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Tag Archives: Life

Life happens. These posts are about the day to day or some aspect of living. Sometimes humorous.

Thanks, but no thanks. Are you doing this one simple thing to end #PlasticPollution #NoPlasticStraws

There’s one simple thing each person can take to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans. Ask for no plastic straws in your drinks. Americans use 500 million straws daily. Once. That happens day after day, filling our landfills and contributing to ocean plastic.

What if every person reading this post shared it with a friend and pledged to reduce the amount of drinking straws they used each day?

Do that one simple thing: Here’s how

1. Personal commitment
Make a personal commitment to reduce your use of plastic straws when you dine out. When you order a drink, simply say, “No plastic straws, please.”

2. Ask your friends and family to commit
Share your commitment to no plastic straws with friends and family.

3. Ask your favorite restaurants to serve straws only on request
This will reduce plastic straw purchases, saving them money. If  restaurants served paper straws (or bambo, glass or stainless steel), it would make an impact on our communities and our world. You can even share how they can become part of the “No Plastic Straws” business movement. Want a printable card you can leave when you pay your bill? Click here and look at “Level 2” under Take Action.

4. Carry a reusable straw of your own
Amazon has a selection of reusable straws in bright colors and in steel and other forms. Try this one. These colorful straws fit the Yeti tumbler and other reusable drink bottles and come with a cleaning brush. You also get a cleaning brush with these sleek stainless steel straws  or with a cool bamboo set from The Other Straw.

My goal isn’t to sell you straws. It’s to make you aware of the problem and give you a step to take. Every step we take toward a solution makes a difference.
5. Find companies that pledge to use less plastic and give them your support.

Here’s one you might not have considered. Flooring. You will walk on your floor for many years, but eventually, it will end up in a landfill. Is it  made of material that will biodegrade? Check out what The New & Reclaimed Flooring Company is doing. What other companies are you discovering?

Please share this post on your social media and pledge to use fewer plastic straws each day. Remember, this is just one simple thing to do. What else can you try? Share it in the comments below.

Click this banner to see a full-sized infographic on plastic pollution in the oceans.

Drink from the glass instead: no plastic straws #plasticpollution #noplasticstraws

Specials and Special Events

 

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New Antonello Brothers Book
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At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
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At the Mercy of Her Pleasure on sale

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Author Facade: being who you are as a writer #Author #MFRWauthor #INFJ

Author Façade: being who you are as a writer #Author #MFRWauthor #INFJAuthor façade. Do those words go together? Yes. When people ask me what I do, I could say I’m a wife or mother. I could say I’m a veteran. Or retired. Or any number of things. So could you, right? But what I say is, “I’m a writer.” An author.

The Author Façade

I’ve been published since 2004, and without exaggeration, I can say I’ve written hundreds of blog posts, tens of thousands of emails, and millions of words. I’ve posted on blogs all over the net.  Why? So readers can know the person behind the author façade. Is Kayelle Allen an author façade? Well, maybe façade is not the best word. One dictionary I consulted defines it like this:Kayelle Allen

Façade (1) A showy misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant. — I certainly hope I’m not unpleasant. That doesn’t sound good, does it? No, not at all. I think my author facade fits the second definition better.
Façade (2): Frontage, the face or front of a building. Window dressing. — Or does that make my author façade somehow equal to drapes? Surely not.

I prefer to see my author façade as the best of who I am. My best-foot-forward attitude. My who-I-am when I’m on-my-best-behavior self. Okay, those of you who know me best can stop snickering. I can hear you all the way over here.

The thing is, my author façade is reality. The Kayelle Allen online is who I really am. Every person has something of a façade when it comes to public life and there are things I don’t share online. But I strive to be faithful to my private life when presenting my author self in public. I attempt to keep my author façade true to my real persona. So who am I?

I’m an INFJ (Myers Briggs temperament). The letters stand for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), Judgment (J). I’m an introvert (I) in that I get my energy by being alone. I have blazingly fast insight (N) into people. I tend to go with feelings (F) over facts because I trust my own intuition, and once I make up my mind (J), I act without hesitation or looking back. Who are some other INFJs? Oprah Winfrey, Billy Crystal, Nelson Mandela, Carrie Fisher, Nicole Kidman, and Adam Sandler. Try this article if you want more insight.

My inside age and outside age are not equal. I may have aged, but I am not old. Wiser? Yes. Goodness. You couldn’t live my life without learning a few things. Smarter? Debatable.  I’m a US Navy veteran (Viet Nam era) and a member of RomVets (female romance writers who served in the military). I’m also a former Toastmaster. I love getting up in front of people and talking. That’s the number one fear in America, but I happen to love public speaking. You’d get me on a roller coaster only by dragging my dead body, but I will happily speak to a convention full of people. Weird, huh? I’m the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, a peer-mentoring group for authors. Don’t get me started on that. I love MFRW! Click the link for in depth info about MFRW.

I think I’m someone you’d like if you got to know me. Because as much as being a writer is like being a different person, my author façade is the presentation of a real person. I invite you to follow and get to know me. I’d like to get to know you too. Please, tell me about your “façade” as a person. Who are you?

5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor

5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthor

5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthorYou might not be aware, but writing can be hazardous to your health. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome affects millions and is a serious threat to many writers. I had surgery (called a carpal tunnel release) on each hand, one after the other, many years ago. I’m completely recovered but it was a long haul. Here are some exercises that helped me recover.

These five exercises are ones my physical therapist taught me. After those, I’ll pass on five excuses for the author who likes less of a challenge. Any writer can do these hand exercises. They are pleasant, and simple. Performing warm up exercises for your hands can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other maladies.

I am not a doctor or a trained physical therapist, but I am a writer who has dealt with carpal tunnel and lived with the pain it causes. These are suggestions based on what I do myself and what my therapist gave me to do. As with any exercise program, check with a medical professional before beginning, or if you have concerns. I personally do all the exercises below and they work for me. I hope they’ll help you.

Exercises for Writers

Exercise 1

Spread your fingers as wide as possible, hold the stretch to a count of five. Make a tight fist and hold that to a count of five. Repeat. Do this at least twice per hand before beginning your day.

Exercise 2

With right hand open, place fingers in the palm of your left hand. Press with the right while resisting with the left. You might feel this all the way to your elbows. That’s okay. It means there’s a good stretch. Hold for a count of five. Reverse hands and repeat. Do this twice per hand. I credit my fast recovery from surgery with this kind of therapy.

Exercise 3

Holding your hand straight up, keep fingers together and bring your thumb across your palm. Try to touch the base of your little finger. Stretch for it. If this is difficult it likely means your hand is tight. Repeat five times. You can do both hands at once.

Exerci5 Exercises and 5 Excuses for Writers #writerslife #MFRWauthorse 4

Use a small stress ball. Here’s one available on Amazon that is safe, non-sticky, and is said to last a lifetime. This one claims to be safe around children, but use your own judment.  http://amzn.to/2tEhEOi Place the ball on a firm surface and place the palm of your hand atop it. Keeping your fingers straight, roll the ball beneath your hand. Stress balls often come with their own suggested exercises.

Exercise 5

If you have twin sinks this is easy. If you don’t, try two deep bowls. Fill one with hot water. Make it cool enough to hold your hand in comfortably, but still be considered hot. Fill the other side with cold water. You can float a few ice cubes in it. Plunge your hands in the hot water and hold for 30 seconds. Then put them right into the cold water for 60 seconds. Repeat five times. This makes my hands feel wonderful! I hope you enjoy it too.

Excuses for Writers

We all have days where we just can’t seem to cope. Days when good enough is good enough. For those days, try these excuses. Because we’re writers, these are writing-related.

Excuse 1

You’ve worked hard on marketing and writing so take a break. Play Spider Solitaire, Mahjongg, a word search puzzle, or other game. Alternate option: read.

Excuse 2

The submission process is stressful, so write in a pre-formatted document. To create, open a blank document and save it as Chapter One. Double-check the formatting. Set a new format to indent automatically five spaces when starting a new paragraph, format it for double lines and name it Editing.

Excuse 3

You should be well hydrated before beginning any exercise. Fill your coffee cup, lift, sip, and put it back down. Repeat with the other hand. Do this until the cup is empty. Refill so you can repeat again later if needed.

Excuse 4

You should keep to your schedule as much as possible, so check your email and calendar for any upcoming events. Because these tasks fall under marketing, this is an acceptable writing activity.

Excuse 5

Writers should use good equipment, including things used for exercise. Double-check the exercise equipment you have on hand to be sure it’s high quality. You might try comparison shopping online. While you’re ordering new items, stock up on coffee, creamer, and sugar. This might be a good time to consider the meal plan for the week.


There you have it. Five exercises and five excuses. Which you use depends on you. Have you faced similar issues with pain when writing? How did you deal with it? Feel free to leave a comment.

Is it right to quit? 10 times it's ok #author #entrepreneur @kayelleallen

Is it right to quit? 10 times it’s ok #author #entrepreneur

The question, “Is it right to quit?” seems to require a “No!” in response. But does it? Not if you are quitting for the right reasons. Here are ten times it’s okay (and perhaps advisable) to quit.

When is it right to quit?

  1. When you realize what you’re doing is wrong. You’ve gone about it the hard way, for example, or you realize your information was incorrect.
  2. When it’s harmful or dangerous to yourself, others, or the environment.
  3. When it’s wasteful and not a good use of resources. Is it right to quit if you can fix the issue? Perhaps not.
  4. When someone else can do it better for less. This is an iffy one — quality and quantity are market related. If you can make a widget for a dollar and someone else has a means to make ten of them for that price and they outperform yours, give serious thought to moving on.Is it right to quit? 10 times it's ok #author #entrepreneur @kayelleallen
  5. When it’s not going in the right direction for your purposes.
  6. When you can’t control what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, this is a good time to step back and reconsider how and why. Is it right to quit if you can’t control the outcome? This is probably one of the best times, depending on what you are trying to do in the first place.
  7. When it’s no longer necessary. At some point, when no one needs this product or service, set it aside and move on.
  8. When it’s time to hand it over to a new person. Perhaps someone you know needs a chance to succeed and this project would be ideal for them. Step back and coach, but let it go. Is it right to quit when it means enabling others? Yes.
  9. When you’ve lost your enthusiasm. Perhaps a different approach to the issue is needed, but if you’ve tried different things and you still don’t care, quit. I know, that flies in the face of contemporary advice, but don’t beat a dead horse. Ride a live one.
  10. When you no longer love it. You might be enthusiastic about the concept or the product, but you’re tired of it. You don’t want to do this anymore. Then by all means, step back and move on.

The point of knowing when to quit is knowing what to do afterward. Is it right to quit just because you feel like it? Well, why do you feel like it? Is it because one of the reasons above?

Let me share some things I decided to quit doing recently. I unsubscribed from a few online services I no longer used and from a few newsletters I never read. I stopped wasting time opening email and then filing it and instead, set up a filter in email to automatically file many emails from my target people (friends, family, and businesses). Now I can see the folders have unread mail, read it, and then either delete it or go on to the next thing. It cut down on time filing quite a bit.

I am a graphic designer and love creating fanart, plus book covers, banners, and more. I created a company, The Author’s Secret, for that purpose. However, after five years, I realized I was spending so much time maintaining social media, websites, blog posts, and more for both myself and the company that I had little time left to do what I want to do most. Write. So after a long soul-searching period, I decided to close the company.

Instead, I will offer a few of the same services from my own website. That way, I’m promoting only one site and one set of social media. It’s a win-win.

Is it right to quit? I think so, yes, when the reasons are sound. What do you think? Is it right to quit or should you slug it out no matter what? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear from you, yea or nay.

Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting @kayelleallenA writer friend told me she needed more of two things: time and judgment. Then she said her life had more ups and downs than a merry-go-round. Who can’t relate to that? Doesn’t it fit the universe itself? Time and judgment go in cycles. Feast or famine, they say. Too much time, not enough time. Careful consideration, jumping to conclusions. No, getting the right balance of time and judgment is not easy.

Time and Judgment

A young woman once asked, “How do you gain good judgment?” Her mentor replied, “Through experience.” The woman considered that a moment and asked, “How do you get experience?” The mentor smiled. “Poor judgment.”

I’m as guilty of having that as the next person, but I try to put my poor judgment to work. Sometimes, experience only helps us recognize the same mistake when we make it again. How we handle it is up to us. My plan is to live, learn, make mistakes, get back up, dust off my hands, and keep going.

Poor judgment can be a bitter lesson, but it doesn’t have to stop us. If we get back up one more time than we fall, we will succeed. It’s as simple — and difficult — as that.

Let me share one of my mistakes in judgment with you, and then you share one of yours. Maybe we’ll learn from each other. Life is too short to make all the mistakes out there. That’s why we have friends and family who advise us how to avoid them and to be good examples. Sometimes, of what should not be done! Remember, the key is balance in time and judgment — not perfection.

When I was in my twenties, I knew I wanted to write. It was something I’d always dreamed of doing. I had my first child at twenty-five, and had little free time to spend on myself. Two more children followed within the next few years. I decided I’d start writing when the kids started school. But then I went back to work. Time was even more precious.

When I had my fiftieth birthday, I was no closer to being published than I had been at twenty-five. I realized my biggest problem was that I was waiting to find time. I stopped doing that, and started making time. I found an organization site online (Get Organized Now) that helped me figure out how to be more efficient. I scheduled television and limited it to a few hours per week. You know what made me realize TV watching had to be limited? There are rarely scenes of people watching TV on TV, because instead, they’re living their lives. I was watching them live it. I needed to go live my own. I planned meals with my local grocery store’s shopping list program and shopped more quickly with lists. I shopped on Amazon using their Prime program instead of in stores for some of the things I needed. It was amazing how much time those simple things freed up for me. I didn’t give up shopping locally — that builds our community. But I do shop online when it’s needed.

Time and Judgment (for Authors) #MFRWauthor #amwriting @kayelleallenI wrote daily, at least fifteen minutes a day without excuse. I read books on writing. I read the kind of books I wanted to write. I subscribed to a few writer newsletters. One, by Daphne Gray-Grant, I still read every week. It offer tips on writing faster and better. I joined a critique group online. I networked. Within four months, I had a contract for my first book.

One of the best things I ever did was create a group called Marketing for Romance Writers. I wanted a place where authors could ask each other for advice on any topic and get an answer. I didn’t want it to be a promo site where everyone shouted, “buy my book!” so I set it up right away as a business-only site. It has flourished over the years. It’s still one of the most efficient sites out there. Peer-mentoring is a great way to learn.

My poor judgment was waiting for time. I had to learn to make it.

What’s your “poor judgment” / “big mistake” and how did you overcome it? I’d love to hear how learning better time and judgment made a difference for you. Please share it in the comments.

 
 
 
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