What If the Rules Didn’t Apply to You?

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What if you didn’t have to work that 9 to 5 Job?

What Would You Do?

What if you could ignore society’s rebuke to stop day dreaming about writing your novel or performing on stage?

What Would You Do?

What if you refused to believe in limitations?

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What Could You Do?

What if you COULD BE whatever you wanted?

Who Would You Be?

 

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

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Toxic Is as Toxic Does

Definition of Toxic (Cambridge English Dictionary)

  1. Poisonous
  2. Very unpleasant or unacceptable
  3. Causing you a lot of harm and unhappiness over a long period of time

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What do you usually think of when you hear the term “toxic?” Maybe you think of harmful chemicals or crude oil spills in the ocean. Radioactive material and asbestos come to mind as well. These substances destroy living things. The human body can show signs of toxicity through skin (acne, rashes, eczema), fatigue and even depression.

We have other types of toxins in our lives that can be just as harmful as physical substances. I’m talking about toxic relationships or environments. Have you entered a room and immediately sensed a heaviness to the air? The people inside are merely occupying the space. No one is smiling. If and when they do speak with each other, it is to complain or share snarky comments. Your good mood is ruined. Their combined negativity and unhappiness are stronger than your good thoughts. Behold the toxic environment.

Signs You’re in A Toxic Situation:

  • People or Person is tearing you down rather than building you up
  • The situation makes you feel uncomfortable, frustrated, sad or angry
  • You dread going into work or seeing a specific person
  • You are unhappy

Suggestions for Escape:

  • Take a hard look at your excuses for staying in the situation
  • Make Self Care a priority
  • Avoid the drama. If you don’t play they won’t include you
  • Dream Big. Make Plans. Rediscover what makes you happy
  • GET OUT!

You’ll notice none of my escape bullets involve you trying to change your toxic coworkers, friends or lovers. They won’t change, because they don’t want to change.Rolling around in the toxic swamp is comfortable. Pulling yourself free and starting a new life is hard work. You can do it! You are worthwhile and deserve happiness.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Are You Trying to Force a Square Peg in a Round Hole?

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Jorge Pacarro, the last of his tribe and reluctant leader of war torn Valdeon, demands to be heard. Clever statesman and warrior, he’s a pivotal character throughout the entire Heart of the Warrior series. Jorge fascinates me. I suppose this is why I have blinders on sometimes when it comes to his storyline.

I’ve been working on book three of the series for several months now. Every author has that one challenging chapter. Mine is a Jorge scene. Out of place in the flow of the story, Jorge’s chapter just won’t fit anywhere I try to put it. The scene involves critical information to the series. It has to go somewhere.

Then it came to me after taking a week’s vacation in Colorado. I had my light bulb moment. Jorge’s chapter doesn’t belong in book three. It needs to be the opening scene of book four. Problem solved!  I’d be pretty pleased with myself if the same thing hadn’t happened in book one and two.

What is your square peg? Are you struggling with a problem you just can’t seem to lick?

  • Take a step back. Work on something else for a few days, then come back with fresh eyes
  • Ask a trusted friend or colleague for advice
  • If all else fails, move on. Sometimes you have to shelf good ideas. It just isn’t their time

Best wishes and good luck!

 

Will You Be There?

Denver Comic Con 2018 takes over LoDo next weekend! Here’s a sneak peek at my schedule:

Friday, June 15th

Join me at Author’s Alley (Booth 4) at 1:00 pm to 1:55 pm. I’ll be signing my Heart of the Warrior seriesbooks and chatting with fans. [Insert Book 2 cover]

Saturday, June 16th

Booking signing at 11:00 am to 11:55 am (Booth 2).

Panel 4:30 pm to 5:20 pm: Real Women. Real Strength. Writing Realistic Female Protagonists (Room 402/403)

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Sunday, June 17th

Panel 10:30 am to 11:10 am: Teen Writers: Overcoming Insecurity and How to Think Up Ideas! (8bit Stage @ Kids’ LAB)

Panel 12:00 pm to 12:50 pm: Writing From the Shadows (Room 406/407)

Panel 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm: Leave Your Party at Home – Political Intrigue in Fiction (Room 402/403)

Panel 4:30pm to 5:20 pm: The Many Faces of Fantasy (Room 402/403)

 

Are You Making Progress a Habit?

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I ran into a writer buddy of mine at a party this weekend. We discussed the hardships of working a demanding career job PLUS kicking out novels each year(ish) PLUS simply being a home owner. Nobody promised living the dream would be easy.

How do we and others like us do it? We CHOOSE to do it. Our creative projects become a priority. We schedule time to work the projects, because they’re important to us. Making progress becomes a priority.

CHOOSE TO:

  • Set aside time each day to work on your creative project. Even 15 minutes a day will help you make progress toward achieving your goals. Make progress a habit
  • Set a deadline for each short-term goal and the ultimate goal of completely finishing your project
  • Visualize what your creative project will look like when you’re done.

DON’T:

  • Beat yourself up if you miss a day or a week of working the creative project. Stuff happens
  • Try to swallow the whole enchilada at once. Bite size pieces of your project are easier to tackle
  • Quit

Stick with it! You can do it! Sending best wishes and encouragement your way!

DCC Fans Assemble!

Denver Comic-Con 2018 is just around the corner! I’m very honored and excited to join the legion of guests, artists and authors in this outstanding convention. If you’re in the Denver Metro area June 15 – 17th, put on your COSplay gear and head on over to Author’s Alley. I’ll be signing my Heart of The Warrior series books.

  

Catch one of the Author Panels to hear discussions by your favorite Colorado Authors. I’ll be participating on some of the panels as well. Schedules of panels and signings won’t be solidified until June(ish), so stay tuned to my website (www.crrichards.com) for updates.

See you there!

Three Things to Avoid When Submitting A Book or Freelance Proposal

Over the years, I’ve scanned through hundreds of document submissions. Some of them completely nailed it. They’re clear, concise and tell me exactly what the guidelines instructed. Others, not so much. These submissions are full of topic specific jargon or unrecognizable acronyms. The submitters have failed to take into consideration not everyone shares their knowledgebase or experience.

It occurred to me this situation is much the same as submitting a novel or a business plan or even a freelance proposal. Is the information you’re providing clear? Are you making the extra effort to briefly explain points or theories most people may not know? It could cost you a book deal or a freelance job.

Are You Showing Me What You Mean or Are You Assuming I Know?

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Avoid Undefined Acronyms – Unless the acronyms are common enough to be known and understood by everyone (Example – FYI or CNN), avoid them in your proposal. Best Practice is to spell out the words and put the acronym in parenthesis the first time they are used in a document. Example – Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Don’t List Unexplained Industry Methodologies or Theories – Say you’re submitting a proposal for technical writing to a small business. Will they understand the intricacies of the Systems/ Software Development Lifecycle? Maybe. Maybe not. Giving a very brief summary of the lifecycle not only helps them understand what you mean, but it also shows them you know what you mean.

Don’t Be Lazy – Try not to be vague about your experience or knowledge. It gives the impression you’re skimming over the information, because you have limited knowledge about the subject. I can’t speak for anyone else, but this is a red flag for me.

Be Clear. Be Brief. Be Considerate. Remember – the person reviewing your proposal may just be a gatekeeper. Only the best submissions move onto the next level.