I’m currently putting together preorders of signed copies of my sweet little collection of short love stories about couples in long-distance relationships! They are fictional short stories!! I’m soooooo excited about how it turned out and can’t wait to get one in your hands!!
When you preorder, you’ll receive these fun perks:
A signed copy of the artisan print edition of “Across The Distance: A Collection of Long-Distance Relationship Short Love Stories”
An ebook version (kindle, kobo, and Nook)
Also, your name will be in the Thank you section of the book as well!
If you live in the Fargo ND/Moorhead MN area then it’s $10. But if you live out of the area, I’ll have to ship it. (Shipping and packaging costs $5.) You can pay with Square Cash app, Paypal, or Venmo. To order your signed copy, send my office assistant a text message: 701.446.8762
When will I get my book?
Because of COVID-19 there is a delay in books being sent out. So I will be sure to update you as to when the books will arrive. I’ll send you the digital version earlier. 🙂
I’ve been so busy from November to about now. I still can’t believe it’s 2020.
If you are a part of my email newsletter, you probably know that we went on a cruise for Christmas with our whole family. My sister works on a cruise as a Wardrobe Supervisor for the Jersey Boys. So it was so nice to see her again.
Now that I mentioned my email newsletter up above, I want to let you know that if you aren’t signed up, you are totally missing out. As I send out a weekly newsletter filled with updates, fun tips and tricks, and great books to read as well.
The blog has been a little quiet lately because I’ve been writing books consistently. I absolutely love being a full-time author. It’s been my dream job for EVER. And now I’m finally doing it. Instead of updating my blog 1-2 times a week, I’ve been sending that weekly email. I feel it’s been more personal than the weekly blog post as well.
But don’t worry. I am planning to update the blog more in 2020. But right now the books are needing to be written first.
I released a few books in the end of 2019, which are:
My Missing Puzzle Piece – (It’s available on Amazon, Kobo, and Nook!) **SECRET – You get this short story for free, when you sign up for my newsletter!**
Across The Distance – A Collection of Long-Distance Relationship Love Stories – (It’s available on Amazon, Kobo, and Nook!) And this book is NOW available in print!!! YAY, right? Let me know if you’d like an autographed copy and you’ll be able to get that through me!
A Challenge To Write A Book In 14 Days
In the beginning of December, I decided to make a challenge for myself. I challenged myself to write a sweet romance Christmas story in time for Christmas.
Did I achieve it?
INDEED I DID!!!
I couldn’t believe it, because I’ve never met a writing goal quite like this before. I am so happy and pleased with this book. It was a book I NEVER planned on writing, but am I so happy that I did write it.
It’s the first Novella in the Dakota Prairie Rose Inn Books.
I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving!! I know we are!! Now that we all have food commas and are chilling with family, it makes me think of the impending event known as Black Friday and Cyber Week!
As an introvert, I love shopping from home. That’s actually the only kind of Black Friday and Cyber Week Shopping that I do.
That means sitting on the comfy couch in my yoga pants while snuggling a kitty and looking at online deals. Shopping from the comfort of home. Not any of that wake up early before the birds and stand in cold lines stuff for me.
So I wanted to tell you that all of my books are steeply discounted this week and weekend. I rarely do sales, so this is a wonderful time to grab books at huge discounts. As well as get the pre-order for a collection that’s coming out before Christmas!
If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know by now that Johan and I will be traveling to his parent’s place in South Africa at the beginning of February. Man, that’s soon isn’t it?
When I was planning for the upcoming month’s blog posts, I got to thinking about how the last BIG international trip I did was 4 years ago. Hard to believe it’s been so long! Right?
Before that I’d been flying to England and Australia on the regular.
The last international trip I did, was when I last went to South Africa. Johan and I met over there at the airport and then spent the whole month of December traveling and spending time with his family. And when we got to the end of December, that was the hardest goodbye we’d ever experienced. At least, this time we will be going and leaving together.
It’s such a gorgeous country. I’m excited to be going back! But also, we will be stopping over in London town! YAY! It’s been a loooong time since I’ve been there too and I miss it! So we will be spending a day in London before catching the next flight to Johannesburg.
Writing this blog post has pushed me to not procrastinate on the packing side of things – as I usually do it LATE. The night before the flight. NOPE, nope… nope. Not this year.
It’s super important to have a blog content strategy. You can do this by having a content scheduling meeting every month. It’s important to have these meetings if you are a solo-preneur or a small team or a bigger company, because your content is going to reflect your brand and blog to your readers or customers.
Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year?? I’ve been doing it for the last 8ish years and have loved it. This year I created a new account (because I couldn’t get into my other account) and am going to finish my upcoming novel about long-distance relationships for it.
I am so excited!! Are you up for joining me for this fun writing challenge this month?
My username is: DevinJoubert
Please add me! I can’t wait to get to know more about you and your writing.
We waste a lot of time on social media. Tell me… it isn’t true? Because I know I spend WAY too much time doing the wrong things on social media. I’m going to walk you through the best practices for writers on social media.
Stop Wasting Time & Make Use Of The Time You Are On Social Media
I recently found, I spend about half an hour scheduling content on each social media, because I like scheduling my content for social media out a ways. If you think of spending 30 minutes on each of your social medias (for me it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) so that’s four social networks.
The math says: 4 X 30 mins. That’s 2 hours or more depending on how much time you spend. Now imagine if you spend that much time on social media everyday!
Now if you add that up over a full week, including your weekend the math says that will end up being: 2hrs X 7 = 14 hours a week.
Can you imagine that? In a two week timespan that is almost 30 hours. 30 hours of time on social media!
That’s more than a day that you’ve wasted on social media. Do you really want to spend more than a whole day on social media? I know I don’t. Even though my job has to do with blogging and social media, I still don’t want to be stuck on social media more than I have to be.
If you’re anything like me I bet you’d love to get some tips cutting back on the time that you is being wasted on social media. I’ll also share some social media best practices so that the time that you do focus on social media is time well spent. I’m going to cover the best practices to keep in mind for while you are on social media. I’ll be doing another post for each of the different social networks with best practices and targeted tips for those social media platforms.
You can do this for your whole day actually. Start out by writing the hours of the days and you can also divide the day out in half hour increments. Track everything. Track your time spend getting ready in the morning, writing blog posts, chores, and the 10-30 minutes spent scrolling on social media as well.
It’s never fun to feel stuck when it comes to writing your newest blog post. It can also be hard to plan a month or year’s worth of content. When that happens it feels like an Olympic sport just to get out a sentence you actually like. After a little while it feels like that blinking cursor is tormenting you.
And then on top of that, throw in a fast-approaching deadline. It makes it even more difficult. In a way it might feel like writer’s block. But let me tell you something — I don’t really believe there is such thing as writer’s block. It’s more of a combination of bad blog planning and procrastination. At least it is for me. I’ve collected about 200 blog prompt ideas.
End The Curse Of The Blinking Cursor – How To Come Up With A Year Of Creative Blog Post Ideas
So, instead of being tormented by that blinking cursor, I thought I’d share some of my best tips for coming up with great blog content that your readers are going to love.
Remember if the blog writing muse pulls you in another direction, remember these are just blog ideas. Follow your audience and make sure it’s something they’d enjoy. Don’t just write about something because it’s on this list. Make sure it fits your blog and audience.
First Off, How Often Are You Going To Publish Blog Posts?
Before you figure out your your blog ideas, it’s important to decide how often you’ll be publishing content on your blog.
Once you decide if you are going to publish once a week, twice a week, or twice a month it’d be good to find a day where you can sit down and bulk write the blog posts. You’ll also know how many posts you’ll need to write a week or per month.
And if you are starting out, or restarting a blog you want to keep consistently it’s good to figure out a schedule where you can write a lot of content over a short period.
Starting out, I chose to write two days in a row, for a couple hours each day. This helped me get a lot of writing out.
Some of you might know our story. And others might not. Our story isn’t like many others. You see, I met my husband while studying abroad on a gorgeous land filled with the most beautiful turquoise beaches, soft sand, kangaroos, large spiders, and a red desert in the middle of the country. It was at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
It all started out as a friendship. But when I reconnected with him at church, I knew he was a catch. But I am an old-school kind of girl and wouldn’t be the type to ask someone out or walk up and talk to someone because I thought they were cute. (haha…) So I figured I’d wait. While at church that day I saw an ad for the church hip-hop worship team. I’d always been interested in dance and was involved in it back home. So I asked my friend about it and she said, “Oh, Johan is involved in that. You should ask him about it for more information.” Now I had a reason to talk to him.
I went up and talked to him with my friend. He told me the date and place when it takes place. He also said, while giving me his phone number, “If you can’t find a ride, let me know and I can pick you up.”
And so what did I do? What any respectful girl who wants to get to know a cute boy, would do. I didn’t ask anyone else. Then I reached out to him and asked if I could get a ride with him! Yep, that’s what I did.
The Un-dates & A Paramore Concert
After a few months of un-dates (we called them that because it totally was dating, but we were unaware of it at that stage, I think.) like dancing on the beach, writing “love” letters back and forth, painting on the beach, hand holding, Hillsong church, and a Paramore concert.
Then on the day after the Paramore concert, we got pizza and went to Dulong Lookout to have a picnic at night. I still remember how the lights from the Sunshine Coast area below matched the twinkling of the stars above. We talked about our dreams and everything we enjoyed while eating. Then the defining moment came.
We lay on a blanket staring up at the stars. Johan grabbed my hand. There was a quiet moment between us as a question lingered in the calm and cool air.
“What are we?” Johan asked me.
“Uhhh, I don’t know.” I said, while kind of wondering the same thing.
“Wait, no, how about I ask this, will you be my girlfriend?”
I smiled and responded, “Yes.”
And from that moment on, we were inseparable. We’d spent a ton of time at the beach and hanging out with friends at coffee shops in Mooloolaba. Making sure that we spent as much time together as possible before I had to go home. We knew what we were getting ourselves into with the long-distance relationship ahead of us, but yet who completely knows what to expect with a long-distance relationship especially if you’ve never been in one?
The Long-Distance Years
January of 2011, I had to go back home to finish my last semester of college. I remember it all like it was yesterday. That “summer” for the Sunshine Coast was a really wet and rainy one. When Johan drove me to the airport, we barely made it to the airport, because it was raining so heavily. I got back to cold snow. So funny, how one day you can be sitting on a beach sunburning and the other you can be sitting in a hot tub with your hair freezing.
Goodbyes are never something that a person looks forward too, especially someone in a long-distance relationship. Because sometimes you don’t know when you’ll see each other again. This one was a big one, because it was the first time we would say goodbye to each other at the airport.
I still remember us hugging each other. I was shaking inside as tears fell. We kissed each other and then Johan said “The sooner you leave, the sooner we will see each other again.” It was a saying in his family. One I’ve heard plenty since that first goodbye.
Once I got to my seat on the place, I found an envelope in my bag from Johan. Inside was a love letter and pictures. I started crying. People were probably wondering what was wrong. But I tried hiding it, with my pillow in front of my face. How could one handle this kind of pain. My heart hurt so badly. I was about to fly away from the man I loved.
Not sure when we’d see each other again.
Not sure, how it all would play out.
Not sure how long this whole long-distance thing would continue.
Not sure how long until we’d finally be together.
Many thoughts, worries, and questions spun through my mind. But I knew how much I loved him. I was prepared to go the distance for him. And in the long run, we made it work. 🙂
After College & Expat Living
When I graduated college, I got a work and travel visa in Australia and went to live there for a year. It was a great time that I got to spend a lot of time with Johan and I also got to know his parents better.
I got a flat in Brisbane, Australia and worked part-time as a secretary for a therapist. Which was quite interesting. I got used to traveling around by bus and train. And we also made a fun trip up to the Blue Mountains near Sydney with our friends, and my sister.
She came to visit us for a few weeks. It was fun having her there. When it came time for her to go home, it was really sad to say goodbye.
Like I said, goodbyes are hard. Airports used to be a place where I could go magical new places, but they had since turned into a place that I’d always have to say goodbye to people I love. So anytime I ended up at an airport, my stomach would fill with butterflies or nervousness. I swear the butterflies had little knives.
After that lovely year in the sun with Johan, I had to go home again.
Skype, Letters, & Visits
Throughout the 5.5 years, we Skyped a lot, but I’d have to say that what really helped was when we both got iPhones. iMessage and FaceTime really helped the distance not feel so far. The time zone on the other end made it feel really hard sometimes. It was 16hours time difference between Johan and I, with him in Brisbane, Australia and me being in Minnesota and North Dakota. There was a time that I was a little closer, when I moved to Las Vegas to work as an editor at a children’s magazine.
Throughout the 5.5 years we probably saw each other in person 9 times in total. NINE TIMES, you guys! Over a 5.5 year span.
The Proposal & South Africa & What Happens In Vegas
In 2014, we got engaged. But I had no idea it was about to happen. Johan worked with my family to plan the whole thing. He came for a surprise visit.
For more on our proposal story, you can read that here. It was really romantic. He was only here for a short while to propose, but it was well planned.
Then we decided to go to South Africa for Christmas in 2015. We were there for the whole month of December. It was a wonderful time to meet Johan’s sister and grandparents as well.
Then after South Africa, is when I moved to Las Vegas. It was a fun adventure. I had an especially fun time when Johan came to visit me there. We took off on adventures every weekend and had some funny stories and memories.
But 6 months later, a job offer pulled me back to the midwest. I enjoyed the temperature in the midwest a bit better.
It was in Vegas where we started our immigration packet as well as started planning for our wedding. I still remember our Skype sessions of going through the paperwork. It was a long and tedious job. Phew.
Happily Ever After
Johan finally arrived back in the States for good on March 31st, 2016. We were so happy to FINALLY. YES. FINALLY be together.
Do you know anyone in a long-distance relationship? Or that was in a long-distance relationship, but is now together?