Cheers to 2018! Great things on the way this new year!

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Greetings in the new year! I’ve had a quiet holiday, our first in our new home in the Bay Area. I wanted to touch base and let you know what’s coming up this first part of the year.

2017 was an emotional year, supporting many who’ve lost everything in life and need to make a new beginning. I’m finding I need a reboot as well, so will be refocusing the blog on the following areas given some neat opportunities that have recently come to light.



Becoming a resilient writer

After 10 years of corporate writing and years blogging and helping others chase their fiction and nonfiction dreams, while honing mine, I’ve assembled some great resources that help keep me charged up and focused on my objectives. If you’ve been wondering how to keep chasing your dreams, honing your craft, finding your passion, and whether to attend conferences or hang out with other writers, I’ll have some ideas. A hint: developing your “tribe” and networking with other writers is really key to sustaining your focus over time, and really pretty encouraging through the twists and turns of life. This series will culminate in a special message I’m crafting for the Northwestern Christian Writers Association in Seattle this coming September, 2018.

Middle-grade focus:


After seeing how popular my MG favorites update was for 2017 (link HERE), I’ll be posting reviews as part of the Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays (link HERE ) first started by the wonderful fantasy author Shannon Messenger and continued now by author Greg Pattridge. I’m always looking for great adventurous (clean) reads that are filled with creativity and spark your imagination, and I look forward to sharing these, as well as favorites you don’t want to miss on your shelf.

Blog tours:

I really enjoyed participating in the Just Commonly and other blog tours last year and will continue picking special YA and other reads that are encouraging for the tween and adult pages of Thorn & Vine as well.

Focus on beauty and amazing outings:

Elizabeth Van Tassel, gemologist and resilience expert, visits the Gems and Minerals exhibit in Denver.As a gemologist, I love finding pretty places to share and exploring great ideas for family outings. We’re excited to feature a trip to the gem vault at the Natural History Museum in Denver and the Tech Museum in San Jose, California. And I’m working on a wonderful guest blog/s about amazing fantasy real-life location visits from Star Wars and The Hobbit…keep your fingers crossed! I’m so excited.

Filoli gardens is so inspiring and refreshing with resilience expert Elizabeth Van Tassel.

Help for those rebuilding:

As a wildfire survivor, my heart goes out to anyone dealing with loss, so many in California wildfires and other natural disasters across the country. With my own memories of coping with losing everything and how we were helped and also learned to thrive with a young family and so much change, I will be offering suggestions periodically for simple gestures that can make a big difference, as I mentioned in this post (HERE) encouraging you to step out and help someone in need.

And as always, on the adult blog, I’ll be sharing others’ stories of resilience, including thoughts from those dealing with special needs kids and, in February for Valentine’s Day, a great guest post from Pam Farrel about having a resilient relationship through trials.

Just for fun:

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 2.47.41 PMFollow my Instagram account HERE if you’d like to see pretty gems, photos from our life, majestic corners of historic homes and museums, writerly moments and thoughts, and more.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 2.46.22 PMAnd I’ve just started a new one called Gnomenwisdom HERE featuring silly moments from our gnome Tofs, who often has to babysit his five nephews and they get into lots of trouble.

Looking forward to a great 2018! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, too.



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