10 Things to Do While Ignoring Your Manuscript

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1. Record new ideas! Whether I’m using OneNote, my trusty notebook I keep in my purse, or the notes app on my phone, I’m always noting something. Inspiration can strike at random, so be ready.

2. Find something else you’re passionate about, and dive in, whether it’s a new hobby or an online course.

3. Work on your physical self. Exercise, eat right, and find the right supplements that work for you. Good health will benefit you in everything you do.

4. Indulge now and then! (Yes, I know it goes against #3 but, everyone needs to give in once in a while or they’ll go crazy!) When I say indulge, I mean pizza, greasy Mexican food, and baked goods.  A manicure or a new bag may be your cup of tea, however.

5. Unplug! Disconnect from the Internet for a weekend. It’ll make you appreciate quality time with your loved ones, or yourself (which is just as important).

6. Read. And when you’re done, read some more. And not just your guilty pleasures either, read the market you write for.

7. Get some sun. If not for the vitamin D, for those pasty legs (we’re all familiar with the sun’s harmful rays, so wear your sunblock).

8. Watch movies! Binge watch that tv show you’ve eyed! Make some buttery popcorn….ok, now I’m officially contradicting myself.

9. Jump into your next project with force. Write relentlessly without worrying about grammar and structure.

10. Did I mention pizza?

And when you’re done with all that, go give your work a read.  You may just find you’ve missed it.

Creativity Lies in All of Us

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Creativity lies in all of us, whether we choose to use it or not.

The talented and engaging Kayla Johnson, over at The First Twenty Rows, nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Kayla! If you haven’t already, I’d definitely recommend you check out her posts on everything from her quirky family, to her faith and inspirations.

First things first, the rules of the Creative Blogger Award:
1. Thank the nominee
2. Share 5 facts about yourself
3. Nominate other blogs and notify them
4. Tell said nominees these rules

I’ll admit, I have decision-making issues and could ponder over which five things to post about myself, for eternity. But I refuse to leave anyone waiting, so here goes.

1. I’m an entertainment buff. If there were a celebrity/movie/tv trivia show nearby I would be an ideal contestant. My family members have learned not to bet against me when it comes to famous faces. I can recall a commercial actor’s supporting role in an 80’s B movie.

2. I have ridiculous food issues. My parents claimed I ate like a bird as a child, so I got to choose whatever I wanted to eat. I just so happened to prefer chocolate pudding to sandwiches and cereal to pot roast. I still have some work to do, but I’ve come a long way. I had never tried Chinese food until I met my husband. On one of our first dates, he took me to a Japanese steakhouse (I realize China and Japan are different countries, but I had never tried either cultures fare), and I didn’t want to look silly, so I just ate it. Much to my surprise, I liked it! He’s still introducing me to new foods almost a decade later.

3. I have zero interest in sports. Yes, I’m that mom at the soccer field that’s in another world until somebody gets kicked in the shin. I will cheer more in basketball, but that’s only because it’s obvious when my kid makes a basket (or is it touchdown, or goal, ha?!). Maybe it’s my lack of a hyper-competitive nature. I’m the one telling my kids to have fun, Daddy’s telling them how to win.

4. Writing a book was always on my bucket list. My grandma still has my childhood works, from comic books, to plays and short stories. I checked it off my list at the beginning of the year, hopped aboard the query train way too early, and have kicked myself in the pants ever since. I didn’t take enough time away from the story. I’ve learned so much in the last few months that I cringe when I read my earlier work. Live and learn, right?! I’m learning something new every single day!

5. My favorite place is the woods. I feel most at home there. The air, the trees, and the wildlife, all play their part in my love affair with the forest. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise, and I wait impatiently for warmer weather so that I can go. Fall was my favorite season, (The leaves turning! Sweatshirt weather! That warm and fuzzy feeling that Christmas is just around the corner!) until I discovered my love for morel hunting, another tree-centric activity, is only in the spring. Let’s just say, I’m hooked. It’s the adult equivalent of Easter egg hunting, but in my favorite place.

Well, there you have it, 5 facts about me. And it didn’t take me an entire day to decide what to pick! Maybe an hour or two, ha! I nominate these lovely bloggers because they rock their words:

Tip of My Iceberg | The value of what’s unseen

home is what you make it | a blog inspired by real life

Beautiful Insanity | A heart on fire, fighting with all its might

a dreamer’s inkwell | …the ramblings, tidbits, and scribbles from the quill of a creative journey.

Lostinthemidwest | A journey through Life

5 Habits of a Happy Woman

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Happiness is the key to a fulfilled life. No amount of money can buy it for you, and no one can gift it you. Yet, to reach your full potential, you must have it. I’m far from perfect, and I have down days just like everyone else. But I know I’ve found true happiness. I haven’t always felt this way, and these habits have helped me along my journey. Here are a few simple things, in no particular order, that contribute to my inner peace.

1. Learn to distinguish what’s important from what’s not.  I put things that truly matter to me first. Would I like an abundance of time for myself? Yes! What mom wouldn’t? But time is important, so spend it wisely. I’m not going to miss a sporting event for my kids, or a road trip with my husband for something that doesn’t really matter. I’m not saying don’t designate time for yourself, but don’t skip a field trip for a hair appointment.

2. Appreciate our world.  With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to overlook the beauty all around us. Get outdoors! Hike a nature trail. Take a walk in the park. It’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your body, too.

3. Don’t expect too much from people.  No one owes you anything. We are all blessed to be given life, we aren’t entitled it. We should appreciate what the people in our lives do for us instead of focusing on what they don’t. Sally at work didn’t remember your birthday? Your friend showed up late to help you set up your kid’s birthday party? Guess what, people make mistakes, and they have lives too. Don’t allow yourself to be let down, because it’s not the end of the world.

4. Embrace your passions.  Find what you love and explore it! From hobbies to career paths, keep finding new things you love, and learn all you can about them. You’ll get to know yourself so much better along the way.

5. Count your blessings.  I can’t express enough how important this is. No matter what journey you’re on, there is always something to be thankful for. I thank God everyday, throughout the day, for his blessings in my life.

As I sit here, stomach growling, I’m reminded of the sixth habit of a happy woman, PIZZA! Too bad I’m already making spaghetti, at my husbands request, for the fam. We did have pizza last night, but it’s the one food I never tire of (remember what’s important, remember what’s important…).