By Sapphire Phelan (Guest Blogger)
Writers live with stress much of the time. Whether due to a deadline or writer’s block to even a storyline suddenly going a new directions (characters can do that to you), a writer really goes into stress overdrive when the holidays show up.
Just after Halloween is come and gone, NaNo is here and writers sign up to write 50,000 words in thirty days. This could be their next novel or maybe even their first one that will sell to an agent or a publisher. But what the writer forgets when he/she starts this is the holidays are beginning—with Thanksgiving. The day after that is the first day of holiday shopping. It’s not too bad for one who is single, but those writers with families, pressure is on.
Some writers just take a holiday from writing until after the New Year. After all, January is nothing a month of freezing cold temperatures and depression. Writing would take the author aways from all that. While others set up time here and there to write. It’s for those writers who want to persevere that maybe the following tips will be most useful to take away the tension.
Take a walk. When everything gets to you, take a walk on a nearby walking path or the neighborhood. Get back to nature or view the Christmas lights on neighbors’ homes - the beauty will take your breath away.
Lock yourself in the bathroom, fill the tub full of your favorite bubble bath, place a lighted candle on the sink counter nearby, and open up a bottle of your favorite wine (hey, there’s chocolate wine now!), pour it in a glass, and take a soak.. Maybe even play your favorite music or even Christmas music. Or just do it in silence. There’s nothing like a good soak to drain away tense muscles and jumpiness.
Yoga and exercise. I have never done yoga, but I heard from others it is very helpful in tension relief and even losing weight. As for exercise, there is nothing better for getting the kinks out - besides losing weight. Plus if you start the day off with a half hour of exercise, it helps the brain matter too. Which helps the writer in story writing.
Take the time to just sit and do nothing. Go read a book or watch a favorite DVD. Sometimes, we all need to relax to put the anxiety off. When’s the last time you just start and stared at the ocean, or stood and watched a squirrel doing its things from your front door or window? Puts perspective on life, doesn’t it?
Massage. Though most times one has to go somewhere and pay for a massage, maybe you may have a friend or relative who can massage the tension from your muscles.
Stretching. I say this is good to do a few times during the day, starting when you wake up. Stretching puts years on your life. We don’t stretch enough. It makes the muscles happy with us.
Self-hypnosis. You can hypnotized yourself to lose weight, cut down on smoking and yes, ridding stress from your life.
Meditation. Just take time to sit or lay, and set your mind off somewhere else.
Breathing. Breathing exercises are always a big help. They provide convenient and simple stress relief in that they can be used anytime, anywhere, and they work quickly.
Enjoying a good game with a group of friends, or playing something relaxing online can take your mind off of your stressors, and can lead to a more relaxed state. Games are stress relievers that work well because people enjoy them enough to use them regularly.
Sex. Yes, this can be one of the biggest stress relievers around. It incorporates several other stress relief ingredients--breathing, touch, social connection, and a few others--and brings a rush of endorphins and other beneficial chemicals with orgasm.
Laughter. Just laugh out loud with a big belly laugh, or watch a funny movie or read some jokes.
Listen to music. Take the time to sit and play some of your favorite type of music. Not heavy metal or rap, but maybe something soft and relaxing.
Aromatherapy. This has proven benefits for stress relief--it can help you to become energized, more relaxed, or more present. Get some great smelling candles that are for this and set them up around your work space.
Eat a balanced meal, less caffeine, and drink in moderation.
These are just some of the tips to help you, the writer, to take the holidays and your writing deadlines in stride. Remember, view the holidays as a time of joy and balance both them and your writing, and you the writer will be a happy person.
~ Sapphire Phelan
Dark heroes and heroines with bite...sink your teeth into a romance by Sapphire Phelan today.
Blurb for A Familiar Tangle With Hell:
Tina and Charun thought it was all over and that their life would be normal—well, as normal as it could be for an immortal Witch and her demon Familiar. Except there was another prophesy, one that laid claim that if Lucifer snatches Tina and mates with her before the last chime before midnight of the new year and gets her pregnant with his son, that the real Armageddon would begin, spelling the end of life as they knew it.
When Tina is stolen away, Charun, along with Jacokb the archangel, must race against time into the bowels of Hell to rescue her. But with demons, Lucifer, and a cute demon bunny with fangs out of a Monty Python nightmare, out to stop them and Heaven not lending a hand, will Tina become the mother of the Antichrist and the start of a new Hell on Earth?
The Prologue of A Familiar Tangle With Hell:
Some days, it just didn’t pay to rebel against your father. Most especially if your father was God Himself. War was hell, especially when the rebels’ own survival mattered in winning. A terrible pit of darkness made by God to be their prison loomed at their feet. And it looked like the rebels were losing.
Glancing over his shoulder as he fought, Charun saw swirling masses of various shades of darkness. When the hem of his glowing robe flipped over the edge, some of that darkness reached up with grasping fingers to take hold, no doubt trying to pull him in. When he stepped forward, the stuff cried out, upset that it didn’t get to embrace him into its fold.
Charun should have listened to that inner psychic voice that told him not to listen to Lucifer, but oh no, he told it to shut up and just blindly followed where angels should always fear to tread. He was a stupid brat who didn’t know what was good for him.
Barreling through a plethora of angelic hosts that fell aside like pins on a bowling alley struck by a ball, Charun winged his way to Lucifer’s side, sword in hand. His leader in the revolt against Heaven was battling their brother, the archangel Michael. Charun landed beside him and immediately slipped in his own sword.
It didn’t faze Michael in the least. He hadn’t slowed down once, not even with all the wounds Lucifer had given him.
Michael said, “Give up, brother. You know you will lose.”
Lucifer bit back, “God made those disgusting hairless apes and called them beautiful—more beautiful than us. It is time we archangels took over. He is going senile. You know that, Michael, so why do you follow him blindly. Join us, brother, embrace the freedom.”
Michael turned to Charun. “Charun, why are you with him? You’ve always been one of the good ones.”
Charun retorted, “I am sick to death of being good. What did it get me? Nothing! I been to the mortal realm and seen how the mortals get to eat and fornicate. And yet, God says, do not lie with the mortal women. It is forbidden. We must follow His rules and have no free will. Yet, his hairless apes have free will.”
Sadness glinted in Michael’s eyes. “God has reasons for the rules.”
Charun spit, the glowing stuff landing by Michael. “Well, Lucifer said to try it and see what would happen. So I lay with this one virginal daughter of Man and except for her enjoying it, nothing happened. No crash of thunder or Heaven-sent spankings. Just the most wonderful feeling came over me as I spilt my seed into her.”
Michael said no more but fought harder. Soon he drove back not only Lucifer, but Charun, too. Both found themselves with the other rebellious angels at the edge of some gigantic chasm that suddenly appeared. Fighting to keep their balance, both of them watched as Michael stepped back and the other rebels, forced by the other angels, fell into the pit with high pitched screams. Charun took care not to fall as he turned around, but his sword slipped from his grasp and it spun down in slow motion into the pit.
A great booming voice thundered, “For transgressions against me, the Fallen shall be cast into the pit of despair and anguish. This pit will be henceforth known as Hell, and my son, Lucifer, will be its self-crowned prince. There will be no pity and no chances, to ever leave this place or for redemption. Only if I deemed so, can anyone leave its embrace. You all chose your Hell, now burn in it!”
Charun stared down into the swirling masses and, for the first time, wondered if he hadn’t been a teeny bit hasty in listening to Lucifer. Once shoved down into that place, that meant that he could never return to Heaven’s graces. Never see the visage of God, his Father. Never know peace and tranquility. Never know…
“Charun, you are sentenced to live your eternity in the Pit of Hell as a demon.”
About Sapphire Phelan:
Sapphire Phelan writes erotic and sweet paranormal/fantasy/science fiction romance along with erotic horror stories and urban fantasy. Her erotic urban fantasy, Being Familiar With a Witch (The Witch and the Demon Familiar series) is a Prism 2010 Awards winner and a Epic Awards 2010 finalist.
She also has done acting on stage and in films. And is a Master Costumer, costuming since 1972. For more on her, check out her website at http://www.SapphirePhelan.com
She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house, husband, and even the cats sometimes suffer for it!