Back to My Writing Group Roots

Back to My Writing Group Roots

It’s Day 52 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m thrilled to say last night I went back to my writing group roots. Back in 2010, when my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, was still a rough draft –– and I do mean rough –– I began attending a small writing group that met near the Kinder Care where I was director. By day I dealt with the Ds ––– challenges women face –– in full force there amongst Middletown’s rust belt’s demographic –– poor women and children living in poverty and despair as accurately depicted in J.D. Vance’s  Hillbilly Elegy.   By night I wrote.. Middletown Area Christian Writers or M.A.C. provided the sounding board and support for me to finally get the story out of my head and heart and onto paper. Then a career move led me to become a life coach but too far away to continue attending the group. I attended another wonderful group for a while and have tried others, but there’s just something about getting back to where you got started. Returning last night felt like the best homecoming. A complete welcome back into the fold that makes me so grateful I finally got back to my writing group roots.

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Front and back cover picturing Lee Edwards, the protagonist and heroine.

Still, the writing reunion was also bittersweet. I’d stayed away  long enough that I missed the chance to see a dear member who passed away a few weeks ago…But I was blessed by those who had read my novel despite not seeing me for years. Critique time offered the opportunity to hear what other writers are working on and revealed how talented and multi-faceted they can be as was demonstrated by an older woman writing a novel in a genre I would never have imagined. Being selected as a beta reader for a successful author, Linore Rose Burkard,  who published a Regency Romance trilogy –– one of my favorite series ––  with a major Christian publisher is an honor and a thrill! I can’t wait to have a sneak peek at her Regency time travel!

And of course, getting to share the prologue of Hold on Her Heart, Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, yielded invaluable feedback and suggestions on what’s right and wrong with what I’ve done thus far. It also motivates me to keep writing –– something I’ve done much too little of since stepping into my role as Women’s Center Director. Having one of our board members as a fellow writing group member, though, and hearing her tell how God has me in the right place confirms the fact that even though I haven’t written as consistently as I’d like, God will use my ministry at the shelter to strengthen me as a writer.

If you’ve never checked out Seasons of Her Soul, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and take a moment to learn how Lee Edwards minimizes her barriers –– mostly in the form of domestic violence  –– and maximizes beauty and her best life.  If you do, maybe you’ll want to read Hold on Her Heart which I hope to finish by the end of the yea.  Now that I’m back to my writing group roots.

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
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Writing Weekend

Writing Weekend

It’s Day 13 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and it’s a writing weekend! Turning 50 this month caused me to get it in gear to not only resume blogging but to get cracking on the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. It released in January 2018 with the promise that the 2nd installation in the Lee’s Legacy trilogy would follow in 2019…Since then, a transition from running my business (same name as the blog) full-time to accepting my dream job as a Women’s Center Direct pressed pause on Hold On Her Heart progress. Today –– despite the Ds or barriers in my life –– like demands on time, I’m choosing to minimize them, redeem that time and press play. Hence this writing weekend.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach. Writing Weekend wear: Head-to-toe Calvin Klein. TJ Maxx. Beverage station turned planter, Shabby Chic- Home Goods.

 

 

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan with a life full of personal and professional obligations, including being on call around the clock, it’s been easier to come home from a work day or at the end of the week and read. I’ve told myself I’m honing my writing skills –– after all, good writers read good writing –– but honestly, it’s an escape. The reality is no author who ever published more than one book did it by staying in escape mode. Unless that escape had a purpose. When it does, it can feel as if you’re not still working at all. Like this writing weekend.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose this weekend and work on whatever dream or goal you may not be able to during the week.

Also hope you’ll check out my novel and want to read the sequel. It can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. Thank you!

http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. 

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Live a Life You Love

Live a Life You Love

It’s Day 1 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and if you’re anything like me, you’re determined to live a life you love. I’ll be 50 next Monday, and despite my resolve, as a busy mom and director of of a women’s center, I haven’t made time for blogging or working on the sequel to my debut novel in months. That changes today! Rather than this milestone birthday – which marks more time behind me than I have before me – making me look back on what I’ve already done, it causes me to anticipate all things to come. All the things I’ll do. Like microblogging on Instagram and following Seasons of Her Soul up with Hold on Her Heart. Fulfilling my purpose to use all of my God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their beauty and best lives. All to His glory.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and join me on this journey. And that you, too, will live a life you love!

 

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Antique store Shabby Chic inspired wall pocket w/inexpensive miniature white roses.

If you are a follower, welcome back. If a new reader, welcome! Hope you’ll check out my book at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Winter Weather Writing Weekend

Winter Weather Writing Weekend

It’s Day 10 of being back to blogging and thanks to 13″ of snow here in Cincy, I’ve enjoyed a winter weather writing weekend! Since starting my position as a Women’s Center Director back in October, I hadn’t written a word of Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Yesterday and today, however, due to being snowed in, I not only made wonderful progress, I did it on my first book’s one year anniversary! Being a God-thing girl, the significance of that isn’t lost on me. I’m humbled and amazed that He continues to bless me with the will and the way to live my purpose of coaching, encouraging and inspiring women. This time in the form of a winter weather writing weekend!

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Balancing personal and professional responsibilities can feel daunting, but when they’re aligned, rather than conflicting, they can complement each other. In my situation, my first novel is drawn from personal experiences with domestic violence that led me to become involved in supporting other women to overcome it and other challenges. I call them Ds –– as in DV, divorce, dysfunction, depression, death, diagnosis, etc. (So much of life’s icky stuff starts with a D!) Twelve years after breaking out of the cycle of abuse with my wasband (he was my husband) and being homeless, my vocation is as the leader of a homeless shelter.  And my avocation allows me to run a life coaching agency, blog and write books. It’s all interconnected and part of the perfect plan God has for my life. Total God-thing!

Whether you are an aspiring author or a full-time homemaker who wants to be more intentional about the time you spend with your family, my prayer is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and maximize the opportunities God provides for you to do what feeds your soul and blesses others. On your lunch break. While the kids nap. In the still of the night. During the wee morning hours.  When He provides a winter weather writing weekend.

Hope you’ll check out my book on it’s anniversary!

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach 

 

 

Best Book Club Night

Best Book Club Night

It’s Day 2 of being back to blogging, and I’ve struggled a bit to figure out what to post. Then I realized I could cover some of the things I’ve missed over the last few months.  Back in September, I was invited to facilitate a discussion of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, at the book club of a fellow YMCA member. She heard about the book from a reader who attends Zumba with me. The group rotates hosts and Debbie, the hostess of the night, welcomed me into her gorgeous home and put me at ease before the others arrived. By the time they did, I knew I was in for a delightful evening. Turns out –– at least for me –– it was the best book club night!

All of the members had read the book, which made for thoughtful questions and compelling conversation. The fact that more than one woman asked about ways to support those dealing with domestic violence –– one of the Ds or personal challenges that a women face –– dispelled any notions that abuse rears its head in suburbia much more often than one some would think. The stories shared made me even more appreciative of the opportunity to live out my purpose of using my God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their best lives –– all to His glory. Following up by sending all attendees a resource I’d created to supplement the book, Ten Ps to Practice When Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence ensured the ladies are equipped with the info they need whenever their loved ones are ready to receive it.

By the end of the evening, I felt as though I’d not only gained fans, but new friends as well. So far my new role as a Women’s Center Director hasn’t allowed me to make it to another meeting, but I plan to make it happen once I’ve gotten settled in. I’m motivated to return so I can further connect with these beautiful, smart, Savvy & Chic Swans! And of course I have them and other loyal readers in mind as I dive back into writing the sequel, Hold On Her Heart, which is due out this year. Once it’s done, I hope to have a repeat of the best book club night!

If you are a new reader or one who’s never checked out the book, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do so! Thank you!

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at

Be Savvy & Chic,

~ Pink Collar Coach

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Best Book Club Night! Me, Pink Collar Coach, front and center.                                                          Floral dress, shrug and bone color pumps – All Calvin Klein. The clothes are from TJ Maxx. The shoes were $8 at Goodwill – brand new!

 

 

Feedback on My Fiction – Seasons of Her Soul

Feedback on My Fiction – Seasons of Her Soul

It’s Day 368 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I received some feedback on my fiction –– Seasons of Her Soul. A family member shared the book with a someone and she in turn shared the feedback with me. I’m keeping the names anonymous but would really like to hear your thoughts if you’ve read the book. That’s it really since I’m way beyond my work day limit –– I worked on the sequel, Hold On Her Heart, until almost 8pm! That’s so not adhering to the 5pm quitting time I set for myself! Still, I’ll probably take a peek at any responses to feedback on below and your own thoughts on my first fiction attempt – Seasons of Her Soul.

Sooo. The book! The cover threw me off as it looked like it would be a lightweight, yucky, typical romance novel. I know that a TON of people LOVE romances but I’m not a fan of the genre. So, I was pleasantly surprised with the book! It had depth and true to life scenarios that were more real than trite. ( a pleasant surprise!) I thought Tammi dealt honestly with the Christian life. We who claim to be saved are certainly not perfect and we are all very complicated beings. She managed to depict the duplicity in Christian hearts without being too Goody Two Shoes or fake. It’s certainly a different life than that of a worldly person seeking to satisfy only the here and now. So, yes! I appreciated and enjoyed the book! Thank you!         ( the one thing I felt a negative was what I perceived to be a change in writing style toward the end of the book….when Keith appeared on site  to help Lee after her surgery. That portion seemed to be more syrupy than the other parts…but I really think it probably appealed most of all to lovers of Christian Romance. She has a niche and kind of has to be in tune to what her readers want. Also she had to end the book! I just found her writing style at that point to feel more rushed and gushy. BUT?…kudos to Tammi for eliminating all sex! So many writers feel the need to throw in a scene or two just because they’ve been told that sex sells books. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong….I’m not opposed to sex in books when it is a necessary and integral part of the story. I just have an aversion to sex scenes that are obviously included only to sell a book.) Ok…I know …you didn’t ask for a critique …but you got one! Thanks much for the loan. 

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose debut novelist, I can’t express how much I appreciate everything in this critique. In fact, the author reached out and we’re having a phone meeting to discuss. I look forward to her elaborating…And just so you know, I agree for the most part. The end is a little rushed because my publisher and I were trying to shorten the length, and if it does get “syrupy” in the end that’s because the beginning was full of heartache and hurt and I wanted it to finish full of healing and hope. Restoration and redemption. That said, even if I didn’t agree at all, I truly want to continue to grow, learn and improve…all for His glory.

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and shoot me a line with your feedback if you’ve read the book. If you haven’t please check it out below and let me know what you think. Thanks so much!

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
Be Savvy & Chic,
~Pink Collar Coach