Depression – The Enemy

Depression is my greatest enemy.

From the time I was very young, I have had to combat depression in one form or another. Often it wasn’t severe. It wasn’t all encompassing. It wasn’t function halting, until it was.

That must sound odd. I’ll elaborate further.

Over the years my depression, likely triggered both by life events and by a condition called PMDD, it deepened and grew. While it never became an all the time kind of depression, it did get bad enough – at times – to trigger suicidal thoughts. When in that state, I self isolate. Like countless other people who deal with this issue, it is a difficult place to climb out of alone. As a single parent, it is a difficult place to allow yourself to linger in too, which really only cycles the whole process.

There have been times, like during post pardum (PPD), that I took medicine for treatment. There have been other times that I did not. The best treatment I have honestly found is exercise and productivity. That sounds so counter-intuitive for someone who’s feeling like there’s nothing to move for, good to think about, to dream about. It’s likely an odd thought for those who don’t have someone to keep alive for. I’m grateful that I do.

The worst bout of depression I ever had lasted years. It was debilitating. It limited my ability to do anything except care for my children, and honestly, that didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. I would lay in bed some days only getting up to feed my babies, go to the bathroom, and pray I make another day. I struggled during those times to see a reason to keep on keeping on. Work suffered. We became homeless. The whole process showed me that those I loved would abandon me, as a person, when I had nothing left to share. I’m grateful we have left that behind a long while ago.

Feeling isolated, alone, and deceived should have been enough to justify ending it all. My amazing kids kept me from living in that state of mind. I have worked hard to leave all of those emotions in the past, even cutting ties with those who helped fuel it.

Recently, I’ve been reminded about the cyclic nature of life. For the last few months, life has been one thing after another until the depression couldn’t be ignored any longer. It put me down. The chaos left me wondering why and how about nearly everything.  I could list to final trigger points or the ones that piled up before it, but that wouldn’t reach the goal of this article. The point is that I have begun to focus myself despite the depression. For those who may be going through it, it’s not easy. It is possible.

Each time we do something despite not wanting to even open our eyes is a victory over the enemy. Each time we achieve even a minor goal, like writing a few hundred word blog post, it is a victory over the enemy. Victories might be the only thing we can list. That won’t change the fact we can list them. Some days the only victory we have is making it to tomorrow. Don’t take that from yourself. That’s a huge victory.


Reaching out to resolve a depressive episode isn’t easy. In many cases, it’s not even possible. This is where it is important to make sure you know people who understand you deal with severe depressive episodes. They will notice when things change. Yes, even if you’re hiding it well, they will notice. (Although, honestly, if you have to put that much effort into hiding your depression and you’re doing a good job, you can add it to your victory column because there’s a lot of effort going out that you didn’t know you had to give.) A friend who notices will know to say something or make an appearance without notice. In the end, they’ll also be there to help you find your way back to the surface.


Now, I’m going to badly segue into something more specific. PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a beast to contend with. This condition can affect any woman of menstruation age and has a cousin who’ll be active during menopause. When you do a search for it, you’ll find many websites will list it as “PMS on steroids”. While it’s a good choice of illustration for those who don’t experience, it doesn’t come close to clarifying what it does or is.

PMDD affects everything. It hinders your emotional sense. It triggers excruciating pain that is similar to labor or worse. Some women have to remain in a dark room (migraine pain) with some kind of heating pad, in addition to the heavy-duty pain relieve they have in their system. That may sound like a lot. Going through it is far worse.

Some people with PMDD, (women get PMDD so it’s not people, it’s women) they find themselves sitting in a depressive state, combined with all of that pain, for weeks out of every month. It is truly debilitating when you can’t even move to go to the bathroom because it hurts too much to think about it, let alone do it. It can keep a woman from her job, from her family, and her peace of mind.

Diagnosis of PMDD typically takes two things – One, you need to track your symptoms for 2-3 months; Two, you need to have a doctor rule out any other possible problems.


Symptoms to track:

Excessive physical pain

Mood swings and extreme emotional states




Rage episodes

Crying fits

Negative thoughts

Self-harm or plans to self-harm

Breast Tenderness

Abdominal tenderness


Bearing in mind that 3 to 5 percent of every woman who endures PMDD has thoughts of suicide, this condition is very difficult.  Of that number, many women don’t survive. At one point I was sure I would be one of those. As serious as this condition can be, you would imagine that doctors know all about it, but they don’t. There are few doctors who know about it and even fewer that know how to treat it.

Diet can change the regular monthly battle. Eating the right foods and exercising helps to mitigate the symptoms. If you’re catching it early enough, that might be all you need. If it is severe it may take medicine as well. Typically doctors suggest an SSRI for PMDD. This can be taken during the last two weeks before bleeding begins. That’s when the emotional and physical symptoms are at their worst. The anti-depressant will counteract the emotional chaos within and bring you back to yourself when it is needed.


This article is getting longer than I expected it would. I really conveyed all of that to tell you that I am overcoming it every single day and doing better each time I do. This beast will not hold me back.

A short note about books:

I’m working on the newest in the Xarrok universe – Xarrok Legacy book 1. Excerpts to come – watch the blog for the sneak peeks.

I’m also working on a book dedicated to PMDD and enlightening /educating others about it.

There is extensive work that will be done with the former Knights of the Immortals. It will be redeveloped into Knights of Atlantis. I can’t wait to share it with you.


Tell me, what are your favorite ways to lift your own mood when life is challenging?




3 things you know about me; 1 thing you don’t

single parent family

3 things you might know about me already

1 – I’m happily a single mom of two amazing young people.

2 – I am a space science geek.

3 – I really enjoy the opportunity to help others.


Now, the last one is something you won’t likely know about me.  Let’s see how things go 😉


1 thing you might not know about me

Everyone has a stressful day from time to time (a single parent has many) and instead of the standard beer/wine suggestion for the end of the night, I find a bit of something else an amazing cure ….

4 – CHOCOLATE!!  A piece of chocolate can cure almost any tough day.

Beautiful heart shape ripples on chocolate surface


I want to learn more about you  now – What is something about you that makes your day better? Do you enjoy dark chocolate or a cup of warm, relaxing coffee? Do you find a walk to be the most enjoyable way to unwind? Maybe you enjoy another form of exercise or a good book? Share in the comments below.

Let’s talk! Leave me a comment and I’ll make sure to respond 😉

My newest asset in the fight to do ‘all the things at once’

One of the things that I struggle with the most is trying to do all the things at once. “Do it all NOW” Syndrome? Everything’s a syndrome these days 😉

For me that can be anything from formatting the new books (yes there are several that are ready for formatting) to editing the older books in prep for print. It’s so much fun to look at the writing and jump into that. It does need to get done to keep things running smoothly. Then kids jump in and have something that needs to be done so I’m going to ‘do that now’ too. Then when I’m in the middle of whatever kid related activity, I get a private message on one of the many venues that people reach me at, and I have to pause to do that, return to kids things and then remember there’s more work! ACK!

Getting more paperwork task on desk.

Let’s be completely realistic here – When you have your hands full with work, kids, and household to run, it can be overwhelming on your own. Add basketball practice, games, and coding lessons into the mix and your day has gotten even bigger (or is that smaller?)

productivity and multitasking: business woman juggling with office objects

Realizing I’ve got limitations – where I distract myself from work with work – I have found a great resource for helping me get back on track. It’s one of those things where I don’t know how I’ve gotten by without one. It seemed simple enough, get help with book reviews before I knew it,  I had hired a really incredible Virtual Assistant. She’s fantastic, persistent, and a translator so …. Xarrok, Knights of the Immortals, and anything else I’m working on will likely be translated into Spanish. That’s exciting to me.

With her help taking care of the distracting things, I have been able to replan the writing time, help the kids, and organize my to-do list in an effective manner. So simple. So obvious. And so – What was I thinking before? It’s awesome.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a regular schedule. It’s a requirement for any business. But something that many may not know, I also homeschool a niece. A fun additional item that is mixed into my day. Both working for myself and teaching require a plan and set time for everything. It’s not easy to make everything move together in a seamless manner, thus why I sought and found help.

Hiring help isn’t something everyone can do. This means additional support structures should be put into place. That doesn’t mean external support in all cases. This could be things like a written To-Do list via Google Tasks, with updates for how long things should take and when you should move onto the next step. It could be a partner who emails you to check in with you. I found accountability partners are wonderful help. A simple email at the start of the week and a phone call toward the middle with a week-in-summary helps make certain things get done. A blog can also be used in the same manner.
Time is always either our greatest ally or our greatest foe. For most of us, it’s a foe. Never enough of it to get what needs to be done accomplished. It’s important to set a schedule, stick to it. If something is distracting, find a way to eliminate the distraction. It might be hiring a really talented assistant or it could simply be shutting down the internet for a distraction-free business/work time. My best solution was to find Daniela. Yours might be setting alarms on your phone, or shutting down internet time. Each person is different. Take the time – it’s well worth it to spare – to review what you are doing, where things aren’t falling into place, and develop a plan of action. If you’re not sure how to go about it, find a friend or mentor to assist. If you need a good VA who might have more time to spare – message me. I’m happy to pass on her contact 😉

My best solution was to find Daniela. Yours might be setting alarms on your phone. Each person is different. Take the time – it’s well worth it to spare – to review what you are doing, where things aren’t falling into place, and develop a plan of action. If you’re not sure how to go about it, find a friend or mentor to assist. If you need a good VA who might have more time to spare – message me. I’m happy to pass on her contact information – with her permission, of course 😉

So that’s my rambling for now.  I’ll write more soon. And I’ll write more about what I’m doing to find time and set a structure to my day soon. What are you doing to better your work day? Your personal life? Do you have tools or a support system that helps? What do you suggest for people who are looking forward to reviewing their available time?

5 Quick Updates

Just sending out a quick update for all of my readers and friends. Wish I had made this site a long time ago. Things have been very busy for my family recently. I’ll leave that for another post. This one will update you a bit on some new projects that I’ve been consumed by.


  1. There’s more Xarrok to come! Newest release is in the final stages of development and should be out the last week of the month. Additionally, I know many of you have heard me discuss Greshna’s Escape – Seeds of Revenge. That book is going to be available only through my website. Watch this page for more details on that shortly.
  2. My children have started writing Animal tidbits. They both enjoy learning about animals and my daughter has a dream of becoming a rescue one day. As part of that, we’re excited that she’s begun her research, with the incredible support of her brother. We will be putting out shorter versions for the Ebooks and the print will have tidbits, games, images and so much fun!
  3. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Women’s Health Issues. It seems there aren’t enough books that provide information for the most basic things women go through. I plan to make research easier for other women. Watch for that arrive the start of the year 🙂
  4. For years, has remained neglected. That is about to change, but to start with, don’t hesitate to visit in the coming weeks. There will be some fun opportunities there.
  5. Watch for some snippets and guides that will be available for SciFi authors in the near term. We do a lot of research, this will provide a series of books that will touch on science basis, scientist speculation, and resources for your own development. It’s not going to be a long series or long books. They are going to be designed to develop a quick reference for an author who doesn’t need the internet distraction. I know the research process often leads me to the distraction, making the book writing process so much longer. It’s the hope these reference guides will help with focus, and avoid internet or facebook time sucking experiences.

Is there anything you’d like to know about? Drop me a question and I’ll try to get it answered ASAP 😉

Knights Newsletter and more personal stuff

K and A


That’s the link to the fun place you’ll get great stuff for Knights of the Immortals! Can’t wait for you to see the rest of the series. So far 1-3 are in print. 1 and 2 are in eBook. 3 will be soon as will 4. 5 is done and ready to go. 6 will be a blast but not available until Sept.


Six is being rewritten The entire manuscript disappeared with the loss of my last computer back in Dec. All of the backups are corrupted because of how it was lost. Life happens, often.

I’m giving away some fun free stuff with the newsletter so don’t forget to grab the link and get signed up 🙂


Things have been crazy hectic here and the next month will be. All of it will be positive with a plethora of fun announcements coming one after the other in the coming weeks. Even a fun book tour will be hosting Knight’s Apprentice. I’ll tell you more on that as I’ve got more. ENJOY!


Updates and newsletters

So much happens in short periods of time. I don’t have the room to update you on all of it, so I’ll just take a couple of quick chunks.

Dual Series Promo 1

We’ve been hopping over here. We’re preparing for an official launch of the Knights of the Immortals Series. I’ve talked a bit about it here already. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve been enjoying writing it and enhancing it. I’m nearly finished with book five’s final revisions. Book three and four still need uploaded to the ebook networks. There are a few sites that I love working with.

Over the last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time confronting something that usually made me feel uncomfortable, even knowing the value it has. Email is a very personal way of communicating with each other. It’s fun, fantastic, and opes the way for people to exchange active conversations. I love that! I was afraid for the longest time that I’d mismanage things, or that I’d chat about stuff that didn’t interest people. Truth is, I do that on Facebook, Twitter, and even on this blog (or any number of my other blogs).

Years ago I used to run a freelance business. Do you know I could have stayed in contact with some really incredible companies if I had kept an email list in one place? That’s how I’m looking at things now. I love connecting with my readers in the facebook group or on my Xarrok page. It’s a wonderful thing and so much fun! The fun part is the best EVER so . . . Now I am going to email all of my incredible readers.

Keeping in mind that I’m a mom, first and foremost, my Xarrok series, which is very busy right now, isn’t something I’d want my young kids to read. Knights of the Immortals and it’s coming spin off, Atlantean Progeny are a totally different thing. That in mind, I’m happily going to keep two email lists. If you’d love to keep in touch about all things Xarrok, there’s a page for that. If you’d like to connect and talk all things Atlantis – Knights and Progeny – there’s a place for that too.

We’re going to play games, get books giveaway free, and do live Q & As for the newsletter people directly. I can’t wait. It’s going to be so much fun. Watch for the next post. It’ll have info about some freebies and the links to sign up.

Beautiful heart shape ripples on chocolate surface
Love my friends 

** Ebook Retailers **


I’ve had a lot of wonderful readers join me from Kobo, Nook, and Kindle. Late last year I started putting out what I call the Xarrok Saga. These are shorter sections of the full-length novels and will eventually lead to my releasing chapters to the coming novels a sneak peek for my kindle readers. This has been a lot of fun and it’s been very well received so far. Needless to say, this makes me very happy and makes the adventure worth having.

Going forward, I’m going to keep the Saga on Kindle only – Releasing the Full-Length novels to the wider Xarrokian audience as they are finalized. However, I don’t want to leave my Nook and Kobo fans out so, I’ve begun creating two more new, fresh Scifi/Space Opera series that’ll be released solely on Kobo or Nook. Once I’ve got more for you, I’ll make sure to share it.

Can’t wait to hear from you! 🙂


What have you been up to?



Knights of the Immortals in Print

After a fantastic visit with our local school, Knights of the Immortals entered the print process and the first three books have arrived. There’s minor tweaking that needs done in The Choosing (book 2) but all three should be entering the market shortly.

Below are the covers for all three books! They look fantastic in person.


Light rays seen from underwater


It’s really exciting to hold my own books in my hands. Each of the books will be followed closely by the next two, as the first five are complete and ready to be formatted and released. Book six is the one in process and will need to go to our editor. I can’t wait though. It’ll be the completion of my first serial’s season one. Once I’ve got these six ready, I’m moving into Atlantis’ Progeny – Which is a spin off of Knights of the Immortals. It follows Cerita’s little brother, Carlos and his adventures among the children of the elite of Atlantis.  He goes from poor, nerdy, geeky kid in the top of his class to rich, geeky kid in remedial learning across everything he’s done. Oh, and hes not on Earth.

Can’t share more yet, but watch for it. It’ll be serialized as well, so 6 books produced like with Knights. It’s already a lot of fun!


Hello Friends!

This is an exciting place for me. More than just talking about books, I’ll share about myself, my family, and my fantastic support team. We have a plethora of fantastic involved fans with unique and fun stories to share. That’s going to be one of my favorite things to talk about.

Watch for the list being set up. I’ll have some perks that’ll only be available to those who jump in my newsletter. It’ll only be a monthly thing, with a few more that’ll come in as new books are released. Some of the things you’ll see include the opportunity to get an early copy of my books before they are released, cover reveals for you, and unique swag giveaways. It’s going to be a fun adventure.


I work with Midnight Rose Publishing authors, which is a fantastic team of authors who are working together to expand reach, improve reading experience, and support one another. The group is fantastic. Watch for more about each of them. I promise, if you enjoy my books, you’ll love many of theirs too. It’ll be absolutely fun to share.


Oh, and this year you’ll get a preview of Ripper Chronicles, a new scifi series that is scantly related to the Xarrok universe. It follows a small, hunted group of mercenaries who learn everything they believe is a veil for the unthinkable. Their adventures across the more localized sectors of the Milkyway will prove both entertaining, and intense. Rachel is the captain of the Ripper. The AI of her little ship is named Jack, and he’s as snarky as she is tough. Believe me when I say nails don’t stand a chance against Rachel. It’s exciting to consider introducing them to you in more detail. I’ll plan to share an excerpt soon.

Before this gets too long, I’ll call it a day, but watch for more to come! It will.