HEA USA Today Interview

 

HEA USA Today logo(HEA USA Today official logo)

 

I had some fun on the HEA USA Today site, doing a little Q&A about myself and my writing as we kicked off HIS PERFECT PARTNER’s debut release on September 26, 2017.

Swing by the HEA USA Today site to find out: what I do when I’m stuck, what distracts me from writing, a favorite moment in my writing career, what my go-to writing snacks are, my favorite dream vacation and whether I have a pet who joins me in my office (FYI: you don’t wanna miss the pic of my sweet Addi).

It’s a fun peek into the life of this Latina romance author….hope you stop by! And if you haven’t already, check out HIS PERFECT PARTNER on Amazon!

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

HHM pic 2

 

We’re in the midst of  Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15th – October 15th!

I’ll be guest blogging at two sites during HHM:

1. the Contemporary Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America– Wednesday, September 23rd

and

2. Limecello’s TartSweet— book review blog– Thursday, October 15th

Stay tuned for more info on my upcoming posts!

 

 

 

So Long, Farewell

Until we meet again

Goodbyes are never easy. At least, not for me. Especially when they’re shared with loved ones, people I’m fond of, places I enjoy being, or blogs to which I feel a connection.

I guess you can see where I’m going here.

It’s my final blog on the Peanut Butter on the Keyboard site. I haven’t been a PBOK mom for very long, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The camaraderie, the shared insight and advice, the comfort in hearing from other women with similar issues. Whether we have kids or not, have toddlers or adolescents or young adults, whether we’re married or single, whether we’re writers or not… we’re all women, striving to do our best, give our best, be our best… in a world that is ever changing, ever challenging, ever hectic.

There are times we want to fix everything, accomplish anything and feel like we’re SuperWoman. And there are moments when we just want to curl up on our couch, cover up with a warm blanket and take a nap.

We’ve shared celebrations, tragedies, family traditions, and posts about ideas or organizations or injustices we feel strongly about and staunchly support. We’ve questioned ourselves, our kids, our parenting, our actions—and in return we’ve received guidance, pats on the back, reassurance, tips, “hang-in theres” and commiseration.

I’m sad to see our time here come to an end. But the rose-colored-glasses, wide-eyed optimist in me refuses to think of this as “good-bye” but rather “FAREWELL!” Until next time. On the next blog somewhere on the internet. On the bookshelves. At a conference. In the grocery line. In spirit.

I wish you and yours a life full of peace, joy, health and love—much much love.

So, in the spirit of my musical theatre-loving family, I leave you with a song, a little dance, a little laughter and a fond, fond farewell.

If you’d care to share what movie or TV show farewell is your favorite, I’d love to hear it.

I watched many sad farewell videos before I selected this one. But seeing as how I prefer to close on a happier until-we-meet-again note, I close with this classic.

Until we meet again my friends…

<a href="[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU&w=560&h=315]” title=”So long video” target=”_blank”>

Four-legged Family Members

addi and me minnie ears

I didn’t grow up with pets. We were a military family who moved a lot, so having pets wasn’t too conducive to our lifestyle.

Years later, when I started a family of my own, we eventually had three dogs—two that someone brought home (without giving me a heads up beforehand) and one that we got as a puppy. The first two unfortunately both died of natural causes after several years. Talk about traumatic experiences!

Not having grown up with pets I was nervous with our first two dogs—one a golden retriever and the other a black lab. They were fully-grown when they came to our house, so even though they were both really well behaved, I was still a bit skittish if they barked. If they had something in their mouth that they shouldn’t I was the last person willing to try to take it away.

But with our third dog, I’m completely different and I know exactly why.

Addi came to us as a puppy.

Addi puppy

I researched the right breeder, speaking with other owners who’d used the same person. We visited the breeder to meet the mom and dad dogs, and eventually we picked Addi out of the litter. In preparation for her arrival I read countless books about owning and training a puppy. I bought Cesar Milan DVDs, then watched and re-watched them.

The day we brought Addi home, when she whimpered in her kennel at bedtime, I took my pillow downstairs, opened the kennel door, put my pillow halfway inside and slept on the floor with Addi resting on my pillow near my head. I did this for a couple of days, then closed the kennel door and slept in front of it so she could still see me. Little by little I moved further and further away until I was back in my bed and she was sleeping comfortably in her kennel on her own.

It’s a similar technique I used when my oldest was two and feeling afraid of sleeping alone in her new bed. It worked then, and it worked 16 years later when I brought Addi home.

Now Addi’s about 20 times the size she was when she joined our family. She’s gone from a 10 pound puppy to a 70 pound dog.

addi with toy

Despite her size, I still think of her as one of my “babies”—if she’s got something dangerous in her mouth, you can bet I’m sticking my fingers inside to get it out. If she needs some attention, I’m on the floor with her and she’s “sitting” on my lap.

When my youngest daughter went off to college last year and I sat in my room teary, Addi came in to comfort me. It’s like she knew I needed a “hug.”

So, while maybe I’m not an “animal lover” yet because it just wasn’t part of my lifestyle for so many years, I can honestly say I now understand how and why people treat their pets like they’re family members. Addi is that to me. She was one of my babies. I’ve “raised” her.

I jokingly say she’s the child that doesn’t talk back to me and who is always eager for my hugs and attention. No moody adolescent years with this one! ☺

How about you guys? Does your family have a pet—a four-legged family member? We always share stories about our kids, how about stories about the pets that help make up our family? ☺

addi at beach

Delayed Gratification

delayed gratification 3

Delayed gratification, aka deferred gratification. Somehow neither term sounds very fun to me. And probably to a lot of other folks in this instant access, info and connections at your fingertips world we live in, the word doesn’t sound too positive either.

Have you heard of it before? If not, let me fill you in briefly. Delayed/deferred gratification is having the ability to resist an immediate reward because you know you’ll get one (maybe even an bigger one) later down the road.

Here’s the wiki definition, which I found quite enlightening—and led to a bit of self-evaluation on my part.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_gratification

Whether you’ve heard the exact term before or not, it’s a concept that you’re probably familiar with. As parents, we might be interested in the studies that prove the higher success rates of kids and adults who have mastered the skill of delayed gratification. Check out this article I found interesting: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201207/the-power-delaying-gratification

I like that the author mentions a term I’ve used when talking about raising kids and in reference to myself: impulse control.

Sure, we’ve probably all talked with our kids about it in a general way. As in, “No, sweetie, you can’t have dessert now. You need to finish your dinner first.” Or, “I’m sure you want that toy today, but maybe you should put it on your Santa list, instead.”

But when I read the study referenced below, I took a mental step back. Had one of those “Ah-ha” moments that validated the meaning behind the saying: patience is a virtue. Something I’ve said to my girls probably far more often than they’d like.

As an individual, the self-evaluation I did after reading the wiki definition, and again after reading the study information, made me realize that even as an adult, I still struggle with delayed gratification from time to time. It’s not easy. Whether it’s the dessert I don’t need, not because it’ll ruin my dinner but because my jeans are already a little tight. Or, when I find that dress or pair of shoes I’ve just got to have, even though I’m trying to save for a writer’s conference or a family vacation.

What I loved about the article on the study is that it offers tips on how to improve your delayed gratification skills. Much like I try to do as a mom, or when I critique a fellow writer’s work, rather than simply point out how something is wrong or problematic, this article shared ideas for how I as an individual can work on improving in this area. Tips that, as a parent and as a college administrator, I can share with those around me, especially those I mentor.

The tip or trick the article offers? Distraction.

Again, it’s something I did with my kids when they were younger. When they wanted something they couldn’t, I pulled toy or snack from the diaper bag to switch their attention. But somehow, I got distracted by life and this simple trick often seemed to get lost in the shuffle. That’s when I tend to show my lack of delayed gratification skills.
:-)

So, I’ve discovered another area of my life where I can improve. Another area I can provide some insight to my kids and students.

When I want to snack on something I really shouldn’t, I’ll be practicing ways to distract myself—maybe go for a walk, or pop in an exercise video. All in the name of improving my delayed gratification skills. And at the same time, continuing with one of my new year resolutions: get healthier; lose fat, gain muscle. I’ll delay eating that cookie, trying to remind myself that a much bigger reward is feeling good about myself and being healthier all around—and fitting into that little black dress again.

It’ll be a way for me to model what I’m espousing to others. Sure, I won’t always be a perfect example of delayed gratification mastery. I know myself too well to say that. But, I’ll be working at it. And just like I tell my kids, your best effort is all anyone can ask for. :-)

Do you have an area or an issue that requires better delayed gratification skills on your part? If so, what’s a good distraction for you to use?

I’m all for sharing distraction ideas. Let’s see what you’ve got! :-)

A Kensington Books Author & Multiple Golden Heart® Awards Finalist

Represented by Rebecca Strauss DeFiore & Company

rebecca@defliterary.com

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