There are those who are not only distractions in our lives, but their main purpose is to trip us up on our path. Sadly, there are those who find joy in our despair.
Check out my latest book ‘Unbridled.’
Thank you, Ellis for granting this interview.
Hello! I’m L.S., a writer, reader, dreamer, creator of worlds. I’ve always felt that writing is something I was destined for. Growing up in rural Michigan, I could easily spend hours running around the woods, making up stories and characters and grand adventures, and I’m happy to say that the wonder of it all has never really left me. Now I just channel it all into words. I live in the suburbs of Chicago now, working part-time as a barista because those bills have to get paid. But when I’m not there, I’m reading or writing or exploring some of the really wonderful nature trails we have here in Northeastern Illinois. I’m vegan, I have two cats and a boyfriend, and my favorite color is green.
My very first story published ever was back in 2009, in Temenos, the graduate studies literary journal at my alma mater, Central Michigan University, where I studied history and creative writing. I started self-publishing in 2012, with my collection of short stories titled Bowlful of Bunnies, and have been hitting the publishing trail pretty hard since then, including starting my own literary journal, World Unknown Review. It’s been very gradual, glacier-paced start to a career, but it’s a start none-the-less.
When you get into the world of self-publishing, you hear a lot about branding and building your tribe and the need to really reach out to people and get them to know you. That’s how I started blogging, as a way to meet with other writings and potential readers, sharing my thoughts and ideas. It’s sort of a catch-all for whatever I want to write about.
Mostly, I talk about stories that I’ll be publishing and upcoming books, but there’s also book reviews, recipes, and various other observances and promotions. I also like to use it to help promote the authors that contribute to my World Unknown Review. Nearly every month, we feature an author from the review, with a featured story and an interview. That’s probably my favourite part. I love spreading the word about stories I love and getting to know other authors, what makes them tick, what they enjoy to read, and things like that.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get posts up, whether it’s just a lack of time from trying to juggle too much or simply feeling like I don’t have any ideas worth sharing at the moment. What really helps is that I’ve started doing a weekly thing I like to call a “Monday Morning Reset.” On Monday, I mentally wipe the slate clean of all the stuff that may have dragged me down in the previous week, and I write a blog post talking about what was done, what didn’t get done, and what I hope to do in the upcoming week. I start reading a new book, I start working on a new story, I just try to keep everything new and fresh, and that’s been a great motivator. It’s important to sometimes look back at what you’ve done and give it a critical review. It’s also a great way to keep your readers up-to-date on what you might be working on and what’s going on in your world.
So far, it’s just challenging trying to think of interesting things to say! There are so many blogs out there, so many of them talking about writing, that there are many times when you feel like you’ve got nothing new or interesting to contribute. That’s when it’s important to remember that people are reading your blog because they ARE interested, and you can’t let yourself get in the way of yourself. It’s your blog. Write what you want, even if it’s boring, even if it’s not too exciting. Even if it only get a small iota of views this time, maybe next time you’ll get more. But you won’t get any if you don’t post at all.
I would encourage other bloggers the same way I encourage other writers (and myself!): by emphasizing the importance of JUST WRITING. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you’re getting some writing done. Eventually, the good stuff shines through and you can run with it for a while. Even if you feel like no one is reading it, just write. Eventually, someone will.
My days are pretty simple and regular. I love order and I love consistency, so I try to keep a routine from day to day. I wake up around six thirty every morning, make some coffee, and settle in to read and write for about an hour. I have absolutely no attention span so I like to switch between reading for a little and writing for a little. After that hour, I hit the computer to write blog posts, answer emails, type stories, edit stories, send out stories.
Then I have a daily workout routine, then shower, and then a few video games before breakfast with my boyfriend, who, being a night owl, is just about getting up at this time. We always watch “Jeopardy!” with breakfast. Then it’s time to get lunch prepare and I usually have to go to work at this point. I’m an early bird, so I work nights so that I can have my sweet precious morning time to myself. Well, to myself and my cats, who intermittently want to cuddle while I work. I have two eight-year-old Siamese cats, brothers, one grey point, one seal, named Genghis Khan (leader of the Meowngal horde) and Baldur Cat (Bringer of Cuddles). They’re pretty affectionate and they keep me company while I work.
If I have the day off, I’ll usually spend the day running errands, preparing meals for the upcoming week, going out for a hike, or spending the day getting inspired at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of my favorite places ever. I’m trying to get into the habit of getting in some more writing before bed, too, though so far it’s been a little hit and miss. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for my writing, as they have me temporarily full time at work, but I do what I can when I can, and a little bit here and there can really add up!
My next step is to finally finish my zombie trilogy, the Slayer Saga, with the final book, entitled “Fearless,” and I hope to get more books finished, too. And, of course, what I really wanted to share in this interview was information about the World Unknown Review. I started this literary journal four years ago, and it’s really been gaining momentum!
Last year, I received over a hundred stories from fifteen different countries, and the final product represented five of them. I’d love to see what this year will bring. So if anyone’s got some stories and they’d like to be a part of this hopefully steadily growing tradition, I hope they send them my way for consideration. You can find more about the journal and the submission process at http://lsengler.com/submissions
Other than that, it’s just more writing, more blogging, on to bigger and brighter things each and every day.
‘PLEASE SEND IN YOUR LINKS.’
Today’s featured blogs posts are:
Do step in and show some love.
Your country needs you It is men that build a Nation or bring it down. Your prayers for your country make a difference.
You are not as alone as you think What an uplifting post, Elihu! Some may be on a journey where they feel all alone…
Loneliness has a way of seeping into the soul uninvited, slowly sapping our stores of joy until a gaping emptiness remains. Loneliness assaults us in the dead of night or kicks us in the gut as we jostle our way through the madding crowd. It metastasizes through our hearts and minds, increasing our susceptibility to temptation.
The PBS blog meet Yecheilyah Ysrayl, an inspiring, consummate author and blogger. Check out her blog and all those books she’s published.
Who would have thought losing your hearing could be so noisy? Life can throw us a curveball any moment. How do we deal with it? Here are my comments on this post.
Oh my! What a curveball. Life brings surprises every day and sometimes they are not always wonderful surprises. I had no idea that loss of hearing could be sudden. It must be challenging relearning to manage your hearing, but you sound on top of things and the most important part is your attitude of positivity.
Michnavs writes ‘poetry in motion.’ I love this description. You’ve got to visit. Here’s a little sampling.
YOU AND I…
With the thoughts of tomorrow…
That may never actually come…
Do you want more eyes on your words?’
Well then, add your LINK INTO THIS LOOP.
Comments are disabled here to keep the loop tidy. Any comments or link you want to send can be added through the link in the post.
Thank you for your understanding and regards.
This space has been a flourishing opportunity to meet with people from all walks of life and I find inspiration from each person whom I’ve interacted with.
They help me to grow in the mind and to push my self-progress envelope. My guest for today is Asst. Professor Kathy Garland.
Thank you, Kathy, for sharing bits about you with us. On the side, I smiled when I saw your book cover for ‘The Unhappy Wife’ which shows similar taste to mine ‘Out of the silent breath’ 🙂
Hi, everyone! My name is Katherin Garland, but I write under the name K E Garland. I’ve taught high school English for ten years and post-secondary courses for fifteen years.
My most recent positions are at places like Georgia College and Florida State University. I’m currently an assistant professor teaching education courses at a community college in Florida while focusing on a writing career.
There are two concepts I live by:
1. Anything that you can think of can be actualized, and
2. What’s for you is for you and will always be revealed if you’re aligned with your passion and purpose.
I began my blog when I wrote my first book, Kwoted. Like many authors, my editor suggested a platform was necessary. At first, my blog was just a place for me to house my quotes and hopefully sell a few books.
After a month, I realized that having a blog is about more than just creating a promotional space; it’s a community.
I was in awe of how many bloggers are here, writing about any and everything. Then, discouragement set in. I thought, Man, if there are so many people already here, then my voice might get lost.
It’s only after I participated in a few Blogging U classes, right here on WordPress that I began to get the gist of the blogosphere. Blogging really is about writing and sharing whatever your little heart desires while maintaining whatever you see as your niche.
After Blogging 101 and 201, I fine-tuned my purpose towards a more inspirational blog that includes authenticity through real stories and personal photography.
My blog is a place where people can come have a conversation about what they read and see.
I write about myself a lot, but the posts are not really about me, but rather some overarching theme. For example, Why I Refuse to Judge Any Mother is the first post I shared publicly. It includes feelings I’d harboured about my own mother, but it’s more focused on releasing judgment for those we call mom.
I’m not sure that I have a “typical” day and my Gemini self, likes it that way. However, my days are always structured. On any given day, you can find me doing the following:
Exercising: Five times a week, I either join a yoga class, run/walk a couple of miles or take a walk with my husband, Dwight.
Meditating: Everyday I meditate on my balcony. If I’m pressed for time, then I take 5-10 minutes to get centred and focus on my breath. If I have more time, then meditations last at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, I do a guided meditation with Deepak and Oprah; they offer a 21-day free one every now and then.
Writing: My daily writing schedule consists of blog drafts, new projects (e.g., self-published books), contests, or publications. It depends on what I’ve decided for the day, but I make sure I write something, even if no one else will see it.
One month I decided to write each day and ended up writing an entire memoir. It’s saved somewhere safe until I feel the urge to publish it.
Teaching: Every semester, I teach five classes. Three of them are online, so that makes structuring the day a little easier for me.
The other two require a one and two-hour drive. On those days, I hop in my Honda Fit, turn on my Kanye West playlist and make my way towards educating future teachers.
Wifing/Mothering: As of September 21st, I will have been married 20 years. My husband and I know one another very well. Sometimes we spend massive amounts of time together, and other times, he’s watching Netflix, while I’m writing.
The same goes for my teenage daughters. Sometimes we hang out at the beach or the movies, and other times they’re closed up in their rooms on Snapchat, while I’m writing. However, every Sunday we eat together at 7:00 P.M. My youngest daughter came up with the idea ten years ago and we’ve kept it up ever since.
For the past decade, my dog Rascal hung out with me during each of these activities. Unfortunately, I had to euthanize him in March. My post, simply titled, Rascal describes how difficult it was for me to release my beloved.
As I continued to read advice from people like, Janice Wald, some posts were centred on offering advice and admiration for the blogging community. According to the stats, Three Reasons the Blogging Community is Better than Social Media is the one the WordPress community appreciated the most.
Right now, I’m doing a lot of marketing for my recently published book, The Unhappy Wife. It’s interesting because now that I have a platform, I don’t want to ruin my blogging relationships because I’m talking about my book all the time. You know? I don’t want to be that blogger.
There’s definitely a balance that I’m still in the process of figuring out. Other than my book, I’m maintaining inspirational posts based on photography and narratives. One of my goals is to connect with readers through my own raw and shared emotions. I always want readers to leave inspired to do something a little different or what I like to call #RethinkYourRhetoric. That’s what you can count on when you visit my blog, whether I’m marketing a book, or not.