Monday, April 10, 2017

MORE THAN ONE

As an author, we never want to be compared to someone else. We try to create our own identity and our own voice. 

But let's face it; every story has been written more than once. Sure we might have a different spin on it but its basically the same story we have read before.

How many times do you think they can remake Cinderella? Well if you go to the movies; at least 7 times, starting in 1950. Why does that happen? Because we love the story and we love to watch adaptations.

The same can be true with King Kong. We first saw him in 1933. On average a gorilla will live to be about 40 years old; but King Kong...well he is still going strong at 84. Still making movies; with his next one in theaters now.

Just like with Tiny Home builders. Not two are alike. 

I started looking at tiny homes about two years ago. There were not many out there. Now; you can't look at Pinterest or YouTube without seeing dozens of builders. Some have 50 houses and some have one. Some are made really cheaply and some are luxurious. 

Whenever you make the decision to write, go to the movies or even build a house; know that there are more than one option available.

Do your research. Make sure you know what you are getting or watching. Don't go to the new Kong movie and expect to see the same type of Kong movie from 2005 or even 1933.

I had to pull back on my tiny house love and look for companies that were reputable and also had more than one house under their built. Imagine my surprise when the one tiny house company hadn't actually made the house for a customer; but more for themselves and were 'hoping' that customers would come knocking. 

Why am I telling you all of this? 

Remember this, being an author is more than just writing. It's also about doing your research. It's about you making the best 'version' of your story as possible and it's also about telling it in a slightly different way.

Monday, April 3, 2017

BLACK, WHITE, CONFUSION...WHAT IS IT?

A lot of people discuss the benefits of going tiny or living a minimalist lifestyle. I have now joined in on that conversation.

In addition to being excited about it; I have also learned a few things along the way.

One of the things I have learned is that I am much more tolerating of different lifestyles. I no longer care what the 'crowd' is doing.

I also learned that no matter what you do and who you try and please; not everyone will agree with you.

You can only please one person at a time and why shouldn't that person be you.

Living in a tiny house is not going to be for everyone and while telling people who asked about it my goals, I have found that not every one agrees.

When I have spoken to people about going tiny I get two reactions.

The first one: congratulations and you must be so excited. If you have any questions let me know.  Check out this website and you should check out the tiny house movement online (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube)

The other is: Are you sure you want to go tiny? I don't think you can go tiny, I couldn't do it. Are you crazy? Why?

The thing that bothers me the most is this one thing.

The ones that seem supportive are mostly Caucasian people and the non supporters are my African American associates.

There are communities of tiny homes popping up all over the United States and very few of them are inhabited by black people. I have met exactly one other person who has built a tiny house. She is an African American woman and she and I had a long conversation.

She said she came up against the same thing. Her African American circle weren't very supportive. Although some of them were; the majority of the people who were supportive were the people who were not in her circle. Or they were her Caucasian friends.

It's not that our black friends don't understand but it's harder to convince them that as a black woman I haven't lost control of my mind. I have done research and the common thread is that the tiny house community can be a little clique'ish. Not because they want to but people going tiny aren't that many. They form circles and stay within those circles. They form their community and they help each other. Because there are not many black people building, buying or wanting tiny homes; we have found ourselves on the outside. Hopefully that will change with more and more 'us' buying, building and living in tiny homes. The +TinyHouseTrailblazers is one such group that is trying to do this. Check out their website.

I know that it doesn't come down to black or white but it comes down to understanding vs having questions. Sometimes questions can sound like non support but most times if you explain why you want to do something; most people will begin to see your point of view.

If they don't remember. You can only please one person at a time and it might as well be you.

Monday, March 27, 2017

WHY AM I GOING TINY?

I have gotten this question a lot of times and I give a very short answer.

Today; I am going to give you the longer answer. 

The reason I am going tiny is because my needs in life have changed. I have reached my milestone age. I turned 50 in 2016 and started rethinking my life. 

A health issue reared it's ugly head and I had to re-think a lot of things that I took for granted. 

I stepped down from an amazing job for Intrigue Publishing because my health needed all of my attention.

Lucky for me; I had two men in my life that took excellent care of me and gave me the courage to take life by the horns and fight it until I won.

I had been researching tiny houses since 2015 when I stumbled across the show Tiny House Big Living.

I was like a child wanting for Santa. Every week, I altered my schedule to make sure that I was home to see the entire episode. 

This new 'movement' as it was called, caught my attention.

If you have seen my small 'reading room' you all know that I like small spaces. That space is no bigger than 3x4 sq feet. I love this room and stay in it most of the time. 

The size of my home will be 8 x 24. This model is owned by Regina in Florida. This will be similar to the one I get. 

Regina's 24 foot tiny home
My other reason for going tiny? Financial gain. I have paid cash for a small plot of land. I will pay cash for my tiny house. I will not have a mortgage. I will pay for my land taxes once a year. I will not pay for water because I have well water. The only 'utility' I will have is electric and now I am thinking of trying to use solar power. 

Another reason for going tiny is that I can travel with it. Did I mention that the tiny house will have wheels? YES! Do you feel that excitement? All I need is a truck to haul it. Wait; no I don't. All I need is a +U-Haul  that will tow something that is 12,000 lbs. 

So my reason for going tiny is simple. I want to enjoy life. I want to be able to take a trip whenever I want to. I want to live stress free and going tiny makes perfect sense, for me.

Could you go tiny? Leave a comment and let me know.






Wednesday, March 22, 2017

INSOMNIA DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BAD

I have been suffering with a really bad case of insomnia. 

I now celebrate anniversaries with it. This year will make year 3 that we have been together.

It's not something that I could have wished and would never wish this on anyone. 

Watching the world change from light to dark to light again; on an almost daily basis is not something that you should do more than once or twice a month. I do it almost 4 or 5 times a week.

I have learned to adapt. Which is not good.

My sleep therapist says, I "have trained my brain not to turn off and thus the awake periods are getting more and more advanced."

He suggested I buy a +Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Sleep Wristband  to track my sleeping and restful periods.

Well, let me tell you; this has been interesting. 

I have gone from 4 hours of sleep a night to less than 2. I have at least 419 (on average) minutes of restless sleep. Which means I have slept less than three minutes at a time during an average 6 hour  night. It also tracks how many times I have 'awake" moments. That number is well over 600 minutes. In an average day; there are 1,440 minutes in a day. I'm horrible with math but you get the picture.

I am using my awake moments for good, so don't you worry.

I am writing more. It seems like I do my best writing when I'm dead tired. Imagine that!

I am working on a new novel; sparked by a conversation on Facebook between me and my friends. 

What happens when two women suffer with insomnia? When the sun comes up, what was done in the dark will come to light.  I have a title picked out already and now it's time to see what kind of trouble Britney and Nina get into.

So I"m using this to my advantage. I am also taking a travel class. Why? Just because I want to and let's face it. There is not a whole lot to do at 2 A.M. besides troll the internet or watch TV and most of the shows on at that time are telling me how to lose my cellulite, buy real estate or cook a chicken in less than an hour in the new gadget of the week. 

I am also planning my tiny house and although I can't wait to move into it; I also like the process of planning it. 

Did I mention that I have become compulsive as well? Well that is for the next blog. Stay tuned....

Monday, March 20, 2017

GOING TINY....WANT TO SEE?

This weekend, I went back down to +Incredible Tiny Homes  and got to talk to some of the participants in the Build Your Own workshop.

If you aren't familiar with what this is; this is when you get to have a hand in building your tiny home. Actually you are building your tiny home with the help of build buddies. (Your friends that have come with you to help you)

Take a look at the video and see for yourself how you can build your own tiny home for almost 1/2 the cost of having one built for you.

Incredible Tiny Homes is owned by Randy Jones. Sit down, grab a drink and enjoy this Video Tour 

Tell me what you think by leaving a comment. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

WHAT'S ON MY MIND

If you haven't been able to tell; +TinyHouse has been on my mind.

I'm in the process of building one. Yep; that's right (where have you been)

This week, March 18 to be exact. I will sit down with Randy Jones from +Incredible Tiny Homes  and design my tiny. (I will be on Facebook Live and on Instagram all weekend. Make sure you follow me. Follow me by clicking this link

What you also need to do is click here---> SUBSCRIBE HERE They are giving away a FREE 20 foot tiny house! All you have to do is follow him on YouTube. (How easy is that)

I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I am getting a tiny house. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be able to live in something less than 300 square feet. My dream home, that I imagined I needed was always in the range of 2,00-3,500 square feet. It included a basement, a theater room, a library and a sitting room.

Well, walking inside of a model tiny home changed my mind. Well; that and my life priorities changed as well.

Even my children don't think I can live in a tiny but I'm trying to convince them to get one for themselves. It may be a little hard since they have children under the age of 10 but maybe when they get older.

So; my journey continues and I have made fast friends with Regina. Who also built her tiny house and if now living in hers. She lives in Florida and is loving her new way of life.

What makes me and Regina so different than most tiny home builders...well we are Black women. Not to say that there aren't others but in terms of tiny home ownership; black people aren't the norm.

Why is that? I am not sure but if you google tiny home owners; most live in California,Ohio, Utah or somewhere in the mid west. Well Regina lives in Florida and I will be in Maryland.

We are taking our tiny home ownership to the next level.

Of course, I'll still be a diva. I"ll still be writing and yes, I'll still have my stilettos (yes, there will be plenty of built in storage for all of my babies).

This is just one of the reasons going tiny for me is the best option. I can save money AND still buy my shoes.

It's a win-win for me.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

WRITING IN TINY SPACES

Many of you ask, how am I going to write in such a small space?

The answer is simple. I'll use every inch of space available to do so. Writing is not a huge deal to me. I can write anywhere and going tiny is going to allow me to do that.

Writing my next novel is going to be much more enjoyable because it will in a space that was created totally  by me.

Sure, I created work space and office space but this is something that I am creating from start to finish. From the first nail to the last screw. I will be in control of how this tiny house looks and functions.

Tiny house building companies allow you to customize your space. They encourage you to create spaces that work for you. 

What better way to do that than to create a space where I will be writing full time? I can't think of another reason to sit in an office at a desk with no windows. 

Building my own tiny house will allow me to use all of my surroundings to write. Imagine being able to wake up; go into your living room and sit at a space that is creatively pleasing to your senses.

Going tiny has it advantages as well. 

I won't have the distractions of a wondering around trying to find something to do. Being in a tiny house; you have about 250-300 sq. feet of space to 'wander' around in.

Even the bathroom will be tiny. So I can't take a Sunday paper into the bathroom with me; it will be more like a Tuesday version. 

In my next blog; I'm going to share some photos of the tiny homes that my 'tiny' will look like. I hope that you continue on this journey with me.