Time Change and Sleep

This weekend in the United States, most of the states changed their clocks to spring ahead an hour. It also means we lost an hour of sleep Saturday night. It is now early Monday morning and I finally feel as though my sleep is caught up, or at least I’m not dragging like I was yesterday.

Writing Things

I am nearly finished with Love and Sunsets with only a closing scene to complete. This book is not your typical novel length, which has been the pattern for me with this series. I am not an over writer, by any means, but more like an under writer.

This week I plan to finish the scene and input the edits, which are not many, then upload it in all the places. This book, Love and Sunsets, will be another short story, which is perfectly fine. Not every book published needs to be a 300 page epic story. But also, I feel like I may be taking a different path for the next book I will be writing, so stay tuned for that news.

Travel Things

In regards to the travel side of life, there isn’t much to talk about. It’s been raining off and on this past week, but I’ll take the rain over snow any day of the week. We probably won’t be traveling away from the Portland area for at least a month. This means I most likely won’t have much to share in regards to travel, but if we go see cool things like the rose garden, or take a visit to the zoo or a historic site then I will definitely talk about it. I’ll even share a picture or two.


Thank you to each and everyone who takes the time to read my posts here. I’m still trying to figure out what to share and when to share it.

Stephanie has long wavy hair and is looking into the camera. She is wearing glasses and is standing in front of a beige wall with words on it. They say: work hard.

March 5th Writing and Travel Update

Many months ago, I decided I would write a blog post to go live every Sunday. For anyone paying attention, I have done a miserable job at fulfilling that self imposed deadline nearly every week. So, this is me trying to start a weekly Sunday update here.

Writing Update

Love and Sunsets, which has been delayed a bit, will be available on March 23rd, 2023. This small town romance is the fifth book in my Love in Rockaway Beach series, but it won’t necessarily be my last book in the series.

I have had fun coming up with characters and their happily ever afters along with different tropes. I do plan on writing a few more in the series, but I’ve learned setting deadlines stresses me out to no end. Which means when I know it is ready then and only then will I announce specific release dates.

Travel Updates

Currently, we are in the rainy state of Washington and will most likely be in the Pacific Northwest for at least another one or two months. We had to travel to this rather cold part of the U.S. due to a family emergency and while it is being addressed, it means we are not in the much warmer state of Texas.

But have no fear! We do plan on being back in the great state of Texas definitely before the middle of summer.

Alright everyone I think that wraps up my update for this past week. Let’s hope I can manage to keep up with my new plan of weekly updates.

Life and all her friends

Here it is another month is close to saying goodbye and here I am posting another update about my writing. I had to make the difficult decision to postpone the release of my small town romance novel another month due to life and all the curveballs it can throw.

I had planned on being in the warm state of Texas, but due to circumstances outside of my control our family had to hit the road and here we are in the not so sunny snow in the Pacific Northwest. My hope and dream is we can say adieu to this part of the world in the next month or two and head towards the sunshine once again.

In the meantime, I will do my absolute best to enjoy the small bits of sunshine in between the early sunsets and cloudy days ahead. Less sunshine also means more time to sit inside and write or create.

But what happens when the need to write and create is there, but the muse seems to take a vacation? You postpone things and change plans. I could’ve maybe rushed and published the book on time, but I also know the quality would not have been the best.

And that is life. I could be mad and angry at everyone and everything what would be the point? I am perfectly content being mad about the weather and complaining about the snow everyday until it is gone. I’m kidding. Sort of.

All of that to say: love and sunsets will be released on March 23rd

February Deadlines and Travel Plans

I know everyone is saying this these days, but where did the time go? I felt I was celebrating Christmas and the New Year yesterday and here we are days into February. I am not the best at keeping this website up to date, which is probably also the reason why I have not done a monthly newsletter.

February Deadlines

If you have been following me on social media for any length of time, you would have noticed I had announced my latest small-town romance novel was to be released on February 7th, 2023 and you might have seen it has been postponed. The book is the fifth book in my Love in Rockaway Beach small-town romance series, and it is called: Love and Sunsets and it is in the works. I have moved the release date to February 28th, 2023 which is only a few weeks later in order to get the final draft edited properly and not rush at the last minute.

Travel Plans

As many of you know, or will know soon, we are a traveling full-time RV family, which means we move locations, one or two times a month depending on where in the course of the month we arrive at the campgrounds. We make use of a Thousand Trails Membership which allows us to stay at some pretty nice campgrounds for up to 21 days at a time. We have been traveling around the great state of Texas for almost a year and still not have not seen everything there is to see.

We have plans to roam around Texas through the next few months providing more than enough time to explore more of Texas. In the next couple of months, I will have enough experience to share news and reviews of several rv parks in Texas.

Thanks again for reading my updates in my little life of the internet.

News and Updates

There are some updates that I feel are needed to share in this place.

First, all of my books are getting updates which mean new covers and new links. I changed my author name to S.M. Whitson to prevent further confusion with another author by the same name.

Second, I do plan on creating a newsletter, but in the meantime, I will share updates about books and life in this space.

Today is Sunday, July 17th and I plan for my books to all be live on Amazon by Wednesday. The next steps will upload the books to Google Play, Kobo, and Books2Read. I will have a page on this website for you to navigate to the storefront you wish to purchase them from online.

Stay tuned for more details as I navigate this ordeal of uploading all of my books in all the places.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Bay Landing Thousand Trails Review

Bay Landing Thousand Trails is located six miles from the town of Bridgeport, Texas, and is one of the many Thousand Trails RV parks in Texas. We have had the pleasure of visiting four of them and Bay Landing has become our favorite for several reasons.


Bay Landing Thousand Trails is located six miles from Bridgeport where there are several stores including Brookshires, Lowe’s, and several Dollar Generals to choose from. Brookshires is a grocery store with a bakery, deli, and plenty of fresh produce. There are also quite a few restaurants and they are building a new Whataburger. Mostly, there is plenty of food choices only a few miles away. If you desire something else or you would like a bigger store, then drive seven more miles and there will be a plethora of places to choose from, but the best thing about Bay Landing is the activities.


Bay Landing Thousand Trails has activities suited for nearly everyone. There is a bay where you can play in the water, but even better is there are boats and canoes you could rent for the day. If you have your own boat, there is a place to park it while you are staying at the park. Bay Landing also offers bikes and golf carts to rent while you are staying there. There are also plenty of scheduled activities to choose from, including candy bar bingo, craft hour, movie night, and of course, we can’t forget the wagon ride through the park one night a week. Besides the activities at Bay Landing Thousand Trails, there are the many amenities they offer.


Bay Landing has a swimming pool which goes from three feet to eight feet. There is also a wading pool for the little kids, plus a hot tub. It is important to note there is no lifeguard on duty and there is a rule you have to be fourteen years old to be in the pool area without an adult or legal guardian. The pools and hot tub are outside and not heated because the great heat of Texas heats it up perfectly well. Other choices include a tetherball, basketball court, volleyball court with sand, but let’s not forget about the mini-golf course.


We have spent two holidays here, most recently Independence Day where we were greeted with a wonderful light show. Bay Landing did not put this light show on, but the community of Runaway Bay which is across the bay put on the show.


Bay Landing Thousand Trails has three sections to the park, and each area has it’s own bathhouse. The important thing to remember is there are limited full hook-up sites available. There are a few thirty amp full hook-up sites that fill up fast. If you want or need a fifty amp full hookup site please keep in mind there is an up charge of three dollars a day. There are plenty of thirty amp sites which do not offer sewer, but they do offer a honey wagon service for ten dollars a trip.


I would recommend Bay Landing Thousand Trails RV park based on the staff who work here, the amenities, and the proximity to things to do in the area.

How To Use Prompts

It’s been quite some time since I have shared an update, but I know I am not the only one to say life gets carried away sometimes. We traveled and saw all sorts of places and met people along the way, but today’s post is about prompts.

How to use prompts and when should they be used?

As 2021 was coming to a close, I knew I wanted to head into 2022 with more of a consistent YouTube upload schedule. I had attempted to create a schedule of videos and even wrote topics to talk about on more than one occasion, but the ideas rarely held my attention. Enter the holy grail of prompts!

The Evergreen Author Platform Bundle from Marisa Mohi saved me from coming up with a long list of interesting topics to share. In the bundle, there are several files included, one of which is a long list of related hashtags depending on the topic you want. There is also a list of 365 prompts and this is the prompt list I have fallen in love with and am currently using. I used the prompts on the list from The Evergreen Author Platform Bundle for video ideas and if you check out my channel, there are, as of today, four videos that are short 5-10 minutes based on the prompts.

Prompts are useful because they can help with writing ideas, video ideas, and blog posts. These prompts are author-specific, but I am sure there are prompts for any situation in which you may need inspiration.

Thousand Trails Review: Bend Sunriver Location

Our family hasn’t stayed at a Thousand Trails Campground before and this location wasn’t far from our home base we were leaving behind. I want to start this review about this rv park with a reminder several of the amenities were not available because of closures, but the majority was because of the other reasons.

Let us start by going over a quick rundown of what is typically available and go from there. Bend Sunriver Thousand Trails has close to 200 RV sites which all have water and electric, plus a BBQ pit and a picnic table. There are no asphalt roads, but there are roads with packed gravel. This park does not have sewer hook-ups at any of the sites, but there are two rv dump sites at the park. There is one near the front of Bend Sunriver Thousand Trails and another near the back of the park. The park has six bathrooms with showers throughout the park which makes the no sewer hook up thing much more manageable.

The park has four sets of horseshoes next to a shady gazebo, and the fun and games do not stop there. Bend Sunriver also has a basketball court with two hoops, a mini golf course and tennis courts. Next to the basketball court is a playground area which is composed of a swing set and a climbing apparatus. There are two other playground areas throughout the park, too. This park also has two swimming pools and a hot tub which is located outside.

Now, let’s turn our attention to some minor problems we encountered while at Bend Sunriver Thousand Trails. First, even though the outdoor facilities were open and able to be used, we were told upon check-in their equipment had gone missing and so we would need to provide our own. My husband was even told all the balls for pool had gone missing. I think these were minor because it didn’t deter most of our kids from enjoying the stay. The park has a lending library and a lodge, but they were closed because of the pandemic. But again I don’t feel like these things affected our stay.

The park had bunny rabbits all over the place, and some of them allowed us to feed them. We even saw a variety of birds and a small family of deer. Overall, I feel like this was an enjoyable experience for our first Thousand Trails and we look forward to coming back once things open up again and things are back to normal.

Taking a Break and Exploring the Land

I have written and released three books since October 26th, 2020, and tomorrow will be June 2021. I have realized it is unreasonable of me to keep up the schedule of a new book every three months. If I had kept up with that pace, there would be a new book close to being released next month, but I have needed to take a bit of a break in my writing schedule.

I know what I will call my next book and I know it will hopefully tie up any loose ends and end the series. I also know I cannot end the series with no kind of outline, so I have been outlining this last book in the series and I aim to work on the first draft during the month of June 2021. I have also learned to work with a pre-order isn’t for me. I always seem to find at least to typos after release and I feel it is perhaps the stress of getting the book done before the pre-order release date besides life which makes the entire process very stressful. I am going to release the next book and at this point I would say it will be before Halloween, but as for an exact date, there isn’t one yet. I will announce here on my website and on my other social media accounts when I have a better idea of a date for the next book.

I have other news to share with you all other than my update on my next book. Starting June 1, 2021 my family and I will be adopting the full-time rv lifestyle. We will travel throughout the continental U.S. Living in an RV isn’t new to us as we have been living in one for a while, but starting tomorrow we will travel full-time, coming back to our hometown twice a year as I have specialists here as well as my husband.

What does that mean for me and my writing?

It means I will see different parts of the country and perhaps these areas will play a setting in my writing. It also means I will write about my travels here as well as sharing videos on my travel YouTube channel: Five Find Freedom. It also means I will soak in the sun, breathe in the fresh air and ocean breeze, plus there is always the chance there will be a funny or comical story of what went wrong because no road trip in our family ever goes right.

I won’t be sugar coating the experience and there will be the bad and the ugly alongside the good and the beautiful.

Stay tuned for how our first Thousand Trails RV park experience goes this week.

My daily planner

I could go on for days about planners and planning because I am a pen and paper girl. I have used planners from a variety of planner companies and even different layouts. I have tried having everything in one planner, to having separate planners for different things.

I have a daily planner which has space for different categories, and it is a quarterly planner. It is from Erin Condren and it is their new petite planner. I recently switched to this set-up and once I have used it for a while longer I will do a detailed review. I use it for my to do list each day and tasks I want to accomplish for social media and writing. I also have a space for health and wellness things.

I also homeschool three children and will use a teacher planner, also from Erin Condren, for the upcoming school year. My oldest will do 9th grade work, so I will have her own little planner to keep track of things. The other two will do 6th grade and 3rd grade work and I will spend the next month organizing things and getting ready for the new school year.

What do you use for a daily planner? Do you use more than one? And if you use more than one, what do you use each for? Let me know.