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Cheat Sheets

Good News!

I have finally realized a mini-goal of mine: I now write reviews for Harlequin romance novels via the website Harlequin Junkie (I will be creating a tab for you to see where else I am writing around the web soon!) I have completed my first two reviews and have been given EIGHT NEW BOOKS to review, not to mention the ones I have to finish up for Net Galley. In consequence, reading and reviewing have taken over my calendar…my still non-existent calendar that is supposed to track everything I have to do. Anyway…

I’ve developed a cute little cheat sheet to help me get my reviews done quickly and easily. My cheat Sheet has the book title, author, main characters, supporting characters, important physical details, first impressions, what’s keeping them apart, how they finally come together, and etc. so that I don’t have to try and find the basic information in the Kindle copy. I have found this invaluable in my reviewing. I’m thinking it might be even more valuable in my life.

Passing Tests with Cheat Sheets

In the story of my life, there are going to be obstacles in the way when I am trying to achieve goals or just be happy. I have seen most of them before, or at least know they are there. I know what things I will have to overcome for me and my ultimate dream to “be together.” I think that most people don’t write things like this down because they don’t want to be negative or visualize negative things, but I think that if I write down what needs to be overcome, it will get me thinking about a plan of attack, a way to get past those obstacles. In other words, I need a game plan.

In school, I had quite a few classes where we were allowed to make cheat sheets. A cheat sheet allowed you to compile the most important information in a condensed format so that you might be able to pass the test. A cheat sheet was easier than trying to search entire chapters for an answer to a specific question. The best thing about a cheat sheet was that you got to decide what went on it. You could put more information on it to help you out in the areas in which you were weaker.

Are You Sensing a Theme Here?

No matter which cheat sheet we are referring to, they both serve the same purpose: to quickly assess the information needed to answer the questions at hand.  As I looked at my cheat sheets for my reviews, I realized that I can anticipate what obstacles in my life will need to be overcome just as well as I could those of the characters in the books I read. If I can identify the things I need to overcome, I can also begin developing a cheat sheet with information on how to overcome that specific obstacle. So it’s time to start working on my first cheat sheet for life.

TO BE CONTINUED…

In Other News…

I’ve noticed a lot of things have been affecting those close to me. I’m seeing a lot of hurting in those around me. I haven’t been reaching out as much to people because I’ve been wrapped on in my own things, but I HAVE to make time to get back to that. There have been a few major trends going around in my circles lately: death, illness, financial hardships, divorce/marital issues, and unemployment. In an effort to be more mindful of this, I am going to pray a prayer at least once a day for other people, and I would love it if you joined me. I will be keeping my eyes open each day and look for those in my circle who need prayer so that I can pray for them specifically. If you want to join me, try and find at least five people to pray for and get to know specifics about what they need. Maybe what they need is something you can provide to them physically or emotionally, but even if it isn’t, offer up prayer for them.

Be blessed,

Erica

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Wrapping Up Month 5

Five days into the new month and I feel as if I’ve already accomplished more than last month. I say feel because I actually haven’t. In May, I spoke at the Authentic Self seminar, a major milestone. I set up my email, mailing list, and Facebook page for the site. I also posted my first two reviews for Net Galley books and bought the tickets to go home for my high school renion and family get together. I’ve done more in the month of May than I thought.

Originally, I was going to make my May word of the month “restart” because I was focusing on having to start the site over and re-doing the branding for the site. However, I know that doesn’t exactly fit all that I’ve done for the month of May. Since the goal of the year is to savor, I want to encapsulate all I’ve done while putting the most positive spin on it possible. As I’ve written out the month’s happenings one word jumped out at me: planting.

In the midst of the daily grind, it can be hard to recognize how much further along you are, especially when you’re obsessing over the fact you aren’t where you want to be yet. In the past month, I’ve done several things for which I will reap the benefits in the future. I have been planting. The evidence of the planting isn’t manifested yet. Work is going on underground. I need to be watering and perhaps weeding.

I’ve planted the seed of speaking engagements with the authentic self seminar. I was asked to participate in another program. I was asked back again. I did better than I thought I would speaking before an audience, even with all of the  technical mishaps at the beginning of the program.

I planted the seed of being a reviewer. I was rejected for a slew of books early in the month and immediately felt discouraged. However, I decided to go back on the site and request everything that caught my eye. I was approved for nearly all of the new requests. I’m developing my review criteria and I’ve posted two reviews already.

I’ve planted the seed of this site. I’ve managed to get the social media for the site set up and redefine the vision that I wanted for this space so that it’s more me. I may not have put all of my ideas into action in May, but I stopped to clarify where I was going. Here’s to hoping that the seeds that were  planted were planted in good soil and I will reap a harvest later on in life.

Sowing what I want to reap,

Erica

P.S. I will be going to my class reunion and visiting family the rest of this week. I will update as often as I can with pictures and impressions. It’s weird to go back to a place where I spent so much time after being away for so much time. It will be interesting to see what people are doing in life now, and I can’t wait to spend some time with all of my family again.

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Now Entering Phase One…

First of all, the happiest of birthdays to the most awesome mom ever. Happy birthday, mommy!

Now back to the lecture at hand…

I am now entering phase one of all of the things I can’t tell you about. However, I can tell you a few things I’ve accomplished. The first thing I’ve accomplished is finally getting a laptop to aid in to publishing and blogging domination. Yes, for the past four years of blogging, I’ve been writing from a desktop, tied down to one location. Now I am able to sit cross-legged on my futon watching The Mentalist Season 1 on DVD while updating the blog or working on the book. Yay for a new laptop!

I have also opened up an account of Net Galley and am going to be reviewing new and advance copies of books going forward. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. I hope to launch a book club in the future, so having the chance to see what books are coming out and know what books may suit my book club will be a great addition to my blogging. Besides, we all know how much I love to give my opinion.

The biggest thing that I can share is that I have booked my first speaking engagement that is in line with my website/book. I will be speaking to a small group of women at a seminar called Authentic Self on May 18th on the topic “Getting Serious About Who You Are in Christ: Go Godly Early.” I am supposed to speak for an hour to an hour and a half. I have been kicking around some ideas to address areas that Christian women in their 20s and 30s struggle with in their walk with Christ. If anyone has any ideas of areas I should address, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

There are a couple of other things in process that I can’t talk about yet, but they are really close to completion. I’m working really hard on the website and book to bring you all a more dynamic, community oriented experience. I’m trying to come up with things for the site that I thinks readers will appreciate, and I would love your feedback on what you would like to see as a reader of one of my blogs.

I’m feeling a little sick and very tired today, so I’m doing the meds and bed thing (one time for being able to type this in bed!). If anyone wants to come take care of me, I am accepting applications.

XOXO

Erica