Tell Me I Can’t

Someone told me that with all the work required to launch a new book, there was no way I’d publish my new novel on Leap Day. I just love it when someone suggests I can’t do something (because here’s the link to Waterwight, my new novel, published on February 29th: Waterwight)

This past summer I had an opportunity to reflect on other “you can’ts” that contributed to making me the person I am today. I discovered that Smith College was having a Leadership Conference the first weekend in April 2016 and was looking for panelists. Although I’m not a Smith grad, I decided to complete their 200-word essay application just for the heck of it. Here’s what I submitted:

United States Military Academy
Senior West Point photo in “full dress” for parade uniform.

In 1976 my guidance counselor told me Smith was beyond my reach. In 1978 during my sophomore year at Smith, the college president said I was making a big mistake leaving to attend West Point. Many believed I’d never graduate from West Point, but after proving them wrong and serving my country as an Army officer for thirteen years, I now stand with classmates from Smith and West Point who applaud successful women who continue to shatter barriers.

I laugh at myself frequently when I look back on how I’ve redefining success over the past decades. My memoir will be called “Danger! Comfort Zone!” because as the black sheep in a family of five girls, I’ve lived my life believing that with comfort comes complacency, and complacency breeds boredom. My three semesters at Smith opened my eyes to countless opportunities available to intelligent women. I wanted them all.

My success as a Smith student opened doors to experiences far beyond any realm of comfort. At West Point I redefined my goals and challenged myself on every front: academic, physical, and emotional. Graduating with the fourth class of women in what had once been a “No Girls Allowed” institution launched me into a life of increasing responsibility, and I loved it.

With each major transition—Smith to West Point, Army to civilian life, mom to teacher, teacher to author and mentor—satisfaction in my accomplishments grows. My credo: Embrace change. Challenge the status quo wherever you find it. Challenge yourself always.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ll be heading to Smith College on March 31st and look forward to meeting three other women who will join me on the “No Girls Allowed: Game Changers” panel! I plan to have fun. Go ahead. Tell me I can’t.

My Smith College uniform. "Full Jammies with Tab Bottle Mic"
My Smith College uniform. “Full Jammies with Tab Bottle Mic”


MWF seeks KAA!

Yes. This married white female is seeking a kick-ass agent to represent WATERWIGHT, and I’ve decided to share my query letter with you. Perhaps you know a KAA who’s ready for a fun adventure:

Dear KAA:

Imagine a world where a young girl’s most trusted friend is a flying frog. [thanks, Maggie, for this suggestion! And if you’re reading this, please buy Maggie’s book “BODY PUNISHMENT”]

I am seeking representation for WATERWIGHT, a 42,250-word YA fantasy adventure set in a post-cataclysmic world in which time is somehow “off” and bizarre anomalies have been unleashed.

Celeste, a 14-year-old orphan, must discover the key to saving what is left of humanity from an encroaching body of stinking water that threatens to consume everything in its path. Although she is aided by mystical beings—including a flying frog and an old mountain spirit—and her special powers, discovered after running away from a wretched children’s home, she alone must find the solution.

After finding mysterious poems in her diary, Celeste questions her sanity. Only after interacting with a pack of wild dogs and a talking mountain does she realize her ability to communicate with non-humans, and eventually, with those who speak different languages. All signs convince her to go “to the other side of the big water” where she is certain to find the key, but superstitious villagers and a fissure-prone planet thwart her at every turn. And let’s not forget the Shifter, pawn of the Overleader, whose mission it is to stop her.

This is a stand-alone novel, but I see it as the first book in a story arc that completes a trilogy. Middle school teachers in three schools are currently using WATERWIGHT: Book 1 for their end-of-year reading project. I have started to write Book 2 and plan to have the trilogy completed by the end of 2015.

I am a teacher (MA in English), a published author and an ex-Army officer who has experienced many adventures. My novel “Miss?” is available from Amazon (September 2013) as are books from Publishing Syndicate’s new series Not Your Mother’s Book for which I co-create Not Your Mother’s Book…On Being a Stupid Kid (November 2012) and have several short stories published in many of their other titles. Colorado Central Magazine has also published several of my short stories.

Thank you for your consideration,


Now, who’s with me?







Melancholy Mondays

I’ve completed the novel I started the month of November for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and by the time I got to the end, I realized I needed to change the title from “Miss?” (the name I was always called while I taught in the public school system) to Melancholy Mondays.

The story is based on journal entries I wrote during my first year of teaching, and the novel is literary fiction. Many of the events actually happened, and others could have happened. I would call it an expose on the ills of our current public education system, but there is enough humor throughout (I hope) to keep you from wanting to jump out a window.

More on this later! I’m working on my one page synopsis now in preparation for finding the perfect publisher!