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Writing is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever done -- well, that and motherhood-- yet I can't stop diving into it (and motherhood is sort of a forever type of thing, so I dove into that pool for a long swim).

I live in sunny Northern California. I'm a freelance writer and copywriter. And along with doodling down ideas and dialogue for middle-grade fiction, short stories, and articles, I love vintage clothing...both wearing and selling it.

You can see my vintage goodness at my Etsy shop. Contact me via e-mail if you'd like: hjspiva (at) gmail (dot) com.

I also have a blog for that, too!

Published Writings - Click on the links to see more about each work.

Contributor, Miracles Do Happen; Guideposts, Summer 2019
Contributor, Jesus Talked with Me Today James BellJuly 2016
Downtown -- Sacramento Poetry Center; Poetry Now, Spring 2018
Regular Contributor, the Society Letters, 2015- 2017
Better with Boys, Mamalode, May 2015 
Jazz Music at Night, Mamalode, April 2015
Harvesting the Oranges Before Spring, Mamalode, March 2015
The Puzzle Masterchildren's / middle-grade book, via Amazon Kindle, February 2012 / Second Edition, March 2021 

**Engrossing story, with engaging characters. This novel could stand beside Bridge to Terabithia in a classroom -- it's that good.- Goodreads Review**

Cup of Comfort for Christian Women, Anthology, Test of Tithe: Colleen Sell, anth. editor, 2011
Bad Austen: The Worst Stories Jane Never Wrote, Anthology, Two-Time and Twilight, 2011
Faith and FAMILY: A Devotional Pathway for Families, Devotion, 2011
Home Is Where The Art Is, Sacramento Parent Magazine, July 2011

Need a good laugh? Check out this Hallmark Card. (click on pic)     


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Characters That Work

I’ve heard countless times that agents, when looking for the next great manuscript and readers, looking for the next great read, want compelling characters. But, what does this mean? Compelling? And why have I never thought of characters as compelling when I can’t put the book down? Sure, these characters are amazing, and sometimes I want to be in the middle of the stories as if they were my own experiences. But why? Compelling characters make me --force me-- to be in love with them as they find their way through trials or charge fearlessly down hidden hallways and dark forests. This makes for wonderful literature, and for fascinated readers. But how do we do this? How do authors create compelling characters -- ones that not only we want to read but others too -- and convince our readers that they should care about them? Here’s a tiny list by which I try to strive: Make them human: This is a given. And most writers would tell you this is. Give your character flaws that lots o

Music and Me

So, this post is about music. Why? Because author extraordinaire Alex J. Cavanaugh  is doing a music blogfest. For those who chose to sign up and write about this subject, like me, we get the opportunity to muse about the top ten songs that have inspired us the most over our life. This is a rather subjective and varied blog idea, because sometimes the strangest music can inspire us, or move us, or allow us to remember a time or place or moment or person ... for the rest of our lives! And that is also why it is such a grand idea to make a list of the most inspirational songs: to remember, to pontificate, and think about such like: Wow, that song was awful, but I sure loved it! Warning: This list is going to be majorly filled with eighties music. Why? Again, for the reasons listed above. I was age "ten and up" in the mid-eighties. Talk about an inspirational and impressionable time of anyone's life! Because of that, I feel the eighties were good to me. And I don&

Write This Down

I had a great conversation with a writer-friend of mine this week. She and I have been in a similar predicament for the past few years, in that most of our energy and time has gone into raising our children, and not into the world we so longingly want to delve into: writing. Our kids, of course, and the time we give them is valuable time dedicated. We understand that. We chose to forego our passion of writing for them instead. But, we also discussed why some writers -- as busy as us --were still able to write while raising a family. Did they have extra help? Was their writing so miraculous that their brains just downloaded the stuff onto their computer in mere minutes? What did they do differently? Obviously, many women and men raise their children and manage to write; perhaps even write bestsellers (ahem ... Mrs. Meyers). So what’s the difference between them and us? What was it that made them more productive? It comes down to something very simple: these authors wanted to write