Sunday, June 30, 2013

Firework Overkill, Grumpy Old Goats, & CAPTCHA

Here in the States, our Independence Day celebration is only days away(July 4th) and I am so excited. Camping plans with friends are set, our gear is ready to go, we've had the first of many barbeques, and even had a neighbor come yell at us about shooting fireworks off in our neighborhood-on a Saturday night- the weekend before July 4th. What a grumpy old goat.

To be fair, the hub and kiddo might have gone a bit overboard with the fireworks.

*shrug* They only get to blow things up once a year. Boys will be boys, no?

To top it all off,  my sister is coming to visit for a couple of weeks. Woot!

Despite all of the fun, or maybe because of it, the creative juices are gushing. I've been finishing up my first novel and hope to get serious about submitting by the end of this summer. I've started another project, a novella, that is going to be killer! And I have a 3rd project that is singing to me in my dreams. Oh yeah, I am awesome!

My kiddo agrees. Yum, I love skittles!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am!

I wanted to take a moment to talk again about CAPTCHA. I was new once and had no idea how badly I was sabotaging my own blog by requiring word verification. If you're blog still requires your guest to enter a security code or CAPTCHA before it will allow them to post a comment, you'll want to remove it. You have no idea how many people are reading your blog, like what they see, decide to comment, then change their mind when they are required to enter a CAPTCHA. Don't let this happen to you. Here is how you remove it!

1)Go to Settings
2) Click Post and Comments
3)On the drop down menu beside 'Show word verification' select 'No'

Any questions? Message me!

If you're in the States, how are you celebrating July 4th? If not in the States, what exciting plans do you have for the summer? Do you change your mind about commenting when you realize CAPTCHA/word verification is required?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interesting Blog Posts!

I just spent the last hour reading from the list of blogs I follow and it occurred to me that this list is fairly eclectic. I'm rather picky about who I follow and have no problem with unfollowing someone if that blog floods my blog feed with junk.

Today, I've read a blog on politics, one on cooking, several on writing, one on parenthood, and one written by a comedian. I love getting to know such a diverse collection of people. So I thought I'd share the 3 that stood out to me the most. (This by no means represents all of my favorite blogs. That list would take much too long to share. These are just some I read today.) I love blogs that make me think, make me laugh out loud, and that teach me things each time I visit. I hope you find these as interesting.

The first blog I'd like to share comes from Arlee over at Tossing It Out. He touched on a subject that I truly feel is one of the biggest issues in our country today...Apathy: If it doesn't directly affect me, then it isn't important. -or- There's nothing I can do to change it anyway.
All I can say is, "Wake up, people!" Thanks, Arlee, for a great and very interesting post!

Second up is Kiran who is guest blogging on Scary Mommy today. Her post is about how much time we spend being unhappy with our bodies as women and how we raise our daughters to be the same. I totally agree with her...this is not right. Love your body and your daughter will love hers, too, ending the vicious cycle of discontent with how we look. Stop missing the best days of your life by focusing on what isn't perfect!

Next, T.B. McKenzie at Magickless talks about 5 things we writers all do in our first drafts. I was nodding through most of it and if you're also a writer, you'll be doing the same thing. We writers should never stop reading on our craft and reminding ourselves of those important things we learned while writing that first novel.

Finally, I'd like to share Heather's humor over at Minivan Momma. This lady cracks me up. She seems a bit...uh-hum, tired, today. While I don't post them, I have to admit I've had thoughts along the same lines as these. Too funny, Heather!

I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did and that you'll give them a follow if you don't already. Believe me, they are each well worth it!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Feature Blog & Yoga

I'm so honored to announce that I was asked if my blog could be featured today on Write. Blog. Connect. It's a new blog and website set up by blogger and writers, Angela Christina Archer and Regina Walker as a place for writers and readers of all walks to unite. I hope you'll go on over and show them encouragement and support for this new endeavor.

Thank you Write. Blog. Connect. for choosing my blog as today's feature.

Today I'd like to talk about stress...and my newest method for getting rid of it.

For the last 7 years, I've been avid and consistent in making fitness a part of my daily routine. My goal was to avoid the tendency toward obesity in my family, to set a good example for my son, and to avoid things like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol, if possible. What I hadn't considered was that it would also be good for ridding oneself of stress.

I prefer high intensity workouts that really make me sweat, elevate my heart rate, and turn my face a bright cherry red. The military might have had something to do with this.

I have always turned up my nose at what I considered the 'light' methods of exercise like Yoga and Pilates. I knew next to nothing about these except what I'd see as I passed by classrooms at my local YMCA on my way to whatever exercise I had planned for myself. (Ridiculous, I know.) It just seemed like stretching and breathing. Totally boring and not worth wasting my valuable time.

Last month, I experienced 2 of the most stressful weeks of my entire life. With them came high anxiety, a sick ulcer type feeling in my stomach, shaking hands, ricocheting emotions, and loss of appetite. I lost almost 10 pounds in less that a week and a half.

Being a business owner is tough.

Once I got through those 2 weeks, I knew with every fiber of my being that I needed something to help ease the stress on my mind and body. A friend suggested Yoga. (I might have rolled my eyes a bit.) Unsure how stretching was going to help, I reluctantly gave it a try.

WOW! I needed that!

That stretching is harder than it looks, but it is also the most relaxing,albeit physical, workout I've ever had. And I didn't even have get red in the face, out of breathe, or a stitch in my side. My muscles felt as though I'd done a round of muscle failure reaching weightlifting. My mind couldn't have been more relaxed.

So now my friend and I have made Yoga a weekly event. Which makes me wonder...what else have I been so closed minded about? I don't want to miss out on anything else so great for me!

Have you had something you were closed minded about, only to realize you were totally wrong? Do you like Yoga? Know any other methods of exercise good for relieving stress? I'm all ears, er, eyes. *wink*

I just watched Fast 5 for the first time (a friend told me I needed to see it before seeing Fast & Furious 6, currently in theaters). Vin Diesel makes such amazing eye-candy, don't you think?!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My 1st IWSG Post

Over the last 3 years, I've read many posts on the first Wednesday of each month that mirror my own insecurities and doubts. Writers I had connected with through the various blog challenges I'd participated in came out in force to support each other through admissions of the demons that plagued them on this long journey of finishing a novel. All of these posts were headed by the badge you see heading my own post today, the badge for The Insecure Writers Support Group. Curious about what exactly the IWSG was and who was responsible for putting it together, I investigated and discovered the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh, aka Ninja Captain Alex.

If you are new to blogging, you must visit him here. He is an invaluable source of support, news, and experience that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. I've learned so much just from visiting his blog each week. I don't always leave comments, but I ALWAYS visit to see what he's up to. I admire his ability to make each one of his visitors feel welcome and special, rather than just another number in a long list of visitors he gets every day. Thanks so much, Alex.

Today, I have finally decided to join this support group because just like every writer, I have moments of deep insecurity that plague my ability to believe I am cut out to finish this journey I have embarked on. The best cure for such a dark demon, as Alex has capitalized on, is friends who've had the same experiences. So without further ado, my first ISWG post!

I recently had a fellow writer, one who has much more experience that I do and who has even been published many times, asked me to write a novella in a series for a world he's already created. I am amazed and flattered that he thinks highly enough of me to ask me to join the group of writers he's asked to write in this world. While the logical side of me is flattered and excited, the insecure side of me is a quivering mess. I haven't managed to get my first novel even completed. How can I contribute to something like this? What if no one likes it? What if the writer friend who asked me to join this group hates my work? Can I even create a convincing story in a world I didn't create?

These doubts go on and on and on. It's ridiculous, but real. In the end, I'm mostly sure it'll be fine, but I can't help the little demon shouting that I 'can't' in my head. It seems so dumb when I get it all written out here, but it's true, nonetheless.

Do you suffer from a similiar malady? Do you have a hard time believing as highly of yourself as others do? I always feel like somewhat of a fraud...I'm nothing special. Then I roll my eyes and tell myself to shut up. In the end, we are all awesome just for trying. So when you have these moments like I do, remind yourself that you haven't quit and that makes you a superstar!

Thanks for visiting today and putting up with my outpouring of insecurities. I truly appreciate this amazing community of writers.