Tag Archives: Divatiel

My Writing Life – February 2017

My Writing Life – February 2017

So many people ask me what it’s like to be a writer and, honestly, the journey is different for everyone. A writer, like any other business owner, has to balance both business and personal expectations while feeding that all-important muse! So, I’ve decided at least for this year, I will aim to provide monthly updates to give you more insight into my business.

Everyone’s situation is different and, as I take care of my Mom full time, I never know what the day will bring when the sun comes up. Some months are extremely productive business-wise, while others I hardly achieve a thing. Still, as long as I continue to move forward, I’m happy.

Sometime over the last year or so, I saw a band’s website where they listed their top 100 goals to success and identified key milestones along the way, sharing their celebrations of each. I love that idea, but I have more than 100 goals on that list so I’ll just take it a little at a time. I’ll let you know when I’m celebrating a milestone!

Without further ado, here is my recap for February 2017.

Business

Social media. My goal this year is to blog three times a week, along with Instagram posts as I see fit and hopefully YouTube somewhere down the road. In February, I was only able to blog twice the entire month! Mom needed a lot of attention and there just wasn’t the time to focus on my blog. I’ll try to up the numbers in March, but Mom still needs a lot of help. I also want to get to the point where I have a backlog of unpublished posts so I can maintain consistency when my time is limited.

Books. I finally sent Destiny Drop off to the printer. Yay!!! I’ve ordered copies and will post on Instagram when they arrive. I made some edits to the print book, so now we’re tweaking the ebook so the two match. I hope to complete that within the week. I also sent the sequel, Destiny Dollars, off for print layout. It’s a longer book which will require even more reading to double check everything. It’s a brand-new book, never before released, so we’re starting with a clean slate. I expect it will be available late March or early April, followed by the ebook release. Stay tuned!

Online Image. I’m still aiming to at least start this in March. I purchased the WordPress template and SSL certificates. I also ordered the print copies of my first novel, so I can begin taking some photos. As I said last month, this will be a time-consuming process.

Writing. My goal is to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words each day. I didn’t even come close this month. Mom is my number one priority, so I just take it day by day. My plan was to complete the text of a new novel by the end of March, but we’ll see. It’s about 50 percent done. I have a feeling it will be a tossup between redoing my website versus finishing the book. I’ll update you next month.

Self-Care

Steps. I only hit my step goal 10/28 days in February. Not happy, but I’ll work harder in March.

Sleep. Surprisingly, in spite of the crazy month, I managed to hit my sleep goal of seven hours a night on seven nights! I haven’t done that in a long time. Mom’s schedule changed, so I’ve been able to get more complete sleep at night and I catch a nap whenever possible. I’m not sure what her schedule will be like in March.

Goals for March

I really want to focus on my books and blogging as much as possible. I will aim to average twice a week on my blog, post to Instagram weekly, finalize the Destiny Drop ebook, finalize the Destiny Dollars print book and make some headway on the new novel. If I’m up to it, I will lovingly focus on updating my website and opening my online store. This has been on my mind for a while, but it took me a long time to decide how I wanted things to look. Now I know so I can move forward. I also have operations items that I want to address. Those haven’t gone away! We’ll see how the month goes. Mom is priority number one!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Enjoy!

Cindi

My Writing Life – January 2017

My Writing Life – January 2017

So many people ask me what it’s like to be a writer and, honestly, the journey is different for everyone. A writer, like any other business owner, has to balance both business and personal expectations while feeding that all-important muse! So, I’ve decided at least for this year, I will aim to provide monthly updates to give you more insight into my business.

Everyone’s situation is different and, as I take care of my Mom full time, I never know what the day will bring when the sun comes up. Some months are extremely productive business-wise, while others I hardly achieve a thing. Still, as long as I continue to move forward, I’m happy.

Sometime over the last year or so, I saw a band’s website where they listed their top 100 goals to success and identified key milestones along the ways, sharing their celebrations of each. I love that idea, but I have more than 100 goals on that list so I’ll just take it a little at a time. I’ll let you know when I’m celebrating a milestone!

Without further ado, here is my recap for January 2017.

Business

Social media. My goal this year is to blog three times a week, along with Instagram posts as I see fit and hopefully YouTube somewhere down the road. In january, I was consistent with blogging twice a week. I’m OK with that for now.

Books. When I released this last batch of books, it seemed the engine was on ebooks. The idea of publishing in print was considered no longer relevant. Since then, the tables have turned and more and more people are telling me that although they do read ebooks, they still enjoy touching the paper. In fact, I have met several folks who refuse to read ebooks. So, I’ve set about getting the layout done on my books for print. My goal was to have four of them completed this month. Well…the first one is done but i’m still doing a final read-through. Every time you make a change in format, it’s important to do a complete read-through lest things get missed.

Online Image. January for me was to be a complete redo of my online image. However, I want to have print copies of my books for photos, so at this rate, it looks like it will be March or so before I’ll be able to do it. I’ve selected the new template for my website and online store, and pretty much know exactly what I want. It will just be a time-consuming process.

Writing. My goal is to write somewhere between 1,000-2,000 words each day. Well, if I add up all the blog posts and notes I’ve written, I’m not too far off. However, if I look simply at credible output on a new book, it was just over a few thousand. With plans to release a new book around the end of March, I’d better get writing!

Self-Care

Steps. This month, I hit or exceeded my step goal 26/31 days. I’m happy!

Sleep. My goal is seven hours a night, but since I take care of my Mom, it works out to be about six hours of broken sleep plus an occasional nap. Still working on this.

Goals for February

As we’re already into the month, I can say that Mom has needed a lot of extra care so far, and will continue for at least a few more weeks. That being said, I plan to get one book to the printer, start the layout on the second, blog an average of twice a week and work on my March book. There are some items regarding operations and my websites that I’d also like to accomplish. We’ll see how the month goes. Mom is priority number one!

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Enjoy!

Cindi

Products – Divatiel – Gift Bag Ideas for Bird Lovers

Divatiel Gift Bags

Let’s face it. The holidays are not the only time of year we’re tasked with finding fun, useful and unique gifts for loved ones. Over the calendar year, there are birthdays, graduations, promotions, Boss’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, and a whole range of other personal events that require a special gift.

Creating the perfect gift bag is always a challenge, but we know the items in this one will be used long past when the last candle is blown out! This gift bag is suitable for a wide range of ages, from the middle-schooler to the college graduate about to enter vet school to the animal-loving retiree. You can adjust the contents depending on your budget and the occasion.

Here are the gift bag contents, in detail:

The book – Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, tells the story of how four ounces of spirit took over the household and became the diva that everyone has grown to love.

The canvas tote – This makes a great book bag, work bag, grocery bag or knitting bag.

T-Shirts – Shirts come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles to suit your needs.

The coffee cup – Big enough for your caffeine fix, but works for tea, too 😉 If the recipient is not a coffee or tea lover, stainless steel water bottles are also available.

The tiara – Every woman needs a tiara, right? These closely match the ones on the book cover. We have limited quantities available, so contact us at sales@grandarborpress.com for more info.

All items except for the tiaras are available from the Grand Arbor Press store. If you see something on the site but we don’t have it available in our store with our little birdie logo, please let us know.

These bags make great gift items for any bird or animal lover you know. No one can resist the charms of the Divatiel!

Thank you for your interest,

Team GAP

Happy Birthday, Little One

Little One

Today we celebrate a very special day. My precious Divatiel, my fine-feathered friend, Jake’, was born on this day in 1989.

Unfortunately, she’s no longer here to keep me company, but she’s always around in spirit. Everyone I meet asks me about my bird. After caring for her for 17 years, I suspect word got around that I was keeping a cockatiel.

Jake’ was extremely camera-shy, so I think all my good photos of her are included in the book. I haven’t found any others as I’ve been organizing and tidying my house. However, there are times when I’m cleaning through an area that I know I’ve cleaned before, and out pops one of her feathers. I guess it’s Jake’’s way of saying, “Hi, Mom!”

This photo reminds me of Jake’ because she loved to cuddle on my neck under my hair. It was her comfy napping place, but she also hid from strangers, preened, yelled at me and nibbled on my jewelry in the safety of her little hair cave.

If you’d like to learn the full story of Jake’ and how she took complete control over my life, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion.

I’ll be spending the day thinking about my little one, and all the wonderful things she taught me.

Enjoy!

Cindi

Cindi’s Thoughts – Where to find me in 2016

binoculars

I like to think that everything we do somehow sets a foundation for our future life. We might not always see an immediate correlation, but somewhere along the line, our decisions today will affect our future tomorrow.

in 2015, I decided to consolidate my websites and to be more active on social media. The websites were easy; social media I’m still working on, although I have improved.

Previously, I had a separate website for each project under my creative hand. It just got too unwieldy to maintain an ever-growing list of projects and their accompanying sites. I finally got things down to what I hope will be a manageable four.

I’ve also tied my blog posts to Facebook and Twitter, so every time I have a new post, you’ll be alerted if you follow me on either one. So, I wanted to provide a breakdown of what you can find on each site.

www.CindiMaciolek.com – This is my main blog site. Here, you’ll find out things about me, my KonMari journey notes, recipes, favorite things and so on. It’s an all-encompassing Cindi Maciolek overview.

www.GrandArborPress.com – This is my business site. Anything related to my books, CDs or products can be found here.

www.Divatiel.com – Anyone who knows me knows I loved my little birdie so much I wrote a book about her. I have plans to do a few things with this down the line, so I’ve decided to keep it a separate site. That may change in the future, but for now, blog posts will be updated on my Facebook page but on a different Twitter account.

www.AuntiCindiPresents.com – This site is dedicated to my latest non-fiction book series. You’ll find blog posts here related to topics in my Aunti Cindi Presents books including business, caregiving and emergency preparedness tips. Emergency Preparedness was originally on my CindiMaciolek.com site, but I’ll be transferring  the content here. As other books are added to the series either by myself or other authors, the subject matter will grow.

You can also join my email list. I currently do not send regular updates via email, but I welcome you to add your name to my list.

Social Media

As I said, I’m not a social media expert while I understand its significance. All my blog posts will also post on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, in the last year I’ve opened Pinterest and Instagram accounts, both of which I hope to build on during 2016. I’m also toying with the idea of YouTube. Maybe somewhere down the line.

So, there you have it! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be on my laptop, fingers traveling a mile a minute, keeping you posted on random thoughts and somewhat useful information while I continue to focus on my books and other outlets for my writing.

See you in cyberspace!

Cindi

 

Duck Crossing

Duck CrossingI grew up in Michigan and although the state is not the land of 10,000 lakes like Minnesota, there’s certainly a lot of water around. Water attracts ducks. Ducks are birds. Birds are fun to watch.

It seems I’ve had a life-long love of birds. As an adult, I had the pleasure of sharing my house with my fine feathered friend, Jake’, whose tale I tell in my book Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion.

I’m told that as a young child, i used to sit on the neighbor’s stoop and sing the theme song to the Chilly Willy cartoon. I still love penguins, probably always will, but I had to look on YouTube for the tune.

Growing up in Detroit, we could see Canadian Geese from time to time as we were so close to the border. But, periodically, ducks have been part of my life.

I attended Michigan State University in East Lansing, and one activity every student can recall is feeding the ducks on the Red Cedar River. Springtime was particularly joyful, watching the Momma ducks taking care of the little ones and teaching them the do’s and don’t’s of life.

But now that I live in Las Vegas, one would think duck sightings would be at a premium here in the desert. Well, perhaps, but I’m blessed to live not too far from one of the few lakes within the Las Vegas Valley.

When I want to take a more scenic route to my destination, I drive by the lake to see where the ducks are. After a rain shower, it always cracks me up that they choose to waddle over to the curb and drink from the puddles in the street rather than the beautiful lake they inhabit.

I’ve had the opportunity to stop traffic to allow a family of ducks to cross the road to safety, reminiscent of my days at MSU. Why they choose to hang out in the rocks across the street from the lake, I have no idea, but they do.

Unfortunately, that can mean trouble for the ducks. From what I understand, birds mate for life, so the loss of a spouse can be heartbreaking.

I’ll never forget the time I came cruising around the corner to see a duck on the grass, wailing at the top of her lungs, surrounded by her duck friends. I looked into the street and discovered that her loved one had been struck by a car and would never come home again.

Birds are such fragile creatures. If you’ve ever had the chance to hold one, you can see they’re practically just skin stretched over a small skeletal structure, plus their feathers. Yet, they have so much heart and bring us such joy.

I cried that day. I knew what that little duck was feeling. I was also impressed with how the duck community rallied round to try to calm her. So much happens in this world that we just don’t always see.

One of my favorite movies – that also makes me cry – is Fly Away Home. It’s based on a true story about a young gal who rescues a family of Canadian geese and not only teaches them to fly but shows them how to migrate south for the winter – all with the help of her Dad.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s great for family night. If you have seen it, maybe it’s time to pop some popcorn and enjoy it again. Don’t forget the tissues. And watch it all the way to the end.

Birds are amazing creatures.

My First Novel – Destiny Drop

Destiny Drop Book 1 in Diana Diaries Series

Most of my life, it seems, I’ve spent in the non-fiction writing world. Even my poetry and lyrics at a  young age all dealt with real-life situations. School papers, of course, were factual accounts; working in high-tech and writing for magazines all resided in non-fiction.

Even my reading tends to dwell in the living – biographies, business, how-to, art, design. I have had spurts of fiction enjoyment: The Shopaholic Series, Dan Brown, Harry Potter, maybe another here or there. However, it seemed I was trained to write in short segments that got the point across.

My first true foray into fiction happened in 1990 when I drafted my first screenplay. I wanted to start in that medium because I felt it would help me to write better dialog. So much of a screenplay is based in dialog that if you can get that right, you’ve won a good portion of the battle.

I went on to write two more screenplays and while I enjoy them all and have some interest from appropriate parties, they haven’t made it to the screen just yet. (Perhaps I’ll convert them to novels…)

My next interest in fiction writing came about after a trip to the Grand Canyon. I felt incredibly inspired and within just a couple of days penned a draft novel. It was to be the start of a series for pre-teens, but I feel it needs a good edit before it gets published. However, I still love the concept and may address it again in the future.

In between, I published Java Jems, a book and CD of poetry, along with my loving homage to my fine-feathered friend, Divatiel. However, something kept pulling me into thoughts of actually creating my own characters and telling their stories, stories I felt had lessons for us all.

Since then, I’ve had fits and starts in the fiction arena. About a year ago, I was drawn back to one book in particular. I attacked it in earnest, writing and editing every day for about a year, along with penning the second and most of the third in the series.

The result? Destiny Drop, the first book in the Diana Diaries Series.  Here’s my summary of the book from the Amazon sales page:

Diana MacKenzie seems to have everything going for her – love and marriage and a globe-trotting career – only to be beset by the economy, divorce and the challenges of trying to make it on her own in a new town – Las Vegas. It’s a story about life that many a woman – and man – can identify with.

Diana’s move from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas is wrought with troubles. After her business then her marriage fail, she is left struggling to survive. Desperate for income, Diana turns to the only industry in town that will hire her – retail. She loves to shop so she feels this will be her perfect new career.

However, as an employee, Diana is exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly of her new field. Faced with the drama of co-workers and disrespectful customers, having to live on a tight budget, plus her new-found aches and pains, her retail job is often more than she can bear. Still, Diana toughs it out, determined to forge a new life for herself in the city she’s grown to love.

Destiny Drop, book one of The Diana Diaries series, sets the stage for Diana’s new life. Come along for the ride as Diana sets out on a journey of discovery to create a new meaningful life for herself – and still be able to pay her bills! The first three books in the series complete the initial story arc, with more books in the series to follow.

Now that I’m writing in a longer form, it’s hard to limit me to a specific word count. I have to admit, it’s been a blast to embody these strangers and bring them to life. For the most part, the series is devoid of language although this first book has two or three instances of swearing. However, it’s only used to reflect true-life situations.

I think the series is a great pool-side or beach read, to keep you entertained as well as make you think.

I hope you’ll take a chance on my first novel and stay tuned for more.

Divatiel is a finalist!

Indie Excellence

I woke up this morning, opened my email, and there it was – a message from the National Indie Excellence Book Awards that Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion  is a finalist in the 2013 competition! I’m so excited, and I’m certain Jake’ would be thrilled.

If you want your very own copy, you can order it here, or here to get your copy from Amazon.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists this year!

Special Amazon Kindle promotion – Divatiel

Hi Folks!

May 1st is Jake”s birthday, so to celebrate, I’m offering free downloads on Amazon Kindle on May 1st and May 2nd, 2013. Please spread the word, download and enjoy!

Just click on the book image and it will take you to the correct page on Amazon for downloading.

Thanks!

Divatiel: Reflections of a bird's companion

It’s Book Frenzy Time!

Cindi-Book-Frenzy

If you haven’t yet purchased a copy of Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, today is the day! Well…at least until 2 p.m. PST Tuesday, February 28th.

Purchase an e-book from Amazon or a printed copy from www.divatiel.com/shop and you’ll receive three free e-books after you send me your proof of purchase. You’ll receive: Death Upon Me, Night Secrets, and Immortyl Kisses: Warrior Rising all by B.K. Walker.

If you’re a writer, leave a comment on this post or at www.virtualbooktourcafe.com and be entered to win a free 10 stop virtual book tour.

Take advantage of this great offer today!