Monday, March 9, 2015


I started a part-time job last week. I went into my training knowing full well that it was going to be a suck-fest for the first little while, during the learning curve. I don't know about you, but nothing's worse than being out of your comfort zone and feeling like an idiot at the same time. So, on Day 1 I inevitably felt like a fish out of water. Day 2, I'm feeling good. Really good. Like maybe this won't be so hard after all. Day 3, not bad. Learning a computer program and still doing pretty good. Day 4, snow day. Day 5, up until 1/2 hour before my shift ended, this is cake! Then, at 3:00 p.m. - HOLD THE PHONE. I made a tiny little mistake on Day 1 that has now contaminated all the work I did the other days. What is my first reaction? "Misty, you idiot! You failure! You can't do anything right!"

Needless to say, this teensy little blunder haunted me the whole entire weekend. My trainer wasn't upset about it at all. Only to be expected, she said. Just a natural part of training, she said. But I continued to feel crappy about it. Why? Because I was being way too hard on myself. Not only did I verbally abuse myself with words like idiot, failure, etc., (words I would never dream of using on my loved ones) but I couldn't let it stop there. I had to badger myself about it for the next 48 hours.

Why do we do this?? I actually have the answer! And yes, I went to therapy a few years ago to obtain it. I think therapy is the best thing in the world. Everyone needs someone to get them out of their own head from time to time. The things I learned from my counselor were mind-blowingly simple, and beyond life-changing for me.

Here's what I learned. The Feeling Good Handbook is worth its weight in gold.

If you can get through a non-fiction book that size, good on you. I won't even try. But here is the basic premise:

You identify an EVENT that made you feel something negative. In my case, the stupid Day 1 blunder that set me back.

Identify negative feelings that resulted from this even: shame, frustration, etc.

Record your automatic thoughts: I'm an idiot, I can't do anything right, I'm a loser, my trainer must think I'm so stupid, etc. Rate each thought from 1-5 (1 being I don't really believe that thought, 5 being I absolutely believe it.)

Here is an example of a worksheet in the book. I actually have my very own composition notebook that I use for this all the time. It is red, and my family knows not to go near it if they don't want their feelings hurt!

Now identify thought distortions in your automatic thoughts. Based on the above scenario, mine would be Overgeneralization, Discounting the Positives, Mind Reading, Emotional Reasoning, etc. We all have these, they are hard-wired in us. It took someone pointing mine out to me before I realized my thoughts were unhealthy at all. Here's a list of the little buggers:

Next you go back to your list of automatic thoughts and re-rate them from 1-5 according how much you believe in them still. If you don't feel better after, then you haven't correctly identified the event.

This has helped me so much. It actually changed my whole outlook on being a wife and mother. And even though it is usually in the back of my mind, I find that I need reminding. So if you, like me, find yourself being your own worst critic, then GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. If that means eating a Kit-Kat while talking yourself down from a masochistic cliff, then go for it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Motivation has become my new nemesis.

I'm not sure if it's because I feel guilty being idle in an empty house for six hours a day while my kids are at school, or if my 38-year-old body can't keep up with my 18-year-old ambitions. I suffer from OCD - obsessive creativity disorder (self-diagnosis)- and as my husband and children know, I'm not happy if my hands aren't busy. Stop by my house at any given moment and you will likely find me cutting out a new sewing project, cross-stitching yet another whimsical cow, or trying my hand at embroidery.

Usually a good project is a cure-all for me, but lately even the things I love to do make me go "ugh . . . I'd have to get up to do that . . . never mind!" And these are my hobbies, mind you - the things that give me the creative outlet I need, a much-needed break from reality, the "me time" that allows me to act less like a bear coming out of hibernation when my kids start coming off the bus. We're not even talking about the unpleasantness of dishes, laundry, coming up with something halfway decent for dinner, etc., etc. And I haven't even mentioned the taxi duty we find ourselves on with doctor/dentist appointments, music/dance lessons, church activities . . . is your brain starting to hurt yet?!

 As you may imagine, if I do accomplish any of the above, I'm exhausted by the end. So my question is, how do we find time to write? How do we walk away from all those balls in the air and give our story-telling its dues? And even if we find the time, what about the emotional and mental energy it sucks out of us? I don't know if any of you struggle with these same concerns, but as we're all writers and mothers I'm sure you've felt the pinch. Here are just a few things that keep my writing (and sometimes even myself) from falling by the wayside:

 1. SCHEDULE WRITING TIME. Treat it like any other commitment you couldn't or wouldn't neglect - like an appointment. Put it on your calender or in your phone or wherever the schedule portion of your brain lives.

 2. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. I'm much more accountable for my writing when I'm not at home, being distracted by all those balls. And let's face it, sometimes having my uber-comfy king bed upstairs is too much of a temptation in the afternoons.

 3. IF THE WRITING ISN'T FLOWING, SPEND SOME TIME IMAGINING SCENES. I do this when I'm in the car. Sometimes I even monologue it out, ignoring the strange looks I get from the drivers of passing cars. At least in our day and age I can pass it off for a phone conversation on my blue tooth.

 4. TEAM UP WITH OTHER AUTHORS FOR A WRITING SESSION. This works every time, unless we get sidetracked chatting. But chatting has its benefits too - I have worked out quite a few plot issues just talking it out with another writer.

 5. TAKE LITTLE SNATCHES OF TIME FOR WRITING. Be happy with the result, even if the word count leaves you feeling anti-productive. A book is made up of words, so every little bit helps.

 6. TURN OFF THE TECHNOLOGY. Ignore the little yips and blips your phone makes every time you get an email or text, or every time a friend creates a new Pinterest board. Anything truly important usually comes in the form of a call. Even then, don't answer unless it is your significant other or the school!

 7. PUT PEN TO PAPER WHEN INSPIRATION STRIKES. I realize this isn't always possible. Most the time the writing bug bites me when my whole family is home and wanting my attention, or on a Sunday when I shouldn't be "working". But if you're all lying around watching the latest episode of The Voice and the urge hits, grab your laptop and go for it. Ask yourself if the thing you're missing out on is more important than getting a good scene down.

 8. BE WILLING TO LET GO. This is super hard for me. Sometimes I schedule that writing time, I get out of the house, turn off my phone, and the stars seem to all align . . . until I start typing and I can't get a word down. If this happens, give yourself a break. Be willing to move on and try again another day. If you're having trouble getting a scene down, work on character development or plot or some other aspect of the process. And don't let it sour your mood and ruin your whole day!

Now I think I'll go take my own advice! Happy writing to you all.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Becoming Beauty by Sarah E. Boucher

Becoming Beauty Blog Tour HTML Post—Updated!

Welcome to Becoming Beauty's Blog Tour! Learn all about Sarah E. Boucher and her exciting new Young Adult novel based on the classic fairy tale Beauty & The Beast.

Becoming Beauty

Self-centered Bella focuses her attention on beautiful dresses and fabulous balls rather than helping her family earn a living.  And her siblings have had enough! To pay off their father’s debt, they send Bella to a far-off manor where the owner is more like a beast than a man.

As their personalities clash, Bella comes to realize there’s more to the Beast than she could ever have dreamed—if only she can look beneath the surface. And then there’s Jack, the kind servant who helps Bella adjust to her new life, someone Bella could easily fall in love with. But pursuing love may cost Bella her dreams of wealth and beauty. And that’s a price she’s not willing to pay.

Becoming Beauty is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and books & things.

Author Spotlight

Sarah E. Boucher spends her days instilling young children with the same love of literature she has known since childhood. After hours, she pens her own stories and nurses an unhealthy obsession for handbags, high heels, baking, and British television. Sarah is a graduate of Brigham Young University, who currently lives and teaches in Ogden, Utah. Becoming Beauty is her first novel.

Visit Sarah at blog/website ( 

Or connect with Sarah by clicking through to the following social media sites: 

And don't forget to click below and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Rafflecopter Giveaway Code a Rafflecopter giveaway MY REVIEW: What a deliciously twisted fairy tale! I absolutely loved Bella, even when she was spoiled and awful. I enjoyed her growth throughout the story, and cheered for her when she had finally (almost) mastered herself. She was a hopelessly flawed heroine that I could totally relate to. Sarah has a real gift with words. Her descriptions were vibrant and gave me a clear picture in my head. There were several passages that had me snickering or laughing out loud. I always loved Jack and thought Bella should end up with him. I will admit I didn't catch on that Philip was transferring his affections for Rose to Bella until the wedding dress didn't fit just right. The fast-track relationship between Cassie and Philip at the end felt a little forced, but that could just be because I'm not sure how much time passed between Bella's family arriving and the end. I would have preferred to see Bella's wedding rather than Cassie's as well. The ending felt a little rushed, but the author did tie up all the ends nicely. I know it can be challenging to wrap up a story that is written in your own blood, sweat, and tears - so I think Sarah is a promising novelist and we can definitely expect great things from her!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lessons Learned From Bad Reviews:

Romantic Tension vs. Sexual Tension (yes, there is a difference)

Hi, my name is Misty Dawn Pulsipher, and I am a clean romance author.

For some reason I feel the need to put this out there, wear a hypothetical sign around my neck so people know up front what they’re getting. I have always felt with my writing that it’s important for my characters to stick to the standards that have seen me right throughout my life. So, obviously, no sex before marriage. And even after the “I do’s,” I don’t want to read gritty details about their marital ecstasy. Some things are just better left to the imagination, and I don’t need yet another unrealistic standard to try and live up to.

So, for whatever reason I can make seem the most realistic in today’s literary world, in my books there is “no ding-ding without the wedding ring” as Maid Marian’s robust lady-in-waiting so eloquently put it in Robin Hood, Men in Tights. But it didn’t occur to me until a few reviews in on my first novel, Pride’s Prejudice, that I might have been unknowingly leading readers astray. Here is one snippet (okay, it’s a diatribe, let’s call it what it is!) that opened my eyes:

“To think that with all the sexual tension throughout the book, suddenly virginity becomes and issue made me check the back in two seconds flat to see if the author was a religious fanatic. Sure enough, that's exactly it. Here's the complaint because it's NOT THAT SHE'S A VIRGIN, it's that the author didn't carry that thread throughout the story. She threw it in as a preachy piece. It felt weird and changed the whole story to absolutely unbelievable. People this age have sex and people in this book are having sex. Are we thinking the other characters aren't doing it. Oh please, that part made this book maddening and I didn't like the unbelievability in it. If you want to write a christian P&P book, then carry that the throughout the book. Take the time and energy to introduce a reader to that idea early on so it doesn't feel like a preachy slap in the face.”

At first I could laugh about that review, pity the reader for having a pornography addiction and not realizing it. But as I started penning novel number two, Persuaded, that review gnawed at me. The words chewed on that sensitive nerve that is always exposed to criticism from readers. Suddenly it was clear to me that this disgruntled reader was right in a sense. I had unintentionally built up to a steamy climax that was never going to happen. I stress the word unintentional.

It wasn’t until I was watching one of my favorite Netflix shows and a simple kiss on the cheek got me all excited that I realized I’d been marketing the wrong thing. In this particular show, the focus had been on the relationship development (a work partnership) of these two characters. Once in a while there was a look from one or a line from the other, a little hint that each of them might feel something more than friendship for the other. Then the kiss on the cheek happened and I was like “Yes! They ARE going in that direction . . . I KNEW IT!” I think I almost fell off the couch, and I watched that little cheek brush over and over. My poor streaming device was so befuddled that Netflix finally shut down without my permission, and I was forced to finally call it a night.
But I didn’t fall asleep for quite some time, because the same question was circling relentlessly in my psyche: how could something as simple as a peck on the cheek get me so worked up?

That’s when I realized that the buildup was for the romance, plain and simple: the epiphany of both characters, the first kiss, the declaration. That little smooch had me going for several more episodes, perched on the edge of my seat waiting for just a little more. They didn’t full-on kiss until the end of the season, and long after they had ‘done the deed’ that little peck on the cheek was still my favorite moment for those characters.

Right then and there I decided to change my focus. Perhaps none of you struggle with this, but maybe some of you, like me, never realized that there are different kinds of tension. It is a good idea going into a novel to have a clear idea of which kind you want to market. Then the judgment calls that might stump you all along the way aren’t really an issue because the decision’s already been made. You’ll take more pride in your work, and readers won’t be so misled and disappointed.

I have to mention that without my good friend and author Melissa Lemon, this lesson might still be dancing around the edges of my consciousness. She taught me that Harlequin has nothing to do with true romance. Check out her books!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Meet My Character" Blog Hop

I was invited to this "Meet My Character” blog hop by author M. Leigh Marrott. M. Leigh’s Bio: Author M. Leigh Marrott has been coloring the world with her stories since she could talk... just like those pesky aliens used to color her walls at night when she was four. The first poem she actually wrote down was at the age of eleven as she grumbled about cleaning. When she was in high school, her quirky English teacher submitted M. Leigh’s poetry to a local paper and, to the author’s dismay, it was published. In March 2013, she had a collection of haikus published in EFiction Magazine. She is a contributor to The Liahona Project and Just An Average Mormon. M. Leigh is also a contributing author for the new YA Paranormal anthology, “Strange and Lovely” which now available for pre-order at Currently, M. Leigh is working on tidying up her first full-length novel for publication in early 2015. Born and raised in Indiana, as an adult M. Leigh married a military man and has moved 11 times in their nearly fifteen years together. They are the parents of four children, and though their military life is over, they love living in patriotic Texas. M. Leigh has degrees in Criminal Justice, Social Work and Psychology and finds the human condition and relationships fascinating. She also adores baking anything chocolate, taking long road trips in the family Suburban, and having totally geeked out movie marathons. You can read her “Meet My Character” blog post on her blog at Websites: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads:
Now for my character interview!

What is the name of your character? 
Hanna Elliot
Is he/she fictional or a historic person? 
Fictional, based on Anne Elliot from Persuasion
When and where is the story set? 
Modern-day New England coast, Connecticut to be exact
What should we know about him/her? 
She has a bad habit of being a door mat, and never got over her first love.
What is the main conflict? 
On the first vacation she's taken in years, she runs into her first love . . . who is unfortunately falling for someone else right in front of her.
What messes up his/her life? 
The fact that she has to face Derick Wentworth again . . . and the realization that her feelings haven't aged in the last decade.
What is the personal goal of the character? 
To finally get over Derick
Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 
When can we expect the book to be published?
Persuaded was published in July of 2014. Now available!

This character blog hop continues with Lisa Swinton:

Lisa Swinton
Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater and church choir. In her elusive spare time she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves to travel, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer. 

Check out Lisa's first novel, Fallen Angel:

And her new release, Ring On Her Finger:

You can visit her at:

Lisa will be posting her character interview on Monday, September 22nd on her blog:

Bible Bands by Katreina Eden

If your kids are into rubber band looming (who are we kidding - if you have kids, they are into it), then you will love this!
Kids will love these unique designs that also have purpose!

Get the kindle edition here:

Get the paperback edition here:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ring on Her Finger by Lisa Swinton!

It's Sept. 3 and Ring on Her Finger officially launches today into the world! WAHOO!
What happened in Vegas should stay there, not follow Amanda home wedded to the man who broke her heart. After celebrating college graduation with her friends in Las Vegas, Amanda St. Claire wakes up with a terrible hangover and a ring on her finger. Her day gets worse when she finds out she's married to rich playboy Blake Worthington---the guy she has loathed the past four years. Amanda convinces Blake to legally terminate the marriage and they both return home like nothing ever happened. That is, until Blake shows up on her doorstep and Amanda has to come clean with her family. Together for better or worse while the legalities are cleared, Amanda reluctantly plays along, but then the unthinkable happens---she finds herself falling in love with Blake. Can they overcome the past? Or will it end their future before it even starts? Those who enjoy What Happens in Vegas and The Prince and Me will find a kindred spirit in Ring on Her Finger. Where can you get it? On Amazon Kindle: On Amazon in Paperback: You can attend the online launch party TONIGHT ONLY SEPT 3 here: (There will lots of giveaways! Don't miss it!) And now for the giveaway! There are book bundles to be won. I'll announce winners on Sept.24 in 3 weeks. Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway