#MindfulnessMonday 4/1/19


Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Have you ever noticed that everyone is different? We all have our own unique personalities, styles, likes, and dislikes… What makes us different is what makes us special. So, today’s #MindfulnessMonday tip is to embrace what makes you YOU! Embrace your uniqueness… your individuality… your weird… your silly… your fun… etc. etc. etc. Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video HERE

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:
Happiness Exercise

Ask yourself what makes you feel truly happy. Take your time, don’t rush into an answer. Consider the question, think on it, focus on your breathing and let the answer come to you. Don’t accept the first answer you think of as the end all be all. Other answers may present themselves to you with patience and time. I recommend doing this exercise while sitting quietly or laying down, not while doing other tasks and activities that may distract you from your purpose. Focus only on your breathing while letting your body relax, then consider the question while experiencing the sounds, smells, and feel of things around you. This exercise may take five minutes, it may take an hour. The time you spend is up to you.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Now that you’ve completed the Happiness Exercise, write down what makes you truly happy. Then consider ways you can incorporate more of what makes you happy into your daily life and commit to doing something small each week to add more happiness and joy in your life. In time, you’ll increase this amount so you are committed to doing something each day to increase happiness.

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, if you are willing to share your thoughts with me and my readers, I would love to invite you to comment below and let me know how this exercise affected you and what you learned about yourself through the meditation.

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

EPISODE 13 ~ Just Do You!

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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.

Hello, my name is Nina and I’m a Workaholic!

I wasn’t always like this. At one time, I’m sure I was just your normal average run of the mill kid. I liked to play with my friends, go to the park, have sleep-overs, and all kinds of great things. Then when I took that first job… FoodLand grocery bagger it all changed. I went to school and worked. I liked making money, and actually being able to put gas in my car and buy the things I wanted.

When I started college I went to school full-time (which was like a job), worked on campus part-time, and worked off campus part-time. Not to mention I was in the theatre department and was constantly involved with a show which took up most if not all of my evenings.

After graduating college (in exactly 4 years) I decided to continue to work on campus full-time, and take a few more classes (just for fun) while working part-time at the local high school teaching tech theater and tool safety! Oh yeah, and I was still constantly involved with a show, but instead of it being on campus I was producing, directing, and acting in shows off campus with a theatre troop I helped found.

When I finally moved out to California to try to make it BIG (insert laugh here) I took on a full-time job along with daily auditions and twice weekly acting classes. But, I kept on trucking…

I left Hollywood, and started a family with my amazing husband! Okay, so just because being a mom doesn’t pay – doesn’t make it any less a job. I happen to love being a mom, and it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for the world, but it can be tiring and hard and stressful just like any other job, and you don’t get off after 8 hours of work its a 24 hour a day job for the rest of your life! So, I do that… and a full-time job, and a part-time job, and of course I am trying… when I have time… to be a writer.

Okay, so my progress in the writing field can’t really be seen over these last few months, but it is still a dream.

I have recently sent my latest version of book 1 to my editor Jamie Aitchison (haven’t heard back yet). I am working on book 2 rewrites… I plan to pick it back up in the second week of January. My goal is to have book 2 rewrites done by the end of February. Then I will start back in on book 3. I’ve already written about 10 chapters, but due to all the edits in the first 2 books, I think I’ll pretty much be starting from scratch, oh well.

So, you see… I’m a workaholic! Wish I wasn’t, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.

If anyone out there can think of a way to add two more hours to my day, let me know.

My Latest Endeavor

WRITE… Write… write…

Okay… let me start by saying, I miss my husband! He recently started classes toward his masters program, and he attends classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening. I know what you’re thinking, “Tuesday and Thursday? Is that all?” and you’re right. It’s only two days a week, not bad at all. Yet, still… I miss him when he isn’t home with me and the kids. Although above even that I am incredibly proud of him! Going back for his masters isn’t going to be an easy road, by any stretch of the imagination, and the fact that he is doing it with a full-time job, two kids, and a sometimes needy wife, I commend him!

Now, as I sit here and sulk… I can do one of two things. I can literally eat the pan of brownies in the kitchen and watch television until he gets home – not a bad idea, or I can pull out my computer and get to work! I am choosing the second option. I am always struggling to find time to write, and now with him going back to school I have been given two evenings a week, after the kids are in bed of course, to do just that. So, take advantage of it I will.

My goal is to see significant progress by the end of this coming weekend… which is to say that I will finally get through chapter eleven!

I think that my creativity has maybe taken a brief vacation, and left me in somewhat of a stump or creative block. I shall hammer through it this week though, and come out victorious! lol… That actually sounded confident. This just may work. If not, I might just cry… I figure if I don’t get to work soon, then when I receive my editor’s notes next weekend I really will cry. I am expecting them to be detailed and extensive, because that is what everyone had told me editors like to do. I have mentally prepared, but who knows how much that will really help. Although, I do look forward to the suggestions. I am excited to get book one in the Blood Angel series ready for the publisher, and an editor is just one of the many steps so… BRING IT ON!!!

Finding the time…

It seems as time goes by my days get shorter and shorter, and I am having less and less time to write. It makes me sad to think I have spent less than an hour writing over the last two weeks! How am I supposed to get through this project if an hour or two a month is all I have to devote to it?!

It’s no ones fault but my own! No pointing fingers here, it just is what it is. I have a family and at the end of a long work day it’s hard to want to do anything but spend time with them. How do you tell your kids, “No sweetie mommy still has to work, I can’t cuddle or draw right now.” I can’t do it. They give me those puppy dog eyes and I just melt!

So, now I have fallen behind, WAY BEHIND on my self-set goal of having book three in the Blood Angel series complete by the end of August. I’m only on Chapter Eleven… with so much story left to tell.

Please send me out good creative thoughts to help me get through the rest by my newly set goal of November 26th MY BIRTHDAY!!! Because what better birthday gift could I give myself than finishing the book?!

Stay tuned for more updates in this on going adventure…

Two weeks and counting…

I have a two-week deadline looming overhead. By Saturday August 6th, I am to have book 2 to my editor, and although it is already written I have not yet gone back through it to do a final edit on my own, and the people I have reading it have not yet gotten back to me! AHHHHHH

I’m not dragging me feet, really I’m not. It’s just that with two kids, a husband, a full-time job, a part-time job, and a house to clean there really isn’t a whole lot of time on my plate to write. I try to squeeze in time whenever I can… kids weekend nap time (right now!!!), after the kids go to bed at night (when nothing good is on tv…), etc. But, still not a lot of time to devote just to my writing.

I am making myself a promise, here and now! I will pick up book two this weekend, and get through chapters one through ten! Okay, maybe that is a little ambitious considering when I do final edits I tend to rewrite large portions, insert completely new chapters, and/or delete large portions… Okay, I’m still going to aim for chapters one through ten, but I am not going to be too hard on myself if its more like one through five. LOL

Okay, today is almost over, with the babysitter soon to arrive, so… I better be off to work. Wish me luck and think of me often.

Behind Locked Doors – The Dancing Nymph

As a full moon shone bright, high in the midnight black sky painted with stars, she dances underneath the branches of an old oat tree. The wind blowing her fire-red hair wildly through the air, and her skin glistening as the stars shine down. Softly, sweetly raindrops began to fall, and gently land around her. Though never a drop on her skin as she breezes through the field in between drop after drop.

Suddenly, there in the distance, she sees him. Their eyes connect and moments later they’re standing side by side, hand in hand, lips to lips, and heart to heart! A connection like nothing she had ever known. More powerful than the call of the earth, more passionate than the song of the angels above, more violent than the rushing rapids. Her heart pounded in her chest, and he could smell the sweet honey of life flowing through her veins.

Those few seconds between life and death before she so willing gave in to his desires were more than she could have ever hoped for, ever dreamed of. Even as she lay on the forest floor, drained of all life and blood, a soft smile still remained on her once radiant face.

(c) Copyright Soden, Nina 2011

Dug In…

So… Following the advice of a good friend, I dug deeper! I actually spent the last eight days reading, reviewing, and editing my manuscript. My goal wasn’t to add fluff just to make it longer, but instead to add only content that would benefit and add to the story line. I think I succeeded, but only time will tell.

After completing the first version it went through multiple levels of editing; the first being myself reading and editing it many MANY times, the second being my close (in proximity) friends, the third being my distant (again proximity) relatives, and then finally my good friend out in California who finally gave me advise I could use. That advise was what lead me to ‘Dig Deeper’. Now that the digging is done, I have finally sent my manuscript off to my editor.

Now I sit, dug in, and wait… and wait… and wait!

I would love to say I’m not nervous, and party of me isn’t, but the other part… well it is. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that a professional editor is a MUST, and I truly believe that I have picked the right one for my project. I’m excited and scared, but I can take criticism as long as it’s constructive, as I’m sure it will be. Therefore I am eagerly awaiting her edits, thoughts, and recommendations, as I push forward and ‘digging deeper’ into manuscript number two!

Now I’m off to the trenches to write…

Dive Deeper!

The other day I received some heartfelt constructive criticism from an old friend, and by old I don’t mean hunched over covered in wrinkles and walks with a cane. However, just for fun I do like to call him Gramps every now and then. Yeah, you know who you are!

After reading my novel for the first time he told me to ‘Dive Deeper’. Now, at first criticism can be a little hard to stomach, but honestly I have been looking for someone to tell me the truth for a while now. I have had a number of people read the book and they have all told me they love it, the story is great, they can’t wait to read book two, etc. etc. etc. What I really need as a writer is to hear some real honest to goodness not trying to be nice kind of constructive criticism.

Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Now, there are three things you can do when you receive constructive criticism. The first is run and hide pretending that you didn’t hear it, and that your story is perfect without any changes. The second is accepting that everyone has their opinion, but decide that you will graciously decline the help others are willing to give. The third, and my choice of action was to accept that all things can use improvement, and seeing my book through someone elses eyes is a wonderful way to improve upon what I’ve already built.

So, I am taking this week to reread my manuscript… again, and try to dive deeper!

Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for being the kind of friend that believes I can do better, and will tell me I have to dive deeper into my work to make it the best it can be!

Miss you Gramps


Got an Editor!

Very exciting day!

I am two and a half books into my series ‘Blood Angel’ and I am so excited to announce that today I found my editor. I have been talking with numerous editors over the past few months, to find the perfect one, and this weekend it happened. I had a conference call with her this morning, and book one is already in her hands. Now I just hold my breath and wait… Not my strong suit. However, I am looking forward to the constructive comments, and this amazing new step toward my books future.

I am excited to introduce Jamie Aitchison, who works out of Chicago, IL. She is a copy editor who provides clear, concise syntax while maintaining the author’s unique voice and tone. She takes pride in being highly meticulous, detailed and organized in her proofreading work. With her Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts and creative writing with a concentration in journalism, from Eastern Michigan University, she not only brings an amazing imagination and open mind to every project she also has a very strong focus on punctuation, grammar, spelling, voice and word choice.

I plan to share this process, ups and downs, as things unfold. So, come on this journey with me one step at a time. hopefully when it is all said and done Mrs. Aitchison will grace us with an interview and share some of her trade secrets for how she does what she does, and why she loves it so much.

Hello world!

Welcome to ninasoden.wordpress.com where you can follow me through my journey of writing, editing, and cross your fingers… hopefully publishing my first young adult novel series ‘Blood Angel’.

If you have found me while I am just setting up the site, please be patient. I won’t start blogging until the site has been fully created. However, when it’s done you will want to come back often to hear about my trials and tribulations.

Special Bonus: Every now and then you will be able to take a look behind locked doors and into my mind, when I publish a mini-story in what I call a ‘Behind Locked Doors’ post.