How to Stay Balanced When You are Upside Down

A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves sh...

A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves shown to illustrate the differing wavelengths of light. (Click to view animation) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I didn’t want to write about my novel or a writing topic, but instead, I wanted to write about what I was inspired at the moment.  So I asked my Muse, what do you want me to write about today? The title you just read came to mind, so that is what I am writing about this instant.

As someone who has known what this means, I can tell you that it is not easy to hang in there when everything has flipped upside down at one point in your life.  When your world hangs the opposite to your focus, it is easy to be discouraged, throw the towel, and just hang for eternity.  I think that hanging a bit is fine because you need to rest to fix your focus.  You need to rest emotionally, physically, and spiritually, as well as in the material state.  So give yourself time to just be, and let your broken spirit rest.

Once you have rested and pondered on your misery, the moment to make a decision knocks at the door of your heart, and you know that this is the time when you decide to pick yourself up and fix your focus, or maintain a state of hanging, sinking slowly into a deep hole.  Whether the contents of that hole is depression, sadness, anger, hopelessness, inertia, hate, laziness … and many other things, it is different to each individual.  However, when you are hanging upside down, after the rest, you will hear that knock, and you will have to answer.  Whether you start pulling at that rope, lifting yourself up slowly, and appreciating how the image comes back to focus bit by bit, or let the rope go, it is up to you.  One thing is for sure, you need to balance yourself to be able to pull that rope and getting yourself back up.  How is it possible to balance yourself when everything around you seems to be spinning out of control and you hang but by a leg?  It is not easy, but it is possible.  This happens when you rest and give yourself time to focus.

  • First, you need to recognize that you need help – whether from a professional or a best friend, and of course yourself.  Whether you can do this on your own, or need help is personal.
  • Second, you need to recognize that there are no blames in this process.  I truly believe that we are responsible for our own choices, and no one is to blame.
  • Third, you think about what you believe as truth in your life and make a commitment to yourself.
  • Fourth, you learn to view the world upside down for a while, and ponder about it.  What you discover about it may surprise you.
  • Fifth, you learn what your priorities are, and decide to make them your priority or not – knowing that there will be consequences to your decision (positive or negative).
  • Sixth, you accept to deal with those consequences understanding the process.
  • Seventh, you do this slowly, one step at a time.
  • Eight, you remain true to your beliefs and priorities when you start to fix your focus.
  • Ninth, you will discover that some things from your old upside down world, do not go into focus no matter how hard you try, so you will have to let those go, otherwise you will stay out of focus in some areas.  In this process, you will learn to say no.  You will learn that you will have to accept that you cannot please everyone. You will also learn to weigh which opinions matter more to you – others or yours.
  • Tenth, you must accept that no one can live your life but you, and that you cannot live your life according to other’s ideas of what your world should look like.  You have been given a responsibility to manage your life (a gift) and live it as well as you can; however your truths and priorities will guide you here.
  • Eleventh, this is when you start feeling that the image in front of you is just an image, and what matters is how you feel about it and how you live your life in this quasi upside down world.  You make it as straight as you want, and you do it one step at a time, balancing yourself in the process – checking from time to time your beliefs, truths, and priorities.
  • Twelfth, the realization that you are always in control hits you, and suddenly, even that you might be still pulling yourself up as you pull on the rope slowly, trying to straighten your world and fix your focus, you can see that the view upside down and in between is as ugly or beautiful as you make it to be, and that there is always a prism changing colors.

This is what I had to write today.


Les Miserables and Your Novel

Six degrees of separation.

Six degrees of separation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miserable – Very unhappy; wretched – causing distress or discomfort – wretchedly poor. American Heritage Dictionary


For the purpose of this post, lets define “Les miserables” as the person(s) who showers in negativity, gets fueled by it, and is incapable of celebrating other’s good news. Now that we have defined the phrase to suit this post, I will tell you why I decided to write it.  No, the reason is not to vent (well, maybe a little), but to help other artists/writers who might be experiencing (being the target) a dose of it.

I will illustrate with an example of a recent encounter with the type.  If you are an artist/writer/creative you know how sensitive and attached to your work you are – it is inevitable and it comes with the territory.  At one point, you may become your art form, and it may become the air you breathe, your sustenance, your all.  In your excitement, you may want to share the good news, and if you are a writer, maybe even give a signed and dedicated copy of your novel to someone.  Now, that was a nice gesture, wasn’t it?

If the person falls into the les miserables category, be prepared for what will follow – a complete mockery of your gesture, a lack of respect for your art form, a complete disregard of your efforts, therefore ignoring the good news, and even the blunt admission of not intending to read it, followed by the “what’s about, I bet you it is about monsters, haunted houses … and other thoughtless les miserables remarks.” And by now, you must be wondering, and the answer is yes – it happened to me.  In this case, le miserable was not at stranger, and with not many degrees of separation.

Well, and how do you handle such les miserables?  Simply by taking the higher road. This is how to do it.

  • You refrain yourself from chopping any heads, from uttering any #*&^%# words, and proceed to breath deeply.
  • You answer any mocking questions with the professionalism of the author you are – because that is the road you have chosen.
  • You stick to the content of your book, and do not give the story away.  If the person wants to know, then let them go through the trouble of reading; after all, you just gave a signed and dedicated copy to him/her.
  •  Although you  realize that you have “slightly” been disrespected as a creative, and cannot understand why you still have that “deer hit by foglights look” on your face, you manage to politely smile, and charmingly add this sentence – “It was a lot of work, and I am so proud of myself.”
  • Next, you have to admit something to yourself, and I think this is the hardest part, and that is – “Not everyone will be happy about your good news.”
  • Once you admit that and understand that we as humans, are diversely motivated, it will be easy to let it go, and it won’t hurt your creative self as much.
  • Next, you make a mental note – “this person does not get a free copy of any of your future novels.”
  • Followed by, maybe you should consider how often you want to experience negativity and bad vibes, and decide to insert a few degrees of separation between you and that person, so the negativity and “put down” attitude does not affect your creative self.  This is not about holding grudges, this is about understanding that many times, it is better to surround yourself with more uplifting people, and leave les miserables to themselves.  If these are ties that cannot be severed completely (as in family/in laws…), then insert as many degrees of separation as you need to maintain the peace without hurting your creative self.
  • Then, let it out, share your story with one true friend who is uplifting, without engaging in character-bashing, but just exercising a natural gesture of sharing a bad experience.
  • Next, understand that this will not be the only time you will encounter les miserables in your journey.
  • And finally, let it go and don’t make more of it than what it is – no need to hold onto the negative experience – release it, and get ready to keep creating and making your next piece.

Hope that this post helps any of you that might be experiencing a dose of not requested les miserables attitude.  Keep strong, uplift your creative self, and keep creating.  🙂

Welcome Your Muse

Hesiod and the Muse

Hesiod and the Muse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some reason, the Muse have visited frequently these couple of months.  She has knocked at the door of my mind and dreams.  What happens when your Muse shows up?  Do you ignore her/him or honor her request?  I chose to pay attention.  Let me give you and example of how she made her appearance and what I did at the moment.

Last week, I was at the parking lot of a local WAWA with my husband.  We got coffee and were ready to go on the road.  We were talking and observing the people going in and out, just casual conversation.  My husband said something, and that triggered a rainstorm of images in my mind.  It was a complete story, and I liked it.  I said to my husband, “Wait, let me write something down really quick.”  I took a small notebook and pen that I keep in the car and wrote about all the images as best I could.  He knew what I was doing so he kept quiet until I finished, enjoying his coffee.  In a few minutes, I was done writing, and we proceeded with our conversation.  Once I got home, in the afternoon, I took out my notes and I typed a more detailed version of the images.  The reason for this is that I need as much detail as possible, since that story will be filed until I am able to work on it, since I still have to finish writing book 2 and 3 of The Dinorah Chronicles.  This is an example of how the Muse visited quickly and how I listened to her.  I could have ignored the story, and kept doing what I was doing, hoping that I would remember all the details later, but with me it doesn’t happen that way; I would have forgotten.

That same week, I had a very fast dream. Once awaken, I remembered it, and realized it was the beginning of a story that I liked, a different story, and unrelated to anything that I was working on at the time or other ideas.  Immediately, I wrote it down, as I realized that the Muse had visited once more.  This is how I acknowledge the Muse.  I dream a lot; however, not every dream is necessary something that I would like to write.  Recognizing the Muse’s visit is a way of acknowledging her gift.

As writers, we may get ideas 24/7, and usually these come out of the sudden.  This is why it is important to have a small notepad/pen nearby.  I keep one in my bag, at my bedside, and in the car.  Just for when the Muse shows up.

How do you acknowledge your Muse?

Moonlit Valley Book Trailer

Ok, so here it is, my first book trailer, which I had to learn to do, and spent all day making.  One very important issue when making a movie or video is to make sure that the source for images and music are ok to be used by you, whether you have obtained permission, or they are royalty free or approved for commercial use, or public domain.  Very important also to give credit according to the type of licensing the images or music have.  So here it is, the official book trailer for Moonlit Valley.  I hope that you enjoy it 🙂 as I did making it for you 🙂


On Track – Wow, is it the end of March already?

I am so due for this post, and as I glanced at the calendar, I could not believe that it is the end of March already – someone is playing with time, I tell you – cosmic craziness.  Well, that led me to realize that I am on my way to accomplish the two major goals that I set at the beginning of the year.  These were to publish Moonlit Valley and Ramblings of the Spirit in 2013.  I just worked on the last proof for the past couple of days, and I think that Ramblings of the Spirit will be ready for the beginning of April.  And as you all know, Moonlit Valley is available through Amazon and Smashwords, as well as expanded distribution channels.  As I am looking at things this minute, I think that I will be able to accomplish my third goal of finishing the writing/editing of The Book of Sharon, book 2 of The Dinorah Chronicles. Wish me luck.

Another major goal that hubby and I have for 2013 is to make a huge dent on fixing the farmhouse; however, we have not been able to travel there so far, and the weather has been a bit crummy (makes me feel better).  Now, if I could only win the lottery, that will take care of it; however, the goals for the farmhouse are still in place and we still have three quarters of the year to make it happen – more wishes of luck needed here, so please send all your positive vibrations, good and fairy wishes my way 🙂

And to celebrate, I leave you with my favorite song, and what I think should be the theme song for Moonlit Valley“No Sound But The Wind” by The Editors, and these video is by Youtubers Theseboredkids.  Enjoy it again! Cheers!



Awesomeness – Yes, Much More of It!

I had to dedicate this post to my awesome friends – Toni, Beth, Kathi, and RJ.  Well, last night, I had my first unofficial book signing, thanks to them.  I was supposed to meet two of them at a Portuguese restaurant, or so I thought, but when I got there, they had a surprise get together for me – great food, great conversation, goodies, and yes, books to be signed.  It was a night full of yes – you guessed it – AWESOMENESS!  My only regret is that I was so enjoying their company that I totally forgot to take pictures with my phone, 😦 so these after the event will have to do.

Flowers and goodies

Flowers and goodies

They presented me with the framed covers of Moonlit Valley.  Is that awesome or what?

They presented me with the framed covers of Moonlit Valley. Is that awesome or what?


Guys, I had a great time, wait no, the word is Super-Awesome time – I love you.

On a totally unrelated topic, but certainly full of awesomeness, yesterday I spotted an Eagle perched on one of the trees in front of my house.  I have never seen one in this area, so it was a treat. I hope that I get to see it again.

eagle1 025 026


It was eating a bird, yummy! Wait no, what are you screaming Mr. Eagle? OH, I see, I must correct myself, then – Mr. Eagle says that the bird he is eating is full of AWESOMENESS!


Excerpt from Moonlit Valley – Take a Peek

Here is a short excerpt from one of the middle chapters – A Message – to give you a little taste.

I heard two sets of footsteps coming upstairs, towards my room. I should have been concerned but I truly didn’t care. I didn’t care if it was human or not. I didn’t care if it was divine or evil. I didn’t care because at that moment, I wanted to be dead. I didn’t want to feel my shredded heart aching, my lungs, depleted of air, my head in a stupor, my skin numbed to any human touch. I felt dead already, my previous existence, gone. I had no fear. Pain was the antidote to any fear.

I won’t tell you what happens next.

Available at Amazon, and Smashwords.

And the Winners Are …

Thank you all who entered the giveaway for a chance to win one of three copies of Moonlit Valley.  The three winners are Carmencita Mora, Sylvia Gonzalez, and Joan Caton.  Congratulations! I am very excited and want to mail your copies as soon as possible, so I will need your address.  I hope that you enjoy the book, and feel free to leave a short honest review if you’d like. We wanted one of the cats to select the winners but they all refused and went to take naps.

moonlit valley spread

I have a video of the raffle; however, for some reason, FB is not letting me upload anything, pictures or videos, since last week, so as soon as I can somehow download it, I will post it here (I could not do it here as well ???).  As a last resort, I will have to create a YouTube account.  Well, there you have it, the three lucky winners.  YAY! As soon as I can get that video to upload, I will add it to this post.  Thank you all who participated 🙂 Cheers!


UPDATE – Finally I was able to download the video (it took an hour on FB).!/photo.php?v=4139090170113&set=vb.533594509993470&type=2&theater

Peekaboo – Ramblings of the Spirit Front Cover

So here it is – the front cover for my second novel Ramblings of the Spirit, Book 1 of The Dinorah Chronicles.  I hope you like it.  I went through two designs and finally, decided on this one.  Ramblings of the Spirit will be available by the end of this month (I hope) via Amazon and Smashwords, and via expanded distribution.  I will keep you posted.  Here is a blurb.

Dinorah Sandbeck, an introverted young librarian, resents her Human-Anarth origins and must find a way to fulfill her birthright duty, while keeping the secret.  As she learns the Anarth ways and follows the riddled teachings of an ancient tome, she falls in love and struggles to keep her secret. She must fight her archenemy Hael and The Other Side, but most of all, she must fight herself.  In this battle of Self, Love, and Duty, winning is the least of her concerns.

And here is a peek of the cover,


Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles) - Girl Image by Lunagirl Images. Design by Maria Antonia Diaz

Cover for Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles) – Girl Image by Lunagirl Images. Design by Maria Antonia Diaz


REMINDER – Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day to enter for a chance to receive a free copy of Moonlit Valley.  Just like my Facebook page at the right side of this screen.  I will announce three winners on Monday. Cheers!

Yesterday Was Full of Awesomeness

Awesomeness, is that a word?  Well, it was for me because yesterday I received Moonlit Valley copies, Moo cards, and other fun stuff, all destined to spread the cheer.  I have to say that it felt like Christmas.  It is a great feeling to see the material form of what was once an idea, a dream, a passion.  Now the hard part begins, which is to promote the book.  I have to say that when I think about it, writing it was the easy part.  Here is a bit of what I will be doing in the next few days.

  • Spreading copies with joy.
Chanti is more than happy to help with the task.

Chanti is more than happy to help with the task.

  • Spreading more cheer.

rack cards

Rack cards are a great way to spread the voice.  They are perfect to give away, mail in a long envelope, distribute, and even serve as bookmarkers.  You can give them to friends so they can pass them around as well. You can design these the way you want.  I ordered mine through Vistaprint.  I wrote a blurb in the back, and where to find the book, as well as a link to this blog.  These are not expensive at all, by the way.


I ordered five of these pens out of curiosity, again through Vistaprint, and they are really nice; however, the purpose will be for giveaways, and I don’t think that the pens make a statement – the novel is that small purple spot in the middle of the pen, if you can see it.  Ok, I was just curious, and these were not expensive either.

  • Use Hubby as a novel prop/promo.

All I have to say is that I married the coolest guy in the planet, and he is happy to help me spread the cheer by wearing this t-shirt.

He survived the writing of this novel as well, so he is entitled to wear it. "Honey, no dinner tonight? I guess we are having Chapter 13, yummy."

He survived the writing of this novel as well, so he is entitled to wear it. “Honey, no dinner tonight? I guess we are having Chapter 13, yummy.”

I will be wearing one as well, so he doesn’t think he is doing all the work. By the way, I got these through the same venue, and were $6 each (on sale) – totally doable, since I am on a budget.

  • Must Moo Moonlit Valley and future novels.

I should dedicate an entire post to these mini cards from Moo because this is the first time I order them and I was impressed.  I ordered the minimum – 100, and these were not expensive at all to create at 19.99 per 100.  As I mentioned on an earlier post, you can do a lot with these – design to your little heart desires.

They came fast, in a cute little box, and even the envelope was cool.

Yay, they are here!

Yay, they are here!

I like something about them – they are made from sustainable materials, and therefore, environmentally friendly.


The company gets the excitement (of the customer) as well, and it shows in the packaging.

The small letters read - How very exciting!

The small letters read – How very exciting!

Will serve as a business card and promo card in one, despite the mini size, and you can create as many as 100 different designs.  So if I wanted, I could have made the entire pack of 100 with a different design.  But since I am promoting my books in the back, I used the back for images of the book.  And yes, you will get a tiny peek-a-boo at future book covers.

Cute little box with tabs.

Cute little box with tabs.

Here is a mini card, back and front showing – this one is for Moonlit Valley.  The size is perfect for carrying them around in your pocket, I mean, anywhere.

This mini moo card is promoting my business and the novel.

This mini moo card is promoting my business and the novel.

The next picture will give you a better idea of the size of these moo cards.

Shown next to a penny.

Shown next to a penny.

So there you have it – a whole lot of awesomeness in one day!  Hope you enjoy the post and got a few good ideas out of it.  Oh, and remember to enter to win a copy of Moonlit Valley, like my Facebook page (at the right of the screen). Winners will be announced on this coming Monday.