#GoGetItLife – Why this little hashtag motivates me every day..

It’s a simple hashtag. GoGetItLife. It seems obvious to some and to others maybe it’s the new “YOLO” but for me it’s a daily affirmation of my goals and my direction in life.

Yeah, it started with Theo Rossi. And Yes, I looked into what it was all about because I am a huge fan, but  guess what? These little mashed up words became something more to me. I was already accomplishing things I wanted to. I finished my book. I had a good job. I love my family. But..

(Uh huh..there’s always a “but” right?)

I was coasting. I don’t like to just coast, I want to ride the waves! I didn’t know how I was going to do that yet. You see, I had a fantastic job, great pay, etc…the problem was I was getting sicker. (I have an autoimmune disease that makes me feel like I live everyday with some horrible flu, or strep, or any of the millions of nasty ebola-like illnesses.) Doctors tell me to workout, but there are days I cannot even get out of bed. I’m not one of those people that have a low tolerance for pain. I’m so accustomed to being in pain, when I do too much my body shuts down on me and goes on strike.

I’m a fighter, though. I don’t know the word, “No”. What I did know was coming to terms with this was a roller coaster of emotions.

Work out? Yeah, but I’m not producing tears, sweat, saliva. Ever  tried to workout like that? My muscles already feel like I’ve worked out with The Rock and his massive truck tires.

Watch your food intake. Yes, I already do this. I eat very clean, love salads, fresh fruit and veggies.

Drink lots of water. Duh? I have to drink water or I’ll collapse in a pile of dust because my body won’t produce its own.

I have plenty of excuses not to do something. So I started creating excuses to do something. I can’t drive an hour back and forth to work, sit all day behind a desk, and then fight traffic 1.5 hours to get home. It tore up my back and my hips. This caused a dark cloud to form over my head.

With my body doing it’s own thing, I had to make a choice. I decided to take my passion to the next level and opened a Publishing House. Stitched Smile Publications was born on Jan, 6, 2016. It was the best thing I’d ever done, career wise. It’s not rolling in the profits…yet. However, my team is amazing. They work for the passion of what our company stands for. They give selflessly and treat each other like a real family.

Whenever I start to feel doubt, they cheer me on and now with others stepping in to take on more responsibility, I have had time to (nearly) finish my second book, THE UNFLESHED. It’s my pleasure to show  you the cover below..

Unfleshed Cover

So you see? GoGetItLife means grabbing each situation by the short hairs and turning it into whatever you want. It means not bending to adversity and letting sorrow suck you into the depths of blackness. We’re only here for a short time. Dreams of fame and riches only come when you work hard to make it happen. I don’t care who says money makes the world go round. If your heart and priorities aren’t in the right place money will make you her slave. I don’t live to work. I live to make my time on this rock worth it. No one can do that but me.

In the bigger picture it may seem that people that have “everything” are happy, but that’s that’s just the view through a peephole. Something is sacrificed for having it all. Privacy, trust, love, etc.

LIFE is about fulfillment. The things I work hard for that I earn…I love. I’m down on the floor working with my crew and my family. I roll up my sleeves and take the hits alongside them. I want us all to make it because that means I’ve earned my title and I can honestly say, “I’m a success.” It’s a long, jagged road but I don’t care. Anyone that has gained things without working for it has not earned their stripes. I trust a leader that comes from a rich background of hard work, who can relate to me more than someone that had good luck, or inherited their fortune.

I want people to respect me for my experience, my fortitude, my tenacity, and my integrity. If I can make it to the top of the mountain with those things in tact then I’ve gotten LIFE, and won.

Dear Younger Self

As we get older, it is normal for us to reflect and pose questions like, “If I knew then what I know now would I….?”
So this is my letter to me back then.

Dear Lisa,

You have a lot on your plate right now, I was just wondering..how are you? I know you say you’re fine, you always try to be so strong. I know that you say you have to be because people count on you but I want you to know it’s OK to cry, or be angry. You don’t have to take it all on yourself. By the way, school isn’t that bad, you’ll actually miss it when you’re older. No, seriously. I know everyone says that but you’re a curious one and it satisfies your “itch” to know ..well, everything.

Life is super hard right now, but you will get through it. I know because I’m here in the future and I promise you that you have so much to look forward to. Everyday will still be a challenge but there are people over here that cannot imagine their lives without you. And conversely, you cannot imagine how much they mean to you as well. Their smiles turn your “resting bitch face” into a light and you become an entirely brighter version of yourself.

There’s also something else you should know. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes. It’s better if you know that now and prepare yourself with how to deal with the aftermath. You shouldn’t beat yourself up so bad. You’re human and everyone falls on their face. It will hurt, and it will suck but you can and will get up because you’re that strong. How you’ve gotten through some of the storms is amazing to me as I sit here and look through this glass into the past.

Who you are now is not who you will become. It’s a bittersweet glimpse into the future. On one hand you want to stay who you are. You love your friends and your neighborhood. You love your house and you’re furry best friend, Gracie. Unfortunately, life is a path full of twists and turns and experience will change you. Some changes will be great and some…. not so great. No need to stress — everything can be fixed, changed, reorganized. You won’t believe me while it’s happening but you’re more than capable of handling it.

Now, Lisa, here comes the hardest part of my letter to you. You already know that not everything will pan out how you expected or planned. You have a strong heart and you’re really smart. That’s not the hard part, at all. I know what you’re thinking, “What else could possibly be harder?”. I won’t ever lie to you, so you’ll have to trust me. I’m there, deep inside of you. All you have to do is search and you’ll have all my guidance there. You’re going to need it because there are people in your life right now, and people that will come into your life later who you love so deeply it feels like you’ll come apart at the seams — and you’ll have to say goodbye to them.

They will get sick. Someone will take them. Others will just walk out the door and never come back. It’s in those dark hours that you will question everything. Nothing will hurt you more than to feel abandoned because that is not something in your nature to do, yourself. You will begin to understand that not everyone will treat you how you treat them, or have your compassion. It will strip away the amount of compassion you share freely and cause you to be protective over the ones that earn your love. You will even start to feel contempt and apathy.

When that happens, I want you to read this letter and know that love and compassion are tiny embers that come from a larger, more intense flame. The closer you are to it, the warmer you are. Like a campfire! Keep your family and friends close to the campfire, share stories, sing together, protect one another, gaze at the sky together and dream together. Others will be drawn to it like “critters in the night”. Set up boundaries and perimeters. This will keep outsiders from snuffing out the fire.

You won’t be ready for the people you love to leave and I can’t tell you when it will happen, so be open about your feelings and heart. Never take a day for granted. You already have the knowledge that money and material things are not important, and I love that about us. Cherish your loved ones, as you do now.

You are a fiercely protective mother. Yes! You will have children! I can feel your smile as I write this. They are the light of your world … but not everything will be perfect. I want you to forgive yourself for that. Do not carry it and let it burden your heart. Learn from the mistakes and continue doing what you do; you love them so openly and have an amazing bond with them. In return, they will pull away, go through crisis, hate themselves, hate everyone else, get picked on, be bullied…but that is not your fault.

Let me repeat that. That. Is. Not. Your. Fault.

Finally, my beautiful friend.. you will help save a life, maybe more than even I know, now. You will be the one thing that keeps someone else from falling apart. You will make someone smile who wanted to cry. You will be someone’s everything. You will mend hearts, you fix scrapes and bruises, and you will get others through the toughest times of their lives. The world without you would not be as beautiful to as many others as it is with you in it.

I will close this letter by saying that I love you, and can’t wait to meet you. Take care until then.

Love,

You

P.S. You’re not fat.
#GoGetitlife

Saturday!! One week from Halloween!

It’s a normal Saturday. I’m lying in bed dreading getting up because it’s also..cleaning day at my house. Everyone must be threatened with bodily harm gets up and wanders aimlessly around like zombies helps me get my house back in order from the chaos of the week. My room is my sanctuary because..well..every Dragon has a lair, am I right? And dragons don’t normally like to come out..unless there’s something yummy like cake, or donuts…or diamonds..

I’m celebrating a new phase in my life. “Make time to love me.” I do so much for other people, it’s time to show myself some TLC. I take care of my skin, my health, my heart and mind.

On the 19th I hit LEVEL 42 in this LARP game of life. And in those years I’ve accomplished many things. I don’t believe in bucket lists but I do believe in living life.

Talk to me. What’s something you want to do more of for yourself?

Happy Saturday!

Good morning everyone! I’m pretty sure I’m the only one up at this hour on the weekend but that’s ok. I’m lying in bed reflecting on the year and feeling accomplished. I have only my friends, family, and fans to thank for it.

This year I’ve made big steps in the saturated world of writing. I’ve acquired the position of publisher’s liaison for the Horror Writers Association, put out the follow up to The Unsaintly (The Unsaintly Chronicles: The Anti God), designed the covers of Kindra Sowder’s Executioner series, put together a magazine due out in November (Inked Muse Press), joined a fantastic team as a collaborating writer at Horror Addicts (horroraddicts.net), as well as #GoGetItLife (gogetitlife.com), and began my training as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.com).

Whew. Let me take a breath.

In this journey I’ve discovered a lot about myself. Whatever you put it to the world you will receive.

When I put my first book out it was such a rollercoaster of emotions. I wondered if it was good enough. Being self published for the first time, there were snags…formatting messed the book up, editing mistakes that I caught after the fact..all the horrific things every author could ever imagine. I even got a taste of internet trolls who serve no other purpose than to bring people down for their own amusement.

This year I’ve also learned that I have an auto immune disease (Sjogren’s Syndrome), and it has wreaked havoc on my body, how I function, and how I mentally get through everyday. It has been a huge challenge to my already busy life. I presently suffer through chronic, severe migraines..I don’t have time for anything more. But life has a funny way of reminding you that you are not the captain of the Life Ship.

There have been some catastrophic events occur this year, but I’m grateful for the small, happy moments and choose to focus on those.

My second born son has made me a grandmother. Unexpected? Oh yes! I’m still fairly young, and so is he. But Haven is here and I fell in love with that tiny boy just like I did with my son when he was born. And now my son will start to understand the pure heartbreak that comes along with the overwhelming love associated with having a child.

I do my best to keep the fans in the loop without smothering them. I know, for me, it can tedious seeing “buy my shit” over and over. Big house authors have this kind of freedom from that because they have a publisher and agent to push the money issue while the author just has to show up and engage with the fan base. Sure they have to promote and what not, but not like the indie author who is their own agent, promoter, publicist, etc.

I’m not whining at all. I love to do all that but it does get hard to find the balance.

I would love to sit and do nothing but engage the reader but it gets hard when your budget limits giveaways and the fans are (understandably) drawn to swag. Trust me, I’m still in fan mode, and I get it! I’m also a collector so it’s been another lesson in balance lol.

I guess my point in reflecting this morning is to let you all know that even though I cannot shower you with swag…you’re so appreciated. Thank you for getting me to where I am, regardless of how meager that place is. I intend to remain as humble as I am in this moment regardless of how high the tower goes. Life is such a gift. I don’t want to miss the “now” moments. This “now” moment is about gratefulness and serenity.

Have a fantastic weekend.