Friday, August 30, 2013

Celebrating, Expressing, Confessing

Today I’m doing a threesome. I’m Celebrating the Small Things, Expressing, and Confessing. Don’t go away, I promise I’ll explain.  


First, I’m participating in Confessions blogfest by Dani over at Entertaining Interests, which means I have to tell you something, preferably something humbling/embarrassing.

Here it is:

There is actually a reason my handwriting is so horrible (and it is, even doctors complain about it). It has nothing to do with my penmanship or my lame excuse that my mind is working so fast my hand can’t keep up. It’s because I’m a bad speller. I’d rather people think I was sloppy than stupid. I’m not kidding; you should see all the red on this page right now. All I can say is thank God for spellcheck.


The small thing I’m celebrating for this week is that it’s over. And I survived. Next week has no meetings, no appointments, no schedules, except, of course, my blogfest, but that’s not work, that’s something I’ve been looking forward to.


The Express Yourself question for this week is: What is your favorite Childhood book/movie? I think I addressed this last week when I mentioned my favorite comfort books, but maybe not, because that was a long list and today I have to pick just one. This is quite hard, but I guess it would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved the idea of all that candy. Maybe I could have avoided my lifelong struggle with my weight if I’d favored James and the Giant Peach instead, but alas, such is life.

Confessions anyone? Celebrating any small things? Favorite childhood book?

Have a great weekend everyone! Don’t forget to stop back on Monday for the Red, White, and Blue makes Purple blogfest!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

1.      What I’m reading:  Right now, I’m just starting Mocking Jay. I’ve read it before, but I tend to re-read things I really like. I am looking for another few books to read while I’m waiting for Alex Cavanaugh’s CassaStar to be released. Any suggestions?

2.      What I’m writing:  This week I’m going over my editor’s final edits for Bashan Agenda, which is scheduled to be released November 1st, so I need to get working on them. And, of course, I’m writing my 500 word short story for my blogfest on Monday. If you haven’t signed up yet, now’s your chance.

3.      What else I’ve been up to: School starts next week, so any meeting, any appointment, anything and everything, I’ve got crammed into this week so I’ll be able to give my full attention next week to where it belongs. Aka: A lot of craziness in the Schulz household right now. I never knew I could be so productive. Keep that under wraps by the way, I don’t want my family thinking I can go like this all the time.

4.      What’s inspiring me right now: Last night I sat out on my front porch and closed my eyes and listened to it rain.  It was a slow, steady, healing sound; just what I needed to hear with all my aforesaid craziness. That’s what’s inspiring me I guess. That somewhere out there, there is something steady.
What are you up to this Wednesday?
Don't forget to sign up for my blogfest!

Monday, August 26, 2013


School. For some of us it’s a way of life, for others it’s some distant memory in our past that either conjures good memories or bad, depending on our experiences. I’ve had to visit school a lot in the recent years, partially because of my books, and partially because I’m homeschooling my children (and as it turns out, me). I see in their experiences all my misses. I never read the Federalist Papers-did you? Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever read any original sources, just piles and piles of textbooks that abridged the histories and stories. I don’t want that for myself, or for them-someone else’s interpretations. I don’t want to read or live second-hand. A lot of people ask me why we homeschool, and that answer is part of it. There’s something in the discovery of a thing, and it’s never too late to start.

Are you homeschooled?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Celebrate Friday

Hello Everyone, It’s time again for my weekly Celebrate the Small Things and Express Yourself.

This week has been kind of crazy. I finished my book tour on Sunday, and then the rest of this week has been spent working on my mother’s surprise sixtieth birthday party that we’re having at our house tomorrow. Or at least it used to be a surprise. My super-sweet six-year old nephew was in the car with my mom last week and this was how the conversation went:


“Yes, Gabriel?”

“I’m not supposed to tell you something.”

“Okay, then don’t.”

“I’m not supposed to tell you about the party at Aunt Melanie’s house next Saturday for your birthday.”


The hilarious thing is? He still swears he didn’t tell her. Kids are too funny. But as it turns out, my mom would’ve hated having it be a surprise, and now can sit back and look forward to the party. I guess things work out for the best in the end.

So that’s the small thing I’m celebrating this week-the surprise that wasn’t.


The Express Yourself question for the week is what is your favorite comfort book/movie? For me it tends to be anything I enjoyed when I was a child: Laura Ingalls, Anne of Green Gables, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, the Ramona books, The Indian in the Cupboard. I love re-reading these books- and I often do, whenever I need to sit back and just enjoy a good book.

What is your favorite comfort movie/book?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Passing on the Shine

This post is to say a special thank you to Crystal Collier for giving me the Shine On Award. Basically, I'm supposed to say seven things about myself and then pass the award onto seven other people. Sounds simple right? Except how do I possibly choose? I decided to narrow it down to just the guys- no offense girls, I'm just making up for the time I had to leave the guys out with the whole Sisterhood award thing. Even with that, this has been hard, so, I'm sorry if I left some of you out.

First off, Alex Cavanaugh at  It didn't take me too long to notice Alex was always the first one to comment on all of my posts, and from what I've seen from being around the blog world is that mine isn't the only one. I have no idea how he does it. Alex, you humble and amaze me.

D.L Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0  DL, I love visiting your blog, from your amazing stories, to your encouragement, to your Write Club; yours is the one blog I never want to miss.

Micheal DiGeshu at In Time. If you haven't been to this man's blog yet, you should. He is so encouraging- and a great resource for writers.  

John at The Bathroom Monologes. John frequently posts short stories and snippets that are full of tension and turns, leaving me always eagerly waiting to see what he comes up with next.

Brandon and Bryan at A Beer for my Shower. I just found this one and I can't get enough- thanks jaybird for the recommendation. This blog is so funny! Seriously, seriously funny.

Mark Means at Left and Write. This man is brilliant. Brilliant I say.

Jay Noel at I've always connected to Jay. He is so authentically real.

Now seven things about me:

1. I met my husband when I was fifteen. He was twenty-one and the finest thing I've ever seen, before or since.

2. I am a psychiatric nurse and I wish I was allowed to tell the stories I see lived out everyday.

3. I went to school to be a chef (before nursing school).

4. I suffered with infertility for three years before I had my first daughter, eight with my second. My boy was a miraculous surprise.

5. I am a Christian.

6. I have never moved more than twenty miles from where I grew up.  

7. I homeschool my three children.

Well that's all- Don't forget to sign up for my blogfest going on in September!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Feeling Checks

This weekend I finished my revisions on my third book (yey!!!). Now I only have one step left-which is something I wanted to share with you.  When I finish a book, I go through it one last time, kind of like a copy editor would. Only instead of scanning for grammar issues and typos, I’m doing a feeling check. I’m reading each scene and asking myself how I feel- is it what I was going for- is there tension where I wanted it- is there sadness, joy, love, heartbreak? As soon as that feeling stops within me, I go back and see why. Was I reverting to telling not showing? Did I gloss over something? Was I true to the character? In essence, I’m looking for what it was that pulled me out of the emotion. Most of these should have been corrected during the revision process, just like most of the grammar problems, but I don’t think any of us doubt the value of a copyeditor for one last go-over.

Do you do feeling checks?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Small Stuff, Express Yourself

The small things I’m celebrating this week are rather simple: family, good health, and an over-abundant garden.

And the Express Yourselves question for today is: Which book/movie do you wish you lived in? This is a tough one- probably Lord of the Rings. There are a couple others that I’m too ashamed to admit (aka Twilight). How about you-what book/movie do you wish you lived in?

Don't forget to sign up for my blogfest!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What's up Wednesday

What's up Wednesday is a lovely idea by Erin at and Jaime at . It's meant to help us get to know each other a little better.

What I'm reading: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Every once in a while I get in the mood for the classics and I guess I'm in one.

What I'm writing: Right now I'm working on revisions on Rephaim, my third book in the Newstead Trilogy, and final (hopefully) edits on Bashan.

What's inspiring me right now: Being outside. There's a little stream deep in the woods not too far from my house where I like to go and sit. Some day this week I want to take my laptop there and just write and see what comes out.

What else I've been up to: Summer is pretty short here, so I'm trying to soak as much of it in as possible before the white stuff shows up. I've been camping and hanging out by the beach and just enjoying my family as much as possible. This weekend is the final stop for the Newstead book tour. We're headed to Hammondsport, one of the best places on earth. It's right on the tip of Keuka Lake, surrounded by rolling hills and wineries. Should be lovely.

What are you reading or writing? What's inspiring you right now? What else have you been up to?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gone Camping

Hello Everyone! I will be skipping Monday and Tuesday's post this week due to lots of sunshine and a sudden urge to take the family camping one more time before the summer ends. Will be back on Wednesday to visit all of you! Don't forget to sign up for my blogfest for September!

Friday, August 9, 2013


Today I’m concluding the bloghop that began one week ago. We were to post our ideas on getting that creative spark, and then visit each other to gain inspiration. As it always seems in this blogging world, I get more than I give. Some of you had some amazing suggestions, but the one I’ve put to use the most is creating a timeline. In my books there is a sort of progressive revelation, and I was finding that certain aspects were showing up too early. So I’m making a time line as to when things should be discovered so I can cut out anything that’s not supposed to be there. Thanks Spunky for your suggestion. I also tried writing in the dark last night- very intense- suggest you all try it at least once.

The Express yourself question for today is: What book/movie characters do you relate to most?

This is a tough one. I tend to relate to all kinds of characters. I guess my best answer is not type of character, but type of writing. I like to walk along with a character while he/she is going through whatever horrible/wonderful things are happening to them. I’m a very visual person, so I need to feel like I’m literally there.
This week the small things I’m celebrating are a plentiful garden, plenty of just-right sunshine, and my daughter cleaning the entire house all by herself. Now that was a nice surprise, let me tell you.

What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writer's Group and The Faerie War

Today what I’m most insecure about are inconsistencies. I’m working on my third book in the Newstead Trilogy, and it seems like every time I go over it I’m finding a new plot hole that needs to be fixed, or something that isn’t quite right. Being the last book, every detail has to match up and I’m feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of that task. That’s part of the difficulty with the way I’m writing this trilogy; everything is interrelated so I have to be so careful to make sure what happens in the first book flows into the second and then the third, and it’s not just with a few details, but with everything. I guess I’m just feeling the pressure of it all and because I love this book so much I want to get it just right. I want the reader to feel that moment when it all comes together. And right now it’s just not there. But it’s not due in my editor’s hands for another five months, so I guess time is on my side.

On another note, please help me celebrate with Rachel Morgan on the release of the third book in her Creepy Hollow series. Way to go Rachel!

The fate of the faerie world is in her hands...

Title: The Faerie War
Series: Creepy Hollow, Book Three
Author: Rachel Morgan
Cover Designer: Morgan Media
Publication Date: Oct 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lovin' Bloglovin'

Sorry my post is so late today- I’ve found a solution to all my blogging problems! Problems you say? Yes, problems. All of you who follow me in the blogging world probably (hopefully) have no idea how technologically dense I am. I’m the woman who likes to make her own jams and teas, not someone who has the faintest clue how to do things quickly and proficiently online. You see, I love to read all of your posts, but in order to do that, I either A. had to click on your comment on my blog to link back to your site, or B. remember your URL and type it in. Yes, each time. But I loved reading your stuff, so I did it. But sometimes, I know this is hard to imagine, but I forget your URL and had a hard time finding you. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking …remember that girl who wrote that thing…? So what seemed like me ignoring you was really just me having a thirties moment (Is there such a thing? If not, I guess I just made it one.) But today that ends. I found a blog lovers best friend, appropriately named Bloglovin’. I’m sure none of you have the density I do, but if you do, I highly recommend you check this site out. It’s even an app for your ipad or iphone. Now I have all of your lovely sites listed in one place, so I can visit you and read all your posts! I was so excited I spent all day going over all your lovely comments all the way back to A to Z so I can link to you. Yay!!

See you on your site soon!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Celebrate and Express

The small things I’m celebrating this week are some really good things coming together for book #3 of the Newstead Trilogy. The edits are going well, but more than that, I got in touch with the artist who is doing the cover, Allen Waite, and I’m super excited where he’s going with this. It should be done some time in November, so I’ll be sure to show all of you. It was just one of those meeting of the minds moments that are so rare and therefore so special. Other than that life is going relatively normal. Which is a blessing in its own way, I guess.


And the Express Yourself question for this week is…What are you looking forward to in August?

August is gearing up to be a rather busy month. I have two art shows I’m participating in, which means two weekends away, and the fam and I are going camping for a few nights right in the middle of August. I hope to get the edits on my third book done, so I can work on a final lookover of the second in September. I homeschool, so August will also probably be filled with going over lesson plans. And then there’s the garden…

So-what am I looking forward to in August? Trying to squeeze in some quiet time.

How about you?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Imagination Sparks

Today I’m participating in a bloghop hosted by Charmaine Clancy over at

Basically you’re supposed to post today about what gets your creative writing juices going and then visit others on the bloghop list to check out what theirs are and give them a try.

I’m not going to write about playlists, or quiet places, or comfy chairs or any of that. Today I’m going to write about the single most important tool I have in my writer’s arsenal: The list.

What is The List you may ask? Simple. It’s just what it sounds like; a list of questions and answers. And each one of my main characters gets one. It’s how I get to know them a little better. Does Rachel reach for Cheerios or Oreos for breakfast? What does she do when she’s angry, or sad? What was her childhood like? Who were her friends then? And now? What perfume does she wear? What music does she listen to? And on and on it goes. This takes some time, the discovery of a person, but I promise it’s worth it. That way, when you finally sit down to write the story, it comes naturally, because of course your character would do or say that- that’s who they are.   

Now, I’m off to know each one of you a little better.

Don't forget about my blogfest for 9/3/13! Click on the button below for more details.