Growing My Wings

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I look forward to receiving weekly emails from Robert Holden, a British psychologist, author, and broadcaster, who works in the field of positive psychology and well-being. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email:

At the start of the year, I got a shoulder injury. I got it playing football with my son Christopher. I was playing in goal, when I made a heroic dive that ruptured tendons in my shoulder.

A few days later, my family and I flew to Findhorn, Scotland. I booked myself in to see Kemi, who is an amazing bodyworker and healer who lives nearby.

“There is a deeper purpose to this injury!” Kemi told me.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Your shoulders are telling me that they want you to rest more,” she said.

“I’d like that,” I said.

“To heal your shoulder injury, you will need to lighten the load you are carrying,” she said.

“You mean, take some weight off my shoulders?”

“Yes,” she said. “And it’s time to grow wings.”

Louise Hay believed that the body is a message board. And that your body is always trying to give you messages to help you be healthier, happier, and more whole.

Kemi feels the same way about the body. “Listening to your body is a spiritual practice,” she says.

Asking yourself a question like, “What message does my body want me to know today?” is a great practice for living a healthy life.

My new spiritual practice is growing wings. I am enjoying playing with this metaphor.

‘So, what can I do to grow my wings?” I asked Kemi.

“Let life love you more,” she told me, with a smile.

“I wrote a book about that!” I said.

“Let your angels help you more,” she said.

“You mean, stop trying to do life all by myself,” I said.

“Exactly,” she said.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Robert Holden’s website.


Keep Showing Up

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In A Year of Writing Dangerously, author and teacher Barbara Abercrombie shares anecdotes, insights, and solutions. Here’s a thought-provoking excerpt:

Maybe the essay you’re writing, or the memoir or novel, has now taken up residence in your inner life, like a DVD playing in your head. Maybe as you go to sleep at night, you’re working on your story, you dream it. And when you brush your teeth in the morning, you’re thinking about it, seeing flashbacks of your own life or your characters hovering behind you. If it’s a book you’re working on, you imagine what the cover will look like. Articles you read in the newspaper or online, things you observe, hear on radio or TV—everything starts to connect to your work.

Maybe you already have a draft of an essay or short story you’ve written that needs to sit for a while for you to get some perspective on it, and you’re looking for the subject of your next one. What you look for, you usually find.

Or maybe not. Maybe you’re stuck. But the only way to become unstuck is to keep showing up, to keep writing. And trust that when you do show up, something will be playing in your unconscious.

Source: A Year of Writing Dangerously, p.149

Inspiration from My Favorite Authors

Collecting quotations has been one of my lifelong hobbies. In the pre-computer days, I would jot down quotations on slips of paper and toss them in a desk drawer. Once a month, I would type them up and place them in a special file folder. I’ve kept the folder but now use Pinterest and Goodreads to store my quotations.

These quotations resonate during this season of my life:

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” ~ Margaret Atwood

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~ E. L. Doctorow

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

When Writing Does Not Come Easy

I’m happy to welcome back author Nancy-Lee Badger. Today, Nancy shares her creative journey and new release, The Rogue’s Ring.

I feel I was a late bloomer when it came to writing. During my junior high years, I recall going to some type of eye doctor who made mom make me do the oddest eye exercises that included laying on my back on the floor and moving my arms. I tried contact lenses in my junior year of high school and could see better, but I took a remedial reading course in my senior year that was all about memorizing blocks of random numbers. We got up to six numbers, which helped me once I began working in retail, since I had to punch each item’s SKU (stock keeping unit) number into the register.

I wrote a few stories and dabbled in poetry in college, but never once did writing a publishable novel fill my dreams. Marriage, work, and raising a family got in the way of any dreams, until I began to notice my surroundings at a Scottish Highland festival. The writing took off, but it wasn’t until I was in my fifties and had moved from New Hampshire to North Carolina that I sold a story.

I have published contemporary romances, time travels, and fantasies. My current series involves three Englishmen who meet Scottish women as they search for treasure. The Rogue’s Ring is a full-length story set mainly in 1817 Scotland. The Rogue’s Ring follows The Earl’s Treasure and The Duke’s Diamond. What happens? They find love they never expected to fall into their laps.

Tag Line

An English rogue, a Scottish pirate’s sister, and a quest that ought to keep them apart is thwarted when young boys are kidnapped.

Book Blurb

Bryce Ketteridge would never let down his friends. If finding the owners of signet rings was important, he would do his share. Shooting a masked bandit turned his life on end. What followed was not in his plans. The last thing Cat Douglas wished to do was steal coins from the handsome stranger. When he later shoots her while she threatened a nobleman’s coach, she suspected he had no idea it was her. Kidnapped boys, pirate threats, and murder propel them to save a boy named Blake. He was, after all, special to them both.

More about Me

I grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island. After attending Plymouth State, in New Hampshire, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree and met and married my college sweetheart. We raised two handsome sons in Rumney, New Hampshire while I dreamed of being a writer. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling snow became a chore, I retired from my satisfying job as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved to North Carolina, where I write full-time. I am a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. I find story ideas in the most unusual places. Connect with her here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

When Inner Peace Begins

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

A long-time fan of bestselling authors and coaches Marc and Angel Chernoff, I look forward to reading their emails and blog posts. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post:

In the present moment we all have some kind of pain: anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment, regret, etc.

Notice this pain within yourself, watch it closely, and see that it’s caused by whatever story you have in your head about what happened in the past (either in the recent past or in the distant past). Your mind might insist that the pain you feel is caused by what happened (not by the story in your head about it), but what happened in the past is NOT happening right now. It’s over. It has passed. But the pain is still happening right now because of the story you’ve been subconsciously telling yourself about that past incident.

Note that “story” does not mean “fake story.” It also does not mean “true story.” The word “story” in the context of your self-evaluation doesn’t have to imply true or false, positive or negative, or any other kind of forceful judgment call. It’s simply a process that’s happening inside your head:

*You are remembering something that happened.

*You subconsciously perceive yourself as a victim of this incident.

*Your memory of what happened causes a strong emotion in you.

So just notice what story you have, without judging it, and without judging yourself. It’s natural to have a story; we all have stories. See yours for what it is. And see that it’s causing you pain. Then take a deep breath, and another…

Inner peace begins the moment you take these deep breaths and choose not to allow the past to rule your present thoughts and emotions.

Note: I highly recommend subscribing to Marc & Angel’s website.

You’re Never Too Old to Grow in Your Thinking

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Here’s a thought-provoking reflection from international speaker and bestselling author Joyce Meyer:

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a leading brain scientist/learning specialist and committed Christian, notes in her teaching on the brain: “The Word and science believe that the mind and the brain are one.” The way you think is voluntary—you can control your thoughts. I want you to give your brain a new job and begin to teach your mind to work for you instead of against you.

One important way to do this is to make the intentional decision that you will begin to think positively. I realize your brain won’t be able to fulfill the new role completely overnight. You may be asking it to undergo a radical transformation, and that will take time. So give it a little grace, but determine that with your diligence and God’s help your brain will go to work for you instead of against you and become a powerful, positive force in your life.

I like what Dr. Leaf says—that the human brain takes “eighteen years to grow and a lifetime to mature.” Don’t miss this point. Although every other organ in the body is fully formed when a person is born, and simply gets bigger as the body gets bigger, the brain actually takes a full eighteen years to be fully formed. After that it continues to mature until the day a person dies. This means, no matter how old you are, your brain is still maturing. This is great news because it means you do not have to be stuck in any old or wrong thought patters. Your brain is still maturing, so you can still mature in your thinking.

Source: Trusting God Day by Day by Joyce Meyer

Interview with Judy Penz Sheluk

I’m happy to welcome back bestselling author Judy Penz Sheluk. Today, Judy shares interesting facts about her creative journey and new release, Finding Your Path to Publication.

Here’s Judy!

What was your inspiration for this book?

The germ of the idea started in November 2021, after I’d done a NaNoWriMo debriefing for my then local library— Failing (and Succeeding!) with NaNoWriMo. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an annual event with the challenge of writing 50,000 words during the month of November. When it came to the Q&A portion of the program, it became clear that most of the attendees were more interested in how to get published than chatting about whether they’d reached the 50,000-word mark. That led to the library requesting a workshop on publishing, and following that, one on self-publishing. Based on the number of attendees, and their thirst for knowledge, I knew there was an interest and a need, but I couldn’t find any single book that covered off all the different paths to publication. I’m a complete pantser when it comes to writing fiction, but with this book, my library presentation—Finding Your Path to Publication—worked as an outline, and I liked the idea of going back to my roots as a journalist.

What is the best part of being an author? The worst?

I love the writing process, whether it’s creating a world, researching, or in the case of this book, sharing would I know. The shameless self-promotion side of things, social media, etc., that doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. If I ever earn Louise Penny money, I’ll hire an assistant to do all of that. So far, I’m not taking applications, but hope springs eternal!

Which authors have inspired you?

I’m a voracious reader. In 2022, I read 56 books. Some I loved. Some disappointed, not quite living up to the hype. But I learned something from every one of those authors, and so I suppose you could say all of them inspired me to varying degrees. Reading is absolutely the best teacher. But if I am to be very specific, I’d say the late Sue Grafton. I read each of her Kinsey Millhone books as they were published, which means it’s been 25+ years since I read some of them. Last year I began revisiting the series in audiobook format. It was only on revisit that I realized how much her writing had influenced my own style. It was quite eye-opening.

What is your favorite quote?

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” Agatha Christie

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’m super organized, the sort of person who has all her business tax records summarized on an Excel spreadsheet and ready for the accountant by the middle of January. I also really dislike clutter or excess. If I buy a t-shirt, I’ll toss out or donate a t-shirt rather than having an extra one I don’t really need. Oh…and I keep the books on my bookshelf in author alphabetical order (okay, and my soup cans in the pantry, too, though sometimes I go wild and put chicken noodle after cream of mushroom, just to convince myself I’m not totally bonkers).

Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

I took up golf about 20 years ago. After all these years, I should probably be better at it than I am, but I’ve resigned myself to accepting that I’m never going to make the tour! What I love about golf is that it’s a social experience, but unless you’re in a team tournament situation, you’re only competing against yourself. I also love being outside and when the course allows it, I always walk, not just for the exercise, but to stay more connected to my game.

I also walk 90 minutes to 2 hours a day. I have a golden retriever, Gibbs, who keeps me honest on the walking front, regardless of weather.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. Write every day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, even if it’s your birthday, your kid’s birthday, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, or some other special occasion. I have a friend who would set her alarm every day at 5:30 a.m. to write for an hour before getting up to make breakfast for her three kids before sending them off to school (and then home-schooled them during Covid). On weekends, she sleeps in until 6 a.m. She eventually finished her book and landed an agent, but it wasn’t luck. It was hard work. The harder you work, the luckier you get.

What are you working on next?

Thanks so much for asking. I’m almost finished the next book in the Step-by-Step Guide series: Self-publishing: The Ins & Outs of Going Indie. It’s tentatively scheduled for Fall 2023, and I’m really excited about it. So many people think self-publishing is the easy way out. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I like to think this book will make the path easier.

About the book

The road to publishing is paved with good intentions…and horror stories of authors who had to learn the hard way.

For the emerging author, the publishing world can be overwhelming. You’ve written the book, and you’re ready to share it with the world, but don’t know where to start. Traditional, independent press, hybrid, self-publishing, and online social platforms—all are valid publishing paths. The question is, which one is right for you?

Finding Your Path to Publication is an introduction to an industry that remains a mystery to those on the outside. Learn how each publishing option works, what to expect from the process start to finish, how to identify red flags, and avoid common pitfalls. With statistics, examples, and helpful resources compiled by an industry insider who’s been down a few of these paths, this is your roadmap to decide which path you’d like to explore, and where to begin your author journey.

About the author

A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the bestselling author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries and Marketville Mysteries, both of which have been published in multiple languages. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including the Superior Shores Anthologies, which she also edited. With a passion for understanding the ins and outs of all aspects of publishing, Judy is also the founder and owner of Superior Shores Press, which she established in February 2018.

Judy is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she served on the Board of Directors for five years, the final two as Chair. She lives in Northern Ontario. Find her at

Universal Buy Link:

More Rumi Wisdom

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Rumi (born Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī) was a 13-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic. One of the most accomplished poets of all time, his musings on life, love, and the mysteries of the universe continue to resonate worldwide.

Here are ten of my favorite Rumi quotes:

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?

Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.

If the light is in your heart, you will find your way home.

There’s a field somewhere beyond all doubt and wrongdoing. I’ll meet you there.

Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.

Anyone who genuinely and consistently with both hands looks for something will find it.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.

Happy May!

Named for Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility, May is a month of flowers and celebrations.

Here are 10 interesting facts about May:

1. There are two birth flowers for May: the Hawthorn and the Lily-of-the-Valley. The hawthorn represents hope, while the lily-of-the-valley symbolizes sweetness or the return of happiness.

2. The month’s birthstone is the emerald, a stone that represents love and success.

3. People born between May 1 and May 20 fall under the sign of Taurus, and those born later in the month fall under Gemini. People born under Taurus are considered to be intelligent and dependable, while those born under Gemini are known to be whimsical and adaptable.

4. May 4 is celebrated as Star Wars Day, a play of words on the popular line, “May the Force be with you.”

5. Cinco de Mayo (or the fifth of May) is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862) during the Franco-Mexican War. In the United States, this date has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage.

6. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month in over 100 countries worldwide.

7. On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean, marking the first solo flight by a woman.

8. Famous people born in May include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (May 2), Audrey Hepburn (May 4), Adele (May 5), George Clooney (May 6), Queen Victoria (May 24), and Bob Hope (May 29).

9. May has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month, Better Speech and Hearing Month, National Clean Air Month, Brain Cancer Awareness Month, Be Kind to Animals Month, National Salad Day, and No Mow May.

10. The global phenomenon Eurovision occurs during May. Held each year since 1956, this international song contest has launched the careers of several musical megastars, including Celine Dion and ABBA. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy.