intentional creating + kinda big announcement


it can be difficult to see a need to slow down in a world that seems to rush around our ankles like a receding tide. it can be tricky to step back, take a few long, slow breaths, and come to the conclusion that quality is far more important than quantity in a cultural climate that seems to chant: make more, make more, make more, at the top of its voice.

but as a writer, i've come to deeply, deeply feel that it doesn't matter how much we make nearly as much as it matters how and why we make it. that's where the quality comes from - the meaning. the reason.

because there has to be a reason, hasn't there? 

why do we write, draw, sing, dance, and do all the other things? let's not go so fast that we're distracting ourselves from asking these questions - these important questions. 

(this reminds me of a really great ted talk that i've watched many times and highly recommend.)

what's better? that i make one very important, very authentic, very true, very meaningful thing - or that i make a bunch of things that my heart wasn't in, that i forced and muscled my way through, and that mean very little to me and likely anyone else?

see, as creatives we have some of the most important jobs - we're dealing with human hearts, souls - people's lives. we have fire in our hands! we have the opportunity to impact someone's life in a lasting way, for better or for worse. that's why creating with a reason, with an intention, and with a purpose is so incredibly important.

we need to quit this idea of "more", and lay hold of this glorious notion of creating intentionally - with our hearts.

i feel like this post tags on super well to last week's, which was about taking internet breaks and disconnecting in order to recharge - which can definitely help aid us in creating with a higher level of intention. this is actually the last blog post you will see from me until may - yes, this is the sign-off, my rad friend. i'll be unplugging, recharging, and getting stoked (aka surfing a lot). 

because even though the world likes to rush, we don't have to, and that's not the place where cool stuff is made. cool stuff is slow-cooked. it takes time and patience to steep. and that's the place i want to create from.

all that said, i wasn't sure if now was the time to announce it or not, but i feel like, having said everything i just did, this is the perfect time:

i've written three more books for you. and i'll be releasing two books this year.

i'll be publishing resurgence, the final book in the blood race trilogy, plus another new book. i don't want to give too much away about it right now, except that i am very, very excited about it and you guys will be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months. you'll also have a release date from me soon for resurgence, so keep your soul windows peeled for that. 

creating from a place of intention has some very cool perks. i can't wait to share more with you guys. i can't wait to see what ideas come to me while i'm away, and i also can't wait to let those ideas take over my life and make me drink loads of coffee and type away like mad for hours on end and transform into stories for you guys. eeeeeee!!


that's it for now! signing off. i love you guys and would be nowhere without you! have an amped april

stay stoked!

internet breaks (and why we should take them)

taking a break.

it's funny how these days all of the above can be viewed in a negative light by many "hustlers." in the age of social media and constant connection, taking a step back can seem like an action that will come with more minus signs than plus marks. but I beg to differ.

though some may tend to view vanishing off the radar as a negative, i know from experience that it comes with myriad benefits - including sanity, peace, and finding yourself more genuinely connected than ever.

we often use the word "connection" in relation to our phones, the internet, and social media, but in reality these tools, if used unwisely, can easily leave us feeling more disconnected and lonely. having your face in front of a screen for a considerable portion of your day rather than engaging with the world around you doesn't exactly inspire thoughts of "connect" but rather the opposite.

now don't get me wrong - i'm a passionate indie and entrepreneur, and the internet and social media make up the very backbone of my business; i love and value these tools, and use them every day. But i think it's so important to take a step back and assess how much time we're spending in front of a screen vs engaging with the world around us.

to me, being truly "connected" looks a lot more like getting up at sunrise for coffee with my husband, practicing karate outside barefoot, getting fresh, fragrant earth under my fingernails, paddling out on my surfboard, practicing yoga, drinking a warm mug of tea and writing a short story, gathering around my family's bustling dining room table for dinner, staying up late to talk and laugh for hours with my sister...

this... this is what being connected looks like to me. and these everyday miracles are often the moments that are interrupted by the buzz of a new notification or phone call. these are the moments that tailored selfies invade; we often begin to look at our lives and habitats with a critical eye, changing this, tweaking that, and putting only the most "pinterest-worthy" versions of ourselves forward.

but the thing is, that's not real. that's not authentic. there's nothing wrong with taking photos or posting on social media, but when you find your life orbiting your "socials" rather than the other way around? that's not truly enjoying life. i don't want to lose these moments, because these moments are the fabric of LIFE...i refuse to sacrifice these moments even for my career.

i believe in balance. i believe we need to pay attention and to stay aware. we can build our careers, we can stay connected online - yes. but we can also find that balance...we can stay connected with the world around us and those right in front of us. and for me, i can best stay balanced by taking breaks.

and let's just put this up front...taking a break is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. it's a sign of good judgement, and self love. it's a sign that you are leading a balanced life.

i'm an indie author and an entrepreneur, so I have quite a bit going on via social media, but I still take breaks and go off grid. in fact, that's exactly what I'm doing in april for a whole month. is that reckless and irresponsible to do when you're your own boss?

it's the opposite.

taking a break helps you reconnect to everything that truly matters. If the Internet went away overnight, this...THIS: the chair you're sitting in, the tea you might be drinking, the sounds around you, the people that might be in the room with you or in the apartment next door, the trees beyond your window, the floor or earth beneath you - this is what you would have left. this is real. this is what truly matters, and why we do all the other things.

in all the hustle, don't lose the reason. the reason is all around us all the time, we just need to open our eyes to see it.

so don't feel guilty about taking a break, and don't let anyone make you feel like you should be juggling everything. to truly, fully, and holistically live our lives in the moment we need to take breaks, reconnect, go off grid...yes, yes, yes. you are doing it right. if you need a push, or a nod, or validation, let this be it:

go for it. take that break. go off grid. recharge, reconnect, refill the cup because you can't pour from an empty place. go get inspired so you can inspire others, and create with INTENTION. believe me, your reader/followers/fans will thank you and respect you for it.

stay stoked...and stay TRULY connected,

everyone is creative

i think we're all born with a creative voice inside of us. something that seems to tug on our soul like a little kid pulling at her mother's shirt: "look at me, look at me, look at me," 

i think we all have something. even if it's not something that fits within the typical parameters of what the majority of the populace dubs "creative work."

i'm a writer and i make up stories and write them down, sometimes poetry too: creativity.

but i'm married to a man who is a fight fighter - who is also in the Air Force; his jobs involve science and physics and mechanics, but yet when i listen to him talk about what he does, i'm always blown away by how much innovation is required, how much adaptation is needed: creativity.

an entrepreneur and a mother of two rambunctious girls with imaginations bursting at the seams: that's my mom. in the past i've often heard her say that she doesn't necessarily consider herself to be a creative person, and yet i've watched her foster a thriving small business, and raise my sister and i, constantly adapting, changing, learning and trying new things: creativity.

it constantly blows my mind when i'm talking to someone and they make a comment something like

"oh, i wish i was creative."

that's when i start sputtering and a thousand words want to come bursting out of my mouth at the same time - because i want to tell them that they are creative; i want to pull up the definition of creativity on my phone and scream it from the rooftops:

"the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination"


"creative: having the quality or power of creating."

we all have this power to create - we were all born with this ability; to turn our thoughts into manifestations that bloom on the outside of us like flowers pushing through the snow in spring.

we are all creators, paving the pathway ahead of us with the brushes and the paint that we choose; we are the artists, the michelangelo's of our own sistine chapel's; the Spielberg's to our own silver screens. whether you're painting portraits, writing books, dancing, rapping, building a career in photography or art or something else, you are a creator.

even if you're working for someone else right now, you are still holding that brush in your hand. you still have the ability to splash the reality around you with the colors you see in your mind; you have the ability to create an impact, no matter where you are, and that's the biggest and most important thing you could ever create.

sometimes it might just be one kid word, or one idea...i don't think any of us can even begin to fully grasp how much something even as "small" as that has the potential of changing someone's life - maybe even the world.

we are all creatives. we are all creative. every day, whether good or bad, we're creating something. our brains, our hearts, souls, spirits, they all work in unison to create and birth new ideas into the world. we're creating an atmosphere around us, and people can feel it when we walk into the room. that's why it's so important to be aware of the fact that, despite what you might believe about yourself; you are making things. you are creating all the time.

you are a creative being.

so let's embrace that. let's stop cutting ourselves short, telling ourselves we're static in the realms of creation simply because what we do may not fit into the lines somebody else drew in the sand. the rules are just sugar in the rain when it comes to creativity.

i am creative and I write novels. my husband is creative and he's in the military. my mother is creative and she's an entrepreneur and a mom of two girls.

and you? you are creative too; whether you are a writer, a painter, a dancer, a rapper, a youtuber, a photographer, an employee, a barista, a student, or a burner of midnight oil, juggling it all at once. you are constantly thinking and picking up that paint brush every single day when your feet hit the floor. regardless of whether you realize it or not, you are creating all. the. time. affecting those around you, and shaping your world; creating your atmosphere.

and you have the ability and the potential inside of you to make anything. anything at all. and that, in my opinion, is a freaking superpower. let's use it to make some good things; to make an impact. and make this world a little lighter.

embrace your creativity, creator.

stay stoked,

wandering: london

when i'm shuffling trip photos through lightroom, the "rules" of photography go out the window. the most important thing to me, when i'm editing photographs, is that the feeling of the photo reflects the way i felt when i was there in that location. that's what i've always done, and that's part of what makes photography such an enjoyable art to unwind with.

when i edited these photos of london, i wanted them to reflect exactly what it felt like for my husband and i when we were there: warmth, saturation, sunset blurs, and buzzing energy.

that's what london was to us.

london was jet lag and sunshine and warmth and blossoming flowers and ducks in the pond. it was bustling markets and drinking kombucha in organic cafes, and of course ice cream. it was walking until our feel hurt, and taking snapshots for memories, and laughing and smiling until our faces ached and our souls were bursting full.

london was alive. ripe with life - drenched in the summer sunlight, alive with the music as the marching band played. it was a dizzying dose of dashing through tube stations and staring wide-eyed in wonder at old, old, beautiful, beautiful architecture. it was getting lost and finding exactly what we'd been looking for.

traveling to new places is kind of like picking up shards of a broken mirror; seeing new reflections of who we are with every place we go. i think that's part of why i love it so much; part of what makes the road feel like home.

here's a little film of our trip if you would like to see a bit more :)

speaking of adventures and traveling, i'm getting ready to head out this april for a long, (but much needed) off-grid trip. i'll be reconnecting, and recharging. aka surfing (haha). so during that time i'll be absent from my blog, youtube channel, and all my social media, though i may pop in once or twice to say hello.

i had considered the idea of doubling up my workload for this month and scheduling a bunch of content for April, but honestly?? i really need to recharge, i can feel it in my soul. you guys mean so much to me, and the very last thing i want to do is just make content for the sake of making content. i want everything i make for you guys to be inspired and inspiring. i want everything i put up here and on my social media to have something in it that helps or encourages you; i don't want to just be blabbering on, you know?

all that said, if there's anything in particular that you would like to see me sharing more about on this blog, or even on my youtube channel, please let me know below! i'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. :) you are more encouraging and inspiring to me than you could ever know!!

okay, okay, that's enough from me for now - YOUR TURN: where was the last place you went exploring?? what's one place you've ALWAYS wanted to go?? tell me a bit about one of your favorite adventures below!! have a great weekend, beautiful soul

stay stoked!