writer

Misty Evans Interview + Giveaway!

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Welcome to my guest blogger today, author Misty Evans, here talking about writing and the writing life. Her book, Soul Suvivor, released June 21st.

One lucky commentor will win a copy of Soul Survivor and five others will win one handmade custom bookmark for Soul Survivor.

Misty, tell us about Soul Survivor.

Joan, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! Soul Suvivor is a dark paranormal romantic suspense published by Carina Press. Here’s the blurb:

Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.

Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there’s no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife’s memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.

But when Keva’s own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past…

Soul Survivor is the first of your Lost Worlds Series. Can you tell us what inspired the series and what is in store in the sequels to Soul Survivor?

My twin sons have long been fascinated with lost civilizations, both real and mythical. Their interest sparked a similar interest in me, especially about North American civilizations such as the Anazazi and Hopewell groups. For my fictional series, I created a lost tribe of Native Americans of which my hero and heroine were members of a thousand years ago and was destroyed because of their love for each other. In the second book, Soul Protector, my archeologist hero discovers the bones of the lost tribe and releases a bunch of angry ghosts.

The story’s heroine is a shaman and ghost whisperer, so she’s against him digging them up in the first place and then must get the ghosts to cross over before they destroy her, him and many other innocent people in their quest for revenge. Even though there’s a new hero and heroine for this book, Keva and Rife from Soul Survivor will make an appearance. The third book in the series, Soul Walker, is still rattling around in my head.

Can you tell us a little about your Witches Anonymous series and what inspired it?

Witches Anonymous is one of my most loved series by fans. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s light paranormal or because the heroine’s torn between Lucifer (definite bad boy) and Adam (the original Adam who’s on Earth for a redo), but my readers love this series. Which is great for me, because I love writing it. There are three novellas published so far in the series and a fourth coming out late summer. The series was inspired by my Baptist upbringing and my God complex. I’ve always wanted to rewrite a few biblical stories, and in this series, I get to do that.

What is your writing routine?

I write for several hours in the morning M-F, and then promote, edit, do interviews, etc., in the afternoon. Weekends I try to save for family and fun and recharging my muse.

How does your family view your writing career?

Most of my immediate family supported it from the beginning. A few outliers are starting to warm up to it. There are always moments when it feels like my writing and my family life are at odds, but only because of time constraints and the fact I can completely immerse myself in writing and forget to come up for air. That’s when the kids, my husband and my friends do an intervention and return to me to the real world for awhile. I find it difficult to maintain a healthy balance!

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Readers are absolutely the best part of being an author. I love writing stories, but if I didn’t have fans who enjoy reading them, I’d question my abilities as a storyteller. They send me emails, post nice messages on my Facebook author wall, and chat with me on Twitter. Some are even gracious enough to join my Yahoo Group and sign up for my newsletter. I try to make it as easy as I can for them to contact me and I love hearing from new fans as well as tried and true ones. Knowing I have readers makes me show up to the keyboard every day.

What authors do you like to read?

Currently, I’m on a Meg Cabot kick, so I’m reading both her adult and YA books. I love so many authors, it would take weeks to name them all. Consistently I enjoy Jodi Picoult, Edie Ramer, PJ Alderman, CE Murphy, Rachel Hawkins, Jennifer Estep, Cassandra Claire and Stacia Kane.

What are you reading now?

Fiction: Insatiable by Meg Cabot and Ghost Ship by PJ Alderman; and nonfiction: A Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger.

What is in your TBR pile?

My TBR is always a mile long, both in physical books and ebooks on my Kindle. Galaxy Girls by Edie Ramer and On Any Given Sunday by Marilyn Brandt are up next.

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

Does motherhood count as my second career?  Before I decided to become a full-time writer, I was in the business world as a marketing manager. My last job was working in the public health field and I did everything from edit newsletters to manage a breast and cervical cancer program. During my writing career, I’ve also taught creative writing and been a substitute teacher.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Strong voice and stronger characters.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Characters come first, plot second. I don’t have a set formula for writing per se, but since I write series that are in different genres from each other, I do follow a loose formula for each series that works for me. For the Super Agent series, I do a lot more research and plotting. For the Witches Anonymous series, I let my muse direct the story. The Lost Worlds series is a sort of in between…some plotting and some pantsing.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Coffee, thesaurus, creative imagination and an undefeatable attitude.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

I hold writers in the utmost regard, so becoming an author and being allowed to tell my stories is an honor. To have the kind of fabulous readers I do, and to know my stories lighten their day, is the best dream come true I could ask for.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write in bed. I have a bad back, so it’s the only way for me to type.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read, grow herbs, hang out with my family and friends. I also make silver jewelry, homemade cards and I love to bake. I’ve been decorating cakes since high school. All those things are great stress relievers and provide me with creative outlets different from writing.

Where can we find you online?

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Yahoo! Group

Thanks for being with us, Misty!
Remember to comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Misty’s Soul Survior or one of five bookmarks! (International)
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!

>Misty Evans Interview + Giveaway!

>

Welcome to my guest blogger today, author Misty Evans, here talking about writing and the writing life. Her book, Soul Suvivor, released June 21st.

One lucky commentor will win a copy of Soul Survivor and five others will win one handmade custom bookmark for Soul Survivor.

Misty, tell us about Soul Survivor.

Joan, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! Soul Suvivor is a dark paranormal romantic suspense published by Carina Press. Here’s the blurb:

Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.

Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there’s no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife’s memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.

But when Keva’s own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past…

Soul Survivor is the first of your Lost Worlds Series. Can you tell us what inspired the series and what is in store in the sequels to Soul Survivor?

My twin sons have long been fascinated with lost civilizations, both real and mythical. Their interest sparked a similar interest in me, especially about North American civilizations such as the Anazazi and Hopewell groups. For my fictional series, I created a lost tribe of Native Americans of which my hero and heroine were members of a thousand years ago and was destroyed because of their love for each other. In the second book, Soul Protector, my archeologist hero discovers the bones of the lost tribe and releases a bunch of angry ghosts.

The story’s heroine is a shaman and ghost whisperer, so she’s against him digging them up in the first place and then must get the ghosts to cross over before they destroy her, him and many other innocent people in their quest for revenge. Even though there’s a new hero and heroine for this book, Keva and Rife from Soul Survivor will make an appearance. The third book in the series, Soul Walker, is still rattling around in my head.

Can you tell us a little about your Witches Anonymous series and what inspired it?

Witches Anonymous is one of my most loved series by fans. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s light paranormal or because the heroine’s torn between Lucifer (definite bad boy) and Adam (the original Adam who’s on Earth for a redo), but my readers love this series. Which is great for me, because I love writing it. There are three novellas published so far in the series and a fourth coming out late summer. The series was inspired by my Baptist upbringing and my God complex. I’ve always wanted to rewrite a few biblical stories, and in this series, I get to do that.

What is your writing routine?

I write for several hours in the morning M-F, and then promote, edit, do interviews, etc., in the afternoon. Weekends I try to save for family and fun and recharging my muse.

How does your family view your writing career?

Most of my immediate family supported it from the beginning. A few outliers are starting to warm up to it. There are always moments when it feels like my writing and my family life are at odds, but only because of time constraints and the fact I can completely immerse myself in writing and forget to come up for air. That’s when the kids, my husband and my friends do an intervention and return to me to the real world for awhile. I find it difficult to maintain a healthy balance!

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Readers are absolutely the best part of being an author. I love writing stories, but if I didn’t have fans who enjoy reading them, I’d question my abilities as a storyteller. They send me emails, post nice messages on my Facebook author wall, and chat with me on Twitter. Some are even gracious enough to join my Yahoo Group and sign up for my newsletter. I try to make it as easy as I can for them to contact me and I love hearing from new fans as well as tried and true ones. Knowing I have readers makes me show up to the keyboard every day.

What authors do you like to read?

Currently, I’m on a Meg Cabot kick, so I’m reading both her adult and YA books. I love so many authors, it would take weeks to name them all. Consistently I enjoy Jodi Picoult, Edie Ramer, PJ Alderman, CE Murphy, Rachel Hawkins, Jennifer Estep, Cassandra Claire and Stacia Kane.

What are you reading now?

Fiction: Insatiable by Meg Cabot and Ghost Ship by PJ Alderman; and nonfiction: A Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger.

What is in your TBR pile?

My TBR is always a mile long, both in physical books and ebooks on my Kindle. Galaxy Girls by Edie Ramer and On Any Given Sunday by Marilyn Brandt are up next.

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

Does motherhood count as my second career?  Before I decided to become a full-time writer, I was in the business world as a marketing manager. My last job was working in the public health field and I did everything from edit newsletters to manage a breast and cervical cancer program. During my writing career, I’ve also taught creative writing and been a substitute teacher.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Strong voice and stronger characters.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Characters come first, plot second. I don’t have a set formula for writing per se, but since I write series that are in different genres from each other, I do follow a loose formula for each series that works for me. For the Super Agent series, I do a lot more research and plotting. For the Witches Anonymous series, I let my muse direct the story. The Lost Worlds series is a sort of in between…some plotting and some pantsing.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Coffee, thesaurus, creative imagination and an undefeatable attitude.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

I hold writers in the utmost regard, so becoming an author and being allowed to tell my stories is an honor. To have the kind of fabulous readers I do, and to know my stories lighten their day, is the best dream come true I could ask for.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write in bed. I have a bad back, so it’s the only way for me to type.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read, grow herbs, hang out with my family and friends. I also make silver jewelry, homemade cards and I love to bake. I’ve been decorating cakes since high school. All those things are great stress relievers and provide me with creative outlets different from writing.

Where can we find you online?

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Yahoo! Group

Thanks for being with us, Misty!
Remember to comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Misty’s Soul Survior or one of five bookmarks! (International)
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!

>Cynthia Eden Talks Paranormal Power

>SUPER HAPPY RELEASE DAY to my friend Cynthia Eden!

Cynthia is here today talking about POWER.  Paranormal power, specifically!

~ One random commentor will WIN a copy of NEVER CRY WOLF, which releases today.
~ Five random commentors will WIN a custom bookmark made for NEVER CRY WOLF.

RUNNING WITH A DANGEROUS CROWD

Lucas Simone is not the kind of guy you mess with. He’s big, he’s strong, and his eyes hint at a wilder side most women can’t handle. Of course, that’s because his predatory instincts are no metaphor—he’s a genuine Grade-A top-quality werewolf, tough enough to fight his way to dominance over the scariest pack on the West Coast. There’s only one chink in his armor. Unlike most alpha dogs, Lucas has a reputation for protecting the weak and innocent.

Sarah King is counting on that protective impulse—it’s the only thing standing between her and certain death. There are only two problems: one, she’s not quite as innocent as she’d like Lucas to believe. And two, if he doesn’t stop stoking Sarah’s animal lust, it’s only a matter of time before her own wild side gets unleashed…

Read Excerpt HERE

BUY HERE 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Let’s Talk Power

Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for checking out my post today—and a huge thanks to my awesome host Joan for inviting me over!

For this post, I want to talk about power. Power can come in various forms—and when you start talking about paranormal characters, well, power can sure mean many, many things.

The hero of NEVER CRY WOLF is a wolf shifter, the alpha of his pack. So, yeah, he knows a thing or two about power. You want protection, you want strength, then you turn to Lucas because he can generally kick butt.

When I wrote his book, I wanted to give him a heroine that would be just as strong as he was…just as powerful. But I didn’t want her to be a wolf. Instead, I created Sarah King to be a charmer. In my paranormal world, charmers are beings that can communicate with animals. (Think the cool snake charmers, but imagine that those guys actually talked to snakes like Harry Potter could. J) Sarah King is a charmer who can communicate with wolves, and while on the surface, it may seem like her paranormal gift doesn’t give her the same power that Lucas possesses, well, that surface glance would be deceptive.

Different powers…different degrees of danger.

Remember the old line about how opposites attract? When I write, I like to give my characters opposite power characteristics. That tends to make things interesting. J When I wrote about my Ignitor heroine (a woman who could burn anything, any time), I paired her up with a demon who could control fire in ETERNAL FLAME. Opposite powers, but when those two got together, the sparks flew.

So, tell me…what’s your favorite paranormal power?

One random commenter will be picked to win a copy of NEVER CRY WOLF.

Cynthia Eden www.cynthiaeden.com
NEVER CRY WOLF—Available 6/28/11 Kensington Brava
Be afraid of the big, bad wolf…

Cynthia Eden Talks Paranormal Power

SUPER HAPPY RELEASE DAY to my friend Cynthia Eden!

Cynthia is here today talking about POWER.  Paranormal power, specifically!

~ One random commentor will WIN a copy of NEVER CRY WOLF, which releases today.
~ Five random commentors will WIN a custom bookmark made for NEVER CRY WOLF.

RUNNING WITH A DANGEROUS CROWD

Lucas Simone is not the kind of guy you mess with. He’s big, he’s strong, and his eyes hint at a wilder side most women can’t handle. Of course, that’s because his predatory instincts are no metaphor—he’s a genuine Grade-A top-quality werewolf, tough enough to fight his way to dominance over the scariest pack on the West Coast. There’s only one chink in his armor. Unlike most alpha dogs, Lucas has a reputation for protecting the weak and innocent.

Sarah King is counting on that protective impulse—it’s the only thing standing between her and certain death. There are only two problems: one, she’s not quite as innocent as she’d like Lucas to believe. And two, if he doesn’t stop stoking Sarah’s animal lust, it’s only a matter of time before her own wild side gets unleashed…

Read Excerpt HERE

BUY HERE 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Let’s Talk Power

Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for checking out my post today—and a huge thanks to my awesome host Joan for inviting me over!

For this post, I want to talk about power. Power can come in various forms—and when you start talking about paranormal characters, well, power can sure mean many, many things.

The hero of NEVER CRY WOLF is a wolf shifter, the alpha of his pack. So, yeah, he knows a thing or two about power. You want protection, you want strength, then you turn to Lucas because he can generally kick butt.

When I wrote his book, I wanted to give him a heroine that would be just as strong as he was…just as powerful. But I didn’t want her to be a wolf. Instead, I created Sarah King to be a charmer. In my paranormal world, charmers are beings that can communicate with animals. (Think the cool snake charmers, but imagine that those guys actually talked to snakes like Harry Potter could. J) Sarah King is a charmer who can communicate with wolves, and while on the surface, it may seem like her paranormal gift doesn’t give her the same power that Lucas possesses, well, that surface glance would be deceptive.

Different powers…different degrees of danger.

Remember the old line about how opposites attract? When I write, I like to give my characters opposite power characteristics. That tends to make things interesting. J When I wrote about my Ignitor heroine (a woman who could burn anything, any time), I paired her up with a demon who could control fire in ETERNAL FLAME. Opposite powers, but when those two got together, the sparks flew.

So, tell me…what’s your favorite paranormal power?

One random commenter will be picked to win a copy of NEVER CRY WOLF.

Cynthia Eden www.cynthiaeden.com
NEVER CRY WOLF—Available 6/28/11 Kensington Brava
Be afraid of the big, bad wolf…

The Real Story Behind Pacing…post at Magical Musings

>I used to think pacing was all about action. Car chases, shootouts, hostage situation or, if we’re talking about a contemporary romance, it would be a personal crisis or business in immediate jeopardy.

Then I read the most recent Koontz novel What the Night Knows. And I realized that pacing isn’t about action, it’s all about presenting story questions then making your reader wait to discover the answer.

READ MORE >>

>The Real Story Behind Pacing…post at Magical Musings

>I used to think pacing was all about action. Car chases, shootouts, hostage situation or, if we’re talking about a contemporary romance, it would be a personal crisis or business in immediate jeopardy.

Then I read the most recent Koontz novel What the Night Knows. And I realized that pacing isn’t about action, it’s all about presenting story questions then making your reader wait to discover the answer.

READ MORE >>

Positive Self-Talk? Seriously?

>Yes. Seriously.

We all talk to ourselves.  (Writers probably more than most…maybe because we have little people running around in our heads.)  Whether we talk out loud or simply think concretely or even just let background chatter drift through our minds, we are all talking to ourselves all day long.

That talk can be good or bad.  It can support our goals and drive us to achieve or it can gut our drive to even try.  We often aren’t aware of what we’re actually saying to ourselves.  By neglecting to notice our negative self-talk we may be permitting a continual flow of worry and self-criticism.  But by recognizing the power of positive self-talk, we have the potential to bring about positive change in our lives.

I’ve struggled with the whole glass half full-glass half empty concept for decades.  I’d venture to say a lot of us have or still do.  The truth is, our outlook — pessimistic vs. optimistic (I also believe there is a state in between I call realistic) developed long before we had a choice. 

From the day we’re born, every word, every thought, every action became imprints placed on our subconscious by others.  Later on, in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood our own words, thoughts and images of how we view ourselves create a lasting impression in our subconscious–those concepts largely a product of how we were raised.

If your young years were filled with positivity, support, unconditional love and accolades at every turn — you’ve got a head start.  If you experienced more punishment than praise, more cynicism than support or more criticism than kudos — you have a little harder road to walk. 

Either way, as adults we have to create our own lives, and with the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life…the truth is…its rough.  If you’re a writer (by definition a tad more sensitive than the general population), the roller coaster ride toward publication, or even just attempting to express yourself competently, can take a toll on even the rosiest outlook.

The good news: no matter how positive or negative our early years, what successes or failures we’ve experienced, how many trophies or trials we’ve collected, we can all end up in the same place in our individual lives–one of achievement, comfort, contentment and positivity to the level of our own personal best.

The power is in cultivating our subconscious mind.  (No voo-doo involved.  Promise.)

I believe my success with positive self-talk is a result of a combination of techniques.  In the working form, positive self-talk is really a combination of self-talk, affirmations and the law of attraction.

  • Self-talk: thoughts regarding ourselves that pass through our mind.
  • Affirmations: a carefully formatted, positive statement that is repeated to one’s self.
  • Law of Attraction: A theory that states “like attracts like” and your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest, good or bad. 

That said, we all know simply repeating, “I am happy.” “I am happy.” “I am happy.” will most likely lead to a hair-pulling event during which the affirmation slips into something more like, “I’m happy, dammit!”  “Look how frigging happy I am!”  “I’m as happy as a cricket in a freaking frogs belly for God’s sake!”  

So, here are a few tips that took my self-talk from mindless repetition to meaningful statements and turned my brain and my perspective around:

Visualize
We all know how to daydream.  That’s all visualization is–a daydream.  So, when you decide on the powerful self-talk statements, visualize that statement. 

  • Let’s say your statement is:  I am patient and flexible.  What would it look like to be patient?  Imagine yourself in a line at the store, relaxed, observing the surroundings, maybe chatting with the person ahead or behind you, with no one waiting on you, no where you have to be.  Imagine you have all the time in the world and waiting another minute or two won’t affect your life one way or the other.
  • Let’s say your statement is:  My daughter and I have a close relationship.  We are open and honest with each other.  What would it look like to be more in touch with your daughter?  Visualize yourself picking her up from school, relaxed, looking forward to seeing her.  Imagine listening, open and accepting, as she talks about her day.  See yourself being the empathetic positive influence you want to be. 

Imagine being your statement.  Being exactly what you want in your life.

Feel it
If you were to feel the patience in the first example above, what emotions would you feel?  What physical sensations would your body experience?

  • While you visualize yourself waiting in line, maybe the tension drifts out of your shoulders.  The muscles of your jaw relax.  Your stance eases. 
  • Because you’re not focused on how slow the line is moving, how that cashier should really think about retirement, how you have so much to do somewhere else, you notice that the woman in front of you is wearing the most beautiful scarf you’ve ever seen.  
  • Maybe you comment on it and make a new acquaintance.  Maybe you just enjoy the pattern and color.  Maybe it even gives you a new idea for a character you’re writing or a project you’re working on.  Maybe it simply makes you happy. 

That’s the great thing about day dreams — they’re all yours!  

Live it
Be the person in your visualization, and apply it to your every day life.  If you are the person with the open, warm relationship with your daughter (which you are–your self-talk confirms it), how would you go through your day?

  • Your openness would extend to others.  That acceptance and warmth would transform the relationships you have.  You would be more confident.  You would have closer connections throughout your life.  You would be a good listener, empathetic, warm.  You would be happier. 

Living what you tell yourself you are, creates the very life you want.

Infuse Gratitude
Gratitude in itself is a life-changing force.  The subject deserves a month of posts unto itself.  But I found this concept both a powerful catalyst for moving my self-talk and visualizations forward and a motivating force to continue the self-talk even on a bad day.

When you say to yourself: I am patient and flexible, you follow that self-talk with the sensation of gratitude.  Infusing gratitude into your self-talk often empowers me.  Often it even makes me smile…or laugh.

  • Traffic–there is test of patience.  How about: I am so glad I’m patient and flexible, because that means I’m not an asshole like the guy who just cut me off.  Or: I’m grateful my patience keeps me from stressing like that guy who just cut me off.  Man, it would suck to be him.

And what about your relationship with your daughter? 

  • Try something like: I’m so lucky to have this awesome relationship with my daughter.  Or: I’m so fortunate to have this gift in my life.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with lots of examples of positive self-talk for every area of your life and how to create your own.

In the mean time, if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, an excellent book is The Self-Talk Solution by Shad Helmstetter.

Can you share your experiences with self-talk, affirmations or the law of attraction?

>Positive Self-Talk? Seriously?

>Yes. Seriously.

We all talk to ourselves.  (Writers probably more than most…maybe because we have little people running around in our heads.)  Whether we talk out loud or simply think concretely or even just let background chatter drift through our minds, we are all talking to ourselves all day long.

That talk can be good or bad.  It can support our goals and drive us to achieve or it can gut our drive to even try.  We often aren’t aware of what we’re actually saying to ourselves.  By neglecting to notice our negative self-talk we may be permitting a continual flow of worry and self-criticism.  But by recognizing the power of positive self-talk, we have the potential to bring about positive change in our lives.

I’ve struggled with the whole glass half full-glass half empty concept for decades.  I’d venture to say a lot of us have or still do.  The truth is, our outlook — pessimistic vs. optimistic (I also believe there is a state in between I call realistic) developed long before we had a choice. 

From the day we’re born, every word, every thought, every action became imprints placed on our subconscious by others.  Later on, in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood our own words, thoughts and images of how we view ourselves create a lasting impression in our subconscious–those concepts largely a product of how we were raised.

If your young years were filled with positivity, support, unconditional love and accolades at every turn — you’ve got a head start.  If you experienced more punishment than praise, more cynicism than support or more criticism than kudos — you have a little harder road to walk. 

Either way, as adults we have to create our own lives, and with the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life…the truth is…its rough.  If you’re a writer (by definition a tad more sensitive than the general population), the roller coaster ride toward publication, or even just attempting to express yourself competently, can take a toll on even the rosiest outlook.

The good news: no matter how positive or negative our early years, what successes or failures we’ve experienced, how many trophies or trials we’ve collected, we can all end up in the same place in our individual lives–one of achievement, comfort, contentment and positivity to the level of our own personal best.

The power is in cultivating our subconscious mind.  (No voo-doo involved.  Promise.)

I believe my success with positive self-talk is a result of a combination of techniques.  In the working form, positive self-talk is really a combination of self-talk, affirmations and the law of attraction.

  • Self-talk: thoughts regarding ourselves that pass through our mind.
  • Affirmations: a carefully formatted, positive statement that is repeated to one’s self.
  • Law of Attraction: A theory that states “like attracts like” and your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest, good or bad. 

That said, we all know simply repeating, “I am happy.” “I am happy.” “I am happy.” will most likely lead to a hair-pulling event during which the affirmation slips into something more like, “I’m happy, dammit!”  “Look how frigging happy I am!”  “I’m as happy as a cricket in a freaking frogs belly for God’s sake!”  

So, here are a few tips that took my self-talk from mindless repetition to meaningful statements and turned my brain and my perspective around:

Visualize
We all know how to daydream.  That’s all visualization is–a daydream.  So, when you decide on the powerful self-talk statements, visualize that statement. 

  • Let’s say your statement is:  I am patient and flexible.  What would it look like to be patient?  Imagine yourself in a line at the store, relaxed, observing the surroundings, maybe chatting with the person ahead or behind you, with no one waiting on you, no where you have to be.  Imagine you have all the time in the world and waiting another minute or two won’t affect your life one way or the other.
  • Let’s say your statement is:  My daughter and I have a close relationship.  We are open and honest with each other.  What would it look like to be more in touch with your daughter?  Visualize yourself picking her up from school, relaxed, looking forward to seeing her.  Imagine listening, open and accepting, as she talks about her day.  See yourself being the empathetic positive influence you want to be. 

Imagine being your statement.  Being exactly what you want in your life.

Feel it
If you were to feel the patience in the first example above, what emotions would you feel?  What physical sensations would your body experience?

  • While you visualize yourself waiting in line, maybe the tension drifts out of your shoulders.  The muscles of your jaw relax.  Your stance eases. 
  • Because you’re not focused on how slow the line is moving, how that cashier should really think about retirement, how you have so much to do somewhere else, you notice that the woman in front of you is wearing the most beautiful scarf you’ve ever seen.  
  • Maybe you comment on it and make a new acquaintance.  Maybe you just enjoy the pattern and color.  Maybe it even gives you a new idea for a character you’re writing or a project you’re working on.  Maybe it simply makes you happy. 

That’s the great thing about day dreams — they’re all yours!  

Live it
Be the person in your visualization, and apply it to your every day life.  If you are the person with the open, warm relationship with your daughter (which you are–your self-talk confirms it), how would you go through your day?

  • Your openness would extend to others.  That acceptance and warmth would transform the relationships you have.  You would be more confident.  You would have closer connections throughout your life.  You would be a good listener, empathetic, warm.  You would be happier. 

Living what you tell yourself you are, creates the very life you want.

Infuse Gratitude
Gratitude in itself is a life-changing force.  The subject deserves a month of posts unto itself.  But I found this concept both a powerful catalyst for moving my self-talk and visualizations forward and a motivating force to continue the self-talk even on a bad day.

When you say to yourself: I am patient and flexible, you follow that self-talk with the sensation of gratitude.  Infusing gratitude into your self-talk often empowers me.  Often it even makes me smile…or laugh.

  • Traffic–there is test of patience.  How about: I am so glad I’m patient and flexible, because that means I’m not an asshole like the guy who just cut me off.  Or: I’m grateful my patience keeps me from stressing like that guy who just cut me off.  Man, it would suck to be him.

And what about your relationship with your daughter? 

  • Try something like: I’m so lucky to have this awesome relationship with my daughter.  Or: I’m so fortunate to have this gift in my life.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with lots of examples of positive self-talk for every area of your life and how to create your own.

In the mean time, if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, an excellent book is The Self-Talk Solution by Shad Helmstetter.

Can you share your experiences with self-talk, affirmations or the law of attraction?

The Subconscious In Writing

When speaking of the conscious and unconscious mind, experts refer to the Iceberg Principal, comparing the conscious mind as the 10% above water and the subconscious mind as the 90% below water.

The power of the mind to change our perception of ourselves has always fascinated me.  Since I’ve been writing seriously, about a decade now, I’ve become even more interested in the subconscious mind and all the ouija board-like promises of creativity, focus, productivity, self-esteem and happiness if we could just control our subconscious.

Here are a few facts.  The subconscious mind:

  • Does not judge what you tell it, only takes all information as fact.
  • Can not tell the difference between true and false.
  • Works 24hours a day.
  • Takes everything literally.
  • Never says no.
  • Only recognizes the present.
  • Can be seen as the source of night dreams and automatic thoughts.
  • Is a repository for every thought, every visual, every emotion, every incident that has ever occurred in your lifetime.

Over the last ten years I’ve tried many techniques.  Unfortunately, my biggest problems weren’t with the techniques or the information, but with consistency and patience.  What do you mean I have to do it everyday?  What do you mean I have to do it for months to see the result?  Therefore, I didn’t get the results I sought and picked up the beliefs of so many others–it’s hype to sell books, fill seminar seats, in essence, pad pockets.

But aging has it’s benefits.  As does experience.  In the last year or two I’ve become more patient, more open-minded and more determined (could be translated into desperate, depending on the day) to crack that shell keeping my subconscious out of reach.

And as I’ve studied the conscious and unconscious mind through the eyes of knowledgeable professionals and tried various techniques created by experienced and renowned researchers, I’ve seen the benefits and know there are so many more to be cultivated with time, effort, knowledge and experience.  

What I’ve learned has been worth the wait and there is so much more to discover.  During the month of February, we’ll explore the potential benefits and powers of the subconscious mind including topics such as self-talk, affirmations, positivity and some even “further out” (or what my critique partner calls “woo-woo”) techniques, such as meditation, hypnotherapy and even tarot.

These topics will directly relate to writing, such as how they’ve helped me and/or how they could be used in other ways, but each technique could be applied to benefit any aspect of our lives.

I hope you’ll come back and join me on this path to understanding and utilizing the power of the subconscious mind to urge us toward achieving our ultimate best and welcome your comments and experience regarding the subconscious and how it has affected your personal and professional growth.

>The Subconscious In Writing

>

When speaking of the conscious and unconscious mind, experts refer to the Iceberg Principal, comparing the conscious mind as the 10% above water and the subconscious mind as the 90% below water.

The power of the mind to change our perception of ourselves has always fascinated me.  Since I’ve been writing seriously, about a decade now, I’ve become even more interested in the subconscious mind and all the ouija board-like promises of creativity, focus, productivity, self-esteem and happiness if we could just control our subconscious.

Here are a few facts.  The subconscious mind:

  • Does not judge what you tell it, only takes all information as fact.
  • Can not tell the difference between true and false.
  • Works 24hours a day.
  • Takes everything literally.
  • Never says no.
  • Only recognizes the present.
  • Can be seen as the source of night dreams and automatic thoughts.
  • Is a repository for every thought, every visual, every emotion, every incident that has ever occurred in your lifetime.

Over the last ten years I’ve tried many techniques.  Unfortunately, my biggest problems weren’t with the techniques or the information, but with consistency and patience.  What do you mean I have to do it everyday?  What do you mean I have to do it for months to see the result?  Therefore, I didn’t get the results I sought and picked up the beliefs of so many others–it’s hype to sell books, fill seminar seats, in essence, pad pockets.

But aging has it’s benefits.  As does experience.  In the last year or two I’ve become more patient, more open-minded and more determined (could be translated into desperate, depending on the day) to crack that shell keeping my subconscious out of reach.

And as I’ve studied the conscious and unconscious mind through the eyes of knowledgeable professionals and tried various techniques created by experienced and renowned researchers, I’ve seen the benefits and know there are so many more to be cultivated with time, effort, knowledge and experience.  

What I’ve learned has been worth the wait and there is so much more to discover.  During the month of February, we’ll explore the potential benefits and powers of the subconscious mind including topics such as self-talk, affirmations, positivity and some even “further out” (or what my critique partner calls “woo-woo”) techniques, such as meditation, hypnotherapy and even tarot.

These topics will directly relate to writing, such as how they’ve helped me and/or how they could be used in other ways, but each technique could be applied to benefit any aspect of our lives.

I hope you’ll come back and join me on this path to understanding and utilizing the power of the subconscious mind to urge us toward achieving our ultimate best and welcome your comments and experience regarding the subconscious and how it has affected your personal and professional growth.