Anonymously Mail Letters of Encouragement to Strangers

A random act of kindess can go a long way!

Project Light to Life

letter10 letter9


From the moment I put this item on my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” list, I could not wait to cross this one off the list, especially after imagining how excited I would be if I got an anonymous letter of encouragement. However, I put this item on the list nearly a year ago and after completing it, am angry I waited this long.


A week ago, I went to purchase envelopes and stamps. I rarely send letters anymore – blame technology or maybe just a lack of common sense, but I remember asking my mom how to address a letter just a few years ago – so after I made my purchases I thought, if I have all these envelopes and stamps now so “Why just send one letter?” I decided that instead, I would send three anonymous letters of encouragement to people. I also worried that if I…

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Create Your Dream Writing Space!

Well, it’s been six months since I re-located to Memphis and, I gotta say, my family has been very accommodating. But, the time is drawing near (or perhaps has long since passed) for me to seek my own dwelling place once again. The best part is that since I donated all but my bedroom suite before I moved, I get to pick out all new furniture! One of the spaces I’m looking forward to decorating is my office. After all, it’s the place where the magic happens. At least as far as I’m concerned.

For many years, I’ve written wherever and whenever I could. I’ll admit that I didn’t start taking myself seriously as a writer until the last year and a half. I’ve camped out to write at my dining room table, on my couch, and here lately, snuggled down in my bed. But your girl isn’t getting any younger and writing in less than ergonomically correct spaces is taking its toll. So, when I finally move into my new place, a designated office space is a must.  Also, taking time to create a space specifically for writing sends you (and everyone else that enters your home) the message that your writing is important.

I’m still shopping around, but I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces with you.  I hope they inspire you to think of ways to make your own writing space unique and comfortable.

My style is contemporary shabby chic and I think this desk totally exemplifies that. It has a solid industrial design in a rustic gray stained wood. Whenever I shop for furniture, I not only think of aesthetics, but functionality. This desk has a large surface for working. I can have my lap top, plenty of books, and other knickknacks spread out on it, without feeling crowded. Also, the open shelves beneath it provide plenty of space for decorations and supplies. I have a rep of  being a bit of a pack rat, so having open storage spaces will keep me from accumulating a bunch of junk. I won’t have anywhere to hide it!


The next big-ticket item is a good desk chair. I sit pretty much all day at work. All. Freakin’. Day. So, it’s important that when I spend my evenings and part of my weekends writing, I’m comfortable. A vision of a comfy overstuffed arm-chair danced in my head for about a minute, then I came to my senses. I need a proper desk chair that promotes good body alignment. I also found one that happens to be kind of cute.


Open shelves give me life. Right now, I have a bookshelf to the right of my bed filled with some of my favorite books, vases, family photos and keepsakes. Whenever I take a break from writing and glance at them, they bring me a sense of peace. I plan to fill these contemporary display shelves with similar pieces that speak to me and bring a smile to my face.


Gingham window treatments and a shabby decorative rug help to tie everything together. My choice is the rug with blue accents.



This painting is absolutely gorgeous! For me the perfect example of a successful retirement is sitting on the dock of a bay, watching the tide roll away. Just sitting there whistling, lol. This picture reminds me that I don’t want to wait until retirement to do what I love. I can do it now.


The final touches are accessories that caught my eye and made me smile or gave me a sense of calm. Writing is therapeutic to me (an old cliche that’s true for so many). I like to surround myself with cool tones. They relax and inspire me.

wall panelsglobeLampchestsglass bowl


I did all of my window shopping at One of my aunts orders furniture from them quite frequently and she’s never had a complaint. They also have standard shipping for about a dollar. That’s almost unheard of, especially for furniture. I enjoyed creating my dream writing space, and I hope it inspires you to create one of your own!

My motto is, “If I don’t love it, I won’t buy it!” Do you have a  piece of furniture,  a favorite picture or a knickknack that you would never part with? Tell me about it below!


247. Each time a friend, a colleague, even a random stranger asked him a question

Take a few moments to read this…you won’t regret it! Just proof that it doesn’t take a whole lot of words to pack in emotional punches.

300 stories

Each time a friend, a colleague, even a random stranger asked him a question  of the ‘do you’ kind, his reply would start out the same.

‘Do you remember the formula we had to use in this spreadsheet?’

‘Of course.’

‘Do you know the way to the railway station?’

‘Of course.’

‘Do you suppose that Cary from accounting is having an affair with Violet from reception?’

He knew it all.

He knew how tall the Statue of Liberty was. Three hundred and five feet and one inch, from the bottom of the pedestal to the tip of the torch.

Just like anyone would remember that it takes eight minutes for the Sun’s light to reach Earth or that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two.

He also knew that he would go…

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Book Review: “Distortion” by Terri Blackstock

DistortionTitle: Distortion

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Christian/Mystery/Thriller

Book Description: 

A husband’s lies can have deadly consequences.

When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is gunned down in a dark parking lot before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning. When she’s finally allowed to return home to break the news to her boys, she hears a voicemail that takes the situation from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. “Mrs. Cole, we know you have access to the supply and the money. If you don’t turn fifty million over to us and give us the codes, then you’ll be burying more family members.” Suddenly, Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger.

She teams up with her sisters and PI Michael Hogan to dig into the sham Bob has been living for years. The more she learns, the worse the betrayal. A drug trafficking history, a fortune in cash, and a secret family all emerge to turn Juliet’s belief system on its head, and threaten the things she loves. Are she and her sisters skilled enough as sleuths to get to the truth?

 My Review:

I have mixed opinions about this book. Let me give you my overall feedback first, then we’ll delve into the rest. This is a well written, well thought out mystery novel. It’s full of twists and turns, and the end came as a complete shock to me. I didn’t see it coming, which I love. It’s rare for a book to have shock value for me, and this one delivered. The thing is, I kind of expected the quality of the writing to be great.  After all, it is written by a respected best-selling author. Terri Blackstock delivered, so no shade towards her.

My issue is purely personal. This is book two in the series, and I wasn’t aware of that when I agreed to review it. I take no pleasure in reviewing individual books in a series, when I haven’t read the preceding book. It’s just flat-out annoying. I will say that the author does a great job of balancing the fine art of giving enough information about what happened in the first book of the series so that new readers wouldn’t be lost, and moving the plot along quickly enough that series fans wouldn’t be bored. Not an easy thing to do. I read it as a stand alone, and still pretty much enjoyed it. But, I’m sure that had I read the first book, I would have enjoyed it even more.

In the end, I could recommend Distortion to a friend with the preface that they should start from the beginning of the series, as I’m sure God, and the author intended! A solid 4 out 5 stars from me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give.

How do you feel about reading a series book as a stand alone? Does it grit in your craw too? (If you need an interpretation of that phrase, feel free to let me know below! 😉 )

The Perfect Query Letter

Not crazy

Hello all of you fabulous people! Can you tell that I’m trying to butter you up for something? I was thinking the other day (yeah, occasionally I do that) and it occurred to me that there’s a distinct possibility that a lot of you are full of knowledge. So, that’s why I’m reaching out to you. I need your help to create the all time greatest query letter EVER! For reals, I need all the help I can get. We’ll also have the opportunity to help other writers perfect their query letter writing ability.

I’m planning to share tips for querying agents in the near future and that’s where YOU step in. I’d love it if you’d email me samples of query letters that have proven successful for you. We’ll define successful as a query letter that received any sort of response from an agent. Whether that response was a request for a partial/full manuscript or simply an agent taking time to respond to your inquiry in any way besides a form rejection letter.

Please email your query letter to Type THE PERFECT QUERY LETTER in all caps in the subject line, then paste the letter into the body of the email. I won’t open attachments. I just can’t take the gamble! Keep in mind that anything you send me may be shared here on, so blocking out any identifying information is a must. If you also want to include a picture of your gorgeous mug and a link to your blog/website, please feel free to do so.

That’s all folks. Holla at your girl!

By the way, for all of the independent publishing warriors out there, check out my series on self publishing by clicking here.

Photo credit: marsmet491 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)