A Day in the Life...

This year, in keeping with my New Year's resolution, I want to take the time each month to tell you about something that's happened in my life, a moment, big or small, that meant something to me -- and hopefully to you. And I want to encourage you to look for moments in your day that add meaning, and value, to your life and world. This week is, of course, fairly hectic, with TRUST ME releasing in less than a week (oh boy!). I'm learning I have to give myself moments in the day where, even if things are hectic, I take the time to relax my mind, exercise or even relax my body, just "be." Do you have a place where you can do that? I do! Whenever the weather cooperates -- and sometimes even when it doesn't -- I have a walking trail a few minutes from my house that I visit to de-stress.

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Beautiful, isn't it? These were obviously taken in two different seasons, but that's part of what I love about this trail is that it is so soothing no matter when I go. (Sometimes there are more people than others, which might be why I enjoy the colder weather sometimes, but... :) )

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The best thing about this area is the water. Many authors find water a creative energizer. Water flowing is soothing for me, both the sound and the movement. I often find myself coming up with new ideas for books or blogs when I walk here. And sometimes the water attracts companions that brighten my day:

photo 3Can you see the heron there? At least I think it's a heron; I'm a bit bird illiterate. :) But he was a pretty thing, perched there on the log, watching the water, one stick-like leg holding him up. I passed him twice, and both times he would open his beak and swing his head back and forth real slow as if warning me away. I wanted to hang out with him all day, of course, but he didn't seem to feel the same, so...

What about you; where do you go to get away from it all and de-stress? Does it involve activity, or do you prefer rest (like a massage)?

Don't forget, next weekend is release time! Next Monday I'll be hosting my traditional release day dance par-tay!!! (So obviously I need the R&R this week. :) ) And check back this week for details on the Facebook party coming up this Sunday. It's gonna be so much FUN!

~ Ella


The Rain

ella sheridan, author, romance, romance writer, rain, reading, walking in the rainIt's currently cool and rainy down here in the Deep South. On mornings when I wake up to the gentle patter of rain, it's like a huge sigh settles over my soul -- there's just nothing better than rain. The steady drum, the muffling of outside noise, even the rushing tide of heavy winds when the rain breaks completely free. In all its faces, rain draws me in. ella sheridan, author, romance, romance writer, rain, reading, walking in the rainIt's my favorite time to walk. Let's face it -- the South gets HAWT, and not in a good way. Considering that my career means sitting on my rear for 90 percent of my day, I know moving is important, both to my mood and my health. But I hate the heat! This past winter I reveled in the few days we got snow, went out and walked in it and felt the soft flakes on my face, but nothing compares to walking in the rain. As Roger Miller says, "Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." The cool breeze caresses your face, and there's that strange sense of cool wetness on your skin when you aren't actually wet. You know what I mean, right there under your raincoat, with the raindrops beating against you like a massage and the world coated in a hazy gray blanket. All the things that weigh heavy on my mind are coated too, drowned out, and I can just be, there in the rain.

ella sheridan, writer, author, romance writer, romance, rain, reading, walking in the rainI grew up in an old farmhouse with a tin roof. Lots of houses out in the middle of nowhere in the South have tin roofs, especially the barns, but I was lucky enough that my bedroom was right underneath it, right up there in the eaves, right where the sound of the rain on the metal would resonate in my ears. Sure there were times that the thunder and lightning would scare the bejesus out of me, but mostly I remember how calming that sound was, how it sank down in my chest and felt like home. Even now, when I listen to meditation or sleep programs, I'm drawn to the ones that sound like rivers or streams, the tinkling of water over rocks, the sound that reminds me of the streaming of water down that old tin roof. There's no other sound quite like it.

The absolute best thing about rain, though, is curling up with a good book under a fuzzy blanket while the water pounds away outside. Maybe it's the white noise effect or maybe the sense of being enclosed, cocooned against that relentless force; I don't know. I can lose myself in the sound as much as in the world of the book I'm reading, or maybe that fiction world becomes clearer as reality is dampened by the rain. I know I'm conditioned now -- when it rains, all I want to do is curl up and read. Not a bad way to think, huh?

Does the rain draw you? Why? While you think about it, I'm gonna go curl up. Coffee's calling, and a book, and the rain.

~ Ella

Photos by: Yuliya Libkina, llya, and docoverachiever

Weekly Web Search: Getting a Grip on Overwhelm

ella sheridan, romance author, erotic romance, overwhelmedIn keeping with our theme of getting back an enjoyable life, I was doing some searching and found this wonderful website, Tons of awesome ideas there. This article in particular struck me because I have spent most of the past year overwhelmed. My favorite suggestion? Train your brain!

"In order to get out of overwhelm, your mind must first understand that you -- just like every other person on the planet -- only has 24 hours each day to work with... Bottom line: You can't cram 48 hours worth of work into 24 and expect to feel good about it. You just can't."

Check out the rest of the article here -- and let me know what you think. Any ideas you think will help you get a handle on that "overwhelmed" feeling?

Don't Forget To Have a Life

ella sheridan, life, erotic romance, romance writer, author, life, live life"The two most important things in publishing: No. 1, finish the book; No. 2, live your life." ~ Jasinda Wilder, "The Naked Truth About Publishing"

I can't begin to describe how hard this sentence hit me when I read it. See, for the past year, I've struggled to have a life, much less live it. I work seven days a week. I have two kids and a husband who works sixty-hour weeks. I don't have enough money for someone to clean my house for me or cook for me or do my laundry. I have health issues that require constant maintenance I can't always give. So yeah, having a life has been a wee bit of a struggle lately.

I'm determined to stop that.

I want to have a life. I want to enjoy it. I want to be able to think about diving into a new book and not dread it. Why? Because I love writing, and I hate burnout. I refuse to give up the former, and refuse to give in to the latter. So I'm taking drastic steps to make this life more enjoyable. What are they? Well, I'll probably be talking about that some over the next few months, but really, it's all about finding what works for you, just like with anything else. First, I made a list of the priorities in my life:

Writing, Family and Rest Time, Health, and Work

Notice how far down on that list work is? Guess where I was acting like it was on that list? Yep, number one. And money is important, but it ain't seven-days-a-week, hair-falling-out-I'm-so-stressed important. It's not. So I'm relegating work to where it should be, and elevating the things that are more important. We'll see how it goes. I have no doubt I'll slip every once in a while and fall back into old habits, but something has to give. We all deserve a life, one we enjoy, not one we dread. So, on this oh so dreary, rainy Monday, go forth, and HAVE A LIFE! I know I will.


Oh, and for those of you wondering about the Gift Card Drawing, I'll announce the winner this evening, so be sure to check back!


*Photo by Chris Campbell.


I somehow managed to get off a couple of days on my blogging schedule, which really doesn't surprise me considering how hectic this last month has been. May is like a tornado for us, churning up any chance we might have to keep things under control and whipping us around until, honestly, I have no idea which way is up. But we've made it through, and the summer is upon us. Hallellujah! I'm getting my kids ready for a two-week trip to my mother's where they will spend time with their cousins and get cuddled and entertained in that way only grandma's can do. For me, though, the reason I love this yearly pilgrimage is because I get to drive the kids to my mom's, and she lives close to what I consider my favorite form of rest: the river.

river, rest, Ella Sheridan, author,  writer, writing, romance, summer, May, chaosThough I was born in Florida, I'm not much of a beach girl. I don't mind visiting, but I wouldn't want to live there, lol! But when I go to my mom's, I always take at least one trip to the river. It is at once exciting -- the chuckle of the flowing water and the icy chill as it passes over your skin, not to mention the kids' rushing around and playing -- and soothing. The quiet of a river just can't be beat. Out in the middle of nature, surrounded by trees and peace and warm summer air, cooled down by the touch of Nature's most soothing elements... Yes, I love the river!

I love to lay back and just rest in that cool water. Close my eyes and dunk my head under and have the entire world just disappear. It's one of the few places where I'm not constantly multitasking, especially in my head. I can Just rest.

How about you? Is there a place where you can just be, where the rush and chaos of the world finally loosens its clawed grip and your mind can relax? A place you look forward to being, belonging? Tell me about it!