agenda, books, Daily Word Prompt, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Beating the Clock

I almost missed it. I almost finished up my day without doing the post I had scheduled. Almost. But I didn’t. Yes, I’m tired. It was the last day of work before I have an extended time off, a stay-cation, if you will. But I was also dealing with the big kid’s car insurance and arranging a plumber. Long story. And dogs and traffic and on and on…. Then the normal routing – get the kid to bed and work. That all went well. Swimmingly. No complaints. But I ran out of words just before the end of the last review and I had to force my way through. Never good. If you do that, be sure to re-read it 3 times. No less. Because you have to see the actual mistakes.

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Made it just before 12 – technically, it’s still Friday!

Anyway, all that is done and I was gonna just go lay down but nope. I have committed to this blog and that’s what I’m gonna do. Write. At this point it’s just stream of conscious but there was a word of the day if you’d like to discuss: Archaic. And the funny thing is, my reminder to do this, is fairly archaic. I write on an actual paper planner. I use that as my reminder. It has my deadlines, my assignments, I note when I complete projects on there, and it has my commitments (hello WordPress).

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A lot of nights, this is me. Anyone else? It’s just so comfy!!

So yeah, maybe I’m not the queen of technological advancements. I haven’t programmed my phone to remind me when things are due and when I should be doing something. The truth is, that requires actual setup and messing with my phone even more than I already do. And I’m just too lazy for that. I’d rather just scribble it down and keep it moving. If that makes me archaic, I’m okay with that. It’s kind of a cool word.

Along those same lines, I’m committing more and more. My business is amping up and it is amazing. However, I’m not finding any more time in my day. Do you happen to know how to go about that? I’m not convinced that digital reminders will save me time, so that one’s out. Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them. Because I need to add some house projects into that schedule, too, and maybe some TV time because I’m told that I’m missing quite a few good shows on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/etcetera…

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For some reason, ours is always on Kids Netflix… hmmm…

But, for now, I’m content to keep my planner going, carrying it with me like a schoolgirl. I don’t mind. It’s a quick snapshot and I don’t have to remember passwords or find apps. That’s what happens when you’re lazy. You go old school. I’d love to hear your ideas – please share!!

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agenda, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Mother’s Day = Rest Day

Did you have a lovely Mother’s Day? I had a good day but I’m calling it a rest day. Not unlike when you’re working your muscles regularly, pushing yourself and striving to get better physically, you should do the same mentally. I tend to do a lot. Too much, some would say. But that’s me. I love to be busy and have deadlines and conquer my goals. That’s just who I am. But I also get tired and need breaks from time to time. Sometimes forced breaks, like accidentally spilling a glass of wine on the keyboard of my laptop. Oops!

 

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Not me and not wine, but same general premise.

 

But a good break lets your mind rest, just like those other muscles. More than just a good night’s sleep, a full day or two of limited screen time and deadlines can refresh you as much as jumping into the ocean. You suddenly remember that you have a family and dogs and a garden. You realize that you can actually lay in bed for another hour and not feel guilty about it. And you can take an extra long shower just this once because you can and that water feels amazing on your back.

 

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An uninterrupted shower is rare in my house, so when it does happen, I stay in there as long as possible.

 

I am a huge advocate for working hard and playing harder. I lean toward a Type A personality because I love to see all of my T’s crossed and my i’s dotted. That’s just who I am. Do you have a similar personality? Do you get easily wrapped up in your schedule and before you know it, it’s not January anymore and it’s 90 degrees outside? Yeah, that’s me. It’s almost June!!

 

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I might want to tiptoe through these tulips… a lot.

 

I guess what I’m saying is, keep pushing. Meet your goals and provide for your family but don’t forget to relax from time to time. Don’t short yourself on the fun stuff in life because it’s so easy to do. Take the walk. The work will still be there when you get back. Watch the movie with the kid. You may not think it’s important but they do. They value that quality time with you.

If you didn’t have the ideal Mother’s Day, I hope you had a great day today and that you’re making plans for more great days in the future. If you did, then congratulations! I hope you continue to have lovely days both alone and with your friends and family. And I hope you continue to thrive in your work, your writing, your business, whatever you are working toward in your life. Have a good one!!

agenda, books, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

The Day is Over but the Work Goes On

It’s been one of those days that seems like everything just blurred together. From the wake up, hurry up and go, to the commute, to the work day, to the 3 hour training, to driving the kid home, to editing and editing and editing, to finally sitting down for a blog post. Yeah, that was a long sentence. But that’s how the day went. Crazy busy and constant. I kinda love it when things get accomplished on that level though. While I’m exhausted from my day, I’m also feeling like I’ve done some pretty big things today. Like a real adult who knows what she’s doing. It’s a lovely feeling.

 

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How about that? Planning stuff, working it out, like a real adult!!

 

So, the update. There’s so much. Let’s see, the copywriting is going strong. I even got an opportunity to double my part time job income without doubling the work. Crazy, huh? It’s an awesome site I’m writing for and I really enjoy the content so it’s a win-win for me. And I realized tonight that I’m enjoying editing blog posts for the other site much more than writing for their specific topic. It’s pretty cool that all of my clerical marking experience is coming in so handy. Life has an awesome way of bringing things full circle.

 

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Life is awesome. So is this. 

 

As for the book, I’m still writing it back in to my schedule. I’ve been pretty bad about getting the kid to bed on time but it’s still on the to-do list. In the next few days, I’ll be back to Monday night creative, fiction writing. I know some of you are waiting on this one and I plan to deliver! And the April/May projects are also in the works. I have a project that’s in editing. The layout is giving me fits and I keep threatening it but for some reason it just won’t behave. The second project is still in the creative piece, namely, my brain, but I do know what it is and how I’ll be knocking it out. Deadline is May 31st, so hold me to it.  Hint – it’s not your Grandma’s word search!

That’s where I’m at. Currently staying busy but still looking for the next great client who would like me to ease some of their content stress. Also, studying up on my craft daily because it’s my passion. Webinars, recordings, audiobooks, articles, newsletters, whatever I can get my hands or ears on. I’m soaking it in. Maybe I should sleep on the paper copies. Can you learn by osmosis?

 

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The hairnet scientist guy says, No, I cannot learn by osmosis. Dang it.

 

How do you learn your craft? Are you a reader? Paper or audio? Do you prefer a good lecture or TED Talk? Maybe you’re a YouTube fan? Maybe you’re a student of life and have just figured things out by trial and error… How do you go about doing what you do? I’d love to hear it. I’m a mix, really. I love a good book but don’t mind a fantastic speaker. I still have to take notes though. It’s just how my brain works. I’m also a trial and error kinda person. I like to get my hands dirty but I also need soap nearby. Let me know your thoughts!

 

 

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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.

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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.

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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.