Lost ConfidenceYes, you read the title right. How many times do we make changes in our daily lives? No, forget about the little things that drive us crazy, but major hurdles to climb or jump over. Deadlines are changed and never forward, always yesterday. If you are writing, you know the ones where the edits were due and you still have one more chapter to go through.

What about passwords?  I could write a book on passwords and their strengths, but who remembers all the letters, caps, numbers, the %%% and then the &&&, and then the oops, forgot to lock the number key. Yes, we all have to make certain our lives and our work is secure. Yet, there are days I feel like a machine that is half-broken and can’t remember where I was or where I need to start. Hey, maybe I finished and…

Yet, one thing I learned, there is so much more to be learned. Learning is one part of life that never stops and this also involves change or changes. Ya, gotta learn to roll with the ball and go around corners, curves, cut your own way, and yes have fun. I took a good look at the picture and decided PUG would be his name, gotta love that tie. You can’t tell if he is disgusted about wearing the tie, or just in one of those “so what moods.”

Moods are indicators of changes we hit along life’s highway. Angry does not get us to the next mile post. Impatience has a tendency to increase the anger, if we can’t get something like now. Do some of these things come to you through your characters? Here we are writing and need to give our protagonist or antagonist something to bring a surprise into our scene. Well, here is your chance to bring out all of your ideas on change and changes. Try them on your characters and see how they fit.

Before long, you will laugh at some of the things you are asking of your characters in trying to put them through so many loop holes. Yet, we do the same things to ourselves every day. Why be serious all the time. Laugh, Have Fun. Pretend. Give yourselves day off from all the changes. Then go back and you can change your characters’ personalities. Let them have fun too. Lighten the atmosphere. If they want to be eccentric, maybe that is just the point you need to make in this scene.

Changes will happen every day, several times a day, but you do not always have to make them. Changes are possibilities arising out of complications. Make sure you need to change, want to change, and give yourselves time to make changes, even give this time to your characters. Maybe the ARC is not happening for them or you. Don’t push the scene. Instead be like PUG, just stretch out and watch what happens, with or without the tie.

Happy Changes.  Happy Contemplations.  Happy Writing.



images_005Yes, I can hear you now. One, this is Tuesday. Two, Madness goes with March and basketball. All of this is true, but when the madness hits, believe me, you will know how it feels.

After a beautiful weekend of sunshine and warmer weather, I wanted to hit the week at full speed. I needed to accomplish so much. Revising my second novel topped the list, followed by all the classes to teach, and the usual laundry, cleaning, cooking, and DREAMING. Yes, I consider dreaming as part of being alive.

Madness hit early Monday morning. I did not hear the alarm, which started the day out in a hurry. Running late is no fun; no keys played on my computer. Dressed and ready to tackle the day, the car keys are not in their usual place. I looked in all the areas I could think of, which are few in a small condo, and found nothing. Panic sets in. Where? They are not in the car as I need them to get inside. And, I am inside, right?

Ready to scream and let the neighbors wonder, I picked up my gym bag and heard a sound unfamiliar with tennis shoes, towel, and other necessities. I did a thorough search by dumping the contents on the floor, including the keys.

A deep breath for more air, as I raced out the door. At the elevator, I ran back to make certain the door locked. One good thing. The elevator was slow. Can’t waste precious time, so practiced some of the choreography of the class.

Now, inside my car and headed to the gym, all the traffic lights became red. Even the songs on the radio seemed odd and off-key. Lunch? I could see this sandwich in the fridge and my water beside the plastic bag. No time to run through any drive in.

Made it to the parking lot with a growling stomach, but no accidents. Maybe the madness is passing. Of course not, there were no small bottles of water to purchase, only the BIG ones. I searched the cracker rack for my favorite, which has peanut butter inside. None left. I couldn’t teach with a stomach screeching, so settled for crackers and cheese.

By mid afternoon, I was headed back home. As I locked up and opened the door, my keys dug into my hand. No way would I misplace them, today. Dropping the gym bag on the floor, I opened the fridge and pulled out my sandwich and a small water. Taking my lunch to the sofa, I sat back and relaxed. A small sacrifice, before the evening chores.

As the sun tried to hide behind the horizon, I took time for a small dream and found maybe these Mad Mondays are there for a purpose. To make one appreciate every day. Yep, it is Tuesday and I feel almost back on track.

Enjoy every day, even if it turns out MAD. It is one more day to conquer in a week, month, year of days to come. If nothing else, Dream your biggest dream on your MAD days.  Then. . . .



images_126Here we are in the period between Christmas and New Year. I get asked the same questions every go-around. “Did you make your New Year Resolutions?” My answer is always, “No.” People look like I am from some unknown species.

My thoughts….you can write something down with blue/black/red/purple ink on a piece of white/beige, notebook, or journal paper. Yes, anyone can do this and within 24 hours, one resolution is down the drain. Or you can go for weeks, even a couple of months, and then you fall off the wagon, so to speak. Your attitude turns sour, you consider yourself breakable, and you give up on all the other resolutions. Do not fear . . . you are not alone.

You want the best for yourself, and who doesn’t, but you cannot change all aspects of your life overnight. Yet, in the small time frame of the New Year, you are supposed to make yourselves over beginning in the next twenty-four hours. Go girl. Go guy. And when you find all the answers, please let me know. Nah, be kind and keep your answers to yourselves.

Have I made these famous “resolutions?” Sure. Do I make them any more? “No.” I make challenges to myself and here are some of my ways to push forward, when all else fails. Simplicity is a great companion and is always there, if you let different ideas into your head, heart, and mind.

Write yourself a letter with pen and paper. Let ideas flow from your head, down to your heart, through the pen in hand, and onto the paper. What do you want to do in the next year? What do you want to accomplice? What big surprise would you like to happen for you. Put some thought and effort into your letter. Be honest with yourself and do not go overboard. These ideas are yours, make them realistic.

When you finish, read your letter out loud to yourself, fold, and slide into an envelope marked:  FOR:__________________ (your name) OPEN: DECEMBER 31, 2014. Seal and put in a safe place for the next year. You can look at the sealed envelope, you can think about the items on the paper, BUT DO NOT OPEN. You will surprise yourself and feel good about you and your letter.

How do I know? I’ve done this for years. Sometimes things change and sometimes a subtle difference sneaks into my life. One request I have made over and over for a long time came true in 2013 – to get my novel published. Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract for “Crushed Circle,” and we signed on December 9, 2013. Publication date still unknown. When I know, you will too. Will I stop the letter to myself. “NO.” I have more books to publish, more books to write, and when I open my letter on December 31, 2013, I will know what other things have happened this year.