Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 4 The Mission


Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

The mission: an archeological expedition to old ruins that are marked by two inscribed rune stones.

Today’s snippet is a bit from Helena’s motivation for taking on this monumental task.

Helena rubbed her eyes. The thin air was playing tricks on them because it almost looked like the pendant was glowing. Lifting it from her chest with it resting in the palm of her hand she scrutinized the stone at its center. A sparkling energy seemed to be dancing within it, but as she focused in on those spots, it was the same old stone. She closed her eyes, inwardly scolding herself for letting her imagination run away.

Letting out a deep slow breath, when she opened her eyes she went back to her notes. This was the nervous energy that tightened it’s grip in her gut. This was the pulsation of every heart beat since the day the picture was taken so long ago. The call of the ancients is how her father had described it. Now she felt it stronger than ever.

In her dreams, she heard the great horn sound. Upon the sound of it, she sprouted wings and took flight saving warriors. She fought bravely, feeling such an adrenaline rush as she swept in snatching brave men, laughing as she moved about untouched. Nothing could harm her, nothing even scratched her. It was her ‘superhero dream’.

Easing back into her seat, she let the memories of those dreams fill her mind as she popped another chocolate piece into her mouth. Helena the Brave, saving the day, setting things right, evening the odds in battle. Doodles filled her journal, drawings of a flying super warrior woman. On one page she had drawn a picture of herself and Gabby flying over a battlefield, their hair blowing in the wind, wings on their backs, portrayed as Valkyrie’s of Viking lore. The image sparked Gabby to make a painting of her simple sketch only with more detail. It now hung framed in their house. It was in fact, the painting that won her a prestigious scholarship.

Their mom was so proud of that painting and dad was beside himself with pride when he saw it at the art exhibit. It was the closest she’d ever seen her dad to crying. She missed them so much. There were times that she would get excited and want to share some news then realize they were gone and get sad all over again. She knew they would be proud of her and her sister.

She could feel the calling, pounding of her heart as the plane drew closer to their homelands. That part of her that was awakened recognized she was going home.

What are your thoughts on time travel? I’ve heard many theories about time travel from various angles. Some are ridiculous and some sound as if scientifically it would be possible. I’m considering sharing  a bit about that for my next snippet from one of the other characters who knows all those scientific nerdy things kind of like Dr. Ian Malcolm except with quantum physics and not chaos theory.

I don’t know. Y’all may think I was smoking something wacky or drinking too much wine (ironically my chiropractor says I should be drinking it more often!) or needed better ventilation while painting. Or I suppose you could be astounded by my brilliance.  It could go either way.

You can find previous snippets for Valkyrie’s Curse  here:

VL Locey is sharing a sizzling bit from her latest Venom book, Angle Play

Cathy is sharing a bit from her story Gypsy Rose at Cathy’s Romance.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

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The Mission, Get Organized


Organize my writing. It seems an overwhelming task.  I have files on the computer, notebooks filled with handwritten scenes, chapters,  and nearly completed abandoned stories.  I have a stack of several notebooks, 2 journals, a planner and a  bundle of loose paper that needs to all be incorporated into one manageable system.

I think I’ve cracked the code.

A friend of mine —  I can’t decide whether she’s a good friend or actually my enemy at this point; I reserve judgment until I see if this actually works for me.–turned me onto bullet journaling. I’ve searched Pinterest.  I’ve searched youtube.  I’ve searched various websites.  There are some really crazy talented people out there!  The guy that came up with this system is genius. If it works.

So far, everything sounds fantastic. I miss my dayrunner.  I know, it’s not cool to have a dayrunner anymore and try to find them!

My first  bullet journal is a cheap ( YES, I’m talking super cheap – I got it at Walgreens for 33cents!) mini composition book that is 4 x 6 inches.  I wasn’t about to invest in some twenty five dollar notebook for a ssytem that I don’t even know if it is something that will work for me.

I only started this at the beginning of the year and so far –  I love it!  Mine isn’t nearly as fancy as those creative ladies on youtube or Pinterest,  but  it’s organized and my stack of sticky notes has diminished. The twelve loose sheets of paper are gone from my planner.  I haven’t discarded my planner yet because I like the layout of the calendar pages, and then the spaces for the daily.

For the month of February, I am going to add a page with the month on a calendar and I’m going to add the year calendar at a glance to the very back. The really cool thinkg about this is,  I can mark in the index – Notes on Valkyrie’s Curse, or whatever I happen to be working on with the days date, and the page number that it was on and not have to sort through twenty pieces of scrap paper.

Once upon a time I was organized. I don’t know what happened to that, but I’m getting it back again. My vote is still out on this but I am leaning towards two thumbs up. I’m already thinking about the next notebook or journal that I can use because this little one is a bit too small. For 33 cents I can’t complain!

Sometimes you have to do something for a while and work the kinks out before  it becomes comfortable.

Here’s the original.

I like this man’s analytical thinking, the clean lines, the organized thoughts. I also like the fancy schmancy doodles and stuff that some of the other people have done.

I like their handwriting better than my own, but I suppose that is something that I can work on as I journal.

For now I am giving it a tentative two thumbs up.  One big thing for me will be whether or not I can sustain this.  I’ll let you know at the end of February.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

Women’s Fitness Expert – Interview with Toney Dunaway


I have a special guest today, Toney Dunaway aka The Armchair Quarterback.

I met Toney online through a writing group a couple of years ago.  He was always making interesting posts about healthy choices and fitness, so  it was no suprise to me when he made the shift to becoming a certified personal trainer.

If you  get the chance to work with him, I highly recommend him.  I am very impressed with his healthy living outlook, and whole foods plan.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.  

I’m currently a personal trainer, certified by two different international companies. I also specialize in nutrition and women’s fitness. Beyond that, I’m pursuing a master’s level in nutrition, en route to becoming a board certified holistic doctor. I believe that our bodies are miraculous machines that can do much on their own once we balance them by first figuring out how we are currently out of balance. I’m PASSIONATE about health and fitness and believe that we should all be able to live a full, active, lively life, if we so choose.

  1. Name one thing that is a highlight in your life that you would consider a huge success and name one thing that you count as a failure.

My biggest failure would be not paying attention to my personal growth early in my life. That one thing has set me back decades. My biggest success I would have to say is accepting myself for who I am, strengths and weaknesses, because that has allowed me to more fully love those that are in my life, and appreciate what I have in my life.

  1. Why did you choose this as a career?

There’s a story. I’ve worked out on and off for about 3 decades, and I had no idea how much time I wasted, and how badly I was spinning my wheels. I got a personal trainer for my wife and paid attention to that process. Her trainer suggested that she get certified, then her and I talked about how she thought I would do with it. After some time of batting the idea around, I took the plunge. From that point forward, my passion for proper training and proper nutrition was ignited. Once I started training people myself and teaching them about nutrition, and seeing their positive results, that impacted me, so I knew there was no turning back. I absolutely love seeing others achieve the positive results that they want, to become happier and healthier. It makes all the hours I put into it all worthwhile.

  1. For someone wishing to improve their health that comes to you for help, what would be the first bit of advice that you would give them?

Don’t expect overnight results, but DO expect positive results. If they can take that first step, we can have a very enjoyable journey together.

  1. What do you find to be the most rewarding part of what you do?

Helping others find ways to fit healthier lifestyle choices within the framework of their current life. From that, again, helping others to actually become happier and healthier. As they start seeing and feeling improvements, that makes me happy. With every client that comes in with a smile because what we are doing is making a positive impact on their life, that fires me up to give them that much more of myself.

  1. What part do you feel that the mental game plays in the person’s success or failure?

It makes all the difference in the world. If they are not ready for the needed changes, no matter what their words say, they will get nowhere. To be blunt, they will quit on themselves. I’ve seen it again and again. However, if they are mentally prepared for the journey ahead, together, we will plow through any obstacle. As they communicate with me about what’s going on, together we figure out ways that they can overcome what ever life is hitting them with, so they can continue on their positive journey forward.

  1. How do your services help a person who mentally is defeated?

Honestly, that’s really a tough one. The work outs alone will produce a chemical within your body that make you feel better once the work out is done…however, the longevity of their success has to ultimately come from their readiness to change.

  1. How important do you think supplements play in a person’s diet?

Define “supplements.” The word supplements has all kinds of connotations, some good, some bad. I personally do not recommend 99% of what’s on the market, whether it’s through MLM companies or sold in retail chains. I personally look at the quality of each particular product line, because most of them take shortcuts, and we don’t want shortcuts in our own health. We want ease and convenience, but not shortcuts. We are talking about not only the individual ingredients in a particular product, but also the processing that those ingredients have gone through. It ALL makes a difference in the quality of the product that you put into your body. The bottom line is, the daily diet needs to be balanced. Once it is balanced with the right minerals, then vitamins, then the needed ratio of protein, fats, and carbs, the body will become a well oiled machine all on it’s own. But it first has to have the necessary foundation, and the balance is built on top of that foundation.

  1. Can you share 3 things that will help people to achieve their goals?

Absolutely! Mindset, daily diet, and proper exercise for their particular lifestyle and goals.

 

Toney Dunaway

Toney Dunaway

Toney can be found at the following sites. I strongly suggest that you watch some of his videos –  they are inspiring!

https://www.facebook.com/la.tripp1

https://www.facebook.com/ArmchairQuarterbackCPT/

https://twitter.com/ArmchairQ

http://www.armchairquarterbackcpt.com/

Thank you Toney for being my guest!

You can  ask Toney a question in the comments!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

Decisions


Crossroads

Crossroads

We make them every single day of our lives.  We make multiple decisions  – every – day.  Most of us get to a point that we don’t even think about the decisions we make,  we  are on auto pilot. For instance in the morning,  getting my cup of coffee, brushing my teeth and getting dressed are automatic things that I no longer consciously think about before doing.

Regardless of whether I am consciously or unconsciously  acting, these are  decisions that could affect not only my future but my here and now. Not brushing my teeth could affect work relations instantly! Long term I could be looking at dentures.

Most of us do those types of things having made the decision a long time ago that this is the right action. There is nothing wrong with that.  We’ve made the conscious decision at some point that this is the action to take. We are in charge. Our decisions today affect our tomorrow and either move us towards the future we want,  or a future we don’t want.

We decide what clothes to wear. It seems this is a harder decision for women than men with the changing fashions.  We decide what foods to eat and when we eat them. We decide the route to take to work, although that one often goes on the automatic pilot track.

Some decisions are weightier than others. Do I accept the transfer at work?  It will mean relocating to a new city where i don’t know anyone. (I can’t help but wonder where  we would be today If I had  taken that transfer to Honolulu. )

Before you make a decision, you should ask yourself how it is going to help you tomorrow. How will it help you 5 years from now?

Choosing to splurge on that pizza  is fine for the weekend game with your buddies but it can’t be the mainstay of your diet or else you will find yourself in the ER with  a heart attack weighing in at 300 pounds when you are 48.  Choosing to lounge on the sofa all day long is fine when it’s snowing outside and you don’t have to  be anywhere specific. But if you chose, say next Tuesday and every Tuesday thereafter to be a couch potato and  binge watch Supernatural  while eating pizza will soon land you in the unemployment line, and eventually out of your apartment and on the street with no TV.

One decision leads to another. A series of bad decisions carries you to  a future that  is  sad, sometimes wondering where did I go wrong?

It’s this way  with weight gain.  Oh, I’ll just have one brownie. Later  that night you choose the pizza instead of the grilled chicken.  The next day you feel lethargic so you get the jumbo sized soda. After a month you’ve gained weight and can’t imagine why.  Hmmm,  gee I wonder. All of those decisions have blurred together with a bad case of amnesia.

What about your financial future?  A string of small expenses that didn’t seem like such a big deal at the time add up to quite a bit over time.  Then suddenly, your washing machine goes out.  It happens.  Appliances are known to break at the least opportune time.  You don’t have the money because you splurged on that cool leather jacket, and then that nice dinner  out that ended up costing way more than you planned especially after the fourth margarita. OH, and then there was the fast food purchases because you were running late. Oh yeah and the little trip you took with your bestie when her boyfriend dumped her.

It’s not the glamorous life.  It’s not even the cool life to  be conscious of every decision but it is a life that will carry you to your dream future.  Many years ago,  I  reached an epiphany. I remember it like  it was yesterday. The recliner broke,   the mechanical footrest thing on the sofa broke, the dishwasher broke, and the dryer went out all within a week.  Our children were in grade school.  My husband was finishing his bachelor’s degree. The company offered tuition reimbursement but what we didn’t count on was the interest that accumulated while carrying thousands of dollars for the semester.  OK, so we were young and stupid!

Over the course of  two years we had 5000 dollars of student debt that the company was not going to reimburse between the interest and the cost of books. This is when our appliances decided to go belly up. We had a decision to make.  We could just put it on the credit card and add it to the amount. It’s what most people would do but not us.  We had already decided that we were not going to live in debt. We had made a budget and the decision that we were going to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

We made trips to the laundromat every week.  I washed dishes the old fashioned way, with my hands and we decided that we would sit on lawnchairs if we had to, but we were not going to  run up anymore debt.  It was uncomfortable.  It was difficult, but it was a decision that we made and stuck to.  It was challenged on every turn.  There were multiple opportunities to just use the credit card.

My point is,  you have the opportunity to direct your future by each decision you make.   Each good decision builds on  the last one. Think before you just react on autopilot.  Sometimes the right decision is not the easy decision. Aren’t you worth the hard choices?  Isn’t your future worth a little bit if discomfort today?

Ask yourself where you will be in six months if you choose option A or option B. You have the keys to your future in your hands each and every time you make a decision.  You can create your own destiny and own it instead of ten years down the road feeling victimized by life and kicking yourself.

There are times for a swift kick in the butt,  but that isn’t one of them.  What can you do today for yourself tomorrow? What can you do today that will move you in the direction of the future you want?

Think about it then act accordingly.

Write on my friends,  write on.

Ellie

 

 

Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 3


Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Holes!

New writer’s often wonder why a writer writes, then rewrites, then edits,  then hires an editor. Or in the case of a publisher, has to go through the house editor.

Because of holes. It’s all perfectly clear in the writer’s head.  Everything makes sense.  It flows, there is a sequential flow from here to there,  from point A to B but the words  that make it onto the page are often different from the story in our head.

A former business associate read through my revised draft of Faere Warrior, only to ask where’s the rest of the story? Where’s the back story?  Why does character X do this? Why is character Y so cold and distant? I was devastated. With one comment she said,  “Well, this doesn’t suck.” closely followed by the string of questions.

After a long pity party, licking my imagined wounds, and finally realizing that  it did in fact need more work,  I refiled it in my drawer. I started filling in the back story and now Faere Warrior is book 2 in my Fae series.  I’m not done with that one,  but for anyone that followed that on Storytime Tryst,  you wouldn’t recognize it.

Back to my point –  holes.  While revising Valkyrie’s Curse I’ve discovered a few holes already, and I’m only in chapter 6 of revisions. This doesn’t bode well for the balance of the story, unless I was more descriptive  in my manuscript later.  The first bit was my original first draft, unedited.

“I want to spend time with my sister as well. Do you have a problem with that Bryce?” She folded her arms over her chest not budging.

“But I wanted to spend some alone time with you baby. We’ve not had much time together over the past few weeks and now you’ll be gone for the entire summer. What am I going to do without you?”

Indeed what or whom would he do while she was gone? “I don’t know Bryce, what are you going to do without me? How are you going to manage over the summer without my money? ”

“Babe! What’s with this attitude? I know I was late today. Is that why you’re upset?” He tried to pull her closer.

A slight chuckle rose from her chest. “Now see, there’s an example. The only thing you’ve been attentive to is when you needed something.”

His expression changed to one of surprise. “What are you talking about? I went to that hearing thing of yours. I listened to you go on about this dig you’re so stoked about. Which frankly I don’t get. A girl as beautiful as you should be wearing Manolo’s and going to clubs not digging through dirt.” He lifted her hand trying to kiss her knuckle. Helena promptly pulled her hand back, her lips pursed. “Is it that Scott kid? Did he say something about me? ”

She rolled her eyes. “Typical. No, Bryce. If you hated attending the panel why didn’t you skip out? Lord knows you’ve skipped out on the rest of them. And as to the dig that I’m” she made air quotes “stoked about, this has been my dream since my parents died. If you had been paying attention, you would have known when I left the frat party after overhearing you tell Marcus how you had me in the palm of your hand.”

He flinched when she confirmed that she had overheard his drunken confessions to his buddy. “Awe babe. I was just bragging about you. You misunderstood me. ” He tried for the sad eyes.

Of course he’d try to turn this around on her. If there was ever any doubt about his motives, his actions just proved her suspicions. He didn’t care about her. How had she allowed herself to become so complacent and be so stupid?

A real relationship required effort. An effort that she wasn’t willing to give to Bryce.  Ending things with Bryce was the best option. It would stop the bleeding of her finances, it would end the emotional rollercoaster she’d been on, and it was best for Bryce to take responsibility for himself. It had to be done.

“I wasn’t the one drinking. I know exactly what I heard. I guess I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling the things you say to me and the things you say to your buddies.”

“No Helena, that’s not what I meant. Don’t do this. Don’t twist my words around to something ugly. Of course I know that you’re studying archeology but picturing you covered with dirt and dust isn’t a very sexy image.”

“Oh, well whatever it takes to turn you on. Sorry Bryce. I’ve pretended long enough. I’ve tried to fit into the mold of what you want, but here’s the thing. If I have to fit into some preformed mold in your mind, then it is obvious that it’s not me that you want to be with. Or maybe tap Rachel for funds and buy her some fancy shoes and clothes. I’m sure she’d appreciate them.” She opened the door and walked into the house shutting it behind her.

“Well that went an entirely different direction. At least the bleeding has stopped.”

“What? Who’s bleeding?” Gabriella came running from the kitchen, looking her sister over for any cuts or wounds. A puzzled expression troubled her as she got closer.

Here is the revised excerpt with a bit more detail added filling in a major hole later on.

Bryce had borrowed over five hundred dollars in the past month. His recent behavior had her questioning everything where Bryce was concerned. A few basic calculations and she realized that he had tapped her for nearly eight thousand dollars over the past year and a half. That figure had her head spinning. Her trust fund wasn’t a tremendous amount. The total for her and her sister’s funds seemed like large numbers until she started subtracting necessary expenses. By the time she graduated, there would only be fifteen thousand remaining and that was if nothing unexpected came up. Thank goodness her father was a wise investor and had things planned. When she stated that she needed to stick to a less glamorous lifestyle than he was trying to thrust her into, he acted wounded and said it was only because he was proud of her and wanted to showcase her beauty.

The sting of empty flattery left a bitter taste in her mouth, a combined tang of blood and bile.

Observations since she had made those calculations indicated that this habit of his was more about his own selfish desires than anything pertaining to her. Bryce was an attractive man, but more often than not his behavior was anything but. The previous weekend she had gone with him to one of his frat parties. After several drinks, Bryce’s tongue was loosened and she overheard him telling Marcus, his best friend that he had this in the bag.

Her curiosity got the better of her and she leaned against the door-jamb, silent and unseen as he proceeded to tell Marcus how he had her in the palm of his hand, that she’d do whatever he wanted and fork over the money. He would lay on the compliments, use the puppy dog eyes, and toss her a few token gifts then she would give up whatever he wanted – sex, money, doing his homework for him, and she’d even gone along with some kinky shit!

She eased away from the door -jamb, fumbling with her purse as she dug for her keys, then left. She couldn’t face his frat brothers, feeling as if their eyes now saw her as some freaky slut. Her sister confirmed that what he said had been true.Bryce poured on the sad eyes, whined a bit and she gave him whatever he wanted.

Ever since that night, she had paid closer attention and denied his requests. Physically she enjoyed the sex with him, but knowing that he had been using her tore her up inside. Where things would stand between them was still to be determined. She wondered when she had become  passive. It wasn’t like her to roll over and take it. Not in any circumstance.

So why had she allowed this mess with Bryce? Helena mentally flipped back her calendar, wondering when things had derailed, or if they had ever been on the same track. When had she turned into Bryce’s doormat? Resentment flooded over her causing her jaw to clench in anger.

“Because I want to spend time with my sister as well. Do you have a problem with that Bryce?” She folded her arms over her chest not budging.

He tried the puppy dog eyes then ran his finger over her arm. “But I wanted to spend some alone time with you baby. We’ve not had much time together over the past few weeks and now you’ll be gone for the entire summer. What am I going to do without you?”

Indeed what or whom would he do while she was gone? Gabriella had been telling her that many of the times that Bryce was late, she saw him leaving the apartments across the street. Which was where Rachel Byrnes lived, one of the little sisters to his frat. Bryce had been flirting with her even when Helena was with him.  Anger rose inside her, her throat tightening. “I don’t know Bryce, what are you going to do without me? How are you going to manage over the summer without my money? Without me helping you with your homework?”

“Babe! What’s with this attitude? I know I was late today. Is that why you’re upset?” He tried to pull her closer.

A slight chuckle rose from her chest as she turned avoiding his embrace. “Now see, there’s an example. You’ve been so unaware of anything pertaining to me over the past few months. The only thing you’ve been attentive to is when you needed something.”

His expression changed to one of surprise. “What are you talking about? I went to that hearing thing of yours. I listened to you go on about this dig you’re so stoked about. Which frankly I don’t get. A girl as beautiful as you should be wearing Manolo’s and going to clubs not digging through dirt to scrounge up some old dead dude’s garbage.” He lifted her hand trying to kiss her knuckle. Helena promptly pulled her hand back, her lips pursed. “Is it that Scott kid? Did he say something about me? Do I need to beat the shit out of him?”

She rolled her eyes. “Typical. No, Bryce. It’s not Scott. If you hated attending the panel why didn’t you skip out? Lord knows you’ve skipped out on the rest of them. And as to the dig that I’m” she made air quotes “stoked about, this has been my dream since my parents died. You know I’m not comfortable in those high fashion excuses for shoes or going clubbing. It’s not even your habitual lateness or not following through with something that you say you’re going to do. If you had been paying attention, you would have known when I left the frat party after overhearing you tell Marcus how you had me in the palm of your hand.”

He flinched when she confirmed that she had overheard his drunken confessions to his buddy. “Awe babe. I was just bragging about you. You misunderstood me. I was telling Marcus how cool you were, and how lucky I was to have you. I said that you had me in the palm of your hand.” He tried for the sad eyes.

Of course he’d try to turn this around on her.  Her lips pursed, as she ran her tongue over her teeth willing  her rising  temper to subside. If there was ever any doubt about his motives, his actions just proved her suspicions. He didn’t care about her. She wasn’t interested in being his sugar momma. The fact that she felt little emotion at this point confirmed her own thoughts that she’d tolerated it out of convenience. Hating what that said about herself and the fact that she’d allowed things to continue. How had she allowed herself to become so complacent and be so stupid?

A real relationship required effort. An effort that she wasn’t willing to give to Bryce. She hadn’t been willing to give him lately, if ever. Maybe to no one. She had to be focused on this project and a relationship was a distraction she simply couldn’t afford. Ending things with Bryce was the best option. It would stop the bleeding of her finances, it would end the emotional rollercoaster she’d been on, and it was best for Bryce to take responsibility for himself. Whether he did or not wasn’t her concern. The guilt that she carried for doing his homework for him had been wearing on her. It had to be done.

“I wasn’t the one drinking. I know exactly what I heard. I guess I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling the things you say to me and the things you say to your buddies. Because the things you say to me, let’s be honest are a pack of lies. A big heaping pile of manure. And as to your distaste for me scrounging through the dirt for some old dead dude’s garbage, you knew I was studying archeology from the beginning. I see it as ancient treasure, you see it as old garbage. Well at lest we have that difference settled.”

“No Helena, that’s not what I meant. Don’t do this babe. Don’t twist my words around to something ugly. Of course I know that you’re studying archeology. It’s exciting in a way, but picturing you covered with dirt and dust isn’t a very sexy image.”

“Oh, well”  She half grunted, nearly snorting as  she turned her face away, looking out into the street, her hands now firmly planted on either hip. After taking a long slow deep breath, she turned back to Bryce with focused deliberation. “whatever it takes to turn you on. Apparently, that is high fashion shoes and dresses. Sorry Bryce. I’ve pretended long enough. I’ve tried to fit into the mold of what you want, but here’s the thing.” She slanted her head,  no longer hiding the condescending tone. “If I have to fit into some preformed mold in your mind, then it’s obvious that it’s not me that you want to be with. Guess this means you’ll be finding a new squeeze that you don’t have to dress the part.” She reached for the doorknob, pushing it open then turned back facing him, her eyes clear and focused. “Or maybe tap Rachel for funds and buy her some fancy shoes and clothes. I’m sure she’d appreciate them.” She walked into the house shutting it behind her. She didn’t give him a chance for rebuttal, didn’t care to hear anything else that he had to say. Not now or ever again. Leaning back against the door, eyes closed, she let out a slow sigh. 

“Well that went an entirely different direction. At least the bleeding has stopped.”

“What? Who’s bleeding?” Gabriella came running from the kitchen, looking her sister over for any cuts or wounds. A puzzled expression troubled her as she got closer.

Now that I”ve plugged the giant hole that appeared in chapter five,  I can  go back to editing and revising. IT’s a good thing that Helena doesn’t go for the high fashion shoes,  they would be hazardous inside Aella’s tunnels.

Leave me a comment and let me know  if you like the revisions.  This may not make the final cut,  but I’m happy with it for now.

You may wish to check out my friend’s snippets.

VL Locey is sharing a sizzling bit from her latest Venom book.

Cathy is sharing a bit from her story at Cathy’s Romance.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

SNOW DAY


I’m stuck!

Stuck in the house, with snow outside. The snow isn’t  the reason, lack of transportation is. One of the joys  of automobile ownership popped up yestereday,   a flat tire.  The emergency spare is on there,  but to be honest I don’t trust it.  NOPE!  Just going to keep my happy butt indoors in the warmth with my hot cuppa and my todo list.

snowflakes23

So what does a writer do on a day at home? You’d think that writing would be right there at the top of the list wouldn’t you?  Yes, you’re right.  I’m too predictable.

A Writer’s TODO List on a Snow Day:

5.  WRITE!  

Write like the wind. Get those words down on virtual paper. Go go go . . .  until we reach the wall and the pump needs to be primed again.  I have a minimum daily number that I write in order to stay in the habit. Those words don’t always go into a book.  I count this blog and assignments for an online class towards my minimum but it doesn’t ever quite satsfy that nagging in my gut for the next book. 

Can I tell you how cool that feels for me? The NEXT book.  Once this goal is acheived  and not one minute before, it is on to other things!

4.  READ 

Now’s my chance to get caught up on that stack of books that are calling to me. I’m starting with an ebook, because I only have about ten pages to go to finish it.  Next  I have to decide between three print copies. It may come down to eenie meenie miney mo. 

3. BINGE WATCH

I had the idea the other day,  in brainstorming for the current WIP to review an old favorite. It just so happens that I have  it on DVD. Witchblade is loaded and ready to go. I have some questions that require answers. The answers are out there,  or in here, in the warmth with me. . . . on the DVD. 

2. DRINK HOT LIQUIDS

Coffee, tea, cocoa –  occurs simultaneousl to  other  activities. I am currently out of coffee. This situation may require venturing out into the cold. Undecided at the moment as I’m nursing a cup of chai tea. The verdict is still out. 

And the Number one  thing to do on Snow Day: 

 

WEAR SOFT FUZZY COMFY CLOTHES

Got my fuzzy warm socks – check.

Got my  loose comfy fleece lounge pants on.  – check

Over sized fleece hoody  – check. 

Super soft throw just in case –  check. 

 

It’s one of those days. Well,  I hit my word count goal in point number 2 with the word ‘simultaneously’, so I’m done here and am resigning myself to the sofa with a fresh  cup of chai, my notebook handy –  just in case,  and the remote in the other hand. Ian Nottingham  has been waiting long enough. 

Write on my friends,  write on. 

 

Super Fuel for A Super You


fresh figs

fresh figs

It’s difficult to have the energy required to get through a normal day much less one that has  more demands than the usual routine.  Especially if your diet consists of  poor quality fillers such as popcorn instead of a meal (admit it, you’ve done it too!),  pasta covered with butter and herbs, or a tube of snack crackers because  you didn’t feel like getting out in the weather and you forgot to pack your lunch.

Sadly,  I’ve done all of these and worse, then wondered why I was fighting the sleepiness in the afternoon.  It’s simple!  I didn’t give my body the fuel it needs to function.

Let me mention briefly a point that I brought up last week in A New Attitude Towards Food about skipping meals.  It has the opposite effect on weight loss than you would think.   Contrary to what most people think,  overweight people are the most likely to skip meals. There are multiple reasons why we skip meals but the result is the same.  You are more likely to overeat at the next meal and have larger portions because by that time,  you are ravenous!

Skipping meals causes your body to hold onto its fat stores, instead of releasing them. It interprets skipped meals as famine, so it locks down on the fat stores because it doesn’t know when the next meal will come. This is actually a quite efficient process, except for the bulging  belly and thighs that plague us.

So, anyway . . . DON’T SKIP MEALS!

continuing on last week’s theme,   here are some more super foods.

Why are they called super foods? 

Most  “super” foods are good for your heart and your overall health when incorporated into a heart-healthy diet that’s balanced in lean protein,whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk and dairy products. This diet should also include nuts, seeds and legumes,  as well as fish and liquid vegetable oils.

There are no standard criteria or approved list of super foods, but they are categorized as such based on the dense nutritional values.  Adding “Superfoods” to your diet certainly has  health benefits but the key to a healthy diet is to consume a variety of nutritious foods in the right quantities.

More superfood choices:

Apples –  Seems there is a lot of truth to the adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Aside from the  benefits of fiber and helping regular digestive flora, apples contain polyphenols that offer an assortment of benefits, the most impressive of which is they’re able to help regulate your blood sugar levels. This can be of great use in weight loss! They also help you stay focused throughout the day!

Asparagus – The  takeaway on asparagus is that it hits on two levels: it provides antioxidants and also works as an anti-inflammatory. I haven’t read this anywhere but I can tell you from personal experience ( it may be part of the anti-inflammatory thing)  it can act as a diuretic as well.  So, it helps in fighting free radicals!

Beets – you won’t catch me eating them voluntarily,  but they are loaded with betalains, that aren’t found in many foods that make it to the dinner table.  I have included beets in a smoothie where other things were combined and masked the taste of beets,  but that is my preference.

Cantaloupe – Low calorie, sweet and delicious, and it has an alkaline effect on the body which can help balance your ph levels from getting too acidic –  which helps  in digestion and prevention of yeast infections!  WIN WIN!  Can I trade in my beets for a double portion of cantaloupe?

Cherries -They can help improve your memory and have a substantial amount of beta carotene. You might also want to consider eating cherries to help get a good night’s sleep as they’re a natural source of melatonin.  So see there? Don’t forget your cherry on top next time you get that sundae. (Just make it a  fresh cherry not a maraschino cherry soaked in sugar)

Dark Chocolate -This is one  superfood that many people will not have a problem eating. While it may not be as ubiquitous as milk chocolate this is worth going out of your way for. It’s antioxidant rich and has been shown to help with the heart, the brain, and stabilizing glucose levels. It can even help with dental health. What’s not to love?  YES! There is a GOD!!!!!

Figs – I have to be honest,  up until last year I had only ever eaten a fig as a fig newton. I still remember that silly jingle! Who knew I was eating healthy?  Recently we found dried figs at the health store and they are just as sweet  as  I remember in the newtons.   Just go HERE and check out all the benefits of figs!

Pineapple -Pineapples have a way of adding instant island flavor to most any dish. But they also pack their own benefits by helping with eye health, gum health, and even easing arthritis pain. Even though it is low in fat and cholesterol free, you’ll want to stick to smaller portions due to the sugar content. Plus, for anyone who has ever overdone it  on fresh pineapple the  enzymes in it play havoc on your tongue. But OOOOOOOOOOH, pineapple.

Pomegranate– My mother used to buy pomegranates every time she could.  I never understood her fascination with them. All those little seeds. . . . I guess she knew something.  Nowadays, this usually ends up as pomegranate juice, and it’s makes a great addition to fruit smoothies, or just drinking straight. The top benefits of drinking it are that it can help with breast, prostate, and lung cancer. It’s also been shown to help with blood pressure, and can help prevent or even reverse plaque buildup in the arteries.

Combined with last week’s list,  you should have a variety to plan an entirely new menu!  Try something new this week.  Contact me if you are interested in the menu plans. I’m considering doing a newsletter to include them with some recipes.

Write on my friends,  and eat well!

Ellie

 

Understanding Who We Are


Ten Rules to Live By in Order to Achieve  Success

  1. Feed Your Strengths! Understand your personality and know what your strengths are.  Work with your natural bent instead of trying to be something that you were never designed to be. If you are a creative, embrace the creative nature. If you are an analytical thinker then go forth and analyze! For me, the daily doldrums can get the best of me.  It’s part of why I get bored with long term projects. New experiences stimulate my mind whereas  routine gives others comfort.  I need to make sure that I have opportunities for new experiences in order to fuel my quest of understanding the world. I’m never going to be a skydiver –  that’s a little too much experience for me. However, safety within the four walls of my home become stagnant and are soon interpreted as imprisonment just as if I were sentenced to solitary confinement.  If you don’t know what your personality is, google personality tests. Here’s an example of one that is helpful: http://www.16personalities.com/  Here’s  something it said about mine: ENFPs are fiercely independent, and much more than stability and security, they crave creativity and freedom. Don’t Lose That ‘Little Spark of Madness’  Now, how accurate is that? 
  2. Face Your Weaknesses! Every one has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. I know – difficult to believe but it’s true. Realize and accept that some traits are  your strengths and others are  your weaknesses. By facing your weaknesses, you can overcome them and they will have less power over you. My effervescent personality makes me vulnerable to schemers and cons. I hate the word,  but naivity is one of my biggest downfalls.  I’ve been “suckered” many times. I tend to be too trusting and believe that people are honest and have integrity. They aren’t and they don’t.  Human nature is lazy and selfish – a lesson that I often have to be reminded of.  I’ve gotten myself into some very dangerous situations because of this blind trust. An eagerness to push the envelope means that I often act before thinking. I have anger issues.  OH, some people get angry,  but I have had some real issues with  anger to the point of rage. It’s a real thing.  The hell hath no fury like a woman scorned type of thing. I have a long list of unfinished projects.  Writing projects, craft projects, home improvement projects, you name it. This is one area that I have made improvements on,  knowing that I work better with a deadline and a todo list in order to progress to  completion.  I have this inner need to experience everything that life has to offer and could lead to some real problems.  While I’m not going to  sample heroine or meth just for the experience,  I have been known to do some daring things. Daily routine is the bane of my existence.  I need change, variety, something new. For others that would be a nightmarish existence.  I get that – we are all different. I get angry when others try to make me conform to their ideas.
  3. Express Your Feelings. Emotions – they aren’t always sweet.  I love passionately.  I give generously.  I feel compassionately.  I act impulsively. I get hurt easily. Don’t let anger get bottled up inside you. If you have strong feelings, sort them out and express them, or they may become destructive! I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions either on impulse, or out of anger. I hate the question-  why did you do that because I don’t alwayhs have an answer.  I just did it.  I didn’t think about it,  or weigh the consequences  I just acted. Why does there need to be a reason?  I have had to learn to think first act second. That is not a natural process for me.
  4. Make Decisions. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. You need to know how you feel about things in order to be effective. There are times however that it is not wise to share your opinion.  Just because you have a thought does not mean it needs to come out of your mouth or be typed into social media.
  5. Smile at Criticism. Try to see disagreement and discord as an opportunity for growth, because that’s exactly what it is. Try not to become overly defensive towards criticism; try to hear it and judge it objectively.  YEah,  I’m still working on this one.  I don’t take criticism well.  Smile? Are you kidding me? More like grit your teeth and breath a deep cleansing breath.  Let. It. Go. Sometimes they are trying to help, however misguided they are.
  6. Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Most of your problems with other people are easier to deal with if you try to understand the other person’s perspective. I often have to remind myself of this. OFTEN. Just like above,  there are people who think through, analyze, weigh the options, consequences, how it affects other people before they act. If I did that,  I would  never have done over half of the things I have.
  7. Be Aware of Yourself. Don’t forsake your own needs for the sake of others.   I am so guilty of this.  As a mother I am a giver.  My personality lends itself to giving out and putting myself last. Realise you are an important focus. If you do not fulfill your own needs, how will continue to be effective and how will others know you are true to your beliefs? If you do this  very often, you will find yourself at a place of dissatisfaction in life.  This is where I am trying to work back from!
  8. Be Accountable for Yourself. Don’t waste mental energy finding blame in other’s behaviour, or in identifying yourself as a victim. You have more control over your life than any other person has. So be in control.  Own your actions,  live your own life.  Stop blaming others, stop making excuses, and stop waiting for life to happen.  Waiting means life will pass you by while you sit in the bleachers.
  9. Assume the Best. Don’t distress yourself by assuming the worst. Remember that a positive attitude creates positive situations. OH I am all over this one!  I am probably guilty of being the eternal optimist,  always looking at the best case scenario. Now, when I (best case scenario visionary) work together with my husband (analytical thinker who tends to be worst case scenario) we can come up with a plan that benefits us both. Isn’t that kind of the idea?  We balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! Don’t assume that the lack of feedback is the same thing as negative feedback. If you need feedback and don’t have any, ask for it.  Asking questions does not mean you are stupid, it means you are curious and interested. When was the last time you asked a question in something that you had no interest? Hmmmm?

GO FOR IT!

You want success in your life,  you  take the pilot seat. You want it? Work for it, work towards it.  Understand  your own strengths and weaknesses.  Stop beating yourself up over  a personality trait that  is different than the majority.  It may  be the very catalyst to  change the atmosphere!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Snippet Sunday – Valkyrie’s Pt 2


Courtesy of VL Locey

Courtesy of VL Locey

Getting the words down for the first draft is  a major accomplishment. I have to admit a certain amount of satisfaction in knowing that I have FINISHED not 1,  not 2, not 3,  but 5 full manuscripts! Red Wine & Roses; Kiss of the Dragon (which still needs to be revised), Faere Warrior (which needs more revisions and expansion based on 3 beta readers), Valkyrie’s  Curse: The Awakening and VC: Trial of Aegir.

Big Deal right?  For me it is HUGE. Finishing a project,  this has been the bane of my existence.  I have a full file drawer,  an external hard drive, and two flash drives  full of partially completed projects. I’ve been writing for a long time.

Last week I mentioned that  in the middle of  the debris lies the occasional gem, right?  I guess in part it has to do with my excitement for the full story. I can only hope that my readers will find the bits and pieces interesting and  will pique your interest for the bigger picture.

 

 

I started this a couple of times in 2015 and agreed with a few writing friends to carry it through as a regular feature for 2016.  Keep in mind that this is during revision and prepublication. I shared a snippet from Chapter 1: The Viking HERE.  This is the prologue.

98f639acd472307db0d1e650bd3c49dd

Discovering our true destiny is revealed

by our deepest passions.

My second snippet gives you a feel for the main character, Helena Eskildson.  You can find that snippet from chapter 2: The Journey Begins HERE.

This week as my editing and revisions continue I am sharing a nugget that introduces you to  my leading man, Mr. Scott Thompson.  It may just be that I find the intellectual man  sexy, but I prefer a man who has a lot going on upstairs to one that  doesn’t have an original thought in his head.

Scott made his way to Leroy’s office. “Leroy my man.” He stated as he knocked. “You in here?”

Slowly Leroy’s head rose from behind the workbench. “Do you have any idea what a pain in the ass you are Scott?”

“Me? What’d I do?” He moved to the stool next to the oscilloscope that he hoped would be his for the summer.

“This list! The equipment that you’ve ordered. Do you have any idea the acquisition forms, red tape, the bullshit I had to wade through to get this stuff? And if you so much as bring it back with one scratch, I’ll fine you the full price of replacement.”

“Umm, well no but if anyone can get it I knew it would be you.” He flashed his brilliant smile at Leroy.

“Oh stop it. That doesn’t work on me as it does the chicks. I’ve been in the bathroom after you douche-bag. By the way, we need to wash those towels. Major funk.”

Scott made a disgusted shrug. He picked up one of the Helium Vector Magnetometers, turning it in his hands.

“No fondling without proper introductions.” Leroy crossed the small area and grabbed it from Scott’s hands. “Scott Thompson meet the divine Gaussmeter. Manufactured by the same company contracted to NASA and our United States NAVAL FORCES. This baby can be used as a metal detector, can detect variables  at .001, can practically map your site for you. Combined with this little number.” He set down the HVM and picked up the ground penetrating radar. “You should get every read out that you can possibly dream up.”

 

I know there isn’t a physical description in there yet, that comes  a little later in the chapter. I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity at least a little bit.

You can skate on over to VL Locey’s sinful pleasures  with hot hockey players on and off the ice at VLLOCEY where she is sharing her latest novella in progress and then skip on over to Cathy’s Romance, where you can find your next book boyfriend. You know, since you can’t have mine yet.

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

Wellness Wednesday – Levi


Welcome to one of my new things –  Wellness Wednesday.   You may wonder, Levi . . . is this about getting into those smaller jeans? Well,  ultimately I suppose you could  take it as such. But it has more to do with my guest.

As most people are gearing up at the beginning of the year to improve their fitness in some form or other whether it is to drop a few pounds gained over the holidays or begin training for a marathon, this is often the time many jump in. There are so many diets out there, so many conflicting voices as to what you should do, or shouldn’t do I thought it might be nice to get some input from the professionals. 

I have some personal trainers lined up, a nurse practitioner scheduled, a nutritionist, and a college professor that teaches in the nursing school. I hope they will bring some good information to the table to share!  

Please welcome my first guest, Mr. Levi Terrell.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself. 

-My name is Levi Terrell,  I come from a very fitness  minded family and my dad owned a gym so I pretty much grew up in weight room. Much of that time rubbing shoulders with professional athletes.  I was blessed enough to play 4 years of collegiate football as a starter, which paved the way for me to get my bachelor of science with concentrations in health education,  Physical education, and public administration.

  1. Name one thing that is a highlight in your life that you would consider a huge success and name one thing that you count as a failure.

-While I have many great highlights from my football career,  including multiple school records a rewards.  Not one of those would be possible if it wasn’t for God. Accepting Jesus into my heart is by far the greatest highlight of my life. I tend to see failures a bit differently than most, I truly believe one can not truly succeed unless they have weeded out the wrong ways to do something.  Therefore I see failure as part of the process.

  1. Why did you choose this as a career?

-Besides inheriting my love for fitness from my parents, I became a coach because there are few greater thing in life than helping someone reach their full potential. Giving someone their health back allows them to truly live life to the fullest again. In a world full of corporations poisoning people with chemically loaded foods for profit,  it is an uphill battle teaching people to think a different way.

  1. I think that is a very noble stance. I know personally, I am fed up with the chemical additives.  I don’t know if it’s just laziness or not, but I think it’s ridiculous to have to read a label before eating bread. Bread should be bread – the only difference whether you choose a 12 grain, whole wheat or white or whatever flavor, not to see if has 12 chemical additives and preservatives that, oh yeah that was determined to cause cancer, and so was that,  and that one messes with your brain.  Sorry, personal pet peeves.  Moving on,  for someone wishing to improve their health that comes to you for help, what would be the first bit of advice that you would give them?

-I have 3 things I always address first when speaking to a new client.

1.) How much water do you drink a day? If it is less than half your body weight in ounces it’s not enough, and it’s almost certainly causing you to retain water weight and slowing your metabolism.

2.) Cut out anything “artificial” from your diet. That’s colors, flavors, sweeteners,  etc. These chemicals are of zero nutritional value and do nothing but confuse your body and cause it to store excess fat.

3.) Get more sleep,  if you’re like most Americans, you’re not getting enough sleep. We feel like we must squeeze the most out of every day and sleep is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Sleep is a major part of your health and not getting enough leads to many things:  increased cortisol levels being one of the main ones.

  1. Sound advice! What do you find to be the most rewarding part of what you do?

-Definitely helping others get their life back. Getting the middle-aged dad down to his college weight so he can run around with his son again. Giving a new mom the confidence to be comfortable in any outfit and love her body again. Rehabbing an injured athlete and getting them back to the sport they love quickly and safely. That is why I do what I do.

  1. I can see where that would be gratifying! What part do you feel that the mental game plays in the person’s success or failure?

-I love this question because a person’s thoughts are the most powerful thing on earth, and they are the main factor in determining a person’s success.  Not just with health but with a person’s relationships, purpose, and finances as well.

This belief is what inspired me to start my life coaching business. 23Seven Coaching is based off of Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) “For as a man thinketh in his heart,  so he will be…” If we can get you thinking the right way there is absolutely nothing one cannot achieve.

  1. I’m a firm believer in mental attitude.  I’ve done many  inspirational posts here on my blog. The right attitude can carry you into fulfilling your dreams while a negative attitude will propel you into a nightmarish existence of futility. Wasn’t it Job that stated ” My greatest fear has come upon me”? So, what you think about preceeds what you speak. What you speak prophecies your future. There is a lot more to it than ‘The Power of positive thinking’ but  basically, you have what you say and that starts with what you think.  If you think you are defeated you are.  If you think you will succeed you will. In that vein, how do your services help a person who mentally is defeated?

-First, we focus on pinpointing why you do what you do.  None of our behaviors are random,  everything is learned. Most of them without us even knowing,  so if we can pinpoint why a person thinks a certain way,  we can begin to replace that thought with positive thinking. I am a strong believer in speaking affirmations and incorporating daily wins to build self belief and teaching you how to be successful.

  1. YOu know,  I could spend the next hour discussing the above with you but  I know you have other things to do today. Perhaps we’ll come back to that some other time as it’s one of my areas of personal convictions. How important do you think supplements play in a person’s diet?

-Unfortunately a big role if you live in America.  Over the last 40 years the quality of our food has fallen substantially. Even to the point that fruits and vegetables have been nutritionally drained due to our land being so over -farmed. So even someone who eats a clean healthy diet is most likely still not getting all their needed nutrients. Now, the thing is, it must be the right kind of supplementation. The majority of supplements you find on store shelves are loaded with artificial ingredients and fillers, many of them known carcinogens. That’s why I coach my clients through nutritional cleansing systems loaded with all natural,  organic ingredients derived from all over the world. This process works great at flushing out toxins and helping release those stubborn pounds.  All while increasing energy,  sleep,  and even that healthy glow we all love to see on our skin.

  1.  I need to sign up for that! I certainly need the increased energy, and the sleep, and who doesn’t want a healthy glow? Can you share 3 things that will help people to achieve their goals?

*See question #4

  1. LOL!
Levi

Levi and his lovely wife Raediance, (She’s awesome in her own right!)

 

BIO-Growing up in the small town of DeSoto, MO. Levi’s passion for fitness and football took him to the University of Nebraska, Omaha on a full football scholarship where he excelled early, getting his freshman redshirt torn off in the 4th game of the season and tying the school record for carries in a single game (42) in his collegiate football debut. Levi went on to receive all American honors as well as freshman of the year and running back of the year.  After seeing the football program get dropped by the University after his sophomore season, Terrell was forced to find a new home. Just an hour south of his hometown the young standout was welcomed with open arms to the Southeast Missouri State University where he finished his football career. Levi later returned to Omaha with his wife Raediance to finish out his bachelor of science degree.

The Terrell’s now live in Missouri where they pursue their entrepreneurial plans and set out to help as many people as possible realize,  pursue,  and achieve their dreams of health & wealth. Levi’s life coaching business “23Seven Coaching” seeks to change the way people think about the world around them, in turn realizing they can truly have everything they want out if life.

 

Website: Coming Soon

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/LeviTerrell27

Instagram: LeviT_Fitness

Twitter: LeviT_Fitness

SnapChat: LeviT_Fitness

Thank you Levi for sharing this valuable information with us!  If you are  in the St. Louis area, look him up and see what he can do for you!  Follow him on Instagram, twitter, and wherever else you can where you can a daily dose of inpsiration!

I hope that some of what is shared will inspired you, encourage you, and convince you to take better care of yourself –  you’re the only you that you have!

Write on my friends, write on!