Saturday, May 26, 2012


Cousin Mark asked on face book todayfor details about my writing. If I had normal technology skills and hadn't gotten my computer skills from my studies of the 12 th century, I could probably figure out how to answer him privately...
     My confession is that I am a technology moron. That's MORON, not mmormon. Mormon's are actually quite proficient on the computer, the missionaries use facebook and texting and lots of skills I do not have a firm grip on. Therefore, and to that end, I will tell my story and Hope it finds Mark McDonald's page or wall or whatever it's called.
     I have been a writer since I could write, but I have only started learning how to be a good writer over the last few years. I took creative writing classes, entered minor writing competitions, and practiced most of my life. Three years ago, July, I was on kidney dialysis. It took three hours a day, every other day, week in and week out for over two years. July began to mark the end of this challenge in our lives, when an overdose of a certain medication stopped my heart. I was a little over a month away from a kidney transplant, and it looked as if I wasn't going to live long enough to recieve my older brother's selfless gift. Through intelligent doctors, blessings, and the grace of God, they discovered the problem and I recieved the transplant.
     As my body healed and I fought to reclaim my strength, I discovered a wealth of life, energy and desire for more than just to survive. I wanted to write. I dreamed that if I worked hard enough, accepted critisism, and learned how to do it well, I could get published.
     I took night classes at the college, I got a working computer and a speech program so I could hear what I was typing. I took all the criticism, help, love and belief I could get along the way. My sister Kamarie was my best cheerleader, my friend Virginia Grenier taught me more about how to not just write but write well, and  my dear friend Alyssa Shrout, a woman who is ten times the writer I will ever be, took all of my matter unorganized and helped me make it sound pretty.
     I actually have five manuscripts, a whole list of book outlines and the beginnings of at least two other books, all poking at me to do them justice. For right now though: I have had a manuscript contracted for publication through Crimson Romance.
     The working title of the book is "Killing Casanova" and I am in editing currently. It is on track to be released as an e-book throu amazon,, i-tunes and other e-book distributors on July 23.
     June 4 is the launch of e-book's and you can find book covers, titles, and author names at the links listed in my first blog post.
     Mark if I missed anything you asked about, get my e-mail from Cindy, I'd love to hear from you and find out about the family.
     I told my husband tonight: writing is easy, its writing well that's hard work. I hope I'm working hard enough. Let me know.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In the heart lies deep and tangled places. Places for fear, places for hope. Places for triumph and places for failure. Winding tenuous ties amongst the tortured brambles of this landscape are the seedlings of a dream. True courage is not to long for ease and comfort. For it is the choking mass of fear and doubt that gives a dream great strength. Forging through the forest of failure brings that dream to life, until the heart becomes too full to hold the dream inside.
     These wonderful ladies have cultivated a dream into a reality and now it lives beyond the heart. Find their book titles and names at beginning July 2, and everyone keep your dreams reaching for the light.
Sweet Revenge by Kay Rogal
Best Laid Plans by Elizabeth Palmer (you know her as Betsi Palmer)
The Reluctant Debutante by Becky Lower
Looking for Prince Charming by Iris Leach
Love, Eternally by Morgan O'Neill (the lovely author team you know as Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O'Neill Cordes)

Monday, May 21, 2012

 I spent the last three days with a group of highly talented, powerful, kind and successful blind people at the Utah State Convention for The National Federation of The Blind. Notice the particular wording 'of' in that title. 'of' The Blind. They are a group of blind individuals working for and in behalf of the blind. I was extremely impressed with their programs in Braille, mobility, technology and independence for blind kids. They have started a program here in the State of Utah called Project Strive.  This wonderful program empowers teenagers with the skills, training, confidence, and education they need to go to college, be employed, and compete in the workplace with sighted individuals. These kids are amazing, not because they are blind, but because they are intelligent, motivated, and talented kids. Studying nursing, computer engineering, and a myriad of other careers. The NFB does great workfor and  with the blind all across the country and I learned a lot. One of the things I learned about was a company called
Blio is a company that markets e-books along with voices to read them aloud. If any one out there is interested in e-books that can be read to you aloud, go check out blioreader or meetblio to learn more. The trip was a rough ride but I met alot of interesting characters I will have to tell you about, one of these days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My youngest went on a field trip this morning and.the parents who chaperoned were car pooling. Luckily for me, they had plenty of chaperon., not only are my supervision skills more like sheep herding, but my car pooling abilities are sorely lacking.
     I wish I could tell you that is all totally due to the blindness, but the truth is I drove like a drunk Apache when I could see. My High School principal asks me whenever he sees me if I have finally learned to drive.
     I did learn to drive when I was in High School, from my older brother. His gentle teaching and coaching resulted in the two of us nearly  end up in a canal because I didn't know how to brake while down shifting a manual transmission.(Some of you are old enough to know how to drive a stick, right?)
     I was a hit, literally, in New York City. I drove like all the yellow cab drivers in Manhattan. We understood each other and learned that road rage in New York just means "Good Morning" in Manhattan-ese.
     I do miss driving, I even remember the last time I drove, and it was rather shocking for my entire small town.
     Six months after my husband and I were married, I drove for the last time. I was partially sighted then, I could see, light, some colors, and movement if it were close enough to me.I didn't have a driver's license and I didn't attempt  driving, because somewhere in my mind I knew there was no good reason for me to try. That was my problem, all I needed was a good reason, and that Sunday evening I was sure I had one.
 I lost my father to a series of heart attacks when I was 17 years old. For nearly a decade I had missed out on the celebration of Father's Day.
     This year I finally had a Father-in-law, who loved and requested my chocolate chip cookies. I carefully baked two dozen golden brown chocolate delights and packed them lovingly into a special cookie jar I bought just for the occasion. My husband, bless his heart, (you have to say that before you throw them under the bus) took a Sunday afternoon nap.
Now for most people a nap is not an unconquerable obstacle, but with my husband, waking him up before he wants to wake up is impossible. I would have made more progress with a corpse.
     As the sun sank lower and lower in the western sky, what little light I could use was quickly vanishing into the fast approaching night. If I was going to  get the cookies delivered,  I was going to have to do it now, and on my own..As I futilely searched for my shoes, I  made up my mind that if I focused on the color of the car in front of me, and followed my mental map, I could at least get myself there, and I would worry about how to get back later. Grabbing the car keys, but giving up on finding my shoes, I climbed barefoot into our car..Focusing my will if not my eyes, I started out.  The route was fairly direct: pull out of the drive, head south until cars were moving east and west in front of me, turn right and drive west until I had to stop for a traffic light. This is where it got a little sticky. I couldn't see well enough to tell what color the traffic lights were, or whether or not I could squeeze into on coming traffic. I tucked this piece of information into the back of my mind and decided to burn that bridge when I got to it.
     From that point it was a straight shot north, to another major intersection, and then west again to the small town in which my in laws resided.
     In my limited capacity to grasp my own stupidity and reckless determination, I missed the lurking dangers and tragedies that surely waited for me as I set out on this trip. Maybe because it was Father's Day, and my own Father's soul couldn't watch me kill or maim some one else in his name. Maybe because God loves a faithful, all be it idiotic heart, or Maybe because the entire county numbers less than 100,000 people who were all safely holed up with their own fathers, my crazy plan actually worked.
     A white car just happened to pull out in front of me and miraculously lead me through out the course I had prearranged.(And some people don't believe in divine intervention) My problems, interestingly enough were now beginning.
     There are two churches with steeples in my in-laws little town, one on the corner of the road that turned into town, and the other coincidentally, across the street from my goal. As the sun settled into the red rock hills the sky was lit like a blood red candle, and the outline of these steeples was a stark contrast against the evenings blaze. I was home free. Locating the spire of that first church was like a neon sign in my heart. I turned right on the correct road and began searching the skyline for the second spire
Now, imagine in your mind what a mostly blind person, driving, and not watching the road must look like driving down a road. (You should be forming the image of that drunk Apache). In this rural small town the shoulders of the roads are gravel in some places, pot holes and ditches in others, and occasionally widen out to meet up with curbs and gutters. So, with my limited sight searching for a church steeple, my car  swerving on and off the shoulder of the sometimes wide and sometimes narrow road. Some terrified little old lady, or concerned citizen took down my license plate number at this point, and called me in as a drunk driver.
By then,I was probably a grand total of three blocks from my destination, which just so happened to be located almost directly across the road from the police and fire department. Yet, I was still able to  drive around in circles for another 15 minutes before I parked in front of what I believed was my in-laws home..I was so relieved and proud that I had made it, I failed to notice the police cruiser pulling up beside me.
     I am a very small person. about five feet tall, and a hundred pound soaking wet. I probably looked to this officer like I was a teenager joy riding and I'm certain he had every intention of delivering a sobriety test and impounding my vehicle. I opened the car door to explain my monumental accomplishment to him at which point he noticed that I was not wearing shoes.
     "Where are your shoes, miss?," he asked me, glaring at my  toes. "Let me see your driver's license."
I can only imagine the look on his face as I explained: I didn't have a driver's license, Was  blind and that was also the reason I couldn't find my shoes. I took the cookie jar from the seat beside me and explained my reasoning in making the trip. The more I explained myself, the more the words rang in my own ears and i began to cry.
     My in-laws; father-in-law, mother-in-law, two brothers-in-law, three sisters-in-law, and a couple of nieces and nephews, are all lined up in front of the large picture window that looks out onto the drive. As they watch my interrogation, they think my husband has been pulled over for speeding and has run off and left me to face the cops alone. The police officer leads me from the car up to the front door, assuring me that he understands and that he just can't have me operating a motor vehicle. When my father-in-law answers his door, and the officer explains about the cookies, handing both me and the jar over to him, we both end up in tears.
     "I think that's the best father's day gift I've ever been given," he tells me later.

     No one got arrested or impounded and better still, no one was hurt or killed. When my husband was called and told to pick up his wife and his car nine miles away, he thought they were kidding. Truthfully the only time I was really afraid I had blown it was when he showed up. My husband is the epitome of the strong, silent type. When he came for me and his car that day he was, frightfully quiet and I was sure I would never be forgiven. Instead he took me to Denny's, bought me a milkshake and french fries and asked me if I was Okay. He wasn't mad, he said. Only frightened, I could have been killed over those cookies and he said he was sorry I thought I had to take that chance.
     It wasn't so much the driving I remember about that day, it was my acceptance of the fact that I would never drive again.  It was also the baptism by fire my husband received. I am not the kind of woman who accepts that there things I can't do. My poor husband got his first taste that night, of what a ride we were on.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The first question most people ask me, if they dare to ask;Have you always been blind?
 This question is quickly followed up with: How did you go blind and How blind are you? I thought perhaps I should give a little background on the blind thing and save those of you who want to know the awkwardness of wondering whether or not its Okay to ask. It is by  the way, and its even alright to laugh at some of the crazy things I do. If we can't laugh at ourselves what's the point of having crazy experiences. Besides its great fodder for a writer's mind.
When I was 21 I came home to small town southern Utah from my work in New York City. I loved the city and the movement and energy it held. However, the year and a half I spent there had been emotionally as well as physically difficult and the quiet creosote and cactus of the desert soothed me. I had a good friend who was moving to Canada and I spent a good deal of time with him and his family before he left. We climbed all over the hills and peaks that we in the desert call mountains, even though they are nothing but the embarassing step sisters to The Appalacians, or The Rockies.
On one of these hikes we were climbing up a steep embankment of rocks and boulders and I began noticing; As long as we were going up, I could see where I was going. As soon as there was a drop off, or an incline I would fall. The contours of the rocks, the ground, and the dropoffs looked to me as if they were flat.
This sort of realization probably should have terrified me if I had given it a spot in my mind to roost. Unfortunately for both me and my eyesight, my friend got tired of watching me fall all over myself down the canyon, so he held my hand for the rest of the trip. Stupid I know, getting distracted from blindness just because I was holding hands with the most beautiful boy I had ever seen, but completely true. He was hot, andit didn't matter to me that we were  friends, or him moving or whatever else was going on. Hindsight for me, is the only sight I have left and now, it seems ridiculous to me that I could ever have been that blind to what I should have been seeing. Blindness of the mind and heart is so much more tragic than the loss of one's eye sight and stupid or immature as it was, I forgot all about my loss of depth perception.
 It would get worse, much worse. My sight began to deteriorate rapidly and with in two years I had gone from loss of depth perception, to black streaks across my sight. From blurry vision and difficulty reading street signs, to the day I sat and watched as my right eye filled with blood and my entire right side turned to darkness.
Surgeries followed, Lazer treatments on my left eye and eventually the removal of my right eye completely. Now I also have a cataract on my one remaining eye, and Glaucoma. I have a little light perception, but I see nothing.
The great part about it is; my world is a beautiful place. No one is fat, or ugly. Your house is always clean, your clothes are always in fashion and no matter how you look in the mirror, to me, you are always 21 and beautiful.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

 I spent most of the day today learning how to work track changes for editing on my speech program. It was actually worse than it sounds. I figured it out after silent cursings and hands fulls of hair being pulled out. Just kidding, I don't have thick enough hair to waste any on my computer struggles. Now that I can use track changes though, the editing process on my manuscript might go faster. I wish I knew when it would be available and even for certain what title someone could find it under, but for right now, the tentative title is Killing Casanova, and the publish date will be posted as soon as I know it. Thanks for all the kind words and your support. Keep watching for more and I will keep trying this social media thing.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"I am a dot, a blot, a dollop of light up on the vast nothingness of time. A single break in the fabric of darkness makes a spark, smolders to an ember, and bursts into flame.  Cast your splot into the blank and empty sky and watch as it burns back the fringes of the night."Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My brain is going to explode if I spend anymore time in the virtual world so I will be quick today. You thought I was kidding about my writing being blind but have you seen the gibberish on my facebook page. I better clear up that it's just a typing and not an author thing. I would like to inytroduce you to Casanova, the leading man from my soon to be published e-book tentatively titled Killing Casanova.
     The contrast of his darkly tanned throat was startling against the deeper velvet of stubble grazing his clefted chin  and square  jaw. Jana forgot what she was saying to Miriam as his azure eyes twinkled in the light of the doorway. Jaked raked his long fingers through the dark tangle of curls falling across his brow and turned the corner of his lips up in one of his brilliant smiles. Jana had thought his eyes were blue before, but when he looked at her like that, raw predatory hunger in that smile she couldn't find words to describe their depths.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SO excited to try blogging blind! I'm just learning about the blog world and Facebook and twitter and the rest of the technological world. Can't wait to make new friends.
I've accidentally run into the closet door three times today because I'm so distracted by everything new in my life. One of those new things is I have been accepted as part of the author lineup for Crimson Romance, affiliated with Adams Media, which is launching this June! Keep an eye out for my book...I'll have more information for you later. In the meantime, check out Crimson Romance on Pinterest and like the Crimson Romance page on Facebook.
For those of you who are writers, Crimson Romance seeks smart, heart-warming romances for sophisticated readers. Check them out at
I look forward to hearing from all of you out there, post me a line! Help a blind lady learn to blog!