Do You Believe in Luck?

What a question to throw at readers? Does this include superstitions or just how we look at luck. Just how you look at luck. Superstitions have been handed down by our family members for many years. True, it is important to look at them and get a sense of your past history and family, but they are not your own.
Luck on the other side of the coin, so to speak, is YOUR thoughts about your life and what can make it better for you. This has nothing to do with what you know of past history, but it is how you make YOUR history work for you.
One of the first things I expect all of you to look at is….people feel lucky when they expect the best things out of life and themselves.  In other words, if you believe in yourself, you are more motivated to keep pushing forward to reach your goal.  Sure, you may have your own lucky charm and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a symbol that represents your possibilities to ‘jump over the rainbow’. And if this makes you feel better, hey go for it. For some, it is wearing the big “R” color (red), or something outlandish from their normal ho-hum styles. For guys, it might be the ‘power’ suit, or the outlandish tie that makes a statement for them.
It does not matter as long as it makes you feel active about your expectations. You’ve gotta go out there and make your own statement. Hard? Pardon me, but it can be damn hard.
Your luck comes from YOU, and you need to let people know who you are. Some days, and I’m speaking both male and female, you want to come out of your norm and shock people. For females, this might mean a new style you’ve never tried like short skirts, tank tops, and jeans, tight jeans. For males, it might be just a step away from suits, ties, stuffy outfits, and into cutoffs, jeans with small (very small) holes and no shined loafers. These examples are not for the faint of heart, but it gives you an explanation for some of the boundaries we have gotten ourselves hooked on. We are not carbon copies of each other and what works for one, may not work for another, and the list goes on and on and on.
This has to be something for you to try to make yourselves stand out in a crowd. Lucky people are not afraid to start conversations with strangers. This is called ‘networking.” Get outside your comfort zone and experience new avenues. It is not always easy to talk to strangers, but you just may find your special needle in that haystack. What you need is to stretch out of your comfort zone, check out other avenues, and trust your gut.
When the day is done and you relax, think of the new world you have entered. Hey, you’ve still got tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow to check things out. Uncertainty is a situation is what we writers strive to achieve. Because with uncertainty, we can change the whole outlook on life, love, and chapters.


 Patricia says, Happy Writing, Happy Journeys, and Happy Happenings to all of you.


On Fire

This is what it feels at the conference and makes you want to keep the fire burning until the next conference. Yep, the Georgia Romance Writers  and their great Committee for 2016, held the M&M Conference, INSPIRED…WRITING YOUR LIFE CHANGING NOVEL… from 9/29 – 10/02 2016, and inspired we were.

We celebrated the Maggie Award of Excellence Finalists, in both published and unpublished writers. Roxanne ST Claire, published and well-known author, was our Keynote Speaker. Jennifer McQuiston , GRW Featured Speaker, who now lives in Atlanta, and we received great information, not only on veterinarian, but always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks.  Mary Buckham, gave us our last big Craft Workshop. She has her characters set in Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fantasy, and really where they want to go. Then, we had the opportunity to make pitches to agents and editors. Our Conference offered us opportunities to pitch to Laura Bradfore, Nicole Resciniti, Cat Clyne, Patience Bloom, Elizabeth Poteet, and Stehanie Doig. These are not listed in any particular order, only to let you know the wide variety we were given the chance to offer our pitches.

Registration and Trivia started on the first night, and the opportunities to learn new writing procedures, make old writing procedures new with thoughts and techniques.

We had a huge celebration on Saturday night with a Book Signing, cocktail hour, and the Maggie Awards for Excellence.

On Sunday morning, after a Continental Breakfast, Mary Buckham gave us three hours of Active Setting and Body Language. It was one of those learning processes that makes me stare at people and their positions.

Writers from all over came to our conference. I met writers from New York, Chicago, ST. Louis, Miami and these are just a few. Our Conference has grown in size, opportunities with the great staff that puts all this together.

I came home saturated with thoughts, ideas, and most of all, the renewal of writing. It is when you hand write, or put your fingers on the computer keys and see words form into thoughts, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and more chapters that you are fulfilled and keep those words filling the page.

To all of you who put this big conference together, to all of you who attended, and to all who came as a first time attendee, mark your calendar for 2017. May you be INSPIRED to continue your writing journey and who knows, this may be your ‘LIFE CHANGING NOVEL.’


You Are It!!!

images_068You hear your name called and cannot believe, ‘YOU ARE IT’, the next month’s speaker at your writing club. Your throat tightens, sweat pours down your neck, and you look around for something to use, just in case you can’t swallow.
Instead, you smile and wave your hand. You do not trust your voice at this point. After the current meeting, many people walk up to your table and congratulate you. You hear, “So glad it’s you. I couldn’t talk much less make sense. Others come by with more remarks: I didn’t know you gave talks, you are always so quiet,” and another mentioned “My knees would be shaking so hard I couldn’t stand up.” She just doesn’t know my knees are knocking against each other under the table as she speaks.  The Program Chair announces your topic is on writing, and we need to hear more about your new book.
This helps some, you do know your book from the beginning to the ending, cut speaking you’ve never done. You take a deep breath and smile. AT least you have a month to work things out, like your talk, your voice, and your fear.
In one month, you can put all of this together, starting now. You practice with a tape recorder and listen to yourself. You talk too fast and the words run together. No one could understand a thing you are saying. When on replay, your voice never changes pith and the words fall out dull and sometimes slurred.
In the second week, you slow down, and since it is your book and you know the characters, your voice takes n their attitudes and their voice. Soon you find yourself having fun with your characters and the audience will enjoy them too. Do not forget body language and move with your characters. So, you screw up, laugh at yourself and the audience will laugh with you.
Look at your audience. People want to think that you are looking at them and not everyone in the room. Give them the best you can with a sincere attitude, honesty, and smiles.
Have fun and your audience will have fun. Now you know you can write and have turned a new page in your book–speaking. The best part, you are still standing behind the podium with the mike in your hand. Do not wait for the audience to applaud, turn the tables and applaud your audience.


















This is a skill a lot of us still have to study. How many times do you hear one thing and reply before the speaker is finished? It goes back to learning the basics of being a good conversationalist. Listen. Listen. Listen.
As writers, we will sometimes be asked to read and talk about different writer’s article, manuscript, short story, or poem. This is what we do when we critique. You must be fair, clear, concise, and think before you speak. These words came from the heart and though we might not agree, a gentle answer will help more than the writer. It will also help you, as another writer and reader. Be friendly and look for the good things the writer has to say.
Friends have all kinds of problems. We have friends, who are bubbly all the time, and then those who can only talk about negative feelings. We are not all alike and we have to keep an open mind. Be authentic when talking with different people. We all have problems, but we do not need to share them with everyone. Sometimes, negative feelings and talk bring our spirits down. This is when listening can benefit the person and where you need to stop and think before you speak. Try to be affirmative and not criticize.
Be respectful of another person’s point of view and keep an open mind. It is the various friends who enter our lives that make everything interesting. If you are listening, face to face, look at the person and not around the room. This signals full attention on the other person and lets them see your compassion. If you are on the phone, keep your voice soft and gentle. This shows you are listening.
During our lives, we will run into many different types of communication. All we can do is listen, show respect for the other person, and keep our minds open. I remember a statement from eons ago…We have only one mouth to talk, but we do have two ears to hear.  LISTEN…LISTEN…LISTEN…THEN SPEAK.


 Laughter cures. Problems are more manageable when you have a smile on your face. This makes things look smaller and when problems shrink, life looks a little better. A smile on your face also makes others wonder what you have been doing, or what you are planning. Stop for a few seconds and look around you. This could be at your friends, co-workers, family members or strangers. How many of these people you see are smiling? Everyone has so much stress in their lives, they have forgotten how to smile. No, not the little attempt, but a big lip-smackin smile that covers all of the face, eyes included.
Then you have to be able to laugh at yourself. When this happens, other people will either join in or shake their heads at your behavior. Laughter has a way of helping other people see a different side of life. Even babies enjoy watching laughter and soon are able to do this on their own. They learn their own voice, the wave of their hands, and the happy face of their mother, father, brother, sister, and even the dog. Soon, the baby learns of the noise that comes from their mouths and the fun begins. Giggles are another sound that a baby learns and practices quite often.
As we grow older, we forget about a lot of the practice we’ve had and all of a sudden — no laughter. We become dull, uninterested in a lot of life, and wonder what has happened.  WE FORGOT TO LAUGH. What’s wrong with laughing at every thing we can. It is a healthy attitude that gives us a full life and we are lucky .
Have you ever noticed a pet respond to laughter? They do, just as other people respond to our positive attitudes. You have a new pet and it listens to your speech and mannerisms. Oh, yes they do. When you are happy and smiling, your pet feels the warmth and gives back in their own way. They are attentive and become attached to the routine you established with them. They are some of our best friends.
Still, there is another area of life that needs smiles, laughter and hugs. How about our grandparents, aunts, uncles, or the older generation of our families or friends. Loneliness becomes the better part of their lives and  we can brighten their days with a smile and laughter about ‘the old times.’ When there is laughter, there is no age limit and one size fits all. Do yourselves a big favor and Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. It’s free, non-fattening, great stomach exercise, increases the lung capacity and makes everyone feel better.
Happy You. Happy Laughing. Happy Times.







Where is your concentration?

images_074 Yes, here I am searching for my concentration. As you can see, there is a lot of scraps of paper, twisted paper, eyes staring into space, and nothing getting done. I am in that lost phase of work. I can’t focus and my mind strays to other projects, which are not complete. What is going on? OVERLOAD. One word says it all, but why? We will look into this situation and it is shared by many. A study from Microsoft, about a year ago, discovered we have an average attention span of eight seconds. EIGHT? So, I began counting 1, 2,…..up to 8. Sure is not a long time. Our brain takes in most everything and do you realize how fast it works to keep us going on different projects? No wonder we get lost, confused, when there is so much to do and so little time. We need to step back…STOP, LOOK, LISTEN.
With the stop part, look around where you are and count the ways of instant gratification.  I can name just a few from my desk:  television,  channel changer (or whatever you want to call it), microwave, cell phone, coffee maker, any device that helps us get something faster and faster. Our brain picks these up and gets habituated to the stimuli. This is where we need to STOP from time to time and maintain your concentration. Give the brain a break. Take some deep breaths and slow your thoughts and heart rate down. Inhale in slow motion, and exhale in slow motion. LISTEN to yourself as you list the tasks you need to do. There are scads of them, but do they need to be done immediately? If there are a lot, make a list and do it the ‘old’ fashioned way…prioritize. When you stop to make the list, you are in a sense giving the brain a breather. As you prioritize, the list may get smaller and you can incorporate some tasks.
We have wrapped ourselves around multitasking and then find we need to go back and make corrections. A cell phone is a nightmare when it is turned on 24/7. You may not answer, but always look to see who is calling or who has called and this distracts you from what you are doing. Then we have to look back to what we were doing and sometimes the thoughts are not there or we cannot put them back in the same pace. Bless our brain, it can’t handle more than two big tasks simultaneously. A part of out brain is designed to work on one task while another part of our brain focuses on another task. There is no room for a third task.
Yet we can help ourselves by deep breathing and keeping our mind in the present instead of letting it wonder. This can be accomplished by turning off the cell phone or putting it on a ‘do not disturb’ notification, and then hiding it in a drawer. You will not fall off the earth. Now, think again at the difference between your days and your nights. (It might be backwards if you have a night job.) We all know to dwindle down the TV, the computer, and begin to relax before we fall into bed. At night your breaths become less labored, more relaxed, and your brain gets energized. You wake up to a new day with energy and the ability to make this YOUR CONCENTRATION DAY. How many times have we been told….stop and smell the roses. With our level of activities daily, now is the time to give those roses some sniffs.
This also applies to exercise. We need this to keep our bodies and mind working and in good order. Sometimes, we work frantically hoping to gain the results of a slimmer body, more curves, bigger biceps. Then after a couple of weeks, the gym doesn’t look so inviting. We want instant gratification.  But, do you stop and ask yourselves, how long it took you to get out-of-shape? No. Slow down and get your only body in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually. Time is a great healer of all ails, but it takes time, perseverance, and you will gain results as well as your brain.

Happy Concentration. Healthy You. A Happier You.


Where Is Your Creativity?

Do you ever feel like you are in a big dark hole and struggle to find your creativity? Hey, don’t sweat it, because we all have gotten lost in this intense struggle. Instead of digging yourself deeper into the hole, get yourself on the outside and try something new. Seeing things from a different viewpoint shakes up the brain. What about using the brain for push-ups of your mind. Forget the errors, the typos, which will be caught at revision times. Notice I made that plural and just write. Yep, it may come out as ‘crap,’ but even that can be turned into useful material. Your mind is working and nothing should stop the flow.
Okay, you learned about a friend getting  an agent, and you are still struggling to find one. Wish the friend the best and close your mind to all of your self-intended jabs. What you need is to block out the noise or the chatter of social media and hold onto what means the most to you. You matter the most and the creativity is what you want to give to your readers. You cannot create and not write.
Look at your writing as an escape from the everyday world and play with all the ideas that swim in your mind. These ideas could take you away from your story at the moment. Don’t rush the ideas away, rather play with them for a while. That funky little gift shop might be just the place to visit. No, I don’t mean walk through, but meander and look at all the creative ideas non-writers have made. As you leave, your mind is running in circles and you have thought about one of the items and a story you could give it to make the scene come alive. You’ve sparked your creativity.
Your creativity is a gift and is yours to use daily, not just when you think you need it. Creativity is a relationship with yourself and the world you want to share this with. Let your imagination run wild. Do not try to reign this in, rather give it more new things to see, to do, and a lot of extra rope to turn many corners and you never know what you might pull back inside.
Now for some personal news—August 4, 2016 was my last day as a Silver Sneakers® Certified Instructor. I retired.Hard decision, but a necessary one. Our class had been together for eight years, regular members, new members, but eight years and lots of life changes.  If I remember how to download, here are a few pics of the last day.

Look at all the smiling faces. I’m honored.

Dolly, Russ, Patricia  Last class before retirement.JPG

Thanks for everything and the flowers are great.