• Tall, black mug with white lettering: If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right. Liveoutlaw.com. A black iced bat sugar cookie is propped against it on a wood kitchen counter.

    I call him Chia (sung to the tune of Flipper)

    I’ve had a few readers ask why I call my younger son Chia. This post is for you all. It’s also for those who love nicknames and have children who’ve tried to thwart you, lol. If you have a child; have helped raise one; or teach them–you’ve been thwarted. 😉☺️ It all started long ago, when my younger son decided that he didn’t like having his hair cut. Both he and his brother have epic hair–it’s thick and curly and I tended to have the barbers and stylists leave it a little bit on the longer side of a short haircut. It’s funny because Monkey (what I call my older…

  • She said what? She’s dead to me.

    There we were, in the middle of a meeting, discussing a controversial person. It’s the usual back and forth and talking over each other when I hear the words: She’s dead to me. Those words cut through the noise as my head turned toward the speaker. It wasn’t the outspoken person. Nor was it the angry person. It was the nicest person in the room who quietly said that. Honestly, if we voted on it she’d probably win the title of One most likely to be kind. Yup. She was soft spoken, nice to everyone, and even tempered, yet she spoke with no irony. Funny thing is, I can’t remember…

  • happy smiley with many sad smilies

    Celebrate National Emoji Day (July 17th) For the Win!

    It’s National Emoji Day on July 17th! Emojis make me deliriously happy. So much so that when I was having Newsletter plugin issues on my website, my friend helped me fix them instead of watching me omit them from my newsletter. This was the awakening that I really could not live without my little cartoony friends. Reluctantly, I was willing to “let them go.” However, my friend was persistent, “But you LOVE emojis! Let’s fix this.” It was the weirdest glitch but she worked diligently with the developers in Italy to get it straightened out–it sucked up a lot of her valuable time. I’m grateful for her insistence and help–as…

  • A Hail Mary and the Gun That Never Was

    I get asked this question a lot: Why Westerns? That’s a darned good question that has an ironic answer woven into its fabric. Short answer: I took a class and came up with the idea there; hint: there was a gun involved. A couple of years ago, one of the writers from my accountability group suggested a class called The Fearless Writer, taught by Laura Baker, and a handful of us took it with her. Honestly, my expectations for myself were low at that moment in time. I didn’t have much to lose and a whole lot to gain as I was in a stagnant place. The class had a…

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