Category Archives: Blog

Pain Will Leave, When You Let Go

In June of 2018, I was smack-dab in the middle of promoting my first children’s book when I had to stop everything to deal with what turned out to be pretty extensive damage from black mold in my kitchen. I had just come home from Denver Comicon and we had 48 hours to pack up and get out of our house. We came home briefly a couple of times but all in all, the mold clean-up and repairs took 8 weeks so basically, the entire summer.

Yes, the mold thing sucked, but there was something much, much worse that we were dealing with that slowly began about a year and half prior to this “forced vacation” which all came to the surface just one month before the black mold discovery, and it was in our family. My son had spent all of 2017 and the first half of 2018 feeling like he was on the edge of remembering something traumatic that happened to him as a child but just couldn’t access the memories and in May of 2018, with the help of a lot of therapy and a lot of meditation to calm his brain, he finally remembered and it was bad. Real bad. (He is okay now and figuring out positive ways to help himself cope.) His memories are not my story to tell, but what happened to me as a result of it is something I would like to share.

The first thing that happened to me following Denver Comic Con and temporarily moving out of our house was getting an awful sinus infection (unrelated to the black mold, thank jeebus.) We stayed in one home after another (thanks to our generous friends) while we waited for the black mold to be cleaned out of our house, and through it all, I continued to reel from the memories my son shared with me, still sick, and unable to sleep. Then one night out of total exhaustion, I fell asleep and woke up 8 hours later. I felt so rested for the first time in weeks! But when I went to move, I discovered I’d slept those 8 solid hours only on my left side, with my shoulder shrugged up, and all the muscles around it were in total spasm.

I had spent that summer having countless long talks with my son, sorting through his awful memories that are old, yet new, while I also dealt with contractors, plumbers, painters, and electricians (Wil helped as much as he could but I tend to do this thing where I think I can handle it all and then I collapse when it’s over. So dumb, I know.) Eventually, my sinus infection went away (thank you antibiotics, and swimming in the ocean where I got hit in the face with a wave that literally launched whatever was left in my sinuses right out of there) and when we were able to move back into our house a few weeks later, I got several massages that focused on my shoulder to try and calm the freaked out muscles. I finally saw my own therapist in September to help me deal with the memories my son shared because I had developed such bad anxiety from it that I couldn’t sleep. Plus, I had lost ALL of my creativity and I knew it was because I hadn’t dealt with this stuff myself since I had focused all of my energy in helping my son those past few months.

I began the session by telling my therapist how we spent the entire summer dealing with this black mold in our house which was bad in itself, and then told her about the memories my son shared which to me, was way, way worse. Both situations are things I know I am not to blame, and I certainly had no control over, even though I wished I could have known to prevent it. At one point she said “It’s interesting to me that you had no choice but to drop everything and deal with this toxic thing that had been building up for years in your home, while essentially doing the same thing with your son.”

Damn metaphors.

I saw my therapist a few more times after that, and also got my shoulder worked on a few more times. And as my son seemed to be doing better, my shoulder pain slowly improved as well. But like any traumatic thing that can happen, you may have moments where you think you’re on the path to healing and then something completely derails you and you feel like you’re back to square one. This happened for me emotionally as well as physically, in January of this year. The pain of both sent me into an anxiety tailspin I didn’t think I could get out of. I finally saw a doctor for my shoulder and was diagnosed with acute tendinitis, which I then made worse by lifting a 20 pound box not just up from the ground, but up above my head and out in front of me, three days after that doctor said not to lift anything heavy. Genius. I spent several days icing my shoulder and neck and having anxiety so bad that at one point, I had a full-on panic attack. I needed help, badly. I scheduled physical therapy for my shoulder, and emotional therapy for my brain.

I realized (thanks to my therapist and those damn metaphors again) that I was literally carrying a burden on my shoulders that I couldn’t figure out how to let go of, and I had no idea how to be free from it. She suggested I write a letter to the person who hurt my child, not to be sent, just to say what I wanted to say and move on. Turns out that was easier to hear than to do because I still carried those burdens for two more months. So much pain, physically and emotionally. She had also suggested downloading a meditation app to use and since my husband has one that he loves, I got the one he uses (Headspace) and started that part right away. After two little 3-minute sessions, I found myself looking forward to it because it was this brief moment in the day where I literally thought about nothing except my own breathing. I had no idea I was capable of controlling my brain from going down the rabbit hole of “what-ifs” or wanting to face the person who sought out my son all those years ago to traumatize him so badly that those memories were locked away, like a dark room in part of his mind, and he couldn’t find the light switch to see in there for over two decades. As I felt like I was getting my anxiety under control, my shoulder…got worse. I had been doing physical therapy for it but it was so slow to progress because something was holding it back. My chiropractor suggested I see this doctor who specializes in active release stretching and since I felt like I couldn’t stretch much of my shoulder, neck or arm, I thought I’d give it a try. I saw him nearly two weeks ago.

In my mind, I envisioned active release stretching as maybe applying pressure to the connective tissue, sort of like, I don’t know, a deep tissue massage. Boy, was I wrong. The doctor said I have frozen shoulder (scar tissue adhesions within the joint) and an impingement. He called an assistant in to help move my arm in several different ways while he held down spots in my trapezius muscle, my neck, and my rotator cuff. It was the most excruciating pain and after who knows how long (because time seems to not exist when you’re in such intense pain) I finally had to ask him to stop. As I walked out to my car with my dead arm hanging next to me, tears streamed down my face. I sobbed on and off for nearly two hours after that as I laid on my sofa at home with an ice pack on my shoulder and anti-inflammatory drugs in my system. I went to bed early that night and slept for 11 hours and when I woke up, I was sore as hell but I felt surprisingly better.

Since I was feeling better, I thought maybe I would try to sit down to my laptop and get back to work on my next book, but my brain had a different plan. Instead of working on my book, I spent that entire day in my pajamas, at my laptop, typing out a single-spaced five page letter to the person who hurt my child and by extension, hurt me. I said all the things I thought I would just hold on to until hopefully, one day, I’d get to say it to his face. I felt unbelievable anger and upset, occasionally getting up to ice my shoulder and move it around a bit, and wipe the tears from my eyes. After a couple of hours of writing, I began to realize I had carried this burden on my shoulder to the point that it was literally locked inside of me, frozen, causing so much pain I didn’t think it was possible to ever get back to normal again.

The following day, I tested out the mobility in my shoulder and I had so much more movement than I’d had in months, that it made me laugh and cry at the same time. At the end of that week, I went back to physical therapy, where they routinely test my progress and then do some massage, some exercises, and then ice it. Before we started, I explained what that doctor had done with my shoulder earlier that week, unsure if I had made the right choice to do that or not, so we tested my mobility again. While it isn’t quite 100%, it is very close. (I’m going back to that doctor one more time this week to work out the rest of it.) My physical therapist was amazed, saying she’d never seen such a huge change like this. I was about to tell her about the letter I wrote the day after seeing that doctor but decided not to, and that’s when she said “Sounds like you just had to endure that intense pain in order to get yourself back on track .”

Damn metaphors.

Yesterday, Wil and I went to WonderCon in Anaheim so he could moderate a panel, and then we headed back up to L.A. in time to meet friends for a birthday dinner before going to the Kings game together. After the game (Kings won!) we walked out of Staples Center and I commented on the warmth that’s finally in the air. We drove home and as we pulled in to our driveway and walked up to our house, I could smell orange blossoms filling the warm night air in our neighborhood and got excited for this welcome change. As I climbed into bed, I realized this was the first day in close to a year that I didn’t think about the past, the what-ifs, the pain and trauma, or the words I had been holding inside me that became a poison, that I had finally let go. I turned off the lamp on my nightstand and laid down on my left side, the one I haven’t been able to sleep on in months, and fell fast asleep.

On To The Next Chapter

In June of 2018, I attended BookExpo/BookCon in New York and while I was there, I met a rep for a company called DartFrog. DartFrog does a lot of wonderful things for authors in the publishing world, including helping already self-published authors of unique books get into independent bookstores, which I love because I am all about supporting smaller, local businesses. Their rep looked at my book, Piggy and Pug, and was really interested in having me work with them, so I got their contact info and made a plan to get in touch with them when I returned home. But then all of my book promotion plans were put on hold when I discovered black mold in my kitchen and I spent the entire summer dealing with that, as well as some other personal matters that gave me such awful anxiety that I felt like I couldn’t start this next chapter in book promotion no matter how many times I thought I should keep moving forward.

A couple of months ago, I felt like I was ready to get back to it, so I emailed the people at DartFrog to see what I should do to get this ball rolling. The first thing I had to do was send a copy of my book to their editor and book reviewer to get approval, which totally scared me because I thought the woman in New York was the approval person. EEP! But I sent them the book and then heard back maybe a week or so later and was told they loved it and couldn’t wait to have me on board with them. Hooray! I shipped DartFrog a big supply of books that they in turn sent out to the independent bookstores they work with, and then I sent even more books out to a distribution center for Ingram and for Baker & Taylor, who would fulfill additional orders as the bookstores sold them. Once everything was in place (over a week ago) they sent me a list of the 55 stores in 27 states that would be carrying my book.

Holy crap, it’s finally happening! So what do I do? Why, I let anxiety get the best of me and I didn’t tell anyone, that’s what I did! Smart move, Wheaton. (There are many other factors that ultimately led me to seek help for anxiety this past week, which I’ll probably post about another time). I’m starting to feel better now and part of that is because I’m taking steps to move forward with my life instead of being stuck in an anxiety loop. And with that, I am going to list all of the stores by state and city so you can get a copy for yourself or for a little one in your life who would enjoy a story that teaches empathy and compassion with some adorable animals who go on a journey to find family and friendship.

Ready? Here we go!


-The Book Worm in Powder Springs

-Underground Books in Carrollton

-Wall of Books in Columbus, in Watkinsville, in E. Ellijay, in Perry, and in Commerce!

-The Book House in Mableton

-Gottwals Books in Warner Robins, in Byron, and in Macon!

-E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah

-Hiram Bookstore in Hiram


-Tubby & Coos Mid-City Book Shop in New Orleans

-The Conundrum in St. Francisville


-Wall of Books in West Chester

-The Book Rack in Cincinnati


-Page and Palette in Fairhope


-Burry Bookstore in Hartsville

-Fiction Addiction in Greenville


-Fountain Bookstore in Richmond

-Book No Further in Roanoke


-Bliss Books & Bindery in Stillwater


-A Freethinker’s Corner in Dover


-Battenkill Books in Cambridge

-The Dog Eared Book in Palmyra

-Off The Beaten Path in Lakewood

-Barner Books in New Paltz


-Wall of Books in Cornelius

-Sassafras on Sutton in Black Mountain


-Third House Books & Coffee in Gainesville


-Arcade Book Exchange in Hillsboro


-Squirreled Away Books in Armada


-Wild Thyme Books in Carbondale

-Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago

-King City Books in Mt. Vernon


-Plot Twist Bookstore in Ankeny

-Wall of Books in Ankeny


-BayShore Books in Oconto


-Main Street Books in Lafayette


-The Briar Patch in Bangor


-Savoy Bookshop & Cafe in Westerly


-Bank Square Books in Mystic


-Fenwick Street Used Books and Music in Leonardtown

-Books With A Past in Glenwood

-Main Street Books in Frostburg


-Star Line Books in Chattanooga

-The Reading Rock in Dickson


-Valley Bookstore in Stillwater


-Cupboard Maker Books in Enola


-Sparta Books in Sparta


-La Playa Books in San Diego


-The Next Chapter Books and Novelties in El Dorado

-Wall of Books in Atchison


This distribution list is specifically with DartFrog. However, distribution of Piggy and Pug is not exclusive to them. If you are a bookstore owner/manager, librarian, or work at a school where you have an account with Ingram or with Baker & Taylor, you can just order copies directly from them! If you don’t have an account but do work for a school, library, or bookstore and would like a discounted copy, you can email my publicist, Susan Peters, at susanxpeters @ gmail dot com for a discount code to order from my website.

For more information about Piggy and Pug, visit

Small Gestures Can Have A Big Impact

EDIT: I’ve sold out of these so I removed the BUY NOW button. I shipped a few of them already but the rest of them will be shipped over the weekend. Thank you for your purchase! (The donation button is still in this post if you would like to just donate to the organization I was supporting by selling these.)

Two years ago, I experimented with painting for the first time because I was inspired by some trees I saw at (of all places) the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I shared what I’d made on social media and was asked if I would sell the paintings. I didn’t want to sell the original paintings because I wanted to keep them for myself, but I came up with an idea to have the images I’d painted printed onto blank 5×7 notecards. The quality of the paper and the printing turned out great, so I did a little run of selling them on Etsy in case anyone wanted them. I sold out of them quickly and then just never restocked them. I know, what the hell, Wheaton. Since they have sort of have a winter feel to them, I didn’t think it was a thing anyone would care about in Spring or Summer, so I figured I’d just restock them on Etsy in Winter of 2017, but life got in the way and that never happened and then the supply of cards got tucked away in the back of a closet and I forgot about them. Awesome.

Yesterday, I was sorting through some stuff in my office and came across the box of cards in the closet so figured I would go ahead and list them again. It’s been so long since I’ve had them on Etsy that they don’t even have my out-of-stock listing up anymore and since we’ve established that I give up on these things easily, I didn’t feel like going through creating the listing again. But what I can do is make a super easy PayPal button so you can just order them from here! This is what they look like:

As you’ve probably heard, California has been devastated by wildfires. The damage and destruction is unreal, and we are lucky to have many non-profit organizations helping people rebuild their homes and their lives. I have a limited supply of these cards but whatever sells, I will be donating the proceeds to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, which offers grants to support those who were displaced or lost housing, belongings and/or employment, or suffered physical or mental health problems as a result of this catastrophe. They also help rebuild homes, provide case management services, basic needs assistance, and medical care and supplies.

One box of these 5×7 blank notecards has 10 cards (5 of each design) and 10 envelopes and comes in its own little box with a clear lid. I will be shipping out orders immediately so you should get them in time for the Winter Holiday Of Your Choice in case you wanted to give them as a gift. If you’d like to order, just click the BUY NOW button below.

If you would rather just make a donation to the Wildfire Relief Fund without receiving a set of blank notecards, here is the link:

Thank you for helping me support a worthy cause!

Empathy Matters

On Tuesday, October 23rd, I will be giving a short speech to a room full of adults who are all gathered to raise funds for the Children’s Orthopedic Foundation. The fundraising organization chooses books written by a couple of different authors to be sold at the event, and the authors come to give a speech about why they wrote the book and their inspiration behind it all. My book is the only children’s book being featured at the event and to be completely honest, I have never gotten up in front of a room full of people to give a speech like, EVER, so I’m a bit nervous. In junior high and high school, if we had to get up in front of the class for a speech or an oral report, I would just take an F because I was too afraid to get up there, but I’m finally okay with doing this now.

Over the years, my fear of speaking in front of others has slowly diminished, a huge part of that due to me reading my book in front of people in schools, or bookstores, or at conventions. But this speech is just me, not reading from my book. Just me and my thoughts. There won’t be any kids there but I have always felt the message of my book needed to be heard by adults as well, so I’m speaking from the heart (but also from notecards because I wrote it down in case I panic and my brain goes blank).

This morning on Twitter, I asked if I was the only one who has been feeling frustrated, disappointed, and just…sad..seeing our government intentionally cause harm to our people. The majority of comments were from people who’ve felt the same way I do, but a couple of them were from people who say the very things that make me so disappointed in some of humanity. Because of that, I thought I would take this opportunity to just share my speech here today because I believe it’s something people need to hear. I do talk a bit about my book, Piggy and Pug, seeing as that’s the reason I’ll be at this event, but the overall message goes beyond that.


“As a child, I learned a lot about empathy by watching a show called Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers spoke often about celebrating the uniqueness of every individual. He also spoke about how, in times of trouble, we need to look for the helpers. So often, those troubles are caused by a lack of empathy, by those who choose to harm others for the very uniqueness that Mister Rogers taught us to celebrate. Empathy, to me, seemed to be the key to compassion, to kindness, and to being someone who helps during the scary times.

My first vivid memory of having empathy for someone happened at five years old, when an orange tabby cat followed me home from a friend’s house. He was very talkative and affectionate and when we got to my house, I asked my mom if I could keep him. She could tell he belonged to someone else so she said no, but she let me give him a bowl of food and water out on our porch anyway. In the evening, he was still on our porch so I made a little bed for him and by morning when he showed no signs of leaving, my mom asked our neighbors who he belonged to. She found out the people up the street from us had moved away and left him behind, so she said we could keep him.

As a five year old, I couldn’t understand why someone would move away and leave behind this sweet cat who was obviously part of their family, but I didn’t focus on that. What I did focus on is how the cat knew they were gone for good, so he took it upon himself to go out in search of a new family. I thought about all the adventures he must have had before choosing us, and how I wished there was a story book I could read about something like this happening. That experience opened my eyes to the world of animals in need and as a result, I became the person in my family who constantly helped animals. Even now, my friends refer to me as a Disney princess because helpless animals somehow always seem to find me.

Nine years ago, I started doing fundraisers for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA in memory of my dog who passed away suddenly from cancer, and four years later I accepted their invitation to join the Board of Directors. I had spend a lot of time walking around that shelter visiting with the animals and when the housing market crashed, I noticed the shelter was mostly filled with animals that were owner turn-in. At first I was really upset by that, but then I quickly realized it was actually incredibly responsible of the owners to do this. Instead of leaving them to wander the streets and fend for themselves, they gave the pets the opportunity to receive care and be adopted into a new home. This experience at the shelter sparked my childhood memory of the orange tabby cat, so the combination of the two became my inspiration for writing Piggy and Pug. This delightful, heartwarming (and beautifully illustrated) story is about the journey that brings together Pug, who’s searching for a new family, and Piggy, who’s searching for a new friend.

But Piggy and Pug is so much more than just their journey. It’s teaching young readers about empathy, compassion, and the bonds of family and friends. It’s about understanding that some people make decisions that have quite an impact on those around them and when someone needs help as a result of those decisions, empathy and compassion is what drives the helpers to step up and do something. Without empathy, I wouldn’t be able to put myself in the position of the families or their pets, to truly see how the situation impacts them. Children will be faced with a variety of situations in their lives which can impact themselves and others around them. Standing up to bullies, lending a hand when a person needs it, or helping a stray animal, all stem from empathy. It is essential that we teach empathy young so our children grow up knowing how to be the helpers Mister Rogers described.

Writing a book that teaches children not only about empathy and compassion, but about kindness, responsibility, family, and friendship, opened my eyes even more to what kids are being exposed to these days. There is so much divisiveness, anger, and violence spreading like wildfire in our country with what we see on television, hear on the radio, and witness in our daily interactions in-person, on social media, and even in online video games kids play. Children desperately need to be taught empathy, compassion, and kindness now more than ever. When members of their family, their neighbors, and their nation’s leaders are intentionally causing harm, we need to counteract that by talking with our children about compassion, reading stories about empathy, doing acts of kindness, teaching how we take responsibility for our actions, and showing them that when they see scary things happening, to look for the helpers. We may not be able to stop those who hurt others but when we have empathy, we can see beyond the pain that drives them to hurt in the first place, and do our best to react in a more positive way instead of out of anger.

Whether it’s human or animal interaction, we are in this life together. Kindness matters, helping matters, empathy matters, and when we teach our children that whether it’s an in-person or online connection, our words and our actions matter. I’d like to end this with a reminder I think we could all use now and again, from a speech Mister Rogers gave back in 2002. He said, “Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel, a facet of that jewel, and in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never pretend that we are not.”


If you would like an autographed copy of Piggy and Pug, scroll to the bottom of this post and place your order. All proceeds from sales on October 22nd and 23rd will be donated to the Children’s Orthopedic Foundation.

Thank you.

Act Two

Last night, Wil and I went to the hockey game (WOW, did the Kings play like crap) and at one point in between game play, the “Kiss Cam” was capturing people smooching and putting it up on the JumboTron for all to see. At every game for as long as we’ve been season ticket holders, the camera is put on this one old couple where, each time, the man smiles and looks surprised, and his wife grabs him by the face and plants a big ‘ol kiss on his lips. The crowd goes wild, they laugh, and the hockey game continues. It’s an adorable tradition to see on the screen, and something they obviously love to do. Over the years, we’ve seen them heading out of the stadium together, always smiling and talking to people who recognized them on the JumboTron. They used to walk out holding hands, but in the last couple of years, it has transitioned to him sitting in a wheelchair while she pushes him with her own frail grip on the handles of that chair, as they head out into the cool night air with the thousands of other game attendees.

I’ve often wondered if that old couple started getting season tickets for the same reason Wil and I did. First, because hockey is super fun to watch in-person (even when your home team is uh…not so good) but also because it’s like having a planned date night. Years ago when our kids were in elementary and junior high school, Wil and I had gotten ourselves annual passes to Disneyland so we could drop the kids off at school and then sneak off to the Happiest Place On Earth, go on a few rides, have lunch, and then get back in time to pick the kids up from school (we told them YEARS later we had been doing this but they didn’t know at the time). We always knew the kids wouldn’t be living with us forever, so it was important to us to make time for each other in the chaos that is being a parent. When we struggled financially and couldn’t afford  Disneyland passes, much less going out to dinner, we would go on a long walk in our neighborhood, or play a board game in front of the fireplace. I wondered if this old couple at the hockey game did something similar when they were younger because here they are, doing what Wil and I are doing, holding hands and sneaking in the occasional smooch (minus the camera on us) at a hockey game.

After the camera moved away from that couple kissing, Wil said “Aww…they’re totally us in 30 years!”

And then my head began silently swirling.


And before I knew it, the game was over. I stared at the ice, missing most of the last period experience, not fully present at our pre-planned date night, all because that old couple kissed on camera which sent my middle-aged brain into a tailspin.

As we got up from our seats to leave, I thought of life as a play in three acts. Act One was a childhood full of struggles with the occasional triumphs, as I did my best to figure out how to be an adult. Act Three would be our senior years, probably spent being that old couple on the Kiss Cam, or taking long walks along the beach in Maui, and still having the kids over for barbecued turkey burgers and potato salad.

But Act Two is happening right now.

Wil and I always talk about how in the whole world, with so many people to choose from, how much we love that we chose each other and that we get to spend our lives together. But as we shuffled our way through the crowd, I felt grateful on a whole new level. We get one life, and we don’t know how long that life is going to be, so it’s important to be present, to spend time with the people in our lives that we love, and to use that time to do things that make us happy, while also doing what we can to help others enjoy their lives. When Act One was happening, I never thought Act Two would have me writing a children’s book, or learning how to paint, or figuring out where I can go to do archery because I did that so much as a kid and I loved it so why not do it again, but here I am. And I’m doing it all with a husband who loves me, with two kids who grew up to be amazing adults with lives of their own, and a house full of adorable rescue pets. Life may be unpredictable, but I’m not going to stress about the what-ifs of the future again because I’ll miss what’s playing out right now.

As we headed out of the stadium and into the cool night air, I slid my hand into Wil’s and told him I loved him. We walked down the sidewalk and out to the car, making our way back to our home, and our life, that we’ve built, together.


Autographed Piggy and Pug Now Available!

In Spring of this year, I set out to promote my first children’s book, Piggy and Pug. My plan was to do some convention appearances for the first few months, take a month off, and then focus on setting up bookstore and library appearances. And then my kitchen surprised us with a leak under the sink, which led to a nightmare black mold situation that put our lives on hold while we had it fixed. The repairs began mid-June, two days after I returned from Denver Comicon, and lasted for eight weeks. EIGHT. WEEKS. I put all plans to do book appearances on hold and instead focused on getting our house fixed. The timing of it also allowed for me to be here to help someone close to me deal with some pretty intense stuff of their own, which ultimately affected my personal physical and mental health a bit, but everything is much better now.

We were able to move everything back into the kitchen about a month ago, but the emotional toll on all the other personal stuff dragged on much longer than I expected. I gave myself permission to just take care of me for a while, knowing my book didn’t have an expiration date and when I was ready, I could get back to promoting it. I know I’m feeling better because I woke up this morning excited to get my book back out there again!

All summer, I had people asking me if they could buy an autographed copy of my book from me online. If you order from, those copies are sent out from a distribution center in Nevada, so those ARE NOT SIGNED by me. But I do have a supply at home so I can offer autographed copies now! I thought it would be nice to do this for the month of October to allow plenty of time for it to arrive if you’re getting it as a gift for someone for the holidays in December.

I love that technology allows me to do something like this. And yes, I will ship anywhere in the world. All you need to do is click the “BUY NOW” button below and place your order!

Barks AND Books!

A few years ago, I put together a book called “A Guide To Being A Dog- By Seamus Wheaton” that was based on tweets my husband wrote as if it were our dog, Seamus, giving advice on…well…how to be a dog. I had our friend, Lar deSouza, illustrate it and it turned out SO CUTE! (Disclosure: it looks like a children’s book but it is not entirely appropriate for little ones.) Over the years I have met people who got the book and loved it, and several people who wanted the book but didn’t get one when it was available.


For a limited time (now through the end of September) I have 200 copies available as a gift for your minimum donation of $40 to our 501(c)3 organization, in support of the 20th anniversary of the Wiggle Waggle Walk with Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA at the end of this month. But wait! There’s more! This year, Seamus will be doing his very own PAWTOGRAPH in each book! (Pawtograph made possible by getting a rubber stamp made of his actual footprint so as not to cover his real paw in ink.) LOOK HOW CUTE IT IS!

Front cover of book

PAWTOGRAPH on inside of book

If you would like a copy for yourself, you can go here.

And if you just like the idea of helping us support the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA but you do not want a copy of the book, or you’d rather make a smaller donation, that’s great too! You can donate directly to them via my donation page which is here.

If you’re wondering what exactly is a Wiggle Waggle Walk, you can watch this video Wil made of Marlowe 6 years ago when she was a puppy attending her very first one. (Brace yourself, it’s adorable and a bit of a tear-jerker.)

Thank you in advance for helping us help rescue animals!

A Gift From The Heart

This post is about something I want to do for my birthday, but it also contains information on a subject which may be upsetting to some people so I’m doing this first:




In my previous blog post, I wrote about having a lot going on right now which made me feel like I just wasn’t up to engaging much in social media. I kept having people on Twitter berate me for not using my platform to discuss what others were talking about, I was accused of not caring, and told several times by people that they were “disappointed in me” for not sharing my opinion on what others were outraged over. I’ve posted a couple of reasons why I wasn’t engaging in these discussions, one being that my kitchen had to undergo a forced remodel due to massive amounts of black mold that was discovered from a tiny leak in a pipe in the wall behind the cabinets (which my homeowners insurance is refusing to cover. Awesome.) We’re now on week six of repairs and have one more week to go, which has been extremely difficult to deal with considering my dog was also diagnosed with advanced kidney disease the week before all this happened, but we are getting through it. But the main thing that’s been going on for the past three months is I’ve been helping someone very close to me deal with being raped a few years back, and no one knew about it, until now. After spending months talking about this together in person, by text, by phone, and by them having dozens of therapy sessions to deal with it all, this person felt ready to go to the authorities to report it, so we went to the police station together last week and did just that.

I learned a lot in this process, not only about the physical and emotional toll this takes on a victim of sexual assault, but how the legal process works, especially if you don’t have physical proof. There is a lengthy investigation that has to happen, which can take months. When someone sexually assaults another person, they have a history of doing this to other people, and the investigation may potentially lead them to other victims that didn’t come forward out of fear of not being believed. There’s no guarantee that the investigation will secure a conviction of the perpetrator, but reporting it to authorities is always the right thing to do, as scary as it may be, and the officers repeated this several times while we were there. The abuser will not stop with you so just the fact that they have a report on record will help if/when they assault someone else who DOES report them in the future.

The other thing I learned in this process is the emotional toll it took on me. Over these past three months, this person and I have discussed what had happened to them, but I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally devastating it was for me to be in the room and hear every detail of the act itself, and the level of unbearable fear and pain they endured as they were assaulted. Even though this person felt emotionally prepared to report this, sexual assault is something a victim will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. They say time heals all wounds, but some wounds will never truly be forgotten, and to that I say thank god for therapy.

So this is the part where I talk about my birthday.

Birthdays are a celebration of life, and life is worth celebrating, no matter what happens along the way. My view on life is always move forward, take care of you, and help others whenever possible. I have never wanted gifts for my birthday, only time spent with those I love. But this year I am asking for a gift; the gift of supporting RAINN, an organization which offers critical care for sexual assault victims, both physically and emotionally, as well as information regarding safety and prevention, education, warning signs, and public policy on state and federal levels. Every 98 seconds, another person is a victim of sexual assault. I am supporting RAINN to bring awareness to this organization for survivors to know there is hope, and there is definitely help, to get you through this so you can go on to celebrate life, love, and many, many happy birthdays. To quote Maya Angelou, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Here is a link to my donation page if you would like to contribute: 

And yes, I made the amount I am raising $4,900 because I am turning 49 and I am a numbernerd like that. Thank you for the gift of helping others. Together, we can make a difference.

Inhale, Exhale, Repeat.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of social media. Mostly, about all the outrage over, well, literally everything that’s on it lately.

There’s no doubt that words have power, and social media can spread that fire like the wind. We can choose our words to be positive, to share our triumphs, and to support one another. Sometimes, life can throw us a curveball, and we occasionally choose to use it to share those struggles. We can use it to inform others of situations they might not otherwise be aware of in the hopes of creating a change for the better, if that’s what we choose to do. Social media has the ability to get the word out in positive ways, but it also has the ability to get the word out in negative ways. At the end of the day, social media is not a requirement to participate in, and certainly doesn’t have to be a place where you feel you need to add your two cents to any given subject on any given day. It’s a social platform and if you aren’t feeling social on subjects being discussed, then you are under no obligation to participate.

I wrote this on Twitter the other day: “Reminder: Social media is an opt-in experience. You don’t owe anyone anything by being here, and you’re free to be on or off it as often as you like.” After I wrote that, I took Twitter off of my phone so I could focus on all the shit I have going on in my own life, and not feel like I could take the easy path of zoning out on my phone by staring at the dumpster fire that is Twitter. I immediately felt better by doing this. I will continue to stay informed occasionally through social media on important issues via my laptop but honestly, who can handle the constant dread of Twitter anymore? Not me. My husband and I share a lot on social media, but we definitely don’t share everything. He took Twitter off his phone months ago and suggested I do the same, but I held on (far too long, in my opinion). The things we have going on within our family are very personal and not for us to share because they are not our stories to tell, but it’s also okay to not share literally every aspect of our lives with the public. I’ve heard from several people who’ve reminded me, in one way or another, that social media is not a diary, and no one is entitled to my thoughts or opinions on anything. Wise words.

Life is too short to spend it holding onto anger, seeking revenge, looking to others for validation, or getting caught up in arguments. While I am aware that having a large social media platform means I reach a lot of people, some have tried to make it a requirement of me that I give my two cents on all kinds of subjects being discussed. I finally caved recently and talked about the kids who were being taken away from their parents and sent to live in camps in other states, and it left me a sobbing mess. Not commenting on something doesn’t mean I don’t care, it just means I’m not up to getting involved because like I said, we’ve got a lot of shit going on. The saying “Put your own oxygen mask on before you help others” is so true. It kills me to see so much of our world falling apart but right now, my oxygen mask isn’t on so trying to get involved in anything extra just isn’t an option.

I believe in lending a helping hand when others truly need a boost up, and speaking when someone feels they do not have the ability to speak for themselves. But if you just don’t have the fight in you right now, sometimes it’s okay to step aside and allow others to fight that fight. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means you aren’t able to take it on, and that’s okay. It’s a shitty position to be in, knowing I have the privilege of taking a step aside when others don’t always have that privilege themselves, but I’m just doing the best I can for me at the moment.

I try my best to live my life with honesty, honor, empathy, and compassion. I’d like to kindly ask that you respect that as I work through my own struggles so that I can get back to fighting the good fight with my oxygen mask firmly in place.

Choose Your Words Wisely

I’ve been thinking about this thing that happened to me at Emerald City Comicon. I started to post about it on Twitter but then realized it was upsetting me more than I was aware of at first, so now I’m just writing a full post about it so I can let it go and move on.


I went to my very first convention to promote my children’s book, Piggy and Pug, up in Seattle two weekends ago. I had a great time meeting a bunch of kids and adults who were excited to get my book. Some people already owned it and brought it from home for me to sign, some read a copy I had out on my table and loved it so they got one for themselves, and some came to get a copy after hearing me talk about it in panels or after hearing me read it in the Family HQ area. I met teachers who were excited to read it to their students, librarians who were excited to get a copy for their local or school library, and new parents who were building a library for their little ones to read it when they got older. I had been promoting it online for about 6 weeks by this point, but the outpouring of support at ECCC was so completely unexpected. It was incredible to meet all of these people who were excited to take home something I made. Instead of writing about that whole experience again, you can just read about it (and see the adorable pics) here.

So here’s a thing I am very aware of; we can’t please everyone. There’s always going to be critics who just want to voice their opinion on why you made a thing that doesn’t appeal to them therefore, no one else should like it. I know this is going to happen, and I am okay with it. I wrote the book that 5 year old me would have loved to have read, and that 48 year old me happens to really enjoy as well. As it turns out, others seem to enjoy this book I wrote and want to have one of their own. Great!

Near the end of the day that Sunday, I had a few minutes where no one was at my table, so my friend and I were sitting together and talking when a woman approached us, looked up at my banner and said “Wheaton. Are you related to Wil Wheaton?” I looked up at her, smiled, said hello, and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Anne. Yes, I’m related to Wil. He’s my husband.”

This woman told me she’s an author, and has a table nearby, as she pointed across the walkway from where I was seated. I had been super busy the whole weekend so I never made it around the convention floor to see other booths or meet anyone else there. The only time I ever got up was to go to a panel or race to the bathroom real quick. “Bummer” I thought to myself, “but it was nice of her to come introduce herself!”

The woman continued speaking, I continued to smile, listening to her as she then says “I was trying to figure out why you were so busy all weekend and now it makes sense. It’s because you’re married to Wil Wheaton.”

Wow. What a gut punch.

This author had not read my book. She hadn’t even looked at the copy that was on the table, left there for anyone to peruse through. She wasn’t there as little kids told me how much they loved my story, or when adults were there to thank me for writing something like this. She just decided the only reason anyone was there to buy something I wrote was because of who I was married to.

I can’t even remember exactly what I said to her after that. All I remember is I continued to smile and be friendly, which was REALLY HARD TO DO, until she eventually went back to her table. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? So my first impression of this author-lady is she has no idea what I wrote because she didn’t look at it and instead, she made a snap judgment of something I worked super fucking hard on for a year and a half of my life that no one could possibly enjoy on its own merits. And sadly, now I’m not interested in reading anything she’s written because our only interaction was this petty thing she did to me, and that’s a crummy way to feel.

I’m not sure if this type of experience is normal for other authors, or if our country is just so angry about everything that people have lost that brain filter thing that stops them from being shitty to other people, or what. What I do know is holding onto someone else’s unhappiness definitely isn’t good, and writing this down has helped me tremendously to let the crappy thing this woman did to me go. I’m going to go back to thinking about all of the positive that came out of that weekend instead. TAKE THAT, BRAIN.

Mom-voice here to remind you we’re all just doing the best we can in this world. I know we can all have good days and bad but please, for the sake of humanity, try a little kindness when you’re interacting with others. You’ll be glad you did.