Posted in writing

Book Series Review: Chronicles of an Urban Druid By Auburn Tempest and Michael Anderle

I started this series almost two weeks ago, and I’m still not done, but I loved it so much, I decided to go ahead and do a review. Yep, it’s that good.

I was looking for a series on Kindle Unlimited that had a strong female lead, magic, and lots of adventure in it. This series hasn’t disappointed on those expectations. It also had plenty of other unexpected (fun) surprises too.

Chronicles of an Urban Druid starts out with a young woman living in Toronto who is from a large family of cops, but is disappointed because she doesn’t seem to really fit in that life. She’s a big supporter of her father and brothers, but being a cop really isn’t for her. Little does she know that a mugging in the back alley of the pub she works at will lead Fiona to her Irish heritage and Druid one as well.

Thrown into a whole new life, Fiona finds herself with a lot of catching up to do, but she’s excited for the task of learning to become a Druid and especially excited to find her true calling. The only thing is it comes with a lot of dangerous new enemies that stalks her, kidnaps her, and gives her quite a few near death experiences.

As Fiona learns to handle the new responsibilities and challenges of becoming an urban Druid, she also finds new friends and love that fills her life and heart. She’s excited by the magic that she’s now allowing herself to see and be apart of as she welcomes fae creatures to live in her backyard and becomes the mother of twenty-three rambunctious dragons.

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Posted in freelance, guest post, small business, writing

Guest Post: Your Guide to Starting a Small Business as a Stay-at-Home Parent

Image via Pexels

By Virginia Cooper

Studies show approximately 20 percent of American parents choose to stay home with their kids, which can be rewarding. However, it’s perfectly natural to want goals of your own, and starting an in-home business can provide an additional sense of purpose as well as income.

What Are the Steps to Starting Your Own Business?

Starting a business is easier than you think. Once you have a solid idea, you can create a professional space and legally register your company.

Create a Home Office

You need a space to work without distractions and meet with clients, so creating a home office is a good idea. Having a separate room for work also helps you “check out” when off the clock.

Choose a Business Structure

If you’re a one-person operation, you can choose a sole proprietorship or limited liability company as your business structure. Many entrepreneurs choose LLCs for the benefits:

  • Considered a separate legal entity from the owner
  • Numerous tax advantages
  • Flexible ownership

The process for registering an LLC varies by state, so you’ll need to do research before filing. The good news is, you can do it yourself or with a formation service, so there’s no need to spend money on a lawyer.

Find Funding

Starting a small business requires money for fees, supplies, and marketing. If you have savings, you can tap into those. Otherwise, you’ll need to apply for financing.

Market Your Services

To get clients, you need to put your business out there. Fortunately, there are many marketing techniques small businesses can use:

  • Create a website
  • Post on social media
  • Join local groups

What Kind of Businesses Can You Run From Home?

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Posted in better writing, creative writing, editing, fiction, showing vs telling, writing, writing tips

Writing Tip: How To Balance Showing and Telling in Fiction Writing

This is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Mostly because at one point in my writing journey, I totally sucked at showing the reader what was going on. I was all about the telling, and anytime someone critique my fiction, I always got called out for it.

At first I was ticked off. Why couldn’t people see past what I wrote to see what I actually meant? After a while, I realized how ridiculous that was. The whole point of being a writer isn’t to write, so much as it’s to convey what you mean and feel in a way others can know it too. One of the best ways to do this is to spend time building up your description to show readers what you mean, not just spoon feed it to them.

So how much showing should fiction writing have? I personally think it should be a balance. If you had all showing, or all telling the writing just doesn’t work well. So maybe about half and half? But that all depends on the writer and what’s being written too.

One thing I learned on my writing journey is that developing writing skills take time. Just because you decided to make improvements in a certain area doesn’t mean you are going to see significant results right away. Just be conscious of the change you want to make, and work at it a little each time you sit down write. This particular area took me years to build, but it’s been worth all the effort. Here are a few things I did to develop my showing and telling.

First, I studied examples of showing and what made it different from telling. I even took a course through a writing acquaintance Michael Knost who really helped me understand the key component of what showing more description looks like.

The first thing is to know that a big part of showing is really about emotion, and letting the reader feel what the character is feeling. So it means going a little deeper. And for bonus points, if you can convey a sense of emotion without actually writing the emotion out, that’s where the gold is.

An example would be like this…

Example of Telling: Karen wept for her daughter.

The emotion here is sadness. So let’s show the sadness, and for extra credit let’s do it without saying wept, sad, or sorrow.

Example of Showing: The savage storm raged inside Karen as tears streaked down her cheeks in a relentless waterfall.

That’s a pretty big difference. Those sentences are conveying the same idea (or emotion), but in a totally different way.

For me, this wasn’t so easy in the beginning. I was so used to telling that it felt like I was walking through molasses every time I had to slow down my writing to add more description. But I realized that in slowing down, I was really doing myself a big favor.

I also started paying more attention to my own emotions. Exactly how I felt during high emotional times. What sort of analogies I would liken those emotions to. And where I might feel those emotions in my body.

I also purchased this handy book The Emotional Thesaurus. This resource has been the single most used writing tool I have ever used. In fact, I don’t even have to pull it out most of the time now. I’ve pretty much memorized many of the more common emotions that I use in my writing.

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Posted in a guided journal, digital journal, digital journaling, guided journal, journal, journaling, new release, writing

New Release: I Feel Playful When… A Guided Journal

Here is a journal that’s been in the works for awhile, at least on a subconscious level. One of the things I have struggled with continually has been to relax, lighten up, and not take life so seriously all the time. So I decide to make it one of my new year’s resolutions, and while at first it seemed like I was making no progress at all on this particular resolution, about April/May time frame I realized I actually had.

That’s the thing about some resolutions or desires for change. They can happen when you don’t even realize it. This was certainly one of them. The realization came as I noticed that I had been making progress with being more playful in small, but consistent ways like getting even more into role playing video games, reading more books (especially series, which I love to do), and just allowing myself to experiment with ideas, thoughts, and even my daily schedule. In doing more of what I loved, and being more open to change and new ideas, I discovered more playful energy in my day to day life.

So with that in mind, I created the seventh book in my Journaling To Feel Good Series called I Feel Playful When as a reminder to me of all the ways I have invited more playfulness in my life. Not only is this a great reminder for me, it’s somewhat of a blueprint for others to find their playfulness as well.

The journaling prompts inside this guided journal, which are… I feel playful when, I feel excitement doing, I love to experimenting with, I enjoy thinking about, I think it’s fun to, I feel the most joy when I, I feel adventurous about. Each help dive and dig out the things that bring out the playfulness in us (at least it did for me!).

Here is the official book blurb…

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Posted in apps, digital journal, digital journaling, journal, journaling, writing

10 Recommended Apps For Keeping a Digital Journal

I made myself a new year’s resolution to look into digital journaling. Surprisingly, I have yet to do such a thing as I have clung to my old school habit of needing a physical book and pen to journal. But I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about, because I know some people have really taken to digital journaling. In my research, I found 10 apps that I really enjoyed using for digital journaling.

As I have an iphone, the below information is related to apps that can be downloaded on iphone or ipads.

First, I found that there are two ways to keep a digital journal. You can either go through an app that’s specifically for journaling (and the app supplies the digital pages to journal on), or you can use a note-taking app that let’s you design your own (basic) journals, or import pdf files of digital journals pages purchased from someone else.

Which one is the right way to go? Well, that really depends on how much creative control you want for the way your digital journal looks, and if you want to import pdfs or not. There are some journaling apps that are very basic, while others let you really get creative with how your journal looks. Let’s start with the journal specific apps.

Journaling (Info Tracking) Apps

Journey

This is a journal specific app that allows you to customize your journaling journey, and is good for tracking certain kinds of information (like health, mood, location, ect.). You can either do simple journal entries each day, or get really detailed with photos, GEO tagging, mood recording, and even track your exercising and health habits. This app also offers a step by step journaling coach if you aren’t sure what to write about each day. The basic journaling options are free, but the GEO, health tracking, and coach requires an in app purchase. You can also sync this app with your Google Drive and across other devices.

Mood App

I really love this one! It’s great for doing one or multiple journal entries a day. It has a mood tracker, so you can keep track of how you are feeling. This app offers a few journaling prompts if you would like a little help with what to write. You can also upload photos and keep track of locations. There is also a live journaling group, if you want to be part of a community. My favorite part of this app is the Spaced Out feature that has planets moving around in the background and repeating affirmations to give you a nice positive boost for the day.

Flow Journal

This app is best used at the end of the day. It’s really great for setting goals of how you want to feel and/or accomplishments you’d like to achieve. Some of these goals are fun, productivity, relaxation, relationships, gratitude, family, growth, ect. You let the app know what you accomplished each day, and it tracks your progress. You can add a journal entry, photos, and location as well. After inputting entries for a period of time, you can go back and look at your accomplishment trends.

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