Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weekend Wildcard - Downsizing

Pink Heart Society columnist Jenna Kernan is talking about downsizing and writing full time...

As I write this in my longtime home in New York State, I realize that when it posts I will have already moved to my new home in Florida.  I'm making some big changes, including leaving my day job to pursue writing full-time.  Other changes include downsizing my lifestyle.  This reduces the financial burden and will give me more freedom.  But the process!! 

The last year has included yard sales, trips to donate household goods to my local charities, donations to my church rummage sale, Craigslist posts and giving away possessions to family members.


As I divest myself of possessions, I find, instead of regret or sorrow, an unexpected feeling of joy and freedom that comes from not having so many things to look after, dust, wash and store.  My husband and I shredded paper for one solid week.  I still cannot believe how much paper I had in closets, cupboards, filing cabinets and my desk. 

The Before Desk...

During the entire process, I have been writing.  First in my office.  Then in my stripped down office, then in my staged for sale office, then in my empty office, and then on my desk in the dining room after the sale when this surface doubled as our dining room table and finally at my breakfast counter when my desk was disassembled for transport.

Bookshelf Culling

So bon voyage to me and mine. I'm beginning again in a new place... but one thing that will not changed is my love for telling stories and finding a time and place to write.

So have you ever downsized?  What are the vital things you need with you?  Join in the discussion in the comments! 

Jenna's latest book, Native Born is the final book in her popular Apache Protector series for Harlequin Intrigue, and is out now:

Heritage or Heartbreak? 

Apache tribal counsel member Clyne Cosen needs the FBI's protection. But having Agent Cassidy Walker as his personal bodyguard presents its own dangers. His involvement in the custody battle for Cassidy's adopted Apache daughter muddled the lines between personal and professional. Now he has feelings for a woman who was not native born. 

Cassidy will do her job at any cost. But being so close to Clyne means the FBI agent sees him as more than just the man who could take her daughter—he might also steal her heart. Duty. Desire. Which path will Cassidy take…or will a bullet make that decision for her?

Jenna Kernan writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue, Western Historical fiction and paranormal romance for the Nocturne line. A Publisher's Weekly Bestseller, winner of the Book Buyers' Best award and two-time RITA nominee, Jenna is moving to Florida from New York. Her popular APACHE PROTECTOR series from Harlequin Intrigue concludes with NATIVE BORN (#4) June 2015.  Next up...THE WARRIOR'S CAPTIVE BRIDE, a Western Historical, September 2016.

Jenna is forming a new review team.  If you are interested in getting free pre-release copies of Jenna's latest visit her website to apply to Jenna's Review Team.

For more details about Jenna Kernan's stories, visit her EXTRAS page, subscribe to her newsletter on her website, visit her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Little Something For The Weekend - Introverting at RWA16

Today on The Pink Heart Society, author Taryn Leigh Taylor discusses keeping sane in an extroverted world.

So I just got back from having an incredible time at RWA16 national conference in San Diego, California. The conference itself is go-go-go! There's always a meeting, a workshop, an event to be at, and by the end, you're euphorically exhausted. But as an introvert, it's also a LOT of stimuli for me. Here are some of the ways I cultivated some "me time" to keep myself sane during the conference. (Plus, I get to post some of my vacation pics! Win-win! For me at least.)

So without further ado, I present to you  An Introvert's Guide to Keeping Sane at RWA.

First tip: be alone! Shocking prescription, I know, but sometimes you just gotta get back to basics and find somewhere to be by yourself. And you get bonus points if it involves the beach!

Sun on my face and sand on my toes.

Next, a change of scenery can work wonders. I found having my meals away from the hotel really restorative (especially when they involved lobster rolls! Yum!) and it's always nice to have a different view for awhile.
I even met a new friend at this particular meal!

Cultivate your curiosity! As an introvert, I have a tendency to get stuck in never-ending thought loops, especially at a conference so jam-packed with information. The antidote? I made sure to go on a little adventure to stretch my mind and my legs. Luckily for me, my parents were married at the Hotel Del Coronado, so I grabbed a map, rented an electric bike (so fun!) and went exploring.

So cool to see where my parents got hitched...

Another tip: seek out things that you enjoy. I come from a land-locked province, so any time I can get out on the water, I find it incredibly restorative. And for the record, this works especially well when there's a handsome boat-hand manning the ferry. *dreamy sigh*

Ahoy there, matey!

And last but not least, have an escape hatch! I found that sneaking back up to my room to sit on the balcony was enough to clear my head and reset.

Helluva view. San Diego, you've got style.

So this time I'm going to keep my question nice and simple: are you an introvert or an extrovert? Let me know in the comments.

Taryn Leigh Taylor's first novel, KISS AND MAKEUP, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

If you'd like to learn more about Taryn or her novels, check out her website. If you'd like to connect, she can be found on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.