Are you a self-saboteur? February 17, 2015Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: American idol, bestselling, Chimeras, demons, dragon shifters, dragons, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, fear, life, Paranormal Romance, Parenting, relationships, singing, TV, TV shows, writer's life writing, writing tips, YA, YA Fantasy, young Adult, young adult fantasy, young adult lit
Are you a self-saboteur?
Those of you who know me, know I enjoy a variety (far too many) of TV shows. One of them is American Idol.
Yesterday, I was watching an episode from a couple days ago. It was group night in Hollywood week, and as usual there were various train wrecks being enacted; people staying up all hours of the day and night (and still not knowing the lyrics), passing out from anxiety attacks, fights, etc. One of these incidents, included a woman who displayed a phenomenon I am all too familiar with–self-sabotage.
Ostensibly, the contestant was not happy with her group and when they went to bed, spent most of the night looking for a new one, and most of her time the next day either fighting with them over it, or trying to find a new group. When it was time to go on, her performance was not up to par because she was clearly still hanging on to her emotional issues.
Naturally, she was the only one in the group to get cut.
I was struck immediately by the fact that she had sabotaged her own performance.
Why did she do that to herself?
Well, we self-saboteurs (yes, I struggle with this) don’t know we’re doing it at the time.
Procrastinators are some of the biggest self-saboteurs. To the rest of the population, procrastination is easily solved. It’s merely laziness. Just give yourself enough time to do what needs to be done. Even procrastinators can identify this solution. We always think, next time I won’t wait until the last minute, but the next time never seems to come.
This is the most vital clue that there is more than simply sloth involved. If a person continues a negative behavior even after identifying it, there’s mostly likely something more deep-seated at work.
Why do we self-sabotage?
Deep down we’re afraid we’re just not good enough, at our job, our vocation, being a parent. Sometimes, we can even do it in relationships, because we’re not good enough to be loved, either.
We hide from the fear by giving ourselves a monologue. I didn’t fail because I’m inadequate, but because I was in the wrong group, chose the wrong song, waited too long to apply, and so on.
Are you a self-saboteur?
Here are some signs.
Do you have an excuse? Do you repeat it in your head?
Instead: When you’ve finished something, you should be able to say, “I did everything I could.” Not, “if only I had or hadn’t…”
2. Do you find yourself worrying you might do something wrong in advance? “I better not forget to take breath there or I won’t have enough air to hold the note.”
Instead: Focus on the positive. Be your own coach. “I’ll take a breath there and finish strong.”
3. Do you compare yourself to someone else?
Remember: No one else is you. Focus on doing your best. It’s all you have control of.
4. Do you ignore or downplay your past achievements. “Yes, I have four and five star reviews, but I don’t have enough.”
Instead: Celebrate you achievements. Success kills fear, but only if you embrace it.
Are you a self-saboteur like me? Do you watch Idol? Do you have some examples or tips for the rest of us struggling with this problem? I’d love to hear from you!
What’s a Halfling? February 15, 2015Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: armor, bestselling, bestselling YA, darkling, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, halfling, Kickass heroine, magic, medieval, new adult, petra, Robin Hood, Romantic Fantasy, Strong female, Sword and sorcery, traditional fantasy, wings, YA, YA Fantasy, YA Fantasy Romance, YA Romantic Fantasy, young Adult, Young adult fantasy romancd, Young Adult Romantic Fantasy
Editing on my upcoming release, Halfling, is mostly done, I’m just waiting for my editor’s final thoughts. Now is when my brain turns to the trailer.
Problem. Since I usually write contemporary Paranormal Romance, a pretty close representation of my characters can easily be plucked from from the depths of a stock photo website.
But Halfling is a Young Adult Romantic Fantasy. It takes place in a setting with magic and swords (OK, it’s a sword and sorcery world, but I was trying not to say that).
Moreover, my hero has wings, and not feathery angel wings or exactly bat wings, either. (Though they come closer to bat) The tips of his wings are visible at all times behind his head. He also wears chain mail armor and wields a sword.
My heroine is seventeen, super thin due to near starvation, and has dark red hair that’s been hacked off.
These images are not easy to find and really I could only approximate or use a paint program to alter them.
Often, I have to compromise and get the best I can afford. (I usually have good luck with istockphoto, but their prices have gone up and a struggling writer, just can’t afford them anymore.)
Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m not hugely happy with Ahran, he looks a bit older than I’d like, but the hood has a chain mail look, and Ahran is not exactly who he seems to be, so I think it works. The challenge will be adding those wings.
I am more satisfied with Deyna. I think this model more accurately shows her outward vulnerability and inner strength. Deyna’s journey is the main focus of the book, so I was really lucky to find this photo.
What would you forfeit to save your friends?
The crippled reject of a scorned people, seventeen year-old Valayan wanderer, Deyna has never eaten, owned, or used anything she didn’t scrounge or steal. She’s used to life at the bottom, but when her father sells her to be the annual Sacrifice to their enemies, the winged darklings, she discovers a new low.
Marked for death at the hands of the darkling king, only the discovery that she is half darkling saves her life.
As a servant in the darkling palace, Deyna thinks she’s landed on her feet. She has fresh, clean food, a real bed, and people, like young Lord Ahran, handsome captain of the king’s guard, who might actually care if she lives or dies, but all is not well in the darkling lands, a civil war is brewing and the gods have plans for her. Will she risk it all to do what’s right?
Final trailer coming soon!
Is this TMI? Shiny Things 1/13/2015 January 13, 2015Posted by karinshah in books, ebooks, Parenting, sports, TV, Young Adult.
Tags: artificial Christmas trees, Borg, Buckeyes, Bucks, Christmas, Christmas trees, college football, doctors, ebooks, editing, Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, football, migraine, NCAA National championship, new releases, Ohio, OSU, Parenting, romance, Science Fiction Romance, science-fiction, sports, writing, YA, YA Fantasy, YA Fantasy Romance
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Shiny Things 1/13/2015
Things distracting me this week–
Congratulations, Ohio State Buckeyes on winning a true National Championship!
I’m not really a football fan, but the Buckeyes are special to me for more than just geographical reasons (I live in a suburb of Columbus).
The last time the Buckeyes won a National Championship was the 2002 season. I remember it very well, because I was in the hospital having my first child.
(Warning labor story) she wasn’t due until February 6th, so it was quite a surprise when my water broke on January 3rd! I’d just been to the doctor the day before and been told everything seemed fine for her original delivery date, for goodness sake! But at seven am it happened. Because it happened so early, I acted like a total moron. (Me: It can’t be my water! It’s too early! DH: Call the doctor. Me(the moron): but no one will be there yet!) I finally got my brain together, called and was told to come to the hospital, back then it was called the Ohio State Medical Center, or OSUMC.
Skipping ahead, I am not a hero and was soon drugged up and attached to so many devices I told my sister over the phone that I felt like a Borg. Twelve hours later, around ten, the serious work began, but no luck. Meanwhile, OSU was busy playing in the Tostidos Fiesta Bowl.
I swear to this day, my doctors dragged their feet getting the OR ready so they could finish watching the game. My proof? At one in the morning my daughter was delivered and as the OB handed her over he said (and we have this on DVD), “and by the way, OSU won.”
So when you say, O-H and my kids return I-O, they come by it honestly.
Anybody else have kids born on “special occasions?”
(Warning excessive whining) I’ve been fighting a cold/sinus attack from Hell/migraine since Saturday, so my edits for my New YA Fantasy Romance are going very slowly. Part of me says, “come on, push through you wimp!” But the other professional writer part says, “you’ll start to skim and miss things.”
Have you seen that commercial where the guy opens the door and says, “I’m really sorry, I’m going to have to call in sick tomorrow and he’s talking to a baby in a crib?” I feel the same way about edits, unfortunately, NyQuil (or any number of drugs) hasn’t made any difference.
My tree is still up. Yes, it’s artificial. You don’t have to picture a pathetic stick, dropping needles all over my hardwood floor. We always keep our tree up until after my daughter’s birthday, but I’m pleading edits. I have a history, though of getting it down late. One year, it was still up when my Mom came to visit in February (she’s never let me forget it!) Still, as I get older I’m trying to do better.
What’s the latest you’ve had yours up?
Wish me luck!
Is that a ghost in her bed? January 10, 2015Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
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I’m stuck in bed with a migraine when I need to be hauling ass on my treadmill (ok, crawling at 2 mph) while editing my new YA Fantasy Romance HALFLING.
still, I was trying to do a little promo, but when I tried to send it to the yahoo group it was a total fail. Feeling sorry for myself, I decided to share the blurb and excerpt here. So, if you’re trolling the interwebs feeling sorry for yourself, like I am and here’s a little content to spice up your evening.
Blurb: Never fall in love with a man in a photo. Especially, if he’s dead . . .
Balanced on the knife-edge edge of going feral, chimera Ethan Wade has no idea what he is. All the former Navy SEAL turned maritime treasure hunter knows is his explosive temper has destroyed his life, driving him to an isolated rental house in Western, NY, to lick his wounds. When a molotov cocktail of rage and alcohol triggers an uncontrolled shift, he is caught between shapes.
Disembodied, he can only come to one conclusion: He’s died and become a ghost.
Blowing the whistle lost lawyer Devon Daughtry her boyfriend, (not too much of a loss), her job, (a bit worse) and with the rents in Manhattan, a primo apartment (the straw that broke the camel’s back).
Now she’s run home to Cassadaga determined to re-build her life by hanging out her shingle as a psychic medium.
When she discovers a photograph of Ethan while moving in, she’s crushed to discover the man whose lonely eyes strike a chord deep within her soul is missing and presumed dead. Soon, she begins having passionate dreams about him. Dreams that Ethan shares.
But Ethan isn’t the only being in the house. A demonic presence has followed her home and it has diabolical plans for both of them.
Kindle price $2.99 $0.00 on Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt: With a sigh, she turned back to the other side, and to her surprise, she gazed into Ethan’s face, not the picture on the wall. The man lying naked on the bed next to her. His eyes
were closed as if he slept.
Her heart raced. She still dreamed, of course. The man she knew only from a photograph was dead, but he looked real and when she touched the face highlighted and striped by the light and shadow from the window, he felt real. The heat of him seared her fingertips.
He opened his eyes.
His irises shone silver-green in the moonlight, like new grass. She rubbed her fingers across the inky, crew-cut on the back of his head, enjoying the silky but prickly texture. He groaned, almost purred. She wanted to feel that sexy mouth on hers. Why not? She’d been denied earlier and it was only a dream. With that thought she pressed forward, capturing his
The Things That Go Bump in the Night need love, too.
Shiny Things1/7/2015 January 7, 2015Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: ABC, Alpha hero, alpha heroes, Amazon, Chimeras, demons, dragon shifters, dragons, Fantasy Romance, Galavant, ghosts, josh, lion shifters, lions, Paranormal Romance, Psych, shapeshifters, shifters, Supernatural, Timothy Ormundson, TV, vampires, virgin hero, Writers' life, writing, YA, YA Fantasy
Shiny Things January 7, 2015
Things that are distracting me this week…
Galavant on ABC. With music by Alan Menken, a pretty cast, and hilarious lyrics and one-liners, this irreverent cross between Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Once Upon a Time is not to be missed by musical fans! And we Psych and Supernatural fans get the bonus of Timothy Ormundson as the bad King Richard. He sings, he dances, he hugs. ‘Nuff said!
More TV. Josh Gates from Destination Truth returns in a new Travel Channel show called Expedition Unknown! If you don’t know him, you should. I love his tongue in cheek sense of humor. I wrote a ode to his old show Destination Truth (too ten reasons you should watch Destination Truth) and I listed him twice.
Still more TV. (I think we know what my Kryptonite is) American Haunting on Amazon Prime. This, new to me, ghost show fits the low bar I’ve set. It’s about ghosts, but the first episode was very satisfying, as instead of just investigating and leaving the family to their haunted life, they end up ghost free.
Edits for my new YA Fantasy Romance HALFLING. Technically, since this is my actual work, it’s not a distraction, but it’s certainly concerning me. I actually love this part. Unfortunately, I love it a little too much and spend waaay too long thinking of the perfect word, simile, or metaphor! :-)
What’s distracting you this week?
Shiny Things 1/1/2015 January 1, 2015Posted by karinshah in books, Uncategorized.
Tags: action romance, Alpha hero, alpha heroes, bank robberies, Chimeras, conferences, demons, dragon shifters, dragons, ghosts, lion shifters, new releases, New Year, Paranormal Romance, serial killers, shapeshifters, Supernatural, Tae Kwon Do, vampires, virgin hero, witches, Writers' life
Shiny Things January 1st 2015
Things interesting me this week:
The old year.
New Year’s is always a time for reflection. Shortly after the start of 2014, I got the shingles. I still have some neuropathy (pain in the nerves) from that, so I suggest everyone get the shingles shot. They’ll tell you it’s uncommon for under fifties to get shingles. They’ll tell you insurance won’t pay, but they’ll also tell you it’s not so bad for under fifties, and I can’t list the number of opiates they would have let me take that did zero for the shooting, stabbing pain in the nerves affected. Nor can I count the sleepless nights resulting. I would gladly pay for the expensive shot to get those six months of my life back.
Ok, end of public service announcement.
Good things last year, I got a book out despite my illness. Yay! This book was particularly close to my heart because I got to revisit characters from BLOOD AND KISSES and IN LIKE A LION and it was inspired by my addiction to all things ghostly (though, I’m a skeptic).
Shows like A Haunting and Ghost Adventures are ripe with stories that light the fires of my imagination. ENTITY MINE was inspired by an episode of A Haunting in which a woman kept dreaming about a photograph of a dead soldier who used to live in her house. When haunting activity began, she felt he protected her from a malevolent spirit also in the house.
My daughter graduated from sixth grade and started seventh. My son passed his OAA’s despite us sweating it and moved on to the fourth grade.
Both my children got their black belts in Taekwondo.
I attended the Central Ohio Fiction Writer’s retreat and RWA 2014 National Conference. I can’t say enough how other writers continue to support and nourish my career. Hugs to you all! Especially, Debby Gilbert, publisher and owner of Soul Mate publishing who is a good friend and a fabulous editor.
My husband started trail running in 2014, so I have some fond memories of cabins and lodges we stayed at, with and without dogs.
Things I’m looking forward to in 2015:
I have a book coming out soon! I’m in edits for a YA Fantasy (draft title HALFLING)
I’m also working on Bk 3 of THE CHIMERA CHRONICLES in which we meet Connor, third youngest of the Mara brothers. He and his twin, ex-rangers, and ex-cons through undeserved circumstances, are blackmailed into a bank robbery. Those who know Supernatural will recognize the inspiration for this installment.:-)
RWA National is in NYC this year. Two of my favorite things together!
What events shaped your 2014? What are you looking forward to in the new year?
Shiny Things December 18 December 18, 2014Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: action romance, alpha, Alpha hero, alpha heroes, army rangers, bank robberies, bank robbery, basenjis, burn notice, chimera, Chimeras, Christmas, demons, dragon shifters, dragons, FBI agents, ghosts, heists, Karin Shah, lion shifters
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Things distracting me today, December 18th 2014
1. A serious message from the Authors of Soul Mate Publishing http://youtu.be/xDsabUwY_vE #kindle #books I worked hard on this homemade video. I hope you’ll take a gander! This video sucked away about ten hours of writing time What non-writing/work projects are sucking up your time?
2. Still Christmas shopping. I started early, but when I looked to see what I had it wasn’t as much as I thought. Going into panic shopping mode. This is difficult as I am the queen of indecision! How’s your shopping going? This is the first year I’ve shopped this far from Christmas. It was supposed to relax me, and make Christmas easy, but so far no dice.
3. I’ve got my latest hero and heroine inches from the clinch and every time I sit (or walk) down to seal the deal, I suddenly find something more important to do, like laundry.
Hope you’re enjoying the season!
Shiny Things December 17th December 17, 2014Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: action romance, Alpha hero, alpha heroes, Birthdays birthdaysbith, bithdays, brothers, cake, childhood, Chimeras, Christmas, Holidays, presents, stores, Writers' life, writing
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Shiny things December 17th
Things that are distracting me, today.
1. Old-time Pottery: I love this store! Especially at the holidays. So many glittery, neat, little chachkis<sp> so little time! Have I mentioned I like shiny things? It’s a bit far, so I only make the trek (fifteen whole minutes!) a few times a year. Do you have a favorite store for holiday time?
2. Nostalgia: As I was thinking about Old-time Pottery, I started thinking about where we went at Christmas when I was a child, and I remembered Mid-town plaza mall in downtown Rochester. It was a wonderland! Even ordinary department stores had a little section like a fun house, but you walked along and saw holiday tableaux. And near Santa was the clock–the Clock of Nations. Each little door would open and show children dressed in the clothes of their native land. And all around that, the most enchanting thing of all, a miniature monorail that circled the clock big enough for children to ride! It was the highlight of my year.
3. Birthdays: My kids’ birthdays are one week before and one week after Christmas, so I’m all about the cake, ’bout the cake, ’bout the cake, right now. And presents, too. What do you get the children who have everything, twice? Oy vey!
What’s distracting you these days? Got some memories to share?
I am a couch potato. Hell, I’m a bed potato. Given a choice my favorite thing to do is lie on my bed and read. The same goes for writing, though I usually sit. We writers even have an acronym for it, BICHOK (butt in chair hands on keyboard). It works great for producing words, but not so much for said butt!
Studies have shown that no matter how hard you exercise when you’re not sitting, you can’t undo the damage long hours of sitting can do. Humans are meant to move.
So, this last spring I got a treadmill desk.
I can’t afford that! you say? Neither can I. Those fancy desks are mucho dinero.
This is what I’ve done.
My husband got me a wire shelf from Home Depot and Velcro ties. Fortunately, my treadmill has arms, so all I do is fasten it on, put my tablet and its Bluetooth keyboard on a cardboard box to make it higher, and start walking. I started slow and have built up to 2 mph, 2.5 if I’m up to it. Still, 1 mph would be fine. If you write for four hours at that speed, you will have walked four miles. It also makes it hard to stop and go do something (not impossible, but harder) so you stay more focused. Nothing makes you feel better at the end of the day, than having written ten pages and walked seven miles.
I built up to going that far. In the beginning I did shorter amounts, so I wouldn’t get footsore.
There are other alternatives, too if you don’t have a treadmill, balance balls, getting up with a timer every few minutes, and exercise bikes under the desk, as well!
Let’s birth a new acronym FOTHOK. Feet On Treadmill, Hands On Keyboard!
What are you doing to get moving?
Try to remember December 12, 2014Posted by karinshah in Uncategorized.
Tags: action romance, alpha, Alpha hero, alpha heroes, basenjis, brothers, Chimeras, Christmas, demons, Dogs, dragon shifters, dragons, fun, Futuristic Romance, ghosts, In like a lion, Karin Shah, laurel and hardy
Christmas isn’t like it used to be, for one, both my kids have birthdays on either side of the holiday. I’m responsible for all the trials and tribulations of buying presents and everything associated with spending the holiday at my parents’ house in NYS. (Including the worry of travelling through Erie and Buffalo on the way!)
But I still love Christmas. I love the lights, the food, the festive music, and even the cold (Sorry, Aussies. No matter what you tell yourself, Christmas isn’t the same without snow. ;-) )
Today I got thinking about my childhood and some of the things I loved best back then (besides waking up on Christmas morning to a family room over-flowing with presents.).
I loved the old black and white movie THE MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS. When I was little it was played right around Thanksgiving and signaled the start of the season. We had a channel called PIX back then, that came from NYC (despite the fact we were 5 hours’ drive from NYC). Every Christmas, PIX would have kids call in and play this game, where they had to say PIX when it appeared on the screen and then they would win something. I couldn’t take part being too far away, but the idea of calling in and winning something made me watch these kids say “PIX, PIX, PIX” as if my life depended on it.
My favorite holiday song was, “Do You Hear What I hear?.”
My favorite activity was making (and eating) cut-out cookies. We had all the colors and would try to make the angels, and Santas, boots, and reindeer look like their namesakes. (Now, I confess, I just frost everything white and put colored sprinkles on them.)
There was bad stuff, too. Our church had real evergreen boughs that almost always triggered a horrible asthma attack in me. No one ever knew what to get me for Christmas because I always asked for the same thing—a dog. (See horrible asthma attacks above) There were occasional fights, etc, but when I look back, it’s the good stuff I remember.
How about you? What were your favorite childhood Christmas activities, memories, songs, gifts? (Aussies, you can even mention the sand in your teeth. I was just kidding about the snow thing.)
Of course, being grown up does have its perks. I finally got that dog (or four. Though not all at the same time)