Adventures & Journeys

Affection

Affection like love is another word that is associated with this time of month, though I believe the two to be very different. But before we get into the details of that let’s get our definitions in.

Wiki

  • The act of affecting or acting upon
  • The state of being affected
  • An attribution; a quality or property; a condition
  • An emotion; a feeling or natural impulse acting upon & swaying the mind

Dictionary

  • A gentle feeling of fondness or liking
  • The act or process of affecting or being affected

Differences

Affection in all its wonder is sometimes, if not all of the time used interchangeably with love. Though they do have similarities and are closely related, they are not and should not be used in the same way.

Love is a strong feeling toward another with different levels or types of love being expressed at any given time. It’s the feeling you have for your significant other, your children or even your best friend or other acquaintances.

Affection, however, involves the little things. Those little details that tell another how much, or if you care at all. The actions and gestures that go along with those feelings. That is the difference between love and affection.

Benefits

Now, I’ve heard that there are benefits to expressing affection and receiving it as well. I won’t go into major details, but I found this fascinating. You can read more here.

Showing affection toward others has shown benefits, not just in making you feel good, but it can also lower stress hormones, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and provide a stronger immune system.

This can also happen when chemicals release in your body as you express these through actions, not just when you feel them as you receive the affection.

Expressing Affection

Now, let’s talk about how you can express affection. As I mentioned earlier affection is all those tiny details you probably never or hardly ever notice you’re doing, but I encourage you to notice them the next time you are showing someone your affection. Showing your affection to another provides the feeling of intimacy, security, that they’re significant and shows a sign of respect depending on how the affection is being delivered and expressed.

The Small

small touches of affection

Affection can be expressed by the small touches, or even glances you give someone. A hug, a kiss, holding hands, a loving glance, an arm around the waist, a touch on the shoulder, a soft touch or even an occasional gift can show your affection to another.

The Large

What about those larger gestures, like passionate kisses that last, making out or even the friendly high five or shout of encouragement? Theses are also ways you can show affection and support of another person. It’s like showing in a story instead of telling. You show how you feel by what you do and the actions you take.

Platonic Gestures

Even things you wouldn’t think would show affection, do. Carrying things for another, opening a door, even doing things around the house for someone can show affection, like cooking, cleaning or doing laundry. Now I’m not telling you to go to your friends house and start doing their laundry (unless you really are that kind of friend), but think about those things you do for another that wasn’t asked or was just done to show you care.

Speech

Another way you can show affection is by the words you say, and how you say them. Yes, saying ‘I love you’ is affectionate especially if it’s given in a romantic whisper, but have you thought to send a message, even one saying ‘Hey, how are you doing today?’

The smallest note scribbled on a post-it can have the same reaction as an elaborate card with large letters. The person you’re leaving the note for or even receiving a text or email will show your emotional connection to the person receiving the small gesture.

Final Thoughts

So, when you think of affection, what types of things do you do to show your affection for others?

This Month’s Writing Theme: Love

So, yep, we’re going to go there. For this month, because it’s the month where most are struck by cupid and are focused on their loves. We are doing the same here. For this, month’s writing theme, tell me why you love someone in your life right now.

I chose that because there are a lot of us out there that don’t have someone for Valentine’s Day and if any of you are like me, you don’t celebrate it. My husband and I decided early in our relationship not to celebrate Valentine’s day because we celebrated our dating anniversary which was a week away. We didn’t see a reason to celebrate our love twice.

So, for this month, give me what makes you love your significant other, your parents, siblings, or even your pet.

Love

Example: I love my husband because though he works, he finds time to spend with me and our two children. When we are struggling, he’ll do whatever is necessary to make things right even if that means finding a second job, working extra hours, or whatever. One of the things I love about him is he’ll still find the time to surprise me with the little things. I love, love, love hot chocolate and he’ll go to my favorite gas station to get it for me no matter how cold it is. 

Writer/Reader Coupons

Writer/Reader Coupons

Buying a gift for that writer or reader in your life can be difficult. What do you get them that they don’t already have? Of course they could use more books, but how do you keep from buying them duplicates? And yes, they could always use more pens, notebooks, journals and such, but you want to do something unique and special, right? 

I’ve got just the thing. You can check out my posts on writer and reader gifts Here and Here, or you can continue to read this post to find out another great gift idea for that reader or writer in your life. 

The Idea

You know those coupons you see on Pinterest and around the internet during the holidays and especially Valentine’s Day, right? Well, my husband decided to not celebrate Valentine’s Day because at the time our dating anniversary was a few day away.

Since we still don’t celebrate it… (don’t worry, we do for our children) I wanted to provide something that would be a great gift for not only a loved one, but that writer or reader in your life at any time of year, cause you know, I’m both!

So, without further ado, I give you my writer/reader coupons! 

Coupons at Desk

4 Ways to Give!

Now, I was thinking as I create these that I wanted them to be versatile so you could use them in whichever way you wish, and I think I’ve accomplished that, so let’s get to showing you what I mean.

Directions:

Purchase your Coupons from Fiction Journeys, then download your coupons to your computer.

Then, you’ll need to print out your coupons, card stock is recommended at least for the cover. It’s more sturdy that way.

Cut out your coupons and fill in any blank ones with personalized activities you think of. If there is something you know your reader/writer absolutely loves, add it in.

Now here is the fun part. You can assemble these any way you want. 

 

Way to Give #1: Punch and Tie

What you’ll need:

  • Coupon Printables
  • Scissors
  • Card-stock and/or Regular printer paper
  • Hole-punch
  • Twine/Ribbon/Yarn

Follow the direction above for downloading, printing and cutting, then follow the directions below.

Directions:

Once you’ve got all the coupons you want to have in your booklet cut out, cut the cover in half.

You can either punch one hole in the corner or two holes along the short or long edges.

Lace the twine/ribbon/yarn through the hole/holes and tie it off to complete the coupons.

Way to Give #2: Glue

What you will need:

  • Coupon printables
  • Scissors
  • Clips/bookbinding press
  • Paintbrush
  • Mod Podge/Compound glue

Directions:

Once you’ve got all the coupons you want to have in your booklet, fold the cover so that the gold represents the spine and the covers are in the correct position.

Then stack your coupons into a neat pile and place clips (or put in a bookbinding press – I’ve got one around since I have created my own journals, but large clips work good too) around the edges.

Use a paintbrush to brush on the glue to one edge of the coupons. (be sure you put the glue on the left ends)

Once the glue had dried, place another layer of glue to the inner spine of the coupons and along the same edge of the coupons.

Carefully place your coupon cover in place around your coupons. Allow them to dry and you’re done!

Way to Give #3: Staple

What you will need:

  • Coupon Printables
  • Scissors
  • Stapler with Staples

Directions:

Once you’ve got all the coupons you want to have in your booklet, place them in a neat stack and staple the edges together and you’re done! Easy-peasy.

Way to Give #4: Tags

I’m providing this just in case you are able to find those gifts and would like to place the tags on them. You can even go one step further and create a treasure hunt with them, which is something I absolutely LOVE! Your reader or writer might as well

What you will need:

  • Coupon Printables
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch (optional)
  • Twine/Ribbon/Yarn (optional)
  • Tape (optional)

Directions:

Once you’ve got all the coupons you want to have in your booklet, you can either hole punch them and tie, tape them, or include them on the gift wrapping of the gifts you would like to give.

As I mentioned earlier, you can create a treasure hunt with them or you can put them in a basket with the tags and use the cover as a nice greeting card.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve got an awesome gift for the writer or reader in your life, have fun with it. Make it even more special by adding in some of the things you know they love or let them use them as they see fit. You choose.

Have other ideas to fill in the coupons with, share them and I’ll update them as new ideas are collected!

Writing Romantic Scenes/Relationships

It’s the month of love and within writing there could be a lot or a little. What do you need for Romantic Scenes and relationships? What do you need to know to make it flow within your story and build as your characters grow? Well, that’s what we are here to discuss today.

Romantic Scenes:

Sunset Romance

Know your characters

Your characters are the ones taking this amazing journey you’ve set out for them. They go down each path you set them on, but if they don’t continue to be themselves (as you’ve written them), your readers will lose interest and at the very least become confused that there may be another character where your main ones should be. Within romantic scenes, keep with your character’s… well, character throughout. If they wouldn’t respond or act a certain way during a romantic scene, then don’t put it in. Keep their attitudes, ways of thinking, quirks if you wish; in the scene, but keep them true to them. Let your characters decide their level of intimacy as they move throughout your story and trust me, they will if you release the reigns! Dive deep into your characters to know how they would act, what they would say in certain situations and what they would do at any given moment. Stick with your characters and show us what they are like as your story progresses. There are many ways to get to know your characters better… conduct an interview with them, write out characteristics about them, create a short story (for your eyes only, of course) telling about your character, everything about your character.

Keep Plot in mind

In order to write romantic scenes, it’s important to keep the plot of the story in mind. Does the romantic scene drive the plot? If it doesn’t, it may not be worth putting it in. Is there another important reason for adding it? Well, then, by all means. Just make sure it’s furthering your character’s journey in some way, either physically, emotionally, or both. Keep the storyline moving as you write your scenes. You don’t want your readers stopping to think about why that was even put in there in the first place. Remember, your readers are going to enjoy the scene, but only if it serves it’s purpose.

Avoid ‘Purple Prose’ and Cliches

Have you ever read a story where they move around what they are trying to say; using so many forms of the word to make it sound ‘pretty’ or less clinical? This is where avoiding all those flowery words during love/romantic comes in. If your characters have specific words for ‘things’, then use them, but you as a writer don’t need to. Say what you intend to say, don’t sugar coat it. We all know what you’re trying to say anyway. If you’re really against using specific words, then try the art of suggestion. Sometimes, the use of suggestion can be more potent than saying it out right. Give it a try, I bet you’ll find a lot of readers love it because they use their own imaginations for the suggested actions.

Know Your Audience

If you want to know what your readers enjoy, start reading what your readers read to learn what they like. Stay within the genre you plan to write as you read, there is no sense in reading a regency romance when your is strictly sci-fi.

Use Your Setting, Theme & Background

Setting

Setting

Where is your romantic scene taking place? What objects, buildings, and/or creatures are around you… er, them within the scene? Use these things to provide a sense of being in the scene. Use the scenes of smell, touch, sight, taste and hearing to provide a vivid picture of the experience. Who doesn’t love to know that there is a piece of straw digging straight into the back of a character while being taken in the loft of a barn? Well, you get what I mean. 😉 Show us, the readers, what your characters see, what they hear, what they smell, etc during the scene.

Theme

What is your story really about? Try to weave your theme within your love scene to create a personal touch. There is no better way to communicate with your readers the theme of your story then to have your characters experience, or be just as passionate for what your theme is about.

Background

What do they do for a living? What hobbies do they love to do? Are their words within those areas that could be used during your love scene? I’m sure if you thought about it, you could think of terms artists, mechanics, writers even; use. Have them use some of those within the scene to not only make your characters more interesting, but the scene itself.

Avoid Cliches

We’ve all read those books that seem to show the same damsel in distress waiting for her knight in shining armor or the damsel whose been abused and her knight shows her how to live again. There are so many out there, it’s sometimes hard to come up with something new. If you insist on using one, turn it to focus on a different aspect. Perhaps the knight was the one needing saving from the dragon or the male character is the one who needs to be shown love again after a terrible abusive experience. Think of how you can make the cliche more interesting and go with that.

Stay Within Your Comfort Zone

You as an author need to write what you are comfortable with, but also keep with the characters. If they would do something that maybe you’re not completely uncomfortable with, then leave it in or get advice from your reader/writer groups. If it ruins the story then remove it. You need to be comfortable with your writing in order to bring your readers that fantastic story, the adventurous journey, and the awesome love scenes.

Character Relationships:

Relationships

Write Love Scenes, Not Sex Scenes

Now, this may shock you, but I’m gonna tell you something that you may not believe, but it’s completely true. Here goes… The romance in a romance novel isn’t about the sex, it’s about the relationship between your characters. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe, but yes the romantic scenes in your novel should be about the relationship of the main characters (or secondary characters depending) and moving that relationship forward in some way whether for the good or the bad. Remember above where I mentioned using hobby terms within your scenes? Well, you can use them here and if it’s appropriate, add some humor too. Depending on how the scene goes, you could do a lot and just with the sexual actions.

Create Tension

Sexual Tension comes in stages and forms throughout the relationship of your characters. Let’s explore some here.

First Meeting And After

Your characters are usually attracted to each other in some way shape of form from the moment they meet, from that first touch, or first sight. Here are somethings to think about when they first meet and throughout their relationship:
  • How do they react to each other while in the same room?
  • How/what are they thinking when they are not in the same room?
  • How do they react after the first touch? First Kiss? Public displays of affection?
  • How do they react moments after sex?
  • The morning after?
  • How/what are they thinking of the other afterwords?

Opposing Forces

What opposing forces are at work between your characters and what are your characters doing to defeat that opposing force? Is that opposing force work related and they are going after the same position? Do they have different views on the use of a building they are proposing? Perhaps they have different views on something one is passionate about or does one feel that getting into a relationship at this point would ruin something they are striving for. Whatever it is, create a force that is keeping your characters apart whether that’s a physical force or emotional force. Then have them move, taking turns to discover the right course of action to overcome the force. Neither character wants the negative reaction to their opposing force, nor do they want to risk harming the relationship they know is blooming, but attraction keeps them moving forward down the rocky path.

Contrasts

These contrasts like some opposing forces could be from others as well as from themselves. Areas of their lives where they disagree could put tension between your two characters. Religion, how to handle a specific situation, or another reason for them to disagree. Another contrast could be within themselves, their thoughts that could contradict or argue over whether something was good to do or not. When characters interact or when they are speaking to themselves you’ll read the thoughts and opinions those that are irrational, inconsistent and unreasonable. Not to mention those thoughts that contradict each other. Each character has their own emotional struggle, characteristics, and contradictions moving further toward or away from the same path.

Conflicts

Conflicts can be anything from opposing forces, to contrasts, to emotional or physical obstacles. Here is where you want to raise the stakes, so to speak. Create even more tension between your characters by bringing in emotion or a physical obstacle to overcome or do both! As they say do something bad, then do something worse, then do something that will make your character wish they were never born. The greater the risk the more their emotions will come into play. Suspense/Anticipation Suspense should raise as your readers wonder if and when your characters will get together. Use those small moments together to create anticipation for their next meeting. You could even end a scene with a character thinking it’s the wrong moment to bet together. Having those small moments will build up suspense, emotions, and the desire within your characters to see their journey to the end, so give your readers plenty of suspense and anticipation.

Use Your Own Memories and Experiences

Funny Romances When writing romantic relationships, your own memories and experiences can come into play. You can literally set the stage for the scene to get an idea of actual sights, sounds, feels, and more. Go ahead, have fun! Doing this can give your scene a sense of reality that it may have been missing before. Another things you can use from experience is dialogue. If your significant other, or yourself say certain things during those moments, use them. If your characters start saying outrageous and outlandish things during the scene, it won’t seem real and your readers will know that.

Use the Five Senses

As I mentioned earlier, your senses should come into play not only in romantic scenes, but also within the relationship itself. Each small touch, word, or sight of the other will heighten their experience. Have your characters constantly be aware of what the other is doing. Whether is the slight touch of their fingers, a whispered word, or the sight of one without their shirt. Each experience uses as sense and it should be there to tell the story. Be sure that although we are focusing on the physical, you also remember the emotional. How are they feeling, what going on in their mind as those things are happening. Every small detail can come in handy. Obsessions, actions, dialogue. It all plays a role and helps to give the reader the full experience of the scene.

Reveal Stages of Relationship

Every relationship has stages in which they progress. It’s a good idea during each romantic scene and within the relationship itself to discretely show the progression of the relationship. To do that, you can visit my post on Love from last week to find pointers, but reveal stages like flirting, romantic love or even familial love if your characters relationship goes that far. You can reveal something to advance an element of the plot or reveal small emotions of one character or another.

 

Love

It’s February and you know what that means… it’s the month of love. So, our inspirational word for this week is, you guessed it, Love.

And to keep with tradition, let’s look at this word ~

Dictionary

  • a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
  • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent or child
  • sexual passion or desire
  • more listed Here

Wiki

  • Strong affection towards others
  • a person who is the object of romantic feelings; a darling, sweetheart, or beloved
  • a term of friendly address, regardless of feelings
  • more listed Here

There are so many more that I didn’t want to take up half this post with definitions. On to the rest of this post!

The thoughts and opinions within this post are those of the author and no one else. 

Types of Love

As with most things, we divide love into categories. You may think that’s silly, but there are different ways we as humans love, and show love. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Interpersonal

Interpersonal love refers to love expressed between humans. This type of love is expressed by family members, friends, and couples.

Romantic Love

This is sexual or passionate love between couples. Some think of Cupid and their love arrows when romantic love is mentioned, but this is much deeper and more emotional than that.

Couples Love

The feeling of deep affection for your partner is something felt so far within, you can’t breath and your chest hurts just thinking about them. There really isn’t much more to say on this. If you haven’t experienced this, just wait, you will!

Ok, so it’s not quite can’t breath/chest pain type, but you get what I mean. There is nothing more profound than the love you feel for your partner, except perhaps the love you have for your family…

Love of Family

Like romantic love this is a deep affection for those within your family; what parents feel for their children and vice versa.

Family Love

The love I have for my children is like no other. I would do anything for them. Well, I won’t do their homework for them… or their chores for them… or, well, you get the picture. I love my children, but they need to learn to do things on their own. None-the-less, the love I have for my children is right up there with the love I share with my husband.

I understand that some have a hard time with this one. Someone got hurt and the grudges have lasted months or even years. The thing is, there is nothing more important than family and though you have your differences, I’m sure deep down that love is still there. I hope those who are in this situation reconcile because there is nothing more important than family and though there have been issues, they are the ones that will be there for you no matter what.

Friendly/Platonic Love

I bet you all have those friends that you love spending time with, that will be there when you’re having a rough day or will make you laugh when all you want to do is curl up and cry.

Friendly Relationships

Though you don’t have passionate love for them, there is still a deep affection for them that can’t be replaced. This companionship is a form of trust and dependability formed by mutual understanding of what a friend is and what that entails. You care as they do and your interests may or may not resemble each others. Those things you agree on are what makes you fantastic friends.

Love of Self

This is the love you have for yourself. Some may think that you don’t have any love for yourself. You don’t like the way you look, you feel you have to wear makeup every day to cover up what you consider blemishes or you feel you can’t do anything right. There is always going to be something about ourselves that we are not going to like, right?

Self Love

Well, you may not ‘like’ yourself, but I bet you do love yourself. You have so many things going for you. I bet if you wrote down a list of pros and cons, you would come up with a long list of pros that would outweigh the cons. Don’t get me wrong, there are always going to be things I can’t stand about myself. I’m a little overweight, I could probably use some makeup and I’m a redhead, so I can have a temper, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love myself.

You have to make a choice to love what you have or change it. I’ve learned to love who I am. I may try to change some things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my previous self. How do you move forward if you don’t learn from the previous person you once were? Move forward and create a better, healthier, more lovable you. Write down the things you want to achieve and go after them. You’ll be glad you did.

Impersonal

Universal Love

Here you will find the love of all things nature, the love for strangers and the love of God. Now you may think that loving strangers is strange, but you don’t really know them, so how do you know if you love them or not. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s natural for us to love everything. It’s a reaction of the first meeting that give you a judgment of whether you’ll continue to love, like, or dislike those that you meet.

Love of Nature

Now, nature is another story. When I hear people say they hate nature, it kind of makes me laugh. If we didn’t have everything that nature entailed, we wouldn’t be alive. Plants and animals are what we as humans use to live on a daily basis, not just for food, but for clothing, furniture and even down to the things we use daily like pencils and paper. Yes, there are other materials we can use for some of those, but what about air, shelter and the basic things you feel you need to have to live. You may not like it, but you should love what it does for you.

Uncommitted Love

This one could be included into other categories as additions, but it seemed appropriate to keep it to its own category. In this group, you have those moments before romantic love where within the relationship there is teasing, flirting, and seducing. Like courting, it is the journey of conquest and could include the motto of ‘no strings attached’.

Flirting, Dancing, Love

It’s that playful time before commitment, where you’re learning each other and would be considered the best part of the relationship between two people. It’s where you are feeling each other out to see if something long term could be possible and what could be more fun than that?

Love of Work

Work, Duty

Within this category you have a practical love that’s founded on reason or duty, fulled by one’s long-term interest. This is what you will do to make things work within any kind of relationship, whether it’s a work relationship, personal relationship, or mild acquaintance. Do you feel that you need to make a good impression? Do you worry about how others perceive you as a person? What drives you to make that first, second or even third good impression? The reason or duty you have to yourself or those around you or even to a company you work for may drive you to create a relationship that is beneficial to all those involved.

Final Thoughts

Which stage/category are you in right now? What do you believe is the right course of action within that category? Sometimes you just need a reminder of where you are and who you want to be. Trust yourself and the things you do. You’ll find you can love anyone, including yourself if you only look deep.

Newly Implemented For 2019

With the start of the new year, and as many do, I’ve decided to implement some new items to my morning and my daily routine. These tools are helping me to keep my life and business organized. So far it’s working great. Maybe not as well when I travel, but it’s working great none-the-less. So, let’s talk about these new tools and daily routine that help me to get things done timely and efficiently. Who knows, they could help you too!

Tools

Everyone has tools they love and those they don’t. I’ve been using some for the last few years and tried others, with little success. This year, I decided to plan ahead and get things ready for working throughout the year. Here is what I’ve found so far. 

Asana

 

Implemented checklist

This is one that I began using a few years ago and I enjoyed using it. I like the checklist aspect of it and the way I could put my lists in categories, but it wasn’t personable. I would enjoy customizing them so I’m encouraged as I look at the lists, having images to look at for motivation. If you enjoy the benefits of multiple lists for organization, then this is the app for you. I may still use it for a running to do for our home, but I’ve decided to try something new this year, which leads me to my next tool… 

Trello

Implemented Schedule

I’ve heard a lot about Trello throughout last year and I did try it out, but actually hated it. I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to organize things or how to use it well enough at the time to fully enjoy this program. So, at the end of last year I went through tutorials and set up the program as I felt it would help with my life and my business. Using it these last few weeks has been fantastic. I know what I’m doing, what needs to be done and where I am with my projects to keep things going smoothly. That and I can add images, documents, or whatever else I feel I need to keep myself motivated and on track!

Planner

Implemented Planner

This is where I struggled the most. There are so many planners out there, it’s hard to find one that would fit me and what I wanted to accomplish throughout the year. If I took it with me, I wanted to have everything I needed with me and in one place. That, I couldn’t find, so I created one. This planner has all the information I feel I need whether I’m at home working or on the road. It’s taken me a year and a half to get it to where it is now and I’m happy with how it’s turned out. It has a section for business, books, personal, daily, blog, newsletters, and more. 

This been a fun project to complete and one that saves me from losing my mind while away from my home or at my desk when I need a piece of information, like brand (hex) colors, font names, character traits or a review of my plot. It’s always near me and I love it! 

Daily Routine

I’ve started a new daily routine that includes getting my mind in the right place for writing and getting things done in a reasonably easy fashion. Of course, I’m still working out the kinks, especially when I’m away from home. That seems to be when things get a bit out of hand, but I’m working on that. 

Creative Writing

Complete the Story Prompts

While out with my sister a few months ago, I purchased a book called “Complete the Story”, which contains a prompt on each page for you to finish. I’ve decided that I would complete one each day as part of my daily routine to get my creative flow moving and to get down new ideas for stories at the same time. What could be better than that? So far, I’ve stuck to that plan and have so many new ideas from these small prompts. Not to mention a book to keep then in. 😉

Posts

I’ve continued to post on social media daily and have a schedule of the categories I post from, but I would love to get down exactly what I would like to post as it relates to writing and inspiration. As of right now, things are going well and I’m really happy with my progress. I’ve also been posting regularly to my Patreon Page, which contains things you won’t find anywhere else! Head Here to check it out!!

Checklist

With Trello now working in my favor, I’ve got everything that I need to work through my business, books and products I plan to have go out this year. I’m ahead of schedule and that is a fantastic feeling. Even though I have a planner, I still have everything with me in Trello incase I don’t have my planner with me. It’s a win-win!

Checklist

Another thing I have that I didn’t before is a “Catch all” or a small notebook to catch all the things that come to mind that would otherwise distract me. I put them in that spiral and when I’m done with all the other things that need attention, that’s when I’ll look at that list to see what else needs to be taken care of. It’s written down and out of mind so I can concentrate on what needs to be done instead of worrying about things that aren’t as important. 

I can still get things done and have a list where I can find the things I wanted to remember for later, it’s great!

Exercise

Exercise

Another area I’m working to do better at. Being a writer, I don’t get up and move as much as I should. So, I’ve scheduled time to exercise and since I like boxing, that is what I’ve been getting into. I was lucky enough to get a Nintendo Switch for Christmas! (Yeah, I know. I’m a gamer.) Anyway, my husband was nice enough to order Fitness Boxing on the Nintendo Switch for me to get back into the rhythm of exercising and so far it’s going well and I’m enjoying it. Who knew you could exercise and play a game at the same time! Well, I did, but it’s fun and I love it!!

School

school

As most of you know, I homeschool my children and although they do some things on their own, there is still quite a bit they need direction in. Even though my day is filled with school and work, but I wouldn’t trade if for the world. So far I’ve been using Homeschool Teacher/Student for their school schedule and grading, but there are things about it that still bother me. I look every so often, but haven’t found anything else I’m willing to put money into to take the place of it. We’ll continue until I do find something better. 

School takes up a good portion of the day, and there are some days where it feels like it’s taking forever to get through one subject, but we are working through it and are doing well. Know of any apps that would help with schedules, grading, etc. I’d love to hear about them!! 

Other

ahead

Here is where I try to get ahead or work on my running list of things that I wrote down to work on. Then I spend time with my kids playing games, or watching movies. I always make some time to spend with my children at night doing something fun after dinner. It’s a way we can connect better and do something we all like to do. What do you do with our family? Do you make time to spend with then each night/day? 

Final Thoughts

There are areas where I still need to work out kinks, but things are looking good so far and I’m happy with my progress. What does your day look like? Have you added or changed from your daily routine this year to make things easier? What apps are you using to organize your life and/or business? Let us know in the comments. 

Believe

Believe

As for the previous words, this one is another that works well for the beginning of the year as well as the any other time of year. In order to complete your plans and achieve your goals, you must believe that you can. I’ve written a similar post long ago on Self Faith, you can check it out by clicking the link HERE.

Let’s go into our favorite time… yep, it’s definition time!

Dictionary

  • accept something as true, feel sure of the truth of
  • bold something as an opinion; think or suppose

WIKi

  • To accept as true, particularly without absolute certainty
  • To accept that someone is telling the truth
  • To have religious faith; to believe in a great truth
  • To consider likely

Quotes On ‘Believe’

There are always times we are in need of motivation and encouragement, so I thought I would include some quotes that would do just that. You’re welcome. 🙂

We are what we believe we are. ~ C.S. Lewis

Magic is believing in yourself. If you an do that, you can make anything happen. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Believe in your dreams, they were given to you for a reason. ~ Unknown

Believe in Yourself

Yes, I know sometimes this can be difficult, but you’ll never achieve what you’re striving toward if you don’t believe in yourself.

How do you do that?

Envision

One of the best ways to believe in yourself is to envision what your life would look like if you achieved your goals, your journey, your training, or whatever else you are working toward. 

So how can you envision this if you’re a visual person? Well, there’s a few ways. You can create a mood board, get some pasteboard and create a collage. Make a board on Pinterest and for those that are doing posters, don’t forget to put yourself there showing how accomplished you feel. Nothing makes you believe better than seeing yourself already in the state of success. 

Begin

So, where do you go from here? How do you begin to believe in yourself after you’ve envisioned yourself where you want to be? 

Well, you begin by acting or getting your mind in the right state. One that correlates with your goals and the achievements you’ll make. If you don’t know how to act, look up others who have done what you want to do and imitate them, just don’t take it so far that you’re no longer yourself. Make a list of things they do and work through the ones you think will help you on your journey. 

Believe in your business

Here you are going to think of your work and business life. 

Action

Here is where you are going to take action. Create steps that you can follow to get you to the places you want to go, the achievement you want to make, and the goals you want to accomplish. You must move and be active if you want to succeed at anything. Staying stationary is just going to keep you in the same rut you’ve been in. So, climb out of that pit and get moving!

Team

At this point you may have a need to find a group of people who will be there for you and help keep you on track. They’ll check in to see how you’re doing and motivate you to stick with it, keep going and keep striving to do better. They won’t do the work for you, but they can provide feedback, and help you figure out where to go next or how to fix what isn’t working. The good ones will be there for you throughout the good and bad times, when you feel like quitting, or just don’t feel like doing anything. That’s when you need your team the most. 

Believe in you Future

This is what you are striving for! Keep going!

Review

As with anything you do, you should review what you’ve done. See what’s working, what didn’t, and figure out how to move forward toward your goals, dreams, and that one special achievement you have in the back of your mind. 

Review them weekly, monthly or yearly, but be sure to make a list of your achievements. Keep a running account of what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished toward those goals. Reviewing them will tell you just how far you’ve come, how much you’ve really achieved. Be proud of those achievements and continue believing you can do it. If you’ve accomplished this goal, then guess what! Here’s where you get to start a new one!!

Learn

There are some things you will need to learn right away and some you will learn as you journey to your goal. Those you need to learn right away are:

  • You are going to try and fail, it’s part of the journey and
  • Learn from your mistakes

As it states, while journeying to your goal; you are going to try some things and those things may fail. Don’t let that discourage you, remember believe you can and you can do it. Those things you’ve failed at, use them to learn what not to do in the future. You can’t get anywhere by doing the same thing expecting a different outcome. Which brings me to my next point… 

Change

…Change! Adjust, develop, modify, and revise your steps as you go. If something isn’t working, change it so that it is. Get feedback from your team, search for a better way, but don’t expect things to be different if you haven’t changed anything. As with time, you must evolve with it. Don’t let those goals and achievements get left behind to mold, rot, or float away like dust on a breeze. Reform them, adjust them and make them better as you develop them. Keep them in your sights and you will never get lost in fog. 

Final Thoughts

So, are you ready to believe? Are you ready to achieve that dream, accomplish that goal and be that person you have displayed on your board? Believe you can do it and keep moving! Revise those steps and change as you go, then you will know that believing is seeing.  

Plans for 2019

Plans for 2019

As I do every year, I like to tell you what I plan to get done during the next year. You can do the same below. I would love to see what your plans are and we can encourage each other to complete our goals for the year.

Let’s get to it… I’ll be breaking things up into different categories so it’s easier for me to get down.

Books

Series

Since I’ve come to my senses and realize that I need more eyes going through my stories before they are published, I’ve decided to re-launch my series.

They are getting a whole new look, run through with betas and hopefully an editor before they are launched again. All seven books in the series are written and are in need of read throughs, so if you are looking to start a new series and would like free books I’d love to have you on my beta reader team!! Click Here to get started!

Books

Stand Alone/Possible Series

I have two other stories I’ve been working on. One is a stand alone while the other may become a series. I haven’t decided yet. The stand alone is written and a bit longer so it needs to be read through yet.

The second one I’m still writing and should be complete by the end of January.

My main series will be revised and published as I get them done, hopefully one a month until they are complete and published. The other two will hopefully be complete by the end of August, so keep an eye open for those.

To Be Read

I have a list of books I’ve been trying to get through and my plan for 12 throughout the year worked out last year, so I’ll continue that this year. Have any book you would like to recommend? I’d love find new authors to read.

I also have been reading at least three that are non-genre or educational related, so I’ll also continue that for this year as well. With all the things I want to do this year, I don’t want to overdue myself like I did last year.

Short Stories

Here is something I would love to provide. I tried last year to provide some, but things got out of hand and I had to put it on the back burner. My plan for these is to bring one out every other month, so the first one should be out by the end of February! Check out my Patreon Page for more and to support me if you wish. Every little bit helps to provide awesome products to you, the reader!!

Beta Readers/Arc readers

Ok, so I have a few beta readers who have started reading through my stories and I’m getting responses, but I would like a few more. You would become an important part of my publishing journey as you are given my manuscript for free and in return you would give me your suggestions on how to make the story the best it can be.

Reading

If you’re interested in becoming a beta reader, please head Here and I’ll get you started! Thank you in advance to anyone willing to read and provide feedback! You are Awesome!!

I’m not quite ready for ARC readers, but hopefully soon. I’ll put out a call for those as the time comes, so keep a look out for that.

Editor

I’m in search for an editor. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done much here because we just did’t have the funds, but it’s essential so we’ll do what we can. Investments of the trade, right? It’ll pay off and we’ll move forward as we always have.

Edit

Know a good editor who might be interested in paranormal romances? I’d like to get an editor soon so I can provide the best books for you, my readers.

Communication

Blog

If you are on my newsletter, you know that I plan to up my blog posts to weekly instead of by-weekly. My desire is to bring you even more awesome content than I did last year. There will be bi-weekly posts on an inspirational word while the other bi-weeks will relate to a writing topic.

Have a word or writing topic you would like me to write about? Go ahead and leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my list! Tell me what you would like to see here!

Communication

Connections

Social media is a big platform for me and I’ve been posting daily to those I want to keep active on. I plan to become more active and provide you with more inspiration, discussions and the like. You can even leave me a question and I’ll answer them on my FB and Twitter pages. Want to see images of what I do or my five cats? Tell me what you would like to see and I’ll put them on my instagram.

I love connecting with others so let me know what you’d like to see and I’ll do what I can get you a peak into my life as a writer!

Business

New Products

So, I’ve been thinking of expanding my business to more than just novels. I would like to provide items that would be fun and helpful for writers and readers alike.

I have some digital products in mind as well as physical products. I’ll be doing an extra blog post on those as they become available. Expect the first one near the end of January and throughout the year. Right now I have four planned, with more to come as the year goes by. If you want to be notified when all that is happening, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE!

Business Products

Video

Unfortunately, this is still in the works and I’m hoping to get it up and running with regular videos as soon as possible. I plan to have it going by the end of March.

I know some like video better than reading a blog, so I would like to provide more ways to connect with you as readers than just written words. Again, I’ll let you know when that becomes available!

Other Items

Educational

Every year I try to complete a few education classes, courses, books that will help me to improve my writing and skills. This year is no different. So my plans for this year are to complete three as I did last year. If I’m able to fit more, I will.

Guitar

Art/Music

Two of the things I love, but haven’t planned the time to do is draw and play my guitars. These are the two things that get pushed to the back while I’m focused on everything else. This year, I plan to fit them in, even if it’s just an hour on the weekends.

Final Thoughts

So, now that I’ve told you what my plans are, what do you have planned? Do you think I’ve planned too much?

Let me know what you have planned for 2019 and we can keep each other encouraged and motivated as we journey though the year!

Evolve

Evolve

The new year is here and I have another word that works well for the start of this new year… Evolve.

You may think this would be better suited for the end of the year or within the middle, but I wanted to give it to you so you could put it in your mind and think about it as you begin this year. You’ll find out why below.

Yep, we’re keeping to the tradition… here are the definitions!

Wiki

  • Develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form

Dictionary

  • To develop gradually
  • To give off or emit, as odor or vapors

Let’s stick with the first two, shall we? Those are the ones we want to focus on. So, why did I close the word evolve and what does it have to do with you?

Well, let’s dive in and I’ll tell you all about it.

How to Evolve…

We’ll touch on a few items here as to why and how the word “evolve” would be chosen for the first word of the year.

Personal

Mind and Body

This area is definitely an area I need to work on. To evolve your mind and body, you must work to gain the knowledge and physicality you intend to achieve.

By learning, taking new courses, research and more, you are able to grow your knowledge of any subject you decided is worth your time (and money). Learning is important in your every day life. It’s what keeps your you brain active, your thoughts moving and your mind reaching for new ideas, new stories, and new innovations.

yoga

If you’re anything like me and you write for a living, moving around and getting enough exercise is something that is important, but not important enough to schedule it in and actually see that it gets done. A lot of us hate exercising for one reason or anther, but I challenge you to find some activity you like to do and start with that. For me, it’s kickboxing. I hate pushups and pull-ups, squats and all the rest, but I do enjoy punching and kicking. Who knew!

So, look into activities you might enjoy and stick with those. Remember, it needs to be active. No, Netflix doesn’t count. Lifting the remote to surf only works one arm so try something new for the new year.

Rest

This may go against the above, but getting enough sleep is essential to you and your business as well. Not long ago, I began staying up to see my husband when he got home from work at 11:30 at night. If I stayed up with him, we wouldn’t get to sleep until after 1am sometimes. Getting up the next morning was difficult and most of the time, I would sleep in.

The point of telling you that is because although I loved seeing him, it wasn’t practical for getting up with my children every morning and working on my business. This year the schedule will be a bit different. So, keep those things in mind as you look toward this year.

Business

Evolving within your business is the goal of many at the start of the new year. The progress and growing of your business from the previous year is an achievement all of us strive for.

New Look/Content

With the beginning of the new year, it’s a good time to take a look at your business and decide what is working and what isn’t. A refresh of your brand, colors, fonts may be necessary to grow and move forward with your business as it was intended.

For more on this and other topics you can visit my previous post on the word REJUVENATE, where I go through and list how you can rejuvenate yourself, your business, and more.

Your content is how your readers get to know you. By providing new and engaging topics, you’ll grow your business and gain more viewers/readers. Use your previously engaging topics to plan for future content. Use what works well and grow off of those.

Relationships

This is the place where everything happens. Keep those contacts close as you move forward and you’ll learn more than you intended. I did.

Busienss Connections

I can confidently say that I’ve improved in this area. I’m a massive introvert and connecting with others takes a lot for me to do, but I’ve connected with a wonderful group of women that are willing to encourage, give suggestions, and provide feedback on my work.

It’s a great feeling when you connect with others who are just a passionate about your writing as you are and I couldn’t be happier that I finally took that step and communicated with these ladies.

Do yourself a favor and start connecting with others, the worst they are going to do is tell you they are not willing to speak with you and that just opens the door for anther to take their place. Work on making those connections. You’ll be glad you did!

PErsonal Connections

Your personal connections, those within your daily life are just as important as those within your business. These are your friends, your family and those you are close too.

Creating those personal connections and making them stronger will create a sense of belonging and encouragement. You need personal connections to get through daily life. Someone to vent to, to cry with, to share your new favorite drink with. These are the people that keep you sane, while still giving you a break from your business life. Don’t let them go to the wayside. Keep them close and build on them.

Final Thoughts

So, evolve your life, your business and your growth. See it bloom and reach for places you never dreamt possible.

So, what are you doing this year to evolve this year? Let me know below. I’d love to hear how you are. You never know, something you do could encourage another so go ahead and comment below!

January’s Writing Theme: New Year, New Plans

It’s a new year and like most you may be making plans for the year or the next few weeks or months. Let’s make 2019 great and hold each other accountable. List something you are trying to accomplish this year below so we can encourage you on your journey!

Example: Some of the things I have planned for this year are… to relaunch my paranormal romance series. (All seven books are written) I also have some fun and creative things planned that I will keep as a surprise. I’m already working on one and you’re going to love it!! 

So what is one thing you have planned for 2019?