Success as an Author

file000953835377Many new writers and authors often wonder what it takes to be considered a successful author. How many books do they need to sell before they are considered successful? How much money do they need to make in royalties before they can say they’ve really made it? How is success measured?

In our society, and for many of us, success is often defined as money, fame, and power. But I think we do ourselves a big disservice when we define it that way, or base it on specific numbers reached, whether it’s book sales or income.

What about an author who has only published a few books, but they are well-written, filled with heart, humor, and gut-wrenching honesty? What about a new author’s book that opens up unique and fascinating worlds to explore? Or an author’s story that shares the overcoming of a huge difficulty in life that can inspire and help others? Or a new author’s book that touches the lives of others in powerful and profound ways? Would you say they are not successful?

file000739253401I used to think of success in terms of a huge number of books sold, a steady income from royalties, and being on the best-seller list. However, those goals may be fleeting, arbitrary, unrealistic, and self-defeating – using those as criteria for success can discourage or undermine talented writers, stop them from doing their best, or cause them to give up too soon. You can be successful without reaching those typically out-of-reach goals for most writers – so don’t sell yourself short. And don’t give up. 

To me, success is measured in the fulfillment of publishing the ideas and stories within me. It is in producing well-written and memorable books, stories, and articles that I can be proud of. It is in touching the lives of others through my words. It is putting my creative thoughts and imagination into a cohesive and powerful story, and getting that on paper in a way that is touching, heart-felt, and powerful.

Success is not a destination – success is a living, breathing, shifting journey of discovery and creativity that you can choose to be part of.

IMG_3143If you have done your best with as much integrity as possible, are proud of your work, and are happy with who you are and where you are, then you are successful. That is the success we should strive for.  And that is in your hands, within your grasp.

Success is the expression of and explosion of creativity, heart, and imagination, all coming together in powerful and moving stories. It is exciting and fulfilling and continues to unfold in new ways and in glorious wonder.

Number of books sold? That doesn’t even come close.

Go for real success – the fulfillment of a dream. And that is something all of us can do.

Copyright © 2018 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.


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Advice for New and Aspiring Authors

Advice for New and Aspiring Authors

file000739253401[1]I can easily remember what it was like before I published my first book. It was not that long ago, and I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t think I was capable of writing or publishing a book. If someone had told me back then that I would have twelve books published by this time, I would have told them they were crazy.

And now, looking back over the past few years, after writing and publishing twelve books, I realize that I have learned quite a lot along the way. Of course, I am still learning, and I hope that I will always learn more and improve. But now feels like the right time to reach out and help other new and aspiring authors.

When we are beginning our journey as writers, we tend to have so many of the same questions, confusion, fears, and doubts. I would like to help make things a little easier and share with you some of what I have learned.

So here are seven of the best ideas I have found to help new and aspiring authors.

1. Read a lot

Reading is important. Reading helps develop your writing skills as you learn what you like and don’t like about how things are written. Reading helps you learn how to phrase things, present situations, and describe action or settings. It helps you learn how to introduce characters and how to write realistic dialogue. It helps you improve your writing in so many ways – I learn every time I read. The more you read, the better you learn to write.

file000224555511[1]2. Write a lot

Write as much as you can. As you write, you improve your skills. Each book, blog, article, or journal entry you write helps and improves your writing. I look back at my earlier writing, and I can see how far I’ve come – my writing is now more clear, concise, and powerful. So keep writing – the more you write, the better you get.

3. Be you, find your own voice

Don’t compare yourself to others or try to imitate someone else’s style. Find your own voice, your own passion, and your own style. Discover the things you want to write about. Don’t try to be anyone else – it doesn’t work anyway, and it comes across as forced. Be you. There will never be another person just like you, so be proud of who you are and develop your own unique style.

4. GetDSCN0101[1] rid of self-doubts and self-criticism

Know that everyone has self-doubts and is self-critical. It is human nature. It is especially prevalent in creative types – writers, authors, artists, and musicians. We put our heart and soul into what we do. We feel vulnerable and exposed. We worry about whether or not we’re good enough or if people will like what we do. But those thoughts can undermine you and your creativity. Don’t allow any of that to get in your way or stop you. Write despite your insecurities – if we let insecurities stop us, nothing would ever get written. Write for you, not for anyone else, and trust that you will keep getting better as you go. If you love to write and feel passionate about writing, then do it. Set aside all judgment, worry, and criticism. Write as much as you can – and allow yourself to grow and blossom.

5. The first draft is always crap

As Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Everyone’s first draft is always crap, and that’s okay. Expect it, it’s part of the territory, and don’t worry about it. Write your story down as it is, as though no one will ever see it. Write your heart out, and get it all down on paper. You can always edit it later and improve what you’ve written. So don’t worry about the first draft – it’s simply the first step and puts you on your way to creating an amazing finished manuscript.

file0001415572707[1]6. Always back up your work

Too many people have learned this the hard way – always back up your work. Use a backup drive, an internet storage site such as drop-box, another file, a second computer, the cloud, etc. It doesn’t matter what you use, just make sure you back up your work somewhere. It is too easy to accidentally delete something, lose a file, have your computer crash, have a file become corrupted, etc. Don’t risk losing what you’ve spent so many hours creating. And don’t wait until it’s too late – be smart and always back up your work.

7. Get professional editing

After you have finished your manuscript, read it through multiple times to make it as clean and error-free as possible. Then always use the services of a professional editor so that your work will be professional quality and the best it can possibly be. A professional editor helps with more than simply finding typos. They help with grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, word usage, consistency, repetitions, proper and consistent tense, plot development, subplots that don’t belong or that slow down the story, characters, appropriate POV (point of view), tension build-up, anything that doesn’t move the story forward, story structure, plot holes, pacing, plus many other things.

I was a professional proofreader for many years, and I studied editing. When I look over my own work, I carefully and slowly read word-for-word, and I still miss things. It is difficult to catch your own errors, as you tend to skim your own story since you know it so well. Your mind automatically fills in and corrects any errors or missing words. So it really helps to have another pair of eyes on your work. You don’t want to turn off readers with errors throughout your story, or have prospective readers not buy your book because of errors in the sample they see. A professional editor helps your work be the best it can be, and that is important. If you want a well-written, professional story that will have readers wanting to read more of your work, always have your work professionally edited.

Congratulations – I applaud you for being a writer!

white-pen[1]Writing is a creative process where our hearts and imagination merge and pour out onto paper, and it is a thrilling and rewarding journey.

It gives me great pleasure to share these seven tips with you, and I hope these help you on your way to becoming an outstanding and successful author.

The path is not always easy, but always do your best, and never stop learning and improving. One day I hope to see your books on the best-seller list.

And no matter how far you go as a writer, enjoy the entire journey and be proud of who you are and what you accomplish.



Please check out my website here.


Books by Lynn Miclea:


Ruthie: A Family’s Struggle with ALS

Mending a Heart: A Journey Through Open-Heart Surgery


Children’s Books

Penny Gains Confidence

Sammy and the Fire

Sammy Visits a Hospital

Sammy Meets Grandma

Sammy Goes to the Dog Park

Sammy Falls in Love

Sammy and the Earthquake

Sammy Goes On Vacation

Wish Fish: Book 1 – Discovering the Secret

Wish Fish: Book 2 – Endless Possibilities


Copyright © 2018 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.




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You Are Important!

If you have been waiting for a sign – this is it. You are important. Each of us is important and each of us makes a difference in this world.

So many of us struggle with low self-esteem, with not feeling good enough, w1016ith feeling unworthy. We compare ourselves to others and think that we fall short.

Whether it’s a talent, skill, job, income level, our body, or anything else, we tend to judge ourselves harshly.

What we need to do is stop judging. Stop comparing. We are not supposed to be another Einstein, or another Mozart, or another Rembrandt, or another famous super-star. We are not supposed to be anyone else.

We are supposed to be ourselves.  And we need to be ourselves.

You are here for an important function, a purpose. You are here for a reason – and it is something that suits you, that fits you. You are a puzzle piece for something special in this world.

IMG_1087[1]There is a special niche that only you can fill.

And you fulfill that by fully being who you are and sharing that with the world. Know who you are your strengths, skills, talents, sensitivities, and special abilities.

It doesn’t have to be grandiose or world renown or earth-shaking. But it is still vital and important. You are vital and important.

Live and speak your truth. No one else has your experience, knowledge, and perspective. Honor your inner being. Be true to who you are. Don’t try to be anyone else. Be you. There is no one else exactly like you, and that’s how it is supposed to be. Being you brings something to this world that wasn’t here before.

DSCN9606[1]Whether it’s music, art, writing, research, science, healing, kindness, humor, helping others, being a parent – whatever it is, do that, and love that about yourself.

It is not about being the best anything except the best you.

I will never be the greatest pianist, but I play the piano to the best of my ability and bring music to various senior and memory-care facilities. I give as much as I can where I am.

I am not the greatest writer, but I still put my heart and soul into what I write and what I publish. I do the best I can with what I have and where I am.

Make a difference right where you are with exactly who you are. It matters. You are so very special and important.

If you are here, you are needed in this world. Don’t compare yourself to others or put DSCN0758[1]yourself down. Just be you. Fully. Embrace who you are and love yourself.

Everything you do affects everything around you. And what you do is important. You are important.

Celebrate who you are. Don’t hold back or let fears or doubts or anything stop you.

The best thing you can do is to be yourself. Know yourself, and do your best. Be fully who you are.

And remember that there is no one else like you you are very special and very important.

So find that niche that only you can fill. Be who you are. Celebrate you. Because you are needed here. You are important.


Copyright © 2018 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

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Empower Yourself

I recefile3021341154406[1]ntly was interviewed on internet radio about my writing (to hear the interview, please click here). What an honor it was exciting and thrilling. However, I was a bit nervous about answering questions on the spot, and I think I am more comfortable and better at writing my answers.

Thankfully the interview went really well (and the interviewer was excellent, kind, and easy to talk to). However, there were a few questions that I wish I had answered differently.

And that’s okay we do the best we can. But afterwards, all I could think about were the few answers I wished I could change. 98% of the interview was great, but those one or two less-than-perfect answers dominated my thoughts and filled me with anxiety. 

However, since then, I have turned it around. I thought about what I could have said and how I might have answered those questions differently. I learned from it. I practiced new ways of answering those questions, and I am keeping those as notes for next time.

SONY DSCNow I feel better prepared. I am clear. Empowered. The anxiety is gone, and I feel strong. No matter what is asked, I now feel ready. And that’s what is important. Rather than being devastated or beating ourselves up for mistakes, we need to learn from them. Become stronger. Be empowered. Keep improving.

I also realized that this is true for all of life. Whatever happens, don’t let it get you down or devastate you. Life is not about never making mistakes. And it’s certainly not about beating ourselves up after making mistakes. Learn from them. Let them empower you. Become better. Become more.

We are human. We are far from perfect. We are not supposed to be perfect. We will make many mistakes in life. But we are here to learn – and that is a good thing.

All of life is a learning expDaisy_in_spring_day[1]erience. That’s how we improve. When you mess up, or things don’t go as well as you wanted that’s okay. Whatever it is, learn from it, and let it empower you to become even better. Always be the best you can be.

When we are empowered, we feel better about ourselves and we handle things easier. Life’s struggles become stepping stones rather than roadblocks. And life is filled with more joy.

So learn, grow, and never hold yourself back. You are capable of so much more than you think you are. 

 Empower yourself to be the best you can be. Fill your life with joy. You are worth it!

Copyright © 2018 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.




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Service to Others

One of the best things that we can do in this world is to help others.  It doesn’t have to be big things or huge dramatic deeds or take a lot of money – little things sometimes help the most.

And we don’t need to be anything other than who we are right now – we can help others where we are, and with what we have this moment.

Even simple gestures such as a warm smile, a heart-felt compliment, or holding a door for someone, makes a difference.  Each act of kindness affects everything around us.

There are so many things that I do and so many interests that I have, and I used to think that these were simply what I do or hobbies that take up my time. Things such as writing, reading, playing the piano, Reiki healing, spirituality, dogs…

But they are so much more than simply hobbies.  It occurred to me that everything I do helps someone else and reaches another life.  The books I write, the piano entertainment that I do at senior facilities, adopting rescue dogs, and the Reiki energy healings that I offer and share with others – all of that helps others. And I am now realizing that my purpose in life, in this world, is really to help and be of service to others.

I might not be the best or greatest at any of those things that I do, but I can help from where I am and with the gifts that I have.  I can offer who I am and help in whatever way I can, no matter how small the service seems to be – it still makes a difference.

We are not supposed to be perfect, or better than others, or not make mistakes.  It’s okay to be fallible and human.  We all can be of service in so many ways – all it takes is a kind heart and wanting to help others. And that helps us to rise up to a higher calling and be our greatest self.

Who we are in this moment is enough.  And through service to others, we continue to grow and discover more about ourselves.  Everything we do to help others helps to change the world.

Please know that each act of kindness helps more than you could know. Without even realizing it, you might lift the spirit of one who has given up hope, restore confidence in someone who was doubting himself, or brighten up the world for someone who felt lost.

So I invite you to let go of doubting yourself or not feeling good enough – simply do your best, see the beauty in others, and help those around you.  The more we help and are kind to others, see the best in each other, and respect others, the better this world becomes.

Wishing all of you ripples of kindness, boundless joy, seeing the beauty all around you, finding the best in others, and the incredible discovery of immense love within yourself.

So much love to all of you!

Copyright © 2017 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.


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Hi Everyone – and WELCOME to
Rave Reviews Book Club’s
on 4/27 

You are at Lynn Miclea’s blog “Dancing Leaves”
Coming to you from beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, California


Enter today to win exciting prizes!!!

Here is What I’m Giving Away Today (4/27):
* $25 Amazon Gift Card
* $15 Starbucks Gift Card
* One (1) autographed paperback copy of

“Mending a Heart”

Winner may substitute any other of my books or in e-book format, if preferred
(hard copy in U.S. only, e-book to outside the U.S.)


Number of Winners at this stop:  3!

Everyone is eligible to enter  simply leave a comment below on 4/27, and you will automatically be entered to win. Three prizes are guaranteed to be given away  the winners will be selected at random. You never know – you could be the big winner! Good Luck!!!


And while you are here, I’d like to introduce you to my blog and my books! My blog is about kindness, growth, love, insights, and experiences of life.

My books are, well, about the same things!   After I retired, I discovered a passion for writing, and I have now published ten books (so far)!
Below is a brief introduction to my books.  


Two of my books are memoirs – one is about our family’s experience with ALS (my mom had bulbar ALS), and one is about my own journey through emergency open-heart surgery.

RUTHIE: A Family’s Struggle With ALS
A powerful and compassionate memoir about a woman’s experience with ALS. Dramatic and heart-wrenching as the author’s mother, an intelligent and beautiful woman, slowly loses the ability to speak and to eat as the disease progresses. The story includes volatile family interactions as one person who is in denial attempts to block the woman from getting the help she desperately needs. This is a personal view of this difficult illness, and the story brings you right into their lives and hearts. This book also gives advice and tips on helping people through this type of difficulty. It would greatly benefit anyone dealing with any type of progressive illness.
Link to Amazon here.


A gripping and powerful story of a journey through emergency open-heart surgery. Dramatic and riveting, the author experiences profound and debilitating weakness and shortness of breath, and the symptoms continue to get worse, as her condition deteriorates. This story is an inspirational journey of strength, determination, and self-reflection, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as the reader is brought into the author’s private world. This is a true celebration of life – gripping and heartfelt, the story is empowering and offers many insights for those who face and deal with medical crises, and is a poignant reminder of what is truly important in our lives.
Link to Amazon here.


Children’s Books
I have also written eight sweet, uplifting children’s books of fun animal stories about kindness, seeing the best in others, breaking through fears, believing in yourself, helping others, celebrating our differences, discovering the magnificence within all of us, and becoming more than you ever thought possible. Wonderful stories for children – and great to have in any child’s library!  These sweet books appeal to adults as well, as the meanings under the story lines, and the layers and metaphors, are enriching, powerful, and good for people of all ages. For more details on each book, see below, or visit my website here.


WISH FISH 1 – Two beautiful fish are happily enjoying their lives in the ocean. Can they escape dangerous large predators and avoid being captured by fishermen? What are these special abilities that defy logic and are beyond what they thought was possible? As they break through their fears and misconceptions about their own limitations, they discover a wonderful freedom and joy. This is both a love story and a celebration of life, helping all of us discover that we are so much more than we ever thought we could be. Excellent book for teaching children about joy, love, life, and kindness. The story continues with Wish Fish 2!
Link to Amazon here.


WISH FISH 2 – The story from Wish Fish 1 continues! Two beautiful fish face incredible new and terrifying dangers in the ocean. How can they get away from the huge jaws of a monster fish? Can they possibly help another fish heal? Join them as they break through imagined limitations, learn from a Master, and unleash their true inner joy. This is an empowering celebration of life and the magnificence within each of us, helping us discover that the possibilities are truly endless. Excellent book for teaching children about joy, love, life, and amazing possibilities. This book along with Wish Fish Book 1 makes a rewarding and uplifting gift!
Link to Amazon here.


PENNY GAINS CONFIDENCE“Penny Gains Confidence” is a sweet, uplifting story about a bunny who is filled with self-doubt because one leg is shorter than the other. Can she learn to face her fears, stand up to bullies, and feel good about who she is? This story inspires us to treat others with kindness and compassion, and to see the best in each other and in ourselves. This story is about celebrating and honoring our differences and imperfections, and looking beyond the surface to discover our true inner worth. This story brings smiles to kids and helps them feel great about who they are.
Link to Amazon here.


SAMMY AND THE FIRE – (Sammy the Dog Series – Book 1)“Sammy and the Fire” is a fun and exciting story about a sweet rescue dog named Sammy who smells smoke and knows that friends are in danger nearby. Can he reach the burning home in time to save his friends? Join Sammy as he faces his fears and discovers the true joy of helping others while rescuing friends from a fire. Filled with much warmth and humor, this sweet and funny adventure encourages and reminds us to be kind to those around us and to help each other.
Link to Amazon here.

SAMMY VISITS A HOSPITAL – (Sammy the Dog Series – Book 2)“Sammy Visits a Hospital” is a fun and entertaining story, with much humor, about a sweet rescue dog named Sammy who helps children in a hospital. Can he help children laugh and feel better? What happens when he gets lost? Join Sammy as he discovers the true rewards of helping others while having fun exploring during his silly and thrilling adventures as he brings joy to others along the way. This story helps teach kindness, helping others, and can lessen any fears about hospitals.
Link to Amazon here.



SAMMY MEETS GRANDMA – (Sammy the Dog Series – Book 3)“Sammy Meets Grandma” is a fun and entertaining story, with a lot of humor, about a sweet rescue dog named Sammy, who is brought to a senior facility to meet Grandma. Can dogs dance? Is he able to catch a squirrel? Join Sammy as he discovers a whole new world in which to explore and play at the senior facility. He has silly and funny adventures while also helping and touching the residents there, bringing life and happiness to those who need it the most and making a huge difference in their lives. This beautiful and funny story is about kindness and bringing joy to others, as we affect everyone around us.
Link to Amazon here.

SAMMY GOES TO THE DOG PARK – (Sammy the Dog Series – Book 4)“Sammy Goes to the Dog Park” is a thrilling and exciting story, and a delight to all animal lovers! A sweet rescue dog named Sammy has tons of fun at the dog park while helping others. Can he help a scared new dog? Can he find a missing friend? Join Sammy at the dog park as he is his sweet, silly, and funny self, having many crazy adventures, all while helping those around him and showing the value of kindness and compassion.
Link to Amazon here.



SAMMY FALLS IN LOVE – (Sammy the Dog Series – Book 5)“Sammy Falls in Love” is a fun and exciting story, filled with warmth, excitement, and humor, about a sweet rescue dog named Sammy. Who is hiding in his doghouse? Can he save a boy who fell into a lake? Join Sammy as he has amazing, fun adventures with a new friend and helps many lives around him while he is falling in love. Sammy is funny and charming, while showing the value of kindness, helping others, and caring for those around us.
Link to Amazon here.



My advice for new (or not-so-new) writers and aspiring authors:

  • Read a lot and write a lot. Reading helps you know what you like and what you don’t, and writing helps you develop your skills.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Find your own voice, your own passion, your own style, your own phrasing, and the things you want to write about. There will never be another person just like you, so be proud of who you are and develop your own unique style.
  • Use the services of a professional editor so that your work will be professional quality. You don’t want readers to get distracted by poor grammar or spelling errors or incorrect punctuation. And more than that, an editor can help with inconsistencies, flow of the story, eliminating repetitions, and fixing whatever hinders or interrupts the progression of the story, etc. A good editor is important!


I love reading and writing, and I hope to have even more books published this year – I sure am staying busy!!!

Please follow me and connect with me!

Please visit my website here.
Please visit and like my Facebook author page here.
Please follow me on twitter here.
Please visit my Amazon author page here.


And please check out my previous blog post here – it’s about loving and forgiving yourself – I think you’ll like it!


 Once again, thanks for stopping by – and don’t forget to leave a comment on 4/27 to be entered to win a great prize! Good luck!

Have a great day, be kind to everyone, and be loving with yourself – always remember that you are incredibly amazing, beautiful, and very special!

Copyright © 2017 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.



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Love and Forgive Yourself

Loving and forgiving, and all forms of kindness, are so important in this world, especially when life gets difficult.  And most important, we need to love, forgive, and be kind to ourselves as well.

So many of us tend to be way too hard on ourselves over the smallest things – we put ourselves down for something we did or did not do, said or did not say, or even the way we look. And, of course, beating ourselves up does not help anything or change what happened or what is.

Sometimes I’ll go over and over something that happened years ago, and the memories haunt me. It’s so easy to beat myself up over things that happened years ago, which I cannot change. I need to forgive and love myself and let it go. And that’s a good lesson for all of us.

There will always be times when we don’t handle things well, when we get overwhelmed, exhausted, short-tempered, angry, or frustrated. We may become upset or even be rude to others. We don’t always use the best judgment. And it’s okay. Forgive and love yourself anyway.

We are human. And life on earth is messy and unpredictable. As much as we want it to be, life here is not all light, love, joy, and peace. There will always be times of illness, loss, fear, pain, struggle, and hardship. All of that is part of life. But we don’t have to get stuck in negatives and self-condemnation, live there, and allow that to be all that there is.

All of that, the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, helps us to be whole. We are meant to live ALL of it and embrace all of life.

Always forgive yourself. You are human and fallible and evolving. Forgiveness is to witness it and to let it go. Don’t let it own you and keep you stuck and mired in it.  Thank it for teaching you. Forgive it, bless it, thank it, and let it go. Forgive yourself.

You are not the same person you used to be. Allow yourself to become free from the ties to your past burdens and traumas. Allow yourself to be free to move forward and become more than you were before. Life will keep changing, and so must we.

Simply take a step back, take a deep breath, and witness what you are going through. Notice the difficulty, the pain, and the stuck places. Notice the moments of light, love, joy, and peace. Witness all of it. Breathe. You are so much more than anything that has happened.

Don’t put yourself down – love yourself. Be as compassionate, kind, forgiving, and loving as you would with a soul mate. You are the one you will always go through life with. Love yourself.

We are not here to be perfect. We are here to learn and grow and to experience life. And we do all of that from the totality of life – from our mistakes, from the messiness and difficulties, and from the joys. Embrace it all – and love and accept yourself through it all.

Be proud of your journey. All of it. Be proud of how far you have come. Be proud of who you have become and who you are now.

Immerse yourself in overwhelming feelings of immense and powerful self-love and acceptance so that you can feel both the giving and the receiving of love. Love and accept who you are today. Who you are right now. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Forgive yourself. Love yourself. Love and accept yourself exactly as you are right now.

I forgive myself. I love myself. I love and accept myself exactly as I am right now.

As you move through life, be kind to everyone and to all life around you, and always remember to be kind to yourself as well. Because you deserve it. You deserve the best that life has to offer. So forgive yourself often. And love yourself always.

Copyright © 2017 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.


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