writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Cycle

Happy Writers Wednesday! I hope you all are having a great day or evening. I mentioned my writing, editing and publishing lessons learned in last week’s Writers Wednesday post. Now that I’ve churned out a few children’s books (like this one that teaches children about China, and this one that teaches kids about Vietnam), I’m getting back onto schedule.

The book I was working on (prior to working on the children’s books) is basically complete, so it’s time to move on. Starting next week, I’m entering a new writing cycle. However, instead of starting a new project from scratch, this cycle will focus on finishing some of my older, neglected manuscripts. I have quite a few unfinished books that I’ve wanted to complete for the past few years, and these next few weeks feel like a good time to do so.

The way I’m planning it in my mind will mean that I won’t stick to one manuscript, complete it, then move to the next. I’ll likely bounce between three or four works, doing writing and editing tasks until they’re all finished. For me, the challenges lie in four different things:

  • Refusing to start a brand new book (given my short attention span, this will be my biggest challenge)
  • Creating a practical daily schedule (as my schedule has been busier recently, this may be a bit harder to do)
  • Finding enough willing beta readers for my books (not a major challenge, but something to keep in mind as I get closer to completing my edits)
  • Setting a reasonable end date for these writing and editing tasks (my second biggest challenge, since I tend to underestimate the time needed for tasks)

As I look forward, I can see where my weaknesses are, and, by seeing them, I can prepare. In the next few days, I’ll be concentrating on how to avoid or mitigate each of the challenges I listed above. And, more than likely, I’ll share about my strategies, tactics and more lessons learned during the next few Writers Wednesdays posts.

That’s my writing update for this week. Have a great day!

*This post contains affiliate links

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Things I’ve Learned About Writing, Editing and Publishing

I’m finally back with a Writers Wednesday post! It’s been a while, mainly because there were other things that were more important for me (namely, getting into a new routine that accommodates my increased offline activity). But, seeing as how I quickly churned out two books (I mention them in my goal update post for March), it’s safe to say that I have some insights on what I’ve learned through the writing, editing, and publishing experience.

About writing . . .

When it comes to writing, it’s far easier to get into my “zone” than it used to be. The more I write, the easier it is for me to write. And since I’m not as critical about my rough drafts as I used to be, I am able to actually complete a book (instead of wasting time agonizing about the right things to say). Also, setting a fixed time to complete a certain number of words daily is pretty useless for me. I know that having a routine is important, but micromanaging every detail of my daily writing routine (such as the number of words to type) is too stressful for me. I give myself a lot of flexibility, and I don’t criticize myself for writing outside of my scheduled time. I do my best writing at 2-3 AM, and I’m okay with that.

About editing . . .

For me, editing is best done in small chunks. I focus on a few pages at a time, and read it aloud, making the changes as I go. And I get through the entire manuscript, then I start all over again. And then I share with friends, to see if it makes sense. Most of my friends are too busy to read my books nowadays, but if they spend a few minutes looking through my work, I’m appreciative. I stop worrying about editing after 2-3 rounds of edits. Anything more than that is obsessive, and it prevents me from publishing my book in a timely fashion.

About publishing . . .

Amazon used to quickly approve manuscripts, then, at some point, they got overwhelmed and the publishing queue became far too long. Now, they are back to quickly approving books again, and I’m thankful. For me, publishing is the easiest part of the process: I’ve done this enough to get through the process easily. Also, it’s a good idea for me to pre-write my book description before I start going through the publishing process.

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Those are just a few of my observations from working on my latest books. If you’ve published a book before, what are some crucial things that you’ve learned? I’d love to hear all about it!

reading list

Books Read in March 2021

Happy Tuesday! I posted this yesterday, before it was completed. So today, I’m finally completing this post.

This year, one of my goals is to read 100+ books. For March, I did way better than I did in January and February! That’s really remarkable, considering the fact that I actually took on extra activities during this month (coursework, increased working hours, etc.,).

Want to know my secret for reading more books? It’s easy: audiobooks! I’m pressing play and doing tasks (like folding clothes and beauty treatments) while I listen. Here are the books that I read:

Anne Barone, Chic and Slim

Anne Barone, Chic and Slim Encore

Florence Scovel Shinn, Your Word is Your Wand

Florence Scovel Shinn, The Game of Life and How to Play It

Florence Scovel Shinn, The Secret Door to Success

Annette Larkins – Journey to Health 1

Annette Larkins – Journey to Health 2

So this month, I read 7 books. Not too bad for someone that’s busier than ever LOL! I’m already done with one book for the month of April, and it’s still the first week. It’s looking like I’ll be able to knock out at least 8 more books this month.

That’s today’s brief post! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow, and I’ll have more details about what’s been happening lately. Talk ot you all soon!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

health · Uncategorized

Fibro Friday: Health Updates

Happy Friday, friends! We made it through another week. I’ve been busy, but I feel like I’m finally starting to get over the hump and get to a point where I’m not as overwhelmed. For this, I’m thankful.

So, in yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I had a recent doctor’s visit. During this visit, my doctor confirmed that I had gained some weight. Funny enough, he didn’t mention it, but I saw it when his nurse weighed me. I knew that I’d done some emotional eating over the wintertime, but I had no idea how much it impacted my weight until I saw the numbers on the scale.

Obviously, I’d been soothing myself with food. I thought hard about it, and it occurred to me that 2021, for all of its wins, had walloped me. Losing my grandmother, living with additional family members, not taking any vacations, and having an extraordinary amount of work and other activities have really drained me. I may write more about all of this in an upcoming post, but for now, I’ll say that I’m glad for my newfound awareness. I can make some additional changes to my eating and get back on track to achieving my goal weight.

That aside, I’ve felt pretty good physically. I’ve adjusted some of medication so I’m pain free on most days. My main fibro symptom that I’m contending with now is fatigue. This one is undoubtedly the most difficult to manage, since it slows me down and makes it really hard to function. I’m exploring a few natural options to increase my energy, as well as adjusting my daily routine so that I get more sleep at night.

Overall, I’m making progress, with a minor setback or two. I’m excited to see how things go over the next few weeks, especially when I get adjusted to my new sleep routine. All in all, I have nothing but good news to share!

That’s it for the week. I hope you all have a great weekend. Take care!

culture · fitness · goals · health · life curation

March Goal Updates – Finally!

Happy first day of April, friends!

I know that you all saw some post notifications yesterday, but those posts aren’t ready just yet. Bear with me: the past few weeks have been busy. Between my job, my side job, my family, and my school coursework, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I will be getting a much needed break this weekend, but that’s a couple of days away. In any case, I am ready to chat about my March goal update.

So, my goal list for 2021 is as follows:

  • 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

I always discuss my book reading goal in a separate post, so I won’t talk about that until next week. However, I’m really excited to confirm that I’ve made progress on several of my goals for the year!

  • Publish 5 books

In the midst of the tragic shootings in Atlanta several days ago, I was moved to do my part in supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement. I stayed up late several nights, and I ended up writing and publishing two books to inspire children to learn more about Asian countries. I believe that hate is rooted in ignorance, and the cure for ignorance is knowledge. I plan to eventually write books on each of the countries of the world, but I decided to start with China and Vietnam, in hopes that what I publish will help educate children on the many ways that we are wonderfully different and surprisingly alike. My books are Let’s Go to China and Let’s Go to Vietnam, and they are filled with beautiful pictures and fun facts about these two Asian countries.

Now, these books were not planned at all, but I believe in working with inspiration as it strikes. Inspiration led me to write them, and I’ve done this sort of thing enough to know that I should never ignore a hunch. These two books bring my closer to my publishing goals for the year and, as a plus, I’m on target to meet this goal before summer begins!

  • Lose 15 lbs

A recent trip to the doctor confirmed that I have gained weight (more about this in tomorrow’s post). So I’m amping up my physical activity and revising my diet. I feel pretty good about the changes I’m making, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to shed the weight easily – so long as I stick to my plan. I’ll spill more of those details tomorrow.

  • Manifest 3 international trips

Part of manifesting my three international trips including allowing inspiration to point me in the direction of the right trips for me. Well, with some inspired conversations with my friends, as well as some fantastic evidence from the Universe, I’ve decided on one of the countries that I will visit this year! I’ll share more about this as I plan my trip, but I’m really excited that one of those international trips is in the works.

  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses

I’ve gotten several opportunities to earn additional money doing the things that I already do (like vlogging). I also have been selling some of my books (so exciting!) and having several people interested in a few of my little businesses. I’m not sure how much money I’ve made so far in my businesses, but I think I’ll calculate it next month and share it in my April goal update post.

  • Read 100+ books

This will be in a separate post, but I’m excited to let you all know that I read more books in March than I did in January or February. I’m so happy that I’m making progress toward my goal!

  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo

I’m still floating off of the happiness of my Sophia Webster purchase. I haven’t recently checked the Hermes, Louboutin, or Ralph & Russo websites to decide on what items I want, but I’m sure I’ll have made some more progress toward this before I do my April update.

  • Cure my fibromyalgia

I’ve been feeling great recently! My medication seems to be at an optimal dosage, which makes me really happy. I’ve been dealing with fatigue, but other than that, everything has been good. I’ll discuss this more in tomorrow’s post, too.

So that’s it for my updates. I’ll be back tomorrow with my Fibro Friday post. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · Uncategorized

What You Focus On, Expands

Hey friends! I have a VERY special post coming tomorrow. It’s so special that I actually decided to SKIP Fibro Friday in order to post this one. Yes, it’s that special. I know you’re going to love it, and there is a specific reason why I’m posting it tomorrow instead of today. So, be sure to come back tomorrow to see what I’ve got up my sleeve . . .

Until then, I’m going to reflect on a post that I had on my now-defunct blog. Back in 2015, way before I knew anything about Law of Attraction, I knew that focusing on problems could only create more problems, while focusing on solutions would create opportunities to improve my situation. I’m going to share a snippet of that post, and then I’ll come back with my 2021 thoughts.

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I am writing today because I’ve seen how some of us spend an inordinate amount of time on things that do not enhance our life or increase our happiness. One blogger, that used to write beautiful, inspiring posts, has descended into one of the most annoying people on my Blogger feed (I’m still trying to figure out how to remove her from my feed, but there’s something weird going on with my Blogger setup). Her descent into bitterness does nothing to empower her or her readers. This is the sad result when people chose to focus on what angers or hurts them.

I know that most of you that have been participating in empowerment forums/groups are well aware of the power of focusing on what we want. FOCUS allows us to keenly tune in, and can even give us extraordinary energy to tackle an obstacle or accomplish a goal. It’s been said that what we focus on expands, which is why I’ve been absent. I’ve been FOCUSING on creating the kind of life that will nourish and inspire me, as well as benefit my loved ones.

Here’s what I’ve been focusing on recently:

-Increasing my net worth
-Positioning myself among uplifting individuals
-Filling my life with rich experiences
-Removing toxic individuals from my circles
-Creating stronger, clearer boundaries for myself

There are some fantastic bloggers that are still sounding the alarms for women, lighting the way to true empowerment. I commend them and they deserve ALL of the accolades, because they are quite literally saving lives. For those that have moved past the “life-saving” phase, what are you doing for “life enhancement” or “life expansion”? Are you still overly focused on life-saving rhetoric? I’ve seen it for myself: women in empowerment circles spending outrageous amounts of time discussing negative, life-minimizing things. There should be progression, but for some women, I see that they are “stuck” and, as a result, regressive in many ways.

IF you are still overly focused and wringing hands over what groups or individuals have wronged you and mistreated you, HOW can you possibly focus on living a quality existence? IF you still get worked up over every negative meme or article posted about you (and women that look like you), HOW do you have time and energy to create a life that defies the negative stereotypes? In a couple of words, YOU CANNOT.

The best thing you can do for 2015 [and TODAY!] is think about the things you want more of (peace, love, wealth, joy, happiness, prosperity, whatever) and focus on how you can get MORE of those things. Some things may be tangible, others intangible. In any case, spend your time focusing on what you WANT, instead of thinking about what you DO NOT want. Your life will be better for it.

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Looking back upon this post, I realize I’ve done what I’ve said I would do: increased my net worth, positioned myself among groups of diverse, uplifting individuals, had some pretty incredible life-enriching experiences (even in the midst of COVID), removed toxic people from my life, and gotten clearer, stronger boundaries. All of these are works in progress, but I can see that, within the past 6 years, I’ve moved steadily in this direction. I’ve had some major wins, and I thrilled to know that I will get even more wins in the future.

So today, ask yourself, what have I been focusing on? The answers may surprise and inspire you. I hope you’ve been well, and focusing on what you want in your life! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

Uncategorized

Working Behind The Scenes . . .

Hey everyone! I realize there hasn’t been a post for a few days, and there’s a good reason for that.

I’ve bitten off more than I can chew LOL!

I’ll be completing an intense training series for entrepreneurs starting next week, which means this week required a LOT of “wrapping up” and finishing existing tasks. That would have been okay, except for the fact that the weather is changing and my body is having a hard time adjusting. So yeah, not much got done this week.

It’s okay, though: I’m not at a standstill. And for that, I’m thankful.

I’m finally feeling a bit more energetic so I’ll be back to my normal shenanigans starting tomorrow. Until then, here’s a YouTube video that has no particular relevance to anything on this blog, other than I liked it.

reading list · Uncategorized

Books Read in February 2021

Happy March 1st, and Happy Women’s History Month, friends! This post is going live super-late, because yours truly has a new set of nails and I’m typing extra slowly (don’t laugh, I’m serious!)

Anyhoo, let’s move on to the topic, which is the book list for February. I was, once again, a tad disappointed by how many books I read. But something is better than nothing, right? I’m learning to appreciate my progress no matter how small, but my old perfectionist ways still get the best of me sometimes. It’s a struggle.

Without further ado, here is my list of books read for February:

I’ll be able to devote more time to reading this month, as I’m already clearing my calendar for some major book time (no less than 30 minutes a day, every single day). I also started two books in February that I’ll complete this month, so I’m looking forward to that.

That’s it for my book updates. I’m anticipating some better news at the end of this month! I’ll talk to you all soon.

business · life curation · writing

Create Your Vision – A Sneak Peek Into My Latest Guided Journal

I decided to take a break from Writers Wednesdays, since I’m still editing and doing last minute changes. Instead, I want to take a little time to do a deep-dive into my latest journal, Create Your Vision. This was a special request, and I was delighted to do it for one of my wonderful customers.

Two of the Create Your Visions covers available (25 designs in all)

In this journal, I provide my step-by-step formula for lifestyle redesign, using the power of writing. In the video below, I even give an example of how to change a key area of your life (I use the example of changing careers) by journaling. I’ve successfully used these techniques to change my life and get the results that I’ve desired. Every time I feel the need to change something in my life, I refer back to this formula, since it worked so well.

That’s it for today. I hope you can use the information in this video. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links.

culture · international · life curation

Embracing The Year of the Ox

We recently saw the beginning of a brand new Lunar Year on February 12th. Somehow, I was a bit late this year, and I didn’t realize that the Lunar New Year occurred until two days after.

What can I say? It’s been a challenging year for all of us, and if I miss a couple of holidays, it’s only because this year has done a number on most of us.

Anyway, back to the Lunar New Year. I thought of the significance of this year’s animal, the ox. I reflected back on the last lunar year, the year of the rat. I think of mice and rats, and how these animals, while indicative of abundance (they are always in places with adequate food supply), can overconsume and leave desolation where abundance used to reside. I think the year of the rat, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, was a collective wake-up call. We are abundant, but, as a society, we have taken too much from nature, and balance must be restored.

Enter the year of the ox. This hardworking beast of burden only consumes what it needs to sustain itself, and it’s purpose for existing is to produce through manual efforts. Unlike rats, whose body waste is toxic and often spreads disease, oxen are useful all the way down to their fecal matter, which can fertilize and restore balance to the soil. The ox is sturdy, reliable, and work-oriented. It is the animal that’s most representative of the attitude we need in these times.

I think this year will be a year of restoration and balance. Life will get back to normal, more or less, but what is considered baseline normal has changed. We’ve had roughly one year to stay close to home, spend more time doing domestic activities, and to closely examine what matters to us. Now, we have our work to do.

It’s time for us to produce. We’ve been incubating our skills and talents during lockdowns and quarantines: now is the time to put out into the world what we’ve been creating during our downtime. And yes, I understand that many of us were too stressed and otherwise limited to “create” in the traditional sense. But, our creations need not be tangible: they can be our musings, creative nudges or even inklings of necessary change in our personal lives or in society. We have all created “something” in the past year: now it’s time to unleash it.

May the year of the ox give you great favor and lead you closer to a wonderful existence.

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