Sunday, November 23, 2014

Setting #Goals -- a post by mama virg

I used to post all of it on the blog, but in recent years I've gone far more private with a lot of my goals.

When I started, I did it for accountability--if I'd published online that I was going to do something, I was more likely to hold myself to the goals I'd set.

But then I became more involved in social media. Some folks were fantastic, really supportive and encouraging. They'd say they believed in me, rah-rah, that sort of thing.

Some folks? They attack you for being transparent. Whether they call the posts bragging or if they flat out say you can't do it, they're there to encourage that little voice in the back of your mind which told you that you couldn't do The Thing.

I say The Thing because it doesn't matter what goal you've set, they're out there to either accidentally or purposefully undermine what you're doing. Are you all about losing some weight this year?

"God, don't tell me about your salad or the fact you've managed a mile in under ten minutes!

Sure, you may have just accomplished something really, really major (perhaps you were addicted to soda or couldn't walk the block without wheezing a few months prior to posting your update), they are there to tell you to stuff it.

This goes with writing, too, although it has always been mind boggling to me when other writers attack their own kind with cannibalistic glee. We're all out there, sitting alone with blank screens and minds full of doubts, trying hard to do something we've dreamed of. Why, when you know how hard it is to juggle life and storytelling, would you tear anyone else down? Can that actually make anyone, whether you're the poster or the one reading it, feel better about themselves?

Eh, well, it happens and it happens to everyone is my point there. It isn't always trolls, either. More often than not, the naysayers in the world are people we actually know--our family, our friends, our spouses. If they can't see where you're aiming or understand how you're planning to get there from here, they're as likely to accidentally shred dreams with their comments as strangers.

Even if they follow the statement with a jovial, "Oh, you know I'm only kidding!"

So, that said, I've been quieter about my personal goals. I've told some of them to my best friends. Some I've shared with my crit partners. But like a dragon guarding a treasure, I never gave anyone access to the whole dream. Almost like I thought if I only shared fragments with this person and other fragments with another...

No one could tell me I couldn't do it.
My point? Setting personal goals is important. Whether you share that goal with the world (joining something like NaNoWriMo where everyone can see that you're trying to write 50k in a month or joining a weight loss support group, for instance) or if you keep the nuggets spread out like me, the goal itself can drive you to more.

I told my kid the other day that he shouldn't worry what people think of him. Most people are far too concerned with the little voice in their own head--

The one saying, "Gah, I got coffee on my shirt. Now all anyone can see is the coffee there something in my teeth? God, I can't believe I just said that. I'm an idiot."

--to even bother worrying about all the things you're busy crucifying yourself for.

Because we all do that. We all fight the little voice in our heads. We wage a daily and constant war against the internal narrator, bury our insecurities with fake smiles, pretend we're okay when we're totally not...

I've said it before and I'll likely say it another thousand times--

If we spent our days working to bring up those around us, giving them hope, encouragement, and bringing light to the world in general, we probably still won't change the world. We likely won't even change our hometown.

But we can change the people around us, one smile at a time. If we make the people around us happier, we've changed OUR world, which is more than a lot of people ever manage.

Set goals. Nail them. Do a little butt wiggle and dance around your house with the joy of accomplishing The Thing, whatever your thing is.

Change your world instead of trying to change minds. You'll never change what the world thinks of you, but you can change how you look at it.

Sometimes all it takes to start is knowing one person believes in you.

mama virg

Friday, November 21, 2014

My book is being featured on Saturday November 22nd 2014 at eBookSoda, a new readers' site where they'll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your taste.

Meet Radcliffe here:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How college killed my #Thanksgiving joy

So, everyone is all, "It is almost Thanksgiving! You know what that means, right?" Uh, sure I do. It means that someone will make a turkey. I will eat the turkey. I will have a turkey coma. Maybe someone will tell me that I didn't burn the pie (which I totally did) and people will give me hugs. No pilgrims will be at any meal I attend and I will have some quality time to fight with my children. Why fight? Uh, toothpaste and hair brushes mostly. Maybe the occasional wail of, "But I hate wearing button down shirts, Mom!"

Still, that's good times and all. But I'm not jumping up and down or anything. So, people mention, when I'm not all rainbows and unicorns, "But it is almost Black Friday! Aren't you excited?"
Well, no, actually. I'm a broke single mother of three kids trying to prepare for Christmas. The fact that I could get a flatscreen for $300? Not thrilling. I don't have $300 to blow on a TV. You do? That's great. I've heard the lines at 4am aren't bad. Have fun with that freezing your behind off standing in those lines and don't drop the TV, ok?

"So, Virg, if you're not excited about Thanksgiving or Black Friday, what ARE you thinking about?"

Uh, this.

Friday, October 24, 2014

SPANK OR TREAT 2014 *** 18+ Contest & Story!

Spank or Treat 2014 is finally here! Visit Governing Ana for the prize list, sign-up sheet, and full instructions. You can win from a prize pool valued at over $1,000, including a Kindle Fire or Nook HD donated by Blushing Books!
Many authors will also offer a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests!

How do you play?

1.Visit each blog between Friday, October 24th and Sunday, October 26th to read the stories.

2. Leave a comment on each blog. You must demonstrate that you have read the entire story. Copy-and-paste or inappropriate comments will be disqualified. You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing. Note: You must have a minimum of five entries in order to win a grand prize.

3.If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.

4.Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on Sunday, October 26th!

5. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Sci Spanks 2014, Love Spanks 2014, Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012), you may add “VIP” to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Spank or Treat 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)

6. If you are a writer of fiction (any kind), add “W” to your comments to be entered in the special author prize drawings.

7. If you are a Spank or Treat 2014 Ambassador, please add “Amb” to your comments to receive your extra prize drawing.
8.Visit Governing Ana or any of the participating blogs on Friday, October 31st to find out the lucky winners. Will it be you? We will also announce prizes on the Spank or Treat Facebook page.

Like these events? Want to support your favorite authors? Become a Spank or Treat Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, sign up on the Ambassador page.

For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog.
Like Spank or Treaton Facebook!
Tweet #SpankOrTreat on Twitter!
Join the exclusive chat with Spank or Treat authors! Message AnastasiaVitsky on Facebook or any of the authors to receive an invitation
For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.
Find links to the rest of the Spank or Treat stories at Governing Ana! The more blogs you visit and comment, the more chance to win prizes!

Void where prohibited and must be 18 years or older to win.

Be sure to join me October 24 ~ 9 to 10 PM EDT 
on Facebook for lots of fun and prizes!

Story deleted for publication in anthology...coming soon!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the story. Let me know in a comment below (with your email) or tell me your favorite candy that you'd get trick or treating, for a chance to WIN a swag package including Odd Stuff, signed. Contest is national, US entrants only (Sorry!!).

Double #CoverReveal from Samantha Holt!

Tempting His Mistress
Coming November 10th

What could possibly induce at woman to follow in the footsteps of her mother and further sully her reputation by becoming a mistress?

Lilly Claremont is well used to being at the centre of gossip.  Being the illegitimate child of a rich businessman never failed to titillate the gossips and while she cared little about the wagging tongues she never intended to reinforce their opinions of her by ruining herself completely.

But it seems Lord Hawksley is determined to make the fascinating Lilly his mistress…

Evan has no doubt her bold tongue and beautiful body could keep him entertained for some time. Captivated by her, he must find a way to burn through his desire for her. He cannot marry a woman of such social standing so why not make her his mistress?

After the murder of her father, Lilly is searching for answers and they lead her directly to Lord Hawksley. But will they also lead her to his bed...?

Once Upon a Rake
Coming November 24th

In Victorian England, little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happy endings did not exist, and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.
Seven years later, the widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of travelling with a few ideas in mind. Firstly, she will continue to be the refined, elegant woman she has learned to be—or at least she shall try her best—and secondly, she will make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than her.  A fine opportunity presents itself when she discovers she is now a part owner of a cotton mill.
But the owner of the mill and the very same rake who had hurt her, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning. After one of Lucian’s mills succumbed to fire, he’s fighting to save the other and continue his father’s legacy of fine business decisions and accruing wealth.
However, after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close. But who, and why? Forced together to investigate the incidents, they must get past their shared history if they want to save the business.
If only the growing attraction between them did not prove such a distraction. With things heating up between them, it becomes clear that they are both at risk of getting burned...