Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fear of Failure

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I like to think we all have a healthy fear of failure, but I know some of us have a bigger fear than others. Mine is kind of huge and it prevented me from doing a lot of different things with my life. Over the last month I’ve had to force myself to look that fear in the face and do what I’ve been dreading…read The Storm Inside.

I haven’t read it since I wrote it. It was my first book. It was three years ago. And I haven’t cracked that baby open and looked at it with two since I hit publish. Excellent sales, wonderful reviews, and heartfelt fan letters could not convince me that the words I put down in that book were anything but embarrassing (and no, I’m not talking about the smokin’ hot sex scenes.)

I was paralyzed, so I ignored it. I didn’t market the book the way I should have and as a result I’ve stunted my potential as a working writer. Over the holidays I had to take a long hard look at who I wanted to be. You can either be a successful writer who is proud of your entire body of work, blemishes and all, or you can hide in the shadows of “one day.”

So I’ve done it. I’ve re-read the entire book (sometimes peeking through my fingers because WHAT THE HELL DID I WRITE? Someone start a cold shower, those sex scenes…Jake’s story…their love??? Holy hell, what a book!)

I’ve given the whole series new covers and blurbs, and stepped outside of my own fears of failure because no one finds joy in hiding. Meanwhile I’ve been reading a half-dozen “first novels” from authors I consider my contemporaries and I learned a few things.

  • It’s enjoyable to watch the transformation of a writer through their books. I don’t look down on those wonderful stories of love and triumph because of the typos or head hopping (it was only once.) I smiled because in the next book and the next book the writer grew stronger and my love of the author grew right along with it. I know I have readers who feel the same way. I love you guys.
  • Most people don’t notice the stray typo so I really, really, really need to stop acting like HRH Queen Gatekeeper of Novels is going to cast me out into the barrens of Never Writing Again and Laughed At in Infiniti. No really, every book has typos, even the #1 NYT Bestsellers. Some people read books and get their panties in a bunch over every little nuance, but most people just want a fucking good story. Write a good story. Hire good people. Do better when you know better. Keep moving forward.
  • I don’t take my own advice. I give pretty good advice, but I let my fear stop me from putting it in motion for myself. It’s been a good lesson to see several of these authors take my advice and succeed. It was a good smack in the face to realize if I’d done the same thing I wouldn’t have been cast out into the Barrens and might actually be pretty darn happy.
  • I’m good at what I do (and I don’t need anyone to tell me that.) I used to admire those people who could throw themselves onto the fire without thinking. How did they write a book, put it out there, tell everyone it was the best thing since sliced bread… and have people believe it? Sure, some of those books were awesome, but most of them? Average. Totally and completely average. But the author had brash confidence and took the audience along with her. It’s taken a bolt of lightning and seeing my writing critiqued for me to realize that no one needs to give me permission to say my stories are good. No one but me is in charge of being proud of my work. My success is entirely up to me. I’m write damn good stories.
  • “Fear is the Enemy” is not just a saying people throw around. Fear is the wall that stands between failure and success. Which side do you want to stand on? Do you want to live in the shadow of fear, or do you want to put that behind you and stand in the sun? (I live in Florida, I can tell you the sun is very enjoyable.)

Putting The Storm Inside out all over again has already transformed my life. It has sat in the iBooks Top 5 in UK for the last week and Reflected and Lightning have jumped up the paid charts…reminding me that the only one holding my books back is me. It was terrifying to re-read my book, but it’s turned into a lovely experience to re-edit the books. The new paperback proof is on the way to my mailbox right now. I’ll be sure to share the pictures with you all when it gets here!

New Covers

 

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The Making of Book Covers — Indie Vs. Traditional Publishing

Prepping for the Week (and stuff)

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First off, let me start by saying Good Morning to all you lovely people! Good morning! So often life is what we make of it and not enough of us do something as simple as smiling and saying good morning.

I was reminded of this during my morning run. I truly live in a cool freaking town. We’re an athletic town. We have a National Training Center with several Olympic athletes. We’re a triathlon destination. We have low Florida hills, lakes, and beautifully paved trails. I try to get out and run every morning after I lose drop my kids off at school. My run is on the trail around our lake. It’s pretty busy and every one–serious athlete in training or senior citizen–smiles and says good morning. It’s quite possibly the nicest way to start the day.

Anyway. Prepping for the week. I promised you guys more tips and recipes for the busy writer-mom. Here goes. This week we went light on the Sunday night prep. Nate and I are running a 5k in downtown Orlando Thursday night and the kids are off from school Friday. Here’e what our menu looks like:

Slow cooked BBQ Pork

Spaghetti and meat sauce

Beef nachos

Veggie lasagne

Publix (pre-cooked) Chicken and parmesan baked asparagus

Chicken parmesan grits

Pancake batter

All the beef for the nachos and spaghetti was browned Sunday night and portioned off for the two meals it is part of. The pork is slow cooked and divided into portions. The veggie lasagna is a one-pot, cooked, and portioned. The nachos and asparagus will be created on their respective nights. Both are incredibly easy.

In addition, I washed and portioned out fresh grapes and celery. They key for fruit and veggie consumption in our house is having it grab-and-go ready, plus on the eye-line when you open the door. They are sitting next to a bowl of plums.

For breakfast we also pre-cooked a 5 cup pot of chicken parmesan grits, which is basically grits (quick or slow) but the water is substituted with chicken broth. When the grits are down I add half a cup of half and half, three pats of butter, and a handful of grated parmesan. Once cooled, we portion it off for quick breakfasts. Nate adds smoked turkey sticks to his while I much on whatever is the kitchen after my run.

I also premade my special pancake batter for quick pancakes during the week. It’s stored in an old Ranch dressing squirt bottle, ready and waiting to be used.

Below you’ll find links to some of the recipes I used this week, plus a link to my Pinterest board, Meals I Actually Cook.

Baked Parmesan Asparagus

One-Pot Lasagna (this month we subbed the meat for zucchini and squash)

Meals I Actually Cook Pinterest Board

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One last bit of fun news! First Draught is back with all new episode tomorrow! We’ve changed the format slightly. We’ve moved to a half hour show (instead of an hour) and we’re sending you out the video and podcast links all at once. You can sign up for the newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bWCj0z and check out the website tomorrow (Tuesday) for this month’s show!

And don’t forget to join my Frisky Friends on Facebook!

 

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