Archive | May, 2012

Thankful Thursday ~ Week 9

31 May

Being grateful reminds us to focus on what’s important. Today I am grateful for:

  • ImageCool spring mornings. I just got back from a wonderful walk. The temperature was in the low 60s and once I got walking, it didn’t even feel cool. As much as I claim I dislike our long winters, we have the greatest summers. Well, it’s not quite summer yet, but I’ll take a cool morning walk over a dripping humid walk any day.
  • My iPhone. Lest you think I’m worshiping Apple, I’m not. On my walk, I finished listening to Steve Jobs Biography. Yes, all 25 hours of it. It was fascinating. I am grateful that through his leadership Apple created innovative products that have shaped various industries (think music, for example) and changed the way we use technology. I hope this encourages the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs to think outside the box. I have a teenage son who is fascinated with technology. I hope he finds his passion. Then he can support his writer mom in her old age. 🙂
  • Writer friends. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love my writer friends. They cheer me on. They support my efforts. And they tell me when my synopsis has gone off the rails.

Have a great Thursday. What are you thankful for?

Cheers,

Alison Stone

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Motivational Monday ~ Memorial Day

28 May

Before you head out to the barbecue, make sure you take a moment to remember those who have died for our country. Yesterday, I read an editorial in the paper by Joe Myers, a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Military who served 2 tours of duty in Iraq. It’s worth sharing . It reads, in part:

I go to Arlington National Cemetery to listen. I hear the crackling of calm voices giving situation reports over the radio. I hear the terrifying explosions and the twisting of metal. I hear the laughter and the Soldier’s wry, irreverent humor. I hear the mother’s inconsolable cry. I can hear it all in Section 60, sometimes referred to these days as “the saddest acre in America.” Cradled within this soil are hundreds of American men and women who died in voluntary service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I stop first at the grave of Staff Sgt. Jonathan K. Dozier. We served together during my second tour in Iraq. He was one of the most respected noncommissioned officers in our squadron. He died in a flash in January 2008, with six others, in a house that was rigged to explode. Before he died, Dozier, 30, wrote to his father, “I am a loyal American soldier. I believe in things larger than myself and making sacrifices for the greater good.”

….

As I reflect on the lives of these three men, I am not filled with the sadness that is so often associated with Section 60. Sadness is reserved for lives not lived. Each of these men lived, and lived proudly, whether it was for 24, 30 or 76 years. I am reminded of a eulogy that cadets often passed around while I was at West Point. Before he was killed during the Vietnam War, Maj. John A. Hottell III wrote his own obituary and sent his wife a letter that included these points: “I loved the Army. … Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. … And yet, I deny that I died for anything —not my country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things. I lived for these things.”

Section 60 is not the saddest acre in America. No, to me it is the proudest acre.

You can read the entire editorial on Washington Post’s website. Thank you, Joe Myers, for your service.

Thinking about these brave men and women always makes me realize how fortunate I am. We are free to pursue our dreams. If that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.

As the final days of May fly by, I realize I may not make my goal of writing 20K words this month as part of #WriteMotivation. As of this morning, I have 10, 938 words (to be exact.) I could go on and on about all the things that have kept me away from my writing, but that may sound like a complaint. I am so fortunate to have so many other things in my life. They fill the writing well.

Today is a day for family. Tomorrow is a new day.

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Thankful Thursday ~ Week 8

24 May

Today I am thankful for:

  • Writing on the back patio. Enough said.
  • Butterflies. Today I volunteered in my daughter’s classroom. They headed outside to release the butterflies they watched morph from caterpillars. I loved seeing the kids watch in awe as the butterflies took flight. Educational and fun.
  • Writer friends. Today two friends have hosted me on their blogs:

Stop by and say “hi” on Rachel Kall’s Blog. I’m talking about my writing process and my August release, Too Close to Home. Thank you, Rachel!

I am also on The World of 7 Evil Dwarves. The title of the blog is worth a visit alone. They cleaned up the swamp for me. I’m talking about why I write and I share an e-mail that I’ve kept in my inbox for 3 years. Thanks to Jami Gray for setting me up!

What are you thankful for today?

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Motivational Monday ~ Deliberate Choices

21 May

This morning I grabbed Marcia Wieder’s Making Your Dreams Come True from my book shelf. After flipping through a few pages I found this quote:

Live your dream by making deliberate choices rather than just responding to whatever life throws your way.

What is it that you want to do? Get rid of your limiting beliefs and make concrete choices that move you closer to your goal. I know a lot of writers who love to talk about writing, but never write. They claim their children are too  young, their parents are too old, the laundry isn’t going to do itself, the evil day job gets in the way, they are too tired, they have to watch Glee… I think you get the idea. And I’ve been guilty of making some of the same excuses.

If you have a dream, make deliberate choices to move toward making it happen.

The month of May, I have been participating in #WriteMotivation. I have written 7800 words toward my 20K goal. Looks like I need to take my own advice. 🙂

Have you used excuses to not follow your dreams? What is your primary excuse?

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Thankful Thursday ~ Week 7

17 May

Today I am thankful for:

  • Morning walks. I love to walk in the morning, especially when the sun is out and the air is crisp. Recently, I found this really cool app for my iphone. Now I actually know how far I’m walking.
  • Dance rehearsals. This week has been night after night of dance rehearsals for the three dance recitals this weekend. All the dancers have done a wonderful job. These dancers are true athletes. It makes me wish I knew how to dance. Kudos to their wonderful teachers!
  • New super-sized recycling totes. My town has finally delivered recycling totes that match the size of our garbage totes. Brilliant. I hope all the people who never recycle start to use this new tote. No more excuses. 🙂

 

 

What are you thankful for?

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Monday Motivation ~ Week 2

14 May

Yesterday I was reading the Parade magazine that comes with the Sunday paper when I came across an interview with Charles Barkley.

Interviewer: You spend a lot of time meeting your fans.

Charles Barkley: It’s a privilege when people want to say hello to me. I’ve had an amazing life. I got paid to play basketball; now I’m getting paid to watch it. I should always be in a good mood!

His answer struck a cord with me. How many times have I complained about something I have to do instead of realizing what a blessing it is that I get to do it? I’m going to use that as my motivation this week.

I am participating in #WriteMotivation during the month of May. This week I wrote 2800 words making my monthly total 5244. I am shooting for 20,000 for the month.  Fellow #WriteMotivation writers, how are your goals going?

Cheers,

Alison Stone

Random Acts Available Now!

Buy Links: 

Amazon       B&N       Kobo       Sony       iTunes       Amazon/UK

Thankful Thursday ~ Week 6

10 May

Today I am thankful for:

  • My teenage son and weed wackers. My son discovered he enjoys power tools. I enjoy a well-kept yard. Score! I’d post a photo of him trimming around the trees, but I fear he’d never do yard work again. Don’t worry, he also wore safety glasses and jeans.
  • My DVR. I’ve been trying to cut back on my TV habits, but when I noticed Twitter comments about the season finale of Castle, I got curious. I checked my OnDemand listings and was happy to find Castle. And yes, the season finale was as good as my Twitter friends promised.
  • A clean house. I am so much more productive in other things when I have a clean house. It’s just a bummer that I have to clean it. 🙂

What are you thankful for?

Cheers,

Alison

Random Acts Available Now!

Buy Links: 

Amazon       B&N       Kobo       Sony       iTunes       Amazon/UK

Motivational Monday ~ Week 1

7 May

Morning everyone

During the month of May I am participating in #WriteMotivation. We are a bunch of writers cheering each other on as we write our way through the month of May. Our goals are listed on K.T. Hanna’s site. We check in with each other on Twitter under the hastag #WriteMotivation and we post our progress on our blogs each Monday. It’s the perfect time for me to set big goals. My debut novel, Random Acts, was released at the end of April and I have finished reading the ARC for Too Close to Home, my August release. So here’s to new projects!

My goal for the month of May:  add 20,000 words to my work in progress

Update as of Monday, May 7th:  2413 new words. (12% of my goal) I better kick it into gear.

I have also decided to start the week with a little motivation:

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” ~ Hugh Downs.

Have a great Monday!

Cheers,

Alison

P.S. I am on day 6 of my 10-day virtual book tour. Stop by and comment at any of the stops for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. If the winner is a Nook owner, I’d be happy to make it a Barnes & Noble gift card instead. Click here for all the up-t0-date stops.

Random Acts Available Now!

Buy Links: 

Amazon       B&N       Kobo       Sony       iTunes       Amazon/UK

Thankful Thursday ~ Week 5

3 May

Today I am thankful for:

  • A new laptop battery. Yes, sometimes it’s the little things. My previous battery didn’t hold a charge so I was tethered to an outlet. Today, I sat in the waiting room at the orthodontist’s office and knocked out a couple blog posts while my daughter got  some bonding done. Yay!
  • The smell of fresh cut grass. Right now I have the window open and I can– *deep breath*– smell spring.
  • Generous authors and reviewers. Right now I am  on a “Virtual Book Tour.” I appreciate the time and effort others have put into hosting me. Thank you for expanding my world.
I’d love to hear what you’re thankful for…leave me a comment.

Cheers!

Alison

ImageRandom Acts Available Now!

Buy Links: 

Amazon       B&N       Kobo       Sony       iTunes       Amazon/UK