My Weight Loss Journey – Entry #2

Hi Readers,

**  Life has it’s ups and downs.  But how we react to them is our choice.**

I have to say, I was disappointed when I walked into my office today wearing a shirt that was a smaller size than I have been in a long while and no one said anything.

I prepared myself for compliments and possibly questions of “have you lost weight?,” or “are you losing weight?” but not one person said anything and it was a bit surprising.  However, I am not trying to lose weight for the wow factor though at some point someone has to say something when I am walking around one hundred pounds lighter- you would think- but, I digress, the reason why I am losing weight is not to impress others, it’s so that I can be healthy- healthier than I have been in a very long while.

This is my goal and my vision.  I realize that having your best, optimum health is like having a solid bar of gold in your hands.  It is worth that much.  Because when you have your health, you can achieve and accomplish anything you set your mind to.  It opens doors that once were not possible.

This is what I look forward to.

The ability to be lighter on my feet, more flexible, more energetic, and the greater ability to challenge myself to do more.

I realize that you can also make more money when you are healthier because you have the ability to do more.  You have freedom.  You can live a better lifestyle and that brings more joy and happiness to not only you but all the lives you touch along the way.

~ I want this so badly. ~  I want to engage in conversations with no shame, no apologies, and to be my quirky, crazy, fun self without hiding behind layers of fat.

I know this will be a long journey for me but I have started it and I’m not stopping now.  So far I have lost fourteen pounds.  An extra three (thanks to my current sinus infection, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise when it came to my weight loss goal) since my last post but I have approximately ninety-three left to go till my goal weight.  Yes, I am that big.  But I will do it because among other things, I want to see if I can.  Right now, though, I am taking one day at a time and blessing every pound that leaves my body for they have served me well but I don’t need them anymore.

I am happy to note that even though I only lost fourteen pounds, it was enough to drop another shirt size so now I don’t have to shop in the Plus size section anymore, when it comes to tops, I can now sort through the Ladies section.  This is fantastic for me because it’s been a while since I have had the pleasure of choosing clothing from this section.  Unfortunately, my hips, stomach and rear have not followed suit (smile) and it remains in the Women’s Plus section, but that’s okay.  I’ll get there and I’m not in a hurry.  Whatever happens, happens, and it will occur at the best time for me.

My supportive friend Michael offered me advice when I recently disclosed to him my wants and worries about losing weight.  He said “Be relaxed and motivated.”  I know.  Sounds like an oxymoron, right?  However, what he meant was to not worry but stay motivated to change.  Makes sense and, as usual, is good advice, for anyone.

So, lovely readers, I will sign off here on another week and wish you well.  If you are embarking on a weight loss journey of your own or if my blogs have helped motivate you to join me, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, be well and safe.

Scale

Words of Wisdom from the Spiritual Guru

Hi Readers,

 

You may have heard me mention, in the past, about my friend Michael.  Michael is an amazing being and a rare gem.  I’m always at a loss for words to describe who he is and what he means to me.  He has been my champion when I’ve felt the whole world has let me down, my greatest comfort when my mom passed away over one year ago, and my support system through the daily struggles of Author life.

Over the years, he has shared with me such wise words of wisdom that it would be a shame to withhold the great pearls of truth he has entrusted to me.  So today, I’d like to share with you our discussion last night regarding fear and love.

It’s hard for me to do justice to his statements because I feel more what he says than I can put into words but I’ll try, so here goes…

~ We started chatting about the differences between love and fear. ~

He told me fear distances/separates people.  He reminded me to do things with love.  Then I questioned him regarding right and wrong.  If I blindly trust, how do I know if I’m doing things that are right or maybe wrong.  His answer:  Do all things with love as your true intention and you can never do wrong.  If love is the reason for your action then you have nothing to concern yourself with.

Fear is a barrier and often a means to control a person or a situation.  It is not love.  True love places no limits on a person.  Fear does.  Michael is a proponent for love.  He feels that fear incapacitates and boxes people up in little jail cells where they can never reach their potential.

Love opens your heart and your mind to all kinds of possibilities.  Love is freedom.  Love is genuine.  Love is truth.

Thank you Michael for your guidance.  I love you.  xoxo

And to all my wonderful readers out there, all over the world, may you be blessed and love, always.

$2,668.94 Later…

Do you know what’s interesting?  Most don’t realize how expensive it is to be a writer.

I just finished itemizing all of the costs associated for my writing business and that is the figure I came up with.  I have spent $2,668.94, in 2016, just to keep my writing career afloat.  This doesn’t include: the cost of monthly Internet, cell phone costs for keeping in touch with my readers and PA’s by phone, text, or internet and purchases I made before I started keeping receipts to itemize, later.  It also doesn’t include all the time, energy and sweat I invested in writing my books and keeping my business running smoothly and organized.  However, this grand figure does include: purchasing books, payments to companies for hosting me in their events, gathering reviews for me, purchasing countless amounts of swag, keeping up a blog/site to keep in contact with readers, and mailing items to readers that have won my contests and giveaways, all in the effort to promote/market my books, world-wide.

All I can say is WOW!  When you look at the grand total, it really makes you think.  A beginning writer, like me, is lucky to make anything close to this in the first couple of years… if ever.  It makes you consider whether you want to keep writing or not.  For this amount of money, I could’ve taken a relaxing vacation in Hawaii, but instead I was trying to promote/market and entertain my readers with the hopes of gaining new readers, in the long run.

Authors definitely do what they do for Love.  Like many readers, authors don’t have money either.  They don’t have the extra cash, readily available, to plug into their business hence the reason why most authors work somewhere else to gain the money to do what they love on a part-time basis, instead of not doing it at all.  Can you imagine if every author realized how expensive their writing career was and just dropped out?  Stopped writing.  Started using that cash to do something else fun, like travel.  What would we, readers, do to entertain ourselves if there were no more books left on the shelves to read?

Thankfully, authors continue to write despite the fact that there’s little financial reward involved.  Many unknown authors write great books and it’s a shame they remain in the shadows.  So the next time you think you can’t afford a book, take a second and think about the one who wrote it and all the time, energy and love they put into that book that they may never recover in financial gain.

Do something wonderful and unexpected today for an author(s) you Love and let them know what you think about their work and what is it about their books that you enjoy.  Give them kudos to keep them going.  Authors soak this up like water on a hot day but, sadly, praise is sporadic at times or rare.  By telling an author you care and to keep writing, you will have added joy to their day and meaning to their career.  So, what are you waiting for?  Spread some love and joy today and tell an Author to keep writing!

book-in-progress-picture

Tell someone today~

~*~*  Some days you just have to love… Michael ~*~*

I’m in a weird, kind of strange mood today. Probably because I’m under the weather, not feeling well and I need comfort. And when I think of comfort, I think of Michael~ my go-to, spiritual guru. He is an extra special, extremely rare, amazing beauty (inside and out). He is so humble but so comical too. And his hugs always make you feel special, protected, and loved.
It is times like this that I’m reminded about relationships and how extremely important it is to verbally acknowledge and appreciate those around you who mean the world to you. We get so caught up in doing things that we often forget to tell those closest to us how much they mean to us. I try often to do this with my hubby but sadly I fail, quite a lot. Take a minute today to tell someone how much they mean to you and how, without their relationship, you wouldn’t be the same. I have so many in my lives, including Michael, that if they weren’t with me, I’d be so unhappy for it.
**And for you, my fans and readers, thank you so much for your kind words, your loving generosity and most of all for your tireless support of me in my endeavors to become a well-known, loved Paranormal Romance Author. **  You all are the best!  Now go tell someone how much they mean to you and have a fabulous day! 

I am learning to let go

After more than a week of re-playing scenes from a grave injustice, in my brain, I am finally at the stage where I am learning to let go of this situation so that I can move on and be happy again.

It’s amazing to me how people can walk around hurting others and not caring.  No acknowledgment that the situation even occurred, no apologies, but lots of pretending.  This person who hurt me has injured me twice.  The first time she told me to my face that I’m not a good supervisor then ran out of her office crying saying, “This is a horrible place, a horrible place.”  The second time she went above my head to inquire if what I was trying to implement was endorsed by Headquarters.  In a company where each unit’s supervisor should be able to make decisions and implement what is best for their unit, this staff member decided to report what I was trying to do in good faith rather then to come to me and talk about it.  This, after she volunteered to assist with the implementation of my endeavor.  Amazing!  A snake in the grass waiting to attack?  Yes, wholeheartedly yes.  And I didn’t see it coming.  When she could’ve come to me after agreeing with what I stated to tell me she didn’t agree anymore and we could’ve worked it out, instead she went beyond me to do what?  I’m not sure.  Some say she was trying to get me formally written up while others say she was trying to get me into trouble. Well, neither happened and my boss was encouraging and on my side but because of a slight technicality, this staff member got her way and now she walks around the office like nothing ever occurred.

I’ve always felt if you do something, even if it’s negative and especially if you hurt someone as a result of your actions, you should own up to it, go to that person, explain your reasons for doing what you did and if you have to, take the blame because people are precious and relationships with people are even more so.  Why would you burn your bridges when you have to work with the same team members, day after day?  It doesn’t make any sense to me to make enemies of those you rely on for support.  I now know several things about this co-worker I didn’t know before:  she has a big ego (that needs stroking all the time), she doesn’t have my back ever, she has limited insight into her own faults, and she is not a team player though she blames everyone else for not being part of a team.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world that are exactly like my co-worker.  They portray themselves as funny and kind on the outside, a charlatan of sorts acting a part in a theatrical play with little to no sincerity.  These people are fun in social, group settings but very immature underneath it all.  When they don’t get their way- look out- they spring to attack and sadly, they have no integrity, so they will never own up to what they did.

I believe these types of people are put in our path for us to learn lessons though I still don’t understand why we need to learn lessons.  Maybe one day I will comprehend the bigger picture.  But I do know we would never learn anything if these people didn’t exist.  So, instead of getting angry, letting bitterness and resentment and even confusion over their actions settle in so that we are uncomfortable ever day and robbed of joy, we need to let go and forgive.  I was reminded of this fact this morning when my friend and guru Michael chatted with me.  I have undergone such tension this past week wondering the reason why this staff member would feel the need to attack me when I try to be a loving, kind, flexible Supervisor.  There was no need for her to take her ‘complaint’ beyond me and I still don’t understand her reasoning.  But it’s not for me to understand.  The deed is done.  Nothing bad happened to me and I need to move forward and let go.  Michael reminds me if your actions stem from a source of kindness, love, generosity- if you have good intentions, no bad will ever come from it.  You may have a temporary low period but positive always bring positive.

It is time to “Enter Love” as Michael puts it.  To be well and happy again because even though I don’t have the support of this staff member, I do have the support of so many more, including my wonderful friends and family.  When you are slighted, take yourself out of the narrowed viewpoint and remind yourself of all that you truly have.  You are blessed and you have wondrous support though you may not see it at the time because your emotions are bogging you down.

You deserve happiness.  Don’t let someone’s ill-advised, mean-spirited actions rob you of the joy of living.  We are only here a short time so make the most of each day with those who love and support you because you deserve the best!  Forgive, because you refuse to wallow in misery trying to understand the intention of why someone hurt you.  It’s not worth your time and energy and you have better, happier things to concentrate on.

I wish you many blessings and happiness always!  ***

love-carved-in-leaf-on-beach

Empath?

Some people say I’m sweet~  Well, I’m not sure if I am or not but I know, like any other, I’m trying.

I had to counsel a co-worker this afternoon and on my way home I found myself running over, in my mind, all of the things I could’ve said to her but didn’t because I didn’t even think of them…  I wondered what happened to me in this circumstance when at times I surprise myself, hearing amazing, thought-provoking words flowing off my tongue that are likely from a higher source other than me.  However, this time I could kick myself because I didn’t do my best.  I faltered badly in front of someone who needed me though I didn’t do this intentionally.

** The problem is I feel more than I know what to say.  **

The words somehow get stuck or don’t come to mind because I’m feeling for the person, wondering how I can assist them to feel better.  It’s later that I run through all of the sentences and paragraphs of wise knowledge I should’ve imparted to them.  Then I feel inadequate, wonder if I should set up another meeting with them so I can impart all these wise tidbits, maybe even write them on a sheet of paper so I can remember them later when I’m sitting face to face with them again and in “duh” mode.  I also ask myself why did I not think of these things when I was face to face with them and… I have no answer.  I have no idea why but I feel like I did them a disservice and if they had this information maybe they’d be empowered to make better choices.

And the word Empath comes to mind.  A word I’ve Googled countless times but am not sure if it really fits me.  A word that doesn’t seem too empowering and I may not want to be labeled as.  A single word that seems people who fit into this category have been dealt the ‘short straw’ so to speak.  They feel too much and that it’s a bad thing because you have to protect yourself and do some type of rituals to’wash off the energies’ of others, all the time to be safe.  A word that makes me feel like a doormat for others’ problems.

I’ve always considered myself strong and capable.  Able to take on anything and survive.  A Superwoman of sorts.  But this single word Empath doesn’t hold those same traits.

I can only hope that part of what I said to my co-worker made sense and that I got through.  I hope that this beautiful, generous, kind and loving woman who doesn’t see herself in that way anymore and struggles with her own personal experiences realizes what a true treasure she is and that maybe, just maybe, despite my “empathic” ways becomes stronger, more confident and courageous.  Sadly, there aren’t many like her in this world and if there’s anything any of us ’empaths’ can do to help these wonderful souls through this challenging world, it is our duty to assist them to their highest good and greatest potential.  All we can do is try.

 

 

Preparing for Matthew- a Hurricane is coming!

Hi Readers,

 

It is raining here this Thursday morning as residents from Central Florida to the East coast of Florida prepare for  the inevitable- Hurricane Matthew!  It has been awhile since I’ve had to prepare for a Hurricane and so much has happened in the past two days.  I really hope that this one is much kinder than Charlie was to us but whatever happens, it’s coming and we have to ride it out.  So here’s what’s happened since I learned that Matthew changed its course to come visit me.

October 5th-

I was at Wal-Mart in the early morning hours, purchasing normal every day items, unaware a hurricane was targeting my area when I asked a cashier if it was general practice for cashiers without their lights on to take customers.  He informed me that due to the ‘Hurricane rush’ they were just taking people but it was not a normal event.  This is when I realized that Matthew was approaching and I needed to take it seriously.  I then called my husband from the car to discuss the serious nature of this approaching storm and to ask if he thought we needed anything.  He said water and maybe some canned foods and chips, so I headed back into the store with my shopping cart, grabbing a box of Halloween cookies to soothe my additional stress and as a reward for being pro-active when I ventured down crowded aisles to find absolutely no canned pasta, only a few cans of canned chicken in various, strange flavors (one of them was damaged) and no water bottles anywhere.  What a surprise!

So, after doing all I could:  purchasing 8 bottles of flavored water, 2 cases of flavored canned water, one can of chicken and tons of bags of chips and crackers, and grabbing 4 bottles of actual plain water (I couldn’t believe I found) in the small refrigerator in the check out lane, I drove home.

I then reviewed my inventory of canned items I already have at home.  We have a good, not stellar, supply already and I hope it’s enough for the three people in my life I have to worry about (hubby, me and my ailing dad who lives in his own apartment).

However, I started worrying about our supply of water but I found a good tip online advising to fill freezer bags with water and freeze them.  So I set about doing just that and realized that next time I will need to buy brand name freezer bags to be safe for the locking mechanism on off-brands is precarious.  ** For a fun experience try filling freezer bags with water while holding the bags with both hands as they grow heavier and heavier and shifting the tap off with your mouth.

~ It’s funny the things you do when you can’t find water in the store.  I started brain-storming and came up with the idea to fill my Keurig and my alternate coffee pot, to capacity, with water in case I needed to siphon some out to boil, etc. for later.  And I happily found three pitchers in my cabinets and filled them all, setting them aside on the counter in front of my make-shift “water storage”.

After my hubby returned home, we took in all the decorations, wind chimes, benches and chairs from outside (it’s amazing what you have outside of your house- you never really know how much until you have to collect them) and set them in the garage and then called it a night.

October 6th-

I woke up considering what to do with all the food in the freezer and refrigerator due to power outages.  Since we live in an older neighborhood, our power lines are above ground and just the slightest wind will cause an outage.  With the pending hurricane there is no question we will have no power and since we no longer live near a water treatment plant or fire station, it could be days to weeks before power is restored.  So, I proceeded to pack everything up in bags and transport them to my dad’s apartment.  He has my spare refrigerator in his garage and since his electricity is tied in with the fire station next door his power very rarely goes out and when it does, it’s less than an hour or two before it comes back up.  Thank goodness for small miracles!  Now almost all my food and condiments are packed into the spare refrigerator.

But then I forgot- I also have my Hurricane Supply box in my dad’s garage as we’ve never had a chance to move it to my house.

hurricane-box-2016

 

And when I lifted the lid, I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!

 

water-supply

4 Jugs of water!  Eureka!!!!  And a bunch of battery powered fans, too.  It’s really the little things that excite you when a monster of a storm is approaching.

So here I am sitting at my computer, after turning down the a/c to cool the house with all the ceiling fans running too (to make the temperature as frosty as possible before the lights go out) with only routine things left to do- check the mail and make lunch while I still have an oven that works.

And so, to all you readers in the impact zone, please be safe!  I will chat with you soon.

 

Are you down? Talk to me

You ever get down?  I mean really down.  Like the lowest of the low.  Like so low you don’t think you can rise up again.  Like your heart aches and something massive is just sitting on it and won’t let up.  This ever happen to you?

I asked Authors what they do when they get this way.  When they feel like their purpose for writing has dimmed somewhere beyond in the shadows, unreachable.  When they look at their sales diminishing and wonder why this is happening when they’ve done nothing but promote?  When the thought runs across their mind that they might be a failure but didn’t know it- didn’t recognize the tell tales signs.

Authors go through mood swings more rapidly than medicine can cure.  It’s a wonder we still retain some of our sanity.  From writing a book to editing/critiquing/ feeling utter hopelessness when comparing our measly sentences with any other authors’ work.  We are the most critical on ourselves but it’s for a purpose for if we didn’t shred, obliterate and even trash our own work, re-writing words that end up into lengthy paragraphs, often re-working and molding our characters for our readers’ tastes, then we’d be left with a rough shell of a novel no one would enjoy.

It’s the moments when we wonder why we go on and we compare ourselves to those who actually earn a living at writing that we have to be careful about.  If we get to a point where we want to wallow in our misery and sob our eyeballs out that we are not JK Rowling, that’s an indication to step away from the computer and do something else.  It could be writing a blog like this to get all your feelings out, taking a very long walk, indulging in a hobby, eating chocolate as one novelist recommended, or doing anything else to give ourselves a break because- truthfully- when do we do that?  When are we kind to ourselves, instead?

If you’re a writer, then you know with every year and every new book you write, you gain experience.  Think back at your first manuscript, at your first endeavor into social media, at your first blog you wrote and realize all the knowledge you gained along the once treacherous, undefined path.  You have done a great job, my friend!  Pat yourself on the back and stop kicking yourself.  If after all you’ve encountered, learned and experienced, you are still writing, then there is a reason for it and the world is waiting for you to grace it with your next novel.

However, please, take the time to love yourself and think positive when times are rough and when you think you don’t have enough sales and support.  They will come.  I hope that I have helped you in some small way along your journey.  I know that I, too, need reassurances along the way to continue and even though not every Author may support you, I do!

When you get down, take the time that you need to sit back, relax and re-energize.  Reassurance can come in different forms and it can be as simple as a few words of encouragement.  Mine came tonight from a friend who reassured me that I am loved beyond infinity, forever and ever.  What a sweet message.  I am smiling as I write this.  This was all that I needed to write this article to encourage you, my fellow authors to continue doing what you do best- spreading joy, light and love through your words, whether they be in a blog, article, or a book- you are valued- never forget that.

Until we meet again.  Take care, my friends.

ink-pen-and-paper

 

 

 

“You’re an amazing woman”

Wouldn’t you like to wake up one day and have someone tell you you’re amazing?

Well, that’s what happened to me, this morning.  In the middle of my stretches, I got a message from my good friend and guru, Michael, telling me I’m amazing.  Wow!  That was not only really sweet but so needed during this temporary time of chaos I’m going through.

My whole writing world has been uplifted and I’m having to re-do things I’ve done before.  What’s not helpful is hearing from people that they’ve gone through this same thing many times before but what is supportive and encouraging is hearing I will survive, it’s for a good reason and I’m doing the right thing and for that I need to thank my many readers, fans and friends for even though I may only mention Michael in this blog because he has been pretty close to me these last couple of days and I cherish every moment he spends with me on his busy schedule, there are so many of you out there that have faith in me.  You all are the reason I write and my reason to keep “plugging away” toward a, hopefully, more beneficial future for my books.

It’s during these times when you have to re-group and re-focus to re-claim what you already had, that you realize what kind and generous support there is out there.  For the wonderful few that  have taken the time out of their day to write an encouraging message to me here or on any of my FB accounts, I thank you, deeply and sincerely.  You all remind me of what’s important:  to keep hope, to keep working toward my goal, and most of all, to not give up because it’s just a temporary setback and it’s for a good reason I can’t see right now.

I love you all!  Thank you so much for your support!

When your world is falling apart- seek a friend

My Publisher dropped me.

Wow.  I can’t believe I’m actually saying that.  I never thought I’d find myself in such a predicament but it’s true.

I found out the horrific news yesterday.  My publisher has narrowed its genres and what it will take based on what sells and sadly it’s everything I don’t write.

I write M/F Paranormal Erotic Romance and now I need to start the whole search process again for a new Publisher.  Either that or consider self-publishing; however, upon reviewing formatting requirements just to publish on Amazon, I looked at the paperwork, completely dumbfounded.  There are so many formatting requirements for self-publishing that I can’t imagine anyone actually does this.  I applaud those who do because I could actually feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head when I read everything I needed to do just to publish a book on my own.  Wow.

So, after one full day and going on another- of bouts of crying and bursting into full blown tears, I have come to accept my “rejection” status and am slowly seeking another home for my books.  I just sent my latest MS -which was under contract but is no longer being published due to the new rules- to a Publisher thirty minutes ago.  Keeping my fingers and toes crossed at this point.  I will be searching for more, entering into the tedious arena of seeking representation for not only this book but hopefully all my books, forever more.  Because going through what I’m going through now is not fun and I don’t want to experience this ever again.  It is downright scary to know you have no one to publish your books anymore and all because I want to write a beautiful, loving story that people will remember and not something that will make big bucks and big sales at the moment.  The interesting part is those types of stories may make instant money but they might not leave much of an impression on readers after the hedonistic fantasy is over with.

So, amidst all this personal chaos comes my friend and guru Michael, right in the nick of time.  He reminded me several days ago that he is with me “every step of the way”and now he is asking me not to cry, telling me this is all for a purpose and that the outcome is in my best interest.  The first emotion running through me when I received the devastating news was that I was all alone in a never ending blizzard, but because he’s such a good friend and he cares, he is reminding me that I am not alone and he is in it with me.

So when you go through chaos, as we all do at some point in our life, reach out for a friend, allow someone to hold you, remind you of your strength and don’t stop-keep going.  There are setbacks, yes, and it sucks.  What I’m going through I consider a challenge and a test but I will survive it even if I have to truly consider self-publishing.

Either way my next book, Apollo, The Guardian League, Book 3 will be published.  It will likely not be this year as my publisher projected and I had hoped but it will be at the right time and with the right Publisher.

 

 

 

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