That one time a random author changed my life. 

Last week I got to meet someone who changed my life and now I am no longer scared of publishing my collection of essays.

Once I made it public that it was going to happen, I was very nervous. In fact, I had written a Facebook post about pushing it back until fall, but I had saved it in drafts and never hit send in.

My reluctance had many sides. Would anyone actually buy it? I’m a nobody. Was this my story to tell? It involved so many people.

Then my friend Lyndse jokingly telling me that this guy named Zach Anner was going to be speaking and signing his book at a large bookstore and I should go and get a book signed for her.

Never heard of the guy, but I figured what the hell, I’ll go.
That one hour changed my life. It made me

I originally was planning to self publish it, but I’m going to look into revising it again and then sending it to traditionally publishing it. So thank you, The Official Fan Page of Zach Anner for being my new role model, and Lyndse for suggesting I go.


I’m Changing My Career trajectory… and it’s kind of scary

I’ve been writing young adult (YA) fiction for about a decade. Five books, about 100 (seriously!) lit agencies and endless revisions … Stressful. Frustrating. So I am done writing fiction. For now, at least.

I don’t think my fiction will ever sell, so I’m going to be focusing on writing nonfiction…. Mostly my stories and my anecdotes about the life I’ve lead, the hell I’ve been through, the family I came from, and how that makes me who I am.

I’m also trying to break into the motivational speaking field, but that’s more difficult to do than I imagined.

I think I was put on this earth to inspire people, I really do. I’m perfectly aware that sounds corny as all hell but that’s what it feels like.

So it’s on to the next chapter.


I went to a college football game this weekend…

… and I was scared the entire time.

My husband asked me to go with him to a football game for this weekend. Trying to earn some Wife Points, I said absolutely, put my Longhorns shirt on.

Fortunately, I had looked at the team’s website to see what time the game would be starting, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen that the football arena at the University of Texas banned all bags that weren’t completely see through, unless it was a very small wallet or clutch purse.

Filling all my things that I require on an evening out into my wallet wasn’t easy, but I managed it.

We had very cheap tickets, so this was our view: at the very top, seeing both the gorgeous Austin skyline and nearly every other person who was there to watch the game like us. Spectacular view, isn’t it?

All I could think about when I looked at it was that someone could shoot up the stadium. Their clear bag policy is obviously in place to keep weapons out of the arena, but this is still Texas. I don’t want to feel like I’m going to die every time I step foot in a place like that. No one wants to. And no one should.

We have become a world of constant shootings, senseless murders, aimless bombing and shattered souls. Death tolls are rising. Stupidity is winning over basic common sense. It doesn’t matter anymore if you are for or against things like gun control, freedom of speech or anything in that realm.

The choices are being taken away from us, one by one, and I’m petrified that there will come a point where we have no choices left at all.

I debated writing this, then after I got it down I let it sit for a couple days, to make sure my feelings stayed the same. They did.

I want to feel safe again. We all do. But how can we make it happen?


the absolute runaround of medical facilities

I’m currently sitting in my office. That’s right, I went back to work rough 36 hours after discharge, which is a record, apparently. Mostly I just slept, something I desperately needed.

There aPhoto on 9-29-17 at 12.36 PMre a lot of things still medically up in the air, a lot of things. I could walk out of this building, get driven down to Seton Main and be taken care of there for awhile. Or I could get to go home and stay there, mixing both powder and pill antibiotic together to get all those freaking infection bugs to go away.

On one hand, I could be told I’m perfectly fine. The other hand, the more likely hand, is going to tell me I need long term IV antibiotic care. The statistics have been read to me, and I now I know know them better than I have myself. I know what I’m looking at, long term treatment wise.

Now if anyone would just pick up the damn phone, that’d be fabulous …


I just paid for a birthday party for an 8 year old boy I’ve never met.

It's been a rough 6 months in my little corner of Texas. I've been hospitalized five times for pneumonia, two of my friends (spouses) died 17 days apart. Both were traumatic, unexpected and just plain sucked. I live 800 miles from them, so I missed both funerals, which broke my heart.

When I got released from the hospital last week, my BFF/cousin texted me that she was about to be admitted to a hospital in the town she lives in. She was 25 weeks pregnant with my nephew (her kids call me Auntie Em) and the baby had just been diagnosed with something called fetal hydrops, which is a very serious and usually fatal.

John Edgar Brooks was delivery through an emergency csection at the exact stroke of midnight on August 10 and passed away shortly thereafter. His few minutes on earth were damn good ones, being snuggled with his dad until he passed away, wrapped in love.

Between the three deaths an five bouts of double pneumonia, I'm … numb. So much death. So much pain, both mental and physically. I felt horrible about not being able to fly to my cousin's house to help out like I wanted to, but my lungs are still rebounding from the last bout of pneumonia.

I recently stumbled onto a website called One Simple Wish, which provides wishes from kids in foster care. It's a website I visit occasionally, but had never donated to before.

This evening I was scrolling through their website and one wish caught my attention… An 8 year old boy's request caught my attention. His request was for a day at LegoLand with his friends to celebrate his birthday. He had never had a birthday party before. I scrolled past it, even went to use a couple more apps in my phone, but I kept returning to the request.

So I granted his wish.

I feel much happier now, knowing that I could help someone, even if it wasn't my friends or my nephew. I made a difference to one child's life.

And that made me smile, really smile, for the first time in many weeks.

Hey Evan, I hope you have the best birthday ever.

In honor of:


Hug a nurse. Right now. 

A nurse saved my life last week. Another nurse saved my life this past June. Yet another one saved my life in January 2016. How did they save my life? They paid attention to the small details, such as my oxygen levels or exactly how medically dehydrated/malnutrished I was. These details are the kind of thing most doctors don’t pay close attention to.

I’ve complained a lot about nurses over the years. Like everything in life, there are 9 good ones to 1 bad one. I’ve had my share of terrible nurses, but I’ve also had my share of fabulous ones. 

Last week a nurse in the ER insisted that I be admitted to the hospital, even when the doctor decided I was fine to go home. It was “just a virus.” If the nurse hadn’t intervened and backed me up when I told the doctor there was no way in hell I was going home, I would probably be on a ventilator right now, or worse.

In June a nurse ran an additional blood panel for me when I was hospitalized for an infection, because something didn’t seem right to her. I’m not sure if she got in trouble, but she figured out I was septic before any doctor did. 

In January 2016 a nurse saw me stumble into the ER, barely able to breathe due to some sort of asthmatic and brochial spasm, and within five minutes my port was accessed, I was pumped full of steroids and ativan and I was suddenly able to breathe without any effort from me. 

Nurses get looked over in favor of doctors… I can’t say how many times a nurse saved me or a friend/relative of mine, but the doctor took the credit. Remember, when you’re inpatient in a hospital the nurses are there 24:7, but a doctor is there anywhere from ten to 30 minutes, on average. 

So thank a nurse. Right now. Go. 



I spent the day in the ER and a couple hours ago I was admitted to the hospital. Here’s my story:

Woke up with a fever. Fortunately, I already had a previously scheduled doctor appointment with my main doctor. By the time I got to the doctors office I felt awful. The 102.4 fever had settled into my neck and was making me nauseous. Because of my recent blood infection episode we decided I needed to go to the ER for cultures, to cover our bases. We also thought I might have an UTI, maybe. 

So I went straight from the doctor’s office to the ER. Waited an hour before they called me to the triage room. 

When I was triaged, I mentioned the UTI history, which is probably why they put me in the quick care tract. 30 year old woman with an UTI, so treat and discharge her with a week worth of Bactrim. Then the doctor came in and realized that I had a fever and a history of sepsis, so he moved me to the ER acute side. We discussed, at length, my medical history, including my history of sepsis. We had a plan: blood cultures, X-ray, zofran. I was miserable and it sucked. 

When they tried twice to get an IV and failed, the ER doc came in to send me home because I “looked fine.” 

I thought he was joking. Nope. So I asked if he had looked at my chart or X-rays he had taken, he shrugged and said no. I refused to leave without answers, so he begrudgingly agreed to get a nurse with an ultrasound to get blood out of me. On his way out the door to write the orders, he said, “By any chance do you have a history of sepsis of any kind?”

I really thought my head was going to spin like the girl did in the Exorcist. 

They finally got blood and an IV placed, giving me some fluids and the miracle medication, zofran. 

My WBC count was 18.

Diagnosis: double pneumonia. The X-ray looked like a bomb exploded in my chest. How I am still breathing without complications is beyond me. Explains why my rib cage hurts. I thought it was from wrenching. Wrong. I’ve already had two doses of antibiotics and my fever is down and I’m already feeling halfway human. They said I’ll be here for several days. I really hope they’re wrong, because this sucks. 

But the only reason I was diagnosed was because I persisted. I didn’t take no for an answer. Without treatment, I was probably would have gone septic in a day or two. 

I’m so glad I persisted to get the answers to make me better.