Breathing Life Into Fiction


I can’t speak for other writers, but during the month of July, I often find myself oppressed by the sizzling summer heat and fresh out of ideas for books. Maybe that’s why God invented vacations, or as some of you call them, ‘vacas.’ Our family tried something new this year and we rented a house large enough to accommodate six adults and six children. Our two grown children and our adorable grandchildren joined us in Fairview, North Carolina.

The first thing on our list was to visit the Biltmore. Even before we drove there, I knew this would be a tour that would remain etched in my memory forever. I write contemporary romances, but if I wrote historical, I’d put this on my bucket list. As someone who grew up in a middle-class household (as a foster kid I felt darn lucky to even BE in the middle-class range), I’m always intrigued by the lives of the wealthy. What do they do with all that money? Well-here are just a few things one could purchase.


Our family did one tour each day and then drove back home to sit out on the screened in porch to enjoy looking at the splendor of nearby mountains. We were smack dab in the middle of the woods, surrounded by black bears that we kept at bay by keeping all our trash INSIDE the house-something I highly recommend for a stress-free vacation.

While the three older grandkids tried to get bragging rites as to who was the best one at breathing life into the campfire to toast smores on, the little ones engaged in some ‘Pap’ holding time, creating art with chalk in the driveway, and trying to prove they were big enough to successfully adult-sized shoes. It’s refreshing to sit back an watch the little ones; to remember the things from our own childhoods that pushed us into writing our stories.

Toasting Smoores5Toasting Smoores1Toasting Smoores4Toasting Smoores6Toasting Smoores3

While I’ll be the first to admit that being around six children proved exhausting, I felt truly blessed to be part of such an amazing family-a family that often keeps me grounded and humble-a family that sometimes works its way into the book I’m writing.

If you’re struggling with the state of our world today and can’t seem to get a jump-start on a new project, I highly recommend getting away from it all to gain perspective. While a part of me was star-struck by the beauty of the Biltmore and how awesome the lives of the ‘rich and famous’ can be, in the end, sitting out with the grands on the porch, watching their intrigue as the lightning bugs danced about the screens on the windows made me realize that my life is just fine the way it is.

I wish all of you continued success in your writing and am enormously proud to be a part of this amazing SoulMate family!

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About alpine4me

I write Western Romance and am a shameless fan of Small Towns and Second Chances. In 2009, I performed at Carnegie Hall and checked that off from my "bucket list." Look for me at the Kiser Ranch down here in Texas where I"ll either be quilting, milking the goat, or making goat milk lotion. The fun never ends!
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