Author: coffeedollchronicles

How to Be A Happier You

I initially started blogging to help people who really had no one to talk to or understand them. I really wanted my troubling feelings to be able to reach out to someone and help them through whatever difficult situation they were in. I am not saying that there are people out there who don’t have worse problems than mine but I honestly wasn’t in the right mental frame for a large portion of my life. The way I saw myself, the way I hated myself and had no confidence, and a mountain of insecurities, it affected my life deeply. It impacted the way I carried about myself, the way I dealt with people and situations and it took me a very long time to really come to terms with who I am and why I should not be insecure or ashamed of being a little different. When I say different here, I mean that I don’t fit the same skin as my peers or family so I often felt like I was strongly misunderstood.

About three years back I lost a really good friend of mine. Not to death or anything of the sort, it was a misunderstanding that I still don’t understand and don’t have the energy to get into. Nevertheless it was an eye opener for me. I realized that I’m the only one who can help me be strong, who can validate my own existence. I don’t like the idea of leaning on friendships to be happy because that’s like putting the key to your happiness in someone else’s hand. And that’s not right. You have to be your own referee. Having friends is awesome and it’s helpful but it’s also very liberating and strengthening to be able to pull yourself out of deep waters.

Here’s a few things that I reassessed about my own life which helps me continuously today in making better decisions and in waking up contented with my life even though there is a lot that I could be sad or mad about.

Respect Yourself

A lot of people hate hearing the words “love yourself”, especially when they’re at a really dark place in their life. I know I hated hearing it. How can you love yourself when everything seems to be falling apart? You have to learn to respect yourself. That is a much better term for what I’m about to explain. It means that you have to accept your own existence, your own purpose the way you accept other people. You are no less than another human being. This is one of the worst kinds of mind sets you can put yourself in.

Learn Yourself

You have to reach deep into yourself and learn who you are as a person. Learn what you stand for and which direction you want your life to be headed. Once you’ve come to terms with that, you need to start weeding out all negative aspects and anything that may be a hurdle in your way. I know this sounds like a difficult thing to do but it’s doable. You have to really want that change, you have to really want to be happy to garner that drive to make these changes.

Focus on Yourself

There comes a point in your life when you really need to stop listening to what other people are saying. It’s okay to listen and incorporate good advice into your life. I’m not advocating being a rude person but if what someone is saying is troubling or harmful to you in any way, you need to filter that out. I needed to stop being concerned about other people more than I was being concerned about myself. I needed to focus on me and my goals, my kids and what’s best for them. Reading into others’ negativity really wasn’t helping anything in my life. It was creating problems in places where there were none. The best thing you can do is focus so hard on your life and goals, until you can’t hear the negativity beating at your door.

I hope you found something helpful in what I shared today. These steps have really worked for me in the last several years. It’s helped me reach a level of maturity and security that seemed so far fetched before. If you take these three points into consideration, sooner or later you’ll realize your worth and once you do, then no one can snatch your happiness away from you. My life isn’t perfect at all. Most of our lives isn’t. There’s many things I could cry about on the daily but really working on myself as a person has helped me reach a significant level of contentment.

xo Kat

(c)Kat Degnich. All rights reserved.

 

Where am I?| Writing Books

I talk quite a lot about writing novels on my blog, and although I haven’t been able to complete anything in 2017 thus far, I am writing everyday. Some days I write almost four thousand words, and the more I think I make progress, I feel like I just dig deeper holes for myself.

Writing is a complicated process if I’m being honest with you and I admire authors, especially indie authors that are able to put out multiple books a year. My main hurdle is time. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I struggle with time management with everything that I have to fit into twenty-four hours. It’s also hard to pull all-nighters now, especially with two kids.

So where am I in writing books?

There’s this one idea that I had for over a year now and I have been working on it for that long. Although it’s an awesome plot for a book, the details surrounding the sub plots are quite tricky. Can I tell you a secret? I’ve already written the ending of this book. I know how I want it to end. I know my characters inside out. Yet, why can’t I finish this book? It’s frustrating. I wrote forty-thousand words in my first half-finished manuscript and I wasn’t satisfied with how the events played out. So I kept re-writing the crap out of this story, until I changed the point of view it’s told in.

I am still unsatisfied somehow. And the clock is ticking. I’m not sure how many other authors do this but I really hate to get stuck, especially when I have so many stories going on in my head. So now, I’ve shelved that work in progress for the millionth time and I’ve been working on another half-finished manuscript which I hope to complete by Christmas, since it is a Christmas romance and a tribute to my love of cheesy Holiday Romance movies.

Where are you at in your writing? Has this year been a productive one for you? Let me know in the comments.

xo Kat

Why a Phablet is Beneficial for Writers

If you haven’t figured out what I mean by a phablet, it’s basically a phone tablet, meaning a phone way past the average screen size, such as the iPhone pluses etc etc. Before I purchased a phone with a huge screen, I had to really examine my uses for it. I didn’t want to lug around a phone that I could barely hold in one hand, at least not for just social media. Most of my work is done via the internet and on a computer so after weighing my options, I finally went with the phablet and here’s why.

Note: My title references writers but this post can work for anyone.

Screen Size

Well obviously a larger screen is easier on the eyes when you have a lot going on. It’s easier to scroll up and down and capture your work than reading on a screen less than five inches.

Infinite Amount of Apps

I’m guessing you can do this with any smart phone but like I said when you have a lot of words going on, a phablet is the device for you. As a writer, I honestly don’t have the time to sit hours behind my computer. My kids won’t allow it. Then how do I manage to keep writing and hitting word counts? Apps of course. Apps like OneNote lets you sync your work so it’s easier to move back and forth from your phone to computer without have to email yourself or copy and paste.

Makes for Better Reading

Because we’re writers, it means that we also read a lot. Books, research and random things like how bubble gum was invented at 3am. Who doesn’t want to lie in bed and work? I do it every night when my body just can’t anymore and I wake up with fresh ideas and thoughts about my work-in-progress.

Tablet Elimination

Now here’s where it gets technical. I personally hate having to read on a really huge screen so I’m not super crazy about tablets. I’m a laptop kinda gal when it comes to my work, and since a phablet can be held in one hand, that’s doable for me. I don’t need to carry around a crazy amount of devices with me when I can do everything from my one little device.

Portability

How many times have you forgotten to recharge your tablet? Or even leave it at home? We all know that doesn’t happen with our cell phones, so why not utilize your main device to do everything that you need?

Leave me a comment down below if you’re interested in a post based on Apps for Writers. Thanks for stopping by!

xo Kat

Book Club Fails

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About a month ago, I tried to start a book club on Facebook. So far I’ve only managed to attract fourteen members and no one reads the same books at the same time. Hence, the book club fails title. The idea of the page is to share and discuss books even though we all can’t read the same thing at the same time. My blog post today is a little promo tactic for putting my FB group out there. The name of my group is Book Junkies United. If you’re interested in joining our little book discussions and bookish camaraderie send me a message for an invite if you can’t find the page.

Thanks, Kat. xo

TV Shows Based on Awesome Books!

I thought I’d do something different this month in place of an August TBR post. I don’t always watch TV but when I do, I binge like it’s nobody’s business. As a lover of all things storytelling, I get attached to TV Series and it’s characters. Can you tell I don’t get out much? 🙂
Zoo 
Currently running, Zoo is in its third season. Yay! It’s on the summer season schedule but I believe you can find it on Netflix. Like many other shows of an apocalyptic nature, Zoo definitely stands out. No zombies, no other worldly creature take over…it’s our very own fauna that’s doing the damage. Basically the animals start going a little crazy, attacking people, escaping Zoos and it’s up to Jackson Oz and his team to figure out why all of this is taking place. I really enjoy the scientific make up of this show as well. 

Game of Thrones

Well who doesn’t know about these books or the tv show. To give a brief recap, it’s based on a nasty game of politics, war and birthrights. 

The Walking Dead

Can I just say? A comic book IS a book!!! I’m guessing I don’t have to elaborate on this one 🙂

Queen of the South (La Reina del Sur)

This show follows Teresa Mendoza whose boyfriend gets killed and she is on the run trying to escape big wigs in the drug cartel business. She is practically thrown into the Lion’s den so to speak and it’s a whirlwind of surival, betrayal and intrigue. This one will literally have you on the edge of your seat. 

The Strain

Another apocalyptic one, the strain is based on blood sucking creatures known as Strigoi. It’s based in NYC and a brilliant minded group of individuals team up to save the day. 

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty little liars are about a group of teenaged girls who tell lies and land in trouble. The show has an intense thriller feel to it as the seasons progress. It recently wrapped up in the most satisfying way. Definitely going down in the books as one of my all time favs. 

Lucifer

Lucifer is not based on a book per se but the character is a part of Neil Gaiman’s comics. It’s a brilliant show, fresh and humorous and worth a mention 🙂

Anne of Green Gables

I haven’t gotten the chance to finish the entire season of Anne but it’s a book that was close to my heart growing up. It’s follows Anne, an 11 year old orphaned girl who comes to live with the Cuthbert siblings after they requested a work hand. Anne is a bit impulsive, dramatic and outspoken so t makes for great television. 

There are a few more shows that’s based on books that I haven’t gotten to yet but stay tuned!

Xo Kat

July Book Haul| TBR

Thrift store book hunting is becoming one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love finding such gems for super cheap. This month I had a small haul but I still thought I’d share since I’ve been so behind on blogging. Please excuse my lack of knowledge of these books as I’ve only read the back covers.

  1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

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I love the way this author writes and I’m disappointed that I haven’t gotten to a whole lot of her books yet. This book seems to be revolved around a school shooting and the witnessing of it. Sorry I can’t provide more details at this time as I myself am trying to avoid spoilers but I will provide a full review once I’ve read it.

2. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

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One of my favorites reads til date. I completely trust Dan Brown as an author to deliver a riveting and cinematic experience through his books. I’ve read this one but I couldn’t pass up the hard cover version at only $3 in pristine condition 🙂

3. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

kiera cass

I picked up books one and three, The Elite and The One respectively. I am not really huge on YA but the books were hard cover and in great condition for the price. The covers were also very pretty so I couldn’t just leave them there. It appears to incorporate fairy tales and romance with a nail biting plot but we’ll see.

Hope you liked my tiny mid month haul. Stay tuned for my August TBR.

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

Confess by Colleen Hoover| Book Review

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Auburn Mason Reed recently moved to Texas, although we don’t know the exact reason why at the beginning of the book. We assume it has something to do with her harrowing past as the story begins itself with Auburn at fifteen years losing her first love to a terminal illness. New to Texas, and a needing some extra cash as her hair cutting career hasn’t exactly kicked itself of, Auburn lands on the doorstep of Owen Mason Gentry. Owen is a painter (yes, they both have the same middle name), and he needs help for an art opening in his studio, Confess. Owen has a unique way of working which I really enjoyed reading about. Random strangers slip real confessions through his door and he takes his inspiration from them.

They instantly have a connection and it’s written beautifully, not that cringe-worthy typical insta-romance. I must say the author did well in conveying each emotion, thought and feeling to show how genuine humans love. I was convinced during this book of both characters’ feelings towards each other. I gave this book a four star rating on goodreads only because parts of the story were a little too fleshed out causing me to lose momentum. But it ended beautifully. This was my first Colleen Hoover book and I am not disappointed. Next up is Hopeless!

Happy Reading!

xo Kat

 

I Removed My Kids Pictures from The Internet

Back in 2012 when my first daughter was born, I couldn’t help but share photos of her online. At the time, I used Facebook and Instagram as my main sites for social networking. They were both set on private settings which meant that only people I allowed to see my pictures would see it. I was still apprehensive about posting the pictures but almost all of my family lives on another continent so it was the only way for them to see her.

By the time my second child came around, I grew even more skeptical about posting my kids’ pics online. I started to limit the number of photos I posted as well as not post so frequently. When it comes to my kids I am very protective and a little anal to be honest, and I have since removed all of their photos from social media. Read more to find out why…

Lack of Privacy – Even the people you know personally don’t have respect for your pictures. Time and time again I specifically said don’t share my kids’ pics yet people were sharing them and using them as their profile pictures. How rude! I couldn’t imagine using someone else’s kid pictures. Another privacy concern is strange people viewing your children’s pics. No matter how much you try to keep your photos on lock down, it’s still on the world wide web, an infinite space with all sorts of people. Anything can be hacked, anything can be sent at the touch of a button. Now, I am in no way bashing anyone who shares pics of their beautiful kids but I’m left paranoid after some of the things I read.

Respect for my kids – I’ve always said that I would be mortified if my parents uploaded all of my childhood snapshots online for the world to see. Till date, I hide as much of my awkward childhood pics as I can. It’s just the way I am. One day I got to thinking what if my kids really have a problem with this later on? So I just don’t do it anymore. When my kids reach an age where they can make a sound decision if they want their pics online or not then I would be okay with sharing.

These are my main two concerns with putting my children’s pictures out there on a social platform. Do you feel the same or do you oppose? All comments are welcomed!

xo Kat

 

Alfred: The Boy Who Would be King by Ron Smorynski

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Alfred is a typical eleven-year-old boy who spends most of his spare time playing video games on a second-hand computer he was gifted. He is an only child and lives with his mother whom he sees as beautiful and sometimes odd in the way she speaks and dresses. Alfred sees it as old fashioned. Alfred is drawn to books, as well as video games of medieval times, something which has his mother uneasy every time it’s brought up. He also sends his mother into a frenzy when he asked about his father, whom he has never seen or heard of.
One night, Alfred summons an old wizard by saying the name “Bedenwulf.” He believes this to be his father name. The old wizard appears to be out of sorts and has no memory of who he is or what he does yet he manages to transport Alfred into another world, a medieval one. There, they learn the old wizard’s name is Tirnalth, and they meet a faithless cleric, Verbogen.
In the fantasy land, Alfred encounters creatures such as werewolves and gargoyles. He is told that he might be the only surviving heir to rule the kingdom and that an evil witch has driven the entire kingdom into despair. Alfred is determined to fit into the role of King and save his people.
This book was basically advertised as something similar to Harry Potter so immediately it caught my interest. It’s a brilliant middle-grade story and reminded me of Rick Riordan at times. I laughed during this book so the author captures humor well but here’s my concerns about things that could’ve been done differently. Firstly, Alfred is eleven years old and I feel like there are times he sounds more like a preschooler with the excited clapping, and at other times, Alfred is sharing all this knowledge with people. Maybe rework the characteristics for an eleven-year-old boy and the story would work beautifully. With a little editing, this story is a gripping and exciting one for fans of J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan.

xo Kat

The Challenges of Writing Romance

Stay tuned for my post on Insta-Romances 🙂

Coffee Doll Chronicles

I enjoy both reading, and writing in the romantic genre. I think my obsessions with a good romance started at an early age. The first trigger was Indian movies which I looked at quite a bit because of my mother and most of them were centered around romances. For some reason the library at my high school carried Mills and Boon novels and I fell into that very quickly. My fifteen year-old mind went places, if you know what I mean. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mills and Boons, they are a set of romantic books published by it’s parent company, Harlequin Enterprises. Most of what I read was set in a historical period and till date I enjoy reading romances set in the far past. Not everyone enjoys romances or its sub genres but I do. I love a happy ending, flawed characters that grow, the…

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