Random Ramblings (Blog)

Changing Landscapes

As I watch my kids grow up and begin to accept that they will soon be moving on, I remembered this post and thought I’d share it with you again…

“There is an eternal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.” –Josephine Hart

Some people are born and raised in one place and never leave, except for brief visits and vacations to somewhere else. When I was a kid, born and raised in Oklahoma, all I wanted to do was take a vacation to somewhere far away. Even though I was right in the middle of Green Country and the foot of the Ozarks, a region of Oklahoma known for its majestic scenery and natural beauty, I wanted to leave it for a while, not realizing how it would never leave me. I got my wish when at just eighteen I made a series of spontaneous decisions and followed my heart out of Oklahoma, out of the United States, and began a decade of experiences that shaped my future as a woman, a…

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Shakespeare’s First Folio

I graduated in 1998 with an English degree from Sac State. As I accepted my diploma from my professor, my little girl was there to receive my degree with me. Just 5  months along, I’d recently seen an ultrasound in which she had turned a little somersault. 

During graduation, I wondered if she sensed my excitement and was doing that same thing again, causing the little flutters in my stomach as I imagined what I might do with this degree and all those hours of reading Shakespeare, analyzing novels, and writing countless stories and essays.

Last week, I took my little baby, now a beautiful and intelligent senior in high school, to the Folger Library exhibit of Shakespeare’s First Folio at the Wyoming State Museum. She doesn’t yet love Shakespeare as much as her English Major/Author Mom, but she does like some of his plays.

Recalling the look on her face as I took her picture in front of the Folio, I think my daughter was mostly amused at my reaction. Let’s just say it was a Fan Girl moment for me. She fangirls over 5SOS while her mom fangirls over a dead poet. 

We both loved the exhibit though, and it was a full circle moment for me to have her there viewing and talking about the First Folio with me. 

Since college, I’ve become an author, but most noteably, I’ve raised my daughter. I’m telling you, friends, there ARE more important things than getting published. 

Have a great weekend, and Happy Reading!


A Friendship Lesson for Introverts

With it being Fall, I was reminded of this blog post from last October. Autumn weather always makes me want to go for long walks, sometimes with someone else, but my introverted side never minds walking alone.

Vedauwoo, WY - Copyright Tina Ann Forkner

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” — C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I am an introvert. I could walk alone for a long time and not be lonely at all. It’s not that I don’t love people, because I do. I simply enjoy being alone.

For example, I hiked the beautiful trail in this photo of the Vedauwoo, Wyoming area a few days ago with my husband. I enjoyed his company as we appreciated the changing season together, but I admit I would have enjoyed the walk alone, too. I love solitude and most of the time, there is nothing I don’t like about being an introvert.

I’m sure my introvertedness makes it easier for me to be a writer, easier for me to be still and contemplate life, and of course it is one of…

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A Publishing Confession at Women’s Fiction Writers Blog

I have a newamy-sue-nathan post over at Women’s Fiction Writers, and I have to tell you that when I first approached Amy Sue Nathan with the post, I was a little bit nervous about how transparent I’d been in the piece. For one thing, my friend Amy Sue Nathan is an editor (she’s edited a few of my books, as well), a writer and instructor for Writer’s Digest Magazine, and an author in her own right of The Glass Wives and The Good Neighbor, not to mention that she runs the award-winning blog, Women’s Fiction Writers. Her opinion matters to me for obvious reasons.

The importance of sharing my piece with Amy aside, I was mainly nervous about the audience of the piece. Would other writers rally around the idea, or would they ask, why in the world is this author putting these ideas out there for the public to see? And of course there was the fear that maybe I was the only one struggling. Thank goodness, I was wrong.

When I first wrote the piece called “A Publishing Confession: I Want to Make Money,” I directed it at other writers and had not planned on sharing it here. It has been posted for ten days now and the response has been great. Many of my readers found it anyway and shared it, so I decided to share it here, after all. I want to be honest with my wonderful readers about what being an author is really like. Here is the link to the post on Women’s Fiction Writers:

A Publishing Confession: I Want to Make Money

I hope a little bit of the article makes sense, and that after reading it, you’ll know just how much I, and all authors, really love writing stories for you. Thank you for being such great readers of my books, and of all books. You are appreciated more than you know.

Happy Reading!




Dear Readers, Remember When We First Met?

Dear Readers,

Remember when we first met? For some of you who were around when my first book came out, social media was brand new and we still did old-fashioned things like write letters and send cards. I found some of those in a drawer today and they were from a couple of you. It warmed my heart to see pen on paper from real readers. In fact, it did more than warm my heart. It reached deep down into my insecure writer’s soul and bloomed just like the beautiful rose that one of you drew on the thank you card.

These cards, sent to me about my very first novels, reminded me of how it felt back when my books first met readers. Before that time, they were solitary stories, just pages in a drawer. I was the only one who ever read them and it was just me, the page, and my characters. That was a pretty great time when it was just me writing a story with no pressure, but when you, my readers, met my characters, something happened. I always knew those stories were meant for you.

Coming out of  hiding and sharing my work with readers wasn’t nearly as painful as I expected. You have never put any pressure on me and many of you even stuck around during the little break I took in between books. The only pressure I ever feel has to do with the work of marketing books and staying on top of the business of writing. I would much prefer it be just you, me, and the page, but being published is a responsibility even if I wish I could hide away all day writing stories for you.

You make it easier, though. You are the ones who inspire me to go back to the page every day. When I wrote my first book, I had no idea who would ever read it, if anyone. Now that we’ve met through my stories, I have you to think about with each page I write.

Finding those cards made me a little bit sentimental, so this note is really nothing but a note back, not only to the readers who sent those cards, but to each and every one of you for picking up my books.

Thank you, readers. I can’t adequately explain to you how grateful I am for each and every one of you, even if we’ve never met in person.

Happy Reading,