Life Update!

Exciting times ahead, and I want to keep you updated. First, I’m all into Tai Chi for health! My health, like many out there, needs attention, and I’ve discovered the benefits of this ancient form of marital arts. As a writer, I’ve got to be centered, focused and as stress free as possible;-) Of course, stress is a common companion for any writer, but it doesn’t have to rule you. Plus, stress wrecks havoc on our immune systems, skin, hair, organs, you name it. So, if you haven’t tried Tai Chi, give it a go!

Next, I’m avidly writing the second installment of The Protectorate series. While it’s slow going, it’s coming along nicely. Like fine wine, my books get better with the wait;-) So, stay tuned as I get closer to finishing it and sending it off to my trusted and brilliant Beta Readers!

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In addition to life’s events and writing, I’m thrilled to read any second I get. My current reading list includes: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki, Defiant Brides by Nancy Rubin Stuart along with lots of books/articles on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Who says you can’t have fun researching? My love for all things historical runs deep, and I’m up to my shoulders in research for my series.

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Cover via Amazon.com

 

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Cover via Amazon.com

Lastly, I’m gearing up for a new path in writing, and I can’t wait to share it. However, I’ll release information on it in due time. Just know that lots of time, energy and effort have gone into this new project, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity!

So, what books are you reading? I’d love to know! Comment below and read on:-)

Happy writing/reading,

KD

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NaNoWriMo and Exercise

Hello November!! My love for this month grows exponentially each  year, and yet, my body wasn’t quite as prepared for the onslaught of writing and exercising that I’d imagined. Of course, I don’t think anyone can be completely prepared for the NaNoWriMo experience, but that shouldn’t stop anybody from attacking it.

It’s been a whirlwind of keys flourishing over the keyboard, hand cramps as a result of using a pen and paper routine before entering it into the digital realm, researching, writing, writing, and did I mention writing??? Yesterday, last week, today, and tomorrow all blur in total confusion, elation, and hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the mire of a fulfilling writing life, I mentioned in a previous post about dipping my toes into the world of exercise. I believe it’s important to have a fit body to be an effective parent, spouse, and, of course, writer. With a lot of autoimmune issues, I struggle to tread water working full time, writing and being in ten places at once; let alone exercise. Yet, I believe it’s possible, and so I push on, and this November has started brilliantly.

NaNoWriMo: The Marathon

You know, there are a ton of similarities between exercise goals and writing. The first one being the decision to do either. One day, we decide, “Today, I will exercise,” or “I will write…” The courage to begin is probably one of the hardest things to conquer, but we begin anyway, and we charge forth as any energetic, bright-eyed, hopeful person does. Of course, it doesn’t take long before our first stumble or road block in the form of injuries, fatigue or writer’s block rears it’s ugly head. It is to these moments that can make or break us.

Not only does the will to begin need to be etched in stone, the courage to continue needs to be forged in iron, or adamantium (whichever you prefer). Yep, I went there;-) We must lace up those shoes and hit the pavement to work our way up to the 26.2 miles of a marathon, and writing is no different. Our mental muscles must be worked from flabby to fabulous over a period of time which varies from person to person. No matter how long it takes, we must continue to run, walk or even crawl across that finish line in the end because only we possess the ability to do so.

Where to begin?

However, I got ahead of myself. Allow me to backtrack. After we’ve determined we want to traverse down the path of exercise or writing, we eventually settle into a routine of sports drinks, fruits and veggies, or triple shots of caffeine, nights filled with jotting down notes from dreams, and the ever incessant clack of the keyboard. I’d be remiss if I left out the multitude of google searches, thesaurus checks or reading other books for inspiration, but the same would go for exercise, too. In order to cross that finish line, we must make ourselves knowledgeable. So, off to the races we go.

Next…

Next, we try routines. Some work out while a mass of others fall by the wayside, but we keep going because our inner drive compels us to, or we envision all those people that told us we couldn’t or wouldn’t ever make it. We run from our fears or head them head on, but we run nevertheless. Yes, we pay our dues, and we come out better people for it. Sure, we may not end up where we previously envisioned, but that’s okay. We may start out practicing for a marathon only to end up running a 5k, or we may outline a lengthy novel that ends up being a short story, but who cares? It’s still an achievement.  It’s all a part of the process, and who knows? Maybe, just maybe, we end up running that marathon. It may not be pretty, but come Hell or high-water, we drag ourselves across that finish line and relish in the euphoria of accomplishing the once unthinkable.

Yep, exercise and writing go hand in hand. There’s lots of planning, training and perseverance in the slimmest of odds, but the results are well worth it. So, today I write to you frazzled, fatigued, and sore, but my mental muscles are growing in size along with the once puny muscles that quivered at the sight of weights. My first battle conquered, I plod on with hope in my heart and an arsenal of knowledge in my pocket.

While I tackle this month of writing and exercising, I’ll keep you updated on my failures as well as successes. Until then, lift, read, run, squat, and write on! I’m interested in hearing your tips for this month of writing, too. I look forward to your comments and messages!

 

Happy writing and exercising,

KD

Healing Through Fiction

Books have been a mainstay in my life since I learned to read all those many years ago, and they will forever be a part of my life until my last breath. To escape into another world for an hour, a day or more is something I’ll never take for granted, and it is also why I’ve become an author.

Situations in life lift us up and can also tear us into a pile of rubble in a matter of minutes. Like many reading this, I have had ups and downs in life. Most of my downs deal with family health issues stemming from cancer, diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. While I’m not personally afflicted with each of the above, I do have a couple, and I have immense gratitude for the families and caregivers affected by these terrible diseases.

You know, books, like movies, can ebb pain, fears and anxieties even if only for a couple hours. The world of fiction grows exponentially, thanks to Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and many others, each and every day. Endless opportunities to escape are at our fingertips, and I find it uplifting and cathartic in so many ways and exceptionally healing.

I’m especially grateful for the foundations that sponsor drug study trials for cures in diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer among other disease states. One day, hopefully in the near future, this will happen, but for the time being we wait and hope.

So, today I’m going to plug one very special foundation that’s near and dear to my heart. The Angioma Alliance is a foundation set up for people suffering from a rare disorder known as hemangioma cavernous malformations. Big words for a tiny disorder, but one that packs a devastating punch for people that suffer from it. These abnormal blood vessels packed together in the brain or spine are prone to breaking open, leading to bleeding on the brain. They may range from millimeters to inches in length.

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So, what happens when these bleed? People may experience headache, seizures, hemorrhages and stroke. In a nutshell, it can be devastating. My family has experienced the anxiety of waiting through the night to see if our loved one would live. I can tell you it’s not something I want anyone else to experience, but like other diseases, research is critical to finding a cure.

I believe there’s a medication waiting to be formed to stabilize existing cavernomas and to prevent rupture of these vessels. Right now, surgery is the only option, and some cavernomas reside in areas of the brain that surgery becomes too risky. Since this is a rare disorder, not much money is being thrown in the way of research, slowing the progress for these families. As a result, I’ve decided to donate a portion of my book proceeds to the Angioma Alliance Foundation to assist in some small way to their cause. I’ll post updates on numbers in the future, and I encourage people to read up on the Angioma Alliance Foundation for more information. I will also link to the organization on my blog site for anyone who is curious;-)

Healing through reading can be achieved, and I’m happy to be a part of it! I’m also excited to include my readers in on my own journey through getting fit physically and creatively. Okay, I know a lot of you are thinking, creatively? Let me explain. When our bodies are fit, our minds show less fatigue and allow the brain to fire without a ton of caffeine pumping through our tired veins. Sure, a little caffeine is great for people who love lattes and espressos, but I know some of you out there are dumping four extra shots into those already caffeine-chalked drinks, and I’m surprised our hearts don’t beat out of our chests.

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Kidding aside, it’s a known fact that most writers and readers sit while typing/reading, and this places us in a high risk category for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, etc… I know, I know, enough of the lecture, right? BUT, I luuuv all my followers/readers, and I wouldn’t be a good pharmacist if I didn’t try. Drat that Hippocratic Oath;-)

That being said, I’m also doing this to make myself accountable for getting my body active, and what better way than to broadcast it across the web? From here on out, I’ll post random updates on my progress of weight lifting, interval training, water drinking, etc… to keep you all laughing and happily reading!  Let the groaning begin!

Does anyone out there donate to a foundation of their own? I’d love to hear about organizations you support!

Happy reading!

KD