ONE YEAR OLD!

Today is To Slay a Curse’s first birthday ๐Ÿฅณ Giselle asked me to make a wish for her when I blew out the candle. Any guesses what it was?

And it happens to be a beautifully cozy Sunday afternoon. So why not grab yourself a cupcake and curl up with this free e-book? Yes, you read that right! My book baby is FREE ON KINDLE for the next five days! Click the image below to get your free ebook. Happy reading everyone!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE EBOOK!

Welcoming 2022!

Can you believe we’re already a week into 2022?! How is your year shaping up? Got all your goals set or a focus word chosen? Share one in the comments!

Only a week in, and I’m already seeing a significant amount of negativity regarding this new adventure. Memes to the effect of ‘a new year is too risky’ and the general concept that things will only get worse abound.

And I get it! Especially after the week I’ve just had. It’s been a rough couple years for everyone. And so far, the coming year looks bleak. But it doesn’t have to be…if our focus is on the right things.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite Prince of Egypt songs, ‘When You Believe’. If you don’t know it, the song starts off with how bleak the world looked for the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Decades of praying for deliverance with no answer. Generations of yearning for a land that had been promised. Then the refrain that goes: ‘There can be miracles/When you believe/Though hope is fail/It’s hard to kill’.

What’s always stood out to me here is that prayer and belief, specifically in the fact that God remembers his people, bring hope. It might take longer than we want. We might feel trapped in the desert. But God has not forgotten us. No matter how bleak our world gets, there is still hope to be found in him.

So this year, instead of writing out my usual overwhelming list of goals, I’m doing something I’ve never tried before. I’m focusing on one word: HOPE. And yes, I do still have a few goals I’m working towards. But no matter how those play out or what new projects present themselves in the coming year, I have hope. Hope and belief that God will guide me in the correct path for my life. And that’s far better than any goal I could set myself.

Here’s my challenge for you. As you go out into this new year, go with prayer. Go with belief. And go with hope.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Please ignore the bio link. That was for Instagram and I don’t have energy to redo the graphic ๐Ÿ˜‚

I’ve got a Christmas surprise for you! I’m starting a NEWSLETTER! Get quarterly updates, early access to big news, exclusive content, and more! Plus, a free short story just for subscribing!

‘A Sister in Spirit’ Blurb

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just BE

When is the last time you chucked the DO list and let yourself just BE?

I have to admit, as much as I’d like to claim the hygge lifestyle, I don’t take down time nearly as often as I should. But I’ve made a concentrated effort recently! Put off chores to hang out with my brother. Ditched socials in favor of books and walks. Avoided marketing stress with cookies and cross-stitch ๐Ÿ˜‰ And you know what? It’s been so refreshing!

So as we go into the bustle of this holiday season, I’m encouraging you to take time off the schedule and just be.

Also, my Scorpio Races reread has made me nostalgic for my horse girl days. Hence the stable aesthetic with Owl Crate’s super comfy wrap โ˜บ

Flash Sale!

My dear Friends and Followers, and my dear Realmies and Readers, and Sisters, and Falcons, and Authorpreneurs. Today is my twenty-eighth birthday!

I hope you are enjoying yourselves as much as I am! I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. (Yes, it works out to a compliment ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Finally, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT! I’m running a FLASH SALE! For the next 24 hours, all items in my shop will be 20% off.

If you’ve been eyeing something for a while, want a jump start on Christmas shopping, or just need a treat on this blustery Thursday, NOW IS THE TIME!

I regret to inform you, this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

~A Long-Expected Party (Rae Edition)

Fall Comes Again

I found this poem while cleaning out old notebooks and it just struck me. Figured with autumn truly setting in, this was a perfect time to share it ๐Ÿ’›

Listen to the rain.

The pitter patters

Of a cloud in tatters.

Fall has come again.

๐Ÿ‚

Watch the leaves swirling.

Colorful scraps that descend

And at your feet find their end.

Fall is round you curling.

๐Ÿ‚

Taste the sweet cider.

The harvest has provided

And round the table lay divided.

Fall spreads the wider.

๐Ÿ‚

Smell the poignant hay.

In bales is it packed

And on the truck stacked.

Fall upon the fields lay.

๐Ÿ‚

Feel the warm blaze.

At your fingertips is raised

And all else becomes hazed.

Fall weaves its maze.

Redefining Success

I’ve been telling everyone who asks that my signing this past weekend was a success. And it was! But, if they were to look at my stats, I doubt they would be impressed. Why? Because I define success in terms that are harder to quantify.

Instead of looking at follower count, I look at the quality of those relationships. Instead of word count, meaningful words. Instead of attendees, true connections. And did I have fun? Instead of sales…well to be honest, as an indie author living on a budget, sales are always in the back of my mind. But I’m training myself to focus here: Has it helped anyone? Are my readers enjoying it? But my ultimate level of success is whether or not people have seen Christ in me.

I’ve found looking at the world in these terms lessens the stress levels and discontent. Because as great as a large wordcount, readership, and royalties are; when your focus is placed there, you’re in constant comparison mode. There will always be someone out there with better stats than you. And so, you are left always needing more. Just one more follow to beat the algorithm. Just one more k to hit that ‘sweet spot’. Just one more sale to move up the list. Just one more, just one more… And y’all, it’s draining!

So today, I’m challenging you to take a hard look at how you define success. And if needed, make a mental shift to focus on the things that feed your soul rather than drain it. ๐Ÿ’›

Also, just want to give a big shout out to my mom for all the help! She made such an impression one buyer asked her to sign the book too ๐Ÿ˜‚ Tip for my fellow introverts: when doing events, bring an extrovert with you!

5 Mental Health Care Tips

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day! If you’ve been around here for a while, you know mental health is very important to me. So today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to care for it.

1. Naps!

It sounds cheesy, but I firmly believe naps are magic. No matter how bad the day is, it looks a little bit better once I’m well rested.

2. Quality time with friends and family.

Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on now and then. Talking your troubles out, even if you don’t reach a solution, can give you a real moral boost. This includes prayer, btw. Thereโ€™s a certain kind of peace that comes from handing off your worries to the one who loves you most and is always able to handle them.

3. Fresh air.

Never underestimate the power of fresh air and sunshine! I’m partial to hiking or a bonfire, but any outdoor activity will do. Even if it’s just sitting on your porch watching the leaves fall.

4. Be Cozy.

Clichรฉs exist for a reason. And warm cookies with a glass of milk and a fluffy blanket has never failed to put me in a better mood. Soothing music and a good candle never hurt either ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. Journaling

Obviously as an author, writing helps me process things. Whether its journaling about my troubles or creating fictional worlds in which to face them. Things just seem less scary and more manageable once I’ve unloaded them from my mind to a sturdy notebook (or more often, word doc).

So, what about you, friends? How have you cared for your mental health this weekend? Got any care tips to share with me?

Mood Setting Tips

I find it helpful to set the mood before I write. Especially when writing in seasons opposite the one I’m living. So, here are some tips for getting in the writing mindset.

Music, Candle, & Snack/Drink.

I always choose a candle, playlist, and drink that fits the aesthetic of the wip. These not only help me get in the mood to write, they also help me visualize the scene I’m working on and incorporate sensory descriptions.

Now, some people just can’t write with music, and I get that. I actually can’t listen to anything with lyrics or I get distracted. So I keep two separate playlists, an instrumental one for writing and one with all the moving lyrics for use when doing chores or for promotion later. I’ve also found ambient nature tracks to be a great choice when focus is key. They’re also pretty to watch when your eyes need a break from the page ๐Ÿ˜‰

Writing Outfit

Just as dressing up for a job interview gives you confidence and focus, having a designated outfit or accessory can give your writing a boost. I tend to prioritize comfort, a favorite geeky item, and something that ties into my wip. For example, To Slay a Curse got my hobbit t-shirt while my current project is a red hoodie (it’s a Little Red retelling).

Moodboards & Props

Ok, this isn’t one I utilize that often. Given the chance, I would spend all my time on Pinterest and none of it writing ๐Ÿ˜… But I do find it helpful to both my writing and mental health to take breaks for those little, fun things. Making moodboards to reference or post online. Finding items my characters might have used. Researching and acting out scenes. Plus, it’s good to get out of the chair on a regular basis.

Take Some, Leave the Rest

So, there you have what works for me. But keep in mind there’s no one right way to do this job. Don’t push yourself to do something you dislike because you think you’re supposed to. Your physical and mental wellbeing is paramount! Take what works for you and leave the rest. We all get to the same place in the end.

Have some mood setting tips of your own? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below.