Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We're expecting...

We all likely know of someone who has had an “oops” baby sprung on her.  You know the story - she’s raised her kids, they’re teenagers and instead of being in menopause, as she thought, she’s pregnant again.

Now that must be a shock to the system and a huge adjustment, because you are SO out of babies, and have enough challenges with your adolescents, who are likely totally embarrassed by the whole thing.

Wondering where I am going with this?  Don’t worry, I don’t have “exciting” news to share,  since I am in my sixties, that would be a miracle, never mind a shock!

I started on this train of thought, because next month we will be bringing home a cute puppy and it is has been 16 years since I have gone through the puppy stage.  Memories however are flashing back, and I am beginning to think I am nuts to be doing this again.  Sleepless nights, house-training, chewed shoes… bit like having a baby again, which is where I came in.

But I have chosen this.  Our last dog died last year.  He was sixteen and quite the personality.  His name was Henry and there was something regal about him.  But he was a terrible thief.  If you went to his crate to inspect it, right at the back you’d find all sorts – cutlery, books, food containers – empty of course.  

When he was young he would eat anything – he even ate money ($20 bills), socks, my marriage certificate which gave the girls cause to ask if that meant their Dad and I were now divorced.  No, but it sure was a hassle trying to get another copy out of the UK and explaining why.

And as for when we had guests, he felt he was entitled to tuck in too.  He had quite the sweet tooth, and being a big dog, (an English Setter) could reach the dining table and in a flash, inhale a complete dessert.  As for chocolate, it is supposed to be poisonous to dogs, but not for our guy.  So Easter was a real challenge, as he would find the hidden eggs before anyone else, and eat them, complete with foil wrapper.

Yes, as I write this, I am asking myself if I am ready to get into the fray again.  Everyone had been nagging me about getting another dog, but I was holding out.  To be honest, after 28 years of having a dog, I was enjoying my freedom of not having to be back by a certain time to let the dog out.

So what changed my mind?  We live on a farm, and a farm without a dog seems incomplete. I am secretly hoping that the dog will make me change my work habits, and force me to get outdoors, exercise and just play.  Judging by the excitement in our household, he will also bring additional joy.  Yes, I know… there’s hard work too and give me a few months, and we will see whether I’ve changed my tune.  But right now, I see the dog as my personal anti-aging strategy and I am looking forward to the changes he will bring into our lives.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The lost sale

There is clearly a fine art to selling your book, and with the publishing of our Enough book in the horizon, I am watching with keen interest as to how other authors go about it.

Recently I received an email from an author, who had written a previous book which included tests so you can find out more about yourself.

I’d taken the tests online, so this email was personalized in that it mentioned “my style” and advised I could learn more about myself in her latest book.

As a teaser she included a link to a short section of the book which revealed more about my type.  Pretty clever I thought to go the lengths of personalizing the email. I know, it’s automated but it still seemed like a clever move.

Problem was when I clicked the link for page 85, it took me directly to a sales pitch about the book.  Further on in the email is another link, which takes you to the same sales pitch to purchase the book, at a reduced rate by a certain time.

Knowing how easy it can be to have the wrong link hooked up, (guilty as charged) – I contacted her office, only to be informed that “no, that was intentional.”  They wanted to create more curiosity about the book.

Well as far as I am concerned, this sales gimmick backfired.  I found myself irritated that they would falsely promote something that they had no intention of providing.

Maybe I am naïve, but if you say you are providing something, you provide it.

Would I have ordered the book prior to this experience?  Maybe.  Will I buy it now? No.  Why should I trust anything that is said.  To me, their false advertising has tripped them up.    It was too clever by far.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A message from the heart

What’s your life message?

I had to pick just one for my photo shoot with photographer Laurie Goodman who is coming up with a book of inspirational messages and photos of women.  Neat project.

Right away I came up with three!

One was about giving back – which was an integral part of my growing up.  My father, who dropped out of school at 14 to help support his family, was a successful businessman but he never forgot his humble beginnings.  He would always talk about having a sense of balance, meaning you had to level the scales, and if you had more, you had to give and share it with others.

It was his mantra and it probably wasn’t until he died, that I learned more fully just how much he’d helped other people.  He was a dragon, long before the “den” opened. He liked to invest and believe in people.  So my quote “All that you give into the lives of others, comes back into your own” was one option.

Then there’s the whole piece of letting go; of how we can’t control everything that happens to us in life, but we can control how we react.  Here I was thinking about my health challenges over the years, but no, that wasn’t it.

So what did I come up with?  It has a familiar ring to it – be bold, be brave, belong.  After talking it all over with Laurie – that’s the one we picked.  I like it because it refers to the future.  Mine and everyone else’s.

 I will always give back, and I have learned a lot of life lessons from the breast cancer, but being bold, brave and part of something bigger than myself is positive.  It means there are times when we have to put on our “big girl pants” and just do it.  It speaks to me and I hope it speaks to you too.

My wish is that it will encourage other women to follow their dreams.  I even wore my dream-catcher earings for the shoot.  No one else would notice, but I wanted to visually convey my message.

So have courage my friends and step boldly into your future.  Thank you Laurie for the fun experience and for the opportunity to dig deep and think about what is important to me. I encourage you all to do the same.