50 Resolutions Before I’m 50: Number 15 Live My Passion, No Matter What


Today is my daughter’s last day of high school. It’s hitting me harder than it is her. I taught her to read and homeschooled her until seventh grade when I thrust her into a school setting and told her to swim. Although at first, she nearly drowned, she came back and is Olympic level now. This is a kid who is mastering not one, but two foreign languages, excelling in cybersecurity classes, and kicking ass in Calculus. And I couldn’t be prouder.

Yet, I see society pushing her in a hundred directions. Major in Y and you’ll earn a boatload after college. Do job X and you’ll make even more money. Can you fit in another foreign language? Z is super popular now with employers. Just become fluent before you graduate.

Yes, even I’ve been pushing her in that way parents everywhere have of making their kids miserable adults, but limiting their options into the safe and economically feasible.  So I’m taking a step back and telling her what I’m trying to do in my own life. Live your passion.

Put everything into that one dream that fills you with joy, even on the worst days and there will be horrible days in pursuit of your dream. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it won’t matter. As a writer, I hear people questioning why I suffer so much, taking up my nights and weekends and holidays to put more words on paper that I may not even like and then suffering when my editor or agent may not like them either. My answer to them is that my worst day writing is better than all those other days living in limbo, doing what I’m expected, but not anything that strikes at my heart.

Perhaps the test should be to put out your hand and offer up your pinkie as a sacrifice. If you want to keep your pinkie attached to your finger, rather than pursue an activity, then it isn’t your passion. Because for every good day writing, there a bunch of bad days and even some downright sucky days, but I’d still prefer writing to just about anything else.

So my oldest daughter, I hope you find a life full of adventure and love, and in the mix of it all, find your passion and never let it go.

50 Resolutions Before I’m 50: Number 13 Being Happy with Me

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I had new author photos taken this past weekend. I found the most amazing photographer, Lori Mann, who looks at photos as art and helped me show the exact feeling I wanted to portray. After having more makeup on me than I generally put on in week and my hair curled into something closer to Veronica Lake than my normal flyaway frizz, the photos showed me that nearing 50 is sexy, and fun, and a place where I can be me without apology. Yes, it would be awesome if I could keep Aleks Ambrose, the brilliant makeup artist with me on a daily basis and have someone expertly “shade” away some of my lines, but let’s face it, going into that fantasy world is better when you arrive from an everyday life.

Was there airbrushing? Ummm, yes. I’m excited by what I look like now, but let’s be realistic. I don’t exactly have my 17-year-old daughter’s perfect skin. So I’ll allow my aging to appear to the photos, only a bit softer.

My resolution this week? To embrace my external appearance as much as I embrace my internal essence. They are both me, and they both affect my mood and well-being, for better and worse. And with the help of my friends- I’m even better!

50 Resolutions Before I’m Fifty: 12 – More Meditation

Photo on 3-29-17 at 10.14 AM

Does meditation work? For me, yes.

My mind runs in circles. It’s not gathering amazing bits of information for future books. Not generally. Most of the time, the focus of my thoughts involve a lack of time, too many body aches, deadlines, dinners, family dynamics, a need to be alone, a need for friends, a need for family, a desire to be in nature, to find comfort in my own home, an urge to help others outside my circle, and total exhaustion when I can’t reconcile everything.

When I’m in sync with a current activity, everything flows together and creates milestones in my life. A finished book, a painted room, a planted garden, or a stack of bills being paid. At other times, when there are too many issues to think about and too much emotion and pressure piling around me, I fade into nothing. I can maintain basic tasks at these times, but the quality isn’t top notch and my overall feeling of accomplishment is empty. Those are some of my toughest days. Going through the motions of life without passion.

Meditation has changed that. Each morning I take ten minutes. I’d like to brag to you and say I’m in the zone for an hour, but for now, ten minutes is all I can spare. I sit on the sofa in my office. It’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. I get comfortable, which for me involves clasping my hands together and tucking feet under my legs. Exposed hands and feet freak me out and I can’t relax. It’s my quirk and I refuse to fight it.

I listen to the guru from Headspace guide me through a breathing exercise and an ability to separate from the crush of ideas and thoughts in my head. When I emerge ten minutes later, I still feel a bit crushed (it’s not a miracle cure), but the intensity of life dies down so I can find my focus for the afternoon, whether it’s spending time with my children who need someone to listen to them, staying clear on my clients’ need and wishes, or writing a story where I can be present with my characters’ thoughts and actions.

The new resolution? To embrace meditation even more than I had. During emotionally draining situations, if I have a chance, I’d like to take an extra ten minutes and clear my head so I can handle what ever life throws at me with clarity and calm.

Fifty Resolutions in Fifty Weeks Before I’m Fifty. Resolutions 9 and 10



So I missed blogging last week and therefore, I’m throwing a resolution at the problem. My ninth resolution is to write at least one blog post every week. Perhaps the power of the resolutions will keep me on track. I am in the middle of writing a new novel and most of my writing time is spent making sure my word count stays consistent so I’m on track to make my deadline. I’m happy to say that so far, I am 100% on track for completing the book with time for several rounds of edits before sending it to my editor.

As for my other resolution? It’s one of my personal pet peeves. Once upon a time, I could speak French. Now? Not at all. So my tenth resolution is to watch a movie in French once per week. It should help me remember the vocabulary and the cadence of the language. I thought I’d start with Harry Potter. My children speak French much better than I do, so maybe I can convince them to join me.

50 Resolutions in 50 Days Before I’m 50: Resolution 7


I’m at the 7 week mark and my resolutions have been swallowed up by my busy life. Excuses abound. I have to go to a meeting or be in court, I have to drop off or pick up the kids from school or another activity, I have to get a manuscript to my agent or write a synopsis. All a bunch of BS excuses.

It was Katy Regnery who kicked my ass into realizing that saying I’m going to follow my resolutions and actually following them are two different beasts. So I need a resolution that brings the first few weeks all together.

My resolution this week is to finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning, before my day fills up with my ToDo list or my mind falls into my stories and I refuse to come up for air. I’ve got this!


I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No television after 8pm

I’m really good with this one.

Exercise everyday

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I am force feeding myself a salad a day. It makes me feel better after I eat it, but I’d prefer French fries.

Meditate everyday.

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No sugar.

Surprisingly, I am handling the no sugar thing pretty well. Although if you offer me a brownie- I may have to kill you.

50 Resolutions in 50 Days Before I’m 50: Resolution 6


This is the hardest resolution I’ve decided upon so far. I’m giving up sugar. No candy, no brownies, no pumpkin spice lattes. As an almost 50 year old female, I’ve noticed my weight climbing even though I’ve been eating the same diet for years. More exercise doesn’t help.

The fourth resolution of drinking a nutrition shake and eating a salad a day have increased my well-being because I’m finally eating nutrients that help me stay healthy. The weight however? No change.  I’m not looking to drop to my high school level weight, but merely to rid myself of a stomach that seems to rounding out. That is not a good look for me.

So far, I’ve lasted 8 hours. Will I have birthday cake and an occasional piece of chocolate? Probably. Although if I find that my cravings become overwhelming, I may need to back off long-term. One week at a time.

How am I doing with the rest of the resolutions so far.


I stink at journaling. I thought this would be the easiest resolution to keep. It’s not.

No television after 8pm

This one is going strong. I work at night and spend time with my family. When I have free time, I read.

Exercise everyday

I’ve been doing great with this. Mostly by running a mile every morning. I feel stronger everyday.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I am finding creative ways to have salad every day. Supermarkets have prepared salads where you mix the ingredients and go. They help.

Meditate everyday.

I’ve been doing only two minutes per day and have a hard time concentrating, probably because I’m in the middle of plotting a new novel and the plot invades all of my thoughts. I’ll continue to add time to this as I get better.



2016 Booksellers’ Best Winner



I attended the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference last week in San Diego. What a great opportunity to meet with my agent, editors, and my friends. The highlight of the week was learning that my novel “Untrue Colors” won the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

I also did a book signing there with over 400 other authors including many of my favorites. If you are near the Orlando area next July, come on out. It’s such fun and all sales are donated to support literacy.