Look Who Is Here
My first guest blogger is here.
Two weeks ago, on my Blog #41, I opened my blog page to anyone out there who wishes to publish a blog. I didn’t think a professional editor would take me up on the offer. As I saw the request from Kristen Hamilton, the founder and owner of Kristen Corrects, to post on my blog page, I was in awe. Wouldn’t you be?
I first met Kristen when she proofread my novel, Pinnacle Lust, and felt that I hit the jackpot—so of course I immediately added her to my professional team…and the rest is history.
Having Kristen as a guest blogger on my page is something to shout about. I can’t beat the drum loud enough to convey my respect and admiration for her work, professionalism, and personality.
All that’s left for you is to enjoy her writing…on a rather light-hearted and relatable subject.
3 Life Lessons from Cats
Nov. 30, 2017, By Kristen Hamilton
My two passions in life are cats and books. I can’t decide which I like better—enjoying a good book on a wintery afternoon or cuddling up with one of my kitties. (Ideally, it would be both: reading a good book while a kitty is on my lap.)
I work from home as a book editor, which means I get the best of both worlds during each 40-hour workweek. Especially now during the winter months, when I’ve cranked up the heat in my office, I’m inundated with my three cats: Sophie (6), who is quiet and refined; Charlie (3), who is rambunctious and the center of attention; and Jack (2), who is scared of everything and loves forts. Here’s what I’ve learned from working with my three cats.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Sophie will occasionally position herself in front of my computer screen, blocking my view of work and halting all productivity, indicating she wants something. Sometimes I sigh and nudge her out of the way, but other times I realize this is a good reminder that when you want something, you have to make it happen.
The next time I had to have a difficult conversation with a client, I looked into Sophie’s steely eyes, hardened myself, and made the call. Smart cat.
2. Sometimes, drawing attention to yourself is key.
I am so passionate about being a small business owner, but I cringe at the thought of touting about my accomplishments. But then Charlie gallops into the room, pushing open the door so fast that it bounces off the opposite wall, and makes his presence known. (Usually this ends with me giving him milk or throwing a toy for him to chase—either way, it ends well for the cat.)
It’s moments like these I realize that sometimes, showing people what you’re made of is the best way to get the attention and recognition you deserve. And, just like Charlie, when I show off my accomplishments, good things are bound to happen.
3. Self-care is priority number one.
If I pull out a blanket, I can count on Jack to be there. Within seconds, Jack will come scurrying from the woodwork to nestle himself between my legs and the blanket, peering out from his self-made fort. As the epitome of a “scaredy cat,” Jack hides anytime he hears a loud noise, and unlike Sophie (who will merely flick her tail in annoyance) or Charlie (who will go investigate), Jack will retreat to the safety of the fort.
And herein lies a great lesson: From Jack I’ve learned that sometimes, choosing to do what makes you feel safest and most comfortable is the best route. In my work, I have a hard time saying no to last-minute client requests, even though I know that adding to my already-full plate will cause me stress. The last time I had to prioritize my own time over work commitments, I peeked at Jack in the fort, thought about self-care, and made the right decision to respect my personal time.
If anyone can teach us about how to be a better human in work and life, look at a cat. They’ve got their stuff together.
If you’re like me, you must have enjoyed reading about Kristen and her cats.
I’ve always wondered if any of Kristen’s editing is done by her cats.
Between Me And Writing
People often ask about my writing—they are eager to hear about the life of an author, where my characters come from, the journey I travel when drafting 80,000 words to publishing the final book, and of course about writing and me.
Writing and me is a whole world in itself. It’s a rollercoaster with ups and downs, emotions, frustrations, and achievements. Here are some truths from the relationship between writing and me.
And the list goes on.
My writing is a world of it’s own that I live with all day, every day.
My Wild Life
Not every deer arrives with Santa, snow sleds or at Christmastime.
Last night, I returned home after a date night with my husband. The few streetlights were dim but lit the road well enough. As we pulled closer to our property there was a deer waiting on me—only to find out it was not one but six.
Deer are not strangers in our subdivision—they are fairly domesticated. Here, you see them all year round.
While some people like deer and even feed them, others in the neighborhood will do anything to keep them away, even hurt them. I’m neutral. Although I’m not happy when they eat my flowers or find comfort on my mondo grass, I still find them cute. I would never harm them, but I would ask them kindly to leave my property.
The best way to send deer away is simply asking them not to come back. All it takes is to sprinkle urine in and around the area where they lie down. You don’t have to go through the drama of buying coyote urine; any urine will do the trick.
I waited until the next morning, peed in a Styrofoam cup, and walked to the yard to complete my mission. And I found another problem.
As soon as my feet hit the grass, my steps felt uneven. At first I thought it was nothing, but when the problem persisted, I looked down…and what did I see? Trails! Aha, now I have moles. Hmmm, I dumped the urine on the trail thinking maybe they, like the deer, would get the hint and skedaddle. It’s needless to say what my husband thought about it, “Keep your urine in the toilet and just call a pest control company.”
I tend to listen to my husband, so I did.
Stay tuned to hear what happens next.
It’s wild out here.
Cyber Monday is right behind Black Friday! And I mean behind in its behavior, as well as in its timing.
America can relax. There’s no need to take a day off for Cyber Monday and no need to sneak in your personal cyber shopping while at work. It appears that Cyber Monday extended its hours, just like this year’s Black Friday. Many sites have already announced that their sales will run for the entire week. Aren’t you relieved?
If you’re worried about what you missed during the Black Friday sales, relax—you might hit better deals today, on Cyber Monday, or as I like to call it Cyber Week. Besides, this year some of you won’t even need to click. All it will take is to tell Alexa or Google Assistant what you want and they will do the rest! Amazing isn’t it?
Let’s face it, it’s the shopping season. So why bother with titles? Black Friday, Cyber Day, Cyber Week… America is shopping. Period! And that means money is flowing into stores across the nation. Experts anticipate that Cyber Monday is going to bring in 6.6 billion dollars this year. Wow!
I don’t bother with sales—not as buyer nor as a seller. I don’t offer discounts but rather just offer it for free. No matter where you purchase my book, Pinnacle Lust, you will get a full rebate.*
How? It’s simple. All you need to do is email me the proof of your purchase at email@example.com.
Why wait? Get a copy of Pinnacle Lust now for yourself or for a loved one.
Give the gift of reading. Books are for everyone.
*Full rebate will be mailed 45 days from the day of purchase unless the item is returned. This offer excludes hard cover format.
Pray With Me
As soon as I agreed to do Christmas, and I mean the whole nine-yards, I began planning it in my mind. I find that if I coordinate the delivery of the trees and the installation of the 3000 lights four days apart, my trees enjoy some time to acclimate to their new environment. When you think about the traumatic journey they go through before they arrive at my house—we cut them, drag them out of the forest, we smoosh them, bind them, and throw them into a truck. Then, when they are delivered, we get cruel as we put the trees through more trials—we screw them to stands so they stand straight and won’t move. It’s a lot for a tree. So, before I attack my trees with lights, ornaments, and icicles, I let them recover—I water them twice a day and hope they will open their branches as if they were still out in the forest.
But, before all of this, I do some preparation. I get my ornaments in order. Two days ago I went to the basement and pulled out the holiday boxes, twenty-one in all, and carried them up the stairs to the main floor. I moved all the chairs away from my dining table, covered it with a table pad and started to organize my exquisite collection of jesters. I had to take the time and carefully iron some of them to smooth out the wrinkles. With so many jesters and such a big tree, it is helpful to have them grouped and organized, so when the time comes to hang them, I can spread them evenly throughout the tree branches, making the tree look balanced and beautiful.
We buy our trees from the same gentleman for over twenty years. He delivers the tress to our house and puts them in a stand. Yesterday morning I called the tree man to reserve and schedule the delivery of my trees, as I do every year. However, the conversation didn’t go as I’d expected. Though the voice resembled the voice I’m familiar with, and the man confirmed that I was talking to Rick, something didn’t sound right. I quickly realized I was speaking with the tree man’s son, whose name is also Rick, but Jr. The call which should have taken just a few minutes turned into a thirty minute conversation, as Rick Jr. told me that six months ago his father had been in a car accident and has been in a rehab center ever since. Rehab has always sounded promising to me, but after I heard all the details, I doubted my tree man would ever deliver me a tree again.
As I shared the news with my husband, I finally let my emotions out, and tears rolled down my face. My husband’s devastation upon hearing the news was apparent. . A few hours later, he approached me, “Maybe we should skip the trees this year,” he said.
“I’m glad you are saying this. I feel the same way.”
“It’s just odd after all these years to have someone else deliver and set up the trees.”
“I know. Without the tree man, it’s not the same. I can’t imagine someone else bringing our trees… not even his son.”
“You’re right,” my husband said.
“I’ll still make your holiday special,” I said to him as I envision my house saturated with poinsettias and my grand piano covered with my collection of jesters.
Pray with me for my tree-man.
It was only a few days ago when I announced that I was going bonkers…at least with the business side of my life. I promised you a promotion that you would not be able to pass up. It was in Blog #40, Going Bonkers With Promotion.
The very next day, in Blog #42, Be My Guest, I revealed that I was opening up my blog page to guest bloggers and invited anyone who wished to publish a blog to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In less than a few hours, I received two requests from people who were interested in blogging on my page…wow!
However, while Be My Guest is a promotion, it’s only part of what I planned on doing this year. Like I said, I am going bonkers this year!
I bet that you took advantage of the big sales and you are now done with most of your shopping. Now it’s time to relax and grab the real bargains—the free things! What I’m saying is that I’m going to give you my book for free.
But first, let me tell you why you should consider this offer. My book, Pinnacle Lust, is a page turner with characters so real, you’ll engage with them immediately. The story is sensual and emotional. It delivers nothing but reality as it is based on a true story. While you might have never had a similar experience in your own life, I bet you know at least one person who has. I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time and read the Pinnacle Lust reviews on my Amazon page or my website.
Another good reason why now is the best time to read Pinnacle Lust is that I’m wrapping up the second book in the Pinnacle Trilogy—so there’s no time like now to catch up.
And let’s face it, a book makes a prime present for people of all ages. Although, I’ll admit Pinnacle Lust is for readers who are over 18 due to the emotional aspect of a young girl facing a shocking reality of finding that the man she calls Dad is not her biological father. And let’s not forget the graphic sexual scenes in the book—there are different opinions about this. Myself included, I’m not sure what age group should read this book as I find today’s teenagers pretty knowledgeable, if not too knowledgeable.
No reason to keep you in suspense any longer. Here’s how you can get a free copy of my book, Pinnacle Lust, in a printed soft cover or an E-book format under this promotion.
Purchase Pinnacle Lust in the format of Paperback or E-book, and email proof of your purchase to me at email@example.com. Forty-five days from the date of your purchase, I’ll send you a full rebate unless you returned the book.
Hurry up! You never know when this promotion will end. Don’t say I didn’t tell you…
Get your ultimate gift today for free.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Happy Holidays!
Crowds are not my thing—they don’t work well with my claustrophobia.
Back in October, in Blogs #7 and #12, I shared with you my claustrophobia and some of the difficulties that come with it—specifically, my stress when flying. The truth is there are plenty more difficult environments to handle with this condition—movie theaters, concerts—anything where there are big crowds.
Did I say enough? I bet you’ve got the picture by now. Unless they are online, Black Friday sales are not some place you will find me.
It’s more than my claustrophobia that keeps me away from these kinds of sales. It was a long time ago when I realized that by the end of the day, I spend more money shopping on big sales days than if I would shop off-sale. Big sales give me the impression that everything is such a bargain—who in their right mind can leave these goods on the shelves? Not me, of course. How about you?
Also, I’m disturbed by the way in which Black Friday sales affect the Thanksgiving holiday.
Years ago Black Friday offered great sales only on Friday, during the store’s regular business hours. However, because of the attractive deals, inventory would sell out quickly, often within a few hours. Shoppers were willing to arrive before the store opened and line up to guarantee they’d get the best deals. Soon, lines formed as early as the middle of the night. Before we knew it, businesses understood the potential sales and made shopping more convenient as they extended store hours and opened their doors to the public earlier… and I mean a day earlier. First, it was 8 o’clock the evening of Thanksgiving when you could start your shopping, and next you could start your Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving morning. Wow, if that’s not generous of the stores… Of course many people were tempted and skipped the tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday, leaving it and often some loved ones behind.
And so do the stores. By extending their hours, they pull employees from their families and homes as well from the tradition so that they can staff the cash registers.
Where were you yesterday? With family and friends at home, or shopping?
My Kitchen Is On Fire
No need to call 911, but some sympathy would help.
This week has been beyond hectic. Although I’m going to bed late and getting up early, I’m still behind. You could say that I have too much on my plate—I doubt I can list everything that I’m dealing with nowadays. My head is spinning. I wish I could just stop for a second and reprioritize my list…maybe even shed a thing or two. New studies show that a person can’t effectively do multiple things at the same time—you can, but you won’t perform at your best handling more than one task at the time… I better get the hint...
Although I prepared my delicious Cornish Hens and my mom’s Drunken Cranberry Sauce yesterday, this morning I stepped into my kitchen at 7:00. I cooked the two parts of the green bean casserole and combined them. I also made my to-die-for butternut squash soup, which I shared in my Blog #22. Oh and let’s not forget the two desserts I made. And I still have plenty to do.
It is almost 1:30; I’m thankful that my guests will not arrive until 5:00—I need the time between now and then to finish my to-do list.
It feels as if not only my kitchen is on fire but also that I’m burning at both ends.
With this said, I better cut it short! But not before I send my wishes your way.
I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving, filled with love and joy. May this holiday tie you to the tradition and bring you happiness.
More to come,
Be My Guest
Thanksgiving is here. We give thanks—or as I say we thank, share and we give. We tend to leave history behind and focus on the day—eating, watching football, and shopping.
I’m not that different than others. I follow the crowds—ignorant of the history and more so sticking to the tradition of Thanksgiving. My mind is busy with the menu, cooking and preparing for my guests. I’m running around the house, trying to clean up neglected areas, working against the clock to be ready for the holiday.
While I don’t see an end to my list, I’m looking for a way to make this Thanksgiving special. I’m not talking about food—I’m seeking to incorporate things that have meaning to me and others. My creativity is always on—not only in writing but also in my actions.
This year, I would like to give the opportunity to anyone out there who wishes to publish a blog. Starting today until the end of the year, I’ll open up my blog page to guest bloggers. Meaning, you write and I’ll post it on my blog page—a great opportunity to voice your opinions and easily increase your visibility as my website gets an average of 5000 visitors a week. All you need to do is email me your blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. While at times blogging sounds like an attractive and an easy task, and this is a free opportunity, please keep in mind that I’m not interested in posting any blogs containing political, sexual, or any other topics I deem to be inappropriate.
Like I said, it’s a free opportunity to share your writing with others.
So why not take advantage!
Going Bonkers With Promotion
At this special time of year, I tend to write less and spend more time on marketing and public relations. I feel that my readers might benefit from getting closer to my desk and take advantage of my creative promotions.
Each year I craft my promotion differently so it aligns with what’s going on in the world. If you recall, last year I donated the proceeds from my book sales to replant trees in Tennessee after the devastating fires that started the day before Thanksgiving.
So far, this year has been remarkable for my career. My first book, Pinnacle Lust, continues to sell—better than previous years. I’m also about to complete my second book in the Pinnacle series. In addition, I’m working on a new cookbook, and let’s not forget the intense blog series, 80 Days To New Years, which includes 80 daily blogs that I took upon myself. To top it off, six months ago, I began the process of establishing a new company to manufacture my divine crackers.
Hmmm… Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think 2017 has been a good year overall. The economy has stabilized, the stock market is doing more than just well, and the job market is gaining strength.
Like I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of marketing gimmicks that offer freebees of any kind—especially not when it comes to books. But with this kind of a year I’m doing the unexpected. While you may think I’m going bonkers, I doubt that you will pass up this opportunity.
This year’s promotion will begin tomorrow and will continue until I decide to end it—I told you, you might think I’m going bonkers!
Why wait for Black Friday?