I am a daughter, a wife, a mother. 

I am a a student, an educator, an author. 

I am a Christian. 

So why, if I know I am all of those things, do I try so hard to separate it out? This past year has found me rethinking many parts of who I am and how that is portrayed. My faith is a huge part of who I am; yet, I found myself feeling the need to start a new webpage to share that. I write separate blogs for education but do not share any education thoughts here. Granted, I started this website originally when my first book was released. In many ways, some could argue that people searching out clean romance authors might not want to know about faith, or education, or even the strides I am making to be healthy again. On the flip side though, all of this is who I am and all of it is relevant to anything I might publish. 

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is Sunday. I am so blessed to be a volunteer with the youth at our local church as a Sunday School teacher and Sunday evening adult. I love their energy, their passion. Their thoughts on so many different topics run deeper than any of them imagine. Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing social media and its impact on ourselves and others with some of the main questions being do we portray who we are all of the time, and do we uplift others with our postings. Then, this past Sunday, I listened to them discuss comparison. Why do we find ourselves comparing often? How would life be if we stopped comparing ourselves? 

And so I found myself here, thinking that instead of separating out who I was among various blogs and social media sites, instead of wondering how I would compare to other authors, other educators, other Christians, just compare to others, I would simply be who God created me to be….me. 

What will this mean for those of you who follow the blog? (And though rarely do we have comments, there are really quite a few or you!) No major changes, just more. I’m not sure where this will go, but I know I’ll be able to share more simply because I can have a tendency to ramble when I’m being me. I may share some great recipes, host some of my favorite authors and educators for guest blogs, and who knows what else. That’s the beauty and simplicity of no more compartmentalizing. 

And, I’d like to challenge each of you to do the same! Share some of the areas you need to consolidate and don’t separate out who you are.

Be the fabulous you God intended you to be!

Ahhhh….Friday – one of the most precious days of week! Everyone enjoys Friday, but sometimes I believe there is not a group who enjoys that particular day of the week more than teachers. This special group of people dedicates time and energy to more than simply teaching throughout the week. Not only are they teachers, they are moms and dads, counselors, therapists, janitors, managers, and a myriad other tasks we cannot even begin to name. Teachers are jacks-of-all-trades.

The heroine in my first novel is a teacher as are the heroines in my next two full length novels. This was not originally on purpose. I just found overtime that I enjoy writing about teachers. They have fantastic stories to tell (and have some excellent anecdotes from their students too).

Since I have started writing, I have given lots of thought to the teachers who helped me get here. Two of my most influential taught me during my 8th grade year. First, I credit my US History teacher. Although student-driven, alternative assignments are more common these days, they were very unusual when I was in school. Yet, here was this young, new teacher who was not afraid to allow us to spread our wings a little and have some choice in our assignments. The first official story I wrote was for her class – a historical fiction covering specific battles in the Civil War. One day, I might just have to brush that short story out and see if I can expand it! The other teacher who greatly impacted my love of reading and writing was my English teacher. She opened my eyes to the variety of literary genres out there and pushed my thinking as a young writer. I will be forever grateful for these two ladies!

Of course, I have had many, many teachers through the years that have impacted me in different ways; I honestly do not know if I could list all of them. But, I have definitely been giving them all a lot of thought lately. So, I would like to challenge each of you to do the same. Think of at least one teacher who had a major impact on your life and write them a thank you note. If possible, see if you can track them down to mail that note. Teachers are never told thank you enough!

Enjoy your fabulous Friday!

I have had several people ask me how in the world I was ever able to complete a novel. These are not people who are intending to question my ability or be negative; they simply understand the crazy schedule I have kept for the past several years. Over the past month I have answered that question more times than I can count and I finally realized it all boils down to one simple thing.

I was able to complete my novel because I made writing a priority.

Like everyone else, I have entirely too many things going on in my life and it is easy to get in bed at the end of a day or running ragged but still feeling as if I have accomplished nothing. Overtime, I felt my writing was slipping further and further in the list of important things. So, when I woke up one morning a year and a half ago, I decided to write. I created a profile on elance and began applying for writing jobs. After a time, I was hired for my first ghostwriting assignment. I loved every minute of it even if my name was not on the end result. I was writing and getting paid to do so! I continued accepting a variety of writing assignment, eventually joining a writing team called Coqui Prose.

But, I still wasn’t working on *my* writing. While I now wrote every day, I was meeting someone else’s goals. So, I made the promise to work on mine in tandem. For ever goal I met, I would work on my own writing. Each day I carved a small amount of time to write at least a few lines of dialogue, several paragraphs, or one scene. Eventually, I was able to complete the entire novel.

It does not matter what goal you want to work towards in life. The only way you will be able to complete it is to make that goal a priority. And it is possible to have more than one priority; you just have to work on scheduling your priorities. I still write for Coqui Prose and feel completely blessed to be part of such an amazing group. But, I also focus on my own writing at the same time.

Writing is my passion, my priority. Take the time to find yours.

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