The Rising Muse Mid-Year Review 2015

mid year review

As always I like to make an inventory of how things are going usually around my birthday and the end of the year. God planned those very well because they’re exactly 6 months apart. I know I haven’t been writing as often as I used to. The funny thing is that I think about posts I want to write all the time, but the butt to chair connection hasn’t happened. The year started with great news, I was moving into a new 9-5 that would allow me more breathing time to write and do other things.

At the beginning of that transition I decided to take some time off. My last 9-5 had left my brain cells quite fried and I needed to take time for myself. After resting a little, I decided to catch up with some life things that had been left behind. Do we ever catch up with life? I don’t think so.

I was able to finish the first draft of “Saving Paola” earlier in CLRFebruary, but it’s sitting there waiting for a second review. I’ll get to it…lol. God has been pressing in my heart some things. I had been entrusted with a ministry back in 2013 and just like newborn babies; they require more attention than grown up children. As a new “mom” I was trying to figure out what to do. God never calls the equipped but equips the called and let’s say that boot camp is his form of training. I say this to say that although I was tending to this baby ministry in autopilot for the last year, now that I had the opportunity to give it some time and dedication, it became my priority.

It’s been an exciting process. I’m learning and doing things that I would not have imagined in my wildest dreams. I recently had to move residence, which I’m sure most of you know how pleasant that experience is. I like the new place. It’s a lot smaller but I know that it is exactly what I need. One of my goals is to learn to live a simple life. We have so much junk that we don’t need or use and I don’t think that’s good stewardship.

movingRight now I’m living out of boxes still trying to decide what to keep and what needs to go. It’s going to be a journey. But I think of you, my readers, a lot. I miss interacting with you and letting you know about all the things that I’m learning about how to live this life that has chosen us with Christ. So forgive my selfishness.

I was reminded yesterday how big writing is a part of my life is and the part that plays in my calling. Ironically, because there are no coincidences in God’s kingdom I ran into someone this morning that had found this page and told me how it had meant something to them. So here I am. No promises on frequency, I have a lot on my plate right now, but with the commitment to not let this much time go by.

Be blessed.

Naty   procrastination

Enough With The Horror Stories

I’m sure that just like me; many of my sisters out there have heard horror stories about mammograms. I don’t know why as horrorwomen we have the tendency to create horror stories about those things that relate to our bodies. We heard horror stories about how our menstrual cycle was going to be. We heard the horror stories about our wedding night, child birth and many other things. And in a latter part of our life we have heard those same stories about our preventative checkup for breast cancer.

I admit that the horror stories kept me away from getting tested for a couple of years. I would go to my annual checkup. The doctor would give the order; the nurse would schedule my appointment and then I would miss it. Ironically I’ve been supporting the Breast Cancer Awareness Cause for about the same amount of time that I’ve been avoiding getting tested.

This year, a coworker who has promised to share her story with us later in the month, went through the experience of breast cancer. She used to have this pretty long beautiful hair and I had not seen her in a while. We ran into each other in the bathroom and I felt confident enough to ask her if something had happened. She briefly told me her story. I will not anticipate the details of her story, but it was preventative testing what help detect her cancer at an earlier stage. I told her about my fears and how I had been avoiding it. She encouraged me to get tested and I promised her that this year I would.

To be honest I had already missed the original date of my test. So, I called my doctor’s office and reschedule. The morning of the test I didn’t want to get out of the bed, but I decided to get up and go. I was late to my appointment. I think I secretly wanted for them to tell me that they couldn’t see me, but that was not the case. I was finally in my gown waiting to be called into the testing room and in my mind I was thinking Should I just get dressed and leave. Nah, I made it this far.

no more excusesLet me tell you that I felt like a fool after the testing was done. The tech told me that it is true that in the past, this was a painful test, but that technology has advance and now everything is done digitally. The whole process takes about 15 minutes. No pain, no discomfort, no horror stories to share. It was almost like taking a chest x-ray.

As soon as I left the office I thought of writing this post. I know that someone out there has been running from this the same way I did. If the blessing that God has given me through this forum saves one life, it is worth telling my story. If like me, you’ve been running to get tested. Stop listening to the horror stories. I’m living proof that it was the greatest experience ever and that next year I will not hesitate to go.

Stay Healthy

40

Ending 2013

In the years prior I measured my success by the blogs I was able to write, the books I was able to publish and the personal goals I was able to meet. 2013 was a year rich in life lessons that could not be accounted in numbers.

This year I was a lazy blogger. I was being pulled in so many directions in my life that I couldn’t concentrate enough to write myABV blogs. I participated in a few marketing campaigns for my books but nothing major. I was able to publish one book out of pure perseverance and I know I have not done anywhere near anything to market it, so I’m not disappointed with the results because I can’t have any expectations for the work I have not done.

I have not even been consistent working out, so I have some ground to recover once the year comes back. So what are the highlights of this year?

Well, although my goal was to read twelve books, I read eight. Yes, the goal was not met but it was six books more than I read the year before.

I started working with a new ministry at my church in Spanish. Aside from writing, I’ve found another place where I know God has called me to be.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, something I had not done in over five years and I’m pretty proud of myself.

But to be honest the highlight of this year was a card that someone I had not talked to in a while gave me. The card said how much I

image

had inspired her. I’m not boasting on that fact, I’m just happy that in spite of all my shortcomings and inabilities the Lord still used me to inspire someone. The Glory is for HIM, I’m just glad my imperfect self is still usable for him and that makes up for 365 rough days of 2013.

I’m looking forward to 2014. 2014 is a New Year with new possibilities, new opportunities, new mercies but the same awesome God.

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy-new-year-2014-latest-wallpaper

Book Review: Eyelash

I have to admit that I struggled with this book a little. It has a somewhat slow beginning, but when a book makes me forget that I’m reading and gets me inside the action feeling all sorts of emotions, you can’t deny that it is a good book!

This is the story of a couple of professionals who decide to leave the hustle and bustle of New York City to open a bed and breakfast near the city. The first issue is that they don’t share the excitement about the decision. It’s the husband, Dan, who being sick with his corporate job who wants out and into the entrepreneurship life. On the other hand, his wife Laina, is very happy with her career and the prospect of growth, but in an unexpected turn of events those prospects are cut off and in a swift decision she agrees to move to Cape May to open up the B&B.

And you would think that the business went bad or something and that’s the issue. No. Dan, who was the one who wanted the B&B decides to be the entertainment director ( just to give himself a title) and leave all the hard work to his wife. I admit that for the large part of the book I was super angry with Dan and wanted to see him suffer greatly. The author’s heart is better than mine and she did put him through some hurdles, but I wanted a little bit more.hahaha!

The kicker to this story is that Laina has a cousin, Tia. Who decides to invite her to Las Vegas so that she can catch a break from the life at the B&B. Laina accepts not only because she needs the time away, but because her inconsiderate husband needs to experience how much she does and how much of him is required to run the B&B.

All those who know about my reviews know that I hate to spoil the fun, but let me just say this; I literally read the last two chapters with my mouth open.

This is a great book to read by a poolside or the beach, when you want some lighthearted reading. Good job Mary Anne Benedetto. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Mary Anne Benedetto is a speaker, blogger, Certified Lifewriting Instructor, ghostwriter and author of 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!,Eyelash and Never Say Perfect. She enjoys world travel and walking the spectacular South Carolina beaches. Web site: http://www.awriterspresence.com  Blogs:http://www.maryannebenedetto.blogspot.com

and http://www.4womenwholove2travel.blogspot.com

The Silence of My Imaginary Friends

It’s been said that writer’s block is nothing but a time when our imaginary friends won’t talk to us. As writers we get frustrated because once we finally settle down, are able to shut down social media, and we are in the middle of a promising good scene; then poof, words just go away.

We tend to forget that our imaginary friends can get tired, hungry, and bored just like us. I  understand and have experienced that their timing tends to be very inopportune, but since we need them, just like with babies, you have to adjust to their schedule.

When I’m on a roll with my writing and my muse just stops, I have to check to find out what my imaginary friends need so that I can get them talking again. Sometimes when I lay down for a nap, the funniest thing happens.  They go from being absolutely mute to arguing amongst themselves about how the plot should go. At that point I tell them to shut up. If they weren’t willing to talk to me when I was in front of the computer, this is not the time to talk. So they finally calm down. Sometimes they seep into my dreams showing me whatever conclusion they came up with during their argument.

Other times we both need food. The “glamorous” life of a writer comes with long work hours and ironically we sometimes forget to eat. I had not discovered this particular need of my imaginary friends, until recently. I used to keep a plate with junk food right next to me  during my writing times.  However, now that I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and making sure I eat what my body needs and not just what it wants. I don’t keep anything at my desk, other than water.  I’ve discovered that sometimes when my imaginary friends stop it’s to get me off of the computer and get me to eat.

The other thing that I’ve discovered that helps me sometimes, is to take a walk. My dog particularly appreciates when my imaginary friends coincide with the fact that she has been laying at my feet for hours without relief. Yes, your muse (our imaginary friends) gets bored too and sometimes a walk can help. I’ve read that for some people working out does the trick. I guess that depends on your physical condition. While I try not to pass out at my Zumba class, it’s very hard for me to think of anything other than not dying. However taking a walk through the neighborhood, looking at the trees, and watching other people interact can help entertain them and when we get back they feel more incline to start talking again.

So when your muse aka your polka dot people (don’t judge, not all little talking people are green or pink) try to see what they need and they may start cooperating again.

If you want to read a different type of novel that will keep you at the edge of The Road Home Cover (1)your seat. See the story that God placed in my heart to share, a story that will definitely touch your heart: The Road Home

We got awards!

My new blogger friend and great writer Holly Michael from Writing Straight has awarded The Rising Muse with the One Lovely Blog Award. How cool is that! I’m so humbled and appreciative for the consideration.

But that was not all, she also awarded me with the Reader’s Appreciation Award.

As a writer you have no idea how honored I feel. We live for our readers, to connect with them and provide for them the information, inspiration and entertainment they seek, that’s why we exist. Thank you!

Now I believe the rules require that we share the joy with our favorite bloggers and I shall do just that.

The One Lovely Blog Award goes to… Nancy Jill Thames and her blog Queen of Afternoon Tea. I met Nancy through twitter and she’s a very supportive blogger and friend. She interviews different authors on her blog and is a lover of tea. I’ve learned about different writing styles through her blog. Very well deserved, Nancy!

Last but not least, the Reader’s Appreciation Award goes to…Rebecca LuElla Miller and her blog Rewrite, Reword, Rework. This is a blog that provides a lot of great information for writers and I could never express enough how grateful I am for how much Rebecca has expanded my writing tool belt.

Congratulations to the winners!

Can routine affect our purpose?

Routine is an element that could prevent us from embracing the new things that God wants to do in our lives. No matter how free spirited our lives may be the most disorganized of us has a routine. We get up, go to work or school, we have a hygiene routine, eating routine, a schedule. After all the hours outside of our house, we then return and do mostly the same things, clean up, eat, and entertain ourselves (television, internet, games, Facebook). The day ends and we have not given God a minute of our time.

Some people have included God in their daily routine somewhat, but if something comes along that changes the things we usually do, we have the tendency to present resistance. I know that God has woken me up in the middle of the night with someone’s name. He usually wants me to go and pray for that person. I have to admit that I have not always been obedient to that call. How many times have you ignored that voice when you know in your heart that you needed to do something for someone or in obedience to God?

This reminded me of the parable of the Good Samaritan, when people bypassed helping someone in need in order to make it to the temple on time. Stopping there would have affected their routine. I have found out that when I get out of myself and actually allow God to alter my routine, I get more blessed than any blessing I can be to anyone else. Let’s decide today to give our daily schedules to God everyday and let his will be done.