“They say if I care about myself
I’ll pay for this product, that gym membership
work hard and burn my candle at both ends to get ahead
oh, and don’t forget my beauty sleep because YOLO!
You. Only. Live. Once.
Is that living?
Same pattern, day after day –
Go to school, get a job, get married, have kids – here’s a box
fit yourself into it and don’t forget to be yourself.
Who am I?
Mother, Wife, Lover, Friend, Performer, personality without end…
Move, Breathe, Heave something so I can feel deeper…
They ask: What do you do?’
How do you put a price on priceless work.
So I devalue myself because I don’t know what I’m worth.”
Full version of the new spoken word piece on YouTube.
What is your choice in a time of need?
Fear-based blame, anger or greed?
Or do you choose Love and truly believe in
the higher power you hold in your Heart within?
Do you even know which path you choose?
When faced with decisions what is it ego is afraid to lose?
Do you understand the contrast of fear-fuelled action,
and true Heart-centred Spirit attraction?
In those times when all seems lost,
fear-filled action is a greater cost,
to your body, soul, mind, and Heart
for they are all one and not apart,
In any situation, two choices are clear,
Which will you choose – Love or Fear?
Peace is the hope of your every distress,
Hope is the gift for your happiness,
Hope shines a path toward the Light,
Where you’ll find your Faith to hold tight,
Our lives are stories without an end,
Faith travels with us through all twists and bends,
Walking with us through the unknown,
and in our Heart we create our home.
~Kellie Kamryn, (c) 2018
It’s important as an author to have fresh pairs of eyes look over your work once it’s completed. Other people see things you might miss, even though as authors we can be the most critical of our work. When I’m re-writing a book for instance, I have someone beta-read for me to make sure I’m not missing plot points, or to make sure I don’t have parts of the story that should have been deleted still in there!
Beta-readers are important because these are people you trust that are fans of the genre you write. They will be able to tell you what they liked, what they felt fell flat in your book, and give you good suggestions because they read so many books in the genre. If you don’t know any readers of your genre, I’m sure you know someone who loves books. An avid reader will be able to do the same because they know what makes a good story flow for them while they’re reading.
A critique partner differs from a beta-reader in that your critique partner is usually another author you trust to read your work – someone you know will give you good advice on plot points, editing, character development etc.
When I joined a writer’s organization, I met a lot of great authors at a conference and some of them became my critique partners for a time. Now that I’ve been published for a few years, I use beta-readers more often than critique partners, mostly due to the fact that I’m not a new author anymore, my confidence at being able to write a good story has increased, and I have great editors I work with on a regular basis with my publishing house. Nowadays, I want to know if a reader feels anything is missing for them, and I take their feedback and feel out how or if I want to change anything.
I get asked a lot to critique people’s work, and unfortunately these days my answer is ‘no’ for the simple fact that my writing schedule is busy. I do critique samples when I host workshops. My advice to authors is to join groups in-person or online. Be open to constructive feedback. It’s difficult to have someone be critical of your work, but if you’re serious about being good at what you do, you need to be able to hear what others have to say about what you’ve written. Be wary of people who tear down your work. There is a difference in constructive feedback and picking apart everything you’ve done.
I recall the first time I hired an editor to edit one of the first books I’d ever written. It came back with so many red track-changes that at first I cried! Then I saw what she’d done, and I knew I could learn. I encourage everyone to love what you do, but step back and let others help you make your manuscript shine. Be open to how others view your work because there is so much to learn, and another perspective gives you a fresh view of what you’ve done. You do not have to always agree with a beta-reader or critique partner, but more often than not, if these people care about you, they will want you to become better.
**Please subscribe to my Youtube channel to keep up to date on the latest performances, writing tips and more!
When do I find time to write?
This is a short post to go with the short video! I find time to write whenever I can. It might be a half hour here or an hour there. If possible, I try to write every day. I also give myself permission to have a break now and again if I’m tired. I can’t do everything all the time or I will get burnt out. If you are an aspiring writer, all it takes is minutes a day. Set goals for yourself to reach a certain word count on the piece you’re working on. A little every day will go a long way. Find writers groups to join, or organizations to help you with information you might need. If it is important to you, find a way to practice as well as make your dream a reality.
Short and sweet! More books coming from me in the next few months, so if you haven’t, check the books page to see what I’ve got available now, or eXtasy Books site.
On my Facebook page, I’m doing one live video per week, answering questions that I get asked on a regular basis. I will answer them briefly here on my blog as well, and post the link to the video. The blog post won’t be verbatim, but answers the question in written form too! If you have a question for me, please PM me on FB, or fill out the comment form on my site here.
Last week’s question was: Do I ever get discouraged? If so, how do I deal with it?
Short answer – yes. I get discouraged from time to time. I think every one does. I’ll admit that depending on what it is, I may need a good cry. There are times when low book sales, or lack of time to write, or I’m tired, or any number of things may get me down. Sometimes seeing other people’s successes makes me feel like I’m not where I want to be. Maybe I feel like I’m taking too long. Or I’m trying so hard and not getting anywhere.
This may be the time when I look at my goal and adjust my plan. I don’t let something get me down for long. I choose to move forward by doing the things I love. I love to write, so I make time every day if possible to do so. I exercise. Martial arts is a great way for me to be physically healthy and blow off some steam. By focusing on my breathing, and what my body is physically doing, I can help realign myself with what I want in my life. I choose to reach out to my friends. Whether they understand my particular situation or not, good friends will be there to pat me on the back and tell me I can get through it and keep going. Often, I’ll take a break from social media just to reconnect with myself, my kids, and my friends in person.
The important thing is to not let it keep you down. Staying at the pity party too long won’t help you move forward. We all have to take time out to deal with things that life throws at us.
So, share with me – how do you deal with discouragement?
Begin the new year by changing the story of your life by learning to write the novel in your heart!
**Please note this is a THREE workshop series. Participants may register for all or for the workshop(s) of their choosing. A discount applies when registering for all three. These workshops are for beginners or more experienced authors, fiction or non-fiction.
INVESTMENT: $40 for 1 workshop
$110 for all 3 workshops
Payment may be made by eTransfer, PayPal, cash or cheque. To register, please email or call Kellie: firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-996-0440.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Workshops tend to fill quickly and are capped at 15 participants. A $20 deposit for one workshop, or a $45 deposit if registering for two or more will be required to hold your spot. Deposits are refundable only in case of emergency.
LOCATION: 1016 Marion St. Winnipeg, MB (Back addition with the Ancient Design sign in the window)
DATES & DESCRIPTIONS:
Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
Stuck on a plot point? Experiencing writer’s block? Have a great idea, but not sure how to begin? Author’s in all stages of their writing ask me how I overcome these obstacles all the time. In this workshop we will focus on discovering the blocks to our creative process, and how to develop our process in order to keep creativity flowing even when our process changes over time. Participants examine the question: What IF? And learn how to apply it to their storytelling to begin an outline for their first short story or novel.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
SEVEN POINTS TO PROPEL YOUR WORDS INTO CREATION
Participants create or strengthen an existing outline of a short story or novel using seven plot points. Discover how this simple outline tool can be used to plot a novel or short story, write a synopsis, and ensure you’ve got everything you need to bring your story to life, as well as pitch it to an agent or publisher. Participants will leave the workshop with a working outline of their book.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – 10:30am-12:30pm
POLISH ‘TIL IT SHINES!
In this workshop, authors will develop their editing toolbox, learn how to use the five senses to enhance their story scenes, and discuss publishing options for their finished product. Authors are encouraged to bring the first two pages of their book to begin the editing process. Discussion on the publishing process will continue, and we will focus on what to do once you’ve polished your manuscript.
Visit the Facebook Events page for updates and postings! Hope to see you there!
When you become aware of old patterns, and take steps to break those patterns in your life, there are many contrasts to contend with. The pull to follow the old way is strong as you find yourself surrounded by people shouting that there is “only one way” to do something. Then you find others, those who quietly speak about the same things you do, or share mutual interest. They remind me that I’m not really alone, and that perseverance to what I know is true for me is important.
I love working as an author and a voice actor. I love practicing martial arts and gymnastics. I love teaching all of these things to people. As I find myself in a transition, there are days I am terrified at the direction my life is taking. It’s not because I’m unsure of what to do, it’s because I am sure of it, which may be the first time in my life ever. EVER.
People ask: “Why are you terrified?” Well, isn’t the very definition of terrified being absolutely thrilled and scared for your life at the same time, yet you can’t turn back because you’ll never know how it will turn out? And you’ll only be terrified a single time, for once you’ve taken the ride, no matter how many times you choose to go on it, it will never be the same as it was the first time you did. (Okay, don’t quote me on that definition as I’m not Webster’s Dictionary.)
When I talk about what I do, when I teach—no matter if it’s writing, voice acting, or martial arts and gymnastics—I am excited. I can see the way it all fits together in my life. Yet, transitioning to make it all work the way it will work best for me is scary. Why? Because I’ve never done it before, and leaving the old behind in favor of the new, that which absolutely fills my soul with passion is the very definition of terrifying. At least to me.
And yet, I cannot leave it undone. I must follow the path even though it may be long, or winding, or uphill. Perhaps it may snowball downhill sometimes. Or it could be smooth sailing. (Now I’m off the path and into uncharted waters. See? You never know where life will take you.) My point: I do not know. But I want to find out.
And as my best friend told me: “Sometimes you get busy climbing your personal mountain, and feel so alone. Then you break a threshold, and stand at the top, daring to look about. Then you realize how far you’ve come, and all the other mountains there are surrounding you. And you see everyone else climbing their own mountain, and you learn to love your journey along with everyone else’s. In time, you look up and realize you have more of your own mountain to climb. So, you let everyone have their path, and you follow your own.”
(Well, his story went something like that. Let’s not call it a direct quote, but it’s what I took away from it that’s important to me.)
At some point, perhaps we have to stop listening to those shouting from their own mountaintops. They have their own unique perspective, and while some of what someone else says has value, it may be laced with fear, self-doubt, and despair. That is their mountain to climb—not yours. Take those things that trigger your own negative feelings, and use them to shed light on what is weighing you down on your climb. Shiver and shake off that which holds you back from going higher.
Many people have been quoted as saying something like the following, and I give props to whoever said it originally. Here it is with my own spin: Sometimes we fear our own greatness, and what we are capable of doing, so we tell ourselves we cannot do something rather than face the fear that is perpetuating our suspension. Then we let others tell us the same until it is so engrained in us, we believe we actually believe it.
Finding it, letting go of it, is no easy task. Until I can explain the mechanics of that, you’ll just have to believe me. In the meantime, love yourself fiercely and with all your might. Believe in you. Do that which terrifies you, and ask yourself why it does.
Learning to love my own journey, no matter how difficult helps me appreciate not only my own, but others as well. I’ve been terrified before, and yet I did what I knew was the right thing for me. This time is no different, and yet it is a different set of circumstances. And when I look back at where I was, and where I am now, perhaps it’s not so terrifying after all.
But don’t quote me on that.
As the New Year approaches, I wanted update everyone on the goings-on in my publishing life, and other exciting news!
FIRST – I received a publishing contract from Extasy Books for an erotic comedy series – THE HARDER’S. I will be glad to reach a wider audience with this series and all the stories have been revamped, so very excited about this. I will keep everyone updated on release dates and covers!
SECOND – I have always dreamed of combining my gymnastics talents with my newfound passion of martial arts and with Ancient Design, along with my dear friend and teaching partner, Kelly Whelan-Enns, our school is taking off with Women’s Self defence classses, our Academie Jacques Levinet training, and kids kung fu and tumbling classes. I’m also teaching gymnastics at Panthers Gym club here where I live and I love it!
THIRD – here’s an excerpt from Sins of the Father, book 3 in the Sin City series. Please remember: this excerpt is UNEDITED!! This is another hot BDSM erotic romance. This will be the final book for that series, and if you visit my website, you can read excerpts, and check out buy links for the first two on the Books page. I’m working hard to get this book out for the New Year, so stay tuned!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST FOR 2016!!!
“I know.” He cuddled her close to him once more. She allowed him to pull her close, even though her body remained rigid. “It’s a gift I treasure.”
“Then what do you need from me?” she asked, her voice soft.
He considered for a moment before speaking. “To listen. To consider that once this is over, we continue a personal relationship.”
Silence descended, and he waited for her to speak. Long moments passed.
“There’s just one problem.” Her voice sounded sad when she spoke.
He combed back some of her hair, and placed a kiss to the top of her head. “And what’s that?”
“You’ve rescued me. I don’t want a white knight. I never have. I’ve prided myself on being able to take care of myself. How do I ever accept that you swept in and saved me when I couldn’t save myself?” Sobs began to wrack her body again.
Perplexed, Saul held her close, allowing her to cry again. They certainly held differing perspectives on the current situation. While he viewed her with an inner strength he’d seen in few people, she saw herself as weak because she’d gotten in trouble and hadn’t known how to ask for help. While there were many things he could give to her, she had to figure this one out on her own.
When her sobs subsided, he held her away from him, thumbs brushing away her tears. He opened his mouth to speak, but she cut him off. “No,” she sobbed. “You need to understand. I have been drawn to you since the night we met. I didn’t want to be. Yes, it’s part me being stubborn, but it’s also a matter of me knowing I can take care of myself. Da Silva wanted to hurt me, I ran away because I didn’t know who to turn to or what to do. Then you showed up and rescued me. How will I ever feel safe on my own again?” He tried to speak again, but she interrupted him, continuing to rant. “I care for you, Saul. I have trusted you to be my Sir under the circumstances. What if something happens to you at work? What if you have to go away? I don’t like being vulnerable like this. I don’t want to lo—” She stopped short at her own revelation, and struggled to get away from him.
“You don’t want to feel love because you’re afraid it’s not real.”
Fear shone in her eyes. “What if it’s not?”
He held her firm, and stared directly into her eyes. “Maybe it’s a matter of your perspective.”
“What are you talking about?” Desperation tinged her voice.
“You fled because you didn’t know who to turn to, or who to trust, but that’s not true. You trusted your parents and went to them. When I arrived, you chose to trust me. You didn’t expect me to save you. You made a choice, Denise.” He observed her swallow hard as she allowed his words to sink in. He continued, “You chose to ask me to fulfill your needs. You chose to talk to me about everything. Some of the circumstances happened without your consent, but you have made your own choices on what to do about it. Not everything has been out of your control. Loving me isn’t—it’s a choice.”
One corner of her mouth twitched up in a sad, half-smile. “Love doesn’t always feel like a choice. It kind of hits you right in the heart when you least expect it.”
His smile widened. “True. I’ll give you that.” He caressed her cheeks with his thumbs. “But it is a choice on what we want to do with the love we feel for someone.”
She closed her eyes, her voice barely audible when she spoke. “I really don’t want to run away.”
Opening her eyes, she studied his features, her fingers playing with his goatee again. “So, what do we do?”
He drew in a fortifying breath. There’d be no guarantee it would work, but like anything in life, certain risks were worth taking. “I have an idea, but I can’t guarantee you’ll like it.”
Her jaw set in determination. “Let’s hear it.”
(c)2015 December Kellie Kamryn