10 Things Yo Mamma Didn’t Tell You about Back to School, the College Years

Photo Credit: _skynet via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: _skynet via Compfight cc

10) He’s too old for first day pictures. As a mom, it doesn’t matter how old they are, you want to commemorate all those firsts with pictures. As my youngest walks out the door for his first Freshman class, it takes everything I have not to run for the camera.

9) Paying for college books is crazy expensive. When two kids are in college, you’ll have to take out a second mortgage for books alone.   Chegg.com is your lifeline to saving your retirement fund from the textbook black hole.

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Photo Credit: emilybean via Compfight cc

8) Your heart is capable of shriveling grief and swelling pride all in the same moment.

7) Letting go isn’t just a Disney song. It’s a fact of life. They have to learn to live without you.

6 ) Adjusting to the different parenting stages is just as hard as the developmental stages of childhood. With each stage, you must learn to adjust your style. Boundaries become more and more fluid until you are left with influence only. The amount of influence you will have on them as adults is directly correlated to your ability to give increased independence through the stages.

Photo Credit: Shawn M. Smith via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Shawn M. Smith via Compfight cc

5) Every time the door slams when they are kids, you grumble. Every time the door slams when they are adults, returning home, your heart leaps for joy.

4) Staring at the dot on the “find my phone app” map doesn’t help the ache go away.  You’ve been telling yourself you need to know where he is in case of the Zombie Apocalypse, but face it, he will be the one saving you from Zombies. When did he get so big?

3) There really are times when the movies get it right. Those moments when you look across the room and see the little five year old instead of the twenty year old really happen. More and more often as they drift away into their own lives.

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2) If you did it right, she really doesn’t need you, anymore. And that is a good thing, no matter how it shreds your soul to know it.

1) You will always be “home.” No matter where you go or where you live, your heart will be the safe haven they come home to visit. Leave the door open. This is not the end.

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5 Best Reasons to NOT Take a Chance: Transparency on Steroids

“That is transparency on steroids!” My friend said when I told her the following story.

Viola! Blog inspiration!

I recently stuck my neck out to help a group of people. It seemed a harmless thing to do at the time. None of them held axes. None of them appeared to be serial killers. (Well there is that one woman with a fetish for blades. Hindsight.) It seemed a safe place to lay it out there.

I was so wrong.

It wasn’t what they said. It was what I heard.

Sometimes when we ask for honesty, we have no idea what we are saying. We really meant to say, “be honest about your positive feelings, but lie to me about what you don’t like.” Sure we all agree that growth comes from trusted critique. There are times when I am stalwart, steady, rock solid, ready to handle criticism. I relish adventure, jumping out on a limb, doing that thing that scares me. My friends call me XenLa, Warrior Writer. I am pretty fearless. *sniff, yeah.

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Photo Credit: Pete Labrozzi via Compfight cc

But sometimes it is necessary to circle the wagons. Pull back and let the steam roll of opinion and internet honesty —it really is the most brutal kind— pass you by. Refrain from those death defying choices and life changing decisions. Refuse to make a permanent decision in a temporary mindset.

These are the times I’ve identified as moments when it is necessary to put “Shields up Captain?” Don’t take chances when you are in these predicaments. Stay in the Neutral Zone.

1. Within  a year of severe loss.

If you’ve had a recent loss—yes, anything less than a year is considered recent—you need to be aware that your normal response to critique or rejection is going to be exaggerated. Your feelings of abandonment and loss simmer at the surface. The slightest scratch causes them to spew out. Surround yourself with safe friends, routine activities, and trusted advisers.

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Photo Credit: fallingwater123 via Compfight cc

2. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your life.

There may be a chance that you are experiencing a medical condition called depression. See your mental health provider for treatment. If you have 4 or more of the listed symptoms, now is not a good time to take chances. Get help, put your health ahead of any other issues or ambitions.

3. Surrounding a major life change.

Have you moved, had a change in relationship status, lost a loved one, job status change, empty nest, financial crisis? All of these are considered MAJOR. Be kind to yourself right now. Relax the standards that push you beyond your limits. Set up boundaries. Make sure the people and influences you let in are promoting well being. Reject any guilt associated with insisting on calmness and serenity. Now is the time to step back, be cared for instead of caring for others for a change. Give yourself room and time to heal so when you do come back, you will be even stronger for those around you.

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Photo Credit: Viewminder via Compfight cc

4. When you’ve just recovered from a major snafu.

Failure is great! It teaches you. It brings you closer to success. Experience truly is the best teacher. If you’ve recently taken a chance and feel you failed, first I applaud you. You stepped out there and did something brassy and bold. KUDOS! Second, take a moment. It’s not a matter of getting back up on the horse. Of course you are going to do that! It’s you after all, risk taker, dream maker, status quo shaker!  But take a breather. Make a list of the things you did right and a list of the things that could be improved upon. Analyze the ins and outs. Learn from the mistakes and start phase II planning. Now is not the time to leap into another iffy situation. Plan your work and work your plan.  The time will come for the next big leap of faith and you will be ready.

5. When everything inside you screams “STOP!”

I’m not talking about letting fear rule you. You know the difference between fear and common sense. When that voice deep inside of you says “Don’t do this!” Listen. Some call it common sense, instinct, a knowing, divinity, or intuition. Whatever you call it, don’t ignore it. It is wisdom and you have it. Use it. Often we let our egos, our ambitions, our inner need for approval override the voice of wisdom. Learn to trust that voice inside of you. Guess what, it’s on your side.

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Photo Credit: Iguanasan via Compfight cc

You know that little incident I told you about earlier? All five of these things were screaming at me. I didn’t listen. Crash. Fail. Live and learn.

Learn from my mistakes. It’s so much easier than scraping yourself off the concrete slab of humiliation or fishing yourself out of the frozen river of OMG!

Cover Reveal—The Angel Of Elydria by A.R. Meyering

I’m happy to promote fellow BHC author, A. R. Meyering.

Blue Harvest Creative is pleased to present our cover design for The Angel of Elydria, the first book in the Dawn Mirror Chronicles by BHC author A.R. Meyering. The Dawn Mirror Chronicles is a series that has action, adventure, fantasy as well as elements of steampunk.

 

 

Angel_of_Elydria_AR_Meyering-(Larger-Figure)

Front cover for print and eBook

Available in trade paperback and eBook September 12, 2014

Blurb:

At the crossroads, where dreams become nightmares, lies the world of Elydria…

It’s not every day that a college student dies and is revived in a distant world far away from her small hometown in Oregon. But that’s exactly what happens to Penny Fairfax. Penny soon discovers her near death experience awakened an ability to manipulate the dreams of others, permitting her to unlock hidden secrets from the past and create vivid illusions.

Trapped in Elydria with her English professor, Penny must navigate a world of gas lamps and glittering façades on the verge of collapse in search of the way home. Haunted by a malicious specter wearing an iron funeral mask, she learns that her gift of life comes with a high cost. Now, Penny must escape its wicked intentions, solve the mystery that is unleashing havoc on Elydria, and return home without meeting death a second time.

Also look for the new role-playing game based on the Dawn Mirror Chronicles!

FreeMind Games is set to release an all-new tabletop RPG set in A. R. Meyering’s fantastical world of Elydria. Play as one of six races, master a variety of professions, and explore a world teeming with danger and adventure. Look for The Dawn Mirror Chronicles: Elydrian Legacy coming this autumn!

 

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Release Day, The Keepers Book Two of the Holding Kate Series

Immortal Portals is kicking off the launch day activities. This is a floating party so visit and comment at each site for a chance to win a book mark created by the campers of Heartwork Village.

Start here for an interview with the author.

Read Write Muse

And visit the publisher’s page:

 Heartwork Village . com

HwV Productions and Blue Harvest Creative are happy to bring the next installment of the Holding Kate Series, by LaDonna Cole.

The Keepers Book Two of the Holding Kate Series

The KeepersWhere fireflies bask in afterglow.
After three weeks of special ops training in a secret underground bunker, The Keepers team returns to Heartwork Village as a private task force. Their mission is to ferret out the saboteur tainting the quantum jump therapies.

Before someone else dies.

Corey, Kate, and Trip, joined by five others, are hurled into dangerous and fantastic jumps. Monsters, jackals, giants, and dragons threaten their lives as they maneuver through grief and loss, impossible choices, and heart-breaking revelations.

With a genius adversary manipulating their every move, and the team splitting apart, The Keepers must learn to control their growing disgust for one another and focus on identifying the enemy.

Endorsement:

[My husband] asked me what I was reading, and I asked why, and he said, “It’s all sigh, groan, gasp, grrrr, moan…”

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of book one, The Torn. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next book in the Holding Kate Series from the moment I read the last lines of The Torn. And now that I’ve read book two… O.M.Geeee. SQUEEEEEE! Yes. Yes, I did just go totally fan girl. This is a truly awesome read! So full of twists and turns that kept me guessing. Even when I thought I knew what was going to happen next, LaDonna Cole surprised me with another amazing twist. She certainly kept me on my toes from cover to cover! It’s rare for a sequel to live up to an amazing debut book, but not in this case. This is a fantastic sequel to book one! It was even better than The Torn, because I was already in love with the story and characters. A completely fulfilling read that left me hankering for book 3. I simply cannot wait to see more from this series. LaDonna Cole’s Holding Kate Series grabs you and refuses to let go. I want more, more, more! This is sure to be a hit with both young adults and their parents. Good clean writing that really takes you places in both imagination and heart. Get ready, the spheres are coming… again!

D.M. Kilgore www.dmkilgore.com