Stress & Burnout—How to Get Your Creative Mojo Back

Stress and burnout? Here’s what to do!!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image courtesy of Eflon via Flickr Creative Commons Image courtesy of Eflon via Flickr Creative Commons

The past few years have been just brutal. My grandmother who raised me was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it was just one crisis after another and it just never…freaking…let…up. I felt like I was in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being crushed all the time, but not allowed to tap out. Then, on Independence Day (ironically) my grandmother finally passed away.

I really never appreciated how much her declining health was impacting me until she was gone. It was like I was wandering around in a fugue state only aware that my knees hurt. Then out of nowhere a hand lifted off the 500 pound gorilla and I could breathe again. I never noticed the gorilla, never noticed the lack of air, only the knee pain.

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So now I am in the process of rebuilding. I plan on taking a couple days off to…

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How to Add a Bullet List to Your Kindle Book

Jo Robinson of Lit World Interviews provides us kindly with a very helpful article about how to add a bullet list to the kindle book. Thank you Jo!

 

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Lit World Interviews

Here’s a short tip for you Indie writers this week. With a couple of non-fiction books in the pipeline I spent some time a while ago researching how to put bulleted lists in a Kindle book, but came up with the take home that they are a no-no. I know that use of any type of Word auto formatting in an eBook can cause havoc in the end result. It is possible to create a really good looking bulleted list in my paint software and import it as an image without anyone being the wiser, but it is extra work that I’ve just now discovered doesn’t need to be done. The secret is to avoid the auto formatting.

You could have at a bit of HTML coding if you’re so inclined, as per the example below, but I really am not so inclined right now, so I kept looking. Some…

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Author Spotlight – E. A. Comiskey

author picWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

 

The first real memory I have of falling in love with writing came in the fifth grade. We were told to make a journal as though we were pioneers telling of our experiences moving to the western US along the Oregon Trail. It was so much fun to be inside someone else’s mind – someone who was on a grand adventure. The more I wrote, the more ideas came to me. Everyone else turned in three or four pages. I think mine was something like twenty six pages long. I would have kept going if I’d had the time!

After that I started writing all the time. I had binders full of short stories, and I’d turn in math worksheets with stories on the back. A friend from high school once said, “I’m not surprised you wrote a book. Every memory I have of you in school you were writing in the margins of your homework.”

I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t aspire to be an author!

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

         

It’s like a super power! When you write you get to see the world through the eyes of others. You can travel to the future, or back in time, or to a whole new universe, never before discovered.          There are so many things you can ask or say through the wonderful medium of story that you could never get away with in life. You can explore big questions and taboos and those things that one culture accepts as normal, while another thinks it’s completely strange.

I have a great belief in the power of story. Imagine how many people were challenged to consider their worldview by a book like, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” We are all better for Harper Lee having written it. Anne Rice’s book, “Memnoch the Devil” completely changed the way I think of God and my own ideas about worship. It’s a vampire book, for goodness sake! Who would have ever thought? But story is powerful that way.

One of the themes that runs through my Heaven and Earth series has to do with the importance of a culture’s stories and what happens if the people don’t maintain proper respect for them.

That’s what motivates me to write – my belief that stories make us better human beings.

 

 

  1. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

 

I primarily write fantasy because I love the lack of boundaries. My “author motto” on my website is, “exploring the wonder of creation, seen and unseen.” There are so many legends and myths with a common thread that runs all the way around the world. Nearly every culture has stories of immortal blood drinkers, tiny people with magic powers, creatures that influence dreams, creatures that harvest the souls of the dead; I can’t help but wonder if those things are so much more than just stories. Something in our racial memory connects to those ideas. When I write fantasy I can bring those characters in to our modern world and see what happens.

 

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

 

Personally, my goal at this point is to write at least two novels per year: one from the Heaven and Earth series, and one outside of it. I’d dearly love to see those books (at least some of them) become wildly famous and made into movies. I’m doing everything I know how to make that happen. That said, every time I see my little thumbnail on Amazon,  I realize all over again that I’ve already earned the title of “author” and that’s pretty awesome, even if I never make it to the NY Times best seller list.

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

 

I think everyone experiences times when creativity is flowing and times when you just want to lay on the couch and drool because there are no more thoughts to be thunk. For me there are three things that need to happen when I reach that place. One, I need to allow myself the grace to lay on the couch and drool. Sometimes the mind gets tired and you need to rest, and that’s OK. Even God rested on the seventh day. The trick is to get back in motion after a bit.

That’s my second thing. I need to move: take a walk, work in the garden, clean the house, and generally find a change of scenery. I had one story I couldn’t write sitting in my usual spot, but at my dining room table it flowed out of me. I don’t know why one room was better than the other, but there it is. I had to move.

Third, as cheesy as it sounds, I write. It’s usually trash at that point. I might write about the items on the shelf next to me, or what the weather is like, but the act of putting words on paper will usually, in time, lead me back to where I need to be.

 

 

  1. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

 

Learn the fundamentals of the craft. Join writing groups and LISTEN to their advice. They are objective and you are not. Understand why adverbs are not as good as verbs, and what a passive sentence looks like. Learn about point of view and narrative distance. Once you master the fundamentals, remain humble enough to honestly consider the advice of others in regard to your work, but confident enough to know when you are right and they are not.

Also, be prepared to be tenacious.

Remember when I said everybody should be a writer? Scrap that. Writing is a horrible business that will drive you to drink.

This industry is ridiculous. There is no other business where you ask a professional a question and they respond with a form letter that says, “If I want to work with you, I’ll get back to you sometime in the next three months. If not, I just won’t ever respond to you at all.” And authors who have spent years lovingly crafting a manuscript and months perfecting a query are supposed to accept that with grace.

The waiting and the rejection can make you insane. Hold on to your dream and fight for your own success. I have heard it said that less than 2% of people who set out to write a book get traditionally published, but that’s not because it’s the lottery. Only 2% are willing to hold on long enough to make it to the end. If you write one story and query five or ten agents and get a poor response and give up, you didn’t fail. You quit.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

 

My first novel, More Things in Heaven and Earth will be released in September of this year and is available for pre-order on Amazon now. It’s the story of a housewife who has battled against voices in her head her whole life. One day an angel comes to her and tells her she’s not mentally ill. She’s hearing the chatter of the spirit realm and, as one who has the ability to hear both humans and spirit creatures, she must act as an intercessor to bring peace among creation before God decides to wipe the slate clean and start over again.

It’s really the story of her personal journey of faith and inner strength, and there are some pretty intense parts, but it was an adventure to write. It’s definitely written from the point of view of a Judeo-Christian main character, but she has to re-think her definition of truth when everyone from a Nordic goddess to a Lakota shape-shifter come in to her world.

The second book in the series, Dwelling in Heaven and Earth, will be released next July.

 

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

 


 

Contact E. A. Comiskey:

website: https://eacomiskey.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eacomiskey

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LazyHippieMama/photos

 


 

More things in heaven and earthE. A. Comiskey’s book:

Find it here on Amazon

 

Unkissed

Picture courtesy of: http://www.tomford.com/lips-and-boys/
Picture courtesy of: http://www.tomford.com/lips-and-boys/

Kissing is so good for you

It strengthens the heart and the cholesterol too.

It prevents cavities, ain’t that the truth,

and keeps your lips nice, moist and smooth.

**

I don’t care too much of health aspect,

The emotion is important, the way to connect.

A kiss to me is purest trust

Intimacy and bond a must!

**

A peck on the cheek amongst some friends

that’s fine with me, no strings, no amends.

But a real kiss as a couple does

needs some more power, and more buzz.

**

I want to feel the butterflies

want feelings in my partners eyes.

Commitment, pride, and more thereof

Have I ever been kissed with love?

**

Right now I feel like I’m beyond

lived too long, no love, no bond.

Seems my name’s on some blacklist.

Forever, it seems, I’ve gone UNKISSED!

*****

(Copyright, July 2016, Aurora Jean Alexander)

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Zoe on Men and Women: Vive la Différence!

Communication problems between men and women? No problem – just ask ZOE the Fabulous Feline. SHE knows about it!! Thanks Zoe for clearly showing us what we always wanted to know. 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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This is Zoe the Fabulous Feline with a fascinating—and of course, fabulous—topic for today’s story. Today I’d like to speak to you about one of the key differences between men and women. And I’m not talking about the plumbing, although, of course, there is that too.

No, I’m talking about that subject which women treasure and men despise. A subject that women welcome and seek out, while men are struck senseless with confusion and fear at just the thought of it all. I’m talking about talking. Conversation. Communication!

I can hear you from here. You’re just a cat.What can a cat tell us about how women and men communicate? I may be just a cat, but I live with a male human and a female human. What can I tell you about how they communicate? I can tell you in one word—differently. Actually, there are many other words I…

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Author Spotlight – Jack Brutus Penny

IMG_2668Welcome!

When did you start writing?

I started as an illustrator primarily and grew into writing. I moved from free-lance graphic design to illustrating my own work in 2012, though I’ve been both drawing and writing since I can remember, having won artwork, essay writing, and poetry competitions as a child. I may be most proud of my Blue Peter appearance and badge I received for an essay, though perhaps only the British readers will appreciate its significance.

 

 

What motivates you to write?

Everything and anything out of the ordinary. That which makes me pause in wonder, or strikes me by how wonderful it would be, were it so. I particularly like scenes of times and places somehow connected to us but distant enough to fade into antiquity.

 

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write in nonsense and linguistics. As a dyslexic English lecturer living in Japan I have developed a deep understanding of a language that baffles me. Japanese is hard too. But English in its flexibility serves me possibly more than any other language could, as a tool to be molded until it’s broken and shaped until it’s bent completely out. I prefer to allow the language to help my stories take shape, as long as it isn’t a pear’s.

 

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

My goal is to create world’s in which people enjoy the playground of the English language, its etymologies, its idiomatic expressiveness, to both amuse and cultivate the brighter mind.

 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I do. But I work on a variety of projects at a time, and within each project I work on the text, the illustrations, the formatting, and so on, so if ever something seems wholly unwilling, I change my focus until I can catch it off-guard. Some of my best ideas come from when I shrewdly caught them unalert.

 

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Everybody has his or her own approach to creativity. Some profess to reading, but I say be selective. If there is a story you want to write, find someone who you think would most competently tell it, and study him or her carefully. My companions range from Lewis Carroll to Bruegel. It’s strange how we find our voice from listening to others’.

 

Please, tell us about your work.

I’m working currently on a few projects: a collection of sixteen short stories called In Truth Stories, a collection of parables and fables called The Allegaurus, and now marketing a recently released book of 200 riddles, ‘some rather difficult, and others unreasonably so’, From the Riddle Me Collection Volume One: A Stone’s Throw.

 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

 


 

Connect with Jack Brutus Penny:

Website: www.jackbrutuspenny.com

where you can find Jack’s blog for example. Discover it!

 


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00013]Jack’s Book:

Website shop page for the book

The book on Amazon.com

The book on Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Is Being a “Good” Girl Hurting Your Career? Why “Bad” Girls Become Best-Sellers

Kristen Lamb re-published one of her great and fun posts and I decided to re-blog it quoting her: “… because we all need a good kick in the ass now and again, even ME.” Enjoy the post. And yes… I definitely needed this now! Thank you very much Kristen!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Today is a repost because of a death in the family last week. But you know what? Life moves on.  I chose this post because we all need a good kick in the ass now and again, even ME.

It was a FUN post and a good way to get my moxie back….because seriously my moxie got kicked in the face last week. I am sure NONE of you have been there. Feeling like a failure, like nothing you do matters?

Well, get over it. We are going to have a hell raising Monday!

Last fall I read Kate White’s I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. There are bad books, okay books, good books and great books. But there is another kind of book and it’s the rarest.

The game-changer.

White has a witty, sassy style. She is seamlessly intelligent and down-to-earth in…

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