Archive | September 2015

Make one Tiny Change for Big Results…

changeChange is hard for most people. We get stuck in our ways and prefer to be comfortable. It’s easier to sit on a couch and eat chips than it is to take a jog outside and grab an apple instead. It’s hard to change a career later in life for fear of failure. It’s hard to talk to someone about how you really feel, just letting everything sit in your gut instead, so you don’t have to deal with confrontation. It’s hard to reach out to ask someone for their help, for fear of rejection.

But if we don’t change certain things in our lives, then our bad habits, or simply habits, will control us and bring us down.

Food: I realize I’m addicted to sugar. Just love it. On my yogurt, in my cereal, candy bars, and when I drink coffee, three heaping tablespoons is my preferred amount of sugar inducing coma. Well, my family is riddled with diabetes. I realize I am also not feeling so great these days and while a blood test said I’m totally fine, I think I need to get this addiction under control. I switched to artificial sweetener in my coffee, but honestly, that’s worse for me than sugar. It’s like putting cardboard or poison or plastic into my system on a daily basis and guess what? I still don’t feel well. So, I made a tiny change just a few days ago. Did you know that cinnamon is a sweetener at its core? I am a coffee snob and at first refused to try it, but then realized I love Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Soy Lattes and the Cinnamon Dolce isn’t bad (NOTE: they are FULL OF SUGAR so of course I love them). But, now every morning in my coffee I use just one teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle Cinnamon into it and while it is not nearly as sweet as I normally crave, it’s completely acceptable. (I wonder if a Cinnamon stick would be good, too? Hmmm) Not to mention Cinnamon is used to help treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, loss of appetite, and may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.

Jobs: I changed my job six weeks ago. I am learning things that I never learned before, lingo that I’ve never heard, getting eye rolls from people younger than me when I ask a question that seems like a no brainer. Sigh… luckily I catch on quick and most times you only have to tell me the answer once! But the fact is, I had to change what I was previously doing in order to learn something new in my field. I had to make this change to continue to be relevant in my industry. (I’m in publishing advertising sales by the way) It was scary. It IS scary. I want to know everything right now. I want to be successful right now. But the last thing I want to do in this life is say I didn’t try.

Promotions: We all know I write. I have been building my “critical mass” (fancy shmancy word for social media fan base) and have done all the necessary things. But something I need to do is get blurbs for my book cover The Hunt for Xanadu. I just got up the guts to ask a very well-known author for a blurb. There is a very good chance he will ignore me or say no. He writes in my genre and we “casually” know each other, meaning I’ve met him multiple times and he’s responded to my emails. In fact, he has the book. I mailed it to him two years ago because we’d met and I was supposed to also send him something else, so I put my book in here. But I never got the guts to ask him if he would do a blurb. I guess I’m afraid he’ll reject me, read the novel and dislike it, or just not talk to me any more out of embarrassment. It could be any number of things. The fact is, if I don’t ask, I’ll never give myself the luxury of ever hearing a “yes.” P.S. I asked him three days ago – haven’t heard a peep yet.

So, making tiny changes. I know it’s not New Year’s and it’s September, but there’s no better time than the present to make a change for the better. Think of one thing you can do that is outside your norm and try it. One thing to change your life in just a teeny way. Love to hear what you come up with.

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Life is about Choices, Take a Chance…

chancesI thought I’d chat today about choices. I have seen so many people in my 40+ years remain in jobs they dislike out of fear of never finding another one, I’ve seen writers leave all their ideas hidden in their computers for fear of people laughing at them, I’ve seen heavy people stay in their homes and hide from the world because of the fear of ridicule.

Fear is all around us. Cooking for friends- what if you screw it up and everyone hates what you make? Throwing a party – what if no one comes? Falling in Love – the risk of being hurt.

For whatever beliefs you hold, the fact is, you go through this particular life just once. You can hide from the world, or you can live it. The trick is to take that fear and shelve it.

I’m not going to lie – publishing all my books is terrifying, even now. I mean it, it’s terrifying when you hit that publish button. It’s terrifying sending first drafts to my editor, or a beta reader. What if they hate them? No one likes to be upset, no one likes to be embarrassed, no one likes criticism, and certainly no one likes to be laughed at.

But, life is about chances. You need to look in yourself and decide if that chance is worth it for your own personal growth. I’ve written two books that right now are pretty much done and sitting in my computer for years. Both are Dark Romantic Suspense books but I have not put them out to the world. Why? Because they are violent and sexually charged books. Different than my regular more tame Adult thrillers, Horror and YA thriller books. At their core they are both love stories, but… well… I’m embarrassed. Here I am talking about taking chances, yet I don’t listen to my own advice. I’m grappling with releasing them because I fear people judging me with these two books. The fact is, they are fiction and they are suspense thrillers, written with much of the same flavor as my other books, but I’ve upped the ante. I think the stories are pretty great and exciting too and I know there is a market out there, but I just have to get the guts to put them out.

I actually started querying agents for one of the books. Twenty-six agents since February who represent this type of work. Ten wrote back “no thanks” and the others simply ignored me. Typical, but man, when you’re a person nervous about something like this, it hits you in your core. If an agent won’t even peek at it, does it really suck? My editor read my query and said it was great and sound, and I believe her. People I’ve spoken to think the concepts of the story are sound too, so do I keep submitting these babies to agents, or just publish them myself? I’m stalled because of my fear.

The fact is, I really do believe in taking chances. The last thing I want to do is end my life and regret not doing something out of fear. That’s a sad way to live if all you do is worry about how other people perceive you, but we’re human and it’s in our nature.

So, I implore all of you to take a chance today. It can be a little chance, it can be a big one, but really think about what you would love to do one day and just do it. I swear, deep in your core, you will be more satisfied with yourself.

I wish all of you well on anything you choose to do. Me? Step one is telling people in my circle about these books. It’s my teeny step forward listening to their thoughts about it… and you want to know what? They’re supportive so far.

There you go.