Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Story That Needs to be Told

I am going to be a part of a very special book project. And, I'd love for you to join me.

The book is called: Confessions of a Lesbian Pastor: sexuality, faith, and acceptance.
This is a collaboration of confessions from a closeted Pastor on faith, sexuality, fear, struggle, story, and acceptance.

We need your help in getting it started.

This book will be made available to kids in small towns, to kids who don’t know their story is important, to adults who are struggling with questions. This book will be a collection of confessions that were started on the blog: www.mysilenthalf.wordpress.com - confessions about struggle, sexuality, faith, questions, story, acceptance, coming out, and so much more. In addition to that there will be guest confessions from friends who Rae (a.k.a. mysilenthalf) has met along the way. (I am honored to be one of them!)

The goal is to raise $3,000. This money is going to be matched by an anonymous donor. The challenge: we have one week to raise the funds for the money to be matched. This money isn't for anyone to make a quick buck... instead it's so these books can be handed out to communities who need to hear our stories.

The money will be used to create, ship, and share the books
with others across the country. The point of this book is to share stories and allow others to feel less alone, to put this book in the hands of people who need to know there are people who have lived the same questions, hurt the same hurts, and are standing next to them fighting the same fight.

Will you join us?

Wishing you all the best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Muse Update

by Suzie Carr

I put everything I had into this book. I cried, I laughed, I dug very deep to get this important story into words.

I received great news from my editor last night.  She read my first draft of my 6th novel, The Muse, and gave it two thumbs up. She gets three weeks to read it and she read it in two days.

I trust her opinion and rely on her honesty and objectivity, always, but perhaps more so at this stage of the project. I always wait through these first draft read through weeks with my breath somewhat hitched, afraid that I’ve missed the mark on the concept and will need to rewrite the novel.

Well I’m happy to report she came back with the following: “No words can adequately describe how I feel about this book. It’s life changing. I’m floored beyond belief. The depth and brilliance are at a whole new level. Plot, characters, conflict, resolution, ALL AIRTIGHT SOLID.”

To a writer, this means Olympic gold. Well, at least to this writer!

This love story is written with humor, but carries a serious message. It is about bullying and its effects. It will be released in December 2012. 

It’s an important one to tell because I suffered at the hands of a bully when I was very young. She bullied me into silence for two very long years when I was only five years old. I was too afraid to speak to anyone but my parents and siblings during this time. She literally silenced me. 

Thanks to a great support system at the time, I pulled through what could’ve been devastating to my future. One person’s hatred, jealousy, whatever the root cause, can affect another for eternity, snuffing out the light source, the energy, the very best in someone.

Bullies have the power to destroy lives. They should never be tolerated. Period. If this book helps even one person, I will feel infinitely blessed.

As my readers know, I enjoy donating a portion of my book proceeds to a worthy charity. I am currently researching into national charities to donate a portion of future proceeds from this book. Please feel free to chime in below with your recommendations for a worthy charity that helps promote awareness and support to bullied youth.

Wishing you all the best,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Question to Ponder

By Suzie Carr

A question to ponder: if you could give one thing that could make even a small difference, what would it be?

I tossed this question out to the masses last night and got several wonderful responses: A hug, the gift of being honest, time, and my favorite one – love and light.

When we give, we empower others, enrich lives, and spread joy.
Giving takes on many forms. A gift of donating money to a worthy cause can be just as powerful as sharing a smile with someone who is having a bad day. The positive effect ripples and grows exponentially, spreading its roots deeper in areas that crave life, energy and the hope of a better day.

If we all gave a little something each day, the world, in its most basic spiritual sense, would be a better place. The spirit of giving is contagious. It magnifies a power that attracts more giving, thus completing a powerful circle. In giving, we open up to all sorts of positive vibes that have the power to touch countless people in ways we can’t even begin to describe. The gift of a smile can spread to thousands. The gift of sitting with an elderly patient can brighten spirits. The gift of blankets and kibble at an animal shelter can save countless of precious lives. The gift of a hug offers soulful nourishment.

When we give, we help others feel the beauty of peace, gratitude, and hope. Giving renews spirits, ours included. That, in and of itself, is a gift to the world. If we’re living in our best light, those around us benefit, too.

Speaking of giving, I can't forget to mention a beautiful blog I encountered yesterday that really encompasses the spirit of giving - www.sepisoul.com. Through her quotes, Sepi gifts us with inspiration, beauty, and food for thought on life's challenges. If you get a chance, I highly recommend checking out her site.

Here’s to shining our light onto the world!

Suzie Carr
I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com) and to Hearts United for Animals (www.hua.org) .

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Power of a Mantra

by Suzie Carr

I work out most everyday, and most of these sessions are downright grueling. To get through them, I need to be present both physically and mentally. In fact, I think mental presence is more critical. I have those days when I trudge into my workouts with my head hung low, my mind in a fog, and my body refusing to push itself. 
Days like this, I dig deep into my mind and pull out my mantra, “I’m healthy and strong therefore I can do anything.” I repeat this mantra over and over again throughout the workout and to my surprise every time, it powers me with a strength that at times seems superhuman. 
Just for kicks, I tossed out a tweet asking others if they used a mantra to help them dig deeper and get them through their tough moments. I wanted to share some of these inspiring ones. I will be placing them in my reserve for those inevitable days when I will need one to give me that extra push to accomplish a workout, an assignment, a scene, or any of the hundred to-do items I usually tackle on any given day! 

Here they are:
  • “Clear your mind, center your soul." 
  • "Nothing is happening TO you. Things are just happening."
  • "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." Basil King 
  • “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, healthy, wealthy, and so thankful for all gifts my life.”
  • "I am not afraid of tomorrow, because I have seen yesterday and I LOVE today!"
  • “You will never get what you want as long as you’re jealous of what other people have.” 
  • “If you cannot believe in yourself ... you cannot believe in anything”
  • "Even if you cut off my arms, I will still create art.”
  • “Forward momentum - something is better than nothing”
  • “I'm learning and Listening Everyday Therefore I can keep hope.”
  • "Thy Will be Done."
  • "Don't underestimate the importance of attempting the impossible and falling short of the mark; in so doing you prepare the ground, and earn the right, to attempt the impossible and succeed!"
  • "Remember to listen: you are always guided if you ask for help."

Do you use a mantra to get you through those tough moments? Feel free to share. Let's inspire each other! 

Wishing you ultimate success in all you do, 

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com) and to Hearts United for Animals (www.hua.org) .

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Secret to Real Progress

By Suzie Carr

We all have things we want to accomplish. We set out with great intention only to be sidetracked by our psyche urging us to turn the other way and enjoy the lure of things within easy reach instead. Maybe it’s that we want to be savvier with our money or get into better shape or gain more knowledge so we can prosper in our careers. These things all take time, focus, and drive. They require a significant amount of patience and motivation to acquire.

Short cuts just seem easier, don’t they? 

We’re all smart enough to know that to make any real progress, we must do the work. We can’t expect to run a company successfully without first acquiring the skill sets. We can’t expect to have a bestselling novel without first putting in the long hours of writing the book. We can’t expect to have healthy bodies without first treating our bodies with the respect of good nutrition and sensible exercise routines.

The reality then is that we need to work to get ahead on those things that we deem important.

As with any new venture, we set out on new goals fueled with what seems like a super human power. We might spend hours writing some fabulous scenes, reading a book on finance, or tackling the first week of a grueling exercise program. We feel on top of our game, fueled by euphoria from the first scene that took us on a glorious ride, from the first stock papertrade that went well, or from the first inch lost on our waistline.

Then, week two comes around and we find ourselves tempted to let the firm focus grip slide a little. Our old habits are staring us in the face begging for attention. To break an old habit, we need a sticking motivation something that will stand firm in the face of temptation.

A powerful motivator is usually an emotional one.

For instance, when it comes to my health, the drive is deeply rooted in a promise I made to myself after a great friend passed away 2 years ago. I will never again take my health for granted. He died of cancer too early in life and he would've given anything to have a healthy body. I have one, so I'm constantly reminded that I have to treat it with respect. It's almost like if I don't, then I'm disrespecting his battle. This is strong motivation for me tied inextricably to my emotions.

We’re all motivated differently. To find success, we must discover what makes us tick. If we don’t know yet what that thing is that’ll keep us strong in the face of adversity, we need to vigilantly keep searching for it.

Here’s one way: Reach out to others who are role models and doing what you want to be doing. Find out what keeps them focused and see if it mirrors your philosophies and touches you on an emotional level.

Never give up on your journey to discover the power that resides within you. It’s in all of us. 

Wishing you ultimate success in all you do,

Suzie Carr

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com) and to Hearts United for Animals (www.hua.org) .

Check out my series of LGBT fiction.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Leash on Life

By Suzie Carr

I’ve spent the last six months planning, writing, and nurturing a new story I can’t wait to share with you all. I’ve approved the final proof of A New Leash on Life and am happy to report it is now available via Kindle and in the Kindle Lending Library on Amazon. Print version will be available next week.

This story is an important one for me to tell because it’s one that is close to my heart. As an avid animal advocate and lover, I feel it’s critical for human beings to protect the welfare of animals. They rely on us, trust us, and remain by our sides with loyal, unconditional love.

As with all of my books, I enjoy giving a portion of proceeds back to the #lgbt community. For this book, I will also be donating a portion to Hearts United for Animals.

Hearts United for Animals is a national no-kill animal shelter, sanctuary and animal welfare organization dedicated to the relief of suffering. They rescue dogs from all over the country and specialize in long distance adoptions. They take creatures who are lost, afraid, hungry or ill and comfort them, give them a warm, soft bed, good food, medical care and most of all, love.

HUA is a place of happiness, joy and love. Everything they do is in the best interest of the dogs. The dogs have big fields of grass and trees in which to run. Our primary interest is what will make them happy. HUA is a place to
celebrate the joy of life.

Thank you to all who support my work!

Here’s a summary of A New Leash on Life

When a hurricane blows through town and threatens the future of Olivia Clark's animal shelter, she publicizes her desperate plea for help to the masses. Aid comes from a surprising source: Chloe Homestead, Olivia's ex-girlfriend from thirteen years ago and the only girl Olivia has ever loved.

Chloe, a self-made millionaire, offers to finance and manage the shelter’s repairs and operations, a gesture Olivia is in no position to refuse. Working intimately together to provide loving care to homeless animals, Olivia struggles to keep her composure in Chloe’s fun and flirty presence. As Olivia's walls start to crumble, the past catches up to them. Chloe has a dark secret, a secret that she’s been carrying around for thirteen years.

Will Chloe's secret threaten the future of the shelter and the relationship she has worked so hard to restore?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shaking It Up

By Suzie Carr

Thank you to all who took part in this exercise contest. And thank you once again to @SMALLVILLE_NBD for giving me this great contest idea!

You all have inspired me to keep up the exercise and health focus, and I’m sure you will continue to inspire many others.

One quote I always keep in mind is “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” A great friend of mine said that to me one day and I’ve never forgotten it. Unfortunately, this same friend passed away from liver cancer at 40 years old. He is my constant reminder to never take my health for granted. He inspired many to stay on the health and fitness trail.

I hope this contest has helped you all.  Keep up the great work!

The following winners will receive a free copy of one of my books:

Andrea Free @AndreaFree1
@girl_novelist I exercise for my health! It's important if you want to live a long and relatively pain-free life.

Jay E. Andrew @jayeandrew
@girl_novelist  Doing what keeps me fit - acting & performing. Why? Love it xxx

Manoa the II @NoaPouono
@girl_novelist Just worked out @miyagiboxing gym, great feeling to be high on health!

@girl_novelist.. Jumping on elastic bed...shaking up my body!! (avoiding to break my neck as well ;-)

@girl_novelist  My mom died last year at 64 from diabetes/weight issues -I was on same path. Since 1/01 I'm down 40-lbs

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Contest - Shaking It Up

By Suzie Carr

A wonderful new twitter follower inspired me to host a book giveaway contest. Just like me, @smallville_nbd believes health and fitness is critical and would like to see more people enjoying the process of getting into shape so they can look and feel their best.

Here’s how to enter:

1. Follow me on Twitter (@girl_novelist)
2. Snap a picture of you exercising (walking, running, playing a sport, etc.) and attach it to a tweet
3. Included in this tweet, answer the question ‘why do you exercise’ in 140 characters
4. Mention me in the tweet (@girl_novelist)
5. Send to me by Monday, June 11 at midnight EST.

I will select the top 5 tweets that have inspired me the most and announce them in my blog. Those 5 winners will get a copy of one of my books—their choice— and in their choice of paperback or e-book.

Let’s inspire each other! Go snap some pictures… I’m waiting!

PS: @smallville_nbd is a very upbeat and positive person worth following!

Wishing you health and happiness!

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com).

Check out my series of LGBT fiction.

Here I enduring a grueling 5K Warrior Dash Race!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's Your Fuel?

By Suzie Carr

As a novelist, I’m always interested to learn what motivates people to go beyond their comfort levels to that place where real growth happens. When creating characters, I enjoy learning lessons through them. What makes them act the way they do? Why do they care so deeply for certain things? How did they become so cynical, so happy or so fearful?

We’re all driven by different things. Our past experiences shape the way we view the world and the way we interact with others. We all come equipped with driving forces that dig deep and push us to or pull us away from defining moments.

I’m driven by the word CAN’T. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it double-time.  The reason for this motivation digs deep.

When I was in kindergarten and sitting in a circle for story time, a girl bullied me. Each time I’d raise my hand to answer a question, she’d hit me. After several grueling rounds of this, I stopped raising my hand and eventually lost all confidence to speak to anyone but my best friend, Todd, and my immediate family members. For two years, I spoke only to them.

Bribed with adventures and treats that would make any well-adjusted child leap for joy, I turned my back on any hope of being a ‘normal’ kid. Then one day, my best friend begged me to speak to his mother because that was the only way I could go to his baseball game. For three hours, I stood next to his mom as she watched soap operas and waited patiently for me to whisper something, anything, in her ear.

Todd begged and cried for me to brave up and say something. By the end of the third hour, my best friend knelt down exhausted and said to me, “I knew you couldn’t do it.” This little action switched something in me so powerful that I managed to whisper ‘yes’ into his mom’s ear.

I haven’t been able to stop talking since.

Fast forward to high school English class. To graduate, I needed to present my book report to the class. I refused, deathly afraid of public speaking. My English teacher allowed me to present it to him after school. When I finished, he told me, “You won’t succeed in a professional setting, so get used to working harder instead of smarter. That little insult sparked an inferno inside of me and I marched off to college shortly after and majored in public speaking, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Whenever someone tells me I can’t accomplish something, I accomplish the S*#T out of it!

That is my fuel.

What’s yours? What gets you out of your comfort zone?

All the Best,


I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pet Peeves

By Suzie Carr

I have a pet peeve confession.

I dislike when people litter. When I see litter, my blood pressure spikes.

Case in point: I walk my dogs through my neighborhood every morning at 3 a.m., and I see the same things each time – empty soda cans, paper plates, candy bar wrappers, plastic cups, and so many more items it'd take me all day to type them. This trash litters the sides of the road, clinging to sewer gutters and spilling over onto my neighbors’ pretty green lawns.
This morning, faster than I could react, one of my dogs scooped up a chicken bone from underneath a crumbled up take-out bag. She smacked her lips, working quickly to swallow it. Thankfully, I’m fully alert at 3 a.m. and I was able to jump to her rescue and safely remove the bones before they could splinter and choke her. For the rest of the walk, I felt like screaming. My dog could’ve gotten seriously hurt because someone was too lazy to toss their garbage in a trashcan. Instead the person just opened his/her car window and tossed it out for someone else to deal with.

Who wants that job? I've tried, believe me. I've toted a trashbag along on many walks, plucking up litter only to find even more in the same spots the very next day. Let’s face it, picking up litter is about as satisfying a job as is laundry or dishes because as soon as you turn your back, more piles up.

Okay, enough venting. I'm about solutions.

Did I have a right to be angry? I think so. Would it help the litter problem? Absolutely not!

I can’t control the actions of others. I can only control how I react to their actions. So, I needed to shift the focus or suffer the consequences.

On my drive into work, still stewing over the chicken bone fiasco, a thought sunk in that if I gave in to the anger, I wouldn’t be giving justice to anyone who does respect common decency. So, I chose to smile at the grounds keeper on my way into the building and strike up a conversation with him about planting flowers. The result, by the time I logged onto my work computer my anger was gone and replaced with a good vibe.

It all comes down to focusing on the good things people are doing.
Do you have a pet peeve that rattles your nerves? How do you deal with it?

Here’s to working together in keeping our world a beautiful place,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Together We're Stronger

A public service announcement via Until There’s A Cure®.

I’m dedicating today’s blog to an important topic that needs attention. 
Did you know that nearly thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there is still no simple solution to breaking the cycle of HIV? Many have been infected with HIV, more than 2.7 million each year to be exact. 
Until There’s A Cure® is a national organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and funds to combat this pandemic.
With the help of celebrities, partner corporations, volunteers, and passionate supporters, this organization serves to fund prevention education, care services, and vaccine development, and to increase public awareness of AIDS, using The Bracelet as the tool. The Bracelet serves as a bridge to unite people to fight HIV/AIDS, and helps to increase consciousness, compassion, understanding, and responsibility.

Until There’s A Cure is committed to:
  • Funding innovative programs that promote AIDS awareness and prevention education.
  • Providing financial support for care and services for those living with AIDS.
  • Supporting and advocating for AIDS vaccine development that offers the best hope for reducing the spread of HIV.

A Public Service Team United
Celebrities from the entertainment industry and the sports world wear The Bracelet. Major magazines, including Voque, Maxim, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Us Weekly, ESPN Magazine, and many others generously donate space for the PSAs.

Over the past 19 years , UNTIL has reinvested over $22 million dollars in programs and grants, providing money to African villages ravaged by HIV infection, community clinics supporting care and comprehensive testing programs, and vaccine advocacy groups dedicated to research and medical development.

Their jewelry line has grown from The Bracelet, our original cuff-style bracelet, to include over 25 styles. Many pieces are handmade in Africa by HIV-positive women. The projects we support in Africa not only employ but EMPOWER the women, enabling them to better care for their families and give back to their communities. 
They also donate a portion of the proceeds to help build hospitals, train nurses, and provide medical devices and other care services.  

Learn about The Bracelet.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Big Takeaway

Today is April 19th, and as I have done for the past two years, I will plant flowers in my front garden to honor my late friend, Patrick. I feel the best way to honor special people is to keep their memory alive by doing something life-fulfilling, life-evoking, life-enhancing. Whenever I’m in the presence of plants and flowers, I feel I’m in the presence of light, love, and God. So, it is through nature, that I keep my friend’s memory alive. As spring turns to summer and his flowers continue to bloom, I am reminded of his lively spirit.

With Patrick, I never knew what kind of craziness he’d toss in my path.  He treated life like it was an ongoing festival filled with clowns, balloons, candy apples, cotton candy, cold and crisp beer, sunny skies, and gigantic roller coasters.  He lived more life in his forty years than most eighty year olds did. If he wanted to travel, he traveled. If he wanted to run a business, he ran a business. If he wanted to get married and have a child, he got married and had a child. If he wanted to careen down a roller coaster with his hands up in the air, then he did so. If he wanted to sing karaoke to a restless crowd, then he sang his heart out. No wasn’t a part of his vocabulary. When he wanted something, he went after it with everything he had.

The big takeaway he left me with was to not take life so seriously. “It’s only life,” he’d say. “What’s the worst that could happen?” I keep trying to take on this spirit. I’m not quite there, yet. I still have reservations and hang-ups about frivolous things that are out of my control and really shouldn’t be allowed to weigh in on the grand scheme of my actions. Nonetheless, I keep trying to live my life each day to the fullest, reminding myself that for each breath I take, I’ve been given a gift.

I look for opportunities to live fuller, to express better, to give more freely. 

Has someone left an indelible mark on your life the way Patrick has on mine? Do you stop to reflect when you’re taking life too seriously, maybe even move past that mode and onto something more fruitful and energizing?

When I plant those flowers today, I will do so with the spirit of a child in awe so that each time I view them, I can harness that energy and live a slice of my day in Patrick’s sunny spirit.

Wishing you ultimate success in all that's important to you,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com).

Friday, April 13, 2012

No? Ha! Watch me.

By Suzie Carr

When you love what you are doing, nothing in this universe will ever stop you from doing it. 
I dreamed of being a novelist since I was a senior in high school. Back then, I’d sit under the maple tree in my backyard on warm, sunny days and free write. I’d write in the car on road trips. I’d write in the waiting room of my dentist, doctor, or hairdresser. I’d write anywhere a pen and notepad was allowed.

Find what you love and do it.
I had to become a novelist. I couldn’t live any other life. This hunger has thrived in me for years. It’s seen me through the writing of a couple of novels that sat on my computer waiting to be read by someone other than me.

You are the determining factor in your destiny. No one else has that power.
With all major publishers in the lgbt genre closefisted from receiving unsolicited manuscripts from an unagented writer, my future as a novelist seemed pretty bleak by most standards. But, I refused to give up hope.

I kept writing anyway, refusing to allow a handful of people to get in my way and tell me no. I wouldn’t allow anyone to control my destiny like that. I loved creating fictional worlds too much to have ever allowed that to happen. I could feel this love, like a tickle deep down in my core. That was what I held onto.

Believing in your dreams pays off.
I didn’t know how I would ever get my books out there for readers to read, but I just knew it would happen. Just as the earth rotates, the tide pushes in and rushes back out, the sun rises and the sun sets, I too, knew, without a doubt, I would end up a novelist. I would work hard, learn my trade, learn from other’s succeeding in my trade, and never stop learning and refining.

Fast forward a few years into my hard work to the fall of 2010. I sat in the front row of an investment class. I listened to a successful investor educate us on the importance of resolve and the will to succeed. Then, he said something that made me feel like he was talking directly to me. He said one of his dreams was to write a book about investing. He did. He then bypassed all traditional publishers and opted for self-publishing. His words that still echo in my mind are, “Everyone should experience the process of writing a book. It’s truly cathartic.”

I went home that night with a beating heart that wouldn’t quit. I logged onto Amazon and discovered the path that would lead me to my destiny as a novelist.

It’s your life, your passion, your destiny.
I’m so glad I didn’t listen to the handful of people who thought they could dictate my future. No way will I ever give anyone that kind of power over my life, over my passion, over my destiny. I’m a novelist not out of luck, but out of hard work, out of a hunger to learn and refine, and most importantly, out of the love of it all.

Have faith in what you love.
Never let anyone tell you no. You have the power to say yes to anything that tickles your core, anything that gets your heart pumping, anything that you desire.

Wishing you much success,
Suzie Carr

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (


Thursday, March 29, 2012


By: Suzie Carr

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”

This phrase hangs on my office wall and gets my attention several times a day. It keeps me on track and focused. It serves as a great reminder for me to stay the course, regardless of how slow-going, daunting, or challenging it may seem at times.

Whether you’re staring at a parcel of land and want to turn it into a lush garden, or you’re tasked with developing a new system for an organization, or you’re inspired to dress up a white wall with a life-size mural, you run the risk of derailing from the course if you view the process as one large looming runaway project.

What’s the solution? How do people deal with this? How does an architect turn a white piece of paper into a magnificent sketch? How does a movie director turn a bunch of words into a blockbuster film?

Well, if you break it down fact by fact, what you're really looking at is this --
A book containing 75,000 words can only start out one letter at a time. Connect enough of those letters and word counts will logically increase. It’s simple physics. String enough of those words into sentences and then into paragraphs, and before you know it, you will have created a scene, and ultimately a 75,000+ word book.

Logical, right? Of course, but, logic oftentimes takes a backseat when an overwhelming sea of white sprawls out in front of our eyes, challenging us to fill it up and transform it into a work of art that others will hopefully find worthwhile and inspiring. That’s a lot to shoulder. And, that’s where a lot of people get stuck.

How do you get unstuck?
Chop the process up into manageable chunks. Break it down letter by letter, flower by flower, brush stroke by brush stroke. You’ll get there eventually, as long as you show up and chop at the process a little each day.

Remember this as you start out on your next venture: Small chunks are far better than no chunks!
Wishing you ultimate success in all that's important to you,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lesson Learned

We all make mistakes. Some are obviously bigger and more painful than others, of course, but nonetheless, they’re still things we never intentionally set out to cause. Despite the fact that we never intend to mess up, I bet many of you are like me in that you still feel terrible when it happens. Mistakes happen. We should be able to just shrug it off and move onward, right?

Gosh, I wish I were one of those people who could shrug off the missed typo, the burnt steak, or the neglect of not checking my stock positions on the one day I really needed to. Whether small or large, whenever I make a mistake, I never shrug it off. I usually spend way too much time overanalyzing the error of my ways and then come to a similar conclusion every time: find the lesson and move onward.

Last week I caused an unfortunate design mishap to occur. I rushed through a client order and neglected to follow my golden design rule, which is to run it by an objective pair of eyes before sending off to print. Time was of the essence, I was feeling design cocky, and so, I packaged up the files and sent them off to print without my trusted design partner’s eagle eye.

Two days later, the brochures arrived - all five thousand of them with a glaring mistake. I transposed the letter ‘I’ for the letter ‘U’ in a critical context. The letter ‘I’ stood out like a beacon to my stunned eyes. The call to my client was not an easy one. Five thousand brochures later, a simple transposed letter turned into thousands of dollars my department would have to eat. But, hey, mistakes happen, right?

Right, but… this was a mistake that could’ve been easily avoided had I followed my usual system and not been in a rush. Ah ha! The lesson is learned and seared into my brain for now and forever.

Mistakes are painful to make. But, we all make them. Once they’re made, they’re hard to erase. They remain like the ink of a permanent marker. I spent two days shaking my head, sighing, wanting desperately to kick myself for such a silly, costly mistake.

I’ll never make that mistake twice. I learned my lesson. That’s what’s important I think.

Do you try to find the lesson in your mistakes?

Wishing you peace,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Take Five

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you’re being stretched way beyond a reasonable point? Yesterday my day went down like this: I arrived at my day job pumped to engage fully in a project that required my immediate attention only to be sidetracked by three different people with three different tasks of greater priority to the one I first planned to tackle. My head spun instantly and my breathing shallowed to a mere whisper, flirting with my lungs but not quite engaging. Terrible feeling!

I was expected to race from one emergency situation to another.  I’m talking the type of emergencies that are really petty in scope, but are classified as emergency by executives who believe the world will cave in on us all if something isn’t done that very minute. Hold the bathroom breaks. Hold the meals. Hold the water. No time for that. The department has design issues. Oh my! If I sound a little facetious, it’s because I am (big smile).

Sometimes when people rush towards me with a pile of ‘emergency’ items that can’t possibly be put off for another business day, I do this: I close my office door, toss my hands up in the air, and bend over in cathartic laughter. May seem like a nontraditional response, but hey, I’m not so traditional.

I am not a fan of reactivity. I’d much rather be proactive whenever possible. I enjoy when I’m able to accomplish the most important tasks first. For this to happen, priorities need to be set. I think most people would agree that the average person stumbles through the day putting out fires set by others. Placing ourselves in this situation, we're not able to collect our thoughts and logically and strategically plan ahead to avoid these bouts where we are dashing from one end of the room to the other leaving our wits at the door.

I’m a firm believer our wits should never be left at the door. They should be held in the highest of regards because if not, someone is sure to come by and snatch them from us.

Yesterday, my day started to unravel even before I had time to stick my lunch tote in the fridge, before I had time to brew a necessary cup of java, before I could even hang up my coat! Immediately, I started to fall victim to the kind of pressure capable of destroying the human spirit.

What did I do? I shut my door, did my ritual of tossing hands in the air and laughing, and then I took five minutes to clear my brain with some deep breathing. As long as I am on someone else’s dime, I can’t control the external fires being set. What I can control though is how I react to them.

Five minutes of creating clarity was all it took to set my day back on a fruitful track. By any other measure, I wouldn’t have been effective. This is what we have to remember each day when we are tested to the brink. Our sanity depends largely on how we react to a given situation. I, for one, refuse to allow other people’s haphazard reluctance to plan ahead affect me in any unhealthy way. No one wins that way.

Next time you’re frazzled, take the five minutes to balance yourself and face things head on with a clearer, more focused mentality. You’ll save yourself a headache and be giving the best of you to those around you.

Wishing you much peace,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shifting Focus

Complaining only gets in our way.

So, why do we complain? I can come up with all sorts of viable reasons. It feels good. It makes us feel connected with others. We get confirmation that we’re not the only ones going through tough stuff. We receive the empathy of others, and let’s face it, empathy is comforting.

Some days we may just feel like caving in and say to the world, ‘come swaddle me in some comfort while I unleash the weight of the world onto your shoulders.’ We may invite a friend in to listen to our complaints, and before we know it, we’re both waddling around together in the same pool of anguish, both equally upset about our situations, both wishing we could right the wrongs of this illogical world and start fresh.

Gosh, if life only came with a magic eraser! Unfortunately, we can’t right certain wrongs regardless how ridiculous and unfair they are. We can’t make people see our plights with the same thoughtful eye with which we see them. We can’t change people.

If you’re like most people, you may even start to build a chip on your shoulder over the ignorance of others that insults you every day and over the bitterness that starts to erode your once lively spirit. Before long, you’re so deep in complaint mode, you are stuck. Stuck in the muck.

Many times we’re so rigidly focused on those things that spoil our spirits that we can’t see past the haze that pollutes our worlds. We don't even realize that if we look beyond the haze there is a whole lot of brightness that can help ease those things that eat away at our souls.

We must focus not on the haze, but on the brightness behind it. But how when the haze is so thick?

Well, by making a choice. We can choose to continue to complain and get the same null results or we can choose to shift our focus to things that make us feel good.

So try this - the next time the world is beating you up, and it will because that’s life, don’t stare at its mighty, impenetrable fists. Rather, cock your head to the side and latch onto the happy sights around, like the child giggling in the yard next door, or the dog wagging his tail, or the wounded warrior wearing a smile on his face, or the trees dancing in the sky. Take in all of the beauty in your peripheral view. It's waiting for you to take notice.

When you change your view, you transform your world.

Wishing you the best, 

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com)

Photography courtesy of T.A. Royce. If you are interested in purchasing any of the photos in this video, please contact photographer directly on Twitter @editor_girl.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Balancing Act

By Suzie Carr

Yesterday, I spent the better part of my day desperately trying to get in the zone. I even drank four cups of coffee, but to no avail, I couldn't focus. 

Finally, listening to my body, I surrendered to the lazy afternoon. 

This is highly unlike me. I’m that crazy go-getter with a mile long to-do list and more goals than would be humanly possible to accomplish in one lifetime. Despite this, I realize that every once in a while, we all need a day to play hooky. It does the mind good to rest it and let it run loose without restraint. So, yesterday, after fighting the urge to relax for too long, I loosened the grip and just let myself enjoy a beautiful afternoon free of work, of demands, of anything that required too much focus.

I needed to do this. Lately, I’ve scheduled my days to the minute. I believe goal setting and actions are critical to move forward in life. But, I also I believe if a person charges full force ahead leaving no room for fun, for wonder, for freedom, she will fall flat and run out of steam.

Balance is key.

Every once in a while, we all need to take time out to just be. So, after spending the morning running around like a wild woman clocking one important task after another, I ran out of steam and had nothing left. That’s when I surrendered. I let the tension roll off of my shoulders and embraced some downtime.

I breathed in some beautiful fresh air, basked in the unseasonably warm February sunshine and let my mind wander off to the beauty of the birds flying above and the fluffy white clouds floating on the backdrop to the prettiest periwinkle sky I’d seen in a while.

The result? Today, my mind is clear. My breaths are deeper. My heart is open to the possibilities of a brand new day.

Bring it on! I am recharged.

Here’s hoping you find that sweet spot of balance in your life, too!


I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (www.noh8campaign.com)

Thursday, January 26, 2012


By Suzie Carr

I woke up this morning feeling tired and a little cranky for no particular reason. I set out walking my dogs, Sunshine and Bumblebee, in a state of mindless abandonment, getting irritated when they took too long to sniff a patch of grass. As I rounded the bend at the end of my street, my female dog, Bumblebee, became super excited over a tennis ball she found sitting lonely on the sidewalk. You would have thought she discovered a lifetime supply of dog biscuits the way her tail wagged and her ears perked.

In that moment, we all came alive, awoken by Bumblebee’s enthusiastic energy. After this, she pranced around the neighborhood holding onto that ball like it was a part of her exuberant being now, grateful that the day had presented her with a beautiful gift.

Gratitude – the golden ticket to enthusiasm.

As she pranced, I felt inspired to catalogue things for which I was grateful – the mild air, the light breeze, my two healthy dogs, my safe neighborhood, etc. I pranced alongside Bumblebee and Sunshine for another fifteen minutes, and by the time I walked back into my house, my list was still not complete. My heart overflowed with gratitude for everything I had been gifted in life.

My entire demeanor transformed from sleepy to enthusiastic by simply shifting my focus to gratitude for everything and everyone in my life. Thanks to my Bumblebee this morning, I caught her enthusiasm out of her gratitude over her new toy. Now, who knows? Maybe someone I come across today will catch some of her enthusiasm from me.

Here’s hoping!

Suzie Carr

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Power to Forgive

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." – Epictetus 

By: @girl_novelist

I once held a grudge against someone for three months over something hurtful she said to me. I carried that grudge around like it was my suit of armor. It justified my bitterness. I’d go to sleep at night and allow this grudge to take up refuge in my dreams. I’d wake in the morning and further allow it to accompany me through the day and diminish my spirit.  To sum up this span of time – I wasted three good months of my life. 

Forgiving someone is hard. At that moment of giving in, you feel like you’re selling out. So, you hold tight to your ideals for the sake of standing your ground and you wait for that moment when vindication seeps in and makes you feel good again. 

I waited three months for this person to apologize for her hurtful words. The apology never arrived. Instead, I was left with nothing more than a dreaded feeling that I had lost a battle and she had won. 

Then one day I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, complaining about how much worse I felt towards this person still after three long months. My friend placed her fork down, then reached out for my fork and placed mine down, too.  She grabbed hold of my hands, stared me straight in the eye and begged me to let go.  “Be the better person and forgive her.”

The pressure of my three-month burden suddenly suffocated me.  I wanted to let go. 

The weight of carrying around this anger for so long had created such an imbalance, such a burden, such an emotional drain on my soul that suddenly I needed to shed it. I wanted to sleep a full night again. I wanted to wake up feeling light and happy. I wanted my peace back. 

I spent one whole week writing and rewriting an email to this person trying to find the right words to describe the pain she had caused me, and how I wanted to just move on and forget everything. These drafts grew to the size of a chapter, stretching out for thousands of words. Every new draft seemed to negate the very thing I was trying to do. I was telling her how wrong she was and how I was going to be the one to set it right.  She’d never read this and think, yeah, let’s hug now and be best of friends again.   

So, a week later, thousands of words into it, I decided on this instead: “I miss you and I love you.” 

I hit send and the weight of the world fell from my shoulders. 

I learned that sometimes the best way to show your strength is to be humble with it and come in like a gentle breeze. 

Wishing you lots of peace, 

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation (http://likeme.org/) to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.