Teaching an Old Gal New Tricks #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab

Today (January 13) is my 62nd birthday and strangely enough, I feel younger than I did 20 years ago. My face might be more lined and I have a few more gray hairs, but I’m learning new tricks and trying new things and happy that I’m still around.

It’s never too late to try something new. Here are a few things I learned this past year.

  • Improving my Photoshop skills by using a pen tablet. I don’t know why I didn’t try this earlier, but drawing with a mouse or on a touchpad while holding it down with another finger is so antiquidated. But it was all we had twenty years ago, and that’s what I learned on. Who remembers mouses with those balls underneath on spongey mousepads? I remember using AmigaDraw with my Commodore Amiga computer to make simple graphics. How time consuming was that? So last year, in 2021, after a prolonged session of Photoshopping using the infamous Lenovo red button resulting in painful index finger and wrist pain, I bought a Wacom One Drawing Tablet. It’s about the size of a small laptop. It has an electronic pen and it fits on my lap while plugged into my computer. Night and day! Now, I can draw shapes and select objects with no problem. I can connect dots, do those Bezier curve handles, and ink in sketches as easily as using pen and paper. As for signing my name? Piece of cake. Why did I wait so long?
  • I finally converted to using Scrivener writing software. For years, I was a Microsoft Word gal. After all, before Word came out, I used LaTex, a non WYSIWYG word processing solution and “vi” to create the files. After my Amiga died, I got an MSDOS machine and have been with Word forever and never took the time to learn any of its advanced features. When Scrivener first came out, I bought a license but it was too complicated so I put it away. Early last year, Scrivener sent me a survey and while filling out the survey, I wondered if I could get more organized by using it. After all, I was constantly revising my writing AND saving off copies of my drafts. Up to 20 drafts with dates appended to the filename. Scrivener made it easier to organize my deletes. I can now simply create a folder for each chapter’s deletes and copy over deleted text with a note on why I deleted something. This way, if I ever want to resurrect that text or storyline, I only have to drag it back to the manuscript and insert. I’m sure there are a hundred more reasons why Scrivener is useful, but for me, keeping track of all my “deletes” makes it worth using.
  • Intermittent Fasting. This is an “old” thing that is becoming “new.” Back in the day, before microwaves and trail bars and snack-sized treats, we ate three square meals with no snacks and nibbling in between. If we were hungry between meals, we went outside to play instead of sneaking into the cookie jar. Snacks were not a thing. They would spoil your appetite. Parents thought nothing of sending misbehaving children to bed without their dinner. No one would starve by skipping a meal, at least back in the days before microwaves and juice boxes. In the late eighties when the price of microwaves dropped enough to be commonplace, people started eating all the time. Snacking became a thing, and families stopped eating together at the dinner table. Along with all the eating came the massive increase in weight gain. I, too, joined this eating pandemic as my weight crept up steadily during my thirties, forties, and fifties. We just believed it was part of getting older. Little did I know that snacking constantly, especially on so-called healthy snacks like trail-mix bars, smoothies, and flavored yogurt, that I was putting myself on a constant elevated insulin state. My body was always in “grow” mode, where sugar enters the blood. Insulin comes in and mops up the sugar, stuffing it into cells, and the cells store the extra energy as fat. Because I was snacking and eating continuously, I didn’t allow my body to have a chance to burn off any energy since it was always available. It turns out that fasting, or not eating for a long stretch allows your body to go into “burn” mode where insulin is no longer in control. You don’t enter this state until 4-6 hours after your last meal. Once you are in “burn” mode, glycogen is depleted first. After about 20-36 hours, your body switches to fatburning mode. If, however, you feed yourself at anytime before entering fatburning mode, you are instantly back in “grow” mode, where food is mopped up and stored for future use. The problem with eating all the time is that the majority of time, your body is in “grow” mode and eventually, if you fill your body with too much sugar [even excess protein gets turned into sugar], you will become insulin resistant. It isn’t the fact that you don’t make enough insulin [assuming you’re not a type 1 diabetic], but the fact that your cells are FULL of sugar and they are barring the gates to more sugar entering them. This excess sugar ends up in the blood, floating around looking for a home and the end result isn’t pretty. [Note: I’m following Dr. Jason Fung who wrote several books, among them, The Obesity Code, The Diabetes Code and The Complete Guide to Fasting. He’s also on YouTube with many videos explaining intermittent fasting and the science behind it.] What I learned to do this year is to stop snacking and eat only at set times. I started intermittent fasting with a 18/6 schedule where I would eat only between 10 am and 4 pm. After I got used to it, I would go on a 24 hr fast two days a week. Go from 10 am to 4 pm as usual, and the next day, not eat until 4 pm. Resume the following day from 10 am to 4 pm. Eventually, I want to get to 42 hours where I can go from 4 pm, skip an entire day, and resume at 10 am. But I would only do this once or twice a month. I’ve already dropped all the weight I gained over the holidays, and I only wish I’d known about this technique earlier. Of course, I’m not sabotaging myself by overeating during my eating windows, and I’m not eating sugar or junk food because I don’t want to stimulate insulin. But I’m glad I’m going back to my roots. No snacking and no nibbling. I want my body to swing between “grow” and “burn” mode evenly, the way God designed us to be.

Well, these are the new things I tried out last year that worked for me. I hope I didn’t bore you, but I will continue to live and learn as long as the good Lord allows me to.

Please check out my Birthday Email chock full of giveaways, freebies, and discounted paperbacks by clicking/tapping on this link or the banner below, and I wish you all the best in living and learning in 2022.

https://www.rachelleayala.net/so/70NvFNBsN?languageTag=en

The Next Five Seconds are Most Important #mgtab @Mimisgang1 #RachelleAyala

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO!

How many of you make a good decision and get up right away and get going? If you’re like me, you might think about it some more or put it off until you have more energy. You might decide you need more time or get distracted by something else.

However, research shows that the NEXT FIVE SECONDS are the most important five seconds of your life because you can only ACT in the present plus the next five seconds before something else pops up and kills the impulse.

Mel Robbins gave an excellent Ted Talk on forcing yourself to do what you know you want and need to do, and do it on impulse within five seconds. Don’t sit there and talk to yourself that you need to do it. Don’t think about how to do it. Don’t look up all the ways you could do it, and definitely don’t spend the rest of the day thinking or regretting how you could have done it.

Before you can countdown from five to one, get up and physically push yourself to do what you have decided you need to do. Instead, countdown, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … and get up and go.

Mel calls it activation energy. You need a physical push toward your elusive goals by taking action—not only visualizing or self-talk or mulling, but activating your body to make it real.

“It’s your job to make yourself do the crap you don’t want to do, so you can be everything that you’re supposed to be.” – Mel Robbins

Watch Mel Robbins’s Ted Talk: How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over

What is something you’ve been putting off and meaning to start, any time now?

Decide to do it, and then countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and go for it.

This year, I decided to wake up positive every morning. If I get a little anxiety when I wake, I countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and say a prayer, thanking God that he’s blessed me to see another day. I count the people and situations I’m grateful for and I don’t allow anxiety and worry to take over. I can’t help the waking up with a pounding heart, but I surely can change the next five seconds afterwards.

I also wrote and published eight books, including a book about Bitcoin (Smart Woman’s Guide to Bitcoin). How many times in the past did I “think” about Bitcoin, ask others about it, mull over it, and didn’t take the plunge? Well an old dog can learn new tricks and this year, I learned about cryptocurrency and decided to pass on what I learned to others in an easy-to-understand accessible way.

I had the impulse 3 days before November 1st to join Nanowrimo 2021 and write a complete novel in thirty days. Each day, I knew I had to add to my story, so 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … I opened up my document and put in the words. Lastly, being a writer means a lot of sitting down. I knew I needed more exercise and moving my legs during the day to prevent blood clots. My friend, Stacy, has a under the desk pedal “bike.” I thought about it too much until finally, I went and got one. Now, when I want to rest my eyes or my hands, I pick up a book and sit at the table and pedal.

What have you been putting off? Five seconds …

Books I wrote this year …

Please click on the image to go to my website – https://rachelleayala.net [look for free books]

I’m having a sale for Dottie’s Christmas Wish (99c the month of December). It’s a sweet and magical single father romance with a cheerful mail carrier who finds a little girl lost at the side of an icy creek. She didn’t wait five seconds before doing what she needed to do, get the girl to safety and call her dad. It was inspired by a real life story of a mail carrier who found a lost child in the snow.


Dottie’s Christmas Wish
All Merry Jolly wants is to make Dr. Colton Dale smile. All his daughter, Dottie, wants is a dog. Will Christmas wishes come true for three lonely hearts?

How about you? What will you do in the next five seconds? It could be life-changing!

Be sure to sign up for the Authors’ Billboard Newsletter to be invited to parties and keep up to date with our new and exciting boxed sets in 2022! Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dashing Through the Season #mgtab @mimisgang1 #RachelleAyala


It’s a case of mistaken identity, secret agendas, Christmas love and magic, all with the help of a “talking” dog with superhero qualities. – by Rachelle Ayala

Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner? This has been a busy year for me with a new granddaughter, traveling, getting acquainted in a new neighborhood, exercising, and of course, writing!

I know I need to slow down, but I have so many book ideas and then there are all the books I want to read, so as we head to the end of the year, I’m looking forward to snuggling up in front of the fire and READING all the great Authors’ Billboard collections coming up.

My latest book, Dashing Through Christmas, is a zany romantic comedy where event planner Misty Jolly rushes around causing accidents while being spied on by retail executive, Dash Weston while incognito as a mystery shopper. Hijinks ensue when Misty causes Dash’s plane to crash, he loses his voice, and a “talking” dog runs around planting advice and snarky comments into his mind. You can get Dashing Through Christmas, as well as nine other fabulous Christmas romances in our newest Unforgettable set – Unforgettable Christmas Promises for 99c or read on KindleUnlimited.

New Release – Santa on Strike

Do you like naughty boys? What happens when a naughty boy becomes a Santa man and he gets his first job?

Meet Nixon Bright. He’s not the nicest Santa around, but then, he doesn’t have the nicest job. Nixon scraped the bottom of the barrel and ended up working in a bar—Bette Jo’s Bimbo Bar—where sloppy sitters and spilled drinks make working conditions hazardous.

All Bette Jo has is Bimbo’s Bar, a mountain of debt, and a baby girl to feed. To save her family business she needs a big attraction—the hunky barroom Santa she hired. When he proposes a dinner date to add to his benefits package, Bette accepts. What could go wrong when she’s the boss and she holds all the cards?

Pick up Nixon and Bette Jo’s fun Christmas romp for 99c [on sale] at Amazon or read it with Kindle Unlimited. [Santa on Strike]

Be sure to sign up for the Author’s Billboard Newsletter to be notified of our upcoming Christmas boxed sets for a fun festivities and romance in the air.