Celebrating National Thesaurus Day

With a Thesaurus, it's impossible to be out of words!
Do you own a thesaurus? Do you know what the word thesaurus means?

First Question answered. I have 2, one of which is the first one I bought a few decades ago when I decided I wanted to write books. That one is The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form Edited by Norman Lewis.

The second one is Roget's International Thesaurus, Fourth Edition, Revised by Robert L. Chapman. The International Thesaurus has the tissue-paper thin pages similar to what one sees in the Bible.

Second Question answered. Thesaurus is a Greek word meaning storehouse. That's exactly what the books are—storehouses of words.

As authors—and as readers—we celebrate words and the storehouse in which many of them are kept with National Thesaurus Day. Why today? Because Peter Mark Roget who created the first thesaurus in 1852 was born on January 18, 1779.

How To Use a Thesaurus

The obvious way is to enrich one's writing by finding other words to use rather than repeating the same words constantly.

There are millions of words in the English language yet most people have a limited vocabulary. If you're writing papers in high school or college or trying to write a book, grow your vocabulary.

Mark Twain described the importance of choosing the correct word as: "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

Is the sky merely blue, or is it turquoise, sapphire, azure, cerulean, or another word you would find by paging through a thesaurus?

Paging through? Yes, you can find a thesaurus online, but a print book allows you to thumb through the pages, looking for the right word to describe something because words have 2 different kinds of meaning: the connotation and the denotation.

Connotation Vs. Denotation

The 2 meanings are connotation and denotation.

The connotation of a work refers to the array of positive and negative associations that most words carry with them.

The denotation of a word is the precise, literal definition of that word that you'd find in a dictionary.

The classic example of these two can be seen with the word home. The denotation says a home is a structure, but the connotation of home is a place of warmth, comfort, and affection—or it's a nation to which you pledge your loyalty.

Another plus of using a printed thesaurus is you can page through it at your leisure. Sit on the sofa with it and look at words while hubby watches a TV show. Enjoy the sunset on the patio with the book.

If you don't own a print copy of a thesaurus, get one today.

Amazon has many different ones, but I find Roget's International Thesaurus perfect for learning the connotation and denotation of words.

You can also check your local used books store. I'm sure you'll find plenty of them.

Takeaway Truth

The power of words? I leave you with what Leo Rosten once said: "Words sing. They hurt. They sanctify. They were man's first immeasurable feat of magic."

Attitude and Actions

I've learned something important in Life.

Attitude determines actions, and actions determine outcome.

I met a deadline in spite of being sick for the last week.

I have another deadline this week, but I wanted to share 3 more thoughts with you in my 31 Days of New Thinking series.

I had planned one thought per day—that was Plan A. Well that didn't exactly work out because I had more commitments than time along with several other factors including having a Life.

So Plan A was replaced by Plan B, under which I've been operating for most of the month. Plan B hasn't exactly been a winner, mostly due to the aforementioned commitments outpacing the hours of the day.

This post isn't about having contingency plans so let me move on.

Attitude and Actions

January 14 — You are what you decide to be today and every day that follows.

There's one crucial step in achieving anything whether it's learning how to dance the tango, how to write a book, or how to get a new job.

You must decide to do so. Yep. You first have to make a decision. Some people wallow in the valley of dilemma, uncertain about what to do. Should they? Shouldn't they?

Nothing will be accomplished until one decides to to do something.

January 15 —Your attitude today determines the actions you take today.

Do you ever wake up, and you're a fireball of energy ready to tackle anything and everything?

Are there other days when you can hardly face a new sunrise because you received a bad book review?

Or maybe the thought of doing more than dragging yourself to the coffee maker is beyond you because you know hundreds of emails are clogging up your Inbox?

What happens on the days when you're ready to run for the Roses? You accomplish a lot, and you feel great about everything you do.

What happens on the days when you're ready to throw in the towel because you tell yourself that your career is going nowhere?

Not much. You procrastinate on needed tasks. You put decisions off. You take no action to achieve what you say you want more than anything.

January 16 — Your actions today determines what happens tomorrow.

If you have a goal and you know what actions will be needed to achieve that goal but you don't take those actions today, then what happens tomorrow? You're behind. Accumulate enough "failure to act" days, and you never get what you want.

The secret to getting what you want is taking consistent action every day. That is true for any goal that ever was uttered.

Now, look at the 3 thoughts for today and see how one leads to the other.

You are what you decide to be today and every day that follows

Your attitude today determines the actions you take today.

Your actions today determines what happens tomorrow.

Takeaway Truth

Absorb those 3 thoughts, dwell on them, obsess about them, and make them part of your daily life. They're a crucial step on your path to success.

Still Time: Enter Break Out The Bubbly Rafflecopter

I'm starting today's post with another entry in my 31 Days of New Thinking then we'll get to the Giveaway.

Today's Thought

Jan. 13 — Try new things.

This actually works into the Giveaway too because we get in a rut in what we do for entertainment. If we read, we probably choose the same authors and the same genres. Isn't it time you tried something new?

There are so many kinds of romance published now with stories that range to sweet, non-sexy to blazing hot sexy romance.

There are new authors and authors who have been around a while that you may not have heard of. Why not try a new author or a new genre every month? If you're a mystery lover, try Romantic Suspense. If you're a Women's Fiction fan, try a wholesome romance with a family-oriented plot.

Try New Things

There's a sound psychological reason for experiencing something new and different. It revs up your brain, and it makes you more open to new thoughts. Go ahead. Be bold. Be brave. Try something new today.

Break Out the Bubbly Giveaway

We're halfway through Break Out the Bubbly, All-Genres Romance Giveaway.

Break Out the Bubbly is open through January 21 so you still have plenty of time to enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

Fabulous Prizes

Yes, we're giving away some cool prizes. Up for grabs are: a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet, an Ebook Prize Pack, Amazon Gift Cards, and a Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Tote.

So, Romance Readers, let's break out the virtual champagne and  celebrate all the reading days ahead. It's easy to enter. Just click...

Enter now for your chance to win.

But Wait, There's More

If you have a New Year’s resolution to read more books, we're here to get you started.

We have more than 50 awesome romance ebooks at bargain prices. All are priced at 2.99 or less in the Book Fair. So load up your ereaders with lots of these popular romance novels and novellas.

Our Book Fair has a bonus giveaway. So be sure and enter that also.

Just click here to enter the Book Fair Bonus Giveaway when you visit.

Author Sponsors of Break Out the Bubbly

Anne McClane • Ashlee Price • Aubrey Wynne • Blake Andrews • Brenda Whiteside • Brooklyn Knight • Candace Sams • Chloe Flowers • Christine Grabowski • CJ Zahner • Clarissa Lake • Claudia Burgoa • Crystal Dawn • D. Lieber • Donna Fasano • Elena Gray • Eliza Watson • Elizabeth Rose • Honey Phillips • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jan O'Hara • Jennifer Wilck • Joan Reeves • Joanne Dannon • Jordyn White • Josie Riviera • JS Bright • Lucy Lakestone • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kat Drennan • Katherine Gilbert • Kelli McCracken • Kerry Blaisdell • Liza Street • M.C. Cerny • Meg Ripley • Maria Geraci • Mona Sedrak • Natalie Ann • Nicole Casey • Nina Crespo • Rachel Everly • Rose Pearson • Sarah Williams • Skyler Andra • Soraya Naomi • Stacy Gold • Stephanie Queen • Sydney Aaliyah Michelle • Theresa Paolo • Victoria Grant

Takeaway Truth

Try new things. A good place to start is the Book Fair for this Giveaway. Bargain books and some free books plus you get to enter the Giveaways.

Add some romance and spice to this cold, wet January. Enter the Break Out the Bubbly Giveaway and visit the Book Fair and enter that giveaway too.

Rejection = No Thanks

Today's post is for anyone who is scared of rejection. That could be you if you're an author.

It could also be you if you want to ask someone for a date, but you're scared of NO.

It could also be you if you want something but you don't ask because you're scared of being rejected.

What Rejection Means

Don't overthink this issue. All a rejection means is, "No, thanks."

It's that simple.

If you're an author, that "No thanks" can result from many factors other than: "You're writing sucks."

For Editors—and Agents too—a no can mean: "I already have too many similar stories and/or authors  under contract. Or, I don't have the power to get a book like this approved by the powers that be." It can even mean, "I just broke up with my boyfriend, and his name is the same as the hero in your book."

Of course, you won't get that kind of feedback. More than likely, you get a terse, "No," scribbled on whatever is handy—if you get any response at all which isn't uncommon in today's world.

31 Days of New Thinking: Today's Thought

January 12 — Never take NO for an answer.

Unless you've tried a hundred times and received a negative response every time, then don't take no for an answer. Persist.

Persist in your pursuit of what you want. I know an author who was rejected 132 times, but he kept trying. On the 133rd time, the editor bought his book.

That was the way it worked in traditional publishing before ebooks came along. In today's world, that author would probably have indie published the book and found an audience much sooner.

Psychological Support for Persistence

I'm a big believer in wallowing in optimism and positive thoughts. The easiest way to maintain a positive attitude about anything is to think good thoughts. There is power in affirmations. Good quotations can boost your resolve too.

Here are a few of my favorite thoughts.

Be your own hero!
Persist, Endure, Persevere, Be Resolved

"Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself!" ~ Katherine Mansfield

"Manuscript - something submitted in haste and returned at leisure." Oliver Herford

"To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone." ~ Reba McEntire

"It takes the publishing industry so long to produce books—it's no wonder so many are posthumous." ~ Teresa Skelton

"You've got to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket - you might have caught a fish." ~ Darrell Royal

"Writers must not be tyrannized by their esteem for publishers or literary agents that they assume a rejection of their work is an irrevocable, dooming judgment." ~ Leonard Bishop

"I was turned down more often than the sheets of a cheap motel." ~ George Higgins, commenting on the first 14 books he had written which he couldn't get published.

"The most unfortunate thing that happens to a person who fears failure is that he limits himself by becoming afraid to try anything new." ~ Anonymous

"Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future." ~ Robert H. Schuller

Takeaway Truth

Say yes, and act boldly. You never know what may happen until you try.

31 Days of New Thinking: All About Trying

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We are the product of our thoughts.

Many people aren't happy with who or what they are and want to change but change is hard!

If you want to change, you have to change your thoughts.

Replace the old negative self-talk with better thoughts.

Here are some new thoughts—new thinking to get you going.

Today I have only 1 thought to share with you, but it's a really important one. If you adopt this thought, make it your own, you will be unstoppable.

January 11 - If you don't try, you will never know if you'd have succeeded.

I've often wondered if they took a poll of the entire world population, how many would say they've never attempted or tried to achieve what they want because they're afraid.

Fear in all its forms is a killer. It's a New Year. Get a new attitude. Be bold. Be brave. Take that first step because it's the scariest. Step 2 and onward is much easier. If you want something, go for it.

Takeaway Truth

I hope 31 Days of New Thinking will energize you and help you make positive changes in yourself. Changing yourself will change your world. Good luck.

31 Days of New Thinking: 5 Thoughts to Consider

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We are the product of our thoughts.

Many people aren't happy with who or what they are and want to change but change is hard!

If you want to change, you have to change your thoughts.

Replace the old negative self-talk with better thoughts.

Here are some new thoughts—new thinking to get you going.

The New Year is jumping with new obligations so I'm behind on sharing these thoughts with you.
Today, I'm catching by lumping the last few days together. In truth, they're all tied together.

January 6 - The brain can only think about one thing at a time. If you find yourself focused on a negative thought, immediately replace it with a positive thought.

Example: "I just don't have the time to post these thoughts day by day." That was me late last night when I realized I hadn't posted yesterday morning. Immediately, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and said aloud. "Relax. I have all the time I need to do all the things I want." I repeated that a few more times, then I went to bed.

January 7 - I have all the time I need to do all the things I want.

Believe it or not, thinking you are frazzled, frenzied, and over-scheduled makes your situation worse.
Thinking those thoughts brings them to the forefront of your consciousness, making your brain flood your body with hormones that can lead to illness. True fact. If you're constantly feeling under the gun, with adrenaline pumping through your bloodstream, your body will eventually rebel.

Change the way you think now. Simply saying and believing that you have all the time you need, calms the panic. Say it. Write it. Believe it. Repeat it when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.

January 8 - I take a deep breath, sending oxygen to my brain, and exhale, saying, "Relaxing now."

Sound silly? It's been proven. The brain needs oxygen. That's why so many sleep apnea patients now sleep with oxygen masks that cycle up if breathing stops.

When you're panicked, your breath becomes shallow or you find yourself almost holding your breath. Best thing to do when feeling anxity is to breathe deeply. Inhale and exhale, feeling your breath steady. Think as you exhale that you're releasing all your negativity and relaxing.

January 9 - I'm taking a break to recharge.

Are you one of those people who keeps pushing to finish a day's work or the task at hand even though you're exhausted in every way? I am. I've always pushed myself.

Last year when an author friend, who was always ruled by her to do list had a heart attack as she was pushing herself to finish the tasks she'd assigned herself that day. She realized what was happening and called 911.

She survived and came out of the experience with a new appreciation for knowing when to stop pushing and take a break. I vowed to do the same. I'm a work in progress on this point, but I do tell myself to take a break, as I did last night when I turned out the lights in the office and went to bed.

January 10 -  It's okay to let an opportunity pass you by.

Never be afraid to say, "No, thank you." Those 3 words can save your sanity when Life Crap is coming at you from every direction. Everyone goes through hard times. Hard times can drain the energy out of you like a suction pump connected to the brain, heart, and soul.

I know women who are raising grandchildren—actually had to have a son or daughter jailed and then filed for custody to adopt the grandchildren.

I know women whose husbands died last year, who suffered the death of an adult child, whose husbands are fighting for their lives.

I have a daughter with a chronic pain condition that will be lifelong. I have a sister-in-law who nearly died last September and who is facing a second major surgery this spring. I have a brother with cancer—God, how I hate that C word. We've lost so many family members to it.

Sometimes, you just have to be realistic and know you must nurture your energy and time so you'll be able to support those who desperately need you. They need you to be at the top of your game in terms of optimism, energy, and time.

Saying no can make you available by reducing your obligations and clearing your schedule while still keeping yourself in the game. More time means you're able to be there to help those you love and to spend time with someone who may have little time left.

Takeaway Truth

I hope 31 Days of New Thinking will energize you and help you make positive changes in yourself. Changing yourself will change your world. Good luck.

31 Days of New Thinking: 3 Days Worth

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We are the product of our thoughts. Many people aren't happy with who or what they are and want to change.

As we all know, Change is hard.

I've always thought that if someone wants to change then one must change one's thoughts.

January 3 — Every cloud has a silver lining. The secret to success is to find that silver lining and make the most of it.

I believe that is true. Find the good, however small it might be in the dark day, and focus on it. It's like nurturing a tiny spark into a flame then into a roaring fire. Look for that spark—that good in the bad event. Finding it requires hope, optimism, and a good attitude. Nurturing it into flame requires persistence, patience, and belief that it's possible.

What you think determines your outcome each day.
January 4 — Have an enduring belief that life will get better day by day.

Those who survive hard times, bad news, and tragedy, must have a deep abiding belief that life will get better. Believe that with every fiber of your being.

January  5 —If you opened your eyes and breathed this morning, then you have a second chance at life. Seize that chance.

A new day is a second chance to make a new start, to right wrongs, to think differently, to try new things, to keep persisting. Seize each day as if it were your last and wring every thing you can from it.

Takeaway Truth

I hope you're enjoying 31 Days of New Thinking. I truly hope it will help you change the way you think so you can make positive changes in yourself and your world. Good luck.