It’s not a sprint…

…it’s a marathon.

As I’m getting older, I do like to admit that my personal traits have been changing too. I used to be such a perfectionist, impulsive and demanded results with no mistakes whatsoever. I had to have everything and exactly when I wanted it, not a second sooner or later. But we all know that life is not that obedient. As soon as you make a plan the universe loves to mess it up and throw you off your track.

It’s not that my life has been so perfect that I wouldn’t be able to deal with rejection, criticism and flaws. Because it hadn’t been devoid of sorrow and challenges, I didn’t want to cause myself to be hurt and disappointed. But wanting and striving for perfection is a senseless goal. Nothing is perfect. No one is immaculate.

And getting older has made me more aware that by being a perfectionist and not letting myself make mistakes does not better anything but simply worsens it. If we don’t make mistakes, we don’t learn. If we don’t fail, we don’t have experience. I’ve always known that the bad things and how you deal with them build who you are, but now I realize that sometimes you shouldn’t deal with the negative things and simply let go, for your own sake.

It has also taken me quite some time to accept (of course, longer than I would have liked, being a recovering perfectionist and all that) that it doesn’t matter how small a step forward is as long as you keep walking. It’s still progress and you’re still moving in the right direction. Anything is better than standing still and waiting.

Focus on the positivity and progress and ignore the negativity.

Sending you lots of love!

Untypically typical

2016-04-20 15.38.46I promised in my previous post that I would get into the “whys”: why is the title of the series Alpha Series; why is the title Equinox; why is it an untypically typical contemporary romance novel…

When writing my first novel in my (first) series I didn’t really concern myself with either the title of the book or the series. I was sure that by the end of writing the first draft, I would have a name in mind. I trusted that the creative process, the story and the characters would give me an idea. And the title it has now was the first and only one that I considered.

Equinox symbolizes the perfect union of two separate entities – day and night. It’s not about being good or bad, it’s about making something whole. I will always strive to have female and male characters equally strong, appealing and dominant. That is the idea behind the word equinox – you can’t have one without the other, one can’t be more powerful than the other, there have to be two halves. If you don’t have the day and the night equally long, you don’t have the equinox. And if you don’t have two partners in a relationship who are both significant and in control then you don’t have a partnership.

Maybe Alexis says it best…

He fits me without a flaw. At the beginning, I was apprehensive that he might swallow me whole and I’d disappear for having him. After the time spent together, I’m certain that Colton is the day to my night. And we both have the same value, power, control, individuality and independence. No one disappears. We are like an equinox. Just like the day moves into the night and then night into day, we both complete each other and build a partnership. We are two different entities co-existing superbly, letting each other be but never leaving each other’s side.

I like reading romance novels and I was fed up with authors giving more influence and power to the male characters. Sometimes it seemed to me like women were there to be played with, dominated over and simply waited for the men to change, putting their own values and goals aside. Now, we live in a wonderful time of people letting themselves shine and develop, letting go of foreign expectations, and liberating themselves to live how they want to live. Women aren’t willing to wait around for their partners to finally grow up and realize what’s happening. And I wanted to show that in my story line.

The idea behind the story and consequently behind the title is also displayed in the cover of Equinox. I deliberately selected the juxtaposition between black and white, showing the importance of both. I chose to add the bright purple to represent the genre of romance. I have always quite liked the notion of the cover also not being stereotypical and/or cheesy.

Before I published the novel I had to make one final decision… The title of the series. I went with the Alpha Series and the reasoning behind that is: I wanted to celebrate both of them being strong and in control while using the expression that gets used so frequently in romance novels. And for the relationship to work no one needs to bow down, no one needs to be forgotten, both can shine. Both are alphas. Letting a partner prosper and supporting them, is a sign of an individual’s strength. It says more about that person than about the partner.

When describing what my novel is about (that ominous question every writer dreads), I always say it’s untypically typical. All paragraphs above support that claim, but what makes the last argument is the fact that I chose not to only give the reader both points of view (Alexis and Colton’s) but also to give an insight into the thought process by seeing their individual internal debates. You sort of get to see into their hearts and minds. The reader can get really engrossed into the plot and you almost become a part of their fictional world.

What also adds another punch is humor. I am quite sarcastic so that is one part of me that I planted into the story. I didn’t write Alexis and Colton – the lead characters in the Alpha Series – with me or any of my loved ones in mind but I did pour myself into the writing style. And I’ve never been apprehensive about it because it makes sense. Writing is the very core of my being, there is nothing where I feel more vulnerable and raw, or more strong and complete than when I’m writing. My heart has been poured into the written product.

If you want to get pulled into the fictional and thrilling bubble of Alexis Richards and Colton King in the middle of New York, then you better get a copy of Equinox on Amazon or Kindle.

Well, I’m going to go hide and write the second one and I wish you all a great week!

Daily night terrors

My eyes are open but I can’t see anything and for a change there’s nothing covering the upper half of my face. Looking around, I struggle to see even the roughest of outlines of the space I’m in. I’m waiting for my eyes to adjust and enable me to maybe recognize something, anything. But it’s pitch dark. And it’s not changing. Don’t scream. It’s difficult not to let the frustration and fear out by shouting from the top of my lungs but I make myself change my tactics this time. Using my fingers and palms I go over every inch of the walls surrounding me. The most horrific realization is that the room is actually small and there is absolutely nothing in it besides me. My palms are sweating, my heart is racing, my breathing is loud and fast. My entire body, every inch of my skin, is tingling with the wish to escape. I am restless, panicked and eager to get away.

A scraping sound interrupts my manic thoughts. I look around instinctively but of course I can’t see anything. I hear it again. As if it’s possible my heart rate increases. My head keeps turning around to make out where it’s coming from. But all I see is nothing. Absolutely nothing.

And then the noise happens again. Shit. When I realize that the small space is getting smaller and smaller with the sound piercing my ears and shaking the very core of my body, I lunge myself forward against the wall in front of me. My fists start banging against the concrete on their own free will, my voice sounds foreign and strange, I have no control over me. My body and mind are fighting for survival and there is no control or poise left in me.

The walls are nearing, the space is getting tighter. I can’t even turn around any longer. A loud yell filled with hopeless terror and animalistic rawness flees my lips.

If you want to know what causes Alexis’s bad dreams in the second book that I’m currently writing, you need to get your hands on the first novel in the Alpha Series (I’ll tell you where the name comes from in the next post on Sunday). You can find Equinox on Amazon and Kindle. 😉

XO

A match made in heaven: reading and writing

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Source: Pinterest

Books have always been an essential and a very big part of my life. I was the girl that would leave the library with a pile of books so high I could barely see over it. I was the adolescent that would stay up late (really late) and read, daydreaming about being a character in the plot. I have been the woman that reads a book in one sitting, obsessing over devouring every page as soon as possible and yet fearing the dreadfully approaching end.

And I am also the person who can’t stop herself from writing, who wouldn’t be able to envision her life without writing, who neglects sleep and food (which does not happen often) just to be able to write as much as possible.

And now I am someone who would love to give to others what books and other authors have given me – a safe haven, an exit from the daily struggles, an opportunity to be amused and entertained.

Nothing has ever made me feel as whole as writing. Have you ever been somewhere or done something where you just thought that this is it, I am meant to be here? Writing gives me just that. When I’m creating a story, my heart flutters, my soul does somersaults and cartwheels, and my mind feels more alive and awake than any other time. This is me. This is who I am. This is my calling.

I hope you have already or will very soon find what makes you feel complete.

Have the best week!

Gender-neutral post

I was struggling to find something to write about on my blog. I just feel so exhausted and want to save my creative juices for writing my second book. (Selfish bastard.) But then I came across some articles/reports from this weekend’s MTV Movie Awards. And I don’t normally pay attention, nor do I put much relevance into it, but something significant did happen.

MTV took a very important step in modern society; namely, they made their acting awards into gender-neutral categories. That is very important nowadays because it sends a clear sign that gender equality is a major and current, if not eternal, issue. And it’s something that needs to be put into focus. The spectacle and show business aside, forming such categories really is a monumental occasion. It’s not a wave obliterating the entire period of inequality and struggles for improvement – like a tsunami – but it’s a current – and a strong one – towards the right goal.

Of course, I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that Emma Watson,  a known equal rights advocate, was the first recipient. But I also don’t think she didn’t deserve it. That is one strong, intelligent and eloquent individual, who should be praised for using her platform to deliver the message of equality across the globe.

We must keep in mind that gender equality is a gender-neutral problem. This is not something only women should be fighting for. It’s not something that thrives when men are put down or disregarded. Fighting for equality does not need anyone to be insulted or made inferior.

Everything should be gender-neutral. The respect you receive, your competence, other people’s trust in you, your intelligence and the goodness of your heart are not based on what is between your legs. When it comes to the world’s perception of you, it shouldn’t matter whether you are a woman or a man.

That’s been one of the ideas behind the story of Colton and Alexis. They are both equally strong and in control, equally intelligent and respected, equally good and bad. They are equals. That’s why I decided to write from both perspectives and give them both a voice. I haven’t created any categories based on their genders; I have formed two individuals. But that is fiction and we need to make it work in reality as well.

We are more than just our gender, the color of our skin, who or what we believe in, and also the amount that is in our bank accounts. We are our goodness, empathy, competence, intelligence and personality. We are our actions! And we need to fight and move towards equality in all aspects.

Put it into words and put it into actions!

Sending you equal hugs!

Sources for the photos:

  1. http://iknowpolitics.org/en/learn/knowledge-resources/online-courses/online-course-engaging-men-and-boys-gender-equality
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_equality
  3. http://licensingmagazine.com/2017/03/23/mtv-movie-tv-awards-2017/?lang=en
  4. http://www.usmagazine.com/stylish/pictures/mtv-movie-tv-awards-2017-red-carpet-fashion-what-the-stars-wore-w481049

Just one chapter

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This past weekend my sister and I watched La La Land. I know, I know, where was I and what was I doing not to have watched it sooner? (Prepare for gasps…) I’m not a huge fan of Ryan Gosling’s; I don’t get the appeal or that voice. 🙂

Anyway, but we had a movie night, needed something we hadn’t seen yet and settled for the film everyone had been buzzing about. But while watching I started thinking about life. (I had plenty of time during the singing and dancing breaks.) When you watch the movie, you want the two main characters to end up together, you root for them. You feel the love they have for each other, you understand their special bond, and your heart breaks as their relationship does too. How could they, or you in the same situation, possibly go on?

By getting up and moving on. What I’m trying to say is this: sometimes we focus so much on someone or something, thinking we need this to be happy or successful or be able to reach a goal, but in reality that person or thing is an essential piece in the grander scheme of our lives. Yes, it may be a monumental part in your life but it’s not the only one.

You need different and numerous pieces to build the complete puzzle. We have to keep in mind not to focus and put our happiness as well as motivation into just one person and just one thing. You might lose that to gain something much larger.

Our lives, just like books, are made of many chapters. And sometimes it might seem like one of them is catastrophically tragic and ominously sad, but actually there is another part and then another one etc. that might get better. But you have to go on, turn the page and push forward. So let yourself lose something and keep in mind you can gain in the end.

Hope you’re having a great week!

Harry Potter is a cock block

I was planning to write something else but…

As I’m watching Formula 1, and yelling at Ferrari to go faster, my sister has just sent me a link to a very interesting article that I thought you, my fellow book lovers, would enjoy too.

The piece is about books improving or worsening your chances with the opposite gender. Not that I think anyone should be judged based on what you like to read (unless it’s Mein Kampf by Hitler) but I never thought that men would find women reading 50 Shades less attractive, and apparently men that proclaim their (completely reasonable) love for Harry Potter are not a sought-after breed. Who knew that Harry Potter could be a “cock block”? 😉 Who knew anyone cared?

Anyway… If you are enjoying this lovely Sunday (and I really hope it’s lovely for and to you), then do check the article out.

LINK TO THE ARTICLE