Writing books versus selling your work

imgp5509The person who risks nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

So I have another opportunity coming  up this weekend to go sell my books at the La Veta Holiday Crafts Fair. Yes, I never thought of writing books as a craft, but apparently it is. In the dictionary, crafts are defined as “an activity involving skill in making things by hand.” Synonyms are occupation, profession, line of work and pursuit. I don’t make my books by hand, but I do make them “by brain,” so I guess that counts.

By producing a book, I feel like I do put myself out into the world. There are certainly many expenses and risks. I share my life and hope others can relate on various levels. No, I don’t write fiction, I write real life, and cannot imagine writing fiction at this point in time.

find-your-reason-cover-smallI have focused thus far mostly on the many emotional gifts of midlife, a rite of passage no past generations of human beings have ever experienced. I had no awareness of this gift when I experienced a number of personal crises starting in 2001. Being an academic librarian, I read up on this subject, learning about the essential work I would need to do to improve the rest of my life. I learned how midlife change works, and then I got to work changing everything I could.

Most importantly, I learned there really are do-overs BEFORE it’s all over, and I chose to share that knowledge with anyone interested in transforming themselves.

Unfortunately, I have quite a love-hate relationship with selling my work. I love getting out and meeting new people. I love explaining what I write about and why, but whenever money comes into the equation, I become uncomfortable. I suppose I am not alone in that feeling. Nobody likes to feel like someone is selling them something, do they?

But I will attend this new crafts fair and stay as long as I enjoy it. Perhaps I just need more experience in “selling” my ideas and words. Perhaps some day this will begin to feel good…

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot

Are you moving towards your life goals?

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When was the last time you put some serious energy into contemplating your life goals? Not what needs to happen in the next year or two, but what needs to happen for you to feel satisfied in the long run.

After I lost my job and 25 year career back in 2004, I spent months contemplating my life up until then. After decades of work as an academic librarian, I was suddenly set free to consider every option. This was a wonderful gift, well disguised as misfortune.

My first book Midlife Magic: Becoming The Person You Are Inside is a summary of the feelings I went through at that time. Here I share my own story of transformation from divorced, unemployed and miserable, to my best life ever, explaining how midlife change, changes everything.

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Yesterday I went through a list I made back then, a list of my new priorities after I stopped and considered my life at age 49. Here are a few things I wanted more of before I died: love, acceptance, appreciation, access to pure silence, to be surrounded with solar warmth, natural beauty, music, wildflowers, peace, contentment, relief from guilt and shame, and respect for my own integrity.

Such a wonderful feeling to know that I have somehow brought so many of these blessings into my life through my own stubbornness and courage. The way I describe this transition now, on the “About The Author” page of my new book:

“Her midlife crisis began with a divorce and then progressed to the loss of her library career, misfortunes she now finds supremely fortuitous, as everything wonderful in her present life flowed from these difficult experiences.”

Robert Mirabal and the power of intention

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“You never know what the spirit of intention can do.”  –Robert Mirabal

We spent a marvelous morning on Saturday at the Native American Celebration at Fort Francisco in La Veta.

First of all the Fort is a beautiful example of 1800s adobe construction. Their exhibits are also a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the past century, like a a walk through the homes of the early 1900s. Old furniture, clothes, and my favorite, photos of people from our past.

Then we enjoyed a dance performance by three girls from the Jicarilla Apache Nation. The highlight was a performance by Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo. Yes, his music is magic, and I also found great wisdom in his words.

Robert MirabalRobert shared with this mostly European-American crowd the history of this area and what it meant to Native Americans. He explained why his ancestors came up here from the south and kept the trails alive and fresh for others. He spoke of intention in our daily life.

When Robert plays his flutes and sings, it sounds like he is channeling the life and  stories of his ancestors, bringing up vivid imagery of our Native American past.

And in a way, isn’t that what we all do each day, channel our ancestors? So much of who we are is determined by choices made by our parents and grandparents.

I am honored to be now living on this land where the buffalo roamed, the place where my grandfather hoped to retire.  I feel closer to the land than I have in decades, and I intent to protect this land and its heritage.

Excerpted from my new book: A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado.

Boomers Keep On Blogging…

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 The view from my bedroom door this morning….

indian-rug-redTime for a post-Thanksgiving collection of cool posts from my blogging boomer friends. Carol starts us off with some southwestern tidbits. According to Carol, the coyote is an important figure in Native American lore and he has a message for us. In Taos, Carol ran across a beautiful letter a dying woman wrote to her son, a letter than provided inspiration and comfort.

Tom Sightings went to visit family for Thanksgiving. On the way home he stopped off at a place that time forgot. See where that is at What Did You Do Over Thanksgiving? 

Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting was on the road again this week, visiting family, enjoying a sumptuous family feast, and spending time with her granddaughters. Read about some of her activities in Spending Time With the Future Part 2.  After her return home, from a week on the road, Baer mulled over recent life events leading to family conflict, and how her family’s feelings and reactions are similar to the nation’s recent turmoil. Here she reflections on how Family Mirrors the Nation

From the The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist asks: Not a Black Friday fan? Thinking about online shopping for Cyber Monday? If so, Rita offers you tips to help you save money and protect your personal information.

And all of you boomers or millennials out there shopping for the perfect gift, please consider my new memoir for those thinking about retirement alternatives. We did something completely different and we’re so glad we did!

My New Book – Kindle Edition!

memoir-of-retirement-2016Hey! It’s Small Business Saturday and you cannot find a smaller one than mine! Please consider my new memoir as a great gift for boomers thinking about retirement alternatives. We did something completely different and we’re glad we did, but there were times we weren’t so sure. Some of you have asked when I might have an e-book edition of my new book available for purchase. I just loaded it!

Recognizing A Stroke

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S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)

R *Ask them to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If they have trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately.

New Sign of Stroke — Stick out Your Tongue!

Ask the person to ‘stick’ out their tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’ or goes to one side, that is also an indication of stroke.

If everyone who reads this sends it to 10 people; at least one life may be saved.