Life, Your Best Life

Enjoy the Little Things

Time goes by so fast.  We work hard all week.  The weekends disappear in a blur if we’re not careful.  Any many of us get so caught up in jobs and errands that we don’t stop and enjoy life.

Do you take the time to notice a sunrise or a sunset?  The smell of a baby after a bath?  Dew on the grass or flowers in bloom?  Or just nature in general?  

Do you have a hobby?  If not, I encourage you to consider finding one.  Yoga, running, knitting or some other type of handwork, photography, playing with a pet, painting or drawing.  

The ideas are endless.  And most are free or minimal cost.  Something that will allow you to downshift from the daily grind.  To destress.  To renew yourself.  We give and give so much of ourselves that we need to find time to refill our well with the things that will give us pleasure.

All you need to do is schedule the time on your calendar to relax.  Make it as important as any appointment or committiment.  Because it is.  It’s important to your health and well-being.  

Since I’ve started taking regular time to pause and enjoy the little things, I’m less stressed and definitely happier.  And I think if you try it, you will be too.  What do you have to lose?

Life, Motivation, Your Best Life

Never a Failure; Always a Lesson

We’re human.  We’re going to make mistakes. I have to admit it. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and failed many times in my life.  In all areas of my life.  

But I know one thing.  I’ve always learned lessons from my mistakes. And those lessons have been invaluable in my life.  They’ve made me a better and stronger person.  I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve learned along the way.  Will I continue to make mistakes?  Sure, I will.  But hopefully, I will continue to learn as I go through life. 

When we learn from our mistakes, we do better the next time.  We only fail when we ignore things and continue to plod through life without learning and growing.  

Life lessons are some of the best lessons.  They may not feel like it at the time, but they are.  Don’t resist learning from your mistakes.  Don’t be too proud to learn either.  Embrace the mistakes in your life and determine how you could have approached things differently.   Live your best life.


Write Without Fear. Edit Without Mercy

The first draft of any novel I write is written without fear. I sit at the computer with a loosely plotted story idea, and as I work I allow my creative side to go where it wants to. Often times I find I’ve lost all sense of time and space. This is called writing in flow and is simply a magical time for any writer.

As the words come I frequently find that my characters have taken over, and I’m no longer in control of my story. Often it seems like I am only along for the ride. The characters have decided on the story direction. Sometimes it is in direct opposition to what I’ve plotted. Most of the time they are right, and I adjust my outline to include their ideas.

Years ago I used to fight them. Over time I’ve learned to trust them. And to give thanks for whatever part of my writer’s brain that is accessed. I have come to realize it’s a gift. I can’t control it, much as I’d like to at times. I simply now accept it for what it is.

If we can turn our internal critic off and allow our creativity the freedom it needs the results might just surprise and delight us.

I see writing as a right brain, creative process, and editing as a left brain logical function. When I edit I try hard not to have any mercy. I divorce myself from phrases, characters and anything else creative I’ve come up with during the writing stage of the book. I am ruthless. It takes an entirely different skill set to edit. I’d much rather write than edit. But both are necessary to produce quality work.

So let yourself be free during the creative process. Then when you edit, take charge of your work and edit fearlessly.

Life, Motivation, Your Best Life

Enjoy the Child Within You

Have you ever seen people who truly look older than their years? They seem to embody all things ancient. Their attitude has impacted how they look, feel and act.

I’ve seen some fifty and sixty somethings look and act far older than some eighty and ninety year olds.

They’ve forgotten how to tap into that playful spirit that lives within all of us. Life has turned into a number for them. A drudgery. They’ve lost their zest for living – and playing.

My father was in his fifties when a group of neighborhood children knocked on our door and asked my mother if my father could “come out to play.” You see, he was always able to tap into his inner childlike spirit. He enjoyed people of all ages. But the children were especially dear to him. He loved to entertain them with endless stories and inspired them to tap into their imaginations. He enjoyed teaching them things and helping them with problems. He never stopped learning and doing. And he never looked or acted old until his health got the better of him in his nineties.

I suggest that we all try to tap into our inner child and encourage him or her to come out and play and lighten our load. Show us how to play again, if we’ve forgotten. Get us to relieve some stress and enjoy our lives. Add balance to the daily work schedule and massive to do items that surround us.

Find a creative hobby that feeds your soul and makes you light up from the inside out. Blow bubbles. Take a walk in the woods or a park. Play with a child and see the world from their perspective. The ideas are only limited by your imagination.

Don’t act old before your time. Enjoy your life. And enjoy the child within you.



If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot.

Stephen King

If you haven’t read Stephen King’s excellent book “On Writing” I urge you to check it out. Originally published in 2010, it’s now out as a 10th anniversary edition. I’ve just ordered it and plan to reread it.

It doesn’t matter in what genre you’re writing, his book has a lot of good information in it for writers of all levels. But it’s especially beneficial if you are a new or aspiring writer, or someone like me, taking up the craft once again.

Years ago, a friend of mine, who is a New York Times Bestselling writer, encouraged me to read widely. And not just in my genre. I’m a firm believer in this and have done it for probably the last twenty years or so. You learn a lot from stepping out of your genre and your writing will benefit from it.

Primarily, I write mysteries and a bit of non-fiction. But I read romance, science fiction, historical, biographies, all sorts of non-fiction, women’s fiction, the classics. Whatever I happen to find interesting at the moment. It not only gives me the chance to study other writers that I would not ordinarily be exposed to, but it keeps me fresh and abreast of what’s being written by other writers. I also read current events and try to stay up on news stories. Being current is important even if you’re writing historicals. As writers we learn from everything we read.

What are you currently reading?

Life, Motivation, Writing, Your Best Life

Time For Change

It’s a new month. Are you making important changes to your life yet in this new decade?

Or are you complacent? Content with your lot in life. I hope not.

Change can be scary. People like their routines. They are familiar. And comfortable. But we need to constantly push ourselves in new directions to be our best selves and to live fully.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

This year I’m resurrecting my writing career. I put it on hold seven years ago when I lost my husband after a very brief illness. Life descended on me. Suddenly I was in charge of keeping everything going. Talk about pushing me out of my comfort zone. But I did what I needed to do, and I learned a lot. However, there was no time to write. Only to do. To stay afloat.

But now I’m ready to stretch myself again with my writing. Yes, it’s scary. I’m rusty. Really rusty. Technology has moved forward in those seven years and things which were once fairly familiar to me have changed drastically. It’s a learning curve to get back up to speed. New writing packages. New ways of reaching readers. New resources which weren’t available years ago. It can seem daunting at times. But it’s also exciting.

Don’t let your fears sideline you. You are capable of achieving your dreams and desires. But you have to be willing to try.

If these last seven years have taught me one thing it is the fact that none of us are guaranteed the next moment. Life changes in the blink of an eye, the sigh of a breath. Why live a life of less than you deserve or want? Decide what will push you out of the familiar and into uncharted waters. Take that first step. Then push yourself further. It all starts with a dream. And idea. A goal. You can do it.

I challenge you today to make a commitment to yourself to try something new or to pick up something you put aside and give it another go. Don’t be satisfied with where you are in life. Reach for your dreams.

Life, Motivation, Your Best Life

Resilience from a Survivor

I’m a survivor. Over my life I’ve faced a lot of challenges. Loss of loved ones. Divorce. Disappointments. Serious illnesses, including both endometrial and breast cancer. I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy. It simply is what it is. At any point it would have been very easy for me to give up. But I didn’t. I’m still standing. And I’m happy to say I’m resilient. And I want you to be too.

So what is the meaning of resilience? The dictionary defines resilience as someone who is able to recover or adjust to misfortune or change.

Life is full of challenges. Choosing a career. Meeting a life partner. Having a family. Children. Taking care of aging relatives. Relocations. Downsizing. Losing a job. Changing careers. Losing someone you love. The list is endless. So how do we weather the storms?

One way is self-care. We should all be practicing self-care. Healthy food. Proper exercise. Restorative sleep. Good hygiene. These are the cornerstones of good self-care. But what about in times of extreme challenge? That’s when you need to up your self-care game. Add in things to compensate for the stress your body is undergoing by whatever challenge or challenges you are currently facing.

Meditation. Massage. A manicure. A new hairstyle. Maybe some retail therapy. A good book and time set aside in your busy schedule to read and relax.

These are but a few extreme self care measures. I’ve used all of them and more. We need to give our bodies a break from the stress.

If money is a problem, what about a long walk in a beautiful setting? Or simply sitting outside and enjoying either a sunrise or a sunset.

Take up a new hobby. Something you’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t have the time to devote to it. Now is the time to make time.

Stress is a contributor to so many diseases – cancer, heart disease, diabetes. It can bring about insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic, or other nervous disorders. The list goes on and on. The Harvard Business Review states that 60-90% of all doctor visits are related in some way to stress. Without a break from the stress, your body can’t withstand the constant attacks. Something will give. You need to find ways of coping. And that’s where extreme self-care comes into play.

I urge you to have great self care now. And to figure out what measures you will take for your extreme self-care – before you find yourself in a situation where you need to put them into play. It’s always better to be be prepared.

I want you to be resilient.

Life, Motivation, Your Best Life

Dream Big

I’m a huge proponent of Dreaming Big. Set your goals out there beyond your current reach. Stretch yourself. Challenge your abilities. Refuse to limit yourself. Don’t settle for average or less than your very best. You have it in you to go far. To reach what you may have once thought was unattainable.

Write down your five Big Dream goals for 2020. Post them somewhere prominent where you will see them frequently. Imagine how you will feel when you reach your goals. See yourself achieving your desires.

Now decide what small steps you need to take for each of your big goals. Steps which will move you once step closer on your journey to success.

Maybe that means taking a class. Or doing research. Or honing a particular skill. Whatever you decide to do produces forward momentum. Each tiny goal achieved results in a step closer to your big goal. Your Big Dream.

What are you waiting for? Seize the opportunity. Our days are finite. Our dreams are limitless. Why wait another moment? Take that first step today. I guarantee each succeeding step will be easier.

Dream Big. Take the challenge. You won’t regret it. And that’s how we should all live – without regrets.

Life, Motivation

If Not Now When?

We are all busy people, That’s a given. I’m constantly trying to wring more time out of every 24 hour day. So far I haven’t succeeded.

Each of us has the same 24 hours every day to live our best life. What are you doing today to be your best?

Or are you sitting back waiting for tomorrow? You’ll try something new then. You’re far too busy to attempt a change today. I have a newsflash for you. Tomorrow never comes. Today is all we have. It is the present. When another day rolls around, it will be today. That elusive tomorrow will always stay one step ahead of us.

Stop waiting for tomorrow. Decide to take action today. Because if not now, when? Do you want to live your life on regrets and might have beens? I sure don’t.


Formulate a plan. Then take the first step. It’s always the hardest. Then each new day, take another step and another. Before you know it, you will have made a new habit and you will start to see positive changes in your life.

Don’t be content with yesterday. Or hope for a different tomorrow. Act today. It’s all we have. Your best life is waiting for you.

If not now, when?

Life, Writing

New Year, New You . . . and Me.

I love a new year. Yes, I know January 1st is just the day after December 31st and people can argue that it is just another day. But for me, and I think a lot of people, it signifies a fresh start. New hope and new possibilities. Time to reassess our lives and figure out what we want in the new year.

Have you given thought to what you want to accomplish in 2020? If not, the year is still young. List those things that would bring joy into your life. Perhaps a new hobby or a new job. Maybe travel. Or taking better care of yourself. We’ve got a whole new decade ahead of us. But our time is finite. Why put off those things you really want to add, delete or change with your life? Start an action plan today. Making a list is a good start. Then rank which things are most important to you. I suggest starting with your top three to five things. Then do a separate list for each one. Decide the small steps you will need to take to implement your changes. Every change starts with those first steps.

As for me, I’m getting back into writing. I’ve already got the second book in my River City Mystery series ready to edit and revise. I’ve started work on an exciting new non-fiction project. Plotting on book three in the mystery series is happening. And I’m back to blogging here on the website.

Additionally, I’m revamping this website. It’s got a new look and is very much a work in progress.

So lots of exciting things happening in my corner of the world. Look for updates here as things progress along. It’s a NEW YEAR.