Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've teased long enough.  Here's the deal:  in a partnership with Springfield Tornado and AuthorMikeInk, I will be writing the stories of survival from the Springfield Tornado.

The founder of the Facebook Community page and website Springfield Tornado has devoted much of his free time to this project since the tornado happened.   With a strong sense of passion, he knows that survivors will continue to need help long after the event.

This project speaks to two of my biggest passions: helping people heal and writing.

So, in the coming days, weeks, months share in this time of my life.  And please join the Springfield Tornado Website and LIKE Springfield Tornado Facebook Community Page for more up to date information.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Hint...

I have a project brewing in the background.  The time is not right for me to spread the word.  But when I can, I will.

In the meantime, enjoy the silliness of my playlist.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Forget the Seatbelt...We're Gonna Need a Five Point Harness

This weekend, my dear friend Sera Rivers embarked on a VERY amazing project.

This week, I found mine. Details to follow, as soon as I confirm and have permission. But I can say it incorporates three of my biggest passions: writing, nursing and helping others.

Who knows where our paths will lead us?

But I have a feeling:      "We're taking over...get used to it."

(Note: I do NOT think of Ke$ha as a role model.  But I LOVE this song!!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Creativity and My Elusive Muse

© Joy Prescott |
It's 1:04 AM. 0104 hours if you want to use military time.

Most people are sleeping.

My whole family is.

I should be, too.  But my creativity is alive and kicking right now.

I need to be up early.


Because that's how the world functions.  You know: "The early bird gets the worm." or "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."  And in order to be productive, I should go to bed at night and get up early in the morning and like it.

But, see....the thing is...I DON'T.

I've tried, many times in fact, to function on a "normal" schedule.  And I thought certain things would force the change.  But, alas, it has not.

And nights like tonight-when my creative mind is bursting with thoughts and ideas, I feel really frustrated.  I think "Damn you muse! Why are you bothering me now?"

And then I smile.  Because no one is awake to judge me.  My phone isn't going to ring.  And my kids do not need to be fed.  Yeah, I might be tired tomorrow, but right now is ALL MINE.

© Jinyoung Lee |

The crickets are chirping.  The moon is high in the sky.

And I need to write.

So, what could be wrong with that?

Nothing, I say.  Nothing at all.

So, good night world.  My muse and I have some creating to do!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I've Got Work to Do

"I just want to be free, I just want to be me
And I want lots of friends that invite me to their parties

I don't wanna change,
And I don't wanna be ashamed
I'm the spirit of my Hair
It's all the glory that I bare
I am my Hair!"

THIS is my HAIR, but it's not really me.  I have work to do before it can be free.
"I’ve had enough
This is my prayer
That I’ll die living just as free as my hair"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Another Lesson from My Kids

One of the greatest gifts of parenthood (for me) is learning how to live again.  And ideally, learning how to do it the RIGHT way.

I have two kids.  I'd describe both of them half me-half the husband: a cool mix of the best of us.

We call ourselves TEAM K. See? The picture below? We're making the letter K.  The dog is the underscore.

Okay-not really.  Ally the dog just wouldn't get out of the way.  But still...we had fun.

BOTH of my kids are confident, comfortable in their skins and assertive of their needs.  When I think back to when I was their ages, I'm pretty sure I was too.

So when did I lose it?  Because I'm it's been awhile since I really, really felt comfortable doing almost ANYTHING.

Okay, okay-I know what SOME of you would say, but it's mostly a front or an honest to God effort and later an obsession if I speak up for myself.


I think I found the answer...well, a piece of the bigger puzzle anyway AND something for me to think about.  I've been doing psychology research to help with character building in my novel.  And on Psychology Today's website I found a great article on being assertive.  This paragraph really is what sucked me in:

"For two decades, Charles Darwin suffered crippling anxiety whenever he so much as imagined publishing his theory of natural selection. The quiet naturalist agonized about how his true beliefs on speciation would affect his standing among his Victorian peers and super pious wife: "It is like confessing a murder," he wrote to a friend. Only when the young scientist Alfred Russel Wallace nipped at his heels with a nearly identical theory did Darwin set aside his work on barnacles and publish On the Origin of Species, securing his place in history with the slenderest of leads." -The Right Way to Rock the Boat by Nando Pelusi

WAIT!  DARWIN WAS SCARED TO PUBLISH HIS THOUGHTS?? Oh, I can relate!  And right now, I'd love to rant about the lack of emotional evolution our species has suffered-but I won't.  I'll save that for another time.

Anyway, at the end of the article, I took the quiz.  Many of my answers were-well, I USED to do that, but now-NO WAY!  And guess what? I failed in the assertiveness department.

Sorry Darwin...I haven't only NOT evolved.  I've REGRESSED.  But can I even say that?  My kids are exactly what I want to be.  And I'm the freakin' grown up! What the heck?

So, I guess it's more self exploration for me. Or maybe I could take some lessons from my kids.  After all, we are TEAM K and in our house-everyone gets the chance to shine.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Maybe I See What I Want to See....

I try to be a realist-always.  Sometimes I sugar coat my words or cloak them in disguise because I'm sooo afraid of being wrong.

But not this time.

Not now.

I'm stating my one truth with the acknowledgement that maybe I see what I want to see...but in the end, I'm usually right.


I hear rumblings on Twitter-editors/agents seeking emotional realistic books.  I see such type novels receiving big time awards.  And I'm putting it all together. Maybe I need to believe this because my novel is realistic. (Let's face it-I need something to keep me going.) But in all honesty, I feel it in my gut. My instinct is
screaming that the time has come for real, hard-core stories for teens.

And then I see a tweet by Judy Blume:

Judy Blume
Screened Tiger Eyes yesterday in LA. Exciting to see it with audience. Not a dry eye in house. Not schmaltzy, but emotional.

Original Cover from website Jezebel

Holy FREAKING CRAP!  If this movie does well it COULD change everything in the Young Adult literary world....if JUDY BLUME revives her timeless stories into a modern day movie, then the possiblities are endless.  (If you can't already tell, she's one of my heroes-always has been and always will be.)

Maybe I'm overreacting...being too emotionally intense as usual.  But right now, I do NOT care.  Judy Blume is the epitome of everything I strive to be.  And if she starts gaining popularity with this generation, I am SO following her lead!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Photo Property of Lerner Publishing

Title:In Trouble

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Imprint:Carolrhoda Lab

Pub Date:09/01/2011

Author:Ellen Levine

Jamie and Elaine have been best friends forever, and now they’re finally juniors in high school. Elaine has a steady boyfriend, and Jamie could have one—if she'd just open her eyes and see Paul. But Jamie has a bigger problem to worry about. Then Elaine gets "in trouble"—something they thought only happened to "other" girls. Are there any good choices for a girl in trouble?

In Trouble is a novel born of author Ellen Levine’s interviews with women who came of age in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including those who knew what it was like to be a teen facing a horrible choice. In the decades before Roe v. Wade, a young woman "in trouble" had very few options—and all of them meant shame, isolation, and maybe much worse. Jamie and Elaine's stories are just two among the thousands of stories of teenagers facing unplanned pregnancies.

Description:  Confession: I read In Trouble in one sitting.  I couldn't put it down.  Ellen Levine had me captivated from the start.  The description was light, interesting and never distracting.  Actually, I barely noticed it and felt as if I knew everything intuitively.  And to me, that's great description.  It flowed but didn't flood. (Score: 9/10)  

Narrative:  I found Ellen Levine's style of narrative clean and simple.  A lot of the story comes from within Jamie-which lends very well to the intimacy of the book.  The tension and passion are both clear to me as a reader and inspiring as a writer.  There's a lot of emotion packed into  what felt like a very short novel. (Score: 9/10)

Dialogue:  Unfortunately, dialogue was not one one of my favorites for In Trouble.  A lot of it felt predictable and dry.  I liked how it helped the story unfold, but in some ways it felt relied upon a little too much for me.  Now the inner dialogue of Jamie, however, is different.  The book starts with it and carries it to the end.  For me, that was the grabber. (Score: 6/10)

Characterization:  As much as I loved the book, I felt characterization lacked a little too.  Though I could tell everyone apart, they all sort of felt, well...simple.  But it did fit the type of story, so overall it worked.  Honestly, I think I'd have liked to know Grandma a little more-she seemed feisty and smart.  In the end, the characters stayed true to themselves and the time setting.  (Score: 7/10)  

Resolution:  The ending of the book was perfect for my tastes.  A lot of things happened, leading to high emotions and an ending that satisfied.  But most of all, I LOVED the Author's Note at the end.  I'm a true-blue back story girl and Ellen Levine's thoughts are clearly heartfelt.  It's hard for writers to expose themselves, especially with hot topics like abortion.  But she took the time to explain to her readers where her inspiration came from.  And she makes some very valid points. One in particular: "Although the historical setting is different, the pressures on young women remain the same". AMEN to that I say. (Score 9/10)

My friend and fellow NetGalley user, Sera Rivers suggested I review In Trouble.  I thanked her a bunch of times.  As a woman, a mother of a daughter, a nurse and writer, this book moved me.  As I said above, I read it in one sitting-a matter of hours.  And yes, I cried.  I cheered.  I felt inspired.  It's the type of book that should be read in schools and discussed at length. (Though I have no doubt it'll be banned.) History need not repeat itself.  We should, as women, be supporting each other-even if we don't agree.  I really hope this book makes it onto at least a few required reading lists for young adults 13-14 years and older.  I know it's on mine forever. Though I didn't love everything about how the book was crafted, I still rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars.