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READING WEDNESDAY – Clear that ‘TBR’ Pile!

So you look down beside the couch to see your burgeoning ‘to be read’ pile frowning back at you.  Your saved blog posts, newsletters, website, and e-zine articles file is so filled it’s about to crash your laptop, and you don’t even want to think about your tablet’s monstrous e-book library which is up to what now, 1200 strong?

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Face it.  You have saved so much reading material you now avoid looking at it.

Enter reading Wednesday, the one day you set aside to read your way through it all.

Make an appointment with yourself (every Wednesday) and keep that time for simply reading . . . and maybe taming that wild beast of a pile.

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THE MORNING POWER READ. 

Time to gather up all the bookmarked pages, articles, journals, saved blog posts, website pages, tweet links, downloaded research e-books, texts, dog-eared magazines and otherwise printed material that lurk about the house.

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Decide on a space, preferably one that’s secluded with a trip wire for those who wander too close and will disturb your Zen reading haven.  The back of a library is ideal.  Take coffee or tea, and make sure there is a full charge on your laptop and tablet in case there isn’t a nearby outlet.

Bring headphones.  This is also a good time to scan, download, organize or listen to a new podcast or audio book.

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THE LUNCH TIME BIG OORGANIZE.

By lunchtime, aim to have all read material slotted and filed into: HOLDING, PTU-put to use, or SOT-sorted or trashed files.

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HOLDING.  Holding material are things waiting to be used: a website of someone who does something you know you’ll need or use later, stock photography, research material etc.

S.O.T – SAVE OR TRASHED.   Most things need to end up here: read it, commit to memory then painfully trashed.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Remember keeping things for later is what got you here in the first place! 

P.T.U – PUT TO USE.  Useful things you will actually put to use.  Choose one thing from here and put it into action.  That article of tips to improve your Goodreads page? implement them.  That list of ways to revamp your website?  Start revamping.  Pick one thing and start updating, reorganizing and overhauling.

Listen to one of your podcasts or audio reads on the way home.

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Reading Wednesday people – try it and tell me how it goes!


 

DESK BEAUTIFUL

Does your desk feel like your oasis? Or, did you just look at its current state and think – more like an episode of Disaster DIY?

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According to Feng Shui Architect, R.D. Chin, your desk should be a Zen space, a place where balance and happiness can nourish good health and wellbeing because let’s face it, your office and desk space is like a second home.

 

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Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, can transform any space into a sanctuary full of prosperity, luck, and good health.  At its core, Feng Shui believes that everything has energy—even inanimate objects—full of a life force, called “chi.” By enhancing the flow of energy your surroundings will have harmony.

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Here is what you can do to bring good energy to your desk space right now.

DE-CLUTTER YOUR DESK

A messy desk doesn’t just look bad, it adds to stress and hinders productivity.   The first step with Feng Shui is to purposefully clear out clutter with a specific intention in your heart and mind.

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For example, “I’ll wash the window with the intention of clarity for my business,” Chin says. “Or, I’ll clean my desk to welcome positive energy for my work to infuse it with positivity.”

PLACE SOME FLOWERS AND PLANTS

If you only one thing for your space, invest in a plant—or three!  Plants and flowers instantly increase positivity, happiness, and energy, and they purify the air.  Chin recommends green living plants like bamboo, ivy, or jade to infuse life and energy into your office while reducing stress.

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ADD A BIT OF COLOR

“Red is a very auspicious color, green is healing, purple is spiritual, and yellow saffron is a grounding earth energy,” Chin explains. You can infuse color by simply draping a colorful shawl or scarf over your chair. If you’re ambitious and have space, add some artwork, inspirational quotes, your favorite pictures, or really fun pushpins!  Even something that simple can also introduce vibrant color.

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Also, nature photos boost productivity.  Rumor has it that looking at nature scenes help people focus.

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Decorate with warm patterns and fabrics.  Surround yourself with comfy stuff.

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Photo courtesy of The Cofran Home
Blog post adapted from: 6 Ways to Make Your Desk So Much Cozier (Now That It’s Dark When You Leave) By Sarit Newman and 6 Ways to a Little Feng Shui to Your Desk for Under $15By Hannah Chenoweth

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Read more:   DESK MESS = STRESS.  YOUR ZEN DESKdesk-mess-stress-1

Enjoy!

Alexandra Isobel

The Creative Loft Blog – quiet space for introverted romance writers

LOVE AND COMMITMENT STORIES

These are some of my favourite urban bwwm short stories on amazon.  They’re fun reads for the bus ride home, a long hot bath, or a day at the beach.

Herpregnant cover“I’m pregnant.”

Thyssen Skalas, a Navy SEAL in his prime, responds to his childhood love, Charlotte’s announcement with a foolish question, “Is it mine?” which lands him thrown out on his ass.

Three years later, after an out of control downward spiral in the SEALs,  he hits rock bottom.  Discharged from the Navy he becomes a contract killer for the Greek mob before he washes back up on Charlotte’s doorstep with a vengeful target on his tail.

Charlotte Jones is stunned to find that the filthy vagabond lying sick with fever in her shed is Thyssen, the father of her toddler and the man who broke her heart three years ago.  Even more shocking is that he’s no longer a SEAL and involved with a mob family his father cut ties with years ago.   Oh and he also led an insane professional killer to her door.

Thank you, Thyssen Skalas.

When bullets start to fly and Charlotte and his son are in danger,  Thyssen forces his family into hiding so he can sort things out.  There he’ll have a chance to redeem himself to Charlotte, and hopefully have his one true love fall back in love with him all over again.

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“Steamy, delicious, heart pounding action! A quick read but, what it lacks in length it definitely makes up for in girth!”  Amazon 5 star review.

Jake Langdon comes home from his last SEAL mission for some rest and relaxation with his long time girl, Marianne Kent. Only what he finds sends him into a jealous rage.

Marianne is in a cheap motel room, in bed with his brother, Henry. Without really knowing what’s going on, basic instinct drives Jake with the need to dominate and reconfirm Marianne is still his. He seduces her into having hot sex in the same bed where he found her, his brother sleeping beside them.

Marianne is shocked to see Jake, and confused by his attitude as she had turned down his marriage proposal before he left on deployment. However, right now she needs his help as she is in hot water thanks to Henry and his mother…

The SEALs Undivorce Cover

Jacob Sanders arrives home from a heartbreaking deployment to find a love letter from his estranged wife, package of divorce papers in his inbox.  Clearly, the mother of his five children has decided to move on.

Danika Sanders has gotten her groove back.  After a long bout of postpartum depression that started somewhere between the birth of her now three-year twins and her new four-month-old daughter, she has picked herself up and thinks herself ready to finally deal with her alpha SEAL husband.

Wrong and wrong.

Jacob and Danika have a lot to learn about themselves and each other before they can either reunite or release each other.  A secret baby, five boys, Jacob’s raw jealousy and Danika’s hot gay maid all conspire against the thinning threads of their passionate marriage.  Will an unexpected shooter put an end to all they hold dear or tie those threads together so they have a saving knot to hold onto?

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BULLET JOURNAL INVESTIGATION

So I decided it was time to investigate the idea of a bullet journal. My written notes and reminders were a complete organized mess, and the idea of a bullet journal – organization meets creativity sounded perfect!

 

I can collect all of my random thoughts into an easy creative read?  Sign me up . . . and what do I need?

Notebook.  Legend.  Pens.  Pencils.  Sharpies.  Check!

The verdict? Definitely a yes!

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The idea is simple.  The concept easy to follow.  Create a legend.  Add sections for areas of thought:  goals, notes, to-do lists, meals, time schedules . . .

 

And there are so many beautiful bullet journal shells and templates out there.  I spent an hour on ETSY!bullet-journal-etsy

But in the end made my old journal into something new.  Is it a mess?  Organized? Beautiful?  Creative?  All of the above.  It’s just what I want and everything I need.

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HAPPY JOURNALING!

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CHIMERA TEAM LOVE STORIES

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Sometimes it’s just a moment . . . less than a heartbeat . . . that fleeting instant when a man lays claim to his woman.  Fall in love with these hot alpha soldiers as thdownload-ebook-gratisey lose their hearts to the only women who can tame them.

 

WHAT  READERS ARE SAYING

“These boys are well-trained and strong, which means they have plenty of muscle to lift up their women and do all sorts of naughty things with them.” Romance4thebeach review

“Alexandra Isobel breaks out with three well-written romantic suspense short stories. The stories are enjoyable prequels for future novels.” Selena Robins rated it 5stars.

“This handful of shorts is a lot of fun. Prequels to a series about military and ex-military heroes, each one is distinct, the characters nicely sketched in very few words.” E.G. Manetti rated it 5 stars.

  “Alexandra Isobel’s book Romantic Heart Beats is a group of short stories all with a military theme. Readers this book is what I like to call a sneak peak of what the author has in store. All these stories do end on a cliffhanger. These stories all whet the appetite leaving the reader wanting more. Hopefully, she doesn’t make readers wait too long.” CocoFierce review

Read the stories . . .

TAKE FLIGHT

Take FlightMercury Cardinal, the intense and dedicated captain of Chimera Team, has one mission tonight.  Get Daria Hill from the safety of her bed, through the rebels who just overtook the embassy, to the rendezvous helo on the other side of town.

Guarding  Daria has been Mercury’s long standing cover assignment when not on spec ops missions, protecting her become sacred the day she was kidnapped while he was in the field.

Tonight, even though they’re relationship has changed, he’ll get her safely to the evacuation helicopter or die trying  . . .

WELCOME HOME

welcome-home-cardRusty Cundieff, a focused special operations soldier with Chimera Team, has only been home one day, and already he’s keeping Meghan Christopher’s ass out of trouble– literally as she dangles off a cliff.  The only thing between her and the river cavern below is the tenuous grasp he has on her wrist.

Meghan has always been off limits to Rusty.  She’s his best friend’s little sister and his mentor’s daughter.  Beyond protecting her from the ugly side of life, he’s always disciplined his body not to react to her, and to keep his thoughts leashed, until  . . .  tonight.

STANDING GUARD

standing-guard-cardBenjamin ‘Draco’ Dracovich, Chimera team’s point man, cannot get over the death of his team mate Jack during a disastrous mission.   Jack was his best friend, and a married father with two little girls.  He should have survived the unexpected bomb blast.  Not him.

Honour drives Draco to keep his death bed promise to Jack; take care of Kate.  Guilt over wanting her keeps him awake every night.  He promised Jack he’d take care of her, not bed her.  Wanting Kate crossing the line.  Making love to her would betray his soldier’s pact with Jack.

Tonight, Draco is determined to find a way to release his inner demons, because holding back with Kate has torn him up inside.  She ignites his every basic instinct, and needs to learn exactly what she does to him.  Tonight Kate would be his . . . and his alone.

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 Download and enjoy my free read.  

download-ebook-gratis Leave me an honest review if you like it!

 


HEAD NOISE

Clear your head of noise.

nordik-spa-october-28-1If you want to clear your head of noise, you’ll need to sit quietly and maybe listen to some brain food or concentration music and sounds.

I have been loving the playlists on Spotify, Google Music and Stingray.

Allow thoughts to filter through your mind.  Don’t stop any of them, or let them damn up and clutter your mind.  Stopping your thoughts can lead to mind loops where your thoughts end up on a treadmill, and soon you’re reliving, rethinking, and second guessing the past, present, and even the future.

Let thoughts flow in and right back out.

Think of your mind like a river – your thoughts are water.  Clearing head noise is like a watershed that leads to calm, peaceful, open stillness.

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MAKE YOUR OWN MUSING?

What is a creative musing?

In its purest form, provocations provoke: thoughts, ideas, interests, and inspire the imagination toward creativity. Provocations can come in a variety of ways, but should make you think, question, or react.  They also may make you want to connect.

Creative musings are things (or a collection of things) that inspire you to create by sparking your imagination.

TRAVEL TO YOUR SETTING

COLLECT EVERYTHING YOU HAVE THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO TRAVEL TO THE PLACE

MUSING ARE SIMPLE

national-galleryPhotos or artwork
Movies or books
Journals with pens
Natural things – colourful rocks, a perfholiday-lights-and-decorations-8ect stick, unused birds nest
Collection of desk gadgets
Picture magazines
A scene out the window

 

CREATIVE MUSE SCENES   

A COLLECTION of things your like, treasure and inspire you to create something new.

DISPLAY MUSING in a beautiful way, so they stimulate your interest and spark your imagination to wonder or write.

 CREATIVE MUSE SPACES 

GET YOUR HEAD INTO YOUR CREATIVE SPACE.  Make yourself an area to immerse yourself in so you can draw from its energy to capture, and tame your elusive muse.

 

A ROMANCE WRITING SPACE full of romance writing books and music and tea!

A JOURNALING SPACE with everything needed to journal in peace.

KEEP EVERYTHING TOGETHER – and love the setting and display.

WHAT KIND OF MUSING CAN YOU CREATE?


EXPLORE A NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD

Out and About in New Edinburgh – Lovin’ it

I don’t live in this area of town, but my best friend does.  She just moved here, so we went out and about for coffee, scones, and books.

We started out at Bridgehead Coffee on Beechwood.

Then walked down to the Books on Beechwood book store.

They are so awesome with the way they highlight books in the news!  Choosing just one book is basically impossible.  They make each one special.

Then we enjoyed some scones at Scone Witch.  I love love love their little kitchen and their scones . . . heavenly!

And we headed back past the old church.  It’s a block big so needed two different shots!

It feels good to get out and about . . . gets the imagination and inspiration going.

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saturday-morning-sept-24-16-12 Do you ever explore new neighbourhoods to get inspired?

 

CHOOSE TO LIVE BEAUTIFUL

MAKE YOUR LIFE BEAUTIFUL . . .

free-blog-photos-20Fill it with what you want

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Enjoy all you have

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Live the life you envision.  Start today – small things only if that’s all you can manage.  Tomorrow won’t wait and neither should you.

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Warm blankets.  Laughter.  Cookies.  Hot drinks.  People and pets

Surround yourself with beautiful and you will live beautiful. It is a practice.  Doing daily things to make them a habit and into the norm.

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Remember – you can feel any way you want today.

Choose to feel beautiful.

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saturday-morning-sept-24-16-10Tell me, what do you do to feel beautiful?

Travel Through Prince Edward County? Yes Please!

There’s a place, along the shores of Lake Ontario, they call Prince Edward County.

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Wine Country.  Beautiful Country.

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A place with natural hidden treasures, upbeat trendy restaurants and pubs, groovy chefs and neat places to stay.

It’s just a perfect romantic get away and you’ve gotta go.  It’s quiet.

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Join me in the Creative Loft – a blog for the quiet people

  • Here be introverts
  • Creative provocations
  • Romance writing
  • Muse

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