! I get lonely. I have this insatiable desire to talk, and talk, and talk some more. It’s a terrible habit I can’t seem to break.

And what do I want to talk about?

Writing, it’s kind of a passion for me.

Yeah? Well, what about your family? They’re interested, right?

Not when you are a romance writer and a mother of two teenage boys. World of War Craft and video games, karate and fencing moves; these are the topics of choice in my house.

So where are my comrades, the people to whom I can connect?

Lost, I thought, in a world of their own design, stuck behind their desk, in their office, on a street far, far away in another galaxy.

So I prepared myself for the journey and scouted out my local library. A critique group was forming of local writers. I joined right in, ready to share my heart. My enthusiasm dimmed quickly when I discovered that the other writers didn’t exactly share my passion for romantic novels.

Still I went; searching for other places my compatriots might be hiding. A local community class was an alternative I looked into. And it worked for a short time but again, with a wide range of interests and different genres, I didn’t feel at home. But I was lucky enough to be given a name of a group that seemed to be what I wanted.

Romance Writers of America had a local chapter not far from my house, and they met once a month. They didn’t require a secret handshake to join, but I must say when I walked into that first meeting, I was leery.

Would this be the right place for me? Would I be accepted?

The lady that took my money at the door, smiled at me, was even friendly. But then again, that was her job, she wanted my money. She suggested I attend the ask-an-author session being held across the hall.

The published author would answer any question I had, she said.

Right, I thought, like they’re going to talk to me, an unpublished nobody.

To my surprise, they did.

Then they walked into the RWA meeting with me, sat down in the same room with me, and treated me like an equal. To my happy surprise, no one called me out for being a wanna-be, a bad pretender, a no name author.

Well, as you can guess, I found my home. The ladies and men in the group welcomed me each time I attended a meeting. They didn’t scoff at my stupid questions, but instead told me things I needed to know. They supported my passion with cheers of encouragement.

I made friends. I became involved. With their help and support, I changed.

And now that I have my first contract, I know I will find the help I need to take me to the next level.

Thank you everyone at Heartland Writers Group for the beautiful ripples you’ve made in my life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Birthday Story

Some might look at this cake and laugh. It's not perfect. No expert cook baked it. But the love inside is much greater, which to me makes it the best cake ever.

My husband and I watch a lot of food network. The cake decorating show are some of our favorite. We've talked many times about getting the recipe for fondant. It has to be hard, if the chef use it right?

Well, I can't say, but my husband can. He found the recipe on the internet and decide to give it a try for my birthday.

Not a simple task, he spend hours mixing the recipe together and rolling out the dough. What you see is the time it takes to create a beautful example of what a man will do for the woman he loves.

A master piece in my eyes, I am very blessed to be married to such an awesome guy. Even if he drives me crazy at times.

And the flowers are a gift from my son. Hope when your birthday comes around, it's as good for you.


Monday, September 14, 2009


A misty morning
does not signify
a cloudy day.

Ancient Proverb.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Welcome Lorhainne Eckhardt

Thank you for spotting by and answering the question.

Why do you write?

This is both an easy and a difficult topic to blog about. I write, as it is a tool for me to express myself. I see a story in events that exist and arise from situations around me. Out of that comes a need to put on paper that idea that transforms itself into a story so I can share with others. I internalize a lot. When I am asked to verbally recount a story, or a situation, I actually find it quite difficult. I immediately become tongue-tied and find that gift that many people have to verbally communicate their ideas, clear and concise to a group of people, does not exist within me.

Except if you give me time, pen and paper to put those ideas down in writing, something else happens. The ability to transpose those ideas become clear and distinct as my own individual style appears.
I am a prolific writer. I include without hesitation controversial and moral dilemmas within my novels. It is actually something that drives me. I believe we all have lessons to learn in life. Once we experience them, why not share them with others?

So all these dilemmas, crisis, controversies, that go on around me, whether it’s with friends, family, in the community and local news. The story appears and when I sit down to write the premise, it is transformed into a story, along with the characters that come to life to retell it, to share with my readers the knowledge I have gained.

Let's learn a little about Lorhainne's book.

Blurb: The Captain’s Lady

Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while travelling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape.

While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Excerpt: The Captain’s Lady

“We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.”

“What about fishing boats?”

“No, sir, no reports.”

Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.”

Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt.

“So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows.

“Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching, then securing the boat to the dinghy.

His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart; this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically. Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread.

The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.”

Thank Lorhainne for stopping by.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Winding Down

Mike and I hit the last of the wine trail. We visited the last two wineries on the list and are now settling down for fall.

First, we drove out to Greeley, Ne and visited the grave site of Mike's grandmother, then we down to Miletta Vista Winery.

Sitting on a hill, the winery has a great view of the countryside. Check out some of the pictures of the view.

Next, we took hwy. 92 to Prairie Creek Winery. The best part about the trip was talking to the owner. Not only does he grow grapes, but has fields of corn too. A young man, he enjoys creating wine and farming.

So if you're ever in Nebraska check them out and have a great week.

Miletta Vista Winery
Prairie Creek Winery


Monday, September 7, 2009

The Way to Happiness

Keep your heart free from hate,
Your mind from worry...
live simply...
expect little...
give much...

Sound so easy yet its a constant battle to follow these simple instructions.

Have a wonderful week,


Thursday, September 3, 2009


I am not a funny person but when I see something that is, I like to pass it on. This is Marianne Donley’s response to people who've had problems with their computer. I like to bring it out occassionally and reread it. It brightens my day.

"Computers, Yahoo! and AOL are run by evil little green male trolls --all
about 15 years old. They live inside your machines. Some times the trolls do
what you ask them to do. Sometimes they fold their little troll arms and
shake their little troll heads and say, "Nope. Not doing that. You can't make
me. Nanner. Nanner. Nanner."

Now, if you have a larger male person come in to your office and he does the
VERY SAME THING to the computer that you have been doing for the last 10
hours, the little evil green trolls get afraid. Frighten trolls do what they
are told. Then your larger male person gets a smug look on his face and you go off to plan another mystery in which large male people die in very painful ways. "

Hope it helps you see the funny side of computer problems and write your next thriller.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prairie Land Nebraska Wineries

Still on the wine trail of Nebraska, Saturday, Mike and I visited three wineries.

First, Five Trails Winery tasting room located in Paxton, Ne is right off I 80. It can be an easy stop on your way to Colorado. We bought a nice white wine.

Next, we headed to Feather River Vineyard. Down a gravel road and around several bends, the winery offered a great place for a wedding or a reception.

The last place we visited was Mac's Creek. They had a number of wines that we enjoyed. In Lexington, Ne, the winery isn't a long way off I 80 and worth the trip.

Check them out.

5 Trails Winery
Feather River Winery
Mac's Creek Winery