16 Reasons to Read your Words Aloud. | Myths of the Mirror



One of the earliest things I learned about revising our work and editing was to read the words out loud. It may seem odd for some, but reading out loud can help find a myriad of grammatical and punctuation errors which our eyes can easily miss.


Diana over at Myths of the Mirror, has written an excellent article on the importance of reading our work aloud.


editing tips


“A story has a natural cadence that arises from sentence structure, word choice, and the balance of narrative, dialog, and exposition. By reading our stories aloud, we’re able to experience that cadence the way our readers do. As part of an editing process, hearing the sounds of our words polishes our work. . .”

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Source: 16 Reasons to Read your Words Aloud. | Myths of the Mirror

Learning to take our own Advice



Isn’t it always the hardest thing to do – taking our own advice?

I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to giving good advice to others, and not following my own advice.


When life is particularly challenging, and friends or family come to me for some encouraging words, I help them dissect their worries and find steps to a solution.

When we feel overwhelmed and bombarded by what can sometimes feel like the walls crumbling around us, it can feel similar to starting to put together a 5000 piece puzzle. I know this feeling well because I’ve been living a puzzle for quite some time now. When our world gets disrupted by unforeseen circumstances and our daily goals we’ve set to accomplish can’t be met, we need to rearrange our priorities and come up with a Plan B. But what do we do?


We start at the edges and build from there. We find a starting point.


We need to break down our concerns and ‘to do’ lists:

  • We need to put our worries and ‘to do’s’ on paper, because if we don’t file them somewhere, they’ll be taking up a lot of real estate in our brains.

  • Concentrate on the things with the highest priority.

  • Make a simple list of what we need to accomplish for TODAY only.

  • Don’t look at the whole puzzle – choose each day’s spot where we wish to begin, and where we leave off –  we’ll get back to it tomorrow.

  • Everything doesn’t have to be finished in one day.


one day


One day at a time is a phrase I’ve learned to believe in. I was so used to telling others not to worry about everything all at once, or pushing themselves to get everything done in a day, but I didn’t practice what I preached. I finally had to succumb to my own words.


It’s hard to change our ways, but if we can train ourselves to remember to take a breath, and make a list of just one or two things we’d like to accomplish in one day, and not focus on all the other things in our ‘to do’ pile, what we need to do tomorrow and next week, we can lessen our anxieties.


When life gets messy and we’re inundated with things to do, we can easily crack under the pressures if we’re constantly worrying about everything we haven’t accomplished. If you’re anything like me, compulsive about staying on top of everything, getting chores and daily goals checked off your list, or worrying about the backlog awaiting us from the things we didn’t get done, this can create an unhealthy state of anxiety.


Logical thinking reminds us that we have so much to do, which in turn sets off the anxiety when we know that we just can’t do it all. So, we have to formulate a plan for what we CAN get done in a day, instead of the million things we’re wishing we could wipe off our lists.


The month of March, my husband had been quite ill and he still has a ways to go. Life, as well as my writing, has been left on the back burner. I learned the ‘one day at a time’ lessons during this time.

Paying bills, cleaning my home, throwing in a load of laundry, even writing a blog post, became things that got done sporadically in between back and forth hospital visits, looking after my husband at home, taking him to doctors and tests, and most days, feeling too damned tired to even want to look at a computer.


My usual scheduling had to be altered around spare moments. The set times I had for my duties, chores and writing, were not the priority. Doing our income tax is something I abhor and like to get out of the way in March, but I have till June, so I set myself a new time-frame to get that done. My newest book awaits my revisions, but I know it will still be there when I get to it. Simple tasks that are part of our day-to-day living, such as running out to the grocery store or the like, became non-existent because I wouldn’t dare leave my husband alone. So I had to learn to work around my time constraints, and accept that I could only get done what the hours in a day would allow me.


Every day, something new crops up to add to our daily lists. But all we can do is deal with everything TODAY – one day at a time.


I’ve learned to adjust my thinking and worrying, and to modify my compulsion to complete everything I set out to do for my tomorrows. I’m one person, doing the best she can with only 24 hours in a day. So each day, I focus on my intent for the day, and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.


*Next week I’ll be posting an article on health care and caregiving, and how to stay on top of things medically when you’re taking care of a sick loved one.



#Emergency Vehicles Need More Road Respect

red cross

It was a week ago this past Sunday morning that I had to call 911 for an ambulance.


I thought my husband was dead.


After a previous hospital visit and a procedure that followed in another hospital after his release, something went wrong. A few days after that procedure, my husband began to hemorrhage uncontrollably. He suddenly became a ghost shade of white and was unresponsive. He needed blood.



The paramedics arrived within a few short minutes. They were thorough, and compassionate. After clearing a path for the gurney by moving around some furniture and checking his vitals, they got him safely in the ambulance. The fear that arose inside me was insurmountable while I reflected on his ongoing illness over the past few weeks, trying to make some sense out of what on earth was going on.

Besides getting a first-hand experience at what our Canadian health system has been reduced to in the past month, I had my first experience sitting up front in an ambulance. This was certainly a different perspective for me than my own prior illnesses in the past where I was the patient in the back.

While the paramedics were taking good care of my husband, I kept my eyes focused on the road. I know this city is full of bad drivers, but I’d witnessed some particular bad drivers when it came to obeying the laws of the road when emergency vehicles are trying to pass.

I shook my head in disbelief as a few cars didn’t pull over to the right as the siren sounded and we were approaching the cars, which were slowing us down. But the most unbelievable sight was a car that pulled out from a plaza approximately 100 feet in front of us as we were nearing the plaza exit. We had to brake for him while he held up our lane. Not only did he cut us off with his turn to merge into our southbound lane, but he stopped completely, with his car sitting in a diagonal pattern, blocking our lane while waiting to fit into the left turn lane,

I couldn’t get over the fact that the ambulance couldn’t drive in a clear path, nonstop with a siren on. He had to brake at every intersection and stop sign with a loud sounding warning siren, because whether there were oncoming cars or not, he couldn’t assume that people would stop or wouldn’t try and run a red light.

I commented to the driver as he skillfully adjusted to the bad drivers. I told him that what I had witnessed in a 7 minute run to the hospital was horrendous, and that I felt for him as a driver who had to deal with this mayhem every day, several times a day. In those moments, I was grateful that my husband wasn’t dying, but couldn’t help but think about the thousands of patients who get delayed by extra moments it takes to get to a hospital because of ignorant drivers. For many patients, an extra minute could be the difference between life and death.

Please share this. And if you aren’t familiar with emergency protocol when driving, please take a few minutes to go over the rules of the road concerning emergency vehicles, and remind your loved ones to do the same.




#Indie Authors: An Overview of Self Publishing

self pubbing

When it comes to self publishing, there are a myriad of things we have to learn to become publishers and marketers. Our writing time will begin to dwindle as we begin to learn to split ourselves between writing, publishing, and marketing.

I came across this article from Digital Pubbing.com which shares a comprehensive list of links that self publishers, new and old, may find helpful along the journey. It’s quite an extensive list and at first can look overwhelming, but it’s a great article to bookmark for reference when you need a little guidance or instruction.




“When it comes to self-publishing, there’s a lot to know: business models, library distribution, marketing, research, and more. Below is a list of helpful links I’ve compiled over the years . . .” Continue reading

Source: Indie Authors: An Overview of Self Publishing