Positivity Monday- Respect Yourself

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Recently, as I was doing a live makeup tutorial on my Facebook wall, a man began commenting. He had said he believed the video was something that might pertain to him and it wasn’t. He was annoyed and I said that I would gladly talk about Saturday plans, as that was part of the title of my video but no one had commented back after I talked about mine. I didn’t really care that others hadn’t commented. Some of my videos are at a great time to chat and some aren’t. I was rushing and trying to get out the door myself. Then, the man suggested I talk about Pride and Prejudice. I assume he added me as a friend because he enjoyed my writing. I explained a few things about my upcoming release and then he wrote, “the women in Pride and Prejudice are materialistic and care more about makeup than they do the protagonist.”

I LOST IT.

As I confronted him, he (possibly) attempted backtracking with a “not really, sorry” reply. At first, I also apologized but a moment later I put together his previous comment about the video not being what he liked. THEN LEAVE. Trying to shame me into talking about whatever he wanted is a misogynists’ tactic. So, I laid into him some more and concluded it with I could be a reader, a writer, and be intelligent and also like makeup because I do it for me. Then I finished my tutorial and concluded the video.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been angrier in my life. I have had those sorts of remarks from other women, too. They seem to believe that if they enjoy reading they shouldn’t be interested in makeup. They insinuate that only the vain and shallow wear any or would bother to sell it and spend time applying it more than on rare occasions. I’ve never been angry at the that assumption because I know it also stems from fear. We don’t want to be seen as less for our interests.

Think about high school. Did you like the pretty, perfect girl? The one who always looked put together? I bet she had a lot of boyfriends too. Most girls either emulated the pretty one or were jealous of her. If you were like me, you eventually matured and saw your value in other things. You may have even told yourself, “Well, I’m not as pretty as her but I’m smarter.” You believed you had spent your time on more important things.

And slowly, with each year, you told yourself more and more that you could only be one or the other. The ideas became mutually exclusive. In the Romance genre, there is quite a trope of the overlooked bluestocking or librarian. The smart girl with glasses and her hair pulled back too tight. She shuns most people and doesn’t fit in. When she does speak she’s awkward and sarcastic. Unexpectedly, the hero sees her beauty underneath and, if the writer is worth her salt, eventually the heroine does as well. Along the way, either two things happen: either she utterly transforms herself to get the guy/because of the guy or the rest of the world never sees her beauty. This either empowers the heroine into claiming her uniqueness or her feelings of gratitude for him viewing her as beautiful when no one else does is the basis of her love for him.

The problem is, neither is about the heroine seeing her own beauty before a man enters the picture. Real confidence is being able to look in the mirror after you’ve had no sleep and knowing that you’re still beautiful inside and out. But if you want to take 15 minutes to slap on some foundation, concealer, and mascara, that’s great too! Some people are afraid to wear makeup–I was one of them! I was afraid that if I wore anything the world would think I was saying “I don’t like how I look.” That’s not what I’m saying and I’m no longer afraid of what the world thinks.

However, for the record, I bet you could apply makeup while reading a book (or maybe listening). I bet you could be a CEO and wear cosmetics. I bet you could be President or Prime Minister and wear it. And I think you can be an author and wear makeup too.

And I think you can be an author and wear makeup too.

Positivity Monday- Forgive Yourself

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Yeah…so…. my diet never started last week. But didn’t I say it was healthy living? So, last week I made a choice to drink more water and limit my caffeine. I also made sure I took my Vitamin D (aka found the bottle). And the other night I made spaghetti squash pizza crust with turkey pepperoni and part skim mozzarella cheese. So, steps in the right direction, yes? We’ll be trying again this week. I just never got to the store when I planned and had some kid things and my husband’s work, oh and being laid up with an injured ankle for 72 hours, got in the way. So, I’m going to forgive myself and try again. 🙂

Positivity Monday- Progress

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I’m supposed to be starting my healthy living program again today. My husband and I did really well with it last year up until October when we moved to my father-in-law’s and ran out of our easy to grab bars and well…excuses, excuses. We kept saying we were going to start again but then would wimp out for convenience reasons. Well, we are finally moved, unpacked, and the pantry is OVERFLOWING with our meal replacements. It’s time to start again and not look back this time! We were fortunate in the past with losing very quickly but it’s always worth remembering that slow progress is still progress. And this is helpful *just in case* I have any minor setbacks. Getting off routine for a few days is SOOOOO much better than 6 months because I demand perfection of myself. Slow progress wins!

What are some things you’ve had to slowly build at? Being an author is another example for me!

Positivity Monday- Turn the Page

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I can’t remember if I’ve posted this before, but if I have it’s worth repeating. I’m finally down in North Carolina! We’ll be heading back up for Easter and to do a final therapy appointment for my son but otherwise no more back and forth for any of us! It’s such a relief. That being said, I could just turn the page and try to carry on life as before but I know from experience that doesn’t go well with a move. I’ve got to start a new book.

Well, I don’t mean literally. I’m still working on Lord Darcy’s Bluestocking Bride and Kissed by a Lord. And Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Joy. And..and…and.

No, I mean figuratively. I’m looking forward to doing things differently than I had before. I’d like to cut eating out and cook more. I plan to spend more time outside. I want to actually get ready each day instead of just throwing my hair up in a bun and slapping on clothes. Simply having more space already feels life changing! What are things you’d like to do differently about life?

Positivity Monday- Half Way There

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I’m a huge believer in faking it until you make it. Bring an aura of calm and professionalism, and you’ll be more respected and reap greater results. I often feel like a duck. You might not see my legs working furiously under the water, but I promise you they are.

This weekend was a whirlwind for me. I had an author event at the Virginia Festival of the Book and got to hang out with so many lovely romance authors! The highlight for me was meeting Julia London, Margaret Locke, and Sue London!

I also packed some and helped move. My husband did SO much more work than me, but it’s been on my mind even if I couldn’t help physically.

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I also published The Earl’s Bluestocking Dream! I’m so proud to offer this story to non-JAFF readers as the story line should appeal to all Regency romance and historical fiction lovers- especially with the new changes! I can’t wait to have time to work on some others and finally feel energized to continue my current projects. Now, it’s just a matter of getting settled in the new house.

Now, it’s just a matter of getting settled in the new house. Unless things change, the plan is for the kids and me to stay here until April 7. I am going down today (Monday, Marcy 27) to help arrange furniture but then driving right back up. Fingers crossed we can make it to spring break without me losing my mind. Then there will be two weeks off where my son can adjust to the new house and area before school starts.

It sounds like a lot! And it is! But I believe I can do it so I know I’m half way there.

Positivity Monday- Walls

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I’m back from my unexpectedly long road trip! Last week, I was house hunting with my husband in North Carolina. He has officially started working down there Monday-Friday and we were on a mission to find a house ASAP. We drove down together so my mom and brother, who were having to coordinate watching the kids but share a vehicle, would have my van. The plan was I’d rent a car and pay for a one-way rental fee and return on Wednesday. Well, on Wednesday, I was informed since I had an out of state driver’s license I needed a major credit card and my debit card would not work! All turned out well. My mother and

All turned out well. My mother and brother were able to continue to watch my kids and we found a house that will be perfect for all of us! Now, my husband is gone again and I’m on solo parenting duty with the kids. Let me tell you, they’re angels for grandma but not for me!

Anyway, the point of this post. I’ve had issues finishing projects since about August of last year. I’m guessing living in limbo and having some health concerns has not helped it. (BTW, I DO intend on finishing Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Joy! I have completed another chapter and am working on another. At this point, I will finish writing it before posting the rest to avoid any more gaps.) An idea that DID stick and would not leave me alone was that I write to bring happiness to readers and want to reach more of them. As I read more and more Regency Romance and talked more and more about the universalness of Jane Austen, I realized that I really wanted to share my works with non-JAFF readers. So, I am editing my previously published stories and will be creating them into original works.

Bridgewater Brides will include at least three separate series within one universe. It kicks off with The Earl’s Bluestocking Dream (Lords and Bluestockings #1) which JAFF readers will know as A Sense of Obligation now with a new opening and ending and a few other changes throughout. The story is being posted on Wattpad and you can read it for free.

I’m a little terrified to go into the unknown with this. I worry I won’t be well-received since I am a JAFF writer, but then I remind myself I am only bound by the walls I create.

Positivity Monday-Things Could Go Right

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I’m preaching to myself today. We got word last week that my husband’s relocation To North Carolina is set for the middle of THIS month. It’s been a moving target but we had last been told June. We’ve been living with my father-in-law so I am dying for my own place again. However, I worry about all the things that could go wrong. What if Teddy doesn’t handle the move well. Should I stay up here with the kids until the school year is over? Is it more disruptive to change schools or have his father away for days/weeks on end? We went down to look at places and the funny thing about crashing with family for a few months is now I’ve got sticker shock. Do I really want to pay *that much* every month? What if something goes wrong and I’m too sick to write ever again?

But you know what? That sort of obsessive negative thinking is toxic. Kids move all the time and this move is for several years. Do some people have chronic illnesses? Yes, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be one. And it doesn’t mean it would be the end of the world if it did happen. Why is it we never ask ourselves to list all the great things that could happen? Why do we focus on the bad so much that it takes all joy out of our lives?

This move, I’m hoping to keep a positive frame of mind. Great things will happen because of this. This will be our home for a few years and I can’t wait to see how we all grow! I’ve already discussed with my husband that I’d like to tour some lighthouses while we’re in the state. I have several JAFF friends that live in the state that I’d love to meet or see again! I’m going to kiss fears goodbye!