Friday, October 31, 2014

Five Year Project: Monthly Review

Last Friday of the Month
     Today is the last Friday of the month, which makes it time to review my five year goal. For me, it’s to create a publishing company that sets the standard for excellence in this country and around the world.
     So, how is it going? In a word: slow.
     I’m learning. I’m learning to edit, to recognize and develop skills in others, to know when to say no and when to say yes. I’m learning good habits, self-discipline, and priorities. I’m learning what I’m going to need to make this thing a go. Sometimes it feels overwhelming, and sometimes it feels impossible but…
     Every great thing has a start, and that’s what this feels like for me; only a place to start.
How are your goals going?

*On a side note, Happy Halloween everyone! What are your plans? I'm taking the kiddos trick or treating, then ending the night with a bonfire party at my brother-in-law's house. Can't wait! Do you think it's too late to get a costume? And if not, any suggestions?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Survive and Thrive Bloghop

Today I'm participating in the Survive and Thrive Bloghop hosted by: Stephen Tremp,  Alex J. Cavanaugh, Michael Di Gesu, and   L. Diane Wolfe. It is intended to focus on early disease prevention and screening.

As most of you know I'm a nurse, which lends itself to particular knowledge in this area, but I'm not going to focus on that. I'm going to get personal. For years I was in a terrible cycle. Every Fall I would get allergies which led to post-nasal drip which settled in my lungs which resulted in bronchitis or if I was really lucky, pneumonia. It reached it's peak when I was pregnant for my second daughter and found myself on antibiotics three times along with breathing treatments. Not wanting any harm to come to her, I sought a better way and miraculously, I found it. At that time I also suffered from heartburn. Those of you familiar with the joys of pregnancy can relate, I'm sure. Someone told me it was made worse by low stomach acid and that I should take fermented apple cider vinegar to help. I did, and as I did, I noticed a strange burning in my throat. I didn't know what to make of it, but the heartburn outweighed the throat, so I kept at it. The next morning I noticed a difference. I could breath. As it turns out, that vinegar was killing all the bacteria in my throat before it could make it to my lungs. Now, at the first sign (you know that burning at the back of your throat when you feel a cold coming on), I take 2-3 tsp of Bragg's unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I haven't had  so much as a cold, let alone bronchitis or pneumonia for the last nine years. And it does seem to help with the heartburn, too.  

Hope that helps!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Small Things

She shook her head, watching the chaos going on in front of her. “I have no idea how you do it.”

I smiled to her and myself. That’s not the first time I’ve heard those words. Anyone who’s been at my house for any length of time and hears how often the word “Mom!” is thrown around, usually followed by a need of some kind, marvels that I’m able to accomplish anything at all. But I have. I’ve written five books and seen them published, homeschooled my children, and kept a garden, and of course, I’m married. But that’s about it. I don’t try to do it all. I chose a few things, things that are good and important for this season of my life and have focused on them. I say no a lot. Not because the request was bad, or unworthy, but because I’ve said greater yeses. I’ve said yes to two hours a day set aside for writing, I’ve said yes to the early mornings in my garden, I’ve said yes to a date night each week with my husband. I’ve said yes to my children.

Small things, things that would be so easy to push aside or write off as not important, but over the course of time those small things add up. In the end they’re what life is made of.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Indie Life

Second Wednesday Each Month

The best thing about Indie? The work itself. In Indie it can be whatever you want. You don’t have to worry about the latest trends, or what’s selling. You can just write what you love. Sounds all warm and fuzzy, right? But what about the bones, the how-to?

It’s different for each of us, but here’s how it is for me:

In two days, I’m going on a trip to the Adirondacks; it’s one of my favorite places on earth, but it’s not a vacation (okay, not just a vacation), I’m going there to be inspired. As a visual person, I need to actually go to the locations of the stories I write. I need to see and smell and hear and touch. I take pictures, and then study them. In short, I make an emotional connection to the setting itself. That’s how I make my stories feel as real as they do, because to me, they are. Now, that’s not always possible. In Bashan, Joel went to Syria. As you can imagine, that’s not a trip I’ll be taking anytime too soon. So, if I can’t be there in real life, I go in books. I read as much as I can about the area, fiction and nonfiction alike. You can make an emotional connection there, too. If not, then what’s the point in this whole writing thing anyway?

Only then, after I’ve immersed myself into the realness of it all, do I sit down to write.

How about you—what do your bones look like?

Come back next Wednesday and I’ll reveal more of mine.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


It’s strange having the first of the month fall on a Wednesday—but it does, so that makes this IWSG time. Thanks kindly to Alex Cavanaugh and crew for hosting this each month; you can find the link here if you’d like to join in the fun. Basically, it’s a time to reflect on being a writer, the whole publishing process really, and what makes us insecure about it. For me insecurity tends to be directly tied to other people’s opinions. If people liked my work, I’m flying high, if not, I’m questioning why I even bother writing at all. As you can imagine, that’s neither healthy nor helpful. Recognizing this, I’ve done my best to stop. Now, I’m not saying I’ve stopped reading every review that comes in, that would be too much to expect, but I did stop letting them affect me. I’ve come to acknowledge that people have their own opinions and they’re entitled to them, just as I’m entitled to mine.  And if I forget that? I go to Amazon and read some of the reviews of my favorite books. That’s a quick wake-up call. That, more than anything else, tells me one thing: we’re all unique, and life would suck if it were any other way.

Do you read your reviews? How do you handle the “bad” ones?