books, Inspiration

Trusting the Process…

I decided in November 2017 that I was going to finally put words to paper, or computer screen, and I was going to become an author. And I did. I published my first word search. Not quite a literary masterpiece, but it has had a great reception since it’s very irreverent, curses, talks about sex and teaches new insults. It’s definitely “Not Your Grandma’s Word Search.”

typography-poster-posters-quote.jpg
Yep, that word is in there.  A few times.

Then I got a little crazy and started finalizing a memoir I’ve been working on for about ten years now, Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe. This book is the ripping of my soul and my memories and sharing it for the world. I edited and edited, reread and rewrote passages. This book scared the crap out of me. If I’m honest, it still does. I FINALLY shared it with my sisters and held my breath. That was the 1st time I’d ever told some of my stories to any living soul. It was frightening and sickening. I was a hot mess. While yes, I had a few things to fix as I had switched from 3rd person to 1st person and I hadn’t caught all of my errors yet, they were 100% on board and loved it! The relief was palpable. I still had a lot of fixes to put in and it wasn’t ready to publish yet but that was a start.

pexels-photo-568025.jpeg
I was terrified. Telling your story is empowering, yes. But also one of the scarier things you’ll ever do.

In December, while working on the memoir, I put together a collection of poetry and short stories as a companion to Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe. At the same time I was going through some strong emotions because I was reliving everything I was reading. Yes, money was tight & holidays are always a difficult time for me. I won’t lie. It was hard. Really hard. And I was not in a good place. But I pushed through and got Memories & Snapshots published and completed the other book within the next couple weeks.

pexels-photo-54379.jpeg
Sometimes sitting and looking at nature helps when the world is just too much. Serenity. Peace. Solitude.

The big book, as I’ve come to call it, came out in January. The reviews are so amazing and supportive. I had no idea what to expect. Why would anyone care about my story? I wasn’t sure but I had a really strong need to get it out and shared with the world. I’m so pleased when I’m told that someone couldn’t put it down, that it spoke to them and they loved it. It warms me from the inside.

Now that the deep stuff is out, I’m able to focus on my other writing. I put out the 2nd edition of Not Your Grandma’s Word Search in February & followed it up with Not Your Kindergarten’s Word Search in March. This series is so much fun. I love to think outside the box and make people laugh. I started working on my YA Fiction novel in February and it’s about halfway done. I had a lovely dream this morning that sparked a great twist to the story line I’ll be flushing out once I’m finished here.  I hope to share that in May or June at the latest.

pexels-photo-915216.jpeg
How else can we look forward to the future if we don’t embrace the start of something new?

I’ve even amped up my copywriting business. I’ve completed a few articles and a research piece this week. It’s a great feeling to use your mind to generate an income rather than driving through traffic, putting in 40 hours and repeating week after week. I’ve been able to research very interesting, very different topics and it doesn’t even feel like work.

For me, that means trusting the process is actually working. The jobs are coming. The books are printing and being well received. My efforts are not in vain. Do you have a similar story? Do you have a dream that’s been nagging at you but you haven’t taken those first steps yet?

Inspiration, Uncategorized

Spring is Here – Almost

magnolia-trees-springtime-blossoms-spring-38910.jpeg

You guys! Spring is here! Well, according to the calendar, it is. According to the weather, it’s bipolar and undecided. Here in North Carolina, we have seen 80 degree weather and 40 degree weather, within 24 hours. We have had a few 70+ degree days and might be seeing some snow on Saturday. I mean, really. The hardest part of this for me is that I LOVE to be outside. I would live outside if it was possible and there was a bathroom.

I have put my little garden seeds into the tiny pots, filled them with dirt, and have been watering them. In return, I’m starting to see some adorable little sprouts of green beans, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and peas. BUT, if it freezes again, all of that will be for naught. I will be sad because I’m ready for Mother Nature to pull it together and let go of Winter already. He’s tired. He wants a rest. He wants to go off to his hibernation while his sisters Spring and Summer have their fun. And I 100% support that. Get out of here already!

But, with Spring comes pollen. That lovely greenish-yellow that covers our cars if they’re outside for more than 20 seconds.  That beautiful layer of tree crap that covers our yards and driveways in an attempt to create new beautiful, giant oaks and maples and firs. Yeah, I’m talking about that junk that makes your eyes run, your nose snot and your entire body sneeze constantly until you finally get some blessed rain. Yeah, pollen. My nemesis.

I don’t care though. I want Spring. I want that lovely, perfect temperature where you can run or dig or paint without sweating non-stop. I want to open all my windows and get the lovely, fresh breeze that makes you take a deep breath and feel fantastic. I want that. Can we make that happen already, dear Mother Nature? Can we just relax and walk Old Man Winter into his comfy place? It would be such a treat and we would all really appreciate it.

What plans do you have for Spring? Will you be working on your house? yard? your sleep? Do you have plans? Are you a procrastinator? How does that work for you? Tell me below – in the comments. I’d love to chat.

Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Truth About Writing

This amazing writing gig, this passion of mine is, honestly, work. I enjoy it. I actually love it. But it is truly work. If I’m writing copy for a mailer, I’m doing tons of research on my audience and on the product itself before I even write a single word. If I’m writing on my current project, I’m developing an outline, making notes on the characters and building climaxes and flushing out relationships, all of which takes a load of time and editing and self-correction. This is work!

pexels-photo-905877.jpeg
This is actually a pretty cool idea – a huge blank page to chart or write important notes or draw hearts.

Now, it would be so easy to spend the entire day attached to the laptop, digging for more information and making notes, but I actually have a life as well. Yesterday, after a few hours of a different kind of work, I was forced into some front yard baseball, some driveway basketball, some backyard bubbles, and then some front porch paper airplanes. It’s a hard life but that was a few hours that I’m more than willing to sacrifice. We actually had a lot of fun. But hanging out with a 4 year old can be work, as well.

pexels-photo-538694.jpeg
He beat me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, do what you love. Even if it feels like work sometimes. We, still, are so amazingly blessed to do what we love. Live out your passion. If it’s building model airplanes, dig out some time to do that. If it’s entertaining random children with bubbles, you may want to get parental consent, but still, find your niche. Love your life as much as you live it. We’re only here for so long. We might as well enjoy it!!

pexels-photo-269583.jpeg
The beach is my happy place and this is where I hope to spend some time “working” this summer. Anyone else game?
books

New Beginnings and Tons of Writing

I’m fully in love with it but I’m still trying to remember what made me start writing again. I had a blog around nine years ago  but I kind of let it fade off into nowhere. Life caught up with me. I was going to graduate school. I had a middle school daughter and a new relationship. I had a puppy and a full time job. I also played league softball between 3 and 5 nights a week and at least one tournament each month. I have to say that I got a little busy.

IMG_2583

It was easy to let life take me wherever it wanted to, a vacation to the Bahamas, a road trip from NC to WA and back. A few trips around the East Coast for work, a marriage, a new son, a new house, and two new dogs. It’s safe to say that we’re living the American dream.

Fast forward to December 2017 and I got bit by the writing bug again. Bad. I started to work on the first Not Your Grandma’s Word Search book and realized that I still had Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe about 75 percent written. That was it. I put my foot down. I told myself that I’m setting a goal right then, that day. I would publish Not Your Grandma’s Word Search by the end of December. And I did. Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe would be done by the end of January. And it was. Memories & Snapshots came out at the beginning of February. The 2nd version of Not Your Grandma’s Word Search by end of February and the Not Your Kindergarten’s Word Search by the end of March. And it all was. I am amazed by how smoothly everything has been going and the positive reception everything is receiving.  But my goal continues. I plan to publish a book a month. Either continuing the Not Your Grandma’s Word Search series or with my new Young Adult Fiction books.

pexels-photo-256431.jpeg

Don’t Move, Don’t Breathe is on the shelf at Park Road Book Stores in Charlotte, NC. I’m planning a signing event in store sometime soon and will be publishing here as well as on social media.

This amazing trip, this fantastic, intimidating journey, is such fun. I’m loving the research and the editing and the feedback. I love that people are enjoying my silliness as well as my darkness. I really love that they are anxiously awaiting my next project almost as much as I am.