Enveloped in the Story

Ever since I finished up college, I’ve been engrossed in writing, revising, editing, critiquing, and reading. Like nearly all day.

I’ve barely had time to stop in here and write anything.

I’m enjoying the world of my characters. 

I’ve got three stories which I’m working on. I alternate from one to the other. It’s very satisfying. 

For a couple of months, I’d been working on my novel, Passage of Promise. The last half of the story is still waiting to run through the critique online group. It’ll be the end of January before submitting it is done.

But several days ago, I flipped over to my WIP, What She Didn’t Know, and reread, revised, and added a few scenes. 

Then I returned to my novella, Mourning Dove. I’ve been working on this for the past few days and am loving it. Using the feedback from the critters when I ran the story through around last spring, I’ve been strengthening those chapters.

I asked my husband questions on police procedures and medical issues a couple of days back, which opened up new ideas, new scenes to implement into this amazing story. I’ve only received positive feedback on this piece because of its wonderful message, decent plot, and likable characters. 

Here are the two blurbs I’ve been working on with my novel and novella.

Passage of Promise:

Marina waited all her life for someone like him. But failure is Marina’s middle name. Sent by her family to the Greek island of Santorini to fetch her great grandmother’s wonder-working icon for her sick nephew, Marina finds it has been stolen. She meets and falls in love with attractive Joel, a history teacher and art collector. He helps her to search for the icon. As time sprints by in the week-long search, perpetual pressure and ridicule from her mother leaves Marina on the brink of defeat. When she finds out who took the icon, the realization nearly sends her spiraling out of control. Personal, devastating failure hits her hard, and she’s left hollow. With icon in hand and lost love stinging her heart, Marina returns home to face battles with her mother and her nephew’s waning health. Clinging to a last shred of hope, will it be enough for Marina to overcome her failures and find love and healing?

Mourning Dove:

Gabby lost her husband, Andrew, in a car accident six months ago.  In the midst of struggling to emerge from her grief, she discovers Andrew’s cousin, Jordan, is homeless. With strong determination, Gabby strives to help Jordan in any way she can.  While sifting through clothes in her closet, Gabby discovers notes by Andrew and Jordan discussing a special gift for her a month before Andrew’s death. Can Jordan be the key to unlocking Andrew’s gift to her?  But amid this good will stands a belligerent homeless man hunting down Jordan for a past wrong. Although frightened by this vagabond seen creeping around her property, Gabby swallows her fear and focuses on aiding Jordan, giving her a new purpose in her life. But will Gabby take that new purpose too far?

I’ll probably publish Mourning Dove first, as I am still not totally satisfied with Passage of Promise

I’ll send it to a couple publishers and see if either accepts it. If not, I’ll go another route.

Tell me what you think. Your thoughts and opinions are important to me. You’re potentially my future readers. God willing! 

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Anxiety Bores Impatience

silhouette of woman for anxiety blog post

When I was twenty-two, I was diagnosed with general anxiety with periodic panic attacks.

Anxiety and panic, for me, are two different things.  Panic attacks hit me in my head first, causing dizziness, followed by quickened heart rate, some perspiring, fear, and the like.  With anxiety, it starts in the chest and causes helplessness, an impending sense of doom, as well as quickened heart rate.

Everyone who suffers from anxiety or panic attacks may share in some of the symptoms, but experiences them a bit differently and also has different triggers that set them off.

Mine is TIME.

I remember in my early twenties explaining this visual of my trigger of time as a rodent running on a wheel, getting nowhere while time and the world churned ahead without me.  I desperately wanted to catch up but was helpless to in the moments of panic attacks.

mouse on wheel

When I had my first panic attack at age twenty, it felt like my head was going to spin right off my body, my heart raced, and I feared loss of mind and control.  And as panic sufferers know, we become worried about it happening again, which perpetuates the panic feelings.

Eventually, after having a handful of full-blown panic attacks, I learned to be aware of when one was coming on, and talking to myself (in my head, not out loud) about it in a reasonable manner.

talking out of anxiety and panic

At that time in my early twenties, for four years, I was on an anti-anxiety medication for my anxiety and a tranquilizer for panic attacks.  Both medications did the job of curbing my anxiety and panic attacks.  After getting off the medication, my system seemed improved.

Since this time (over twenty years ago), I’ve faired pretty well, but since the onslaught of peri-menopause, my anxiety and panic attacks have been kicked up a notch, causing some disruption in my life.

At the end of June, I did some stupid things because of my anxiety, like mistakenly canceling my debit card.

I looked over my husband’s and my checking account and discovered a debit card purchase for a DVD from an unknown company.  Worried and panic-stricken thinking  somebody had gotten my card number, I went online and disputed the purchase.  Immediately after I did that, my card was canceled.

It was at that moment I remembered the amount of the purchase and realized I did purchase this DVD.  It was just that the company name didn’t match the place I ordered from.

silencing inner critic

Peri-menopausal fog brain mixed with anxiety is a recipe for chaos.

I called the bank the next day, and a new card was sent out for two-day delivery.

If I’d just waited and thought calmly for about five more minutes, I’m positive I would have remembered the amount and the place from which I purchased the DVD.

This was the day Whole Foods opened in my area, and I wanted to be there for the opening (I know, that alone is nuts).  Obviously I didn’t have my debit card, but I did have my checkbook.  That was a mistake because they didn’t take checks, so I had to run home and fetch my credit card that I’ve been desperately trying to pay down.

I could have just waited until the next day when my new debit card arrived and gone to Whole Foods then and not gone through all of this.  But NO, I was anxious to go RIGHT NOW!  If I didn’t go then, think of all the things I’d miss seeing on Opening Day!

scolding myself

Every time my anxiety hits, I become impatient and pushy.  After the incident, I’d hate my actions and how I irritated my family members.  Imagine this anxious impatience…it feels like a tornado of confusion, frustration, fear, and anger sweeping through you.  At least it does for me.

depressed-silhouette-woman

After experiencing this impatience three days in a row, I broke down in tears of frustration and anger, really strongly disliking myself for my stupid actions and idiocy.

Where did my brain go?

The next few days and weeks I sat analyzing my actions and behavior. I finally saw this pattern of impatience and that it was actually tied to my anxiety.

It only took me 28 years to figure this out.

gif of duh or rolling eyes

In any case, this was a breakthrough for me, a relief.  I’d finally figured out what I was doing and why I was doing it.

But how was I going to stop doing it?

Anxiety pounces on me unexpectedly a lot of the time.  The behavior and havoc almost always play out before I am aware of it.

Friends who suffer from anxiety and/or panic attacks, how do you experience them?  How do you deal with them?

Being a person who tries to follow Christ, making an effort to be Christ-like daily, even though I fail most of the time, my anxiety causes me to forget to ask Him for help when I’m going through this.  Too many times, I try to control these attacks all on my own.

give your burden at the Lord's feet

This is the crux of my problem.

But I suppose I had to discover what I was doing before I could reach this point.

So, now that I know this, I am making the effort and becoming more aware to ask God to help me through these instances of impatience and anxiety.

I’m not really a fan of praying for patience, because…well…then your patience is tested, and I fail 99% of the time.

BUT…

In reality, it’s through those tests of my patience, that I am provided the chances to be patient and make it become more of a habit, and therefore, become more of who I want to be, which is a better, calmer, loving person with a closer relationship to Christ.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been able to apply patience to at least three occasions, by talking to myself, as a type of mental coach, and through God’s help.

Here’s to a new path toward a less anxiety-ridden life.

mountain path towards light

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The Importance of Your Creative Work Space

desk and windows

I’m sharing a post by fellow blogger, Nicholas Rossis, who shared a guest post about your work space and how it can help and improve your creative writing.  Until today, I’d been sitting on my bed writing, and well, that wasn’t really the best place to be a creative writer.  So, these tips helped me to change that, and I’m now sitting in my living room/library at my desk, and I already feel better having the space to type and write and  the fortunate treat of being able to look out the picture window that I believe will help to inspire me to create many imaginative characters, settings, and stories (God willing!).

I hope this shared post is beneficial to your writing.

This is a guest post by Jade Anderson is an experienced In-house Editor at Upskilled. With a background in online marketing, Jade runs some successful websites of her own. Her passion for the education industry and content is displayed through the quality of work she offers.

6 Tips for Making a Workspace Conducive to Writing

No matter what type of content you’re writing, whether it’s fiction, investigative journalism, feature pieces or academic articles, the environment that you write in has a big impact on how well you put that piece together. Writing takes skill, for sure, but where you write can affect how you write because if there are distractions in your workplace, your writing is likely to reflect that. As a writer, your workspace should be inspiring and comfortable in equal measure. It should be somewhere you can focus and reflect. Here are five tips for creating the perfect writing workspace.

2. Make Sure You Have Privacy

One criterion for success when it comes to writing is consistency. Often, this means writing something every day. But it also means trying to work in the space every time you write. In order to find a space where you are going to be able to be productive most days, you need to consider the level of privacy you will have. Choose a space where you’re able to be alone with your projects and your thoughts without being distracted by background noise or other people. This can simply mean working in a room in your house that has a door or finding an area where there is little to no foot traffic. Having a private, dedicated area that is yours allows you to have a distraction-free workspace.

3. Consider Your Desk And Chair

How comfortable your desk and chair are, are important factors that affect how productive you are. If you feel cramped or uncomfortable, you’re far more likely to get distracted and want to stop working. Chances are, you’ll be sitting and typing for long stretches of time, so you need a space that is ergonomic. Make sure that your desk and chair are at the right height so you don’t have to strain or hunch to work on your computer. You need a chair that will support your back and encourage good posture. As for your desk, it must provide enough space for everything you need.

4. Declutter

It is hard to work amongst clutter. Physical clutter can cause mental clutter, leaving us feeling distracted and unfocused. Getting rid of unnecessary mess and creating a clutter-free space is one of the key steps in creating an environment conducive to writing. While decluttering can take some time and hard work, it pays off. Set aside a day to declutter the space you wish to work in and decide what items you will throw out, what you’ll donate, and what you’ll keep. If you have furniture, files or belongings that you want to keep but don’t necessarily need right now, consider putting these things into storage. Using community storage is an affordable and convenient option should you find yourself in this situation.

5. Make It Yours

Your workspace is a space for you. You want it to reflect your personality and to be a place where you feel comfortable and at home. While you shouldn’t fill it with personal belongings that may be distracting or cause clutter, you should put some effort into personalizing the area. This can be with artwork, photos or other decorative features that you feel express your personality. As a writer, you may wish to personalize your space by filling it with your favorite books or quotes from your favorite authors!

6. Go For Natural Light

Regardless of your industry, natural light has been proven to impact productivity. The sun boosts your mood, gives you energy, and can stimulate creativity. For these reasons, natural light is particularly important for writers. If you’re working from home, it might be difficult to find a room with natural light to work in. However, even if you can work in front of a window or in a room with a skylight, this is better than nothing. Adequate light is important no matter what time of the day. If you’re working into the evenings, ensure that you have artificial lighting so you can read and write without straining your eyes.

7. Have What You Need On Hand

In order to work productively in your workspace, you should have everything you need to work on hand and ready to go. In the digital age, this might mean having all your tech accessories, chargers, and screens neatly arranged by your desk so they are easily accessible at all times. For writers, having two screens can be particularly useful. This allows you to have multiple windows open if you are researching and writing at the same time. If you still like the traditional pen-to-paper method when you’re figuring out your ideas, ensure you have plenty of supplies at hand in your desk drawers or on your desk.

 

 

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