Things My Grandma Used to Say by @MeganSlayer #musings #grandma #advice #iamwriting #jeepauthor

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I’ve still got both of my grandmas, but I’ve always wanted to do a column about them. Not so much the women themselves, but the things they have told me. My grandmas have said these things, but also have said them in the past. I’m always interested in things you were told by your grandmothers, so feel free to leave your advice in the comments.

This, being the first of my columns, is about my grandma who didn’t have to take that role, but she did. It’s a long strange story, but she stepped up when she didn’t have to.

One of the things she used to say was ‘Find music and dance. Why not? It’s a way to be happy and how can you not be happy when you dance?”

This was also told to me when she was dancing in a circle, thing ring around the rosie, with my aunt and uncle.

She was right, though. Dance. Why not? If you’re happy and having fun, then others around you will notice. Yes, you might look ridiculous, but does it really matter? Doesn’t to me. I’d rather be happy and look a little foolish rather than being angry.

I’ve tried to keep this gem of advice in mind as I go through my day. Whether it’s singing to myself as I find the change in my purse, to singing along with the song on the store radio to singing in the car and doing my own thing…I try to stay positive and upbeat. It makes life a lot more enjoyable and my day better.

Grandma was sure on to something. Why not dance in the band shell and be happy?

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I Get By With A Little #Help from My #Friends with @MeganSlayer #writerfriends #writerslife #jeepauthor #iamwriting

I’m all for helping my fellow authors. If I see a book up, I’ll try to share, post, tweet, whatever about it. Why? Because we can always use some help. This business is brutal. I don’t care who you are…writing a book, publishing it, and sticking your chin out there to get punched is hard.

But there are things that can knock you down, especially as a writer. I’m not going to get into seriousness, but there are things. One of those things can be reviews. I can say with all honesty, this wasn’t me, but a friend got a review for her poetry book that was really craptastic. I can see where it would’ve sent the muse running into the corner to rock back and forth. But that’s where friends come into play. Get a rough review? Don’t go to social media to lambaste the review. Get your friends to boost you up. An ‘atta girl can go a long way. That’s what I tried to do for my friend. Hey, they’ll try to knock you down. Just get up again and try again…kind of like Chumbawumba (If you don’t know who that is, then google it. I’m dating myself, but whatever)

Then there’s the odd feeling in the business. Sharing, posting, tweeting, resharing, etc…it gets overwhelming. But that’s what friends are for. We work together. We build each other up. Romance writing and actually any writing in general is hard. Think we just get up one morning and say, I’m going to write a book? Well, we probably did, but it’s not just putting words on the page. II’m serious. t’s not as simple as putting words together, putting them in a document and putting it up for sale. Seems like it, but it’s not. We have to put blood, sweat, and tears into those words. We have to research, think, edit and sometimes cry over those words.  So when you see an author posting about their work, share the post. Tweet about it. Tell your friends. Why? Word of mouth, support from our friends and support in general really does help.

That’s why I’m glad I have a great support system. I have friends, readers and family that care. When I have a hard day, I turn to them for help and support. I talk through what’s bothering me. We cheerlead each other and hold each other up. What about you? Do you have a support system? What have you learned through your journey as a writer? As a reader? Let me know!!

Speaking of friends and support, my latest book, His Valentine, features two friends who’ve decided to make their relationship more than platonic. Check it out!

His Valentine by Megan Slayer HisValentine_Slayer

M/M, New Adult Romance

Anal Sex, Masturbation
Short Story
Part of the Picture This series
Book 2
From Mlr Press
 
Brandon Kidd thought he’d overcome his demons. He thought he’d conquered his addiction to booze and his need to be promiscuous. He thought he’d left his depression behind. Why? He met and started dating Aydin, the man who stoked his muse. But the depression and his insecurity have come back, and he’s also got to pass his annual review for his fine arts program. He’s got to get through the grueling review, open up to Aydin and have the Valentine’s Day he deserves?
Aydin loves Brandon. He sees the changes in his boyfriend and wants to help, but how do you help when you don’t know the problem exactly? To compound the problem, Brandon’s brother, Benson, has started causing trouble. Benson doesn’t want his brother to be gay, let alone in a relationship. Aydin found the strength to admit he wanted to be with Brandon. Aydin’s come into his own. Will he be enough for Brandon or will the crushing outside influence be too much to overcome?
They’ve come together for Valentine’s Day, but can the romance last?
 

You Win Some…You Lose Some by @meganslayer #racing #randomthoughts

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I’m going to start this post by noting the photo above isn’t a NASCAR racer. It’s an Indy Car. It’s Dan Wheldon’s car.  I used his image because he could be a very polarizing guy. Most either liked or hated him. I tended to like him. Why? He was my age. Note, I said was. He passed away in a wreck at the Las Vegas Speedway. I know. I saw it live. It messed with my head. It did. This person, so full of life and bluster wasn’t full of life any longer. Someone so young…

Which brings me to the race today. The Daytona 500. I used to watch NASCAR religiously. I loved the roar of the engines, the thrill of the race and the excitement of who could win.

I’ve always had those drivers I don’t particularly like and those I do. I started out as a Rusty Wallace fan–even named my cat after him–because he drove a blue car. He was a villain for a while. Then when he retired, I moved to Dave Blaney. I took hell because he wasn’t very good. Turns out he’s better on dirt, but that’s another story. Then when he lost his ride to Clint Bowyer, I moved to him. Then he became a villain, too. Once he moved to Toyota…I went with my second choice, Austin Dillon.

Now, I’ve been a fan of his since he was racing dirt cars, so for over ten years. I liked him because I thought he and his family had class. But it appears by winning the Daytona 500, he’s become a villain.

Here’s the thing…whether they cheat (Bowyer, suspected) (Dillon, punting Almirola), stink (Blaney, depending on whom you ask), or are just plain jerks (Any driver on any given day – you don’t know what they’ve been through that day and we all have our off days), they’re still human. They want to win. Wheldon wanted to win and rode the edge…a lot. Bowyer was suspected of wrecking to help a teammate get into the playoffs thing NASCAR is doing.

Then there’s Dillon. The guy doesn’t seem to do much right. He’s rich and came from a racing family, so he’s been given everything. Um… so was Earnhardt Jr. So was Elliott. He won by wrecking Almirola. It’s the Daytona 500. Lots of people bump and dump–otherwise there wouldn’t be a catch-phrase for it. You can hate him. You can say he didn’t earn that win. Um…lots of drivers don’t lead a lap, but win. Lots of drivers wreck the other guys so they can win. I hold up Kyle Busch as a prime example. He’s been known to dump anyone he likes just to win. He’s a villain.

Then there’s the point that this was the 20th anniversary of Earnhardt’s win. Guess what? A 3 winning again is pretty cool. Don’t like him? Then don’t. But the coincidence is neat. I’d like to think Earnhardt had his hand on Dillon kind of pushing him along. Oh, and before you have a fit…Earnhardt bumped and dumped a lot. I think he got a water bottle or two thrown at him because of his on-track antics.

NASCAR needs villains. It needs heroes. It needs drivers to be themselves. I don’t like all of them, but I like some of them. I don’t wish ill on them. I like to see the underdog win (and yes, Dillon was an underdog.) I like seeing a little variety.

Don’t hate me because of my favorite driver. Don’t hate me because I have my opinions. That’s what makes our country great. We all have our ideas and opinions. We’re free to express them. I know I won’t have changed your mind and that’s okay. I wasn’t out to change it. I’m just stating my thoughts.

So, yay #3, Austin Dillon. You’ve won the 60th Daytona 500 and that’s pretty freaking awesome. Oh and RIP Dan Wheldon. You put on a damn good race. ❤

Things I Learned #Focus with @meganslayer #writerslife #jeepauthor #lessons

Focus

In this journey called my writing life, I’ve learned a lot of things. It’s been a true journey and not always the most exciting. Some moments have been quite high, though.

 

But one thing I’ve learned especially this year is focus. I know that sounds silly. I just now learned focus? I’ve been at this for how long and I couldn’t focus? Let me be honest. I’m actually quite focused. When I set a goal, I see the goal through. That doesn’t meant it’s always the way I want it to work out, but I try to find that end game and run to it.

Now I mentioned focus. Here’s where that comes into play. Until a very short time ago, I tended to focus on what others were doing. What were the trends? What were others writing? Did I fit in with that? How they’re doing and how I’m doing. Comparing. Contrasting. I used to compare myself and push harder. But the thing is, what I’m doing is what I’m doing. I can’t compare myself or my writing to anyone else. It’s not fair or right.

Before you tell me I’m nuts, this is how I see things. If I focus on my stuff and what I want to accomplish, there isn’t room to worry about what I can’t control. It’s been a long journey. I’ve had some tumbles and a few clunks along the way, but I have an idea of where I’m going and I’m going to see my goals through. I know there are others out there and I’m watching, but I’m not worried about them. I’ve got enough to do and I”ll do it.

When the Binge Strikes with @meganslayer #televisionshows #mash #iamwriting #iamtryingtobewriting

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By Photographer: Hana Kirana (Flickr.com – image description page) [Public domain or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been a tad down in the dumps of late. It happens. Life and other things get in the way. Sometimes the words just don’t come.

One my things I use to get back into a better mood is binge watch a few of my favorite shows or a movie or two. This time around my go-to means to get back into the writing spirit is the show M*A*S*H. There’s something about the show that makes me feel better.

When I was a kid, I used to wish Hawkeye was my dad. Sounds kind of silly, right? I mean, the guy is old enough to be my grandfather and he’s not exactly a very good role model. He’s pushy, arrogant, chauvinistic and blunt…but he also taught me to have an open mind. Watching him and Trapper together makes me smile. I love Henry, too. He’s a little overly baked, but that’s a good thing. He’s got a huge heart, plus he had some of the best lines. I’m more fond of Margaret as the show went on because she found her place and backbone more. She’s a great role model, too.

I don’t watch entire seasons at a time. I don’t have the time to do that. Two or three episodes are enough and get me back into a better mood.

But there are other shows out there to binge. I know that. I’ve binged on Law and Order, Law and Order UK, White Collar and a few others. I’m open to suggestions. Got any? I’m all ears.

On the Bright Side with @meganslayer #iamwriting #feelingaccomplished

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I will admit it. For the last couple weeks, I’ve been down. Yep. Me. Down.

Some will say I’m not that kind of person. Normally, they’d be right. I try to  cheer lead for everyone. Are you down? I’ll try to bolster you up. But I’ve been the one down.

I came to a realization this morning.

I don’t have to be on all the time and I don’t have to be happy every second of the day. That doesn’t mean I need to make a big deal about feeling down, but if I’m not up, it’s okay.

I’ve tried to follow some very wise advice–no matter what, never say anything that’s not positive on social media. Never say anything you’ll regret. It’s good advice. Why? Social media can be deleted, but no matter what you say, it’s forever. Someone can/will copy it or even more they might save the image of what you said. It’s forever.

So while I’ve tried to be honest about how I feel, I’m also sticking to my plan and that advice.

Today, though, is a different day and it’s much better. I can see the light today. That’s a great feeling. I even managed to get a chapter written last night in my latest book. I was beginning to think the words weren’t there. Now I know they are and it feels good to be back. I’m going to take more time for me, but writing is like breathing for me. I have to. Here’s to more words and being positive.

I am excited about what’s coming next.

Which One? Knowing What To Write and When with @meganslayer #iamwriting #writing #schedules

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I did come up with a general schedule. I’ve been flip-flopping on what I wanted to work on, but I finally made myself create a general schedule. That helps. I have a direction. The thing is, once I made that schedule and started the next book – because the characters talked to me – that’s when a whole new set of characters started talking. Yes. A whole new set.

I’m not going to lie. Writers have lots of characters talking to them. It’s what we and they do. I’ve been known to talk to myself in the car to work out plot points. One of these days I’m going to find something like Dragon for the car. Maybe that way I’d get something done while I’m working out those plot points. But focusing on where I’m going and being safe is more important.

But that’s one thing about being a writer. As soon as I think I know what I’m doing and where I’m going, that’s when new characters show up. I’m helpless. I really am. I write down the bits and chunks they tell me, but I have to put the story aside while I try to finish what I’m working on. It’s confusing sometimes. I’ve had plot points from both stories bleed into each other.

Does this happen to you? Do you notice this? Let me know. Maybe you’ve got some suggestions for keeping everything sorted out. I’ve got notebooks and sticky notes, but still. I’m open to suggestion.