Blog Category: This & That


It's refreshing to realize that I actually REALLY, REALLY, REALLY love what I do.

As I've gotten older, I've come to deeply appreciate the day in, day out routine of work and family.

I enjoy beach vacations, of course. But I've learned something about myself: I'm more content sitting at my computer crafting stories than I am most anywhere else in the world. 

This used to be a problem, because with such a focused work ethic, I often felt I lacked the ability to appreciate the little things in life—the things I took time to notice only on vacation.

But then, slowly, over the course of many years, I learned that such an appreciation doesn't come by traveling to a distant location. It comes from being present right where I am, no matter where that is.

I've learned I can enjoy the beautiful sunsets while sitting in the park across the street from my house, just as much as I enjoy the sunsets on the beach 1200 miles away. I've learned I can harness the peace that the sunset brings—that I can really absorb it and let it impact me, right outside my front door.

I can enjoy a deep conversation with a friend right in the middle of a crazy book deadline, or embrace dinner with my family at the end of the busiest day of the month. 

I challenge myself to focus on PRESENCE, everywhere I go, no matter what I'm engaged in at that moment. When I do this, joy from the daily routine starts to feel hauntingly similar to that delicious "vacation" feeling.

Does this mean I'm growing up? Perhaps growing wiser?

If so, then I guess growing up is a beautiful thing.

xxheidi



If my computer had human eyes (don't make me think about that too long—I might come up with another book premise), then my computer would be sick of my face, because I have been staring at it. 

A lot. 

A whole, whole lot.

This is what I look like to my computer: 

Or, would a computer's eyes be color blind?

It doesn't matter.

I am deep in the cave of a writing project.

I probably need to get back to work.

If you're on my email list, then I sent you a picture several months ago—a hint about my current work in progress. (A delicious YA fantasy.)

So back at it!

Hope your summer is full of sunshine!

xxheidi



At a writer's retreat in TN this past week, I met a lovely English woman (who now lives in Texas), and her mum recently passed away. They held a funeral service for her mother, and it happened to be on this past Tuesday the 10th, the 4th anniversary of my own mother's passing.

All that to say, this lovely English lady emailed me a poem that was read at her mother's funeral, and I thought it was so, so good.

I thought some of you would appreciate it, if you have lost someone you love.

xxheidi
 

Let Us Be Contented, By Winston Churchill

Let us be contented with what has happened and be thankful for all that we have been spared.

Let us accept the natural order of things in which we move.

Let us reconcile ourselves to the mysterious rhythm of our destinies, such as they must be in this world of space and time.

Let us treasure our joys but not bewail our sorrows.

The glory of light cannot exist without its shadows.

Life is a whole, and good and ill must be accepted together.

The journey has been enjoyable and well worth making-----once.



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.