Word of the Day: Sedulous

[ˈsɛdjʊləs] ADJECTIVE (of a person or action) showing dedication and diligence

Monique drummed her fingers on the desk in her room. Re-reading the letter her teacher handed her at the end of class, she knew the best thing to do was to be straightforward with her mother about it. Mr. Black had insisted she apply for the scholarship, saying there was no way anyone else would top her application and essay, and he was right. Even though it wasn’t full-ride, it was significant and made it possible for her to pursue her dreams to become a cancer researcher someday.

The problem was that Monique’s mother didn’t believe she could achieve what she wanted, no matter how sedulous she was in her studying. She knew all the things her mother would say. People from the wrong part of town just didn’t become doctors. The American Dream was a pipe dream. It’s better to have low expectations because they will always be met. The diner could always use more help, and as the head-waitress’ daughter, Monique was a shoe-in to get hired. But Monique wanted more.

After three knocks, and without consent, the door to her room opened.

“Monique, what are you doing in here? I have to leave for my shift in a half hour and I want to spend time with you before I go. You know that.”

Monique took a deep breath and wordlessly handed her mom the letter. She watched as she opened it and read, her hand slowly coming up to her mouth as she came to the part about the amount Monique had won.

“This… This is…” her mom stuttered.

“A scholarship award.”

They met eyes. “This is a lot of money.”

“Not everything I need, but a good amount. Yes.”

“I thought you had given up on college,” she breathed. “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t pursue it.”

Monique shrugged. “I applied anyway. My science teacher insisted that I at least try for this scholarship because he believed in me.”

Something like pain scrunched her mother’s face. “I always knew you were smart. I just… I didn’t want you to put yourself out there and get rejected.” She pressed her lips firmly together, and whispered, “I’m so unbelievably proud of you.”

“What?” Monique asked in shock.

“I’m proud of you,” she said louder.

“I thought you’d be mad, and–“

“No! Not mad. Proud. And this school isn’t far from here. If you want, I’m sure I can get you a flexible job at the restaurant to help pay for your tuition, and you can live at home so you don’t have to pay for a dorm or apartment, and–“

Monique threw herself into her mom’s arms and sobbed. She cried out of sadness for thinking the worst of her mom and out of happiness that she was wrong. This was the best possible outcome. The best end of an era of hopelessness. The best beginning of the rest of her life.

Reading Does A Body Good

One of the things I hear most often when talking about books is, “I don’t have time to read.” I know for some people, this is legitimate, but I also know that you make time for the things you enjoy.

Television, movies, and video games are some things people love to do to unwind. I know I love all three, but there is one thing all of those have in common: noise.

We are constantly bombarded with noise. Phones ringing, notifying, and alerting, computers bonging errors and telling us our coworkers need to interrupt our productiveness with ANOTHER meeting, doors being knocked, and bells being rung.

I challenge you to take 15 minutes, just 15 minutes, of your 24-hour day and read something in silence. Let your stress level drop and your blood pressure decrease. I bet you’ll feel a bit better when you do.


Today went really well! Looking forward to returning to the Angelina County Farmers Market next on May 6!

Combating Imposter Syndrome with Glitter

Do you know the best way to combat imposter syndrome? Being unapologetically yourself. I know this might seem small to some of you, but I used to rock glitter all the time, but since moving to Texas, I’ve kept it neatly put away with my cosmetics.

I’m always the one to encourage people to be themselves, but I felt maybe the glitter might make people judge me as immature or something. It’s been a while since I’ve been new somewhere. I think I reverted back to when I was a kid moving around and adapting to blend in with the people around me.

Perhaps getting a signing scheduled sparked that age-old imposter syndrome. If you don’t know what that is, it means you’re successful and people like you, but you feel like you don’t actually deserve it. You feel like a fake; like your success is a fluke and maybe those people talk about you behind your back.

So here I am, getting ready to sell and sign my books this Saturday and I’m getting all those thoughts. “You haven’t written anything in three years. Can you still call yourself an author?” “No one wants to read an independently published author, especially you.” “Your stories aren’t that great. People are just being nice when they say they are.”

And I look in my cosmetics box and my eyes zip to the glitter. It would be easy to put it on if I had nowhere to go, but I am going out this evening to church. I waffled, then, with quivering hands, applied the glitter primer and glitter… And immediately felt awesome.

Am I still having doubts? Of course! I’m only human after all. But I do feel better… And sparkly.

First Event In Texas

It has been a hot minute, y’all, but I’m finally doing my first signing/selling here in Texas! On Saturday, April 1, 2023, I will be at the Angelina County Farmers Market from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM. I’m very excited to meet new readers here in Lone Star State that I have called home for a little more than a year now. Have a blessed day!

Last Event in Washington State

Hello everyone! This Thursday, September 30, 2021, the Snohomish Farmers Market will be my very last event in Washington state. My family will be moving out-of-state by mid-November. I have copies of all my books available and I will be signing. I’ll be there from 3-7.

Celebratory Kazoo Sounds

I am VERY excited to announce that I will be selling my books at the Just Between Friends event at the Pickering Barn in Issaquah, WA on April 9-10. The event is actually from April 8-11, but I will only be there Friday and Saturday. I will have Anomalous for sale along with all my other books. Extraordinary won’t be available in person until I start selling at the Snohomish Farmers Market this summer.

Extraordinary Is On The Way!

I finished writing Extraordinary (Hope in Concordia Book 2) on Friday. I will spend the next couple weeks editing, then will send it out to my Beta Readers. I’m looking at the beginning of May for publication. I hope the conclusion of Snowdrop’s story meets your expectations.

RIP Small Business Saturday

This time last year, I was selling my independently-published books at an event for Small Business Saturday. People came in droves to support local businesses; to keep our small town’s economy running.

This year, Inslee has banned such events from happening. I did three farmers markets this year, but every other event I had on my calendar was canceled.

How do you think your town’s small businesses are doing? I encourage all of you to do what you can for your small businesses today. If they’re open, go. If they’re closed, order on their website. If they don’t have a website, call and see if you can arrange an order and a pick up. We can’t let the lock downs kill our economies.