About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm not the jerk whisperer

I have the above sign hanging next to my desk.  Why?  Because I occasionally try to reason with morons and it's a habit I'm trying to break.  As with all habits, this one requires constant monitoring on my part.

Here's a confession:  I try to be nice to everyone.  I've always been told that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.  So I go out and put up with all sorts of boundary violating, snotty types who tromp all over my good intentions with their negative energy.  It's got to stop.  Seriously.

I'm on a jerk-elimaniting diet---a cleanse of sorts.

I have frienemies, that's for sure.  As I succeed, they're the ones who comment that I'll become a narcissist if I promote myself.  (Although I believe the point of any career is to make money and support your family, right? Am I wrong on that?)  They're the ones who mock my positive attitude and yoga/Pilates mentality despite the fact that it's good for me to feel healthy both mentally and physically.  They're the ones who always have a snide comment for every positive thing that happens in my life.  They're the ones who smile as they try to make my accomplishments "less than."

Why don't I cut them out of my life you ask?  Because I'm the Queen of Second Chances and the Princess of Benefit of the Doubt.  Because I like to see the good in people and am loyal to a fault.  All of these frienemies are people who've been in my life for years, who've seen me struggle, who've witnessed my tears and who I always thought would celebrate my success with me, too.  Why did I think that?  Because it's what I would do and, like I said before, I've always lived according to the "treat people how you want to be treated" motto.

But I'm getting better.  The cleanse is working.  I'm starting to think I'll be completely alone when it's all said done, but that's a risk I'm willing to take for peace of mind.  Or maybe I'll be ridding myself of the people who bring me down so I can make room for positive people who will bring joy to my life.  That's what I'm hoping--the latter.  I saw a quote recently, although I won't remember it exactly, that said "only surround yourself with people who recognize the greatness within you and lift you higher"...or something to that effect.

Now my frienemies will read this--although they'll deny it by making it a point to say something about how irrelevant blogs are and that they don't have time to read anything I write--and will think I'm being defensive.  (I love how bullies like to throw out the word defensive as soon as their target stands up to them.)  So let me set the record straight:  I'm merely addressing how I feel and stating what I will no longer tolerate.  That's that.  Simple.

I'm not going to be liked by everyone.  In fact, after the last seven years, I've discovered a lot about the fragility of friendships and the superficial nature of some human beings.  There are people who simply enjoy being immersed in drama and don't want me to break free from that.  There are others who haven't succeeded at their dreams--or don't even know what their dreams are anymore--and resent the hell out me for achieving mine.  I don't care.  My only purpose in this lifetime is be true to myself.

There is fall out from this jerk-free diet.  I don't trust many people anymore.  Maybe that's good for the long run--I'll be more choosy about who gets close, more picky about who achieves "inner circle" status.  But I don't want to change my innate nature of "treating people the way I want to be treated." I want to keep that part of me because I enjoy being nice, giving the benefit of the doubt and second chances.  So...I'm implementing the "three strike rule" as a compromise.  Three strikes...you're OUT!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Out and About at the Zoo, an interview with Author Jo Linsdell

Today I'm once again counting my blessings as I interview guest author, Jo Linsdell.  I truly am a lucky lady liv'n the dream and days like this when I'm able to chat with another author make me incredibly grateful.  Please join me in getting to know a bit more about Author Jo Linsdell, an accomplished cross-genre author, Out and About at the Zoo is her first children's book.  

Author Jo Linsdell
With two active children around, how do you find the time to write?  
It's not easy. I write when I can. I make the most of nap times and grab 5 minutes here and there when the kids are playing. Having a play box for the little one to go in was the best €32 I think I ever spent ;) I try to get larger jobs done after the kids are in bed and I'm often up until late. I love what I do though and so I'll always find time for it.
You write on a wide variety of topics and have an impressive collection of work.  Why did you decide to write a children’s book?
Thanks :) Yes I've written a wide variety of genres and like to experiment with my writing. With two young children I was already making up children's stories on a regular basis and and one day my four year old asked me why I hadn't written a story for him. I figured he made a good point. It was also a chance to use my art and design skills as I'm also the illustrator.

Specifically for Out and About at the Zoo, what motivated this particular story?  
Out and About at the Zoo came about because my son told me to write a book for him. He's four years old and full of questions. He's always shown a big interest in my writing and loves to know what I'm doing on the computer. I wrote 'Out and About at the Zoo' using our recent trip to the zoo as inspiration. Like most kids his age, he loves animals and seeing them up close was an amazing experience for him. 
I enjoyed the experience so much I'm already working on my next children's book.

In general, what do you think makes a compelling story?
I think a story needs to have good characters. Whether it's the illustrations in a children's picture book or the leading lady in a romance novel, the reader needs to be able to connect with them in some way. An element that keeps people turning the pages from start to finish. In Out and About at the Zoo it's a questions of what animal the child will see next and what it will be doing. For a novel there should be the same questions of what's going to happen next to keep the reader reading.

When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
About the time I could hold a pen. I've always loved making up stories and creative writing was one of my favourite lessons at school.

Who were the biggest influences on you as a writer?
I get inspiration from everywhere and don't think I'll ever stop learning about writing, publishing and the writing industry. So far all my books have come about because someone asked me to write them. 
So I guess my biggest influence is my public.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
So many... I love Dean Koontz and Sophie Kinsella but also the classics. I'll read pretty much anything and everything. One of my all time favourites is Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and I'll never forget reading Anne Franks Diary. It's fair to say that my taste in books to read is as varied as the genres I write.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spend time with my family, read, work out on my wii. Now the summer's here going to the beach is definitely high on my list.

What advice, if any, would you give to a mother of young children?
Cherish every moment you get with your kids and always let them know how much you love them. They grow up so fast!

What advice, if any, do you have for aspiring authors?
It's never too earlier to start marketing. Even before you've finished your first draft you should be building a network and fan base. This might seem a bit strange but the more contacts you can make and followers you have, the easier it will be to market your book when it's ready for release.

Out and About at the Zoo is available at Amazon, AmazonUK, CreateSpace.  To find out more about Jo, check out her website at http://www.jolinsdell.com/id20.html