Thursday, September 26, 2019

Think Positive and Live Happier

Think positive!

I am delighted to tell you that I was accepted into Chicken Soup for the Soul's latest compilation, Think Positive, Live Happy.  

These little books have been a source of inspiration, laughter, hope and amusement for over twenty five years. And to be included in one of them is a privilege.

But, here's the truth of the matter: It took me eight years of submitting stories just to get published with them. Chicken Soup publishes about a dozen books a year, and they accept roughly a hundred stories per book, so after doing the math, you'd think it wouldn't be a problem getting in!

But as with all publishing and writing, timing and the right story is everything.

I'm not saying I liked waiting eight years, but I'm a better writer because of it. It kept me pushing to write stronger. And thinking positively: believing one day they would accept my work, even if I didn't want to keep submitting to them anymore.
Pretty much how you'll look and feel
reading all the wonderful
stories.♥

Some writers may be published the first story they submit. And some writers have already been accepted by them ten times! Regardless, I'm truly thankful for my first story with them.

Interested in writing for them? Click here for their website → Chicken Soup for the Soul. You'll see the current books they're interested in publishing, stories they are looking for and how to go about submitting.

Interested in getting their latest book that I just happen to be in? → Amazon has it all.

Think positive, live happier, and anything can happen.

-HJS

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Blogging 101 │ 10 Years of Fun

This right here, Fernweh,
is why writers do what they do.
I went looking for a blog post I'd written years ago for a future article that I'm working on now.

And guess what? I went back to the beginning of all my blog posts and it looks like I've been blogging for ten years.

That sure went by fast.

August 6, 2009 ◄ was my first post and hey, I'm still here and still loving it.

While my random blogging is nothing special, I've got to say it's been a wonderful place to hone my writing skills.

And as a writer, it's a good idea to have a digital footprint that shows both a writing past and a potential writing future.

There are plenty of "real" bloggers who have tons of followers and loyal fans. They're super prolific and making six figures, and writing about their successes. And that's great.

But, this blog isn't that. I never wanted it to be that in the first place. Not to mention, it wasn't even a thing ten years ago.

So, what should blogging be about if you're not looking for that "social influencer" status?

Blogging should be about you. Your life, your lessons-learned, your special moments and pearls of wisdom. It's heart and soul. Yours! And if you want to blog, and need to write because your blood runs with words, then I'd highly recommend it.

My blog is a simple snapshot of my life of random family and literary moments. I suppose ten years of just that is a long time by any standard of success, so I'm happy with the way the last decade has gone.

I'd call it successful ... in my own little world.

And if you've gotten just a small bit of encouragement from it all, then I'd say I've done my work here. Mission definitely accomplished.

Thanks for following along and here's to the next ten years. ♥

-HJS

Monday, July 1, 2019

Seasons of Change

I tend to use this title a lot, Seasons of Change. I mean, I haven't scrolled back to look, but it fees like I either use this title every year in one of my blog posts, or want to use this title with each post I write. Either way, here it is again.

It's only July 1st, but I'm sitting at my computer trying to go back through the last four weeks, and they have been some of the most transitional "seasons of change," yet. This last May was by far the busiest May I can recall. There was virtually no down time for weeks ... and it's fine now. But for all you parents of soon-to-be Senior High School students, who work and run a house, best of luck.

You will lose your sanity. You will lose patience. And you will look back and wonder how you made it through.

Well, here's a glimpse of the last four weeks in my world.

For starters, I had a story of mine published and that was a great way to begin the summer. It's via Guideposts, the story is true, and I'm humbled to be a part of it.



Then my son, my sweet child of mine who is now a man, graduated high school. It doesn't seem possible, and yet as I reminisce over all the events, all the sports, all the driving to and picking up from school, it is possible. Very possible.

He was a summa cum laude student athlete, and I couldn't be more proud.

Then there's the cruise to Alaska! My whole extended family went on a cruise to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. It was beautiful, the weather was amazing, and it's an experience we will never forget.



I also learn whilst there that my son knows how to slam dunk. Random. But awesome.

So, we're getting into the swing of summer back home now, we're eating way too much ice cream, but I feel like this is a must. My oldest now has his first job, so it's as if he's moved on -- on from high school and into a job -- but I haven't. It's a tad frightening. And I'm glad I have another five years to raise my youngest son.

But, it feels a lot like being fired from a job that I liked and wanted to keep. It's very uncomfortable. And maybe even demoralizing.

And this is motherhood.

So, instead, I'm focusing on what I have:

 1. My son is still at home while he goes to college this fall. That's a big win. It's more time than most parents get to have. I'll take it.

2. My youngest son still needs me for now. Enough said.

3. My dog, my sweet, amazing pup, always needs me, now, today and right this second. She's my third child.

4. I get to do more for myself, like tending to my garden, and looking at beautiful flowers, and more writing and reading, and vintage shopping.

I picked up this sign the other day at my favorite thrift store. I thought I liked it mostly because I deal with antique and vintage clothing.


But this sign points into the master bedroom, and I wonder if it's in fact denoting the idea that I am actually the antique?

If so, that's alright. I'm feeling like an antique and living a very full life. And it really doesn't get better than this. Change is good, transitions are better. It grows us, gives us new things to do, and more people to love.

Have a blessed summer, everyone. And may your seasons of change be amazing.

-HJS