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. I do 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 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
  • I get to 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.
  • I’m 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.

NaNoWriMo is Just Around the Corner…

If you don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in the month of November every year.

A little more information…

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Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo begins on November 1st every year and runs until November 30th. Authors from all walks of life are welcome to join thousands of others who wish to start their first, fifth, or hundredth story.

You are able to complete NaNoWriMo in any place where you can work with paper and pencil/pen or word processor. (You will need to keep track of your word count in order to participate and gain your certificate) Enter your word count daily to achieve your goal of 50,000 words. (That would be 1,667 words a day!)

Support

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They provide ‘Regions’ and forums where you can ask questions, get motivation, and be involved in the online community of writers.

You are assigned a Region with a leader who is there to answer any questions you may have as well as provide any information you may need to know leading up to and during the NaNoWriMo.

Inspiration

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Need some help getting started? This is the perfect time as they are talking all about NaNo Prep as the weeks get closer to November. They also have events and pep talks from your leaders.

Looking for something more? Pinterest is a great place to find images to inspire your writing. Settings, characters, conflicts, you name it and you can find something there to help you on your journey.

Don’t forget about the forums where you can start discussions and get advice from others who are journeying alongside you as well as veteran NaNoWriMo participants. Ask questions, tells your problem or just vent the day. They’re good that way.

What Am I Doing For NaNoWriMo?

Well, that is the question, isn’t it?

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My original plan was to continue in a way with the Conquer the Darkness Series, which I’ve been working on for a while. I’m just about done working on writing the last book and have had plans for another with two other characters, Andrew and Laurie, which my sister is dying for me to write.

Though I love these characters and I want to do them justice, I sometimes feel I need a break from this series to work on something different.

So, I’d like to see what your thoughts are… should I continue with another story of this series? Or do you think I should start something new?

Check out my Facebook page to voice your opinion in the poll.

Are you planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year? What do you plan to do for your project? Want to be ‘buddies’? Just look up my name and we can encourage each other throughout the month! Can’t wait!!

 

 

And… if you’re looking for something to read… I’ve got the perfect book for you to start!

 

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Conquer E.S.

Conquer the Darkness Prequel (Short Story)

A young boy, smart beyond his years is kidnapped for his research. The family left behind falls apart as they each handle the loss in their own way. He must stay alive to be saved by the brother who promised he would always be there for him.

 

AND…

 

Ray of Light

Conquer the Darkness Series

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?

Both FREE to download on my Site, Check them out HERE and give me your feedback. I’m always looking to improve on my stories!

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?

October’s Writing Theme: NaNoWriMo!

It’s getting to be that time of year again! That time when aspiring and published authors alike bunker down to hammer out another novel in 30 days. Drinking caffeinated beverages and staring at a screen for hours and days on end, typing until their fingers get tired. Yep, you guessed it!

NaNoWriMo is back and authors all over are preparing to sit and write that first, fourth, or eighteenth novel and I say “Way to go! I will be right there with you!”

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Though we may not write for the same genre or be in the same state, you know there are others like you trying to get that piece they’ve been thinking about for weeks, months or even years finally down on computerized paper. (Or notebook paper and then the computer) No matter the process, your endeavors are inspired by others who came before along with those joining for the first time.

So this month’s theme is all about NaNoWriMo! Are you going to join the thousands of writers readying to type their hearts out starting November 1st? Do you have a plan for a story you want to write? Are you preparing for when you’ll be at the computer for long hours, stocking up on your favorite snacks and drinks. (Man, I wish I had a mini fridge in my office for this purpose. 😉 ) What type of story do you plan to write?

 

Example: Although I haven’t planned hardly at all for this years NaNoWriMo, I do have an idea of what I would like to accomplish. As you may know, I’ve been working on my Conquer the Darkness Series which follows the struggles of seven women who’ve experienced some really terrible things and how they not only meet each other, work together and overcome their past in the present, but they find friends, happiness in the darkest of times, and love. 

Anyway, there is a couple in that series you know are together and there are hints to their story along the way, and I’ve been thinking of writing it for a while. So for NaNoWriMo this year, I’ll be writing Andrew and Laurie’s story!  

If you haven’t started the series and I’ve caught your interest, visit my website to download book 1 and the prequel for free! 

Update: Ive decided to start a whole new series and put that one on hold as I feel I’ve been looking at it so long, I need a break. I’ll get to Andrew and Laurie’s story, don’t you worry.

What do you do plan to do for NaNoWriMo? What genre are you writing in? Come be my Buddy on NaNoWriMo and let’s write together! (Just visit my profile – KellyJeanTaylor – and click ‘add as buddy”!  I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

 

Ways to Plan Your Novel…

There are many ways to plan a novel just as there are many ways to Plot a novel. How do you plan depends on who you are and how you organize your ideas.

First, it’s good to know what kind of planner you are pertaining to your books. You may be the most organized person you know (ahem, me!) but you find while planning and writing your book, that may or may not be the case.

For me, I’m definitely a planner, working out all the details I can before I begin writing, but I found that my stories (and characters) don’t always cooperate well. If you’re characters are anything like mine, they will definitely throw things out of whack… while other characters just appear as you write! Although that can create some awesome plot twists and more action to your story, it can be difficult to regain your footing on the story after the fact.

Never the less, I believe it’s good to have some sort of plan even if it’s small scribbles on a napkin or pages of notes.

Planner vs Pantser:

When planning a novel there are many factors to take into account. Are you a planner or a pantser. Or perhaps you’re like me and you dabble in both.

Planner

  • Those with a method of writing from start to finish.
  • Planning plot points, character profiles, story maps, setting, theme, premise, the whole lot.
  • They take their time to research, outline, study and collect their thoughts.

Pantser

  • Writers who rely on instinct and intuition to accomplish their story.
  • They add elements as they go along – plot twists, characters, conclicts, etc.
  • They will at times delete large sections to make their stories what they should be to keep readers interested.

Plantser

  • Writers who plan plot points, research, create characters, conflict, tension, story maps, setting theme, premise, outline and more only to have it ripped to shreds by an epiphany of a plot twist, the addition of a character or the devastation of a run away conflict.
  • They will plan elements before hand and add things as they go cause, you know your characters will never let you rest until you do as they want.
  • They take their time to research, while adding or deleting large sections of the story as needed. Taking what comes to mind as they write and incorporating it into what they are writing.

Ways to Plan:

Now that we have talked about the kind of planner you are, let’s get to the reason for this posts. Ways you can plan your novel.

Outlining

This can be as long, detailed, or information as you want. If you only want the plot points with character involvement then that’s all you need for you. Or if you want to go into detail of each point, the conflict that goes with, the characters involved, the setting, etc. It’s really lump to you how much you want to put into it.

Vision Board

This is a collection of pictures, notes, textures and more that correlate with your story. It’s your story with physical items to touch and feel to get your mind into the right atmosphere for your story.

Note Cards

I’ve heard a lot of authors will use note cards to assist with planning their novels. Writing down scenes, characters, plot event, and more. Mounting them up or organizing them in a way to keep their thoughts in order and in one place.

Worksheets (Brainstorming)

There are plenty worksheets floating around the net to help you plan any and all aspects of your story. From characters, to setting, to plot charts and more. One search will show you just how many there are. It’s up to you to sort through them, find the ones that help you the most and put them to use.

Timelines

Timelines will come in handy to plot events of your story in real time. From day to day, month to month and year to year depending on the time that passes within your novel(s).

Graphs (Plot lines)

As with timelines, these are graphs/charts that mark the major events of your story from beginning to the end.

Combination

Of course, you are able to use any and/or all of these if you so choose to plan out your novel. Pick and choose what works for you and forge forward on your writing journey.

So, what kind of plantser are you? Do you have any other thoughts on ways to plan? Share them so we can all find and hone our processes together!!

 

Want to see my process? Check it out here: Writing Process

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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Ways to Plot a Novel

There are plenty of ways to plot a novel and the way each author plots is completely up to them. Every author is different with different thoughts and ways of organizing them.

The way I plot could be, and probably is completely different from the way others plot their novels.

Plotting your novel is unique and special process each author must discover for themselves. This is where one process doesn’t fit all. When deciding how to plot your novel, there are many processes to choose from.

Plot Structures:

Character – Driven

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  • Your characters are the main reason the story moves along. Their motivation and drive to complete their mission, journey or quest is what keeps the story going until the very end.
  • Your characters through decisions, actions, and the journey itself, face their deepest fears and change as a result.

Snowflake Method

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  • This one is a bit more dynamic. You begin with a statement, just one statement
  • Then split that statement into two
  • Then into four statements and so on
    • It’s best to begin with a deep theme/premise
    • Then expand it to 2-3 sentences
    • Then expand that to 4-6 sentences and so on until you get a full plan of action for your book.

The Hero’s Journey

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  • The hero’s journey is a complex set of points along which the hero travels to complete his/her journey
    • They are (but not limited to) as follows
      • The Call to Action (They begin in their know world and receive call for adventure)
      • The Denial of the Quest (They ignore the request for some reason or another)
      • Acceptance After Debate (After inner turmoil and possible debate with mentor, they agree to journey)
      • Enemies and Allies, Who’s who (Journey leads them to many types of trouble as well as friends along the way)
      • Journey to the Beast
      • Facing Demons (hero defeats bad guy but not without consequences that change the character on a deeper level)
      • Reward/Success
      • The Return Journey (They strive to atone for past mistakes)
      • Conclusion
      • Life Continues/Next Journey (Return to live out days/Continue to the next journey of life)

 

The Fichtean Curve

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  • This type of story begins immediately with rising action
  • Framework for the story is scatter throughout the first half of the story with multiple crisis following.
  • Each crisis is followed swiftly by its own mini falling and rising action.
  • At last, the story reaches its climax conflict around two-thirds of the way.
  • Leaving the remaining pages for falling action, loose ends are tied up, and a new normality is established for characters.

In Media Res (thrillers, mysteries, horror)

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  • This type of novel begins in the middle of the story, usually at the 2nd-3rd crisis, though sometimes in-between the action
  • The plot still contains an upward trajectory with storyline sprinkled throughout (The beginning of the story is often told through flashbacks or in character conversations)
  • Several more crises occur to move the story along
  • The protagonist faces the climax
  • Followed by falling action
  • Resolution.

Combinations

You can combine any or all of the above to create your own plot structure that suits your needs. It’s really up to you, how your mind works, and what would be best for you as a person and author.

Snowflake with 3 Arc Structure

  • Snowflake with structure that points to important events while connecting those events to create an amazing story

Emphasis on Inner Plot

  • This contain a list of events containing a variation of the hero’s journey
  • Emphasis is held within the inner and outer plot, relating most outer story points to acts 1&3 leaving 2 as inner plot points

Major Midpoint Change

  • This is a form of the Hero’s Journey where there is a major change at the midpoint of the story. The character faces a shift in viewpoints or active goal.

Writing in Scenes

  • Plan your novel in Scenes, but be sure to include all the major plot points necessary to create a great story with emotion, action, adventure, and more.

Visual Mapping

  • Visual graphing/outlining of plot points, events, characters, emotion, and more. A picture of your character/story’s journey throughout the tale may be exactly what you need.

Things to Keep in Mind

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  • Does the beginning set up the end? Do all parts match up?
  • Think deeper, create a story that if the reader were involved it would feel real no matter the setting or events.
  • Write your ideas down, create an outline even if you don’t follow it completely. This will help you flesh out your plot points, events, crises and more.
  • Keep the reader in mind. Catch them on an emotional level – make them laugh, make them cry, make them feel hurt when a certain event happens. Make them FEEL.

Final Words…

The way you plot your novel is completely up to you as an author. One of these ways may work for you and then again none of them may work. You must travel your own journey to discover what works best for you. 

Me, I’m still on that journey. I’ve combined some of these to suit my creative mind, but there are still tweaks that need to be made. This is my plotting journey. What’s yours?

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Planning the Rest of the Year

Half of the year has gone… And it’s time to revisit, adjust, and plan the rest of the year.

With all that’s happened this year, my goals and plans have changed drastically. Things in life highjack the scene where you tumble down a rabbit hole so big you feel there is no end. But I’m determined to salvage what’s left of this year!

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I sat down a few days ago and looked at my plans realizing I’m months behind schedule for which I am eternally apologetic. We as authors never intend for life to throw curve balls, tornados, tsunamis, or earthquakes that swallow you whole to where if you decide to climb out your emerge bloody, sore, and exhausted, but victorious.

Writing/Editing/Revising/Publishing…

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After revamping the rest of my year I realized if I work hard, I can still publish the books I planned if I can keep focused and push through the difficult life of being a mother, wife, animal parent, and author at the same time. 😉  Writing, editing and revising are my top priorities as far as writing goes, right now. Don’t worry, my regular posts and newsletter are the few things I’ve been able to stay on top of.

4thewords.com

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I cannot recommend this site enough. Since I love fantasy, quests, and stories this site has done wonders to keep me going the last few weeks. I know I’ve mentioned it before and I’m mentioning it again, cause it’s freakin’ worth mentioning. If you haven’t checked it out, you must do so now!!

Climbing from the hole and emerging from the train wreck that’s been my life the last few months.

I’ve now created a schedule and so far I’m on track to do as my plans are laid out. I’m very happy with my progress these last few weeks and will continue to strive for my goals as I provide quality content and fantastic stories for you, my readers.

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Since I’ve been traversing this long tunnel, trying to find the light at the end. I’ve been a bit slow at posting, but my goal is to keep trudging through the sludge that has taken over my brain. It’s time to forge ahead, find a better way and keep going.

So if all goes according to plan; I’ll have another book out with updates to previous and a surprise at the end of the year. We shall see, so keep an eye open for that. 🙂

In the mean time, enjoy the Conquer the Darkness Series; join my newsletter to get bi-weekly updates, writing fun, and more.

Book Lineup

What about you? What have you been up to?

Reply and tell me how your writing has been going. Has it been a total train wreck like mine where even wizards and giants need help putting it back in line or are you cruising smoothly along enjoying the scenery and cocktails? In which case, I’m completely jealous and perhaps you can stop to pick me up on your way?!

 

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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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Where Did the Time Go… Half the Year Gone!!

Half of the year has gone… Where did the time go? It’s definitely going faster than I would like…

We are now one half of the way through the year and I thought it would be a good time to review my goals and see where my progress is at. So let’s get right into it…

Books

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Publish 3 Novels by 12/31

  • I’ve finally gotten back into a rhythm of sorts. Book One is now revised and published for your reading pleasure. Free as well as the Prequel
  • Book 4 is is now also revised, edited and published.
  • Book 5 is being written, though slower than I would have liked, I am getting somewhere with it now.

~ It took so much time to get back into things after all the run around in the first quarter. I’ve since made some changes, gotten back into rhythm and I’m off writing daily again!

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • So far I’ve read 6 books of 12 and I’m reading two right now, so I would say that I’m ahead on this one!

~ I’m having a bit of trouble reading these two as it is hard to stay with the story. I have faith I’ll get through it though and keep moving forward. One page at a time, right?

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • One down, one in progress and four to go! Yeah, I’m behind here. I need to pick up another book.

Organize a group of Beta readers for my books by 4/30

  • I have been in contact with two wonderful people willing to beta read for me as I return the favor. Would you like to be a part of my team? Gain free ARC of my books? And read some awesome fiction? Click Beta Readers if interested and lets go on an adventure!

Find an Editor I connect with by 6/30

  • Uh! I haven’t even thought about this for more than two seconds! Still one of my goals, but my writing comes first and since I’ve lost time on that all my thoughts are on catching up. Hopefully, my next report will be better on this front.
  • Update: Still no editor, but I’m looking. Go some advice or know of an editor that won’t break my wallet? Please comment below and help a girl out!

Organize a Critique Group who enjoys my genre and will give productive feedback by 3/31

  • I’ve lost some much time I haven’t even been on Scribofile in a while.
  • I have traded work with two great people who are willing to keep the relationship going.
  • I’ve also started a Wattpad account and have submitted a short story. Head on over to check it out and tell me what you think!
  • Otherwise, that’s as far as I’ve gotten on this. Comment below or click Critique Partner if you’d be interested in being a critique partner for Paranormal Romance/Fantasy books.

Create and Implement Street and Review Team for Books by 4/30

  • Oh my goodness! Does the chaos never cease? Hopefully, I can get my butt into gear since I took nearly a month off for family reasons. One more thing to add to my list of things to do and very soon. If interested please sign up below!

           

Communication

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Post 26 Blog Posts Every Other Week in 2018

  • Luckily, this is one area I’ve excelled at. I haven’t missed a post yet!
  • I’ve begun to expand my posts to be writing related one week and the next is an inspirational word. You can check out my blog HERE!
  • Have a topic you would like me to elaborate on? Comment below and I will add it to my list!

Be More Communicative on Social Media and Online: Comment on Posts and in forums, Post advice, comments, thoughts and questions on social Media.

  • I’ve started posting irregularly on my social media accounts, but I’m starting to get better at being on there regularly. More to come!

Business

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I’ll keep these as a list as they don’t nee much explanation:

Grow Business by 25% by 12/31

~ Going Up!

Create New Products and Useful Printables for Readers and Writers – 2 by 12/31

~ Still Working on! You’re going to love these!

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

~ Lots of video training, hit a road block, but hopefully will be up soon!

Create/Participate in 2 Big Events for Readers: Haha, I have thoughts, but what’s the fun in ruining the surprise here! 😉

~ Research and development are underway!

Create 100 total items for store by 1/31 and continue with 5 more per month after January. Want to visit my store, click HERE!

~ No where even close to 100 products, so I’m doing what I can and I’ll keep moving to gain more.

~ I may try a new storefront to get things out faster and easier, more to come on that!

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

~ Working on and progressing well! So many ideas to implement!! I’m sure you’ve seen a few if you follow any of my social media!!

Revamp Webpage and Pages by 3/30

~ New site is up and most pages are complete, just a few more pics and tweaks to go! I have pictures but the SD card isn’t compatible with my computer so hopefully I’ll have them up in a week or two!!

Extras/Other

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What better way to keep up with your skill than to lean more about it?

Complete 3 Educational Courses by 12/31

~ I’ve completed three in the first four months! Still learning, but working on words more now to catch up!

Schedule Time to Work on Drawing and Take Art Classes (Once a Week)

~ This was going well in the first quarter, the second not so much, but I hope to get back into it soon!

What About You?

What About

Are you reaching your 2018 goals? 

Are you completing and accomplishing the tasks you set out to do? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s keep each other accountable and encouraged!

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