Tag Archive | raeanne hadley

Happy May Day

I used to make fun of “older” people, like my mom or dad, who used to say that as you get older the time starts slipping away. Being ADHD and slightly, ahem, immature for my age, time felt like it took forever and certain days, activities and accomplishments were always just beyond. Now I’m part of that “older” group as my eleven year-old and eight year-old daughters like to point out and I have to admit, my mom and dad were right. Time slips by faster and faster each year.

I know we can’t bring back time, recover lost years or create more hours in a day but I’ve decided to start weeding out the things that I thought were important and giving that time to the things that really are important. Happiness, health, family and friends. A little over two years ago, as you may remember, my then nine year-old daughter became ill. After biopsies and a very scary endoscopy, we found she had a large stress ulcer. It was during this time that I stopped writing; no blogs, no novels, no journals, nada. I stressed, I fretted and I worried as any mother would. I lost myself and became the “worried” mom. This past Christmas, my lovely husband pulled me aside and informed me that I was sad, I was not the happy-go-lucky person I used to be and he suggested that I get back into my writing. I was happy when I wrote and he wanted to see me happy again. “Happy wife; happy life” he joked. So I picked up a novel that I had almost finished a few years back, tweaked and changed and completed it a couple months ago. I sent it off to one of my editors who informed me that she saw huge growth in my writing and believed that this was possibly my best novel yet. Words every writer loves to hear, no matter how long you’ve been writing.

So this spring, I will release my latest novel, the first in over two years. I will also be getting back to writing on my blog and while I won’t promise you every day, I will be more dependable than I have been in the past. But be prepared. It’s not going to be just about my writing, or my children’s health. It’s going to be more about life, the time we have here and what we choose to do with it. I’m getting back to my basics, baking my bread, growing my vegetables, raising my chickens and loving the blessings I have in my life. I’ll also introduce you to some pretty interesting people who have agreed to be a part of my crazy journey. Again, I’m very blessed that I am surrounded by those who embrace my wacky thoughts and “younger” ideas on what time really means.

Life is supposed to be fun; Enjoy the journey

Juggling ADHD Balls

Wow, it’s been a while folks and for that I am sorry but as I look back on my posts I can see the defining path of self destruction that I was laying before me. Here I am, at a cross-road that can either ruin me or make my life more fulfilling and more successful. It’s this reason that I am taking a moment, taking a breath and looking around.

As you know, 2012 was all about my writing. I won the Master Koda Extreme Author Makeover Contest in January. In April, my metaphysical romance, With Love; Now & Forever, hit #1 on Amazon and I released another novel, Love’s Everlasting Song. Things were going great, I was writing and things were smooth for a few months. Then my youngest daughter got sick and I had some run in with people who took advantage of me professionally. The combination was too much and I decided to take a sabbatical from work. No writing, no publishing, no reviewing. I was done. Or so I thought.

I should know, being ADHD, that my mind is in constant motion. It’s one of the reasons there are many nights I get very little sleep and my ideas appear endless. It was during one of these restless nights that I realized we didn’t have a tack store in our town. For non-horsey people, it’s a place to buy saddles, bridles, items for you and your horse. Our community is still very old west; in fact the day we moved here, there was a gentleman who rode his horse into City Market, tied it to the lamp post and went grocery shopping, I am not lying. So to not have a place to buy these necessities was just crazy so I decided to approach the hubby about opening a store. To my extreme surprise, he agreed! I quickly threw together a business plan and with the help of a wonderful local banker, found the perfect company and applied for a small business loan. Within a couple of weeks, we were approved, secured our store location, came up with a name, secured the proper license and was in the process of remodeling the store for our May 1st opening.

Now as if that wasn’t enough chaos in such a short period of time, we started having people walk into our store with bags of boots asking if we were going to do boot repair. No, we replied, we didn’t know how and hadn’t even thought of it. After the 46th person walked through our yet-to-be-open doors requesting boot repair, we realized we had better start looking into it. By chance, (man does God/the Universe really look out for you if you let Him) a gentleman called about my gelding for sale. He came out and began talking about our store. He asked if we were going to do boot repair and I explained we were considering it but had never gone to school for it. He laughed, told me he was a retired cobbler and though he had taken some courses in cobbler schooling in Oklahoma, it’s basically a self taught art, and a dying one at that. He told me that if we were serious, he would teach us how to do boot and leather repair!

Needless to say, we were thrilled and after inquiry, found out this man has an amazing reputation as a boot repairman. We were learning under one of the best. After pricing the equipment, we decided that we would make a six month plan. We would open the tack store May 1st, and then if it did well enough, we would buy the boot repair equipment, remodel the store and start doing boot repair in November. Well let me tell you, I should know better than to make plans. Today is July 25th. We bought our boot repair equipment last week and this past Sunday and Monday remodeled our store. We have already been learning the boot repair process, (I did a pretty good job on some heels if I do say so myself) and will be “officially” be taking work August 1st. Though that hasn’t stopped the numerous people who have already dropped things off at our store stating they are fine with waiting.

My point to my ramblings is that you never know where life is going to take you and the saying “Be careful what you wish for” is oh-so-very true. I will never give up on my writing; it’s in my blood and in my soul. But I now have a new business, a growing new career and a new respect for business owners. I’m also happy to report; I have a healthy daughter again!

Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey my friends

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop with Wendy Siefken

I would like to thank Master Koda/Kim Emerson for including me in this blog hop that helps readers and authors come together. This gives us a chance to share our fellow authors to our beloved fans and maybe introduce you to another favorite author to follow!

My blog today is with Wendy Siefken, an honestly sweet and kind author who has supported not only myself but so many other authors out there, including her son, Charles Siefken, whom she co-writes with! Sit back, sip on that latte and enjoy the interview!

What is the working title of your book?
Kai’s Journey
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Basically it’s a mix of games, stories and books I have read.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young Adult, but anyone who likes to read fantasy might like it too.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I think I would like to give some unknowns a shot at it. I think that would be the best way to 1. Find new talent and 2. the unknowns seem to make the best movies!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s an apocalyptic world where one man dares to find hope and one group of people offer it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
We self-published the book but we are now under the publishing company of MKSP.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About four months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I don’t know that our book is like others. Most of this type seems to search out the darkness in the light where ours searches for the light in the darkness.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Christopher Paolini has always been a great influence in my desire to become a writer. I admire his writing style and I admire him as well.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Our book gives a new twist to how werewolves are portrayed and how dragons came to be on earth.
Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today! Here is their website, please jump on over and check it out!

Here are also a few more links to authors I have tremendous respect and love for!
K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns at www.krhughestlburns.wordpress.com

Love beyond skin deep

I recently watched the movie, The Help, and though I had read the book before I will admit that I cried during the movie. To visually see the abuse and mistreatment that people do to one another because of skin color is abhorrent and makes me so sad. I cannot understand why, under any circumstances, would anyone think it’s alright to abuse another human being, regardless of race, color, religious beliefs, anything.

I feel very blessed for having been raised by the compassionate and empathetic mother that I have. She taught me to look at a person’s soul, their inner spirit, to see the beautiful person there. Color was never a big deal. Flowers come in all different colors yet each as beautiful as the other. I was taught to see people for their actions and behaviors, not their skin color and I can honestly say that I don’t see color on people, I see their souls.

We grew up with foster kids and I’ll admit it was difficult at times. These children had come from horrific circumstances that no child should ever have to experience. The idea that adults had hurt these children is too painful for me to talk about and as a mother I will not bring up those memories. We did have two children, a brother and sister, who were African-American that came to stay with us. The sister was only with us for about a year when her biological father came and took her but because her brother had a different father, he stayed with us for another four years. He became a part of the family, the brother I had always wanted, the son my dad had always dreamed of. He stopped being my foster brother. My mother went through the necessary steps and applied for guardianship and I remember being shocked and hurt when they denied us guardianship because we were white. This was my first experience with society and its decisions based on color. To this day I still think it’s wrong.

As I grow older and my fan base and friendships grow larger I find my heart expanding and I’m filled with love for so many people. I honestly believe people are beautiful, regardless of their race, color, religious beliefs. I am still shocked by things people are doing to one another. As I’m writing this today, the headlines are the shooting in Aurora, just a few hours from where we live, at a movie theatre. It seems that there are those out there bound and determined to hurt, kill and maim for no apparent reason. I guess I feel compelled to write this today because I have so much love in my life, so much compassion for others that I have a difficult time reading and watching those in the human race hurt one another. So please do me and those poor families affected by the shootings a favor today, hug one another. Fill someone’s bucket today. I promise that the next time I see you I will give you a hug! Life is meant to be fun; enjoy the journey.

Summer Blues…and greens.

I have to admit that at the beginning of the summer, I fell into the summer blues. Sadness is not a normal emotion for me, being nicknamed Miss Suzie Sunshine, and I struggled with this unfamiliar emotion more than a few times within a couple of months. Because of this sadness, I began to doubt all of my decisions, my actions, and my life’s purpose. I wondered who I was because the things I had desired ten years ago were no longer important. Because of having to deal with satellite internet with our move, I was forced to spend less time on the internet and more time with myself and my thoughts. I know, a dangerous combination!

 

For the first couple of months I bombarded my friends with my tearful declarations of wanting to move back into town, that I was no longer a country girl, that I missed the conveniences of town. Then I fell into seclusion due to the fact that the house we are buying has SO much trash everywhere and my beloved Quarter horse gelding, Diego, was seriously injured. I had to start cleaning up the property to keep my animals safe. While dealing with the property, we’ve also dealt with severe draught and fire conditions, the worst our town has seen since 1978, so I’m told by the locals, and having to downsize our horses to two because of the hay shortage. I also decided to have this huge garden, help my husband build a new chicken coop and clean up the one building I love the most, the garage.

 

It’s during this time that I’ve watched my daughters play in the lower horse pasture, acres and acres of freedom, laughing and running and having a blast. I have no worries about someone driving by and snatching them, we live on a dead-end country road. I started to notice that my husband and I talked more about little things, dreams, the future and we enjoyed just sitting outside listening to nature, not cars and sirens. We watched does and their babies feed along side of our horses and a bachelor of bucks wander down and try and nibble at our trees. I’m picking out areas for my patio area where we are going to build a fire pit with horseshoe pits, volleyball and other entertainment so that our friends will feel welcome and have fun when they come over.

 

I will admit I haven’t written as much as I had intended to but I honestly believe I’ve gone through another growth in my life. We are always learning and this was a doosey for me. I am still a country girl, I appreciate the conveniences of the city but I can adapt without them just fine. I thought that I had learned my large life lessons but I now know I was wrong. You’re never too old to have your life turned upside down and have to re-evaluate where you are. Remember, life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

When book reviewers go too far…

As published writers we all put our work out to stranger’s eyes to be read, critiqued, loved or rejected. It’s the gamble that we take and we understand and accept that. It used to be that you’re work was reviewed by a professional and was posted for the world to see, good or bad. You read where you could improve, how your next piece of work could be better or you celebrated that the reviewer enjoyed your work. In this modern and advancing world, we have Indie authors, such as myself, and now have self-proclaimed Indie reviewers. As authors we have to learn, grow, improve or we will not survive in the eBooks world but what about the reviewers? Don’t they have a responsibility to other readers and other writers to learn how to critique, how to review?

Mechanics of Murder was my very first book, written over 8 years ago when I was filled with a passion yet very little knowledge. Most of my fans know the background of Mechanics and the emotions behind my story to finish it for my ailing father. It is not a grammatically perfect book, filled with errors of a novice writer who wanted her father to get better. I will never be ashamed of my book, will never regret putting it out there and have prepared myself for the negative reviews on my punctuation and my grammar. I’m really okay with that. After all, it’s how we grow and learn and my work has done the same. With Love; Now & Forever became a best-selling book this year and I’m SO very proud of this book but it wouldn’t be half the book it is if I hadn’t learned how to write properly. Thank you, Mechanics. But in a recent 1 star review, my evaluator tore apart my characters and how they acted/reacted in a story stating that it was unbelievable. They claimed that because my character was 30 years old, she wouldn’t get butterflies or tongue-tied when her love interest came into a room. This is the first time I have truly found a review deeply insulting and I walked away for a day but couldn’t let it go. So here is my question of the responsibility reviews should have.

All of my work stems from my own life experiences, as I’m finding is true with other fictional writers. It makes sense; this is the only life I’ve lived as far as I can remember so I have to draw on my own emotions and reactions to explain through my characters. My story Mechanics is loosely based on my life and the relationship part is the base of my relationship with my husband. I blushed when I saw him looking at me, I got butterflies in my stomach when he came near and my tongue was often tied when we talked. I was 32 years old. We will now be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary this year (yes, I’m 42 now) and I still get butterflies when I see him, I can’t keep my eyes off of him when we are in a room, he can still make me blush and often still literally sweeps me off of my feet. We are each others’ best friend and lovers. So when someone tells me that my characters wouldn’t act that way, it insults me because Steve and I do act that way and that is what I have to draw on for my characters. A part of me feels some pity for that person, that they either never had or no longer have that kind of relationship with a partner. But then my frustration kicks back in.

I welcome the reviews and critiques for my grammar, my formatting, and my layout. Without them I couldn’t continue to grow as an author, I wouldn’t be driven to learn to perfect my work which I know will never happen because I’m a human being, I’m not designed to be perfect. I welcome those who wish my plot was stronger or took a different direction, it drives me to come up with something that hasn’t been done (tough order for sure) but if you’re going to judge my work for all of the world to see, don’t tell me how I (or my character) would or would not react in a situation. We are all very different, individualistic people who make this world so interesting and exciting and we handle things distinctively. Keep your comments professional and limited to your knowledge of the written language and not something as unique as a person’s nature. Oh, one other little thing, if you want to be a reviewer and commentate on another’s work, make sure your own spelling is correct.

Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Just a Mom. Yeah, right!

Mid-life crisis, financial changes, moving, career change, death. These are all things that have a huge impact on our lives including how we interact with other people. We all react differently, handle things differently and others looking in may not like or understand how you handle your situation. The most important thing that you need to remember is you need to deal with it. What makes you feel the most comfortable, most secure, what makes the most sense is more important than someone else’s opinion. Having said that, you also need to remember that if there are children in our lives, they are sensitive to what you are going through and their feelings/thoughts are important too.

For the past two weeks I have been dealing with all of the above. I’m not one (anymore) who blurts out everything of what I am going through or the struggle that I am dealing with. Instead I’ve learned that if I sit back and watch what is unfolding, to gather as much information as possible, to find a peace no matter how awful a situation may be, nine times out of ten the decision I make will tend to be the best outcome. So I have retreated into the comforting arms of my house, privacy, animals and family. I put aside my writing, my blogs, my marketing and promoting my books even though I was right in the middle of promoting my paranormal romance, Shadows. I needed to make time and breathe. I’m coming out of this struggle, (I wish I could say unscathed but then what would be the point of going through the struggle in the first place?) and I’m finding a new balance in my life. I’ve allowed myself to be just a woman, just a mom, just a wife, as if there is such a thing as “just” for us. Allowing myself this time, I’ve seen how much I have missed and that I need to once again adjust my life. My daughters, who are the most important people in my life, are struggling and needing their mother. My 5 year-old had the most horrific nightmare the other night that her entire body was shaking and she was physically nauseous. It took 2 hours to calm her down and even then, she was wrapped around my arm in a death grip before she allowed herself to fall asleep again. Tonight she was so scared that even tucked into my bed with the light on and the dogs in the room, she would not fall asleep unless she was touching me. I know that she is picking up on my struggle, my emotions and my inner disease which brings me back to my struggle on how to deal with things.

We ALL go through struggles, successes, failures, changes, life lessons. We all wonder if we are on the right path or sometimes ask, ‘how the heck did I get on this road?’ We all deal with them differently, see them in a varied light but in the end the decision needs to be our own. The thought that I present is that perhaps, if you see a friend, family member, co-worker struggling with a life issue, maybe hold your tongue, your opinion and simply ask what you can do for them. Maybe it’s watching the kids for a couple hours so they can take a breather, a casserole that just needs popped into the oven, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage. The more we are able to fill their bucket, the easier it may be for them to fill their child’s bucket and with a drought going on in this world right now, we all need to lean on each other. Life is meant to be fun, even with the ruts, enjoy the journey.

Stress, we all have it

We all have stress. It’s as common and as natural as breathing. Don’t get misunderstand me, I didn’t mean that it wasn’t uncomfortable and at times, down right painful but so is childbirth yet it’s still a part of our lives. Stress is nothing new, though it’s been given a proper name just in the past 100 years. The types of stress we have dealt with have changed over the decades, most of us not having to worry about hunting for our food to survive or skinning enough animals to keep us warm during the freezing winter nights. The stresses we deal with have evolved and changed, adapting to our ever altering lives. We will never be without it yet can we learn how to properly deal with it or allow it to rule, possibly ruin our lives?

I am a very optimistic, very open, very loving person. Though I didn’t used to be. In my twenties, I was a very self-centered, very selfish and driven person. Everything I did or participated in was for my benefit, one way or another. My stresses back then were how fast, how far I could climb up the career ladder and having the best toys, the best vehicles, the best horses, the best of everything. I hit a brick wall when after receiving a prestigious award, was told by the owner of the dealership I worked at, off to the side of course, that I would never become the manager because I was a woman. My stress then morphed into what am I going to do with my career now, when I have invested so many years in this industry, only to find the ceiling for my advancement was lower than it was for my male counterparts.

Fast forward to my thirties. I took a hiatus from my career and accepted a temporary job at my sister’s company to get perspective. I moved my father out of his retirement apartment and in with me. I began searching for peace and stress free enjoyment. I met Steve. Those who know him know that he is completely opposite of me. I am very type A personality, a go getter, a planner, excessively controlling. He is laid back, everything always works out, it will still be there when I finally decide to deal with it, what’s the hurry, type personality. To coin the phrase, he was my ying to my yang. He taught me how to relax, to take joy in the world around me, the people around me and if you were quiet long enough you could see things change and grow, to blossom into beautiful things. It was because of him that I began to believe that I might be a good mom.

Flash forward one more time. Here I am in my forties with two beautiful girls, still married to my Steve, building a new career. I still have a drive to climb the career ladder and I still have stresses, just read a couple of negative reviews that I have received recently, but I have learned to surround myself with beautiful and calming friends. I know I am going to run into those who judge and criticize because as we ALL know we can’t please everyone but I’m learning how to defuse this new stress, how to turn my head and focus on something else that is blooming and changing. In this world of negativity, I choose to post only positive reviews. If I can’t “fill someone’s bucket”, as my 8 year-old would say, then I choose not to say anything at all. There are professional reviewers out there that know how to correct and properly review an author’s book without being insulting and crass. They know how stressful being a professional writer is and to their own credit, act professionally too.

As we start heading into our summer months look at the stresses you have, see which ones you can set aside, which ones you have to address, which ones you can just let go. See if there is someone who’s bucket you can fill. Not only are you creating a joyous feeling that helps counteract stress for someone else but it’s been proven that it can eliminate or ease the tension in your own life. We all have stresses and will until the end of our days but it’s how we handle it that matters. Go fill someone’s bucket. Life is meant to be fun, enjoy the journey!

Spring-a time of change

It’s been a crazy, wonderful, insightful week. My book sales have taken off, (thank you very much), we are almost completely moved and to celebrate my daughter’s eighth birthday we presented her her first horse. It was absolutely wonderful to see her expression, to see the tears in her eyes and watch her joy as she brushed and lead her new horse around.

The side effects of all of the above? I’m feeling the desire, the drive to produce another best-selling book, my new house is a mess and it’s hard to find things and my youngest daughter has now decided that she needs a pony so that she can enjoy the fruits of horse ownership. Usually with all of these changes and new pressures I would tend to start stressing which is what caused my poor health a few months ago. I will admit, I was up at 2 am, starting to fret but then remembered the blessings that had occurred the past couple of months and I took a deep breath and relaxed. Everything will work out the way it should be. If I relax and enjoy the blessings now it will be easier for other blessings to flow into my life.

Once we become adults and realize the world doesn’t revolve around us we begin to worry. As we become parents and spouses, that worry and stress grows larger. Now our world revolves around our children, our partners. I’m vowing to relax and not worry so much because honestly, even if what I worry about comes true, will the worry have prevented it? We know the answer to that. But nine times out of ten, the circumstances I worry about don’t come to fruition and the stress and worry were for naught and I missed out on enjoying the little things I should have been paying attention to.

As spring rolls into summer and things are starting to change, are you able to adapt and adjust as easily or are you stressing about how things are going to be taken care of, if things will be done the right way? During this time of change for all of us I hope that you remember that life is meant to be fun and you should enjoy the journey!