Swanitude Goes Viral with a Stolen Kiss

Hans Christian Andersen wrote the critically acclaimed story “The Ugly Duckling” and was later quoted to say it was his autobiography. We all know the tale. The ugly duckling, ridiculed for looking different than the ducks all of his tender years, finally decides he has taken all he can. He’d rather throw himself at the newcomers and be killed by such beautiful creatures than live one more day as ugly. He crosses the lake and is surprised that the beautiful swans accept him. He looks at his reflection and realizes he has grown into a beautiful swan.

Such a simplistic story, with profound depth and emotional ripples. We’ve all been there. But Kelsey Keating, author of A Stolen Kiss, has reached out and given us the effing swan movement and coined the phrase “swanitude.” You have reached swanitude when you realize, “I’m not perfect, but I am a swan in the making.”

Here is what Kelsey has to say about swanitude:

Swanitude is about attitude. It’s about embracing who you are, not shying away or hiding it. It’s about accepting and loving yourself in a world that says “you aren’t good enough yet.” Swanitude is realizing that the world wants to tell you you’re an ugly duckling, when the world is wrong. You were never a duckling, but you’ve been a swan all along.

Don’t forget it. Embrace it. Embrace your effing swanitude.

Kelsey releases her fantasy novel, A Stolen Kiss, today. Grab your copy and let swanitude saturate your attitude.

KelseyA stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.

Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.

With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true peril lies in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.

A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series–an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous lies, and being true to the power within.

Buy it here.

You can find Kelsey here:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkelseykeating

Twitter: @KelseyRaeK

Online: www.swanitude.com

Join heron Facebook for the release party, where you can win goodies!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1098451173518582/

Hello 2016, I wasn’t expecting you so soon.

Can it already be the end of 2015?  I feel like I didn’t even get started on last year’s resolutions and here I am wondering what to resolve for this year.

I took a walk through memory lane (past blog posts) to see how I did on last year’s resolutions.

  1. Engage with people more.

Well this one was a success on one hand, but a fail on the other. I did engage more with my new job. In April, I took a new job as a fraud investigating medical reviewer. I spent two weeks in Nashville, meeting some awesome people and training for the new job. I love the job. The people are great. But that is about all the engagement I could handle. Several on-line groups saw little of me and those relationships are in severe need of repair.

2. Be kind.

I hope I did a bit better at this. I opened my home and heart to a long term house guest, limited my self deprecation, and spoke positive thoughts aloud. But my tongue still wagged when it should have tucked, and anger got the best of me at times.

3. Retrieve the heart that was lost.

I guess I realized the heart wasn’t lost. He always knows where to find us. He is working great things out in each of us. No exceptions.

4. Quit letting life happen to me, be a life force for others.

Wow. That was a very vague and overly optimistic resolution. All I can say about this one is that I stood up. Depression is subject to gravity. If you lie down, it covers you. When you stand up, it rolls off. Professionals call it reframing or positive thinking. It works, as long as you continue to stand.

5. Express love and gratitude without reservation.

Is there anyone in my life that I didn’t tell you that I love you this year? My friends? My family? I do and I hope I did.

 

I learned that resolutions are fine, but obtainable and measurable goals are better. In addition to making the above goals more measurable, I’m adding a few more attainable goals for 2016.

Here are my goals for 2016.

  1. Join a gym by 1-31-16.
  2. Actually go to the gym at least 3 days per week.
  3. Enjoy/afford a trip to Italy by June.
  4. Write/Edit at least 3 days out of each week.
  5. Publish the first installment of The Sisterhood of the Sword Saga. (Set up a timeline with incremental goals to meet editing and publishing goals for the year, by 1-31-16).
  6. Learn to play the harmonica.

We’ll check back in December to see how well these went.

What are your goals for 2016?

BHC Authors Website Release

I am thrilled to be a part of this awesome group of authors. We are connected by our publisher, Blue Harvest Creative. I am so thankful to be associated with such professionalism and abundant support. Check out our new website.

HEADLINE: New BHCAuthors Website—Connecting Readers to Authors

Blue Harvest Creative is excited to announce the next generation of independence has arrived!

BHC Authors Logo

Welcome to the BHC Authors website—a place dedicated to bringing readers and authors together. If you love to read, this is the place to be. Find a new favorite genre or author. Check out new releases and titles. Or enter a giveaway or promotion.

Here’s what you’ll find when you visit BHCAuthors.com

  • Author spotlights—Get up close and personal. Enter our monthly giveaway for a chance to win autographed print titles or eBooks from featured authors.
  • Reader/ARC (advanced reader copy) Program—Love to read? Want to see new titles before they are released? Enjoy giving feedback and discovering new authors or genres? Be sure to sign up for our ARC program.

BHC Authors Reader Program

  • News and events—Check our calendar often. You never know where a BHC Author will turn up!
  • Are you a reviewer, blogger, or journalist interested in review copies or scheduling an interview? Visit our media center, and we’ll be sure to get you everything you need.
  • Librarians and booksellers can also contact us at the media center. We’re here to make your job easier.
  • If you run a readers’ group, we offer book club reader’s guides for many of our titles and we’re always adding more.
  • Purchases titles and other nifty products from our Amazon affiliate store—From books to writer’s tools of the trade, and more, you’ll find it all here, right at your fingertips.
  • Meet the BHC Authors—Many of whom have won multiple awards and are USA Today bestsellers—and get to know their work.

BHC Authors Website

 

  • Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about new titles, promotions, events, sales, and more. We hate spam as much as the next person, so we only send out about one email per month. Our intent is not to solicit services. Our newsletters only feature information about BHC Authors.

We’re just gearing up, and we’ll be adding more exciting features. Love our website? Have an idea to share or something you’d like to see featured? We’d love to hear from you, and we appreciate and value your ideas and suggestions. Please email us at: Feedback (at) BHCAuthors (dot) com

Thanks for stopping by and supporting independently published authors!

Click HERE to visit the BHC Authors website.

Grief and Loss: Part 4 Let It Go

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/64943649@N07/8128637250/">EMP Museum</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>No, I’m not going to break out in a Disney tune. But the premise is the same.

“Auuuuuuugggggg!!!!” Can be a powerful tool. Part of the damage that grief, loss, and especially anger is allowed to do, is because we have bottled it up. We don’t want others to see us lose our composure, so we resort to short periods of leakage. We seep our way through the grieving process because people are around to be supportive and we don’t want them to see how deeply we are grieving. We try to protect ourselves from a negative reputation or protect them from witnessing the depth of our despair. How backwards is that? The very people who are there to hold us up end up being a hindrance to the grieving process. Tears moisten our lashes while we blink furiously and turn our faces away. Anger builds pressure in our chests and we release tiny spurts of it as we snap at the people we love the most.

It’s time to go nuclear.

Emotive Educational Activity #4 Go nuclear!

Speak: This one is going to be fun. No words required. Just fill your lungs with air and scream.

 

Write: Throw your pencil down.

 

Action: This works best if you have a place far away from others. Drive into the country. Bring a trusted friend if you need to. If you can’t get out to open empty fields, find a big fluffy pillow.  Fill your lungs with air and SCREAM!  Scream loud and long. Scream high and low. Dig that scream up from your toes and LET IT GO!  Scream until the ridiculousness of it all breaks through, then let yourself laugh and scream some more.

Now go pick up that pencil.

Write: How did the scream make you feel? Did some pressure come off your chest? Did you feel silly? Will you do it again?

Remember the exercise you were supposed to think about a few weeks ago? Put it in place. Start walking, running, playing tennis, Tai Chi, whatever your activity was, it is time to put the plan into literal motion. Find time today to start exercising. You will be amazed at how well this works at ridding your body of the toxins of grief. Don’t forget to hydrate!

Grief and Loss: Not So Pretty Little Liars

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As writers, we often deal with what Steven Pressfield, in the War of Art, called resistance. Basically, it is our own self-sabotaging behaviors that keep us from getting the Work-in-Progress finished. Whether you are an artist, a writer, a dancer or any form of creative expressionist, as a sensitive soul you are subject to this foe.

Whether you are a sensitive soul or not, if you have experienced a major loss you will enter the stages of grief. Resistance exists in those stages.

Denial

Grief has a form of resistance called denial. It is smart. Grief knows the minute we start to accept loss, that despair will take over. Since despair sounds like such a horrible thing, we resist it with everything we have. The truth is that despair is the first sign you are moving toward acceptance and healing. We don’t need to fear it.

Ah, but resistance in the form of denial doesn’t know that. Grief and Loss have adopted denial as the major weapon against despair. And it’s a sadistic weapon that turns on you, jabbing you in the most vulnerable places. Every lie you’ve every believed about yourself will emerge.

Some common lies that grief uses.8342876469_93541f5610_b

“I deserve this loss.”

“I’m a bad person.”

“I don’t deserve happiness.”

“There is something wrong with me.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“It’s all my fault.”

“I can’t cope.”

“I’m too weak, frail, fragile…”

Depression

Recognizing the lies is hard when your thoughts are clouded by pain, questions, and confusion. But these lies will lead you down the path of depression where ruts are formed in your psyche. Once you fall into the ruts, it’s very hard to climb back out. NOT IMPOSSIBLE, but difficult.

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If you find you are already there, stuck in a cycle of self-deprecation, you can take steps to end the cycle. If you are just entering the stages of grief, these steps can help you recovery more quickly.

Start here.


Emotive Educational Activity: 3 Confront Lies

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“I can’t do this.”

Grief crawls out of the shadows and pokes at you. Often it will lie to you and make you feel the situation is too big. Try to recognize the lies for what they are.

Speak: I will recognize lies. I will not be deceived.

Write: Make your own list of lies you have heard from loss and denial over the last few days. Beside them, write the truth.

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Action: Today we are going to shop. Find something tangible to represent the loss. Choose an object that will fit into your palm or that you can wear or place in a pocket. Some ideas: an inexpensive bracelet or ring, a coin for your pocket, a lock of hair, a dried flower petal, a cheap locket. Make it something you will not mind losing, but also not mind having on your person. It will be with you for a while. You can shop around your house, Macy’s is not required. Once you locate your memorandum, associate it with a good memory. (For me it was a glass beaded bracelet on elastic. I associated it with fishing trips I had taken with my dad.) Now, put it on, pocket it. Every time a lie assaults you, touch the memorandum and let the beautiful memory remind you of the truth~ Joy is real and mine for the taking.

Grief meme


LaDonna Cole RN BSM CART is an RN Psych Nurse, specializing in Grief Recovery. She writes therapeutic stories to motivate readers through the journey of grief to recover joy. See more of this Grief and Loss series here.

Grief and Loss: @!*D$&%@!!!!! Anger Management

Anger swings to the forefront of your grief process. What do you do with the build up of adrenaline that churns at your gut, or broils in your chest, or clamps your teeth like a vice?  If your loss affects the whole family, you will see your children react with energy bursts in their hands, feet and mouth. It’s important to give these energy bursts an outlet before they build pressure and start to have a negative effect on your body, or leak out to hurt people you love.

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/12223306@N00/430782504/">DOS82</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

Adults need to embrace exercise now more than ever. When you are feeling loss, your instinct may be to shut down, sleep, and just sit on the couch. It is important that you find time to peel yourself off the sofa and move your body. Go for a walk, a bike ride, to the gym. Do something to sweat out the toxins that grief and anger dump in your system. Sweat and tears are your friend right now. They carry away the poison of loss. Stay hydrated and go sweat.

Children need to be given permission to release the wiggles.

  • They will have a burst of energy and begin to scream or shout. The worst thing to do is tell them to be quiet. That will just cause more anger. Give them a pillow to scream into. Encourage them to scream it out into the pillow any time they feel the urge. After a family loss, I took my kids out into the country, far from people and we had a scream. We bellowed loud and long into the empty field and ended up falling on the ground, laughing at the silliness of it all.Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/8189069@N03/5047813062/">CROWLEY PHOTOGRAPHY</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>
  • Children will pinch, hit, slap, push. Explain that it is inappropriate to hurt people or animals, but you understand they need to express with their hands the anger inside of them. Give them something to do with their hands. Put on boxing gloves and give them a bean bag to punch. Take them to a tennis wall or racquetball court. Let them hit balls against a wall for as long as they need to. A volleyball against the side of the house, a batting cage, find an age appropriate way for them to expend the energy in their hands. (Hey, join in, you probably need this too!)
  • Another place that energy builds up for kids is their feet. They may kick, stomp, run in Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/66998277@N04/6099264581/">CrazyCarrot1</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>place or jump up and down. When you see this, introduce opportunities for them to expel energy. Jogging, running, dancing, karate lessons, trampoline, dog walks. They need to know what they are feeling is normal and have permission to move their feet appropriately. After my divorce, I bought a trampoline for my kids. We all used it. It was great therapy.

 

 

 


 

Emotive Educational Activity: 2 Taking Control

“She left me to deal with this mess!”

In those moments when denial is asleep and the reality of it all comes crashing through, you may experience great anger at the situation. This is normal. It is part of the process and cannot be skipped and should not be ignored.

 

Speak: I am angry at (name the loss).

 Write:  Write a short note to your loss expressing your anger. “Dear Absence of ____, you frickin’ idiot! How dare you leave me at this time when I needed you most!”  Use your own words and express the anger broiling in your chest.

Action: It’s about to get physical up in here. Make a mental list of physical activities that you can do. Identify something you can do that is physical to deal with the adrenalin that anger releases into your system. Today is not about actually getting off the couch, it’s just about thinking about physical activities. What are some things you can do? Walk, yoga, hit some balls, run, beat up a pillow. Of course we’re not going take frustration out on another person or animal, but you need to release the toxins that have built up in your body. List three physical activities that you used to enjoy or that you’ve always considered.


 

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LaDonna Cole, Author is a Psychiatric Nurse and Anger Management Therapist. She specializes in story therapy, writing books and stories that encourage recovery. Check out her books here.