Writing and Math

Writing and math shouldn’t go together!

For years I have explained to family and friend that I do not need math, I’m a writer words trump numbers. After many years of being unable to connect the two subjects I’ve learned how to cope in a world that requires me to know math things.

If I want to know a percentage off of a price I call my friend, or I pull out my handy dandy Dave Ramsey tip card. 

Math is so difficult for me that I can’t get the same answer on a calculator-ever!

Counting money? Forget it. I’ve made piles on the floor of ten ones only to end up with an extra or worse not as many as I thought

I’ve been happy to live with a lack of math knowledge until last night. As I tried to fall asleep, my brain decided it was time to work on my next novella Outlaw on the Pueblo Express (Barbour Publishing 2016). I was thinking about what my character would wear on the train. I could see her face pressed against the window and then turning and asking, “Where do you think we will be at lunch time?”

Math! Boom in my face!

1800s train

What???????????? TIME????????????

Pages of word problems flashed in front of me.

The ones I could never figure out the answer to.

The ones that made me cry in frustration.

The ones where I would shout to anyone who would listen, “Why should I care what time the train will arrive to pick up Bob if it stops at point B for 17 minutes?”

So here I am, faced with my math demon. I will now have to answer the question for my character, “What time will we arrive at point B?” .

I think it is time to phone a friend.

 1800s train



Logitech Wireless Keyboard

I have a logitech Wireless Keyboard and mouse but it died! So I made a video about getting a new one. Don’t you hate when the video freezes and you look like a demented person? 

Shocking video, I know! This is what an author looks like at the end of the day with no caffeine, allergies and lack of sleep! 

After much pretend typing on display keyboards I bought another logitech combination. I’m sad it doesn’t light up but I don’t think the lights would encourage me to write faster. They would most likely distract me especially since they are blue. The old Logitech Wireless keyboard and mouse lasted through writing 5 published books, countless emails and many hours of research. I’m hoping this one does as well.


So tell me, do you have all the letters on your keyboard?

Do you have trouble sharing your computer?

Are you willing to do a video about fun fact? 

*Thanks to Shelley Hitz for telling me next time to turn my phone sideways to record so I don’t end up with the black box.  Next time, if I’m brave enough to do this again I’ll do that. So much to learn!



Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager

It’s time to treat myself. Feeling a bit guilty but it is a work purchase.

Do you have a Kindle?

Do you have the Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager?

I’ve been reading reviews and trying to decide what would be best for me. I will admit I’m a bit of a ‘got to have the newest thing’ but I’ve also learned a lot about money in the past few years -thank you Dave Ramsey. So I’m leaning toward the less expesnive Paperwhite.

Please weigh in on what choice I should buy.

And today is the last day to pick up The Trouble with Ralph on kindle for free!

Learn Scrivener Fast

Learn Scrivener Fast and Get Back to Writing!

Scrivener is an amazing program used for writing books, articles, blog posts and more. It’s inexpensive and it’s filled with so many ways to use it that often I feel a bit lost.

Enter Learn Scrivener Fast!

Have you tried to use Scrivener and become frustrated?  Learn Scrivener Fast is what you need to learn how to use Scrivener. Joseph Michael, the creator of Learn Scrivener Fast, is easy to understand on the videos. I’d even say he’s erased the panic I’ve felt many times trying to figure out something like ‘How to Add Files and Folders to the Binder.’ Listening to Joseph is a pleasure. He explains what Scrivener can do with a calm voice–always good when you’re frazzled. 

What is it?

Learn Scrivener Fast is a video class on the different aspects of how to use scrivener. There are lessons for both Mac and Windows versions. Each video breaks down Scriveners brilliance into short learning classes about 5 minutes long. And if your internet connection is slow-no problem. There are detailed steps along with photos on how to do the thing you are trying to do. 

Learn Scrivener Fast


Why I love it

When I’m working on a project I don’t have a lot of time to flip through pages of a book or long video tutorials on how to do something. I may need to know one specific thing and Learn Scrivener Fast is set up in to be a time saver. In 5-10 minutes I can watch a video on the topic I need and put the information to work for me. Being able to pause the video and back it up until I understand how to work the steps is helpful. 

What I’ve learned

How to import my files from Word and how to get them back out of Scrivener and back into Word for my publisher.

How to use it to write blog posts.

How to use it to make ebooks

How to work Smarter

And so much more! I’m still learning.

If you write books, articles, blog posts or need a place to keep your ideas organized I recommend getting Learn Scrivener Fast before you waste any more time figuring something out on your own.

Click the link and Learn!

Click the link below and check it out. You can preview a video and see what you think. 


*This is an affiliate link but seriously I would not recommend this if I wasn’t using it.

The Festive Bride is almost here!

A quick update: Me and THE FESTIVE BRIDE

I’ve been in my cave writing like a mad woman. Picture uncombed blonde hair, yoga pants and a sweater…sorry no real photo will be posted. You’re imagination will look better than the reality.

I wanted to share my new cover with you. It can’t be ordered yet, but as soon as it can I’ll let you know.


It was so much fun to work on this story. So much fun that I get to write a sequel! Right now it’s titled The Honey Bride. 

I’m also going to be making some changes to the way this blog looks so be prepared for digital drywall dust and scattered tools as I figure out how I can make this blog relevant to you, my faithful readers.

Don’t forget tomorrow is International Go Back to Church Sunday. I’m blogging about that on FaithGirls today.

Go Back to Church Sunday

Go Back to Church Sunday

Copyright: kagenmi / 123RF Stock Photo

Grow Where You’re Planted

Word Nerd=word is PLANT

Are you like me–reluctant to change?

Does God plant you somewhere and expect you to grow?


I live in a military community and admire those families. They wake up planning their days and weeks only to find out by evening they are moving. Packers, moving trucks, saying good-bye to friends can’t be easy for them. And yet, they do it with grace. But what I find the most amazing thing is that the military families in our church plant themselves.

They walk in the door arms out ready to serve in the church. VBS, (vacation Bible school), Sunday School, take the youth to a concert? No problem.

They take “the grow where you are planted” seriously. Get right in there and get their roots anchored, then one day they are gone.

That’s hard on us who have made good friends. We miss them, but the seeds they plant when they are here continue to grow. Our church has an amazing children’s ministry, our youth group is strong and when we step outside we can see the playground that one young “almost a man” did for his Eagle Scout project before his family moved.

I’d like to be more like them. I’m not moving so have time to act.

OR do I?

Complacency sets in for those of us who have lived in one place for a long time. There’s always tomorrow or next year for us.

It’s dangerous to look at life that way. It’s time for a change. A quick trip in an airplane that disappears, a semi-truck hits an electric pole and takes out several cars, a helicopter crashes next to the Space Needle and someone’s life changes in an instant.


Image credit: alexey1985 / 123RF Stock Photo

The transplanting begins. So why wait until a life change pushes you over your comfort line? It’s time for God’s people to grow where they are planted.

I’m guilty of not even sprouting a bud. Time for me to step out and embrace the outside world, VBS will be coming up in June. I hear the craft time calling me to come help.

How can you plant roots or spread seeds at your church home or in your community? 


Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

How to Frame a Shot

Word Nerd: FRAME


Now that I have my new iPhone I’m attempting to frame my shots. You’d think by now that would come natural with as many photos I’ve taken. It doesn’t.

Do you remember your first camera? I do, a Kodak Instamatic. I would save my allowance to buy film, then send it off to be developed, positive I had the best photos ever. When the photos came back most of them weren’t want I expected. The subject I wanted weren’t in the frame. 

photo (32)

It would have been nice to have my aunt –on the left in the photo too!

After taking a photography class I discovered that the camera doesn’t focus on what we think is important. It just takes an image of where the camera lens is pointed. 

With the use of photoshop elements I’ve been able to correct many of my images that weren’t framed the way I wanted. That takes a lot of time because I would take multiple photos hoping to get the right one.

It seems it would be easier to start with the idea of a frame around the image I wanted to capture.

I’ve seen people making frames with their hands so I thought I’d try it. 


This one made my husband laugh because my frame was rather unusual. Seems this isn’t the way it’s done.

frame2 This time I didn’t have my fingers close enough for a tight frame.


Got it this time, but I didn’t like what I saw in my frame. I turned around and took the other end of the suspension bridge.


What do you think? Did I frame this image right? 

Next time you have your camera ready take time to frame the shot. You’ll find things you don’t want in between your hands, there may be a person, a trashcan or a power line. If you do it right you won’t have to spend time in a photo editing program removing unwanted items or cropping to get the image you want.

frame pinterest

The camera doesn’t focus on what we think is important. Tweet This!
Save time frame your photos before you take them. Tweet This!

Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

A Writer’s Chest of Tools

Word Nerd Day! TOOL is the word!


Have you ever wondered what kind of tools a writer might use? 

                                           Tweet this


It seems obvious that we would use the standard writing tools and dictionary but wait there’s more!

Here are some of my favorite tools.

cup with a cross

There’s no writing to be done if this isn’t filled with Chi Spice Black tea, my favorite brand is STASH.

from the inside out

Using from the Inside…Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you! by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck helps me grow my characters from a name to almost real.

Tweet this

timelife women timelife

Research takes time. When I’m writing about the 1800s, I like to go through my collection The Old West series by Time Life. I love the embossed leather covers.

pink notebook

My favorite notebook–yes, it’s pink, but that isn’t the only reason I love it. It has six pockets to hold all the extra things I find.

postit board

My homemade POST IT board helps me keep me on track.

Read my POST IT post to see how I made it and make your own.


I use a program named Scrivener to write. It’s a grand program that allows me to move scenes around or look at photos I’m using to describe my character and settings. Sometimes I need the Scrivener for Dummies book to figure out what I’m doing.


If you’ve read many of my posts you might have noticed I have a comma problem. I write the way I talk so sometimes I go really fast and forget to put in a comma or I drop off

….in thought…

and come back. That’s why this book is good for me.

I’ve shared some of my favorite tools with you. Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you do along with a few of your favorite tools.


Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

An Exotic Experience at Home

Exotic at Home?

Hold on to your britches my exotic experience at home isn’t what you might think. I’m a Midwest girl through and through and if getting exotic means heading to an airplane with a passport in hand let me educate you.

When the Word Nerd Word of the week popped up I wasn’t sure what I could do with that, not much happens in my life to claim the exotic title. Ordering pizza in the middle of the week instead of Friday night tends to be as exciting as it gets.

I set out to change that this week. What could I show my blog readers about living the exotic life at home? It was quite a puzzle. I grabbed my camera and chauffeur and hit the road.


It’s St. Louis Missouri’s 250th birthday this year and there are birthday cakes all over the city. We found this one at the St. Louis Art Museum at the top of Art Hill–known as the place to be on a snowy day because sledding is perfect. And yes I have on a lot of clothes–that exotic temperature is not beach friendly.

Cake at St. Louis


Not far from the Art Museum is Turtle Park where there are sand sculptures of–turtles! There’s also a snake but there was too much ice on the ground to risk getting the photo.



And last but not least how many can say they have one of these nearby their home?

Collinsville Catsup bottle


Yes, that is Santa climbing the bottle and it’s after Valentine’s Day. It’s been cold and icy here. I’m sure it’s too dangerous to climb on the roof to get him down.


How’s that for exotic? Not what you expected? When you do the “out of the ordinary” life at home can be exotic.