Stepping Outside the Box

We all have our comfort zones. I confess. I can be pretty bad. If I can’t win something, if I’m not good at it, I usually won’t participate. I’m competitive and I hate to lose. This is why I don’t do tennis and rarely do bowling. But, at least I know because I tried it.

But…

Trying something new is important. It’s exciting. It can be such a rush. Energizing. Envigorating.

Which is what I did this weekend. Although I can sing and write, I’ve always thought art was outside of my wheelhouse. And then, for one of my closest friends’ birthday, she decided to book a painting party at this place called Painting With a Twist.

Because we had a bigger group we got to use our own private room AND pick our painting. They supplied us with music, a teacher, smocks, easels, paints, and paint brushes. We got to bring our own wine and munchies.

The teacher walked us through the painting process step by step. This is my base. We were supposed to make the backdrop a streaky gray. My inner rebel came out & I added a touch of magenta to give it a bit of my personality.

  

As you can tell, I started to get really into the process….

Next step was coloring in the feather. Turns out I either don’t take direction well or I need to dance to the beat of my own drummer because whenever she’d tell us what color she wanted us to use next, I went with the opposite.

But, I think my feather turned out pretty well, and I was finding the process to be interesting and a challenge. I painted, chatted, and sang along to the music they had playing.

  
This particular creative process was never one I thought I’d be any good at, but I was doing pretty well…

And then came the dreaded birds. They almost did me in… Can you see how serious I got?   

In fact, our whole group got pretty hard core… Determined not to be done in by the birds. This time, I tried it the instructor’s way. It didn’t work for me. Until she helped me touch one of my birds up and I found my own way.

  
By the time I was done it felt like I’d really accomplished something. Something I never knew I could. And it felt good! 

  

Not bad for an amateur, huh? 

What I’m saying is that this was a great reminder of why it’s so important to try something new. Something outside of your comfort zone.

When was the last time you did something you’ve never tried before? What was it? Did you have fun?

Hey, Stranger! Let Me Introduce Myself… #Hello2016

Hello

Bonjour! I hope everyone’s having a stellar new year so far.

When Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup came up with this idea for a blog hop, I was pretty stoked! Basically, here’s how this one goes. In this hop, we’re to introduce you to fun, quirky things about ourselves and/or our blogs. Not the boring, obvious stuff like I’m an erotica writer who can turn practically anything into innuendo….but more random, surprising, or maybe disturbing things. PLUS, we give stuff away AND a lot of cool authors and bloggers are involved.

Is there anything better than FUN & FREE?

So here goes….

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My biggest fear is not blood or guts or gore…. If you want to see me get all weak, girly, and scream like someone murdered me (aka not in the good, orgasmic way)… watch me when I see a frog. I completely lose my dignity. Don’t believe? Read about it….HERE.

I don’t care what anyone thinks. They. Are. NOT. Cute!

Hospital

In a past life I worked for a hospital for several years. The tales I tell are both comical and a bit disconcerting with the strange things people have done…Check it OUT!

On a personal level?

Yup! I AM that girl that pretty much turns everything into a song. This was a little snippet from my wedding day. My sister gave me a hug, and someone said something like…”Awww, look at the sisters…” Which caused me to break into this song, and my sister to chime in. Yes, it’s a family thing. I come by it naturally.

The strange? Cause, ya know…. There had to be the strange, right?

My favorite flip flops and toe rings

My biggest insecurity body image insecurity came from my feet. I hated them with a passion. Felt they were ugly….until I met a foot fetishist who helped me view my feet in a different way. Here’s THAT story.

As for what most consider my most contradictory characteristic? I guess it’s the fact that despite writing ménage erotica, I don’t consider my very outspoken, focused belief in the Freak Flag, letting it fly to contradict my very passionate belief in Christianity and my faith. In fact, I wrote about that, too. It even got me on GirlBoner radio with August McLaughlin.

Anyway…. that’s a bit about me. Now, to tell you what I’m giving away and how to qualify.

I’m feeling generous. I’m giving away 3 books. Two are mine. (Three For All & Four One Night) The third? It’s a project I was honored enough to participate in… all about empowering female sexuality. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. The book? Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality. They are all in ebook format.

To win, I want you to share something unique and personal about yourself with me. Something that might surprise people, or maybe what you’re passionate about, or which body issues you’ve overcome. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s in the spirit of getting to know each other.

And if you want a chance at more prizes? Check out the link below and visit the other participants!

Merry Christmas, Gift is #FREE

  
Merry, merry Christmas, my fun, fabulous friends! For this holiday season I’m giving away my first book, Three For All, away! It will be FREE for the next 5 days and I’d appreciate the help spreading the word about my little gift.

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Also, starting tomorrow, the sequel, Four One Night, will be available for $.99.

Four One Night WEBSITE USE
It isn’t much, but it’s my way of sharing the love… Also, for those of you who are all about sharing the message of empowerment and embracing your sexuality, please don’t forget to grab and/or share Embraceable! It’s a fabulous book with contributions from som absolutely amazing activists and authors. I’m still in awe that I was invited to contribute. 

Embraceable 

Embraceable YOU!

Today I woke up to the best surprise. 

Embraceable
Yes, it happened. The surprise project created by the lovely August McLaughlin of GirlBoner went live on Amazon Kindle today! On her blog she shares some of her favorite things about this project. I feel so fortunate to be included as a contributor on such an important body of work. 

This was truly a labor of love for my friend and the many other gifted contributors. 

Here are some early editorials for Embraceable:

“Sassy, spicy, and deceptively wise, this book will empower you to own your sexual self and enjoy your romantic life–and your whole life–a great deal more.” — Victoria Moran, author of Creating a Charmed Life

“August McLaughlin takes on sexuality, body image, depression and female empowerment head on! One part memoir, one part sociological manifesto = something of interest for women of all ages. She hit the nail on the head with this book. Frank personal stories and interviews interspersed throughout the book help us unpack our personal inner conflicts that when unexamined suck the joy out of the female experience.” — Cheryl Grant M.A., M.F.T.

“Let this book give women back their imagination and ownership of their sexual story to write the one that truly lets them know, feel and experience the level of pleasure and connection their hearts most desire.” — Megan Fleming, Ph.D.

Like Shere Hite, Erica Jong and Nancy Friday, McLaughlin’s work is notable not just for women, but for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of their sexual and spiritual self. Embraceable is just that.” — M.G. Miller

I hope you’ll find this book as enriching and rewarding as I did!

And on that note, I’d like to share a holiday song that leaves me feeling a bit spiritual. 

Merry Mercenary Christmas?

I’ll be honest… I love this song. I think it’s fun and flirty and playful. 

But, I don’t really take this particular song past that because the words are a bit mercenary. It’s really all “me, me, me” and places a ton of value in things that don’t really matter. I’m sure, by the earlier songs, you’ve already figured out where my values are….

Are there songs you enjoy, but don’t embrace the concepts?

The Heart….

I adore this song… It’s a great reminder that what makes this holiday great is the little things:

  • Time Spent With the People Who Matter
  • Hope (for the future, ourselves, our loved ones….both inspiring it and clinging to it)
  • Love (the kind you give freely, and the kind you accept)
  • Cherishing Special Moments
  • Taking a Second to Stop and Appreciate the Little Things

It’s not the monetary gifts that make the season special. It’s the things that money can’t buy.