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

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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

A Month of Tears. A Month of Happiness.

The end of November is a fearful day for NaNoWriMoers. These writers are finger cramped, shoulder achy, and brains are pulled like taffy. The 30th of November is a time to cheer and/or a time to cry. They have to write a novel in a month. That’s 50, 000 words!

Here’s how it happens:
National Novel Writing Month…November.
Goal: Write 50, 000 words in a month.

November 1st: Writers at the ready? On your marks, get set…GO!
November 3rd: Thinking everything’s fine. A little behind, but that’s alright.
The first Saturday: Turn off the phone, ignore people that live in the house…write like the end of the month is tomorrow.
Sunday…day off. Saturday took all the writing ability out leaving fingers and arms like wet noodles. 3,000 words over the target. Do’in alright.
This lasts until the next Saturday.
November 11th: Take the day off for Remembrance Day (Canadian Holiday) Push writing aside, only a few thousand words off of the goal…
November 18…another Saturday…when did that happen? Oh! No! No…no…no! Write with fingers on fire. Nothing makes sense but it’s words, that’s all it needs is words…right!
Four sleepless nights, 79 pots of coffee, 13 bags of chips, and 2-3 missed showers later. Finally back on track.
November 25: The last Saturday of the month. Sleep becomes a distant memory. Could cry tears of coffee. Might turn in to a potato chip…when is the last time a real meal was eaten? What’s that smell?
November 30: Finally did it. A winner! A winner! Pumps arms in the air. The smell knocks out the dog and cat from the stink, but it’s okay. A NaNoWriMo Winner!

I’ve devoted 4 years to National Novel Writing Month. I won all four times, although I deleted last years win from the website. That’s how badly I pushed myself. The whole thing was a mess.
This year I aimed higher than the 50, 000 because I had won each year I’d competed. This year I aimed for 60, 000 finishing with 62, 000. I was quite proud of myself for getting there. I did, however, avoid all contact with the world outside of my own imaginary one. I did shower, go to work, and eat regular meals. Other years…well, not so much.

What National Novel Writing Month has taught me:
I’ve learned that I can write a novel in two months. Why it takes me until November every year to complete my novel is due to the goal. I need to start setting personal goals, as well as keep to those goals. Without them, I don’t think I’d get anything done. This is something I am going to strive for in 2018. I will start setting personal goals. Who knows maybe in November 2018 I will be working on a whole new trilogy.

Cheers,
C. B. Dixon

To All Those Writers in NaNoWriMo,
I know that you tried your hardest. The month is a hard adventure that can take you to some strange places; physically and mentally. Remeber on all the good times; laughs you might have shared with your characters, writing buddies, or things that happened to you while you were writing. Remember all the friends you might have met online as you posted for help, shared stories, or Instagrammed a picture. Reflect on all the fumbles, mistakes, and blocks that you might have had. How did you get past all of it? Did you grow stronger as a writer because of it?

To Those Who Didn’t Make the 50k,
Life can get in the way of many things. You put yourself out there, you tried. Great job! It’s hard to write a novel in a month. I hope to see you next year, and the year after that, and then the year after that.

To Those Who Won,
Congratulations! Your back must be sore. Go relax with a nice cup of something other than coffee/tea. Maybe a bottle of rum? See you next year!

 

Wicked Soul Ascension 
Want a read that will get your heart pumping?
Available in print and ebook.
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
Barns and Noble 

Music and The Writer

I was a young child setting up dance routines to the soundtrack of The Labyrinth with my cousins, or singing made up songs on the trampoline. My poor parents had to deal with this tone-deaf child that couldn’t keep a beat. No matter how bad it was, I loved doing it.
I lost interest in music when I got older. I liked it as background music, but I would never turn it on to clean or just sing-a-long. I hit a strange phase as a teenager.

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Fast forward to 2017. I still can’t keep a beat. I can never remember the words, but I sing-a-long anyway. And…cleaning without music! Hello! I’m sure that’s a sin!
For my first novel, Wicked Soul Ascension, I only listened to music to distract me from the other noises in the coffeeshops where I wrote. I lived with roommates at the time, and most of the time they were great. I had my writing times, but my desk was in the living room for a while. I kept pushing writing for another time. The room was always too busy.
It was during this time that I refound my love for music. Listening to songs with lyrics was hard. I ended up writing in some of the words into the manuscript my accident. I had a hard time editing that out. So, I listened to classical music. Violin, cello, and acoustic guitar became my favourites. I branched into other types of music from there.
After I published Wicked Soul Ascension I had dug my claws into 50’s, punk, classic rock, and pop. I had grown up with classic rock from my dad and pop from my mom. I found my love of strange music all on my own.
I now have Spotify. I didn’t think my music collection could get more strange. I have a playlist I listen to as my characters are getting through their day by day, one for when they’re in battle, and another to add that eerie effect.

I’m glad that music found me again. It was meant to be. I find that music makes me a better writer. The music seems to pull my imagination out of its dark corner so I can see it in full view. There are still thousands of songs that I haven’t heard that I was meant to hear. Just as there are thousands of stories within me ready to be told.

Here are some of the songs I listen to almost daily. It’s always changing and growing. That’s the joy of discovery.

Old Favourites:
Misunderstood by P!nk
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked by Cage The Elephant
Joker And The Thief by Wolfmother

Random favourites:
Chasing Ghosts by Against The Current
Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown By Volbeat
Places We Were Made By Maisie Perers

My music doesn’t really have walls. I don’t listen to one thing. I pick out the books I read the same way. It’s like my brain has no borders when it comes to liking something. I rather like whatever (music, books, coffee) for how it makes me feel instead it’s label/brand.

What is your favourite song? Do you find music motivating?

Cheers,
C.B. Dixon

(I will keep howling out my favourite songs when I think no one is listening. My poor dear husband.)

Check out my novel: Wicked Soul Ascension 

Writer by Night

Jumping back into the swing of things has never felt so good. Like a drink of fresh cool water, this week has started off leaving me feeling awesome. Last night’s writing session didn’t really go as planned. I only typed out a few words. I’ve come to realize that I can’t win every time I sit down to type.

I have found a rhythm that has worked for my writing and other daily activities. I love to swim laps at the pool and go out on hikes. Writing at night has become a great way to unwind from the day. I am able to work on Mortal Soul Ascension after dinner until it’s bedtime. While I sleep I dream up new events and my characters get more defined in their personalities. This system has been working. I hope that I will be able to stick with it and get this first draft over and done with.

Self-edits and revisions have become my favourite parts of writing. I hated it the first time I did it. And now, I enjoy sitting down with my manuscript to change it from a jumble of ideas into a readable story for all to enjoy. I can’t wait until Mortal Soul Ascension is at this point. Novemeber is ever creeping closer.

Wicked Soul Ascension will always have a place in my heart. My first book that got me to where I am today. Since I wrote it I have become a stronger writer that is letting everyday strengthen my craft. I am taking what I learnt from that experence and applying it to where I am going from here.

Happy reading!
C.B. Dixon

 

If you’d like to get a free preview of Wicked Soul Ascension click the link below.

Adoption on the Brain. YouTube: Fumble

I made a Youtube video yesterday and realised that I wasn’t in the right head space to make one. Lately, I haven’t been able to talk with all these things going on.
(Link to the video: Adoption Education Program.)

Writing a book, working full time, getting debt free, getting fit, adopting from foster care, and vlogging about the adoption. It has taken up more time then I imagined. I haven’t been able to time manage all these things. I’ve realized after I posted my video about the AEP, adoption education program, that I mumbled about the weather more times then I would have liked. I rushed through the editing so I could make dinner.

I need to rethink about how I would like to manage my time. I did this for my writing last year and I was able to publish a book. A schedule is needed when you have so much on the go. I love writing. It is my main passion when it comes to life. I would love for it to be my full-time job so I can have flexible hours when Mark and I are placed with our child.

Above all…
Adoption has been weighing heavily on my mind.

Adoption has taken up most of my energy as I have been trying to contact social workers, educating myself about adoption, and talking to friends and family about the adoption. With my YouTube channel, Our Journey to Family, I have tried to answer as many questions about our process. There are weeks where we haven’t moved forward and I am online looking at profiles of the Children in Waiting. Every time I read those little profiles my heart hurts for them. I know we can’t adopt all of them…
With the vlog, I hope to educate people about adoption. If I could get one more family to think about adoption then I will be satisfied. It was an easy choice for us, but that’s not the case with everyone else.

Adoption can be scary. You don’t know the trauma that your child will come with. It’s a hard transition for the children that come into your home. For one, they were chosen to be part of a family. And on the other hand, they were given up/taken by their biological family. Mark and I both had blessed childhoods so it’s hard for us to truly relate what the child will be going through. We both know we have the patients and the support from our family to help our child however they need.

Vlogging about adoption has me facing my biggest fear. People hearing my voice. I am trying to get better with how I present myself on camera. There are moments though, where videos like yesterdays happen. Where I mumble about everything under the sun, and the sun. I should rename the video Rambles by Chianne due to me bouncing all over the place. But the vlog is a life vlog as well. The adoption in at the point of a standstill so there isn’t much to discuss.
I want to do a video covering the emotions that go with being able to see the children’s profiles (no pictures) and wondering about our lives together. It has given me much to think about. There are many more videos that I would like to do covering trauma, FASD, and what we learn through our AEP and home study.

Now it’s time to hit the time management board.
If there is anything that you would like to learn about adoption or have an adoption story please let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading,
C. B. Dixon

 

 

OurJourney toFamily

Click to see YouTube Channel

 

 

Mindful Life: Waste and Money Go Hand-In-Hand?

Step back for a moment. Wonder that for a moment. You might be thinking that I’m a crazy writer that wants to blast the world with my conspiracies about great living. I’m not. Really and truly I am seriously letting you know I have saved money by managing my garbage. Yes, my garbage has helped me save money and I’m about to tell you how.

I live in a small tiny town where it takes a boat to get to me. Please keep in mind that my prices for things might be more than yours due to the fact that I do pay more than you for my products. Local is cheaper here.

Let me begin the tale of the Benckhuysen garbage plan. Here we have to pay $2 per 50lb. garbage bag. It adds up over time. Think $4 a week for a month, then a year. There are approximately 53 weeks in a year, so that’s $212 a year to get my garbage picked up and gone.

Hmm… that’s ridiculous, right?

That price is if we never recycled anything, it might even be more. Taking out our bottles, and recyclables our cost is half that. Bottle recycling we get money back, and plastic, paper, and glass are free curb pick up. This is a great incentive to recycle if saving the planet wasn’t good enough as an excuse.

There was one thing missing. Something we didn’t know we could do in town here because there is no facility this far up the coast. We had no idea we could compost our table scraps, yard waste, and A&W food wrappers. Yes, we now compost those. Ever see that label on the side that says compostable? It’s not lying to you.

On Monday, August 21st we started our composting journey. I had a lovely conversation with a woman that worked at the library coffee shop about how Mark and I started to compost our table scraps in Victoria. She went on to say that she composted everything in her cafe. She only had a small round garbage bin beside this five-gallon bucket. I thought the smaller one was her compost bucket…but I was wrong. The barista went on to say how she wants to have zero garbage come out of her cafe.

Pointed in the right direction I found the small composting bin beside the recycling place in town. The person that runs the operation came out as he saw me studying the signs. I tried to memorize all that information…he gave me a list of things that could go into the bin and things that can’t. He told me how to contact the facility if I ever had questions. I told him about how my husband and I were trying to be as waste free as possible. The reactions from people are amazing. He seemed thrilled with the idea. He took me aside and told me that there will be a curb side test. 500 people will be selected from town to see who will actually use the program. If there are enough participants that keep up with the program a compost facility will be built closer to town. Right now all the bins that collect the compost go down the coast to a place near Vancouver. After the conversation, he gave me an empty cat litter bin and sent me on my way.

Week One.
Goal: Go from two regular white garbage bags to one.

At the end of the week, Mark and I filled the compost bucket with our scraps, coffee grounds, A&W compostable wrappers, and tea bags. Our garbage…well, I think we need a smaller bin. I thought we’d at least have half a bag filled. We just covered the bottom. There’s not even enough in there to put on the curb sided. Our goal was easily met. We no longer have to pay as much for garbage bags. We might be able to make one box last us a year. Imagine only having to buy one box of bags a year.

To save money and waste we also carry around our own water bottle and travel mug. Mark loves his tea, and I can’t function without coffee. It may only be a 10 cent discount or one free refill. If you’re like me and drink more than one coffee a day you will save yourself dollars by bringing these things with you. That goes for bottled water. Have you seen the price tags on those things?! Water’s free here in Canada. Where ever you go, whether it is a gas station or cafe, water is free unless you pay for a bottle. Save yourself the dollars and save the planet from one more plastic bottle. Use a reusable mug/bottle. It’s worth the change. For your wallet, the planet, and your health.