Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today, and every day, I am thankful for my husband, my little red-head, a father who pushed hard and a mother who cared almost to a fault; sunshine, wind, clouds, and rain, and even on occasion, fog rolling in over grey sandy beaches reminding me that even the most joyous places sometimes need a blanket to snuggle under; trees, and grass, and flowers of all sorts that share with us the power of growth and renewal; I'm thankful for hand-sewn quilts and the nimble fingers that so carefully stitched them; for dogs and cats and squirrels and all the little critters that keep us entertained on afternoon walks; for friends that come in all shapes, sizes, and origins who care nothing about the mistakes I've made, but who I've become because of those mistakes; for a family who so lovingly and joyously celebrates the goodness, shares hugs in the sadness, and rejoices in the light of each new day; Today I'm thankful for everything I've learned this year as a woman, a mom, a wife, a novelist, a domestic, a freelancer, an editor, a friend. Most importantly, I'm thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your day be filled with everything you are thankful for.

Until next time I remain, Unstoppable.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Your Whole Life Changes So Pay Attention

Sitting here on my balance ball in front of my desktop, I've vowed to myself to: be a better mom, a more loving wife, a good friend, a weekly blogger. It's Monday, so making a new start sounds like a good plan. Why wait for the New Year?

Life changes each day for this busy mom and wife. Saying prayers with my three year old before bed, I realize the improvements, mainly friendships that mean so much to us. The days when I would sit at a Georgia Romance Writers meeting at a table alone are long gone. Those moments at the playground pushing my little girl in the swing wishing for another mom to come along and strike up a conversation are far in the past. Now, along with the loving support of my family and cherished friends, I have critique partners who share in my agony over transitioning present tense to past, and moms and dads who text to say, "We'll see you at he playground at 3:30!" I look forward to dinners with new friends, and coffee with old, and most especially alone with my husband, or on a blanket in the middle of the living room with my daughter. To think I could have missed all of this.

So friends, as Thanksgiving quickly approaches and Christmas falls in line like a tin soldier, take note of your life. Do you feel strapped? Trapped in a rut? Or, are you seeing all the things you want out of life come to fruition? Whatever the case, pay attention. Otherwise, the wonderful things just might pass you by.

Until next time, I remain, Unstoppable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Powerful Friendship

Recently, I've discovered a lot of new things about myself. I don't really know if it's because I'm breeching that BIG 4-0 in the next couple of years (as we all know wisdom comes with age, at least for some); or if my life has taken on new meaning; or, maybe I have finally reached a point so close to blissful perfection (for this minute) that I can stand back and look at myself. But what I have seen is nothing short of outstanding.

Listen, I've spent years putting aside my needs and desires to make sure everyone else in my life had what they needed. It's only fair that, at the ripe old age of 38, I can change that and take care of myself and even give myself a little credit. Life's hard enough without putting off today what you can do tomorrow. Right?

So, I started writing again. Proudly, I just finished my second novel, Releasing Saint Angel. For me that means the draft was finished a month ago, the first revision is complete, the prologue and the epilogue are written to my satisfaction and my critique partners and close friends/editors have it in hand to read and give me a thumbs up or down. Either way: it's done. I've finished what I started. My first toot your own horn discovery about my new and improved self.

Believe it or not, I was once a very lonely, isolated person. My only friends were those that I worked with, so whenever I changed jobs, I got to leave those friends behind (for the most part) and start anew. Guess what? I really enjoy having friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, furry friends - it doesn't matter the make or the model, it’s just really nice to have someone to call when you are ironing and watching the toddler play naked in the backyard with the neighbor's dog and the water hose. You know? To the old friends that I decided were keepers, I've added a host of new friends. Friends that I met in places I love like the Georgia Romance Writers meeting I attend each month. This month I met two wonderful new writers/girlfriends and we formed an instant critique group. I'm honored to have them in my life. You know who you are. Pam and Pam! So, my second toot your own horn discovery about my new self is Wow! It’s really cool to have friends and feel like you are part of something.

My final lesson about my new and improved self, and one that warrants the loudest toot is that staying grounded while doing what you love gives you the inspiration, heart and soul to keep going, letting go of fears that might hold you back, to produce your very best work. Not the work of writing, but the work of life. Karen White spoke at our Georgia Romance Writers meeting last Saturday and told just such a story. It was a powerful lesson in humility for anyone, not just writers. One minute you are up, with the next rejection letter you are down, but in between is the stuff that really matters: like the toddler playing naked in the backyard with the neighbor's dog and the garden hose.

Until next time, dear friends, I remain Unstoppable.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's Amazing What You Learn

A new friend of mine asked me the other day, "As long as you've been writing, Lindy, what have you learned?" Good question. Funny thing was, she wasn't asking about book knowledge, trade secrets, or tips and tricks have acquired from my new colleagues. Instead, she was questioning what I have learned about myself.

It only took a moment for me to answer, for I know intimately who I am and what I believe and it transfers easily into my writing. But really, what is new about me?

Gratefully, since leaving my career last year, I've grown a great deal. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a human and as a woman. This discovery hasn’t been easy in fact it has been the most difficult time in my life. Not only what I have learned, but also the journey, has been well worth the effort. I’ve learned:

1) You can always fit more into your day if you get up a little earlier;
2) No matter how little knowledge you have, you can fix anything yourself if you just take a minute to Google it;
3) I have a lot more patience than I originally thought;
4) Money means nothing when you have a wonderful husband and beautiful, charming daughter to bring you joy;
5) The people you start out despising because they are loathsome with agendas that don't mesh with that of the heroine, are the people you come to love in the end;
6) Blessings abound if only you open your mind and your heart to them.

If you missed something, read through these six points again. Want Cliff’s Notes?

1) Get a jump on your day;
2) Anything can be repaired;
3) Garner patience;
4) Love and support is more important than money;
5) You might not start out liking someone, but you can sure grow to love them;
6) Plain and simple…blessings abound.

Six little points of light to live by in a world wrought with greed, turmoil, destruction, and envy. And the fun little snip-it about all of these – they easily translate into literature that is a worthwhile read.

Until next time, I remain...Unstoppable

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ego and the Unstoppable

It's truly funny how, as the newbie writer on the block, you are truly clueless when it comes to how you stack up against your competition. At least you are until you enter your very first "professional" writing contest.

Now, it is hard enough getting up the nerve to let one person (my one person is my dear friend and personal editor, Linda) read your manuscript for the first time. But when you submit your manuscript and synopsis for review by your colleagues, those wonderful people you spend one day of the month with at a Georgia Chapter meeting, those people you know will be judging YOUR brainchild with their knowledge and experience, now, that's hard!

I did just that! I sucked it up, wrote the first few thousand words of novel number two along with a synopsis that I really pulled out of thin air (I am THAT person who doesn't know how it is going to end until I write it) and sent it in. Yesterday I got wind that the finalists were posted. It didn't bode well that I had nary received an e-mail from someone telling me I had made the cut, so I reluctantly signed on to review the list.

You'll never believe it, but I wasn't there. My totally awesome work-in-progress had been passed over by the judges for more excellent works. What do you think that did to my ego? Let me tell you...for about two seconds I thought how unfair it was, out of seventy some odd people trying to accomplish the same thing, that I could be passed over. Then, I looked a little closer at the list. On it were some new friends that I have made since joining the Georgia Chapter of Romance Writers. People I've come to adore and admire. It didn't matter how hard I stared at my computer screen or how hard I wished my name would just magically appear there, I just didn't make it.

After my two-second pity party, I moved on to all the positive things this meant for me and what I learned:

1) Now I don't have to write a full 70,000 words!!! Whoo-hoo!
2) The novel has changed considerably since I wrote the synopsis (for the better)!
3) Losing doesn't mean I can't still sell it.
4) I can submit it to other contests with the new and improved synopsis and manuscript.
5) I have something new to blog about. Yea!

So you see, after a little more thought, and still a lot of hope, I decided there were five good reasons to keep plugging away at my little book project. I still have personal goals and deadlines to meet by October 1st. For those of you who don't know my writing career intimately, that is the day I will pitch novel number two to an editor (or agent) at Georgia's Moonlight and Magnolias conference. I have a lot to do between now and then like finish the initial draft, do my edits, (hopefully have editor/friend Linda look it over), and perfect my pitch. It's a lot, but I can do it and will.

Now, all this is to say, if you have a dream to finish what you started, go the distance, just do it...then I say DO! Get out there, accept the critique, find the positive, and keep going. Because really, in the end who are you doing it for anyway?

Until next time, I remain...Unstoppable

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Friend Tony

Well folks, it feels like it has been a hundred years since I've blogged about anything and well, that's just not the purpose of a blog now is it? I've been focusing my attention on too many areas lately and feel a little lost.

Thanks to my mother and my aunt, I was able to devote a good ten hours to writing last week. Novel number two is already up to over 30,000 words. It's following the exciting path laid out by the synopsis I wrote to accompany my Maggie entry (see below) and seems like a mysterious and powerful locomotive so far: inexplicable and unstoppable, like me. I say that with great sincerity this afternoon as I have been struggling with moving myself forward in any logical manner, but I haven’t stopped trying.

So, as I ironed my husband's chef's coats in an effort to catch up the laundry, I listened intently to my dear friend, Tony. Okay, so he's not my dear personal friend. It's not like we've ever met, or even passed one another in a hallway, but he's become my intimate partner in life since I left work last year. I'm talking about Anthony Robbins.

At least three times each week I listen to his booming, enthusiastic voice. It helps me. Okay, so he's the king of hokey in most people’s eyes, but to me he is the boost I need to regain my focus and get on track. Think I'm kidding? When I left my career last June I began listening to Personal Power (so old it references Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercials) and found that after a few days I was excited to have the freedom to do what I truly desired: write.

You may ask, "Lindy, if he's so special, what has he helped you accomplish in your writing?" The short answer: I finished my first novel (its crap and I will go back to the drawing board on it eventually, but I finished it); I attended my first writer's conference in CT; joined my national and state chapters of romance writers; received my PRO designation (meaning I'm officially a professional writer); attend monthly meetings with men and women dedicated to publishing books; have started on my second novel; and finally, entered number two in a writing contest for my state chapter. Not only that, but I work out three to four times a week, keep a clean house, am raising a wonderful daughter (with the help of my incredible husband), and all in all feeling really good about embarking on a new career.

Now, will this render me published? Who the hell knows, but at least I'm living a life that I'm proud of and I feel great success, even on the days I can't manage a thousand words. I'm not saying go out and buy Tony's latest and greatest, but what I am saying is get out there and live your best life. Do something you want to do for yourself and be proud that you took the first step.

Until next time, I remain, the (slowly but surely) Unstoppable Mrs. Start

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Power of a Hug

It's really quite amusing to me when you realize how desperate you are to be touched. It seems as if touching would be the most basic, human part of one's marriage, life. In my life, due to time constraints, struggles, and the pure exhaustion that follows a day of chasing a little girl (or 58 employees in my husband's case); it doesn't come all that easy. I dare say my husband and I try to snuggle up on the couch while he does homework or I read and relax, but with the laptop doing its job of sitting on the lap, snuggling doesn't always come easy.

The other night as I wearily made my way to the bathroom for my end-of-day routine my husband met me at the door with the most incredible hug EVER to be had. He slid his hands under my white cotton t-shirt, lifted me off the ground with his masculine, well-defined arms and back, and just held me there for a moment. It was passionate, touching, and reached into my soul to give my spirit something it so urgently needed - love. It felt damn good to have that kind of passion if only for that single moment.

I haven't been able to get it back sense, that hug, that passion, which I guess is why it so amuses me when you realize how desperate you are to be touched.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prayer for a Lost Soul

God? What am I supposed to do? I have so much inside and don’t know if I should go back to the drawing board or start on the next project. I’m excited. I’m terrified. I want to be a success and know that even if I am never published that I will be one for following my heart. Writing is all I want to do. I want to tell my stories to people out in the world that hold out hope that someone has been through the same things they have. I want to reach out to people who are afraid and ashamed to admit their pain, just like me. I’m ready to lay bare my heart and soul. I’m ready to give my soul a voice with pen and paper. I no longer care what people will think of me. I am not afraid. As much bad as I have done in my life, I have accomplished and grown and given tenfold. But God, I need Your help. I need Your guidance. I need Your direction in what to do next. Four years ago You opened shone light on a path and something came to guide me along. Am I now supposed to write about what I learned? I don’t feel blocked, I feel lost. What do I do next? Tell me God, open my heart and mind. What should I do?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unstoppable Mrs Start Gets Started

This business of writing and selling yourself as an author is all new to me. I thought it would be easy: write, publish, sit back and enjoy writing some more. Ha! I'm one of those daydreamers who gave up my career to follow my heart and write. I am a wife and mother who writes from the deepest depths of my soul about the people, places, and things I know. I'm busy, all the time, and the business of writing makes life even busier. How do I get it all done today (laundry, meals, blog, next chapter)? Where will I find creativity today? Believe me it's all about living for, and through, today.

What does that mean to you? It means you have an insider's view into this crazy amazing world. It means that somewhere in all these words there is a little inspiration, understanding, hope written just for you. It means that you get to watch this once ugly duckling (fingers crossed) emerge a beautiful swan.

There's something new everyday and I look forward to enjoying the "transformation" with you. For me today brings tweaks to the "official" website, my first blog post, coloring my hair (I hate having so much grey at 38), and pulling together my wardrobe for a writer's conference I am attending in CT this weekend. It's all a matter of "to do's" and prioritizing them.

Its Spring. Get out there and pick up a new book, go for a walk in this glorious sunshine, find your own little bit of transformation today.