The Healthy Writer: Muzzle Your Inner Critic

Before I went on my life transformation journey, I was on another path. I had always considered myself a motivating and encouraging force, even for myself. However, during the course of about two year span, I found myself fighting to remain positive. Many factors played into the inner critic taking over my spirit and soul. My body was hurting and I didn't know why. My only child and daughter moved fourteen and half hours away to begin her new career after she graduated from university. Professionally, I'd been grappling with low sales and an ongoing pervasive attitude amongst many of my peers which promoted self-serving attitudes and an "information is power" mantra. Some withheld ideas and ways to help others reach readers. To be honest, all I seemed to hear was we need money money money... not we need to write a kick butt book that readers will fall in love with and want to read over and over again. 

Negative speak entered my brain... the inner critic started to call me fat and lazy. The inner critic punched my usually happy self hard in the gut and told me I wasn't trying hard enough in every area of my life. The inner critic got fed more negative speak by other people in my world, by the loneliness that comes with being a writer in a room by herself day in and day out. 

The inner critic shriveled my spirit while my body continued to bloat with unnecessary calories eaten out of frustration and anger and a sense of constantly fighting for what I had worked so hard for as a writer and as a woman.

Women eat their mad emotions. And I ate a lot. That's why I weighed over 200 pounds a little over a year ago. 

Then someone who loved me, who'd been my best friend since I was eleven years old, got a hold of my inner critic and said STOP TALKING LIKE THIS TO MY BEST FRIEND. YOU ARE HURTING MY HEART. 

My inner critic retreated to be replaced by an outside voice who reached for my shriveled spirit to remind her that I do matter. That what I have accomplished matters. That what I have given others throughout the years matters. That I MATTER. 

Slowly, I regained my equilibrium. It didn't happen overnight. And you can read all about that journey to health and fitness here. AS I regained my health and fitness physically, my spirit renewed and demanded I refuel her too. I started reading books and articles that encouraged me. I began to weed out the negative speakers in my life bit by bit. I only allowed myself to say nice things to myself about everything I am doing. And I learned that it's okay to fail on occasion or have a setback as long as the people who are in my world support and encourage me too. 

Now I am making a real commitment to focus on positive, generous, optimistic attitudes. I'm embracing those who exude those same qualities. 

Quality over Quantity is my motto now. 

I'm only allowing quality experiences be part of my life. I'm choosing to deliver quality in how I interact with others and how I approach my writing and editing careers. Quality in equals quality out. 

If I can impart any wisdom at all today it is to surround yourself with people who build you up and please be kind to yourself no matter where you are in your journey toward health, fitness and spiritual well-being. 

 

☆*´¨`*:☆ROYAL & RECKLESS BOXSET: Spotlight on Author Sylvie Stewart☆*´¨`*:☆

I'm so excited to host one of the Royal & Reckless Boxset Authors on my blog. Sylvie Stewart graciously sent me a lot of information about her journey to publication and more. And best of all, y'all get a sneak peek at her fun cover and her story BETWEEN A ROCK AND A ROYAL for the fabulous boxset today! Even better, you can PREORDER ROYAL AND RECKLESS now!! 

Excerpt

Mister Awkward had officially left the building and Prince Charm-Your-Panties-Off was back and getting down to business.

I’d been going back and forth in my mind about how far I wanted to take things with Leo, but I eventually decided to go with the horny part of my brain that rationalized he’d already been all up in my lady bits, so I may as well check out the other ways Leo Baxter could rock my world.

He was off to a killer start. His warm, demanding lips collided with mine and I didn’t hesitate to wrap both arms around him and pull him in. He was back to the white t-shirt and jeans and his feet were bare, a small detail that I found both adorable and sexy. I never really thought I had a type, apart from my misguided foray into bad-boy land, but Leo’s whole sexy-nerd thing was doing it for me big time.

 

FIND SYLVIE!!

http://sylviestewartauthor.com

http://facebook.com/SylvieStewartAuthor

http://instagram.com/sylvie.stewart.romance

 

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Can you share a little about your journey to publication?

I must have started writing a dozen books by the time I was in college (which are so painful to read now – LOL). Then life moved on and I didn’t think about it much until I hit my forties and my kids started school. I’d just put down the fifth book in a row that I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading. I was frustrated that I wasn’t finding any satisfying reads (I just happened to be in a rut at the time—I know the world is filled with tons of fabulous books. Unfortunately, none of them were on my Kindle at that moment). I sat down at my computer and figured I’d take a crack at writing a book I’d love to read. Everything took off from there and it’s been better than I ever expected!

What authors do you like to read?

I have a special love for Kristen Ashley. I want to have her babies. She writes in so many different sub-genres that there is always a book of hers that fits my mood. I also love how she does her own thing, regardless of what anyone might say.

Do you have a favourite genre in books (to read and/or to write)?

Romantic Comedy all the way!

Is there a genre you’d like to try writing and haven’t yet?

I’m toying with the idea of Romantic Suspense and Westerns, but they’d all have to be funny too.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I want so badly to be a plotter, but the pantser in me keeps getting in the way!

Do you have a favorite character in your books?

That’s so hard. It’s usually whoever I’m writing at the moment, but Fiona from my Carolina Connections series holds a special place in my heart. And she’s the most fun to write—that’s why she keeps cropping up in all the other books, I guess.

What makes a great romance hero?

I love the guys who show some vulnerability. The whole cocky alpha thing can be really hot, but I love it when a hero opens himself up.

What makes a great romance heroine?

I love a woman who gives as good as she gets!

What is the nicest thing a reviewer has ever said about one of your books?

This one is hard too! But this review is a definite favorite: “Fun, fulfilling and fast-paced, Sylvie Stewart’s latest book, The Spark, is also a masterclass in how to write a strong, sexy heroine with a hint of vulnerability that a reformed playboy hero simply can’t resist.” – After the Rain Comes Sunshine Blog

How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

In a word, terribly. LOL

What do you like best about being a writer?

Getting to do what I love and sharing it with all the readers out there. It’s like a little club—I love it!

What do you like the least about being a writer?

I never feel like I’m “off.” My brain is always working on a new story or thinking about the ten-mile-long to do list waiting for me.

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?

Get involved in the author community first so you can get your ducks in a row. Then start thinking about publishing. I did it in the wrong order and have regretted it since.

Steamy romance, erotic romance or erotica – what is the difference in your view?

Steamy romance, to me, is when it’s story-driven but there’s hot sex in it. Erotic romance is when there’s an interesting story to follow, but more than half the book is sex scenes with very detailed descriptions and sexual adventures outside the “mainstream.” I classify a book as erotica if removing the sex scenes leaves no real story. Just my opinion.

Tell us more about your upcoming title in the Royal and Reckless Collection.

My book for the Royal and Reckless boxed set is called Between a Rock and a Royal. It’s really fun, steamy, and sweet all a once. Ruby is a North Carolina girl who likes wearing heels and working on cars, and she’s unfailingly loyal to her family—which gets her in a jam. Leo is a prince visiting the U.S. with his brother, and the two of them end up on an adventure that puts them in Ruby’s path. Sparks fly between Ruby and Leo, but they’re both keeping secrets. I love the chemistry between those two!

Can you please share the blurb?

Two foreign princes, one local girl in a serious jam, and a ’65 Mustang headed for Georgia. What could go wrong?

LEO: My brother likes to think he’s the clever one, and I usually let him. He’s the crown prince, after all. But he’s cocked things up royally this time, pardon the pun. It will take some quick thinking and a heavy dose of luck, but I’ll pull us out of it. Even if it means putting my trust in a stranger … a tempting stranger who carries a wrench and an attitude.

RUBY: I knew before I even agreed that this would be a bad idea. But given my circumstances, I had little choice but to take these two rich country-club rejects up on their offer. A ride in exchange for the money my uncle and I owe. How bad could it be? I’m sure I’ll survive and hopefully fix my problems in the process, but my heart might not be so lucky.

 What appeals to you about writing a story featuring a royal?

I actually never planned on it. Most of my books are about “regular folk.” But it’s been a fun departure—so much so that another book featuring Leo’s brother is in the works!

Why do you think readers love stories featuring royals?

Let’s face it—most people who read romance have seen Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding more than once. And the fact that they got divorced hardly even matters! It’s the fantasy. If we actually knew any royals, we probably wouldn’t be interested in reading romances about them - LOL

☆*´¨`*:☆ROYAL & RECKLESS BOXSET: Spotlight on Author Maggie Carpenter☆*´¨`*:☆

I'm so excited to host one of the Royal & Reckless Boxset Authors on my blog. Here's a neak peek at Maggie Carpenter's fun cover and her story SINS, SECRETS & SPIES for the fabulous boxset today! Even better, you can PREORDER ROYAL AND RECKLESS now!! 

Here's the Blurb!!

She’s searching for love. He’s hunted by a deadly assassin. Can one stormy night save her heart and his life...?

Lady Verity James is famous for her beauty, and infamous for her scandalous behavior, but no man has brought her the unique passion she shared with her late husband. Does the rain-soaked foreign stranger at her door have what Verity has been seeking?

Dantae Fellini, a swarthy Italian with dark mesmerizing eyes, has just escaped an assassination attempt. Struggling through a ferocious storm he has stumbled upon the elegant manor house. He hopes for safety, but when he sees the winsome widow with sad eyes, he wonders if the house might offer more than shelter.

Dantae is bringing danger to her home, and though she senses shes inviting trouble, she finds herself inviting him to stay.

Mystery, secret passages, surprising spies and tall, dashing, handsome heroes fill the pages of this suspenseful romance. If you like sizzling chemistry and heart-stopping romance, you’ll love this stormy love story.

NOTE: This book was previously published under the title, The Wanton Widow.

The Healthy Writer: Catching ZZZZs

The Physicist and I are on a life makeover journey together. First, I lost 30 pounds and he needed to find something that would work for him too. He started a program called Naturally Slim. Every week for 30 weeks, he receives a set of videos covering wellness from a holistic viewpoint. This isn't a diet. There's no counting carbs, points or calories. 

This video series is about transforming the way people live, eat and more. Week by week, we are transforming not only our bodies, but our minds and spirits and overall health. We've been watching the videos for 12 weeks now. The Physicist has lost 10 pounds without trying! And I've lost another 5 which brings me down a total of 35 pounds gone! Woot!

One of the videos discussed vital needs. We all have them. Things that make us feel happy and fulfilled and good about ourselves. Some of our vital needs matched like spending quality one on one time with quality people. And others were very different. I like order and closure and completing projects. 

I also need SLEEP. I suffer from insomnia and if I get up at 3-4AM, I have learned to roll with that wake up time. I get a lot done between 5 and 10 or 11AM. But it's hard to stay awake for everything else. I used to try to push through the day.

Not anymore. I work from home as a freelance author/editor. Instead of pushing through the tiredness in my brain and body, I've discovered the absolute awesomeness of taking a nap. Yep. I stop what I'm doing around 1-2PM, head for my bedroom with my nice snuggly blanket and set u a napping nest. Sometimes I don't sleep, but I just lay there and breathe with my eyes closed and if the sleep happens, great, but even if all I do is daydream I get up about 45 minutes to an hour later and feel refreshed, ready to start back to work and spend time with the Physicist when he gets home. 

It revitalizes me. Gives me more energy to do my writing and all the other stuff I have to do too. And best of all, every time I go in for a lie down, I get up with new ideas and thoughts about my current works in progress and new stories I'm developing. 

So if you are able and you're tired around midday and you can take one, I highly recommend napping. It's good for the body, good for the soul, and good for generating more energy to do the things you love!

Digging Out of Distraction: Quality Over Quantity

The Physicist & I have been participating in a program called Naturally Slim. Frankly, this is the first time I've been completely happy with a lifestyle change because it's not about counting points, carbs, or calories. It's about learning how to eat like a True Thin and how to live a fit and full life. This has been revolutionizing the way we think about ourselves and our future. We're not just losing weight, we're gaining valuable insights about ourselves. 

In addition to the Naturally Slim program, I've been involved in a new Life Makeover Journey. Many years ago, I and a few close friends decided to go on the journey together. That journey led to my writing my first novel and now, all these years later, I'm published and continuing to write books, edit, and present workshops to other writers about how to stay focused and in the chair. I figured I had the program locked in place, but a new friend propelled me to revisit the Life Makeover with her. I'm so glad I did. I'd forgotten some of the valuable lessons within the program and I needed a mental and emotional reboot. 

Both programs, along with really good articles I've read in the Romance Writers of America's monthly magazine RWR by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, have reinforced my desire to live a quality life over chasing a life filled with quantity. 

My desire to have a quality life has given me a brand new perspective on the choices I make as an author, a wife, a friend, a mother, and for me. I believe that as I lost the weight I gained and as I rebuilt my fitness, I also discovered my spirit needed a little help. I'd smothered her in a pile of fat and frustration. I'd allowed negative words to creep back into my vocabulary. I started to believe I might be a failure because I didn't excel at marketing my books and I wasn't taking on enough projects and I didn't get everything completed on my to-do lists.

But my best friend gave me a wake-up call in January 2017 that began my transformation physically, emotionally and spiritually. I needed this wake-up call. Then the hard work began both physically and mentally. First, I identified what my spirit didn't need.

Just as my body doesn't need to stuff itself with food to bury her negative emotions, my spirit doesn't have time for pettiness, mean words, or people using her confidences as weapons against her. My spirit doesn't want to be attacked when she can't or won't say yes to other people. My spirit doesn't want negativity in her life. 

My spirit doesn't chase dollars or write twenty books in a year in an effort to remain relevant. My spirit doesn't need to eat food that isn't delicious and special. My spirit craves physical activity. My spirit yearns for quality one  on one time with quality people who edify her and make her stronger. 

In searching for the things that fill my spirit, I've actively been gathering strong and supportive people in my life. I've focused on building the relationships that matter to me. Some I've had for decades, others are new and special too. And in focusing on the positive, I've been given a fabulous new treasure trove of stories to write in my time and in my way and with the support of people who believe in my ability to do so. This brings me so much joy! Now my spirit is full, happy and determined to live a centered, quality life.

Doing something I love in the time I want while nurturing special relationships and bringing others support and encouragement is my passion. My sincere wish is for all the people in my corner of the world to find their passion too.

 

☆*´¨`*:☆Win a #Kindle Fire and 20+ Steamy #Romance Ebooks☆*´¨`*:☆

The authors of the Royal and Reckless boxed set are giving away a brand new Kindle Fire and over 20 steamy romance novels! You can enter the contest for a chance to win here:

Royal & Reckless Steamy Romance Boxset Sweepstakes

While you’re at it, pre-order the set for only 99c!

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Which royal will rule your heart?

Power, money, and fame aren’t the only noble pursuits. Enter the world of the Royal and Reckless, where the blue bloods run red hot, and scorching secrets lie just beneath the polished surface.

Inside these pages, you’ll find stranded royals, fake fiancées, reverse harem kingdoms, and more than one compromising position. From hidden royalty to secret babies, plots and twisted games, there’s something for everyone in the steamy scandals behind the crowns.

Join the Royal and the Reckless with more than twenty sizzling tales of sex, love, intrigue, betrayal, and blackmail! PREORDER TODAY!

 

B&N iTunes Kobo Amazon

 

Royal & Reckless: Spotlight on Author Laura Greenwood

Super excited to introduce one of the kick-butt authors in the Royal & Reckless Boxset!! Please say a big hello to Laura Greenwood!! 

Check out her awesome story coming to you in September, but you can pre-order the entire boxset of stories TODAY from Kobo, Nook, and Apple Books!! 

KNEEL FOR ME is a royal contemporary standalone reverse harem. Includes one almost Queen, four royal suitors and a whole lot of mischief. Ooh... I'm intrigued!!

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Biography

Laura really needs to get around to writing a better biography. She's great at doing them for her friends, but not so much for herself. Until then...she's a USA Today Bestselling Author of Paranormal, Reverse Harem & Fantasy Romance...the romance being the important bit! From kelpies to dragons, and princesses to bakers, there's a wide range of heroines, with one thing in common: they know how to look after themselves. (But the romance is fun too!) 

When she's not writing, you can find Laura reading, cooking, baking or binge watching one of three TV shows. Or Pitch Perfect. She's been known to watch that a couple of times in a day. 

You can check out Laura's Website here: 
www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk

Or join her Facebook Group: 
www.facebook.com/groups/theparanormalcouncil  

 

Stalking Links

Facebook Group: http://facebook.com/groups/theparanormalcouncil 

Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/authorlauragreenwood

Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/laura-greenwood

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorlauragreenwood

Website: www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk 

Mailing List: www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk/p/mailing-list-sign-up.html

You can get your hands on all the Royal & Reckless stories by pre-ordering from Kobo, Nook and Apple Books TODAY!

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Digging Out of Distraction: Learning to Pivot in Author World

Romancelandia has been very noisy during the last several weeks. Many negative things have happened which have made sitting down to write words difficult. Romance authors have taken a lot of hits, myself included, and I bet most of us are questioning why we're even doing this anymore. I know I have questioned sitting down for hours alone in a room to write stories which, quite frankly, are part of an ocean of romances that are underpriced and many of us are struggling to sell a book for less than a high priced mocha latte. 

The biggest hit to my career was Amazon's sudden announcement that they were closing down Kindle Worlds in July 2018. This came out of nowhere (I had just blogged about how much I loved writing romantic suspense in this world less than a month ago) and the World Author owners along with the many writers who contributed to these worlds are still trying to figure out what to do. I was ready to start working on my third story for Elle James' Brotherhood Protectors' Kindle World, but decided to park until my wonderful leader, Elle, made some decisions about what to do next. We all love the world. We all adore Elle. There is good news on the horizon, but that's a blog post for another day.

I had to pivot away from my stories that I'd planned and refocus my energy in a new direction. What would I work on after I finished my current boxset novella for the Royal & Reckless Boxset? And where did I want to put my energy for the next several years to come if Romancelandia continues to become more difficult to navigate? 

The first thing I did was reevaluate my strengths and what I loved doing the most. I love writing, editing, and encouraging/motivating people. Deep content editing as a Drill Sargeant at Bootcamp Edits along with story coaching gives me the opportunity to encourage and motivate romance novelists to improve their craft and stories. Writing my romances fulfills me and I love creating new worlds with new people. Exploring how two people grow to be the perfect people for each other despite their flaws and developing their journey toward their happily ever afters is something I enjoy despite how much work goes into the process.

Because these stories aren't easy to write. They're hard work. Every book presents a different challenge. The same process goes into developing a well-crafted long romance as into a short romance. The only difference is the number of words required to complete the story. Add to that I have become 100% independently published. I'm all Indie all the way. This means getting my own work to editors, hiring cover artists, formatting, and uploading every book I write myself along with marketing the books prior to and after publishing. I wear a LOT of hats. I say NO to a lot of things because I wear a lot of hats. 

Every cut into my income stream impacts how and when and what I can do for my stories. I also want to deliver quality love stories to my readers. To be honest, I'd love some help with marketing these books because it's not really in my wheelhouse to check algorithms and make perfect Facebook Ads (I don't even try anymore where that's concerned) and doing the marketing stuff kills my creative brain as quick as a person stepping on a bug.

 I'm pivoting and dancing along the writing road to my own beat with my own rules. 

I'm pivoting and dancing along the writing road to my own beat with my own rules. 

But I am trying some new things, out of the box things, that might reach readers in a different way. Hopefully, these methods will translate into more sales and more reach via using a strength that is in my wheelhouse: connecting one-on-one with people in real life and via other media outlets. 

However, for now, I have to get back to where do I need to focus my energy today so I can sustain a lifelong career as an author? First, I gave myself a little Royal Wedding Break, then gave myself permission to take a break from writing romances during the month of July. I've got a non-fiction project I want to work on instead. My dad's memoir about his life which includes being interred in a Japanese Concentration camp during most of his adolescence. So that's what I'm going to do and I'm thrilled to dig into this project. And, fun fact, I alluded to this memoir in TEMPTING THE HEARTBREAKER: Hollywood Heartbreakers Book 1.

Then, as I waited to hear about what would happen regarding my Kindle World books' future, I continued working on my fun, sexy Reckless & Royal story and made plans to revise another story for an October/November release this year. I also dusted off a story I'd written last year that was going to be part of a small town series I had in mind for future publication. 

A funny thing happened along the Brainstorming Trail. An older idea I had for the small town series began bubbling to the surface and wouldn't stop pinging me. I let the idea continue to germinate and opened my mind to ALL the possibilities. Voila! A new, different, fun, exciting series is being discovered. This is GOLD! Platinum. The best part is I don't have to rush it. Because I've decided to pivot in another way which is the polar opposite of what I'm "supposed" to do in Indie Romancelandia.

I'm taking my time. I'm not rushing this series. I'm thinking long term. I'm still writing some standalone romance novels and going to participate in other cool romance writing projects, but this series is going to carry me through a lot of years if I remain focused on the end game. Best of all, I'm very excited to work on this ongoing project/series.

I'm not pivoting to chase the next "this is what's hot in romance now" stories. I'm pivoting to create a series that'll sustain my creativity and my writing soul while actively pursuing other projects and enjoying my personal life too.

 

 

Digging Out of Distraction: Rediscovering the Fun in Writing

Long ago, in The Land Before Publication, I blogged regularly about my writing life. The ups, downs, in-betweens... conquering the demons of Doubt & Despair despite ongoing rejections and a host of other roadblocks to selling my first novel. I wrote about craft, developing stories, my daily life. I also celebrated the writers who sold their first books in a regular feature. DIGGING OUT OF DISTRACTION kept me going, brought me friends from all over the world, and eventually, after I sold my first novel THE MAVERICK'S RED HOT REUNION to Entangled Publishing, I compiled many of those posts and self-published them in a book by the same title along with developing an interactive workshop that I've presented to local writing chapters, at regional conferences and at the Romance Writers of America's annual conference. You could say... "you've come a long way, Christine." BUT... I haven't. I still struggle with the same distractions, the same doubts and fears, and battle the ongoing noise in my post-publication world. 

 Photo by  Nick Morrison  on  Unsplash

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Fast forward from what we in writerly world like to say THE CALL. Or in my case, THE EMAIL from my future editor at Entangled Publishing. I sold! Woohoo! I freaked out about delivering my first ever novella after that but I did it! I wrote more words, but I wasn't gaining traction. THERE WAS SO MUCH TO LEARN about publishing after I published. Before I published was a lot like before I had the Career Girl. Exciting. A time to plan. Decorating a baby's room. Baby showers. Reading How To Books. Then along came my girl... and it was a whole new world and a lot of what I thought I knew about raising a child had to be revamped. Personally, I think she raised me... forced me to grow and change in so many ways. And I'm so glad! 

That's what selling and publishing a book is like to me. It hasn't been a Jackpot score at the casino experience. It's more like pulling the slot lever at a penny arcade and not getting too many lucky sevens in a row. The first two years out were tough. But I learned. I grew. I discovered marketing and how much I totally stink at it LOL. But I keep trying to learn how to do it. I self-published a few books, then decided to go all Indie to gain control over my time two years ago. 

I busted my tush. But you know... I started feeling like it wasn't fun. The constant chasing of the trends, the evaporating money (that's a blog for another day), and the loss of real connections with people I trusted in real time began to take a toll on my happy writer heart.

I wanted to have fun again! Writing was a chore, not a passion I pursued. Yes. I know... this is my career... really, it's a business without a real business model because who knows why some people have breakout hits while most of us keep plodding along? At first, I thought I'd missed the friends I'd made along the way. We're all busy, most of us are published which means we're working even harder now than before, and the opportunities to gather and meet have dwindled. But it wasn't just that... I missed the fun of crafting stories because I was too busy figuring out where they'd fit and who might actually spend money to read them.

Then I got invited into a cool Kindle World featuring bodyguards and suspense and everything changed thanks to Elle James and THE BROTHERHOOD PROTECTORS. I stepped out of my comfort zone. My critique partners, Pam Mantovani and Carmen Falcone, helped me get through the struggle of finessing a suspense plot into a romance.

I'd never done that kind of writing before. The challenge was daunting, scary... could I pull out a bodyguard story with a suspense hook all in under 30,000 words? And you know what happened as I finagled this story and wrestled with the problems I had crafting it? I rediscovered the fun in writing! 

I released my first romantic suspense FALLING FOR HER BODYGUARD January 11, 2018. It's my 10th book and a milestone for me. But more than that, it's a book that saved my writing soul. Truly saved it. What's my takeaway? Well, if you want to have fun writing in this crazy business, try something new and don't worry about marketing and all the other competitive, ugly noises out there. I'm definitely going to write more bodyguard stories. 

I'm also revamping DIGGING OUT OF DISTRACTION. This will primarily be for my writer peeps, but I know there are readers out there who might be curious about what goes on in a writer's head... well at least this writer's head.

XX 

Christine

The Healthy Writer: My Frenemies the Scale & the Measuring Tape

On March 3rd, I shared a blog about my journey back to health. You can read all about it here. One of the things I had to start doing in order to regain my health was to get back on my scale and weigh myself every day. 

I hate that damn scale, but I am not like some people who cut back on donuts and pizza if their favorite skinny jeans don’t fit. I am the kind of person who says, “Spanx makes leggings & let’s buy some nice muumuu tops if my skinny jeans don’t fit.”

Let's be honest. My definition of skinny jeans has changed over time. LOL But they're mine and I am cool with wearing them.

So I started weighing every day. Not fun. I have one of those body mass digital scales that tells me my weight and my BMI. Blech. But I have to face it every day. That works for me. Unfortunately, the weight wasn't coming off fast and I was getting disillusioned. So my doctor suggested I measure myself too.

Ah, the measuring tape. Another frenemy of mine, but it does show different changes as you undergo lifestyle transformations. I'd used it once during the pre-oh-shit-I've-got-a-lot-lose moment in May 2017 because I needed to order some plus size dresses for the RWA National Conference. So I had those measurements written down for future purchases. Then I measured again in July after my doctor suggested I do so.

Drum Roll Please... I'm going to share the numbers with you... because I want anyone out there to see that even a former model, skinny kid from the North side of the 55th parallel has to face these demons too. And together we can conquer them!

 Photo by  Jennifer Burk  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jennifer Burk on Unsplash

Measurements don't include my freakishly long torso which is the same length as my inseam. 

March/April 2017 Measurements (Weight Unknown)

Hips: 49 inches Waist: 40 inches  Bust: 45 inches 

July 13, 2017 Measurements (Weight 197 lbs)

Hips: 47 inches Waist: 38 inches Bust: 42 inches

I had lost a total of 5 inches!! That encouraged me to go on and keep fighting to regain my health and fitness. 

March 13, 2018 (about one year later-weight 175 lbs)

Hips: 42.5 inches Waist: 33 inches Bust: 39 inches

Y'all, I am pleased with those numbers. Sure the scale (my frenemy for life) is nowhere near the numbers I want it to show me (mean old scale), but the measuring tape is slowly becoming my best friend. I have lost 6.5 inches off my hips, 7 inches off my waist and 6 inches off my bust. This is a grand total of 19.5 inches off my body. Gone! I am thrilled with these results.

But I'm not stopping here. I decided I needed to add another layer of effort to my fitness and health regime so I hired a personal trainer at the local YMCA to teach me how to work out all over again. She's helping me regain my torso strength along with rebuilding my muscular strength in my legs and arms. I have had two half-hour sessions with her and she's fantastic.

I'm still on this journey. It's not easy to remain fit and healthy when you sit in a chair by yourself writing stories all day long. It's not easy for anyone who has a demanding career or busy family life or all of the above. Toss in pets and aging parents and general life happenings and things get really out of control.

So be mindful. Be aware that this is a journey with pitfalls, but you can make it! I'm committed to maintaining what I've already achieved and slowly taking it to the next level.

What are your fitness goals? What are your obstacles? Do you weigh every day or avoid the scale like the plague? Talk to me. Let's take this journey together!