BEGIN AGAIN: 50 Resolutions before I’m 50.

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It started as a way to improve my life. Yet, the joke was on me. Life somehow ended up kicking me in the ass instead. Eleven weeks into my resolutions, I became depressed and angry and nothing seemed to matter. Except my kids.

When the world falls apart around a mother, there is no hiding in bed for days or running away. You have to get up each and every morning, put on the best damn smile you can muster and face the world. The kids deserve that.

What else got me through? A few of those silly resolutions I’d made that had become habit. Exercise, meditation, and thinking about gratitude made each moment better and better. Everything else? I’m working on it.

So where am I today? One hell of a lot stronger than I was. Bring it on world, I can handle it.

So I’m beginning again one month into my forty ninth year. I want a better life and I’m going to continue to move toward it.

So what is my 12th Resolution? To never give up on resolutions. When I backslide, I get right back into it. No excuses.

Are you ready for a journey? I am.

 

The first 11!

  1. Journaling
  2. No television after 8pm
  3. Exercise everyday
  4. Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.
  5. Meditate everyday.
  6. No sugar.
  7. Finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning.
  8. Look over my To Do list before I go to bed.
  9. Write at least one blog post per week.
  10. Watch something in French once per week.
  11. Add gratitude into my journal.

 

Fifty Resolutions in Fifty Weeks Before I’m Fifty. Resolution 11

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Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes, goals remain out of reach even though you want them so bad and you try with all your might to grasp them in your hand. My habit for the past few weeks has been to focus on all that is wrong with my life in my journal. I complain and whine and declare how unfair life has been to me. Then I head out on my day and things become brighter. The sun is shining, my children are happy, and my circumstances are not nearly as bad as other people’s. In fact, it becomes almost embarrassing to have complained at all.

This week, I’m adding a twist to my journaling resolution. I have to start each journal page with a blessing, something in my life that provides me with joy. My goal is to leave the negative behind and find something positive in everything that affects me. If I can’t change something, I can lament that fact on the pages, but then I need to move on. If I can change something in my life to make it better, I can begin my plan right there. Ultimately, my happiness is my own to make and there are so many things around me that foster joy, I’ve just been overlooking them.

Until next week!

Resolutions so far.

  1. Journaling
  2. No television after 8pm
  3. Exercise everyday
  4. Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.
  5. Meditate everyday.
  6. No sugar.
  7. Finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning.
  8. Look over my ToDo list before I go to bed.
  9. Write at least one blog post per week.
  10. Watch something in French once per week.
  11. Add gratitude into my journal.

 

50 Resolutions in 50 Days Before I’m 50: Resolution 7

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I’m at the 7 week mark and my resolutions have been swallowed up by my busy life. Excuses abound. I have to go to a meeting or be in court, I have to drop off or pick up the kids from school or another activity, I have to get a manuscript to my agent or write a synopsis. All a bunch of BS excuses.

It was Katy Regnery who kicked my ass into realizing that saying I’m going to follow my resolutions and actually following them are two different beasts. So I need a resolution that brings the first few weeks all together.

My resolution this week is to finish the meditation, the exercise, the journal first thing in the morning, before my day fills up with my ToDo list or my mind falls into my stories and I refuse to come up for air. I’ve got this!

Journaling

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No television after 8pm

I’m really good with this one.

Exercise everyday

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I am force feeding myself a salad a day. It makes me feel better after I eat it, but I’d prefer French fries.

Meditate everyday.

I have to do this first thing in the morning.

No sugar.

Surprisingly, I am handling the no sugar thing pretty well. Although if you offer me a brownie- I may have to kill you.

50 Resolutions in 50 Days Before I’m 50: Resolution 6

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This is the hardest resolution I’ve decided upon so far. I’m giving up sugar. No candy, no brownies, no pumpkin spice lattes. As an almost 50 year old female, I’ve noticed my weight climbing even though I’ve been eating the same diet for years. More exercise doesn’t help.

The fourth resolution of drinking a nutrition shake and eating a salad a day have increased my well-being because I’m finally eating nutrients that help me stay healthy. The weight however? No change.  I’m not looking to drop to my high school level weight, but merely to rid myself of a stomach that seems to rounding out. That is not a good look for me.

So far, I’ve lasted 8 hours. Will I have birthday cake and an occasional piece of chocolate? Probably. Although if I find that my cravings become overwhelming, I may need to back off long-term. One week at a time.

How am I doing with the rest of the resolutions so far.

Journaling

I stink at journaling. I thought this would be the easiest resolution to keep. It’s not.

No television after 8pm

This one is going strong. I work at night and spend time with my family. When I have free time, I read.

Exercise everyday

I’ve been doing great with this. Mostly by running a mile every morning. I feel stronger everyday.

Eat better, at least one salad and one nutrition shake per day.

I am finding creative ways to have salad every day. Supermarkets have prepared salads where you mix the ingredients and go. They help.

Meditate everyday.

I’ve been doing only two minutes per day and have a hard time concentrating, probably because I’m in the middle of plotting a new novel and the plot invades all of my thoughts. I’ll continue to add time to this as I get better.

 

 

Romance Writers Weekly: Story Ideas

This week we’re delving into the origin of story ideas. If you’ve come from Fiona Riplee‘s blog, welcome!

One story idea that came to me as a gift from someone else is the story of Alexandra Northrop from Untrue Colors. She was the reason the book was written.

I had written two books about wealthy sisters who must overcome huge obstacles. When I pitched them to an agent, she told me to add a third sister.  Trilogies sell better. The problem? The books were already written. So I added an estranged sister in Europe. she refuses to come home. The first two books never sold. That left Alex alone in Europe, away from her family. Why?

Untrue Colors was a blast to write: Here’s an excerpt:

Alex sat in her favorite booth in the back corner of the Yellow Dog Pub with a Coke and a cup of pumpkin-and- Gruyère soup and pulled out the book Matisse, Father & Son from her backpack. One of the students she’d met offered to check out books for her from the library, and she devoured every one she could lay her hands on. She’d created a comfortable yet temporary life in Oxford. She dressed as one of the students at the university, lived at a youth hostel, and earned money by helping a pub owner clean up after closing. Still, she felt far from safe.

“Gabe, how’s the soup?” Matt, the owner, asked.

She’d become used to being called Gabe West. Gabrielle, her mother’s name, had been the only name she could think of when she’d arrived in Oxford. West reminded her that her family was across the ocean in Boston. Since moving to

Europe eight years ago, Alex had kept in sporadic contact with her family. Since meeting Luc, she’d had zero. They didn’t need to become mixed up in her problems. Luc was too dangerous.

She took a spoonful and savored the first taste of her main meal for the day. “You outdid yourself.”

“Glad to hear it.” He sat across from her, his wise blue eyes framed by laugh lines. “Listen, love, some bloke has been poking around the local pubs asking about an undocumented French art lover with a pert little nose and an air of desperation. Never did hear you speak anything but English, but thought I’d give you a heads-up.”

Her spoon dropped into the bowl, splashing some soup on the table. She clasped it again as though it was an accident and raised her eyebrows to appear interested in Matthew’s statement, but not too interested. Her body tensed, ready to run away from this sanctuary. Had they found her? 

***

Alex in Paris

Alex in Paris

Continue on to read what Leslie Hachtel found as an idea that eventually came to light and see you next week!!!

 

 

2016 Booksellers’ Best Winner

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I attended the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference last week in San Diego. What a great opportunity to meet with my agent, editors, and my friends. The highlight of the week was learning that my novel “Untrue Colors” won the 2016 Booksellers’ Best Award for Romantic Suspense.

I also did a book signing there with over 400 other authors including many of my favorites. If you are near the Orlando area next July, come on out. It’s such fun and all sales are donated to support literacy.

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