Archive for the ‘motivational’ Category

As the Sycamore Grows By Jennie Miller Helderman

Title: As the Sycamore Grows

Author: Jennie Miller Helderman

Publisher: The Summers Bridgewater Press

Date: 2010

Every now and then a true story comes along that leaves a searing impression imprinted on your brain. The white heat of the pain and suffering of the people’s lives contained within the pages of a book can so seldom cut you to the quick and take away your breath. As the Sycamore Grows not only takes the wind from you with the brutality that only spousal abuse can evoke…but it also makes you double over and wrench with pain for all the shame, and humiliation that the wife must feel at the hands of her iron-fisted, hardheaded, Bible thumping spouse. The visceral knee-jerk reaction to the all too common human story that emerges from this work makes you grit your teeth and have to press on to get to the end of the story.

Helderman shows the reader the rise of the bully, through the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse of the victim and her children, and follows them as they escape and learn to not only survive but thrive as they claw their way to freedom. Gripping, raw, and filled with the universal story of every victim’s slippery slide down the spiral of spousal abuse’s As the Sycamore Grows chronicles the lives of Ginger, Mike, and three children from Texas to Tennessee. The pattern of abuse so entrenched in their lives that it seems normal and to be expected and creates a sense of complacency so that each can make sense of the neurotic behavior of their abuser, Mike.

Helderman does an excellent job of not just telling us the story of Mike and Ginger but shows us the story letting the truth and the details of their co-dependent relationship unfold before the reader. Her masterful mixture of fact, documents, and the stories of the abuse are recounted in such a way that the reader’s attention is raptly held. Abuse is a tough subject to write about, but As the Sycamore Grows tells more about the toughness of those that survive abuse than of the twisted events that precede it. This book is a solid read and a must have for anyone who works or volunteers with the victims of abuse.


The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman by Britt Santowski

Britt Santowski The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable WomanTitle: The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman

Author: Britt Santowski

Publisher Aviva

Date: 2010

Britt Santowski’s book The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman is a solid “awaken you to your life” kind of book. Santowski’s premise to kick the reader into gear is to focus on three basic strategies: Accountability, Collaboration, and Initiative. Following her basic blueprint for change set forth in the The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman, the reader move toward achievable realistic personal goals and figure out how to truly grow and take the hard steps that result in real lasting change.

Filled with useful exercises for achieving clarity, tips for success, and a call to action after every instructional objective, this is a good book to help you make the break through you have been trying to find that propels you to the next level of your personal and professional success. Santowski’s book is a good book for anyone seeking to dig down within them self for the empowerment they know is necessary to reach the next level of personal growth and development. Get out of your comfort zone, do the real work it takes to change, and use The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman to achieve your individual aspirations.

The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman should be in the hands of every young woman entering college, graduate school or the professional world. This book has so many good nuggets that you will want to savor it with your book club, women’s group, or professional networking organization. Brit Santowski’s book should be required reading for young people. While targeted toward women, this book has universal appeal. The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman is a must read.

World Famous – How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identity by David Tyreman

Title: World Famous – How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identitydavid tyreman world famous brand identity

Author: David Tyreman

Publisher: Amacom

Date: 2009

Struggling with your brand identity? Looking for ways to breathe life into your existing brand? Do you stand out from the crowd? If you are unclear on what is your brand and what it is you deliver you need this book. If you are looking to really hone in on your brand image, your message, and your uniqueness in an overcrowded marketplace, this book is a must have for your desk.  World Famous is a solid guide book to help you get really clear on your goals, your niche, and your brand.

David Tyreman’s book World Famous – How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identity gives the reader real strategies and techniques to grow any business with measurable results. If you want to differentiate your brand this book is a tremendous resource for helping your to define and communicate your brand in a way that is uniquely yours. World Famous is a useful tool for helping you pull everything together in your business in a way that is inspiring and candid. It is not only full of easy to follow text but also easy to implement strategies that really work! David Tyreman’s previous brand building experience in the corporate world paired with his uniquely direct yet entertaining approach to branding and business makes this a solid marketing book that will inspire you in your business.

Red Means Go By Carl Taylor

Title: Red Means Go

Author: Carl Taylor

Publisher: Kaizen Publishing

Date: 2010

Red Means Go! Secrets to Achieving a Happy, Effective and Successful Life with You in the Driver’s Seat is a plucky book about the techniques, skills and concepts you have at your fingertips to not just survive but to thrive. Taylor’s book provides the reader a deeper introspection on where they are at this point in their life and where they really want to be. Where this book stands apart from others is that it provides specific actionable things the reader can do to put themselves firmly in the driver’s seat of their life.

If you see life as an opportunity of continuous improvement then you are already embracing elements of the Kaizen principles.  Red Means Go can help you isolate and light the passion within you that helps you reach successfully for the objectives and goals you have set for yourself over and over and have never really been able to attain. Taylor takes an educator’s approach to learning and changing behaviors and applies the Kaizen principles in a simple to implement method to evoke changes that ultimately help the practitioner to break through the cycle of failure and frustration.

Red Means Go is a good book for those who tire of the philosophical self-help books and yearn for the more succinct cut and dried “how do I get there from here” method. If you are a ‘doer’ who is action oriented and are looking for a book that motivates and inspires you to follow through on your dreams, Carl Taylor’s book is the book for you!

Mother Daze: Tales from the Imperfect Playground By Christine Carr

Title: Mother Daze: Tales from the Imperfect Playground

Author: Christine Carr

Publisher: PublishingWorks, Inc

Date: 2009

Mother Daze: Tales from the Imperfect Playground is former teacher and consummate educator Christine Carr’s first foray into the full length book world.  Her insight into the modern world of motherhood is refreshingly candid. In a world of over scheduled children and caffeine crazed carpool moms, mommydom has gotten edgy and childhood has gotten micromanaged. Carr’s book gives an interesting perspective of suburban childtopia – where all the children are gifted and talented and the parents are going nuts to make that dream a reality.

While Carr’s book is light, self-deprecating and full of wit, wisdom and thoughtful insights into a child centric world. Much of the work is relayed to the reader through descriptive stream of consciousness narrative rather than story format. A bit more story and less description would really make this book come alive for the reader in a few of the lengthier segments of the book. Never preaching always full of relative information for the new mom or the more experienced mothers of multi-age groups, any mom can relate to the desire to let out one’s inner maniac mom (what my children call my ‘Irish Fishwife Voice’) and the inadequacies we feel when confronted with those parents of the ‘perfects’ that seem to be growing and multiplying faster then our own kids can just learn to count to ten!

Carr’s book is a great gift for a new mom, a friend with toddlers, a soccer mom pal, or any mom on your list. Child rearing has never been easy but with Carr’s book we can at least giggle and be grateful for this temporary time of insanity called parenthood.

How to Start Writing a Book

Circling in on the big idea is an important exercise for finding what you will write about over the next 6-12 months if you are serious about writing a book. If you are committing that much time to a project shouldn’t it be an idea you are passionate about and have a good working knowledge of the subject?

In order to write a book you need to have:

·         An understanding of the field/market

o   What exactly are you getting yourself into?

·         Perseverance

o   James Joyce’s “Ulysses” (a modern classic) was rejected 25X by publishers.

o   Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was rejected 122 times.

·         Organization skills

·         Belief in your work

·         A willingness to work hard and learn a few things along the way

·         Passion for your subject

·         Open eyes, ears and mind as you observe people and actions

Good writers seek inspiration for much of their writing. Some good places to find inspiration is through avid reading. Novels, non-fiction, biographies, poetry, the newspaper all help you open yourself to new ideas and information. It also helps you become a critic of writing and leads to a new awareness of ideas for lead-ins to segments of your writing.

Newspapers and magazines reveal what people are concerned about in the present and reveals trends possibly worthy of further exploration in your work. Fiction and non-fiction can be a great source of inspiration. The classics reveal themes of good versus evil and expose the emotional levels of certain eternal themes like love, devotion, and the conflicts of various human experiences.

So now you need to do a little brainstorming and circling to find your Big Idea and your sources of inspiration. It must be a topic that is interesting enough to devote a year of your life to develop into a book. The reader must be able to identify with the idea and it can be neither too broad nor too narrow. 

10 Writing Tips to Help You Achieve Writing Success in 2009

When working on your own writing for marketing and promotion purposes, it is important to read good writing. Go out and find examples of similar items that are done well.

NOTE: Avoid reading Hemingway, Faulkner, and any Russian writers! Yes…it is good writing and great literat ure to study…if you were a PhD candidate in Literature. I love them all but I must admit in today’s fast paced and hurried life, few take the time to read that stream of conciousness style anymore.

2.   Write Like You Speak

Write like you were talking to the person across the table from you. Follow George Orwell’s writing maxim, “Never use a long word when a short one will do.”  If you have a simple message, why make it complicated with technical jargon and fancy words found only in a thesaurus? Avoid passive voice…who actually talks that way?

Active Voice: “Eloise, the dog bit the boy.”

Passive Voice: “Eloise, that boy was bitten by the dog.”

3.   Just Get It Out of Your Head

Don’t worry that your first attempt is not perfect. You have to conceptualize your work and then edit brutally, revise and rewrite. It is called “the writing process” for a reason.

 4.   YOU! YOU! YOU!

Make it personal. Talk directly to your reader. Use “you” and “your” so your reader knows this information is for them personally.

5.   Have Something to Say

Have something to say that benefits others. Write something worth talking about in an interesting and different explanation. Say it in a way that it stands out and makes your reader laugh, smile, or get angry. Say what you have to say so it is memorable.

6.   Use Imagery

Add visual details to your writing so your reader can create mental pictures.

“Bad-Ass coffee has a kick to it!”

7.   Headlines with Sex Appeal

If 10 people glance at your writing only 2 will read past your headline. Ouch! How do you beat those kinds of statistics? Killer headlines are rich in keywords, short, and sassy.

Bad Example Headline:

Attention authors, speakers, entrepreneurs: Get The Shocking Truth On What You Must Do To Create a Sell Sheet by Following This Writing Formula And Stay Lite-Years Ahead Of The Marketing and Crowd!

 Good Example Headline:

5 Steps to Super Successful Sell Sheets

8.   KISS – Keep it Short, Sweetie!

Remember what your 9th grade English teacher told you about how many sentences go in a paragraph? She was wrong and you were right!  Avoid three syllable words. If you write a sentence with more than 15-17 words in it, you have said too much. A paragraph with more than 3-4 sentences also means you have said too much.  Writing today means saying it directly and concisely. We just don’t have time to dig for meaning.

9.   Call to Action

Do you want your reader to buy your product? Visit your website? Read your book? Tell your reader specifically what to do next. Give them precise directions on what they are to do next so they can take action.

10.       Sleep on it!

Once you have written your first draft and revised it once, put it aside for a day or so. Coming back with fresh eyes and a new perspective will expose many flaws, omissions, and glaring errors. You won’t believe what you missed!