Friday, July 16, 2010

Bring On The Happy

If you think July is hot, just wait until October…

This fall, Sourcebooks cranks up the heat. On October 1st, Sourcebooks will release its first erotic romance title and I’m so happy I could play air guitar! In public. I know, I know, you can’t take me anywhere.

The first in a series of five, my debut novel, Backstage Pass, features the lead guitarist of the rock band, Sinners. Romantic, sensual, and talented in many, many ways (sigh…. I envy his lucky heroine, Myrna), Brian Sinclair is hot enough to cause soaring temperatures all by himself, but he’s currently on tour with his four yummilicious band mates who add a sweltering mix of personalities and, erm, talents. *cough

Publication is obviously a huge milestone in any author's pursuit of happiness, but I find if I base my happiness on the big things, the huge accomplishments, I’m not happy very often. A new love, a graduation, a birth, a job promotion, selling a five book series (still squeeee-ing over that one!), winning the lottery (still waiting on that one)—these things don’t happen every day or even every year. So if a person focuses on only big events in their pursuit, the happy is going to be spread pretty thin.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard the key to happiness and contentment is: “don’t sweat the small stuff”. It’s sound advice, but dang it, if you tell me NOT to do something, it makes me want to do it even more. Yoohoo, look at me. I'm over here sweatin' the small stuff. Whatcha gonna do about it?

One philosophy states people are more likely to obey rules worded in a positive way, rather than a negative one. Yes, I actually paid attention in that educational psychology class in college.

An example of a negative rule: Don’t throw bricks at your sister.

Granted, it’s a good rule, but because it’s saying not to do something, it’s considered a “negative” rule.

Instead, try: Do not throw bricks at your sister or I’ll ground you until college, you little...

Wait, wait. That’s not what I meant. It’s still negative. sigh... But does state consequences.

Okay, I’ve got it. Here is an example of a positive rule: Throw bricks at your sister.

Dang it, that’s not right either. It’s positive, but not a good rule.

One more try. A positive rule: Only throw things at your sister that you want thrown back at you. (Here’s where you hope the kid doesn’t like to have bricks and knives thrown at him/her.)

Right about now you’re probably wondering what positive rules have to do with pursuing happiness. Here’s a suggestion. Instead of living life by a negative rule: “don’t sweat the small stuff”, why not try a positive one: “celebrate the small stuff”. Celebrate those little everyday things that brighten your day. Things like these:

A baby’s laugh. Or in this case, four of them. I cannot watch this little video without laughing. It’s a bad-day cure-all for me.

A dog’s tail wagging in greeting.

A favorite song on the radio.

That first sip of hot tea (or coffee) in the morning.

Hitting every green light on your way through town. That’s serious elation right there.

The fact that this guy exists somewhere. Have mercy.
Yes, he is the inspiration for my fifth hero, rhythm guitarist, Trey Mills, thanksforasking.

Chocolate. Enough said.

Blooming lilies. The way rain droplets cling to their silky petals and their mingling, sweet scents drift to the porch swing. I can sit there for hours, plotting my next novel, and listening to the windchimes. Well, until the mosquitoes descend.

Finding out the second cover in the Sinners on Tour series (to be released April 2011) is even hotter than the first.

Okay, I admit, that’s one of those big stuffs to celebrate and I can spread out the happy over a large chunk of time.

Some days you won’t have any big stuffs to celebrate, but if you try, I bet you can find dozens of small stuffs to bring on the happy.

What “small stuff” do you have to celebrate today? Which “big stuff” events brought you the most happiness?


  1. Great post, Olivia! Hmm, well, although it was a madhouse yesterday, I had fun handing out prizes for the kids who read 20 hours this summer! But most of all, I'm ecstatic about my new Heart of the Highland Wolf cover! Will post tomorrow on my regularly scheduled blog! Thanks for the smiles before work, Olivia!

  2. Love the post, Olivia~

    My favorite small things to celebrate is my youngest daughter's laugh. She's got this deep belly laugh, she's had since her first laugh. Every time I hear it, I'm happy.

  3. The big happy for me is the first time my son, who was sitting in my lap watching TV with me, turned around, and out of the blue, said..."I love you Mommy!"

    The small happy's for today, It's Friday...I got out of bed without the knees creaking too much...It's Friday! lol

  4. I think I'm with Jessica on this one. I woke up and I'm still breathing.

  5. Good morning!

    I can't wait to see your cover, Terry. Those are always big happy moments! And hooray for kids reading!

    Robin, that's a wonderful happy. She sounds absolutely precious.

    Jessica, awwwwwww. I got a little happy tear over that one. And Fridays RULE!

    Cheryl, breathing is a good thing. I take it for granted most days, but celebrate it in earnest after recovering from bronchitis.

    My happy this morning isn't what it usually is. I have to give up a day of my summer vacation for an all day committee meeting. But I'll be back later to celebrate when it's OVER!

  6. Hooray--Welcome to the Sourcebooks Fam, Olivia! And today, I think we should all celebrate that it's Friday :)

  7. Thanks for the fun post! A spicy line definitely sounds like a good time *wink wink* Can't wait! :)

    Congrats on your successes and best wishes for a ton more!

    LOL I'll be celebrating when school starts. Trying to entertain my two gremlins all day is very tiring. I'm always happy when they wake up and want hugs, but I'm also thrilled to shut the door for naptime! :)

  8. Sleeping in your own bed!

    No matter how awesome the trip, or great the accommodations there is nothing as great as my own huge pile-o-pillows and mattress. That and padding downstairs to have a delicious cup of coffee. I love my relatives, but they need better taste in java. *sigh

  9. Oh, yes! A baby laughing is the best cure for any ailment. And congrats on your October release. We'll be release sisters that month.

  10. Olivia, I like the message. The big triumphs don't happen that often, so we need fuel to get to that next way station. I'm thrilled about your books coming out and look forward to reading them out of the eyesight of my youngest (and maybe my oldest and my wife!).

  11. Olivia,

    I laughed all the way through your post. I assume your books have your good sense of humor in them. And oh what a cover and title they gave you!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations on the selling the series! Sounds as if it will be a huge, "rock" solid success!


  12. Today? Knowing you. Huge amounts of happy mixed with pride.

  13. Loved the post, my friend! I LOVED Backstage Pass!!!

    I'm a big believer in celebrating the small stuff and taking joy in them. And boy you have me pegged, that first sip of coffee, ahhh. always a celebration.

    Some little things...having my almost 16 year old say to a friend, my mom's great and she's really good with problems, why don't you talk to her about this? She'll help you. (I wish I got that on tape for later arguments, lol!)

    Watching my 2 1/2 month old little kitten tumbling head over heels chasing a butterfly from flower to flower this morning.

    Big things? Finding my Wombats writing group. Formulating a marketing/promotion platform and setting up a blog. It's doing great. Funny, 2 yrs ago, hardly anyone knew who Sia McKye was and now I even have local community people come up and say, oh I loved your blog today.

    Having a lot of great guests, many of y'all here have been on the blog, getting some really big names on, like today I have an interview with Janet Evanovich--who is doing very little in the way of blogs. What a coup!

    I can't wait to read Rock Hard!

  14. *fans self*

    Now, what's the question again? I was distracted by your inspiration man, Olivia. I'm not sure why. Maybe I should take another look at him. To determine why, of course.

    Much success with the series. I look forward to reading the books.

  15. OMG, this post definitely makes my list of small happy for the day! You made me snerk and chuckle, and that actually is not a small thing at all. Any time we get a little joy and laughter in our lives, this is a pretty BIG happy.

    Let's see, also: I live in a beautiful place, and I take walks every day, and every single day I see something that makes me smile.

    I have a hyperactive cat who is better for my mood than Prozac.

    The big stuff? The response my book has been getting. I really didn't expect it!

    Lisa (Brackmann)

  16. Hey does this mean I get to throw bricks at my sister?
    Seriously, I wouldn't do that. But thanks for the laugh. I'm so glad you joined us at Sourcebooks, and so glad I'm going to get to meet the Sinners. I have a feeling this series is going to be a big success!
    Small pleasure of the day: I let my little dog out. She was watching a squirrel so intently she ran into a fencepost, bounced off, and kept right on going, unhurt and unfazed. She makes me laugh every day.

  17. Danielle- Thanks for the welcome, I'm happy to be here! Fridays mean a lot more to me during the school year. :-) I lurve summer vacation.

    Hi, Sarah!*wink back atcha! Our kids bring us so much "happiness" that sometime we need a break. A long break. Enjoy naptime!

    VA- I hear you. I just don't sleep well in a bed that's not my own. I love to travel and see new places. If only there were a way to take my comfy bed with me. I don't think it will fit in a suitcase.

    Shana- Hooray! I can't wait until October. We can squeeee together, assuming you're of the squeee-ing type. If not, I'll squeeee for both of us.

    James- You made me spew. Here's a suggestion. For a good time, read the book aloud to your wife. *waggles brows

  18. Amelia- I do inject a lot of humor amongst the steamy stuff. The guys of Sinners are a riot. I'm glad I made you laugh. Some people just roll their eyes at me. :-)

    Sherylin- Now, that's not fair... making me tear up so soon after coming home from a coma-inducing all-day meeting. There's a reason you're in my acknowledgements, sweetie. Couldn't have done it without you.

    Sia- Thanks for all you do. You're a great champion for writers (yourself included). Your blog success is much deserved. Janet Evanovich?! Holy cow! And getting a teenaged boy to admit you know anything should earn you some sort of medal.

    Jill- LOL! I think I need to look at him some more, too.

    Lisa- The success you've had with your book makes me happy, too. It would make me even happier if I lived close enough to join you on a walk every now an then. Selfish of me, I know, but you're so lucky to live where you do!

    Joanne- Only if you want bricks thrown at you. :-) Dogs are fun! I have a minature dachshund that makes me laugh everyday. After we got her, I went to a website about different dog breeds and it listed all the good qualities of each breed. The only good quality it said dachshunds have is that they are "comical". She's really glad I like to laugh! She is hilarous.

  19. I can't wait to begin my collection of Olivia Cunning books. October seems a long way off.

    I too have a dog who brings me great pleasure. As for laughing out loud, lots of things do that. I love life and love what I see around me every day. And I smile when I see friends getting published.

    Great new design on the blog, Casablanca Authors. It looks great.

  20. Olivia, great blog! You made me laugh, giggle and ahem, get inspired a little myself with your fella. I can't wait for the first of your books to come out, I know October isn't that far off but it seems like forever! My small happies involve my granids, my cats, my yard and of course the ocean all with my DH. Life is wonderful, no matter what the news says. Thanks for sharing your small and large happies with us.


  21. Olivia,

    Great post. It sure makes me think about the little things that are good. One good thing - I really like the hunk pic. I could just sit here and drool over that bit of manburger for a while. Yummy.

    Looking forward to seeing Backstage Pass come out.

  22. Welcome Olivia! Your new book sounds intriguing! The baby laughing video is impossible to watch without laughing - how adorable! My small happy for the day - getting a pedicure - pretty toes!

  23. CONGRATS ON YOUR FIRST CASA BLOG POST!!! What a great post, and a wonderful reminder, and a lovely way to look at life! I going to celebrate the fact that birthday cake exists in this world. And perhaps buy one for no reason at all! Good luck with the series; can't wait to read them all!

  24. I have such great, supportive friends. There's a big happy for me this morning!

    readwriteandedt- October seems like a long way off to me too, but the time is flying by. You always have a wonderful outlook at life. I've seen you lift people from their darkest times with a few words of insight and encouragement. It's wonderful.

    aries18- I agree. Life is wonderful. Maybe one day the news will figure out how to report on the happy instead of all the doom and gloom. I'm glad you have so much happiness in your life.

    jc- I will join you in the manburger droolage. I think I'm getting dehydrated over here.

    Amanda- A bit of pampering is always good for bringing on the happy!

    Kat- Pass that birthday cake this way! I know you want to share your happy with me.

  25. I sure enjoyed your post, Olivia. Glad to hear SB is adding erotic romance.

    My small happy is similar to one of yours. At 7:15 pm on the bayou, the trees and water look like a picture postcard of green and blue mirrored reflection perfection. I just sit and stare at it every time the mosquitos let me.

    Favorite biggie - I got to sing for one awesome practice session with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I haven't touched the ground yet.

  26. My big happy us watching my writing worlds collide--sooo glad you're here at SB with me!!