Friday, November 28, 2014

THREADED DREAMS has been published! Celebrate with 5 FREE eBooks for 4 more days!


"Threaded Dreams"
has been released today! 

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Dreams can be strange, wavering between what our conscious and subconscious thoughts are. Follow one woman's journey to self-discovery as she shares her own life-changing dreams.

Click HERE

for Kindle eBook

Click HERE for Paperback on Amazon.

To celebrate, I've decided to give away 
some FREE eBooks. 
These will be FREE until 12/1/14. 

The Sword of Senack 

How to Avoid Having Sex

The Golden Sky

Homeless in Hawaii 

Bible Girl & the Bad Boy


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Cover Reveal: THREADED DREAMS by EC Stilson

I've been working on "Threaded Dreams" for over 4 years--it's amazing to see it finally come to completion.

Release Date: 11/28/2014
Dreams can be strange, wavering between what our conscious and subconscious thoughts are. Follow one woman's journey to self-discovery as she shares her own life-changing dreams.

Front Cover
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Back Cover
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LINK to Paperback on Amazon. 

A Bonsai Tree

Twelve years ago, an old gardener decided to plant two seedling bonsai trees in the same container. . . .
    At once, the two seedlings found one another, wrapping their leaves together, entwining until their very beings grew as one. It was beautiful really, how the two became as a mangrove, even their roots wrapping together in places no one else could see.
    The gardener, perceiving their unified strength, gently transplanted them into some fertile soil outside. At first they braved many storms, growing closer all the while. But then as years passed, something changed. It was subtle, maybe even so slow neither bonsai felt it at first . . . still, change they did.
    One bonsai grew stronger, slightly overpowering the other. The smaller bonsai tried to be strong, doing everything . . . anything. But slowly, the smaller bonsai began losing strength. And the bigger bonsai, unhappy in its own way, lost strength as well.
    The leaves browned. Their bark no longer had a healthy feel. They were dry . . . dying.
    And so, the old gardener, after watching their demise, decided to pull the two trees apart. But he had to cut so much that by the time he'd untangled roots and branches, there was hardly anything left of either tree.
    He set them in separate containers, on opposite windowsills in his quaint little house.   
    As the months passed, both trees grew. The smaller bonsai, stretched and strained. The larger bonsai, leaned toward the sun, reveling in the solitude. And as summer came, both trees began to blossom. And for the first time, both trees saw each other for what they were: The smaller bonsai had orange blossoms. The larger bonsai had a thick trunk and reddish leaves. 
    As the two bonsais felt each other across the room, they were no longer saddened, angry, or fearful, instead they saw the facts for what they were: they'd been two different breeds, and if you know anything about bonsais, it's that the only kinds that should be in the same container are those of the same breed. 

Also, look for FREE eBooks 
downloadable from my blog and Facebook 
on 11/27-12/1!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I left the bag in the turkey!

    This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving posts--from 2011.  So I decided to repost it this weekend.

    Do you remember Miss Priss?  
    One of my FAVORITE posts ever is this one:

Then the madness continued with:

    Her nickname says it all.  I swear, I run into this woman whenever I look like crap--too bad I see her almost EVERY DAY.
    Yesterday, I should have thrown some makeup on, but no, I decided to put on my glasses and go all natural.  That practically summoned Miss Priss because when I stepped into the post office, there she stood, mailing packages that smelled like perfume.
    "Oh, it's you," she said when she saw me.  "How . . . lovely to see you."
    Wasn't it though, just delightful!
    I wanted to scream, tell her I don't ALWAYS look like crap, it's just when I see her.  There was no time for facts though, she wanted to tell the employees about how amazing she is and how she's researched new ways to help her baby be smarter.
    The other P. O. employee said he could help me.  "How was your Thanksgiving?" he asked, and Miss Priss hushed, completely honing in on our conversation.
    Sure I could have played her game, acted like everything was better than sin, but I'm not like that, so I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.  "It was awesome.  The food turned out great.  The turkey was moist even if I did leave the bag in it."
    The employees started laughing.  "You did what?"
    "I left the bag in, and can you believe it didn't even taste like plastic?!  I almost died when my husband carved the turkey.  He held up the bag and said, 'Hon, what is this?'  It was like he'd found the toy in the Cracker Jack package--seriously.  But, anyway, if our turkey sucks next year, I'll know it's because the bag needs to stay in.  It adds a . . . smoky taste you just can't buy."
    Miss Priss turned to me like she might be sick.  "I've never done something like that, ever."
    Well, wasn't she a gem--God's gift and everything.
    "You know," she continued, "you should google things first."
    "Sometimes it's nice to live life on the edge."
    "And leaving a bag in a turkey, is living life on the edge?"
    "Absolutely!  I felt all sorts of adventurous on Thanksgiving.  I ate something that had baked with plastic, and I bet it's happened to loads of people." 
    "Well, not to me."  She put her nose up so high in the air, it reminded me of how she'd reacted when I drank coffee.  She's very religious LDS, and as such, disproves of coffee. 
    I don't know why, but I couldn't take her attitude anymore.  I shouldn't have done it, but I did.
    "You know what, I did manage to get the neck and the ball sack out before I cooked everything up.  I boiled the other stuff to make gravy."
    "How crude."  She turned white.
    "Yeah, we used to eat the turkey nuts growing up.  They do have a strange texture, but once you get over that, they're pretty tasty.  Nuts would be your favorite meal, if you tried 'em."  I turned to Miss Priss and then back to the P. O. employees.  I thought the man helping me might explode with laughter.
    Miss Priss went to leave after that.  I almost invited her to one of my family's nut fries, but then I thought I'd done enough.  
    For more information about the nut fry, please go here:

The Nut Fry

    "You know what?" one employee said.  "I didn't know you had it in you, but I'm proud of you.  That woman needs some reality.  It's nice to see someone talk straight to her."
    The other employee blurted out, "I bet she's left the bag in the turkey too.  My wife has."  He paused and then spoke really fast again.  "I-know-I-have."
    I paid for my stuff and smiled wide.  "You left the bag in too?  Seriously?"
    "Yeah," he nodded, "except it was a long time ago and the thing started on fire."
    "Oh, my gosh!  That makes everything better.  I felt like such an idiot."
    "Don't," he said.  "We're all human and we all make mistakes."
    "Thanks," I said.  And for some reason as I left, I felt great about leaving that bag in the turkey.  I didn't feel stupid or silly because I knew I'd made a memory.  I also felt bad for Miss Priss.  Sometimes when people try so hard to be perfect, they lose sight of just having fun.  

    So to Miss Priss,
    Unclench those butt cheeks.  Life's about living.  That's great if you want to google everything, but just once, try living in the moment where things aren't secure and they're a bit uncertain.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Life Has Its Ups and Downs--Enjoy the Ups

The other day on my way home from work, I thought about October of last year.... 
I had no idea how I'd pay my bills for the month, let alone afford more food when my four kids and I ran out of what we had. With the last bits of my paychecks, I'd bought some noodles and broth, cheap meat, potatoes, rice, and Top Ramen. I barely had time to sleep or the sanity to keep going, so when my kids were busy watching TV, I'd escape to my room and cry.  
    I didn't want my babies seeing this person-- ME. --who'd become much weaker than I'd ever hoped to be.  People on the outside thought we were okay, financially and emotionally, but my kids saw the truth. 
    "Your eyes look kinda red," my oldest daughter said last October.  "Have you been crying?"
    "Nope," I sniffled, emerging from my bedroom. "Maybe I'm just tired from working so much."  
    She nodded, looking wise beyond her eleven years. I wiped my eyes and thought of how strong my kids are--especially my oldest daughters.  I never knew what they were made of...'til last year.  
    That night I went to the kitchen and prayed I'd be able to make something worth eating.  The compilation of scraps turned into a miserable meal really, but my four kids acted like it was better than candy.  "Great seasonings, Mom! We should eat this again sometime."
    I forced a smile. "Okay," I nearly whimpered. "We can have it tomorrow."  And the next day...and the next day...and hopefully we'd have enough for the next day.  I set my fork down and told myself to keep from crying.  "I think something's in my throat," I croaked. "I'll be right back." I suddenly ran to the bathroom, shut the door and sobbed quietly. 
    "Come on, kids," I heard my oldest daughters saying. "Let's get our PJ's on.  Mama is having a hard time...again. It's okay though. You'll see." After all of them went to bed and I made sure the sitter was available, I worked at home for a construction company, then rushed to get ready for a grave shift as a security guard.

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Me Last Year (Scary security guard, right? Be afraid! :)   
    Working as a security guard was exactly what I needed at this point in my life: empowering, distracting, and (although it didn't pay terribly well) money toward my bills. 
   But *whispering* those weren't the only reasons I enjoyed the job....
    A kind co-worker of mine felt compelled to start visiting with me on his break at 4am, saying he thought I might need someone to talk to.  "How's your night been?" he'd ask.
   "Oh, ya know," I'd reply, "just livin' the dream."
    Our first conversations were quite superficial, but then as months passed, we both began really talking about our lives.  And somehow every time he'd come visit with me on break I felt a little better just knowing someone--even at work--cared.  
    I'd go home every morning, and as I cooked breakfast for my kids, I'd catch myself singing to them, playing or laughing as they told me darling stories about school and friends.  My crying spells lessened and life began to shine.
    It's hilarious, remembering how I'd scramble, rushing to get all of my paperwork done, just so I could visit with this happy-go-lucky man on his break.  But as time passed, I realized that my co-worker's words had anchored my life, grounding me to a healthy place so I could heal.

Like I wrote at the beginning of this post, I thought about all of this as I drove home from work the other day. It's ironic how much life can change....    

I smiled, still driving but nearly home from my new job at a hospital.  A red truck was already in my driveway when I pulled in.  After walking up to my front door, all sorts of good smells wafted to me from the house.
    "Hello?" I hollered, taking off my shoes in the entryway.  
    My four kids yelled from the kitchen.  "In here!  We're making dinner."
    After I rounded the corner, my feet rooted in place as I took in the whole scene.  All of my kids giggled, taste-testing a red concoction that looked delicious.  My four-year-old spied me before hugging my leg like she'd never let go.  "We're makin' a surprise, Mama!  You love it?  You super-duper love it?"
    "Yes, honey.... I love it sooo much!" I hugged her back.
    My three older kids waved, then continued buzzing about happily and laughing.  That's when the handsome man in front of the stove turned and gazed at me with so much love....
  "How's your day been?" he asked, his deep voice always so smooth and rich. 
    Those simple words reminded me of our first conversations at the security desk, and I couldn't help but reply with what I'd said so many months before, "Ya know, just livin' the dream."
    And as I stood watching my family, tears filled my eyes, not because I was sad, or stressed, but because I'm so happy.  
    "Mama," my oldest daughter came up to me, "are you crying?"
    "Yeah," I said, smiling so big. I hugged her and we walked into the front room. "Life is just so good right now."
    "For me too," she said. And being wise beyond her years, I knew she completely understood how hard we've fought for a moment just like this.
    "I'm just really thankful for ... everything."
    I thought of: My kids, fighting just as hard as I have. God, for giving me a break. My family and friends...for all the support. And...I thought of the handsome man at the security desk...who's so good to me and my four children that it's truly astounding.
    If you step back and think of what love is, you might think of excitement, romance ... passion. 
    While love can begin with all of those things, right now I'm seeing something much stronger.... This kind man who has entered my life as a friend and confidant has literally changed my world and the lives of my children. The consideration and kindness he's shown us day in and day out is one of the biggest blessing I've ever received.

    I know life has its ups and downs.  But for right now, I'm going to enjoy the ups... I sure hope you're doing the same.
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EC Stilson