Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Introverts Need Love Too

Walking into a room full of strangers can be more than a little intimidating for just about anyone, but for an introvert it can be downright brutal.

Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media are a lifesaver for those like me. But sometimes there is no alternative but to put yourself out there and mingle. So how does one go about this without having a complete melt down?

For me it's never easy, but I have found a few tips that help get me through.

* Go with a Goal - Commit to meeting 2 new people. Learn something new about the host or program.
* Ask yourself why you're there? - Is it for fun? Marketing? To Learn?
* Don't just stick with people you know. - This one is the hardest, but branching out and meeting someone new can be a great confidence builder.
* Be aware of your body language. - Avoid standing with your arms crossed over your chest. You want to be approachable. Shy people can often come off as uninterested or snobbish, but it is so not true. Terrified is a better description. LOL
* Make eye contact and smile. - A wonderful way to help calm nerves.

I won't lie. Even with preparation, it's never easy to put myself out there. And talking in front of groups of people is the worst. Not sure I'll ever get a handle on that one.

But I'm determined to keep on trying.  Just call me a glutton for punishment. :)

So if you see someone standing alone, or looking uncomfortable, they're probably an introvert trying to find their way. Taking the time to just walk over and say hello can help break the ice and make all the differene in the world.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Authors, Writers and Readers Together at Last!

I'd like to share two great new websites that will go live on February 18, 2013. They are for readers, writers and authors! This is the vision of two awesome ladies from my writing chapter here in Houston. Waving at you Stella and Jan. :)

Eat Read Rate is an Interactive Book Club.  The goal? Bring authors and readers together.
They have a group for people who want to receive notices and give suggestions for book club events, book signings, or author meet n' greets. How about setting up a Skype with your favorite author? Or setting up a dinner, or wine and cheese event where you can ask your favorite authors quesitons?

Lots of great things in the works!

***Click on the Meet Up Link below to find other readers with similar interests!

Meet Up Link

Check out their other site too!
It's a Hub for Writers and Readers.

Need to find other writers in your area? How about a critique partner, or writer's conference? All Things Words is a one stop hop for all your writing questions and needs. Write Romance, Paranormal, Historical, Suspense, Mystery, Sci-Fy, Young Adult, or a mixture of genres? This site is for you.  

What about a book club for readers, or a book signing in your area? How about new releases? Readers look no further! :)

The possibilities are endless!

Hop on over and check it out!
You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Dragon Empire BLog Tour - Heather McCorkle

Welcome Heather!

Today we're celebrating the release of Heather McCorkle's fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire! For today's stop Heather is answering the following question:

What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

Heather: The main character has been bullied his entire life and lives in constant fear of beatings that are getting so bad, they may one day kill him. At twenty years old, that's a long time to put up with such abuse and it has severely damaged his self-esteem and confidence. Writing that was hard, and heartbreaking in many ways.

Here is a bit about it:

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized...

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.

While The Dragon Empire is for ages young adult and up, it does contain mild violence and some difficult subject matter. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good-bye FEAR

FEAR: An emotion everyone at some point in their lives has felt and dealt with.

We can try to hide from our fears or refuse to acknowledge them for awhile, but it won't be long before they sneak back in, surprising us when we least expect it.

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

Fear is a good emotion when used as it was intended-to keep us safe from physical harm. But somewhere along the line, it turned into an emotion we let rule over us at times. The fear of the unknown is brutal. The fear of failure paralyzing. The good news?

We can overcome fear!

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie

Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back.
Babe Ruth

I for one struggle with doubts and the fear of failure and I've had some pretty hard hits lately. There are so many ready and waiting to tell us why we can't or shouldn't do something. I have no idea what pleasure they get out of destroying someone else's dreams, but I think it has alot to do with their own fears and inabiltiy to deal with them.

A new strategy to overcome and move past this fear?

Simply step out boldly, knowing that we are in control of our own destiny. We get to make the decisions that affect us and our dreams. We get to decide on our own time frame. We are the only ones who know what works for us and what doesn't. A direction or route that worked for one person, may not for another, and it's okay. Successful people step out in faith and confidence in their own abilities. They don't let the criticism of others alter their paths.

They've figured out the secret to happiness.  

Do what you love and love what you do! :)

The last paragraph from a school essay my middle daughter wrote recently says it all.

"It is important to be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Wise words from a sixteen year old, don't you think? LOL
I think I'll go hug her now! :)


Friday, February 1, 2013

It's Puppy Love!

New puppy is now eight months old. Yeah! We've made it through the potty training, although it was touch and go there for a while. Now it's the chewing stage that's about to drive me crazy. Not to mention what it's doing to my writing time.

This puppy is part goat, I swear! She eats rocks, bricks, flower pots, cardboard boxes, plastic of any kind, and my worst nightmare, my walls and parts of the house.

Seriously? Why? I just can't imagine that any of this stuff taste good. And she's lost all her puppy teeth, so she's not teething.

We've had several puppies over the years, but this one takes the cake. Love her energetic personality and her desire to be snuggled up against you. But I'm exhausted, I tell ya! LOL

I've had so many deja vous moments it's not even funny. The not sleeping. The crying. The constant need to eat every waking moment. Me not getting anything done until puppy sleeps.  It's like having a brand new baby in the house again. Thankfully, there are no diapers to change.

And to think. I only have two years and four months to go.

Oh, Joy!

It's a good thing she's so lovable! And talk about great research. The unbelievable material I'm collecting will be great for a YA book someday.  :)

Sure hope I'm not in a straight jacket by then. LOL