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Is there a market for my book, or should I bury it at sea?

Is there a market for my book, or should I bury it at sea? This was the question a prospective client recently asked me about a book he’s already written. Whether it’s the optimist, the marketer, or the passionate communicator in me, I almost always feel there’s a market for an author’s book. Let’s be outrageous for a moment and talk about the guy who’s writing a protocol manual for left-handed Chinese goatherds. Really? With more than 1.25 billion people in China, ...

Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain Memories: What To Bring On A 524 Mile Road Trip... Hold your horses; we traveled by car... What do you remember from your childhood travels? Were they good or tedious memories? We traveled a lot when I was ...

The weather outside is frightful…

‘but the fire is so delightful…’ Thank you all for following and taking the time to comment, your interest in my blog is very much appreciated. Wishing you all a very HAPPY & HEALTHY 2014

So…About This Blog Thingy…

I have been away for a short while and I want to thank Anne Dickens for holding down the fort with her epic franchise about one of her trips to China. The truth is, I have been working as technical director for a play that opens this Friday ["Almost Maine"]. This is hell week and the tech rehersals go quite late so my play time has been at a minimum. It has been fun...but I'll be happy to get my quiet life ...

New Airfare Rules

Image by sparktography via Flickr How often have you seen a ridiculously low airfare published only to find out that when you try to purchase a ticket that a tax larger than the airfare is added on? Well it happened to me today when I spent time purchasing a ticket for my trip to Thailand next week. I have been aggravated for awhile to see these fares and then waste time going through the motions only to find out the true ...

Visions from Vail

Sometimes it’s impossible to leave work behind. And honestly, who wants to when work involves inspiring design?! Julie, our Project Manager at BGI, recently vacationed in Vail, Colorado with her family and couldn’t resist taking pictures of the town’s picturesque architecture and design. It was her first time skiing in almost 20 years and she said it was the perfect setting for tumbling down a mountain! She and her family had a great time, and we’re just glad she didn’t break ...

A Counterpoint…of sorts

Yesterday someone in my life took his own life. I was devastated by the news…but only worried about what brought him there…not anger because he did it. No one can know the last thought of anyone who dies…by disease or by their own doing. To think otherwise is selfish and self-serving. I have had thoughts of suicide in my life…many of us have. I don’t condone it and I hope that anyone who does have these thoughts finds a way by whatever means to get to ...

A Beginner’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors

Now is the time to start your seeds indoors, generally 4-8 weeks before the last frost date. Growing plants from seeds is inexpensive and gives gardeners more variety to choose from. There is also a sense of accomplishment and joy that comes from starting from scratch.  This would be a fun little project to do with your kids during their spring break. It’s not as complicated as some people may think. Here is a beginner’s guide to starting seeds indoors: Seed Choice Seeds ...

7 Refreshing Hibiscus Drink Recipes

Late summer is one of the hottest times of the year! To beat the heat, you must stay cool and hydrated! Water is good, but it can also be a bit boring. Add some colour and flavour to your water by making a refreshing hibiscus drink!  Hibiscus flowers  are edible and have a distinctive tangy, citrus-like flavour. As well, they are also a good source of vitamin C! Many people around the world, especially those living in hot climates, drink iced ...

Fun Flower Facts: Helenium (Sneezeweed)

Helenium (Sneezeweed) is a tall perennial plant native to North America valued for its brightly coloured daisy-like flowers with large, dark brown and yellow cone-like centers. Flowers come in shades of yellow, brown, orange and red. Plants grow to be 2-5 feet tall. Despite the common name, sneezeweed will not cause hay fever or sneezing fits. In fact, these vibrant, sun-loving flowers would be a lovely addition to the late-season garden, blooming from midsummer to fall. Helenium is easy to grow and ...

What’s the Difference Between Asiatic and Oriental Lilies?

The words “Asia” and “Orient” can be used interchangeably to describe the the Eastern part of the world. So when it comes to gardening, you might assume that “Asiatic” and “Oriental” lilies refers to the same flower. However, upon closer inspection, you will learn that these two hybrid lilies are quite different. Asiatic Lily Asiatic lilies are shorter than Oriental lilies, growing only to be 2-4 ft tall typically blooms early than Oriental lilies-blooming in June and July flowers are unscented the blooms are smaller ...

Free November 2013 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

Well, it’s a new month, which means it’s time to change up your desktop wallpaper! Here is a collection of FREE November 2013 desktop calendar wallpapers for you. Resolution is 1920 x 1080, which is perfect for widescreen monitors. To download, click on your favourite image. It will open up in a new window. Right click to save onto your computer. Happy November!

Cool Places to See Flowers: Panagbenga Flower Festival – Philippines

Panagbenga Flower Festival held in Baguio City, Philippines has some of the most amazing & creative floral floats this bloom blogger has ever seen! Which really shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering Panagbenga means “season of blooming”. This month long festival is held every February in the capitol summer city. On the day of the Grand Float Parade, the streets are lined with people waiting to view the spectacular flower float creations. This years 1st place winner was International Pharmaceuticals Inc, ...

What is Topiary?

There’s pruning to keep plants shapely and manageable, and then there’s topiary, a whole other level of pruning. Topiary, a word derived from the Latin word topiarius for landscape gardener, is the art of creating beautifully shaped shrubs through training and pruning. The shapes are often clearly defined and can be anything from simple geometric shapes to elaborate life size animals and creatures. In other words, topiary is the art of creating living sculptures. Here are some examples of topiary: Photo Credit: Flickr, ...

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Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

The New Improved You

A very interesting blogger over at Older Eyes  has had a couple of posts in which the subject of self-help books were mentioned.   From reading Bud’s blog, I can tell you he is not only a really good writer but a talented artist as well.

I used to be more of an “avid” reader but that has greatly decreased as my preponderance to sit my butt in front of a computer screen the better part of any given day has somewhat diminished the amount of actual “books” I read.  Don’t get me wrong, I still buy a gazillion books with many of them being those that would be listed under the “self-help” genre.

First of all, the category of “self-help” books needs to be divided into two distinctive categories.

The first category is the INSTRUCTIONAL books.  You know….books that are going to teach you something TANGIBLE.  A lot of these books look like this. I buy these books by the dozens.  I kid you not.  At any given time, I have 3 or 4 or more of them on my desk.  I devour these on all manner of topics.  These books are like popcorn that needs to be eaten.

This by the way, leads me to two major conclusions about my life.
 A. I am a Dummy
 B. I am a Complete IdiotIt, also, by the way, has me questioning my total lack of ability on all manner of subjects, or really…why would I need to be constantly reading books telling me that I am both a dummy and an idiot.  I don’t find this helpful.  Kinda counter intuative to the genre, SELF-HELP.The second type of self-help book deals with “INTANGIBLE” instruction such as improving your attitude, alleviating your worries and generally working on your psyche. These are the type of self-help books that I was commenting on over at Older Eyes.  These are, also, the books, that I am suspicious of.

My tendency to not “buy into” the mass produced self-help book  of the intangible sort, became apparent a few years ago when the book Who Moved the Cheese came out.  It’s not that I dont’ think the book’s parable with Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw wasn’t clever enough but there was the niggling little thought that kept saying the people were over-reacting a bit.  I mean…REALLY…every corporation in America was having corporate seminars about little mice nibbling on cheese.

At that time, I owned a corporate training company and one of the big communications firms, hired me for 8 weeks to develop seminars that ALL of their employees would be mandated to take on the subject of  “ACCEPTING CHANGE”.  In their case, the seminars were a precursor to a giant layoff that was about to befall them.  I guess you can call losing your job a form of change, but even as great of trainer (**crickets**) as I am, it it hard to spin that as a positive.

This “lack of enthusiasm” on my part,  continued when the company I worked for during the release of The Secret started having seminars where we were to work on our visualization of what we wanted in life.  Somehow it just didn’t seem right that I was visualizing “not having to work there.” Not to diminish thinking good thoughts,  I do believe in the power of positive thinking…I sense that some of you are surprised by this, and yes, I know that is not always evident.

As I am more than willing to try anything once, especially if thinking about it is easier than actually doing anything about it, I did in fact try thinking my way into being rich.  So far I have had minimal success.  According to the film, for those of you that haven’t had the privilege, there is a guy that sits in his recliner and thinks great wonderful thoughts about getting a new car and low and behold he gets one.  As I recall the guy was unemployed at the time, which begs the question,  is he able to afford this car… but leave it to me to question the Law of Attraction.  It is a LAW after all.

So, to summarize:

I do think there are bits and pieces in self-help books that may be motivational BUT ( ya’ saw that “but” coming, huh?) it is a bit of a challenge for an author to write a book in the genre of self-help unless he truly would have knowledge of the “self” that is reading it.

IN OTHER WORDS…I could (if I had any ability what-so-ever) write a book that would tell you that I can improve your happiness level by 100 percent by the end of business today.  That’s right…I have the magic formula to  improve your self-esteem  by 100 percent.  Money Back guarantee!!!!

In my opinion (in most circles “my opinion” is rated  on par at the same level as dog poo) the major hurdle here with my upcoming book and those that are already mass marketed is….we aren’t exactly sure of your level of [whatever the author is pushing].  As we/I don’t know a damn thing about you, it is a little brazen of me to say I can improve, modify, enlighten any of your emotions.  Still, feel free to buy my book and I will give it a try. At least with my book the price is in direct proportion to the quality. Free…which is also, how I can offer the 100 percent money-back guarantee.

Sooooo….for the sake of trying to be a team player here, I am going to write a self-help post.  Well, actually, I am just going to give you a teaser of a self-help post.  For the rest of my wisdom, you will have to buy the book.

So here goes…two things you can do to improve your self-esteem by 5:00.  You will look cooler and feel more self assured.
Number 1…Swimwear for winners.

For those of you that are ill at ease at the beach or pool…I am here to help.

For those of you out there that just are uncomfortable with modern swimwear, there is an alternative.   I know, I know, swimming suits can be  the single most crushing of the ego deflaters.   Clearly, even the most awesome bodies have a little jiggle here and there.

The solution…a wetsuit.  Why wear a revealing suit, when you can look super cool in a wetsuit?  Anyone that is questioning this fashion choice is quickly silenced with the ever useful line:

I AM IN TRAINING…this line is sure to impress and assuage any lingering doubts they might have.

Oh, you think wetsuits are too pricey…no problem.

Cheaper fix…. SPANX.  Say it with me, people…spandex is our friend!!!!  That’s right.  I know you think that Spanx is under-garment shaping but hey…buy the black separates.  Together it will look like a wetsuit.  (Men, you can do this as well, just be careful not to get a top with a built in bra…well unless you need that)

To further authenticate the look be sure to find you old YMCA swimming patch or wear a gold medal around your neck.

Hey, are you in training????

You are now rockin’ the beach!

Another tip that is sure to make you feel good about yourself.   Sunglasses!! Simple fix.  Everyone looks better in sunglasses.

After reading a rather interesting article over at Newsvine, where someone going by the name of Werdoomed made the comment that people’s attractiveness level drops between 10-70 percent when they take their sunglasses off. Frankly, I think Werdoomed is a genius. Truly, everyone looks way more attractive with sunglasses on. I do draw the line when people keep their shades on in dark rooms and at night as that is something else entirely. It’s not about looking good as much as not looking like you are “under the influence” of something.

See, Joe COOL

Even non-cartoon dogs look cool in sunglasses

What's Up

Little grandbabies look great in sunglasses



Maybe the pacifier with the Mr. Potato Head glasses isn’t cool

but it is very cute from a grandparent’s point of view.


OK, I am visualizing him in sunglasses.  See

I can visualize and he is still very cute.

Cheryl - The Art of Being Conflicted

A veteran of corporate moves from which I survived moving 21 times for my husband's job. I currently am a married, middle-aged (if I make it to 116) middle income, mom living in the very middle of the country, with time on her hands to jot down observations, judgements, and musings about past and current events.

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