author, being a designer, blogging, book writer, cotton dishcloth, craft, craft books, crafting, create, deb buckingham, deb buckingham dishcloth diva knitting book, inspiration, knitter, knitting thereapy, novels, Uncategorized

Inspiration from a quiet place

Nighttime is quiet, other than the low hum of the diffuser, which large amounts of steam escape through the pin-like hole on the top. Drops of eucalyptus oil swirl around inside.

I’m awake, too miserable to sleep. The coughs come quickly, yet profusely. I look across the room, dimly lit by the one lamp on the table. My reader sits awaiting that next page to turn. My knitting sits beside it.

It’s 3:00 am, the clock tells me. Far from time to get up. I twist my neck to the side, take in a deep breathe. Ouch. Will this night ever end? Eventually, I hope to sleep. In the meantime, it’s me, my thoughts and my iPad.

Ever have those sleepless nights where it’s your own worries, a cold, or other ailment that keeps you awake? It’s probably the best time to reflect. Take a moment to think of all the things that inspire you. Clearly, it’s the quiet house that makes your mind go crazy, your thoughts to run wild.

I rally around those thoughts, and wonder what next year wil look like for my design business. My writing. What inspiring thoughts can I have that will be effective in creating the inspiration for the (master) plan.

Do you know what I mean?

I can feel the cough subsiding, the essential oils doing their thing. My eyes are getting tired, but now my mind is moving.

2016 feels like the year to up the anti with my business. Create another facet to the ever popular Dishcloth Diva, me. Reaching into the vaults, or my computer archives and pulling out those patterns I love so much and recreating them. Repurposing them, if you will. Inspiring to be that next superstar in the fiber industry.

Oh wait! I am!

Or maybe writing that next novel, memoir, or industry type of book. Spinning tales of my yarn business, how/why it’s led me to where I am.

Sigh…it’s time to close the iPad, turn off the lamp and attempt to get some sleep. It feels like a good time to say, thanks for being my loyal fan, my reader, or however you have come to me. I appreciate you. I know we all have inspirations. For me, apparently, they come in the middle of the night.

Night all!

Deb

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Love What you Do, and You’ll never Work a day in your Life

You know that old saying, don’t you? It’s what we all wish we could do, right?

If your work involves something you’re passionate about, you’re one of the lucky ones. Particularly, as it can bring joy to your working life and your day. However, some people have to “put up” with having a “real job” that doesn’t satisfy them, this makes going to work drudgery, though it pays the bills.

I get that!

If your life is going this way, take a step back and think again. I’m not saying every hobby can become a job, but I am one of those “lucky ones” that it has. And it can be for you too.

I’ve compiled a list of 10 tips that may help you in thinking toward loving your job and never working a day in your life:

10 fun ideas to think about

(1) Maybe you paint, knit, blog, or even play in a 3-piece band, find a way to showcase your talent for others.

(2) Research has found, that the more people engage in their hobbies, the more likely they are to come up with a creative solution.  Perhaps making it their “career”. So, do (more of) what you love. Get good at your hobby.

(3) Hang out in groups on Facebook or Instagram that have like-minded individuals. See what they’re involved with. How they are making a living doing what they love?

(4) Are you open to taking a risk? If so, it may be time to take that plunge. Do your research. Publish a book, pattern, or write an article for a magazine.

(5) Teach others to do what you love? You can do this by creating your own class, doing a webinar, or teaching through a college or continuing education program.

(6) Teach the business of your hobby? For example, if your hobby is magic, teach marketing to magicians. Maybe you love cooking, you could teach others how to get their cooking book published, or teach them a new skill in the kitchen.Do you love to travel? Write an ebook on the best places to see or send in an article to a travel magazine.

(7) Speak or write about your hobby – Hobby-related topics or stories are always of interest to small groups, small papers. Maybe asking to do a guest blog post.

(8) Fix “things” related to your hobby. Maybe your hobby is computers. Most people don’t have a clue how to “fix” them when they break. I know I don’t. Offer your services. Are you a knitter? There is always a dropped stitch (ask me how I know). Offer workshops to show them how to “fix” their work.

(9) Sell your work at craft fairs, local events. Set up an online shop such as Etsy, to showcase your work. (I’ll be doing a post in the coming weeks on setting up an Etsy shop successfully. What I’ve learned along the way.)

(10) Most of all, be enthusiastic about your hobby. Love your hobby or hobbies. Seek out others in your chosen hobby “category”. Friend them, ask them questions on how they got started?

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“The next time you find yourself confused as to how to generate income from your hobbies, search out the most successful entrepreneurs in your area of interest and study their business models and revenue streams.” ~Forbes

Ask them where their income is coming from. Products? Services? What is their pricing strategy?

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Not everyone is going to be a super-star by turning their hobby into a career, but it will ensure us that we will love what we do, because it will nourish us. Feeding your creativity brings joy, excitement, and a positive attitude toward our chosen hobby. So, what’s stopping you from seeking out the possibilities.

It’s a fact!

I love my job! You can too.

I’m curious, and I would love to get some feedback. What can you add to my list? Tell me your hobby? Are you an artist, writer, journalist. Do you knit, crochet, or sew? What do you love to do? Let’s chat.

Live a Creative Life,

Deb

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And So On…

Summer has finally come to a close. The months where the temps are too hot, the bugs too buggy, and the only solace you get is sitting in your air conditioned home.

Do you get the sense summers aren’t my favorite?

Right?!

Fall is upon us. The months where the leaves are changing their reds, oranges, and yellows, the bugs have long gone, and the temps are more than perfect.

My favorite time of year.

It’s also the time I’m inspired to do something new, or new(er).

Writing (again).

My summer was filled with knitting pattern design, working with (knitting) magazines to firm up the release of my new patterns, keeping up with my Etsy shop and answering knitters questions. Busy, but blissful.

What am I up to now, you ask?

A writing contest. Harlequins, You Think You can Write, contest. Romance writers like me send in their first chapter to be judged by over 50 judges in their extensive lines at Harlequein. The winner will be chosen in November to win a 2 book contract among other goodies.

I’m in!! All the way!

After completing NaNoWriMo (refer to earlier posts), I had a complete novel that I believed to NOT suck. After editing (and you also know if you’ve been following that I edited along the way–that’s how I roll), I feel this piece is ready for the eyes of one fantastic editor.

Wish me luck! Submissions begin next week, September 22nd.

I’ll keep you informed!

Write On!

Deb

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NaNoWriMo Day 26

Wow! is all I can say. The fact that I can’t wait to get the next chapter written even though my story is character driven and Morgan drives the plot, well, it’s a thrill.

I spent a couple hours at Starbucks this afternoon, sipping on coffee and water and writing the next chapter. Yes, I’m still behind, but slowly creeping up. I’ve been able to write 2 chapters a day to catch up before Thanksgiving Day hits. That’s an average of about 3500 words a day. Now, why didn’t I manage to stay on target with only 1667 words a day. How much easier would that have been?

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I must make it difficult, I think. 

Nah…It’s all good. 

I have really enjoyed the writing process. I must confess. Just last Wednesday, my husband looked at me and said, “I have to tell you something, and you may not be happy with me. You will finish this NaNoWriMo. You will. I need you to feel this sense of accomplishment. You need to feel this sense of accomplishement. You started this to get your writing mojo back. You can do this. So write.”

Or something to that extent. That’s what I heard him say, anyway. 

So…I write. And write. And write.

I’m listening to Nora Jones and typing away at my craft table in my basement where I just finished the 2nd chapter for the day. I’ve written 41,854 words since November 1st. I WILL have 50,000 by Saturday. That’s ONLY 8,146 words to go.

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Check out the meter. We are almost done. Well, I am anyway.

Are you?? Are you?

So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

 

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NaNoWriMo Day 14

It’s been a few days since I’ve updated you all.

I AM making great progress. I did have a small hiccup this past weekend when my husband, who had been on a business trip for a week, came home.

In walks distraction. (a good one though)

I did get caught up on Monday, then had another one on Tuesday. I didn’t write at all. Oops. So, Wednesday was spent writing 2 days worth.

Done. I decided to have lunch at one of my favorite coffee shop/cafes, Nemo’s, on Wednesdsay. They provide home made food and music I love to listen to.

Word count accomplished.

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I then headed back home and wrote the rest from my chair.

Again, word count accomplished.

It is now Thursday, where I woke up excited to write. I think it has something to do with the fact that I now know where I’m taking the rest of this story…or at least some of it anyway.

In walks distraction: On my way to my writing place, I decided to stop at a new shop, used womens clothes and accessories. I snagged a Vera Bradley bag for only $20. Score.

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On the road again, and headed straight for Panera Bread to find the perfect booth and have the perfect lunch.

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Word count accomplished: 23,424 (26,576 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

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Music is always playing, though this time, NOT on my ipod

Beverage(s) of choice: Mango tea, Herbal Hibiscus, water, iced coffee

Place(s) I chose to write: My comfy chair in the corner, Nemos Coffee/Cafe, Panera Bread

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

 

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NaNoWriMo Day 9

Whew!

Got that done a bit more late today. Stuff happens, right? My husband came home from a business trip today, and we had dinner with our daughter. After a stop at Best Buy, we came home and I headed to my office to write.

Word Count Accomplished.

There are three rules to writing a novel,

Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. Somerset Maugham

Isn’t that the truth. I’ve always been told when you know the rules, you can break them. Knowing the rules is often the hard part. In writing 50,000 words in 30 days, all rules go out the window. Though, for me, I can stick to some of them. Editing, for example is done sparingly and only when I know it doesn’t sound right, or what was my character thinking? I’m not going there, I often talk back.

I’m having a great time doing this. We are 9 days in. That’s huge! I try to NOT to look at the big picture here, but take it one day at a time. I also try to stick to the 1667 or within 100 words over, so I don’t overwhelm myself. I know some will write 3000-5000 a day.

Not me. That’s what makes us all different, right?

I also find that taking time after I write with a fun, no-brained type of activity like reading a magazine or knitting, helps to gather my thoughts and re-hash what I just wrote.

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Words completed to date: 15,138 (34,862 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

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Music playing on my TV: Smooth Jazz

Beverage of choice: Mango juice

Place I chose to write: My office

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

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NaNoWriMo Day 8

Are you keeping up? We are over the 25% mark of being finished.

That’s 1/4 of finishing with 50,000 words.

Today was not as busy as the last 7 days have been. I was able to have coffee with a friend and finish part of an Etsy order.

And Write!

As my husband mentioned to me tonight, “at least you’re getting in the writing habit.” Exactly right! Sometimes you just plain don’t feel like writing, but when you finally talk yourself into it, you’re glad you did. I’m speaking of myself, of course.

The ability to be a Pantser during NaNoWriMo was something I didn’t think would be possible. You’d want to have a plan, an outline of where the story would go. Not me. Like I mentioned, the only plan I had was to write a chapter for the book each day. That’s 30 chapters total. How the chapter ends dictates how the next chapter begins. Easy for me. I can get my head wrapped around the scene and into my characters head.

Speaking of characters, I love my Main Character, Morgan. She’s very likable and at times pretty fun. Everyone loves to be with her and the two men that think they want her, well, makes for some fun writing. I press on, scene after scene. Chapter after chapter. I’m truly finding that love for writing I once had.

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So, next time you’re at a cross roads with your character or scene, try to put yourself in his/her shoes. Visualize where they are at that moment and press forward. Sometimes running is better than walking, and sprinting is definitely better in the end, when you’re trying to get to the end.

Word Count Accomplished!

Words completed to date: 13,349 ( 36,651 words remaining)

Yes, I’ve verified the word count on my NaNoWriMo page. Have you?

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Music playing on my Ipod: Jack Johnson

Beverage of choice: Herbal Iced Tea

Place I chose to write: Panera Bread

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb

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NaNoWriMo Day 5

Day 5!

Fantastic feeling, huh? Are you able to keep consistent with the word count of 1667?

I am!

Not that it was easy today. You see, this post is at almost 8:00 pm. That means I just finished. It truly was a horrible, no good day. It started with a sleepless night.

I couldn’t get to the coffee pot quick enough this morning. Forget the 9 oz Keurig cup! I was going for the 20 oz Starbucks cup. I made enough in my coffee maker to fill it, and with some remaining in case that didn’t do the trick.

You know, sometimes when my day starts out that way (and it doesn’t happen often, really), I do Pilates. It helps to calm me. I had so much to do today, and things I need to do.

In walks (a good) distraction: a phone call from my daughter, who’s a teacher, saying my granddaughter wasn’t having a good day herself and could use a bit of grandma love. Armed with Subway, I headed off to school to spend lunchtime with my precious Jasmine.

Back home, I open up my email to find a list of to-dos from my publisher asking me to fix this and check that for my book release later this month. Annoyed, but excited, I proceeded.

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Fast forward: Word Count Accomplished!
Words completed to date: 8361 (41,639 words remaining)

FYI…I learned a valuable lesson last night. Copy and paste your story into “check word count” on your NaNo page. I did and it calculated 6685 last night. My app calculated 6700. Just a good thing to know going forward.

Keep writing. The path is long, but it’s about the journey.  The payoff is a sense of accomplishment and a “win” for you! Let’s do this.

Are you in all the way with me? It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it!!

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Music playing on my Ipod: Nora Jones

Beverage of Choice: Orange Mango Juice

Place I chose to write: My dining room table

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So, as I always say,

Write On!

Deb