The World Is Waiting On You

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.

Elaine Welteroth ends her inspiring memoir/manifesto, More Than Enough, with this passage:

When you find yourself existing in the space between dreams realized, parts of you will feel too big for where you are, while other parts of you will feel too small for where you are going.

Go anyway.

Do not wait.

Do not wonder if you can.

Do not ask for permission.

When you get lost, it’s okay to stop, to look up, to look within for the answers–they’re always there.

And when the world tells you to shrink, expand.


You have done enough. You are enough. You were born enough.

The world is waiting on you.

Source: More Than Enough, Page 316.

Becoming Pretty Healthy

I highly recommend Live a Little: Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health by Dr. Susan Love and Alice Domar.

Having spent ten months reading Dr. Love’s Breast Bible during my cancer journey, I was more than ready to follow her advice and that of her co-author, a psychologist with expertise in stress and women’s health.

I found it refreshing to learn that Dr. Love didn’t start a fitness program until age 50. She had no regrets about this late start; she spent her younger days doing research, working with breast cancer patients, writing books, and raising a family.

The authors take on the health police (TV experts, magazine writers, trainers, well-meaning friends and neighbors) and provide us with a realistic view of what’s healthy and what is mostly hype. In short, they show us how to be healthy without driving ourselves crazy.

They recommend we trade in the illusion of becoming perfectly healthy for something more fun and doable: becoming pretty healthy. How reassuring to read that self-care doesn’t require large outlays of money and time. All we have to do is find something—anything—that makes us feel better about ourselves and make it part of our daily regimens. Effective self-care is all about developing and maintaining positive habits.

In the last chapter, Dr. Love and Ms. Domar provide general guidelines for living a pretty healthy life that includes laughter, relaxation, and common sense.

Long overdue advice.

Dr. Love designed the following quiz to assess a woman’s fitness level:

1. Are you able to walk for one mile in twenty minutes or less?

2. Can you jog a mile without stopping?

3. Can you stand on one foot and maintain your balance for thirty seconds?

4. Sit in a chair. Can you stand up without using your arms?

5. Can you lift and carry two grocery bags–one in each hand?

Anyone who is able to answer yes to every question demonstrates a basic level of cardiovascular fitness, strength, and balance. YOU ARE PRETTY HEALTHY!!

On a personal note…

I was able to answer yes to four of the above questions. I need to work on #2.

Loving Those Oxymorons

Technically they’re oxymora, but according to the wordsmiths, oxymorons can be used as the plural form.

Whatever form you choose to use, one thing is certain: Oxymorons attract attention. And people who like to pepper their conversations with these literary devices are well aware that their listeners will stop and think, wondering whether they should laugh or not.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.

Book Blast: Dragon’s Revenge

I’m happy to welcome author CJ Shane. Today, Shane shares her latest release, Dragon’s Revenge.


When Tucson private detective and Iraq War vet Letty Valdez is hired to investigate a murder, she immediately finds herself targeted by a violent criminal. To find the killer, Letty turns to an old memoir of life in late 19th century Tucson. Clues in in the memoir, with its tale of love between two immigrants – one, an Italian widow, and the other, an exiled Chinese revolutionary – launch Letty on a suspense-filled struggle to find answers, to stop the murderer – and to stay alive!


By mid-morning, Letty was sleepy again. She called the dogs in from the backyard and took them with her to her bedroom.

Less than an hour later, Letty was startled awake. She sat up in bed.

Both Millie and Teddy were up, alert, and facing her bedroom door. The fur on their necks and along the ridge of their backbones was standing up erect. Both dogs were very tense and staring at the bedroom door with full attention.

Letty’s heart began to pound. She couldn’t hear anything but she knew there had to be an intruder.

Millie growled.

Teddy growled, too, a low rumbling growl from deep in his chest. Teddy’s lips curled up sharply, exposing his teeth. His pink tongue flicked in and out of his mouth. Teddy looked ready to attack and to tear someone apart with those fangs. He growled again.

Millie was ready, too. She stared at the door and growled a second time. She showed her fangs, too.

Letty felt like she almost couldn’t breathe. A paralyzing combination of fear and fury immobilized her. She was too banged up to be able to fight anyone. And whoever was on the other side of the door couldn’t be a welcome visitor. Letty realized that beyond a doubt, she had become a target.

The knob on the door began to turn slowly as if someone were trying to quietly enter the room. At the sight and sound of that turning knob, Millie barked a short warning bark. Teddy followed with a deep woofing sound. Don’t even try it, they communicated to the intruder. The door knob returned to its original position. Both dogs continued to stare intently at the door.

Letty knew that the person on the other side of the door knew now that there were two dogs in her room and those dogs were not happy.

Letty quietly got up from her bed and went to her closet. She pulled down a box from the top shelf, retrieved her Glock, and quickly assembled it. Just as quietly, she loaded the gun.

Letty moved toward the bedroom door, listening intently. She didn’t hear anything. She opened the door, gun in hand aimed and ready to shoot.

Both dogs bolted through the door past her and ran through the house. They were following the scent of the intruder. The backdoor was open. Letty did a quick check of every room in the house, gun ready. Nothing. The intruder had fled. Letty followed the dogs out the back door and into the backyard. Teddy did a quick survey of the backyard and Millie stood at attention close to Letty. Whoever had been there was gone now.

Buy Links

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Author Bio and Links

C.J. Shane is a writer and visual artist in Arizona. In addition to her mystery fiction, she is the author of eight nonfiction books. Her first fiction book, _Desert Jade: A Letty Valdez Mystery_, (11-2017) is a finalist for Best Suspense-Thriller novel, New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.

Website | Rope’s End Publishing | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook


C.J. Shane will be awarding an original artwork by C.J. Shane – an ink drawing of ocotillo on handmade paper in a wooden frame ready to hang with hooks and wire. Size of frame: 6 1/2″ by 8 1/2″ (U.S. ONLY), via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter HERE.

Follow CJ on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour HERE.

8 Things That Change Your Life in One Year

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.

If you’re looking to make changes in your life, consider the following advice:

Loving the Research

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author Viola Russell. Today, Viola shares her writing journey and novels.

Here’s Viola!

My journey as a writer began when I first read Little Women. I was a kid, and my mother gave the trilogy to me as a gift. No one fascinated me like Jo March. She was wonderfully tough and brash for a woman of her time, and she dreamed of being a writer. Then, I learned that Alcott had based Jo and her family on her own disparate siblings and parents. Louisa May Alcott did become a writer. Dreams came true–well, at least for her. I did not pursue my dream as diligently for many years, too easily discouraged and rejected.

A bizarre incident started me writing again. A young woman in a bookstore approached me and asked if I’d ever given up a child for adoption. She said I looked just like her friend who was searching for her birth mother. I hadn’t and wished her friend luck in her pursuit of her birth parents; however, the incident made me think, What if it had been true? Hence, my first novel (no longer in print) was born. When my mother died, writing became my therapy. As I made my way through her prized possessions, I found the letters and memorabilia my uncles (her brothers) had retained from WWII. Some were letters to parents; others were objects purchased during their various deployments. The letters left a permanent mark on my psyche, particularly the letters from my Uncle Russell to his parents and sisters (my grandparents as well as my mother and aunt). I then had the privilege of reading the letters he’d sent to his wife and those she’d sent to him. They sparkled with passion. Instinctively, I knew I had to tell the story of my mother’s generation. The family members in Love at War are my family but not quite my family. As a writer, I have embellished and changed things, but the events are historically accurate. My cousins loved the dinner scene–all arguing through email if I’d faithfully rendered Grandma’s recipe for meatballs and spaghetti!

I certainly didn’t set out to write historical fiction, but I soon found it suited me. I next channeled my Irish heritage, writing Buccaneer Beauty, the story of Grace O’Malley. I had to tell the story of a powerful, strong woman who prevailed in a man’s profession in a sexist time. Grace outwitted the British and dominated two Irish chieftain husbands.

Still, family called to me. My father was much older than my mother. His era was WWI, Storyville, and Prohibition, more so than WWII. I set about creating Jude Mooney, the character based loosely on my father, Samuel Weaver. Jude appears in From Ice Wagon to Club House. Like Jude, my father was a bootlegger. Like Jude, my father trained thoroughbred horses and professional boxers. He also had–let’s say–several wives. I wrote of my hometown, New Orleans (which also became a character, much as it had in Love at War) and then placed Jude in WWI as well as the Irish War for independence.

When I wrapped Ice Wagon, I thought the Mooney family was a finished chapter in my life, but the characters called my name and wouldn’t let me sleep. I picked up the story where I’d left the characters–with Jude’s sons back home in Ireland still fighting for the land their parents had loved. The Progeny follows Jude and his family as they face yet another war and more family turmoil. Again, WWII plays an important role in the novel, as does Ireland. As Jude seeks respectability, his children and extended family must find their places in a changing world.

It hasn’t ended there. I’ve begun research for the third, and hopefully, last installment of the Mooney saga. What has always surprised me about my historical fiction is how much I find myself loving the research. When I research WWI and WWII, I’m in familiar yet unfamiliar territory. I’ve heard the family lore, and my research takes me into the heat of the battle and the details of a bygone era.

Amazon Buy Links

Buccaneer Beauty | From Ice Wagon to Clubhouse | The Progeny | Love at War | The Doctor and the War Widow | A Fair Grounds Mystery

Where to find Viola…

Website | Facebook | Twitter