Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Real Love is a Choice

Real Love is a Choice

Because Thanksgiving is this Thursday, I’d like to send my romantic thought to you today. Have a wonderful week!

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Happy Thanksgiving! #NovemberGratitude

#NovemberGratitude on Thanksgiving

By far, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Even when living in Europe, Thanksgiving is my jam. I have converted so many people from being skeptical about this American holiday (“Why do you make it a goal to overeat?”) to blatantly requesting an invitation to one of my Thanksgiving dinner parties. Trust this southern girl when I say that great food will make a believer out of anyone.

Sure it’s about family, friends, and amazing food. These days, it might even be about political arguments and exploding turkeys – but to me, Thanksgiving has always been about gratitude.

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In keeping with the #NovemberGratitude spirit, I know that this Thursday is one celebrated day that culminates all of the things that I want to be thinking about on a daily basis. I have friends – maybe not as many as I think that I would like to have (writing gets lonely, and my social media game needs professional help, lol) – but the friends that I do have are goldenI’ve always been a quality over quantity kind of person, and wow – my real friends are top of the line. I am so thankful for you.

My family is amazing, and for the rest of my life I will always think of my parents and uncle who would leave early in the morning on Thanksgiving day, only to return in the early afternoon. When I was very small, I never understood why they left, but as the years passed, I learned that they would go to a soup kitchen and help feed the homeless. This is the kind of stuff that highlights what Gratitude means to me. I’m so thankful to have had people in my life who have always led by example – including by knowing how to say “I’m sorry”. This is not an easy thing to accomplish!

Thank YOU!

Lastly, I am grateful for my followers! You have been supporting me, cheering me on, and are becoming my friends as we actually get to know each other. I know that I have a lot to learn about blogging and connecting, but I am so grateful for your patience, curiosity, and forgiving nature. Although you may not comment, I know that you are engaged, and you support my driving motivation to connect, explore, hope, and inspire the best way that I know how at this stage in my life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those who celebrate, and let’s all keep up our #NovemberGratitude challenge!

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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Write a Great Story for the Ages

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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Hold On To Each Other

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

5 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Are You Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone?

It’s so easy to get into routines. You get up, make a pot of coffee or some hot tea, check your messages and news, and then you move about your day. You write thousands of words. You read thousands and thousands more. Same old, same old.

But what if you switched things up?

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In the spirit of my #NovemberGratitude challenge, here are 5 ways to step out of your comfort zone and do something great.

1 Send Thank You Notes and Emails to Neighbors & Service Providers

This is a dying art, I know, but all the more reason to try it out! We’re far too busy to send little notes that make us smile, nut just imagine how you feel when you receive them. If you’re really not to writing type, find another way to say Thank You. During the summer, we offer our mail carrier and Amazon/Fed Ex deliverers cool drinks; on holidays, we give our garbage man yummy chocolate. Those aren’t notes, but they’re small tokens to say Thank You to people with whom we may not have necessarily held a conversation with before.

2 Call Someone You Haven’t Talked to in A While

We all have phones, but we’re using them for phone calls less frequently. Is there someone elderly in your life who could use a pick me up just by saying hello? Maybe there’s an acquaintance with whom you haven’t spoken in ages. Reaching out can make such a huge difference, and it feels great once you finally “get around to it”.

3 Have a Conversation with a Stranger

It would be a cool challenge to say hello to a person who would normally not be on your radar for everyday conversation. Is there an interesting person on your daily commute? A homeless person who frequents the same area each day? A police office at your local coffee shop on break? These are just a few examples of how we can connect – starting with a simple hello.

4 Make a Food Donation to Your Local Food Bank

For many of us, this won’t put a huge dent in the monthly budget. The challenge here is to even find out where the food banks in your neighborhood are even located. Often, people will be so pleased that you’ve reached out; even an extra $25 in groceries can make the biggest difference for hungry families in your own community.

5 Decide for Yourself What Challenge Makes You Grow

I’ve listed some examples of inner challenges that I’ve taken on in order to grow and connect with my neck of the woods. What ideas do you have for stepping out and reaching out? Decide what works for you – and take it on. Afterwards, use that motivation in your writing. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thank You to All of Our Veterans!

Veterans Day

On this Veterans Day, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has served as well as those who currently serve in our Armed Forces. Your sacrifices deserve to be honored more than just one day a year with fabulous parades. Too many of our families have to deal with the darkest shadows after our veterans are no longer in the limelight.

May we learn to honor you more.

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Grow Out of Your Comfort Zone

Happy #MotivatedMonday!

In addition to delving into the NaNoWriMo fun, I’m keeping my #NovemberGratitude Challenge in mind as well. This week, I’m going to challenge myself to concentrate on my Main Characters and how they are being forced to step out of their comfort zones. It made me think:

What am I doing to make me step out of my comfort zone?

Well, I am going to write a novel in a month, so no pressure there. (Actually, although this is my first time participating in the NaNoWriMo, I did write my first novel of 60k+ words in only 3 weeks.) But what else am I doing to step things up?

How about you – Do you feel like you’re growing – or do you feel stagnant?

One place where I really want to grow is within the writing community. I’m still quite lame at social media, but I love to genuinely connect with people! So this week, as I write, I’m going to sort of stalk some of my dear followers on social media (likely via Twitter & your blogs) to get to know you better and support you the best way that I know how – by reading what you’ve written!

Don’t be shy – let me know where you are in the comments and say hello.

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Thursday’s Romantic Thought: Love May Be Closer Than You Think

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Remember to Vote Today!

Today’s November 6th – Time to Vote!

Just wanted to remind you that if you haven’t had a chance to get in your vote via Early Voting or by mail, today is the day to go to the polls. My hubby and I are making a date out of it. Go vote!

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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.

Who’s Making NaNoWriMo Happen?

#NaNoWriMo

In addition to the #NovemberGratitude Challenge that I issued to myself and the world last week, I accepted another challenge at the beginning of November.

For the first time ever, I’m participating in the National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. The ultimate goal is to spend the month of November writing a novel, and end up with a word count of 50,000 by the end of the month. (Don’t freak out too much – that’s pretty much 1,667 words a day.) If you’re able to make that a reality, you’re a winner!

Honestly, with two U.S. holidays in the month, November is probably the worst month to sign up for such a challenge, but I’ve been hammering away at my latest WIP (work in progress), so I’m actually super excited to begin. Ultimately, I want to get to know more like-minded writers, and obviously, I’m excited to tackle Book 2 of my most recent series. If all goes well, that will be two books in one year – I really like the sound of that.

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Who’s With Me?

As the month of November progresses, I’m excited to tell you about the YA/NA sweet-heat romance novella series that I’ve been working on. (Don’t worry – my adult novels have plenty of respectful spice in them, but I also wanted to create a warm series for older teenagers.) Hopefully, by the end of the month, I will have both the remnants of a delicious Thanksgiving dinner and a complete manuscript on my table. I look forward to sharing the progress (and possible pitfalls) as the month progresses!

Check out the sidebar for a daily update of my progress towards 50,000 words!

If you’re also participating in #NaNoWriMo, take some time to let me know! As in all things, the more Writing Buddies we have, the higher the chances of success. I’m Atina Atwood on the nanowrimo.org website. Although I know that I *should* be on Facebook and Instagram more often, I’m still more of a Twitter Girl, so DM or follow me @Atina_Atwood, and with discretion, I’ll be sure to follow you back for support. This is a great way to feel inspired, write to your heart’s content, and see where your thoughts and your words take you. Keep on working on that #NovemberGratittude Challenge, too!

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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, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.