Give Away Your Smile, It Costs Nothing

“If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours.” – Dolly Parton

The same thing has been said in different ways by many people. Its a bit cheesy but there’s a truth behind it.

If someone isn’t happy, you might be able to brighten their day with your smile. It costs nothing, but can mean a lot.

I nearly didn’t use this last quote from Dolly, but masks are mandatory in New Zealand at the moment. Today the children returned to school, I lined up in a store, and yesterday shopping for masks, sanitizers etc. it struck me that very few people were looking me in the eye.

So when the smile isn’t reaching their eyes – the features we can see, give someone a genuine depth-of-the-soul crinkle-at-the-corners-of-the-eye smile, when they’re brave enough to look us in the eye. 

In writing sprint’s today, a stranger turned up to the memorial service for my MC’s mother who died during lockdown. Who is this old man who knew her mother? (This was in the plan, and no surprises today for this hapless writer).

See if you can count how many smiles you give away and let me know how got on in the comments.

The book I’m reading at the moment is a historical romance written by my friend Eva Shepherd for Mills & Boon “Stranded With The Reclusive Earl” about a girl with a sunny disposition – the reclusive earl in need of more than a smile.

May your day be richer when everyone is smiling.

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Smile

Expect Good Things And Make Them Happen

“When I wake up, I expect things to be good. If they’re not, then I try to set about trying to make them as good as I can ’cause I know I’m gonna have to live that day anyway. So why not try to make the most of it if you can?” – Dolly Parton

Life isn’t always perfect, but we can make the most of what happens, looking for the best solution.

We can begin by being proactive, looking for what we CAN do.

Then we can praying about the rest, our day will be much better than the alternative.

I was late to the writing desk this morning after coughing half the night. My voice had become deep and raspy, so there would be no phone calls today. I was thankful to hit my 1500 word target as the amateur sleuths gathered to examine the facts.

I needed to go and get some honey lozenges to sooth my throat  and was about to climb in the car when I realised I was still in my nighty (in the middle of the afternoon!). Well we were still in lockdown.

Its true, poor writer’s starve in small spaces, writing in their pj’s (maybe I exaggerate).

This morning my voice has returned and I know this day will be awesome.

Enjoy yours.

In today’s photo did you notice the grey heron flying off the track to the left? From cycling the Otago Central Rail Trail.

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Otago Central Rail Trail

Who do you want to be?

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

What do you need to do to be that person?

When you look at the person you want to be, what choices will you make that draws you closer to being that person?

How will you define success in becoming the person you want to be?

Child of God, choose a life that will give and receive blessings, joy and peace. Everything else is bling.

If you are a writer, my friend, editor and fellow author Judy L Mohr of Blackwolf Editorial Services has created a course to help writers find the writer within.

Don’t settle for mediocre.

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

In writing today, how did the house end up surrounded by a tactical unit ready for a manhunt? I said the writer never knows what their characters are going to do.

The models in today’s photoshoot are Indi with her buddy Benji.

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Do You Look For The Rainbow?

A few nights ago one of my grandson called out “Gran, Gran, come and see.”

We all hurried out to watch a beautiful sunset sky. My job is done. I’ve been calling them to watch some of our more spectacular sunsets for awhile.

Now they’re noticing the sky for themselves.

Its the same with rainbows. They only happen with moisture, in the sky, in the bubbles.

For there to be a rainbow, there must be rain. We have to keep looking for the sun.

Taking joy in the beauty of creation. The stars at night while taking Benji for his last walk before bed…

And always looking for the promise of the rainbow – the sun will shine again.

New Zealand moves to alert level Delta 2 midnight tonight, with the exception of the Auckland area where the outbreak happened and cases are still popping up.

Thank you to the people in this area for staying in place and staying safe to stop the spread of the disease. We hope the numbers move down and your lives will return to normal, too. We’ll mask up and keep our distance too.

Tracking down a killer today. Did he kill in anger? Or defense? Will Mrs Brown be safe? Is Lucas walking into a trap? Even the writer doesn’t know the answer yet…

Have a fabulous day.

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Storms In Life Make Us Stronger

“Storms make trees take deeper roots” – Dolly Parton.

Sometimes, walking through a storm feels like we’re battling on our own, and hearing that we’ll come out the other side stronger than when we went in does not always help how we feel about the situation.

When we walked Geoff’s last days we didn’t feel alone, we felt the comfort of the shepherd walking beside us, guiding us. In our deepest despair, we are never alone.

Writing today involves ragdoll kittens. Who can say writing is easy? Its more like herding cats trying to get those words in place!

May grace surprise you today.

Today’s photo is from Benji’s and my walk beside the Avon River the day we went in for jab number 1.

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Spring in Christchurch by the Avon River

Whatever You Do, Keep Going

Cassie enjoyed the NZ Society of Authors Road Show today. Learning about the craft that has turned into her passion.

Its good to raise her head from the keyboard and connect with other writers. But before Cassie left home she made sure some words were written for her latest novel bringing the Seller boys together for the first time in twenty years.

Why?

Not all of them made it to their fathers funeral. And sometimes their mother reminds them of the Ice Queen. Her heart froze a long time ago. Or did it?

Keep writing, but remember to surface and smell the roses at least once a week. But only if you wrote on the other six days.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Cassie is taking tomorrow off.

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Work Hard, Do Your Best, Anything’s Possible

Cassie Stevenson sat at her keyboard. Two thousand words before her.

Todays quota.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know the story. It had been banging around in her head for three years.

All she had to do was sit down at the keyboard and write.

Thank goodness for Jessie’s Coffee Shop and the chat room. Lovely, encouraging people. The words began to clock up.

And then the story took an unexpected turn…

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Knowing You’ve Done Your Best

Done. Doing.

Doing our best isn’t doing it perfect (this time) . It’s knowing we’ll get better with practice.

When author Cassie Stevenson looks back on the stories she wrote in the beginning, she can smile, because they weren’t perfect. But they were written.

And because Cassie wrote them, what she writes now is better. And what she writes in the future will be even better.

Always doing our best. Get started today. You’ve got this. And you’ll feel so much better tomorrow.

On this evenings news it was announced Member for Parliament Kiri Allen was taking leave as she fought a battle against cervical cancer. She has highlighted the need for women to get their PAP smear done. So come on ladies, #smearyourmea

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Happy Easter

Wherever you are in your journey, may you be blessed as the Easter sun shines on you today.

Even during Nanowrimo, I take one day off a week from writing.

We’re building habits, and writing daily is a good one.

Self care is another.

Taking a day of rest is important. Moving the body is great for all the endorphins released. Self care extends to what we eat. I fast daily, even extending to a 24 hour fast once a week.

But Easter Sunday is a feast day. A day of celebration. Go easy on the chocolate and sugar okay?

Happy Easter

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Feeling Like a Grown Up

I’m still a baby learning to walk, but today I feel a little bit grown up.

Judy L Mohr of Black Wolf Editorial Services invited me to write a guest blog post for her.

Here’s the blog post for you to check it out at Black Wolf Editorial Services.

I’d discovered, after submitting my book to my editor, Iola Goulton of Christian Editing Services that I’d been writing Women’s Fiction instead of Romance. How do you know the difference?

Both these ladies are generous in the help for new writers. While you’re visiting their sites, check out the generous free information for authors. If you’re like me, there’s still so much to learn and so much help out there for budding authors.

My head is down and seated in front of my laptop every morning for sprints to get my next novel written. My characters aren’t behaving and it’s looking like a novella. Will see how it goes.

Happy writing fellow Nano writers.