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Spotlight – People Skills 101

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About the Author

Kerry O'Hallaron

Kerry O’Hallaron was born in St. Louis, MO. He attended college at the University of Missouri, and later “emigrated” to Florida. His passion in life is to help others maximize their own potential.

His latest book, “People Skills 101 – tm: How to Have More Friends, Fewer Conflicts, and Better Relationships,” is a compelling and life-changing new spin on one of the oldest “self-development” books in print. In it, he adds new color the art and science of people skills, which wealthy industrialist John D. Rockefeller called the most valuable asset under the sun. O’Hallaron teaches us in a humorous way how to use time-tested principles in our quest for friendships and positive business and personal relationships. The teachings aren’t new – but O’Hallaron’s unique twist on them certainly is. Whether you’re a shy, reserved introvert or a bubbly, outgoing extrovert, “People Skills 101” could be the only book you need to understand the simple tools that will help you both create and manage the perceptions people have of you.

You will be amazed how a few, subtle changes you can learn from this book will craft a new, more influential, more charismatic, more likable, YOU!

O’Hallaron lives in Tampa with his wife, Carol, and can’t seem to get away from spending significant parts of each year in his home town of St. Louis.

Website Address: www.peopleskills.training

Twitter Address: @ps101_book

Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/PeopleSkills101/

About the Book:

Title: PEOPLE SKILLS 101: HOW TO HAVE MORE FRIENDS, FEWER CONFLICTS AND BETTER RELATIONSPS
Author: Kerry O’Hallaron
Publisher: Shamrock Publications
Pages: 301
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help/Self-Development

People Skills 101

BOOK BLURB:

A life changing modern-day twist on Dale Carnegie’s timeless classic – learn how to have more friends, show more charisma, and better manage every relationship – all in the comfort of your home.

“Kerry O’Hallaron simply nailed it with People Skills 101,” says Jason Broadman, international book critic. “He took something everyone needs to know, which nobody teaches, and made it interesting, eminently readable, entertaining, and exceptionally useful to just about everyone.”

Do you remember that course you took in school called “Basic People Skills?” You don’t, do you – because nobody, anywhere, teaches such a course. Whether grade school, high school, or beyond, NOBODY thought it was important to teach us how to interact. NOBODY thought it was important enough to teach us interpersonal skills – how to get people to like us, how to get them to see us the way we want to be seen, how to manage our relationships.Apparently they just assumed that we are either born with “people skills” – or we weren’t!

People Skills 101 offers an elegantly simple and completely unique solution. It works, whether you are a shy and reserved introvert, a bubbly and outgoing extrovert, or anywhere in between. Simply choose any three of the twenty-one “GoldenRules” offered in the book, begin to use them faithfully, and watch the results with awe. You will be amazed how a few, subtle changes will quickly craft a new, more influential, more charismatic, more likable, YOU!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

1

How to INSTANTLY Become More Likeable

 

Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.”

(Christie Brinkley, American model, actress, and businesswoman, 1954- )

Legend has it that “Connie” (her real name – she’d be pleased to know that I’m sharing her story) came out of the womb with a smile on her face.

I wasn’t on this earth at the time, so I don’t know that for sure. I only knew her for the last two thirds of her many years. So let me share what I do know about her.

She was born in the Midwest United States, of hard-working middle-class parents who were not far removed from European immigrants. She had a happy childhood. In the middle of World War II, as a young adult, she married Don. They were together nearly sixty years – by all accounts a very happy union.

Connie, along with Don, raised six children. That alone was a herculean effort. Somehow, she managed to keep smiling through it all.

In the early 1970’s, as the children were progressing through their education, she entered the work force – during a time when many women could only get jobs as secretaries. Being a secretary, though, was not for Connie. Her exceptional work ethic and winning smile earned her the job of city clerk in her home town. She worked there until retirement, at which point she (showing her captivating smile as always) was featured in the local newspaper for being a one-of-a-kind woman.

She loved retirement, enjoying her relationships with Don, her children and grandchildren, and old friends. She lived the good life until the late 1990’s, when tragedy struck in the form of a massive stroke. Not one to give up easily, Connie survived the stroke well – except that it became difficult to verbalize what she was thinking. She thought clearly but spoke with great difficulty – often barely able to get a message across.

Previously, she had always communicated with a smile and a friendly word. Now she just had the smile, as many of her words did not make sense except to those closest to her.

If that bothered her, you’d never know it. Whenever someone came to visit her, her eyes lit up and her smile warmed the room. The smile projected a clear message: “Hi. I’m really glad to see you. I’m glad you are in my life. I’m glad you are here.” Her speech was challenged, but her communication was just a little different than yours and mine.

When Don died in 2004, she moved to a nice senior living facility, where her smile alone was enough to befriend residents and staff alike. She had constant visitors from her large extended family, friends, and residents, in spite of the speech challenge. Connie made life good.

I got to spend some time with her just a week before her death in 2014. We both seemed to know her time was coming – but she refused to give up that radiant smile even then. We spent time enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the home, looking at the flowers and listening to the birds. I talked; she smiled.

A week later, as she departed this world, she left behind a gift to everyone who knew her – now including you. She entrusted that wonderful, powerful smile to each of us, asking us to both keep it and share it with others, and make the world a little brighter place in the process.

(Rest in peace Connie O’Hallaron, a/k/a Mom, 1920-2014.)

Look around you, and you will see the effect a smile can have on people. A warm smile can strengthen a relationship. A smile from a physician in a hospital emergency room can instantly ease the patient’s fears. A smile in a job interview can put the candidate at ease. A sincere smile in a store may turn a “looker” into a customer.

The examples are endless. But Connie taught us best how powerful a genuine smile is, particularly in her later years. She realized that, because of her very limited speech, her primary way to communicate was through facial expressions. She knew, and she taught those of us who knew and loved her (it was impossible to know her without loving her), that the expression on her face had a powerful effect on the person she was sharing that expression with.

 She knew that if she smiled that warm smile, it would make the person feel good, loved, wanted, happy – often all at the same time. She also knew that if she frowned, or otherwise showed anger or displeasure, she could immediately have a powerful negative impact on that person. She could ruin that person’s day, or their morning, or at a very minimum their mood for a short term, just with a frown.

 She realized, either intuitively or consciously (or both), that what she projected would have a powerful effect on the person she projected it to – and that she greatly influenced whether that effect would be positive or negative. I’m not sure she ever actually wanted that kind of responsibility – but she was well prepared to handle it. She simply chose to have a positive impact on the lives of everyone she touched, every time she touched them!

I’d like to propose a little two-step exercise for you. The first step simply involves “people watching.”

Over the next few days, go about your work, family life, etc. doing things exactly as you’ve done in the past. However, pay close attention to the people you encounter. Watch for people who smile at you. I’m asking you to take a few days, because you may not encounter very many people who smile. But there will be some.

Watch carefully. Pay attention to the circumstances. Was it someone in the elevator, where most people try desperately to get to their floors without making eye contact? Was it someone in traffic? Was it a clerk at a store? Was it your spouse / significant other, child, or parent?

Now, as they smile at you, try to associate a meaning with the smile. In other words, try to imagine their smile is a form of communication, and guess what they are “saying.” What is the message that the person with the smile is conveying?

It may be, “Hi, how are you? Good to see you.” It may be, “Thanks for coming into our store/restaurant/place of business.” It may simply be a subconscious expression such as, “I’m friendly. Are you?” Or in a relationship, it may mean, “I’m really glad you’re here!” (My own beautiful wife realized the power of her smile over forty years ago when we first met, and she continues to use it daily to reinforce our relationship.)

OK, now it’s time to move on to part 2 of the exercise. In part 2, you do the exact same thing as in part 1, except as frequently as possible, make eye contact and smile at the other person. This may come easily to you, or it may not. But please try it. Do it several times a day for a few days.

And by the way, when you smile, do what Connie did and convey a message with your smile. The message should be appropriate to the person you’re smiling at. If it’s your boss, it should be along the lines of, “Hi, boss. It’s really good to see you.” If it’s a stranger, it should be along the lines of “Hi. How are you?” If it’s your significant other, you can use your own imagination, depending on the circumstances and his/her mood.

Here’s an easy trick: as you are smiling, think the message you are trying to project. If it’s your boss, think, “Hi, boss. It’s really good to see you.” Warning: this really works. So don’t smile at the boss while you are thinking, “Hi boss.You’re an idiot and I could do your job with my eyes closed!” Most people can “feel” when the message is incongruent. In other words, most people can sense an insincere smile!

So smile, think of the message you want to project, and watch closely when you do this. Watch their reactions, and try to imagine how they feel. You should see, as Connie did, that a simple, warm, genuine smile changes the entire trajectory of a person’s day, and maybe even of their whole life.

OK, one more homework assignment. But this one is simple. Think back to the last time you saw a baby smile. I’m told that after about six or eight weeks, many babies develop a “social smile.” In other words, after that age they really mean it – it’s not just “gas” or some involuntary reaction.

So think of the last time you saw a baby smile who was at least six or eight weeks old. If it’s ever happened, even once, I’m sure you remember it. The experience was almost priceless, wasn’t it? It’s hard to describe. It’s the same as any other person smiling, but so incredibly pure.

With a baby, there’s no possibility of a fake “politician” smile. It’s hard to know what the baby’s message is, because the baby doesn’t know a language yet that he/she can express with a smile. You get to assign your own message to the baby’s smile – but it’s almost certainly a positive message.

The baby might be saying, “OOH. You’re that nice person that feeds me. I like you.” Or, “You’re that nice lady that smells good and kisses me all over.” You don’t know exactly what the message is. All you know is, that smile warms your heart. Doesn’t it?

So how is it that so many of us intuitively know the power of a smile at eight weeks of age, and then proceed to forget it as we grow up?!!!

Connie’s smile would have melted your heart if you knew her. In fact, if you let it, just about every sincere smile you encounter will soften your disposition, improve your mood, make you feel better – and make you like the person who is doing the smiling. What if you were to simply turn things around, be on the giving end of a warm, sincere smile, and watch and feel the powerful effect it has on the other person? Try it. You’ll like it.

It takes less than a few seconds to smile. There are 86,400 seconds in every day. Make a commitment to invest just a few of them every day in giving genuine, warm, sincere smiles.

At the end of each section, we’ll propose a GoldenRule (see below). Each GoldenRule in this training will have some positive effect on your life and your relationships with others. They are all important and valuable. However, not one of them will have more of an impact than this one!

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GoldenRule #1

Smile like you genuinely mean it! Do it warmly and sincerely. It will move the world towards you in a small but unmistakable and irreversible way.

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Spotlight – Imagine That

Imagine That banner

About the Author

Tamara Dorris 2

Tamara Lee Dorris, MA, is the author of 19 books, a long-time coach, consultant, and adjunct college professor. She’s spent the past few decades studying and sharing ways that people can live more fulfilling, fun, and effective lives. She’s also an avid yogi, podcaster, and wine-lover, committed to inspiring as many people as she can. Tamara holds degrees in psychology and communications, is a certified hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner, too.  

Website & Social Links

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book

Imagine That

Title: IMAGINE THAT: PLAYING WITH THE POWER OF IMAGINATION
Author: Tamara Dorris
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 190
Genre: Self-Help/Spiritual

BOOK BLURB:

From rock-solid science to centuries-old scripture, we’ve been told our thoughts and emotions matter, and may even be indicators of our future. In this book, Tamara Dorris shows you that the real key to navigating your way to a new reality rests in your almost-dormant imagination. She points out that we’re all using our imaginations anyway, but most of us are using them to conjure up the worst instead of designing the best.

With wit, humor, and sass Tamara shares how anyone can learn to use their imagination in a more productive, profitable, and effective way.

The second half of the book is a 33-Day Challenge, including daily lessons and journaling exercises to help solidify and apply the age-old, as well as scientifically new ideas presented in the first section of the book. Be prepared to have your mind a little bit blown, your “mean monkey” a little bit riled up, and start intentionally creating your life with excitement and intention!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:

INTRODUCTION

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”

                                                             Carl Sagan

Let’s imagine a house. There it is, sitting on the street just being a house. Got it? Okay, now imagine you took the roof off. Is it still a house? What about if you took the walls down? I’m not asking you if it has “house potential,” I’m asking you if it’s still a house. Now what about if you took all the sticks and stucco down, and bulldozed the whole mess away. No house, right?

Then let’s go back to square one since that’s the whole idea here. A person had an idea of a house. Next, he hired an architect to draw out the house (with me so far?), and then after all the permits and politics, the ground is finally broken. Then with time and red tape, the foundation is poured, then the sticks and stucco and eventually, the “For Sale” sign goes in the yard (my favorite part). The question really is this: when did it become a house? Wasn’t the idea/image in the builder’s mind already a house? Didn’t he simply convey that image to the guy who drew it? And weren’t the tractor operators and construction workers just carrying out that original image?

You see, in “reality” our reality is but a reflection of what has already been “real” in another realm; or our imagination. Now if that’s too farfetched for you, don’t worry; I do not and will not rattle on about bending reality in weird ways, but it may interest you to know that quantum physics is the basis for that statement. And not coincidentally, even spiritual teachings like the Bible have my back. But let’s be clear. I can’t just imagine a house in my head and then have it pop up out of nowhere and appear on my street tomorrow (but what a fun way to freak out the neighbors, right?). We have to do things to make things happen. My point is merely to make you aware that anything and everything you are seeing in the material world right now first started as a thought. The thought alone starts the wheels of creation even though we may see no sign of it in the “real” world.

It’s no secret or surprise that most (winning) athletes and Olympians mentally rehearse their victory before it really happens. They imagine the jump, the bell, the whatever-their-sport is until it’s so real they can actually hear the roar of the crowd and the sound of the popping champagne bottle (I’m not positive about that last part, but if I ever get a gold medal you can bet there’ll be some bubbly).

Likewise surgeons, musicians, and other performers mentally rehearse their successes. Many military programs now use virtual reality to help soldiers imagine with their five senses what a specific experience would be like. Same with astronauts and pilots that use simulation experiences. The people in the make-shift shuttle are actually being spun around ridiculously fast. The Navy divers are really being dropped into below freezing-your-ass-off water and deprived of oxygen. While none of the latter sounds like a day in the park to me, the point to glean from these painful parties is that some situations require such attentive imagination, that we’ve got to throw in some physical components to make it even more real so when it is real, fewer people will freak out and not know what to do when shit hits the fan.

Fortunately, most of us aren’t heading off to Mars or deep sea diving for missiles anytime soon. We are going to use our beautiful brains in ways that bring us what we want—but honestly, if you have to use your imagination to solve a not-so-fun circumstance, the practice I teach you in this book will come in handy too. So let’s first ask ourselves what imagination is.

The occipital lobe is located in the back of your brain (visual cortex) and your parietal lobe lies above that. Obviously the visual cortex is what allows you to “see” inside your mind (as well as outside in your world) and the parietal lobe is responsible for the sensory parts of your experiences. In a recent study it was suggested that when you are looking at something, the image of it goes to your occipital lobe, up to your parietal lobe. But the study indicated that when people visualize, the image starts in the partial lobe and flows down to the occipital. While the researchers aren’t certain what that means, I suspect it’s the brain’s simple way of telling itself whether something has hit our physical reality yet, or if it’s still in the planning stages of our mental rehearsal, but interestingly, it’s all happening in the same region of the brain.

In other words, your memory recall and future imaginings use the exact same parts of the brain. Think about that for a minute. When you’re remembering the birthday cake your Aunt Betsy made you when you were five, you’re activating the same mechanism in your head as when you are imagining yourself getting new hardwood floors. This has powerful implications that we’ll continue to touch on, but for now just recognize that your brain treats an imagined event very much as if it were a real memory.

An important point to remember is the difference between visualization and imagination. Note that we all possess a tiny gland in our brain called the pineal. Ancient teachings have always called it the third eye. When you simply visualize an image in your brain, you’re likely just seeing a quick picture without emotion. However, when you close your eyes and really feel a moving picture, in your imagination, you may be activating this little guy in ways that science still doesn’t fully understand…but when used properly, it’s in a good way.

The pineal gland is shaped like a baby pinecone and lets us know when it’s time to wake up or go night-night. It does this by releasing serotonin (the daytime neurotransmitter) when it detects daylight, and by releasing melatonin (the nighttime chemical) when it’s dark. Some scientists—and virtually all spiritual teachers and sages—say that this little pinecone in our heads is our “God gland.” In other words, it’s how we connect to infinite intelligence. The trouble is that most of us have our third-eye closed (wake-up, little guy!). The more relaxed we can become when we’re envisioning our future self, the more our imaginations kicks quantum ass.

So just how powerful is your imagination? Ever hear of the Placebo effect? While we can attribute a safe moon landing or an Olympic gold medal to persistence, practice, and training, when it comes to indisputable placebo studies, we got no excuses. What I mean by that is you can’t have cancer one day that every single “fact” proves is incurable and then heal it with a sugar pill, right?  If this was a now and then kind of thing, I may be skeptical too, but the number of documented cases, in spite of modern medicine not being a big fan of it, far outweigh any hocus pocus or wishful thinking. So let’s look at how this works. A patient with a problem—and it could be anything—is given a pill that contains no healing properties whatsoever. The good doctor in the study who usually doesn’t know which pill is the real deal and which is nothing—so he can’t taint the results (more on that later)—tells the patient this new miracle cure (or whatever) has been having phenomenal success. The patient takes the pill and quite often heals (to at least some extent).

Those who heal didn’t do anything differently than the one who didn’t heal, with one small exception: the self-healers believed the doctor was telling the truth so their subconscious minds “imagined” they would be well, and they were. So what happened to the others? Let’s face it, sometimes people feel like they have nothing to live for or maybe they didn’t like or trust the doctor, or importantly, they genuinely didn’t believe healing was possible. I will add that when people are in immense pain, it can be exceedingly difficult to even begin to imagine themselves well, and in some sad cases, I’m sure the poor patients have already been using their imagination in the reverse way—mentally planning their failure to heal, often with the powerful emotion of fear. Emotions are the octane that fuels our imaginations.

In other placebo studies, patients who “needed” knee replacement surgery were taken to the operating room, sedated, and sliced and stitched at the knee cap. Clearly in these cases the doctors knew who was who. I don’t know about you, but I’d be pissed if someone performed pretend surgery on me. Anyway, in most of those cases, the non-knee replacement folks were up playing shuffle board with all the real knee replacement people in no time. Okay, I really don’t know if there was any shuffle board involved in these studies, but you get the point: the placebo effect works because our brains are (usually always) perfectly capable of curing our bodies when given the proper direction and permission, backed by belief.

So if most people can cure or heal themselves, why don’t they? Well, remember that the placebo effect includes a doctor (authority) telling you that you will heal. So like a good trooper, you follow orders—or I should say, your subconscious mind does—and you get busy getting better. This is not to say a person cannot do this without a doctor, as I know firsthand.

When I was very ill with a debilitating disease, it was hard to imagine being healthy. In and out of ICU a few times over the years, and once in a hospital bed for six weeks, the doctors had no faith in my recovery. They told me I couldn’t heal unless I left some pretty important body parts behind; parts that people can’t really do without. Clearly it was not within my capacity to focus on anything but pain, weakness, and fear. But I knew that’s exactly what I had to do. Against medical warning (and some family member’s wishes) I left the hospital to heal at home. Now I’m not going to lie. It was very tough to fully embrace my imagination when my emaciated body was practically down to skin and bones and I could barely get out of bed without help. Yet every day I would lay there and see myself being healthy and happy…running around with the kids, laughing, and having fun. When you are that sick, even something as simple as driving a car seems impossible, but I would see myself driving the kids through Taco Bell (I know, but I was literally starving so work with me here).

It was a long healing process, but my body didn’t get in that condition overnight, so it took a little while to fix it. Of course I supplemented my imagining health with other holistic measures, but only through my mental fortitude did I even discover those. The point is, there was no sugar pill outside of my own determined, persistent imagination. I convinced my brain that I was happy and healthy until it believed me and started whatever miraculous process it did to have me sitting here today, telling you how freaking amazing your own imagination is.    

The issue for many of us is that we often feel like we’re at the mercy of the medical industry and we’ve long but given up self-healing efforts. Plus, people get scared when they are very ill, not to mention how hard it is to imagine yourself happy and healthy with tubes sticking out of your arms and pain wracking your body. And while the premise of this book is not focused on healing anything beyond hangovers(drink water), I  will enthusiastically point you to the book by Dr. Joe Dispenza called, You Are the Placebo. This will help your skeptical brain understand way more of the science behind all this so you can start to heal yourself…and then apply all of the information in this book to get busy getting better too. But let’s get back to the positive aspects of your brain and how you can use it to imagine whatever your heart desires.

Neuroscience tells us (and this has to do with our occipital lobe and visual cortex) that what we see in our external world is but an interpretation (reflection) based on our very own belief patterns that are firmly fixed in our cute little cortex. In other words, your outer world is mirroring your internal one. This is why the once kind of hokey statement “You create your own reality,” is not a hippie dippy new age adage, but rather, a pretty valid fact. Just sit with this a minute: your imagination is the cause and your condition, the effect. The reticular activator system of the brain “shows us” evidence of our most frequent thoughts—even the unconscious ones that we don’t know we’re thinking because its main job in life is to filter our external environment so that it matches our expectation of it. Pretty scary, right?

What’s ironically sad is that we all spend so much time and sweat equity trying to change things in our external world, feeling like we’re banging our head against a brick wall…and guess what? We are! Now I’m certainly not saying you don’t have to take actions and precautions in life, so don’t go down that rabbit hole. What I am saying though, is that it’s like looking at your reflection in the mirror, not liking how long your bangs are and trying to trim the mirror (careful, you’ll cut yourself!).

Let me give you another analogy. Consider you’re at the theater to see a good love story, but when the lights go down and those dreaded phone carrier commercials are over, the film is actually a scary clown one (because all the clown ones are scary). Do you shoot the screen? No? Why not? Could it be because the scary clown is not coming from the screen but merely being projected from the little tiny window in the back of the theater you always wonder about? You’d either change out the reel or go to another theater, but you wouldn’t blame it on the screen. It isn’t the screen’s fault. That screen is your life and your own imagination is the film.

Our eyes are projectors showing us what our brains have been programmed to focus on, and yet, we fail to recognize that we’ve got to change the movie (your brain’s projections), not shoot holes in the screen (your external experiences). The proverbial plot thickens when we realize that the majority of our thoughts aren’t even in our conscious control, until we intentionally utilize our imaginations to take the reins.

The goal of this book is to help you put on a different reel—one that you fall in love with over and over again. And the really great part is that YOU get to write it, produce it, and play in it. Move over Quentin, there’s a new kid in town.

Are you ready?

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EML7lEDAA-E

VBT – REVISION IS A PROCESS

TourBanner_RevisionIsAProcess

Revision is a Process – How to Take the Frustration Out of Self-Editing

by Catherine E. McLean

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GENRE: Self-Help, Self-Improvement, Non-Fiction

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BLURB

A first draft holds the possibility of what will be a great story. Revision turns that rough diamond into a spectacular gem worth a reader’s money and time.

Writers are individuals but to be a producing writer means creating a system to revise and polish a work so the reader thoroughly enjoys the story. REVISION IS A PROCESS is a guidebook for writers and authors that shows how a simple 12-step process can be tailored to eliminate the most common and chronic maladies of writing genre fiction. This valuable guidebook contains secrets, tips, practical advice, how-to’s, and why-to’s for taking the frustration out of self-editing.

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EXCERPT

From Section 1, An Overview of Revision is a Process

. . . revision is a process .  A logical, straightforward process where you don’t try to find and fix everything at once. Instead, you break the monumental task into component parts and focus on only an item or two at a time.

Okay, so the reality is that creative people,  especially writers, hate logic and straightforwardness. And it’s a fact that logic and creativity have always been at war with each other. After all, creativity gives a writer a high like no other. It’s the fun part of writing and storytelling.

On the other hand, revising, rewriting, and self-editing are linear, logical, objective—and not fun.

But necessary.

Ever so necessary if one intends to be commercially successful in the writing business.

Here’s something I’ve learned about writing and self-editing—a writer should find a middle ground. That means having the logical part of one’s mind work with the subconscious imagination (the creative self).

It’s about adopting a different view of self-editing—calling it a process—and diligently organizing that process into small steps that can easily be done. This gives a writer confidence that they have polished their story and increased its marketability.

I strongly believe, and have seen, that revision-as-a-process enables a writer to use both their left (logical) and right (creative) brain to become even more creative.

That’s because the writer not only tailors a one-of-a-kind process but they also develop their own revision master cheat sheets. As a result, the creative subconscious (the imagination) becomes aware of the pitfalls and glitches that must be checked for, and subsequently, little by little, the creative self dishes up better first drafts with far fewer errors.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_Revision is a Process

Catherine E. McLean’s lighthearted, short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY, KARMA & MAYHEM, HEARTS AKILTER, and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal) with romance and advenure. She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS – HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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INTERVIEW 6 – cant live without

by Catherine E. McLean * catherinemclean00@gmail.com

(alternate email: Catherine@CatherineEmclean.com)

What are four things you can’t live without?

I have to narrow this down to four? Okay, how about— pets, a typewriter, a computer, and a camera.

Pets— When my daughter needed a cat for a small animal 4-H project. Her 4-H book said it was best to start with a kitten. Cats being cats, it would be hard to tell what specific kitten would end up tolerating becoming a 4-H project. So we decided to get three kittens. Long story short—we ended up with seven kittens.

Breeze, whose mother was feral, became our house cat and the 4-H cat. As the years went by, some of the cats died until we were down to the last three. They succumbed to kidney failure at ages 16, 16.5, and 17.

All during the cat years, we had a dog. He died two years before the sixteen year old cat. So, being without pets sounded like a great idea, and the husband and I vowed that after the last cat passed there would be no more pets. Well you guessed it. The house seemed empty. After much soul searching, I decided to get a dog for myself. I wanted a lap-sized, dust-mop type dog. After three months of searching pet shelters and answering ads, I bought a mini Schanuzer-Bichon Frize female puppy. All fluffy gray. Her name is Mojee. She thinks she’s the cutest thing with each wag of her stubby tail. Please note Mojee has no aggressiveness in her at all. None.

Back to the cat situation. Without cats, little wild varmints invaded the house. Chipmunks and birds thought they owned our deck. At a fall Tupperware party hosted by Amish neighbors, I mentioned I was looking for three barn kittens about six months old (that’s old enough for the mother cat to teach them to hunt and be self-reliant). Again, cats being cats, there was no telling how good a hunter a kitten would be. I was hoping for one out of the three.

Long story short—in the spring I took ownership of three, identical “black” cats (no white) from an Amish farm two roads away. I named the kittens Winkin, Blinkin, and Nodd. Unfortunately, weekenders with a cabin came up over the 4th of July and ran over Winkin, killing him. Now I have two cats. Although it’s hard to tell them apart, both answer to Kitty-Kitty. Nodd prefers being a house and lap cat (she sleeps on my lap when I’m watching TV). Blinkin was renamed Mr. B and is a terrific hunter. As unbelievable as it seems, both cats love Mojee, play hide and seek with her, and allow her to drag them by the ear or paw across my hardwood floors.

There is nothing like waking in the morning to the thunder of twelve paws racing across hardwood floors.

As to the typewriter. I learned to type on a manual and despite the evolution to a computer, I have not only the original, manual, Smith-Corona portable typewriter my mom bought me when I was 16 but also a portable electric. When forms need to be filled out, an envelope typed, or I want to go downstairs and work on ideas for a story, I use the typewriter. There are still some things a computer cannot do as easily as a typewriter.

Which brings me to my desktop computer. I live in front of it when drafting a story, when doing blog posts, when communicating with other writers by email. It’s the workhorse of my office, my storytelling, and for doing my online workshops and courses  – http://www.writerscheatsheets.com/upcoming-workshops.html .

Lastly, I cannot do without a good camera. My first camera gave me black-and-white pictures and eventually I bought a 35mm Cannon, which opened a new world of photography for me. Currently, I own a Canon Rebel digital camera. I went from having film processed to downloading photos to my desktop computer. However, because I used film, which was expensive to develop, I learned to frame my pictures before I took them and limited myself to only three shots of anything. As a result, the only touch-ups I might make to pictures is to crop them. Often, I get the photo with the first click. My photos have even won blue ribbons at the local fairs.

My favorite subject is nature—flowers and rocks. Currently, I’m sky watching and taking pictures of clouds. I periodically post snapshots at my website http://www.CatherineEmclean.com (click on the menu for Photos & More). Take a look—which is your favorite?

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VBT – THE MIRROR SAID YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL

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About the Author

Austiage is a former national-level champion fencer who was born in Washington, DC. She speaks seven languages, attended American University, and is the founder of the Star Individuality Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports youths in developing their unique individuality. Her book The Mirror Said, “You’re Be-You-Tiful” explores the societal pressures that many people are faced with today and offers a game plan for nurturing individuality and owning one’s beauty.

Author

You can visit Austiage’s website at https://www.austiage.com/.

About the Book

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Title: THE MIRROR SAID YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL
Author: Austiage
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 212
Genre: Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:

In her motivational self-help book, THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL, former elite athlete Austiage offers readers a foundation for embracing their unique beauty in a world that doesn’t always value diversity and individuality. Writing in a welcoming, conversational style, Austiage outlines a plan for embracing a positive self-image that develops from the inside out.

An unexpected question (“Does the mirror make you feel ugly?”) was the spark that led Austiage to pen THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL.” She met the young girl, Julianne, who posed the question while donating supplies to a children’s hospital. After talking with the girl about beauty and what it means, the author felt moved to share her thoughts with others on this delicate subject, which many people—young and old, male and female—frequently struggle with. The book has a powerful message that begins by focusing on the individual.

Austiage asserts that beauty is much more than aesthetic. She emphasizes that character is an essential component of beauty and encourages readers to bolster their character by being positive and kind to themselves and others. The author repeatedly stresses the importance of having a strong belief in one’s self and explains how this belief affects how people see themselves, the type of people they invite into their lives, and the manner in which they take care of themselves and pursue their goals.

THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” takes an in-depth look at the necessity of self-care including eating well without foregoing pleasure, incorporating fitness and relaxation in one’s daily life, using makeup to highlight and enhance one’s beauty, discarding fear and doubt to follow opportunities to find one’s passion, and reevaluating relationships to make conscious decisions about the people in one’s life.

Austiage says, “In my point of view, my book is about helping those who are at the point in their lives that they want to feel better about themselves. I think my book will help people understand that they aren’t the only contributing factor in feeling good or bad about themselves. Rather, the everyday lifestyle choices they make, the people they surround themselves with, and the words they use all merge to develop a feeling unique to how they feel about their identity. Learning how to break down different aspects of daily life and to reevaluate them will dramatically change the way they perceive themselves.” Austiage wrote THE MIRROR SAID, “YOU’RE BE-YOU-TIFUL” “to help everyone understand that they have the ability to feel beautiful. Ultimately, I want readers to step away from my book feeling happiness, beauty, and pride from the inside out.”

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

Getting Motivated for Your Purpose 

Finding your skills and talents—and using them—helps you become your best, beautiful self. Maybe you know exactly what your talents are, or maybe you need to find them. But everyone has a purpose on earth, and it is found through our talents and passions. If you don’t know what your purpose is, you can find it. In reality, you actually do know what your purpose is—you are the sole authority on who you are. Maybe your talent is hidden and you have to find it. Or maybe you have taken your talent for granted and no longer look upon it as a talent. Either way it is there and it has always been there and all you have to do is notice it and embrace it.

To identify your purpose, ask yourself, “What makes me smile? What makes me happy?” Then analyze your answers. It may not always seem clear at first, so keep thinking. For example going out to restaurants with your friends and trying new foods makes you the happiest. Most likely your purpose is not eating, but it may be becoming a chef who creates new foods. Pay particular attention to environments you are attracted to. What you enjoy doing, where you enjoy being, who you enjoy spending time with—these are all part of your purpose in life.

When you feel lost in your life, remember that no one is born found; at some point we need to be lost in order to be found. When I’m feeling lost, I’ve learned not to say that I am lost (that has a negative connotation); instead I say I am currently on the path to becoming found.

Your purpose cannot come by force, finding passions and your purpose in life will come when it is time. You will find it even if you are feeling lost and destroyed. Many times we need to break in order to be rebuilt into who we are supposed to become.

Once you’re purpose is clear, you become motivated. Self-motivation is so beautiful and attractive, although it is not something aesthetic. Be the person who wakes up with a purpose in life. Be the person who will chase their own dreams. People will only start to motivate you when they realize that you already are motivated.

Being self-motivated is not only something that others are attracted to, but being a self-motivated individual gives you a purpose in life which is then going to create confidence within oneself. Feeling beautiful always comes down to feeling confident and pride in ones self.

So many times when we think of being self-motivated as something that is difficult or we wonder if we have it in us to motivate ourselves. In reality becoming self-motivated is 4 simple P’s: Passion, Purpose, Position and Positivity.

Passion: Ask yourself the questions: What am I passionate about? What do I love? What do I never get tired of doing? If you can find something you are genuinely passionate about you will always have a feeling of motivation regardless of how hard you need to work to accomplish the goals you have set. When you are also focused on doing something that you have a passion about you will also be a happier person overall. Purpose: you now have a passion you want to be involved in, now comes the tricky part is to determine what your mission is. You can find your purpose my asking yourself these questions: What about my passion inspires me? When determine what inspires within in a certain topic you have purpose because you know understand how you want to be involved within your passion.

Position: Being able to figure out what it is that you want to do within this topic is crucial. The best way to do this is to just get our a piece of paper and pen and just start to brainstorm all the different positions you could to take on with that passion, and once you have a list then just starting to number then in order of priority—based on your skills and goals. From there you’ll be able to determine what position you want to take on.

Positive: Finally the last key on being able to being a self-motivated individual is to always have a positive outlook on the situation. Obviously there are highs and lows in life, so even if you are involved with some- thing that you are passionate about there are going to be times where not everything will go as you had planned. But understanding these situations and anticipating them will allow you to keep a positive outlook and will allow you to stay self-driven.

Book Teaser:

Book Promo – A-C-T Like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like a Parent

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About the Book

Title: A-C-T Like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K Like a Parent
Author: Katherine Shears and C.S. Whitehurst
Genre: Nonfiction self-help

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Just for kicks, have you ever wondered what your parents really want from you in life? Is it you, or do your parents want you to have no real fun? On any given day, do you want to make your parents proud of you and still do what makes you feel really happy within yourself? Of course you do! But the real question has always been, and still is…how? How can we actually get this done?

Well, with A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, a.k.a “the child-part consoler”, you will get past common misunderstandings by learning how to truly talk, hear, and listen to your parents, guardians or caregivers instead of feeling like you have to run to friends to find some sense of acceptance, understanding, and real connection.

In this book, chock-full of questions and answers gotten directly from the source, you’ll learn what your parents, guardians or caregivers really expect of you—and maybe you’ll even find out how to explain to them what you really expect from them! Not that this book could ever replace a parent, because it can not. But when it comes to openly communicating certain key ideas, this book comes really close.

This tell-all guide contains lots of enlightening explanations and helpful answers to many common kid questions like:

  • What do my parents really want from me?
  • Why do my parents do what they do and say what they say?
  • What do I really need to know about my parents’ parenting skills?
  • How can I keep my parents happy with me?
  • How can I help my parents to help me?
  • How can I get what I want from my parents every time?

A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is an intro to the secret knowledge of adults which is a set of informations that is mainly covered in the book entitled Surrogate Re-Parenting: A.K.A. Get Your Mind Right, and even more thoroughly covered in the book The Secret Knowledge Of Adults. While this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent is intended for kids 10 and up, the info in this book is beneficial and useful to the intelligent kid parts in all of us. Yes, this means you too.

The information in this book will help you and yours to start to see your parents, not as the enemy, but as the caring human beings they really are, and take the first step toward family unity, understanding, growth, success, and happiness! Both you and your parents really deserve this, and with this book, A-C-T like a Kid and T-H-I-N-K like a Parent, you and your parents can actually achieve this.

Author Bios

katherine

Katherine Shears is a mom, graduate of Strayer University, and an executive consultant, who is dedicated to bettering the social function and overall visibility of all she encounters. She is a deep thinker with an open mind who stays on the cutting edge of learning, having read over one hundred self-help titles and counting.

c s white

C. S. Whitehurst is a psychology-based UX/UI designer/tester, computer programmer, IT Project Manager, and self-help enthusiast, who is a student of science, philosophy, life, and NYU. As a native of New York, having been exposed to social diversity, he has been coached by life to respond to the issues plaguing inner-city youth.

 

Links

http://www.katherineshears.com/

http://www.cswhitehurst.com/

https://www.amazon.com/C-T-Like-Kid-T-H-I-N-K-Parent/dp/1547102888

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