Publish my first novel

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

This has been a life long dream of mine. Ever since I was in second grade I’ve wanted to write books.

The novel is called Thirty Days to Thirty. It’s about a girl who loses everything and has to move back in with her parents a month before her thirtieth birthday. While she is home, she finds a list she made in high school of things she wanted to accomplish by the time she was thirty.

Sadly, she realizes that she was so focused on her career, that she let everything else fall to the wayside and realizes she never really lived her life before. She makes a decision right then to accomplish everything on her list before her birthday.

I had actually wrote this book five years ago, but never had the guts to publish it. I tried to go the traditional route, but even my editor told me that the focus right now are erotica and fantasy genres, so I wouldn’t have much success. She was right, but I still decided to send it out to 140 agents. When you see that many rejections, it gets very hard to want to keep going.

Finally, Paul pushed me and said that it was a good book and if I was ever going to publish I should do so before I turn thirty.

So in the spirit of my own book, I decided that I would knock off one of my bucket list items, which was to become a published author before I turned 30.

What I’ve learned is that self publishing is a grueling business. It would be great if I could just write a book and then let someone else edit and market it for me, but now, I’m that person. I’m the editor, the publisher and the marketer.

Since hitting publish, I’ve been working two full time jobs essentially. I’ve been taking courses on marketing, understanding Amazon and how to sell your book on it, how to build an author platform and how to build an audience.

It’s been very overwhelming and extremely intimidating. Hopefully all of my hard work will pay off in the long run, as I do hope to make a career out of it.

As stressful as it is now, I know that I will continue to learn the process as I move forward and it will become much easier once I have more books out and have developed more of a following.

Until then, I just have to keep remembering why I’m here. I love to write and I hope that I can write in a way that connects with other readers.

I appreciate all of you for your support!

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

My website below:

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

 

Sleep No More

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

Ever since I moved to the city, one of the things I really wanted to do was go to see Sleep No More.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a silent interactive play set to the story of Hamlet in a 1930s hotel. All of the audience members have to wear masks so that you have your own personal experience and the entire hotel is the stage.

You can choose to follow a particular actor or just wander around the different sets and see what you come upon.

I went with my husband and a good friend of mine and each of us had very different experiences.

We started the night off having dinner in the hotel. The  establishment has a very Boardwalk Empire feel to it, from the costumes right down the the smokey atmosphere and the jazz band.

Afterwards, we headed over to the play. Each of us were given a playing card and you were called into the play based on your card number. From there, you put your mask on and get into an elevator where it stops multiple times to let different people off at different floors.

I was let off into a wooded area, that to tell you the truth, wandering by myself  was extremely eerie. After a few minutes down there, I headed up the stairwell to another set that resembled a couple’s apartment. Each floor has a completely different look to it and there are constantly scenes happening on every floor.

I wouldn’t want to give away too much, but when I compared notes with my husband he had a way better time than I did.

I knew there was a story line, so I had a made the decision going into it choosing a character to follow. The problem is when you have other people following the same character as well, it can be hard to keep up and I kept losing the character. Then, when I decided I would follow the character with less followers, they would either just do a dance segment or they would just sit there and I was left with a character that wasn’t advancing the plot at all.

My husband on the other hand, really did it right. He decided not to follow anyone. He just wandered each floor by himself. When he did come across a scene, he would get right up in front of the character. He learned quickly that if you held eye contact with them they would engage you. There was one scene where they are at a dance and one woman was standing on the side upset at her boyfriend for dancing with someone else. Paul held his hand out to her and she took it.  Suddenly he was dancing with her as part of the play. He was also given a wedding ring by another character.

When the show was over, we all met back up at the bar area where we got to listen to amazing blues music until 4:00 in the morning.

It was such a wild night and I’m so glad that we were able to that. I can’t wait to go again.

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

 

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

 

Learning How to Play Golf

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

Disclaimer: This is my husband’s reaction to me playing golf.

Much like Jill, our main character in Thirty Days to Thirty, I had her put on her bucket list to learn golf, because it was on my bucket list. Well, just like Jill, it was more due to the influence of her dad saying that it’s important for the corporate world to know how to play golf.

For some industries it is, for media, I don’t know a single person that does.

When I was a senior in high school, my dad decided to take the whole family out to Scottsdale Arizona to learn how to play golf for a few days.

I’m a pretty athletic person, but this was the most torturous learning experience for me. Let me explain to you what happened, true story.

My first time swinging a wood club, I hit the head off of it and sent it flying about ten yards. No, I did not come into contact with the ground. The instructor thought he must’ve given me a broken club so he handed me another. My very next swing, I did the same thing.

He thought there was no way that I could possibly do that a third time in a row and sure enough, I did.

When I got back from the trip, my boyfriend at the time, now husband, didn’t believe me and personally took me to the driving range to prove it. You can guess what happened.

Everyone was convinced I was cursed and needless to say my dad wasn’t going to let me use his golf clubs to practice.

Eventually we all figured out what the problem was. I grew up playing field hockey since I was in fourth grade. Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.02.25 AM.png

You’ll notice that the thickest part of a field hockey stick is right where it curves. So that is where we are trained to hit the ball so it will be the most effective.

For a golf club, this is the most sensitive spot of a club, and newer versions of  the club at that time didn’t have a hosel  to protect them. Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.06.00 AM.png

So now that I have retired from field hockey and find myself playing more golf with family and friends, I can probably never be able to go back to being as good a field hockey player as I once was.

Even though it was a trying experience, I’m still glad that I learned it.

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Purchase Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

 

Supporting Your Friends

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

Running the New York City Marathon is a bucket list item for many. You spend hours training and then you get to run 26.2 miles to either raise money for a charity, or just to do it for yourself.

While I myself will most likely never be one of these people, I was more than happy to go and cheer on a good friend of ours who was doing it.

If anyone can be considered a professional marathon runner, he’s that guy. His biggest accomplishment was running the Marathon De Sables, which they call the toughest footrace on earth. This is where you run 5 1/2 marathons in six days for a total of 156 miles through the Sahara Desert!

Needless to say the NYC Marathon was a cake walk compared to that. His overall goal is to run 50 marathons in his lifetime, which is amazing.

So even though this wasn’t my bucket list item, going out to support his was truly inspiring.

andrew

What I realized, is it’s just as important to support others in their goals. There will be times in your life when you’ll want to do something that you might need some help with. That could be physically or just moral support. But the overall message is the never stop supporting one another. Just that little effort could mean more than you realize and will give them the ability to dream big and achieve it.

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

 

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

Giving Back

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

When I was in high school, I remember a friend’s mom working as a CCD teacher. For those who don’t know what CCD means, it’s basically like a Sunday school teacher. Every week, children whose families are members of the church go to religion classes to learn about God.

For Catholics, you go to a series of classes that will prepare you for Reconciliation, Communion and finally Confirmation, which is where you are considered an adult and a full member of the church.

I remember my friend’s mom saying there were some concerns with the church because there wasn’t a CCD class for children with disabilities.

Parents of these children were upset their child couldn’t participate and rightfully so. The problem was, there wasn’t anyone willing to step up and volunteer to teach it.

I’m not what you would call a truly religious person, but my friends and I felt that they shouldn’t be prevented from becoming a member of the church if they wanted to.

Five of us, who were all juniors in high school, signed up to teach the class once a week. We would team up individually with the students and we would help them with the requirements they needed.

That experience really changed my outlook on life. These students needed religion more than anyone I ever went to CCD with. Half the time my friends and I didn’t pay attention and we would goof off for the hour. But these children were going through a very tough time. They wanted to know why they weren’t blessed to be like everyone else? They wanted to know why they were getting made fun of. They needed guidance and someone to reassure them.

There were times I would come home crying because I felt so helpless.  They didn’t deserve the cards they were dealt and they were looking to us to help them learn to live with their situation.

I started to do a lot of research with how I could best help these children in not only the teaching of the religion, but more about the concept of life in general.

I tried to relate to one girl who was upset with being made fun of. I told her that it was a part of growing up and that everyone including myself has been made fun of at some point. I told her an embarrassing story of mine and I said the only thing you can do is let it roll off of your back.

She asks why God allowed us to get made fun of in the first place and I decided to use a metaphor with her new bike she had told me she had just gotten. I ask her how when her dad was helping her to ride the bike without training wheels if he had let go of the bike at any point. She told me yes and I asked her if she fell. She told me she had. I told her to think about that for a second. Did her dad want her to get hurt? Of course not, but the only way we grow in life is if we get hurt sometimes.

It wasn’t much and I’m no expert, but it seemed to make her feel better. My friends and I continued to teach the class until we had left for college. I will still never forget how much an an impact that experience was for me. I have so much respect for the children, parents and teachers of those working with disabilities. My sister-in-law currently teaches several special needs children and it’s amazing to me what she does on a daily basis.

For my next bucket list, when I’m settled back in the suburbs, I am going to return to doing this. Connecting with these children is an experience that you really can’t compare to anything else. I’d advise anyone to volunteer like this if they can.

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

 

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

 

Read Classic Novels

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

Growing up I loved to read and it definitely fueled my writing. I remember though, as much as I loved to read, I absolutely hated the books that I read in high school and in college.

I always thought teachers were  trying to make something out of what wasn’t necessarily there. I’d love to find out if Hemingway was really focused on symbolism in his writing and what it represented. In reality, I think Hemingway just wanted to write a story.

So this bucket list item came more from my husband. He was working crazy hours and when he would get home at 2:00 in the morning he would have a hard time sleeping because he couldn’t turn work off. When watching TV before going to bed was still too stimulating, he decided to read.

Not only did this help calm his mind down before going to bed, but he realized that now as an adult, some of the books we read in high school weren’t too bad.

I started to do the same. I began with Great Gatsby, followed by This Side of Paradise and then Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms. I realized that I had a greater appreciation for them now, because as an adult and had enough life experiences to understand what the characters were going through.

The problem with reading these books in high school, is you are still in your little bubble surrounded by everything you have ever known. Although teachers can tell you about history and the world around us, until we can experience it for ourselves we can’t really relate. The most important part of reading is being able to relate to the characters.

Now that I have that knowledge, my goal is to read as many classic books as I can.

Currently, I’m reading David Copperfield. However, thanks to having a kindle, I go back and forth between that book and  more modern books.

So far I think my favorite classics  are Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Ocsar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray.

Going back to these books have really enlightened me and I highly recommend anyone to do the same.

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

Learning Stick Shift

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

This started as a bucket list item when I was first learning to drive.

A friend of mine who grew up and started his own business Curl Films, decided to video my first experience back when I was sixteen. I’m going to let the video tell you how that went.

Needless to say, to this day, I do not know how to drive stick shift.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwvXWDoWXeLCZV9KeU82SWNpUjg/view?usp=sharing

(If embed doesn’t work, copy and paste into your browser)

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

High Tea

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

I mention in my earlier post how I went to Northern Ireland. We were visiting a friend who lived there, so while Paul was on a business trip in London and not coming in until that night, Andrew and his girlfriend took me out around Belfast.

I was happily surprised when I found out they were going to take me to  high tea.

We went to a very nice hotel where they served us different types of tea, champagne, mini sandwiches and of course tons of sweet desserts.

High Tea is one of those unique experiences that you have to go at least once. It’s a fancy tradition that the UK still has and it’s fun to look around at the types of people who go. You will see a certain amount of tourists, some are girlfriends catching up, some are women who clearly have been doing this tradition for over forty years.

With the variety of teas and food offered, it’s also a great way to try new things. I discovered that I like Lapsang tea, which is a smoky Indian tea. For the fall/winter season this will be a great tea to drink in front of a fireplace.

For the most part, what I like best about high tea is the pace. It’s an afternoon tea that takes it’s time. There is a good pace in between each serving of sandwiches, teas and desserts. It allows you to relax and enjoy the company you are with.

It’s certainly a tradition I wouldn’t mind picking up with my girlfriends every once in awhile.

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

Fly Fishing

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

I’ll admit, fly fishing wasn’t something on my bucket list, but it was on Paul’s. Paul used to love doing this as a kid and would even make his own flies.

It’s been years since he has done this, so when he asked if I’d be willing to do this on our trip to Northern Ireland, I said of course!

The morning was a bit of a rough start, since we had gone out with our friends in Belfast the night before. We had only gotten a few hours of sleep before we had to wake up, drive on the other side of the road, to Lisbon where we were meeting our fishing guide.

What I liked best about our guide was he was willing to teach me how to fly fish properly, without being too on top of me. Given the lack of sleep, I was in no mood to have this guy correcting me every time I castes and he got that.

What also helped was I was the first to get a fish. Paul was happy for me at first, but when I caught another one ten minutes later I think he started to get a bit peeved given the fact that I didn’t care whether or not I caught a fish at all, let alone two right away while he sat patiently trying to strategically  hook them.

Paul did wind up getting two fish as well, so we were even at the end.

The atmosphere was great. We fished in this  stream that had a cow farm on one side and a horse farm on the other underneath a stone bridge. We came in on the horse side and there was one horse in particular that wanted to be our friend. Then again, our camera bag  looked like feed and he kept trying to eat it.

What I learned from this experience was it’s important to always try new things. At first I wasn’t particularly excited about it, but after catching two fish I really started to enjoy it and I will definitely do this again!

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/

 

Go to Ireland

Hi Everyone!

 

Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.

 

Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.

 

This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

So  I have been to Ireland before when I studied abroad. I had gone to Dublin and had taken a bus tour to the Cliffs of Moher stopping off in a bunch of small towns in between.

The one thing I have to say that still remains true is how friendly the people are. They are always so welcoming to everyone, which seems like a rarity these days.

For this trip, we got to visit our good friend Andrew who lives there.  Him and his girlfriend showed Paul and I around town Friday night before we made our way out to Bushmills on Saturday while they went to a wedding. We then met them back in Belfast Sunday night before heading out Monday morning.

It was a short trip, but we had packed so much stuff in it felt like a week. I had mentioned how going out with locals is always your best best, but I have to say even the day Paul and I took out to Bushmills was great as well.

We went and did a tour of the whiskey distillery, then we walked back to the hotel and enjoyed a nice dinner with a night cap of live Irish folk music in the pub. Not once did we feel like tourist or outsiders.

The pub at the Bushmills seemed to be the place everyone in town went to, so you didn’t feel like you were in a tourist trap. Even when we went to the distillery we wound up having a tasting with someone from Omagh, who went to school with our friend Andrew.

The following day we did the rope bridge, Giant’s Causeway and Port Rush so we really felt like we got a see a variety of Northern Ireland.

What I took away from the trip is that friendly people really made the trip for us. There have been times even when we went to Paris with friends, we were turned off by how rude the local people can be. We New Yorkers are guilty of it as well because we don’t have the time or patience.

Realizing just how much it made a difference for us, I am going to make sure, moving forward, that I am more conscious with how I am when I’m working in Times Square. I get stopped a lot by tourists looking for directions and usually I’m running late to a meeting. But even in my delivery, just taking the thirty seconds that I know I have to talk a little slower and be a little more patient could make a difference on their experience here.

So from now I’m going to be more conscious of that.

 

Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!

 

Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here

http://www.courtneypsak.com/