Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Fears of Dakota Series Update

A Sneak Preview for A RIPPLE OF FEAR

As my #publisher, Creativia is working on the re-publish of my #debut #novel, FEARS OF DARKNESS, I'm working to complete the #prequel, A RIPPLE OF FEAR!
In honor of the progress I am making and in anticipation of the second edition release of my #book, I wanted to give you a #special #sneak#preview
The first edition of
FEARS OF DARKNESS remains on sale through Amazon Kindle at the following link:
Thank you for your continued support!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Is Timothy

I Hate Timothy

About two weeks ago, I noticed a #spider in my office#window. As I got up to" get rid of it," my youngest daughter, Katerina said, "That's Timothy! Don't #kill Timothy!" She then proceeded to reassure me that she would "safely" remove the#arachnid, "#releasing him to the wild from which he came." Although I was #annoyed, I agreed not to kill "Timothy."
The attached picture is a #photo of Timothy from TODAY! Although I keep threatening him, telling him he is #evicted, that little bastard won't go away! To make matters worse, my daughter is still #protecting him! 
I'm about to spray both of them with #Raid!

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Cats Run My Life

I'm Worse With My Cats Than My Kids!

I have a difficult time saying "no" in general, but it's really horrible when it comes to my cats!
With my children, I'm a pushover, but I don't give them as much leniency as I do my furry babies.  The simple reason is because as my daughters grew up, they became more capable and less dependent on me.  My kitties are like perpetual toddlers and continue to need my assistance with even the simplest of things!
Their helplessness makes me more subservient.
I love my cats so much.  They bring me great joy and fill my life with laughter, love, and energy that cannot be replaced or substituted.  They are true blessings and I treasure them incredibly.

My name is Julie and I am a cat parent.

4 Kinds of People

I Read An Article That I Thought Was Interesting

Here are my random thoughts about the following article:
I was tinkering on the computer, as I tend to do and I came across this web article by Farrah Gray.  It talked about the different kinds of people you should have in your life.  It listed the following:
A Red Carpet Friend
"Someone who thinks very highly of you and often times see more potential in you than you see in yourself"
This is someone who makes you see how blessed you really are.  They help to build your confidence and self-esteem.  They love you unconditionally.
This is a very important person, so remember to appreciate them as much as they appreciate you!  Friendship goes two ways!
A Blunt Force Trauma Friend
"A blunt force trauma friend has absolutely no problem hitting you over the head with the TRUTH."
This is a person that is very difficult to find.  They are straight shooters, but they are also kind and loving.  You don't want someone who runs you down, but someone who will always be honest - both good and bad.  This is not someone who is rude or crude, but someone who believes that being a real friends means letting you know what they really think and feel.
These friends can make us angry and sad, but they are also some of the most reliable and valuable friends you can have in life!  You never question their sincerity and you never have to guess where you stand with them on things.
The Over Achiever
"Someone whose life mission it is to achieve things that maybe they don’t even need to achieve." 
This is the kind of friend most of us pout about because they make us feel like we aren't doing enough.  Whenever we compare ourselves to them, we always fall short because they seem to have such drive; they seem to have endless energy and impeccable time management skills!
This is another person you should never take for granted.  This is the friend who is most likely the person to inspire you.  They aren't there to make you feel like less, but to show you that there's so much more you are capable of.  Don't forget to appreciate them and to help them to take time to relax, laugh, and slow down now and again!
A Safe Friend
"The safe friend is that person you can tell anything to. They are your ace in the hole A true friend who won’t go running off telling your business. A friend who will laugh with you, cry with you and will always be there for you through thick and thin."
This person is someone who you trust your life with.  You know that you can count on them and that you can trust them with you spouse and children - the most important things in your life!
A safe friend is your rock.  That being said, don't forget that they need a rock too.
Don't forget to show the same love and respect to them that they afford you!

In my opinion, all of these types of friends can even be the same person.  More so, they should be the same person - your spouse!  Your lover should be your best friend and they should embody all of these characteristics.  They should be someone who lifts you up, offers you the most truthful of thoughts, pushes you forward, and protects you!
You should also be this same combination for them!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Creativia and J.M. Northup

I Have A Publisher

I am very proud and extremely excited to announce that I have signed on with the independent publisher, CREATIVIA!

My new publisher is putting my novels FEARS OF DARKNESS and A PRISONER WITHIN through quality checks that include typo, syntax, and formatting errors then they will re-publish my novels with new cover art!
I am not yet sure what the cover art will look like, but I will keep you posted!
In the meantime, you can still purchase both books through Amazon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mother-Daughter Date Night

20 Ideas To Help A Mom Connect With Her Daughter

I thought it would be cool to do a blog related to my daughters.
I saw this photo online and it inspired me.
Here are my top 20 ideas for cool mother-daughter outings and activities which I have done with my own daughters through the years:
1.       Go for a walk
Ø  You don’t have to have a lot of money to enjoy time together.  Something I always loved to do with my own mother and which I perpetuated in my relationship with my daughters was the simple act of taking a walk together.
Ø  This allowed us to disconnect from the world while actively embracing it.  I mean, it pulled us all away from televisions, radios, phones, and whatever else can pose a distraction in life and took us outside.  We had uninterrupted conversations while we enjoyed the flowers, trees, sky, and earth.
2.       Go on a bike ride together
Ø  A fun way that I spent time with my daughters was to go on family bike rides.  This allowed us to get exercise while enjoying time together.  Granted, this activity can pose some obstacles when it comes to conversing, but you can still enjoy nature and time together.  Also, you can go to further destinations where you can have a picnic or enjoy a moment together, sharing the joy of life.
Ø  I often rode bikes to the state park with my daughters.  We would ride the trails and then stop to enjoy the nature center, life along the Mississippi River, and even elements of urban life, such as aircraft and architecture.
3.       Have a meal together
Ø  Whether you make something at home or eat out at your favorite restaurant, a meal together can encourage deep discussions while allowing you to indulge in fine cuisines.  Perhaps you can try a new food together or share a favorite with one another?
4.       Bake together
Ø  Haa haa – yeah, all my friends just laughed really hard when they read this one, but I actually have baked with my kids!  I didn’t say I enjoyed baking, but I enjoyed the fun with my daughters!  After all, who doesn’t remember enjoying making Rice Krispie Treats with their mom or Christmas cookies?  The cookies don’t have to be from “scratch” either.  What I liked was to get the pre-done dough and just bake them with my kids and then decorate them!
5.       Crafts
Ø  Find a craft you are all interested in or try different crafts each time.  You could color in a coloring book even – you don’t have to spend a lot of money.  It isn’t so much about the craft itself as it is the creativity and shared memory.
Ø  I often painted with my kids.  We often made our crafts into gifts that were also serviceable.  For example, we got a 3-pack of canvas bags from the craft store which we decorated with fabric paints.  We went and bought simple baby gifts that all new mothers’ need and filled the bags up with them.  Then we donated the bags for new moms.
6.       Movie Night
Ø  Make a night where you have a cool family movie night!  Get excited about it.  Pick a movie together or everyone select a movie to share and have a movie marathon.  Get your favorite box candies, pop some popcorn, and stock up on your favorite beverage.  Get your favorite jammies on and snuggle together, wrapped in your best cuddle blankets!
7.       Share a great book
Ø  A lot of parents read to their children when they are little or have their youngsters read to them.  That doesn’t have to stop with age.  The love of literature is a blessing and just like they did in days of old, you can read together, sharing your favorite tales!
Ø  This is a good way to expand your mind and to share interesting people, places, and things with your daughters that you might not otherwise get to.  I mean, where else can you find a dragon hoarding gold or a magic school bus that can transport you into different things?
8.       Go to the museum
Ø  My daughters and I love going to the museum together!  It didn’t matter to us if it was the free art museum or the more costly science museum.  We did cool treasure hunts and talked about the things we seen or did.  Sometimes we were so inspired that we even did additional research on the computer together when we got home or at our local library!
9.       Go to the zoo
Ø  Zoos can be free or they may have an entry fee; either way, you have a different adventure together every time!  There is always something interesting to see at the zoo, whether you are enjoying an exhibit or just people watching.  This is also another good way to unplug from our world of technology, get our bodies into motion, get our minds exploring, and fueling conversations you might not otherwise have!
10.   Go shopping
Ø  Now, hear me out before you judge.  I am NOT advocating shopping-shopping, though I am not ruling it out either.  Some mothers and daughters really love and bond over shoes, hand bags, and clothes.  I am not that mother, though I think my daughters would’ve liked it I had been.  
Ø  Taking the time to bring your kids with you on normal family errands, such as grocery shopping, can really be excellent opportunities to bond.  Not only can you educate your children about finances and making sound decisions when it comes to consumer products, you can share preferences while making your daughter feel more involved in the overall well-being of the family unit.  Shopping together can be a good way to reduce your stress with the normal demands a mother faces while including her daughter in the process so that she can become a wise shopper and understand the toils of motherhood.
Ø  Your daughter’s involvement in regular mundane activities will not only give you more time together in your busy lives, but it will make her understand your responsibilities more.  It will give her a sense of responsibility and maturity because you are including her in basic choices about her diet and home.  It is a good way to open up the floor for conversations about scents, flavors, and options.
The time a mother spends with her daughters is vital.
You are the example to which she will base the standard for being a mother, wife, and woman on, so you need to be sure that you invest in that responsibility.
It doesn't matter how much something costs or what name is on it, it only matters that you took the time to share it together!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Does "Higher" Mean?

I'm Your Friend Because I Care, Not Because I Want Something!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Death Is Inevitable

Life Is An Adventure

I was tinkering online while I was watching television this morning.
I put on one of my favorite's: THE HISTORY CHANNEL.
While I watched, a program came on called THAT's IMPOSSIBLE and I watched a couple of the episodes they were airing.
I had seen the show before, but not the episodes they were running.
The one episode that catch my attention was ETERNAL LIFE.
That program discussed the ideas of cryogenics, stem cell research, cloning, and technological advancements that have boosted medicine and extended human life.
It also went into the ideas of robots and how that field could effect medicine, life expectancy, and even the rise of the machine, like in The Terminator or I, Robot.
It was really an interesting program with fascinating theories.
My Thoughts
As I watched, I realized that I was a bit bothered.
I realized a long time ago that I didn't want to live forever.
I may fear how I might die (no one wants to die in pain or cruelly - most of us just want to go to sleep and never wake up again), but I do not fear death itself.
I have no fear because I have my faith.
The world is already over-populated for the resources available to sustain the live on our planet.  I would not want to throw that balance off more by prolonging lives that were meant to end years, decades, centuries before.  That isn't fair to our future generations, for one thing and for another, I am excited to see what comes next.
Life is an adventure and I don't believe it ends with death.
I believe it just changes.
I want to see those who have gone before me and I want to be there to loving welcome those who will come after me.  I want to see what awaits us all and I want to be closer to God.
I think our advancements in technology are great and important.
We need to have treatments for enriching all life in our world.
Still, we have to stop trying to play God and submit to the natural order of things too.
Like the saying goes:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Fears of Dakota Series

FEARS OF DARKNESS is a Series!!!

I have been formulating and developing my debut novel, FEARS OF DARKNESS into a series per the request of my loyal readers!  I am currently working on the prequel, A RIPPLE OF FEAR, but I intend to expand the series further.  I'm not only contemplating a sequel, but additional books to highlight elements not really detailed in the original story. 
 *Spolier Alert*
For instance, Christmas in The Grotto or the weeks Rae & Dakota spent in recovery.
I am thinking about elaborating different things that happen in the book to enrich the story for my readers.  Things I purposely left out of the original story in order to keep it manageable, I'm thinking on making into novellas or something.

What Do You Think?
Are there any things in the original story that you'd like me to expand?
Feel free to leave me comments below or contact me with your thoughts via my author Facebook.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Booktopia - Australia's Local Bookstore

Booktopia - Fears of Darkness by J M Northup, 9781494731663. Buy this book online.

BOOKTOPIA now has my novel available for purchase!
Please get your copy today!

Little Things

Blessings Come In All Sizes

People tend to make life about the big events or milestones in life.
The truth is that the big things might be markers, but it is the little things that fill our lives which matter.  The small things - blessings and challenges - make our lives what they are.
When people tell me not to sweat the small things, I struggle with their advice.
Though I get they are trying to say "let things go that don't matter" and "roll with the punches", I still hear my inner voice whispering...
"It's the little things in life that prepare you for the big ones."
You can quote me on that - LOL
I need to be able to handle the small things in order to be ready to deal with big things.  I live by that in so many ways and it's so ingrained in me that I cannot change it easily.
I am the odd one who accepts large obstacles with a positive attitude; knowing they will pass.  Then I stress over all the minor details of normal daily living because that's what I feel really defines who I am.
With this in mind, I calm my fears about living in mediocrity.
Everyone tells you that you have to do great things in life to feel fulfilled.
They say you need to have huge goals in which to drive you.
We teach our kids that you can only be great if you accomplish big things.
I disagree.
Mother Teresa was "great" because she lived simply, helping people with ordinary daily comforts and needs.  She lived day-to-day, serving God, changing the world through her own communities, and by giving of herself.  Her greatness came from the person she was, not from what she had or didn't have.  Her works were small and they amounted to a noble and loving life.
That's what we should do too, I think.
Embrace the small things that are the foundations of us all!
I believe that my personal greatness is in the person I am, the person I aspire to be, and growth that takes me from here to there.
I believe my greatest accomplishments are the beautiful young women I helped to raise.  My children are my finest treasures and my most important impact I'll ever make on this life.
My fingerprints in this world are the ones I leave in the hearts and minds of the people and animals I encounter in my life.  They are what I leave behind me as I walk with nature and connect to all things.
To me, greatness is seeing the small blessings and realizing that they are what converge in order to create the big things.  I don't live in mediocrity because my greatness is in all the things that make me who I am.
Live life the best you can and you will always be rich and successful!