writing

Writers Wednesdays – Three Books Published!

Happy Writers Wednesday! I’m really excited to share this post, as a follow up to Monday’s goal update post.

As the title says, I published three books this year so far. I mentioned briefly in this post that I had churned out two children’s books, and now I have added a new book to the collection. The newest book, Let’s Go to Japan, is my way of introducing children to the incredible world of Japanese culture, history and nature. I’m as proud of this book as I am of Let’s Go to China and Let’s Go to Vietnam.

Initially, I was on the fence about including these children’s books in my publishing goal. I think it’s because I don’t feel that these books are “serious enough” or have enough words to count as a publishing accomplishment. But, as usual, this is criticism that I have launched against myself (better known as self sabotage) and it has served me well to reconsider whether this perspective serves me.

I decided that these books, which take time for research, selecting appropriate pictures, and keeping the language simple enough for children, are just as valid as my novels or self-help works-in-progress. So I decided to count these books as part of my 5 published books goal. As a result, I am now more than halfway to reaching my book publishing goal for the year.

That being said, I still want to publish some of the other works in progress that I’ve had on my desk for a while (in the case of one of my books, more than 7 years!) and that are yearning to be in the hands of readers that will appreciate them. In that respect, my writing work truly doesn’t stop, even after I publish 5 books. I won’t feel truly “caught up” until all of my current works in progress are published. I actually haven’t done a count of how many WIPs I currently have, but I know that there are more than 5. In short, I have my work cut out for me.

I hope you all are having a terrific Wednesday! If you have any works in progress that you’re concentrating your energies onto right now, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

goals · life curation

Preparing For The Next Six Months

As I look back over the last six months, I realize that I’ve made great progress towards my goals. For that, I am thankful. That being said, I still want to make sure that I stay on target and have as many tools at my disposal as are necessary. I want to make sure that the next six months are even more productive and rewarding.

For those that are unaware, I enjoy listening to the vlogs of other writers and learning about how they are managing their writing careers. One of the writers that I really like watching on YouTube is JeSuisJusteMoi. The channel creator, Dr. Andrea, has a PhD in English and is a published author. Along with being extremely accomplished, Dr. Andrea is also a fellow fibro warrior, and seeing her manage her career and health is nothing short of inspirational. One of her recent videos included a great tool that I knew I needed to share over here.

Here’s the video:

And here’s a link to the worksheet that she mentions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-XwUWo9mbQQP73nrcvKn0oFZS_UoU7W27ujoqLZuHbU/edit?usp=sharing

I share the link to the worksheet but I feel that you will get the most benefit by watching the video. Dr. Andrea does a great job of showing how she created the goals that she has for the remainder of 2021. I will be going through this worksheet this week, so that I can hit the ground running in July!

Do you have any tools that you enjoy using for goal setting, or recalibrating your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

goals · health · life curation

June Goal Updates

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I accidentally posted this last week (before I finished collecting my thoughts), so I had to pull the post and reschedule it. It was one of those weeks, folks . . . Anyhoo, here’s my June goal update post.

As a quick recap, here are the goals I have for 2021:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

The Wednesday and Thursday posts will cover the first two points (weight loss discussion on Thursday, and publishing post on Writers’ Wednesdays, as normal). I’m really excited to discuss the (unorthodox) way I utilized to lose weight. I may even do a video on it (I’m still undecided about whether I’ll publish and attach a video related to the topic). Along with that, my Wednesday post will cover how I published 3 books in the past 6 months, and how I intend to publish 3 more before the end of the summer.

Onto the next point. . . While I very much desire to take 3 international trips (and I also intend to manifest the money to make those trips happen!), I haven’t been putting a lot of my energy toward that goal. To be honest, I have only decided on one international trip for sure, to happen at the end of December. I haven’t the faintest where else I want to go, or when I want to go there. I have a couple of ideas of how that can unfold for me, but for now, a lot of this is still undecided. I’m okay with the uncertainty: I don’t have to micromanage the details. So long as the perfect trips for ME come my way, I’m pleased.

So, I’m nowhere near my 6-figure business income goal. However, I’ve completely withdrawn my energy from my businesses in the past few months, so that doesn’t surprise me. Now, if I want to reach that goal, I’ll have to amp up the activity during this second half of the year. This actually works perfect for me, as I’ve built quite a bit of momentum over the past few months (by publishing my books at a comfortable pace, learning more about herbs and oils, nurturing my body so that I have more energy, etc.,). With the energy I’ve conserved, I have a lot more time available to pour into my businesses, so that I can see a drastic increase in my sales and so that I can knock out my goal of 6 figures in 2021!

I had to put my book-reading goals on hold during the month of May, since I was completing my Cornell University program. However, I resumed the reading challenge this month, and I’m excited to share which books I read during the month of June (also, I finally hit my monthly goal of 10+ books, which puts me on target for reaching 100+ before the end of the year!) The reading goal post will be available sometime next week.

I haven’t made any more luxury purchases in the past few months. I look forward to adding more goodies from luxury retailers sometime during August (my birthday month). I’m sure I’ll be eager to give myself a “treat” by then.

Finally, I’m still working on reversing my fibromyalgia. I think I’m getting close to a permanent solution, but I’m still testing a few things. Of course, you can simply peruse any of my Fibro Friday posts to see what I’m learning and trying on this journey.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing an amazing tool that I think will help tremendously with accomplishing my remaining goals. I can’t wait to share it with you! Until then, take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

health

Fibro Friday – The Liptan Protocol

Happy Fibro Friday! In the coming weeks, I’d like to explore some of the varying treatment plans as proposed by various health experts. I’m hoping to glean some tips from each of these experts – ranging from medical doctors to herbalists and naturopaths to people that have documented their trials and errors on their fibro journeys – and see which treatments will work best for my specific symptoms.

I’ll be starting this series off with a review of Dr. Ginevra Liptan. Dr. Liptan is the founder of The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia and the author of three landmark books discussing fibromyalgia and possible paths to wellness. I became familiar with Dr. Liptan several years ago, and I even purchased the Frida Botanical Magnesium Cream (which I briefly reviewed here). I enjoyed her story because she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while studying medicine, and she still successfully finished her medical degree, and turned her medical focus onto understanding and treating fibromyalgia.

Dr. Liptan has a YouTube channel where she has posted several videos about fibromyalgia, natural recovery options, and treating frequent comorbidities. I especially enjoyed this succinct description of the four pillars of fibromyalgia recovery – the “Four Rs of Fibro”. The video is less than 5 minutes long, and completely worth the watch.

I have noticed a drastic improvement in my symptoms when I can fully embrace “the Four Rs”. I love that she concentrates on the main pillars for wellness when treating fibromyalgia, and, by focusing on these four things, it is possible to isolate and treat any remaining symptoms. Along with applying the Liptan protocol regarding “the Four Rs”, I will be purchasing all of Dr. Liptan’s books, and seeing if I can craft a wellness plan that addresses all of my symptoms. Here are her books (Figuring Out Fibromyalgia, The Fibro Manual, and The Fibro Food Formula):

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday. Take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

**The information in this post and on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. 

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Redoing My Daily Schedule

It’s my first Writers’ Wednesday since my mini-hiatus, and the first order of business is getting back to the original summer writing plan. It’s been a lovely-ish break, now it’s time for me to get back to my goals.

As you may recall from my “New Cycle” post, I had four different challenges to address, as related to my writing:

Now that I’ve finally finished my Cornell classes, I can better assess how much free time I have in my daily schedule. And, as it turns out, I don’t have much free time at all! After finishing my classes, I suddenly got a surge in tutoring students (I also teach English as a second language) and I took on roughly 5 more teaching hours per week. This may not sound like a lot of additional work, but for someone that already had a minimal amount of free time, five hours is the difference between finishing a book in a few weeks or a few months.

So I had to take a closer look at my weekend free time. Now, I usually sleep in late on Saturdays and Sundays, but if I want to finish writing at least one more book before the end of summer, I’ll have to sacrifice a little bit of snooze time to reach my goal. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a huge issue, but as someone with fibromyalgia (and a persistent case of chronic fatigue), it’s hard to sleep less on the weekend and still feel functional. I’m going to try sacrificing 30 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday, at least for the next few weeks, just to see how it goes. If I find that I still need the rest, then I’ll figure out something else. In the meantime, I can’t worry too much about it: I just have to experiment with different routines until I find something that works.

In the weeks to come, I’ll experiment with my 30 minute blocks of time, and tell you all how that works for me. Wish me luck!

This weekend, I’ll try

life curation · relaxation

The Latest Garden Blooms

I haven’t posted any new garden pictures this year, due to my hectic schedule (no time to plant as many flowers as I intended) and the intense heat that we had. Sadly, my peony blooms have all fallen off, and my roses are budding more slowly. But this is the natural evolution of things, no? Spring comes, the blooms arrive, the blooms fall, and then the summer blooms take over. It’s a lovely natural process that I can appreciate. Here are some of the pictures that I took right before we got the rain that gave us some relief (LOL!) and a few from the days right after the rain. Enjoy!

The first rose of the season
My azaleas showed off this year! So gorgeous.
I love my peonies. They never stay long enough.
This is the first year that my dogwood bloomed!
A closeup of my dogwood blooms.
A new crepe myrtle that my father gifted me for Mother’s Day: I haven’t transplanted it to my garden yet.

life curation

Classes are DONE!

Hey y’all: happy Monday! I’m back and I’m now a proud graduate of Cornell University’s Women in Entrepreneurship program.

I’m happy to have the program completed, and now I can focus on the many things that I’ve left unattended over the past couple of months, like my reading list, my overall 2021 goals, and a few other things I had on the docket (LOL!) I’m kind of playing catchup right now, so I may be a little slow with the posts. Bear with me: I’m getting back into the routine.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you all! Have a great day, and I’ll chat with you all tomorrow.

writing

Writers Wednesdays: Finding The Best Beta Readers

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s post will be short, because there isn’t a lot to say about this topic.

Good beta readers (who are willing to read your book before you publish it) are invaluable, but also hard to find. Everyone will accept a free book, but few are willing to give substantive feedback on what they read. So, for that reason, it’s challenging to have a good, reliable group of beta readers.

However, finding willing readers is the first step to getting a group of good beta readers. And that part is pretty easy. I always start with family and friends. Then, I start scouring my social media. I look for people that follow certain hashtags, and see if I can connect with them. After engaging in a few conversations, I can offer them my unpublished work, and see if they’re willing to read it.

As I get a group of devoted beta readers, I’ll keep you all posted on how things are going. I look forward to telling you all more about in the future!

reading list

Book Review: The Magic Path of Intuition

I have another book review for you all, and this time, it’s a FREE audiobook that I found on YouTube!

The book I’m reviewing today is The Magic Path of Intuition by Florence Scovel Shinn. I’ve been familiar with Florence for several years, and I initially read The Game of Life and How to Play It about seven years ago. However, I recently decided that the best way for me to reach my 100 books in 2021 goal is to supplement my normal reading routine with audiobooks (I first mentioned this approach in a recent post). That way, I can listen to the text (auditory methods are my favorite mode of learning) while I do repetitive tasks, like folding clothes, sweeping, and all manner of general tidying.

In my recent post, I named a couple of Florence Scovel Shinn’s books that I read during the month of March. I wanted to finish reading all of her work before the end of April, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve met my goal! So, in this post, I’m reviewing one of the books that really impressed me.

So, one of the things that stands out to me is Florence’s consistent use of anecdotal examples to make her point. However, what is really special about this is that the examples she uses are both dated (she did write these books more than 80 years ago) and yet, completely timeless. It’s easy to envision ourselves as one of the characters in her stories, even if the story that she’s relaying isn’t at all possible in today’s world.

She impresses upon the reader the importance of following intuition in order to reveal, to ourselves, the best path for us to take. She indicates that listening to our intuition is part of communicating directly with God (or our highest, wisest self, if you prefer to describe it that way). After making a particular request, or setting an intention, it’s important to follow whatever inspired action comes next. Sometimes, that action may seem nonsensical, but, in my experience, the more nonsensical the action, the more likely it is that the action is truly inspired and will be crucial to whatever request you’ve made.

I enjoyed listening to this book which. on YouTube, is less than two hours long. I highly recommend it for all of my “woo-woo” friends that want to hear original law of attraction (LOA) teachings!

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

career · life curation

Minor Disappointments and Setups for Greatness

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all are enjoying a great day wherever you are, and I hope your weekend was fantastic!

Recently, I applied for a part-time position with an online tutoring company. I liked that the position was flexible (that is crucial, given my current schedule) and I figured that it would help me transition into more freelance work. After completing the second round of the interview process, I was informed that I did not get the position. As you can imagine, I was disappointed. I thought I was the perfect candidate, and I felt like I should have made it to the “short list”. However, the company felt otherwise, and they advised me that they would like to keep my application on file, in case they expand and have more openings.

This experience reminded me of something that my mother told me years ago. She said, “If it’s meant for you, nothing and no one will be able to get in the way of you having it”. This little disappointment was just a clear sign that this position was not meant for me. And, upon further consideration, I realized that I actually didn’t want the position.

Yes, you read that right: I didn’t even want that job, if I’m being perfectly honest. I intended that I earn money in a more passive way this year, and this job was quite the opposite of “passive”. It would require a certain number of hours every week, and I wouldn’t be able to delegate these tasks to someone else. Also, this job would involve me occupying a role that doesn’t enhance my future career prospects. In fact, it’s a bit regressive, in a way: I would have to downplay my knowledge and participate in some mind-numbing tasks in that role.

Yes, the role would have brought in more income, but it goes against the intentions that I set. Any action that goes against your intentions is bound to become uncomfortable and unsustainable at some point. Also, perhaps it’s because I’m older, or maybe because I’ve had enough disappointments that turned out to be blessings in disguise, I’m not taking this rejection personally. I’m not right for the job, but that is no reflection on my value as a person. I’ve experienced disappointment as well as incredible successes, and I have seen enough to know that everything works out in my favor in the end.

So, I’m taking this minor disappointment and counting it as a setup for future success. I believe that this position was denied to me because it is not right for me and what I’m creating for my future. It doesn’t fit in my grand scheme, and that’s okay. Additionally, by not clamoring to find some other position to validate my worth as an employee, I’m leaving space for the opportunities that are worthy of my time and attention.

Those are my Monday musings. I’ll have another Writer’s Wednesday post in a couple of days, as well as some other chat during this week. Talk to you all tomorrow!