#UpbeatAuthors

by Kathryn Jane

I belong to a Facebook group called #upbeatauthors. It was the brainchild of an author who was feeling (like many of us) overwhelmed by the negativity on social media. Her idea was to have a safe place where we could go to share positive outlooks, and uplifting words.

A whole bunch of us jumped on board of course, and we’ve grown to nearly three hundred members.

What do we do there?

Our leader has posted a theme for every week right up to the end of the year, and on Mondays, we post something positive, related to the theme.

Want to know the coolest thing about this group? In the beginning, many of us struggled a bit to come up with something to write, or share by picture, but as the weeks have gone on, so has the participation, and the ease with which the positivity flows!

Also cool, that when I remember to put my #upbeatauthors post on my own page, it often gets shared around Facebook, so I feel like I’m contributing to making the world a happier place. (Call me Pollyanna if you must, but I’m happy there!)

Here are a few of my favorite posters:

 

Your favorite historical figure

Ways to show the important people in your life that you love them in simple ways

Places you would like to go, and why

How to work smarter


Living in the moment/mindfulness


Turning a negative into a positive


When one door closes, another opens


Ways to be kind to yourself

 

How to deal with busy holiday season

 

Watch for a new #UpbeatAuthors post every Monday on my Facebook page, and see if you can resist the good feeling that comes from a positive heart!


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

 


The Sisterhood of Suspense's

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Enter the Sisterhood of Suspense’s Rafflecopter #Giveaway for your chance at some page-turning reads!

The Intrepid Women Collection (books 1-6) by Kathryn Jane (e-copy edition)

Maggie’s Revenge by Jacquie Biggar (e-copy edition)

Partners: Odyssey of The Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair (e-copy edition)

Season of Promises by Vicki Batman (e-copy edition)

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall (e-copy edition)

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio (e-copy edition)

Truth Be Told by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

$10 Amazon Gift Card donated by Marsha R. West

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The Scent of Change #Globalwarming #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

 

Don’t forget to enter our monthly giveaway!

 

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More Than I Wished For by Marian Lanouette

Unexpected Holiday Bonus by Marian Lanouette

Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

Second Act by Marsha R. West

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Touch Me by Kathryn Jane

Bug Stuff and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Snowed by Veronica Forand

Hold ‘Em in audiobook format by Jacquie Biggar

$10 G/C by S.A. Taylor

Photographic Notecards by Sharon Wray

My Fascination with the Devil #amwriting #Suspense #RSsos @jacqbiggar

It’s not what you’re thinking. Okay, maybe it is.

I’ve fallen in love.

He’s Handsome, smart, charming, and oh yeah, he’s the devil.

And I’m not alone.

Thousands tune in every Monday night to watch what is quickly becoming a craze on Twitter and various other social media platforms.

That’s right, it’s Lucifer.

So what is this phenomenon all about?

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.

For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifier’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.

Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness — unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Like Lucifer-played by the amazing Tom Ellis, I think we all go through phases where we don’t feel good enough (He thinks he was sent to Hell as punishment from Father. His older brother, Amenadiel- played by D.B Woodside, tells him it was actually because He trusted Lucifer to keep the evil ones down there and so protect humanity.)

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Lately, I’ve been struggling with personal self-esteem. That’s the problem with being an introvert, you spend way too much time in your head.

My sales are down. My writing is slo… ow going, each word is like pulling teeth, and my family has been having medical problems.

Hard to stay positive in the face of all that adversity.

But, then hope appears (much like Lucifer’s guiding light, Chloe). A good review here, a kind word there, and the darkness falls away. Maybe I can finish this story. Find new readers. Make my mark in this crazy world of writing.

Maybe.

If you haven’t watched Lucifer yet, you should. It’s surprising what the devil can teach us. 🙂

By the way, I have a new release coming out!

July 1st 2017 is the one hundred fiftieth birthday of Canada’s Confederation and our local writing/critiquing group decided it would be fun to do an anthology to celebrate.

My contribution, My Baby Wrote Me A Letter, stems from a news segment I watched. A woman bought an old desk at a yard sale. After bringing it home she began the process of refinishing the wood and happened to find a letter taped to the back of a drawer.

When she read the message, she realized the note could be important to someone, and with little more than a faded name to go on, began a search for the writer of the mysterious letter.

It was placing a picture on Facebook that led to the son of the man who had written that long ago message to his family. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and feared he would never survive to see his children grow, so he wrote them a letter from the heart.

The news story had a happy ending; the man survived the cancer and lived not only to see his children to adulthood, but several of his grandchildren as well.

His story was an inspiration to me,

Jacquie

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Getting Fit On Facebook

Hi all!

I’m Kathryn Jane, and if it’s the first Tuesday of the month, it’s my turn to share something about my life as a writer…so here goes.

Somewhere around the beginning of the year, when I’d been several weeks without my usual beach walks due to snowy weather, I thought, no problem, I’ll just crank up my tunes and dance to get some exercise indoors.

Hah! Didn’t happen. Well, not much after the first couple of days at least.

A few more weeks went by, and constant discomfort from sitting at the computer for endless hours had me once again anxious about how unfit I was becoming, and horrified by how quickly my muscle strength was vanishing. (I used to be very strong and fit due to a lifetime of working with horses.)

Determined to stop the downward slide of inactivity, I set up a plan for daily floor exercises and stretching, but knew I’d be lucky to keep it up for more than a few days before I’d be sloughing off. How the heck was I going to stay motivated?

A few years ago, when I started posting my daily gratitude on Facebook, it was to make my commitment public, and that’s what kept me on task. Made sense to carry on with what was already working, right?

Yep.

On March 17th, I added an Exercise Journal to my Daily Gratitude post, and I haven’t missed a day yet. Ha ha, lots of nights I’m on the floor going through the paces just before I do my post, but heck it’s working!

And I’m happy to say, my strength is returning much more quickly than I expected.


Tell me…what keeps you motivated?????


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The Path to Fix My Writing Mojo

Summer break is my writing sweet spot. Two months where I can focus on crafting a new novel or polishing an existing project.

At the start of summer 2016, I set several goals to conquer by August 1. One was to write the last half of my novel, Shutter, and another was to complete revisions on another manuscript, A Twisted Fate. I used the same strategy to prepare for my writing sessions, including music, coffee, and snacks. I jotted down major plot points for each scene and established a specific word count goal for the day.

But nothing happened.

With each passing writing session, each passing day without making progress, I became more frustrated. I started overthinking the creative process and tried forcing words and scenes to appear, only to find this strategy had the opposite effect.

By July it became obvious, I needed a different approach. So, I unplugged my thumb drive. I stepped away from the desk, the story, and my old strategies, and searched for a new path to bring back my writing mojo.

What else did I do?

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My new wardrobe accessory

Worked out: I poured my energy into fitness. Whether it was conquering a new challenge at the Crossfit gym (I still hate burpees and box jumps), or tackling my daily step count for the day, I moved forward mentally and physically.

Read: I dove into my huge to-be-read pile and enjoyed reading books from different authors and genres.

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New books from RWA 2016 added to the TBR stash

Gained Inspiration from others: I love Instagram. There are so many people out there who motivate me with their talents and creativity. Some of my favorite feeds are Rachel Hollis (who I was thrilled to meet this summer at the RWA conference), Shay Cochrane, Megan McQueen, Michelle Seivers, and Mindfully Gray.

Traveled: I took some amazing trips this summer, including one to San Diego for the RWA conference and another to Portland, Oregon, to spend time with lifelong friends.

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Hike near Canon Beach in Oregon

Explored: I made time to explore the beauty around me and captured these moments in photos. In the process, my passion for photography grew and now I have a visual journal to remember each place.

What’s the status on getting my writing mojo back?

Well, August has turned to September and I’m still overthinking the storyline, still shuffling my way through writing the ending to Shutter. However, I gained something bigger from my time away from the desk.

I learned that one approach isn’t always the best. A detour off the usual path can provide a wealth of ideas, ones for describing a setting, crafting unique traits in my characters, and brainstorming intriguing plots.

Now when I sit down to write, I have a renewed perspective, a calmness that wasn’t present before. Perhaps the most valuable thing I learned during this time away – just WRITE!

Regardless if I wrote 500 words to describe a character’s backstory, a critique for another author, a book review, or a blog post, I was still growing as a writer.

What’s your best approach to stir up ideas when the creativity pool runs dry?


STaylor photo

Featured photos courtesy of Stephanie Taylor.

You can find me on the following sites: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Email and Instagram