Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Release for Kassy Paris!

First I'm Nobody

He came into Skylar’s life, a stranger with no memory of his past. A troublesome past invades his present. Unfolding evidence indicates Duke Green is a criminal on the run. Does Skylar McCrea trust her instinct or abide by the apparent facts? His past is a mystery, but in the present he is an honorable man. If he were a thief, surely, he would show some characteristics of a man with a criminal mind.

Skylar is a good judge of character and of horseflesh. She knows Skylark’s Son will be another champion for the Lazy M Ranch, and she strongly suspects that Duke Green might be a champion himself.

Their search for Duke’s past takes them across the country. What will be at the end – a life of freedom with Skylar or separation while Duke pays for his crime? What does God have in mind for the two?

Rose PRINT ISBN 1-60154-262-3(308 pages) Sweet Read An Excerpt
Soon to be available in print

Publicity for Kassy Paris

This article came from The Kilgore News Herald:

Look out broadway, you have met your match

Just a little off Broadway and buried in the Heart of East Texas, in a suburban community called Kilgore, you can find the strangest of things.

For instance, just last week approximately 300 gathered at St. Luke's United Methodist Church to be entertained by Reverends Ralph Rudy, Robert Besser and Darwood Galaway with their own version of Broadway hits.

Their attire included top hats, canes and suspenders and the show was presented for their annual Harvest Night. The trio received a standing ovation and it has been told that money was stuffed behind their suspenders during the performance… hmmm. (Perhaps it was the Rangerette kick added to the act that caused such a reaction.) And Nina Fern prepared food for the evening that was considered more of a feast than a meal.

"There's one thing for sure," said Mary Lamb. "Our pastor broke the mold of being the hillbilly of the community, now he is considered Broadway's Musical Man. He is definitely a coat of many colors and has enlivened the church tremendously," she said.

Not to be outdone, the First Pentecostal Church put on a two-day feast this week featuring all homemade goodies. (Rachel Ray you need their recipes.)

Enjoying their makings was Kilgoreite Kassy Paris. She informs us her second novel, "First I'm Nobody" will be released on December 19 and just in time for last minute gift buying. Kassy and former Kilgoreite Elaine Powell co-author the books and have anxiously waited the release date of their latest publication. The pair has been friends since high school and has kept in touch throughout the years. "We have had many discussions over books we were reading over the years," said Kassy. "And we joked about being able to write as well. The joke became serious especially with the ease of cutting and pasting when computer technology took place. Our writing actually began when we wrote the Christmas play for church while we were still in school," she added. More information about the book can be found at

Also seen enjoying chicken and dumplings was Charlie Whiteside. He reminds everyone to come to The Willows at 3 p.m. Sunday to enjoy a community wide singing provided by David Jones from the East Texas University of Marshall with James Holder at the piano. He promises it to be good and we all know what type of performance we will hear from the pianist.

Dr. Kenneth Morrison from Lansing, Michigan and his sister Barbara Howard from Cape Cod, Massachusetts came all the way to Kilgore to reminisce and to see their grandparents home. Unfortunately, the Ana-lab office is now located on the old home site. They are the grandchildren of George and Lola Morrison. "They didn't seem too disappointed," said Charlie Whiteside. "They joined my wife, Jo Ann, and me for lunch and we had a wonderful visit. They remembered playing along the little creek bed that runs behind the office and seemed to enjoy their time spent in Kilgore.

A barrel of information, Charlie also tells us during his trip to the Baptist General Convention lately he saw former Kilgoreites Mark and Ruth Galloway, John Pierce, Frances Gentry and John LaNoue. "We were glad to see them and I'm sure other old timers in the area will be glad to know they were seen.

Be sure to share your fun times ( or not-so) fun times with us. We may be reached at 903-984-2593 or at In the meantime, May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The list that started it all...

Friday, March 21, 2008
A Gift for You Writers!
It took me a couple of hours, but I have put together a list of children's literature agents. All my information came from Agent Query. This is for Wishcraft, but I thought it would be nice to share. What I have done is put only children's literature agents who are currently accepting queries into a table in Word. There were 160 entries, but a lot of them were not accepting unsolicited material, yada yada yada. I sorted through those and the ones that Agent Query needed more information on. The result is a list of ligitimate agents who represent children's authors and are actively seeking queries at this time. Another great thing about this list is that I combined agents that are from the same agency. As you know, it would be a terrible thing to accidently query 2 agents from the same company at the same time. Talk about blacklisted at that agency. With my list, you won't make this mistake. If the agent has an email address, that means they accept email queries. The Word table did not paste into this blog, so below is the list of agents with their addresses and email. Here's what you do: copy and paste the list into Word and then create a table with 4 columns out beside it. The 4 columns should be labeled: work queried, date sent, date response received, and response. When you send out multiple queries on multiple works, this chart will help you keep it all organized. Enjoy and let me know if I made a duplicate entry. I copied and pasted the information straight from Agent Query, so it all should be spelled correctly, but I would always check the agent's site first. Plus, you will need to check their site to see exactly what to submit anyway. Now get busy doing something for your career!

Helen Breitwieser
Cornerstone Literary Agency
4525 Wilshire BoulevardLos Angeles, CA 90010

Ethan Ellenberg
Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
548 Broadway, #5ENew York, NY 10012

Jill Grinberg
Kirsten Wolf
Jill Grinberg Literary Management
244 Fifth Avenue, Floor 11New York, NY 10001

Faye Bender
Faye Bender Literary Agency
337 West 76th Street, #E1 New York, NY 10023

Faith Hamlin
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
55 Fifth Avenue, 15th floorNew York, NY 10003

Alex Glass
John Silbersack
Alyssa Eisner Henkin
Trident Media Group, LLC
41 Madison Avenue, 36th floorNew York, NY 10010

Sara Crowe
Harvey Klinger, Inc.
300 West 55th Street, Suite 11VNew York, NY 10019

Michael Bourret
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management
One Union Square West, Suite 904New York, NY 10003

Miriam Altshuler
Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency
53 Old Post Road NorthRed Hook, NY 12571

Ginger Clark
Laura Blake Peterson
Elizabeth Harding
Ginger Knowlton
Anna Webman
Curtis Brown, Ltd.Ten Astor Place, 3rd floorNew York, NY 10003

Stephanie Abou
Foundry Literary + Media
33 West 17th Street, PH
New York, NY 10011

Joy Harris
The Joy Harris Literary Agency, Inc.
156 Fifth Avenue, Suite 617
New York, NY 10010

William Reiss
John Hawkins & Associates, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1600
New York, NY 10010

Jennifer Lyons
Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC
151 West 19th Street 3rd floor
New York, NY 10011

Jennifer Carlson
Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1107
New York, NY 10011

Robert Lescher
Susan Lescher
Lescher & Lescher, Ltd.
47 East 19th Street
New York, NY 10003

Julie Castiglia
Castiglia Literary Agency
1155 Camino del Mar, Suite 510
Del Mar, CA 92014

Susan Cohen
Jodi Reamer
Rebecca Sherman
Lindsay Davis
Writers House
21 West 26th Street New York, NY 10010
Stephen Malk
3368 Governor Dr, #224F
San Diego, CA 92122

Sandra Dijkstra
Kelly Sonnack
Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency 1155 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014

Jennie Dunham
Dunham Literary
156 Fifth Avenue, Suite 625
New York, NY 10010

Barry Goldblatt
Barry Goldblatt Literary Agency, Inc.
320 7th Avenue, Suite 266
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Tanya McKinnon
Mary Evans, Inc. 242 East Fifth Street
New York, NY 10003

Helen F. Pratt
Helen F. Pratt, Inc.1165 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Victoria Sanders
Victoria Sanders & Associates
241 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 11H
New York, NY 10014

Susan F. Schulman
Susan Schulman Literary Agency
454 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036

Alice Tasman
Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency
216 East 75th Street, #1E
New York, NY 10021

Scott Treimel
Scott Treimel New York Agency434 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003

Bill Contardi
Brandt & Hochman Literary Agency1501 Broadway, Suite 2310
New York, NY 10036

Emily Sylvan Kim
Rachel Orr
Prospect Agency
285 Fifth Ave., PMB 445
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Joe Veltre
Artists Literary Group
27 West 20th Street; 10th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Andrea Brown
Laura Rennert
Caryn Wiseman
Jennifer Jaeger
Michelle Andelman
Jamie Weiss Chilton
Andrea Brown Literary Agency
1076 Eagle Drive
Palo Alto, CA 93905

Marie Brown
Marie Brown Associates412 West 154th Street
New York, NY 10032

Gina Panettieri
Rachel Dowen
Talcott Notch Literary Services
276 Forest Road
Milford, CT 06460

Jennifer DeChiara
Stephen Fraser
Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency
31 East 32nd Street, Suite 300
New York, NY 10016

Stephen Barbara
Donald Maass Literary Agency
121 West 27th Street, Suite 801
New York, NY 10001

Gina Maccoby
Gina Maccoby Literary AgencyP.O. Box 60
Chappaqua, NY 10514

Scott Andrew Mendel
Mendel Media Group, LLC
115 West 30th Street, Suite 800
New York, NY 10001

Marianne Merola
Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents1501 Broadway, Suite 2310
New York, NY 10036

Sally Woffard-Girand
Brick House Literary Agents
80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101
New York, NY 10011

Rosemary B. Stimola
Stimola Literary Studio
306 Chase Court
Edgewater, NJ 07020

Regina Brooks
Serendipity Literary Agency
305 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216

Holly McGhee
Emily van Beek
Samantha Cosentino
Pippin Properties, Inc.
155 East 38th Street, Suite 2H
New York, NY 10016

Kevin McAdams
The Schiavone Literary Agency400 East 11th Street, #7
New York, NY 10009
James Schiavone
Schiavone Literary Agency
236 Trails EndWest Palm Beach, FL 33413

Paul S. Levine
Paul S. Levine Literary Agent
1054 Superba Avenue
Venice, CA 90291

Tina Dubois Wexler
International Creative Management ICM
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Wendy Strothman
The Strothman Agency
One Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 3rd floor
Boston, MA 02109

Lilly Ghahremani
Stefanie Von Borstel
Full Circle Literary, LLC
7676 Hazard Center Dr., Suite 500
San Diego, CA 92108

Jonathon Lazear
Christi Cardenas
The Lazear Agency
431 Second Street, Ste 300
Hudson, WI 54016

Nadia Cornier
Ted Malawer
Elana Roth
Firebrand Literary
285 West Broadway, Suite 520
New York, NY 10013
*Note to please contact through website*

Scott Gould
RLR Associates, Ltd.
7 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

Michelle Grajkowski
3 Seas Literary Agency
P. O. BOX 8571
Madison, WI 53708

Jenoyne Adams
Bliss Literary Agency International, Inc.
1601 N. Sepulveda Blvd, #389
Manhattan Beach , CA 90266

Peter Cox
Redhammer LLC
186 Bickenhall Mansions
London, WIU6BX

Diane Dreher
Rights Unlimited
6 West 37th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Jay Poynor
The Poynor Group 444 East 82nd Street, Suite 28C
New York, NY 10028

Catt LeBaique
Heacock Literary Agency
11740 Big Tujunga Canyon Rd
Tujunga, CA 91042

Andrea Cascardi
Transatlantic Literary Agency
P.O. Box 349
Rockville Centre, NY 11571

Marianne Strong
Jason Allen Ashlock
Marianne Strong Literary Agency
65 East 96th Street
New York, NY 10128

Jenny Rappaport
L. Perkins Agency
15-9 Interlaken Court
Freehold, NJ 07728

Kate McKean
Howard Morhaim Literary Agency 30 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Robert Astle
Robert Astle & Associates Literary Management, Inc.
12 Desbrosses Street
New York, NY 10013

Susanna Einstein
LJK Literary Management
70 West 40th Street, Floor 8
New York, NY 10018

Nancy Gallt
Nancy Gallt Literary Agency273 Charlton Aveune
South Orange, NJ 07079

Edward Necarsulmer IV
McIntosh and Otis
353 Lexington Avenue, 15th floor
New York, NY 10016

Kirby Kim
Vigliano Associates
405 Park Avenue, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10022

Laurie McLean
Larsen Pomada Literary Agency
PO Box 258
La Honda, CA 94020

Anne Marie O’Farrell
Denise Marcil Literary Agency
156 Fifth Avenue, Suite 625
New York, NY 10010

Jacqueline Ross
Cornerstone Literary Agency
4525 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Yvonne Woon
Ian Kleinert
Objective Entertainment
265 Canal Street, Suite 603
New York, NY 10013

Etta Wilson
Books & Such Literary Agency
52 Mission Circle, Suite 122, PMB 170
Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Peter Riva
International Transactions
Gila, NM 88038

Ronnie Gramazio
Martin Literary Management
37 West 20th Street, Suite 804
New York, NY 10011


DeLyn Fisher Featured in the Institute of Children's Literature Newsletter

Featured at the Institute for Children's Literature!

I am so thrilled! Thanks to a heads up from some new blog readers, I discovered that one of my blog entries was featured in the Children's Writer's eNews from the Institute for Children's Literature (ICL), also known as Jan Field's Rx List for ICL. This is really special to me because I didn't request to be featured in the newsletter. My blog was "discovered" and rewarded for its merit. It's nice to know that people are really reading my blog and that I truly do have something to offer others. This also explains the recent surge in membership to my Yahoo! Group. Thanks everybody!!! Below, I have copied and pasted the part of the newsletter that has my feature.

Children's Writers eNews
September 11, 2008
"The Write Words to Read"
The Institute of Children's Literature
"If you're not scared, you're not writing.... A state of anxiety is the writer's natural habitat."
--Ralph Keyes, The Courage to Write (Henry Holt and Company, 1995)

1. News For You: Chat is Back!
2. New: "Attention to Detail" with Bev. Cooke
3. Vintage Goodie
4. Next Guest Speaker Event
5. Come Hang Out in Chat
6. A Blog Worth Reading
7. An Agent List
8. Article
9. Critique News
10.Good News

Lucky #7 is mine and here's the rest:

7. Agent List

This lady has created a list of children's writing agents who are accepting queries.

This one is for everyone who has asked how you find a list of agents for children's writers.

All I can say is, "WOW!" Thanks and glad I could be of service.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Never the Two Shall Meet? - I Don't Think So!

I'm so excited to report that my friend and Christian Romance Author, Delia Latham, traveled halfway across the United States just to see me!!!

Well...maybe not just to see me, but I was definately on her list of must sees.

Check out the photos!We met up at Bodacious Bar-B-Q in Gilmer, Texas to have lunch and chit chat. Her husband is SO SWEET! We gave each other autographed copies of books.

Even though I'm a writer, it's hard to express in words how much this visit meant to me. I'm good at writing about the world of make believe, but this is real. Until Friday, Delia was a picture on the web, words on a blog, expression in email, and a world away. It takes 3 days to drive from California to Texas and vice versa.

Now I will no longer refer to her as my internet friend. Now I can just call her MY FRIEND. No two sweeter words.

Delia, I can't wait til you move here and bring your beautiful family! Drive home safe!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

The BIG Goldeneyes Contest Series

You are INVITED...please come!

When: June through December 2008

Where: Delia's Website

What: It's a HUGE contest in promotion of my new novel, Goldeneyes! God has blessed me with a number of incredible sponsors, enabling me to offer some truly fantastic prize packages. One BIG prize package will be awarded every month from June through December. Some of these packages are valued at well over $100!!! Come on over and get your entry in!

How: Instructions for entry are available on my website. Just visit the contest page and get all the details.

I'll be watching for you!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Memo Pause

Here is a great product for all you writers out there. It's called Memo-Pause. Visit the website for more details. Aren't they fabulous!?!
www.memo-pause. com
Author Carla Cassidy: "I would love to win a Memo-Pause. I am definitely memo-pausal. I would wear it daily to write down important notes. I've gotten so tired of wearing post-it notes on my clothes. They don't do well in the wind or rain. I chased one down the other day for two blocks. As a writer I would find the Memo-Pause invaluable for thosemoments when inspiration strikes and I can't get to my office. Actually, it would be kind of like wearing a little office around my neck. It could also draw attention away from the turkey waddle that has appeared with age. (What's up with that, anyway?)"
Author Delyn Fisher: "As an elementary school teacher, my students are a source of endless inspiration. I would use my Memo-Pause to jot down story ideas. It would also help to keep track of those million things I do on a daily basis."
* I was featured in her newsletter, though I didn't win the contest! *
Anyway, I just thought I would share this idea with you. Let me know how you like it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Breaking News...

...literally! Thank you to all my family and friends who have called with your love and concern for Rebekah. For those of you who don't know, she had a trampoline accident Thursday. After making her suffer all night because we thought she was being dramatic, Scott took her in this morning because she couldn't walk. We're glad he did because it was indeed broken just below the knee. However, she managed to just miss the growth plate.
She's in a lot of pain now, but we're praying for a speedy recovery. She should get the cast off around the 4th of July.
This is a picture of her fabulous hot pink cast. She's talking to her Great-Aunt Brenda on the phone, who called to comfort her a bit. She's upset because nobody has "sent" her anything yet, but I told her that everyone just found out today. So get to sending. She's expecting cards and letters and no telling what all else! Hehehe!
Love Ya'll!

Friday, May 23, 2008

I had a little chat...

...with Author Shirley Kiger Connolly. Well, actually she had a little chat with me. OK, now that we're all thoroughly confused...Shirley interviewed me on her blog. Just a wee little chat to discuss a couple of fun things I'm up to right now. Come on over and check it out!

If you're thinking of passing this one up, let me just say this...DON'T! You won't want to miss my announcement in this interview. It's BIG and it's GOLDEN!

Delia Latham

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Romance Book Junction

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to pop in tell you all about a great site connecting readers and writers. Romance Book Junction is a wonderful place to find, discuss, and connect with romance books and authors. Come join the fun!

View my page on Romance Book Junction

I also am delighted to announce that I now have my book cover for Her Royal Protege! This sweet romantic novella will be available this summer from Red Rose Publishing.

I also have a short sweet paranormal romance - Blind Love- coming out soon from The Wild Rose Press.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008


Below is a series of 13 previously-published blog entries from my personal blog: I thought that I would post them here for our Daily Muse audience. This is a detailed analysis of the novel "Wishcraft" by Barbara Sher.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wishcraft: Introduction - Part 1 of 14

I was recently (today) introduced to a free eBook called "Wishcraft: How to Get What You Want" by Barbara Sher. This book is for ordinary people with BIG dreams and small bank accounts. It's a self-help book that shows you how to make your wishes come true. I'm going to do a 14 part series on the book, as I read it, and let you know how it works in my life. I am one of those people who was born poor, am still poor, but I've known since a very young that I was meant to be somebody important and to do great things. I wake up everyday with "wishes" in my heart for my life, but no money to make those wishes come true. I'm interested in seeing how this book plays out in my life and whether it works or not.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wishcraft: Chapter 1 - Part 2 of 14

Chapter 1 of Wishcraft is about the "care and feeding of the human genius." It's starts out by asking an important question: Who do you think you are? So many of us would answer this by stating our name, age, occupation, and relation to various individuals in our lives. But this would be wrong. Who we are should be about what passions run through our soul, what we love to do.

Then the author goes on to explain that all of us are born geniuses in some form or fashion, but we lose our true sense of self by the time we reach gradeschool. She goes on to explain that it's not too late to get this genius back. Through a series of exercises, she promises that we will re-discover our "original self."

I must say that I am flabbergasted by this revelation. It truly is a revelation to know that every human being was born, BORN with a purpose. And even though we may have developed "amnesia," we can get it back. We can all learn to follow our hearts once again and have true passion for life. I know there are many screaming voices inside of me that I need to nurture. I can't wait to read chapter two!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wishcraft: Chapter 2 - Part 3 of 14

Chapter Two of Wishcraft talks about the environment that creates winners. The author explains that your genius should be nurtured in a certain way, but that most of us didn't grow up in the right kind of environment to achieve this. So our genius faltered and we developed amnesia. This nurturing should have included encouragement in our interests, support when we failed (but not making it okay to quit), and teaching us how to achieve by showing us how it is done.

What does this translate to?

Ideally, we should have parents and family around us who encourage us no matter what, who tell us that sometimes things are hard but not to give up, and who are winners themselves. I know what you're thinking. Yeah, right!

But this idea is SO important and so true. You can see it at work most plainly in the wealthy, privileged set. Mr & Mrs Wealthy have a son, they take great pride in everything he does, they encourage him and make him feel like he's the king of the world from day 1, when things get hard they push him to go on, his whole life he sees Mr & Mrs Wealthy achieving all their dreams so he knows exactly how it works and how it feels, and when he reaches adulthood Mr & Mrs Wealthy pass on to him a NICE setup in life: job, education, connections, friends, you name it.

So if this is what it takes to be a winner, then how do ordinary people like you and I achieve our dreams?

It's simple. Just take the same scenario and empty the bank account. Encouragement is free. Support is free. And those are the most important gifts you can give your children. There are a lot of rags-to-riches stories out there that show us that you don't have to be born with a silver spoon to achieve your goals.

Well, that's great for MY children, but what about ME?

Good question. And the author promises to answer that question in another chapter. Do you see why I can't put this book down? I've got to know the secret!

On to chapter 3.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wishcraft: Chapter 3 - Part 4 of 14

Well, Barbara Sher has done it again. She's effectively peeled another layer of the onion. Chapter 3 of Wishcraft was all about how your personal style provides deep insight into your ambitions and goals. Readers were encouraged to make a list of things in your home that show your personal "style." For example, I noticed that I have art in my home, scrapbooking supplies, books, and journals. Now some people might think of this stuff as clutter. After years of listening to my husband complain about my subpar housekeeping skills, I realized that I had come to believe those things to be less than they really are. After completing the exercise, I learned to look at those things in a different way. I realized that I am an artist, an avid scrapbooker, a dedicated reader, and a gifted writer. Having those items in my home is not a sign that I am a clutter magnet, as others would have me believe. Those items exist in my life because my subconscious encourages me to gather them because my subconscious knows better than I do who I really am. That "clutter" is a sign that the real me is trying to get out.

After completing the exercise, I still felt that I needed to clean my house, but I didn't feel like I needed to apologize for it anymore. I also wanted to take all those books out of boxes and give them a proper home - so I bought book shelves. Now I'm proud of my books, and I want the world to see them. Who cares if they collect dust? They represent an important part of my genius. I also put all my scrapbooking supplies in a large plastic tub. Having it all together makes me feel like I'm a professional scrapbooker, a real Martha Stewart. And I even framed my art and hung it up on the walls. I don't consider myself an artist. I'm not pursuing art as a career. And I don't draw all that much. But I do love art. Not prints you buy in chain stores, but real original art. I love it. And this book got me to thinking about how I've managed to acquire several pieces of original art. I even know several "real" artists. I'm drawn to them. And now I know this means something.

This was a great chapter. I didn't realize how suppressed I was until Barbara Sher opened my eyes. Now I look at my environment in a different way. But that's the point. First, you look at your own environment in a different way, and then you bring others into to as sources of support and encouragement. In a sense, you re-create what you didn't have growing up.I feel re-born. I feel like I'm regaining my memory of my original genius. And I'm ready to do it right this time.

On to chapter 4.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wishcraft: Chapter 4 - Part 5 of 14

In chapter 4, I developed my Goal Plan. It's looks like this:

Dream: professional writer
Touchstone: work from home, win awards, respect in the industry, world reads my wordsRole Model: Kara Lennox, Harlequin Romance Novelist
Target: My books on every bookstore shelf

I just loved this chapter because I finally got start tapping into my goals in preparation for achieving them. I felt that the exercises, which included making a "problems list," were right on track. I know a lot of times in self-help books, they have an overabundance of seemingly meaningless exercises, but no so in Wishcraft.If I haven't inspired you to read Wishcraft by Barbara Sher yet....GET TO IT!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 5: Part 6 of 14

Chapter is about hard times, or the power of negative thinking. Everyone has dreams. And everyone has problems that get in the way of those dreams. This chapter is about facing those problems. It talks about the terrible "yes, but..." game that wages war with our minds on a daily basis.

There was a very interesting section on complaining. Apparently, there are two types of complaining: good complaining and bad complaining. As I read this part, I was reminded of a section in another very popular book about life, "The Purpose Driven Life." In that book, the author states, "you can't complain about what you permit." This quote stuck in my mind like a giant splinter. So many of us go through life as self-made doormats. Then we THINK we have right to complain.

Here's what the author means by good complaining and bad complaining. Good complaining is a helpful way to release negative feelings about things that are beyond our control. Bad complaining is just complaining for the sake of complaining about things that you COULD do something about if you would only quite playing the "yes, but..." game.

Now deciding the difference between these two is entirely a different story. Because so many people, including myself, think that we are dependent on others to make our reality. The truth is that making our dreams come true is scary, and it's easier to hide behind our loved ones and responsibilities that to face them.

Then the author goes back to the artform (yeah, you read that right) of complaining. She mentions that various cultures and religions have made rituals out of complaining: gypsy songs, singing the Blues, and all the lamentations of the Bible! Complaining is good therapy. It keeps you from becoming numb to world around you. It keeps those emotions whirring. It keeps your fighting spirit working.

Now you just need to figure out when to stop complaining and take action. Complaining is just one component of a healthy emotional diet. You must also have a good balance of ACTION!

What does complaining do for our soul? Well, it's not really what the complaining does. It's what the person we're complaining to does - validation. We love to complain because we need validation that our problems are real and that we matter.

The author suggests putting up pictures of our heroes, so that we can complain to them without them talking back. The worst thing anyone can do when you complain is give you advice, so this is a safe way to complain without receiving bad advice. Also, everyone should have pictures of their heroes up, to keep yourself focused on your goal.

Another thing that our heroes can do for us - research into their lives shows us that everyone, even those who have achieved what we have achieved, go through periods of highs and lows. Not every successful person comes from a priviledged background with everything handed to them on a silver platter (though it seems that way sometimes). What makes a successful person unique is that they have the structure and support that the author referred to in previous chapters. Structure and support.

Is it really that you CAN'T or is it that you just DON"T WANT TO?

The rest of the novel will focus on setting up a system of structure and support. I can't wait!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 6: Part 7 of 14

We're halfway there! It's been an extraordinary ride. By now, I hope that I have convinced you to download the FREE eBook by Barbara Sher. Did I mention it's FREE? Just go to: to download your FREE copy. It will change the way you look at life, maybe even change your life. Baby steps.

In a nutshell, here's Chapter 6:

Chapter 6 is called Crafting I: Plotting the Path to Your Goal. It's about down-to-earth miracles. So far, the book has got our hopes up about our dreams for life and then crashed those dreams by focusing on all the problems that keep us from achieving our dreams. I have to admit that the reason I put this book down is because it depressed me so much that couldn't continue. It's not a good thing to think about your dreams and then think about all the obstacles that stand in the way. It's disheartening to say the least.

But now that my mind has had time to clear, I think I'm ready to continue on. Yesterday's chapter gave me a sliver of hope because it hinted that we be working on overcoming those challenges. But when I read today's chapter, I was even more satisfied. Specifically, it said we would be working on building bridges over those challenges. I can't wait!

Here we go:

A disease that is more common that the "common" cold and that spreads faster than the Black Plague is keeping us from achieving success. It is called pathological individualism with conventional wisdom being the primary symptom. In other words, we think that we have to achieve our dreams by ourselves in a standard way. So-and-so did it all by himself (pathological individualism) by following the rules (conventional wisdom). Whoever said that you couldn't get a little help along the way? And whoever said you had to achieve something in the exact manner as those who came before you?

Do not dispair! Unlike a cold, there is a cure. And unlike those unfortunate victims of the Black Plague, help doesn't have to come too late.

Barbara Sher, describes a 2-part remedy: brainstorming and barn-raising. This goes along with that saying, "Two heads are better than one." Find a network of people who are willing to help you and TAKE that help. Don't feel bad about. Here's my problems list for becoming a successful, published author:

1. money (having to work for a living until my writing supports me)
2. time (since I have to work, it leaves little time to write)
3. no agent (this one speaks for itself)4. no childcare options that don't cost money (I never have time away from children when I can write)

Possible bridges:

1. Husband leaves the teaching profession for "man" job with a bigger paycheck, so that I can stay home
2. By staying home, I can write all day
3. work on author friend connections to get an agent
4. move my mother into the spare room, so that she can keep the kids for free (hahaha)

The point of this chapter was to come up with potential solutions for the problems, no matter how crazy they are. These solutions couldn't be listed in just any order. Sher proposed creating Flow Charts that lists the steps for each solution in order.The most important thing about a flow chart is that each step has to be so small and manageable that you could do it tomorrow!

I'm going to get started on my flow chart right now!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 7: Part 8 of 14

Chapter 7 is called Barn-Raising...and for a good reason! It talks about exchanging goods and services for love instead of money. That means that you enlist people to help you achieve your goals. Most people will help you for nothing, but for some you can give them something in return. For example, I used to be a massage therapist in my college years. I still own my table, so I could give massages in exchange for editing help or an introduction to an agent.

This chapter digs deep into the world of "ole' boy network." For women, this is the equivalent of the "cup of sugar connection." It's modern barn-raising, but a more modern term, according to Sher, is a resource party or resource network.

There are two rules for a successful barn-raising:

1. Be as specific as possible as to your needs
2. Always ask for the most specific information you can get

My favorite quote from this chapter is, "just knowing that someone else's eyes have seen your plans helps to keep you from sliding back to the never-never land of dreams."

You really can't achieve your dreams on your own. You need the help and support of friends and family.

Still feel bad about asking for help? Sher talks about keeping a balance of giving and getting and even details some safe-guards for a barn-raising.


This always comes up when you're talking about achieving your dreams. Sher makes it clear that when it comes to money, you should always get the terms in writing...even when it involves friends and family.

I know everyone has heard of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." There's been a scientific study that says that everyone in the world in connected to everyone else in the world by 6 people or less. Sher talks about that experiment and how personal connections (who you know) is essential in achieving your dreams.

Safeguards for a Barn-Raising

1. the Principle of Mutuality - "I scratch your back if you'll scratch mine"
2. the right to say "no"

I particularly enjoyed her description of "mamas" and "babies." These are the two extremes of mutuality. Ther former helps and helps and loses track of her own dreams. The latter takes and takes and never learns do anything for herself. As a "mama" (I have always considered myself a doormat), it was nice to know that there are others out there like me and that there is hope for this disease.

All in all, this was a very fast-paced and jam-packed chapter. And there was a nice little surprise at the end. She added that there is something called "success teams," which is a resource sharing group across the country that you can plug into by filling out a questionnaire. I don't know if there is a charge for this service, but I'm definately going to flip to the end of the book and check it out.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 8: Part 9 of 14

Chapter 8 is about finding blocks of time to do what you love. But what if your goal is to do what you love full time? Well, do what love in your spare time first and work your way up from there.

Still don't think you have time to achieve your goals?You won't get sympathy from Sher. She says that "not having time is no excuse." In fact, she gives this excuse a name: avoidance patterns. These are all those little time-stealers. She encourages you to take inventory of them and do what you love instead.

Shucks, I'll gladly give up laundry, dishes, housework, dishes, did I mention dishes?

Sher even provides a niftly little chart on which to record how you spend your mornings, afternoons, and evenings every day of the week.

She says that most people who complete this exercise fall into one of two categories:

1) The Procrastinator - "Gee I had no idea I was wasting so much time!"
2) The Good Woman/Provider - "Gee I keep a lot people clean, well-fed, and happy."

Then there are the split personalities like me! Hehehe!

But in spite of this, Sher suggest NOT making any resolutions to get rid of your avoidance patterns. She actually says that this will lead to inner rebellion that will drive you straight into the arms of wasted time. Instead, she suggests scheduling time for your weaknesses: watching tv, surfing the internet, cleaning house, etc.

To ease your way out of your avoidance patterns and into goal-reaching mode, she suggests making a schedule of "Me Time" but don't list specific things for you to do. If you use her worksheet to record your time, you'll probably notice that your time wasters occur on a natural schedule that reflects your work schedule, kids' schedules, etc. For me, I get home around 4:30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesdays, I teach clogging, so I get home around 7:30. On Thursdays, we go to the library. So I have from 4:30 until 8pm (sort of) on MWF. And from 7:30 until 8ish (sort of) on TTR. I have all day (sort of) on Saturday and Sunday. I say "sort of" because I have 2 small children. They have needs, on after another after another after another.

Now take this time and cut it in half. You do your goal work for the first half, with the promise of goofing off for the second half. She mentions that little by little, you'll start cutting into your goof off time without even realizing it.

As for good mother/providers: she's pretty matter-of-fact. She says BLATANTLY that if you like to have a clean house and all that, then stop whining about it and just do it. And don't let anybody give you a hard time about it. But if you don't care about housework, and it's only keeping you from doing what you want to do, then just STOP! And again, don't let anyone give you a hard time about it.

Then she tells us to make a list of all the things we must do in this lifetime. Then cross out all the things you would cross out if you were going to die in six months. Then start focusing on those things and quit worrying about your making your bed and cooking gourmet meals.

If you think your kids are just going to DIE if you don't sacrifice yourself to provide the perfect life for them, Sher includes a nice section about obligations. She has several of her workshop attendees tell about how they actually resented their parents for working too hard to provide when they all they really wanted to spend time with them.

Now it's time to set up your planning wall.

Basically, this is a wall or bulletin board where you display all the charts you have created so far in this program. Here's a list:

1) a picture of your role model (top)
2) your flow chart (center)
3) on the left side of your flow chart, write "tomorrow" - this is where you will list your steps to achieve your goal - mark them out as you do them, but each step should be something you can achieve tomorrow
4) your goal goes at the far right of your flow chart
5) under your goal, write your target date
6) cut out or draw a picture that represents your goal and put that underneath, too
7) your goal calendar - this is a piece of paper divided into boxes, one box for each month between now and your target date
8) give each of your tomorrow steps a deadline and record on this calendar
9) list of immediate priority steps
10) weekly calendar where you list the steps you plan to take that week
11) transfer all this information to a pocket calendar that you keep with you at all times
12) a sheet that shows what you want to be doing with your life each year for the next five years
13) two post-its: 1 marked "today" and 1 marked "tomorrow" - you will change these out each night and list the step you completed today and what you plan for tomorrow

This sounds like a lot of work - and it is - but it will pay off in the long run. I don't know if I will be able to keep up a system like this, but I WILL find a way to streamline it to suit my life.

What will you do today to reach your goal? What will you do tomorrow?

If nothing else, ask yourself those two questions each day.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 9: Part 10 of 14

Chapter 9 is titled: First Aid for Fear

I think this quote from the book sums it up:

"Fear strikes when you feel as if you'd been so busy building and climbing a ladder that you forgot there was a 30-foot diving board at the top. All of a sudden you're teetering out at the end of that board, with your toes curling over the edge, and the loud peaker is booming, "Hello! Are you ready?" And as the spotlight hits you and the drums began to roll, you feel like yelling, "Wait a minute! I thought we were just having fun! I didn't know I was actually going to have to jump!"

The whole book so far has been about preparing for action. With this chapter, there is now a call to action. Taking action is scary.

There are different types of fear:

1) stage fright - uncertainty of yourself, self-doubt
2) survival fear - the unknown, lack of preparation in first-generation winners

Together, these two are a vicious cycle: "Can't get self-confidence without experience. Can't get experience without self-confidence."

Sher then talks about how to overcome survival fear, which is the hardest of the two, by humoring it and treating it like a small child and giving it it's way, so-to-speak.

1) "I'm not prepared." - So indulge your survival fear and do what you need to prepare yourself. Just don't do nothing at all, simply because you're not prepared. Get prepared.
2) "I'm not good enough." - So indulge your survival fear and lower your standards. Allow yourself to make mistakes early. Consider early attempts just practice. Make some trial runs."Give your experience and skill time to catch up with your vision and ambition."Learn to say, "I'm a beginner. I'm new at this. It's my first day."She mentions a quote from Robert Townsend, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."
3) "I can't do this alone." - It doesn't have to be lonely at the top, as the cliche goes. It's okay to make achieving your dreams a group effort. Those you love and care about will only benefit from your good fortune.

After all of this, Sher stresses the importance of rewarding yourself for your hard work. Here's the funniest quote from the book:"Virtue is it's own reward. As far as I'm concerned, the reward for virture should at least be a chocolate sundae, or preferably a trip to the Bahamas."

Now go out there and take action in achieving what you want most in life!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 10: Part 11 of 14

Self Improvement and Home Improvement are two very different things. Home Depot's message proclaims, "Do it yourself," but the message for chapter 10 is "Don't do it yourself."

Sher encourages us to employ our family and loved ones on our team to help us achieve our goals, rather than do nothing because we're worried about what they might think. Then she gives us some survival tips for making the transition:

1) Let them be mad. - You don't need permission to follow your dreams. Do they love you for the role you play or for the real you?
2) Work it out. - Draw out a contract or a detail description of how life is going to be with all the new changes.

Sher details a family economic conference, complete with questions. This gets the whole family involved and prepares them for what is about to happen. It's easier to accept change when you feel like you have an active role in the process.

There is even an entire section on housework. This is a biggy. I know it is in my house, since I'm a clutterbug and my husband is a neat freak with OCD. I think the thing we fight about most is how dirty he thinks the house is and how I would rather write or read than do housework. My philosophy is: if we don't have bugs then the house is fine AND clutter ain't dirt!

What? Your husband doesn't subscribe to this philosophy?

Sher lists 4 strategies for dealing with this dilema:

1) Democratic Chaos - the ole' yeah-I-wish-I-had-a-maid-too speech
2) Compassionate Autocrat - this is for people who want to achieve their goals AND have a clean house. Obviously, I don't fall into this category, but I suppose it's worth mentioning. Basically, if you must have a clean house, don't do ALL the work yourself. Share in the housework with others who live with you.
3) I Need You to Take Care of Me - If taking care of your family makes you feel good, then give them the same pleasure by letting them take of you sometimes. Don't be such a control freak.
4) Love Your Life - You know that old saying, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." It's true. Very true.

When you approach your family wih a new idea, allow them to be a part of the strategy process. Even children have a lot to offer when it comes to reaching your goals. They just want to be a part of the process. Whenever I'm developing a children's story, I always look to my oldest daughter for input. Who knows children's books better than a child?

There's a section in this chapter for single folks or older people who live alone. She tells how to set up a buddy system. This buddy system can offer you 3 kinds of help, according to Sher:

1) Expectation - check in with each other
2) Hard Times - emotional support
3) Practical Help - two heads are better than one

With either system, you must have weekly business meetings and several 3-minute booster phone calls. Sher gives details about what these meetings and phone calls should include.The 2 main rules are:

1) Be on time.
2) Use a clock or kitchen timer.

5 mins - report in for the week
20 mins - go over problems and solutions
10 mins - hard times "bitching" session, if needed
5 mins - scheduling for next week

Then switch places, and it's your partner's turn. This meeting should last 1-hour, maybe a little more if there is a hard times session.

She talks about crisis points that keep you from doing what you need to do. Sometimes a crisis will send you into Intensive Care. She details how to handle these moments.

With help and love, anything is possible!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 11: Part 12 of 14

Chapter 11 is titled: Proceeding

Basically, it tells you how to proceed from here, once you've established all of your planning sheets. Here is an excerpt directly from the chapter that sums of what you should have ready:

"On Your Planning Wall

1. your personal "saint"
2. flow chart
3. goal calendar
4. first steps
5. weekly calendar
6. the next five years
7. the next step: tonight / tomorrow

To Carry With You Wherever You Go

1. purse or pocket calendar
2. actions and feelings journal
3. hard times notebook

Here's What You Do Every Week

1. Sunday night planning meeting
- review what you've done this week
- flow chart and goal calendar update
- list of first steps
- problems list (hard times and brainstorming)
- next week's plan (calendar and pocket/purse calendar)
- journal
- next steps
- dreaming

Daily Procedure
- journal (evening)
- list of first steps (evening)
- the next step (evening)
- rewards (evening)
- get up 10 minutes earlier than you have to (morning)
- look at the Next Step on your planning wall (morning)
- look at flow chart to gauge where you are (morning)
- quick glance at "saint" and gather up travel calendar (morning)"

And that's all she wrote. Really puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

Go get 'em, Tiger!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wishcraft Chapter 12: Part 13 of 14

Epilogue - Learning to Live with Success

1. Hooray for You! - Remember to celebrate your achievements. You've earned it.
2. Fake It - Now is the time for action. Or as Barbara Sher says, "Fake it until you get used to it."
3. Until You Get Used to It - Honey, you have arrived!

My favorite quote from this chapter:

"Being on your path is what it's all about. Each destination you reach only opens out into wider horizons, new and undiscovered couuntries for you to explore."

Seek out your dreams, Adventurers!...all this from a girl who can't count. I've been stating all along that there were going to be 14 parts, but this is, in fact, the last part, number 13. Hahaha!

Love Ya!

Now go get your FREE copy of Wishcraft at


Upcoming Goldeneyes Contest Series

Stay tuned for an upcoming contest series - one truly great giveaway package per month, June through September - to be announced on my website on June 1. If you haven’t read Goldeneyes, now’s the time to do it! Knowing the characters and events in the storyline will greatly increase your chances of being entered into each month’s drawing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baby Talk

I get a kick out of listening to my grandbabies talk.

At 2 and 3, the two youngest are still in the baby stages of their vocabulary. Sometimes they make up their own words. Or, they might make a stab at saying the proper word, but it just doesn't come out quite right. If you've spent any time at all around toddlers, you know exactly what I mean.

Logan loves to watch "Super-Doo." Now, only those of us who know him and his likes and dislikes are aware that "Super-doo" and "Scooby-Doo" are one and the same. He's so into super heroes right now, with Spiderman and Superman being right up there at the top of the good list. But he also enjoys the silly antics of Scooby-Doo, loveable animated pooch that he is. Somehow, to Logan's 3-year-old way of thinking, Scooby has become something of a superhero too, I suppose.

Aidan's the two-year-old, and is capable of becoming quite frustrated when he can't make us understand what he wants - especially if he's already "told" us more than once, and we're just not getting it. But the truth is, most of the time we do get it. We know him. His baby talk has become familiar, and we know what each funny pronunciation is supposed to mean.

"Abbit meok" means he wants milk with Nestle's strawberry flavoring. There's a rabbit on the front of the Nestle's box, so this particular much-favored treat is "rabbit milk" - just hold the "R," thank you very much, and nevermind the fact you can't get milk from a rabbit. Candy is "it-ty." Pooh Bear is Pooh - imagine that! You see, sometimes he gets it right.

Sometimes when he says things wrong, it's just so cute. So we make him say it again and again, just to keep him talking.

Those times when we think God's just not hearing our prayers, do you think perhaps He's just getting us to say it again...just so we'll talk to Him? Because the truth is, sometimes we only do that (really talk to our Father...) when we want something.

And I wonder if there are times when we just don't speak the language the way God knows we're capable of, so we have to ask until we get it right. Maybe that's one of the ways He teaches us God-speak...things like praise and worship. It could be that He wants us to stop kicking and screaming and yelling and just say, "please." Or maybe He's holding the answer out to us, just waiting to hear "thank you."

One thing I do know. He listens, He hears, and He understands...even when we behave like spiritual toddlers. He's a perfect heavenly DaDa!

Clipart courtesy of ChristArt .

Delia Latham

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spotlight and Contest

I'm honored to be the spotlight author on Amber Miller's website this week (April 11-18). Come on over and check it out - and while you're there, be sure to leave a comment so you'll be entered in Amber's drawing for a FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF GOLDENEYES.

Now...since you'll be out and about on the web anyway, why not stop in at my online newsletter? Find out how to get your name in the April Bookshelf drawing for a Goldeneyes T-shirt.

I'll leave the light on for you... :)

Delia Latham

Monday, March 31, 2008


Hop on over to Tracy Ruckman's blog, Pix-N-Pens to take part in a fun, creative contest! You'll have a chance to win either a copy of my new release, Goldeneyes, or a Goldeneyes T-shirt - and your creative entry will be posted on Tracy's blog. Here's your chance to share a testimony.

See ya there!

Delia Latham

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He is Risen...Indeed!

Luke 24:34—…the Lord is risen indeed!

My grandchildren had a grand time hunting Easter eggs in the back yard this morning. They got together a day early—the four cousins—so they could celebrate with the “other side” of their families tomorrow, on Easter Sunday.

It was, as always, a joy to watch them. They pushed aside bushes, peeked under outside furniture, peered into every hole in the ground, and even climbed up on top of every available object so they could see hiding places that were otherwise out of their line of sight.

As much as I enjoyed their wide eyes and excited chatter, it’s so much more important to me that they know what Easter is really about.

It’s nice that the kids can enjoy their little Easter bunny stories and colored eggs. Getting family together is always a good thing. But I fear that we, as adults, don’t do our part in properly teaching the little ones the importance and significance of this celebration of Jesus’ resurrection—and thereby, our salvation.

The story of the crucifixion is amazing…touching…heart-rending. It’s a vivid picture of ultimate love. That sacrificial bloodshed marked the beginning of hope for mankind.

But we must never forget that it was only the beginning!

Had Christ remained in that tomb, all that went before would have been without purpose. Had He not rolled that stone away and come forth as promised, all of the blood…the pain…the suffering… would have been forgotten as just another day in history.

But He did come forth! “He is risen indeed!” That means He rose… without a doubt. He conquered death…undeniably. He tossed away the shroud, rolled back the stone and walked away…in actual fact.He is risen…and we are saved!

Let’s tell our children that story. Let’s make sure they know that Jesus loves them enough not only to die, but to rise again.

Happy Easter, my friends! Rejoice and be glad in knowing that our Lord is risen…indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Don't Make Me Come Down There!

I just received word that a devotional I posted on FaithWriters was picked up by an Arizona e-zine called EV Living (the EV stands for East Valley). No pay, but hopefully some good exposure, especially since they mentioned the March 30 release of Goldeneyes. (OK, so it doesn't take much to make me happy!) :D

Fair warning: Some of the punctuation somehow got dropped during their copy and paste. Just want you all to know it wasn't me who made those awful errors. (Isn't it sad to be so touchy about such things?)

Here's the link.

Delia Latham

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In search of inspiration

In my never-ending search for inspiration, I have turned to several Yahoo groups. For those of you who are familiar with my writing, I absolutely love Native American culture. Researching native cultures, whether through the Internet or books, is such a joy for me. Since beginning my second novel, I felt compelled to take my research a step further by getting in contact with the very people I love to include in my manuscripts. Hence, I turned to Yahoo and found myself joining not one, but three groups moderated by the same person. Fondly referred to as "talking circles", these groups have provided a constant source of inspiration. Not only do I gain fodder for my writing, but I have made some wonderful friends and gained new insight into the First Nations people as well. My heart has harbored an intense passion for these awesome people, their culture, and history for as long as I can remember. I know this passion was put there by God and I see Him directing my life to new and exciting adventures. Do you have a passion for something? Do you find yourself habitually writing the same basic theme into your books? Do what I did: Sign onto Yahoo and do a search. You might be pleasantly surprised by whom you might meet.
~*~ Linda Strawn ~*~

Friday, February 29, 2008

Motivating the Younguns'

Hello again from the Deep South!

Here in Louisiana our children are gearing up for the state standardized tests. As a third grade teacher I have been intensely prepping my students for the dreaded i-Leap for nearly two months. This week, for the first time, I am finally seeing some results. (Thank goodness, since the dreadful test is in two weeks). Personally, I'm not a fan of such tests, but since no one ask me my opinion I'm obligated to administer the monster to my innocent third graders. Wish us luck! (We're going to need it. LOL).

As a reprieve from continuous test practice, we were honored with a guest speaker at our school today. Robert Little is a motivational speaker that visits schools and events across the nation to motivate and encourage young children. He is also a children's book author. So, today, my students and my six-year old son ( he also went to his school) were able to attend their first book signing! They were thrilled and so was I. Our school library also purchased copies of his four children's books so the children would be able to check them out at leisure.

Since, I'm a romance writer, teacher and single mother, I dutifully sent money with my child so he could purchase his own copy of one of Robert's books. I thought I'd share his choice with you. We are now the proud owners of a signed copy of Robert Little's Grandma's Biscuits.
Grandma's Biscuits by Robert Little
The art and text together in this beginning reader book, Grandma's Biscuits, convey the fondness of a young boy for his grandma's biscuits. More importantly, it shows the love and bond between a grandmother and grandson.
Since my son has a special bond with his own grandparents, I thought he made a wonderful choice!
Tamelia Tumlin

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blessings from the Top of the Tree

A few days ago, we had a pretty rough windstorm—pretty rough for around these parts, anyway. Not anything approaching tornado severity, but enough to knock down a few trees, tear off a bunch of roof tiles and stir up some pretty nasty allergies.

My husband, Johnny, has severe lung problems, so winds have become something to dread. They often bring on a week or so of tough times for him.

This morning, Aunt Vera dropped by our place, her arms piled high with three plastic grocery bags. All of them were stuffed full of pecans from her trees.

“They were all over my yard, after that wind the other night,” she announced. “I had to do something with them, and I know how Johnny loves pecan pies.”

All of the nuts within her reach on the trees had been harvested prior to the storm. These little gems came from the upper branches, the ones she couldn’t get to. “I guess they would have stayed up there until they rotted without that wind,” she said, with a wry little shake of her head. "I always hate to think of all that waste!"

After Aunt Vera left, I looked at those three bags of snacking nuts—three bags stuffed full of potential pies and other delectable desserts—and I saw them through new eyes. They were the fruits of the storm—blessings from the top of the tree. Good things beyond our reach.

God just has a way of shaking them loose and raining them down all around us!

In future, I hope I can remember to look at the storms of life differently, as well. During the blizzard, it’s hard to see anything but toppled trees and destruction to property. It’s difficult to look past the blowing garbage and allergic reactions.

While the wind’s blowing, it’s almost impossible to remember that after the storm, God always sends a rainbow. After the winds and the rain, we reap the sweet-smelling, clean air and sunshine.

After He tries us, He showers us with good things…the very things we couldn't have before.

After the storm, we get the blessings from the top of the tree!

Proverbs 10:6 - Blessings are upon the head of the just…

By Delia Latham

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Will trade kidney for book deal.

Like many creative types, I often get depressed. Not severe depression, but I get the "blues" rather often. As far back as I can remember, I dwelled on things. At times when my mind is clear and I feel good about myself, I can experience negatives things such as criticism or make mistakes without much dwelling. But when I get depressed, I will dwell on the tiniest things forever. The only way I can describe it is re-living a moment over and over and over again.

I also dwell on my life situation and what I hope for in the future. My financial situation (like so many people) gets me down. We're like millions of Americans who can pay our bills, but we live paycheck to paycheck with no end in sight. If we ever received a lump sum of $15,000 or more or if we had $200-300 extra month, we could pay off one of those large debts. Then the dominoe effect would begin. We would use the money from that bill to pay off the next and so on. The solution is so simple - and yet so unattainable - that it makes me sick. Every time I hear about a celebrity dropping $20K on a dress, it makes it worse. That dress, that the celebrity will only wear once, could make a life-changing difference for my family.

With all this in mind, I desperately search the internet for ligitimate ways to make extra money. So far, I haven't found one. I've seriously considered donating blood plasma, but the only center within 100 miles of me is 45 minutes away in Tyler, Texas and they don't offer childcare. I could make $200/month there, but I would just spend it on gas and babysitters, so that won't work. I can't get a second job because childcare would take most of the money I would make.

And to top it all off, any job I get to make money to help my financial situation would take time away from my writing.

What I would really love is to make money

So I've been dwelling again. I got on the internet and did a search for ways to make money...without a computer, thinking that would filter out all the internet schemes. I got some interesting results. I thought I would share a few with you.

1. Mentioned before, you could donate blood plasma.
2. There are many sales options: Mary Kay, Avon, Ignite Energy.
3. You could also offer a talent or skill, such as dance lessons, tutoring, or babysitting.
4. A second job, if your full-time schedule permits.
5. Ladies, you can sell your eggs...well, not really your eggs, but you can be compensated for your time.
6. Men, you can sell your "special men."

* Ever wonder why it's illegal for women to sell their eggs, but it's commonplace and perfectly legal for men to donate their sperm? *

Anyway, as I was sitting there - seriously contemplating selling my time (eggs) for money, I thought, "Why not a kidney?"


Now I'm thinking crazy.

But the real issue here is that I want a book deal sooo-ooo bad that I would trade my eggs for one. But probably not a kidney.

Does that make me crazy?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


As a confessed CHOCOHOLIC, I thought a blog about addiction would be appropriate for the month of February - when people overdose on sweets.

Let's talk about addiction.I had a very unfortunate experience recently regarding a conversation about addiction and "accidental overdose." Addiction has three levels, in my opinion. Let me give you a rundown.

1st Level: Illegal Drugs

A big dose of tough love here. No such thing as an accidental overdose! Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows the difference between legal and illegal drugs. And unless you live under a ice block in Antarctica, you know that illegal drugs are addictive from the first use. You also know how dangerous they are and that death is a possibility every time you snort up, shoot up, smoke up or whatever. I really don't care how much you LOVE your favorite celebrity. If they died after use of an illegal drug, whether they intended to die that minute or not, it was NO ACCIDENT.

2nd Level: Prescription Drugs

Now this is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Prescription drugs are regulated, but often misused. Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem. It's also one that I think could lead to an accidental overdose. At the starting line of this race are the doctors who prescribe the drugs in the first place. Then there are the pharmacists who have a system that prevents people from mixing medications that might cause complications. And then there are the people who actually take the pills. Let's assume that the doctors explained the risks and procedures surrounding a particular prescription. Let's assume the pharmacists ran a check on all your outstanding prescriptions, and seeing no problems, explaining the risks and procedures surrounding a particular prescription. Then it's up to you. If you knowingly abuse a prescription medication, then an overdose is NO ACCIDENT. But if your doctor failed to explain things to you. Or if the pharmacists didn't pay attention to the 7 other medications you were taking, then there is a possibility of accidental overdose.

Case in point: Heath Ledger.


Either the system that doctors and pharmacists use for keeping track of people's prescriptions isn't that reliable or Heath Ledger did some lying. Maybe both. Either way, I seriously doubt that the doctors and pharmacists failed to explain the purpose and dosage of those medications.

I'm at a loss here. Are the doctors at fault for prescribing so many medications? Or was Heath at fault for abusing those medications? I think it's both in this instance. If he didn't have access to those medications, then he obviously wouldn't have had an overdose. But no matter how many medications you have, you should always follow the dosage instructions. That much is Heath's fault.

3rd Level: Over-the-Counter Drugs

Meth labs everywhere have shown the world first-hand how dangerous over-the-counter medicines can be when put in the wrong hands. I think that there are more "wrong hands" than it seems. My hands are wrong hands. Your hands are wrong hands. Any hands without a medical license are wrong hands.

Case in point, yours truly. When I was in high school, I started having problems with my allergies and sinuses. I was plagued with headaches every day of my life. One day, I went to the medicine cabinet to see what I could take for my headache. I reached in and grabbed the first pain reliever I saw: Ibruprofen. I hadn't heard anything about Ibruprofen. I just needed something for my headache. So I took the recommended dosage and it worked great. If I would have seen a bottle of Tylenol, I would have taken that. But Ibruprofen is what was available, so I took that. The next time I got a headache, I took the Ibruprofen. And the next time. And the next time. And the next time. Always taking the recommended dosage. When the bottle ran out, I bought another. And another. And another. Again, always taking no more than the recommended dosage. For 6 or 7 years, I took 3-5 doses of Ibruprofen within a 24-hour period for headaches, never thinking anything of it.Until I met my husband. He was the first person to notice how much Ibruprofen I went through. And he commented on how I bought a bottle almost every time we went to WalMart. He worried me so much that I went to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to see if he could figure out what the source of my headaches were. He asked a lot of questions. When he found out about my use of Ibrupprofen for headaches, he informed me that Ibruprofen is highly addictive. And that while I may have started taking it for legitimate headaches, the continued headaches were probably just cravings for more Ibruprofen. I weaned myself off of Ibruprofen and started taking Tylenol for headaches only when the pain was extremely bad.

Now, I still have severe allergies and chronic sinusitis. And I still wake up every morning with a headache and have frequent headaches throughout the day, but I've learned to treat my allergies and sinuses first and only take something for a headache if the pain persists.

I learned something very important from my ENT: that Ibruprofen is addictive. It doesn't say that on the bottle. I learned something else from him, too. That Ibruprofen is an anti-inflammatory and shouldn't be used for headaches. Tylenol is a general pain reliever and non-addictive. Ibruprofen should only be taken for inflammation. But inflammation can only be diagnosed by a health professional.

What the-!?!Am I crazy, or should Ibruprofen even be on the OTC market?

The point I'm trying to make is that OTC medications are not regulated, promote self-diagnoses, and are VERY dangerous. My advice is to talk to the pharmacist before you take anything OTC. And always follow the recommended dosage. And if you find yourself taking OTC pills for a recurring problem, go see a doctor to find the source of the problem. Don't get in the habit of treating and treating and treating your symptoms.

Overdose on OTC? It happens. Sometimes it's an accident. Sometimes it's not. Again, unless you live under an ice block Antarctica, you should know better than to take an entire bottle of anything. Or even a handful. But I do believe an accidental overdose if possible at this level.

Well, you heard my LENGTHY thoughts. Now tell me what you think.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Caution: Cherub on the Loose!

Okay, so I couldn't let the month go by without some bow to the traditional hearts-y holiday. Now I could have been lazy and just made a couple of changes to my newsletter editorial for this month and reprinted it here, but ... Applause, please! ... I didn't. I slid my rear into the chair, glued my fingers to the keyboard, pasted my eyeballs on the monitor and came up with something. Amazing how, as one's marriage matures, it becomes harder to find something new to say about Valentine's Day. My marriage is quite mature - come the 22nd of this month, it'll be 34 years old. So, yeah, we've probably said everything there is to say over the years, but ... what's the harm in saying them all again, huh? Huh?

Anyway, here's my concession to the love month. Hope you enjoy it!

Caution: Cherub on the Loose!

Hearts made of paper, and cardboard, and gold;
Hearts on a chain, in a ring … hearts to hold.
Hanging in windows and taped to the doors,
What in the world is this heart fever for?

It keeps coming ‘round, second month, every year -
Heart fever, lovesickness, and plenty to spare!
They say a small cherub, with romance at heart,
Shoots love-poisoned arrows and deadly heart-darts.

He’s dangerous, this Cupid! Beware his dead aim!
Once hit by his ammo, you’re never the same.
He’ll turn a strong heart into soft, melty mush,
You’ll whisper “I love you,” when you should just hush.

Be careful of chocolates this time of the year,
They’re filled with some magic, not what they appear.
Steer wide and steer clear of the ones in red hearts –
Their power is awesome, a real work of art!

Don’t dare open cards, not on Valentine’s Day –
They cast quite a spell with the words that they say.
Unless you’re prepared for a time of romance,
Just leave them unopened – don’t take the chance!

But if, on the other hand, love is your goal,
Then eat all the chocolates your tummy can hold!
Hang up paper hearts – make them red, pink and white.
Find someone you care for and hold on real tight.

Give in to heart fever, let in the love bug -
Be sappy, be happy, give affectionate hugs.
Find someone real special and hasten to say,
“I love you! Be mine! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

by Delia Latham

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cupid's Confessions

Meet Cupid

Cupid , the delightful cherubic imp sporting a blindfold and bow and arrow, is the Roman God of Love.

His mission? To pierce unsuspecting victims with his arrow and make them fall in love. Even the hardest of hearts is no match for the son of Venus. And guess what ladies? You’re next on his list!

Luckily, I was able to wrangle an interview out of the cheerful cherub to find out some of his secret weapons. Here’s a few to get your Valentine’s Day off to a great start.

Top 10 Most Romantic Movies

1. Titanic
2. When Harry Met Sally
3. Gone With the Wind
4. How to Lose A Guy in Ten Days
5. Casablanca
6. Sleepless in Seattle
7. You’ve Got Mail
8. Pretty Woman
9. An Officer and A Gentleman
10. Hitch

Top 5 Most Romantic Songs

1. Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
2. Truly, Madly, Deeply- Savage Garden
3. I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
4. Take My Breath Away- Berlin
5. Don’t Want to Miss A Thing- Aerosmith

Top 5 Valentine Gifts

1. Picture Show- Have a trusted friend take several pictures of you (The rating is up to you). These can be color or black and white. Create a slide show for your sweetheart.

2. Candy Confessions- Buy several snack size candy bars or candy packets. Type personal notes about why you love your sweetheart. Punch a small whole into each bag/bar and tie the notes to each piece of candy. Place all of the candy with your confessions in a heart-shaped container.

3. Temptation Treasure Hunt- Leave several love notes on heart-shaped paper around the house. Each note will be a clue to the next until he reaches the last one which will of course lead to you- holding a box of chocolates, his favorite movie and a smile.

4. Relaxing Massage- Turn off the lights. Light several candles. Place rose petals on the bed and prepare to give your better half a relaxing massage. Of course, our significant other can return the favor. Loose muscles lead to a light heart.

5. Cupid's Getaway- In advance arrange for both you and your sweetheart to be free of children and off from work. Blindfold your sweetie and take him/her on a romantic getaway for the night. A child-free relaxing weekend might be just what you need. Take in a hike, a picnic or whatever your heart desires.

And last, but certainly not least, Cupid advises that you “Have fun and rediscover the reasons you fell in love in the first place.”

So ladies, there you have it. Straight from Cupid’s mouth. Secret weapons that bring two people together forever. Have a great Valentines Day!

By: Romance Author Tamelia Tumlin
Prince of Thieves- Available on Amazon
For Better or For Worse- Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press
Her Royal Protégé’ - Coming soon from Red Rose Publishing