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People Who Change Your Life

I just had an email conversation with my 7th grade English teacher.  She’s the person who convinced me, 43 years ago, that I could become published if I kept working at it.

I was 12 years old when she explained what I needed to do to contact the publishers of magazines to submit my work for consideration.  No one was interested in buying stories about the adventures of Throckmorton the frog, but the experience of submitting my work–and receiving rejections–stayed with me for years.  In a good sense.  I felt important because the publishers actually responded to my submissions!  You see, my family didn’t think it was possible for a kid to get published.

Fast forward 34 years to the event of the publication of my first newspaper column.  During the next 7 years I published numerous magazine articles, insurance education books and courses, and my first novel.  During a radio interview about the upcoming release of my mystery Second Time Around,  the interviewer asked me what motivated me to be a published writer.

I immediately thought of two women:  my mother–who told me I could do anything I set my mind to, and Pat Goldman–who showed me how to do what I’d set my mind to.

My life wouldn’t be the same without those two women and their support … and belief in me.

Who changed YOUR life?

And the winner is…

Maureen Roy!

I bribed my friends, fans, and business associates to visit my new website with the promise of entering them in a drawing for a free book if they’d comment in response to my January 4th blog post.  Well, it worked.  I got lots of visits to the website, many comments on the blog, and even more personal emails.

If you left your website along with your comment, I’ll be cross-promoting and marketing you on Twitter and/or Facebook as a thank you for your support.

And, if you didn’t leave your website with a previous comment, doing so in the future will net the same results.

Thanks for all your kind comments and good wishes.

Happy, healthy, prosperous 2012!

 

Book Giveaway Winner to be Announced

Thanks, everyone, for responding to the announcement of my new website launch!

The deadline for entering the giveaway to win a free copy of one of my books is Monday, January 9th at 11:59 p.m.  In order to enter, simply make a comment in response to my Januray 4, 2012 blog post.

The winner will be announced on the blog in the morning of Tuesday, January 10th.

If you win, which book do you want?

How YOU Can Benefit from my New Website Launch

2012 is going to be a terrific year … I can just tell!

It’s going to be terrific for one of you readers, too.  Because I’m so excited about the new website, everyone who enters a comment after this blog post will be entered into a drawing to win one of my two books (winner’s choice).  If we can get enough comments going, I’m sure I can be persuaded to offer more than one free book.  How many comments do you think I should collect in order to offer a 2nd free book?  Should I offer one free book for every 20 comments?

You may comment about anything you wish but remarks about how wonderful I am, and how wonderful the new website is, will be especially appreciated.  Many thanks to Matt, Jeff, Jonathan, Derek and the entire team at Slocum Design Studio for their creativity and efforts on my behalf.  What a great WordPress team!

P.S.  All kidding aside, I truly do welcome all your comments. 

P.P.S.  All three of my websites now feed into this one site:  my fiction site, my non-fiction site, and the Faulkner Education Services site.

P.P.P.S.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Attainable New Year’s Resolutions

We all know about New Year’s resolutions … about how we always make them and never seem to accomplish them.

Well, I’ve managed to accomplish my last two New Year’s resolutions.  Of course, they were rather vague and not very specific.  For that reason, however, they allowed some flexibility and managed to be not only reasonable but also attainable.

For many years, I actually quit making New Year’s resolutions because I always failed to lose weight or acquire large sums of money.  Our of sheer desperation one year, I decided I really needed to take care of myself … instead of everyone else: family, clients, even strangers in line at the grocery store who had far fewer items to check out and were really in a hurry.

Why do so many of us actually believe other people are busier than we are,  live more stressful lives, and face more challenges?  Well, I got over that.  We all have 24 hours in our days.  Most of us have parents, siblings, children, co-workers, bosses, employees, friends, neighbors, strangers, etc. who bring joy to our lives and/or manage to seriously mess with them.

Two years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to take better care of myself–as in, every single day I thought of something I could do to take care of myself.  I accomplished that goal by putting a sticky note on the bathroom mirror (Take care of yourself today!).  I accomplished a lot more thinking about taking care of myself than actually doing it, but the point is I truly thought about my own well-being each and every day.  And managed to take better care of myself in 2010 than in previous years.

I began 2011 with the goal:  Be Selfish.  This was the result of 2010’s goal being too vague.  Being selfish is a lot more specific.  Or so I thought.  About a month into the year, I realized selfish was too harsh a word.  (Of course, I should have looked it up in the dictionary before making my resolution.)  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, selfish means “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.”  Since I’m a writer, I decided to take poetic license with the definition and, for my purposes, simply eliminated the “without regard for others.”  It worked for me and I did a terrific job.  Resolution accomplished.

So, there I was on December 31, 2011, and I still hadn’t come up with a New Year’s resolution.  I admit it’s tough coming up with one that beats those of the last previous years.  And, being the over-achiever I am, I really do prefer to keep beating past records.  Instead, I decided to pitch my competitiveness (even with myself) and go a little deeper with my goal of taking care of myself.

So, here’s my New Year’s resolution for 2012:  Do something for myself each and every day that improves my personal well-being.

Yes, it’s posted where I can read it every day–although not on my bathroom mirror.  And I’m more than happy to share it with you.  Feel free to take it for yourself.

If you have one, what’s YOUR New Year’s resolution?  How did you arrive at it.  If you don’t have one, why not?

Regardless, here’s wishing you good health, weight loss (if you want it), large sums of money (if you get them and don’t want them, feel free to donate to the Linda Fund), and much happiness in 2012.

Dreams

When we’re little, most of us want to grow up to be someone wonderful and/or famous: a brain surgeon, an astronaut, a professional athlete, an Oscar-winning movie star, a chart-topping singer, a bestselling author … and the list goes on.

Somewhere along the line, however, most of us begin to believe our dreams are not only far-fetched but unattainable. According to Webster, a dream is a ”strongly desired goal or purpose.” But our parents, or brothers and sisters, or teachers, or friends tell us we’re nuts to think we’ll ever hit number one on the country charts … or the New York Times bestseller list. They lay out the odds, in explicit detail, against us becoming the first-string quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

We buy into all the ”good advice” about how we’re being unrealistic and immature and selfish when we plan to skip college to join a rock ‘n’ roll band or submit our applications to NASA.

My job here today is to tell you that all that “good advice” is bullshit. And those people don’t know what they’re talking about.

How do I know? Because I began living my dream on 11/11/11–which would have been my mother’s 78th birthday if she were still alive. Which is ironic, since she was one of the biggest supporters of my dream … while also being one of those people who nagged me to put my dream on hold while I attended to the responsibilities of living in the “real world.”

I always wanted to be a published writer. As in: a writer who supports herself with her writing. Yes, part of that dream was being a bestselling author of fiction–which hasn’t happened yet. But I am supporting myself with my writing. Exclusively.

Am I doing it exactly as I’d dreamed? No. Am I doing it as quickly as I’d dreamed. Hell, no. But am I doing it? Yes. Imagine how quickly I could have done it if I hadn’t allowed myself to believe all the garbage…

Then again, maybe this is exactly the way it was supposed to be. Maybe the lessons I learned along the way– and the patience I acquired and the flexibility and adaptability that are so much a part of my professional repertoire–were an essential part of the journey.

Here’s the lesson: don’t give up on your dreams. Even if you have to put them on hold while you live your life in the “real world,” take them out and examine them on a regular basis. Do what you have to do to fulfill those dreams. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Because if you do, your dreams will come true.

DARK MIND by Jennifer Chase

Emily Stone is hot on the trail of an abducted child and the clues take her to the beautiful island paradise of Kauai. It doesn’t take long for her to get thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracies. A serial killer stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are stumped without any clues or suspects.

Can Emily find the killer before it’s too late?

Scheduled release date: November 21, 2011

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Y6V0RfvFQ

Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com

Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com

Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com

Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

EIKO, a new release by Kenan Brack

In this martial-arts fantasy, a young girl is raised by the assassins who killed her family. When she comes of age, she becomes their next target. Eiko follows a dangerous and fascinating journey as she grows from child to young woman, along the way experiencing a world few could understand.

Eiko was released on October 1, 2011 and is published by GrayBooks, LLC. It can be found at http://graybooks.net/aisleseatbooks/eiko.

EIKO, a new release by Kenan Black

In this martial-arts fantasy, a young girl is raised by the assassins who killed her family. When she comes of age, she becomes their next target. Eiko follows a dangerous and fascinating journey as she grows from child to young woman, along the way experiencing a world few could understand.

Eiko was released on October 1, 2011 and is published by GrayBooks, LLC. It can be found at http://graybooks.net/aisleseatbooks/eiko.

Does YOUR auto policy pay for a rental car?

Here are some facts about auto insurance losses in the United States:

  • Approximately 1 in 8 drivers will be involved in an accident in a given year (National Safety Council)
  • Nationwide in 2005, 2 cars were stolen every minute (Better Business Bureau)
  • Speed is one of the most common factors causing car wrecks (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • The highest incidence of claim frequency and severity among vehicles of model year 2007, 2008, and 2009 occurred with very large luxury sport utility vehicles (Highway Loss Data Institute)
  • Only 75% of all costs related to car accidents are covered by insurance (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • After an accident, the average car is in the repair shop for nearly 2 weeks
  • Nationwide, 19% of all motor vehicles involved in accidents are uninsured (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

So let me ask you this: if you can’t drive your car after it’s been involved in a wreck–or struck by a tree, or stolen, or vandalized–what are you going to do? Hitchhike to work? Take a cab? Inconvenience friends and/or family? Rent a car?

If you rent a car, who’s going to pay for it–you or your insurance company?

On average, the annual cost to buy rental reimbursement coverage on your auto policy is less than the cost to rent a car for two days.

Want to know more? Just ask!