Update

Progress Update

As I like to do every quarter, I like to tell you how I’ve been progressing with each of the things I had planned to get done this year. It keeps me focused and provide me with accountability when I’ve got others who are seeing what I’m doing and how I’m progressing through each item. How are you doing so far this year? I’d love to hear how you’re progressing on your goals.

Let’s get to it…

Books

Series

I’ve had betas go through my first story and let me tell you, I was not expecting the responses that I got. It’s hard to see, but a necessary evil. I can tell you I felt so deflated by what I saw that I haven’t written a word since. I made it though a few chapters, but knowing that my story had so much that needed fixing created this deep whole in me that I decided to take a break from editing to clear my head. Yes, it’s part of the process and yes, I realize that they are going to see things that, no matter how many times I read through the thing, I will keep skipping over because I know my story. There have actually been a few who stopped reading it because of how much work it needed.

I’ve run it through an editing software and re-read it several times. I feel like there was some sort of mistake and they received an earlier copy of my manuscript, but I can’t seem to find my most recent one. As I read through, I know I changed a few things that are still in the copy I’ve sent out. I know now that this is going to take me longer than I intended since I now have to go though my manuscript once again, but I will not give up. I’m too invested in these characters to see them set aside. You have know idea what they’ve put me through! It may take me longer, and I may be taking a break, but I will get back into it and they will be re-launched.

Books

Stand Alone/Possible Series

With my stand alone and next possible series, you’ve probably guessed they are put on hold until I can get my head on straight and get through the edits for Raylynn’s story. I’ve completed both the stand alone and the possible book 1 of another series, but have put them aside for now to focus on getting my head through edits for my conquer series. Those of you who can write and produce these things within a few months, I commend you! How you do it, I have no idea, but I hope to get my series back up and out relatively soon after coming back into editing.

To Be Read

I guess my down time had caused me to not read either. I’ve recently gotten back into my reading list and I feel good about that. Besides, how are you going to find inspiration without reading and learning from those before you? Right?

Short Stories

As with everything else, this came to a screeching halt as well. Though I have plenty of material in mind to use for this. I just couldn’t get into writing these past few weeks in order to get anything remotely close to a story down. It’s still there, still in the plans and I hope to get back on track as the warmer weather revives my frozen limbs. Yes, I hate the cold and are more productive when the sun is shining and the weather is warm.

Beta Readers/Arc readers

You have no idea how grateful I am for those of the readers that made it all the way or even part of the way through my story. I realize now just how hard it was to get through and I also understand why those of you who didn’t finish. I will be doing some major work on this series and hope I’ll be able to get a few others to read through it once I’ve fixed all the mistakes I’ve made.

Reading

Editor

You guessed it. I haven’t even looked for an editor since receiving my manuscript back from betas. It’s not even remotely close to being ready for an editor to look at. Until it’s ready, I’ll be putting this on hold as well. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and re-evaluate things to be sure you’re producing a valuable product for your readers.

Edit

Communication

Blog

Here is one area I’ve kept up with and I’m moving forward on. Every week I’ve produced a post for your reading pleasure on inspiration and writing. I’ll continue to do so as the weeks go by.

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

Communication

Connections

I am still posting daily to my social media and I’ve gained some momentum here. I still have plans to provide more so if you have any questions, things you’d like to see, or whatever else comes to mind, let me know and maybe I’ll post something. If you would like to see what I’m up to, go ahead and visit my sites! Facebook Twitter Instagram Patreon

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

Business

New Products

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

I have some digital products in mind as well as physical products. I’ve got some in mind and a few that are in the works. I’ll be doing an extra blog post on those as they become available. If you want to be notified when all that is happening, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE!

Business Products

Video

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

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

Other Items

Educational

Every year I try to complete a few education classes, courses, books that will help me to improve my writing and skills. I’ve been reading and researching to no end. My ‘Must Reads’ board on Pinterest if full of things to look at.

Guitar

Art/Music

Now that I’ve taken some time to myself my goal is to draw and play my guitars more. I may not be doing these things as much as I wanted, but I’m making some time and that’s progress in itself.

Final Thoughts

Now, I know this post is not very upbeat, but there are always going to be some down points and this is one of those for me. I’ll get back up and flowing, don’t worry. How are you doing with your goals this year? Let me know in the comments. Are you struggling with something as I am or are you plowing along, full steam ahead?

Harmony

Harmony

Harmony, the thing we strive for, but rarely achieve. We may get glimpses of it, but then it slips through our grasp as everything falls apart around us. Of course, we won’t always have harmony in all things, but there may be some things we can do to create a closer relationship to harmony. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what harmony is…

Dictionary

1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
3. Music .
  1. any simultaneous combination of tones.
  2. the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
  3. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
4. an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism,mutual relations, and differences.

WIKI

    1. Agreement or accord. quotations 
    2. A pleasing combination of elements, or arrangement of sounds.
    3. (music) The academic study of chords.
    4. (music) Two or more notes played simultaneously to produce a chord.
    5. (music) The relationship between two distinct musical pitches (musical pitches being frequencies of vibration which produce audible sound) played simultaneously.
    6. A literary work which brings together or arranges systematically parallel passages of historians respecting the same events, and shows their agreement or consistency.
 

Finding Harmony

Some think you will never have harmony between things like life and work, but since your life is part of your work, I believe you can find harmony within each area of your life.

Spirit

Heart
  Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay
You, as a person, are in search of harmony in every aspect of your life, but have you really thought about what’s going on inside? Have you stop to think about the harmony you have within you and what you could do to keep your thoughts and feelings in sync along with everything else? What can you do to balance those thoughts and feeling within you that are now out of wack? Well, I’ll give you some suggestions.

Take a Break

When you feel overwhelmed, tired, and have not motivation to continue. It’s time to think about taking a break to calm and rejuvenate your mind and body. There is nothing more important than what you do for yourself to stay energized and healthy. Sometimes taking a break, whether short or long, can help put your mind back in the right direction. Deciding to take a break can be difficult and I encourage you to do so when needed. You may feel like work and life will just pile up while you’re gone, but if you put things in place before you go to keep things running, and know that some of those things you’ll still have to deal with when you return; you’ll find it’s not as bad as you think. You would have gotten that much needed R&R you needed and you’ll find that work/life did not crumble without you.

Listen to Your Heart

You have always had that passion for that one thing, right? Every time you have a minute to think, your mind goes back to it. You sit and wonder why you never pursued it, picked it up more, or listened when your heart begged you to move toward it. No matter what that thing is, your heart is crying out for you to listen to it! Take some time to really listen and then go after what your heart is passionate about, even if it’s for small amounts of time. Schedule it in so that your heart is as happy as you are. You’ll be thankful you did. Your heart is a powerful organ, it’s where your center is. Where everything you love is placed. Not physically, of course, but you understand what I mean. Don’t forget to listen to your heart, it’s what’s keeping you on track.

Know Your Purpose

You only have one life and you don’t want to spend it constantly worrying about what people say, how others are going to react, or if you’re doing the right thing at every turn. It’s going to cause you to lose your mind if you’re always worrying about the little things. When you know your purpose, you know what you’re doing is right and you don’t care one wit what others say or how they react. You are doing what you are meant to, you’re following your heart and showing the world that your passion is worth fighting for. There is nothing more satisfying than completing something you’ve worked so hard to achieve, especially if that something is what your heart has been pulling at you to follow. Go after it!

Health

Health
Image by silviarita from Pixabay
Like most, if not all things in your life, your health is important. Really, it is! You may not want to think about it, but if you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to stay in the harmony you’ve created. So, let’s talk about it quick.

Exercise

Yeah, no one likes to hear that they have to exercise, (trust me, I’m one of them) but it’s true. Even though I have a hard time sticking with any one exercise program, I always feel better and feel like I get more done when I’ve work out. If you want to get to the technical side, it’s a way to boost your mood since your body releases endorphins that create a happy mood. Not only will you get stronger, more flexible, but your able to clear your mind while you exercise to create better flow in that mass we call our brains. It’s so full of stuff that’s important and things that aren’t, that they are starting to mingle together and this is a great way to untangle them.

The Mind

Your thoughts and how you think through problems are also important to every day life. Keeping your mind sharp and your thoughts free of negativity will help you create harmony within yourself, but more of that below. Exercise the mind along with the body so they can work together, not against each other.

Communication

Communication
Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

With Yourself

Another thing you don’t want to happen is to finish the Reeces because then you would be out completely and that is just not right! (I’m joking… maybe) Anyway, I lost my thought, but it’s back. Have you ever thought Wow, I’ve gained a lot of weight. Man, that was stupid of me. I should really start wearing makeup, I might be able to hide some of those blemishes? What you say about yourself is only harmful to one person… yourself! Learn to love who you are. You should only want to exercise to feel better and stay fit, not because you’re trying to fix your weight. You’ll never stick to it that way. What you’ve done may have not have been right, but use it as a learning experience and as for the third thought, really, do you need makeup? You were born with no makeup and you were beautiful. If you don’t want to wear it, don’t. You’re still beautiful.

With Others

Now, there are those words and phrases you say to others and as with yourself, you have the choice to voice them or not. Though thoughts hurt just as much. The words you say to others not only hurt you, but the people you’re speaking to or about. Those relationships you have with others, whether close or just passing smiles on the street are important to you and your growth as a person. You need others around to show you compassion, to learn from, and to love. Yes, there are times when you need to be on your own, but you can only do so much to lift yourself up. Those around you will do the same if they are treated with respect. You will receive the same when showing your considerate side. Your thoughts and how you use them with words and actions are a powerful force. Whether you are using them for yourself or others, they can harm or empower, crush or lift. You get the picture. Thoughts you use against others and yourself should not have the chance to surface. By taking breaks when needed, exercising, and generally thinking before you speak, you should be able to clear your mind enough to bring forward the person you truly want to be. One that lifts up and empowers, not one that crushes and harms. When your mind is clear of all the frustrations, anger and other bad emotions, you let the light shine on your words. Let your words work for everyones benefits!

How to Gain Harmony Within Your Life

Friends
Image by Мария Ткачук from Pixabay

People

This one may be obvious, but those you talk to and those you interact with are looking for positivity within their day. Why not provide that small bit? Why not give them some positivity, something to brighten their day instead of bringing it down or not doing anything at all. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll receive by just giving someone a smile or a polite greeting. If you feel you could do more, why not give someone an encouraging word or if you see them struggling and know how to help, do so. Don’t just walk by knowing they are going to continue to struggle. Not only will you feel good about yourself, which helps you, you’ll feel good about helping another and that helps them. See win-win, but don’t look at it for the benefit of you. Look at it for the benefit of the other and by default you will gain happiness and harmony with those around you.

Work, Home, and Play

Your work is part of your life, so why you feel you don’t have balance between these two is a bit mind boggling. It’s part of your day and yes, you can bring work home, you can also bring home to work in your words and actions, but that is life. Keeping them separate is just going to cause more stress. Why not work as if they are one and the same. Schedule work as part of your day, as it is part of your life. Try not to talk about the two in their prospective areas if you want, but sometimes it’s necessary to gain a different perspective on a particular situation. Talk about it with those of your family and your co-workers. If they agree to leave the two separate, then try your best to do so. Otherwise, lean on those you trust for advice, jokes, and more. It’s not worth your frustration to keep the two separate when they are two very important parts of you. As for play, well you need this in your life to relax and have fun, to release the stress of work and home life. Make sure you have enough in your day to keep the flow of things going smoothly. Find others that will make you laugh, that will brighten your day, and those you can hang with after work to give you some time away from home and work. Your family is a great resource for this. As spring comes around, my kids and I create a list of all the things we want to do during the summer months. Let me tell you they can come up with some pretty awesome things! Go ahead make a list and mark them off as you complete them. Plan them into your schedule and have fun!

Electronics

Here is another area you may need to find harmony with. We use electronics all the time, sometimes all day. You may not think about it, but how long are you really spending on your electronics. I have to admit, since playing Rise Of Berk ( I love HTTYD!) I’ve spent a lot more time on my ipad than usual. Not only that, but I bet you’ve lost a lot of face to face contact with others, and I mean the in-person kind, not the FaceTime kind. Have you ever seen the ad where everyone is on their phones walking and there is a small child trying to walk though them. The child then stops and watches as person after person falls off a cliff because they are too focused on their phone. The child then sits down and cries for those who forgot the personal relationships and fun without electronics. Perhaps you feel you need to schedule time to get off the electronics each day and spend time with friends or family. Or maybe you are just fine with how you are with your electronics and you like the solitary life you are living, who knows, but I encourage you to Think. Think about those connections you once had or if you were born with a phone attached to you, think of what it would be like to spend the day without one. No, it’s not devastating and you’re not going to miss anything you can’t catch up with later. Spend some time with others face to face and you may just find that you enjoyed their company and you may not have even thought about checking your FB, Twitter, or Instagram notifications. Go ahead, give it a try. I dare you!

Final Thoughts

So if you really take the time to think about it, harmony is how you create it and what you do within your life to keep ahold of it. No matter what you do, seek out the balance between the things you love (and/or need) and learn to live.
Spring Break

(Spring) BREAK

March and April bring a whole new perspective to the word ‘break’. As the days wear on and things are now becoming mundane and ordinary we feel underwhelmed (or overwhelmed), uninspired, and are in need for the chance to refresh our minds and bodies. To calm the raging monster within that’s telling you it’s time to take a break from life and just relax and rejuvenate your soul.

Why You Need A Break and Why They Matter

 

working hard

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Image by rawpixel on Pixabay

There are times when your mind and body are no longer in sync with each other, when you may be just going from day to day, doing the same things. You’re not as excited for the things you used to get pumped about and in order to get that exhilarating feeling back, you need to relax and let go of the things that are attacking you at the moment. You need to let them slide away to leave you with a clear mind.

You and your body need rest and relaxation to refresh not only yourself but your mind as well. Running on like the energizer bunny is only going to create a cranky, irritated soul with resentment and overwhelm. As with sleeping, you and your body need time to just do nothing for very little; to do something that doesn’t take a lot of thinking and something you consider fun. Not only do you need to relax, you need to preoccupy your mind with things that don’t relate with work, the house, or anything else you normally stress over.

Signs It’s Time to Take a Break

Other than just feeling like you need a break, there are signs that tell you it’s time to step away and get some much needed R&R.

Frustration

                                                                                                                                                                                          Image by punttim on Pixabay

Overwhelmed

One of the first ones, is the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps you are trusted to do more at work, but you also have to worry about the house, the kids, and anything else that comes along that needs your attention. And although you may have a system down to take care of each item, you feel like you’re falling apart. Trust me, I have had that feeling. One minute you’re rolling along a smooth road, everything is getting done and you’re getting ahead, then something comes along and now your road is bumpy. Everything is starting to pile up and your sense of accomplishment is now a sense of dread.

Tired/Insomnia/Irritable

As with overwhelm, that smooth road brought excitement, accomplishment, and the strength to keep moving forward, but that bump you hit (who knows what that was back there) is now bringing you every other bump you would have not otherwise noticed. With all the bumps and divots, you are now feeling tired all the time. You’re no longer sleeping well and you dread getting up in the morning to even do basic things.

Things begin to irritate you, those tiny things that should be brushed off as natural habits or actions are now getting on your nerves to the point you may be snapping at those you care about. That is not the way you want to live your life, right?

No Motivation/Ambition/Unfocused

That speed racer that was forging ahead at full steam, is now searching for any reason to not continue with what has to get done. Your motivation, ambition and focus to complete tasks and get ahead seems so far away that you’ll never catch up with the trailing rope behind the train of tasks. Your mind is wandering to all the things around you, rather than those that are right in front of you, and your attention is taken up by all the little things that could be put off for another day. What once felt like an easy ride has now turned into one of struggle and a fleeting grasp at the rope. One you may not have the strength to pull yourself back up to the train.

Mistakes/Regret

When you’ve run yourself to the point where you are making small mistakes all the time, ones that you regret, but can’t really control. (You could if you weren’t suffering, but when things reach this point, it’s nearly impossible to control.) That’s when you know you need to take a break. Speaking from experience, I’ve been so overwhelmed, tired and unmotivated that I began making small mistakes that just added to the pile that was growing, which caused more mistakes, more regret and a lot of frustration. Continuing as I was, was not an option. I needed a break!

Health Concerns

This could just be eating more of your favorite junk food, or maybe you skip a meal because you’re just not hungry. Perhaps you pick up a bad habit, like smoking or drinking to make yourself feel better or to take the ‘edge’ off. (That is not going to help, trust me and it may cause further health problems) When you start making bad health choices like eating a lot or nothing at all, you refuse to get even a walk in and your body is reacting to the stress in unusual ways; that’s when you know there is something wrong and you NEED a break.

If you get this far, I urge you to take a really hard look at what you are doing and fix it. This is not where you want to be, trust me. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. I was so overwhelmed, letting everything get to me that I barely ate anything for weeks and ended up in the hospital because my body was reacting to no nourishment. I knew I needed a break and it resulted in me leaving my job. Now, I don’t suggest you leave your job, but for me it was the right decision. When your health is declining, you need to take a moment and think about whether you just need a break or you need to leave in order to get better.

 

Ways to Take a Break

The first thing you need to do is decide if you are in need a shorter or longer break. That is something you need to decide, I can’t tell you which you should choose. You should have in inkling of which you should do.

Break

                                                                                                                                                                                           Image by jplenio on Pixabay

Now let me list all the ways…

_____cations

These are all the, you know, vacation types. Vacation. Staycation. Play-cation. Whether you need to get away, you want to stay in the area or at home, or if you want to do something to have fun. Do what you deem best.

Relax

Create a list of all the things you find relaxing and do them all. Take a bath, read a good book, take a nap, walk in nature, listen to soothing music, you get the picture here. Whatever you find relaxing, go for it.

Activity

Though you may not find it relaxing, there are those of us who need to move or do something. Find a way to expend the energy that is still relaxing, like taking a hike, playing a board game, fly a kite or even coloring with crayons! I love to color with my kids! That is something that is relaxing for me.

Motionless

Here is where you will sit still or hardly move, but I promise you’ll still find it relaxing. Try star gazing, watching the clouds, or even meditating or getting a massage. You never know how relaxed you’ll feel after watching the clouds as the roll by.

No Electronics

I know, I know, your whole life is on that device, but we are trying to get you to not stress and to relax. Those notifications can live without you for a short time. If you let those around you know that you’re going to be unavailable for a time, they should get along fine without you. Turn them off and find out just how much quiet and relaxation you can enjoy.

Events

Going to events or attractions can be relaxing as well. Places like the aquarium, the zoo, farmer’s market and museums can bring you peace while learning and seeing something new or what you haven’t seen in a long time.

Final Thoughts

Everyone looks forward to spring break, but have you thought about what you NEED and what kind of break you should take? If you’re like me and need some much needed R&R, try some of the things from this list. May you find peace and relaxation when you need it most.

Know of any other ways to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them! 

Calm

Calm

As we move into spring (hopefully sooner rather than later), we think of ways to calm our souls from all the activities of the holidays. Yes, I know it’s been a few months, but everyone needs some time to rejuvenate and center themselves. Calming your mind and body is essential to life, but first…

Wiki

  • Peaceful, quiet
  • (Of a person) Especially free from anger and anxiety
  • (Of a place or situation) Free of noise and distraction
  • (Of Water) With few or no waves on the surface; not rippled
  • Without wind or storm

Dictionary

  • Not showing or feeling nervousness, anger or other strong emotion
  • (Of the weather) Pleasantly free from wind
  • The absence of violent of confrontational activities within a place or group
  • Make someone tranquil and quite; soothe.

 

Being calm or taking the time to calm your body and mind can be exactly what you need to start living a better life, release stress, and tension. So, I’m sure you’re asking how you can calm yourself enough to get the results you’re looking for. Well, read on, my friend, read on.

Ways to practice Calm

Physical

The act of moving your body and muscles to release tension and produce the calm your looking for.

Exercise

Exercise

Exercising may not be what you think would calm you, but it does. Pushing yourself in an exercise releases endorphins, which boosts your mood naturally. Now if you want to do something a bit more physical in your exercise like kickboxing or punches, you can take out some frustration in a safe way to calm what’s raging within.

Yoga

Yoga

The number one exercise that people use to recenter and calm themselves. The smooth, flowing motions of these exercises can be used to relax the muscles and the mind, release the days tension and help you to refocus your thoughts.

Sleep

Calm Sleep

Your body’s way of rejuvenating and regenerating your mind and body. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep is essential not only to your bodily health, but also to your mind. It needs that time to relax completely and be ready to face another day.

Mental

Your thoughts and mind need calm just as much as the rest of your body.

Refocus

Focus

Taking some time to refocus your mind and thoughts on the things that are important allows you to discard and/or place on the back burner the things that are of little priority. Sit in a quiet area and relax yourself. Think of the things that are important to you and how you can accomplish those things.

Meditate

Meditate

As with yoga, this can relax you and calm your mind enough so that you are a functional human being. Sitting or laying down with a clear mind can help you calm your muscles and your mind. There is not greater feeling than rising from a well rested meditation, knowing that you are now ready to face whatever may come your way.

Other

Aromatherapy

Calm

Scents and snell are a power tool and using them to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere is one of the bests. If you have a favorite scent, use it or find another that promotes relaxation and a sense of calm. Use it around your home, or even in your office with mini diffusers. Stay calm all day long and keep fight the good fight.

Music

Music is also another powerful tool. Choose something that isn’t loud and obnoxious, something that is going to help you relax your mind and your muscles.

Limit/avoid the Harmful

Things like stress, and those things that will cause stress should be limited or avoided; things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, stressful confrontations, etc. Yes, I know avoiding or limiting these things can be hard, but you can do it.

Relationships

Real Relationships

In a previous post, we talked about fictional relationships, so I thought we could touch on real relationships as well. Relationships are everywhere within your short life, so much so, that you may not realize you even have some. As you go about your day, you’re creating them, nurturing them, building them up and in some cases breaking them down or losing them. The relationships you have with others are what make us who we are. It’s what connects us to those around us.

Types of Relationships

As you go throughout your day, you connect with people on many levels and in different ways. Each unique in its own way. Let’s take a look at a few.

Romantic

Those of a deeper level than any other; this is where trust, love, and commitment are at their highest (or at least it should be.) Relationships in this category are those that are built on respect, and evolve as each grows within the relationship. They cherish each other and build each other up as they grow beside one another.

Romantic relationships should be nurtured. You as a couple should talk about what you want out of the relationship and what each expects of each other. You both have differences and believe me, those differences are going to clash, but talking things out before or early within the relationship will help you get an understanding of what each other feels is important in your relationship and as an individual.

Family

Family

This relationship is on a level just as deep as the above, but in a different way. There is still trust, love, and commitment to each other within this relationship. Your family is there for you no matter what. The dedication to each other through anything even when angry, upset or holding a stupid grudge. If you need something, they will be the first to respond without question.

This is a bond built on years of parent/sibling dedication, support, and so much more. Nothing should come between you and those within your family.

Friends

Friends

Next in line is the connection we have to those we spend our free time with. We talk with them about things going on and trust their advice. They may be the first we go to for help, and our real friends are like family.

They’ll drop everything to help when the need arrises, support you when you need it and give you the truth, even when it hurts. Thats why we love them so much.

Work

Work/Business

In this category are those that we work with. Now some may be friends and you’ll spend time with them outside of the work arena, but most are those you see only when you work and nothing more.

You get along with some, but not others and this relationship is there to benefit both since neither wants to lose their job because of something ridiculous. You tough out the bad days and enjoy the good ones. (Unless they drive you to leave, then you get to start new work relationships!)

Acquaintances

Those you see occasionally, such as the store clerk that scans your groceries or church members. Of course some of these could also become friends, but you get what I mean.

These are those you see occasionally and don’t usually spend a lot of time with. Once or twice a week you gather and only because you have another reason for being around them.

You’re polite and nice, and when the event is over, everyone goes their separate ways.

Run-ins

Run-Ins

Now here is something you may not realize, but these are those that you have the smallest amount of contact with. Those you walk by on the streets, but may not even talk to.

Yes, your relationship with them may be short lived, but it’s a relationship none-the-less and can impact them or they can impact you in a monumental way. Remember a smile or a helping hand can go a long way!

What Makes a Great Relationship

Great relationships, no matter what type, take time and energy to keep functioning as they should. Below is a list of qualities needed to make a relationship great.

This is in no way all of the items we need, but they are the more important ones (in no particular order).

Commitment

In any relationship, a commitment is made to provide certain attributes of yourself. You dedicate your time, your skills, jokes, or anything else that will create a deeper connection to the ones you are in a relationship with.

This goes both ways, it’s something we expect as humans from those in a relationship with us as well as us with them.

Compromise

Compromise

Though each involved should compromise when ideas aren’t the same. You should also find a way to work out how each of you can do the things you love to do.

You shouldn’t have to give up those activities you love to please someone else. They should be happy you’re doing what you love as you should be happy they are doing what they love.

This goes for things around the house as well or any other aspect that needs to be discussed. Divide those chores to create a well oiled mechanism or project your working on with your friends.

Whatever it is, remember to work together. Relationships are centered around teamwork. It’s a good thing we all learned that at a young age, right?

Forgive

Forgiveness

Learn to forgive. Whether the things your forgiving is a bump against a stranger on the street or something larger by someone closer (insert imagination here).

Learn to forgive others of their mistakes as we all make them. No one is perfect and we shouldn’t expect those we are in a relationship to be something we ourselves cannot be.

Effort

Effort

Yep, you knew I was going to put this in here, because it’s true. If each person within the relationship doesn’t put in the effort to create the best relationship for all, then the relationship will falter and fail.

I know some who are never happy unless everyone else in the group is happy and that is not what I’m talking about. Each must put in the effort to create a relationship where everyone is happy and no one feels they have to outdo the others to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere.

Understand

Understanding

This one is something that a lot of people need to learn. I’ve seen in some relationships where understanding is almost non-existent. (or perhaps those are all the stories I read, oh well, it happens, so let’s continue) While you expect certain things from the other(s) within your relationship, they also expect certain things from you.

One of those things it to be understanding. To be understanding of their feelings, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and their daily routines. If you can’t understand them on a deeper level, you’re going to have a hard time keeping your relationship where it needs to be.

RespectRespect

One of the most important qualities of a relationship is respect. There is no greater gift than that of respect. Even if it’s with someone you just met, respect can go a long way.

There’s really no more to say than that.

Evolve

Evolves

With all things, you and your relationships will grow and evolve. As it changes you and those within your relationship will need to change with it. If you can’t do that, it will become very hard to keep your relationships as they are.

Everyone changes and grows and your relationships are no exception. Work with the changes and everything will go just fine.

Final Thoughts

Even though it takes a lot to create, keep and grow relationships. It’s one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.

Newly Implemented For 2019

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

Tools

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

Asana

 

Implemented checklist

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

Trello

Implemented Schedule

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

Planner

Implemented Planner

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

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

Daily Routine

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

Creative Writing

Complete the Story Prompts

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

Posts

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

Checklist

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

Checklist

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

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

Exercise

Exercise

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

School

school

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

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

Other

ahead

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

Final Thoughts

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

Believe

Believe

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

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

Dictionary

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

WIKi

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

Quotes On ‘Believe’

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

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

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

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

Believe in Yourself

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

How do you do that?

Envision

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

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

Begin

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

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

Believe in your business

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

Action

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

Team

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

Believe in you Future

This is what you are striving for! Keep going!

Review

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

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

Learn

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

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

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

Change

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

Final Thoughts

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

Plans for 2019

Plans for 2019

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

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

Books

Series

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

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

Books

Stand Alone/Possible Series

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

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

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

To Be Read

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

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

Short Stories

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

Beta Readers/Arc readers

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

Reading

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

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

Editor

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

Edit

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

Communication

Blog

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

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

Communication

Connections

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

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

Business

New Products

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

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

Business Products

Video

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

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

Other Items

Educational

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

Guitar

Art/Music

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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.