If someone could give you the keys to success in life and work, would you accept them?
Look at life as a game. Every game has skills and rules. When you play the game, you have to possess the skills and know the rules. If you don’t, you’ll lose.
So it is with life and work. It affects your relationships, your happiness, your self-awareness, and your ability to perform well.
74 Key Life Skills for a Happy, Successful Life will point the way to living the good life.
It provides skills for behavior in life, work, image building and interaction with others. These critical 74 “soft skills” will enhance your life and guide you through both difficult and often uncertain situations that block even the most aware from being successful.
Who says this is important stuff that you should pay attention to?
John Daly does. How does he know? He practiced these skills throughout his 44-year career as one of the most successful event designers/producers in the world, gaining the title of “guru of special events.” Then he turned his attention to working with our youth who often lack the social skills to succeed in life. He is teaching these soft skills to them, and guess what? It’s working. It’s working so well that John’s curriculum, called The Key Class, has been adopted by the Unified Santa Barbara School District as well as other schools.
“We have found John Daly’s Key Class provides a break-through opportunity for students to learn many life skills that we simply have not had the expertise or curriculum to deliver … and we have had such phenomenal responses.” –Dr. David Cash, Superintendent, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Not just for kids, John has taken his experiences and knowledge and poured them into this book that will help adults and youth alike fill in the missing pieces for a happier, better life. With keys like that, there isn’t any door that won’t be open to you!
John Daly is back with another guide to the good life! John Daly, a highly-successful international event producer, advised his top Fortune 100 corporate clients on proper protocol both in the U.S. and around the globe for 44 years. He has taught The Key Class through the Santa Barbara Teen Court for the past five years and works with the Workforce Investment Board and a variety of organizations.
Since 2013, Daly has provided the program to multiple high schools in Santa Barbara and currently has expanded it to all high schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District School System, as well as Ventura County, California. In 2013-14, John Daly won the “Outstanding Fun In the Sun Individual Partner of the Year” Award from United Way. The same year, Daly won “mentor of the year” from Santa Barbara High School’s Dons Net Café and the 2014 Penny Jenkins Mentor Champion Award from the Fighting Back Mentor Program. John Daly is the 2015-2016 President of Partners in Education.
Friday Fun ♥ Sexy Snippets
This is an older blog post by Patricia A. Knight, but in anticipation of her 5th book of the Verdantia series coming out in November, I'd like to re-post this short story! She'd written this thinking about where to take it and I believe this story had a little inspiration on Hers to Captivate. Enjoy!
In the time-honored tradition of storytelling, I will try to illustrate with words why Sci-Fi is sexy. Here are a couple of paragraphs that came hot off the keyboard.
Clear your mind. Settle into your chair and relax. Now imagine this:
I, Darla Marie Dexter, object of alien fixation and thus representative for the entire human race, sat alone in my neighborhood Chicago bar – the one with the too-loud music and the tacky plastic tablecloths that my ex used to disparage. But I was waiting for a male from the planet Vortus. What would he know from plastic tablecloths?
It was late, but the joint was packed. A good local band had played tonight. I chatted with Max, the bartender, and sipped my girly mixer with the pineapple on a stick and a cheesy little umbrella. I was always too embarrassed to order one in front of my sophisticated former boyfriend but I was a sucker for anything coconut.
Max’s head lifted and his eyes shot to the door to draw my attention to the new arrival. I would have known, regardless. I felt it when he walked in. Because of my seniority with the Office of Extra-terrestrial Assistance, I’d been assigned as personal, cultural liaison to the Vortian. You know, prevent any social faux pas, educate the alien on how earthlings behave, that sorta stuff. I just didn’t realize how intimately he wanted to liaise. I hoisted my cocktail and tried not to stab my eye out with the umbrella as I gulped the entire contents.
“It’s the Vortian, Darla. Back to work.”
“Yeah, Max. I know.”
I ran shaky fingers through my page-boy hair cut. First putting my brunette locks behind my ears, then pulling the hair back to cover the blush that heated my cheeks.
I did know. I could feel the Vortian’s arousal. I could feel the blood pounding into his groin. I could feel the expansion of his male, ah, parts . . . yeah, you heard right, parts. See, that was the thing. I didn’t imagine I felt it. I really felt it. That mind telepathy stuff made the male delegates from Vortus a real hit with us earth ladies. Well, that and the extras that wrapped around and tickled your, ahem, while they, ah, stroked inside with the other, ah, thing. I picked up my bar coaster and started to fan my face.
And then I was looking at me through his eyes. I could see my slender body perched on the barstool, my miniskirt barely decent, my four-inch stilettos caught on the wrung of the stool. I inhabited his body – a body that was, whoa, gorgeous, and equipped with that little something, ah, extra. And all the time there were these erotic images of what he wanted to do to me rolling through my mind like classy porn – memories of what I had looked like coming apart underneath him the last time he’d done me. Holy multiple orgasms! Take me to your leader.
I shoved the empty fruit-drink toward Max.
“Maxie, I need some ice water, fast.”
The closer he came, the hotter I got. The bar stool I was sitting on was getting a little slippery from all the extra moisture down there, if you know what I mean. I knew, without even turning around, when he reached out to touch me. I could see it through his eyes.
“Darla.” The deep whisky velvet of his voice added to the sensory overload and I turned with a brilliant smile.
“Are you ready?”
“Absolutely.” Oh, lordy, the things a woman will do to save Earth.
There! Now, dear reader, you are going off to have sex with a telepathic alien with vibrating parts. Can you get THAT on earth? (If you can, will you please give me his number?)
Below is my review of Joseph! It's still on sale for 99¢ until November 1st so make sure you get a copy!
The nicest thing you can do beyond anything else is read and review an authors work that you love.
If you want to encourage them, review the book. I don't know many authors that don't troll their own reviews. Even if you are the 1 millionth reviewer, the author reads your review. Trust me. They've seen your review. Even if you get silence from the author, it doesn't mean they haven't seen the review.
Authors can't help themselves. Most don't respond to the review only because reviews are for other readers. But it means so much when you post any encouragement. They just don't want to freak you out by responding. So they sit in the background, jump for joy and do happy dances when they receive nice words. So please remember...the author wrote a novel for you. Wouldn't you want to send a letter back? Authors do wait for your words.
Joseph by Kris Michaels
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hot. Hooked. Want more.
The Kings of Guardian...Love. Each. Brother.
Let me tell you the Kings are one big, happy family. Okay, they all have their effed upness."Personal trouble" just doesn't cover their issues, but they deal and they are good people (no matter what those boys try to tell you).
(Hint: Yes, he's saying what you think he's saying)
Take Joseph, for example, a guy I can relate to. He wants to protect his family, but stays the furthest away from them as to not put them in danger. He's an assassin and double backs before he goes home. But he does go home every so often. But even loners get lonely.
When he gets a call for help from his long, lost high school girlfriend, the only person he's every loved outside the King family, he goes running. But Joseph is no lap dog. He's a bad ass mofo assassin going to protect his woman.
Joseph reminds me of something between a black mamba and a German Shepard. What would that look like? Possibly this...
Aside from the hot sex scenes there are assassins of all types trying to kill Joseph's favorite person, Ember Harris. The he hasn't seen his high school sweetheart since they parted ways upon his deployment for badass government fuckery (hench the staying away from the ones he loves part) he runs to her side when she absolutely needs him.
While he's been trained to kill, she's been saving lives as a doctor in the ER. It takes her some time to deal with the fact that he's killing people to save her, but she also loves him and doesn't want to die.
There's a conversation about that dicotomy in the book I thought was really well done.
"Joseph" has a happy ending and leaves an epilog that sets up the next book--enter Docs story. Which will come out in January (if the schedule of books proceeds as it has). I'm really looking forward to his story! I've go a thing for eye patch pirate-like doctors that are hot, handsome and chivalrous.
Until then, I'll just have to fan girl on some of the posters coming out:
View all my reviews
Friday Fun ♥ Sexy Snippet
What is Writer's Block?
If you are a writer, you probably have had this experience. If not, you are either a really good writer or you probably have no idea what writer’s block is. Just to be sailing in the same boat, I will first briefly explain what the writer’s block is and then we will go further into discussing what causes it and how we can deal with it.
Have you ever at any moment in your writing sat down at your desk to write but all you seem to be doing is staring at blank papers? Or you are at your computer and all you have is an empty monitor having no idea of what to put down into writing or even where to start? This is what we call writer’s block. It happens in most of the writers’ lives in writing. A moment where you momentarily lose the ability to produce new work.
Writer’s block can be caused by so many reasons. Some of these reasons are not so major and are related to the writer’s present attitude. Good examples are reasons like fear, anxiety, frustrations or just a mere change of lifestyle. If I were, however, to decide on the major cause of the writer’s block it would be what I call creative slowdown- running out of inspiration to come up with original content in their work. It is at times that this creative slowdown causes anxiety, fear and frustrations.
For me the most common cause of writer's block is burn out. I write everyday. I know many writer's that write everyday and honestly, it's from exhaustion. It's not writer's block but writer's over load. But if you're thinking, why can't I write...then it could be a clog of too much stimuli at one time.
Overcoming writer’s block.
Having gone through what writer’s block is and what its possible causes are, let me now take you through ways in which you can overcome this condition. At the end of this writing, I will give you my recommendation.
A number of ways and practices can be adopted to overcome writer’s block. Let me list down briefly just a few of these strategies:
In some cases doodling helps. But the 5 suggestions are a good way to power through a spurt where you're mind is just too busy to slow down for writing. If you're not having a writer's exhausted moment and a block from fear, stress or demands, try the above! Good work Minion Troll!
Well, there's always being God to write faster. But while the Ghostbusters might say yes to "Are you a God?" the truth is, not all of us can be a writing God like Larry Correia.
I recently asked Minon Troll to write me the pros and cons of writing fast. At first Minon Troll grumbled. Seems my friend didn't like being taken away from the latest manuscript of Patricia A. Knight's fifth book in the Verdantian series. Which is why the blandness and the slight change of topic and title...but don't worry, I've got my own opinion's in which I'll be integrating for fun! So here it is below.
What Can You Do To Be A Faster Writer?
If you can write faster, you’ll be able to convey your messages quicker, and beat deadlines if there are any. But like any other skill, writing techniques has to be learned, polished or even unlearned before it is refined to a fine taste.
You can learn how to write faster, and write faster, but first you need to understand what it requires. Let’s see what it takes!
Sure thing, Sparky! It's so easy.
Relevant Tips on How to be a Faster Writer
The following tips can help you improve your writing speed:
Research Your Topic
Regardless of your writing skills, techniques, or level of professionalism, you will find it extremely difficult to write faster, if you don’t know what you intend to write about. Simple research is often the answer.
Before you pick up your pen to write or tap your computer keys, conduct some research. Find out more about the topic. See what experts have said; get an insight into the opinions and ideas of others. Make comparisons and pick an angle to cover.
If you did your research quiet well, and pick an angle, you will find it easier to write. Once your writing is easy, ideas flow freely, and speed follows accordingly. If you have little or no knowledge of what you intend to write about, then all you have is often a blank sheet staring at you, as you force yourself to write slowly.
Okay, I have to say that in the beginning, it was easy to write fast. So many ideas, so little time. I'm still like that, but not when it comes to ghostwriting. So, case in point, research actually gives me ideas. Now, I'm a fiction writer, however -- knowing the facts about your characters may require research. Looking up on yahoo answers or googling a topic about my characters line of work helps me collect ideas! Ideas give you plot. Carry on Minon Troll!
Create an Outline
After the research, you can make your writing easier and faster by creating an outline. Your outline should reflect what you intend to cover in your writing, and how you intend to cover it.
If you plan to have four or five paragraphs, indicate that on your outline. Be specific by mentioning the ideas and example you intend to share in each paragraph. You may arrange the paragraphs in the order you want them to appear. Some writings start with an introductory paragraph and ends with a conclusion.
Nonetheless, there are no rules, your outline should be based on how you intend to pass your messages across, and the type of audience it is intended for.
This doesn't apply to those that are not going to write an "outline" anyway. It's like trying to explain infinite chocolate to them. To those who still believe they are "pantsers" (writers who don't call an outline and outline) you actually do outline. It's called a blurb. You have a blurb or a line in your mind, (like Jane screwed Jack, HEA) otherwise, you don't have a story. You have kidnapped words that were taken in the dead of night and forced onto a page.
I usually create an outline because I don't want to get lost as to where I am, writing wise, in the story. I use an outline to know what came before. When I write an outline, all those ideas to take my characters go right out the window once I start writing the long hand. I have a strange process. The outline is the synopsis of the story. When I'm writing a 20K word story, I have 4 paragraphs. These paragraphs represent 5K word scenes. I refer to the outline so that I know what happened. I also strikeout what was the idea and put in what really happened so that I can go back and see what I thought of doing in case it comes in handy later.
Improve Your Typing Skills
Except you still write with pen, you have to work on your typing skill. If you know exactly what you intend to write but cannot type very fast, your writing will still be slow.
Do your best to familiarize yourself with the position of keys on your computer keyboard. Type often, type every day, use a timer, observe your speed, see if you’re improving and don’t give up!
Now wait a minute Sparky!! (For those of you who don't know, I do my first draft with pen and 5X8 flash cards. This is a direct hit on yours truly.) Shakes wild fist at Minon Troll!! Why I...I like my dinosaur ways. I'd rather write slow than not at all.
Really pay Minon no mind if you're like me.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Far
There is no guarantee that anyone will be the next greatest writer of this generation. So calm down, and don’t over expect when you write. You won’t learn how to write a 1000 words article perfectly within twenty minutes in one night.
Learn how to manage your expectations. Personal disappointment can slow you down when you write. Nonetheless, don’t settle for messy write-ups, set a reasonable standard and expectations. Within a short while, you can raise your standard and expectations and be a better and faster writer.
I can't agree more! I've got no wise cracks about this one. Really, burn out is difficult to deal with.
Find a Suitable Writing Time
Writing at any level of speed often requires focus and lack of distractions. You need to find a suitable writing time that can bring out the best in you. Do you find it easier to write faster and better when you are all alone? Or do you write faster when your friend or spouse is around?
At what time of the day do you feel more relaxed and can think better and faster? You need to give yourself an edge and write at the most appropriate time for you. Some writers prefer the early hours of the morning, others prefer daytime, some can write anytime, and most prefer to write while all alone. Only you can find your suitable writing time. Do it!
To this, all I have to say is, find that time and commit!! Treat writing like a date, a marriage, your love affair. Because it is. Don't be afraid to tell other people this is your time to write. Defend the time with your life. Or like you're only happy me time.
If you can write very fast, chances are higher that you’ll require more editing. Speed and accuracy in writing doesn’t often walk hand-in-hand. After you write, you need to edit thoroughly.
Your speed has already saved you enough time for editing. Check for grammar, spelling, vague sentences, repeated ideas in different words, and run-on sentences etc. Speedy writing skills are useless if your final draft is a complete mess. As such, edit ruthlessly!
In my case, writing fast let's me edit. I think you should edit just because it's the professional thing to do.
The more you write, the better and faster you will be at it. Don’t write once in a while, or only when you feel like. Look for a reason to write every day. Write about a sport match you watched, your opinion about a topic on TV or online.
Write about your favorite TV show, and why you love it. Write about your pets, about your spouse, about your kids, siblings and neighbors etc. Write about what inspires you, scares you, and about the things you love and hate. Learn from your mistakes, improve, and you will write better and faster.
How many times have you heard this one? Well, it's because it's #1 on how to write fast. I think Minon was smart to NOT put this first as I'd give Minon the groan and "back to the blackboard with you".
Groan as I may, it works. However, if your schedule doesn't allow it, then you weren't serious about writing anyway. Pft. I'm sure to get a smack for that comment. Really, if you can only write on the full moon of every month, then at least your writing. But if that's your schedule, be patient with yourself. It will take a decade to get a full novel done.
Give Yourself Time to Master Your Speed
Your writing speed will not be constant within few attempts. Sometimes the topic you’re writing on may slow you down or inspire you to write faster. Give yourself time to master your writing speed.
Don’t get discouraged if your speed fluctuates sometimes, it happens to all writers. Give yourself some time for your new skill to sit in. You may use a timer to observe your speed, so you’ll know how well you’re doing or not. In all, speed and accuracy should be your ultimate writing goal.
Well done Minon! The last one is patience. It's the hardest part to be fair with oneself but also be committed. In other words...
Friday Fun ♥ Sexy Snippet
Blog Resource ♦ On Blast Blog
Matt Banner from On Blast Blog perused through Troll River Publications recently and really enjoyed our collection of Author Resources. So much so he sent me an email thanking me for the resources page.
He said Gary Dek's "Start a Blog 123" was a personal favorite and in fact, it was the one resource that inspired him to create a more thorough and up to date version:
How to Start & Create a Blog Today: Step-by-Step
I found his website awesome and worth mentioning to you all! He's got a 7 step system that puts blogging into an easy method. I mean -- wow! The detail in his instructions is just well thought out, well planned and gosh darn pretty.
So for those who are interested in setting up a WordPress site and are overwhelmed by every aspect then this is the site for you!
For those of you who look at my site and say--yeah right, Stephanie. You use Weebly. If WordPress is so great, why don't you use it?
Well, that's because I wanted to find a site that could be used by authors that did not want to deal with WordPress. My authors are serious, but most are not techs. I will admit, it took me 3 months to figure WordPress out. Since my authors want to write blog posts, not figure out how to post them, I have most of my authors on Weebly.
I find Weebly the easiest drop click site I've ever worked with. It doesn't mean I don't know how to use a WordPress site--it's that I like to put my word into action. I promised my authors to find an easy site they could work with so they wouldn't be intimidated by all the html code. Thus, I'm able to help them because I have access to their site through Weebly. It's part of my job as an author's advocate to help my writers get on with what they do best. Including the technical side of their blogs.
But if you truly want the best blog, the most awesome doo-hickeys and whirlbangs, and the best findability--go with WordPress. It's not hard to figure out, but it will take an investment of time.
Author Rachel De Lune has put her pen, time and talents towards Cancer Research...
A while back she was invited to write for a project that included 28 authors. "Framed" is a book put together by Protect Your Breasts in order to raise money for Cancer Research, but rather than put the book on sale, it’s being given as a thank you gift for donations made through their Just Giving Page https://www.justgiving.com/PYB-Cancer
All the tales in this anthology are inspired by the above picture
Framed is a collection of twenty eight stories, one thousand words in length, each written by one of twenty eight writers, collectively known as the #PYB Wordy Warriors.
Every story is different, every writer’s way with words unique, but they stand united for the cause. Fear, love, pain and freedom; you’ll find it all in this book, on a heart-breaking and uplifting journey through beautiful prose. The team of Wordy Warriors and the team at #PYB want to say a huge thank you for all your support and we hope you enjoy this collection.
You can get the full list of #PYB Wordy Warriors and more details about this project here http://bit.ly/1j8BLNA
Here’s how you can help this cause and get your hands on this book step-by-step:
Protect Your Breasts is a non-profit campaign ran by Lisa Fulham and V to raise awareness for the importance of self examination for the signs of Breast Cancer.
You can follow and support #PYB in the following places
Together let’s make C stand for Clear, not Cancer
Check out the Promotional Video
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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