Monthly Archives: July 2014

A few weeks ago, I posted an article about the pros and cons of taking writing classes (or any business classes) and included a picture of my “writing resources” bookshelf. Wow! I never imagined so many people would want to know what writing resource books I recommend!

And yes, I have some that I highly recommend. So I’ve compiled a list of my “can’t live without” books for writing. To make your life easier, I’ve linked to their page on so you can just buy them with a click.


A dictionary (A GOOD dictionary)
Mine is a Webster’s and it was what I asked for from my grandmother when I graduated from high school. Now, before you point out that there’s an app for that (or a website or a widget or a thingymabob) there’s a REASON I still have an honest to goodness dictionary sitting on my shelf. When you look up a word for its correct spelling, definition or usage in a digital format you get exactly what you’re looking for and nothing else. When you look it up in a paper dictionary, you get to read all the other words that are on the page! And those other words always spark ideas.

A thesaurus
I have two: the matching Webster’s to my dictionary and a really cool one by Roget’s called the Super Thesaurus. Of course you can look up synonyms and antonyms online, and even click to be taken to definition of any word you don’t recognize, there’s still something to be said for the ideas sparked by the orderly row of words on the page.

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I’ve written several articles about writing the book you’ve been called to write, following your dreams, and not letting your stories die inside of you. Recently I had the opportunity to make someone else’s dream come true. I first met Karl in fall of 2013. I’d JUST realized that Assisted Self-Publishing was really what I wanted to do and Karl was sent to me by a friend because he had a book he wanted to publish.

For Karl, the fees for my work weren’t an issue. It was that he wanted the whole thing done in a week AND to make matters worse, the manuscript had been typed on a typewriter; I’d have to re-type the whole thing. I felt I couldn’t compress my timeline of 4-5 weeks for publishing.

Months passed. We’d run into each other at the grocery store or post office. I’d always ask how his project was going. He had a friend who was turning his typed manuscript into a .csv file. Why, I’ll never know; the publisher needs a .pdf that’s laid out to their specifications.


In May, just after I stopped working at the tax office full-time, Karl stopped by there, looking for me. I hopped in the truck to go see him and see how I could help him out. See, something had changed for Karl and it became critical he see his book published.

Karl is dying. In May, he said his doctor was giving him four to six months; heart problems and nothing can be done for him. He wanted to see his book published before he died. Hold it in his hand and know that it was real. Because of his medical bills, the money to pay my fees had been spent on his care.

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This week, I’m attending Maribel Jimenez’s EXCELLENT event so I asked my dear friend and client, Camden Hoch, to share some yoga moves that are perfect for those of us who spend a ton of time at our desks. I don’t know about you, but after a day sitting at my computer, my shoulders are tight and my lower back aches.

Camden has fixes for both!

Video Timeline

0:00 Intro

0:38 Meet Ms. Jackson the Wisdom Kitty

1:07 Why you should do this: The 7th Inning Stretch

1:43 Breath work

3:07 Maintain breath-work for oxygen circulation for mental clarity

3:32 Yoga poses to open shoulders and release tension: moving shoulders

4:52 Yoga poses to open chest to loosen upper back: breath work and stretches

6:29 Yoga poses to continue to release and relax back: Cow & Cat

7:51 Feel the energy circulation, vibrance, and radiance

8:07 Camden’s suggestions to open your hips as you work

8:49 Yoga pose to open hips: Chair pose

9:44 Yoga pose to continue to open hips: chair pose with twist

10:14 Conclusion

10:48 Bonus tip!

11:10 Sign off from Ms. Jackson

At 8:07 Camden talks about a chair she recommends. Here are the links:

About Camden
Camden Hoch is the Founder of Radiance Enterprises and creator of the Radiant Life and Biz Coaching Program. She is recognized as one of today’s leading experts in teaching methods to embrace life daily with attention and intention to balance. Her teaching style encourages connection through honest and rich relationships uplifting global value and connection. She has mentored and empowered hundreds of clients in choosing to power up their lives and businesses from the inside out!

Find her at

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For the past few weeks I’ve been hard at work on a new gift to give to people when they opt-in to my newsletter list. I’d say 90% of my subscribers join my list BECAUSE they wanted the gift; the *ahem* great content in the weekly newsletter is a bonus. The other 10% find my blog, read a great article and decide they want more articles delivered to their inbox every Tuesday. So an opt-in gift is CLEARLY a really important thing to create and create well!

When I first started with email marketing, back in 2003, it wasn’t really much of a requirement to offer a free gift to encourage people to sign up. Emailed newsletters were still a novelty. (And in some industries they still are!)


When I sat down to create my new gift, here’s the thought process I went through:

1. Who do I want to attract to my list?

My original opt-in gift was targeted to ANYONE who was interested in self-publishing. But over the course of a year since that gift was new, my target subscriber has been refined to be a coach, speaker, or author.

So when I created a NEW gift, I targeted it directly to who I wanted on my list.

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Last week I participated in a comment exchange party – each participant posted a link to a blog post that she wanted additional comments on and then OTHERS in the party would leave comments on the post.

Makes total sense, right? You get more traffic on a blog post, they get more links to their website, you get to read new articles, your name is seen by more people… It’s a win-win, right?

Well, maybe. There are a LOT of factors involved when it comes to commenting on other people’s blogs.

  1. MOST blogs have a nofollow policy which means that the link to YOUR website is listed as nofollow. Now, I’m not an SEO expert but I think this boils down to the link isn’t as valuable as an incoming link with a nofollow tag as it is without.
  2. People don’t always reciprocate. In an event like this, it’s completely possible I would comment on more blogs than would comment on mine.
  3. Time. Even if you skim the articles, it still takes time to read them. But the biggest time-overhead is the commenting itself. And sometimes it’s tough to even figure out HOW to comment!
  4. Finding something to say. There have been times I’ve been involved in comment-swaps like this and I knew NOTHING about the blog’s topic and had zero interest. Makes it hard to say anything that “Thanks! Great post!”
  5. Not all blogs delete spam comments, moderate snarky or mean commenters, or engage with their readers. Personally, I reserve the right to delete ANY comment on my blog.

So how DO you write a good comment on somebody’s blog?

Decide WHY you’re doing it. I’m usually looking to get my name out there and expand my visibility in the blog-o-world. And with most blogs not offering a ‘follow’ link back to MY site, SEO reasons aren’t my main consideration.

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