What does the word “MARVEL” mean to you as a writer?
Here is a short audio to share with my fellow writers to help spark your creativity and writing chops.
Caregivers: About Visitors
By J. Dietrich Stroeh
One of the first reactions from friends and family when they hear that
someone has a serious illness is to ask if there is anything they can do.
This of course is the right thing to say and some people say it for that
precise reason. Others actually mean it and some will even expect an
An even smaller percentage of people will ask if they can visit. This
generous and genuine offer also comes with some built-in challenges for
both the patient and the caregiver.
Those facing a life threatening illness need contact with those they love
AND they need downtime and rest. Socialization and the connection to a
life that is as regular as possible must be balanced with rest so the
body can fight the illness.
My wife Margaret was diagnosed on December 22nd, 2009 with Stage 4
pancreatic cancer. That night we talked on the phones with friends and
family about what we had learned. The next day people began calling to
come by. At first, the visits were welcomed and Margaret was cheered by
the company. Inevitably, after they left, she would remark that it was
certainly nice that they took the time to come by. She was behaving as
she always did, she would entertain people and present her social side as
soon as someone stepped into the room. There was never any hint that she
felt badly or that she was tired. She felt that as long as people went to
the trouble to visit, she needed to do her best to welcome them.
In the following weeks, I would greet visitors if I was home and do my
best to explain to them how Margaret was feeling and what her condition
was like. The reason was simple: if I could answer some of their
questions, then Margaret wouldn’t have to. Also, when dealing with a
disease as insidious as pancreatic cancer, there is inherent discomfort
with how people ask questions, and in turn, what some of those answers
Generally people of course wanted to catch up with Margaret, but
sometimes there was an awkward quality to the conversation. They were
curious about her condition and how she felt, but wouldn’t pry. They
wanted to communicate that they cared, but at the same time, didn’t want
to be rude. They knew that there was a line out there somewhere. On one
side was genuine human caring and curiosity, a need to comfort a friend,
a desire to help. On the other side, was a nagging feeling of being
In some cases, people would tell Margaret about their lives, rather than
risk somehow walking across that line that they could not see or sense.
On some levels this may have struck Margaret as odd, but she never
complained about the one sided nature of the visit.
I found that I struggled to a small degree with her visitors as well. I
wanted Margaret to stay in touch and to be as connected as she possibly
could to her life as she had known it. At the same time, I was also very
defensive of her condition and wanted her to feel as well as possible. It
seems that I, too, was looking for that elusive line between what would
make her happy and what might tax her body.
It’s important to set up clear ground rules with family and friends
regarding visits. Let them know they are always welcome to call and that
their company and energy are valued. Likewise be honest and tell them
that some days a short phone conversation might be the best thing. Make
suggestions about what they might want to bring if they ask. If your
loved one is uncomfortable talking about something, clue her guests in.
Because we live in an information age, I found that that using email and
online communication tools such as Caringbridge.com allowed me to keep
Staying in touch is important for all concerned. So, it’s important to
find what will work best for you and your loved ones.
J. Dietrich Stroeh is author of Three Months: A Care-giving Journey from
Heartbreak to Hope (2012 Folkheart Press). For more information, visit
Why Habits Work When Will Power Won’t by Rosanne Bane
Worried you don’t have the will power to write more or meditate regularly?
Stop worrying. You don’t need will power – you need habits. Unlike will power, which gets weaker every time you use it, habits get stronger with repetition.
Why Will Power Fails
“Will power” is what most people call the ability to make a decision to resist temptation or do something we’d rather not do. The problem is that we face so many temptations and difficult decisions that our will power is over-stretched and strained until, like an overused muscle, it fails.
Social psychologist Roy Baumeister defines the limits of will power as Decision Fatigue. Every time you make a decision, you use a tiny bit of a limited supply of cognitive ability to make decisions. Making a decision, it turns out, is like lifting a dumbbell. The first time, it seems like nothing; the fiftieth time, you feel the burn.
By the end of an average day, you’ve made at least 200 decisions just about food alone. You make thousands of decisions a day — e.g. what to wear, should I go to the gym, when will I open email, which of the hundreds of requests for my attention will I respond to, is that guy going to swerve into my lane…
No wonder you’re mentally exhausted by the end of the day!
Habits Are Easier
Unlike will power, habits are strengthened every time you practice them.
When you do a certain behavior, a series of neurons fire in a sequence along what’s called a neural pathway. Every time that pathway is used, the neurons get a coating of myelin, which insulates the pathway. Signals travel faster and more accurately along well-insulated pathways.
The more often you repeat a habit, the more efficient the pathway becomes, which in turn makes it easier to repeat that behavior.
Habits don’t require decisions – you do something just because you do it. There’s no debate about whether you’ll write or meditate today, so you’re not relying on limited decision-making energy.
The Catch 22
The problem is that before you have a habit, you’re doing something that takes mental focus and a willingness to be a little uncomfortable. But our capacity for this kind of mental focus and willingness is limited – as anyone who’s ever made great food choices all day and then fallen “off the wagon” in the evening out of sheer exhaustion can attest to.
You have to use that mental energy wisely. Here’s how.
Building Habits the Easy Way
1. Do the behavior you want to become a habit first thing in the morning when your will power is strongest. Putting your writing first means you don’t have to keep making the decision to write all day long, with ever-decreasing cognitive ability to make a good decision.
2. Set your intentions carefully: only give your word when you know you will keep it. Do what you say you will do every time you say will.
3. Make small commitments you can keep and build on your success.
4. Use all available tools — calendar, online reminders, support groups, tracking charts, check-ins with colleagues, etc. — to remind you to bring your mental focus to bear on doing the behavior you want to become habitual.
5. Enlist a partner. People who have workout buddies are far more likely to get to the gym than those who don’t. And writers who tell another writer what commitments they’re making to their writing are far more likely to honor those commitments.
Once you have a habit, you still need to honor your commitment every time, but you need much less mental focus and willingness to sustain the habit.
Will power fades and disappoints you, but habits endure. Who wouldn’t want writing habits instead of will power!
Rosanne Bane is a Creativity Coach and the author of Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance. She publishes , a blog for writers called Bane of Your Resistance to share insight and information about the many forms of writer’s resistance (including writer’s block, procrastination, distractions, looking for answers in the fridge, keeping yourself too busy to write, etc.) so we can write more – more often, more easily and more powerfully. Website: Rosanne Bane
Her next online class – Discover Your Way Around the Writer’s Block starts October 14; for more information visit
Tools To Thrive By
In today’s world of stress and hurry, doubt and worry, it is sometimes difficult to find the balance we need to keep our body, mind, and spirit healthy in order to find joy, purpose and spiritual connection.
It not only requires proper nutrition for our bodies, but we also need to nurture our spirit and focus on positive energy and thought processes. Ten tools that will help us do this are as follows:
Meditation is the portal to enlightenment. It is calming and provides peace and tranquility. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You may want to try different techniques till you find what works best for you. You may listen to audio recordings, music, chant, or it may mean just sitting quietly. Put aside at least fifteen minutes a day to meditate. Most answers you are looking for come from the silence.
2. Connect with nature
Spend time outdoors, go for walks and get in touch with nature. Listen to the birds, breathe in the fresh air, stop and smell the roses, and appreciate all the beauty mother earth has to offer.
3. Do things you enjoy
Have bubble baths by candlelight; Read lots of positive inspirational books. There are literally thousands out there. Watch an inspiring movie, (non-violent!) The Secret, Pay it Forward, The Bucket List, The Shift with Wayne Dyer are some very good ones. Listen to beautiful soothing music that moves you. Sing at the top of your lungs, dance like no one is watching, dance in the rain, sit in a park and watch children play, listen to their laughter; go to a spiritual retreat, play games with your family, go fishing, quading, horse back riding, anything to have fun, laugh!
4. Start a Gratitude Journal
What you focus on grows stronger as that is where the energy goes. If you are always focusing on the negative and what is not good in your life you will attract more of it to you. Focus on the positive by doing a gratitude journal. Each night before going to bed, write down things that have happened throughout your day that you are grateful for.
It can be anything from, I am thankful for the sunshine; I am thankful for the green grass, I am thankful for my warm bed and food on my table. There are many things to be thankful for. You will notice big changes even after thirty days. Try it! This will be one of the most important things you can do to start living a more positive and fulfilling life.
Say affirmations. You can record yourself saying them and listen to them every day. Some examples are; I am a total success, things always go my way in life, all of my efforts bring rich rewards, I set high goals for myself which I am able to attain, I am a warm and friendly person and people are naturally drawn to me, people seek me out to do business with me, I feel positive at all times and people respond to me in a positive way.
6. Surround yourself with positive people.
Attending personal development seminars is a great way to rejuvenate. Not only do you learn something new, but you get to hang out with positive, like-minded people and meet new friends along the way. Avoid hanging out with Negative Nelly. If you must be around negative people, limit your time with them as much as possible.
7. Create a Vision Board
Another very helpful tool is a Vision Board. Seeing pictures of your heart’s desires helps you to hold the vision in your mind. When the vision is in your mind, it manifests into your life. Thoughts become things! This can be done a number of ways. Cut photos of the things you want in your life from magazines, newspapers, or the get them from the Internet and paste them onto a bulletin board or poster board. Put it somewhere where you will be able to see it everyday. Put it on a wall in front of you, beside your desk and look at it daily. You can also make a movie that contains visions of your heart’s desires, watch it on a regular basis so your visions will be locked in your mind’s eye and always be present. If you hold your vision, it will soon manifest into your desires.
8. Write down your goals and ideal life
Write out what your ideal life looks like. For every facet of your life; relationships, career, financial, health, environment, etc. write out what that will look like if money and time were of no significance, and then keep those visions in your head and focus your energy towards them.
9. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, beef, eggs, and fish. Eliminate all processed foods. If it is white or comes in a box do not eat it. Check labels. Many foods you think are healthy are full of sugar.
Move your body. Not only does it help with stress, it fills it with nourishing oxygen and allows more flexibility. Start small by going for short walks. Set goals each week to go a little further. Do what you enjoy doing, walking, cycling, yoga, anything to get your body moving. Exercise also provides feel good endorphins to your brain.
Using these tools on a regular basis–and I recommend daily–will give you everything you need to feel joy and vitality, so that you may live life to it’s fullest, and THRIVE!
Carla shares her story and experiences she went through and how she found positivity and turned her life around even through the toughest of times. You can listen to her interview on Inspiration Nation
Self Hypnosis – A Gateway to Personal Health, Inner Peace and Wellness
By: Roberta A. Swartz, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Throughout the ages, humankind has desired to understand the meaning of life. This same desire is alive today, as we search for a deeper sense of purpose. Imagine yourself beneath the star filled sky and you’ll know that you are a part of something quite profound. We instinctively sense and strive for this connection, hoping to go beyond the mundane, often stressful activities of daily life.
As we continue searching, expanding our awareness, we know that we are much more than physical machines to be fixed with drugs or surgery. We want more than what traditional medicine has to offer. We are ready to participate in our wellness, wanting to experience tangible ways to explore and expand our human potential.
The depth of human potential goes beyond the surface of our being, beyond words and time, beyond intellectual constructs of mind. The real depths of human potential are within. It’s a knowing, a feeling, a deep connection to our self and the world around us. There are many
different rituals from all different cultures that provide opportunities for us to reach within.
Yet, regardless of the culture, regardless of the ceremony, they all have one thing in common; they all create a shift in our awareness, a shift between our mind and our body, a shift in our relationship with the world around us. This natural shift creates a synchronicity within our being and provides the proper environment for us to access our fullest capabilities.
Hypnosis is a gateway to this higher power, allowing access to subconscious awareness and direction. I find it interesting that such a powerful, natural mind ability that everyone possesses, has been misrepresented throughout the ages, keeping us in the dark. The truth is, is that for approximately 150 years, hypnosis has been used successfully in many different areas of medicine.
In the mid to late 1800′s, medical doctors such as Dr. James Braid, Dr. Anton Mesmer and Dr. James Esdaile, studied and used hypnosis with fantastic results. Even Sigmund Freud was involved in the use of hypnosis. Hundreds of successful case studies, including surgeries with hypnotic anesthesia were documented and published in medical journals, yet we continue to remain ignorant regarding this incredible, natural ability.
Fortunately, a new day is dawning and we find ourselves experiencing a wave of interest in alternative and complementary medicine, a more holistic understanding for personal wellness. In 1998, a bill was passed through Congress which established the National Center of
Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, as an independent branch of the National Institute of Health. Its purpose is to prove or disprove the worth of many alternative approaches in medicine.
Dr. Stephen Straus, the program director, is particularly interested in research of the mind-body connection. Hypnosis is currently being validated scientifically and medically as a useful tool in
the practice of medicine.
Since hypnosis is natural, everyone can learn to experience and benefit from it. Just as in learning anything new, you must have a desire to acquire knowledge and understanding. These new ideas provide experiences and feelings, which create a richer, more fulfilling life.
For almost 20 years, Roberta has helped people experience incredible changes with hypnosis.
Clients and students alike have successfully used hypnosis for many things including: Lowering blood pressure, sleeping better, changing negative habits of food, alcohol or cigarettes, creating natural anesthesia for pain control, promoting health, increasing self confidence, strengthening spirituality, enhancing athletic abilities, creating comfortable childbirth, as well as preparing for surgery with easier recovery.
Hypnosis has also been used successfully to lessen the severity, and in many cases, has completely eliminated allergies, fears, panic attacks, stomach problems, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, motion sickness, skin problems and asthma .The reality is, hypnosis allows you to enter a world of unlimited potential. As you learn to access and direct your subconscious mind, you can direct your body, your thoughts, your feelings, your behaviors and your life, in new and positive directions.
Join the many people who have achieved positive results with these natural mind abilities. You’ll be pleased with the quality and quantity of information that you’ll receive in Roberta’s self health
book, Me, Myself and Mind. Regardless of your age, culture, or religious beliefs, you can acquire these natural skills.
“As you learn to quiet your mind and your body, You can learn to help yourself. Here in this quiet place of being, you can create the perfect environment to support, stimulate, and direct Your body’s natural healing process.”
~Roberta A. Swartz
You can also listen to my interview with Roberta on Inspiration Nation Radio where she talks more about how self hypnosis helps us with our health.
Transformation with Amethyst
The power of this purple quartz crystal lends a hand to transform and transmute whatever you put your intention toward. Historically, this stone is known for its power to realign addictions and negative habits into good health and positive patterns. Amethyst adds an alchemical touch to challenging situations.
During a journey with less than ideal traveling companions, I called on the amethyst vibration through visualization and intention and the amethyst bead necklace around my neck. Adding purple to my wardrobe and using the mystical energy of this colour and stone I surrounded myself with purple . It was as if I was within an amethyst sphere. My intention was that the rest of my trip would be pleasant and fun. In short order, my not-so-good friends decided to travel off on their own relieving me of their unpleasant company. I went on with loving friends and truly enjoyed by vacation.
Utilize amethyst to transform bad dreams to good dreams, unpleasant situations into enjoyable times, and poor health into vibrant living through the use of visualization, intention and keeping an amethyst somewhere close by in your energy field. Amethyst helps you remember your dreams and signal your higher consciousness to relax enough to have a good night’s sleep. Keep an amethyst on your night stand or nearby your sleeping area to encourage insightful or prophetic dreams.
This stone is perfect to invite the angelic vibes of Archangels Gabriel, Metatron, Raziel, Tzaphkiel, and Zadkiel. Work with amethyst when you are tuning into your own intuition as well as the frequency of these luminous beings of light to allow your channel to be clear.
Attraction to this gemstone signals that you are ready to allow your intuitive gifts to the surface so you can use them in your daily life. It is possible to live a charmed life with the right color, beliefs and positive thoughts. Add the right gemstone and watch how your life transforms!
Affirm and hold thoughts like these with amethyst in hand, on your finger in a ring, on a pendant around your neck or in your pocket:
I create my reality. I can change my reality. It is easy for me to transform and transmute challenging situations. I use my intuition and follow my hunches. I easily access higher wisdom and knowledge.
Margaret Ann Lembo is the author of Color Your Life with Crystals, Angel Gemstone Oracle Cards; Chakra Awakening; and The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals and Stones. She is a spiritual entrepreneur and practitioner, aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden—a book store, gift store, and spiritual center.
This is another poem by my daughter Amanda. She started driving over summer and was just expressing how she viewed the roads.
by Amanda Davis
Lines separate directions
In lanes, in life
Where to go
when there are two
solid double yellow lines?
No passing allowed
Focus on the streets
crossing at intersections
You can only go
right on red
But you can always go
straight on green
Wait for the red to
fade and move on
Lemons, Lemonade & Life
Three Simple Questions to Mobilize Self-Healing
What if you operated under the assumption that everything you think and feel is okay?
What if you considered that your thoughts and emotions are your friends?
What if all you had to do to change something you struggle with is to figure out how it serves you?
I remember when these questions were hypothetical to me, before I took the journey to explore them. And when they became real — when I accepted my thoughts and emotions, allowed my non-preferred situations to serve me, and befriended myself with sincerity – I changed my life. And, believe me, with decades of depression, victimization and obesity under my belt, my life needed changing!
It can be challenging to open up your imagination, especially since we are conditioned to live in the “real world,” a world where the imagination seemingly has no place. However, I invite you to consider that by using your imagination — by venturing forth in new ways, by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable by opening up yourself to new possibilities – you can mobilize your ability to heal for real, FOR REAL, now, and thrive.
So there they are. Three questions to consider that can allow your imagination to stir, and take you down a new path of self-understanding. As Paul Shepard once wrote, “There is a secret person undamaged in every individual.” Imagine what your life will feel like when you reconnect with your undamaged self. Just think about what it will feel like to blaze a new path within you that is paved with joy, understanding and celebration. Be willing to imagine existing comfortably and oh so wonderfully in your own skin.
This is my positive wish for you. I wish for you the authentic knowingness of your own goodness to eclipse your constant and nagging thoughts to the contrary. I wish for you all of the joy your heart can bear. I wish for you abundance in ways that exceed your expectations. I wish for you the strength to know how complex and multifaceted you are, and how deserving you are of love. I wish for you that unwavering connection to your undamaged self, and the creativity and adventure that life becomes within that connection. Be willing to imagine it now.
Sometimes we think too hard on a problem that the solution may be easier than we think it is. I share a personal experience with just this scenario in this latest video.
And it’s important to remember that getting help in solving a problem instead of thinking you have to do it all by yourself because you may be too close to the problem to think of the better, correct or the missing link to the solution.
Here is the link to the video for this week’s Inspiration Nation TV:
When was the last time you solved a problem and realized the solution was easier than you figured it to be in the beginning? Please share.
Who Should We Be Listening To When We Listen To Ourselves?
Language is often used in a metaphoric way, even though it can be very confusing. The term “listening to oneself” is a good example.
It took me a while to realize that when people are advised to “listen to themselves” they expect to hear voices. How logical! I found that many were turned off because of the association “hearing voices” has with mental disease. Others were just plain disappointed because all they could actually hear is the mumbling of their abdomen digesting food.
In practicality, listening to oneself has nothing to do with sound but rather with sensation.
Let’s first clarify who the “Self” is.
The Self is an immaterial being. You can’t see the Self on X-ray, ultra-sound or MRI imaging. The self does not reside in one specific place in the body and can’t be detected using any type of modern technology. The Self is an energy entity that resides parallel to the physical body but not in one specific location.
Different traditions associate the Self with different body areas such as the heart, the abdomen or the third eye but these are only symbolic reference points. The Self is actually everywhere.
Learning The Language Of The Self.
The energy body is held within the physical body. The Self conveys information through the physical body, using the nervous system as its carrier.
When we interact with other energies, meaning other people, places or situations, the Self automatically responds and lets us know if these energies are pleasant or unpleasant, compatible or incompatible and does so by either relaxing or contracting muscles.
When we interact with energies that are pleasant and compatible to ours, the body relaxes. When we interact with energies that are unpleasant or incompatible to ours -the body contracts.
The body’s language of relaxation and contraction is the most reliable source of information regarding what supports us and what doesn’t and can be used to give insight to issues in all life realms.
If something causes your body to contract- you should do your best to avoid it. If something causes your body to relax you can be sure that whatever it is – it’s good for you.
Refining Your Self-Listening Skills
Following is an exercise for articulating the sensation of relaxation verses contraction.
Sit quietly, close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Focus on the center of your diaphragm and notice how it feels at the beginning of the exercise. Be with this sensation for a few minutes.
Now think about someone who significantly upsets you and use your imagination to bring his or her image into the center of your diaphragm. Notice how this image affects your body.
Once you have noticed the affect, allow the image to disperse and re-focus your breathing as at the beginning of the exercise.
Once the diaphragm area has returned to the initial sensation, think about someone you love dearly. Use your imagination and bring his or her image into the center of your diaphragm and notice how this image affects your body.
Once you have noticed the affect, allow the image to disperse and re-focus your breathing. Continue to sit quietly allowing your body to relax for a few more minutes and then end the exercise and open your eyes.
Most likely you will have noticed that the upsetting image caused contraction and the loving image caused relaxation.
For the most part everyday life causes distractions that prevent us from noticing these fine sensations. Many people are so contracted, they have a hard time noticing the difference. In these cases I recommend you practice as described above and just keep at it until the sensations become clearer. Practice does make perfect.
Tuning into body sensations and using them as a means to determine how the people and events of our life affect us is the true meaning of listening to our-self.
Celebrating my latest birthday last week made me remember something I had told my husband a few years ago about the importance of birthdays.
I know some people don’t enjoy celebrating their birthdays because it is a reminder they are getting older and closer to death. But there is something I think imperative for those people to realize regarding the importance of their birthday—and it’s not about just them.
This short video I share why I think it’s important to be able to recognize your birthday.
Just a short poem to celebrate Grandparents Day–
Oh, what delight we get
to be a part of your presence
and the sheer joy that is met
because love comes from your essence
You can always find open arms
And smiles come abound
Being with you we know no harm
Will come and love is the sound
In your heart and soul
So for this day and all in the year
We wish you a
Happy Grandparents Day
You’ve been there—you think you are having a great day then BAM! something or someone can set you off and your “good mood” has been interrupted.
The important thing to remember is that you hold the power to change it back. You have the control to shift the energy from bad back to pleasant and happy.
You don’t have to remain stuck in the bad energy that comes from being swept up into it. You can instead make a conscience decision to change it back to the positive.
Here’s a short video about how to shift energy in your life:
We love to write but sometimes we can get stuck writing when it is about something painful, hurtful or just plain difficult from our past. In this video, I try and offer some tips to help writers get back to writing especially when it’s about the most difficult times in our lives.
What has worked for you in your writing when it’s been about something difficult from your past?
This is a poem my daughter Amanda wrote. She was inspired to write through her love of juxtaposition. She just recently began poetry.
by Amanda Davis
Wise owls rest on the branches of a dumb forest
Unclean dishes lie alone in a pristine apartment
Flashlights break through the dark night
To lead the way of the confused
The ghosts of the once hopeful
The girls, boys lied to
The children abandoned
The lives forgotten
But artificial light rarely is enough
When the hurt corrodes the batteries
Acid melted rose petals
Poison and thorns corrupt the pure
Dark conceals white color
“Goodness, it’s hard to see without a good flashlight”
What does bliss mean to you? For some it indicates a sense of giddiness, sprinkled with faerie dust, over the moon excited like a kid on a pogo stick. For others, it calls to mind a state of peace and ease, internal tranquility, as if being gently carried downstream. Whatever your vision
of this exquisite feeling, wouldn’t it be nice to have at the ready, a portable tool kit so that you could BYOB-Be Your Own Bliss? I have found that when people are happy, they are able to be a greater force for good in the world. Are you ready to fill your kit?
1. Take a moment to connect with your breath; that necessary element that animates your body. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly as you feel the life force energy surge through you. Imagine it as a perpetual source of strength to ferry you through your day. Feel the
steady drumbeat rhythm of your heart. Any time stressful or challenging experiences come your way, bring yourself back to this moment.
2. As James Taylor sings “Shower the people your love with love.” They are in your life for mutual support, benefit, delight and enrichment. Hard to contemplate a time when they weren’t there, so let them know how much they mean to you. Words, actions and hugs all are powerful ways to communicate those feelings.
3. What is your passion and purpose? It is whatever lights you up from the inside and turns you into a human sparkler. Is there something you ‘can’t not do?’ It is writing that enraptures me, such that it is one of the first things I do to begin my day and one of the last things I
do to complete it. Are there interests that you haven’t pursued, or some that you have let fall by the wayside that you now want to scoop back up and embrace?
4. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. Consider your many blessings and say them aloud, write them down, dance them to life. We are so accustomed to taking them for granted. Instead, express thanks in advance for the blessings that surround you and those that have not yet arrived.
5. Love the woman or man in the mirror with such depth of appreciation that you sometimes feel like your heart will burst out of your chest. I know that this can be the most challenging of all, since we carry with us years of conditioning that tell us it isn’t appropriate to do that. I promise you that once you peel off the layers of protection or
illusion, what you will see in the shining eyes that gaze back at you, will simply dazzle you.
Edie Weinstein was my lovely bliss-FUL guest on Inspiration Nation Radio last week. In cased you missed it you can listen to it now – click on the link to Inspiration Nation. To learn more about Edie and her blissful work, you can go to her website, Live In Joy.
Sue London knows about overcoming adversities as through her life she has been through childhood bullying, a long journey with a chronic disease (Crohns’), a divorce, and a near death experience.
She shares her 10 Steps for Overcoming Adversities:
1. A Strong Determination
You can create more good days then bad days in your life! You have the choice. Start each morning just before hopping out of bed and say, “It’s going to be a fantastic day! I’m going to be productive and successful in everything that I do!” Don’t let things hold you back. Let your strong determination kick into gear.
2. Stop Worrying
Worrying is a huge waste of time and energy. What you put your focus on, you will attract! Always ask yourself… can I do something about this? If you can, then do it. If you can’t, then forget about it and let nature take its course.
3. Let Go
In order to move forward you must let go of negativity. Once released, you’re able to move on faster and succeed more easily. Let go of your negative emotions by writing total truth letters. Clear your clutter and discard items that hold negative memories. Toss items that are broken. Donate all unused items. Keep your space clean.
If you see it, believe it, then you will achieve it! Visualization is a powerful technique for attracting your goals. Visualize your peaceful place! Visualize living the life you desire.
5. Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is so important. What we think becomes our reality. If you think of doom and gloom and disaster that is exactly what you will get. Be positive; believe that things will work out well. Through a positive attitude, you can take your focus off the bad and you will see all the opportunities to move forward. A positive attitude will give you the strength to overcome sadness, move away from fear and awaken the power with you!
Smile at the people you meet. Smiling makes you look positive and more importantly, makes you feel positive. Your smile will make someone’s day and that can be very healing for you both!
7. Be Accountable
Find someone to be accountable to, set goals and go after your dreams.
8. Be Grateful
Keep a daily journal of all the things you are grateful for and watch the abundance come your way!
9. Get A Pet
Having a pet in your life is very healing. Animals comfort us through unconditional love, and they ease our pain. Animals give us strength and the courage to keep going. Bring an animal into your life and watch how healing it is for you also!
10. Change The Way You Look At Things
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change. Stress is not caused by a person or a situation. It is caused by our reaction to the person or the situation. When you accept that things happen for a reason you react better. Always look for the lesson to be learned.
Copyright Sue London 2013 . All rights reserved. Sue London is the Award Winning Host & Executive Producer of Get Inspired Radio. Sue is the Author of “Soar Above It All – Overcoming Adversities in Life”, “Rocky’s Trip To The Hospital” and “Rocky’s Positive Thoughts Coloring Book”. Sue is a Trainer, and Motivational Speaker. Sue London can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Sue London please visit www.AskSueLondon.com
If you missed it, you can listen to my interview with Sue London on Inspiration Nation.
We are all striving to accomplish those things we want to do and those things we want to share with others. We want to put ourselves out to the world in such a way but I think sometimes we cloud our uniqueness and our own humanness.
In these times, we can forget our humanness—we can lose sight of the fact that we are unique and don’t need to compare or strive to be a version of someone else or their work. You and YOU and I am ME.
We don’t allow ourselves to remember we are human and with that comes making mistakes and working on learning from them. And among learning the lessons that lie within the mistakes or experiences, we can grow and become better at being the greater part of ourselves and/or our creativity.
We tend to be hard on ourselves and not give ourselves a break. In this video, I share a story about my daughter and her summer project for art class.
In this video, I share about the importance of remembering about our humanness and being our unique selves. Especially when we are trying to do something creative, like writing or art. Don’t give up, if you are a writer, artist, musician, poet, etc. Your creativity is inside you…just allow it to emerge when it’s supposed to come. Don’t allow your fear or others deter you from achieving your creative goals.
Do you feel that we tend to forget our humanness or do you think we allow ourselves too many “breaks”? I would love to hear your comments and thoughts on the subject.
One of the things I love to look for is (you probably guessed it) more things that inspire me.
A while ago I was watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and found out about Soul Pancake. My ears were perked as to what in the world it was all about. Soul Pancake is in simple terms ideas and tools that make you think about what is important to you and stretch your mind to reach new heights.
And as a reader as well as a writer, I am a frequent visitor to my local library. A few weeks ago, I was perusing the spiritual and psychological areas and came upon –Soul Pancake:Chewing on Life’s Big Questions by Rainn Wilson
I wanted to bring to you my subscribers, a bit of the great questions in the book—
In the following video I share with you a few of the exercises you can use to take time to well, like the subtitle says, Chew on life’s big questions.
Just recently there was a full moon (July 22nd) when the moon’s energy is so powerful. However, there is energy, universal energy, a part of our world every day. And us as humans have a energy that we can use to navigate and help create or manifest things in our lives. I’m not saying that your instantly going to create your dream home or your favorite sports car, HOWEVER, you can help in the creation of making those things a possibility by using your powerful thoughts and actions of who you are and those around you.
In the video, I also share a few tools you can do to create and start envisioning a more positive world around you to boost creativity and writing by using the universe energy which you are a part of all the time.
What things have you created or see a change in from changing your energy or by working with the universal energy in the world?
So often we think of mistakes as BAD. And in fact, most of the time without making a mistake we wouldn’t learn would we?
I mean we don’t set out to make a mistake but they do happen and then we have to beat ourselves up for them for days at a time, as if we aren’t human and we are the first person to make a mistake.
In this video, I share some insight I heard from an episode of Oprah’s Master Class with actress Susan Sarandon and a excerpt from Melody Beattie’s book, A Journery in the Heart to help with this concept of making mistakes.
Mistakes aren’t all bad…and most of the time we learn more from a mistake than if we didn’t make one at all. And don’t allow the fear of making mistakes stop you from trying something new…do it anyway and see where you can go.
What lesson have learned from a mistake? or What thing did you do even when you had the fear of making a mistake?
This week I really wanted to open the lines of communication with my online community—share your stories with others.
Turning your wounds into wisdom…how have you been able to do this in your life?
I believe when we share with others about our experiences and the lessons we have learned from them we allow others to connect on a more personal level with us.
Here is a short video to do ask you —what are the things you have learned from your experiences?
Let’s connect and share with each other so we can learn and support each other.
Trust is such a precious commodity that I think for many people, unfortunately, take it too lightly when given and push it away when received. It can be hard to trust again once it’s broken and felt like someone has taken trust from you. You can get it back—for yourself. You can gain it back so you can have trust back in your life to give and receive it.
This short video offers a few tips on how to gain trust back for yourself when it is broken.
I talk more about trust in my latest book, DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing.
In honor of the summer solstice I wrote the following poem:
The circular pathway
Welcoming us beachside bungalow
Built from the crushed bit of shells
And I hear them burst under the weight of the
Tires slowly rolling over them
Others come to retreat enticed by the
Warmer climate, billowing clouds, palm and citrus trees .
Only here for a short time, you come to be near those
Exuding comfort, acceptance and joy
An eruption of smiles, giggles, hugs and laughter
greet the sisters, cousins, fathers, daughters, mothers,
in laws, sons and brothers as we break the thresh hold of this summer getaway.
The embrace of the scent of salty water that cradles a boat and caresses the seawall that divides the water and the lush green grass housing an arrangement of pink, red and yellow flowers snuggling the quaint abode.
Chatter fills the air as love come from each of our mouths soothing the souls of those who are sending and receiving the eloquence of words spoken and of others only heard in silence.
We become soldiers in a sort of brigade falling effortlessly in line chopping, shredding, peeling, mixing, stirring . The dance continues as the array of delicious morsels are displayed on a crisp white table cloth awaiting the race to begin.
A feast of sorts, I like to call delicious living.
As we seat together with empty plates and full bellies, the talk of celebration runs into games of guessing, clues and miming and the roar of laughter is embraced by all who sit among the cozy overstuffed pillows plunked on the floor.
I wish I could hold time still as I look around at all the smiles, cheers and happiness that blossomed from the collective as each of us have made the choice to be together at this place, this time, creating these unforgettable blissful moments on this glorious beautiful priceless summer day.
This week I wanted to share with you about an emotion all of us have felt several times in our life but most of us don’t know how to try to work to get rid of it.
We feel that it is just a part of life and while that is true to a certain extent, anger does not have to stay in and control our lives.
This video I share with you some tips that will help you understand why you are anger and how to rid yourself of anger.
Please feel free to share your experiences, tips, strategies and stories of how you have handled or dealt with anger.
I have wanted to get back to doing video blogs and here is my first one in a while. This video series will be titled “Inspiration Nation TV” as my purpose is to help create a nation of inspiration through the world of words.
This week I wanted to share a inspirational tip about something that can help you when you are overwhelmed and frustrated with either your life–personal or business.
Please let me know and share with me how you have used writing or other methods to help you beat overwhelm.
Whoohoo! I am super excited this week I get to share with you a continued conversation with Jean Adrienne Miller.
She will share with listeners about her Inner Speak program that has helped thousands of people find the obstacles and limited beliefs that have stopped them from living their best selves and how to transform that in their lives.
She also reveals whom “The Beings of Now” are in her life and how they help her with her work.
I was thrilled to be able to bring you more of Jean’s insight, knowledge and inspiration to give you the power tools to help you in your life.
I hope you enjoy this continued conversation with Jean and I.
If you missed last week’s conversation on Book Talk, you can listen to it at Creating Calm Network and then be sure to follow it by listening starting at 10 am when Ann White offers her book review and then Ginger Dawn shares and then I will be on at 10:30amET with Part 2 of my conversation with Jean Adrienne Miller, author of Power Tools.
With the music interludes by the talented, Jeff Gold.
You can pick up your copy of Power Tools: The Ultimate Owner’s Guide to Personal Empowerment on Amazon and you can learn more about Jean on her website, Jean Adrienne.com.
Today we have the capability to connect with people easier than ever, however, I find that the lack of really connecting with another person seems to be too common. If you have the opportunity to connect directly with someone, go for it. I’ve always said, when you don’t do it, you are choosing the answer to be “no”. If you decide to try, you open up the answer to change to a “yes”.
What I mean by that is —don’t be afraid to contact someone either by email, phone or social media if you wish to connect with them.
There are some “rules”:
1) When connecting, share with them the reason why you are connecting with them.
2) Be authentic to yourself and to the conversation.
3) Don’t force a connection or conversation. If they don’t reciprocate, don’t worry. Allow the connection to happen when and if it is supposed to happen.
Here’s an example I will share with you:
Just yesterday, I had been online and was looking up the website for a radio show interview I will be doing later on today. Once on the website, this lady, Janet was hosting her show, Anger 911. Talk about a topic that resonates with me. This is a topic I share in my latest book, DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing.
As I listened to Janet Pfieffer and her poignant advice on anger and how you can allow it to rule your life and you can diminish it from your life. I decided to go on her website and check out her work. As I read about her, I noticed she had been on such shows as The 700 Club, LifeTime, CBN News and her latest book, The Great Truth, was endorsed by Marci Shimoff, author of Happy for No Reason and published by Balboa Press.
She had mentioned her book, The Secret Side of Anger and I thought, she would be a great guest on my show, Inspiration Nation. I decided on the spot to send her an email asking her if she would like to be a guest on Inspiration Nation.
When I find someone online that resonates with me, I then try to be sure I stay connected with what they are doing online.
I went to Facebook and I sent a friend request with a personal message stating how I found her and why I would like to connect with her.
Her show had ended and I got a “bing” from Facebook that she was on chat. She was online and connected with me within minutes! In her FB message, she said had sent me an email. She thanked me and accepted the invite to be on my show. YAY!
I went to my email and then she had invited me to chat on the phone with her. WHOOHOO!
For me, I hadn’t thought all of this would be happening, I reached out and got not only a almost instant positive response, but then she invited me to chat on the phone!
Janet and I had a lovely conversation and it was a great opportunity to get to know each other better. Solid connection and the start of a lasting supportive mutual relationship with a like minded spiritual person.
Don’t be scared to reach out and ask for a connection with someone—you may just get many blessings in return!
I would love to hear your stories of connections you’ve had online? Please share.
in this moment
you are incarnating
a new moment
Of the tomorrows
You hold the power
Build and create moments
For if you give it
You will receive it
Over the noise
That surrounds you
But embrace the
light that is waiting
To become a part of you
Ann White – a confessed book jones follows up on her discussion of Stephanie Bond’s Body Mover series and reviews Tom Schreck’s Duffy Dombroski series.
The Legendary Ginger Dawn Harman, our West Virginia Housewife and Book Blogger Supreme tackles the moving story in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Henrietta was a poor tobacco worker who’s cells were taken from her without her knowledge and today are the cause of great scientific and medical discoveries while she lies forgotten in her grave.
And on Inspiration Nation, Teresa Morrow interviews Jean Adrienne, author of Power Tools – an owner’s manual for personnal improvement. When we settle for less than what we truly desire, we are compromising and that sets up wounds for us to clear. Learn more about healing and uplifting your life during this interview.
Musical interludes by Jeff Gold.
Listen to it now in case you missed it or even if you wish to listen to it again –Book Talk, Creating Calm Network
Change is a part of life. No matter how much we try to stop it, move around it, get ahead of it, figure it out, it always seems to surprise us when we least expect it.
My friend, Jenn Givler, owner of Blended Yoga, published this vlog (video blog) yesterday on change and I thought I would share it with you.
Inspiration comes in all forms—yoga many times has allowed me to center me, ground me, and bring me back to myself. Whether a minor and dramatic change, this yoga sequence can help you & I, get back in touch with our bodies and mind. When you and I become more centered, we can take on life challenges (or change) much easier.
Thanks Jenn for providing this to us.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel while networking online and when I read about her book, I knew I wanted to share her work and book with you.
Please share about your background (where you were born, where you grew up, siblings/family dynamic, career background , where you live now, etc.)
I was born in Rochester, NY and grew up in a tiny historic village called Scottsville. I will put it to you this way we had one street light, could walk the perimeter of the town in under and hour, and our McDonald’s closed down after only
a few months because it could not get enough business!
I am an only child, but I am very close to my oldest cousin. He was referred to as my weekend brother when we were growing up. I am incredibly close with my parents and extended family and feel very blessed for that. I married my high school
sweetheart after my freshman year of college. He has just graduated from Army Basic Training so within 2 weeks of being married we moved to Hawaii. We lived there for nine years and are currently living in SC where he is now a Drill Sergeant. It’s nice to be back in the same time zone as our family!
I originally started out as an IT major in college, because this is what my father, uncle, and grandfather all went to college for. I even attended the same university! However, it was clear to me that this was so not me. I ended up
taking several years off of school when we got married, just not knowing what I really wanted to do. Then around age 20, I was treated with cognitive behavior therapy for chronic pain
from a back injury I suffered at age 14. I was so shocked that I could manage that level of pain without having to be doped up on narcotic painkillers, which I detested taking. It was then that I realized I wanted to pursue psychology.
Currently I am completing my doctoral dissertation in health psychology and I am a board certified holistic health practitioner with the AADP. I plan to continue writing self help books and teaching workshops online and in person to help people manage stress and chronic pain naturally.
When did you begin your writing journey?
My writing journey began in earnest in the Fall of 2012. This is when I was starting to question what I really wanted to do with my degree. However, I can recall sitting in my room when I was 11 years old typing away at my father’s old laptop computer, with DOS, green text, and huge floppy disks, thinking I was going to write a novel. Then those dreams faded away, because the world trains us to think we cannot make money with creative endeavors. Now as an adult, I am
realizing that I have a deep passion and drive to be creative and that YES I can make a living out of this. It was a liberating feeling. I don’t want to or feel I need to fit into the mold of “psychologist” just because that is my formal
training. I need to pursue what makes my heart soar and that is being creative, writing, and teaching others.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write Stress the Silent Killer because, well, stress is on my brain right now! My masters thesis was on meditation for stress management and my doctoral dissertation is on stress management among Army spouses. Seeing how much stress there is around us, how many people struggle with stress, and the instant jump towards medication as a “treatment,” I knew I needed to write my book to help
people naturally and permanently manage stress.
Please share about your latest book.
Stress the Silent Killer is about how to naturally manage stress. I provide a five week program designed to help people form new healthy habits, thought patterns, and
experiences around things that cause them stress. In the book I teach meditation, the law of attraction, how food impacts mood, using sleep to improve mood, and the basics of aromatherapy for stress management. As an added bonus, I included two meditation audios that were created for past clients of mine dealing with stress, anxiety, panics attacks, and insomnia. The book beings with an overview of stress and how it can negatively impact mental and physical health. Then the techniques are described, each includes a case study
from past clients. The end of the book provides a step by step five week program with additional exercises and areas for notes and goal setting. This book is designed to be manageable and allow people to form new healthy habits that will help them with current and future stress.
What are some takeaways you would like your reader to get from reading your book?
I want people to realize that they do not need to endure stress and that using medications for stress management is only a bandaid. I would like my readers to walk away feeling better about their life and themselves. Being able to effect
change in your life can be empowering and help build confidence and self worth.
What is your advice to beginning writers?
I would like to tell beginning writers to keep their chin up and their fingers moving. There will be days that are challenging and people that will not always get what you want to do. But, if this is your passion then you need to keep
plowing ahead. Talk to other writers, join local or online groups for support, and explain to loved ones what this means to you. If you write with support and passion behind your words, your reads will be able to sense this and your writing
will come off as genuine.
Most writers are readers. What books are on your “to-read” list?
Right now is Second Stone book #2 in the Souls of Stones Series by Kelly Walker is at the top of my queue. I am reading the first book in the series, Cornerstone, and absolutely cannot put it down. YA fiction is my guilty pleasure and I hope to write my own someday soon
Where can readers find out more about you and your book? (add in blog/website/social media links)
Official Author Website: http://www.AuthorRachel.com
Writing/ Book Blog: http://www.IndieBookCorner.com
Question for fun sake—what is your favorite color and why?
My all time favorite color has to be purple! It is such an inviting, calming, and spiritual color. It always soothes me and at the same time can provide me with inspiration.
Images get disjointed
Thoughts are interrupted
by fear and doubt
The whisper of an intention
with Divine Purpose
to allow new ideas
But your vision is being compromised
by the broken lens you are seeing
the world through
You think the picutre you see is the truth
but your ego is blinding you from
who you are
It’s your time
in this moment
Take hold of a new vision
Set your intentions
and open your eyes
looking outward from
your inner power
Guided by your spirit
Push away the doubt
realize fear has no place here
See clear the path
in front of you
toward your true purpose
This week on Inspiration Nation, I am joined by Heidi Cowie, author of Touch the Whale.
I have previously done a book spotlight on Heidi’s book but I got the opportunity to interview Heidi on the story of swimming with the whales, her writing journey. She also shares tips on how self limiting thoughts keep us from living our dreams.
During the interview Heidi even shows me a self limiting thought about money, I didn’t realize where it may have come from.
You can listen to the interview tomorrow on Creating Calm Network.
For writers, authors and poets, we are all constantly looking for others who will want to read our writing. And we know how hard it can be to do this, so getting the support of our fellow writers, authors and poets is always a blessing.
I found this awesome blog post by Cate Russell Cole that focus on giving and sharing—-SUPPORT an AUTHOR MONTH.
When I saw this I thought, “what a cool idea!” so I wanted to help spread the word.
Here are the guidelines:
Find a blog or website of a writer, author or poet you like. Leave a comment on their blog or share the link of their blog or website on social media. Offer a few words to your followers about this writer, author or poet that you enjoy.
To read more about SUPPORT an AUTHOR MONTH, here is Cate Russell Cole’s blog post.
Let’s spread the writing love with others!
I wanted to add a twist to the guidelines so I have shared the links of a few indie authors I know along with their websites and/or Facebook links:
Share the writing and supportive love!
Interview with Pat Montgomery, author of Patriot Parent
Please share about your background (where you were born, where you grew up, siblings/family dynamic, career background , where you live now, etc.)
I grew up moving around the country with my parents and my sister. Due to my dad’s job, we never lived in one place more than 4 years. Today I treasure that because I saw so many things and met so many different kinds of people, but then it was hard—especially for a teenager!
After my mother MADE me spend a summer as a Candy Striper in the local hospital (thanks, Mom) I made the decision that I wanted to be a nurse and have held a license now for 39 years. It was a great career and, when I turned into a single mom, I was able to care for my children on my own.
When I married my current husband, I left that career and we began a railroad consulting business with him. It has had its ups and downs but was a good chance for me to spread my wings and take a chance.
My writing career is my avocation. There is nothing like sitting alone and letting the words flow out of you—it is like they have a life of their own.
When did you begin your writing journey?
I dreamed of writing the great American novel when I was a child, but didn’t take writing seriously until I wanted to make a list for my children of the things I did well and things I could have done better when raising them. I wanted them to learn from my experiences so when they had their own, it would be easier for them. That list grew until it was my first book, Now You Know What I Know: Parenting Wisdom of a Grandmother which was published in 2005.
What inspired you to write this book?
The tragedy of 9/11 made all of us think and I was no exception. It was what made me consider that I might not be here to help my kids when they became parents and I wanted to leave something for them—to share a little wisdom with them.
Please share about your latest book.
My latest published book is The Patriot Parent: Still the
Best Hope for America. I looked around me and saw kids being sent home from school for wearing shirts with American flags on them, schools refusing to play the National Anthem, celebrities in a viral video pledging allegiance to a president instead of the country. It scared me. Sound familiar? So I decided to help parents help their children to understand why and how this country was founded and how exceptional it is. Not only does The Patriot Parent give parents the steps they need to take, but it also contains essays, documents such as the Declaration of Independence, and the words to patriotic songs that can be used as a starting off place for American families.
How did you decide to publish this book? Why?
I originally published it as an ebook, but then due to numerous requests, I updated it, changed a few things, and added more content and made it a paperback.
What is the best advice you have received about writing?
“Just start writing.” I was told to sit down and just start to write down my ideas, not worrying if they are in order or even in paragraphs. I found that to be true. As I wrote ideas, they flowed into sentences, then paragraphs, then chapters. It is magical what happens when you release that energy in your brain and get out of your own way.
What is your advice to beginning writers?
Not to give up. Write a blog, write articles, write a novel…just don’t stop writing. It is a muscle that needs to be exercised to operate at a maximum level. And believe in yourself. Stephen King kept writing even though no one would publish him—unitl they did. Jack Canfield got turned down everywhere he turned for his idea about the Chicken Soup books. Believe in yourself like they did and don’t quit.
Most writers are readers. What books are on your “to-read” list?
I just read King’s book, 11/22/63—amazing concept and great read. I recommend it to everyone.
I am looking forward to new Vince Flynn book coming out this spring—love the action and his writing style. Also the new Dan Brown book sounds good and I have loved his other ones.
But I also read biographies and books about American history. My bookshelf is pretty eclectic.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book?
(add in blog/website/social media links)
Below are the links to my websites (which include my blogs) and social media sites.
Facebook: I can be found under Parents Rule and The Patriot Parent
Twitter: I am ParentsRule http://www.twitter.com/parentsrule
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/parentsrule1
You are bringing back your blog talk radio show, Parents Rule! Please share more about that.
Thanks so much for asking!
Parents Rule! was on the air in Atlanta for 5 years then I decided to pull back and just do the blogs and You Tube. A few months ago I received an opportunity to bring Parents Rule! back but in only internet form and I could do it from home. After much thought, I agreed to do it and now I am really excited about this new venture. The first show airs on March 21 ( and then every Thursday) 3-4 pm on http://www.w4cyradio.com on the Intertainment Network.
Question for fun sake—what was your favorite childhood meal and why?
I am not sure if you are looking for a specific food or an event but here is my answer, which has both. My dad’s family has a family reunion every year and we would always come into town for it (we only got there once a year). He is one of 10 children, not to mention the many cousins. When I was little the men used to cook a hog over a pit all night, then pull the meat off the bone and that was the basis for our reunion meal. My dad let me come with him and listen to the stories the men told about their adventures and their exaggerated fish tales. It was great to be included. Then at the reunion, I had so many uncles, aunts, and cousins to hang around and I looked forward to it all year.
Super excited to have Stephanie Gunning as my guest on Inspiration Nation, my show in the line up on Thursday’s program Book Talk, part of Creating Calm Network.
I hope you will take some time and listen to Book Talk starting at 10amET tomorrow, Thursday, April 25th, with fellow book lover and blogger, Ginger Dawn as she shares an inspirational book review or interview to lift your spirit. Then on Inspiration Nation at around 10:30am, you will hear as Stephanie reveals her inspiration for her latest book, The Writer’s Book of Inspiration. She also offer some useful tips knowledge about the publishing industry (as she used to work as the acquisitions editor at Harper Collins).
When I saw the title of her book, ‘The Writer’s Book of Inspiration’ (I caught it on a social media feed, I believe it was Linked In, but could have been Facebook), I connected with Stephanie immediately because it was just the perfect fit for the show.
I hope you enjoy the interview with Stephanie Gunning as much I did. It was a true joy having her a part of the show.
You can also follow the Creating Calm Network on Facebook.
More about Stephanie:
Stephanie Gunning is a bestselling author, editor, and publishing consultant specializing primarily in books on the topics of health, spirituality, personal growth, and new thought. Her creative endeavors are dedicated to individual empowerment and the conscious evolution of humankind. “Working with visionary thinkers gives me an advanced education in human potential,” Stephanie says. “Each day they inspire me to contribute my own talents and message to the world, as best as I am able.” You can find out more about Stephanie on her website Stephanie Gunning.com.
I wanted to start a conversation about the words, abandonment and disownment.
Even though I hadn’t thought about it for many years, I realized that I felt abandoned from my mom after she died when I was six years old. That was because I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye and didn’t really understand what was going on with her and the her illness of cancer. But she didn’t abandon me. She left because something beyond her control took her from this Earth. It was time for her to go.
But the real hit to me was when I was almost thirty years old when my dad disowned me from the family for dating an African American man.
It’s was hard for me to wrap my head around such a blunt ultimatum from my dad. First, I was in shock. Then tons of questions swarmed in my mind. Then I got angry and I wanted to force him to change his mind. Then I realized I need to let go. Then I found out how I could be happy even if I wasn’t in my family. Then I did my work on my past to heal me. Then I fell in love with me. Then I allowed love from my honey. Then it was about forgiveness. And about healing. For me and the others in my life.
I would like to begin a dialogue around the subject of disownment, broken relationships, abandonment but more importantly the healing aspects of these experiences.
What was the hardest part for you around abandonment or disownment?
Yes, I’m doing the happy dance once again!
My book, DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing is now out on Kindle!
More about the book:
Are you trying to heal from a broken relationship as a result from a disownment or abandonment?
We all want to be a part of a collective group of people that accepts us for who we are no matter what comes up in our lives. If those treasured relationships become strained to the point of abandonment or disownment, it can leave a person with a trail of unresolved emotions affecting our personal, professional and spiritual lives.
In this book, DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing, author & poet Teresa Morrow, shares her experiences toward healing after her father disowned her for dating an older man from another race. Devastated by the disownment, she chronicles her journey going through the stages of grief where she discovered new things about herself she never knew existed; self-love, courage and support within herself.
While going through her journey of transformation, Author Teresa Morrow discovered she needed to heal her past of failed relationships and the beliefs she was taught growing up to find her true self; immerse herself in self-love in order to grow and heal from the disownment from her father. She also guides the reader through a set of inspired action exercises after each chapter assisting the reader to help work through and toward his or her own healing.
When you are in a state of abandonment resulting from being separated from a loved one, you are overwhelmed with a rollercoaster of emotions. Working through the stages of grief you can begin to define a new sense of self and find the way toward healing yourself and possibly the broken relationship.
Even if it has been years since a relationship has been broken, you can heal from it starting today. Even if the broken relationship does not resolve itself, the person can be at a better healthier place within themselves which will enable the person to develop more successful relationships with others going forward in their lives.
You can pick up your copy on Amazon.
I am excited to have Marion Witte as my guest on my show Inspiration Nation part of Book Talk on the Creating Calm Network.
You can listen to Inspiration Nation on Book Talk and my interview with Marion Witte.
I am super excited to be a part of the Creating Calm Network with a program called Book Talk and my show, Inspiration Nation!
In cased you missed the first episode, I shared a review of Karen Pierce Gonzalez’s book,“>Family Folktales.
Don’t forget to catch Ginger Dawn at 10 o’clock on Book Talk too on Thursdays.
You can hear Inspiration Nation at 10:30am Book Talk on Creating Calm Network.
And this week, book review of Ricky Roberts III book, Where Did the Gift Go?
List of scheduled shows on Creating Calm Network:
Monday Morning Coffee
10am Ann White – Creating Calm within Chaos
10:30 Tomar Levine – Soul Guidance
11am Kimberly Burnham – The Nerve Whisperer
11:30am Ruth Crone – Being You
Music provided by Rebecca Zapen
Wake UP! to Wonder filled Wednesdays
10am – Nadya Schubert – Notes from Spirit
10:30am – Linda Crawford – The Groovy Goddess
11am – Maeve Crawford – The Soulmate Catalyst
11:30am – Gail Browning – The Gem Maven
Music provided by Cymber Lily Quinn
Also, if you are a inspirational, motivational, or spiritual author and would like to be interviewed, please contact me.
When I thought about the word abandonment, it brought up the feeling of being alone. Then the words, “one day your in, one day your out” popped in my head and I saw Heidi Klum standing on the runway on the show Project Runway telling this to the fashion design hopefuls.
No one likes to get the jolt of being told they are no longer included in the circle of people they once thought of as close—friends or family. That feeling of standing all alone with no one to support you, guide you, encourage you. What do you do?
In my upcoming book, DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing, I share my story around being disowned and what happened as a result of it.
I would love to hear your stories about how you got through your abandonment or disownment…what was the catalyst to bring on the disownment or abandonment?
How do you think you could get through an abandonment or disownment?
This week on Super Soul Sunday, the question came up about what matters to you? #ThingsthatMatter
Oprah had Nate Berkus as her guest and he was talking about his new book #TheThingsThatMatter and the loss of the love of his live, Fernando.
Nate and Fernando were in Shralangia when the tsunami hit and in the midst of the storm, Nate lost Feranando in the waters.
Oprah and Nate were talking about his life after the loss of his boyfriend. Nate was describing how he “turned up the volume” on his life as he truly believes Fernando would have wanted. And also how life can’t be lived the same once you lose someone special in your life.
I can relate to many of the things regarding grief and loss because 1)I loss my mom when I was 7 and 2) the disownment from my family 3)my husband’s heart attack and medical issues
When you are going through such difficult or trying times such as the loss of a loved one or the abandonment from your family…the feelings are similar because you go through shock, pain, anger, bargaining, reflection, and healing.
When you are in the midst of the grief, it may be harder to see the lessons to be learned but they are there if you seek them out.
Nate stated through the loss of Fernando he learned the things that matter to him were to be more compassionate, go out of his comfort zone, appreciate time with people, live from his authentic self.
I could relate with Nate because through my disownment I learned the things that matter to me are listen to my inner guidance, spend time with those who have positive energy, and spread the message of self love & true purpose.
This episode came at an aligned time for me because my upcoming book, ‘DISOWNED: A Journey of Transformation from Abandonment to Healing’ is coming out soon. Stay tuned for details.
Even in the middle of the most tragic events, there is beauty that can be found if you are able to look for it, recognize it and use it to live your life with the volume turned up.
What things matter to you? And how are you planning on turning up the volume in your life?
I came across Kathy Pooler’s link when she brought up her enjoyment in listening to music while she writes.
Kathy shared in her post titled Music Matters in Memoir Writing, “I have always been amazed at the ability of music to affect my mood, transport me to another time and place and help me connect to my own creative energy.
She’s a woman after my own heart. Listening to music is one of my favorite tactics to get my writing energy “juices” flowing. There is just something about the words and the rhythm of the notes used that gets more motivated and my brain working.
Usually it will be a point while listening that my mind will go to thinking about songwriter and the process they worked on to get to the final product of their next song. As a writer, I can relate and it gives me inspiration to keep going with my writing.
Does music work to help you with your writing? If so, how? If not, what other tactics do you use to inspire you move your writing along?
Once again, I was watching OWN and this time the show was about “The Best of the Oprah show” and this one highlighted spirituality (one of my favorite subjects)!
About half way through, the ladies got on the topic of vision boards.
I knew about vision boards for years but hadn’t done one until about a year ago after I reconnected with life purpose coach, Tina Games. She offered for me to become a member of her coaching groups and one of the teaching sessions was to create our own vision boards.
For me, the purpose of a vision board allows me to keep a visual tool of those things I am driven by my soul to become a part of my life.
How has your vision board changed your life?
I was watching #SuperSoulSunday as Oprah was talking with Jill Bolte Taylor, author of A Stroke of Insight.
Oprah asked Dr. Taylor a question about anger and I just loved her answer:
(something like this…)
“Anger is an emotion that takes 90 seconds from the moment you begin to feel anger to the time it takes to exit your body. We choose to stay angry. When we choose to stay angry, it is us choosing to rerun the loop of the tape of the incident that made us angry. We don’t have to stay angry. We choose it.”
When I heard this it made me think about the length of time I choose to be angry with my dad for disowning me for dating my boyfriend (now husband). I allowed myself to stay angry with him for doing this mean act to me.
However, I realized over time, I wasn’t doing anything but hurting myself from being angry. My anger wasn’t changing his mind. My anger was making me feel better. My anger wasn’t allowing me to live my best life. My anger was sucking up energy I could have used to be more attentive to the other people in my life.
What purpose did it serve in my life at the time? None! Except making me miserable. Jill Taylor’s point exactly!
When you are angry and stay angry, what purpose is it serving you in your life?
Examining yourself, what you do and how you feel, can be one of the most challenging and frightening things you will ever face in life. Yet the journey into self-acceptance and self-love must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.
Boy! When I read this quote it has such a deep meaning for me. I believe that when I started the journey of self reflection, it changed my life in a profound way. It was not easy but once I went through the path of self reflection, it helped me come to a bigger understanding of what I wanted to bring to the world and what I didn’t want to share.
It allowed me to work through those limiting beliefs from my past and move away from having them stay a part of who I am. I realized I didn’t have to carry those along with me. It was a choice that I created for myself but it wasn’t and didn’t have to be the reality of my life. So I changed it.
And I continue to change and work through things/ideas/ thoughts when they come up that will hinder or prohibit me from being who I wish to be and show to the world.
When you read this quote, what do you feel? What thoughts come to the forefront?
My hubby has become quite the “house chef” and I am thrilled that it gives him such joy. And the bonus is Amanda and I get to eat the yumminess.
Eddie had a checkup last week since his defibulator surgery in December and the doctor told him he was finally good to go to be able to move his left arm more freely.
What that meant to my husband was, “Now, I can BBQ!” (actually he put the meat in the smoker.)
After the appointment he went about the task of cutting up the chicken quarters and then I asked him what he was making with the chicken. He replied,”I think I’ll make some coleslaw”.
Sounded great to me and it was! Here is recipe for the homemade coleslaw he made:
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
2 carrots shredded
1/4 cup of raisins (or dried cranberries)
1 golden delicious apple cut up in chunks
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp of honey
2 tsp parsley
pinch of salt
(I added a tsp of black pepper to mine too!)
Inspiration about Writing From My Girl
My daughter, Amanda, came to me last night all excited. Now, this type of thing happens pretty often when living with a teenager–as there is always some type of drama in her life so to me I was not overly interested. However, being her mother, I replied,”Ok, so what’s happening now?”
“Mom, I have a question to ask you.”
“Ok, what is it?”
“How do you know what to write about?”
Now, Amanda has been writing on and off for oh about four or five years now. And she hadn’t talked about writing for quite a while so I was pleased to hear her bring up the subject again.
“Write what you know about. That’s what I do. At least it’s a good way to get started. ” I rambled.
“But the stuff that people write about teenagers is the same ole same ole. It’s good stuff and I enjoy reading it. But as a writer, I don’t want to write that.”
“Amanda, while they may be true, teenagers do like those books. They buy them don’t they? Remember to think about your reader.”
“Mom, that may be true, but I want to write something different. I want to write something that means something more than just a love sick teenager or a teenage love triangle.”
“Ok. Well, I wrote about my life and turned it into a book. I don’t know if other people will like the story but it did really happen. It is a love story too.”
My daughter shifted her hips from one side to another and crossed her arms in front of her.
“Yes, but the important part of what you said was two things—one, it was a story you wanted to write and two, it is a story your readers, moms and working women will want to read. What I’m saying is I don’t want to share the same ole teenage love story.
I sat up in my bed and turned down the volume on the TV. She got my attention and I wanted to help, if I could. She was onto something and this was an important point about being a writer.
“Then find the part of a type of story you like and bring those into the book and leave out the parts you don’t like. That’s the beauty of being a writer–it’s all in YOUR creation of the story.”
“Ok. I see what you’re saying. Ok. I’ll think about how I can do that in my story.”
She left my room and I wondered if she really had understood what I meant or was going to get onto something else and let go of the writing for awhile again.
A few minutes went by and she appeared again in my room, a big smile and a light in her eyes.
“Mom, I got it! I’m going to write the book I want to write and I think it will be great. I’m going to start out by writing a blog about subjects I want to write about and use that as inspiration for the book.”
I observed her while she talked and felt the drive and ambition in her to write what she was wanting to write.
I was inspired by her to write (as this was one of the inspired writings!)
What was the last thing that inspired you to write?
I recently signed up for a free membership to the ICCWA – International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers founded by Julia McCutchen.
~In honor of her first granddaughter, Lyra born on December 31st, she is offering a 31% discount on her products at IACCW until January 31st.
~She had this article about 7 Tips for Creating Your New Year Writing Success Strategy.
The New Year is a fabulous time to inject a fresh burst of energy into your plans for writing and publishing your book.
So here are 7 tips to help you have your best writing year yet:
1. Identify what is genuinely important to you about your writing. So many people today live in the fast lane. As a result, it is easy to lose sight of what really matters.
With your writing, being consciously connected to what is truly important enables you to give yourself permission to prioritise your writing time. This means that you will get your writing done and feel more creatively satisfied as a result.
So start this year by taking time to re-connect to the source of your inspiration to write. Then write about that in your journal to refer back to in the coming months.
2. Clarify your vision. With that connection in place to keep you grounded, the next step is to sharpen your focus on where you are heading. Being clear about your vision will inspire and motivate you to maintain your progress.
One of the most powerful ways of bringing your vision to life is to create a Vision Board. This involves making a collage of images to represent yourself as an author and what you want to achieve with your writing.
If you have already made one, the turn of the year is a wonderful opportunity to add new images which feel appropriate for this year, or make a fresh one to reflect your new ideas for 2013.
3. Clear your inner and outer space. When it comes to the creative cycle, space is often overlooked. Yet it is a crucial ingredient of the creative process. In fact, space is the true source of your most inspired ideas.
Starting with your inner space, I recommend that you empty your mind and enjoy a break from thinking regularly. Strange though this may sound, it is an exceptionally good way to recharge your creative fire.
De-cluttering your outer space, especially where you write, also has an immensely beneficial effect on the free flow of your writing. So if you haven’t had a clear-out in a while, this is your chance to do so.
4. Get organised. One of the challenges that many writers face is keeping track of all their ideas efficiently. Most creative people find that ideas for a project can arrive at any time of day (and night!).
Many experienced writers have pads of paper and pens scattered all around the house, and never leave home without a notebook. Yet ending up with piles of disorganised notes can be frustrating and time consuming when you can’t find what you’re looking for.
If this resonates with you, turn over a new leaf this year and purchase some new files (colourful ones always make this task more fun), and dedicate a few hours to putting your notes in order.
5. Make a plan. For some writers, planning comes easily and naturally. For others it is such an unwelcome task that it never gets done at all!
Yet having the right kind of plan to work to can actually free up your creativity rather than curb it. Certainly, proper planning is part of making the shift into the more serious gear that writing a book for publication requires.
Depending on where you are on in the writing process, this may mean making a plan for completing your article or manuscript, or drafting your synopsis in preparation for approaching agents or publishers. Whatever applies to your individual situation, a plan will guide you step-by-step towards your vision.
6. Pay attention to your choices and decisions on a daily basis. Writing a book involves an important balance between the big picture (the vision) and the detail (the words on the page).
Each and every day, how you choose to spend your time and deciding what your priorities are become the defining moments on your journey.
The future arises out of who we are in the present moment and the smallest daily decisions lead to the largest long term results. So bring your awareness to your choices today and see the positive effects tomorrow.
7. Take action! Of course all of the visioning and planning in the world will only take you so far. When all is said and done, vision and action go hand in hand.
So avoid being seduced by having a beautifully tidy writing space with your Vision Board on your wall, your notes beautifully filed and your plan carefully scheduled … but no writing actually happening!
Remember what this is all for – to move you forwards joyfully and creatively towards successful published authorship – whatever route you take to get there.
The results of your efforts need to show up on the page and this is where you’ll know whether or not you are on track for success with writing your book for publication in 2013.
Good luck and enjoy the journey of diving ever more deeply into your conscious and creative expression as a writer!
Q4U: What strategies resonate most with you? What others do you use to keep you on track with your writing? Share your experience below.
© Julia McCutchen 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Julia McCutchen is an author, conscious writing coach, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. For more information and a FREE Special Report on Discovering Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world, visit www.iaccw.com.
#3 Clear your inner and outer space – Starting with your inner space, I recommend that you empty your mind and enjoy a break from thinking regularly. Strange though this may sound, it is an exceptionally good way to recharge your creative fire.
TM: –>LOVE THIS! For me, I try listening to music or taking a walk. BOY! When I read this it hit home for me because I identified with this quickly. My outer space to me isn’t the issue but sometimes my inner space (my mind, especially my EGO) can have me thinking I’m not going to succeed at my writing or questioning my writing.
#5 Make a plan -Depending on where you are on in the writing process, this may mean making a plan for completing your article or manuscript, or drafting your synopsis in preparation for approaching agents or publishers. Whatever applies to your individual situation, a plan will guide you step-by-step towards your vision.
TM: –>I have to say I’m a BIG planner. I’m one of those people who make a grocery list every time I go to the store. When I work, I write down a to-do list so I can plan what I will be accomplishing in my day. When I write, I plan the amount of words, pages or chapters I wish to accomplish at a given time frame. It keeps me accountable and on track.
#7 Take Action – So avoid being seduced by having a beautifully tidy writing space with your Vision Board on your wall, your notes beautifully filed and your plan carefully scheduled … but no writing actually happening!
Remember what this is all for – to move you forwards joyfully and creatively towards successful published authorship – whatever route you take to get there.
–>TM: Yes, it is great to outline and create a vision board but it is vitally important to write. Take the action of the writing. Putting the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. Take the next inspired step and WRITE! Without the doing, there isn’t a book.
INSPIRATION CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE – IT’S EVERYWHERE, JUST LOOK FOR IT
Last week, I was watching the Jeff Probst show with my husband. If you haven’t been able to watch the show, I encourage you to check it out. The premise of most of his shows are to share inspirational stories of extraordinary people in the daily journey of life.
This morning Jeff had a lady on the show who endured some trying times. A few years ago, this lady had given birth to her second child three months earlier. She said she was “going about her life as a mother of two and wife to her husband and life was good”. One day she states she had began to show symptoms of the flu—aches and fever. A few days later she went to the doctor who told her husband to take her into the hospital immediately.
Her husband was beside himself because he was stunned to find out she had developed a flesh eating disease. Shortly after, he was told she needed to have her hands and lower legs amputated in order to save her life.
As I watching the show and heard this story, tears began to build up in my eyes. When I heard the word amputate, the tears flowed down my face and I was transported back in my mind a year and a half ago when the doctors told me my husband would have to lose his right leg in order to possibly save his life.
After 5 weeks in a medically induced coma, this woman woke up to be faced with the fact that she has lost her hands and lower part of both legs. Jeff asked her something like, “What was that like to be faced with this?” She said something like, “My focus was on my kids. What do I need to do in order to get back to my kids.” The story continued to share how she miraculously overcame the obstacles and has come to relish her life in a new way. She can do most things others can do. I loved it and was inspired when she said, “I get to share with my kids creative and inventive ways to do things that they may have not been able to see if this hadn’t happened to me.”
For my husband, myself and our daughter, our lives have been forever changed as well. Luckily for us, my husband didn’t need to get his leg amputated. The doctors opted to do a “special” bypass surgery on him that allowed them to increase the circulation in his legs. (My husband had developed Peripheral Arterial Disease in his legs due to smoking, which leads to clogs arteries just like in the heart).
Watching this story of this woman and her family triumphing through this journey of ups and downs sent memories through my mind of the journey my family and I went through with my husbands’ medical issues. It was amazing to me how the emotional turmoil still is fresh to me. I cried many times this morning as I recalled things that occurred with my husband over a year and a half ago. I cried. My hubby cried. We talked over many things. I cried more. He cried more. We hugged. It was good for us to go through it and talk about it as a wonderful reminder how lucky and grateful we are to have each other.
There are many people who have been through many hard and difficult things in their lives sometimes (or many times) “worse” than you have been through.
I am thankful and grateful everyday that I am able to have my husband in my life after the medical journey we have been through over the past year and a half because it constantly reminds me to:
EMBRACE THE BLESSINGS IN LIFE. CREATE AND SPREAD INSPIRATION. ALWAYS GO BACK TO GRATITUDE.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! More importantly, HAPPY DAY!!
Guest Author Interview with Susan Turner
Author Biography and Background: Although I was born in New York and proudly claim a NY heritage, my family and I moved to Miami in the mid-1950’s where I attended elementary, junior and senior high schools. After four years of college (at Miami Dade Community College and the University of Florida), I began a long and satisfying career in public education in Tampa, Florida. Along the way, I earned both MA and PhD degrees at the University of South Florida. Several years ago, in response to the yearning for a more creative—and less formally structured—life, I began writing and illustrating children’s books. Thus far, I have written and illustrated one picture book called Benjamin Barley’s Button; retold and illustrated an Asian folk tale called The King’s Flowers; written a literary fiction book entitled Small Black Boxes; and written a three-volume adventure series entitled the Rufus Steele Adventure Series. This month, I’ve just completed the manuscript for an adult mystery novel entitled Harry and Eve. Most of my writing is done in Tampa in the company of my tuxedo cat, Jake, and my terrific husband, John, who writes historical non-fiction.
What inspired you to begin writing? As an educator, I was always most interested in language and literature. Books open many doors for children and adults. A good story is many times, the best part of the day. As a fifth grader, I vividly remember my teacher reading Old Yeller to us each day after lunch. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room at the final chapter. That book brought us all together, bared our feelings, showed us all we were caring human beings. I wanted to write a book like that.
Please share your latest book. Rufus Steele 1943, the third book in the Rufus Steele Adventure Series, takes place in Italy in 1943. It is the continuing story of a country doctor and his young friend (Henry Murphy) who are now serving in the army in the Italian campaign of World War II—Rufus as a surgeon in an evacuation hospital and Henry with the 904th Engineers. Over the past five years (and two previous books in the series) Rufus and Henry have developed a close friendship. When Henry goes missing in enemy territory, Rufus risks his life to come to Henry’s rescue.
How did you decide to publish this book? Why? This book is co-authored by my father, a World War II veteran (now 88 years old) who served with the 904th Engineers A. F. Headquarters Company in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. In 2002, he wrote an account of his war-time experiences, many of which serve as the source for scenes in this story. In part, the book is a tribute to him and his service and those of his fellow servicemen. It was important to me that, while a work of fiction, the book reflect the many experiences young men and women have in combat and war and how their feelings change as they move through those experiences. The already established relationship between Rufus and Henry was the perfect vehicle for telling an interesting and compelling story from both points of view.
What is the best advice you have received about writing? I’ve had the good fortune to be a participant in several outstanding writing programs including the Southampton (NY) Writing Conference and Eckerd College’s (FL) Writers in Paradise Conference. The instructors and speakers I’ve encountered in these programs are all highly skilled writers. I could not select just one piece of advice from them. Their willingness to share their abilities and skills with developing writers is a rare thing. I encourage anyone who wants to grow as a writer to enroll in these workshops. These writers always urge writers to write, to read, to continue educating themselves, that your writing improves when you write and receive feedback from others.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book? Research. I spent a great deal of time reading about the progress of the Italian Campaign, getting events in the right sequence, geographical locations in place. In addition, I learned a lot about weapons, mines, half-ton trucks, pontoon bridges, field hospitals. Synthesizing the information and deciding where and when to include it in the story was always a challenge.
What has been your greatest reward in writing this book? As I mentioned, my father and I co-authored the book, and we have given presentations together about the book. Thus, I learned many things—many wonderful things—about my father I did not know. He was a very young man (18 to 21 years old) when he enlisted and served in the war. His memories of that time are precious and meaningful to him, and I was moved and honored to share some of them.
Most writers are readers. What 3 books are on your “to-read” list? I try to read a variety of genre. In particular, I try to read books that have received critical acclaim such as the Booker Prize or the Printz Award or the NY Times Best Book of the Year. With that criterion in mind, three must-reads are Room by Emma Donoghue (NY Times Best Book of 2010), Skellig by David Almond (a Printz Honor Book in 1998) and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Booker Prize 2011). Throughout the years, I’ve tried to read everything by Michael Ondaatje and Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. And I love Alan Furst’s period spy mysteries.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book? Oh, I’m just awful at keeping up with these social media processes. I have both a facebook and twitter account. Facebook address is www.facebook.com/susanteetsturner. My author website address is www.authorsusancturner.com. The Harry Douglas Press (my publisher) website address is www.harrydouglaspress.com. Print books and e-books can be ordered through www.amazon.com with e-books through www.smashwords.com or Barnes & Noble nook books.
Fun question: What was your favorite childhood toy and why? When I read this question, the first things that came to mind were my skates. Each day when I got home from school, I would get out the good sturdy shoes, my skate key, and my skates and skate round and round my block until dinner time.
Thanks for the opportunity, Teresa, to contribute to your blog. I’m grateful for your interest. Best of everything to you and your family. It was lovely having you here Susan. Thanks for sharing about your writing journey and your book.
This morning I opened my email to see my daily “jolt” of inspiration from Iyanla Vanzant and Inner Visions Institute.
Here was one of her recommendations I would like to share with you:
Take a 8 1/2” by 11″ paper and on each of the 40 lines, write a “I AM” statement. Use this as a reminder to be surrounded by positive, affirming statements to live by each day.
TERESA TIP: Once done, tape this to your fridge and or bathroom mirror. Or you can transfer each of the statements onto index cards. Place the stack of cards in your night stand. Each day, take them out and read one before getting out of bed, as a great inspirational jolt to start the day.
I encourage you to sign up for Iyanla Vanzant newsletter. Go to Inner Visions and sign up today.
Are authors doing enough to market their books by simply setting up a website for the book?
No, there needs to be more to the marketing machine these days. Just having a website is not enough to market your book. Creating a message driven website is a great start to marketing you and your book but it is just the beginning. You will want to incorporate other marketing tools such as a monthly newsletter, blogging, article writing, speaking engagements, social media marketing & collaborative partnerships. By combining these elements, you create a more comprehensive marketing plan for you and your book.
Previously I shared with you about taking the time to put up a website that reflects you as the author & writer and your book. Don’t just put up a website to say you have one but when someone goes to your website it doesn’t share with the visitor your purpose.
Now, I wish to share with you that it takes more than just a website to convey your soul purpose message of your spiritual work. You will want to begin to develop long lasting relationships with like minded people who wish to know more about you and your work.
How do you do this? Networking. Networking is about showing up, having conversations and connecting with other people who will be interested in you and your book.
Don’t allow the thought of networking make your heart start to race and your palms get sweaty. Networking is one of the most effective organic ways for you to share your message with your potential readers, collaborators, friends, and/or clients.
As the late Zig Ziglar said, “People buy from people they know, like and trust.”
If people don’t know about you, get to know you, like you and trust you, they will not purchase from you or show up to what you are doing.
And this doesn’t mean you have to sign up for every online group or local organization you see or hear about. Also, I’m not talking about pushing your product and services at anyone and everyone all the time. There is a way to network that is natural and organic (more on this topic coming).
Again, how do you start to network? Start with one group, club or organization. Start with one that resonates with you. Either online or offline, it doesn’t matter. Just begin with one. Sign up and commit to showing up to the next meeting or chat. Without showing up, you can’t make connections. You aren’t allowing yourself to be present to help or support to others in your community. Take the time to show up.
Here are a few that may help you get started (these are some of the ones I belong to):
IACCW – International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers
NSA – National Speaker’s Assocation
I have the pleasure and honor of getting to know authors, writers and poets. I get to share a bit about these lovely people I meet with you, my blog readers.
Please share about your background
I’m an Army brat and lived in Italy from the age of three to six.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of it, so I don’t think it counts. Mostly I consider Poughkeepsie, NY as my hometown because that’s where we settled after my Dad retired. I’m the only one still living from my birth family. My only brother Carl, who had Down syndrome, died unexpectedly two years ago, and I still miss his sweet smile. For the past 12 years I’ve been living in New Hampshire with my husband, Bill, and my three big basset hounds: Dreamer, Rosie-Posey and Starbelle. Because I have to drive an hour and a half to get to a Macy’s, I affectionately refer to where I live as the fringes of colonization.
What inspired you to begin writing?
I have an awareness about what it means to be and to extend non-romantic love, which is still quite unusual on planet Earth. I feel compelled to share this awareness, and that’s the primary reason for going through the torment and drudge of getting my work published.
When did you begin your writing journey?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, so writing was an easy and natural progression for me. I began writing professionally in 1998.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was very unhappy and stressed out during the recent economic downturn, and I wrote The Power to Stop as a way to get myself feeling better. I thought I could lift myself up by being of use to the world. This is a book that’s been inside me for at least 15 years, trying and trying to get out, but I kept putting it off. It started to feel like it was a now or never situation, like I had to write it. As it turns out, because of the 30-day format, The Power to Stop was the hardest book I’ve ever written. By that I mean, I had to really dig deep and challenge myself to keep the program
fresh and interesting for 30 consecutive days.
What is the best advice you have received about writing?
Every writer or wannabe writer should read On Writing by Stephen King.
What is your advice to beginning writers?
Keep refining your work, and get it professionally edited.
What has been your greatest reward in writing this book?
I’m proud of the book. It’s well written. It’s helpful. It looks good, and it’s getting lots of endorsements and fab reviews.
Most writers are readers. What books are on your “to-read” list?
For spiritual nourishment, I turn to A Course In Miracles or to the series of non-fiction books written by Carlos Castaneda. For physical nourishment, I re-read Chris Crowley’s Younger Next Year. For a quick girly book escape, I read A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James. These books always satisfy me and all are sure things.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book? (add in blog/website/social media links)
Go to http://www.powertostop.com and on Amazon
Question for fun sake – a fun fact about you
Most people don’t know that I aspire to hold the Guinness record for the world’s largest collection of heart objects. I probably have over 2,000 hearts, but I’ve been too lazy to get them organized and counted. I would love to display them in a heart museum and open a sacred healing faerie garden for sick and sad children. Maybe someday you’ll come and visit me and the faeries who live in my garden.
Here are some tools and resources I found on the internet —websites, articles, blogs, newsletter, videos. I would like to share these with you to help support, connect, and guide you in your writing life.
Independent Author Network tweeted by @dagonsblood and @Rtbenswoodward
Marcie Brock – 8 Mistakes to Avoid when Designing your book Cover
Best Ever You Show with Linda Ellish -author of The Dash
Here Women Talk – Great place with articles and blog posts all about subjects important to women
Authors: I know online marketing can seem daunting at times. Take it one step at a time. Create a plan for yourself that works for you. And within those marketing tools, such as your website, blog and newsletter/ezine, make a rule of consistency.
In this short video, I give you a brief description of what I’m talking about when talking about consistency.
1) Please share a bit of your background (where you were born, where you were raised, sibling information, what your career was before you became a writer, where you live now, etc)
I was born and raised in various states and towns in New England. My parents divorced when I was six years old. I have two younger half-brothers. I now live in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts with my husband and our cat. I worked in retail, fashion, banking, and finance before becoming a writer.
2) When did you begin your writing journey?
I wrote poetry and journal entries throughout childhood and adolescence. But getting my own computer in 2005 is when I consider my writing journey began. In 2006, I began writing poetry again (it had been numerous years since I dabbled in it). I also wrote essays about the craft of writing and what writing meant to me. I published my first book in 2007, Poetry for the Heart, which included all the poems I wrote in 2006 and 2007. I then published Essays for the Soul in 2008, which is a compilation of essays I wrote from 2006-2008 (the second edition, published in 2012, includes essays up through 2009). In 2009, I published My Not-So-Ordinary Life, which is an autobiography about my childhood, adolescence, and adult years – up to age 28. I became a freelance writer and editor in 2011. In August 2012, I published Freelance Writing Guide, which is a reference book for freelance writers.
3) What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
When I first started my freelance writing career, I was spending more time editing articles than I was writing them, because I wanted them to come out perfectly. Someone told me not to be obsessed with editing, that I should only spend half an hour editing each article, and should spend more time writing new articles. The advice really put things in perspective for me. I realized that, just like no person is perfect, writing can’t be perfect. So I gave myself some slack and was more productive from that point forward.
4) What is your advice to beginning writers?
Read all that you can about writing and write a lot. To be a good writer you need to learn how to write well, and then practice what you have learned. You also need to learn how to be creative and only the act of writing can bring that to the surface. You must edit too, and that also takes practice.
5) Please share about your latest book, The Freelance Writing Guide.
My latest book is Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer. It is a book meant to educate writers on what freelance writers do and what the career is like. The purpose is to take away the fear of the unknown that writers have before they begin a new career. It talks about all the different writing tasks a freelance writer does in the first year of their career, and gives additional information about business finances, home office supplies, the lifestyle of a freelance writer, and a little about my background and experiences as a writer. It is available at Amazon, Lulu, and Smashwords.
6) How did you decide to publish this book? Why?
I was inspired to write it when I had been a full-time freelance writer for nine months, because I had gained a lot of knowledge and experience during that time. Also, I had lots of questions and a bit of trepidation about becoming a freelance writer before I started, so I knew a book about it would ease some people’s minds and answer their questions. Basically, I wanted to educate writers about freelance writing and share my experiences.
7) Most writers are readers. What books do you have on your nightstand or on your “must read” list?
I’m about to start reading Anywhere but Here by Sherri Fulmer Moorer. Then I’ll be reading Blood Faerie by India Drummond, ’59 and Valiant by Anthony Sunderland, The Smolder by Kathryn Judson, Lipsi’s Daughter by Patty Apolsolides, The Sound and the Echoes by Dew Pellucid, and others. They are all books I’ve agreed to read and review, and they look really good.
8) What are your writing plans for the rest of the year into 2013?
At the end of 2012, I will be publishing Chronicles of a Troubled Girl, which is a compilation of all of my personal journal entries from age 9 until age 30, and Articles for the Mind, which is a compilation of all the articles I published as a freelance writer in 2011. In mid 2013, I plan to publish Freedom from Fat, which will be a compilation of online journal entries and blog posts about my weight loss journey from 2010-2013. I would also like to put out a third edition of my poetry book to include poems I wrote during my teen years, likely in 2013.
9) Where can others find out more you and your book?My blog is called, Christine Rice, Author: All About Writing and Books.
10)Question for fun sake—what was your favorite cartoon or kid’s show when you were little and why?
Scooby Doo, because as a child I was inquisitive and liked figuring things out. I liked how the characters solved mysteries, which made the show a bit of a challenge when watching. I also liked reading mysteries, like the Nancy Drew series. I read many of those books.
Christine Rice is a professional writer, an editor, and an author. She has been publishing her writing since 2007. She is the author of four books – Poetry for the Heart, Essays for the Soul, My Not-So-Ordinary Life, and Freelance Writing Guide – and is planning on publishing two more books by the end of 2012. She has been a freelance writer and an editor since 2011. She enjoys writing, reading, computers, the Internet, family, exercising, animals, shopping, and dining out. She resides in Worcester, MA USA with her husband and cat.
I am super excited to share that my book, Life Lessons from the Heart
can be purchased now on Smashwords.
Here is the book trailer to go along with the book release:
You have a message you want to share with others. You have knowledge on a subject you want to give to others. You decide to write a book on the subject containing your message and knowledge. Before you write the book, ask yourself, what goal do I want to accomplish with the book? By securing the answer to the question, you can formulate a more effective campaign for your book.
As an author, you will need to start finding and researching places on the internet and locally to showcase your book. Knowing the goal for your book will allow you to use your research time wisely.
For instance, the goal of you book can be that your book is used as a complimentary tool for your speaking career. You will be able to have a table set up in the back room at your speaking engagements. The attendees have the opportunity to purchase your book at the table. Another option, you can give the book as a gift to each attendee as part of the admission to your speech.
Taking the time to know the goal of your book will allow you to create a marketing plan where you streamline your effort, money and time.
Do you have to deal with blogger drama?
I recently signed up for a few author blogs, Claire Reads being one of them.
Her latest blog post, titled, The future of book blogging raised a question about blogging and it made me want to offer some support to her and other blogging authors.
Claire begins the post by sharing she is a newbie blogger and then goes on to ask if there is a basic protocol for blogging. She coins the phrase…blogger drama.
She states,”In the 4 months I have been blogging, while I have made plenty of friends, I have also seen plenty of drama. It’s seems that if you make one wrong move, someone will pick up on it and you will be “shunned” by that blogger and all their blogger friends.”
This startles me because I didn’t know this existed, although I guess I should not be surprised that someone could “shun” you and it has somewhat of a domino effect outward to their blogger friends. If you write an opinion piece, you may find there will be those whom don’t agree with you and they may become vocal about it.
However, I like (and agree) with one of the people whom commented on the post,when they shared, “Be yourself and have fun”.
Yes, blogging is about being yourself and having fun. It is a reflection of you…so if you feel you want to place something online (realizing it will be out there for the world to see and able to be found forever), then you can do it.
Another good piece of advice I saw from another comment was, “…it you made a mistake, admit it and learn from it.” I like that as well, because we are all human and at times, we do make mistakes. Most people will give you another chance if you admit a mistake. And if a few people don’t wish to forgive you, then allow it to just be and move on.
Claire goes on to ask for help in the world of blogging and here are a few tips I would like to share—
1) Blogging is about sharing your knowledge, thoughts, ideas with others. Putting yourself and what you know, your experiences, your ups and downs, with others to help them while allowing yourself to grow.
2) Blogging is about community and building relationships with others. People thrive on getting information. When they find someone who they can know, like and trust with valuable, honest information, they will come back over and over again. Bring value and truth when you blog.
3) Blogging is a reflection of you and as long as you are coming from your true self and your authentic self, write on, or shall I say, blog on! Noone else can be you, so you don’t have to be someone else. If you can stand in your truth and power when you write a blog post, then put it out there. You have to be okay with what you put out there.
4) Blogging isn’t about having to please everyone. The infamous saying comes to mind, “if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing noone”. Not everyone is probably going to agree with you and you have to be okay with that. Remember that you don’t agree with everyone either. But don’t let it stop you from being who you are and certainly don’t let it stop you from blogging if this is something you enjoy.
I hope this helps Claire and other newbie bloggers out there.
Happy Writing (and Blogging)!