Tuesday, September 10, 2019

I've Been Getting Crafty

Okay, it was quite a while ago, but I got crafty. I enjoy water painting. It's a relaxing pastime for me. I'm not particularly talented. Or let's say I'm not aiming to sell my paintings as they're practice and experimentation. It's more like a meditation for me. I paint to relax my mind. And my arty daughter usually loves to join me any time I bring out the paints.

Being a lover of tarot and oracle cards, I decided to make a little oracle deck to go with my self-love book. So I cut out oracle-card shaped pieces of watercolour paper and painted patterns or backgrounds on them. Then I used a calligraphy pen to write the messages. The messages come from my book - I've used the affirmations at the end of each day.

I did a video showing off my cards for the first book. I have put it on Facebook as it's too large for Blogger. Here is the link to my author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.bosmanauthor

And here are some pics of a few of the cards.








You can find my book on preorder here: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Love-Me-Days-Self-Love-ebook/dp/B07W9FJ36K




Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Excerpt from Falling in Love with Me

I can't believe my book is coming out in a few weeks. The last few weeks have been one challenge after another. Life doesn't always show sympathy and make our paths easy. But here I am - still standing.

I would love to share an excerpt with you from my self-love book, just for you to get a taste of what it offers.



This comes from Day 4 - Respect Yourself

I’ve always felt that the cornerstone of a good relationship is respect. If someone doesn’t respect you, they don’t really love you, do they?

But what does it mean to respect yourself?

This is a really hard one, but it’s so important.

Firstly, do you criticize yourself constantly? What would it be like if you did that to your partner, friend, or your child? Would they feel loved? Would they want to be around you? Not at all. Remember that you’re the only person who is with yourself 24/7, 365 days a year, all the years of your life. You’d better learn to get on.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a better person and working on your faults, but negative self-talk can be debilitating. You have to learn to celebrate all that you are and all that you’ve come through. You’re an amazing human being. You’ve accomplished so much so far in your life, or multiple lifetimes (if you so believe). You’ve overcome immense challenges and stuck it out through many trials. You’ve loved and laughed and cried. You’ve grown as a person, matured through the years. The deepest part of your being is pure love. That’s because you belong to The Universe which is also pure love. You are one and the same. The very deepest well of existence is love.

Sure, you’ve messed up. We all have. Maybe you’ve done some terrible things that have really hurt you and others. You did those things because you felt separate from love. They were a cry for help. It’s time to forgive.

If self-respect is hard for you, write a list of five things you like about yourself.


My book is available on preorder on Amazon and Smashwords here:

Amazon
Smashwords

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Stages of Writing and Publishing a Book and a Cover Reveal

There are about eleven stages in birthing a book out into the world:

1. Thinking up an idea.
2. Writing the first draft.
3. Reading through and editing the first draft - maybe rewriting stuff.
4. Sending to beta readers and fixing.
5. Deciding what to do with the book and going ahead with it - self-publishing or sending out to publishers.
6. Getting that contract or editor to work on your book.
7. Going through the editing stage.
8. Designing a cover or working with a cover designer, then doing the cover reveal. (This stage could be done at the same time as stage 7.)
9. Formatting the book and starting off your marketing.
10. Book release day!
11. Marketing, marketing, marketing...

I'd love to know what your favourite stage is. I'm more and more feeling like writing the first draft is truly the best part. There's something about that tingle of first creation that's so powerful, so beautiful, like the first few buds of spring after a long winter. Getting a new cover is another high moment. I think my worst stages are definitely 5, 7, and 11. Marketing being the worst. I hate pushing myself out there. I'm excited to talk about my book, but after going through the editing stage, I've lost a bit of that starry-eyed wonder toward it. Now I see it too critically. It's hard to take that editor's eye off it. Marketing isn't my strongest point. I know it's so important though. I would prefer someone else to do it all for me. But, in the end, I'd say all the stages are special in their own way and part of the wonderful and sometimes gruelling process.

Anyway, I have hit the cover-reveal stage of my self-love book. I'm so excited as I absolutely adore this cover that my daughter Laura made. She is so talented.



Falling in Love with Me

30 Days of Self-Love

Do you struggle to like yourself? Do you battle with negative thoughts about your body, your worth, or your personality? Do you wish you were like someone else? What if you could learn to love yourself? Falling in Love with Me is a book full of nuggets of wisdom on how to love yourself, even if the world keeps on telling you otherwise. In thirty days, you can grow your self-love muscle and change the way you speak to yourself in your head. And maybe become a more peace-filled and happy person.

Falling in Love with Me is written in a casual, intimate style without the clutter of academic jargon and multiple exercises and worksheets. It's a self-love book that can be read as your daily companion. Each day's write-ups are short and sweet but pack a punch in whispering those loving thoughts right in your ear, like a dear best friend who always has your back. Born out of grief, this book shows a way to heal your broken heart and bring you back to love.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

BR to Four Foxes, One Hound - Commonalities in My Stories

I follow this amazing author blog called Four Foxes, One Hound. It's comprised of five authors who share parts of their lives and about their writing and books. The theme this past week has been Commonalities in My Stories. The authors have listed the common themes or threads in the books that they've written. So, I couldn't resist doing a BR - Blog Response. 😊 You can find Jeff Salter's one here. He went into huge detail. I don't know if I can match that, but I'm going to try to list a few things.

Four Foxes, One Hound

Major Characters

Most of the time, my main character is a heroine and she's usually into something that she's really passionate about, which is her career in life. Or she changes her life around to follow this special dream. For example, in the Wedding Girls Series, with Clean Reads, they were all into things to do with weddings. Kiana sold wedding gowns and sewed bridesmaid dresses on the side; Elaine made wedding cakes; and Rachel ran a wedding chapel on a cruise ship. In my Creators Series, with Decadent Publishing, Tessa ran an art gallery and painted these secret paintings of her dream of having a kid; Rowena was a ballet teacher; and Alicia was into photography but suppressed her desires because she carried so much shame.

Usually my heroines are more introverted, but not always. They often aren't looking for romance. They've either given up or are jaded from a broken relationship, or they're too busy with their lives.

My heroes are generally kind, gentle, giving types. Maybe too perfect. I could probably develop them more.

Secondary Characters

The heroine usually has a best friend who helps her along the way. Sometimes she gets a story in the next book, e.g., the book I'm writing at the moment is the story of Colette's best friend, Rachel, who features in When Love Blooms, which has just been contracted with Black Opal Books.

I do have grandmothers, aunts, cousins, work colleagues, or siblings. But most of the time there's a best friend around.

In Cat Therapy, it's Delia, who comes alongside Cherry to help her run her Cat Therapy Hotel.


Main Themes

The usual theme of my books is finding love, but in my later, more recent books, I've tried to thread in a women's fiction theme, as well, where my characters have discovered things about themselves and grown as people. The love relationship isn't the only focus. For e.g. in Cat Therapy, Cherry learns about self-love and how to heal from heartache. In the book I'm writing at present, my heroine learns the importance of balance and taking time to rest and renew. In my short story, Ghostly Tours, the heroine learns the importance of forgiveness of the past. In Reminding Me of You, Mia learns to listen to her intuition.


Other Things that Come Up

I find a lot of my books feature cats as pets: Wedding Gown Girl, Cat Therapy, and now my latest book, In Full Fruit.

I also have a thing about magical shops / items. This features in my Album series which I have taken off the market until I fix up Book 1. I wrote a magic shop in my first ever novel, The Shoe Shop, which is pretty awful, lol.


I'd love to hear what common threads you have through your books.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Shame vs Self-Confidence

Whew, it's been quite a week. I don't know if it's to do with the lunar eclipse and new moon energies. Probably a little. Anyway, in my journey to self-love, I've been quite aware that self-confidence is a big part of it, but I haven't felt quite ready to write about that one. Maybe it's because I know that I need to work on this one big time.
Thank you to Vinicius Altava on www.pexels.com

As I now practice a more earth-based spirituality, I like to work with the moon phases and one of the things I do is set an intention on the new moon for what I want to increase in my life. The previous new moon, I set the intention to work on my self-confidence. Little did I realise how much I would need this and how much it would be tested. Everything was going okay, until a few days ago.

I went to a social outing with a group of my dance friends on Saturday. The ladies were getting more and more relaxed as they downed some glasses of wine. I love the taste of wine, but I just can't consume much at all, and because I'm pretty much a total lightweight, I don't drink any alcohol if I have to drive home. But, I have a tendency to pick up the vibe of a place and wine makes people more relaxed, so then I become more relaxed. The ladies were starting to talk openly about themselves, so I jumped in and told them something very personal about myself and also about my healing journey from my divorce. The responses were mostly positive and supportive, but not all of them.

I went home reeling. I was so embarrassed. I wished I hadn't said anything. I didn't know how I was going to face my group of friends the following week when I went to dancing. It had taken me a year and a half (as an introvert) to start to feel relaxed and open with them. Now, I felt like I was almost back to square one.

That night, as I tried to fall asleep, I had a weird headache on the left side of my head. I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and after only being awake for a few minutes, I got something in my right eye, or so I thought. It was so uncomfortable and no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to get it out. I rinsed with water; I even watched a sad movie to make me cry it out. Nada. Nothing worked. I immediately thought that it may have some spiritual significance to what I was going through, but I wasn't sure what. The eye problems got worse until finally both eyes were itchy and scratchy.

Fast-forward to last night. I had returned home from the dance lesson feeling so annoyed with myself. I'd been so awkward and uncomfortable with my friends. Most of them were treating me the same, but there was this uncomfortable feeling. It came mostly from me, but a bit from them. I did not have a good time; although I loved the dancing. I came home determined to work on myself. I knew my self-love had taken a nosedive.

I thought of one of my favourite self-help teachers, Brene Brown. She's a vulnerability researcher who did a TED video that went viral.



Anyway, she talks about vulnerability as though it's a good thing. That reminded me that I'd been incredibly brave on Saturday sharing a vulnerable part of myself. It had taken immense courage. I wasn't the loser and bad person and idiot that my mind or "their supposed thoughts about me" were telling me. I was a braveheart. Brene says that vulnerability makes people beautiful. And so it does. (I've written a chapter on this in my self-love book.)

She also talks about shame. The biggest barrier to self-confidence is shame and letting it get to us. When we allow others' thoughts or 'supposed thoughts of us' make us feel shame, then we lose confidence in ourselves. Shame is basically the message that we are not enough. And that's how I was feeling.

Last night, I went out to look at the lunar eclipse. I said a prayer for release of all my shame. I reached out for self-confidence and for self-love. I felt something beautiful and loving. I also acknowledged how it was my own thinking that had caused the problems with my friends - my own listening to the lies about myself.

This morning, I woke up with a notification on my phone from the meditation app I use. Someone, who had put up a guided meditation I did a few months ago, thanked me for a review I'd posted on their meditation. I clicked on the review and decided to just look up the meditation teacher. Right at the top of her page was a course on Self-Confidence and Help with Social Problems! What? I knew it was a miracle that I'd stumbled upon this. I did the first lesson of the course. We had to write down things that had happened to us in our lives that had taught us to be ashamed of ourselves. There was that shame word again that I'd listened to the night before on YouTube with Brene Brown. How amazing is that? I wrote down those things. Then we were to forgive those who had caused the shame and not think too deeply about each thing, but to just release them. I did that. We were supposed to crumple up the paper into a ball. I did that. What a release I felt.

Anyway, a few hours later, I realised that my eye was totally healed. How incredible is that? I believe it had a link to how I was seeing myself (and a bit of allergies). What do you think?

I'd love to write more about self-confidence. I will in the future, because it's something I've struggled with a lot in my life. Being introverted does not mean I have to suffer with this ailment. I can overcome it! And so can you.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Spotlight on Angels in Darkness

Today I want to welcome to my blog fellow Clean Reads author, A.R. Conti Fulwell. We are putting a spotlight on her book, Angels in Darkness, which is coming soon! It is an Historical, Inspirational Romance. Wow!

Author Bio

A. R. Conti Fulwell holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Malone University and a master’s degree in Education from Walsh University. Her storytelling journey began many years ago when her mother showed her the magic of rewriting fairy tales. She claims it is the cure for insomnia, or at least it was for her. Influenced by the greats – Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, T. S. Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amanda resides near Canton, Ohio, and can usually be found curled up with a book, a pen, and paper, or behind a camera shooting a short film.




Short Blurb:

Relentless and refusing to be beaten, Piero Catone is looking for a rematch. Convinced that Lina’s love is the only thing that will save him from himself, he sets off to win her at any cost. Lina, now the Princess Clarice Angelina d’Orsini wife of Lorenzo de Medici, will not be strong-armed so easily. When Piero’s plan goes terribly wrong, he finds himself faced with a straight-forward decision: Will he follow the light or surrender to the darkness?




Short Excerpt:

“And what is this cruel joke? This man who can answer all my questions is laying right here, unconscious. Why are you toying with me?” Carità stifled a sob, feeling her insides clench as if rung like a dirty rag.

And suddenly, she stopped.

The man on the table grasped her hand, and it was all she could do to breathe.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARContiFulwell/

Instagram: @arcontifulwell

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/arcontifulwell/

Snapchat: @arfulwell

Website: https://arcontifulwell.com/

Blog: https://arcontifulwell.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 7, 2019

What to do About Love

This is a personal post about my dating and love adventures after marital separation and divorce. I think everyone's story is different, but we all have a story to tell and maybe we can grow and learn from each other's.

As soon as my marriage looked like it was totally unsalvageable, I found myself embroiled in a messy rebound relationship. (Yes, in hindsight I feel terribly guilty about this as my divorce hadn't gone through, but I knew the marriage was over. You just know. I had tried absolutely everything I could think of to save it but nothing had worked.) It sounds cliche to have a rebound relationship, but I think it's quite a common thing, especially after a long relationship where you aren't used to being single and are petrified of the prospect - I'd been married most of my adult life - nearly twenty years. I wouldn't recommend a rebound relationship to anyone, but I think in some ways I needed to go through it. I needed to know that a man wanted me in some way, even though it really wasn't the way I ultimately would like. I needed to know I could still be with someone else. The relationship ended when I realised he couldn't be trusted and I'd ignored some huge, nasty red flags. I discovered how bad my judgement was when I was desperate to find someone to fill the hole my ex-husband had left.

As soon as the marriage crumbled, I also foolishly went onto dating websites. I think because I'd seen how a dear family member had found a beautiful love very soon after her divorce, I thought it was possible for me. So, I went on a few dates with guys, even a couple of second dates, but none of them were right for me. About a year later, I found myself in a relationship with the handyman who came to the house where I was staying. It started when I confided in him some difficulties I was having. Of all the relationships I've had so far, I think he was genuinely one of the nicest. He really was a great guy. But I knew he wasn't right for me and I actually broke it up with him. I felt so bad, but I knew it wouldn't work. That was a plus for me - that I had the strength to end something instead of clinging onto a relationship for fear of being single. After that, I began to realise that I wasn't ready for dating and relationships. I decided that I would wait two years from my separation (when I knew the marriage was over) before I started online dating again. I would work on self-love, healing from my divorce, and finding myself. It was good and deeply healing.

When the two-year mark came along, I went back on the dating websites. I even paid for a couple of months' subscription for one of them. The first time a guy messaged me, we got on quite well and we decided to meet for a walk along the beach. He was polite, friendly, nice. I was hopeful, but still not sure. There were a few concerns. For one, his divorce hadn't gone through yet. I decided to give him a chance so we went on a second date. That one went even better but there was one glaring conflict with us - a religious thing - one I couldn't get over. When I told him that I read tarot cards, he mentioned something about living our lives right so we didn't go to hell. Although the tone of voice he used was soft, I just couldn't reconcile with his way of thinking. We also hit a few communication snags later on. So, I ended it with him. For some reason, that took so much energy out of me and I promptly deleted my profiles off all the sites. I sought spiritual advice on what direction to take in my dating life. I began to feel like I didn't want to meet my future love online. For some reason, it didn't feel right. I couldn't explain why; it was just gut feel. So I trusted that in my social and outside-the-home activities I would one day meet someone.

At a spiritual group I went to a few months back, I met a guy I liked. I messaged him a few weeks later to try to strike up something. Hey, it's now the modern thing for ladies to reach out too. So, I took that bold step. It didn't end too well. He showed no interest. But at least I'd tried.

When my kids went to their dad a few weeks ago, I had much more time to myself, time to think, silence, and solitude. After a week, I decided to go back on the dating sites. This time I wasn't desperate to find anyone as I was mostly happy on my own, but I figured that my kids are getting big now and would soon be heading out on their own. It was high time I started looking for someone. We're told by dating coaches and I'd seen many articles online saying that if we didn't make the effort and get out there, meeting people online and arranging dates, that we wouldn't meet anyone. We couldn't leave it up to chance. We had to be proactive. I still wasn't sure if online dating was my thing - I pretty much knew it wasn't my thing, but I went ahead and signed up on Tinder which is the only free decent one in my country. I trawled through about 50 photos of men in my area, and probably liked about a third to a half of them. I was careful, but also tried not to be too picky and to keep an open mind. The next few days, I waited for some likes back - Tinder lets you know. Nothing. Not a single one. Then the one night I was going through more of them and something happened. I cannot explain it, but it just felt really, really wrong in the deepest part of my being. It felt fake, it felt unnatural. I was shopping for men. It was like I wasn't seeing the men - I was seeing an outward shell. And they were seeing the same with me. And my outward shell wasn't enough for them. I know my worth. I know I'm an amazing person - beautiful, kind, interesting, and intelligent. I felt that I wasn't being valued and neither were they. I also felt in the deepest part of me - my intuition - that some of those men were not good types at all. You couldn't see - you couldn't pick up their vibes because you're not there with them, feeling their personal energy, but I knew it inside. I felt like I dodged a bullet - a really dangerous one - as I deleted my profile the next day.

I stayed  a bit longer on two more apps - Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel. For some reason I don't get a bad vibe / feeling with these ones. I have no idea what I was picking up on Tinder that one night, but it was seriously way-out-there freaky bad. I have now gone off all the apps again.

I have come to the conclusion, the last week or so, that I'm not meant to date or be in a relationship at this time in my life. It hasn't been easy. There are some days when I want someone really badly. I want someone to kiss and make love to; I want someone to talk to when my kids aren't here; I want someone to share life's ups and downs with. But there's another part of me that really wants to continue on this exciting journey of discovering myself and revelling in my freedom as a single person. Solitude has no longer become my worst enemy. In fact, sometimes I relish it. The silence is like a beautiful presence. It's in the silence and solitude that my connection to the Divine is so much stronger. And I really want to build that connection. I don't want anything to come in the way of that.

Will I ever date again? I'm pretty sure of it. I believe there will come a time, but it's not now. I just know in the deepest part of me - my intuition / gut feel - that it's not the right time.

Before I met my husband, things were kind of similar. I wasn't like other young women - dating different men, getting seriously into relationships, and breaking them off, and starting again. I used to feel out at times, but it never happened. It was weird. It was like I had this bubble around me. I wouldn't say I was particularly ugly. Yes, I was shy and not your ultra-contemporary sex goddess, but I was attractive in my own way. But it was like I wasn't meant to date. With every guy that I was interested in, I would hear this little voice inside me say, "no." The only person I didn't get this with was my ex. It was really frustrating, but I knew it was my intuition protecting me from something. And I'm getting the same thing again. I often see guys I like and then I often get, "no."

I don't know why this is so, but in a way I'm glad. I don't want to go through all the stress of online dating. I belong to several dating advice groups on Facebook and I hear so many stories of people and all the problems they have with online dating. I think of the few problems I've had so far, and I just don't have the energy for it. I feel that we are the stewards of our own energy. I sincerely believe that some people are meant to go through lots of dating to grow as people and discover who they really want. That sometimes they need to go through some difficult relationships. But that doesn't mean it's for everyone. I've sometimes wondered if it's my own fear of getting hurt again that's stopping me. It may seem like that to an outsider looking in, but deep inside I know that's not it. I know it's just not the right time.

So, I'm at this point now where I'm surrendering to The Universe. I'm not going to control how it's going to happen. I'm just going to trust. In the right time and in the right way, the best type of person will enter my life. For some reason, I'm being kept for them. I'm not into purity culture or "keeping yourself pure before marriage" but I do believe that relationships require an energy exchange and I believe my soul is protecting me from relationships that may be harmful to me until I'm strong and ready enough to handle more.

At the moment, I'm just following my intuition and pursing the things that mean a lot to me and which give me happiness and peace. There is love all around me and it doesn't always have to come from romance. The Universe is romancing me all the time. And it's beautiful. I'm on an exciting adventure of discovery, and I'm loving every moment.