Sep 272017
 

nature-2569252_1280

I was watching the weather forecast on our local news recently. As usual, I was doing other things…working on my computer, chatting with the kids, making dinner. This time, among the temperature forecast and predicted night time lows, something different caught my attention. The weatherman said that you could see the International Space Station passing through the sky that night.

There was an instant tug from my heart. I wanted to see it.

Tuning into my intuition is something that I am very aware of. I’ve known for as long as I can remember that I have a sort of internal guidance system. Lately I have been working with it even more by focusing when I feel pulled toward something or someone, instead of ignoring the nudge because I don’t have the time or what I’m being called to do doesn’t make sense. There is always a reason why my life’s GPS system is telling me to go a certain way. It is always for my benefit. I’m learning to trust that. Because sometimes the things that my intuition pops into my brain out of nowhere seem absolutely crazy or unattainable. At other times the benefits of following my intuitive path aren’t immediately clear. Yet when I look back, I can see that everything worked out for the best.

When I decided to double-check the time that the space station would be in my little patch of sky, I was surprised to see that sighting it isn’t a rare event. It is actually visible almost every night right now for me, as long as there are clear skies. You can check when you might be able to see it on this NASA site: Spot the Station.

That night, as I watched the tiny dot that resembled a shooting star, I started sending a little beam of love and support from me to the people on the space station. The awe and wonder of what I was watching simply filled me with joy. I was looking at a station cooperatively constructed by many countries, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, and European nations. Inside it, at that very moment, were some people who had learned how to trust a lot more than their intuition. They trust that they can ride a rocket into space, live on the station, then return home to earth and their families. They trust that their fellow astronauts, the station, and equipment will keep them alive. They trusted that their dreams of going into space would come true. Simply inspiring.

So now I have the space station tracker bookmarked on my computer. If the sky is clear, I try to step outside and send some good vibes toward the space station as it passes overhead. In return, I get to wonder at the amazing trust and bravery of the people who are flying around the earth at 17,150 miles per hour.

 

 September 27, 2017  Posted by  General, Inspiration, Updates Tags: ,  No Responses »
Sep 052017
 

Cicada Necklace

My kids are both back in school – one in college, the other in high school. This time of year always feels like a fresh start that is ripe with the potential of things to come. I bet there are a lot of people, like me, who get a burst of energy and creativity when school starts. Exciting, new projects…here I come! I have had a loooong, difficult end to the summer. My beloved Golden Retriever, Cooper, has had health issues. He’s on the mend now, but I’ve spent a lot of time at home – caring for him and trying to keep him quiet so that he can recover – over the last two months. Seeing his goofy, excited, happy personality return is a fresh start in its own way.

I’m getting ready to begin a juicy, new writing project. But over the holiday weekend a different creative outlet was the focus of my attention. Making jewelry. Once upon a time, when I designed beadwork patterns, I never made jewelry just for the fun of it. While I have some pretty and very interesting jewelry from that time, I was always focused on producing patterns that I could sell to beadwork magazines. I didn’t play with my beads for a long time when I switched to writing fiction. Now, I’m getting back to working with my gigantic stash of beads. Most importantly (to me) I’m making jewelry just for myself. Simply for me to wear and enjoy. What used to be a job, now is creative play. And I couldn’t be happier – especially with the necklaces I made over the Labor Day weekend. They all contain symbols that coincide with how I live my life now. I’ll be doing a three part blog series to highlight them all.

The pendant on the necklace in this post is a cicada. It isn’t a coincidence that over the last few summers I have found cicada exoskeletons on the trees in my backyard. “Hello? This is the Universe calling. Here’s a sign. Pay attention, please.”

Over and over I found the shells that a cicada left behind on its way to becoming bigger and bolder. The insects spend, depending on the variety, anywhere from 1 to 17 years of their lives underground before emerging. Then they come out of the dirt and transform.

For most of my life my motto was: Don’t rock the boat. I was quiet. Constantly trying to be “nice”. I hated conflict, so I would bite my tongue to avoid it. People could say or do anything…and I would just put up with it to avoid an uncomfortable argument or confrontation. I let other people shovel their issues onto me until I was buried and could barely move through my own life.

A few years ago, I took a look at how I was living and realized that I had become a human doormat that was covered in everybody else’s dirt and crap. Not okay!!

Since then I have broken through the muck, shed my confining beliefs, and I am not afraid to stand up for myself. I don’t tolerate bad behavior. In a social situation, I will move away from people who don’t resonate with me. I no longer feel the need to please everyone or be liked by all. I won’t spend my time and energy on drama that someone else manufactured to draw attention to themselves (that’s a HUGE thing for me). Plus, I’ve realized that I am nowhere near as introverted as I thought I was. I still like being alone, but I am also perfectly capable of talking to strangers and really enjoying the experience. I’ve faced the fact that saying that I’m an introvert has been more of an excuse for avoiding situations and people who make me uncomfortable.

I have changed in a way that is very similar to how a cicada lives its life – moving from being in the dark, confining dirt to making some noise. So that is why I made a necklace with a huge, kind of creepy, bug pendant. I love the cicada for all that it means to me and the woman who I have become.

 

Jul 272017
 

Pancakes & Pandemonium

Coming January 2018

Book #6 in the Culinary Competition Mystery Series

Nov 272015
 

Click HERE to see all of the fabulous deals

Gemma Halliday Publishing is having a sale on boxed sets, including two sets which contain my books. If you’ve been out and about today, battling the crowds, I bet you could use a break. A few mouse clicks is all it takes to get these deals. :) Just click on the banner to go to the sale page. Then enjoy taking advantage of the deals. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

 November 27, 2015  Posted by  The Culinary Competition Series, Updates Tags: , ,  Comments Off on Black Friday Boxed Set Sale
Oct 262015
 

Raid My Bookshelves Giveaway #4

Halloween is almost here, but there is nothing spooky about this giveaway! You can simply win books, pulled from my own bookshelves. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to my newsletter. If you are already a subscriber…congrats! You’re already entered in the giveaway. If not, you can become a subscriber below. I only send out monthly newsletters and a few special announcements. I promise I won’t drive you crazy filling your inbox with emails, and I will never share your email with anybody else.



Books in this giveaway are (links go to Amazon where I am an associate):

The Bookfair Murders

B as in Beauty

30 Meals/30 Minutes: A Healthy Exchanges Cookbook

A Penny Saved

The Great Salsa Book

 

 October 26, 2015  Posted by  General, Updates Tags: ,  2 Responses »
Aug 172015
 

I am teaming up with a couple of my writing friends to do a culinary mystery boxed set. You get the first books in three series

Pies & Peril from my Culinary Competition Series

Murder Al Dente from Jennifer L. Hart’s Southern Pasta Shop series

Southern Peach Pie and a Dead Guy from A. Gardner’s Poppy Peters series

Just $2.99 for a limited time. Click on the cover above to grab your copy!

 August 17, 2015  Posted by  The Culinary Competition Series, Updates Tags: , ,  Comments Off on Deadly Delicious Boxed Set Release Day!
Mar 222015
 

Like every writer I know, I have a lot of books. A LOT of books. Book hoarding is an affliction of many writers. I hold on to books that I’ve read and I keep around books that are no longer useful to me…for no good reason. It’s time to find those under-utilized books a new home! So here’s how I’ll be doing that:

Every month I will do a blog post with a picture of a collection of books that need loving, new owners. A winner will be chosen from my newsletter subscribers. That person will get to choose the book of their choice. Easy, right? No need to leave a comment or fill out a long entry form. Just be a newsletter subscriber and you are automatically entered to win every month. Pssst…if you don’t subscribe to my newsletter you can sign up below.

I’m going to start out the inaugural contest with one of my favorite kinds of books…cookbooks! Check them out above. Some of these are like new and a few have been “loved”, but all of the recipes work fine. :)



 March 22, 2015  Posted by  Updates Tags: , ,  4 Responses »
Jul 272014
 

 

Congratulations to Jacquie, who won the contest for the autographed copy of Pies & Peril plus the handmade necklace.

Stay tuned, I promise I will do more giveaways soon!

 July 27, 2014  Posted by  Cooper, Updates Tags:  1 Response »
May 082014
 

I recently found out from my publisher that my first culinary mystery will be published in July! That means it’s time to nail down all kinds of things, like cover art and the series name. I’ve come up with several series names and I’m having a difficult time deciding on which one I like the most.  I would like some unbiased opinions to help me choose. So, I’ve created a poll to see what others think.

About the series: Amy Ridley lives in a small town in Michigan. She has a loving husband, a crazy dog and a commitment-phobic best friend. Amy is a former beautician who now creates prize winning recipes, instead of hair styles. Her passion is entering cooking contests – from local pie baking competitions to nation-wide searches for the best baked beans recipes. She is a talented cook who ends up developing a new set of skills, solving murders, after she finds a body at a contest in the first book of the series.

What do you think? Does this sound like a series you would like? I would love it if you could let me know what series name you like the most. Which name would make you take a closer look when you are browsing for a new book? Just click on the link below to be taken to the voting form. If you can think of another name, please leave a comment on this post. I’ll take everything into account and make a decision soon. Thank you!

Vote Here

 

 

May 052014
 

A new month always holds a bit of excitement. A new beginning. A new page on the calendar. With the way my April went, I am very glad to see we’re already to Cinco de Mayo.

I had dental problems throughout most of April. I was only able to awkwardly chew food on the right side of my mouth for three weeks. Lots of soft food found its way into my diet. Yes, I could’ve added more variety, but since it was so difficult I didn’t really feel like eating much. It certainly wasn’t pleasurable. And I didn’t feel like blogging about food when I could barely eat it.

On top of that Cooper, my Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. He went on medication and the change was remarkable as he went from couch potato to happy and energetic again. Unfortunately he also showed signs of the medication dosage being too high, so we’ve been working at dialing it back down. A bit of a bumpy road, but he’ll feel so much better once we find the sweet spot dosage.

So I’m happy that it’s a new month. That my tooth is fixed and that Cooper is on the mend. Here’s to hoping that May will be a very good month.

 May 5, 2014  Posted by  Cooper, General, Updates Tags:  6 Responses »