Get Healthier, Wealthier and Happier with Gratitude Journaling


This is a wonderful concept.  It’s hard to keep negative thoughts when you’re grateful.  And as an added bonus, it could be published to inspire others or a great keepsake for family members.

Originally posted on Natural Awakenings Magazine :


by Christine Smith Sanchez Peterson and Nancy Dahlbom Libersky

Although Thanksgiving is the time of year most people give thanks for what they have, writing about gratitude daily could make your next Thanksgiving really GREAT!

Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple process. Daily, write down five things for which you are grateful. The benefits of this simple process are transforming and often immediate. It’s true. Be grateful for what you have and you will have more. What’s interesting about this phenomenon is that research now supports it.

Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading expert in gratitude research, believes that stress is responsible for up to 90 percent of all doctor visits. Dr. Emmons’ research measured the level of the stress hormone cortisol in participants at the start of the study. Split into three groups, one group journaled gratitude daily for six weeks. One group journaled negatively and the third group…

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A Thanksgiving Narrative

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:


The Wilfred family was known for their chain of grocery stores from cities to small towns in southwestern Virginia.  The chain’s claim to fame was favorable deals with farmers for fresh meats and produce at prices that were affordable to customers.  Their initial catchphrase was “food so fresh you’d think you were in the farmer’s garden”.  Years later it would be changed to a shorter version – “fresh from the farmer’s yard to your table”.

The patriarch and head of the business, Peter, passed away 10 years ago – leaving a trail of chaos from the business to the family.  It would be the family end that caused the most trouble, separating siblings, Felicia, Kach, and Monica like oil and water.   The disagreement began with who should run the business after Peter passed away.  Then it was about how to deal with the mounting debt Peter had with the business.  And when the company went belly up, fault was passed around along…

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Ideas and Writing


My book ideas come from dreams too.  Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and jot down what hit me. And then it’s like the rest of the story unfolds throughout my waking hours.


Originally posted on wingedwriting:

At one point, three years ago, before I started this full time writing gig, someone asked me how I came up with ideas for what I write. It was a great question, but honestly, not one I could answer. I didn’t know where they came from other than a dream or two and I was pretty sure if I told anyone I “dreamed it” they would have thought me nuts.

Skip ahead three years and it’s obvious I am nuts so it’s okay if I “dreamed it”. Ha.

In reality, though, I don’t dream most of my novel ideas. They come to me in bits and parts and eventually gather together into somewhat of a cohesive whole.

Take my latest one. The origin of it comes from my own family history. My great-grandmother was kidnapped by her father who was a Pinkerton Detective when she was only 2 years old…

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Funny thing happened on the way to the wedding…Part 3

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:

Image: The Gifted Way Image: The Gifted Way

Abby woke up with a terrible taste in her mouth, awful smell in her nose, and a headache that could have been deemed an eight on the Richter scale. She still hadn’t opened her eyes. And with what was going on with her other senses, she wasn’t sure she wanted to. But she had to take a peek – at least find out what that retched smell was.

Abby couldn’t believe her eyes. She was lying on a hard bench in a jail cell with five other women she did not know. She could have sworn she was in her apartment. She tried to reach into her hurting head to determine what was real and what had to be a dream. She was hoping her present situation was the latter, but unfortunately it wasn’t.

“Ahhh. Sleeping Beauty finally woke up.”

Abby looked over to see that…

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Using Personal Loss to Write Grief


Life experiences can be excellent teachers and great for making characters relatable.  In most books I’ve read regardless of topic, there’s been some element that drew me in.  Either it was because I understood what the author felt or was nosy curious about what happened to the characters.

As you mentioned in your post, it may be easier or even second nature to “tell” what grief is like, but “showing” can reveal a lot as well.  Being able to balance between these two can make for a great story.  Thank you for sharing, and I’m sorry for your family’s loss.

Originally posted on Veronica Bale's Blog:

“I loved that book. I really felt like I could not relate to the characters one bit.”

Said no one ever.

Writing real characters is an essential feature of a story that moves readers and pulls at their heart strings. Yet it’s one of the most misunderstood elements of fiction. Ranking right up there with “show, don’t tell,” creating realistic characters is one of the most oft-touted pieces of writing advice. It’s also one of the toughest skills to master.

Because I think this is such a crucial element in any good story, it’s a topic I’ve written about before. I guest posted at Romance Lives Forever with a piece called 3 Tips for Writing Likable Characters, and I posted my own piece called What Does It Mean to Creat a “Real” Character. I’m all about using personal and small detail to bring characters to life, and recently…

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Funny thing happened on the way to the wedding…Part 2

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:

Abby decided to stay awhile, ordering as many drinks as her body could tolerate, or rather to numb every sense that was hurting. She really didn’t want to let him go, but she also didn’t want to be the one responsible for someone else’s pain.

With each drink, Abby tried to piece together a picture of what she thought Agustin’s fiancée looked like. Maybe she’s a beautiful, modelesque woman with long flowing hair and a Stepford wife personality. Then again, maybe she was an out-of-shape, hunch-backed troll with warts and hairs growing out of a mole on her nose. Abby giggled to herself.

“Hello, is this seat taken?”

Abby looked up to see a very handsome blonde-haired man stand before her with a gleaming smile. She perked up thinking that maybe her luck was about to change. “No, no one’s sitting there.”

“Thanks!” The handsome man took the chair and…

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