Not to brag or anything, but our house has an entire room devoted to exercise equipment. In there, where once you could find a baby boy’s crib, you can now work out to your heart’s content, using a recumbent bike or an elliptical trainer while you watch a super HD TV on the wall.


Pick your choice of great videos offering to help you stretch or shred, strengthen your core or washboard your abs.

We’ve even got those multi-colored band thingies, hand weights in various poundages, yoga mats and blocks, jump ropes and balls. Finish off with a soothing tilt on the inversion table.

Know how often I use that room?

That’s right. Never.

I hate exercise. HATE it. Inside, on a machine, every mile feels like an endless death march. My daughter used to have hamsters, who frantically rode their Wheel to Nowhere all night, every night. When I’m on a treadmill I know exactly how they felt.

hamster on wheel istock

My rejection of the home gym drives His Highness crazy. The great guy single-handedly set up that room, buying the awesome TV as a Valentine’s Day present, the shred video as a Mother’s Day present, the recumbent bike as a “so sorry you broke your foot” present… And, after all, he has to look at my backside more often than I do. A writer’s life can really turn that thing into a cushy lump the approximate size and shape of your desk chair’s seat.

But I can’t help it. I hate indoor exercise. Luckily, I love to walk—and I’m averaging about four-five miles these days. Even when it’s hot. Even when it rains. Outside, everything is different. Walking in the park, by the lake, or just around the neighborhood, doesn’t feel like exercise at all.

sybelia park dock to lake

It feels like a visit with the best psychiatrist in town. I meet neighbors, and, even better, their dogs. I’m soothed by water and wildlife. I see stately herons in the daytime and mysterious owls at night.

bird at lake

my new owl friend

Squirrels whirl around tree trunks, cardinals trapeze between houses, and each season brings a new set of flowers from my green-thumb neighbors. Right now, the crepe myrtles are filled with blooms that look like soft-serve strawberry ice cream cones.

crepe myrtle commons

I listen to books on tape, great writing that surely will improve my own pages, right? I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things,” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” (Note: Don’t listen to “Dracula” at night…even Greg Wise’s gorgeous voice won’t keep that darling retriever on the next street over from looking like an ominous wolf.)

Some nights, I put on my iTunes playlists and let music propel me along. I consider every fast song a challenge to be met. Right now, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is my favorite. To the neighbors who see me during those eight minutes, I apologize. I get a little carried away, and it’s probably not pretty.

In short, I’m having so much fun out there I forget it’s something I should do. And even when my Fitbit (a nifty wristband tracking my steps …which I learned about from one of our own JQs!) buzzes, alerting me I’ve reached my goal for the day, I don’t head for home. One more block. One more mile. One more chapter with Greg Wise whispering in my ear.

"A Cock And Bull Story" UK Premiere - Arrivals

How about you? Can you bring yourself to use the exercise equipment in your house? Do you go to a real gym? How do you keep it from being boring?

Inside or out, what do you listen to? Any recommendations for inspiring walking songs, or must-hear audio books? I’d love to hear what works for you!

I’ve been inexcusably slow announcing my winners from my Here Comes The Dress blog–my apologies all around! The winners, chosen at random, are ROCHELLE and ADA. Ladies, if you’ll contact me privately at and give me your Kindle loading addresses, I’ll send you THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE asap!


Shana Galen
Shana Galen

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Fun, Winners

The winner of THE CHANGELING SOLDIER is Dian S. Dian, I’ll send you an email. Congrats!

Shana Galen
Shana Galen


Bring a Friend Friday, Fun, Shana Galen, Winners, writers habits

Being self-employed means that the job is always with you. Working from home means it is always around you. Sometimes it can be hard to escape—I mean even if you love what you do (like I love writing) at some point you need to stop doing/thinking about it and just chill.


I used to find this really hard because the story is always there and there’s always the temptation to just go and do…

This year I set myself working hours. The only time I’m allowed to work extra is if I’m on a deadline (a publisher imposed deadline not one I’ve made up). This has had the added bonus of reducing the amount of time wasting that would otherwise happen during work hours—you know the internet, facebook, sweeping the floor and any other random procrastination activity that I’m able to dream up.

I still get the procrastination bug, but because I know I can’t catch up later there’s a lot less of it.

The other thing I’ve started doing is taking a couple of days off between jobs. Finish the first draft of a WIP? Take a day or two to catch up on some favorite DVDs or and read some books.

Finished a round of edits? Yay go play with that random story idea from last week for a day and see if goes anywhere (I count that as time off writing because it’s more daydreaming and what if?)

These are important little breaks as they allow the brain to recharge and the well of creativity to be topped up. After all you only get out what you put in.


The other change I made this year was dedicating two days a week only to writing/editing. No blog writing or posting, no website updating or any of the other admin tasks that need to be dealt with. The other three days of the working week I set aside an hour in the morning and I get through whatever I can. So far this seems to be working really well as I’m always very impressed by my word count and also happy to discover I don’t fall behind on the admin stuff.

Restricting my working hours has made me more productive and also more accountable. It’s also given me the time to pursue doing the other crafty things I love like cross stitch and sewing.

While writing is a job I love, it isn’t my whole life just a part of it.

Want to win a digital copy of  The Changeling Soldier? Comment below and tell Shona how you like to relax after work. Winner will be randomly chosen and announced Sunday on the blog.


 The Changeling Soldier

Buy the Book!






Her time in the mortal world is running out…

After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.

He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life…

Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.

Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.


Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.

With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance. You can find out more at her website.





Shana Galen
Shana Galen

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Fun, giveaway, Shana Galen, Winners

was randomly chosen and is Vickie Dailey! I’ll email you, Vickie! Congrats!ShanaGalen_ThePirateTakesaBride200

Shana Galen
Shana Galen

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Fun, giveaway, Shana Galen, Winners

erinf1 won a copy of THE PIRATE TAKES A BRIDE


The Pirate Takes a Bride


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