WoD Wednesday: Carpaccio

Carpaccio: noun: thinly sliced raw meat or fish served with a sauce often used postpositively

My headband is soaked with sweat. I’m glad I’m wearing it. Chef is so particular about things and has assigned me the task of cutting the steak for the carpaccio.

Today, it seems like everything I do is wrong. The pasta was cooked, but overdone. The marinara tasted good to me, but I apparently forgot the oregano. I hope it doesn’t cause me to lose my job.

Honestly, I’m usually very dependable. I’ve been working at Olivia’s Ristorante for nine months and have never had a day like this. Something is off in me today, and I know what it is.

Eric, my five-year-old son, had a rough night. He’s caught some bug from school that caused him to vomit in his bed. Then, he threw up on the carpet on the way to the bathroom. After an hour, and setting a large bowl next to him just-in-case, I finally got back to bed at 2:00 AM. Who can get back to sleep when all that just happened? Not me. I ended up tossing and turning for the rest of the night. Motherhood is such a glamorous life.

Now this happens. Is Chef trying to find a way to get me fired? I thought he liked me, but he’s been so upset with me all day, albeit understandably.

Eyeballing the expensive slab of steak, I select the sharpest knife I can find. I have to get this right. I try to bring my hand up to cut it, but it’s shaky.

“What’s wrong with you today, Ellen?” I jump and toss the knife on the counter in shock when Chef speaks from behind me. “You don’t normally have the problems you’re having today.”

I turn around to face him. He no longer looks mad, but concerned. Perhaps he doesn’t want to fire me. That’s a relief.

“I just have some things going on at home.” I doubt he wants to hear the details of my son’s projectile vomiting last night.

Chef’s brows furrow. “You have a small son at home, right? Is he okay?”

In contrast, my brows lift to my hairline. He’s paid enough attention to know I have a son? There are fifteen other sous chefs in this busy kitchen. There’s hardly time to converse between everything we do. Wiping the shock from my face, I respond.

“Actually, he’s sick. Picked up something from a kid in his kindergarten class and had to stay home today.”

“I assume your husband stayed with him.”

“No husband. My mother has him.”

Chef studies me a bit, then nods to himself. “Take the rest of the day off. I’ll make sure you’re paid. You have been a steady presence in my kitchen, and family comes first.”

Without another word, he walks away. Not believing what just happened, I stare at his back until he turns a corner. After blinking a few times, I remove my apron, and head out the door to take care of Eric.


Topic Tuesday: Hate

I really hate to hate someone. It actually takes quite a lot to get me to that point. Not only that, but hate does nothing to hurt the other person, it only eats at you until your hate has consumed so much of you, it alters who you are. Pretty soon, the hate of one person leads to the hate of someone else, which leads to the hate of someone else, and so on. You’re the one unhappy and suffering, while the other person is living on with their lives. Next thing you know, Anakin Skywalker has turned into Darth Vader, a completely different person than the annoying little kid with a podracer.

When I feel like I’m going in that direction, I take a few deep breaths and consider all these things. Do I really want to waste my time, my life on something as negative and poisonous as hate? No. There are much better things to do with my life.

What about you? How do you handle it when the temptation of hate enters into the fray?

Anakin Hate

Flack Friday: Espionage Cosmetics

Flack Friday! “Flack” was the word of the day on my calendar recently. It means “to provide publicity.” For the revamp of my blog, I decided to make Fridays the days that I tell you about a company or product I like to purchase or an author I like to read.

Today, I would like to introduce you to Espionage Cosmetics. They are a geek company located in Tacoma, but booming on the internet. At Emerald City Comicon a few years ago, I happened upon their little (at the time) booth and immediately fell in love with the business. Now, they are all over the place, featured on beauty and geek blogs alike, and their booth isn’t quite so little anymore.

While they gear to chic geeks, all of their products are beautiful. They have pressed color powders, lip blushes, other miscellaneous things that are being added all the time, but their name-to-fame are their NailedIt! nail wraps. If you know me at all personally, you know I’m obsessed with my nerd manicures. They are easy to apply and last for a really long time. Really. The only reason I change them is because I want a new style or my nails have grown out and they look a little silly with only part of my nail covered.

Customer service is unmatched with anyone else I’ve ever worked with in any industry. They care about their clients and frequent their social media with responses to many comments on their posts.

All that leads me to say that I highly recommend Espionage Cosmetics. If you love makeup and nails, this is the place to be. Click on their logo below to explore the glitterly geeky awesome sauce that is Espionage Cosmetics.

Espionage Logo


Thankful Thursday: Nick Hauenstein

Thankful Thursday. Since this is the first Thankful Thursday, I want to first and foremost thank my wonderful husband, Nick Hauenstein. He’s amazing. When I wrote late into the night, he was understanding. When I was down about low sales, he was encouraging. When I had writer’s block and having a mental breakdown, he brought me chocolate. Thank you, honey for being wonderful.

MVP Pics

WotD Wednesday: Miasma

Word of the Day Wednesday: Where I take the word of the day from my calendar and create a Concise Creation (Poem, Song, Flash Fiction, True Story) based off of it.

Today’s Word: Miasma-1. A vaporous exhalation or emanation 2. An atmosphere that depletes, corrupts, or obscures

Though the path before me is straight,
A miasma of doubt obscures my vision.
To my left is temptation.
To my right is pride.
Ahead of me is sacrifice of everything I am
But the reward is everything good and whole.

Temptation to gossip about the fools around me.
Temptation to judge based on appearances.
Temptation to speak the evil my tongue wishes to unleash.

Pride in my abilities and intelligence.
Pride that I do the right thing.
Pride that I would never do what they do.

Sacrifice my selfish constitutions.
Sacrifice the feckless notion that I can do no wrong.
Sacrifice the pedestal I have placed myself upon.

Ahead is freedom.
Ahead is love.
Ahead is peace.

The miasma clears.
I no longer have doubt about what I need to do.

Miasma photo

Meme Monday: Doctor Bartholomew

Meme Monday! When I came up with the character of Doctor Bartholomew, I pictured David Tennant in glasses. Bartholomew’s a bit eccentric, but his heart is in the right place, even if he is a bit socially awkward. How did you picture Doctor Bartholomew when you read him?



Delaying Found

As I said yesterday, I’ve been in a writing desert for the last several months. What does that mean to you, dear readers? I know you’re on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next installment of the Faith in Concordia series, but I will not be able to hit my deadline of July 13. I have decided to push the release date out to August 17 and I am confident I can make that deadline.


Yesterday, I pounded out nearly 4,100 words, and I intend on putting my butt in my chair everyday to get this finished for you. I’m very sorry, but life got in the way, as it does with us mere mortals. I hope you still look forward to reading Found when it comes out in August.
I'm sorry


Hey everyone! I just got back from a writers conference over the weekend and am feeling refreshed and ready for the world. As some of you may know, my mother, the inspiration behind the Rose of Petrichoria series, passed away November 27. I went into a funk that I just couldn’t pull out of. Stopped writing, even though I should have been working on Found, the second book in the Faith in Concordia series. My launches for the last few books have been pretty lackadaisical and I’ll straight up admit why to you.

The Rose of Petrichoria hasn’t been selling well. Once someone reads it, they love it, but I haven’t been successful at all at getting it into the hands of readers. When Mom died and my sales continued to do poorly, I just felt like I failed her. I know, and knew, it wasn’t true, but my heart was broken and it tends to lead the way most times for me.

I went to the Northwest Christian Writers Association’s Writers Renewal conference empty, but left feeling encouraged by our speaker, Rachel Hauck (author of Once Upon A Prince), and inspired by the workshops I attended. This leads me into a few favors I have for you, my amazing readers.

Have you read Forgotten? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s only $.99 cents now, so click on over to go get it. If so, I have 3 requests. First, review! At Writers Renewal, I learned that at 100 3+ star reviews, my book will become more visible on Amazon.

Second, send me any quotes or memorable scenes from the book. Has it been a while? I’d be eternally grateful if you reread it (even if it’s a speed-read) to see if you can find anything. I have a few marketing ideas that would benefit from having some pull-quotes.

Finally, please share! I believe in my story and I know it has touched quite a few of you. I would love it if you could share the link to Forgotten on your social media.

Thanks for all your support!