It’s Monday … Again. Better Make it a Good One.

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Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday (if such a thing exists). For the record, I had a long weekend full of family crisis and whatnot, so I’m not really in a blogging mood. To be honest, I’m not really in a productive mood at all. I would have rather entered myself into the Hunger Games than entered the office this morning.

But cry me a river, build me a bridge, and make lemonade or whatever it is that people say. Here’s some more inspirational quotes about Mondays to get us all out of the funk and into a more productive mood.

It’s Monday. Don’t forget to be awesome! -Author Unknown

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. -Author Unknown

Oh, come on. It’s Monday, not doomsday. So make it a good one. -Some Random Cow

Monday is a fresh start. It’s never too late to dig in and begin a new journey of success. -Author Unknown

It’s Monday. Time to take over the world. -Random Minion

It’s Monday but it’s okay. – Author Unknown

Well, that was … inspiring. If nothing else, it was fun. And what better way to start Monday than with a little fun?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

My Favorite Writerly Things

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Fingers on keyboard and judgement from kittens
Bright neon notebooks where words will be written
Brown cups of coffee turned lighter with cream
These are a few of my favorite writerly things

And here are a few more:

Writerly Weather

I’ve seen a lot of writers comment that rainy days are ideal for them to write. Not for me. Rainy days are lazy days. The most I can hope to accomplish (besides staying awake) is reading a chapter or two from my favorite book. For me, sunny days are the best days for writing. The sun lights my writing space and keeps me in a positive, productive mood.

Novelty Pens

The pen is mightier than the sword, especially when it has a bobble on top. Whether it’s neon colored, topped with a feather, or odd-shaped, a novelty pen inspires me to write. My favorite pens right now are my Inside Out pens which allow me to write in colors that express my current mood. (Current mood is yellow).

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Or just caffeine in general. Though, in all honesty, my favorite caffeinated drink is coffee. My favorite roast is the House Blend Roast from Starbucks. I just grounded a fresh batch so we’re all set for the weekend. Star Wars coffee creamers make it even better.

Cats

Where would a writer be without their feline companion. Critic more like. Cats have a tendency to sit near the computer screen, narrow their eyes at the screen, and cast judgement. I know my cats do. They also like to sit on the keyboard, inserting strange gibberish into my writing. But I don’t know where I’d be without them.

My Computer

I used to draft all of my novels on notebooks, but my hand started cramping too much. Plus, my desire to go back and scratch out everything I just wrote became too great. Now I do all of my work on the computer. It’s my notebook, my radio, and my social outlet. If it died today my world would just end.

Notebooks

Even though I do all of my writing on the computer, I still like to complete my outlines in notebooks, especially cute ones with pictures of cats or Disney characters on the front. Neon ones are also fun. There’s something about that binder in hand and the immediate connection between the mind and the paper that makes thoughts come easier. Don’t you think?

Movie Soundtracks

Most of the time I write in silence . . . unless my nephew is up and about. LOL. In that case, I try to drown out the sound of Legos crashing and action figures smashing with music. Movie soundtracks are my favorite, especially instrumental numbers. Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, and Yo Yo Ma are some of my favorite composers.

Books

For good measure, I like to keep a pile of books nearby . . . for no apparent reason other than looking like an author. LOL. Actually, I like to keep references near at hand just in case. I hate getting up out of my seat.

Useless Geegaw

I like to keep my desk cluttered with useless geegaw. Whether it’s a Funko Pop Vinyl figure or a Lucky Cat figurine, if it’s in my way it’s making my day!

Motivational Quotes

I have a tack-board just above my desk covered in photos, business cards, and motivational quotes to keep me inspired.

Well, that’s about it for me. What are your favorite writerly things? Feel free to share in the comments below. And as always have a wonderful weekend!

Doing the Dream with LeVar Burton and How Self-publishing Helped Me Realize My Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech in which he shared his vision of America. Last Friday, as part of the 11th annual Doing the Dream celebration, famous actor LeVar Burton came to Kokomo Indiana to advise students how they, too, can achieve their dreams. As an accomplished actor and a man who says he’s living his dream, LeVar Burton stood before students “as living and breathing truth that our dreams do indeed come true.”

Over one hundred middle school, high school, and college grade students were in attendance, including students from my program–hence why I could justify going on a Friday. LOL. Yours truly had a front row seat for this inspiring speech.

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LeVar Burton is “living the dream”

For those of you who don’t know him, Burton is well-known for his roles as Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and as host on the popular TV series “Reading Rainbow.” He is best known for his role as Kunte Kinte in the groundbreaking TV series “ROOTS” which united audiences from all walks of life in 1977 when it first aired.

Burton spoke in detail how Martin Luther King Jr., as well as three others, inspired him to achieve his own dreams. He also shared with audiences some words of encouragement as well as advice on how to make their dreams become a reality.

“That which we focus our attention on [while] either sleeping or wide awake … is how we make our dreams come true.”

This quote resonated with me as an author because it validates my opinion that a dream is both a conscious and unconscious nagging which will only come to fruition with hard work, attention, and focus. I did not achieve published author status by sipping coffee and wanting to be an author; I made it happen with hard work, sacrifice, and diligence. While others were out partying, watching television, or hanging out with their boyfriends/girlfriends, I was tapping away at the keyboard.

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Author photo courtesy of The Kokomo Tribune

I actually got the chance to discuss in detail how I achieved my own dream in Sunday’s edition of The Kokomo Tribune. In a candid interview, I shared with readers how I, being discouraged by the cumbersome process of traditional publishing, realized my dream of becoming a published author through e-publishing. I explained to readers how this nontraditional route was the best opportunity for me to reach a wide audience while maintaining creative control over the novel. I also shared how, after three years of tinkering with edits, my debut novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other finally came to fruition thanks to this alternative route and my own increased efforts following my mother’s cancer diagnosis in August. For the entire interview, please click here. For more information about the novel, including prices, click here to proceed to the Amazon sales page.

Being a published author, being interviewed by the paper, and hearing LeVar Burton speak in-person–I truly feel like I am “living the dream!” What inspired me most was hearing LeVar Burton validate my views on dreams . . . though his words were far more eloquent than mine. LOL. Still, I think the message is the same and can be summed up in one phrase: “Every person has a purpose, and that purpose is to discover his or her gift and then share it with the world.” -LeVar Burton “Doing the Dream 2015”

Thank you everyone for stopping by on this beautiful, cloudy Monday Morning. Hopefully, the excitement from last week will fuel me through another work week. If not, that’s what coffee’s for;) See you all again soon!

My Favorite Things Blog Tour: Week 4!

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Let’s share our favorite things!

Happy Monday everyone, and welcome back to My Favorite Things Blog Tour! It’s week four, (already?) which means it’s someone else’s turn to share their favorite things–no, not raindrops, and roses, and whiskers on kittens–favorite characters, scenes, & quotes from their books!

Please check out Anthony Renfro and D.S. Kane, today’s participants in the Favorite Things Blog Tour! Just follow the links to their blog sites.


One more week to go! Don’t miss out on these awesome writers:

Monday December 29th: Alison Jack, Noelle Granger, and Toni Betzner

Thank you again to everyone who shared on Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter! Reposts and sharing is greatly appreciated! Please don’t forget to support today’s participants. And, of course, a special thanks goes out to all the awesome authors who have–and will–participate in this blog tour. Let’s share our favorite things!

My Favorite Things Blog Tour: Week Three!

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Let’s share our favorite things!

It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to continue My Favorite Things Blog Tour! Woot! Woot! It’s week three, (can you believe it?) which means it’s someone else’s turn to share their favorite things–no, not raindrops, and roses, and whiskers on kittens–favorite characters, scenes, & quotes from their books!

Please check out Mrs. N (aka N. N. Light) and Lara Willard, today’s participants in the Favorite Things Blog Tour! Just follow the links to their blog sites.


Here is the tentative schedule for the rest of the month:

Monday December 22nd: Anthony Renfro and D.S. Kane
Monday December 29th: Alison Jack, Noelle Granger, and Toni Betzner

Thank you again to everyone who shared on Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter! Reposts and sharing is totally welcome! Please don’t forget to support today’s participants. And, of course, a special thanks goes out to all the awesome authors who have–and will–participate in this blog tour. Let’s share our favorite things!

When Life Gives You Lemons, [Instert Inspirational Phrase Here] What the Heck, Just Keep Writing

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

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When life gives you lemons . . .

So says one of the oldest and most disgustingly optimistic proverbial phrases ever coined. (For the record, the phrase was first coined by Elbert Hubbard in 1915. You’re welcome). Since it was first uttered, there have been many new variations of the saying, from inspirational ones that stay true to the original meaning, to sarcastic ones, which are really funny, and in my opinion, are a vast improvement. For me, the latter are much more relatable. Come on, who today wouldn’t just add salt and tequila and make themselves a margarita. I know that’s what I would do with it.

What is the message of the original proverb anyway? Did Elbert Hubbard really expect us to make lemonade? Or did he expect us to make the most of a bad situation?

Life deals out lemons like there’s a never-ending supply, and for writers trying to maintain a busy schedule of writing, editing, blogging, and marketing, these lemons can feel like boulders.

So what do you do? Just keep writing. Keep blogging. Keep marketing that book. There’s nothing else you can do.

I should know. Right now, I’m dealing with family illness, major transitions at work, and a hectic home life. I’m knee-deep in lemons, and more are dumping down from overhead. The fridge is overflowing with pitchers of lemonade, and I’m out of tequila and salt. I don’t much care for lemon cake, so what should I do with the rest of those lemons? I’m going to cut them up, put them in my green tea, and keep writing. That’s all I can do. Writing is my escape, my therapy, and hopefully, the gateway to something better.

For anyone else who is going through a difficult time, just know you are not alone, and I encourage you to keep at it no matter what. Things will work themselves out in the end. In the meantime, I’m going to find more recipes using lemons on Pinterest.

Writing is Hell

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It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. Not a cloud in the sky. My cats are baking in a sunbeam beside my computer desk. And I just saw a family of ducks cross my backyard. No joke. I’m sitting at my computer desk on this lovely day with my laptop open, my novel pulled up, and a raspberry tea within arms reach. There’s even a vase of fresh flowers on the corner of the desk. Surrounded by all of this loveliness and with hours to work on my novel, all I can think of is how much I’d like to go back to bed.

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Let’s face it, writing is hell.

So, to fix my mindset, I got online and started looking up inspirational quotes. After sifting through pages and pages and pages of quotes about goals, motivation, and happiness, I came upon some about writing. One in particular, I thought embodies the writing experience better than an other. William Styron put it best when he said, “Let’s face it, writing is hell.” To me, there is no statement that more accurately captures the torturous quality of writing. I’m sure there are more thought-provoking statements out there, ones that would inspire me to write 1,000 words, but this one struck a chord with me for its simplicity and blunt honesty.

Sometimes writing can be mentally, emotionally, and even physically painful to the point where it’s no longer enjoyable. There are times when sitting at my laptop trying to expel just one descent sentence or word is pure agony. Some mornings I lay in bed, putting off getting up, because I dread the thought of tackling my draft.

If writing is hell, why do I write? Why do any of us write? My sister/writing companion/personal editor/critic/etc. recently came across some research that suggests that the writer’s need to write is neurological. This means, some individuals absolutely have to write in order to satisfy some portion of their brain. So, basically we write in the name of science.

I like to think there is a more personal need to write, one that leads to personal or spiritual growth. I like to think that there is a pay-off for all of the frustration that goes into drafting a paragraph or editing a chapter. Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I think of this statement when I’m tackling a particularly difficult draft. If I’m already suffering, I might as well keep going because there is going to be a light—or at least a finished product—on the other side.

With that last quote in mind, I think I’m going to take another stab at writing today. Hope your days are more productive than mine! Look forward to seeing you all again on Monday!