Overcome

Boy has this word been a big part of me and my business the last few months. Many things to overcome, obstacles to face and defeat, life to battle and conquer.

But first, let’s take a look at this fantastic word and what it means…

What is ‘Overcome’?

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Dictionary

  • Succeed in dealing with a problem or difficulty
  • Defeat an opponent; to prevail
  • (Of an emotion) Overpower or overwhelm

WIKI

  • To surmount; to prevail over, to get the better of
  • To overwhelm with emotion
  • To come or pass over, to spread over
  • To over flow, to surcharge

So according to those Overcome is to succeed or prevail over a difficult problem, obstacle, or emotion.

Overcome is such a powerful word and is used in many ways:

You see it on posters, pamphlets, spoken and more. Overcome is a fabulous word with man uses as well as, for many of us, has a speacial meaning.

To Encourage

Communicative

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Many people use the word overcome as an encouragement when going through hard times, struggles, abuse or any other obstacle they are facing. The way they go about it may differ, but everyone has overcome some sort of obstacle in their lives, whether large or small. Not one obstacle is more prominent or difficult than any other. It depends on who’s looking at it in order for them to defeat it. While people may find themselves in a similar situation, the outcome or the way they overcame thier obstacle is all theirs.

Personal

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We encourage and motivate not only others, but ourselves to overcome daily obstacles. A fight we had with our spouse, getting the children to school on time, a flat tire, or worse. There are days when life seems like everything we do is against us, while other days nothing could go wrong. And then thre are those days where it begins one way and ends the other. I know I’ve experienced that and my day ended on the bad side.

To Inspire

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We as a race, gain inspiration from hearing, seeing and experiencing the defeat of our own personal monsters, as well as those of others. When we hear of others or even think back on what we’ve done within the last year, month or even week, we can inspire ourselves to move forward. Hey, if we’ve already defeated some of those monsters, why wouldn’t we be able to defeat new ones?

To Tell Stories

As an author, I know my first series as well as my stand alone pertain to overcoming something from the character’s past whether that’s people who harmed them, the darkness that surrounded them, or relatives that feel they were the reason for their loss.

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We tell stories to relay information, to hand down moral values, and so much more. Stories are what people can escape to, relate to, and gain inspiration, encouragement, and motivation from. Characters face obstacles we may or may not ever face, but they are always able to push through, forge ahead, and overcome their battles.

Of course, thier lives are at the discretion of the author who created them, but we are not. We have the choice to let those small (or large) things bring us down or to become a knight, a dragon, or a wizard and overcome the battles life have thrown at us.

How to Overcome

There are many ways you can overcome whatever obstacles you are facing. You just need to find what is right for you and find a way to make that happen. Here are some examples…

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  • Seclusion ~  Sometime being alone can do wonders for the mind and body. When you can think on the problem and only the problem without all the other things in life vying for you attention you may be able to overcome the obstacle.
  • Deep Breaths/Meditation ~ As with seclusion, meditating or even taking a few calming breaths can rejuvenate your mind to look at the situation more clearly.
  • Run at it Full Force ~ With other obstacles and problems, you may need to face them head on to get them taken care of so you can focus on other things.
  • Speak with Another ~ Talking out your struggles with another may help find a solution faster, two (or more) heads are better than one!
  • Take a Break ~ Sometimes it’s best to take some time for yourself. Regroup, relax, and come back to the problem later. If you walk away from the issue for a bit (if you can do that) it may clear your head. When you return to the problem, you’ll look at it with fresh eyes, ready to battle once more.
  • Find the Purpose of the problem ~ When you understand exactly what the problem is and why the problem exists, you can discover the solution to resolve the problem.

I am Overcoming…

Life has been good and bad for me. The beginning of the year was fabulous until I hit late February when things began to fall apart. My husband was working all hours, homeschooling was a struggle, traveling down to watch my sisters kids for weeks on and off, and trying to keep up with all of my writing goals were not making it.

I was so far off, I had to completely revamp my schedule and push some projects off until next year to be able to handle what was important to me and the goals I wanted to accomplish this year.

The point is, sometimes life with throw a wrench, a boulder, heck even a house or skyscraper into your plans, but it’s up to you how to handle the situation. Overcome the obstacles or allow them to bury you so deep you can’t climb out.

What will or are you overcoming at this point in your life? I would love to hear your story and give you some encouragement as you defeat your monsters no matter how small. 

This Month’s Writing Theme: Writing Process

The writing process of an author/writer differs from person to person. Some will plan, outline, plot, and develop their novels down to the last quirk, research piece, aim, goal, setting detail, motivation, conflicting action, etc. Files, folder, documents, mind maps, aesthetic board, Pinterest board, Social Media polls all in place and filled with information for their novels, while others fly by the seat of their pants. Those are the ones who don’t plan, don’t map; they sit down and start writing. Then there is revising, editing, and publishing to worry about.

This month is all about your writing process and sharing what you do with others who are endeavoring to write, but have no idea where to start. Share yours below.
Writing Process

 

Example: When I first began writing, I would outline my story and then start writing. After taking a course by Nick Stephenson called Story Engines. I’ve found that fleshing out story details have helped me immensely with my writing and my storylines. He and fellow author Joe Nassise take you through their process on creating phases, answering questions,  scene list, and so much more. 

I’ve tweaked it to suit me and I’ve haven’t looked back. It’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. They also have a program called Your First 10K Readers that takes you through getting your first 10,000 readers. Although, I haven’t implemented all of there methods, it may be very helpful to you. 

Here is the basic categories for my process: 

  • Premise Worksheet
  • Final Premise
  • Initial Scene List
  • Single Sentence Summary
  • Scene Questions
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Rough Story Arc
    • Preparation Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Reactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Proactive Phase
    • Mini Goal
    • Conclusion Phase
  • Synopsis
  • Product Description

I also have a very detailed worksheet I use to flesh out my characters that is three pages long. 

Now, even though I do this, my characters ~ like small children aways seen to veer from the path I choose for them. So, yes there are some things that aren’t in the finished product that are in my plans, but that’s the way writing it. 

Just for fun, let’s add in what changed throughout your story as you wrote it.

Example: I had one of my characters change occupations a quarter of the way through, not like she quit and changed, but out of the blue, one minute she’s a secretary and another she’s a nurse. I’ve also had new characters join the story when I had no intension for another character to enter the book at all. 

What does your writing process look like? What changed throughout your story that wasn’t intended? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below!

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?!

 

Stories

Stories are all around us, in our every day lives and are a major part of who we are. They tell of memories, tales, adventures and journeys of those who came before and those that are today. Many stories relay lessons, quests, and hardships, but the best stories are the those that bear hardship, obstacles, and show achievement over them.

Let’s take a quick look at the word Story

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Definition:

The definition of the word story differs from one entry to another. A few are listed below:

According to Merriam-Webster.com a story is:

  • an account of incidents or events
  • a statement regarding the facts pertinent to a situation in question
  • anecdote; especially: an amusing one
  • a fictional narrative shorter than a novel; specifically: short story
  • the intrigue or plot of a narrative or dramatic work
  • a widely circulated rumor
  • lie, falsehood
  • legend, romance
  • a news article or broadcast

and according to Wikipedia a story is:

A narrative or story is a report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images, or both.

From the Ages:

From early in history oral storytelling, pictures, and words have been an essential part of our lives. Stories have been pass from one generation to the next teaching tradition, providing a source of education, and creating fantastic tales of entertainment, sorrow, and love from the imagination and experiences of others.

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Stories come from all walks of life into the minds of us all, ready to be told and re-told; to entertain, educate, inspire and intrigue anyone willing to read or hear it. They come from inside you (and others): we create, remember or imagine stories to comfort, protect, learn from, or entertain not only ourselves but others.

Lessons:

Through stories we learn lessons of life, of love, how others overcame similar obstacles and we even learn a little about ourselves, whether the stories are about family or characters/others on a journey similar to the one we are taking now.

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Each story we read, we find a character with attributes akin to our own, a situation comparable to what we are currently traveling, or one that hits home on an emotional level. Every story we read, we learn from; even those we don’t finish. It’s not that we abandoned that story or that we will forever be a quitter, but what we learn is with that story, it didn’t resonate with us on an emotional or psychological level. Aspects of it didn’t catch and keep our interest causing us to put it down and never return to finish it.

I can personally say there has been one novel I was unable to finish and it was because I didn’t resonate with any of the characters. The setting was one I enjoyed reading, but the characters and their journey made no sense to me. I learned I needed more interaction between characters, though I’m more of an introvert, myself, I enjoy the connection between characters as they journey through the tale and this one didn’t have that.

How Stories Affects Our Daily Lives:

As with fiction certain events in our lives bring on pivotal turning points that guide our own story down a path of our choosing. Each decision we make is another point in which our story is created. Each choice leading us down another path, either with mountains and valleys or along a straight road. Some may be easy while others are difficult, having to climb your way to the next mountain only to realize there is another along your path. Along your journey some people come and go, while others stay to journey with you, battling the dragons, evil menace, and dark shadows; providing comic relief or comfort in your time of need.

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We find relief and freedom in the words written on the page, a sense of escape from the every day, sort of like a vacation for the mind. A place we can travel to escape work, the kids, the house, chores, anything so that we can spend some time away in fantasy or another reality for a few moments. It’s a way to relax and recharge before hitting the day with guns blazing.

Inspiration:

The one thing you can find anywhere is inspiration and stories are filled with it. Each page contains details of hope, courage, bravery, sorrow, danger, conflict, dreams, future, compassion, love, and so much more. Characters overcoming conflict to achieve their dreams, lines of understanding as those characters travel along the paths of their choosing. Connections made between characters, animals, creatures, or even objects. Experiences that shine and those that don’t.

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When we read stories, tales, and legends, we create connections not just with the characters within the stories, but the authors who created them as well as those around us who enjoyed the story as well. Through social media, blog comments, forums, and more we state our likes and dislikes about certain tales, making our emotional connection to the the stories known as people around the world comment and respond.

Stories are not just doors to other worlds, characters, settings, or information; they are doors to a connection much deeper, a connection we may be lacking these days; with others like us not just in our vicinity, but those around the world.

Final Thoughts:

What you take away from the stories you read and the journey you’re on are completely in the way you take in the details. Since we all have different opinions and interpret events and decisions differently, we’ll also take from a story what we perceive from the situations, characters, and the decisions they make. What you take from each story you read is up to you as is the journey you are currently taking.

Where are you in your story?

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May’s Writing Theme: Where is Your Progress At?

Since we are one quarter into the year, I thought we could write about (and analyze) where we are, where we are going, and what we have done to get us to this point. So for this month we are writing our progress on whatever you have going on right now. Writing related or not. We are here to support you!

Where is

 

Example: For my example this month I will refer you to my blog as I have already given my progress for the quarter there. My Progress So Far… Check it out to see where I am and where I plan to go to reach my goals.

My Progress so Far…

One quarter gone… Where did the time go?

We are now one quarter 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 would like to say that I am progressing here, but it is definitely slow going as I am in the process of revising book one of the Conquer the Darkness Series due to a publishing conflict.
  • Book 4 is still in the editing stages due to the revision of book one
  • Book 5 is being written, though slower than I would have liked.

~ Some life events took precedence this quarter and I’ve gotten a bit behind here, but never fear, I’ll get back on track bringing you awesome stories and fantastic content!

Read 12 Books in Genre by 12/31

  • So far I have read three of the twelve books, so I am behind one book. The last book I read was really hard for me to get through and caused me to put it down for several days at a time before picking it back up.

~ Now that I am through that one, I’m ready to pick another and forge ahead!

Read 6 Books NOT in Genre by 12/31

  • One down, one in progress and four to go!

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

  • Again I’ve done research and have a goal of getting qualified readers for my Beta group, but have yet to gain actual people to be in the group. So, now I ask you… 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.

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

  • Yet another area I’ve worked on very little. I’ve signed up for Scribofile, which is on-line critiques of your work, but you have to critique and gain points before you can publish your own work to be critiqued.
  • 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 here.

           

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!
  • 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

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

Start Using Video in Marketing by 6/30

~ Lots of video training, may get this up before scheduled!

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.

Try out New list of Marketing Ideas and record results.

~ Working on and progressing well!

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!

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 complete three already and it’s only been four months!

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

~ This was going well, and 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!

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A Story Grows as a Plant Grows

Spring is upon us and we are beginning to ready our garden for seeds/spuds. Yep, we are adding potatoes to our garden this year!! I can’t wait!

Since my little man loves gardening and all things that breath life, I am dedicating this post to him. Not to mention it’s his birthday today, so Happy birthday buddy! If not for him, my thought process would have skipped over this topic and on to the next.

Anyway, as we are deciding on seeds and what to plant where, my author mind took hold and contemplated as I often do… how a story is similar to a plant and how it grows.

Here is what I’ve noticed:

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The Seed:

The seed in the story is, and you’ve probably guessed this… the spark of inspiration. That first initial thought of “Wow, this could be something great!” or “I’ve got to write this down, this would make such a great story!” And you’re probably right! 😉

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Germination:

This is where your story gets interesting, where it takes root as you write notes, plot, gather ideas for characters, settings, plot, conflict and the journey your characters will explore. The story will stretch it’s roots creating the beginning of something awesome!

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Growth:

As plants need nourishment, so to does the author. As a plant battles nature with weather, animals, and even humans, you to will discover the hardships of writing your story. Doubt, distraction, writer’s block, discouragement are all things we face as writers, but as the plant holds firm, you will too.

Find encouragement in others, inspiration in words and enjoyment in your characters, your setting and your plot twists to keep you motivated. Some plants may take days to flower while other take months or even years, but they WILL flower.

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Polination:

This is the part of your story where you get down to the nitty gritty. As bees pollinate the flowers, you must go from place to place researching your story further with interviews, history, occupations, folklore, or whatever topic is in need of researching for your specific story. Enjoy this journey and have fun with it!

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Reproduction:

Reproduction is the act of bring things together to create a new and exciting being. In the same sense, you bring all the components together from your notes, research, interviews, and more to create a new and fascinating tale. The journey of the characters, the realism of the settings, relationships and conflict as they move along their path create something people are dying to read!

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Spreading the Seeds:

Spread the seeds! Are you ready to enter the realm and start again with a series or did you discover a new tale while writing this one? Keep going with characters your readers love and create their story. Create your tale so that readers are coming back for more and sparking that seed of inspiration in others writers who dream to be where you are.

 

What do you think? Ever sit and think, “This is so much like writing!” What have you noticed around you that you could relate to the writing process? Comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts. 

 

What Can’t You Live Without?

During the last few weeks my husband has been on vacation and I’ve been traveling down to my sisters for watch her children while they were out of town because… I’m an awesome sister.

With all the traveling, I’ve had to cut down access to my work to my IPad and my phone, which got me thinking… If you had to pick on thing, what is one that you could not live without. Let me know! I would love to hear from you. I’ll include my answers here, in green (my favorite color 😉 )

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The One Thing: ___________________________

My Answer: Pencil/pens

Why? What’s special about it: _____________________________________

My Answer:  They are the most versatile utensil. As long as you have something to write on – paper, napkin, journal, flyer, whatever you can find, you can write

I bet you were thinking I was going to choose my IPad… what I have found while traveling the last few weeks is that my IPad and phone need to be charged, sometimes I need WiFi, and that where is going back to basics comes in handy. When inspiration strikes, if you have a pencil/pen you can grab something, anything nearby to write it down on for later contemplation. So, what’s yours?

Ok, not that we got that out of the way, why don’t I make this a bit more fun and give you some categories for other things you can’t live without:

General Item:

A general item you tend to keep handy, just in case…

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Answer: __________________________

My answer: Sweater – I’m the type of girl who can’t go long without getting cold.

Sweater with a cup of hot chocolate… even better!

On your desk:

The one thing one your desk that doesn’t include your computer, keyboard, mouse or other electronic…

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Griffin Candle: What better inspiration than an item from your chosen genre? He sits on my desk and watches me type everyday without a word, but ever encouraging.

The one electronic:

Ah, here’s the electronic… what is the one you can’t live without?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer:  I guess I would have to say my iMac – I purchased it last year and I’m loving it! It has all my projects, graphics, social media, plans, etc all in one place and even if it can’t travel. I know my stuff will be there when I return. 

Social Media:

With all the social media outlets out there, which one could you not live without?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: I would have to say Patreon, not only can I post blog posts, it’s an easy way to offer more to readers, fans and audiences for their support while still providing awesome content.

Music:

What type of music or music platform could you not live without while working?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: I usually listen to Pandora while I work and my favorite channel to listen to is “Song of the Lonely Mountain” from The Hobbit. My genre is romantic fantasy adventure, so it fits. 

Snack:

What is one snack you can’t live without while working? or do you not snack while working. I’m always snacking on something… I guess my brain associates writing with food so I’ve now got a few healthy snacks on my desk while I write.

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Oh, this one is a bit harder, I really love something with pieces I can just pop into my mouth and keep working. What I’ve been choosing lately is cereal. Fruit in the Middle Mini Wheats. Love those! 

Writing Utensil:

What writing utensil can you not live without? Mechanical pencils? No. 2 pencils? Colored pencils? Black pens? or my personal favorite… Colored pens?

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Answer: __________________________

My Answer: Well, here is something that doesn’t take any thought whatsoever. Colored Pens! Yep, I am one of those people who gets excited when she receives pens as a stocking stuffer, colored pens – even better! 

 

Have others to add to the list? Comment and let me know so I can add them and give my answers! Go ahead and comment, I would love to hear your answers.

Patreon Benefits

Patreon Benefits For Authors and Writers

Nothing is better for Authors and writers than gaining the support of their readers. Whether that is liking posts, reading their books, writing reviews, critiquing their work and more. Let’s talk about another platform that you could be utilizing to support your favorite writer, author or creative entrepreneur. Yep, I’m talking about Patreon! I’ve noticed that quite a few artists and creatives have begun to use Patreon for various reasons:

Communication ~

As with blogs, social media and websites Patreon connects with them all to offer another platform to communicate with fans, readers and audiences from all over.

  • Not only do they provide a way to keep readers up to date with posts, it also allows you to create additional content for those that become a patreon of your page.
  • Connect your website and social media sites to provide more ways to find you and what you are posting.
  • One thing that I love about this site it the fact that you can provide an Intro Video, giving your readers, fans and audiences a face and personality to go along with the person they are supporting.
  • There is the ability to provide additional information with adding graphics and video into your posts.

Community ~

Community is an important part of any creatives repertoire. With Patreon you can build a community with others just as amazing as you!

  • Like, comment, follow and support others like-minded creatives who love the same things as you
  • Or ones who don’t! Inspiration comes from everywhere
  • Communicate with creatives in your field such as graphic designers, cover artists, marketers and more!
  • There is no limit when you are surrounded by others who are working toward a similar goal.

Linking ~

Patreon, like many other sites allow you to connect to your other sites for better conversion rates and communication.

  • Link your website (and don’t forget to add that on your posts along with your author page)
  • Link your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Twitch for gamers)
  • Don’t forget you can add links in any of your posts!

Patreon Extras ~

Man, did I forget to mention the rewards… and more?

  • If you visit most patreon pages, the right hand side is a column of rewards for becoming a patreon member. You could receive anything from Patreon Only posts to free goodies and more!
  • Also, if you are an Author, you can offer a reward section for early releases or sneak peeks of your work!
  • There are many things to provide as rewards
    • Sneak peeks
    • ARC
    • Short stories
    • Author Merchandise/Swag
    • Coupons/Discounts
    • And more!

If you are thinking of starting a Patreon page (or supporting a journeying author) check out Patreon or My Patreon page to find out more.

Is Your Story Real

Is Your Story Real?

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

Let me tell you why:

Relaxation:

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

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

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

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

Inspiration:

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

So many fantastic quotes came from these series:

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

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

“Mithrandir… Why the hafling?”

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

“I can not do this, Sam.”

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

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

“What are we holding on to, Sam?”

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

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

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

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

The Unexpected:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Banana Bread

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

Peanut Butter Balls

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