My Son’s Room

I love my son’s room. I love going in at the end of the day to put him to bed and seeing the artifacts of his life gathered around him. I love seeing what he thinks is valuable and what isn’t. What deserves a place of honor on his dresser, and what gets thrown in the closet. He’s a bit of a collector, my kid, which is not really like me. He’s more sentimental about objects. But I enjoy seeing that, too. I like seeing the ways that he is uniquely himself and nothing like me or his dad. People are interesting. No, really, they are. If you don’t think so, you’re not looking hard enough. Every person has a story, even an eight year old boy who lives with his mom and dog and collects LEGOs and stuffed snakes and rocks with cool patterns on them. Are you looking?

Five Things I Loved about Brave

I saw Brave last week with my mother, sister, son, two nieces, and nephew. It was a fairly wild crew, but fun. Much like Merida’s family in Brave, we all have our moments. I’ve actually read mixed reviews of the movie, which surprised me. I think people have come to have such an exalted view of Pixar that nothing but perfection will do for some. I loved Brave. Was it perfect? Probably not, but I’m having a hard time pin-pointing things I didn’t like. The plot was compelling, the characters—particularly Merida and Elinor—were relatable, and it was technically brilliant. So, without further ado, here are Five Things I Love about Brave: The hair. Call me shallow, but I’m a curly girl. I’ve had curls sprouting from my head since I was a baby. Not tame, soft curls. We’re talking mane-like thick curls with a mind of their own. Straightening works… […]

My child is a reader now.

Watching my son learn to read is a revelation. For a lifelong reader, there is very little that equals the thrill of watching your child learn to read. It’s as if the world opens up to them. They discover a magic code in the air that is suddenly and permanently decipherable. They start to recognize words all around and, if you’re watching, you can see the wonder of it. You begin to realize just how much language surrounds us. Signs, t-shirts, instructions, advertising, labels. They start to read it all. And you become aware of something that you thought you knew—especially if you’re a writer—but it drills it home because this time it is your child and their world and everything is new. Words, which we toss around like careless things too often, have weight. And for the rest of their lives, the child that has learned to read will […]

News, updates, and “ARGH!”

I’ve taken a few days off (“Really?” Yes, really.) and I’m enjoying a writing break before I start on my next couple of projects. The cover reveal for the fourth Elemental Mysteries book, A Fall of Water, will be happening tomorrow. ARCs will be going out to bloggers soon, and a teaser for the fourth book has already posted here. As for upcoming projects, I have three that I’m very excited about. Carwyn’s book is still a work-in-progress, but is reaching the halfway point. I don’t have an estimated time for that release, since I’m trying to catch my breath schedule-wise. I’ve also been planning a brand new series in an entirely different universe for my paranormal-lovers out there. I’m really excited about it, and I think I’ll have a short story published over the summer that will be a prequel for the first book. Most fun of all, my […]

Metaphor, Guy Clark, and The Cape

I’m in awe of good songwriters. A good song is a complete story told in three or four minutes. Set to music. Now, I’m a decent writer, but I hold a certain reverence for those talented individuals who can tell a story, put it to music, and often, sing it too. That, my friends, is talent. I listened to a variety of music growing up, from the Statler Brothers to Led Zeppelin, folk music of all kinds and classical music, too. My own musical training was classical (voice and piano) but I always had an affection for traditional country music. When I went to school in Houston, I fell in love with Texas songwriters. Lyle Lovett was the first, quickly followed by Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Now, a lot of you may never have heard of Guy Clark (or Van Zandt, which is a crime), but you’ve probably […]

Reading/Watching/Listening: Christmas Edition

Okay, I’ll admit it, if there’s any season that gets me sentimental and traditional, it’s Christmas. Starting around Thanksgiving, I bake. I crochet. I drive around looking at Christmas lights with my son. I wear tweed if at all possible. Basically, the Christmas season brings out my latent British roots (which are very latent.) And I am, to say the very least, a traditionalist. You will never see a pink Christmas tree at my house. The colors are green, red, and gold. There will be garlands. There will not be a palm tree with lights. (Even though I live in Southern California.) I like my music classical and my films period. So, here’s my Reading/Watching/Listening: Christmas edition: Reading: Elf on a Shelf Now, apparently, this crazy little guy has been around for a while, but this is the first year I’ve heard of him. In our house, he’s named Shrinky, […]

Top Five Family Movies (that won’t make you want to gouge out your eyes)

Phew! Second book is out, which means that I can get back to posting inane writing advice and random opinions about television, music, and movies. Now, Christmas is coming (according to my local Target, it’s been Christmas season for about three months now) but soon, the kids will be out of school, which means that parents everywhere, in addition to searching for that Lego Ninjago set that their kid just had to have that apparently every other kid in the country also had to have (just me?) …besides that, parents will be tearing their hair out trying to find things for their kids to do instead of bugging them. Now, if I was a wholesome, smart blogger, I’d give you all sorts of uplifting, but thrifty, crafts that your kids can do. Ideally, you’d also be able to use these as Christmas presents for grandparents. Sadly for you, I am […]

Being a parent makes me a better writer

A dear friend had a baby girl early this morning.  This, of course, makes me all sentimental about being mommy.  I started thinking about when my own son was born and what a crazy ride it was. I also start thinking about diapers…shudder. But congrats, N! Have fun with little Emily! I always tell new moms to have fun.  You get such a ridiculous amount of advice from so many people when you’re pregnant or have a new baby.  But I don’t think anyone told me how much fun being a parent was.  I love it.  My son is a huge gift.  Being a parent isn’t for everyone, but it’s been a huge blessing in my own life.  And, I’d say it made me a far better writer. What?  You mean the constant distraction, incessant noise, and hectic schedule make you a better writer?  Ha! Well, there is a lot […]

November calls for a promotion I can get behind.

As many of you who have been reading my fiction for a while know, family is really important to me.  And if there is a common theme that runs through my work, it is this: Family is what you make it.  Family comes in many forms.  Some of us have been blessed with amazing biological families (I count myself among them) and some of us have created our own families around us built from relatives, friends, and others who have come into our lives and touched us profoundly. So I’m sure it will come as no surprise to most of you that the cause of adoption, particularly from the US foster care system, is something that I’m passionate about.   According to AdoptUSKids.org, there are currently 115,000 children eligible and waiting in the United States foster care system to be adopted.  Most of these children aren’t babies, but I believe […]