writing

Writers Wednesdays – How It’s Going . . .

Y’know, I absolutely love doing Writers Wednesdays posts. I often struggle to come up with content for these posts (especially if I’m doing a writing break) but I love that the commitment to only talk about writing – either the art or the business side of it – on Wednesdays keeps me accountable, even on a little level.

So today, I’ll continue in the spirit of accountability and tell you all what I’m currently working on, and how its going. As you recall from the last Writers Wednesday post, I have a writing plan that covers completing one work, editing a different work, and publishing yet another work. I, like many people, find it easy to get distracted, and when that happens, my writing progress slows down to a crawl. The objective of the writing plan is to infuse some major forward-moving energy into my writing practice.

The status of the writing plan is this: so far, so good. I started off with the editing project, because that’s my least favorite part of writing. I reread one of my completed books that I had shelved a while ago (the idea was that I would eventually come back and edit with “fresh eyes”) and realized I had even less love for editing than I recall. I seriously considered picking up a different book and editing that one instead. However, I’ll stick with the book I initially selected. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, and I would love to make some editing strides with it, so I can (hopefully) publishing That’s why I’m saying “so far, so good”: by pushing through (what I feel is) the most unpleasant part of writing, I know that the rest will be a breeze.

More about the So Cozy: Hygge Journal in a moment . . .

I’ll be finishing the first round of edits this week, then I’m leaping right into finishing a book I’ve been working on for almost two years now. I only have about 2-3 chapters left; fortunately for me, once I start writing, the process goes quickly. The trick is getting into the flow: it’s hard to hit my stride when I’m thinking about the other 4,739 things I have to do. On the bright side of things, the editing process has forced me to be ruthless with my schedule, so I don’t have to hunt down my free time in order to complete the chapters that still need to be written.

The last phase of the writing plan is to publish a book. I have a great book that I have already edited extensive over the past few years, that just needs some minor tweaks, illustrations, and a great cover. Once all of that is done, it should be ready for publishing. Knowing me, I’ll probably add quite a bit of additional text to it (just so I can hit a page count that seems appropriate for the subject matter) but I find a lot of consolation in just knowing that the books is more than 80% ready to be released into the world.

If, for some reason, that book isn’t able to be published, then I’ll make it my goal to publish two more children’s books before the end of the month. Those books are simply enough to be written without a need for extensive editing, and I love that I can get that sense of accomplishment without having to make a major time investment in the creation process. I already have two children’s books in progress, so finishing and publishing them would be a breeze.

That’s my not-so-brief explanation of how things are going. Things are moving along, and I’m pleased. Oh yeah, that reminds me: I’m trying to promote my books more (I think it’s about time that I started acting like a real author and publisher LOL!) So, for each Writer’s Wednesday, I’ll highlight a book that I have created, that I think would be of interest to some of you. The book for this week is the So Cozy: Hygge Journal. It’s the perfect little journal for capturing all of your autumn musings. The journal is super-cute and a really nice size (6 in x 9 in). Also, it’s only $5.99USD! If the cover isn’t a design that you love, never fear: I have multiple cover options. I’ll feature some more of them in the weeks to come.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are having a great Wednesday, and I’ll tlak to you all soon. Take care!

***This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · reading list

Books Read in September 2021

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m so happy to finally update this post, which went out prematurely a week or so ago. I’m sure you all are used to that by now: I often schedule posts that end up published before I can finish them. I’m working on improving that: it’s a struggle LOL!

In September, I read fewer books than normal. However, I actually read one book that was in digital format (as opposed to relying solely on audiobooks). I’ll be posting a review on that digital book tomorrow, as it left quite an impression on me. The books that I read in September are as follows:

Joseph Benner, The Teacher

Joseph Benner, Wealth

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Your Life Begins Now

Emmet Fox, The Hidden Power and Other Lessons

Emmet Fox, The Mental Equivalent

Neville Goddard, Awakened Imagination

Dr. Tumi Johnson, Delicious Healing

I’m looking forward to exceeding my monthly reading goals for October and November. I’m more than halfway to hitting my annual reading goal of 100 books, so I’m not going to let up now.

I am transitioning away from reading so many mindset books and going into the realm of mysteries (my favorite genre) and other topics of interest, like finance, strategy and herbal instruction. This is shaping up to be a fun shift into some other topics that I’d been neglecting in favor of my mindset audiobooks.

Have you read anything interesting lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

  • This post contains affiliate links.
health

Fibro Fridays – The Latest on My Health Journey

Happy Fibro Friday, friends! I hope you all have had a great, pain-free week. And, if you experienced any pain at all, I hope you were able to get relief quickly.

I’m taking another (mini) break from reviewing the various fibromyalgia protocols (the last one I reviewed was Dr. Wylde’s protocol) to talk about a different fibro topic; namely, I’ll be discussing what’s been happening with me and my health journey.

For starters, I’ve been feeling pretty good overall. I tend to experience a lot less pain during the warmer months, and that’s due to the temperature (I am more uncomfortable in cooler temps), the increased vitamin D (since I spend a lot more time in the sunshine), or some combination of the two. I’ve been taking advantage of those low-pain days and getting as much done as I can.

I have also been making changes to my diet and medication. I’m incorporating a lot more raw fruits and vegetables into my meals, usually opting for whole fruits for breakfast as opposed to eating a lot of grain or processed foods, salads for lunch, and protein and veggies for dinner. I have been tapering my medication in the hopes that I’ll be able to eventually fully transition off of them. So far, so good: I haven’t had any major pain or flares since I started the tapering process.

Another thing that has been helping with my health is doing yoga more frequently. I do it for the fitness aspect but one of the bonuses of yoga is being mindful of my breathing. I often forget to take deeper breaths, so it’s nice to have a reminder. Yoga is amazing for fibromyalgia, since it gently stretches the muscles while simultaneously encouraging the release of stress. It’s one of the most frequently recommended exercises for people dealing with fibro.

Part of the plan over the next few months involves experimenting with some plant-based eating plans, progress in my yoga practice, and find more natural pain relief options. I’ve been working on some products and supplements to help with fibro pain but it’s still early in my experimentation. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to create something amazing that I’ll be able to share with you all soon!

That’s my brief rundown of how I’ve been feeling lately, as well as where I am in my health journey. I’m looking forward to hearing from you all in the comments. Take care, and have a great weekend!

goals · writing

Writers Wednesdays – The October Writing Plan

Happy Writers Wednesday! Recently, I’ve been thinking about the remainder of this year, and how I’ll be approaching this time frame as respects my writing practice. And to be clear, this is DEFINITELY a practice: I’m aiming to make it more of a consistent habit going forward. Fortunately, I’ve already been improving my writing consistency over the past couple of weeks and seeing the results.

That being said, I found myself taking an hour long ride with one of my friends, and I mentioned, very briefly, my October writing plan. It was such a succinct, easy way to vocalize how I envision some of my works-in-progress (WIPs) moving forward. So, here’s my little plan, as I would like for it to play out:

  • Finish a book (Part 1)

This part of the plan is all about finishing a rough draft of one of my WIPs. This isn’t about editing; as any writer will tell you, trying to write and edit simultaneously severely impacts your speed and disrupts your creative flow. So, I’ll just be writing the ideas as they arrive, with the focus on completing a story. I’m really excited about this, since I have several books that have fallen into my creative purgatory of sorts.

  • Complete the first round of edits for a book (Part 2)

This is my focus for one of the books that initially completed several years ago (2013, as a matter of fact). I’ve started doing the edits a while ago, but never made it past the first few chapters. It’ll be nice to see this book finally get the full editing treatment. I know this is only the first of (what I anticipate will be) multiple rounds of edits, but I can’t get to the finished product until I do the editing process to my satisfaction. This will probably be the most intensive part of my plan, but it’s also the part of the process that I’m most looking forward to completing.

  • Publish a book (Part 3)

I could do a really simple book (like another children’s book), just to ensure that this goal is met. However, I’d rather take the time to actually publish something that I have already edited and that has been waiting to be released into the world. I have one book in mind, but if I don’t choose that book, there’s at least one more book that is pretty much ready to go (outside of some light editing, and some formatting magic).

I’m anticipating that I will spend roughly 10-12 days on part 1, 15 days on part 2, and 3-4 days on part 3. But, those are just rough estimates, based on nothing more than what I expect will take me more or less time. I could easy finish all of these things before the end of the month, but I don’t want to rush myself (in case I have a day or two when I really don’t want to be bothered). Also, I know that I’ll likely hop from task to task, based on inspiration, and any given day could include me working on all three parts of my plan. Time will tell what this actually looks like in practice.

That’s it for the October plan! Do you all have any writing plans for October? I’d love to hear all about it!

goals · health

Fibro Friday – The PainFreeKitchen Protocol

Hey friends! My apologies for the premature posting of this blog post: last week was far busier than I anticipated. However, this topic was far too important to skip, so here it is, a week later!

As part of my review of different fibromyalgia treatment approaches, I want to make sure that I am exposed to a variety of perspectives. I want to ensure that I go beyond the points of view of medical doctors and naturopaths, and also put a spotlight on the regimens that are promoted by laypeople that actually have fibromyalgia. Besides Dr. Liptan (whose protocol was among one of the first that I reviewed), all of the other doctors and health professionals that I’ve reviewed have not been diagnosed with fibro. I value their opinions and research, but I find myself more motivated to try a recommendation from someone that has experimented on themselves to find a solution, as opposed to someone whose work is limited to theory or results as reported by their clients.

That being said, today’s protocol is not from a medical doctor or naturopath. Rachel of PainFreeKitchen successfully minimized her fibromyalgia symptoms to the point of complete elimination. In fact, her doctor confirmed to her that she was in “remission”, since she no longer showed any of the symptoms of fibro.

So, what is Rachel’s secret? Here’s a video, describing exactly how Rachel cured her fibromyalgia.

I highly recommend that you watch the video in full, especially since Rachel is very direct with her answer, and the video is less than 10 minutes long. But, for your convenience, here is a summary of the PainFreeKitchen Protocol:

  • Try a gluten-free and dairy-free diet (Rachel recommends The Whole 30 diet)
  • Prioritize rest (she offers a few recommendations for improving rest, like purchasing blackout curtains or taking sedatives to assist with obtaining deep sleep)
  • Reduce stress levels dramatically
  • Begin a yoga routine and weightlifting (or, for that matter, any other exercise that feels manageable)

The PainFreeKitchen Protocol does have points that are seen in some of the other protocols. However, she is the only person that I’ve reviewed so far that specifically recommended The Whole 30 diet and weightlifting.I think that her recommendations are reasonable and certainly worth a try. Prior to my diagnosis, I loved doing fitness classes, especially ones that involved the use of kettlebells. Now, I find myself really “pushed” by even gentle yoga routines. It would be nice to eventually return to working out with weights, but I will be patient and gradually strengthen myself until I’m back to full health.

As far as my personal opinion goes, I think that the PainFreeKitchen Protocol could be an excellent starting point for wellness, especially in the cases of people that are newly diagnosed and unsure about where to start with rebuilding the body. However, I can also see where this would be great advice for someone that has been treating fibromyalgia for many years or decades.

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a great and safe weekend, and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take care!

goals · life curation · Uncategorized

August Goal Updates

It’s almost the end of the month, so it’s time to do a quick recap of how my annual goals are progressing. There is at least one goal that I’ve reached, a couple that I’ve revised, and others that are still in progress. As a quick reminder, here are my 2021 goals:

  • 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

And, here is an overview of the changes I’ve made to my goal list:

  • Publish 5 books – DONE!
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips – Manifest 3 incredible trips before the end of the year
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses – Earn 5+ figures in my business
  • Read 100 books
  • Luxury purchases – patronizing at least 3 Black-owned luxury brands
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

As you all can see, there are some changes to my list worth noting, as I discussed in my July Goal Update and my book publishing posts. Other than the completed items, everyhting else is progressing as expected.

I’m planning major promotional activity for my businesses starting in mid-September. I ordered some samples so that I can determine which Black-owned luxury brands are ones that I want to invest in. I’m still working on my fibromyalgia cure, as well as my weight loss. My book goals are still coming along well, and I’m feeling confident that I’m closer to my goals than I could have ever dreamed.

That’s it for August! Sometimes, there aren’t major changes: there may only be incremental steps that will eventually come together to create enormous shifts. But those small steps are worth praising, thus this post. I hope you all are doing well and making progress toward your goals for the year!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Booklet Coming . . .

I hope you all are having a really great week. This is going to be a short post, because I’m not working on any longer writing projects this month. I felt this was a good time to take a quick break, since I intend to doing some intense writing sessions starting in the fall.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

However, I did have a mini-project that I wanted to knock out this week. I had this genius “flash” of inspiration while driving a few days ago, and I felt very drawn to putting that idea into writing, then publishing it as a free booklet that I will offer here, as well as on my publishing website, Bronze Butterfly Books. I’ve been keen on creating more freebies for visitors because I know how much I’ve benefited from the materials that other content creators have generously offered on their platforms.

So today and tomorrow, I’ll be writing all of my thoughts that I want to put into the booklet, then I’ll spend some time editing and structuring the booklet over the weekend. The goal is to publish the booklet before the end of the month (just a few days). I’m eager to have it ready by September 1st, and the only way that will happen is if I work on it, starting today.

That said, that’s all for today’s post! Stay tuned to see what the booklet will be about, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

health

Fibro Friday – The Mandell Protocol

It’s another Fibro Friday! I’m feeling pretty good after having a much less intense week than normal. I rested more, I had fewer tutoring students, and I started my yoga routine again, so life has been great. I’m excited to be back to share another protocol with you all today!

Today’s post will be about Dr. Alan Mandell, a Floridian chiropractor that has a very popular YouTube channel. Dr. Mandell, similarly to fellow chiropractor, Dr. Eric Berg (who has a protocol that I reviewed last week), has offered the path of overall lifestyle improvement as a way to relieve the pain of fibromyalgia. Dr. Mandell, like Drs. Berg, Berry (reviewed here), and Liptan (reviewed here), agrees that it is possible to make lifestyle adjustments (as opposed to relying strictly on prescription medication) in order to minimize and possibly eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms.

I enjoyed Dr. Mandell’s video, because he clearly explains a point about fibromyalgia that some medical professionals may not emphasize, and I think it’s a critical part of understanding why diagnosis and treatment are so difficult to obtain. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, not a disease, so it is a body of symptoms that cannot be attributed to other sources. It is a condition that is diagnosed after an extensive process of elimination has been undertaken by a medical professional. It is possible that a person that appears to have fibromyalgia may experience relief after being treated for common comorbidities, such as rheumatoid arthritis, various other autoimmune conditions (like lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, or Sjogren’s syndrome), or depression. Because it is easy for these symptoms to exist throughout multiple conditions, it’s important to assess a patient thoroughly before assigned a fibromyalgia diagnosis. While this is a frustrating process for patients, it is the best practice for ensuring that an accurate diagnosis is reached.

Here is Dr. Mandell’s video on fibromyalgia:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Focus on decreasing inflammation in the body, as well as reducing stress
  • Seek alternative treatments, such as chiropractic care, massage (especially myofascial release), meditation, exercise and nutrition
  • Reduce omega-6s in the diet (commonly found in corn oil, sunflower oils, sugars found in desserts, whole grains, fast food, etc.,)
  • Increase omega-3 foods in the diet (flax seed, chia seed, fatty fish, or supplements like cod liver oil and krill oil)
  • Increase vitamin D3 and magnesium intake, as well all of the B vitamins
  • Explore herbal supplements, such as chamomile and valerian root
  • Be mindful of your physical posture and ergonomics

My overall impression of the Mandell Protocol is, it’s nothing “brand new” when compared to the other protocols. However, the recommendation of specific herbs as well as the encouragement to improve physical posture for pain relief were points that I hadn’t heard previously. As always, I believe that, even if the information isn’t “brand new”, sometimes it pays to hear the same information explained from someone different, in order to get additional clarity.

Are any of you familiar with Dr. Mandell? Have you tried any of his recommendations for fibro pain relief? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

goals · health

Fibro Friday – The Berg Protocol

Happy Fibro Friday! I always love sharing information and updates regarding the world of fibromyalgia, but I realized as I started typing this post that I haven’t provided an update on my personal health. I think I am overdue for a discussion about my fibro journey and experience. So I’ll give you a brief update on my health, then I’ll dive into the Berg ProtocoI haven’t been in much pain recently, and my energy levels, while lower than I’d like, are stable. I’m still using gabapentin and I haven’t felt a need to increase my dosage. I’m thankful that I am still in the low dosage range and haven’t needed to implement any additional pain relievers. Overall, so far, so good.

Now, back to today’s topic. Today we’re exploring the recommendations for treating fibromyalgia that are promoted by Dr. Eric Berg. Dr. Berg is a chiropractor that offer his health perspective and recommendations on YouTube. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the fact that Dr. Berg is at the center of a controversy involving his son, Ian. Ian revealed that Dr. Berg is a Scientologist and a narcissist that mistreats individuals that decide to leave the Church of Scientology. These facts have given me pause when it comes to purchasing Dr. Berg’s products, and even promoting his videos can be an indirect way of supporting him. Further, I don’t want to victimize Ian further by indirectly supporting his father.

That being said, I want to add that disclaimer so you can decide whether you want to continue reading this post or whether you want to skip this week’s Fibro Friday. I don’t want to skip over the statements against Dr. Berg just because he offers solutions that may work for one of us fibro warriors. Dr. Berg offers some treatment options for fibromyalgia that may be worth considering, especially for those of us who prefer natural and alternative treatments. While Dr. Berg doesn’t have a large collection of videos dedicated to fibromyalgia, he does have a few videos discussing conditions that may be misdiagnosed as fibro. Also, he provides tips on reducing chronic fatigue and pain that comes along with fibromyalgia. Here is one of Dr. Berg’s videos that you may find informative:

The Berg Protocol can be summarized as follows:

  • Consider whether your fibromyalgia may be related to a congested gallbladder; if so, start supporting healthy gallbladder function to get relief
  • Increase vitamin D3 intake in order to reduce or eliminate pain
  • Try acupressure for relief
  • Ketogenic dieting and intermittent fasting are recommended

I think that Dr. Berg’s recommendations are very similar to Dr. Berry’s statements (which I reviewed last week). However, Dr. Berg’s experience as a chiropractor means that his perspective originates from a different point that Dr. Berry (who is a MD). While I haven’t explored all of Dr. Berg’s recommendations, I have been increasing my vitamin D3 intake and it does seem to give me a bit of an energy boost (though my chronic fatigue is still in full effect).

That’s all for my brief overview of Dr. Berg’s protocol. If you’ve implemented any of his tips, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Have a great weekend! I’ll talk to you all soon.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – I Met My Publishing Goal!

Happy Writers Wednesday! It’s official: I met my publishing goal for 2021!

*insert happy dance here*

I added two more of my children’s books to my current series. I’m still keeping the majority of my focus on creating books that educate children on Asian countries, but – considering that I will eventually be finished writing about all of the Asian countries – I’ve started branching out into writing books on European and African countries. The two latest books that I’ve published are Let’s Go To South Korea and Let’s Go To Portugal.

It was a little more challenging to write these books, but not because there was an issue with the content. These books – in particular, the Portugal one – were more difficult to write because I like to use royalty-free photographs for my books, and finding relevant free photos taken in South Korea and Portugal was HARD! So I’m thrilled that these two are behind me, and I don’t have to think about having to find pictures for those two countries again.

I anticipate my next book will be an African country, then I’ll follow with another Asian book, then another European book, an African book, and just keep that rotation until I am ready to branch out into South America. I’ll work in Australia at some point, just so that I can cover the entire globe.

I’m so happy to share with you all that I’ve published FIVE books this year! I’m looking forward to publishing even more children’s books, but also publishing a couple of my works-in-progress that I’ve had on my desk for quite some time. It’ll be nice to see those labors of love FINALLY out in the world and making the impact that I intend for them to make.

That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

*This post has affiliate links.