Why I’m Writing Fearlessly in 2016

Hey y’all, it’s been two weeks since I last checked in. I had my gallbladder removed and the recovery was bruTAL. Had me looking for a Dr. Kevorkian copycat up in here. But, thankfully, I’m well on the road to recovery now.

Anyway, lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what writing fearlessly means. When I wrote my first novel, I wrote fearlessly but published terrified. When the Real Thing Comes Along was never meant to see the light of day. I wrote it for me, without any intent for anyone to read it other than my sister and a few close friends.

fearlessly

When I decided to publish I was anxious, to say the least. I figured that everyone would think WTRTCA was about me. So I painstakingly edited it, hoping that I could avoid the inevitable. When it dropped, of course everyone who knows me saw characteristics of me in Jacelynn, the main character, no matter how much I tried to disguise or deny it. That experience taught me some things.

First of all, writing from a place of fear stifles creativity. Anticipating that others will think that everything you write is about you, and allowing that to hinder you, is no way to live. I’ve finally accepted that everything I write is about me, to a certain extent.

When I pour myself into my writing, it touches others. Readers are discerning, and authenticity has a farther reach than any marketing plan. As I continue to write and build my brand, I want to be known for emotional, heart tugging literature. I can’t do that if I’m writing from a place of fear.

My next novel tackles some hard-hitting issues. One of those issues is emotional eating. Do I necessarily want people to know that when I’m stressed out, anything chocolate makes my world okay? Um, no. But I do want anyone who’s struggling with some sort of eating disorder to know that they are not alone; and that there is hope for them.

AnaisStanding in the light of my truth is the only way I can have a hope of guiding someone else into their’s. For me, that’s what it’s all about. My mantra for the last few years has been “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” That’s what I strive to do every time I sit down to write.

How do you find the courage to write fearlessly? 

Vlog #2: I’ve Got GREAT News!!!!!

Y’all, I’ve got fabulous news! Like epic, come through Jesus type news! I’ve been saying that #Sweet2016 is going to by my year, and so far, that life I’ve been speaking is coming to pass. More on the power of speaking things into existence later (like that husband and babies I’ve been claiming too) but for now, check out the short vid below. ;)

I have NO idea why it’s frozen on such an unflattering still pic, but hey, it be’s like that sometimes. I feel like I look exactly like Eddie Murphy in Big Mama’s House! #TheShade

And as promised in the vlog, here are the selfies I took at work when I signed the contract!

Pub pic

I’m so excited about what God is doing in my life and I’m truly grateful for each of you. Your encouragement and the community we’ve created here keep me going. I’m looking forward to all the wonderful things that the future holds for us! Let’s get it.

What are you believing for in 2016? Say it out loud!

Author Spotlight: Patty Rice!!!! #Authors #ChristianFiction #Books

What’s your name or pen name?
Patty Rice
What are your genres?
I’ve written two chicklit bestsellers and I just released a Christian novel.
What have you written? 
My books are “Somethin’ Extra,” “Reinventing the Woman,” and the new book, “He Restores My Soul”
When did you begin your writing career?
I’ve been writing from childhood, but I took it seriously when I was about 25
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?
I am a part-time writer. I spend the latter half of my day creating on my laptop.  I believe you make time for anything you want to do; since writing is like breathing to me, I make it a top priority and care out time for my work each day.
What’s your writing process?
I write every day. My most productive creative time is around 4:30 or 5 am.  I work for three hours st that time of day where the words and ideas just flow. I think I’m just more clear and fresh at that time.  Then in the afternoon, I put in another three to four hours.  Hey. That’s about six or seven hours. I guess I do write full-time!
Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?
I kept a journal in the early days just to help me organize my thoughts and ideas.  But now, I have a goove where a character starts talking in my head and then I build from there. I always know the end of my stories from the beginning and somehow I’m able to keep all the details straight because I become pretty engrossed in their fictional lives.
What’s your inspiration?
I’m an observer and a people watcher, like at the grocery store and subway or if I’m seated by the window of a restaurant, I LOVE watching people walk by and wondering what their story is, based on how they’re dressed or what they are doing in that moment. I also listen to things people say and love the cadence, the rhythm of conversations. The new book, “He Restores My Soul” came from a conversation some of my friends were having about how they felt about black men dating and marrying white women. That moment was so interesting because I was meeting a black colleague who was picking up tix from me to an event. He is very handsome and walked in with his white wife, and the four women with me were so disappointed. I knew I had to recapture that moment in time and present it in my work, really look at why that issue might exist. It was so much fun to write about!
What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?
I want a body of work that makes my family proud, but most importantly, I want God to be pleased. Words have a profound impact and it is a vital responsibility to have a platform. I want people to be encouraged, edified, and entertained.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Start journaling if you aren’t already and write every day. Stick with one story and be a finisher. Too many people start and stop projects and never get anything done. Read a lot of books by the best writers and study their techniques, and take a grammar class every few years, as well as participate in writing classes, workshops, and join a writing group. These are things that most serious writers do.
What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?
I read a lot of Christian Fiction and Romance.  I just finished Vanessa Miller’s Praise Song series and one of the best romance novels I’ve read in a long time is, “Perfect” by Delaney Diamond.  I also read a lot of biographies and autobiographies.  I just read since April Nile Rogers, Toni Braxton, Norman Lear, Penny Marshall and Garry Marshall. All awesome reads!
What are you currently working on?
I have two things going.   I’m actually developing a half-hour scripted show with a friend as well as working on the second book in my Living Water series.  It’s called “Love and Reverence.”  I thought it would be interesting and helpful to marriages on the brink out here if I looked at how a failing Christian marriage can be restored after the trust is broken and both sides have caused careless pain. The characters will be implementing some of the tools God taught me as He restored my own marriage.  I’m big on the message of restoration.
He restores my soulLatest release and book blurb?
When a single selfish act destroys a family…
Former Assistant Pastor Martin Fisher abandons his family for his much younger, white pregnant girlfriend and everything goes haywire. His frigid wife, Justina puts on a good face in public, but privately she copes with anxiety pills and struggles between finding a new identity and giving up on life completely. Their daughter, Zina comes face-to-face with a crippling, long-buried secret just as she’s about to take the biggest risk of her career. Meanwhile, the Fisher’s son, Ryan decides he must bring stability by starting a family with his wife, Sierra, only to discover that her dark past just might railroad his best-laid plans.
…Only God can pick up the pieces
With the Fisher family in ruins, will they ever be able to let go of their pride and allow God to bring wholeness? Or will they continue to suffer the relentless consequences of bitterness and unforgiveness?
The twists and turns will leave you breathless! 
 
Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?
Zina Fisher is a smart, funny, and ambitious beauty with absolutely no filter. She’s very high strung, and because she grew up sheltered by her family, she thinks she can have it her way every day.
Someone sassy would have to play her who can fuse their natural fire into the character, like Zoe Saldana.  If we pushed slightly older, I would say Gabby Union.
How  can we purchase your work?
http://www.amazon.com/ (print and kindle)
How can we stay in touch with you?
On Facebook: Patty Rice
Twitter: PattyRice1
Instagram: PattyRiceWriter
I love her advice for aspiring writers! Just do it, and study the greats. You can’t go wrong by following that wisdom. Feel free to ask Patty additional questions in the comments below!

I’m Baaaacccckkkkk!!! (First Vlog of 2016)

Wassup, WASSUP, WASSUP!!!!! *In my Martin voice*

It’s been a minute y’all and I have enjoyed the time off. I missed you guys, though! I’m still not back in the full swing of things, but I wanted to drop by and holla at you for a minute. Check out my amateur video below and excuse a whole bunch of random foolishness: like the fact that I still have my scarf on in the house, and the whole first half of the less than 3 minute video is all kinds of dark. Oh, well! It’s a new year and I’d doing new thangs. ;)

What’s your #1 goal for 2016? What are you afraid to do, that you’re going to do anyway? Don’t leave me hanging. Let’s do this together and make 2016 our best year ever!

I’m “Going Dark” for the Holidays!

Joy

I’m ‘going dark’ for the holidays. That sounds cryptic, however it’s anything but. I’m taking time to slow down as much as possible, and that means scaling back my blogging. And by scaling back, I mean I’m not posting so much as picture of my big toe.

Instead, I’m going to take time to actually enjoy the holidays and all that they entail. I’m planning to take time to breathe. To be fully present at every gathering rather than mentally running down my to-do list and anxiously wondering how soon I can leave without being rude.

I want to bake lots of desserts that I shouldn’t be eating (even as I type this I’ve got cinnamon rolls baking in the oven). I want to slow down when I see spectacular Christmas lights and watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. I want to laugh often and loudly.

I want to daydream and star gaze.  I want to take time to be quiet. To be still and present, celebrating all that I have to be grateful for. I want to write without limits, which is my truest form of meditation.

I’m doing all of this and more because if 2015 has taught me anything it’s that time is not promised. Loved ones who are here this Christmas, may not be present physically next Christmas. I encourage you to celebrate them while you can, and savor every moment. One day the memory of them will be the thing that keeps you going.

Count your blessings. Embrace your traditions. Celebrate the here and now.

May your holidays be filled with much joy, peace and love!

XoXo,

Faith

holiday

Late Post: Ranches, Horses and…Me?????? #WritersRetreat

What do you get when you combine a plus-sized city girl, a ranch in the boonies, a sneaky horse named Sky and a free wheeling golf cart? I’ll tell you what you get: a writer’s retreat worth remembering.

A few weeks ago I took a road trip to Red Oak, Texas which consisted of 6.5 hours of me singing along (horribly) to Adele and Kirk Franklin. I arrived at Shooting Star Ranch & Retreat slightly hoarse and ready to get my write on.

But that didn’t happen. I think I wrote approximately two pages the whole weekend. Instead, I whiled away the weekend chatting with the ladies from the best writer’s group in Texas. We talked about everything from race relations to crazy exes to pimps in pepto-bismal pink cars camped out in the suburbs. And of course we discussed publishing industry trends, our current works in progress, etc. It was all kinds of real and I loved every minute of it.

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When I wasn’t running my mouth, I took a tour on the ranch’s golf cart. Never mind the fact that I’d never driven one before in my life and that I’m directionally challenged. Did I get myself in a situation where I needed to reverse and didn’t know how? Yep. Did I get turned around and almost end up in a ravine? Yep. Did I attempt to outrun a horse in a gold cart? Yes. Yes, I did.

It was a weekend of firsts for me. I roasted marshmallows over an open fire and touched a horse for the first time in the entirety of my life. I told you I was a city girl. I discovered that I like the idea of ranches, horses, pitch black starry nights and whatnot, but the reality of them freaks me all the way out. I’ll leave that to my rom-com books and movies, thank you very much.

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My greatest take away from the weekend was how refreshing it was to have a change of scenery. It did wonders for my creativity and spending time with like-minded individuals was rejuvenating. Writers are a unique group of people. A hilarious, broad thinking, intuitive, life loving bunch that I’m proud to be counted among!

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 When’s the last time you did something for the first time? Are you a nature lover in theory (like me) or in practice? What’s your writer’s or book club group like? What do you love most about being apart of it?

Are You Ready?

 You ever come across someone with a sweet spirit? You know, those people who seem naturally and effortlessly warm and kind? That’s the impression I get from today’s guest blogger Corine Marie! First, she’s going to share some inspiration geared towards helping you pursue your passion with abandon. Then, she’s going to share a little about her debut novel A Small Piece of Her Heart.


ARE YOU READY?

 
Are you ready? I wasn’t! Sweat filled my palms and coated my forehead. Butterflies danced in my stomach, leaving me to feel weak. That’s how I felt at my first keynote speaking engagement. But I did it despite my nervousness and succeeded.
 
When I knew I wanted to write my first book, the fear of failure was so strong that I didn’t tell anyone for months that I was writing. I didn’t feel intelligent enough to call myself an author. Eventually I gave myself a pep talk and now I proclaim it from the roof tops and can’t wait for people to read my book. 
 
So, are YOU ready? You have aspirations. It may be something you’ve dreamed of your entire life or suddenly, it came to you in a dream. Are you ready to pursue those aspirations? You may not feel ready but that’s perfect because no one is ever really “ready” to do anything. Being “ready” almost doesn’t exist. Pushing through those moments of uncertainty is when one discovers their power within and their strengths. So don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t allow yourself to focus on what might go wrong, instead, focus on what could go right and take some risks. One of my favorite quotes is, “Success never happens from comfort zones.” Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free. If you don’t ever take the risk, you’ll never find out how great it could have been. 
 
Ask yourself these questions:
  • 1. What will my life look like in a year if I continue to do nothing?
  • 2. How can my life potentially change for the better if I do take the risk?
  • 3. Will I be happy with my life in the next five years if I continue on this same path?

If you wait until you’re “ready” you’ll be waiting a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.


a small piece

 

Aubrey Blake does not live her life all-in with anything. She learned from her unfortunate upbringing that everyone has a monstrous side lurking behind a well-polished facade. As a result, she armors her heart with a Teflon shell.

 

Aubrey’s only focus is becoming a thriving individual. She is progressing just fine until former college football superstar, Daniel Sane transfers to her college.  Their connection is immediate but when Aubrey discovers that Daniel has a concealed reason as to why he no longer plays football, her skepticism of people resurfaces and she is reluctant to move forward. Though they become flirtatious friends, Daniel’s secret and Aubrey’s vaulted heart has them on a constant roller coaster ride of emotion.​

Click HERE to Check out A Small Piece of Her Heart!


Author photo1Bio: Corine Marie Tindell was born in Canton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio where she earned a Bachelors degree in Interpersonal Communications.
Shortly after graduating from college, she started her first business, CorineMarie.com, an online store where she sold handmade fashion designs. The business evolved when she began blogging alongside her husband, Lucas, about getting dressed up and enjoying a weekly date night. That’s when she discovered her passion for writing about love and relationships.
Today, Corine and Lucas – having only been married six years – are blessed and privileged to share their relationship with others through facilitating marriage counseling, teaching healthy relationship courses, and monthly blogging.


Faith Simone says: That last line, though? “Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.” Chile’, somebody needs to put that on a Hallmark card because that sentence is everything! I think I found one of my new mantras for 2016. :)
When’s the last time you did something you were afraid to do? How did you feel afterwards? What advice would you give someone who’s striving to live life without regrets? Do you have any questions about A Small Piece of Her Heart? How did you/do you keep past hurt from interfering with your relationships?