Do you Have Writing Challenges?

Thirty blogs in thirty days – the A to Z Blog Challenge is right around the corner.  The blog challenge starts April 1st and for thirty days I sink into writing blogs, I do prepare and have posts written a week in advance. I’m having a bit of an internal debate with myself if I will be participating this year.

My ego’s first thoughts are that there will so many other people participating and who really is going to read my blogs? Ouch! The ego is bitter today and I am aware of the old-self pouting. My ego is in the forefront these days and I’m trying to shake the ego off and be more positive. It’s hard to deal with self-doubt, it’s a real downer and I do wonder if anyone is reading these words? I know you are because you share your comments and I really appreciate your support. I know there are thousands if not millions of blogs out there and you took the time to stop by and read mine. Thank you.

So with that, the ego slithers away and the true-self stands up taller and celebrates her victory. Then reality shows up and reminds me that I am not finished my revisions on my Hotel Memoir and that is the priority. Again, I am aware. I am aware of the urgency of finishing my revisions and get the latest draft to my editor, what the hell am I waiting for? For someone to hand me the finished product ready to be published? Yes, the ego is back and pokes fun at me.

I am at a crossroads and as I write these words a thought about what I can post during the A to Z blog challenge has come to life. Writing certainly does heal and paves the path of the unknown to life. How I love the creative process!

Will you be participating in this year’s blog challenge? Do you have a favorite contest or writing challenge that you like to participate in? Do you deal with the ego trying to talk you out of writing? What are your success stories? Your challenges? The creative life is certainly an interesting path.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .



Where Do You Find Inspiration?

Everyone has their favorite places to visit for inspiration, it may be the museum, a cafe, a park, the shopping mall, it doesn’t matter the place, it’s where you find inspiration and if it is a noisy mall then that’s where you go.

My favorite places to find inspiration are:

  • Cafes
  • Library
  • The park
  • Sitting by the ocean.

Each one of these places provides me with joy and inspiration.

The Cafe: I know you are thinking about the hot-shots of the cafe world, like Starbucks or Serious Coffee or any countless major cafes out there selling a cup of coffee. It’s not just about the coffee for me. I don’t usually go to the name brands of cafes, I’m a hole in the wall, never heard of Pike’s place blend type of cafe seeker. I enjoy going to a place where there are less than ten people in the room (might not be good for business, but it’s good for the writer who likes calm and quiet). I enjoy when there is interesting and unique artwork to stare at while I settle into he writing. I do like one particular Serious Coffee location though and it checks off all the boxes I am looking for: good size tables, an outlet for my laptop, good and unique artwork, not overly busy and good coffee. There is something about this place that feels good. Creativity is content, I am content.

Sometimes I will go to the library to get real quiet. The rustle of pages being flipped randomly, people typing on their laptops, soft whispers of conversations. The one thing I love about the library is being surrounded by all the books. Talk about inspiration. So much inspiration from the creativity that went into every book on the shelves. The energy of creativity is high and being amongst this great energy is pure bliss.

Being outside is also very inspirational to me. I love to walk along the ocean or through a park, being close to trees and the ocean fills my spirit with pure joy and awareness. An awareness that I am right here and now, I am aware of what I am here on earth to do and sadly, I’ve been half-assing it for a few months now. My intentions are all well said and now I’m working on following through. These days are filled with going to work at the hotel life, then heading back home to the page when I feel like it. I have created a new excuse which needs to be put to the curb. I will share this excuse and at the same time, I want it to be the last time I name the egos old behavior. I have been saying that I work eight to nine hours a day and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is sit in front another computer screen and write. I actually don’t even say, write, I am saying I don’t want to come home and sit down and be in front of another computer screen, or do any work at all. I’m tapped out from the day, but that is the ego talking and I am aware of this. Sorry, this blog wasn’t intended to be about my negative habits, it’s about the places that I find inspiration and I want to learn where you find inspiration.

So, now, here I am, exactly where I want to be, on the page. I did work today and you know what I did right after work? I walked across the street and headed to the library, sat down, opened my laptop and started to write. No excuses, no second-guessing, just doing!

Where do you find inspiration? Where is one of your happy places? Are you the noisy mall type or sitting in the corner in a quiet cafe?

For a sneak peek of my first memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ A Hotel Memoir, sign up for my NEWSLETTER and receive a gift of inspiration. See you there!

Until Next Time, Keep On Typing. . . .

10 Minute Novelists First Writing Conference


There are many writing groups out there and I have connected with a few groups that help support me as I was to support other writers. One of the Facebook writing groups I am a member of is the 10 Minute Novelists created by Katharine Grubb, a wonderful woman who has brought over 10,000 writers together.

This year, Katharine is hosting the very first 10 Minute Novelists Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Sadly I won’t be able to attend but I wanted to share the great conference with you if you are looking for a writing conference to attend this year. Katharine has written a little about the conference and the 10-minute novelists.

I blame the ice and snow. I blame the post-holiday fog that is still lingering in the corner around those Christmas cards I still have hanging on the mantel. I blame the insatiable desire for all things flavored egg nog and peppermint. I think we should collectively rename January and call it “Good Intentions Month” instead.

Will the rest of the year be any different? Will we really make time to pursue our dreams or will we snuggle up with old habits like we do those flannel pajamas we got for Christmas?

I believe, though, that the mid-winter fizzle doesn’t have to come. I believe that with encouragement, practical planning and accountability, any time-crunched (or just downright lazy) writer can find time to meet writing goals for 2018.

Here’s how:

Know your specific goals. You can’t develop a good writing habit if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish. Come up with a clear goal for the day. Will you write for ten minutes? Will you write a thousand words? Will you get up an hour early every day?

Have a space that’s just yours for writing. If you don’t have a designated space to write, then it will be much harder to commit to your goals. Take some time to clear off a table, restart that old laptop or unpile the desk. If you take your workspace seriously, you’ll be more motivated.

Have an organized, easy to access document. If you only have a few minutes a day to write, you don’t want to waste it looking for that old file from Windows 98. Get everything together either on your computer or on your desk and keep it handy.

Evaluate your time commitments. This could be the most challenging thing you do in this process. Slowly go through all your obligations and evaluate their importance. If you can say no to an obligation you don’t love or need, then you can fill it up with writing time.

Look for time wasters throughout your day. We’re all given the same amount of time a day. We get no more or less. Make sure every moment of your day is useful. You may be surprised at how much extra time you have if you turn off Netflix, combine errands or stop playing Crossy Road.

Delegate your responsibilities. Is it possible that other members of your household can take over a few tasks? Analyze what can be given to spouses, children or teens. By gently instructing them and trusting them in your tasks, you’re giving them value and having them share your vision.

Communicate your needs to your family. Have you expressed a need to the people that you live with that you want time to write? Can you ask for ten minutes here and there? This also brings them into your life and they be your biggest cheerleaders.

Have low expectations and grace for yourself. Your writing goals for 2018 should not be unrealistic and lofty. A NYT best-selling title in the next 365 days isn’t in your future. Instead, think about small, daily changes that can make a difference in your time management.

Learn to work fast. If you only have ten minutes to write and you’re fussy over each word, you’re not going to go far. Practice free writing or sprinting so you have something on the document. This habit will build your productivity and your confidence.

Silence your inner critic. This is probably the hardest thing to do. Let 2016 be the year that you look your inner critic in the eye, call him a dirty name and kick him out the door. You can’t succeed if you have that inner critic giving you trouble.

And most importantly, plan your summer writing conference! 10 Minute Novelists, a Facebook group for time-crunched writers everywhere cordially invites you to join them for their first ever conference. August 9-11, 2018, 10MinCon, Small Things Brought Together, will bring together hundreds of virtual friends and mentors to meet in person while honing their craft. In addition to pursuing their writing goals 10 minutes at a time, many attendees are full-time employees, parents, homeschoolers, and caregivers whose time is already stretched to its limits.

We’re featuring widely-sought award-winning and bestselling authors Donald Mass, Janice Hardy, and James Scott Bell, will be held August 9 -11, 2018 at The Embassy Suites in Covington, Kentucky. Our intention is to

It is no small thing to pursue your dreams. 10 Minute Novelists understand this. Join us this next August for a chance to learn and grow with us.

For more information about the conference, including the schedule and registration details, visit For more information about 10 Minute Novelists, visit

So yeah, right now we do have ice, snow, and the temptation to stay warm and not venture out to pursue our goals. But this August, you can change that. Put down your peppermint hot chocolate and think margarita!

The year has just begun! It’s time to grow as a writer.

Your dreams are worth it.

By: Katharine Grubb

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .

What are your hobbies?

Hobby: An activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation

When you are not writing, what hobbies do you have? For me, it’s cooking and if I had a garden I would be gardening. I love getting into the dirt, planting and watching something grow and then use it in a recipe, that equals bliss for me.

Cooking has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When we lived in Ontario and spent a lot of time on my grandparents farm, I fell in love with the kitchen, The kitchen was so big, well when I was nine it seemed big and then when I visited at the age of seventeen, it was still significantly large, compared to what I am used to in my homes over the years. My grandmother would always be in the kitchen, she would be puttering around, pots simmering seemed to be always on the stove top, aromas of pies in the oven, countertops messy with chopped veggies and ingredients to make another pie. My grandmother was an artist in the kitchen, she didn’t need recipes, she just knew what to do.

Side note: The kitchen window in my grandparent’s house overlooked a portion of a garden and the cold room where they kept many of their canned fruits and vegetables, also antique items that are a bit faded for me, but I recall that it was a room that I didn’t like to be in for very long, but you had to go through it to get to the back garden. I remember my pace would quicken every time I had to go through that room. That window and room inspired a chapter in my Hotel Murder Thriller that I am working on.

Today, I am in the kitchen if I am not writing. I love spending time puttering around the kitchen, chopping, preparing for the recipes I am going to prepare. I want to know what is going into our meals, I want to chop veggies and bake our own muffins, pies, casseroles, let’s face it, pretty much anything I can make on our own we will.  My hobby of cooking brings a weakness for kitchen stores, gadgets and kitchen books. Oh, how I love to open a cookbook and read over the details and go through step by step to prepare a new recipe and make it come to life. Writing is like cooking at times, if you take care of what is going into the recipe then the end result is something delicious, to eat or read. That image gives me shivers of joy.

What are your hobbies when you are not writing? What gets your heart racing when you are not on the page? My mother knits and she loves it, some of my friends make jewelry and some paint. A hobby is another outlet for creativity to show up and have fun!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .








Sign up for my Newsletter for a sneak peek of my first memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summer Seasons, to be published early June 2018 – sign up by March 10 and receive a gift of inspiration!

What is your genre?

When I am not writing memoirs, I write an assortment of genres because creativity provides me with an idea and go with it. Many of my author friends have one main genre and they are successful authors. One of my friends writes historical western romances. Another friend writes fantasy, romance, and adventure, and started to dabble in Bête Noire. There are so many genres and I love that each of us has been chosen to write different stories to share.

So what is my genre if I’m not memoir writing? I would have to say a little thriller, mystery, and romance. The one story I’m working on that came to me in flash is a thriller romance. More Thriller/mystery with a romantic element to keep the story interesting and just because the characters are keeping me on my toes.

When we first moved to Victoria, BC, we lived in a new condo building that was located right across from the hotel I work for. I know, it’s a little to close for comfort but the circumstances of how quickly I got the job and needed to move to the city from a three-hour away small town, was indeed how my husband and I end up places. Say yes first and then figure out everything afterward. So we find the one bedroom condo and my husband ended up moving to Canmore, Alberta, for a job for about six months. I was so grateful for the universe to have moved into the condo that I only needed to walk across the street to my place of employment.

There was a gym in the condo building and the same people would be in the gym at the same time. They became my gym friends, except for one guy, who, well let’s just say he was the typical metrosexual man. I’m not kidding you, he was obsessed with himself. He would jump off the treadmill when his phone rang and say ‘go for Dean!’ (Not his real name). I would see him come into the lounge located in the hotel where I work. He would have a different date each time and for some reason, he triggered an emotion in me that I just didn’t like him.

One night as I got in the elevator he walked into the building and sauntered to the elevator and just stood in front of the elevator. As the elevator doors shut he gave me this look, his eyes were peering into the elevator like he wanted to say something. I glared back at him and the image of a woman who killed her victims in their hotel room appeared and there in the elevator was born Catherine Harris, a serial killer who kills couples who are cheating on their spouses. More about Catherine later.

Now I’m working on the rewrites of my hotel memoir. It is my passion and my main focus at the moment. I will be honest that there are times when I am editing that I feel overwhelmed. I am aware that the ego is trying to run away and stay in its comfortable old ways sitting on the sofa and watching Saved By The Bell reruns. (Who didn’t like Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski?) I use to write episodes to be part of the Bayside Highschool crew. I embrace my imagination and all the ideas that are shared with me by creativity. Oh, how I love the creative process.

What genre do you write? What story are you writing now? How do your stories get inspired? I love hearing from you.

Sign up for my Newsletter for a sneak peek of my hotel memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing. . . .


How Self-Care Can Help Writing

Life can be busy. Just think of how you start your day and everything that happens from the time you wake up to the time you get back into bed at night. Or maybe you work the night shift and you are going to bed at 7:00 am when the majority of people are getting up starting their day. I thank you for taking this on, I’ve worked a few over-night shifts and it is not an easy task.


As a writer who works in hospitality, my life, if I let it happen, can be filled up business pretty easily. For the past twenty-five years I’ve worked in a hotel and for a period of time, much like the ego slipping in and taking over the true self, the hotel life took over the writing life. When I become aware of this transition I know I must look within and remind myself of what I am here to do. What I have been chosen to share. Writing, sharing stories, not wasting the talent that has been given to me ever so graciously.


On a daily basis, I am practicing self-care. There is a lot of meditating. There is also a lot of deep breathing when I’m not able to ride to my writing room, shut the door and keep everything negative out. These are days when the ego tends to have more of a say and I’m not paying attention to the true self. Meditation is important to me and creativity. I need stillness which may sound funny as most of my eight to ten-hour days are filled with a very busy hotel life. Yet, stillness fills my heart when there the lobby of full of people checking in, babies crying, dogs barking (dog-friendly hotel) and the everyday shuffling of a hotel. I take a deep breath and practice the meditation I have come accustomed to, Self-inquiry. I have always been a quiet and grounded person and meditation provides me space to really embrace the stillness which carries over into my everyday life. I am able to write for longer periods of time which I have been able to do ever since I can remember, but adding meditation to my self-care has enhanced my ability to sit in a chair longer or wherever I am writing. Mediation has provided me with the art of knowing I can not change people, and when a guest is not having a great time and wanting to yell at a manager (this still does happen), I am able to watch and witness the person and know that it has no bearing on who I am or what I do. It’s kinda nice when you don’t take on other people’s stuff.

My top three other self-care practices may look a little like this:

  • Cooking, I love to cook. Preparing a great meal is so meditative to me. I get into the zone. There is something about chopping vegetables that gives me a sense of peace.
  • Taking a bath. We all have our own bath rituals. Mine is all about the Epson salts; citrus or lavender essential oils (unless I need to soak my legs after a hard leg work out, then I’ll pull out the eucalyptus oil). I sometimes turn on spa-like music and sink under the water until my chin touches the surface, close my eyes and just be still.
  • Going for long walks and hiking. I am very grateful and fortunate to live by the ocean. Thank you universe for this opportunity. I can walk to the ocean within ten minutes of where we live. There is something about the ocean that speaks to me and creativity. Going for hikes within the mountains on Vancouver Island, especially only a ten-minute drive from our neighborhood is also a blessing. To be surrounded by nature is comforting and provides me with inspiration and a great love of where I am.

It’s important to take care of ourselves. Take the time to find out what self-care practices that benefit you. I am still discovering and will always be learning and finding new ways of making sure that I am taking care of this one body, mind and soul.

What are some of your self-care practices? Do you like walking, running, taking a long lingering bath, sitting in your bedroom and reading?

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .


Vacation Time!

My husband’s birthday is Valentine’s day and it’s always a challenge to find something special for him when the entire day is focused on the national day of love. Though Valentines Day origins are a bit murky and there a few different stories around the celebrated day.

This year my husband thought it would be nice to go away during this his birthday celebration and we booked a Las Vegas trip for five days. I know what you might be thinking, Vegas for five days? I thought the same thing the last time we were in Vegas for five days and said if we ever returned to Sin City it would be for less time or we would have to explore the area more. We have planned some-day hike trips, golfing and I will be working on edits as I have until the first week of March to send my revisions back to the editor. Last week was busy with family visiting for the first part of the week and I loved spending time with my family, they flew in from Ontario and we had a great visit. I was able to get some work done on the revisions and it felt good when I was able to focus on my passions.

I did schedule time on our vacation to write, especially when my husband is golfing, I can spend that time with the writing. It’s a win-win for sure.

I have been trying to post two blogs a week and I may not get to it this week, sometimes vacation takes over and I’m okay with that. Sometimes we all need a little rest to recharge.

Until next time, keep on typing. . . .