Let’s Journal Wednesday

It’s the last day of February so I thought I’d share with you my March time capsule (I covered ideas on how to set up a time capsule journal in January) journal spread. As I’ve said before there is no right or wrong way to journaling. Or to set up a topic specific journal.


Nothing everything will be used on the monthly spread. Some will go on the weekly summaries

One of the key things I try to do when I make my spread is to include stickers/clippings of things I know I want to do or see or make during the month.


Before the ink

But I also want to leave some areas to fill in as the month goes on. For the events, food, and drinks I highlight, I make sure to add the date when we went, ate it, or drank it.


The butterfly is for the butterfly garden I’m taking Charlie to.

If you keep a time capsule journal, I’d love to hear how you do it.



Dream On… Dream journals

This week we are starting a new type of journal and one of my favorites. A dream journal. Dreams are mysterious. Some are funny…some are scary…some are gross…but they always spark something inside us.


A dream journal is ideal for you if you want to see recurrent patterns in dreams, recall important aspects needing interpretation, or improve your dream recall more generally. Ultimately, it should be a fun exercise and one that helps you to make sense of your subconscious world

There are a number of theories about why we dream, but no one knows for sure which idea is right, or whether each is right to some degree.

A dream journal can be a memory-jogger and an incredible source of insight into your inner world. Or just fun. I use mine for a lot of different reasons…writing sparks, to understand something going in my life, and also to understand why I do some of the things I do (yeah sometimes there is no understanding that….hahaha)

To record every night requires some self-discipline but once you’re in the habit of keeping one, it’s likely to be one that stays…and it’s easier than exercise and almost as much fun as eating doughnuts.

Today I’m just going to encourage everyone to determine a few things before we actually start talking about dreams, recording them, and interpreting them.
Decide where you want to keep your dream journal. Some want it located next to their bed so they can journal when they wake up. Most of the time I record my dreams and possible interpretation while drinking my morning coffee. So I keep it with my coffee cup.
Next week we’ll look at some different dream journals, I’ve used over time. But determining the purpose of your dream journal will be key in deciding what type of journal will best meet your needs.

Remember there is no right or wrong journal… this is the one I’m currently using. If this doesn’t say creepy dream not sure what does 🙂

Dream Vs Goal


Dream vs Goal… what do you have?

Everyone has been told to ‘dream big.’ And heard the slogan…Dream big and go far.
Well, how does one get those dreams to grow legs? Get them to move from their spot on the couch…watching Living Below Zero (my new addiction)…and eating doughnuts? To give them confidence when they are too meek to hit the submit button.

Me and my dreams have listened to the motivational speakers. Read the books. Watch the YouTube channels. Bought the T-shirt and wore it out. Still my dreams remained firmly planted on the couch.
I set goals. With incentives. But still my dreams continued to gorge themselves on doughnuts and watch Living Below Zero. I’d cheer and say how great it was going to be…just press the submit button. All I heard was ‘not going to happen loser.’

I was such a failure. My dreams hated me. They were like a stubborn child refusing to pick up a toy.

Finally, this year I have discovered the way to get legs on my dreams. Now they are out working for their keep. (Granted, we still watch Living Below Zero).

I have 3 new book covers….

I have a request for a full…I’m saving more the 2 months of this year than all over last year….

My dreams are now goals…And that my mindset. Dreams are fluffy things with unicorns and dragons. (BTW, I’m starting dream journals this Wednesday)

My goals are what I’m focused on. I hope all your dreams develop wings and soar.

The ‘f’ words…

This week’s Mindset Monday is all about the ‘f’ words… Focus and Finish. I have issues with both of them. There are sooooo many shiny things…soooo many trails to be explored and who can’t jump down the rabbit hole?
These two words are so important so lacking in my life.

And while I will always have to explore the trails and peek into the rabbit holes, I also know if I’m going to get my VA business off the ground I need to restrict this. I need to…

If I want the writing career of my dreams, then I need to FINISH some of these books I have in my que.

For all you type A personalities none of this will make sense because you live those ‘f’ words easily. Since I’m a type ‘Y’ person- why is that squirrel in the tree? Why isn’t that doughnut in my stomach? Why is there a search for pink fuzzy socks being recommended for me? Most people are happy never knowing why but for those of us that struggle with the ‘f’ words, these and so many more ‘y’s cloud my day.
Time management is one of the 10 vision goals. This means replacing the ‘y’ words with ‘f’ words. How have I started to do this?

1. I set defined time blocks. Not I’ll write from 1 to 3. That is way to broad and way to much time for me. Now I write in my planner. 1 to 1:45 write on current WIP. 1:45 to 2 – find pics for blog post/wip or anything else I need. I give myself 15 minutes of ‘y’ time for every hour block. While all you ‘A’ people are WHAT!!!! Wasting 15 minutes. But my focus requires it.

2. There is no real trick for Finish besides willpower. I refuse to let myself start anything until the project I’m scheduled to work on is completed. I made a master writing list at the beginning of the year.
And when you Finish you get bright shiny covers like this….


Mindset Monday

It’s February…

time for paczki’s(fat Tuesday)…  time for Chinese fireworks (Chinese New Years)…

time chocolate and wine (Valentine day)…and sadly, it’s time to reflect on January.
One month into 2018… I had set BIG goals for 2018. So I have BIG monthly goals. Overall the month was sort of a hit and miss.


My financial goal. This happen for several reasons but the main one being I wasn’t mentally ready to ‘cut’ the doughnuts out of my life. But I’ve done some deep personal cheerleading and I think I’m ready to make the leap. This month was scheduled as a ‘spending freeze’. My first response was well that will have to wait until March. I have paczki’s… I have Chinese… I have A LOT. But March is St. Patrick’s, my son’s birthday, and spring begins. I realized that there wasn’t such a thing as a good month NOT to spend money… hence the reason I need a ‘spending freeze.’
Exercising. I did go and walk to nowhere but not as frequently as my goal.
Virtual Assistant. Pretty much missed all of them.


Writing. I did content edits for The Hollow King. I did participate in a critique partner thing (still NO critique partner). I did do some writing but not even close to my word count goal. I didn’t sub my space opera. I didn’t get the edits done for my romance suspense. BUT I did put together some promo stuff and make these cards.
Reading. I started three series. Loved none of them ☹ Didn’t read a nonfiction book. I did make time to do more reading by adding it to morning routine schedule. I moved my nonfiction reading to this time and I’m more than ½ done. I’m also loving my first series book of February.

My pretty pretty new cover!

The cards I made for swag bags. Tasarla Romaney is my YA/sweet/fantasy pen name


Cutting diet coke and sugar – moving towards a whole foods eating life style. I’m actually drinking water. For me this is big… I still drink diet coke. But I’m staying within my 2 cans a day limit. I cut doughnuts out expect 2 times a week (they go with a daily ‘tradition’ and I haven’t found a replacement. But I had given myself to the end of the year to 100 percent there AND I hit my monthly goal.

Completed the Digital Marketing on-line class. AND passed 😊

And that’s my month…. For February, I adjusted my goals to include what was missed in January but I did NOT ‘lessen’ them. I need to keep pushing. If February doesn’t pan out any better for those goals that I totally missed in January, I’ll do some ‘rethinking.’

Did you set goals? If so how did your first month go?

Welcome back…

2018… I’m not a big new years resolution sort of person. Actually, I’m a non-resolution type of person regardless of the date. BUT…I wanted to make some serious changes to my life. And a New year that starts with a super moon and ends with a moon eclipse is my kind of year.
Sooooooo, I put most of my shiny objects into a drawer, rounded up my turtles, and sobered my squirrels up.

I’m ready to take 2018 on full throttle…. Some of the changes took behind the scenes planning before I could take the big splash.
Like I always pick a word/theme. For 2018 the word/theme is COMPLETE….Complete my goals, complete writing projects, just complete things in general. Now for most of you this will seems like a weird focus. But I’m queen of the half started projects. As I tell people, the two things I completed on a timely bases is having my kids become adults….

I also make a vision board….I made two goals for the 5 areas of my life…

I have also started a GoodReads account (click here for my profile) to track my reading. I’ll make a 2018 reading list page later this month. But, this year reading focus is series. I’m starting at A and B in January. I don’t plan on reading an entire series in one months so I’m not sure how far I’ll make it in the alphabet. More on this later.

I’m also going to start blogging again….mindset Monday….journaling Wednesday…tasty/thirsty Thursday…Read it/Reading it Friday.

A preview of Thirst Thursday

A happy Grinch

These things are what makes a Grinch happy

A melted snowman

Free Read Monday

Every Monday and Saturday in October, I’m going to post a snippet from Inheriting a Curse at the end of the month, the entire novella will be available as a free download. All snippets will be ‘g’ rated (no swearing or sex) BUT the novella will have some hot scenes.


Recently Katie Alstrom’s life had been one bad event followed by another so when she received a letter from a lawyer saying she’d inherited a house on ten acres of woods in a remote part of Oregon, she thought her luck had changed. She packed up all her belongings and left the city to peruse her dream of being a full-time writer.

Only when she arrives, she finds her dream house is something out a horror movie complete with seven gargoyles under a curse.

Ashton has spent the last five hundred years as a gargoyle. The moment Katie steps into the house, he begins to wake. His only desire is to kill Katie in a slow painful way as retribution for placing him and his six warriors under the curse. Yet to break the curse, he must trust Katie.

Pax, Ashton’s loyal friend and second in command, must make his friend see reason before the end of the month, October 31 or they all will be condemned to spend the rest of eternity as gargoyles. As the days fly by, Pax finds himself faced with a bigger problem, he’s the one falling in love with Katie and the thought of Ashton touching her makes his blood boil.

Chapter 1

Katie Alstrom stood, frozen, unable to make any of her muscles move. Her brain was too busy screaming NO to relay the necessary messages to her nerves that would have her running away. Matter of fact, it was a struggle to breathe. In and out, she told herself. Forcing the cold September air into her lungs. Tears rolled her cheeks. She hated to cry. She never cried, yet here she stood in front of a complete stranger, bawling.

“Are you alright, Ms. Alstrom?” The town’s clerk asked. “Well, here are the keys.” She forced them into Katie’s hand before she could reply. “Welcome to Hapsville.”

By the time Katie could turn to ask the woman about local hotels she could stay at, the woman’s car was disappearing down the long drive. Katie turned back to the house. She was fairly positive the Adam’s family would have found the place too creepy to stay in. Three large gargoyles were perched above dormers. Another loomed over the door and two more resided on the ground next to the stairs. And a massive one with wings stretched wide and hideous snarl at hate on it’s face sat on the chimney.

Her inheritance from an aunt she’d never heard of. The place she was going make her dreams come true. She should have known her luck hadn’t changed. After being let go from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, she’d thought inheriting the house had been a shift in karma.

“I must have been a serial killer of puppies in a previous life,” she whispered. The only explanation she had for being on the receiving end of such awful karma. She really wanted to follow the clerk but she had nowhere else to go. A muffled bark, forced her attention away from the house to her car. Gillian barked and clawed at the window.

She’d found the dog three years ago, abandoned in the alley behind the apartment complex where she’d lived. He’d been a cute small puppy, she’d taken home cleaned up and cuddled. Now he was a hundred and five-pound bed hog. Sighing, she walked toward the car. She’d terminated her lease thinking this would be the start over, she needed to become a full time writer.

Opening the car door, Gillian leapt out and raced toward a squirrel. The squirrel scurried up a tree and sat on a bare branch chattering an endless string of taunts.

(skipping ahead to the end of the chapter)

“Are you sure, she’s the one?” A harsh male voice whispered.

Gillian growled and pressed against Katie’s legs confirming the whispers weren’t in her head. She’d hoped the voice had been a hallucination caused by exhaustion. No such luck.

“I’m positive. You dare to doubt me?” A woman’s voice retorted.

Flinging the blankets back, Katie swung her legs off the bed. “Come on let’s see who our house guest are.”

As she stood, a roar tore through the night making the windows rattle and the floor shake.

“I told you, she’s the one.” The woman’s voice now held a smugness to it. “Now, the trick is keeping him from killing her.”

Writer’s Wednesday

Today I’m going to start a new series for Writer’s Wednesday on writing prompts…I know some writers use prompts daily to ‘start’ the juices. I’m not that but I do occasionally like to do prompts, mostly when I’m ‘stuck’. I use the prompt as a free writing tool to let my mind wander (like it doesn’t do it enough on it’s own that I need to encourage this behavior).

The series I’m doing is how to turn a magazine into a writer’s prompt journal. I came up with the idea last week as I sat at the beach relaxing and thumbing through the pages of the latest InStyle magazine. I often use magazines to make story boards/pages for a story I’m working on but I realized a lot of the pages sparked different ideas. For example, here is the second page of the magazine….


I used both pages for this prompt


I added the admit one ticket I had in my storyboard stash



She’s going to be my focus for these prompts…




My plan is to focus on the same character through out the magazine. I don’t know her name yet (I struggle with names) but I do know that

  • she has a daughter – one of the phases above the admit one ticket is… she lures men to their death to protect her daughter. I’m not sure what that means exactly.
  • I know her eyes are going to have something to do with the story…
  • My hero is aware of the stakes because one of the lines in my free writing is…He has one chance to save her … 

I’m going to definitely use the next two pages and I plan on doing those this week so make sure to check back to see how the prompts are going.

Do you use writing prompts? If so what kind are they and when?


Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s Thirsty and Tasty features one of my summer favorites – strawberries. While, I’m a vodka girl at heart, rum enhances the tones of strawberries to entirely new level of yumminess.

For the thirsty portion… this is the lovechild of a wild night of ‘romance’ between a rum runner and daiquiri on a Caribbean beach 😉


You’ll Need…

1 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups strawberries

2 cups spice rum (Caribbean rum)
1 cup coconut rum
2 cups pineapple rum
Orange juice or soda (depending on your preference)
Soak the strawberries in the coconut and pineapple rum overnight. The day you are serving, mix in the spice rum. Add the juice or soda at the time of serving.
For the tasty portion is a jelly I love – I mean will pick an English Muffin over a doughnut if I can have this sort of love.  While, I know few people still can because the stuff in the store is close to the homemade stuff without the gross sticky mess…. But this is unique and sooooo soooo tasty that it’s worth the mess.


You’ll need:
2lbs 3oz strawberries
1/3 cup water
½ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
3 tablespoons powdered pectin
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons coconut rum


What you’ll do:
Wash, hull and chop strawberries. Place strawberries and water into a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until very soft and ready to puree. Puree in a blender, food processor or in the pan using an immersion blender or mash to leave chunks if you like! I’m a chunky girl 😉

Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes while you prepare the jam. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in canner until ready to fill with hot jam.


Whisk lemon juice and pectin into strawberry puree. Bring to a boil over high heat and then add the sugar all at once. Bring to a rolling boil (will foam a lot, and you cannot stir it down) and keep at a rolling boil for 1 minute. Then turn the heat off and whisk in the coconut rum. Bottle the jam immediately into hot jars.

While you are boiling the jam, place the lids into a pan of previously boiling water. Do not simmer or boil, just let the lids heat through in the few minutes while you make the preserve and then fill the jars, removing the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.


Immediately spoon the hot jam into hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe rims and seal.


Process sealed jars of jam in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer once water returns to a full boil). When time is up, turn heat off and rest jars in water for 5 minutes before placing onto a towel-covered bench overnight to cool.


Check jars have sealed before labelling and storing in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months (I’ve never had a batch last that long). Jar lids should not flex up nor down when pressed.

Writer’s Wednesday

I haven’t shared a “tease” in awhile and since I have strawberries and rum calling my name (No, I’m not drinking this – yet. I’m still in coffee and doughnut mode) here is the opening for my latest WIP – The Jester.

The Chapter One

Estella looked inside the blood soaked box. “Shit. This is bad.”

When the doorbell had chimed at two minutes after midnight, she’d assumed it was the jester’s first prank before leaving Shadow for the human world.

She never thought she’d be staring into Sam’s dead eyes. Looking up, she scanned into the dark. Of course, she saw glowing eyes and shifting darkness, she lived in Shadow. Minutes past midnight meant every nocturnal creature was prowling…and hunting.

Slamming the door, she leaned against the wood and muttered a protective spell. Who killed Sam? And why leave his head for her?

She mentally went through the list of Shadow residents. None of them stood out as likely candidates in Sam’s murder

Heading upstairs to her bedroom, she picked up the telecom. She pressed Zek’s number and after a dozen buzzes, he answered.

“Whhhhaattt,” he slurred. She tried to decide if it was a drunken or I’m-still-asleep lisp but it was too hard to tell from one word.

“I have trouble.”

After a long stretch of silence she pressed the disconnect button and threw the telecom on the bed. As she pulled on her clothes, her mind raced. Why had she called Zek? He’d proven he couldn’t be trusted. Yet, she’d called.

Shaking her head, she started toward the bedroom door when a shadow formed. Her heart slammed into her ribs with enough force, she half expected to see it laying on the floor in front of her. Someone had broken through her ward.


Hope you enjoyed 😉 I’m off to finish the sauce for Rum Runners this weekend. I’d love to hear what everyone else is working on – writing or otherwise.