Sunday, December 30, 2007

Countdown 2008. Time Is Perception


I could express a bunch of positive and motivating bits and pieces for the New Year but every one else is doing that so I am going to recommend a book for you in the New Year. A book where you can learn to obtain balance in your life.

Think Logically, Live Intuitively, Seeking The balance by J.R. Madaus.

The Part One title page jumped out and claimed me. “How can we get up to speed when we are going too fast already?”


Does that fit you? Have you lost control of your daily time management? How many “must-do” items are on your list?

“When one is faced with nothing but “must-do” items, priority-setting loses clarity as one faces the question of which two of the top ten priorities can be tackled today, or more realistically, in the next hour.”

According to Madaus, time is not the rigid equally measured ticks of a second hand. Time is a perception of the participants in an event.

Do these sayings sound familiar? They certainly reflect the idea that time may be perception.


Are your decision processes squeezed into unrealistic time frames? Long term planning has been compacted into months instead of years and today a writer can publish a book in six weeks!

The pressure is on to hurry, hurry, hurry. Even though there is so much information available to us it is sometimes difficult to find just the right facts we need. We are drowning in a sea of data. Is it possible for inspiration to be dropped into the fast lane?

Happy New Year.
Write it down,
Carma

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reflections on Menopause


I think the experience of menopause is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because of menopause I can now say foresight is 20/20. I have discovered my intuitive self.

What comes after menopause? Don't be afraid. Menopause doesn’t last forever in case you were wondering. That’s the beauty of it. After it’s over it’s like having a hysterectomy without the surgery. Free at last, thank God I am free at last.

Gambling: I went to a casino yesterday and won eleven hundred dollars. Beginners luck? I don’t know about that because I used my post menopausal intuition to find the right machines. Post menopausal women become more focused since they do not have to plan their calendar on a 28 day cycle.
Not having periods is like living in California. The weather is mild ALL year long and there are no ice storms.

There is no cure for menopause because menopause is not a disease, it is a condition. When you arrive, that’s it baby! Let me assure all you young ones out there. You will get it.

As a post menopausal expert, I get to say things like NO. I bought an apron the other day that says “It’s all about me.” Yes, that sounds egotistical but that’s OK. I don’t have to share with anyone unless I choose too.

I don’t know why most of us have to wait until menopause to understand our purpose in life. Even at that point it may not be clear. However, my desire is to teach my children and grandchildren not to make my mistakes just as my mother tried to teach me. Enjoy Life. Good luck.
Write it down,
Carma

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Gift of Permission



When you make the decision to move forward in your writing career, it will be the first of many. You will hit many obstacles and frankly, it will be tempting to turn back.


"It’s too hard you say."


"I didn’t know it would take so much time."

This thought comes to mind: Do you truly want to reach your destination?

It is in this moment of decision that your destiny is shaped.

These decisions are YOURS to make. Remind yourself why you began this journey in the first place.

Give yourself the gift of Permission: The permission to fail, doubt and succeed, then open that gift of permission and recognize that you are moving toward your goal and you have made the right choice. A quitter never feels true commitment and will never know the glory of success.


Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Real Tree? Fake Tree? No Tree?






Which do you prefer?




I think our preference changes as we get older. When my kids were at home, nothing would do but a Real Tree. As the kids grew older the cost of presents grew as well, so we began to look for ways to save a few bucks. Fake trees were beginning to look more real and you could even buy pine scented spray. This became the norm for many years.

Soon, I got a case of the scrooges after my kids left home to build lives of their own. For some reason decorating the tree with just the company of my dogs Taylor and Rocky did not put me into the Christmas spirit.

The conversation would go something like this:

“Hey Taylor, what do you think about this ornament? Does the star look crooked?”

“Rocky, hand me the other end of the garland you have in your paw.”

As you might have guessed, this was a one way conversation. Soon, I convinced myself that decorating a Christmas tree was a human group activity. The animals were just for looks, like the ones in the Manger.

Some people may not like Christmas trees, or may be allergic to real ones or they are not able to afford fake ones. When it comes down to the wire Christmas is not about The Tree. In part Christmas is about being with people you love… or at least like. This was my lesson.


Write it down,


Carma

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let Me In Coach

There is still time to catch a free coaching session on Friday December 7 at 12 noon PST with Lisa Gates of Design Your Writing Life. Don't hesitate. To sign up click here.

This is a rare treat to have time with Lisa at her cost. Don't miss it. As a former client I will attest to the benefits of having Lisa as your coach.

Write it down,
Carma

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Electronic Readers Revisited



I was ecstatic when my new Sony Electronic Reader arrived via UPS a couple of weeks ago. I just knew Sony’s Electronic Reader was the cat’s meow and would save time, paper and money. But now I have egg on my face after my enthusiastic praise in a recent post.

Downloading my PDF files to the Sony reader was remarkably easy but when the document was opened on the reader’s 5 x 7 screen the PDF file was not readable. The font could only be increased from a six to an approximate size eight which made reading impossible without a magnifying glass.

It boils down to format. My main purpose for purchasing an electronic reader was to have the ability to download all of my PDF ebooks in one location, therefore enjoying reading in comfort at the library, in the car, or at Starbucks instead of at the computer screen or printing out hundreds of unbound pages.

I talked to Sony about this and they apologized and suggested that I reformat all of my ebooks and then download to the reader. I told them that I have 64 ebooks and reformatting was out of the question. Also, I informed them that their instructions did not indicate personal documents, such as PDF files, are not in the correct format for downloading to the electronic reader and therefore not compatible unless you purchase ebooks from Sony’s Ebook Store. You can bet I will reassess my need to have an electronic reader.

This just means that there will always be some type of “bugs” to work out no matter how far advanced the technology is. This also means you can’t judge a Reader by its cover.


Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Sound of Writing



Thanks to Terry Whalin of The Writing Life for sharing this video from You Tube.

Pictures ARE worth a thousand words. I would like to be able to commandeer those words, wouldn't you?



Write it down,
Carma

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Electronic Readers: Do You Have Yours Yet?


Electronic Readers are not new but the Kindle from Amazon is. It takes the ordinary electronic reader to a whole new level and possibly will reform the way we read books. That is according to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. In an interview with Newsweek Magazine, Bezos was quoted as saying “The vision is that you should be able to get any book—not just any book in print, but any book that’s ever been in print—on Kindle, in less than a minute.”

I am not going to write a review on the Kindle, I want to send you over to Jon Morrow at onmoneymaking.com and read his informative and compelling post on this amazing product. I found Jon at Success from the Nest where he wrote a guest post about how not to become a "Home Based Hermit" .

Before I found out about the Kindle, I bought a Sony Reader and my main reason for purchasing this $300 gadget is to download all my e-books and have them available for reading at the click of a button. (There are cheaper readers but I don’t know the brand names and for a $100 more I could have had a Kindle) Printing e-books from my printer is out of the question since many of them are hundreds of pages in length. The Sony Reader measures 5 x 7 inches and has a leatherette cover which gives the feel of a real book more or less. Approximately 160 books can be downloaded to this compact electronic wonder. You can easily drop it in your purse or brief case.

Although reading by adults has declined from 62% to 57% in the past decade I hope that an electronic reader will be able to bring that number up.

Honestly I had not considered using an electronic reader until I went to a book signing event at my local library hosting John Schembra, author of M.P. A novel of Vietnam and Priscilla Royal, author of Wine of Violence, A Medieval Mystery. Both authors touted the benefits of a reader. Writers are quite often on the go and it is the portable ability of the reader that is attractive to busy people, like writers.

That’s all I needed. Now I feel that I can reap the benefits of all my e books rather than let them hang in the ether's of my computer.

Has anyone else had experience with electronic readers? Am I the last kid on the block to know about these? If you do indeed use an electronic reader, what is your evaluation?


Write it down,

Carma

Monday, November 26, 2007

Open the Door to Possibility - Hire A Coach


Everyone needs the expertise of a coach. If it weren’t for coaches, some babies would never have been born, championships may have been lost and so on.

As you probably are aware, coaches don’t play the game, they KNOW the game. Coaches will answer your knock on the door of possibility and show you how to recognize your true self and abilities.

Your next question is “Where can I find one of these?”


That’s right. You can receive the benefit of Lisa’s coaching skill in the comfort of your home or office.

Lisa Gates is offering two free introductory calls in December so that you can experience the telecoaching process.

Tuesday, December 4 at 5 p.m. PST
Friday, December 7 at 12 Noon PST

Find out how to sign up for your free introductory class by visiting the Group Telecoaching info page.

Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Fourth Thursday


The last notch on your belt has been abandoned and left to hang in exile.
Excessiveness borders on sinfulness.
Thanks have been given and received.
Tryptophan has taken over.
Promises to never eat this much again are too soon forgotten.
Nevertheless, it was good.

(Carma Dutra)


"Thanksgiving day comes by statute once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." ~Edward Sanford Martin

Write it down,
Carma

Monday, November 19, 2007

Have A Little Soul


I ran across a wonderful website. Heather Blakely is the webmaster of Soul Food Café which houses Dailywriting.net and more. The Soul Food Café is a labyrinth offering a wealth of creative stimuli and a multitude of links from writing prompts, inspirations, stories, writing motivation, imaginations and much more. When you visit the Soul Food Café, you can read about its Seven layers.

This site is full of inspiration for writers and artists who are looking to revive their passion. It is an experience one must experience personally. It can take you deep into cyber space but you will not care.

It may take a long time to go through the amazing layers but you will not want to rush. Take your time. This novice blogger plans too.


Write it down,
Carma

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bumper Sticker Friday


I am declaring Friday as Bumper Sticker Friday. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Bumper stickers can reveal a great deal about the owner of the bumper. Some people display them to proclaim their philosophy on life. Like this one I spotted on a 1960 Ford pick up truck.

“Always Drink Upstream From the Herd”.

“Find Your Voice and Never Stop Singing” is my bumper sticker choice this week and the one that gave me the idea to start Bumper Sticker Friday. I love this sticker because it encourages positive thoughts. It also made me think about composing a list of things I want to do before I die. Number 1 – Take voice lessons.

Now, you say, how did I go from bumper stickers to making lists of things I want to do before I die? Well…life is all about ideas and words. Writers are all about words and thoughts, for starters. Where do writers get their ideas? Everywhere, so why not a bumper sticker?

Analyzing bumper stickers is also a great pastime while waiting for the light to turn green.

What favorite bumper sticker have you seen this week? I really want to hear from you.


Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Books and Memes: Memes and Books








My dear talented friend and coach, Lisa Gates at Design Your Writing Life has tagged me for a book meme.

People don't depend on hard copy books as much as they used to for obtaining information. Today with the Internet still in its infancy, new benchmarks are being made in the field of communication and education at a rapid pace.

We can download seven or possibly more books into an electronic reader weighing less than a pound and place it in our pocket book to carry around! However, electronic readers will never take the place of a hard copy book on a sunless rainy day....On with the meme.

What to do: Answer 5 questions. Tag 5 book lovers

Questions:
1. How many books do you own?
2. What was the last book you read?
3. What was the last book you purchased?
4. What five books are most meaningful to you?
5. What is your most obscure favorite book? Or, favorite most obscure book…

My Answers

1. Approximately 250

2. Currently I am reading 3 books simultaneously The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield; Escape by Carolyn Jessop and The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Atwood.


4. All the books are meaningful to me but I would have to say that the last five I purchased currently hold that position. Blink by Malcom Gladwell; The Gift, by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D; The Mandala of Being by Richard Moss, MD; 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health, by David Riklan; The Cracked Pot by Jim Cyr


OK Now it is your turn all Book Lovers!

If you are reading this, consider yourself a tagged Book Lover .


Write it down,

Carma



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do Not ASS-U-ME You Need College




You have heard of the professional student haven’t you? He is the guy, or gal, who can’t seem to graduate because he/she keeps changing majors which require more education therefore a reason not to finish school. The problem with this type of indecisiveness is that the perpetual student is not capable of believing in themselves. A low self-image is a major factor in holding back a creative mind. Anyone encumbered by a low self-image may think it is not unimaginable that a job as a speed bump would be a step up from where they are now.

I am a believer in higher education and it has a particular allure to it. Learning is exciting. It is also true that a person does not need a college degree to be successful. Look at Vice President Dick Chaney who dropped out of college and who is among some of the richest men in the country. Bill Gates and Larry Ellison are two more hugely successful and rich people who did not finish college before they became successful in life.

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield states that 20% of America’s millionaires never set foot in college and 21 of the 222 Americans listed as billionaires in 2003 never got their college diplomas; 2 never even finished high school.

What people need is to believe in themselves.
Quit waiting for: that perfect time to act; the right person to come along; someone to change; the kids to leave home; absence of risk; someone to discover you; permission; the pain to go away.

Years ago I belonged to a multi-level marketing group. They were highly motivational and able to transmit that motivation to others. One of the ideas I took from the many seminars was to repeat this mantra many times a day. It was and is… “Do it Now”. When you are inspired…take action…Do It Now.

Write it down,


Carma

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Myth of Motivation


After a trip to the local library I came across this wonderful book “What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. I was instantly inspired and became a fan. Helmstetter’s perspective on motivation and the definition of responsibility are quite enriching.

The term “The Motivation Myth” intrigued me and it answered my long nagging question “Why don’t motivational speeches and classes work for me?”

There are different kinds of motivation and different kinds of motivators. The most familiar type of motivation consists of an audience of anxious listeners, sitting entranced while a dynamic enthusiastic speaker weaves a web of pure magic, the spun gold of riches and success. For an hour or two (and in some cases days) the listeners are shown a new destiny, a grand new vision of their unlimited potential. All they have to do is believe. They leave the conference with new and uplifting, life-changing self-esteem. Tomorrow they will break all the barriers of defeat.

If you have ever attended a motivational meeting or conference, you have felt the contagious spirit a popular and experienced speaker can compel you to embrace. These speakers are like pied pipers and for the most part they do their job… They motivate, but it is temporary. It is external. External motivation works against us.

We may believe this external motivation for a time but the Motivator goes home and we face the next day alone, again. Our poorly fed internal motivator waits patiently for us to come down to earth and believe what we have fed it for years. “No!...you cannot (insert word).

How about being your own motivator? Take charge and put yourself back into control. You can do this by learning that the only kind of motivation you can depend on is internal motivation. Imagine being able to rely on yourself and never again need anyone else to prod or push you into activating your own best efforts.

Read about self-motivation. Then write about it.

One of Helmstetter’s self-talk mantras is “I accept the responsibility for living my life in a way which creates my strengths, my happiness, my positive, healthy beliefs, and for my past, my present and my future.”

If this is a little too lofty try “I like how I feel, and I like how I think and I like how I do things. I approve of me and I approve of who I am.”

Write it down,
Carma

Thursday, November 1, 2007

You Might As Well Have Written Nothing



This is what Skellie, guest poster for Brian Clark of Copyblogger said when he brought up the point that readers need to understand what you write. Read the post in its entirety.


When you have an earth shattering idea the world needs to hear, it won't mean a thing if readers cannot understand it.


Skellie elaborates on five tactics to help you write clearly and expressively.


Another important detail to learn how to become a better writer is to follow Brian Clark's 10 steps. You will be amazed by the simplicity of it all.


Write it down,

Carma

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Give Freely

You have heard the saying “What goes around comes around”? I happen to run across this great video at Jerry Willis and Suzanne Lieurance’s web site, The Life of Your Dreams. The more you give of yourself the more you get in return. What a great message.



Write it down,
Carma

Monday, October 22, 2007

As You Focus on Success, Include Gratitude.



Today when the sun warmed my face, I knew it was a good day. It was one of those days when we all are glad to be alive.

But are you glad to be alive on stormy days? When the weather is blizzard cold, and your feet can’t get warm or dry? When the knot in your stomach feels like it will burst at any moment? It is on these days we are tested.

But it should be a no-brainer test because Every day is a good day to be alive especially when we utilize the two factors of Gratitude and Focus. Sometimes Focusing can be used for negative reasons, but I liken it to a point of light reflecting back into a camera lense thus projecting our virtual focus on a clear image of our future.

As the image becomes clear, a feeling of gratitude for the support and encouragement received from like minded friends and associates will manifest.
Suzanne Lieurance at Working Writers Coach speaks about Gratitude and Focus in her post.

Suzanne says, “Two factors help me live the freelance writing career of my dreams: gratitude and focus.”

Suzanne also hosts a weekly teleclass called Writer’s On Call. Each Thursday evening she or a guest will host an hour teleseminar on topics such as marketing and promoting your freelance career, time management and goals.

Diane Eble who is often a host will answer your Publishing questions at http://www.wordstoprofit.com/

I have been attending these teleclasses for some weeks now and have met so many phenomenal and talented people.

Pat McCarthy is a wonderful photographer and published author.

Ettarose Lazaros has a new book out called Heaven Help Mom: and Maybe the Kids Will Help. Check it out here.

Tim Anderson of The Medical Migrant will keep you informed on the oddities of the medical world with news you may not know.

Kate Garvey at Pet Care Resource of America will teach you to walk your cat.

Rosemary Kapitan is just beginning her career as a children’s writer.

Suzanne says she is "a typical working freelance writer" and you can get a taste of what it is like as a full time writer when you visit. As Suzanne says, “The writer’s life of your dreams won’t mean sitting on the beach and writing when the mood strikes you.”

However, it does sound like a rewarding busy life.

Write it down,
Carma

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hope Writes a Contest


Congratulations Hope!

Hope Wilbanks of Hope Writes has introduced a new contest to celebrate over 1,000 unique visitors to her blog. She is offering prizes too.


So run on over to enter the contest and while you are there visit a while to see all the first-rate information Hope has compiled for you.

Write it down,
Carma

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Should You Believe Statistics?



Should we let them rule our life and/or dissuade us from writing or publishing?

Will you let this information influence your professional writing life or will you make your own statistics?

Or will you take the viewpoint of Benjamin Disraeli?
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics" -Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman.

Writers and Authors

81% of the population feels they have a book inside them.

27% would write fiction.

28% would write on personal development

27% would write history, biography, etc.

20% would do a picture book, cookbook, etc.

6 million have written a manuscript.

6 million manuscripts are making the rounds.

Out of every 10,000 children's books, 3 get published.
Jerrold Jenkins. 15 May 99. http://www.JenkinsGroup.com

While the US Population is growing and education levels are rising, book sales are not....due to heavy media competition for leisure time.

--Business Trend Analysts, Inc. as reported in Publishers Weekly, October 27, 1997. http://www.businesstrendanalysts.com/ http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

Who is your audience?

Women buy 68% of all books. -Lou Aronica, Senior V-P Avon Books. Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1999. http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

The median household income for book buyers is $41,600, compared to $35,300 for all adults. -Bookselling This Week, November 10, 1997. http://news.bookweb.org/

Men are more likely to shop in chain stores than women. Women are more likely to shop in discount stores and supermarkets than men. --Publishers Weekly, May 12, 1997, page 13. http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

The above information was obtained from Para Publishing web site at http://parapub.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm


Write it down,

Carma

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Art Deco Opens Creativity



Thanks Robyn McMaster at Brain Based Biz for your thought provoking meme. It’s not a real meme because it doesn’t ask how many of what and how often do you, or what do you want? It asks “Have you ever thought of your life as a building?” This is one question that will jar your gray matter.

I enjoyed Robert Hruzek’s of Middle Zone Musings description of living his life forward as a building. It was grand. Imagine your life as grand as New York, New York casino in Las Vegas.

Robyn McMaster is a girl after my own heart with her depiction of how she could live life in a luxury tent, described my kind of camping. Let's not forget how Joanna Young at Confident Writing, got us started by showing us how fantastic and exciting life can be lived when we put our minds to it.

As I progress beyond the PM years, I find myself drawn to older things such as Art Deco style buildings and homes. Art Deco is from another era when creative minds were not so stifled by government regulations. This artistic style of architecture is making a comeback. The colors and designs are one of a kind. To live my life as an Art Deco Building would mean I would use my imagination to create beautiful things that would inspire and motivate people.

I would love to know what type of structure Lisa Gates of Design Your Writing Life envisions for her future life. Also let’s hear from Hope Wilbanks, Suzanne Lieurance. Yes, I know you all are busy writing so let’s write about buildings.

If you are reading this post you can also consider yourself tagged so jump on in.

Write it down,
Carma

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Is There Such a Thing as Wasted Time?



Much of what went on here at my computer today was wasted time. Have you ever felt like that? I began reading, scrolling, perusing emails and opening attachments around 11 a.m. Ever since the arrival of "post-meno" happened, there are days when my mind just has a mind of its own and decides to go on an adventure.

It is now 3 p.m. I glanced at the pile of snail mail and it was still there. So I went back to reading email after email, link after link and before I knew it I had ten sites open and was about ten links deep into each one. But they were all so good and I needed this information for my writing research.

Here’s the thing. None of this was doing me any good because I wasn’t writing. I was dreaming and thinking about writing. However, not everything was wasted.

Sharing with Writers Newsletter by Carolyn Howard Johnson and Authors’ Coalition Friends is a fantastic place for writers to go to and I am going to nominate Sharing with Writers Newsletter for the Writer’s Digest 101 best newsletters. ("To subscribe to 'Sharing with Writers' send an e-mail to HoJoNews@aol.com with 'subscribe' in the subject line.")

I ran across this humorous story at Authors Coalition to share with you and I laughed. I hope you do too.

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.

The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in another race, and it won again.

The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in any more races.

The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey.

The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: NUN HAS THE BEST ASS IN TOWN.

The Bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10. The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the high plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

Alas;...... the Bishop was buried the next day.

MORAL OF THE STORY?? Being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery, and even shorten your life. So, be yourself and enjoy life... stop worrying about everyone else's ass, and you'll live longer and be a lot happier!*

Write it down,

Carma

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Life After Menopause



It's never too late to be what you might have been. George Eliot


Menopause does present some challenges needless to say but I am going to encourage you to embrace this time in your life. There are some downsides but I believe with a little humor and determination, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams and won’t even pay attention to any down sides. Also I want to motivate anyone under 50 and show you what you have to look forward too. If you apply the principles of baby boomers just imagine your success when you reach the delayed gratification era (beyond menopause).


Prill Boyle describes this age of independence as defying gravity. Some women might consider menopause as the end of their productive life. Not so. This is when life gets better. I have come up with ten reasons to love life after menopause. Can you come up with others?


Carma’s Ten Reasons to love life after Menopause

1. No more PMS means that Hillary can become president.
2. No more birth control. Your body says Enough already.
3. The empty nest syndrome. Turn that bedroom into an office.
4. Freedom to sleep late.
5. More money in your pocket (now you can contribute to YOUR college fund.)
6. Wear white after Labor Day or red if you want. Fashion? The fashionistas don’t know how to dress a 50 year old. We must show them.
7. Date men who wear sequins (You gotta have some fun).
8. Recover your own identity Instead of answering to mom, honey, wifey, you now can use your real name.
9. Drive your own car – Be the boss.
10. Have a second career – Yes you can!

Men are affected by menopause too. Go read Jed Diamond’s web site to find out how men and women can help each other.


Write it down,

Carma

Monday, September 24, 2007

Book Shopping -


Thanks to Chris Brogan who wrote 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write, I have a topic to write about today. Thanks Chris for sharing such a wealth of jump starts.


It has been pretty tough these last few days to come up with ANYTHING to write about! I was thrown off my quill when I had to go attend to my adult daughter who had surgery last week.

What writer doesn’t love book stores? When you walk into your local book store and see all the newly released books proudly displayed on the front table, do you picture your book there? I do. Visualization is a great tool to motivate and activate your sluggish momentum that has been dragging you down.

Someone might want to know what kinds of books writers read. I like true life stories, self help, motivational and biographies. Recently I bought (and am reading) “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, The power of thinking without Thinking. Who wants to spend all their time thinking? If you are like me, you want your ideas to pop in with out any effort and you want to be able to make sound and accurate decisions in the blink of an eye. This book promises to be mind opening reading.

A couple of other interesting books recently purchased by me are “The Nazi Officer’s Wife” How one Jewish Woman survived the Holocaust and “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health” which is being released nation wide tomorrow, September 25. This is a collaborative book with 101 authors from radically different branches of the healing profession to help you overcome unhealthy habits. The authors were selected by David Riklan and Dr. Joseph Cilea.

One of the authors, Shayn Cutino from Anja Health Center, is a dear friend of mine. Visit Shayn’s website and discover how you can improve your self esteem. She and I are also co-authoring a new book that will blend the implementation of hypnosis and the insight of philosophy. More news on that is forth coming.

Reading is an important part of writing and there have been times when I feel I don’t have time to read. Today, my mantra is "I don’t have time NOT to read". Well it is off to the library to do research on my book proposal. Treading new waters is exciting and scary but remember nothing happens with out action.

Write it down,
Carma

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is Blogging a Spectator Sport?



“I want to watch you blog” my grown-up daughter said. I laughed out loud because I had not thought of blogging as a spectator sport. When I think spectator I think football and tennis, not blogging. I also wondered how many people do not understand what blogging is? When I began this year, I did not have a clue, but I have come to love it. Blogging gives me opportunity to write to and for others.

Let’s imagine for a moment that blogging is a spectator sport. How would a spectator cheer you, the Blogger, on? I don’t know about you but I would be distracted if someone sitting next to me or standing over my shoulder, as I wrote, cheered me on.

“Hooray! That’s a great sentence”

“Wow you type so fast! You’re awesome, Rah, rah, sis boom bah.”

I must admit that I am no different than most. I love to receive lavish praise but not while I am writing. Blogging is personal… private…my space… until I publish my words. Plus it would be distracting and take away my creative ability.

The best way for blogging spectators (supporters) to cheer for their favorite blogger is to read their writing and comment on their blogs. In addition to that, read their books and Ebooks, subscribe to their blog. Blogging is not a spectator sport, it is a writer’s life and most bloggers are striving to improve their blogs on a regular basis. One way is to read other blogs.
For instance Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator blog was a guest blogger for Brian Clark at Copywriter.com the other day and He discusses the reality of using links and provides 5 types of links that are regularly used each with a different purpose. Jump over there and check it out.
The above is a fine example of how to learn, improve and educate yourself about blogging.

Write it down,
Carma

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rejection With Love



Rejection is one of those words that when spoken out loud it becomes the fingernail scratching the blackboard slice of life. We can't get away from it fast enough to lick our wounds.

However, Lisa Gates has a great post on rejection. Click here to read how one magazine can defuse connotation and emotions many of us feel by writing one word in the rejection letter.

Also, rejection can be a character building block. It will teach us that we do not always have to win or be right all the time. It teaches us that there are a million other opinions floating around the world and the world does not revolve around us.

I think rejection can be considered a form of constructive criticism. It cannot and must not be taken personally. I know it is difficult not to take rejection personally sometimes, because we do pour our heart and soul into our work.


It has been said by many writers, that they consider their rejection letters a badge of honor. At least their work is being read. That is the positive take on it.
Write it down,
Carma




Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How to Enter David Airey's Super Blog Anniversary GiveAway

David Airey, a graphic designer specialising in logo design, is holding an anniversary prize giveaway. There’s more than $4,000 worth in free prizes! Find out how to enter by reading the details on David’s logo designer blog. This is the Blogging Contest of the Year! Let’s all wish David a huge Happy Anniversary.

Also don’t forget to give a huge round of thanks to all of the special people who are donating prizes. What a list! In my opinion they are all GOLD.

GOLD AWARDS



SILVER AWARDS


BRONZE AWARDS



The following prizes will be drawn individually.

  • Behringer Podcastudio USB Podcasting Kit, kindly donated by Fraser’s Affiliate Marketing Blog.

  • Looking for a new way to express yourself? Ever wanted to be a famous producer? Then podcasting is the answer and the BEHRINGER PODCASTUDIO USB bundle has all you need to make high-quality podcasts and home recordings.

  • $25 via PayPal courtesy of Gayla McCord of Mom Gadget. Free money! Who doesn’t want free money? Very kind of you Gayla

  • 2GB USB storage key x 3 courtesy of Jamie Clague at Terinea Weblog. Three USB sticks will make up three separate prizes, with free worldwide postage.

  • Jamie, Edinburgh Computer Services, has also kindly donated his valuable time to helping with the prize draw administration.

  • Blog Reviews and Design Help

  • Full blog review with deep links and images published on Blog-Op with Chris Lodge. Chris knows how to piece together an excellent blog review, giving you an added insight into the impression your website is giving.

  • Blog review from Aaron Russell of miLienzo. Aaron has been coding WordPress themes for a while now and certainly knows his stuff where blog design is concerned.

  • Expert WordPress blog help from Lakshmi Mareddy of Chilligavva. Have you ever had any ideas for your blog that you haven’t been able to incorporate? Lakshmi has kindly agreed to offer her WordPress skills, helping you out with either code or graphics.

  • Blog review from Hock Ng of Marketing Tools Review. Hock will focus his review on your blog content, design, SEO and usability.

  • Blog makeover from Charles Jordan of The Queer Chef. Charles is proficient with design for the Blogger platform, and can also design WordPress. He’ll tantalise your taste buds with one of his blog makeovers.

    Telephone and Skype consultations

  • Blog writing consultation with Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog. Ben has offered his expertise to review 3–5 of your articles, providing tips and giving suggestions on writing, plus a quick guide to social media and how you can benefit from it.

  • Two 45 minute coaching consultations with Mark McGuinness of Wishful Thinking. Mark specialises in coaching creative professionals, and is a real expert in his field. The first session will involve goal setting, with the second session reporting on progress and making adjustments.

  • 4 hour business growth consultation with Rebecca Caroe, via telephone / Skype, or face-to-face in London / Cambridge. Rebecca is a business growth consultant for creative agencies, so if you’re looking to expand your company then this is the prize for you. If you want Rebecca to visit your offices simply pay her travel expenses.

  • Tele-Coaching with Tammy Lenski. A one-hour, private telephone consult with professional mediator and conflict coach Tammy Lenski. Figure out how to deal with a challenging client, strengthen your contract negotiations, or confront difficult conversations with more confidence and success. Free call within the U.S., via Skype outside the U.S.

  • One hour product launch consultation with Design Translator (DT) of Design Sojourn. Whether you’re launching a line of t-shirts, custom furniture, electronics, or any other product, DT will lend you his product launch expertise.

  • Blog improvement or monetization advice with Easton Ellsworth of Business Blogwire. You choose, do you want to generally improve your blog or do you want help making money from it? Easton has kindly offered his help.


  • Art and Literature
    Two premium quality books designed and produced by David Hyde of david the designer. John Hinchcliffe, internationally acclaimed designer-maker, is the subject of the richly illustrated first of two quality books. Crafts in the 20th Century is the second book kindly donated by David.

  • Copy of Brand Aid by Brad VanAuken of The Blake Project. Brand Aid is a practical how-to guide on building winning brands. Derrick Daye was kind enough to offer this great prize.

  • Watercolour print from Ed Roach Watercolours. Ed has quite a talent, and will graciously ship your favourite print from his watercolour studio.


  • Online Advertising
    728px by 90px banner ad for 30 days above the fold on The Blog Experiment, courtesy of Sara. This is quite a new forum for bloggers, but already there are approximately 5,000 posts! You must supply your own artwork.

  • 125px by 125px image ad for 30 days on Smart Wealthy Rich. An excellent donation from top blogger, Jonathan.

  • Ad icon located site-wide in the top left of Blog-Op, courtesy of Chris Lodge. Another kind gift from a fellow blogger in Scotland.

  • 30 day text link ad shown site-wide on Contest Blogger. This is a great way to advertise your very own blog contest. Blogging is about giving something back, so get your contest featured.

  • 125px by 125px image ad for 30 days on Freelance Folder. Another superb offering from Jonathan a.k.a Smart Wealthy Rich.


  • Forum Membership

  • Lifetime membership to the paid membership site that Andy Beard, WordPress SEO and Niche Marketer, will launch on Andybeard.eu (eta and value yet to be determined). If the prize winner already qualifies for membership (some people will), then Andy will kindly come up with an alternative prize.

    Now go over to David Airey’s site and sign up.

Write it down,


Carma








Friday, August 31, 2007

Write as if You Were Dying


“Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an
audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case.
What would you begin writing if you knew you would die soon? What could you say
to a dying person that would not enrage by its triviality?”
(Annie Dillard)

Barbara Demarco-Barrett of Pen on Fire, is responsible for me finding the essay Write Till You Drop, by Annie Dillard which was published in the New York Times May 28, 1989. I know that was quite sometime ago, but some words are timeless and I think Dillard's are just as relevant to the 21st Century as then.

Dillard says that every book has an inherent impossibility, which is what a writer will notice as soon as the excitement for the project begins to dwindle. You write in spite of it. You have an idea, a plot, THE story, it has come to you on wings with your name on it, maybe just one line at a time but it is there nonetheless. I love Dillard’s words, “It’s like something you memorized once, and forgot.”

What do you write? Complex stories, poems, articles, essays? They all have the same difficulty as does a long novel. But do you think it is better to throw yourself into a bunch of little projects or should you exhaust your energy into one big book? Dillard says you should spend it all in one long project.

You know the saying “use it or lose it”. Creativity should not be bottled up or saved for another time. Ideas are saved and planned but when the words begin to flow don’t try to stop it. Give everything you have. Don’t lock it up. Write about winter in the summer.

Remember the last time a line or a few words were delivered to you magically, or so it seemed, and your fingers went flying over the keys. You couldn’t stop until you had spent all that you had received. This is the experience I am talking about. You are sitting at the keyboard or writing pad. Tapping your toe; thinking; “I wonder if Diane is going to call me.” Your mind is wandering from one place to the next like the balls in a lotto drum going round and round and never landing. You never see the words coming until they are in your face. You write till you drop.

Further, as writers we are also readers, so what do you look for in a writer? Are you looking for wisdom or courage? Why else do you read? I must admit I read for knowledge and entertainment. I am always inspired by other people’s words.

Write it down,
Carma

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Are You Stuck in a Rut? Here's a Ladder



That’s not very helpful. Giving you a ladder really will not help you get out of a rut or learn why you got in the rut in the first place. Hope Wilbanks at Hope Writes wrote an article titled “Writing Ruts – What not to do when stuck”

Her four suggestions of what NOT to do are 1) Don’t Hide, 2) Don’t stop writing 3) Don’t throw it all away and 4) Don’t bury yourself in work.

Read her article in its entirety below:

In "Writing Ruts: What To Do When You Get Stuck", I shared some things every writer can do to get "unstuck." Now I want to briefly talk about the things you should not do when you're feeling stuck. It's all too easy for a writer to self-sabotage. So if you're feeling low on inspiration, or if you feel like you just cannot write another word, stop right there.


What Not To Do:
1. Hide. Let me tell you, I understand how it is when you can't write. You don't want anyone to know about it. You want to retreat and pretend like everything is okay and you're writing everyday. Don't pull away though. Keep in touch with those who will encourage you and cheer you on through your block.


2. Stop writing. Whatever you do, don't stop writing. I know you think it's impossible, but you can write, even when you don't feel like you can. Keep a journal. Write out your frustrations by hand. Write about how you can't write. Write how it makes you feel. Sometimes all you need is to work out those inner frustrations.


3. Throw it all away. I've heard way too many writers talk about how they threw away their rejected manuscript. Rejection hurts. But don't throw away all your hard work, just because someone said, "No." Just get up and try again.


4. Bury yourself in work. Writers on the other end of the spectrum think that if they bury themselves in what I call "busy work" they'll eventually be able to write again. If you can't write, then don't punish yourself by doing other things to keep yourself busy. Do something productive, or write in your journal.


If you're feeling stuck, I hope these tips help you out. Remember to be gentle with yourself. The inspiration will return. In the meantime, stay focused and be encouraged!


Do you need an article like this for your business? Hope Writes articles, blog entries, newsletters, press releases, and more for small business owners.


Write it down,

Carma

Friday, August 24, 2007

Your Niche is Your Cubbyhole in Life



On your first day of preschool or kindergarten, you were assigned a cubbyhole. A 2 x 2 square box attached to twenty-five other cubbyholes, painted in various colors. Each square box had a placard with a students name neatly printed on it. Everything of value would be placed in your cubby like lunch box, papers, crayons, and pencil boxes. You were told to take care of the things in your cubby.

However, this did not always work out because as Murphy’s Law would have it, cubbyholes would and could not hold everything.

Cubbyhole sounds like something cute and snugly but take away the fuzzy wuzzies and you have a Niche: 1) a snug or cramped space or room; 2) a small compartment, 3) a category, especially an overly restrictive one.

Niche’s are much like definition #3. It is written all over the blogosphere that finding and marketing your niche is very important to your business. I won’t disagree with that because niche’s can be very profitable. However, I liken a niche to a college major. Any one who has attended college knows that your major may change many times before you choose one to focus on.

Once you discover or choose your niche, are you stuck with it? No. But just as with a college major, it is OK to experiment with different niche’s for a while or even a year or two. Nevertheless, somewhere down the line you need to grow up and stay in one place for a few years before venturing off to another cubbyhole.


Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Writing Is Like Dancing



Everyone wants it but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to be successful.

With hair neatly pulled back in slick shiny pony tails, sparkling black patent tap shoes gleaming from their feet, I drove my talented twin girls to the local dance studio. They danced around the house all the time and I knew they were full of natural talent.

Soon my fantasy turned into the reality of turned in toes, bent knees, rounded backs and $400 a month! This was not the picture I had of my little darlings in the limelight. Stardom was going to take a little longer than I had imagined.

I filled out the enrollment form for the weekly 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon combination class.

Week one: Ballet, jazz and tap all taught in 55 minutes. (what did I know?) At this rate they would learn one dance in nine months that would be performed at the annual recital.

Week two: Flap, flap, ball chain, shuffle, grapevine… Dance slang… So exciting… I was learning more than my seven year olds. My feet were itching to get out there with them.

Week three: My daughters were beginners but they had talent. I am sure the teacher would recognize it if she would just take her eyes off the Shirley Temple Clone in the cutsie leotard.

Week four: At last! The individual attention I had been waiting for. Each child was to gracefully walk across the floor on their little tippy toes while holding their arms as if they were carrying a large beach ball, with heads high and shoulders down…. It was obvious my darlings had never carried a large beach ball.

Week five: Repetition of weeks, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Thirty-six more weeks to go.

Before the thirty-six weeks were half over, I knew that one dance class a week was not going to make anyone in that class a dancer. In order to become good at what you do, you must do it daily. This is what dance taught me and my daughters.

Six years after that first week, one daughter was dancing with the Theatre Ballet of San Francisco and performed in their Nutcracker for two seasons. Also she performed with the Oakland Ballet Nutcracker five seasons. She is now fulfilling her passion as a ballet teacher.

The second twin’s passion was not dance but she loved the discipline it taught her and performing. Dance helped her to overcome her shyness when she tried out for Cheerleader and nailed a place on the team.

Writing is like dancing. It is a discipline and it must be practiced daily.

Write it down,

Carma

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Win Up To $500 in Writing Contest!



Dina Santorelli is publisher of the bi-monthly online magazine, W.H.Y. (work.home.you), a magazine dedicated to entrepreneurs of all types, work at homers, telecommuters, and part time work at homers. W.H.Y. is conducting their first annual writing contest.


You don't have to be a work at homer or even a writer. If you have an interesting story, fiction or non-fiction you can.....well don't listen to me. W.H.Y. can explain it much better. Go here to find out all the details.


While you are there take a look around W.H.Y. Their articles are upbeat and they have the latest scoop on work, home and you.


Write it down,

Carma

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Are Article Directories Worth Your Time?


The answer is Yes!


Especially for the beginning writer. Where else can a novice go to publish their words? There is a line in a song sung by Jerry Lee Lewis that says (loosely translated) “I keep giving my music to the man, he doesn’t know that I would sing to him for free” and many times when I am walking my trail and listening to my favorite walking songs, this one in particular inspires me because I feel the same passion about my writing that Jerry Lee felt when he sang about giving his talent away.


Well, “the man” does know we will write for free in the beginning and that is why there are article directories like Ezine Article Directory available. I do understand that some article directories will pay and also there are some that get more exposure than others. There is always a need for good content and article directories are one place to look for it.

Since I have been having conversations with the group of authors who are participating in the LKarticlechallenge, my learning curve is growing. Chris Smith of TecknoCoach graciously compiled a list of article directories in order of their ranking. What a great resource this is for writers who are looking to get their name out there. You can view it here.

Yet, there is an element of danger in submitting your writing for free to article directories. Plagiarism! Even though the instructions are quite clear that an author’s resource box must be included with any article that is published by someone else on another site or blog, this does not mean it will not happen. We all know that in the real world, unethical people are waiting around the corner to steal from you.

I took the risk and began submitting articles to Ezine. It was a daunting step for me because of the unfamiliarity I have with article submissions. As in my post about Pulverizing Procrastination by Andrew Grant taking the first bite of the elephant is the most important step of pulverizing the beast. I encourage you to read Andrew Grant’s seven tips to pulverize procrastination again and move forward with your writing.

Also I have two articles that have been accepted to Ezine thus far. You can click here for #1 and click here for #2. I would love to hear your comments. Your input is important to me.

Write it down,
Carma

Friday, August 17, 2007

You're Not Done Pulverizing Yet. Here's More.


Part II

I love the way Andrew Grant compares killing procrastination with elephant eating. After all, procrastination is the category 5 of “dragging your feet until they fall off” don’t wanna’s. According to Andrew, and I agree, it does not have to be difficult to beat this cloud that follows us around. (Ok, it follows me around too but I just didn’t want to be the only one out there.) Andrew continues with Part II:

Tip #4. Chunk it down. As someone once said, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, but you can eat it, one bite at a time. So step 4 is to define those bites. In our example, Bite 1 is “go to the store”. Bite 2 is “buy the crates”. Bite 3 might be “clear the contents of the small area directly under the stairs, sorting it into the appropriate crates and throwing out what I no longer want” . Note down all the little bites on your goal map, but take care not to fall back into ‘pencil sharpening mode’ again and spend all night on your ‘Bite chart”.


Tip #5. Take the first bite. This is the toughest one of the lot. Get in the car, get down to store and buy those crates. It’s called taking action and is the stage where most people fall right down in their carefully mapped-out tracks.
Tell yourself that you’re only going to do this one thing, focus entirely on that and get it done.


Tip #6. Review and reward. Once you’ve done it, take a tiny break and review progress. When you get back from the store with your new crates, go back to your goal map, cross off Bite 1 and give yourself a little pat on the back.
You have taken action and you deserve recognition. Don’t get carried away, though; you’re not a Nobel prize winner yet.


Tip #7. Eat the rest. After your brief review and reward break, transfer your focus to Bite 2 and take some more action. Do it; review and reward again; then take Bite 3 and so on. Don’t worry, you won’t be constantly stopping and starting.


I guarantee that you’ll feel so good about yourself after two or three bites that you won’t want to stop and you’ll be so thrilled with progress that the whole job will be finished before you know it.
Try this seven step technique next time you are stuck in reverse and you’ll soon see that procrastination is a pathetically weak enemy, that you can beat with your eyes closed.


Hi, my name is Andrew Grant. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like to read more great articles on self improvement and making money online, I'd like to invite you to subscribe to my free newsletter, which you'll find at : http://www.money-and-mind.com/
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Grant


Write it down,

Carma

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You CAN Pulverise Procrastination



PART I


I am the Procrastination Queen in my house! Andrew Grant is one of about 70 authors who are participating in the LKarticlechallenge. Thirty articles are to be written by September 30. Each writer who accomplishes this achievement will receive the Golden PJ’s Award. This is a wonderful exercise for writers who are looking for more exposure and experience in writing articles and networking. In addition, you can expand your learning curve.

Another great reason for entering the LKArticlechallenge is you get to meet great writers like Andrew Grant and you get to give some link love and promote their work. Enjoy this article on how to kill procrastination. I am sure many people will be able to identify and learn from it. I am posting in two parts. Andrew writes:

"I hate procrastination. It is one of the most infuriating parts of my personal make-up and is responsible for so many missed opportunities, wasted hours and failed projects that if it was a person, I’d probably be doing a life sentence for its murder by now.

Fortunately, I’ve found some less violent ways to eradicate this dream destroyer from my life. Here are my 7 top, procrastination beating tips, that will work for you, whether you are climbing a mountain or just tidying up your basement.


Tip #1. Recognize it. You have to know your enemy and procrastination is a master of disguise, so it can sometimes be hard to spot. But when you hear yourself saying things like. “Before I do (my target) I just have to…”, or “I can’t start (my target) till I have…”.

This is what I call the ‘pencil-sharpening mode’ – spending all your time in preparation and never actually doing. Learn to spot these excuses.

Tip #2. Stop it in its tracks. Once you’ve flushed your procrastination into the open, you must take positive action to prevent it taking over. Listen to your excuses and do two things. Firstly, tell yourself to stop being scared of the task you have set yourself and hiding behind these pathetic walls and secondly, incorporate the excuse into the solution, by including it in the next stage.

Tip #3. Define the task. Whatever you want to do, it is no use being nebulous and vague about it. You must define and measure your goal. Write it down, map it out, make it real and tangible and most importantly, take the excuse from stage 2 and include it as part of your road map.
For example, if you keep telling yourself that you can’t tidy the basement, till you have gone to the store and bought a set of plastic crates; make “go to the store” the very first step on your goal path."

Hi, my name is Andrew Grant. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you would like to read more great articles on self improvement and making money online, I'd like to invite you to subscribe to my free newsletter, which you'll find at : http://www.money-and-mind.com


Write it down,

Carma