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What You Need To Know About Publishing

patricia-charpentierHello and Happy New Year!

In this first post of the year, I am happy to announce our first Creative Momentum Gathering of the year, Tuesday, January 24, featuring Patricia Charpentier discussing “What You Need to Know About Publishing.”

LifeArt Studio, Writing Your Life, and Writer’s Block Bookstore are joining forces to offer an informative evening on how to give your ideas, your writing, your memories the beautiful form they deserve. Whether you hope to be traditionally published or intend to produce your book in some other way, Patricia Charpentier knows so much about how publishing works and how to avoid its many costly pitfalls.

As many of you know, Patricia Charpentier is founder Writing Your Life and LifeStory Publishing and a seventeen-year veteran of the industry. She’ll discuss

>     traditional publishing vs. concierge or self-publishing

>      how to be an informed author

>       the question of hiring professionals

13895054_10153643578296237_6688182899136835694_nIn addition, I’ll tell you all about my own experience of working with Patricia, for she has just published my recently revised book, Twelve Doors: Writing for Pleasure, Self-Expression, and Insight. Writers Block Bookstore will be on hand with copies for sale, as well as Patricia’s Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time. And, her Five-Year Journals, just in time for the new year, will also be available for sale.

“What You Need to Know About Publishing” is free event, but reservations are required. To reserve your place, send a request to me here.

This event takes place on Tuesday, January 24th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Cocina 214 just off Park Avenue in Winter Park., at 151 Welbourne Avenue East, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Come early and grab dinner and drinks at Coquina 214, and meet other writers. Light appetizers will be provided during the session.

Seating is limited, so don’t forget to reserve your seat here.  I hope you can join us!




Navigating the Holidays Alone: advice from Michael Stone

images-2I follow the work of a remarkable yogi, practicing Buddhist, and teacher, Michael Stone.  In his blog yesterday, he gave a list of “practices for navigating the holidays alone.” The title tugged at me because I struggle with this holiday season every year, trying to determine how to situate my singleness, my childlessness, my culinary deficiencies, my somewhat untethered life with the traditional messages of this season.

I so appreciate this seemingly lone voice speaking to those of us who have to work a little harder to find comfort and joy at this time of year.

But the cool thing about this post is that it’s actually a pretty darn good list for anyone wanting to navigate this busy and overwhelming time of year with a little more grace, ease, and contentment.

Here’s his list. I like it a lot. I hope it helps you have a peaceful conclusion to 2016.

Practices for Navigating the Holidays Alone & with Others

  1. Exercise daily. Regular exercise (even brisk walking) can be more effective in treating depression than most traditional prescription antidepressants (when it comes to a reduction in symptoms and the recurrence rate).
  2. Loving Relations. Loving relationships are great medicine. Not everyone has the benefit of growing up in a loving environment. One form of love is giving to others. In Buddhism we say there is more joy in giving than in receiving. By intentionally helping others, giving love and attention, we add value and meaning to our lives.
  3. No phones and computers after sundown. Excessive time spent watching our social media feed or engaging in other forms of media can have a negative effect on our mental health, and this is especially true when it comes to children’s programming. Replace screen time with candles, reading, board games, being bored, quiet music, or my son’s favorite pre-bedtime ritual: being chased then wrestled.
  1. Art. Art can be a mood-stabilizer. It can also help heal the mind. Making art can help some build self-esteem and looking at art gets the imagination working in the best ways. Go to a gallery before the crowds.
  2. Spirituality, Stillness and Prayer. There is a physical, biological, and genetic side to our lives, personalities, and moods. There are also psychological, emotional, and spiritual sides to our psyches. All of these elements come into play when determining our moods and mental health. Prayer: Praying for help, a sound and healthy mind, and peace can help you successfully relate to your mental health conditions. Maybe make an altar and write your intentions down and place them by a candle or flowers.
  3. Outdoors. Take breaks from indoor activities and spend time with nature. Even if it’s really cold. Look at trees and snow and the winter sky; this is an effective way to find inner peace, to calm stressed or busy minds, and break free from negative and circular thinking.
  4. Avoid Isolation. Join an organization that provides you with support. Meeting regularly with others who share similar experiences can help you remain positive and persevere through crises. Or go to a yoga studio, take a workshop, or read in a café.
  5. Healthy diet. A diet high in sugar can contribute to a weak body and mind. Most breakfast cereals and sodas are loaded with sugar. Improve your diet by consuming healthy fruits and vegetables and reducing your consumption of alcohol. Children need to eat three meals a day. A healthy breakfast is essential. It is especially important that kids that have been diagnosed with mental health issues not skip breakfast or lunch.
  6. Get organized. If you feel you are procrastinating, go organize something small like a box or drawers. Keep your home neat and clean; get help keeping your home and possessions (e.g. car) organized, if necessary. Get rid of clutter. If it has been there for more than a year, it probably isn’t necessary. Get on top of your bills, because finances can also influence your mental health. Professional services from an accountant or a life coach may be of benefit in this area and maybe you can gift a session to yourself.




Happy Thanksgiving

Joyful Words from Writing Your Life’s Patricia Charpentier


As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I want to express my deep gratitude for the people, like you, with whom I come into contact while doing my work.

I feel fortunate to be able to help so many people preserve their memories and the memories of their loved ones for themselves, their families, and the generations to come.

As part of my writing and spiritual practice, I make a gratitude list every day. My gratitude list helps me see the world differently and urges me to look for the good even in difficult situations. My sweet husband Bob tops my list most every day. The beautiful view I look out at each morning also appears regularly as does the clients and class members I work with and the amazing stories I hear daily. This practice bolsters my spirit and helps me refocus my attention and my intentions onto what is important in life. I’d encourage you to try it, and this season of Thanksgiving is a great time to do that.

Red Five-Year Journal

A five-year journal makes a wonderful gratitude journal, and I know many people who use them for just that purpose. In it, you can compare your own gratitude list today to your previous lists. Once completely filled, you will have a record of five years worth of gratitude!

Wouldn’t this journal make a lovely hostess gift for the people at your Thanksgiving table?

Of course, a five-year journal need not be limited to gratitude lists. It can contain your memories, advice, and hard-earned nuggets of wisdom, handwritten and treasured or even given to a loved one once completed.

Or maybe your children or grandchildren would love to receive a five-year journal for the
holidays. They might use this versatile book for gratitude lists, dreams, goal-setting, travel
writing, creative ideas, career planning, or just about anything else they want to regularly

Sample Journal EntriesThe top of each page in this sturdy, hardback journal displays the month and day at the top of the page, provides a space for you to insert the year, and offers six ruled lines for each of the five years.

Choose from chocolate brown, hunter green, sapphire blue, navy blue, or cranberry red–whatever best suits your style. To read more about the five-year journal or order one or more copies, follow this link: five-year journal.

And remember, I can ship it directly to that special loved one in your life, and I’ll do so the day you place your order. Priority shipping for last-minute orders is also available.

As a special thank you for being part of the Writing Your Life family, use the coupon code gratitude and take two dollars off the cost of shipping your five-year journal. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Self-help author Melody Beatty wrote, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Keeping a gratitude list in my five-year journal has certainly done that for me. Writing my life stories and helping you write yours has done that for me, too. For that, I am truly grateful. Thank you.

I hope you have a happy and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving.