writing

Writers Wednesdays: Finding The Best Beta Readers

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s post will be short, because there isn’t a lot to say about this topic.

Good beta readers (who are willing to read your book before you publish it) are invaluable, but also hard to find. Everyone will accept a free book, but few are willing to give substantive feedback on what they read. So, for that reason, it’s challenging to have a good, reliable group of beta readers.

However, finding willing readers is the first step to getting a group of good beta readers. And that part is pretty easy. I always start with family and friends. Then, I start scouring my social media. I look for people that follow certain hashtags, and see if I can connect with them. After engaging in a few conversations, I can offer them my unpublished work, and see if they’re willing to read it.

As I get a group of devoted beta readers, I’ll keep you all posted on how things are going. I look forward to telling you all more about in the future!

reading list

Book Review: The Magic Path of Intuition

I have another book review for you all, and this time, it’s a FREE audiobook that I found on YouTube!

The book I’m reviewing today is The Magic Path of Intuition by Florence Scovel Shinn. I’ve been familiar with Florence for several years, and I initially read The Game of Life and How to Play It about seven years ago. However, I recently decided that the best way for me to reach my 100 books in 2021 goal is to supplement my normal reading routine with audiobooks (I first mentioned this approach in a recent post). That way, I can listen to the text (auditory methods are my favorite mode of learning) while I do repetitive tasks, like folding clothes, sweeping, and all manner of general tidying.

In my recent post, I named a couple of Florence Scovel Shinn’s books that I read during the month of March. I wanted to finish reading all of her work before the end of April, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve met my goal! So, in this post, I’m reviewing one of the books that really impressed me.

So, one of the things that stands out to me is Florence’s consistent use of anecdotal examples to make her point. However, what is really special about this is that the examples she uses are both dated (she did write these books more than 80 years ago) and yet, completely timeless. It’s easy to envision ourselves as one of the characters in her stories, even if the story that she’s relaying isn’t at all possible in today’s world.

She impresses upon the reader the importance of following intuition in order to reveal, to ourselves, the best path for us to take. She indicates that listening to our intuition is part of communicating directly with God (or our highest, wisest self, if you prefer to describe it that way). After making a particular request, or setting an intention, it’s important to follow whatever inspired action comes next. Sometimes, that action may seem nonsensical, but, in my experience, the more nonsensical the action, the more likely it is that the action is truly inspired and will be crucial to whatever request you’ve made.

I enjoyed listening to this book which. on YouTube, is less than two hours long. I highly recommend it for all of my “woo-woo” friends that want to hear original law of attraction (LOA) teachings!

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

reading list

Book Review: Double Your Business

I’ve mentioned Cassie Parks in previous posts. She is one of my favorite law of attraction (LOA) coaches, and her simple, practical approach to crafting your dream life is refreshing. In a world full of coaches that make LOA complicated and inaccessible, it’s wonderful to have someone that breaks away from the pack and does it her own way. So, in my quest to learn more ways to create a stronger, more lucrative business, I turned to Cassie’s book, Double Your Business.

The full title of the book is, Double Your Business: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Double Your Profits Without Doubling Your Hours So You Can Actually Enjoy Your Life. But, as you can see, I’ll be using the abbreviated title. In this book, Cassie reveals her step-by-step strategy for increasing your revenue without requiring additional time or extraordinary effort. Her approach involves using clear intentions and embracing your future lifestyle in order to align with your desired reality.

What I appreciate about this book is that it doesn’t give you a quick fix for business growth. As Cassie explains, “quick” strategies are rarely effective over the long term. We have to dive in the day-to-day reality of the lifestyle we desire in order to co-create our best lives. The exercises are easy to follow, Cassie’s writing style is engaging, and, if you follow her advice, you will absolutely double your business without having to work harder or increase your hours.

Additionally, I can see how this would support my goals for 2021. Cassie is careful to avoid the word “goal”, as it implies something very limited, as opposed to an “intention”, which is far broader and more flexible. I love that her approach is so much more wholistic/holistic than some LOA coaches. Instead of focusing on something finite (like a singular goal), she expands your focus so that you can design a business that easily accomplishes all of the goals that you desire to achieve.

I cannot recommend this book enough! If you have it, or would consider buying it, let me know in the comments. Talk to you all soon!

*This post contains affiliate links

writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Cycle

Happy Writers Wednesday! I hope you all are having a great day or evening. I mentioned my writing, editing and publishing lessons learned in last week’s Writers Wednesday post. Now that I’ve churned out a few children’s books (like this one that teaches children about China, and this one that teaches kids about Vietnam), I’m getting back onto schedule.

The book I was working on (prior to working on the children’s books) is basically complete, so it’s time to move on. Starting next week, I’m entering a new writing cycle. However, instead of starting a new project from scratch, this cycle will focus on finishing some of my older, neglected manuscripts. I have quite a few unfinished books that I’ve wanted to complete for the past few years, and these next few weeks feel like a good time to do so.

The way I’m planning it in my mind will mean that I won’t stick to one manuscript, complete it, then move to the next. I’ll likely bounce between three or four works, doing writing and editing tasks until they’re all finished. For me, the challenges lie in four different things:

  • Refusing to start a brand new book (given my short attention span, this will be my biggest challenge)
  • Creating a practical daily schedule (as my schedule has been busier recently, this may be a bit harder to do)
  • Finding enough willing beta readers for my books (not a major challenge, but something to keep in mind as I get closer to completing my edits)
  • Setting a reasonable end date for these writing and editing tasks (my second biggest challenge, since I tend to underestimate the time needed for tasks)

As I look forward, I can see where my weaknesses are, and, by seeing them, I can prepare. In the next few days, I’ll be concentrating on how to avoid or mitigate each of the challenges I listed above. And, more than likely, I’ll share about my strategies, tactics and more lessons learned during the next few Writers Wednesdays posts.

That’s my writing update for this week. Have a great day!

*This post contains affiliate links

reading list

Books Read in March 2021

Happy Tuesday! I posted this yesterday, before it was completed. So today, I’m finally completing this post.

This year, one of my goals is to read 100+ books. For March, I did way better than I did in January and February! That’s really remarkable, considering the fact that I actually took on extra activities during this month (coursework, increased working hours, etc.,).

Want to know my secret for reading more books? It’s easy: audiobooks! I’m pressing play and doing tasks (like folding clothes and beauty treatments) while I listen. Here are the books that I read:

Anne Barone, Chic and Slim

Anne Barone, Chic and Slim Encore

Florence Scovel Shinn, Your Word is Your Wand

Florence Scovel Shinn, The Game of Life and How to Play It

Florence Scovel Shinn, The Secret Door to Success

Annette Larkins – Journey to Health 1

Annette Larkins – Journey to Health 2

So this month, I read 7 books. Not too bad for someone that’s busier than ever LOL! I’m already done with one book for the month of April, and it’s still the first week. It’s looking like I’ll be able to knock out at least 8 more books this month.

That’s today’s brief post! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow, and I’ll have more details about what’s been happening lately. Talk ot you all soon!

(This post contains affiliate links.)

culture · fitness · goals · health · life curation

March Goal Updates – Finally!

Happy first day of April, friends!

I know that you all saw some post notifications yesterday, but those posts aren’t ready just yet. Bear with me: the past few weeks have been busy. Between my job, my side job, my family, and my school coursework, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I will be getting a much needed break this weekend, but that’s a couple of days away. In any case, I am ready to chat about my March goal update.

So, my goal list for 2021 is as follows:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

I always discuss my book reading goal in a separate post, so I won’t talk about that until next week. However, I’m really excited to confirm that I’ve made progress on several of my goals for the year!

  • Publish 5 books

In the midst of the tragic shootings in Atlanta several days ago, I was moved to do my part in supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement. I stayed up late several nights, and I ended up writing and publishing two books to inspire children to learn more about Asian countries. I believe that hate is rooted in ignorance, and the cure for ignorance is knowledge. I plan to eventually write books on each of the countries of the world, but I decided to start with China and Vietnam, in hopes that what I publish will help educate children on the many ways that we are wonderfully different and surprisingly alike. My books are Let’s Go to China and Let’s Go to Vietnam, and they are filled with beautiful pictures and fun facts about these two Asian countries.

Now, these books were not planned at all, but I believe in working with inspiration as it strikes. Inspiration led me to write them, and I’ve done this sort of thing enough to know that I should never ignore a hunch. These two books bring my closer to my publishing goals for the year and, as a plus, I’m on target to meet this goal before summer begins!

  • Lose 15 lbs

A recent trip to the doctor confirmed that I have gained weight (more about this in tomorrow’s post). So I’m amping up my physical activity and revising my diet. I feel pretty good about the changes I’m making, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to shed the weight easily – so long as I stick to my plan. I’ll spill more of those details tomorrow.

  • Manifest 3 international trips

Part of manifesting my three international trips including allowing inspiration to point me in the direction of the right trips for me. Well, with some inspired conversations with my friends, as well as some fantastic evidence from the Universe, I’ve decided on one of the countries that I will visit this year! I’ll share more about this as I plan my trip, but I’m really excited that one of those international trips is in the works.

  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses

I’ve gotten several opportunities to earn additional money doing the things that I already do (like vlogging). I also have been selling some of my books (so exciting!) and having several people interested in a few of my little businesses. I’m not sure how much money I’ve made so far in my businesses, but I think I’ll calculate it next month and share it in my April goal update post.

  • Read 100+ books

This will be in a separate post, but I’m excited to let you all know that I read more books in March than I did in January or February. I’m so happy that I’m making progress toward my goal!

  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo

I’m still floating off of the happiness of my Sophia Webster purchase. I haven’t recently checked the Hermes, Louboutin, or Ralph & Russo websites to decide on what items I want, but I’m sure I’ll have made some more progress toward this before I do my April update.

  • Cure my fibromyalgia

I’ve been feeling great recently! My medication seems to be at an optimal dosage, which makes me really happy. I’ve been dealing with fatigue, but other than that, everything has been good. I’ll discuss this more in tomorrow’s post, too.

So that’s it for my updates. I’ll be back tomorrow with my Fibro Friday post. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

*This post contains affiliate links.

reading list · Uncategorized

Books Read in February 2021

Happy March 1st, and Happy Women’s History Month, friends! This post is going live super-late, because yours truly has a new set of nails and I’m typing extra slowly (don’t laugh, I’m serious!)

Anyhoo, let’s move on to the topic, which is the book list for February. I was, once again, a tad disappointed by how many books I read. But something is better than nothing, right? I’m learning to appreciate my progress no matter how small, but my old perfectionist ways still get the best of me sometimes. It’s a struggle.

Without further ado, here is my list of books read for February:

I’ll be able to devote more time to reading this month, as I’m already clearing my calendar for some major book time (no less than 30 minutes a day, every single day). I also started two books in February that I’ll complete this month, so I’m looking forward to that.

That’s it for my book updates. I’m anticipating some better news at the end of this month! I’ll talk to you all soon.

reading list · Uncategorized

Book Review – Elixir For Life

Happy Thursday, friends! Currently, there are a few regions of the United States experiencing severe winter weather, resulting in power failures and interruptions with water supply. I hope you all are staying safe and warm!

Today’s post is a book review that I’m excited to share with you all. The book is Elixir for Life by H. Benjamin Poke. Poke is native to my home state, so I consider him a local author. Also, I’m proud to share that this gifted poet is also my paternal uncle.

I will try my best to post an impartial review, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s difficult for me to be unbiased. I know the labor of love that went into creating this collection of poems. I am also influenced by the author’s (my uncle’s) consistently loving and generous nature. Further, I’m partial because I know for myself how kindly he treats others, complete strangers as well as his family. He is one of the most genuinely warm people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He’s a loving husband, devoted father, and a beloved grandfather and loyal friend.

That being said, let’s get into the review. The book is written from a Christian perspective, so if you are not a Christian, you may not be able to relate to some of the content. But, as with my review of Synergy, I’d like to point out the fact that a difference in religious perspective may not detract from your enjoyment of the book.

I enjoyed each of these poems, written from the perspective of strong, steady supporter cheering for the readers to overcome daily struggles and align with a higher purpose for their lives. There are hundreds of poems in the book, which is why I cannot recommend just one for you. Each poem offers encouragement and inspiration, and it’s easy to find a poem that suits your particular struggles and circumstances. This is the kind of book that you pick up when you’re feeling low and need a kind word, or that you read when you just want to feel more connected with your higher power/spiritual source.

This book is a wonderful addition to any collection, and I’d put it up there against the words of famed poets Maya Angelou and Lucille Clifton. Make sure to check it out on Amazon (the link is here). I hope that you order it and enjoy!

That’s it for today’s post. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Phoning a Friend

Happy Writer’s Wednesday! Last week, I shared two posts about writing and editing. The last Writer’s Wednesday post discussed how I was ‘in the thick’ of editing. The next day, I wrote about summoning muses, or, in other words, how to find inspiration. This week, I want to go in a slightly different direction.

Do you all recall how I wrote about being distracted and putting off my writing a bit? Well, the same (but different) thing is happening with editing. I find myself needing a distraction because being in my head so much isn’t good for me. I tend to pick apart my words to the point where I’m ready to throw away an entire manuscript. And THAT would be foolish.

So, I did what I always do: I called a friend. It goes contrary to what I’ve advised previously, but one of the key things about the writing, editing and publishing processes is to follow inspiration, or intuition, as needed. Sometimes, your soul nudges you to take a break from your writing tasks and simply enjoy being in the moment. For me, being in the moment means enjoying a conversation with a friend.

But it didn’t have to be a phone call involved. I could have worked on my garden plans a bit further, took a walk (the weather was a bit warmer yesterday), painstakingly cook a meal from scratch, etc.,. The activity doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that doing something different from editing offers me a bit of a mental reprieve.

Flexibility has been key. After talking to one of my friends, I was able to jump back into my editing, more charged than ever. Yes, I think I’ll be able to finish my book edits by the end of this month. This is so exciting: I can’t believe that the final manuscript will be ready soon!

reading list

Book Review: Synergy by C. O. Clark

Hi friends! After sharing that I’m a little behind on my book reading, I decided to buckle down and read at least ten books this month. So I’m already done with one book and working on my next one, four days into the month. That’s what I’m talking about!

This book is titled Synergy, written by C. O. Clark. This is a book of poetry that describes the experience of daring to live boldly and claim our authentic selves. The book description on Amazon states:

“Synergy is the third and final volume in the Equilibrium series. This three volume series is a poetic approach to articulating life, and emotions we bury; afraid of ridicule and rejection. Together we bring down the walls of what it means to remove the veil of being vulnerable — the false equating of vulnerability being weakness. We create a safe space to be authentic and to express our beliefs, fears, doubts, and all the what-ifs. We lay the foundation to voice our troubles, pains, and burdens.”

Because this is Black History Month in the United States, I am focusing specifically on works written Black/African-American authors this month. For the entire month, I am reading works by Black authors exclusively, and I’ll be featuring authors that live locally for this month’s book reviews. As it turns out, I attended the book launch for Synergy back in 2019, and the author read a few of the poems to us. I purchased the book that night, and I’m thrilled that I’m finally reviewing it.

I love the journey that Clark takes you on when you read her work. She goes through a range of emotions, from pain, fear and rejection, to joy, romantic love, and spiritual awakening. This is a wonderful book that I’m looking forward to reading again and again. I definitely recommend it!

That’s all for today. I hope you all are doing well. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

This post contains affiliate links.