Where I Stood A Year Ago

Happy Friday everyone. I am so excited to be busy prepping for our family trip this weekend; our son’s first camping trip. It’s going to be fun. As happy as I am about that, I was a little bummed this week. I received an email earlier this week from the Whistler Writer’s Festival talking about Laurence Hill headlining and also reminding that tickets go on sale August 10. This time last year I was counting down the days to the release of the weekend schedule, so I could snap up my tickets to the events as soon as possible. This year I am sadden to say that I won’t be able to attend the festival, but for one very good, very exciting reason… I will be having a baby!! I can’t imagine I will be able to go to the festival with a newborn attached to me. So that is my exciting, secret news I have been keeping from you, with the exception of my family and close friends who already know of course, but now my online writer friends know too. Yep, I’m pregnant and due October 10, 2015. Of course having a baby is a huge blessing and we couldn’t be more excited to add another member our family, but having a newborn means making small sacrifices for me. My writing being priority is definitely one of those sacrifices… unfortunately I fear my work will have to simmer on the back burner for a bit while I adjust to life with a newborn again and it also means that I won’t be able to attend the Whistler Writer’s Festival this year. However, I do have intentions to attend next year and can’t wait. I also have full intentions to continuing my blog while in full new mommy-hood again, but it could be a little sporadic in the beginning until our family settles into its amazing expansion.

So a year ago I stood so excited to embrace my first writer’s festival, ready to commit to learn and indulge in the full experience being inspired by other writers. This year I stand so excited to embrace my role again as a mother and the special connection and experience I will share with my next child. It is amazing the change in focus a year can bring, from personal growth to family growth. The difference a year makes!

So there you go! Hope you’ll stay with me on my continued journey.It’s sure to be fun and busy!! Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Til next time!

❤ Melissa

With All The Wrong Words

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have had a great week. Last week Wednesday was my birthday, so I definitely was spoiled with love and a nice family weekend away on Vancouver Island. So I can’t complain. I was actually so inspired by love that I have been working on a poem called Beacon this week. Working really hard, but not finding the right words to express the love in my heart. The poem is inspired by the love I have for my son. I wanted to write it to express how deeply I feel about him and how he changed my life the moment he came into it. The difficulty is explaining the feeling of love between a mother and her child in words; it seems almost impossible. The words I find on the screen are just underwhelming, so I think this will be a poem that will have to wait to see the light of day. I don’t want to post something that I am not completely happy and proud of, so I will spend a few more weeks perfecting it. I know when I give myself enough space and time and listen to the right inspirational music, the words will follow. I just need to get out of my head and just let the words fall on to the page.

I’ve been finding it difficult these days to get any words down on the page. I wouldn’t call it a case of writer’s block as much as a case of distractions. My mind is running one hundred miles per minute on a million other things, so it’s been rough trying to clear those thoughts to let my writing shine through. This happens to me all the time when daily life consumes me and takes over causing me to find many reasons not to be able to sit down at the computer and write. Given that I look at my writing as just as hobby, it is far too easy to say it takes lowest priority on my to-do list. I actually spent some time on Pinterest yesterday (yes Pinterest is a total time sucking vortex for me) looking for some inspirational writing quotes. I find reading words of wisdom really helps me accept that I am limited by myself only and that others feel the same way I do, but then they dust off themselves, dry their tears and begin to type again. One quote that I liked was, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Ernest Hemingway, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” So very true!

On that note, my son is requesting my attention now, so I must go. The day must go on. You have a wonderful weekend and hope you get to make magical memories with your family and friends. Cheers to searching for the right words! 

Until next time!

❤ Melissa

On A Tired Whim

Screenshot 2015-06-05 09.12.23Hi everyone, happy Friday! Hope all is well in your lives. This week I wanted to give you a warning; something I learned the hard way. Do not search Groupon on your IPAD, late at night after a long, tiring day. No good will come of it. You will end up feeling emotional and purchase something on a whim. Like me!

May 22, 2015, 10:19pm: I am alone in my bed. Hubby was away for the weekend; kiddo was sound asleep in his bedroom; my cats curled up on the floor. I had a few moments to myself to relax before I shut my eyes to fall asleep. My finger somehow found the Groupon icon on my IPAD, I’ll just look a few quick minutes, just to see. I tell myself. Suddenly there I am scrolling through “Top Deals For You”… let’s see how well you know me Groupon

“Spa Package, Massage, Facial, Manicure”.. sure that would be nice.

“Engraved Magnetic Bottle opener”… meh, no thanks.

“Oil Change”… yeah that reminds me I need to check my mileage tomorrow.

“Three Day Juice Cleanse”.. always on my “I gotta do that” list.

“Online Children’s Story Writing Certification”… okay you got my attention now *click*

$19 for a 18 module online writing course detailing how to write a children’s book. And I’m thinking aw, wouldn’t it be so nice for me to write a story for my son. A story he could cherish and one day pass down to his kids. He would love that. He loves to read; every night we read together. My heart is bursting with excitement now thinking about all the things he loves that I could create into a story… about construction machines, about our cats, about himself on a wild adventure, about trains… so many possibilities. None I had seriously considered before; it never occurred to me that I would want or could create a children’s book before. I didn’t know how to start. This Groupon could get me there. It would get me there. It would give me the tools to give an amazing and precious gift to my son.

Before I knew it, I had added it to my cart and was on my way to check out. Purchase! It was done and now this Groupon was mine, under “My Groupons” awaiting the chance to be redeemed. I didn’t regret it, but I was laughing about it the next morning when I woke up. Just another thing to add to my summer to-do list. Start and finish Children’s Book Writing Class. While I do always enjoy learning and make a point to take a class every other year or so, maybe this summer wasn’t the greatest idea to put more on my plate. But hey, I wouldn’t be me unless my plate was overflowing! 

So coming from someone who over-analyzes everything, who obsesses about every possibility before purchasing anything… if you’re looking for a way to spend some cash without much thought, do it on Groupon late at night. Ha, ha! You’ll end up with a cart full in no time.  So here’s to another adventure, another chance to learn something new and to do something for my son. I promise to keep you posted of my progress with the course and the end result! Thanks for stopping by. Hope it is as sunny whenever you are as it is here where I am. Enjoy your weekend!

❤ Melissa

Happy Birthday to sasloveswords.com

Happy-Birthday-balloons-vector-1Happy Friday everyone! And happy 1st birthday to my website!! Bring on the balloons, hang up the streamers, let’s celebrate! One year has flown by… I can’t believe it. I owe another huge thank you to all of you who were with me from the beginning and for everyone that joined along the way. Your support is immeasurable, truly. As with any new adventure, the first year had its ups and downs; sometimes to the point where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to continue, but when I saw people reading my words and responding with such encouragement it pushed me to not give up that easy. So who wants cake? Ha!

There are some things I learned along the way this year. First thing was I am more tech-savvy than I thought I was. Okay so a lot of credit has to go to WordPress for supporting my site and giving me a template to work with, but not everything was so straight forward. I still had to figure out how many tabs to create, sub-tabs, how load the information to those tabs. I am not web designer, so I basically just was flying by the seat of my pants and making it up as I go. Secondly I discovered a deeper understanding of myself through writing my posts each week. I understand more how my self-doubt and fear holds me back from my potential and when I get the courage up to push myself passed those boundaries wonderful things happen, like meeting complete strangers all over the world who I connect with. It’s amazing! I also learned that it’s really okay to take a little selfish time to myself, let the laundry pile up and the dirt sit on the floors a little longer, so I can have some time to do something I am so passionate about. I have written almost 40,000 words in my book, rediscovered a love of my poetry, revisited old short stories and fueled my love of the written word. I took a weekend by myself to go to a writer’s seminar which really inspired me and gave me more tools in my belt. I feel like I have come far, but still have far to go. The year ahead is not going to be an easy one to balance, for reasons I am not yet ready to tell the world, but I will persevere and do my best. I will keep my heart and mind open to new experiences, to find inspiration every where I can and to enjoy each day as it comes with the highs and the lows.

I hope you will bare with me and stick around to see where the next year will lead. I will continue to post my poetry, book reviews and random writing thoughts and adventures. I will stay consist as much as I possibly can.

Thank you all for reading; thank you for sharing; thank you for being there; thank you for your encouragement.

Happy, happy birthday to my blog!! Cheers!!!

❤ Melissa

Unsuccessful: Finding The Silver Lining

Happy Saturday everyone. Hope you had a good week. Sorry for posting a day late, but my mind has been elsewhere these past few weeks. I’ve been fighting a nasty cold since last week which certainly hasn’t been easy with my son being sick too.  Cold season sucks!!! I am so ready for it to be springtime and ready to embrace the warmer weather.

Anyways a few weeks ago I don’t know if you remember me talking about how I submitted  one of my short stories to a contest. It was the Writer’s Digest Short, Short Story contest that I submitted to and a couple of weeks ago I got an email with an update on the judging. My heart was racing with excitement and fear as I clicked on the email to read. Over 6500 entries were submitted to this contest and the email went on to say the editors had already been in contact with all the winners previously. Wait, what? Already made contact? Oh no, what if I missed an email… I searched my junk mail… nothing. Searched my inbox… nothing. No email from any editor about the contest. I didn’t win a place in the top. Ouch! The disappointment I felt lasted a few moments before I reminded myself that I love my short story; I am proud of my short story. I took a chance but 6500 short stories is a lot of competition and obviously the judges were looking for something different from what my story had to offer. That’s okay! At the end of the day, I don’t need to win a contest to validate that what I wrote has touched many people who have read it. The fact alone that I could affect and touch one person reading it is enough validation alone. Included in the contest entry cost was access to a free webinar about self publishing which has given me more information, some inspiration and food for thought, so I certainly didn’t walk away from this  a loser. I am a winner because I took a chance.

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill

So off I go with my knowledge and another contest under my belt. Off to the next writing experience. I hope you all have a great rest of the weekend. Until next time! Thanks again for stopping by.

❤ Melissa

Could It Be Too Good To Be True?

Hello again everyone. Happy Friday! I’m back this week with a question that has been weighing on my mind for months now. Could it be too good to be true? I have been trying to find another way to make some extra income with my writing. Creating a masterpiece novel is quite time-consuming and difficult to reap financial rewards in a short-term period, so I have been wracking my brain trying to find another way to continue to write and get paid. Win, win! I stumbled across an ad in the Writer’s Digest magazine for AWAI’s Accelerated Six-Figure Copywriting Course. I checked out their website and read all their promises for a six figure career working part-time from home: your own hours, your own home, lots of money. The course they offer is risk-free and they state they will refund your money if you decide that this course just isn’t for you after all. At first I bought in hook, line and sinker, thinking yes, this is what I have been looking for. I didn’t need to make a six-figure income, just a comfortable one that I could do on my own schedule, but the more I thought about it, the more I started to doubt it. Could it be too good to be true? Could I really succeed in this industry? I’m not saying anything negative about AWAI or their course because I am sure it is an excellent resource, but I am not sure how I would succeed with it. Could I create good marketing material that companies would want? How competitive is the industry in my area? Would it be something I enjoy or just a way to make money?

Every couple of years I like to take a course to learn something new. The last one I took was a Freelance Writing course from ICS Canada which I absolutely loved and learned so much from. I loved the online setting and the fact I could take the course at my own pace from home. That course gave me the confidence to return to my writing with the hopes one day I could make a career from it.

I am still strongly considering taking a copywriting course, but I have a family now, so if I’m going to commit time and money to something I have to make sure that it is worth it. To my writer friends out there, have you had any experience with copywriting or know anyone who has? Did they take an online course? Do they enjoy it and find lots of work? I appreciate your feedback. The more info the better! My indecisiveness while weighing the pros and cons is exhausting.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m off to give my sick son some extra good mommy snuggle time to make him feel better. Snuggle time is my favorite time!

Thank you as always for reading.

See you next week!

❤ Melissa

Emotional Recklessness

QuoteHappy Friday! It’s a bittersweet Friday for me. I’m happy because it is the weekend, but I’m anxious because it’s Friday already. I feel like it was an hour ago that I was scrambling last week to get a post up and here I am again this week in full panic mode. This is no way to write, under all that pressure. It took me all of today obsessing about it and repeating in my mind… you have nothing to say… you have nothing to say… you’re going to skip this week… I know it… you’re going to fail yourself and post a big fat nothing.

I am emotionally reckless. I am tearing my writer self apart for not prioritizing my writing more. Even during the crazy rush of Christmas, I didn’t feel this far behind. The days are literally slipping through my fingers. My son Dylan was sick at the end of last week and the beginning of this week, so he was needy. He only wanted Mommy snuggles at bedtime which is usually when Dad takes over and I can get a few moments to myself. I have been working hard on trying to get a family trip to Kelowna organized and booked. That is not an easy task with nine of us involved. My house is a train wreck, almost to the point where I was considering moving to save myself the hours and hours of cleaning it. That took up a huge chunk of my day yesterday and will again today. I looked into it… it was too expensive to move, so I had to clean. I have to do a bunch of planning still for Dylan’s party including some baking this weekend. The only break I got so far this week was a couple of hours to write my book. Although I was trying to come up with every distraction I could before I convinced myself to sit down and write. But I did. Slowly and steadily the word count is growing. 36,272 words written!

Even my office job is so busy at the moment that it can get overwhelming at times. The only time at work when I feel like I can get a moment to breathe is when I spend my hour lunch break in the gym. Thank God for that quiet alone time to myself. Our gym is the size of a closet but it is functional and ninety-nine percent of the time I am alone.

All of this is making me feel edgy and anxious. Especially writing my weekly blog. It is probably just a phase I am going through, but I feel like I have lost direction and focus here. I am not sure what my message is. I want to share my poems and book reviews. The blogs in between are just my random thoughts relating to life and writing. Is that enough to sustain me? Am I talking about things people want to read about? Am I saying something people can relate to? Oh those self-doubt demons are lurking around me. They are wanting me to make excuses and give up. It is easier to run and hide then stay and fight. I am emotional reckless:, tired, scared, anxious, happy, frustrated, overwhelmed, hopeful.

I am going to end this week on hopeful. I am hopeful above all the rest. Hopeful in my heart I know the direction I am taking my writing. Hopeful I am capable of maintaining balance. Hopeful I can continue to forgive myself when I don’t. Hopeful I remember I am human and am I doing the best I can at each moment of my life.


❤ Melissa

Three Weeks Into 2015 – Am I On Track?

Hi everyone, happy Friday once again! Hope you all had a good week. I am busy juggling my many balls in the air these days. I re-read my first blog of the year and reminded myself of my focuses. I am three weeks into the New Year already and I’m pretty much on track. Well not on everything, but one thing at a time. For the first time since I was in high school, I entered my work into a writing contest. I entered a short story contest and was really pumped about it. I should hear by the end of February if I won anything, but that would just be the icing on the cake. I was just proud that I built up the courage to submit my short story in the first place. I will be sure to keep you posted when and if I hear anything. I also managed to write another five hundred words in my book. Although it’s not a lot for three weeks of time, I remind myself there are only twenty-four hours in a day and I probably should sleep for at least seven of them… so my time is limited. Even though I may not actually be writing words down in Word, the story is very much alive in my mind and I am always thinking about scenarios to write and the direction of the characters. That has to count towards it too. Every day at least once I think about my story.

Keeping up with my blog once a week takes quite a bit of my free time too because I have to think about what to write about, write it, edit it and post it somewhere between Thursday morning and Friday morning. That is tight space considering I spend the whole day with my little man who is also trying to get and hold my attention. This week actually I was almost certain I wasn’t going to get this up… but here it is. My New Year Focus is still holding. Yay me! Self high-five. My family focus is well on track too. My son’s second birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and that is certainly occupying a lot of space in my mind. I am thinking of special things we can do together on his actual birthday and I am planning a party for him the following Saturday. I said I wasn’t going to go overboard… but I was just fooling myself. I believe this will be controlled overboard though. I think. No I’m pretty sure. I will plan two activities for the kids and have got most of his decorations already, so check on the list.

AND – somewhere in between all this stuff I am still finding time to read my newest book from ‘Blogging For Books’. The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith- book review to come. This time I think I’ll actually finish the book too. Ha! The emotional turmoil of the family reeling from the loss of their husband/father has sucked me in. Stay tuned for that.

TGIF! Have yourself a very happy weekend.

❤ Melissa

2015! Out With The Old, Focus On The New

amazing-hope-quotes-sayings-pictures-5-24e753a7Happy New Year!! 2015: the bright, new, un-corrupted, full of promise. Everything is still yet to be this year and once again I am filled with hope. The beginning of a new year always makes me reflective, as I’m sure it does many, but more so it fills me with hope. Hope this year will be the best one yet. I am not really one to set New Years resolutions because more often than not people set unreasonable expectations of themselves and when they don’t succeed at them within the first couple weeks, they give up. Change requires devotion and hard work. Instead of setting resolutions, I set focus for the year. I do a little soul-searching and review the good and the bad of my year prior taking into consideration what I’d really like to achieve in the next year. Some times I set a main focus and then a few minor focuses. I’ve been spending the last few days reviewing my choices for focus this year. Of course continuing my writing is one on the list. I definitely want to finish writing my novel this year. It’s super important to me to complete it. It’s also important to continue my blog, but I also feel like I need to focus more on promoting myself. I was content in 2014 just to write and post, but keep myself some what in the shadows of writing still. I really wasn’t quite ready to shout from the rooftops, “Hey World, here’s my blog…. read it!” I’ve been playing it way too cautious and doing a disservice to myself; I feel like I do have a message to share with the world and my words have a positive impact on those who read them, so I should really try harder to put myself out there more often. Write Novel and Promote blog: focus number one and two.

My younger brother is getting married in May, which I am super excited about, so the wedding will definitely be a main focus, which naturally leads me to family. I want to spend more time sharing memories with our families. Busy and conflicting schedules makes it a challenge, but one I need to focus more on. I am certainly looking forward to being a bridesmaid and helping plan all the fun wedding related events. Family: Focus Three

Volunteer work is another task that has been on my mind lately. I feel like I haven’t given back enough to my community. Working part-time and being a Mom limits my time quite a bit, so I couldn’t commit myself to a part-time volunteer position, but there are lots of one day community events that go on all throughout the year that I really want to take part in. One of them I found last year was an environment clean up event where you can sign up to go clean up garbage down by the river near our house. Helping clean up our world and keep it a beautiful place for our next generations is one of the most important things to me and I want to instill those environmentally conscious beliefs in my son as well. A river clean up day is something we both can do together to help make a difference. Volunteer work: Focus Four.

2014 was rocky at times for my family and we lost great people. I am looking forward to starting 2015 with a fresh and positive attitude. I will try hard every day to be humble and thankful for every breath of this life. I will focus on the good and the great and leave all the negative and bad behind in 2014. I wish all of you reading the best love and laughter 2015 has to offer. I hope you conquer your dreams and your fears. I hope many wonderful things will come to you and your families. I look forward to taking each day, one at a time with the bravest of smiles on my face and the brightest of light and love filling my heart. 

To my amazing family and friends near and far, happiest new year! I love you all.

2015 here I come!

❤ Melissa

My Top Three Tips for Surviving the Christmas Season

SurvivalGuideHappy last Friday before Christmas! If you’re reading this, I’ll congratulate you for being so prepared that you have spare time to read my little blog post. Thank you! And if you’re using to procrastinate on your last Christmas preparations, sorry but thank you anyway! To those of you who celebrate Christmas, you know how much work and stress it can be. The build up to the actual day can be exhausting and I thought I would share my top three tips for surviving this Christmas season.

Tip One: Always have several bottles of wine on hand – it’s a guarantee that unexpected company will invite themselves over last-minute. You want to be a prepared host, so always be sure to have a bottle of wine ready for guests. More importantly, have a bottle of wine prepared for yourself. Consuming alcohol is the best way to calm the stressed nerves.

Tip Two: Keep an extra box of chocolates- chances are a neighbour or extended family member will drop by with an unexpected gift for you. No one likes to be empty-handed when someone comes with a gift. You could give them this box of extra chocolate, but I suggest keeping it for yourself. Chocolate goes great with red wine and the sugar rush will give you the final energy to wrap all those presents.

Tip Three : Borrow A Child- Though the world may feel like it’s closing in on you, though you may be tired, overworked, underpaid, stressed out… a child is happiness. They are pure and embody the essence of what Christmas should be about. Joy. So if you don’t own a child yourself, borrow one from a family member or friend. After I’ve had the worst day ever, I walk through the front door and my son smiles while running to greet me; the worst of the day melts away when I lay my eyes on him. Spend an hour in the world of a child and suddenly you’ll remember what life was like without a care in the world.

So… wine, chocolate and a child’s laughter and you can survive the last few days before Christmas. Really that’s pretty much how I survive every day in this crazy world. Now I just want to take this opportunity to tell you next week I am going to take a week off of blogging to spend more time with my family. I would like to wish each of you the happiest of holiday time. No matter where you are, who you are with, whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you love, laughter and peace. May the year 2015 be filled with the happiest moments with all your dreams, wishes and resolutions fulfilled. Thank you for sharing in the journey with me during 2014. I hope you’ll stick around next year to see where my writing path leads.


See you in 2015!!!

❤ Melissa