Picture
Gossip? Oh no. I don't engage in rude barbs and hurtful comments of those not present to defend themselves.
Good for you!
What about well meaning news? That's not gossip.
Oh, but it is.

According to the Oxford American Dictionary gossip is: Casual talk, especially about other people's affairs.

It's human nature to talk, share and purge to our friends. It's how we connect.
Connecting is great, but make sure that it's your own news that you share.

Why is gossiping such a ruinous activity?
Because we don't trust those who talk about others. We wonder what they say about us.
Trust is essential in all relationships.
Your success is built on the trust of family, friends, your co-workers, and customers.
To protect your hard work and success decide now to avoid any speaking about those not present.

This includes text and e-mail messages. Not kidding.

How do we do this when people love to talk about others?
One way to avoid engaging in other-talk is to redirect the conversation by telling the person that you'd rather hear about them.
This usually works. Most people love to talk about themselves.
If this ploy doesn't end the spewing of information, kindly tell the person that you're not comfortable talking about those not there.
Refuse to take part in, listen to or share information on others not present.


Trust and your integrity are closely aligned. Do not blow it with idle conversation.

Gossip is like the fabled siren's song. It entices and lures us. We get sucked into the seductive tones until we are smashed on the rocks of truth.
Why truth?
Because the person in question usually finds out and you're the one shot full of holes in the end.

I've cut people from my life because I couldn't trust them. 

We value those we trust.

Be a person others value.

Now for the fun! One lucky commenter will win a print copy of my new book APOLLO'S GIFT. Make sure that I can reach you by putting your info on the contact page.

 
 
Picture
            The world is out teacher, constantly sending gentle lessons our way. Think of them as course corrections. We ignore most of these because we’re busy and fail to hear the subtle murmur prodding us to act.
   This instructor speaks through feelings and situation. Humans were once eloquent in the use of metaphor and symbolism, but this skill is going the way

of Latin, becoming a dead language to all but scholars.
This ability isn’t difficult to learn.

 Awareness is key.

Basically, this is how the course corrections work:

The Universe sends a small message, like a car sounding odd. We may choose to ignore it. If we do, the sound gets worse and now is grinding. We’ll take the car in to be looked at as soon as we have more time. But we don’t.
Now we have a crisis, the car won’t start. Or a disaster, we have an accident because the transmission failed on the freeway.
Here’s an example:

I’ve a family member who had a great job. He made six figures in sales without the aid of a college degree. Money poured in. As a single guy, he bought jet skis he used twice, theater tickets he ended up giving away, and generally pissed away his earnings.  He ignored the odd noise.  When something seems too good to be true—it is! Pay attention.

When the company went through a merger and restructuring, he was offered his same position at a cut in pay for two years, but stock in the new company. He was convinced that lucrative jobs were abundant for a guy like him. He declined and accepted a generous severance package, enough to live on comfortably for two years. This would be a gear grinding.

What did he do?


He looked for a job, expecting to land the same pay for a similar position. After three months, realization slapped his fanny.  You’re 38 years old with a high school education. We need someone with a college degree, but we can offer you a position at $24,000.00 per year.

Did he listen to the Universe screaming at him and go to school? He had the time and the money.

Hell no!

He was unemployed for three years before his funds ran out and he had to borrow from a relative to keep from loosing his home. He currently works a mediocre sales job for average pay.

Yes, this is a true story.  Ugh!!!  Truth is stranger than fiction.
He ignored the signs, the nudge, the grinding gears halting his progress and ending in near disaster.

Where in your life is the Universe nudging you?




 
 
Picture
THE NEXT BIG THING: Find out what I’m doing with a Greek god.

I’ve been tagged by The Next Big Thing. Thanks Annie for giving me the chance to play. I love games! In this game we play ten questions rather than twenty. I’ll start by introducing myself. Perky, Sandy L. Rowland is the author of paranormal and fantasy romance. My vampires are dark and dangerous. My Greek gods are fun and sexy as hell.

Let the game begin.

Annie’s blog link:

http://www.annieadamstheauthor.com/the-blog.html

What is the working title of your book?

APOLLO’S GIFT

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I love mythology.  One day, I was watching the old classic, Clash Of The Titans, and thought, why not write a romance about a sexy Greek god? I want to read that book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Fantasy romance. It’s current time, but Greek mythology and history figure into the story.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s tough. The closest guy for Apollo would have to be “Sawyer,” Josh Holloway from the T.V. series, Lost, minus the southern drawl. Apollo is the sexy god of light and prophecy with a mane of golden hair and piercing blue eyes. Anne Hathoway would play Cassie. She’s beautiful, sassy and yet vulnerable.

What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

His gift comes with a price and only her love can pay it.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published, but I’m open to a great offer. Wink.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript?

You may not believe this, but three days. It was a dare from a friend and a group of us chained ourselves to our computers endless hours to meet our goal of a rough draft. Rewrites were many. But damn, this turned out to be a great story.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

All I can do is list some of my favorite author’s in the fantasy/paranormal genre and hope this work is as entertaining. L. L. Muir, Melissa Mayhue, Kissee Mark, Terry Spear and Alexis Morgan. Some do time travel. Apollo is not time travel, but it is a fun read spiced with sexual tension.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Greek mythology has always drawn me. The story of Cassandra, the failed prophetess of Troy, is heart wrenching. I had to write about the doomed romance between her and Apollo and give them another chance at love in the present.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is the first book in my Greek god’s series. I want to get into the lost loves of the gods. The central characters are all Olympian deities ruled by their father, Zeus.  It’s a powerful and highly dysfunctional family. LOL. I hope it’s relatable in that way.

                                                                        * * *

Here’s an excerpt from APOLLO’S GIFT:

His hot breath tickled her ear, sending shivers down to her toes. John was cute, fun, and distracting her from her purpose. She nodded, afraid her voice would squeak a reply. His clean scent wrapped around her like a warm towel fresh from the drier. Breathing in, she filled her lungs with him, and memorized the perfume of rugged man and soap. Cassie stared at his eyes, but her gaze drifted to the space between his firm jaw and straight nose. His mouth intrigued her as he spoke, but she couldn’t focus on the words. Each movement of his delectable lips distracted her mind. Imagination took over and she visualized how his mouth would feel on hers. Would his kiss be soft or firm and demanding?

Check out Annie’s link above.

APOLLO’S GIFT will be available this winter..


 
 
Picture
Okay, I don't often torture myself with January resolutions, but I have made a slew of changes in my life of late.

ONE: I gave up soda pop. There were headaches., but on day five that left and I feel great. Yahoo! I'm gluten intolerant and can't afford to mess with my digestion. Worth it!

TWO: I have a new cover for my Vampire Romance, CONQUERED. It's steamier and truer to the story. You can check it out on the BOOKS page. I love it!

THREE:  Time to get over myself and just write. Stop worrying about what others might think. Write for me. Yes, that means the characters may indulge in sex. I'm over it. Sex is a part of life and a blessing. Those who don't know this are doing it wrong. Sorry, but in my opinion
true.

FOUR:  As you've figured out by now, I'm telling things like they are--or my opinion of things. You are welcome to disagree.
You have a right to tell it like you see it, too. I applaud that. I feel like a ten ton weight has lifted off my little body. Ahhh!
You might want to try it.

That's the short post for December. Plenty time for you to give your resolutions some thought.
What changes are you making for the New year?
It is your life, time to own it.

Best to you all and Happy Everything!


 
 
Picture
Fall harvest. The time of year when golden wheat is safely gathered in. Fragrant apples are picked and stored, and the larder filled for winter use. At least, That's how it use to be in our grandparents day. A time to glean from our labors.

I was raised by an industrious grandmother. I bend my back, plant and weed, prune and when the orchard of life bows under the weight of fruitfulness, I pluck the ripe prize and....
Do I take a greedy bite? Do I store it to bake pies later?

None of the above.

What? Well, that's just wrong, you say. And you're right. After all that work, I should receive some of the fruit. Why don't I?
Because I give it all away. Not so much as a bird pecked pear do I keep for myself. That's crazy!
I've lived under the delusion that keeping anything was selfish. Aversion to selfishness has been trained from my birth.
Sadly, I'm not alone in this disease.
Many women suffer and it becomes most apparent during the holidays.
That's why I'm addressing this early in an effort to inoculate those who could fall to the illness.

It reminds me of the tale of The Little Red Hen. She grows the grain, grinds it, and bakes the bread. No one is willing to help, though she asks. They all have excuses. When the plumb loaves emerge from the oven, wafting their yeasty goodness, those too busy to assist in their production come to consume. They are denied. Yep, the hen eats it herself.

If I'm the little red hen, I do it all, as many of you do too. But then I hand over all the warm bread. Every crusty loaf and leave not so much as a crumb for myself. Don't want to be greedy or selfish, after all.
This selfless hen lies in a heap in her field dying from starvation.

Enough!

I'm not the only demented hen out there. Many women are living this twisted version of a good story.
There's nothing wrong with balance. It's okay to keep some of the bread. That's not selfish, it's survival.
If the hen goes chicken feet up, no one eats, except the vultures looking to pick her clean.

Starting now, take time to enjoy what you work to create. Sit down and slice off a thick piece of bread, slather on fresh butter, and watch it melt as you breathe in the luscious aroma. Take a bite and savor your labors. Feed yourself.
It's okay to enjoy your blessings.
You aren't truly grateful if you refuse those good things.

This month, I'm showing my gratitude by enjoying what I've been given, and what I've worked to create.
"For what we have received, let us be truly, grateful."




 
 
Picture
VOLCANIC CHANGE

I’ve been feeling a monumental shift for months. Not the sort of subtle change of approaching fall or the beginning of a new writing project. Bigger. I understood, when Sunday my dad passed from this life. It’s tough to lose a parent. Letting him go and finding myself among the remnants of a shared life, pushed me to re-evaluate everything.

 As difficult as grieving is, that wasn’t the explosive force of the Mt. Vesuvius I’d been sensing. It was the catalyst. The eruption that shocked my core and spewed steaming liquid emotion and cleared the dead ash of the past opened my channels to growth.

I am free, open hearted and a bit raw, but in a good way. Cleansed. Unburdened. Able to be me with diamond-bright clarity, I’m trading in my old life for a shiny new version. One where people who ignore, betray, or selfishly cause pain are toast. Done with that.

I’d been walking a tightrope suspended between light and dark. I choose light.

My tolerance for the dark and destructive choices of others has burned away in Vulcan’s furnace. I can no longer involve myself with those who jump into the black abyss of smoldering ruin and call it a good thing. It’s not. Standing in the dark leaves one blind to a better way. At first, they refuse to see the truth, and finally, the stinging smoke takes their vision and they are unable to comprehend their condition. I can’t save them. I must save myself from the consuming flames.

My creative world has been altered, valleys jutted to heights and mountains made low. I write, a new form is being hammered out, iron strengthened to steel. Dross burned away leaving gold. What am I planning to write? Something different. Truer to myself and full of light. I’m off the tightrope and I’ve severed the cord. I stand on a green mountain peak beside a brook. The view is clear. The air is fresh and clean. A soft breeze whispers healing to my soul.  A path colored golden by sun beckons to my future. I’ve placed my foot on the trail, and I’m excited for the journey.


 
 
Picture
ONE SMALL STEP.
In honor of Neil Armstrong.
"It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

This statement encompasses how goals are reached, one small step at a time.
Armstrong's walk on the moon was both a culmination of a goal and a beginning for the U.S. Space Program.

It's the same for us.
That first act toward our goal requires a leap of faith in our dreams and ourselves. We are filled with anticipation and fear as we consider alien territory. Our hands sweat. Our tongue sticks to the roof of our mouth and our knees tremble. Our goals seem as big and as far away as the moon. How can we ever hope to accomplish our desires?

Do something. Anything.

Do one small thing different than the day before. Any action will break inertia and move us forward. Change increases momentum. Small actions took us to the moon. Don't discount their power.

Neil Armstrong had no guarantees of what he'd encounter on the lunar surface. Life doesn't come with guarantees. Those who courageously stand at the portal and dare to gaze at their desires have no promise.
But one.
Nothing will happen if they don't do something different.
We are forever changed by accepting that opportunity.
That moment begins with one small step into the unknown.

 
 
Picture
TRYING IS FOR SUCKERS.

You heard me. Trying won't accomplish anything. Trying is loaded with defeat before we start. Here's an illustration to prove it:

Imagine a peach tree trying to produce fruit on its branches. If the tree only tries, it remains bare.
No fruit. The grower cuts down the unproductive vegetation because it's wasting valuable resources.
It's the same with us.
Do we use our precious energy only trying to get a job, write that novel, make our relationships work, and then stand barren in the orchard of life, wondering why it feels like an axe stands ready to slice through our roots, and toss us aside? Those loaded with fruit will thrive in the orchard. My brother-in-law is a Master Nursery-man. When a tree doesn't produce, he removes it, and a new plant takes its place.
Trying gets us nothing, but a trip to the dump.

We can try or we can do. Both are choices, but only one creates value.

Right now, try to pick up a pen. What happens? Do you have the pen in your hand or are your muscles tense, your hand hovering near, but unable to obtain the object?
You can try forever and wear yourself out, but you'll never hold the pen.
That's trying.
So stop it!
Now pick up the pen.
Wasn't that fast and easy? Those who do, obtain their goals with ease compared to those who try.

Decide today that there is no try only do.
Choose a worthy goal and list actions you can do to move toward your desire.
Then act.

Evict try from your vocabulary. Notice when you say it. It's an excuse to fail.
Either do something or don't, but don't say, 'I'll try'.





 
 
Picture
THE ROOTS ARE GOOD.


I've been reminded to seek my roots. An elderly great-aunt called me. She's over ninety and is seeking family to share her stories of those passed on. Though we've never met, we both felt the connection. We're family. It was amazing to hear of a great-grandfather whose wife was a mail-order bride, and the great-uncle who was a bootlegger and was found dead on the prairie from a bullet through his head.

These tales connect me to family, but they are also a key to who I am. I have the opportunity to learn from my progenitor's mistakes and not repeat them. Their struggles become mine. Their losses pull at my heart. Visualizing the great-grandmother who bore thirteen children on the dirt floor of a cabin, and buried two sets of twins in hard prarie sod puts my own difficulties into perspective. There's strength in my bones because I know about her.
And the Scottish ancestor who fought for freedom and was executed, his head set on the Edinburgh bridge as a warning to other rebels, answers the question of where my own fierce love of freedom sprouted from. It's part of who I am.

In two weeks, I leave to visit my parents in California. They aren't well and everyday is a gift. I'll be reminded that I look like my dad's side of the family as my dad regales me with the story of how his father sparred with the famous boxer, Jack Dempsey. And my dad will share the tale of how a cougar cornered him when he was five-years-old in the wilds of Wyoming. Uncovering who we are through family can be uncomfortable. It's not all pretty, but it is worth it. I know that somewhere inside of me lies strength, courage, and tenacity. I may not have tapped those gifts fully, but they're there. I know.
My ancestors prove it.

If you have a chance to attend a family reunion, please take it. Talk to the older relatives and bless yourself with tales of the past.
The stories that shed light on who you are down to your core are worth noting. Write them down. Share them with your children and relatives.
Pull from the best of yourself. The roots are good.

 
 
Picture
Sandy L. Rowland

I'm a wife, mother and grandmother. I've worked in banking, as a life coach, practiced and taught massage therapy, and I'm an award winning author of paranormal and fantasy romance.
Sharing life and love with my family, between the Wasatch Mountains and red rock desert.



CHANGE IS GOOD, JUST ASK PHIL CONNORS.

Humans are adverse to change.
We prefer the same routine, same job, same relationships, same beliefs and the same food.
Sounds dull and confining.
It is.

Where's the excitement, adventure, and growth in living the endless loop of yesterday?
The movie, GROUND HOG DAY, is popular in part, because we can all relate to the tedium of our lives.
In the film, when does Phil Connors overcome frustration and depression?
When he chooses to overcome himself and change.

I was thrown into the volcanic furnace of change recently.

First, I was offered a contract for my novel.
Yahoo! Yes, very exciting and affirming.
I studied the contract, the rosy glow of acceptance faded in realities glare.
My goal of publication stared back at me from a standard contract.

I passed it up.
Yes, you read that correctly.
After much thought, research, and prayer, I chose to self publish.
There are a number of reasons for this, but this post is about change so here goes.

My sought after goal of traditional publication changed.
Then my husband decided to remodel the basement.
More change.
My daughter and her family are moving home after eight years living out of state.
Major happy dance.
Another change.

And they've moved in with us, wild two-year-old in tow, until they find a house.
Still happy dancing, but a bit tired.
Change.

And my point?
Embrace change and learn to love it.

There were other changes as well, a couple dear friends died, a betrayal, and an illness,
but I've chosen to get over the circumstances and grow.

My new mantra:
Change is good.
Change is my friend.
I love it!

My husband stares at me sideways when I chant under my breath during trying episodes.
He figures it's okay unless I start forming a cult.
A cult would be a static group centered on a firm belief,
and would run contrary to change.
Yeah, hubby can relax.
No cult.

Like Phil Connors in the film, I've chosen to wake up when the alarm bells ring,
see the opportunities, and make the most of them.

Where is change bringing new opportunities to you?