Be a Wholehearted Author:
These articles share with you the techniques I’ve used to build my author platform and publish fiction and nonfiction books.

Beyond the Wall with Alivia Tagliaferri

Alivia Tagliaferri is an author, publisher, producer and documentary filmmaker, discussing her book, Beyond the Wall: The Journey Home. Alivia operates Ironcutter Creative, a multimedia company that creates story-centric videos that are compelling, engaging and visually outstanding. She specializes in high-quality docu-style videos for television and theater broadcast, social media.

One More Day with Tonya Anderson

Tonya Anderson is a mindfulness counselor, inspirational speaker and the founder of An Exquisite Life. She helps people using mindfulness and sacred therapies to resolve stress/trauma in their lives, and frees them to live a life with renewed joy, love and passion for life. Tonya’s expertise is drawn from her life experience, clinical mental health counseling education and spiritual teachings.

Life Changes with Diane Langley

Diane Langley is the author of "Life Changes..." a small book with enormous wisdom. Diane has been the principal of Langley Communications Corporation since 1995. She educates individuals, groups and companies on communication and transition challenges through reflective, interactive engagement. This includes more sensitive work with those experiencing loss and trauma.

Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You

I live with the fear that all raccoons have rabies. Or distemper. Or cooties and other germs. They’re cute, but I avoid them. This despite having a childhood friend who had one as a pet. I used to cuddle “Ricky,” until he hit raccoon puberty. One day, Ricky left and he didn’t come back, listening to the call of the wild, instead of my friend at the back door. [...]

By | 2017-09-15T10:46:42+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You

Find the Beautiful, the Strange at Your Local Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens Have Historic Roots I am not a botanist, but I enjoy spending time at Botanical Gardens. According to Wikipedia, the inception of botanical gardens is linked to the history of botany, and most 16th and 17th century scientific gardens were devoted to growing medicinal plants. The concept of a botanical garden evolved to encompass, "displays of the beautiful, strange, new and sometimes economically important plant [...]

By | 2017-04-06T11:43:19+00:00 April 6th, 2017|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Find the Beautiful, the Strange at Your Local Botanical Garden

Out of Nowhere? Generating New Ideas

How do you generate ideas? Has it ever been a priority for you? Or do you simply wait for an idea to surface, not wondering how it formed? You may be interested in the concept of producing ideas on demand, and the techniques you can use to hurry them along. I am. I'm a "thinker." I love to spend time researching and thinking about things. I hyper-focus on a [...]

The Eager-Beaver Writer

Are you an Eager Beaver Writer? Does this describe you? This person has wonderful intentions, and after riding the wave of motivation, promises to: Wake up early to write Write 1,000 words per day Learn how to use Scrivener Build an author’s website The Eager Beaver Writer burns out, generally in the first week, because motivation doesn’t endure without a constant injection of enthusiasm. Setting far-reaching goals is a sure-fire way [...]

By | 2016-12-20T14:31:52+00:00 December 19th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on The Eager-Beaver Writer

Useful Guide to Free Photos, Media and More

As a writer, you're not always concerned with visual or audio artwork. It's often secondary to the Muse dictating the story to you. As a Self-Sufficient Author, however, you need media for marketing your author brand, so how do you find it and use it legally? The Ultimate Guide to Free Photos, Media & More was too ambitious, plus it wasn't an achievable goal, so I created A Useful Guide [...]

By | 2016-12-19T15:44:16+00:00 December 18th, 2016|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Useful Guide to Free Photos, Media and More

Reawaken Your ‘Sense of Wonder’: Remembering Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth's human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. Although it's been five decades since the publication of her runaway bestseller, "Silent Spring" (1962), Carson remains one of the greatest nature writers of America and one of America's Top 100 Scientists according to a Time magazine poll. "The beauty [...]

By | 2016-12-31T15:53:30+00:00 December 11th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Reawaken Your ‘Sense of Wonder’: Remembering Rachel Carson

Register Your Author Website Domain Before It’s Gone

Claim Your Name Now Register Your Author Website Domain Before It's Gone What are you waiting for? An invitation? If you haven't registered your name with ICANN as a domain for your Author's Website, then you better get a move on. I have a unique name, and there are still several people in the United States with the same name. Lucky for me, I'm tech savvy and I registered [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:01:52+00:00 November 18th, 2016|Comments Off on Register Your Author Website Domain Before It’s Gone

Why I Broke up with Smashwords

Why I Broke up with Smashwords Fall In Love with D2D Excuse me, please, but this is a "Rant Post." I've been struggling with the dreaded Meatgrinder at Smashwords for years. In fact, it's been a battle since I self-published my first novel, DISTRACTED. The problem with the Meatgrinder is, it requires you to upload your book as a Microsoft Office file, with no formatting (or minimal). Smashwords also [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:02:02+00:00 November 11th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Why I Broke up with Smashwords

Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony

Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony Does the left side of your brain dominate your actions, or the right? Are you logical, organized and methodical, or are you intuitive, spontaneous and creative? Or, do you use both sides of your brain in harmony? Scientists have studied brain-injury patients for years and have determined that both hemispheres can affect personality. Did you know, however, that it is possible [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:03:04+00:00 November 11th, 2016|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Use BOTH Sides of Your Brain in Harmony

We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What’s the Best Way to Do It?

We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What's the Best Way to Do It? Let's face it, there's too many types of social media applications, and software subscriptions, and email providers, and landing pages and funnel pages and squeeze pages and ad nauseum, to learn how to use all of them. Trying to find our way through the business of Internet marketing is a minefield, and we're wary [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:03:27+00:00 November 11th, 2016|Tags: , |Comments Off on We Know We Have to Market Our Books, But What’s the Best Way to Do It?

Easy on the Hooptedoodle

If you've never read Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing, you're in for a treat. Justified's Timothy Olyphant and creators Graham Yost and Elmore Leonard, right, with their Peabody Award at the 70th Annual Peabody Awards Luncheon. Image courtesy Stemoc, Flickr. Leonard was an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels, published in the 1950s, were Westerns, but he went on to [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:04:35+00:00 October 7th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Easy on the Hooptedoodle

Doing the Difficult

I recently had a great, and at the same time miserable, experience. I'm working towards my Advanced Open Water PADI Scuba Diving certification, and completing the Deep Dive is one of the tasks I selected. I knew it would be tough, and I dreaded it. I had to build up my confidence. I should have built up more, specifically, my lung capacity and energy level. I was sucking wind [...]

Solo Camping

I spent a week solo camping, as a way to kick start my writing this summer. I viewed solo camping as a "Writing Retreat." My Constant Companion: Chubbers, an Australian Shepherd-Husky Mix. Confession: I wasn't alone. I brought my constant companion, my dog, Chubbers. My husband and the cat can get along without me for a few days. She can't. Feeling ambitious, I took half a dozen books with [...]

By | 2016-12-31T15:06:09+00:00 May 16th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Solo Camping

National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph

National Archives Releases Civil War Documents, Photograph Interested in the ephemera of the Civil War? The National Archives has released thousands of documents and photographs from the American Civil War, and Wikimedia Commons is organizing them. Civil War Photo: Captain Harry Page, Quartermaster. "The Halt." Here's just one of many photos of U.S. History in the category: Virginia, Army of the Potomac Headquarters. [...]

Our Milestone: 35 Years Together

We celebrated a milestone in the Van Auken family: our 35th wedding anniversary. I made a short video for my sweetheart that summarized some of the adventures we've had this past year, and I'm looking forward to many more. Van Aukens observe 35th anniversary Lance and Robin Van Auken Mr. and Mrs. Lance Van Auken, South Williamsport, observed their 35th wedding anniversary Feb. 14, [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:09:05+00:00 February 24th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Our Milestone: 35 Years Together

Small Changes Ripple Outward

Small Changes Ripple Outward I spent a delightful 12 minutes watching a Ted Talk by Shawn Achor, a psychologist who teaches about positivity and its effect on happiness. Shawn Achor(Photo courtesy Alexismbr, Wikimedia Commons) Not only did I laugh most of the the time, but I was inspired to pause the video (so yes, it took longer than 12 minutes to watch) to [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:09:19+00:00 September 21st, 2015|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Small Changes Ripple Outward

Kickstart Your Writing with a Retreat

I've been on a hiatus from my fiction writing career. It wasn't intentional; I let other tasks and chores get in the way, and failed to prioritize. Crystal Lake Lodge My writing is important, and if I want to wrap up my current series and move onto the next one, I need to get back into the groove. One way to kickstart a [...]

By | 2017-10-27T17:11:47+00:00 May 20th, 2015|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Kickstart Your Writing with a Retreat