PIK’S PICK FOR TAPPING PERSONAL CREATIVITY: VISION BOARDS

The next time you’re feeling a need to ramp up those creative juices, or simply feel the need to create clarity in your world, try building a Vision Board. Vision Boards are a great way to revisit your inspiration and purpose as a creative being.

Vision Boards offer an opportunity to step out of time for a while--to ruminate, dream, create, and to spend time re-discovering you. I originally adopted this process to enhance the writing process, but no matter what your personal calling, Vision Boards help you to cement your goals. You can do this activity alone, or with friends. (It’s great fun with others.) The goal is to create a Vision Board specifically describing you---your world as an author, parent, career person, planet dweller. The mantra in the movie, Field of Dreams, promised, "If you build it, they will come." I say,"Build your Vision Board. Success will come."

Building a Vision Board is simple and requires easy supplies:

1. A board. Construction paper or poster board works. I use Vellum Bristol art paper. (Great for framing.) Or a cork board if you're going to use pins and change out visions/goals as they are achieved. If really ambitious, use the back of a door!
2. Scissors and glue sticks.
3. A pile of your favorite magazines and/or personal photos.
4. Book flats, if you're published, and if you choose to add them.

Peruse the magazines, cut out phrases and pictures that trigger an immediate reaction of your self-image, your dreams and aspirations. Be outrageous in your choices to show the mega-person you are! Then, paste/pin them on your board. Not only is the process fun, you'll be surprised at how the activity focuses your intentions and creates a powerful, visual image of yourself. Best of all, feedback from vision board creators confirms that the goals and visions post on their boards actually come to pass.

If you’d enjoy sharing your Vision Board, take a photo and send it to me at kathleenpickering@ymail.com. I’ve created a vision board page on my website. It’s brand new. I’ll post your board in the Mega-Author’s Visionary Club. You don’t have to be a writer to be a part of the club-- just the author of your own destiny.

Has anyone created a vision board already? How did it work for you?

kathleenpickering.com

 

Inspiration from the Sea

I’ve got two new novellas out, GHOST OF A CHANCE, a romance ghost mystery novella, and THE SHIFTER’S KISS, an erotic paranormal romance, and they’ve both got something in common.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, yeah, they are both paranormals.”

You’d be right, but there is also something else they share in common: they were both inspired by my love of the sea and both have a connection to sharks!

In GHOST OF A CHANCE, the mystery revolves around an 80 year-old murder-suicide that occurred in a lovely oceanfront mansion in Sea Girt, New Jersey. It’s a big old Victorian mansion that is now run by the state as a museum, but rumors abound about it being haunted. That’s why true crime writer Tracey Gomez has been invited with several others to try and find out the truth about the crime that happened there years earlier, during the height of prohibition. Not far from the mansion, near the Shark River, rum runners were known to bring in the bootleg liquor which would make its way to Newark and then throughout the United States.

In THE SHIFTER’S KISS, wounded firefighter Victor Edwards is finally fulfilling his dream of becoming an oceanographer. While working on a grant in the San Blas Islands, he is living in a small seaside hut. His grant is allowing him to explore the coral reefs in the area which brings him into contact with a very unusual shark. One which intrigues him and which he risks his life to share. It turns out the shark is actually a shifter goddess, Nali, one of the last of her kind. Nali is likewise intrigued by Victor, but she can only spend short bits of time on shore or risk losing her powers.

Why the connection? Well, I love the ocean. It must be because I’m a Pisces and also because I’ve always lived close to the sea. There is something about it that is so powerful and exciting. Dangerous also as those of us who live on the Jersey Shore found out with Hurricane Sandy. It’s why I donated the first few months of sales of THE PRINCE’S GAMBLE to help restore the shore.

As for sharks, since JAWS I have not been able to truly enjoy going into the ocean. You could say I have a love/hate relationship with them. I find them both fascinating and fearful, and yet Nali really brought new levels of thought as to what it would be like to live beneath the sea. As for the Shark River, well I live not far from it, walk past it all the time and yes, there are sharks there! Apparently divers meet under the inlet bridge to check them out. Scary!

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today! I hope you enjoyed the inspiration behind my two latest releases.

caridad.com

 

Oh the Places We’ll Go. . . as We Go

I like to delve into books as I drive.

But don’t alert the Highway Patrol just yet, because I’m talking about listening to audio books. They really make the miles fly by.

Due to my work, I typically make three to four day-trips each week, and we’re talking anywhere from 200 to 400 miles per day. However, as long as the weather isn’t bad, I truly don’t mind a bit, because in between sales stops, more often than not, I’m caught up listening to an engrossing tale.

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to travel in my mind to Tahiti as I’m driving to Tishomingo.

My favorites are always stories that make me laugh. Though I’ve gotta admit I’ll listen to anything I consider well written and proficiently read.

The only problem with this habit is I’ve begun to find myself becoming a little too involved. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve talked back. These stories have become a part of me.

This means I’ve also had to repair red eyes and tear-streaked cheeks just prior to a sales meeting. In a couple of instances I turned the CD player off until my business for the day was over and I was on my way home. In both cases emotional high points had been reached in the books I was listening to and I was afraid if I continued to listen I’d look irreparably distraught when I arrived for my appointments.

In my experience it’s best to not look like someone on the verge of an emotional breakdown when conducting a business meeting. Go figure.

So far, I haven’t noticed anyone from nearby cars staring as I actively listen to a book. But this might be because I spend a lot of time driving on two-lane country roads. When that’s the case, no one travels beside me long enough to catch my reactions.

Fair warning: my travel isn’t ALWAYS limited to one state or area. Therefore, if at some future point you find yourself driving beside a lone female who appears to be laughing, crying or making a fist pump in glee . . . step on the gas and get the heck out of there! Who knows what she—or I—might do next.

HOW ABOUT YOU, ARE YOU A FAN OF AUDIO BOOKS AS WELL? IF SO, WHEN DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN? IF NOT, EVER THOUGHT ABOUT GIVING IT A TRY? A FREE COPY OF MY DEBUT NOVEL, MRS. GOODFELLER, WILL BE RANDOMLY AWARDED TO ONE PERSON WHO LEAVES A COMMENT BELOW BEFORE THE NEXT WRITERSPACE BLOG IS POSTED. Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com Her debut novel, Mrs. Goodfeller, is available through most major e-Book outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.

 

Why Writers Love Conferences

We are approaching the season of all seasons for writers. Not fashion week. Not award season.

Writing conferences.

I just arrived home from my first one of the year this past weekend.

After unpacking my bags, sorting through over 300 emails, and climbing back into my pj’s I realized I was both physically exhausted and mentally pumped. I’ve been attending conferences for a number of years – some big, some small, and always come home with a new view on my writing, and a bunch of new Twitter and Facebook friends.

Why?

Ah, let me count the ways...

Writers need socialization. Yes, we love our isolation with our words and characters, but I know my hubby has told me I was getting a bit...well, cranky. I was missing people other than my young children and the occasional mommy chat at the carpool lane. It’s good for us to go out, put on nice shoes, makeup, and be social. It encourages networking, and the opportunity to meet new people, which we’d never get to do anywhere else. I have met some of my very best friends from hooking up after a workshop.

Writers need to talk to other writers. This business is hard, and other than social media, we don’t get to endlessly talk plot, dialogue, and dissect a great sex scene with normal people. Writers are not normal, therefore, only other writers can truly understand us. I’m happily drained from talking shop for hours this weekend with people who don’t glaze over, look confused, or nod happily with that blank look on their face. And no one thought I was crazy.

Writers need to grow. Listening and speaking with professionals in publishing, editing, writing, and marketing is key for our career. We need to know the new information in order to make important decisions. Hanging out at conferences is like the massive water cooler in the writing world, you learn what’s going on, and what’s happening in the marketplace. Workshops are key for craft and bringing new stuff back. I was lucky to meet some fab new bloggers I hadn’t connected with, got to fan girl a fave author of mine, and received key info on some pubs.

I also had a great time.

What’s even more exciting? I received a letter from a reader I met who had never read my work. She bought one of my books after we chatted, fell in love, and has become a new fan!

And that is priceless.

Happy conferencing!

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. At twelve, I took a pen in hand and wrote my first love story. I haven’t stopped since. Those heroines taught me valuable lessons that served me well. I learned to keep my head up high and surge forward when I was afraid; I learned to demand respect in a relationship; I learned about compromise and dreams and independence. Those are the stories I want to write, and I can only hope I give back some of the joy I received over the years.

I live in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. I’ve traveled to many places but always seem to be drawn back to the mountains. I graduated with a business degree, worked for Mercy College, and now spend most days dedicated to my family and my characters. I’ve pursued many career paths such as travel agent, yoga teacher and insurance salesperson. I’ve wanted to be an airline pilot, a dancer, an archaeologist, and a vineyard owner. I have been all of the above through romance novels, and intend to explore many more.

One of my turning points in my career was when I joined Romance Writers of America and met the wonderful people in my local chapter, The Hudson Valley RWA. Through supportive critique sessions, I learned how to develop my raw skills to get a publishable manuscript. I discovered my tendency for wordy prologues and passive phrases that all new writers work through, and now try to help others on their journey.

My "leisure time" is spent writing, reading, and raising two active boys. I believe animals are the other children in this world, and enjoy spending time at the local animal shelter, where I got my first "baby" Bella, a shepherd hound mix who gets into as much trouble as my son! I rescued my second dog from an abusive home, a beagle, basset hound who is the peacemaker in the household.

I met the love of my life when I had finally given up on my own romantic journey. The first time he asked me out he promised to buy my book if he could buy me dinner. We had dinner and fell in love over sushi and haven’t been apart since. We married and settled into domestic bliss. That’s when I learned it wasn’t about happy endings. It was about happy beginnings.

jenniferprobst.com

 

Will the Real Reader Please Stand Up: Things Readers Teach Writers

Authors receive mail from readers all the time. And we love hearing from them. They are our validation and one of the reasons we as writers continue to tell our stories. This article isn't about mistakes in grammar, punctuation or even research and plot. You let us know that you liked or didn’t like something we wrote. And we appreciate knowing, even though it may hit a nerve. However, it isn’t a one way street. Authors learn some surprising things that readers discover in their books. It's not from one book or even ten. With every book something interesting develops.

1. Readers really suspend belief that the people in the novels are fictional. To the real reader these are real people. They have lives and arguments. And the reader sometimes argues or laughs with them. They will remember a scene and discuss it with their fellow readers. Or replay it to a friend in an effort to tell them how good the book is. Thank you readers. Authors love you. You’re the word-of-mouth we want to have working for us.

2. Real readers are touched by the author’s story. The letters sent to the author usually has her in tears before she finishes reading. The reader’s emotions have been touched so deeply that she has to write the author and let her know how much she has been helped in solving a problem or inspired to make a positive change in her own life.

3. Real readers want more of the story. They have bought into a family and want the stories of entire generational lines, including babies, brothers, sisters, cousins, adopted children and grandchildren. Once a readers buys into a family or a series, she wants to know more and more about them. Each new character introduced to the novel has a story and the reader wants to know that story. This gives the writer a wealth of characters to write about.

4. A real reader wants a book a month if not more frequently. They want the author to write as fast as the reader can read. Unfortunately, this is impossible for most authors. There are some who can do it, but they cannot sustain that kind of creative ability for the long run. They will burn out. And readers can’t read that many books if all writers could put out that many. Authors understand that you want the next book in a series as soon as the current one ends. We work hard to fulfill your needs.

5. Readers not only have imaginations, but they want that imagination turned into the visual. They want the book made into a movie. Authors receive letters from readers who cast the book with actors to play the roles. They are so much into the story that they want to see it visually.

6. Readers tell authors they should make a movie of this book. Oh, if only we could. The making of movies is a whole other industry and few authors have the means to take a chance on developing their book into a feature film. One of the greatest things an author could wish for is to have their story come alive as a film. However, to make a movie you need a small fortune, one that is disposable since there is no guarantee that there will be a the return on that investment. But to make a movie, what the reader is really saying is sell your book to Hollywood and let them make a movie of it. Again this is something an author would love to do. There are contract issues at hand, but they would be the easiest to get around. The possibility of selling a book to Hollywood is like throwing a lighted match in the ocean and having it continue to burn for the next year. Yes, it happens, but of all the books written, the number that actually make it to the silver screen is less than one percent.

7. Real readers are out on the streets. Street teams is a new concept for the author. These are readers acting as human advertisers. They get a first read on an author’s book. They get the opportunity to give feedback to the author and they are the people creating the buzz, starting the positive word-of-mouth to get other readers to buy the book. We love these readers. We want more of them.

8. Real readers want to know the author. Many readers believe an author’s life is like that of the heroine she writes. Some of us wish it was. Authors draw on what they know and what they research, what emotions they have experienced and what highs and lows have touched their lives or the lives of someone close to them. This comes across in their writing and readers pick up on it. It’s usually the undefinable subtext that readers feel, but the words are not in your face.

In the mail that readers send, these are the things they mention most often. Writers wish they could produce a book on demand. They would be delighted to be the Hollywood favorite and see their characters come to life with the same storyline they wrote. They’d love to met all their readers and to get to them as well as they want to know the writer. While all these things aren’t possible, the stories readers love will keep coming. And the real readers will find them. Keep reading.

shirleyhailstock.net

 

IF I WERE YOU

Celebrating the release of IF I WERE YOU in print and the big TV news for the series which you can read about HERE I have an audio excerpt and a blog excerpt. I hope you enjoy and thanks to Writerspace for having me today!

 

We stare at each other and our lighthearted mood shifts, the air thickening with the mutual attraction our hot window encounter has done nothing but sate and everything to expand.
Sitting here, studying him, I've officially confirmed in my mind what I'd thought earlier. While I don't doubt Chris really is lighthearted and fun, it's not effortless either. He buries whatever he doesn't want me to know about. This man is far more than he appears to be on the surface and the glimpses beneath intrigue me.
My gaze drops to his arm, to the red, blue, and yellow of the dragon tattoo. I scoot closer to him, and my leg presses to his, sending an instant charge over my skin.
I swallow hard, and I reach out, letting my fingers caress the dragon design. His muscles flex under my touch and it is incredibly powerful to think I might be affecting him.
Slowly, my gaze lifts to his, and his is hot coals with simmering embers. "It's very...sexy." I'm surprised at how easily I say the words. I suck at flirting but there is something different about me with this man.
"I'm glad you think so."
My palm glides down his forearm and he catches my hand in his, as if he doesn't want to break the connection. "Why a dragon?"
"It represents power and wealth, two things as a very young man I knew I wanted."
"And you wanted money and power at such a young age?"
"Yes."
I want to ask why, but it feels too probing. "And now?"
"I have those things and with them comes security."
I think of how he'd used that power with Mark, about the darker side I've seen of him tonight. He does like power, not in the abstract way Mark does, but he owns it in his own right.
"My first paintings were dragons. They're in my personal collection. I never sold any of them, or even tried."
"Here?" I ask eagerly. "I'd love to see them."
"Paris."
"Oh." Of course. Paris is his true home. I glance at his arm again. "The artist is quite talented."
"She is."
My chest tightens. A woman who he let create art on his body, who seems to have inspired him to create some of his own.
Gently, he brushes hair behind my ear, and I barely contain a shiver. "What do you want to know?" he asks.
About her. I want to know about here. "You'll tell me what you want me to know."
Surprise flickers in his eyes. "You are never quite what I expect, Sara McMillan."
"Neither are you."
His voice softens. "The tattoo artist was someone who got me through a hard time."
I'm holding my breath, and I don't know why.
"She's the past," he adds. "You're right now."
Air trickles slowly from my lips. I think he means this as a good thing but the words ‘right now' don't sit well. I have no clue why they bother me or why my stomach has knotted up. Right now is all that matters. I'm thinking too much. I don't want to think. I climb onto his lap and he shifts to sit with his back against the couch. Boldly, I straddle him, my hands on his shoulders.
"I'm here now. What are you going to do with me?"
For several seconds he sits there. He doesn't touch me. Tension radiates off of him, seeps into me. He doesn't react and I begin to feel self-conscious for the first time all night.
Suddenly, the fingers of one of his hands curl around my neck and he pulls my mouth near his. "Do you know what happens when you push a Dragon? They burn you alive, baby. You're playing with fire."
My fingers curl on his cheek and all self-consciousness is gone, forgotten. "I'm not afraid of whatever you're talking about. I think you keep warning me away because you're the one who's afraid."
His fingers knot in my hair and I gasp at the unexpected bite of his grip, holding me steady. "Is that all you got?" I demand, shocked at how much I want more. How much I want whatever is beneath his surface. I'm not scared. I'm aroused. I'm ready.
His eyes probe mine, his expression hard, intense. "I thought you were a good little school teacher."
"You're corrupting me," I declare, "and I seem to like it." I barely issue the challenge before he's pulling my mouth to his, and he is kissing me with unrestrained, burning passion. I taste the part of him I want to know, the part he's afraid of, and I burn to know more. Maybe he's right. Maybe I am playing with fire, but I cannot stop myself. Beyond reason, I will push him until he reveals everything.

LisaReneeJones.com

Bestselling author Lisa Renée Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT TRILOGY which will debut internationally across many countries in 2013. Booklist says that Jones’ suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann. Alpha, military, and paranormal romance readers will want Jones’ entire series. (About the Zodius Series - Storm that is Sterling)

In 2003, award winning author Lisa Renée Jones sold her Austin, Texas based multi-state staffing agency and has since published over thirty novels and novellas across several genres. Her staffing agency LRJ Staffing was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Her debuts with Blaze and Nocturne hit Bookscan’s Top 100 list and her Blaze Hot Zone trilogy made a showing on the list in 2011 also.

 

So Long TV, Seems Like I Hardly Knew Ye

My worst fears have been realized: my TV is on the blink.

For a week or so, every time I turned it on I had to click the POWER button twice. Otherwise, nothing happened.

Then, starting day before yesterday, it didn’t matter how many times I punched the POWER button, other than a clicking sound, nothing happened at all. A friend who works with electronic equipment a lot recommended I unplug it for a time, then plug it back in and see what happened.

So, that’s exactly what I did last night. And it worked like a charm! My beloved Sony was back to normal and all was working well . . . until I tried to turn it back on today. Again with the nada.

Even after I unplugged it and plugged it back in, nothing but a blank screen and clicking noises.

Sigh.

This is a catastrophe on several levels:

• I really, really don’t need to spend money on a new TV right now . . . mama needs a crown on her tooth and Lord knows I love to chew
• I fear there is a simple fix, but I’m just too dumb . . . er, uh, uninformed to know it
• My TV is ten years old, just old enough that I’m forced to question the advisability of putting money into fixing it instead of toward a new set . . . but then I don’t want to toss it if it can be saved at a relatively low price
• The darn thing literally weighs 100 pounds, no exaggeration, that means outside help will be needed to do anything with it

GRRRR

Oh well, I’ve been complaining about the lack of good programming lately. Maybe this is my chance to step away from the remote and make a real life for myself.

Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen. Ha!

HOW ABOUT YOU, HAVE YOU SURVIVED PROBLEMS WITH YOUR TELEVISION? ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHETHER I SHOULD TRY TO GET MY TV FIXED OR JUST SEARCH OUT A NEW ONE? A FREE COPY OF MY DEBUT NOVEL, MRS. GOODFELLER, WILL BE RANDOMLY AWARDED TO ONE PERSON WHO LEAVES A COMMENT BELOW BEFORE THE NEXT WRITERSPACE BLOG IS POSTED.

Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com Her debut novel, MRS. GOODFELLER, is available through most major e-Book outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.

 

A DIFFERENT BADGE OF COURAGE

YOKOSUKA, Japan (Nov. 20, 2012) Operation Specialist 2nd Class Barrett Lafferty, from Grapevine, Texas, greets his newborn child after the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) returned to Yokosuka, Japan. George Washington and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian H. Abel/Released)


The photo above packs more than pathos into a single image.

Among sailors, it tells a familiar story. Whenever a Navy ship returns to home port, some seagoing dads meet their newborn children for the first time. Absent complications, deployed dads don't get to leave the ship and go home for the birth of their children. That Navy fact of life struck me as odd when I was a newly commissioned Navy medical officer. But I learned that to "provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners" requires the constant presence of sailors sworn to protect and defend. Keeping that oath often means absence from home and family for a gamut of life's milestones, including the birth of one's own child -- first or otherwise.

Under current operational tempo, sometimes those children aren't so newborn by the time Daddy finally gets to sprint down the ship's brow (gangplank) and sweep the infant into his arms. Yet these scenes always bring joy to our hearts and tears to our eyes.

A deeper story exists in the photo above: The location is Yokosuka, Japan, the headquarters of the U.S. 7th Fleet and many of the Navy ships forward deployed to protect and defend. Two tours of duty in Yokosuka marked the highlights of my Navy career. Among the benefits of those tours, I learned about the resiliency, commitment, and outright courage of our Navy's young sailors and their spouses.

Imagine being a 19-year-old (or even a 25-year-old) recently married woman. Such is your love and commitment to your sailor-husband that you've accompanied him half-way around the world to an unfamiliar country where not only the language but even the alphabet presents a mystery. Behind in the U.S., you left your parents, siblings, close friends, extended family -- the entire support group on which you would otherwise rely for that blessed event, the birth of your first child.

Did you know when you said "I do" that you would bring that baby into the world in a foreign land without any of the traditional helpers, not even the father of your child? Your husband went through boot camp and other training to prepare for his deployment on the gray ship that took him away for months -- not long after you arrived in Japan. Who trained you for the challenges of birthing your first baby away from everyone you love?

On the brighter side, the Naval Hospital and the Navy community in Yokosuka rise to help meet that challenge, and make a positive experience under the circumstances. I've heard that the community support makes Yokosuka a good place to have babies. True that. But it does not minimize the courage and endurance of our young Navy couples and their families. And that's why it is good to highlight the photo of one such family, each of whom -- mom, dad, and baby -- deserve to be called American heroes. Without their willingness to make personal sacrifices to support the sailor's oath to protect and defend, the 7th Fleet would not have sailors in Japan, and the U.S. Navy would fail in its mission to support one of our nation's most important alliances.

At the end of his tour, someone will pin a well-deserved medal on that sailor's chest. No such award will be given to his wife, the mother of his child. Perhaps she doesn't need a medal. Perhaps she knows in her heart that she has done her part, contributed to the mission, and will be justly proud of her own service to our Navy and our nation.

At at time when we give thanks and celebrate family, let us honor all Navy spouses -- men or women -- who sacrifice and give so much to our Navy and our nation.


Born and raised in Arizona, Mike earned a classical degree in English from the University of San Francisco, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a Master of Public Health Degree from Johns Hopkins University. Following a successful civilian career as an emergency physician, Dr. Krentz rededicated his professional life to serve America's heroes and their families, and to honor the sacrifices they make in defending our freedom and way of life. His last assignment was as 7th Fleet Surgeon on board the flagship, USS BLUE RIDGE -- the inspiration for the FLAGSHIP! series.

 


 

 

RIVEN DAWN, Book 1 in the Flagship series, is Available Now!

A senior naval aviator/single mother at the pinnacle of her career deploys in a Navy flagship as director of operations for the 7th Fleet. She confronts a cross-fire of military and personal challenges.

As she works to defuse the threat of war in the western Pacific, her rebellious teenage son is beguiled by a mysterious Internet predator. Her son acts out, forcing her to re-evaluate life choices and to face personal demons from an abusive childhood and toxic relationships. When the specter of her destroyed marriage threatens to take her son, she brings to bear her aviator instincts and combat-honed courage in a desperate battle more dangerous than combat.

MikeJKrentz.com

mkmariner.blogspot.com/

facebook.com/MikeJKrentzAuthor

 

Creating the future

Authors, more anyone else, except perhaps entrepreneurs, should be very aware of our ability to create the future that we want. We do it for our characters every time we write a book, using our imagination and our words to take them through various challenges and choices until they come to the place that we have planned for them. In the same way that we create the future for our characters, I believe it’s important for everyone to work at creating the future they want.

I was recently asked to create a Strategic Plan for my life for the next two to three years. At first I saw it as a chore, since I had so many other things to do, like get my next book finished by April for example, but once I sat down to do it, I realized that it was a great opportunity to seriously consider what I need to do to create the future that I want (at least the next three years) and to calculate how much it is going to cost to get there.

I’m not a believer in chance happenings, I really do believe that everything that happens to us is for a reason and our ultimate outcome depends on how we respond, whether we see them as opportunities and grasp them or whether we see them as stumbling blocks and fall over them.

A couple of weeks ago I was featured in the Authors’ Lounge of an Expo that was being held in Barbados, with Eric Jerome Dickey, the New York Times bestselling author (see photo). Being new to fiction, I used to opportunity to ask him about any writing courses he could recommend and he told me about Robert McKee’s Story seminar which he holds a few times a year.

When I got home I Googled Robert McKee and to my amazement I discovered that he is hosting a seminar in New York in April. I say amazement because I had already planned to be in New York this April and I was just trying to decide on the best date. Needless to say I was quick to book a seat at the seminar which is in high demand. After all many of his Alumnae are winners of Academy, Golden Globe and various other awards for writing and this opportunity was too good to miss.

When I traced back the path to meeting Eric and getting that information, I can clearly see how the choices I made and the decisions I took, led me to the Authors’ Lounge at the opportune time. That revelation, together with the Strategic Plan that I prepared, has helped me to be more deliberate and determined to create the future that I want. All around us opportunities abound, it’s up to us to grasp them and use them to create the future we want.

www.donnaevery.com

 

SHOULD OLD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT?

Okay, I’m old.

This year my high school class is having its “How did any of us live this long” reunion and I genuinely have no desire to go. So I’m steering clear.

Please understand: I thoroughly enjoyed high school. I had plenty of friends, no horrifying experiences, and although I wasn’t at the top of the popularity chart, I got along with those who were and was basically as popular as I wanted to be.

Still, that was then and this is now. I’ve done high school and feel no need to relive or revisit it.

Guess you could say I’ve had closure on the whole experience.

Now I’m entrenched in this phase of my life and simply don’t see why people I knew in my teens, but haven’t seen since, should be of any greater interest to me than anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish everyone from my class well and hope all those who attend the reunion have a great time. They’re just going to do it without me. That’s all.

My lifelong friend, Suzi, has the exact opposite feeling. Although we attended different high schools, we graduated the same year.

Despite being held in the town where I live, I’m skipping my reunion. Suzi, however, has already made the plane reservations to travel almost 2,000 miles to attend hers this June.

She stayed with me five years ago for her last reunion and, I’m happy to say, is going to stay with me again for this one. I’m glad she’s coming and look forward to her visit. We’ve known each other so long she’s really more like a sister to me than a friend.

But those nights when she’s becoming reacquainted with folks from our youth, I’ll probably be happily dozing in my easy chair at home, with my dog in my lap and a tiny strand of drool dribbling down my cheek.

Now why would I give up all that, even for just one night, simply to stroll down Memory or any other lane?

HOW ABOUT YOU? WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE INTEREST IN ATTENDING YOUR NEXT HIGH SCHOOL REUNION? PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT WHETHR THAT INTERESTS YOU OR EXPERIENCES YOU’VE HAD AT PAST REUNIONS. A FREE COPY OF MY DEBUT NOVEL, MRS. GOODFELLER WILL BE RANDOMLY AWARDED TO ONE PERSON WHO LEAVES A COMMENT BELOW BEFORE THE NEXT WRITERSPACE BLOG IS POSTED.

Jaycie Cash blogs on a regular basis for Writerspace.com. Her debut novel, Mrs. Goodfeller, is available through most major e-Book outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She’d love for you to like her Facebook Author page.

 

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