I promised you something new and exciting today, well . . . here it is!
I am proud to unveil my latest book cover for Break Line novella!
Former Marine Nathan Fletcher had to get away. Everything was crumbling under the constant pressures of coping with PTSD, and he had to regain control. When opportunity knocked to relocate to paradise, he couldn’t pass it up. He had it all – paradise, family, and the career of his dreams. Nathan even had the best therapy in the world: the ocean. His life was perfect.
Tragedy strikes, taking more than his leg with it. His confidence is shattered leaving fear in its place. If it weren’t for his cousin and new best friend Kai, he might give in to the demons of his past and present.
Fate seems to be mocking the once cocky marine when a petite Hawaiian beauty becomes his physical therapist. She pushes all his buttons ten ways to Sunday! Nathan is torn between irritation with Kini Okana, and his desire for her.
Can Kai and Kini help him overcome the trauma that has turned his world upside down, or will Nathan let the tragedy rob him of his future dreams?
It’s been a little over a year since my diagnosis, and a year yesterday for surgery. Wow, what a whirlwind ride this has been.
I’m thankful to still be here. I’m thankful to have hair, even though it’s white now.
I promise I am not going to dwell on this forever, but since I’ve been riddled with anxiety for the past week over just about everything, this is part of my healing process. I have to process these thoughts, learn to manage the emotions and the overwhelm.
What has changed? Everything.
OH, on the surface onlookers may think I’m the same old same old. but I’m not. I am learning to make myself a priority – still learning, still trying to use that word NO, and still doing the self-talk to tell myself I’m worth it. Because you know what? I am!
We all are. Each one of us deserves a fulfilling life and to achieve our own happiness. Each of us is a unique one of a kind original. It’s hard to keep that in mind at times when the lemming tendencies of our society scream that we need to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.
How are we ever going to stand out from the crowd if we are doing the same thing, looking the same, wearing the same hairstyle? There is nothing wrong with being ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless of that mean bitch from school says.
Screw her! OH wait, most of the guys already have!
That was a joke, sort of.
We need to stop being influenced by those mean girls and the pretty people. They are a minority and we outnumber them into the millions. Why do we ever care what they think?
For me, I’ve always had this element of people pleasing. It’s a lifelong habit that I’m working on breaking. It’s part of exercising that word NO.
What do you think? What do you want to do? I”m not saying that you do whatever you want even if it’s illegal or immoral. I’m talking about pursuing your dreams, setting goals for yourself and learning to get our thoughts in line with drawing what we truly want out of life.
There are times when the overwhelm is just too much for me. This was never an issue before cancer. I’ve been thinking about why that is. Part of it, as listed in the side effects of the chemo meds I have to take is increased anxiety. OH, joy! But I take the meds because I want to live cancer free.
Part of it, I’ve deduced is because I’ve spent a lifetime stress eating and putting myself into a food stupor when I was overwhelmed so that I could numb myself from the pain and anxiety. Do you think overweight people simply eat too much? It’s so much more than that.
OK, you take someone who has put on twenty pounds because they’ve been hitting the pizza and beer too often and no biggie, they cut down on their consumption and within a short time have taken the weight off. But a fat person? I mean someone who has been overweight for a long time, maybe their whole life, it’s a psychological issue as much as it is about overeating. Hence the yo-yo up and down the scale.
Anyway, this isn’t about being fat or me being frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off faster. This is ultimately about change and learning to control the thoughts and emotions.
Some things change quickly – surgery – I had cancer, they removed the tumors.
Some things take time – it took many treatments for the radiation to be effective.
Some things take even longer – learning to eat differently, learning new habits, learning new limitations.
Ultimately though, aren’t we all learning? Whether we are adjusting to dietary limitations, or physical limitations or emotional, we have to overcome, adapt, and learn what our best is each and every day. Maybe today it’s learning that “I’m OK. Tomorrow it may be “I can’t do that but I can tackle this.”
Early in the week, I was a whirlwind of energy and productivity. Yesterday I fell into a pit of overwhelm and could barely function. I was a mess of tears, snotting and snorting and nearly hyperventilating. My friend Misty talked me down. She walked me through the sensory steps, reminded me of the four agreements, and then my husband called around lunchtime and told me to throw away my list.
NO, not my list! The LIST is like, THE PIRATE CODE.
Cue increased panic.
He reminded me that nothing on my list was mandatory. (But, it’s my list. I don’t list unnecessary things to do.) Nothing is mandatory and has to be done today. The only mandatory things on the list were my day job, getting my blog post up (because it was a personal goal) and making sure I did my physical therapy.
As I glanced over my precious list of twenty-seven items, I realized he was right. As much as I wanted to get those other things accomplished and checked off the list – only list makers will get that – the world was not going to end if I waited for another day to try to tackle them.
One of those items was a social situation with someone that causes me continued stress. At the end of the day, I realized that it was in my own best interest to say NO, and bow out. The second part of that is allowing myself to not fret over the decision and accept that I need to take care of myself.
Why does it have to be so hard to say no? What is it that I was so afraid of? That they would be mad at me? They don’t like me anyway. Hard to imagine, but they don’t.
I refer to Agreement Number 2: Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do or say is a product of their own reality, their own dreams and actions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of suffering.
Inhala . . . exhala . . . and now I can get on with it.
I did it! Three days of posting in a row! Yes, this is an accomplishment for me. It’s been a while since I have done more than a once a week post. Ironically a fellow blogger and Romance author commented about my regular blogging and then suddenly, I couldn’t seem to manage more than once a week if that.
Before I start in on my celebration dance, I suppose we should get to the 3rd and final quote for this challenge. I’ve been nominated to participate in a 3 Day Quote Challenge by Misty Harvey at her blog Misty Harvey. This is the third day of the quote challenge.
Let’s not waste any time dilly-dallying around.
There is tremendous joy in accomplishment. As an author, I can definitely say that there haven’t been too many “thrills” as satisfying as completing my books. The combined effort of the creative process that culminates in a completed book – priceless.
Last year, I wasn’t able to work on my writing at all while going through treatments. After completing it, I was determined to get myself back on track. The satisfaction of completing Roxy Sings the Blues, after going through cancer treatment was in my mind, a great accomplishment that made me uber happy!
Now I come to that part of the challenge to nominate another 3 people to carry the torch.
As for the way this challenge works I nominate 3 new blogs to carry the torch. I have picked 3 people that have inspired me in various ways and I think will really bring great things to this challenge.
Week 52 – the last, final post for 2017 blog challenge.
Colorful fireworks over a night sky
I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions several years ago, but I do set goals for myself for the coming year. What’s the difference? A resolution is something you hope happens. A goal, a smart goal is something you set for yourself with a specific framework and a deadline.
This past year – 2017 my goals were as effective as resolutions. Why? CANCER.
I’ll admit, I didn’t see that one coming. I let it derail me. I was shocked, stunned, reeling from the diagnosis. Then the whirlwind of prompt action from the doctors had my head spinning. The only time doctors act swiftly is when it’s a serious matter, so I felt an additional stress imagining the worst – what if it was stage 4, what if it had metastasized, what if . . . but it wasn’t the case. THANK GOD, mine wasn’t nearly as bad as some. Praise the Lord – it was found early.
The point is though, they were swift in all their actions and then rushed me to treatment. I barely had time to think. It was the next appointment, the next treatment. I lost control of my life from March through August.
In August, I evaluated where I was in comparison to the goals I had set for myself and cried. Seriously, I just sat there crying for nearly an hour before I decided to do something about it. Then I looked at what I could do and pushed myself to get Roxy completely revised so that I would have at least one book for Penned Con.
I did manage to lose some weight, although the goal I had set for myself was 50 pounds, I have lost 46 pounds. Still a win! (It was a 48 but I had extra portions over the holidays.)
From September through now, it’s been a difficult battle with dropping pounds as the medication that I have to take is known to cause weight gain. In addition to my slow fat storing metabolism, I now have an additional obstacle, but I’m winning, slowly!
I had set a goal for myself to read 100 books this year, didn’t make that one. I have read 25. Most of those have been hard copy print books. The ability to focus was lost during treatments. Chemo brain is a very real thing. So, I’m cutting myself some slack and counting this as a win as well because I have managed to read most of those since August.
What about 2018?
What goals will I set for myself this coming year?
Publish 5 books in 2018:Valkyries Curse: The Awakening, Book 2: Trial of Aegir, and Realm WArs book 1 – I haven’t decided on a title for that one yet. This is the precursor to Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price – which has been finished for ages, but held back because my former media coach advised me to write the prequel first. In addition, the release of The Blood Keyin a fantasy anthology, then I will release in paperback in September. And one other one – I may have to do a poll with my readers to see which one they are more interested in because I can’t decide.
Continue with healthy eating and lose 40 more pounds.
MOVE! We plan to move closer to where my husband works because now he commutes for an hour each way. I have discovered one major flaw in our moving plans, they don’t have a community pool in that area, so my aquacize classes will be gone. My solution? We need a pool of our own! (You like how I worked that in there? You think I could maybe get a tax write off for medical therapy??)
Finally get my office! We’ve been through this before, I’ve worked hard to clean an area in the basement, shared pictures on here then it was promptly taken over for another use. Can’t even tell you how pissed off it made me. Then with cancer, I honestly didn’t have the energy to fight it.
Enjoy living! Carve out time to spend with ones I love and care about, do the things I enjoy, have some fun in life! This will become a priority because I am prone to get overwhelmed with all the things that should happen that I forget to enjoy everyday life. Stress less and live more!
That’s it. Those are my goals for this next year. Not a twenty point bulletin of overachiever perfection. Not a ten point attack on every area of my life. Not even a 12 month, 12 item list of things I’d like to see happen. Simple, basic, achievable yet challenging goals that will improve our quality of life.
Cancer changes things. It really made me see how much time I waste on fretting over things that don’t really matter, conceding on things that do matter to me, and wishing I had more time for what really matters – the people in our lives.
What about you? What are your 2018 goals and dreams? Not going to say resolutions, because we blow those before the end of January!
You can find the other authors participating in this blog hop HERE!
This post is included in the prize drawing for the flash fiction fest – so leave your comment! All commenters are entered in drawing for this week’s prizes. (See post yesterday for the list of prizes, I don’t feel like typing it in yet again!) All entries will be put through randompicker and the winner will be selected!
Best wishes to each of you, and have a Happy New Year!
I have some author friends who have joined me in this challenge, and are contributing to the prize baskets!
This week’s prize basket:
$5 Amazon gift card
Free e-book for Red Wine & Roses, contemporary romance
e-book of What We’ve Unlearned: English Class Goes Punk (The Writerpunk Project Book 4)
e-book of Holiday Fling, contemporary romance
This is how the prize giveaway will work:
Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post ( or rather Tuesday as it’s been lately, since my internet connection has been sketchy.) That person can contact me on Facebook or email me at: email@example.com.
The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me, my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!
So, even though this isn’t a flash feature, any comments will still count towards the prizes.
MFRW blog hop week 51 – Advice for new authors. Just one more week to go!
What advice would you give newbies? What advice do you wish that others would have given you when you were a newbie?
Those are the two main questions that I ‘ve been contemplating for this post. I have to admit, it took a bit of contemplating to decide which tidbits to share. A couple of pots of coffee, a few oatmeal cookies – sugar-free of course, to dunk in my coffee, and my trusty notepad to jot down what came to my mind.
These are the three bits of advice that I wish someone would have shared with me. I hope it helps you if you are an aspiring author.
Decide what you want to write. What genre do you feel comfortable with? What length of work do you feel comfortable with?
There are other options for a writer besides book-length novels. When I first began writing, I wrote articles for magazines, and for a column in our local paper. The short 1000 word articles rolled off my fingers with minimal effort. But, my dream was to be a published author like my idol Katie McAlister. It is difficult to make myself focus on longer length works, but oh so satisfying to hit ‘the end’.
2. Schedule time for your writing. Make it a priority. If you write whenever you have time, you’ll find everything in the world crowding out your writing time. Make an appointment with yourself and KEEP IT! Just as if it were a doctor’s appointment. IF this is what you really want, then make your goals a priority!
3. Stick to one project at a time! (Best advice I ever got from my friend Vicki Locey! Thank you, Vicki!) I’m the world’s worst at having too many irons in the fire, with multiple books in the works. It wasn’t until I made myself focus on one project and stick with it to completion that I got my books published. Notice, that completed does not mean published. I have five books that are completed but need revisions and editing before they are publishable. It’s ok to jot down ideas for new stories while you work on your current WIP. FOCUS is a key factor to success as an author. I have to admit my ADD tendencies fight me on this point. I made myself a system of rewards for tackling the current WIP first, before anything else. For instance, when I have my writing time, lately has been in the afternoons because of doctor appointments, I set my timer, and write until the timer goes off. Now I may get up and get a cup of coffee or cocoa, or run to the bathroom, but during that time I write. Most days I manage about 1200 words. Then I reward myself. Maybe it’s coloring in my planner, it’s one of those adult coloring book planners. Maybe I play a game for a bit or jot down notes for another story. If time allows or if I am really in the zone, I may work on writing for a longer period of time.
If you can master those three things, you are well on your way to success!
I have a few author friends who have joined me in this challenge and are contributing to the prize baskets!
This week’s prize basket:
$5 Amazon gift card
ebook for Red Wine & Roses
Author Swag bag
ebook of Protected By His Grace by Grace Augustine
This is how the prize giveaway will work:
Leave a comment throughout the week on any blog post, whether it’s the blog hop, flash, guest spot, or weekend writing warriors. I will select one of the commenters through Randompicker and post it on Monday’s post. The winner can contact me on Facebook or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I apologize for not getting it posted on Monday, it’s been a rough couple of days.
The challenge is to write a flash piece, 500 to 1000 words based on a Holiday tune as a prompt. The author was given the option to select their own or I would assign one. Trust me, my list of holiday tunage is anything but traditional!
I am still posting for the MFRW blog hop on Fridays and the WEWRIWA on Sundays. The comments on those posts count as well!
MFRW blog hop week 50 – My Biggest Accomplishment.
You know, just when I think I got this in the bag, they throw a wrench into my gears.
Uh, give me a few minutes to figure this one out. Have a cup of coffee, a few snacks while I fish out the wrench.
I was going to post this animated short about a guy trying to fix an engine and tossing all sorts of parts around, but then I saw Harry and well. . . I’m partial.
I think that my biggest accomplishment, pertaining to being an author was getting my first book published. It was the barrier that I just couldn’t seem to break through, then a small print publisher showed interest in me. I was over the moon ecstatic!
I’ve learned a lot about the business of writing, about publishing, marketing – got a lot more to learn on the marketing front. I will always be grateful that they published me!
Fast forward, the small publishing house and I have parted ways, and I’ve published 2 more books. Most of what I learned through this experience, helped me have the confidence to publish the others. There is definitely some satisfaction in each one, but getting past that first barrier . . . well, I spent years submitting my work to multiple publishers, large houses and small, and I was on the verge of quitting and shelving my dreams permanently.
In my personal life, you already know what I’m going to say. You knew it was coming so I’m just going to lay it out there – I beat cancer! So far! I am 7 months cancer free, but they won’t say a survivor until you’ve been clear for 3 years. I have 2 years and 5 months to go! This year has changed my life profoundly, it would take an entire year to tell you every aspect that has been affected by this diagnosis.
It helped me sort my priorities. I made myself a priority – something that was foreign to me as a mom and caregiver. I had neglected me for many years. I made my health a priority. I’ve lost 42 pounds so far this year. I guess there is hope that I might squeeze in a few more for the year, but I count that as a win also. I eat a healthy diet now that is cancer patient friendly. Very limited in carbs, zero sugar, (not counting fruit – I eat fresh fruit), and packed full of phytonutrients.
My skin is clearer than it has been for years. My hair, well I have hair, hallelujah! It’s a different look for sure, but . . . I’m cancer free.
This picture was taken in 2015 at my sister’s wedding. Doesn’t the hubs look sexy as hell in a suit???? We both clean up pretty good on occasion.
This was the back. I miss my long hair.
Then cancer treatment took over my life:
Still adjusting to this new look. Sorry for the no makeup shock – I guess there should have been a warning!
OH, and if you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, ear muffs, sock caps, hats, and those crochet bands that cover ears would be great! I’m not used to my ears being exposed. I don’t know how guys do it!
I’m exercising regularly. Not running marathons or anything super strenuous, I’m doing an aquacise class and loving it. 45 minutes of cardio a day for four to five days a week. It was one of the things recommended for cancer patients, that is easy on the joints. I haven’t talked about it too much, but the tamoxifen causes joint pain. There are days I’m nearly in tears. It’s a constant reminder for me to drop the excess weight and continue on a healthy road and to eat right.
I’ve eliminated environmental toxins from our home, from our food, from anywhere that I can control. I don’t eat processed foods – no sausage, bacon or anything with carcinogens. No lunchmeats, hot dogs, bologna, processed cheese, or Doritos. ( Yeah, I even gave up my Doritos.) I don’t eat the processed cereal, prepackaged anything. The closest to processed that we get is an occasional splurge by buying chicken strips from the deli.
I’m making meditation, prayer time, mental health a priority to reduce stress. I spend a lot of my time driving back and forth to lymphedema therapy and doctors appointments. I have good music in the car that is relaxing to me, as well as audiobooks.
I’m making my goals and dreams a priority and not pressuring myself with ridiculous schedules. I see some authors bragging about running on the frazzled edge all of the time. They have more books out than me, but you know what? I’m at peace.
I can do what I can do, and do my best every day. Somedays my best is managing to get to appointments, maybe get 100 words down, a little bit of housework done. Somedays I can go 90 to nothing for a short time. Then there are those days when I can manage to feed myself and have my wits about me. I have learned to accept that on those days I need rest. On those days, I can’t push.
I have learned to take care of me. When I am at my best, then I can give out to others and be a blessing to them. But if I am depleted, I have nothing to give.
I think I have to change my biggest accomplishment – it’s not getting my first book published, it’s learning to take care of myself so that I can be a blessing to others.
Call me a sentimental sap if you will. I’ve learned a lot this past year. Being the true strong-willed person and blockhead, I had to learn it the hard way. Lessons learned the hard way are not soon forgotten! I can honestly say that I have a better quality of life than I did before the cancer diagnosis.
Now if I could just say the same for the state of my home. Maybe I’ll tackle the clutter for a bit before I start wrapping gifts.
What would you say that your biggest accomplishment is? As always, you can find the other MFRW blog hop participants HERE.
Today is the 52-week MFRW blog challenge, Week 34 – Open Doors or Closed Doors?
I have a small confession to make. I often think in song. It’s true! Just about any topic, and my mind goes to song lyrics. Maybe it’s all those musicals my Mom used to watch on TV. Maybe it’s the musicals we went to the Muny to see. (ST. Louis Municipal Theater, Forest Park) Maybe it’s the eighteen years of piano lessons, ten years in band counting college, or maybe it’s just an annoying quirk that I have. It drives the hubs bat sh** crazy.
See what I mean?
I’m sure you can make the leap of why my mind went automatically to The Doors given the prompt. I mean come on, that was an open door! *snorts*
But what if that wasn’t what the MFRW challenge
had in mind? Hmmmm.
It’s a horrible thing, this ADD brain of mine. Look- Squirrel! Back to the topic – doors. How can any writer worth their salt not think of JRR Tolkien in reference to doors?
I put the thought on the back burner while I attempted to upload my new book to Createspace. I say attempted because my laptop is not cooperating with Adobe flash player, and it won’t let me review the insides. It simmered back there for a few hours.
*ding* It’s soup!
What if . . . yeah, I could go with that. Since this blog challenge is related to romance writing, maybe I should share about doors in that field.
In 2015, I had made myself a resolution that I would submit my manuscripts to publishers through July and if none were accepted, I would attempt the self-publishing route.
I have regularly submitted articles to magazines and online magazines. It’s similar but different to novels. I sent Kiss of the Dragon off to 3 publishers and got two rejections and one – if you rewrite the entire thing and change the characters then we will review it again. That kind of changes the entire story, don’t you think? I shelved it.
I sent Faere Warrior: Passion’s Price off to 2 publishers. One rejection, one – if you add the backstory in and set this as maybe the second or third book in a series, and make the overall story the realm war, then we would be interested in the series. I was on cloud 9!!!
I worked on it diligently, had the foundation story down, made the suggested tweaks to it, then had a falling away with an individual who unbeknownst to me was part owner of this small publishing house. Offer retracted. Sigh. Project shelved.
I sent 3 other stories off to publishers, some were unsolicited to houses that it was a long shot; nothing. I submitted to a specific call for romance shorts, nothing. I submitted to a call for a BDSM short, made the first round, then was cut in the second round.
I nearly quit. I thought I’ll just write for myself and file them away and maybe some day when I am dead my kids will find my manuscripts and read them and think they might be worth publishing.
I was ready to throw in the towel on getting any books published. I had been successful in article writing for the newspaper, maybe that was all I was cut out for. My dreams ‘done fell through’.
In my morning sprint group, the wonderful ladies encouraged me to keep writing and suggested that I consider self-publishing. I have to be honest, I had a tainted view of this. I thought self-publishing was Vanity Press. Most of the people I knew that published books were through vanity press and they were a joke. Not to make light of their accomplishments!
Several church friends published their books, most of which was their life story. They sold a few at a table at church when they were first published then ended up with boxes of books in their garage or basement. I didn’t want to be that person.
Then I started seeing more and more fiction writing in the Indy market. I finally bit on a friend’s novel about zombies and I loved it. It was hysterical! They convinced me to consider it. So, back to the time line – I told myself if I didn’t get a contract by July, I would pursue the Indy market.
I finished my first book Red Wine & Roses. OK, it wasn’t the first story I finished, but those were rejected and I was told to revise them, rewrite them or add X amount more to them. I made a post on Facebook that I had finished it! An individual whom I had worked with on the group blog got in touch with me for Eclectic Bard Books. AN OPEN DOOR!
I jumped through that door so fast it made my head spin. It was a whirlwind of deadlines, demands, and then nothing. We came to a mutual point of not renewing the contract and they were gracious enough to release the rights to my story. I am truly grateful for that and the opportunity. I learned a lot, but small house publishers . . . CLOSED DOOR! Locked, bolted, NOPE!
I learned a lot through that experience. Some good, some bad, all of it memorable.
I have edited some truly crap writing. I have also had the privilege of editing some great writing. In both cases, the author was confident enough in their work, even if I thought it sucked, (hello – there, their, they’re; to two too; affect, effect; was/were; numerous cases of that doesn’t mean what you think it means; and sex scenes that read like a clinical post rape exam – shudders)
Yet, they were determined to get their baby out there. What was I so afraid of?
Life has a way of impressing upon you what is really important. I had been making excuses for not finishing my work, and not focusing on one project. I was a story polygamist. Either I wanted to do this or I didn’t, which is it?
My second book, a nonfiction humor collection of posts that started on my blog was my first shot at going Indy. Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass: I got the formatting wrong, got the margins wrong, but I learned. Soon I was able to get Red Wine back out there under my name.
I continue to learn. This year, life smacked me around pretty hard but it drove home the point of either do it or shut up. I am going for it! There is still an open door, I’m going to use it.
There are a few other areas of my life that I have made huge revelations in as far as excuses. Some are harder to change than others but not impossible.
I feel like I am getting a second chance in life, I don’t want to waste it. I’ve had some real issues with what our church teaches about personal goals and striving for your own desires. It’s sad that it has taken me this long to get it, but I believe God gives us the desires of our heart. I believe that His word is true. But I also believe that He expects us to work our little or big, fannies off. I don’t think there is anything wrong with personal aspirations – it is what drives us to become better.
Maybe I’m wrong and y’all should pray for me in this. But tell me this, Kurt Warner achieved his goal of becoming a professional football player. How is that OK, yet being an author isn’t? This lack of self-esteem that was established in my young years has somehow made me think that my goals aren’t as important as anyone else’s. That is wrong thinking. I’m shutting that door right now. By doing so, I am opening multiple doors of opportunity.
We are often our own worst enemy. I know I am. I’m the one that put everyone else’s needs above my own. I’m the one who sidelined myself in life. I’m the one who shelved my own dreams. NO MORE!
This isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is real life. We are responsible for what we do with it. I’m not happy with what I’ve done with mine up to this point, so this second chance is a breath of fresh air. It has driven home the point to let things go. Shake it off.
I don’t want my eulogy to be, oh she was nice. I want it to be bolder. I want people to know that I gave my all, pursued my dreams, living life with gusto and no apologies. I’m through apologizing for being me!
This wasn’t the direction that I intended to go, but this is what came out. Doors are apparently a touchy subject with me. Maybe I should have stopped with The Doors. NAH!
Let’s be real. Let’s be authentic with each other.
Life sucks at times, it’s up to us to make lemonade with the lemons we are given.
What doors are you keeping shut? Which ones have you opened? What doors are standing open waiting for you to go through?
There are a lot of other author’s in this blog hop that may have a more sound post. You may want to check them out at:
You might think that I am trying to be super clever with a play on the word, for all of my B**** friends. Sorry, no. Although, I lift my cup to you as well.
I recently had a major run in with a mean girl B that was callous, insensitive, and absolutely rude. Not inclined to humor those who think it’s funny to be an absolute B to others and think it’s all good because it isn’t. I think more of someone who takes the time to be kind than blast another person. Alas, it seems kindness is a dying art.
But, since I went there I guess I can tie in my vent with the theme for today. Let me refill my cup, while I think of just how to do that.
Ah! That’s better. Today is the 52-week MFRW blog challenge, Week 33 – What I Do to Recharge.
Coffee is what I do to charge in the morning, not necessarily recharge. By late afternoon after you’ve dealt with horrible people and want to strangle someone, I really don’t need more coffee or else I’d be wearing an orange jumpsuit. Not a good look for me and I’m not interested in being Beulah’s latest girlfriend.
Ah, but we’ve hit part of the topic there, for the reason we need to recharge. Honestly, if we just did our work day in and day out, it does tend to be a bit of a grind, but it gives you a feeling of satisfaction to know that you’ve been working. It’s kind of like going to the gym.
At first, your muscles are sore and protest. ‘We don’t want to exercise. We like being soft. Don’t make me do that.’ It’s your job to be drill seargent and whip those saggy wing flaps into shape, get that bounteous backside in tight formation, and push the thunder thigh twins to peak performance. “Ugh! But it hurts. I don’t wanna”
Shut up and give me ten more.
Just for that let’s make it fifteen more.
By the end of the third week, however, things are beginning to take shape, and show signs of improvement. Another couple months of this and the troops may just thank you for it. Or not, by nature we are lazy.
The point is though, that if it were just doing the work, it would be a cake walk. After a few weeks of disciplined work, we’d feel great about ourselves, our abilities, our strengh. . . . but it isn’t just that. We have to deal with people. It’s people that create the stress.
No, it isn’t it’s deadlines and demanding schedules.
Who makes the deadlines? Who gives us the demanding schedules? Who creates the stress in our day? PEOPLE!
The difficult client that refuses to listen to what you are telling them. The customer that is rude in the checkout line simply because they don’t want to have to wait in line like everyone else. The person who nearly runs you over with their cart in the grocery store because they are in a hurry.
THIS is what causes the stress. OK, let’s be honest, it can be our own dearly beloved family members as well.
“Mo -mmmm,where’s the scissors?”
“Why?” “I need them for a school project.”
ten minutes later. “Since when is cutting your sister’s hair a school project????”
Take me away Calgon. Maybe forget the Calgon and go for Captain Morgan. However, since I can no longer imbibe anything stronger than Welch’s . . . . Oh right, Cancer! Health issues can be another stressor.
So now we have a list:
rude and impatient people
self or other imposed deadlines
add your own personal pet peeve here
I may as well as add that last line because we all know we have them. When people violate them, we get all sorts of bent out of shape. Whether it’s dropping the towel on the floor in front of the towel rack, ( “Come on! It’s 3 seconds to hang it up!”) OR the dirty clothes on the floor. . . five inches from the hamper. OR dirty dishes in the sink. (Where did these come from? I JUST washed all of the dishes!) See what I mean? Most of our stress comes from other people! SIGH
But then again, our lives would be pretty boring if we were in isolation. Isolation is one of the forms of punishment in prisons and concentration camps. It’s said to be one of the cruelest punishments. There are days I wonder if it really is punishment, though. How long do you think you would last in true isolation?
So, back to the top. My little run in with the mean girl who has ruined it for me for those “Friends” who delight in being B****es. I started taking part in this program offered at the YMCA for Cancer survivors. It’s a free, 12 week program designed to get you back into shape after treatment.
OH man, do I need it! Radiation treatments themselves don’t hurt, but the cumulative effect causes fatigue. . . and burns. We won’t talk about the burns. Shudders – thank GOD they have healed! I thought I knew what fatigue was before going through this. NOPE. Got a whole new appreciation for it first hand. My stamina is nonexistent, and my muscles are weak. It’s like learning to walk all over again. OK, so maybe not quite that bad, but having been able to do 45 minutes of cardio a year ago, to struggling to do ten minutes without stopping. . . it’s frustrating and emotionally draining.
I found out last week that part of the reason that my fatigue was so bad, is that during the course of tests and all, they also discovered that I have diabetes. OH JOY! So, I’m trying real hard to follow the guidelines for this new diet. My doctor told me that I should aim for 15 grams of carbs or less. So that was what I was doing. For the day. He didn’t specify that was for each meal, that my daily total should be 45, I’ve been making sure I only had 15 for the day!~ So yeah, I have been exhausted. No carbs, no energy. Part of the hair loss is probably because I haven’t been eating. Part of the fatigue from radiation is probably due to no carbs. So a little self-induced stress to add to the mix.
Anyway, the mean girl . . . a fellow Pink sister (Can you believe that? Wait, it gets better!) comes up to me after the class to inform me that they were talking about me, and they noticed that I am lopsided and I should really refrain from wearing sports bras.
Really? REALLY?? OH, let me get right on that! Heaven forbid my less than perfect physique should interfere with your rose colored glasses outlook on life where everything is picture perfect. This from a fellow survivor who just the week before admitted that she had been admitted to the stress unit for suicide watch because of depression post-surgery before she got implants. REALLY ? And you think it’s OK to point out someone else’s flaws?????
Mean B****es can suck it!
Yeah, I’m stressed. I need some down time that isn’t medically induced. I need some refreshing. I’ve been pushing myself hard to get this book out in time for Penned Con. In the past week, I’ve added 11,000 words. I’ve wrapped an editing job for an author, and I have to say this second book is better than the first in the series. I don’t say that very often. My life has been a scary rollercoaster ride since April. (Jane! Stop this crazy thing!) My eldest daughter left for college on Monday – yet another change to adapt to.
It’s about time for some refreshing.
My husband scheduled vacation time to take me to my favorite place – the beach.
There is just something calming, relaxing, and refreshing about the salt wind, and the constant sounds of waves crashing on the sand. I could do without the seagulls, but since they are a package deal I suppose I will have to deal with them.
“That’s great and all, but stress happens every single day.
What do you do to refresh on a daily basis?”
I play Sudoku puzzles. I play match three games on Facebook. It’s addictive. There’s this Fishdom game, and I run out of lives nearly every day. I often play those games on my tablet when my husband is watching funny cat videos.
I read. I read my morning devotional, and take a few minutes to pray. I’m doing my cleansing breaths in the morning, mid afternoon, and sometimes right before bed.
I would very much like to get back to crafting, but I will need more energy in order to tackle that.
I sometimes crochet, but honestly, it’s been too hot to have yarn lay over my lap. I’ve been having a cup of chamomile tea in the evenings before bedtime. I’ll be glad when the weather is cooler, we can sit by the firepit and enjoy some cocoa and watch the sunset. As Ferris said so long ago:
So, welcome to my stress/chaos/ ADD world. Yeah, I know. I covered about four topics there, but really they are all tied together. Don’t argue with me, they are. Don’t stress me out man! LOL
Thanks for stopping by. Find what other authors in this blog hop have to say their dreams are for ten years from now here:
Today is the 52-week MFRW blog challenge, Week 32 – Ten Years From Now
So, here’s my top ten wish list for ten years from now.
BE CANCER FREE – I hope that I never have to go through this or any other form of cancer ever again. I have made drastic changes in my diet, my work load, my habits, and my mental state. I hope and pray for that day to receive the status of SURVIVOR. I’ve made it through treatment, but the Status of SURVIVOR doesn’t come until I’ve been cancer free for three years.
BEST SELLING AUTHOR – I plan to continue to get my books out. I have enough books in the queue to keep me busy until I’m in my nineties and that isn’t counting any new ideas I get between now and then and you KNOW that new ideas will come. In Ten Years, I plan to have at least twenty books out! BTW, watch here because I have something coming soon.
MOVE TO FLORIDA – My husband will retire in ten years and I am hoping we can move to the sunny Gulf coast for the next five or so years. This is in discussion, or in his mind – we won’t talk about this anymore because he doesn’t have any desire to live on the coast. We’ll see.
HAVE TRAVELLED – In ten years, I hope to have traveled to many wonderful locations on this beautiful earth. We plan to take more cruises, in addition to visiting places in the United States that we have never been to like The Grand Canyon, Scotland, Ireland, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Biltmore Mansion, Cape Cod, Washington DC, and anywhere else we decide to go. I’m not sure about those travel trailers, I see people that get in a Winnebago or whatever the latest brand is and take off. Not sure how I feel about those. I think I’d prefer to get to the location and stay in a hotel room. However, having said that there is always those news reports about bed bugs . . . that’s enough to creep even the hardiest of souls to avoid hotels.
HAVE AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE – I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to be so fatigued that just walking out side to get into the car makes me feel. A few years ago, I was active. I could do 60 minutes of cardio at one time. I am out of breath just doing 15 minutes now. This sucks! I will work on improving my physical state so that if I felt inclined, I could run a 5K. Not saying I want to, but I would be able to. If I attempted that now I am afraid I would collapse of a heart attack. If we go to Mexico, I want to be able to climb the steps of Tikal. I want to be able to hike up Ben Nevis. I want to be able to walk the beach – whatever beach and not worry that my husband would have to drag me back the way we came because I gave out. I might even start getting out on my bike! Can you imagine a 60-year-old me in biker shorts, gray hair, crash helmet, barreling towards you, head down, pedaling like my butt’s on fire??? It’s an exhilarating thrill that I haven’t felt in a while. I want to feel that again. I want to feel healthy again.
SPOIL GRANDKIDS – Right now our daughters are both single. There isn’t a grandkid in sight for the near future. But in ten years, I hope that will change. I hope they both find mates that love them and treat them like the gems they are and of course then they make beautiful grandbabies for me to spoil. Maybe by then, I’ll forget the Millenial attitude. Probably not, but there’s a chance.
CELEBRATE OUR 40TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY – although technically, in ten years from now it will be 42 years of marriage so I guess this one will have to have already been checked off. OK, so then we celebrate our 40th with a Cruise to the Western Carribean and I have lots of pictures to share. That will work!
SOLD 1 MILLION BOOKS – Everyone has to have a goal right? I mean if you shoot for the stars and clear the trees then you’ve made progress.
HAVE A CLEAN TIDY HOME – OK, I’m not Suzy Homemaker. I’d never pass the white glove test but I do like things neat and orderly. We won’t talk about the clutter – moving on. Let me just say this – 2 adult children still living at home! I may have to seek professional counseling soon. My OCD twitch is getting worse every day.
DISCOVER THAT THING CALLED SPARE TIME – Alright, I shared last week that I had to totally change my schedule. It’s supposed to be a much more relaxed pace, not pushing myself constantly. A lifetime of Type A personality is difficult to change. I’m working on it, but I still haven’t managed to get everything – even the shortened to-do list – accomplished within my 24 hour day. Where do you find this “spare time”? Is there some secret store somewhere that you purchase it? Is it some contract you sign in blood with a devil? ‘Cause this chick ain’t afraid of no crossroads demon. Have you discovered how to clone yourself? PLEASE, somebody, let me in on the secret! Taking time to relax and unwind in theory sounds like a good plan for mental health. IN theory. IN reality, it’s a fast track to guilt if I chill on the patio knowing that: a) my book is not finished, b) all of the other books aren’t’ finished c) there is more housework to be done d) I should really tackle those bills e) laundry, the neverending story, f) . . . you get the idea, right? It’s not as easy as it sounds.
So there you have it, ten goals that I will be working towards in the next ten years. I’m trying to chill. I”m trying to get things accomplished. For some reason, they seem like polar opposites to me. Good thing I’m not dead yet, ’cause I’m still a work in progress.
Thanks for stopping by. Find what other authors in this blog hop have to say their dreams are for ten years from now here:
Last week I had a post for Friday, but failed to get it linked in time to post. I actually had two of them for the same day and with all the other stuff, failed to get them posted. The first was the release of Misty’s book Malevolent Mind.
My apologies to Misty Harvey for the delay, but . . . better late than never.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share in Malevolent Mind’s release day and thank you to Ellie for being willing to host me here. This book has been a lot of fun for me to write and I hope in turn that readers will enjoy it as much as I. You can join me also over on my website for more release weekend fun.
The idea for this novel came from a lot of different places. One being that as a child my nephew and I, whom I was extremely close to would write these horror stories. We’d take our younger siblings down into the creepy basement of my house and we’d read them bits of it. As the story hit its scariest peak we’d run out of the room, flipping off lights as we went and leaving them screaming down there. More often than not our parents would be waiting for us at the top of the stairs and we’d be punished afterward. Still, it did little to deter them from joining us to hear the next installment of ‘Red Eyed Guy’ (We were so creative over the title, don’t you think? Lol).
There are bits of me in the father figure as well as Kade. I’ve always loved to write horror stories to be able to create such a physical and chemical reaction in a person with words is the most incredible thing to me. So, out of fun and to celebrate the release of Malevolent Mind write a two sentence horror story. The winner of a Malevolent Mind ebook will be chosen on Monday! So do your best! Don’t forget to leave a way I can contact you later if you win.
A story so dark, twisted, and unfinished has a way of driving the sanest to the brink of insanity.
Between the constant state of bullying from Heath and his friends, and the unrest of not knowing what happened to her twin, Raven seeks revenge. Years later, she becomes the nanny for Heath’s young son, Kade. She helps him start a horror story with the plan to bring the horrible creature Kade created into the real world to torment Heath and his friends. It was perfect, until everything began unraveling. When Kade’s creation no longer wishes to do Raven’s bidding, it becomes a fight for life or death. The only way to survive is to figure out how to finish off the creature before she finds her freedom. Will Kade find a way to stop the creation of his malevolent mind? Or will Raven’s revenge consume them all?
Kade sat there in the middle of the room. He pulled his legs up against his chest, wrapping his arms around them. There was nothing to see now that his head cowered there in the darkness of his own lap. If tonight was the night that he’d die, he wasn’t so sure he’d want to see either of the girls coming for him.
His ears perked up. Behind him came the sound of wet clothes slapping together. He lifted his head, unable to keep it down. It was just his imagination. That was all.
The feel of icy breath slid over the back of his neck. Each tiny hair stood at attention as the stench of decay washed over him. Was it the girl from the river or was it Zilla? Kade flipped onto his knees, the beam of the flashlight straight forward.
There, inches from his face, was Zilla. She stared at him. Her mouth was open at an angle as her tongue flicked out against the air. It was too late to run anywhere.
Death stared him right in the face. Part of him felt relief that it was only her. Of course, that was if the other one wasn’t waiting for him as well. He didn’t dare move the flashlight beam to find out. Zilla had appeared out of nowhere so who knew what would happen once the light wasn’t on her?
Kade watched as her blue-tinged hand reached up for him. She held her hand for him to take. Something told him that doing so would be the end of him. Panic gripped his insides and he knew he had moments to make the first move. If he didn’t react soon, she’d overpower him.
He swung out with the flashlight, catching her on the side of the head. Her body rolled across the floor with a sickening thud. Kade was sure that the magnum flashlight had cracked her skull. It had nearly broken his foot when he’d dropped it one time. He jumped across his bed, darting into the hallway. His gaze moved around the hall as he tried to make out anything.
The sound of her rapidly skittering toward him had him running down the hallway. He stopped at Raven’s door, trying her handle, but the door wouldn’t budge. Instead, the old wood rattled in the frame.
In a flash of lightning, he watched Zilla skitter into the hall on her hands and feet, her body parallel to the floor as she let out a sickening hiss. Half of her head remained dented in from where he’d clocked her with the flashlight. It was a terrifying image to behold. The fact that she continued to chase him regardless turned his stomach.
Kade looked back only briefly before he ran. She was close on his heels. In the distance, he could just make out his father’s door. His bare feet padded against the wood flooring.
Goosebumps raced up his spine as her icy fingers wrapped around his ankle. The weight of his body hit the floor with a loud thud. His head bounced against the hard surface blurring his vision. Tears filled his eyes making it even harder to see. At least now, he wouldn’t have to worry about seeing his death coming.
The cold sensation crept up his leg, over his knee and toward his waist. He could feel the weight of her above him as she crawled up his body. Time slowed so that each second felt like eons. The stench of her undead body burned at his nostrils. Kade gagged on the smell that was so strong he could almost taste it.
He didn’t want to die. Life was too short for him. There was still so much that he wanted to do. Besides, he wasn’t sure who would take care of his father if he wasn’t there any longer. That thought rolled inside of him. He wasn’t going to go out like this, a cowering lump of fear on the floor. If she wanted to kill him, she’d have to fight a lot harder for it.
Kade grabbed her arms, rolling them over as he kicked out with both his legs. Her body smashed into the wall across from them, freeing him to run. He scrambled onto his feet, darting for his father’s room.
The bright light blinded him as he ran for it. That was it. He’d found his end and now he was headed into the light. Just as he’d read in another book. It was his time to cross over.
If you’d love the chance to read more about Kade, Heath, Raven and Zilla you can purchase the ebook here. Or if you’re more of a physical book type of person as myself, that can be purchased here.
Misty Harvey loves writing spine-tingling horror novels sure to thrill readers. The psychology behind such tales has always been a fascination for her since she was younger. Even to the point that she once contemplated taking up psychology as a profession. Still, her love resides in the art of storytelling. An art she wishes to continue to share with readers for the rest of her days.
After climbing out of her writing cave and searching the house for the sound of the latest creak or pop, Misty can be found doing one of many things. Often times she spends the remained of her day with her amazingly supportive husband and youngest daughter. While she has two older children that are out there spreading their wings around the world, including giving her a few grandchildren.
Her favorite things to do when not writing are crafts, wrestling with her dog, avoiding her cat’s bite or generally making her husband and daughter crazy. Often times she can be found creating vivid tales with her daughter about whatever mundane thing happened in their day and turning it into a crazy story. She is also an avid gamer, crochet goddess (we shall pretend there), domestic queen, and animal tamer (it’s a work in progress).
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