Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Reading


This picture is pretty much what happens in the winter at my house. At least for me, anyway. As the weather gets cooler, outdoor activities i.e. sitting by the pool or swimming, disappear (Yes, even here in California) and a hibernation, if you will, takes over me.

I want blankets, slippers, fireplaces, and something warm to drink all next to my stack of books.

It is a stack. It's hard for me to focus on one book at a time for too long, since I have so much going on. So, a chapter here and there throughout the day works well. The real problem is me wanting to read so many different books at once.

This picture is a little take of said problem, on the side table of my bed.

And it doesn't even include the one or two or three books I'm reading on my tablet or phone PLUS the qeue of books that will be coming in to read, or that I'm going to be reading once I finished the affore mentioned.

This isn't a problem to complain about. Good books are so much fun. And if you're not a reader, well, this too can change, my friend. This too can change.

So happy reading my fine Fall/Winter hibernating friends. Happy reading ...




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nicholas Sparks Pet Story Contest

For you animal lovers and writers,
--and if you happen to enjoy Nicholas Sparks writing--
this was too cute a writing contest to pass up.
Here's the prompt: Write about how and where you adopted your pet
 and get the chance to have your story
chosen by Mr. Sparks to be featured on his website,
social media outlets and mailing list (and listed through Petsmart website), PLUS
have the chance to have your pet make a special cameo in Spark's next story.

Petsmart Writing Contest
I don't know about you, but that's enough reasons for me to try this one!
Click here, or the title below the picture, to get the details
and entry form.
Good luck and happy writing!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Book from Lara Van Hulzen

Okay y'all, if you like a good love story, a light-hearted
romance -- and even if you don't -- I'm going
to recommend you read this book, called
Remember Me, written by author Lara Van Hulzen.
It is literally fresh off the press!
Not only does this woman know
how to write, but she just happens
to be my fabulous friend.


Now, I am not a heavy romance reader, nor
am I a romance writer, but I do
read excellent stories 
and I do love to read a good love story.
This book is not only that, but -- are you read for this -- it has
suspense intertwined into it, like a mystery!

You can buy it for your Kindle, or the paper back version.
Click on the links above to read what the story is about
and get your copy today!
And once you're into this book, loving every word, get this:
this is book one of three! 
So, just you wait ... there will be more.
Visit and like Lara's author page on Facebook for all the juicy updates.
You won't be disappointed.
And once you do read it, leave a review.
Author's like this.
Especially if they're good reviews.
And this book warrants only good reviews, so once again,
you won't be disappointed.

Happy reading!




Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn is Here

I'm having fun right now. 
Fun meaning, going thrift shopping and finding
things for me that will be perfect for Fall.

Sure, I'm writing short stories, essays, and always working on a book.
But after years of doing JUST that, I can't do 
it all day, every day, hour after
hour anymore. I think I burned myself out a couple years ago.

And that's where vintage came in and rescued me.
I found this goody last year. Like, I seriously almost
hyper-ventilated when I saw it. So rare, so amazing.
It feels like it's from the 1950s or 1960s.
No tags or labels, so it's a guess as to the decade.


It's a wool Cowichan Style Cardigan Sweater.


It's so warm, the only place around here I can wear it
is Lake Tahoe. Which is fine by me.

 And a few days ago, I found this cool tribal cardigan sweater.


And it's not nearly as warm as the Cowichan, 
so I can actually wear this in Sacramento this year.


I realize that this isn't a fashion blog. But, I'm really just trying to
keep my sanity here. 

Now, having said that, I just read a really fantastic middle grade book
called The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm.
It is a lovely book. So different, cute, funny and of course, well-written.
What else would you expect from a Newberry-Award-Winning and New York Times
best selling author?
Even if you don't read middle grade fiction, this one is worth a read. Click the title
above to read the summary. It would take me 
a book just to summarize it when Amazon can do it better.

Okay, back to sweater weather talk.

Autumn, I'm so glad you've arrived... even if it is 88 degrees out today.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Sweet Sabbatical

I have a confession to make: I didn't write this summer. Like, not at all.
Seriously, those aren't
the best words coming from a writer.
But, you know what, I'm okay with that.
Why? Because I really couldn't write.
I literally had no will, or want, to write
anything.
Okay. Another confession: I did write a poem or two.
But, they were absolute trash.
Which again, I'm okay with. 
No one but me will ever see those.
And now that we're being honest, I have to be even more honest
and say I had the most fun hanging with my kids,
rather than writing. 
Because, it wasn't forced and I didn't have any
deadlines or crazy things I HAD to write.
Nope. None of that. And I liked it.
A summer off. A sabbatical, if you will.
Just me, the kids, the pool and everything
else in between.
What is "in between" you say?
Well here, let me share.

 I went here (thanks Aunt Shelby!):


 I did a lot of this:


Watched a lot of this of my oldest:


Hung out with these two cuties some:


Agreed thoroughly with this statement:

Chilled with Team Spiva:



Did a little of this:


Put up with this sweet one's (my youngest) shenanigans:


Tried not to think how high up I was on this Tahoe gondola:


And now we're doing this (first day of school):


I also read a TON.
So, it's not like I was twiddling my thumbs.
But, it's back to it, I suppose ...
the whole writing thing
and here's hoping I'll have something written worth reading
soon.
Maybe.

-HJS

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm Still Here

Despite that it's been almost five months since I've last written something here.

Thing is, I'm always writing. If not here, it's a story, short story, novel, devotion or poem.

And if I can squeeze in a blog post here and there, I seriously feel like I've accomplished something.

I am reading too. Just read the best-seller Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I will say that it get's you thinking, this book. About reality and socialism and humanity and God.  I'm not much for dystopian fiction -- as all you have to do is turn on the news and see we're practically in that world already. Plus, I don't know if it's because Katniss already did her thing in The Hunger Games, but it took me about the first hundred pages just to get into the book. I kept thinking, I've read this before ... I've heard this before ... despite the fact that genre fiction is all about repetitive subject matter.

And then. Just like that, I was hooked. I'm a little late to this party, as the book as been out for two years.

But writing in a cave sort of does that to you.

I come out for coffee and to break up my boys' brotherly spats, only to return and enter my own writing world with chocolate and Etsy to break up my late afternoons.

Vampires don't seem so weird right now. In fact, they've got good reason to stay inside -- away from the U.S of Dystopia.

Anyway, am working on another book, hope to get it published, and will keep you posted.

Thanks for checking in!

Keep writing.

See... I do get out and get some Vitamin D.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hello 2014

Disneyland, Dec 2014
I haven't forgotten about you writing/reading friends! Believe me.

I was busy ... at my uh ... other house. You should see the cleaning I have to do. And the energy bill is outrageous. I had a few brief seconds to myself to snap this picture. Living in a castle is tough. But, I manage.

Hope to get a few posts out, at least once a month -- right?

And of course engage you in my reading/writing/ lack of writing life of mine.

Happy new year!