Wednesday, November 4, 2015

#IWSG: Crazy Days

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It's been too crazy here in my neck of the corner that my writing has suffered greatly, but I still have a love for it! I haven't been writing nor playing author, either. I feel like the little girl looking out her window at her friends playing ball on the street. *sigh*

What have you been up to?

My Journey of Faith: Moving Forward

So, we've decided to start things--as in, selling our home--once our yard sale is done. I'm determined to get rid of much so that our home can be show-worthy. My hubby wants me to include our big screen television (from 5 or so years ago), but it looks nice in the living room, so I will leave that there until showing is done. When our house is purchased and it's time to skedaddle, I will have an official moving sale and include that TV.

I've been struggling to stay on top of my kids' cleaning. It was Day 4 in cleaning, and I'm using Fly Lady's decluttering method and I call it "clock cleaning" since we start at 12 o'clock for day one, 1 o'clock for day two. So on, so forth. So, we are at 3 o'clock and they are not motivated! Time is at hand for to hold that sale, and they are slow.

Well, will they despise me when their privileges will be on hold until they are all caught up and to my standards! No beads. No dust bunnies. No neat stack of books. Everything has a place and it will not be on their floors!

My color for the yard sale will be neon pink! It caught my eye faster than yellow or orange or green. Plus, the stores don't have neon green poster boards.

I need to get moving with or without the kids' help, it isn't far from now!

Have you ever "hosted" a yard sale? How did your first one go? How likely are you to hold another one? Any last words of advice for this newbie?

PS--I've been feeling the urge to place my 16 year old (Peanut) in online courses and have finally bitten the bullet! At first, with the homeschool program being a curriculum and not "accredited"--what the school and district staff had called it--I was told to sign an affidavit to pull my kid from the system lest he be arrested for truancy. You know, I have mixed feelings about that. So on the same note, the little devil on my shoulder says, "Why not have a law against cheating on your spouse?" Just saying...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Mysterious Ways

I'm sure we've all heard this phrase: The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

Lately--as in the past few days kind of lately--I've had the urge to start thinking about moving sooner than later. Two real estate agents have combed through my house, but I liked how the second was energetic and informative.

I've requested the pay-off of my mortgage and we are waiting for that.

I have no idea when the house will sell and when it does, where we'll end up living (yes, I know in Texas, but we don't have a home to move into yet and my hubby has no car!). On top of that, the church in the city we want to move into is not returning our calls and we need all the help we can get. My cousin, however, has a friend who lives in the city we want to move into, but her friend doesn't know anyone who has a house to sell or rent. Ohummm

I really need a day of fasting and pondering and meditating. My days have been hectic--more so with the looming thought of a huge move, the pressure to drive 40 miles a day for "carpooling", and other overwhelming things.

While this is happening, my cousin called me, telling me she felt urged to share with me a few thoughts: 1) my family comes first. 2) be careful whom I associate with.

How timely. I've been facing hard decisions about when to pull my 16 year old son from school to start him on online classes. I wavered about this choice because I'm in a carpool where I do 99.9% of the driving to the high school. But yes, she was right. I put my family first and decided to enroll him for those online courses so that our transition when we move will be seamless. As for the other kids, well, that's another story!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Not Easy

My 10 year old son had a grill for an "invite your family day" for Scouts. He did very well! I was so thankful for that because my hubby's first paycheck at his job was just enough to cover a few bills and this doesn't include diapers or food or gas for the upcoming week--Federal took too much of it and he had to go and readjust it. Considering how we've used much of our money to fix broken down cars not long before and his many plane tickets later, we haven't really recovered, yet. So a free meal was so wonderful today--along with a potluck my church had for lunch. Double blessing day! I'm also grateful how his job provides housing on the grounds and he doesn't have to pay utilities or rent!

Babykins misses his daddy so much, he's been calling all sorts of characters daddy. Gru, The Bog King, and the Fairy King for starters...

He also called the Scout leader and the other two dads there daddy. I tried not to show my pain when he did that.

We're still facing our challenges in spite of our faithful following. As he applied for Texas jobs, my hubby was afraid, and suddenly, this quote popped into his head:

"I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." 

We both knew this was no figment of his imagination. I love inspired words from God, even if they are quoted by wise men.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Refiner's Fire

Life isn't always rainbows and unicorns--even if we're following the yellow brick road. You know, that pathway in which Heavenly Father wants us to travel? Things here at home haven't been any earsier. Though my reasoning of moving sooner than later sounds Heaven-sent, it may not be. There are many things I need to do before heading south:

1) Sale of our house

2) Finding a place to live in Texas that is suitable for our needs

3) Qualifying for both

4) Paying off debt before then

5) Try to save a down payment for a new home

6) Making ends meet ...

And not necessarily in that order!

It seems the odds are against us moving sooner, doesn't it? Just because it feels onerous doesn't mean I should drop my quest, right?

Things don't always fall perfectly into place when we follow the Lord's will. Remember Job from the Bible Stories? He was favored of the Lord, yet, he faced many trials. Though we can't compare to Job to his degree of struggles, we can with the fact that we strive to honor Heavenly Father and are still grappling with our new pathway.

Things here at home haven't been easy. Some things have actually become more difficult and I'm faced with having to decide what needs to be done--and soon. Once I do, I take that to the Lord and then make my choice. Some of these are tough! But standing from distant point, I can see how it could lead to a better circumstance than if I had ignored my difficulties.

This brings to mind this heartfelt story of a woman who lost her family:

Press forward, and take heart! You are not alone...

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Journy of Faith: This Weak Woman Without Her Man

So we have decided to have a yardsale. Yes, even after I read the Yardsale Queen's awesome tips! The kidlets were NOT intimidated. Impressive... I spent the day hanging every article of clothing after having washed them a week before. I was shocked when I saw that the amount of clothes only filled half the size of a 6 foot closet. Here I thought we had more! Maybe with the baby clothes ... and there are a lot! I just need hangers for those.

So, our scripture of the day was this:

Ether 12: 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Little did I know how true it would become later that evening. One of my weaknesses is all consuming: it affects my mental state, our finances, my family, our resources, my time, and my daughter's unavailability at her job (she babysits Babykins so I can use the gas efficient vehicle for this task). LOL... I had volunteered to drive 3 students to school, both morning and afternoon. Well, it is a combined 40 mile drive a day, 200 miles a week. Yikes! I've tried to get the other two moms to help, but they aren't available.

With my hubby being gone, and my having to deal with this added stress had me suddenly think of this scripture:

1 Corinthians 11: 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

I matched the two inspiring and oh-so timely versus and a light bulb exploded inside my head: Since I know it is our pathway to head to Texas, why wait? Why wait until the school year is over? I need to be with my husband. It is ridiculous to wait so, so, sooooo long, right? I mean, if it is Heavenly Father's will to move up there, why not expedite it? Why prolong the inevitable?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Secretly Wondering

If you've been following my blog since 2011, you'll know that my writing career has been strange. I've been sharing with my wonderful IWSG how unstable it has been. It has, in my honest opinion, been spiraling down no matter how much I fought for it. I've been facing all sorts of rejections, and no, not the kind you get after sending a query letter. I don't have enough fingers to count them all, but let's just say, they would certianly discourage a debut author!

As it turns out, in a Priesthood blessing my hubby gave me, the Lord had mentioned that now is not the time for my career, to keep it as a hobby alone. I need to focus on my children, my family. During that time, every one of them suddenly faced a crisis within their own right. I cried many nights for guidance on how to meet their needs. I had to be vigilent and available--still do.

As time moves on, I am forever grateful to my Father in Heaven because I had honored Him and set my career aside for family. If I had not, would I have had an ear to Heaven's line when He whispered, "It is time to move"?

I secretly wonder what blessings Heavenly Father will bestow upon me and my writing come that future day? Even so, I hope to hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Isolation

I've never had a problem making and keeping friends. When I first moved to Utah at 21, I immersed myself in many friendships. After marriage, I had no problems keeping the friends from before. As time marched forward and the further north we moved, the more difficult it became to make and keep friends; all the ones in the past have either moved out of state, or we fell out of contact--but when we do reconnect, it is as though time had not passed.

To this day, I've had difficulties keeping friends and couldn't figure out why! It's easy enough to say hi, to do cute things for them; I love pixing cookies, fresh loaves of bread, even drawings for my friends' sick children, and dropping off watermelons on the side doors!

In fact, my entire family has been as the square peg. I have to admit, yes, this hurts, it does. So, one day (which, after all these years, I've finally decided to pray over it) and not too long ago, I decided to take it to Heavenly Father (yes, this was before we discovered our mission to travel to our personal promised land in Texas). I asked Him if our isolation was something He desired. Yes. I felt the Spirit burn in my heart. It is no coincidence...

It then came to me that friendships have not been forged and strengthened as they have in the past so as to make our move obvious for when the time comes. The Lord does move in mysterious ways and not as we'd always hope for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Not Small and Alone

photo by A♥ via Flickr

First, I'd love to wish my sweet Peanut a very Happy 16th Birthday! He has been a *huge* and wondrous help around the house whilst the hubsters is gone--rescuing batteries from inside the sink (Babykins thought they fit right nicely in there!), repairing door hinges, making dinner, decluttering hubby's tools around the yard, mowing lawns, changing diapers. He's going to make his future wife VERY happy! J

Now, with my Journey of Faith...

This one is a rather personal story, but is pertinent to my journey of faith and I have no doubt someone out there may be feeling and wondering exactly as I have. If so, my heart goes out to you. ((Hugs))

I was sitting in church, waiting as the sacrament was being passed, and I thought about how I fit in the Lord's plan of things. How I am at church without my husband, how far away he is ... and the time it would take to be united again. My heart cried out in prayer, knowing that, because I am honoring His will, He will qualify me for the calling He has set forth for me to do.

Suddenly, I was filled with a peaceful feeling and felt angels surround me. I felt Heavenly Father's love flow through me and I couldn't help but cry! Okay, not outright bawl, but I had a difficult time controlling the tears. I felt empowered and and cherished. Not small and alone ...

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Tender Little Mercies

It has been busy here as I'm starting to work on our impending move. We've gathered many shoes, clothes and toys to rid ourselves of. I'm debating whether to have a yard sale or donate to the local thrift store. My kids don't mind a yard sale and I'm not sure about it yet. Though it probably isn't a big deal, I feel I'd need to pray over that decision, considering how much is crowding my "plate" as it is!

So, these are the sites I’ve studied over concerning having one. They are so cool: & I plan to read them over with the kids for Family Home Evening and we’ll have a discussion if they still want to hold one or not. If not, that’s fine, we can just donate it to the local thrift store!

My hubby has been busy working that he is exhausted by the time he gets "home" to his barracks. On his day 4 of work, I cried in prayer because of our distance as well as sparse communication. I begged the Lord to please let me feel His love for me.

When I stepped from my bedroom, my 10 year old son handed me a hand-drawn card with many hearts and words written "I love you, Mom." He also handed me a cute heart made out of his Legos. My burden immediately lifted and I pulled him into a hug.

"What brought this on, sweetie?" I smiled through my tears.

"I just thought you needed it."

Oh, yes. What great timing he has! And he didn't even know I had just been  crying seconds before seeing me!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Dream Big!

All of my hubby's life, he's been wanting to live out in the country. He grew up working on a farm. He grew up taking care of cows and horses and chickens. He's not afraid of getting into a hobby farm. He also wants to invest in deseret and a few pigs and maybe goats.

I am a city girl. I was raised a city girl. Do I want to die a city girl? Nope. Having fallen in love with horses while in elementary school and studied and read up on them all the days of my youth, I am not shy to living on many acres and the challenges that come with that sort of living. In fact, my kids are looking forward to that kind of life! I do plan to homeschool.

Maybe my writerly muse will awaken from his deep slumber and hurl me into a whirlwind of inspiration? We shall see.

We are aiming for our big day to happen when the school year is out. I pray that things fall into place and we have a painless transition!

Do you have any tips you'd like to share with us?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Our Good-Byes

With breath held, we made our way at 4:30 a.m. that morning to the airport. Blessedly so, as the airlines had given him the next available flight. It affected his reserved car as well as the second flight, and he was left "...take ... no thought for the morrow, for what (he) shall eat, or what (he) shall drink, or wherewithal (he) shall be clothed (D&C 84:81)." With two small bags, I kissed him good-bye. Good-bye...

Though my hubby lost his rental car, my angelic aunt and uncle stepped in and helped us and on their own accord without our asking! Oh, do they realize how joyful they made us?

Before he left, he had given us all a Priesthood blessing to preserve and comfort us against the long months without him. I am as Sariah of old.

Friday, October 23, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Taking the Leap

"I'm scared," my hubby whispered, "not if this is the right choice, of that I feel great peace. It is of the unknown." Yes, I know. We are living on a prayer, trusting in God. Taking that leap of faith from a piece of inspiration that pierced our hearts only 2 months ago! It is a leap of faith when you have a family of seven to look after. A life to start from scratch.

My hubby flew to Texas to take care of required preliminaries and flew back home 2 days later. After passing the prerequisites, they called him and asked if he could start that coming Friday. He preferred the upcoming Monday. Again, we invested in hundreds more to fly him there, but, as I dropped him off at the airport, he had missed his plane.

Dear Lord, I cried out as I turned back around on the freeway in prayer, is our faith ever being tested! Our funds depleting! Please, please provide a way as we are honoring Thee!

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Living on a Prayer

We prayed, asking Heavenly Father if these inspirations were of Him. It was confirmed. So we made our choice. We decided that we would move. We would move from Utah to Texas. A place where we've never set foot as a family mere weeks before.

Moving forward with our choice and knowing that it is His will, our test of faith began. Suddenly, my husband's commuter car broke down. Shortly, the family car followed. All within a two week period. We invested over $1000 for both vehicles to get into running condition--and it took over a month to do so. I desperately needed a car to drive my high school son (along with his buddies) twice a day on a 20 mile drive. There was no nonsense about that.

One of my kids suddenly suffered health issues that had me weeping every night.

Though my husband's employer was unaware of our obedience to the Lord's will, things started going badly for my man. Stressful things. Things that threatened his employment despite his 110%. We prayed and fasted for guidance and protection.

He did receive an offer, though it offered impressive pay, after much prayer, it didn't feel right. We held off. Then came the next job offer a week later. We prayed over that one and it felt right. He interviewed with flying colors. As we looked into it, we discovered that he had to have a Texas drivers license. Not only that, but a Texas residence for that, too! He was to also take a driving test in one of the company rigs and a drug test.

Tight on finances because of the auto repair and traveling to Texas before, we took the dive and sacrificed to have him fly down to Texas for these things. Talk about living on a prayer!

Ever heard of angels watching over you? My aunt and uncle gave us wings. They gave us wings to fly!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Journey of Faith: No Coincidence

To my pleasant surprise yet not surprise, my hubby started looking for jobs in the surrounding area where my aunt lives. In his field, it is easy to get a good job. If you have a CDL, years of experience, hazardous materials familiarity, you're more than likely good to go.

He cast out a few good fishing lines and waited. I prayed, asking if this was the path the Lord wanted us to take, well, because it is a huge fork in the road; one which we've been down before.

It was only 2 years ago that we were inspired of the Lord to move 2 hours south of where we currently live. My husband got a job there and things were going great. We had an apartment, furniture. The kids were great! They were okay with the change. That's when everything went wrong. Bad things happened to my hubby at work. Too often. We then prayed about it and felt that we needed to go back. What? Go back?! Yes, go back.

There is no doubt in my mind of this choice. The warmth of the Spirit in answering our prayer was unmistakable. When the Church came out with this video, it only confirmed:

It was too coincidental to be coincidental and I don't believe in coincidences. Not when it comes to the Lord's hand in things. He is preparing us for something. ;Will we be willing to pick up and leave everything familiar behind because He wills it? Is our faith strong enough to obey?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Journey of Faith: The Seed is Planted

Once we arrived and I spoke with my aunt, and remembering our previous conversation on how we felt a strong pull to her hometown, she asked if we'd figured it out yet. I said that I had no idea, but that the kids couldn't stop talking about it, saying that they felt as though they'd left a piece of themselves behind (I did, too!) and we felt a yearning to return. Interesting, she replied. Interesting indeed.

So, what does this mean? We knew this is what Heavenly Father wanted us to experience, but did he want us to feel this loss? To have an instinctive longing to return? But why?

"I think we're supposed to move there," my hubby said after I'd been mulling over the significance of our desire of returning a few days later. That thought had been playing around in my head, too. It took me by surprise to hear him say my feelings out loud, though.

The more we thought, the more we felt it to be right.

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Out of Place

The drive home was not as grueling as the ride to. Isn't that strange? We drove through beautiful Southern Utah and continued all the way north. It was dark by the time we arrived, and the kids were fatigued and sleepy. Once we entered our city, we felt like foreigners. Strangers in a strange land. More so when we stepped into our house.

My kids felt weird. I felt weird. We all noted how out of place we felt. I've never felt that way about returning home, especially after a 20 hour drive! We felt it was odd how, after only spending two days and half away, we felt so fast-rooted there.

Have you ever felt misplaced in your own home?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Stories and Places

During our stay, my cousin took me to visit my grandparents' gravesites. I felt a longing deep inside, mourning how I had not known them. I visited the place where my grandma was baptised, and many other places dear to me that I've never visited before and I've visited this beautiful city many times
before as a child.

The gravesite

Where Grandma was baptised (1915)


Amazing how my grandma found a love for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, even in those days! Her mother, my Great Grandma Maria, was busy as a medium, communicating with ghosts for a living, and thus, left Grandma to what she desired.

We also did some sight seeing. The Riverwalk is a romantical place no one should ever miss! It runs under the busy city streets, lined with businesses with open patios overlooking the river! I've always loved the stonework in the arching bridge walkways and the cobbled stone paths.

Riverwalk by street level

a Riverwalk garden

My family entering the Alamo 5 minutes before closing. Hehe

The Alamo courtyard

The entire time we were there, we felt right at home. We belonged there. My children absolutely loved it and better, the family!

Have you been somewhere that spoke directly to your heart?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Journey of Faith: Strong Pull

After sharing with my aunt how exciting it would be to pay her a visit--the last time I saw her was when I was 15--we set plans to visit in the early part of August. I shared with her how interesting it was how we felt a strong pull to visit and she wondered what would transpire.

She shared with us some very inspiring stories on how Heavenly Father had led her from Florida to Texas and how they followed without question, how the Lord had laid out a pathway for them and how much they were blessed.

With wonder in our hearts, we visited Texas, ecstatic to be reunited with family my husband and children have never met! The 20 hour drive was a huge challenge with five kids, including a toddler, from fights, to meltdowns, to incessant complaints. But we survived and felt blessed to have made it on one piece. We arrived from the 9th of August after having left the evening of the 6th and stayed until Tuesday midday on the the 11th. We arrived back home the 13th, midnight.

What is the craziest road trip you've taken?

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Journey of Faith: How it Started

Have you ever felt a push into an entirely different direction and couldn't explain why? This is what my family is going through and I'm going share our journey of faith here on my blog. A journey that will carry you through it all, even past the day of arrival... (I will post every day until I am caught up with current events and then I will post as things go along, please bear with me!)

As I child, I learned how much of a difficult childhood my father had. How his mother and sisters "abused" him. I've never heard it any other way. Then one day, May the 15th to be exact, I decided to get into touch with my aunt, his sister, and ask her what her side of the story was. I learned so much, and it opened my eyes.

Well, my aunt and I grew closer and we've spent hours on the phone, laughing and catching up. Then one day on June 11, a thought suddenly hit. I asked her if it was possible that we could visit her in Texas. She responded later that evening that we are welcome and how her daughter and grandkids are excited to meeting their cousins. Then on July 21, my hubby said that he couldn't shake the feeling that we should go down and visit Texas. Did he know that I'd been thinking the same thing? We both felt that the Lord had something for us to learn there. Guess what it was?

Have you ever felt inspired to do something without an explanation?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#IWSG Author wrapped in a Cocoon

by Moi

So with school having started 2 weeks ago and my children facing personal crisis and our vehicles breaking down, I am left with myself and my thoughts amidst the eye of the whirl. I finally feel my muse stirring from the cobwebs I have built around him. I feel the magical sparks effervesce inside the universe of my innerspace, however, I am not in a place or time where I am free to write.

My personal time is not my own. It is down to nil. I am unintentionally letting slip my blog as well as my other social media. A lot of the time, it feels self-serving to post things on FB. I am losing grip with my spunky authorly self!

I feel as if I am at a writerly impasse within myself and though it makes me sad, I know what I must do! (A lot of the time I feel like a fairy with broken wings, watching mournfully the others flitter about in joyous laughter as they prance in the eventide air and I, grounded to my misery of flightlessness.)

I don't doubt that when I am done with this cocoon stage in my life (right now it is family first), I will bloom.

What writerly challenges are you facing right now?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Writerly Confession #IWSG

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Ever since my paranormal romance, Darkspell, was published, my career has been a huge struggle. My publisher restructured her company (personal choice, has nothing to do with going bankrupt), and I've had many fantastic opportunities present themselves. Just as quickly, they each slipped from my fingers. It has been a long, frustrating and hard road to travel.

Writing is my love. It is and has been my favorite pastime since my early teens! I am not published because I'm in it for the money. Anyone who believes authors are rich needs to realize that you are only viewing a tiny scope based off the famous ones. It's like being a teacher: you do it because you love it and if you go into it for money, you will be disappointed.

Though I've signed on several of my works with another publisher, I've decided to go a different direction along with mighty prayer. I don't do things lightly.

My family comes first. I have taken a step from my authorly career to dedicate my time on raising my five kids. I feel strongly the Lord's hand in my direction and will go where He dictates.

Though, for the most part, I am breaking from being a published author, I am not breaking from writing! I have taken down most of my works over on Wattpad (Darkspell, Eros, Kursed, Baby's Breath, Hidden, and Rock Star), but will be putting them back up. I promise I WILL get those out one way or another when it is my time.

Thank you for bearing with me. I apologize for disappointing those who have been waiting for pending books to release!

For updates, please visit and "like" my author page on FaceBook, or Twitter here. 

What unexpected forks in the road have you taken?

Monday, June 29, 2015

How Alex J. Cavanaugh is Human

So I've asked amazing friend, husband, author, and blogger (and much more) how a day is like for him. His hard work is impressive and I just couldn't resist asking him how he survives. This is what Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh says:

The Balancing Act – A Day in the Life of a Ninja

Elizabeth wanted to know how I manage to do what I do without going insane. How do I balance family, work, blogging and writing? Plus music, church, and everything else in between.

I might joke that I have clones, but it’s just me. I have the same hours in a day as everyone else. Maybe it’s just how I chose to spend those hours. So, let me give you a rundown.

I do work full time, but I am able to blog from work, which is a big plus. Due to multiple computers on my desk (and my iPad) I can work and blog at the same time. My job is often feast or famine, so I might not have any work to do. (When I do have work, I get it done immediately though.) I also blog a little in the evening. It averages out to almost a hundred blogs I visit a day.

Several times a week, I hit the gym after work. Being out of shape can really add stress to a body. Staying in shape means I have more energy. Plus it’s a great way to relieve tension.

I’m also a musician and practice on my own or with the band at least six times a week. If I’m on my own, I do this not long after dinner and for about an hour.

If I am working on a story, I will spend another two to three hours writing once I’ve finished practicing. I’ve tried writing at work, but there are too many interruptions. I can only write in the seclusion of my office. Usually I can complete a first draft in two months.

Of course I spend time with my wife. We always eat dinner together and we spend time in the evening together. We’ll go visit friends, go see a movie, or just out to eat. Sometimes there are events at church. (Sometimes there is yard work. That I don’t enjoy.)

And let’s not forget sleep! I do like my sleep, even if I don’t get enough of it.

While that might seem like a lot, remember I don’t have kids. I admire those of you who have to juggle kids on top of everything else.

I think it all comes down to priorities. What’s important? Where will those hours be spent? And how can balance be maintained? There is a balance and rhythm to my life so I can stay sane. I can tell when it’s out of whack. (Plus my wife is quick to point it out as well.) And I will only push the boundaries for so long.

What do you have to juggle in your life?

Dragon of the Stars

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military

Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057

Dancing Lemur Press, LLC

What Are the Kargrandes?

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

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Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#Bookpirating, #IWSG

Like many writers, we all worry about our stuff being stolen, sold without our consent. This is how I found out about my book being pirated:

After several years of mulling over and finally deciding to upload my book onto Amazon's KDP Select, I receive a nifty letter from them, stating their discovery of finding Darkspell upon a site* and how it falls short of its exclusivity requirement and will result in loss of participation. It provided the exact link and I was stumped.

I've never heard of this particular site, but sure enough, my book was there!

I posted over on my author group, asking if anyone had ever heard of them. One said that it is a site that Smashwords goes through; my old publisher said she'd never heard of this place, and so I looked up names of many of my fellow author friends. Some have been through Smashwords, others not (disproving the Smashwords theory).

The results? They were ALL listed!

I posted my concern over on facebook and a friend, J. Scott Savage, left an unforgettable comment:

"Honestly, I don't worry about illegal download sites at all. First of all, many of them are actually malware sites that try to get people to download viruses by listing lots of books. Second, even the ones that actually do have real books to download are having any major negative impact on my sales. The people who download those files wouldn't have bought my book instead for the most part. Third, if people actually do download my book and read it, they may become fans and buy my future books. If I could wave a wand and get a million people to illegally download my book and read it, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Isn't that why people offer free books on Amazon? Isn't that essentially what happens with a library or when people share a book with their friends and family? I would recommend ignoring those sites and definitely don't visit them."

What a wonderful way to share your support with fellow writers! Click on the badge above to START!

J. Scott always has something amazing to say, wouldn't you agree? Have you experienced this? How have you dealt with it?

*It turns out that this particular site is legit, but the principle applies nonetheless to those that are not.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

a race for me #IWSG

What a wonderful way to share your support with fellow writers! Click on the badge above to START!

Something that I have lost after having Babykins, is my online mojo (about the time when Darkspell first released). Several friends told me that I had great online presence. It was great here in Blogland as well as Facebook. Now, I find myself struggling against my previous numbers and, when I think about it, I feel disheartened. 

photo by Paulo via flickr

I try not to think about how many of my friends have 15 to 20 (even more) Facebook likes for saying something witty. My friends like everything they say, but when I say something, I get about 3 or 4 likes if I am lucky--and *not* from the lollipop guild, either.

I wonder ... what will it take for me to turn their heads--something that will wow them? I bet so, because they swarm over the ones who have struck "gold" in one way or another.

Has this happened to you? How do you deal with it? Which is your preferred platform and why? What is your mantra?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Reflections on #AtoZChallenge

Welcome Azalea--the perfect A to Z pony who has both A and Z in her name! Brilliant, isn't it?

I spent a few hours drawing these ponies and my daughters even more, coloring them. I spent a few more half hours on the little story lines and the some more converting everything into coloring pages. I had everything scheduled ahead of time so that I may enjoy the part of reading and commenting!

And here we are. Reflections time.

While I scrambled away, keeping up with replying to my personal blog's comments and updating every post at night with the ponie's names, I also enjoyed visiting everyone and commenting and following. I mourn the fellowshipping and unity we all shared during this roller coaster of fun now that we're all through. But the best part of this is that I've made new friends and rekindled old ones.

I feel that the A to Z Team handled quite well, as always! I appreciate how the staff took on bloggers and faithfully commented on them (at least, that's how it appeared each time I visited a participating blog).

Thanks for the blogging experience of the year, guys! J

click on badge for Reflections list!

What was your most favorite part of this Challenge?

Friday, May 1, 2015

My A to Z Challenge Top 5! #AtoZChallenge #mlp #fanart

Hello my dearies! You guys are SO awesome. I want to thank every one of you for being my faithful commenters, you made my A to Z possible and FuN!

After combing through my A to Z posts and tallying (so many faithful visitors), I've decided to reward all my blogging buddies because I love you all so much!  You have pushed me forward with much enthusiasm that I need to share my appreciation to everyone.

The best way I can get all 27 ponies out to you (along with their little stories), is by email. Please shoot me one whenever you get the chance (so I know you're interested) and I will send you the printable pages.*

Happy Friday! and HaPpY May 1st!

*I have not published these yet, but have formatted them using PDF. Thanks again! J

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for ... #AtoZChallenge #mlp #fanart

WhEeEeEeeee! We have survived the crazy-but-fun-rollercoaster-of-blogging-friendships! Parting is such sweet sorrow says Shakespeare. He is right...

So, here is my last pony. I am rather fond of this one (besides Xerophyta because she's such a cutie punk goth girl!)

Her name starts with a Z and her cutie mark is the flower of her name. Meet _ _ _ _ _ _. Feeling one of a kind, seeks Prince Valerian's audience to bring her entire clan to settle in the meadows beside the crystal green lake.

Can you guess her name*?

Remember, I will give my top 5 commenters for my A to Z Challenge a printable coloring book of all 27 ponies (I have illustrated a pony for the Reflections post) at the end in May.

*I will post her name at the end of the day!

Click here for the Y reveal name! Tarkabarka, Lori, Courtney, and Megan got it right. Yay!

♥.•*¨ ¨*•.♥

UPDATE reveal!


Zinnia is her name! Woohooo! Congrats Lori, Alex, ChrysKarenCleeSusanTarkabarka, Megan, and Lenni for getting her name right!

How has your journey to the end of the alphabet been treating you? Has it been everything you expected? Are you a newbie? A veteran? Are you planning on next years?

update: I will announce my top 5 commenters along with my email address tomorrow for your A to Z Challenge pony printable pages! Thanks for playing along and all your lovely praises. J

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for ... #AtoZChallenge #mlp #fanart

Her name starts with a K and her cutie mark is the flower of her name. Meet _ _ _ _ _ _. She loves casting love potions and mismatching couples...that is, until she falls for Adonis who hasn't noticed her yet.

Can you guess her name*?

Remember, I will give my top 5 commenters for my A to Z Challenge a printable coloring book of all 27 ponies (I have illustrated a pony for the Reflections post) at the end in May.

*I will post her name at the end of the day!

Click here for the X name reveal. Woohoo! Lori and Dani guessed her name correctly again. (What are they having for breakfast?)

♥.•*¨ ¨*•.♥

UPDATE reveal!


Her name is YarrowTarkabarkaLoriCourtney, and Megan got it right. Yay! Thanks for the guesses, everyone. :D

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for ... #AtoZChallenge #mlp #fanart

Her name starts with an X and her cutie mark is the flower of her name. Meet _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. She believes Quince is much too nice and is thinking of stumping him with one of her crazy surprise parties. Needless to say, she loses her heart to him the more she resists...

Can you guess her name*?

Remember, I will give my top 5 commenters for my A to Z Challenge a printable coloring book of all 27 ponies (I have illustrated a pony for the Reflections post) at the end in May.

*I will post her name at the end of the day!

Click here for the W pony name! Lori and Dani are neck in neck at this guessing thing...

♥.•*¨ ¨*•.♥

UPDATE reveal!


Her name is Xerophyta! Congrats, Lori and Dani, for guessing her name!