Stuff & Nonsense

Do you ever look at all the STUFF you have and think, “Where are the days when people had two outfits, a plate for each person, and a Bible?”  Man, those sound good sometimes.

So here I sit in my room, on my bed.  Typing.  I do that a lot… typing.  I get tunnel vision while I’m typing for a reason.  All the stuff around me presses in on me sometimes.

Look.  We have a big family (at one point 11 in the house… now 8) and 1100 sq. ft.  That’s right.  At one point, we had exactly 100sq. ft. per person.  No. Joke.  Oh yeah.  And one bathroom.  With seven daughters.  Just sayin’.

Our bedroom is 12×14.  It holds a bed, a corner office, bookshelves around the room by the ceiling (think Vannie’s shelves in Ready or Not) and craft shelves and such along one wall.  It’s a LOT of stuff in one room.  And you know what?  I don’t need it all.

I read a book last August.  I’m sure a lot of you have heard of it.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Look, it’s a good book.  There’s a LOT in there that really resonated with me.  There are other things–not so resonating.  But aside from time wasters like “unpack your entire purse every night and repack it in the morning”, it had a lot of important reminders in it.

The big one:  Ask yourself the question: “Does this spark joy?”

There have been online debates about that question.  You know, “But I NEED my stupid nebulizer/toilet brush/industrial-sized-fan-that-sounds-like-a-turbine-engine but those don’t ‘spark joy.'”  Look.  I saw it as “does joy come FROM the use of this?”  I mean, no.  I’m not in love with my nebulizer.  But man, I do love how I feel when I can breathe.  So yeah.  In a round about way, it sparks joy.  Ugly thing that it is. Toilet brush?  Gross.  But dirty toilets are grosser.  So yeah.  The RESULTS of owning and using one spark that joy.  So it’s a keeper and the whole family gets joy from the thing’s existence.  That fan?  It’s ugly.  It’s loud.  It does NOT make me happy to see it at the end of my bed (really should take a picture of that sometime).  But you  know what it DOES do?  It helps Kevin and I get the uninterrupted sleep we need.  And we’re much more pleasant for it.  I guarantee you that THIS sparks joy in the rest of the family.  So yeah.  It stays.

But I’m looking at this photo easel right now.  I bought it to take pictures of my cards.  I don’t use it.  Guess what NEEDS to go? It doesn’t “spark joy” and it isn’t being used.  It’s just taking up valuable real estate in the bookcase under my window.  And you  know what else?  It’s ugly.

Next to it…  A box I bought on vacation.  Still wrapped in the paper they packaged it with when I bought it.  Three years ago.  No. Joke.  It’s gonna go.  Bye. Bye. Box.  (Anyone want a carved wooden box from Minnesota?  Leave a comment.  Guess something about it–how big, what kind of wood (is it even real wood or resin?  I don’t remember!)  What’s carved on it?  Just gimme an answer, and the closest one wins. I’ll pop it in the mail.  Something you might love and more space for me.

You know, this “spark joy” thing is exactly what motivated Kaye in De-cluttering Junkie. She felt the opposite–NO JOY from the constant barrage of stuff that was alway6-dcjs smothering those sparks that other things tried to offer.  So she worked at eradicating things form her life, and like Marie Kondo, sometimes she went overboard.  But the reason was solid.  To weed out that which chokes the life from a home and enjoy that which waters and helps the family flourish.

This week we’re up to De-cluttering Junkie Episode 5. It is FREE for a limited time on Kindle.

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Comment Request: Describe THE box.

 

Day to De-clutter

Well, Jack is just about finished. We’re in the final stages of editing and it’s scheduled to release in just under a week!!! So, things are busy as per usual, at my house. But I’m excited to get this new story out for you guys. Jack is definitely a memorable character.

Speaking of memorable characters… Kaye and Purrlock really vie for that position in these episodes. There’s just something about Purrlock and his, well, cat-i-ness that reminds me of why I have a dog.

This week’s episode is Episode 3. It is FREE for a limited time on Kindle.

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Time for a Change?

Though I can’t say I planned it this way on purpose, necessarily, I do have to admit that the new year, new series bit is rather timely. And what better way to kick of the new year than a reminder to de-clutter, but do so with balance.

Unfortunately for Kaye, at first balance was left out of the equation.

Kaye Harper has had it–utterly fed up with the constant junk that clutters her life. So, armed with a stack of books that each guarantees to teach her the secret of living a clutter-free life, Kaye embarks on a journey that takes her from clutter bug to clutter free–and beyond.

Her family doesn’t know what to think of her and her. While Jacob does enjoy the streamlined beauty of his new life, he is also just as frustrated as their sons as Kaye goes from clean up to clear out–including treasured possessions.

Who knew that what started out as a survival technique would become an addiction?

Episode One: As a speaker at the Christian Women’s Retreat in New Cheltenham, Kaye shares the lessons she’s learned on her journey to a clutter-free life.

While her husband and children watch in fascinated horror, Kaye is determined to rid their life of excess and embrace a less complicated and more orderly existence—all without losing her mind.

But their cat, Purrlock, does his part to ensure her chances at an insanity plea.

The Diary of a Decluttering Junkie is a seven-episode serial novel.

This week’s episode is Episode 1. It is FREE for a limited time on Kindle.

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

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Bringing HearthLand to a Close

 

It’s been a long journey from California, to Rockland, to the fledgling community of HearthLand.  From the first trailer that ended up in a tree, to the brook where so many special moments happened.  We saw people from many other books step into the little town, and I hope into your hearts.  It’s hard to say goodbye, and I suspect we’ll be back with “The Doc”, but for now I thank you for all your encouraging notes on Facebook and in emails. Nothing makes writing these serials any more fun than seeing your excitement and eagerness for the next!

This week’s episode is Episode 36. It is FREE for a limited time on Kindle.

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

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By the way, as a welcome in the New Year special, the entire collection of Past Forwards is only 4.99!! Be sure to grab it while it’s on sale and please share about the special with any friends that you think might enjoy it.

AND, winners have been drawn so be sure to check out that blog post HERE and maybe you’ll have another little Christmas surprise!

I’m baaaaaack!!!!

Whew, just realized, it’s been over 3 weeks since I last blogged!! Between writing, and traveling, and writing, and being sick, and writing and preparation for Christmas, and… well, you get the idea. Time has flown.

BUT! Here we are with Episode 35 of HearthLand for you, at long last. AND the last episode, Episode 36,  *sniff sniff* just went live yesterday (Sunday). That’s right. The very last episode of HearthLand. I have to give a little teaser though… There’s an epilogue for the whole series that will be available in the final volume. It’s not necessary to the plot, but a bonus, nonetheless.

Also, if you want a hint about the next serial novel, and a chance to win all episodes as they go live, check out the Facebook page HERE.

This week’s episode is Episode 35. It is FREE for a limited time on Kindle.

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

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HearthLand’s Newest

We’re on to the next episode, which means we’re up to HearthLand episode 34.

I’m excited to say, I’m home, and I CAUGHT UP!!!! I’m right (write 😉 ) where I want/need to be with my word counts. People, this feels like a miracle. A week ago, I would have told you it was impossible. God is so good to me.

So, without further adieu…

Episode 34 is free for a limited time on Kindle.

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

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Back to Words

As most of you probably know, I just got back home from a lovely, albeit wearying, whirlwind visit with several family members. I re-visited people and places that I haven’t seen for 30 + years, which of course stirs up many thoughts and memories. So, it seems fitting to also re-visit Not a Word  this week.

In Not a Word, the thoughts and memories come alive again for Mac when Savannah comes back to town.notawordcoversm

“I’m saying that I’m not going to trash someone else’s reputation in a futile attempt to restore mine. Everyone would believe her. Why shouldn’t they? It’s probably the only lie she’s ever told in her life. Just happens to be the lie that ruined mine.”

Words have power. Add a solid reputation behind those words, and they have the power to destroy.

It began with a lie.

Mac’s life changed irrevocably with a false accusation. Blissfully unaware of the carnage she left behind when she moved from Brant’s Corners, Savannah Forrester is back and when Mac sees her at church–with a boy–he wants answers.

For eight years he’s lived under the cloud of her accusations–without defending himself. He kept her secret. He endured the shame and the life-altering consequences.

Savannah can set the record straight. Mac says no. The ultimate question remains: what is best for Rory.

And who is Rory really?

Amazon: To take advantage of this limited time special DOWNLOAD the book.

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Comment Request: Do you find it easier to forgive a “big thing” now and then or a lot of little ones?

A Week of Mystery

This year, for NaNo, I’m excited to get started on a new mystery series, Meddlin’ Madeline. Look for more on where I’m going with that later this week. But, not to be left out, it seems like now would be a good time to revisit Alexa. So, this week, the entire series (so far) will be on sale! That’s right. You can get all three books for less than $3!!!

So, starting Monday, Manuscript for Murder will be .99, then Crime of Fashion on Tuesday, and Two o’clock Slump on Wednesday.

I’ve got ways you can help out and share, as well as get your entries in for my two $5 Amazon gift cards giveaway!

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

Amazon: To take advantage of this limited time special download Manuscript for Murder
Crime of Fashion and Two o’clock Slump
on their respective days.

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Comment: Are you looking forward to Alexa 4 or Aggie 4 more?

Ready for Ralph?

Here we are, another Monday. But a good Monday, because we’re up to Episode 33 of HearthLand!

The conflict between two families over how to handle Susannah’s pregnancy lead her and Ramiro to take matters into their own hands. Meanwhile, an engagement party sets Annie on edge over the status of her life. Lessons on forgiveness leave Rory annoyed, and Kim and Justin seek advice regarding her employer’s stalkerish behavior. But who is Dr. Crumm, and does HearthLand really want a medical professional with a reputation for “crummy” bedside manners?

Episode 33 is free for a limited time on Kindle.

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

If you’re willing to help share this with your friends, please consider doing one or the more of the following:

Please, step on over to Amazon and download them!

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Oh, and just a little teaser for Episode 34…

 

Near and Dear

26-abdIf any one of my stories is particularly dear to my heart, more so than the others, I think it’s probably this one. And yet, I think it was also the hardest for me to write. A Bird Died is the story I wrote as a Rockland Chronicles re-telling of the nightmare that happened to my grandson. I’m thankful to God every day that there’s a happy ending to this story. It could have been much worse.

For a limited time, you can get A Bird Died on Amazon for just .99.  I’ve got ways you can help out and share, as well as get your entries in for my 2 $5 Amazon gift cards giveaway!

*please note: links to my books are affiliate links and as such, I may receive advertising compensation from Amazon.

Amazon: To take advantage of this limited time special DOWNLOAD the book.

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Comment: How has your community rallied around a family in time of crisis?