The RV Renovation Begins


Over the weekend Kevin and I were finally able to start renovating our RV (Aesop).

Yay!

The following is what we discovered and what we'd done so far.

A Small Leak.

We know there are no leaks in our RV . . . so we thought.

There was one hidden beneath the window in the living room area.

We already knew there was an old leak there because of the small bubbles in the wall, so Kevin took the front part of it off. 

It revealed old water damage from a leaky window. 

The prior owners fixed it, but what we didn’t know until yesterday was the seal between the outer body panels wasn’t sealed properly, so water was still able to dribble between the wall. 

. . . Well, that sucks.

As you can see, Kevin fixed that problem. No big deal, but now we have to figure out what to do with that part of the wall inside the RV, since we need to fix it and then cover it back up. 

Any ideas?

It's a cosmetic issue.

The whole wall needs to look the same.

I'm open to suggestions.

A Rotting Step

On Saturday, Kevin discovered beneath the bottom step the metal part was rotting. 

Instead of fixing it, the previous owners covered it up with a block of wood and nailed the shit out of it. 

It was a pain in the ass to pry out . . . er, hack off. 




But Kevin prevailed.

I had no doubt.

He built a new step and will fix the rest of it this week.

He did a wonderful job.

Nasty Carpet Be Gone

Also, on Saturday, we started ripping the carpet out.

Btw, I filmed parts of it.

Once our Youtube Channel goes live, parts of this footage will be integrated into one of our shows.

Yesterday we finished tearing out 95% of the carpet.


Woot!

Good news.

The floor is in great shape.

Double Woot!

We’re going to put fake wooden floors in. I forgot what they’re called, but they look real and clean up well.

We still need to pull the carpet out of the bathroom, but first we have to take the toilet out. We’re going to get a composting toilet.

There’s also strips of carpet along the walls that has to be cut out. I tried cutting it with a box cutter and had no luck. I don’t know if it’s because my hand strength is poor or I’m just not doing it right.

It’s Time For Solar Panels 

We’re taking all of next week off to install four solar panels on top of the roof of our RV.

. . . But it’s supposed to be in the 90s that whole week, plus humidity.

We don’t do well in those conditions.

So we’ll have to take a lot of breaks and literally chill out in our house.

No worries.

We’ll adapt, improvise, and overcome.

So it’s happening.

Like I had said before: If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be part of someone else’s plan.

We have a plan and with determination, preparation, and hard work, we’ll bring it into fruition and live life the way we want to.






How To Own Your Life



If you don’t have a plan, you’re going to be part of someone else’s plan.

Are you happy with your job?

Are you happy living the same routine everyday (wash-rinse-repeat)?

Are you happy with the relationships you have in your life?

. . . If you answered yes to all three of these questions, I’m happy for you, and there’s no need for you to read this post.

But I invite you to stay because you might learn something new about yourself.

Are you happy with your job?

If you’re not happy with your job, make a plan to change it. Otherwise you’re giving a big part of your life away being miserable at something you don’t like to do.

No brainer, right?

Go get your dream job.

If you don’t have the skills, then make a plan to get them.

Go back to school, take an online course, volunteer.

Say you’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian. Volunteer at a vet clinic. You’ll get hands on experience to go along with your schooling.

Who knows, maybe the veterinarian there will hire you and end up mentoring you.

Opportunity happens when you step out of your comfort zone.

A lot of people will suck it up and remain at their shitty jobs until they either die or retire. The same applies with their unsatisfactory lives because they allow the fear of stepping out of their comfort zone take hold of them.

. . . Or they’re just too damn lazy to try.

Brutal.

I know.

It’s a lot easier to bitch about our lives than to do something about it, right?

But new opportunities and growth happens when we step out of our comfort zone and put ourselves out there.

It doesn’t happen if we live our life on wash-rinse-repeat.

Are the relationships you have genuine?

If you stopped being of use to people in your life, will they still want to be part of it?

. . . Here’s another way to put it: If you have nothing to offer except for your friendship, who will still be in your life?

To illustrate it even further, a gal I knew was on the brink of losing her business. 

One day she broke down in front of me and cried, “What will my friends think if I lose everything?”

“If they’re your true friends it won’t matter to them.They’ll still be your friends,” I said.

She didn’t like my reply.

She ignored me.

You know why?

Because she cared more about being part of the herd—even though it wasn’t genuine—than having a few true friends.

. . . So, think about it.

If her so called friends bailed on her after she lost everything—because she was no longer of use to them—this gal would either be crushed or would finally realize her relationship with them was artificial.

She’d be much happier if she didn’t care what others thought and got rid of the plastic people in her life.

How to own your life.

It’s YOUR life.

When you take your last breath on this earth, YOU are the one who will be looking back on your life.

Not your relatives.

Not your friends.

Not your employer.

YOU.

You're the one who is responsible on how you live it.

Not them.

It's up to you to either piss it away or live a happy one for you.

 . . . Ask yourself these questions and then answer them honestly:

-Do you enjoy the job you have?

-Are there toxic people in your life?

-Do you seek people’s approval?

-Do you cater to people's needs more than you should?

-Do you take some time out for you?

-Do you make up excuses on why you can't do something?

-Are you doing something that you're passionate about that brings you great joy?

-Do you ever step out of your comfort zone?

Your answers will tell you the areas you need to work on, so you can take those steps toward owning your life.

Wrapping it up.

Do what makes you happy, but it'll probably involve stepping out of your comfort zone.

But it’s okay.

Learning and growing is a huge part of our life experience.


If you don’t have a plan you’ll be part of someone else’s plan.

If you want to support someone else’s dream by working for them and being miserable because you don’t have the drive to change your life, so be it.

But, if you want to OWN your life, you need to grab it by the balls and change your job situation.

There are people in your life because you’re USEFUL to them.

Stop being a doormat.

Once you firmly say no to them and stick to your guns, they’ll find another sap to take advantage of.

This also goes for the toxic and artificial people as well.

Do you really want disingenuous people in your life?

Drama.

Get rid of it.

You're going to be much happier, and your loved ones will probably be inspired by your newfound energy and tenacity to view each day as another opportunity to set and reach your goals . . . to own your life instead of investing it on poor returns.











Two Adult Meals For Fifty Cents?



I was talking to my sister Angel the other day, and she told me her and our dad went out to eat.

The bill was $21.50.

She waited in the car while Dad paid for their meals.

When Dad got in the car he said, “It only cost us fifty cents to eat.”

“What do you mean?” Angel asked.

“The black kid only took fifty cents from me. He was too distracted by his co-workers to have noticed his mistake.”

“Dad, the cash register is going to be short if you don’t go back in there and give him the $21.00 that we still owe.”

…Well, apparently our dad didn’t think much of it, because he didn’t go back in and make it right.

My sister ended up fretting over it all night long.

It really bothered her, and it bothered me too when she told me.

My one big thought regarding this matter was:

The kid is black and people are prejudice. His boss or co-workers might think he stole the $21.00 when his register comes up short when really he didn’t.

I hate to think that way, but truth is truth.

…So what would you do in this situation?

Would you blow it off? If the kid gets into trouble or fired, it must be karma, right?

Or would you go back there and pay the $21.00?

The next morning, as Angel was driving her and our dad to Trader’s World, she stopped by that restaurant, spoke to the manager, told him what happened, and gave him the $21.00.

I’m so proud of her.

She told our dad that was the right thing to do, and he offered to pay her back. 

That is all.

I love my dad.

I do.

But I also know how he is, and I believe his life would be a lot better if he’d do the right thing.

…Yeah, they could have gotten away with paying only fifty cents for two meals, but is it worth possibly ruining someone’s reputation, work history, and life?

I don’t think so.

But that’s just me.

I’m no saint, though. 


I think every situation is different, but this one was begging to be addressed and taken care of.

Thankfully, my sister felt so too, and did the right thing.



What's A Minimalist?



Being a minimalist can mean many things:

You only own the things you can carry in a backpack, suitcase, or car.

You downsize your life, intentionally living with fewer possessions.

Minimalism is basically owning less stuff so you can have more freedom to do what’s most important to you.

It’s living simply.

It’s discarding the things that doesn’t serve you and keeping the things that do.

It comes down to this . . .

What do you value most in life?

A minimalist lives her life deliberately, simply, and is selective with what she keeps in her life and how she spends her time. She does what matters to her.

Now just because someone is a minimalist, doesn’t mean he gave up all the comforts and convenience of life.

Hell, no.

If he uses something often, he keeps it.

However, there’s the extreme minimalist who only owns the stuff in his backpack.





The cool thing about being a minimalist, besides the whole concept, is it’s not about depriving yourself, it’s about removing the excess in your life—all the crap that’s been weighing you down, AND you’re in charge of how you want to be a minimalist.

…There are no set rules.

Last summer I was feeling low.

I had no idea why.

One evening, I was alone, standing in our dining room, looking at all of our stuff.

STUFF.

Why in the hell do we have all of this crap?

It doesn’t serve us.

And I'm living the same life . . . 

Every. Frickin'. Day.

If I continue living like this, my life will be the same until I die.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm existing.

Not living!

Then it hit me.

I’ve been feeling weighed down and enslaved by all the things we have and don’t need.

Bingo!

I found my problem.

My thoughts took it further.

Kevin and I own a small 2-story house. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a basement. We spend most of our time in 2 rooms.

The rest is wasted space.

Hmmmm.

When Kevin got home that night, I told him how I felt and what I discovered.

He was all for becoming a minimalist, and somehow the whole RV idea came into fruition.

So next weekend we’re having a huge yard sale.

HUGE!

I know we’ll still have a bunch of things to get rid of before we become full-timers (digital nomad), but we’ll be putting a nice size dent into getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t serve us.

Once we get to the point to where everything we own fits into our RV (Aesop), I’ll be able to say we’re minimalist and proud of it.




RV And Future Plans Update



My RV (Aesop) is still waiting to get the parts installed. I was hoping we’d have Aesop by this weekend so we can start the renovation.

Nope.

But to be honest, it’s getting serviced at Kevin’s work, and it’s not a priority. The reason why is because the truckers who bring in their semi-trucks and the farmers who bring in their equipment to be fixed is more important than our RV.

I totally understand.

That’s how they make a living, so the truckers need to be on the road ASAP, as well as the farmers needing to get back in the field to plant their crops.

Yeah, our RV can wait.

We were going to go to Kevin's work this morning and start the renovation, but we didn’t get up early enough—we stayed up late watching Robin Williams’ comedy act—and now it’s too hot to work on it. So maybe tomorrow or Monday.

So that’s where we're at with Aesop. We’re hoping this week to find someone who has a shop with a/c that we can use/rent out to do our renovation. If not, we’ll power through this heat.

Meanwhile, we’ve been working on being a minimalist. We’ve been going through a lot of our stuff and preparing for a huge yard sale in 2 weeks to sell it all. We already took the first step months ago when we went through our kitchen stuff and gave most of it away.

I have to be honest here . . . it feels wonderful to get rid of all the stuff we have that doesn’t serve us or carry some sort of sentimental value in our hearts. We’re looking forward to living a minimalist lifestyle where we’ll be collecting memories instead of stuff. We’re also excited about sharing our journey with the world.

To make things clear, though, I have no judgment regarding people living a contemporary life.

Live the life that makes you happy.

Just because Kevin and I decided to embrace an alternative lifestyle, doesn’t mean we look down on people who don’t.

Do what is right for you.

Tomorrow isn’t promised to us, so make each day count, and create a life that brings you joy, excitement, and growth.




How Did I Come Up With My Story Idea?



I was interviewed and asked how I came up with my story idea for my Beyond the Eyes trilogy. 

I was told it's a unique concept and should be made into a movie or TV series.

Wouldn't that be nice? LOL

I think all authors daydream about that.

The concept is there are humans born without a soul and dark spirits can inhabit them and by doing so, they can experience whatever they desire while being in the flesh.



It’s pretty cool.

How did I come up with the concept?

Well, I'd always wondered if there were people who didn't have a soul because I'd seen more than a few peeps in my life that when I looked into their eyes there was no spark, no life, zero, zilch, nada. What really spooked me was when I was working at a pediatric clinic. A mother brought in her baby. He was sitting in one of those car carriers. She sat it on the floor so she could pay her co-pay. I looked into her child's eyes, and they were empty.





Freaky.

So the idea of my trilogy and the world I created derives from me wondering if there are soulless people among us.

Do you believe there are humans born without a soul?

I wonder.

Let's say there are and take it one step further. What if there are dark spirits and they can possess these empty shells of a human being?

The once vacant eyes now has life in them, and you have no idea you're conversing with a dark entity.



Kinda creepy, eh.

If you want to delve deeper into this concept of mine and the premises I created for my stories that drive them forward. You can pick up Beyond the Eyes for free here––> http://amzn.to/178oQFt





The Internal World Of An Author



I can’t speak for all writers, but this is what my internal world is like as an author.

I have a loud mind.

Stephen King once said quiet people have loud minds. I don’t know. I mean, I’m quiet when I have nothing to say, and I don’t ever have the need to hijack someone’s conversation . . .  so yeah, now that I think about it, I do have a loud mind.

My thoughts constantly scatter.

I can have a conversation with my husband and think of other things at the same time. Where I get into trouble is when he’s telling me something I’m not in the least bit interested in. I’ll focus on my thoughts instead and not hear a word he’s saying.




My mind always turns an unexplained noise or situation into a story.

This is so true, and nine times out of ten I’ll tell the person with me about it. And yes, that person looks at me like I grew another head—unless it’s another author I’m telling it to.

I'll compare real life situations to fictional ones.

I’ll compare a situation someone is in or was in or something that happened that’s relevant to one of my characters, and I’ll talk about it.

Self-induced stress.

Sometimes I become anxious and irritable when I have so many things to do like edits, rewrites, posting, marketing, etc. and not enough time to do them. Basically, I get overwhelmed, and my thoughts won’t stop whirling.

I have stories racing through my mind.

I have so many stories I want to write but not enough time to do so. 

I’m never bored.

It's very rare that I'm bored. I have too many things to do to get bored.

Crankiness.

If I’m not working on a story, I get grumpy and depressed.

Anxious.

I get nervous and scared when other people reads my story.

I'm a serf to my imaginary friends.

My character’s talk to me, and they can get demanding to where I have to appease them. I am their slave.

Happiness.

I get excited and giddy when I’m creating a story. 





My characters crack me up and make me weep.

I laugh when one of my characters does something funny. I also cry when something bad happens to them.

So do I like being an author?

No.

I frickin’ love it.

Why?

Because despite the anguish as an author I go through to churn out a novel and market it, I created something out of nothing. I have the ability to transfer what’s inside of me, onto paper, and into other people’s minds. I can share with them worlds and characters they never knew about. I can teach them lessons or at least get them to think on topics they never thought about before. I can make them laugh, cry, smile, and get frustrated. I can entertain them. I’m giving something to this world that more than likely will last well after I’m gone, which rocks.


Yes, I’m overwhelmed. 

But . . .

Being an author makes me happy and want to do a silly dance.






Enough said.

The One Secret To My Editing Process That Every Writer Should Know




As some of you know, I've finished the first rough draft of Legends of Deceit book 2. I still don’t have a title for it, but I will soon.

I was going to write a post on my writing process from start to finish but decided to save that for another time. Instead, I’ll tell you straight up what that one secret to my editing process is.

Are you ready?

It’s finding your repetitive words, descriptions, or sayings.

We all have them.

Say for example you wrote: my heart thudded hard against my chest. You noticed while you were doing your first read through that you had used those words more than once to describe what your character was feeling. So now what you want to do is discover how many times you wrote it in your story.

How do you do that?

Simple.

In Word, you want to go to the top right-hand corner and click on find. On the left-hand side of the screen, there will be a window that pops up. Beneath the word Navigation will be a search bar. Enter the word(s) you want to search for to see how many are in your story. I just typed in draft, and it came up twice. 

How cool is that?

This secret trick of mine will help you tremendously in your editing process.








Cheers.