Posted in Writer Musings

Back Into The Swing Of Things

This year has started off at a run.  After being sick and suffering from anxiety and chronic pain, I am finally finding my way again, Dear Bloggites.  I still have many, many things to start doing again, but today, I was able to check off one of those items I have missed – Writers Anonymous Monthly Meetings.

Today was our first one for the year and, having the days changed to the second week like it used to be, we had a good size group show up today.  It could be the new year, resolutions and all that, but I hope it is because people are realizing their worth and that the story they have inside them needs to get out and they need to share it with the world.

pencil with ideasI am still struggling with the daily writing thing (obviously), but I am still writing on a more consistent basis than I did last year.  And that is something!  I have not started back on my novel that I have shelved for a couple of years.  I started it the year my Dad died, and I am still working through the psychological issues of remembering his struggle at the end each time I sit to write this novel.

I will get through it.  I feel the spark that has been missing when I think of writing.  I feel the tingling in my mind that is my story getting my attention and I feel the joy of watching the words appear on the blank page in front of me.  This is a good feeling and I am going to hang on to it because like the visitors to the meeting tonight, I too have a story that is inside and needs to be shared with the world. 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

365 Opportunities

A few days ago, I noticed a comic posting on my Aunt’s Facebook page.  It made me pause and think.  I have started my blog posts each year with words or plans on how I want my year to be.  Each year, I have met some goals but also have failed in many others.  Especially in my writing life.

When I saw this post, it spoke to me on a very deep level.  I know, Dear Bloggites, you are thinking “comics affecting you on a deep level…uh huh…” but that is what it did!  This simple two frame comic gave me my word and my focus and my hope!

365 Opportunities
Be Happy Facebook Page-Creator Unknown

I am all about building others up and viewing life, no, not life, viewing A DAY as an opportunity to build someone up, no matter how small; I realized I would not only enrich my life but the life of others around me, even for just a moment when helping others build their life up.  But having that positive outlook for others when it comes to encouragement of actions in life, I realize I do not share that mindset for myself in my writing life.

No matter what I do, I seem to allow my writing goals fall to the wayside.  I hear people say all the time that if you really want something, it will be important, and you will make a point to get/do it as much as you can.  I agree with this, but I also disagree with this statement.  I love to write and can fall into the world I am creating and exist there for many hours when I am writing, but I realize that it is the sitting down and starting that is holding me back.

I freeze up just at the thought of writing something.  All the negative mental talk starts screaming in my head and it screams so loud that it drowns out the thought of writing and forces me to do something else.  I hate this!  I have self-love with my abilities and actions, but when it comes to writing, that self-love is so stifled that I question why I even bother to try to write anything.

That is the crux of writing for me.  I KNOW no one has my voice on subjects and I KNOW that whatever I write is mine and mine alone to share with the world as I see fit; however, the KNOWING is not enough to combat the negativity of “Who do YOU think you are to even believe YOU have anything to say to ANYONE that will IMPACT their life.  GET OVER YOURSELF!”

This negative self-talk is what creates the freeze factor for me at the thought of writing anything.  I am working on this and the comic strip above is going to be my help.  I am going to take it one day at a time and just make sure I write something even for just five minutes and then at the end of 2019, I can honestly say, “I DO have something to say to ANYONE willing to listen and I KNOW it will IMPACT their life, if only for the simple fact that it is something a person can relate to within their life when reading my words.

My word for this year is Opportunity.  I am going to take the 365 Opportunities to enrich as many people as I can, one day at a time AND enrich myself as much as I can with my words being penned to paper.  Happy New Year! Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement, Writer Musings

Forgiveness vs Reconciliation

A couple of weeks ago I was driving in my car and the program I was listening to was discussing forgiveness and reconciliation.  Listening to this program made me really begin to analyze the difference between the two and the impact each has on a person’s life.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of forgiveness means: 1. act of forgiving or being forgiven and 2. disposition or willingness to forgive.  The definition of reconciliation, according to dictionary.com, means: 1. act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce, 2. the state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired, and 3. the process of making consistent or compatible.

Reconciliation requires two or more people to find a common ground when a situation occurs that causes issues between them.  A person may say that they have “reconciled” themselves to something that happened to them, but the reality is, unless that person has found the restoration or harmony with another, they have not truly been able to finalize the whole situation to put it to rest in their life.  Two or more people must want the reconciliation of a situation for that situation to find a resolution.

Forgiveness, which can occur between two or more people, is really a singular act for each person.  A person who refuses to find forgiveness for someone or something that has caused them pain or wrongdoing, allows the other party to live rent free in their head.  I say this because, when you refuse to let go of the pain, hurt, and damage done against you, you force yourself to live in that moment every day of your life and allow it to control you and all your decisions you make.

“I’m sorry” is a hard statement to make and many times even harder to accept.  Hearing this statement does not take the pain, wrongdoing, and damage away.  Even if you cannot reconcile yourself with the person that caused the hurt, you can choose to forgive that person.  It is only with the forgiving that you can truly begin to heal.

The state of forgiveness is where you find the freedom to move past the pain, wrongdoing, and damage that is causing you to suffer.  Forgiveness takes away the “live here rent free” sign in your head.  Learning to forgive any pain, damage, or wrongdoing done against you will allow your body and mind to begin to heal.

You may never forget the pain, damage, or wrongdoing done against you and you may never be able to reconcile the situation with the person that caused the harm, but when you allow yourself to forgive, that pain will become less; that damage will begin to mend; and that wrongdoing will begin to fade as each day goes by.  You will begin to feel the sensation of the freedom you are allowing yourself when you choose to forgive.  After all, you deserve to be free mind, body, and soul. 🙂

Do you struggle with one or both of these things in your life, Dear Bloggite?  How have you handled situations or people in the past who caused you to hurt?  Share your thoughts and experiences, and together, we will work through it.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Admit it, before you watched the video you heard Hannibal saying the title of this blog post, I know you did! 🙂  Today’s post is about what the title says: plans falling into place and coming together.

I spent all day in the wonderful presence of many writers and people on fire for Christ, Dear Bloggites.  I was invited to join Roaring Lambs organization’s testimonial workshop and then stay for Roaring Writers executive committee luncheon.  I met, Debbie Snell, at a Christian Networking Breakfast that I went to with my best friend and owner of InSpeyer HR, Tracy.

After chatting a bit with Debbie, she told me she thought we could totally work together in one way or the other after she found out about my PAC Wordsmith business and author site.  The next day after the luncheon, Debbie called me and invited me to join them today to see what we can do.

It was an Amazing time I spent with Debbie and several others, some whom I already knew, and many whom I just met today (or the day I met Debbie).  I partnered with them to help grow the Roaring Writers group to help Christian writers get their books out to the world.  I love words (as you all know) and I love Christ, so you can just imagine how stoked I am about this new opportunity! 🙂

This is just another step to the road of writing full time and engulfing myself in all things written.  I am still working my processing business, Legacy Preservation, and will continue with my current clients, but with the drying up of the property preservation industry, I am finding that I need to find additional revenue to make up for the loss of money.  Having that additional revenue come from one of my two passions, writing, just makes it that much better.

As I move forward with Roaring Writers, I will keep all of you updated.  It is just Unbelievable when a plan does come together!  Smooches!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Encouragement, Writer Musings

Your Outlook On Life

Have you ever listened to your internal thoughts?  You know the ones, Dear Bloggites, the little voice in your head constantly telling you this and that on everything you do in life.

I love to learn; and when I learn some interesting facts or a new thought process, I take notice.  I am that person that hopes for the best and plans for the worst.  Having that type of outlook on life, for me, allows me to enjoy the little things in life while being prepared for the unexpected.

That little voice or internal thought is my joy and pain.  My joy because I know I can do anything I set my mind to do and usually when I make up my mind to do something, I rarely change it.  But on the flip side of that, the inner thoughts are my pain.  I am constantly catching myself doing negative speak in my head.  You know the kind – “You’re an idiot”, “Stupid”, “Ugly”, etc.  I hear them all the time trying to take forefront in my brain and it is a constant battle for me.

If you have ever spent five minutes with me, you will probably be surprised by this admission, but it is true.  The negativity bleeds in my brain about myself a lot and I am constantly having to patch up the wound.  That is why most people would be shocked to know that I even have one negative thought in my brain because I CHOOSE to embrace this Journey called Life and so whenever I hear the negative monster stomping up the isle in my mind, I slam the door shut and repeat positive thoughts that void the negative.

Doing this trick – changing the negative to the positive – is hard because you must make a conscious effort to really listen to your mind and thoughts all the time.  Some days are harder than other days, but I keep the fight going because at the end of the day, I want to look at myself in the mirror and know I did right by everyone I was in contact with as well as doing right by myself.

What do you struggle with and how do you deal with it?  Share your thoughts below.  I look forward to chatting with you.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

Easter Musings

Happy Easter, Ya’ll! 🙂  Today was a rare day and a glorious one.

I will start on the rare day first:

Today was a rare day because work was actually closed all day!  Last time we closed was on Christmas Day, so I decided we were off on Easter Sunday.  It was really nice to not have to get up and load the computer and start processing orders.  I was able to turn off my regular alarm, lazily wake up, and then have cuddle time with my dog, Ragonk.  I went to Bible Study class, then spent the afternoon with family.  It was wonderful!  I truly believe the mind and body need rest and with the industry that my business is in, it prevents that ability due to being a seven-day a week industry.  I feel the pressure of working seven days.  I am trying to create boundaries to allow my mind and body to get the needed rest and today was a first step on that journey. 🙂

What do you do to get the rest for your mind and body, Dear Bloggite?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, onto the glorious one:

Being a Christian, today I celebrated the Risen Christ after His crucifixion and three-days in the tomb.  Today reminds believers that Christ is alive and well and He has overcome death.  I have many friends who are Christians and many who are not, and one of the biggest differences I see in these two types of friends is the fear of death.  When you are not a believer in Christ, you view death as an ending with nothingness after.  When you are a believer in Christ, death is just the beginning of a life everlasting with Christ.  As a believer, I do not fear death, I welcome it when it is my time to go because I know I will go to a better place than this Earth.  That knowledge is so refreshing and having that knowledge, I rejoice in the life people lived after they pass and rejoice in their life everlasting if they are a believer.  It is amazing to be free of the fear of death and I wish everyone could feel that. 😀

What do you believe in, Dear Bloggites?  Do you celebrate life and death, or do you live with the fear of death each day of your life?  Share your belief in the comments below.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

It Can Be Done! :) Angela Did It!

Great Things Quote Vincent Van GoghI know it can be done.  I have heard it many, many times before.  I have read it, discussed it, and ponder it until the cows came home; but today, I witnessed it!  You wonder what “It” is, do you, Dear Bloggites?  Well, let me explain “It” to you.

It is not sex, but something better, yeah, I said it, something better!  It is watching someone work so hard and so long, trudging through the quagmire of memory and pain, to come out on the other side, wholer (is that a word?  Well, I am using it!) than they were before and having the proof of that journey.

I was blessed to join a wonderful group of ladies at the Heart & Soul Writer’s Group tonight and I was greeted with the wonderful smiles of Pat and Lisa asking me how I have been doing and what they can do to help me on my journey of writing and after a while, Angela joined us.  She looked transformed from the last time I saw her, and in her arms, she carried the first edition of her story!  YaY!!!!!

I have watched and listened and discussed with her over the past year on the few (sadly, very few) visits I have managed to make to this group meeting about her story.  It is a story I can closely relate to because of my story.  Now, I know I am getting oddly cryptic, but I don’t want to give away her story until she has determined how she wants to present it.

I have heard that writing a book and FINISHING a book can be done, but until tonight, I never witnessed it actually happening to someone I knew.  My heart is overrun with joy for Angela and I am so inspired that I have yet another fire in my soul to get my book finished to share with the world.

Thank You, Angela, for sharing your journey with me, and I cannot wait to buy your book! Congrats!!!!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Writer Musings

The Struggle Is Real, People!

Hey, All!  It’s me again.  I know, SHOCKING, two blogs back-to-back, and even more shocking, they are not on book reviews!  I am still doing my reviews as I read, but as you can see, with the lack of review posts, that I have not been reading (Bad, P, Goofy JugglingBad!!!).

We all start the new year with grand goals and plans for our life and most of us see those grand goals and plans fizzle as the months go on, well guess what, mine fizzled as soon as it was out of the proverbial gate at the beginning of the year.  I love to write, I love to read, I love books, as you know, Dear Bloggites, and I make plans to do this, and this, and this, and then life says, “Deal with THIS!” and all my plans get scattered to the wind.

Last year, 2017, I promised myself that I would get back to writing my novel I started before my Dad’s Cancer spread and was put on hold for me to take care of him and his needs.  I was blessed to have those last months with my Dad, but I promised myself after he passed that I was going to focus on my writing.  So, Dad passed in August of 2016, and I miss him every freaking day, he was my best friend and my sound board, and I flounder now when I am struggling with things.

I promised myself 2017 would be the year my writing career took off, and I was doing well for the first month and the second month: I was taking writing classes, signing up for writing retreats, writing daily on my novel, etc. and in the third month, my business got busy, so writing was put off due to long days of working my business.  That busyness carried into the fourth month with writing classes going by the wayside along with the writing because my brain was fried from the demands of work.

The fifth month rolls around and I found myself in the hospital with my sister who almost died.  We spent two months in the hospital, her fighting for life, and me fighting for her rights while she could not.  Praise God, the fight won and Four of Seven (my name for her in the Familial Roll Call) came back to us.  She struggled for many months, but she was alive and had all her faculties.

By the time all this took place, I found myself facing the last few months of the 2017 with minimal progress on my writing and all my plans and goals shot to hell and resting where all writing projects go to die.  So, I rallied.  I promised myself that 2018 was going to be the year my writing career took off (sounds like a bad case of ground hog’s day, the movie) and I was going to change my work hours to accommodate my time to allow focus on writing.  I was going to blog regularly, book reviews and writing progress and whatever I want to share, and I was going to start on the classes again and try and give the writing retreat another shot.

Then January 1, 2018 was here, and I was laid up with a severe case of the Flu.  For the first two weeks, I was in bed, barely working, and wishing I was dead just to make the terrible feeling go away.  I recovered from that only to find that my body has decided it wants to start causing me issues with more intense pain aside from my chronic pain I live with from the car accident I had in 2005.  It hurt to move a finger, and I am still struggling with this factor as of today.  But, once again, my plans and goals for my writing career were blown out of the water.

But guess what?  I came prepared with a rope to pull it back in.  Well, sort of.  I am doing writing classes and I am getting so stoked and encouraged that I am feeling the tingle in my fingers and the yearning in my brain to put pen to paper (or finger to keystroke).  Something I honestly have not felt since before my Dad got sick.

See, I can make all these plans and set all these goals, but if the desire and passion are not there, the plans and goals are easy to disregard.  Without passion, any activity or goal becomes work, or for me, just another job after hectic days with my business.

I did not get it until I started listening to all the different authors who were interviewed in the Women In Publishing Summit offered by Alexa Bigwarfe and sponsored by Vivante.  This is not a plug for anyone, however, I do want to thank Alexa for bringing the passion back for the writing mojo I love.  Alexa’s book, Ditch The Fear-Just Write It!, had the greatest statement that spoke to me.  The statement was, “Warning.  This is no ordinary plan.  It is the ass-kicker you need when you want to give up.”

This statement may not mean anything to you, but OH MY GOODNESS, it was like I was slammed in the head with a resounding, “DUH!!!!”  That passionate writing mojo said, “Oh, yeah!  Now we got it!”  I literally heard these two thoughts (heard thoughts…whaaat?) in my head as soon as I read that statement in Alexa’s book.

There will never been the perfect time to have my “writing career take off” – Life Happens.  Life will ALWAYS happen.  I will always have road blocks being thrown up at me when it comes to writing.  Why, you ask?  Because in order to achieve something worthwhile, you will always have challenges testing you and your determination to obtain that achievement.

With this new thought process, I am now embracing my passionate writing mojo and I am just going to do it, no matter what.  Even if I am waking up at 4:30am wide awake after falling asleep only 30-minutes to an hour before, I will write.  I have thrown out the plans and goals and I am just going to write.  It doesn’t matter what I write or even how well I write, as long as I write, I will be organically working those plans and reaching those goals.

Goofy SurprisedIt is so refreshing and freeing to think this way.  I love it!  So, you and I will be having almost daily chats, Dear Bloggite, because I want to share my Journey with you and maybe you will decide to share your journey, no matter what it is, with me, I would love to be there for you and support you in this Journey we call Life.

My challenge to you today: Think about your life.  Is there something you always have an intent to do but somehow never get around to doing it?  What can you do, to make that intent happen?  Are you going to need to throw out the plans and goals, like I had to do or are you going to have to tweak your life a little bit to make it happen?  Let me know down below in the comments. 🙂

~4-Ever, P

Posted in #BloggiteBits Campaign

#BloggiteBits-Find T.R.U.S.T.

Find T.R.U.S.T.: Truthful words, Rely on honesty, Understand circumstances, Share openly, Try empathy

#BloggiteBits-Find Trust
Find T.R.U.S.T.

How do you know if someone is trustworthy?  Do you go by your gut instinct or by looks or by how they react to situations?  I am a believer in gut instincts for the most part, but I never let my instinct get in the way of getting to know someone.  In this installment of the ABCs of encouragement with the #BloggiteBits Campaign I am going to challenge you to Find T.R.U.S.T. in this world and others: Truthful words, Rely on honesty, Understand circumstances, Share openly, & Try empathy.

Truthful words: Words have an impact on every single person in this world.  Be it positive or negative, those words are taken to heart and do impact the way a person views themselves or their lives.  Even the toughest person can feel damaging effects from an ill spoken word.  In order to find trust and build trust, you should always be cognizant of what you are saying to someone and how it is impacting their life.  Speak truthful words to all you come in contact with, even if you are giving some kind of bad news, you can always say it in a way where it is not attacking the person you are telling.  Be truthful with your words and always strive to use positive words over negative words.

Rely on honesty: Honesty is a key element to all relationships.  As soon as dishonesty enters into a relationship, it begins to fester and form walls between the two parties.  Rely on honest feedback from yourself and others when dealing with situations.  Finding trust is hard for most people, even though they have a desire to trust, a person is more apt to shy away from someone once they find out they are being dishonest.  If you stay honest to others, they can being to rely on you and as others are honest with you, you will begin to rely on them and your relationship.

Understand circumstances: One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is understanding.  No one knows what you are going through in your life unless you share it with them.  When someone trusts you enough to share their intimate parts of their life that are not so great, finding an understanding in their circumstances will strengthen your relationship with them.  If you stop and take the time to understand the circumstances someone is going through, you will be able to adjust how you interact with them and what words you are going to say.  Everyone needs and wants understanding.

Share openly: It is hard to open up to people, at least it is for most people.  In order to find trust in relationships, you much be willing to share openly with others about your life, circumstances, and dreams.  Do not be afraid to share with someone in an open, honest way.  Even if they may not respond as you would like them to, sharing openly helps you to assess yourself and say, “I am worth getting to know and I am willing to risk the chance by being open.”  Our default is to guard our hearts and thoughts when dealing with others, but allowing someone into your life and through the guards, you will help grow your relationship to the next level of finding trust.  Share openly with others, you have a right to your opinions and feelings and taking that risk will be worth it in the end.

Try empathy: Empathy is different from sympathy.  When you feel empathy, you are truly feeling and understanding that person’s emotions or experiences.  Sympathy is just an understanding of a person’s feelings.  When dealing with others, try to empathize with them on what they are going through.  Not everyone experiences the same things, but everyone can find a similar situation that entails the same emotions.  An empathetic person has a better understanding of what people are feeling.  Finding trust is hard but when you find someone you can empathize with, it makes it easier to find trust in the relationship you have together.

~4-Ever, P