Category Archives: Motivation

Guest post by Erika Gardner: Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles


I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each person’s day for the better.

It’s no less special than the stuff in my books though it’s easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before. And on that note I’d like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy coming home. Please enjoy.

***

“Siobhan,” Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.

I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.

Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. “It is something to see, yes?” His tone reflected true awe.

“Is this your first time seeing this?” I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.

“No, I have seen this many times.” He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. “But a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.”

To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. “Guys, are you kidding me?” In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.

They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. “What?” Alex said.

“Hey, what are you guys staring at?” Tim sounded defensive.

Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turel’s smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. “She comes.” His eyes shone as they met mine.

Alex glanced this way and that. “Does anyone hear that sound?” he asked.

Tim craned his head. “I hear it. It sounds like bells.”

“Wind chimes,” I corrected, still staring straight ahead. “It’s wind chimes.” The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. “Daisy.”

“Damn it,” growled Tim. “I can’t see anything even a bit like a dragon.”

“Unless it’s a super little one,” said Alex, his face downcast.

Turel laughed— a big, belly laugh full of joy. “Gwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.”

Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, “Certainly, Turiel, dear one.” Suppressed mirth laced her tone. “How’s this, children?”

When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.

TheDragoninTheGardenbyErikaGardner-200To purchase The Dragon in The Garden please see:

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Gardner_Erika/the-dragon-in-the-garden.htm

 

 

 

erikagardnerauthorpicThis post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

 

Inspiration on Writing that something


Do you love to write? Do you want to write? What are your excuses? Can’t find the time, I have kids, I have … and the list goes on.

Well today, I have Katherine Garbera, a very successful author with 75 books published, here with me today to tell us how she organises her workload and how she manages to write every day! Over to you, Katherine!

Katherine_Garbera
Katherine Garbera

For the majority of my adult life (since I was 23) I have been writing.  I’ve been published since I was 26 and have made writing my daily life.  I set goals so I stay on track and accomplish the things that are important to me.  Goal setting and daily writing go hand and hand for me.  And I hope these tips will help to achieve your goals as well.

 Goal Setting

  • Write it down. There is great power in words. We already know this, it’s why we are writers, but when we think we want something but we only keep it in our mind and never write it down, it isn’t concrete.  By writing it down and looking at it every day, it helps to focus the mind and gives you the motivation to ensure you do are working toward your goal every day.
  • Make your goals achievable.
    It’s easy to get excited when making a list but if you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t. So pick things that you can accomplish.  One of my goals is to write every day.  I can easily do that and some days, if I’m honest, writing feels like a job and not fun, so putting down a goal of writing every day makes it easier for me to do.
  • Small steps = success.
    Once you’ve written down your goal then figure out what steps you have to take to make it happen. For example if your goal is to finish a book this year, then think what do you have to do every day to make it happen?  Probably write a certain number of pages/words a day.  Then you make that your daily goal and finishing the book your yearly goal.
  • Put things on the list that are easy i.e. write every day.
    Don’t make your list so big that the thought of looking at it makes you shiver with dread. Put on things you can easily do.  One of mine is stand up for 15 minutes every hour.  This is something I really should do, but don’t.  For health reasons I really need to start making it happen, so by adding it to my list, I’m making it happen.  But it’s easy and achievable as well with very little effort from me.
  • Make it measurable.
    How will you measure you steps to your target? Taking our earlier goal of finishing a book in year, then the daily goal of writing each day, you should have a check in at the end of every week and month to see if you are getting closer.  It might be that your book is going faster than you thought and you might finish it early.  Or you might find that you have to write more to make your goal.  Whatever happens adjust accordingly.

Daily Writing:

  • All you need is 5 minutes.
    A lot of time it’s easy to make excuses not to write. Writing is hard and sometimes scary.  So we tell ourselves that we can’t write because we don’t have a dedicated space (go to the library or coffee shop), it’s too noisy (use headphones and some soothing sounds i.e. rain forest or ocean), I don’t have a huge block of time (you only need five minutes to write a sentence).  This is the inner creative child who is afraid of failing stopping you from writing.  You can calm it by sitting down and saying I’m only going to write for five minutes and then stop.  Usually, that will jump start the creative juices and lead to writing for much longer.
  • Log your writing and find the time that works best for you.
    This is sort of fun if you like graphs and spreadsheets. I don’t but I still like doing it.  You try writing at different times during the day. Some of you (like people with demanding day jobs and moms) won’t have the luxury and you’ll end up writing like I did when I worked fulltime…in my car on my lunch break and then when I had two toddlers at night after they went to bed.  But you will find the time that you are most productive by logging the amount of pages/words you get done in a writing session.  Then you can focus your efforts to writing during that time.
  • Set your timer: Write 15 minutes, break 10 minutes, Write 15 minutes.
    Try the timer. It’s kind of like the only 5 minutes things but this is for when you are on a deadline and you have to get a certain number of pages done in order to turn your book in on time.  You can adjust the timing to whatever works for you.  This is my current set up and I really like it.
  • Set achievable expectations: 500 words, 5 pages, 1 chapter.
    It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to write 50 pages in one day unless you’ve done this before. So set goals that make sense to you and realize they will grow the longer you are writing every day.  I think of this creative part of my mind as a muscle that gets stronger the more I use it.  When I first started writing I could do one chapter a week.  That was it.  I had a full time job, two kids and a husband—more than that simply wouldn’t work for me.  But once I started writing full time I found I could write a little bit more and now I write a chapter a day and still have time to do fun things!
  • Use an affirmation that jump starts your writing session.
    This only works if you believe in affirmations.  But I always say “Writing is fun and easy for me.” Makes the writing session more like fun than work.

Thank you Katherine! I know what my goals are going to be!

To purchase her latest release, Eye Candy, click here: Eye Candy

To purchase her upcoming release, His Baby Agenda, click here: His Baby Agenda

Comments below very much appreciated.

Writing in a Room with a View by Patrice Fitzgerald


Writing in a Room with a View

Patrice Fitzgerald

I became a self-published writer on July 4th, 2011, which is Independence Day in the U.S. I figured it was a good day to declare myself an “indie writer.”

Since that time, I’ve published a political thriller about two women running for president, a series of science-fiction books based on the best-selling WOOL by author Hugh Howey, and a number of short stories for anthologies. Right now, I’m working on a novella about time travel that was commissioned by Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.

I’m a very lucky writer—I get to sit at my computer while watching nature. I have a little room with a beautiful view that overlooks a pond. Every day, the view changes.

WinterIn the winter, what I see is a backyard full of snow, stark, bare trees, and an iced-over pond. This is probably the least distracting season, but it’s still quite lovely. The snow features the tracks of animals that have snuck through my backyard in the night and makes me think of what a character might have going on beneath the surface. Occasionally, I see a group of young people playing ice hockey on the pond. Before they can start a game, they have to push the snow out of the way to create a makeshift hockey rink. Teamwork, conflict, competition—it all goes into the draft I’m writing.

SpringIt’s only February, but I’m already looking forward to warmer weather. In the spring I’ll look out on the tender buds on the
trees. The leaves will be small and light green, and gradually fill in the view. They block some of the pond, which I love to watch as it transitions from ice to “living” water, moving with the breeze. I was told by someone (who knows far more about trees than I do) that the beech trees in my backyard are more than 100 years old. I contemplate beginnings and endings, age, time, and change. This wisdom gets pulled into my manuscript.

SummerAnd then comes glorious summer, when the grass is fully green again, the trees are thick with leaves, and the water sparkles. This is the time of year when it can get quite hot here in New England. When I find myself procrastinating with my writing, I head down to our little beach on the far side of the pond and jump into the lake. Escape, freedom, a new environment… all fodder for the writer’s brain and the current book.

AutumnThe most glorious season is unquestionably the fall. There are days when the air is so bright with the afternoon sunlight that the trees seem to be part of an enchanted forest outside my window. It can be hard to write for the beauty. I’ll be sitting at my computer, typing away, and I’ll see the sun break through the clouds and turn my whole backyard gold. I have to jump up and grab my phone to snap a photo. In those moments of perfection I think of a happily-ever-after ending, or the impossibility of possessing the ideal. Once grasped, it slips from us, leaving only memories.

I will not always live in this house. Someday I won’t have this view. But it will live on in my mind’s eye as the room in which I began my writing career, and where I spent many happy hours distracted—and inspired—by the loveliness outside my window

Patrice Fitzgerald is a best-selling writer whose ebooks can be found on Amazon as well as on other popular platforms. Some are also in print. Her website is www.PatriceFitzgerald.com

RUNNING http://amzn.to/1DAmUQS

KARMA OF THE SILO  http://amzn.to/1AnluLw

I DREAM OF PIA http://amzn.to/1yzYyTV

HANGING WITH HUMANS http://amzn.to/1Csl8UA

Karma of the SiaI Dream of PiaPATHanging with Humans

I lost 2 inches off my waist!


WEEK ONE:

It is true! I lost 2 inches off my waist! And it feels fantastic!

So I started a weight loss programme created by myself, and this is what I did:

  • I stopped eating bread everyday
  • I drank a mug of hot lemon water everyday
  • Did my crunches everyday – my target was 100

And that was it. I didn’t follow a fad diet but only these simple rules. There were days when I didn’t want to do crunches, but I made sure I did them. Sometimes I even did more than my target and once I reached 170 crunches in one go. Quite impressive for me!

IMG_20140417_032011I also had a chance to do some bonus weight loss activities – which was walking in the pool, and teaching my little one to swim. Walking is a great simple exercise, and fun too when with friends, or like me – just taking it in my stride with my young one!

LEPTIN:

So, last week I briefly spoke about Leptin and that is it a hormone that controls our body fat. Here is more science:

Fat likes women and men. But especially in women, as it clings to our thighs, buttocks, waist, calves and the list goes on! This is because our hormones tell our brains what to do. There are many books out there on Leptin, and what it does to women in weight gain so I urge you to go and read it. I will just touch on the subject.

So, Leptin is a hormone that affects our weight. It is produced by stored fat, and controls how much food we eat and how fast we burn it. When Fat Storage is low, the leptin ‘tank’ is low, so the brain tells us to eat more. So, we need to control that aspect of our hormone and reverse it. We need to tell the brain that it is okay that the leptin tank is low, and that we don’t need to eat anymore.

This is where we need to recondition our brains, and put ‘ideas’ into our subconscious mind. We need to tell it that we will survive if our leptin tank is low. Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself, but just eat less and watch what you eating and when.

I am no expert and I don’t claim to be one, and am still a novice. But it is good to know all this.

So, coming away from Science, and back into the real world:

IMG_20140417_031644If you want to lose stomach fat – chant a mantra and make sure it is embedded into your subconscious that you will lose the fat, and DO the crunches. Start by doing 20 a day, and build it up. Don’t forget the water!

Okay, until next time folks!

 

 

 

An Artist or a Business Person


When the Writer first began to write, they did not think of profit or loss, income or no income. Instead they thought of success of another level. An Artist is a person who is creative and fair flowing, if you get the impression. They work from the heart, not the brain.

Artists work in various ways – cartoonist, graphic/interior designer, painters, illustrators, writers, bloggers, as authors…the list is endless. But once the creative part is over, they need to put their suits on and become marketing/business managers. How would they live if they had no money coming in? They can’t live on air. An Artist must become business minded to go forward, to bring basics to the table and to help carry on being that Artist.

It is true, when an Artist creates something and puts it out in the market, the product may not sell well or at all. They then want to give up and do something they hate doing – a job which can be demoralising. But I say, don’t give up on that dream to be a writer/author/independent film-maker. Go and do a day job but also carry on BEING an Artist! Don’t hang up your coat, don’t put away your pen or paintbrush. Success is only out of reach if you don’t reach for it. So when, you the Artist, think your creativeness is not taking you anywhere and what’s the point of carrying on – think again, buster!

The Artist is the Creative One and without them, the world would not be able to function. Where would they all be if the Writer stopped writing, stopped making everyone laugh or cry and letting their emotions run wild for a while? What would happen if they couldn’t be humoured with films, good writing or visual brilliance?

Am I talking about you?

The business man needs the Artist and the Artist needs the business man. Become both as then you will survive in this fast,  upside-down world!

But NEVER forget to be an Artist first and never stop reaching for your dream!