Friday, October 30, 2015

And on...

It seems as if I've been on this Wizard of Oz kick for a while, but if you've seen the movie, you understand. Dorothy's journey through the Land of Oz lasted for about 2 hours, however, there is no way she did all the things she did in a mere 2 hours.

My journey is one that is filled with riddles and mysteries. I often wonder what it is I'm learning here. Today I feel as if I've made it to the gates of the Emerald City and I can't get in until I can answer the riddles laid before me. And math seems to be the biggest riddle of all ((f(g)x)) and the whys and wherefore so that go with this). I can't get into the city until I can answer all of these riddles. Im frustrated beyond all belief and wonder why I want into the damned city anyway.

Then, I stop, take a breath, and remember that I need to get into the city in order to meet the great and powerful Oz. We know from the movie that he's just a normal man who hides behind a curtain. I'm hoping to find something more. I'm hoping that there really is a Great and Powerful Oz who can help make all of my dreams come true. Maybe the Tin Man will become real and get his heart. The Cowardly Lion may find his courage. The Scarecrow might get a brain...but it all hinges on me and this damn math riddle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Yellow Brick Road Goes On...

It has been awhile since I've written a blog post, but let me tell you...that field of poppies where I took a nap? Whew! It was needed but took a lot of time. So, I'm back on the yellow brick road and trusting it will lead me to my Emerald City.
I've had to let go of a few hopes and dreams along this path. The poppies helped me release a few people who meant so much. The poppies eased the pain of letting go.
Now, I'm back and feeling stronger than ever. I'm working toward my career know...the goals that will mean a steady paycheck? The writing is on the back burner while I deal with school, my job, and my personal life. Finding my balance is the hard part. So many changes and additions have definitely added a new layer to my complicated life and enriched it in so many ways.
I'm meeting so many new people on my yellow brick journey. Some are cowardly lions. Others are tin men and scarecrows. There are a couple of munchkins and my version of Toto who keep me company as I walk along. The wicked witch and her flying monkeys are off terrorizing others for now, but we are always looking skyward. Just in case.
So now that I have you updated, I probably should get ready for Psych class. Exploring the mind and its inner workings fascinates this modern day Dorothy.
Here's hoping that the wicked witch and her minions keep you off their radars!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Do you ever feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz? Picked up and set down in a strange place? Having to deal with things and people who are unfamiliar? Yeah? Well, welcome to my world!

I've been thinking a lot about my life's path lately. From day one, I was destined for the weird and unusual. My life's path has led me down many darkened lanes, into a few Forbidden forests, and I've met some people I never dreamed I'd meet. I wouldn't change it for the world because it has led me to this place and this moment.

I've lost people on this path. Either their paths ended while mine continued on or they took an exit to a different path. However it went, I trust they are doing okay wherever they are.

I've learned a lot about myself on this journey. Funny enough, it's the darkest times when the road isn't nearly as golden that I have found my strength. And it seems as if I'm buried in darkness at the moment. I'm in over my head and I feel like I'm wandering around this path that keeps leading me in circles. Which means I've got to learn something before I get the see the rest of my path. But what am I supposed to learn? I'm jaded and I don't trust very easily. The people I trust the most, let me down more often than not. Is that my fault for trusting them or expecting too much of them? Or is it just human nature that people will let you down? I've found my faith waning and my faith in people is almost non existent. Maybe that is my lesson: Trust when times are toughest not merely when the road is easy.

Lately, my road is filled with dead-ends and I have to re-trace my steps in the hopes of finding my way back. When I do that, I run into the same people and I lose my heart again, only to have it handed back to me, bleeding, battered, and broken. What lesson should I be learning here? I'm guessing I need to hang onto my heart and not give it away. Either that or I need to be more careful with who I let hold my heart in his hands. I don't know anymore. My doubts overrun my mind most days and I wonder if I'm doing anything right.

I sat down to watch one of my favorite movies the other day, We Bought a Zoo. It has been in my DVD player for over a week and I play it every chance I get. Why? Because it speaks to me. It's about a man who takes a chance and risks it all. At one point, Benjamin Mees (played by Matt Damon) asks his daughter, "Rosie, am I doing anything right?" I have been tearing up at that line every time. I'm to the point where I'm asking Diesel, "Am I doing anything right?" He just sighs and rolls over to continue his nap. Benjamin also tells how "it only take 20 seconds of intense courage" to change your life. A mere 20 seconds!!!! Can you just imagine? Over two years ago, a man had 20 seconds of intense courage when he said hello to a woman he had never met. We became friends and our lives changed. For the better? If you talk to either of us separately, we'd probably say not always. We've ended up in a place where neither one of us is happy and depression is our ruler.

I think this is because we've stepped off our yellow brick road and tried to do things without the other. I maybe wrong. I wonder if my yellow brick road has just run out of yellow so I need to just make my own path. Stay tuned!!! I'm off in search of my ruby slippers and I sure as hell ain't carrying my version of Toto in a basket. I've met a couple of witches, more than one flying monkey, the Tin-Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. I think it may be time to lay down and take a nap in that lovely field of poppies I see ahead. Just long enough to get myself together and find the next step on my path.

Monday, April 27, 2015

This Crazy Thing Called "Life"

As you can tell Life has been a little nuts. I've been working as much as I can, studying and going to class, and taking time to play...well, not as often as I should.

This new job isn't my dream career by any means. It helps pay the bills which is all I need at the moment. I'm in school for my dream career. Between that and my writing, I figure my life will be all that I want it to be.

I have met some amazing people with my job though. I find myself looking forward to my 2-3 hour shift with them simply because they are the most incredible human beings. I am so touched by some of these clients. They warm my cold, black heart and touch my soul with their love for life. It is funny, but I was just thinking about a particular client and I got a phone call from my company. They got a request for ME this weekend which makes me smile. The client and I had so much fun teasing each other and watching movies. He's a prankster and had me in tears with some of his stories.

School is winding down. Only a few more weeks left and I'm out for the summer. I'm not doing bad in my classes. I know I should study harder, but the sickness from last month is hanging on by it's fingernails. I wake up with a headache. I go to bed with a headache. My chest, head, and nose are constantly stuffy. I just finished up a few assignments for a final project and a research paper that I knocked out fairly easily. AND I have my classes scheduled for next semester already.

Still looking to move closer to school, but that will come when it is supposed to. I've gotten ahold of a couple of different places and moving out of this place seems to be on the horizon. Because of my job, I can transfer to the new city which will be nice. It's the moving part that I'm not looking forward to. I've spent the last 2 months living out of boxes. LOL

Like I said, not much time for play. I get together with my favorite couple once a week or so. I do socialize, just not much. I did get out for a night of fun with one of my favorite guys and his brother. Much fun was had, but it was the talking and catching up on each other's lives that made the night one of my favorites. When you can spend time talking all night with someone, watch the sun come up, and still not want the time to end, you know it was a good one. I made it 36 hours with no sleep before I had to nap, but damn was it worth it.

Plus I started writing again...I had put it aside for a bit while I dealt with one crisis after another, however, after a night of hanging out with my best friend (thanks again by the way!), I opened the file and started to type. The story was still there. It was just patiently waiting for me to write it out.

I shared this on my personal FB page the other day and I just feel the lyrics so much at this point. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Plot Twist...or Not

We've all seen the meme that says "When something goes wrong in your life, yell "Plot Twist" and move on." But what do you do when everything goes wrong? Cry "Do over"?

So many times, I've thought I've had this life figured out. Then one thing happens to change the path. The last couple of times this has happened, my world fell apart simply because too many things changed. This is how the last month or so has been. I'm trying to rebuild some semblance of a life, but the struggle makes me question "Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?"

Last week, I applied for a job. Ten minutes after submitting my online application, I got a phone call from the company asking for an interview. (Good sign) I went for the interview and got lost. Ended up over 5 miles away from where I needed to be, still made it to interview with 1 minute to spare. (Good sign). The interview went well. They called me the next day and offered me a job. (Very good sign). They're willing to work around my class schedule. (Even better sign).

I had a horrible cough on Tuesday and wasn't feeling well. (Bad sign) I skipped two of my three classes. Ended up missing the rest of the week and staying in bed/couch/chair, hacking up a lung or two. Feeling miserable still, but on the mend. I've been told that the events of the last month have finally caught up to me. This is the universe's way of telling me to take some time to heal my body. It could be. I just wonder, you know?

Now, I'm looking for a different place to live. What am I discovering? I can't find anything that I can afford that will allow my miniature horse of a dog.(Bad sign) You know? The one male who has been there consistently for the last six years? The one who loves me no matter what?, I'm stuck in this house with the upstairs neighbors from hell. Which means I need to lawn mower and a rake so I can take care of the lawn like I'm supposed to.

I'm supposed to state my desires to the universe with intention every day so here's the biggest one: I want romance! I want to know what happiness and love feels like! I want a man who loves me as much as I love him. I want to hold hands. I want to kiss until neither of us can catch our breath. I want to know what it is like to be so thoroughly loved that I forget my own name. I want flowers for no reason except "I saw these and thought of you." I want to share a bottle of wine with someone who is going to celebrate my successes and let me cry at my failures. He will know the three spots on my body to make my toes curl. And when he shows up, I will know I want to take that walk down the aisle and know that the man at the end of it intends to love me for the rest of our lives. I never said it would be easy, but I do know that I am worth it!

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Patchwork Heart

I spent my teen years growing up in the Mennonite church. Every fall, we would go to Goshen, Indiana for this quilt festival. These women worked so hard on these amazing quilts which they put up for auction to help with the Mennonite missionary support. I remember walking through the display areas and looking in awe at this incredible pieces of art.
My favorites were the ones where no piece was the same size or the same color. The pieces didn't necessarily match, but they were no less beautiful than the ones with precise designs. In fact, I often would look at the "non-conforming" ones and think that they were so much more beautiful. For me, each piece of fabric told a tale. Someone had a baby and that material was left over from their first outfit. Another piece may have come from an old apron. Another from a suit some young man had outgrown. You see what I mean? The story is the best part for me.
The other day I came across a quote that talked about how when you love someone/something, you give them your whole heart. When they return it to you, they keep a piece of your heart. They, in turn, give you a piece of theirs. This exquisite image came into my mind of a patchwork heart. Each piece stitched together with memories, pain, love, suffering, and sorrow, but each mark is unique.
This made me begin to take a look at my own heart. In my mind, it is made up of flannel (my Poppa), some lace and buttons (my mom), an old Army uniform (my dad), a polka-dotted shirt (my Grandma), bits of fur (for my furkids), and these are pieced together with little bits of fabric from those who have brushed across my life. Whether I have loved you for a minute or a lifetime, you have taken a piece of my heart. To a few, I have given it willingly. To others, you took it when I least expected it. But I can't get it back. If I have given you my whole heart, I've gotten it back a bit torn, tattered, bruised and broken, but I'm sure your heart was returned to you the same way. But there is always a piece missing that has been replaced with a piece of yours. I'm beginning to wonder if there is any original fabric left on this heart of mine. I've had to stitch up the pieces as I've gone through life and I'm sure I'll have to repair it more as I go.

What is beautiful to me is that when I look at my heart, I know I have been loved by many in this lifetime. Each piece is unique and special, just like me. If I hadn't been loved by the souls I have been loved by, my heart would look vastly different than it does now. And the thought of that makes me sad because I think my patchwork heart is beautiful. It is made of love. It has known heartache, loss, heartbreak, hardships, love, trust, happiness, joy, and has been loved in return.

So tell you have a patchwork heart?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

There is Something About a Man...

When I was going through the break-up of my marriage, my best friend looked at me one day and said, "Next time, you should try women." I laughed at him and said, "Nah, I like men. They have all the proper appendages." He rolled his eyes and said, "Yeah, but you can BUY those." I remember sitting there laughing at him simply because he didn't get it. He told me, "Women are soft and squishy. They always smell good. They are smooth. Men are hairy and nasty.They get sweaty and stinky." I may have made a noise along the lines of "Mmmmmm...." to which he just shook his head.

Let me describe my best friend...He's 6 ft. 4 inches with dark brown hair and melted chocolate brown eyes. He's furry, big, and very teddy bear-like. When we first met, there was no facial hair. Then, he grew this beard that, well, let's just say, I like...A LOT!!! His family makes fun of it, but I find it about as sexy as anything. Then, there's his voice... Anyway, you get the point! This man is all sorts of sexy!

In the midst of the above conversation, he turned those heavily lashed brown eyes on me and said, "If I were a woman, I would totally be a lesbian." I snickered and tried to tell him what I love about men. There are so many things that make men the number one choice for me.

1. Their strength- Knowing he can hurt me, but won't is a huge turn on for me. So often I find myself needing someone to lean on when life gets to be too much and I always turn to my guy friends.

2. The way they feel- I'm not a woman who likes a guy with abs of steel. I want a guy with a bit of a belly. It's more comfortable to lay my head on when we are snuggling on the couch.

3. Their fur- There is just something about running my hands over a guy's fur that makes me go all weak in the knees. The contrast between my smoothness and his fur makes the womanly side of me become more defined.

4. Their smell- I don't mean their cologne, though that is nice, too. I mean their natural smell. I don't know how many times I've heard "I don't want to hug you because I've been sweating and I stink." Seriously? HUG ME!!! I love the smell of sweat on a man's skin. I don't mean the nasty, stinky sweat, but the sweat of an honest day's work is a good thing.

5. Whiskers, oh gods, the whiskers- This should be classified under fur, but I can't. Beards, mustaches, goatees...oh gods, I am a sucker for facial hair. The five o'clock shadow thing is nice, but a full on beard rubbing against your soft skin? Oh yeah, baby!

6. Their arms and hands- For the most part, men have these hands that are made to hold women, ya know? They are big and strong. They can hold a woman in her weakest moment and treat her gently. There is power in those hands. There is nothing (for me) like a man wrapping his arms around me, pulling me against him, and stroking my hair while I cry. See I used to be a "jeans and t-shirt" kind of woman, still am to a point, but there is just something about the way a man rocks a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to show off his forearms...sigh... Seeing a man dressed up and ready to head out makes me glad to be a woman.

7. Their brains- I know a few women are saying "Wait a minute! Do men have those?" Yes, they do and they are remarkably brilliant...for the most part. There are some men who still sit around and laugh at fart jokes or any other crude behavior, but the men I'm talking about are brilliant. They have these minds that see things that women overlook. We may think they are being lazy, but in all sincerity, they are just taking their time.

8. Their eyes- Their eyes, if you've got a good one, sees you...the real you! The you they fell in love with. They see the beautiful woman you are and the reason they fell in love with you. If you've got an incredible man, he will even tell you how beautiful you are and how sexy you are. In your eyes, you may miss those things, but to a man...mmmmm...he sees it.

9. Their voices- Oh wow, the timbre of a man's voice is enough to push me over the edge of ecstasy. And it isn't just the voice itself. It's the words they say and the way they say them. Whether it is said in a whisper or at a normal tone, the words they say aren't always pretty, but they say them from their hearts.

10. Their hearts- They pretend to be all rough and tough, but inside, most men are smooshy, squishy tubs of marshmallow fluff. They have such sensitive souls and they love so intensely that it is sometimes hard for us to see that. I find myself liking a man that I have to be a bit more tender around. Not walking on eggshells sort, but simply watching my tone and words...not being bitchy simply because I can be.

11. Their lips- I love to kiss and be kissed...that is my girly side showing through. A man knows how to kiss tenderly and he knows when to take it deeper and rougher.

Yes, I love men. They are these incredibly complex beings (though many would deny it) and I simply want to know their secrets, their thoughts, their desires, their hopes, and their dreams. I want to be the woman who stands by one man for the rest of her life, sharing his joys, sorrows, and tomorrows. Men (or at least one in particular) makes my world turn. His strength keeps me balanced. His logic keeps me grounded. His love gives me security.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

After the Fall...

Yesterday was the day where I didn't feel like getting out of bed or going to class. I forced myself...okay, I'll be honest here, Diesel forced me to get up. My depression was at an all time low. I felt unloved, unwanted, unworthy, and unneeded.
Well, Diesel fixed one of those for me. He definitely needed run him outside for his potty, to feed him, to change his water, and to get out of "his" bed. 
I figured since I was up and had to go to classes. I was doubting so much about myself: not sure if I even belong in the academic world anymore. Questioning myself, my decisions, and my abilities to actually do this. I sat in Journalism and texted my best friend all during class, tears streaming down my cheeks because I hurt so badly. 
Something I should explain...I told him that I didn't think he truly had my back (a promise we had made to each other...we'd always have each other's back). I hurt him. I pissed him off. And you know why? Because for the last two years, he's ALWAYS been the one to have my back...ALWAYS!!!!! I hurt him and I hurt because of it. I love this man so much and I promised I would never hurt him. 
I made it to my Women's Studies class and I have NO idea what we discussed. My mind and heart were on the text messages exchanged previously. But I reached some clarity...I was the one who didn't have HIS back. In the midst of all the drama, I let him down. I was acting like a spoiled brat who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it and how she wanted it. I never once gave thought to how he must feel, what he must be struggling with, what I could do to help him. Instead, I felt sorry for ME!
He came for dinner last night before his late class. He gave me more of his time than I deserved, to be honest. We laughed. I cried. We straightened out the mess that was created when people text message. (Trust me, if you need to say something important, DON'T TEXT IT!!! Instead call the person so they can hear the emotion in your voice. How you might mean something to sound isn't revealed through text and your meaning can be taken all wrong.) I apologized for acting like a spoiled ass brat. He gave me this look that only he can give me and said "Never once have I thought you were spoiled." (Did I ever mention how perfectly imperfect he is?) For the record, he also said he's never thought I was an ass or a bitch. LOL When he left, I felt more loved, wanted, and worthy than I'd felt in a while. I am hoping he can say the same thing.
This little bump in the road made me realize just how much I take for granted, including him. See, I love him dearly. He's been there for the roughest two years and he's stuck around. Why? I have no idea, but he's here. He has been my rock, my soul, my friend, my partner, my shoulder, my safe place, my laughter, and my heartbeat. When I say that he is the reason my world turns, I am not lying. He's kept me moving forward with only occasional glances backward. He's taught me so much more than he can ever lesson I'm learning now is that I'm strong. I need to be...he deserves a much better person to walk beside him on this journey than I've been lately.
So, I've written a bit today. I've applied for jobs. I've looked at places for Diesel and I to live. And I'm making a plan...summer classes which will ease me right into the fall semester which will lead me up to a spring graduation with a bachelor's degree, if I plan it all right. It's going to take some time and hard work, but I can do this. But most of all, I am making a commitment to be the friend my best friend deserves. One who doesn't see him as her be all end all, but as the one who is willing to walk through fire for him, to crawl across molten glass to ease his pain, to die for him, if he needs her know? The kind of friend he has been to me.
After the fall...I've found that I'm the exact person I was trying so hard to not become, but I can fix me. I'm the only one who can.

Monday, February 16, 2015


The last two days have been way more emotional than necessary. See, my beautiful, amazing, and brilliant roommate moved out yesterday. We had discussed the possibility of this happening, but that doesn't mean it didn't rock me to the very core of my foundation.

One of the things I admire, respect, and love about him is his devotion to his family. And let me tell you, what I know of his family...well, I can see why. They are the best of the best. And that is why he moved out...his family needed him.

I cried. I raged. I bitched at the gods that I hold holy. I simmered. I fell apart. I vented. I moved my stuff into his old room. I figured things out...sort of.

But the most important thing of all had been avoided...talking to him. You'd have to understand my esteem issues to know my thought process. Fortunately for me, he does. He gets me like no one else. As I simmered and was prepared for him to say "Goodbye", I finally worked up the nerve to confront him and his words to me? "This is not goodbye!" And he repeated it as often as I needed him to until I finally started to believe it. See, in the two years that we've been friends, we NEVER say "Goodbye". It is always "See you later." But my mind jumps to the always. We hugged. I cried. He held on when I was ready to let go and he promised me that this would all work out. We'd be okay. Not "You'll be okay." Not "I'll be okay," but "We'll be okay."


Diesel and I spent our first night on our own last night. He spent his night crying and not knowing how to deal with moving into a different room. However, I got to spend my morning, snuggling up to him and thinking about the next step from here. We've got time. We've got breathing room. We've got this. No matter what, I know we've got this.

I'm discovering that I am a survivor. I know it might not seem like much to you, but it is everything to means I am stronger than I ever thought.

And loving someone means letting them go so they can deal with what they need to deal with. It's being the rock for the one who has been a rock for you all this time. It's trusting that he will walk through his fire and come through it stronger than ever. 

We will survive this. We will thrive because of this. This will only make us stronger people and better friends. When I tell you that he is the best part of my life, I'm not exaggerating by any means.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why Do You Write Romance?

I've been seeing this question pop in my FB feed on a daily basis. So many authors have these sweet stories or quotes to use. This question did get me thinking though...especially on the holiest of days for the romance addicts of the world. So, I asked myself, "Gemma, why do you write romance?" The answer is not nearly as sweet and thoughtful as others I've read, but here we go: 

©  | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I write romance because I need to believe it still exists. Romance is not a prevalent part of my life. It hasn't really ever been. See, I was the little girl who believed in Prince Charming and happily ever after. Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing in all of that and settled for what I could get. I guess I write romance to give that little girl, who lives inside of me, hope of finding her Prince and getting her happily ever after.

I am not a woman who believes in grand romantic gestures. Honestly, flowers die, chocolates go nasty, and I eat dinner every day. 

See? Love can simply be two friends caring about each other. It doesn't have to be all mushy and icky. I am a huge fan of practical!

My best friend showed up one day with a package of my very favorite pens in the world. I hate using any other pen except this type. That gesture made me cry. Why? Because in the middle of whatever he was doing at the moment he saw those, he thought of me. This same friend is also my current roommate. We had a mouse problem in this house we're living in. What did he do? He built me a bucket trap which he tucked in a corner so I don't have to look at it. He empties it when it needs to be emptied. This gesture warmed my heart. Why? Because he knows how much I despise the furry little Satan's spawns. 

I know you're reading this saying, "Awww...but Gemma, what do you do for him?" Let me tell you: I make sure there is ham and cheese in the fridge because I know how much he loves 'ham and cheesers'. I will spend twenty minutes shredding potatoes because I know he likes hashbrowns for breakfast. I clean the house because I know he likes it clean, but hates to clean it. And I make sure there is a bottle of wine in the house because I know there are days when he needs that more than anything else.

See? Practicality wins every time!!

I know, right? A romance author who has a hard time with the mushy love stuff? Who would've thought? Somewhere along the line my romantic side was busted. Maybe it was in high school when every girl got a flower except me. Maybe it was later on when the guys I dated just didn't care about romancing me. I don't know. I am sure of one thing: Love is about lifting each other up and holding on when the other feels like letting go (not in that weird stalkerish way). It 's loving each other through the rough spots in life and holding on to that hand when they feel like all hope is gone.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dedicated to My Diesel...


Before Diesel became a part of my life, I did the research. For me, it was extremely important to know what I was getting myself into. I mean, a mastiff is a HUGE dog and with a dog of this size comes issues, right? That and getting a dog is a massive responsibility.

I read all the breeders' websites I could find and the health issues were far outweighed by the love this breed has. One thing so many breeders spoke of was the snoring. One even went so far as to post a video of her male and female, lying on either side of her, snoring in stereo. It made me laugh. I mean, c'mon, is it really that bad?

Diesel came to be and the puppy snores were the best. There was absolutely nothing about this dog that didn't make me fall in love with him more every day. He was always the best. He was housebroken very easily and quickly (less than a week). He helped mend my broken heart. There were days when I wondered who fell in love first, me or him. (I still wonder this sometimes.) And to this day, I wonder who chose who. I mean, this is the first puppy who climbed the fence to get to me.

As I sit here typing this out before heading to class, Diesel is on his back on the sofa, snoring his little heart out as if he hadn't slept all night. He sleeps in my bed, snoring all night long, so I know better. I don't know how many times I have to nudge him with my foot because he is snoring and "running". And, yes, the snores are as bad as the breeder's video showed!!! But do you want to know something? I wouldn't trade them for anything in this world. There will come a day when I don't have those precious snores to wake me up at night or the dreaming to make me nudge him awake.

So many of my mastiff friends are losing their babies and it had me thinking this morning. With the love of a big dog comes the reality that they don't live as long as we'd like. My Diesel turned 6 years old in December. My best friend tells me that he believes Diesel will live to be 12 or 13 and I pray that is the truth. The thought of losing the love of my life breaks my heart to even imagine. A life with no puppy snores, no thumping of a tail when L comes home, no doggy kisses, no drool all over my good clothes as I'm heading out for the night, and no Diesel snuggles is a life that will be very sad. 

So for today (and tonight), I will treasure all the love that this big lug holds for the me and the men I've brought into his life. He cherishes his humans as much as we treasure him. I've lost count of the times I've heard, "I love Diesel" from any one of them. It shows me that at the end of Diesel's days, he will have touched many and been loved by all who have met him. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Back To School...

I am currently sitting in class waiting for it to start. With time to spare, I thought I'd stop by and say "Hello. I've missed you all!"

Classes started on Monday for me and it looks as though this is going to be a great semester. I've got classes that are really making me think and that is a wonderful thing. I hate being in classes where I simply sit and daydream. It doesn't inspire me to do my best. The constant drone merely lets me know that this is a place I don't want to be in. The one class I couldn't wait for may actually be that sort of class. I'm giving it another day and hoping I will actually be inspired.

I've been working on building a website and I'm very happy with the way it is turning out. It is taking a lot of work, but the input I've received is saying that it is well on its way to being completed. I need to finish the book though before I launch it for you.

Class is about to start so I will sign off for now. I hope you all have a very blessed day and that you find inspiration in every moment.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Good Morning!!!

It is a cold and blustery morning here in the beautiful state of bliss! I woke up and pulled on my leggings and my favorite bulky sweater. It is cold enough in the house to even consider putting on...egads! Socks!!! If you know me, you know I hate wearing socks, I prefer my feet bare at all times. I only wear socks in the house on one condition...usually, but that is a different topic for a different time. *wink*

Life has been excellent here. Book sales aren't great, but, then again, they never have been. I'm not promoting via other author/bloggers as much which makes it hard to get word out about the books, but I try to blog here more.

I was reading my Facebook feed the other day and an author friend was considering having a cover reveal event. I chuckled a little bit because I just never considered that. I'm not one to celebrate a new book being published. I didn't have a special ritual, meal, or anything I did. To me, it's just another day. I'm proud, but I still turn to the next thing at hand and dive right in. Friends were a little bit shocked at the fact that I truly don't celebrate by doing something special. My sweet roommate told me we would do something, but with money as tight as it has been, we never got around to it. Last week, I splurged and bought two bottles of wine. We opened them and celebrated. It felt good to share that moment with him. So, I now have a new ritual. With the release of each new book, a couple of bottles of wine must be bought and shared with the one man who sees my accomplishment as a HUGE deal.

And this brings me to my next piece of news...I am working on a new series (I know. I know. Not big news, Gemma.) But after much talk and deliberation, I will begin writing under a different author name. At least for this series. As I took my maiden name back in my real life, I am considering changing my Gemma name as well. I just don't feel right using something that isn't truly mine, you know? Because of the fact the Cedar River series has two books in a publisher's possession for a bit longer yet, it will be awhile before that change takes effect. However, my demons will be published under a new author name. This way, no one confuses my kinky series with my simple paranormal romances. Once I'm closer to finishing the series, I will post all the wonderful tidbits and how to find my new alter ego.

One more week until school starts back up and I have so much to get done. Declare a new major, pick up my text books, possibly get a 'real' job, make sure I have food in the house to toss into the crock pot, promote the new book, clean house, and mentally prepare for school. This month and a half off of classes has allowed me to become lazy and let things slide. Now, I've got one week of freedom left and I just want to throw caution to the wind. I want to dance barefoot, let my hair down, turn my music up and my self-consciousness down, I want be quiet enough to hear my heart beat, but loud enough to whisper my love to my world. But for now, I'll return to a world of fiction while my world is busy with life, family, and the stress of day to day living.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I've Been Thinking...

I know that thought scares most of you who know me. Thinking means this Gemini is either bored and looking for trouble or she's stalling. Actually, I'm neither. 

A friend of mine posted a thought on Facebook today and she got me thinking. Her question went along the lines of; "How does your idea of happiness in your twenties differ from your idea of happiness now?" (Thank you, Liane!) This really started my mind working overtime.

My idea of happiness when I was twenty involved a home, husband, and children. My idea of happiness now? Well, not those things. I had a husband, I no longer do. My children have all been four-legged and furry. And I've made a home out of the most I've had. Now, my happiness is slightly different. Happiness now involves sharing a single bed with a 170 lb. dog who steals as much of my bed as he can throughout the night. Spending my days studying and my nights writing. "Playing" with my best friend and enjoying this lifestyle we are exploring. Hanging out, watching movies, and eating deep-dish pizza. Laughing with my little sisters or best friend and his brothers. Cooking breakfast for my best friend and hearing him say, "This is the best one yet!" Knowing I am appreciated and loved every single day. Knowing that my studies are leading me to the career where I can make a difference in this world. Realizing that my stories are being read by people and people are loving them. 
Puppy kisses and sharing the bed with this guy...priceless!

My idea of happiness and success are so vastly different that they used to be! In many ways, this has to do with the changes I've made over the last year. In so many others, well, they have to do with my best friend and the way he has showed me how to use different lenses to look at things. He is slowly changing my pessimistic ways...the glass isn't always half-empty anymore. Sometimes it is half-full. Other times, there is simply water in the glass and I need to be grateful. Whether it is half-filled or only a swallow, I need to be happy with the fact that at least I have water in said glass.

So tell me...has your idea of happiness changed over the years? I want to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Learning To Fly

Unless I'm talking about a specific event, you won't often find me posting random thoughts about my childhood. Why? It was a great childhood and I was basically a happy kid, I just prefer to look forward instead of back.

Today, however, I'm going to tell you a bit about me. I grew up on the family dairy farm in southern Michigan. My dad helped my grandparents run it until Dad and Mom took it over in 1977-78. We lived in the farmhouse. Up the hill from me lived my aunt and uncle plus two cousins. My grandparents were literally a hill and a cornfield away. I was the only girl and everyone was certain I would be a girly-girl...growing up with two older boy cousins? Really? Okay, I love dresses and lace much better than I used to, my hair is colored and my nails are always painted, and pink may be more of a favorite color now than ever before. But you will still find me in jeans and t-shirts most day, my Carhartt jacket is a must have, and there is a camouflage baseball hat hanging on the coat hooks just inside my front door.

Okay, enough reminiscing. I am telling you this to show you how I was never what anyone expected me to be. I have never met anyone's expectations of who I am which made me very sad. It was this last year when I was able to step out of the shadow of everyone's expectations and simply realize who I am. It has taken a lot of help on other people's parts to pull me out, but I feel more alive at 42 than I ever did at 22. I am certainly happier now than ever before.

I wrote this a while ago, but I wanted to share it with you all here:

The Girl Who Dared

Once upon a time, there was a girl who dared.
She dared to dream in bright, vivid colors.
She dared to believe that she could climb mountains and touch the sky.
She dared to try anything and showed no fear.
She dared to soar on the wings of eagles.
She dared to march to her own music.
She dared to dance like no one was watching.
She dared to sing like no one was listening.
She dared to pour her soul into her stories.
She dared to believe in the impossible.
She dared to imagine.
She dared to care so deeply about others that she forgot to care just as deeply about herself.
She dared to live with no regrets.
She dared to fall in love every chance she got.
She dared to dream of possibilities.
She dared to be different.
She dared to believe in a love that would be passionate, romantic, and all consuming.
She dared to be a woman who would LIVE.
Then, one day, something happened…she stopped daring. Instead, she grew up and stopped believing she could do any of the things she wanted to do. She stopped living the life she wanted…she didn’t thrive…she merely survived in a world that was cold and uncaring. The world didn’t believe in her and didn’t care if she dared to live her life. The little girl inside the woman curled into a ball and went into a sleep that was quite like death.
One day, the woman realized that the little girl who lived inside of her had the right idea. The woman attempted with all of her might to wake the little girl up…she tried everything she could. The woman had an idea…she whispered in the little girl’s ear “I dare you to live.” The little girl opened her sleepy green eyes with a wicked grin and said, “I dare you right back.” The woman’s grin matched the sleepy child’s as she said, “Welcome back, baby.” Together, the woman and little girl dared to live.

Tomorrow I will be promoting The Golden Dragon's Treasure all day on my friend's, Virginia Nelson, website. Stop over and say hello! I can't wait to see you there!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy 2015

So, I spent the New Year writing, watching movies, and trying to solve the world economy...okay, maybe not the world, but mine. I also have found yet another way to exasperate my darling roommate...start a project before finishing another. He's a Virgo who likes things neat and orderly. I'm a Gemini and cannot be bored, otherwise BAD things happen. Not exactly plans for world domination, but bad in the sense that I upset his world. Then, he makes THAT face...the confused one that says he cannot figure me out and he's not sure he wants to. lol

Yes, I'm working on my demons and I am so deeply in love with them. They speak to my heart and soul. I love letting my demons out to play and putting them on paper is just TOO much fun! Give me some more time to write and I will post something about them. They are truly a group like no other.

I'm kicking off the New Year and the new book over at The Romance Studio. They have a party going on from January 2-5 with all sorts of prizes and authors. Stop over and register to win! I am offering up an e-book copy of each book for three lucky readers. Click the banner below to head over the party site.