Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Quick Thank You, Square Warning, & Artist's Way Update

This week I wanted to post a thank you to the folks who hosted me for my book launch the last couple months, so I'm sharing some of their recent releases below. First, I'll do a quick update on The Artist's Way. 

I took last week off from following the book, because I had a jam-packed schedule with my book launch and several appointments, including one long one in Denver that had me heading up there an hour north directly after my launch party to stay in a hotel so I could get to the early morning appointment without dealing with the awful commuting traffic.

The launch party went well! My Square wouldn't work, so my husband ended up signing up really quick and handing me his phone to use with my apparatus. (This is where I warn you to sign into your Square account if you haven't since January, because earlier that day I'd found a notice in my account that I wasn't emailed about saying they needed some information from me and deposits would be paused until I gave it. I filled out all the information. It said I could use the Square as usual, but deposits wouldn't start up again until they'd evaluated the info. But when I got to the party, every card we tried was declined. I got the approval that same night from them. So go check your Square and make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you! Because it sucked!) But I got to see some friends and chat with folks. In fact, I was so nice and busy chatting with folks that I forgot to take any photos, and never got a bite of my food until I ran home to get my suitcase that night. The only picture I have is from the owner of Lebowski's Taproom, where I had the party. (And yes, it is themed after The Big Lebowski -- it's a new place, with a great laid-back atmosphere).

Artist's Way Update: I'm in Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance. This section is about questioning how you view money, considering "luxury" and self-pampering in small ways, and cutting out space for yourself. An assignment this week that I'm looking forward to is sending postcards to some friends. My artist date will be going out to find those postcards. If I'd realized what an easy week this one was for the tasks, I might not have skipped it? Okay, I probably still would have. While it's not covered in the lesson, I feel like the tasks are also helping to recover a sense of wonder, as two of the tasks are finding rocks and flowers; these tasks are labeled "Natural Abundance." It also calls for tracking your spending each day of the week to see what you're spending it on, and whether any of that spending is for things that make you happy or pamper you. So far, I've bought groceries and paid a couple medical bills, so, uh, I need to work on that, ha!

Okay, time for some books! Thank you so much to everyone to helped with the book launch!







Alex's Website

Universal Link

H.R. Sinclair's Website

Universal Link

Jonathan & Kristina's Website


Sandra's Website

Universal Link

DeAnna's Website


Patricia's Website


Toi's Website

Amanda's Website

I hope you see a book you might like to check out!

Do you feel money stands in the way of your creativity? Do you pamper yourself ever? Did you get the same notice from Square?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Artist's Way Update & Patricia Josephine Lynne Book Launch

On a previous post I talked about doing The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. I had intended to update each week, but I only updated for two weeks. Then things got busy and I didn't get posts up. So I thought I'd do a quick update on weeks three through five.

Each week has a different general goal. Week 1 was Recovering a Sense of Safety and week 2 was Recovering a Sense of Identity.

Week 3 was Recovering a Sense of Power. The chapter spoke of anger, synchronicity, shame, growth, and dealing with criticism. One of the exercises involved some free association with childhood and things I'd do if I'd "lighten up" and "if it weren't too late." Childhood was a big theme, but so were habits and people in my life. An exercise that fell flat for me was to list five people I wish I'd met. When it comes right down to it, I can name people because I get the idea of it, but I'm not sure I'd actually want to meet them. An activity that stood out was one involving looking at my habits and then having to quantify what payoff I'm getting from the bad ones. These were basically my secret foes. I can tell you one is shutting off my brain and doom-scrolling Facebook. I'd like to regain that time for myself.

Week 4 was Recovering a Sense of Integrity. This chapter focused on making honest changes and seeking out my buried dreams. I was supposed to practice reading deprivation, but I can't fall asleep without reading first, and as an insomniac since I was twelve, I DO NOT mess with my nighttime routines that help me at least get some sleep. I did practice it during the day by not reading at any other time than bed time, but I think this exercise greatly overestimated how much reading time I usually get, considering the list of things the author felt I could do instead involved time I didn't have, such as painting a room, rewiring a lamp, and repotting plants. It's not reading that is keeping me from these exercises. Also, I felt this deprived a specific group of people more than others. Specifically, writers. And the book is about the ARTIST'S way, not the author's way, so why is it just readers/writers that have to give something meaningful up? I realize all manner of people read; I just think this lacked balance. I think a more effective exercise would have been to make a list of things that take up time and to choose one to give up that week. This would have been more fair.

My current week, number 5, is Recovering a Sense of Possibility.  This week is for me to look at my limits and open myself up to the universe. Something that stuck out to me and that I'd already been thinking about a lot with my work hours increasing well beyond where I'd wanted them to go was the following passage:

"An artist must have downtime, time to do nothing. Defending our right to such time takes courage, conviction, and resiliency." And "For an artist, withdrawal is necessary. Without it, the artist in us feels vexed, angry, out of sorts. If such deprivation continues, our artist becomes sullen, depressed, hostile. We eventually become like cornered animals, snarling at our family and friends [...]." Now, she was implying it was family and friends making the artist feel this way, but it's me. It's work and it's me. My family and friends give me plenty of space. 

The exercises this week had to do with wishes and writing letters to myself from different ages (80 and 8). 

I haven't figured out my artist's date for this week, but for dates I've so far gone for a hike with a camera (it was a double date!), taken myself out to a smoothie cafe to relax with a book while having a smoothie and a matcha latte, lying out in the grass in my front yard and reading a book, and things like that. My goal has been more downtime than more involved dates. I have ideas for more involved dates in the next few weeks, though. It comes down to finding time to do it.

Now for some news! Patricia Josephine Lynne has a new book of micro shorts out. 

A Quick Test 
A Quick Tale #4 

Outer Space 

These mysteries fascinate our minds. Explore the unknown in this exciting collection of tales. Each story is told in exactly 200 words and designed to stimulate your brain no matter how busy your day is. 


BUY at Amazon 

AUTHOR BIO: If you asked Patricia J.L. to describe herself, she’d tell you, “Too creative for my own good.” A paranormal and fantasy junkee, she loves to craft fantasy and paranormal stories about vampires, mermaids, angels, demons, zombies, and other mythical creatures. Aliens might even appear in her stories. No matter what mythical beast you crave. Patricia J.L. has a fantasy for every imagination. 

Patricia J.L. official started writing in 2012. She was bored and since she was always day dreaming fantastic stories, she thought, “Why not write them down and share them with people?” She's still deciding if that was a mistake or not. Since then, she has finished a dozen stories and has no plans to stop. 

When she’s not lost writing in fantasy worlds, she relaxes with knitting, drawing and art, and jigsaw puzzles. And of course, good paranormal fantasy books. Patricia J.L. currently lives with her husband in Upper Michigan. One day, they both hope to have enough pets to resemble a petting zoo. (Until then, can she pet your cat or dog?) 


If you did The Artist's Way, were there exercises, chapters, or pieces that stood out for you? How about ones you were resistant to? What were your favorite types of artist dates?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

IWSG - Blogging Memories & Old Friends

It's time for the April Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the IWSG brings writers together to share their insecurities. Anyone can join; simply click on Alex's name and sign up on the IWSG linky list.

This month's co-hosts are Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia. Thanks for co-hosting!

The optional question for April is: How long have you been blogging? What do you like about it and how has it changed?

I looked back and it looks like I've been blogging here since January 9, 2011. I did have a monetized blog called Not a Test Tube Baby in 2005 through maybe 2007 (it's long gone, so I can't check). The blog was about parenting a child conceived through IVF (which is no different than parenting any other child, lol, but certainly the experiences before birth were very different).

I had quit my job two weeks before my son was due, but had him about a week after quitting. I was working as a sub primarily in three schools at the time, as I'd narrowed down who I took jobs from, and the folks I subbed for were so awesome that they ensured they took their non-emergency time off to keep me employed nearly full time leading up to my last few days.

So when my son arrived, I wanted to have some income. I scrambled and got several work-from-home positions, on top of the Mary Kay business I already had (yes, I know - they roped me in while pregnant with promises of having an income...). The monetized blog was one. I had to send a pitch and once they accepted my pitch, I was given the URL matching my blog name and had to post consistently. I wish I still had access to those posts, because they were all stories about my son as a baby then as a toddler, plus pregnancy stories once I became pregnant with my daughter. I'm sure there were some gems.

I also worked for text answering services ChaCha and kgb, where people would text in questions and I answered via a portal on my computer.  

Those familiar with how busy I typically keep myself are 0% surprised that I also felt I needed to be productive as a new, stay-at-home mom. I was also volunteering for a local writer's group and starting my writing career.

Back to this blog, I started out posting weekly, discovered various blog hops, and at one point was posting daily, even outside the A-to-Z Challenge (which is currently happening)). There was a ton of interaction then, and I had more time to visit others, as well. Then I thinned to three times per week, with Wednesdays being something I called Wordless Wednesday, where I posted photos I'd taken since photography is also a hobby of mine.

There was a time where I helped with the A-to-Z Challenge, which all sprung from working with a friend I met blogging named Tina to create a road trip after the challenge to visit all the blogs and keep that community going. We did it from 2011 to 2015. Our graphics at the time were created by another friend, Jeremy. Both Tina and Jeremy are sadly gone now, but revisiting my past blogging brings back good memories with them.

This is from year 2, 2012

Here's one of the road trip posts from those fun times.

We were joined by a third person, Nicole, in the second year!

Then I was part of the IWSG! I don't remember when I started, but I handled the newsletter for a while and quit in 2019ish (may have been the end of 2018) while helping care for my dad, who had ALS, and dealing with a lot of health issues myself.

Ultimately, of course, blogging became less popular and people pulled back, including me. I went to posting once per month for the IWSG. Recently, I started blogging weekly while I work my way through The Artist's Way, though I skipped this past week and will catch up on the missed weeks next week.

Blogging introduced me to a fantastic community of folks where I've made so many friends. So while blogging has slowed, the friendships have continued, many of them on social media more than via our blogs. I wouldn't change any part of my blogging past other than to have saved my posts from the parenting blog for my personal memories and photos.

That ended up way longer than I intended, so I'll save anything else I was going to say other than to say a big thank you for those who helped with my book launch via your blogs, social media, and newsletters. I'm always grateful for this community! My debut novel came out last week, so now it's back to writing until the next book launch!

Universal Link for e-book and paperback

What are your insecurities? How long have you been blogging? Was it always on your current blog or did you have others?

May you find your Muse.