THE KATY IS MOVING!

As I mention in this post from a year ago, I like change. But instead of only changing my blog’s theme to something new, I am moving the entire thing. That’s right! Even a new web address.

I am so thankful for the people and groups who helped get me to the point where I feel I could invest in an actual hosted website. It’s not a lot of money, but I’ve had my own hosted site before and it wasn’t worth it. NOW, it is. So thank YOU for reading, supporting me and all the things I talk about.

I do not want to lose anyone in the transfer. SO, to make sure we stay connected please ‘like’ my Facebook page. I am pretty sure that all my subscribers will automatically moved over, but I am not so sure about those who only follow me on WordPress. If anyone has any tips for me, feel free to share.

Another reason to stay tuned is that I am going to have a HUGE giveaway on my new website. There will be geeky prizes, books, and some magical beans that will help you stay awake to enjoy your prizes.

Here is a sneak peek of one of the changes. I made a new logo for THE KATY! I hope you like it. 😀

tklogo2

Stay tuned. The next time I post will be on the new website. 

on the days we lose

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 7.29.31 AM

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 7.29.43 AM

I lost today. I gathered my courage and new writer skills and wrote a short story. I submitted this 5000 word piece of myself to a (free) short story competition.

After reading thousands (into the double digits) of short stories, the contest judges contacted the winners yesterday…and I wasn’t one of them.

Of course, I knew there wasn’t much of a chance that I could win under such overwhelming odds. But the rock in the pit of my stomach tells me that my heart did hope more than I thought it did.

This is only the first contest. The first submission. The first of many firsts.

Did you lose today? Something big? Something small that still mattered to you?

I hope your Monday went well. But if it didn’t, know that you aren’t alone. Know that there are others out there that also lost. Or have in the past. Or will in the future.

Your win is coming. Maybe mine too!

Keep at it.

I think about all of the authors that were rejected over and over before getting their chance. Not saying I’m guaranteed to win like those authors, but I’ll keep trying.

Writing is sharing a piece of ourselves with others, but I do it for me as well.
Because I love it.

I hope you get your win today!

Dreaming

I’m watching “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” right now. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a man who works in an office for TIME magazine. He loses the negative from an important photo and needs to find the photographer who took it.

He leaves his daydreams behind and makes them a reality.

I’ve watched it before, but Walter Mitty is exactly who I needed to speak to me right now. What are my dreams? When will they come true?

The real question is: When am I going to stop dreaming and make it happen?

What about you? Are you dreaming? Or living?

-Katy

THE KATY RECEIVES AN AWARD

I am truly humbled and excited today because this blog was given an award by UrbanEpics for being one of the best YA blogs of 2015. Check out my best of 2015 post to see which books I really recommend.

Thank YOU for making this blog a success. Please check out the link to find some other awesome book blogs!

BEST YA BOOK BLOGS OF 2015

award300

To celebrate, I am giving away a $5 Amazon gift card (that’s enough for possibly 5 ebooks)! Enter below.

And THANK YOU AGAIN for being such an amazing group of people.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The death of someone I don’t know

This week has been tough. Not for any personal reasons (unlike last week when my car battery died, my phone fell in some water, and I hit a deer).

Two great men died this week. I didn’t know them personally,
but they still affected my life.

David Bowie and Alan Rickman were part of my childhood growing up. Now, as an adult I can appreciate them even more for their talent and what they gave the world.

Each of them gave us a piece of themselves that in turn changed our lives.

Whether it was hearing David Bowie’s music and knowing that just because someone is a little different, it doesn’t make them less than others. Being different is awesome!
His music inspired generations up until his death this week and will continue until the end of time.

Alan Rickman played roles that included villains, wizards, and more. He inspired those around him to be better or even just to believe that magic was real for a little while.

These moments they created for us who never met them are powerful.

We are changed for the better.

Even if we never met, I love you.

Rest in peace, Alan Rickman and David Bowie. You gave the world such gifts.

Always.

-THE KATY

(David Bowie called this version of “Space Oddity” the “most poignant version of the song ever created.” )

Always be kind.

Yesterday, someone said to me that they believed all people are mean, that no actually good people exist in this world.

I thought about this and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve always believed. All people are not mean. Sure, there are legitimately mean people, but there are good people who do good things and want nothing in return. Even these good people can be mean from time to time (myself included!), but all we can do is be kind when that happens and know they’ll come around.

This world has many terrible things happening in it lately. I choose to be optimistic that there is more good than bad. There are good people! I pray that I can do my best to add to the good in this world, even if it’s only in my little piece of it.

I don’t know this person’s back story. I’m sure what happened  in their past that makes them see the world this way. Or maybe they just watch the news and see all the bad around us. I see it too. But I also see good.

And I will be kind.

Not always…because I’m not perfect. But I’ll try.

And that’s half the battle.

Always

photo from UnSplash.com, graphic created on Canva

Why I thank God for Netflix

Tristan at 16 months old.

Tristan at 16 months old.

As parents, we hear all the time how horrible it is to let your kids watch copious amounts of television. But what if, through television we are able to cross the border of no words to talking in sentences? My son, Tristan, has Autism. At 17 months old, he stopped talking. He used to say words for milk, Grandpa, eat, various colors and shapes, letters, animals and their noises, plus many other things. I remember taking him Trick or Treating at 15 months and he would say his version of “trick or treat!” at each house followed by “thank you.” Both of these words were very mispronounced because he was so young, but the point is…he said them. Then at 17 months, all language stopped. He wouldn’t sign the few signs he knew either. He wouldn’t say “bawk bawk” when we gave him chicken for dinner or “Gra Gra” when his Grandpa walked into the room. But 17 months was the same time that his brother, Graham, was born. So we pushed the language backsliding to the back of our minds. “He doesn’t want to talk because the baby doesn’t have to” we’d say. It sounded right.

Deep in thought over the flavor of the chocolate croissant

Deep in thought over the flavor of the chocolate croissant

At almost 3 years old, Tristan still wasn’t talking. We started to notice that he avoided eye contact with strangers and ignored other kids. I had an itch at the back of my mind when I read an article about Autism. The itch said “this is Tristan.” After a brief questionnaire at his pediatrician’s office, a speech evaluation, and finally an Autism eval, we had a diagnosis. Autism. The itch had been right.

But Tristan started talking. It wasn’t anything we said. It was from Disney movies. He would sing “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony” from Fantasia 2000 when they put it on Netflix. He even sang it at his special Pre-K teacher to get her attention one day. Now, Tristan says sentences that the characters say and then looks us in the eyes so that we repeat him. Progress. I don’t know when I would’ve heard Tristan say “Happy Birthday” if it weren’t for the Disney short films collection that is on Netflix right now (Anna sings happy birthday to herself in the Frozen short).  Now that he is in therapy 32 hours per week, plus 4K (half days), we’ve been hearing more and more. He has even begun repeating us when we say things! It’s amazing!

I truly believe that Netflix and Disney have helped him get this far.

An almost two-year old Graham

An almost two-year old Graham

12185076_10204758796562010_8529934449588614577_o

An almost three year old Graham

Now, we just received news about Graham, who will turn three on December 5th. Graham has been in the Birth-3 program since he was two. He never spoke as well as Tristan did before he was 17 months and we wanted to help him as soon as we could. But Graham is the exact opposite of Tristan, so we never dreamed that we would receive the news from his IEP evaluation at his soon-to-be school. Educational Autism. This means that although Graham doesn’t have a medical diagnosis of Autism, he is showing all the signs, so the diagnosis is given so they can begin treatment when he starts school after his 3rd birthday. Can you imagine getting this news? Again? Luke and I can and it’s definitely a punch to the stomach at first. We know that Graham hasn’t changed. He is still the same amazing and lovable kid. I know this. Luke knows this. But Luke still tried not to cry in front of the evaluators giving the diagnosis and when he called to tell me. And I still felt my heart jam up into my throat as I tried not to sob all over my keyboard at work. People tell me it’s ok to mourn what could have been. Or not to feel guilty. That it wasn’t anything we did.

12185058_10204758790721864_7234474855946109913_oI get home that night and give my kids a hug. Nothing has changed for them. We are watching the Disney shorts again and the one about Nessie comes on. The boys like the part where the friend of Nessie says “Only wee babies cry…” and then coughs all over the place. They look at me to say the line with the character. Tristan repeats what he can. And Graham copies the character’s ragged cough and grins at me.

I grin back.

It’s going to be ok. Because the boys are right. Nothing has changed.


I also want to thank my gigantic group of online mommy friends (you know who you are). You helped me get through my initial freak out over the whole thing this week. I don’t know what I would do without your love and support through both good and hard time. I love you all!


I am not affiliated with Netflix or Disney in any way. I just really like them. 

Back-burner or Burn out

12032691_10204580704989832_8054164986083898236_oI have this problem where I can’t say no. I seem to love piling more things on my plate when it seems like there is no way I can fit one more thing. I still find a way to make it work, even if it feels like I’m going to burn out sometime soon.  Anyone else have this problem? I read an article recently where a successful business woman said she started feeling empowered and happy when she learned to say “no.”

Unfortunately, I am not at that point in my life. I’m still figuring this whole “life” thing out .  As a 27 year old woman (who still thinks of herself as a kid sometimes), mom of two toddlers with special needs, a wife to a very patient and understanding husband, 12006462_10204526064343850_2764033057492316414_oaspiring author, full time career woman/part time job woman soon, plus a plethora of other activities, I don’t have enough hours in the day to breathe.
Someday, I will wake up and say “You know what? NO.” And probably smile and go back to sleep. But for now, this is what needs to happen for my family’s survival. Some of the more “fun” activities do need to be pushed back. There’s no time to write every night anymore. But bills will be paid. And my kids will be fed. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for!
 However, I don’t want to burn out. If I burn out, how can I work to provide for my family? I do need to say “no” to a few things I would maybe rather be spending my extra minutes on.
Maybe I won’t finish my novel this year. Gray’s Shadow will sit sadly on the back-burner of my to-do list until things calm down again or at least have a free five minutes that belongs only to me.
But my kids are happy. There’s no way I’m putting that priority on the back-burner.
(Oh and for those confused by the header of image, my dog’s name is Juice) 😀

Time to meet some goals

70,000 words down….20,000 to go? I’m really not sure how many words I’ll need to finish my first novel, but I suppose that once the novel is done then I’ll know the answer. When I won NaNoWriMo 2014, I had a messy pile of a little over 50K words sitting on my computer (and backed up in three other places of course). But my book was in there. It sat for awhile after that, because after NaNo I was a little burnt out on writing things. But now, almost a year later, I am buckling down. I’ve added 20K or so onto that mess and still have a ways to go, but it’s becoming a story! Something I’ve poured hours upon hours of thought and love, hate and despair into is becoming a novel. I’ve already made promises to myself to be done with the first draft by the end of October (this year! I promise!). I even joined a writing group where everyone has that same goal in mind. It’s happening. And I couldn’t be more excited!

How about an excerpt? It could use some editing, I’m sure, but I’ll get to that once I finish my first draft. One of the bad guys in “Gray’s Shadow” is named Carnage. He is the leader of a Rager gang that have their grip on the city Gray lives in as a kid. Carnage is a super villain of sorts, complete with a long scar down one side of his face, British accent, and a need for theatrics.

Confused? Read more about Gray’s Shadow here. Once I have a good synopsis, I’ll post it as well.

He sat up in bed, gasping for air. Lines at his throat, constricting his breathing. The dream again. Always the bloody dream. He stands, chucking pillows at the wall with an unsatisfying poof. The man yells, wanting to rip the pillow in two, but instead chooses to punch the wall until it leaves a hole.
He stops screaming, letting the sound get caught in his throat.
I hope I haven’t woken Evelyn.
He rushes across the small bedroom to the closet, turning the knob as slow as he can to avoid making a sound. A sliver of light illuminates the entire wall ahead of him. The light falls over a woman, who doesn’t stir where she lays on the floor. The man sighs with relief that his temper hasn’t disturbed her rest.
The light covers maiden from head to toe—an angel of truest form
A fly buzzes past his nose, which he bats at with a frustrating hiss. “Stupid bug. Made me lose my train of thought. It was going to be a beautiful poem too.” The flies sure are getting annoying. He sighs quietly, gazing at Evelyn’s cold face which gazes back without seeing him. I can’t keep her husk much longer. She is starting to smell.
The man wrinkles his nose before shutting the closet door as quiet as possible. Running one hand through his blonde hair, he walks to the long mirror on the back of his bedroom door and smiles at his reflection. He was already used to seeing the long jagged scar on the left side of his face. It had been months since he’d gotten it and he was lucky to have survived such a horrendous wound. Plus, it gives me an extra dimple. Adorable. He laughs to himself before throwing on some clothes from his long dresser. As he opens the apartment door for the last time, he turns to look back at the closet once more.
“Goodbye Evelyn. I may only have this scar to remember you by, but now you have nothing.”
The bedroom door shut behind him with a soft click.
Yea, I need to edit that. First things first!
Are you working on a novel or something else you’re trying to get done? Know you aren’t alone here. Thanks for reading!
(The photo is from cameraguy.deviantart.com according to Pinterest. )

32 Hours PER WEEK

“Those who qualified for the State funding ABA waiver need to have 32 hours of EIBI therapy per week.”

I almost choked on my snack sized pretzels.

I’d arrived first at the parent orientation for my son’s therapy. ABA stands for “Applied Behavior Analysis.” This is one type of therapy that works really well for kids with autism. The reason for so many hours is EIBI or Early intensive behavioral intervention. This means get them as much therapy as possible while they’re young so it’ll have a higher chance of succeeding.

Tristan was diagnosed with high-functioning autism last July, just after his 3rd birthday. We waited one year on a waitlist to be approved for this funding, because we definitely couldn’t afford therapy on our own at $200 or more per hour. His name was finally at the top of the list and I couldn’t be more happy!

Arriving at orientation, I donned my name tag and grabbed a handful of pretzels. I didn’t know what to expect. Would there be lots of parents here? Should I have made Luke come with me? The chairs slowly filled up. Three other moms filled those chairs. Moms going through the exact same thing as me. But, none of us talked to each other. We all stared at our phones until the presentation started.

We introduced ourselves briefly when pointed to and then listened to one of the intake coordinators tell us about ABA therapy. It sounds awesome. Then they dropped the bomb. Tristan would be in therapy 32 hours per week, for a total of at least 120 hours per month. I was excited! This is going to change his life for the better. School (4K), combined with ABA is going to change his life.

The significance of that was mind-blowing!

Then that bomb made impact as the common sense washed off some of my elation. I work full-time. Luke works full-time. Will one of us have to quit our jobs? Will we be struggling to pay bills again? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

What are we going to do…11703571_10204293173161716_8076268094690388178_o

After freaking out for a little bit (at home, not at orientation. I am good at being ALL SMILES in public, even if I’m freaking out on the inside), I took a deep breath. Luke and I prayed about it. No, we still don’t know exactly what we’re going to do, but whatever happens with our jobs or money, one thing is certain.

This therapy is going to change Tristan’s life for the better. Anything is worth that.


Hey all. I haven’t posted a Tristan update in a while. He is doing great, but I am ready for school to start! He is ready too, I think. I am not the best at routine and tend to just “go with the flow” when I’m home on nights and weekends. I am working at getting better at that.

Later this week, I have another author interview planned so be excited!

– Katy