Week 25 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 25th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in my own voice.

Today’s writing prompt:

What was the last thing you read or saw that really inspired you?

The last thing that really inspired me wasn’t something that I read or saw… it was a conversation I had while out in Los Angeles recently. I was visiting with an old friend and we were talking, over coffee, about all the screenplays he has written. He’s a struggling writer out in L.A. trying to make it in ‘the industry’ and he was telling me how he reads 60+ scripts a week and has written 40, 50, 60+ scripts himself. I can’t remember the exact number. I just remember thinking, WOW!

This guy, in my opinion, is one of the most talented screenplay writers I’ve ever met… yet he is struggling. It’s not easy to sell a script in Hollywood. It’s not easy to pitch ideas and get turned down again and again. It’s not easy to keep your spirits up and continue to be motivated to put pen to paper… or rather fingers to keyboard. Yet, he does it. He does it every day, day after day, week after week. He hasn’t given up and neither will I.

His drive to keep going. His determination to continue pursuing his dream inspires me to do the same.

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What was the last thing you read or saw that really inspired you?


Are you an author looking for inspiration? Take some advice from these amazing authors:

Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children says, Start a collection!
Cormac McCarthy, author of ‘The Road’ says to talk to people!
David Mitchell, author of ‘Cloud Atlas’ says to explore extended metaphors!

Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write.

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal


7 Tips for Bringing Mindfulness into Your Life!

Would you prefer to watch the video tips rather than reading them?

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Becoming more mindful of how you proceed through your day to day activities is the antidote to feeling like you’re just running in circles. Think of it this way, it is so easy to just go through life on auto-pilot. We procrastinate… fail to get things done on time… don’t get enough sleep or exercise. So, when you become more mindful, it’s about being more present and aware of your behavior in the moment. Mindfulness helps you change the habits, like procrastination, that are no longer serving you.  


7 tips for bringing mindfulness into your life:

  1. Meditation – Taking just 5 minutes a day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing can help you feel more conscious and connected for the rest of the day.
  2. Focus on one thing at a time – Studies show that tasks take 50% longer with 50 % more errors when multi-tasking, so consider focusing on one task at a time, with breaks in between tasks whenever possible.
  3. Slow down – Enjoy the process, no matter what you’re doing. Deliberate and thoughtful attention to daily actions like writing a report at work, drinking your morning coffee, or washing the dinner dishes, can promote healthy focus and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Eat mindfully – Eating without the distraction of a television, computer, or smart phone in front of you allows you to truly taste and enjoy what you’re eating. Eating mindfully is good, not only for your body, but for your mind and soul as well.
  5. Keep phone and computer time in check – It is so easy in today’s world to get overwhelmed by all of the technology we have at our fingertips. Information overload is a real thing. You need to set boundaries for screen time, not only for your children but for yourself as well.
  6. Move – It’s important to move throughout the day. Your body needs it! So, whether it’s walking, stretching, or just getting away from your desk for a few minutes to grab a glass of water, be aware of your body’s sensations and move whenever needed.
  7. Spend time in nature – Take a walk through the park, the woods, mountain trails, or my personal favorite – on the beach. Just get outside wherever you can. Getting outdoors is good for your body, mind and spirit and it keeps you in the present moment.

Today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Mindfulness Nature Walk

If you don’t have the ability to be outside, in nature, that’s ok. You can do this exercise anywhere, but there are added benefits when you walk in nature.

Step 1 – It doesn’t matter where you are, just start walking.

Step 2 – As you walk, pay attention to your breathing. How does the air feel as you pull it into your lungs? How does it feel as it leaves your body? Pay attention to what parts of your body move as you breathe in and out. Spend a few minutes just focusing on the full experience of breathing.

Step 3 – Next, focus on the rest of your body. How do your feet feel with each step? What are your arms doing? Do they hang at your sides or swing back and forth? Notice all of the physical sensations associated with walking.

Step 4 – What do you hear? Next I want you to listen, outside of yourself. What do you hear around you as you walk? It might be the sound of your shoes on the sidewalk, crunching leaves under your feet, the wind in the trees, birds, or even a barking dog. Practice simply being open to all the sounds around you. Don’t search for them, but listen to them when they come.

Step 5 – What do you see? Notice all of the images around you – above, below, in front of, and to the sides of you. Notice the colors and the textures. Don’t search for anything but be aware as new things come into view.

Step 6 – As you complete your walk, I want you to shift your attention from one sensation to the next, taking in every experience in your internal and external environment. But most importantly, breathe… nice slow deep breathes as you allow your body to relax into the natural movement of walking.


Mindfulness Journaling:

After you’ve completed your mindfulness nature walk, I want you to take 5 minutes, in a quiet place, to reflect on how the walk made you feel. With pen and paper – not a computer, tablet, or smart phone – I want you to write down all the sensations you can recall from the walk and how you felt both during the nature walk and how you feel now after its over.

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, I would love to invite you to comment below and share your experiences with this short 60-Second Breathing Mediation.


Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

7 Tips for Bringing Mindfulness into Your Life!

Choosing Self-Love!

5 Tips to Reduce Stress!

What is Mindfulness?

Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.


Did Anyone… by Nina Soden

Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

Did anyone ever tell you how wonderful you really are? Did anyone every tell you how deep your emotions are?

Did anyone ever show you all that you can do? Did anyone ever show you that you can be somebody too?

Did anyone ever tell you how special you make them feel? Did anyone ever tell you how you always seem so real?

Did anyone ever show you how to let your feelings go? Did anyone ever show you how to let your feelings show?

Did anyone ever tell you what they think of you? Did anyone ever tell you that you make each day feel new?

All these things to me are clear. All these things, just because you are near!

Dedicated to my baby girl and little boy. Mommy loves you.

(c) copyright 2008 ~ Nina Soden

For more poems, check out by collection on Amazon: Private Words Unspoken

Week 24 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 24th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Austin, a character in the novel I’m currently writing.

Today’s writing prompt:

Write about a souvenir you have bought or received!

Let me start by saying I don’t journal and I think this is a waste of time. I work, a lot. Usually seven days a week and a lot of double shifts. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for souvenir shopping, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Although, I do camp. I suppose that’s something. There aren’t many shops out in the woods, or any for that matter, but there are people. I meet some interesting people out in the woods. One overly nice young lady I met, April was her name, gave me a lovely gold necklace with a solitary diamond hanging from it.

I suppose that should count as a souvenir I received, although I didn’t keep it. It was to delicate and pretty for me to wear. I ended up giving it to my girlfriend, Sophie. I’m not sure she fully appreciated what I went through to get it for her. I suppose I couldn’t really tell her all the gory details, now could I?

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

Write about a souvenir you have bought or received!


Are you an author looking for inspiration or even guidance? Click on the images below for some great writing tips and guides from authors who have been where you are!


Are you an author who is looking for ways to stay organized and on track with all your writing goals? Check out my author workbooks below. They are full of all the tools I use in my writing process!

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

It isn’t just for indie-authors. I have filled it with all the tools I’ve learned over the years and use on a regular basis with each book I write.


Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal


Shop Amazon Devices: Kindle Trade-In: 25% off + Amazon Gift Card
Start Date: Jul 22, 2019 at 05:00 PM PDT
End Date: Dec 30, 2019 at 05:00 PM PST
All-new Echo Dot Kids
Start Date: Jun 11, 2019 at 05:00 PM PDT
End Date: Mar 24, 2020 at 05:00 PM PDT
Introducing Echo Show 5
Start Date: May 28, 2019 at 05:00 PM PDT
End Date: Dec 30, 2019 at 05:00 PM PST

Author Interview ~ Michael J. Sahno

I’d like to welcome Michael J. Sahno, author of Whizzers, to my blog.

author

Michael was born in Bristol, CT, where he began writing stories at an early age. He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of 24, then went on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001. Whizzers is his fifth full-length work of fiction.

Alright, lets get to the good stuff!

1. What is your name and do you write under a pen name?
Mike Sahno. No pen name, but I do use my full name, Michael J. Sahno, on my book covers.
2. Where do you call home?
Tampa, Florida, USA
3. Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I have been a full-time professional writer since 2001, so I’m rapidly approaching the point where I can’t imagine doing anything else ever again. I like what I do, and I’m very, very good at it. Lucky for me, as I’m not good at much of anything else!
4. What is your family like?
I’ve often referred to them as “my lovely dysfunctional family.” That’s accurate. They are dysfunctional, yet they are lovely.
5. If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Middle class.
6. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
Running, collecting music, attending concerts. Pretty boring.
7. What is your greatest dream?
Would it be too beauty pageant-ish to say “World peace?” How about just world tolerance and politeness?
8. What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
I’ve reached the age where I don’t wish to be any other kind of person than the one I am.
9. Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
Oh dear, I’m afraid so. One of many minor errors in judgment, which were followed by many major ones. Thank God for my current wife.
10. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
In 2011, I developed tinnitus; broke my ankle; my first wife left me; and I had to have a parotidectomy surgery (don’t Google it; it’s gross). So, it wasn’t one thing, it was nearly an entire year of garbage.
11. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Been writing since I was in high school. Inspired by so many: Kurt Vonnegut, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Balzac, Dickens…a slew of classics.
12. What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
My dream was to be a writer, and I’ve achieved it. I didn’t expect to have to work so hard on finding readers and making sales, but that’s evolved in a positive direction over time.
13. Who is your role model?
No one anybody reading this would know.
14. What is your greatest fear?
Being buried alive.
15. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I prefer paperbacks, but I’ll take an e-book. I don’t listen to audiobooks at all, and hardcovers are too hard to handle for me.
16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it?
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.
17. What is your opinion of novellas?
I think they’re fine. People have such short attention spans these days, and a novella is not as much of a commitment as a door stop book. My latest novel is just slightly longer than a novella.
18. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Probably not.
19. What is your favorite film based on a book?
Sophie’s Choice
20. What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Metaphysical & Visionary Fiction
21. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
The Hook by Kathleen Doler is at the top of the list—because I just bought it!
22. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Just about to start the above mentioned ebook.
23. If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Frank Zappa, Jerry Garcia, Gandhi & Martin Luther King, Jr. Come on, who wouldn’t want to be here that conversation?

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

1. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
Whizzers. A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old nephew, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need.
2. Is the above book part of a series?
No.
3. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
My designer, Robin Vuchnich came up with a variety of concepts, and this one spoke to me.
4. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
A lot of classic jazz, ECM label stuff, ambient. Mostly instrumental so I’m not distracted by lyrics while writing.
5. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
The subject matter of each is relevant to the titles. Nothing really weird or mysterious here.
6. Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?
Not yet.
7. In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?
The lead character is a thinly-disguised fictional version of yours truly. I’m really, really nice.
8. What is your character’s greatest strengths?
Empathy.
9. And what are his/her greatest weaknesses?
Empathy.
10. What are some of his/her favorite foods?
I don’t think Mike ever eats anything in the book. Probably Thai curry.
11. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Courage.
12. Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
They will absolutely love him, because he’s so much me. If they don’t like him, they can buzz off.
13. What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
A very interesting conversation with someone else in recovery.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

1. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I am a plantser. First, I let the characters lead me down all sorts of dark alleyways. When I no longer have any choice, I do some planning.
2. Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
Platform building and finding the right audience. I did this time all the things I wish I’d done initially.
3. Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
Self-published/indie with my own publishing company (not Amazon-only).
4. If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?
I wanted to have complete creative control, and I don’t have any desire to give 15% of what I make to an agent.
5. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? “Want to be writer?You’d better learn to dig ditches, too.”
6. Where can your readers follow you?
Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

https://msahno.com/novels/

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B018PTN964

https://twitter.com/MikeSahno

https://www.facebook.com/

https://www.instagram.com/MikeSahno/

https://www.youtube.com/chanel/UCDX22D5ZSrNL5Bw3UOGBRfA/

INSERT BOOK COVER HERE

Whizzers Book Blurb: A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old nephew, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.

OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL J. SAHNO

Click on the book title to purchase your copy!

Brother's hand

BROTHER’S HAND by Michael J. Sahno

“Engaging.” “Masterful.” “Radiant.”

Small town upstate New Yorker Jerome Brothers loses his hand in a tragic fall, then falls even harder for his physical therapist, Maria Santisia. Can even the most romantic one-armed man get the girl…if she doesn’t get his full cooperation in therapy?

If you like character-driven fiction written with humor, heart, and compassion, then you’ll love Sahno’s work. Discover the fictional world of Carverville, New York today.

*Mature audience. Contains scenes of violence, sexuality.

– “Sahno writes with humor, heart, compassion, and a radiant energy all his own.” – Liz Rosenberg, Beauty and Compassion
– “A deeply felt tale and one entirely worth the telling.” – Jay Lemming, Billy Maddox Takes His His Shot
– “Not only an engaging story, but a masterful piece of writing.” – Amazon review

* * * * * 

Miles

MILES OF FILES by Michael J. Sahno

“Riveting.” “Fascinating.” “Hilarious!”
In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn’t end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing.

*Mature audience. Contains adult language and situations.

“This is great writing.” – Quill Ink and Parchment
“When it comes to prose, I recommend every writer read his work.” – Amazon Review
“A great author. You definitely don’t want to miss out on reading this one!” – Long and Short Reviews
“This novel is so well written, I was blown away.” – Amazon Review

* * * * *

Jana

JANA By Michael J. Sahno

“Lyrical.” “Evocative.” “Totally captivating.”
Because of her sexual orientation, Jana Odessi loses her child care job. It’s not until she is halfway across the country on a road trip with her partner that Jana realizes she must decide whether she has the strength to return home and fight for her right to be herself.

Jana appeals to the LGBT audience because it depicts the struggles of young gay people in the mid-1990s with humor and heart. Sahno’s second novel leads to a dramatic courtroom showdown that will leave you breathless.

If you like character-driven fiction written with humor, heart, and compassion, then you’ll love Sahno’s work. Discover Jana’s world today.

*Mature audience. Contains scenes of discrimination, homophobia.

“This book kept me turning pages.” – Amazon Review
“A journey of discovery.” – Amazon Review

Swiped (2018) Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Title: Swiped (2018)
Director: Ann Deborah Fishman
Writer: Ann Deborah Fishman
Stars: Noah Centineo,
Kristen Johnston, George
Hamilton, Christian
Hutcherson, Kendall Ryan
Sanders, and Nathan Gamble
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 93 minutes

Let me first say this… Just because I didn’t really care for this movie doesn’t mean you won’t like it. I don’t typically review movies and books that I don’t care for because I don’t want to discourage anyone else from seeing a movie that they might enjoy.


SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ~ Overall: ★★ (2.5)
Writing/Story: ★★ Acting: ★★★

STORYLINE: James, a college freshman and computer genius, is enlisted by his womanizing roommate, Lance, to code the ultimate hook-up app. But when James discovers that his divorced mother is using the app, unexpected consequences ensue.

MY 2 CENTS:

Writing/Story: ★★ This one is cliché! We’ve seen this story a thousand times… sure it’s updated a bit with the introduction of technology and the invention of an app, but honestly its just ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ meets ‘Sydney White’ meets ‘American Pie’ meets ‘Animal House’. The problem is, this one doesn’t quiet hit the mark.

Acting: ★★★ Leigh-Allyn Baker (Leah Singer) is the one shining light in this film. She does a beautiful job playing the single parent trying to be ok with her situation while inside she is broken.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You must be my, soon to be transferred to another college, roommate.” ~ Lance Black


Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

View the Official Trailer Here!

 Extended Trailer:


Week 23 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 23rd Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Stella, a character in a series I’m currently writing. 

Today’s writing prompt: 

Write about a time everything changed in the blink of an eye!

It was back when I still lived with my mom… One of the last times I ever saw her.

We were going to the hospital; I was scheduled for some tests because I got headaches, all the time.

I never made it into the exam room. I never made it past the lobby.

As we were walking up to the hospital entrance, I saw a woman laying on the ground behind the dumpster. She looked cold… tired… gone.

My mom rushed me away from her. I wasn’t sure what she was so afraid of, not at the time. When they finally wheeled her into the lobby, I could see it—the blood. It was dripping down her arm and onto the floor. I reached out, barely touching her hand as they passed by us. That was when everything changed.

The room started to spin and my headache was instantly gone. I could see, clearer than I had ever seen before, but it wasn’t the hospital lobby I was seeing. I was surrounded by trees and I could hear screaming coming from somewhere behind me. When I turned around, I saw him!

© 2019 Nina Soden

* * * * * 

Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!  

Write about a time everything changed in the blink of an eye!

* * * * * 

Click on the links below for some of my favorite author tools!