Writing with Nina Ann – (revised) January 2018

Are you a closet writer looking for an audience? Have you been told that you are a great storyteller? Personally, I enjoy writing and creating meaning through words.  Often in my writing journey I find interesting and helpful information to share with others.  For January, consider joining me in entering a flash fiction contest with The A3 Review’s Losing It writing prompt.  Cash prizes are $220, $130 and $95 and the contest only requires 150 words due by January 27, 2018 with a $5 entry fee. May seem simple enough, but flash fiction tests your ability for brevity in writing while still developing a character(s) and a plot. Ready, Set, Go!

There are other ways you can let your voice be heard through your writing.  I recently learned about a few other writing contests that may be of interest.

Old Farmer’s Almanac Essay Contest (Deadline:  January 26, 2018)

  • Sponsor:  The Older Farmer’s Almanac
  • Theme:  How Weather Changed My Life
  • Prize:  $250 / $150 / $100
  • Entry fee:  $0
  • Words: 200 words or less
  • NOTE:  Yankee Publishing retains rights to submitted materials.

For more details and contest guidelines, visit:  https://www.almanac.com/form/2018-essay-contest

 

#MeToo Nonfiction Essay Contest (Deadline:  February 28, 2018)

  • Sponsor:  Memoir Magazine
  • Theme:  Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse
  • Prize:  $500
  • Entry fee:  $12
  • Words: 100 min/7000 max
  • NOTE: Pseudonyms allowed. All writers welcomed; emerging writers and underrepresented voices encouraged to submit.

For more details and contest guidelines, visit:

https://memoirmag.com/contests-and-prizes/the-metoo-nonfiction-contest-500-publication-judged-by-chelsey-clammer/

 

 

 

 

 

Realizing Your Dreams With The Power of Intention

My gift to you. You can download this inspirational printable 8.5 x 11 poster.

It’s time to change the way we think and speak about our dreams. Transforming a conversation, just like manifesting a dream, begins by setting an intention. Your intentions will assist you in taking greater control of your life.

A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim”. Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. My intention is to transform the conversation around dreams from fear and doubt, to hope and possibility, followed by action and results.

Some might say this is not the right time to dream. But it’s always a good time to dream and believe and want better for your life.  Without our dreams, all we have is our present reality. While our present reality is what’s in front of us, the greater challenge is our attitude around “reality” and being “realistic” and what being realistic has cost us. Often that’s our passion and joy, our hopes and dreams.

Setting intention allows us to be in the moment of reality by making a conscious choice to shift thinking to what we want. Given the unknowns and sometimes craziness of life, there’s never been a more important time to dream and setting your intention is the first step. When should you set an intention? You could set an intention every day. Your intention could be to work less and make more, or to find a new career that you are passionate about. It could be to get healthy and physically fit, or to spend more quality time with loved ones or alone.

How to set your intentions?  It does not have to be hard. At oneword365.com, individuals set their intentions by focusing on a single word.  Others use journals to capture ideas and write action plans for their goals.  My son purchases a desk calendar each year to add his weekly goals for propelling his comedic acting career. Many of my friends use walking apps or their watch to reach daily fitness goals.  Others partner with people, like friends or coaches, to encourage and hold themselves accountable for their goals. There is no one way to set and manage your intentions. The best advice I can offer – besides setting your intention – is to do what works best for your lifestyle and personality, and then ACT!

When you need a little inspiration to live your #Dream2018

 You mustn’t be afraid to dream bigger, darling. ~Line from the movie Inception.

In the stillness of time a dream can come alive. In its path found extraordinary outcomes for those who believe in the power of a dream.  But there’s more than just having a dream and capturing its vision, it is having intention, passion and focus. I recently had an opportunity to reconnect with a friend who has been teaching young children the past few years in Abu Dhabi.  I reached out to her via email on a whim because I heard her name in a song. To my surprise, she was in town and literally staying less than 10 miles from me.

We met up and while listening to her journey, I learned that it was a wonderful, contemplative experience that is now leading her to Indonesia in less than a week to teach adults. I was fascinated by her fearlessness to pack up for another country to live and work. It made me recall the desire I had in my early 20s to travel abroad. My short visit with her rekindled my passion to get out of my box and explore my dreams and aspirations.  To help guide me, I searched for women-centric quotes as motivators for me to dream big(ger). I am sharing below in hopes the quotes will inspire you, too.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. ~Lupita Nyong’o

When you have a dream you’ve got to grab it and never let go.  ~Carol Burnett

Not fulfilling your dreams will be a loss to the world, because the world needs everyone’s gift – yours and mine.  ~Barbara Sher

Dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.  ~Shonda Rhimes

I don’t just dream, I do.  ~Aamito Stacie Lagum

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.  ~Oprah Winfrey

I have dreams and I feel like I have a power to actually make those dreams become a reality.  ~Beyonce

The only requirement for having a dream is believing in it. ~Molly Barker

Little girls with dreams become women with vision. ~unknown

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. ~Gloria Steinem

No dream is too big to come true. You are born to manifest the glory of God on earth.  ~Lailah Gifty Akita

 

One Word: #Dream2018

LOVE.  This was my 2017 intention.  The word I chose to guide my actions.  It wasn’t always easy to LOVE but I focused my LOVE through praying, extending gratitude, and being genuinely hopeful and happy in my life.  I greeted negativity with non-resistance, allowing it to evaporate into the nothingness of its origin and intent. LOVE prevailed so that I could focus on relationships, situations and circumstances that were for my highest and best.

But alas, as I usher in 2018, a new word beckons my heart with oneword365.com.  It is DREAM.  As a young girl, I remember many of my dreams and aspirations become shattered by adults nursing their own fear, pain and regret.  They probably believed their words and actions were for my best.  Over the years, those thoughts rented space in my psyche and my dreams and desires became lost in the mundane race called life, my spirit beaten down yearly by misplaced expectations. The world and its people can be so cruel.

Today, however, I serve an eviction notice to the uninvited guests who have become comfortable and overstayed their welcome.  You are no longer welcome here! This is not personal, but necessary. It’s now time to move along.  I don’t care where you go, but be gone by midnight. There is only enough space to unpack my long-lost DREAMs; recycling not allowed. Besides, the locks have already been changed and anything left behind is being placed in the trash on the curb.  Sayonara.

Welcome #DREAM2018 #ONEWORD365

I Believed. Now For Love.

Believe.

That was my primary oneword365.com focus for 2016.  As I went to remove my 2016 wall calendar, I couldn’t help but smile when I read December’s message: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” A reminder that the journey is mostly mental.

The word “believe” served me well throughout the year. I learned to believe that I could trust myself again and I watched as incredible opportunities surfaced. Even when I wavered, deep inside, I understood that waiting, impatiently, was just a manifestation of not being able to control the Universe’s timing.  Like clockwork, an inanimate reminder of the word, on a pillow or wall plaque at Home Goods, or a quote on social media would draw my attention back. Believe. One word. A simple idea with boundless application.

But alas, it’s time is almost up.  A new year, a new beginning. I tuck the word away in my memory portal as the new arrival gently beckons for my attention. I curate a new word, just four letters, and I welcome its debut.

“Hello 2017; you look so inviting. This year will be all about ‘LOVE.’”