Friday, April 29, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter Y

Y is for yearn. The definition I'm using is to have a strong desire for something. You are never to old to yearn. And it's not a bad thing.

You might yearn for a well deserved vacation. You might yearn for a new job, a raise, or any of a million other things. As humans we all have unrealistic yearnings, too. My desire to wake up wealthy in the morning are not likely to come true. But, the yearning is okay to have. I just need to find out how to make it happen if it is a real yearning.

Let yourself yearn. Give yourself permission to dream. You are never too old to yearn. It keeps you striving for new goals. It keeps you alive.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter X

X is for xenial. Xenial is when you offer kindness or hospitality to a stranger. Children learn this early. Before they learn prejudice.

Most children learn to be xenial long before anything else. Others their own age are automatically friends until they do something to anger one another. But they are not the only ones.
Aminals learn to live with different species if they are left alone to become friends. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Even when we travel for reasons not vacation, we can find children willing to reach out. Maybe we should think about being more xenial here at home.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A-Z Challenge--Letter W

W is for wonder. Wonder in the form of awe. Babies do it best. Their faces hide nothing. It is the child-like feeling in all of us when something unexpected and pleasant happens. The thing which grabs your heart and make you say, "Awe."

The feeling there is still magic in the world and splendid things can happen. It makes us feel warm and safe. It allows us to forget the negative if only for a minute.

There are still those moments in life when I see something which makes me speechless and reminds me there is a greater power than man. Nature blesses us with these scenes daily if we only take the time to look. Never lose the power to wonder. Never lose sight of those truly "Awe" moments.


A-Z Challenge- Letter V Once again I'm catching up

You guessed it v is for victory. It might be a personal victory or a public one. It might be small or it might be large. Every victory you have is a good thing.

Remember this:

The more effort you put in, the tougher it seems, the sweeter it will be when you achieve it. I do this in terms of writing a book. The harder it is to write the better the book is and the final product is awesome.

Losing weight was difficult at best. It doesn't come off as easily as it goes on. But my health could no sustain the weight I was. It became a matter of living or dying. It took a good five years and I'm still not where I should be. It was however a personal victory.

This one I celebrate daily.


Monday, April 25, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter U

U is for unique. Every one of us is different. We are unique in our own way. It's time to embrace your uniqueness. Revel in being you. Embrace what it is which sets you apart from others.

Many people who seem different are labeled eccentric. They might be, they might not. Most likely they walk to an entirely different drum. It doesn't make it a bad thing. People who see the world differently are not necessarily geeks, nerds, outcasts. They are people who have learned to embrace their differences and live in a way which makes them happy.

In case you didn't already know:
I have learned to live with it. It took me a while to embrace, but once I did I became happier. I enjoy life to the fullest.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter T

T is for teach. At some point in life we are all teachers. We teach our children, We teach our co-workers. We teach each other. Some of us even become teachers. 

When we teach well, our students are excited and teach each other. We learn better when we are sharing knowlege. 

Teaching in many ways is just moderating. As Frost says, we awaken in children the thirst for knowledge. We lead them on the path to learning. 

I continue to teach although I have retired from formal teaching. I share my love of writing with others and engage them in the activity of writing in hopes someday one of them will become a writer. I also teach new writers how to get published. I love questions and answers on writing.

I encourage reading. I write books I hope people will love reading. To attain the goal of creating readers I will continue to write.


Friday, April 22, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter S

S is for support. Sometimes you have to ask for help to get support. You have to know who you can go to for support. Sometimes you have to know the kind of support you need.

Then there is supporting others in their time of need, whatever the need might be. Sometimes being the support person is the most important job you have.

In my case, I support new writers. I encourage those who've been writing. I'm there for new writers who have questions as they embark on a career writing. Each hoping to be the next James Patterson, Stephen King, or JK Rowlings.

I also volunteer at an awesome place (Next Steps of Johns Island) where I help people who want to make positive changes in their lives and step out of poverty. It's a daunting task. Some are just trying to keep a roof over their heads. Others are in need of housing. Many have been lost in the system. They are not asking for money, which is good, because we do not give out money. We do help them. We get their resumes ready, we help them find work, we find them places to live. We work with other agencies to make sure they are getting the right benefits and all the benefits they are entitled to. We have helped Veterans get their benefits. While it is challenging it is rewarding. Watching each person make some kind of personal gain, and gain confidence it amazing. Once they feel they can take the next step, they tell their friends to come see us.

Support can be many things. Just listening to someone is giving support. Giving food to a food bank is support. What can you do support others?

This is support. We'v got YOUR back.


A-Z Challenge Letter R--Catching up again

R is for resistance. The urge to resist is in all of us. Tug-of-war within ourselves go on daily. For many reasons.

Sometimes you have to ignore the urge to resist. Change happens. If you can't stop it,  you need to find a way to live with it.

I have to resist the urge to continue editing my work. With my first publisher I was making changes right up to the point where she called and said, "Becky, you have to stop. I'm doing the set up now." I'm lucky with Blue Harvest Creative, once I send it to them, I am unable to see it again until set-up is done.

Resistance can be good or bad. It's bad when it gets you into trouble. It's good when you have good reason.

I am currently trying to resist purchasing a new computer. Odds are I'm going to end up buying one, as this one is on its last legs.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter Q

Q is for question. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are sitting in a classroom and don't understand something, ask. There are probably three to five others who don't understand either. Question things you are presented with as truths. If it is too good, it is probably not true. You won't know until you question.

I ask questions to find information. To clarify things I'm not clear on. I also ask my characters this really the way you want this scene to go? Is this who you really are? Are you leading us on a wild goose chase for a reason? Do I need to rein you in.

I question the things our governments do...state, local, federal. I question the stupid things they spend time and money on while totally disregarding the important things, hunger, poverty, homelessness, veterans services, senior care. They do a lot I don't see as productive and give lip service to the things which matter. So, I ask questions.

I ask questions when doing research. I want to know how someone might react in a situation similar to one I am writing about.

If you want to be informed, ask questions. You learn nothing if you don't ask.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter P

P is for persistence. Never giving up. Despite all odds staying the pace.

If it can be done, you can do it. Just look at the little plant above. Yes, I know it's a weed. However it's an edible weed. You can cook dandilion greens, you can make dandilion wine. The point is, it kept pushing through even the asphalt.

The same thing applies to work, school, and writing. The more you do something, the better you become at it.

You wrote a great novel. It's been rejected by several agents with the standard form letter. Do you throw it away and start over? NO, you submit it twenty more times. If you believe in it, someone else will eventually believe in it.

Those who know me know, I sometimes persist when there is only failure facing me. But I keep going.


Monday, April 18, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter O

O is for optimism. Believing you can do something and setting goals to get to it. Everyday offers us an opportunity for being optimistic. If it's a grey day outside, what can you do inside to be positive and uplifting?

Everyday you have two choices, be optimistic and find the positve in the things around you or be pessimistic and dwell on the negatives. It's your choice to make.

To have more happiness and to be self-satisfied. I propose you choose optimism daily. See if things don't look a little better.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter N

N is for nurturing.

We nurture plants. Getting our hands dirty to give them life. Bringing us beautiful flowers and bountiful crops. In doing so we give them love and support to grow.

To be successful in business we nurture our employees. We give them the opportunities to grow and when they grow we all flourish. When they flounder we pick them up and nurture them some more. Otherwise our employees leave and we must start again.

As people we nurture relationships. Within our families, our friends, and our neighbors. As each relationship flourishes we grow, thrive, and become successful.

I personally nurture new writers. Some have potential and I give them the opportunities to grow. Others have no potential and while I provide opportunities, these folks often drift away. Each person I nurture who goes on to write in whatever form they choose makes me a success. I don't necessarily get a monitary benefit from this, but I do get to share in the success. So, it's all good.

Who do you nurture?


Friday, April 15, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter M

M is for motivation. Something I have been lacking for the past week. Something we all need to carry out our dreams, get our jobs done, or just to survive.

You have to start somewhere at some time, so why not start here and now. Do one thing you've let slide. Tomorrow do another, the next day another. By day four you won't even have to remind yourself, you'll just do it.

You have to be the one to make things happen. It all starts with you. If you want to write a novel, write it. If you want to paint a master piece, pick up your paints and get started. What ever it is you wan to do, start now. Make it happen.


A-Z Challenge Letter L--Me catching up

L is for love. What many fail to remember is you have to love yourself. Embrace your uniqueness. It includes your flaws, your strengths, your weaknesses, all the things making you, you. Once you love yourself, spread you wings and love others.

Loving others can be as simple as making cookies and passing them out to the homeless in your town. Or donate them to an elementary classroom, for no other reason than you can. Love can be as simple as reaching out a hand to someone who needs it. There doesn't have to be a cost involved. Just doing the right thing when you have the chance. Showing someone you care.

Share a skill you have with someone else. No matter what the skill is, teach someone else. Help them to feel the accomplishment you feel.

But start by loving who you are.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter K

K is for knowledgeable. Being knowledgeable, means to have knowledge. What you do with the knowledge you have is up to you.

You can share your knowledge in the form of teaching. You can use your knowledge to build a business. You can use your knowledge to tell stories (write books). Knowledge has many uses. Use your knowledge to become a doctor, nurse, or other medical personnel. Use your knowledge to become a police officer, firefighter, service personnel.

It can be used for good. To volunteer what you know to help others get ahead. You can use your knowledge to make life better for the people around you. Create a charity, provide food or shelter for the homeless. Reach out to the people who are shut-in.

On the flip side, you can use knowledge for the not so good. You can set up a con to cheat people out of money, property, or other goods. You can use your knowledge to ridicule others.

How you use your knowledge speaks about your character and the type of person you are. Use your knowledge wisely. Make the best choices.


Monday, April 11, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter J

J is for judgement. We often stand in judgement. We judge people for their clothes, hair, car, education, jobs, writing, and just about anything else you can think imagine.

Judgement is not all bad. We have to use our judgement when making life choices. We have to use our judgement when choosing friends, jobs, colleges, autos, loans, and credit cards. These are not all bad judgements.

We also ourselves using others as standards. Not such a good thing as we are all different. We make assumptions on what a person is or isn't based on the clothes they wear, when for all we know they are just trying to fit in.

We tend to be harshest when we judge ourselves. Our looks, our weight, our jobs, our homes, all get judged by our standards which might be higher than we have attained. Or by the standards we see others living by. Knowing our budgets don't stretch to keep up with the Jones.

Using our judgement for good instead of detrimental is a struggle. You want to do the right thing, yet find yourself falling into old traps. It is a daily struggle.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter I

I is for intuition. The feeling you get when something is off. The gut feeling telling you to do something differently.

This is my favorite definition of intuition: a keen and quick insight. Being able to sense something others might not.

Listen to your intuition, sometimes it's smarter than you are. 


Friday, April 8, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter H

H is for happiness. On any given day, happiness can be something different. I'm going to just post some photos I have of happiness.
2009 a Mother/Daughter vacation in the US Virgin Islands.
All the nieces and nephews in one place for Christmas, this one has been a while.
My daughter and son-in-law.
Seeing Jojo with a gold medal...definitely won with grace.
My daughter, grandchildren, and my parents. Thanksgiving a few years ago.
My grandkids first day of the 2015-16 school year.
Me with the love of my life.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter G

. G is for grateful. I am grateful for the opportunities to put my writing out there for contests. It is a big leap of faith in my own work to put it out for someone else to judge.  I put a book before the panel at Book Linker.  I did not make the cut. It's okay. They gave me a look and pass, maybe the next one.

Today I received the result of the Independent Publisher awards (IPPY). Again I did not make the cut. Once again I am grateful they looked at my book.

I still have a book out there in a contest. I'm not even sure when they are making the decision. I'm just grateful they are looking at my book.

There are many things to be grateful for, however I'm not going to bore you and list them. I'm just going to live in the knowledge I am grateful God put me on this earth, gave me the ability to write, and people willing to read what I do write.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter F

F is for Failure. We all do it. It's a fact of life. It's how you respond when you fail which turns the failure into success.

Just learned a contest I'd entered one of my books in did not select me. Congrats to the winner and other semi-finalists. I'll submit a different book next time. Does it mean my book was not good? No, it means my book was not something they were looking for. So, back to the drawing board.

A contest was held to choose a co-author to work with James Patterson. I did not enter. The book I would have entered is not ready yet. Maybe another time. I took his class to improve my writing not enter a contest. The results were announced today. I was appalled by the whining and complaining. Really???? Bite the bullet and write a better book.

Tomorrow I will learn whether or not one of my other books is award worthy. Am I going to cry if it's not? No, I know it's up against good competition. It will hold it's own. I won't cry if I don't win. I will be disappointed, but I'm not giving up writing. At some point this year, I will learn if my children's book wins an award. I also have a book up for an Amazon award.

I believe this. Failure IS Success IN Progress. James Patterson had 27 rejections of his first novel before someone else believed in him. The Chicken Soup for the Soul books were rejected 47 times before someone said, "This is good."

Failure is just telling you to do a better job the next time, not you can't do it. Just do it better. And keep doing it until you get it right.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter E

I believe these words to be true. E is for enthusiasm. Nothing is achieved without some enthusiasm. Find something in your life to fill you with passion. Something you want to do more than anything else. 

For me, the passion is writing. My high school English teachers would have said no way. A college professor told me I had talent she didn't know how to help me develop it. I believed in myself. I read books, and books, and yet more books on how to write well. I practiced and practiced and practiced some more. The end result I have written five novels, two novellas, a children's book, and two ebooks. I have a poetry book and a self-help book for tweens and teens. 

I keep learning. I am taking a Master Class with James Patterson. The result of which will be a different kind of novel. I have put book four in my series on the back burner. I will be pullin another book out of moth balls and reworking it. I have a couple of novellas to be written and yes, more children's stories. 

I also share my love of writing. I do it by encouraging other writers to write, to consider publishing, to go for it. 

When you think of enthusiasm, think of this:


Monday, April 4, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter D

D is for determination. The drive to get something done. You have your dream, now you need to put a plan in action to reach your dream.

When something gets it the way, life, family, bills, etc, you just have to find the determination to keep going. Be like the little engine that could, keep telling yourself you can.

Determination is where you dig deep inside yourself to get to where you want to go. So someday you can have tried and tried and finally accomplished your goal.

This is what you are striving for. Be determined. Never Give Up!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter C

C is for confidence. Many claim not to have it. Someone told me, I was confident in high school. Guess I pulled it off well. I was the least confident person I know.

Confidence is just putting your best foot forward. It goes hand-in-hand with beliving in yourself. I hate speaking before a group of people, however I know it helps to sell my books. I find I do better in front of people I don't know or only know a few. When it is friends and family, you cannot predict what they will do to embarrass you.

Confidence means putting on your game face. Dress your best, have your head focused on your topic. Standing up and saying what needs to be said, then letting people ask questions. Once you start, you will find it easy to relax and have a conversation with your audience.

Finding your confidence takes practice. Write your notes on cards and practice them in front of a mirror. Just like you did when you had to give a speech in high school.

The more you put yourself out there, the more confident you become. Go ahead give it a try. Even if you have to do this to feel confident.


Friday, April 1, 2016

A-Z Challenge Letter B

B is for Believe. Believe in yourself, in magic, in a higher power, but find something to believe in.  Start with believing in yourself. You can do more than you think you can. You are smarter than you think you are, but you have to believe it for it to make a difference.

For me, I believe in magic, fairies, and the goodness of others. Everyday is filled with magic if you choose to see it. The world is an amazing place.

I believe fairies are every where and children see them for a while. I believe they know if you believe in them and appear when you least expect them.

People are basically good. You can see it every day if you want to. Again you have to look for it. The gentleman who holds a door for a woman or young girl. The child who saves his allowance to buy food for the homeless. The awesome things I see when volunteering with Next Steps Johns Island.  Even the person who pays the extra two dollars so a mom with whining children can get all her groceries and leave the store.

I firmly believe if you treat others the way you want to be treated, most of the world will treat you right. There will always be exceptions, but it has been my experience most are good people and will treat you well.



My laptop has been at full capacity for the past two weeks. It's nice to be consistently writing again. It's been hit or miss for...