Write Like You Mean It

Go Big Or Go Home

Last month, I had one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had as a writer. As you likely know, Twitter is my favorite social media outlet (@Atina_Atwood). Well, I learned about a program called #WriteMentor, which specializes in paring writers with authors who are slaying it in either Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, or Young Adult fiction. During a few promotional chats, I met two really inspiring mentors – Brandy Woods Snow and Haleigh Wenger.

Brandy is the author of Meant to Be Broken (Carolina Clay, #1). Check it out – it’s like a masterclass on writing gripping YA contemporary romance, sans kitsch. She’s a naturally inspiring person – to that, I can attest. During a chat, I don’t quite know how she did it, but ultimately, she inspired me to stretch out a YA short novella that I had into a full-blown novel. I walked away from the chat totally convinced that I should enter an international competition within TEN DAYS. And I went for it.

Let me elaborate because I still can’t believe I did this myself:

IN ONE WEEK, I WROTE 25,000 WORDS. I made a huge developmental edit and a complete overhaul of my manuscript within 8 days. By the time those ten days were up, I walked away with my very first full-length Young Adult novel on my desk.

 

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(Alright, after those ten days, I kind of hobbled away, looking like a frazzled, obsessive cat lady with slightly crazy eyes. But I did it. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without my husband, who is a rockstar, and my little rocking toddler!)

Mentorship is a Gift

Let me go ahead and say that although I was a finalist, I ultimately wasn’t selected for the coveted position. Interestingly, I’m okay with that. To me, it simply means that it was someone else’s time to make such a meaningful connection, and I genuinely wish them the best. My time will come in its own way – but I can assure you that I won’t wait for it sitting down. Also, Brandy has continued to be supportive in ways I never would have imagined, and Haleigh (author of The Art of Falling In Love) took the time to offer me some helpful advice that I really appreciate. Both of their mentees are fortunate to have them.

But y‘all – I’m walking away from this experience knowing that within a week, I slammed out 25K words in a genre that I don’t usually write in like a boss (okay, so let’s not talk about copyediting & A1 proofreading on this particular post, please – I did my best with the time constraints, *cough, cough*). Still, I got a request for a partial and a full, and got shortlisted. No, I didn’t win the medal, but I did finish the race. And what a hell of a race it’s been!

Don’t Stop, Won’t Stop!

To me, this is just the beginning. As long as I keep an open heart and mind, the right opportunities and people will come into my life. As that continues to happen, I’ll be more than happy to share these experiences with you, right here on my blog. This moment is exactly where my Faith and Confidence enter Stage Right, and I’m happy to say that both are shining boldly in the limelight. Now it’s time to wash, rinse, and repeat somewhere else – with hopefully more stellar results.

Do you have an example of where you’re currently slaying at the moment – or intend to slay at any minute? Come on and share! You’ll be surprised to see how many of us are rooting for you. 🙂

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

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Family First – Say It, Mean It

Family First

First of all, it’s great to be back! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to take the time to sit down and pen a few words on this blog. Thanks so much for your patience, especially because for the past two months or so, my personal take on Love and Life has been virtually nonexistent. That’s because I had to drop everything to live by my motto, Family First.

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If there’s anything that’s going to make me disappear like a ghost on November 2nd (don’t @ me, y’all – I’m rusty here), then it’s going to be due to a family emergency. I’ve always been taught Family Comes First, and it’s something that my husband and I agree with 100%. So when Little Man doesn’t feel well, I’m going to be right by his side, even if it’s for almost an entire month. I had to take care of my precious little toddler, who suffered from suspected pneumonia, accompanied by drastic hearing impairment spanning over four months.

I should probably say that my little guy is so much better, thank the Lord! We were even scheduled for ear surgery, but being the crunchy Mama Bear that I am, I requested further evaluation post-recovery. The results were so vastly improved, even the thought of surgery was off the table. I’m so grateful!

Despite having to push all work aside (OUCH), over the course of the month, I once again grew accustomed to working at odd hours so that my writing didn’t suffer. I’ll talk more about that in a separate post, but throughout this experience, I can say that my husband was amazing at taking over as soon as he got home from work, allowing me to take care of the barest essentials for a few hours. *Insert heart emoji here.*

To me, keeping family first is a genuine team effort that demands sacrifices from all, but the result is the overwhelming love and confidence that you gain knowing exactly who’s in your corner when you need them most.

I hope that all is well with you and yours!

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

#MotivatedMonday: Focus on the Light

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, is now available for preorder.

"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light." - Aristotle Onassis.png

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
– Aristotle Onassis

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Motivated Monday: Build Your Confidence

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

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“The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.”
                                                                               – Swati Sharma

 

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Romantic Thought: Love Simply Gives

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats #3, is now available for preorder.

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“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” – Mother Teresa

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Hearts series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

#MotivatedMonday: Do All Things with Kindness

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

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“Do all things with kindness.”

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Dream Together

Instead of just my usual shameless plug promoting my stories and to follow me on Amazon and Goodreads at the top of the page, I want to remind you that today is Epilepsy Awareness Day, where we’re encouraged to WEAR PURPLE to increase awareness about epilepsy worldwide. If you see someone wearing purple today, open your heart and simply ASK about it. Check out purpleday.org
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“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.
A dream you dream together is a reality.” – John Lennon

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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. She is the author of the Holiday Heartbeats series. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

 

#MotivatedMonday: If You Believe It, You Can Achieve It

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

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“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Can’t Live Without You

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads. Luck of the Irish, Holiday Heartbeats#3, is now available for preorder.

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“You don’t marry someone you can live with.
You marry someone you can’t live without.” – Unknown

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.

Not Aunt Becky! The College Admissions Bribery Scandal, and Why Personal Branding Matters

Join my mailing list to be the first to know about my new releases, books slated for release in 2019, giveaways, and more. Follow me on Amazon and Goodreads! Luck of the Irish (Holiday Heartbeats #3) is available for preorder!

The College Admissions Bribery Scandal

First of all, Happy Friday! I know that I need to start out with something positive because I’m about to throw down the gauntlet and engage in fisticuffs. (This might take a while, so grab a snack.)

At this point, I’ve made it clear enough that I’m an unashamed Academic. (With a capital “A”, as you can see. And don’t @ me because I’m an Academic who loves to use fragments and begin sentences with “And’s” and “But”s, too. But I digress…) I’m also a classically-trained vocalist who’s been on stages since the age of 5, and I understand the Game when it comes to ‘making it’ in the Performing Arts on an international scale.

So, I have to admit that this college admissions bribery scandal has really rocked me to my core. Why is that the case? Well, to put it simply (this is a blog, not a dissertation),

I just can’t see how people of such privilege would throw everything away for something as potentially useless as a college or university degree.

Yes, I said it. Potentially useless.

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Sadly, These days, I’m hearing too often how many people are unable to find ways to use their legitimately, hard-earned degrees. Of course, simply the experience of going to uni is incredibly valuable, and I’m obviously a proponent of higher education for those who truly desire to pursue it. It shouldn’t be viewed as being high school, part II. There’s no guarantee that a university degree is going to open every door that you desire. College is not a magic genie, and it’s not for everyone. I do believe that everyone should have the opportunity to attend college, university, or vocational school, but that’s another talk for another time.

We all know that “people of privilege” have advantages over your average Joe or Joanne. Duh. That’s why we refer to them as being privileged. Hard working kids have been robbed of opportunities that they likely earned, which really hurts. Unfortunately, this is not that uncommon. Sure, it’s not fair and it’s a shame and yes, yes, yes, but that’s honestly not the point here. Unfair advantages occur everywhere, on the daily. In this particular scandal, though, folks allegedly outright turned to federally criminal acts. On purpose. With eyes wide open. This is no misdemeanor, ladies & gents – the FBI arrested these people, some of whom we’ve looked up to and admired since childhood.

Of course, I’m talking about Lori Loughlin here. Yes, there are dozens of other famous names floating around, but she’s the star of Hallmark fame who struck a nerve in all of us.

The Women's Cancer Research Fund hosts an Unforgettable Evening, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 27 Feb 2018
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Why Are We Picking on Aunt Becky?

If you didn’t grow up with Full House on ABC, then you’ve at least heard of Fuller House on Netflix. The actress Lori Loughlin played Aunt Becky on the wholesome show and she has gained even more fame over recent years by being a staple on the Hallmark Channel. Her face became ubiquitous with the ideal of a woman who started with humble roots and steadfastly rose to a comfortable level of fame, all the while maintaining poise and humility.

When news broke that she had allegedly engaged in felonious activities – not once, but twice – fans were shocked to face the apparent fact that irl Lori Loughlin may be very different from her cultivated persona. Her roles encouraged us to put her on a pedestal, and like most of us would, she happily stood upon it. Now, in a matter of days, her hard-earned career and brand is in shambles and at least one daughter who didn’t even want to go to college is watching her real dream career crumble as well. Hallmark has severed ties with the actress and pulled all works that include Loughlin off the air. As a result, innocent actors who have worked with her on Hallmark shows and films won’t see any more residuals for their work, and other jobs may be lost. Now, that’s a real scandal in and of itself.

All because these parents allegedly actively chose to break the law – more than once – to satisfy their egos. This goes beyond a simple “oops, I made a mistake” level of wrong-doing. This was premeditated, and worst of all, it was under the guise of making charitable contributions to help underprivileged kids get into schools. It’s so sad, nasty, and pointless to me.

Let’s face it – we REALLY want to have role models. I mean, we’re desperate for them. Those of us who reach out via social media also want to fill that role for someone. That’s fine. But let me tell you right now, I’m gloriously flawed, and I walk in faith. I’m far from being a goody-two-shoes, and I love a descriptive open-door romance. At least 3 times a day I have to use my watch to find my phone. I also forget what I’m talking about midsentence numerous times a day. Too many to count, really.

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Just remember that as you’re building your brand, hold on to those elements of imperfection, the tattered parts of you that keep you tethered to the ground. Don’t be afraid to remind others that you’re honestly working hard to get where you want to be, and you’ll cheer them on as they do the same. Carefully select the high pedestals you aspire to ascend – because the fall from grace is swift and merciless.

Rant over.

Sending Love and Light to all of you.

©Atina Atwood 2019 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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more, and sign up for Atina’s newsletter here.