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Showing posts from February, 2012

Nineteen Ninety: The Year of Change by Kathy Stemke

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In the beginning of 1990, life stabbed me through the heart. When my 93 year old grandmother passed away, my extended family fell apart. Dying after suffering seven months with bone cancer, my mother left a gaping hole in my immediate family. When I lost my job as a teacher in our church school, I re-evaluated my life. Although I’d been born and raised in New York, living as a single parent in this area had become increasing expensive.
My uncle offered me a job in Georgia. I went to visit and fell in love with Atlanta, but my fifteen year old daughter didn’t want to move away from her friends. Here comes the leap of faith! I decided to move 881 miles away from everything I ever knew.
I traveled back to Atlanta a couple of months later to find a place for my daughter and me to live. I looked at a beautiful apartment with a swimming pool and tennis court for $1, 200 a month as well as some for $500 a month rental. Then my uncle informed me that he couldn’t give me that job after all. My …

Leaps of Faith, or Not Knowing What’s in the Next Fishbowl by Susan Kaye Quinn

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I’m a risk taker, one of those crazy people that tries stuff that seems to terrify others. I think risk takers don’t actually experience the same level of fear as most (normal) people—plus the added adrenaline rush urges us on. I’m the girl who decided at age 10 that I wanted to go into space, and being strapped to the equivalent of a 10 megaton bomb didn’t really concern me. Because it was space—how could you not want that? Sure, it was an incredible amount of work, the chances of actually becoming an astronaut were horribly long, and you could blow up, but the risk of dying was reasonably low, and the rewards were literally out of this world.
See? Easy decision. Which was why I was shocked and a little appalled that becoming a writer terrified me.
Fear has dogged me every step of the way in this process, from the first time I sat down at the keyboard, to the first time I let someone else read my writing, to the first time I published a novel. But today I’m going to talk about the most…

Taking a Leap Of Faith by Emily Sonderegger

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For the last three days of Share the Love, we change subjects to hear from those who have taken a LEAP OF FAITH at some point in their lives. My first guest, Emily Sonderegger, shares how a nudge off the cliff started her leap of faith.
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Taking a leap of faith is a lot harder than it sounds. In some cases, you leave behind everything you know and jump off into a whole bunch of unfamiliar. It’s nerve-wracking at best and absolutely terrifying at worst. You actually have to trust in yourself and others. If you have trust issues, well, it’s not going to be an easy road.


My chance at a leap of faith came three years ago. I was in a dead-end job and hated everything about it. I wanted to quit badly. I NEEDED to quit, for my own sanity. At the same time, I was afraid to make any changes because, CHANGE!! I’m really not a huge fan of change.


Luckily, in my case, the decision was made for me. I lost my job and chose to take my leap of faith right then and there. I paid a visit to a nearby uni…

Two Decades and She Still Lives On - Lost Love by Paty Jager

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There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about my mom.She left us twenty-one years ago on Thanksgiving after battling cancer.I regret that she never had the chance to see how beautiful and well-adjusted her grandchildren have become or the chance to play with her great-grandchildren. She loved children and enjoyed life.
Mom loved to play jokes. Especially on my husband because he took the jokes so well and retaliated back in kind. On our wedding day, she got into his packed suitcase and sewed all the flies on his shorts shut. And for Christmas one year she sent him unlabeled jams because they had a running joke where Mom would ask him if he wanted strawberry or raspberry jam and he’d always ask for the opposite one she placed on the table. Of course my husband wasn’t the only person who was targeted with her practical jokes.
One Christmas when my husband and I were first married and living in a small, rundown house where I’d had more encounters with mice than I care to remember, my…

My Dad - Lost Love by Dianne Hartsock

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Thank you so much, Kai, for inviting me back to your delightful blog. Hasn’t this been a wonderful month? Being a floral designer as well as a romance writer, my Valentine’s Day preparations began in mid-January and I’m only now putting the last glittery hearts away.
But I’m almost sorry to see it come to an end. This month of romance isn’t only for lovers. It’s also for family and friends. It’s a time that reminds me of all the people I get to love in my life.
It also brings to mind those I’ve lost but keep close to my heart. I’d like to talk about my Dad today. He’s been gone over sixteen years now, but I miss him as if we lost him only yesterday.
So many good memories! But my most favorite ones are from the years before I turned ten. We lived in the ‘pink house’ then, probably one of the best places for a kid to grow up. It was a large house with a back staircase and a big backyard. And even better, it was haunted, but that’s another story!
In this house, the front door opens into a go…

Honoring People Who Graced My Life - Lost Love by M Pax

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Lost love week here on Kai’s fabulous blog. Thanks for having me on, Kai.
   I chose this topic because loss was on my mind a lot in 2011. My sister lost her husband in 2011 very unexpectedly. The shock was...well, I journaled about it on my way to be with her and her family, then on my way home. I’m not sure it has entirely worn off yet. What? I’m really not going to laugh with him ever again? That can’t be true.
   None of that has entered my stories yet because it is still too new and too fresh.
   When we are expecting a loss, although it hurts just as much, it’s not the same as a sudden loss. Those blindsides take extra processing. It seemed so unreal at the beginning. This can’t be true. He can’t be gone. He was just here. We had no warning. And I have some distance. I can’t even begin to imagine how my sister copes.
   Eventually, both he and my recorded thoughts from those days will make it into my stories. It’s a great homage to people who have meant something to me in life.
   Y…

Remembering Grandmother - Lost Love by Mary Esparza-Vela

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On the way to grandmother’s house, I had trouble concentrating on my driving. It was hard to accept the fact that my maternal grandmother would no longer be in my life. I parked in front of her house and as I strolled down the narrow sidewalk towards to the front porch, I pictured her sitting in her old rocker, a crochet needle in one hand and a ball of yarn on her lap.
Grandma always had her hair pulled back into a bun and as a child, it always reminded me of a large, white donut. Once Grandma saw me, she stretched out her arms like an eagle and demanded a big hug and a kiss from me.
I loved to spend my summer months with Lita, as I called her. Lita pampered me and always surprised me with a new dress she had sewn on her old Singer Sewing Machine. I remembered the day I went with her to buy the complicated contraption at Annie’s Cloth store on Third and Main. At the age of nine, I was full of questions.
“Why do you want to buy a sewing machine, Lita?” I asked her. “I’m going to make cl…

Don't Become Someone's Lost Love by Kai Strand

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Such lovely Current Love stories were shared last week. We were even treated to more in the comments. Now it is time to move to this week’s topic. LOST LOVE.
When I first developed the concept for the February guest posts, I hadn’t decided to compose an introductory post for each week, so it was easy for me to include the subject of LOST LOVE, knowing I wouldn’t have to address it myself. But then I changed my mind and now I’m faced with the topic I really don’t want to address. I know that time heals and that there will be a day that I’ll jump at the chance to honor my LOST LOVE, but for now it is still too fresh and too personal. I shared it here if you are curious.
Instead I’m going in a completely different direction. Because that’s what writers do.
As 2011 drew to a close I was feeling generally crappy. The last half of the year I had been kind of floundering. I lost so much last year and though I was dealing pretty well emotionally, I wasn’t taking good care of my body. I gained …

My Idea Man - Current Love by Michelle Brown

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People ask me all the time how I do it. How do I find time to write, raise ten kids (number eleven due in April) and keep my sanity? Well, writing helps keep me sane, and my wonderful husband of twenty-two years makes sure I get plenty of mental therapy. Bob is my idea man (most of my best stories have their roots in his imagination), my cheerleader, and my first reader. Since many of my main characters are middle-grade boys, his male perspective keeps my writing authentic. He coins the best titles and last lines. He protects my writing time at night by reading to the kids, bathing them, brushing their teeth, and tucking them in. Whenever he can, Bob sends me to writing conferences and retreats, even if they're a week long and far away. 
I'm currently working on a Bigfoot story, and needed a fun angle for the piece. I told him to "mull" some ideas for me. Bob came home from work with a list of ten zany ideas--things that never would have crossed my mind. He loves to b…

All About Heart - Current Love by Shari Maurer

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I met the love of my life at summer camp when I was 17 years old. Mat was really cute and funny and I had a giant crush on him. Five years later, we were married. Mat was in medical school and I was at NYU going for my MFA in Dramatic Writing. After his residency, Mat decided to train to become a cardiologist. The day after he mailed his cardiology fellowship applications, our daughter Lissie was born. Five days later, we learned Lissie had a heart defect and would need surgery. Thank goodness Mat understood all of the medical terms being thrown at us, because it was a really scary time. When it was all over and Lissie was doing well, my friend Gerri Freid Kramer, whose son also had a heart defect, came to me and suggested we write a book for parents of children who were experiencing what we had. With Mat as our advisor, we crafted questions for the dozens of health care professionals who contributed to the book and several years later The Parents’ Guide to Children’s Congenital Heart…

CURRENT LOVE by Rena Jones

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I suppose I could title this The Only Love of My Life rather than simply Current Love. I met Rick in high school. I was a sophomore and just barely sixteen. He was a senior and on the water polo team. My best friend introduced us while I was ditching tennis class. Rick drilled her, wondering why he’d never seen me around. I hated school and was hardly ever there. Two days later, he asked me to a dance. He would have asked sooner, but I stayed home from school those two days. Go figure.
Rick and I just clicked. It was like we were married from day one. In the seven years we dated, we never broke up. There was never any question if we were right for each other. Somehow, we just knew. In fact, we bought our wedding rings several years before we even got engaged. I’d like to say we were 100% sure, but the reality was the jeweler was having a really great sale. The reason we dated so long was because Rick had plans of becoming a doctor. After high school, he started college, but eventually …

My Middle Grade Muse - Current Love by Kathy Sattem Rygg

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I am lucky to have a wide network of supportive family, friends and colleagues. A few of my biggest champions include my husband, my mother, my friends of 25 years, and my former administrative assistant. At every turn, they encourage me to pursue my love of writing. But the most surprising influence in my career has been someone I never would have expected: my 8-year-old son. Like most kids he learned to read when he was in Kindergarten, and he picked it up quickly. He devoured early readers and moved on to chapter books the summer before first grade. He read the entire “Magic Tree house” series and I scrambled to find books to keep up with him. One day he turned to me and said, “Mom, you’re a writer. Would you write me a chapter book?” I had written everything from poetry to press releases, but it never occurred to me to write a children’s book. “Sure. I could do that,” I said. My son told me what he wanted it to be about, and I wrote it. I came up with a cover design and gave him a …

Love in the Office - Current Love by Kai Strand

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As February’s Share The Love theme progresses, we move away from the Industry Love stories and into a subject more closely related to Valentine’s Day, which we celebrate on Tuesday. This week my guests and I will share stories about our CURRENT LOVE.
One day I was walking up a hallway at work and glanced into an office that was normally empty. I made eye contact with an occupant sitting behind the bare desk. He wore a gray suit and a disinterested expression. It was obvious he was filling out paperwork for the open systems engineer position we were interviewing for. I continued past the office as if he hadn’t just made my heart skip a beat. As soon as I’d cleared the doorway I broke into a run. I ran straight to the reception desk and asked the girl, “Who is that?” She giggled. “I know, cute, huh?” she replied. She pulled out his resume and cover letter. “His name is Glen.” We poured through the documents and learned all we could. I know SO illegal, let’s not think about that part.
It …