Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How Women Can Get a Resiliency Boost

I am so excited to bring you a guest post by Dr. Lynn Schmidt. Happy Women Writers Wednesday, resilient ladies of the pen and page. 

How Women Can Get a Resiliency Boost

Every day I encounter challenges when I am working that test my ability to be resilient, to be strong and overcome difficulties, to thrive not just survive. Some days the challenges are small, a computer problem or vendor issue.  Other days the challenges are large, losing a job or a conflict with a colleague. To overcome these challenges, I need to build my ability to be resilient. What do I, and other women, need to do to get that resiliency boost?

Women bring exceptional talents to the work they do, yet often face struggles to achieve fulfillment. Women need to anticipate, navigate, learn and grow from the challenges that they encounter for career success. The ability to maintain one’s resiliency and thrive in the midst of adversity is an intentional choice. When women consciously make that choice, they are better equipped to be transformed by work-related challenges.  

My colleague, Kevin Nourse, and I conducted over one hundred interviews with executive coaches and women from around the world. Our book, Intentional Resiliency: Six Powerful Strategies for Women to Thrive at Work focuses on resiliency building strategies that have been proven to help women thrive. To determine the resiliency boost you need, answer these six, yes or no, questions:

  1. Do I have the right network to get the support I need during challenging times at work?
  2. Am I clear on my values, passions and vision for my career?
  3. Do I know what development I need to be successful at the work I do?
  4. Am I able to focus on taking care of myself including my physical, emotional and spiritual needs?
  5. Do I fully use my strengths to get my job done?
  6. Am I able to see the positive aspects of a challenge and not dwell on the negative?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then that is the strategy you need to focus on building to get your resiliency boost. The purpose of Intentional Resiliency is for women to use the powerful strategies to become more resilient and avoid or overcome career challenges, resulting in an extraordinary career.

Dr. Lynn Schmidt has over 20 years of experience developing leaders, with a focus on women in the workplace. She received her coaching credential from the International Coach Federation. She has three books published and her fourth book, Intentional Resiliency: Six Powerful Strategies for Women to Thrive at Work will be published in early 2016.You can find out more about Lynn and Intentional Resiliency at her Facebook author page

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another Day at the Office

Women Write Wednesday Edition

It's Wednesday, one of the two days in the week that I spend at my office. My work experience may be a little different from yours, unless you are also a writer.

This morning started off at 3:00 am chasing my almost three year old around the house. I no sooner get him back to sleep to be shaken awake by my seven year old. "It's time to get ready for school, Mama."

I rush to get up and get breakfast for the seven year old and lunches made for both boys. I make sure my oldest fills out his reading log, which for second grade includes writing a sentence about what he read. Today's sentence was, "Pirates used to get a sickness called scurvy."

After dropping the oldest off at school, I decided to treat the crazed toddler and I to some breakfast tacos since neither he nor I have eaten yet. While eating his first bite of eggs it falls to the floor. So begins a half hour tantrum in which he decides eating is just too stressful and therefore will be going on a hunger strike until his food does what he wants it to do. So I do what any mom in a hurry does, I bribed him. After he had eaten, I packed up my laptop with all my notebooks, his lunch, and his book bag with family photos (for a school project) and a set of diapers. I silently bemoan the fact that he still isn't potty trained.

On the way to his mother's day out program we pass three accidents. It is bumper to bumper traffic for the whole trip, which generally only takes 7 minutes, but today takes twenty. I drop him off and head out the door to the local restaurant just up the road from his school where I will be meeting another writing friend that I try and write with once a week. Writing can be a super solitary endeavor so finding ways to be social while working is important. It's also just nice to be with someone who gets your particular brand of crazy.

I dragged one of the bigger tables over to the one plug outlet and set up shop with a cardigan, my laptop, a power strip, and a hot cup of coffee. For the next couple of hours I will work to the sound of chatter, the whir of the air conditioning, the kitchen door swinging open and closed and the clicky-clack of our mutual typing.

Just another day at the office.

K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women's issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn't writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband. She enjoys hearing from her readers, so don't be shy about dropping her a line.

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Partnering with Evolved Publishing

I am very excited to announce that I have recently signed a contract with Evolved Publishing for my currently titled Syndicate Series. 

What does this mean? 
This means that I will be taking Seasons down from Amazon at the end of the month. Before that happens I will be holding one more promotional event. September 9-16th I will be putting Seasons on sale for $0.99! After the promotional ends I will unpublishing Seasons, which will go through a total make-over: extensive edits (content, copy and proof); new title; and new cover. The second edition of the book will come out in 2016 with a Ebook, paperback and audio version.

What does this mean for the second and third book? 
The second book in the series, tentatively titled Blue Season, will come out in the later half of the first quarter of next year. If you would like to be a beta reader and get a copy of the book sooner then that you can sign up for my mailing list and get notified when Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) will go out.

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The third book will come out roughly six months after the second book. I am still working to finish the third! I am very curious to see where the characters will be taking me for the final book in the trilogy.

Will there be more? 
Yes, I am mapping out a short story for the Series which will center around Alex and Sally's backstory. If there is enough interest I might end up making a serial about the back story. Please comment below if you would like to read more back story on Alex or Sally.

I am super excited to be a part of the Evolved Publishing team. Please check out my author page on their website and the other amazing writers. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Guest Post: Taking a Dive, for My Writing (and My Sanity)

I am so excited to have J.G. Lucas  guest posting on my blog this week. Her book "Bright Aster" is one of the best books I have read all year. I would seriously read her grocery list, y'all (forgive the play on the line from "Fault of Our Stars", but it is true!). As someone who also was once a very sore looser this struck a cord with me and maybe it will with you too. Please enjoy this guest post. 
- K. M. Hodge 
(Wednesday Women Write) 

Taking a Dive, for My Writing (and My Sanity)

My brother used to be a sore winner. He’s not now. He’s one of my best friends in the world, now. But he used to be miserable to lose to, and he always won. I used to be a sore loser, and I always lost. (It might have been fairer to start the story there, but it’s my story. He can tell it how ever he wants.)
Anyway, one day we were playing racquetball together. I am slow and uncoordinated, and he is not. He was kicking my butt and celebrating every point in the obnoxious way only a 17 year old boy can manage. I was fuming and indignant, sweaty and tired.
Suddenly, something occurred to me: I didn’t give a crap if I won or not. I never had, really. What a waste of effort for something I was monumentally not enjoying. At the realization, I started to have fun. I made ridiculous dives for balls that had passed seconds before. I tripped, I spun, I swung at the air.
Oh fiddlesticks!” I cried. “Another point for you!”
I was no fun to beat any more, and he gave up. He might have even laughed by the end of our time on the court. He certainly laughs about it now. He always says I taught him a lesson that day. But really, I was the one who needed the lesson.

Writing a book and getting it out there takes a LOT of effort. If every moment of that effort is monumentally not enjoyable, I’m dooming myself to be that indignant, sweaty and tired loser, playing a game I hate.
I feel really fortunate to be writing at this moment in publishing. There are so many options now, and so many ways to play. There used to be only one way: Write your book, query an agent, if you manage to sign with an agent, hope she could get you a publishing deal.
I know, because I know me, that I would not have finished my first book under the old rules. Once my characters starting introducing themselves to me, I fell in love with them. I couldn’t have allowed their story to play out knowing I was leaving their fate to the dubious discretion of some dude in an office. I would have been too disgusted.
It wasn’t just the unlikelihood of the book being selected for publication, what with its unusual genre (Magical Realism) and its female author (me). It was the idea that IF my book was selected, someone else could change these characters who had possessed me and were making my life so fun. They wouldn’t be mine anymore, and I wouldn’t be theirs.
Someone in a dingy office could reject them for who they are. Maybe an editor would have a problem with two of my major characters being gay. Maybe someone would want to clean up one of the characters’ cursing. Maybe they would want to take out my tiny tributes to artists who have inspired me, James Hance, Doc Hammer, Frank Turner…
Writing query letters and (eventually, if I was super, duper lucky) battling with editors about my babies was NOT a game I wanted to play. I conceded that point (goofily) to the industry. Not that it cared.
There are other games I have joined and taken a dive on, too. Trying to work Facebook, trying to figure out Amazon rankings, keeping up with Twitter. These are all tools that have their place, but it has become clear that they are too saturated and arbitrary to make or break me as an author.
I’m taking my time now. I’m enjoying writing; I’m hiring good editors and artists. I’m okay with not winning right away. I do like this sport, and I’m treating it more like an endurance event than a competition. The only score I have to beat is my own, and the only way to win is to keep moving.
I have to learn, train, try and fail, and try again. I have to keep enjoying myself and celebrating my small gains. I have to, because writing these stories makes me happier than almost anything else I’ve ever done. And I intend to keep it up. I once trained for and finished a marathon. This feels like that, and I know I can do it. (Oh yeah, that was 26.2 miles. Take that, racquetball boy! Just kidding. Love ya, bro.)

About J.G. Lucas

I’m a writer with an accidental cat infestation (three), and a house that is attacking my spirit. I enjoy mangling words to make them do things they’re not supposed to do, and I’m currently using that proclivity to write a the Bright Aster series in the genre of Magical Realism-ish.