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Summer school

I’ve learned so much from my girls this summer. They have worked so hard at swimming, at learning to ride bikes, goals are key and positive reinforcement means everything.

I’ve learned how I handle things greatly determines their outlook. When addressing a mistake, it is more important to rebuild them then to focus on the error of their ways.

Life is more important than fiction.

Time spent daydreaming with little girls is worth more than any paycheck.

And, most importantly, though marrying a knight in shining armor matters… nothing polished that vision of him like seeing him laugh and play with your children.

Hope you are having a lovely summer. I’ll be spending the rest of it revising my current manuscript, MAMMOTH SECRETS.

Until next time…

Ashley

Happy New Year!

Thanks to my good friend, Lynn – I’m passing out the HANDBOOK for 2010

Such easy things to do, if only we can attempt to meet SOME of these goals, we’ll all have a wonderful 2010!

Health:
1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3..       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less  food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009.(Then I will never have a book out of my hand LOL)
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:
11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree

Society:
25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything.
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40.    Please  remember everyone you care about.
Have a Happy New Year!

txh @Donna_Carrick – next project is hist. fiction I miss the setting & description, and need for in depth research. Back to the loom!!

Bloggiesta Month…

Yes, I know it’s the middle of July. Alright, it’s almost the END of July — but here’s the deal I just made with myself. And by God’s grace, I just might stick to it.

For the next month, I’m taking a much needed “Bloggiesta.”

When readers can sit down and inhale a book that took a year to write and release – in, um, a day… who has time for blogging? Facebook? Twitter? and now, so help me, GLUE? What’s that all about? I am often asked in interviews, etc. “How do you have time to do it all?”

I finally have an answer I can/have to live with. I can’t. I’m not superhuman. I’m an author. And, as an author, I have an over-burgeoning responsibility to use the talent that I’ve been blessed with and — um — write.  And, when I’m not writing, I’ll be honing my craft. Why? Because when a skill becomes your heart’s desire, you need to sharpen your sword. You need to practice. You need to write.

My bloggiesta reading list is:

  • Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
  • Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
  • Story by Robert McKee

and, for fun, I’m reading — Both by James Rollins:

  • The Last Oracle
  • The Doomsday Key

My creative energy has been requested elsewhere… so…

Instead of blogging, I’ll be getting things done around the house, at work, and on my current work in progress. As much as I love you all, and am enthralled by the visitors, your comments, etc. – If I don’t get back to my current cast (whom I’ve left in desperate peril), I’ll have nothing for you to read in the spring!

I’ll leave you with this:

Can an archaeologist unearth the truth before she loses the greatest treasure of all?

When maritime archaeologist stumbles into an ancient treasure, she finds her colleague murdered and her own life in jeapordy. She must trust a faithful FBI agent to protect her while solving an ancient mystery to free those whom she holds most dear.

In a hurricane of love, loyalty, and deception — Chandra Drake is confronted with the ultimate choice: Does she sacrifice everything that matters to her heart and expose the truth?

On that note, I’ll be back to chatting, e-mail, face book, twitter, blogging, etc. when the first draft is completed.  My challenge – 1,000 words a day (through edits or pounding through the ending) until it’s done.

What do you think?

Our Juggling Act

I was recently asked how I can do it all. By “it” she meant: write, be a wife, be a mother, and be full time employee.

The truth is, I’m not sure. This morning, for example, I got up at 5 with Perry. We spent some quality morning time together, I sent him off to work, and started going through my final edits for All or Nothing. Quiet music, coffee, a fire in the fireplace. I managed to get through almost 10 pages before I heard the voice from upstairs. “Momeeeee! I want yooooou!”

Now, my daughter is snuggled up next to me, watching Nick Jr. and deciding what she wants for Christmas. Seems like a good time to blog. Check facebook. And do any number of things. Suddenly, she realizes that she wants me, and grabs my arm. I put the computer down and we snuggle, watching the rest of Wonder Pets. The computer waits. The final edits to All or Nothing are quickly saved, and set to the back burner until tonight, after everyone goes to bed. That’s the way it has to be.

Being a working, writing mama, I have involved myself with a wonderful group of women in the same boat. We offer each other encouragement, enthusiasm, and support when things go awry, as they inevitably do. Were it not for this support group, I’m not sure I’d be able to keep writing, or have the creative energy to even try. And the introductions to this group all stemmed from becoming part of The Wild Rose Press (TWRP) garden of authors.

The owners of TWRP can be credited by encouraging authors and readers to communicate with one another through message board posts, scheduled chat sessions, and online social networking sites. However, I doubt that they envisioned what a phenomenal creative environment that they were planting. We all have a common goal. I know, through my frequent communication with my world-wide network of author friends, that there is a common thread that runs through us all. We write because we always have. We write because we love books. We love to read them. We surround ourselves with them.

As the medium grows and changes into a digital format, with a new revolution in the development and encouragement of the short story, each submission becomes an online crash course in creative writing. At TWRP, I’ve been paired with three amazing editors. Each submission, I’ve learned how to be a better writer. And, All or Nothing has just improved because of what I learned writing and submitting Tessa Takes a Chance, By Another Name, and another story still in the works for resubmission, Solstice Moon.

And, through it all, I’ve had to learn balance in my life. How does a working, writing, wife and mother balance her day so that none of the plates she’s juggling crashes down around her head? I attribute my success in all categories to my project management experience. My life has become my project. Each day requires planning. Each week requires goals in every area. Each goal requires prioritization. Because it is categorically unacceptable to let any one of the important plates in the air fall. Not my kids. Not my husband. Not my job. Okay, sometimes the housework goes to the dogs. (And by that, no, Millie doesn’t pitch in and do the vacuuming!)

This is an ongoing adventure, a roller coaster that I don’t want to get off. So, how do you do it, my writer friends? How do you keep your plates in the air?

Things to do today:

Listening to: Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am
Things to do today…

1. work
2. work work work
3. edit All or Nothing for POV
4. send in contract!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. e-mail my editor (grin!)
6. pick up the girls
7. dinner? what the heck can I make for dinner?

The phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning. It’s been one of those days already. So much to be done, and where to start? That’s what I get for praying to be organized. I started plotting my short story submission for TWRP today – and want to work on that…

SO, guess what I’m having to do now? Amazingly, it’s the same thing I talk to Rachel about constantly. There are things you WANT to do and things you HAVE to do. The trick is, the careful balancing act that keeps you in the middle. How much of a Libra am I today? 🙂

Well, if that doesn’t explain my mood. Out of balance! Out of my element! Thank heaven for the writers groups and messages of encouragement. Time to make a list of Have Tos so I can get to the Want Tos!