Sunday, March 16, 2014

Amtrak and me

I applied for the Amtrak writer's residency the first day apps were open. This will come as a surprise to my family, but only because I haven't mentioned it before now. They won't be surprised, however, that I've applied to take a trip alone, with pen and pad, on a train.

See, my mom loves the train. Her dad worked for the railroads and with five girls to raise, they rarely traveled. But when they could they went by rail ~ all the way from CA to NY, in fact.

I've grown up with the stories, and then when my middle child was 8 mos., Mom talked me into taking the train with her 25 hours to the north. We had a ball!!!  Of course, we purchased a sleeping car and had our meals included, so yea, we traveled in style. But it was so much fun to take a long ride that I didn't have to drive myself, to see places in the world where cars don't go, and to fall asleep to the familiar sound of a train whistle ... ahhh. I've actually traveled this way twice now. Plus, I've taken shorter jaunts down south.

When I applied for the residency, I wrote my essay off the cuff ... from my heart. No big outline or plan, like I've been trained to do. I suppose that may not have been the best plan of action, but it's the route I chose in that moment.

Then again, this blog post was spurred on by another blogger's posts. One of my favorite writers, I've just learned, hates the train ... and so do most of her commenters. I was aghast at how sour they all were on the train's merits, but then I thought, Hey ... if this many people don't see the benes of train travel, maybe I have a chance at the residency after all! 

And that would be a very nice thing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sweet Waters - 99 cents through Friday eve - Kindle and Nook

Something about the time change compels me to say hello again to maxi skirts and beaded flip flops, linger out front to watch the sun make its slow descent, and wonder about the line up at this year's county fair. So in honor of lengthening days and the hope of summer, the ebook version of Sweet Waters is available for 99cents on Kindle and Nook through Friday evening.

This story has many fans, but if you've not had a chance to pick it up, it's the story of jilted Tara Sweet who longs to relive the fairy tale life she once had in Otter Bay, California. Soon she meets handsome but complicated firefighter Josh Adams and a host of mysterious faces from long ago. But what happens when truth is one secret after another, and the fairy tale turns out to be a soap opera?
     Despite their budding romance by the sea, Tara and Josh soon find themselves at odds with their families, their faith, the quirky townspeople of Otter Bay ~ and each other. Can they face the truth together ... and be set free?

You can find it here: Sweet Waters on Kindle or Sweet Waters on Nook

Have a beachy rest of the week, my friends - wherever you are ...

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Velvet blog posts

So my daughter's been studying and traveling in Europe the past couple of months, mostly the latter (seems to me, anyway :). Seriously, I feel very sorry for my sweet girl. Not. She's biked in Barcelona, walked aside the Champs Elysees, and chatted with Liam from One Direction at a night spot in London. Admittedly, she is studying at times, actually making shoes and sketching amazing outfits and did I mention making shoes? She's got great taste so all I can say is--I'll take mine in a size 7!

She also started a fashion blog. This girl has wanted to be a designer since the 4th grade. How many people know what they want to do at such a young age? I wanted to be an actress, but then I tried to act, and well, it wasn't pretty. Then I wanted to be a hotel owner, but all those filthy rooms ... ew. I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I'm old (don't say it).

If you're interested in fashion or travel or both, you can see her blog here: You can even subscribe via BlogLovin on her sidebar.