It is my pleasure to host an interview with fellow blogger Dawn Paoletta who writes at Beneath the Surface. She is an aspiring author, seeking to be published. Well, who isn't :) Please, take a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy as Dawn shares part of her writing journey ...
Please, introduce yourself… anything special we need to know about Dawn Paoletta?
Well, I love bottomless cups of coffee, long conversations, living like a local tourist, contemplating deep thoughts (silly ones, too) and quietness. I am married to my best friend Angelo, have one sweet girl, Katherine (11) as well as 2 cats,1 dog and a bunny! What you need to know is how amazingly aware I am that this life that I am living is a mist. I am on a mission to know, love and serve Jesus Christ every second with every breath He allows me to breathe. I fail daily and rely fully on His grace. The older I get the less I care about what others think and the more I see His beauty, grace and joy everywhere.
How and when did you start your blog?
I started this blog after I suffered a hip injury last Memorial Day weekend of 2011. I had been feeling strongly that I needed to share my writing for a while, but once I was unable to work, teach class, do nothing but sit, it was as if God whispered, "Now." I also had gone on a white water rafting trip with my daughter's Girl Scout group about two weeks prior to the injury and I had so many God insights about our river guide, I felt I would bust if I did not share! The whole trip felt like one amazing adventure of God saying, "See me here", "I'm like this", this is "how I am with you"...and I really felt for two weeks after as I burned with insights that God was pressing within me to share what He showed me...publically, but I was a bit clueless about how to go about it. I finally got the blog started and it was my second post: The River, The Journey and The Guide. I think it reflects my writing "voice" and style on the blog pretty accurately, although I have been told that my writing has developed and changed over the course of the year.
Have you taken any steps to become a published author?
Funny you should ask. One of those God affirmations came in the form of a wonderful local book coach, who has given me the gift of a manual and some input to start. I started a Fiction Murder Mystery, which is a tale of redemption, which I shelved. I feel God is leading me to write something closer to home. I have a title and some of the outline. It is about some of my more recent lessons in life. It is written with the same voice I bring to my blog. My goal is to use the manual Lisa Tener gave me back in March to as she says "bring my book to life"! I am hoping to have a first draft by the end of this year. God willing. OK, really, God is willing, I need to be more disciplined to see it through to completion.
What role does your faith in God play in your daily life?
I love the verse in Acts: In Him we live and move and have our being. That sums a lot of my daily life up. I want to be like that tree planted by the water, in Jeremiah 17: fearless, confident in Him. God used those verses to speak to me when I was a new Christian. I know what it is like to lean on the arm of flesh. I have learned much the hard way. Now I want to abide in Him and exalt His name, forever and encourage others to do likewise!
Can you give us a few good/fun reasons why we should visit Rhode Island?
Oh, Yes! Rhode Island may be the smallest state but there is so much beauty to be seen, here. We have the most beautiful coastline and lovely state parks as well. We have amazing diversity from rural farm areas and hiking to an amazingly active Capitol city which remains fairly easy to get around, visit and enjoy the sites. I am actually getting ready to do a series called The Local Tourist where I will regularly feature Rhode Island's sweet spots and unique places to visit!
What writing-related struggle have you overcome?
I think learning to be concise. Not rambling. Yet, if you know me that's how I talk. So I have to overcome myself when I write! That's where God helps me. But the issue I am trying to overcome right now is directing some of my writing time into the book I am writing. I believe I need to discipline myself, prioritize and focus on writing daily for this book. I look at the blog as my place to "workout" in writing. Like an athlete training for his specific sport or event. I am stretching and working my writing muscles at my blog space! I enjoy blogging so much...I feel like I was meant to do it. However, my heart's desire has always been to be a published author; I never even knew what a blog was until a couple of years ago.
Top three tips from you as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach.
1. Listen to your body & keep it simple (except when it says eat chips in front of the Telly!). Just because everyone else is doing the latest fitness trend does not make it right for your body, mind and lifestyle! Our bodies were made to move. It's not as hard as you think. Learn to enjoy bending, stretching and the way the body is designed to move, that is the beginning!
2. A little is better than nothing. The battle is in the mind but the victory will come when you act - the Just Do It campaign works. The feelings follow the action. Just move a little and see. Choice is a powerful thing. You can train yourself to like healthier foods and exercise regularly...one step at a time. Take the first step, then the next. Don't over think it. It's easier than we make it out to be!
3. Try new things! Balance is about rolling with what comes your way and remaining flexible, consistent. Our lives change and so do our preferences. The sport that worked when you were in college may not be the thing for you today. I think there are many ways to stay active and make healthier choices. If you have never been successful with a program, keep exploring options for movement. Don't quit seeking. Simply walk, or even try ballroom dancing. Be an exercise explorer. Never give up giving yourself grace to start again...just like in our walk with the Lord!
Any words of encouragement to us bloggers?
Well, I am still new but I have learned a lot. I think the best thing I can say is live your life like a local tourist. Everywhere you go and everything you see is a story, a lesson or a poem waiting to be expressed and shared. Every single moment presents an opportunity to learn, teach, and be stretched. I carry a journal everywhere I go- I think everyone should. I explore and experience everything as an inquisitive visitor to this world. Pretend you're on assignment from God to investigate and discover hidden gems in every place you go and every person you talk to. Expect miracles. He is everywhere!
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