About Me · Balance · Observations · Positivity

Tips for When You’re “Under the Weather”

We all have days when we feel just plain icky. Sometimes, we’ve caught some nasty bug. Sometimes, we are experiencing the lovely side effects of allergies. Sometimes, our bodies are just tired and burnt out. All of these qualify as being “under the weather”. It happens and it’s okay. Despite feeling like all you want to do is crawl back into bed for twelve ours, you can still have a productive and positive day. Here are some tips for when you’re feeling sick, but you still have to get things accomplished.

1) Take a day off IF you must: If you are running a high fever or are experiencing intense fatigue due to your sickness, take a day off. It is better to take a day off from work than to persist and get sicker because you didn’t rest. Don’t feel guilty. It’s okay. Rest is a good thing.

2) If you can’t take a day off, try to work on low-power mode: This sounds like we’re a bunch of robots, but we humans can work on low-power mode, too! If you have to go to work, be kinder on yourself. Don’t freak out if you’re walking or typing a little slower. Take things at a more leisurely pace. Don’t rush yourself. Once you get home, take a nap or go to bed really early. Rest is ultra-important when you’re not feeling well.

3) Drink hot teas: Tea is one of the most calming and beneficial drinks you can have. Most teas (unsweetened and hot) can be helpful in alleviating sinus problems, congestion, and fatigue. A cup of tea is a gift to yourself. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after a good cup of green tea!

4) Give yourself permission to laze about and chill: Most of us feel guilty when we indulge in leisurely activities. This is utter nonsense, but most humans I know are workaholics anyway. If you’re feeling a bit low, go ahead and watch a TV show. Read a book. Play a video game. It’s OKAY. We all have days where we just need to check out from reality for a bit and enjoy a fantastical escape. It is healthy. Do it.

5) Engage in positive talk and thinking: I don’t know about you, but when I’m not feeling well, I tend to get a bit depressed.  This isn’t a conscious thing on my part, it just is. I always feel a bit somber, tired, and low when I’m ill. So, it is extra important for me to be positive about myself, my life, and my relationships. I also have to be sure I’m engaging in positive talk to othersIt is easy to let our deflated mood affect those around us. Don’t let it. Bring yourself up and be positive when you’re under the weather. 

 

I hope these tips encouraged you if you’re feeling unwell today! Get better!

 

~L.M.

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Observations · Positivity · Publishing · Writing

The Long Road Ahead

The beginning of a rough draft is always exciting and magical–like unicorns and fairy dust. Somehow, that random spark of an incredible idea seems to settle in our minds and then (usually at night when you’re trying to sleep), the spark grows and flares into a huge undeniable story. Such an instance happened to me last night when I was trying to get some shut-eye. I needed to flesh out the idea I had for the third novel in my Tales from Niflheim. Of course, a bevy of ideas began to fling themselves at my mind–vying for my attention. Somehow, I was miraculously able to remember them this morning. It’s a good thing, too, because I was way too tired to get out of bed and write them down.

So, despite waking up feeling kind of sick, I sat down and was able to start the very first page of the first draft of  my sixth novel (I say sixth, because I wrote four manuscripts last year and one so far this year.) Words always seem to fly from my fingers on the first 1/3 of manuscript. Things typically get tough in the middle (can I get an “Amen”?) and then by the last 1/3, things are back to flowing again. It’s sometimes hard to remember on the first few days of a new novel that there is such a long road ahead.

For some people, this keeps them from attempting to write a novel. “It’s just too hard to finish!” they might whine. For me, I think the long road ahead is an adventure to be experienced, returned from, and shared with the world. I love every aspect of writing a novel. I love the tingling beginnings of an idea in the brain…the cemented relationship of drafting and editing…the formatting and prep-work for publishing…I adore it all. That’s part of why I chose to go with indie//self-publishing. I like having my hands in it all–getting them messy and covered with wordy goodness. I love making cover art and learning about the marketing process. I may not always love these things, but for right now, they’re just a part of the long road to producing a book and getting it out to the public.

For you, does the long road of brainstorming, drafting, editing, and prepping seem daunting or exciting? I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Regardless of what your thoughts are on it, I truly hope you enjoy your writing! Happy Friday!

Thanks for stopping by!

~L.M.

 

Balance · Observations · Positivity

Life Happens

The last two weeks have been extremely stressful. As most of you know, a tree fell on//beside our house, putting three holes in our roof. Next, a serious family emergency rocked our world. Then, we had a bad car battery. Simultaneously, we had our normal life obligations like work, house care, and relationships to maintain. As well, I just took on a considerable amount of work for Maiedae. Also, I have a book publishing deadline coming up in 46 days. ARRRRRRGGGGG!!!!! LOL.

When you lay out all the “bad” stuff that has happened recently, with all the “normal stuff” and even the “good stuff”, life can look extremely full and stressful. But, when you sit back and truly think about all the wonderful blessings that have happened because of some of those “bad” things, or even the  “normal things”, life doesn’t seem so stressful anymore.

For example, the tree is still lying on top of my patio. I could wig out about that, or (like I chose to do yesterday), I can sit at my breakfast table and watch the sunlight filter through the pine needles that are now much closer to my vantage point. I could look at family drama like a disaster, or I could view it as an opportunity for loved ones to grow and learn. I could sit and moan that my car wouldn’t start yesterday and it was oh, such a horrible experience, or I could be thankful that the battery had a warranty and I was able to get a new one for free. As well, it provided me with some really special time to spend with my dad (who is an out-of-this-world mechanic.)

Honestly, life just happens. Sometimes, it is not so fun. Other times, it’s great. But you know what? Usually, life happens and it is a mixture of all the good, the bad, and the normal. Perhaps things are easier to digest, move through, and move beyond in that way. Scriptures say that we’ll never be tempted beyond what we can bear. My husband and I like to apply that to the “not-so-fun” stuff that sometimes happens in life, too. We will never face something that we can’t get through. It may feel like we can’t at times, but those are just feelings. Feelings are great, but sometimes they overwhelm us and get us all psyched out.

If you’ve been having a stressful week or month in your life, just remember to look for the little blessings that crop up here and there. Life is hard enough without dwelling on the bad things all the time. Chin up. Watch the sunlight paint the leaves outside. Have a hang-out date with a friend. Spend time snuggling with your hubby or wifey. Sit and soak up the good things when they come. They can help you make it through the next “bad” situation that might crop up. When life happens and it isn’t necessarily the way you’d like it to, just remember that you’ll never face anything you can’t make it through.

You can do it. Whatever you are facing, you can pull through it stronger than you were before you were faced with it. Be brave. Be strong. Be gentle. Be happy. All of those things are a choice.

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope that these words were encouraging for you if you’re facing a tricky work or life situation right now. Just remember, we all have hard times. Even if you’re having a bad day, try to lend a listening ear or give a kind word to someone around you today.

Happy writing and working to you all!

~L.M.

Balance · Positivity

Managing Stress

It would be nice if life would slow or calm down when things get busy and tough, but that is rarely the case. For most of us, we have to deal with the storms of life while continuing to work and managing our relationships. It isn’t easy. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve experienced my fair share of stress. Here are some of the ways I manage my stress levels:

1) Cry-— It is 100% okay to cry. In fact, crying is wonderfully cathartic and can help you to “let it all out”. Even though you may not look glamorous after a huge sob fest, it can still help your heart to release its tension.

2) Pray— Prayer is one of the best ways to sit down, relax, and ease your mind out of its anxious turmoil. Prayer is a way of separating yourself from your problems and stressors and seeking the direction of God.

3) Be intentional about relaxing activities— Find out what helps you to calm down in periods of stress and be intentional about doing those things. If taking a long, candlelit bath just does it for you, then DO IT. If it is reading or watching a long movie, DO IT. Go for a walk or hike. Exercise. Whatever you need to do to bring your mood up in depressive or stressful environments, do it.

4) Communicate with your significant other— Be very open about how you are feeling with your spouse or significant other, but do not swamp them with information. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or worry, it is important to rationally express this to your spouse, but try not to place blame or discuss other people’s faults. Simply express how you are personally feeling and be honest about how they can help you.

5) Be flexible— Tough situations call for flexibility. You really may not want to do some of the tasks involved in dealing with life disasters, but you may have to. It’s okay. Just be flexible and tell yourself that you can do it. It may not be fun, it may not be ideal, but it’s okay. You can do it.

Life is hard. Often, there are terrible, tragic, and unhappy things surrounding a lot of us. But, unfortunately, it rains on the just and the unjust. Take your life each day at a time. Remember that it is okay to make mistakes and it is okay to move on. Take care of yourself. Learn to manage your stress so that it does not overwhelm or derail you when things go bad. Breathe.

 

Thanks for stopping by today,

 

L.M.

About Me · Dreams · Editing · Indie · Positivity · Publishing · Writing

Developing a Plan

For many of us dreaming, pre-published authors out there, getting a book published would be on up there in the list of “life goals”. For those of us who are self-publishing through Amazon, Smashwords, or some other program, that dream is realizable. However, it is still work. In fact, it might possibly be more work than going the traditional route. When you’re writing on a shoestring budget (or no budget at all), you’re it. You’re the cover artist, you’re the editor, you’re the formatter, you’re the marketer…the list goes on an and on. Of course, for some the hope is that once they get published, they’ll be able to make enough of a profit to keep doing what they love and be able to hand some of the prep work batons off to someone else. I don’t know about you, but formatting MSWord documents for Kindle and Smashwords sounds a bit daunting. I’m fully prepared to give it a shot on my own, but that might be something that I’ll pass off to someone else one day. Maybe. We’ll see. 😉

Even if you end up loving every single aspect of prepping a book for indie publishing and want to end up doing it all yourself forever, there are methods that can help you maintain your sanity and put out excellent books.

Develop a plan. That’s right. If you never do anything else to help guide yourself along this path, start making a plan. This plan needs to include how you will handle editing, beta reading (if you will at all), cover art development, marketing, building up your reader platform, money you’re willing to spend to get your name out there, which publishing programs you will approach, formatting for those programs, etc. The list is much larger, but you get the idea. Having a plan for how you will tackle these things will be of great help to you in the long run. It may even save you some of the major headaches of not having thought about these things on down the road.

Is it possible to become a success without at least refreshing yourself on the aforementioned list? I don’t know. I’m not published yet. 😉 However, my goal is that I will be published before the end of 2012 and I, myself, am definitely making a plan.

Some resources I’ve been using to help me develop this plan are:

>>J.A. Konrath’s Newbie Guide to Publishing blog

>>Writer Unboxed

>>Amanda Hocking’s specific posts here and here

>>Zoe Winter’s: Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author

Sure there are countless other links I could give you, but these are the ones that I continue going back to over and over and over again! Check them out. I hope they will be helpful to you. For those of you who are going the traditional publishing route, I feel the advice is the same. Know what you want out of your writing career so that you are better able to communicate with agents, publishers, and editors. This is your dream, your passion! Be aware of how things are flowing in the writing world! Educating yourself on the art and craft of writing and selling your books, will be a huge help in your journey!

Thanks for stopping by! Go get yourself a plan! 🙂

 

~L.M.

Editing · Indie · Positivity · Uncategorized

First Day as a Full-time Writer and Editor!

This is the first day of my dream career. It began early: 6:15 AM. My husband, the Philosopher, had to fly out to Dallas this morning and I had to drop him off at his carpool meetup spot. So, without further ado, my schedule on my first day of dream-job work!

6:15 : Woke up and snuggled with the Philosopher until 7:00.

7:00-7:30: Drove the husband to his carpool meetup spot.

7:30-8:00: Drove home and took a walk to wake up. Got dressed.

8:00-8:30: Checked email, wrote out my task goals for the day.

8:30-10:00: wrote 2,000 words on my current manuscript.

10:00-10:15: took a break, saved manuscript, worked on a blogging draft, etc.

10:15-10:40: Cover art work for my novel we are working on getting published.

10:40-10:45: Break

10:45-11:30: Edited a manuscript I will soon be readying for publishing.

11:30-12:00: Reading period (mandatory daily).

12:00-1:10: Lunch Break

1:10-1:35: Editing//Ad Managing work for my other job

1:35-1:40: Break

1:40-2:10: Housework

2:10-3:00: Blogging

3:00-3:15: Finishing up any last detail work for other job

DONE WITH THE WORKDAY!

 WOW. What a blast it has been working from home for the day! Guess what? I get to do it again, and again, and again….SO EXCITING! I was surprised by how well I stayed on track and by how much I got done today. It was terrific. In the future, I’ll have more work for my editing job, so my days might look more like 8-4 or something like that. For now, I’m filling up any extra holes with serious blogging. I hope you all have a terrific rest of the day! Thanks for stopping by! P.S.– I completed ALL of my goal tasks I set for myself today! YIPPEE!

Blessings,

The Writer

Positivity

Thankful to be Alive

I was in a car accident yesterday. Because it was my first, I was terrified and had no idea what to do. I currently work about an hour away from home and have a long morning and afternoon commute. I was on my way home yesterday when a van in the lane next to me shifted into my lane. Without giving me time to get ahead or behind them, the van kept coming and ran me off the road. I tried to shift to the left to get safely away from him, but went into the median in the center of the highway and could not correct the steering back into my lane. I lost control of my car and violently shook to the left and right. Eventually, my car spun out into the bowl-like median between the north and south highways. I turned completely around and sped into the south highway, facing north. Thank God no cars were coming in the south lanes at the time. However, I nearly flew off into a ravine and was able to break and stop mere feet away from it.

A cop just happened to be on his way home at the time and saw me within a minute or two f the accident. As well, a nice young man stopped to check on me. The police officer helped me to calm down and had me explain what had happened. The state patrol had to come out because it was on a highway and they, too, were very helpful. When they left, I was able to drive my shaky car back to the shop my husband and I use for car repairs. I made it out alive, without a scratch (just an extremely sore neck), and the car sustained minimal damage.

It was probably the single scariest moment of my life, to date, when my car spun around through the ditch-like median into a highway where oncoming traffic could have killed me. After I calmed down and my head stopped spinning and my hands stopped shaking…I had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and gratitude. My life had been spared. I did not even have any injuries. I was alright. When I called my poor husband to tell him, he asked me what road I was on. I was so addled, that I accidentally told him the wrong highway. He left work and drove all the way to another town to the east and did not find me. We finally realized I had told him the wrong road and he met me at the car garage.

I realize it is entirely trite and cliche to say that I have a new perspective on my life after the accident, but I honestly do. The police officer intimated to me how lucky and fortunate I was to be alive and unhurt. It really hit me hard. I could have died. If there were cars coming in the opposite side of the highway, not only would I have been hurt, but they would have as well. The van sped off and did not even stop to see what had happened. I am not angry at them–accidents happen. It would have been a nice gesture, though. As a Christian, I realize that dying would not have been a terrible thing– I would have gone to be with the Lord. However, while the world was spinning outside my car windows and objects flew around the interior of my car…I had the distinct thought…”I might die.” It was a sobering notion.

I went home happy and thrilled to be alive. A strange sense of permeating peace settled over me and I relaxed. At home last night, I rested in the knowledge that I am not finished here. There are many more experiences I will and hope to have. I am so privileged to be on this earth for a while longer. I am so thankful I did not leave my husband a widower. I am grateful that no one was hurt in the accident. Sure, it is inconvenient to only have one car to drive when a husband and wife work an hour apart. But, even in that, we are blessed. We have another car. Some people are not as fortunate as we.  And I am thankful that, even though we’ll have to share it for a while, we will be able to get where we’re going.

So, today, with a sore neck and a quiet sense of happiness and peace, I am simply living. I am enjoying the sounds of my students working on their tasks. I am enjoying the sunlight falling on the chair in the corner of my classroom. I am enjoying my life, because today, more than ever, I am aware that it is a tremendous, miraculous gift.

What experience in your life has opened your eyes to the impermanence and preciousness of life?