Year of BOLD Revisited

Hey everyone!

So, a year ago I made a post about my “one-word theme” for 2019, and even though 2019 is far from over in a lot of ways, today felt like an excellent day to come back to it. I found a note card tucked in the back of my notebook, and I had written down all the ways I would know if I was truly being BOLD in 2019. It was a wish list in a lot of ways, but they all required work. I couldn’t be passive or vague about any of them:

bold

Looking back on this list today, I have to wonder a little about the Law of Attraction. Have you heard of this before? The way it was first explained to me, my boss in college told me to, “Tell the universe what you want, and the universe will deliver.” At the time I really wanted to study abroad and go to Italy, but I wasn’t sure I could ever afford it. I told her, “I hope I can make it happen.”

“No,” she told me. “Don’t say you wish or you hope. Say you WILL go to Italy. Then you’re putting it in the universe, and by the Law of Attraction, it will come to you.”

I think about that a lot these days, especially when I look back on my “Year of Bold” card. The thing is: I forgot about this card for most of the year. I tucked it in the little pocket at the back of my notebook, and it disappeared from my memory until today. When I read it, had to smile, because all of these things happened in one way or another.

Yes, some were simple: “I will study some screen-writing.” All that took was a simple textbook purchase. Others involved a lot of little layers, and sometimes, lucky timing. They didn’t all happen in ways that I imagined they would. Technically, #8 never happened at all. I interviewed for a new job that actually ceased to exist. But a few weeks later, a job I never saw coming opened up. It was a very similar description, lived in the same office, and it was even better suited for me. I’ve been there for about eight months now, and I still can’t believe the way it all worked out. It’s perfect.

Writing was interesting. My idea well was dry for a lot of the year. The words came at a slow drip, if at all. I worried that I had written my last book. But in September, I dusted off a manuscript I’d forgotten about, and now, ROSES IN THE DRAGON’S DEN has a sequel on the way. It’s drafted, contracted with cover artists and editors, and three months ago, it only existed as a a few chapters and a dead idea.

The Law of Attraction means different things to a lot of people. Some invoke magic. There’s talk of the idea that our thoughts have mass and physically influence the world around us. There’s always the religious implications as well. As for me, I’m open-minded, but I’ve boiled it all down to this: When you tell the universe what you want and you’re willing to work for it, it will answer in one of three ways:

  1. A resounding and emphatic “YASS!”
  2. A thoughtful, “Yes, but not right now.”
  3. “No. There’s something better for you around the corner.”

As for 2020, I haven’t chosen a word or made my list yet, but I look forward to editing Books 5 and 6! I continue to embrace the challenges and rewards of writing and in my day job. I know I have another house move on the horizon, which isn’t to say the last moves weren’t a needed change.

As we get ready for a new year and a new decade, give this a try. Come up with a word that means something to you, and tell the universe what you want. Write it all down. And if you’re willing, share your word in the comments! I could use some ideas 😉

Wishing you a wonderful December!

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2019: One-Word Theme

Happy New Year! Because we can still say this for another week or so, right? For about as long as it takes us to stop writing “2018” on our checks and homework assignments and stuff…

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know I had tremendous optimism for 2018, but didn’t enjoy the year that much at all. Great things did happen and I will forever be grateful for the good that occurred. But looking back at 2018 is like looking at a mean lunch lady who chucks your pizza at you from across the cafeteria. Yes, she’s giving you food, and yes, it is PIZZA for goodness sake and you love it, but she’s being incredibly uncool about it and you have to get up and face her wrath every day, and it probably costs money. In fact, she probably beat you up and took it from you, then threw the pizza at you and screamed at you to “SAY THANK YOU!”

Despite all this, I still rang in 2019 with tremendous optimism, and I hope you’ll let me share some of that with you for your year to come. I spent a few hours downtown last night and watched a jazz band called the Hot Sardines play at the Fox Theater. It was so great to soak in the infectious energy, not only from the band but the people who dressed in their best “roarin’ 20’s” attire last night, like they were ready to go “roarin'” into 2019 and insist on enjoying the next trip around the sun. I also love that social media crackles with positive energy around January 1 each year, but there are always a few downers who insist that “No, the new year will NOT be any better, because time isn’t real and humans invented it.” Fair point, smarties, but isn’t it also true that we can all be a little better? We can go into the lunch room with catching mitts, for example, or bring our own pizza. 🙂 We don’t have to go in with difficult resolutions. I actually didn’t make any resolutions at all. Every year, I simply pick a word of focus, and use that as a “theme” for how I will approach challenges.

There’s one moment in particular that I want to take with me from 2018:

Image may contain: sky and airplane

This photo represents a time when I seized an opportunity and went ALL in on something new, even when all possible outcomes scared me. It was a short adventure that could have changed my life in a number of ways, but in the end what it really changed was my perspective and what I believed about myself. It was a time I knew my future was in my hands alone, and that I had the full support of people who cared. It was a time when I felt bold.

Bold (adj): showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

This is my word of the year! I know what it means for me and how I can practice it in writing and life, but it may mean something different to you, or you may have an entirely unique idea of what you want out of 2019. I’m here to encourage you to grasp onto that theme and not to be afraid of it, whatever it is. If there are a couple of days where you notice it slipping from you, it doesn’t mean 2019 is a bust. It means “let’s stand back up and try this again. Let’s be stronger, wiser, and face the year with an open heart.”

Wishing you all the best in the year to come!

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The Year of Calm

Hi Friends!

I wanna start off with a request: Stand or raise your hand if 2017 was a 10 out of 10 for you.

I see three people! Good job, three. You’re the most optimistic people I know. For all of you still sitting, I’m right next to you! This was a weird, weird year, and I wasn’t totally in love with it. I don’t have to describe it all to you. We know our news feeds have been trash fires almost every other day–so much that I took a “Facebook detox” for about three blissful weeks just to get away from some personal negativity.

And I also know that there’s been a lot of good. I hope you can agree and that you’ve pocketed some really great memories this year. Having celebrated my niece’s first birthday and been invited to serve on my first author panel recently, I’ve definitely had my “10/10” moments. But I won’t call it a 10/10 year. Not by a long shot.

I want to share my goals for 2018 and my “one-word theme”:

  1. Add my current novel-in-progress to my publishing contract.
  2. Complete one novel and one short story.
  3. Go somewhere I’ve never been before.

So here’s my one-word theme: CALM.

Let me clarify. I want my life to be full of exciting new adventures, and I don’t want 2018 to be the exception. I hope it’s filled with places I’ve never seen, things I’ve never done, and new opportunities. I hope I see many new faces. That is something I thrive off of.

It’s on the inside that I need to do some maintenance. I know it sounds cheesy! But I’ll share that sometimes my ambitions and my anxiety get in the way of a healthy mindset, and in turn, a healthy body, and sometimes at the expense of great opportunities. I sometimes worry that the world will open up beneath my feet if I don’t get x amount of words on a page or 50 hours into my work week, and then when I accomplish these goals, I ask “Did I do enough? Are these words strong enough? Will people actually like this?”

As an example, my family recently discussed the option for me to travel to Hawaii with them sometime in the new year. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, but without hesitation, I shook my head and said, “There’s no way I can make that happen right now.” My mind was already spinning before I could sit and process it. What about my schedule? Am I on any deadlines? Will so-and-so let me?

But if I can sit, calm down, and be present for a minute, and be okay with taking ten minutes of not doing something, the bigger picture comes clear. I have enough vacation days stored up for this. I’m not going to forget how to write if I sit down on a beach. I can scribble notes on an airplane if I’m really worried about forgetting them.

So 2018 will be the year of CALM. (Literally, I’m going to use the CALM app on my iPhone and hope to meditate around three times a week!) Sometimes we make the best progress by stepping out of the hustle-bustle and off our Facebook feeds, taking a deep breath, and allowing ourselves to recharge. I know that’s what I’m going to do.

Do you have a one-word theme for 2018, any goals, or something you hope to accomplish? (Or any books you can’t wait to read?) Feel free to share ’em with me and I’ll cheer you on! Whatever that is, I want to wish you the best as we close up shop in 2017 and get ready to start a brand new chapter on the calendar!

Happy reading,

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