Woman of the Week Honor

Interview/story link below. Illinois State University student Courtney Parker of TV-10 News reached out to me about this sweet distinction. Thank you Courtney. Thoughtfully done and nicely handled. ISU Woman of the Week Maria...

Series: #10 Choices We Make

Book Author Question Series Would you make the same choices if you did it again? In life or for this book project? If we are talking in life – I’d say pull up a chair for a while… who knows? I’m deliberate and, generally, thoughtful in my decisions, so whatever I’ve experienced along the way was probably going to happen no matter what given that way of moving through the world. It’s hard to tell. That’s the stuff that makes brains hurt thinking about anyway and I’m not sure it leads to a useful end. Would I do anything differently related to this book project? What I’ve jotted out above negates the likelihood of that, doesn’t it? Backed myself into thought corner, didn’t I? Oops…funny. Anyhow… I’m not sure I could do much differently. It’s all learning and I’ve enjoyed the learning. Would it...

Series: #9 Do It Again?

Book Author Question Series Will you do it again? It depends on my reasons. I love to write. It’s part of how I breathe. Is it always perfect or ideal? Of course not. That’s not the point of my life on this planet from what I gather through ample life experience. I will do what keeps me feeling vibrant and alive, speaking to my authentic self, able to reach my goals in a way I can feel good about… If what I want to do meets that criteria – I’ll do it. If it means writing a book. Great! If not, I’ll embark on some other creative journey. At the moment I have a few different ideas in mind for future books and I’ve framed a couple of them out pretty well. At the moment, that is enough. One particular quote comes to mind as I type this: Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because...

Series: #8 Mind Clarity

Book Author Question Series How did you get mentally organized enough to do it? Given how active my mind is and how many ideas, thoughts, dreams, possibilities I’m capable of conjuring in an average day – this question is likely one of the most useful ones for people like me. When I look at what’s before me, I’m easily overwhelmed because my instinct is to bite off all of it at once. I learned long ago that the way for me to achieve anything is to break it all down to one task, idea, concept, path at a time and work on one decision until I have the result I want. On the flip side – when I mentally strategize – the big picture aspect of my process – that takes biting off the whole darn thing. Tactical execution takes a practicality and mental organization – skills I’ve worked on mightily over the years. Here is how I pulled this book...

Series: #7 Tough To Finish?

Book Author Question Series How long did it take to finish? The notes app on my phone is one of my best friends. I use it often. I write, in some form, virtually every day. I was first approached about writing a book in Washington D.C. in 2008 when I was named National Headliner Award Winner through the Association for Women in Communications. I had given a speech that resulted in a standing ovation – which touched me deeply and told me I’m not alone in my view of the world. I was intrigued by the idea of writing a book, but afraid. I mulled it over for months, but life was busy as I was pregnant with my second child and a full-time professional with a spouse and small business. The seed was planted. I spoke with a writing consultant at that time who gave me an amazing piece of advice. Her name is Sam Horn and I highly suggest you seek her out. She’s simply amazing....

Series: #6 My End Game?

Book Author Question Series What do you want out of it? I don’t know where I am with all the pieces that play into this answer yet. I have something to say. I’ve been told many times along the way I’m a woman who is driven, knows her mind, and is a catalyst. Maybe I am those things. Maybe I am not. Too much categorization and definition tends to stifle growth in my humble opinion. I never made a living using my own voice with my own opinions. I made a living helping others find theirs through journalism and as a digital media producer, interviewer, writer. Finding and using your voice is surprisingly difficult for many, many people. I have never found it difficult. I just haven’t found it to be my focus when I was dwelling on helping others find their own. What I know is this. I want to share what I’ve learned in the hope it can help others – anyone...

Series: #5 Why This Route?

Book Author Question Series Publishing Route – Why this direction? I self-published my book. I studied options for a few years watching it all change significantly with new avenues opening up for people to streamline the process of writing and getting their work out there. For years, I had the big fat books of publishing houses and how to write query letters and you know what? I didn’t make anything happen. I lived around them and was content in my little solar system of research seeking out information as I perused book stores around the nation while on vacation after vacation year after year … sinking deeper into my giant bean bag chair of comfort and safety reading about becoming an author, writing books and people who do it, but never getting it done myself. One day I was done with that. It turned into a nonsense hobby for me. It was taking more from me than it...

Series: #4 Rejection Is Real

Book Author Question Series You could be rejected, so why put yourself out there? Rejected by who? People who only know a pretend version of me? A one-dimensional slice of who I am from a distance? That mirage of acceptance by people in the limited way I would’ve allowed them to see me would have only pacified me. It’s an illusion of sorts. Given that, I see acceptance as a type of mirage. Not putting my perspective out there in my way means I would’ve allowed smoke and mirrors to keep me from learning and growing and sharing that in the constructive way I’ve tried to do. Sure, I could be rejected, but I could also be accepted for exactly who I am. It’s like I tell my 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son. Stay honest with yourself and truthful with others. Keep those words, thoughts, and actions aligned best you can. Nobody is perfect and it’s not...