Monday, August 31, 2015

Wendy Paine Miller 8.0

Why 8.0? This is my eight hundredth post. 800! And since I was never a fan of moving the decimal, or any math for that matter, I’m sticking with 8.0. Eight is my favorite number anyway.

What comes with the 8.0 version of me?


I had no idea what to blog about today. I had a major brain block and for those of you who know me that was no small thing. It rattled me and challenged me to debate if maybe my days of making thoughts move are over. See, unlike decimal points, inspiring you to think is where I’ve found my groove. Those in the publishing industry might dub it something like a brand. Call it whatever you want, but it’s what I love to do. In my novels. On this blog. Even during conversations. (Probably why I’m infatuated with book clubs.)

Thousands of ideas surge through my head throughout the day. I even think in tweets sometimes (I know, scary). But I have to admit, these years of bravely going public as a writer have resulted in a bit of a trippy experience. What to share? What not to share?

Let me explain…in this day and age when people post every stinking photo and status update, documenting their lives in second by second play-by-plays, I get a little freaked out. I begin to wonder if we all start to naively believe we know someone when we’re only sampling one version of that person.

Those makeup tutorials about how to put on concealer on Pinterest have a tendency to weird me out. We’ve all gotten so good at covering up, at photographing our best side, at crafting a tweet-worthy response. My gut tells me it’s only going to get more and more difficult to discern what’s real and what’s not. The natural versus the programmed, rehearsed, and orchestrated.

I’ve made a commitment to be candid here on this blog. But I’ve had so much go on behind the scenes I haven’t opened up about. On purpose. Not because I’m trying to present this Pollyanna falsification of myself, but because life has reminded me in some rather cruel and startling ways how people don’t always have my best interests at heart. There are so many folks online who’ve become like vultures with their opinions, feeding on the risks and failures of others. I share a lot, but I hold a lot back, too. I’ve found that’s what works best for me—helps me to keep my balance and perspective when it’s time for reviews to role in.

So, now to address what this new Wendy 8.0 version will be…

Me, candid…uncensored. It won’t be me trying to check the boxes of what some publishing house is looking for or even what I think my readers need to know (because I’m not a mind reader).

8.0 is going to be the stirrings of my heart, the quiet promptings impossible to ignore. Soul whispers.

I miss Sincerity online lately.

So, I’m bringing her back. Except she has my name. She takes a horrible selfie. She doesn’t follow fads. She cries after reading books like Eleanor & Park. Her heart breaks for family members. Her fury ignites whenever anyone threatens harm against her kids. Forgiveness and grace bleed throughout her entire being—but she wrestles them frequently. She gets pissed. She gets tired. She gets lonely in a crowded room. She’s infected with a passion for writing and stung with compassion whenever she sees a crying woman. She loves.

And she’s now going to stop talking about herself in the third person.

8.0 out.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Short and Sincere Life of Ellory James

Look what's coming late this October/early November!

The Short & Sincere Life of Ellory James
My latest novella.

Hope you'll love it as much as I do.

More details to come!

Click here to see the cover.
(For some reason blogger isn't letting me upload the cover image.)

*Note: Zoey's 2nd book, The Precarious Hold of Love releases late spring of 2016

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ten Priorities Up On Top

What’s a woman to do when she has five million priorities weighing on her? It’s often difficult to know what to tackle first and in what order. In time, I’ve found that there are a few ways to alleviate the stress related with this time of year.
And I’d love to share what has helped me in the past.
Ten Things to Help You Prioritize
Don’t Get All Dystopian on Your Schedule
I have a tendency to let anxiety creep in if I know there are dozens of things I need to tackle in a short amount of time or, as often happens, I need to get all three kids to activities at the exact same time. My husband likes to tell me not to “run down the path”. It’s his way of reminding me not to freak myself out about what the future holds and that usually the things that need to get done…get done.
Put Your Pants on One Leg at a Time
Don’t overcomplicate things. Sometimes the things you keep insisting have to get accomplished really don’t.
Pray It Out
I’m always amazed at what a little meditative breathing, chat with God, and/or time of reflective surrender does for my mental outlook.
Don’t Be a Train Wreck
Be aware of what’s likely to derail you throughout the day. Is it self-deprecation on steroids? How about the babbling mail carrier? Could it be social media? Or spending more time planning than actually doing?
Time Travel to Gauge Regret
I know, I know, I just told you not to get all dystopian, but what I mean here is to take pause. Evaluate the twenty things on your list and ask yourself to take one giant step in the future. Now, looking back, which things on that list will you regret doing? Or not doing?
Be a Magic Johnson Kind of Point Guard
Had to ask my husband for basketball help on this. Guard points of interest in your life that matter to you outside of the never-ending to-do list. Carve out time to exercise. Block out major distractions. Discern when a maybe-do shows up on the court disguised as a must-do.
Maximize Light Bulb Hours
There are certain times of the day when your brain is sharper than others. Know what time of day your light bulbs go off the most. Accomplish the more involved, mentally involved tasks during these hours.
Blueprint Your Days
I’ll admit it. I still use a planner. Maybe I’m stuck in the 80s. Or maybe I know myself and I’ve discovered there’s something about writing a task down that locks it in my head better. Make goals. Write them down. Stay on target.
Call on the Troops
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help when needed. You’re bound to be more effective in the areas you’re most called to when you’re willing to involve others. We all bring strengths to the table. Look around. There’s a big table out there.
Whoops—I Call a Do-Over
We’re sort of like cats in this area. We get at least nine do-overs. So what, you were late to carpool. No big deal you forgot to bring dessert to the second grade meet and greet. Oh well, you didn’t cross off everything on your list today.

There’s always regret-free tomorrow.

Taking Time

college applications                 homecoming                            flag football                basketball             SATs   ...