You guys are going to make me blush! #SupportIndieAuthors!

Lately I’ve been having people tell me I’m inspirational. This is funny to me, because I feel like I’m not that inspirational. I struggle with the same daily issues everyone else does. I wake up in pain, agony, and wondering what I did to deserve it. Then I smile, and remind myself it could always be worse. I don’t consider it inspirational most mornings. And I didn’t used to wake up automatically happy. It took a lot of work and cultivation of thought.

Something as easy as a smile can make people feel good, so why wouldn’t I smile more? Telling someone they did a good job on a project they’ve been working on costs me nothing, but I gain the beauty of their joy plastered across their face, only because I took the time to tell them that thing they know is beautiful really is beautiful. And when I was raised, I was taught to thank people that help you. Even if it’s big, small, or if they do it with indifference. People still appreciate knowing their efforts were appreciated.

I’ve learned that Happiness is a state of mind. Even on days when I wake up, the feeling of an ice pick buried in my back, I know that how I choose to accept the day will shape my view. If I choose to say, “Oh god, my back hurts, and it’s the worst thing ever!” I find myself huddling in on myself, and complaining about the pain. But when I wake up and go, “My back hurts, but that’s okay because it’s only telling me I’m alive!” I find the rest of the day seems to pass by with greater ease. Not always, but often enough to make it easy to cultivate the happy thoughts.

The situation is the same, the only thing that’s changed is my view. I’ve chosen to take the high path, and look at the positive.

Not ignore the negative, in true balance there’s negative as well as positive. Bad things happen in life, and denying them won’t make them stop. But I can choose how I react to that bad thing. I had a car, that while not perfect, was run into the ground by a friend. For the longest time, I was angry and upset, felt like I had been used. I wanted to rip that person up one side, and down the other. Let them know how I felt about my dead car. And I did, at first.

But as time went on, I saw that it wasn’t serving me. My anger was doing nothing but clouding my judgment and making my own life more difficult. So, I instead resolved not to let that person use my car again, and moved on from that issue.

Now this same friend is experiencing their own issues, and struggling to deal with them. I still offer a helping hand when I can, even though this is someone who is so self absorbed they probably don’t even realize I’m still not happy with them. But I’m happy I let go of the anger in my heart.

And I can’t describe the joy I feel knowing that. I haven’t let them affect me, as I used to. This is leading to my happiness. I’m a guy who usually has a ready smile, and is willing to share it with the world. I always considered that to be enough to earn me the lofty status of “Happy”.

But now I see the truth, happiness is there even when you’re sad and frowning, or angry and storming. It’s there to pick up the pieces of you scattered across the lands when a particularly heartbreaking event happens.

Happiness is a state of mind. It just is.

#Supportindieauthors, A fairy tale edition!

My name is Sophia, I am 24. I was born in a tiny unfashionable town, and moved to another country in my early teen years. I’ve married my first boyfriend (who apparently was born in a neighboring city, and also emigrated with his parents – funny how our paths intertwined). We have a cute daughter and dream of living in several countries during our lifetime. It took me many years to admit aloud that Art is my destiny (although I wrote and illustrated my first book at the age of 7) and the world where I fully belong. I have tried to study something else (mostly trying to please my parents and friends) – Electronics, Geology, – but I ended up weaving rings and pendants using electric wires, chips, and gemstones… And writing short stories about AI and different planets.
Every day I do not create anything at all – not even a sketch of a future illustration, do not write a single paragraph of my book – is a day wasted.

“An enchanting little tale. Unique blend of funnies, sarcasm, fantasy and serious philosophy.” – my husband (in fact, he was my first reader before we even became friends, so he’s unbiased)

1. What do you do to keep your spirits up through a bad review?
Well… I try to turn it all into Math. 1 bad review out of how many? And how many people haven’t read my book yet? I’m sure with 8 000 000 000 people on Earth, I am bound to find someone who will share my ideas and a sense of humor, or even lived through the same situations as my character?.. Of course, I can never expect to please everyone, and I’m learning to cope with that fact.

2. What has been your greatest inspiration for writing your story?
Actually, all of Evelyn’s real-life experiences were based upon real events. At high-school I wanted to be considered a misanthrope, but still kept falling in love with guys. Later I realized, I wasn’t a misanthrope – I was against many parasitic things Humanity does to a planet and each other, I hated wars and many ways to pressure the simple folk to part with their hard-earned money. I guess, Evelyn has experienced the same evolution. Actually, I wrote this book when I was about 16, but I’ve published it just now. People are asking me, is Evelyn = Me. She’s a lot like me, but more of a caricature than a frank memoir.
3. Are there any people you feel need a shout out for supporting you?
Apart from my extremely supporting husband (I would probably end up a cashier if not for him), and my mom (who took me to serious courses of drawing, painting, writing, sculpting and beading since I was 6)… I’ve once met a perfect stranger when I worked part-time at a library back in high-school. I felt extremely lonely because none of my friends listened to classical music and movie soundtracks and read books, or wanted to discuss the philosophy and morale behind the classical sci-fi, when I met a customer, much older than me, who just talked to me – we discussed my favorite topics – he loved Chaikowsky and Dostoyevsky, and Douglas Adams and Ray Bradbury… And then he said “Screw your class-mates – go, become whatever the hell you want”.

4. Has self-publishing taught you any lessons that you feel will help you in life?
Although it might sound less serious or prestigious, but I am glad that I didn’t have to prove to anyone that my book is worth publishing – I don’t want any vain individuals standing between me and my readers, deciding for them what they would like to read – I want only my readers to be the judges of my books! Same with the rest of my Arts, actually…

and last, What’s your favorite color?
Yellow-green and olive-green. If you need a scale – my wedding dress was olive-green with gold. BTW, its design was based on my illustration of Evelyn’s dress.