Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Bro, Mike...The Guy Next Door

Most of you know I have two pretty cool brothers: Mike and Mark. Without them, I think I'd be a different person. Actually, I know I would. Thanks to them I learned to drive a stick (kind of). I developed a thick skin (bless my younger brother for making back-up beeper noises whenever I crossed paths with him in the hallway. Good thing round butts are in these days, right Mark?) Growing up with them, I discovered that men are simple creatures, and us women tend to complicate things by over thinking (at least I do). AND I recognized that I really wanted to marry someone who had both my brothers' characteristics mixed into one, awesome guy. And there was Karl...

ANYWAY.... since I live right next door to my oldest brother, Mike, I had to choose him for Shakopee's GUY'S NEXT DOOR contest. My younger brother Mark is thrilled he is living in South Africa at the moment (whatever). Several men from Shakopee (population 21,000+) were nominated by someone (friends, wives, sisters, etc) to partake in a community calendar. Mike has been selected as a possible candidate, but I now need your help voting him in!  Voting ends October 31.

Maybe I chose Mike because he is my next door neighbor (seems fitting, doesn't it?) and he's about the nicest guy I have ever met. Truthfully, I had to nominate him for this contest because he really IS the guy next door - as in the guy who will do ANYTHING to make people around him happy.

I think there are five facts we all know about Mike:
  1. He smiles more than the average person; perhaps more than anyone you and I have ever met.
  2. The guy is the most selfless person on the planet.
  3. He loves maps and rarely gets lost. If he does, he calls it an adventure.
  4. He loves the smell of bleach 
  5. His life can be summed up in three words: The Amazing Race.
Somewhere down the road, you met Mike (or will) and he probably made you think twice about your own actions. Is it possible to be this nice, giving and happy all the time? How does one do it?

Rumor has it, my parents named Mike after the LIFE cereal commercials back in '77...He Likes It! Hey, Mikey! My mom said his first word was "Ernie" and he used to ask questions she never had answers for, such as, why do I wrinkle in the bathtub and whales don't? Or, why isn't our skin as beautiful as other nationalities? Not quite the questions I asked...

Besides being the most giving person, he has a spirit about him that is contagious, maybe this is why so many people want to be around him, especially me. Hope Karl doesn't mind Mike being our neighbor for many years to come. Mike's involved in anything and everything he can get his hands on: volleyball, marathons, beer brewing, traveling, church ministries, work, gardening, cooking, earning his MBA, etc... What hasn't he done?

You get the picture! I'd love for you to vote for him if you can!  Vote away (see below)!! Thank you!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Amazing World of Social Networking

I used to hate Twitter. I didn't quite get it. Then one day this spring I started to play around with it and before I knew it, I was hooked. I started to like it more than Facebook. Twitter is simple. (And now I love Twitter so much I just had to add it in my manuscript.) Soon, I found a large group of aspiring writers through Twitter. Some had published books, others were in the editing phase and the rest were right in the same place as I was...the beginning stages. But no matter who I asked, most were willing to share whatever knowledge they could to help me along my writing way.

Before I knew it, I received an email from a gal named Gabriela living in Brazil. "I am thinking about starting up a chick-lit critique group, are you interested?" she asked.

"Wow, someone all the way from Brazil? Cool. This Twitter thing is neater than I thought!" I remember saying out loud to myself.

There are currently five women in our critique group. We mainly focus on women's literature but there is a little supernatural and young adult genre thrown in the mix too. We take turns emailing the entire group one to three chapters of our manuscript once a month and we spend a week reviewing each other's manuscripts. And let me tell you...this has been SO helpful! We're Twitter friends and Facebook pals and now follow each other blogs. What would I have done ten years ago? God, I love technology!

Gabriela is a Brazilian journalist and writer. She writes women's fiction and is currently trying to finish her first English-language novel. She's just like me in a way. Gabriela has a full-time job, not necessary where her heart lies, but she has an intense passion to go after her dream of becoming a full-time novelist. We both want to find a job that will allow us to travel and write. Someday, Gabriela!

Gabriela had a wonderful idea to start a Women's Fiction Month in October. She wanted to meet even more women fiction writers and form a bigger network for all of us. I say, "GREAT IDEA!"

Gabriela's blog (which is pink!) is completely devoted to women’s fiction this month. She spends time interviewing writers and asking writers to post their thoughts as they go through all the phases of writing. She even was able to contact Jodi Picoult (yes, the writer of My Sister's Keeper) to answer a few questions for her blog! Sweet!

Below is my blog posting on Gabriela's site! In my post, I shared my latest writing struggles. I finished my manuscript but questioned why wasn't I celebrating... Hope you enjoy!

Keep on writing!

"When we dream together, it is not just a dream. It is the beginning of reality."
- Dom Helder Camara