Join A Slice of Orange

Enter your email address and never miss another post on A Slice of Orange.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Archives

Calender

May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Tag: Meriam Wilhelm

Home > ArchivesTag: Meriam Wilhelm

A Namaste Revelation

March 20, 2017 by in category A Bit of Magic tagged as , , , , , ,

Woman doing yoga outsideI spent a couple of post retirement years writing full time and I had a blast. 5 books on parenting and 4 of my first fiction series – The Witches Of The New Moon Beach later, I felt fulfilled. However, I never anticipated how quickly I would gain weight and at the same time stiffen up from lack of movement. Oh sure, my fingers were regularly flying across the keyboard but my butt remained stationary for hours on end.

All three years I focused my energies on my writing. During that time I religiously avoided visiting my bathroom scale until one day when my doctor asked me to “step on up” and I froze. Yikes, I had gained ten, twenty… uh oh more pounds! What had happened? After all, I wasn’t a total slug. I had actually taken an occasional yoga class or two.

I knew that I had to make a change so I altered my eating habits, upped my yoga classes and increased my walking time. I poured myself into my black stretch pants and promised to stay faithful to my yoga master and my new found routine.

But wait! My weight gain was not my moment of enlightenment; at least not the one I want to talk about today.

Almost anyone can do yoga and I am surely an example of that. Moving from Mountain Poses to Yoga Backbends has taken some time, but I have actually started to enjoy it. I find myself centered and calmer as I leave the studio and that certainly has helped me with my writing focus. It was during one of my recent yoga sessions that I had this revelation of which I now speak.

Here it is – Practicing yoga and writing a book have a lot in common. I truly believe that as a byproduct of my self imposed, yoga packed, body limbering routine, I simultaneously improved both my body and my writing abilities!

According to the latest YOGA Journal the three segments that every yoga class should have include a slow warm up, a recognized theme and a slow cool down. Hmm, sounds similar to the elements of writing an article, story or book. 

Slow Warm Up– Just as a yoga master warms up their students through challenging stretches so do writers warm up their readers by introducing characters and locations to engage and stretch the imagination. While yoga teachers struggle to keep their students fully involved in their yoga practices – so do writers toil to keep readers connected to their story line. It’s important to mix up yoga poses and some sessions need to be more impactful than others. This is also true when writing a book. A good writer builds from scratch, keeping the action moving and creating momentum while making some passages more action packed than others. A solid warm up is critical to the success of yoga students and writers as they learn to stretch both body and mind.

Recognized Theme – While a yoga class may focus on leg stretches or balance enhancement a book must have an equally identifiable focus or theme. The writer must be able to clearly articulate a storyline. Whether completing a challenging yoga experience or typing the last words of a book, the benefits can be similar. Both can bring satisfaction -physical and mental.

Slow Cool Down – One can find a parallel between a yoga cool down session and the completion of a well written conclusion. A passionate yoga practitioner might expect to feel more limber, relaxed and properly aligned – both mentally and physically – upon completion of their workout. Upon creating a final passage, a writer could anticipate feeling mentally stretched, emotionally fulfilled and totally in tune with their thoughts. Of course, throughout the process, both activities can be potentially filled with frustration and challenge.

I found a couple of other similarities between yoga and writing. I have to work hard at both to achieve any success and neither come naturally to me. Upon completing a satisfying chapter or a fulfilling yoga class I experience a sense of calmness, mental clarity and satisfaction. Usually exhausted at the end of either, I quickly recharge. I am now fully committed to both as they bring me joy. And some of my best storyline twists and turns have actually come to me in the calm of my yoga studio.

Surely you too can add a bit of magic to your day. I would encourage anyone to take a yoga class and if your heart so desires – try writing. Over time, you are sure to find satisfaction in either or both. For me a side benefit is that the scale numbers are going down; something we can always talk about later.

Meriam
www.meriamwilhelm.com
Meriam Wilhelm
The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. While I miss those enchanting moments with kids, I have always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I seek out my own magic and write about it. When I retired, I started to write my first books, a series called The Witches of New Moon Beach and inspiration wasn’t hard to find.

I have lived in Redondo Beach all my life, and New Moon might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot my next book.

I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.

2 0 Read more

How I Got Bit In The Butt And Survived!

February 20, 2017 by in category A Bit of Magic, Writing, Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , ,

 

This past year I authored my first fiction series, The Witches Of New Moon Beach. Like all new authors, I was totally excited to share what I had written and couldn’t wait to see my books posted up on Amazon. I had such a blast writing the series and had fallen in love with both my characters and my newly created beach city. I felt confident that my book covers were strong and that I had a solid plan for marketing each of the three (now four) books in the series.

Unfortunately for me, I let my excitement to share override my common sense. Sure, I had checked and rechecked for spelling errors and I even had three different people read my first book. I knew that there were individuals out there that you could pay to edit your books, check for typos, misused words or grammatical errors. But since I hadn’t yet made a dime I was resistant to spend money on the above mentioned even though in the back of my mind, I had a pressing fear that I might just have missed something. Grammar is just not my thing!

And so I proudly posted my first book for all to see and was immediately bitten in the butt by reviewers. Yes, there were a few kind comments, but then the bite came as I read “the grammatical errors were sometimes humorous” and “the book is filled with typos that simple editing could rectify.” One reader said I wrote like a teenager. Ouch!

How had this happened? I had done more than simple editing. What had I missed? I immediately took the book down and got some help. I repeatedly read the book back to front searching for errors. I tried out several editing software packages before purchasing Ginger and I ran book one past a high school English grammar teacher who I respected. I agonized before putting it back up. But the cleaning apparently worked since 73% of my reviews from then on were 4’s and 5’s and I’ve not been hit with negative remarks on spelling or typos again.

Let me say this clearly, I deserved to be bitten in the butt for posting a book with internal errors. I own this and boy did that hurt! I’m sure that I lost more than a few readers who were disappointed by my poor editing skills and either didn’t finish reading book one or never ventured toward purchasing books 2, 3 or 4. I’m saddened that they never got a chance to get to know my characters or to experience the magic within the pages.

Skip forward to my 5th book which will be out in early February 2017. I have spell checked it repeatedly, used my Ginger software for grammatical screening and had two different people read it for possible errors. However, this time, I’m also going to spend a few bucks to have a professional edit my book. Why? Because I can still remember how badly I felt when reading those negative reviews; reviews that I had earned. There is nothing worse than being disappointed in yourself.

I also learned something very important. It’s hard to see your own errors after you have lived with a story from birth to finish. I guess that I read right past mistakes more than once. My brain read the word site when I had actually spelled it sight. And semicolons took the place of far too many commas. I even failed to capitalize a word or two clearly by reading too quickly through the story.

In the end, I survived. Painful though it was, I learned a great deal from this experience. My counsel to you? Protect your butt – take your time, do your homework and then consider getting some professional help.

My best wishes to you as you successfully share your future stories with the world!

The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. When I retired after 35 years in education, I longed to share all that I had learned and created several parenting books on topics from bullying to homework strategies. While I miss those enchanting moments with children and their parents, I always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I sought out my own magic and wrote about it. In short, I was lured into the world of fiction writing where I soon created my first series, The Witches of New Moon Beach. The first book, Morning Magic is currently FREE.


Inspiration isn’t hard to find as I have lived in Redondo Beach, California all my life and New Moon Beach might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot out my next book. I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.
Feel free to check out my website: www.meriamwilhelm.com
0 1 Read more

Zero Calorie Writing

January 20, 2017 by in category A Bit of Magic, Writing tagged as , , ,

So if you’ve read any of my books, you may have noticed that my characters all drink Hazelnut coffee and eat danish, donuts, cinnamon rolls, etc. – almost every day. Oh and they never gain a pound!

So here’s the thing – I love anything from a bakery, but I’ve been really trying to cut back on my sweets for a while now. I’ve gained a few pounds, okay more than a few, and I’ve been trying to not give in to my desire for sweets. So what do I do instead of taking a trip to the closest bakery?

I imagine which bakery treat I would eat today. I think about the bakery I would go to, what I might select and where I would eat it. What would it taste like, how would it feel in my mouth? Then I pop all these thoughts into my story.

I can enjoy the smell, the taste, and the site without gaining even one pound.

Better than Weight Watchers? Almost!

About Meriam Wilhelm:

The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. When I retired after 35 years in education, I longed to share all that I had learned and created several parenting books on topics from bullying to homework strategies. While I miss those enchanting moments with children and their parents, I always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I sought out my own magic and wrote about it. In short, I was lured into the world of fiction writing where I soon created my first series, The Witches of New Moon Beach. The first book, MORNING  MAGIC is currently FREE at amzn.to/2a6fbXN.

Inspiration isn’t hard to find as I have lived in Redondo Beach, California all my life and New Moon Beach might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot out my next book. I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.
Feel free to check out my website: www.meriamwilhelm.com or contact me by email: meriamwilhelm@hotmail.com 

0 0 Read more

I’m a Bookaholic

December 20, 2016 by in category A Bit of Magic, Reading tagged as , , , ,

I am a confessed Bookaholic.

For as long as I can remember I’ve cherished every opportunity to get lost within the pages of a good book. Nothing is sexier to me than the sound of cracking open the spine of a crusty hardback and nothing more enjoyable than being introduced to a character I never knew existed.

I understand that the reason I so love to write is because I am enamored with and made whole through reading. Even if it’s only ten minutes a day spent looking for a clue, discovering a new land or getting lost in the emotions of another, I’ll find the time. I can always count on a book to bring me comfort, challenge my status quo or add magic to an otherwise drab day.

It may sound strange to some, but I enjoy reading two or three books at one time. Never bored, I’m constantly seeking out new words, phrases and ways of illustrating ideas through language. So you can be sure that I was a bit distressed when a friend shared with me that she thought I was being lazy by spending so much time engrossed in a particular story.

I was initially stunned, then a little baffled and then just plain fired up – motivated to take on a new quest.

Reading is not being lazy. What better way is there to develop vocabulary, validate life choices, challenge intellectual abilities, open new worlds, contemplate conflicting ideas or find unique topics to engage others in conversation?

Reading rocks my world and encourages me to pry open doors that have threatened to close due to years of aging. I’ll take an enticing mystery, a melancholy love story or an adventurous travel sequel to any evening mindlessly sitting in front of the television, and I like television!

I hope over the upcoming holidays you find a moment to dream a little, travel through time or expand your world through a good book. And if you happen to stumble upon a friend enamored with the pages of a hardback, paperback or manuscript – take a moment to ask them what they’re reading. You might like what they have to share. But whatever you do, please don’t presume that they’re just being lazy.

About Meriam Wilhelm:



 

 

  The one thing I know, after all my years as an elementary school principal, is that there is magic everywhere and in everyone. When I retired after 35 years in education, I longed to share all that I had learned and created several parenting books on topics from bullying to homework strategies. While I miss those enchanting moments with children and their parents, I always wanted to let my imagination run wild as I sought out my own magic and wrote about it. In short, I was lured into the world of fiction writing where I soon created my first series, The Witches of New Moon Beach. The first book, Morning Magic is currently FREE  on Amazon.


Inspiration isn’t hard to find as I have lived in Redondo Beach, California all my life and New Moon Beach might have more than a passing resemblance to my hometown. Every day I walk on the path that runs along the beach, sometimes with my sisters, but most often with my thoughts as I plot out my next book. I am long married and mom to three great grown kids. When I’m not writing or walking on the beach, you’ll find me sewing, reading or traveling and taking pictures.

Feel free to check out my website: www.meriamwilhelm.com  or contact me by email: meriamwilhelm@hotmail.com

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM