Friday, April 29, 2016

Heaven Must Wait Part II by Author Brenda B. Taylor

Brenda B. Taylor has stopped by for another visit and this time she's sharing her latest book with us! Heaven Must Wait, Part II is a historical romance and will be released Tuesday May 3rd. 

Times are difficult in Missouri after the Civil War. Families struggle to keep their property from creditors and outlaws. The desire of Ralph Wade’s heart is to marry the girl of his dreams, beautiful Leann Clark, but many obstacles stand in their way. Ralph finds love is not enough to persuade Leann’s father to give his permission for their marriage. John Clark wishes more than love for his daughter. He wants her husband to provided a good living with a secure future. Ralph is much too hot-tempered and unreliable in John’s eyes. Leann desires the dashing Ralph and defies her father to be with him. She believes her love is strong enough to see them through the hard times. Through adverse circumstances, the young couple struggle to keep the fires of their love and faith burning.

Leann felt she couldn't be happier. Her parents seemed to have forgiven Ralph for the altercation he had with Wesley Snipes over a saloon girl and were making friendly overtures toward him. She knew Pa expected both she and Ralph to act responsibly, and she determined not to break his trust. Her heart sang as they walked to the oak tree where Maude waited patiently.
Ralph put his hat on, then untied his mare. “I love you, Leann. I'll see you next week.”
“I love you. I can hardly wait 'til next Tuesday.” She looked toward the house, then stood on her tiptoes and lightly kissed his lips.”
He quickly glanced toward the house, bent down and planted a firmer kiss on her mouth, then mounted Maude. Without saying anything more, he turned his horse toward home. She stood watching until he rode out of sight. With a heart bursting of love for Ralph, Leann made her way back to the house.

Buy Link: Pre-order NOW at Amazon

About the Author:
The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication. 

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Author Contact Information:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 29th is National ARBOR DAY

If you cannot plant a tree, can you please take the extra step to save paper?

My challenge?

Recycle what you can. 

As an author, I go through lots of paper, but I have tried to change by:

*Compressing pages when I do have to print something 
*printing double-sided, which saves 50% of the paper I use
*I love to send letters, but email saves a lot of stationary
*Print books fill my shelves, but I download more to my Kindle

Enjoy April 29th 
and if you are able


Friday, April 22, 2016

Lost & Found Love by Laura Browning

Author Laura Browning stopped by to share her contemporary romance, Lost & Found Love.

Back Cover: Welcome to Mountain Meadow, Virginia, where homecomings lead to happily ever after… 

Tabitha MacVie has come to Mountain Meadow to meet the sister she never knew, and find the family she longs for. What she discovers is a close-knit community determined to close ranks against the new art teacher, especially once she catches the eye of the town’s most eligible bachelor. Tabby tries hard to keep Joe Taylor at a distance.  But staying away from the handsome preacher isn’t easy once he opens his arms to her….

Tabby is the answer to Joe’s prayers. Too bad the spirited beauty believes she doesn’t belong in Mountain Meadow—or with him.  Still, Joe can’t resist offering her shelter against the local gossips, or giving her a strong shoulder to lean on when her family hopes are dashed.  And when Tabby’s life is suddenly on the line, Joe will do anything to save the woman who stole his heart.

Joe’s glance slid to the house next to his. He glimpsed a tall, slim woman lifting a bike and setting it on the veranda before she disappeared indoors. Ah. That must be the elusive Tabitha MacVie, not at all old it seemed. In fact, what he’d so briefly glimpsed had made his breath catch. Though her hair had been back in a braid, Joseph could tell that Tyler hadn’t exaggerated, it was long and nearly as black as her cat.

He wondered if Miss MacVie ate spaghetti or meatloaf. He hoped not. As the evening wound down, his eyes strayed to the house more and more. When darkness fell and he saw the only light was once again in the third floor room, he was disappointed. What was she doing up there? He was tempted to grill Tyler, but that would be a bit too obvious. Not to mention pathetic.

With effort, Joe put her from his mind and returned to his house. He had a lot to get done Saturday, plus rehearsing his sermon one more time, and he didn’t need to be thinking about the mystery woman. But despite his promise to himself, when he got up the following morning to run, his eyes settled on her back door. The first thing he noticed was the bike was gone. Was she out riding again?
Joe stretched and began the longer run he normally saved for Saturday mornings. Five miles before he came home, showered, then stopped in at Tarpley’s to do his grocery shopping. It was a weekly ritual.

While he ran, he amused himself with ways in which he could meet his new neighbor. He envisioned offering her help getting settled, but she’d probably already done that. He pictured heroically rescuing her from something—maybe a burning house. No. He certainly didn’t want to see her house burn down. Maybe…

In the end, he met her in an aisle in Tarpley’s when they both reached for the same box of macaroni and cheese. It should have been the most mundane of ways in which to encounter an attractive woman, except that as soon as their hands touched, she stumbled back with a startled gasp and clutched her hand within her other as if she’d been burned.

Joe got that. He felt the same way as he stared into eyes as wide and golden as his next door neighbor’s cat. Her hair was only a shade lighter than the cat’s. This was the elusive Miss MacVie. She was tall, he noted, nearly eye-to-eye with him, and he was a shade over six feet. He smiled, but received only that shocked look in return.

Resisting the temptation to see if he’d spilled something on himself or had a smudge of grease on his face, he held out his hand. She didn’t take it. “I’m Joseph Taylor.” He persevered, hoping to high heaven he didn’t blush. “Most folks call me Joe. I believe we live next door to each other.” When she still didn’t say anything, he continued. “Most of the time people say their name back to me. Have I upset you in some way?”

Finally, as if she pulled herself out of a trance, she shook her head. “No. I’m Tabitha MacVie—Tabby.”

He was still smiling, he realized, feeling awkward, but she had such a wary, watchful look on her face that he suspected she already knew most people called him Joe, just with Pastor with a capital P in front of it. It looked like she fit firmly in the first category of women, the ones who wanted to run like hell.

Buy Links: 

Learn more about Laura Browning here:


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nancy Lee Badger Reminds Us that April 22nd is EARTH DAY

Years ago, in my other life working at Rand's Hardware in Plymouth, New Hampshire, I devised a way to get kids interested in Earth Day AND their local hardware store.

We ran a coloring contest, and invited the children (along with their parents) to post the finished art work in our store's front windows. Their name, grade, and school were listed on the back. 

After Earth Day passed, three schools were chosen a winner based on several randomly selected pictures, and the winning school was awarded with a wheelbarrow filled with gardening tools, potting soil, gloves, flower seeds, and much more. These rural New Hampshire schools would use the items to brighten their school's property.

Working together with the schools was a delight! The kids were so excited to see their pictures in the window, and more than a few parents came to shop our store when they never had in the past.

This Earth Day, I will finish sprucing up my yard here in sunny North Carolina, and enjoy the birds, butterflies, and deer that find our urban property to their liking!

What will you do to celebrate our planet?


Friday, April 15, 2016

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Ava Cuvay

Ava Cuvay stopped by to answer intimate questions about her life and her latest release. Her book, His Precious Cargo, is a Sci-Fi Romance and was released on March 6th. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 

Ava- Firstly, Nancy, I’d like to thank you for letting me be part of your blog today! I’m thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to chat about my new release. It’s a hot story about a stripper with dreams of being a princess and an intergalactic thief with a freighter of stolen cargo.

At the outskirts of space and away from the rigid control of Central Command, Granger entices Kaedi to break her strict no-lap dace policy. The repercussions force her to pack up and hitch a ride off-world in the same freighter he has hired. They discover a passion hotter than a super nova, but their plans are shattered by the untimely death of the ship’s captain, the duplicity of the co-pilot, and the appearance of Granger’s best-friend-turned-torture-happy-enemy. When Granger’s heritage is revealed, Kaedi believes herself unworthy, but he realizes she is more precious than stolen cargo.

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?  

AvaWhile on a milestone birthday trip to Las Vegas, I sat poolside with my friend, reading a romance novel and drinking margaritas. I couldn’t even say which book or what author, but when I finished, I turned to my friend and declared, “You know… I bet I could write one of these.”

Being the good friend she is, she lifted her cocktail in silent toast. “I bet you could, too.”

Blame the margaritas, or the Las Vegas influence, but I began writing. It’s taken me six years and four (currently “tabled”) manuscripts, but I finally self-published my first book, His Precious Cargo.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

Ava- The reward is two-fold. First, there is the physical realization of the story which began as a niggle in my head. From the words on the page to the cover art to simply holding its weight in my hands, seeing it come to fruition is pretty amazing. The second part is all the friendship and camaraderie I’ve discovered along the way. The romance writer community is so immensely supportive, and I’ve met so many kindred souls here.

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

Ava- Since I went the route of self-publishing, I don’t have advice specific to acquiring a contract. But would like to cheer “You can do it!” to anyone who wants to write and have their stories published (regardless if you go self or traditional). How to accomplish this goal, I’ll leave to other, more knowledgeable and successful authors… But I would encourage everyone who is working toward being a published author to enjoy the journey as well as celebrate their success. My own journey has been filled with many wonderful authors who have been supportive, encouraging, and instructive. Had I tried to walk this path alone, I certainly wouldn’t be this far along (heck, I’d be wandering in circles at the very beginning), and I wouldn’t have made so many friendship with so many awesome authors!

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I danced ballet and modern for ten years and into college. My natural turn-out is all I have left to show for it! J
2) I was a Junior Miss Beauty Scholarship pageant winner in High School.
3) I think frogs are cute.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Ava- The next book in The Heart Nebula Series: Love and the Corps. Coming soon, er, coming as soon as I finish edits! It won the 2015 Over the Far Side Contest in the Sci-Fi/Futuristic category, and it’s hopefully even better.

Excerpt from His Precious Cargo
Granger caught up with her several steps later. When he moved to stop her, she whirled, crossed her arms over her chest again, and waited with barely contained anger.
He stared at her battle stance for a moment. His eyebrows lifted. “I’m not Cal. And I know it hardly needs to be said, but I don’t like how he looks at you.”
Her anger fled instantly. Her arms dropped to her side and she glanced toward the galley. “That makes two of us.”
“You will avoid him like Klutha-9 when you can, and keep your guard up when you can’t. And remember what I taught you to do with your hands.”
She wasn’t one for taking orders, but liked that Granger was concerned for her. Since his advice was reasonable, she decided not to argue.
“I remember what to do: hit his nose, poke his eyes, box his ears.”
“No, the part where you keep them on me and only me.”

Amazon     Nook     Kobo     iBooks

You can find more information about 
Ava Cuvay here:
WEBSITE      BLOG    Facebook     Goodreads   

Friday, April 8, 2016

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author/Editor Brian A.Klems

Please welcome Brian A. Klems to my blog. He is here to give our readers a new perspective as an author AND an editor. Please tell our readers about the magazine you represent. 

Brian- I’m the senior online editor of Writer’s Digest. Writer’s Digest is the number one magazine for writers who are looking to write better, get published and get paid for what they write. I’m not just saying it’s great because I work for the magazine, I honestly believe it to be true. I read Writer’s Digest before I ever worked on the magazine and consider myself lucky to be part of its evolution, as well as a member of its awesome team of editors.

Nancy- Who first introduced you to the love of reading?

Brian- My mom. She’s been an avid reader ever since I can remember. I recall her setting annual goals of reading two books a week to reach 104 for each year. And she did that on top of raising me and my sister, getting us to our sports and extra curriculars and going back to college in her 30s to become a Kindergarten teacher. That still blows my mind. Now I’ve been passing on my love of reading to my three little ladies, two of whom are the top readers in their class (and the other is still in preschool and can’t actually read words yet, but she reads by pictures and I love that just as much).

Nancy- What is the biggest no no you see in submissions that makes you reject them?

Brian- Aside from misspelling my name, which happens way more than you’d expect considering how easily it is to find my name online, grammar mistakes will quickly kill a query for me. I’m understanding and know that we all slip time to time, especially because autocorrect often introduces errors, but having several typos or grammar errors in a query is unacceptable. If you can’t be trusted to put in the work to get it right in a query of only a couple of paragraphs, how can I trust you to get it right in a full-length article?
Nancy- Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Brian- My book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, is a humor parenting book designed to make you laugh and relate to the trails, tribulations and awesomeness of raising girls. I have three daughters, all of whom are smart, sweet and have me wrapped around their fingers. The book isn’t advice-driven in the sense that it tells you how to deal with a rash or save for college, it’s advice-driven in the sense that it encourages you to embrace everything and take it all in, because no matter how macho or tough you think you are, you’ll proudly wear that tiara when you’re little princess asks you to. I’ve learned it’s become an extremely popular gift book, given by friends and family to expecting parents and I’ve also seen it used by parents-to-be to announce that they are having a girl to family and friends. Either way, I appreciate all the kind comments I get about it. It makes me smile knowing it makes others smile.

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?  

Brian- I originally started my blog, TheLifeOfDad as a way to get my creativity out while also updating close family and friends of the progress of our first pregnancy. I had started blogs before, but they were unfocused and unsuccessful. They were valuable, as I honed my voice and learned from mistakes I made along the way, which I think is important that writers realize—even unsuccessful ventures can teach you so much. Anyway, the blog grew and I kept saying, “I’m going to write a book.” Of course, like most writers, I kept putting it off. Then, in 2011, my dad unexpectedly died of a heart attack and it put things in perspective for me. Life is short. If I didn’t try now, I may not have a chance later. So I wrote up a book proposal and sample chapters and, what’d you know—I landed an agent and a book deal.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Brian- The most rewarding part is when people send me a note on social media, or leave a kind review on Amazon, telling me how much they enjoyed the book. It really does make me smile and brighten my life. Putting yourself and your work out there for the entire world to judge is a pretty gutsy thing to do. Not everyone will love your work and not everyone will appreciate the weeks, months and years you’ve put in to making your dream come true. But the people that do—and luckily for me that’s been the vast majority of folks—make all the hard work worth it. I wish I could personally thank each and every one.

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Brian- Rejection is part of the game—wear it on your sleeve as a bad of honor, but don’t let it drag you down. Persistence is everything in publishing. It’s much like playing professional sports. Baseball players who want to make it to the major leagues work every day at their craft, pushing their limits, and hoping that they will be lucky enough to impress a scout that will give them a chance. Getting published is the same. It’s a matter of working incredibly hard and putting yourself in the best position you can to succeed while also hoping that you’re lucky enough to connect with someone who likes what you’re doing and wants to publish your work. And if you’re really lucky, people will read it.
It's easy to imagine how you'd raise a boy—all the golf outings, lawnmower lessons, and Little League championships you'd attend—but playing dad to a little princess may take some education. In Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl Brian, a father of three girls, shares his tactics for surviving this new and glittery world. From baby dolls and bedtime rituals to potty training and dance recitals, he leads you through all the trials and tribulations you'll face as you're raising your daughter. He'll also show you how to navigate your way through tough situations, like making sure that she doesn't start dating until she's 50. Complete with commandments for restroom trips and properly participating in a tea party, Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl will brace you for all those hours playing house--and psych you up for the awesomeness of raising a daughter who has you lovingly wrapped around her little finger.

More About Brian Klems
Brian A. Klems is a writer, husband, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls. He's the online editor of Writer's Digest magazine and is also a proud graduate of the E.W. Scripps journalism school at Ohio University.

Brian's first parenting humor book, OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL (Adams Media), was endorsed by Dave Barry and was called "laugh-out-loud funny" by the Chicago Tribune. Brian is a contributor to The Huffington Post, where his most popular piece, "The Letter Every Parent Should Write" was endorsed by the rockstar P!NK. 

Read more from Brian at Writersdigest
and at The Life Of Dad blog
and follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems HERE  

Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl
Buy Links: Amazon   Amazon PRINT

Brian will appear April 30, 2016
in Raleigh, NC as the
Keynote Speaker at the
WRITE NOW 2016 Writer's Conference

Learn more about the conference
and register HERE

Friday, April 1, 2016

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Writer Linda Formichelli

Linda Formichelli stopped by to share her  book How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes out with a Sharpie. Yes, this is her latest self-help book and is to be released on April 18, 2016. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Linda- On New Year’s eve 2015, I was journaling about the year and decided to make a list of everything I had done in the past 12 months. There were over 40 items on the list! For example, I traveled to five foreign countries with my family; ran two businesses; hosted three exchange students; read 32 books; and wrote a book, 40 blog posts, and two feature articles.

Once I saw the whole list written out, I had the brainstorm to write a book detailing the process. Women are always asking me how I get do much done, especially since we’re a middle-class family with two wage-earners and a kid. We are not rolling in money or free time!

After having written for the women’s magazines for so many years -- like Family Circle and Woman’s Day -- I especially wanted to address the cultural narrative, which is perpetuated by the women’s media, that women are trying to do it all and burning themselves out in the process, and that they need to just relax and stop trying to be superwoman. Some of us enjoy doing a lot! Sure, sometimes I get stressed out, but if you want to create a fun, meaningful life, that requires some effort.

That was the basis of How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out with a Sharpie. It is a self-help book; it’s my second one. I’ve also written many book for writers, a couple of Idiot’s Guides, a Dummies book, and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books (where I wrote the intro chapters and tips, and selected and edited the essays).

Nancy- Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?

Linda- This is a self-published book, but I DID have several manuscripts! I printed out all 200 pages to edit the manuscript four times. I also had my business partner take a look...and my writer husband...and my 20 beta readers...and a professional proofreader. So the manuscript went through many, many versions.

I think a lot of writers feel that if they’re self-publishing, they can just whip out a book and stick it on Amazon -- but not so. Having an editor, and an outside perspective from other readers, is very important.

Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Linda- Do I ever! My co-author and I sent a proposal for The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success to maybe a dozen different publishers and it was rejected by each we shelved the idea. Then, a few years later, I was approached by an old trade magazine editor of mine. He had started a company that published books for writers, and did I have any book ideas? That’s how The Renegade Writer was born, and it launched my career as a book author and writing coach. I guess the moral of the story is to do your best work for every client, even the ones that don’t pay much, because you never know where they’ll end up in the future.

I also have a rejection story that’s not book related. I was a magazine writer for almost two decades, and I’ve racked up well over 500 rejections. And yet I managed to make a great living from magazine writing for a long time! Also, it really helped with the process of writing a book because after being rejected so many times, and edited by so many editors, I have pretty much no ego left when it comes to my writing. If an editor or the readers don’t like something, I change it without thinking twice. For example, when a few beta readers told me that my Fight Club, Lego Movie, and Wayne’s World jokes were falling flat (because, um, not all women have seen these movies), I just took them out. The proofreader mentioned I had over 150 asides in my book, and I deleted almost all of them. I “killed my darlings,” as the writer saying goes, and my book ended up being a lot stronger.

Nancy- What is your writing routine like?

Linda- Routine? What’s a routine? Seriously, when I really want to write something I can’t stop myself from doing it. I work during my son’s school hours of 8:30 am until 2:30 pm, and in those hours I bang out as much as I can on a manuscript.

One of the time-management tips I talk about in How to Do It All is the Admin Day -- a day you set aside every week to take care of those tasks that don’t further your big goals, but have to be done nonetheless. That way, the other days of the week you can focus on your goals without having that nagging feeling that you really should be paying the bills or scheduling dentist appointments.

My Admin Day is Friday and it’s been a godsend. Monday through Thursday I can just work on my projects, plan trips, and so on, and on Friday I do things like return non-essential emails, schedule appointments, pay bills, and get the car inspected.

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Linda- Make rejection your friend...because you’ll experience a lot of it. One thing the biggest names in writing have going for them is that they’re persistent. For example, both JK Rowling and Stephen King suffered many rejections before their first books were accepted. A rejection isn’t’s not about you. It’s a completely subjective business decision by a publisher or agent.

Nancy- Please share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
1) I’ve studied French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Middle-High German, Old Church Slavic, and Bulgarian.
2) Even though I look like a typical middle-class mom, I’m kind of a nerd: I love military sci-fi, 80s arcade games, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and manga! My favorite manga series have been Death Note, Maison Ikkoku, After-School Nightmare, Bakuman, and Hikaru No Go.
3) I had 26 jobs before becoming a freelance writer at the age of 27, from retail to waitressing to freelance translation.

Nancy- What’s next for you?

Linda- I have a new book idea! It’s Do It Anyway: Your Top 50 Excuses for Not Doing What You Really Want—Busted. Also, my business partner and I are working on The Renegade Writer’s Tiny Guides To... This is a series of books where we offer short and sweet tips on interviewing, marketing, and more.

You want to do, see, and experience everything you can to create a rich, memorable life. Travel. Volunteer work. Athletic events. Entertaining. Reading, learning, and trying new things. And you want to look and feel great while you do it. In fact, your favorite saying just might be “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”
BUT: Read any blog, magazine, or book aimed at women and the common refrain is: “You have so much to do! You need to simplify your life and say ‘No’ to things you really don’t want to do. And ask your husband to clean the bathroom, you poor thing, so you can have 15 minutes to yourself. Now, take out your gratitude journal and write about how grateful you are that you can walk and breathe.”

I call BS. In How to Do It All: The Revolutionary Plan to Create a Full, Meaningful Life — While Only Occasionally Wanting to Poke Your Eyes Out with a Sharpie, you’ll learn:

*Why stress should be welcomed, not avoided.
*The importance of living a do-it-all life.
*Why you shouldn’t expect support from your family…and where to get it instead.
*Why you should shower less, sleep less, talk to yourself, and be inconsistent — and how this can help you live a more memorable life.
*How you can get it all done even when right now you have no time, no money, and no motivation.
*The revolutionary plan to accomplish everything you dream of doing in your life (includes free worksheets!).

Let’s do this thing!

Excerpt: Chapter 4: Say Yes to Stress
In the opening to this book you read about my 2015 and all the crazy and stressful, but fun and memorable things I planned and accomplished.

My desire to do it all it goes back much further than 2015. In high school, I studied so many languages that I didn’t have a lunch period or a study hall, and was already submitting short stories to literary journals. In college and graduate school, I took almost double the normal course load while also working and volunteering, and maintained an A- grade point average. And it goes on from there.

I could cut down on my activities and spend my days reading light novels, soaking in lavender-infused baths, and om-ing away on a yoga mat. And the people and things in my life would get along just fine. After all, no one’s family died because their window shades were dusty. The world won’t stop spinning if I don’t read voraciously, start social clubs, volunteer, adopt special-needs pets, host teenage exchange students, or run multiple businesses.

And yet I’ve constantly put myself in situations where I knew I’d be exhausted before it was all over. I’ve teamed up with a friend to sew 80 cat beds for the local shelter. And planned multi-country trips with a 6-year-old. And started clubs and organizations where I ended up managing 100 or more members or volunteers. And agreed to write 13 magazine articles in a month. And attempted to run two businesses while homeschooling our son. And had two bathrooms renovated during the Christmas holiday, while hosting three additional holiday dinners for people who couldn’t be there for the main one. Of course, while I did all this, it was important that my teeth were flossed daily, my hair was highlighted every six weeks, and all my bras were hand-washed on a regular basis.

But Should We Flee Stress?

So yes, I’ve always experienced that major, scary problem women’s magazines and books and blogs try so kindly to help us avoid—stress. I journal, take hot baths, and get frequent massages, and I’m very involved in yoga and meditation. But when you get up from savasana and jump back into 20 crazy projects at once, the pressure is sure to come back before you can say Namaste.

Stress can feel like crap. But is it really something to be avoided at all costs?

As I was writing this chapter, I received a newsletter from author Laura Vanderkam titled The Good Life Is Not Always the Easy Life, and it perfectly encapsulates my thoughts on the subject. Laura gave me permission to quote from it here:

[…]no one is entitled to a stress-free life, and shying from stress can cut off much happiness.

Here’s what I mean. In life, there’s effortless fun and effortful fun. Cracking open a beer and turning on the TV after the kids go to bed falls in the first category. Planning a dinner party falls in the second. Both have their place, but it’s always easy to underinvest in the latter because, well, it’s work. The idea that fun should take work is incongruous enough that we resist it. Most of us are busy enough with professional work and family work that turning leisure time into work just sounds ridiculous. Better not to make a fuss.

That’s fine except that watching TV for the bulk of one’s leisure time does not make for a particularly meaningful or memorable life. When I think about the things that I would mention as highlights of my leisure time over the last year, they’re almost all effortful. Running 3 half-marathons was great in retrospect, but there were many not-fun moments of finding parking and waiting in the heat or cold for the start. Baking with my 4-year-old is marvelous in many ways, but it is never easy with her toddler brother underfoot. I loved bringing my daughter to eat with the princesses at Epcot’s Akershus in September. Hauling the kids around hot, crowded Disney World, on the other hand, which was necessary in order to eat with those princesses, was at times horrific enough to be comical.

[…]I think that being able to “hold paradox” can be useful in all realms of life. Rather than say “I want to have fun and this is not fun,” those who can hold paradox think this: Often fun takes work. This is simply its nature, much as the human body must eat and sleep to function. There is no such thing as a stress-free life, and there is no point wishing that fun will just come to you. If you want joyful communities, marvelous vacations, and fun family activities, you can create them. You can know that there will be a lot of bother and some horrible moments. You can also know that there will be good moments, memorable moments, and most importantly, moments that would not have happened had you chosen to save your energy, skip the bother, and do nothing instead.

Who looks back with pride at the end of the year (or at the end of their lives) on how much TV they watched, or how many Facebook posts they commented on? Most likely, every moment in your life you remember with fondness and pride took effort…and effort often means stress.

Not All Stress is Bad...
...and more. Buy the book!

BONUS: I wrote a whole blog post on exactly how much this book has cost so far to produce -- but I consider it an experiment to see if it’s worth it to hire marketing help instead of doing it myself. (You can find the post HERE)

Nancy- How can my readers buy your book?

Linda- The book will be available on in Kindle and print formats.  Please join the early notification list here to learn more about the book launch and get an invite to the secret Facebook group HERE

Linda Formichelli is a freelance writer living in the Raleigh area with her writer husband, ballet-dancing son, three rescue cats, and frequently an exchange student as well. She’s written for over 150 magazines, from Pizza Today to Woman’s Day; authored and co-authored over a dozen books, including The Renegade Writer and Becoming a Personal Trainer for Dummies (which she always thought made it sound like the reader was training dummies); and guest posted at top blogs like Copyblogger, Tiny Buddha, and Write to Done.

Linda is also the co-founder of Renegade Writer Press, which publishes books for writers and other smart people. 

You can find more information about Linda Formichelli
 here: WEBSITE  
I’m not on any social media, 
except for my closed Facebook group!

Linda Formichelli will be presenting a workshop 
April 30, 2016 during the 
WRITE NOW 2016 Writer's Conference
presented by the Triangle Association of freelancers
in Raleigh, NC. 

You can find out more 
and register HERE