Showing posts from 2017

Launching a New Personal Venture

Since I first held a camera in my 8 year old hands, I've been a photo bug. I love color, textures, shapes most of all, and I still try to capture those things today.

I'm excited to announce the launch of an Etsy shop - TMPix - featuring some of my photography in prints and canvas. This will be a continual work in progress, so I'll be adding photos and products regularly. If you have time, I'd love for you to come take a peek and favorite my shop if you are so inclined.

Resources for the Mental Health Journey

In our quest to find help for our loved one dealing with mental illness, I've been provided
with lists of resources. I thought it might be helpful to compile them into one blog post in case others might need access to these resources, too. Some of the resources are located in Georgia, and may be for Georgia residents only, but others are national. If you find something helpful located in GA, I recommend contacting that office to see if someone there knows of anything similar in your own state.


National Alliance for Mental Health - NAMI -

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA -

Treatment Facilities & Resources:

Georgia Association of Recovery Residences - GARR -
          substance abuse will be primary problem but often mental

24/7 Gateway Center (affiliated with St. Jude’s Mercy Care)


Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control …

Along the Mental Health Journey

Our loved one has only had a mental illness diagnosis a short time, so we've only just begun navigating on this journey toward wellness and functionality.

But we've already learned some things that might help others on the same journey.

1) You are not alone. There are others - many others - who have loved ones who suffer from mental health issues - you just may have to open yourself up and share a little of your story to encourage others to speak out.

2) Extended family and friends cannot actually understand what you are going through if they themselves don't have an immediate family member going through the same thing. I'm sorry - they just can't and don't understand. And that's okay. Most of the time.

3) As extended family, they're probably not actively involved in the treatment plans, so most of the time, it's okay that they don't understand. But this can become a problem - as I've recently discovered - when extended family or friends try…

Never Give Up Hope

Last night Tim and I had the honor/privilege/opportunity/blessing to attend a weekly family support group affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The funny thing is: I'd NEVER heard of NAMI before this week, even though we've dealt with mental illness for a very long time.

From one of their brochures:

"NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1,100 affiliates in communities across the country who engage in advocacy, research, support, and education. Members of NAMI are families, friends, and people living with mental illnesses such as major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and borderline personality disorder."

Tweet: Did you know 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. has a mental health condition? Find support at #mentalh…

A Pixel Perfect Christmas - Re-Released

One of my favorite compilations has been re-released.

A Pixel-Perfect Christmas is now available in print and on Kindle.

Stories of fun, faith, fact, and fiction ...

Put another log on the fire, grab a cup of cocoa, and snuggle in to read the eclectic collection of Christmas stories included in A Pixel-Perfect Christmas.

The stories were originally written by the readers and team of the Pix-N-Pens blog, as the result of a contest held during November 2009. Finalists for the contests were chosen and placed in this book.

The stories within are a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, serious and silly—and we’re sure you’ll love them all. Some may even become favorites to read again year after year.

Recent posts:

Love Letters from the Heart Re-Released
Hope and Tough Love

From TMP Books:

Crush the Rush: Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale Going on NOW!
Call for Submissions: Love Letters from the Heart 2

Love Letters from the Heart - Re-Released!

I'm excited to announce the re-release of this special little book, Love Letters from the Heart.

Have you ever felt unloved?

Friends, family, perhaps even strangers, have messages within their hearts they want to share with you, but never found the right time or the right place to speak them. Here, within these pages, you'll find messages of hope, forgiveness, direction, and even prayers – written from caring, loving hearts directly to you and for you.

Know this – you are not forgotten or abandoned. You are not alone. You are loved – more than you can possibly imagine.

Who could love any of us that much? Turn the pages – we hope you'll soon discover the answer.

Available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Reviewers say:

I'd never read a book like this before and had to ponder the letters and think about their writers for a while. Then I realized the letters speak to everyone. You will find yourself somewhere in at least one of the letters. But, perhaps more important…

Hope and Tough Love

Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I realized that other people may be in the same
kind of boat I’m currently in, so I decided to write this blog post in hopes of offering a word of encouragement and to let you know you’re not alone. I also wanted to write this blog post to just be real. To let everyone know that although life may be hard at times, the Lord is still on the throne, and our Hope is in HIM, not our present circumstances.

I love the holiday season. Love the Reason for the season, love the time of Thanksgiving for all we’re so richly blessed with, love the sparkly lights and the jingly bells. Love the sights, the sounds, the smells (oh, my, the delightful smells of cloves, sage, evergreens, gingerbread, wood-burning fires, fresh snow).

But for many years, I’ve let my holiday season be controlled by a dear, precious loved one who suffers from mental illness, but was only recently diagnosed.

We hear mental illness tossed around all the time, and we recognize the sympto…

Change Brings Results

After seven years of battling anemia, I am finally in recovery mode and beginning to feel alive again. But other health issues were making me sluggish and sleepy, so Tim and I decided to make some permanent lifestyle changes.

Last Monday, we joined our local aquatic center and began going daily to the pool. I researched how to get the most benefit out of pool exercise, so we do calisthenics, walk and swim laps, use pool noodles and water weights, and basically never stop moving the moment our feet touches water. We spend a full hour in the water four days a week.

We also joined Emeals and Instacart (if you use the Instacart link, we'll both get a $10 discount coupon).

We've used Emeals in the past, and really liked the way it works. We didn't like their Low Carb plan, so this time, I checked other options to see if they had something that would work better for us. I know that the way Tim and I eat, shop, and cook, that a low-carb plan works best for us overall, and I disco…

When Anniversaries Roll Around

Anniversary dates of events in our lives - good or bad - always trigger memories and emotions, and today is one of those dates.

Twenty-five years ago, my now-ex-husband and I launched a small weekly newspaper in a dying town.

The residents rallied around us, supported us, and cheered us on until we became the town’s cheerleader. We worked around the clock to provide the town with the latest news, all the events and happenings, and recording the day to day history of the town.

Being owners, publishers, editors, advertising salesmen, writers, graphic designers (before there was much in the way of graphic design), and janitors was hard work. It was proud work. The people were so beautiful. So kind. So loving and accepting. But it was also sacrificial work.

We sacrificed our time, our marriage, our finances to grow the business.

Regrettably, I also stupidly sacrificed my children.

I allowed someone else to help raise my children, and three years into this dream of building our future, I l…

Plans, Agendas, Schedules

We've all been there. Life coasting along, going about our business, keeping up with all our plans, creating our agendas, checking off our schedules.

Then suddenly ...

Life happens.

One twist and turn after another, right in the middle of all our plans.

This week, one life happening event was named Hurricane Harvey. Houston and surrounding areas along the Gulf Coast are still dealing with its aftermath. Reading news reports and my Facebook feed of dear friends who are living right in the midst of all the devastation - it just makes my heart hurt.

This week, a cherished family member received a diagnosis none of us were expecting.

This week, a loved one's relationship ended.

This week, a friend died.

We want to take time to just absorb all that's happening - we need just a moment or two so we can process the emotions that flood our souls.

Sometimes, the images from these disasters are too much. Sometimes, the pain our loved ones are suffering is too much. Sometimes, the los…

Fundraising for a Film

In the spring of this year, I was appointed as 1st Assistant Director for the Grace film, being produced by Victory Television Network.

The script is being finalized, locations are being scouted, and fundraising is in full swing.

One of the fundraisers will take place on September 16, 2017, in Bremen, GA - one of our shooting locations. The Cowboy Gospel Fest will include a gospel singing, cowboy reenactments, a silent auction, and a chuckwagon - enough fun for the whole family, and  you're invited!

The list of items up for bid at the silent auction continues to grow, but here's the most recent list:

Framed 2 1940's/50's lobby arcade cards with 2 collector cards. Tim Holt and Bob Steele.

Designer Trish McEvoy cosmetic case with Bath &Body Works spray Cherry Blossoms and Cashmere Glow, and Victoria's Secret Amber Romance Body Lotion.

Framed collector Gunsmoke card with cast and autographed by Newly, Buck Taylor.

Framed event poster Cowboys vs. Zombies autographe…

What is Your Calling?

If you know me, or if you've read my bio, you'll know that I am an "upside-down, inside-out" kind of creature. My dad used to say I did things "bass-ackwards." I haven't yet decided if his words were prophetic or directional.

For most of my adult life, I've been a Christian (you can read my testimony here) and have heard people talk about their calling. Although I've followed a particular career path since 2005, it wasn't until a few years ago that I actually identified my calling.

My calling is to be a CONDUIT.

Does that sound as weird to you as it did to me the first time I realized it?

The idea takes a little getting used to. I thought I was called to be a writer and yes, I do write, but God gave me certain skill sets that propelled me to begin publishing other people's books. He's called me to help others in this manner and each day my work gives me incredible joy. The authors I work with bless me beyond measure, and I'm as ex…

Dialogue Diamonds: The Finder

I come across lines of dialogue on a regular basis and have found myself wanting to "collect" them. I'm not sure why - I'm not much of a collector of anything, except books and dust. But when I read or hear a line of dialogue that strikes me, I want to remember it because I feel like I've just uncovered a rare gem. So I've decided this blog will be a great place to share these little dialogue diamonds - and maybe you'll feel compelled to share some of your favorites with us, too.

A disclaimer - these dialogue diamonds I share may not be deep or profound or extraordinary. But for whatever reason, they caught my attention, and that's enough for me.

Today's diamond is from a short-lived but delightful TV series, The Finder, starring Geoff Stults, that's currently available on Netflix.

In this particular episode, someone had committed suicide, and Stults' character, Walter, says,

"I can think of at least 10 people I'd kill before I k…

Speaking Truth is Not Always Popular

Decades ago, a counselor taught me about the importance of speaking truth in love. Over the years, I've pondered this many times and have learned some important lessons.

When we speak the truth, people tend to react one of three ways:

they accept what we're saying and, if necessary, take any necessary actions; they deny what we're saying, sometimes by a flat-out denial, sometimes by avoidance of the issue or avoidance of the person speaking truth;they justify their version of the truth in an attempt to make you think the truth you speak isn't correct. 
When we speak truth, even when doing it with the utmost love and respect, it may still hurt.

When we speak the truth in love, it sometimes makes us an outcast - folks don't want to hear the truth, so they avoid people who speak it.

People want honesty - until they don't. They want honesty, until it forces them to face the truth about themselves, their situation, or their loved ones.

Sometimes I feel like God has m…

Uniquely You

My hubby and I like to watch some reality shows. (I know they're the bane of a writer's existence, so my apologies if I offend anyone.)

If you watch enough reality TV, you pick up on patterns from season to season with the cast members: the hunky one, the bombshell, the geeky one, the awkward one, etc.

Recently, I commented that one particular cast member was quite an odd duck. Hubby made a silly comment, which made me re-examine my words, and something struck home.

We all are made to be unique and original, yet culture lumps us into categories just like casting does on these reality shows. I don't like cookie-cutter houses or cookie-cutter cars - why would I like cookie-cutter people?

I realized I don't. My family and friends are all unique and different, in their own special way. And I love them for their uniqueness. I tend to pull for the unique and different on the reality shows, too. (Tim always roots for the cowboy!)

I'm unique and different too - I'm one…

Update, Refresh, Restart

Whew! These last three years have flown by. When I entered grad school, I "planned" to blog my journey here, sharing books and insights as I earned my MFA in screenwriting.

But life had other plans for me, and the blog sat idle.

I'm now in the final stretches of my degree - the end is finally in sight. I've completed all my class work and am currently working on my final portfolio. This project lasts for two semesters - this first semester I must write and defend the proposal, then next semester I must write and defend my script, and will graduate in December of this year.

The proposal defense is scheduled less than a month away, and I've set a personal deadline to have it written by the end of next week so there will be time for edits and rewrites before turning it in to the committee overseeing my project.

As busy as that sounds, I feel my time isn't as crunched as it has been for the past 7 years, since I started the whole back-to-school journey. I seem to …