Bittersweet Endings and On Our Way to the Next Chapter

June 4, 2021

Working on my children’s books manuscripts has definitely taken an extended pause in this pandemic. Early on I was able to attend virtual seminars or workshops related to the craft of writing for children nearly monthly, but in January 2021 my work pace skyrocketed. Then in February 2021 I received news that my job was transferring me across the country and so the plans began for preparing my family and household for the big move from California to Virginia. We have always looked forward to big adventures as we love to travel, even my little guy, and this time was no different. Excited to see what the Lord has in store for us but sad to depart Long Beach, California after such a short time here, much of which was while under COVID-19 restrictions.

Today was my last day in the office. It, too, was bittersweet, as most of the last days at a unit are for me. I certainly will miss my team as they have been wonderful to work with; a great crew of professionals, so smart and dedicated, and I’ve learned a lot from them. I had the tremendous privilege and honor of presiding over a shipmate’s retirement ceremony. That was a first for me, and the event planning team did an absolute amazing job! One could definitely see how much the retiree was respected, appreciated, and loved by the amount of care and details put forth in the event set up, words expressed, and departure gifts.

Our extended family traveling with us arrived in town today. Tomorrow will be our last day and night in California before heading east. This will be my fifth cross-country move and the third attempt at trying to keep “travel blog” so hopefully this time I will have better success in sharing some of our journey with those who are interested in traveling with us vicariously. I hope you will enjoy! Cheers and blessings! 🙂


The Importance of Collaboration

During the current state of events, I have allowed myself to channel some energy and attention towards more positive and encouraging activities. Not to ignore the events, because the COVID-19 pandemic and injustices that are occurring are very significant, but rather to figure out a way I can make a difference. A way my actions can encourage, lift up, inspire others. I am guided by these key scriptures:

Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”


One of the things that I have been trying to do is find little nuggets of time to think, learn, and write.

This may seem simple, but it is not for me as I juggle full-time work with being a stay-at-home mom to a preschooler who loves to be right by his mommy’s side and is curious about nearly everything his mommy is doing. I love being a mommy, I truly do and treasure the time I am given because days slip away far too quickly. So with this in mind, I have had to find creative ways to carve time in my week to do more of the things I feel I am called to do –> write children’s books.

Sharing. Brainstorming. Discussing. To me, it is all collaboration. And it is just what I did yesterday! While chatting with my sister she helped me establish a new Twitter account solely for my writing venture and separate from my current profession to clearly separate the two. I once heard at an SCBWI conference that if you want to be a writer, then you need to visualize yourself as one and OWN it, even if you are pre-published!

Additionally, by “chance” I was fortunate to receive a call from a dear friend who asked what I’ve been up to. I shared about day and my initial thoughts for a book I have been wanting to write for a few years — a biography on women who have accomplished great feats in the Coast Guard. This simple conversation was enough to spark more ideas for the book and gave me a little nudge I needed in the direction.

Sharing does that…it allows for ideas to flourish and come to life.

Finally, at the end of the day and in the process of connecting with authors and publishers on my new Twitter account, I fortunately stumbled across a post socializing an upcoming picture book webinar discussing NF PB Bios hosted by The Writer’s Loft ( and presented by Vivian Kirkfield ( The webinar just so happened to be today…talk about a fortuitous find during “mindless” scrolling before bedtime! 🙂 What a fun and insightful event! Vivian is so engaging and really has a heart for writing and helping others achieve their dreams. And isn’t that what we all should be doing?

That is where sharing and collaboration come in. It could be in a webinar, chat room, social media, or simply a conversation with a group of friends. People share thoughts on their aspirations and others share potential resources, tips, or their experiences to help in achieving those dreams.

Kindness. Generosity. Compassion. The world needs to see more of this.

What are your favorite ways to collaborate? Share your comments below.

Thanks for reading. Make it a great sunshine day!

Just in time for Spring!

Just in time for Spring!  A sweet story about a little chicken who just wants to be brave.  Everyone wants to be a hero but each time Dot tries to be brave she ends up being a little chicken, until…she is lurched into a situation that shows her just how brave she can be.  Through the day’s wild adventures, she faces some pretty scary critters in the deep dark forest and along the way discovers the hero inside, even as a little chicken!

Readers will fall in love with Dot, a little chicken who just wants to be brave.  Written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Taylor, A Little Chicken is a picture book filled with humor and suspense that tells a story about perseverance and bravery.

For more fun and adorable stories by Tammi Sauer, visit and follow her on Twitter @SauerTammi.

C is for Coast Guard

A year ago I began writing an alphabet book.  Today it is nearly finished, well, in my amateur opinion it is.  I’ve had several people read it and provide comments, including fellow writers in critique groups.  We shall see what publishers think of “C is for Coast Guard,” an ABC book about the United States Coast Guard.  Designed for pre-readers and young readers, this picture book is designed to describe Coast Guard jobs and explain commonly used terms in our service.  The vocabulary is slightly advanced, therefore, the ideal audience is in the age group between 3-to-7 years old.  I plan to submit the manuscript next week.  Though I also plan to bring it to the next writer’s workshop I attend and hopefully get more feedback at that point.  Or perhaps I’ll begin working on my pitch.  🙂   Happy Coast Guard Day!!

Welcome and Thank You!

A warm “Welcome” to my blog!   Yes, I am taking a chance, stepping out on a limb, and venturing into an exciting, yet, uncharted territory.  Well…uncharted for me, that is. 🙂

This blog is where I will post updates on my writing journey as well as share interesting, informative, and/or inspirational messages.

I sincere thank you for stopping by and hope you enjoy what you read.

~ Johna