Tag Archives: Truth

It’s Like Jekyll & Hyde… Sort Of.

This is about my many heated, volatile, passionate, wild, irrational, mixed emotions… about working out.

If you’re wondering, what?! Don’t worry. I’ll explain.

I love it. I love exercising. It’s the best way for me to kick stress. It feels good. It’s fun, It’s exciting. It does fantastic things for my mental well being as well as my physical. Seriously, it does it all. It’s great. The endorphin rush is worth writing home about. It’s fantastic!

But here’s the thing… despite all that, and knowing what’s waiting for me on the other side… I still have to drag myself off the couch, grumbling and complaining most days… because, well, I don’t wanna!

But I do! But I don’t! — Now isn’t that something?

I was thinking about it yesterday while working out. Right smack in the middle of some jumping jacks, I was like, Oh yeah!! Best decision I’ve made all day baby!!!! (I may or may not have said this out loud.) (I did it. I said it out loud. With an embarrassing amount of enthusiasm, too.)

Anyway, my mind went back to when it took me an hour, a full hour, to convince myself to get up and work out. I literally grumbled all the way to the closet to change. Then all the way to the laundry room to get my shoes. Then I sat on the couch for an hour, reading a book, with my tennis shoes on, trying to convince myself to get up. I grumbled as I put on music, and huffed with great annoyance during the first few minutes of exercising. However, halfway through, there I was shouting all sorts of ridiculous stuff because I felt fantastic!

And I thought, why in the world did I fight myself so hard? Why is it so difficult to get up and get started when I know I’m going to be incredibly grateful when it’s all said and done?

Isn’t it wild how that works? And maybe that’s just a me thing. For all I know I’m the only person in the world who does this. It’s like the lazy, unmotivated part of me is like, no. I don’t want to. Leave me alone. But the slightly more disciplined, wiser part of me is like, Yes. Get up. Now! You lazy couch potato! — And round and round we go.

It’s funny, it was easier when I was losing weight a couple years ago. Because every week I’d see a pound/pound and a half drop and that was all the motivation I needed to keep at it. I had way less days where I didn’t want to. Plus it was new, and that made it more fun. Now that all the extra weight is gone, and the new has worn off, I have to fight to stay more disciplined. Which is strange, given I know if I don’t exercise enough I’m a grumpy, antagonistic, much more anxious, I-will-bite-your-head-off-for-looking-at-me kind of person. (And nobody wants that! — Just ask my husband… πŸ˜‰ )

So there’s a little look into my love/hate relationship with working out. I really do love it. It’s changed my entire life for the better. But I still have to fight a part of me that’s like, I would rather not, thank you. Crazy, huh?

Maybe not. Maybe you can relate. I don’t know. If you can, you know what I’m talking about. We can commiserate together. If you can’t, well, gimme some of what you got!

I’ll see y’all later. I have to go workout.

Heather!

Keep Reading…

My Thursday went like this….

I woke up. I took the dog out. I put out some bird seed. I started re-reading a historical romance novel. I stopped to eat lunch. I resumed reading. And then I read, and I read, and I read. Never even changed out of my pajamas.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Heather, you should have been working. But hear me out. I was!

I am only a writer today because I have been a reader for years. I would never have been able to write two entire full length novels if I hadn’t spent so much time reading over the years. I only know how to craft romance novels because I’ve been reading them religiously since I was fourteen. I know the pieces of the puzzles I need to put them together like the back of my hand. Don’t ask me to write a thriller or a mystery or a dystopian novel though. While I enjoy reading them from time to time, I’d be lost in the sauce trying to write them.

And I know when I’m reading I’m not getting any writing, editing, marketing, or networking done, but I am continuing to hone a craft, and that is just as important. Now when I read, I see the words through the lens of a writer. And an editor. I learn as I go. Even more so now, than I did before I began writing.

Always make time for reading as a writer. It’s truly important!

Much Love,
Heather.

9 Years, Carrots, & A Marriage! (Mine! β€οΈ)

One of my biggest fears before I got married…. What if I wake up one day and realize I made a mistake? What if I wake up one day and realize I got it wrong? What then?

9 years. I met my husband 9 years ago.

8 years. We got engaged 8 years ago.

7 years. We got married 7 years ago.

My husband peels the carrots. I know you’re thinking… what does that have to do with anything?

Everything.

Because a marriage is made up of so many moving pieces and parts, and you’ll miss the small things sometimes, not realizing how valuable they are.

He peels the carrots and the potatoes and the other veggies because it takes me forever to do it. It literally takes me three times as long. Sometimes I’ll ask him to. Other times, like tonight, he’ll pop into the kitchen, see me with a bag of carrots, grin, and offer to do it for me.

And it’s not just the carrots. That’s only one piece of a giant puzzle.

Before I met my husband, after one long, disastrous relationship, followed by one I was only in because I was so broken from the one before it, and then a string of lousy dates after that one… I told God I was done. I was through. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in a Bi-Lo parking lot when I stepped out of the car to go into the store, and I just sort of stopped there, just beside the car. And I said, “Whoever he is, wherever he is… I’m waiting on You. Whenever that is. You just let me know.”

3 months later I met Jeremy. And something just clicked. I didn’t know then what that something was, just that when I sat down with him for the very first time, it felt right.

At the time we were two very selfish people that had a lot of growing to do. As do most couples. But it was the beginning of something. I didn’t hear God telling me no, so I went with it.

We dated, fell in love, got engaged, but before we got married I almost walked away. And God finally spoke. He said, “Don’t you dare.”

And I knew. I knew then that God had sent him. — I also knew that if I let him, the devil would tear it all slap apart.

I was still scared. I still wondered, in the back of my mind, what if I’m making a mistake?

I didn’t make a mistake. Every single day I wake up and fall more and more in love with my husband.

He peels carrots while I snap green beans, both of us talking, laughing, joking.

He smiles, and just like the first time I met him, I still get a little lost in it.

I know carrots don’t seem like a big deal, but even now, nearly a decade later, we’re still a team. When it’s the small things, like vegetables… And when it’s the bigger things, whatever they may be. Doesn’t matter.

We still click. Both of us sliding into place like puzzle pieces. Right where we belong.

We still have a long way to go. Nine years is only a dent in a lifetime, but God knows what He’s doing, and I know He did this. So long as we stick with Him, all the way, all the time, I know we’ll always be fine. ❀️

So here is a nice, blurry selfie I forced my husband to pop in and smile for! 😘

Love y’all!

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S&S — Scatterbrained & Self-Publishing

Scatterbrained: — adjective. — (Of a person) disorganized and lacking in concentration. — Absentminded, forgetful, disorganized, unsystematic.Β 

This is me! Wanna know why?

Self-publishing. πŸ˜‰

Seriously though. When I first set out to write books, always sorta just assumed I would be answering to other people. Whether that be agents and editors, publishers and the like. I just assumed someone else would be calling the shots.

Guess who is calling the shots? Yep. That’d be me…. over here managing myself. — *points finger at self* — πŸ˜‰

There is so much to do. I sit down to do one thing and my brain is like, but you need to do this, this, that, this, and the other. And I’m like… Ahhhhhhh!

What I really need to do, for the moment, is focus on one piece of the puzzle without letting my mind wander about all the other pieces. Then work on one of the other pieces… all my focus on it, for the time I’ve carved out for it. And so on & so forth with the rest of the pieces.

While all that is incredibly overwhelming… I am super excited! A little terrified, a lot of scatterbrained, but super excited.

I know sometimes Indie authors are treated as second-rate. They’re judged through a different lens. A lot of people assume your work is no good if you self-publish. Which I believe is a common misconception. I’ve read a many a good self-published works, as well as not so good. I’ve also read a many of not so good traditionally published books, as I have good ones.

And I had a decision to make. Which road did I want to take? I’m a regular ol’ Robert Frost over here. I remember that poem. Had to memorize it in the 6th grade and recite it for the class. Couldn’t recite it now, but I remember its meaning clear as a bell.

I did research. — still doing research. I weighed pros and cons. I read what other authors had to say. I looked into what was required of me either way.

And do you know what? I chose a tough path for an introvert like myself. I chose to manage myself, to market myself, to push myself.

I’m someone who has always preferred to blend into the background. I’m quiet, I don’t say much — Okay, clearly a blogger can’t claim such a thing, but I just did it anyway. πŸ˜‰ — I keep to myself and tend to lurk more than converse.

But I chose a path where I have to put myself out there… and with that comes growth. Which is what’s so beautiful about it. There is a learning curve for everything and I am still finding my footing, and I will make mistakes along the way.

But I’m excited! And I’m exploring this brand new world that has become my life, and while it seems daunting some days… what’s up ahead of me is an adventure that will undoubtedly change my life in so many ways. — So, scatterbrainedΒ or not, I’m super excited guys! πŸ˜€

Heather!

The Search History Of A Writer…

Ya know what you learn writing a book?

Things you think you knew… you did not actually know as well as you thought. — And sometimes it’ll make you feel like you are especially dumb. πŸ˜‰

You will spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and googling things you thought you knew enough about. — Turns out there’s a lot you don’t actually know about simple things you thought you knew and sometimes what you know slips your mind altogether.

When you are trying to be descriptive and accurate…. there’s a lot you don’t realize you need extra help with.

I have examples!

Tonight alone I’ve googled… Japanese Maples, types of sweaters, plaid scarfs, kitchen decor, various shades of green, the definition of the word rich, how to describe the color yellow, words for describing a kitchen, the name of the silver refrigerators, (It’s stainless steel by the way, I own one! ) what outdoor furniture looks like, synonyms for… bright, dark, muttered, perfect, colorful, exasperated, capture, proud of, and emotion.

Y’all that’s just tonight. & I assure you it’s not just a one night thing. It’s an every day thing.

Anybody ever stumbles across my search history and they’re gonna think I’m an idiot. Like… next level dumb.

That’s okay though… as long as I nail descriptive and accurate. πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

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. πŸ˜€ )

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. πŸ˜‰ ) — 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. πŸ˜‰ — I mean… the snippets & the teasers are good… it’s all good, amiright? πŸ˜€ — 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. πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜€

 

 

Feel Free To Read This In Your Spare Time… :)

PSA: The grammar here is atrocious. I’m going to strongly suggest… πŸ˜€ … that you kindly disregard it. Ya see here… I was writing for hours on my book before this & that requires being grammar conscious.. and it’s a royal pain. I’m all grammar’d out and I don’t have it in me. — I will start sentences with and, put commas and periods where they do not belong and……. all sorts of other nonsense that is frowned upon. — Please, ignore my sloppiness. You guys are the best. πŸ˜€

 

I learn a lot from other authors. I learn from reading… which I truly believe is one of the best ways to learn about writing.

The other day I tried a new author. And it was this author’s first book.

As someone writing a first… it pains me to read first books by new authors and pick it apart. Because I know… I knooowwww… the work, the time, the sweat, and tears… all of it. I live it. It’s heart wrenching to know people are going to pick your work apart and find flaws in something you’ve created and come to love very much. — But that’s the name of this game. People will read your work as an author and they will judge it. Good or bad… one way or the other… they’ll feel some sort of way about it and that’s their right. —

But as a writer… it makes it much more difficult for me. I feel bad judging someone else’s work when I didn’t like something. I want to like it all. But that’s just not the case. That’s not how it works and at the end of the day… I can also learn a lot from books that I didn’t like or that I found flaws in. — Sure… I know people will find flaws and issues in my work… and that makes me feel like a hypocrite… hence the reason I probably feel so bad when I don’t like something. —- Which is what happened with this book.

I tried it because it was suggested and I knew it was a first time author and I wanted to see what that read like… because typically I’m reading books by authors that have published a multitude of books… and that’s always going to be a different kind of read.

So throughout what I read of it… the author kept telling me that the main character was sarcastic and was a bit of a smart mouth. There were several times where that was expressed and eventually I went.. You keep telling me, but it’s not in the dialogue and it’s not in her thoughts and it’s not in her actions. It’s not here anywhere. — She wanted me to know her character was sarcastic but if she had never told me that… I would have never known.

And I immediately thought…. don’t do that. Make sure that if I tell readers something about my character and it’s a huge part of their personality…. that they’ll see it throughout the book. They’ll see it in the dialogue, actions, and inner thoughts. If my character has sarcastic tendencies… let there be no room for doubt. If one character doesn’t get along with another…. make sure the reader can see the tension and that it doesn’t come across like they’re best buds. Things like that. Making sure everything matches up and balances out… Everything has to carry over just right all the way through… it can be a fine line! Lemme tell ya! —

Now I didn’t like the book. To be fair… I don’t think I was the right target for it. I really don’t. But at the same time… it really did help me to pay attention to things I don’t want to do with my own work. — One of the other things was that it moved very fast and didn’t really go in hard. I didn’t feel like I got enough information or got to know anything about anything before we had moved on to another scene. — and I immediately said, don’t do that. Don’t linger too long… but also.. let my readers get to know my characters and what’s happening and get a feel for each and every scene. Even short ones. Create depth… I want people to turn the page having known exactly what I did about what was happening. Clear & concise… not just sort of brushing over it where you feel like you kinda missed something, but you aren’t sure what. —

& y’all I feel like a jerk for saying that about some one else’s hard work. I really do. & I know she was trying to move the story along to get to the good stuff… but I believe that all of the smaller parts in between the big ones matter just as much as the big ones. If you gloss over them quickly and with very little depth you miss out on so many opportunities for character and story building. You also run the risk of leaving readers like me… feeling like they’ve missed something.

There’s so much to learn from the work of other author’s… even when it’s mistakes or problems. And as much as I hate to find issues with a new authors work… because I know the tides shall turn someday… y’all.. ya girl ain’t no fool. πŸ˜‰ — When there are issues… those are things I can learn from. So I do.

I feel like a jerk when I’m doing it though… so there’s that. πŸ˜‰

Y’all…

I gotta tell y’all bout what just happened…

About a month ago I started writing every day.. I still write every day, just so ya know.. that hasn’t stopped.

Because of that I write way more often, obviously, and I’m better at it. I genuinely believe that writing, in a lot of cases, is a God-given talent. It’s no different from the singer or the painter or the musician. It’s art, just like all the rest. Anyone has the ability to write, and that’s great, but I do believe that God gives some people an extra special ability to do so.

Just like I can sing… but you probably don’t want to hear it. While I’m capable of it, I was certainly not gifted with the ability to do it very well.

My husband can paint and he has real talent. Me? Ha! He’ll show me sometimes, like early on in the painting and try to explain what it’s going to be and how it’s going to come together.. and I’m like… I don’t get it. — He’ll say, you have to envision it… and I’m standing there like… Nope, I got nothing. — Because I’m not a painter.

I’m a writer.

I’ve struggled to stay consistent with writing and that has affected its quality. Writing is like any art. If you don’t do it very often, you’re going to be rusty at it and it’s going to show. With any art, not just writing. The more you do it, the better you are at it.

Here’s what happened…..

I downloaded a book earlier and started reading… I was stumbling through paragraph after paragraph because my brain was thinking like a writer, not a reader.

All I could see was sentence structure, the various tenses, how the author wove her words and sentences together, and the detail in her work. All I could see was how it was strung together…. and I realized it was because I’ve been so immersed in writing lately that my mind was reading like a writer, rather than a reader.

I have a God-given talent that I haven’t utilized the way I should have over the years. So it’s been pretty rusty when I did bust it out sporadically.

However because I’ve been using it so much lately it’s improved in a thousand different ways. One of which means I’m going to have to make an effort to put aside thinking like a writer when I’m reading.

I’ve never had that happen before. Sometimes stuff would jump out at me and I would think, oh that’s good, I like what he or she did there. — This was different.

This was…Β  I didn’t even know what I had read because all I was seeing was how it was put together. So I’m going to have to figure out how to shut that off, cause ya girl here likes to read. πŸ˜€

I just thought I would share that with you guys. Every day I feel moreΒ like the writer I’m meant to be… and I like it. And since this blog was always intended to be about my writing journey… seems fitting to mention it.

With love,
Heather.