2016 Thoughts, 2017 Goals

Y'know, some people can multitask in life, and some people can't. I see people in publishing doing so many things at once--reading slush, agenting, parenting, traveling, editing, revising, drafting, and the list goes on and on. But if there's one thing I've learned about myself in the last five and a half years that I've been writing seriously, it's how much of a binge-er I am.

I am not a multi-tasker. I'm a binge-er.

When I draft a novel, everything else in my life takes a back seat. My kids eat hot dogs and toast for a month and the dishes and laundry pile up until I finally get to them maybe once a week during that time.

When I read a novel, I sit and shut out the entire world. It takes my husband three or more tries to get my attention.

When I clean my house, I put on headphones and listen to a book or a podcast or a lecture on writing and I forget about anything else happening. I could do this for hours.

When I play with my kids, I am present and excited and I don't look at my phone for hours. When I read to them, I abhor being interrupted by anything else.

As most of you probably know, for most of 2016 I was pregnant with my third child. And all of my mental focus went toward that task. You'd think it would just happen subconsciously and I could do other things, but no. Every other section of brain space was limited because of the pregnancy. As evidenced by the fact that I blogged four times the entire year.

I revised well for a while. I drafted 25k words during nano. I read a few books. I mostly kept the house clean. But I could not for the life of me FOCUS on any one thing except Being Pregnant and taking care of my two boys.

And now? Well, the baby is here.

It's been a single exhausting week, and I'm just starting to help her get her days and nights on schedule. She's beautiful and perfect and I couldn't be more grateful that I now have another thing to binge.

Taking care of a newborn is hardest in the first month and a half. After that, things tend to calm down to something resembling a new normal. So for the next five weeks I'm bingeing taking care of a newborn baby. I'm basically in survival mode for a while.

But the thing is, I miss writing. I miss it a LOT. And now that I'm not pregnant my mind keeps floating back to my many manuscripts and side projects and wishing I had the energy to stay awake and work on them instead of sleeping when the baby sleeps. As it is, I'm writing this blog post on my phone while she's sleeping, and I keep nodding off.

But this is why I chose Patience as my word/goal/mood for 2017. Because I know writing will be there waiting for me when my mind and body are ready to get back to it. My baby won't always need me this much, and I won't always be this tired. It's hard to see that far ahead, but I have to keep telling myself these things or I'll crash and burn.

Usually I'm very much a go-getter in my life. I set goals and I achieve them. I say, I'm gonna write this book by this date, and I do it. But with a tiny person who needs me so much, I can't ask so much of myself. So I'm trying to learn to say no to things, to take a step back and take my time when it comes to my personal goals. It's difficult, especially because I have amazing friends who are agented and publishing and doing all the things I want so much to do... but as Aaron Burr says, "I'm willing to wait for it."

My time will come, just... not yet.

I have other things to focus on in the mean time.



The good news: I'm fifteen weeks pregnant!

*cue confetti*

The bad news: I haven't written since about week four, and the drive/ability doesn't seem to be returning any time soon.

*cue sad "aww"*

Good news: I have no agent or publisher yet who is demanding me to write when I mentally cannot. (Except for a short story, and I think I'll be able to push through that.)

Bad news: I also have a hard time reading much these days, so refilling the well is not going well either.

Good news: the well refill is sort of happening with a Supernatural binge.

Bad news: .....actually there's no bad part to that. I'm loving Supernatural.


Here's the thing: I've been writing pretty consistently for five years, and in that time I've had a baby and raised two boys and moved houses and served in my church children's program and dealt with anxiety and depression and two miscarriages and querying and drafting and revising five and three-halves novels plus multiple short stories and on and on and on.

I think my brain is telling me to take a break.

I'm still a writer. I'm not quitting, because I know I love it and I know it helps me cope with normal life. Writing is a part of me now, and nothing will ever change that. But I'm starting to realize that for this period of time, I need to set my manuscripts aside to focus on me and my family.

I don't know for how long. Hopefully not much longer than the nine to twelve months it takes to grow, birth, and acclimate to a new baby. But if it takes longer, that's okay.

It's difficult to admit I'm setting it aside. It's difficult to see my friends and writers I admire working so hard and accomplishing so much and remembering when *I* did that and wishing, wishing, wishing I could do that right now.

But I need to set it aside.

It's frustrating, but I need to.

If you're the praying type, I could use the support. And if you're not, happy thoughts and good vibes are greatly appreciated.

I love my family, and I'm beyond grateful for this baby I carry. Also, I miss writing. And I don't think the two have to be mutually exclusive.


(Tumblr link to this post: http://darcicole.tumblr.com/post/147251226354/acceptance)

"Fight Your Way Through"

A few years ago, I posted an April Fools joke on here that I'd signed with an agent. Well guess what?!

No, I still don't have an agent. *snort*


Yesterday I was going through some old papers and folders looking for some information and I came across a one-page handwritten outline for a story. It was vaguely like the one that eventually became the "first" novel I ever wrote, but based on the stuff it was around I knew I had to have written it long before I actually started writing. Speaking of which....

Tomorrow, April 2nd, is my five-year anniversary of Being A Writer.

That's right. Five years ago tomorrow, I sat down and wrote the first sentence of my first novel. I had no idea what I was doing, I had no outline, I had no plan, I had nothing. But I wrote it. I started. Curious to see it? I was, so I looked it up:

Prince Canton sighed in relief as he slouched lazily in his chair. It had been a very long day. He pried his left eye open to look out the window, and visibly flinched when he realized how late it was.

It was pretty terrible, and the book that followed was terrible too, but that didn't stop me from writing it. I wish I knew the exact date that I finished that draft, but the closest I can guess is September 28th-ish of that year. A good six months it took me to write what...53K? Maybe? Oh the follies of youth.

It's incredible, really. Last week I saw Sam Sykes talking about writing advice on Twitter. He said:

And he's absolutely right. It hit me hard when I saw that, and made me remember one of the first quotes I heard when I started. It was from Ira Glass. I'd heard people say "you've gotta suck at it before you can get better," or something to that end, but Mr. Glass said it in a way that I was able to make a sort of game plan out of it. Take a look:

A gap. A period of years, where you can tell that what you're making isn't as special as you want it to be. It's missing something. And the only way to close that gap, is to write.

Guys, this is a big deal for me. I've been writing for five years. I've been trying, I've been working at it, learning as much as I can, reading, studying, and writing. And it's been five years. That feels like such a long time, and it is. Five years. Five. Years.

The bad news now is I still suck at writing. But the good news is I suck a heck of a lot less now than I did five years ago, and I can confidently say that there are even a few things in writing that I am very, very good at. I hope.

Either way, I needed this reminder. The reminder that in the big picture of things, I am moving forward. I am progressing. It's hard to see that sometimes when it looks like everyone around you is getting agents or selling to editors or releasing a book. I've said it before, but it's conflicting, isn't it, when you are genuinely so thrilled for your friends and their accomplishments, and yet a small part of you wonders...

...will I ever get there?

There's a small part of me that cries inside all the time, no matter how much I try to shut it up. It wonders if after all this time, all I've done is wasted five years of my life. I wonder if these words, these stories I've poured my heart and soul and sweat and tears into will ever ever be good enough to sit on a stranger's shelf. It's hard, sometimes. It's hard to see the bright side through so many clouds.

But the thing is, I'm not going to quit. I know that. I'm too stubborn. I'll keep writing, and I'll keep working, and eventually I'll get published somehow--though who knows when. But I know it won't be easy. And I can't even say that it gets easier. Because you know what?

Even Bestselling Authors feel this pain.

It's not easy, and the fear of failure is constant. Why do we put ourselves through this? Why do we "suffer for our art" so much? Here's why: because at the end of the day, when someone reads your words and swoons at a kiss, or cries at a death, or laughs at a joke, or swears at you for something you did to their favorite character--

That makes it all worth it. It's weird, I know, but it's true.

So this is my advice to me on my fifth anniversary, and my advice to you no matter what stage of your career you're in: keep writing. Keep creating. Keep dreaming those dreams. The only way you fail, is if you stop trying. So don't stop. Never stop. Keep moving forward; you'll get there.


The One Word Story - Boys, Baseball, and Biology

Hey all!

Back in the fall, an awesome guy named Rob Kristofferson invited authors on twitter to participate in #TheOneWordStory project. Basically, we each picked a word, and let a story develop from it. A lot of people were excited to participate, but Rob recently has had to take a step back, so the project has been put on hold.

Since it's kind of in limbo, I've decided to post my #TheOneWordStory here on the blog (and also on my tumblr blog) because I love it a lot and I want to share it with you and see what you think.

The word I chose was  Obfuscate.

OBFUSCATE: (verb) render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.

Boys, Baseball, and Biology

“In here, Jessie.”

I held my breath as I followed Chase Connolly into his bedroom. Boys’ rooms were supposed to smell like dirty socks and gym shorts, right? Last time I’d visited, it had smelled of day-old chocolate milk and cheese sandwich, but that was when we were eight.

“You want a soda?”

I blinked, focusing on Chase who stood by a mini fridge. He had a mini fridge in his bedroom? I glanced from him to the sodas and finally let out my breath.

“Ah, Dr Pepper, please.” The room actually didn’t stink at all. Smelled like that carpet dust stuff people sprinkle before they vacuum. I’d bet my bat and glove his mom did that for him.

He nodded, taking out two Dr Peppers and tossing one to me.

I squeaked—unladylike for sure—and leaned forward to catch it. Those years of little league are really paying off now, I thought.

Chase smiled. “Nice catch. Still got it, huh?”

“Um…got what?”

He shrugged. “You played shortstop. You always caught the fly balls.”

How did he remember…? “Right,” I said. “Um, why don’t we get started?”

“Sure.” He laid down on his bed—a full, not quite queen sized—and reached under to pull out his biology book. I took a seat on the floor, my back to the bed, and got my book out of my backpack.

“Why are you sitting on the floor?” he asked.

I looked up at him. “Um…because there are no chairs.”

He gestured to his bed, raising a brow and giving a smirk I’d seen him use on girls many times.

A blush rose in my cheeks. “I’m good, thanks.”

“Come on, Jess,” he said, rolling his eyes. “We used to be best friends. Teammates, buddies. We can sit on a bed without it getting weird.”

I thought back to game days in t-ball and little league. After every game we’d get our snow-cones and then go back to his house to play Mario Kart. Alone in a room for hours, just him and me. And cheese sandwiches with chocolate milk.

I smiled awkwardly, then moved to sit on the foot of the bed.

“Was that so hard?”

I gave him a flat stare. “Shut up.”

He smiled. Not the smirk though, a real one this time. For just a second, he looked like the old Chase.

I took a breath. “Okay, start by telling me: what’s the last thing you learned in Biology that you feel you really mastered?”

He frowned. “Probably osmosis?”

“Osmosis. Okay, that’s a great starting point. So you’re familiar with diffusion too, right?”

“Um…I think so?” He smiled. His dark hair fell across bright blue eyes as he gave a halfhearted shrug. Even as a kid he’d always been just dumb enough to be cute, and smart enough to know he was.

I shook my head. “Okay. Let’s start from the beginning.” I turned my book to chapter one and found the practice quiz questions. Where ten years ago he used to help me with my throw, now I got to help him with school.

I watched him as he thought of each answer, taking his time like I knew he still did on the baseball field. Unless he was running or throwing, he tried to really consider things. Which pitch to recommend, how the next batter might try to hit, whether he should steal a base or not.

I envied him that—the time on the field. We’d played ball together as kids, sure, but when we reached middle school suddenly it wasn’t cool for a girl to know the batting average of every shortstop in the National League, so…I stopped talking about baseball. I stopped playing. Except with my dad, of course.

For the most part Chase knew all the answers, it just took him a while to think of them. It was like he could score a run, but he had to do it slowly, one hit at a time. He only had real trouble doing a Punnett Square and remembering the Taxonomy Order; both of which should be easy fixes with some one-on-one practice. We were only six weeks into the school year, so there wasn’t much to cover yet.

Gonna be a lot more tutoring in my future… I glanced up at Chase. He was staring at the four Punnett Squares I’d started. I smiled. Might not be a bad thing....

“Why don’t we try a real-life example?” I flipped the paper over and drew a blank rectangle. “What color are your mom’s eyes?”

“Green,” he said.

“Okay, starting with a hard one.” I laughed. “Green eyes are a special case, because they’re dominant over blue, but recessive to brown.”

Chase stared at me.

I bit my lip. “Sorry. Never mind. We’ll get to that.”

“Your eyes are brown?” he asked.

I blinked at him. “Um…yes?”

The blush appeared on his cheeks this time. He gave a half-shrug. “I just…they’re pretty. I never noticed before.”

I stared. “…thanks.” Where did that come from? “Okay, so what color are your dad’s eyes?”


I nodded, writing a key beside the squares. “So we’ll use a lowercase b for blue eyes, and a capital G for green eyes. Capital B usually stands for brown eyes, but you don’t seem to have any of those in your family.”

“That’s true.”

“Good,” I said. “Things would be a bit more complicated if it wasn’t.”

He laughed, and butterflies fluttered in my stomach. I cleared my throat. “Now, there’s two genes involved in deciding whether you have brown, blue, or green eyes. The first determines brown or blue, and the second determines blue or green. Does that make sense?”

He winced. “Not really…”

I wrote Dad on the right side of the box. “Look. Your dad has blue eyes, which are recessive to everything. If he was carrying a brown-eyed or green-eyed gene at all, that’s what would be coming through in him. But it’s not, so we know that he’s only carrying blue-eyed genes.”
I wrote four lowercase bb’s beside Dad.

Chase frowned. “Okay…”

“Now your mom has green eyes, which means she is also not carrying any brown-eyed genes, or they are the ones that would be manifesting.” I wrote ‘GG, bb, Gb, bb’ under Mom. “But because we know you have blue eyes, we can assume she is likely carrying a blue-eyed gene recessively.”

He looked up from the paper and raised an eyebrow. “You know my eye color?”

Holy foul balls, Batman, the boy was sitting very close to me. I froze for a split-second, then scoffed. “Please, Chase. Your eyes are so blue they could make a dolphin seasick.”

“HA!” he guffawed, looking away. He ran a hand through his hair, looking back at me with another genuine smile.

I tried to keep my grin to a smirk but I’m not sure I succeeded. And the fluttering in my stomach flared up again.

“Wow, um,” he shook with silent laughter. “I’ve never been complimented quite like that before.”

“Well, there’s a first time for everything.” My eyes widened after saying it, and I felt my face grow warm yet again. I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to tutor this boy for very long.

It took me a moment to realize we were looking right at each other. His eyes were intent on me, his mouth open slightly. Then his gaze flickered to my lips, and back to my eyes.

I looked away and shifted my sitting position. Away from the boy. “Right. So, um…here’s what your parents’ Punnett square looks like starting out. All blue on Dad’s side, and some green and some blue on your mom’s side. All you have to do now is combine them to see what the statistical probability of each resulting child’s eye color is.”

He grimaced. “My turn?”

I nodded, handing him the paper. He caught my eye as he took it, and smiled his real smile.

“Hey Jess?”


He stared at the paper. “Thanks. For helping me, I mean.”

Damn fluttering stomach.

“Sure,” I said. “What are friends for?”

His eyes met mine, and I knew what he was thinking. We weren’t friends anymore, not really. Hadn’t been for a long time.

He smiled. “We should hang out more.”

I looked to the floor, and couldn’t help smiling too.

From the corner of my eye I saw him refocus on the paper. His expression turning serious, he carefully combined each of the letters the way I’d shown him earlier. I leaned forward to watch, trying to ignore the smell of infield dust and baseball glove leather coming from him.

When he finished, I smiled. “You got them all right.”

He grinned wide. “Really?”

“Yep. So can you tell me, from that, what are the chances of your parent’s kids having blue eyes?”

He stared at the square. “Um…it’s fifty-fifty, isn’t it? Blue or green?”

I nodded.

“Sweet,” he said, looking genuinely pleased.

I pulled out my book again and opened to the Taxonomy section. “Now let’s come up with something to help you remember these.”

He nodded, tossing the paper on the floor and sliding it under his bed.

“Here’s what I think will help,” I said. “We’ll come up with a sentence to help you remember the Taxonomy Order. What’s your favorite thing to eat, or talk about, or something?”

“Baseball.” He said, grinning like a five-year-old who got a pony for Christmas. “I love to play baseball. Or watch it, or talk about it.”

I nodded. Should’ve seen that one coming. I knew a lot about baseball. I could do that. But I had to do it so that he came up with it himself. I’d hid my baseball knowledge since those days of pariah-level banishment from the cool-girl crowd in middle school and I wasn’t yet prepared to make it known again.

Focus, Jessie. “Look at these letters,” I paused and ripped a sheet of paper from one of my spiral-bound notebooks and wrote out the letter for each classification from the top of the page to the bottom. Sliding one foot off the bed, I leaned forward so we could both see the paper easily. “What words come to mind when you see these?”

He frowned. It was adorable to watch his brows come together while he was thinking. “Double-play, Pitcher, Grand Slam…”

I wrote the words next to their corresponding letters. “Good. Good start.” Now, how to get him to come up with a sentence that made sense without me helping?  “Anything else?”

He frowned deeper, staring at them. “D for Diamondbacks,” he said. “L…lucky?”

I wrote them in. “Lucky Diamondbacks,” I said. “Those are for Life and Domain. And you said Pitching before,” I wrote that in, and then slipped in Keep for the K.

Chase leaned closer to me. “Lucky Diamondbacks Keep Pitching…”

I bit my lip. He was really close to me.

“Close!” I said. “Keep Pitching Close?”

He raised a brow, turning to look at me. “Yeah, that’ll work.”

I swallowed. I could feel his breath on my neck he was right there. “Okay, so Lucky Diamondbacks Keep Pitching Close…close to what? Or for how long?” Was I sounding like I knew baseball, or not?

“Over,” he said, pointing to the O. His hand brushed mine as he pulled it back, sending a shiver up my arm. “Over Four Game Series!” he finished, pulling away and punching the air.

My whole body breathed a sigh of relief.

“Ha!” he laughed. “That actually happened you know. Aaron Hill a couple years ago was one of the only uninjured pitchers so he had to close four games in a row and—” He stopped, waving a hand. “Sorry, I could ramble baseball all day.”

I smiled, flipping through my book to the next section. “It’s worth rambling about,” I muttered. “The poor guy had to ice his arm for a week afterward.”

Chase paused. “Wait, what?”

I froze. “Hm?”

He looked me over. I didn’t move. I was the science nerd, not a jock or a cheerleader or even a gamer or a bandie, I was the forgotten-friend-science-nerd, here to tutor him so he’d pass the midterm and not lose his chance at a full ride scholarship. That’s it.

He didn’t know my dad got me season tickets to the D-Backs games every year, or that I had an awesome collection of cards under my bed the way he had his bio book under his. No one knew, and for a long time, I’d preferred it that way. Did I still?

I was blushing. I knew I was blushing. I stared at my bio book.

“Okay, so the next question is—”

“No, no, no,” he said, scooting closer. There was a grin on his face…but it wasn’t the grin I was used to him having. Not the smirk he used to hit on girls, and not the sweet smile he’d given me earlier, but some kind of adorable, curious, hesitant, excited combination of the two. Was that possible? He was looking right at me. Damn, his eyes are really blue….

He licked his lips.

Oh, sweet centerfield

“Diamondback’s first baseman?”

“Paul Goldschmidt.” I gasped, clapping my hands over my mouth.

He laughed. “Starting pitcher last night?”

“Robbie Ray!” I said through my hands.

“You do know baseball!”

Obviously he could speak Muffled.

He punched the air. “This is awesome!”

My hands slowly lowered as I stared at him. A hesitant relief began to seep into me, dimming the fear. “You…you think so?”

“Are you kidding me?” he said. “The beautiful girl who I’ve had a crush on for years, is sitting in my room, she knows baseball, and can help me not fail biology and she likes Dr Pepper. This is like, all the dreams come true I never knew I had!”



Immediately, I became very aware of the fact that I was sitting beside him, on his bed, and the door to his room was closed. I swallowed. He kept laughing. My palms began to sweat.

“Do you still play?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Not really. There’s not exactly a girls high school baseball team.”

“True.” He nodded. Then he sat up and turned so he was facing me. “I’d practice with you. I mean, if you wanted. And I bet I could get a bunch of the team to join us.”

Teasing, taunting voices filled my head. I closed my eyes. I had to get past this.

“That…might be fun.”

Chase’s face lit up, then he tried to straighten it, to be serious.

He wasn’t very successful.

“Who’s your favorite player?”

I pressed my lips together to keep from smiling. “Nick Ahmed.”

He nodded, smiling. “Shortstop, of course.”



“You’re so predictable.”

He laughed, looking away.

I blushed. Again.

“Do you…” he started, “do you still play any video games?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Just the Lego ones.”

“I’ve got Lego Star Wars. Wanna play?”

I narrowed my eyes. “Which one?”

He leaned forward. “The combined one. All three.”

I gave a small smile. “Okay, yes, but, not until we get through the rest of these questions.”

He groaned and threw himself back on his bed. My smile widened. He really was cute when he wanted to be, the putz.

“Okay, okay, go. I am gonna kick your ass as Luke.”

I scoffed. “Please. Everyone knows Rey is the best character on there.”

“She’s untrained!” He sat up, turning to face me. “She’d never make it without help.”

“Well it’s a good thing she has it, huh?”

“Yeah, good thing they can keep her from ruining everything.”

“Ruin? And Luke is any better? If it were up to him he’d be at Toshi Station buying power converters and he’d never have done a damn thing with his life!”

Somewhere in there, I’d thrown my book aside, and Chase had moved closer. Even with my tirade, he was now only inches from my face. His mouth was open, like he’d been about to argue back but then stopped…and he looked just as surprised as I felt.

“Y-you,” he cleared his throat. “You were gonna ask me another question.”

I blinked. My heart pounded in my chest. “Could we maybe discuss the anatomical juxtaposition of two orbicularis oris muscles in a state of contraction?”

He smiled, leaning forward. “I have no idea what you just said.”

“Kissing,” I said. “It’s the…scientific definition of—”

His lips touched mine. Soft and warm, and he tasted like Dr Pepper. Then he kissed me again, and again, many small kisses that felt like one long one. Like a twenty-inning game that didn’t feel like twenty innings because the teams kept scoring.

His hand cupped my cheek, his calloused thumb catching on my hair. Just when I started to get bored with the repetitive kissing, he caught my bottom lip in his teeth.

Full disclosure: I made a noise. It was like a cross between a sigh and a moan? But that makes it sound way too sexy. It really wasn’t. It was more like a squeak.

But then, he pulled away.

My breathing was erratic, my pulse even more so. Chase had backed all the way across the bed and was leaning against his wall. He stared at me with wide eyes.

“I…” pain blossomed in my chest. I screwed it up. Somehow I blew my one random chance with an amazing guy, an adorable first baseman who tasted like Dr Pepper and smelled like a baseball glove and kissed like he was in the damn movies. “I should go.”

I picked up my book and snatched my backpack and phone from the floor before barging out the door.

“Jessie, wait—”

I shoved my book in as I opened his front door and went to my car. Where were my keys? I knew I put them in the side pocket.


Got ‘em. I shoved the key into the driver’s side door and turned it just as Chase caught up to me. I opened the door and threw my bag in.

“Jessie! Would you talk to me?”

I paused. Tears burned in my eyes, and I blinked to force them away before I turned to face him, my car door a barrier between us.

“What did I do wrong?”

He shook his head. “What? You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Then why did you jump away and look all scared?”

His eyes widened again but this time it looked like a light bulb had come on above his head. And then he frowned. “I…I was scared. A little.”

“What’s that supposed to—”

“I mean,” he said, “that was a really good kiss. And it…it surprised me.”

I stared at him. I’m a people watcher. And believe me, I watched the cute guys at school. I watched how they talked to girls, and teachers and their friends. Over the years, I had watched Chase Connolly talk to a lot of people. Never once had I seen him wear an expression so open, so…earnest.

“You,” he said, stepping closer to the door with a smile. “You surprised me.”

I bit my lip.

“Oh, don’t do that,” he said.


“Bite your lip,” he said. “Bad idea. You kept doing it upstairs and I swear my self-control was this close to snapping.” He held up his thumb and forefinger only a tiny bit apart.

I narrowed my eyes. Then I bit my lip again, letting my teeth graze over it.

Chase cleared his throat, closing his eyes and shaking his head. He took a deep breath.

I snorted.

Chase’s eyes shot open and a grin lit up his face.

“Come on,” I said. “I’m not sexy!”

“You really, really are,” he said.

The way he looked at me then made his normal smirk look like a three-year-old’s attempt at painting the Mona Lisa. My breath caught in my chest. He actually…wanted me?

He sighed, leaning against my car door. “Please come back? I really do need help with Bio, and…I really would like to play Lego Star Wars with you.”

I looked him over.

“I’ll give you another Dr Pepper,” he said.

I raised a brow.

“And,” he raised his hands, “if we finish by six we can watch the D-Backs game on my dad’s big screen.”

I couldn’t believe it. We hadn’t spent time together in years; this poor boy had no idea what he was asking for, pleading to spend time with me, watch or play baseball together, bribing me with sodas…. But, despite us going separate ways after little league, he likely still knew me better than anyone else our age.

And he was a good guy. A flirt when he wanted to be, but he could turn it off too. I’d seen him in serious mode on game days, when he’d wear his baseball jersey and blue jeans with Converse sneakers like they did in the movies. And he would barely talk to anyone, he was so focused on the game. I liked him. A lot.

I had for a long time.

I gave a hesitant smile. “You’re cute when you beg.”

“I can do this all day, sweetie.”

My stomach flutters went crazy.

I stepped around my door, shutting and locking it. “Actually we need to be done by five.”

He frowned. “Oh.”

“Because,” I said, grinning, “We’re going to the game tonight.”

“Wh-the-the game?”

I stepped closer to him, my palms sweating again, heart racing. “So, you’ve um…hit first base once, Connolly. You plan to do it again?”

A blush rose on his cheeks then, and his hands found my waist. “Who knows,” he said. “Maybe sometime tonight we’ll see second?”

I frowned and shook my head. “Not a chance.”

“Understood,” he said, nodding. “But it’s okay if I revisit first?”

I slowly slid my hands around his neck. His lips brushed mine as he drew me close. “Yeah,” I said, in a breath. “I’m okay with that.”


I had a lot of fun with this and I'm glad I got the chance to write it.

I hope you liked it too!


Things Get Brighter

Heyyyyyy guys.

So it's been a long while...last post was September. And boy, did things happen. Let's do a little update on life and writing....

October 1st, I found out I was pregnant again. Yay!

November 4th, I miscarried again :(

November 6th, I met with my chiropractor, a family friend we've known for years, and he could tell something was off. He adjusted me, then took me into his office and said, "Talk to me. Something's wrong. Tell me what's going on."

Floodgates open, I proceeded to vent all my anger, despair, frustration, and fears to him. Things I had only spoken to my husband about, and problems to which we didn't have answers. Was something wrong with me? Would I ever be able to have another child? How could we possibly afford what it might take to fix me, physically or mentally or otherwise? As I type this, my chest is tight, and there are tears in my eyes, remembering the pain I felt that day, and how hard it was to let it go, to actually voice the fears in my heart.

Bless his heart, my chiropractor listened, and he helped. By the next Monday, I had a sample pack of a mineral supplement he'd recommended. I took it all that week and actually was able to manage my life. When I ran out the following week, I crashed again, and realized I needed that help consistently.

Since November 18th, I've been taking this supplement. While I still have rough days, I haven't had any so low as before. It's been a huge blessing in my life, and I thank God that He sent me to my chiropractor that day and knew that for our circumstances, this is what I needed.

I won NaNoWriMo on Nov 23rd, a whole week early.
I got through Christmas mostly unscathed despite some fears. The holidays in general weren't as fun for me this year as they usually are, and I'm still not sure why.
Now it's 2015 and I have new goals, and a new perspective.

I'm 50K into my current novel, a YA modern mythology fantasy about Phoenixes, and I haven't yet hit the "I hate this" point, so I'm hoping I'll get it drafted by Feb. 13th.

I am registered for #Storymakers16, and signed up for a query critique with an agent I'm super excited to meet.

I've started writing some fanfiction in my spare time because I love it and it's fun and a little therapeutic for me.

My boys are six and three, and are like...kids, now. They're not babies anymore, though I love that my three-year-old still cuddles with me every day.

My husband and kids are all happier when I'm happy, and I have my vitamins to thank for that. I no longer get drawn into a downward spiral of negative thoughts, and I'm able to get more done throughout the day, whether that's work, writing, or play.

I couldn't be more grateful.

Life is sometimes hard, but things always get better. They get brighter. In the darkness, it's hard to remember what the light feels like, hard to remember it will come. But it does.

Thank you to those who supported me and cheered me on through the last three months. You made the dark days bearable.

May your life always be filled with light. <3

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