New Romance Blog Premieres Tomorrow

Tomorrow, on February 1, Friday, 23 popular authors—including me—many of whom are bestselling authors including NY Times and USA Today, open the doors on ROMANCE GEMS.

What Is Romance Gems?

That's if you want to see it written out. *g* It's a fabulous group blog where we're going to try to put the focus on Readers.

We'll talk about Life, Love, Books, Romance, Sex, Kids, and all the other really important things in your world. Some chuckles and some good times await you so I hope you'll drop by and visit a while.

Be sure and enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and Ebook Gift Bundles.

But Wait There's More

Every week, there will be a Comment & Win Random Drawing for an Amazon Gift Card.

To be entered in Comment & Win, all you have to do is read the post of the day—or any post you may have missed—then leave a  comment with your email address written out.

That means like Mary at yahoo dot com. Don't leave your email as a "hot link" or web crawlers will harvest it and flood your Inbox.

The more comments you make; the greater your chance of winning.

All Month Long

The Rafflecopter and the Comment & Win runs for the whole month of February plus there may be Pop-Up Prizes too. Enter often and have fun chatting with us.

RomanceGems Banner Design by Adina Mayo.
Takeaway Truth

You'll find a Gem of an Author and a Gem of a Romance Novel here (I modestly say *g*) as well as at my fabulous new group blog, ROMANCE GEMS. Come and join the conversation.

How To Copy a Tweet Link & Share

I'm writing tutorials for people who are just getting into social media.

These are basic lessons so if you know someone who isn't an old pro at social media, direct them to these tutorials.

Trust me, they'll appreicate it.

Today's lesson is how to find the URL, or link, from a Tweet you made so you can share it with someone.

It's really very easy. In fact, took longer to write up the process than to actually do it.

How to Find, Copy, & Use a Tweet Link

1. Look at a tweet. See the 3 dots at the bottom? Click those 3 dots.

2. A window opens with these options:
  • Embed this tweet
  • Copy link to this tweet
  • Share via Direct Message
  • Share via email
  • Tweet to @JoanReeves (this name will be whoever posted the tweet)
  • Send a Direct Message
  • Add or Remove from Lists
  • Add to Collection
  • See who quoted this Tweet
  • Delete
3. Select Copy Link to this Tweet.

A new window opens that says: " The URL of this Tweet is below. Copy to easily share with colleagues and friends."

4. You'll see the Tweet Link is already filled into a box. Next to it you'll see: "Copy Link." Click that, and it's copied to your clipboard.

Follow Me on Twitter
Here's one I just copied.

5. Highlight it and click Control+C to copy it then go paste it into the address bar of your browser by hitting Control+V then hit return.

6. Twitter website opens with this tweet displayed. You'll see this is a tweet I made with a video embedded.

7. Below the tweet are 4 icons.
  • speech bubble - click that and a box opens for you to tweet a message
  • couple of arrows pointing at each other -- click that and a box opens for you to RT
  • heart - click that and it shows you loved the tweet
  • 3 vertical lines - click that and it gives you activity stats with a "Get Started" button which if you click leads you through setting up an ad for the tweet.
8. Just select the arrows icon to Retweet. The tweet will then pop up in your twitter stream, and all your followers can see it then.

Takeaway Truth

Not everyone is a social media expert. It's good to explain things to those who may be just starting out.

GRAND OPENING on Friday, Feb. 1

Romance Gems, a new group blog in which I'm involved, opens Feb. 1 with a month-long Giveaway including a Kindle Fire. Be sure and drop by Friday, February 1 for details.

Whee! Check Out My New Video

Yes, I just finished a new video. This one is for Romance Gems, a new group blog which debuts Friday, February 1, with a big Grand Opening and an entire month of Giveaways.

Romance Gems has 23 bestselling, award-winning authors just waiting to talk and laugh with you. Do drop by for a visit on February 1, Friday.

Takeaway Truth

Videos are so much fun to make and watch. Visit my YouTube Channel and Subscribe so you can see a new one when it goes live. While you're there, please click LIKE on this video. Look for more posts this year with video tips.

My Candle Burns at Both Ends

Edna St. Vincent Millay has been one of my favorite poets since I discovered her in English class long ago.

She was ahead of her time with her feminist views. Her work is highly emotional and touches something deep within one's soul.

She came to mind recently when I wrote about Public Domain Day (January 1st of each year).

Her book, The Ballad of the Harp Weaver, won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1923, and this year works from 1923 entered the public domain.

Perhaps "Renascence," which was in The Ballad of the Harp Weaver was one of her best known poems in which she coined the popular phrase, "My candle burns at both ends."

From the day I first read that line, it spoke to me. Indeed, I think I've spent most of my life with my candle burning at both ends—getting up early, working late, working too hard and leaving too little time to "stop and smell the roses."

When I began writing for publishing, I came across something she said. "It is not true that life is one damn thing after another—it is the same damn thing over and over."

Takeaway Truth

That sentence seems to describe the last few years of my life.

Did You Celebrate Public Domain Day?

Many readers and the public in general don't know about Public Domain Day.

That's January 1 of ever year when books, music, films, songs, and artistic works, once protected by U.S. copyright law suddenly become part of the public domain.

On January 1 of this year, everything from 1923 that was previously copyrighted—rights held exclusively by those who created the works—became available in public domain.

Generally speaking copyright protection for works published after 1922 but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication.

If the work was created, but not published, before 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.

Now In Public Domain

On January 1, these works entered the public domain: Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet, Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, Agatha Christie’s The Murder on the Links, any poem from Robert Frost’s Pulitzer Prize-winning compendium New Hampshire. I checked Kindle and found dozens of copies of The Prophet published this month.

Other authors' works are from: D.H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, and Rudyard Kipling.

Because of entering public domain, movie theaters can show films without paying a licensing fee. Movies like Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.

Theatrical companies can perform songs from London Calling by Noel Coward or Stop Flirting by Gershwin.

Supposedly, giving free access to older works creates a new audience for them.

In reality, what it means is that authors if they're still alive or their estates now must compete with everyone who wants to publish or issue the work in some form without having to pay a dime.

If you want to see a complete list of everything that entered public domain this year, click to visit the page on Duke Law.

Good or Bad

That's the question. I guess it depends on your viewpoint.

If you want to indie publish an ebook of one of the iconic works that's now in public domain, there's nothing to stop you.

For readers, it's not so good because a lot of schlock copies will hit the ebook stream. Badly formatted—badly produced in every way.

For authors and their heirs this can be cringe-worthy to see unauthorized use of the original book even to changing the original text.

Anyone can publish unauthorized sequels or spin-offs too. That seriously bothers me as a reader and as an author.

Publishers will be competing with a lot of amateurs for sales. If you're a reader, be sure the book has good production values before you buy it.

Anyone can publish one of these works or post it free online.

For writers, this means thousands of new free ebooks with which to compete. Ugh.

Takeaway Truth

If you choose to publish any of these new entries into public domain, at least make it a good effort with good design and never touch the author's original text.

Collectible Books on RanchoTex on eBay

I'm working on 2 huge projects this month so blogging time is short.

Result? A drive-by blog post about my darling hubby jumping into eBay to see if he likes doing that kind of thing.

I cleaned out my library and have books stacked on my dining table, my credenza in my office, and even on the folding shelf in the laundry room.

He's put a couple of books up, but they're collectibles. There will be a lot more books to come. Whenever there are novels or books on writing, I'll alert you.

There will be a lot of reference books and collectibles, but only 3 are up now.

Takeaway Truth

If you want to take a look, just go to RanchoTex on eBay. Or click the tab on the blog to go there.

Monday Motivation Counters Monday Meltdown

AGGHHH! Monday Meltdown
Need to kick start your Monday?

Here are a few positive thoughts to help you conquer the Monday blahs.

"Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days." ~ Zig Ziglar (Make today count for something worthwhile.)

"Time is a created thing. To say I don’t have time is like saying, I don’t want to.” ~ Lao Tzu
(Kind of a corollary to Yoda's wisdom: "Do or do not. There is no try.")

"Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success." ~ Shiv Khera

"If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of." ~ Bruce Lee

"Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them." ~ Jack Canfield

"Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy." ~ Roy T. Bennett

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” ~  Theophrastus  (Make it count.)

Takeaway Truth

Robert H Schuller advised: "Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come." (If you're feeling low this day, remember that tomorrow will probably be better.)

Time for Some Time Quotes

Time is kind of like the weather. Everybody complains about it, but no one can do anything to change it.

We complain because we don't have enough time. We complain because the day drags. In the end, we wish for only more time.

Here's what some wiser people than I said about time.

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." ~ Earl Nightingale

"Don’t wait. The time will never be just right." ~ Mark Twain

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." ~ Henry David Thoreau

"If time flies when you’re having fun, it hits the afterburners when you don’t think you’re having enough." ~ Jef Mallett

Takeaway Truth

I know some people who don't have enough time left. Mother Teresa said: "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

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

Image: Calendar by Rawpixel via Photo #1020323 (CC0)
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

Image: Calendar by Rawpixel via Photo #1020323 (CC0)
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

Image: Calendar by Rawpixel via Photo #1020323 (CC0)
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.

31 Days of New Thinking: 2 Days' Worth

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

Change is hard. I've always thought that if someone wants to change then he/she must change their thoughts.

The Bible says this several times. For instance, in Proverbs 23:7: "As someone thinks within himself, so he is."

All the motivational speakers say the same thing in their own way. Even Bruce Lee, the most renowned martial artist, said: "As you think, so shall you become."

Before the New Year began, I'd planned a series I call: 31 Days of New Thinking. I wrote down several "truths" I believe.

I wanted to share this with everyone because I believe if you think better thoughts, you'll get better results, maybe be a better person, and certainly be happier.

But Family Comes First

However, my loved ones continue having medical problems so I've not taken the time to be consistent with blogging or posting to Facebook. In fact, my thoughts seem to be caught in an endless loop of prayer and hopeful affirmations.

Now, with the new year underway, I have new deadlines and new books to get started on. I need to break that loop that's frozen me into inactivity.

I decided to post a couple of the "truths" I came up with each day until I catch up. Maybe these will help someone who is struggling in some way. I know they help me.

January 1 - A person who never made a mistake is a person who never did anything.

When you're feeling scared about doing something out of your comfort zone, repeat that to yourself however many times you need to so that you will leap into the unknown.

January 2 - If today is bad, I believe steadfastly that tomorrow will be better. Believing that will help get me through today.

This thought has helped get me through many difficult days in my life. When things look blackest, I say that to myself.

Takeaway Truth

I hope you'll enjoy 31 Days of New Thinking. Change the way you think so you can make changes in yourself and your world.

I Quit: 10 Things I Give Up in 2019

This year, I quit.

I quit trying to achieve 10 things that are often reflected on my list of New Year Resolutions.

You know--diet, exercise, keeping the house clean, etc.

I've been writing the same resolutions for decades. So I'm  throwing in the towel on some of these--completely forgetting them.

I may even try hypnosis to wipe them from my memory bank. Just kidding on the hypnosis thing. I'd like to put quit worrying on my list, but I'd probably have to go into a 10 step program to make that happen.

I Quit: 10 Things I Resolve Not To Do in 2019

1. I quit worrying about the extra 15 pounds I'm carrying on my small frame.

2. I quit dieting every fracking day of my life and agonizing over every carb I put in my mouth.

3. I quit delaying things I want to do in favor of doing the things I feel I need to do.

4. I quit putting other people's requests ahead of my own needs. Yep, I'm making my priorities #1.

5. I quit doing the easy trivial things first in favor of do my priority items first.

6. I quit ignoring the need to take a break and will stop in the middle of the task at hand and go sit on the bench by the lake and just breathe.

7. I quit bemoaning my age when so many people I love are sick and dying because complaining about another birthday is a slap in the face to someone who won't live to see their next birthday.

8. I quit comparing myself to others because it's stupid, superficial, and juvenile and only makes me feel inadequate.

9. I quit complaining about my aches and pains because I have loved ones in much worse condition, and they never complain.

10. I quit getting upset at the local, national, and international news because there's nothing I can do about it.

Takeaway Truth

My advice? Get real. Look at your life and realize you have it pretty darn good. Focus on the positive and forget about all the trivial B.S.


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Choose Dyslexic-Friendly Font

Why choose a sans serif font over a serif font like Times New Roman for online use?

There's a valid reason for this choice, but I never thought about it until I was researching my last book.

When I researched learning disabilities for my recent release Brianna's Season for Miracles, I discovered a lot more about learning disabilities than I expected.

There are several more types of learning disabilities than dyslexia which is what we most often hear about. There's:
  • Phonological Dyslexia
  • Surface Dyslexia
  • Rapid Automatic Naming Dyslexia
  • Double Deficit Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Left Right Confusion.
Sometimes a person can have a combination of these. In my novel, I dealt with dysgraphia (difficulty click here.
in writing), dyscalculia (difficulty with numbers), and dyslexia (difficulty with reading). To learn more about all the types of learning disabilities,

What Else I Learned

With dyslexia, there is something we, as bloggers, need to do. Make it easy for someone with dyslexia to read our content by selecting fonts that make it easier to be read.

Traditional publishers have done this for many years. They use fonts designed specifically for dyslexic readers and have different ones for children and adults.

My blog SlingWords already uses a dyslexic-friendly font because I chose a sans serif font rather than a popular serif font like Times New Roman. However, I always need to remember to NOT use italics. Italics make a font very difficult for dyslexic readers.

More About Font Choice

Font styles have a significant impact on readability for people with dyslexia. You can do an online search for fonts for people with dyslexia and come up with a number of suggestions. Most of the recommendations come from associations for people with dyslexia.

They all agree on using sans-serif fonts. Specifically, the BDA Tech (British Dyslexia Association) recommends: Arial, Century Gothic, Comic Sans, Tahoma, Trebuchet, and Verdana.

BDA Tech has links to free fonts designed specifically for dyslexic readers. Those are Lexia Readable, Open-Dyslexic, and Dyslexie. Please visit BDA Tech to download those.

In addition to their free fonts, they offer some that can be purchased. Sassoon is designed specifically for children and Sylexiad for dyslexic adults. Again, visit BDA Tech to purchase and download those.

Choose Wisely

With the most commonly used dyslexic-friendly fonts offered as part of Windows and/or Microsoft Office, you should have no problem selecting one.

Helvetica, a beautiful sans serif font that's recommended, comes only on Mac. You can purchase it, but it's a bit pricey.

Takeaway Truth

If you want to make your blog readable by all, choose your font carefully. Do the same with the font you use for email.


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