Cover Reveal & A Birthday!

I’m 30 today – and it’s pretty great. Mostly because I love round numbers. Because I’m a dork. Proudly.

I was going to write up some thoughts on entering another decade, but then I realised all I really want to do is celebrate by sharing the beautiful artwork I have for my next project.

I’ve mentioned The Invisible Entente before, but now it’s official. This 7-book urban fantasy series, which plays with mythology, fairy tales, and all kinds of trouble, will kick off NEXT MONTH with the prequel novella, followed by the first novel in September.

The covers are being done by the ever-so-magical Ravven, and I’m amazed by how well she’d bringing my characters to life. Covers like this beauty right here:

entente_promo

Want to know what the prequel is about? You can either read the blurb:

“If you’re reading this note, I’m already dead.  I find even more pleasure in the idea that one of you will soon join me.”

At the precise moment of warlock Jermaine Hershel’s death, seven strangers are transported into a magically sealed room with only a letter from the dead man to explain.

If they want to go home, the way out is simple: discover the murderer — and kill them.

Tensions rise as each stranger reveals their connection with Jermaine, but the puzzle isn’t so easy to solve. At least one of them is lying. In an unlikely alliance, they have to act quickly to unravel the mystery before the murderer acts first.

Or you can watch this trailer created by the team at Lovesick Android:

Want to know more about this series? Make sure you sign up for my newsletter for the most up-to-date information and exclusive content: http://eepurl.com/GIJkz

Paragraphs, Perogies, and Pinball

I just had a very difficult time coming up with a book-related word that starts with “P” for that striking example of alliteration, so I hope you appreciate it.

But it was worth it, because I’M DOING A LIVE IN-PERSON THING.

That’s right, on Sunday, June 26, 2016, you can come on down (up, over) to Ottawa, Ontario and find me at the House of TARG on the corner of Bank St and Sunnyside (1077 Bank St).

If you’re in Facebook, join the event page for the latest up-to-date info.

From 2:30 until people stop showing up (or I run out of books), I’ll be signing/selling paperback copies of both the Meratis and Cadis Trilogies ($20/book, $45/trilogy, $80/series).

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I’ll also have a few prints by Adam Tupper ($10/ea)

On top of that, there will be two draws for these beautiful creations by Punk in Pink and The Sewcial Kat

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OMG THAT’S NOT EVEN EVERYTHING!!!

My amazing and wonderful friends are going all out to make this as special as possible. There’s going to be a fresh-baked cake! There are going to be Andvell-based colouring pages! There’s even going to be a special cosplay reveal (that’s a complete surprise from me)!

AND – because I like sharing things – people who show up will be the first to get a cover teaser for my new novel, The Invisible Entente: A Prequel Novella due out August 2016

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If you’re not in the Ottawa area, but still want to see the cover before anyone else, I’ll be revealing it to my newsletter subscribers on July 1 (Canada’s birthday) and then a general reveal here on July 14 (my birthday). But, in my honest opinion, this cover is absolutely stunning, and you’re going to want to see it as soon as possible. Here’s a tease. If you’re not signed up yet, you should do it soon!

IEP teaser

BOOK Release: Into Elurien by Kate Sparkes

I was remiss in announcing this yesterday, and I feel kind of bad about that. Not because Kate is a great author and an amazing friend and there’s nothing I enjoy more than supporting my friends.

She’s great and all, but…this book.

Into Elurien grabbed me by the first scene and didn’t let go until – well, I don’t think it’s let go yet. This novella is a beautifully crafted tale about an awkward, rationally minded woman who winds up in a world of monsters and magic and a supporting cast that will steal your heart.

Hazel is a most awkward character, a quality that adds so much heart and realism to the story that you could easily imagine bumping into her (literally) on the street.

This is the kind of book that proves magic is real – you just need to turn to the first page.

If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, go and check it out right here, right now – and then leave a review, because authors love reviews. Thank me later.

KIEOut of plans and out of luck…

Hazel Walsh left her island home three years ago, determined never to return. But when a series of misfortunes leave her homeless and heartbroken, she has no option but to drag herself back to a place she fears will strangle her. On her way, she stops for the night at the Old Brook Inn. It’s a place of local myth and legend—things that Hazel hasn’t believed in since she was a child. When she finds a strange key in the attic and tries it in a locked door, she suddenly wishes she’d paid more attention to the fantasy stories she once scoffed at.

She’s thrown into a world in the midst of revolution, where monsters have overthrown the humans who once enslaved them. All of them, that is, except Verelle, the cruel sorceress queen who vanished at the moment of Hazel’s arrival. If Hazel wants to have any chance of surviving and making it back to her own world, she’ll have to join forces with the amalgus Zinian—horned, winged, mysterious, and monstrously attractive—to unravel the mystery of Verelle’s disappearance. If they can’t, the fates of two worlds may be at stake.

 

Do What You Love?

As I reach the mid-way point in my 12-month “Full-Time Author Test”, I thought I’d share some of my experiences and perspectives on the mission of “following my dreams”.

When I first stepped into the FT arena, I had a plan. I weighed out all the pros and cons, talked through every element that I should watch out for: money, isolation, mental health, etc. I waited until I was sure I had a solid foundation before I took the leap.

At the end of January, my plans fell through. There were delays in my latest book release, and that delay led to a drop in sales, and a delay in the release of my next book. Those delays and sales drops meant a hit to my finances, and in May, I was sure I’d have to cut my 12-month trial off early to go back to work.

Fortunately, my support team is the best I could have asked for. My fiance and I sat down and rearranged our budget to make sure I could take another six months without any more of a hit. We’re currently working on some really fun promo material for my next series to try to get some new eyes on it. We’re talking about beginning a new project – a podcast about two artists living together, following different streams of our craft, and the ups and downs of it all.

Even when the pitfalls loom, I’m so grateful I have people who will help me stay on a solid foundation.

I knew before I went to full-time that money would be tight. I chose to skip Ottawa Comic Con this year so I could afford the GORGEOUS covers for my new series (the cover reveal is coming July 1 to my newsletter subscribers!). My social life is in a bit of a lull, because I don’t have the easy-access cash to go out very often. Every coffee I buy is a debate of whether I should get out of the house for a while and spend the $1.89 on a Tim’s cappucino, or if I should stay home and make one for free.

And money isn’t the only challenge.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when I tell people I write full time is whether I have issue getting to work in the morning and if I get distracted by everything going on at home.

My problem actually lies on the reverse side, as my fiance can tell you. I’m a bit of a workaholic. I begin my day when he leaves for his dayjob at 6:30a.m., and there are many times I’ll continue working until dinner 12 hours later. In my case, my self-discipline has grown in knowing when to walk away at the end of the day. To leave my work in my office as best I can and appreciate the rest of the day outside of my books.

The work-life balance is harder to handle when they’re one and the same (as they’ve always been, because an artist can never really get out of her own head), so I practice this by going out for long walks most days of the week.

There have been days where it’s taken all of my energy to sit down at the computer and get to work because I feel I’m not making any progress in my business. FAILURE is a terrifying word, and even though my rational brain knows that there’s no such thing – because even if the details don’t go according to plan, I’m still going to be ahead of where I was at the beginning of the year with so much more experience under my belt – it’s still a prospect that makes taking the next big step scary. Being your own boss, trying to make a go of it in the arts in a city where the arts have a hard time taking hold, means a lot of uncertainty.

I’m not saying this to whine or seek sympathy – again, I KNEW this would be the case. I’m sharing it for those of you who are on the fence to make the same leap and take risks with your dreams.

It’s a big choice. It’s a scary choice. If I were on my own and didn’t have the support of my family, I don’t know how well I would be holding up.

On the other hand, I can say, without any doubt, that I have no regrets about making my choice. For the last six months, while I’ve still had to wake up to my fiance’s alarm, I have never dreaded getting out of bed in the morning. My to-do list is always full of tasks I look forward to tackling.

I may cry, I may stuff my face with cookies, I may even bury myself in books for hours in the evenings, but every day I get to wake up and do what I love – do what I’ve always dreamed of doing with my life – and the reward for that is priceless.

So should you take the risk and jump into your dreams with both feet? That’s up to you. Be sure you’re ready for it and you know what’s coming. But once you’re really really certain – take a good look at what’s holding you back.

Life is crazy, loud, and full of uncertainty anyway – why not lose yourself in something that makes you look forward to greeting each  day?

 

COVER REVEAL: Darkness Shifting by Sarah L. Blair

It’s time for another cover reveal!

This time around it’s a debuting author, one who’s been plugging away at her draft for years, spending so much time making each pass better than the last. I had the pleasure of reading a very early draft a few years back, and I can’t wait to see what the final picture looks like.

Please give a warm bookish welcome to the new urban fantasy novel in town:

DS_COVER_BlairDarkness Shifting is the first book in the Tides of Darkness Series.

Paranormal Investigator, Sidney Lake doesn’t jump at shadows. The weird stuff is her jurisdiction. When the mangled body of a supposedly extinct creature turns up in New York City’s subway system, she’s number one on the Medical Examiner’s speed dial.

But this case hits too close to home when clues point her toward the truth about her parents’ brutal murder twelve years ago. Her boss Mitchell Harris, questions whether she should continue to investigate. However, Sidney insists on facing her greatest fears and putting her parents’ memory to rest once and for all.

What she uncovers sheds a light on secrets that reach further into the darkness than she ever wanted to go… and leads her to a future she never imagined.

Want a bit of a tease? Read on for the excerpt:

A door at the back of the room next to the fireplace opened before Mitch could answer. The man who emerged wasn’t quite as tall as Mitch, but as soon as he stepped through the door, his presence seemed to expand to fill the enormous space.

Sidney didn’t need to be introduced. It was very clear who this man was.

At first glance, his shoulder length hair was jet black, but when he stepped into the light it picked up gold and orange tones from the fire and she saw that it was actually a very dark brown. It reminded her of pure chocolate falling in loose waves around his square face, ending in stark contrast with the edge of his pristine, white collar.

His eyes were the same dark liquid brown as his hair. She could tell the second she met his gaze that this man didn’t feel the need to impress anyone. His deep set eyes were soft, holding a hint of amusement, as if he didn’t have to think about what she might do or say because he already knew.

“I apologize for the wait. Mitchell, it’s good to see you again.” The voice that came out of his mouth was unexpected and familiar at the same time. It sounded British, but it was more rugged than the Queen’s English.

In all her years at boarding school in the UK, she hadn’t heard anything like it. It held lilting notes of Welsh, but there were gruff hints of a Highland brogue in there as well. She recalled hearing it at one point in the hospital, but she didn’t remember actually meeting him.

The men shook hands as if they’d been pals in grade school.

Sidney stayed behind Mitch, not wanting to draw attention to herself. She could see Dimitrius better up close and noticed that his nose had the smallest rise along the middle of the bridge; it hadn’t healed properly after a break. A slight cleft cut through his chin. He had a ragged scar at the edge of his hairline, and another one on the left side of his neck below his ear that disappeared under the back of his collar.

The top two buttons of his shirt had been left undone, as if he intended to draw her gaze downward. He wasn’t wearing an undershirt, so it was easy to see the outline of his well-toned chest and the tarnished silver pendant that rested right below the dip of his collarbone, tied to his neck with a narrow leather strap. It was some kind of old coin or a stamped crest.

Now that he was even closer, the scent evolved into something more distinct; Sidney picked out the smell of horses, sweat, blood, even the smoky flavor of fire and pitch.

Battle.

He smelled like a warrior.

“Ms. Lake, at last we meet.” That voice again, softer and gentler than what a battle-hardened warrior should sound like. She wanted to curl up and listen to him read page after page of Internet search results. “I’ve heard wonderful things about you.”

“I’m sure the chief was exaggerating.” It was like being sucked into a whirlpool and Mitch had suddenly become her safety net. Knowing he was right there with the line of his body pressed against hers made her feel more grounded.

“On the contrary…“Dimitrius gave her an unabashed head-to- toe assessment. He offered his hand. She didn’t want to take it, but she couldn’t be rude.

She returned the handshake much more firmly than she’d done with his assistant. It was the same grip she used to make Williams go weak in the knees and beg for mercy when she was mad at him. It had no effect whatsoever on Dimitrius. Instead, she felt what could only be described as electricity, an actual current running between them where their skin touched. His eyes narrowed, and she wondered if he felt it too.

“He hasn’t done you justice at all,” he said. “Dimitrius Arturus Roman, at your service.”

He leaned forward at the waist and raised her hand toward his mouth, keeping his eyes locked on hers. A whisper of something brushed across her fingers, like an invisible string wrapping around her hand, curling its way up her wrist. She felt his pulse in her palm, saw it throbbing at his neck millimeters from the edge of the scar. She wanted to lick her tongue over it to find out if he tasted as good as he smelled.

That last thought brought her back to herself. She jerked her hand away before he could touch his lips to her skin. It all happened in an instant. Dimitrius stood there, tilted forward holding nothing but air.

Enjoy more of Darkness Shifting available for purchase July 1.

**

SareyPic2(1)Sarah L. Blair earned a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While spending a semester abroad at Swansea University in Wales she traveled to nearby Bath and Glastonbury often, drawing inspiration for her writing from the myths and legends surrounding the area. Sarah now resides just north of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, their two children, and chihuahua. While writing is her first passion, she also enjoys sewing, tater tots, catching up on her teetering TBR pile, and hanging out on her porch drinking sweet tea.

You can find Sarah around the web on Twitter: @SarahLBlair, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sarahlblair, or visit her new website: http://www.sarahlblair.com

 

 

What’s next?

What is the title of your work in progress?

The Invisible Entente series

Book 1 – The Invisible Entente, a prequel novella

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to come up with some new content for my newsletter subscribers. I enjoy sending free short stories for my loyal readers. So I tried to come up with a new, exciting idea.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot of Agatha Christie novels and over the winter, BBC’s Poirot mysteries were my go-to to pass the cold, dark evenings. The more I watched and read and studied Christie’s style, the more I realized I wanted to stake a stab at writing a cozy mystery. Who doesn’t love the round-up at the end where the spunky detective accuses everyone in turn, building up the suspense until she denounces the real murderer?

But I’m a fantasy author, and I didn’t want to step too far outside my genre, so I brainstormed ways to merge the two – and the IE prequel was born.

Currently, this novella is available for free for my newsletter subscribers, but in another month, it will be removed from the subscription bundle and will be available to purchase via my usual ebook/paperback distributors.

From there, as it seems to happen, an entire series revealed itself. Each of the characters introduced in this round-table mystery is getting his or her own fantasy/mystery novel.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban fantasy with a cozy mystery twist

What is a one sentence synopsis for your book?

Prequel: Following the death of a mad scientist warlock, seven murder suspects are transported into a magically sealed room and only six can leave.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published – and I couldn’t be more excited about it. My team behind this series is strong, and the results will show it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The prequel took me a couple of weeks, but each novel takes me about a month. The rest of the work comes during edits and early outlining.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

One of the elements I’m most excited to play with in this series is taking familiar creatures/characters from mythology and twisting them into new forms. Among others are a descendant of Vidar, the Norse god of vengeance and silence; a Gorgon-fae, the descendant of Medusa; and a sorceress from the line of Morgan le Fay.

Each character has a unique voice, and a unique perspective on the humanity they both live in and apart from. Each story touches on a different aspect of “otherness” and what it means to stand on the outside looking in.

I’ve got some really fun ideas for promo and can’t wait to get started.

Expected kick-off date: August 2016

 

BLADELORE has arrived!

The final book of the Cadis Trilogy is now available for your reading pleasure across all distributors!

Bladelore-lores

War has come to Andvell. Enemy after enemy takes its place along the northern border, each one a terrifying result of dark magic and experimentation. In the face of the great army, Andvell’s resources are few.

As the enemy marches, unlikely hero Venn Connell must act or be lost in the flood — one final mission to end the war, no matter the cost.

Standing on the brink of devastation, Venn is forced to question her most deeply held beliefs and trust her friends to see her through the darkness.

Amazon   Kobo   iTunes   Nook 

Spread the word via social media, shout it from the rooftops, perform some interpretive dance on the streets – you might cross my path doing all the same things. I’m beyond excited.

To celebrate the wrap-up, I hosted an online launch party on the Book of Face, and the content that came out of the event blew me away with its creativity. My readers are the best.

Kate Sparkes, my wonderful author friend, brought along her bear, Walter, who took the leap into cosplay to show up to the party as Frey:

bear cosplay

 

I awarded him Best in Show

 

 

 

 

 

We had a haiku competition:

Andvell Haiku why?
Home of Venn and forests high
Why don’t Haiku rhyme

– Mike Lowden

Venn can be stubborn
But she adapts to the moment
Just don’t call her cute.

– Gypsy Dee Taonax

A kiss is stolen
Jayden’s heart is entranced
Volatile romance!

– Luvy Mann

And a few people went for limericks:

There once was a girl from Andvell
Manners and breeding she lacked well
But give her a sword, and let her get bored
I promise, this will not end well
– Kat Armstrong Nicholson

There were so many great ones that I’ll have to put up an entire post next. Also, as a first for me, I recorded a bit of a book reading. I hope you enjoy a first look at chapter one of Bladelore!

Dreamchasing: A touch of inspiration

On May 1, I have my first public talk of the year on the subject of inspiration and the importance of setbacks on the path to realising your dreams.

Read on for an abridged version of the talk

***

Stories are such an important part of our lives. They’ve been a part of human culture from as far back as we can track, and the tradition carries on in obvious ways today. We tell stories every single day, whether it’s telling our friend something that happened to us at the bank or sharing our plans for the weekend with our families. We read them to relax before bed; we watch them to escape from the daily grind.

But the truth is stories are more than something we share with each other, it’s what we are. Every single one of us has a story to tell, but also one to live.

My plan was to continue on the same theme I’ve touched on before – the importance letting inspiration guide you. Because what else drives us to get out of bed in the morning and slog through the rest of our responsibilities other than the energy that comes from chasing our dreams?

But, in the best laid plans, all of my intentions this time fell apart, and for the last month I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with a topic.

One of the reasons we chose May 1 as the date was because my book was supposed to be available by now, and I was to announce my book launch. So I’ve been in a rut. A delay came up with my current book that set me back a month and a half with a financial hit. That delay led to a cascade of other delays, and rushed deadlines, and extra work that’s had me buried under heaps of hair-tearing frustrations. Buried under all of that was the message I wanted to give for my talk.

Because how could I offer a talk on inspiration when I had so much trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? It’s not like anyone else here can relate to that feeling of being at a bottom of a pit and believing it’s impossible to dig your way out – right?

And obviously all of these frustrations and disappointments and sense of stagnation are permanent, and I’m never going to move forward and nothing is ever going to change – right?

The more I asked myself these questions – and realised how silly they were – the harder I searched for a topic. Along the way, I started thinking about how much is actually going well for me right now, and as I thought about all of these positive things, I came back to this idea of story, particularly the story of chasing your dreams, and how the plot is never as straightforward as it seems from the outset. Because that’s a hard truth about dreams and inspiration – the results are never as easy to reach as they might appear from the beginning.

At the beginning, everything seems rosy. The inspiration to achieve a certain dream comes to us when we’re not thinking about it – in meditation or while we’re doing something mindless like walking or washing the dishes. In that flash of epiphany, we get a glimpse of that ideal painting we want to create, or the business we want to start, or the novel we want to write.

The inspiration comes without any obstacles and appears as the finished project – the glory of what COULD and WILL be.

Only it’s never that easy as “see it and make it happen”, is it? Almost immediately we stumble on the roadblocks that hold us back. Money – skills – strategy – other people.

This is where a lot of people throw up their hands and walk away. When you can see the final result so clearly in your mind, the realization of how much effort needs to go into it to realise that final product can seem daunting. The steps can seem greater than anything you feel prepared to deliver.

But what if we look at these projects with an analogy.

What if birth is the inspiration and death is the final result? Do we really want to rush to reach that end? Snap our fingers and say “Well, that was fun. What’s next?” No, we want to draw it out. We want to experience things as they happen – so why is it so hard to do that with our dreams?

I believe one of the greatest reasons for frustrations and disappointments is that we tune out our inspiration and we listen to what people are saying. People, right? They always get in the way. Especially when we try to step outside of the expected norms of society to do our own thing, which is what we do every single day when we’re on the path of realising our dreams.

When I decided to leave my job behind and write full time for a year, many of my co-workers asked me – out of genuine and kind concern – if I was sure I was ready to make such a big decision.

I saw what they meant. Not only would I have to be able to cover important expenses like rent or food, I would also need to invest in the business. I would also be isolated, so have a higher chance of depression. There were days when I debated the wisdom of my choice, and if I’d been any less certain, I would have allowed those questions to hold me back.

But when we’re sure of what we want in life, the voice that guides us to take the leap will be louder than the ones that tell us to stay put – as long as we’re listening for it.

And the voices of opposition don’t stop after you’ve taken the first step. Reviews, feedback, nay-sayers, they’re always around, and they’ll weigh us down, even if they’re not aware they’re doing it. Even if their intention is to be supportive and caring. It often has nothing to do with being mean, it has to do with you stepping outside the bounds of expectation.

And the farther you go outside the norm, the louder those negative voices become. So what’s a dreamer to do? If it’s clear that the people around you don’t like what you’re doing, or think you’re not great at it, or that you won’t succeed, then the only obvious decision is to give up and walk away.

Thank you.

Wait, what? If it sounds ridiculous when I say it, why do our brains make us think it’s a really great idea when we tell it to ourselves?

If realising our dreams was supposed to be easy, we could pick them up at the corner store.

In my own experience, every mistake I make, every perceived failure, every negative review is essential for my progress. They teach me so much along the way – even if the lesson is how to drown them out.

I recently read a wonderful book about the importance of failing. How every failure can open the way to opportunity. Last year, I gave myself the goal of making as many mistakes as possible, and, yeesh, let me tell you, I succeeded. Every delay that happened at the beginning of this year can be attributed to the mistakes I made last year.

But I learned from it. And more importantly, I learned it for myself. Because we pass many people in life who believe they have all the answers, and sometime these people are exactly who we need to meet at exactly the time we need to meet them, but at other times, the lesson they’re trying to teach us is not one we’re ready to learn, or they’re delivering it in a way that makes us think we can’t succeed. We have two choices when dealing with this latter group: we can discount what they say or we take their advice and find our own ways to learn the lesson. Only then can we move forward with the confidence that our dreams are our own and not someone else’s.

Everything is learning.

The challenge is holding on to your faith. Believing that the more you work, the more you’re moving forward, even when it doesn’t feel like you are. Even when all you get is obstacle after obstacle.

Does that mean sometimes changing the method you’re using? Yes. Does that sometimes mean taking a break from your task to hone up on your skills? Absolutely. But even delays in reaching our dreams are worthwhile if it means we’ve learned something along the way.

The challenges are no less important to the journey than the successes.

The same is true of any story, and, absolutely, every single one of us is a story.

Imagine you’re reading a book, and from the front cover to the last, there’s nothing but good things. The hero meets the girl, gets the girl, gets the dream job, rises to the top in a matter of years, has kids, grandkids, and spends the rest of his retirement travelling the globe in his private jet that he can afford because his life is so perfect.

That sounds great for him, but boring for anyone else.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be reading that book thinking, “Where does the dragon come in? When does the wife get abducted by aliens and he needs to use all his riches to build the space module to go after her? When does he DEVELOP?” Because I guarantee that a character with that much perfect will be the same man on page one as he is in the final paragraph.

And the same is true for every single one of us.

Achieving our dreams is a fantastic, wonderful, ultimate goal, but the ups and downs are required for any good journey. Any good story. Drama, loss, fear, excitement, wonder – they’re what make the plot interesting.

If you have a dream and you’re on the fence about going for it, what’s stopping you? The fear that you won’t achieve it? All that’s standing in your way is you. The worry that you don’t have what it takes? You probably don’t. Not at first. But you’re not achieving your dream based on what you know now, you’re achieving your dream based on everything you’re going to learn between the starting point – today – and the end goal, which could be tomorrow or ten years from now.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t be painless, but every lesson you learn along the way will give you the satisfaction of moving forward – the knowledge that you’re on the path you know in your gut you’re supposed to take.

You can’t prepare for everything, but if you keep the goal in mind – that perfect image of the final result – you can weave your way through the minefield that comes when you get distracted by your loud, muddled thoughts and get caught in the quagmire of opinions, and mistakes, and what some people might perceive as failure.

But even in those moments, remember the wise words that an internet meme once shared with me. “When things don’t go according to plan, yell PLOT TWIST and move on” – because it’s just part of your story. It’s part of the journey. And when you finally reach that top step and grab your dream – that perfect image that inspired you to push through the troubles to begin with – appreciate every spill and tumble you took to get there, because without one of those falls, you might not have reached the goal.

We all have our own stories to tell, but, more importantly, we are all stories. Every morning, wake up reminding yourself of that. Every day is a new blank page, just waiting for you to fill it with your own words and your own dreams. So what are you waiting for? Go on out there and chase them.