Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays my friends. Thank you so much for the love and support during 2016. It has and is still helping me. Thank you for your friendship.

Wishing everyone a good time and as always, be safe. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Making a few changes

I haven't really been sure what I wanted to blog about. I feel like I'm always just going on about myself and I know what most people want is useful information:) Unfortunately, today I am once again prattling on about myself;)

So, one of the things that bothered me for months was the print version of my book, because it didn't come out as the online previewer promised. My awesome cover artist, Jennie Bennett made me a new one, for both the e-book and print. The print book came out just like I had always imagined. I am very happy:)

E-book cover 

Print cover

These covers are exactly what I had always dreamed of. It is drastically different from the original, but if it makes any sense, it is a lot more "me" and closer to my vision for the series. 

Book two is still waiting patiently in the wings to be completed, but I am chipping away at it word by word, everyday, so to my Thelum Series fans, do not worry. It will get done.

* I have decided to offer my freelancing skills to the public and one of the tabs on my blog above, indicate that I am can now write for you, my dear readers as well. If you don't want to write your own blog posts, or if you want someone to help write your novel, or short story for you, I am available:) Hint-Hint. It is definitely scary. But my next step in therapy is to find a part-time job. So, I chose to take a shot at freelancing. Fingers crossed.

* Also, I've joined the Amazon Associates program to see if I can use that as a means to support myself. So, my blog does use affiliate links, but at no cost, (additional or otherwise) to you my friends. It just means that if you make a purchase by using one of my affiliate links, that I make a few pennies too, at no cost to you of course.

I really don't want to go back to an office job, which is why I started doing the above two things. If it offends anyone, I do apologize.

Please, to all that are traveling, do so safely. If your roads are as busy as ours in South Africa, I wish you all to get to your destinations safely, regardless of the rush and impatience on the road. My family and I always prefer to be home during the busy seasons. 

Stay safe everyone. Wishing you all well. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Hello Again

Hello again my beautiful friends. Thank you so much for all the love and support I have received the past few weeks. I appreciate it a ton.

I am seeing a therapist every week for my anxiety and chronic depression (dysthymia), and a psychiatrist as well (she is also very good), but only every other month. I am still a long way from where I should be, but it is a work in progress and I am doing much better. Basically, all the crap I had been running from for most of my life has finally caught up to me and now I have to deal with it. I’m not ready to talk about what my issues are/ were, but I know one day I will be able to.

One of the reasons I adore my therapist is that she gets me. The other reason is that she has treated other writers before, which helps. Trust me, it can be hard to explain the complexity of writing to non-writers. But my therapist understands, and she is so patient and supportive. She even encouraged me to keep on blogging, as the awesome friendships and relationships I have built up over time, is so important and valid. A friend is a friend, whether you only communicate online or not. I know that now, and I don’t care that other people think I’m nuts for only having friends online. I haven’t kept on blogging as my therapist suggested, but hopefully I can get back into it now.

All week last week one of the TV channels had all the Harry Potter movies on, so basically I spent all of last week really immersing myself into Hogwarts and all things Harry Potter. It was so much fun. It was the first time in a long time that I really enjoyed something. Depression sucks the enjoyment out of everything. But not last week:)

Thank you so much again, my wonderful friends. I hope all is still well with everyone. Let me know how you are in the comments. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler

Congratulations, Joylene! Welcome and wishing you lots of success. 

Author Joylene Nowell Butler is on tour this month with MC Book Tours featuring her new novel, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries, being released Nov. 1 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.

You can follow Joylene's tour schedule HERE for excerpts, Q&As,  chances to win copies of her book and more.

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery...

When Canada's retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder.
The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.
Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him...


Chapter 16
A telemarketer called this morning. She wanted to know what products I favour. I said I didn't know and tried telling her that my husband had just died, but she interrupted and spouted a list. “How many children do you have, ma'am?” I'm wondering what this has to do with advertising when she says, “Do you know millions of parents in South Africa have seven children and they're all dead before the age of five?” Instantly, a bottomless wail sprang from my mouth. It shocked me as much as it must have shocked her. I didn't hear what she said next, just the sound of the dial tone after she hung up. More than five minutes passed before I grew quiet. I set the phone back in its charger, and then plopped down at the breakfast table. I've been here ever since.
How many children do I have? After Declan and Bronson died, I practiced saying, “None,” until I no longer choked over the word.
“None.” But really, who says none?
The one good thing about being in the public eye is everyone had heard of our tragedy long before we returned to Ottawa to finish Leland's term. I practiced saying, “It's just Leland and I,” but it was an exercise in vain. No one until this morning has asked.
My chest hurts. So do my eyes. The microwave clock is blurry. Nine-forty already?
I press my hands to the table and slide the chair back as I rise. I've begun a bad habit of staying in my housecoat far too long into the day. I must stop. I shuffle from the breakfast room through the house and towards the stairs. There are things to be done for tomorrow's memorial service, but after that? I know from watching all those educational programs on the health network and from my volunteer work at the hospital and the United Way that an effort must be made to fill my day. My relationship with God is iffy, some days I believe in Him, some days I don't, but regardless I'll stay in contact with the ladies from church. Maybe I should have a few over for tea and cookies next week. No, I'm not ready for small talk right now, maybe in a few weeks. I'll go through my jewellery first. The ladies deserve at least something of value from me.
Flash of movement on my right—my hand flies to rest against my heart, which now pounds through my palm. I inch closer. Outside the window next to my front door, he appears inside my porch. I move towards the door. He smiles. Leland?
Oh my god. I catch my breath. Smile. “Good morning,” I say once the door is unlocked and opened and I can see it really is Killian. The winter air rushing in behind him is refreshing but chilly. It bites at my ankles. I shiver and glance down at my housecoat and slippers. “You've caught me at a disadvantage.” I pull my robe's belt tighter.
He stomps the snow off his boots, and then does a strange thing, he slips off his boots and stands in his stocking feet. My eyes drift from his toes to his face. He sees my bewilderment and blushes. “Sorry, ma'am. Guess I left my manners next to the snow blower this morning. May I come in?”

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at the following sites:

The print copy is available at: 

When Joylene's father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father's Child. Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steampunk collaboration Break Time. While she'll admit being published didn't fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon
Author Page

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I'm visiting with Mason Canyon today

Hey friends. Today I'm over at Thoughts in Progress with Mason Canyon, talking about my debut novel The Amaranthine. You are welcome to come and check out my guest post, here.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2016

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal

It's here! The cover for Timeless is here. Isn't it pretty? Congratulations, Crystal. 

Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016


In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

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Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Baby Moo's Great Escape

I think this book cover is just darling;) Don't you? Congratulations on your new release, Julie.  

Do you know the best part of this new release?  Julie Flanders will donate $1 to Sunrise Sanctuary, home to Baby Moo and numerous other rescued animals, for each copy sold in September. To me, that is just brilliant. 

Baby Moo has a dream. He wants to travel the world and sing on the stage of the Sydney Opera House! While he loves his home at Sunrise Sanctuary, it hasn’t been the same since a piglet named Nathan showed up and stole all the attention away from Moo. Jealous of the new baby, Moo decides now is the time to make his escape and pursue his dream.

But the world outside the sanctuary gates is not quite the fun and exciting place Moo imagined, and he quickly finds himself in big trouble. Moo's friends Missy the dog and Ruthie the cat rush to help him, and land in some trouble of their own.

Lost and frightened, Moo and his friends must rely on each other to find their way back home. Will they ever see Sunrise again? 

Get your copy here or Add on Goodreads

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September IWSG

How do you find the time to write in your busy day?
At the moment I'm not writing, but I used to find time to write late at night, when everyone was asleep. Also, weekends used to be my most creative time:) I don't have much of a social life, so that's why weekends worked for me. 

* * * * * * * 

I'm a little sad today. Due to health reasons, I'm taking a break from writing until I feel better. It scares me. I don't like the idea of not writing. But in truth, I haven't been writing anyway. 

I can't help but wonder, if I take a break from writing, am I still a writer? The answer is I don't know. I have to take this break. I'm getting professional help for my depression and I can't pretend I'm not ill anymore. 

I hope my post doesn't get anyone down today. Wishing you all lots of beauty in your lives and happiness. Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Piper Morgan Blog Tour

I would like to welcome the awesome Stephanie Faris to my blog. Come on, don't her book covers just shout "read me?" Hoping you sell lots of books, Stephanie. 

7 Ways to Find Time to Read
by Stephanie Faris
As I write this, I’m laughing at the irony. Just moments ago, I read a few pages in the current book I’m reading and felt guilty with every word. How could I set aside even five minutes to read when I have so much to do?
But I do. I try to read a little every day, even when life is super crazy. Here are a few ways you can squeeze writing into your busy schedule.
·         Dedicated Time—The best option is to simply set aside “reading time” every day. My mom does this just before bed. Some people read during their lunch break or while eating dinner (if they live alone). Find a time that will be easy to stick to each day.
·         Multitask—Before my treadmill died, I used to read while walking every day. You can also squeeze in reading time while blow drying your hair or waiting in the pick-up lane at your child’s school.
·         App It—There are times when you’ll wish you had your book on hand. If you read on your Kindle, there’s an easy way to do that. Download the Kindle app for your phone. When you’re stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or waiting in line at the post office, you can pull up your app and go to the last page you read on your Kindle.
·         Set a Daily Goal—You don’t have to read 100 pages a day. Simply tell yourself that you’re going to read a chapter a day or 20-50 pages. Whatever works for you. Over time, those small daily pages add up.
·         Learn Speed Reading—I’ve never taken a speed-reading class, but I know people who have…and they can power through a book! These small techniques can help you get through your pages much faster.
·         Audiobooks—When I commuted to an office every day, audiobooks got me through rush-hour traffic. I actually started looking forward to my “alone time” every morning, where I’d sip a cup of coffee and listen to the latest bestseller. If you can’t afford an app like Audible, you can likely get audiobooks free from your library’s website.
·         Cut Something Else—If you need extra time in the day, the best thing to do is eliminate something. Find an area where you’re wasting time—such as arguing with people about the presidential election on Facebook—and channel that energy into reducing your to-read pile.

These tips may not be the magic fix you’re looking for, but hopefully they’ll help you think twice when you say you don’t have time to read. Everyone can likely find at least 15 extra minutes a day to read, but if you can set aside an hour or more and relax, you’ll likely be happier and healthier.


When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!

In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The road to recovery continues

I had my appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday and didn't get the news I wanted. He can't give me a diagnosis, but he thinks it is chronic pain. The good news is that it's not arthritis. Yay. Though, having been on various medications for the past few months hasn't been fun. Got new meds yesterday again, which has me feeling groggy today. It is supposed to pass in a day or two. But he wants me to exercise to combat the depression.

Personally, I didn't feel he was very sympathetic. My brother said I was just being a baby. How do you exercise when you can barely summon the courage to take a shower? I don't like people thinking of me as lazy. I'm not. I just lack the energy and will to do most things.

So, I'm feeling very frustrated. I feel like I'm never going to know what the heck is wrong with my hands that are forever sore and aching. I'm afraid I'll have to be stuck with the pain forever. But my doctor wants me to exercise my hands too.

Have any of you ever gone through something like this?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Making things a bit easier for me

Thank you so much for the amazing support during this month's IWSG post. Your kind words always provide comfort and inspiration.

A week or two ago the awesome Pat Garcia nominated me for the Liebster Award. As always, I felt very honored. But I haven't taken up the task of answering any of the questions Pat has set aside for me and because of this reason, I don't think I can accept this award. Sorry to disappoint you, Pat. I just don't feel up to it.

And for that exact reason, I won't be accepting any other blogging awards, or partaking in any other blog hops aside for the IWSG. I have decided to make things easier for me. I don't want to take on anything and not be able to see it through. Sorry if I'm disappointing anyone.

Some good news though. I wrote 1900 words today. It was great! I think breaking my writing up into smaller sessions helped today.

I hope all is going well with you my blogging friends. Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Into the darkness I go again (IWSG)

IWSG Question: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My  Answer: The first story I wrote was a love story of a misfit high school girl making friends with the new, but fast becoming popular boy. I was in high school at the time and was channeling my own feelings of not belonging. However, before I went off to college I destroyed all my written works, thinking of them as childish things that were of no value. After all, I was going to be a serious person. Sad,right? I was so uptight back then:)

Moving on to my insecurity . . . I feel rather frustrated. More with myself than anything else. Even though I have gotten some writing done and slowly finding myself getting back into a type of schedule, I'm still not as motivated as I once was. I want to do so much, but when I wake up in the mornings, I feel depressed and my mood is so dark and it pushes my creativity into dormancy. Just when I think I'm free of those feelings, they come back just when I'm ready to move on. I've blamed laziness and procrastination, but I just can't get out of this funk. 

I will be seeing my specialist, with regards to the pain and discomfort in my hands this month again. Hopefully I can get him to refer me to someone that can help with my depression. Hopefully then I can go back to my writing life and become sane again. Right now, all this lack of hope and desire to write is driving me crazy. This isn't who I am. Sorry that this post is so heavy. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Monday, July 18, 2016

I get distracted easily

When it comes to my writing, I like to think that I'm cool, calm and collected. I take my time. I don't rush the experience. That's all fine and well, but that attitude has done nothing but made me lazy.

For the past couple of months I told myself "Don't worry, you will get to your writing. Finish binge watching old Sex and the City episodes. You will get to writing, eventually." Do you know what? I didn't get any writing done.

Unfortunately, I'm  not one of those writers, if left on their own, that will just keep on working on their novel when there's a TV close by. Just like with food I gravitate towards burgers, pizza and soda. The bad stuff, I guess.

So in order for me to stop picking the wrong things (writing wise), I've decided to go back to a writing schedule. I had one before. However, I've never been able to use a schedule for blogging. I'm just random like that.

Discipline has worked for  me before, so hopefully, it will work for me again. In my defense, burgers are great and can I help that there are so many great movies and series out there to watch? A girl gets distracted . . .

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Because I like a challenge

I am thirty years old and I’m not financially independent. While I do get the regular “Why aren’t you married yet? You’re not getting any younger,” comment, I couldn’t care less about getting married. I’m more shocked at the fact that I’ve only ever lived with my family (holidays don’t count) and that after thirty years, I’m still financially dependent on them. Shocking right? Do you know the weird part? Even if I had the money, I would still be living with my family. They’re also my best friends. Not many people get me in the real world, in person. So, I hang on tight to the few that do:)

I’ve never had jobs that earned so much that I could survive on my own salary and the one job that made living alone possible, back in 2013, wasn’t the kind of job I could do long term. When my boss told me to “Do as I say, or you won’t be working here long,” I handed in my resignation and mentally told him to shove his job where the sun didn’t shine. Then my brother came to the rescue of course. Since then I did little things here and there to get an income but I haven’t been able to hold down any other job. Pathetic I know.

So, because I’m such a loser, I thought I would start, from today on, to make becoming “financially independent” my new life goal. I love being a writer. But I don’t want my fiction to be the reason to make money. I want it to be the fun part. I thus have to come up with another means of income. Several actually. I’m embarrassed to mention it, but I’ve actually signed up to various online survey sites and they offer cash, or shopping vouchers in exchange. Of course there’s a payout threshold, but it’s one form of income. So, I just have to figure out another few too.

I’ve always wanted to write freelance. Though, I have been warned about how tough it is out there. I understand, but, most people also warned me that publishing a book is almost impossible and I actually did do it, even after years of struggling, but I did it and hope to do so again. A challenge doesn’t scare me anymore. To prove it, I bought a website for my freelance business. You can check it out here and tell me what you think. Yep, that is my real name. Though, that is another post. 

Because struggling to write fiction isn’t difficult enough, I will add struggling for financial independence to my “to do” list from now on. Stay tuned if you want a good laugh. I’m rather excited about it. The worst that could happen is that I stay broke, right?

How long did it take you to become financially independent? Got any advice for me? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July IWSG 2016

IWSG Question: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
I think my writing is still at it's infancy, but someone mentioned that I had a great imagination. Also, a few people have mentioned I'm a good writer. Because I have a hard time accepting compliments, I'm not so sure about being a good writer:) I hope to just be a competent writer someday:) 

This week I'm feeling a little insecure about my writing/ publishing future. I had underestimated how expensive self-publishing can be (or at least for me it is, because I don't have a full-time job). Even if I finish my second book, I might not be able to publish it for another year. But on the other side, it will give me more time to finish book three as well. 

It's my own fault that I'm in this situation. Nobody told me to not have a full-time job. I had decided to quit the job I had and help my brother with his P.hD 3 years ago. I have nobody else to blame for not being able to have all the funding I need. Hopefully I can remedy that soon. After all, you don't need money to write. All you need is a pen an paper really. Publishing can be expensive, but writing isn't. 

So, how are you doing? 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm tinker crazy

First, let me start off by saying “I’m sorry,” to anyone that has bought a copy of my book. I read it this weekend to tie up any loose ends from book one in book two, and I found one plot problem, which I have fixed. I am mortified. But I really am sorry. It is not my editor’s fault. She did a superb job. The one mistake was something I had changed after she gave me my final edited manuscript, so only I am to blame.

Secondly, I have not done audio for this post. In fact, I’m not sure if the audio is such a good idea anymore. I didn’t think about how much time it would take. Today one of our neighbors kept revving his engine like a racecar driver and I just couldn’t clean up the audio enough to block him out, so I gave up. I literally spent four hours trying to make a recording for one post. I might do a few more audio posts in the future, but maybe not one for every post. I’m sorry if I am disappointing anyone.

Okay, on to today’s post.

I am not only my own worst enemy, but I can also be my own worst distraction.

I have the bad habit of writing the same book over and over.

Meaning, I tinker too much with it. A normal person would write the first draft and a few days or weeks later, start on the second draft, which means adding more detail, or taking out the unnecessary words, if you had over written.

Not me. No. I feel the first draft is in too bad a shape (which it’s supposed to be) and start over. Keeping the main plot, but just rewriting everything else. That would explain why it took me over 5 years to publish my first book. I kept writing the same book over and over. You don’t even want to know how many drafts I have of the first book. Okay, I will tell you, over thirty drafts.

The bad news is that I have done it with the second book too. Luckily, I really like where the newest draft is going, and I’m almost halfway through. I actually intend to keep this draft and clean it up, I swear :) Then it’s just a matter of adding more detail and then my rounds of self-editing will commence. I think that will take quite a while too.

The good news is that I now know that I tinker too much on my manuscripts. I should write the first draft and make improvements from there. Don’t write the same damn book over and over. I feel like I can kick myself. Now it’s just a matter of stopping myself when I want to keep changing things.

Do you tinker a lot too?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trying Something New

Don't be shocked, but today I'm trying something new. I have added an audio version of my blog. I have been thinking about it for weeks now, to make things more interesting. I've been attending the Self-Publishing Summit by Chandler Bolt and I really warmed up to the idea  of using audio.

But don't worry, I will still be doing my written posts, so the audio is just another option for those who want it. I have found that if you can listen to a blog post, the time goes faster and it doesn't feel as tiring when you have to read 20 blog posts, say, for a blog hop.

What do you think? Is it a good idea?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

You. I. Us. Blog tour with Annalisa Crawford

Hey Friends. I'm so excited to have Annalisa on my blog today. I love her passion, stories and personally, I just think she's awesome:) Welcome Annalisa!

You. I. Us. is a collection of vignettes, small scenes which hint at the story beneath.

Annalisa has taken that idea to another level, because she asked 15 bloggers to ask her one question each, creating small insights into her life and writing.

Here is my question:

How do you stay motivated to exercise regularly, live healthy and still manage to write and have a family? Seriously, you're Superwoman.

Oh Murees, thank you! I don’t feel like Superwoman, but it’s lovely I give that impression. Usually, if everyone’s got the correct underwear in their draw, I think it’s a good day!

I’m lucky that my kids are slightly older, 16 and 12, and happily self-sufficient. The youngest is always busy with clubs and friends. I rarely see him at the weekends or during school holidays. It was different when they were small—they probably watched a little too much telly, and played a little too much PlayStation…

And I’ve been exercising for so long, it’s part of my week now. Working as a gym instructor helps, because I figure I can’t instruct properly if I don’t work out myself. Also, working out and/or taking the dog for a walk helps to inspire me. I’m forever scribbling notes on the back of my workout card during my cardio, or standing still in the middle of the field trying to work out a plot point.

You. I. Us.

Publication date: June 10, 2016

Genre: Short Stories (Single Author)

In You. I. Us., Annalisa Crawford captures everyday people during  poignant defining moments in their lives: An artist puts his heart into his latest sketch, an elderly couple endures scrutiny by a fellow diner, an ex-student attempts to make amends with a girl she bullied at school, a teenager holds vigil at his friend’s hospital bedside, long distance lovers promise complete devotion, a broken-hearted widow stares into the sea from the edge of a cliff where her husband died, a grieving son contacts the only person he can rely on in a moment of crisis, a group of middle-aged friends inspire each other to live remarkable lives.

Day after day, we make the same choices. But after reading You. I. Us., you’ll ask yourself, “What if we didn’t?”

About the author
Annalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of Cat & The Dreamer and Our Beautiful Child.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I am my own worst enemy (IWSG)

Hello friends. How are you today? I am so happy and grateful to be co-hosting IWSG today with my awesome co-hosts, Alexia Chamberlynn, Chemist Ken and Heather Gardner. Whoop! Whoop!

I am without a doubt my own worst enemy. I often find myself having a tedious internal battle with what I want and what my doubt monster thinks I'm capable of. You can’t do it. What do you know? These are only a few of the things I constantly say to myself. Why? Because I demand a lot of myself. Only the best efforts will do. I put myself down even before I’ve tried something new. It’s become a rather bad habit actually.

Of course the question is now that I know I do it and why I do it, what am I going to do about it? Well, I am so tired of caring what others think. Yes, I’m unfortunately also a terrible people pleaser. Every person and especially every writer is different. We can’t all follow the same processes. We definitely can't all write the same. Just think how boring it would be.

So, because my internal critic will never be silenced (she’s mean at times), I can’t still allow others views of myself to influence me. I have to do the best I can with who I am (control freak). I have to work on myself and my confidence with regards to writing. At the end of the day I need to believe in myself and what I can do. Others may doubt me, but I am not allowed to doubt myself.  I have to start saying "I can do this," and "Why not me?".

I'm insecure and I rather like that about myself. It reminds me that I'm human. As long as I can manage that doubt monster and not allow others comments to encourage it, I will be much happier and much more productive.

How about you? Do you pick on yourself too?

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Not quite myself

I have no idea why, but I have not been feeling like myself. Even being in my own skin feels alien.  The good news is that I still managed t...