Adventures in Book Touring

Sage Adderley

 

When my very good friend, Sage, packed up and moved to the exact opposite corner of the country, I thought she had lost her mind. I was also a little jealous and a lot heartbroken. I love my Sage, and haven’t laid eyes on her face in person in something like three years now. Since she moved, though, Sage has taken on the world with all kinds of fierceness and, today, she’s going to share with us how she wound up going on a book tour. You can catch Sage over at Sweet Candy Distro and Press, or on Sage’s Blog Tours!

 

Invoking Nonna Sage Adderley

In 2012, I wrote a book called Invoking Nonna during NaNoWriMo. This young adult

story quickly came alive through every click of the keyboard. I knew right away this

story was too large for one book. I wanted to write a trilogy.

After months of edits and rewrites, the next step was to publish the story. I was

thrilled, yet this self-doubt crept up. I became frightened by the idea of putting my

work out into the world to be read and probably dissected by readers. I wondered

if I was doing the right thing. Self-doubt is such a bummer, but very real and

something many people deal with often. I sucked it up and thought about my

children and what a great example I would be setting by writing and printing a book.

While I impatiently waited for my book to be printed, I began planning a book tour

with my friend and fellow author, Taryn Hipp. We decided she would fly from her

home in South Jersey and come to Olympia, Washington (my home) and embark on

a weeklong Pacific Northwest tour.

 

 

I took out a map and began placing gold star stickers next to all the cities we wanted

to visit. All professionals do this, right? Then, we began making a list of libraries,

independent bookstores, collectives, and coffee shops to contact. Before we knew

it, we had a confirmed tour schedule with the following cities: Portland, Olympia,

Tacoma, Seattle, Bellingham, and Vancouver BC.

After picking my books up from the printer, I cried. It was emotional to see my name

and face on a perfectly bound paperback with covers protecting pages of a story

that I created. I packed pre-orders and mailed them off – excited and scared at what

readers would think of my paranormal tale.

Fast forward to tour time. When we were preparing to read at our first stop in

Portland, I laughed that it was so easy to make adventurous plans while sitting

behind a computer screen, but it’s an entirely different situation in person.

I stood watching people file in through the door and sit down waiting for our

performance. I could feel my heart pumping faster than normal and my palms got

sweaty. What if read too fast? What if no one laughed when I read the funny parts?

Many thoughts ran through my head as I waited my turn to read. I stood up and did

my best to make eye contact with the audience while I briefly described the story

behind Invoking Nonna. And then, I read one chapter from my book without any

mishaps. The crowd clapped for me, and I realized that I survived all the irrational

things that I feared would happen.

Sage Adderley

The next stop was a lot easier for me to read. I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I was

during the fist stop. I thought that I had this touring thing under control until we

stopped in Seattle. I knew I was in trouble when we walked in through the doors of

the coffee shop and the place was packed.

My nerves jumped back on the roller coaster and went for a ride – up and down

and back around. There reached a point where I didn’t think I could read. I was

absolutely terrified. First, it was the largest crowd I’d ever read in front of – with

close to fifty people in attendance. Second, there was a microphone! Yes, that

microphone was quite intimidating.

One of the local authors looked at me and said that all I had to do was walk to the

microphone and start reading. I sat for a moment and thought about that. If I didn’t

read, I knew I would be very disappointed in myself. I mean this was my book tour. I

had to read!

I was the last author to read that night. I smiled, walked up to the microphone, made

eye contact with the crowd and realized they were just people. Humans that had

aspirations and fears just like I did. They weren’t going to throw tomatoes or laugh

at me. So, I read and once again, I survived.

Why did I tell you all this? Because I want you to take risks and get scared. I want

you to leave your comfort zone and try something new. I don’t want you to give up

on your goals or dreams. They’re waiting on you.

 

Going on tour was one of the greatest gifts I have ever given myself. I learned a lot

about how I work in unknown territories, and I feel like I have grown tremendously

as a creative person. My tour experience reinstated my belief that nothing good in

life comes easily, so pull on your boots and get to work.

8 Steps to Make Any Dream Happen

Today, we have the oh-so-inspiring Andrea Belarruti from Oh Happy Life! here to guest post. I met Andrea, like many of my other friends and guest posters, through the Wild Sisterhood - she easy makes the top five reasons I’m thrilled I joined! Now, lets see what she has to say about making dreams happen (and, if I were you, I’d take her advice!):

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I saw the Academy Awards last Sunday. Being a Mexican I gotta say I felt pretty proud of Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki and Gravity. When I saw Cuarón standing there, holding that Oscar for best director all nervous and excited I thought: “Now, here’s a guy who dreamt big and made it happen.” I felt inspired and it made me think a lot about what it really takes to make your dreams come true. I thought about it for a while, and thought about my own journey towards achieving my goals. I came up with a list of steps to make any dream happen.

 

Step 1:  Dare to dream wild

Allow yourself to dream the craziest, most unbelievable things. Give yourself permission to dream whatever you want, even if it seems impossible. Stop the guilt, the shame, and that little voice that tells you; “you’re crazy, that’s too much”. Don’t play small, don’t settle in for less. Own your desire. Dream big, everything starts with a dream.

 

Step 2: Have an action plan

It’s really important to get into that masculine energy of having a blueprint and an action plan.Take time to brainstorm little actionable steps that can get you closer to your dream. Take at least one of those steps everyday. Ask yourself; what can I do today to move closer to that dream? Try to make your steps as simple and doable as you can. Chuck things down. Your plan might change a thousand times as you move on and that’s ok, just keep improving it.

via.

Step 3: Be grateful and trust

Be grateful for what you already have and cultivate the feelings of fulfillment and abundance. Believe like never before. Ask the Universe to support you. Devote yourself to your vision and surrender it to the Divine. Trust that your Higher Self will guide you and tune into your intuition and that feminine energy of magnetizing, trusting, manifesting and receiving.

 

Step 4: Go beyond your limitations

The part that excited me the most about Cuarón’s speech is when he started speaking in Spanish to his mother. Being a person who’s blogging and building a business in a foreign language I felt a lot of empathy in that moment. When I had the vision for my business I could’ve stopped myself because of the language. Recently I started vlogging and it’s been quite a challenge for me because I was literally terrified about my accent and pronunciation being awkward (I don’t think they’re really thaaat terrible). Of course, the more I worried about that the more mistakes I made. I developed a “fuck it” attitude. Now, when I’m watching a video after shooting I say: “Fuck it! That sounded really weird but I’m doing this anyway”. And then: Upload Video. Publish. Share.

Do the work with the resources you have available, do it despite any limitation.

 

Step 5: Show up

90% of success is showing up. Cultivate your perseverance as much as you can. Do not quit, especially when you feel like it. If you really want this you have to be incredibly patient and resilient. Keep showing up no matter what, do it again and again and again.

 

Step 6: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it

When you dare to dream big it’s natural to find resistance. Some people will think you’re crazy, some people won’t even understand what you’re talking about. Don’t believe anyone that tells you you can’t do it. The funniest thing will be that when you get there they’ll be the first to say: “I always knew you’d make it.” Don’t let them bring you down but don’t waste your time confronting them either. Don’t go around trying to convince everyone that you’re dream is doable. It’s not their job to believe in you, that’s yours. React with compassion, maybe they’re just trying to protect you. Recognize the fear that lies behind their words. As the Course in Miracles says; “Fear is just a call to love”. When someone tells you you’re crazy, bless them but don’t listen.

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Step 7: Remember who you are

In Kundalin Yoga we use the mantra Sat Nam a lot. It means: “Truth identified” or “Truth is my identity”. It’s a reminder of who we truly are; divine beings living a human experience. There is no real separation between you and God, the Source, or however you want to call it. Any spiritual path says basically the same thing; God dwells within you. Remember those words. Remember your incredible capacity to co create your own reality. Limitless power lies within you, but don’t forget it doesn’t belong to you. It’s not from you but it’s in you. Knowing that gives you an incredible amount of faith and empowerment, and you’ll need those two if you want to make shit happen.

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Let’s believe in the unbelievable and then, let’s make it a reality.

 

“Faith is not blind, it’s visionary” – Marianne Williamson

Andrea Belarruti

Andrea Belarruti is a  mexican daydreamer, a kundalini yoga teacher and an expert in crazy, deep transformation. She dreams of a world where women are astoundingly joyful and incredibly free, and helps them achieve those amazing dreams via her inspirational blog over at Oh Happy Life!, as well as her one-on-one routine coaching.

Personal Power Boundaries with Jennifer Seitzer

A couple of weeks ago, I featured Jennifer Seitzer and her amazing Etsy shop on a Freedom Friday feature. Today, she and I have teamed up again to bring you a whole article on establishing personal power boundaries! As I mentioned before, this is a whole new world for me…but definitely a very interesting one! Let’s read and empower!

Jennifer Crystal Healer

 

Back in 1997 I began my own spiritual journey into self. For six years I worked

intensely with my then therapist and one thing I learned were boundaries. I never

heard of that term before nor did I know that I didn’t have any which makes sense

considering I never heard of that term prior to stepping into counseling.

Growing up I never learned what healthy boundaries were so I lived my life as a

walking doormat. Sacrificing myself, my energy and my time to all the wrong

people, friends, relationships, jobs, situations, etc. I poured myself into everything I

did to the detriment of my own self­worth which fed on my zero percent of

self­love I held for myself.

My relationships were all abusive and co­dependent and that included the toxic

friendships I found myself in. I couldn’t find the edges where I ended and others

began. I sometimes felt powerless, unsure of who I was in relationships, and also

unheard. I felt invisible, a victim and a martyr.

[Read more...]

Blog Design Tips and Tricks from a Designer

A couple of years ago, I fell madly in girl-crush with a blogger and graphic designer named Tabi D. We met through a blogging network or blog hop of some form, a million years ago, and became fast friends. The Vagabond Studio logo ^^ up there (and stamped on all my Etsy products)? Tabi read my mind and popped off with that. She’s awesome. And, today, she’s here to tell you quick and awesome ways to be awesome, too. SO, here’s Tabi!

Make Your Blog Look Fantastic

If you have a blog and you are a DIY-er, you’ve got to be a graphic designer, website builder and writer all wrapped up in one adorable creative package. I’ll be honest; I got into blogging when my brain started screaming for a creative outlet. I’m not a writer, which is in contrast to what most bloggers get into blogging for – writing.  I felt completely at peace creating my own blog and making it look fantastic… and the anxiety sets in for me when it comes to actually writing words on the page.

I’m here with a few tips for those of you at the other end of the spectrum, those of you who are blogging to spread your vast knowledge and maybe struggle a little with your graphics, your logo or the layout of the medium you choose to deliver your knowledge, your blog (Although many of these principles can absolutely be applied to a newsletter, postcard, etc.)

Eye Trail

Eye-Trail

 

When you look at a page, where does your eye get drawn to first? Then, where do you naturally look on from there? It should make sense, and lead your readers directly to your message.

In general, the first thing that the eye should be drawn to on a blog is your logo or your header. This is who you are. This should be top and center and in good contrast to stand out above the rest of the content on your page.

Now that your readers know who you are, what do you want them to check out next? Try to keep this principle in mind when creating your page and laying out your posts.

TIP: If you have an image next to text, make sure the person or object is facing towards the text and not away from it. A person or item facing a direction organically directs our eye to what they are facing.

About that Logo

 Logo design samples

Your logo is you, so make sure it’s awesome. When creating your logo, start with sketches, just free flow your ideas onto the paper straight from your brain to the paper. When you have a good idea of how you want it to look, digitize.

A few pointers:

  • DON’T use more than 2 fonts. (Unless you’re bohemian – which is A-okay in my book).

  • DO mix it up! Eclectic = Interesting

  • DO use complementary colors in your scheme. Keep the scheme consistent throughout your site. (I like these tools: http://colorschemedesigner.com, http://www.colourlovers.com)
    TIP: Once you pick your color scheme, write down the RGB Values and Hex Codes for easy reference!

  • A good way to connect your logo to the rest of the page design is to use the same logo font as your header font. Or maybe take an element out of the logo and repeat it as a custom bullet in your articles or graphic element to your images.

  • DON’T always follow the rules; they are made to be broken. So whatever ‘design rules’ you think you have to follow, just remember they don’t apply in every situation.

Sometimes letting a professional create your logo is the best option for you. In my opinion, logos aren’t something you want to feel ‘okay’ about – I want you to feel ‘ecstatic’ about your logo.

Your Photos

Photo editing sample

 

Those photos you post in your article just might make or break the readers’ decision to stay and read or to move on to the next pretty Internet thingy. Make them interesting.

I’ve found my best photos are snapped candidly. If something grabs your eye as gorgeous, thought provoking, ridiculously cute, or interesting – find your iPhone and take a picture! I have a small point and shoot digital camera I keep in my purse at all times for just this scenario.

TIP: Turn OFF the flash.

In my opinion, a little grainy and underexposed is a billion times nicer than overexposed, skin glowing glare from our crappy phone camera (and point and shoot) flashes. Of course, sometimes flashes are necessary, but 97% of my photos are taken sans-flash.

Got the perfect photo & want to make it more awesome? I don’t have to tell you there are tons of apps for that. My favorite filter app is VSCO Cam , also: Instagram. Maybe add a shape border, or insert a few photos into a collage. If you’ve never met PicMonkey, head over there and introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did – lots of fun things to jazz up those images, and… FREE!

I hope these tips help you out! I post morsels of design information on my blog from time to time. Stop by sometime!

                          Tabi Deneweth    Hey there! I’m Tabi and I am a freelance graphic designer. My backstory: I went to design school years ago & have been in the graphics industry since the turn of the century (year 2000). I have worked in a wide variety of the many spectrums in the industry, from the production end to marketing to art director-ing. I gave up my window office 6 years ago to start a family and am now back at it – on my own terms as a freelance designer. Need help with your graphics? Come check me out (http://tabideesigns.com) and drop me a line (tabi@tabideesigns.com)!

 

10 Ways to Love Yourself

Love Yourself First

Self-love has been something with which I have struggled for most of my life. Over Christmas, however, my friend Sage gave me a Self-Love Planner as a last-ditch attempt and saying ‘Hey Shai, you need to realize you kick ass and deserve to love all of who you are, not just the parts people approve of’. 

And the planner has worked wonders. As the good ol’ Lucille Ball said ‘Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line’, and oh, is life falling into line. (p.s. I offer this quote on a custom bracelet in my shop!)

So, today, I have rallied together some of my favorite bloggers, business owners, and entrepreneur divas to share self-love tips, because we all need to learn to love ourselves before we can truly love, appreciate, and fully enjoy life as a whole.

1. Get enough sleep - Lack of sleep causes a shorter attention span, temporary loss of short-term memory, an increase in mistakes, and even an increase in poor judgement. On top of that, you just feel like hell when you’re sleepy all the time. You’re going to have a harder time loving yourself if you’re scattered, constantly making little mistakes, and are exhausted.

For me, this is a big one – I average something like four hours of sleep a night. Yes, four. But in January I made the decision to take care of my body more and one of the things I do is stop and sleep when need be. Even if I have a project to finish, I will go to sleep and finish it in the morning, because I’m not going to put my whole effort into it if I’m exhausted. So, I stop, and tackle it again when I’m fully energized, which means I get it done in less time. Funny how that works, eh?

2. Have fun! – I’d pretty much forgotten how to do this one, too. My favorite form of having fun when I’m all alone? Dancing. Did you know that dancing releases the same endorphins that causes the ‘runners high’? Turn up some music, grab a hair brush, and sing and dance your way across your living room in your undies. Tiffany’s ‘I think we’re alone now’ is a good place to start with this one! Not one for dancing and singing? Marilyn Muir from Soft Thistle plays World of Warcraft for a little fun time! You can run, go out with the girls, chase the kids around the park…whatever makes you laugh and smile. 

3. On the flip side, give yourself time to relax.  Kathy Anne from Wildflower Kath says, ‘This winter, I’ve really “allowed” myself to sync with the season. Get quiet, take it slower, sort of hibernate between regular work. I’ve not really done this before. I haven’t been sick this winter either- which is a first.’ Personally, I’m kid-free every other weekend, and I make it a point to sleep in until around 9:30 or 10. Even then, there are no guarantees I’m getting out of bed – I often pull out my school books and read in bed in my skivvies until I decide it’s time for coffee.

4. Smile! Even if you’re not in a good mood, try to smile. Smile your way into a good mood. This doesn’t work for some people, but for others it works wonders. I wasn’t a believer until I spent a week trying this out and now it’s the first thing I do when I wake up to kids screaming over me at 5:50am because the toddler is sticking the preteen’s stickers to her television, or whatever other chaos with which they decide to alarm me out of bed. It is much easier to force myself out of a bad mood when I’m making a conscious effort, and that effort starts with smiling.

4. Make healthy choices! I know, I know…easier said than done. I have a bad habit of making the choice to do yoga, and not following through as I should. I’m up to four or five times a week, which is really good for me, and I’m now running 4-5 days a week to train for a 5K I’m doing with a group of friends. Exercise, eating healthy, and taking care of your body is important – if you’re not healthy, you won’t feel good and, like I said earlier, it’s hard to love yourself when you feel like crap. It’s also not good self-love to wear yourself out or not take care of your body.

5. Make a list of things about yourself that rock. Almost a decade ago, I found myself in an abuse recovery group, and this is something they had us do on a regular basis. While some may see it as something only people with big egos would do, it’s also important to realize that there are people out there who really struggle to find even just one or two things about themselves that they love. I was one of those people – I couldn’t name anything at which I would good or anything about myself that I or anyone I knew liked (or, so I thought). Make that list. I promise it helps. Do you make an amazing grilled cheese? Add it to the list. Can you tie a cherry stem with your tongue? Add that, too. Take negatives and turn them into positives, too, and then hang that list somewhere visible. Do this often!

6. Change your words, change your mindset - Negative self talk is a self-destructive habit that will make it near impossible to show yourself self-love. Try to focus on being self aware, and turning that negative self-talk into positive action. You are not stupid. You are not lazy – or if you are lazy, tell yourself that you’re not and then prove it. Everyone has different gifts, talents, and personality traits – focus on the positives ones that you have, and let those shine. If there’s something negative about you that you really just don’t like, work on fixing that! Personally, I used to tell myself ‘I am such a bitch’ and ‘My life is so full of drama’. Then, I started telling myself ‘I am not a bitch, and my life does not have any drama’ while, at the same time, deleting the drama from my life and trying really hard not to be a bitch. The latter one was a little harder than I expected.

7. Be You and OWN Yourself!  Jen Saunders, editor and creator of Wild Sister Magazine and the Wild Sisterhood, says ‘Most recently, I’ve been loving myself by not pressuring myself to fit into any sort of box, and letting myself be completely ME no matter where I am.’ And, that really is the best advice. I’ve made it a point over the past 6 or 7 months to really start owning and loving the things about me that I had a hard time with before. I always hated being from the south, but I found positive things about it and now find myself smiling and boldly stating ‘Georgia!’ when people ask where I’m from. I’m almost thirty and I still love pigtails and bubbles. I skip through city streets and can be a little obnoxious. I’m okay with that. You should be okay with your quirks, too, even if other people are not.

8. Ditch the Negative Nancy’s – It’s really hard to change your mindset and/or own yourself when you’re surrounded by people who won’t let you do so, even if they’re well-meaning. Late last summer, a chain of events happened that resulted in almost all of my ‘Negative Nancy’ types being eliminated from my life in a very short period of time. My views about myself, my life, and my abilities have completely changed since then.

9. Connect with others!  - Find yourself a loving, supportive, awesome group of friends with whom you can connect. After ditching my Negative Nancy’s, I dove head first into the Wild Sisterhood and found several incredible friends, to whom I talk almost daily. I reached out to people I knew in person and loved, and started making time for and plans with them. I’ve made it a point to notice who makes me feel good about myself (even when they’re disagreeing with me), and have brought them into my life on a higher level. Try meetup.com to find a group of people with whom you share interest, join the Wild Sisterhood, or simply reconnect with people you already know – either way, connect!

10. Go easy, start small, and forgive yourself. Did you promise yourself that you would eat better and are sitting here reading with a bag of chips in hand? Or, like me, are realizing you’ve been up for five hours and still haven’t had breakfast? Did you skip running yesterday and don’t have time for it today, either? Tis’ okay, Love, shit happens. Tomorrow is another day, and you can try again!

What tips do you have for self-love?