My One Word for 2015…and a Goal

Several years ago I abandoned the New Year’s resolution attempts for New Year’s goals. And three years ago I abandoned New Year’s goals for My One Word. I’m not going say one is better than the others, only that My One Word appealed to me. In fact, I think New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap. Sure most people break their New Year’s resolutions because, let’s face it, if habits were so easy to change, would we need resolutions? The point is what we do with that perceived failure–give up or get back on the horse, so to speak, and try again.

Never give up

And there’s a better chance of change if there’s an awareness–preferably written on paper so it’s concrete and can be referred to easily–of what one wants to change to better his/her life than if there’s nothing at all. If you resolve to work out more or eat better in the upcoming year and it only lasts a month or two, that’s a month or two of more working out or better eating than would have happened without the resolution. Not to mention that when you realized you broke it, it’s an opportunity to try and try again.

Thomas Edison

This year after thought and consideration, I’ve chosen to do a combination of two methods. In fact the rebel in me has taken life and created a variation of My One Word. I’ve decided to focus on two words rather than one, for no other reason than I want to see significant growth in my life in both areas.

My two words are:  (drumroll…)

LOVE & RISK

We are called to love one another as God loves us and that love covers a multitude of sins.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

To act–and re-act–in love will further my spiritual journey.

And risk? I tend to get so comfortable in my rut of day-to-day living, making sure everything is within my control. That comfort zone prohibits me from experiencing life fully and using the gifts given to me to make the world a better place. How can I grow if I don’t experience growing pains? How can I positively affect others and the world if I’m complacent in my quiet, afraid-to-take-risks world? That being said, that doesn’t mean I will be jumping out of an airplane or hang-gliding anytime soon. 🙂

So those are my two words for 2015. And it will likely take me a full year to get somewhat of a handle on them.

This year I’ve decided to add a resolution as well. A somewhat vague resolution, but a resolution nonetheless. I’m resolving to study the craft of writing. Writing in and of itself is something I have to do. For me. If I don’t, I feel like I’m missing a limb and truly find myself in a mental funk. But I don’t only want to write, I want to write the very best that I can. And what a better way to do that than to study the craft from those who have mastered it. I’m part of an online book club, Book Club for Writers, and right now we’re reading the book Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. What an amazing book! I’ve learned so much already. I would highly recommend it.

And with that, it’s time to go live this life I’ve been blessed with and begin to live My One Two Words and learn how to write. 🙂

How about you? Do you make New Year’s resolutions or goals? Have you tried the My One Word concept? What resolutions/goals have you made for 2015?

Carpe Diem

 

And This…

…is what I did this morning. Camp NaNo 2014 complete. What a great feeling it is. And with that, I think I’ll just sit and enjoy the view for the rest of the day. Though I have to admit,  I’m already looking forward to camp next year.  🙂

winner-bg-9c160ddae61004084d2df8a526685f33

Why Do You Write?

Sandi Ault, author of the bestselling, award-winning WILD Mystery Series, was one of the presenters at the Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference I attended this past March, and one of her sessions was called Writing for Love, Prestige, or Profit.

To say the class was filled beyond capacity is an understatement. We were very cozy with those sitting around us!

dog-choosing-a-puppy-from-a-litter

Her class was as packed with useful information as it was with participants. The first thing she had us do is take a few moments to think about WHY we write.  I can’t say that I’ve ever thought about it before, so it was an eye opener.

As the session title basically asks, is our goal to make money, become famous, or simply because we love to write and can’t imagine not writing?

She stated, “If you feel called to do this (writing), its a memo from heaven. Put on your boots and big girl pants and do it.”

She named some of the successful authors and the “why” that drives their writing, among them:

James Patterson – Money

Tom Clancy – Wanted to write about co op missions. (Such a huge loss to the literary world when he died.)

JK Rowling – To bring magic into her life.

As I vigorously scribbled  copious notes, absorbing every word I possibly could, I discovered my “why” is simply because I love to write. While making money at it would be super, and fame could be fun and perhaps validate my efforts, the bottom line is I cannot imagine not writing. And that is what motivates me to keep writing.

Writing makes me happy, it brings me peace, it’s a God-given gift that would be wasted if I didn’t use it.

And in the words of Sandi, once you realize why you write, “honor the why.”

How about you? What is the real honest-to-goodness reason why you write? What is the one thing that gets you to your computer every day?

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away.”
Tom Clancy

Drumroll…

My novel, The Inheritance, is now out in softcover, as well as Kindle, at Amazon.  I would be immensely grateful to anyone who feels led to share this on their blog to help spread the word. Thank you so much! It’s this writing community of amazing bloggers that has given me the courage and inspiration to keep walking the journey to completion of this baby. 🙂

The Inheritance

When Victor and Vivian Forrester meet their unexpected fate on their way home from hosting a charity dinner, it leaves their three estranged adult children with an unexpected fate of their own. Madison has the perfectly planned life of which her two young children are the center, leaving no room for anything or anyone else, including her husband. Her career as a psychiatrist enables her to validate her self-worth and give her children everything they need. She has made a promise to herself that her children will never be without, vowing to give them the best childhood anyone could ever have. Maxwell is a successful partner of a law firm, who is as skilled at playing the ladies as he is in the courtroom. He has long since written off his family in order to avoid having to answer to anyone. Molly is a writer and free spirit who has lost herself in the miry pit of self-pity, claiming her title as black sheep of the family. She tries to drown and numb the pain from years of being misunderstood by her family. What none of them expect after the shock of their parents’ death is the shock of learning what is in the will their parents carefully constructed, listing what is required of each of them before they can claim their substantial inheritance. Those requirements take them on a journey of self-discovery and change that leads to a much greater wealth than any of them had ever expected.

Peace.

Farewell to a Phenomenal Woman

My heart was beyond heavy when I heard of Maya Angelou’s passing today. When I think of all she has accomplished in her young 86 years of age, I stand in awe. What an admirable poet, author, activist, and woman.

In her honor, here are ten of my favorite quotes by her:

10.  “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

9.    “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

8.    “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

7.    “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry, to get my work done, and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”

6.    “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

5.    “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that, I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

4.    “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

3.    “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

2.    “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

1.   “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Rest in Peace Lovely Lady.

 

 

“Q” is for…

Quotes

I love quotes! They contain so much wisdom, motivation and inspiration in so few words.  They prove that less is often better when it comes to words, and that those few words can pack a powerful punch.

My ten favorite are:

10.)  “The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”  -Norman Vincent Peale

9.)  “It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.”
― Katie J. Davis

8.)  “You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” -Dr. Seuss

7.)  “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

6.)   “When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”  – Stephen King

5.)  “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”  – Thomas S. Monson

4.)  “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”   – Norman Vincent Peale

3.) “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”  – Mother Teresa

2.)  The perfect description of a mom:  “…because “Mommy” is forever. It’s such a powerful name. Mommy means “I trust you.” Mommy means “you will protect me.” Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing with when you are excited. Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad, or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and the mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort place – a safe place. Mommy means “you are mine and I am yours and we are family.”  – Katie Davis

1.) “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.  Life is beauty, admire it.  Life is a dream, realize it.  Life is a challenge, meet it.  Life is a duty,  complete it.  Life is a game, play it.  Life is a promise, fulfill it.  Life is sorrow, overcome it.  Life is a song, sing it.  Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.  Life is an adventure, dare it.  Life is luck, make it.  Life is too precious, do not destroy it.  Life is life, fight for it.”
― Mother Teresa

As we write our stories and what’s in our hearts, may we always remember the importance of the words we write, the impact they have on another, and the joy they bring to many.

Write On.

 

“L” is for…

Life Lessons

My Top Ten:

10.)  Always follow the golden rule–Treat others as you would like to be treated.

9.)  Be what you want to be, not what someone else wants you to be.

8.)  It’s okay to hate the sin, but love the sinner. We are all, every one of us, sinners.

7.)  True happiness isn’t found in external events but from internal peace and acceptance.

6.)  The people who are hardest to love are the ones who need your love the most.

5.)  Every morning upon waking say “thank you.” It sets the stage for the rest of the day.

4.)  If you want to write, write.  If you don’t, don’t. Be true to the desires of your heart.

3.)  Your thoughts are your reality. Make your reality a place you like to be.

2.)  Live every day as if it’s your last, because it just may be.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

1.)  No matter what’s going on around you or in your life, always love. And never pass up the opportunity to tell your loved ones you love them.

I would love to hear what some of your greatest life lessons have been.

Peace.