Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Fiction Novel Writing, Chapter Two begins! April 20, 2010

I am officially 676 words into Chapter Two. (See Fiction Novel Update… Eurphoric Uncertainty) I mention the word count because it seems like an impossibility. I have been working on, ruminating and procrastinating over this chapter for days, and I only have 676 words?! Sure, I’ve read and reread them, updating, finessing, editing and adding to them. But it seems like I should have more to show for it.

The joy of this chapter is that it is about my Impact character, Mike Hayden, father to Treva and Liam Hayden. The chapter is written like the first–one day after the funeral of Mike’s wife Camille. The entire novel is third person, however, the narrative voice complements the character in action.

Since Chapter Two introduces Mike’s journey (it is “his chapter” so to speak), the narrative is in his voice. I’m having so much fun with it! I love writing in Mike’ s voice because it helps me to more fully understand him,breathe life into him, and make his thoughts and actions realistic. To be sure, he isn’t very happy. He’s just lost the love of his life, his brilliant daughter wants to follow in his less-than-spectacular footsteps, and his attached-to-his-mother’s-apronstrings son wants nothing to do with him. To make matters worse, we find him engaged in his least favorite task–bidding on trade-ins at his rival dealership, Langley’s Mile of Cars.

My driving force of my story was originally going to be son Liam. I had chosen a title I was completely staisfied with…until I discovered that the story would be more dynamic from the perspective of Mike and Treva’s relationship. So, I’m left tossing about title ideas again. Here are my top choices–what do you prefer?

  • Leverage
  • Mileage
  • In Good Standing
  • The Family Business

The gifts of loaves and fishes December 3, 2009

I wrote this story for the December 2009 issue of San Clemente Presbyterian’s NewsBreak.

Shortly before the first Christmas, Joseph informed his betrothed, the very pregnant Mary, that she would be undertaking a lengthy trip, by donkey, over rough terrain. If you’ve ever traveled a long distance as—or with—a woman in her final days of gestation, you understand that Mary may have endured some of the worst holiday travel in history. How do you say, are we there yet in Aramaic?

When the couple arrived in Bethlehem and could find only shelter with livestock, from the standpoint of modern marriage, I have to wonder whether they were reduced to squabbling, stress, or simply exhausted disappointment.

And then a miracle occurred.

Mary gave birth and wrapped the Child who would be Prince of Peace in mere swaddling clothes—and she and Joseph marveled at the knowledge that His birth was as God ordained.

For many families, anticipation of the holidays brings a combination of joy, fond memories—and anxiety. We are already busy enough. How can we afford all these gifts? What about broken or tense relations between relatives, families suffering from divorce, separation, or job loss? Are we blessed on our own bumpy road to Bethlehem?

Christmas offers a bright new possibility of giving the peace of Christ–that we might know Christ’s peace.

This Advent, let us extend our God-given forgiveness to one another. Certainly, you can’t give away what you don’t have. But, through Him, we have all been forgiven–and indeed abundantly so. When we choose not to judge (or begrudge), and let go of past wrong-doings, that small yet tremendously healing gesture is multiplied exponentially, much like loaves and fishes.

Ask yourself whether you want to be right or have peace; Do you want restitution or resolution? Discard all “debts” owed to you, or your personal circumstances, by having the courage to look upon them as Jesus does–with infinite love and potential–and in doing so you will find peace.

Offer yourself the same mercy: Forgive yourself your past failings. Jesus does. Amend for long hours of work or worry by laughing with your children, spending time with your spouse, family, or a neighbor in need. As the body of Christ, within us lies the Holy Spirit, and we can help move His grace through the world by doing His work, and in doing so be lifted up.


General Hospital celebs read kids’ books for Speakaboos! (pics) August 26, 2009

This article is from my Parenting column onthe L.A. editi0n of

Kelly Monaco, Rebecca Herbst and other cast members from ABC’s General Hospital taped a reading for a children’s book for Speakaboos on their GH set on August 20. With the celebs’ help (and the help of all Speakaboo celebrity readers), Speakaboo continues its cause to support reading and education for our youth.

15% of contributions to charityThe book will be available on and partial proceeds from their recordings will go to charities supporting children’s health and wellness.   
Speakaboos is an online publisher that celebrates classic literary properties for children such as Curious George, Arthur, Goldilocks, Snow White and Aesop’s Fables through the voices of today’s biggest stars including Kevin Bacon, Nick Cannon, John Krasinski and Kelly Ripa
recordingFeaturing storybook videos online with original illustrations and music accompanied by educational activities, games and contests, parents and teachers are encouraged to try the included story guides, lesson plans (based on national standards), and worksheets to reinforce educational lessons at home and in the classroom.  
genhosp3Speakaboos contributes 15% of all revenues to charities supporting children’s health and wellnesspartners with premier educational organizations such as the National Education Association
The entire Speakaboos library is available for viewing online for free on and available for download on the website at $0.99. Speakaboos’ goal is to try to reinvigorate the story telling process of classic children’s stories by having today’s hottest celebrities bring new life to these classic tales. 
You can hear some of our most popular celebrity-read stories on these links:
 For more info: Listen to all other celebrity tracks at Speakaboos.
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