Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Here's our 2005 Halloween Picture

Enjoy the fun and frolic of halloween!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Most Extreme Writing

One and a half weeks from today, the most extreme writing begins...

And I haven't even chosen my plot and subplots yet.

It's kind of like a writer's block. I've been buried under copywriting contracts for the past 3 years, and now -- the challenge to write fiction, my first love in writing -- and I can't seem to make a commitment down any specific path.

On a high note, I do have my "tools" to help me see it through:

- 2 extra cases of Goji juice
- 1 case of KillerBuzz
- 2 large vials of therapeutic grade Peppermint essential oil
- Mozart CDs

Also, I've worked hard enough (and far enough ahead) to receive a very NICE check next month so income for the month will be excellent, even while I'm "off writing" for myself for a change.

Plus, I'm in the final stages of setting up the "ultimate recruiting system secret" -- this blows the doors off any other system out there -- PERIOD. And my husband will be looking after it while I dive into the sci-fi arena and begin penning my first sci-fi book.

50,000 words in 30 days.

Is it possible?


Get ready folks. The Most Extreme Writing begins on November 1, 2005...

My posts here will be very short for the entire month of November. Hope you will understand.

Have a SUPER day and thanks for dropping in!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

an idiot and bird flu - my VENT

To start this VENT, I'd like to first state right up front, this is what I'm taking to boost my immune system this flu season.

And yes, if you decide to use it too, I will be earning a small commission if you buy it through my link -- I'm telling you this right up front -- not because I'm "profiteering" on a negative message like the writer of the email below would like people to believe when anyone recommends anything that may help -- but just so that if you have a problem with that, then you don't have to get it through my link -- you don't even have to use it.

With that said, however, I do recommend you do something ...rather than nothing at all.

Now, on to the VENT part of this post.

I just received an email from someone pimping a self-improvement course and I gotta tell ya, it really made me angry...

Not because of him wanting to get people to sign up in his downline at the f.ree course he's pushing, but because of the potentially harmful advice he brings to his readers.

I used to have a somewhat guarded respect for this guy. But he'll have to work super hard to regain that...

Here's a copy of the email I sent back to him on the subject of bird flu followed by a copy of his original email to me.

---------------- copy of my email response -------------

Dear D.M.,

A few corrections...

Contrary to what your email implies, governments
are right now preparing for a possible Bird Flu

The fact is, the USA govt. has already purchased
2 million doses of a new vaccine from France,
plus have more on order and have recently approved
USA production of a vaccine that has proven to
be effective.

However, this will not be enough if the virus
mutates further (which some experts believe it
already has, however, to what extent is yet unknown).

Two main ways it can mutate to such a degree to cause
worldwide pandemic:

1. by mixing with another flu bug within a human host

2. by mixing with another flu bug within pigs or similar mammals (seriously, pigs - long story why this would be serious to humans)

Right now, the main concern is for people who
come into contact with the virus through poultry and/or
migratory bird "droppings" and/or saliva, etc.

H5N1 quickly destroys a patient's lungs. Most flu
has a fatality rate of less than five percent, but
H5N1 has so far killed half the people who
contracted it in Southeast Asia.

If you're actually serious about taking positive
pro-active steps for yourself, and people in
your "neighbourhood" here is some advice:

a) boost your immune system

b) avoid contact with infected birds/poultry
and their excretions (not easy)

c) know the "symptoms" and see your doctor
ASAP if you feel you are experiencing
any of them (see link to blog)

For more info, see a recent article I wrote
on the subject at:

Perhaps the World Health Organization doesn't
"appear" to be too concerned about a potential
pandemic at this point, however governments in
several countries are, and YES they are taking
as many steps as they can at this point to do
something about it BEFORE it becomes a crisis,
contrary to what you have written in your email.

In your email, you write:

A. Be the example
B. Prepare
C. Have a Plan

If you are serious about helping others and want
to be pro-active about the serious nature of H5N1,
I humbly suggest you properly arm your readers with
facts and actual steps they can take -- rather than
stir up a host of negative emotions. Hopefully
the information I've provided above can help you
take a more positive pro-active approach on the
subject of avain flu.

You've planted some very negative messages in the
minds of your readers through your email.

I'm all in favor of self-development and
remaining positive, pro-active and calm in
a crisis, but the fact remains that the
less people who contract any flu this
season (and in flu seasons to come) the
more pro-active all of us will be in
reducing and/or eliminating the potential for
threat that HN51 presents. In this particular case
it takes ALL of us to change the world, not
just our respective governments.

You write:

"See, I don't know the answer to that
question, and I don't know how to take
the right precautions, but I'm going to
find out and I'm going to make sure my
neighborhood knows."

Well, now you have some additional information
to do something truly pro-active. I'm curious to
see what you will do with it.

You also write...

"Just be careful as I'm sure people will start
profiteering on this any day now. Be careful about
'magic' cures and overpriced emergency goods..."

I would like to believe people are not as
easily "duped" as you imply, and those who
do care about health and wellness know our
best defence is a strong immune system.

On the other hand, I hope your message doesn't
put people in harms way... because the message
to stay healthy through flu seasons will be very
strong and important advice this year and in the
years to come.

I would hope you haven't inadvertently made it
sound like it would be a "profiteering" slogan,
instead of the important measure it is to hopefully
prevent further mutation of the H5N1 virus.

I hope you will correct your "message" and
properly advise people on what they can
do, rather than harm them any further with
poor advice on a very serious subject.

Sincere Regards,
Karen M.
Ph: 219-956-3590
3090 E 850 N
Wheatfield IN 46392

---------------- copy of my his email -------------

From: "D.M."
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 15:42:53 UTTo: karen@myemailaddress
Subject: Bird Flu

Do you know what a "catharsis" is?
I just had one, and maybe you will too, by the end of this email.
Read on ....

You might have heard some of the media buzz about bird flu going around?

When I first heard it, I have to admit itjust droned past me - lost in the din of the news we get every day about bombings,beheadings, and Bush-bashing.

But then something caught my eye ...

"Bird Flu Pandemic"

That stopped me dead in my tracks.
Bird flu pandemic?

A pandemic is a "widespread epidemic ofdisease covering a wide geographic area."
That can't be good.

So, I dug in a bit more and what I found was really shocking.
Now listen, I don't want to be a downer, but these are some facts here you really need to know. And I daresay,what I say at the end here is far more important than even a pandemic.

Read on ...

Well, here's what I found.
Bird flu is not new, but in 1997 a new strain was found that has killed tens of millions of birds.
That strain is called HN51.

Since then around 100 or so humans have contracted the virus and 50% of them have died.
Now, brace yourself for this. Don't panic. Don't freak out. Just read on and understand.
The World Health Organization is right nowpreparing for a pandemic of HN51.

They estimate that up to 150,000,000 people could die from the pandemic before it's over.
That's 150 *million* people.

Around 2,000 people died in 9/11.Around 10,000 have died from Hurricane Katrina.
Around 100,000 died during the great Tsunami.
Around 60,000,000 died in all of World War II.
I cannot even fathom the impact of 150,000,000 deaths, can you?

Now, here's what's shocking.
It is now predicted that:

A. The pandemic could start as soon as the next few months.
B. We simply do not have enough vaccine to protect everyone and even if we started right now, we could not manufacture enough in time.

Let that sink in for a minute.
We may very well, right now, be on the cusp of the greatest human tragedy in history and there isn't much we can do to prevent it.

I let this depress me for about 1/2 a day and then it happened ...
It was like a lightning bolt struck me from the sky.
That moment of "catharsis" hit and I have not been the same since.
If you don't know, a catharsis is a moment of emotional purging.
All of a sudden you've let go of some past baggage and suddenly you see the world with awe-inspiring clarity.

This catharsis started out as anger.
To my surprise, though, I was no longer angry about the pandemic.
What really burned me was that I was being sold *despair*.

If we believe what the news would have us believe today, we are supposed to sit back idly and accept that:

a. The greatest tragedy of all mankind is about to strike.
... and ...
b. Our governments have been asleep at the wheel in preparing for it, so we the people need to sit back and suck it up.

Think about this ...
The underlying "presupposition" here is that we, as private citizens of our various countries, can do nothing to change the world without the permission of our governments and institutions.
Now look, I'm not some kind of anti-government zealot.

I'm a pretty normal guy and a law abiding citizen.

And I'm not about to get up on some moral high horse here and try to rally the people around some effort to save the world from the pandemic. I don't have any idea how to do that, and I think a lot of times when people try to get people rallied behind charity efforts its more about their egos than it is about a genuine desire to help.

At that same time, I recognize that it is everyday people like you and me, when struck with moments of passion and vision, who have made the biggest impact on the world.
So, what am I proposing?

Well, I'm going to tell you what I'm going todo. I'm not going to jump on a soap box and tell you that my way is right for you.

If you want to join me in my little plan, that's great. If not, make your own plan and follow it. The important thing is that you act.

1. I'm going to get my own life in order starting today.

Don't get me wrong - I would be lying if I said I wasn't an extremely diligent and effective worker. I love what I do, and I put my passion in it every day. I'm sure you can tell just by looking at my actions.

But I do have my flaws, as we all do.

Maybe you can relate to mine: I want to do everything myself.

I put my all into everything, and I just don't have the patience to train someone to duplicate my efforts.

This is really foolish, of course. If I'd just learn to let go of my "ownership" of my projects I could probably get 4 to 5 times more done.

You may already know that Monday is my birthday.
In my flash of catharsis I realized that my*birth*day was a great metaphor...
If the media is going to sell me on despair and death, I'm going to REJECT that and celebrate my birth.

From this day forward, October 17th is going to be DDay!

For this first DDay I'm resolving tomyself to kick my life into the next higher gear.

I've been watching jealously as everyone istaking this new x-course and having their lives changed 15 minutes at a time.

So, starting Monday I'm going to begin Day 1 of the course and stick with it until the end.

It's fr.e and if you want to celebrate DDay with me this Monday, you can start it on the same day and we'll go through it together:

[his personal link to the x-course he's pushing]

I'll be setting up a DDay blog I'll tell you about soon and you can come in and watch my progress.

And I hope you join me. They say that if you want to change, change with a group. Join me and hundreds of others on DDay and let the power of the group get your life in order, too.
Now, I'm sure some misguided and bitter people will be angry that I talk about a "personal development" course in the same email as bird flu, but I don't care. My only aim is to help you and if that ruffles a few "feathers" then so be it.

2. If you want to change the world, start with your neighborhood.

Why is this number 2 on my list?
Am I looking out for #1 first and then everyone else?
Well, as the creator of X-Course said, if your plane is going down, you put your own oxygen mask on first.

Once I start sorting myself out with my 15minute daily use of X-Course, I'm going to see what I can do to protect my neighborhood.


A. Be the example
Remember how Rudy Giuliani inspired theworld by remaining calm and upbeat in the wake of 9/11?
You, too, should aspire to be that voice in your community.
If people are panicking - you should be theone who shows everyone its OK to keep calm.
If people give in to despair - you should bethe one who shows everyone how to stay positive in the face of adversity.

B. Prepare
Take common sense precautions.
Educate people about how to protect themselves.

C. Have a Plan
What would you do if someone contracted the virus in your area?

See, I don't know the answer to that question, and I don't know how to take the right precautions, but I'm going to find out and I'm going to make sure my neighborhood knows.

Just be careful as I'm sure people will start profiteering on this any day now.

Be careful about "magic" cures and overpriced emergency goods...
Anyway, it all starts with DDay this Monday. Keep your eyes out for my new DDay blog.

I hope you'll join me in celebrating DDay and make it your day to get your own house in order, too.

signed --- D

PS: DDay starts Monday. This fr.e course will ... blah-blah-blah

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cool Science Site - check it out

I was doing research for one of my new client's on a presentation site when I tripped across this cool movie. I have a feeling I can work this into my nanowrimo book coming next month... check it out here. (opens in new window)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Plot Thickens

I've been playing with several different ideas for the NaNoWriMo month coming soon ...searching for a plot that fits the SciFi mode, and something that eventually can be edited to produce an RPG for one of the gaming companies out there.

If the main plot is there,
sub-plots should be easier,
and painting in the charactors should follow easier, too.

Keeping the overall sketch in mind, I'm thinking:

1. Main plot - man vs. man finding the "secret" to the universe
2. Subplots - man vs. beast & man vs. nature & man vs. himself

I'm also thinking I should write in first-person singular.

Stay tuned as the plot thickens...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

2005 NaNoWriMo Participant Here

I've really done it now...

I just registered -- officially -- for the 2005 NaNoWriMo November challenge.

Imagine -- a 50,000 word novel (well, actually that would be a novella, but still...) and all written in just 30 days.

No it won't be my best work.

Yes it will be fiction -- not copywriting.

No I'm not expecting great things to come from it, other than the chance to unwind and let my imagination fly and seriously look at accomplishing the first in a series of novels I plan to write in the realm of scifi.

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the Pumpkin Patch

Over 3 dozen pumpkins... that's the harvest for us this year.

We had planned on having about 4 or 5 good ones. We never anticipated such a bountiful harvest. So far, we've given 5 fair sized pumpkins away to my husband's Aunt & Uncle, plus we have 1 giant and 3 to 5 smaller pumpkins "earmarked" for giving to the neighbor's girls tomorrow so they can do some cool Jack O' Lanterns...

And the rest... ??

Well, we'll have two to three of our own large Jack O' Lanterns,...

...and we'll probably have enough pumpkin puree to bake pumpkin pies for the next 2 years.

Did you know pumpkins are one of the largest sources of carotenoids? The goji berry -- more specifically, the lycium barbarum line of goji berries, are believed to contain the MOST carotenoids of all compared with any other food on our planet.

And yet, the pumkin certainly comes loaded with carotenoids, too. Cheap, generally easy to grow, easy to store ...and for most people, delicious. If you can't get goji juice, then at least enjoy pumpkin season - to the MAX!

I'll be back with pictures later this week.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Imagine My Stunned Surprise...

I found this by accident while surfing through search engines - 90 Great Comments List Guidelines

When it comes to blogging, I have so much to learn ...I'm humbled by the knowledge of so many experienced in this medium. So, I tend to surf, and every now and then I leave a comment behind when a blog hits me.

Usually, my comments are short and sweet... until recently when, after reading one blogger's post regarding responsibility, I just felt like wrapping my arms around America and giving it a giant hug and a kind, gentle, loving pat on the back.

Imagine my surprise when my comment got noticed, and unbeknown to me until tonight while doing random searches, it appeared on the GlitteringMuse as an intro to their "90 Great Comments List Guidelines" ...what a wonderful way for them to share and contribute to the blogging world.

Thank you, GlitteringMuse have given me a "virtual hug" tonight.

In some small way, I hope my post here helps raise awareness for the wonderful good you are doing through your blog.

And to all readers who happen to pop in, check out the "90 Great Comments List" thread and lend your support to something uplifting, encouraging and inspiring.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Where's the Glicken?

Part 1 - Section 6 - by Michael Masterson taught me something valuable that I've been missing in my copywriting career up to this point -- "Where's The Glicken?" -- a short little question that is going to change my mindset on all future projects.

In fact, it shines a very bright revealing light on an existing client or two who have, up until this point, been taking advantage of me -- BIG TIME.

But that's another story...

Right now, I'm pulling my hair out to complete a HUGE project that should never have been so huge ... it just grew into a huge battle because it's like pulling teeth to get all the data I should have been given to write the job -- data I can't get by doing a search online or offline because it's company-specific details (such as - how much does your dang widget cost? - kinda need that to do an order form, d'uh).

Even worse, their "story" keeps changing...

First, they want to sound this way. The next week, they decided they want to be portrayed that way. The following week, they decided they don't want anyone to know about "this-and-that" ... but they now want potential customers to see them as "the other thing" instead.

As of Oct. 1, 2005 (that's today) my price went up to $150/hr. with a minimum of $2,500 per job... or I just don't accept/consider the job. Prior to today, my "street" rate this year was $85 per hour with no minimum. I retain copyrights to my work UNLESS a mutually-agreed royalty fee becomes part of the job... this hasn't changed.

Also, once every 3 months I spend two to three days working for a non-profit organization for which I don't charge a cent ...that means 4 times/year a non-profit organization has been getting anywhere from $1,600 to $2,400 in my writing services FREE -- total annual charity donation based on my old rate = $8,000 to $9,000.

Based on my new rate --> Charity = $4,500 (approx.) times 4 = $18,000 (approx.)

When you consider most journalists start out earning only $12,000 to $18,000 a year -- and they work like slaves. Yet, as a copywriter, based on my rates, I donate that much to charity each year in my time.

Think about it...

I work when I want.

I choose which clients/projects I will do.

I work full time from home and commute from my bedroom upstairs to my office on the main floor of our house.

In fact, after 2-1/2 years of working really hard, my royalty payments are now such that I don't even have to work if I didn't want to, and I would still be bringing in 5 times the amount (or more) than any starting journalist. Plus, our own home business is now creeping up there in income to a point where it will soon equal or PASS my writing royalties.

Dont' get me wrong -- we earned it. In fact, that first year we were starving broke as I took on the small jobs for next to no pay, praying for strong residuals to cover the loss in both time and suffering.

Delayed gratification.

Now I'm taking a course that is probably something I should have paid for and completed 2 years ago, but I didn't have time back then ...I was too busy, and too broke, taking any crumbs that fell, so I could feed my family and keep the bill collectors at bay.

We went without many comforts, and even some necessities (like gas to heat our home and power our water heater and power our stove -- 6 months without running hot water -- imagine!)...

Yes, delayed gratification...

Today, I only work with 6- and 7- and 8- even one 9-figure -- income earners.

They're my clients. And believe me, I give them some GOOD STUFF!

And yet, there are some who are in the 9-figure+ range out there trying to find me ...they don't know who I am, but they've seen my work, and they WANT it bad for their own company... they want me bad.

How do I know this?

Because by some strange quirk of fate, I actually found out by "word of mouth" from somebody who told me there was somebody who is looking for the person who wrote "that piece" and lo' and behold it was mine ...and they wondered if I knew who wrote it.

And this is the 7th time this has happened for me in the past 5 months.

So, I'm guessing I've "arrived" and it's time to sit back before taking on any new clients, and before doing any further work for my existing clients, and ask "Where's The Glicken?"