Sunday, December 30, 2012

Putting in the work ...

 Last night I was watching yet another holiday rom-com from either Hallmark, ABC Family, or this point in the year I've watched so many I forget what channels they were on...not that it matters.  Anyway, as I was watching Candace Cameron-Bure star in yet another romance, I thought about all those moments that aren't shown in the movies.  I thought about the heartache that happens when there are really misunderstandings, the dashed hopes in realizing "The One" may be yet another frog.

The movies have a way of making Happily Ever After seem so easy.  Even the romances I write do that.  I hope in my books I give some kind of insight into the emotions we have when we feel like the love of our life is slipping through our fingers.  Us humans have a warped way of pushing love away when what we really want most is to hold it close.  Fear has a way of doing that to us.

Fear does that in all aspects of life.  We think of all the goals we want to accomplish, all the checks to make on our bucket list, but far to often it seems I've let that fear get in the way, as I'm sure some of you have.  In my head, I know how to get from "A" to "Z", maybe not all the steps, but the general path.  So when the road gets rocky I freak and think something MUST be wrong here!  That's usually the time I let fear and doubt stop me in my tracks.

OR ... I've been known to have a goal and be conceited enough to think it's going to be a piece of cake to acheive, only to barely try and then wonder why I seem to be stuck yet again. Nothing ever happens as fast as I want it to!

My mom (Kris) and me this summer
Years ago when I was going through my first divorce and had moved into my mother's basement with my then 3 year old son, I would scour the internet for a job and wonder why I wasn't finding anything.  My mother finally said one day 'Amy, God isn't going to just drop a job in your lap if all you do is sit at home and wait for it."  She also said that months later about me finding a good man....that unless he was the pizza boy I wasn't going to have Prince Charming show up randomly at my door step.  If I wanted to find him, I had to get out and look.  And she was right ... about A LOT of things.

We can have the best of intentions with all of our goals and checklists, but unless we are truly willing to put in the work, roll up our sleeves, and get out 'there', we will never truly find what we are looking for.   I know - this isn't rocket science!  But sometimes I think some of us (me included) think just thinking positive thoughts and putting out the 'good energy' will bring it to us.  At least that is what all those SECRET books told us.

But it does take work. I know eating healthy and exercising will have a HUGE impact on my health, yet just thinking about the treadmill exhausts me.  I know my financial picture would look a lot better if only I cut up the credit cards for good and chip away at paying them off, but then there is some 'emergency' that sends me further into debt.  

And love - don't get me started on that.  I can tell you that writing these romances is cathartic for me in a lot of ways.  It is helping me see more clearly why I do the things I do, think, feel about things.  Real love takes work.  We aren't as luckily as Cinderella or Snow White who find their princes and live in that fairy tale bliss.  Love hurts, it sucks us dry at times, but in the end, finding that true, genuine love is worth it all.

My life has NEVER been easy and I don't know why I still hold out hope that things will magically fall into place and all will be right in the world.  There will always be another goal to reach, challenge to overcome, heartbreak to heal.  But I will face it all and put in the work.  Because I am worth it. And not only that, but in spite of the downers in life, I have far more to be grateful for ... and I am more than words can say.

So, 2013 is going to have a lot of work put into it.  I'm rolling up my sleeves, staring down that treadmill, and preparing to truly put in the work.  This time next year I hope to be writing about what an amazing year I had - with multiple book releases, more book signings, international travel, enjoying friends and family, treating myself as I truly deserve, and finding real love.  I can't wait to get started!

I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year and 2013.  I wish you all love and light and dreams coming true.  Here's to putting in the work and reaping the rewards!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quiet Time

 It's one of those nights again.  The animals are all sleeping, my son is upstairs in bed, and the only noise I hear besides the Christmas carols in my earbuds is the heater kicking on.  The Christmas tree is lit, the smell of apple cinnamon is hanging in the air from my oil burner, and I'm snuggled up in the chair with my leopard print fleece blanket.  Yep, it's one of those nights.

It's the kind of night I take a moment to breathe deep.  It's the kind of night where memories warm my heart, missing loved ones dampens my eyes, and looking ahead gives me hope.  Tis the season.

Having moments like these truly are rare for me.  My mind is always going, thinking, creating, dreaming.  Me and meditation don't get along, but I'm trying to get more than a moment of stillness in a day.  It is the light and dark of the creative mind ... constantly being inspired and expressing itself through thought, yet congesting itself with too many of those thoughts.  

Quiet moments like now allow me to clear some of that clutter.  Throughout my day, in my 'normal' job, I don't even have enough mental space to create clutter.  There is so much to do and remember, my desk literally is a revolving door as I sit at the front desk.  I have the distraction of the UPS guy (though I like that one), there is the distraction of the other courier services, vendors, visitors, co-workers.  Not to mention the constant humming of the printer/fax that is ten feet from me, or the ringing of the main line, or the chiming of an urgent email/IM, etc.

But I know this is life for most of us.  The constant go-go-go of things, the mutli-tasking of things, the need-a-list-to-focus of things.  So these still moments are golden.  Of course as you can tell with the fact that in this moment I am typing, obviously these moments truly are fleeting for me.

Even with all that, I hope we all take a little more time this holiday season to hold onto these moments.  I know as a mother, after the events of last week, I notice more my son's smiles, his jokes, his departing comments as I drop him off at school.  As a granddaughter facing her first Christmas without her last grandparent, I relish the memories of singing carols, hearing the story of the nativity, and making all kinds of candies in my Mamaw's kitchen.

It's in the moments of peace that we get peace.  When we can stop the outside world and find that calm within us, we can open our eyes again and go forward with more clarity, more focus, more love.

So while you are taking a few moments from your quiet time to read these words, I thank you.  I hope with every day, you are able to embrace more peace, more love, more laughter. I hope we can all remember that as dark and scary as this world may seem, as chaotic and ugly as our surroundings look, that there is love, kindness, compassion, and peace.  It starts from within and grows outward to those around us and those around them. 

Now before I turn this into a novel, I am going to log off and tune into the quiet around me just a little while longer.  I am going to take that deep breath and know there is peace on Earth - even if only for a moment and only in my little 'world' here in this chair with the leopard print fleece blanket and snoring animals.   

Good night from Riley the cat, Tigger the beast, and Bella the diva

And remember - all my ebooks are currently just 99 cents on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, and a variety of other places....Smashwords is the best site to check as it has formats for all eReaders (except have to go through Amazon for those).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Blogger Review!!!

Happy Headache Thursday....I say that because I woke up with such a bad headache that my head got inches from the pillow and that was enough for me to call in to work from home from my 'normal' job.  Praying it's a sinus thing, but the accompanying nausea is so not cool!!

Anyway,  awhile back I reached out to a few bloggers to review my latest novel - Playing with Fire.  One of those reviewers actually read that AND Finding Home for me and posted her review last night on her blog.

Here is the link to Intoxicated by Books blog post about the books .... go check it out!!

And remember - all my ebooks are currently just 99 cents on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, and a variety of other places....Smashwords is the best site to check as it has formats for all eReaders (except have to go through Amazon for those).

Hope your day is bright and sunny and headache free! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Getting in the Mood...

It's that time of year again to get in the mood for Christmas shopping.  By shopping I mean web browsing in the safety of my own home in my pjs, without the crushing throng of people that test my ability to not punch them in the throat.  I know, I'm terrible.  But at the end of the day, one of the things I HATE the most is large crowds...

Random realization - maybe that hatred is what keeps the fans at bay at the book signings, like the Universe knows I don't like it so it makes me not have to deal with it.... but THAT is a different kind of crowd.  The fans - you guys - are nice and polite and friendly.  Never would I even think about punching you!! lol

And please know, when I say I wanna punch people in the throat, its not really literally.  Though in my mind I kick ass and take names, in real life I am a total push-over - as in they push me over to get to the toy I was just about to buy! Hence my love for internet shopping.

I am behind the ball this year, I've been so busy trying to sell these books that every weekend instead of shopping I am hoping for shoppers.  I started my Christmas shopping yesterday, if you don't count the check I wrote my dude and told him get something he wants.  With him, it is MUCH easier that way - though he did still manage to look down his nose at the meager stipend he got.  Now that time - punching him in the throat did seem closer to likely than normal.  But his Adam's apple is safe ... for now.

Ugh ... I just realized I was wanting to write about getting in the mood for the season and to write about romance, but it seems deep down there is something in me that is in the mood to brawl!  Let's just say I'm feeling feisty and leave it at that, shall we?? lol

Anyway - back to this mood thing.  On the writing front I'm getting in the mood to kick these books into high gear.  All this time, I haven't really looked at the business of writing as a business.  I mean I know it is, but the rules and restrictions hater in me, well, hates that.  But it's a necessary part of it.  Would it be awesome to sit and write steamy sex all day - You Betcha!!!  But life can't be that fun - at least not yet....but I'm getting there.

So I've started this schedule for myself.  Tweets on Monday and Friday, blog updates on Tuesdays, Facebook posts on other days.  Really I tend to post funny things on Facebook whenever I see something that looks cute to share.  But I really need to get more going on Twitter and if I post here on a more regular basis than it's just another opportunity for me to use my writing as an outlet for whatever.  Case in point - this blah blog of randomness I got going on today.

All this is preparing for next year. The theme for 2013 for me is all about getting out of my comfort zone.  First up, getting a passport and traveling to the UK for some time with my bestie Stacy.  It's a girl time/research trip that I hope will give me some great ideas for a series I have coming in 2014 (always thinking ahead!)!!  In 2013 I'm also eying a few reader conventions (RT, Rom Com, Romance Novel, etc.).  And I'm looking to get book signings in actual book stores (not just craft shows for festivals).  I'm hoping to get out to other states (or countries if I can get a signing set up when I hop the pond).

So, yeah, 2013 is about getting out there.  Purposely putting myself into the crowd.  And don't worry, your throats are perfectly safe with me.  Because when I am selling books or talking romance and writing, I am in my element.  Everything is right in the world and my brain is focused on that and not going all Bruce Lee on your ass.

In addition to getting myself out there more, I am also setting a goal to release several books...easily 3, but pushing for 4!  And I'm debating on finding an agent to get me even more exposure.  Of course, there really is no greater exposure than FAN exposure.  You guys loving the books and letting friends know goes a VERY long way!  And it is greatly appreciated, I can assure you of that.
So besides getting in the mood for the holiday, and in the mood to write, or kick ass, it seems I'm always in the mood to be long winded.  For now I'll sign off and wish you all a great week and Happy Tuesday.

One final note - if you would like to see me at a particular convention or know of a reader focused event (especially romance), please feel free to message me.  I really do want to get myself out there not just to sell books but to meet fans and travel.  I forsee alot of flier miles next year!!

Okay - so one more thing . . . I know I said never, but I'll admit I was wrong!  Now through the holidays, all my ebooks are only 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords!  

Here is what you missed!