A Must Read From Jennifer Hudock

One of my goals in life is to help other’s find success and see their dreams realized. It’s important to me to pay good deeds forward, so that is one I’m doing today.
If you’ve never read a Jennifer Hudock story, you don’t know what you’re missing. She is one of the most talented and gifted people that I know, and I’ve been hooked on her writing since the first time I read one of her short stories. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a huge fan of hers and will do what I can to support her.
If you’re looking for something new and exciting to read, then here is your chance! Ms. Hudock just added Dark Journeys #6 ‘The Faerie’s Kiss’ to Amazon and Smashwords for $.99. If you purchase a copy of ‘The Faerie’s Kiss’ and take a snapshot of your receipt, she’ll even grant you access to the podcast version of the upcoming seventh installment in the Dark Journeys series.
If you would like more information on the Dark Journeys short story collection, please visit Ms. Hudock’s site where you’ll find links and information on the previous installments in the collection.

"The Lapsing Years"

Since someone posted and asked where “The Lapsing Years” was, I’m sharing it with all of you, but please don’t post it anywhere else unless given permission. Thanks!
The Lapsing Years

A little girl sitting on my lap,
Smiling, giggling and full of laughs.

Since then many years have passed,
Leaving us with many moments of silence that last.

With these years our interests have changed,
Resulting in times when we don’t know quite what to say.

With all the differences in our lives
Many things remain the same.

The love I feel for you grows everyday,
The need of your presence, or your own caring way.

Even though many days it doesn’t show,
I love you, just wanted you to know.

© Robert Normandeau

Dad, you should really consider working on those novels you’ve got tucked away. They are great and don’t deserve to be stuck on a dark shelf, collecting dust.

New Blog in the Works

It’s been a bit since I last updated, so I wanted to take a minute before I hit the hay for the night and post an update.

First, I’ve been working on an ending for a short story that I started a couple of months ago. It’s actually based on a dream that I had that scared the daylights out of me. The dream left a lasting impression that I thought I could turn into a really interesting story. So over the past two months I’ve been waiting for some sort of sign on how the story should end. I figured the answer would come to me in time, and it did. Of course, when the correct ending finally came to me, it sent shivers up my spine and kept me up half the night. I suppose that’s a good sign. Hopefully once the story’s finished, it will cause the same reaction in others.

Second, I’m currently editing a short story that I wrote last year. There’s a few parts to it that I would like to expand on, so that’s what I’m doing. I want the story to be just right since it has a strong message behind it.

Third, I’m currently working on a new blog that will hopefully help some of my fellow Maine residents. I plan on putting my writing skills to good use and hopefully change some people’s lives for the better. That’s always been a goal of mine, and I firmly believe that the new blog I’m working on will do just that. I’ve yet to see anything like it pertaining to Maine, so I think it stands a great chance at being successful. Time will tell though.

Well, that’s it for tonight. It’s been a busy day, and my bed is calling my name.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know I did. It was beautiful outside, so we spent the day outside with the kids, raking and working on our compost pile. I can’t wait to start planting some grass and flowers.

I know I have not updated since the 27th, and it’s because things are crazy busy around here. There’s never enough time to get everything done. I would seriously clone myself if I could. Imagine how productive I would be then?

As far as my writing goes, I have had some time to work on my current work-in-progress, so I’m happy about that. I also have been brainstorming a new idea that popped into my head the other day. I can’t wait to see if it works out. You can never tell for sure until you begin writing. Hopefully it leads somewhere and not to a dead end.

Other than that, I don’t have much to say. I’ll check back in a few days.


Things to Come

As you can see, I didn’t get a chance to write anything yesterday like I had hoped to. I wasn’t feeling well at all, and I’m still not today. I’m not sure if I have the flu or if it’s my allergies. Either way, I wanted to provide you with some more info on things to come and changes that I’ve recently made in regards to my writing.

As some of you know, I was writing for Examiner.com and was quite successful at it. I was all set to become a National Examiner, but due to a holdup with my background check, I couldn’t.

I found out in November, I believe it was, that my background check never came back. (My info. was submitted in March 2009.) I continually over the subsequent months only to be told my background check was still in limbo. Since I didn’t want to write on a local level anymore due to the changes that were recently made, I decided that it would be best to close my account. It wasn’t an easy decision because I genuinely enjoyed writing for Examiner, but it just wasn’t working out the way I had hoped it would.

So where does that leave me? Well, I have freelance writing positions at Demand Studios and Break Studios. I also ghostwrite for a private client and publish revenue share articles on my own at eHow and Helium. In addition, I write a lot of safety and health-related documents for Take 2 Dough Productions in Sanford, Maine.

While it may seem like my plate is full, I am looking for other writing opportunities that allow me to be creative and express my thoughts. There are topics that I love to write about, like television shows, celebrities, etc., that I would love to write about on a professional level. So I’m going to keep my eyes and ears open and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a new opportunity.

In the near future, I’d like to start posting interviews with fellow freelance writers and authors who have made it in the writing industry despite all the odds against them. I’d also like to start posting some of my original pieces for all of you to read.

Well, that’s it for today’s update. Have a great remainder to your weekend.

I’m Back

Well, I’m back after a fairly long hiatus. Yay! I’m so excited.

It occurred to me the other day that I’ve let my dreams and passions fall to the wayside for a variety of reasons, with the most important reason being motherhood.

It’s not that I haven’t written at all over the last six months, because I have. But 99% of the writing that I’ve done has been for work. Only 1%, if that, has been on any of my personal projects. That’s really sad. By not taking the time to write for me, I’ve let a part of myself slip away. And what an important part of me that is.

Well, things are going to be different for here on out. From now on, I’m going to make a conscious effort to spend some time each day working on writing projects that mean something to me. I have one work-in-progress that I would love to finish that I started a year and a half ago. So my goal is to have the first draft of it done by my birthday in July. I want to finish it as a birthday present to myself.

I’m also hoping to post at least one blog post per day, updating all of you on how things are going with my writing, both personally and professionally.

Thank you for stopping by and please check back for updates. There’s no stopping me now. My dreams ARE going to come true. I’m going to make sure of that.

– Nikki

P.S. I must admit, it feels nice to jot my thoughts down again.

Life’s Lessons

I’ve learned many things over the past 26, almost, 27 years. I thought it would be nice to share some of what I’ve learned with all of you.

1- No one is entitled to anything in life. If you want something in life, you better be prepared to work hard, and often, to get it. We all are dealt unfair hands in life, but that doesn’t mean we’re entitled to things because of our hardships. Normal people aren’t giving everything on a silver platter. We work hard every day of our lives to make things happen. Don’t think you’re exempt from hard work.

2- You create your own destiny. Yes, I believe parts of our lives are already planned out for us, but I also believe we have free will and are the ones responsible for making things happen. You can’t expect others to make your dreams a reality. Yes, you’ll meet people over the course of your life that may help you, but you have to also help yourself. Nothing comes free.

3- There are genuinely nice people out there who are willing to help you. Not everyone in this world has ulterior motives. Yes, there are people out there that are only concerned for themselves and what they can get from others. They are users. But there are also people out there that want to do good things for others and make a difference. Don’t be so blind and jaded that you can’t see those people. You may miss out on someone who was meant to be in your life.

4- No one is perfect. No one! You may think you are, but you’re not. We all have flaws. None of us are cut from a perfect mold. Those that think they are perfect and have no faults are exhibiting how imperfect they are by their way of thinking.

5- You control how you view life. Negative things happen around us, and to us, all the time. You can choose to let that negative energy impact our lives, or you can choose to be positive in spite of it all. You can choose to see the silver lining in all situations. You are responsible for your personal outlook on life. Don’t place blame on others when you have the ability to change how you see things.

6- Some people are only meant to be in your life for a certain amount of time. At some points in your life, you’ll encounter people that are only meant to be there for a short time. They mean the world to you, but aren’t meant to be a part of your life forever. It’s up to you to discover the reason for that person’s appearance in your life.

7- Forgiveness is not impossible. I’ve dealt with some fairly trying and traumatic experiences in my life. Some of those experiences made it very hard for me to trust people. For a long time, I swore I could never forgive the people that hurt me, but as I grew older I realized that I could. Time did heal my wounds. I will never forget what happened to me, but I can forgive the people that were involved.

8- Life isn’t easy. It’s downright hard. Life isn’t some straight road with no bumps. In fact, life is a road filled with bumps, curves and huge obstacles. If you remain calm and positive, you can make it through to the other side. Sometimes, you may need to take a detour, but in the end, you’ll get to the point where we’re supposed to be at. I’m living proof of that.

9- Life really is more beautiful through the eyes of a child. As a young teenager, I hated my life. I hated all the experiences that I had to deal with. When I gave birth to my daughter, things started to make more sense. Life became beautiful again. I learned how to appreciate everything going on around me and to not take things for granted.

This is just a small list of things that I’ve learned. What are some of your greatest lessons?

My Thankful Thursday List

I tried to post my “Thankful Thursday” post last night, but I was exhausted. It’s been a long week and last night, it all caught up with me.

Without further adieu, here is my “Thankful Thursday” post.

The first person I’m thankful for is Jennifer Hudock, someone I now consider to be one of my best friends. I had the privilege of working with Jenny at Mahalo towards the end of 2008. During that time, she and I developed a friendship that forever altered my life. (Yes, that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.) Since leaving Mahalo, our friendship has continued to flourish.

Jenny has inspired me in many ways. She is an extremely talented author and poet. Since becoming friends, I’ve had many opportunities to read her work and she’s never failed to amaze me. She has one of the most brilliant and creative minds that I’ve ever seen.

One of the greatest things about Jenny is her ability to make me believe that I can follow my dreams and succeed. Had I not met her when I did, I know I would not be where I am today. I would have kept telling myself that one day I’d write an article, or one day I’d write a short story. Jenny never accepted that excuse from me. She did not let me wait for ‘one day.’ Because of her, I’m achieving things that I hoped would one day happen, but wasn’t sure ever would.

If you have the chance, please stop by Jenny’s blog. I can guarantee you will enjoy reading her posts. And who knows, you might just make a friend for life.

Another person that I’m extremely thankful for is my best friend, Jackie. She and I met years ago after she had given birth to her second daughter, Kailey. From the very first moment we began talking, I knew I had found someone that would be in my life forever. Before her, I had never really had a friend that knew the real me. Jackie took the time to look past all of my insecurities and faults and see inside of me to the person that I truly am.

Jackie has become a sister to me even though we don’t share blood. She’s someone I love and depend on. She’s someone that I would defend and stand beside if the need arose.

Another person that I’m thankful for is my former boss and co-worker Jonathan Harris. Jonathan helped me to become a better writer. He showed me a great amount of patience and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

Jonathan and I have both moved onto bigger and better things, but I will always look back on our Mahalo days fondly. He’s an extremely talented and smart, young man, who has a great life and career ahead of him.

Interested in Knowing How to Become a Freelance Writer?

Just last week, eMuse published an article that I wrote for their March 2009 issue. It’s titled Beginner’s Guide to Online Freelance Writing.

If you’d like to read it, please visit the eMuse website and check it out. While there, please take a minute to read my good friend Jennifer’s short story Black Velventeen. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. She’s one very talented lady.

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement. All of my successes are due in part to all of you that have helped me hone my skills and become a more confident writer.

Listening to the Voices Inside

On February 23, my good friend wrote a blog post called When the Universe Speaks. In the post, she encouraged each of us to take 20 minutes and watch the video below. So I did. I was absolutely blown away by the words that Elizabeth Gilbert spoke.

When I write, I often feel as though I’m not in control of what is being written, like someone else has the reigns and I’m just conduit for the words that flow from my fingertips. To those that don’t write, this is a hard concept to understand. More often than not, if you tell someone, “Oh, I just had an argument with my character,” they’re going to think you are crazy and try to find the nearest psychiatric hospital to admit you to. For those of us who understand that concept, Elizabeth Gilbert’s words make perfect sense. They vocalize what many of us feel on a day-to-day basis.

There have been nights when I’m exhausted and I just want to sleep and I’m woken up at 1:00 in the morning because my characters want to have a heart-to-heart. Now don’t get me wrong, when I’m well-rested, I love talking to them and hashing out an idea that sounds interesting. But when you have a 17-month-old baby who gets up three to four times a night, a gab session in the wee hours of the morning is not the most appealing thing. However, when my characters want to talk, there’s no dissuading them. They will continue to nag me, making me toss and turn until it’s time to get up.

I’ve had people in my life that don’t understand that I can’t turn off my creative process. I can’t stop writing. I can’t stop seeing these ideas in my head. I have to write. If I don’t, I have all of these images bouncing around inside there. There have been times I’ve gotten headaches because I’m thinking too much about these ideas. During some of those moments, I sat down and wrote and before I knew it, my headache was gone. You can call me crazy if you want to, but it’s true.

Now I encourage those of you who read my post to please spend 20 minutes watching the video below. I’m sure you’ll find it as inspiring and thought provoking as I and many others did.