Happy New Year everyone!!!
It’s 2015, and another year of possibilities is ahead of us!
New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap because so many of us set goals, but only a fraction of us are committed to the steady progress it takes to achieve them. But why the eye roll or the scowl from so many folks every time we utter the word resolution this time of year? Should we instead just stop hoping and dreaming, give up on setting goals, be complacent to drift along the river of unrealized dreams because we might not ever accomplish what we set out to do? Best to scrap that gym membership or that online course before we even begin, eh? So negative. So grumpy. Such a buzz kill. Those voices sing their song of woe from a glass half empty. Dump it out, and reclaim your glass. Then, fill it to the top with what you want most. To me, a New Year’s resolution is just the spark I crave as I kick off my journey toward achievement. Thinking about getting there gives me momentum. Fire at my back urging me on, and fire up ahead beckoning me. The act of setting and sticking to goals is born from our dreams, and also feeds our dreams; when we begin to see that our consistent effort is actually changing things, creating progress, moving us forward, it is electrifying.
As I look back at 2014, I’m feeling really proud of myself for sticking to my goals and making solid progress toward realizing my dream. For me, it was a huge year for research. I finished Professor Grant Voth’s lectures on Myth in Human History; Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days; Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s lectures on The Iliad of Homer and The Odyssey of Homer, followed by the heavy hitters themselves – the Iliad & Odyssey; Vandiver’s lectures on Classical Mythology and Herodotus; Professor Jeremy McInerney’s lectures on Ancient Greek Civilization; and in December, I started Professor Harl’s lectures on the Peloponnesian War.
As I kick off 2015, I am filled with gratitude and the motivation to make this year just as epic as its predecessor! This month, I’m wrapping up my research and shifting my focus back to writing. I’ve drawn in loads of inspiration, I’ve got the momentum of a growing support network and fan base on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads behind me, and I’m ready to finish writing Book I.
Whatever your goals are this year, say them out loud, write them down, proclaim them from a mountaintop; the louder, the better. Let’s ride the New Year wave and go get ’em! 2015, here we come!!!!
Photo courtesy of Vincent Kaczmarek/Flickr.
We all have something to be thankful for…life, love, friendship, family, health, peace, joy, freedom, independence, acceptance, satisfaction… The list is endless, and each is a gift. It is so easy to take blessings and miracles in our lives for granted. Thanksgiving is a great time to reign ourselves in, recognize the beauty in our lives, and let it fill our hearts (while we fill our bellies with turkey day deliciousness!).
I’m thankful for family, friends, health, and the freedom and independence to educate myself and to do what I love (and I’m thankful for those who protect and defend this freedom). I’m thankful for all the little things…enchanting moonlight, fiery sunrises, the beauties of nature, hot coffee, blueberry pie, loving husband kisses, and a little smiling face that calls me mummee. I’m thankful for the beautiful days, and I’m even thankful for the hard, painful, gut-wrenching ones because they help me grow and evolve into a stronger, wiser, more passionate person. Every day is a gift and a miracle.
I’ve always loved to write, and I feel blessed that I have finally embraced my desire to write my first novel. I am thankful for all the writers and teachers past, present, and future who educate and inspire. I’m a sponge and I can never absorb enough. Last month, I finished Professor Elizabeth Vandiver’s lectures on The Iliad of Homer and The Odyssey of Homer, followed by the heavy hitters themselves – the Iliad & Odyssey. The Odyssey is now my absolute favorite story of all time. It is amazing in every way a story can be amazing. Until now, I’d only ever read or heard fragments of the story, but the Odyssey as a whole blew me away. This month, I finished Vandiver’s lectures on Herodotus, and now I’m onto The Histories by Herodotus, and Professor Jeremy McInerney’s lectures on Ancient Greek Civilization. My inspiration for my novel is bottomless thanks to these amazing professors and pioneering authors of olde.
This turkey day, I wish you full hearts and full bellies. Put the spotlight on all the beautiful things in your life and bask in their glory (as you stuff your face with pie)!
Photo courtesy of Nick Kenrick/Flickr.
Happy October, friends!
Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. Nature’s amazing spectacle warms us with beautiful blasts of color before winter settles in. Pumpkins are carved into scary faces, hayrides deliver us deep into apple orchards, magical candlelight stirs our imagination as we share scary stories, and warm ovens tease us with irresistible treats. What’s not to love?
Samhain, or Halloween, marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year. From sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st (which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice), the traditional belief is that the veil between worlds becomes thin. During this liminal time, spirits and beings from the other side can more easily cross over to our world. Bonfires are lit for their cleansing and protective powers, offerings of food and drink (trick or treat, anyone?) are left for visiting spirits to placate them, feasts are held to welcome the spirits of loved ones that have returned to us, and masks are worn to disguise oneself from harmful spirits and evade their wrath (better dig out the face paint!).
Though I love reading (and writing) paranormal thrillers, I’m a huge scaredy-cat! While writing my novel, there have been many nights when my laptop almost left the land of the living as I tossed it to run for shelter (my husband, fast asleep in our bed) and escape the boogeyman outside the dining room window. But alas, I just can’t get enough. And this time of year, my cup (and my DVR) runneth over. Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Grimm, Sleepy Hollow… they are all back on. Sleep-deprivation, here I come!
My fellow lovers of sleepless nights and espresso shot mornings, go kill it in those costumes, get your pumpkin carving on, fall into a trick-or-treat candy coma, and have a spooktacular October!!!
Photo courtesy of Great Beyond/Flickr.
I love this time of year! Although it’s tough to let go of summer, the tiny chill in the air signals the beginning of nature’s grand finale before winter. Soon enough, gorgeous leaves will line our path everywhere we go! It never loses its magic for me. Apple picking, pumpkin spice coffee, ghost stories…autumn is one of my favorite seasons! This transitional time (along with the new waxing moon this week) ushers in all sorts of new beginnings.
One of my favorite new beginnings is the back to school rush (moment of silence as all my teacher friends curse me). The summer haze burns off and people get smarter! Students are busy making new friends (and stirring up new dramas), and day by day they become way more fabulous/interesting people in the world mix with all their newly acquired knowledge and skill. Oh I miss school…running across campus to make it to my classes (always at least 5 minutes late)…daydreaming about past and future mischief…staying up all night reading and writing papers. I guess not much has changed, just now it’s racing to work (always at least 5 minutes late), daydreaming about how I can prevent my offspring from one day making the same or worse mischief than I did, and staying up all night to research and write my first book.
Anyway, I digress. Autumn is the time to get to work and make stuff happen! Though the shorter days make me ever so sad, the early darkness ends the summer temptation to be outside every second, and that means more time behind the screen to write. I cannot wait to share my first novel with you all. Big shout out to The White Stripes. Seven Nation Army is the fire to my gasoline this week (and most weeks, actually). If you’re gonna write about kicking some serious A$$, you have to get fired up with the right tunes. Whatever your autumn urges may be, hang onto these last few sunny days of August, enjoy your long weekend, and then take September by the horns and do something awesome!!!!
Today’s updates brought to you by Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Photo courtesy of PentaxFanatiK/Flickr.
It’s summertime, and that means there’s an island escape with my two favorite boys in my future! Before my toes hit the water and my ass hits the sand (Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett are about to get some serious air time), I must give a much needed, overdue update to all my friends out there.
My research for Book I and the entire series continues. I can’t get enough ancient history, classical mythology, and literature. It provides amazing inspiration for my writing. In the past few months, I’ve digested just a few giants including Myth in Human History (Voth) and Classical Mythology (Vandiver). I’m finishing up Ovid’s Metamorphoses before I go, and I have Homer’s Iliad and Hesoid’s Works and Days all queued up!
Sunshine, lack of responsibility, and time with loved ones is a coveted recipe that we only seem to get right once or twice a year. When I get it right, I soak in every drop of goodness. In spending precious time away, my husband and I inevitably step back from our lives as if we are outsiders for a short time. We reflect on all we’ve done right, on all we still want to accomplish, we tend to our wounds, gear up again, and return to our destinies with fresh energy, passion, and inspiration. Vacation brings us back to life, rejuvenates us, inspires us, and helps us to harness our own magic again. I cannot wait to see where it takes us this year!
Now go find some sunshine, crank up your soundtrack, and reconnect with your own magic!
Adios, and vaya con Dios!!!
Photo courtesy of Mr.Thomas/Flickr.