The 32nd Year: A Reflection

I am in the 32nd year of my life journey even though the gray in the front of my locs won’t let me be great. I just had a birthday (5/26) and I am usually quiet around this time. (And yes, I do admit this is my pitiful way of explaining why *aside from author Interviews* I have not been very active on this blog). But while I have not spoken much about it or posted many pictures, I enjoyed myself and I cannot say enough how much I appreciate the outpouring of love from social media.

Like I would expect anyone to be, I am always excited about my birthday and pretty much think about it up until the day passes, though I am also usually quiet around this time because I also approach birthdays from a reflective point of view. I don’t celebrate holidays, but I do honor, acknowledge, and value birthdays. It’s not something I take for granted or shrug off as a non-important since this is the day when the power of all powers decided I was worthy of entering the world. Stitching me together in my mother’s womb and commanding it to hold me there until it was time to give birth.

Another birthday means another year has passed. I am quiet because I look back on the past year to see how I’ve grown and to be grateful for who I am, where I am and whose I am. I review my goals and the action steps needed to accomplish them. Am I moving or standing still? And if I am moving and if I am standing still is this reality or perception? I know that there is no greater deception than self-deception so it’s important to me to honestly and realistically reflect on my life, my progress, and my purpose since I do not intend to bring last year’s baggage into this new age. It’s important to me to see the good in the finished and the unfinished work. To be grateful for where I am and celebrate on the way to where I am going. Have I wasted a year, or have I taken full advantage of every day? There is much to think about and much to do.

I do not know what this year has in store for me, but I hope I can take full advantage of the day so that next year I can look back on today and know that I have done my very best to contribute to the forward movement of the world.

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Yecheilyah’s Book Review Awards 2017

Guys!!

I have an idea!

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I want to do something special for the authors who are featured on this blog.

Yecheilyah’s Book Review Awards – a virtual event in which 5-star rated authors on The PBS Blog are honored with promotion, culminating in a Book Review Award gifted to the author whose book stood out to me the most.

To up the stakes, I would like to give this author an actual award. Not a virtual certificate, not a blog award, and not a badge but something tangible he or she can sit on his or her desk and be proud of! (Of course, I’m not a rich woman so I’ll be looking for something reasonable, but nice.)

This means I will have to decide on the best place (I do have one in mind) and get a logo made!!

Of course, since I read the books and reviewed them I would be the only judge of this contest and there would only be one winner whose book beat the others in all areas:

  • Book Cover Art
  • Editing
  • Character Development
  • Plot Movement / Strength
  • Thought Provoking 

The book in which I have given a five-star review that has beat the others in these areas will be the winning book of the year and will receive the prize from me.

Naturally, to participate I would have had read your book and given it five-stars before the excitement begins.

 

Which is, err, I don’t know yet. I am thinking December? Make it an end of the year thing. What do YOU think?? Should we do this?!

 

Again, this would mean that if you’ve been reviewed by me and I gave you five-stars, you are automatically drafted into the competition! And by December, I should have reviewed a lot more of you.

Of course, I’ll need help with this! If you want to help me to  organize something special for your fellow authors of excellence, please send me an email so we can discuss details. (Ohh. I like the sound of that, “Authors of Excellence”. Has a nice ring to it. Hmm.)

No Whining Wednesday – Peace Under Pressure

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please do scurry on over HERE to learn more about what this is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

I’m excited about today’s inspiring quote so let’s get into it:

I’ve been loving on Ryan’s social media pages. His IG is hilariously funny with writer memes and as soon as I saw this nugget of wisdom I had to feature it for today. Whining, complaining, or criticizing really just comes from one source: Lack of contentment or peace. Whether this is because we are upset, confused or frustrated the point is that somewhere, for whatever reason, we are not content with our present situation and we are not at peace.

How do we overcome these situations? After all, it is not that stress is a bad thing entirely. It exists naturally in everyone for a reason. It is there surely to be helpful to the body in some way. How do we allow it to be what it is without over-stressing ourselves? Learning to identify the good in bad situations is one way.

This series I am writing, for instance, is probably the most challenging project I’ve ever written. There’s so much going on as I am writing these books. Personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally, its hitting me from all directions but I have to keep going.

I have been looking for the silver lining in every situation to help carry me through. The diamond in the ruff, the light in the darkness, the calm in the storm, the peace under the pressure. Here’s an example:

If I get not-so-good feedback on my manuscript, instead of focus all my energy on the negative, I look for something good. Unless the person is just a total (fill in the blank) about it, there’s always something positive that is said among not-so-positive feedback. After licking my internal wounds, I look to find the something good I missed and use it as fuel to keep pushing on.

Find the good and when you find it celebrate it. That’s peace under pressure. Don’t ignore changes that need to be made but celebrate the good as well. Be excited about it! Sorry. I don’t mean to yell, but you understand why I have to.

The good is a light. Take it and let your light shine.

But, dear non-writing readers…

….this is not about manuscripts and writing. I’m using myself as an example but this is about life in general.

The message is:

Celebrate your successes no matter how few or small.

It is not easy and sometimes it is good to vent. Good to let off the steam. The problem is when we do not balance this out with anything good.

See, I don’t want to get on my whole “balance soapbox” here but everything in life must have a balance. I spoke yesterday about being yourself on Social Media but even this is with a certain level of balance. You don’t just want to be all out boring. Or maybe you don’t care about blog stats. That’s cool. I get it, but there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to it sometimes. You don’t have to be obsessed with it, but it is good to know where you are. There’s nothing wrong with monitoring growth.

In life, we just do not balance things out as much as we should. We find ourselves venting too much and letting it rob us of peace. We find ourselves not celebrating the good and not forgiving ourselves for the not-so-good.

Today, we will strive to limit our number of complaints by looking for the good in not-so-good situations.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Agatha Christine: Special Anniversary Edition!

For today’s segment of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, I draw inspiration from Agatha Christine. But first.

Guess whose back???

When you see Colleen posting again
When you see Colleen posting again

LOL, I had to do it. Now, back to you Agatha:

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Other than being funny, I like the meaning behind this quote, which can vary but here is how I interpreted it:

Good books do not come from a focus on making money, being a best seller, or sitting down and saying to yourself “I’m going to write the best book ever.” The best inventions were not built from a desire for prestige or esteem; they were built because there was a need. Good writing does not come from a focus on writing; it comes from a focus on living. Inspiration to write is drawn by washing dishes, cooking meals, reading books, and watching movies. It can be the way the lady on the bus winked her eye at the man beside her. The way a little girl sang her favorite song or that one time your two year old stood up on his seat and yelled at the top of his lungs. They way your mother dips her hand in the flour before she bakes or the fact that your granddad has to have his Newspaper before breakfast each morning. These are all inspirations to write and all we have to do is pay attention. Everyone has a little of themselves in their writing. Characters are not made up of invisible people but many of their names and characteristics are derived from people you knew or know. What I’ve come to learn with writing and also with blogging, is that the success of either comes from simply being you and sharing that part of yourself with the world.

About the Author:

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Agatha Mary Christie was an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that she wrote under her own name.

But wait, there’s more…Happy Anniversary Writer’s Quote Wednesday!

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And finally, in honor of Writer’s Quote Wednesday Anniversary and her Collabo. with Ronovan, Colleen has introduced a new badge!

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Coming Soon

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On Sunday, November 1, 2015, I will be announcing the release date for the final installment of the Stella Trilogy (The Road to Freedom: Joseph’s Story) along with its book blurb and cover reveal.

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I am excited to be on the brink of having all of the books finished and ready to be made available as a set or individually. Now I can focus on book signing campaigns and events for The Stella Trilogy as a package while re-writing my first novel, whose release I have pushed back to next year sometime.

So be sure to tune into this blog and to keep your eyes on my social media for the cover release, blurb, and release date celebration of Stella Book #3. You never know, there may be some treats in store!