I’m enjoying my last week on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. There’s something about walking along the beach—squishing sand between one’s toes—that incites inspiration; in turn, sparking creativity. A shift in gears from nonfiction to fiction, book three is coming along just fine.
I’ve turned the comments off for this post—simply enjoy.
I’m currently on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamasworking (having the time of my life!) on my next book. The island is about 100 miles long and 3 miles wide, with the sapphire blue Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the turquoise Caribbean on the other. The house we’re renting is on the Caribbean side in Tarpum Bay.
I’ve turned the comments off for this post—simply enjoy.
When I was a little girl, I was motivated by stars. I loved earning them in elementary school and by memorizing Bible verses in Sunday school. When I’d acquired a certain number of stars, they equated a larger prize.
When our son was little, he too was motivated by stars. He loved nothing more than the adrenaline rush of licking and sticking a star on the errand chart affixed to his bedroom door. An avid reader, once he’d earned a certain number of stars, they translated into a trip to the bookstore to select a book of his choice.
Imagine my delight when my mother-in-law made this star quilt for us!I love the colors that she chose, and I can’t even begin to imagine the number of painstaking hours it took to complete this gift.
This coming Friday I leave for Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas where I’m hosting a writing retreat. Each of us will be inspired and motivated by the turquoise water during the day, competing with a star-studded Bahamian night sky to write, Write, WRITE!
I just returned from UW-Madison’s 29th Annual Writers’ Institute where an incredible lineup of guest instructors offered a wide array of sessions for people at every point on the writing spectrum: from “thinking about it,” to multi-published, and every possibility in-between.
In addition to engaging breakout sessions where the attendees learned tangible tips and actionable techniques, the conference offerings included critique services, agent pitching opportunities, page and poem contests, and a book signing event.
Courtesy of Kristin Oakley—Writers Institute Bookstore. I had the good fortune to sit with one of my early writing mentors, Laurel Yourke.
As well as teaching four sessions, I had the privilege of closing the conference by introducing a writing mentor experience—Pathway to Publication—an exclusive opportunity for 30 attendees of the 2018 Writers’ Institute.
Chris Norbury, the author of CASTLE DANGER, captured this photo of “Laurie bookends:” me at the podium “grilling” Laurie Scheer.
Chris Norbury’s Castle Danger can be purchased here (click).
Laurel Yourke’s Beyond the First Draft can be purchased here (click).
Whether verbal or written, excellent communicators always answer two questions:
1. What is the point?
2. Why does it matter?
At the end of December 2017, I attended the New Ways of Knowing Meditation and Writing Retreat. Backed up to Joshua Tree National Park, it’s no wonder we heard coyotes each evening and saw rabbits (galore!) and quail each day. We even found what looked to be emu or ostrich footprints.
The charming facility (it’s colorful interior Mary Engelbreit-esque) boasted a stationary red bus that became our symbol for staying on track. If we found ourselves getting sidetracked from the task at hand—writing—we’d say, “Get back on the bus!” I’ve since printed and framed this photo. Standing sentinel in my writing studio, it serves as a tangible reminder to stay focused.
Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2018 my focus word is ontology—the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality. I was first introduced to this word while reading Madeleine L’Engle’s nonfiction series, The Crosswicks Journals, and have been fascinated ever since.
Why ontology, you ask?
On July 10th of this year, my next book, The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace hits the shelves.
This book isn’t just about being in business; it’s about the business of being. But when you stop to think about it, each us is like a small business.
Blending business and spirituality, The Business of Being demonstrates how to stand in alignment with your core values; it explores how to thrive, soul-side out, in and out of the workplace.
Here’s what two advance readers had to say:
“This gem of a book is really three books in one: a savvy guide to building a business, an engaging story of a boutique restaurant, and a coaching guide to living an intentional life. Chock full of quotes, stories, and examples, The Business of Being will help you be the person (and the business) you want to be. And in doing so, it shows you how to change the world—and have fun doing so. Bravo!” —RITA SEVER, author of Supervision Matters:100 Bite-Sized Ideas to Change You and Your Team
“Complete with recipes, the imaginative highlight of The Business of Being is the vibrant account of the founding and running of a French restaurant called La Mandarine Bleue. This book is a lucid, step-by-step guide to personal and professional success—with vichyssoise mixed in.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS
My wish for you is PEACE of mind, JOY of heart, HEALTH of body, GRATITUDE for blessings, KINDNESS both given and received, INSPIRATION that fuels CREATIVITY, and GRACE—the immediate presence of Spirit.
YOU are cordially invited to join me April 12-15, 2018 in Madison, WI for the 29th Annual Writers’ Conference. I’m delighted to be a guest instructor at this incredible event!
Writers’ Institute is my tribe. This is where I learned the craft, and I can say in all honesty that Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth is published because I availed myself of the fantastic writing critique services offered here.
Click to enlarge
BRING A FRIEND to Writers’ Institute this year, and if your friend has never attended a previous Writers’ Institute, you and your friend can each save $35 on your registration — that’s $290 instead of $325 for the full conference.
To receive this discount, you will need to register together. This exclusive, limited offer will only be available December 4th, 2017 through January 9th, 2018 and will end at midnight on January 9th, 2018. Please follow this LINK for details
Have you ever written a book or thought about writing one?
Yesterday I took part in Hide a Book Day with Goodreads who’d teamed up with the Book Fairies (#ibelieveinbookfairies) and thousands of authors all around the globe to hide books for people to find, read, and leave for the next person.
After affixing the unique Book Fairies sticker, I bound mine with color-coordinated curling ribbon, then hid ten signed copies of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth throughout Boise, Idaho. I opted for high foot-traffic locations such as the airport, the Towne Square mall, the capitol building, and several coffee shops in historic downtown.
If you’re an author, I hope you were able to participate. If you’re an avid reader, I hope you found a book left by a book fairy.
When was the last time you were touched by a bit of magic?