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Writing On The Other Side Of 50: My One-Person Writer's Retreat

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I'm multitasking as my daughter heads off to grad school in London by taking the opportunity to have a business trip in England. It's been a couple years now that I haven't gone to a major conference. For one reason or another, I haven't wanted to head off to any meet up. And the bigger the venue the less desire I had to be bombarded by the hyperstimulation of a lot of people on my senses. Plus the weird after-conference effect where I get hit with a cold/flu/sinus infection.

Not so long ago, I was a conference bee when I had the energy and inclination to hang around thousands of writers. But I can't be bothered to interject myself into the atmosphere of either uber-ecstatic cheerfulness or the whine of navel-gazing misery. I'm in the middle of that neurotic range hovering on the couldn't be bothered "meh" of life or the bah humbug after getting doses of the me-factor ego-talk. So I figure that I'm better off at home.

But now in a few days, I…

Writing On The Other Side Of 50: My NEW Booktuber Hat

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Anyone who really knows me knows my tendency to head off for new horizons. I'm constantly searching and soaking up the world around me. Wearing these multiple hats with their designated labels is life...at least my life. Wife, mother, writer. And so the latest hat that I'm choosing to wear is booktuber.

Reading set me on a straight path to writing. By the time I wrote my first story, the experience was inspired by the childhood authors that opened a wonderfully colorful, imaginative world. And I have never stopped talking about the books that spoke to me. I certainly never stopped sharing about the ones that didn't, either.

But the point is that reading/chatting about books is an important social element to community building with more benefits than not. And I think there can never be too many book lovers celebrating books. As an author, I truly don't have Oprah-size influence on someone's work (for those who say that an author can't or shouldn't talk abou…

Writing On The Other Side of 50: Full Steam Ahead

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Now that I'm officially 50+ years old and AARP is knocking on my door, I went to that noisy place in my head where doubts, fears, wishes, dreams, and general malaise collide and bounce away to collide again. Maybe during one of those collisions, a silver ball like the ones in a pin ball machine rolled out from that cluttered, noisy mental space with a message meant only for me.

Should I embrace that message? Soak it up and enjoy every morsel? Or should I toss it aside because who has the energy to figure out life itself? Much less a life-affirming message to me.

Like I've done for past years, I started this one with goals. Nothing new. Writing and losing weight. Same sh*t, different day/year/decade.

Something was different this year, though. I'd had enough. Enough of what, I don't know. My mom had died last year. My kids were officially adults. My romance writing career was in the vapors. My weight was pushing unhealthy limits. And I needed something to happen, someth…

Slice of Life Spotlight: Phoenix Rising Dance And Fitness

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One of my goals with my new blog feature called Slice of Life spotlights is to show off the many interesting facets of authors' lives. Some people may perceive writers as two-dimensional with writing and possibly family life as the only interests. However, we have other passions, hobbies, and pursuits of happiness that are part of our lives. 
Meet Vivian Pounds-Gray (aka Vivi Dumas, author of paranormal romance) who is now the proud owner of Phoenix Rising Dance and Fitness (PRDF) in Frederick, MD.  Here's her personal journey to discovering another passion. (Note: Mention this blog and you will receive one free introductory class.)
What prompted your fitness focus?
Losing weight has been a goal for so long ever since I injured my back in 1995, but like so many, it was a struggle to find something that worked. I tried most diets and diet products that came on the market. I lost weight and gained it back. For a while, I kind of gave up. The weight loss life can be a roller coaster…