scuba diving

The Benefits of Scuba Diving

So ever since I got back from my first scuba diving trip (in the Dutch island of Bonaire), I’ve had this really cool feeling of empowerment.

Fulfillment

How to Gain Satisfaction

To gain satisfaction in life, one must be willing to take leaps, get out of comfort, and change. The alternative is remaining unhappy.

Adversity

Why You Need Adversity

AdversityHere’s why you need adversity in life. Without it you won’t grow. The lessons you need to learn won’t present themselves without it.

Recently a friend of mine ran into some adversity and she turned to me for guidance on how to move forward.

I tried earnestly to say something to her that would spring joy back into her life, but was at a total loss for words. What do you say to someone who suffers a break in hope? “Don’t worry. It’ll get better with time?”

Adversity Happens

Most of us have been in that place where we feel humiliated, overwhelmed, and hopeless all in one. This is not one of life’s places we want anyone we care about to be.

Growth Happens Too

As deflating as adversity can feel at the moment, I believe it puts us in a place that helps us grow into even better people. Without pain, without agony, without defeat, we have no frame of reference on which to judge greatness when it shines itself onto our life.

Adversity’s Positive Twist

I am a firm believer that defining moments, like the one my friend was going through, shape our lives just as the powerful storms and angry volcanoes of years past have shaped Earth. Without conflict, we’d have no Grand Canyon, no Mount Everest, no separate continents, and in respect to our singular lives, no respect for ordinary days when all is calm and right.

And just as the storm clouds clear and open up to bright blue, sunny skies, so too will this shroud of regret for the past and fear of the future be lifted for my friend.

Wishing you the best always,
Suzie

Adversity is temporary.

destiny of love

The Destiny of Love

destiny of loveDo You Believe in the Destiny of Love?

Today is the twenty-sixth wedding anniversary of my good friends, so I feel inspired to write about the destiny of love.

When you consider all of the things that must align properly for two people to meet, falling in love is a remarkable miracle.

Is it luck or destiny of love that helps people find that special person with whom they share their lives? Is it random fortune that causes two people to meet in exactly the right place together at the right time? Or is it divine intervention that brought them to this place?

I have many people in my life who struggle to find that ‘special love’. They search bars, classrooms, corporate settings, and countless other places only to return solo. Defeat looms heavily on their shoulders as though in some way they think it is their fault that a magical spark didn’t happen between them and one of the millions of other people in the world.

Those successful in love will tell you that finding that right person is all about timing and fate. When I think about all the great relationships surrounding me, the one thing they all have in common is that they all bloomed from a single, defining moment in time when the two people had a clear path to each other, despite obstacles that stood in their way.

A Look at the Destiny of Love

Here’s a clear example of the destiny of love: my dad actually met my mom at a dance where he was on a date with her sister! My brother met his bride when on a random military leave for a day in South Carolina. A friend met her girlfriend in a college class that she decided to enroll in at the last minute.  Another friend met her husband when she had engine trouble one day and just happened to beg this mechanic, now her husband, for help. As is the case with all of these first meetings, paths crossed at the right moment in time.

When it comes to finding love, people never know when, where, or how it will come at them. One day they’re lonely, the next they are floating on the wings of love. To me, finding love is a hopeful pursuit. The waiting brims with hope for a bright future. One never knows when she will walk out of her front door and find that special person.

The hopeless romantic in me believes it takes more than chance for two compatible people to find each other in this great, big world. I’d like to think that it is the destiny of love that brings people together with the ones they love.

Do you believe in the destiny of love?

Wishing you the best,
Suzie Carr, Novelist

progress

The Secret to Progress

The secret to progress is drive. To move forward takes time and focus, too. You must be willing to take that first step and keep moving.

“To progress, one has to be willing to let go of what is known and be open to new adventure.” Suzie 

progressWe all have things we want to accomplish. We set out with great intention only to be sidetracked by our psyche urging us to turn the other way and enjoy the lure of things within easy reach instead.

The Need for Progress

Maybe it’s that we want to be savvier with our money, get into better shape, or gain more knowledge so we can prosper in our careers. These things all take time, focus, and drive. They require a significant amount of patience and motivation to acquire.

Short cuts just seem easier, don’t they?

Short Cuts Block Real Progress

We’re all smart enough to know that to make any real progress, we must do the work. We can’t expect to run a company successfully without first acquiring the skill sets. We can’t expect to have a bestselling novel sustain its prominence in the market without first putting in the long hours of writing the book. We can’t expect to have healthy bodies without first treating our bodies with the respect of good nutrition and sensible exercise routines.

The reality is that we need to work to progress on those things that we deem important.

Progress Requires Sustained Action

As with any new venture, we set out on new goals fueled with what seems like a super human power. We might spend hours writing some fabulous scenes, reading a book on finance, or tackling the first week of a grueling exercise program. We feel on top of our game, fueled by euphoria from the first scene that took us on a glorious ride, from the first stock papertrade that went well, or from the first inch lost on our waistline.

Then, week two comes around and we find ourselves tempted to let the firm focus grip slide a little. Our old habits are staring us in the face begging for attention. To break an old habit, we need a sticking motivation something that will stand firm in the face of temptation. That’s when the real progress occurs.

A powerful motivator is usually an emotional one.

For instance, when it comes to my health, the drive is deeply rooted in a promise I made to myself after a great friend passed away 4 years ago. I will never again take my health for granted. He died of cancer too early in life and he would’ve given anything to have a healthy body. I have one, so I’m constantly reminded that I have to treat it with respect. It’s almost like if I don’t, then I’m disrespecting his battle. This is strong motivation for me tied inextricably to my emotions.

We’re all motivated for progress differently.

To find success, we must discover what makes us tick. If we don’t know yet what that thing is that’ll keep us strong in the face of adversity, we need to vigilantly keep searching for it.

 

progress

 

Reach out to others who are role models and doing what you want to be doing. Find out what keeps them focused and see if it mirrors your philosophies and touches you on an emotional level.

 

 

 

 

 

Never give up on your journey to discover the power that resides within you. The power to progress is in all of us.

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

 

favorite-foods-5

My 5 Favorite Foods

My 5 favorite foods of all time are ones I would be very sad if I couldn’t eat anymore. My thought on favorite foods: I live once, so I enjoy them. Secret - 10 Day You Challenge

A second random thought: I am so happy to be alive in a time when I don’t have to hide behind trees and hunt my dinner or crawl around forests in search of my afternoon snack. I’m all about earning my treats, but that has more to do with healthy weight tactics than survival!

Favorite Foods – one word: YUMBO!

What else can make out mouths water, lighten a mood, nourish our bodies, fuel our energy, and turn a gathering into a celebration like favorite foods can? They are like friends to us. They share life’s most important events with us. They give our life ZEST!

Favorite foods bring us together in a way little else can.

Food is the social connector that brings our parties and important events to life. Some of my fondest memories have been created around scrumptious spreads. One of my favorites is the time my good friend, Pat, asked me to cook his last Thanksgiving Day dinner. He was dying of cancer 4 years ago and knew this would be the last Thanksgiving for him and his family. I wanted it to be special. I cooked for two days perfecting this grandiose meal. The conversation, laughter, and miraculous return of his appetite as we sat down to indulge in dishes I’d created from scratch, caused my heart to balloon to a size its never been again.

Food has a magical way of bringing families and friends together in a way that little else can.

So, in the spirit of its delicious and social gifts to life, and in continuing on my 10 day ‘you’ challenge, I want to share with you my five favorite foods.

 

1. Colombian Arepa

favorite-foods

2. Calamari

favorite-foods-2

3. Steamed Clams

favorite-foods-1

4. chocolate in any form

favorite-foods-5

5. Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra.

favorite foods

Do we have any similar ones? What are your 5 favorite foods?

Wishing you the best always,

Suzie Carr

 

Places

6 Top Travel Destinations

My 6 top travel destinations are ones in my dreams. I’ve yet to witness their beauty or smell their intoxicating charm. I don’t travel often. Which is why I would ask:

Secret - 10 Day You ChallengeTravel? What is that?

I’ve heard of it, but it’s been so long since this lady has packed a bag and traveled.

I have dreams of places I want to venture off to. I crave to fly off into the blue skies, float with the clouds, and then land in beautiful places where tranquil seas reach out beyond a point my naked eye can see.

Travel and the Senses

Ask anyone who has ever traveled, and she’ll tell you that travel has tickled her senses. I want my senses tickled too! I want to taste exotic fruits, dance to the beat of a new sound, and experience life outside my comfort zone.

Travel and Write

As a writer, I would imagine how excited I’d be to sit with someone from the other side of the world and have a chat about daily life, ideals, triumphs, challenges, and the commonality of the  human spirit. The conversations would surely ignite my creativity and cause me to go nights without sleeping, as I would be frantically typing out the inner secrets of new characters. Just the thought of this gives me a jolt.

One day I will travel. And when I do, I will do so with deep respect and appreciation.

Here are the 6 places I want to travel:

 

Travel-1 Travel-2 Travel-3 Travel-4 Travel-5 Travel-6

Ever since watching Eat, Pray, Love, I’ve had a fascination with traveling as a pathway to self-discovery. Even though I love what I do in daily life, a part of me can’t help but to think there is something much grander and life-affirming past the borders of my home state.

Don’t get me wrong, having a home base is good for the spirit. I feel nourished when I am in the comfort of my home. But a part of my soul is itching to venture away from it for a while to see what else this magnificent world holds.

I will travel when the time is right. I will pack my bags and discover the greatness of this beautiful planet.

For now, I am content to be home with my fur babies, Sunshine and Bumblebee, enjoying them in the here and now.

Travel-7

 

If I could figure out a way to travel comfortably with them, we’d be in Hawaii in a heartbeat 🙂

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr

P.S. What places to you want to travel?

 

 

Fulfillment

Why You Need to Dream Big

We all want things in life. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel greedy in wanting things. I guess this stems from a past of telling myself that I should be grateful for what I have today, and that to want more negates this gratitude.

That’s not a healthy way of viewing life.

‘I want’ to change this.

To get started, I’m making a list of all the positives that come from wanting more in life:

To want is to:

  • dream
  • pursue goals
  • enlighten the spirit with positive focus
  • be grateful for those things in life we can achieve with a little patience and determination
  • offer hope
  • enjoy the dynamic nature of our human spirit

 Want

And, to further cement my good vibe on want and desires…

and in the spirit of my ten day challenge…

Secret - 10 Day You Challenge

I am going to have some fun in sharing 7 things I want.

I Want:

1. To travel the world in search of stories.
2. To have balance every day.
3. To be healthy until the day I die.
4. A winter home in the tropics and a summer home in the mountains.
5. For one of my books to become a full length movie.
6. To be in a position to philanthropically invest in other’s dreams.
7. To sit in the audience of The Ellen Show.

What about you? What do you want?

Wishing you the best,

Suzie Carr

 

blog tour

The Writing Process

 

writing process

The Writing Process Blog Tour

This is my contribution to the “blog tour” game going around the Internet (#Mywritingprocess). Authors blog about their writing process and then tag someone else to do the same. I was tagged by RJ Samuel, an author who I’ve gotten to know via Facebook. She wrote A Place Somewhere, and I am looking forward to reading this book! She always posts positive stuff, and I highly recommend checking out her work. See her blog post here.

1. What am I working on?

I just released my eighth novel in April, so I am now on my one month writing hiatus. I do this to refresh my creativity, clear my previous story and characters from my mind, and begin exploring new ideas. During this time, I do a lot of walking and meditating. The story that is starting to brew is a dramatic fictional novel that I am currently calling Sandcastles.

It’s still early in the planning process, so I don’t have anything concrete to provide in terms of plot and snippet. I do want it to be centered around the theme of how materialism isn’t a pathway to happiness. This character I create will be learning some tough lessons, ones that will pull her in all different directions, and ultimately to a place far better than she is now. I anticipate exploring some metaphysical elements in this novel, as well as a touch of romance.

2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre?

I believe all of us have a unique style of writing, so I hesitate to box myself or any of my fellow writers into a cookie-cutter model. So, I believe we differ in the many ways that make a piece of fiction stand out on its own, with unique characters, story lines, writing style, build up, and resolution. I tend to write characters who are flawed, and tend to rise above the chaos after she endures lots of emotional ups and downs on her way to resolving her life’s challenges. My story lines tend to deal with real life issues that affect us all on a universal level. I enjoy crafting a story that includes lots of twists and turns. I like to keep readers guessing until the end and wondering how in the world a character will get what she needs in the end.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I love to learn lessons. The reason I write is to explore things I want to know more about. I research and talk to people. I like to bring awareness to social issues affecting us, and I like to offer ways people can help support causes in real life.

I also enjoy bringing to light the beautiful imperfections of people. We are all flawed, and writing about the day in the life of a flawed character helps me to grasp the reality that life is littered with problems, and that’s okay. Those challenges don’t have to stop us from enjoying ourselves and rising to our purpose.

4. How does my writing process work?

Music affects me in a raw way. I typically gravitate towards a song, feel the emotions of it, start to conjure up a person affected by the song, and then the fun begins. I start sketching her out by writing in a journal as her. I just free write and let her take me on a journey. From there, a relationship forms between us, and the plot planning begins.

At this point, I know her intimately. I understand what her motivation, ambition, and drive is. I know her fears. So, I start to toss in ‘what-if’ situations, and I write out random scenes tossing her into these moments. Once it feels right, I plan out the major plot points of my story. Typically these are 10 of the most pivotal scenes or turning points. Then, it’s a matter of loosely connecting those scenes together with several scenes in between. With this loose plan in place, I start writing.

I set my writing goal to 2000 words and day, and for 8 weeks that follow, I crank them out. Once draft one is complete, I rework the manuscript about twenty more times! By month four, it goes to beta reading, then to editing, then to proofreading, and then I read it out loud to myself. And then, and only then, do I feel comfortable releasing it.

I’m tagging Diane Marina, author of Imperial Hotel, Landslide, and When the Clock Strikes Thirteen. Her newest release, How Still my Love, will be available in a week or two. You can find out more about her work at www.dianemarina.com

I’m tagging Stacey Darlington, author of Long Snows Moon, The Widow of Sandcastle Cove, Winter on Spring Street, and Athena’s Curse. You can find out more about her work at: www.staceydarlington.com/

 

fear

Start Living by Facing Fear

“See here’s the thing about fear. The more I allow it in, the stronger it becomes. It takes on its own power and becomes my leader. I’m not okay with following that. I’m not okay with bowing my head to it in reverence, as if it were a mightier force than me and had any rights to my freedom.” – Becca, The Journey Somewhere

If anyone understood the complexity of fear it’s Becca James from Tangerine Twist and The Journey Somewhere.  Imagine a musician with stage fright?

fear

Fear is Real – as real as we make it, that is.

I think as long as a person views fear as an opportunity to grow, it can serve a healthy purpose.

As part of my ten day “you” challenge… I’m going to reveal my 8 Fears.

I Fear:

1. Getting old.
2. Becoming irrelevant to those important to me.
3. Crowds.
4. Regrets.
5. Negative book reviews.
6. Disappointing people.
7. Losing touch with what’s important.
8. Missed opportunities.

Anyone who knows me, understands I can’t leave you with a negative feeling about such a powerhouse feeling as fear.

How I View Fear

Looking at my list, I see a lot of growth opportunity in each item. I can choose how I handle fear. I can allow these 8 fears to cage me or to release me. I choose release – ALWAYS.

How? Well, with each one I can turn the emotion around from negative to positive by simply asking myself the question: How can I grow from this fear?

My answer will always be something positive, because I asked an affirmative question.

What are your deepest fears, and what affirmative question can you ask yourself to turn them around and serve you positively?

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr

Secret - 10 Day You Challenge