Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Chiron Radio Show, featuring Jeff Beck, Freddie King, KT Turnstall, T-Bone Walker and more!

We're back with a new show on Chiron Radio! There are some freaking good videos to check out this week. Jeff Beck, Imelda May, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, KT Turnstall, Oh Land, Imelda May, and a couple just for fun. Here's a hint for the first one, I want to dance with Sam!

Stop by for a rocking good time!

Tunefully yours,

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chiron Radio—Show 2: Featuring Joan Jett

Stop by Chiron Radio for the latest Rock and Roll Show. This week's featured performer is Joan Jett! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Seven Videos on Chiron Radio 1

If you love good music, stop by Pop Culture Divas today to check out the opening blog celebrating the premiere of Chiron Radio!

I've lined up some freaking good tunes from across the spectrum. Leave requests for future shows in the comments! Hope to see you there.

Tunefully yours,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Name The Witch Contest!!

The latest from author, Misty Evans, is out! WICKED SOULS is the delicious third installment in her infamous Witches Anonymous series. Now, she's sharing the magic with her fans, letting one reader name a major character in her next book!

How cool is that?

All the details can be found in her latest Newsletter. Info about both of her award-winning series is available there too.

PS.. If you love kick-ass super-spies, start with Operation Sheba)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top Five Reasons I'm Going to Miss Watching Medium

One of my favorite shows is wrapping up it's final season. Check out my Top Five Reasons For Missing Medium at Pop Culture Divas and tell me what YOU think!

See You There!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Agent/Editor Exposed--All Writers Should Beware

It's been awhile since I've posted here but a fellow author sent me a link that jolted me more than a double espresso. Now before I share that link, let's sneak a peek at The Dream.

How many aspiring authors yearn for The Perfect Agent? We dream of that shining advocate who will slay the slush-pile dragons and place our precious manuscript into the hands of the wizardly-editor who will confer upon us the supreme status of Published Author.

Yet I note that one writer friend (who shall remain nameless) struggled with a lackluster agent who did little to encourage and even less to sell (said writer actually landed the only contracts herself). When this writer sucked in a deep breath and courageously fired the agent, she was sought out by another agent—A TOP AGENT from a gloriously TOP AGENCY—a thrilling event which put stars in her eyes. "We''ll shop your series to top houses! You'll be a best-selling author in no time!!"

Wowee!! Yet here it is months and months later and guess what? The only books sold are, again, the ones the author managed to sell without any help from The Top Agent. Both agents are scoring royalties for books they did not sell. Hmmm… Really gives one pause to ponder.

Now, here's the link that prompted today's article:

In all fairness, there's no way for me to prove or disprove the accusations levied against the agent and editor in question. I have no desire to impugn anyone's reputation. Whatever the situation, we can only hope that in time the players in this drama will resolve this fairly. However one thing is clear, writers need to keep eyes wide open at all times.

Searching for publication is a perilous journey. There are many unscrupulous people lurking in the shadows, eager to assure you of success while hiding their intentions behind a smile. There are legitimate, professional agents and editors who provide an authentic service. But be warned and be careful. Always, always be wary of any who offer Your Dream Come True for a price. As with the anonymous author's story above, even legitimate agents don't always have the key to the door you hope to unlock.

Side note: I sent a preview of this to another writer friend who responded: It boils my britches to see this happen. It also makes me want to smack said writer up the side of the head and say, "Seriously, $10,000?!!? WTF were you thinking! That's my kids college tuition! A trip around the world! Hell, you could have self-pubbed the damned book for that much and a lot sooner!" You might also mention that in your post...writer beware and be smart. Hello, dude. Common sense, anyone?

Painful but true. This isn't the first such story I've heard. Anonymous literary agent, Miss Snark, famously outed one scam artist quite publicly back in 2006 in the post: Miss Snark is Damn Mad.

What do you think? All comments welcome.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Learning How To Swim Over the Internet

“It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.” -Will Shetterly

Being a writer is all about taking risks. Every book about the craft will tell you and every experienced author will Agree—you have to push beyond your limits. While this is sound advice, it can also be rather daunting. We may wonder, “Does this mean I should write historical when I’m drawn to science-fiction? Must I write hot when I prefer sweet?”

The answer is not quite as simplistic. Yes, we should challenge ourselves by stepping outside our comfort zone if for no other reason than to explore the other aspects of our writing selves. No, we don’t need to twist up our creative self into a pretzel shape based on the current market or the advice of others.

In reality, every page we type is a risk. Every idea we explore is a challenge. Who hasn’t experienced a tremor of unease which we translate quickly into Writer’s Block? Often the truth is simply that we’re nudging up against our unspoken fear. The Fear That Dare Not Be Named is this: What if my writing sucks?

“You never learn how to write a novel. You just learn how to write the novel that you're writing.” --Gene Wolfe

The more we write, the more we learn how to write. As we write our first novel we began the process of growth. Eventually we master POV and catchy hooks and dramatic cliff-hangers, a fabulous progression of events which often leads to the unfortunate notion that the fear will disappear completely. The good news is for some writers that will be the case. However, the percentage is small. Most of us struggle and whine and sigh and finally beat that damn fear into submission.

How? By writing. By writing a page even when our inspiration dwindles. By pushing to finish a chapter even if we’re certain our prose is stale. By finishing our first draft despite our inner critic who whispers that a REAL writer’s work is perfect from the get-go!

Let’s collectively roll our eyes and snort.

“You sit down and you do it, and you do it, and you do it, until you have learned to do it.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Writers learn by writing. The mental acuity required to pen a story and polish it until it gleams is not something you learn by reading craft books. Some of the insights contained in craft books or in workshops conducted by bestselling authors will open your eyes. They may give you a new perspective which will enhance your story a thousand-fold. Those books and classes can educate you to the point where you’ll be capable of opening your own school.

But they can’t teach you how to write. Only you can accomplish that. All writers are self-taught.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” --Alice Walker

I’m a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory on CBS. In one episode, Sheldon (a nerdy genius with off-the-charts IQ) decides he wants to befriend a fellow scientist in order to gain access to the Open Science Grid Computer. His roommate Leonard tries to explain that he can’t approach making new friends the same way he learned how to swim… over the internet. Hilarious! The idea of someone learning how to swim without jumping into water is insane!

Uh-oh. This strikes a chord. How many of us have attempted the same thing?

The way we learn to write is by writing. By occasionally composing delightful, engaging, brilliant passages along with a whole lot of crap. *heh-heh*

“If you don't allow yourself the possibility of writing something very, very bad, it would be hard to write something very good.” --Steven Galloway

So, here’s the low-down. Boot up the computer or grab your pad of paper. Write. Get your story down. If you’re bogged down because you’ve written yourself in a corner, pull up a new document and vent. Spew out any and all ideas until one grabs you and doesn’t let go. Your intellect may encourage you to be cautious. Kick that caution to the curb. Write.

"If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be too cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down." --Annie Dillard

If you love your idea, let go of the absurd notion of a perfect first draft. Or second. Or third. You have to marry your plot and see it through… for better or for worse. Cozy up close because you’ll be sleeping with and dreaming of your tale until the breath-taking moment of completion. Stick to it. Write. Rewrite. Make the story your own.

“Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it...” --Michael Crichton

Here’s the best news of all. As you progress to your second, third, fourth, fifth book, a marvelous insight will blaze.

You’re getting better all the time.

Each book will reflect your progress. Here’s a secret that authors can only discover after they’ve written a few books. You learn more after three books than you do after three rewrites. Which is why one piece of advice pops up more than most. Write Your Next Book. If your book isn’t being snatched up, set it aside and write your next one. And your next one.

65,000 words into my latest WIP, I tackled the task of editing my last book which I would have sworn was spot-free. I applied myself to the diligent task of giving it a read-through and doing any necessary clean-up. Here’s what I found.

TONS of mistakes. The book I’d pored over and pronounced perfect after endless revisions now revealed glaring holes and leaky prose. The simple truth is, I learned so much by writing my next book, my perspective had changed. The term, “Looking at it with new eyes” took on greater meaning. Trust me, this is not opinion, this is fact. You Will Grow As A Writer.

“You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday.” --Jonathan Swift

It’s all good. If you feel frustrated, relax, you’re a writer. If you feel fear, relax, you’re a writer. If you worry that your book isn’t perfect, Relax, You’re A Writer. You’re not alone. You will get through the endless drafts. You will finish one book and begin another. You will find an audience. You will succeed. Just keep writing.

“I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I'm one of the world's great rewriters.” --James A. Michener

Jump on in… The water’s fine.

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday Night Music Part One

This month's Pop Culture Divas post features a typical Saturday Night menu of music videos. Some old, some new, these songs lift my spirits and encourage me to dance and sing. How about you?

Jump to Saturday Night Music Part One and tell me what music video I should watch next! Hope to see you there!

--Chiron O'Keefe

Thursday, July 29, 2010

That's So Funny (I Forgot To Laugh)!

I love writing for Pop Culture Divas. There's so much to explore--music, books, movies, television, and now, of course The Web!!

This month I take on The Funny and share some of the hilarious (though often rude and *a-hem* somewhat profane) humor available on the web. Even though user-generated content can be a hoot (I threw in at least one such video--the seagull stealing cat food), there's quality entertainment created by well-known actors as well.

Lisa Kudrow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tim Roth, Ralph Macchio, Sarah Silverman, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Will Ferrell, Ben Affleck & Jimmy Kimmel, to name a few. Okay, to name them all. *grin*

Hope you enjoy That's So Funny (I Forgot To Laugh)! Be sure and leave a comment and tell me what tickles YOUR funnybone!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rocking the Sixties!

For some cool music videos, check out Rocking the Sixties at Pop Culture Divas! Tell me which videos are your favorites. ;-D Have any fave-raves you want to share? Hop on over!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tuning Into Opportunities

"Life is full of obstacle illusions." --Grant Frazier

This week I took my own advice. I set goals, planned which days to accomplish each goal and then didn't give myself a choice, I Just Did It. After all, if writing was my job, choice wouldn't factor in at all, would it?

It was an intriguing experiment which netted great results. In one week's time, I finished the revisions based on my crit partner's notes, tightened ten more chapters, typed up notes for a sequel, researched agents, and today I'm posting this week's motivational essay.

Am I tired? You bet! However, I'm also encouraged. Many times my weary eyes would read of yet another successful author whose busy schedule puts my own to shame. What's the most telling characteristic of a successful author? Persistence. Pushing past the obstacles no matter how tempting it can be to take a breather in the shadows.

Looking for appropriate quotes, I came across one that truly humbled me, inspired me, and fueled my desire to persist.

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." ~Life's Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Whenever I'm tempted to back out of my self-imposed commitments, based on what I feel are overwhelming odds, I'm reminded of Helen Keller, one of my earliest heroes. This woman surmounted obstacles light-years beyond my own petty grumblings. She believed too that everyone can achieve their dreams. Obstacles may be inevitable but giving up is an option I refuse to take.

"Never Give Up, Never Surrender!" Commander Peter Taggart from Galaxy Quest.

In the movie Galaxy Quest, Jason and crew find themselves battling Space-Uglies in a surreal imitation of their long-cancelled television show. Going from being a pretend hero to an actual battle is quite an adjustment. As long as it's all make-believe, we can back out of the room and pretend none of it matters.

Writers face a similar dilemma. Here I sit locked away in my office. There's no boss breathing down my neck and no paycheck waiting at the end of my week. The same person responsible for accomplishing my goals is the exact same person most likely to renege. In the beginning, writing is a lovely dream, a fantasy where the space-aliens disintegrate neatly on command and every plot obstacle is tied up within the 47 minutes allotted to the script.

Once we plant ourselves in front of the monitor, we're shoved into the Real World and like Jason Nesmith, discover how exhilarating the action can be AND how tempting it is to walk away.

Don't walk away.

There's success at the end of the road as long as you keep your feet (and fingers) moving steadily forward.

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."Ella Fitzgerald

Those insecurities and doubts hit every writer. Every single writer. There's no magic transformation that distinguishes those who are successful. If you've written a hundred books, there's going to still be a tiny insecurity that whispers, "Are you sure you have one more in you?" Be kind to yourself in those private moments when you confess your doubts. Trust me, we all go through this.

"I have a love-hate relationship with the writing life. I wouldn't wish to have any other kind of life…and on the other hand, I wish it were easier. And it never is. The reward comes sentence by sentence. The reward comes in the unexpected inspiration. The reward comes from creating a character who lives and breathes and is perfectly real. But such effort it takes to attain the reward! I would never have believed it would take such effort."Elizabeth George, Write Away, Journal of a Novel, December 15, 1997

Here's the thing. If you're a firefighter or a fictional commander on Galaxy Quest, you don't have a choice. Crisis forces you to act. Rarely is there time to second-guess your decision.

Writers need more stamina, more persistence, and definitely more motivation to keep their energy up and their determination firmly in place. You Are A Hero whenever you push past an obstacle, whether it be inner (trepidation or fear) or outer (squeezing in fifteen minutes between job and/or family time). Being a writer is fun but it's also damn hard work. Honor yourself every day that you fulfill your self-imposed commitment.

I Am A Writer! Woo-hoo!

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~Beverly Sills

"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do." ~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, 1996

Now, here's where my nagging inner voice says, "Okay, fine. We need to persist. We need to stick to our goals, but how do I push myself past the funk that sometimes grips me hard?"

Good point, dastardly inner voice!

There's good reason books on positive thinking and sales seminars advocate affirmations as a means of self-motivation. Here's an intriguing tidbit. Did you know studies have linked memory to emotion? The more intense the emotion, the more likely you are to remember the moment. Why? The brain is responsible for, and capable of, noting every single second of the day, yet our conscious recollection is selective. A good way to understand this is to think of your phone. You can store a select amount of numbers, however there are only a few you can put on speed dial. Those 'intense' thoughts are on speed dial.

How does this serve us as writers, or even in our daily life?

Any thought you infuse with intense emotion is on your own inner speed dial. Think of those select numbers as the probable reality you want to connect with.

Positive thinking is not simply looking on the bright side (though optimism is always good!). Nor is it simply chanting affirmations automatically.
This is a process of self-hypnosis which plants in your brain a belief that shapes your reality. It may sound silly, to stand in front of the mirror and shout, "I Am A Success!" but it works. When you whip up enough enthusiasm, you actually believe it's true. When you believe it's true, you think like a success, you act like a success and you tune into opportunities based on your belief.

"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire." ~Arnold H. Glasow

Helen Keller could never have accomplished so much without fervently believing she could. The astonishing accomplishments we stand in awe of all depended on a person believing in success, and persisting beyond all obstacles, even self-doubt. Without persistence, Disneyland would not exist. The Sistine Chapel ceiling would be blank. And this essay would not be written. *smile*

This week, let's have a dual goal. First and foremost, let's 'set ourselves on fire' by staring in the mirror at least once a day and saying those magic words. "I Am A Success. I Persist Because I Am A Success and That's What Successful People Do."

Repeat until you feel the tingle. You'll know it when it happens.

Our simultaneous goal? Persist! Push for one more sentence, one more page, one more scene. Treat writing like a job that you love. If doubt intrudes or the urge to procrastinate hits, head back to the mirror.

Remember, You Are A Success. Your Actions Make You A Success.

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. --Octavia Butler

"It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up." ~ Vince Lombardi

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist. --Isaac Asimov

The Write Soul sprang out of my desire to encourage writers, including myself, to keep the creative flame burning bright! Initially, writing for myself, I discovered others also benefited and felt inspired. I've enjoyed being there for my readers, sharing struggles and striving to keep spirits engaged along the way.

However, the time has come for me to refocus my energy. This will be the last weekly essay posted for awhile. I'll slip in with news and to link to other posts when appropriate. Thanks so much for the lovely comments these past two and a half years! Wishing one and all success, health and happiness!

Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Do You Answer To?

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

When I first came upon this quote years ago, the revelation was a sunbeam piercing through a cloud-covered sky. Having spent my youth in hot pursuit of outside validation, the idea that I was actually "consenting" to feel inferior astonished me. And liberated me. Why would I consent to such a belief? Why should I? Hah!

We Can Be Anything We Want To Be.

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown

Writers struggle often with a need for self-validation for many reasons. An artist can step back and view a painting with one glance. However, each book must be read one page at a time. A dancer can feel her limbs sway, a singer can hear her voice, but again, that book must be read One Page At A Time. So we sweat and worry, seeking validation and reassurance, truly believing (once again) that outer validation will make the worry go away.

"Am I kidding myself about being a 'creative artist'? Can I possibly be a creative artist when I approach this effort in so methodical and left-brained a fashion?" ~~ Journal of a Novel, June 25, 1997 from Write Away by Elizabeth George

Truth is, all artists feel the same pressure, the same worries, and the insecurity that resurfaces time and time again. If you worry before you are published, chances are good you will sweat it out even when approaching your twenty-fifth novel. The words may change… Do I still have it? What if this one sucks? What will the critics say? Yet the need for reassurance remains the same.

"We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies." ~Roderick Thorp,

We must believe in ourselves. While it's true (and obvious) that to become a successful writer one must put in the effort and produce pages regularly, success is not limited to financial or worldly recognition. The greatest outer success means nothing without self-appreciation or a firm recognition of Your Undeniable Worth. Successful people without self-appreciation are usually a mess (many examples spring to mind), as the gossipmongers love to remind us. Take a moment and think of people you've known, whether close up or from afar, who are self-confident, who love themselves and believe in themselves. Could there be a better definition of success?

"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." ~W.C. Fields

Successful writers must embrace the relationship we have to the writing process. For better or for worse, right? Let's take a moment now and think of our greatest relationship of all.

The glorious and amazing relationship we have with our own lovely, stubborn, crazy-ass selves.

It's time to be our own best friends. Here's an exercise that is guaranteed to surprise you. Next time you look in the mirror, don’t just examine your make-up or check your hair. Don't frown and look away. Gaze deep into your own eyes and say those magical words: I Love You. Say it and mean it. The feelings this exercise will stir up may astonish you. And one thing is certain, you'll realize this is something You haven't heard from You often enough.

"Don't live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable."
~Wendy Wasserstein

We are freaking amazing. We plot, we write, we edit, we revise, we stick to our goals and we prove that We Can Do It repeatedly. Even when time slips past and we don't meet expectations one week, the next week we're back at it. Pounding the keys. Searching for just the right word. Digging deep into our psyche to create a dynamic plot twist.

Isn't writing an amazing process? How delightful it is to be a writer! Yes, it's a challenge but what a joy…

We climb mountains, soar through sunny skies, trap fiendish villains, thrill to a clandestine lover's kiss, all within the lovely pages of our very own novels. Ah, what a glorious life this is!

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anaïs Nin, Diary, 1969

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them." ~Michael Jordan

"I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet." --Nadia Comanceci

Are we ready for a new week? Stretched before us like a pristine page waiting to be covered with profound or playful prose, lies yet another week filled with potential and promise. Let's embrace our wildest expectations and push ourselves like never before. Summer is upon us. Just think how much we can accomplish before the autumn leaves fall! What amazing pages will drift down from our consciousness as the winds of creativity lift our spirits and encourage our souls to fly...

As Frank Sinatra (or Michael Bublé might sing): Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away...

Wishing everyone a most inspired week!

--Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Laying a Firm Foundation

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." ~David Brinkley

There's an old saying, 'you can't please all the people all the time.' Which begs the question, why would we want to? When did we decide our job was to please others? Although it may be a strange question to consider, I think as writers it's bound to come up.

Here's why. We Want Readers. We want readers to enjoy our books and to read them. Agents and editors have a vested interest in making sales, so they have their own personal stake in this (which often may be driven right through the heart of the book we adore).

So… what to do?

First thing is to remember is this. Writing is an art. Can an artist switch to please the market and be successful? Or happy? Hmmmm…

"At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important"M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher is known for his brilliant, precise work. Drawings and etchings of such magnificent complexity it truly boggles the mind. His work features alternate realities and optical illusions with a strong mathematical component. Now, imagine for a moment if he fretted about chasing the market and instead focused on painting in an impressionistic style. Or if the daring masters of Impressionism balked under public pressure (the "newfangled approach" baffled and offended many at the time).

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." ~Vincent Van Gogh

While we do need to balance an awareness of the market in our work, moving forward is essential. Part of moving forward is to Embrace What You Love To Write.

"The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable." ~Paul Tillich

Here's a thought. There's someone out there who will love your voice, even if you first encounter a dozen who don't. The more books you write, the more books you submit, the more books you publish, the greater the chance You Will Find Your Audience.

Yet there may be fans who feel dismayed or betrayed. Who imagine the story turning out differently. Or who wish you would write in a particular way. When some romance authors made the change to suspense (Lisa Jackson, for example), fans were disappointed. And boy did they let her know it.

Pete Forever, Ringo Never… Heck, when the Beatles switched out Pete Best for Ringo Starr their fans were outraged too. And we all know how THAT worked out. *smile*

"Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality." ~Les Brown

As a writer, you will face naysayers before you finish that first manuscript. When you're submitting, the rejections will feel like a slap in the face. The reviews will sometimes hit you where it hurts. So, what are you going to do about that? Well, I have an idea. WRITE! Write, write, and write some more. You Are A Writer. You Can Do It! Dare to dream, dare to write.

"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." ~Jean Sibelius

Critics can explain in great detail why something won't work (Thank Goodness the Wright Brothers didn't listen) but what do they know? You can spend your life reinforcing all the negative crap that is flung your way OR you can realize this. You Are A Success. You Can Achieve Anything. Anything at all.

"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway." ~Mary Kay Ash

Here's an inspiring tidbit. At age 45, Mary Kay Ash quit her sales job when yet another fellow SHE Had Trained got promoted above her. (Let's all chime in with a collective, Grrrrrrr…) Determined to prove she had the Right Stuff, she started her own business with five grand. Within two years, Mary Kay Cosmetics sales hit the $2 million mark. Talk about determination! So flap those wings, fellow authors, and take to the skies!

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." ~Author Unknown

Take a moment and breathe deep. Close your eyes and wiggle your fingers and toes. Consider all your dreams, your ambitions, your hopes for the future. Now… Visualize The Reality You Want To Create. If you're working on your first (or fifth) manuscript, visualize typing the words The End. If you're sending out a query (or ten), picture an agent or editor devouring your story, then picking up the phone and giving you a call. Visualize your gorgeous shiny book clutched in your trembling hands. If you're waiting for reviews, paint a picture in your mind of the Best Review Ever.

I'm serious now. Take a few moments and etch that image until you feel the excitement tingling inside. Once you get that tingle, say these words: This Is The Truth. This Is My True Reality. I Am A Success. Anything else is simply an illusion I no longer need. This Is My True Reality.

Belief and Action are the tools you need to make it happen. Write Your Books. Believe In Your Success. You Can Do It!

One more piece to inspire you…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson A Return to Love

Here's to another productive week tingling with potential! Go-go-GO!!

Chiron O'Keefe

Also featured at Pop Culture Divas.