Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking Back and Looking Forward

I received another rejection email, which is amusing only because I haven't sent anything out in a while, so how about that long reply time. I finished French this semester with a B. I'm usually an overachiever when it comes to my classes so normally anything less than an A would be heartbreaking, but I'm not feeling French and school much lately so I deserved the B and will be glad it isn't worse.

I am planning on taking a bit of time off from school. I'm hoping it will only be one semester and that I will be back to the grind come the Fall, but at this point I will just see how it goes. It's not in my nature to stop learning, so I'll take online art classes with some of my favorite artists for the next couple months. I'm looking forward to classes that are available when you have time rather than during specified times, and I really want to take some real art lessons.

I'm trying to get my house in order. It is a mess after this rough semester I've had. I'm packing and getting things ready for my upcoming trip - my first time to Europe. I will be spending 10 days with my friends in Paris and parts of Spain. I'm looking forward to getting away and seeing the sights and being inspired by everything that is waiting for me abroad.

Looking back, I realize that with all the ups and downs of 2009, it was a great great great year for travel. I've been to New Orleans, Shreveport, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Oklahoma, and now visiting Europe. That's not bad for a year-in-review.

2009 was a blessing. I have so much to be thankful for, yet I tend to dwell on the negatives. I finally made the decision to quit a job that had been holding me back. While I do not regret the decision, I think I could have been smarter, saved more money or changed jobs in 2008! But it is what it is, and I experienced a period of 28 days without employment barely scraping by. Yet the blessing in those days was a clean house, time to exercise, and wonderful time in my art studio.

I completed about 42 pieces of art, sold one, and received requests for two commissions. I started my first online art gallery at . I completed an artist portfolio, but have yet to show it to the two establishments that I made it for. That's on the list of things to tackle in early January 2010.

I'm working at a job that is more physical, which has its perks, like a killer employee discount on craft and art supplies, that I am using to my advantage, but I'm back in the grind, working a lot so I've stepped back on eating healthy and working out. Two other repeat resolutions for 2010.

A miracle came my way when I was at rock bottom about to make a decision to cash in my pension. This miracle brings with it heartache and pain, but will be what I need to get back on my feet. There is a price for everything it seems. Of all I've learned in my young life it has been that.

Anything I lack in life I make up for in quality of friends and family. I am blessed in so many ways. I get support from those I love, I have a house and studio that I enjoy immensely. I get to create stories and art which heals me bit by bit.

I am not the girl I once was, and I never will be. I am who I am. With the Good and Bad. With the Strong and Weak. The days of me trying to change to please others is so over. I'm stronger than ever and I know that I'm only given the trials that He knows I can overcome. So I will.

This is what I strive for in 2010 and will be my only resolutions. I feel the sentence covers just about everything: I want to be a healthy and happy Me, full of love and creativity, and hopefully finding more success in selling my stories and art!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Looking to the Future with...Hope!

Looking to the future, I am filled with wonder at all of the possibilities before me. I look forward to the end of my school days for a (brief hopefully) period. I need to step back. I need to break away from the grueling schooling for now. Get back to taking care of myself, my house, my life, creating, and see what happens. I will be back one day...hopefully one day soon.

I constantly feel the need to learn and figure things out, so I know that the scholarly life is probably for me. But my problem is that I want to learn the things I am interested in, so the regimented curriculum of schools goes against me and makes the learning process unbearable.

I have plans for my schooling, but I will put those aside and worry about them at a later date. As soon as I know where I'm going with it...I'll let you know!

I can't wait to get back to my writing. I dreamed about my character last night, Nalia. Weird, I know. But she lives inside of me, sighing and gut punching me ever-so-often to make sure I'm aware of her, to make sure I'm grateful for her patience, and to make sure I know how pissed she is that I've neglected her so this past year. I can't wait to hear her story and see how this chapter ends. I'll get to you soon, Nalia. Just give me more time!!

My art has taken me places that I never dreamed. I don't have any ingrained talent. Rather its pure pigheaded-ness and practice. I love it. It's my therapy and each of my pics teaches me something about myself and my life, that I may not have realized this early had it not been created. My ultimate goal is to be able to bring characters and scenes to life to aide me in the writing process. It will all be worth it once I reach that end result.

Health wise, I am reminded every day that I am not as young as I used to be. My body doesn't bounce back well. I feel every ache and pain and change in the weather. I'm only 3o for crying out loud! But that too will be where it needs to be.

This was a great Thanksgiving Day. I spent time with my immediate family and my only "true" remaining aunt and uncle on my dad's side. We gathered at moma's for her wonderful gumbo and potato salad and bread. Stacey and the kids brought turtle pie for desert. It was a great day indeed. Then I went home around 4pm for some studio time. Life is oh so good!

I think often of what might have been...but then I live the life I have made for myself and realize that there is no place else I'd rather be then here...for now!

Mood: hopeful
Drink: water from my new stainless steel water bottle (will have to google the difference between a stainless steel and aluminum water bottle - my old ones are siggs.)
Food: wishing I had some
Music: Christmas tunes playing on the Christmas movie playing in the background
Currently: I'm trying to get around to studying for my last (hopefully ever) French test!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

If I could capture these feelings...

I wish I could describe the feelings inside of me when I finish a piece of artwork or story. Even as a writer the words elude me. Happiness seems like such a dull and insufficient word to use, but maybe it is happiness. If so this is a feeling I'm not used to.

My heart aches in so many ways, but if I can fit a few minutes into my day to create something, a poem, a story, a fix for one of the many holes in my novel, or drawing/painting something, then I'm good.

I stepped away from writing while in school, because its so much easier to finish a piece of artwork then to get into my characters heads, worry about and weave the storyline, etc. I've been spending time in my messy studio since July of this year. The business side of art is very much like the business side of writing. There is so much behind the scenes of writing/creating.

I'm working on my artist portfolio; it just needs a few finishing touches and then I can print up my pictures. I need a professional picture, yet I'm always tired, working, looking sloppy. I will definitely have to get on the ball with this one, since it's such an easy fix.

I started my online art gallery at , and I sold my first piece of artwork. (To a close friend who loves me and would put up any crap that I create out of that love alone - I heart you, Nona!) But I'm forever hopeful that others will fall in love with my art pieces the way that I have and hope to have them in their home, daughter's bedroom, nursery, etc.

My style in art, like in writing, falls toward mythology, fairies, princesses, etc. But I'm always learning and trying new things. I have arty parties with my friends, where we hang out for a few hours of good music, painting, and creating. I'm happy that my love for creating has spread, to Oklahoma where Nona has an art journal she keeps, and in my hometown, where my friends have become reacquainted with their love of painting through my obsession with my own creative inklings.

Everything is a circle. Everything is connected. People, places, and things come into our lives for: a reason, a season, and a lifetime. The beauty is in the experiencing and finding out where each experience falls.

Two weeks until finals. I'm so ready for the semester and holidays to be over so that I can get back to living a somewhat normal (for me) life. I am looking into changing my major to general studies. I need to graduate, to complete the goal that I set for myself when I was a kid. I want to be the first in my family to graduate from college and at this rate, my 14 yr old niece may beat me to it. lol. The classes in the English curriculum are not geared toward making me a better writer, which was my purpose all along. So its time to re-evaluate and see what needs to be done. I can always go back to take the few classes that I feel will help my writing. So I'll probably be taking some time off of school, to get back on my feet after leaving AT&T and to really get into my art.

Every day is a blessing, and I'm thankful for all that I have and all that I am. But today...I'm happy beyond measure. They don't call it "paint therapy" for nothing!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gearing up for what's ahead

Any desire to be a writer or artist is strife with research, learning, mess. Creating is the easy part. Its what comes after that is stress worthy and headache worthy.

This year I have transitioned drastically from the person I started out being as the new year was upon us. I changed jobs. I bought a new car. I had many eye-opening and life-evaluating experiences.

I reorganized my house and my life. I repainted my bedroom. I put paintings up in my house. I stepped back from my art journaling and became a true artist.

Now I'm working on the business of art, which is very similar to the business of writing. My creativity stems from so many areas. I find that this year was the year where I sought instant gratification that only art and short stories can give me. My novel has shifted to the wayside, but I remain working on the small stuff and cultivating the stories in my head.

In the art aspect, I currently have 12 pieces that I have finished so far this year. I have acquired postcards, business cards, plastic sleeves, envelops, mailing labels, rubber stamps with mailing address, etc.

I have created both an etsy and artfire account to eventually put the artwork and prints up for sale. I have found that with my recent change in jobs, I don't have to "give up" anything like I did for 2008 and the beginning of 2009. I'm following in school, though slightly behind. I'm taking care of the house and regular "chores" like I never did before. I'm becoming more well-rounded as a domestic-inclined person, student, writer, artist, person, etc.

I'm currently working on my artist portfolio and hoping to get a few of my paintings on display at a local venue. There are resumes, bios, statements, etc to be completed. I have tackled the listing of paintings, determined pricing, setup spreadsheets for accounting purposes, etc. I'm working on certificates of authenticity right now.

I joined 3 art groups online who have been my constant supporters, fountains of knowledge, and helpers throughout this process and ordeal. I have learned so much and am ever so grateful for these changes in my life which have lead me to here.

I feel inspired so easily these days and I now have the means to take that inspiration and make something, rather than putting it aside for another time.

I have always had the tendency to focus on the bad. I am working on self esteem and forgiveness and I'm learning to think positive and focus on all of the good that surrounds me. While I do not have the family that I always dreamed of, I have a great group of family and friends that love and support me and enable me to be and do all that I dream of. The rest will come or won't. We all have a purpose in life, whether we know it or not and that too will be shown in time.

I hope to get back into the swing of things, attending writers group and critique group meetings, attending to my writerly duties and returning emails and doing all of the things I previously loved doing. But time will tell when that will be possible. My new work situation has me alternating weekends with both of my jobs, which means I'm working every weekend. I don't have the funds to do all that I previously did, attending conferences and planning vacations. So I'm learning to budget and plan for bigger things rather than many smaller venues.

New Years Eve will bring me to my first trip to Europe. I will be traveling with friends to Paris and beyond ... to Morocco. A chance of a lifetime. A new understanding of the language to see fruition. Life is just so so good. I had no idea it was possible to be this happy.

Mood: content
Drinking: way too much cola
Eating: 1st ever crab cakes I ever made and moma's gumbo
Wishing for: the strength to get through these hard times with a positive attitude and a happy demeanor....and to get some of my art out there for the world to see and purchase...Finally selling something I had created is definitely on the list of hopes!

what else is there???

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh How Time Flies

My weekend trip to the beautiful city of Austin was amazing. I traveled with some great friends, had some laughs and listened to some rockin' music. We remembered the old days and I dreamed about the days to come. I do love the city of Austin, Texas and I'm always saddened to see it growing ever smaller in the rear view mirror.

On the drive back, I spoke to a manager that I had recently interviewed with and found that I had the job and when could I start? Well this girl needed a day to recoup from the wild weekend of mud and muck. So I started this past Wednesday at my new job as a cashier at my favorite store, Hobby Lobby.

Hmm a cashier...hmmm at Hobby Lobby? people ask. Where did you work before? people ask. Don't they pay you much better then this place? people ask.

Yes. I left a job that was no longer working for me, that was causing way too much stress but which paid really well. I chose Mindy and Mind over Money. And I must say that I'm loving this new life. I work a few less hours; I get a whole lot more done at home. My house and car are cleaner. I have time to study. I have time to create art and write. My brain is fresh and ready emotionally and mentally to take on the challenges of writing and art and school.

Now my feet and back are a different story. I went from a job that had me chained to a desk for 7 years where I gained 5 dress sizes, to a job where I'm on my feet all day and lifting heavy boxes and objects, and I'm loving every minute of it. My feet are comfortably sore at the end of the day and still all I can do is smile. I sleep so much better than I had been. The stress of not having a full time job had been getting to me. I've had two or more jobs since I was 19 years old. So it takes some getting used to.

Nanowrimo approaches and I find that I'm ready to get back to Nalia's story and finish her once and for all. Will this be the November that I get to the end of her tale? I sure hope so. Her and I have been inside each others heads for too long now and its time for her story to be told. So I have high hopes for November.

My French class is driving me crazy, but I am happy to report that I will be heading to Paris at the end of the year. Yes I will be bringing in the New Year in Paris and then traveling to Spain for a wonderful 10 day trip in all with some good friends. I'm looking forward to that trip, which is the only thing that may help me get through this semester.

I have a story to tell, but I think I'll save that...perhaps for another day.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflection and Art Time

As the weekend of ACL (Austin City Limits) comes ever closer, my excitement and happiness in general rises. I look forward to a weekend in my favorite city of Austin listening to the musical stylings of talented professionals and enjoying time and laughs with my friends. But now I realize I have suitcases and small bags but no "weekender" bags big enough to carry enough stuff for a mini-weekend trip. There is always something...

I'm planning on hosting a bit of a wine and art party at my house this weekend, minus the wine for me. We will put on some music perhaps and see where the mood takes us as we stare at our separate canvases. Two of my good friends are coming over and I hope they are as excited as I am. I've already prepped 3 canvases and have another idea brewing. A good creative day to be had I'm sure!

I've been doing a lot of self reflection. There are areas of improvements needed in self esteem, word choice, and interruptions during conversations. I did very well today catching myself during these moments of lapse, and I really hope that I am finally on a road to better choices.

Today feels like a mystical time where anything is possible. I remembered my old stories and was saddened by the fact that they are still endless. Perhaps one day...perhaps one day they will be told. And I remembered my critique group and the writers group that I've been unable to attend lately. I hope that I will find my way back to my stories and my writing life, someday soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Bonjour, mon amis! J' etudie la francais et travaille un peu.

I have not been feeling myself for a while now. The funk was a period I needed to experience I guess but I'm glad to report that it is definitely coming to an end.
The universe works in mysterious ways. Something stares you in the face and even though you choose not to acknowledge it, eventually you will have to.

Recently, I made a decision that was somewhat impulsive, somewhat thought out: I quit my job at AT&T where I had worked for the past 7 years. A decision had to be made. It was affecting my life, my health, my mentality, and I could no longer ignore the ill effects of this chosen profession. Some jobs are like a drug addiction. You know it's not good for you; you know there are ill effects, but you get something out of it (good pay and benefits) which keeps you going back for more of the abuse.

I simply could not take it anymore and put in my notice. I realize that with the recession this was the worst time to do it, but I had to choose me over money, mind over money. I will not lie, there are some days I regret the decision, only to the point that I should have saved a little more money and realized how much the insurance would have cost me.

But do I regret the decision...Never. I have had time to take care of me, my house. I did some major overhauling in my house, purging of a lot of things I never did or no longer used. I painted a room in the house that had definitely been needing it. I work every day at getting my studio closer and closer to where I want it to be.

The end result: I now have less money to play with but I am far from destitute. I've always had two jobs at least, so now I am fully supporting myself with my second job, which allows me to work more hours and take care of some of my business. I've been writing again. I've been creating art. I've been getting an etsy shop up and running and working on supplies so that I will be able to sell some of my artwork. I already have a place of business in town that is willing to put up some of my artwork on display. I'm hoping to one day be able to make some money off of my love of creating inspirational pieces of artwork.

Every aspect of my life has improved drastically, yet I still do not have a 40/hr week job that I am used to. But I realize that no matter what words are coming out of your mouth, it may be the wish of your heart that is answered. So I am not working full time, but I now have time to do all of the things I love that I never had time to do when I was working so much: write, create, learn to cook, keep my house clean, etc.

So I'm not going to let it worry me. What is meant to be will be. And deciding to quit a job that was causing negative affects on my life and well being was the right decision. So it is one that I will not regret.

Now, the possibilities are endless, and I awake each morning renewed and looking forward to what the day will bring - which is what I needed for a long time now. I've been missing writing in my blog but everything has its time and place and I guess I had to work out some things before I could get back to it. I'm hoping that this transition will lead me back to being a regular blogger again. I definitely have the time now.

Here's a copy of my newest pieces of artwork:

12 X 12 Mixed Media on Canvas Titled "Believe in Yourself"

12 X 12 Mixed Media on Canvas Titled "Dream the Impossible"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Winds of Change is Upon Me

Here's my newest illustration friday pages - Tango:

I wrote for the first time in what feels like forever. When I stopped dealing with my WIP I was having a problem with plausibility since the age of the character changed after writing over 90K words. Well that shifts everything that came before it and that I imagined would come after. Finally, after all of this time I could see the fix. It was crystal clear and just what I needed. I wrote 700 wds in 10 minutes and it felt sooo good.

I'm working on my art until more words come back to me, counting the days until the new semester starts. I am not looking forward to any more French classes but I don't really have a choice do I.

I'm setting the ball rolling for making positive changes in my life. I have no idea where this will lead but I know that I will be so much happier when I get there.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Illustration Friday - Hollow 7/12/09

Bonjour, mon amis.

I have been away, mentally, I guess we can say for a while. Problems at work has me digging deeply into my art journals and digging into my feelings...well...kinda scary. So anyways. I've been having fun with my art journals and I'm going to try to get some art done every week. There is something called where they post a challenge word for the week every Friday and it gives us a chance to interpret it however we wish using art.

That seems pretty easy and I should be able to handle that even when the semester starts. So I'm going to take the challenge and it will also get me blogging again. This is my second week, but I'll post only this weeks for the challenge.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Journeys and Life

Bonjour, mon amis.

I was recently reprimanded for my lack of blogs. I don't know what the deal is. Since February I've been a bit disconnected from my own life. Learning French took up a lot of my time. I stopped writing for a bit to fully immerse myself in the language. The car accident, well what is there to say about that. Nothing has been the same since. I guess I jangled a couple of things in my brain or something.

Well here's a recap of the missing months. I enjoyed my French class immensely and cannot wait to learn more of the beautiful if not aggrevating language. I made friends with my classmates; a first for me. I have been in school for a very long time but I never mingle with my classmates. I hope these friendships stick.

I went on Spring Break to Philly, DC, and Arlington. We saw some things me and my traveling companions:

Aren't my girls just beauties??? We laughed, we wanted to cry (lol), and we walked for dayssss. It's a miracle we made it but we did make it. So I brought back some great memories of times and travels with my sister, Stacey, and my niece, Lauren. (I realize now that the comedic personality is strong in THIS family of mine!!)

But what I bring back with me of all the wonderful sights, sounds, etc of the trip is this one perfect moment as I sat quietly among the Japanese magnolias, remembering my childhood and dreaming of the future I so desperately yearn for. I could have spent days on this park bench writing and dreaming:

This picture will always take me back; and I look at it often!

I celebrated my big 30th birthday with family and friends. We ate sushi at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Shangri La with my favorite waitress. Here's my BFF Crissy and my handsome baby brother, Jason :

This is the first bday celebration Jason has joined us on. Us Blanchard women have a long history of Mindy's Bday celebrations: partying for the 21st, male strippers for the 24th, etc. And finally Jason joined us on this one!!!. I hope we have many more to share. We celebrated at the club where I spent a lot of crazy nights of my 20s, Graham Central Station, which was a fitting place to spend the LAST night of my 20s. We had fun. The drinks and laughter were flowing. It was a great way to start this new period of my life known as my 30s.

I haven't been writing. Even though the semester ended with my wonderful A- (yes the minus breaks my heart - apparently I am a horrible French speaker - well I can't be awesome at EVERYTHING!! LOL), the jobfront has me in such a state of disgust and disappointment (at myself) that I cannot find the words or inspiration to get back to my writing. My novel and my character sits constantly in the background. Nalia simply looks at me sighs, paints her nails, does a bit of primping and filing and waits patiently for me to get my act together so that I can get on...with her story!
When I can't find my words, I go to my art journals, and usually something comes up! Well I now have 4 journals prepped and ready for my personal decorated covers, 32 pages of scrapbooked and art journaled pages in about 5 art journals, 10 pages of backgrounds waiting to be scrapped and A LOT of personal reflection, inspection, whatever...still no words.
But I refuse to lose hope. If I am anything I am determined. That will usually get me through just about anything in my life. And I have started a new journal: one of reflection and forgiveness. A way for me to pour out my hurts on the page and cover it up with the wonderful memories and characteristics that will hopefully help me get over the wrongs of my life. I'm hopeful that this will help me heal, because I am tired of being bitter and jaded and all of those other negative characters that we all know me by. I'm ready to be free!!
Here's my latest creation. I recently started playing with watercolors and oil pastels. Here's my first whimsy girl in watercolor:

And on the last day of my 20s I did this page for my dad. Completing this piece was a breakthrough in the start of the healing process. It took me 10 years to talk about him after he died. Its taken this long to commit my feelings to paper. But I'm not afraid. I'm dealing. I miss you, Daddy, every day. Til we meet again:

(The treehouse is an original design by Gil Zaunbrecher. He and his beautiful wife, Tanya, are amazingly talented architects and good friends of mine!)

Music: Linger by the Cranberries (I love!!)

Dried paint (and blisters) lingers on the tips of all of my fingers.

I live in hope that today marks the beginning of many great days!!!

Mood: forever hopeful

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Few Words

Ce semestre est finis! (This semester is finished!!)

The blogs have been seldom but I guess I was too busy living!! Yeah right. I was too busy studying or needing to study. Anyways, I am looking forward to the semester coming to an end and getting my life back in order. A full house and car cleaning is in order (I still haven't recovered from my multiple trips/vacations). It's time to get cracking.

I'll load up some pics from my trips and the goodies from my work in my studio later.

I do have the tendency to overdo things. I have decided that I need a few goals to tide me over for a bit, some long and some short term. I'm committing it to my blogging world so that you can keep me honest. I will be compiling the "to do" list in the next couple days and then I will post it here when its done so that I can start focusing on the goals and markings things off my list.

I don't have much to say right now, but I just wanted to post something so that ya'll don't think I fell off the earth. Til next time!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

La Nouvelle Orleans R Bust!!

After my 3rd French test and my first week working half days back on the phones at work, I needed a break, an escape, a time to laugh and enjoy being alive a bit.

My friend Rhegan and I traveled to Houma, Louisiana for the Jubilee Writer's Conference this weekend. We left a day early to do a bit of sightseeing and relaxing. We shopped and walked until we dropped. It was a beautiful day filled with writing, dreaming, inspiration, and possibilities. Two wayward travelers (how many times did we get lost along the way?):

Happy looks good on us, I think:

We found French everywhere. We tried to use French words whenever we could. It was a great opportunity to get some studying done while I was having such fun!!

There is so much world out there. Where will our lives take us? I wonder. As I reflect upon the past 10 years the saying "if I knew then what I know now" runs through my mind. I can only hope that I make better choices and that the future brings so much more. But regardless, for all of the ups and the downs, I'm here and I'm ready. I am open to the possibilities and the opportunities, I will not give up hope.

There were signs everywhere:

Stolen moments. Opportunities to write. Inspiration can be found on every street corner in beautiful la Novelle Orleans:

After such a hard day's work (lol) what could we do but finish the night with some Bourbon Street strolling:

The trip was great. As many know, I am not the best driver and I tend to be a bit directionally challenged. A few wrong and missed turns happened along the way. But we made it to our destination. The conference was fabulous, as always. It was a memorable weekend.

The job and school are driving me crazy. April is a big month for travels for me, with this New Orleans trip and my trip next week to Washington. But what happens in May I wonder? My travel plans end in April and then what will get me through the day?

Well, I won't depress myself about that now. The memories of this month will have to suffice. I look forward to my trip next week. I'm excited but I still haven't packed yet. Yikes. I don't have anything to wear. Hopefully, I don't aggravate my sis or Lauren too much. But whatever happens will happen. These memories I will need to get me through to the next vacation, the next stolen moment, the next great escape. With my so-called life, I'll definitely need it.
Drinking; Pinot Grigio
Watching: Stardust
Eating: Pralines from the Southern Candy Co
Dreaming: of possibilities

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scrap or Bust!

Bonjour, mon amis.

I should be studying for the next big French test next week; instead I'm winding down from a wonderful day scrapping. I attended my first National Scrapbook Convention at the Cajundome in Lafayette today. It was fabulous. I thought I had packed way too much (oh I had) but there were people with even MORE stuff than me! Amazing.

Here's my friend, Tanya, and I after a day of scrapping til we drop!

I finished about 16 pages total, which is low on the totem pole of most scrappers (Tanya finished about 80+; she's like a machine). But usually I barely finish 2 pages or projects when we get together to scrap. The pre-painted/prepped pages really did the trick. Getting the work done in stages really made the creativity and process so much easier.

Here's a sample (guess who it's for, Lynnie Pooh):

This is my absolute favorite page that I completed today. The inspiration came from Lynn with the black and white picture and wording. The back and white images just pop off of the bright yellow pages. And I bought the flowered ribbon a few days ago with the intention of using it with a red background - fate!! The page is about one of my close friends, Nona, who moved away in February and whom I love and miss dearly!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Day of Decadence

Today I got a glimpse of what my life would be like if I did not have to work a zillion hours a day. I slept late. I turned down every commitment I made and even forgot a few. I lived spontaneously and did only what I felt like doing in the moment.

Life was decadent.

I watched Knocked Up for some serious laughs. I washed clothes and did my French homework while sipping Mojitos and Pinot Grigio (all day long). (I lived like a lush today!)

I'm attending my first National Scrapbook Day at the Cajundome this weekend. It's an expensive all day affair. In order to get some serious scrapping done - I have to have my pages prepped, all of the supplies I will need, and tons to scrap about. Let me tell you, I am just about ready.

I have been taking mini-breaks throughout the day to grab my supplies, prep some pages, get some last minute layout ideas, etc. My current projects include:

Inspiration journal
Lynn's art journal
2007 art journal
2008 art journal
NEW 2009 art journal
travel journal

AND because of my fabulous newly organized studio, which is making all of my inspiration and productivity possible, I am working on some side projects for what I will consider my inspiration section. I have some altered cards prepped and painted and a few extra cards prepped and painted and waiting for my fabulous artist friends to loan me some inspiration. And I am working on a new inspiration project from one of my art journal books that I have been dying to try out. It's coming along nicely, but since I know nothing about shading, I'll have to hold off on the finishing touches for the scrapbook day. Hopefully someone there can help a sister out! Here's a glimpse of my WIP (yes it's blurry - no clear shots until its finished):

Image inspired by the work of Kelly Rae Roberts (Find out more at; I am still working on how I plan on completing the "face." I tried a new technique today - my first sponging page - coolio - I love it!!!

Today was a day that dreams were made of. All week long I toil at those jobs I dislike to come home and have 2 days to myself, to create and yes drink in celebration of my success. I setup a goal to get my house organized. It's not where it needs to be yet, but the work in my studio has by far surpassed my original idea.

The room provides me with so much opportunity for creativity. I am a lucky girl indeed.

Music: just learned about pandora radio from a workshop at the Nola Stars Conference - omg I'm in love!
Drink: Mojitos mostly
Mood: tranquil and hopeful

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Haven for Creativity

Bonjour, mon amis! Comment ca va? Ca va tres bien!

I aced my 2nd French test, and I learned how to ask others to go out on outings - so that may increase my date options - since English obviously isn't working out so well for me - lol!!!!!
I worked in my house this past week. I've been talking for months about getting the studio ready and I must say it is almost there. I have to share the pics, but please ignore the big white spots on the wall. Yeah, Mindy may a few boo-boos that I have to touch up.
Here is a pic of my little office nook in my living room:
Oh, I can just imagine the stories that I'll concoct in my own little writing space!!! (My office chair is in my studio for now - so I'll definitely need a new one because I won't be writing much in this thing.) Here's some pics of my art studio:
I can't wait to get my hands dirty in my own special creating space!!! So much junk - so little time. Here is an example of one of my art journals:

It currently belongs to my friend Jess. She won it from a contest I ran on my blog a few months back. I can't believe I haven't given it to her yet. It has been a few months since I've made it to her area so I have an excuse.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Day of R & R

Bonjour. Je suis assez bien. Je suis a la maison.

I'm resting, de-stressing, getting a little R & R. Today was a good day. I worked in my studio for a bit. I have a National Scrapbook Day event coming up at the end of the month and I need to have some pages prepped so I can get right to scrapping on the big day.

I started the prep work on my 2009 Journal - its called Battle of Silence. Ha! Seemed fitting as I have had been in constant battle with silencing my outspoken ways. I also started the prep work for the writers' journal Lynn (conned me out of lol) in exchange for an article for the BWG newsletter and another "project" I'm working on.

It feels good to get back to my paint, to review my art journal books and remember what I love about my fav works from other artists. I've also been pulling images to use on a few spreads - it's nice that my mind gets to play with puzzles again, even for a little bit. Putting layouts or spreads together in my journals are like puzzles: a cat, a cloud and an apple - how do I make this work? Yeah don't ask! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If you've seen my journals, you know what I mean.

I received two free 5-shelf bookcases in pepto bismol pink for the studio. My mom put 2 layers of kilz yesterday (yes the pink still shows through in spots - horrible), and I painted one beige layer. Couldn't even get through the second coat. But it looks great. I can't wait to get them in the studio and start unpacking the 20 rubbermaid containers that are taking up every square foot in my kitchen.

I did some rearranging in the studio. What a mess! The more I move something, I find that at least 3 things that I need to save. I'm such a packrat or lazy, probably both.

I haven't been writing. I need to be. I have no excuses. Maybe tomorrow. I have only a few more days before I have to get back to schoolwork. The time is flying but I just can't seem to force it. The story is there, but I just can't do it.

I watched two movies last night: Australia (Wow Hugh Jackman is HOTTT! My tv is still smoking!) and The Secret Life of Bees. Both great movies. Both had me laughing and in tears. Good stuff!! Just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lessons Learned

Bonjour, mon amis. Je suis fatigue. Je pense que le francais est tres difficile. Je vais le examens lundi.

Basically, I just wanted to check in, say hello, and let you know that I am tired; I think that French is very difficult, and I have an exam Monday.

Procrastinator that I am instead of studying for French I'll write a bit of French in my blog and that counts as studying, right. lol I'm learning a lot. I can introduce myself to others, go through my family tree (okay not that much), explain my oh-so-crazy schedule, tell you all about my university and campus, tell time, and almost make complete sentences. I can conjugate about 3 verbs. I'm really going to take the French world by storm. OK, maybe not. I can write it better than I can speak it. I was always good at remembering odd spellings (that helps) but my prof cringes every time I open my mouth to speak - Men! lol

I'll get back to studying in a bit, but I have to share the happenings of my so-called life. Since the accident in February I was forced to miss a meeting and due to conferences I'll be missing the next two meetings of my Lake Charles Bayou Writer's Group; I miss my friends so much. I can't wait to hear what's going on in your lives, writing or otherwise. I want hugs from everyone as soon as we meetup in May.

I took off of work Friday and drove to Shreveport, Louisiana with my mom and sister. A little vacay was in order for all of us. We shopped and ate sushi at this wonderful restaurant on the Boardwalk. I only experienced road rage once, so I guess that was good. We made it safe and sound.

Here's my sis, Stacey, and me:

We checked into the hotel and then Stacey and Moma left for some more sightseeing and shopping. I attended 2 fabulous early bird workshops about avoiding plagiarism and creating the page turner. There was a meet and greet with great food, and I drank the best glasses of Pinot Grigio I've had in forever, (oh wait it's been forever since I had a chance to drink).

I met up with a few old friends and met some new ones. I retired early to pound away at the keyboard having found some inspiration and a fix for one of my current probs with my current WIP. Here's me and the Vice President of BWG, Jan Rider Newman:

I met Jamie Colette at the 2008 Conference. It's great to meet up with an old friend:

Conferences are a great way to meet other writers. Here's a new friend, Betsy St. Amant:

The next day the workshops were fantastic; I learned so much and hardly know where to start. If I start naming names, I know I'll miss out on some of the major influences of the weekend and I should apologize for that up front. But thanks to the wonderful workshops of: Jennifer Blake, Karen King, Elle James, Delilah Devlin, Ramona Richards, Terry Spear, and Jade Lee I am so much smarter than I was 72 hours ago, and I am ready to tackle the rest of my current WIP.

I'm ready to take the rest of the journey with Nalia and her Merry Men to find the end of this book. The initial idea came to me exactly a year ago. In March of 2008 Nalia first stepped out of my mind and into my idea book. I didn't start writing the story itself until June of 2008. And while I have not been writing for all of these months since then, as I do have two jobs and attend night classes at UL, it is time to get to the bottom of the story. I had realized this going into the weekend but some happenings during the conference pissed me off enough to get the ball rolling for sure. I so do love a challenge.

As many of you know, I love everything about the learning process. I'm obsessed with knowledge and learning new things. What can one expect from the girl who taught herself how to read crochet patterns and then made up her own? But I digress.
I attend many conferences whenever I have the time, opportunity, and money even though I'm fully aware that I am losing out on opportunities to speak with editors and agents about my work, since I don't actually have a finished product. And while some feel quite comfortable speaking out when they don't have a finished product, my situation leaves me in a corner where I don't feel comfortable trying to sell something that I do not have and which I cannot guarantee would be reader-ready within a few months time.

But do I let this stop me? Heck no, I go to conferences and I learn and I get better and I network. Guess what? I'm okay with that. It works for me, and I'm fully aware that what works for one does not work for everyone.
During the course of the conference, I was asked numerous times whether I pitched to anyone. The answer was of course, "no." Most people just looked at me with pity in their eyes and nodded their head in encouragement as I spilled all the "excuses" why I don't have a finished product. Yeah, yeah so we all have excuses.

One remarkable woman actually compared going to conferences without a finished product to something like, saying I can be a race car driver just because I like watching Nascar. There are moments when I have no class. I curse like a sailor at the most inopportune times, and I tend to have a short fuse, but I have my moments. In the face of this criticism, all I did was smile and nod. I'm proud of myself for having class in that moment because the scenarios running through my head at the time were bad. In all walks of life there are those that can only feel better about themselves by putting others down. They just can't seem to help themselves.

While we all know that: Everyone has ideas. Everyone has the ability to write. Everyone usually thinks they have at least 1 good book in them. In this business, not everyone who aspires to write a book actually sees that goal come to fruition. We hear it a thousand times during our lives. But what I wonder is this, have you ever heard of tact? Find a better way of talking to other people.

I may not have finished a book yet. I may have had many ideas and actually gotten bored with some before completing them. I may have used all of the excuses in the book for my inability to finish a story. But newsflash: that doesn't make me any less of a writer.

Yes I attend workshops, lectures, conferences and I learn. I'm in college pursing a degree in English because I want to learn. I plan on going to grad school because I want to learn. These things do not debilitate me. Sometimes its daunting because there is so much work involved in the writing process when you worry about pace, hooks, characterization, etc., early on when maybe you should just worry about getting the story out.

Yes, it could be paralyzing for others, but it's not for me. My writing is stronger today than it was a year ago because I'm always learning how to become a better storyteller. My first drafts are still crap, just like everyone else's. Yet I've learned what to look out for, what my weaknesses and my strengths are, and how to fix them. So I'm more than a race car driver wanna be. I'm a writer, albeit a slower one than some perhaps. As much as it pissed me off to experience this, I didn't let it ruin my mood or my weekend.

Since I was a child, I have escaped to books, stories, anything I could get my hands on. I was Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I read all of the Stephen King books available by the time I was in 6th grade. I stumbled upon romance novels when I was 14. I've seen worlds that didn't even exist. I've been transported from the everyday toil and drudgery of life into the exciting pages of stories by the most fascinating of storytellers.

I immersed myself in stories of cowboys and Native Americans. I looked at each beloved line used in Cassie Edwards' books, and I knew that I wanted to one day write a story so beautiful. A few years ago I became bored with reading: cowboys, Native Americans, Englishmen, Scottish warriors, nothing helped me escape.

Lucky for me there is a Bookrack located 3 minutes from my job. I'd often spend my lunch hour perusing the shelves. The worker knew my tastes and took a chance on me, referring me a paranormal romance after I hit my reading rut.

I was skeptic at first, but Janet knew what she was talking about. It was love at first bite (lol). I've been hooked ever since. I don't know what the first book was, but I think it was a Christine Feehan (one of the Dark series).
A voracious reader, I tore through the shelves grabbing whatever I could hold. I eventually found the Crimson City series. I fell in love with the stories, the world, and the characters. I quickly grabbed onto any books the writers of the series had on their backlist and found the Tigress series of Jade Lee; a wonderful writer of Paranormal Romance, she helped me escape into the beautiful setting of Shanghai, time and time again.

Over the years I have found many favorite authors. These are my classics. These are my teachers. I learn from them. I read their stories to escape, and I work every day at my own writing in hopes that I will one day be able to write as well as they do.

Everyone knows how excited I was to attend the conference because one of my favorite authors would be attending and speaking. Of all the empty chairs in the joint, she chose the one next to me for lunch! I would like to think that I am now a woman of class and can handle anything, right?
Not so much. I couldn't even speak. I had to work to chew, and we all know I have no problems with chewing. I couldn't even answer her when she asked me a direct question. (What's the name of my blog - heck I don't know!! Thank goodness I had a name tag I'd probably have forgotten that, too.). Here's Jade Lee, trying hard not to run away from the crazed fan - being a famous writer is so tough!!:

She was wonderful and handled my dorkiness with grace. She even told a story to make me feel at ease with being starstruck. What can I say, I may be a writer but I was a reader first (and the dorkiness will probably never go away. lol)

I learned so much this weekend. I found so many ways to improve my writing, and I met so many wonderful people. I can't wait to get back to Nalia and her tale to see what happens before her first full moon as a shapeshifter.
For anyone who did not attend the NOLA Stars workshop and wanted to, get ready for next year. This is a yearly conference you can't afford to miss.
(It's wonderful to point out that I'm the only one in all of these pics that isn't published! Yep I like to surround myself with greatness!!)

Drinking: Mr. Pibb (need to get back to studying - caffeine is good!)
Music: Best of Baroque album (gets the learning juices flowing)
Mood: Relaxed
Currently: Doing anything but studying; who knew washing clothes was so much fun!
Dreaming of: Life before I had to become immersed in French
Realization: I'm so grateful that is so-called crazy life I have offers me the opportunity and ability to attend such fantastic conferences. Thank you writers for teaching me so much.
**Sorry - I seem to be having post issues. Sorry if there is a lot of space or not enough - I should be studying. Opps! lol. Until next time,

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Looking Forward to New Days

Bonjour, mon amis!

Je suis assez bien. Je parle un peu francais. Je pense que le francais est difficile. (I'm fairly well. I speak a little French. I think that French is difficult.)

Due to the Mardi Gras festivities, I had a week off of school. That means at 5pm, I headed home or wherever I wanted to go, whatever I wanted to do, for 5 whole days. It was lovely and made me regret my decision not to stay out of school for one semester. But I made my decision and paid the big bucks, so school is where I am.

I did spend some time writing and that has improved my spirits tremendously. I figure if I can write just 15 minutes a day, then I can do this without feeling like I'm cutting off half of my heart to chase another part of my dream. But I know myself and my wicked ways, and I know that I'll find that 15 minutes aren't enough. Sometimes I'm stubborn and it's all or nothing. Hopefully, it is enough for now.

The great news is that I'm looking forward to the NOLA Stars Conference next weekend in Shreveport. One of my fav authors Jade Lee will be there. I cannot wait to meet her and learn about world-building!! My sister Stacey and I are heading out for a mini vacay away from home! It should be fun and I'm really looking forward to it. (Maybe I should have made some business cards - another thing on the to do list I totally forgot about. Jeez!!)

The massive pain in the back of my thigh has dimmed a bit. So I should be able to start exercising again. 30 minutes a day, doctor's orders. Ugh, the one good thing to come of this mess was that it was okay to be lazy. *Sigh*

Guess the vacation is over (until Friday).

So I'm getting on track right now. No one knows what lies ahead. A wise friend told me this week (or maybe last week) that we have to focus on today. And that's what I'll try to do. Mostly because I don't know if I'm strong enough to deal with what lies ahead....Maybe I won't be as great a writer as I think I am. Maybe my family will be shattered by the verdict. Maybe my GPA will plummet and I'll fail my first class (ever). Maybe I won't be able to become frugal enough to survive the recession and state of the economy. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. The list is never ending.

So I'm studying my French and getting back to trying to be healthy. Tomorrow is March 1st and (as they say,) Tomorrow is a New Day!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Calming Focus

Bonjour, mon amies. (Hello, my friends.) Je suis assez bien. (I am fairly well.) Mon cours tue moi. (My class kills me).

I'm wondering where I have been for the past XX years. I've lived here all of my life, yet today I learned about Mardi Gras. Who knew that there was more to this "holiday" than beads and alcohol. Interessant! My next assignment is to interview someone who was punished for speaking French in school, in the old days. There are like 6 pages of requirements/specifics for the whole project. Then I have to ask for definitions to specific words and be able to explain the answer in complete and clear sentences. Then I have to write a 3 page formal paper on "what I have learned." Jeez, Louise! I want a vacay! Due date March 25!! TICK-TOCK.

I'm currently experiencing that period known as the "calm after the storm." I have a new car and a new attitude. Not that it's a good attitude or bad, but it's definitely different from the Mindy that most of us are used to.

I'm feeling okay financially, a little less so emotionally, and a bit less so physically, as there are kinks (I can't sit or stand in the same position for more than 12 minutes but its much better than it was). I almost asked someone out on a date - yeah you read that right, but while I'm not that brave yet, there is an almost, and that is a lot further than normal.

Yesterday I wrote a post that I felt was too personal to actually send out there for all the world (yeah okay so perhaps no one will ever read it) to see. I wonder how horrible it will be (when??!?!?) I have a readership and they stumble upon this mess that is my musings and figure I'm nuts and never buy another book (how's that for big dreams, huh?) But being me I figure what the heck. Since when do I hold back on the gooey parts. So here's the post that I failed to post yesterday, with a few edits and additions:

I realized today that I am bemoaning my current situation, having forgotten the reason that I am here on this journey.

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to graduate from high school and go off to some great college. A college so very far away from LA. Arizona, New York, California. Anywhere would have been my choice.

Yet I never made it anywhere. I found nothing but roadblocks along the way. I chose love, which is supposed to be the one thing I always believed would open the world for me, would make anything possible; and all this time I've blamed that on my choices, afraid to admit that I may have the worst taste in everything. (Sometimes I think I need a keeper!)

Yet I realize that it's my own insecurities that always hold me back. I find excuses on the curve of every road to nowhere. My problem may be the obsession I've always had with the four letter word. Since I was 14 years old, I've devoured romance novels. I've imagined it, breathed it, experienced it, wanted it, loved it, hated it. Perhaps I've set myself up for the train wreck (ha) that is that aspect of my life. Or maybe it's because I need to be the victim in this story, not satisfied, always left wanting/searching. Or maybe I should just be calling some hotties, in the white jackets. Regardless of the gazillion excuses and reasons my imaginative mind can come up with, the true question is: WHAT I wonder am I really afraid of? hmmm.

I’m stuck in a job I hate. Hours are taken from me as I toil at a job for a company that doesn’t deserve me. How many years wasted? Too many. More years than I’ve been an "adult" perhaps. But what jobs have I ever liked? I wonder. Are there people out there that truly love their jobs. That wake up refreshed and raring to go, as opposed to stomach cramps and cold sweats at 9pm which escalates until 7am when the only fix is a fetal position and a dark cramped place. What job could I possibly have that I would love? I know the answer and the dream but my mind screams failure as I think it. Things to worry about when I "grow older" I guess.

So what is the purpose? Why work at jobs that are beneath you? Why take classes that you don't want. Why work toward a degree you don’t know if you even need? Why you ask?

Because I made a promise to myself a long time ago, way before love found me, way before the troubles and responsibilities of life found me, way before I figured out I have the tendency to trip and fall all over the place. I made a promise to be the first in my family to graduate from college. I’m almost 30 years old, and I haven’t accomplished the goal and dream I set out to.

But I’m getting there. Slowly, very slowly, but sure. Gotta work, gotta survive, gotta learn, gotta write. Those are the days of my life.

I enjoyed a meal and conversation with one of my fav gals today. She helped me see that I am on the road to where I want to be. That first goal is accomplishable and within my reach. Every day, even if I’m not writing, I gain something, a thought, an opinion, a contradiction, which helps my writing skills grow - which helps me grow as a person. We worked on some kinks in my story and got me some ideas for a fix. Maybe the problem is that I'm forcing my character to be a 2x-something character, when in actuality she is younger. Maybe Nalia's story is centered more toward Young Adult than my norm. We shall see I guess.

My fav gal, helped me realize that had I not gone back to college, I wouldn’t have Marilyn, Mnemosyne, Fin, Sugarcane, etc, and that is a tragedy. None of these stories would have found me had I not been pushed and had I not been pushing myself in class at those times. I’m on this journey for a reason, even if it's not the journey I imagine I want, need, etc.

....The point is that I see you, fair child with the large green eyes. I see you blink those beautiful eyes behind plastic frames. I see you nervously smooth your unruly hair behind cute ears. You pout and wrinkle your nose when you think really hard. You wiggle in your seat when the words are flowing inside of your brain and your nimble fingers just aren't fast enough to keep up. You gaze intently at those you notice around you, when you bother to look up from your imaginings, and you wonder - who are they? what are their stories? what can they teach me? how will they change me? And you are not afraid. You smile shyly and you head off, to explore and tell the stories that only you can tell.

I see you inside of me, and I will find a way back. I may have finally found my focus.

So reader of my oh so crazy life, have you found yours? Think back and reflect! It's good for the soul!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New View

Bonjour! Je suis pas tres bien.

It's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened, and I've been a bit under the weather. It seems I drove my car into a post, not intentionally but I should have avoided it easily yet I seemed to fail to see it entirely. Too busy and not too observant. I guess I needed to slow down a bit, and I was avoiding all of the other "signs"; so it seemed an actual sign had to come into my path.

Well, I thought my car was fine but it has been totalled. So I'm car shopping, which is the last thing I wanted, needed, or expected to do. There are currently 3 vehicles in the running but I'm not sure what I am going with. I spent all day Saturday car shopping with my wonderful sis, and all I got was heat stroke - fun times. lol

I go back to work tomorrow, and my soul is crying out in agony. The things we do for money. I have to be able to afford that new car note. I have to "work to live" rather than "live to work."

I watched "He's Just Not That Into You" tonight and it was fantastic. I love good movies that make you feel good no matter what your situation is! It's funny how the movie makes you want to analyze all of your past relationships to pinpoint the signs that you should have noticed way back when that would have clued you in that the "relationship" was headed nowhere fast. lol. but that's for another novel.

I haven't been writing or thinking about writing or anything of that nature. I did manage to read 4 books this week - I guess that makes up for the reading that I had planned during the break but never got around to. I love words. I see them on page as written by my favorite paranormal romance authors and I wonder if I will ever be that good. I hope so. I hope that one day the greats get excited when they see a book with my name printed on the cover and can't wait to get home and read it front to back. Big dreams there! But some days what else do we have to hold onto?

A wise friend told me this week that it's about the journey rather than the destination. I keep trucking and pushing everything aside while I focus on the end goal. I realize now that I'm missing everything along the way. I'm missing the journey and running through life. Having landed face first into a kryptonite post, I definitely don't want this to be the middle of my story - because I wouldn't read it. So point taken; I see the error of my ways and will work on improving them.

I realize how lucky I am. I have the best friends and family that a girl could ask for. I only hope ya'll know how much I love and appreciate you, even when I probably don't say it enough. It's in print now for all the times I'll probably forget to say it - Love You!

*Thinking of You: Driving in the car, I hear the lyrics to a song you shared so long ago. I watch a movie, bringing memories of your home state, and I think of you as a child and what that must have been like, growing up so different from myself. Yet I'll never be able to ask now. Every license plate I pass, shows your last state. Every third word spoken reminds me of our unfinished story. You're like a distant memory hidden in one corner of my mind and life. I regret that I didn't speak up - clearer and sooner than you did. I wish things could have been different, and I wish you luck in your life, miles away from my so-called life.

So here's to every possibility I didn't reach out to and all the new ones that I will reach out to. No more focusing on the destination. A clear view lies on the here and the now.

Current Addictions: Supernatural and sweets

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pam's Valentine's Day Contest

A Sweetheart of a Contest

As we all know, the flagging economy is forcing businesses to make tough decisions and the book industry is no exception. Book stores are closing. Publishers are laying off people, cutting back on production, and pulling titles from distribution.

What’s an author to do?

Get those sales up.

So, Fellow author and Friend, Pamela S Thibodeaux, is having a Valentine’s Day contest Where Everyone Gets a Gift!

Between Jan. 31st & Feb. 13th

Everyone who enters will receive Thib’s Teaser (a pdf with blurbs/excerpts/discount coupons/short story) AND their name will be entered into a drawing for the GRAND PRIZE – simply email Pertinent Promotions at with Sweetheart Contest in the subject line.

No Purchase Necessary to Participate


Purchase any (1) Tempered novel and, along with Thib’s Teaser you will receive a Special Surprise Gift and your name will go into the drawing twice for the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (include your mailing address for the surprise gift).

Purchase 2 Tempered novels and in addition to Thib’sTeaser you will Receive a Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Choices or Cathy’s Angel and three chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your surprise gift)

Purchase the first 3 Tempered novels (Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams & Tempered Fire) and in addition to Thib’s Teaser you will Receive: A Special Surprise Gift, Your pick of a FREE download of either Cathy’s Angel or Choices a FREE autographed copy of Tempered Joy and 4 chances to win the Grand Prize! Simply forward a copy of your receipt or proof of purchase to (pick your short story and include your mailing address for your autographed copy of Tempered Joy & your surprise gift)

Together we can take the Tempered Series to Amazon’s Best Seller List!

**Amazon Purchase NOT Your ONLY Option**

If you purchase Any of the Tempered Series according to the rules above from your local book store, MAIL a copy of your receipt to Pertinent Promotions c/o Pamela S Thibodeaux, PO Box 324, Iowa, LA 70647 and your prizes will be the same as those listed.

Same rules apply if you purchase DIGITAL copies of The Tempered Books *Note* If you purchase digital copies of Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, and Tempered Fire according to the rules above, you will receive a digital copy of Tempered Joy. *Digital copies also available @ All Romance Ebooks!

Winner will be announced on Feb 14th

*All entrants will be added to Pertinent Promotions and the Author’s personal mailing lists.*

Grand Prize: CD of my TWRP titles which includes 3 short stores (Cathy’s Angel, Choices, & A Hero for Jessica), 1 full-length novel The Inheritance and an advanced copy of my Upcoming Release Winter Madness (short story) and a Valentine Gift Basket!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Looking Forward to What Lies Ahead

Salut! Mon amies.

Comment ça va? Je suis très bien. Aujourdhui c’est vendredi! C’est super vendredi! Je suis travaillez le week-end. (How’s it going? I am very well. Today is Friday! Its cool Friday! I am working on the weekend.)

Je pense que le français est un peu facile tous les jours. Je suis préparez l’examen pour le prochain cours. J’ écoutez le CD en français. (I think that French is a little eas(ier) every day. I prepare for the exam for the next class. I listen the CD in French.)

J’ apprenez culturelle, conversation, les jours de la semaine, comptez de zéro à trente, un autoportrait, heure, accent, l’alphabet, et expressions. J’écrivez facile mais je parle difficile. (I learn culture, conversations, the days of the week, count from 0 to 30, self portrait, time, accent, the alphabet, and expressions. I write easy but I speak difficult.)

*Sigh* Believe me when I tell you that this is more difficult to write than it is for you to read the madness. And I'm sure it's pretty horrible having to read this. Thanks for sticking it out for me; I appreciate it.

I've had a tough week with things. After some serious soul-searching, I realized that something had to give. Well, I sent out my last finished short story last night. Luckily I sent out three finished pieces this month. It really was a great month. I also sent out a submission the last week in December. So I started out 2009 with a bang. But it seems that this may be the last submission I have ready for a while.

Those who know and love me know that I continuously add more and more to my plate, figuring I'll either sink or swim and usually I manage to swim. But things are different this semester. I'm actually studying as students really should for the first time in my life, and I just can't swim anymore. I find myself in a position where there are few things that I can let go of. The only thing I was able to find to ease the pressure was to limit the amount of time I spend reading and answering emails (I must spend 2 or more hours a day answering emails) and writing.

Writing is in my soul. I don't know if I could stop if I wanted to. But I am able to slow down on the deadlines that I setup for myself and lower my own standards. I mean, who am I going to disappoint anyway. I will still write down my ideas and musings when time permits and the feeling moves me. But I won't be rewriting, revising, critiquing, submitting, etc. So free writing is okay but writing for others' enjoyment (Ha!) will just have to wait until this summer.

I'm really enjoying my French class, which may not be obvious since I'm complaining all of the time. It's exciting learning something new. I thrive on things that are difficult for me. I don't know if I like setting myself up for disappointment or if I just like surpassing my own expectations. My friends and family are so supportive. Encouragement, help, assistance is always flowing my way. I don't know what I did to be so lucky, but I'm grateful for you guys everyday.

In 2008 I took a chance in a part of my life that I gave up on a long time ago. And though it did not work out, in any sense of the word, the point is that I took a chance. After all of these years (yeah who's counting), I finally felt strong enough to put myself out there. As much as there was pain, it felt so good to feel again.

So I made a decision at the beginning of this month, to continue taking chances, to ignore the fear and focus on the possibilities. For once, I feel strong and capable and worthy of being the person that I know I can be. I'm looking forward to this journey and to what the new year will bring. I am secure and okay with the decisions that I have made. I chose this life, and I continue to choose it, each and every day.

Drink: Coke Zero
Quotes: "If at first you don't succeed try harder" and "If you do succeed, try something harder"
Music: Kelly Clarkson - My Life Would Suck Without You
Dreaming of: Triple Choco Chip Cookie from Starbucks and Hot chocolate.

Question of the Day: If you could accomplish anything in 2009, whether it seems possible or impossible, what would it be?