December 17, 2012

Thoughts of Children

I love children. Easy. Making a child smile is one of my favorite things, and that has always come pretty easy, too.

I've learned through some recent counseling that because of the long and frequent absences of my husband and my shy nature in social circles, I poured my love and friendship into my kids, and they reciprocated. When they were smaller and more dependent upon me, the more-present adult in their lives, I was their confidant and they were mine. We shared our joys and tears and secrets and dreams and I taught and they listened and taught me back. They still do. I depended on them to fill a void, as I filled their minds and hearts and hopefully, fed their spirits.

I know I'm not the only parent who experiences this.

So I know that some of those parents in Newtown, Connecticut, didn't lose children. They lost best friends, they lost companions, they lost future hopes, secret-keepers, inside jokes, special handshakes, friends they knew inside and out. Their favorite people in the whole wide world.

I do believe they will see their children again, that their sons and daughters are in good, loving hands. But there is still loss of something so beautiful, so exquisite.

And that's why I mourn with those parents.

Today is my daughter's birthday. She would have been 16, had all gone as I'd hoped. It doesn't hurt so much. But I don't love her any less.

December 11, 2012

Thanks, Everyone!

I ended the contest early because I always make contests too long. So, the winner of the "Help Me Choose My Author Pic" contest (which I guess it was never really officially titled) is Letha Richardson! Lisa is from my hometown of Cody and I'm excited to get her a copy of OF GRACE AND CHOCOLATE. Hooray!

So, which pic did I choose? After the black and whites were posted it narrowed things down, and although I'm still a bit torn, I'm going with:

But I'm also sending in:

My publisher can choose. :)

Thanks everyone for the help and all the compliments. See you on the back of my next book (which is THE ORCHARD coming April 2013)!

December 7, 2012

Author Pics II

I mentioned a few posts ago that my oldest son, Braeden, recently got his senior portraits taken, and since I was in need of an updated author photo, we made a day of it. It turned out to be great for both of us, because having a big camera aimed at you for large chunks of time as you hear *click* *click* *click* repeatedly is a little unnerving, and we fed off each other's antics, got some genuine smiles in, and a few laughs, too. Which happens a lot with my son, who has my sense of humor but is much quicker on the draw.
See that smile? I'm up on the hill jumping around, waving my arms.
That smile is for me. It says, "Man, my mom is weird AND awesome."
He makes this face a lot.
Braeden is a pretty quiet kid, but if he decides to talk, he will talk and talk and talk.
I love being the recipient of this.
This is my favorite. It reminds me of when he was little and would ask for a cookie
or something and just wait quietly with this look on his face
and of course I would say YES BECAUSE LOOK AT THIS FACE.

It was a really good day with my son, who will soon be moving on to big, grown-up world things. 
I try not to think about it because when I do a chunk of broken cement gets lodged in my throat and everything goes watery.

So now I have some new author photos. I need to decide which photo to send to my publisher for the back of my books and since you all were such great helpers a few years back, I'm asking again. 
What do you think?


And to move things along, I'll put everyone who votes into a drawing for my book OF GRACE AND CHOCOLATE, which you may want for yourself, OR to give as one of the best Christmas presents ever. Just sayin'. I'll draw names on Wednesday, December 12th at 10pm.

Thanks for the help!

Okay, it was requested that I post the B&Ws since that is what my publisher uses. I'm kinda getting tired of seeing my face, but I'm thankful for all the help!

And since some of you wanted to see this cropped...
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