Monthly Archives: February 2018
Being a writer has perks.
Yes, it is a pretty solitary existence. We spend most of our time alone with a screen and a keyboard for company. However, there are the rare occasions when we get to step out and really enjoy the spotlight.
For me, I have always enjoyed the process surrounding a book signing event. I meet people who share a similar interest and have a chance to talk with them and sometimes it leads to friendships. Now I haven’t done an event in, what feels like, forever. It’s been a few years. But, I’m excited to announce that I will be a vendor and attending at the Tyler Paranormal Conference. Click on the link and it will take you to the facebook page with all the information. And if you are in the East Texas area and can pop over to Tyler for one of the three days of the event, I would love to meet you. Maybe even sign a copy or two for you.
In other news, I’m entering the rewrite phase of the work on Slauson Cove Book Two. Second drafts are for working out plot holes and deepening the story. This one needs some TLC. That being said, it is time to really get to work on it. And I’m ready to get this one into the hands of all of you who enjoy my fiction work.
The irony is that I’m also working on the final editing phases of a short novella that I will be formatting soon to put out. It isn’t related to the Slauson Cove story line but is something unique that could be a start to a sort of collection of stories based around a group of characters if the feedback indicates that there is a demand for it.
Sort of a short post today folks. I have a ton on my To-Do List. So keeping it short and sweet is practical for me. But, I’ll be back with more insights from the studio. Maybe even with a cover reveal for the novella later in the week. Guess you’ll have to subscribe to stay tuned and not miss that.
In the meantime, tell me what sort of book-related or fiction-related events you enjoy or would like to attend in the comments. I am curious about how I can make these sorts of appearances more appealing and give you all more than just me sitting at a table signing books. Would you enjoy a reading styled event? Maybe a Q & A would be better. You tell me!
Yes, I said it.
Yes, I’m single. No, I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day. It just isn’t something that was ever really celebrated for me. Sure, I gave out the little cards when I was in school. As an adult, if an effort to celebrate was made it was all on me to make it a special occasion. I’m not the sort of girl who evokes a sense of romance. That’s just part of who I am. I’ve learned to accept it. Just as I’ve learned to accept being single.
I used to have big dreams of a husband and kids. I tried the marriage thing for 6 years. I learned a great many things about myself in that time. I also put up with far more than I should have in an effort to make it work. That’s all part of my past though and not something to be constantly relived. Today, my goals and plans for life are much different and, I think, much more practical.
I’ve accepted that a family of my own won’t happen and turned my attention toward creating a life that I find appealing and enjoyable. I spend my time writing and living vicariously through characters that fit more of an ideal for me.
The truth is, I’m too old fashioned for my own good. A woman like me really can’t compete in today’s dating climate. And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really want to anymore. I value things like loyalty and compromise. I don’t see those things in modern relationships. I’m more likely to be the eccentric aunt in my own story. The modern spinster with books on shelves as life goes on.
For those of you celebrating the day of romance, I say have a glass of wine or champagne for those of us who are celebrating alone. I think I shall spend my evening in sweatpants with some icecream and my real Valentine, Pip the pup. A scary movie might take my mind off the obvious and put me in an inspired mood to keep the keys clicking away as they are now.
So this weekend was a little bit unusual for me. Well, it was just outside of the usual routine. I actually got out on Saturday night and went to dinner and listened to a local band while having drinks. If you know me at all, you know how rare that is. Yes, it was good for me to do something different. It allowed me to people watch for a bit and I’d forgotten how amusing that can truly be.
That was all fine and dandy. We made a trip to Walmart afterwards and picked up new collars for the pups while we were there. Now, mind you, Pip had a new collar a couple weeks ago. I bought him a heavy duty one like his bubba Odie. And he was all pomp and strut after I put it on him. Now, with everyone else getting new collars put on by me. He was all butt hurt waiting for his turn. Except, I didn’t get him a new one.
Now, I didn’t want to see him all disappointed. So, I picked him up and took off the collar I bought him a couple of weeks ago. Acted like I made a switch and simply put it back on him. Once again he was all pomp and strut and just as excited as the others were.
This pup is more than I could have hoped for in a companion. He chose me. I really had no intention of getting a pet of any sort when he came into the picture. He was persistent as a little guy and kept coming to me until I took him home. And I am so glad that I did.
He has been a source of constant love and companionship. Unconditional love is so rare and I get plenty of it from him. I’m a firm believer that every girl needs a dog. They are good judges of character. They are loyal and protective. A dog is probably the only thing on earth that would give its life for you if you were in danger. There are plenty of stories out there about dogs doing just that.
So yes, my dog is my baby. And I feel guilty leaving him on his own. Granted he is usually with my mom or dad but, vacations are always tough if I am off traveling. But he is always happy to see me when I come home. It doesn’t matter if I have been gone for days, weeks, or even just to work for the day. There is always a wagging curly tail and lots of puppy kisses for me when I get here.
On my days off he wants to cuddle up on the couch or when we take a nap. And he is always happy to just be near me. He makes me laugh with the way he chases that red dot or tries to trash his squeaky toys. And there is nothing cuter than his ears all perked up and his being curious about something.
I am not the first writer to have a dog for a companion. I know I am in good company to be a dog lover. His antics are a hoot. Maybe I will be able to film some of his funnier reactions for you. At least take more photos to share of my little snuggle buddy and Valentine for the forseeable future.
Anything worth doing takes preparation as well as determination. We all know this. That’s why people spend years in school getting a degree, a year planning a wedding, or even years writing a book. So it is no wonder that the release of a book also takes preparation.
I decided to take time to really prepare my space for writing success. I’ve realized that it is far too cluttered and hindering progress. So with my recent refund from the IRS, I decided to invest in my current set up to make my space both inspiring and condusive to progress and productivity. For me, that means installing shelves and various organizational items but also a bit of frivolous spending as well.
I upgraded my phone which was a much needed item. I chose the LG Stylo 3 Plus which suits me quite well. The size isn’t easily lost in my purse or bag. The camera is a much better quality than my last phone. Incidentally that was also an LG. Android has many options for me as far as apps and working on the go as well. The stylus is a wonderful touch for those times I want to write a note or even do a bit of photo editing on the go. Overall, I find that I love it. It seems to be a perfect fit for my life without breaking the bank the way an iPhone or Samsung would have on my budget.
I also went to Amazon to get new a new external hard drive. I opted for a 2 TB by SeaGate. Which I hope will serve my back up needs for video, photo, and manuscript projects. I made a trip to Target and got some new pens and various stationary items. All good things for a writer when they are facing a battle with writers block.
But my real prize in all of this is something most people will find perfectly silly. I bought myself a mechanical keyboard with “clicky keys”! Yes, that means that I get the feel of the typewriter that is so nostalgic.
You have to understand that this makes me so giddy happy that I’m all smiles and laughs upon getting it out of the box and realizing that it really does have the sound and feel of the old electric typewriters I started out on. Yes, I’m extremely nostalgic at times. And I can’t really explain why this makes me so stinkin’ happy but it does.
I have a laptop stand and a dust cover for my laptop keyboard on its way too. And I got those noise-cancelling headphones I have been talking about for quite some time now. Perfect for the gym and for when I need to eliminate the distractions of a noisy pup. I am just too excited about the overhaul on my space. I have big plans for this year and I think that all of these changes prepare me for a very productive year and all the wonderful things that come with spending your time doing something you love to do.
Now, to get all of the organization part done and find the time to take a writer’s retreat to focus on what I really want to be doing.
So what are you changing in your life to inspire you and help you be more productive? I would love to know. Share in the comments below! And do let me know if you would be interested in seeing the completed workspace after I do some spring cleaning and set up.
It is no secret that I’ve gone through a big process of reinventing myself over the past few years. The reality is that we’re always evolving into someone new. There is no stopping it. We’re shaped by our interactions with others, experiences that we have, and even what information we choose to feed our minds. Every decision we make is a catalyst for some sort of change in our lives. So, it is perpetual with time.
Living in the modern world is simultaneously easy and difficult. There are all sorts of expectations for how we are supposed to live, be, and even act. For most of us, we do our best to simply fit in and go with the flow. We get a job after schooling. We work the set schedule with some overtime. We then draw a paycheck, pay our bills, have a little bit of fun with friends and/or family, and then we repeat the process. But for some of us that isn’t enough. Instead, we need to be doing something that truly allows us to be ourselves and to be involved in life.
So, how do you find what really sets your soul on fire? How do you discover that thing that you truly love to do?
This is where a journal becomes a necessity. You start in the past with what you loved to do as a child or a teen. No, I’m not talking about what all your friends were doing. That’s how you ended up where you are. I mean what did you truly love to do when no one was looking? I find that those are the best places to start.
You excavate what you once loved. Dig deep and then you try those things again. Did you spend a lot of time coloring as a kid? Pick up a coloring book and some crayons or colored pencils (if you choose the adult versions). See if it still gives you the same joy it once did.
Did you like to sing or put on puppet shows? Why not go try a karaoke or deliver a monologue at an open mic night somewhere? Pick out a new monologue to learn and practice in the mirror. Why not opt to take a drama or acting class?
Were you a poet or writer? Why not dust off old ideas and see what you can do with them now? There is a thriving writing community out there who would love to have you join whatever your level is.
From there you can explore new ideas that come up. Maybe that love of the dramatic has turned into a love of directing the stage or a film. Maybe a love of coloring turned into a love of feeling the paint slide over a canvas instead. Maybe you are interested in picking up a camera now. There could be any number of things that can help you find that passion in life. The key is exploration.
So pull out your pen, open a google doc, create a video log to talk to yourself so you can hash it out and figure it out. Try new things and explore the world around you through different eyes for a while. You may find that you learn more about yourself than you realize.
We spend so much of our time waiting.
Seriously think about it for moment. We wait to grow up. We wait to have an education. We wait for appointments. We wait for payday, the weekend, our favorite shows to premiere a new season, movie releases, and other trivial things. I am currently waiting on that lovely refund from the IRS as a further example. Aren’t we all? There are things that are worth the wait, of course, like finding the love of your life before you settle down. You’ll just have to take my word on that one. I should know. But what truly baffles me is how we wait to take the steps to live our best lives.
We’ve all found ourselves stuck in the rat race. There are all sorts of ruts and traps to fall into. We settle into many roles in life without even realizing that we’re doing it. I know I did. And in some ways I still do. But, let me just say that a shift is happening for me. It is as much spiritual as it is mental.
In 2017 I spent a lot of time thinking about what sort of life I want to lead. And through my journaling and letters I discovered that I have been my own biggest obstacle in living that dream life. I’d almost be willing to wager a bet that, if you were to really think about this, you would find that you’re in a similar position.
I’m a plus size woman. That fact alone presents a whole list of obstacles in life. Society honestly treats plus size people differently regardless of the circumstances. I think that this, combined with conditioning by various life experiences, leads me to a place where I imposed many restrictions on myself as to what I could do in life. That eventually led to a bevy of excuses to procrastinate.
- I’ll wait until I lose 50 pounds before I take new headshots.
- I don’t want to do a book launch until I can wear that dress in the back of my closet.
- I don’t want to film videos because I look awful.
- I don’t want to spend money on my hair, makeup, etc until I am able to go out more.
- I’m not going to put myself out there because all people will see is fat
- No one will take me seriously as an author, blogger, vlogger, speaker until I look like x, y, z….
Yes, I’ve said all of these to myself at some point. Some of them more recently than others. And they are all completely ridiculous reasons for not chasing my dreams.
I sit here tonight thinking about where I would be if only I had listened to myself and trusted my gut when I was young and full of confidence. At least, I could fake it when I needed to because I was angsty and rebellious in my own way. And yes, I could be a lot further along in this writing and promotion career. I’m not the spring chicken I was but it is never too late to start doing what you love.
So tell me what is holding you back from pursuing your own dreams? For me it is more than the weight or size issue. But, I’m telling you, I’m tired of excuses. I’m reading more, writing more, trying new things, and just going for it.
I want to cultivate some content for my Youtube Channel based on this issue: Overcoming Your Obstacles To Living Your Best Life. So your feedback will help me to really delve deep into how to deal with those issues and find ways to move beyond them so that you can do what will honestly make you thrive in life.
Don’t want to comment publicly? That’s okay! Email your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to respond. I’m thinking I may even do a few interviews on the topic as well. So, let me know if you’d like to be included if you care to send me your story.