Music has always had such a profound affect on my life. It touches my soul and infiltrates my moods and thoughts. I can be instantly swept up in the ebb and flow of classical music, remembering childhood moments with my father as we listened to Beethoven, Bach, and other classical composers. I love the Aries of opera and musicals like "Madam Butterfly," "Phantom of the Opera," and "Les Miserable." I enjoy a good waltz, fox trot, and the like since my husband and I were on the ballroom dance team together in college. I can see in my mind's eye my Jr. high and high school years while listening to the music of the day, and yes, I have to admit, I am moved by music in movies, feeling fear during intense scenes or sadness when something has gone terribly wrong. I love the beats of contemporary music which my children bring home and blast out in my living room, though sometimes not the lyrics. So, it is no wonder that I use music to write. I have put together different CDs for inspiration and when they are played, I am immediately transplanted to a different place and time. I can envision the landscapes I am writing about, the atmosphere, the people, and the circumstances. I feel the new world all around me. Music is such a powerful tool.
Cold feet. What a dilemma and I don't mean cold feet in the sense of backing out of something. I literally mean cold feet. I cannot keep my tootsies warm. In the wintertime I have to use a heating pad for about an hour or so before going to bed at night or I can't sleep. I can't walk around without thick socks and shoes on all the time, even in the house, never mind how cold I get without proper insulation in boots when outside. Even in the summertime, I have difficulty shedding my socks and shoes for sandals because the air-conditioning kicks on, instantly freezing my bare feet.

My husband thinks I'm nuts and jokes about it with family and friends, because he's completely opposite. His feet get so hot that the minute he steps over the threshold into our house his shoes come off, and I can hear him spout, "I can't take it any more," as he flings his socks and shoes down the hallway.

He completely uncovers his feet at night and of course wears TIVA's spring, summer, and fall, much to the dismay of our children. If he could get away with it, he'd probably wear sandals year round--- and to further humiliate our children, he'd wear socks with sandals in the wintertime. "Snicker, snicker," and I'd probably let him just to see the reaction from the kids. It's so fun to cause them silly embarrassment just because we are their parents. Payback, right?

So, anyway, I do what I must to stay warm so I don't catch pneumonia and my husband does what he must to cool off. What a pair we make, the neighbors must think we're insane... one bundled to the teeth (feet included of course), the other in the thinnest jackets known to man. Brrrr!

If anyone has the ideal way to get rid of snakes, please let me know. Spring will be here all too soon, and it never fails that every snake, big or small, within a ten mile radius finds its way into my yard. My neighbors are witnesses to how fast, and how high, I can jump from the lower half of my yard to the front door. Which is quite a feat, given the massive boulders I have to leap over in order to reach the front steps. I could probably make the Olympic team if any coach happened by at the time of my sheer panic.

Many a snake has been deafened by my blood-curdling screams. My family and friends don't quite share in, this, my reasonable fear. They just laugh, point, and make fun of my stark-white face and tell me they're not sure who's more frightened, the snake or me. I can definitely say, without any equivocation whatsoever, "Duh! It's ME!

Note to self: Jot down all the words describing the terror I have for snakes in my notebook to reference later when my characters face a similar horror.


Outlines and worldbuilding are very important to the process of writing a book, and most especially when creating a series. Though most of the material is never used, the information garnered is essential. These tools are what keep the story on tract, the underlying structures. Thus, influencing how the story unfolds, how the characters interact with one another, and keep the scenes and dialogue true to the storyline, so there's no meandering, no situations that crop up that are not pertinent that could only serve to confuse, frustrate, and bore the reader. Death to any book!