Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Current Projects for Ava

I know I just posted but I'd like to share some of the things I'm currently working on. I also wanted to let you know that James Schumacher (1 of the 4 winners from the Comment Contest) told me today that he received his book "Now You See Him" by Eli Gottlief that he won in the mail. I will be posting a picture with him and the book as soon as he gets it to me. That was just a random sidenote, so forgive me.

Anyway.....Current Projects:

  • I am working on a collection of poems to submit to Writer's Relief. It's for their review board which is basically to seek out writing from people that would be good enough to present to 25+ agents and literary magazine. I'm excited about this and I'm making it a major priority because I am writing all fresh poetry. They will be ones never seen by anyone since they've never been published. Plus, they will be very emotional and full of the feelings I want to get across since the poetry will have a lot to do with me surviving suicide, depression, feeling lost, rising above adversity...etc. Even though the poems will be very angsty and heart wrenching, it will show a gradual progression to a positive silver lining. I am very happy to be working on this right now, especially if it will open up my opportunity to help others with this subject!
  • This week, I signed up for Constant Content. I've already received 4 clients requesting content to write which I didn't expect so soon. Basically it's a site for people looking for content for their websites, email campaigns and so on. I haven't completed any of my assignments yet, so I can' vouch for any earnings, but I will keep you guys updated. It's just another little thing I'll do to get my writing out there.
  • I already started writing the first chapter for the August Moon Publishing House short story contest. My short story has a lot of sensory and imagery which I always love using. If I could put a writing genre to it, I would call it a paranormal romance, but then again I'm not completely liking how that sounds. I still have a while to work on that and the short story itself, but I want to get an early start to it and be able to edit it properly.
  • Another big thing I'm doing at the moment is submitting as many poems that I can think of to The Great Little Publishing Company poetry contest. I have several poems I've written in the past that I think are good enough to win, but I'd also like to write newer stuff for it.

So yeah, just thought I'd share. Yay, I'm excited!

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
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Cool, calm and collected

Hi everyone! I may have been a little MIA, but I'm here now ready to taken on writing, working and life with a different perspective. I have told myself to wake up every day with a better attitude than I have been. It does make me feel a lot better about myself and life in general.

It's not like I was losing grip with my sanity, I was just taking things way too seriously and things weren't fun anymore. I never thought that I would cross a point in my life when I would perceive my writing as some sort of race. That is horrible! I am pacing myself. I am allowing myself to dabble if I want to dabble. If I want to run full force into a crazy few hours writing 5 chapters, then I will. If I don't reach my goals for whatever reason, I now vow to smile, stretch and just do whatever I can for that day.

Who knows? I might even just take things day by day since I haven't been approaching them in a very healthy manner. I want to write because I am passionate and excited about something not because it's written on my calendar, my bathroom mirror, my dry-erase board and a thousand sticky notes on my desk. (lol)

I can understand if I wasn't doing this if my novel was needed by the fall and I was stressing out. Then I should be pushing myself and motivating and working toward that major thing. That's not to say that my every day work isn't as important, I just shouldn't cause my blood pressure to spike if I don't meet the unrealistic bar I have set for myself. I am going to be consistent. Well, try to be!

It's not like I don't care anymore-that's not it at all. I just feel that I am going to do things a little differently. I will write/blog more because I want to get back to my original dream of touching people's lives. That's a beautiful thing.

You guys are beautiful. Just thought I would pass that along.

Cool, calm and collected, I am going to dabble and doodle right now.
See you soon! :D

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things happen for a reason

I hope after reading my last post hasn't left you either A. Tired from it being so long, B. Confused because it covered so many things or C. Weirded out because of the content at the end.

As much as I did write it to allow you to get to know me, I mainly wrote it so I could get it all out. This past week has been a little difficult, but I am coming to terms with the things that seem to be going against me. I look at it now, though, as something that will definitely make me stronger and that nothing in life is an accident.

We cross each other's paths for a reason and I'm glad I went through what I did so I could be lead to what I'm doing now. I love being a mother and a writer...I couldn't ask for more of the wonderful blessings in my life. Except maybe more friends, connections or fellow writers to share my work with-or all 3!

You guys have been really awesome commenting on my work, talking with me on twitter and facebook and being here for me as writers. I feel very good moving forward in the relationships we've started and that it more than I can say for most people who are supposed to care for me.

This post is short, I know, but I need to get working and writing and cleaning. Fun...
I just want to let you know I am here for anyone who needs advice, help or just someone to talk to. Sometimes we just need a friendly push in the right direction.

Let's have fun and make each other feel all warm and fuzzy lol.
Take care and don't be a stranger!

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Death, Time and Excuses Change Everything

I'd like to warn you because this blog post will more than likely be very long. I have a lot to cover since I haven't been writing regularly on here or in general. A lot has happened the last few days, so I'd thought I'd share those things with you. Plus, I need to get some of the negativity out.

First of all, I haven't been following my writing goals at all. I can definitely explain that this last week was spent mostly on promoting the first contest here-the "Comment Contest". It actually had more people participating than I really predicted and that is the best I could hope for. I am still waiting on some of the winners' addresses so I can mail their books to them. I want to put pictures of them holding the books they've won up on here. It's corny, but just something fun I want to do.

I have been brainstorming more and more about giveaways, hosting authors and other contests I want to have, but I also shouldn't lose sight of my content and other things I am working on. Sure, it's awesome that I had people commenting in the Comment Contest, but I had to work extra, extra hard to get them to visit my blog! During which time I wasn't adding more stuff to my Associated Content or editing my novel, writing a short story for a contest this fall or getting my book of poems finished. Not only that, but I haven't had much time to promote my other writing.

I know I'm being a really negative nelly, but I'm just pointing out real things that are happening. I have been failing to see that even though it's awesome I'm trying to make others happy by getting them to my blog to win something, I should just be writing and letting my work speak for itself...kind of like I originally set out to do-especially with this blog.

I didn't want to be a shouting billboard---> "Read my stuff!!" LOL. But I think I have become that. I don't know. All I know is I am really behind on my writing goals and personal goals and I need to make some changes to turn that fact around. Because if you've been following my Writing Goals, you'd know that the next big checkpoint I have coming up is August 31, 2010. That's when I want to have at least 205 pieces of content (poems, articles I've written for clients, articles I've written on my own, short stories, etc.) posted on my Associated Content profile.

As of right now, I have 33 pieces od content. That means I am uber behind. I know, I'm stating the obvious, but I just felt if I made that very apparent that I might be embarassed enough to get my rear in gear.

Of course, it's not like I just sit around all day and say to myself, "Self, I don't feel like doing anything today, so I'm definitely not going to fulfill my goals today." I don't think any of us do that. What's my reason? Well, I have many reasons. The most popular are endless and random excuses that can all be turned over by any court of law. We all make excuses. Call it fear or laziness or just lack of motivation, but lately I have the ideas and the creativity lingering in my brain, but my fingers don't want to jump to action.

I think it also has a lot to do with that fact that I haven't exactly been myself. I have been really stressed out this summer and the other half and I haven't been getting along very well. It seems like we are never on the right page. Then, we could have a pretty nice couple of days and then one of us will say the wrong thing and it's like the trigger is pulled and defensive mode is on for everyone. Not fun.

It's probably typical behavior which is why I won't get into specifics, but it has put a very big damper on things. It's strange, though, because it's time like the ones I've speaking of very vaguely that I understandably feel very compelled to write. Like I said before, I have everything in my brain, but my fingers won't type it. The other night I was screaming in my head all the things I wanted to scribble in a note. I know it seems juvenile and silly, but how is anyone every going to fix something if they don't know how I feel whether negative or positive?

So that is an ongoing thing that I'm hoping will get better, but the pessimistic side of me says it won't. I feel so horrible admiting that, but it can be quite difficult when it seems like you're the only person in the relationship who conveys any sort of passion for the relationship. But I digress.

I was actually loathing this post simple because I knew all the things I would need to discuss. Just before I write a blog post, I map out and jot down the key points I will be covering so I don't stray off too far. The reason why I wasn't looking forward to this particular one is because of this last key point I would cover.

Sunday I had a family reunion to go to. Since my father had to work from home a little on Saturday, he had stayed back home (which is 20 minutes from me) instead of going with my Mom and brothers and sister. To save on gas and so we could spend 2 hours of driving time together, my father offered to take my son and me to the family reunion.

I loved that we could laugh and talk and listen to music together. We sang to my son and cooed at all the adorable things he did. We talked about everything you could imagine-even some really deep things about our family and other personal problems, etc. Every family has them.

We then got onto the subject of an ex-boyfriend of mine. And without warning, my Dad blurts out, "Well, you know he killed himself, right?" I am thinking back on this right now and it was probably the fasting thing I've ever perceived being told to me. I was so surprised and sad on impact that I skrieked a "WHAT?!....No!"

I looked into my Dad's eyes and I could instantly tell that he didn't know that I didn't know. He kept repeating that he was sorry and I knew he felt horrible, especially since we had been having such a wonderful time.

I began crying...a lot. The thing is, he and I had a lot of history together as most ex's do. But we had a much different kind of history. He and I met on the butt end of a very bad time of my life; my grandmother had just passed away, I had just broken up with someone I thought was the one, I had just moved on and away from him to a whole different state and I was dealing with my depression.

He was with me when I was pronounced medically dead. It wasn't a cry for help. I actually wanted to die. I was a lost soul who was sick and tired of faking the smiles that I plastered to my face every day. I decided to swallow 7 different types of prescription drugs. I couldn't even tell you the amount of pills I swallowed. I know it was over 50...over 50 pills that my doctors later told me would have killed a 600 pound man.

I never tell anyone this and I can't believe I am now. The thing is, when I heard about my ex killing himself, a lot changed in me. I couldn't believe it happened obviously, but especially when he saw what I went through, what my family went through and how it deeply changed everything. I was constantly seen as this broken, fragile little girl.

He killed himself March 20, 2008 exactly 2 years after I left him. I don't know any of the details or his reasons, but I have made my own theories.

Ever since I walked away from my suicide, I've wanted to get better-and I have. Today, I am a completely different person. Looking back, I don't even recognize the person and sometimes I don't even believe that it was me. I have changed for the better and I never want to put my body, my soul or my family through that again.

I also vowed that I would show others suffering from sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc., that there are so many things you can do and so many people and places you can go to get help. I want to be an advocate of life and be that one voice that teens and even adults can hear as the kind words that stop them from making the fatal decision that would change everyone's future.

My ex has not future. I'm sad because I feel like I could have been there for him if I knew. But I couldn't have known because we weren't together. Then I go back and think if only he and I had still been together....then he wouldn't have killed himself. But I can't keep doing that. I know from personal experience that if you're going to do it, you will.

It's just when you break up with someone and you happen to live in the same city or even state, there is a possibility that you could run into them somewhere. At a local fair or festival or the hometown where you met them. That awkward meeting that usually takes place with both parties being with other significant others.

I think every once in a while about people I've dated in the past and often wonder how they are-I think we all have. You speculate where they are in their lives, who they are with. I never dreamed in a million years this is where his life would lead him.

So, this is where my head has been. If you have read this far, I apologize for such a long post, but I had to get it out. Thank you for listening and not judging me. After all-I am a survivor, and you may not believe in what I did, but I am only human and at least I am able to literally live with the mistake that I made....

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Comment Contest results are in!

Good morning everyone! I hope you've all had a nice weekend. I wanted to post the winners of the Comment Contest that ended last night. I would like to thank everyone for their comments, support and spreading the word for me! Even though I didn't give much notice for this first one, there were still12 entries! I know that may not seem like much, but I'm thankful for anything.

So, here we go:

And the winners are:

Subcontest #1 (Best FAQs) Winner: Kathleen Dougherty
She's won "Helping Me Help Myself" by Beth Lisick

Subcontest #2 (Blog comment drawing) Winner: James Schumacher
He's won "Now You See Him" by Eli Gottlieb

Subcontest #3 (Associated Content drawing) Winner: Memmay Moore
She's won "House Rules" by Rachel Sontag

Subcontest #4 (Best Overall Comment) Winner: Ardee Eichelmann
She's won "What's Next: The Experts' Guide-Predictions From 50 of America's Most Compelling People" by Jane Buckingham with Tiffany Ward

Congratulations everyone! Please email me at to send me your address so I can get the books to you as soon as possible or sometime next week. I will also be posting these results on my Facebook later on in the day so everyone can see who's won.

I want to thank everyone again who participated. I also want to let you know that the next contest will be surrounding my Associated Content content, so keep those comments coming on there starting today. I will let you know when that drawing will be. I will probably give this a week or so to give you guys more time to get your comments/entries in. So, stay tuned for that.

I'm off to get some things done around the house and brainstorm a little for my week. Congratulations again to Kathleen, James, Memmay and Ardee!

Talk to you later!

Ava Elaine
Writer Extraordinaire
Please comment, click and communicate!
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

What genre are you into, Ava?

The other day on my Facebook wall, Ashelynn Sanford asked me what genre I write. When I first read it, I almost hesitated in even answering her question because I was afraid I might scare her away with the hodge-podge that I write or write about, for that matter.

I was honest and told her that I write many different things from Associated Content articles to eBooks, business logos to other freelance work. I was finding it very hard to narrow it down because all the things I've written are almost all different in comparison to the next thing.

For instance, I can remember a really busy month a few months ago when I had a client who wanted me to do interviews and write reviews for moving companies; another project in that same month was ghostwriting some web content for an online survey company guide; another still was a 100 page eBook about boosting metabolism. As you can see, it is very difficult to put a name on it, so with that sort of thing I just label it as part of my freelancing/creative design aspect.

With others, though, like my poetry, short stories, various book ideas and in-the-works novel, the jury is still deciding. I wish I could just say that I'm a romance writer or even science fiction. I think I get anxious at the thought of limiting myself to just one genre. I mean, don't get me wrong-I have gigantic respect for people who only write one...that's awesome. But it's not for me.

The analogy I gave to Ashelynn was: "It's like telling yourself you can only have one kind of cheese...well, not the best analogy, but I love cheese and it would be sad to be only able to eat one kind."

The thing is, I am constantly opening myself up to the opportunity that I can set all of my ideas free. I put a lot of pressure on myself, I think. It can be quite exhausting at times because I am always doing something, but then again that's just me; I'm like that in all aspects of my life. It keeps me busy and creative, I guess.

And even if I sit and think, "Well, if you had the choice, would you want to stick to just one writing genre?" I think I would still say no. I cannot see myself as just one thing. I like being dynamic. I like being the author AND the person someone can approach to write a press releases for their business.

Do I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Absolutely, but that's just life. I wouldn't feel complete if I wasn't pushing my limits every day.

Thanks again for the question, Ashelynn!!

I would also like to remind you guys of my "Comment Contest" that ends tonight (Sunday) at 11:30 PM. Get you comments in while you can to win those books because you don't have that much time! I know I didn't give you guys that much time at all, but I promise I will make it up to you guys next time I host something on my blog.

Well, thanks for listening. Have a fabulous Sunday!

Ava Elaine
Please comment, click and communicate!
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Friday, July 30, 2010

Ava Elaine's 1st Contest: Comment Contest!

Without further ado, I'd like to introduce the very first contest that I will be having here on my blog: the Comment Contest. I actually got the idea from fellow writer/author and new friend Jamie Debree when she did a drawing for Kristen Lamb's book We Are Not Alone: The Writer's Guide to Social Media.

Now that I've done a bunch of name dropping-which was necessary to show my appreciation and give credit to these 2 helpful women-I can get back to the Comment Contest.

Starting at 5PM central time today which is in about 35 minutes as I write this, you will have from that time to Sunday August 1, 2010 at 11:30PM CST to comment.

So what is the drawing for? Well, that's my surprise to you. Instead of having just one overall drawing, I am going to have 4 drawings in one! That means 4 different prizes for 4 different people. And, even though these first prizes are books (shocker! lol), I still hope you guys are excited. I want you to have fun and engage yourself in my blog, my work, my content, etc.

And what are we commenting on exactly for this contest? I've broken down the 4 prizes into 4 ways to win:

*Subcontest #1-Go to my FAQs page, read it to make sure it hasn't been asked and comment on that page with a question of your own for me. I will choose, in my opinion, the best question asked.
Prize #1: "Helping Me Help Myself" by Beth Lisick
This is now a national bestseller! And Beth Lisick is author of New York Times bestseller "Everybody into the Pool"
Beth Lisick's website HERE

*Subcontest #2-Visit my blog: and comment on any blog posts or pages that are located on the upper left corner of the Home page. The winner will be randomly drawn for this prize.
Prize #2: "Now You See Him" by Eli Gottlieb
Eli Gottlieb's website HERE.

*Subcontest #3-Go to my Associated Content Page and choose out of the many different types of content I have up on there and comment.
Prize#3: "House Rules" by Rachel Sontag
Rachel Sontag's website wasn't working, so go here to read a little more about this book: Powell's Books

*Subcontest #4-The winner of this will be chosen by me just like #1. Excluding all the comments from the FAQs page, I will choosing the best comment I will receive from you guys on my blog or on my Associated Content content.
Prize#4: "What's Next: The Experts' Guide-Predictions From 50 of America's Most Compelling People" by Jane Buckingham with Tiffany Ward
I couldn't find a reputable site, so read about this book HERE.

So that's the first contest here on my blog! All that I ask is that you guys leave genuine comments and no "good" or "I like this" or "hi" I actually want your comments to be feedback for my writing, etc. So, no rinky-dink comments. Give me some substance please.
And just so we're clear, you can comment as much as you'd like on anything you want. Each comment will give you one "entry" basically into every drawing. If you win something and I love one of your comments, I still have to give the ones I choose personally to someone else. We want to spread the love around here. So I will do the 2 random drawing ones first on Monday and choose my favorites after.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me and PLEASE tell your friends. I want this to be fun.
And my biggest apologies for not having this post up by 5....10 minutes late for my first contest-how horrible is that? I'm so sorry!! Anyone who happened to leave comments starting at 5PM will still be credited as entering the contest just to let you know.
Thank you in advance for all of your kind words, constructive criticism and support!!

Ava Elaine
Please comment, click and communicate!
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