Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hope is now stronger than my fear...

After over a year of quarantine, I finally left my house to receive my first vaccine shot. (Thankfully, hubby and I were able to make appointments together and my first excursion into the great outdoors wasn't by myself.)

How strange it was to put shoes on! And, after 54+ weeks of wearing only my “comfy” clothes, (surprise!) my jeans miraculously still fit! I emerged from my house like a newborn giraffe, my legs wobbly, my eyes wide with wonder.

The world outside my little bubble is fast-moving. Cars whizz by in a hurry to make the next stoplight, strangers walk by each other on the street (without wearing a mask). A group of people is gathered around a kiosk offering free cell phones (to my horror, none were wearing masks either). I'm quickly reminded of why I've chosen to stay home and not take any risks. I'm thankful I've had the luxury. 

Signs of spring are everywhere. There are little pops of yellow and purple wildflowers growing along the street and between cracks in the sidewalk. The sun seems a lot brighter when it's not being filtered through my windows. Life goes on the same way it has been for the last year while I’ve been indoors. 

I am shaky and unsure, nervous and anxious, but I am finally making the first step toward what I hope will be a somewhat normal life again.

There's the word that has been eluding me.


For the first time in over a year, I feel hope. It's a strange sensation this feeling of being able to see beyond my four walls. To venture beyond my imagination again. I like it. I’m encouraged by it.

And inspired for the first time in a long, long while...


romance author rachelle vaughn writing blog

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Quarantine Update: One Year of Life on the Inside

Being in quarantine these past twelve months have made me feel a little like the potted plants growing in my window. They flourish even though they're rooted to one spot. They still get to enjoy the afternoon sunlight through my office window every day. They're still growing, even though they stay in one place day after day, month after month.

I'm trying to do the same. During the first few months of Staying Home and Staying Safe, I had a hard time seeing the bright side of things. I was distracted with worry from the Covid scares my "essential worker" husband experienced (and continues to experience). Hardly anyone in our community is taking the virus seriously. I was skeptical about the future. I lost my faith in humanity.

Already somewhat of a germaphobe, we discovered that nothing is safe. Everything must be washed, wiped, quarantined in the garage before it can be brought inside the house. So far, our over-the-top diligence has paid off.

To keep busy, I've been working on a dozen different books, whichever one can hold my interest at the time. I know I should have published several books by now, but I've been feeling stuck, literally and figuratively. As my agoraphobia worsens, the plants in my window mock me. I have now become Olivia, a character I created years ago, back when the world was a "safer" place.

Online challenges have me living my life one month at a time. First it was the Alphatitles Book Challenge and then I moved on to the physical with workout challenges on YouTube. I spent a month of mornings riding on the stationary bike, pedaling and pedaling and getting nowhere (a metaphor for my new normal?) and then followed along with thirty days of indoor walking. Some habits I've kept doing every day, and some have gone by the wayside. I eventually stopped participating in the challenges I came across online because isn't day-to-day life challenging enough? One day at a time has become our new motto at the Vaughn household.

In putting my life on hold and staying inside my house for an entire year, I've gotten the feeling that I'm the only one who seems to have done so. A peek out my window and a quick scroll through social media shows me that everyone else is out and about, living their lives like normal. Some are still not wearing masks and are fueling the pandemic, enabling it to spread around the nation and creep into the nooks and crannies of even the smallest communities everywhere. Even nature has become crowded and overrun with people who just can't help themselves. No matter how much I love hiking, I just can't take the chance.

Last year at this time we were planning all the day-trips we wanted to take for Vaughn the Road Again. None of those happened. I was first. And then I started to enjoy my time at home more and more. While saving on our gas bill and mileage on the car, we've gone all this time without eating out either. The drive-thru used to be the reward for a long day of birding. Now we are cooking all of our own meals and having more fun than ever in the kitchen while we try new recipes and simply enjoy our time together.

I've used this time indoors to clean my house from top to bottom, rearrange furniture, read all the books that have been on my to-read shelf for years, make dozens of bracelets that bring a smile to my face whenever I wear them, and create things out of polymer clay that brighten up our home. 

Most of us have made sacrifices during this crazy time and I'm encouraged by the resiliency of those who have kept on keeping on. After all, without the darkness, we couldn't see the stars, right?

There will come a day when I venture out into the great outdoors again, but until then I'm happy watering my plants and watching movies with my hubby while our cat tries to decide whose lap to curl up on.

Maybe my hope for the future isn't completely gone after all...

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Perfect Purple Petals


I have such good memories of roses in my life.

The beautiful ones my great-grandmother grew in her front yard are probably my first memories of roses. People who walked by on the sidewalk would comment on how pretty they were and it makes me smile to think of the joy they brought to strangers going about their day.

The beauty of each perfect bloom is nature at its finest. Oh, and their fragrance! How wonderful it is to lean in close and take a whiff of that wonderful smell.

Romance, love, beauty, happiness... A rose means all these things and so much more.

Which flower holds the most memories for you?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Romance is in the air...


Which book couple is your favorite?

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Mirror Messages


Have you ever written on a mirror with lipstick?

romance author rachelle vaughn blog

I can't say that I ever have. Hmmm, now that I think about it, I'm not even sure I own a tube of regular lipstick! Lipsmacker probably wouldn't give quite the same result as something in fire engine red!


Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Number 20

The reason I started writing hockey romance...

romance author rachelle vaughn blog

I fell in love with a hockey player when I first saw Evgeni Nabokov in net for the San Jose Sharks. Brooding, handsome men with boyish good looks have appealed to me ever since. In my first book, Home Ice, Ben wears the number 20 as tribute to my beloved Nabby.

Which athlete has made an impact on your life?