Internet Closet Clean Up

I decided to keep with this weeks theme during my Random Friday post. I worked on my personal goals in June and this has made me look into many aspects of my life.

In this age, most of us have an online self. For me, I have a blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I had almost forgotten about my website. While I wrote in my morning journal all of this came up as I reflected on my future.
Where did I want to go with my online presence? Why was it there?

I came up with these personal goals that you might want to think about. These goals are like house cleaning, but its the internet.

Your cleaning your internet closet. 

1. Remember all the Accounts
I have accounts all over the internet. I have a Tumblr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Goodreads, and on and on and on… The list feels endless. The passwords have become a problem since I change them so often. I wish I could access half of the accounts my name is linked too.

2. View The Profile
Holy crap! Look at how young I am in half of these pictures… and that spelling… damn! I must have been 16 when I created this account. You’re going to be as shocked as I was when I was reading all the about pages and descriptions linked to all these accounts. For example, my personal Facebook page was created when Facebook was born! Same for my YouTube account. I was the generation that got to experience these beautiful sites before ads and all the extras. I never changed the intro and about portions of the profile. I had an old website that I made in grade 8 attached to one of them. It was horrible.

3. Make a List
List out all the accounts you think you have. Access them, this is the hardest part, and delete the ones you no longer want. Sometimes it’s better to start fresh. I created a fresh YouTube and Google+ account because they had all my childishness attached to them. My personal Facebook isn’t for the public eye so that’s fine. With your list written, write notes beside the site what you need to fix. Might be the profile picture, the cover art, website, intro, or a good freshen up to the home page.

4. Delete!
Delete what is no longer useful to you. This is more for entrepreneurs, freelancers, or people in the public eye. I started with my YouTube channels. They weren’t helping me progress with my writing. I found that they were blocking me from doing what I enjoyed. I felt free when they were gone. The same goes for other accounts that you might have spread out. If you’re not checking your message you upset someone that might be reaching out to you. I currently have three emails. A personal, business, and junk email. These are all linked together so I can keep an eye open for people reaching out to me. For my other social networks, I make time during the day to respond. If you can’t make time for that account. Delete it. Build a strong bond with what you love. Don’t let the others drag you down.

5. Update
Is your photo a current photo? Do they all match? Are you a teen in one of the photos? Is the cover photo showcasing the newest item you have for sale? These are great questions to ask yourself as you go through each account to update it. Make sure your email is spelt right, the website is current, and your blog is attached somewhere. These will all help you reach out with a fresh new look.
These are goals I have in place for August. I plan to have a fresh website and a current photo of me plastered all over the internet. Beleive it or not, my hair is down to my waistline. It’s time to freshen up my accounts. I feel the need to utilize my Tumblr account as well. I have some plans written out for what I would like to have on that platform.

Do you have accounts out there that are outdated? What is the oldest account you have still running? I’d love to know what you find as you peek into your internet past.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in paperback and eBook.

Link: Amazon
Link: Chapters
Link: Barns & Noble

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Thin butter on Stale Toast

I’m beginning to feel like thin butter on stale toast. Why? Well, I’ve begun to venture on many paths. This might be something that you’ve felt before or maybe your feeling it right now. I am currently on my blog, Two YouTube channels, Two Facebook pages, and writing my second novel. I also work a full-time job. Balancing life with all these tasks have been challenging. Even with the extra time I have given myself in the day. I’m beginning to think I should mould all of it together in one. I fear that I will piss people off when all they want is to read about when my next book is coming out. Or maybe they’re only interested in learning more about adoption. This blog is a blend of all those things and has been doing well. It helps that in the past few months I’ve been giving it love.

This came to my mind as I did my morning journal. I wrote, half asleep, about what was making my days feel drained. Was it waking up at the crack of dawn, maybe I needed to go to bed earlier, or maybe I was all over the place with my projects?
Audience is key. To get the right viewers or sales you need to know your audience and feed them their favourite foods. People love to get what they’re interested in or else they stop coming around. Am I giving them that? I know the audience of my book is those that like to read darker tales, watch horror films, and love the paranormal. My blog is far from that. My vlogs are far from that. And my Facebook pages don’t feed that fan base. I’m banging my head against the wall. I have created a fluffy platform because I’m a nightmare dress up like a unicorn. There will be changes to this in the future. I would like to grab a fresh warm piece of bread and spread on a thick layer of butter. No more of this thin stale crap.

I don’t think I’m going to keep up with my vlog. I will be deleting my adoption vlog and my vlog that’s connected to this blog. This blog and my Facebook page will become my main focus. I don’t know what will become of me in the future. That’s okay. I will continue doing my morning journal and find the weaknesses in my days, platform, and productivity.

I am human. I am change. I am growing.

Every day that passes I am focused on my goals for the future. My writings and books are my main passion. This is where I want my life to take me. If I eliminate the things that are blocking the path then I will become stronger in my craft. I will have more time for research. I will have more time to study. These are the things I am looking forward too.

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Tell me if you feel like you’ve taken on to much? What do you plan to do about it?

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in paperback and eBook.

Link: Amazon
Link: Chapters
Link: Barns & Noble

5 Benefits of Waking Up at 5 Am

For two weeks now I have been waking up at 5 am. The hardest part of the day is getting out of bed when my alarm goes off. I haven’t been perfect. I’ve turned off my alarm in my sleep causing me to roll out of bed at 6 in a panic. I thought that I would enjoy the sleep in, but that’s not the truth. Amazing things happen in the morning! I can’t picture myself two months ago attempting to crawl from my bed just before work to rush out the door. That part of me seems to be far from where I am now.
Here are the 5 benefits I have discovered in the past two weeks:

1. More Energy!
I’m blown away from the energy I have. If you told me a month ago that I would have energy after waking up before the sun I would have walked away. It doesn’t happen when the alarm goes off. I notice it more when I get home from work. I used to dive into bed for a quick snooze before dinner time. After the first week, I found I was awake until my bedtime without thinking of my naps.

2. Time. Time. Time.
I used to wake up at 7:30, eat breakfast, make lunch, and then go to work at 8:30. That was my morning routine. I now have two and a half hours to focus on what I want to do. For you it might be fitness, for me, it’s writing. I do a half hour of journaling before breakfast and an hour of working on my novel before work. This gives me another half hour to work on my physical health that I didn’t even plan for.

3. Accomplishments
What do you accomplish in the day? Do you make your bed? Maybe paint a picture?
Before I used to get to work and survive the day. Yes! I survived. That was my biggest accomplishment. I felt that my life slipped through my hands. A week would go by and I hadn’t done a thing. I made money which paid my bills. That was nice. That didn’t give me the sense of fulfillment. With my extra time, I accomplish the things that I love. Reading books, writing, even having the house clean…yes, I love having a clean house. This is all accomplished before I go plug away at my day job. I feel more fulfilled from my days. If I really wanted I could hike a mountain with the extra time I’ve grasped. I save that for the weekends.

4. Reflection
This wasn’t going to make it on to my list. When I planned out this post ‘reflection’ was in the collum of possibilities. It was close to the end and I skimmed over it multiple times. While I drank my coffee I found that I was staring at the word. It was true that every morning I reflected in my journal. I wrote my ideas down in a sleepy mess. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to read what I wrote. 5 am me isn’t the neatest writer. In my journal, I wrote about my goals, how I was reaching them, and if there were negatives in my previous day. This freed my thoughts for more creative possibilities. I knew what I needed to do. I felt free of the overthinking that I had been trapped in for many years.

5. Peace
It’s quiet at 5 am. I sit out on the front porch with my coffee and a book while the sunrises. The birds sing their morning songs while the world begins to wake. I feel that peacefulness while camping, on vacation, or on a hike in nature. The thought of it happening at home never crossed my mind. My morning now gives me that moment pf peace where I can breathe.

 

I hope that this helps you discover that you do have time in your day for the things you want to do. It might be shifting things around, dropping the things that you don’t care for or waking up earlier. You can find the time for the things you love if you just make them a priority.
What are the things that you enjoy doing? Have they been pushed aside for other things? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Cheers!

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in paperback and eBook.

Link: Amazon
Link: Chapters
Link: Barns & Noble

Adoption in Writing. And then, Adopting…

I started writing Wicked Soul Ascension long before I started thinking about children. I knew Mark and I would want children in the future, but we never talked about it. My main character from Wicked Soul Ascesnsion, Blaze, was adopted by her family after she lost her mother and father in a fire. I never thought that years later my husband and I would enter the adoption process after my novel was published.

The problem with having written an adopted character:
I didn’t know much about the process or the traumas of an adoptee. I heard many stories about international adoptions and domestic adoptions. I also have experience working with children that have been adopted. But now, I’m going to be the mother of an adopted child.
How will they feel when they read this fictional story?
Will I ever write about an adoptee again?
These questions have been weighing heavily on my heart.

On the other hand…
Maybe my child will want to become a writer. I can’t wait to read to him/her books while we curl up in their bed. Trips to the library.

This adventure is the scariest one yet.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

Youtube Vlog about our adoption:
Latest Video
Our Journey to Family

 

When your breaks fail…plan the crash.

This week is a fine week for cycling. Bike to Work has kicked off. Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like a fine ride down the trail. I hadn’t hopped on my bike in a long while. Maybe, five years or so. I got scared off it when a friend of mine drove into fishing line one day on the way to work. Someone strung fishing line on the Galloping Goose in Victoria, Canada. Other cyclists had been hurt badly. It used to be a beautiful two-hour ride to work past waterfalls in the forest. This week is a fine week for cycling. Bike to Work has kicked off. Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like a fine ride down the trail. I hadn’t hopped on my bike in a long while. Maybe, five years or so. I got scared off it when a friend of mine drove into fishing line one day on the way to work. Someone strung fishing line on the Galloping Goose in Victoria, Canada. Other cyclists had been hurt badly. It used to be a beautiful two-hour ride to work past waterfalls in the forest.

This is my journey to work on my bicycle.

Monday, May 28
Day 1:

The first part of my trip was a thin dusty trail. Grass spikelets whipped my legs as I blew past. The path widened enough to see the roots of the trees ripple the ground ahead.  With the roots behind, the smooth road before me, I let out the breath had I caged, Not so bad, my mind lets me believe. Then, I slipped in a few patches of fine sand as the trail dropped into a steep decline. I pulled on my breaks. My tires unable to grip the rugged trail slid as I turned up onto the bank of shrubs. My pavement tires weren’t meant for the rocks bigger than my fists.

Best walk it. You won’t be able to stop in time… you’ll drive off the cliff over there. My thoughts were no friends of mine. Just then, another cyclist blew by. Took the rocky decline before turning effortlessly onto the trail. I felt like a scared kitty-cat. I walked my bike. Unable to beat the fear.

The thin path leading up to the rocky decline.

I breezed through the main path. Memories of all the fun my bike and I used to have together flashed through as I listened to the ocean lick the beach.

There was a small hill at the end of the road rusty me forgot how to gear down. The weight of my lunch, sweeter, and purse pulled me to a stop halfway up. I laughed as I climbed off to push it up the rest of the way. It felt great. Breathless yes, but I couldn’t stop the smile, the random giggles, or the calm of the wind on my face. My tires kissed the pavement and speed me towards our destination. Ah, the rush.


I turned onto the road I had mapped out. All that joy and glee sank down inside to cower in a corner. There seemed to be no end to the twisted hill that stood before me. I wouldn’t make it. There was just no way I could push myself up that hill even without my bike, lunch, and everything else. With no way around it. The sight of sucked on my energy like a carnivore pulling marrow from a bone.
Sweaty, breathless, and exhausted. I pressed up the hill. I tossed away the heavy doubt. Shoved every time my mind reminded me how much weight I decided to bring that day. I took about four breaks. One for water, and the others to attempt to catch my breath.
Finally, the hill leveled out. I mounted my bicycle once again. Work was less than a minute away. When I looked at my watch… only a half hour had passed since I left home. The hill seemed endless.
With an extra half hour, I stopped by the local Starbucks for a hot cup of coffee to relax before braving my job at the daycare.

The way home nearly killed me. Nearly. Not quite one hundred percent. Like ninety eight…yeah, that sounds right.
I thought the hill in the morning was a monster. Told my boss that too. A nasty monster that chews on your lungs as if it were taffy. The claws that dig deep into your heart and squeeze so hard that each heartbeat pulses through your whole body. Hell was that hill.
I was wrong. Horribly wrong.
I love when writers foreshadowing stories. Like tiny hidden puzzle pieces. Cute, adorable, pieces. I hate however…when it happens in real life and involves me cycling up a hill.
After a hard days work. I imagined a nice flat ride home on a different route. I went up a tiny hill that leads me to a nice paved road home. Once I was far enough away from a quick escape… it began. A hill with a delicate incline so subtle that you never noticed in a car. It steepened once and awhile as if the hill enjoyed taking new bites out of my legs before a lengthy chew. All the nasty words I said about the first hill, I took all of it back. That hill was a nice hill. Quick and sweet. Ripped off fast like a band-aid. This one was like listening to the dentist drill into your tooth. My home was at the bottom of the hill. On the other side. All that peddling seemed pointless. The smooth ride down cooled my face as the breath came back to my lungs. It was peace after a hard day. Wonder at the end of a horrible movie.
Have I ever mentioned that sounds make me jumpy? You might know the sound. You squeeze your breaks and it squeals. Not the, you need to change me. The, You’re going to die!
That’s not a nice thing to say to someone when they need you as you plummet down a hill faster and faster. The other break, the jester, gave you a very important lesson when you were younger. Don’t touch it. It looks safe, but pull it wrong and the jokes on you. My second option was to hit the ditch. Blackberry bushes with all their prickly-nastiness seemed a better idea than the pavement. The gooey water could be okay. All the while I touched my rear break wishing for it to work.

Snap. Not normally a good sound while on a bike. Or pop. Both bad sounds. When blended together and the hum of tires follow. No squeal warning me of death. Just the ease of break pads slowing me down to view the ocean.

I can die another day.

Tuesday, May 29
Day two:
The knowledge of the trail let me predict the what came next. The first drop after the sandy patches seemed less steep. The fist-sized rocks shrunk into small chunks of gravel. I caged the breath in my lungs as I rattled off the drop, across the gravel road, onto the main path. I wondered as I passed the chattery squirrels, the windswept trees, and the ocean’s side, what on Earth made me so terrified? I have an unreasonable fear of pain. I don’t know when it started, or why it started. It grew over time. The slippery slope was only a small accomplishment. And yet, the thrill over left me ecstatic. When I got to the first hill I geared down, leaned in, and conquered that too!

The rocky hill.

I decided to take a different path. Past the monstrous hill. The new challenge was steeper than the last, but it was short. I could see the finish line. I felt the day was in the bag. Nothing could stop this winning streak.
My tires seemed as if they needed air on the way home so I swung into the gas station for a quick top up. As I tried to slow to a stop…my breaks betrayed me. They squeezed the disk ever so gently. Whatever I did the night before to fix my breaks issue…failed. I had to go down that steep hill with the inability to stop. Thank the stars I decided to get air or I might’ve been typing this from a hospital bed.  I didn’t think I’d ever need the tools my mom got for me for Christmas. I kept them in my bag for those just in case, but will never happen, moments. A nice guy asked me if I needed a hand with it. Me being me, I declined. I was going to learn how to fix these things on my own…even though I almost just killed myself by doing just that.  Breaks tightened, I took a ride around the mall parking lot. Not the smartest plan. You know. A car pulls out of a spot fast and I can’t stop. Oh well, I survived. They worked…sorta. The sickly squeal made me second guess myself, but I did have the power to stop. And I did stop. I made it down the hill while my bicycle screamed the whole way down. The light at the bottom turned red and I coasted to the line. I made it. I made it.

I think my bike is trying to kill me. This I should think about while I ride tomorrow.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook

The Nightmare of Page 40

Wicked Soul Ascension
Chapter 3 Page 40

This dark nightmare that Blaze endures is one of my favourite scenes. When I first approached it I wanted it to be lighter so I could ease the readers into my madness. But, when I wrote the scene it was blah! I crumpled chapter three into a ball and threw it into the recycling.

(Spoilers…Sorta…)

Here is the dissection of the nightmare of Chapter 3:

I reapproached the nightmare with a new angle. The night before I sat down to rewrite chapter three I had a horrible and yet amazing dream. There were ups and downs all over the place. It was like riding a rollercoaster without the safety harness. I knew then how these dreams should play out.

The nightmare had to be about school. Most nightmares that happen are about things we fear or cause us some form of hardship. Ether in the past or in the minds predicted future. At least, that’s from my experience.
Blaze, main character, the students at the school bullied her for being different, easy to pick on, and socially awkward. The teachers never gave Blaze a chance to work through the trauma she had experienced as a small child. Blazes’ mind is a dark eery place where the most twisted things were allowed to happen. I decided that the students and teachers needed to be displayed in the most Blaze-ish way possible. Meat hooks were a great foreshadowing choice that I snuck in. Those of you that read the book…did you catch that?
I took away the sound of the room. The blood that dripped from the open wounds, no creaks, or steps were all void of sound. Loud music in horror movies, even the lack of music, usually means that something is going to pop out. So, I wanted to try it out in a book. I loved the result. It truly added to the emotion of this scene.

After it was written.
The finished nightmare in chapter three made it’s way to my favourites list. I ended up reading it at the Laughing Oyster Book Reading Series on Vancouver Island, Canada. I had never read in front of anyone since English class in school. I mumbled my intro to the crowded room. My hands vibrated as my knees grew weak.
And then, I read the two pages.
When I finished I glanced up from my sheet of paper at the audience panicked that I picked the wrong passage for the crowd. I meekly said, “thank you,” into the mic.
A pause.
Nothing.
Not even a cough.
Finally, they all let out a breath at the same time before they began to clap. It was then I realized how intense the passage was. That the air in the room was sucked out while the audience held their breath.
This is my goal. I want my readers to truly feel the aura of each scene the way I read the nightmare of chapter three that day.

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook

I have done a live reading of this scene on my Facebook page.
Skip forward to 14:12 for the reading.    (Click Here)

 

Writing: Scenes for the Senses

After writing Wicked Soul Ascension I considered getting my head checked. The settings that I had imagined in my head were twisted and brutal. I dampened them down to let the reader’s mind add in their own details, but that didn’t make them less scary to see, write, and read. The senses of the reader had become a fascination as I attempted to put them right in the midst of the story.

For Wicked Soul Ascension, I felt the settings were everything. They had to be right! Not only did the objects need to be in their places, but the colours had to have a role in the play of emotions. Red, crimson, are colours that I used to bring forward the readers emotions. This colour was obvious. It was the greens and blues that were hidden in corners of the story that brought light into the darker places of the Sinful Realm. Since colour is mainly grey and red in the realm, the brighter colours reminded Blaze and Hope of the Earthly Realm. This played on Hopes mind since she began to ask to go home.

When I first brought sound to the story I felt awkward. It felt cheezy. Really cheezy. After I did a read over I couldn’t see the story without it. It would have taken the wind out of the air and quieted the whole story. A world with the absence of sound was not what I was going for. So, I added the crack of bone and the slam of a door. It accented the scenes like a mint leaf on top of vanilla ice-cream.

It’s fair to say you wouldn’t want to taste a book. The ink and paper don’t please the tongue. On the other hand, if writers do it right, you can taste a story. I’m a huge foodie. I love different tastes and textures of all types of foods. And when an author adds this element to a story I get all gitty. Since Blaze undergoes a dramatic change I tried to make the reader taste and smell the world around her as she experienced it all for the first time. This was fun to write. There were times I would go and smell/taste something so I’d write it right. There were odd looks from those around me, but research is research.

Wicked Soul Ascension taught me that a story is much more than words. I knew this from reading a book, yes. But, everything changes after writing a book. As a writer, I realize that the reader has scenes that you can play with. I hope to develop this skill as I grow. My goal is to have the reader engaged with more than their mind. Book two, Mortal Soul Ascension, is going to be released soon. I hope to apply my expanding knowledge to the book as I do my read-overs.

 

 

WSA

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and eBook.

 

 

 

Extra:

The Void.
The void had to be my most favourite plaything while writing WSA. I could do whatever I wanted in that nightmarish dream space. The scene at the school was the beginning of it all. Once I let the sinister writer out, it became hard to put her back in.