Posted by: spuddreams | April 11, 2012

To Garden is to believe in tomorrow~

This is it, my empire of dirt, my garden. Every year around this time, I start dreaming of growing things- planting spuds, like any good Idahoan, and peas and lettuce and such. So I’m in my garden, assessing the scene of last year’s crime. In 2011, my garden was a disaster. I was away from home, working another job, and nothing was planted at the right time. No soil was tilled, no weeds pulled. As I sweated with my shovel yesterday, digging out crazy-huge weed carcasses, I realized I didn’t have much of a veggie garden last year, but I was growing something else instead. I’ve been growing myself. And the more I dug and thought, the more I realized I’ve grown more in the last year than I have in a long time, stretched myself in ways I didn’t imagine I would. What did I do?

I took a class.

I’ve blogged about this before, but I took a leadership class through work. The value of the class wasn’t the actual training, although it was excellent. The real value was that I met some incredible human beings who were and are on the same journey I’m on. To be able to share that experience with them was truly an honor. And though I’m not physically close to any of them now, we keep in touch and I know they’re thinking about me.

I self-published two books.

I’ve blogged about this too. I wrote a fairy story nobody in publishing wanted and I couldn’t let it lie in a drawer. I never expected it would be a best seller, but I wanted to share it with people, so I did. I overcame a fear to do it and I can’t help but feel proud of it.

I placed among the finalists in a writing contest.

As a result of that placement, I got a request for a full manuscript and threw myself into an unlikely writing project. I took the project to a novel revision retreat and met the indomitable Wildcats, another new tribe I had the privilege to join. The Wildcats are a group of ladies whose zest and enthusiasm for writing outshines my own, and it’s contagious. I let myself be critiqued and learned how to become a better writer for it. At least I hope I have. So I have worked hard at writing this year, giving up almost all TV in fact.

I started social networking in earnest.

I don’t social network to the degree that some do, but at my own pace. On Facebook, I reconnected with people I knew eons ago, who actually remember me and graciously allow me glimpses into their daily lives as if we never skipped a beat. And I connected with new friends too, with Wildcats and leaders and writers.

On Twitter, I’ve made friends truer than I ever would have thought possible. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 people now “follow” me (for some reason I cannot fathom). I can only assume they, too, are compatriots on the same journey I am, to reach out to others, to pay it forward, to share joys and sorrows with, to laugh and cry with. Twitter has been a wonderful reminder for me that there are kind, gentle souls on this planet like me. It’s restored my faith in humanity.

I traveled.

Because of the class I took and the retreat I attended, I was fortunate enough to visit Denver, Phoenix, Washington DC and Ashton, Idaho. I also went to Salt Lake City last fall and Albuquerque this spring. I’m convinced every American should see their capital at least once. For me, traveling meant not only new places and new sights, but new joys and more new friends.

I connected with my dad again.

I’ve talked to my dad more in the last four or five months than I probably have in the last four years. I’m not proud of that, but I’m thankful I have the opportunity to talk to him. Love you Dad.

I don’t tell you all of this to brag, but maybe just to encourage you to stretch, to move, to go somewhere you’ve never been, to friend someone you may never meet and to love life like crazy, to grow your garden.

I’m about to submit that manuscript. Maybe the agent will want to represent me. Maybe not, but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is I grew my garden and I blossomed. I hope you will too.

Posted by: spuddreams | February 21, 2012

Troll Teeth

Very few know about the magical properties of troll teeth and those who do, seldom tell. Why I found myself late one night seeking a troll tooth is entirely another story unto itself. Suffice to say, it was required for a certain spell and no other talisman would do.

Trolls are notoriously troubled sleepers, but when they do slumber, they’re like boulders. There’s no moving them.  Still, I tiptoed around this troll.  No telling what might set him off.  When he finally opened his mouth in a snory gasp for air, I saw the treasure I sought – rows of blackened ivory, peg-shaped teeth.

One only had to grasp and yank to extract them, so I’d been told, terribly rotted as they were. I gripped the smallest one I could find and pulled, but nothing happened. Nothing moved. The tooth wouldn’t budge. I cursed myself for needing the blasted thing in the first place. As I tugged, I became vaguely aware of a toady, amber eye, the size of a dinner plate, staring up at me and I froze.

“Claus? Is that you?” asked the troll, its voice unusually soft and kind.

“Yes, it’s me,” I answered, even though I had no idea who Claus was. Perhaps he was still sleeping? Dreaming of a friend?

“Are you asleep?” I asked.

“Yes, between a dream and awake. I must tell you something.” The troll’s fingers grazed my arm.

“What is it?”

“Promise me, you’ll save her.” An idea struck me.

“I’ll do it in exchange for a tooth.” The great eye blinked.

“Take this one.” And just like that, he plucked his own tooth and gave it to me. “Just remember, there’s a penalty for breaking a promise to a troll.”


“Seven years my servant,” he chuckled, wide awake.

Posted by: spuddreams | December 31, 2011

My $0.02

I must be feeling opinionated today because I went on my Good Reads page and commented on most of my book list!  I only meant to go on and review The Giver, which I finished last night. The choice of book seemed very appropos once I finished it, since it seems to me to be an illumination of what it means to be alive.  I do recommend it to you.

I hope to read, review and write much more in 2012.  It is my only resolution, I think. If you haven’t been to Good Reads, it’s a great site and I encourage you to friend me there. Oh, and all that crap you’ve been worrying about in the past year? Fugittaboutit!

Happy New Year!

Posted by: spuddreams | November 22, 2011

The Tao of Han

     My daughter Hannah is a shoulder surfer, constantly breathing down my neck when I’m on the internet doing anything, writing anything. Drives me crazy! But sometimes I realize she’s the angel on my shoulder waiting to help me, if I just listen. 

     Last summer, I was contemplating self-publishing a little book of mine that had languished long on my shelf at home. I’d been to writers’ conferences and heard agents, and probably some editors, going on and on about how they wouldn’t touch a book that had been self-published with a proverbial ten-foot pole.  “Why on earth would you do that?!” they gesticulated violently.  The horrors!  It was social suicide for authors, to be sure. 

     So it was with no small amount of trepidation with which I approached self-publishing.  In fact, I had convinced myself to try it, but with the caveat that I could use a pseudonym and no one would ever know it was me.  I could protect my professional reputation, if I ever had one, by the use of this name.  It was a wonderful name, stolen from a random news story – Fletcher Golden.  Sounded so writerly, so smart, so golden.  It was going to be perfect. 

     That’s when nine-year-old Han stepped in.  She watched me typing this fictitious name on my own work and said, “Who’s that?”  And I, thinking I was so smart, explained to her the idea of using a pseudonym to hide my real identity.  Then Han, who is actually the smart one here, said “Why?” as in “Why would you hide who you really are and make people think someone else wrote your story?”  Try as I might, I didn’t have a decent explanation, simply because there isn’t one. Shame?  Fear? Embarrassment? I didn’t want to be any of those things, so I let it go. I gave in, gave up those worries and was true to myself, like Han knew I should.  Thank you, sweetie, for helping me remember what’s truly important. I love you.


Posted by: spuddreams | November 1, 2011

Happy All Hallow’s Eve to you!

If you’ve read Storyteller, then you know tonight is the night Lily makes it to the True World.  Since epublishing the book in July, there’s been more than 100 books downloaded, but only one review.  I hope some of you may have taken a look and could find the time to leave a quick note on Smashwords or a Tweet on Twitter about it.

Exciting new developments, the sequel will be ready to upload soon.  Check out the beautiful new cover on this blog.  If the cliffhanger ending of Book I annoyed you, I hope to remedy it soon, so hang in there with me!  This ride isn’t over yet!

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: spuddreams | November 1, 2011



Book II is coming soon!

Posted by: spuddreams | October 8, 2011

I know this much is true~

I’m a bad blogger. I know this. You may know this too, but you forgive me because you love me, right?  I know I let laundry and dance lessons and work get in the way of my writing. These things are good and necessary and they have their place, but I also know my time in this world is limited and I have some things I just need to say. Well, a lot of things actually. They may not be important things, but they’re mine.

Recent events bring these lessons back to me with startling clarity.  Sometimes I get lazy and I forget, but I never fail to be reminded in the most jarring ways.  Unless you’re very young, I’m sure you have heard the reminders too. The universe is always knocking at the door, telling us, don’t wait. Never wait.

Don’t wait to write or paint or play or whatever it is you love. Don’t set those things aside for a rainy day. Do them now and enjoy every moment. Encourage others to do the same. That is the best way to show your love for this world and everyone in it.

My favorite book about writing is by Brenda Ueland “If you want to Write” written in 1938. What she wrote was true then and it’s still true now:

“The creative power and imagination is in everyone and so is the need to express it, i.e., to share it with others. But what happens to it? It is very tender and sensitive, and it is usually drummed out of people early in life by criticism (so called “helpful criticism” is often the worst kind)…This joyful, imaginative, impassioned energy dies out of us very young. Why? Because we do not see that it is great and important. Because we let dry obligation take its place. Because we don’t respect it in ourselves and keep it alive by using it. And because we don’t keep it alive in others by listening to them. For when you come to think of it, the only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them. For by doing this, you keep the god and the poet alive and make it flourish.”

So even though I’m a bad blogger, beset by my dry obligations, know that I believe in the god in you…this much is true.

Posted by: spuddreams | September 11, 2011


Simple, quiet thoughts today, missing those I’ve never known.

I remember you.

You live in my heart.


Posted by: spuddreams | August 14, 2011

On Friendship

I’ve been thinking about writing about friendship for awhile now, but I’m finally ready now.  I’ve just had the privilege of spending a week with 30 or so friends in West Virginia and Washington DC.  Some of them work in DC, but most of us came from out west to participate in the final week of a BLMleadership program.  As you can imagine, every one of us is driven to be the best we can be.  I have never met a more dedicated, passionate group of people all in one place before. You’re awe inspiring to me, each and every one of you.

Not only did you share your food and drink with me, you shared your wisdom, your knowledge and your love.  We’ve laughed together, shared joyful moments and sorrowful moments. We’ve worked hard, but we’ve partied harder. 😉

I truly believe we learn from every person we meet.  I know that phrase has become a cliché, but for me, it’s a habit I try to live by.  What I’ve learned this week is we’re all human and we need each other.  Our power is not in standing alone, but in standing together.  You will forever be a part of me, my friends.  I love you guys. *sniff*

Thanks to our flash mobbers, our theme song has become “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory.  I also tried to make a list of our leadership songs, but if you don’t see yours, it’s because I didn’t know the title/artist, so send it to me.  I added what I could remember of our party play list too, but you need to help me out Jon and Lindsey!  What am I missing you guys???


Gonna Make You
Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory

I won’t back down
by Tom Petty

Man in the Mirror
by Michael Jackson

William Tell Overture
by Gioachino Rossini

Going the
Distance by Cake

Hard Times by
Gillian Welch

Belly of the
Whale from the Veggie Tales Album

Kick A little by
Little Texas

Believe it or Not
the Greatest American Hero theme song

Carnival Ride by
Carrie Underwood

The Outsiders by
a Perfect Circle (Is that the right artist Carly?)

Where’s your head
at? By Basement Jaxx

Rockstar By Nickelback

The Good, the Bad
and the Ugly theme song

Send me on my Way
by Rusted Root

(Jason Taylor, I
need your songs!)

Fight the Good
Fight by Triumph, Allied Forces album

Lend me your eyes
song (Geoff help!)

I’m the Boss by
The Lonely Island

The Hazey Janes
(Aaron help!)

Burning the
Midnight Lamp by Jimi Hendrix

Centerfield by

The Harder they
Come by Jimmy Cliff

It’s a long way
to the top if you want to Rock and Roll by AC/DC

Get this Party
Started by P!nk

Eye of the Tiger by

Moving on by Stevie
Wonder (Is that right Jon? did you have others?)

Tonight’s Gonna
be a Good night by the Black Eyed Peas

Tik Tok by Ke$ha

Take On Me by A-ha

Posted by: spuddreams | July 29, 2011

Storyteller Book Trailer is up!

Follow the link below to youtube where you can watch the totally awesome book trailer for Storyteller.  Enjoy!

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