Home Improvements Help Boost Your Mental Health

One of my regular readers sent me a wonderful article about Home Improvements to Help Boost Your Mental Health.

The article is rather long with several parts. I requested permission to excerpt part of the article because I think it's really good information.

In today's COVID19 world, we need every trick we can get to stay optimistic.

Excerpt from Home Improvements To Help Boost Your Mental Health

A home is more than just a roof over your head; it plays an essential part in your life and wellbeing. For those suffering from mental health issues, a happy and secure home can make all the difference.

We’ve created a few home improvement tips for those wanting to boost their mental health, and they don’t cost a fortune either!

Making Bath Time Relaxing

We’ll now look at mental health tips when it comes to taking a bath. While exercise is very important for your wellbeing, so is relaxing.

Naturally, most of us feel more relaxed when we’re home. This makes it an ideal and essential place for us to destress as effectively as possible during our winding down hours.

The benefits of relaxing include the release of feel-good hormones into our system, those being serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin while stress hormone levels are reduced.

In order to make your bathroom a more relaxing space, there are a number of steps to wellbeing you could take.

Adding a bubble bath or bath bomb, forms of aromatherapy can help to make the experience more relaxing. Pouring essential oils into your bath or adding Epsom salt can also prove beneficial. Epsom salt, essential oils and aromatherapeutic substances should not be mixed together.

Decluttering, dimming the lights and adding candles are all examples of good mental health tips as is playing relaxing music. Meditation, Zen or Gregorian music are some good examples.

A hot bath can improve blood flow and breathing, which can bring positive mental health benefits.

This is on top of the wellbeing gains you’ll earn from making the environment as tranquil as possible which as mentioned earlier, will help to release positive hormones.

Having a bath at night can help you wind down and feel more peaceful before going to bed.

Read all of these articles in Home Improvements to Help Boost Your Mental Health

Installing a Home Gym
Making Bath Time Relaxing
Changing Your Flooring
Getting a House Plant
Changing Your Lighting
Make Your Home Warm
Create a Happy Kitchen

Takeaway Truth

It's easy to get discouraged in today's world, but that won't help you or anyone else. Stay healthy and happy. Work at it!

I Went Treasure Hunting Or Did I?

Have I told you yet about going treasure hunting? The hunt for hidden treasure was unbelievable.

This adventure started with my father who never gave me anything but a hard time. Then he died and left me a key, but I didn’t know what the key unlocked.

However, he had arranged for this guy to join me in the Quest to find The Key To Kristina.

We traveled to a lot of different locations, and there were some shady people following us. To my surprise, the guy accompanying me turned out to be the kind of man I never thought I’d find.

We had so much in common: both had ex-cons for fathers, both had a strong will. He called me opinionated and bossy, but I’m really not. Maybe I can figure some things out that he can’t.

It was the greatest adventure. You’ll never guess what the treasure was. In fact, you’ll have to read…oh, wait. I’m so embarrassed. That adventure didn’t happen to me.

That happened to Kristina Rivera, the heroine of The Key to Kristina, a new book I wrote for Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Oh, my, I had so much fun writing about Kristina and her Quest and Wyatt her partner who is a crusader for lost causes.

Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure 
Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.
A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire five riveting action adventure tales of women and men.

They seek redemption and rewards, search for legacies, reveal secrets, find romance, fall in love, and win that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.
For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with 5 NY Times and USA Today Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Takeaway Truth

That's the way a writer's mind works. I imagine all of these stories and then create people to have these adventures.

In a way, I live the adventure too. It's a lot of fun—especially when I get all of the story elements just right and the characters learn each other's secrets. 

Road Trip? Check Your Vehicle First

We're traveling as you read this.

When we were packing for the trip, I thought about the one thing most summer drivers fear: a road emergency.

That's because Darling Hubby took his pickup in because the fan on the radiator seemed to randomly come on and go off.

No rhyme or reason to it. Surprisingly, our trusty service manager discovered that a low battery was the cause of it.

Summers in Texas kill batteries if they're a few years old.

A battery should be charging at a certain number. The battery in our pickup charged at half that number. We could have been out in isolated country, stopped for a bite to eat, and discovered when we tried to start the truck again that it was as dead as an armadillo crossing a busy highway at night.

No matter where you live, before you leave on a road trip, you should do these basic inspections of your vehicle.

1. Battery. Check the battery. Is it charging properly? Batteries are rated for how many years they should work well. How old is the battery in your vehicle? There should be no charge to check this with your local mechanic.

2. Tires. Those round black things are another critical part of your vehicle. Hot pavement, hot outside temperature, and high speed can wreak havoc on tires.

This is a part of your vehicle that's rated by miles. If the tires on your vehicle are rated for 50,000 miles, and you've put 60,000 miles on them, don't take a long trip without getting your tires checked. Best thing to do is get a new set of tires.

3. Oil changes. Some people ignore this, but oil changes are required every few thousand miles. The number depends on the make of vehicle. Not changing your oil as required by the owner's manual will shorten the life of a vehicle engine. Absolutely get the oil changed before a trip if you're close to the miles requiring an oil change.

4. Radiaotor. Have it checked. Does it need flushing and new coolant installed? Get it done or you may be very sorry.

5. Overall maintenance. Most cars manufactured in the last few years are built fairly well.

Sure there are some lemons, but you probably read vehicle reports before buying. Right?

The owner's manual has a service log in the back that shows when various items need to be checked, replenished, or replaced.

The belts in today's vehicles are expensive, but if one goes, the repair is even more expensive. The timing belt usually must be replaced when the vehicle reaches a certain mileage. On our vehicles, that's 100,000 miles. What is it on yours? Do you know?

6. Owner's Manual. Many vehicle owners never read the owner's manual so they are uninformed about how to take care of a fairly expensive purchase. Be smart. Get your owner's manual out and read it, especially the part about maintenance.

Photo by Akent879-3188468 Pixabay
7. Emergency help. Program phone numbers into your cell so you'll know exactly what to do if you have a road emergency.

Some people have rescue plans through their new vehicle purchase. If you don't, consider signing up for an emergency road service plan.

8. Travel plan. Like being a private pilot who files a flight plan, write up a travel itinnerary and give it to a couple of friends or family members.

Make sure someone knows where you're supposed to be and when. Check in with them as planned when you reach various waypoints.

Takeaway Truth

Have a great week. If you plan to travel, be smart and be safe.  Enjoy this last weke of July. I intend to do that!

My July Adventure

I've had the most amazing summer—and July hasn't even ended yet. Let me tell you about it.

I attended a high school reunion and met the first guy I ever fell in love with.

 He was a nerd in high school, but he left our small town and went to Harvard. He's no longer nerdy looking. He's completely gorgeous.

Over the last ten years, his investments have made him a billionaire. He arrived at our high school in a stretch limo with his entourage.

I couldn't believe he had come back to our little home town. For me, he was the one who got away.

Wait a minute. This is so embarrassing. That didn't happen to me—that happened to the heroine in my romantic comedy, JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES. You can read it and 8 other fabulous lighthearted romance novels in the Sweet and Sassy Summertime Collection, Volume 1.

That's right, this "fun in the sun" collection has 9 full-length romance novels, and it's only 99cents plus it's on KU.

Sweet and Sassy Summertime Collection, Volume 1, from New York Times  and USA Today Bestselling Authors and Award-Winning Authors.

Some like them sweet, and some like them sexy. If you’re looking for a little heat and some fun beach books, spice up your summer reading with this selection of stories!

Read Romance—the optimistic genre that will make you feel better about life in general.

Review Snippet for JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES.

"Who hasn't attended their high school reunion and not felt what Jane feels? Even successful, the high school beauty queen, no less, you still feel somehow inadequate—and there's always that guy, the one relationship that didn't end right.

"Jane's story captures every nuance of reunion doubt and trepidation.

In fact every character in the story is so well defined...

"Joan Reeves...knows her genre inside and out and just how to serve it up with equal measures of snappy dialogue, humor and romantic delight.

"I loved this book and recommend it!" —Barbara Sissel, Bestselling Women's Fiction Author

Takeaway Truth

For 99cents, you get a week's worth of summer beach books! (If you love any of these books, please leave a review. Authors appreciate even a sentence or two.) Happy reading!

Kitchen Rules for New Cooks

For the first time in many years, people began cooking at home rather than eating out.

After a few weeks of picking up takeout orders and going through fast food drive-thrus, many more people decided to try cooking at home.

Married or single, everyone should know the basics of cooking.

That was my thinking when our first child went off to college.

I put together a cookbook in a binder with most of the family's favorite meals. I've thought about publishing that cookbook, which I entitled EAT WHAT YOU LIKE, but can never find the time to get it on my publishing schedule.

I figured if my kids had recipes and instructions, they'd prefer eating what Mom would have cooked rather than having burgers and fries and pizza every day of the week.

Instead, I'll continue to occasionally share items from it with you which brings me to today's post.

Kitchen Rules

1. The number one rule in the kitchen is: cleanliness is next to Godliness—and cruical for good health. Wash your hands before you start cooking, and wash them often as you cook.

2. If you have a guest in the kitchen who wants to cook, make sure he/she washes hands too.

3. Keep all surfaces clean and sterile. When you've been prepping food on the counter, wipe the counter off with a sponge or dishcloth (sink full of hot soapy water to wet the cloth or sponge and wring it out)  or spray counter with Clorox Cleanup.

4. In the kitchen, bacteria can bloom to lethal proportions faster than you can imagine. Any time you touch raw meat, wash your hands before touching anything else.

5. Keep 2 cutting boards. One for meat; one for everything else.

6. After using the cutting board for meat, wash it in hot, soapy water. Then spray with a product containing bleach or a homemade spray mixture containing bleach. Let the mixture set on the board for at least 5 minutes. Rinse and air dry.

7. Be careful handling eggs. Salmonella can be on the egg shell or inside the carton. Wash your hands after handling eggs. If you reuse an egg carton for any purpose, wash it first in hot, soapy water and let air dry.

8. If you use a fork, spoon, or similar utensil to turn raw meat, don't use that for to taste from or to touch the meat after it is cooked. Put it in the sink or dishwasher and get a clean utensil.

9. In fact, do not taste from cooking utensils. Use a clean teaspoon or fork each time. Go to a dollar store or charity thrift store and buy a dozen cheap spoons and forks. That way you always have a clean spoon or fork for tasting.

10. Use dish towels freely. Have stacks of dish towels. Personally, I like the 100% cotton bar towels.

Keep one for drying hands only. Change the towel if there are a lot of people in the kitchen cooking and washing hands.

To dry dishes, get a clean dish towel every time.

11. Toss the used dish towels into the washer or laundry basket every time you need to get a new one. I

n the evening when you finish in the kitchen, put out a clean dishtowel out for in the morning.

Takeaway Truth

Cooking is fun. So is eating. The last thing you want is to make someone sick because you have lousy cleanliness standards.

FORTUNE'S FAVOR: The Treasure—New Release

Woman splashing in the ocean next to an ereader displaying the cover of Second Chance Bride along with review quotes.
New Release

Only 99 cents for this     new Romance Box Set for those who want Adventure with their Romance!
Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.
A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire 5 riveting action adventure tales of women and men seeking redemption and rewards, searching for legacies, revealing secrets, finding romance, falling in love and winning that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.
For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with 5 NY Times, USA Today Bestselling Authors, and Award-winning authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.
99 Cents for 5 Full-Length Novels
The Key to Kristina: Joan Reeves, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, reveals a story of betrayal, conspiracy, and a Quest for hidden treasure in an enemies-to-lovers story. “Kristina’s father never gave her anything but a hard time—until he died and left her a key. But what does the key unlock?”
The Missing Statue: Mona Risk, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, weaves a story of hidden treasure, and romantic suspense set in France. “Are his statue and chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who’s turned his life upside down?”
That Devious Kiss: Tamara Ferguson, USA Today Bestselling Author, delights with a small town romance where opposites attract, underscored by romantic suspense and an inheritance. “When a century-old family feud brings a librarian and historian together, a devious kiss of seduction reveals that fate might have other plans in store for them. Have they already discovered the missing treasure?
The Richest Man in Texas: Nancy Radke, USA Today bestselling author, thrills with a western romance set in post-Civil War Texas, starring a larger than life hero and fiery heroine, and the search for a fortune in Spanish gold. “In 1866, Cole Trahern is crossing Texas when he encounters a sandstorm, a dying man, a Spanish girl with a Kentucky rifle, a jealous suitor, a controlling grandfather, and a huge amount of Spanish gold. Can he get the woman and the gold?
The Blue Dragon: Susanne Matthews, Award-winning author, inspires us with the story of lovers reunited and embarking on a search for missing jewels and perhaps a second chance at love. “Broken, alone, her dreams shattered, Samantha looks to a dismal future until Phil steps back into her life.”

Takeaway Truth

Grab hold of excitement—grab your copy of Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure today! 

My Fantasy Top 10 Rock & Roll Concerts

I've been to several rock and roll concerts in my life, but there were a few groups that I missed seeing.

Yesterday, Darling Hubby and I were watching various Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performances on YouTube.

What did we ever do before YouTube was invented?

He and I started talking about the bands we wanted to see but missed due to various reasons—too young, too broke at the time, tour never came near us, and just bad timing.

We made a list so I thought I'd share it with you since the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted in November with the ceremony being televised on HBO.

2020 Inductees to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

  • Depeche Mode (oldest son loved them)
  • The Doobie Brothers (we saw them several times and they were awesome each time)
  • Whitney Houston
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • T-Rex. (love Bang a Gong: Get It On)
  • Jon Landau &Irving Azoff, Ahmet Ertegun Award.

My Fantasy Top 10 Rock & Roll Concerts

This was going to be a list of 5. Once I started thinking about it, the list grew.

Since this is a fantasy list, I guess I could list famous artists who have passed, but I'll save that for another day.

Today, the list is composed of artists still alive even though they may be past the age of cavorting on stage.

  1. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. My love for their music is right up there with my love for music by The Eagles. Mr. Seger came to the House of Blues in Houston last year, but the tickets were nearly $900.00 per person. Had to pass on that.
  2. Three Dog Night. Missed them last year when they came to Houston.
  3. Grand Funk Railroad
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  5. Journey
  6. ZZ Top
  7. Santana
  8. Steely Dan
  9. Foreigner
  10. Genesis

Takeaway Truth

Since tickets are so expensive now, I'd have to sell a stadium full of books to afford 2 tickets.

Hurry, go buy one of my books!

79 Days of Using 1, 3, 5 List Method

My work ethic since May has been inspired by the 1, 3, 5 List Method which has dramatically changed my writing life!

On May 18, I blogged about the 1, 3, 5 List Method and announced I had started using it 2 weeks prior to that date—May 4.

I was ready to try something new because I was tired of listing 10-20 things every day that I needed to do and only getting 1 or 2 done.

I was pulled in too many directions and overwhelmed by everything that kept piling up.

I never seemed to get caught up and never seemed to accomplish much. Every day I was drained.

First Follow Up Report

On June 2, two days shy of a full month, I posted Rusults of Using 1, 2, 3 List Method. At that time, my results were phenomenal. I'd gone from writing a few hundred words a day to over 3,000 words a day!

Second Follow Up Report

I started the 1, 3, 5 List Method on May 4. Today is July 22. I've been using this method for 79 days. Here's what I have accomplished:

  • Formatted my novel Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, a romantic comedy, for the box set Sweet and Sassy Summertime, Volume 1, available now for only 99cents.
  • Written a 70,000 word novel, The Key to Kristina, a mystery romance, for the box set Fortune's Favor: The Treasure, available now for only 99cents. Publishes July 24.
  • Created a concept for a series called Last Chance Beach to be written by my friends from RomanceGems and me.Created the concept for the first box set collection in the series, Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, available in pre-release for only 99cents. Publishes July 24.
  •  Set up a publishing company, wrote contracts, signed up volunteers, set up a giveaway promotion of a free ebook, coordinated all promotion activities, answered hundreds of emails every day from the participating authors, and more things than I care to mention here.
  • Wrote Hot August Night, a funny romance, for my story in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.
  • Developed the concept for the next Last Chance Beach box set which will publish in the fall.
Before 1, 3. 5 I felt like this!
I'm amazed just listing all that, and it doesn't include the personal stuff. Rolling with the problems and worries created by COVID19.

(One of my sons and his 3 daughters caught it. The daughters are bouncing back, but my son has been having a tough time. Prayers gratefully accepted.)

I've done a tiny bit of cleaning up my environment aka housework which I abhor every day. I've also let go of the idea that I have to do all these other things that are low-priority.

Best of all, I don't feel overwhelmed and anxious for fear I might not meet a deadline. Now, I don't sign up for everything, and I don't go to bed with the nagging thought of all that I didn't get done.

I currently have 4 deadlines left between now and the end of October. In the past, I worked late and did everything possible just to ensure I met deadlines—even if I felt half-dead afterwards.

Now, when I go to my office, I know exactly what I'm going to be working on.

I make my  1, 3, 5 list in my day planner the night before. I list incidentals at the bottom of it. That's the things I might do if I have some lag time.

The 1, 3, 5 List Method made me a believer. I found it when I had despaired of ever being the productive writer I once was.

Takeaway Truth

If you're struggling, read my previous posts about how the 1, 3, 5 List Method works and give it a try. 

Larry the Cable Guy and Git-R-Done

I wanted to tell you why I missed a week of blogging, something that has rarely happend in the 15 years I've been writing and publishing SlingWords.

I've been getting the work done and completing several projects.

In other words, to quote Larry the Cable Guy, I've been in Git-R-Done mode since May when I blogged about the 1, 2, 3 List Method I was going to try to see if I was able to work more effectively.

I'll blog tomorrow about my results after nearly 3 months of using this organizational method.

Takeaway Truth

For now, a hat tip to Larry the Cable Guy and his Git-R-Done philosophy.

(Photograph NotesLarry_the_Cable_Guy.jpg  by Mojo Hand | Source=Cropped version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:WitlessAdams.jpg - Photo taken on 10 June 2007; cropped on 10 October 2008. Source File:Witless Protection0.jpg, Author Aja2104; modified by User:Kubigula - Permission for (Reusing this file) Public domain
I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. Mojo Hand (talk | contribs) {{Information |Description=Picture of Larry the Cable Guy |Source=Cropped version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:WitlessAdams.jpg |Date=Photo taken on 10 June 2007)

Guest Starring the Fabulous Nancy Fraser

I'm back! Bet you think I was kidnappped by alients and taken to another world—never to be seen again.

Nope. I've been busy putting together a box set I'll tell you about tomorrow. It's fabulous if I say so myself.

I'm pleased to pop back into the blogverse with a guest star, the fabulous Nancy Fraser who is a wonderful author in many different genres.

Nancy has a new short story out, and it's a doozy! So grab a coffee and get ready to meet one of my favorite people.

About Nancy Fraser

Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon

Nancy is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. 

Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for three publishers and has recently dipped her toe into the self-publishing market. 

She has published over thirty books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five energetic grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Visit Nancy Fraser Online

Touch Me by Nancy Fraser

Tax consultant Katherine Weller isn't ready for a relationship after a divorce that left her empty.

When her best friend suggests she set up a "date" through Lusty Liaisons, a unique and exclusive dating service, she's uncertain but intrigued.

Maybe a hot romp with a sexy, younger man is exactly what she needs to take that confident first step into her new life as a single woman.

Touch Me, is a short story in the erotica series, Lusty Liaisons.

Nancy's story is vailable for the very enticing price of a mere 99 cents!

Want some sizzle in your summer? Touch Me is the story for you!

Want to know more about Touch Me? Watch the Video

Excerpt from Touch Me

Monday came and went. Tuesday...nothing. By Wednesday, Katherine wanted nothing more than to bury herself beneath a mound of blankets and stay there until her death. Or her eightieth birthday, whichever came first. 

Lillie’s daily request for a progress report wasn’t helping matters.

Katherine’s cell dinged—a sure sign Lillie was sending her another message of encouragement. After pouring herself a second glass of Cakebread Chardonnay, Katherine picked up her phone, ran her fingertips across the lock screen, and stabbed the blinking icon.
You have a request.

Katherine double checked the sender’s name. Lusty Liaisons.

Damn! Hands shaking, she opened the email.

You’ve made a sexy match!

A request for contact was received from Aaron Blake. Mr. Blake is offering a fun-filled night at the Hudson Inn, Somerville, for this coming Saturday beginning at eight in the evening. If you decide to accept, please respond to this email. We will make the arrangements and confirm within twenty-four hours.

Click the link below to read Aaron’s profile.

She re-read the email twice before finally clicking on the profile link.

Aaron Blake, age thirty-two. Six-foot-two, two-hundred ten pounds. Occupation: government contractor. Sexual preferences:  Well, I guess you'll have to buy the book to discover what happens!

Takeaway Truth

You can find Touch Me at these online booksellers:

Amazon Kindle | B&N/Nook | Apple/iBooks

Happy Reading!

Help! Google Has Taken Over My World

Anyone know anything about Google? I've used Blogger for years with a non-gmail account. I decided to create a Gmail account for a special use.

Now that Gmail account has taken over as Admin on all my Blogger Dashboards and other Google apps.

Help! I can't get Blogger to recognize my previous email that I've used for almost 20 years.

I've followed several different instructions on how to make my old email address default and the new gmail address one I use only for the specific purpose for which I created it, but it doesn't work.

If I delete the gmail account, I'm afraid I'll be locked out of my own blogs!

Takeaway Truth

Anyone know the answer to this problem?

Busy As a Bee

Image by Arno Hartmann from Pixabay
I'm as busy as a bee today. I'm not making honey but writing publishing contracts.

As soon as I told someone I was "as busy as a bee" I wondered what the origin of that expression is.

To my surprise there was a definitive source.

It's from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, (the Squire's Tale), circa 1386-1400.

the squire's taleEy! Goddes mercy!” sayd our Hoste tho,
Now such a wyf I pray God keep me fro.

Lo, suche sleightes and subtilitees
In wommen be; for ay as busy as bees

Takeaway Truth

I hope to get the contracts out to the authors and write another post tomorrow.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Be beautiful, America. Be the land that we love.

I've traveled in a lot of countries and have learned that even with our challenges and failures, this is still the only place I want to call home.

Takeaway Truth

Happy Birthday, America.

Deceptive Art of Fiction Writing

If you've ever written, or tried to write, fiction, you've learned something very important.

Writing fiction is easy—until you try it.

Years ago, I read something Jack Bickham wrote in his book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes.

This pithy guide to better writing is an excellent resource that doesn't overwhelm someone trying to improve the narrative skills. The chapters are only 2 to 3 pages long.

I read that long ago in a chapter of this book.

"The writing of fiction is very deceptive—it looks easy until you try it."

As a writer with more than a few manuscripts, published and unpublished, behind me, I know this truth in every neuron of my brain. This is why I always encourage those who tell me they're going to write a book when they have the time. As if time is the only requirement for writing a book.

I tell them to go for it.

If they've been particularly condescending in their assumption that free time is all that is needed to write successfully, I stand a good chance of being greatly amused when I bump into them in the future.

I've yet to hear anything but hemming and hawing from those who've actually tried to turn their idea into a book and given up.

More is required than leisure time to successfully write. If you want to write, you must be willing to work hard. Writing is hard on the anatomy, the brain, and the emotions.

Takeaway Truth

I think it was Earl Nightingale who said: "There are no bargains at the counter of success. You must pay full price."

July Is...

"July is hot afternoons and sultry nights and mornings when its joy just to be alive.

"July is a picnic and a red canoe and a sunburned neck and a softball game and ice tinkling in a tall glass.

"July is a blind date with summer." —Hal Borland

Takeaway Truth

Have a wonderful July!