30 November 2016

Poems from "Her Warrior Poet" by Candy Laine

Her Warrior Poet is the name I've picked for the latest Candy Laine publication. It's a first attempt at a full length book and took a lot of effort to bring out. I'm just about done with the first draft and in the process of putting together the cover. Since I'm super excited about the #Nanowrimo Win today I decided to blog about it. That I want to write more after punching out fifty thousand words in thirty days is taken as a good sign by this blogger who last posted a year and half ago.

Arun Rastogi is a gentle soul, who can kill with his bare hands. With the heart of a poet, this warrior finds his muse in the lovely young doctor, Shweta Karkare. The poet who never wanted to be a warrior, meets the warrior's daughter who never wanted to love a man in uniform. What follows is a conflict of the heart with the head and a love story that gently unfolds.
This is the poem that Arun writes in his diary after he sees Shweta for the first time.
Meeting My Mate
The first time they met,
The world stood still.
There was no way to forget,
Such beauty wounded to kill.

Those dark eyes were hard to miss,
They inspired his love.
Those lips invited a kiss,
Was all he could think of.

He had no coherent thought,
There was just her.
Her approval was all he sought,
That beautiful saboteur.

In her arms there was fire,
There was love and desire.



Then of course Shweta rejects him and he is

Heart Broken
My heart is broken,
I heard it crack.
My choice is taken,
What sorrow that wracked.

I fear that I,
Will love no more.
Tears my eye,
Will shed no more.

I’ll lock up my emotions
And feel no pain.
Is there a magic potion,
To heal this strain?

I’ll hide my heart behind a wall,
That no one else can scale.
There will be no way to fall,
Again in love and fail.

I had so much fun experimenting with poetry after years. I don't think I've written a new poem in at least 7 years. So it was a whole lot of fun playing with words and making them rhyme. After all Arun didn't have to be a good poet, he just had to showcase his gentle and sensitive nature.
For those of you who want to know more about the fifty thousand word sprint that I made in November 2016 with National Novel Writing Month, I have to say it was a blast. I really didn't think I would be able to complete it in time, but the motivation of fellow authors and the word sprints kept me going. This was a screen shot of my very own winner's certificate.

I'm already looking forward to working on the next novel with the whole bunch of new friends that I just made. Plus of course the support of the great people in the Kick My A$$ and Make Me Create group has been invaluable. Anna, without you I would never have known about this challenge. Upma you were truly my "partner in crime" with all the word sprints and motivation. Aarti, I know you didn't write with us at our speed but were always so supportive as was Kannu. All of you are fantastic and I'm so glad to have you in my life.
A word of thanks to Shail, Sonia and Piyusha our MLs at WriMo India. You kept the momentum and motivation high. Also I got to meet a whole bunch of like minded people who were writing stuff while struggling to meet the word count just like I was. I'm still scrolling through all the wins that have come in and am so happy for everyone who managed to get that certificate!
And now I am tired of writing. It's just time for a break...so I'm going to go celebrate with the Khoya Pedas I made this afternoon after I managed my win.

28 July 2015

Life Changes Direction Once Again

After going through a number of twists and turns life has once again changed direction for me. From a content writer, to a travel assistant, to a blogger, freelance writer, ebook author, and now a Reiki Master, it has been an amazing journey of growth.

I've been through phases that I enjoyed, and some that I almost hated, but I recognize that each of them was required to help me reach the spot that I am at right now. I accept that the tapestry of my life is riddled with a number of different experiences and it is richer for each of them. No matter what I felt about them when I was undergoing the experiences.

Over the next couple of years I will be switching from working online as a freelancer to taking on Reiki healings and conducting workshops for attunements. It is my belief that being a spiritual healer is my Life Purpose and I am here to help heal the planet one person at a time. The tools of healing such as EFT, Crystal Therapy, Energy Healing, Tarot and Reiki are ones that I am now going to hone my skills at.

As with any lasting change, you need to work on each step along the way. So before I set out to heal the world, I must heal myself and my immediate circle of souls. I am in a way testing the waters to see how well I am able to swim in this new direction. There will be strong learning curve along the way, and I am sure there will be interesting times ahead.

I am thankful to everyone who has encouraged me to go down this path. The cheerleaders, who pushed me through each stage when I was swamped with self doubt, have my endless gratitude. The souls who supported me, wittingly and unwittingly, to reach this stage have contributed beautifully to my soul's contract with the Source and I thank them.


20 June 2015

Spiritual Detoxification : Mind, Body and Soul


What this week is all about

About three years ago my family and I visited a place called Kaivalyadham in Lonavala. It was a Yoga, Ayurdeva and Naturopathy based residential healing clinic. People lived there for a week from Sunday to Sunday and underwent a regime of exercise, diet and talks which allowed them to detoxify their bodies, enlighten their minds and rejuvenate their souls. We all came back feeling amazing. It struck home that just a week was required to make a huge difference in lifestyle.

This week, when you undertake the spiritual detoxification program with me, I wish to replicate the same feeling of good health  and wellness in Mind, Body and Soul. Each day will be begun with the Daily Affirmation which has already been shared on Facebook for easy access. You can find it at the end of this post as well.  Then move on with the idea of enriching each section of your entity with one activity that day. Give yourself the permission to do what makes you happy.

Here’s an example – I want to go watch a play, but it is too far away to go. I make all kinds of excuses and don’t go. Eventually making myself unhappy at having missed the play.

MIND

The brain loses neurons much faster if it is not kept occupied. Scientific research has proved that people who play brain games like Sudoko, Crossword puzzles, and even cards are less likely to become forgetful as they age. Their mind stays alert. Unfortunately most of us keep our minds alert by worrying about all kinds of things that may never come to pass. Instead, let’s keep it active by doing a brain exercise like the ones mentioned before, or even picking up a new skill. Learning how to do something you enjoy is a great way to promote detoxification of the mind by replacing the toxic thoughts with something more valuable.

BODY

There are two main areas of focus for the body to stay healthy – food and exercise. Eating more raw and unprocessed foods is healthier for your system. The higher fiber content helps detoxify your system and by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of fluids you ensure that it is all washed right out of your system.  In addition you can ensure that you do a form of physical activity that you enjoy. Rather than pushing yourself to do aerobics, why not just put on some of your favorite music and dance. You get the same physical value doing an activity that makes you happier. Find what works best for you.

SOUL

Your energy being is always there for you, and to honour it you should spend some time each day bringing value to it. Enrich your soul by doing a Reiki self healing, a guided meditation, self hypnosis, or just merely tratak (candle flame) meditation. If you come up with any other activity please feel free to share it with the group.


I love and accept myself just the way I am. My mind is alert, my body is healthy and my soul is joyous. I have all the qualities I need to conquer all my challenges. The universe helps me manifest success and good fortune on a daily basis. I am grateful for the abundance in my life. 

Before you start this week do a bit of journalling. Write down all the things that are stressing you out, irritating you, bugging you. Remember no one but you will read these notes, so just put down everything you want to improve in your current life situation. Once the week is over you will be able to come back to this list and see if these things are still bothering you.

To know what you wish to focus on, ask yourself a few questions. Identify the area of life that you wish to detoxify. It could be something as simple as stressing out less over daily irritants, or something more complicated such as making a relationship enter a happier phase. You set your focus and ensure that you do an activity every day of the week to make that area of life a little better.

Remember it all starts with acceptance.



08 April 2015

The Write Way to Earn : Why Some Freelancers Do Better Than Others



I make my living with words, and most of them are written in English. It is not my country's first language, but it has always been mine. While growing up there were a number of languages that bounced around me. English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, just to mention a few. Although I could understand what was being said to me in all of these languages, the responses I framed would be either in English or Hindi. And if I had to express myself in writing, English was definitely the language of choice. 

Perhaps it was to do with the fact that the devnagri script was too tough for me to handle, or the natural reluctance of most “educated” Indians to write in anything but the Queen’s English. I don’t know why, but English has been the medium of expression for me since childhood. I would read books in the language, watch movies and television series and even ensure that I had the latest Grammy award winning songs on my walkman. Yes, a walkman, I grew up in ancient times.

It is because of this consistent exposure to the English language in more areas than merely my school textbooks that I developed a love for it, and indeed excelled in it. Grammar was always my friend, and spellings would automatically look wrong on the page if I ever spelt a word incorrectly, without conscious thought. The dictionary was my constant companion and was instantly accessed whenever I came across a new word.

What I am trying to say is that I put in a lot of effort in learning the English language, without even realizing I did so because I enjoyed it. This stood me in good stead later on in life when I decided to make my living as a freelance writer. Needless to say the life experience that I had gained as a travel agent, an HR trainer, and a Spoken English teacher really came in handy in my new calling. Each time I crafted a proposal to take on a new project I was able to relate to the prospective employer in a better manner thanks to the fluency of my language and the grasp of their requirements.

I never thought that I was doing anything great till I had friends come over and ask me to teach them how to work from home. It was only after the sixth or seventh person I dealt with that I realized that not everyone is made to be a good writer. You may know the language and you could speak it beautifully well, but the art of written expression often eludes many.

The lack of a decent sized vocabulary, the inattention to spelling mistakes, the inability to string together a grammatically correct sentence, and a disdain for current affairs and global news, could all spell doom for a fledgling writing career. A conscientious writer ensures that the work that is submitted is timely and correct.
Missing deadlines is not a good idea when you are trying to make a reputation for yourself online, but at the same time neither is submitting shoddy work.

There are a number of tools available to help you ensure that you do not make grammatical errors, or spelling mistakes. Making sure that you submit good quality writing along with actually relevant information gives you a reputation that allows you to pick the projects you want to work on. In a recent study conducted by Grammarly, they have a number of tools that writers can use, it was discovered that freelance writers do better than many other freelancers. 

Here is an infographic of the study that they conducted on profiles on Elance, which is an online freelance marketplace. The team at Grammarly checked 400+ freelancer profiles from all eight categories of the Elance platform for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. To adjust for the quality of work, they only selected freelancers with an average rating of four stars or above. They then looked at the correlation between earnings and number of mistakes. Here is what they found.

If you are looking to kick start your career as a freelancer, this is the best advice you can follow. Write, read, edit, repeat. No matter how well you think you have written an article or a blog post, trust me, there is a way to edit it to make it read better. By the time you have refined it for the third of fourth time, you will have finally reached a level of perfection which the simple first draft would never have. And in case you are unsure of the correct spelling or grammar, use the online tools available to help you improve your writing. This really is the "Write Way" to Earn!
 




10 February 2015


Hearts & Kisses
by Sophia Knightly, Ginny Baird, Mimi Barbour,
Mel Curtis, Donna Fasano, Mona Risk,
Helen Scott Taylor, Ari Thatcher,  Patrice Wilton,
Traci Hall, Anna J. Stewart, and Jackie Weger
Genre: Contemporary/Holiday Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2015



Just in time for Valentine’s Day, twelve New York Times, USA Today, National bestselling and award-winning authors deliver a dozen contemporary romance novels and novellas packed with drama, suspense, love and laughter. From the Highlands of Scotland to the Hollywood hills, twelve strong heroines meet twelve hot heroes in tales that span the globe. Whether you crave big-city adventure or small-town romance, second chance stories, or sexy single dads...this outstanding collection holds something special for you. Come be our Valentine, and snuggle up with these sweet and steamy romances, perfect for reading on a chilly winter’s eve. Happy ever afters guaranteed.


Heart Tamer (Heartthrob Series Novella)
by Sophia Knightly, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Fashion designer Kate Hayes must somehow convince her estranged ex-husband, Alec MacLeod, to agree to an unusual request. In this fiery second chance at love, whose heart will be tamed?

The Sometime Bride
by Ginny Baird, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Carrie St. John is done with wedding disasters. Third time’s the charm? A jilted bride and a ditched bachelor cut a “fake fiancĂ©” deal.

The Surrogate’s Secret
by Mimi Barbour, USA Today and National bestselling author

Confirmed bachelor, Miguel, forces his dead brother’s gorgeous, headstrong surrogate to marry him so he can take her and her twins to Chile to cheer his ailing mamita.

Breaking the Rules
by Mel Curtis, USA Today and National bestselling, award-winning author

The Gordon’s marriage has been an emotional rollercoaster, but Jack has the solution–lock them inside a safe room for a cool-down, which turns out to be hot.

Take Me, I’m Yours
by Donna Fasano, USA Today bestselling author

Sexy single dad Derek learned the hard way to never trust a beautiful woman. So although he is indebted to Lainey for thwarting a kidnapping attempt on his daughter, he isn’t about to offer her his heart on a silver platter!

Valentine Babies
by Mona Risk, USA Today and National bestselling author

Getting involved with fearless reporter, Roxanne, involves more complications than Dr. Greg has ever faced in the OR.

The Army Doctor’s Valentine’s Baby
by Helen Scott Taylor, USA Today and National bestselling author

An abandoned baby brings two lonely army doctors together.

The Rock Star’s Wedding
by Ari Thatcher, USA Today and National bestselling author

Kenzie’s vacation in St. Thomas heats up when her high school sweetheart and rock star heartthrob Chaz appears. If only he wasn’t there for his wedding.

Love Struck
by Patrice Wilton, USA Today bestselling author

With the “love bug myth” and discovery of gold, Serendipity Falls is no longer safe. Can Samantha and Kyle find a way to end this madness, or will they too be swept away by love?

Ambrosia by the Sea
by Traci Hall, National bestselling and award-winning author

After a bitter betrayal by her late husband, self-taught chef Celia Langdon moves to the sea, where dive shop owner Dax Smith dares her to heal from the heart.

Reading Between the Lines
by Anna J Stewart, National bestselling author

When Ethan Sutherland was in high school, he’d go to any lengths to hide his secret, including betraying the one girl who tried to help him. Now he’s back in town and hoping Cassidy Wells finds it in her heart to forgive him.

No Perfect Destiny
by Jackie Weger, National bestselling and award-winning author

Leah Spencer lives in the present until one sun-drenched day, her troubled past imperils the future and threatens all she holds dear.





Heart Tamer by Sophia Knightly, When Kate asks her estranged ex-husband, Alec MacLeod, to agree to be the father of her baby, she has no idea how things will play out. It has taken her a great deal of courage to make the offer, only to be refused. However when she decides to walk out of his life, Alec has other ideas and they include more than merely siring a child together.

The Sometime Bride by Ginny Baird, Carrie St. John is devastated when her fiancĂ© decides to leave her for another woman less than a month before the wedding. What’s worse is that they were supposed to be at a romantic getaway at the time he walked out on her. Mike Davis really wants to marry and settle down, but none of the long line of women he has proposed to thinks that way. When he finds Carrie’s engagement ring at the bottom of the pool, a new story is born.

 The Surrogate's Secret by Mimi Barbour,  When Sherri agrees to become a surrogate to her best friend and husband, she has no idea that she will be giving birth to the twins on her own while burying the couple in the same week. The babies have become the center of her existence, but their uncle, Miguel, wants to take her and her twins to Chile to cheer his ailing mamita. Since she would never agree he uses baby Raphael’s surgery as a bargaining chip to get her to marry him. How will they survive a marriage that may never have taken place? Specially when love comes calling.

Take Me, I'm Yours by Donna Fasano, Derek loved his beautiful wife, but she used him. Now he has trust issues and while Lainey saved his daughter, he can’t possibly offer her his love in return! Or can he?

Love Struck by Patrice Wilton, Kyle is fed up of the way his small town has changed. He wants things to go back to normal, but then Samantha would not be in town. In a town known for marriages and HEAs can Kyle find the courage to love Samantha?

No Perfect Destiny by Jackie Weger, The story deals with Leah who has had her previous life snatched away from her thanks to an incorrect accusation leveled against her by her own Mother- in-law and ex husband. Now she faces another charge at her new work place



Sophia Knightly
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Sophia Knightly, loves to cook up hot romance and delicious humor in her feel-good stories. Whether it's romantic suspense, romantic comedy or chick lit, her books are fun and sexy contemporary romances that feature hot alpha heroes and strong, smart women.


Ginny Baird
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Ginny Baird has published novels in print and online and received screenplay options from Hollywood for her family and romantic comedy scripts. She writes touching, often humorous, contemporary romance about single women facing everyday challenges. Known for featuring holidays and family themes in her work, Ginny frequently portrays the struggles of single parents or others who've given up on finding true love.

Ginny has two ongoing novella series, The Holiday Brides Series (holiday romance) and The Summer Grooms Series (summer romance), as well as additional single titles available. She is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, a Top 10 Best Seller on Kindle, NOOK and iBooks, and a #1 Best Seller in several Romance and Women's Fiction categories. Visit Ginny's website at www.ginnybairdromance.com to learn more about her and her books.


Mimi Barbour
Mimi Barbour is an Amazon best-selling author who's sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it's best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi's been heard to say: "I'm an author who loves to read uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities."


Melinda Curtis
Award winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis writes fun, steamy romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”  Melinda also writes sweet romances - the Harmony Valley series for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the sweet romantic comedy Bridesmaid series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf."


Donna Fasano
USA Today Bestselling Author Donna Fasano is the author of over 30 romance and women's fiction titles. Her award-winning books have been described as "emotional," "heartwarming," and "simply wonderful!" Over the course of her 25 year career, she has sold 4 million books worldwide. BigAl from BooksAndPals.com says, "Donna Fasano is a keen observer of human nature and creates characters that ring true to life."


Mona Risk
USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, recently received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Her name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list. She's a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Her contribution to Valentine Hearts and Kisses is Valentine Babies.


Helen Scott Taylor
USA Today bestselling author, Helen Scott Taylor, writes sweet contemporary romance set in the UK and Europe. Her contribution to Hearts & Kisses is The Army Doctor's Valentine's Baby, part of her Army Doctor's series.



Ari Thatcher
Ari Thatcher is the “naughty name” of USA Today Bestselling sweet romance author Aileen Fish. Ari has always loved sexy romance where love takes the leading role. Reviews have called her work “captivating” and “compelling”, and her characters “intelligent, intriguing and realistic.”


Patrice Wilton
Patrice Wilton is a USA Today and National best selling author of more than 20 books. Her best known series include The Candy Bar Series, Serendipity Falls series, and her returning war hero series, A HERO LIES WITHIN, HANDLE WITH CARE and AT FIRST SIGHT.

She lives in West Palm Beach with her retired PGA golf pro husband, and plays tennis and golf when she's not writing fun, sexy romance stories. She loves emails and will answer everyone the same day.


Traci Hall
With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres and boasting #1 bestseller status on Amazon.com, Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it's a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.


Anna J. Stewart
National bestselling author Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hands or a story in her head. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek andWonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family centric romances with happy endings for her independent heroines for both Harlequin and Berkley. Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural & Sherlock addiction, surrounds herself with friends and family, and tolerates an overly affectionate cat named Snickers (or perhaps it's Snickers who tolerates her). 


Jackie Weger
An internationally published author, Jackie Weger has been writing romance novels off and on for thirty years. When not writing Jackie is traveling the good earth by foot, train, boat, plane, mule and pickup. Ports of call include London and Paris, Panama and Costa Rica during which she collects memories, friends, fans and experiences—all of  which often make appearances in her novels.