Saturday, November 6, 2010

What I've learned from the Epic Barn Fire of 2010

*Hay can catch on fire spontaneously.

*When 50 tons of hay, your barn, and tractor are on fire, it causes so much smoke that it can be seen all across the valley.

*Being out of the country on a cruise is an awfully inconvenient time to have a massive fire in your back yard.

*You will have calls, texts, messages on facebook, and various messages left to every member of your family from people who are concerned.

*Complete strangers will jump your fence and catch your yearling horse, who is completely freaking out, and take care of him.

*Your neighbors will come and get your dog and take him to their house, making sure he has lots of food and water.

*The City fire department has a really quick response time and they will stay late into the night.

*Putting out a hay fire takes A LOT of water.

*Your brothers, parents, and neighbors will come right over and help out, no matter what they were supposed to be doing or how nicely dressed they are.

*If you can’t be there while a trillion people are in your backyard, make sure your Dad and Step-Mom are. (especially when they know most of the cops/firefighters there.)

*It takes a lot of fans to un-smoke and un-stink your house.

*When a ton of wet, muddy, and stinky firefighters tromp through your house, make sure your Step-mom is there forcing them all to take off their boots.

*Send your three year old daughter to your Mom's house to play. She'll have a much better time, and won't be upset by the fire.

*Random smaller hay bales can burst into flames the next day.

*The fire departments response time is just as fast the second time.

*When you horse waterers are melted, you won’t have water to your house for several hours until your amazing-can-do-anything husband can fix it. (No matter how many times he swears while he’s working)

*Don’t use the toilets until your are certain that they will flush.

*When it’s all said and done, you will have a giant, stinky mess to clean up, and a large head ache from dealing with the insurance company.

*It SUCKS to deal with a fire, but as long as my hubby and daughter are safe and sound in our un-singed house, and we have such great friends and family, it makes me realize how very much I have to be grateful for!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet Writers Cubed!

My besties. My cubies.
Our website is almost done!!! Check us out soon at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

If I could pick a different life . . .

{not that I would. I love my life and my family} BUT for the sake of the game . . .

I would want to be a cowgirl. I want to ride my horse with skill and be as tough as cowgirls are. I want to travel around to all the small towns and live at the rodeos. I want to wear the cowgirl garb {NO. Not the ugly rodeo queen stuff, the cool, country stuff} and flirt with the cowboys.

I’ve got part of it down. I’ve got a way cute cowboy hubby that I get to flirt with everyday. The rest? Well, I’ll just have to dream.

Tag! You’re it! What would you’re life be like if you could choose anything? Leave me a link to your blog so I can check it out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Help! They're after me!

New stories!

Ahhh! I want to dive into one so badly. All these new stories are scattered across my mind. I see breeding operations, gospel fiction and revolutionary war. Corporate espionage and imaginary worlds. Time travel and almost affairs! Dystopian, Fantasy, Adult Romance, Middle Grade, Picture books!!! Ahhhh!

I can't pay attention to them. I've got a near completed project right now, dang it. But these stories are doggie piling on my brain, and I can't focus on anything. It's like they are saying: "If you won't pay attention to us, then we won't let you pay attention to anything else." So, what do I do? Veg out on the couch in front of the T.V.
It's a good plan.

I've GOT to finish the rest of the manuscript before I can do anything, right? That's the right thing to do. *RIGHT?*

Yes. It is. I can't get a divorce and get out of this. I can't have an abortion and get out of this. I can't give up on my baby while it's skull is still developing. (all analogies I've heard used for the process of writing a book.)

I've got to get this finished.

*but not tonight. So You Think You Can Dance, a bowl of ice cream, and a snugly husband are all calling my name* Good-night tormenting new stories. I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Writing and Reading

I’ve heard many people say over and over that to be a good writer, you have to be well read. Is it true?

For me, I love to read. What writer doesn’t? But I barely have enough time to write my own book, let alone read everyone else's. So when I started writing I banned myself from reading.

Why? It distracted me from my own book in a lot of ways. Their books were so good that I couldn’t put them down to read. I got discouraged because I felt that my book will never be as good. I even found myself accidentally writing characters/things/situations into my book because I’d read them elsewhere. *not good*

So I stayed away from other books.

Then, once I finished the first draft of my manuscript, and needed a break, I finally hit the bookshelves and read like mad. And you know what?

I think I was wrong.

I think it was a mistake to avoid books all together. I learned a lot by reading published works. I found new techniques, and interesting ways to craft my story. It’s been good for me to get a better understanding of my genre, and see what the readers are reading.

Sure . . . I still got distracted from my manuscript. I just need to sort out how to stay focused on my book, while reading others.

What do you guys think? Do you read a lot while writing your manuscript? How do you stay focused?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A little sunshine

I've been busy lately . . . I know its a lame excuse, we're all busy. I've been slacking on the blogging, but I've been hard at work on my manuscript.
Anyhow, my good friend Jo, at JoStorm left me an awesome award! Thanks Jo!
I'm going to pass this award on to five blogs that bring sunshine into my day.
Tamara at Why I Get Up
You guys all rock! Thanks for your blogs!
I'm hard at work on my rough draft, trying to make it not so rough . . . you know how it goes. I'll get blogging soon!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I did it!!!

I finally finished the first draft of my manuscript. Holla! Once I wrote The End, I ran around like a mad woman, and broke out into unattractive, bouncy dancing without warning. (my family thought I’d lost it)

But, really I was so excited and proud of myself! How did you feel once you finished that first draft? What crazy things did you do?

Then, as my good friend Margie says, I experienced the plummet after the high. Did anyone else feel this way? Though so excited, I also realized the hoards of work that still faces me before I can call my book “done.” I deflated a little.

Then I got to share the great news with people, which by the way, went great. Everyone was so excited and proud of me (thank you to everyone for your encouragement) But no one really shared my enthusiasm (except my group. I love you guys) Even my close family, who was very happy for me, didn’t share my crazy excitement. So I deflated a little bit more. I guess I wanted someone to jump and and down and scream with.

I got over it though. I'm mustering up the courage to face my revisions, and I accepted the fact that the support I'm getting from friends and family is enough.

So the purpose of this post (other than sharing my awesome news with everyone so you can pat me on the back and tell me how great I am, of course) is to mention the love for writing friends.

My writers group, (formally known as Maple Mountain Writers Guild) officially Writers Cubed, are my lifeline in my writing world. They know what it’s like to write. What it’s like to think of stories and feel connected to characters. They know. They get it. I would be lost without them.

So, as important and amazing as your non-writerly loved ones are, they won’t get it. That’s why it’s important to have writer friends in your life. Whether they’re a group that you really meet with, or people on the internet, you need that support in your writing life. It made ALL the difference for me.

Writers Cubed. You rock! You’re my cubies! Not my besties, but much more.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shhh! Its a secret

Yes it’s true. I’ve kept the fact that I’m writing a novel a secret from most of my friends and family. (with the exception of my husband and a small amount of people)



I’m not entirely sure. The reasons pile on top of one another. I was never a lover of the written word–writing–guru–english major–type of person. (Please don’t kick me out of the writing world for this confession.)

So, when I started writing it was for the love of stories and my wild imagination. It was silly. Really. ME? Write a book? Pshaw! Then I found that I loved it. So why did I hide it? Hmm . . . that’s been a tough one to answer. Let me try to explain.

I’m a quitter. No, I don’t like that. I’m a non-finisher. There, that’s better. I didn’t want to start my novel and not finish. If I told my family I know they’d all smile lovingly and supportively and think to themselves . . oh, here she goes again, we’ll see how long this lasts. I did not want those negative thoughts buzzing around.

I knew my non-writerly loved ones wouldn’t really see the HARD WORK and awesomeness that goes into writing a book. They’d only see the silly part, the imaginative part, the part I call FUN. You know, creating my own worlds, characters, rules and plots. They’d know that I stay up late thinking about an indian who often travels his magical mountain shirtless, and not that I’ve worked really hard to learn how to put emotions into my words and figure out exactly where that comma goes! (I’m still not sure) They’d think I was silly.

But when I tell them that I wrote a whole novel–a giant, full length Young Adult novel!–Now that’s accomplishment! I’ve been looking forward to that moment of big reveal when I get to tell my family that I WROTE A WHOLE BOOK! That my friends, will be a great day.

It’s been a long time that I’ve held this secret near to my heart. It’s tearing me in two. I can’t keep up the lies! I told myself I’d tell my loved ones of my passion once my first novel was finished. Well, thats taking a lot longer than I thought. So, on April 27th I made a goal to have my book finished by the end of May. *yikes* To make myself even more accountable, I posted it on my family blog, and concealed what I was actually doing. I confessed to having a secret project and told everyone that I would reveal it to them on May 31st.

Things are coming along great! Since I made the goal I’ve accomplished so much! I can’t believe that I can actually get so much done so fast. (Takes a moment to look around the mess of a house and the child zoning out in front of the TV)

So, on May 31st I will officially reveal once and for all that I'm a writer! Stay tuned friends, things are going to get wild over here!

Till then . . .

Shhh! It’s a secret.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Dreams Do Come True!

I've been wanting to get my picture taken with Cinderella since I was four!
Join Wordless Wednesdays:

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Bio

I had to put together a bio for the Maple Mountain Writers Guild website (coming soon!) I was really struggling with what to say that would show a reader how cool I am, why my life is amazing and why they should read my stuff. Let me tell you, that's NOT easy. So after much toil I finally came up with this:

*I tried to keep it as close to the truth as possible*

NaTahsha Ford’s life was struck with tragedy at the tender ago of one, when her parents were grotesquely murdered by the most formidable villain the wold had ever seen. He was unaware of her super powers and was destroyed, but in the process he marked her as the chosen one who would save the world from all evil.

She was taken in by a kind man who was secretly her grandfather, and leader of an ancient secret society. He taught her to hone her powers, solve riddles and decipher codes.

As she grew, her intelligence was unmatched, and her intoxicating beauty blossomed into something desired by boys near and far. Her high school years were marked by an intense love triangle between a blood lusting vampire and an immature, yet sexy werewolf. She was strong willed and powerful enough to realize that she didn’t need either of them. She kicked them both to the curb and continued on her quest looking for her true love, one who did not want to eat her and wasn’t half dog.

NaTahsha never lived the life of a damsel in distress, and often kicked in the faces of the whiney princesses who sat helpless while counting on hunky men to save them. Instead, she uses her super-powers, and plump, luscious lips to defended her self and kick some evil butt. She’s learned that through that course of action, the men often come hunker and even more shirtless.

She spent years time traveling through a secret magical cave. There she met historical people and had adventures that strengthened her powers and kept her on her path to eliminating all evil.

Today, NaTahsha is still on her quest of super power-ness, evil butt kicking, flaunting of her goddess-like good looks and seducing of shirtless men.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Recess Sucks

My pal Margie is hosting this contest in which we write about why recess sucks, and I've not been able to think of anything else, since. Check out her blog (Spin me write round) and enter the contest your self!

A disclaimer. I am not a soul-less child eater as this story may entail. I was merely trying to convey my frustrations at the moment. I love kids. Especially the well behaved kind.



I escort the kids outside, dreading being on recess duty. But I’m the T.A. I get the crappy work.

It’s Joey’s first recess in weeks. No punishment or discipline can get through to that kids oversized melon. He doesn’t care. Every day he starts with a clean slate. Five chances before he loses recess privileges. Five chances is four too many. That kid should be cleaning out the urinals with a toothbrush. At least I wouldn’t have to chase him around the class room everyday so my teacher can teach. Is it legal to tranquilize a student during school hours? Not anything lethal, just a small dose of sedatives is all I’m asking for.

I shake away the un-teacherly thoughts as I enter the bright playground, and wrap my arms around myself. Why did I wear a skirt today? The wind whooshes up me and I have to dance around. I congregate with the other TAs to a spot where we can keep a watchful eye on the kids, while staying out of sight.

The bell finally rings and our classes line up with us. Suzy tattle tale informs me that Joey hasn’t lined up yet. The other TA walks my class in while I deal with Joey. It’s me, him and a tall twisty playground. I’m an adult, I should be able to handle this third grader just fine, right? Wrong. As soon as I tell him to come inside, he bolts up the playground and balls himself up on the top of the monkey bars. The only way to get him down is by yanking on his dangling leg. It’s not too far of a drop, he wouldn’t get hurt too badly. No, I push the thought away. I’m not allowed to touch the kids.

He likes the chase. He teases and runs away from me, staying just out of my reach. My face gets redder and he laughs. The more I yell, the further up the playground he climbs. I threaten to call his Mom or his Dad. But that has no affect. Those push over parents bow down to this child like he’s the queen of hearts and his tantrums alone could make their heads roll. I threaten to call his babysitter, the one person who has any control over the creature—I mean child. I can see I’ve hit my mark. Joey starts to climb down.

I laugh within myself. I’ve done it! I’ve conquered the beast. I imagine dragging him into school by the earlobe, whacking him a few times with a yards stick and placing the dunce hat on his head. Where did the old fashioned punishments go? Kids wouldn’t be so out of control if they had to answer to a stuffy teacher with a bad hair-do and a yard stick.

But I am wrong. Oh so wrong.

Joey bolts!

All the energy he’s built up over weeks of no recess comes bursting out of his little legs. He heads for the fence. I yell and chase after him—stupid skirt! I can’t keep up! Joey reaches the fence and starts to climb. A busy street and wide open world waits for him beyond the chain link. He’s now a danger to himself.

Just before Joey reaches the top of the fence, I grab him by the back of the shirt, and yank him down. Stifling my desire to body slam him to the ground like an overpaid wrestler, I place him on his feet. With a firm hand gripped on his arm, and one on his back, I walk him to the principal’s office. I ignore his pleading and his meaningless apologies.

I say nothing.

Recess sucks.

I leave Joey in the hands of our principal, whose chair is all too familiar with Joey backside.

That night, I officially make the decision that I’ve been struggling with for weeks.

I am definitely not cut out to be a teacher.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's a miracle!

I’ve been practicing and developing a skill, that when used appropriately can break even the meanest streaks of writers block.

Yes, it’s true! I’ve discovered the cure to writers block.

I want the world to learn this amazing skill, so that this raging torment that affects writers everywhere can be a thing of the past.

We all know how it goes, you’re writing along beautifully and then your fingers come to a grinding halt against the keyboard. You scratch your brain, scream at the computer, eat lots of cookie dough and still nothing comes out.

My friends! It doesn’t need to be that hard!

Heres the big secret:


When your mind goes blank, figure out the simplest way to get your point across and–voila!– the wall comes crumbling down and you’re writing like you never thought you could before.

Let me give you some examples so you can see the theory work.

Scene one: My characters are traveling down a tunnel. Shea is approached by a man who has not hidden his distaste for her.

He leaned over me and whispered, cold and wheezy against my ear, (Here’s where my mind went blank, and I had to employ the simplicity theory) “I will threaten you now, and you will be frightened. My character will develop and you will begin to be suspicious of me.”

See how amazing that is? I didn’t know how the character was going to get my point across, so I just made him say it as simply as possible.

Aren’t I an amazing writer?

Do you want to see another one? Its really good.

“Hello, thank you for meeting me a secret manner that is suspicious.”

“You’re welcome, though our conversation, Shea will be wary of our intentions.”

“Yes, and when horrible events unfold in the future she will suspect us as being the masterminds.”

“And now, we will laugh evilly at out despicable plans!”

I know, you’re jealous of my skills. Don’t get frustrated, you too can learn to write like me.

My latest one is my favorite:

“I will say something relevant to the situation, but somewhat strange that will show an intuitive person my real intentions.”

See, it’s easy. It takes some time and practice to develop your skills, but soon they will be as well crafted as mine.

My great friend Jo, (on my blog list as Shoveling in a Jo Storm) was aware of my amazing abilities and she shared a video with me that employed the simplicity is best theory. I rolled on the floor when I first watched it.

Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer

I will end my post by saying something inspiring, that will show you what an amazing writer am, make you excited to read more things from me, and most importantly, get you excited about writing too!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It’s the question every writer has to ask herself. Why do I write? Is it for money or fame? To improve talents and exercise skill? Do you do it because you’re god’s gift to the writing world, and it would shrivel away without your shining contribution? Do you do it because you have to?

Why do you do anything in life?

All those reasons are fine, but if happiness isn’t making an appearance in your list of motivation, then what’s the point? Life is too short, with too many amazing opportunities, that its downright silly to spend your precious time doing something that doesn’t bring you joy.

Now, that doesn’t mean that every second of the writing process is sheer bliss. Writing is HARD WORK. Sometimes it just sucks. It can be daunting and overwhelming. There might be times when you are tempted to take your whole manuscript, light it on fire, and do a naked celebratory dance around it’s shriveling ashes. (Please don’t tell me if you’ve ever done that) That’s okay! The most rewarding things in life come from hard work. As long as in the midst of your naked fire dance phase, you can still dig to the core of yourself and find that writing really does bring you happiness, then you can put some clothes on and get back to it!

As a writer, my day is busy with work and little people and life. Each day I have a hundreds other things I should be doing besides writing. In fact, writing is a sacrifice for me.

So why do I do it?

I write because it makes me happy. When I get to write, I not only escape to a new world, I create a new world, with characters and places that I love. They flow out of my head and onto the pages, often with no prodding from me. I LOVE THAT! I’m proud of myself when I improve my craft and achieve new goals. I’m excited at the possibilities writing has to offer me. I love the people who are a part of my writing life.

I may never make millions of dollars and become a famous author, and that’s okay. Writing brings me happiness. So, I can dig through the tough times, push past the words that come out as nothing but sucky crap, and face the overwhelming reality of the writing business head on because,

I write for delight.