A Contest, A Book Release, Drawing, and a New Cat! -- Summer's Roundup
Posted on August 27, 2018
As Labor Day approaches, I lament the end of Summer and yet look forward to the coming Fall. But before the new season rolls in, there are a few things I'd like to celebrate about this past summer, both writing related and personal.

One -- For the August 2018 Write...Edit...Publish (WEP) challenge, I wrote The Price Of Mortality. The theme of the challenge was "Change of Heart". It was tricky. I wanted to submit a dark piece about life and death, and I didn't think it was "light" enough for the challenge, but it did have a "change of heart" component: regret, or quasi-regretful decisions.

The judges selected my story as the winner! I can't tell you how good it feels to have other writers select my story. I kind of needed the boost. Thanks to the WEP team for ending my summer on a high note!

Two -- I released The Onyx Ring, the 2nd book in the Family Relics series in July. Read this great review from Reader's Favorite with 5 stars. I had a good amount of downloads, but no other reviews -- I can never figure this out. It did, however, lead to more sales of The Box of Souls, the first book, so that was a bonus.

My brutally-honest brother, who reads loads of sci-fi and fantasy novels, absolutely loved it. That alone is something for me to cheer about!

PSST! If you're interested in a copy of The Onyx Ring, send me a note. We can definitely work something out.

Three -- every summer I give my kids a task, to learn something new. After much coaxing, my son who "hates to draw" chose to get better at drawing. I'm a HUGE believer in kids learning to draw, if only because it's another way to express your ideas and develop the artistic side of the brain. It's important for creative thinking and problem solving, and like math or language arts, you should at least know the basics. If your interested on why art should be emphasized more in children's development, there are boatloads of articles on this subject, like this one.

So, since my son follows instructional books well, I gave this book a shot. The reviews on Amazon raved about its effective lessons for people of all ages. I coached him on some parts he didn't understand, but he did all the work himself.

It was a HUGE success. The lessons made him look at things in a different way, and not be afraid to make errors and use the eraser. Yes, the ERASER!! And, it helped build his confidence to just draw what he sees, what he feels, regardless of how it comes out. There are no judges. Just look at his drawings!! And from someone who "hates to draw"!

Each one is a lesson of its own, and some took a few tries to get through it, but he was happy at the end of each drawing. That's when I learned that he didn't actually hate drawing, he just felt he couldn't do it, and so (as a defense mechanism maybe?) he wound up hating it.

If you can't draw, or can only scribble and want to learn to draw better, GET THIS BOOK! I am going to gift this book to his friends whenever a birthday comes up. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Four - we got a 2nd cat to keep our 1st cat company. He's younger, only 1.5 years, which makes our 5-year old cat the dominant one. They get along fine, the way cats do, ignoring each other, together.

Summer is practically gone, and fall and the new school year is approaching. So, tell me about how you've spent the season. Any new things to celebrate on the writing front, or the personal front? Am I the only new cat lady in town? That's definitely worth a glass of wine!

Remember, no milestone is too small. Life is short, and we must celebrate all the small stuff!

~ Happy End Of Summer! ~ 


  1. That's great about getting this drawing book to help your son. And now he doesn't hate drawing anymore which is good news.

    Awesome on your books!

    1. Thank you NAS! I really can’t recommend this book enough!!!


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