Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Season

One thing I love about the holiday season is getting together with friends and family. I just went to a lovely Christmas luncheon with my Romance Writers Utah Chapter where we ate delicious food at Marie Callenders, shared gifts, and shared exciting news of the successes some of our members are enjoying. This week I went to lunch with one of my best friends, a lovely lady I've known and worked with for years. We went to Red Lobster and ate too much, laughed and talked and promised to get together more often. Next week will be a time to get together with family and laugh and enjoy each other's company.

I'd like to share with you a recipe that my mother called white cracker pie. She always made it at Christmas. I don't know where she got it, but it's one of my favorite pie recipes, easy to make, and I think it's yummy.

White Cracker Pie

3 Egg Whites
12 Soda Crackers
1/2 Cup Nuts finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and vanilla.

Fold in crackers and nuts that have been finely ground and mixed with baking powder.

Put into well-greased 9 inch pie plate.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool at least 4 hours.

Makes 1 pie.
Can be frozen. Thaw before eating.

Put whip cream on pie before serving.

As each of you enjoy this lovely season, take time to appreciate what you have, take time to enjoy your family, friends and those you associate with. Most of all be happy.

Merry Christmas and I wish you the best in 2010.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Life Is A Journey

I came across a couple of thoughts I'd like to share with you.

Where you stand is not important -- it is in what direction you are moving that counts.

Sometimes I get discouraged and feel I'm not spending enough time writing or that I'm not finishing my stories, but when I realized that as long as I am taking one step at a time heading in the direction of reaching my goal, that is all that matters. It seems each day gets filled with things I have to do -- cleaning, laundry, time with my family, and now the holidays with the extra work they create, that I forget that this is my life and I need to make it the best it can be. As long as I take a step each day, eventually I'll succeed. If I can take more than one step - great for me, but if not, one step at a time is all that I need to and I'll get there.

Life is a journey - not a camp.

Keep striving to better yourself. Make each day worthwhile to you, and most of all take time to be happy. Live today and tomorrow will get here on its own accord.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Sense of Accomplishment

Isn't it wonderful to experience a sense of accomplishment when you've finished a big project?

This week I finished two projects (yeah for me!). First, cleaning the carpets in my home. Everything just feels wonderful and just in time for the upcoming holidays.

Secondly, I finished a novella I started in October. What a great feeling to write "the end" and send off a query to an editor. Cross your fingers for me that she'll want it. My critique partners say it's my best story yet.

I challenge you to work hard and feel the heady sense of accomplishing something you've been working at but just hadn't finished yet.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Great Advice to Live By

A friend gave me the following and as I read through it again tonight, I found myself thinking it is so true. I don't know who wrote it, but I wanted to share the thoughts with you.

DO FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
Every super-successful person's gotta do what they love.

DON'T BE AFRAID
You'll never walk if you don't take the first step.

DO JUST DO IT
You can dream, you can talk, but at some point you have to do it.

DONT EVER GIVE UP
Tenacity: you're gonna get knocked down. Take your knocks and get right back up.

DO GET A YES
You might get a hundred doors slammed in your face. So go to door 101.

DON'T OVER PROMISE
You have to keep your credibility.

DO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SMARTER THAN YOU.
That's the Ronald Reagan School of Management.

DON'T LISTEN TO NAYSAYERS.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Life - Use It Wisely

Life is a coin
You can spend it anyway you wish,
But you can only spend it once.
----Unknown

I found this saying and remember writing it down because it really made me think. We have one life. We can only have each day, each hour, each minute once, and then it is gone. How did you spend yours? Did you do something to improve yourself or did you do something to help someone else? So often we wile away our days, putting off doing things until tomorrow, then wish we had the time back.

Each time I read through the above thought, I find myself thinking of all the things I'd like to do, all the love I'd like to give, all the happiness I want for myself and others, and then I realize I'm the only one who can spend my day doing just that.

Be happy. Live your life and spend it wisely.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Utah RWA Conference

I just returned from a wonderful Writers Conference sponsored by the Utah Chapter of Romance Writers of America held at The Lodges at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. Beautiful setting, wonderful rooms, and great service.

It was a fantastic conference with workshops by such authors as Jo Leigh, Lynn Kurland, Nicole Jordan, Elizabeth Lane, Rachel Gibson, Melissa Mayhue and Raeanne Thayne. In addition, we had a special workshop by Jude Bown, author and inspirational speaker. I enjoyed all their words of advice and am amazed at all the talent of these wonderful authors.

We were also lucky to have agents, Kelly Mortimer and Christine Witthohn, as well as editor, Amanda Bergeron from Avon Books, present workshops and a panel for us to ask questions to gain from their knowledge.

If you’re an author or anyone who is striving to achieve a dream, here are few words of wisdom I gained from the workshops and speakers:

You have to take the first step. If you’re an author, put your butt in the chair and start writing.

Never stop learning about the process. Do your homework. Know who to submit your work to, know what they are looking for. Overcome your fears and never stop pushing yourself to do better.

Don’t try to mimick others. Learn your strong points, emphasize those strong points. Find what makes you unique and go for it. Don’t let anyone change that.

Network. Get to know others in the field you’re striving to succeed in. Ask for their help. Be their friend and offer any assistance you can to help them. Always be professional. Look for the positive and don’t complain.

Treasure the small successes and achievements you make. And lastly, Do what you love.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Read a New Book

Have any of you read Carla Neggers? I got a copy of her book, Cold Pursuit, and I loved it. From the first murder in Black Fall, a small town in Vermont, to the hit and run murder of a prominent ambassador in Washington, D.C. her story grabbed me and didn't let go. Her hero was wonderful and the heroine determined. I couldn't put the book down and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense and romance at its finest.

Her website is: CarlaNeggers.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

Live Life On Purpose

I had the opportunity to attend one of Jude Bown’s workshops, and she gave some wonderful words of wisdom. Jude is as member of our Utah Romance Writers of American Chapter and is an award winning international speaker and author. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her seminars, take the time to do so. You’ll be glad you did!

Even if you’re not an author, her words could help you as you strive to reach your goals and make your dreams come true. Let me just pass on some of the things that made me stop and think. They’re taken from her workshop, Live Life on Purpose.

We get what we expect in life.
Our thoughts lead to our words.
Our words lead to our beliefs.
Our beliefs lead to our actions.
Our actions lead to our results.
If our thoughts don’t change, our results won’t change.


Words like woulda, coulda, shoulda will kill you.
How many times have you said I shoulda done something, or I would have if I coulda? I know I use these excuses. They definitely keep us from accomplishing what we want, don't they?

Instead of thinking GOAL think GO ALL OUT!
I've always hated it when I'm told set goals. I don't know why but it is a turn off for me, but when I think, Go All Out, it sort of energizes me to try harder.

No matter what you are striving to accomplish, what you want to be, or what your dream is, these are some wonderful tools that could help you be what you want to be. Think about her words. Take them to heart. Hopefully they'll work for you.

Positive mental attitude is a confident, honest constructive state of mind (Napoleon Hill )

Our attitudes control our lives. (Tom Blandi)

Take control of your life. Remember, Its not about will power, its about want power!
What we focus on in our minds, we give our power to.

Check out Jude’s web site at: www.JudeBown.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Make Everyday a Present

Yesterday's the past,
Tomorrow's the future,
But today is a gift ---
That's why it's called the present.
(Unknown)

Isn't this a cool thought? Take time to make each of your days special in whatever way you love. We only have a limited number while we are here so don't waste them. I love the idea of giving myself a present each day - don't you?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vacations - great inspiration for writers

Aren't vacations a great getaway from everyday life? I just returned from a trip to Colorado to visit my sister. We chatted way into the night, took in new sights, ate more than we shuld, but enjoyed the precious time we spent together.

As I sat in Grand Lakes waiting for her to finish her purchases in the town's quilt store, I realized it was a perfect opportunity to find new settings for my stories - the majestic mountains, the beautiful lake, the rustic boardwalk and quaint shops. People watching is a favorite pasttime and I was fascinated as I watched people, looking for new traits I can use in my stories - the way they walk, shuffle and strut; clothing they wore - fashionable, tattered, bundled with jackets even though it was quite warm; hairdos of all kinds, expecially the long, sleek look of today, and expressions and mannerisms. When a few motorcyclists arrived and parked their beautiful bikes, it was interesting to see the various wind-blown hair, bandana turbans, and leather clothing. Things we see everyday, but in a new environment, everything was more vividly written in my mind (and my notebook).

What a great way to inspire a new hero and heroine, a lavish or quaint setting, and a new story idea!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Live Life To the Fullest

When I read this, it made me stop and think. Perhaps it will be something for you to think about too:

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore." No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye or say "I love you." So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage ... and old cars, and children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, family and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it ..... because we are worth it. Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce.

There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what. Life is important. We only have one. We only have one Mom, one Dad, one unique brother or sister or friend.

I was thinking....I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or words needing to be said.

I don't know who wrote the above, but it is definitely worth thinking about. Don't let life get so busy you don't have time to enjoy those that make you happy.

Live today to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life is not waiting for the storms to pass ....
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

I don't know who wrote the above but I loved it. How many of us take the time to enjoy today, no matter what the day brings. If its raining, take time to read a good book. If the sun is shining, how about a walk to enjoy the beautiful things nature gives us. If you're alone, enjoy yourself, do something just for you. Stay in touch with friends, family, or perhaps an elderly relative who you haven't talked to in ages. Most of all, be grateful for what you have and learn to enjoy each day. None of us have any guarantees about tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thought For June

Four things you can't recover:
The stone..............after the throw.
The word..............after it's said.
The occasion........after it's missed.
The time...............after it's gone.

Talk about some words of wisdom. I don't know who wrote the above, but it made me stop and think how many times I have wished I'd not talked about someone or that I had taken the time to make that wedding, party, birthday, etc. Time is so precious and I know I need to work harder on making better use of my time.

Don't spend your time regretting something you should or shouldn't do. That's one of the things I'm going to be working on.

It's a beautiful world - spend your time wisely while you enjoy each day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Today I visited the cemetery and put flowers on the grave of my Mom. I stood for a moment and reflected how much she did for me and how much I miss her. She's been gone seven years now, but it seems like an eternity. There's so much I'd like to say to her, so many things I wish I would have done for her while she was alive. It's too late for that, but I found myself feeling thankful for all I do have and vowed to be more appreciative of my loved ones who share my life now. I have a loving husband, a beautiful family, wonderful grandchildren and my Dad who is 83 years old but still healthy and able to stay active. Since Mom's been gone, I've had the opportunity to get closer to my Dad and enjoy the time we share together.

Take a few moments to remember those who have passed on but added so much to your life while they were here. Then I urge you to show your appreciation for those you still can share your life with.

Be happy. Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Most of all - be safe.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thought for the Day

The three essential elements to happiness:
Something to work for;
Something to hope for;
Someone to love.
(unknown)

I don't know who said it, but I believe this is so true. May you always have a dream to work towards, a goal you hope to achieve, and love in your life. What more could we ask for?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Is Almost Here

Don't you just love the sights and sounds of Spring? In Utah spring is definitely on its way. We still have a few snow showers, rain showers, and gloomy days, but my daffodils are blooming and tulips of all colors are growing. When the sun shines, the sky is a beautiful blue. I just love seeing the trees in bud, my rosebush trying to regenerate, and listening to the birds sing.

My husband and I took a day last week and went to the mountains. We took our Yamaha Rhino and a picnic with our yellow lab, Max. It was a gorgeous spring day, even though many of the dirt roads still were snowed in. But it was nice and warm and by mid-day we were shedding our coats and gloves. We found a lovely spot where grass was peeking through and enjoyed a few minutes having a cola and a snack.

We saw deer grazing on the warm hillsides. A rock chuck and a few squirrels raced across our path. Birds were singing, and even though bees aren't my favorite thing, we saw honey bees, a queen bee and even a buzzing wasp.

Spring is a sign that the earth is being reborn and I just love it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Put Things in Perspective

A friend sent me the following and it really touched me. I think so many of us are more worried about the "things" we can have rather than enjoying what we do have. It's a bit long, but so worth it. I have no idea who the author is but I love the story.

"Ain't it the truth".

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?'

'It was great, Dad.'

'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked. 'Oh yeah,' said the son. 'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?' asked the father.

The son answered: I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.'

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.
Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


My husband and I just returned from a fantastic road trip where we traveled into the warmth of Arizona, Nevada and southern Utah to get away from the cold and snow we are still experiencing here in northern Utah. We got to see so many beautiful places, unique sights and interesting things, but I think my favorite was our visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon near Kanab, Utah.

At first, neither my husband nor I thought we would be seeing much more than a normal animal shelter. Gosh, were we wrong! We traveled into a beautiful canyon nestled in the coral and pink sandstone mountains. We were too late for a normal tour of the facility, but we figured we’d just take a drive on our own down the sandy road that wound into the canyon past large, spacious paddocks housing horses and burros. We found spacious kennels where dogs of every kind were housed amidst the beautiful cedars. Mule deer wandered around and in front of us as we toured. Small, furry bunnies hopped about green pastures next to grazing horses. A flock of Osceola turkeys soared from the tops of the tall canyon walls to scratch for food before they flew into tall trees to roost for the night. We hiked up to a natural amphitheater where cool flowing water, beautiful green grass, and natural acoustics amazed us. Nothing could have prepared us for the many breathtaking sights we found.

The most impressive was the Angel’s Rest Pet Cemetery where the first thing we noticed was the beautiful sounds of wind chimes. We turned off the engine of our truck and as the gentle breezes blew, the chimes sounded like an organ playing a majestic song. Rock pathways led to a gazebo and small benches where you can relax and enjoy the calm serenity. The cemetery is not about dying but an affirmation of life where the beautiful rock canyon holds urns, vases and memorials of the little animals who have brought so much to our earthly life.

If you have the opportunity to visit southern Utah, don’t miss the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It’s a special haven for abused and abandoned animals of all kinds. They have an expert staff of veterinarians, trainers and caregivers to see to the special needs of about 2000 cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, owls, and other animals. It is supported entirely through donations. It’s an amazing place where their philosophy is – kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us.

Take a minute and browse their web site -- http://www.bestfriends.org/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are You A Person Of Influence

An old cowboy once said, "If you get to thinkin you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around."

Doesn't this just put things in perspective? I chuckled when I read it because it is so true. We can accomplish goals, make a ton of money, fill ourselves with importance, but when it all comes down to the bottom line, we're just people with hopes, dreams and hopefully love. And our pets always know who is important in their lives.

I found this saying in a book I bought my Dad for Christmas from the Stoeklein Collection of Cowboy Sayings. If you're interested, go to www.thestoekleincollection.com They have some beautiful photos and their books are great.

Hope this brought a smile to your day!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Interview with Terri J. Lynn, Author


I’m excited to be able to introduce Terri J. Lynn to you. She’s a good friend of mine and if you haven’t read her book, Forbidden Fire, you need to get a copy. She graciously agreed to talk with me and answer some questions regarding her writing.

1: Tell us about your book "Forbidden Fire."
"Forbidden Fire" is the story of Jenny Lange and her brother, Josh. She is engaged to Karl Dunstan, a man she doesn’t love, but Jenny knows he will kill her if he finds out her real reason for becoming his fiancĂ©e. Jenny and her brother have decided to seek justice through revenge.
When Karl brings in the Pinkerton Detective Agency to catch the outlaws robbing his stagecoach line, she knows it is foolhardy to continue, or is it? One last robbery on the only unguarded stage could financially ruin Karl and force him to sell the ranch and the childhood home that she and her brother, Josh, want to get back, and they would buy it with Karl’s money. Then she could break her engagement to Karl, a man she knows is responsible for the death of her parents.

When she meets Pinkerton Detective Cliff Rancord, she knows he will do whatever he has to do to catch the bandits robbing Karl’s stages. What she doesn’t bargain for is the instant attraction between them, an attraction that could be her undoing. As long as she is around him, she is in danger of losing her heart, as well as her freedom and possibly her life at the end of a hangman’s noose.

2: What inspired you to write "Forbidden Fire?"
I read the true story of Pearl Hart, who committed the last stagecoach robbery in the old west in Arizona Territory in 1899. Although her reasons were foolish, it inspired me to write a novel about a woman committing such robberies for what she believes is the right reason.

3: How can readers get a copy?
You can purchase a copy from http://www.underthemoon.org/ by going to their store, typing in Forbidden Fire, then adding it to your shopping cart. You can get an e-published copy at http://www.mojocastle.com/ or contact Terri J. Lynn at her website listed below.

4: I understand you’re working on a sequel. Can you tell us a little about it?
The sequel is titled "Forbidden Quest." It is the story of Josh Lange, the younger brother of Jenny. In the ten years since the man who killed their parents died, Josh has purchased and developed a successful ranch with his partner, Gabe Andrie. He feels he never will be as lucky in love as his sister but has developed a busy life and is content. When he goes into town one Saturday night, he meets Maria in the local bordello and assumes she is a newly hired working girl. His tremendous attraction to the dark-haired beauty with the luminous brown eyes is not lessened when she runs from him, but he has no way of knowing the terrible secret she hides.

5: Have you always wanted to be an author?
I have loved to write since I was in high school, but only after the children were grown and on their own, and I retired from a business career could I realize my dream of writing on a full-time basis. I am an avid reader and love stories set in the western United States.

6: Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Washington State and have also lived in Montana, Arizona and now Utah. I live with my wonderful husband, Jerry. We share our home with Grizzly, the happiest dog in the world, and Shadow, our aristocratic cat. I have three children and three grandchildren. I have been lucky enough to pursue what I love to do most: writing.

7: Are you working on other stories? Can you tell us a little about any of them?
"Shadow of Time" is a time travel story set in modern day Arizona.

Jesse Warner is on his way home after years of working as a cowhand. A freak August storm forces him to take cover in a cave. The next morning, nothing is what it used to be, and his horse is gone. With no options, he walks to the nearest homestead and, unknowingly, into the 21st century.

After a devastating personal relationship, Samantha wants no man in her life. Fearful that her ex-boyfriend will find her, she moves to the remote desert outside Golden Valley, Arizona, an area so desolate it has changed little in the last 100 years. One year later, her goal of moving to Hollywood and pursuing an acting career is within sight, but she doesn’t bargain on the tall, ruggedly handsome stranger who walks out of the desert and into her life. Unable to turn away from someone in need, she allows Jesse to stay in the old barn on the property she rents until he is able to move on.

Samantha’s total independence has been a hard fought battle, but Jesse’s kisses are a powerful and intoxicating aphrodisiac. Is their growing love strong enough to keep them together or will their two worlds tear them apart?

8: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Join a writers’ critique group. There is nothing I look forward to more than my critique meetings. It is a way for like-minded people to critique your work honestly, and generally speaking, I have found that they give kind but honest reviews, which help you grow as a writer.

DON’T GIVE UP. When you send a synopsis or queries to a literary agent or a publisher, you will get rejection letters. However, I have never known an author who hasn’t gotten one. Every rejection letter you receive gets you one step closer to the literary agent or publisher who wants your work.

Join your national and local RWA groups. This gives you wonderful access to information about the nuts and bolts of writing, literary agents and publishers, and you meet people with your same interests. You will make many new and lasting friends.

9: How can readers contact you?
My readers can contact me at terrilynn39@comcast.net

Terri J. Lynn, thank you so much. I wish you the very best in your writing endeavors.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


K R. Bailey lives in a small Utah community with her husband and their dog, Max. She loves to travel , meeting new people and gathering background for her stories. She also takes pleasure in spending time at their cabin in the Utah mountains, enjoying the wildlife and feeding the hummingbirds which abound.

She’s an avid reader and especially enjoys a murder mystery or a good western historical. She believes life is full of romance and loves writing about it in each of her stories.

She’s currently at work on a full-length novel, a romantic suspense full of twists and turns that will delight her readers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day - A Day for Love

Nothing says I love You like flowers, candy and a good book. Of course, you can add a candlelight dinner, jewelry, a massage, and my favorite, sharing a hot tub together - WOW.

Isn't it great that we are all so different and enjoy various things. As I talked with my friends each of them had distinctive ideas about what they wanted for this Valentine's day. One said she'd love to take a walk with her special someone, hold hands, and enjoy the out doors together. Another said it thrilled her to have her husband make her a homecooked meal with her favorite foods - succulent pork roast, garlic mashed potatoes and chocolate for desert. When I asked her what type of chocolate, she anwered any kind will do. I laughed because she's a girl after my own heart. Give me chocolate and I'm happy. Another friend told me she loved it when her partner brushed her hair. She said it sent tingling sensations from her head to her toes.

There's so many ways to express your love - from a romantic weekend getaway to riding in a convertible with your hair blowing in the wind or simply cuddling up together and enjoying a crackling fire.

Whatever your favorite, take the time to say I love you to that special person in your life. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January's Thought - Friends

Friends are our Angels in Life
They help us through anything
---Nanci Johnson


When I read this, I smiled because she is so right. Good friends are angels to stand by us no matter what. They support us when we feel inadequate. They listen when we need to talk. They offer love when we feel that we are unloved. I have a couple of good friends who have been by my side through thick and thin. One of them is also my sister and I feel so blessed to have had her in my life. She is always so supportive of everything I want to do and doesn’t hesitate to encourage me or even discourage me if she feels I need to be sure I know what I’m getting myself into. The other couple of friends are not related, but to me they are as part of my life as I could ever hope. They have listened and understood me, stood by me, and given of their time and energy to make sure I had what I needed to go on every day even when I’ve been blue. We’ve shared so much over the past years and every day I thank my Lord for them. I try to include good friends in each of my stories. My life wouldn’t have been so full and rich without good friends and I think friends add to the depth of the characters in my stories. I urge you to remember to make a friend every day and remember that making friends is also being a friend too.