On Writing & Creative Contribution

In thinking about actually Following your Bliss, not the "One day, I'll pick up the paintbrush, write that story, or do xyz" but actually going forth and doing it, even if it's in baby steps, a recent loss reminded me how finite our time here is.

There is only one unique version of each of us, and like a fingerprint, we have something valuable to contribute to the world.

There's no better time than now to start doing that magical something: art, music, film, fashion, woodworking, speaking, inspiring, athleticism, that makes us forget what time it is, places us "in the zone," and makes our soul feel like singing, unless of course it's literally singing.

For me, it's writing and rarely a day goes by when I don't drop something on paper or in a document file. But make no mistake, pursuing the things we love, take effort, often monumental amounts of effort and discipline, which is not to be mistaken with work. When in the groove, the effort required has a return that makes every bit of sweat and concentration worth it.

Here are a few snaps of truth that have propelled me forward in following my bliss and doing what I love:

Once an author, always a writer.
Learn to love your unique voice.
Make every word count.
Don't let your writing get lazy.

And last, but not least, patience. I have to remember to be patient with myself; some days there are chores, errands, and other big life things that pull me away from my bliss projects. That's okay. Taking an occasional break, to rest and recharge or simply place our attention elsewhere, often contributes to an increase in creativity when we return. And my measure of self-worth and success in my bliss based endeavors starts and ends with me. As long as I love what I'm doing and believe in it with my whole heart, that are all the affirmations I need. Some people won't like it, notice it, or will, despite their best intentions, not give it the praise I'm hoping for, and I need to be okay with that. At the beginning and end of the day, what matters is that I'm doing what I love.

How does this translate to following your bliss? What project are you working on that makes your pulse quicken, that you can't take your mind off? 

Actually, they're not so random. Not really.

Superb post on why writing is important by Leo Babuta.

To the Sea Review- In PRINT!

I was surprised and honored to crack open my monthly copy of SurfGirl Magazine and find To the Sea reviewed on its pages. I was all like, that book cover looks familiar. Oh, I WROTE it! 

It's my first print review, and as an indie author, I really celebrate these small victories! Thank you SurfGirl, thank you readers, thank you, thank you, thank you!

As an aside, SurfGirl is a great surf & pro-girl lifestyle magazine out of the UK and definitely keeps me stoked!


Flash! Mirrored Release Day

I poured a lot of love and angst into In the Desert, a rock and roll romance that unfolds along an epic road trip...

And now, the follow-up that traces Alex and Brighton's relationship overseas can be yours!

Also, Mirrored, is told from Alex's rock and roller perspective...check it out!

Title: In the Desert
Book Three in the Follow your Bliss Series
(Can also be read as a stand-alone)
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Release Date: June, 17, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Age Group: New Adult

Available on Amazon

---A sneak peek---
Alex pulled Brighton into an alcove, protected from the rain. She pressed in against him, their faces inches apart. 

“Why would you need a brolly, if you have me?” he said. 

The way he said brolly made more laughter tickle her tongue, but the question, the offer, of having him, made it fade on her lips.

“Do I have you?” she asked. Her throat tightened at the possibility that the relief from loneliness she yearned for may or may not be found in him.

“Do you want me?”
His breath smelled like wine and mint and shelter.

Her pulse quickened. She’d never wanted anyone more in her life. She fought her way to his lips. They were out of the rain, but somehow her face was damp as another secret found its way to the surface.

“I have something for you,” Alex whispered.

His sexy voice was magnified against the backing track of the rain. He’d already given her so much. She had everything she wanted snugged tight into that hidden little alcove.

He dug his hand into his pocket, his hips pressing up against hers in the small space. He pulled out a guitar pick. “For you,” he said placing the vinyl chip in her hand.

On one side, it was printed with a series of numbers: 50.8429˚N, 0.1313˚. She breathed in his crooked smile.

“Coordinates if you ever get lost again.” 

She turned the guitar pick over in her hand. On the other side, it had the date in July when they’d met along with the word always.

“In case you ever forget.”

They kissed, never wanting to forget that moment before stealing back through the sopping streets, the glare of headlights and streetlamps guiding their steps in the inky night. 

And that guitar pick? You can have your very own! Please visit my Etsy shop. Or enter to win this giveaway!

Want to read To the Sea, Surfaced, & In the Desert? Click on over to my Amazon Author page and catch up on all the magic and mayhem.


Succotash! The Mirrored Giveaway

A book release wouldn't be complete without a giveaway! To celebrate all my readers, I'm offering a signed paperback copy of Mirrored and a Kindle copy of Surfaced, along with a few other book goodies. Wink, wink. 

I'd love to know your thoughts on Brighton and Alex. 
Have you ever wanted a guy to write a love song for you? Well, Bri, my girl, is unconventional...if you haven't already, read In the Desert to find out just how fast and furious she can be. 
If you could take a road trip anywhere, where would you go? 
What if someone gave you a plane ticket, where would you land? 
Have you outrun a tornado? Graffitied a derelict building? 
What kinds of debauchery have you gotten up to? 
Chaos seems to follow these two wherever they go, but can they settle down? 

You'll find out on Tuesday, August 19, 2014! I can't wait. 

Ooh, shiny and smashy!

Ooh, salty and splashy! 

PSSST! You may will find a little goodie from here in your swag bag! 

No succotash suffered in the composing of this post. 


Smash! Mirrored Cover Reveal!

The sassy, smashy, and smoochy follow-up to In the Desert is nearly ready to download onto your Kindles and order in paperback...the official release date is Tuesday, August 19, 2014. 

Can I wait?

No, I can't.
But in the meantime, I have a little something to share with you. 
What could it be?
The cover for Mirrored, of course.

Alex Stihl, notorious rocker, known for food fights, guitar wars, and riots, found love on the road with wild-child Brighton Holmes, eventually calming his alcohol-infused mayhem.

At the end of his band’s summer tour, he wants nothing more than to spend a few quiet weeks by the sea with his guitar and his girl.

When he discovers her reluctance to visit is because her mom faces a health crisis, his attention turns to his own mother who split when he was born, leaving him cracked with insecurity and anger. 

After Brighton relents and books a ticket to the UK, Alex gives her a tour of the London her late father knew, splintering her old grief. Their trip to see his grave brings relief, and a week spent in Alex’s hometown in Scotland, draws out mischief.

All the while, paparazzi harass them, culminating in a frenzied night when Alex says goodbye to his dying mother, an impromptu performance at a rock club, and band-member Finn revealing he’s taken up with Alex’s crazy ex-girlfriend, and then quits the band.

When Brighton discovers film, photos, and articles intended to grind up Alex’s reputation in the industry fame machine, chaos ensues on the damp streets of Glasgow. If he can tear himself from the madness, his biggest hit will include a sunset in the sand and a duet with his girl.

This follow-up novella for the contemporary romance, In the Desert, brings readers back to Brighton and Alex’s rock-and-roll world. Book Four in the Follow your Bliss Series, Mirrored can be read after In the Desert, or as a stand-alone, short story filled with love, music, betrayal, and forgiveness. 


And as an added little goodie, check out the first three chapters of In the Desert on Wattpad for FREE! 

Add MIRRORED to your Goodreads To be Read List 
(Please and Thank you, of course!)
 If you need a beach read, are looking for some romance, or just want to catch up on the series, check out the three previous books. But don't worry, you can read Mirrored on its own too. 

P.S. A smashed mirror, can sometimes bring good luck.


And then there were FOUR

It's just about time to send Mirrored into the world; the follow-up to the rock and roll romance, In the Desert, and Book Four in the Follow your Bliss series. 

I have to admit I am as excited this time as I was my the first, second, and third forays into the publishing world. 

Mirrored was a joy to write, a bit heart wrenching, and angering at times, but I've come to adore Alex and Brighton and delighted in discovering where their story led. 

There's music, (obvi,) travel, adventure, car chases, graffiti, smooching, and Alex's rainy day eyes that I just can't get enough of. 

Mirrored can be enjoyed without having read the previous books in the Follow your Bliss series, but if you want to deepen and enrich your experience into the surf-rock-mayhem filled world that happens when twenty-somethings get out their and live their lives, you're in for a treat with:

Come back in a few days for the COVER REVEAL!!!

Stay tuned for On the Mountain and Kindled, hitting cyber & wooden shelves in October & December.

Things & Stuff: an Interview, a Poll & a Giveaway

Here we are, it's already August, and I have some exciting things abrewin' in authorland. Of late, there have been a few fantastic releases, by some of my fave author friends.


Check out this deluxe, mega huge, and super sassy giveaway featuring 61 participating authors and 10, yes 10, prize packs in each of three categories: young adult, new adult, and adult/erotica. Prizes include paperbacks, ebooks, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and lots of sweet swag. Click on down below to enter.

Enter HERE!

I need your HELP! I want YOU to name one of my characters! In the next two books in the Follow your Bliss series (On the Mountain & Kindled) there's a handsome fella that desperately needs a name. He's a brawny, woodsy type with brown hair and a sweet, sweet smile. But he's hit a rough time in his life, and well, you'll have to read the book to find out exactly what's going on. All I'll say is he's experienced tragedy, has secrets, but is overall a good guy with a big helping heart. 

Can ya help an author out? Check out the poll to the right and cast your vote! 

Like this guy. Think, a young countrified Adam Levine, minus the tattoos.

I also  have an EPIC announcement to share, but it'll have to wait >>> hint, hint, hint >>> wink, wink, wink. 

In the meantime, Mirrored, the follow up to In the Desert launches in a couple weeks. Stay tuned for a teaser, cover reveal, and a giveaway! For now, I'll return to the writing cave (and by cave, I mean my sunny patio) and leave you with this interview from Smashwords.

What are you working on next?
I have several books in the pipeline, actually the editorial calendar is quite full.

Look for the short story companion to In the Desert in August. It's called Mirrored. Then in October, On the Mountain, the third full-length book in the Follow your Bliss series will be released followed by the novella companion in December. 

Who are your favorite authors?
My faves include the likes of Liz Gilbert and Maggie Stiefvater for sheer badassery, and then J.K.Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien for the richly woven worlds worlds they've created. Then of course there are my indie favorites: Steph Campbell, Cheyanne Young, Cassandra Giovanni, Faith Sullivan...I could go on and I should, they all deserve a shout out, but my Twitter feed will tell you everything you need to know about my love for all things book and author-ly.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'd like to say that I'm solving the world's problems or greedily, er, I mean, altruistically inventing a time machine, so I could have more of it. But in actuality, when I don't have my writing cape on, I'm a parent, a wife, a householder, a yogi (student & teacher.) I surf, garden, and read, oh, that's a big one.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Often word of mouth and covers. I don't judge a book by its cover, but I do often select a novel if the cover is lovely, enticing, classy, or just draws me in. But I also have some great friends and we're in a reading group together; e text our thoughts as we go and they have introduced me to some great titles.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That would involve an archaeological dig. So no, I do not remember the very first book I wrote if we're talking ancient history, but as an adult, the first book I wrote, finished, edited, etc. is called The Spark. (My screen name is a little nod to my humble beginnings.) I love that story (and incidentally so does my dad,) but I don't think it'll ever be published. If you're wondering, it's YA fantasy involving mythology, ice hotels, lonely New England towns, and a hot protag.
What is your writing process?
My writing process involves an outline, big chunks of uninterrupted time, quiet, and imagination. I've written in depth about it on my blog. I also believe in approaching anything, be it a writing project, a mountain, a wave, a screaming toddler, with equanimity. Always.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle. Uh, actually, it's not mine. I gank my daughter's Kindle when I read an ebook, although I am still a big fan of paper books and read those whenever I can.
Describe your desk
My desk. I love my desk. My husband made it for me; it's simple and has a craftsman inspired design: one drawer, two shelves, a broad, smooth top. The wood came from our land, DH milled it, and then banged it together to my specifications. I only write at my desk.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book was pulled, in equal parts, from my creative trove, from a real life road trip I had planned (but never took) and my belief in the importance of "following your bliss," even if, initially, we don't know what that is. Opening up, seeing where life takes us, sloughing off the false stories we tell ourselves (all the shoulds and expectations,) and the intention to bring joy into the world are the signposts to happiness. As Brighton's story unfolds, she does all these things, set against angst, confusion between want and need, and succumbing to the fear of loss at the expense of genuine connection. However, ultimately, she finds happiness both in the journey and the destination, but not without a few speed bumps along the way.

P.S. If we haven't connected yet, let's; I'd <3 to hear from you.

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