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Follow that Gut Feeling

Now that today is Friday, I’m wrapping up what has to be the most low-key Spring Break that I’ve been able to enjoy in a long time. It was awesome not having to do much of anything, and being healthy at the same time. Usually, I’m battling some sort of cold or illness when I have a break, but this time, my determination kept me healthy throughout the week. Almost. Of course, this morning, I woke up with a cold. Whatever. It’s the weekend now, more or less.

It’s hard to say what the coolest part of my break was. I’d have to say that yesterday and today were by far the top two winners because I got to spend quality time with my husband and my little one on separate occasions. Since today is the last day of my week off, I thought that I’d have a Kiddie & Me day, and it’s been a blast.

What do you do when you have free time? Do you spend you time tackling more of those never-ending tasks on your list? Or do you actually use the majority of the time to make the most of your life doing what you love or being with those you love? I’m not judging, just wondering.

I’m wondering because after years of mental preparation, I’m only one final step away from leaving my day job and taking the plunge into the seemingly desired creative unknown. Somehow, somewhere, I have garnered the confidence to believe that I can make enough money from this thing. This is a big deal, people! But when you’re an undeniably creative soul, you pretty much only have two options:

1. You accept the nature of your beast, and do everything within your power to listen to your inner calling, and actually do something to keep every aspect of your being healthy and satisfied. You choose to nourish your creativity, not only acknowledging it, but relying on it on a day to day basis.

2. You try to choke that sucker with all of the strength you have, attempting to drown it, repress it, deny it, ignore it, curse it, and any other negative thing that you can do in order to actively attempt to kill a huge part of yourself that’s been a part of you since inception.

It’s so weird that far too many people in the world choose the latter. I’ve tried doing that before, and never had I been unhealthier or unhappier. I’m just not a 9-5er, lol.

As for me, I simply have to respect that I am an extremely creative being. Actually, i embrace it, and I’m blessed to have a family that has always supported this truth about me. I may not be a reliable blogger, but by golly, I am a creative soul!

During this week, I wrote the first chapter of my next stand-alone book in one day. I love when inspiration comes to me, especially when I create an inviting space within myself to accept its presence.

This is the work that I love to do. While I do love my day job teaching at university, there are too many restrictions that appear, constantly working against my creative flow and even my general sense of well-being. So, this Spring Break was a bit of a trial run for me. The summer break will be the even bigger test. I have a feeling that this is the year when I will go all in.

When it starts to come together, it will be awesome. If I feel the need to abandon all pursuits well, I’m thankful to know that I can always continue teaching in some capacity. But all signs have been telling me for ages to GO!! TRY!!! DO!! Gotta trust my gut and let my creative beast run free.

Alright, universe. I’m listening.

It’s Quiltin’ Time!

I’ve got a new hobby. As crazy as it may sound, I needed to find another creative outlet in order to prevent myself from fatiguing in others. So, what is this new hobby? Well, for one thing, it isn’t cheap. It’s addictive. It’s definitely a hobby that both women and men get super excited about. For many, it can be a viable source of extra, or even primary income. Its a craft. It’s an art. There’s a competitive sector for it around the world. It’s admittedly attractive to grandmas, but I’m okay with that because I’ve always had respect for my elders. (Actually, people of all ages are into it.) It’s challenging and deceptively easy-looking… until you actually get started. It’s artisanal work. It’s relaxing, almost meditative. It’s tons of fun!!

Ladies and gentlemen, my new hobby is quilting.

(I’ll patiently wait for you to recover your senses. Because I know that the title of this post gave you no hint whatsoever.)

After just two months, I’ve shifted from someone who had never even worked on a sewing machine before to someone who has completed two full quilts from start to finish and created an additional 6 quilt tops as well as 6 double-sided quilted placemats. I’m so excited! It’s a great feeling to be able to create on a daily basis without feeling the pressure of turning it into product. I intend to gift or donate the quilts. This is a beautiful and fulfilling hobby that can bring love and light to others. It can’t get much better than that.

During my college days, I performed in an off-Broadway musical called “Quilters”. It tells such a beautiful story that I’ve never forgotten. As a writer, it isn’t unusual that I would be attracted to quilting, because the blocks of any quilt are symbolic. Many quilts, their fabrics, and their stitching styles reflect cultural and historical significance. The blankets are literally designed to tell as story!

Once again, the apple isn’t falling very far from my tree of creativity. 😉

I’m excited to see where this new hobby takes me, and I’d love to share some discoveries with you on my blog as well.

The Worst Blogger in the Universe

Yep, that’s me. Some people thrive at this blogging thing, yet have never been published, and then there are other folks who have been published numerous times, but can’t blog steadily to save their lives.

I definitely fit in the latter category. When it comes to bigger works, I’m all for it, able to focus on the main story and break it down into manageable parts. It’s an experience that tends to be all-consuming, but to me, that’s the beauty of the writing process.

I’ve not done much in the self-publishing realm, but that’s bound to change. It’s a faster pace than the traditional method, and it can give us writers a quicker sense of satisfaction by getting feedback from fans and critics than by worrying over your book baby for months and months and months.

Personally, I don’t mind the wait so much, probably because I’m not used having to produce so much product in order to feel relevant by receiving immediate feedback.

Which is EXACTLY what makes me such a crappy blogger.

(Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty private and don’t share nearly as much as most bloggers do. I don’t know if, e.g. Chrissy Teigen has a blog, but I do know her name because she is constantly using social media to keep her name in the conversation.)

Alas, it’s not in my nature to be that public, and I don’t believe that it ever will be. So, bear with my sporadic posts, and as the larger works come along, I hope that you’ll find them to be worthwhile.

Once in a Super Blue Blood Moon (eclipse)…

Man, if you stayed up to see this one, it was totally worth it. I can just imagine #paranormal #romance authors being inspired up the yin yang. So many amazing lunar actions all at once!!

NATURE IS PHENOMENAL, AWE-INSPIRING AND BEAUTIFUL.

“There are more rich plumbers than there are wealthy writers.”

I was just browsing on Twitter and came across this quote from justpublishingadvice.com. Sad to say, but it’s totally accurate.

Whenever you make the huge plunge into anything, the best favor you could ever do for yourself is to research. For example, I know that full-time authors in my county earn, on average, about $60,000 a year. I suppose it depends on where you live, but pretty much anywhere in California, that equates to being a side-job.

No one likes a Downer Donny, but it beats the alternative of fantasizing about earning millions of dollars for a trilogy you’ve written based on Twilight and churning it into a multi-million dollar industry that surpasses anyone’s expectations and sells books, films, cookbooks, music, and even adult products…

Wait. That actually happened. And there’s no signs of its popularity waning or slowing down.

Nevermind. Dude, you do you. Just do your research, make a plan, cross your fingers, work your butt off, and dream big.

Happy Anniversary!

So, WordPress reminded me that today is my 3rd year anniversary having registered this blog. I’ve actually been blogging since my husband and I went to NYC in 2012, so that’s even more amazing!

Have I learned anything over these three/five years? Absolutely. I mean, I can’t say that I’m the best blogger, and I’ve only started being active here for just a few months. Yet, as I interact with you more frequently and receive coveted feedback and interaction from you, day by day I feel as though we could develop a long-lasting, meaningful relationship as time goes by.

Thank you for your support and your patience! So many people write about how hard it is to write a fictional book, and I finished my first one in 3 weeks nearly 5 years ago. Not bragging; I was just truly inspired. The second took me three months. Now, I’m on the fifth novel in my first series, and I haven’t been ready to start it for nearly a year now. Admittedly, throughout this 5-year period, I currently have developed a total of 32 solid plots and works in progress as I write. I also have 4 non-fiction works published (under another name)!

Yep. I’m that serious about my work. I believe that it’s my true calling! ❤️

Inspiration comes in waves. As I become more seasoned in this ever-evolving art of writing, I want to explore more, add more meat to the bones of my scrawny characters. I need three dimensional perspectives flowing through electrifying dialogue that at least gets my juices flowing. I need to say what needs to be said in the most authentic way possible.

Who am I writing for? Ultimately, I’m writing for myself – with YOU in mind.

So, yes. This anniversary is definitely worth celebrating. Thank you again to those who follow me; you’re the current that keeps my boat afloat and ever moving forward. You uplift me when I trudge through a tough day, and you support me as I flounder through the occasional flood of inspiration!

New Year, New You…?

When we start another New Year, one of the things that can either be super motivating or horribly aggravating is the whole “New Year, New You” phase.

Sorry if I happen to step on any toes here, but I’m one of those people who tends to be aggravated by it. First of all, when the new year arrived, all that many of us really did was sit in front of our TVs to watch a ball drop at midnight in the East Coast, and laugh at the people standing below it in subzero temperatures. Sure, that’s fun and all, but that hardly constitutes reinventing myself.

Then, of course, we have our Resolutions. Maybe there is some sort of supportive statistical data out there somewhere, but there doesn’t seem to be any grand indication that these things work. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, we flip the page of our bargain calendar that goes from August of last year to August of this year, and suddenly, a “New Year, New You” appears.

Yes, I know that I sound cynical, so maybe O should just spout out my philosophy, which is to LOVE WHO YOU ARE ALL YEAR ROUND. Yes, we have flaws, and of course we want to improve ourselves. But this shouldn’t be something that happens in January and falls apart by March (if we’re lucky). Let’s focus on setting goals that really lead us to making our dreams a reality. Break those suckers down and take them on piece by piece until you can handle chunks without even realizing it.

It’s a New Year, and believe it or not, I’m so glad to see it! I have tons of goals that I want to see become a reality, and it’s encouraging to be even closer to many of them as I write. It’s not because of a calendar change, but because of the gradual, steady changes within myself.

Still, we have so many reasons to be excited about 2018. This year, and every day of it, is a tremendous gift! As we start moving away from the euphoria of closing the door on 2017, let’s work hard to set aside superstitions and phony resolutions as well. Turn those things into real goals, bite down hard, and work to claim what’s yours.

Happy New Year 2018!

All the best to you and yours on the first day of 2018!

This is the best time of year to feel motivated and inspired, and it’s my hope that you’re feeling exactly this way right now. If you’re into resolutions, good luck with them. (Not an ounce of sarcasm there – I really mean it.)

I love setting goals and checking them / modifying them every three months. That keeps me accountable and motivated. Remember that you have a new blank calendar right now with plenty of room for you to write the story of your life the way YOU want to live it.

Here’s to Day 1 of a year that treats you better than any other year you’ve lived!

Whatever Happened to that Free Ebook I promised?

My sister sweetly reminded me the other day that in a previous post a few months back, I promised to write a free ebook before this year ended. Well, thank you for the reminder, and I’m happy to say that I wrapped it up last month in November! I’m pretty pleased with it, and I’m hopeful that you will be, too.

So, that’s the good news. The not so fantastic for the short-term follower is that I am definitely postponing the release of this ebook because, well, it actually inspired me to expand on my series beyond the original novels. That means that each book continues to be a stand-alone, but you can also now expect a shorter story involving the original characters to have another dance in the limelight.

Meanwhile, look for the continuation of a story I started in a previous blog post, Skies of Gray (it was originally “Shades of Gray”, but I’m modifying it to avoid confusion). The next installment can be found on my blog next month in January.

As this year closes, I wish all of you a safe, uneventful ending to this year, and a Happy New Year 2018 filled with happiness, laughter, love, and if you’re open to it, romance. 💜

Home Sweet Home – Throwback to the 90’s

Happy Holidays, and to those who celebrate, Merry Christmas, everyone!

We’re back home in Florida, and it’s so awesome to be here for Christmas. My parents insist on keeping some of my girlhood favorites in my room, and when I saw this one again, I had my husband take a snapshot of this little relic to share. 😆 #Hammertime #Canttouchthis #TooLegitToQuit

Creativity: Where Do We Go From Here?

We’re at the crossroads, You and I.

Like the back of my hand, I often pay You no mind; I take You for granted.

Unappreciated, underutilized, overlooked – it’s what You’ve come to expect from me.

But, I need You.

And clearly, You need me more than I’ll ever realize.

 

I’m just a vessel, a medium that You use to communicate with the unseeing, the nameless, the unsettled. Those who are just like me.

Thoughts unreflected, I’m too often affected by Your musings.

Your demands ravage my body, possess my thoughts – when You have something to say, everything else stops.

I live to serve You, knowing that, like me, You’re the servant of a higher master.

 

How now to heed Your call? What must I sacrifice now to appease You?

I long for harmonious Grace in Your presence, to finally feel at peace with Your ceaseless whispers in my soul.

Lead me, creative spirit, and I shall willingly follow.

Good Job, Passive-Aggressive Michael

My Amazon Prime Delivery was supposed to have been delivered between 8 and 10PM. I took this screen shot at 9:57. He actually waited until 9:59 PM.

This is sort of like how Starbucks baristas purposely misspell your name, right?

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