Blog Category: This & That


If you know me very well, you know I'm not one for small talk. 

Nope, no small talk here. Can we please get straight to the heart of our lives? Can we talk about what matters?

I long for this in my relationships with other human beings. I think we all do, if we let ourselves be vulnerable enough to recognize it. 

And this fact about myself is probably why I fell in LOVE with one of the songs on Andy Grammer's new album. (He's an amazing artist and I resonate with so much of his work.) 

You must go and listen to his song, The Good Parts. 

Here are the lyrics: 

I'm sorry if I seem impatient
I'm not a fan of pleasantries
I get bored with the weather and what's in the news
The topics we all hide beneath
I could not care less about your day job
The gossip or ordinary stress
See, every relationship I've ever loved
It starts when someone says:
Show me where it hurts. Give me something real.
Lead me to the part of you that never really heals.
Say the words that burn when they leave your mouth
Tell me your story ... but don't leave the good parts out.


Tell me all about your failures
The little things that make you cry
Tell me the acts that you preach but cannot seem to practice
That leave you compromised.
Show me where it hurts. Give me something real
Lead me to the part of you that never really heals
Say the words that burn when they leave your mouth
Tell me your story ... but don't leave the good parts out.

The song goes on from there, and it's fantastic. Please go listen to it right now. When I heard it for the first time, it felt like Andy Grammer had gone into my headspace and read my mind.

(He also has another great song on his new album called Civil War ... and I loved 85 as well ...)

I hope the end of January is unfolding beautifully for you!

all my love,

xxheidi



This little grammar book is entertaining me again. How is it possible?

The writing nuggets draw me in, every time. 

Last night, I sat fireside (during an unusually cold, three degree Fahrenheit evening in Arkansas) and read a most helpful reminder, found on page twenty-one: 

"If those who have studied the art of writing are in accord on any one point, it is this: the surest way to arouse and hold the reader's attention is by being specific, definite, and concrete. The greatest writers—Homer, Dante, Shakespeare—are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report the details that matter. Their words call up pictures."

Yes.

When I write, please help me to do this.

Now ... back at it! (Back to my writing, that is...)

Hugs to all, 

xxheidi

P.S. The Mod Code book #3, The Lost Lineage, releases in less than one month! (Feb. 14th, 2018!)

Get ready!!!!



Hello Readers and Friends,

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a blessed December, and a Happy 2018.

Keep doing whatever awesome things you're doing, and I'll keep doing the same.

I'm excited to share more delicious stories with you in the coming year.

In the meantime, savor your family and friends, and soak up the precious memories made over the next few weeks.

Life's a gift!

love and hugs to all,

xxheidi



My dad loves buffalo. He loves the Kansas plains where he grew up, and he has a sacred respect for the flatlands. And boy, does he love those bison. 

His office is covered in buffalo paraphernalia. Some that's pretty cool stuff, actually.

Dad went so far as to register the license plate "BUFFALO" with the Kansas State Department of Motor Vehicles and drove around in his pickup truck for at least a decade with the license plate "BUFFALO" proudly displayed.

So, the other day, I found a buffalo sweater: 

It's geeky. And warm. And I bought it in tribute of my dad. It's officially become my "writing" sweater. Meaning, it hangs on the back of my writing chair, and when I get cold while typing, I wear it. 

And somehow, I feel more "at home" in the buffalo sweater, because, well, I think that's just what heritage does.

My dad loves Kansas, and I love Kansas because he taught me how.

The Kansas plains—and buffalo—will always have a special place in my heart. 

Do you have a "buffalo sweater"? Something that makes you warm and cozy and think of good people that came to this earth before you?

Hope you're having a Happy Thursday everybody!

xxheidi 

p.s. Mod Code Book #3 COMING SOON (Feb. 2018)!! 



My husband sent me a text on Saturday while I was at a conference:

 



When I’m done with my writing day (which is every day), I do other things.

Like help my daughter study multiplication tables.

Or drive my son to football practice.

Or run to the post office for my husband.

Or take walks.

Or make delicious concoctions for dinner—last night we had sautéed onion and broccoli, mixed with deer meat and chunks of avocado. It sounds … strange. And tastes … really good.

I also read lots of books.

Because when I study the way authors write their fiction books, or read books on the craft of writing, or dive into non-fiction books on personal growth and development, or pour over scripture that will feed my soul, I become a better person, and a better writer.

So, that’s pretty much my life in seven short paragraphs.

And I don’t have time to write much more write now, because I’m WRITING A BOOK FOR YOU, for pete’s sake.

Book 3 in The Mod Code Series will come out February 2018 … so it’s back to my manuscript.

Sending you big virtual hugs on the coldest day of our Arkansas autumn so far … 51 degrees Fahrenheit. (I pulled out my space heater today and set it up by my computer. The ushering in of the cold has officially begun. Excessively hot showers will be part of my life for a handful of months.)

Hope you are well, and happy, and enjoying this beautiful life.

xxheidi

p.s.

About the picture.

I think this is what I look like when I'm deep in thought. But I wouldn't really know, because when I'm deep in thought, I'm not really thinking about what I look like. I'm thinking about deeper things. Like "Why did God really put us here on this planet?" And "Where do we actually go when we die?" Don't worry. I'll add these in my books somewhere. And if you think about these things too, then we should hang out more. Seriously. 



The Bookbub sale is officially over. You can go here to visit The Mod Code Series official site.



On a bench.

Reading Oliver Twist.

That is all.



Super Mom Monday

I have to share, because I know you--as a writer, or reader, or both--will appreciate it.

This is my second-grade daughter, called downstairs for dinner but unable to put down her book. She wouldn't even look up for the picture:

Please note, she's AT THE END. As we all know, this is an impossible place to stop reading, especially if the book is delicious. And, as it turns out, this book is delicious. She's reading one of my childhood favorites, Mandy, by Julie Andrews. (A little girl's perfect book.)

You guys. 

You have no idea how much much this picture touches my heart. To have my kids reading... and LOVING books ... it's ... it's .... Well, I'm at a loss for words. Is that legal, being a writer and all? (Especially when I exclaim to my husband on a regular basis "WORDS ARE MY THING!") At any rate, I'll leave it at that for now.

Hope you're all having a fantastic Monday! 

xxheidi



As summer break transitions to the start of school, I can’t help but wonder if I lived the summer months well. Summer camps came and went, vacation with friends and extended family ended. All reside as fond memories in my mind, and nothing else.

Two and a half months trickled by, one summer moment after another moved from the present “NOW,” to what we qualify as “the past.”

So ... did I live those moments well? Did I offer a full, loving representation of myself? Moment after moment, all summer long?

If I’m not careful, I realize that my present moments are being dominated by my habitual ways of thinking and acting, instead of the woman I’ve set out to be. There’s nothing easy or smooth about transitioning from who you are to who you want to be, because growth is challenging.

But it’s also worth it.

So, how do we make ourselves better people in order to make our NOW a better place?

Well, I’ve collected a list that I’ve been implementing into my own life through the summer. 

Here it is:

-Laugh out loud for no reason at all. Start laughing more throughout the day. (This gets me some crazy looks from my family, but usually they start to smile, and eventually find themselves joining me.)

-Breathe deeply throughout the day.

-Stamp out any single negative thought by replacing it with a positive one.

-See all challenges in life as an opportunity for growth.

-Respect your time. Say no, so you can say yes to what matters.

-Stand tall, hold yourself with confidence, smile.

-Care about others. Look them in the eyes and really LISTEN to them.

In order to let go of our habitual ways of living, and dive more fully into the NOW, we have to have a real picture of what LIVING in the present actually means.

Here is a paraphrased excerpt from Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and many other books. This is what he has to say about the present moment:

"We feel regrets about the past, but that past doesn’t exist except in our mind right now. We keep the regret alive with pictures we conjure up. We feel anxiety about the future, but that future doesn’t exist except in our mind right now. We keep the anxiety alive with the pictures we imagine. The present moment is not an abstract concept: time [any time outside of this moment] is the abstract concept. Only this moment exists. Everything else is part of the mind’s magic lantern show. Our physical bodies live in the present moment, and despite all of our minds' thoughts about mistakes in the past or anxiety about the future, only NOW exists."

It’s a beautiful thing, the present moment, if we let ourselves really feel it. I don’t want to miss my son’s joke, or my daughter’s smile, or the joy that comes from sitting across from my husband at the dinner table. These are life’s moments. This is what we have. This is now. This is life.

As we transition into autumn, I wish for you and your family the ability to tap into the NOW. I wish for you to BE in the present moment. I wish for you to feel fully alive. 

Many blessings and much love,

xxheidi