Change It!

“I hate my life.”

“Why do other people have it easier than me?”

“I hate my job”

Our thoughts are full of negative comments. If we wrote down every negative word that took up residence in our thoughts, they would probably fill an entire book. And most of the time, we let them sit there and fester, creating more and more negativity until we are down in the dumps, curled on the couch with frown on our face, wanting to hide from the world.

Some people will tell you to take actions in your life to change what you hate. Hate your job, get a new one? Someone who hates their life may leave their spouse in search of the grass being greener on the other side.

But I say it’s not always our life that we have to change as such. We could have the greatest life, yet still be down in the dumps. Because it’s not really our life that has us depressed. It’s the way we allow ourselves to think. That is why when someone attempts to make physical changes in their life, they may be happy for a bit, but it won’t last. The negative thoughts will come back as strong as ever, and they can’t figure out what the heck is happening and why they aren’t content. So the cycle begins again as they seek to find the one thing that can make them happy. But it won’t work.

To change our life, the first thing we have to change is our mindset…our thought patterns. We have to stop saying things like, “I hate my life” Or “If only I had this, then I’d be happy.” We need to filter out the negative words before they ingrain themselves in our mind.

And while we can’t necessarily control what we think, we can control whether we accept it. We can be mindful of when negativity pops into our head and counter it with better words, positive words. We can retrain our brain to accept better information.  

Shouldn’t this year be the year we do that? The year to stop letting negative thoughts overcrowd our minds. What if when you hear that first negative word, you say “Stop, not today! Today, I’m gonna love my life. I’m gonna live, and I’m gonna breathe. I’m gonna look for something amazing in today.”

Harrison Hot Springs

When you can start to train your mind to see the beautiful things, the positive things, then they become your focus and while life may not perfect, you’ll start to see amazing things at the perfect time. And contentment will follow. But it all starts inside you.

Your emotions will mirror the way you allow yourself to think. I chose this year to be the year of less negative thinking. What about you?


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Year End Countdown

New Years Resolutions…

We all make them, don’t we? And many of us fail to keep them. As a writer, my New Year’s Resolution always revolves around what I want to accomplish writing wise in the coming year. Sadly, over the last while, I allowed life to get in the way again, like I did so many years ago when I stopped writing for ten years.

But I’ve come to realize that life is always going to have something that gets in the way and if I don’t learn how to work around it, I’ll never accomplish the goals I set for myself. My excuse this past year has been my lack of energy, fulltime work, family, and my recovery. I was in an accident last November and caught covid at the same time, and honestly speaking, I’m still recovering. I have more chronic pain than I did before, this time in my hand, so that makes writing difficult.

But as they say, you can always find an excuse not to do something. It’s very easy to come up with a reason to wait, but that’s not the way I want to live anymore. So, you heard it here first. My goal is to prepare all my stories for future publication in the coming two years.

I have a duology that I’m working on, part horror and part romance, which I will be self-publishing this coming year. The working titles are “Her Prison, His game” and “Beneath his Hands.”

Also, the sequel to Her Lover’s Face, “His Sweet Addiction”, is almost ready to go. I’m just rewriting the first chapter to give it more zing. I can’t wait to send this one to my publisher, Black Velvet Seductions(if you haven’t already, check out their website, especially if you like spicy romance), and finally complete the story of Her Lover’s Face. Maybe it will see the light in 2021. 😊

I’ve also sent another short story to BVS to be included in an anthology. It’s a dark romance called, “Out of the Mouth of Babes.” It’s part of a series that I’m working on called, “Resurrection Hour.” Fingers crossed that he enjoys it because then that will be another story coming out in 2021.

Today, I just emailed another publishing company in hopes that my story, “Into the Fire” will see publication again in another anthology. I’m quite attached to this one.

Aside from these, I have four other completed novels that need to be edited and will hopefully see publication either this coming year or in 2023. But if I don’t set my mind to do this, I probably won’t because editing is daunting to me, especially when the unedited story pile keeps growing and I keep putting it off. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this? *lol*

I’d love to hear what your working on. Drop a line in the comment section below. 😀 Let readers know what’s coming up for you, too. If you aren’t a writer, please post your own resolutions for the coming year.


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A Job or a Career?

One of the most interesting things I’ve come across when it comes to someone’s passion is that whatever it is transports them to another world. When I stepped onto the ice—my sport of passion was ice hockey— it felt like I entered a whole other world. I was no longer me. I dawned a helmet and gear, like a gladiator, unafraid at the prospect of falling or being hit by another player. I became a whole other person, or maybe I become the part of me that was hidden deep down.

Passions are something that engulf our entire spirit, consumes our person. They make life worth living every day. They make your career come alive. Jobs are great in the sense that they allow you to have a roof over your head and food in your bellies, but they don’t feed you the desires of your heart unless you are following after what you are most passionate about.

Sometimes we spend ages trying to figure out what we want to do with our life, but usually one certain passion hits you when you are young. Me, I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was little. I’m not by any means popular, but I like following the ideas in my head and making them a reality on paper. My son, ever since he was little, had a passion for diseases. He used to go school and scare the teachers with his knowledge about them, and they’d be calling us, worried about him. My daughter loves science. My other son loves cooking and the idea of being a chef. He’s starting his first ever college course on becoming a chef today.

Do you know your passion? Can you think back to when you were younger and recall what it was that you enjoyed most? Are you doing that today or are you just going through the daily motions of a job you hate because you don’t think you have a choice?

Life is far too short to not live your dreams. Sometimes we think that we’re too old to go after something new. I turned 43 years old last year, having survived my fifth car accident and Covid, so I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on who I am, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t have a fancy house or a fancy car. I am not worth millions of dollars, but there is one thing I do have and that I’m following after, my passion for the written word while doing security.

That’s me. That’s who I am.

Who are you? Share in the comments below.


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Mindset

When we have a negative mindset, our determination and stubbornness can become a problem. We become too stubborn about the wrong things. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. I’m worthless. I’m fat. I’m too skinny. I’m too flat chested. I have too much acne. Who’s going to love me? I can’t read, so what can I do? I can’t see. I can’t walk. Or any number of things that are sometimes drilled into our psyche by others and by our own mind.

What we accomplish or don’t accomplish in life is based on the mindset we have. Whether we can be happy or whether we’re just plain miserable is based on what we allow ourselves to dwell on. If we keep telling ourselves that nothing ever goes right. This sucks. I hate my life. Then that is what we are training our brain to think and to perceive. They call this neuroplasticity. It’s our brain’s ability to re-wire itself. This is something I learned a lot about while fighting with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

When I was at my worst, I had what you could call a can’t mindset. People would tell me to just stop doing my compulsions, and I would say, “That’s easy for you to say. I can’t do it. I can’t just stop.”

“Why?” they’d ask.

And that right there was a very good question. Why couldn’t I stop? It’s because that’s what I taught my brain. Now, I’m not a doctor—nowhere close to being a doctor—I just have my own experiences which has taught me things along the way. I’d done my compulsions so much that I’d developed a habit, an addiction of sorts. If I didn’t do them, I have such a feeling of dread that it would drop me to the floor in tears.

Can’t is a very powerful word, very destructive. And likewise, the opposite is also true—I can is equally powerful. Don’t tell yourself you’ll try, tell yourself you will. The words, I’ll try can set you up for failure, set you up for the idea that you might not do it. Instead, we need to be speaking positively to ourselves, not just for our mind’s sake, but for those around who hear us, who witness our journey…especially kids, who soak everything up like sponges.

How many more successful kids would there be if they saw us going after our dreams…if we were telling them that their dreams had value, that their dreams are important. Your dreams are important, too, and no one should be able to tell you otherwise. Biggest thing to remember is that what you allow your mindset to be is what you’ll become, whether good or bad. You tell yourself you can’t, you won’t. You tell yourself you can, and you will.

“But what if I fail?” you ask.

Did you know that believing you failed is a mindset of its own? What is failure? How do you define failure? Do you remember how I mentioned Thomas Edison earlier? A reporter once asked him about how it felt to fail 1000 times. He said, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention that took 1,000 steps.”

Sometimes you won’t succeed right away. Nobody does, but it’s those who stay persistent that eventually get to where they want to go. You never truly fail until you give up, and even then, what’s to say that somewhere down the line, you don’t finally succeed? I put my writing aside for a decade, but I still came back and accomplished what I set out to do.

You are never too old or too young to start living your dream, setting yourself on the path to fulfilling it. If Akiane Kramarik, Hanalei Swan, Caroline Bercaw, Isabel Bercaw, and Alina Morse can believe in themselves and go after their dreams, why should we be any different?

As adults we sometimes forget how to dream, how to believe. I think this is where kids have a leg up on us. We become more logical minded and less fanciful, and in this I believe we are doing our kids a great injustice. They need to see us going after our dreams if they are to go after theirs.

And if they have a dream, they have to know that we believe in them. Their dreams are not stupid or unrealistic, that’s our own mindset that we are putting on them. They don’t deserve that. They deserve to know they can follow their passion. I know not all of us are rich. Some of us can’t put our kids in city sports(too expensive). We can’t buy our kids the moon as some may be able to, but we can help them reach for it by encouraging them. Believing in them. Letting them know that their dreams have value. That they have value.

As a mom of teenagers, I watch mine struggle through various issues, and I try to be there for them. They’ve seen me struggle with certain things myself, but I make a point of standing right back up and trying again. My goal is to teach them that they can do whatever they set their mind to, nothing has to stop them. One day at a time, one step at a time is how we get to where we want to go.

Life really is what you make it. We have to get rid of that negative mindset because life doesn’t stop for it. We keep aging, so we have to make a choice as to what that is going to look like for us. All I know is that I don’t want to lay on my death bed wishing I took the chance on my dreams.

You are never too old or too young to follow a dream. As long as you have breath, your dreams are waiting for you. So why don’t you decide today to go after them! Let today be a fresh start. I believe in you! The only thing left is for you to believe in yourself. If you find the strength to take that first step, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.


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Achieving Your Dream – Part Two

We’ve all seen them—the productivity memes. You know, the ones that say something like:

“You pick up a cup and attempt to go to the kitchen to do the dishes, but get distracted by a dirty table. You put the cup down to clean the table, then you find a bill that needs to be paid. On your way to the computer to pay the bill, you get distracted by dirty laundry on the floor. On your way to do the laundry, you get distracted by something else…and by the end of the day, you haven’t really accomplish anything at all.”

*Phew* Even reading that made me exhausted, but you get the general idea. There is a lot of stuff we want to do and have to do, but there is always something else that distracts us, and for some people, even more so. It’s not always easy to stay on task when so much is going on around us. Our dreams often take a backseat to life because them seem so impossible to accomplish.

Over a decade ago, I started playing an online game called Runescape. It’s this immense online multiplayer game and very addicting. You could interact with other players, chat with them, and train skills with them. Each skill could go up to Level 99, and as you raised your skills, you could do more and more things in the game. Some skills could take months or even a year or more to hit 99, depending on how much you play and how focused you are.

When I first started playing, I jumped from skill to skill, much like a person jumping from chore to chore or dream to dream. But I noticed after a while it felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. That’s when I decided I needed to focus on one skill if I ever wanted to reach 99 in anything in a reasonable amount of time. So I chose to focus on their Woodcutting skill. I made a plan. I figured out how many logs I needed to cut and how many I could reasonably cut in a day and then counted out the number of days it would take to get to 99.

I started a daily journal on their forums to hold myself accountable to my goal. Each day I refused to do anything else in the game until that goal was done. People in the community were so used to people failing that they would tell me that my goal wasn’t possible; however, slowly but surely, I watched myself succeed, as did the community. Other people became inspired and started to believe that they, too, could hit the infamous 99’s. We even created a group to help inspire each other. We called it, “Achievers United.”

It was during this time that I learned the importance of focusing, making a plan, and giving myself a deadline—making sure that I didn’t let myself get distracted. Without a plan, a big goal can seem daunting because you can’t see the end in front of you. And without a daily log, you also can’t see what you’ve accomplished so far.

At some point, the novelty of working on something wears off and you find yourself in a dark tunnel, where you start losing motivation. You begin to wonder whether you can actually do it or not. Having a daily log lets you go see how far you’ve come from where you used to be, and that helps you start to believe that you can keep moving forward. If you’ve come this far, you can find the strength to keep going.

This is also where a daily goal comes in handy. If all you had to look at was the end goal and how you needed to, for example, cut 150,000 logs, you may get discouraged by the sheer size of the number. And likewise when you write a book, if all you focused on was that you needed 80,000-100,000 words, it might feel like too much. But if you break it down into a daily goal, and just focus on what’s in front of you for that day, it makes it so much easier.

How do you find out how much you should do on any given day? Well, work on your goal for one week. Do as much as you can each day so that you can see what you’re working with. At the end of the week, examine those numbers and pick something that you know you can do reasonably on a daily basis. In terms of writing, I know I can write 1500 words a day, so that’s my daily goal. If I do that, it’s possible to complete a book in 53 days, not counting your days of rest. Your daily goal may be different, it may be higher or it may be lower. Some I know can crank out over 7,000 words a day. For me, I think that would make my head explode.  *haha*

But when you break it down into manageable chunks, your dream becomes a lot easier to envision. My favourite part of having played Runescape was that I learned valuable transferable skills that I put to good use in my life. It’s how I’ve managed to write “THE END” on so many stories. And I’m telling you that you can do it too. You just have to set your mind to it and follow through.

The road may not always be easy and you may fall short at times, but don’t think of it as failure, just think of it as a step towards your goal. You never truly fail unless you give up.


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Check out “Her Lover’s Face”:

“Laryssa Mitchell is one of the lucky ones. The death of her abusive husband finally allows her to live again on her own terms, making her own choices. Her first official decision is to take back what was lost – her independence and her old job. But she soon finds herself in a living nightmare when she meets her new boss. If her husband is rotting in hell, then who is the man standing in front of her with a dead man’s face?

Alexander Richards doesn’t expect to catch an unconscious woman in his arms on his first day at work, nor does he envision himself willingly setting foot in a hospital again, reliving his painful loss. But that’s exactly what he chooses to do when Laryssa needs his help. Why?

She has a story to tell. He has a mystery to solve. In the midst of danger, passion sizzles between them, taking them by surprise. What will happen when all is brought to light? Will they be able to overcome their traumatic pasts and find love in each other, or will their ghosts have the final say?”