You Are Exactly Where You Need to Be In Your Writing Career

I found this wonderfully inspiring article courtesy of Mark Henson that I wanted to share with you today.  For the full article, go to: https://markhenson.me/exactly-where-you-need-to-be/

I’m going to get a little zen, woo woo and existential on you. Ready?

Wherever you are in life is exactly where you need to be right now.

Even if you’re not where you want to be right now.

Even if you’re not fulfilled where you are right now.

Even if you’re in a really bad place right now.

I know it doesn’t always FEEL like you’re exactly where you need to be, but trust me, you are.
We think that when things are going well, when we’re achieving our goals, when we land our dream job, only THEN we are exactly where we need to be. But let me ask you this: how did you get there?
Didn’t you get to those great moments in life by spending a fair amount of time in places you didn’t want to be? Didn’t you have stretches of life when you weren’t fulfilled? Didn’t you fight and claw your way through some pretty bad times physically, mentally, and spiritually?

Didn’t those tough times teach you valuable lessons about desire, motivation, resilience, perseverance, patience, tolerance, and more?

As a little green Jedi once said, search your feelings, you know it to be true.

If you climb a mountain, some parts of the trail are easy and beautiful, some are treacherous and scary, and some cause you to stumble and skin your knees. And you spend a lot more time on the trail than you do at the peak.

Yes, you ARE exactly where you need to be right now.

I’m not telling you to seek out the silver lining (although it is usually there if you look hard enough). I’m also not telling you to look for valuable lessons about desire, motivation, resilience, perseverance, patience, tolerance, etc. during the tough times (although they are definitely there if you are open to them). And I’m absolutely not telling you to “enjoy the journey” (because sometimes you just won’t).

What I AM telling you is that I believe there is a reason why you are where you are right now. I also believe you don’t have to know what that reason is. In fact, you might drive yourself nuts if you try to figure it out in the moment (or ever, really). One of the hardest things to let go of is the desire to know the why behind everythingHear me on this, the desire to understand the why is almost always a want, not a need. It doesn’t change the fact that you are where you are.

Sometimes you just need to be where you are, be as okay as you can be with it, and know that it is just temporary. Actually, know that these times are ALWAYS temporary (even if they last longer than we’d like).

Oh, and one more thing: just because you are exactly where you need to be right now doesn’t mean you should stay there — especially if it’s a place you don’t want to be. Keep moving forward — one tiny step at a time if that’s all you can do. You can climb an entire mountain one tiny step at a time. That’s how I published a book— one step, one page at a time. And it only took a year and a half of not being where I wanted to be, but being exactly where I needed to be, until I got there.

And that concludes today’s moment of zen, woo woo, and existentialism.

Until next month,
Jenna
www.jennaives.com


 

Five Extraordinary Castles in or Near Edinburgh


Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a wonderful old city filled with history and medieval buildings, tourist attractions and great restaurants. It's a good home-base for a research trip or vacation and you won't need a rental car… if you're willing to walk and take the bus or train. (Parking in Edinburgh is a nightmare anyway.) I've explored several amazing castles in and around Edinburgh. Some are opulent royal residences, while others are crumbling, atmospheric ruins.

Edinburgh Castle
The most iconic castle in Edinburgh is, of course, Edinburgh Castle. It sits high atop Castle Rock, a volcanic plug, and looks out over the city. Archeological evidence suggests this rock has been inhabited since the second century AD. One building at Edinburgh Castle, St. Margaret's Chapel, is considered the oldest building in Edinburgh, built in the early 1100s by King David I and named in honor of his mother. The great hall was built in the early 1500s. The castle was a royal residence until 1633. After that, it was used as a military barracks. Research has established that the castle was besieged 26 times in 1100 years making it "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world." And now it is Scotland's most visited paid tourist attraction.

Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace is also known as the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It is the British monarchy's official residence in Scotland, and the Queen stays there for one week per year at the beginning of summer. This palace sits at the bottom of the Royal Mile, while Edinburgh Castle sits at the top. Attached to one side of the ruins of Holyrood Abbey, the palace was the main residence for the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 1500s. When the royal family isn't in residence, the castle is open for tours. One of the main features is the apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots, which date from the 1500s.

The 16th century north-west tower was built by King James V. The main part of the palace as it appears today was built between 1671 and 1678 in the Baroque style for Charles II when he was restored to the monarchy. What a contrast this elegant palace is to the next three castles on my list.

Craigmillar Castle
Craigmillar Castle, mostly a ruin, is about three miles outside the Edinburgh city center. We took the bus, then walked about a mile through parkland fields and over a hill. It was my birthday, so I considered this a wonderful present to myself. There's nothing I enjoy more than exploring castle ruins.

Craigmillar is what many call a hidden gem. Prior to some episodes of Outlander being filmed there, it was not considered a major tourist attraction. Not like the previous two castles, anyway. I have to say this was one of my favorite castles because it was a great surprise. I liked it better than I thought I would. It's filled with all sorts of nooks and crannies to investigate. There are several floors and rooms that changed purposes over the years. Mary Queen of Scots stayed here at times and had a room or apartment.

The views from the battlements over the Scottish countryside are amazing. The buildings on this site were started in the 14th century by the Preston family who were barons. The building and improvements continued over the centuries. Sir John Gilmour, Lord President of the Court of Session, bought Craigmillar and made improvements in 1660. The Gilmours left in the 1700s and the castle fell into ruin.

Dirleton Castle
Dirleton Castle is less than 25 miles from Edinburgh, and accessible by either car or bus. The walk from the front gate through the beautiful walled garden was a wonderful experience. It was September and many flowers were still blooming. Dirleton is another amazing ruin. Different parts of the castle were built during different stages over the centuries. Some of the towers date from the 1200s and are among the oldest surviving architecture in Scotland. The oldest section was built by John de Vaux.

In 1298, during the Wars of Independence, Dirleton Castle was attacked and captured by Edward I of England. In 1356, the next Lord of Dirleton was John Haliburton who renovated the damaged castle and made new additions. In 1510, the Ruthvens acquired Dirleton and made further improvements. Oliver Cromwell attacked the castle in 1650, as he did so many Scottish castles, turning it into a tragic but romantic ruin. In the 1660s, the Nisbets bought the estate and built a new mansion and developed the gardens around the castle. The castle contains a lot of historical information and is fantastic for research.

Tantallon Castle
Although Tantallon Castle isn't in Edinburgh, it is a short train ride away, close to North Berwick on the east coast. We visited it one day and were back to Edinburgh by that evening. The trip out on the train was so smooth, quiet and relaxing. Very few passengers. I had no idea a train ride could be so peaceful. Once we got off in North Berwick, we located the correct bus and rode 3 miles further to the castle, which is out in farm country on the shore of the North Sea. In the photo, that's a huge field of leeks in front of the castle. I'm sure they eat a lot of leeks in Scotland in their famous cock-a-leekie soup, made of chicken and leeks.

I had wanted to visit Tantallon for many years and it was everything I'd imagined and more. The castle is huge with lots of floors, wings, stairwells, rooms, battlements, etc. to explore. The Bass Rock sits just off the rocky cliffs of the shoreline.

Tantallon was started in 1358 by William, the 1st Earl of Douglas. In the 1380s it passed to the Earl of Angus and the Red Douglas dynasty. They owned the castle for 300 years and had many conflicts with the monarchy. Tantallon is considered the last great castle built in Scotland. In 1651 Cromwell attacked Tantallon causing such destruction that it fell into ruin.

Thank you for taking these wee virtual visits with me to five wonderful Scottish castles!
 Vonda

Highlander Entangled

Lady Kristina MacQueen suffered devastating injuries at the hands of a ruthless Highland chief, Blackburn MacCromar. Two years later, he kidnaps her for a journey across the chilly, windblown Scottish Highlands to flush out her sister, Anna—the woman Blackburn forced to wed him. Red Holme, Blackburn's second-in-command, is equally brutal and determined to possess Kristina.

A Highland warrior and future chief, Colin Cameron has no intention of becoming entangled in the whims of another highborn lady. However, upon witnessing Lady Kristina being held hostage by the enemy, a knife to her throat, he resolves to rescue her and bring her to safety. When Red Holme sees Colin Cameron, he recognizes his enemy from a decade earlier and craves revenge even more than he lusts for the lady. But he is determined to have both.

Colin is the most charismatic and heroic man Kristina has ever met, and he awakens her woman's instincts. He might be her only chance to experience a brief moment of passion. Even so, she holds no illusions about marriage, for no worthy man will find her blindness and scars appealing, or see them as beneficial traits in a wife. But she can't see how he looks at her. Though Colin has sworn to never fall in love again, he cannot defend his heart against the strong, spirited and lovely lass who is like none other he has ever met.










Happy St. Patrick's Day!!





In my Silver Town Wolf series, some of the Silver brothers/cousins, have married two of the triplet Irish sisters who run the Silver Town Hotel. I'll be writing the third's ones story for release next year.

Several of my ancestors were born and raised in Ireland. So my hat's off to you on St. Patrick's Day!
Corned beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage are on the menu!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

The Many Frustrations Of Being A Writer

I have to admit that the recent news of the closing of the Crimson Romance line of Simon & Schuster brought up unhappy memories for me. I’ve been traditionally published by four publishers, three of which have now gone out of business: LooseId, Samhain and Ellora’s Cave.

It’s not easy being a writer.

Where once only major publishing houses were the gatekeepers to whether your story was bought or not, the advent of smaller publishers gave more of us struggling writers a chance at realizing our dreams of becoming published authors. And indie publishing has been a boon for many writers.

When I get depressed about the current state of publishing, I only have to look at the great writers of history to cheer me up.

Many of these famous authors were in the same boat at one point in their careers:

REJECTED BY PUBLISHERS
Pearl S. Buck – The Good Earth – 14 times

Norman Mailer – The Naked and the Dead – 12 times

Patrick Dennis- Auntie Mame – 15 times

George Orwell – Animal Farm

Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull – 20 times

Joseph Heller - Catch-22 – 22 times (!)

Mary Higgins Clark – first short story – 40 times

Alex Haley – before Roots – 200 rejections

Robert Persig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – 121 times

John Grisham – A Time to Kill – 15 publishers and 30 agents (he ended up publishing it himself)

Chicken Soup for the Soul – 33 times

Louis L’Amour – 200 rejections

Jack London – 600 rejections before selling his first story

John Creasy – 774 rejections before selling his first story.  He went on to write 564 books, using fourteen names.

Stephen King’s first four novels were rejected. This guy from Maine sent in this novel over the transom, said Bill Thompson, his former editor at Doubleday. Mr. Thompson, sensing something there, asked to see subsequent novels, but still rejected the next three. However, King withstood the rejection, and Mr. Thompson finally bought the fifth novel, despite his colleague’s lack of enthusiasm, for $2,500. It was called Carrie.

During his entire lifetime, Herman Melville’s timeless classic, Moby Dick, sold only 3,715 copies.
Edgar Allen Poe was offered only $14 as an advance for "Eureka" toward the end of his life, with the provision that if the book didn't earn that much, he would have to make up the difference to the publisher.

So… take heart! We have good company in the ‘struggling writer’ profession.

Until next month,
Leigh
www.leighcourt.com




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A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing: A many of many secrets and only one truth… Book 9 SEAL in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear Book 1 in Terry Spear's SEAL Wolf Series — A USA Today Bestseller! Her instincts tell her he's dangerous...

https://terrylspear.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/free-free-free-a-seal-in-wolfs-clothing/

Overview
SEAL in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear

Book 1 in Terry Spear's SEAL Wolf Series — A USA Today Bestseller!

Her instincts tell her he's dangerous...
His powers of persuasion are impossible to resist...

While her overprotective brother's away, Meara Greymere's planning to play—and it wouldn't hurt to find herself a mate in the process. The last thing she needs is one of his SEAL buddies spoiling her fun, even if the guy is the hottest one she's ever seen.

Finn Emerson is a battle-hardened Navy SEAL and alpha wolf. He's a little overqualified for baby-sitting, but feisty Meara is attracting trouble like a magnet.

As the only responsible alpha male in the vicinity, Finn is going to have to protect this intriguing woman from a horde of questionable men, and definitely from himself.

SEAL Wolf Series:
A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing (Book 1)
A SEAL Wolf Christmas (Book 2)
SEAL Wolf Hunting (Book 3)

Experience the sensual, action-packed, critically acclaimed world of Terry Spear, author of a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year:
"High-powered romance that satisfies on every level." —Long and Short Reviews
"An entertaining read filled with passion and desire. You'll be spellbound." —Thoughts in Progress
"Fast paced, and completely and utterly fascinating. The chemistry was brilliant." —Royal Reviews
"This novel has it all...Hot doesn't even begin to describe it." —Love Romance Passion

 Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seal-in-wolfs-clothing-terry-spear/1104177041?ean=9781402258909#/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SEAL-Wolfs-Clothing-Wolf/dp/1402258909
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/SEAL-Wolfs-Clothing-Heart-Wolf-ebook/dp/B006PJ6V26
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seal-in-wolfs-clothing/id493281524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seal-in-wolf-s-clothing
Have a super day!


Terry  
 “Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Let's Hear It For The Ladies!


March is Women’s History Month, 31 days to honor trailblazing ladies. Here are just a few!

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker – Only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor (for her service as a surgeon during the Civil War).

Jane Addams – Founder of Hull House in Chicago, first American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize  (1931).

Sally Ride - First American woman in space (1983) on the space shuttle Challenger.

Julia Morgan – First woman architect licensed to practice in California (1898). Known for her work on Hearst Castle.

Edith Wharton – First woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1921) for “The Age of Innocence.”

Aretha Franklin – First woman inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (1987). The Queen of Soul has 18 Grammys.

Kathryn Bigelow – First woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director (2010) for “The Hurt Locker.”

Maya Angelou – First black woman to have a screenplay produced (1971). She’s been nominated for a Tony, Emmy and Pulitzer Prize.

Frances Perkins – First woman member of a Presidential Cabinet (1933). She served as Secretary of Labor under President Roosevelt.

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper – First woman tribal chief in North America (1967). She was elected chairperson of the Seminole Tribe.

Anna Bissell – First woman CEO in the United States (1898). Her husband invented the Bissell carpet sweeper, but she ran the company.

Norma Yaeger – First woman allowed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (1962).

Gertrude Ederle – First woman to swim the English Channel (1926) when she was 19 years old. (It was her second attempt.)

Junko Tabei – First woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest (1975) at age 35.

Janet Guthrie – First woman to compete in the Indy 500 and Daytona 500 races (1977).

Stephanie Ready – First woman to coach a men’s professional sports team (2001).

Jacqueline Cochran – First woman to break the sound barrier (1953). She holds more speed and distance records for flying than anyone in history!

Valentina Tereshkova – First woman to travel in space (1963) as a Russian cosmonaut.

Billie Jean King – Trailblazer for LGBTQ rights and #1 tennis star.

Joan Ganz Cooney – Creator of Sesame Street, which has educated children in all areas of life for almost 50 years (since 1969).  

The list of talented women is endless (and I’m including you & me here), so in March, let’s hear it for the ladies!

Jenna



FREE! FREE! FREE! A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing!


 First time ever, and for a Very Limited Time. Get this one free, and others are on sale price too!  


A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing: A many of many secrets and only one truth… Book 9 SEAL in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear Book 1 in Terry Spear's SEAL Wolf Series — A USA Today Bestseller! Her instincts tell her he's dangerous...

https://terrylspear.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/free-free-free-a-seal-in-wolfs-clothing/

Overview
SEAL in Wolf's Clothing by Terry Spear

Book 1 in Terry Spear's SEAL Wolf Series — A USA Today Bestseller!

Her instincts tell her he's dangerous...
His powers of persuasion are impossible to resist...

While her overprotective brother's away, Meara Greymere's planning to play—and it wouldn't hurt to find herself a mate in the process. The last thing she needs is one of his SEAL buddies spoiling her fun, even if the guy is the hottest one she's ever seen.

Finn Emerson is a battle-hardened Navy SEAL and alpha wolf. He's a little overqualified for baby-sitting, but feisty Meara is attracting trouble like a magnet.

As the only responsible alpha male in the vicinity, Finn is going to have to protect this intriguing woman from a horde of questionable men, and definitely from himself.

SEAL Wolf Series:
A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing (Book 1)
A SEAL Wolf Christmas (Book 2)
SEAL Wolf Hunting (Book 3)

Experience the sensual, action-packed, critically acclaimed world of Terry Spear, author of a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year:
"High-powered romance that satisfies on every level." —Long and Short Reviews
"An entertaining read filled with passion and desire. You'll be spellbound." —Thoughts in Progress
"Fast paced, and completely and utterly fascinating. The chemistry was brilliant." —Royal Reviews
"This novel has it all...Hot doesn't even begin to describe it." —Love Romance Passion

 Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seal-in-wolfs-clothing-terry-spear/1104177041?ean=9781402258909#/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/SEAL-Wolfs-Clothing-Wolf/dp/1402258909
Amazon Australia: http://www.amazon.com.au/SEAL-Wolfs-Clothing-Heart-Wolf-ebook/dp/B006PJ6V26
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seal-in-wolfs-clothing/id493281524

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seal-in-wolf-s-clothing