Finding Joy

Well, wildfires are raging. The skies here in SoCal have been cast in perpetual twilight, which feels eerily on point for 2020.

Distance Learning has started. I first experienced virtual teaching when the shutdown began back in March, but ending a school year virtually and starting one are two very different things. Teaching primary age kiddos how to use technology (“Hi kids, let’s learn how to write an email!”) is not something I ever anticipated having to do to the extent Distance Learning requires. Alas, here we are. Needless to say, my day job has me pretty busy.

Those YouTube videos about Distance Learning? They’re all true.

Like others have written about in their posts this year, I’m trying to find joy where I can. 2020 has been a lot of things, and perhaps left some feeling helpless or overwhelmed. I was feeling that way a couple months into lockdown, but have fortunately found my way back to baseline. I’m somebody who turns to TV and movies for familiarity and comfort. I revisited Xena episodes (y’all – that show just celebrated its 25th anniversary!). I also enjoyed the ride that was the first half of season four of Wynonna Earp. I’ve even read a few books on my TBR list.

I’ve been lucky in that my writing muse stuck around during the summer months, so I finished a manuscript just before my deadline. I even started the draft for WIP #5, which is quite exciting. This month, my third novel was released by Bold Strokes Books. Broken Reign is the second book of the Odium trilogy. For those who are familiar with Daughter of No One (Book 1), the sequel follows Princess Aurelia Diarmaid and Jastyn Cipher on an adventure across their magical, mysterious realm. There’s lots of adventure, fae, and some serious sexy tension between the leading ladies. I had a lot of fun writing Broken Reign. I’d never written a sequel to anything, and struggled at first to figure out how to get my characters where they needed to be plot-wise. Then, I realized I was holding my own characters back and let them take the reigns (no pun intended). I learned a lot writing that one.

This month I’m giving away a paperback copy of Broken Reign. So, if you like, leave a comment to tell me about what you’re doing to bring joy to your days. Doing so will enter you in the drawing to win. This will be open until Tuesday 9/15/20 at 7 pm PST.

Be well, y’all.


  1. We’ve been attending many Women on the Net programs on Zoom and the community and caring we’ve found there has brought us much joy during these months. I loved Daughter of No One and will for sure read Broken Reign, so pick someone else for the free copy, someone who might otherwise not find you 🙂 Thanks!


    • I’m glad you enjoyed the first book! 🙂

      Yes – virtual communities have been a welcome addition to 2020!


  2. Sam,

    I cannot say how much I admire you, and other educators, that are dealing with the challenges of these strange times. And then to be in Southern California to boot!!! I cannot imagine. I am mostly glad that I live in the upper Midwest right now, all except for being in the middle of a very right-leaning area of the state.

    As far as my little pleasures go, I get a great deal of joy from feeding and watching my “pets” every day. I have a small back yard behind our little cabin in the woods, and in the morning I go out and spread seed for a multitude of little critters. I have birds, chipmunks, grey squirrels, black squirrels, and rabbits (and at night a couple flying squirrels come in). I also have deer that come in and drink out of one of the birdbaths. Not to mention the occasional visit by a porcupine, fox, bobcat, or bear. Watching the wildlife seems to center me and give my heart and mind a little bit of joy in this otherwise sometimes-less-than-joyful world.

    Take care, stay safe, be well.

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  3. Sounds like a great trilogy! Thanks for the escape to a different and better our world.
    I think I read the 1st book, I am looking it up to get caught up.

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  4. We’ve introduced our children to the joys of watching shows we loved while growing up. Right now that means watching the Muppets. Other days we watch a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. We also work on puzzles together. Best of all, I made a list of books for my son to read. He’s currently working his way through Charles Dickens. We’re staying in the house to avoid the unhealthy air. Today, Portland was rated number one in the world for the worst air quality. So, stay safe!


    • Oh my goodness I’ve seen some photos of the skies from your part of the country, along with other regions on the west coast. Y’all stay safe, too! And congrats on the upcoming new release!

      Liked by 1 person

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