Using the holidays to improve yourself

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Happy Holidays! Those two words are even more powerful than you think. Most associate it with fussy shopping and unwanted stress in meeting those pesky relatives you’d rather not see, but the holidays can be so much more than that.
Really!

If you’re stressed out in your work life, or just at life in general, the holidays can be an excellent outlet. How? By realizing that life is full of letdowns and that stressing about it only makes it worse.

This attitude can help you rediscover your love affair with that dreaded word. Work. That’s right. Are you in an occupation you love? Great! If not, now may be the time to make that change.

The Holidays are a perfect time to use what spare moments you have to work on hobbies and special projects. These tend to give us that extra lift in life. Instead of worrying about what gift you need to get for Aunt Betsy or Cousin Ralphie, you can channel your attention into a hobby you’ve been neglecting.

For me it’s writing. For you it could be rock-climbing or volunteering to help those in need. These types of activities can also translate into win-win scenarios into your professional lives, as it adds richness to your life. It may be cliche, but helping others always translates into positive results for yourself.

So when you find yourself with some extra time during the Holidays, and need to recharge yourself, engage yourself in your hobby or giving back to society, and watch your confidence soar!

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When adversity strikes Authors

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As many of you know, I’ve been working on my latest novel, The Leopard Apocalypse, which is the 3rd and penultimate novel in the Leopard King Saga, my flagship Historical Fantasy series.

I’m coming to the very end of editing, and nearing the stage where I send the book out for beta-reading before sending the final work to an editor to polish off the book and make suggestions.

Normally this would be a happy time for any author. Especially for a novel that is close to 200K words and has taken half a decade to complete.

But adversity struck last week when I realized my funds for interior artwork and editing services was not adequate to continue.

It’s a major problem, and will undoubtedly cause delays. I still have hope of publication in early to mid 2019.

So what do you do when you’re nearing the finish line, only to be slowed down by inadequate funds?

Well, the only thing to do is remain calm, and try and do as much work you can to move the editing process along, even if that means the interior map and editing stages may have to take a back seat.

So for now, I’m in a jam, but like all setbacks, it’s only temporary.

Do you have a story you’d like to share about an issue that has delayed a project when you were so closed to completion? If so, I’d like to hear about your experiences in the comments section.

See you next time!

What are your Fall Writing Plans?

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Well Summer is almost over (bummer, right?) and with that the hot, humid writing days.

Things are looking up for me. I recently got hired as a Technical Writer for a Defense Contractor and am looking forward to my first day at work this week.

But what about you? Now that summer is over what are your writing plans? Are you working on a short story, novella or novel? Is this your first work? Are you considering going the self-publishing route or traditional path by seeking a publisher/agent?

I’d like to hear from anyone.

Here’s to the end of summer and the beginning of a productive fall writing period!

The long, and painful road to success

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Alex Ovechkin, Captain of the Washington Capitals, an NHL Club based in the USA, lifts the Prestigious Stanley Cup, one of the most important sports trophies in the world.

I must admit, these past few days have been pure ecstasy for me. Especially today, June 12th, 2018 when the entire city of my hometown, Washington D.C. created a spectacle honoring the achievement of its hockey club, the Washington Capitals, who won the Stanley Cup, the holy grail of North American Hockey, that has been awarded to NHL champions since 1892. It was the first championship for the expectant Capitals, and the first major sports title for the Washington, D.C. area since 1992. The parade today made me think real hard about my own journey, especially where my writing career was concerned.

Why am I blogging about this? Well, if you think writing, or art for that matter, is connected with the Capitals’ first championship, you guessed correctly.

But the story would make little sense if I didn’t delve deeper into the Capitals’ once-turbulent playoff history. A past filled with so many tragic seasons where the club under performed in the playoffs despite high expectations. To make matters worse, every year when the playoffs rolled around almost always resulted in another premature exit at the hand of one of their rivals, thus adding another sad page to the club’s tortuous playoff mishaps.

Honestly, this team wasn’t even supposed to win a Championship, let alone make the playoffs. But this group of resilient players persevered, and managed to overcome the decades-long playoff failures that had plagued the club since the late 1980s.

This is where art, or writing for that matter, comes into play. You can write for many years, and wrack up an unhealthy load of rejections along the way. Just like the Capitals you can gain strength from your failures, instead of letting the failures define you.

It’s cliche to say it’s the journey that counts, not the destination, but the fact is that there is no greater teacher of life than the failures you encounter, and a team I have followed since I was a 13-year-old boy proved that to me.

So learn to accept failure as a healthy gauge that can be your compass to bigger and better things.

Just ask the Washington Capitals.

What are your Summer 2018 Plans?

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Well with Winter 2017-18 in the books, and Spring moving along, we can all start looking to Summer 2018. I’m now working on the Outline For the 4th and final book of my Leopard King Saga series, The Leopard Resurrection. In addition, I’ll soon begin the arduous process of edited Book 3, The Leopard Apocalypse.

Last month I earned my Business Communication Certification from Duke University and now I am taking another online course on Technical Writing. Whew! Just writing all that down was hard work. LOL.

So what are your Summer 2018 plans? Anything you’ve started working on or would like to begin? I’d love to hear from everyone in the comments section below.

Here’s to a strong Spring finish and a great transition into Summer!

March Updates

It’s been ages since I last posted on this blog. Some of you were probably wondering where the hell I’ve been? Well as you know I’ve been editing my novella Kill Zombies for my new publisher Kensington Gore. In addition to that I’ve been working on the preliminary outline for the fourth and final book in my Leopard King Saga series, The Leopard Resurrection.

I still haven’t resumed editing the third Tome, The Leopard Apocalypse. I guess it will have to wait until I’ve finished my obligation to Kensington Gore.

Hope to have another update for you soon. Until then, keep reaching for your goals!

 

 

Back at it

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As some of you know, I recently took a break from writing due to eye surgery. On August 1st I got the go-ahead from my Doctor to resume writing.

What a relief! I began by resuming work on The Leopard Apocalypse, and yesterday I returned to my novella, Kill Zombies, and resumed working to expand that into a novel for my new publisher, Kensington Gore.

Is my right eye at 100% yet? No. That will take some time. But I’m more than ready to resume writing. After almost two weeks of no writing, I was happy to be back at it.

More updates to come.

When Health takes priority over Writing

 

It’s been a tough past two weeks. I had a nasty cyst removed from my forehead and two days later I found out I needed to have eye surgery on my right eye for a detached retina. This being the second eye surgery after suffering the same detached retina issue in my left eye less than two years ago. Blame it on my bad optical genes.

What makes it more frustrating is that I am nearing the stretch run for completing The Leopard Apocalypse, the third book in my Leopard King Saga Historical Fantasy series.  To add to that, I also was just beginning the rewrite for my new publisher Kensington Gore for my novella Kill Zombies.  The plan was to expand the novella into a novel for my publisher. Some of you may recall I signed a two-book publishing deal last February.

Well both are on hold for now.

It sucks. I know.

But some things are more important that writing. Yeah. It’s true. So I’ve been taking time off from writing. One from a Flagship series close to my heart and the other being a possible income grabber from a publisher I’m under contract to.

But there’s no other way around it. Without eyes I’m not able to write. So rest I must.

I’d like to hear from anyone out there who’s faced health challenges while in the midst of a productive work spree. As always, your comments are appreciate.

Talk to you soon!

 

 

What is the secret to eternal happiness?

It’s been ages since I posted. But believe me, I’ve been working on myself and my writing, and, etc., etc.

Let me share a bit of wisdom with you. Something that I hope resonates within your soul and takes you to a whole new level.

Stay in the moment. Yep. That’s what I said. It’s a universal law that when you focus on yourself and the moment of time that you’re in, that life will reveal itself to you.

This goes for anything you want to accomplish. Try this. The next time you think about something bad that’s happened to you, return to the moment in time that you’re currently in. Close your eyes, breathe and focus on the here and now.

It’s alright if you don’t get it right the first time. This thing we call “time” is a tricky business. But, as you practice, what I am saying will start to make sense.

You’ll see that events in life that you thought were “bad” were really blessings in disguise. This is a power that has existed since the dawn of time, and the way to feed this positive vibe machine is to make sure that at least 90% of the thoughts in your head are positive ones.

Still not convinced? Alright. That’s ok, but if you’re looking for the Holy Grail of Happiness, it’s in the present. Not in the future, not in the past. Now.

Advice like this can make a difference in your life, and turn mediocrity, into excellence. Does this mean perfection is possible? Never. But guess what, I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re in the moment. Seeking perfection only leads to more stress and unhappiness. Here’s a prime example: there were these fictional mechanical creatures in Star Trek called the Borg. Their one and only purpose was to achieve perfection, but all it did was turn them into monsters, and create havoc across the universe. I’m not saying perfection will turn you into a monster, but it will take you away from the present moment which is your friend.

Look. The only time you should be thinking about the past is to use the experience gained from the “negative” experience to make the right decision in the present. Then, the future will play itself out.

Make time your friend, and live the life you deserve.

The truth about struggling

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I felt this story might serve to inspire some folks out there. Well a few days ago I noticed that a mouse had gotten into my home. Fall is here, so these critters tend to get inside homes now that summer is over.

Well I thought catching a mouse was pretty straightforward. How hard could it be? You set a trap, bait it and voila! Dead mouse. Not quite. Little did I know I was in for a surprise. A big surprise. From something quite small.

I set three traps and was surprised that none of them had caught the mouse. But wait, it gets weirder, the cheese bait had disappeared! The mouse had actually grabbed the bait and made off with the cheese.

I was surprised. Clearly I’d made a mistake.So I re-baited the traps and waited. Nothing. This time all three traps had been stripped of cheese, and still the mouse had evaded capture!

Clearly I was dealing with a craft creature here. But I refused to be bested by a creature who’s brain was smaller than the size of a raisin. I continued my struggle to capture the mouse, but, it kept getting away with the cheese.

Knowing I had to change my tactics, I went to purchase a glue trap. And finally, after three days of struggling to capture my quarry, low and behold the glue traps had captured not one, but two mice.

I’d be surprised if there isn’t a lesson in all of this. Clearly my struggle to catch these critters was an example of life. We struggle and we struggle, and even when victory is expected, it’s seldom delivered as we like it. But yet, if we persevere, we may yet end up with a favorable outcome. I was overjoyed to see my efforts in catching an additional mouse. I hadn’t climbed Mount Everest, but still, I found myself grateful for the struggle.