Monday, September 1, 2014

Motivational Monday


NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
THE WORD ITSELF SAYS
'I'M POSSIBLE'!
(Audrey Hepburn)

For some people, Fall feels like an ending - to warm days at the beach or pool, to cool evenings sitting around a campfire, to vacations, to gardening, to more peaceful (maybe), quality family time.

Now, I love the Fall. It really doesn't make any sense why I do. Our weather in FL doesn't get cooler until October, so there's no nip in the air until then. We don't have kids so there's no back to school excitement in our house (although, all the sales on school/office supplies thrill me!) The "snowbirds" start flocking back for the next 5-6 months, increasing noise and traffic and crowds everywhere. And as whispery and rustling as the palm fronds are, they don't turn gorgeous colors.

But here's the thing - for me, Fall doesn't feel like an ending; it feels like a beginning. A sense of starting over, of newness, of rebirth and renewal. I am filled with hope. Suddenly, I can breathe again. 

We all have so much to look forward to. It's okay to mourn the Summer, but let's look with joy to all that's ahead. I'm looking forward to working on new writing projects, to celebrating birthdays and holidays, to bike rides and walks on the beach with my husband.

What are you looking forward to this Fall? What fills with you joy just thinking about it? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Summer Reading - The End

Back at the end of June, I wrote about my favorite books of the summer up until that point  in time - Summer Reading - Part I. Here's the wrap-up - from the end of June until August 28th - of the some of the best books I've read this summer -

*****

That Night by Chevy Stevens - I'm not sure she'll ever be able to top her first book, Still Missing, but this thriller comes very close.


*****

Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary - Sarah was one of the first online writers/bloggers I "met" more years back than I care to admit. A few months ago, I saw an ad for her book on Shelf Awareness and promptly added this gripping, compelling mystery to my TBR list. Add it to yours - you won't be sorry.


*****

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown - this YA novel is an utterly heartbreaking story of loss and an amazingly hopeful story of love. This is my new favorite Jennifer Brown novel and easily one of my favorite books of the year so far.


*****

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf - I read this with my heart wedged up in my throat. If you ever saw a news story and thought something along the lines of "How could he/she do that? That would never happen to me" or "I would never let that happen," think again. Accidents - terrible, horrifying accidents - can and do happen to the best of us. This novel reminds us of that, and shows how healing and hope can still be possible.   


*****

Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn (with Ada Calhoun) - A big part of the reason I enjoy watching Project Runway is Tim Gunn's always dapper, always encouraging presence. I use his catchphrase - "Make It Work" - for everything from writing to making dinner. This is a fun read, not only because it's got behind-the-scenes stories of Project Runway, but also because it's full of wisdom and humor and heart.   


*****

Have you read any of these? Do you think you'll give one or two of them a try? What have you read and loved this summer?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Motivational Monday


PROMISE ME
YOU WILL NOT SPEND SO MUCH TIME
TREADING WATER AND TRYING TO
KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE THE WAVES
THAT YOU FORGET, TRULY FORGET,
HOW MUCH YOU HAVE ALWAYS
LOVED TO SWIM.
(Tyler Knott Gregson)

I forgot. 

I forgot how much I love to write, to imagine, to dream, to play. 

I got so caught up in all the stuff that goes along with living a creative life that I forgot to actually create. 

I got so caught up in all the stuff that goes along with living a life, that I forgot to actually live.  

This summer, I started to remember. 

This fall, I start to swim. Again.

If you've forgotten, too, it's not too late. It's never too late. 

Join me.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivational Monday


FOR ME, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
IN YOUR LIFE IS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH INTEGRITY 
AND NOT TO GIVE IN TO PEER PRESSURE
TO TRY TO BE SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE NOT,
TO LIVE YOUR LIFE AS AN 
HONEST AND COMPASSIONATE PERSON,
TO CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY.

SO TO CONCLUDE MY CONCLUSION, 
FOLLOW YOUR PASSION,
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF.

NEVER FOLLOW ANYONE ELSE'S PATH 
UNLESS YOU'RE IN THE WOODS AND YOU'RE LOST 
AND YOU SEE A PATH AND BY ALL MEANS
YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THAT.
(Ellen DeGeneres)

I've spent a chunk of my life fighting my way through the dense underbrush of "normal," through the thicket of "traditional," in order to find my way in the world. And as rewarding as it's been, it's also exhausting. 

Here's something I've learned - it's okay to stop fighting now and then. It's okay to rest, to take a breather. It's okay to admit we're lost. It's okay to find the people we admire and respect, and pick up their paths for awhile. When we're ready, we'll branch off on our own again. We'll discover a new, exciting direction for our lives. Maybe we'll even create a path for someone else to follow....  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Motivational Monday


PAY MORE ATTENTION 
TO WHAT
YOU ARE DOING RIGHT 
THAN
WHAT YOU ARE DOING WRONG.
(Barbara O'Neal)

Because, you know, we are doing some things right. 

We often forget that. We're too busy focusing on what we're not doing, on what we should be doing, on what's not working. 

What if, instead of berating ourselves for "failing" yet again, we recognize our successes, however "small" we might consider them? What if we give ourselves a pat on the back? What if we cheer and root for ourselves? What if we stop highlighting and harping on all that we think is wrong with us, and we focus on and celebrate all that's right with us instead?

I don't know about you, but I believe I'd be a much happier person.

Let's go for it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG: Anyone Have a Life Preserver?


CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

I don't feel "smart" anymore. 

I was once knowledgable about my craft, my career. Back in the day, I hunkered down in the library to study Publishers Weekly and other reference materials. I subscribed to writing magazines, read them cover to cover. I diligently followed guidelines, included self-addressed stamped envelopes in every submission, and bit my nails in a weird combination of dread and excitement when I went to the mailbox. Yes, I was on top of things.

Now, every time I turn around, something new! and necessary! and urgent! screams at me from the writing world. Genres and categories burst into being like popcorn in a microwave. No one leaves two spaces after a period anymore. Ebooks are the new paperbacks. Social media options spread like some wild, rampant vine, sprouting branches and leaves every five minutes. 

I can't keep up! I'm drowning in information. I grab at jetsam, float safely for a moment, only to have it sink from under me, leaving me floundering again. 

I don't want to be a curmudgeon or a Luddite, but how do I know what I need to know? How do you all handle the deluge of craft and publishing information out there? Do you feel smart and on top of things or are you drowning alongside me? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Motivational Monday


WHEN YOU REACH THE END OF YOUR ROPE,
TIE A KNOT IN IT
AND 
HANG ON.
(Thomas Jefferson)

This one is for all of us who think we're at the end of our ropes, whether in our writing careers or in some other area of our lives. 

Hang on . . . until a net appears, cradling us, easing us down safely.

Hang on . . . until strong arms appear, supporting us, settling us on solid ground.

Hang on . . . until our own muscles gain the strength to haul ourselves back up that rope so we can begin again. 

Hang. On.