Archive for November, 2009

The arrival of Black Friday also saw the much-anticipated arrival of my “Story Times Good Enough to Eat!” proofs. When I arrived home from my traditional shopping trip with my nephew I saw Fed-ex had delivered my some homework. For those new to or that don’t know much about the writing process, My revised manuscript was sent to a typesetter and the proofs of what the final layout will be has come back to me for any minor corrections or edits. When this is done and I have created an index for the book it will be sent back, updated and then sent to the printer for what is scheduled to be a January 2010 release!

Everything is on a tight deadline so I have less than 2 weeks to read it over and mark my changes (in red pen) and create an index to go along with it. I have never had to make an index before and it is a bit daunting but I am confident that I will get it done and on time. I have made it a point in my writing career to  meet any deadlines given me as obviously they are there for a reason and which is why I believe the release of my book was moved from March up tp January!

As this now takes top priority, that means NaNoWriMo, though still going until the 30th is over for me. It was a fun experiment and maybe in April when their Script Frenzy rolls around I will be able to work on my screenplay without the interruptions of a major holiday and manuscript proofs. So that item on my list will be considered half-done as a contracted manuscript trumps a month-long novel competition!

I will also be completing one of my five (I hope) speaking engagements next Thursday for a local women’s writing group. They have asked me to speak about the publishing process of a non-fiction/reference book so the timing is actually perfect!


Don’t forget to work on your “Kindness Challenges” this holiday season…I love the new Toll House cookie ads that show someone baking cookies and giving them away which inspired that person to make a batch and give them to someone else! What a great idea. You never know what you might set into motion by sharing a kind gesture with someone else!!









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It’s almost time for the big man in the Red suit to bring up the rear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day Parade. That means it’s time for Black Friday and avalanche of Christmas hoopla that event sets into motion! I am so excited about the Holiday’s this year as they will be my first as a “newlywed” that I admit some Christmas decorations went up as Halloween came down! I am still excited about Thanksgiving and I am learning how to juggle my family, my extended family my new step-children and Mikes family. It is almost overwhelming as in the well if you’re not here for Thanksgiving then we will get you on Christmas etc. It’s a lot of coordinating that started taking shape before Halloween for obvious reasons. While I have been organizing and sorting and decorating I have also been planning for #17 (starting a new Christmas tradition) This actually does not involve family but friends and neighbors. When I instituted my Kindness Challenge on September 11 I have been dedicated to keeping it going with at least one “kind” event a week. During the first weekend my husband and I executed a “kindness blitz” and I encouraged all of you to do the same as we should not just be nice to others on designated days of the year. We had a blast and it carried over into Halloween when we boo’d several people. For those that don’t know what that is, you anonymously drop off a bag of candy, a “Boo” sign, and an explanation for people to pick two people and pass it on. Mike is great at “delivering” the schemes I come up with. The problem is it is very hard to hide a Hummer H2 especially in my town. So for the booing we figured, “piece of cake it will be dark.” Well, there’s this crazy new invention called motion-sensor lights which had Mike scurrying for cover and throwing boo bags on the hoods of people’s cars in their driveway and fleeing before the police were called for a black-hooded man skulking around their property while I sat in the car with it running and the lights off..not conspicuous at all. At one house I waited in a cul-de-sac while he ran up the driveway. He returned seconds later with the candy saying, “There was a “hulk” in the driveway, I went left, it went left, I went right, it went right. I turned and came back.” he was more concerned that their dog would bark and give him away then that he would be bitten. Never fear we managed to “Boo” that person at their place of work, no dogs.

Even after all of that he is still anxious to help with the Christmas Tradition I have devised. It is new to my knowledge and pretty cool and my Mother gets credit for giving me the germ of an idea that sparked it. She therefore has to come with us when we execute it. Now, in the spirit of anonymity I will not say what it is but I will count it done on my list when we get them all delivered and if you live near me there’s a possibility you may be a recipient!!!!

Christmas is a time when people historically feel inspired to  do something nice for others. This is precisely the feeling I’m trying to keep going all year-long through the “Kindness Challenge” and I hope you will all keep opening doors for people or letting someone cut you in line or get that item off the top shelf if you can reach it and if you are the recipient of my new Christmas Tradition, keep it going!!

While decorating I had a Trans-Siberian Orchestra CD on and one song in particular struck me as the perfect one to encompass what I have been trying to pass on and “live by.” Below is an excerpt and may it inspire you to have a happy life and a wonderful holiday season as well!!!!

From “The Old City Bar” by the TSO

“…If you want to arrange it, this World you can change it                                                                                                                            If we could somehow make this Christmas thing last                                                                                                                                    by helping a neighbor or even a stranger, to know who needs help….you need only just ask…”

Well said.








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Last night I sat down for a few minutes to look for a Christmas special or movie on TV before my husband got home from work. I am a channel flipper ad I don’t like commercials so in-between movie tidbits I stumbled on the “Housewives of Orange County” Ca. This is a so-called reality TV show that follows five “housewives” and their families everywhere. Due to my flipping I watched probably 15 mins total. In that time I saw a “naked” tanning party where they had a spray tan booth set up for party guests, what happened to piñatas?? lol. One Mom went for a plastic surgery consult and brought along her teenage daughter for one as well. The Mother actually said that it’s so hard to live in Orange County as the daughter has low self-esteem and a sister that’s a supermodel and a nose job would help her fit in better! The Mother actually applauded the fact that they could have their surgery at the same time and recover together! This particular girl also got a BMW last year for her birthday. OK. If “Orange County” is such a place that you feel your not even old enough to vote daughter can’t live without plastic surgery then perhaps that is not the place for you and you need to MOVE!

Another “housewife” was having money troubles and sold off 2-3 of her cars, 2 watches, and some art to help keep her insanely expensive house. OK, if you have so many cars you can sell off 2 or 3 and still have some to drive  and your watches cost enough in the first place that you can sell two to make a mortgage payment then I’m thinking the economy is not to blame for your money troubles, maybe spoiled, indulgent, overspending is. She also took her daughter shopping and nothing was fitting quite right until the Mother reminded her that since her “boob job” she had to go up a size in shirts! I’m not clear on the girls age but I would guess very early 20’s.

There was a lot more in those 15 minutes but that’s enough for me. I mean that is NOT how the rest of the World lives and the rest of the World is also not a size 4. Television can definitely distort “reality” and I love America because people are free to produce such shows and I am free to use the channel change button on my remote! I know some people LOVE that show and the drama. My actual REAL life has enough drama and I don’t need to see manicured, perfectly coiffed and spray-tanned alleged housewives complaining because they may need to sell their 1.2 million dollar home!

Here’s reality, one of my oldest friends just spent a week in California on her hands and knees covered in the ashes of her sisters former home that was leveled by the wildfires a couple of months ago. The sister and her husband have been living in a hotel. THAT is reality. They have nothing and are living in the same state as these women that are complaining that the bump on their nose or their tiny boobs are making life in their gated community difficult!

That is not my reality! I have values, integrity, and a responsibility gene, thank you Mom and Dad. I have a husband that adores me, wonderful friends and a nephew I love more than life itself. I even am thankful for Max the loudest, smelliest, hungriest dog in the WHOLE WORLD! That is my reality. My husband is pursuing and achieving his dreams and allowing me the same freedom to do so as well. We have food and a roof and we are good. That’s reality.

Whiny, pampered women are not my idea of entertainment but to each his own. And let me just say their claim that these are “real housewives” is as fake as their breasts!

God Bless America!











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The following is a list of things I have learned and come to terms with in the last few days:

1. The dog will always bark to go out the second you take your shoes off.

2.”The English Patient” is not a movie you can start watching in the middle and have any hope of being able to figure out what the heck is going. (I will read the book to see what I missed!!)

3. Social Networking sites are both a hindrence and a help

4. Just manually pumping up the exercise ball is sometimes exercise enough. To make sure your other bicep gets an equal workout, deflate the ball and pump it up again for ten minutes using your OTHER arm!

5.If you wish and wish for chocolate cookies but don’t actually  make them they will NOT appear. If you truly want to eat a homemade chocoloate cookie one must actually MAKE them or buy them. The same is true for your life: If you want to sell your painting you must actually paint it, if you wish to publish your book you must write it.

You can’t publish the book you never finished and you can’t make money from the dream you don’t take steps toward fulfilling.

You wish is the “seed” and it is free, but to make it a reality you must actually “plant it” (decide you want it), “Fertlize it”(Make a plan) “Weed it”(take actions from your plan and find what is and isn’t working) “Water it” (keep pushing even through dry spells and fear)before you can “Harvest” (Achieve your goal!)

That is my 2 cents for today! Which through saving and planning and action will hopefully turn into 4 cents tomorrow!









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Sunday (yesterday) I was fortunate enough to watch my husband compete in something he has been  involved in for over 20 years and judging by the boxes and boxes of trophies we packed when he moved he was quite good. It wasn’t until yesterday in the basement of a YMCA in Burlington, Vt. that I got to see with my own eyes what he was capable of. He competed in the 100% Raw Vermont Powerlifting competition in the Bench Press category for lifters aged 45-49 in the 181lb weight category. They get 3 tries to make or better their lifts. At 314.16lbs he made the lift and brought home 2 first place trophies to add to his collection! He will also now hold a NH state record though the meet was in Vermont as he lives in NH. The whole day was quite impressive as I am one who loves to see how things work “behind the scenes” and I had no idea how a powerlifting meet ran. I got to see it all from weigh-ins to Awards. Many National records were broken some shattered and many by women and one in particular that was only 17 years old. I saw a 70+ year old former Olympian bench 450lbs and go for records in the dead lift. I watch a giant greek man deadlift 562.7lbs after having competed all day and on his 3rd attempt he went for 600. He didn’t make it but who cares! the last one was over 550lbs! Women and men alike were benching and lifting 2 and 3 times their bodyweight! Think about how much you weigh, now do the math, now think about that for a second. ………yup …amazing. I saw lots of rituals, props, etc and some great athletes and I have tons of writing material, some serious and some hilarious! I was even inspired by the State of Vermont in the first 20 mins of driving past the Welcome sign. I couldn’t write fast enough. All I’ll say for now is Vermont truly is trying to be a “green” state!

So I am very proud of Mike and “Mighty Mick” and I got to cross a goal off my list and quite frankly so did he!!! 🙂

For those of you that are my Facebook “friend,” I have pictures and a short video. For the rest of you go to You Tube and type in Mike Folini and you can watch 49 years raise 300+lbs!


The lift is Good!












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So this coming Sunday I will get to complete #38, which is to watch Mike compete in a powerlifting meet. Weightlifting and powerlifting have been a BIG part of his life for decades but in the 3+ years we have been together I haven’t been able to seem him compete. So Sunday in Vermont he will be benchpressing for a trophy and possibly a record in the “Vermont Old School Iron Wars.” I am curious to see what all of this is about. He is in the best shape he has been in since I met him and I know he is poised to make a big comeback! Plus it doesn’t hurt your personal training business when you can “walk the walk,” when you are in great shape it gives you more credibility with your clients. That is true of a lot of professions. How many of you have been to a hairdresser that had dirty, unstyled hair and 2″ roots or have been told by an overweight Dr. to lose weight after you were weighed by an overweight nurse? My point is in order to sell yourself and inspire confidence in your customers and clients you need to look and live like you know what you’re doing before people will spend their hard-earned money on your service!

So I wish him the best of luck and love and support and support makes all the difference when you are trying to achieve a goal or a dream and to give him a boost I had a surprise manifesting dinner for him last Sunday. We both love “Rocky” and in fact that is Mike’s nickname, he has always felt a bit of the underdog and he is not the youngest competitor by far so we had a Philadelphia, Rocky-style dinner. The menu was Philly cheese steak subs, Philly Cheesecake, Tasy-Kakes (apparently a big deal in Philly and made there) complete with barbells and dumbbells for dessert. See the picture for an explanation of that last one!! LOL It’s creative thinking like that, that earned me a book contract for my “Storytimes Good Enough to Eat!” book.

I decorated with past first place plaques and trophies and our good luck “Mighty Mick’s Boxing” shirt!

We had a good time and it was his last “Cheat” day before the meet. It just shows you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show someone you care or to have a good time a little creativity and some thought is often enough of a gesture to let someone know you support them.

Back to my writing which has been slower than I’d hoped but I’m in a better frame of mind and looking at the BIG picture. I have a month to finish not just 3 days!! lol

Enjoy the pictures!      “Rocky, Rocky, Rocky…..”

100_1292Max in his grey sweatshirt ready for training!Rocky props and a Philly plateEdible dumbells and barbellsMike, RJ, & "Micky" with their steak and cheese


For more info on the meet or powerlifting in general check out these sites:


www.rawpowerlifting.com – they are sanctioning this meet







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For those of you that think I just watched a “Mork and Mindy” re-run – that title is actually short for National Novel Writing Month. Today is Day 1 and I have my notebooks, props, and research material ready on my desk! I will attempt to write my novel about my favorite tree in the whole World, The Tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. I have been fascinated by this tree since before I even saw it. One of my favorite tiny Christmas stories is one about the tree and it’s journey from some nuns to the “Big Apple.” I have 3 other non-fiction books on the subject, one of which just came out last year. However, there are precious few novels about the tree, and Christmas is coming!! I have never been the kind of writer that could write about Christmas in August like some publishers would like. I get inspired by seasons and events as they are happening and for a writer or artist that is the BEST time to create something as that is when it is fresh and you are experiencing the emotions and feelings that surround it. To try and conjure the same experience 6 months later feels forced, at least for me. Many writer’s are given the advice to write what you know and that is 100% true, but I’m going to go one step further and say write what you LOVE! This way you will be passionate and inspired and your fingers won’t be able to keep up with your brain in the frenzy to get it all out on paper. Now of course it’s always good to learn about something new and writer’s by nature are creative and inquisitive my only point is when you believe in what you are creating it shows, some of the best songs in the World were written in the moment and the songwriter managed to capture a feeling which is evident when you listen to the song. It’s always a good idea to capitalize on your creativity whatever your medium may be, even if you only have time to take a quick photo or write a few lines at the time they will help you keep it fresh until you can get to the rest of it.

So, on that note I shall go and try and re-create the wonder of the biggest Christmas tree in the World! I have 3 possible directions mapped out for the book but I am open to letting the story lead me as well!

Plus this will help me towards manifesting our Christmas trip there! I am even wearing my I love New York Socks today! LOL – Can’t hurt right?!!

How about you taking the next 30 days to find out what you are passionate about?…hmmm




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