Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Access Your Intuition

Photo Courtesy

Have you ever had that flash of insight? That “Oh my Gosh, of course” moment?

In the book Flight Plan: The Real Secret of Success, Brain Tracy refers to such moments as the Super-conscious, which is the intuition that resides in all of us. As silly as this might sound, neuropsychology is beginning to back up that intuition is real and using techniques to activate the Super-conscious is effective.

Our brains are constantly working to make sense of our world, even when we are not consciously aware that it is doing so.  The brain uses patterns to inform our decision making process. Consequently, our brain will notice and assimilate patterns around us, without our conscious knowledge. All that information is in there, we just need to find ways to unlock the information.

If you want to put this idea to the test, pick a TV show that you enjoy and watch regularly. After watching the show, write down (you have to write it down) the following questions and your answers.

  • How does what I’ve learned relate to what I already know?
  • How might I use this new information in the future?  (If you’re doing the experiment, the answer to this one is always  “To predict what will happen in the next show.”

I haven’t actually done this experiment because I don’t watch much TV, but the presenter of the workshop I attended on brain function and executive skills swears that by the third or fourth show you will be able to accurately predict the storyline. (Things like which character going to be the focus of the next show, what their conflict might be.)  Once I have some time, I plan to use the two questions to study scenes of a book.  

Photo courtesy of

Let's get back to Mr. Tracy. In order to activate the Super-conscious, he recommends writing down, in detail, the problem you are trying to solve.  This can be a situation with another person, a problem at your job, even a plot issue.  Then, when the time is right, your Super-conscious will give you the answer.  If you want to try engaging your Super-conscious further, he suggests calming your brain through relaxation techniques, meditation, etc…, which may lead to an answer quicker.

There are three ways we can know that an answer comes from our Super-conscious.
  • The answer will be complete. All details of the problem will have a solution.
  • The answer will be simple, clear and within in your abilities to complete.
  • The answer will "feel" right. Since the Super-conscious comes directly from your intuition, the answer will create a happy and relaxed feeling, and you will be eager to implement the solution.

Mr. Tracy cautions that you have to be ready to react in a timely fashion to the intuition. If you get the urge to call someone, call them. Don’t wait a week. You have to have faith in your brain and its ability to see patterns even when we aren’t aware of it.

Do you think you might try out any of these techniques? Do you believe in intution?

I'd like to say "Welcome" to Ty Roper, who has decided to join us! I'd also like to mention that Chapter One of Finding Meara is up on Wattpad, if you'd like to take a look. I'll be uploading Chapter Two on Wednesday.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Funny Photo Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! We made it. This is how I feel about the week.

Photo Courtesy Ashley Clark
That's my friend Ashley's boxer, Lola. Ashley takes pictures for one of the local animal rescues, and really captures the essence of the dogs she photographs. Her two boxers, Hunter and Lola, are her favorite subjects, though.  As you can see, they have some personality. Just a little.

One tidbit of news before we get to the photos. I've decided to pre-release some chapters of Finding Meara on Wattpad, starting this weekend. I'll post updates (when the next chapter is uploaded) on my Facebook author page. If you are interested in getting a sneak peek, and want updates, you can either follow/fan me on Wattpad, or you can subscribe to my author page. Otherwise, you can go to my website whenever you want, click on the "Fiction Fun" tab, and it will take you to the Wattpad page. You just won't know for sure when updates are posted.

The first weekend I release Finding Meara, I'll price it for free, so if you read and enjoy these first chapters, you can download the rest of the book at no cost to you. I would really appreciate it, though, if you enjoy and download the book, if you'd leave a review (hopefully favorable!). Favorable reviews can make or break a book, as far as getting attention from Amazon.  I'd also welcome any comments you might want to share on Wattpad.

The winner of last week's funniest photo was:


Here's this weeks photos! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Can you believe it sat there for the picture?

Reminds me of 70's sci-fi movies. The ones where everything gets all distorted when passing through space phenomena.

You know, for us dysthymic people.

The cat looks as scared as I'd feel.

Poor kitteh.

Llamapillar! I have to fess up - that caption was on ican.hascheeseburger.

And finally, an extra little Lego Star Wars humor, for good measure.

Have a fabulous weekend, both productive and relaxing! I think my favorite this week is tied between Lola and Splat the Cat.

Which is your favorite this week? 
(You can include Lola's photo into your decision, if you want.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A King, A Giant, And Grandsons by Rick Wilcox

Today I have the lovely pleasure of hosting Rick Wilcox on Motivation for Creation. I met Rick through the Writer's Unboxed Facebook Group, and quickly subscribed to his Facebook Page, Caney Creek Texas.  The stories and anecdotes found there are always heartwarming and human.
When Rick agreed to let me share some of his posts, I knew immediately which one I would like to share first. The following post ran on Karen S. Elliot's blog during Father's Day week, and had me in tears by the time I'd finished. The sentiments about family-but especially the male side of family-were intensely touching. Please enjoy the post.
A King, A Giant, And Grandsons by RickWilcox

My Dad was a King
My dad served as a platoon sergeant in the 10th Mountain Division during World War II. The 10th is an elite unit trained to spearhead assaults under extremely difficult conditions.  This didn’t add up when I was a little boy, because every time I heard this description of Dad’s unit, all I could think was, “My Dad?  Really?”  My father was the most gentle and humble man I have ever known. While other dads were loud, back-slapping story tellers, my dad was quiet and reserved.  I often tried to get him to tell me war stories but he would not.
Not one.
He would talk about his buddies and how much he thought of them but nothing about battle and nothing about himself.
Near the end of his life, I finally got one tidbit out of him.  All he said was that a man died because of an order he gave, and that he had thought of that man every single day since.  After dad passed away I researched his Army record and was astonished by what I found.  Dad received two Bronze Stars for “acts of heroism and gallantry in the course of enemy combat” along with two Purple Hearts. He never told me about the medals, but in the end, he told me about the private who lost his life on his command.
After the war, General Dwight Eisenhower had this to say –
“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and in the sacrifices of his friends.”
The man I knew understood this and quietly taught it to me every day of his life.
He taught me in the wholehearted and unconditional way he loved my mother for 62 years of marriage.
He taught me in his calm and gentle manner that provided the example I would call on every day in my adult life.
He taught me that honor is inseparable from character and gratitude.
A Giant of a Man
Life gravitates around defining moments. We all experience them – those suddenly open pages unexpectedly filled with memories rapidly written in indelible ink. As a reader of my page, you know that my oldest son Barry’s dog Bailey was killed by a truck on the highway in front of the ranch a few months ago. Yes, these things happen and they never give you warning. No one is exempt. At their worst, they are painful experiences we tuck away into the attic of our memory.
At the best, they serve us, shape us and teach us.
Character is built over time but defined in moments. Barry is a 32 year old man with his own business, a beautiful family and a heart of gold. He grew up working alongside his grandfather and lived for the days they could put the work down and just go fishing. He was born with a passion for the lakes and woods and loved nothing more than sharing them with a like minded companion. His favorite would ultimately be Bailey – the chocolate Labrador he raised from a pup.
Bailey was a smart dog – that’s for sure, but it never was about her. I watched my son love and teach that dog with patience and expectation. She became the best bird dog I’ve ever known and seemed to share Barry’s passion for the hunt. For ten years she rewarded his nurture and attention with loyalty, joy and companionship.
When Barry’s children came along, I realized more completely how important Bailey truly was. Like all of us, Barry had been shaped by his actions. He easily turned his patient heart to their care and instruction, and my 8 year old granddaughter Kayla and 3 year old grandson Colton are the unspeakable center of his world.
That particular Saturday was simply a perfect spring day at the ranch. By the cool of the evening, the work was done and all of us were winding down. With Colton napping in the house, Barry took the girls blackberry picking and my youngest son Ricky and his friend Michael went across the highway that runs through our property to a pond to shoot anything unlucky enough to move. I stayed in the backyard with a glass of tea to cool down from mowing.
The sound was sickening and unmistakable.
Through the quiet breeze, screeching tires and the thud of impact. My first and instant thought was “Oh my God, where is Colton?” I ran around the house to see a pickup truck sideways in the highway and a man and woman standing by the ditch with their hands gripping their heads in horror. I don’t even remember my body moving from the house to the ditch but what I found there obviously (and even thankfully) was Bailey.
I turned toward the pastures where Barry was picking berries with his mom, wife, and daughter and saw him running at full throttle towards us. I somehow knew he had the same horrific thought, and I called out to him “It’s Bailey.” He slowed his pace.
When he arrived, Bailey was in the throes of death. My screaming granddaughter was also running and getting much closer and I knew she must not see, so I ran to her and stopped her, far away from the highway. Connie had also reached her by now and held her close, rocking her inconsolably in her arms.
I could describe what happened next with noble terms like coupe de grace but the hard fact is my son had to shoot his own dog in a muddy East Texas ditch. He took her on one of our four wheelers to a far corner of the ranch to be buried, which he and the other boys soon did.
Now friends, here is the point of this story.
I saw my son that day.
I saw him shred his leg running through a barbed wire fence when he thought his son might be hurt. I saw him comfort a stranger who had just hit his dog. I saw him mercifully end his own animal’s life. I saw him tenderly kneel before his crying daughter and hold her until she found comfort. I saw him reassure his devastated mother that it was not her fault and that Bailey had broken free from her kennel before. In rapid succession in the heat of trial, I saw Barry put every living thing ahead of himself.
Later that evening we had a little funeral for Bailey in a peaceful spot by the creek where he buried her. He painted her name on a rock and Kayla put some flowers on the grave. We all stood around and remarked how beautiful the place was and how Bailey would have liked it. It was only when I whispered a few words of prayer thanking God for her life did I see my boy allow himself a moment to grieve.
I’ve never loved him so much.
I walked out of those woods with my arms around the shoulder of a giant of a man.
One of the greatest miracles of life is that adults produce children.
A greater miracle is that children produce adults.
There’s really nothing more humbling than the realization that a little boy has his eyes fixed on you expecting to learn how to be a man. Young dads have a hard time coming to grips with this because they are trying so hard to grow up themselves. Older dads are better, but they still struggle to understand how to be relevant to a boy at least two generations removed.
Granddads, however, relish it.
A boy is at ease with his grandfather. There’s little pressure to perform satisfactorily or to prove his mettle. In a granddad’s company, the pressure of daily life is removed and conversation is easy. If anything, the relationship is free from any hint of conditional love.
Dads have to raise the sons.
Granddads get to cheer them on.
I have five perfect grandsons, and it never makes my wife happy to hear me say that I’m just one short of a full set of pallbearers. I’m joking of course, but there is some truth in it.
When my last breath expires and it’s finally time to meet Jesus, I want it to be my grandsons who take that last walk with me.

Rick Wilcox
Rick Wilcox is a sixth-generation Texan and the lucky father of grown children and seven perfect grandchildren. He also has a wife he doesn’t deserve. An international businessman by day, his muse cajoles him to write, ranch, and roam on an increasingly consumptive basis.
Connect with Rick on Facebook. 

About the ranch 
Founded by my family over 150 years ago in northeast Texas, the ranch is a rich tapestry of eight generations. I walk into a single cemetery and find most of their headstones where decade after decade their remains were placed in solemn ceremony – but they are not there. It’s when I’m working the land or walking through the virgin forest I sense them most.
The story of the ranch is a story of people. Yes, the land is an inextricable song that sings in my soul, but the beating heart of Caney Creek is the people who cherish each other on one holy spot. As I survey the decades I see men and women who were unconditionally devoted to each other, and wholly committed to the bonds of fellowship.
As a man who was adopted at birth, I find great solace in the eclectic weaving of lives. It began with one clan and has now involved many. My own precious family is blended and bound to each other. It extends even to an inner circle of friends who now are closer to me than brothers and sisters – and the bonds we have established in this life are often materially refreshed in the times we spend there.
Caney Creek Ranch is above all an ongoing story of love. Love of Texas. Love of families. Love for each other.

Rick is the one wearing the hat.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Funny Photo Friday

Yay! It's Friday and, for many, it's a three-day weekend! I'm looking forward to next Tuesday because Rick Wilcox will be guesting. He writes amazing, thoughtful posts and I'm excited to share one with you.

Thanks to everyone who visited for Laura Howard's cover reveal. She has over 9,000 entries into her giveaway. Isn't that wonderful!

Last week's winner is:

And the new photos are...

I totally am Bart.

I don't know how funny this picture is, but I had to share it.
Every time I look at it I get claustrophobia. Anyone else have a similar reaction?

The back-ends look like people bent over in fuzzy, wool pants.

I didn't know a cat could look bald.

My favorite is the llama butts. I think my kids are rubbing off on me.

Which is your favorite? Do you get a three-day weekend?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Self-Publishing - Cheating or Ownership?

Photo Courtesy of Africa/
I'm over at Hugs and Chocolate today! The post, Self-Publishing - Cheating or Ownership, begins the trio of guest posts discussing my experiences with self-publishing. 

I'm so excited to visit H & C for many reasons, but mostly because the site is gorgeous and has excellent posts (craft, motivation and inspiration) for writers. For example, the most recent post by Jamie Raintree explains How to Cure the Sagging Middle. I read it and now totally get the mysterious subplot!

Please come and visit!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Forgotten Ones Cover Reveal Blitz

As promised, I am delighted to share in Laura Howard's cover reveal for her debut novel, The Forgotten Ones!

Laura is another fabulous writer I met through Robert Lee Brewer's My Name is Not Bob April Platform Challenge. Her blog, Finding Bliss, is one of the best resources I know of for information related to writing and self-publishing. She's also one of the most supportive people I know on the internet, so I am so happy to return the favor of her kindness.

Be sure to scroll to the end of the post, because Laura is giving away a $50.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. To be eligible for the drawing, you need to sign up on the rafflecopter below and then share this post (or another participating in the cover blitz) on twitter or facebook. 

Title: The Forgotten Ones

Author: Laura Howard

Genre: NA Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Expected release date: May 15, 2013

Age Group: New Adult

Cover Designer: Stephanie Mooney 

Book Description:

Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more.

When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.

Share on Facebook and/or Twitter and you could win a $50 Amazon (or B&N) Gift card!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Funny Photo Friday

Happy Weekend! This week went by way too fast for me. I didn't accomplish much, although I tried really hard. We'll see how the weekend goes.

Next Tuesday, I am so excited to share Laura Howard's cover reveal for her soon-to-be published novel, The Forgotten Ones. The next week I have Rick Wilcox, the gentleman cowboy, guest posting. I also have guest posts of my own on some different blogs lined up this month and next, so I'll let you know about them as they come around.

Let's jump into the pictures! Last week's winner was:

And here's the new ones!

The Aflac goose turns sinister.

I've been waiting for a good caption for this photo. 

Until tonight, I never knew WHY they had to kill Old Yeller. I wish I didn't know now.

My hair before I straighten it!

I always thought the joke with every phaser launch on Star Trek: TNG.

And this is just a Cute to bring you into the weekend. 

You just said an "awww" in your head, didn't you!
My favorite this week is Old Yeller. I love how the dogs face and the face of the guy next to him are the same. 

Which is your favorite? 
Did you get done what you wanted this week?

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My Blog is Sunshine-y!

A year ago in April I participated in the My Name is Not Bob Platform Building Challenge led by the fabulous Robert Lee Brewer. The camaraderie was amazing, and at the end of the Challenge the Wordsmith Studio group was born. One of those fine ladies, Melanie Marttila of Writerly Goodness, passed the Sunshine Award to me last week!

Here it is!

What excited me most about this award is that I try to keep the blog positive and fun, and so to get an award called the Sunshine Award... Well, it made me happy. 

Here are rules. 
  1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Post the award image to your page.
  3. Tell seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 other blogs.
  5. Let them know they are nominated.
My Seven Facts

I've got four dogs, and they're all named Quechuan words because my husband and I loved our time in Peru so much. (Raymi, Killa, Inca and Tumpa)

I have been known to dye my hair wild colors, but lately I'm sticking with auburn to cover my increasing grays.

My great-grandparents immigrated from Italy.

I'm an old/new Dr. Who fan. I loved the 70's version, but became reacquainted with the good Doctor when I was home sick in November. Matt Smith rocks!

Okay, I give up. I can't think of anything else that I haven't already said on other blog award posts. I'm actually quite boring.

My Nominees

My nominees are in my sidebar. I truly enjoy every single blog that I listed over there. Those blogs are some of the most awesome, inspirational blogs on the internet, and they are written by some of the nicest and most supportive people on the internet. I love you all!

A huge thank you, Melanie Marttila, for the lovely award!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Funny Friday Photos

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a lovely New Years. My entire past two weeks has been a lot of social media creation, editing, and family time. I have a lot of family memories, a new website, Goodreads Author page, and a brand-spankin' new Facebook Fan Page now. If you'd like to see my Facebook page, just click the link! 

We won't discuss the editing, although I've gotten a lot done on it. I just have so much more to do. Thank God for wonderful critiquers who catch all my errors!

Another huge thanks to the many fabulous friends who visited and/or liked any and all social media pages. I have a history of having parties no one comes to, and so I made all these social media sites with much fear and trepidation. It means more to me than anyone can know that people are willing to click that little button and be a part of my writing community.

I neglected to pick a winner for Briane Pagle's book, Up So Down and plan to fix that right now! Diane Carlisle is our winner. Yay! I'll be getting in contact with you this weekend about claiming your prize. On to the photos!

Last week's winner is - Dog Threat!

Here's the new ones!

Our cocker spaniel used to look like that in winter.

There is something ominous about deer. Bambi they are not.


That's small compared to the spiders I saw in Costa Rica. The Amazon grows things BIG!

Not quite as cute as John Cusak. Oh, okay. Cuter. :)

This is practically blasphemous, but it really cracked me up!

I think my favorite this week is the snowball dog. 
Which is yours? What's up for you this weekend?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Wishes

Happy New Year to one and all! 

I wanted to say a huge "thank you" to all of you who have hung around throughout 2012, being good Facebook friends, Twitter-peeps and blog-buddies. You make this crazy writing ride (try saying that out loud) a little less lonely and a lot more fun.

It's been a while since I've anticipated a new year's arrival, but something about 2013 has me excited. Let's hope it's a good sign the year is going to be filled with happiness and success for every last one of us!


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