Monthly Archives: July 2017

Since the beginning of the year, every morning, whether I feel like it or not, I have been writing down three things that I am grateful for. When I say whether I feel like it or not, I mean when I start, not necessarily a few minutes later when I have written something that I am thankful that I have.

It’s easy to complain. It is easy to find what is wrong in this world, but it is important that we go beyond the rain and look for the rainbow. Gratitude is a special kind of mindfulness that we have toward those things that have already happened. It is actually a tool we can use to help us deal with negative emotions. Everyone has bad days, but your day doesn’t have to stay bad. You can overcome your misery today by expressing gratitude.

Physical Benefits of Gratitude

According to a scientific study, , grateful people feel fewer body aches than others.They also report feling healthier than other people on average. In addition, people who feel gratitude are more likely to take care of their health by exercising more and having regular checkups.

People who express gratitude sleep better at night.


Emotional Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude is an instant mood elevator. I find that when I write down something that I am grateful for, I believe it makes my day go better. I think that focusing on all of the good things in my life will improve my mood like nothing else.

Gratitude defuses toxic feelings including envy, resentment, frustration, regret and shame. Multiple studies have been done and gratitude is proven to increase happiness and reduce depression.

Expressing gratitude helps prevent retaliation when someone treats them wrong. People who express gratitude try to walk in the other person’s shoes and don’t seek revenge.

Gratitude fosters resilience. A person who is grateful does not stay down, but keeps on going even in adversity.

Grateful people have improved self esteem. They are gracious and applaud the accomplishments of others.


Social Benefits of Gratitude

Because people who are grateful say “thank you” a lot more than other people, being grateful helps you win new friends. When you meet someone and appreciate them for who they are, they are more likely to seek a continued relationship with you. So, smile at and hold a door for strangers, send a thank-you note to a collegue who helped you wiht a project and all this can lead to new opportunities.

Spiritual Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude can help in almost any situation even the loss of a loved one. Gratitude helped me focus several years back when I lost my father, brother and sister within a short period. I realized how blessed I was that I had them in my life at all.

In addition, gratitude helped me focus on the fact that the Creator offers eternal life to anyone who believes that “he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.” Death to me is notgood-bye forever, because I believe that I will see my loved ones again in eternity.

Gratitude Helps Me See the Possiblities Instead of the Problems

Gratitute helps me think about the world around me with a different mindset. It helps me see what I can do to change the world around me.

What are you grateful for today? Name three right now.

In my upcoming book, Living Today, The Power of Now, I delve deeper into this virtue of gratitude. I wrote this book primarily to help myself make better use of every day that God has giving me. The book will be launched on Kindle, on September 8, 2017. Be of the first copies by following this link to pre-order now.













July 24, 2017

Today I have another interview with another writer friend of mine Tracy Gregory. She connected with me on Facebook and we became fast friends. I read her most recent book, her first novel called Ways of War. I wrote a review.

Review of the Ways of War

The Vietnam War was the most despised war in all of American History would have had to have been the Vietnam War. I remember being a young child while the war was going on. I remember the agony of daily body counts and the unbelievable celebrations of MIAs who returned after years of torture by the Viet Cong. I remember the reports of I remember draft dodgers and the protests.

What I didn’t know about was the secret war, the insidious war of mind control experiments that the government conducted at the same time. Tracy Gregory in this book brings them all together when Grant Windsor goes to Vietnam leaving behind a wife and two young children. Word comes back that he was killed in a fire, his body never recovered. The only sign that he had ever been there, was his dog tags. His wife Anna tries to move on, but even though she has Stephen waiting for her in the wings, she can’t seem to shake the idea that if she falls for Stephen, she will be cheating on Grant.


I highly recommend this intriguing spell-binding historical novel. I look forward to reading future novels by this author.


Interview withTracy Gregory

ME: Hi Tracy, I am glad you could join us today. First, would you be kind enough to tell my readers a little about yourself.


TRACY: Well, I was born in Concord, New Hampshire and raised in Soldotna, Alaska. My parents divorced when I was young. My mother remarried which resulted in our moving to the Last Frontier. We lived a simple life in Alaska. We lived without electricity and water for some years. Our free time consisted of hauling wood and water. I learned to appreciate every little gift, even the gift of free time. I am the second of six children. When I graduated from high school, I returned to New Hampshire to attend college. I got married, had two children and got divorced. I remarried when my children were young, and remain married today. I love to read and write. I’m an avid gardener, and I enjoy being outside. That’s the short version. Maybe the long version will show up in bookstores someday.


ME: What or who inspired you to start writing?


TRACY: Believe it or not, my desire to write came from Judy Collins. She is a folk singer whose stories mesmerized me and sparked my imagination. When I was eleven or twelve, I received a record player and a Judy Collins record from my mom for Christmas. I still remember the record “Early in The Spring.” I listened to the songs over and over wishing I could tell the stories she was singing.


ME: Do you find it difficult to get reviews from readers?


TRACY: At first, I was somewhat defensive when it came to comments made about my writing. But once a sat back and thought about the big picture I came to realize that the opinion of my reader is important. Their opinions and input are what will make me a better writer. I try to look at it as constructive criticism. I have learned you can’t please all the people all the time so I have resorted to pleasing my readers first by placing value in their opinion.


ME: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?


TRACY: I love to read! I have a library of books that I have read and reread. I enjoy everything from the old classics such as Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Dickens to science fiction writers such as Wells, Bradbury and George Orwell. I would have to say my favorite genre is historical fiction. I enjoy Jeff Shaara, Phillipa Gregory, Michael Sullivan, Amy Harmon, Soraya Lane and Cygnet Brown of course.


ME: Do you have an interesting writing quirk? If so, what is it and how does it help your writing?


TRACY: I lead a busy life, as I’m sure you (and many others) do so I believe you can relate to that statement. Because of the interruptions, I find it difficult to write every day. I find the most productive writing time for me is at night when the world is asleep. I consider myself a marathon writer. What I mean by marathon writer is instead of writing a little each day, I find myself hiding in my library and writing forty thousand words at a time. I then set the work aside, and it could be weeks before I return to writing.


ME: How many books have you written? Which was your favorite?


TRACY: Ways of War is the first Novel in what will be a series. Usher of Truth will be the second and should be released by the winter of 2017. Days of Doom will be the third work in the series. I haven’t decided if that will conclude the series.  I also have some poetry available on Amazon. If I had to say I have a favorite Novel, it would be “Ways of War” as it is the first to be published. I will say my favorite work of poetry would be “Children’s Anthology.” The poems are all inspired by my children.


ME: What are some of the greatest struggles you’ve faced to further your writing career?


TRACY: The greatest struggle for me as with many other writers is the promotion of my first work. The idea of having to prove myself to a base of readers that have an interest in a topic so broad yet very targeted was challenging. Historical fiction in itself is as broad as the history that defines the genre. It is difficult to target a market of readers and present the “hook” so to speak that would draw them in and create a following.


ME: How can readers discover more about you and you work?


TRACY: It is my desire to be a successful author and create a following and keep those followers interested for years to come. I am only as successful as those that support me and share my work with their peers. I try to make sure I am available in as many ways as possible. My website address is You can also follow me on Facebook at  My Twitter address is . In addition, I have a blog site Traces of Tracy Gregory the site address is


Tracy’s books are available on Amazon and Barnes&, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, other local bookstore, and on her website.



Because today is my birthday, I am putting out a special post

When I was born on July 22, 1959, there had not yet been an American in outer space. That didn’t happen until almost two years later on May 5, 1961 with Alan Shepard. This occurred only after my first brother was born and my mother was already pregnant with my sister. However, two days before I turned ten years old on July 20, 1969, I watched in amazement on our black and white television as Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon and heard Armstrong’s famous words for the first time, “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”


How can we go so far in such a short time?

We came so far in the space age because the United States was willing to focus on getting to the moon. A few days after Shepard’s historic event, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech  on May 25, 1961 before a joint session of Congress called, “Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs,” In this speech, JFK stated that the United States should set as a goal the “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth” by the end of the decade. With focused attention to get to the moon within a decade was shortened by almost two years.


Focused Attention Creates Exponential Growth


This trip down memory lane helped me realize that it was focused attention to detail that helped the United States space program not only grow superior to the Soviet space program but do something that the other country never did and that was land several men on the moon. Those first two years, nothing seemed to occur on the surface. The technicians at NASA were working on details. With today’s modern computers, it would have been much easier, but these technicians didn’t have access to them. They had to use their imaginations and skills in science and mathematics to make the moon landing fact. Rockets had to be designed to carry human beings. Heat shields had to be designed that could take the heat of re-entry, Food that could be eaten in zero gravity had to be created. Calculations had to be made to propel the space crafts out of earth’s orbit. Like the foundation of a building, numerous other aspects of the program had to be handled before they could get a human being in a rocket off the ground.


Imperfection Does Not Mean We Should Quit


The Apollo program changed forever on Jan. 27, 1967, when a flash fire swept through the Apollo 1 command module during a launch rehearsal test. The three men inside perished despite the best efforts of the ground crew. Eighteen months would pass and there would be extensive redesigns, before NASA sent more men into space, but the problems that they faced did not stop them from reaching their goals.


How to Use Focused Attention?


  1. Make a decision
  2. Create specific goals
  3. Attention to Detail
  4. Setbacks don’t have to be permanent and should be anticipated.
  5. Celebrate the accomplishment

I am imagining what focus can do for me during the next year. I wonder what things can be live one year from now when I add another candle to my next birthday cake. How about you? What could you do with undivided attention?





July 17, 2017

The rule of seven touches

I have created a rule that I try to go by when getting to know people on social media. The rule is this: As much as possible, I try to have seven touches before asking someone for anything. I feel that it is important to get to know people by reaching out to them as individuals. One reason I feel this way is that I learned that getting to know people, builds trust. A second reason is that I enjoy getting to know people this creates a genuineness that others appreciate and respond to.


I consider Twitter my marketing Fishing hole. It is so easy to make initial connections on Twitter. When I started out, I followed about twenty people per day. For a while I used a automatic posting software, but I recently decided to go to a more personal approach and go on twitter in real time. For every post that I make that is mine, I post several of other people’s posts, retweet at least one from people that I am following, like one, and reply to at least one. I try to do this four times per day, but on those days that I can’t, I post at least two times.

My Main Profile Facebook Page

On my main profile Facebook page, I tend to talk with people more on a personal level. Most of the people that I friend with on FB are people that I know or that I have gotten to know from other places. I never accept just anyone.

My Facebook Pages

I have several different Facebook pages related to various aspects of writing. I have my Author page, my Locket Saga page and other pages. Because I have different interests, I have tried to divide my Facebook friends by their interests.

Related Facebook Groups

I have also joined other Facebook groups. These groups allow me to connect with other like-minded people about very specific topics. I also have joined groups where I can post my books when they are free or for sale. Most of the time I am disappointed from the results of this type of sites.


On LinkedIn, I connect with other professionals who have connections with the writing profession. On LinkedIn, I can show what I have done and what I would like help with. The groups on LinkedIn are great places to ask questions from other professionals, seek advice, and ask for other types of help. Because it is a give and take world, I also have to share my expertise with others.


This is a form of social media that I had not thought much about until I had been to a workshop conducted by Tierney James and she suggested building social media via Pinterest. Because of her recommendation, I have created a board specifically for the Locket Saga. In addition, I am in the process of creating a board for each of my books including the Locket Saga and each of my nonfiction books.


I haven’t done much with this form of social media. With its hangouts and all, it seems as though it would be a good way to promote fiction, probably better than Facebook pages.


There are probably as many different combinations of social media that a person could use. You might also consider using Instagram or Snapchat. Use whatever works for you and whatever you do, learn to do it consistently. The important thing to understand about social media is that if you’re using social media for promotion activities, it is important to start using ones that you use consistently.




July 10, 2017

When a person hires a public relations representative to promote their books, this is the one thing that PR people do. They contact the traditional media representatives via the news services. That’s about it. The rest of it is up to you to make happen. This is one of the reasons that I have decided to do it myself as an Independent Author. What they do is not as mysterious as public relations people want you to think.


I don’t have to do all of the press releases all either. Sometimes I enlist help. Tomorrow I am going to be at the Marionville and Mount Vernon Libraries in Lawrence County, Missouri, but the library put out the press release to the local papers and radio stations. Here’s a link to the


A Local Approach to sending out Press Releases

First thing that they do is write a press release for you. Writing press releases are not that difficult. I have written and sent out several over the past several years and for the most part, the media that used the press release that I wrote word for word.


I have learned from my process is that I am more likely to get into a publication if I can find a local edge. One thing that I did was that I sent a press release of every new book when I put out it out to my local newspaper. In addition, I sent press releases to my hometown in Pennsylvania. The hometown approach was the local angle that I used.


Here is another angle I am using to get my latest book into a local newspaper. I am getting ready to send a book to one of my readers Heather who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. I intend to write a press release about the fact that she won the book during my “choose the cover contest”. I put the name of everyone who responded into a hat and I drew her name. The prize is the book.


How to Find Specific Media Representatives

Using Louisville as my example, in order to reach a local representative, the first thing I do is look up the areas local newspaper on google.

To find a specific media representative in any location is not difficult. The first thing to do is to find the newspapers that are in Louisville. To find any newspaper, radio station, television station or even colleges in any state in the United States, go to


At this site, you’ll find the link to the state of Kentucky. From there, you can then go to the city of choice and in this case I then go to the Courier-Journal.  I can then click on the A with circle around it to indicate that I want to see the address. On the address page I can then either send the newspaper an email or I can investigate further. Because I want to know as much as possible about who is I should specifically send the information, I click on the staff page link. From this page I am able to see exactly who is most likely to handle this type of news.


If I still couldn’t tell exactly who to contact, I would call the main phone number and ask the gatekeeper exactly who that person is and from there I can then contact that individual.


How to Contact a Media Representative

When it comes to actually contacting this individual, I would start by sending this person an email, introducing myself and what I am doing. I would not attach the press release but would include it in the body of the email. By contacting this individual directly with a specific plan, I am more likeqly to get coverage through that media outlet.


When approaching your media representative, think of the journalist as your customer. Recognize that the way to get this person to promote your book is to give the journalist what he or she wants, and what a journalist wants is a story that will please his or her customers—the periodicals or newspaper’s readers. This is why local slants work well with journalists.


Well written press releases, directed toward specific journalists and directing a specific slant to that journalist’s readers, although it won’t guarantee coverage, exponentially increases your chances for media coverage.



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