<![CDATA[Emerald Lavere, Author - Blog]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:46:20 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[On Life and Loss. Two milestones--one as a parent, one as a daughter.]]>Sun, 21 Jan 2018 15:49:36 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/on-life-and-loss-two-milestones-one-as-a-parent-one-as-a-daughterWith the end of 2017, so passed two major life events which absorbed my time and thoughts for most of the previous several months.

The first, helping my first-born apply to colleges and stay on track academically, ended by choice. If you're the parent of a child who struggles mightily with life, you'll understand the stress of that undertaking.

It was my daughter's decision that my involvement end, and I agreed. The time had come for her to flop or fly on her own. As of this month, I'm giving her the space she desires and hoping she'll find her way to a fulfilling life beyond home. The outcome remains to be seen.

The second milestone of 2017, was the passing of my mother.

In 2000, just after the above-mentioned daughter was born, Mom started showing signs of short-term memory loss.

By 2004, she could no longer remember who my (then four-year-old) daughter was.

By 2007, Mom couldn't remember my name.

By 2009, Mom couldn't remember that her parents were long-dead, or recognize the home she'd lived in for thirty-five years. She was frequently sad, worried about getting "home" and letting her parents know where she was.

By 2010, Mom was unable to comprehend photos, and instead started seeing things that weren't there. She'd reach into thin air and explain that her father had brought "this" home for her.

By 2014, she was bed-ridden, and very rarely responded to any touch, sight, or sound. All she could do was chew and swallow the food hand-fed to her. 

After 4+ years in a near-vegetative state, Mom developed a cough, an infection, and then finally stopped being able to chew and swallow food. She died on December 27th, 2017. 

Am I sad, or happy?

The loving, wonderful mother I knew, was lost about a decade ago. I partially-grieved every moment and memory we couldn't share. But I chided myself then too, for grieving a mother whose hand I could still hold, whose forehead I could still kiss. Now, her soul is no longer imprisoned by Alzheimer's, and I can finally say goodbye.
So am I sad or happy?

My first-born came into the world just as my mother started a long, brutal journey away from it. Now Mom has gone, just as my first-born starts a journey into adult life.
I wish them both peace and joy.

<![CDATA[#Pitchwars NEW #pimpmybio (because I'm switching my ms!)]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:33:25 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/pitchwars-new-pimpmybio-because-im-switching-my-msHello! My (pen)name is Emerald Lavere, and I thank you for visiting!

About me as a writer:
I have two sci-fi/fantasy romances put out by erotica publisher, Loose Id.
For pitchwars I originally wanted help with a YA project, but after great CP feedback, decided that entire ms needs major re-working first. Therefore, I'll be pitching another project which
is ready for that next step... 

About my #pitchwars submission:
Ballet, Boobs, and Boys, is a memoir about body, heart, and soul. At its center, a love story I've wanted to share for decades. Surrounding that, a ride through other good and bad relationships, the lows and highs of pursuing a career in dance, and the spiritual struggles of a cradle-Catholic navigating an adult, secular world. In the end, it's about self-discovery, overcoming distorted views of love and body-image, and finding a place in the world.

About me as a person:
I'm often rightly referred to as a goofball. My three kids frequently ask me to stop singing and dancing around the house, or stop (badly) playing on my drum set. I'm all about seeing the positive and hope to do my part of leaving this world a little better than I found it.

Favorites books: SO many genres! YA, Classics, supernatural horror, historical fiction, biographies, historical non-fiction, chick-lit, memoir, literary, and so on...  You'll even find me picking up an old X-Men comic to re-read once in a while. I'm also crazy about good picture books and bummed my kids won't let me read to them anymore.

Favorite TV shows: I love to laugh. The Mindy Project (I'm a little obsessed with Mindy Kahling!), Blackish, The Middle, Goldbergs, Modern Family. On the darker side: Stranger Things, Riverdale. Last year I binge-watched The Tudors, The Fall, and Psych! (They're making a  movie now!!!) I'm also a BachelorNation fan, but won't watch if I think the lead is unlikely to make a good match. I want a HEA!

What I hope for in a mentor:
A straight shooter who will help me make my book shine. As a former dancer, I'm all about putting in the work, despite the pain. Compliments are fun, but not likely to get me where I want to go, which is hopefully, one day, represented by an agent and traditionally published. But honestly, I'll be grateful for whatever any of these mentors--so generous with their time, skill, and talents--are willing to offer!

(Pictured below: example of goofball-ness during girls' night out.)
<![CDATA[Emerald Lavere, YA Supernatural Horror]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 23:58:17 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/emerald-lavere-ya-supernatural-horror
Taking a step aside from my typical "Emerald" ramblings to participate in #pimpmybio for #PitchWars! Click here for: Pitchwars bloghop! 

Hello, and thank you for dropping in!
My (pen)name is Emerald Lavere. I am a former professional dancer, and current ballet instructor and writer. I live in Southern CA with my husband and three
adorable teenagers.(That may or may not be sarcasm, depending on the day.)

​This is my first time entering #PitchWars. My submission is YA

Her love might just kill him, it's already killed her.

Nightmares and a shadowy figure bind eighteen-year-old Carden to the rain-soaked town of Tillamook, Oregon, where he's stuck in a menial job, living in his parents' basement, and avoiding his younger, twin sisters. Life starts looking up when a beautiful young girl appears at the cape where his grandfather died, but her arrival coincides with two bizarre deaths in the same area. Fearing a connection, Carden investigates and ends up discovering a family curse. He must find a way to end it, or become its next victim.
Teens who love mystery and supernatural horror, in the vein of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, would enjoy The Skilten's Curse.

I Grew up on the Oregon Coast, the eerie backdrop for THE SKILTEN'S CURSE. The first several pages of this work were entered in the 2017 San Francisco Writers Conference international writing contest. It was a finalist in the YA category.

Attendee at the 2017 SFWC
Member of The Santa Clarita Valley Writers Group
(Previously published by Loose Id, as Emerald Lavere for adult romance novels: The Wikomsette, and A Wife for the Future)

I can also be found online at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmeraldLavere
FB: https://www.facebook.com/EmeraldLavere  AND:
Newly added Instagram under own name for YA: https://www.instagram.com/toni_the_author/

What I hope for in a mentor: Someone who won't hold back. I have thick skin and a strong work ethic. Yes, I love the process of creating and letting my imagination run wild, but I also want to publish polished stories that readers will enjoy. I'm happy to put my ego away and focus on making my books the best they can be!
<![CDATA[Today's body positive tip (brought back from Italy): Just Move!]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:51:29 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/todays-body-positive-tip-brought-back-from-italy-just-moveAfter dreaming of a visit to Italy for decades, I finally went. Best vacation ever! And other than the jet-lag, I feel physically fantastic.


Walking, walking, walking! With so much to see and limited time, I didn't want to miss a thing. I did, of course. Probably a month would be needed to see all the interesting sights, rather than the handful of days I had in the cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice. So I spent very little time in our Airbnbs, and each night went to bed with throbbing legs and aching feet. 

But now I'm home, feel better than I have in months, and don't want to revert to a sedentary lifestyle. This will be a challenge as I don't feel rushed to go look at things around my own town. There's no Renaissance art to see here. No ruins. No gorgeous, ornate, old churches in which to sit quietly and reflect a few minutes before heading off to the next attraction. What there is, is 110 degree heat outside my front door, and inside, air conditioning, books to read, and...my computer (on which it's easy to spend hours a day beyond what's needed for work). 

The challenge is to find ways to keep moving without needing half-way decent weather (necessary for walks), or paying for a gym membership (that trip wasn't cheap!) 
Fortunately, I have enough space in our family room to do a little dancing, and if I try scheduling my computer time with more specific allotments for work and other, just maybe I can avoid the slump, and make this new, fit feeling last!

Do you have any ideas of how to keep active when stuck at home? Please share them below!

Blessings to All!

<![CDATA[Adult SFF Discounted TODAY at Publisher site ONLY!]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 17:40:50 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/adult-sff-discounted-today-at-publisher-site-onlyIf you enjoy steamy adventures (that include many fine men!) then check out my books, currently discounted at Loose Id Publishing! Discount prices in effect at time of this posting.
<![CDATA[So THAT'S what was going on! Today's Tip: Don't let a busy schedule derail your self-care.]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 01:56:49 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/so-thats-what-was-going-on-todays-tip-dont-let-a-busy-schedule-derail-your-self-careI'm glad to say I figured out what was dragging me down for several weeks. As many parents know, this time of year can get hectic. It certainly does for me. Not only are there the usual end-of-school-year events for my children, preparations for summer travel, and registrations for the next school-year's activities, but I also put on a spring dance recital every late May/ early June--a culmination of five months preparation that must come together perfectly in one day.

While all this went on, I fell into some bad habits without even realizing. Eating on the run, meant turning to pre-packaged foods. Now, I don't know if this is true for everyone, but sodium content in pre-packaged meals gets me every time. I swell up like someone attached a tire pump to my body. Sea salt I use at home is fine, even when used generously on steak, and more moderately in my other cooking and baking. But no matter how healthy (low-calorie, low-fat, well-balanced) that packaged meal seems...I almost always regret it by the next day, waking up with puffy eyes and feeling bloated and heavy. In all fairness, if I were to buy meals labeled, "low-sodium", I might not have this problem.

If this sounds familiar, try fixing all your own food to control what's going in your body. I have the same sodium issues with eating out, although I will say I've had good results so far with The Cheesecake Factory's "Skinnylicious" menu items.

Busy? Keep simple foods on hand. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always winners. Also, fill a tupperware with pasta for a quick re-heat. Or try my pumpkin or banana muffins for breakfasts, or a healthy snack on the go. (Recipe can be found here:
Pumkin Muffins ). These types of items can be made in less than 30 minutes and used for several days after. I recommend freezing the muffins if you don't use them within 3 days though. Those fresh ingredients will turn eventually if left at room temperature.
Moral: When life gets hectic, show yourself love by tossing out the high sodium and keeping foods simple and homemade when possible!

Do you have any suggestions of handy, healthy foods for busy people? Please comment below! 

Thanks and Blessings!
<![CDATA[Today's Tip: Pick Yourself Up And Move Forward!]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 17:12:13 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/todays-tip-pick-yourself-up-and-move-forwardMy last blog post was about being consistent, and while it focused on career goals, consistency is also important to good health. Daily we make decisions on how to treat our bodies, and we hopefully choose beneficial foods and actions. But set-backs happen, either for obvious reasons, or because they sneak up on us. The trick is not letting setbacks weigh us down or break our spirits.

​Anyone who's read my posts this year knows I advocate not dwelling on imperfections, but loving ourselves for who we are right now, and taking steps to feel good today. Now, I don't talk about weight loss, because that in itself isn't the goal. The number on the scale doesn't tell me how I feel today, my body does. But you know what? Even though I'm still exercising regularly and eating a healthy balanced diet with limited indulgences, that scale number has been steadily climbing and I feel bad. Not mentally bad, because of the number itself, but physically bad: heavy, bloated, and low-energy. And I'll be honest, I have a lot of clothes that I miss being able to wear, too. It's disheartening to keep plugging away at something, anything, and not only do things not improve, they get steadily worse.

Something is going on that needs to change. I haven't yet figured out why my standard methods are suddenly not working. Is it hormonal? Is it that I'm writing much more lately (yay!) but that more of my time has become sedentary? (booh!) Is my life simply out of balance? With family and work, have I unknowingly cut back on my time for personal well-being? The end of the school year is always especially busy for me, with my kids school events and projects, the big annual recital for my dance students, making summer plans, etc. So a life out-of-balance is a good bet.

But what can I do, right now, today to make a difference? DECIDE TO KEEP GOING! I won't say, "Ah, screw it all!", get myself a huge jar of Nutella, and drop down on the couch for a twelve hour Netflix marathon. I will eat my green salad with fat-free dressing. I will give myself a dance class in the family room. I will do all the other things I have on my daily To-Do List, that aren't about my body, because they also are important, either to me or to others. And I will examine my lifestyle more fully. I will figure out what changes to make without giving myself a deadline and berating myself if everything isn't fixed within two days.

Today's moral: Allow that setbacks happen to everyone. Don't beat yourself up for yours. Show yourself love by deciding to
just keep going! And remember, if you are feeling a bit low now, you are still doing way better than if you weren't trying at all. So KEEP GOING!!

Love and Blessings!

<![CDATA[My Very Un-Special Gift.]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 00:04:48 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/my-very-un-special-giftDuring my high-school years, my ballet teacher once pointed out the greatest strength each of us had a dancer. To some, she mentioned flexibility, control, gorgeous feet, or being a natural at turns.

I eagerly waited to learn what my greatest gift was, that special something which would grab the attention of future teachers, choreographers, company directors and huge audiences too.

"And, Emerald..." she began, having saved my compliment for last.

I stood a little taller. A smile pulled at the corners of my mouth.

"Emerald, you...are consistent."

Consistent? My smile fell. 

"You just keep on going." She sounded like the announcer in an Energizer battery commercial. Then she walked back to the record player to ready for our next combination.

Consistent? I thought to myself again. Where is the glamour in that? Who will ever watch me dancing and say, "Wow! Look at that girl! She sure is consistent!" I wanted to be a ballerina more than any one else in the room. More than the dancers with beautiful, high leg extensions, and feet so gorgeously arched they nearly folded in half. More than the dancers who could pirouette as easily as breathing, while I panicked a little every time I tried to do a double turn.

Was I the only one who didn't have any special talent at all? I pictured myself as a hopeless child, getting a pat on the head and a participation award, while everyone around me received a satin ribbon or medal.

That night I went to bed sad and discouraged. Over the next several days, the lingering disappointment weighed me down, but I still attended daily ballet classes. If "consistent" was all I had, then I'd just have to be the best at that.

And I was.

Ten years later, one of my classmates had gone on to run a successful studio of her own, but I alone, was still performing. Getting paid as a professional, in fact. Far more talented dancers than I had given up for one reason or another after high school. One girl, a close friend of mine with a beautiful body for dance, had said, "Ballet is just too hard." 

I learned through my years of performing, and subsequent years of training other young dancers, that being consistent may not be a sparkly talent, but it is a necessary one. All the sparkly gifts in the world won't matter if you don't put in the never-ending hours of labor. 

Now a writer for the past several years, I'm reliving the experience of not being the most talented, brilliant, witty, or creative author on the scene. And as with dancing, I may receive my share of setbacks and emotional beatings, but I will continue all the same. Because consistence will get me where I want to go, eventually. And that's a whole world better than never getting there at all.


<![CDATA[Today's Tip: Taking Care of Yourself, IS for the kids!]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:02:36 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/todays-tip-taking-care-of-yourself-is-for-the-kidsParent Guilt. New parents may have it the worst, but it can stick around even as our children get older and become more self-reliant. We may live with the notion of: "If I take this time for myself, I'm taking it away from my kids." Now, I don't know about every circumstance, but I'll tell you one guilt-trigger I'm completely over...exercise. Whether it's going for a walk (not bad, less than an hour away from home) or going to take a dance class, which means driving and at least two hours away--exercise is the gift I give myself AND my kids.

Why do I take as much time as I can for exercise? Three words: Mom with Alzheimer's. According to an article published on www.alz.org, exercise at midlife could reduce the chance of developing dementia by up to 60%. Many sites are making similar claims, often stating that exercise (and diet too) reduces the change of developing Type 2 Diabetes, which statistically increases the risk of dementia. 

Yes, Type 2 Diabetes preceded my mother's Alzheimer's, and high blood sugar runs in my family. Anyone who has lost a loved one to dementia knows what a long, slow, misery it is. My own mother first showed shocking signs of short-term memory loss almost 17 years ago. The disease progressed slowly and continually until she ended up bedridden in a nearly vegetative state, a condition in which she remains several years later. 

The disease has not only put my mother in a sort of purgatory for many years, but has also devastated her family. 
A loving and self-sacrificing woman, life for my mom was always about her children, she took no time for her own care. In the end, her family is suffering along with her. 

Now every time I do something for my own physical well-being, I don't grapple with guilt anymore. It's for myself and for my kids. I don't want them to deal with the pain of me not recognizing them one day, or to put the emotional, financial, and physical strain on them of the 24-hour care needed for a person with this illness. 

The moral: Oftentimes, showing yourself love is the best way to show love for others.
Have a great week and take care of yourself! Blessings to you!

<![CDATA[Today's Tip: Take Your Own Advice!]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 18:58:28 GMThttp://emeraldlavere.com/blog/todays-tip-take-your-own-adviceAfter a week of being sick and still having a truckload of "To-Dos", I'm left feeling bloated, sluggish and under-accomplished. The cold is about gone today, so time to get back on track. Reviewing some of my past posts is helping me refocus. Today for good health and positive outlook I will:
1. Compliment myself on any physical feature.
2. Eat slowly to savor my food.
3. Go for a nice long walk in this beautiful SoCal weather.
4. Pat myself on the back for all I managed to get done while I was sick.
5. Drink plenty of water
Do you find it's easier to dish out advice to others, but don't always take those tips yourself? Any specific ones that you especially struggle with? Do you have any special motivation techniques for when you "just don't feel like it"?

Try just picking at least one good thing for today. Show yourself some love. You can do it!