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Well let’s see. I was born during the Blizzard of 1978 in Lima, Ohio. I have lived in Ohio all my life. I like it here. We have corn fields instead of oceans, overpasses instead of mountains and fog instead of smog. Sure it's not the promise land, but sometimes one doesn't need postcard worthy beauty on the outside to have it elsewhere. I'm a writer for fun, a Paralegal for profession, and while one pays the bills, one feeds my imagination, or perhaps my imagination feeds my writing...either way, Writing is as much of who I am as the color of my eyes, or the way that I smile. Blogs are great communication tools, and I'm here to communicate with YOU...yeah, you who's reading this right now....*assuming anyone's out there* *crickets chirp* Alrightee then, IF anyone should find themselves here, be it by accident or on purpose, welcome, glad to have you aboard. Throw anchor, stay awhile! Sunshine & Smiles, ~Heather Lynn~

Friday, June 27, 2014

“The reality is that doing good unto others actually does more good for you.” --Richelle Goodrich

First let me start by saying that I was raised in the Church....and not just one, our family was Lutheran for awhile, non-denominational...back to Lutheran....I've been to the Methodist church...the Catholic church...I've seen people "Speak in tongues" and a few even faint in the midst of Religion.

I on the other hand, well, I won't say I'm skeptical, but I just choose to be more "internal" about my beliefs and faith.  Not that I wouldn't tell anyone if asked that I am spiritual...I just don't try to convert every person I meet, and I only really pipe up about such things when I feel like they are open to hear it.  I find the best time is when I see God's work at hand.

Like for example, this morning, my better half's car broke down on his way to work.  Stranded on the side of the road, he calls me and I'm in the shower.  By the time I call him back, he's no longer in need of MY help, for a complete stranger had taken him under his wing.

A man picked Jerimy up, went back to his house to get tools, and even drove Jerimy to go get a part to fix the broken leaf spring that had locked his tire up.

Before he got to him to the dealership, the man said he wanted to stop and check on his wife, as she wasn't feeling well.  She apparently had a kidney stone.  So Jerimy, being along for the ride, went with the man to check on his wife.  When the man came back outside, he said "I think I had better take her to the emergency room".  Jerimy wondered, um, what did this mean for him?  Here he was with a complete stranger, at this stranger's house, and now the man was going to abandon the mission of getting him to the dealership and headed to the hospital with his ailing wife!

Before Jerimy could say, "Hey, um, but what about me?"  The guy said "Here, just take my vehicle, go to town, get your part, and you can just leave my vehicle out there by where yours broke down.  Jerimy was hesitant, because, well lets face it, some stranger gives you the keys to his car, entrusts you with something without knowing you from adam, well it's just kind of shocking.  Jerimy, not having much of a choice at this point, said "ok" and took the man's truck to Van Wert to get his part.

This is where it gets even better.  He goes to the dealership in Van Wert, (I would love to name the place...but better not)...and the guy says, "hey, I have half a kit here...just take it"...Jerimy was like, "what do you mean take it?  Take it like free, take it?"  and the guy's like...yeah, you can have it, just come back to us in the future if you need anything.  Jerimy was once more IN SHOCK...dealerships, known for charging HIGHER prices for parts than Auto part stores, GAVE him the parts he needed to fix his broken down car FOR FREE!?!  That NEVER happens!

So there he was, driving the car of a stranger, free parts from another stranger, and completely wowed by the generosity of others, who in his time of need, 
had rescued him.

We live in a day and age when picking up hitchhikers most likely will get you killed.  We live in a world where stopping to ask someone if they need help could be a hoax, and you might be then found "Dead in a Ditch" for your attempt at generosity....and misguided trust in humanity.  Yet, today, on a typical Friday in NW Ohio, TWO strangers showed great signs of generosity of spirit for their fellow man.  When Jerimy told the man who had come to his aid that he didn't have any cash on him to pay him for his help, but offered to at least pay of gas with his debit card, the man "Oh, no!  Just pay it forward, maybe help someone else out"..

Which is something Jerimy and I frequently make sure we do.  Whenever he and I are out together, and we see someone broke down on the road, or in need of assistance, we always stop to ask them if they need help.  Jerimy even picked up some hitchhikers once in the very same stretch that he broke down in who had run out of gas, he picked them up and drove them to Speedway in Delphos so they could get gas and then drove them back to their car, safe and sound.  Risky move...yep.  But it was the kind of generosity of spirit that this world needs most, and not just every once in a blue moon, but every day.

Two nights ago, I watched the movie "Fireproof"...someone I know told me that EVERY MARRIED COUPLE, and anyone who is about to get married should watch it....I was even told that it had saved the marriage of someone I knew...so I was curious, and it was free on Netflix, and I had the house to myself, so I watched it.  So much to relate to in that movie, seeings how I'd been down that road before with my Ex Husband.  But while it was a "religious movie" and there were a few parts that seemed kinda hokey, it had a fantastic message.  I watched it and then got Jerimy to watch some of it last night.

Being religious isn't popular, or mainstream these days.  Jerimy and I recently made the effort to start attending church more regularly...and then we had a few weeks where we didn't make it....and then today happened.  I think just reminding us that he appreciated our effort to come to him, so he came to us/Jerimy.  A sign of good faith perhaps if you will.  Not that God has nothing better to do than help a stranded motorist, but by sending people to his rescue, he just instilled in Jerimy that all the times he stopped to help others, well, it didn't go unnoticed.  If you're not "religious"...call it karma then.  Whatever your beliefs are about the world, the universe, the afterlife, etc.  If you put good into the world, not only are you making the world a better place to live, but.....I believe good comes back to you.

So I sincerely hope that you find this post in the spirit it was offered, as it was not intended to make anyone feel guilty about NOT helping others, or to say Jerimy and I are awesome people who always do the right thing...because GOD knows that's not true, we're far from saints...but to share with you something good, in a world that has a lot of bad in it.  A world filled with scam artists, and thieves, and liars.  A world where it's not common to be "neighborly" anymore,
 a world where your mom, your aunts and your friends all get robbed by the same guy...

a world where a grandma lies about her deformed granddaughter being kicked out of a KFC in order to play on people's sympathies to scam money from people.

It's disheartening to see bad things happen to good people...
but I promise you, good things happen to good people too.

So a big thank YOUUUUUUUUU
going out to the strangers who helped my beloved Jerimy today.
Your generosity did NOT go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Ever so Sincerely,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thought for the day - June 25, 2014

So, I'm pretty sure, 
that if I don't shave my legs soon, 
I'm going to have to donate 
my razor clippings to 
"Locks of Love"



Monday, June 16, 2014

You have to pay to play, and you have to play to win!

Writers are neurotic a lot of times by their very nature.  At least in my experience with them they are...and that's ok, because being weird really helps with writing something unique from other weirdos.  Not all weirdos are created equal...I mean, there's only ONE Steven King...and god bless him and his absolutely epic mind full of strange and sometimes horrifying tales!

{I mean, just look at him, he just LOOKS like he's about to tell you a tale, doesn't he?!  Can you imagine being told a tale, sitting by a campfire with Steven King?!!?  Ah, the nightmares you'd have!}

Now, I'm no Steven King, or Dean R. Koontz, I'm just a Heather Osting, and that's ok.  I'm perfectly comfortable being me, so long as I'm always working on the best possible version of me...and constantly striving to be THE BEST writer that I can be.  The only way I know to do that it to continuously try to improve, learn from past mistakes, take constructive criticism in stride, and be willing to take a chance on myself every once in a while.

On April 6th, I did just that.  I sent a letter to a publisher with a small sample of "Dead in a Ditch", and on Friday the 13th, under the full "honey moon", I arrived home early, something I never do, I got the mail, something Jerimy always does.  I was preparing for our big Kayaking trip to Mad River, so I threw the mail on the kitchen table and began running around like a chicken with my head cut off, packing, and preparing for a night sleeping on the ground in a tent.  When you get to be my age, sleeping on the ground in a tent requires much more preparation and planning than it did when I was a younger girl!  FYI, two sleeping bags as a mattress...NOT ENOUGH PADDING.  ALSO....when it's 48 degrees out, one little light down blanket IS NOT SUFFICIENT for optimal warmth!

Anyway...so as I was packing and whatnot, I took a moment int he midst to flip through the mail and I found the SASE that I had enclosed with the publisher submission that I had sent out.  There it was, my name and address, typed by me, and I said to myself "Oh, well here's a big ole REJECTION letter!!"

I contemplated NOT opening it...Rejection is NOT my strong suit.  I was afraid it would ruin my whole trip,a and I just didn't feel like being a sad sap on such a momentous occasion!  I mean, now often do you get to spend your Friday the 13th - Full moon on a dark, fast flowing river, with a bunch of weirdos that you call friends?  Not too damn often, I'll tell you that!

But, I decided like a bandaid, I'd rip it off, take the sting of rejection and then I'd go on my trip and it would make me FORGET about how it feels to know you're writing is utter and complete crap!

So I tore open the letter, and to my complete shock and amazement, I did not receive a letter that looked like this:

Instead, the Publisher I most wanted to work with, actually requested that I send them a bigger sample of my writing!
Did you hear what I said, they DID NOT SAY:

I couldn't believe my eyes...
What was happening?
Was I dreaming?
had someone just played a prank on me?
I looked around for a candid camera...
I waited for Ashton Kutcher to jump out at me with a camera telling me I'd been "Punked"....

but nothing happened.  Nobody erupted from behind a clothes rack, or from a closet.
The house was completely quiet, except for the sound of my very excited beating heart.

I dialed Jerimy immediately....he didn't answer.
I dialed again.
Still no luck.
I called my sister Ang...
I said "Guess what?!?!"
She said "Whats wrong?"
I said, "NOTHING!!  I just got a letter from a publisher that wasn't a NO!
I may or may not of blubbered and cried a little, but that's just between you and me here!

For writers, an NON-NO, is the equivalent to winning the lottery.
It means that you at the very least did SOMETHING right to get them to even consider reading more of your work.

I actually said to my sister, "Nobody really gets everything they want in life do they?  I mean, I just got engaged, and now this?!?  I'm afraid that I'm about to get hit by a bus or something to balance everything out."

Angie said "I do the same thing, I always question my blessings first, and then have to tell myself to just accept them."

Why must believing in yourself, in the good, always create such a massive fear of disappointment that keeps us from full on rejoicing and celebration?

Now, before you try to tell me "But Heather, they might still totally reject you after they receive more of your manuscript...Yes, I realize this.  And I have accepted that notion.  But they could of rejected me after reading 25 pages.  Why not rejoice in the fact that they now want 100 pages?

To a writer, the opportunity to submit something that was REQUESTED is the equivalent of a:

And let me tell you, It's a wonderful feeling just for the opportunity to take a ride on the merry go round.  Even if I get thrown off after two spins, Oh, what a ride it will have been.

Someone asked me recently, "So why did you send your manuscript TO a publisher?  You're doing fine selling them yourself on Amazon."

I replied with, "Yes, I know, but a publisher can get my books into the hands of people that I cannot simply reach.  They are in the business of books, and like it or not, I'm just one little person, to get my book into the hands of the general public, well that's an amazing feat that even I am not so optimistic to believe I could do single handed.

Sending a manuscript to a publisher is a writer's way of buying a lottery ticket.
You can't win the jackpot if you never buy a ticket.
You can't lose or be rejected either, but if there's one thing artists know a thing or two about and that's rejection!
 I know this all too well.

I had an older sister who was WAY more popular with the boys than me!

Yours Truly,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fear, Love & Knowledge:

 So, by nature, and by my upbringing, I have a very strange relationship with FEAR!

I grew up on an exotic animal farm where I came face to face with Lions, Buffalo, Bull Elk, Tigers, Bears, Russian Hogs, Fallow Deer in Rut, the list goes on and on!  Every day after school I would go out to do my chores and feed all of our many animals and on any given day of the week, I could be mauled, gored, eaten or trampled to death.  So my very upbrining and environment taught me to NOT fear, yet, at the same time, I had a parent who wanted me to FEAR everything, including them.  My novel "dead in a ditch" was a warning I was given so so so many times growing up.  I was told to be fearful of PEOPLE..."bad people" were always out to get me somewhere, lurking in the bushes, laying wait around every corner.  I was constantly being WARNED, and made to feel this feeling of impending doom was always just over the horizon.  Especially when I pissed my mom off and she WARNED, "I'm calling your dad!"...which mean we were going to get a severe punishment if we actually allowed her to dial the phone.
it allowed you more time to straighten up before she could actually GET my dad on the line...all that dialing took some time now!

So to say that I'm conflicted when it comes to fear is an understatement.  It's no secret that my father and I are estranged and have been for what seems like an eternity now, and with Father's day quickly approaching, I always take a moment to reflect on the fact that I had a dad, and the lessons he taught me while he was still in my life, some good....some bad.

Sigmund Freud Said:

And this is in no way a dig at my Father, but seriously, HOW exactly was I supposed to turn out when my FATHER told me:

 "here, stand behind this little metal handheld shield, 
don't let the buffalo get past you!"

This is what I saw coming my way...


"Ok, now get up on this horse, they said he was broke to ride real well at the horse auction, take him out real quick and lets see if they were lying!"

Which SHOULD have looked like this:
 But always turned out looking more like this!

In case you are wondering, Horse traders ALWAYS SAY they are WELL BROKE!
and is only true about 35% of the time from my calculations.


"Take this raw meat and throw it in with the Lions"


"If one gets you down on the ground, play dead, and hope they go away"

This is pretty much how my childhood felt:
Me being the little guy in the overalls
My Dad being the guy with the gun for his own protection..and him saying..."go on, grab that water pan, I'll shoot him if he gets a hold of you!

But you know, When your dad tells you "it'll be fine" and "you can do it" whatever the case may be, you just instinctively believe him...regardless of how many times he has been wrong in the past, or how many times he was WRONG on purpose just to see you learn a lesson the hard way.

To say my sisters and myself and my brother were raised in the school of hard knocks is an understatement.

So, you can imagine how confusing it was to grow up being told that I should be scared to death that someday someone was going to snatch me up and murder me, therefore being found "Dead in a Ditch", or my mom telling me I'd better be scared if she calls my dad to whoop my ass, yet, on the other hand, always being told:
"Don't worry, you PROBABLY won't be killed by a wild animal."

C'mon now!

Which is it?  Fearless, or Afraid?  
One cannot be both.

Anyway the point of all of this wasn't to re-live the whole "estranged dad" thing, it was to talk about THIS:

My dad taught me some great lessons, he taught me to be respectful.  He taught me to be self-reliant, he taught me how to get my ass kicked, how to use a crow bar, how to drive a tractor, how to shoot a gun, he taught me that sparrows are "junk birds" and they were ok to pick off with a BB gun in the barn, he taught me to "suck it up" when things are shitty, pity from others and especially from one's self is for the weak and he taught me that if you want something done, nobody's going to do it for you, so just do it yourself.  He taught me to expect nothing from others, he taught me that if you are going to do something, do it right or don't bother doing it at all, he said, "don't trust people", and taught me that LOVE quite LITERALLY HURTS.

Now, before you say "Um, Heather, wait, there's a couple of those that aren't necessarily GOOD lessons!"
Let me assure you that in fact they are, because sometimes the people you shouldn't trust are the people who teach you not TO trust.
Sometimes the people who teach you to not rely on anyone, can't be relied on.
Sometimes the people who are supposed  to Love you...are the ones that hurt you.
Which is why I'm so happy to have learned those lessons early on.
I'm happy I learned for myself HOW to apply those lessons in life.
I'm happy that I know how to use a crow bar, that I am respectful by nature, I know the value of hard work, a dollar and family.  I know that words said can hurt just as much as a fist thrown.

or if you didn't.

Which is why, I am so blessed!  I mean, so very blessed.
Why you might ask....
Well, how much time have you got?


First, I am blessed because my lessons continue...
I have a new family....
one that enriches my life
one that loves me
hugs me
strengthens me
and has made me whole.
I have a home...filled with dogs and dirty laundry and love..
I have wonderful sisters, a brother and mother...

I love that Jerimy has so much to offer me...he has so much knowledge...and I swear, I do so admire his ability to just DO things.  Even if he doesn't know how, he just figures it out.  He's not afraid of trying things and failing.  He tinkers, he toys, he takes things apart and sees how they work....I LOVE that about him.  A natural curiosity, a natural problem solver...and even better, he bestows his knowledge on me from time to time.  

Just last night, he taught me how to use a miter saw!  I loved it!!
I sawed some serious boards last night!  It was awesome!

Before that, he taught me to use a Sawzall.

before that, he taught me to ride a dirtbike, and then a motorcycle.
E. has taught me what it feels like to be a mother....even thought I'm not one.
He's taught me just how stinky "boy laundry" can be...
And I helped teach HIM how to drive and parallel park.
And he taught me the absolute joy of  the "Big Bang Theory" which I once thought to be a "stupid geek show"!

If there's one thing I can say for my new family...
it's that they believe in me.
Jerimy, doesn't doubt my ability to do anything....and he doesn't ever use fear to make me doubt myself or to keep me from doing something he doesn't want me to do.
sometimes that's good, sometimes that's scary
but all that believing in me has taken away so much of my fear.
The fear that once crippled me, is less and less with each passing day.

To be free of fear, is like when Dr. Needler (My Chiropractor) puts my ribs back into place...it's like suddenly being able to breath, after not being able to for such a long time.

Today I posted THIS on Jerimy's Facebook Page:

And that's a truth I've discovered.
His faith in me, gives me strength I never knew I had.
His love gives me security...in a unstable world.
Lastly, just his being around...gives me a sense of peace and utter chaos that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

Which is why I'm so so so so excited to be planning our wedding.

I bought invitations yesterday!
How freaking exciting is that?

Is it just me, or does that NOT make your stomach do little flips and stuff?

Really, so it IS just me...
Oh, who cares...if it is.
This is stomach flipping goodness I won't refuse!

Ok, shutting up now....
have rambled terribly
feeling like I should have started this out by saying Dear Diary...
*slaps myself in the forehead and hits "PUBLISH" before I have a chance to change my mind.

Yours Truly,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My pay it forward project: Join me, won't you?

Yesterday, it was raining pretty hard....
I couldn't find a close parking spot at the Court, which almost never happens.
So i had to park across the street.  Not a big deal.

I crossed the street dodging traffic and a woman was getting out of her car and bundling up her child, obviously not anxious to carry her baby through the rain, so I stopped on the sidewalk and said, "I'll share my umbrella with you if you like?"
She smiled and said, "Ok, yeah, thank you!"
I walked her and her little girl in her arms to the front door and let them go get out of the rain ahead of me.

I never saw either of them before, and probably won't again, 
but man it felt good to do something nice for someone else, with no hope of anything in return other than the pleasure of being able to help another human.
This is the second time I've done this.
Once for a woman at the bank
and now this young mother and her little girl.

Normally rainy days are not my favorite, but even rainy days have bright spots, if you look for an opportunity to make a spot bright.

I look forward to the day when maybe I might share an impromptu umbrella walk with one of you....

And to my friend Justin Higbie, I know you were "burned" by your act of kindness the other day, but don't let the burn of someone else, squash the goodness within you....
you know why?

The world may not appreciate the things you do
The world might point out your shortcomings and things you get wrong,
but that doesn't mean your good deeds go unnoticed. 

So I offer you this to make up for everyone who ever made you feel unappreciated, unloved, or overlooked:

<3 Luv <3