Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Staying in the Present Moment

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing and working. I’m so excited because spring is finally here. I’ve been able to run outside a couple of times this week and it was wonderful. My tulips are starting to come up and I am so ready for summer it isn’t funny.

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about staying in the present moment and appreciating it. We’re so busy trying to achieve our goals that we keep our eyes on the prize and don’t always appreciate the moment we’re in.

I find that when I focus on the outcome I’m trying to achieve; I get frustrated when things don’t go quite as planned or I run into obstacles. I have to remind myself that I need to focus on my goals for the day only. I know what the big goal is, but I have to focus on the steps I need to take to get there. That way I won’t get frustrated because I haven’t gotten to the big goal yet.

By doing this, I’m going to be happier with my present moment and I’ll appreciate it more. That way I won’t be missing any moments with my family and friends.

It’s hard to change the habit of always striving and focusing on the outcome of my actions. So, when I catch myself growing frustrated because I haven’t reached my goal yet, I take a moment and slow myself down. It’s going to happen just not yet. Then if I can, I practice some self-care. I drink some water or take a few minutes and just breathe. This is the way I reset my thinking and change my emotions from being frustrated to peaceful.

How about you? What do you do to change your mindset? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Personal, Writing

Celebrate the Small Victories

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of being in the editing cave and working. I’m excited to say, I’ve got my edits done and this story is going to stick. I’ve changed the story so many times, I’ve lost count, but that’s okay. It’s better because of the changes I’ve made.

But enough about that. Today I want to talk about celebrating the little victories in life. They’re so important because one they are your wins, and two because it may take you a long time to achieve that big victory.

It can get depressing waiting for that new job or for that agent to recognize what a gem your manuscript is. So, my advice is don’t wait. Celebrate those little victories Meet a friend for lunch or have your hubby take you out to dinner. It’s important to step away and take a few moments to revel in how far you’ve come even if you have a long way to go.

It’s also important to celebrate these small victories because it gives us a moment to check in with the important people in our lives. We get so busy working toward our goals that we sometimes get tunnel vision and ignore them. Don’t do that. Let them be a part of your celebration. Our families are important. We need to let them know they’re more important than any goal we may be trying to achieve. So, let them participate in your small victories with you. They’ll feel like they’re contributing, and they are. It’s just their contribution isn’t tangible.

Now our goals don’t have to be just about work or a creative endeavor. They can be about our health or maybe travel. These goals are just as important and need to be celebrated, too. For example, losing ten pounds to keep from becoming diabetic. That’s an important goal that needs to be acknowledged also. Or maybe planning a family vacation. That’s important, too.

I think you’re seeing the trend here. We can’t get tunnel vision waiting for a big promotion or the acceptance of a creative endeavor. We need more than one goal to sustain us. So, if we don’t make that big goal, we’re okay because we’ve achieved and celebrated all these other goals on the side.

That way we can keep moving forward with a positive attitude. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! What small victories have you forgotten to celebrate? What are you going to do to celebrate? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in mental-health, Writing

Dealing with Disappointment

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of busyness with work, writing, and kids. The beginning of the school year is hard for me because I have to put my writing on the back burner and deal with back to school chores.

Even though we did virtual learning for the first three weeks, it was still busy. Next week, we start the in-person learning and I have to say, I’m nervous. However, both boys want to do in-person and I’m abiding by their wishes. They miss their friends and they need to get away from their computers. So, cross your fingers for me.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about goals. I want to get away from the virus for a short time, so I’m going to focus on something more positive.

What do you do when you don’t reach your goal? Let’s say you don’t find that agent or publisher? Or you don’t get that promotion? What then? It’s disappointing for sure, so how do you handle that setback? I know what you’re thinking…this was supposed to be a positive post. Bear with me. It is. 😉

I’ve found a way to take the bite out of that disappointment. The way I handle it is…I feel the disappointment, but then focus on another goal. I have three or four goals I’m trying to achieve at one time.  For example, I’m trying to lose weight and maintain my health, so I have exercise and dietary goals. I am also trying to move up in my work environment, so I have professional goals. So, when one goal doesn’t come to fruition, I focus on another one until the disappointment subsides.

For example, let’s say I don’t get the job I applied for, so I change my focus and focus on the fact that I lost some weight, or I finished my novel, or I started a new one. By doing this, I move on much more quickly and don’t sink into that pit of despair. This technique works for me and I hope it’ll work for you, too.

So, how do you handle setbacks? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, Personal

Focus on Your Dreams

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a snow storm this weekend. It started Friday night and hasn’t really stopped snowing or raining since then. We’ve gotten close to nine inches of snow. Perfect time to write and I’ve been doing just that. I’ve finally arrived at the big scene where everything comes together. Finally!!

Photo on VisualHunt.com

But enough about that. Today I want to talk about the meaning of success. Success is different for everyone. Everyone has a different definition based on the goals they have set for themselves. Achieving our goals is an element to achieving our happiness. The problem we run into is when we compare ourselves to others who are on a different path.

Sometimes we get caught up in chasing the competition instead of our dreams. We try to copy or compete with a person instead of focusing on our journey and the steps we need to achieve our goals. I’ve seen this many times and it results in unhappiness. Why? Because we’re trying to be like someone else and who can be better than the original? Right?

So, we need to remember everyone’s journey is different, and not to fall into the trap of comparing our journey to someone else’s. We need to focus on the milestones in our own journey and celebrate them. We need to celebrate each one because they are important. We also need to teach this to our children. It will help them build their resilience when they run into the pot holes of life.

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By focusing on our own journey, we allow others to focus on theirs, and when they achieve their goals, we can be happy for them. This leads to stronger relationships and more happiness, just because we chased our own dreams.

Is it selfish to chase our own dreams? No. We all have a purpose in life and it’s our responsibility to pursue it. We all are responsible for our own happiness and when we take that responsibility seriously, we let our loved ones be responsible for theirs, and we’re all happy chasing our dreams.

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I know what you’re thinking. How simplistic. But it really is that simple, isn’t it?

What are your dreams and aspirations? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in inspiration, Women

What sets your Soul on Fire?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s a blustery Wednesday and most of the state of Michigan has closed including the company I work for. So, I’ve been snuggled under my blanket in front of the fire working on my story. That’s when the inspiration hit for this blog post. So, here we go!

Photo credit: paul+photos=moody on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Women through out history have been given conflicting messages from society when it comes to their role in life. Dealing with this is exasperating and draining, so here’s my take on that.

Women should decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives.

Don’t ask your partner because most likely he or she will pick what they want, and that may or may not be what’s best for you. Now, this may be uncomfortable for you because we were raised to be nice and think of other people’s feelings first, but it’s okay to be self-focused about this. You have just as much right to pursue happiness as everyone else on the face of the earth. It’s written in the constitution.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

To do this, you have to prioritize your goals. Choose the ones that are most important to you. It may be you want to stay at home and be there for your kids. It may be you want a career because accomplishments are important to you. Whatever the case may be, decide what aspirations are important to you and pursue those goals.  Don’t listen to anybody else.

To find the goals that resonate with you, you must know yourself, know what sets your soul on fire. It takes time to do this and sometimes it might be a little uncomfortable, but it’s worth the discomfort. Trust me. Once you know what’s important to you, the setting and following goals part becomes much easier.

 

Photo credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography on VisualhuntCC BY-SA

As you go through this process, you’ll see not everyone has the same dream and not everyone will understand your journey, and that’s okay. We all have our own paths to take and once we accept that, we’ll be able to allow everyone in our lives to walk their own path. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel pain or discouragement, but  maybe we won’t spend so much time wallowing in those painful emotions. We’ll learn our lesson and move on.

Once we do this, things will start to flow. Decisions will be easier to make because we’ll ask ourselves, does this align with my dreams? If the answer is yes, we know what to do, and if the answer is no, we know what to do.

So, take a few minutes, or a few hours, or a few days, months, or years and think about what sets your soul on fire and then go for it!

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Thanks for taking time to read my post. I hope it resonates with you! What are your dreams and aspirations? What steps are you taking to go after them? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Posted in Guest Author, Writing

Please Welcome Linda Ransom!

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I’ve invited a guest to stop by and share her story with us. Her name is Linda Ransom and her book looks wonderful. Give Linda a big hand! Take it away Linda!!

 

REINVENTING  THE FLYNNS

A few years back, I decided to participate in NANOWRIMO, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NANOWRIMO, for all of its many participants, is to complete 50,000 words by the end of November, the chosen month for the writing competition. I decided to write a story I’d been making notes for, called Smoke City Heroes. It centered on the Flynn family, a group of six siblings who lived with their eccentric Uncle Baron after both of their parents had passed away. The kids decide to become super heroes after witnessing the many crimes and gangs overtaking Smoke City, where they live.

I absolutely loved the idea. Two notebooks were filled with characters pictures and information, and information on the city itself. November came and I started writing, eager to see the siblings develop into crime-fighting heroes.

Long story short, as they say: the story tanked around 200 pages, and I didn’t hit my 50,000 word count. I liked what I had written, but the story wasn’t flowing like it should, and my main characters, the Flynn family, didn’t seem to be enjoying it, either. Being a writer who doesn’t outline her stories (at least, not more than a few sentences), I count on my characters and the story itself to direct where it’s going. When that doesn’t happen, everything hits a brick wall.

Giving up on the Flynns, I moved on to an epic fantasy story that I completed and sent to a publisher. That story was rejected – it’s being rewritten and will be my next series after the completion of The Flying Ponies trilogy – and I needed something new to work on. In August of 2016, I was browsing my Pinterest home page, and came across a picture of an antique carousel horse that hadn’t been restored (as of the picture’s date). I started thinking about that old horse, and what would happen if he was endowed with ancient magic.

From that idea, the Flying Ponies Grand Carousel was born. Built in the early teen years of the 1900’s, the horses on the carousel were given magic by their owner and placed on Coney Island. After the carousel was removed, it ended up in the Michigan woods. With the story set in our modern time, I needed characters to help the story develop. Remembering how much I had enjoyed writing the Flynn family, I got out my old Smoke City Heroes notebook and looked at their character sketches again. Deciding to take them out of their old story setting and place them in this new one was the best thing I could’ve done, for them and for me.

That idea about magical flying carousel horses turned into Lift, first in The Flying Ponies trilogy. It released in April 2018 from Wicked Whale Publishing. Book two in the trilogy, Tilt, was emailed to my editor earlier this week, on December 10th.

The Flynn family (and Smoke City itself) helped make Lift the book it is. If I had drawn up other characters I don’t know as the story would’ve evolved in the same way. Charlotte, the main character in the trilogy, bonded with the carousel horses and became a stronger character than she could’ve been in Smoke City Heroes. The same is true for the rest of the Flynns; they all grew and became better as a result. For a writer who is concerned with story and character over plot and its many devices, watching characters get up and walk around and become real people is mesmerizing, and that’s what happened after placing the Flynns within the structure of Lift.

If you have characters you love but their stories didn’t pan out the way you wanted, or they hit a brick wall like my initial story with the Flynns did, try placing them in a new story, a new situation. Characters are funny creatures; we as the writers create them, but once they have a space of their own, they become real and want to run the show themselves. While that might seem scary if that’s not how you usually write, it’s an amazing thing, and it can make your writing leap off the page and take twists and turns you never see coming.

           

 

Lift is available as both a soft cover and an e-book on Amazon here: (click the link below)

Available on Amazon

Author bio:

  1. M. Ransom lives in West Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She also shares her home with two crazy Dachsunds, and her heart with two naughty ponies. L.M. is a librarian by trade, and an author by passion. She draws from her lifelong love and obsession with all things equine to spin tales about nefarious carousel horses.
    A self-professed geek girl, L.M.’s fandoms span the galaxy from Tatooine to Gallifrey, and back down to the seedy streets of Gotham City. As a Christian, she feels a calling to tell clean, intriguing stories for readers to escape into. You can find L. M. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and lmransom.com.

 

 

Posted in Writing

Do you Self-Sabotage?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an amazing Memorial Day weekend. We had awesome weather and we were on the lake, listening to the waves lap the shore and the far off buzz of jet skis and speed boats. The scent of grilling meat filled the thick, hazy air. It was almost summer. It was so idyllic. We haven’t had that kind of a weekend in a long time. I also got some writing done. Boy did that feel good.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about something that we all do to some extend or another. We self-sabotage. Why do we do it? In my opinion, we do it because we don’t believe we deserve to be successful, whether our goal is to be traditionally published or make the New York Times Bestsellers list. There’s an underlying belief deep in our subconscious that we don’t deserve to make our dreams come true. We sabotage ourselves in a variety of different ways. I’ve listed a few below. See if you recognize yourself.

The Procrastinator:

This person truly believes they want to accomplish their goals, but in reality, they find fifty million other things to do besides their writing. They’ll do housework, read Tarot cards, or just plain hang out on Facebook until all their time is sucked away.

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To remedy this situation, recognize when the procrastination bug hits you and stop. Take a deep breath and look at why you’re avoiding your writing.  Are you at a spot that’s difficult? Are you stuck? If so do something to get yourself moving again. Sometimes it’s best to step away from the project and go for a walk to clear your head. I’ve worked out many plot holes while traipsing through the woods and you can, too.

 

The Waffler:

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

This person also believes he wants to accomplish his goals. He’ll even seek out advice from Critique Partners and other experts in order to bring his writing to the next level. However, he won’t accept any of the advice given to him because he disagrees with it. He likes his story just the way it is. He’s not really looking to make his story better, he’s looking for someone to tell him how great he is.

To remedy this situation, you first have to recognize that you’re doing it and admit it to yourself. That’s the hardest step. Then you have to take steps to really listen to the advice from the experts you’re working with. As uncomfortable as that may be, that’s the only way you’re going to grow as a writer.

 

The Ego-maniac:

Photo on Visual hunt

This person believes his story is the best and even though he seeks out advice from experts he never ever takes it because they just don’t get his vision for his story. Sometimes that may be true, but not all the time and if you fall under this category you may want to take a step back and reexamine the feedback you’re getting. If more than one person is giving you the same advice, you need to consider it.

To remedy this situation, you have to again recognize yourself in the behavior and check your ego at the door. Establish a relationship with another writer and ask them to be your critique partner. You also might want to explain to them about your big ego, that way they won’t get frustrated with you when you argue with them over the changes they think you should make in your story. Then follow their advice. 🙂

 

The Doodler:

Photo credit: .bravelittlebird on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

This person is someone who writes but it’s more social than anything else. They join all the Facebook groups on writing and engage in all the Twitter chats and even belong to a writing group that meets once a week or once a month. They talk about the story they’re writing, but they rarely finish the story they’re working on. They just like talking about it.

To remedy this situation, you have to make the decision on whether you really want to finish your story or not. If you just enjoy the social aspects of talking about your work, that’s okay there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you do want to finish you’ll have to cut back on the socializing and put your nose to the grindstone.

So there you have it, four types of self-sabotage. Do you recognize yourself? If so what steps are you going to take to remedy the situation? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Posted in Family, Future, inspiration

Living Your Best Life

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a hectic week of work, kid appointments, and other important shenanigans.  I’ve reached 63,647 words in my manuscript and I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. This is the rough draft and it is rough, but I’m almost there.  🙂

Photo on VisualHunt

Anyway, enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about a phrase I heard  over the holidays. It intrigued me when I heard it and I thought I’d share it with all of you. “Live your best Life.”

That’s a worthy goal, don’t you think?

But what exactly does that mean?

The answer will be different for everyone. Because, you know, we’re all unique little snowflakes, right?

Photo on VisualHunt 

 

Right. We’re all unique and beautiful.  Don’t you forget it. (Wags finger at the non-believers).

Not one person’s brain is wired exactly like another’s so living your best life will be different from one person to the next. How’s that for stating the obvious?

Sorry. I got off track there.

Anyway, I feel we should all strive to live our best lives. I know what you’re thinking, what is my best life? This is where it gets hard. Because our best lives will look different when we’re in twenties than when we’re in our thirties and forties, and well, when you’re in your fifties, it’s going to change again.

Living your best life is a fluid goal and it changes as we grow and evolve. We humans go through phases and sometimes those phases can be painful.

So what does living your best life mean?

It means getting in touch with your inner voice. You know, the voice in your head that’s telling you you’re making a mistake? Or the one that’s telling you to go for it when you hang back afraid.

It means getting in touch with that voice and actually listening to it.

It means choosing a path and sticking with that path because it resonates with you. You can always tell when you’ve taken the wrong path because you’ll be uncomfortable. It won’t feel right and deep inside you’ll know it. You’ll feel like you’re faking it. When you’re on the path you’re supposed to be on, you’ll feel like your true self and you’ll be happy.  Life won’t stress you out as much. You’ll take setbacks and obstacles in stride.

Photo on Visualhunt

So how do we get in touch with that wise inner voice?

Again, it’s going to be different for everyone. Some people use meditation and that’s a healthy way to do it. Meditation is a stress reliever, and it’s good for your body and your mind.

Photo on Visual hunt

I usually go for a walk in the woods. Walking is a great exercise and striding through nature is a stress reliever as well. There’s actual scientific proof that hiking in the woods is beneficial for your health. For more info go to this link and check it out. The Benefits of Forest-Bathing

But I digress. Sorry. I love forest bathing. I’m a tree hugger. What can I say?

Photo credit: shannonkringen on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Anyway, back to my topic. I have a point. I promise. 🙂

When you’re in line with your inner voice and working toward the goal that resonates with you, you’re going to be less stressed and won’t play the comparison game with your friends and co-workers because you’ll be too busy living your authentic life.

That’s what’s wrong with the world today. Many people have lost touch with their inner voice, and because of that, they’re pursuing the wrong goals. They play the comparison game, and end up losing because they try to emulate someone else instead of forging their own path.

Don’t get me wrong, finding a mentor is a golden nugget in life, but only if that person helps you pursue a goal that resonates you.

Photo on VisualHunt

So to live your best life, you need to get in touch with that inner voice and listen to it. Let it guide you to the place you need to go. You’ll get there when you’re supposed to and not one minute before. So enjoy the journey.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! How do you feel about Living your Best Life? Do you have any tips you’d like to offer readers? Leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

 

Posted in Writing

Write Like An Olympian

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. My sister invited everyone to her place and we had quite the spread. It was a good time.

Photo credit: jameskm03 via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

My kids’ last day of school was Tuesday, so it was my last day, too (for the week). I’ve enjoyed my little break and I’ve been diligently working on my writing. I’m motivated. I’ve got three stories going, but right now I’m making one of them my top priority. I finished it, but now I’m making changes, making it better. It takes time to get everything right.

 

Photo via Visualhunt.com

And that’s what I want to talk about today. The time it takes to invest in your dream. Everyone tells you to chase your dream, and I agree with that whole-heartedly, but you have to be prepared to make sacrifices, too. Because chasing our dreams takes time. We have to practice, practice, and practice some more, honing our skills until we become proficient.

We may have to give up going to the movies with friends because we need to work on our story. If you aren’t willing to make those sacrifices maybe the dream you’re pursuing isn’t what you really want.

Look at those Olympic athletes and all the time they’ve invested in their dreams. We have to think like Olympians.  We have to decide what our goals really are and make decisions that align with them.

For example, one of my goals is to be a successful writer, the other is to be the best mom I can be. Therefore, when I thought about working outside the home, I wanted to work around my kids’ schedule. So I found a job at their school. I write when I’m not working and hone my skills every day. I write or read every single day, even holidays. 🙂

 Intelligent woman reading book

Photo via PourquoiPas via Visual Hunt

There’s a lot of work involved with writing, there’s research, writing that rough draft, revising, and handing it out to Beta Readers, and then more revising. All of this takes time, but that’s okay.  Do you remember that old slogan?

 

We will sell no Wine before Its time?

That applies to writing your novel, too. 🙂

 

So take your time and make your novel the best it can be. When you’re writing, think of those Olympic athletes who prepare for years to compete at the Olympics. They invest hours upon hours to spend a couple of minutes in front of the judges. We have to keep that in mind when we’re writing, the same principle applies.

Photo credit: burge5k via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

So write. Write like an Olympian.

Photo credit: Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Do you have some advice for writers? If so, leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!