Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lessons Learned In 2013 - Stay Current


I learned seven things in 2013 and I will be sharing them with you over the next few days.

Stay Current

I teach my clients to know your audience, stay up to date on what’s happening in your market. Why didn’t I listen to my own advice? When I decide to host the online conference this year, I didn’t take my usual one year time span to plan it. I put it on my calendar and kept putting it off because I didn't want to deal with planning it.

However after a productive conversation with my Lifestyle/Business coach, LaTara V. Bussey. I realized that I needed to get back to my roots.

Why am I in this business in the first place?

Giving back is very important to me.

How did I give back in the past?

By hosting online conferences.

It had been 3 years since I hosted the conference. Most of my industry contacts had moved on to better things, which meant most of the emails I had for people were obsolete. I wasn’t able to get the sponsorships I normally had for the conferences. I was a little disappointed, but I had only myself to blame. I hadn’t kept in contact with my market. Since I wasn’t hosting the conferences, I didn’t think I needed to stay in touch.

Wrong. Your mailing list is very important. Always keep it current.

The conference was a huge success. I was able to give back to the online community. I reconnect with people in the industry and I met a lot of new people.

The lesson I learned is to always be on top of my game, stay current, especially when it comes to my mailing list. Don’t get caught up in a rut and let things pass you by. Know who is in your market. Learn about them, learn from them and share your information. Sharing your information keeps you in front of your market.

In 2014, I plan to meet new people, keep in touch with those I know and stay current.

What did you learn in 2013? What will you take from these lessons and use in 2014?


Did you miss the other lessons - CLICK HERE TO READ

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Have You Created Your Online Marketing Plan for 2014?

See Ya On The Net Workshops

Creating An Online Marketing Plan for 2014


This is a four sessions mastermind group, where we meet and create a plan for you.

December 3rd - Finding your audience

December 10th - Introducing yourself to sites/blogs/radio

December 17th - Creating your calendar

December 18th -Scheduling your calendar

(Call time will be set based on the time zone of attendees)

Includes a private Facebook Group for ongoing support, mastermind style learning and accountability

(1) 30-Minute Private Coaching Session with LaShaunda

All session recorded, MP3s included

This mastermind group is 97.00

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY

DEADLINE NOVEMBER 30th

Contact me at 1sormag@gmail.com for invoice

Friday, September 20, 2013

CURLY SISTER: Darnetta


Tell us a little about you and when and why did you decide to start wearing your hair natural?

My name is Darnetta. I have a 19 year old BabyGurl, two Boos (sons), 11 and 7, and an almost 2 year old GrandMan. This July I’ll celebrate my 13th year of marriage. I coexist as a published author and poet (Genesis) trying to get her jewelry business off the ground, but I’m so infatuated with the process of creating something that I don’t get to do much selling. I work in a middle school by day so I have a little crazy in me.

I began my natural hair journey in the late 90’s. My best sister-friend suggested I do a big chop and I protested the idea from the start. I was a practicing cosmetologist at the time and was so consumed with doing other people’s hair that I began developing less interest in my own. Between my friend’s suggestion and being uninterested in my own hair, the natural thing became more enticing to me. I did it and I can’t imagine wearing my hair any other way.

What was your biggest hair obstacle to overcome?

SHRINKAGE! It is the most common obstacle women with natural hair have, but it’s also an unnecessary battle we choose to engage in. The truth is there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We must work with it and move on. Once I really believed I couldn’t conquer shrinkage, most of my hair woes disappeared. Instead of focusing on what my hair couldn’t do, I started paying attention to what it would do. It hasn’t been total bliss, but I’m much more comfortable with shrinkage now.

What are three products you can't live without for your hair?

I can’t live without water, shampoo, and moisturizer. I’m pretty low maintenance. I put a little olive oil and water in a spray bottle and spray my hair a couple times a day. I’m not dedicated to any particular shampoo or moisturizer, but I’m very loyal to ingredients. The most valuable advice I’ve gotten throughout this journey is to pay attention to how certain ingredients interact with my hair. I had to start reading labels, researching, testing, and drawing conclusions. Yes, you will become a hair scientist during this process, but the understanding and knowledge you gain is priceless.

What are your favorite styles to wear?

I typically wear an afro puff. When I’m going out, I do a full blow out (afro) or a quick twist out.

Which natural sites/blogs do you follow?

Curly Nikki www.curlynikki.com

Afrobella www.afrobella.com

Easy Natural Hair www.easynaturalhair.com

I also follow a lot of natural hair pages on Facebook

Any advice for the newly natural sisters?

Being natural is as high or low maintenance as you make it. As with any other type of hair care, being natural involves a certain level of commitment or you’re not going to be happy along your journey. It’s okay to just want healthy hair. If getting jazzy with it isn’t your thing, there is nothing wrong with that.

Learning what ingredients/products work with your hair is crucial.

I would also ask newbies to keep in mind that having natural hair is a choice; just as chemically processing hair is a choice. Neither one is better than the other so don’t believe the hype and don’t indulge in the madness. Celebrate your sister regardless of her hair choice.

Do you have a site/blog/facebook to follow?

One Word at a Time www.poeticgenesis.blogspot.com

Lady Di Accessories on Facebook www.facebook.com/ladydiaccessories

Lady Di Accessories on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyDiAccessories

Thanks so much for allowing me to participate.



Would you like to be my next Curly Sister? I have slots available for OCT/NOV/DEC. Send an email to lchwriter@gmail.com



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SORMAG ONLINE CONFERENCE - Would you like to be on a panel?

SORMAG will be hosting it's online conference this year and would like to invite you to be a member on one of our panels.

The panels will be hosted online on SORMAG's blog and over the phone. Each require participation from presenters to reply to questions or comments.

SORMAG ONLINE CONFERENCE - 2013

When: November 1-3, 2013

Where: Online - SORMAG's blog - http://sormag.blogspot.com

Time: All Day

REGISTRATON WILL OPEN AUG 1st

Below is the tentative schedule:

Pick six panels and send to: 1sormag@gmail.com

By June 30th.


DAY 1 - New Writers

Online Panels - These panels will be hosted on the blog.

1. Editing
2. Turning an Idea into a Book
3. Ask The Author - Share your writing knowledge
4. Creating An Ebook - 6 slots

Live Panels - These panels will be hosted live on the phone.

1. How to Start a Street Team - 7pm central time
2. How To Start a Writer's Group - 8 pm central time
3. The Business Side Of Writing - 9 pm central time

DAY 2 - Readers

Online Panels - These panels will be hosted on the blog.

1. Meet The Christian Author
2. Meet The Romance Author
3. Meet The Mainstream Author
4. Meet The Urban Author

Live Panels - These panels will be hosted live on the phone.

1. How to Review A Book - 4pm central time
2. How To Keep A Book Club Going - 5 pm central time
3. Social Media and Readers - 6 pm central time

DAY 3 - Published Authors

Online Panel - These panels will be hosted on the blog.

1. Using Kindle Author Platform
2. Writing Sequels
3. Blog Tour Providers
4. Networking

Live Panels - These panels will be hosted live on the phone.

1. How To Work With a Book Club - 4 pm central time
2. Indie Publishing Panel - 5 pm central time
3. Marketing - 6 pm central time


Feel free to forward to someone who might be interested in being on a panel.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR: "New Wings" by Donna Stanely



About New Wings

Olivia Stanton always knew that the Bible says guardian angels exist. But, in all her seventeen years, she assumed they only showed up when people were dying or needed rescue from sudden disaster. Her assumption is shattered with the appearance of her own guardian angel - in the form of good-looking Mike, no less. As Olivia gets to know Mike, more and more of her misconceptions about the spiritual realms are revealed. And, as her spiritual eyes are opened to the presence of angels all around, she'll find they can be good or evil.



About Donna Stanley

Donna Stanley lives in the beautiful Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, Jonathan, and their teenage daughter, Olivia. She attended Philadelphia Biblical University, Moody Bible Institute, and Mansfield University, where she studied angelology, demonology, and the anthropology of religion. She was a youth leader for ten years and a pastor's wife for sixteen years. She now serves as a young adult mentor and leader in her local church.

Monday, May 13, 2013

How To Conquer Your Fear Workshop

I noticed my highest post for January was moving past fear.

I wanted to share with you a workshop I signed up for last month.  It helped me a lot in identifying my fear and ways to move past the fear.

LaTara Ham Ying will be hosting a new class and I wanted to share the link with you.  If you're having problems moving past the fear this is the workshop for you.


How to Conquer Your Fear - http://www.latarahamying.com/how-to-conquer-fear


I gain so much from this class, and I hope you will too.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CFBA: When The Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
When The Morning Glory Blooms
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Cynthia Ruchti


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark, merging her love for storytelling with inextinguishable hope for inexpressible hurts.

Cynthia spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder and celebrating 40 years of marriage, three grown children, and five outrageously adorable grandchildren. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she served as the assistant director and a faculty member of the Quad Cities Christian Writers Conference, has served as worship and devotions staff for the Write-to-Publish conference, and teaches at other conferences as opportunities arise. She speaks to women’s groups, at mother-daughter banquets, and for women’s refresher days and retreats. It is her delight to serve on her church’s worship team. Rather than “busy,” she likes the term “active.”

For 33 years, Cynthia wrote and produced the radio broadcast The Heartbeat of the Home. The scripted radio drama/devotional broadcast aired on as many as 50 radio stations and two cable/digital television stations over the years. Cynthia was the editor of the ministry’s Backyard Friends magazine, a twenty-page, twice annual publication that reached 5,000 homes, churches, and parachurch outreaches.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Morning Glory Blooms, go HERE.

Monday, April 22, 2013

CFBA: A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Healing Heart
Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
by
Angela Breidenbach


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Angela Breidenbach is a speaker/coach in mental and physical health, author of A Healing Heart April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance, and Creative Cooking for Colitis. Other works by Angela include compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia, but she’s also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She's been chasing success and all the "good things in life" for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. While Mara recuperates, she revisits the choices she's made that led to this physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence's big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara's business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara's heart and onto Cadence's quilt?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Healing Heart, go HERE

Friday, April 19, 2013

CURLY SISTER: Deatri King-Bey



Tell us a little about you and when and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?

I’m a systems analyst, author, mother, wife and grandmother. I’ve worn my hair natural the majority of my life. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried the relaxed look, but I don’t look right and also didn’t like what it did to the quality of my hair. My hair is now locked, but before that I’d twists my hair and wear twists outs.

What was your biggest hair obstacle to overcome?

When I began the locs, I didn’t realize how long it would take for my hair to start locking. It literally took two years. I understand we all have different textures of hair which determines how long before your hair will loc, but two years? Wow.

My daughter decided to loc her hair and it started locking in two months. I was so jealous. LOL. I didn’t give up and now I’m good to go.

What are three products you can't live without for your hair?

Castile soap, olive oil and water.

What are your favorite styles to wear?

I just wear my locs down. I pull them back when I’m eating.

Which natural sites/blogs do you follow?

I don’t follow any.

Any advice for the newly natural sisters?

The healthier you are, the healthier your hair will be. Eat right, exercise, drink plenty of water and learn to work with your natural texture instead of against it. Everyone’s is different. Do what works for you.

Do you have a site/blog/facebook to follow?

I don’t have one dedicated to hair anymore. On my Facebook page, I talk about everything, including hair. http://www.Facebook.com/Deatri

Would you like to be my next Curly Sister? Send an email to sormag@yahoo.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Love at Any Cost By Julie Lessman




The Gilded Age is brought to life in the new Heart of San Francisco Series.  Fans of bestselling author, Julie Lessman, will join her on a journey to the West Coast for romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in Love at Any Cost.

Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself cheated by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards. Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book, A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

SORMAG’s REVIEW

Cassidy McLaren is visiting San Francisco for the summer to get over a broken engagement and heart.  She’s done with men.  She literally bumps into the man who will steal her heart. Jamie McKenna wants the best for his mother and sisters and thinks marrying a rich woman will get them all they need.  Unfortunately the woman he falls for is broker than he is.  Can these two love birds move past their fears and trust in the love they have?

As a fan of Julie’s books I was sad to see her The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series come to an end but happy to know she was starting a new one, The Heart of San Francisco. 

I enjoy Julie’s writing because she draws you right into the pages.  I felt like I was in San Francisco, I could hear the trolley and see all the descriptions she wrote.  Cassidy was a cowgirl at heart but she knew how to be a lady.  Jamie has relied on himself so long, he hasn’t learned how to lean on the Lord.

Julie throws in a few secrets, lots of romance and shows you the true meaning of God’s love.

-          LaShaunda C. Hoffman

This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

“Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

Curly Sister: Lutishia Lovely



Lutishia Lovely was SORMAG's JAN/FEB Cover Author - Read her INTERVIEW

Tell us a little about you and when and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?

First of all, LaShaunda, thank you so much for inviting me to this forum! Such a great idea! Now, to your question. Before becoming a full-time author, I was – and still am – an actor. In the early 90s, while living in Kansas City, I would perform one-woman monologues of famous African-Americans (such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth) during Black History Month. These were mostly performed in schools across the city and at Black History events. Of course, these events served to instill pride in young people of color for their race, and love for the color of their skin - a message that wasn’t always conveyed via media or in school. Also around this time, I became the art director for an after-school program, called Images, for at-risk children. The combination of events really caused me to focus on my “image” and the message of beauty I was conveying to the young people. That’s when I decided to go natural, in 1992.

What was your biggest hair obstacle to overcome?

Gurlllll, my biggest obstacle at first was not looking like Buckwheat in Our Gang! Ha! Those months where I was “in between” – with some of my hair natural and some still texturized, was something else! I didn’t want to cut my hair all the way down, though, so I became inventive with scarves and hats and puffy pony tails until it grew out. Then I began to twist my hair to get that crinkled look, and wore it that way for years. Finally, after thinking about doing it for at least ten years, I locked my hair. Best decision I ever made!

What are three products you can't live without for your hair?

I’m continuously trying new products and don’t have a die-hard regimen. That said, for me, raw shea butter is a must, and I also really love Organics tea tree shampoo and conditioner and Carol’s Daughters Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner.

What are your favorite styles to wear?

My favorite is to braid my locs while they’re wet, let them dry, and then unbraid them for the curly look. LOVE this style! For formal events, I like to wrap them on top of my head, maybe letting one or two dangle down.

Which natural sites/blogs do you follow?

None, although I’m very excited about a tour being organized by newly natural author Pamela Samuels-Young called Natural Born Writers. Several “natural” authors will be visiting major cities throughout the U.S., to promote a new book she’s written called Kinky Coily and to promote our natural hair!

Any advice for the newly natural sisters?

I’d simply say “embrace your beauty” and don’t be afraid to try new things. Personally, I love locs and highly recommend them, but I twisted for more than ten years and enjoyed that look, too. 

Do you have a site/blog/facebook to follow?

Everyone interested can keep up with my life, my novels, and my hair ::smile:: @ LutishiaLovely.com, and/or follow me on Twitter and Facebook @ lutishialovely. LaShaunda, thanks again and remember everybody: you are beautiful…naturally!

Would you like to be my next Curly Sister? Send an email to sormag@yahoo.com

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

MARCH Writing Challenge

I completed the writing challenge with 20,000 words. Not bad for one month of writing.  I was very proud of myself because I did a few thing I've never done with my writing.

I started a book from the beginning and worked toward the end.  I plotted the whole book.  I learned it’s hard to write every day, but if I have to, I can.

My lessons learned from this challenge:

You have to motivate yourself:  Writing is a career you do by yourself, if you don't believe in your own writing, who will. 

Team motivation is wonderful:  I did this challenge with my writing group and they were amazing with their encouraging words for each other. Some days reading how they were coming along, encouraged me to continue on.  It’s nice to have someone cheering you on.

Believe in yourself:  Especially on the days when you think your writing sucks.  I heard a quote from Dora the fish in Finding Nemo - Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

I created my own - Just keep writing, just keep writing.    Some days you wonder why you do all of this because no one will ever read your writing.  You say those words to yourself, just keep writing, just keep writing.  One day the writing will be worth it.

Write even when you don’t feel like it:  This is hard when you're not a published author.  I usually write when the muse hits.  However that will change when I become a published writer.  Writing on deadline is a term you hear a lot from published authors.  You can't write when the muse hits.  You have to write even when you don't feel like it.  This month there were a few days I didn't feel like it.  Sometimes I didn't write, which cost me in my daily word count.  There were days when I didn't feel like it but I pushed on and wrote.  I think some of those days were some of my best writing.

Read a good book to motivate you:  I made the mistake of agreeing to this challenge, when I'd also agreed to judge some books.  The good thing about the books I was reading, is they inspired me to write.  I wanted to be able to tell a good story like the books I was reading.

Writing challenges aren't for everyone, but I do believe they are helpful for jumpstarting your writing.  It helps you create goals and how to work toward them.

What did you learn from the writing challenges you participated in?

Friday, April 05, 2013

CURLY SISTER: Paulette Harper Johnson

The first time I went natural, I did it by myself.  It was a lonely journey and I gave in too soon.  The next time I tried, it I went online and talked to my curly sisters and I joined a few groups.  This time I wasn’t alone in my journey.  I had others to talk to and I learned a lot.
I wanted to introduce you to a few curly sisters who are also on this natural hair journey and my hope is that by sharing their experiences, it will help someone else on their natural hair path.



Our first curly sister is Paulette Harper Johnson

Tell us a little about you and when and why did you decide to start wearing your hair naturally?
Thanks LaShaunda for allowing me to be featured. 
Hello Natural Beauties. I’m Paulette Harper Johnson. I’m originally from Northern Ca. by way of the San Francisco Bay Area. I currently reside in sunny Florida with my husband of 2 years. I have two adult daughters who have blessed me with two adorable granddaughters.
My natural hair journey began in Dec 2010. I decided to go natural because my hair began to thin at the top really bad (due to alopecia) I had for years kept experiencing hair loss in certain parts of my scape. Not a pretty site when I use to wear my hair spiked! Prior to that, I had been contemplating going natural because I was seeing my other natural sista’s wear their hair and I loved it. The last perm I received my beautician told me that I needed to get a different hair style because my crown was getting too thin. That was all it took. That was my deciding factor. That was the last time I had a perm.
What was your biggest hair obstacle to overcome?
I believe the first 3-6 months was very frustrating for me.  At the time I didn’t really know my hair and what it loved.  There were many days that my hair did not want to cooperate. But I was determined not to go back to a perm.   I learned over time what products worked best for my 4 B hair. 
What are three products you can't live without for your hair?
LaShaunda I have to admit I was a product junkie. I tried a lot of products. Some worked, while others didn’t. The three products that I can’t live without: As a styler I use, As I Am Twist defining cream, my leave in conditioner I use, Giovanni direct leave in, and the Moisturizers: shea butter, aloe vera gel, essential oils.
What are your favorite styles to wear? My favorite style to wear is a two-strain twist.

Which natural sites/blogs do you follow?
When I started doing my research you tube became my best friend.  I found Mae, Kerry and Lady T who had a major impact on my learning how to care for and maintain my hair.

Any advice for the newly natural sisters?
I would tell those who are transiting not to give up. Keep learning which products will work best for your style of hair.  It takes patience to learn how to take care of your hair.  At times, you might get tempted to go back to a perm because of frustration, but with time, patience and determination your hair will eventually tell you when it’s “happy.”

Do you have a site/blog/facebook to follow?



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Date Night Ideas

As a married woman, I'm always trying to come up with new ways to keep the romance in my marriage.  I did small survey on facebook to see what others couples did on their date night.  I decided to post the list here in case you're looking for other ideas for your date night.  Feel free to leave a comment if you have other suggestions.  I will update the list.

Bowling
Dave and Busters
Go Karting
Free local community functions
Try different restaurants like Japanese, Indian, Fondue
Indoor rock climbing
Paint ball
Strip clubs
Museums
Laser tag
Day in the mountains
Hiking
Boating
Picnic
Jazz club
Mystery Dinner
Live music at a restaurant
Dinner n dance lessons
Painting class
Horseback riding
Carriage Ride
Biking
Tennis
Art Museum has a Friday night jazz event once a month
Science Museum has Martini's and Imax
Cooking lessons
Couples Massages
Couples massage lessons
Manicures & Pedicures
Batting Cage
Golf/Putt Putt
Play Pool
Arcade
Drive-in Movie
Dinner cruise
Lingerie Shopping
Karaoke
Beer Brewery or
Winery Tasting
Go play basketball
Go test drive fancy new cars
House hunting
City sponsored activities
Taste of Chicago
Dance in the Park
Explore parts of your city you haven’t seen
Concert
Go out with other couples
Host dinner with other couples
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Out for ice cream
Art Museum
Symphony
Comedy club
Black Rep
Painting with a Twist
The Muny
Show at the Fox
Antiques mall

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Moving Past The Fear

Part of my moving past my fear was letting someone else read my story. I asked two friends to read it. Both are editors, so I value their comments.

The first one read it in one night. She loved the story and the main characters. OMG. My sagging ego needed to hear that. She agreed it needed some help to make it shine.

My second friend agreed to edit it, so I’m in the editing stage. Next month I will start the revision stage. I’m excited and nervous to see what she has to say. I’ve told myself, I can handle the criticism because it will make my story a better story and that’s what I want.

As I go on this new journey in my life, I will keep you posted. I’m so ready to get past my fear and see my dream of a book with my name on the cover come true.

How do you move past your fears?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Love My Hair

One of the first lessons I learned when I went natural was that I knew nothing about my hair.  I had to learn to love my hair for what it was and not what I wanted it be.  This was a hard lesson because there were so many products out there promising to turn my hair into my every dreams.  Unfortunately it can be an expensive lesson if you don’t learn it early.
I had to learn to love my hair for who it is.  This is my hair, not my sisters, not my best friend, not the lady in the hair video. 
Don’t try to make it into someone else’s hair. 
It will never happen and you’ll spend too much on products that don’t work on your hair. 
Learn your hair instead and you’ll fall in love with what God placed on top of your head.  I learned to listen to what my hair needed and what it didn’t like.  It took time, but I believe we are now on good terms.
My suggestion to you if you’re on this natural hair journey,  ask yourself these questions:
What type of hair do you have?
What does your hair need?
What does your hair like?
What does your hair dislike?
What is your hair like in different seasons?
How much time do you want to spend on your hair?
When you know the answers to these questions you are on your way to having hair you love.

Do you love your hair?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Challenges


I’ve decided to start the New Year with two challenges, an exercise challenge and a personal challenge.  I decided to do both because I wanted to change some of my habits this year.  I needed a little exercise in my life and I thought the squat challenge would be the way to start without feeling overwhelmed.

As you know 2012 was a rough year for me so I signed up for the Starting Over Challenge to see if I could get my mind back on track.  I didn’t know what to expect from this challenge, but I was willing to learn.
We had our first phone call and I realized I was starting on a new journey with this challenge.  One of our assignments was to write out a statement.

I want to lose ----- to gain ----

I didn’t do the assignment because I didn’t know what I wanted to lose or gain.  As I read over the groups posts I realized I wasn’t ready to face what I wanted to lose or gain.  For every other post, someone was ready to lose FEAR.  You know my history with that word.  I wasn’t ready to admit that was my issue too.


After the call, I was ready to admit, that I’d let that word creep back into my soul last year.  It popped up when I received the yes for my historical.  It slowly took over me as I read over the story.  You’re not ready it kept whispering to me.  No one will like this story.  No one will buy this book.  I slowly let the words, stop me from moving forward.  I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was scared, instead I told myself the book wasn’t ready.  I missed my own deadline and almost convinced myself that I wasn’t going to submit it.  Thank God for writing friends, who refuse to let me wallow in my fear.  They kept questioning me on my progress.  I didn’t want to say I wasn’t doing anything, so I kept pressing pass the fear.  I finally submitted it to a reader and I beat the fear.

This morning I decided I was ready to admit what I was ready to lose.

I want to lose FEAR to gain SUCCESS IN WHAT EVER I WANT TO ACHIEVE.

I’m ready for the New Year and these new challenges.  I’m also ready to move pass my fear.  I know it will always pop up in my life, but I also know it is a symptom, that I have to learn how to treat.

What new challenges are you trying this year?

Squat Challenge

If you want to join me in the challenge