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Romantic Thoughts on Thursday

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before; she may love again.

But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect—you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can.

She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break—her heart.

So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”

– Bob Marley

 

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Are You Ready?

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(Also, get ready for my newsletter. Actually, get ready for both. If you already have one, then just get ready for the other.)

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Looking for Guest Bloggers!

I’ve mentioned this time and again, but it’s worth repeating: I’m not a blogger; I’m a writer who blogs. So, it makes sense that I need to spend more time writing than blogging…

Do You Want To Be A Guest Blogger?

While I have the summer break, I’ve been spending more time blogging more frequently than I normally do, but I know that if I’m going to be focusing on completing my next two projects, I’ll be blogging at a less frequent tempo than I’ve been able to do in this month of June. This is why I’m looking for candidates to become a guest blogger on my blog!

 

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This is a great way for me to get to know you on a more personal level, and of course, you’ll have a few more social outlets to share your special message to the world. The criteria are pretty simple to be considered for this obviously unpaid invitation:

  1. Be kind. There’s enough mud-slinging going on in the world. Let’s spread some positivity.
  2. If you write any form of romance and/or women’s literature (Chick Lit), that’s very cool, because that’s right up my alley.
  3. If you have inspirational posts or topics that you’d like to share, that’s cool, too – because that’s also right up my alley.
  4. Send me a PM via Twitter or comment below so that I can check out your blog.

Spread the Word!

If you don’t feel like being a guest blogger right now, feel free to share this post with any of your friends. If you have a pre-existing blog post that you’d like for me to re-blog, I’ll consider that, too.

Let’s help each other out! I look forward to your comments below and PM’s via Twitter.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

In Case You Need A Hug Today…

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Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Sell Your Book

If you’re looking into getting folks to read your book, the best method may be to get them to purchase your book without them even knowing that they’re buying your book.

Wait a minute. Did you just read that last sentence correctly? Sell your book to unsuspecting people? I’m pretty sure you did, but just in case, take a second and look back at that part where I wrote that you could actually get people to buy your book at full price without knowing that they’re buying your book.

Is this some kind of illegal form of deception? Not at all. Actually, it’s a really simple, cool way to sell your book, and a fun marketing campaign that I noticed at the local university bookstore when I went to visit (they have a great Amazon Locker there, lol).

Here’s How to Sell Your Book

Here’s the concept: Adventurous risk-taking readers can go to a special display of various books wrapped in simple brown packing paper. Each book’s cover is hidden, as well as the blurb. Instead, you see a handwritten indication of the genre, a few themes, and the price.

That’s it.

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Atina Atwood

Customers buy the book, and then I guess they record the unveiling online somewhere, because that’s a thing. And there you go! Now you have another way to sell your book. Will this method make you tons of money? Maybe not. But it could be yet another method to add to your ever growing arsenal of self-promotional marketing tools.

What do you think of this idea? Would you use it? Tell me what you think in the comments!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

101 Followers on Twitter!

Okay, so to the ultra-savvy, metatagging, keyword utilizing, sponsor-lassen bloggers out there, I’m sure that this is a laughable moment for you. But for me, I am so incredibly excited and grateful to have over 100 followers on Twitter!!!

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This is so important to me, because I’m not exactly a “follow me, and I’ll follow you back” kind of person. I love to look at your content, and if it speaks to me, I’ll definitely follow. I’ll also follow you on Twitter when you provide really thought-provoking responses, because clearly you’re awesome (and smart, too). If you want me to give you a visit on Twitter, my handle is @RealAtinaAtwood. Pop over and say hello!

Seriously, I appreciate each and everyone of you for taking the time to read my blog and follow me on Twitter. As my content continues to grow, I hope that you’ll continue to be patient and grow with me.

Love and light to all of you.

 

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Leidenschaft – Find Your Passion

One German word that I’ve always found to be particularly beautiful is the word Leidenschaft. A functional translation of the word would be “hobby” or “pastime”, but that’s somewhat incomplete. More accurately, the English equivalent is what we mean when we say that someone “has a passion”.

Find Your Passion

Passion is exactly what we live for. It’s what we strive for – that often unattainable goal that promises a satisfying sense of completion. It can be a sexual, romantic, even sentimental, but it’s not limited to just those things. What I love about passion is that with it, there are so many new ways to feel alive, purposeful, useful, driven… Passion is the epitome of a life well lived.

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When I write, I like to listen to my characters and learn what their passions are. Sure, when it’s Contemporary Romance, at least two of the characters find that they feel romantic passion for one another. But I love to spend time with every character beyond some sort of developing romantic relationship.

To me, it’s impossible to find substance in a story without discovering the Leidenschaften of the characters. What drives them in life? Do these elements contribute to the relationship and circumstances that bring these two people together? Lastly, what elements of my own Leidenschaften contribute to the development of my characters?

Character development takes time, and interestingly enough, sometimes we writers can’t always figure out our character’s passions exactly 100%. I like to think that it’s because in a way, I’m just an observer; the stories and scenes that play out in my head are what I eventually record. When I embellish, edit, and rewrite, I’m blending my interpretation of events that I’ve observed involving my characters. I can’t always jump inside the head of all of my characters – at least, not until I can recognize the Leidenschaft that drives him or her.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Make the Most of It

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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend! Be sure to adjust your clocks accordingly. 😉

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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun!

Southern Girls Don’t Juice (Cleanse)

Southerners Are Serious About Food

Oh my gosh, y’all – my Southern roots are showing. I’ve mentioned time and again that I really do love leading a very grounded, holistic lifestyle. At the same time though, like any full-blooded Southern girl, I will slap your best friend for a delicious plate of hot, fresh homemade biscuits, grits, and sausage. Because Southerners know what’s up.

I don’t know of any Southerner who does not love food. Of course, we’re also sadly notorious for deep-frying anything, eating practically anything that moves, and for some extreme folks, consider obesity to be a conspiracy theory created by the FDA. Thankfully, I’m actually a bit of an anomaly in the sense that I don’t really eat fried food, and I adore fresh fruits, veggies, and clean eating, but that’s another post for another time. And let me say that I write with a bit of hyperbole here; clearly, many Southerners are healthy, fit, and could show the world a thing or two in the realm of fitness and nutrition. Despite this fact, we Southerners love our foods, and we are all experts on the art of eating. A Southerner’s relationship with food is a serious life-long romance. We shall remain forever faithful.

So one night at some ungodly hour after midnight, because I couldn’t sleep, I started cruising down Groupon Drive. For whatever reason, I decided that I needed to do a 3-day juice cleanse from Jùs by Julie.

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Jùs by Julie

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to fill your body with more fruits and veggies than your tummy could hold if you ate them whole. Besides, I’d never tried it before, and that’s exactly why Groupon is a phenomenal marketing tool. It’s kind of like where insomniac e-shoppers go to finally understand why drunken people turn around to their friends and say, “Hold my beer” before they do something stupid. You end up making weird choices that you look back at the next morning and think “What the…?”

Adventures in Juicing

Anyway, a few days later, I came home to see a huge box of juice waiting for me at my front door. I was already skeptical, lying to assuring myself that 18 bottles of fancy juice and natural fiber was going to satisfy my foodie soul over the course of 72 hours. For those of you who are as phenomenal in math as I am, that meant that I would survive on nothing but 6 bottles of juice for 24 hours, 3 days in a row.

I didn’t even last 5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I drank the 6 bottles of juice with exotic ingredients ranging from coconut oil and hemp seeds to lemonade and agave with Cheyenne pepper (delicious); but I also ate nice small meals that I thoroughly enjoyed, guilt-free, by the way. Sorry, but although I have a tendency to under-eat, I also have a happy and healthy relationship with food, and no bottles of juice are going to get between us.

I can say that each juice combination was quite decent, and I was able to drink 11 bottles of juice successfully over the course of two days. There was 1 casualty, because I had left it unrefrigerated too long. The remaining 6 are in my freezer, and I’ll get to them later. (No, really. I will.)

Have I learned my lesson? Will I stay away from the evil temptations of Groupon at the hella-crazy hours after midnight? Probably not. Will I order more juices from Jùs by Julie? Probably will. It wasn’t really a bad experience at all. Just don’t expect me to turn down all of my meals while I’m doing it.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun!

Happy First Day of Summer!

Seriously, how could I have missed this?! Here’s to my second favorite season of the year – SUMMER! Spring will always be my favorite, but summer is a close second… even in San Diego.

People keep asking me what my plans are, and I’m thrilled to the moon to say that I have none. This will be the first summer in nearly a decade where I can actually say this!!

So, hello good times, hello hot romantic reads and writes, hello fun, hello summer! 

What things do you love to do during the summer?

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©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow me on Twitter!

It’s Quiltin’ Time! Binding Love in Fabric

So while I’m here enjoying my summer, I have a chance to continue indulging in my newest, latest, greatest hobby – quilting.

On the one hand, someone may think that it’s likely perfectly normal that a “chick lit” and romance author (no, they’re not synonymous) has fallen in love with such a hobby, but that’s not necessarily the case. As a matter of fact, although quilting is enjoying a resurgence of  popularity, it’s still not exactly what every other 30-something year old is itching to get into.

That’s okay; more fabric for me. 🙂

Just to recap, I started machine sewing and quilting just six months ago in January 2018. Since then, I’ve actually successfully completed 14 projects, ranging from a 6-piece set of reversible quilted placemats to a king-sized quilt. It’s so exciting to try new techniques, and with every project, I create an entirely new pattern and/or throw a new, unique twist on the classics (like making a 3-D  Dresden quilt for my mom).

Quilting is as therapeutic as it is addictive. Don’t believe me? Just think about the impact that the AIDS Memorial Quilt Project has made on the world. Before that, people were actually able to tuck the tragedy of the epidemic in the backs of their minds. Yet, when one sees something, and can touch it, it becomes a tangible link to the heart. To me, that’s exactly what a quilt is.

As a writer, quilting is an extension of my innate need to communicate. Quilts tell stories.   Every single block represents something to the quilter, and historians and anthropologists alike drool over such fantastic discoveries with chopped up fabric that has been stitched back together in seemingly arbitrary patterns. There’s always an element of romance attached to them, even in tragedy. Love is what really binds a quilt together, not just thread.

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To be honest, I think that today’s quilters get a bad wrap. Sure, you’ll encounter cliquish snobs, but as in anything else, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to subject yourself to that kind of environment. Thankfully for me, I have two amazing local quilt shops that are friendly, welcoming, and seem to want to add some “fresh blood” to their stock. I’ll be the first admit that I haven’t yet taken the plunge and joined some kind of quilt retreat, but then again, I haven’t yet done that with any writing conventions, either.

Despite this, I’ve been learning so much from the Internet, stories and tips shared on various social media platforms, and of course, from the sweet and sassy ladies at my local quilt shops in San Diego. I’ve created love presents for my family, and I even made two quilts for the daughters of one of the mothers in my online mom’s group who is really going through some very hard and scary times. I don’t know this woman, and she doesn’t know me, but I was so grateful to reach out to her in this way, just to remind her that she is loved and though of, even by strangers.

When she sent me a picture of her darling babies wrapped up in the quilts that I’d made, smiling such beautiful, full and appreciative grins – well, I can’t even begin to tell you how fulfilling that moment was for me. I think that only a quilter can truly understand. Meh, maybe that’s not true. It isn’t some exclusive club that knows the location of the Holy Grail; the feeling is something like this; whenever you create something out of the pit of your gut, from the recesses of your heart, and you give it away with the calm expectation of receiving absolutely nothing in return, and then someone genuinely thanks you for what you have done, showing you that they feel the love you put into the work you’ve done, and they appreciate its value and worth, then you know what I mean.

This is exactly the same thing that any writer goes through when they present a new novel or work to you. It’s a part of them, even when it’s not even remotely about them. It’s a pitiful attempt to share some form of expression with you, and with one little response, a nudge, a nod – it totally becomes both worthwhile and rewarding.

What hobby do you have that brings you immense satisfaction (besides reading, of course)? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave your comments! I’d love to hear from you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance.

Separating Families is NOT a Political Issue

Finding the right words for this post is going to be difficult this time, I think. Mainly because I’m absolutely baffled by any person’s ability to turn a violation of humanity into something political.

For this reason, I want to stress that the issue of children being physically separated from their families and taken away is, without a doubt, traumatic. It’s a no-brainer that babies and small children forcibly removed from their parents (or anyone for that matter) under duress is going to leave emotional scarring that will never disappear. There isn’t any way to describe this act eloquently; well, perhaps there is, but there is absolutely nothing eloquent about this situation.

My question isn’t “How could this happen?!”, as anyone could provide myriad answers to this, from any spectrum of political viewpoint. Rather, my husband and I have been spending our time trying to figure out, “How can we help?”

Spewing out blame and finger pointing has never helped anyone, and so I will not use this platform to do so. It’s our good and comfortable right to blame politicians on either side of the isle, and/or the desperate parents who obviously traded one hell in exchange for another. For me, this issue is no longer a matter of politics; it’s become a cry for humanitarian aid.

How will the separated children be accurately reunited with their families?  This policy didn’t begin overnight, and it will take quite a bit of time and tax payers’ money to reunite children with their actual families. Children have been sent to places all over the country, not just the holding facilities in Texas. Very young children will not necessarily be able to express who their family members are, and the question is how can anyone be 100% certain that the children will be properly reunited with their biological families? The only thing that I can think of is DNA testing, at further cost to the government. Also, conflicting reports say that many of the people the children were separated from were not necessarily documented as being the parents/persons responsible for the child. If this is true, that means that bringing the families back together will be even more of a mess than I can even possibly fathom.

 

The current Executive Order that was issued on June 20, 2018, is not going to be the end of this highly contested practice. Contrary to many counter arguments, the policy of separating children from families in this manner actually only began in April of this year. My only hope this that we as a people, regardless of political affiliation (or lack thereof) will personally hold ourselves accountable for maintaining humane practices in even the most highly controversial issues. This includes paying very close attention to Section E of said Executive Order, which if successful in court, would allow detainees to be held indefinitely; eerily similar to a shameful chapter in American History, namely internment camps (although 2/3 of those interned were actually American citizens).

This brings me back to my original question:

How can we help?

Firstly, we must remember that these are CHILDREN who are suffering. They have nothing to do with political parties, and they are not to blame for being in the position that they are in.

Secondly, do whatever you can to help children in need. If your heart goes out to the suffering that many children are enduring, but for whatever reason you feel as though you can’t be moved to help in this particular cause, please direct your compassion to needy children anywhere you feel moved to do so. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or to feel, but I certainly implore you to feel compassion, and do what your open heart knows is right.  In my opinion, we should help wherever we can, whenever we can.

Thirdly, money is always helpful, but there are other ways to show that you care. Some people are making light quilts for children to lay down on, making or donating clothes, putting together small care packages, and are requesting toy donations. Please don’t put these gestures down; they’re attempts to offer comfort to little people trapped in a terrifying situation. This website shares more ways to make a difference, as well as the following information:

While money is best, if you want to donate essential items like diapers, wipes, shampoo, and soap directly to immigrant children, Baby2Baby and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) set up a baby registry at Target.

Sending light and love to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time

– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. 

What is this wonderment called Poldark, and why am I just now getting into it???

Aidan Turner.

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When I finally started to watch Poldark (about 15 hours ago), I knew that it had been around for a little while. Let’s face it, they’re getting ready to debut Season 4 and I’ve just wrapped up Episode 4 of the 1st season. However, I had no blooming clue that the Poldark saga has been around since 1945!!!

Let that sink in a moment. Poldark has been captivating audiences around the world since 1945. I’ll throw another fun zinger in – this saga is comprised of 12 novels, written by Winston Graham over the span of many decades from 1945 to 2002.

Amazing.

It’s my understanding that each season of the revived Poldark (there was also a previous BBC airing of the saga in the 1970’s) covers two novels. Hopefully, that means that the life of this version of the show will last for at least a total of 6 seasons. In any case, if you’re like me, it seems as though any Summer Reading dilemma that you may have is over.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me love the art of writing. With the perfect dose of divine inspiration, one can create fantastic works that span over generations, but at the same time, never age.

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Be honest, how may of you were huge fans of Poldark before BBC plucked this man from the heavens and placed him in this BBC revival? I remember him from the very “interesting” supernatural drama Being Human, and I was happy to see him in a role that truly suits him. He obviously has a Ph.D. in Brooding, and every episode of Poldark makes sure that he utilizes it in nearly every scene. He even looks pissed when he’s asking for the time. Fortunately for him (and all of us viewers), he pretty much looks good no matter what. (Sorry – is it wrong of me to objectify him? If so, then please scroll past these final images.)

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©Atina Atwood 2016-2018

 

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful men in the world who have been blessed to be someone’s father, and the biggest THANK YOU to those of you who do everything and more to be a real dad. That’s called real-life romance, my friends.

It doesn’t matter how old I am, my father will always be my Daddy. I love him so much! He’s such a kind, gentle, helpful, loving person, and all of my life, he has always been there for my family and me. He and my mom have been the most supportive parents, a fantastic example of partnership, and I have always admired their dedication to our family, and their devotion to each other. My Daddy doesn’t have to yell to be noticed, and quite often, he’s perfectly content to find a quiet space for himself to enjoy simply being (I TOTALLY get this trait from him). He has always appreciated and respected nature and inner peace, and I’m not the least bit ashamed to say that I got my “crunchiness” from him, too. ❤

And now, years later, I am so thankful to have another wonderful father in my life, namely the father of my sweet little one. My husband is an absolutely phenomenal father, and I just love the way his chest practically bursts with pride every time he sees our little one. The saying is true: When you see your spouse or significant other loving your child, you fall in love with them all over again. He’s truly such a wonderful Papa, and I am fully aware of the fact that I’ve been extremely fortunate to have lightning strike twice.

Have a wonderful day, and if you are still able to say it, remind the dads in your life how special they are to you. Even if they don’t say it, it means the world to be recognized.

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