2018…Time for a Change!

2018…Time for a Change!

2018-time-for-a-change

It’s a new year…are you ready for a change?

Need a little help getting started?  Join me over the next few days as we explore the pathway to a positive future.

There is no better time to refashion your life than now. Change starts with a few easy steps, some goals, and persistence along the way.

Just ask these people…

  • Jennifer earned her Ph.D. and now teaches at a university.
  • John and Joanne enjoyed two weeks of sun and fun in Hawaii.
  • Patrick wrote and published his first book.
  • Joyce graduated from college at the age of 74.
  • Anna lost 57 pounds in just three months!

What makes each of these people and events remarkable? They all set goals and then worked hard to achieve them! Whether it is losing those extra pounds, saving for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or reaching for your dreams, there is a way for the impossible things to become possible.

Once you get focused and develop an action plan, positive results will follow! 2018 is the year to uncover those hidden and forgotten ideas and make them a reality.

 What Are Goals?

Goals help us to make meaningful progress towards our dreams. They launch us into the realms of possibility.

A goal is an aim, destination, ambition, or objective which is achievable through planned and directed effort.

Goals are our path forward. They provide us with a destination, a life map. If we were planning a vacation, we would start the trip knowing our journey’s end. We chart a course and off we go. There may be different routes, some more direct and others more scenic. We may run into traffic jams, roadblocks, and construction delays. If we are determined, we press through the obstacles because of the benefits once we arrive. I have never stopped my car, turned around and said “This isn’t worth it. I’ll just cancel vacation this year!”

Goals function in the very same way. They give us an endpoint, a destination to work towards. Like the roadmap, they guide our decisions and actions and give us a course to follow.

What would you like to achieve in your lifetime? What is your passion? What problem unsettles you and demands attention? How do you plan on seeing your ideas come to pass?

These key questions are designed to help unlock the hidden potential within you. And we are just getting started.

Join me in my next post we take charge of our life and jumpstart 2018!

 

 

 

Patriotic Quotes to Inspire Your 4th of July Celebration

Patriotic Quotes to Inspire Your 4th of July Celebration

firecracker-801902_1280

My heart beats, red, white, and blue!

Because the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, I thought we might find some inspiration from history. These patriotic quotes are from several presidents, a first lady, and a few recognized leaders throughout our past. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice and service of these patriots.

Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. Adlai Stevensonbald-eagle-2392560_1280

If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under. Ronald Reagan

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. Calvin Coolidge

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. Thomas Jefferson

And so, my fellow Americans… ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.  John F Kennedy

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. George Washington

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable american-flag-2355872_1280determination to do the job at hand. Harry S Truman

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Eleanor Roosevelt

And with a touch of humor comes this quote from Mark TwainPatriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it!  

I hope these quotes inspire you to become all that God has created you to be…to your family, your community, and to your nation.

Happy Birthday, America!

Wacky Holidays to Celebrate Throughout the Summer

Wacky Holidays to Celebrate Throughout the Summer

celebrate-the-holiday

Summer is a time for celebration!

The official start is Memorial Day, the end Labor Day, with the 4th of July tucked between. But did you know that there are many other lesser holidays to celebrate throughout the Summer?

If you are a writer, these are some great topics for a blog post, journal entry, or addition to a novel. Are the kiddos bored? Think about incorporating one or more into your family fun time for a change of pace.

Leaders can also break the monotony of the workplace by building a day around one of these quirky holidays. Just think of the possibilities!

So here are just a few of the many wacky and unusual celebrations this Summer. Click on the links from www.holidayinsights.com for the history and some additional tidbits:

June Holidays

21 National Selfie Dayselfie-holiday

22 National Chocolate Eclair Day

23 National Columnists Day  Hey, writers! Send an editorial to your local newspaper.

23 Take Your Dog to Work Day Don’t forget the baggies!

24 Swim a Lap Day

26 Forgiveness Day

27 Sun Glasses Day

28 Paul Bunyan Day

29 Camera Day

29 Hug Holiday

 

July

I Forgot Day

National Country Music Day

National Fried Chicken Day

Chocolate Day

Video Games Day

National Sugar Cookie Day

10 Teddy Bear Picnic Day

11 Cheer up the Lonely Day

13 Embrace Your Geekness Day

15 Cow Appreciation Day Can you say MOO?

16 National Ice Cream Day ice-cream-holiday

17 Global Hug Your Kids Day 

20 National Lollipop Day

21 National Junk Food Day

22 Hammock Day

23 National Hot Dog Day

25 Threading the Needle Day

28 System Administrator Appreciation Day

29 National Lasagna Day

30 National Cheesecake Day

August

1 National Girlfriends Day

3 National Watermelon Day

4 National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

5 National Clown Day

6 Sisters Day

7 International Forgiveness Day

9 Book Lover’s Day

10 Lazy Day

11 Presidential Joke Day

15 Relaxation Day 

16 National Tell a Joke Day

17 National Thriftshop Day

19 National Potato Daykiss-and-make-up-holiday

21 Senior Citizen’s Day

22 Be an Angel Day

25 Kiss and Make Up Day

26 Women’s Equality Day

27 Just Because Day

30 Frankenstein Day

31 National Eat Outside Day

These are only a sampling of the many different wild and wacky holidays that you are yours can celebrate. For a complete listing go to the website.

Celebrate the Summer!

20 Writing Prompts to Keep You Out of the Summer Slump

20 Writing Prompts to Keep You Out of the Summer Slump

watermelon-in-summer

Summer is a busy time for most people. Traveling to see relatives. Vacations. Kids out of school! The days go quickly and often our writing takes a backseat to other pleasures.

Although the heat of summer days and lure of the great outdoors may interfere with our daily writing routine, there are ways to stay engaged and still make it fun. As a prevention to the summer slump, here is a list of suggested topics to keep you writing:

I know summer is here when…

The 5 Senses of Summer. Think about how you experience the summer months with your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?

My favorite summer memory…

Imagine summer from a perspective of 200 years ago. What would you or your main character be doing, wearing, or eating?

My dream vacation would be…

Take some summer photos and put words to the pictures. This could be vacation pictures of just a jaunt through the local park.

I’ll never forget the summer when…

My ideal summer day takes place when…

What does the 4th of July mean to me? Take a trip down Memory Lane and reconnect with your patriotice roots.

My first summer job…the good and the bad.

Make one of your vacations the backdrop for a short story.

The ups and downs of summer camp…friends, counselors, food, and fun!

My favorite flavor of ice cream is…summer

How my schedule changes in the summer months.

My favorite backyard memory. What comes to mind when you think of growing up in your backyard?

Are you a hot weather or cold weather person? Which season do you prefer and why?

How I overcame the boredom of summer.

Capture your campfire memories…food, activities, songs.

My favorite things to do in and around the pool.

When summer ends I feel…

These 20 prompts should keep your writing flowing throughout the summer. Have fun reminiscing and putting words to those memories as you keep the summer slump at bay.

 

 

4 Great Blogs for Self-Published Writers

4 Great Blogs for Self-Published Writers

Self Publishing

Here is a shout out to all of you self-published writers! If you are just getting started or are already deep in the process, let me recommend four of my favorite blogs for self-published writers. These four writers/bloggers are experts in their field and have many resources to help any aspiring writer reach their goals and publish.

Joanna Penn at www.theCreativePenn.com 

 writenovelcourseimage-1024x407

Joanna is a well-recognized name in the writing field. She lives in England and can offer an international perspective on publishing. Joanna’s site includes has over 1000 blog posts and 100 hours of audio information. She blogs on all aspects of writing. On her site, you will find podcasts, eBook and videos, resources, and even online courses. Click the START HERE button to begin exploring theCreativePenn.com.

 

Joanna’s books:
                 

 

Joel Friedlander at www.thebookdesigner.comjoelf

Joel’s background is in printing, typesetting, and traditional publishing. He has taken his extensive knowledge and applied it to the expanding self-publishing market. He has won consecutive awards from Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.

Joel offers blogs, resources, and courses on the nuts and bolts of manufacturing a book. If you need help in book covers, design, formatting, typography, this is the site for you.

 

Joel’s books:
     

 

edie-melsonEdie Melson at www.thewriteconversation.com

Edie’s site is a plethora of information. She offers daily blog posts from various writer’s as well as her own words of wisdom. Her site merits awards from Feedspot and positivewriter.com. If you are seeking information as well as inspiration, thewriteconversation.com is the place to be. Edie also is a great resource for those following the traditional publishing path.

 

 

Edie’s Book:

Michael Hyatt at www.michaelhyatt.com michael_hyatt_0412

Michael Hyatt is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and very familiar with the world of publishing. Much of his advice is for traditional publishing, but he offers great wisdom and inspiration for any aspiring writer. If you are into technology, productivity, or even just general leadership growth, his website is your destination. With blog posts, audio/videos, downloadable PDF books, Hyatt’s website is an up-to-date resource.

 

Michael’s books:
     

These blogs are a great place to start if you are branching out into self-publishing. From the writing process to book design and marketing, they have it all.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready, Set, Self-Publish: 10 Reasons to Publish an eBook

Ready, Set, Self-Publish: 10 Reasons to Publish an eBook

ebook-library

Not long ago, the only models for publishing were traditional book houses or limited self-publishing. Not anymore! Today’s author can choose from print books, Print on Demand, or eBooks and sell through bookstores, direct marketing, e-retailers, or web sales.

Why would a modern author want to consider eBooks?

Even though the lion’s share of publishing still goes to printed books, eBooks have sky-rocketed. They offer the reader a variety of formats to choose from. And there are at least ten good reasons why every aspiring writer should consider eBooks!

  1. Popularity. In the United States, 34% of book buyer households own an eBook reader. Indie publishers are excelling in the marketplace and approaching 50% of the digital market share. That’s besting the Big Five publishers of Hachette, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Penguin Random House. Yes, eBook sales have diminished slightly, but Indies are proving they are here to stay. With Amazon claiming to sell more eBooks than print books in the US, those figures should get your attention.
  1. It’s Easy…well, relatively easy! There are a few quirks to preparing and publishing to an eBook format, but nothing that is too difficult. And once you learn the process, you are better prepared for your next publication. 

41ILJnKQ2hL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Kindle offers guidelines to help navigate their formatting as does iBook and Nook.

  1. Speed of Publishing. You can finish and publish your book in one day! Once the electronic file is complete, simply upload it, fill in the necessary information, and your book will be available for sale in a few hours. Pretty nifty!
  2. Huge Market. Amazon is the giant in eBook sales, but Barnes and Noble’s  and iBooks have hefty market shares also. These companies are worldwide distributors of books and continue to expand into new countries. This goes one step beyond hoping your book will appear on the local bookstore shelf!
  3. Price Control. You as the author have control of the price. You can decide to give your book away, promote it for a limited time with a price reduction, or just fix a price and leave it. Amazon pays a 35% or 70% royalty, Apple a 55%, and Barnes and Noble a 65% profit of the sale price. eBook authors sell directly to readers, so the profits come straight into the author’s pockets.
  4. Never Goes Out of Print . Self-published eBooks never disappear off of the electronic shelves. You are not pressured by a three-month promotion and then your book is yanked. This gives you more time to develop, direct your marketing strategy, or re-edit and update your book.
  5. Immediate Feedback. Readers are able to rate your book and write a review. Their critique appears below your book and can be a great selling point!
  6. Size of Book. eBooks are redefining the standards of book length. Instead of lengthy works, especially in non-fiction, eBooks can be written in shorter segments or series. One well-published eBook author recommends that the book be a kindle-ebookminimum of 40,000 words.
  7. Shelf Space. With eBooks, you don’t need to store books in your garage or basement. The eBooks take up a small space on your computer, not your shelves.
  8. Cost. eBooks are cheaper than print. In fact, they can be free! You will never need to print a long run of books just to get a decent price. You can publish for free and sell at a very affordable price. This alone should attract some of you aspiring writers to publish an electronic book

eBooks are here to stay. They are convenient, affordable to publish and read, and a trend that you as an author should consider. The wave of the future is here…give it a try!