Tag Archives: writers

Tuesday:) Talking To Allison Bottke

20 Mar

“People don’t accidentally cross our path. The path has always been there. We get to choose when and where to cross it.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I love my neighborhood walks. I also love stopping to chat with neighbors that I bump into along the way. Last year, I stopped to admire a neighbor’s beautiful fall decorations and landscaping in her front yard. We exchanged some pleasantries about the weather and fall flowers. Allison told me that she works from home and that she sees me walking every day from her front office window. So, every time I would pass by her house, I would wave, just in case she was sitting there at her desk.

Yesterday, I was out for my evening walk when I noticed Allison planting some bulbs in her front flower beds. I could have waved and continued on my walk, but instead I walked up to the busy gardener and asked what she was planting.

To make a long story even longer, Allison invited me to see her beautiful backyard, overflowing with fragrant rosemary bushes and herbs, roses, flower beds, and a huge shade tree waiting for spring foliage. I was impressed. She said I could stop by any time and snip some fresh herbs.

I remembered that she worked from home, but when she told me that she was a writer and author, I was really excited. I told her I was a writer want-to-be and wrote a daily blog. She invited me into her beautiful home to see her workspace and the shelves bursting with books, most of which were her own works. After the tour, she reached down to a shelf and grabbed three different books, offering them to me. I thanked her profusely, and requested an autograph.

I couldn’t help but think about people crossing our paths. I must have walked past her house hundreds of times. Yesterday, I decided to stop and talk to this talented lady and maybe make a new friend. And guess what? I did. We’re going to try and meet for lunch or dinner one day soon.

I scurried home in the dark with a smile and a handful of autographed books.

A little bit about my new friend, Allison Bottke.

Allison Bottke is the best selling, award-winning author of more than 31 non-fiction and fiction books, including seven books in the acclaimed Setting Boundaries® series and 13 volumes in the popular God Allows U-Turns® anthology. As a collaborative and developmental editor she has helped over a dozen writers to become published authors of their own non-fiction books and memoirs, many of which are available on Amazon.

A frequent guest on national radio and TV, Allison is an inspirational author with a heart for hurting parents and grandparents who struggle in challenging relationships with their troubled adult children.

Allison’s newest book is the long-awaited follow-up to the bestselling Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children – Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.

Releasing worldwide on January 8, 2019, How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children – Effective Strategies for Parents in Pain (from Harvest House Publishers) addresses the hot button issues affecting families today. Such as drug addiction, emotional and mental illness, financial problems, incarceration, and more.

 This Is Thursday:) Through The Eyes Of An Artist

11 Mar

“Artists see with their hearts. They bring beautiful color, magical music, and wonderful words into a not so perfect world. A gift they share with everyone.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I like to think of myself as an artist, writer, and amateur philosopher. Student of many, master of none. I am a work in progress. Here is my day in a nutshell. (Because I’m a nut.)

I woke up at 7 am, checked emails, wrote a letter, called Mom, drove to Zumba, busted a move and thank goodness not a hip for an hour, glowing red faced, changed, drove to Art Club of McKinney meeting by 10, lunch with fellow artists, visited friends at Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square, went over to the Martin Place for Elaine Adam’s memorial art exhibit by 4, scurried home, went for a walk 5-6, and now writing this blog, then off to a divorce support group at 7-9. This is a typical day for me. I LOVE IT!

Well, never got this posted before my support group. It’s after 9:30 pm, and I’m finally able to take a breath and finish this post. This group session tonight was an eye opener. It makes me realize how very lucky and truly blessed I am. All I can say is…and this is not like me at all…but the world is truly F’d up. I need a drink!

Now, for some photos of my day… Art Club of McKinney guest speakers.

    
    
 
Lynne and Jeni won prizes for the monthly member artwork.

  
Lunch with the art gals at Cookie’s Mexican Restaurant.

   
Elaine Adams’ fantastic art show memorial at the mARTin Place. A beautiful tribute to a lovely and talented woman.

 
Elaine’s sweet husband of 61 years, Gil, family, and friend, Lynne.

  
The sky was gloomy and drizzly, but the sun kept trying to peek through while I walked.

  
The local ducks two blocks away from their pond were having a picnic on a neighbor’s front lawn. 

  
“Here comes the sun…”

Saturday:) Special Book Signing in “”Six Words”

10 Jan

“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.” ― Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

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My dear friend, Lynne Weinberger, had her book signing at Barnes & Noble today. The book she is featured in is called “The Best Advice in Six Words.” Do you know how hard it is to express a feeling in exactly six words? Not as easy as it sounds. 

It was exciting to have Lynne sign my book. Every writer dreams about having a book signing, with  friends, family, and strangers lined up to get their autograph. Dreams can come true. CONGRATULATIONS LYNNE!

  
 
I’m not going to spoil the excitement my telling you what her “six words” are. You’ll just have to buy the book. (Blatant marketing ploy.)

  
  
I am friends with a famous author!

  

Saturday and So Many S’s…

6 Apr

“Saturday night is perfect for writers because other people have “plans.”
― Mike Birbiglia
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Wow, that’s a perfect quote, isn’t it? Writers are writing, while artists are painting. Other people have plans on Saturday night.

My Saturday was busy with a lot of S’s. Started off at Sweet Spot for our writing group at 10 am, then Snug for lunch, Stopped at Art on the Veranda, scurried home for an early evening walk, captured my shadow on my phone, stirred up a scrumptious Black Russian cocktail, now sitting stretched out by the TV, sipping and scripting my blog. Now, that’s a lot of S’s for one Saturday.

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My larger than life shadow. When the sun is at your back, your shadow falls before you.
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Look at this yummy Black Russian cocktail! This time I made a frozen chocolate almond milk ball to add instead of ice, a little chocolate ice cream, Kahlua and vodka. Voila…the perfect sweet treat/cocktail.

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Friday: Famous friends

26 Oct

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
Anahi’s Nin
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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a book signing for my friend Stephanie Henry. Her heartbreaking story spans decades of abuse, suffering! and healing, that eventually turns full circle enabling her to assist other voiceless victims around the world. It’s true, everyone has a story and Stephanie felt compelled to share her story in an attempt to bring hope of survival to the hopeless.

The book signing at Landon’s Winery in downtown McKinney was jam-packed with neighbors, friends, family and well-wishers. I waited in line for nearly half an hour in order to get my book signed and a few minutes to talk to and congratulate my former neighbor and current friend.

Being a writer and artist, I am always thrilled to see someone I know receive such accolades. It gives us all hope that someday our stories will be told and shared with the world. If you enjoy reading personal stories of hope and inspiration, pick up “If Only I Could Sleep,” by Stephanie Henry of McKinney, Texas.

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Saturday: Special Friends on the Square

11 Aug

Saturday is always a special energy day. Our writing group meets at Sweet Spot on the Square. I think we do more talking, sharing, venting and giggling than actual writing and critiquing, but it makes for a creative atmosphere. Today, Julia and Mandy sported cheery uplifting yellow outfits that brightened my spirits. Did I mention that they are also awesome writers? Friends always make life a better place!

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Miss Kathy is still temping us with her delectable creations. Cut it out!!! Sweet friends…sweet stuff!

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Monday Memories: Meeting People that Change Your Life

6 May

( If you want to cut to the chase…visit http://www.stancrader.com )

A few years back, I was asked to write a brief summary about a couple of local businesses for McKinney Magazine. Well, I was fairly new to the writing for a magazine game, so they turned out to be more like “Gone With the Wind” stories about the fascinating folks who made it all work. What I loved, actually adored about writing these stories, was all the friends I made along the way. There are so many, but I’d like to share just one today.

In the fall of 2010, I drove over to Blue Mountain Equipment over by the McKinney Airport to take a few pictures of the brand new facility and get a few quotes for my assignment. To my surprise, the president of the company, who lives in Missouri, happened to be there that day. I was escorted to a beautiful boardroom with a long wooden table and several distinguished gentlemen seated on both sides, all waiting to meet with… ME? My heart was pounding so hard, I thought a 747 was landing across the street.

It only took a few minutes for my trembling hands to relax and jot down a few names and quotes. I was immediately in awe of the group of men, who were more like family and friends. They took turns recounting how the business started or how they became part of the ‘family’. At the end of the meeting, the president, Stan Crader, told me that he had recently written a book and presented me with a signed copy of “The Bridge”. Then Mr. Crader and his son Justin gave me a personal tour of the huge state-of-the-art building. I took more photos and notes, and thought I’d died and gone to journalism heaven.

Again, to make a long story even longer, as I tend to do, Stan and I kept in touch via Facebook and email. I told him that I was reading one chapter a week to my senior art group and they loved his book. A few months later, he surprised us with a visit and more signed copies of “The Bridge”. He stops in and visits us when he is in town and has some extra time. Since that first meeting, he has written an additional two books.

You may be wondering why this is all so interesting. Well, Stan Crader may be a very successful businessman, but his passion for writing has allowed him to share his talent and generosity to help the less fortunate. Stan has donated all the profits from his books to various local charities. He is even offering a free download of his first book, “The Bridge,” at his website http://www.stancrader.com But, perhaps you’d like to buy a copy, and support some needy veterans with your purchase.

Mr. Crader’s books are amazing glimpses into the lives of hard working families and a group of youngsters growing up in rural Missouri back in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s like reading “Tom Sawyer” with a modern twist. These books would be great to read with your kids or your grandma. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry, and you’ll be supporting a worthy charity. Let me know if you read any of the series, because you’ll find out why I love these books and why I adore Stan Crader. He has taught me what it means to be a great humanitarian and hopefully a better writer.

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My prized autographed copy of THE BRIDGE.