Thursday, December 25, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Falling down and getting up again...

I posted about falling down and getting up back in 2011, but something happened last weekend that brought that thought back to mind.

Aubrey is an adorable 10-month-old girl whose parents attend my congregation.  It was my turn to man the nursery we run during services, so I was in the conference room we use for that purpose when Aubrey's dad brought her back because she was making a lot of noise during the sermon.

He put her down on the floor and I watched as she began to toddle around the room.  She has just started walking, so her movement involves a lot of falling on the floor.

I noticed that falling down never bothered her.  Sometimes she'd find a way to get right back up; sometimes she stayed on the floor for a couple of minutes.  But she didn't cry or fuss, in fact she was quite cheery the whole time.  And she took joy in her newfound ability to walk, and her delight was catching.

It made me think about this year, and how often I feel I've "fallen" when it comes to the writing.  I didn't write as much as I wanted to this year, and recent attempts at a new schedule were less than stellar.  Looking back, I'm not quite sure what went wrong except that I didn't give the writing the priority it needs or deserves.

But I want to be like Aubrey, and get back up when I fall down.  I don't want falling down to discourage me and just sit there and cry.  I want to get back on my feet and keep going.  And I want to take joy in the journey I've set for myself as an author.

So here I am, planning to get up again.  And if I fall, I will do so again.  And again.  Falling down is not failing.  Failing is not getting up afterwards.

So here's to getting up for the umpteenth time.  Let's see how long I can walk this go round.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saw the new "Star Wars" trailer...

I am a Star Wars fan from way back when, meaning the very first film back in 1977.  I even kind of like the prequels though I grew to hate Jar-Jar Binks.  (I seem to have a lot of company in that)

So I was very interested in the trailer for the new movie, The Force Awakens.  I just viewed it again on my computer for the second time.  Haven't seen it on the big screen yet, though I bet it will look fantastic when I do.

And, so far, it looks...promising.

I'm not going to do a scene by scene blow here.  I admit I'm a geek, just not THAT big of one.  But it appears that we have some cool stuff to look forward to.  Stormtroopers?  Check.  Interesting-looking new lightsaber?  Check.  Millennium Falcon doing impressive maneuvers?  Check.  No Jar-Jar Binks?  So far, so good.

There was also no sign of Luke, Leia, or Han (though we might have gotten a glimpse of Han and Leia's daughter and who was piloting the Falcon, anyway?) but we know they're going to show up sooner or later.

The upshot is I'm looking forward to this next installment of Star Wars.  If that makes me a hopeless fangirl, all I have to say is "May the Force be with you!!"

Monday, November 24, 2014


Yes, I know yesterday was Sunday.  Yes, I know I should have posted something for "Free Fiction Sunday" yesterday.

Truth of the matter is that I wasn't home very much from 8:45 AM to about 7:30 PM yesterday.  Just long enough to pick up things and/or people.  And I haven't gotten the sense that readers are all that interested in my last few short stories.

For now, I plan on working on getting this blog a little more together.  Which means posting more often.  Hopefully that means more of you will read and maybe even comment on what I say.  That would be nice.

In the meantime, I'm going to post this and think about going back to bed and getting some sleep.  Just letting you know I haven't forgotten about the blog - or you.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

On the radio!

I will be on "The Barry Foster Show" tomorrow morning (Friday) at 9:05 AM EST to talk about my new book REDEMPTION. You can listen live to the show here: And if you want to call in, the number's (863) 385-9985. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fiction River: Past Crime is out!

Fiction River: Past Crime came out today.  My short story "Choices" is included in the Kobo Special Edition.  There are a lot of great stories included in this issue, all dealing with things once illegal in this country but now no longer a crime.  You can buy it or get a free preview of the issue here:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

No Free Fiction Sunday this week...

Sorry, all.  The day totally got away from me and I am all kinds of exhausted right now.  So this week I will not be uploading a short story for you to read.

I only have a few left to do anyway. I am curious about what you thought of this.  Did you enjoy reading the stories?  Did it encourage you to check out what I had to offer?  Would you like to see me do this again sometime in the future?  Let me know!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why I don't quit

Before you go much further into this piece, I suggest you read my friend Brad Torgensen's excellent post titled "When Is It Okay To Quit?"  Go ahead.  I'll be here when you get back.

The post was strangely encouraging to me.  Not because I'm giving up the writing (though there are days I'm tempted to toss it all aside and become a professional video game player instead), but because it reminded me of why I CAN'T.

One thing about writing that many people don't understand - it is hard work, especially if you want to get anywhere in this business.  It takes hours of butt in chair, fingers on keyboard, whether the muse is firing on all cylinders or off somewhere on vacation.  It takes being able to hear the word "no" again and again and not taking rejection personally.  It takes practice, which is more butt in chair, fingers on keyboard.

And sometimes, a writer will look up from her laptop, bleary-eyed and frustrated, and whine, "Is it worth it?"

For me personally, yes, it is.  Here's a few reasons why:

  • I believe any talent I have in this area is a gift from God.  To not use the gift He gave me is an expression of ungratefulness on my part.  We are given our gifts to use, not to put up on a shelf somewhere and forget about.
  • I know I've gotten better.  I have been seriously writing fiction for nine years now, and the difference between Laura the writer in 2005 and Laura the writer in 2015 is staggering.  Moreover, I know I can continue to improve as long as I keep on learning and not settle for where I am.
  • There are people out there who actually like what I write.  Whether it's the weekly column in the News Sun or a short story or even one of my novels, people have told me they enjoy what I've written.  Such statements make my day.  And it tells me I'm doing something right.
  • I know that the "secret" to succeeding in this business isn't knowing the right people or even having talent.  It's persevering, sticking with it through good times and bad, getting up after getting knocked down...just not giving up.
  • And in the end, this is something I enjoy.  Yes, there are times I enjoy it less than others, when it's really hard to get the words down or I can't seem to get arrested, much less make a sale.  But even so, I love sitting down and making up stories.  Even if I never saw a penny from this I would probably still make up stories, because it's how I see the world and figure it out.
And the cool thing is I'm getting there, to that place where the writing makes a nice chunk of change.  I'm not there yet, and I don't know when I'll get there - but I'm on the right road.  And stopping just when I'm on the verge of arriving?  That would be tragic.

So I'm not quitting.  And if you feel the same way I do, you shouldn't either.  Tell me about it, and we can walk this road together.  Who knows?  The success we seek may be just around the bend.  Let's go find out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fiction River subscription drive

Fiction River, an anthology magazine with awesome short stories of many different genres, is having a subscription drive via Kickstarter.

Why am I telling you this?

One of my short stories will be published in a special Kobo edition of the upcoming issue Past Crimes.  It's called "Choices" and the editor of the issue has some nice things to say about it.

Also, if you contribute to the subscription drive there are a lot of nice rewards - including either an e-copy or a SIGNED copy of my novel DEAD HYPOCRITES.  It's a great opportunity to get a lot of great reading.

So here's the video...

After you've watched this head over to the website and check out the offerings:

Hope you see something you like!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking for suggestions...

I really have intended to blog more.  I want people to come and read here to know what's going on with me and maybe share things that will make you laugh or think.

I hope you are enjoying "Free Fiction Sunday" every week.  I find I like looking back over the short stories I've put out and sharing them with others.

But I want to know what you are looking for in my blog.  Are there things you'd like me to post about?  Comments on columns I write for the News Sun?  Cute puppy pictures?  What interests you?

Let me know!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Withdrawal is No Fun

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder.  In order to combat that, I take medication.  This medication is for all intents and purposes an amphetamine.  But instead of making me bounce off the walls, it energizes me and helps me focus.

Because of what it is it is tightly controlled.  My insurance changed slightly recently.  Because of that, even though I've taken this medication for years my doctor is suddenly required to provide pre-authorization before the insurance will pay for it.

Sounds simple, right?  Well, I've been doing without this particular medication since Sunday while my doctor, the pharmacy, and I guess the insurance company all get their act together.

Meanwhile I struggle with the symptoms that come with a sudden withdrawal.  Throw in that I also suffer from depression and anxiety and that my symptoms aren't helping with those conditions and you will understand this hasn't been a great week.

But right now all I can do is take it one step at a time and hope that tomorrow the powers that be will get this straightened out.  Anyway, consider this blog post a getting this off my chest.  Maybe it'll help me feel better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Back on the exercise wagon?

It has been a long time since I visited the YMCA.  Time seems to slip away and to be honest it doesn't often enter my mind, though I know it would help with weight loss.

Yesterday my husband Don and I were talking.  He pointed out I have downtime between dropping the two young men who live with us off to their respective jobs.  He suggested I take 15 minutes and walk a treadmill.  Not too fast - I'm too heavy and it's been too long - but starting off slow and giving it a shot Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (commitments I have during the year make this more difficult on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Okay, I said, I'll give it a try.

So after dropping off Young Man #1 to his job I headed for the Y.  After checking in I picked out a treadmill and after picking a lecture on my iPod to listen to, I got started.

Well, I only got up to 1.8 mph on the thing.  Because I have balance issues I hang on to the front rail of the machine, which apparently stressed out my biceps.  I plodded through 15 minutes before happily getting off the thing and heading home for a needed shower.

I am going to do my best to try out this schedule.  I am trying to have a positive attitude while I endure, hoping it will result in good numbers on the scale.  Maybe by going public with this I'll do a better job sticking with it.  We'll see.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Interesting discussion on my Facebook page...

Yesterday I posed a question on my Facebook page which came out of a discussion I was having with my best friend.  The question was, "Is a more powerful federal government a good thing?  Why or why not?"

As I type this there are over 100 responses in the thread.  Only a few from me, the rest from friends who weighed in on both sides of the issue.

I was a little nervous at first.  Would the thread blow up into some kind of flamefest, with people slinging mud all over the place?  I made it clear that I wouldn't tolerate such posts and would take the whole thing down if people couldn't behave.

I am pleased to report that overall, with a couple of exceptions, the conversation has been well-mannered.  The issues are actually being discussed rationally and calmly.  And I am learning and enjoying the back and forth between people.

If only those in power could talk to each other like this, maybe something good could be accomplished...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My First Free Fiction Sunday...

I'm planning on posting my first free short story on the blog.  My goal is to leave it up for a week and then change it for a new one each Sunday.  Let me know how you like it, and if it's something I should continue!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Testing to see if I can blog from my phone.  This could be fun...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Long overdue updates...

Well, it's been a while since I updated this blog, and I really have no excuse.  One of my goals this year is to get into a regular blogging schedule so that I am keeping this active on a regular basis.

On the writing front, I have some news: my latest novel REDEMPTION is available as an ebook at all the usual sources (Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo).  The paperback version has been delayed due to production issues but I hope it will see the light of day this month.

Also, my short story "Choices" will appear in a special Kobo edition of Fiction River: Past Crime this October.  Check for more information.

My column in the News Sun (Highlands County) is still going strong.  You can read it online at  A book with a collection of my earliest columns is supposed to come out later this year.

I am currently working on a couple of projects - a fantasy novel I'm co-authoring and a murder mystery set on a cruise ship.  I am hoping to see a YA Christian novel published this year.

I have plans for the blog.  I'd like to start posting a short story on Sundays for you to read for free for a week.  Then I'd delete it and post another one the subsequent week.  I also plan to spend a lot more time talking about things that I find interesting and letting you know what's going on in my life.

Right now my husband is in Nicaragua on a medical mission trip until Saturday.  If you are the praying kind, pray for his safety and productivity.  I'd appreciate it.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling - just letting you know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.  I'm still here, still writing, and hopefully some of you are still reading.

Until next time,