A Tribute To My Mom

How terrible! I start a blog, post a couple times, and then STOP. I wish I could say that I was busy with my lawyers and accountants because I was one of the lucky three that split the $640 million dollar jackpot. But that would be a lie. It seems I had a momentary lapse of creativity. This past weekend would have been my mom’s 76th birthday. I say would have been because she passed away at 57-years-old. Although it has been 19 years of birthdays without her, it is still hard. Shortly after her passing, a friend of hers told me, “You will always miss her, but the pain will become less acute with time.” That is true. I do still miss her terribly, but I am able to talk about her without becoming a blubbering idiot. So since I can, for the most part, talk about her without crying, let’s see if I can type without tears. I would like to introduce you to a wonderful woman I was lucky enough to call mom.

My mom, Dorothy, was the type of mom/woman that made it easy to miss. She was someone people were proud to call their friend. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out, although she would not be quick to agree. She had lines, not big ones, around her eyes and mouth and she hated them. I, however, loved those lines. They were the type caused by smiling and laughing, which she was quick to do. In fact, we were almost kicked out of a Chinese restaurant for disturbing the other diners with our laughter. And we weren’t even drinking!

She had a kindness that you immediately saw in her beautiful, blue eyes. She was generous, to a fault, and had a difficult time using the word no. She loved being a wife, mother, and friend. And she excelled at all three. She grew up in a small town in Michigan and she never lost that small-town innocence. She could see the best in the worst.

I know I got my love of reading from her and it was the influence she had in my life that made me go after my dream of writing a book. Murder In The Gem State, is not the type of book my mother liked to read. Although, if she were here, she would happily read it because I wrote it. That was who she was. In fact, the mother of the detective in the book, for the most part, was based on my mom. So to have achieved my dream of writing a book, and her not be here to see it happening, is somewhat bittersweet. And I think that is what caused the “block”.

But I am back and writing…because of her. When I started on this journey, I had no plans of being a “one-hit-wonder” Even though she is not with me, physically, she is still with me. And if she were here, she would be cheering me on all the way. She would be calling me daily to see how it was going and giving me words of encouragement to help me through. Whatever it took to help bring to fruition my dream of having several published novels on bookstore shelves.

Although I miss her everyday and I would give anything to have her here, I am so grateful. Grateful that I was blessed to have been able to call her my mom and best friend. But also grateful to be able to say I knew such a wonderful woman.

I hope all of you have also been blessed!

Change Can Be Scary…But Oh So Worth It!

Change can be a very scary word. In fact, the top stresses in life involve change. Death of a spouse, divorce/separation, changing jobs, etc. all involve a change in our life. And the older we get, the harder it becomes. But isn’t that what life is all about…change? On any given day, we look around and see change happening all around us. Unfortunately, the negative changes going on in the world have not been good. But that is one thing I vow to not do with this blog is make it negative. The side of change I want to talk about is the positive side of it.

Exciting, eye-opening, revitalizing, learning experience. Those are some of the words you can use to describe change if you have the right attitude about it. And let’s face it, change is inevitable…daily. One of the reasons I chose this topic is because if I had not been open to change, I would not be here typing on this blog I created. I would not have written my first book and now working on my second. I would not be living in Idaho. I could go on and on about this subject.

When we decided to move, almost six years ago, from a suburb of Detroit, that was the biggest change that I have ever experienced, aside from the death of my mom. But both my husband and I were unemployed and the job market in Michigan was not good. So after researching several states, we spent a week in Idaho and fell in love! As soon as we returned to Michigan, we called the movers, packed, and we were back within two weeks. The hardest part of our move was leaving family. But as I mentioned, so much of my life that I now love might never have happened. We have met some of the most incredible people here. And when you move to a place that is so different it is hard to not occasionally feel like you are on vacation. Even after almost six years, I still have to pinch myself when I look up at the mountains. Something a girl from a flat state only saw when traveling or on television.

Another reason this has been on my mind is because two of my nephews, Kory and Kristopher, recently chose to follow their dreams. Kris graduated from film school, in Michigan, and decided to move to California. Kory, who acted in high school, went along and has been an extra in several television shows. I know how hard their move has been on my sister and brother-in-law, but I am so proud of those boys! Kristopher had a dream and he wasn’t going to let change keep him from going for it. Some changes you cannot avoidChange…it will happen. It is how we decide to handle it that will either make or break us. And if we are not open to change, there is so much we could miss. It is a big world out there, filled with opportunities we never dreamed of. You can either decide to just exist in your life or live your life to its fullest. No dream can ever be achieved if you are not willing to put yourself out there and accept the changes necessary for greatness.

So are you one that fears change…or do you embrace it?

The meaning behind the name

My guess is you are wondering if there is a meaning behind the name of my new blog. The answer to that would be yes…but it involves confessing something about myself. A dirty little secret I don’t often share with people. Okay…here it is. I like to look in people’s windows. Not in the way a peeping tom would, so don’t worry. However, I do prefer to do this when I am walking, or driving, at night. Partly because it is dark but also because most people are home at night.

I know this may sound odd to some, but I know I cannot be the only one out there (come on…fess up!). But for those of you that don’t understand this…let me explain. It is not to catch people in the act of doing something that should be private. God forbid… NO! However, when I look in someone’s window I like to imagine what their lives are like. I like to see how they decorate and if they all sit down to dinner together as a family. What I really like is to see whether they spend their evenings watching television or curled up with a good book. See…it is a very innocent curiosity that I have had all my life.

However, I know you are thinking…well that doesn’t explain why she gave her blog that name. Ah yes…but it does. I thought it was time to open my own “drapes”, or life, a little. I just finished writing my first novel, which has been a dream of mine since I was young. In doing so, I found that there is almost nothing that is more exposing than writing. Yes, I write fiction so I make things up. And yes…I can hide behind my characters. But to write, especially with the goal of getting published, it can make you feel very vulnerable.

You open yourself up to, not only self doubt – am I really good enough?. But you also open yourself up to possible rejection. Not only from literary agents, readers, and critics, but a myriad of people in the publishing world. I have heard many writers refer to their manuscript as their child, or becoming attached to their characters. I am no different. Even the most evil character in my book will always hold a special place in my heart. So to put my “child” out there, with the chance she could get rejected…it is hard. Even the name I gave my child, Murder In The Gem State, is at risk of being changed when it gets published. But when a complete stranger walks up to me, my published novel under their arm, and tell me that they could not put my book down…then it will all be worth it.

So there it is…my first post, on my first blog, ever! Hey, I am still in one piece. Okay, this may not be as scary as I thought. I cannot promise that I will divulge a secret in every post, but I will do my best to be interesting enough that you are glad you came and will want to return. But for now…do me a favor…please don’t close your drapes!