Celebrate the Small Things: Finding Beauty Everywhere I Go #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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Have you ever stopped in a moment and let go of your mind just to study the colors and lines of everything around you? Have you ever watched the wind catch a flower and pondered the beauty in the ruffle of the breeze against the soft petal or leaf? When was the last time you walked barefoot just to feel the earth underneath your skin? Watered the plants and let the cool silk rush over your fingers, or listened to someone laugh and let that sound carry you too?

This week, I am thinking about beauty in all things and in some of the strangest moments. Sometimes when life feels overwhelming the best way I know to get my ground back under my feet is to let go, breathe and take in all that is good in a moment.

So what do I have to celebrate this week? Here are my updates:

  1. I found beauty in the language of a new book I’m reading. Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. WOW!
  2. Wednesday evening, I sat outside on my patio chair with my feet perched on the table, reading, then watching the world flutter by. I spotted a funny little humming bird, zipping around my hanging basket flowers. Can you see him? Her?
  3. Snuggling my kids and letting them read a book to me. Not thinking. Just listening. Currently my daughter’s favorite read is Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss.
  4. In the writing world, I enjoyed reading over my outline and finished it. Now all I have left is the review each scene and decide which ones are external, which are internal and ponder if I’ve varied them up enough to hold attention.
  5. I am purchasing a couple of cute inspiration swag items from my amazing support group, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group. If your a writer like me, we all need friends who love the things we love. And what’s better then waking up each morning with a sweet cup of believe?

Doris Day is my motivational quote for the week. I wish you a lovely Friday and if you have the chance, stop and breathe. Take in the world. See beauty in the littlest thing and remember, there is good to be found somewhere. 🙂

 

 

Capture My Mind: Excellent Books Paint Character. #IWSG #AmWriting

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[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are, Christine Rains , Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner

Thank you so much! And thank you founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!

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Words are beautiful.

When put together just right, they build a painting in my mind and I’ve always been in love with these word paintings. They show me different worlds where I can see, feel, and smell everything as if I were standing on that boat, sandy beach, rocky mountain or whatever world unfolds. And recently I was drawn to a really great book at a local library because of the excellent title and captivating cover. I didn’t even bother to read the book jacket. I was so convinced it would keep me going from the first perfect sentence to the end.

Later that night, I opened the book. The first sentence read just the way I love them. The first scene drew me right in and it was fun and different. The dialogue was great. The characters really set off my mind. But then, page-by-page, I kept yearning for something … just a glimpse of the face, the eyes, the hair, or even a messy shirt or a fun pair of shoes. I kept going. It might have been 90 pages in when I finally realized the nationality of the main character. My interest was falling apart by then no matter the high caliber of dialogue or the action writing. My painting was a landscape of a pirate ship on the waters, but the captain at the wheel had no face, no height, no fun mustache or a cool costume. My magnificent painting had a glaring white blank blob of canvas. It didn’t feel right.

This month, the IWSG question asked me to reflect on my pet peeve in reading, writing, or editing. I know. I’m bringing up a controversial topic. I’ve read opinions on both sides where some readers and editors prefer no detail. They might think the imagination should create the look. I say, it’s your world you’ve written for me to believe. I want more. I want to see the face in your head the way it should be. I think humans in general, even animals, stop and ponder a reflection in the water, or a mirror. I think we all have self-reflective moments about matching our look with our mood or where we are going from time to time. As I read, I want to see all of these things. That’s the difference for me whether I am drawn in full force, or feel casually nonchalant about a book.

One last thought:

Begin to Write Again #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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Back in May and really early in June, I had a fantastic new idea for a contemporary fantasy in the works. I was following the 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. My mind was churning and my fingers were flying. I watched videos to build scenes, found the perfect tunes to create moods, and had my outline done and everything. Then I decided to buy a home. Ouch. Chaos erupted and I couldn’t find the concentration to write in my usual routine. I couldn’t even pick up a book and finish it.

So this month, my topic is what I’m doing to jump back in. It’s been slow, like one toe, leg and finally I might be up to my waist in that water, honestly, this is the first time in years, I couldn’t push my brain or turn on the fuse. So what am I doing now? What do you do when your life explodes and you’re finally ready to start the momentum again? I also found a couple of great articles on the web from Writer’s Digest and JaniceHardy.com.

  1. Revisit your writing routine. Time of day? Minutes per day? Before my stress exploded, I woke up religiously at 4:00 a.m. I’d have my coffee ready and I’d sit down for almost a good two hours. So this is where I started. I set my alarm again. I had no pressure or goals. I just wanted to condition my brain and body to the early rising once again.
  2. Binge read. If your mind is open and ready for that sort of activity again.  I have finally calmed down quite a bit and I am enjoying a few good reads. They are true to my genre and definitely where I want to be. Reading the competition for where I want seems to get my mind all conditioned again.
  3. Reread all the manuscript notes, scene developments and character outlines/maps.
  4. Listen to music and watch videos that remind you of your story.
  5. When you see the pictures again, push the words around without too much pressure. Right now, I added on a couple of paragraphs to my first page. Don’t be afraid to add on to current scenes. There’s no harm in deleting, and eventually, I believe the voice will come again.

There is a good side to stepping away from your work of course. I fine tuned a few scenes in my outline.

One last thought:

Celebrate the Small Things: Replace Worry with Peace #FridayFeeling

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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I tend to over worry. At everything.

Did I say the right thing? Did I write the right words so every sentence pops? Did I catch every typo because I read and reread my work and even listened to it on a pdf reader out loud? Are my kids safe? Are they okay? Do they know how to handle the world if they aren’t?

If a thought flies through my head, I evaluate it, categorize it and dissect it into a million pieces. Maybe it’s my detailed mind that makes me love words so much. In any case, to Celebrate the Small Things this week, I’ve been working to find that inner peace again and to give myself permission to let worry go.

So what do you do to begin to find it?

  1. Give yourself permission. I started this week with a mantra. I am a human being. I embrace my flaws. I try my best. I give my best. If I screw up, that’s ok. I say it multiple times until I begin to feel it.
  2. Reach out to friends. My writing friend Becky has been the best resource in writing. We’re starting new manuscripts together and I couldn’t be more excited. We write similar styles, we read similar books, and we love the same authors. I think this is one of the key points in having a great crit partner.
  3. Be open and honest. With my kids, I try to explain everything. I let them know the things in situations that can be influenced. I talk to them about being nice to people, their friends, and complimenting others when you notice someone feels down.
  4. I busy my mind. I found a really great new book to read, The Girl From Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig. I’m 63 pages in and I’m loving the pirate ship, the maps to other time periods, and the mix of characters.
  5. Do something every day you love. I began my early morning schedule again. After my busy summer of moving into a new home and cleaning up my old place, I haven’t woken up as early as I should have. I haven’t been writing like I want to. I’m a bit scared I’ve lost my character’s voice, but I think I’ll get it back. Believe, right?

Questions: What do you do to relax and regain your balance? Are you reading something great right now?

Lastly, I found this great quote by author C. JoyBell C., and it really makes sense.