Saturday, October 5, 2019

Why I Love Being An Indie Author

Since the first time I wrote a story and let someone read it, I have wanted to be an author.

My father loved my story so much that it was published in the Virginian Pilot - Ledger Star newspaper in my hometown (where he just so happened to be an editor of said paper) when I was seven years old. 

All through my school career, my English teachers loved me, I was in the newspaper club, the yearbook staff, and I focused on writing in any way that I could. I never thought I could make a career at it.

Then, I got swept up into life and got married, had two children, and wrote when and where I could. As I learned and practiced more, I started to enter my stories into competitions on the internet. I won and was paid for writing my story for The Legendary

After that, I began to consider writing and being published. I wrote and saved over the days as I took care of my family and researched at night while they slept.



I wrote about Drive In Movie Theaters for FilmSnobbery for about a year but it's nice to eat and have people read your stories much better. Drive In Movie Theaters are the best way to experience all movies, by the way.



I kept writing on Tumblr, and Facebook, and Twitter, and all of those other places you find yourself immersed in online and stumbled across CreateSpace. That was it. CreateSpace helps you format and edit not only your words but your book cover! It gave me total creative control over my book and I excitedly started putting my first book together. 


It was done! I had done it! And people were buying it! It was almost a surreal experience.


My second book followed next and I was so excited for the whole process again. I put it together using my own creative control, published, and it was well received as well!


Then, life swooped me up again and I am still writing and still using CreateSpace. Now, there are some pros and cons I've found being a self-published author and I'm going to share them with you.

PROS
  • You have 100% creative control. You decide what goes in and what stays out. You have all of the creative freedom in the world.
  • It's an excellent way to learn the process of your craft, all the way down to how books are bound.
  • You get as many copies as you need for promotions, giveaways, and signings for free. 
  • YOU DID IT. Yeah, just that feeling. That feeling of accomplishing a lifetime goal is the biggest pro of being a self published indie author.

CONS

  • MARKETING. Get ready to HAVE to learn everything you never cared about! You should be able to get a marketing degree from Google for all of the tips, tricks, stats, graphs, blahhblahblah you have to research to even get even an inkling of a tip or trick to get your book out there. You are definitely going to have to eat it on marketing and just pay someone to do it if you can swing it. I've tried myself and I've paid others to do it and when I've paid others to do it, it always turns out much, MUCH better.
  • You are now grouped in with "What's Up With Needles?!" by Anti-vax Mom and "Hey, Aliens Are Real, Join My Cult!" By Crazy O'Ridiculous or the zillion "Marketing Master Entrepreneur Real Pro Tips" By Basic Business Guy/Gal In A Business Suit on the cover as the type of authors people associate self published authors with. 
  • You are going to learn a lot about royalties. You'll have to learn to negotiate and fight for your work to get the money you deserve. Although, once you can negotiate the right terms, you'll be so happy, especially when you get your first check!
  • It's A LOT of work. Expect to put a lot of work into it. It's more than just writing once you are publishing.




But, it's so worth it. I love being an indie author! I love having complete control over my words and how I present them to the world. But most of all, I proved to that little seven year old girl that yes. Yes, you can write a book. And you will.

And, you did.

I'm working on my third book at the moment which will be another collection of poems. I hope to have it out by next autumn but maybe I will get it out sooner. Either way, I'm excited to be closer to my next publication! 

What do you love about being an Indie Author?


Monday, September 23, 2019

Is It Too Early To Talk About The Holidays?

Because I feel like it's never too early to talk about the holidays.



I know a lot of you parents out there are still dealing with going back to school and it's rough. I've been there and done it.

The payoff, though, is when the holidays come around! The very super best holiday is coming first and I am SO ready for it!


Kids in halloween costumers are hysterical! I used to love bringing my kids trick or treating or to fall festivals and see all of the great costumes. Fun Fact: My husband and I almost got married on Halloween because it's our favorite holiday, heh.

Actual footage of the first time I saw my husband.

Thanksgiving is a special holiday in our immediate family. Since my husband was in the Navy, we moved around a lot far away from everyone so on Thanksgiving, or Stuff Your Face Day as we called it, it was just my husband, myself, and my two kids. We'd feast out and just spend time together. We would try to outdo each other searching out Black Friday Deals! We found some crazy deals over the years and even camped out one night for Black Friday. Only once, though. It's still memories that are wonderful to hold.


At the end of the year, we have a huge celebration on the beach in The Outer Banks. My husband has a huge family and it's so nice to be able to spend the winter holidays all together. The view isn't half bad, either.

Are you ready for the holidays? What Black Friday deals would make you the most excited this year? What's your favorite holiday? 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Deepest Dark

In my deepest
dark
You can't see me

look away

This is where I 
hide
just me
and my dreams

toss and turn
through 
the replay

down here
I'm not okay
I promise

In my deepest
dark

You can't hear me
silence
embracing me like an old
friend

grasping at anything to climb out

eventually

As for now,
I'm down in my deepest
dark
hiding
just me and my dreams.




Monday, August 19, 2019

Debt Consolidation With Keel Associates Can Reduce Debt And Raise Your Credit Score

Debt is a part of pretty much everyone's life. Whether it be a financed car, home, boat, credit cards, or all of the above, we all have some debt. It's easy to get over your head with debt but luckily, there are solutions!



While many folks turn to bankruptcy, that's not always the best option as it stays on your credit file for seven years. If you have already found yourself in a hole that seems irreversible, bankruptcy is not your best option. As TheLendersNetwork.com succinctly states:

Filing for Bankruptcy Doesn’t Help Your Credit at All 

"When you file for bankruptcy you’re giving your credit the death penalty. The bankruptcy and all of the accounts included in the bankruptcy will appear on your credit report for the next 7 years. Even a few years down the road creditors will see you as high risk. You’ll have a hard time getting new lines of credit, or loans for many years. Most people understand this, however they’re told they have no other options and that they have to file bankruptcy if they can’t pay their debts. False! 

Your credit will recover faster if you don’t file bankruptcy

 If you do not file for bankruptcy and just ignore the collection agencies, the credit damage you suffer will actually be less than filing for bankruptcy. Unpaid delinquent accounts are just as bad for your score as delinquent accounts that are included in a bankruptcy are. In fact, accounts included in bankruptcy are far worse than a regular unpaid collection. You may think that $50,000 worth of collection debt is what is hurting your score and by filing bankruptcy that unpaid debt will go from $50,000 to 0. It’s true the balances will show a zero balance, however unpaid collection debt is not included in the credit scoring algorithm. It’s the 15 collection accounts that are hurting your score, the number of collection accounts is what impacts your score, not the balances. This is why paying collections does NOT improve your credit score." 

 How Can Keel Associates Help Me?

Keel Associates provides low interest rate debt consolidation loans. They break down all of your debt and work closely with you to help find solutions and the best rate to accomplish your goal of lowering your debt thereby raising your credit score. They combine all of your debts so you can make one monthly payment to pay off all debt, sometimes lower than all of the payments you are making individually. They are committed to providing their best services and encourage you to meet your goals. It truly is the better option in paying off your debt and the extra help you receive from Keel Associates will get you right back on track! It's so simple and affordable, it's almost impossible not to try!

Have you ever tried debt consolidation? What was your result? I'd love to hear your story in the comments below!



Friday, August 16, 2019

A Portable Juicer Blender Perfect For Wellness

I have been on a health and wellness mission for almost three years now. I have lost over 60 pounds on my journey and while I have hit my plateau, I also haven't gained any weight back!



I've been trying lots of new things and finding that they aren't even as close to being awful than I thought. I had heard from many folks that a good juicer or blender would help in my weight loss and so I started looking all around for the perfect one.

Luckily, I found it!


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RV331YL

This blender is so easy to use! It charges with a usb cord and once charged you can use it anywhere! I decided to test it out with the fruits and yogurt you see above. I added the ingredients and got to blending:

YUM


As you can see, it blended quite nicely and I could not wait to give it a try. Luckily, it comes with a cup attached to the top that fit the entire contents! There is also a top you can use should you not finish the entire thing.

As you can see, I finished all of the deliciousness

So, if you are looking for a whisper quiet portable blender you can use at your desk or anywhere, this is definitely the one! If you click the image below, you can own one, too!


Do you use a juicer to meet your fitness goals?

Friday, August 9, 2019

How Knowing Your Net Promoter Score Benefits Your Business

The most important thing for business is being able to track your return on investment (ROI). There are many tools that companies use today that can estimate customer satisfaction. Today I'm going to talk about one of the easiest Net Promoter Score tools to use. 

What is a net promoter score? According to Wikipedia, it is defined as such:

                     "...a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is claimed to be correlated with revenue growth. The tool aims to measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer."




A Net Promoter Score, or NPS, basically tells the company how loyal customers are to the brand, what they like and don't like, and how the business can improve. NPS measures from -100 to 100. The negative numbers indicate a need for improvement while a positive score means you have happy customers! Once you have the data from your customer satisfaction surveys, you can calculate where your Net Promoter Score lands. 





 The NPS Calculation

Calculate your NPS using the answer to a key question, using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?

Respondents are grouped as follows: 
  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter)."




Commerce is always moving and business is always open now in our new market, thanks to the advent of the internet. Your product is available for purchase twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. When you start to see fluctuations in growth, you might want to start sending your customers a customer satisfaction survey to fill out. Encourage comments and communication. The most important thing you will want to accomplish once you have calculated your NPS is turning those passive customers into promoter customers! Once you can see the numbers, you will know your next step.



As you can see, knowing your Net Promoter Score benefits your business by letting you know where your company is strong and where it could use work. You are hearing directly from your customers what they like about your product, while also learning what they don't like. Once you calculate your NPS, you can open your business to expansion and growth! There are many different software tools available online, I prefer the Net Promoter Score tool found here, if you would like to get started. 

Do you know your net promoter score?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Current mood:

Cannibal - Silversun Pickups


When the king comes down to speak
With animals
Animals...
With his claws out for a feast
A cannibal
Cannibal...
When we crawl out to the brink
To meet and greet
With a wink...
Pull the rug out from underneath
This cannibal
Cannibal...
Who is gonna break the ice
No room for shallow alibis
Who will be the first to bite
Or do we keep on playing nice
Until the next time...
Hey
It's too late
I've been here before the change
This latest phase...
If the king bows to our feet
A cannibal
A cannibal...
Who is gonna break the ice
No room for shallow alibis
Who will be the first to bite
Or do we keep on playing nice
Until the next time...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Is A Career In Musical Theater For You?

The world of musical theater seems to be growing in popularity by the day. This is a form of entertainment that has long been enjoyed. However, to say it has come back into fashion would be a mere understatement. Nonetheless, this post does not deal with watching productions, it is for those who wish to be involved in them. Have you got dreams of being on the stage? Or, perhaps this is something you are merely considering? Either way, read on to discover all of the benefits associated with taking one of the musical theater courses. 


One of the best things about getting involved in musical theater and taking a relevant course, is the fact that you will be increasing your skills in a multi-talented subject field. After all, there is no one solo ingredient that makes a good performer. You will work on everything from acting, to singing, to dancing. If that wasn’t enough, a lot of courses provide aid on everything from costuming and music production, to box office and direction, to stage management and lighting. There are so many components that come together to create the ideal performance. By enhancing your knowledge in all areas at a music school, you are going to put yourself in a fantastic position once the course has finished. Moreover, if you don’t bag your dream musical theater job, you will have plenty of qualities and skills that appeal to other roles. 

In addition to this, musical theater is beneficial because it develops you as a person. This is something very few people consider. However, after several years in the industry or several years in training, you will definitely start to notice a difference. Your self-esteem and confidence will have rocketed. In addition to this, you will have increased your level of self-discipline and you will find prioritising and organising a lot easier. If that wasn’t enough, your poise will also improve. Don’t take for granted just how beneficial all of this is. All of these excellent qualities come together to build your character and make you a better person. They are attributes that will serve you will in other parts of your life. After all, being more confident will lead to increased happiness, whilst being more organised will certainly help in a lot of areas.


Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, the last factor worth considering is the job opportunities you will have at your disposal once you complete your musical theater course. A lot of people tend to think that this is a limited industry because they only consider the main theaters and the award-winning productions. However, if you think about how many theaters there are all over the country, you see that there are a lot of productions to get involved in. Unless you are lucky and get a big break, this is definitely a career whereby you have to work your way up. Nevertheless, this can certainly be fulfilling and is a quality many people enjoy. Moreover, this is not your average job. No two working days are ever the same and this is something that appeals to a lot of people. When you take all of the points mentioned into account, it is not difficult to see why musical theater courses are becoming so popular.

Have you considered a career in musical theater? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Heavy

Heavy
This feeling that is
weighing over me

I look over my shoulders
to see if it's the world rotating upon them

but all I see 
is that monkey

Glaring with his 
red eyes
snarling
gnashing nightmare teeth

that
will
chew
right
in

Heavy
this burden

This burden 
I am...




Treat Yourself Tuesday: Little Lovelies From Sureway Digital Mall

I always look forward to Tuesdays. It's those one days that I can count on to give me a much needed break. Working from home, it's easy to fall into the work, work, work all of the time hole and not be able to climb out. I used to give myself a break on the weekends, but found myself checking this one little thing and oh while I check that I might as well check this and so on and so on...

I picked Tuesday because I've just gotten over the crazy Monday and could use a little goal and oomph to get motivated and ready to tackle the rest of the week. Hence, Treat YoSelf Tuesday.



via GIPHY

I was browsing around and came across Sureway Digital Mall and found some pretty little lovelies, plus many more if I would've let myself keep shopping, heh.


I got myself a gorgeous Kate Middleton Silver Cocktail Ring Replica and this adorable gold cat pendant. There was much more gorgeous jewelry and unique gifts that I might just be checking out for my next treat!

You can visit Sureway Digital Mall on their website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

Now, go for it. Treat Yo'Self! 💋

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Most Common Cases Of Medical Malpractice

Once you find out that you must go into surgery, it can be frightening news. One of the least worrisome things that you could possible imagine is mistakes by your doctor. It's a little more common that you think so here's a list of the most common causes of Medical Malpractice:



Image Credit:  Pexels

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital or healthcare professional causes injury to a patient, whether it be through negligence or omission.  While fairly common, medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on not only the patient, but their loved ones as well. Medical malpractice can sometimes even lead to permanent injury or death, which is why it is so important to be able to recognize what medical malpractice is and know what to do if you suspect it has occurred.  Here are some of the most common cases of medical malpractice and next steps you should take if you or a loved one has fallen victim to it.

Birth Injuries

Some of the most common cases of medical malpractice involve birth injuries.  Birth injuries occur when damage is inflicted on an infant during the birthing process, and of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6-8 of them will be affected by a birth injury.  There are several different types of birth injuries that fall under this umbrella, with some of the most common being:


  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hypoxic Brain Damage
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Placental Abruption

Birth injuries are often some of the most devastating kinds of cases of medical malpractice, and in worst-case scenarios, can even result in death of the infant.  Many birth injuries can also result in the need for lifelong medical care, making these cases of medical malpractice all the more devastating.

Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose

A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening, making it one of the most serious cases of medical malpractice.  As a healthcare professional, it is imperative to listen to a patient’s concerns and run the proper tests to make an accurate diagnosis. Cancer misdiagnoses are some of the most common and also most dangerous, as devastating consequences can occur if left untreated.  What makes a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose so dangerous is that patients typically put a lot of trust into healthcare professionals expecting them to take the necessary steps in detecting a condition, so when a doctor fails to do that, the patient’s health is put in danger.  With something as serious as cancer, for example, failing to properly treat and diagnose symptoms can often result in death.

Surgical Errors

Going in for surgery can be an incredibly scary and nerve-wracking experience, and one that requires the patient to fully trust their surgeon.  However, this trust can be broken if a surgical error occurs during the procedure.  Some of the most common surgical errors include:

  • Performing unnecessary surgery
  • Too much or too little anesthesia
  • Performing the incorrect procedure
  • Using non-sterile equipment
  • Leaving medial equipement inside of the patient
Errors during surgery can be extremely dangerous and can often result in life-threatening injuries or even death in some cases.

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it is important that you know what to do.  Hiring one of the top medical malpractice lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve.  An experienced medical malpractice attorney will go over the details with you and help you build a case based on your experience.  Falling victim to medical malpractice can be traumatic, but with the right team on your side, you can rest assured that you will see justice.



Do you have a medical malpractice story to share? Leave your story in the comments below!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Exercise And Supplements And Wellness...OH MY!

In the past two years, I have been on a health and wellness mission. I'm not sure if it is because I turn 43 this year, my brother had a really big health scare last year that put him in the ICU for a few weeks, or I'm just plain tired of being tired, I am serious business about getting back to good. I have been steadily losing weight and trying to better my diet and myself any way that I can.



It's been quite the journey but ultimately, I feel a lot better. My outlook on life has gotten better (despite many of my writings that might make it seem otherwise) and I feel physically better than I have in YEARS. 

Of course, once you get into this whole health and wellness lifestyle, you will start to see more and more recommendations for supplements and detox cleanses. Up until this point, I had only really taken a collagen supplement (because my skin seems to love gravity more than staying where it's supposed to be on my body) and didn't really think about any others. Then, my brother got very sick and I started to think about maybe trying a detox cleanse or something similar.

I tried many, much more than I'd like to admit, and while I understand that not all detox products cannot be classified as snake oil, I did find one that I am pretty happy with.



I have been taking it for about a month now and I like it a lot! I feel better than I thought I would and am actually impressed. Liver Cleanse Plus features 13 herbs used for generations (8 Chinese herbs and 5 that are western herbs). This mix was  tested and re-tested for 8 years prior to its launch. Also, there is no Milk Thistle in Liver Cleanse Plus, as Milk Thistle, being a "liver protector,” caused the formula not to work. The liver’s job is to protect you. If you are protecting it with Milk Thistle, the liver is isolated from the body. A poor functioning or “protected / isolated” liver, cannot filter waste. Thereby, it causes  your body to be bathed in all sorts of “raw” substances that are not healthy. I started with a liver cleanse/detox because the liver is the largest organ inside the human body. It weighs approximately 1 pound, houses the gallbladder, and carries out hundreds of functions. Just to name a few:

  • The liver filters everything we eat or come in contact with
  • It helps regulate blood sugar levels, cleanses the blood, metabolizes vitamin A, and detoxifies poisonous substances and more 
  • Up to 25% of the liver can be removed and it will still regenerate itself 
The liver may be the most overworked and misunderstood organ in the human body. It filters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, I decided to start there! I was not disappointed trying this product and have added it to my daily routine. By using my link, you can get 10% off of Liver Cleanse Plus and see for yourself! 

If the liver is affected you will notice it in the following areas: Skin irritation, eye irritation, aches and pains, frayed emotions, headaches, low energy, foggy thinking, slow reaction time, fatigue, muscle weakness, congestion and mental stress. I have a fun quiz below for you to determine if this is the best liver detox for you:

Is Liver Cleanse Plus right for you?

  • Do your moods run you?
  • Do you get headaches?
  • Do you get reoccurring muscle and joint pain?
  • Is it hard to stay in a good mood?
  • Is your vision fuzzy or blurry from time to time?
  • Do you get irritable from time to time?
  • Do you or have you had gallbladder or liver problems?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating, feel foggy or slow?
  • Do you run out of energy during the day?
  • Do “things” just build up and get to you?
  • Do you have allergies or congestion?
  • Does an area of your skin frequently burn or itch?
  • Do your eyes burn, get red, irritated or itchy?
  • Do you have insomnia or are you restless?
  • Are you frequently awake between 1:30 to 3:30 A.M.?
  • Do you have "liver” or “age spots”?
  • Is your skin broken out or blemished?
  • Are your emotions on a roller coaster?
  • Do you later have to apologize for your bad moods?
  • Is there always “something” wrong?
  • If you are upset, is it best not to talk to you?
  • Does the cheeriness of others annoy you?

Scoring:

Count your YES answers and see below.


0-3 – Great! Liver Cleanse Plus will help you maintain a healthy liver.
4-6 – You would see clear benefit.
7 or more – Liver Cleanse Plus is for you.

What was your score? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Outdoor Living With The SunBrite TV Veranda Series Outdoor 4K UHD HDR TV

It's that lovely time of year again! We're all spending more time outdoors right now, whether it be just to enjoy the weather or inviting friends and family over for get togethers, it is definitely time to get out and enjoy that sunshine!



As those of you who read my blog regularly already know, we recently bought our first home. The project I'm currently working on is our firepit and outdoor area and have been looking for fun ways to incorporate activities for the entire family. This includes weatherproof electronics, specifically televisions, so that I can get the kids (and their dad!) outside, even if it's just to get that fresh air and sunshine while they are gaming!



So, I have been looking for inspo pictures and shopping around and came across the Sunbrite TV Veranda Series and I am totally in love! The Sunbrite TV outdoor televisions are designed specifically for outdoor use in screened in porches or full shade outdoor spaces. They have been engineered to withstand any climate North America can throw at you and resist rain, snow, dust, insects, and extreme temperatures. It comes standard with a direct lit 4K UHD screen with HDR, which is 50% brighter than indoor televisions so the bright outdoor light does not affect your viewing (or gaming, heh). It's much more durable and safer than using an indoor TV outdoors, that's for sure! 

You have to start somewhere when planning your new outdoor space, and I decided to start with the small things and work my way up! I am going to design my entire outdoor living space around this television and I am finding inspiration everywhere I look! 

This is life goals right here:

I don't ask for much, just this entire patio, pleaseandthankyou!


This summer the best seat in the house is outside and I am going to take full advantage of it! Hopefully, I will have pics to post of my own outdoor living space soon. In the meantime, back to pinterest for more inspiration!

What are your plans for an outdoor space? I'd love even more ideas so leave them in the comments below!