Education, Higher education, Read, Reader, Romance novels, Shy, Write, Writer, writing

Make it rain…books…lots and lots of books…

Psst…come closer and I’ll tell you a secret. *waiting…waiting…* Okay, come on, stop taking so long to get here. Oh, you’re here. Sorry. As I was saying, I’ve got a secret. Here goes – I puffy heart L-O-V-E reading. I mean really ❤ it. I have since I was a child.

little kids reading

To know me is to know that I’m a happy introvert who loves to tuck away in a corner and read.

tuck away reading

In honor of International Literacy Day, which gives children and communities a chance to rediscover the joys of reading while raising awareness for those without access to education, here’s a collection of my favorite reading memes.

life easier reading

sleepread

book memes

And a tiny collection of my favorite books.

The MOST important book I will ever read. It goes so far beyond ink on paper (or words on a screen, I read it on my phone). It guides my life.

Bible Live

The book that gave me the courage to admit that I wanted to be a writer.

anne frank

Ironically, the book that encouraged me to see something special in my dark skin and what I thought of as my plain brown eyes.

The bluest eyes

The books that shaped my career’s passion to bring opportunity where there is none.

Kozol

I have so many more. They can be seen on my Author and Fan and I Heart Reading Pinterest boards.

collage 1

Collage 3

How can I not crush on Kane and Jared?

How can I not crush on Kane and Jared?

Collage 4

Collage 5

your fave tm

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Beauty, NYC, Romance, Write, Writer, writing

Spring has sprung!

Spring has officially sprung in NYC. Hooray!

Sharing some pics from my weekend of leisure. The Macy’s window display, interesting glass exhibit at Madison Square Park, coffee and fruit in my new favorite writing hideaway and fresh veggies and blooming flowers in the Union Square Farmer’s Market.

Enjoy!

How’s the weather where you are?

20150404_142846blow glass frame20150404_142836writing hideaway 2greenmarket 2

 

 

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Author, Blogging, Career, Coding, Confidence, Criticism, Doubt, Education, Empowerment, failure, faith, Fear, Feedback, Goals, Technology, Write, Writer, writing

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you!

Learning to code is certainly challenging, but well worth the effort and time. I kicked-off 2015 not with a resolution, but with the goal of undertaking a project that would shove me out of my safe and comfortable bubble. And shove me HTML, CSS and JavaScript have done. And they’re just the basics. Let’s not forget that I still have the programming languages to learn. Hello PHP! Nice to meet you, Python! Oh, Ruby, you sparkling beast! Oy. Well, one task at a time.

So, what challenge will change you this year? What challenges have changed you in the past?

My Last Top 3 Growth-Encouraging Challenges

  1. Completing my very first novel. IT. WAS. HARD. REALLY. REALLY. HARD. But for the first time since I started keeping a diary at the age of nine, I had the confidence to call myself a writer.
  2. Sharing my writing. When I clicked submit and officially entered the 2013 So You Think You Can Write contest, my heart dropped to my stomach. There was no turning back at that point. I had opened the door for others to see my heart. I needed that experience to give me the courage to work towards becoming a published author. Something that hasn’t happened yet, but I refuse to give up on.
  3. Running my first (and only so far) half marathon. I was injured, cold, and felt like a truck had run me down. I remember praying with every painful step that the Lord would strengthen me to continue. He did. That experience was yet another confirmation of Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Happy New Year! I’m glad to be back.

P.S. I apologize in advance for the errors you might encounter in future posts as I practice HTML and CSS behind the scenes. 🙂 I’ll keep working with Skillcrush to improve my skills. I’ll be an expert yet.

challenge change

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33 Random Things I’m Thankful For.

To cap off my lovely birthday weekend here’s a list of 33 random things I’m thankful for.

1. My salvation. Nothing in life could ever matter without the security of eternal salvation. I’m thankful God used my grandmother to lead me to the church where I eventually came to accept Christ as my personal savior. I am by no means perfect, and in fact I’ve fallen short more times than I’d like to admit, yet I’m blessed to know that nothing can separate me from the love of God. My salvation is because of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus and not of my own merits.

2. D, who is happy to indulge my desire to jump in the car, pick a direction and see where we end up. In fact, he is a willing participant. Today we ended up in a cute, tiny slice of Americana called Millerton (NY).

3. Great food. Whether it’s a spicy chicken sandwich at a fast food joint or a grilled octopus dish at a Michelin rated restaurant, I’m thankful for the meals that make my stomach happy.

4. Speaking of food, I am ever thankful that even though my family was considered working poor, my siblings and I were always fed. It wasn’t until adulthood I came to realize my mother willingly sacrificed her meals to keep us fed. I don’t ever take for granted a full – heck even a partially full – fridge, and never miss out on an opportunity to feed someone. When 1 in 6 people in this country face hunger, the opportunity is ever present. Feeding America can help you find a food bank near you if you’d like to lend a hand, or if you’re in need of a helping hand.

5. Cheap makeup brands that let me try out red lipsticks. I don’t wear lipstick and never red lipsticks, yet I had an itch to try one recently. NYC 320 Mahogany is a winner.

6. My siblings – both by blood and by marriage. Of course I love them because they’re family, but I also really like them as human beings. Each unique personality brings something of value to this world and to my life.

7. Christmas decorations with lots of lights. I am the weirdo who will stand outside your house taking pictures. Accept it as the compliment that it is.

8. The Internet. In the last few days alone I’ve googled the correct temperature to cook chicken (350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes), the start and end dates of Hanukkah 2014 (Dec 16-24), and Ian Ziering’s age (surprisingly, 50). How is that possible? How old was I when I was watching 90210? Anyway, technology is an amazingly convenient tool.

9. Hairdressers. Making me presentable since 1999.

10. Puppies. All that cuteness just brings a big ol’ smile to my face.

11. Pedicures. Specifically pedis at my favorite salon. Such a great way to relax and hide out from the world for 45 minutes.

12. Working for a company with a mission. With as much time as I spend at work, I’m thankful I can at least say it’s to serve a greater purpose.

13. Sanity. Enough said.

14. Physical health. Enough said.

15. Friends who care about me and my husband. Last year I had a health scare and it was great to see how certain friends rallied to support D knowing he was remaining strong for me. I’ll never forget that.

16. Funky glasses. Fun eyewear helps me make the most of terrible eyesight.

17. Contacts. The next best thing to laser surgery.

18. A love of the written word. Reading and writing.

19. Coffee and tea. Spent some time at a Harney & Sons tasting room today. So good.

20. Spiritual leaders who take seriously the role of shepherd that God has called them to be. Those who know that they will have to give an account to God for the spiritual well-being of everyone He placed in their care. Hebrews 13:17 and James 3:1.

21. A good night’s rest.

22. Coconut and Olive oils. Talk about multipurpose use. Good to eat. Good to moisturize. Best value ever.

23. Pretty/interesting/unique notebooks and journals. I’ve kept a diary since the 5th grade when Ms. Romain gave me Anne Frank’s Diary as a graduation gift. I can never have enough of them.

24. Four seasons. Even winter.

25. A huge big world to explore. So many places to see. So many dishes to try.

26. Smoothies. The best way to get nutrients from all the good-for-you ingredients I’d rather not eat. Although I still can’t bring myself to add bananas. *Shudders at the thought of eating them.*

27. Secret Santas. I’m always excited to participate in SS exchanges and look forward to creating a package that my person will enjoy.

28. Online banking.

29. My mother-in-law’s pumpkin pie. Yum.

30. My mom’s legume – eggplant, chayote, crab, conch and beef – and rice with fresh beans.  Sooo good.

31. Legs that enjoy walking.

32. Protective cases for phones.

33. Love.

Millerton Oblong

Main street

Terni's

2014-11-23_23.40.09[1]

Book drop ted

Book drop blue

Bench

Tasting room

Harney and Sons

Mussels

Dessert menu

Dessert

NaBloPoMo_November

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#AuthorAndFan, Author, birthday, Blogging, BlogHer, Christian fiction, Discipline, Fiction, Write, Writer

2014 NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo: Day 1

It’s a Poe kind of day today: cold and dreary. Perfect time to lock myself in for a couple of hours to meet this goal of 1,666 words. 558 words so far (I started a few days ago). 1108 left to go.

Good luck to my fellow NaNoWriMo crew. Remember: discipline, discipline, discipline.

How’s your first day?

 

Writing NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo


NaBloPoMo November 2014

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NaBloPoMo November 2014

I’m blogging every day in November. And I’m completing the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo writing challenge. O.o Can you say No-Sleep November? Would love your encouragement. Please join me by reading and commenting.

You can participate as well by being listed on the official blogroll of NaBloPoMo participants. Follow these instructions from Michelle W. to do so: head to BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo headquarters at the beginning of November — there’ll be a sign-up post where you can add your blog, along with a list of suggested blogging prompts for the month. You can also grab the official badge for your blog.

NaBloPoMo_November


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Bold, Confidence, consent, Criticism, Doubt, emotional, Empowerment, Writer

Hidden Insecurities

Ever have something happen that mentally takes you back to a place of hidden insecurities? That was the case for me this week – twice. I was brought back to a place I’ve worked hard to visit less and less frequently over the last several years.

What happened is not important (and one incident has since been resolved), but the feelings are. Feelings of having my voice disregarded and devalued. I’m soft spoken and generally fly under the radar, so it’s not unusual that I’m often overlooked. I’m typically happy to sit back and observe instead of participate. Rarely do I make an effort to jump in and share for fear of leaving myself open to ____?

You’d probably finish the sentence with “criticism”. You’d be partially right. The more appropriate answer is “not being heard”. That overrides the fear of criticism any day. It takes herculean effort for me to speak up and share my thoughts. So when I do and it’s dismissed as if I’d never spoken, I revert to lockdown protective mode (from the world). While I’m protected from the world, it’s hard to be from myself. I often spend that mental and emotional seclusion time berating myself as a fool for trying. A fool for forgetting what happens when I open up. An optimistic idiot hoping history will repeat itself with different and better results.

It takes me a long time and a lot of prayer to emerge from that head space. I was there earlier but was determined not to make it a long-term visit.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said (at least according to the streets aka the Internet), “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

*Leaning over and grabbing the consent form back. I’m not signing it.*


inferior consent

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