Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

     Have you ever looked around and felt like everyone has their life together but you?  Like they figured out some secret to the universe that makes life a breeze?  With minimum to no effort, they receive the very things you have been struggling and scraping for, but you, you still have to jump through flaming hoops, walk barefoot across burning coals and swim piranha infested waters just to get anywhere.  That’s how I’m feeling right now.

     I used to think I had my life all figured out and for the most part, I was happy or at least content in knowing that while I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be, I was at least on course.  If I could just make it through the rough patch, I would reach the clearing and everything would be daffodils and sunshine.  But instead, the rough patch seems to be growing rougher with each passing day and as I get older, the self assurance that I used to possess is slowly vanishing, causing me to feel lost.  My rational mind is still telling me that this is only temporary and will eventually pass.  But we human beings are anything but rational.  Add to that the fact that I am a female and you have a recipe for an emotional disaster.

     Knowing that my problems are trivial compared to what many others are going through should be enough to keep things in perspective, but it isn’t always.  Especially not when I deal with people waiving their good fortune in my face on a constant basis with little to no regard for my personal situation or my feelings.  That, coupled with how little they appreciate their good fortune, is enough to drive a person mad.  And have you ever noticed that the worst people tend to have it the easiest?  Sometimes, I wonder how I have managed to stay sane this long.  Other people have even asked me that question and the only answer I have is that I have always tried my hardest to look at the brighter side of things, searching for the silver lining no matter how thin or imperceptible it might be.  If something didn’t happen for me, then it just wasn’t my time.  If yet another obstacle was thrown in my way, it was because I had the fortitude to deal with it where others didn’t.  But there are only so many times you can look at the glass as being half full before you start noticing that it is half empty.

     For so long, I put the needs of others before my own.  As a parent, I tend to do this with my children quite often, not always understanding that sometimes the best thing for them is really for me to do what is best for me.  But I didn’t only do this with my children, I did it with anyone that I love because, that’s what love is, isn’t it?  When you truly love someone, you will move heaven and earth to make them happy, be it family, friends or a significant other.  Soon enough, I was buried under a sea of other people’s needs, left floundering around, trying to figure out which way is up.  And now, I don’t even know what I need.  All I know for certain is that whatever my needs are, they aren’t being met right now and the weight of that realization can be soul crushing at times. 

     I am thankful that I at least have my writing, although I don’t write nearly as much as I need to.  When the weight gets so heavy that I can barely breathe, I inhale as deeply as possible and exhale through my words.  Letting every emotion shape and color those words, so that they bleed out of me and onto the page, has to be the most liberating things I have ever felt.  Even now, as I write this blog, I feel slightly lighter than I did before I started.  So while I know my blogs have become less regular and more off topic, sometimes it just helps knowing that we are not the only ones going through certain things and the only way we can know this, is to share what we are feeling instead of swallowing it down and keeping it to ourselves.

For those of you that continue to read, thank you for your support, it means the world to me.

Photo credit: unknown (obtained from Writers Write)

     Have you ever been drawn to a book simply by its title?  What you name your book is just as important as the content you fill it with.  It is the first chance you have to attract a reader and give them an idea what your book is about.  In a blog, written by Amanda Patterson, she offers 8 tips to consider when naming your book.

1. It should suit your genre

2.  It must have something to do with the plot

3.  It should be easy to remember

4.  It should appeal to the reader on an emotional and an intellectual level

5.  It should be easy to pronounce

6.  Short names are better (3-5 words)

7.  Visual titles work best

8.  The title should also reveal a bit about the soul of the book

     Look for successful books within your genre and find a common thread.  Can you see your book fitting in among these?  A reader should be able to tell just from the title alone, what genre your book falls under.  The title should give the reader an idea of what they will be reading.  What is your book about?  If you could describe the plot of your book in five words or less, what would it be?  

The title should be something simple, yet it should stand out.  You want to be sure that the title of your book is distinct enough that it will be instantly recognizable, yet simple enough to stick in the mind of a reader so that they can recommend it to other readers.  It should evoke powerful emotions or be so thought provoking that it intrigues the reader so much that they feel compelled to read the book.

     You want to be sure to make the title easy to pronounce for your target audience.  If you are writing a children’s book, you wouldn’t want to use a sophisticated phrase that would be beyond their comprehension.  Keep it short, sweet and to the point.  Offer readers a glimpse of the soul of your novel, giving just enough to attract their attention, but not so much that they don’t feel like they need to read the book.

     We spend so much time writing the stories and painstakingly editing in an effort to get everything just right.  All of that hard work is for naught if the same care is not taken when choosing a title.  Think of naming your novel as naming your child, because in essence, that’s what our novels are to us.