Posts Tagged ‘anna’s world’

The Soul of the Matter: Poetry is when you feel…

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” ~~Robert Frost

That’s the poem that inspired my Three Days on Mimosa Lane. Because it’s another book about family and emotional journeys and finding your way through difficulty that mostly no one else knows you’re going through. And that’s poetry to me. I’ve never ceased to be amazed by what the human spirit can survive and conquer and thrive in the midst of. And I never forget, despite my own rocky journey as a child, what family and friendship and love can mean, when you allow the poetry of them into your life.

poetry ink blotI don’t write poetry. Not professionally. But I do see emotion and feelings and how a writer, any writer, portrays them on the page as a unique form of poetry that changes from voice to voice.

I see the same thing in everyday life, as I observe everyday people and families.

How we create happiness and peace, or how we destroy both, is poetry personified.

We choose our path. We choose our reaction to the world. And our choices affect so much more than our own experience. The emotions we invite into our reality echo into others, and we either build up or we destroy the positive energy around us. We add to and give back to the world, despite its challenges, or we merely take, and we take for granted all the good beyond our struggles. We value every moment, and we help others do the same, or we declare that we don’t deserve better–and we limit those we love to the same meager existence.

family heart

I write about family, always have, always will. (more…)

Deadline Dementia=Shoes. Simple math. Right?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Yeah, it’s writing fifteen hours a day or so time. And I’m mom-sitting, while my mother recovers from minor surgery. So I need a break, every now and then. And breaks are made for shoe dreams, right?

I’ve heard from a lot of blog followers that I NEVER do Shoes are My Heroine anymore. And it’s not that I’m not still obsessed about the little dears, as much as it’s that I’m saving for college (not mine, but the kiddos) and doing things like buying insulated windows and siding and a new air conditioner for the house. And then there are the cars that we own outright, but they keep needing pesky repairs to stuff like the transmissions and so forth, because I REALLY dig not having a car payment, even more than I love shoes. Well, almost as much as I love shoes, anyway.

But, a girl with deadline dementia needs her some shoe dreams to get her through, and I’m on my fourth killer deadline in a year. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m a lucky writer, and I don’t let a day go by that I don’t take a moment and revel in that. My good fortune, and my obsession with shoes.

So…this spring, I’m DYING for some new chunky heels.

And if I didn’t have looming college debt on my horizon, these pale pink, patent, Lucite-heeled beauties, SO modern-day Cinderella, would be mine so fast, you’d pull back a bloody stump if you tried to reach in front of me.

stuart Weitzman theone pinkOr maybe I should be more practical…when you’re wearing your PJs all day, with Medusa hair to round out your look, while you’re being fanned by the cabana boy, who’s also peeling you grapes, some snake skin slides are a good way to go. Actually, snake-skin slides are always a good way to go.

stuart weitzman baker snakeskin


The Soul of the Matter: Is Your Character Alive?

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Is your character alive? It’s a great question that Claire Mussed answers beautifully on The Salon. She tells us that whatever else a reader thinks about a character in a story, what matters most is, “Is this character alive?” I love her feminist rant, which triggered this response to a review of one of her books. And I love even more the question her response begs us to ask about our own lives–Are WE alive?


Whether you’re a writer or not, it’s the kind of challenge that should resonate. Whether I was a writer or not, it would touch me. Because that very mystery–What makes a life about more than simply existing…what makes it thriving?–is at the core of the voice inside me, searching for answers.

I struggle sometimes to reconcile my optimism for life with the honesty I try to see in the world.

I personally don’t find forced cheer or fun either inspiring or entertaining. I feel what I feel, I embrace what I am where I am, and I look for encouragement and amazement around every corner, regardless. Does that mean I’m happy all the time? No. But I’m authentically alive, engaged in my life, and living with every ounce of my being, looking to both now and the future, craving the next opportunity.

My Mimosa Lane Series can be a bit too realistic for some romance readers. I get that. I write outside the lines, beyond the rules–which is exactly where I live. But I hope I do live. Just as I hope my characters do, in the hearts and minds of readers who embrace and cherish them for the thriving journeys they’re on.

My vision for living, and my voice when writing, is to live and inspire both characters and readers to do the same. And to get you to ask…

How will you live today?

How We Write: When our soul is tired…

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Ever panic, thinking you might never be able to do what you love again?


Me? I love writing. It’s my job,  but also my passion; how I enter the world. And after a season of not feeling well enough to do much of it, I was on a roll in 2012. That is, until the great crash of early 2013.

Hello, my name is Anna. And I haven’t been able to write for over two weeks. Not even a blog post. Me–and I LOVE to blog. Three, sometimes four times a week,  blogging is my morning writing exercise.

It’s how I prime the creative pump. It’s the blood that flows first, engaging my creativity, helping me smile or think or dig a little deeper  until I’m ready to tackle my daily pages. But ever since I turned in the final developmental rewrites for Three Days on Mimosa Lane the first week in February…nada. The well wasn’t just dry–picture a bunch of two-by-fours nailed across the opening, daring me to rip through them and face the big, bad ugly lurking beyond.

But why? Have the two and a half weeks been about being lazy? Giving up? What about the month before that, when I barely had the energy to complete the TDOML developmental edits and didn’t blog in January, either?

You’ve heard of bone tired. I think I’ve stumbled across the state of being I’m going to call Soul Tired.

soul tired

Overwhelmed. That’s where we sometimes find ourselves, whether its about writing or family or friends or other commitments that we love but realize we can’t face. Not right now. Not with a smile on our faces and a I’m so glad to be here hug.

When you’re soul tired, you’re disconnected. Sometimes, you’re overwhelmed. But always, always, you’re looking at the world around you and realizing you no longer know or feel your place in it. (more…)

The BEST memories are made from the darnedest things…

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

You hardly ever know what’s making a memory until the moment’s practically gone. Now can slip away so fast, then in a blink we want it back so badly. The things that anchor those memories are equally surprising when we discover them. People and places and experiences flash back with the simplest sounds and sensations: the feeling of wind against our skin, the smell of breakfast sizzling on the stove, the spell a particular song casts, the sparkle of a child’s laugh at dusk…


I had oddest sensation this morning with my teen and his friend as they took part in a neighborhood-type garage sale, where they set up a couple of tables along side friends and did their best to raise spending money for an upcoming band trip with the flotsam we had lying around our garage and a few electronic and household things we dug out of cabinets and the attic.

Everyone was laughing and having a good time and up at the crack of dawn and feeling like they were wasting their time when no one stopped by at first but hanging in there anyway. Then the cars began to show and people began to wander up and sift through things and the boys started haggling. I let them be–Mom’s can be such a drag. Then I drove and bought everyone (including the neighbors) breakfast and brought it back.

And it occurred to me as I did, what a warm, happy moment we were making, just going about our lives but having a mini-adventure, too, in a way I was somehow sure we’d never want to forget.

memories artistic

Weird, I know. It was only a garage sale. But I could feel it (it was one of those special occasions where I felt it WHILE it was happening), that future moment when I’d some day gaze back and remember this day and where we’re living now and how crazy, normal, bizarre things like selling your junk in the driveway was once the height of Saturday morning excitement. (more…)

What does love look like to you? EXCERPT!

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A romance writer trades in love. Human relationship is the arc of BUSINESS. But beyond the spines of happily-ever-after, what does love really look like? My books tend to challenge the “box” that romance novels live in for most publishers,  because what’s driving me to write seems to be the antithesis of a book that’s all about love. Love looks messy to me at first. Challenging. Broken. Because the repairing and struggling and conquering and cleaning up of all that makes us human inspires me to write. More than anything else. More than writing completely ”happy” characters.

love hands ocean

So when I tackle things like a sweet Christmas novel or a lovely beach read (Book 2 in Seasons of the heart is out next summer), I end up giving a little girl the life-changing loss of no longer having a mother. And I make the one person in the world she can talk to a woman who triumphed over something very similar when she was a child…or did she?

love hand

Love, to me, is who we are when we can’t pretend we’re happy, or when we meet someone who challenges our brokenness and DON’T look away. We don’t back off from helping another soul in pain, because of the damage remembering our own weaknesses can do to our souls. We stick. We fight. We heal ourselves, even the yucky stuff we’ve fought for so long not to look at, because that’s the only way to help someone else fight, too.

love cards

Anyway, that’s the light fair I’ve poured through Christmas on Mimosa Lane ;o)

It IS a bright and touching story.Readers are already responding to the uplifting, hopefull message I’ve woven through it. BUT, it’s what love looks like to me, so it’s not going to be a smooth ride. Those sorts of stories just don’t do it for me.

Here’s a taste…

Here’s hoping this is what love looks like to you, too! (more…)

The Soul of the Matter: “Hope is the thing with feathers…”

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Emily Dickinson charmed me with the very first poem of hers I read as a little girl: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul…” There’s something about the way she puts words together that mesmerized me. There’s a loneliness to her thoughts, but also a bravery. A sense that isolation drives her to create, but that she’s also dreaming of the day she’ll be set free. Her internal journeys spoke to mine, I guess, and they still do today.

hope with birds

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

Do you see what she does here?

Hope feather

Hope is alive, even when it’s merely a captive in our hearts. It may not have a voice yet that we can hear, but it won’t stop. It won’t be silenced. It’s perched and waiting to soar just as soon as we’ll let it. (more…)

Best of North Georgia: Jewelry!

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Remember Harvest Hardware, folks. You’re going to hear more about these women… I’m spoiled in North GA, living so close to the artisitc lovefest that are the mountain towns just an hour from my community. Unique jewelry and other handmade finds abound at nearby small-town and county festivals.  My favorites of late by far are Lisa and Mary Wilkie’s creations–reclaimed and hardware inspired hand stamped jewelry.

This is their charm keeper necklace, hanging on a simple silver chain.

hh charm keeper necklace 

What they do is industrial but can be either delicate or oversized, depending on what you prefer. Personalization is a must, and they’re creativity will inspire you.

This tripple wrapped bracelet works like a cuff, except it molds to your wrist instead of moving all over the place.

hh triple wrap bracelet red

It’s all mix and match, and you’ve never seen anything quite like it.  The charm variations are limitless.

hh stamped variety charms

It’s ingenious, what they’ve managed to do with items you’d normally find in a farm shop or a working garage. And their newest ideas keep blowing my mind. (more…)

Franken Berry ROCKS! Sharing the wealth ;o)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Yes. THAT Franken Berry. I grew up in a magical world where sugary cereal wasn’t unhealthy and letting your kids eat an artificially colored cold breakfast wasn’t a call for DEFAX and strawberry goodness was a princess surprise every morning that my General Mills employed father could produce a box of this delicacy on our kitchen table…


So when writing my first mainstream women’s fiction/contemporary romance, when I needed a way for a wounded woman to reach out to and connect with a hurting little girl who doesn’t think anyone understands what it’s like to be her, Fraken Berry became the first  pink, magical link between them. Sometimes it can be such a simple thing, a different kind of listening and understanding, that makes all the difference in the world. Christmas on Mimosa Lane is full of tiny windows like this. Connections where lives meet and deepen and share and maybe come undone just a bit more, so they can expand together and become more than they’ll ever be alone…

“Franken Berry?” Mallory blurted out, not above bribery. “When I was your age, it felt like Christmas morning every time I ate it. Strawberry flavoring and refined sugar and bleached corn flour…Crunch and sweetness that will make your back teeth smile.” And it could only be special-ordered from the manufacturer’s website a few months out of the year, since most stores no longer carried it. But for Polly, Mallory would break into her secret stash. “Ever had any?”

Polly shook her head. “My dad says healthy food only. I need to eat healthy to stay healthy.”

She stepped closer, and Mallory considered grabbing her. Except grabbing at kids who were hell-bent on running only made them more certain that they’d never be safe.


The Soul of the Matter: Too Close to Quit?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Ever notice that the closer you draw to something you really want, the more inclined you can be to quit the race that’s gotten you there? I know I can’t be the only one who’s natural tendency is to dream big and fight hard to make that dream happen, only to begin doubting (or dreading failure) just as the moment of victory draws closest… It’s so easy to pursue something beyond your reach, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t intimidate or quit or back down. Not so easy, for many of those same people, to accept that the achievement of all that’s been fought for has really, truly arrived.

dont quit every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise

Precipitory anxiety is as natural an occurrence to my creative mind as craving the sound of water, feeling more inspired between midnight and 3 am than any other time of the day, and always looking for a different way to see and experience ordinary things others pass by without a second thought. I’m good in a fight. I’m the point person who believes any threat or challenge can not only be tackled but conquered. I’m a gamer. But…wait a minute…what do I do at game’s end? More often than not, I find my instincts screaming, “But…what do you mean it’s over?” Because, I think, it’s easier for me to be in love with the dream than to accept the scary proposition that I could actually bomb at the very thing I’m wanting so badly to happen. Sound familiar?

Puppy Dream big

I don’t know about you, but I feel much more in control when I’m scrapping and slugging it out and no one really expects me to get where I’m going but me.But put me in the end zone with folks cheering me on (or flash me an early glimpse of what that moment’s going to be like as I draw ever nearer), and I’m at least for a moment or two a freaked out writer geek who is terrified that everyone’s going to be looking while I somehow find a way to f**k it all up. (more…)