What have you done?

Just one question for you this holiday season: what have you done to share joy and happiness?

It doesn’t have to be a monetary gift. It only needs to be time spent with you or a homemade gift made with love.

This is the time for you to spread your own brand of happiness.

Take the time to recognize someone you love. Sonja

Motivation for Inspiration

“We make a living by what we get,
But we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Every good act is charity. A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”
Moliere

I hope you find inspiration in at least one of these quotes. ‘Tis the season of charity and giving.

Be the person who helps people smile. Sonja

Writing for Illustrations

(c) 2019

It’s different when you write the text for a chapter book that doesn’t include pictures and writing for an illustrated book. The illustrations help the reader visualize what you’re writing about.

I didn’t have to describe the clothing in ‘The Voyage’ because the artist did such a phenomenal job with her research to show the clothing and the colors that were true to the period.

For ‘The Fairies of Carlow’ series, I took literary license to use clothing that was suggested by the Victorian period and was able to modify it as necessary for the stories.

The ‘Guinness the Therapy Dogs’ stories will be modern-day and the dress of the people he interacts with will be easily drawn. I probably won’t mention the clothing unless it directly affects the plot of the book.

And dogs don’t wear pants! Hey, that’s a good idea for a story!

The illustrations in ‘The Voyage’ also show the world occupied by John Wing as he traveled through Europe as a preacher. It helps the reader see where he stood in The Hague, Oxfordshire, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (for his family).

Take a look at the beautiful illustrations of ‘The Voyage’. The illustrations for the first two books of the ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ series are being drawn by the artist right now!

I can’t wait to show you. Keep a lookout for the logo that will appear on the front cover of every ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ book. It’s spectacular and I will unveil it here on this website soon!

Keep writing! Keep reading! Sonja

It’s The Time For Giving

Giving doesn’t have to mean spending money. The best gifts come from you or ARE you. The people who are happy to see you, who are happy to accept a gift from you, are the people who merely want to spend time with you.

The time this season to give yourself as a gift to someone special. Visit a friend or relative at their home, wherever they may live. Guinness the Therapy Dog and I like to visit people at the library, the hospital, and a transition home.

Wherever they are, that is home–at least, for them. Help them feel special and visit them where they are. Do they need a candle or a wreath? Bring them one. Every time they look at it, they will think of you and it will be another warm and happy memory.

Celebrate your ability to give. Sonja

Get in a Flip Flop State of Mind

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

What do you think of when you wear flip flops? (Sometimes called thongs.)

I think of sand, beach, and relaxation. I hope you are able to find one of those things during this holiday season.

It can be hectic to get everything that you think must be done–done. But don’t forget the foundation of the holiday: peace, love, and joy.

Don’t get too crazy with all of your “I should–” and “I need to–”

Take a moment to enjoy. Sonja

Publishing Your Story

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I’ve been asked by a lot of writers about how to get their story published. I always say to take the next step and get it out there.

No story is perfect and if you wait until yours is, it will never get published. Don’t wait for years to go by, edit that story and put it out into the world. Take the plunge. Take the risk. Take whichever overused saying will get you going.

If you want to write for yourself, that’s great. Do it.

If you want to write stories that others will read and enjoy, the only way to realize that dream is to publish it.

Stories take drafts, but it shouldn’t take you years and years of scrutiny over each word. Make it the best and then publish your story. Will it take you years to make it the best? Nah.

Find some friends who will read it for you, point out slow places, where they’re bored, and misspellings–fix those and then publish it.

You will never realize your dream unless you take that step.

Be brave. Go for it. Sonja

Mood Writing

The above quote really described my writing process. In a previous post, I wrote about being a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’. I’m a ‘plotter’ and need to know the direction of my story.

That doesn’t mean I am strict or regimented in my writing. I like to see where my characters want to take me–and often they surprise me–but I can gently lead them in the direction of my plot. Otherwise, my stories tend to wander around too much.

When I write my fairy stories, you can be sure that I have pictures of Ireland on my computer and a nice cup of tea steaming at the side of my laptop.

When I write about Guinness the Therapy Dog, I like to watch him as he plays with his sister, Lucy. A lot of the time, he’s laying on the floor at my feet or resting his chin on my leg as he begs for a nice petting session.

I get inspiration from everything that’s around me. Hopefully, that flavors my writing and helps with the general mood and descriptions for you, the reader.

Try to write today! Sonja

Be The Best You Can Be

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing: being a friend, taking part in your favorite things, or doing your job. Be the best. Don’t be a slacker if you don’t like what you’re doing it, who you’re doing it with, or when you’re doing it. Give every moment of the day your full attention.

How you do something is more important than the actual outcome. If you put a positive spin on your daily tasks then the outcome will be positive. You will be viewed as someone who cares about their job, their friends and co-workers, and whatever you decide to do. Also, it makes everything so pleasant for you.

Imagine going through your day angry or upset. It’s not pleasant for you or for those around you.

In a previous post, I told you about how making yourself smile can improve your mood. Try it when you’re doing something you’d rather not. You’ll have a better time. Guaranteed!

Be happy! Sonja