Author Archives: Pam

Thinking Out Loud (No Not the Ed Sheeran Song)


ed sheeran

(Sorry Ed. You have an awesome voice but this blog post is not about you.)

It’s been a very long time since I wrote a blog post. A thousand and one apologies. My excuse is that I have been swimming in the deepest, darkest ocean of full-time work, home repairs, huge writing projects, and sick pets.

Being at the bottom of the ocean for so long without the oxygen of free time and the life jacket of relaxing, I’ve found my writing very difficult. Blog post, fiction, anything.

Not that I would ever quit, but it has been more an overall sadness and lack of interest in everything. I began wondering if my dream would ever come true of being a full-time writer and being able to live on the income. Work has been…the polite word would be challenging, but a more accurate description would be the fifth level of Hades.

I think anyone who really loved the job would be able to deal with it better. But I don’t. I’m ambivalent at best. So when my boss acts like a 12-year-old kid, all I can think about is finding an escape. It’s also hard to work with people who do not understand dreamers. Most are lifers. All they want to achieve dwells in those dark, dank halls. The environment is stifling.

I’ve been thinking that the problem was with me. Shouldn’t I be able to handle everything? Shouldn’t I be able to work 50 hours, write two to three hours a day, and run a household by myself?

Other people did it.

Other people did it and published a book a month. I’m still struggling to finish the book I’ve been working on for almost two years. Maybe I’ve not been committed enough?

I’ve read a lot of biographies and listened to a ton of interviews with successful artists. A theme seemed to run through them. They had to choose art. They had to burn the boats and commit even if it meant absolute failure. And often it did, but they would brush off defeat and rise up even higher.

The job that keeps me fed with a roof over my head is slowly taking over my life. Slowly sapping my time, energy, and happiness. A quiet voice keeps telling me this is the final test. People like Ed Sheeran, Sting, Jim Carrey, Peter Dinklage, Misha Collins, had theses moments. And with a fiery passion, they pursued and achieved superstardom.

My logical side butts in here and says: But Joe Blow Actor and Wannabe Singer did, too. No one knows them. Will I end up homeless, friendless, destitute if I chose to cut the cord?

In a video by Jim Carrey  (it’s fantastic check it out) doing a graduation speech. He mentions how his father was a bookkeeper because it was practical and he encouraged his son to do the same. But his dad never was successful as a bookkeeper. He wasn’t even happy. So Jim’s advice was to follow your dreams.

In this advice, I found an acorn of something that gave me renewed hope. If I fail at writing at least, I’m spending most my time doing something I love. It’s not the end result that counts. As long as I’m making enough money to survive, then I will spend most of my time in a state of happiness. I don’t need to be a number one Amazon bestseller ( although that would be nice). I can work at the Dollar Store or McDonald’s and supplement my income. It all depends on my book sales.

After this realization, I felt as if I had finally seen a rescue ship on the horizon and that my volleyball and I might just be okay.

I don’t plan on quitting tomorrow…but soon. I have an exit strategy, and if things get too bad, I can pull the trigger any time. So until that glorious day, I’m going to continue to float and fight as I know my lifeboat is out there.

What’s up out there with YOU? Leave a comment if you ever left a soul-sucking job to chase your dreams? Do you want to?

p.s. I hope to be blogging more and posting snippets of my soon to be published books!  I will also be keeping you in the loop about how my epic battle against normalcy is coming and when book 2 in the Ionia Chroniclesis going to drop. Stay tuned!


115 days



122 120 115 days until the New Year. It still feels weird to be in 2016. Heck, it still feels weird to be in the 2000s. The world was supposed to end at the end of 1999 didn’t you know? (According to Prince who sadly won’t see the next New Year coming in.) Why am I suddenly fascinated by the passage of time? It’s not my birthday or January or exactly half way through the year when people usually realign their goals and notice the clock. It just hit like a wave that reached a bit further on the beach than expected. It caught me by surprise this unsettled feeling. This ticking of the clock.
We make excuses to ourselves. The ‘woe is me’ club. I have a kid going to college. I have a new job that’s sucking the very marrow out of my life. I have a daughter getting married and don’t get me started on all the house projects that are half done. I have many reason why I don’t have time to have big goals, and even if I do I can excuse myself from achieving them with very good reason.
But the key word in that sentence is EXCUSE.
Summer is over and autumn is coming then winter and the seasons roll on, the years roll on and unless we stop and say this is important. This moment is important. What we do right now is important. Then we lose it. We lose everything.
Because this is what my life is about. It’s about time and how you spend it.
Unless we stop and take a real intense look at our lives. We will wake up tomorrow wondering how did it get to be 2026. There will be the work and the grandkids and the never-ending chores. Life will never get truly less busy.
We need to learn to prioritize what gives our lives meaning and jam it full of all the good things. Make those hard decisions. Minute by minute. 122 120 115 days left of this year. What are you going to do with it?
(The time from conception until the birth of this blog post was 7 days. Tick tock)

Hakuna Matata

mufasaI love cartoons. I can be just as engaged with a cartoon as I can a real television show or movie. One of my favorites is the Lion King, and over the last month a quote from the movie has been resonating with me.

For those of you who have not seen the movie in a while or (gasp!) have never seen it at all here are some highlights (spoilers to follow). Believing he was the cause of his father’s death, young lion cub prince Simba runs away from home looking for a refuge. He runs across some new friends who introduce him to a hakuna matata way of life(it means no worries). All his basic needs are fulfilled, companionship, relative safety, food, but still something isn’t right. His best friend from childhood discovers his hiding place and tells him his homeland is in dire straits. She begs him to return and fight his uncle for the crown. He refuses, not ready to give up his cushy life, even though he is not completely satisfied.

A scene close to the end is what has been pestering me. Right after he refuses to return, Simba meets up with a spiritual representation of his dad, Mufasa.

Mufasa has to step in to remind Simba of what was really important. He will never be truly happy without being true to himself. He is a prince and has a duty to be king and protect his people.

“Remember who you are.”

The line keeps chasing around in my head.

Of late, I got a new job. It’s a pretty good job, a lot of responsibility, a decent amount of money, but it takes up (forgive the pun) a lion’s share of my waking hours.

The nice part of the deal: I don’t have to worry about having a roof over my head or transportation or food. I’ll be able to help my kids if they need me. But with all the potential vacations, home refinances, and coffee drinks that I didn’t make myself, I keep reminding myself that this is temporary, a port in the storm of life.

Because, this isn’t who I am.

I need to remember who I am down deep in my bones, and when my finances are organized again, when my books start selling to a profit, then I need the courage to return to my own Prideland of being a full-time writer.

I need to be like Simba. He gave up his little paradise to fight for his pride and to become who and what he was born to be. It was not easy, but he did it. I can’t be seduced by all the excuses, of being too tired to write, too weary to query, too exhausted to take a class. I have to stay on the path and fight the fight against my own personal Scar. And not get too addicted to the comfort of having money.

And, I will do it when the time is right.

But until I leave this little port I am going to enjoy the ride… hakuna matata.

Have you ever had to remember who you are? Kick yourself for forgetting what was most important? Please leave a comment. Or just stop in to say ‘hi’.

The Work

I’m tired of writing about motivation and maps and goals. Now, I’m going to write about the work. The daily grind, the nose to the grindstone, feels like torture to get started: WORK.


It is hard sitting at a kitchen table with your neck aching and your hands cramping trying to tell a story that is as likely to be adored as it is to be ‘just not the right fit’ for us. It is hard to figure out editing and cover art and self-promotion. It is hard to find an avenue to share your work with the world.

I had decided to go indie until I got a request from an agent who may or may not do one of three things: tell me she isn’t interested, ask to represent me, or not respond at all.

It’s like shooting your infant into outer space. My work is like baby Superman, I guess, and I hope it finds a kindly Jonathan and Martha to take care of it once it reaches its destination.  (sorry my nerd is showing.)

But here I am. Working hard. Waiting. Putting the words on paper. Taking a new job to survive and waiting. Ever waiting. But you know what? That’s ok. Because, I like the writing.

Some acknowledgement would be wonderful.

Some money would be fantastic and freeing.

But I don’t need that to keep writing. The writing itself is the reward. Telling stories that at least my friends will read and that express my creativity, is highly satisfying. Like running. It is a great rush to finish a race and even better to win, but that’s not the point. Running for me is about the process. Like writing, the practice is good for my brain, spirit, and soul.

I’m still planning and hoping to get my words to a wider audience. Heck, self-pubbing in May or June is just as good as February or March, so the end game is still in play. But until then you will find me in the coffee shop. Or at the kitchen table. Or in my car with a notepad. Writing.

The Power of Color



The coat in question (with special guest appearance by Oliver the Cutie Pie.

The coat in question (with special guest appearance by Oliver the Cutie Pie.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed something strange. At the grocery store, the gas station, and even walking into restaurants, people who would usually never acknowledge me were smiling, nodding, even drumming up conversations.

I’m by nature a very introverted person, but won’t rebuff a friendly interchange, a nod, or smile. But oddly, it seemed the amount of these encounters had tripled. I couldn’t figure out what the difference was. Had I done my hair different? Was I projecting an outgoing personality? The attention was weird, but not unwelcome. I just wanted to understand why.

The winter weather in Michigan is usually a bit wacky, zero one day and forty the next. On a warm (warmer than zero anyway) day, I had to exchange my artic wear for a lighter jacket, and the extra attention stopped. Just like that. Like a faucet being turned off.

My super warm coat is a stunning shade of pink, not fuchsia, but a nice, bright pastel. Most of my outerwear is normal earthy tones, tan, gray, and brown, so this was a huge change. I fell in love with it because of the feeling I got when I saw it, happy, warm, friendly feelings.

It got me thinking of the power of color in everyday life. How appearances influence us subconsciously.

I did some Googling and found color psychology is a thing!

First, I stumbled on Bourn Creative, which defined pink as a color of universal love of oneself and of others, friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, and approachability.

I researched on and found a slew of marketing information. There are reasons why the Golden Arches are golden and the Target bullseye is red. Red encourages excitement, and yellow/gold symbolizes warmth and optimism. Green for John Deere tractors to tie it to growing things.

Now, according to the website, The Psychology of Color, personal preference plays a role. So, if you grew up being forced to wear olive green every day, and you HATE green because of it, then you may not feel the same instant attraction to the color, even if you are a farmer or someone who adore plants.

Men tend to prefer primary shades, and blue is the universal favorite across genders. Some colors are touted to help you get dates, study, or have more energy. Orange and teal are great for non-fiction book covers, while if you are trying to attract men don’t choose purple.

I don’t think any of these are axioms that work every time, but it’s interesting to speculate that your choice of outfit could influence your creativity, your feelings of wellbeing, chances on a job, or even a date.

I still love my coat and now that I understand The Pink Coat Effect, I may wear it more often or forsake it for my old brown backup on days I just want to blend.

How does color effect you? Do you have a favorite that inspires you? What about a signature shade? Comment below!