Monday, September 26, 2016

In the Works

I wanted to give you some updates about what’s been going on with me lately. Often people will ask me if I’m currently writing something. Pretty much any time this is asked of me, the answer to this question will be yes. I am always working on something. As many of you know, crafting a novel is broken down into several stages. Plotting. Writing. Editing. Editing. Editing. And while I’m caught up writing novels, I also have a blast brainstorming other projects.
Here are some things in the works for me:
  •          I’m excited to be visiting our local newcomer’s book club in November. I was thrilled when the representative for the newcomer’s group let me know they are planning to read my books as a way to help spread the word about my writing. My town has demonstrated such a wonderful show of support. P.S. I’d love to be a part of your book club! Contact me and I’ll work hard to make it happen.
  •     Over the summer I fell into a bit of a start pattern. I started over five novels, waiting for one to grab hold of me and convince me to keep with it. Finally one did just that and I’m deep into the characters and tension of that plot. Looking forward to releasing this book. I’m shooting for late spring/early summer of 2017, but as happens in this industry, that could change. What I can share so far is that this book is women’s fiction and the characters have completely rooted into my heart.
  •  I’ve been feeling a real fire lit under me to continue plotting a nonfiction idea that’s been percolating for years. Will keep you posted about this. It’s beyond exciting for me.
  •  I’m also still working through details as I develop a new website. Release date TBD.
  • Finally, I’m pursuing a few works on the traditional publishing front. I feel hopeful things will come to fruition, but the wait keeps me grounded.

That’s the gist of my writing-related projects. What has your focus lately?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gone to the Dogs

I’m hurting for sleep right now. Between kid nightmares and the humidity, I’m a walking blur.

So, I thought what better to write about than…dogs?

I was following updates an old friend of mine posted on Facebook over the weekend about a missing dog. His family Beagle pup had scampered off and had been missing for five days. He’d taken his kids to different places where people had either heard a dog howling or where there’d been a sighting. My heart twisted when I read updates that after numerous search efforts the dog was still nowhere to be found.

I kept imagining how I’d feel if our dog was out there somewhere.

Which is why I cheered when I read that on Saturday a hiker found my friend’s dog. My family cracked up at how celebratory I was. The best was seeing pictures of the Beagle peacefully sleeping, nestled in his dog bed. Home again.

I’m a dog lover. The books Marley & Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain rank in my top ten list of favorites. It will come as no surprise I spent a good deal of time visiting with dogs at my daughter’s soccer game yesterday. Dogs belonging to the opponents (if that doesn’t explain the extent of my affection for dogs I’m not sure what will).  

I’ll never forget the aptly timed and poignant thing the vet said to me when I took our fourteen-year-old Samoyed to be put down. I was a bawling mess. When I finally calmed enough and stopped heaving, the vet looked at me and said, “I completely get it. Sometimes we love these guys more than people.”

Crazy, but true.

Any other dog lovers out there completely get it?

*picture is of our almost three-year-old Samoyed making her Happy Monday face. ;-)

Monday, September 12, 2016

10 Ways to Fry Your System

I wanted to share a few ways I’ve figured out how to fry my system. They’re tried and true. Trust me,
have a go at these and you’ll be stressed to the limit in no time.
You are welcome.

The 10…

Expect Perfection from Yourself & Others
I’m not a perfectionist, but I find it’s the moments when I demand perfection from myself or others that I am quickly disappointed. Push yourself, yes. Help others to know what you value and expect. But also leave room for imperfections. Sometimes those allow for the most effective and life-impacting growth.

Consume Too Much & Sit All the Livelong Day
I combined these two into one because they are sort of a gimme. And they’re covered in every health magazine every single issue. Overindulgence of food or drink (especially on a regular basis and not just when you wedding crash or celebrate a big birthday) is guaranteed to leave you with little energy to spare. Lack of exercise will turn your body to jelly and it won’t just hurt to climb the stairs, it’ll hurt to walk from one room to the next. Think, no one wants to carry you through life. Better to carry yourself with strength.

Forget to Laugh
Take yourself too seriously. Go ahead, try it. See how it works for you. I really believe laughter is one of the greatest medicines known to man. It often accompanies humility and perspective. They’re a mighty fine threesome.

Go Hard All Day & Night
I have this tricky thing that’s been happening with me lately. I’ve been doing some insane plotting and writing in my sleep. Wonderful, you say. Double duty, you think. To which I respond, no--emphatic no. I can personally attest to the fact that burning the candle at both ends like this compromises my peak brain function during the daytime hours. Go hard, yes. But structure hours for this. No human is meant to mimic a fake pink bunny playing the drums twenty-four-seven.

Entertain Negative Thoughts
Wallow in them. Believe every lie at its core. Marinate in the absurd, the outlandish and the malicious. Have a party for these thoughts and watch for yourself how they’ll trash your place and leave it a bloody mess.

Invite Worry into Every Relationship & Scenario
Moms have a secret oath we agree to the second our babies leave our bodies. Somewhere inside us we buy into the misguided notion if we worry we can sway the circumstances or the end results. Given this one is born from a strong sense of caring, you don’t need me to tell you worry is a magnificent timewaster. I’ve allowed hours to tick by when I’ve worked myself into a tizzy about four hundred devastating potentials only to be mocked when not a single one of my imagined scenarios plays out. How’s that for quality time management?

Answer to Everybody but Yourself
Pull an Igor and make everyone else in charge of your life. Become a people pleaser with little sense of pride. Great way to lose a solid sense of yourself. And tire yourself out faster than I can say, “Yes, Master.”

Become a Slave to Technology
Better yet let the Internet, your phone, or social media own your day. Whew, I’m wiped out just thinking about trying to keep up with the ever-changing scope of online communication.

Be Afraid of Changing a Routine or Life Pattern
Something’s not working? Stay the course, the exact same course you’ve been running hard at for five years. Then again, you could always take a risk. Mix things up. Learn to breathe again by stepping out.

Believe Doctor Visits Are for Sissies
A few months ago a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with lung cancer. She could have blown off her cough. I know I have a tendency to put off a call to my doctor, convincing myself that everyone in my family (and the entire world) come before me. I’m so thankful my friend made that doctor’s appointment because she gave herself the chance to fight beautifully and that’s exactly what she’s been doing. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more joyful person.

I know you can’t wait to go try some of these. I won’t keep you. Go for it. What have you got to lose? Oh, that’s right. Your health, energy, strength, stamina…and so much more.

What runs you down the quickest?

*Bonus, just for giggles overbook your schedule and over-commit yourself. C’mon, you know you want to. ;-)

Taking Time

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