Monday, August 22, 2011

The College Experience

Today my son started his college experience.

My pride in my son increases - he's worked hard to earn his scholarships to the college of choice and is making full use of them starting today. Mondays and Thursdays are his very busy class days, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays leaving time for a class or two and then plenty of study opportunities. Fridays are a busy day as well, but he finishes up early enough in the day to enjoy some hours to himself.

Over the summer he took a required gen ed course to dip his toes into college life and see what he could expect come fall. He's really glad he did.

Plus he got an "A" in said course, which makes mommie dearest very happy indeed. Then two of the guys he got to know in that class ended up being in one of his classes today - he's already made some friends!

This evening he has two IT classes - those will be the real test of his college mettle. They're three hours each. Ouch!

But hey, they will be pretty fun classes (for him anyway). Because of his college prep classes and hard work his senior year, he was allowed to skip the pre-req gen ed requirements and go straight to the "fun" classes. Of course, he'll have to squeeze those gen ed classes in somewhere along the way, but at least he doesn't have to experience just another year of "school" before having some fun.

Another one of those "method to the madness" moments. I think after the last several years of experiencing those moments, he's come to the realization that mom actually DOES know what she's talking about.


Sometimes it's fun being right. :-) My prayer is that his college experiences only get better from here on out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

An Announcement

Hello my dear readers!

Some exciting things are beginning to happen in my little realm of indie authorship. I'm working hard on completing my final draft of Running into the Darkness. Today I also created a blog specifically for my professional life as an author. There I posted a smattering of RITD to (hopefully) whet your reading appetite.

But I must warn you - some of my writing deals with very sensitive subject matter. In my personal life, I've tried to live as realistically and honestly as humanly possible - the good, bad, and ugly, warts and all. I don't cover it up but face it head on. Therefore, I've tried to create my stories to reflect the good, bad, ugly. You get the picture.

As a Christian, I have struggled with this in my writing. When I originally started this particular work, I'd planned to publish under a pseudonym - that is if I were so lucky to actually get a contract. However, as time has gone on I've had a chance to become familiar with even greater depravaties that human beings come up with. I've been reminded how the Bible shows we humans for exactly who we are - the good, bad, and ugly, warts and all. God didn't conceal our propensity toward evil acts - but he also didn't excuse it. There are consequences for our behavior.

Therefore, I've decided to publish under my name. That way in the event I actually gain some readership, I'll have a vehicle to explain why I chose to create this or that character and place them into this or that situation, with the outcome of their decisions in full view. It might even make for some charged conversation.

I always did like making people think.

So if you've a mind to check out my new author blog, you can find it at . Enjoy reading the posted excerpt if you dare.

But remember - I warned you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making Good Out of Bad

Sad news today.

Found out this evening that Border's Bookstore is closing down for good. Not really surprised at this point.

Since 2002, the critique group I've been with has met at a Border's Bookstore for our meetings. We've laughed (sometimes at each other's writing submissions), we've unmercifully teased, drank tons of great java and chillers, and just plain had fun since that time.

That is until earlier this year.

We were all saddened to learn that our regular meeting place was one of several around the country being closed down, and rather quickly too.

Now this news that all Border's stores are being closed and liquidated. Ugh! But with the advent of competition from various sources, particularly eBooks, it seemed like only a matter of time after the first stores went down.

It's almost a double-edged sword. Our group has been busy working on the eBook challenge and it appears eBooks have been part of the reason Border's couldn't keep up any longer. Makes me wonder who might be next.

I only hope we're able to make something good happen out of the bad.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Still Here!!!

It's getting crazier by the minute!

My apologies, oh patient readers, for not posting for the past month. My new cosmo career has had me working like a dog both mentally and physically - but that's been a really good thing.

But the biggest craziness has been my focus on finishing up my final draft to publishing as an eBook. All of my extra time and energy has been sitting here at my overwrought computer as I slash away unnecessary fodder and add additional hints of information to tie the loose ends of my story together. The effort is sooo going to be worth it!

Yesterday a group of about 25 of us got together to have a meeting for the Indie Writer's Alliance (see us at and ) to discuss the early experiences of our illustrious leader. He just started a blog tour for his recent work. Since most of us weren't familiar with such an event, he spent several hours giving us the low-down on what it is, how to organize a blog tour, and how the tour progressed at the end of the first week.

I'm exhausted twice over now just thinking of all the additional work still left to do AFTER completing the final draft.

He also informed us that eBook sales have surpassed traditional paper sales on - another important milestone in the rapidly changing publishing industry. Sales of Kindle for last Christmas were huge and are expected to be even bigger this season. Then with all stores closed Christmas Day, where do you think these new Kindle, etc. owners are going to look to populate their new toys?


So our gang is pushing hard to have our eBooks published by September. I'm still pursuing the end of July, but I still want to ensure I put out the best possible work. We'll see where things stand by the end of the month.

So just in case you don't hear from me for awhile, please know that I'm still here plugging away on my handy-dandy computer. Then look for me and my pals on

Your positive reviews will be most appreciated then. :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Off The Ground

My new career has taken off - actually both of them. :-)

The past two and ahalf weeks I have been feverishly learning everything I can about my new employer and the signature color and cut looks they offer. It has been an exhausting but rewarding experience thus far - and we haven't even had our official grand opening yet (that's tomorrow).

In the midst of all of this, I took my State Board practical exam in Topeka. Let me say, that experience was the most nerve wracking I can remember. The whole way home I second-guessed myself and ran over all of the supposed errors I thought I'd made and the things I couldn't remember if I did properly. It was a nightmare!

For three days before the exam I hardly slept. Then I took the exam and hardly slept for days thereafter. I'd run into a girl there who was retaking her exam and she had to come back and retake the critical blood spill section. Her overall score was a 92% but since she'd failed the critical portion, she failed the entire thing and had to stop work and wait two months before she could retake that section. The idea of that happening sent me into a bit of a tailspin.

So when I received my letter two days ago, I whooped and hollered so much I couldn't stand myself - passed with a 94% and 100% for the critical blood spill. My son never had any doubts (nor did Tonya, you little stinker). For the first night in more than two weeks I slept like a log.

Today is my first day off in ten days and I'm hitting the second part of my career full-force in the midst of a full-blown storm outside. I just LOVE writing amidst thunderstorms! I've been furiously working on cleaning up and perfecting my second draft for posting as an eBook on Amazon. More and more I am convinced that this window of opportunity could lead to success in this industry.

For the past several years, there have been just dramatic changes in the publishing industry that will never allow it to go back to its former days. Think of it as the i-Tunes of publishing. Online music changed that industry in many ways for the better. That is my (and many others) hope for the publishing realm.

And I want to be one of those on the ground floor to see it happen.

So soon you will see and on a computer screen near you.

Then shortly thereafter you'll see the first of my novels, Running into the Darkness, hit the screen.

The small screen, that is. But hey, I'll take the big screen maybe someday too. :-)

But first things first - getting off the ground with my cosmo career. Isn't life interesting these days?

That's what I thought.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Official

It is with enormous pleasure and pride that I post today's news.

As of Sunday, my son is officially graduated from high school!

There were times I thought we'd never get to this momentous event, that I was birthing my son all over again but this time it was years instead of mere hours. There have been years of agony, pain, and sorrow - years of anger and hurt. But now we look back on it all and realize that the good AND bad years have contributed to where he is today.

And that place is an awesome place.

Instead of surviving, he's at that place where he is truly looking forward to the future and making plans for what it holds. Even though transition is somewhat scary, he's been ready to get past high school for some time now and move into college and career considerations.

That's so cool! My son, actually looking forward to college - who'd have thunk it?

This morning I made the request for his high school transcripts to be forwarded to his college of choice. Tomorrow we'll be going to get his classes for fall tentatively scheduled and scholarship info finalized.

The interesting thing about all of this, I'm not feeling nostalgic or sad. Sunday I never once cried because I was so happy for my son and his accomplishments (I did enough of that preparing his DVD life montage). Well, and perhaps I was also trying to take care of everything under the sun too, but that's beside the point. How could I cry when my son was obviously so thrilled?

So on this eve of Memorial Day weekend there is much to be thankful for.

I'll include my son in that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In The Homestretch

Well we are now in the homestretch!

My son is in the final week of his high school experience, and the last two weeks have been a whirlwind indeed. Last week was full of awards presentations, assemblies, etc.

I'm so glad I've been available to be a part of all of this.

At one of the awards presentations last week, my son received an ACE Award. Now the ACE Award is given by individual teachers to students of any grade level who they believe were the best and greatest example to their fellow classmates. My son didn't expect to receive one, but figured the only one he'd be in the running for would be choir, though he already knew who was probably going to get that award as the teacher's biggest helper.

So call my son surprised when, of all teachers, Mr. K called his name as his ACE Award student. Mr. K had my son in a technology class last year, when my son royally skunked the entire group of PT classes by building an awesome bridge that had by far the best weight to strength ratio. In fact, because of his design and beating everyone so badly, they changed a few parameters for the bridge project going forward.


So if that wasn't a high enough point in his week, the next assembly - in front of the entire school and faculty - had the school presenting him with a plaque to be displayed in the school, honoring him for his State Choir participation.

I told you it was a big deal.

The plaque has his honor referenced and picture so everyone will be able to see and remember who he was. I look forward to seeing where they put it and showing everyone who comes for his graduation. Certainly hope they plan to have it up by then.

But the thing that I believe meant so much to him was being chosen by his senior class as the person most likely to succeed on Broadway. :-) What an honor indeed to be regarded by one's peers.

So finals are ongoing throughout the next few days, and he's been working hard on his chemistry and physics finals projects. Friday is senior graduation rehearsal and then senior walkout.

Thursday my mother comes in, so she'll get to be a part of that great tradition. Friday my dad will arrive, while Saturday my oldest sister and some of her family will be here. Sunday morning my middle sister and some of her family, and my son's father's side will arrive.

Then it is the big walk down the stairs. I can hear the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" already.

Someone pass the tissues.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Publishing Potential

The last few days have been quite interesting.

Last night was our writer's group night, and we had alot of fodder to discuss. At the recent OWFI conference in Oklahoma City, the group attendees found out some great information on self-publishing and promoting Ebooks through Amazon.

Didn't know this, but for about a year now Amazon has been allowing any and all indie authors to self-publish free of charge under their Kindle site. This is quite the breakthrough needed for many first-time hopefuls.

So now our little group is attempting to learn more about this avenue and how we can collectively promote our own work as well as one another's. At the conference, a little old lady mentioned how she'd posted her work for Kindle and how with a little self-promotion, her sales grew to 1,300 in one month.

Now that may not sound like alot to you, but for a never before published author that is heaven!

So the one who attended this workshop has had one of his novels available for Kindle purchase on Amazon for several months. He's done no publicity thus far, had it priced on the upper end of the Ebook spectrum, and has sold seven copies. After attending this workshop, he's now lowered his price substantially and plans to start promoting it next month. He's also working on a collective website where indie authors can promote their work.

This has the potential to be a real opportunity for our writer's group. I've already gone online and created a posting page. Now I just need to finish more of my novels-in-progress. Think I'm going to try and make it a priority these next severals weeks until my return to the workforce. After that, my time is not my own.

But it has the potential to be...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Take Me Up To Cloud Nine

Today was so much fun.

This morning, my sister, niece, and great-niece all came up to visit and have a girls day of frivolity and hair. We started off with a visit to the State Beauty Supply in town, lunch at a local restaurant, and back to my house for cutting, coloring, and highlighting all afternoon.

Twas a blast indeed. :-)

To be completely frank, I needed a day to play and do some hair. Finding the right fit in where to work has been more difficult than I imagined it would be. I've spent weeks sending out resumes, interviewing, and am ready to accept a position. However, all of this time away from the chair has put me into a bit of a tailspin.

The questions mount in my mind:

Am I really qualified to work on the public and get paid for it?
Am I ready for the State Board practical exam in Topeka?
Why should someone hire me right out of school?
Did I really get the most out of my schooling?
Why does it still take me so long to complete people's hair?

And on and on it goes.

That's why today was so special. Not only did I get to play hair with my sister and niece, not only did they actually trust me to do a good job, but we just enjoyed each other's company.

And their hair looked great when I was done! I really was proud of the job I did. The whole time I was relaxed and comfortable and never once worried if I was doing something right or not. My foils looked just like puffy little pillows, the way they're supposed to look. The haircuts fell just right and shaped their faces beautifully. Take me up to cloud nine.

So after waking up this morning wondering if I was ever going to really feel like I could make it in this industry, tonight I go to bed knowing I will.

I have my family to thank for that.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Skidding Into Home Plate

We are now in the home stretch.

My son and me, that is.

It is May and that means high school graduation is officially three weeks from today. He's counting down the days as we speak (or type, in my case).

The job search for myself is also taking off and hopefully landing somewhere wonderful soon. Tomorrow I have two job interviews at two different types of salons. One is a corporate-type facility while the other is a private, very upscale salon. Each type has its perks, but if all goes well and the vibe is right, I'd love to have the luxury of leaning toward the private salon.

For most of my life, I have worked the corporate lifestyle and mentality. Time is never one's own and your value is determined by someone else.

Not that I'm into money alone, mind you. I've had some wonderful jobs where I got paid well.

But it's just that the time/money thing is so heavily connected that you don't have the freedom to really live. Part of my doing the cometology thing is to finally gain back some of my own life and be able to live again. That's really hard to do in a corporate environment.

So if all goes well, I'm hoping for a chance at the private salon. It will be an enormous risk, something that is a real struggle right now. But with risk comes the chance for reward. Plus it gives me another opportunity to show my son that mindset not just in word but in deed.

So here's hoping for sunny skies ahead these next few days and weeks. I'll let you know when I skid into home plate.