Tag Archives: Dancing with the Keene Stars

An oldie but a goodie…

Author and Wild Rose Press sistah, Brenda Whiteside had been reposting some of her favorite blogs from the past. I was lucky enough to be included in that list and here’s what she shared today:

I Can’t Dance.

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#Dancetime is upon me


Tonight is my last dress rehearsal before tomorrow’s first night of competition for Project Graduations’ DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS.

The last time I danced in this competition I was the STAR and this is what I looked like:

This time around I am the partner. Just as much responsibility – remember what Ginger Rogers always said? She had to do EVERYTHING Fred Astaire did;  backward and in heels – but not nearly the amount of nerves or anxiety. In fact, this kind of sums up how I’m feeling:

So, if you’re in the area on Friday or Saturday night and are looking for an evening of fun, entertainment, and want to support a worthy cause, hop on down tot he high school, pay your 20 bucks and have a great time.

You won’t be disappointed!


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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Project Graduation, Strong Women

On #Dancing, #DancingWithTheStars and feelings of inadequacy



I’m pretty confident I mentioned in a previous blog that I’m participating in the 2017 Project Graduation event DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS again. This is my third year. Year one, I was the STAR. Last year I was a judge. This year, I am the partner to a Star.

Three years; three different roles.

Year one was fraught with anxiety, anger, and a little angst. Anxiety because I thought I knew how to dance but when I was shown how to really do it, I didn’t. Not even close. Anger because my partner was, well, let’s just say we weren’t perfectly matched, and leave it at that. And angst, because I  truly was mentally tortured about falling down on stage or being a laughingstock.

I survived. No falls.

Year two I was a judge. This key role filled me with nervous tension so tight I thought I was gonna snap in two at a moment’s notice. Since I remembered how terrified I was standing center stage and being critiqued, I was determined to give nothing but positive and kind feedback.  I didn’t say anything negative.  I hurt no feelings and offered no critical analysis. Everyone did fabulously, to hear me tell it.

I survived. No hurt feelings. No snapping.

This year, year three, I am a partner and I was initially filled with dread. I have to make the Star look good. I am, after all, the professional ( for lack of a better word) and I’m expected to know the dance, the moves, and to radiate calmness for my Star.

If you know me you know I NEVER radiate calmness. But I have nothing to worry about. My STAR is, well, a STAR!! He is patient, committed to winning, and loves to rehearse. He came into the dance studio filled with ideas and they’re good ones!! He will win this competition. I am merely his prop, and very happy to be one!

I will survive without feeling dread, for sure!

Keene Dancing with the Stars is scheduled for April 21 and 22 and you can order tickets here: tickets

Hope to see you all there. It’s guaranteed to be a great night of dancing, fun, and a few laughs.


Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Dancing with the Stars, Life challenges, New Hampshire, Project Graduation, Strong Women

My other life..and yes, I do have one!



I get asked this question A LOT when I tell people I’m a writer. It’s a little snarky, a little condescending, and a whole lot of rude ( to me), but I don’t think the people who ask it are intentionally trying to be rude…at least I hope they aren’t.

The question? “Well, what else do you do?” The implication being I can’t just write.

Well, yeah, ya can. But I get what they mean.

Let me ‘esplain, Lucy.


For most people who don’t write – and that would be a very large majority of the free world – they view sitting down and writing something as boring, a time waste ( or a time suck, depending on who you ask), or something you do when you’ve got a few extra minutes. I’m not judging those people. They simply don’t know the hours upon hours of work involved in getting a blog/book/article written. Again, no judging.

But I always like to answer that question truthfully. Yes, I do DO other things. I’m married, so I do all the things that go along with that ( get your mind out of the gutter!) I have friends, I do charitable work, I exercise, although from the size of my a**, not enough!
One thing I’ve been doing the past few years is volunteering for my local High School’s Project Graduation Fundraiser, DANCING WITH THE STARS. Yes, it sounds exactly like the tv show. Yes, we have Stars who comprise people in our community, and Partners, who are either previous stars or who have a little dancing experience. It’s a two night event and the largest fundraiser for Project grad.

And yes, I am participating again this year, my third year in a row. This time I am the PARTNER. (Try not to be too impressed!)

I’ll be blogging about this event until it occurs on April 21 and 22 and filling you in on all the little details, backstage gossip, and other sundries, along the way.

There might even be a romance book somewhere in the future about it……

When I’m not dancing – or needing my inhaler! – you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Characters, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Dancing with the Stars, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, Netgalley Reviewer, Project Graduation, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

New Stars Crowned

And so, like so many before them, another week has closed in my life.  But this wasn’t an ordinary write-until-I-drop week. This week I took a pseudo-break from writing and reveled in my participation in my town’s Project Graduation fundraiser DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS…


and I’ve never been filled with so many lingering, joyous, and charged emotions.

I’ll start with the lingering ones. I am, despite what I show to the world, not the most people-loving person. I tend to judge  people for how they behave and the things they say( still working on that, daily!), I find myself more times than not nervous and anxiety plagued about saying the wrong thing, and I just would rather be writing than socializing. I could so very easily – if given the chance – be a hermit.


This cast of DWTS was such a diverse, open, and fun-loving group of people I found myself sucked into their revelry and good spirits every single time I was with them, and all my unleashed misanthropic tendencies went the way of the dinosaur, leaving me with a such a sense of camaraderie and fellowship that I truly WANTED to spend more time with them. Their sense of selflessness and goodwill was overpowering and made me feel hopeful that our little community will continue to thrive and move forward on that good old fashioned Yankee ethic of neighbor helping neighbor. Selfless devotion to a worthwhile cause filled this group of people with purpose and made me a better human just being around them.

At last year’s event, I was a dancer. This year I got to sit back and be a judge. Which role did I prefer? If you had asked me a week ago I would have said judge, every time. But after watching the faces of the dancers, hearing the roaring approval of the audience, and witnessing the ego-growth of each and every participant, I can truthfully say it’s a toss-up. Being a judge was heaps of fun, not to mention much less physical and arduous work, both of which we all know I loathe. ( Sloth, thy name is Margaret-Mary.) After witnessing the joy on the faces of each dancer as they finished a magnificent routine and understanding their sense of individual accomplishment, I realized I wanted to feel that, too. I am so very proud of every dancer, Star and Partner alike, and hope they are as equally proud of themselves.

As I write this, day is dawning through my window and I know the DWTS cast and crew were out last night after the event, partying, dancing, and expelling huge sighs of relief that it was all over. When they wake this morning, a little tired, a little sore, they will relive each dance step, wonder how they could have made it just a little better, and nit-pick every move  that wasn’t dance-perfect. This is normal for a morning after. I hope, though, as the day wears on, and the facebook and text congratulations pour in,  they will also start to comprehend what a monumental feat they all accomplished. No, they didn’t cure cancer; didn’t drive out poverty; didn’t feed the world. What they did do was devote countless hours of their time, energy, and thoughts to benefiting the graduating high school seniors of our community in order to make their official send-off into the next phase of their lives a fun, safe, and memory-precious night of celebration through an alcohol-free party chockful of activities.

So today, I am emotionally charged with positive feelings of pride, joy, friendship, and love for my community and its members.

And I know these feelings are lasting ones…..

Dancing with The Keene Stars 2017 is already under production, and I pray I am asked to participate again. There is no way I will say no!!!

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Filed under Author, Dancing with the Stars, Life challenges, Project Graduation

The challenge to push…

This week I’m participating in Keene Dancing with the Stars again, just as I did last year.


Many of you know this already, but what you may not know is why I chose to participate again this year.

Last year  I was a STAR,which meant I was the featured community name, the person friends, family, and neighbors came to see compete and for whom they voted.

I didn’t win, but there was no expectation I would and I didn’t agree to dance for that reason anyway. I agreed for 2 reasons: 1. DWTS – Keene version, is a fundraiser for Project Graduation for KHS, which is an all-night, alcohol-free party sponsored by the community for the graduating seniors of the high school. The party keeps them contained, safe, and free from alcohol and drug use for the night, and, 2.  I was at a point in my life where I realized I was stagnating, not trying anything new, and not growing. And I needed to.

So, this year, when  I was asked to be a judge (and  not a dancer, thank you, Jesus!) I immediately said “yes” for the same reasons and one more: I needed to continue on that path of challenging myself to learn and experience new things, and to try and gain some insight into myself and what motivates me to do the things I do and write the things I write.

A little esoteric, you ask? Yeah, maybe. But here’s what I mean: as a writer – and a writer of romance, to be exact – I could continue on very nicely and just keep writing my stories of families, love, and happily-ever-afters. No worries there, because I will, BUT I need to challenge myself to discover new avenues of ideas to write about, and to do that, I need to meet new and different people, learn new and exciting things, and have new and diverse experiences, all of which will lead to me being a better writer and ultimately, a better person.

So, if you are sitting around wondering what to do this weekend, please consider attending this worthwhile event. You’ll have some fun, see some friends, and more than anything, know you will have contributed to the health and safety of an amazing group of high school seniors.

Tickets are available here: DWTS


Filed under Dancing with the Stars, Project Graduation

The end result of the challenge….

I have hung up my dancing shoes for the year…my feet unanimously thank me…and I am now reflecting on how I feel about the entire experience.

I can sum it up in one word: WORTHWHILE!

I stretched – both physically,emotionally and intellectually; I overcame a slight fear of being seen in public at a weight I do not like; I met new and wonderful people who have since turned into new and exciting friends, and most of all I learned something very valuable: I can do whatever I put my mind to, no matter how scared I am or how far out of my normal comfort zone I have come.

Life lessons are wonderful little things to learn. No matter what age I am lucky enough to live to, I hope I always continue to learn and grow as a person, a woman, a writer. There is nothing more rewarding to me to know I have achieved a goal I have worked arduously towards. Blood, sweat ( a lot of sweat!!) and tears aside, I would do this again in a heartbeat. In fact, I volunteered already for next year. Hopefully, they’ll want me back.

Here’s a snippet of my dancing debut at Keene projectGrad’s Dancing with the Keene Stars: I am # 9 to dance so hang thru the video until the end!)



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My challenge….

Here’s the video promo to my recent life challenge DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS.


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I love a writing challenge. That’s why I participate in NANOWRIMO every year, and whenever my local  chapter of RWA holds a writing challenge, I am raring to go.

Personal challenges are another thing entirely.

Backstory. Last Spring I attended a fund raiser for Project Graduation titled DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS. It was exactly like it sounds – the television show DWTS, just a local edition with people in my community as the “celebrities” or Stars. Everyone with me, including me, had an absolute blast. It was such a fun evening, that I volunteered to be a contestant the following year if they held it again.

Yeah, so. Be careful what you ask for.

I was asked, I said “Yes,” and I was thrilled.

Then the real work started. I am not a dancer. I barely have enough rhythm to keep upright when I walk (as evidenced by  the fact I fall a lot. A lot.) It  looks so easy SO EASY on television. The dancers get up, do a few steps, and there you have it.

Yeah, NO! I haven’t  sweated, thought, or worked so hard at something in a very long time. I actually think the last thing I did that was as mentally and physically challenging was childbirth. And my daughter is 25!

Anyway, the real purpose of this entry was to say that challenges come in all forms, and in order to grow and thrive as humans, we need to take them up from time to time. Learning how to dance the cha-cha has been an enervating and exhausting thing for someone as sedentary (both in mind and body) as myself. I have to think logically, count ( not my strong suit!) and concentrate on so many aspects – head up, don’t look down, keep your shoulders square, smile. It’s a lot for someone like me who basically hibernates in a solitary writing room.

But having said all that, it is a challenge that I willing took on and I don’t have ANY regrets. I have learned a great deal about myself these past two months and wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through. Well, maybe I’d lose a little more weight before starting, but that’s it! By challenging myself personally, I feel I’ve grown more as a person and a writer, because I have a million story ideas now concerning dancing. Ooo, baby!

If you’re in the neighborhood, here’s the link to get tix. Maybe I’ll see you there.  Just don’t throw any tomatoes at me!!

Project Grad 2015



Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women