Friday, January 21, 2022

Countdown to Murder in the Mountains!

 by Shari Randall

I'm peeking out of the writing cave to share some fun news. I'll have a story in the new cozy mystery short story collection, MURDER IN THE MOUNTAINS. It was a kick to take the characters from my Lobster Shack Mystery series on a Sound of Music Tour in the Austrian Alps where - of course - they stumble upon a murder. I hope you'll check it out. The collection also features terrific stories from Gretchen Archer, Tina Kashian, Barb Goffman, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Cathy Wiley, Leslie Budewitz, Shawn Reilly Simmons, and Karen Cantwell. There's a special ebook prepublication price of only 99 cents, so order yours today. Hope you enjoy your trip to the mountains!



Thursday, January 20, 2022

Chaos by Lynn Chandler Willis

I have a confession to make. Oh, by the way––I'm Lynn, and I'm one of the new kids on the block. I too am an author. Let's get that little fact out of the way so you'll fully grasp the weight of my confession. Here goes...are you sitting down? You might want to sit down for this. 

I can't write when my world is calm. I need chaos. I crave chaos.  

Not like I crave Dove milk chocolate but that's an issue for another day. I only crave chaos when I'm trying to write so it's not like I'm an adrenaline junkie or some weirdo. We all have our little quirks. Victor Hugo used to write naked. Hemingway wrote standing up. Lynn Chandler Willis writes while stirring the SpaghettiOs or changing a diaper or overseeing snack time. 

I discovered this about my self at, of all places, a writer's retreat. I had just come off a 5-year stint of babysitting eight of my nine grandkids and could not wait to spend a week with other authors. All the learning and sharing and brainstorming––all taking place in a magnificent, ocean-front house with 46 bedrooms. Okay, it may have only been 16 bedrooms but I've never been in a house that big.

The first morning there, I take my cup of coffee to one of the dining tables that could seat a football team and open up the laptop to get started. Here goes...I'm going to write. Okay, maybe it was just a false start. I wasn't fond of that word so I deleted it and started over. Again. And again. And...again.  

I look around the room at the other authors and everyone is engrossed in their work. Fingers are flying across keyboards, red pens are scribbling on paper, and not one single person is talking. Some are wearing headphones, perhaps listening to a playlist of their favorite music. Or maybe they're wearing them to drown out the...silence?

I spent an obscene amount of time those first few days scrolling Facebook or reading and answering emails. I even read, and replied to, the spam. I don't remember which day it was that the magic finally happened. Armed with the laptop and coffee, I sat at a covered bar on the second-floor balcony, overlooking the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing and the constant chatter from the seagulls was just the beginning. The house next door was massive, like ours. I have no idea if the people who were staying there were family or friends, but there was at least twenty of them. Not including the kids. 


When those kids ran outside and jumped in the pool, my heart fluttered. It wasn't long before they were splashing and yelling and laughing so loud the neighbors could hear them. And the words came. I wrote a paragraph, and then another one, and another. 

Don't get me wrong––I'd go on another writer's retreat in a heartbeat. Now that I know my style and what I need to get the words down,  I can embrace it. I hug it, and squeeze it, and love it like the cherished quirk it is. I crave it.

The other night while working on the first book in a new series (coming Fall 2022, yeah!), I was struggling with a scene. It just would not come. But a text from my ten-year-old grandson did come. He asked if he could come down and watch his "show."  Poor guy has a twin sister and another sister 11 months older and they don't like The Flash so he comes down to my house where he rules the roost. 

He came down and curled up beside me on the couch where I was struggling with the right words. He turned on the tv, turned the volume up, and settled in. Every once in a while, he'd pause it and say, "Grandma watch this," and I would. I'd look up from the laptop to watch some goofy scene that appealed to ten-year-old boys and I'd laugh with him, or I'd offer a wow! and then go back to writing, the word count climbing. Once again, I embraced the chaos.   

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

North Star Word, by Barbara Kyle


At the start of each new year my daughter Sara chooses a word to embody how she wants to navigate the upcoming year. One word to be her “North Star” for her business and her life.

Painting: North Star by Gretchen Kelley

For example, one year she chose the word “bold” – which I thought was boldly marvelous.

So I, too, have chosen a word to be my North Star for this shiny new year. The word is “true.”

As a writer, it means being true to the characters in the new book I’m creating. As a writing mentor, it means guiding each writer to be true to the soul of their story.

I loved many wonderful books during the year we just left behind, and it struck me how wildly varied they are, yet all deeply true. Especially the following three.


The gloriously entertaining Harlem Shuffle by genius author Colson Whitehead:

 

 

The nail-biting real-life thriller Tunnel 29 by Helena Merriman:
 


 The vivid, exquisitely written profile of a 19th century Japanese woman, Stranger in the Shogun’s City, by Amy Stanley:

 



Books all utterly different, but all utterly true to their stories’ unique worlds.

“True” will be my bright North Star. For writing my new book. For helping the writers I mentor find the best truth in theirs. For living wide in the world.

How about you? Do you have a guiding word for this new year?

________________________________________________

 


Barbara Kyle
is the author of the bestselling Thornleigh Saga series of historical novels and of acclaimed thrillers. Her latest novel of suspense is The Man from Spirit Creek. Over half a million copies of her books have been sold. Barbara has taught hundreds of writers in her online masterclasses and many have become award-winning authors. Visit Barbara at https://www.barbarakyle.com/   

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

 

Literary Tapas and Readers

By Saralyn Richard

 


There are 124 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) in the U.S., where learners aged fifty-five and older can experience higher education without grading or course credits. One of the classes I’ve taught at the local OLLI is entitled, Literary Tapas. I began teaching this literature class more than ten years ago, and it’s been a highlight of my life every single semester.

As the course title suggests, we read small pieces of literature and digest them using Socratic questioning. Over the years, the course rosters have changed, but there is a core group of loyal learners who have been with me for a long time, almost like family. Being over fifty-five and living in the local area are the only two demographics we all have in common. The class is so diverse in gender, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, first language spoken, profession, economic class, hobbies—we are a veritable melting pot of society.

That makes for extremely interesting class discussions. In fact, one of the learners calls the class “group therapy with literature.” The stories, poems, essays, short plays, first chapters of books, quotations, and song lyrics that we read are simply the diving boards that catapult us into deep discussions about our life experiences. Our own personal stories are at least as compelling as the ones we read. Sometimes we have guest authors attend class when we are discussing their works. Often, we have visiting doctors from the local medical branch with whom our OLLI is affiliated. Anyone who visits must follow our cardinal rule of active participation in the discussion.



As the leader, I’m not allowed to answer any questions. All I can do is ask open-ended, thought-provoking questions to lead the discussion into the realm of higher-level thinking. There are no wrong answers, and through divergent ideas and opinions we all learn a lot about the literature, about the world depicted therein, and about ourselves.

As an author, I’m fascinated by the discussions we have in class. I could write a whole book on what I’ve learned from my fellow learners, but here are a few highlights:

  • ·         While it may be useful to analyze the author’s intent in writing, what’s more important is the reader’s response. What the reader extracts from a piece of writing is the true measure of its worth.
  • ·         Different readers bring different eyes to bear on the piece of writing. No one reader sees it the “right” way or the “wrong” way. All ways are good.
  • ·         A reader’s positive evaluation of a piece of writing is often subjective and may depend on variables such as how many times the reader has seen the selection, what mood he is in that day, how much time he has to interact with it, what others in the group think of it, or even how legible the copy is. None of these things are in the control of the author.
  • ·         Some of the best discussions come from pieces of literature that no one in the group particularly enjoys.

These things show me, as an author, that once I’ve told my story in the best way that I can, and the story has left my hands and been sent out into the world, it belongs to the readers. They can consume it, lap it up, chew on it, swallow it, or spit it out, as they see fit. They can analyze and interpret to their hearts’ content, and they can provide feedback through reader reviews. Whatever they do with it, it is theirs. At that point, I’m just a person whose name is on the cover of the book.

Like the teacher at OLLI, my job is not to answer questions, but to ask them. But as an author, I’m also that person who stands behind the curtain, holding her readers in her heart and mind, wishing them a delightful and meaningful reading experience. If you are one of my readers, you are the star of the show!

Saralyn Richard’s award-winning humor- and romance-tinged mysteries and children's book pull back the curtain on people in settings as diverse as elite country manor houses and disadvantaged urban high schools. Saralyn’s newest release Bad Blood Sisters is available for pre-order now. A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing and literature at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and continues to write mysteries. Her favorite thing about being an author is interacting with readers like you. Visit Saralyn here, on her Amazon page here, or on Facebook here.



Monday, January 17, 2022

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Answering Debra's message from Friday: yes, there is still time for resolutions! Also, there’s time to celebrate last year's accomplishments.

In 2021, I was pleased to make progress in my writing. My short story “Cosway’s Confidence” won second place in the Bethlehem Writers Group annual contest and was featured in their quarterly online publication, the BWG Roundtable. Another of my stories, “Hollandaise,” received honorable mention in the South Carolina Writers Association, Surfside Chapter’s short story contest and appeared in its blog. 

Finally, three of my stories were published in the Red Penguin Books Collection (a group of anthologies) (one twice!): “Beloved Husband,” a monologue based on Norman Baskin, Majorie Kinnan Rawlings second spouse, in An Empty Stage;


“The Fairy Godmother’s Christmas” in Once Upon a Time and Stand Out: Volume Two; and




 “No Legs” accepted for The Robot and Me.

The robot story had to be about the interaction between humans and technology. My story involved Nella Bella, who existed in a fortune telling box and dispensed cards while providing security for her facilitator, a human fortune teller. Without legs, Nella had to find a way to get rid of a spectral being draining her facilitator of all energy and life. A friend of mine called it “a coming of legs” story. I really like that description!

Since October, I’ve been putting some words on paper each day. I’m not as far ahead with some projects as I would like to be, but I’m making progress.

That’s my New Years resolution: to keep moving forward and finishing work. What resolutions have you made?

I wish for all of you the very best in this New Year, in reading and writing. May you reach all your goals!



Friday, January 14, 2022

Resolutions? by Debra H. Goldstein


Resolutions? by Debra H. Goldstein

January 14. Two weeks since 2022 began. If you are like me, two weeks is more than enough time to have broken every resolution you made or contemplated making. That’s why, this year I didn’t make any resolutions. Instead, I decided to roll with the flow.

 

How’s that going? I’m not sure. I seem to be weaving down a lot of different paths. Some of them are fun to explore, but many are dead ends. Of course, even when I know which way I’m going, there have been many unforeseen obstacles ranging from the soaring Omicron numbers to realizing my new sneakers look pretty but don’t fit my orthotics and feet well for extended walking.

 

My writing seems to be following the same pattern as my life. Instead of resolving to write a set number of words a day or so many stories a month, I’ve been letting the muse guide me. How’s that going? Not well. I’m playing a lot more solitaire than I should be. What’s worse, I’m repeatedly surfing the net to see if there are any unread news stories, touching human interest articles, or exciting things reported by friends.

 

The latter makes me happy for them; but, if they are writers, it also prompts a little jealousy. Why are they getting things accomplished and I’m not? I guess they made resolutions that they are carrying through. There are still fifty weeks in 2022. I think there’s still time for me to make and act on a few resolutions. What about you?

 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Gay Yellen: Name That Car!

Does your car have a name? One that captures its true personality? I've named some of mine. After all, boats get names. Why not cars?

By my mid-twenties, I'd already owned two really fun cars: an azure blue Impala convertible and a Corvette Stingray. They were so cool, they didn't need any other identity.

But for reasons best left unexplained, I sold the Stingray and bought a Ford Pinto. I drove it just like I'd driven the 'Vette, fast and furious, up and down the freeways and the canyons of Los Angeles. That little car didn't know it wasn't sporty. I gave it an identity upgrade and named it Penelope, after the wife of Odysseus, because she had spunk.

Fast forward to the 21st century, when my decades-old Mercedes was on its last wheel. Facing a total overhaul, I opted for a new car. At the time, most new designs looked all the same to me. I wanted something I could easily spot in a crowded parking lot, one that wouldn't have me trying to unlock a stranger's car that I'd mistaken for mine. I'd owned some really nice cars by then, and my husband still had his. I only needed a scoot-around-town car. Nothing fancy.

On a fluke, I discovered the Nissan Cube and bought it the same day. I named it Roobix, a play on the name of the guy who invented that other famous cube. Matter of fact, I placed one of his on top the of the little circle of factory-installed shag rug on its dashboard. Roobix is neither sexy nor aerodynamic, but it looks like no other car, and turns out to be one of the most fun cars I've ever driven.

The car is so distinctive that it made a CBS News Top 15 list. Okay, so the list was for the World's Ugliest Cars. But hear me out. It's small on the outside and big on the inside, which is a neat trick if you ask me. It gets a lot of thumbs up as I drive through the city. It has a gizmo that delivers an array of psychedelic lights inside. And the swirly ceiling has a hot tub vibe, minus the heat and the water.

I'm not the only one who's ever been inspired to name my ride. Beyonce called her Jag Honeybee. Obama dubbed his car The Beast. Lady Gaga rolled in her Bloody Mary Rolls Royce. In my Samantha Newman Mystery Series, Sam gives her lowly little subcompact the name Ferret for its ability to squeeze into and out of tight spaces.

And, by the way, my Cube isn't the only car of mine to make that CBS ugliest list. Coming in at #1—Ta DAH!!— the Ford Pinto. Two award-winners! Life is good.

Have you ever given your car a name? We'd love you to share it in the comments below.

Gay Yellen 
writes the award-winning
Samantha Newman Mysteriesincluding:
The Body Business and
The Body Next Dooravailable on Amazon.
Coming soon in 2022: Body in the News
 


Monday, January 10, 2022

Ready, Not Ready (A tribute to Cathy Perkins)

by: Donnell Ann Bell

On December 21, 2021, The Stiletto Gang lost a blog partner and friend. Cathy Perkins passed away. She was able to celebrate her 41st wedding anniversary with her husband, and I know firsthand how proud and delighted she was with her daughters, spouses, and grandchildren. These people were her world.

For the most part, Cathy Perkins was a private person. In this blogpost, I’d like to celebrate the dynamic person I knew, and why I enjoyed her company so much. Cathy Perkins had a soft Southern drawl, a great laugh, a terrific sense of humor, and a gleam in her eye. She enjoyed exercising and was serious about her health. Her myriad interests spanned from finance and science (chemical engineering was her first degree), to walking her dogs, to working with stained glass, and, of course, writing. 

I met Cathy at the start of her writing career, after judging her unpublished entry, The Professor, in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Later, we would serve on committees and a board together, and we periodically texted or phoned to catch up on the goings-on in our careers.

Whether close by or across the country, she loved to attend writing retreats, places where she was in her element and her most productive. Before COVID-19, the women in her retreat group met yearly and were very special to her.

I attended two Left Coast Crime conferences, one in Monterey, California, the other in Portland Oregon. Cathy and I roomed together in Portland where the staff stashed us next to an obnoxious chiming elevator filled with coming-and-going attendees. Didn’t matter, we spent the whole night gabbing anyway. 


Cathy Perkins on a panel at Left Coast Crime


Authors D.V. Berkom, Donnell Bell and Cathy Perkins



Authors Donnell Bell, Susan Boyer, Cathy Perkins & Allison Brennan


Cathy was not one to brag about her education or her successes. The only time I heard her beyond excited was the night she called me from Nashville to tell me The Body in the Beaver Pond had just won the prestigious Killer Nashville contest. That was so cool because I had beta read two versions of the book–the first draft was good—the final version, was outstanding. “This manuscript is ready,” I told her. “You need to get it out there.”

“Soon,” she promised, “When I’m ready.”


I also beta read Calling for the Money, book three of her Holly Price Financial series. In this book, I discerned a better understanding of this financial whiz behind the words and why she was the perfect author to write this series. She traveled constantly during her financial career, and did much of her writing on airplanes. More than once I asked her when she planned to retire.

“Working on it,” she’d say. “When I’m ready.”  

Always a planner, she and her husband had purchased a secluded property in Washington state, they were clearing a tree-filled lot, and were building their dream home. I never got to see the property in person, but trust me, I saw it in my mind’s eye when I read The Body in the Beaver Pond. Cathy occasionally described the labor-intensive maintenance and the construction woes, mostly laughing when she relayed the drama. 

The dilapidated cabin that her protagonist Keri Isles inherits is an exaggerated structure for the real deal. In its place, stands the Perkins’s long-awaited home with its stunning vistas, which eventually came to fruition.

In March of 2020, the Perkins came to visit my husband and me in Las Cruces. COVID was just starting to rear its awful head, and I’m grateful we had these few days to spend together.



Author Cathy Perkins in Monterey

In closing, Cathy Perkins did more living in her six decades of life than many people do who are granted an additional thirty. She loved, lived, traveled, and gave of herself to numerous volunteer organizations and charitable causes. I still have her text messages and I confess I’ve saved her last voicemail. At some point I’ll probably delete it. Maybe . . . when I’m ready. For now, I’m not ready. Rest in Peace, Cathy.


Donnell Ann Bell is an award-winning author, including finalist in the 2020 Colorado Book Award, and the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for her first straight suspense Black Pearl. Book two is on her editor’s desk and she’s working on Book Three. You can learn more about her other books or find her on Facebook, Twitter, or BookBub. Sign up for her newsletter at www.donnellannbell.com

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Clicking Our Heels - Simple Joys

Clicking Our Heels – It’s a New Year with lots of resolutions, but considering everything going on in the world, we thought we’d share something simple that makes each of happy or brings us joy (think an expanded Marie Kondo concept to life).

 

Barbara Kyle – Singing! I’ve sung all my life, in shows when my profession was acting, and now, for the last few years, in choirs. Music is pure joy.

Lois Winston – Spending time with my grandchildren.

Saralyn Richard – Seeing something I’ve planted bloom.

Kathleen Kaska – The biggest joy in my life is seeing my husband smile at me. Coming in second is spending time with my great-niece and great-nephew.

Dru Ann Love – A quiet day all to myself.

Debra H. Goldstein – When words flow.

Kathryn Lane – I have two simple activities that bring me great joy – watching elk in the mountains of northern New Mexico and Zen meditation. My husband participates with me in both pursuits.

Debra Sennefelder – It’s simple and it’s small, but I do find joy in my first cup of coffee in the morning.

T.K. Thorne – What a great question to ponder! It gives me joy to discover a new character or aspects of a character that I’m writing that I didn’t know; to dance to music while cleaning house; to offer support or connections to a young writer; and to sit outside on my front porch and watch lizards and hummingbirds while I write.

Anita Carter– Laughter has always, and will continue, to bring me joy and positivity.

Linda Rodriguez – A pot of nice hot tea, a sock to knit mindlessly (since I’ve made so many), and good conversation with my husband.

Shari Randall – A message from an old friend, clean windows, sunlight sparkling on water, when a favorite old song comes on the radio…simple things, but all make me happy.

Mary Lee Ashford – Family brings me joy. I think I always knew that but have a new appreciation for not just the family get-togethers and celebrations but also for those mundane family moments where you touch each other’s lives in so many ways. This past year has been so difficult being away from family members and one thing I know for sure is I’ll never take that for granted again.

Bethany Maines – My dog. Kato is my eleven year old puppy and he’s as goofy now as the day we brought him home. And even though we’ve both reached an age where people tell us that we “still look good!” he brings a joyful bouncy spirit into the house.

Gay Yellen – Watching my husband cook.

Donnell Bell – Looking at pictures of my grandchildren, playing cards with my very competitive husband, or sitting on our back patio watching the quail and the New Mexico sunsets.

 

 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY STORIES ARE TOLD

By Kathryn Lane

Houston hosted Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Not to miss an important event, Bob and I attended with friends from Angel Fire. So many exhibits are hyped up that we did not know what to expect. Then we left talking about what an amazing show we’d witnessed.

First, you glimpse blowups of Vincent’s paintings that come together though electronic enhancement as you watch. Another room provides photo ops were you can sit in Vincent’s bedroom in Arles and have your picture taken. 

Watch as Starry Night comes together electronically

Then comes the exceptional “Immersion” room where you witness, feel, and become part of Vincent’s paintings as 90,000,000 pixels are projected in a 360° space, while you relax in a beach chair.

Immersion Room with waiting beach chairs.
.
In the Immersion room, don't sit where the train will roar through.

The show's real clencher is the interactive historical journey that virtual reality takes you on as you travel through Vincent’s fields, towns, and cafés. This visually fabulous trip takes ten minutes. At times I had to remind myself I was not flying. I was merely sitting on a sturdy chair as we swooped past cafés and buildings, fields, country roads, and chapels. It’s a combination of cinematography, art, music, and history where you are the observer.

The author, her husband, and friends with virtual reality headsets.

Now that I’ve exuberantly told you about the Immersive experience, I must also tell you I’m not getting a commission for tickets sales. But you should definitely attend if it’s showing anywhere near you.

The real reason that I’m recounting the visit is that this show gives you an incredible ride, but where it might fail is to engage your brain actively, where your own imagination, intellect, and creativity work together to connect the dots.

Maybe by experiencing projections of virtual reality in the future, the human brain will be liberated to create even more sensational innovations. At least that is my hope.

At times, it’s easy for negative thoughts to surface. Thoughts that younger generations are not reading much and that the coming metaverse will create a world where people will not have to solve issues; instead they might only passively partake the virtual world placed before them.

Shows like Van Gogh’s Immersive, social media, and virtual meetings using avatars are the beginnings of the metaverse. These phenomena will change the world.

AVATAR

We are on the cusp of changing how people learn, communicate, and interact. These innovations had been on the horizon yet the isolation and social distancing caused by the pandemic sped up the introduction and use of these tools. Similar to the (almost instant) popularity of the world wide web and the massive adaptation of mobile phones a little more than two decades ago, we will soon grapple with metaverse technologies in everyday life.

Harry Potter Book

As a writer, I think the coming technologies are both exciting and scary. The creative opportunities promised by the metaverse seem exciting. On the other hand, the metaverse will deliver powerful tools that will change how stories are told. Will children in the future want to read Harry Potter when they can experience it through virtual reality? Will people know what their co-workers look like when all they see at virtual meetings are avatars? And what about nature lovers? Will they don a headset to enjoy virtual nature or will they commune with nature the old-fashioned way?

***

What do you think about the metaverse?

***

Kathryn’s mysteries – The Nikki Garcia Mystery series:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B08C7V2675/ref=dp_st_1942428944



Kathryn’s short story collection – Backyard Volcano and Other Mysteries of the Heart

https://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Volcano-Other-Mysteries-Heart/dp/1943306044

 All available on Amazon

About Kathryn

Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.

Visit my website at https://www.Kathryn-Lane.com

Photo credits:

All photographs are used in an editorial or educational manner

Starry Night by Van Gogh - public domain

Two Immersion Room photos - taken by the author

Four people with virtual reality headsets - taken with an iPhone

Avatar and Harry Potter book - public domain




 

Monday, January 3, 2022

A Morning Routine For Real People

New year, new habits, new routines, new goals. It's that time again to re-evaluate everything in our life. Happy New Year! I thought I'd share with you a routine that I've been struggling with since March 2020 (you all know what happened back then, no need to rehash, right?). Up until that month, my morning routine was operating on auto-pilot and it worked for me. So when it got derailed, I was left scrambling finding a new morning routine. So, today we're going to talk about morning routines.


You've seen You Tube videos, read the books and scrolled past Insta-perfect photos of idyllic mornings. On your search for help improving your mornings, you fell down a hole that left probably feeling inadequate and wondering how the heck can you do all the things that you're supposed to do each and every morning?

Your AM To-Do List:

Meditate. Write in your Grateful journal. Write your morning pages. Yoga. Hot water with lemon. Make your bed. Light candles. Exercise. 

Got it? 

I really don't think your morning routine should exhaust you or stress you out. It should ease you into your day and set you up for success. 

But, all those successful authors, CEOs and influencers have amazing morning routines that start at 5am. 

I know. I hear you! But, what I know is that you need to find what works for you. And it's okay not to do everything every single morning. 

Keep in mind, you're probably responsible for someone else or several people in your household and you're probably juggling a job outside the house. Those things are time sensitive. Your kids need to be at school at a certain time, your mom needs to be at her physical therapy appointment at a particulate time and you need to get to your day job by nine o'clock. 

Do you really want to do what feels like a full-days work between 5 am and the time you clock in?

No!

But you want to do all the morning routine stuff. Okay. Create a schedule and rotate the tasks. It's okay to have an uncomplicated morning routine.

Mondays are for your journaling.

Tuesdays you'll do yoga and meditate.

Wednesday do your three morning pages.

Thursday do more yoga and meditation.

Friday journal.

Every morning have your hot water with lemon, make your bed and light a candle. 

Find what works for you and don't compare yourself to someone else. I've been there and it's not a comfortable place to be. I tried to do all the things for a morning routine that would lead to success, book sales, best seller list domination. What did I end up with? A half-filled journal, a feeling of failure and too many lemons.

Leave a comment letting us know what does your morning routine look like.

 

 

 

Debra Sennefelder is the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. She lives and writes in Connecticut. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking, exercising and taking long walks with her Shih-Tzu, Connie. You can keep in touch with Debra through her website, on Facebook and Instagram.