Tag Archives: Inspiration

An Update, Some Insight, Plus An Important Reminder…

Yesterday I reached 40,050 words on novel number 3! (Insert thumbs up here) — For context, that’s roughly 160-ish actual book pages. I’m halfway there! (Give or take a few thousand words.)

One of my least favorite things about starting new books, is that for me, it takes hitting a stride, which is somewhere close to the halfway point, where I really click with my characters and everything starts flowing smoothly. Until then, getting the words down is a little more difficult. There are more big edits that happen in the first half of my books verses the back half, for that reason.

It takes a bit for me to get to know the characters well enough to do them justice. I miss small details about who they are, which I learn as I spend more time with them. Once I get to that point, or when I’ve finished the first draft entirely, I’ll notice instances where a character says something in the beginning that doesn’t line up with their personality at all. They’d never actually say it. So it has to go. Usually to be replaced with something more fitting.

We’ve now reached the point in book 3 where the words are flying and everything is just peachy. The back half should go much more quickly than the first. And I’m really excited!

Justin and Lynsey, the hero and heroine of this novel, are turning out to be one of my favorite couples. (Granted, for all I know they’ll all be my favorites before this series is over!) I think, really, my heart just goes out to Lynsey, and I love seeing Justin peel back all her layers and show her what love can be. Not what she’s always known it to be. So I’m loving this one.

Quick update on Edits. — Novel 1, still working on in between writing. I edit for a few days, write for a few. I like to give myself a break from the monotony of editing. It really drains so much out of me, and it’s not nearly as fun. Edits also go better the fresher my eyes are upon the pages. So the little breaks help not only me, but the book itself. Plus, I’m still getting something valuable accomplished in the meantime. It’s a win-win.

I’m kind of amazed, really. I had about 7,000 words when I picked up writing book 1 in September 2018. Now, here we are in February 2020, and I’ve written two full length novels, with a million rounds of edits in between, and I’m halfway through book 3. So by the time the two year mark rolls around in September, I’ll have written three full-length novels, and if not a fourth, I’ll be knee deep in writing it. Three, possibly four novels in two years, the first of which should be published by late Spring/early Summer, if all goes well.

I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Ya know, you go to school, you graduate, they tell you get out there now, make something of yourself, get a job, a career, go to college, make it all happen. And some of us, we flounder a bit. We’re still learning so much about ourselves, how in the world are we supposed to have it all figured out already? Some do well, others do not. I used to look at other people and feel like a failure. Why couldn’t I get my feet off the ground? Why was I going nowhere? Ya know? — But none of that mattered. I see that clearly now. But back then, it was a little soul-crushing.

I’m much more self-aware and a lot more self-confident than I was back then. And if I’ve leaned anything from all this, it’s never, ever compare yourself to anyone else. Fight for yourself, move at your own pace, and ignore anyone who might belittle you for being at the back of the pack. That’s not how this works. In a lot of cases, timing is everything. Don’t lose sight of yourself, because all you can see is someone else. That’s more heartache than it’s worth.

Heather!

Ignore Em’ — All of Em’

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything here that wasn’t about my general life or book updates. — But I’m gonna toss one of those posts out real quick. — It’s deeper and heavier and a little more serious than the usual. — But when I was working out earlier… it’s just something that was really weighing on me… and I just want to talk about it. — So let’s talk.

“God only know’s what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows the real you. There’s a kind of love that God only knows.” — This song by For King & Country, which isn’t part of my usual work-out mix, started playing and it just hit me so hard.

I went through a lot of personal and spiritual growth last year, but before that… my life was very different from what it is today. — I was broken. Afraid. Miserable. Crippled by fear. Lost. Alone. Drowning. I was carrying some very heavy burdens. — I was wrapped up in chains. So very many of them.

And I could cry, just sitting here writing this, because I’m not anymore. I’m none of those things anymore. — I know freedom and peace that I’ve never known in all my life. — And this isn’t me preaching about salvation. I knew God long before last year. — That changed nothing about the chains I was wrapped up in. — This post is about something else entirely. — It’s about those lyrics I just typed a couple of paragraphs up.

I spent my entire childhood, teen, and young adult years coming up short. Hell, I’m still coming up short. — Family members, people who claimed to love me in one breath when speaking to my face… turned to breathe ugliness and hatred about me in the next breath to other people. — And not just one. Multiple. Multiple family members. Multiple sides of families. — And that hasn’t changed today. Families grow and take different shapes over the years… So I’ve acquired some more along the way. Some good, kind, and really supportive people… and some of just the opposite.

But this post isn’t about them. It’s still about those lyrics up there.

Those people got to me. It bothered me. For so very long, I cared so very much what people thought. — I cared when people thought I was a disappointment. I cared when people talked bad about me. I cared when they treated me differently. I cared when they didn’t understand, but they judged me anyway. — I cared so much. And I let that define me.

But the thing is guys… People might think they know what you’ve been through. They might think they know the real you. — And they will say all sorts of things about you. Think all sorts of things about you. — But none of those things matter. None of those opinions matter. — And they never will.

We’re only human though. And for some, like myself, we end up surrounded by people like that very early on. Our lives are filled with people who think less of us. With people that look down on us. — It hurts. Life is already hard without people piling on.

I just couldn’t let today pass without saying this. — If you can relate. Please hear me when I say this. — Ignore them. All of them. Every last one. — Your worth is not found in the opinions of other people. You are not defined by what anyone thinks or says of you. Ever. — You’re value is worth far more than the insignificant opinions of others. — And their opinions are insignificant. — Don’t give place to the misunderstood and/or hateful words and thoughts of others. — Ignore them. Every last one.

See, this post isn’t about those people. — It’s about the people fighting to keep their heads up, the people who are drowning in a sea of harsh judgments and misguided opinions.

Whatever your story. Whoever you are. — Know your worth. And know that it’s not found in other people. — You’re far more valuable than you realize… don’t let anyone steal that away from you.

And for the people in your life that are your people… the ones that are for you, at the end of every day, no matter what… hug those people a little tighter. 🙂 Surround yourself with them and then shut out the rest of the voices.

I wish I’d known how much those opinions never mattered. I wish I’d known before 27 years old. I wish I’d known before I’d let them seep into my soul and reside there. — Last year I kicked them out. And I remind myself anytime they crop up in any way…. that there’s only One that defines me. And I already know what He says. And it’s the opposite of what they say. So why would I listen to them, when He created the entire universe? — I think not.

I know my worth now. And it’s my hope that everyone that reads this knows theirs too. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Showers & Construction Paper Collide…

As all my fellow writers probably know… sometimes inspiration strikes at a moments notice and you get something really good & you’ve got to write it down immediately. — Sometimes that happens at just the right moment… and other times…. at just the wrong moment. — This is a story of just the wrong moment.

I was going over scenes & dialogue in my head. So basically I was talking to myself… as if I was imaginary people, cause that’s not weird at all..  the whole back & forth… when I got a really good exchange. — I was like, ohhhhh! That’s good. That’s so good. I’ve got to write that down.

Except I was in the shower.

My laptop was in the living room. There were other people in my house. So I couldn’t very well throw on a towel dripping wet all over the place & run go get it. — I was like I’m going to just finish my shower & then do it. — But y’all…. I was antsy. I was like that exchange was so good and if I forget I’m going to be so mad. — So I moved on to plan B.

Find a notebook.

Now you would think… as a writer… I’d have one stashed in my bedroom somewhere. But no. I couldn’t find one. — I got out, wrapped up in a towel, dripping water all over the place while I engaged in a frenzied search for a notepad of any sort. Any would do. But, alas, nothing.

I found one piece of yellow construction paper & and an orange colored pencil. (Don’t ask, I don’t know. 😀 )

Anyhow. So there I was. Soak & wet, dripping water onto the bathroom counter and floor, after having dripped it all over the bedroom, and writing out dialogue with a pencil on a piece of construction paper.

To top it all off… the orange colored pencil was dull and wasn’t really showing up well on the yellow paper, so I had to re-write over several worlds multiple times. — It took a bit.

I did eventually manage to get it down and hopped right back in the shower to finish up.

But it wasn’t without an adventure first. — You can be sure from now on I’ll have a laptop, a notebook, or something within reach while I’m showering.  — I learned my lesson. 😀

 

 

 

It’s Happening!

Another day down in the books. (Insert thumbs up here.)

Wrote 3000 words & finished a scene I’ve been working on for like 3 days now.

It’s flowing, it’s smooth, it’s good. (Ignore that I’m biased because, I, of course, think my own work is brilliant. 😀 )

I even sent a little snippet to my best friend/sister-in-law & I was like, “I don’t think I’m half bad at this.” And she was like… “Yeah, you have a knack for it.” — Yes, we talk like this… kindly, don’t judge us. 😉 ) — Then she told me to hurry up so she can read it in its entirety and not just the little teasers I keep sending her. 😉 — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? 😀 — If you don’t think I’m right… please don’t burst my bubble. Everybody has the right to bubbles!

Anyhow… progress is being made… we’re moving along.

Y’all… it’s happening.

There have been moments along this journey where I very much thought it would never happen. — It’s happening. Right now.

I’d kick myself for all the time I wasted… but I genuinely believe that I wasn’t ready until now. I couldn’t have done this before…. because I wasn’t in a place where I could do it.

I’m in that place now & it’s happening.

I know that there were a whole host of people who didn’t & maybe even don’t now, believe me or in me. That used to bother me so bad. I mean turn my world upside down bad… because I already didn’t believe in myself.

Y’all know what is beautiful? I believe in me now. — I have a confidence that I didn’t have before… That God has given to me… that has changed everything.

Nobody can undo what He has done. No amount of disbelief in me… can shake my belief in myself. You can’t shake my foundation… because God built it… it’s quake proof. 😀

But I’m sure there will be people who read this & think… Yeah. Right. Okay. Here we go again.

And y’all wanna know something…. That’s alright. I don’t do any of this for any of them. I do it for God first and me second. — But once upon a time…. I would have felt that to my core. I needed people to believe in me… in an effort to convince myself to believe in me, and when they didn’t… it just reinforced my disbelief in myself. (What a hot mess that was!) — & now…

If you aren’t #1 or #2… that’s God & me… & you do have an opinion that is one of doubt… that’s okay… you can have it, it’s yours to have… but it’s irrelevant. — You can’t tear down what God has built… and He has built me up.

Y’all…. It’s happening. — & I’m excited! 😀

 

 

This Is THE Game Changer…

So it’s been a minute since I’ve said anything more about the project I am working on. The last time I mentioned it, I believe I said something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m going to figure out some sort of schedule and devote to it the time & determination it is due… or something or other like that. (Definitely sounds like me. 😀 )

Anyhow, that was in July. (I’m pretty sure it was July, at least.)

I did not immediately do that. BUT!! I have some good news to report. You ready???

I did pick it back up in September. AND… here’s the important part.

There is no schedule. No rhyme or reason. BUT! I write EVERY DAY.

Imma be honest… some days.. it’s just a few hundred words. Other days though… it’s a few thousand words. — & I have made a ridiculous amount of progress over the last few weeks.

I find that sticking with it & the writing itself is now much more effortless. — But that’s not all…..

Ya ever wonder if you’re on the right path? If you’re going in the right direction? — Just a little bit of doubt… can really derail you when it comes to going all in on something. So I want to tell you a little story. — Stick with me… It has an astounding ending.. I promise!

When I started this blog.. I said I was writing a book. At the time, that was roughly 4 or so years ago. Also at the time… it was an entirely different one than I’m currently working on. — A lot has changed. I have changed a lot. — Lots of change, Y’all.

I couldn’t figure out where I fit as a writer back then. As a christian I thought I had to write christian fiction if I was going to write fiction.

I was also ashamed. — I’m gonna be real with you. — The literary world looks down on a romance novel. That’s not great literature. It’s second-rate. It’s blah blah blah. — Okay, there are all sorts of opinions like that out there. I was letting those opinions.. affect me in a way that was causing me to try to change the romance aspect or be ashamed if I wrote it.

To both of those things… at several different points along the way… I said, screw it.

I am not meant to write christian fiction and I have embarked upon a romance series … and every one else’s opinion is completely irrelevant. If anyone has a problem with any of it, anywhere, no matter who they are… then my work, what I write… is not meant for them.

Here’s the other thing. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

4 years ago… when I was working on the other book that I have since abandoned (Years ago) ….

I was in the living room floor and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure out what to do with it or where to go with it. I had papers scattered everywhere. My lap top open. I was trying and nothing was working.

I asked God, I said, What do I do? Where do I go with this? Tell me what to do. & I motioned all around me at the papers and work spread about, where do I go with this? …. and God said…

Charlie is important.

& I said, say what now? Charlie? See there was a character named Charlie. & he was not a huge part of the book I was writing. He was in it. But a minor character. & I said, I don’t understand. — & God said again….

Charlie is important.

Y’all I tried so hard to fit him into that book and figure out what in the world God was talking about. Cause, look, that’s all He gave me.

It didn’t work. I did end up tossing the book to the side. & I reasoned that I had not heard correctly and must have thought that up myself. That was 4 years ago.

A couple of months ago I was working out and something had recently happened that had brought some of my past screeching back to the forefront. and my mind was on that. — Well in the middle of working out… God revealed to me with such clarity…

Charley’s story is your story.

And I stopped and I was like that’s it! (Mind you, the Charlie of my old creation was a guy and I had long forgotten all about him. This Charley, is a woman, and completely different character.) I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out her back story for months. I knew her quirks, and her personality and character. and I had always said she was the character most like me of all the ones I have created. But I hadn’t put all of the pieces together yet.

I was excited that I finally had the answers for her and I started working out again… and God said…

I told you Charley was important.

Y’all!!! Now see here, I had long forgotten about that. It was years ago and I had concluded that it was never God to begin with.

I stood there for several seconds just in awe. God knew.. He knew 4 years ago when I had it all wrong and I was going down the wrong path and it wasn’t working out, that years in the future, I would get on the right path and He would get to show up and say, I told you then.. so I could give you the revelation now.

And y’all.. I’m telling you.. it was such a powerful moment.

He gave me one little piece of a puzzle, that made zero sense at the time, because He was planning to give me the rest of the pieces years down the road when I needed them. — See.. Charley’s story was always going to be important because it was always meant to be the closest thing to my story. I didn’t know that then… But He did. — He knew I’d create a whole new world, with all new characters & that I would eventually name one Charley at the last minute because the original name I had for her just didn’t seem to fit somehow. He knew it all.

If there was ever any doubt, and okay let’s be real… there was heaps of it!!

It disappeared that day.

I know I’m on the right path. I’m going in the right direction. Charley’s story isn’t the one I am currently writing. Hers will come a little later on. But God revealed to me in that moment that I was going in the right direction. & all the doubt fled. I now know with certainty these characters and their stories are the ones I am meant to tell.  — So between knowing that and making the effort to write each & every day…. (& let’s be real… God guiding & blessing all that I do.. ) — I’m in a place with my writing that I’ve never been before.

& y’all!! It feels fantastic! 🙂

Love to all!
Heather! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Purpose Lies Ahead…

I wanna say a little something real quick.

While working out earlier it hit me that some times in life we get in places where we can’t see past where we are currently at. Especially when those places are painful. When we don’t know which way is up or down & we can’t seem to claw our way out of the darkness we find ourselves in. It can get hard & tunnel vision becomes a real thing.

I’ve been there. As I’m sure most people have been. — Once upon a time I couldn’t see how or why in the world I was ever going to make it. It’s now years later… & I can see it.

I used to think there was no hope. I used to think that I was so incredibly broken that I would forever be in pieces. I couldn’t understand why in the world God would have me here, on this Earth, so shredded & torn apart. & I used to ask Him, why? Not why am I in pain or why is this misery in my life… but why am I here at all when this place is breaking me & I could be with You instead? Because I knew back then.. Ya know, this is a fallen world & full of sin & it’s bound to be a hard place to be sometimes. So that’s not the question I had for Him when asking why… it was why am I here, rather than why does it hurt so much.

In those moments, when I was lost in my own misery, He would always show up. Never giving up, never quitting on me. He would show up with an I love you, it’s going to be alright, I’m with you, you’re not alone. But I would still struggle with the why.

Because I could never see past the pain. I couldn’t see down the road, to the future. I couldn’t see what was on the other side. Or even a light at the end of the tunnel. It appeared to be darkness ahead.

All I saw was my shattered soul & broken spirit. A girl getting swallowed up by the world.

All those years ago I asked why. I begged & I pleaded. Why? But there was so much pain & turmoil I couldn’t see through it.

God has a plan for my life. It made zero since to me back then. I couldn’t fathom how that girl, who she was all those years ago… how she would possibly fit into any plans He had. So it didn’t make sense & I couldn’t see it.

But I can see it now. Because that girl… she fought, clawed, & climbed her way out of the darkness. (Slowly & not of her own strength, mind you.) — & when she came out on the other side… she was no longer the same person. She could see.

Every day I still fight the good fight, trying to keep my head up above the water. I keep moving forward, little by little. Good days & bad days, doesn’t matter, I keep fighting. Because I know why now. & because I know why… the will to fight doesn’t come from just trying to survive anymore… it comes from knowing that God has a plan & a purpose for me & my life & I have to keep moving forward to execute it.

So to anyone out there who reads this… God has a purpose for you. Whether you can see it or not… it’s true. So if you ever find yourself where I once was, feeling like you’re lost & you can’t figure out why in the world you’re here. That’s why. — & it’s a beautiful reason to be here. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read This… Pretty Please? :)

Haven’t been on here in ages. Just went scrolling through my old blog posts… reading & such… after a while I was like… wait.. I wrote this? Holy crap… I can write! — Haha!

Cause we all know writers are their own worst critics & after writing things wonder if it was a big mistake that made about zero sense. Turns out…. I’m pretty good. (takes moment to pat self on back 😀 )

So now that that’s over…. all that humble “go me” stuff & such.. I have stuff to tell you all!

First… I made lifestyle changes. We all know that means someone went on a diet… amiright? But seriously…. I did! I prefer to think of it as a lifestyle change tho… cause I can’t go back to what I was doing before. It’s why I needed to lose 30 lbs to begin with. — Anyhow… I don’t drink soda very often anymore… water is my primary source of hydration beverages. & surprisingly (Okay.. it surprised me.. maybe it won’t y’all.) I don’t even crave coke anymore. I used to drink it every single day. Waaaaaayy more of it than I should have been too. Anyhow… not the case anymore. — Water, water, water! (Tho every once in a while I do have a little coke. A treat, if you will. )

Lifestyle changes continued: I exercise! Every. Single. Day. — Without fail! — (Okay, mostly without fail. I have skipped a day here or there… but it’s rare & I usually replace it with some other calorie burning activity when I do. — I’m no slacker! ( she says as she conveniently ignores that she’s a slacker in regards to things like writing consistently..  😀 . Moving on… — Coupled with this… I watch my calorie intake & make sure I burn more than I consume on the daily. — For real… I have notebooks & every thing. All of this is written record.

Anyhow.. Started this in February.. It’s May… I’ve lost 25 lbs! (Okay it’s technically 24 lbs.. but come onnnnn…. I’m right there… just let me have it.. ;D )

Also.. I love exercising! I get super cranky if I have to go several days without doing so. (Which did happen when I tweaked my knee a few weeks ago… I was one big ol’ grump!) Anyhow…. Once I’ve lost all I intend too..  I’ll just change-up the calorie intake… burn the equivalent through regular exercise as often as possible & drink water… cause.. well.. I like it… & my body thanks me. lol! — So yeah.. that’s fun stuff, right? —

Ohh… btw.. I’ve always had slightly bigger ears than I wanted growing up. Not super big… but bigger than I would have preferred. You know, as a young lady. Anyhow.. I noticed last night… like.. why are my ears so noticeable all of a sudden? They seem to pop a little more in the mirror… what’s happening? & then it dawned on me… my face is thinner, my neck is thinner…. anddddd my ears are the same as always… just now they are like hey, here we are. You forgot about us because we blended in.. but now we stand out. Lookie lookie! — Yeah… that’s a thing for me now. But luckily… I’m an adult now… & way less self-conscious about them than I used to be. So we’re just gonna roll with it… the price you pay, I say.

Moving on…

Imma start writing again. I’ve really been focused on a better me. Like.. mentally, emotionally, & physically. All this exercise & losing weight & being healthy… has also been coupled with working on a better head space. A more confident me. A me that believes in me & invests in me. So I intend to roll back in with the writing also.

After reading through some of my blog posts there are several that I know good & well I didn’t share on the Facebook because I didn’t want to ruffle feathers or offend anyone. I’m a peace keeper, I am. But.. peace keeper or not… I fully intend to share them. I write. It’s what I do. If someone doesn’t like what or how I write… that’s their problem.. not mine. (Seeeeee… look at all the personal growth!) 🙂 — It’s the water… all the wisdom.. comes from the increased water intake, I’m sure.. 🙂

Anyhow.. this is already too long! So… lovely chatting with you all… talk soon! 🙂