Spellbinding stories of mystic love and soulful hope . . .

Posts tagged ‘Books’

Morning Coffee on the Creating Calm (or in my case: chaos) Network . . . .

1011253_10203243524002060_658622034422461467_nAnn White, bless her patient and brave soul, has invited me to be a part of her Creating Calm Network on Tuesdays at 10 ET for Morning Coffee. Also joining is my bestie and former partner in our Rose & Thorn Journal endeavor, which we closed down a couple years ago (you can still access some kickass writing/poetry/art, though, as the archived issues are still there).

Ann has said no topic is off limits – she best not say that! Haw! I will talk about sex sex sex SEX, and writing and marriage(how I don’t believe in it) and religion(how I don’t believe in it) and sex and men and women and sex(how I definitely believe in it) and lingerie and writing and publishing and my insomnia and fitness and health and Angie’s bra-lessness and sex – wait, did I say sex? HAW! Okay, I won’t talk about sex that much, but it will come up, probably less than I think about it though – teeheeheehee! 10398086_10152474576124176_3232207411175342070_n

Ann is in her studio, Angie in her study, and I am “broadcasting” from my closet — yup, that’s my new Space, my new Office, my new Place, my new Sanctuary for hiding and writing posts and novels and on FB and twitter and whatever else I may do — including curling up in a fetal position on my furry rug and rocking back and forth back and forth — since I left the Cove at Killian Knob for the flatland badland of Texas, I am very discombobulated!

The first video I was using crappy internet connection so I’m dragging and jumpity – I used my iPhone this time for June 10 show and that seemed to work better, though I am so jittery, I will need to find an anchor for the phone – haw! BOING BOING BOING BOING BOING goes kat. 10305604_10152463711914176_2993508658427162551_nWe are still “getting into our groove” but we hope to have, loosely, some topics to tackle over our morning coffee. Mostly, I try to control my chaos enough to pay attention and focus.

Ann is the Owner/Moderator and poor thing is trying to control two wild and weird women: Angie and me. Haw!

10417600_10152480426884176_6460205242015283935_nWe hope you’ll give us a tune in and come get to know us, and support Ann’s endeavor. And as well give us some ideas for what we can do or talk about, etc..

Maybe my insomnia will go away once I get out some cray cray from my brain . . . PONK!

 

To access the “network,” here is the link: Morning Coffee Hope to see you on Tuesdays at 10 ET! WHUPOW!

Advice from “Big Sis” Kat Magendie . . . .

156The farthest thing from a young woman’s mind is that time far off into the future when she will be considered “Middle Aged And Menopausal.” Who has time to think about that when your toddler is crying and your eight-year-old just threw up all the pizza, cake, and, I’m not kidding—sushi (sushi?)—he had at a birthday party where the parents spent more to please Bobby or Suzy than what you spend on two-weeks of groceries? Or your boss has asked you to work late and on the weekend—again. Or you’ve over-extended your obligations to (fill in obligation blank here)—again.

Listen: how you treat yourself and how you ask to be treated by those around you will forever affect the person you will become. Who are you?—I mean, the real you, the Woman You, the one you must face in the mirror from now until, well, until you can no longer look into a mirror, or perhaps not care to (look anyway, for you are beautiful!)? For one day in your future you will gaze at yourself (even if through others eyes) and see the woman you have become from the experiences you have now. As your big sister, I want to tell you to care for yourself. To think in terms of gratitude, and health, and well-being—one decision at a time—in what you eat, drink, behave, grow, and how you perceive the world and react to it (or how you expect it to react to you).

Hair Dryer Antics Update & Oregon here I come. . .Consider the benefits you will receive right away, yes, but also think about two years from now, five, ten, twenty—your body and mind will become healthier and stronger so that you will have more energy for your busy life, and further, when you reach My Age, you will have fared better with such a healthy physical and mental base. You will be well-prepared for the Next Stage, even if that next stage is “simply” to be as good a grandmother as you are a mother. Your future you will thank you. Trust your big sister—she knows.

 

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Do love what you do? Do you love yourself?

Finally, when is the last time you patted yourself on the back for a life well-done? Have you been perfect? I bet not. Has every day been a gloriously sunshine-filled day of joy and happiness? Probably not. Have you lost your temper, been in a foul mood, screamed at your kids/husband/co-worker/the person in line at the grocery who has fifteen items instead of ten in the ten-item line? Maybe. But if you did not do these things on occasion, I’d wonder what you were trying to prove. We’re all human, and we all need to give ourselves a little break now and then to consider just how hard it is to Be Humanly Human. You have permission to love yourself, to have gratitude for your days, to love yourself enough to care what happens to you now and then later and for the rest of your life.

 

 

The Lightning Charmer cover1461250_496657083765127_1387255473_n*note: My friends – The Lightning Charmer $1.99 sale has been extended for a couple more days on Amazon Kindle. It’s been steadily moving up the charts – all because of all of you! Thank you! I am grateful for every single sale. Y’all are awesome! And if you haven’t yet checked out Lightning Charmer, I hope you will.*

Over at the Bell Bridge/BelleBooks blog . . . .

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Living the Dreamy Dreamland of a (cray-cray) Writer

Oh, the joys of being a writer! Why, we see the world in ways unlike mere mortals. Yeah. We do. Of course we do. We walk about with our heads in the clouds, or huddle inside our little spaces with far away dreamy dreamland eyes that rarely blink. I think I once didn’t blink for a week—no! Really! When one of my eyeballs fell out, I thought, “Dang, woman! For gawd’s sake blink!” So I did, and believe you me, I make sure I blink every once and a while. It’s much better that way; take it from me, the voice of experience.

I’m more the reclusive kind of writer. There’s only rumor that I really actually do exist at all. No! Really! There’s no one actually to prove it—okay, there are some who have seen me, waiflike and ethereal, meandering in an otherworldly way with clouds hovering over my wittle head. I’m so incredibly cute!—um, in very very weirdly dangerous to myself way—but I promise I am absolutely not dangerous to others. No sirree. I don’t even see others most of the time to be of any danger to them. Yeah. I just think of really strange things because my characters are doing all this cool stuff and I want to do it along with them. I do! I want to have all that excitement, and mysterious happenings, and!, all that good hot sex. Woooowheee. FOR THE REST OF THE POST, CLICK HERE.

later y’all! ‘preciate your support! and the support of the BB blog!

The Lightning Charmer cover . . . . it’s purdy

Welp, here ’tis – the cover art for The Lightning Charmer. It’ll be out this month. Something a little different from my former novels. I’m excited and happy, and I hope my readers will love Laura, Ayron, Betty, the crows, the wolf-dog, the lightning, the sex, the love, the supernatural, the fire — I hope my readers will love it all. *Fingers Tightly Crossed*

The Lightning Charmer cover

 

 

 

A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .

The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .  

The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction.  Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us.  Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best!  Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU

The spell was cast when they were children. That bond cannot be broken. In the deep hollows and high ridges of the ancient Appalachian mountains, a legacy of stunning magic will change their lives forever.

Laura is caught between the modern and the mystical, struggling to lead a normal life in New York despite a powerful psychic connection to her childhood home in North Carolina—and to the mysterious stranger who calls her name. She’s a synesthete—someone who mentally “sees” and “tastes” splashes of color connected to people, emotions, and things. She’s struggled against the distracting ability all her life; now the effects have grown stronger. She returns home to the mountains, desperate to resolve the obsessive pull of their mysteries.

But life in her mountain community is far from peaceful. An arsonist has the town on edge, and she discovers Ayron, scarred and tormented, an irresistible recluse who rarely leaves the forest. As her childhood memories of him surface, the façade of her ordinary world begins to fade. The knots she’s tied around her heart and her beliefs start unraveling. Ayron has never forgotten her or the meaning of their astonishing bond. If his kind is to survive in modern times, he and Laura must face the consequences of falling in love.

On the radio: NorthwestPrime with Lori Ness

Hey, all y’allses wonderfuls. No no, I’m not flying in oblivion; okay, I am, but I done told y’all I wouldn’t post unless I had news, or something I wanted to say, or just felt like it, or the 8th sign of the Apocalypse happened and I had to gush over it, or . . . . etc etc etc. Cause I’m just that chaotic. yeah.

So, today’s news is that in about 30 minutes from now, at 3:00 PM my time, I’m going to be on the radio at NorthwestPrime.com -

For those of you who asked for  the archived file, it is HERE on NorthwestPrime. 

If’n you want to give it a listen, great.  I’m always appreciative of my readers and any interest *smiling*

Later, y’all!

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Will all y’allses authors stand on your head wearing a book suit with a little book hat?

For months I kept an eye on a new hot dog and ice cream parlor. This new business tried just about everything to draw customers to it—new items gaily written on the menu board, wi-fi now available!, bright colors shouting out, huge signs proclaiming their awesomeness, and a woman dressed as a hot dog with a hot dog hat who stood outside and waved exuberantly while rubbing her tummy and beckoning everyone to “Come on in!”

Did it work? If the parking lot was any indication, not so much. However, just a few miles from this little hotdog stand is a hamburger and ice cream joint that always has a full parking lot. One could say it’s the difference between hot dog love and hamburger love. Still, I wondered: just what makes the customer choose one place over another?

It isn’t always about the quality and taste of the food or the spiffy look of the establishment. Maybe the food isn’t as good, or isn’t any better, in the crowded

Good food, okay food, exceptional food . . . atmosphere, word of mouth . . . what draws you in to a restaurant?

restaurant, but the atmosphere brings in the customers, or how long it’s been around, or people talk about it and spread the word, or or or . . . .

There are the places that are always full, seats hard to find, and while the food may be consistently good, or even hit or miss, there’s just something about the restaurant that pulls in a good loyal crowd.

There are the iconic restaurants, and the ones who garner five-stars who employ chefs with a pedigree. The food is good, the atmosphere stunning, the prices astronomical.

Well, isn’t there good food and wonderful atmosphere in the little tiny diners across America? —why yes, and they’ve only to find that One Thing, or Some Thing to call the customer to them, and once that happens, off they’ll go! Right? Right? Well. Maybe. Maybe not.

I’ve tried to study the whys of how some restaurants are packed and popular and others, though they have good quality food and sincere staff/owners, are barely hanging on. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes there simply isn’t a why. Sometimes there is only a How It Is. Sometimes it’s just luck. Timing. And luck. And Lots of Luck. And some Something that can’t be defined no matter how much we try, no matter how many blogs and updates and twitter feeds we read about “How To.” Sometimes it just is.

So. Our books. Yeah. Our readers. Our love. Our Life.

We can try to call people to us with contests or give aways or pointing out the good reviews

finding the silver lining . . .

we have or wear a funny book suit with a book hat on our heads while exuberantly rubbing our bellies—et cetera et cetera et cetera—but, in the end, sometimes our books may never become iconic or popular—we may never make a million bucks, and be lucky to make some thousands of bucks, or some may be lucky to sell but a few books at all.

While there are those savvy people who know how to market effectively, most of us are standing around with deer in the headlights eyes, flinging out sticky shit one side to the other in the hopes something sticks.

See, I’m thinking — I have to wake up with myself every day. I have to look in

No, really, I am a NICE person – I wouldn’t push my brother over the edge.

the mirror and like what I see. I have to feel comfortable with myself. I have to write the best book I know how and then hope a lot of hope. It is not in my nature to stand outside in a funny suit, rubbing my stomach, and wildly beckoning y’all to come inside. It’s in my nature to give you my words with love and hard work and sincerity and do the best I know how while remaining the person I am. To try my best without being a big pain in the ass to the social networking airwaves.

Would I love to see my books back in the Number 1 spot at Kindle? Hells to the yeahs, but will I hop on my head while reciting the complete works of Shakespeare to get your attention? Nope! Because what would you think of me? What would I think of myself? Lawd!

Keep it flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing . . .

Readers: what you can do to help your favorite author is to pass along the word – tell others about the author/book(s), and further if you are so inclined, review it on Amazon, B&N, etc., or talk about it on your blog/facebook/twitter: give us your love for it will be appreciated. Writers, what you can do is support other writers – someone else’s success does not take away from our own potential or real successes! We also can be more appreciative of what we have and where we are, for there is always someone else who’d love to be in our position. We should write the best books we can, and present them as beautifully and as “perfectly” as possible (note: in other words, don’t be in such a hurry to throw out your words just to say “I’m published”).

By the way: that hotdog stand went out of business. Just sayin.

Tell me: what’s up with y’all? My laptop is still in the laptop hospital and this little mini-netbook is terrible. lawd. I hope this post turns out presentable. Lawdy be in a bucket of worms.

Wednesday Classroom: Do your research to gain trust with your reader, yawwwwl

Morning Y’allses! Guess where I am while you are reading this? In Oregon! Lawdy but I’m far away from my little log house. GMR and the dawgs and the ghost dawg have the house and cove all to themselves and I bet they miss my pea-headed s’ef.  So, for this post, I’m a’trying to post ahead of time. Just think, as I’m typing this I’m in the little log house, but as you read it, I’m in Oregon. Wheeee ain’t technology grand?

Folkses, as you all may be able to tell from reading my posts on writing, I can be strict about some thangs. I try to have things Right. I want to convince my audience, and you should, too!

With fiction, bring in truths to ground the reader—and whatever those truths are will be  up to the writer to convey them. The amount of danged old research we do will have much to do with the place/time we create. My worlds have been and are in South Louisiana, West Virginia, and here in these western North Carolina mountains. My time has been from the 50′s to the present. My research will deal with that time and place.

If I’m writing about a real town, I need to be accurate about that town to honor its people and sense of Place–I wouldn’t have New Orleans as the capital of Louisiana–lawd!–because it is Baton Rouge; I wouldn’t have Maggie Valley with a McDonald’s because we do not have fast food joints in Maggie (except for one lonely Subway, and who knows how it managed to find its way here). If I’m writing about a fictional town based on a real town, I have a little more flexibility, but I still need to be mindful. Most of my books do not mention specific towns, but my readers can often guess where I am talking about, or place my characters in a specific area that they can relate to.

If you’ses have yourse’f a world that’s all made up, like “Madeupland,” you still must ground the reader in some reality, yawwwl, right? riigghhht! So there will be some research even if it’s minor. Mainly, if you have a “Madeupland” you best be consistent–I tell you what!

All you’ses wunnerfuls out there have seen me write this before: Convince your audience and you’ve done your job, no matter how, what, where, when, who you write. Throw all the danged ole rules out the window for all I care—just convince me, or you lose me as your reader.

Sometimes you may think you have something correct, but you do not! oopsies! It doesn’t hurt to double-check those things you “remember” or “think you know.” I had Tang in a Tender Graces scene–later, it began to bug me, when was Tang invented? I looked it up and Lawd!, it wasn’t released to the general public until sometime after my scene–the astronauts had it first.

Whenever I mentioned a movie or a television show or a football game, I made sure I had it Right. Folkses, you don’t EVEN want to go messing with South Louisiana and have their LSU Tigers game days, or anything else, wrong–lawd! I can’t have my South Louisiana town’s team playing  Old Miss in September when they didn’t play until later in the season, or have them playing in town when it was an out of town game. I can’t have the movie Rocky coming out in March of 1976 (in Secret Graces), because it didn’t release until December 1976. Look It Up and double check–our memories are wankity.

You can play around with research to enhance your books. Was there a significant weather event that would change something with my characters or their Place? Or make something fun/interesting? (Like the South Louisiana Hurricane mention in TG when Mee Maw comes to visit—category five Grandmother.) Or, if in the holler in West Virginia there was a bad snow storm, Katie Ivene wouldn’t be flying to town in her Rambler with the windows open yelling “wheeee!” I found sites that show historical weather. I love those little details even if only I know that on April 13, 1976, it really was 82 degrees and foggy in a town in South Louisiana (I use weather more as a mood or as Place or whatever, not that I go around quoting weather).

Little details help the reader to “Be There” with the character, to ground them in a place or time or mood, maybe even to have them say, “I know that place/event/area!” “Hey, I remember that!”

Don’t rely on only one source. I do the best I can to make sure I have everything as accurate as possible—because you are worth my time and care, you being the reader. Often, I double and triple check my sources.

Will someone find an error if they go through my books with a fine-toothed eye? I don’t know, but it won’t be for lack of me working hard and doing my job best I can. I don’t respect lazy writing and I know it when I read it.

When and how you do your research is up to you. Do what works.

Don’t cheat. Don’t be lazy. It’s worth it to build trust with your readers. Do you want your reader to stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute! This ain’t right . . .” and bump them from your world, your story? Naw! And more important to me: I want my reader to trust me and to forget about me and only focus on the narrator and the story.

Do you make sure you have things Right and build trust? Does your work require extensive research, or just a bit?

See all y’allses wunnerfuls later!

Don’t forget: I changed my blog posting schedule for my Classroom series & I am your Personal Trainer series, etc, to the first and third Wednesdays of the month, with Friday open to photos/art/video: no words. So there will only be posts twice a month, and on most Fridays, photos/video/art with no words.

Monday Classroom: See-Saw/Watch(ed)/Look(ed) – cleaning up our manuscripts, y’all (and no whining allowed!)

Morning all y’allses out there, wherever you are. I first want to say how much I appreciate you. Many of you come by here for every post, and there are those of you who leave comments regularly. Thank you.

I have not been able to return the favor as I used to, but I am subscribed to many of your blogs if you have that capability, and I do read your posts in my email. I know many of you are in the same ole boat–so much to do, so many blogs, so much social networking–Lawd!

I am behind on writing The Lightning Charmer because I whined too much instead of trusting my process.  “I caaaaaan’t write this boooooook. Cause it suuuuuuucccckkkks and I suuuucccck!” I have a deadline; I have already received my advance; I have people depending on me, readers waiting. There should be No Whining Allowed! But whine I did. I felt stuck.

After four published novels and a novella, you’d think I’d Have This. But we can always create some angst, can’t we? Lawdy be in a bucket – yes. Folks, sometimes just switching a scene around (making something happen earlier–as I did to TLC) or turning the manuscript on its head in some other way does the trick–Hey! Why, there it is! There’s the thang I was looking for hiding in plain ole sight–haw! And then the “flutter” of excitement begins in my/our belly and off I/we go! Give that sucker (your manuscript) a shake and see what falls out. Do whatever it takes to make it seem fresh  and alive. No Whining Allowed! (Okay, you can give yourself “whine time” as long as you do not give in to it for longer than two shakes of a hippo’s tail.)

Sometimes it is appropriate for a character to see-saw/watch(ed)/look(ed). But oft-times we write the character seeing looking watching when the direct action would work better. Right? Riiighhht!

For example, let’s say there’s a scene in Tender Graces where Virginia Kate and Micah are on the porch in the Looseeaner house after she’s left West Virginia.

Oh look! A rock. I am looking at the rock. You are looking at the rock. GMR is watching me look at the rock. I saw the rock. I see the rock and saw it and looked at it

Scene:

I looked over at Micah as we rocked on the porch. I saw him grin at me. I watched him run down the steps, pick up a pretty rock, and bring it back to me. He looked at me looking at the rock. I saw him look at me. We looked at each other and smiled. I watched him sit down. He looked at me as I rocked. I watched as he rocked. Then we looked at the sky because we were danged ole sick of looking at each other, sheesh.

Okay, folkses, I know that’s a little extreme, *teehee,* but you get the idea. Obviously sometimes we use looked/watched/saw, etc, because it fits the scene. Sometimes Virginia Kate uses the “I’m a looking fool” because that’s what she does–her thang; in those cases, I actually use it as a device, On Purpose, and I know it is On Purpose and the audience knows it is On Purpose–if they do not, then I ain’t done my job. This is what I mean about breaking rules or manipulating the language—if you are aware of what you are doing, if you are doing it On Purpose, it is fun to play with the language and it can be quite effective/affective.

If the sneakity sneaker thangs make their way into the work, then being aware of those sneakies will help tighten the manuscript.

Don’t stress yourself striving for perfection, especially in the first draft or two. I like to slam that story down first. However, the more you know instinctively, the less mess you have to clean up, right? RIIIIGHHHT!

Simplistically:
I saw the ball hit the wall. – The ball hit the wall.

I watched Marie jump rope. – Marie jumped rope.

I looked at Jennifer eating her pie. – Jennifer ate her pie. I want pie–this has nothing to do with this post, I just want pie now.

The audience will know the narrator is doing the watching/looking without us bomping them upside the head with it.

Playing with language and words is the most wonderful danged old thang in the world. If you tend to “over-do” or “over-use” certain words or phrases, etc, find ways to recast your sentences/phrases to create a tighter work. A swollen manuscript will become, well, not swolled up.

So, pull up your manuscript in your editing phases and do a search/find and see how many “look/see-saw/watch” you have hiding in there. You may be surprised.

Now–go Do This Day with Gratitude. And write.

Monday Classroom: The angst we can heap on our pea-heads, or the joy – you are in control, right?

Sometimes I follow Good Man Roger into Ingles Supermarket as he shops for groceries (yeah, he does the grocery shopping and most the cooking because I just ain’t innerested, y’allses! Left to my own self’ses, I eat the weirdest stuff that does not require cooking, or very little of it). I wander the aisles touching things and going “Hmmmm . . . food good, like food . . .” or I’ll study the ad copy on some miracle face cream and wonder if it’ll make me look like the Tender Graces author photo my publishers airbrushed–I look like my younger cousin once removed *lawd!*

And while doing these la-tee-dah thangs, I suddenly think, “Oh, hey, hold up y’all! I just remembered! I’m a published author.” I lift up my head from bright-colored packaging and muse-i-vate, “Right this very danged ole moment, someone may be reading one of my books . . .” Oh wonderment!–and

I gots books and friends and family – lucky me!

no one even knows who I am. But what if someone does? What if that person who just walked by and looked at me and smiled as if they know me does “know” me. Lawd! Teeheehee! I’m an author and I done wrote some books and those books are out there somewhere on someone’s bedside or bookshelf, or in their Kindle or Nook or whatever, whodathunkit?

I inhale that moment with the mountain air. I swallow it down and it enters my blood and rushes through my veins and fills my marrow and I’m full full full of how wunnerful it all is. As if I can think, “My time has come at last.” Without hubris, for humility covers my head like a gentle hand staying the jittery jumping up and down in glee–yeah, that humility ain’t always humble in us, is it? But it sure will kick us upside our asses if we become too comfy in our authory skinses and think we’re all that and then some on a southern-fried stick *haw haw.* Dang. I wanna be all that and then some on a southern-fried stick, at least a little. Right? Riiighhht. For without goals, what are we? Goal-less I guess – teehee. But I need me some goals. Something to work for, and that something is You and You and You reading me me me. Right? Isn’t that what you all writers out there want? Besides some Pride in our accomplishments? Maybe a best-seller list. And an award–ohh, yeah, a big fat ole award telling us how brilliant we are! Oh, yeah, and our ever-present humility, too – haw!

Yup, there are those moments of such clarity, those that stop me short in the peanut butter and jelly aisle. Those moments where I feel gratitude, and a surreal fascination with the entire process of writing and books and language and publishing. And how I am a part of all that even if in a small way in the Big Fat Ass Scheme of Thangs.

Aw lawd, what if what if what if what if – I’m trapped in What If Land!

Then, lawd he’p me, there are the moments of terror. The expectations I heap upon my ole pea-head until it’s heavy and I have to go lie down and pull some covers over my weighted-with-angsty-lawdyness head. I lie in my bed and the anxiety curls itself around my innards. “What if this very

lawdy! gots my pea-head all tied up in knots!

moment someone is reading my book and thinks, ‘This isn’t very good. I think I’ll put it down and read something else . . .’” Oh horrors! “What if I don’t sell many books and my publishers and family and friends think I’m a failure?” Ungh  ungh! “What if the next book isn’t as good as the last? And was the last good enough?” Shivers on me timbers! “What if I let everyone down?” Oh Chicken Little, be quiet! The sky is not falling to bang you upside your head, lessen you pull it down your head. Right? Riiiighhhht.

There is such contradiction in this process of having your dream come true. For me, the original dream was to see my Virginia Kate novel published and to know she is being read and enjoyed by someone somewhere. I accomplished that. Everything else should be lagniappe (that’s a South Loooseeeaner term for “just a little something more.”) But when those little voices creep up and tell us how we need to do more, and more, and even more, and ever ever ever MORE MORE MORE MORE, this is when the joy of the language, the characters, the readers, the accomplishment of writing and publishing a novel is not enough and we think we have to have/do/be it all– and most of us can’t have/do/be it all. There’s always going to be Something More unless we find a way to put all this in some perspective, stop and take a breath, and then decide what our ultimate Goal is and how we will get there and if we do not get there will we be happy with what we DO have.

Welp, guess what? We really are in control of what we want to heap on our wittle pea-headed selves–much more than we give our selfses credit for. We can heap and heap, or we can not heap and heap.

Relax, relax, relax and enjoy life sometime . . .

I know I like me better when I’m walking through the grocery store and suddenly stop and that beautiful realization pops me upside my head that I actually did it. I wrote a novel and that novel is published and then I wrote three more of them and they were published, and any one of them could be, right at this moment, read and enjoyed by someone out there somewhere. Sometimes that is enough. Those Dang! Whoop! I did it! moments of tasting our accomplishments–rolling those accomplishments on our tongue. Sometimes, it is enough. Sometimes. Sommmmeeetimmmmmessssss it is enough *sigh*

My challenge to all of you is to stop where you are at this moment in your life, savor who and where you are—hold close to you the Right Now moment, before you move on to MORE MORE MORE. Then, when you move on to More, maybe it’ll have a Name and  Goal instead of “I have to have/be/do it ALL!”

squirrels ain’t stressing

Right now. Right here at this moment, a mountain breeze flies down from the ridge and brushes against my face, a bird’s bright eye watches me, a chipmunk fills its cheeks with seed, the red squirrels are fussing, the creek sings its journey song to the bold creek to the river to the ocean, the sun tips greened trees, and I feel a connection to every creature, every living being—through words and thought and life. I will soon begin my day’s work and it is good. It is good. Right now, it is good.

Thank all y’allses for reading: Now . . . what is your right now, right here moment?

And what is your Ultimate Goal?

Monday Classroom: let’s drink a big ole glass of Discipline Juice, y’allses!

The thing that keeps me on my treadmill for an hour and then to my strength training exercises and then to my mat for yoga; the thing that stops me from eating beyond the point when I have had quite enough; the thing that tells me “no” when I want something I can’t afford and so I walk away from it; the thing that has me flossing every night because it is good for me; the thing that keeps me healthy and strong and powerful is—Discipline. But this isn’t Wednesday and time for Personal Trainer Kat, this is Monday Classroom.

So, my beautiful friends, that same discipline I use for my body is a contributing factor—a hah-uuuge one—to being a successful author/novelist. And by “successful,” for these purposes, I mean an author/novelist who creates and completes

works. And for this author, that means at least a book a year–so far. Without discipline, it’s easy to slip into the idea of writing, to talking about writing, to writing about writing, without ever actually writing the danged ole book. I’m looking at you—yeah you! You with the Face! The Guilty Face! You know I’m right don’t you? Right? Riiighhht. And my face can be added to the guilty since I have been doing just about everything BUT the writing of “The Lightning Charmer,” which is due in a year–and that year will speed of light pass. Why have I not been writing?–shiny things! shiny things! shiny things! And folkses, the writing is what I love the best–it’s the balm that soothes. I’ve not been drinking my Discipline Juice and it shows–my black-holed brain’s synapses are WHOOP WHOOP WHIR WHIR BA-LOOP BA-LOOP BOING BOING. Oh dear.

As much as I love what I do–writing books–I sometimes will procrastinate. Yeah! Me! Huhn. Can you buh-leeve it? Little ole pea-headed me la tee dahing around as if I don’t have a thang in the world to do – la la la la la tee dah. There’s some shiny thing that captures my attention, or I’ll play on the internet, or I’ll call myself doing “research” when I know all I’m doing is messing around. Well,  it’s time for danged ole mean Discipline to pull me up by my ears and sit my arse in my chair and put my fingers on the keys and tell me, “Stop fekering around and write your danged book, or else!”

My (and yours, too?) Or else’s could mean, do mean—

The less I write, the crazier I am—oh you think I am being a cliché? That I’m pulling on that “writer’s persona” – oh no y’allses. I am slap dab cray-cray when I do not regularly write. And “or else” means I’ll not meet my deadlines—if I were working at a “9 to 5 regular job” and didn’t do my work, I’d be fired; well, it’s the same if I don’t meet my deadlines—then I could hear a see ya Kat! We’ll go find some author who takes her job seriously and meets her deadlines and actually writes books instead of just saying she’s going to—huhn. I’ve always met my deadlines because I drank my Discipline Juice. Give me a glass, quick! If I don’t write my readers will sure miss my books—okay, this is  my hope anyway *haw!* But, yes, I suppose there are some who would miss me before eventually forgetting about me because there are plenny more authors out there who will WRITE THE DANGED BOOK! It means I don’t pull in a salary. “Or else” means I let people down—and I let myself down.

Folks, whatever it is you want, discipline is the vehicle to drive you there—hey “drive” – yeah – discipline and drive – get it Huh? get it! Ha!

Discipline: Thesaurus on word doc reads—control, regulation, restraint, authority obedience, and the opposite of it reads: CHAOS. Oh! How perfect for me! Yes, chaos happens inside my pea-headed brain and all up and around this here Self when I am not disciplined. Lawdy be.

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird -

Y’allses, you must drink your daily glass of Discipline Juice so you can grow strong and supple and capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound! Or at least you will reach your goals and do the things you wish for, hope for, live for, dream about, and if leaping tall buildings in a single bound is your dream, well, um, well—okay, it probably ain’t gonna happen—I hate to be the one to bust up your bubbles but maybe you oughta think of something else to strive for. Just sayin. Buildings are TALL, dang it all. Oh, you meant metaphorically leap over them -well, why didn’t you say so. Huhn.

Without discipline we eat and drink too much, spend too much, laze around too much, make excuses too much.

Discipline can suck. Discipline is a party-pooper. Discipline is on its high-horse, sitting there all holier than thou and all, huhn! But, it belongs on its pedestal, for when it is practiced, when discipline is hugged to us and becomes a part of us, it creates and builds and achieves and glorifies and stretches us beyond what and where we ever thought we’d go and be.

La tee dah - oh the inside of my hat is soooo innnnnerestin' shiny things shiny things!

Discipline is what is going to get me off this blog and into my word doc, off bloopering around social networking (even telling myself “but it’s for my novels—I’m promo’ing!” Uh Huh, you are “promo’ing” about as much as a dawg “promos” on the lawn. You ain’t doing shit.), gets me out of my Boopmobile “because I have to run some errands” (although I do rarely leave my lil log house and maybe should run more errands, haw!), gets me off my couch until it’s actually time to hit my couch—sends me right-cheer to sit on my butt and write The Lightning Charmer and the next book and the next. To give it all I have. To write with all the heart I have—and when I do this, I am doing what I do best, what I love, and it’s the greatest thing ever, and then Discipline shakes its head and rolls its eyes as I say, “Why’d I procrastinate? This is WONDERFUL! This is all I ever wanted to do! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! YAAAHOOOOOOOOOO!”

So how’s about it y’all? Let’s all drink a big ole glass of Discipline Juice and get our arses to work. You up for it? Drink it down and then use Discipline when that next “THANG” hovers before your brain all tantalizing and shiny—that choice you will make without excuses to do what you have to/must do for your dreams is Discipline. The choice (discipline) that will yield results.

What do you need to be more disciplined about, my friends?

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