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?

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.  

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!

Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

With the new year right around the corner, I thought I would give a word that fits pretty well for the New Year. This is not just an encouraging word, but a reminder to take some time for yourself now and throughout the year to rejuvenate your mind, body, and even your writing/business.

Everyone needs rejuvenating, a fresh start or to refresh something in their lives. I learned that the hard way this year. I tried to work nearly everyday throughout the year with little breaks. It was extremely hard to keep going with my plans and a lot of them fell through. So, putting in some time to rejuvenate myself and my business is now part of my planning for next year.

Now on to our favorite part… definitions!

Wiki

  • To make someone or something look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively

Dictionary

  • To make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance, etc
  • To restore to a former state; to make fresher or new again.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the real reason we are here. How do we rejuvenate ourselves? and how do we rejuvenate different areas of our lives?

Well, that’s what I’m here to talk to you about, so let’s get started. You may want your planner for this one. I’m gonna mention it a few times.

How to Rejuvenate Yourself…

So, I don’t expect you to spend a lot of time with your planner and not enjoy the actual rejuvenating suggestions here. Go ahead, read through, get yourself ready and then get that planner out or visa versa, but we will be planning some time throughout the year. You choose!

Your Mind

Don’t overload Yourself

Here is something I tend to do all the time. I schedule way to much in a short period and then never get anything done. Do you ever feel like that? You plan things out and are raring to go, ready to tackle your projects, plans, and/or products and you find that you’re waisted by the time you get into the middle of the project because you’re trying to get everything going RIGHT NOW? That is totally me.

This year is different, I plan to schedule in things I feel I can get done and leave some space if those end up going longer than planed. The mind and body need to work together and scheduling your items with ample time to complete them will keep your mind on task, but without giving you the burnout you’re used too.

Take Breaks

This goes with the above, if you end up overloading yourself, which I’m sure some of us will do. Don’t forget to schedule in some much needed breaks. I honestly thought I could write everyday and work on everything else for my business at the same time without taking a break.

We all know that was a major mistake and I’ll be scheduling in breaks and days off so that my brain can rejuvenate and refresh itself instead of walking around in the fog I have now. Seriously, it’s a terrible feeling. Don’t do it!

Plan Ahead

I know every one plans ahead and if you don’t I highly recommend that you do. (At least make a list with deadlines) When you plan ahead, you have an idea of what is coming up and can keep that in your mind as you move forward. If you have a book coming out at the end of March, you know you have the pre-launch steps, graphics, artwork, posts, and more that need to get done. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll be flying blind and scrambling to get all that complete before publishing.

Let’s save ourselves some time and frustration and get a plan down. You’ll be happy you did. This may not seem like something you would use to rejuvenate yourself with, but it will help you rejuvenate as you move throughout the coming year.

Me Time

You need to take some time to yourself occasionally in order to get your body and mind back into sync. Whatever you need to get your mind and body back on the same page, whether that’s taking a nap once in a while, meditation, relaxing with a movie, a good book 😉 and your favorite drink, or sitting on your porch watching the sunset/sunrise.

Whatever you feel you need to have some you time to recharge your batteries and realign your thoughts… make sure you put that in your schedule so you can forge ahead with the same vigor you had at the beginning of the year.

Your Body

Exercise

This may not be appealing to some, it’s definitely not for me, but us author and writers rely on exercise to keep us from becoming lazy, grumpy and irritable. Action and moving is necessary for good health and staying sane as a writer.

Yep, you know what I’m going to say now. Schedule that in your planner! No, don’t skip it. Put it in there right now. Ok, so if you’re reading through this first, make sure to put it in there when you go back through!

Water

If you are anything like me, which I bet some of you are… I hate water and only like drinking it when it’s ice cold. I know I don’t get enough water daily and I’m working on getting up where I need to be.

Many planners have a tracker somewhere and I’ve already started using mine. If you’re already drinking enough water, kudos to you, keep that up!

Nutrients

Yep, I’m gonna tell you to eat healthy and yes it’s coming from a chocolate lover (particularly dark chocolate… yum), but getting what your body needs to function on a daily basis instead of all the junk is going to boost your mood quite a bit.

No being sluggy or sleepy; get those nutrients you need so you can keep up with what your plans for the year. I’ll be here if you need motivation and you can throw some my way too. I’m gonna need it!

Sleep/Rest

Yep I’m gonna put breaks in here as well. Your body and mind need adequate sleep and rest in order to rejuvenate properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep and feeling tired all the time, you’re not going to be able to focus on what you’ve put on your schedule or get that big project done by the deadline you set. So make sure you’re getting the sleep you need to tackle all that awesomeness you have planned!

Posture

Ugh, sitting in this darn chair for long periods is killer on the back. It’s got support, but not enough. I guess I should invest in one of those back support pillows. It’s going on my list, right now… and done! 🙂

But seriously, your posture is important. You don’t want to get up one day and start feeling like your too old to even sit in your computer chair. Let’s take care of ourselves so that we can continue the things we love and bring awesome content to our readers!

How to Rejuvenate other areas…

Business

This may not seem like a rejuvenating category, but I guarantee you that if you take a look at these and adjust as needed, you’ll feel like a whole new business and ready to tackle 2019 and anything else that comes your way!

New Look

Sometimes you get used to the colors, fonts, pages of your site so much that you don’t realize that it’s just not working for you or your brand any longer. Here is the chance to evaluate how your site is doing and spruce it up if necessary.

Your readers and connections are going to know you by that site and brand. You want to make sure that it’s going to attract those you want to be fans of your work. So, go through and see if it’s still working as it was intended and make adjustments if needed to get more organic views.

Content

Now this goes for any type of content you’re putting out to the world. Blog, social media, books, anything. You may have been writing about whatever comes to mind or just journaling, writing what you feel may gain new views, but I encourage you to take a look at your past posts and see what got the most attention.

Use those to create new pieces of content to continue gaining new views and new fans.

Office

Again, here you wouldn’t think would be a rejuvenating activity, but that’s the beauty of business and organization. Once you know what your doing and where everything is. Things tend to go smoother.

Organization

Okay, I totally get that some of you are the ‘Organized chaos’ type of people and I completely respect that. You do what’s best for you, but if you’re the type that likes to be organized and have everything in it’s proper place. Here is your time to do that.

I love having an organized office (area), desk. It makes me feel more productive when I know where everything is and I can reach it easily. For me, it’s annoying to have a cluttered desk and to have to search for something when my brain feels it should have been within easy reach and organized.

Office Pic

Declutter

With organization, here is the time to get that clutter out and create the space you’ve always wanted your office to be… a zone of productivity and accomplishment.

Remove anything that shouldn’t or doesn’t have a home within your office, on your desk, or in your drawers. Find another home for it that’s going to create a sense of organized peace within your life.

My kids are notorious for putting random things on my desk. Get all that out and find a place for it or get rid of it if it’s not important for you or anyone in your family.

Rearrange

This one is optional, but helps me when I’m in a rut, visual wise. I like to rearrange my office once in a while to give my brain a new visual perspective.

Seeing things in a different way can get your brain working in creative ways that you never would have thought before with your things in their original position. This may contradict the last few items, but if you rearrange as your organize and declutter, I know you’ll love the outcome.

New Paint/Decorations

Something I’ve been waiting to do is repaint my office (area), unfortunately, it’s not in the plans until we take down the paneling and replace it with drywall. Hopefully that will happen this year! But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a new color that would encourage your imagination, ignite your mind and provide a sense of accomplishment as you walk in the room.

Decorations (not ‘decor’, my husband hates that word, not sure why, but I’ve learned to write it out for his benefit) are the window to encouragement and imagination. If you create them yourself, the more meaning they have. Find quotes and images that will encourage and keep you motivated.

Home

One of the things we really hate is going out or on vacation and returning to a dirty home. It’s not easy to keep a home clean with multiple people and small children running around, but with some planning and periodic pick up it can become a clean and welcoming place.

Deep Clean

Here is something that I’ve done this year, room by room. I definitely wouldn’t do this all at once unless you have an empty house for the weekend and determination to get it done in that time. I pick a room, remove everything from it, clean everything (scrub the floors, baseboards, windows and sills, and anything else that needs cleaning) before returning everything back to the room in an organized manner.

My kids actually liked helping me with this and asked when we were going to do the next room. It’s a nice team working activity, if you want to use it as such. 😉

Home

Organize

Same with your office, if you have your home organized and are able to find everything, creating a space for everything so you can find it when you need it. This is still something we are working on in our home, but it’s getting done so we know where everything is.

Renovate/Remodel

This is definitely optional and only if you were already planning to do this, but remodeling could also give a new perspective on things as well as a new feeling of accomplishment, not just on your home, but within your business as well (if the room was your office).

Use those small accomplishments to fuel your goals and missions for the coming year.

Relationships

Are your relationships needing rejuvenating? Are they getting stale and in need of refreshing?

Well, I’m not going to tell you what you need to do in that area, but I can give you some generic suggestions.

Connections

Are the connections you have with the people you care about falling to the wayside? Think of ways to create deeper connections with those you care for.

Find time to spend with them, got out to lunch, play a game, plan a party or just hang out and get some drinks. See what they like to do and offer to do that.

My kids love to play games and my husband loves movies so we plan game days and movie marathons regularly. Luckily for us our friends like games too, so we’ll plan game days with them as well.

Online connections are just as important if you’ve got a business. Ask them how they’re doing? See if they need any help with anything and be there if they need to rant. Connections are the best way to get fans of your business as well as network with others, not to mention creating a fantastic new group of friends.

Spontinaety

Being spontaneous has been some of the most enjoyable times for us. We’ve actually decided one day to take a trip to Tennessee and left the next day for a week. No planning, nothing. We just packed and went. It was fantastic!

Surprises also work the same way. Do something that will surprise your friends, family, and/or significant other. Don’t expect anything in return, cause that’s not how this works. Enjoy the surprise and joy you bring to others by providing something to their day they weren’t expecting.

Final Thoughts

Yeah, I know some of these are not your usual ‘rejuvenate’ type things, but they will bring a fresh start and a new perspective to your life that you may not have had before. Who wouldn’t want a fresh start sometimes?

What are you doing this year to rejuvenate for next 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!

Lessons Learned in 2018

Once again, the end of the year is near and there is so much I’ve learned this year in my life, my business, and my home. You may not think it would benefit you to read about things I’ve learned throughout the year, but doing just that may bring something similar to light that you may have learned and forgotten during the year or perhaps there’s something I learned that may enlighten you to something new. If you would like to see my list from last year you can find it HERE! Now on to this year… I’ve had a tough year writing this year. I had everything planned out, ready to go, my motivation high, a go-getter attitude until the end of March when I traveled a lot and lost the momentum I gain at the beginning. Although I was able to continue, I wasn’t able to regain the same passion and go-getter attitude I had at the beginning of the year. Because of that, things didn’t get done. I let some things go and I had not energy to keep going with my series. I took a break to try to re-energize myself, but even after that, I felt I put too much weight onto my shoulders to continue with much, which caused me to redo things and see things in a different light than I would have during any other time. Below are some things I learned to add to the list from last year. I’m only focusing on a few points this year as the holidays are near and I’m feeling drained as it is. Time to refocus and speaking of that…

Focus

With things going on during different times of the year, it’s hard to lose focus on what you really wanted to accomplish during that time. I had so many plans, but my problem was that although I had goals and ‘plans’, I didn’t really plan out the steps to keep myself accountable or moving forward as I continue my journey through life. You can bet I’ve revamped my planner to allow me to create action steps, deadlines, reminders and anything else I need to keep myself on track for the coming year.

Communication/connections

I’ve read and read about connecting with other writers, but I never really took the time to actually do that until this year. Even though I wasn’t getting too much published with my own books, I took on some beta and ARC reading to help other authors with their stories. This has been a fantastic experience and every one of them has been awesome. I’ve asked questions, had one look at my covers, etc and they gave me their honest opinions and advice on everything I questioned, without hesitation on their part. I could not have asked for a better experience than I’ve had with the ladies I’ve connected with this year. Here’s to you: Raven Kennedy Ivy Asher Blake Blessing LM Wilson Lidia Russell Not only are they very talented, they’ve taken time out of their busy schedules to allow me to ask them questions, gain advice and learn from them as they continue their own journey. Check out their books and pages! These ladies are freakin’ awesome!!

New Programs

4thewords.com

I’m sure if you’ve signed up for my newsletter, you’ve seen me talk about a site called 4thewords.com. Listen, I know I’ve probably overstepped my welcome with this, but I honestly LOVE this site. During a writing slump near the middle of the year, I watched the girls of WordNerds (who I watch regularly) as they raved about this site. I had to check it out and it’s freakin’ crazy. Who knew you could go on your own adventure, fight your own monsters, collect rare items and more all while writing. Use your words to fight monsters and go on an epic adventure while doing it? Sign me up!!

Photoshop

I finally invested in Photoshop and really like the program. Though I wish it weren’t so expensive, it’s definitely worth the money you pay for the program and all  that comes with it. I’ve been creating my own book covers and I admit that my first few attempts were terrible, I’ve redone book 1 of my Conquer the Darkness Series three times now and I feel that my skills are improving.

Light X

Light X is another photo editor that was recommended by one of the lovely ladies from above. I’ve downloaded it and tried it out, but there is a bit of a learning curve as I am still trying to work though layers and being able to edit previous layers I’ve added. Since it came highly recommended, I’ll give it further attention and see where it takes me.

Breaks

Man, did I learn my lesson on this one. When I scheduled my time last year, I didn’t really schedule in breaks. I thought I would just take off on holidays and such, but my mind didn’t want to and trying to get back into motion after taking a week long break was so hard. You can bet my planner has breaks and that I’ll be creating a guide of where I left off so I can get back into rhythm after those breaks.

Writing Processes

So, I have to admit something. When I first started writing, I did everything myself. I wrote, edited, revised, published, created my own covers, EVERYTHING! Now, I knew that this was wrong when I started, but like many writers, I’m broke and can’t afford  many of the services required to create such an amazing story. So, to start off on the right foot, I’ve decided to re-launch my series in January and my first step is to find Beta readers who are willing to read my stories and give me feedback on characters, settings, arcs, and anything else they may find within my writings. If you are interested in becoming a beta reader for my story, below is the description (which will be getting a revamp to, so bear with me) and the newest cover. If you’re interested, please sign up HERE! I promise you won’t regret it!

Ray of light

A nurse at the local hospital, Raylynn Bormarlian provides comfort and love to the patients she treats. But something inside keeps her from accepting the same love and comfort from others. As memories of the nightmare she experienced long ago return, Raylynn is forced to confront a man that created so much misery, pain and anguish to her younger self in order to find what is hidden deeper in her soul. Jynx Luminar is a top operative in an elite force determined to protect those with unusual powers and are in need of assistance returning to society after traumatic events. Assigned to protect and train the woman he once caused so much pain, he must find a way to tell her his secret before he loses her forever. From their first scent, Raylynn and Jynx could not resist the attraction simmering between them. Yet, Raylynn must face what has become her worst nightmare to forge forward with Jynx without fear of the past. Will they overcome their demons once entering the lab of a man who haunted her dreams and caused a terror so great she no longer willed to live? Will he find the courage to tell her of his past? So, what have you learned this year? Maybe I can learn from you. Go ahead, comment and let me know. Have questions? Ask those too. 

Thankful…

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I wanted to take some time to talk about being thankful. Being thankful should be for just one season or one day of the year. You should reflect on what you are thankful for daily and if you can’t do daily, then weekly and if you are so busy that you can’t do weekly, then monthly. If you can’t do monthly, well then, you’ve got an issue.

Now, let’s take a look at the word Thankful.

WIKI

  • Showing appreciation or gratitude

Dictionary

  • Feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative

Well, guess that’s self explanatory, isn’t it.

Being thankful is much deeper than that one time of year where you gather together for a feast and recite one thing you’re thankful for. Some of you may have a routine down where you acknowledge those things that you are thankful for throughout the year, but if you are like me, it only comes up during certain situations and to be honest, it’s something a lot of us (myself included) need to work on.

Thankfulness

Thankfulness can come in many forms from feelings, to actions, to personal care. If you really thought about what you were thankful for today would be able to create a list a mile long or just a few short items.

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Does it come to you in small ways everyday, when you look at your every day activities? Or do you need a reminder to be thankful? When you watch the news about a young child being saved from, well, anything? Do you think of your own children and are thankful they haven’t experienced that?

When you watch those offering up their possessions to another who is homeless… are you thankful that you have those items readily available and that  you are blessed with the finances to pay for those items?

Do you need a reminder to be thankful? Or are you forever thankful?

Health and Well-Being

I read an article recently stating that being thankful boosts your well being and success and after thinking about it, I totally agree.

If you were to acknowledge what you are thankful for throughout the year, on a daily basis; you realize you feel better about your situations, creating positive feelings about your situation and you position.

Those positive feelings caused you to do more positive actions, which in turn flow to the people around you.

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Have you ever heard the phrase, “Always find opportunities to make others smile?” Someone could be having one of the worst days, but with a smile it will lighten their mood.

I have done this to my husband countless time. My goal is to trap him before he can go anywhere. I’ll stand in front of him, just smiling and he will smile back. It brings me joy to be able to make him smile even in his darkest moments. And you can do that for others as well. Not the blocking their way bit, the smiling bit.

If you smile at one person, it could change the outcome of their entire day. Do I believe that? Absolutely.

Just some of the items to be thankful for:
  • Connection/relationships with others
  • Healthy body and mind
  • Healthy children and family
  • Positive Attitude
  • Position you have
  • Financial status: and I don’t me having tons more than you need, this is just what you need, because what if you had less…
  • Sharing your smile.
  • What else could you add to this list?

For Others

Like above being thankful can affect those around us. Showing that one smile to someone can create a chain reaction. Being thankful and showing your emotions for that thankfulness creates a deeper relationship with those around you, even if it’s a stranger on the street.

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Someone may be thankful that you even took the time to smile at them. We as humans need that. The encouragement and acceptance of others to calm the storm within us. We thrive on the connections we make with others.

When you walk down the street, do you do so with a smile or a frown? I’ve seen some people who seem to always walk around with a frown. Almost as if it were frozen to their face in that position and I often think if my smile and warm greeting caused that to change. I know that I have had that change. I’ve been the one to walk down the street with a frown, and brighten when someone takes the few seconds to smile and say ‘hi’.

Just some of the items to be thankful for:
  • Friends
  • Family/Relatives
  • Those of professions you visit regularly: Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, etc
  • Those in service positions: Police officers, Fireman, EMTs, etc.
  • Random smilers on the street
  • Who else could you add to this list?

For Yourself

The acknowledgement of being thankful can change the way we see the world and the way we see ourselves. If you take a really good look at yourself, do you acknowledge how thankful you are for you and the things that you have?

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Are you thankful to wake up every morning? Are you thankful for the ability to breath fresh air? Do you acknowledge your thankfulness to those who go out of their way to make you happy when you’re down or help you when there is a need?

It may seem cliche to state that you’re thankful to wake up every morning. It is repeated over and over in different ways, but have you really taken the time to think about what that really means for you, to have the ability to wake up every morning?

For me it means:
  • I get to see my children’s smiling faces and hear their giggles when they are finally getting along and playing together
  • Hear them fight and argue one more day, just because I can hear their voices.
  • I get to kiss my husband before he goes to work and sleep beside him at the end of the day.
  • My able to see the sun rise and set, the seasons change, and creations of the world. (There is a reason my desk is next to a window, I love looking outside a nature, seeing the plants and animals grow and prosper as the days go by.)
  • I have another chance to talk and see my family, my sisters and my parents.
  • Time, just time.

This list could go on forever and ever if you really took the time to be thankful for even the tiniest things.

So I ask you, what are you thankful for today? What will you be thankful for tomorrow and the next day? Grab a journal and write them down. Don’t forget, remember those moments.

Motivation

With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, many are looking for motivation to get started writing, continue writing, or to even come up with an idea for their project. Today I’d like to go through some ways you can gain motivation for your writing.

But first… you know me, let’s take a look at the word Motivation.

WIKI

  • The reason for people’s actions, desires, and needs
  • One’s direction to behavior
  • What causes a person to want to repeat a behavior

Dictionary

  • Providing with a reason to act in a certain way
  • The reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way
  • The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Motivation may come as inspiration from others, events, or from within you as an individual. In fact, I believe the words inspiration and motivation are connected since inspiration can create motivation.

If you are looking for motivation, you may need to find what inspires you to get that motivation.

So, let’s take a look at what we can find…

Other People

Family and Friends

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  • Your family and friends can be very supportive if they are inclined to be so. They can be encouraging, give you ideas, and provide the support you need to get through tough times.
  • Some may even be willing to provide assistance with thoughts on your work, providing insight and suggestions for your work as beta readers and reviewers.
  • If you have that, you are one step ahead of the crowd and I say congratulations.

Celebrities

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  • Though they have their issues, they provide mentorship and encouragement by what they do to help others. (Let’s not focus on the other crap they do, shall we?)
  • Helping to entertain the sick, donate to those in need and more create the image we search for in people of such wealth and station.

Actors/Actresses

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      Photo Courtesy of Stuart Hampton via Pixabay
  • As with other celebrities, actors/actresses also provide mentorship, encouragement, and proof that dreams of being on the big screen can be accomplished. Their success at creating characters we hate and love encourage us to emulate similar characteristics within our own characters and writing.
  • Whether it be pirates, aliens, those with powers or ordinary people, there are aspects we as authors are able to draw from to create well rounded characters of our own. Watch your favorite movies and really pay attention to the characters, settings, emotions they evoke as you watch and you’ll see that you can learn quite a bit from them.

Business People

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  • There are so many successful people that can provide a word of advice, encouragement, or inspiration that have successfully gained the status of entrepreneur, business owner, or author.
  • Some are even willing to speak about their success and motivate others to do the same. Listen to those who came before, learn from their success and their mistakes. Create connections that will help you on your journey as a writer. You never know when you’re going to need further research on a doctor, bus driver, theater attendant, or baker.

Electronic Visuals

Movies

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  • What could be better inspiration and motivation than those from the creative minds of others. The characters, settings, emotions that are evoked within the epic battles, journeys, and actions in films are all things that create inspiration within people. Providing motivation to continue with your projects once you’re mind is full of new ideas and materials.
  • Movies provide you with every aspect of a story in visual form. Watch your favorites to gain what is needed to complete your current work in progress or finally get started.

TV Shows

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  • Like Movies, these provide more on series inspirations, character development, settings, conflicts and more. Providing more insight to inner turmoil, setting changes, and more. There is so much you can get from watching series on tv that your motivation is just a button away.
  • Go ahead and binge watch your favorite series, but don’t forget to actually use the information you’re gaining from them and get some words down. You’ll never get that book done if you’re constantly watching the television.

YouTube Videos

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  • Need a bit more one on one motivation? There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can provide you with motivational stimuli. Just search for a word or phrase and choose from the videos provided to view what others have to say. Learning, listening or even creating your own videos can provide all the motivation you need to create that story you’ve been striving to complete.

Other Forms of Motivation

Nature/Everyday Locations

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  • As with anything else; nature can calm, inspire, and even motivate you to complete your manuscript. Other locations can provide what you need for settings. The sounds, sights, and even smells can give you everything you need for your story. It can also provide a way to relax and clear your mind to focus on what you need in order to find that special something for you, whether its in a quiet space or crowded mall. You know you, so do what feels best.

Fantasy/Si-Fi

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  • If you’ve read anything else from me, you know I love going to renaissance fairs. Not only are they full of inspiration, you can always find something there not just by the performers, but those just like you. They love to stay within character and can provide the inspiration you need to get things done. And if you’re like me, it’s motivation enough to be able to gain enough money to go and see all the wonderful acts, characters, even the environment of the fair.

Events/Entertainment

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  • Sports event, hobbies, and others will provide aspects that can be useful within the story you are working on. Sports events, conferences, and more provide settings, conflict, entertainment, interaction with others, and more to gain ideas for your work.
  • When fights break out, those who propose in the crowds, or emotions of those around you cheering for teams or performers can provide so many aspects of your story, you just need to look to see what is there for the taking.

Every Day Life

Needs

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  • What is something you need either for fun or for business/writing. Use that item as inspiration to get done what you planned to accomplish. A new computer, awesome accessory, or other item can be all the motivation you need to complete your goals.

 Wants

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QwertyWriter Keyboard by QwerkyWriter.com
  • What is something you don’t exactly need, but really want to have? Use that as motivation to complete what you need to get done. Keep it posted somewhere where you can see it every day. Visuals are great for keeping things in your mind fresh. Work your way to accomplishment, then reward yourself with that item when you accomplish your goals.

Family

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  • If you have children and/or significant other, they can provide all the motivation you need. If you want to make them proud, wish to provide an income for them/help provide income, or just want to show them you can accomplish your goal, they can be exactly what you need to push yourself to get it done.

Environment

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  • You can pull aspects from your environment as motivation. Where you want to live, the perfect house, and more. If you want to do better than you are or have better than you have, this could also provide motivation to gain what your heart desires.

Do you need motivation? Take a look around you and your life as a whole, you may be surprised by what you find that could proved motivation for your writing.

What motivates you?

Discover

This weeks word is Discover. What does it mean to discover? Well, let’s take a look before getting into some other aspects of the word.

What is Discover?

Dictionary

  • to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of (something previously unseen or unknown)
  • to notice or realize
  • Archaic. to make known; reveal; disclose.

WIKI

  • To find or learn something for the first time.
  • To remove the cover from; to uncover (a head, building etc.).
  • To expose, uncover.
  • To create by moving a piece out of another piece’s line of attack.
  • To reveal (information); to divulge, make known.
  • To reconnoitre, explore (an area).
  • To manifest without design; to show; to exhibit.

 

So according to those Discover is the knowledge, uncovering, exploring or exhibiting of something new or unknown. This is where this word gets interesting. If you think of this word, what comes to mind? Discover what? I’ll be focusing on a few topics that relate to writing and you as a person for this post, so bear with me here.

Writing/Business:

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With anything in life, things are learned, discovered by doing, reading, and performing actions. Nothing is ever found by being stationary… unless it stumbles upon you. Than you are just darn lucky.

Discover Your Purpose?

Are you trying to discover the reason you are here? What to do with your life? What purpose you bring to others?

This is something that you will have to discover 😉 for yourself, but if you look deep down as to the things that interest you, your passions, and your dreams, you’ll find what you’re looking for. This may come to you when you least expect it, during a time you dread or a time you are happiest. Keep searching and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

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My Experience~

For me it was while working in a factory. Something I told myself I would never do… work in a factory or in fast food like my parents. Now working in a factory or fast food, if it’s a necessity isn’t bad, but I wanted better. I wanted to follow my dreams. What were those dreams? Well, up until my fist year in college, it was to be a teacher. When my financing fell through I had to bring in something and off to a factory I went.

While working on presses, I would dabble with stories, create characters, go on journeys that tested the character’s resolve, their strength and their love for others. That is when I knew I wanted to be an author. And yes, I’m still working on that story, but that’s what happens when you want it to be freakin’ awesome. You work and slave to bring it life and then sit on it for ten or so years before picking it up again to find out you have a really good story, but ten year younger you really didn’t have the writing skills you do now. It’ll get published, don’t worry. 🙂

Discover Your Businesses/Work?

As above you’ll discover what you were meant to do, but what about what you were meant to do as a source of income? How will you contribute to the household in a financial way? Now some of you may say, “Kelly, I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t have a job.”

Well, my response would be, “You absolutely have a job. You don’t contribute financially, but you do contribute in other ways.” I would imagine you as a stay at home mom (like myself) take care of the house, take care of the kids, homeschool them perhaps, run the errands, take care of the bills, laundry, and more. You contribute in so many other ways that benefit your household that having a normal job makes no sense.

Now if you aren’t a stay at home mom and you are looking for that perfect position, it’s much like that of your purpose. What interests you? What makes you the happiest? Is it working with children? Working with animals? Working with machines? Making music? Singing? Or are you content in the thought that no matter what you do you are contributing to the human race in some way?

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My Experience~

I met and fell in love with such a man. We decided after our son was born that it didn’t make sense to pay someone to watch, care, and teach our children. We were missing out on so much of our daughter’s life already that we didn’t want to miss more of either. What was the point? To help another succeed when we were miserable? That’s when it clicked. Though I haven’t made as much as I would like on my writing, brutal honesty here. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband works knowing that what he’s doing is helping others with the products he makes and that’s enough to keep him satisfied until things get better. Are there hard times? Of course. Does that way of thinking falter? Yes, but when you really sit down to think about it. What do you do on a daily basis, that makes you happy you’re doing it?

I get to bring you content that, I hope, is useful, insightful and inspiring while writing stories that invoke the same feelings while being able to raise and teach our children. My husband creates a product that makes building easier and until we are able to fulfill his dreams, he makes the most of what he has.

Think of the questions above and work out what you believe would make you wake each morning ready to tackle the day with the biggest smile because you know that what you do is making a difference in not only your life, but those you interact with or bring benefit to on a daily basis.

Discover New Processes?

What better way to discover something new, than to learn. They say you learn something new everyday. Though that’s sometimes hard to believe, I bet if you looked back on the day you would be able to find something you did learn that you didn’t know before.

When I first started writing full time, I had to discover processes on how to do the things and organize them in a way that I felt I could achieve the goals I set out to do. Now last year I hit every goal I had. I didn’t have many, but I did hit them.

This year, I overloaded myself and let things get in the way of my writing so my goal list is slowly being pushed off to next year, but that doesn’t get me down because I’ve learned and discovered that writing itself, is all about discovery.

You discover what works for you in planning your novels, plotting your novels, writing them, editing them, revising them, and then publishing them. If you are anything like me, you have not only a ton of notebooks on novel notes, but tons more on learning everything you can on the art of writing and I’m still learning.

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My Experience~

I tell my daughter all the time that you will never stop learning. She is the type who feels everything should be easy, that if you want to do something you should be able to do it without having to practice every day to learn to do it. Now she has an exceptional talent for acting. (I am her mother, I can say that, but it’s true.) She doesn’t like the fact that she will have to practice hard to make it as an actress. Imagine her disgust and disappointment when she discovered that you have to continually follow directions and practice your lines until you know them by heart, among other things. Good thing I’ve added Theatre to her curriculum this year.

Anyway, enough about my family; I may not know everything about writing, but you bet your butt I’m still learning and will continue to learn. There is no stoping when you are doing something you love to do. You do what you need to in order to keep going.

Discover New Items/Tech/Utensils?

Ah, here is something I am a complete sucker for. I love new things. Though I find not all of it pertains to me, but I love new things for writing even if I may not use them. I’m always looking for new sites, apps, items that will make writing fun, more organized and the process easier. See, I’m a sucker.

 

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Let me rant for a moment here… I love antiques so imagine my excitement when a new keyboard came out that has the feel and look of a typewriter that’s compatible with tablets, iPads, and desktops! The company is called Qwerkywriter and it is freakin’ awesome… looking. Unfortunately, I haven’t the money to get one… yet. I will though!

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Above is a screenshot of my actual profile from a week ago.

There is also the site 4thewords.com where you can write while going on your own adventure, fighting monster, collecting items and traveling to distant lands. Now who wouldn’t love that? It got me out of a writing slump and I couldn’t be happier!

Now what new tech/apps/etc do you have? Or would suggest? I’d love to hear about it! 😉

Personal:

Discovery into your personal life and yourself can also be a difficult and painful process, but sometimes you really need to look deep within yourself to find out who you really are.

You as a Person?

This is where discovery could get hard. You may know yourself pretty well and have everything figured out or you may be wondering what on earth you are here for. What are you alive for?

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You as a person must look deep within to find… you. Everyone says you should be happy with who you are on the inside as well as the outside. Now, do get me wrong. There are definitely some things on the outside I would absolutely love to change, but I love every part of me. I may not like it, but I do love it.

Heck, I created to beautiful children (with some help from my husband) with this body. I have a mind overflowing with the creation of worlds, characters, events, and more. My life is that of a happy family of four over run by four legged critters. If I look deep down. I love my life and I love me. Do you love you?

Look inside to discover who you are and what you want to be know for, for you.

Your Relationships?

 

Another thing to think about are your relationships with others. This means your family, friends, even the people you meet for a few seconds as you go about your day. What can you discover about those relationships that you might improve on?

Do you smile and greet those you walk by, or are you to busy worrying about other things to take the time to send a smile to someone? It takes two seconds to smile and make eye contact with someone and I believe wholeheartedly that, that one action can brighten someones day.

Knowing that someone took even that tiny amount of time to show a greeting makes me happy to be out and about.

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Family and friends are there for you when you need them, to lean on and take encouragement from. That may not always be the case, but I urge you to work on it. My relationships with some of my sisters were not the best and I realized that I wasn’t putting the effort in to voice my thoughts. I mean, how can they take you seriously if you don’t open your mouth, right?

Since then things have gotten better. Not the best, but definitely better. What can you do to improve the relationships you have? Discover who you are and how you can enrich others with just that… you.

So what are you ready to discover about yourself, your writing, career, anything? Comment below, I’d love to read about it!!

 

 

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Purpose

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the word purpose. What is purpose and why do we need to have (a) purpose?

Well, as I do with all my words… here is what the dictionary/Wiki tells us…

What is Purpose?

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Dictionary:

  • The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists
  • Have as one’s intention or objective
  • A person’s sense of resolve or determination

And WIKI:

  • An object to be reached; a target, aim; goal
  • A result that is desired’ an intention
  • The reason for which something is done, or the reason it is done in a particular way

So according to those Purpose is the reason/intention an action or decision is done or created. It could be a goal that you want to reach, a target you are aiming for or your sense of determination to reach that goal or target in your daily life, your business, your dreams and more.

Purpose in Life

So what is your purpose in life? Well, that could be anything from being the best mother, sister, person you can be to everyone to helping as many people as possible in the form of volunteering, through your job, or another avenue.

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What your purpose for life is has to be chosen by you. It’s what gets you up every morning, what excites you, what you enjoy on an emotional level. Your purpose is a plan for your life and helps define your personal goals. It fills you with passion and keeps you going throughout the day.

Purpose in Business

Purpose in your business is centered toward others. What can you do for others? This may take some time to figure out, but like us it matures, develops, and grows over time. It’s like a plant fighting the elements to grow roots and survive the heat of the afternoon sun. Once it gets established it flourishes into something beautiful for all to see.

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Once you find that purpose it will guide you and inspire you to create value for your customers, readers, and others who come along your site, product, or other aspect of your business.

Purpose for You

Purpose is shown through our actions, the items we create even if that is something fun with your children. It’s not something you can buy, or achieve. We must choose it for ourselves, nurture it, form it and grow it into something tangible.

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The goals, dreams, and tasks we try to achieve each day work toward your purpose. In small ways, your purpose reveals itself to you as you go about your day. Pay close attention and it will prosper. Once you have it, it will help you overcome the obstacle you’re facing to move forward with your goals, dreams, and your life.

How to Find Your Purpose

Many would say that your purpose (or purpose for your business) is your calling, what you enjoy, what gets you excited to rise each morning and get enough sleep at night, but how do you find your purpose?

That is something you need to discover for yourself. Look around you at what activities make you feel most excited or at ease? Sometimes your purpose isn’t always on the run, it’s resting and feeling fulfilled with what you’ve done.

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What is it that brings you the most joy? What makes you happiest about life and what do you value the most? Take some time to discover your purpose. Be attuned to what you do daily at home, at work and in your business, write down the things that answer the above questions. What those items have in common may just be your purpose. You will find it, keep searching.

Keep Your Purpose Visible

I read a recent TedTalk that discussed purpose. The author spoke of how he met a young man who referred to an activity his dad created for his boys. When putting a puzzle together, their father would hid the lid and have the boys complete the puzzle without the picture.

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He mentioned that your purpose is like that box top with the picture. You need to reference your purpose in order to achieve the goals and dreams you’ve placed in front of you. So when you find your purpose, keep that picture close and keep it visible.

What is your purpose in life? What is the purpose of your business? Do your goals serve a purpose?

 

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Is Your Story Real

Is Your Story Real?

One of the best parts of the weekends is sitting down to spend time with my family and last weekend was no different, except we decide to do a Hobbit/LOTR (extended versions) marathon, which fried my eyes by watching TV for two days straight, but it was totally worth it!

Let me tell you why:

Relaxation:

With the Holidays at an end, we are still feeling the fatigue of the run around. Next week I will be traveling back and fourth to my sisters house which is two hours one way to watch her kids, then back again to watch them again two weeks after.

So, we decided to do something fun and relaxing since my husband will not be accompanying me.We had been discussing that we spend way to much on snacks for game/movie days so I spent a few hours Friday afternoon baking. Yes, I know. I hate baking, but it was worth it and I didn’t burn anything so that’s a plus. (If you know me, I am not a baker, my twin on the other hand is. She had to mark her calendar for this!)

I made four loaves of banana bread (my favorite and my kids apparently, because they ate three of them before I got a slice!), two loaves of white bread, four loaves of garlic bread with pasta sauce, three batches of Peanut Butter balls and three batches of chocolate/peanut/coconut bark. (I have a sweet tooth).

So I made all this from scratch (except the pasta sauce which is still in the works, but that my husband’s project) and set it out to munch while we watched our movies. What is better than watching movies than watching them with your favorite comfort foods?!

Inspiration:

Now we chose The Hobbit and LOTR because they are our favorite, and they provide inspiration to an author when stuck on a scene, or story line, character, or… anything really. There are so many great quotes, ideas, and characters. You really can’t go wrong with this series.

So many fantastic quotes came from these series:

“I miss my books and may armchair, and my garden. That’s home.” ~ Bilbo Baggins

“These are Rosgobel Rabbits. I’d like to see them try.” ~ Radagast the Brown (This is my favorite!)

“Mithrandir… Why the hafling?”

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? I don’t know. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” ~ Galadriel and Gandalf the Grey

“I can not do this, Sam.”

“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we should’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, This shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories That stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk In Those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only They didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

“What are we holding on to, Sam?”

“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo … and it’s worth fighting for.” ~Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee

“Are we not a part of this world?” ~ Tauriel

“If the mountain defeats you, will you take a more dangerous road?” ~ Saruman the White.

“I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!” ~ Samwise Gamgee (Samwise the Brave)

The Unexpected:

Our daughter loves theater, dancing, singing and anything else drama related. When it’s time to play games or watch movies, she is up in her room acting out her current favorite scene. This weekend, she finally sat with us to watch the whole series. (Though Legolas and Tauriel may have had something to do with it) She likes awesome characters like her mother. 😉

But what got me and the reason for this post was the one sentence my husband said. I got up to switch discs when he said something that nearly stopped me in my tracks. It was so inspiring, I changed my post for this week to this topic. He said,

“I love how Tolkien wrote his books as if they were real.”

That stuck with me because I wanted that experience for my readers. I want them to finish feeling as though the story was real. And yes you are always told to create characters that are believable, but do you create them as if they are real? Real settings (even if they are fantasy/space/other based), real events, real lives, real people. Is your story Real?

If us authors looked at creating our stories as if the events, settings, characters, etc really happened – really existed, would the outcome provide a greater experience for the reader? I gained a new perspective while watching these movies with my family and I’ll be keeping that in mind as I move forward with my writing.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

PS. Incase you are wondering about the recipes I use for my bread and treats they are listed below with links:

Banana Bread

Bread, Rolls, Garlic Bread (I use this same recipe for all my breads – except pumpkin and banana bread, instead of rolling in to rolls, I make loaves and bake them. For garlic bread I make long loaves, bake them, then mix oil, parsley, oregano, and garlic – either minced, powder or freshly chopped, whichever I have on hand and bake for another 10min.)

Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Coconut Bark (This has walnuts, but we had peanuts, so I substituted)