Category Archives: Life challenges

It all begins with #MorningMotivation

SO, about 6 weeks ago I started using my Instagram account to post daily pictures and quotes about 3 concepts I strive for on a daily basis: self-motivation, believing in myself, and personal growth. Since I started that, my account has doubled in people who follow me. I didn’t start doing this, though, to garner new followers–although that’s a wonderful side benefit–but to keep me focused on those three concepts. Posting my daily motivational quote is the first thing I do in the morning, social media-wise, and it sets the tone for my day.

First, I find motivational quote. Pinterest is great for this.

I swear Pinterest was invented by a writer! Self-motivation has never been one of my strong points. Since I’ve been such a people pleaser throughout my life, I’ve tended to put myself second, or even third, when it came to encouraging myself and pushing myself toward a goal. I’m a great cheerleader – ask any of my friends – and I will push anyone towards the finish line of their choice. Myself? Not so much. Recognizing that, I started the daily motivations to help me focus on myself and what I want, for once. Some may see this as selfish, perhaps, but it really isn’t.

What did we ever do before the thought to use a hashtag for promotional reasons became a thing? After the motivational quote is uploaded to my account, I then promote it in an attempt to help others. The hashtag #PersonalGrowth is a great one for this.

I truly try to grow every single day: as a writer, as a wife and mother, as a human being trying to navigate through the quagmire our society has become. Uplifting my thoughts is a good way for me to start my day and do this.

You can’t expect to accomplish anything if you don’t accept and aspire to my third daily tenant, #BelieveInYourSelf.

No one is going to magically make you a success in life. You have to work for it and you have to believe that you can succeed. And you really need to believe it. Just saying the words mean nothing. Deep down in your very soul, you must feel as if you can do anything you set your mind to. Anything. Believing you can do something is the most important tool you have for achieving personal success.

Having a positive outlook in and on life can go a great way in making your days better. There’s a mindset that believes what you speak out into the universe is what you’ll get sent back to you. Negative thoughts, morose mindsets, and critical thinking, if put out there, will become a major factor in what is given back to you from other people and the world in general. Having a positive outlook, not believing everything you do is going to wind up bad or not to your liking, goes a great way in making your days happy and productive ones.

Everyone knows my favorite book of all time is The Little Engine who Could. I truly believe this is the best book about self-motivation and self-actualization ever written, and it’s a children’s book! But, adults can get the takeaway message — he thought he could, so he did — as a mantra for their lives. That little engine let nothing stand in his way to prevent him from getting up and over that hill. Again, this book was written for children to help them accept, see, and know that they can do anything they set their minds to. Why, as adults, do we forget that?

SO, that’s how I start my day. Every morning of every day. Thinking positively, believing in myself, and recognizing I must grow to survive. It all beings with #MorningMotivation

Other places you can find me being positive are: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#2018 word of the year….

In 2016, my word for the year was YES. Instead of the usual knee-jerk NO I gave to everything, I decided to say yes to everything. It was a good year. In 2017 my word was COMPROMISE. Since I have a my way or the highway personality, I thought this word and the thought behind it would help me in my interpersonal relationships. And it did. Big time.

For 2018 I needed a word that would propel me into writing more and, thereby, produce more so I could get published more. Since I’m the type of person who gets easily distracted – the main reason I don’t listen to music when I write – I needed something that would help me remember to stay the course and not let little things pull me away from writing. Little things like the desire to watch The View, or read a book, or watch a Housewives episode.

That word is FOCUS.

My steps toward being more focused on my writing aren’t many, and that’s a good thing because there are less to remember and get frustrated by.

  1. Utilize a Daily Planner.   You would think because I am such a plotter for my writing I would already do this. You would be wrong. This year I purchased a three-ring binder that holds 3 separate notebooks. One is my TO DO list for each day. One is MY FITNESS list so I remember to track what I eat, drink, and to remind myself to exercise. The third is a PROJECT MANAGER that lists all the works in progress I’ve got going on and their end dates, and ideas for new books.
  2. Set break time. If you work at a job in an office, or a school, or anywhere, you have built-in breaktimes. I’ve never done that. I simply sit at my laptop and write until I get bored ( or distracted) and then do things that waste time.
  3. Turning the alarms on my cell phone off.   Every time my phone dings with a new email or Fb post or Twitter notification, I stop what I’m doing and grab my phone. This pulls me out of creativity mode and at this stage in my life it’s wicked hard to get those lost writing thoughts back! Alarms are shut off whenever I’m writing now.
  4. Clean up the workspace and keep it tidy. Another no-brainer, but I have a tendency to not put things back where they belong in my office, so my desk is littered with reference books, sticky notes, pens and loads of other accouterment that can be very distracting. Keeping my desk tidy is a good way to avoid having my eyes drift to all the mess and then get distracted with putting it all away. 

So, four little steps that I think ( Hope. WISH!!) will help me be more productive in 2018.

While I’m focusing on what I need to do, you can be distracted by finding me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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One year ends, another begins…..

Making a New Year’s resolution is something a lot of people do once that clock strikes midnight on 12.31

Lose weight, exercise more, be present and not preoccupied, put down those devices and engage personally. Those are just a few of the ones my friends have told me they are going to resolve to make in 2018. They, like about 85 percent of the population, make resolutions and then don’t follow through for the entire year. The reasons? Varied, but ranging from boredom to maybe making resolutions that were unattainable, or too hard, or not specific enough.

Why am I talking about this, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

I’ve stopped making resolutions because I fall into that 85 percent. I start the year all gung-ho, losing weight, writing more, not getting so preoccupied. By about January 15th I’m already tired of it all. It’s too much work, too mind draining, I’ve got other things to do. These are all the excuses I give myself as an “out” for the resolutions. Besides, I still haven’t gotten into the habit of writing the new year date instead of the previous one on checks!

So last year I stopped making resolutions and began making goals. Calling my new behaviors goals instead seems to make me want to stick to them more, and even propels me to do so.

Last years’ goals were to write 5 times per week on this blog, finish 4 novels and get to the gym 5-6 times per week and to learn to compromise when asked to do something instead of giving a knee-jerk “no.’

1, 2, and 4 I did. #3 I had a little trouble with due to injuries and my arthritis flaring up.

This year’s goals are:

  1. Finish my current WIP by the end of January and submit.
  2. Write 2 more books and 1 novella by December 31, 2018
  3. write this blog 2-3 times per week and my menopause blog once a week.
  4. get FIT!!! I have to go on a cruise in the summer and I swear I am not going looking like I do right now. So it’s off to the nutritionist and the gym for me.
  5. Bump up the social media posts. I haven’t been on SM this week due to a death in the family and I’ve already lost 15 Twitter followers.
  6. Be present and engaged more. You know I’m a hermit in the winter. I vow not to be one this year. Still haven’t figured out how, though!

So, check back with me periodically in 2018 to see how those goals are going for me and if I needed to revise, revamp or even renege on a few of them!

Be well, Happy New Year and I’ll see you in 2018!

in 2018 look for me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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I don’t like to give advice, but……

Number 51! We’re almost done with an entire year of blog posts. Today’s topic is a goodie — but then I’ve thought they were all goodies!

So, like my title says, I don’t like to give advice. The reason is simply because I don’t like to get it! Especially unsolicited.

But…(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?! HeeHee)

What advice would I give to New Authors? Well, it’s simple really. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. EVAH!!!

I was 55 years old when my first book was published. A time when people are thinking towards retirement, and I started a whole new career. I had many naysayers when I first submitted to publishers and entered contests at the age of 54.

You’re too old to start, now.” 

“You’re not the right age or demographic or personality to write and be successful with romance writing.” 

“You’ll never make it. It’s a young person’s market.”

“You’re going to get your heart broken with all the rejections you’re going to get.”

I heard it all.

But I still dreamed I’d be published. I listened to those comments and then just as quickly forgot about them.

Yes, I’d had a few things published in my 20’s and 30s’ — mostly short stories in literary magazines that no one ever read, and professional nursing journals where a few people did see them. But nothing I could support myself with. The dream to be a published book author always stayed with me, though, despite that.

And yes, it took me until I was middle-aged, menopausal, and slightly neurotic before I ever saw a book of mine in print, but… and this is the key… I stuck to my dream and saw it fulfilled.

So, new writer who is hopefully reading this, if you want to write, write. If you want to be a published author, go for it. Don’t give up. Ever. EVAH!

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop want to tell you? Stop by their sites and see:

 

3.

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When typing THE END is only the beginning…..#NaNoWriMo 2017

And so we come to the end of another November. Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving behind 5-7 pounds on our hips; Black Friday has exited the building with only a few minor scrapes and bumps to our persons; Cyber Monday has crashed and burned, leaving our checking accounts a little lower in the cash flow department.

And, NaNoWriMo has seen another year, end. Another attempt at that 50,000-word minimum tome has come and gone, leaving many writers joyful, others struggling, and the rest of us exhausted and elated simultaneously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the writing momentum of this month up for all 12 months? Imagine being able to actually write 2-3 books a year. The big names in publishing do it, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan. These writers know the benefit or writing EVERY SINGLE DAY no matter what. If there isn’t blood shedding, the zombie apocalypse approaching, or the world ending in a vortex of wind and rain, these writers write every single day, bar none. No excuses. No whining. No dilly-dallying.

The fire has been stoaked – you’ve already spent the past 30 days writing something every day. Even if you didn’t make the 50,000 mark, you still have more on the page now than you did on November 1, right? So keep going.

I know I am…and will. Pages to write, books to publish. No Excuses.

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The work never ends…..

While in the middle of NaNoWriMo2017  I received my proofs for my upcoming April 2018 release CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, book 3 in the WIll Cook For Love Series. Thanksgiving is this week. Christmas is but a calendar-page-turning away. Busy, much?

What’s that expression? When it rains, it pours??

Yesterday I sat – literally SAT – at my desk for 11 hours. 2 Bathroom breaks and one 10  minute stop to have lunch.

Not complaining — never complaining!– about too much writing/editing work. This is what I want my life to be, what I’ve dreamed of. What I wished it could be.

So, yeah. No complaints from this chickita.

(But a little sleep wouldn’t kill me! heehee)

If you need me, I can be found here when I come up from editing and writing for air:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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A few words here, a few words there….#NaNoWriMo2017

I just realized NaNoWriMo 2017 is half over as of today. Thirty days has September, April, June, and November…. so yeah! Half way.

I know I’ve been plugging along and I’ve been checking on some of my NaNo writing buddies and they all are as well. I’m usually not so far in a novel as I am right now, something  I wanted to stop and think about for a moment.

I write fast. Like I talk, only without the hand gestures. ( heehee), but this year I’m halfway and already at over 40,000 words. You  need a 50,000 minimum to be an official Nano Winner. The NaNO predictor tool says if I keep my current word count up, I’ll finish by this Saturday, Nov. 18. That would be the fastest I’ve ever gotten words on the page for this event.

So what have I done differently this year to write so much faster?

Is it because I was so well prepped with an outline before I started? Nope. I always outline.

Is it because I’m so pumped about this new series that I can’t wait until I sit down to work each day? Kinda, but not the real reason.

So what is it you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

 

In the past ( like up until last month, Heehee) I sat at my desk for hours on end writing, thinking, cyber trolling, writing and thinking some more. For hours. Literally. This year I’ve been plagued with some heavy arthritis and other joint issues and injuries which make sitting for long periods painful for me when I finally get up. So I’ve been writing in times sprints of a half hour to 45 minutes every day. I write for, say, a half hour, then get up and do life stuff ( laundry, cook, run errands) then go back to writing again for about 45 minutes, then life stuff ( gym, channel surf, watch Real Housewives episodes – don’t judge me!) and then back to writing again. I’ve been uber productive doing this, evidenced by the word count. I think my brain  wants to write when I sit down because it’s been denied that while I’ve been life-stuffing. The words flow out and onto the laptop at record speeds and amounts.

Who knew productivity could be so high when times are limited? Well, probably a lot of people – like the ones who work full time and have to do NaNo in their sparse free time, but I certainly didn’t. I’ve always written under the edict BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE. (BICFOTKW)

Usually, I have a cramp in my butt at the end of the day from sitting so much. Not this month.

I’m amending my NaNo edict to BICFOTKWFTM : BUTT IN CHAIR, FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD, WRITE FOR THIRTY MINUTES.

Heehee.

When I’m not writing or doing life stuff, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

 

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#NYCStrong… Marathon day and every day

I had an emotional Sunday and the tears still swell up from time to time, but I want to write today about being a mother. Just as an FYI, I’m going to be waxing rhapsodic about my fabulous daughter, so if you were expecting something about writing or NaNo related,…sorry. Maybe tomorrow.

My lovely daughter ran her first full 26.2 mile marathon on Sunday in NYC. She’s run half marathons but never a full 26-er and one so grueling as the 5 borough trek. The marathon came on the heels of the terror attack that hit lower Manhattan last week and as a mama bear, my gut reaction was to tell her not to run it. I didn’t. I knew it would do no good if I did.

Let me ‘esplain.

My daughter is brave, brilliant, and beautiful. She’s also kind and considerate to all she meets and all she knows. She is civic minded, opinionated but fair, and is able to express her views in an articulate, sensible, opinion-swaying manner. Saying that, the girl has a backbone forged in titanium and is no body’s fool, doormat, or patsy. If I tried to get her not to run it would have been an effort in utter futility.

When she decided to run the NYC marathon as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood I was several things. Proud was the first and most overwhelming. But I was also a nervous mama. My husband ran the NYC marathon 150 years ago ( heehee! Not quite, but it feels like it sometimes) so I knew how arduous the race course was. Add in that the weather in NYC on Sunday was horrendous – a chilly drizzly mist ALL DAY LONG accompanied by some spells of torrential rain, and I was worried about her health and well being. My nerves got the better of me on several occasions and I had to talk myself off a ledge or wind up in the medical tent myself – and I wasn’t running! My concerns about her health are not just nervous Nelly ones. This is the child who was born with an initial Apgar of 0, then 2 because she’d been laying on her umbilical cord and no one knew. This is the tween who was involved in a horrific car crash with me when she was 11 and had flashbacks for years about it and her injuries. And this is the young woman who lost more than half her blood when she suffered 2 arterial tears from a routine tonsillectomy.

I had my concerns for her health and safety, and baby, they were valid.

When she crossed the finish line and her friends and I all found our way to one another I completely lost it. I’m not the crier in my family – I’m the one who stays strong and focused when all others around me a  bawling. Not this time. I actually think strangers thought I was having a nervous breakdown when they passed us. All of the emotions I’d been holding in for the days leading up to the marathon – worry about another terror attack, concern about would she be able to finish the race, would she have any physical problems  or injuries( 26 miles, folks!), how was she feeling mentally while she did this challenging thing…All of the worry, concern, dread, and yes, terror, leached out in full-blown cry fest.

It was a release. A real release. Was I embarrassed? No. Was I afraid of being made fun of by strangers? Hell, no. What I was was relieved and so stratospherically proud of my little girl ( who, btw does not like being called that!) that I simply couldn’t contain myself. She didn’t mind the tears. It was a release for her too! She finished in the time she’d predicted, upright, and had done it for a cause that is near and dear to her soul. Without any undue or long-lasting injuries.

I’ve made many child-rearing mistakes during my daughter’s life. Said things I could cut my tongue out today for. Put undue and sometimes insurmountable expectations on her for achievement. Mistakes that, when I think about them today, should have forced this lovely creation to the dark side.

And still, with all those mistakes,  she managed to grow toward the light, into the most wonderful person I know, and my daily inspiration in how to live a good, caring, open-minded life.

Sunday, I was reminded why I wanted so badly to be a mom in the years before I was one, why I wished every night to be a good one, and prayed for a child of my heart.

And boy, wasn’t I the lucky one to get my wish…

If you need me, I’ll be here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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How just a few words can make all the difference in your psyche!

It’s Friday and around here that usually means an entry in the #MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge. This week’s topic was Meet my Pets. Since I have no pets, I didn’t see the need to write anything. So that left me with a bit of a blog hole.

Until…..

You all know my newest Lyrical Shine release, A SHOT AT LOVE, dropped on 10.3.17. I’ve been involved in a busy blog tour for the past month promoting it. Well, the reviews have started to shower in an I can’t believe how amazing they’ve been. Truly. Hearing readers I DON’T PERSONALLY KNOW praise the book has been so ego inflating at a time when my fragile little psyche has been battered and bruised.

Let me ‘esplain.

I have one more book for Lyrical, CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, due to release on 4.3.18 (available for preorder right now — shameless plug).

After that….I have no more book contracts. I’ve been writing up a storm and trying to get the next book sold, but so far, nada. Since I started this journey in 2015 I have never NOT had a book contract coming down the pike. This is a new experience for me and one, I will admit, that has me terrified. I retired so I could write and PUBLISH full time. I’ve been doing my end of the bargain….now I need a publisher to help me along that track. The added insult is that I still haven’t been able to get an agent. If I had one, I feel, navigating this publishing quagmire would be easier. But… what can you do? This is me, shrugging with acceptance.

Now, during this soul sucking time, my reviews have been coming in. Truly, peeps, these kind words have inspired me, strenghtened my resolve to keep writing, and put a smile in my heart. This one came in yesterday and I’m still tickled pink about it:

“Thank you for writing another great story, Peggy Jaeger!

Who remembers Alias, the TV show starring Jennifer Garner? Well, I was such a HUGE fan of Alias and Sydney Bristow.

Gemma, the heroine, in this story reminded me of her. Gemma was so kick-ass, feisty, and strong. And Ky. Ky. Sigh. So dreamy and hot!

I loved the fast pace of the story. I loved the chemistry between Gemma and Ky. Each scene was so vividly described that reading felt like watching an incredible good action-themed tv show/movie.

I couldn’t put this book down. So, so, so, so good.

If you like your romance books with action/suspense/FBI-related arcs like I do, I would definitely recommend this book.”

Warms the cockles of my fragile little ego’s soul, it does!!!

So, enough bellyaching. Back to my WIP. Maybe I’ll have a Christmas miracle this year and be offered a 5 book deal from the publisher of my dreams…. maybe.

When I’m not being depressed ( not really, heehee!) you can connect with me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// Book Me

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#GoodessFishBlogtour…..El Fine!

Good Lord! What a month. And it ends today with a post at Long and Short Reviews. Stop by for a final chance at an Amazon GC and for a little more about my journey to publication at the age of 55!

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