Melissa Brayden talks Theatre, IVF and How to Overcome Nerves

On this episode of Seize the Day, Natalie Miller-Snell talks to multi-Awarding winning author, Melissa Brayden talks theatre, IVF and how to overcome nerves.

Listen to this episode here.

I am delighted that Melissa Brayden joins me on today’s show. Melissa talks to me about life before writing; from her early career in the theatre, teaching and her time in London.

Melissa also shares her experience with endometriosis which formed part of her incredible journey into motherhood.  The story is a true celebration of life, how not to give up and why talking is so important. Melissa also shares how she overcomes nerves and has some great ‘Seize the Day’ moments.

I hope you enjoy the show!

 

MELISSA’S LATEST BOOK: Back to September

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Transcript for Today’s Show

Please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect.

you are listening to seize the day with Natalie Miller flannel during these podcasts we’ll be exploring all of the different opportunities that we get to seize the day on a daily basis and what tools and what changes we can make in order to grab those goals are you ready to make change hello hello hello podcast lovers how are you all it’s Thursday I’m Natalie and you are listening to seize the day now I’ve got a great treat for you today another fabulous guest she is a multi award-winning romance author with 12 published books working on a thirteenth I believe and with a background in theater and a serious love of both coffee and England I am super excited to have Melissa braided on the show I’m so excited to be sharing with you from across the pond good morning because it’s early for you at the moment isn’t it it is it’s just a little after 8:00 a.m. but that’s okay I’ve got my coffee and the Sun is out and and so we’re letting that caffeine soak in as I come alive and now for everyone listening where are you podcasting from where are you about at the moment I am in San Antonio Texas where you know it’s it’s mid-september and we will rise to 96 degrees today IRA feel it’s true and I refuse to give in to it I’m wearing my fall wardrobe I have long sleeves on I’m not I’m not doing this anymore so I guess I’m rebelling against the weather I can’t believe that temperature that’s amazing I can’t take it anymore it’s fall and so I’m pretending it’s fall anyway no matter what’s happening outside we’ve actually still got quite a lot sunshine here and yeah I mean I don’t know what this converts for you but it’s about 24 today maybe so it’s quite nice still which is unusual yeah it is a little warm still for that for that time of year oh I’ll take 85 I’ll take you know anything I’m willing to bargain at this point I don’t I don’t I don’t mind but 96 in mid-september I don’t think that’s fair to hunt okay now we briefly met a GCLs in July this year yeah she’s a fabulous conference I really enjoyed that it’s the second time I’ve been it’s a great environment meeting people like yourself and other readers it’s got great energy it does it does was your first time in Las Vegas lost yet yeah yeah I bought myself a mug yeah that was the first las vegas was the first GCLs conference i missed since i began writing and so I first won in 2011 and have gone every year since because like you it’s just such a great place to network to hear more about books to pick up a master class or two or you can sharpen up your writing skills and then for the fan in me because I’m a fan of so many people just to get to see them up close and hear their takes on storytelling and their careers and so I love to just sit in and hear from the Great’s talk about their work I agree with you this it’s so informative yes and this I found it more diverse this year as well and last year I think the beginning to change is very very great I thought yeah yeah I was very pleased as always but I was sorry I missed you last year in Vegas I was on maternity leave so hey yes congratulations yeah thanks I had a I guess a four week old at that point so I couldn’t be jetting off to Vegas Wow and we would definitely definitely definitely come onto that because I think well we had a quick catch-up over a drink on the the events night or the the awards night rather and I think you’ve got some great stories to tell and I think some almost these are the opportunities but great life stories which I think have really valuable for listener or anyone to listen to our here so I’m very grateful that you came on the show thank you very much and let’s get stuck in let’s talk about you let’s talk about Melissa Brennan how did it all start for you there’s theater before the writing there’s a whole life before cuz you started in 2012 was it 2011 my first book was published in 2011 it was accepted for publication in 2010 and I wrote it in 2009 so I guess anything after 2009 is when I would consider myself a writer at that point forward but you know you brought up a good point I have the the theater background before that I was also a TV news reporter for a short time after college I thought that was gonna be my path and I also did video production on the side where I would shoot and edit weddings for for extra cash when I was in my early 20s and it’s funny when I look back over the different jobs and the careers that I’ve had they all have one thing in common and they’re all linked to storytelling of some sort whether it’s telling that story and packaging so it’s interesting to somebody viewing the news that night or someone watching their cinematic wedding video edited together or telling a story on stage that they’re all they all have that same baseline and so when I look back it does seem only natural that I would eventually come on to the written word and putting it on the page and it just it happened organically and I don’t think I even made that connection until sometime later but I do think the storytelling was already a part of my life before writing I love that so how did you start what was the first moment when you wrote started writing and what was that trigger it’s do you know yeah well I had no business writing a book I’d never written anything I heard so many of my colleagues say that well I’ve been writing stories since I was four and I have all the notebooks and my teacher said that you’re gonna have a future and none of that was my story I I never once thought about writing I was an avid reader for sure but I was teaching theatre for high school at the time and I had the summer off and I think I just probably had a creative itch and like I said I’d always been a reader and I thought well maybe I’ll just give this a shot for fun and literally that’s what it was it was about just something to do I never thought anybody else would read it I never thought I would send it off but the more the this story unraveled and the more pages stacked up I thought well I can always send it nothing could happen what’s the worst that that that could occur and so it was kind of just a whim and I did a tiny bit of research on the publishing companies and they make you submit separately so I ranked the ones I was interested in and I sent it off to bold strokes first thinking I didn’t even know if I’d ever hear back and then lo and behold they wanted to publish it and that was quite the surprise and I think it just it’s snowballed from there and I had the bug and I couldn’t stop is a talk about a seize the day moment as well that is amazing too and I think that’s what I love about doing this show to hear your story there see if you’ve done this right on the site because you’ve got that creative bug you clearly have that creative side to you with the theater in the what the news reporting and the video production it’s amazing and then but sees in the moment okay I’m gonna send this off to actually just do it because to your point what’s the worst that could happen cuz you’ve got it here doesn’t matter and now you’re a fully flowed published author I remember when I got the first email back from bold strokes it was so surreal to me that somebody else in another state had read something that I had written it was such an interesting concept like these strangers read what I wrote and now I mean that’s just my everyday life but at the time it was mind-blowing to me how do you find that actually because I find this very interesting talking to authors as well I find it very admirable the words that you put on the page often are personal to a degree or there’s some part of maybe bits and portions of your life that you put into the story or characters or personal experiences and then somebody else is reading it and then you get the feedback how does that how does how do you feel how does it what does that like it was really hard at first I would say for the second book because the first book I didn’t really know what I was getting into and it was exciting but then you sit down to write the second book and you have that knowledge in your brain somebody’s about to read this because you’ve gone through it once already and you you have that understanding and then it’s really hard to get out of your own way because you start second-guessing if anything is good enough what is my mother going to think because my mother reads everything I write refuses to skip sex scenes refuses to skip anything because that’s not supportive so she wants to read everything so there just came a point where I had to turn that off and I knew that I did my best work if I’m writing for me but I think you hit on something very important which is that writing is very revealing so if I write some sort of detail that I think is sexy or attractive that’s me revealing something about me because I probably wouldn’t have put that to the character if I didn’t think that a wider audience would find it universal so that’s me admitting this is what I think is is attractive or sexy and so the reader walks away with that knowledge so you are sharing a piece of yourself which can be quite daunting and if you if you concentrate on that I don’t think you can do your best work I think you have to just find the off switch which takes time to do and it’s a it’s a muscle and it’s something you have to practice but once you get that down then you’re gonna do your best work and it’s admirable and I’ve said this before to other Wolfson of day I take my hat off I think it’s really impressive and the books are lovely is what I love you wait in the wings first one I’ve read of yours it that was your first book as well wasn’t it yes 2009 yeah that one harp look I’ve got all of the soho ones I must apologise I’ve not read them yet but I will get on to them oh you know what the to be to be read now you’ve mentioned you used to teach in the theatre yes I taught high school theater for 10 years and then I taught at the university level for three years after that before Wow taking on the writing job full-time yeah how did you find teaching you must be quite patient enjoyed it if you – given your knowledge to a wider audience it was wonderful it was an experience I’ll treasure forever I’m a big fan of Education I love being a student I love being in in the realm of academia in any way possible and it was a subject matter that I had such passion for and being able to watch that passion be transferred to other people was incredibly gratifying at the same time I think I learned some amazing life lessons people joke with me to this day that that I’m incredibly calm and patient in any high-stress situation like if there’s an emergency you’re gonna see me cool as a cucumber and that all comes from teaching high school when you can’t let anything rattle you and after doing that for 10 years I think I don’t ever need to raise my voice in life ever because that taught me not to so it’s it’s been a rewarding experience but also a valuable one to pick up a few life skills of my own I love that amazing now being a teacher and I’ve spoken to Kiki about this before as well she obviously had a different brand of different pen name I do you work under a pen name actually I just my last name okay is actually Melissa but I was teaching at the time when we name so what I did is I went to my mother’s maiden name and stole that so it’s linked Braden’s linked to my grandparents but uh but I did go with a different last name just to protect the education side of things but no kiki is great and I got to hang out with her in Stratford the ice ice yeah and and and Claire Ashton also came down and that three of us had some champagne together and stayed up really late I actually had to Claire on the other day as well if she mentions that you guys had quite a raucous night I believe we went to this pub at the dirty duck if you’re ever in Stratford hit up the dirty duck you can’t go wrong and now all you still do you still keep your books away from that student life or has anyone have any of your former students read your novels yes now I don’t teach anymore in 2016 I became a full-time writer but I’m still very much in contact with lots of my former kids who’ve grown up and how now have families of their own and I have heard from lots of them who are aware of the books and proud and happy and they’ve been very supportive and wonderful so I love it so how long have you been sorry full-time writing for now going on four years almost Wow and is that part and parcel becoming a mother or was that gonna be your natural read anyway that was a financial decision actually over us art reaching is great but yes there there is a cap on what you can take home and when we got to the point with writing and I know I know sometimes it’s taboo to talk about money but I think there’s such a myth out there in the writing community that it has to be a gig on the side and it that’s just so not true and so I do speak out about that because I think I’m an advocate for a career writer when I started making double what I was making teaching I decided that that writing was the way to go and it’s it’s the best paying job I’ve ever had so for people who think oh I want to be a writer but I can’t make a living that that’s not the case you definitely can make you make a great living yeah it’s interesting I’ve heard different authors say that as well that it is a financial viable option obviously you need to put the work in you’ve got 12 novels if you’ve got two we have 16 I think that was oh is it I got your website sorry oh that’s my research what you bring up is that I could never have been a full-time writer with one or two books he’s popping on my screen ignore that but yeah with one or two books I never could have afforded to be a full-time writer you have to create a backlist that pays you overtime and then then it’s something that’s a little bit more of an option you get into audio now with your books all of my books are an audio yes I like oh wow and it’s gotten really great that the timing because the audiobook is coming out around the same time as the book itself now and then the audio listeners don’t have a lot of time to wait like they used to the book would come out and then it would be a few more months before audio but now it’s all happening together which is great is it the same retailer then buys the audiobook or is it a different audience or they love him both I think there’s this definitely a different audience there are people then just stay with audiobooks but there’s a small crossover I see people who go back and forth but I think for the most part they’re pretty separate that’s amazing it’s good great at both revenue streams I like that a lot now okay how are you finding being an author and a full-time mum oh my goodness that was such a learning curve I knew that it would be but I think the details be I was a little bit more optimistic maybe then it turned out to be I really thought he’s a baby I could still write with him in the room no that was never the case I don’t think there’s ever been a time where I’ve gotten even a paragraph written where I have my son with me at the time and so it became clear to me that I was going to have to use some outside care so he goes half-day and so the difference is is I am NOT a fast writer I’m somebody who who doesn’t sit down and hammer out 2,000 words in a couple of hours like some of my friends can’t I would use the full day I’d write Edwards here take a break right v I can’t do that anymore because I only have the mornings to write and so I have to be the most difficult boss I’ve ever had and I have to stay on top of myself and I have to be disciplined which is very hard for me because I’m not and make sure I get my word count because once we hit lunchtime I have to put it all away and don’t look back at it and move forward and then spend the afternoons with my son and get that quality time that he and I both need so it took me a while to understand that there wasn’t going to be any overlap with him in the room while I was writing and he was sleeping her yeah it just doesn’t happen it’s true though and I know exactly what you mean because my sister used to laugh at us a lot and she always said you’ve got no clue and until you have children it’s such a different way of operating and how you have to engineer your day and your life in terms of making sure I think you nailed it on the head you’ve got to be organized you’ve got to have everything in a what in a time zone you’ve got to be disciplined and then you know you give your time off to the little ones because they do demand it and you can’t get anything done when they’re around nothing I think not even just in terms of writing but just in terms of raising them everything relies on structure structure and a schedule and that’s that’s the only way we live and die around here I totally identify with you which kind of goes on to I was so on Melissa’s website this morning and your blogs are brilliant I love them they’re absolutely fantastic particular one and I’ve read this and I cried I’ll be honest the line between reality and fiction your story which I think he published earlier on this year but talks about your journey and your experience back three four years ago when you were going through the whole IVF process the endometriosis which I know so many women struggle with and doesn’t get talked about and you know that I was speaking to somebody on this very topic yesterday and we were saying and I love men so don’t get me wrong my father’s most amazing man in the world my brother-in-law everybody but if this was a guy’s disease or whatever you wanna call it would be fixed already you’d be able to it wouldn’t have to deal with it so I I mean I love how candid you were in this blog and if you don’t mind for anybody who’s not read your blog or understands your journey perhaps talk about what it is that you went through in order to you know how to have a family because it’s it’s tough there’s a lot of patience hard work emotion and tireless dedication that goes into it that makes it kind of a miracle I think yes it was quite a journey and looking back on it now and being outside of it I can realize how much of a journey I think once you’re in the midst of it you just keep moving forward you just keep moving forward and you take one hit after another but you keep your your eyes ahead but now that it’s all over and I can look back it’s astounding to me everything that I went through and some of the Fluke things that happen along the way but to make a long story short I’ve suffered from endometriosis probably since I was 14 which involves a lot of pain so a lot of missed days of school and work along the way as you learn to adapt to that pain and it’s a it’s a condition that can’t just be diagnosed until you have surgery and so one of the things I always felt guilty for admitting to feeling poorly and and having to take some time out because it wasn’t something that we could say for sure that I had and I always had it in the back of my head well what if I what if I don’t have it I should just be quiet and I should just and so for my entire life I just did my best to soldier through and wanted to have a child but but put it off a little bit for career but it just it got to the point where I wanted to get serious about it and knew that endometriosis was likely the case and would would be a problem and so I visited a fertility clinic a fantastic clinic I don’t want to don’t want to say anything bad about them because they were wonderful and just doing some basic tests that you do to find out if you can have a child I contracted an awful infection and what we know now was that I contracted it because I had very severe endometriosis and just by walking into that clinic I wound up losing half of my reproductive system from that process and so now my journey to a child my chances have been been cut by about 75% and they were already very very bad so we knew it was a Hail Mary but I went into IVF treatments anyway and if anyone’s gone through it before a lot of people go through one cycle of IVF and say okay that’s it that was enough that was awful because of the shots and the hormones and what it does to your body and to your emotions and then so for a lot of people it’s one and done and then you tell someone you did two and they said oh you did two rounds bless you so for me it was five rounds and it was a lot and there were lots of heartbreaking moments where you go through it all and you wait to see if it took and then you it’s a phone call and I had a lot of really low slow moments I remember being in the airport heading off to a book event and getting that call and it was the third or fourth time I’ve been told it was a no-go and I just collapsed kind of into a chair and stared at the floor and I remember strangers walking past me as tears fell down my face and it was a it was a humbling very lonely feeling moment and I can look back on it now as as a learning experience because I have my son but I also recognize for some people they go through my safe journey and don’t have the ending that I had and I’m very very aware of that and I think as women we have to talk about these things and we have to support one another and reach out to our friends who maybe aren’t telling us about what’s going on with them because at the time I didn’t tell many people about my journey I talked about it now but I should have been more vocal at the time do you know you’ve really hit the nail on the head and I wrote down as you were speaking that very word talking again I don’t think we talked about it enough I’ve had in geometry endometriosis I don’t believe perhaps as severely as yours but we’re all different in that sense I had a laparoscopy they burnt loads off you know crikey I was in I actually went to that appointment so naive I drove myself and my at the time she came in and said what are you doing she they put me under I was in agony I couldn’t do anything and actually leading up to that appointment when I went to the doctors I mean it’s quite crazy the woman looked at me it was a female doctor actually and she said well since okay it’s into a LESBIAN of the whole reproductive thing doesn’t matter so she would obviously it was unbelievable and then she asked me questions along the lines of why have you got so much pain there if you’ve done anything and perverse kind of you know anything unusual it was unbelievable but I think we do need to talk about it more because it is a very it’s a big condition so many people suffer with it terribly and your journey actually at the end of it is wonderful a miracle for sure but there are a lot of people that don’t get success at their end and you know it’s good to talk about things because we all struggle otherwise or we lack confidence and then I think it has a counterproductive towards that you know you go on through life so congratulations though and he’s gorgeous they look at the pictures he’s gorgeous the dog flap is it doc pup you’ve got your the dog door yeah he goes in and out it’s it’s quite the journey he’s a he’s a very adventurous kiddo and so it’s it’s fun to watch him it he changes so much so quickly I’m sure as you know from yours time flies it does it absolutely does now on that talking of time flying and trips abroad another one of your blogs which I loved and I know when we spoke in GCLs you love England you love London you love Shakespeare yes you came over a few years ago so that would have been just before you got pregnant that was 2015 it was this 2015 so yeah it was it was it was right before it all started okay yeah so I was pursuing my master’s degree in in theatrical directing and so I came to England for the summer and I studied half the time with the Royal Shakespeare Company in stratford-upon-avon and then I’m headed to London and spent the rest of the summer with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Wow so it was a very it was a very intense time for full of lots of writing of papers and directing of scenes but I did get to really enjoy England and I had grown up four years in England as a kid and so I have fantastic memories I lived in Suffolk in East Anglia and I had great memories of England so it was nice to come back as an adult now and to experience it from from a different perspective and did your blog honest it might be laughs did you try the hula hoops again the fish and chips and the quavers yeah and you mentioned obsessed a flavored Christmas what yeah we do actually have those I think they said I don’t need them further you do I did try it a little bit and then once I got back stateside you I found this out you can order them on Amazon and they will send them to you from England so I I ordered quavers and hula-hoops still to this day do you really we’ve got loads in the bottom drawer for the boys I love I’m sure they’ve got smaller I used to put them all on my fingers that’s how we did it in you a little yeah although fingers ate of the fingers and Walkers crisps I order those as well I don’t like the prawn one so I have the prawn ones just keep lining up I said because it’s a it’s a combo pack and and I cheese and onion and all that but I don’t want those shrimp chips no no they’re not the best anybody needs some prawn flavoured chips or crisps let me know I have a ton any time guests stay Georgia beer stayed in my guest sir when I put someone for bed for her did she eat them I think she left them there I don’t think she is priceless I love it I never know what are the other things again going through your blogs and also watching you at the GCLs conference for example and looking at your career and how you you know you present yourself how you come across and what you do is very admirable and I particularly talk about the GC les conference for example there’s a lot of expectation on authors and anyone who’s the frontline there to present to sit on panels to you know just generally talk and have an opinion almost on how things are and whatnot one of your own blogs little miss nervous and a little nervous at your service I thought was fantastic because you talked about how you do get nervous about things which we all do you know every time I come to a podcast but it’s healthy how do you overcome that in order to will you come across so confident and you present very well and you’ve kill Urtz and I loved your reading of your book that was one of the things I liked at GCLs for listeners how do you overcome nerves in order to you know continue to push yourself forward well there there even sometimes when I may appear confident it’s all the ruse because I’m always very nervous and I and sometimes its nervous because I’m worried that things won’t go well or I won’t say the right thing or I’ll forget to listen when someone else is speaking because sometimes what what’s the next question going to be and while someone else is speaking and then and then it’s your turn and you don’t know what the threat of so there’s so many variables that I’m concerned with that make me nervous and then there’s the the other side of it where sometimes you’re just excited and so you have extra energy bubbling inside of you and you don’t want that to make you talk too fast or to shuffle your feet while you’re standing in front of an audience so I think it has to do with just being very aware of your external and that is not something that I would say I learned overnight but I do credit my theatre background a little bit with that because the show must go on and in that vlog I remember speaking about fake it until you make it and if you could just harness the confidence that you maybe don’t feel and pretend that you do it will present that way to to the larger world and so you may seem calm cool and collected because you’re telling yourself you’re calm cool and collected and that really does go a long way because your mind will slowly start to believe it and you’re gonna start to walk that that talk and and and and over time that muscle builds up and then it becomes a little bit second nature that you still have the butterflies in your stomach but no one is able to tell because you’ve gotten so good at telling yourself you’re a rock star love that you are so right I went on this fabulous conference or was more of a workshop last year October time dr. Sam Collins an incredible woman she’s helping women was an advocate for women in their workplace and in business and pushing trailblazers and you know celebrating women and one of the things she said she does and I actually adopted myself now and again it’s the Wonder Woman pose so before you go into anything you know and you know your hands are fists on your hips deep breaths she said she’s often in the toilets beforehand just preparing herself before she then goes on and you know presents and all the rest of it so there are techniques that you can use I actually wrote that into a book of mine first position they’re they’re ballet dancers with the New York City Ballet and one of them is very nervous and the other one has her do the Wonder Woman pose the Superman pose in the mirror and and so that helps get them on stage brilliant absolutely fantastic love it absolutely love it now a quick question for you on your I was gonna say your 13th book but it’s actually your 60 no what is it you’re busy writing what’s due to come out well the next book that I have to come out is called back to September and it’ll be out and in the next few weeks and it is the store story of a of a bookshop owner she owns a small quaint bookshop in Providence Rhode Island and her love story with a very very famous romance novelist who comes in to do a signing and it takes place in the fall so we’re talking caps and hats and warm beverages and it’s a it’s a sweet story is how I would describe it but I enjoyed writing it a great deal just because I have such an affinity for book shops of all kinds and so it was nice to really write that subject matter and to get to spend some time there with the setting and then after that I have oh what’s next after that Oh to the moon and back which is another theatre based book which takes place be the behind the scenes of a regional theatre with a stage manager and a film actress who’s trying stage work for the first time very nice that is a marsh release in the book I’m writing now is the first in a new series called the the tangle valley romances which are set on a vineyard and Oregon will be three of them ohana feet see how many you writing to you then they sound really Wow yeah yeah so I was explaining to someone recently I generally have my hands and I think five books at any one time one that’s in prewriting and one that’s being written one that’s that’s waiting to be edited one that’s like in proofing and then and then there’s the marketing of whatever is that so there’s a million different books at different stages happening at any given point that’s fabulous a lot to think about but keep going with your little half a day and weekends out we can’t no weekend’s no weekends just I sleep either how do you find the sleep actually is he sleep well he’s a fantastic sleeper if anyone out there is preparing to have a child I recommend the book baby wise because it is all about scheduling and sleep and so he was sleeping through the night at eight weeks and he now sleeps 12 hours a night and it all has to do with the schedule I live and die by this book and the schedule it gave me because it worked it does a schedule at your rights once they’re in a routine and they understand it’s what was good for them I think as if they managed to get a good sleep they’re less tired and less kind of screamy more often than not you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbian talk show calm your hub of podcast information right okay let’s do some fun questions how old were you when you first learn to drive I was fifteen Wow and very eager and I think it was good at it because I’ve never I’ve been in one car accident but I didn’t cause it I was just parked at a traffic light an 18-wheeler drove over the back of my car but that’s a worry yeah and and I’ve never I get pulled over but I’m on five warnings now in a row you get food a football I just might be going a little bit fast but they don’t give me a ticket I’m on five warnings in a row I wear it as like a personal badge a record holder so I hope I don’t get a ticket that’s brilliant oh I love that and did you pass the first time I don’t know how it works in the States when you take your test you I assume you take a test and you passed all you and you do it again I did yes I’m a big studier so I was keeping that manual with me and reading it whenever I could so I like to go and prepare it I’m a little type-a that way I’m I’m what car do you drive at the moment did I say somewhere you put on do you one well for 18 years I drove a Volkswagen Beetle a bug four different ones when I would when I would turn one in I’d get another bug and it was my signature car I would get all different colors but I had four over the course of those years but with the car seat for a one-year-old doesn’t fit so well and you need us that you need four doors so I have now moved on to a Mini Cooper a countryman which hope the four door so I got it I got a red one with the white top and it’s got the checkered mirrors I really like the mirrors oh that’s gorgeous I had a Mini Cooper as well and the soft top yeah our convertible loved it so fast they’re quite naughty they’re so fast Oh hence why you’ve got all the speed yeah yeah yeah okay it’s making sense now what do you like to do to unwind I’m a reality TV junkie that is that’s a guilty pleasure I hesitate to admit that to too many people but I love reality TV I could get myself lost I watched Dancing with the Stars last night after I put my son to sleep and it’s just really nice way to relax without having to think too much obviously I like to read I still do that but I have less time now but I still try to fit it in before bedtime I’m a big film buff I like to attend movies I love to bowl though I don’t get to do it a whole lot I was this is an interesting fact when I was 12 years old I was the European bowling champion No yes 12 years old that was my one claim to fame right there I travel I’m Harmonie to represent England and I won is fine test you have a trophy oh yeah I have trophies and I got a lot of different products and patches and gifts and mm-hmm so to be a champion what do you have – is it the you both emotional the best you both at most strikes yeah I was an we make on my Air Force Base and I won for the league and then I got to represent the base and then I won for our area and then England and then I went to Germany and I won that so I was the junior champion because I was 12 I still get now then ya know I when I hit 14 years old I suddenly realized I was a teenage girl and wanted to be at the mall with my friends and I kind of stopped practicing yeah okay I think that’s a mental one that get that game I find if I’m if I’m not in the zone I won’t hit anything but then when I tell myself yes you’re gonna do this then I can strike but it’s very hit-or-miss yes excuse the pun and favorite color I got with yellow generally but blue sometimes factors in nice I don’t use those two yellows really cheerful I agree I used to have a lot of my bedrooms have been yellow actually yes I had a yellow yeah ugh it was my favorite the car yes yeah do you have any tattoos no I’ll tell you why hey I’m not against tattoos I applaud everyone who has a tattoo I do not trust myself enough to not change and I I worry how angry future Melissa will be with me if if I get something that she doesn’t approve of in 10 years so I think one thing I’ve learned about myself is I’m constantly changing so I hesitate to make that decision because I don’t want future of Melissa angry Melissa yeah no I can t get that I have one I’d like to have more but the one I’ve got I probably would like to have go over because it’s bit blurry now it’s not quite right so now I hear where you coming some future Natalie was like hey hello what were you thinking do another one but better yeah what is the last photo that you took on your photo stream on your fame let’s see it’s probably my kid if I had to guess yeah okay oh this would be Everett playing with a bowl outside yesterday his oh he likes to gather acorns so I gave him a bowl and so he puts him in the bowl so I took a picture of that it’s kind of Laurie yeah oh he’s had ten haircuts that kid ten here guys I can’t keep the hair from growing Wow and what is your most use emoji probably that one with the tears the crying tears because I like to joke around a lot so I’m often like sending the laughing one sometimes a winky emoji is fun because I like I like to be sarcastic so if you add in the winky emoji people get you know chill out that was sarcastic okay Twinkies sarcastic yeah okay I love it this has been really fabulous thank you so much I know it’s early and spending your time I really appreciate to know one way to start the day and now to wrap it up seize the day theme scissored a podcast what advice would you give to listeners listening to everything that you’ve gone through you see so many opportunities you move forwards you don’t let nerves or anything hold you back what advice would you give to a listener who wants to do something new career change perhaps or just seize one of their own goals that they’ve been not confident enough to go and get what advice would you give them to just go and do it I think what I’ve learned in my time on earth is that sometimes we wait for something to feel like the perfect time and that now I’m ready this is the moment this this is it those moments don’t really happen that often I I would say don’t wait for things to feel perfect if there’s something that you longed for if it’s a goal that you have or something you hope to achieve or a life change you want to make don’t wait for it to feel perfect because I don’t think the perfect scenarios exist in life the way we think they do I think you have to make your life what it is so instead of waiting you take that first bold step forward and make it happen for yourself don’t don’t sit back and wait for the universe to come to you and sometimes we can get inside of our own heads and get in our own way and for that I’ve come up with a little phrase that that I say to which is take your hand off the stove when I come up with all the reason something won’t work and no I’m not going to do this or that it’s because I’ve got my hand on the stove and I’m punishing myself and it’s like take your hand off the stove just do it stop that negative thinking I like that really works yeah I like that a lot actually and to your point when you’ve actually go for it when you see today when you do something even if you’re nervous even if perhaps it doesn’t work out quite right you feel empowered because you’ve made the first step and then the next step you’ve already gone there already so that’s an easier process to take the next one will push you further and further I think we worry about we’ve worried about failure and we worry about getting embarrass or not doing it quite right as you mentioned earlier if but you just take you take the plunging you go for it I think so I think back to that moment if I hadn’t sent in that first manuscript I would be doing something entirely different with my morning right now and I happen to really love my job and so I’m so glad that I took that risk and sent it in because if I hadn’t if I just hit save on my computer and gone back to my day job life would be so much different and I like to think not as exciting love it where can everybody find you Melissa where can they find your books where can they find you online I’m all over social media you can find me just by searching my name on Facebook Instagram Twitter my website I post blogs and my social media feeds go to my website and I love to chat with readers I’m also available on email at Melissa Braden at gmail.com and I would love to hear from folks thank you so much for coming on I’ve really enjoyed this I’m sure everyone will love listening I had a great time thank you for having me and thanks everyone for listening take care look after yourself keep well you have been listening to seize the day did not now all contact information can be found in the show notes together with any links to websites or may have referred to in the show if you’ve enjoyed this podcast then come talk to us at a lesbian talk show chat group on Facebook email us on podcasts at the lesbian talk show comm or follow us on Twitter at lesbian talk show you can also join our community of patrons and geeks collusive content go to patreon.com/scishow and talk shows the link is in the show notes thank you thank you thank you