As I sat in my comfortable chair this morning, sipping my chai latte and reading a Nora Roberts’ novel The Obsession, it occurred to me how much my mother has influenced my life.

Many of my favorite authors now, were her favorite authors too. Nora Roberts, Tony Hillerman, and of course-J. K. Rowling!

Mom was a coffee drinker, always started her day off with a cup of coffee. Sorry Mom, I never did acquire the taste for coffee, but my chai latte is a perfect substitute.

And it occurred to me all the ways that she had influenced my life, and that she had so much to do with who I am today.

Mom and me when I was about 3 years old
Mom and me when I was about 3 years old

When I came home from living in Europe, Mom took me to a new church she found and started me on the path of my spiritual awareness. She and I spent many Sundays, especially the last few years of her life, going to church together. And I loved sitting with her on a Sunday afternoon having deep spiritual conversations. I miss that so much!

She had so much faith in me, and saw more in me than I often saw in myself. Today I see what she saw, and I wish she was here so I could tell her.

Much of who I am today, is a result of my mother’s love and faith in me. She taught me the importance of honesty, hard work, spirituality, family, friends, and patience. She taught me to be creative, to let my mind see the possibilities, to be a visionary. She also taught me to enjoy life, to laugh, to have fun. And above all – experience the adventure of it all.

Thank you, Mom.img_0170

Ann Rutledge  Feb 3, 1937-March 13, 2010

The Color of Life

We recently went to Stanley, Idaho for the weekend. What beauty! The weather was great, the sky was blue and color was everywhere.021small

Autumn is my most favorite time of the year, and I think it’s greatly because of the color of the season. The leaves turning to crimson and gold and falling in huge piles.

I remember jumping into gigantic piles of leaves when I was a little girl and getting lost in them. It was so much fun.

The world is full of color and fun.

The Power of Anticipation

Alfred Hitchcock, the undisputed master of suspense, once said, “There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.”

  1. Set up a character goal
  2. Have a character talk about the future
  3. Set up a secret plan
  4. Have a character be warned
  5. Establish dramatic irony, a.k.a. ‘reader superior position’

As a writer, we sometimes have to write backwards, especially in mysteries and suspense, it helps us plant the little clues along the way.

What’s your favorite mystery or thriller?


Follow Your Heart

But take your brain with you.

I watched my cat chase a squirrel up to the top of a tree once. The squirrel was much faster that my fat cat, and got away. Then my cat found himself way up in the tree, squirrel-less, and higher than he felt comfortable with. He started meowing for help.

I coaxed him and he slowly backed his way down out of the tall tree.


How often do we chase after something with our heart, only to find out when we get there, that it wasn’t what we thought it would be?

Stop and think about what it is you want. Why do you want it? Will it make any difference if you get/achieve it, or not?

Think of all the pros and cons of both outcomes. Will it make you a better person? Will it make you happier?  How?

All I ask, is that you THINK along with your feelings.

Change is good…but dollars are better!

My Grandma Rutledge used to always tell me, “change is good”. I can’t truly say if it’s good or bad, or simply change.  I’ve had so much change in my life in every area, I wouldn’t know what to do if suddenly nothing changed.

So maybe change is good.

But recently I uttered those words, and a man in the crowd said, “but dollars are better”. It made me laugh.

Part of change is the ability to see things from a different perspective. And sometimes, that’s all we need. A new perspective.

What can you change in your life by just looking at it differently?

Turn the change into a dollar!2335f8a33b5fe4a2d869c91a7c76d683

How to Fly

“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” ~ Trina Paulus


If you stop and think about it, we are all caterpillars, aspiring to something greater. But at what point do we become brave enough, or impassioned enough to leave the old behind and take flight? To let go?

Fear is the greatest hindrance in our lives. It’s not so much that we will fail, it’s the fear of failure.

Experience teaches us that falling down may hurt, and so we are careful to avoid falling down. And yet, there are times when we fall. It doesn’t kill us, it doesn’t render us incapable of walking ever again. It might bruise or scrape our knees, but we get back up and go again. That’s our wings-the power within to get back up and go again, to fly!


What is holding you back in your life that you need to let go of?

To what great adventure will you fly to when you spread your wings?

Think of the endless possibilities that lie ahead for you. Age, circumstances, finances mean nothing. This is your time. Leave the cocoon and fly!

The only one standing in your way is you.

Still Here!

I’ve been absent, but I’m back. I’m sorry if you’ve missed me. ‘ve missed you and it’s time to get back on track.

I moved, and things were in storage for a long time, but finally settled in to my new home. And I’m a home body. I love making my home comfortable and snuggling in.

Do you ever feel like there’s a time, maybe not from anything in particular, but that you’ve just returned? Maybe you’ve been ill, or just ill at ease about something, not feeling yourself, perhaps a little lost or in a daze? And then one day everything seems to be back to normal. And you think ‘finally, I’m seeing things clearly again.’

Sometimes we’re in a job or relationship that takes the spark out of our eyes and the spring out of our step. It tears us down instead of building us up. And then something happens, and that negative situation is now in the past. And you begin to see clearly again. And your heart sings a little tune you had long forgot.

playing in the fountain
playing in the fountain

Your joy is always there, but sometimes it gets buried in the shadows and we have a hard time finding it. Find your joy! Make your splash in life, see Claritin Clear!

Chocolates, anyone?

“Life is like a box of chocolates.” We are all familiar with this great line from the movie FORREST GUMP, which reminds us of the uncertainties we all face.

Each day brings new wonders, challenges, successes and failures. While we cannot foresee what the day will bring, there are ways for us to maintain our balance in life:

  • Meditation

    a morning rainbow
    a morning rainbow
  • Reminding ourselves  ‘not to sweat the little stuff, and it’s all little stuff’
  • Finding the goo in each event
  • Laughing
  • Smiling
  • Counting our blessings and being thankful
  • Journaling
  • Exercising, swimming, yoga
  • Living a healthy lifestyle
  • Helping others, being of service
  • Telling someone you love them
  • Going for walks or bike rides, taking in the fresh air and comforting elements of nature
  • Listening to music

What’s your pressure point? And what do you do to relieve it?

Kid’s Spooky Movie

Being the founder and president of the Idaho Screenwriters Association has opened some amazing doors for me. And one such door was the opportunity to help out on a local independent film, Kid’s Spooky Movie.

Tory is a good friend of mine and I jumped at the chance to do my small part in assisting on the set. And I have to say, this movie rivals Goonies any day! It’s funny, smart and a joy to watch – for the whole family.


Tory and his sons have outdone themselves on this adventure, I know you’ll love it as much as I do!

Step 1 to Simplicity

I often hear the comment, “why does everything have to be so difficult?”.

Is life really that difficult? Or do we make it that difficult.

The fact is, life is what we make it. The outcome is a result of our beliefs, our attitudes and our choices. Do you make it difficult, or do you make it simple?

Me with two of my grandchildren.
Me with two of my grandchildren.

The key to simplicity is to not have expectations. When we ‘expect’ someone to act a certain way and they don’t, we get upset. But we’re not as upset over their actions, as we are from the perception that they let us down, according to our expectations. If we never had those expectations in the first place, they couldn’t let us down.

Go with the flow, be open to possibilities, and enjoy the simplicity life has to offer.

Author, speaker