February 29, 2012 at 5:14 am (Uncategorized)
Tags: ChildFund International, Leap Day, Walt Disney World
How often have you said, “I don’t have enough time”?
Today is your chance to fix that. It’s Leap Day, which means you get an extra day this year. How will you spend it?
You could spend it learning about a leap year. During Leap Years, we add a Leap Day, an extra – or intercalary – day on Feb. 29. Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.
Okay, so now you know about Leap Year and you still have almost your full 24 hours left. How to spend the day…
Rejuvenate yourself: Finally, you have time for you. A spa day may be in order. Or perhaps lunch with a friend you seldom get to see.
Donate time to charity. You could work at a soup kitchen. Drop off supplies at a woman’s shelter. You could change the life of a child in a developing country by sponsoring a child.
Take a vacation. Visit an area attraction. If you read this early enough, board the next plane to Disney World. For the first time in its history, the theme park will be open to guests for 24 consecutive hours for what the company calls “One More Disney Day.” The park will be open for 24 hours so guests can can advantage of every extra minute.
Do something from your bucket list.
Sleep. Too many of us say we don’t get enough sleep, so why not spend the day catching up?
If you’re still short of ideas, you could –
- Leap to conclusions
- Take off by leaps and bounds
- Play leap frog
Happy Leap Day!
February 21, 2010 at 10:06 am (Communications, Uncategorized)
We all know that words have meaning, both connotative and detonative. But how often do we stop and think about the energy of our words?
One suggestion is to start at a place of good intention. If you have to discuss a difficult topic – notice I did not say “issue” – how are you framing the conversation? Are you starting the conversation with the understanding that they tried their best? That they did not understand the assignment? That there was malice in their actions?
Once you start at a place of good intention are you keeping the big picture view at all times? Yes, we know that the proof is in the details, but keeping the big picture in mind allows you to get past items that eventually will not have any relevancy.
Your attitude is everything. At a recent global workshop, several people said, “Your attitude is your altitude.” I thought it interesting that the concept crossed oceans.
A former colleague who was going through a difficult time would come to work without makeup, dressed in drab clothes. Everyone around her knew she wasn’t at her best. I suggested that when she wasn’t feeling well, she should wear her favorite outfit and put on her brightest lipstick. She did, and she stopped dragging herself to work. She was more productive and her attitude soared.
Instead of arguing or confronting, why not address an issue? And no matter the difficulty of the discussion always speak with respect.
Instead of assuming something, challenge the assumption. Nothing is “always” or “never.”
What are your words saying?
January 24, 2010 at 12:05 am (Books, Uncategorized)
Tags: Algonquin, Emyl Jenkins, Stealing with Style, The Big Steal
Mystery writer Emyl Jenkins won’t have much time in February for writing as she’ll be busy giving talks on the topic throughout Virginia, Alabama and Georgia.
“I need to clear the decks and just write,” she said.
Emyl, who has written Stealing with Style and The Big Steal, says her characters are so much fun, “It’s like having dinner with so many people.”
If she’s not writing or giving talks, then she’s busy managing her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Both allow her to secure speaking engagements and interact directly with her fans, but at a price. “When are we supposed to write?” she muses. “There’s just so much to keep up with.”
She’s also begun a blog for her publisher.
And what about reading and reflecting, which Emyl says also are important for the writer. She says that she can tell some writers don’t have time to do that. “I’m finding in some books that characters are wooden or shallow and that plots are thin or pushed,” she says.
Publishers are pushing writers to churn out a book every 12 to 18 months. Writers also don’t have time to sit back and reflect, “to think about what their characters want to say,” Emyl says.
Despite the challenges, Emyl is hard at work on her next Sterling Glass novel. No publication date has been set but her dinner table has been crowded with all her characters.
“I’m fortunate,” she says. “My publisher [Algonquin Books] gives me the time I need.”
December 30, 2009 at 10:52 am (Uncategorized)
How is your professional health? It’s a question I posed Oct. 25 (
) and suggested that we could each benefit from developing a professional health dashboard.
And so at this time of year when resolutions run rampant, I’m publicly committing to my dashboard. Research shows that those who talk about their intentions are much more likely to succeed because they get support. Other tips that help you keep resolutions include outlining your plan and tracking your results. Both of which you are doing if you develop a dashboard.
I’m going to track my progress monthly and quarterly. I’m not going to focus on December 2010. I want to get through January first. My dashboard measurements include tracking the number of professional books I read (goal is 6 for the year) and meeting a colleague or peer for a networking lunch monthly (1/month).
So now that I’ve put it out there, I hope you will help support me in these efforts. If you’ve got book recommendations forward them to me. If you’re in the area, let’s meet for lunch (no, I’m not treating, sorry!). I’d like to know what accomplishments you’ve reached and what challenges you have. It’s all about learning and growing.
Wishing you a happy and successful 2010!
November 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm (Communications, Uncategorized)
You know what your messages are, but what can you do to be sure you are writing clearly?
Here are four quick tips:
1) Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
2) Avoid jargon.
3) Avoid having more than three prepositional phrases in a sentence.
4) Use active voice.
When I work with writers they often think they are already doing this. Then I make them take out highlighters or colored pens. First, I ask them to highlight any sentence that is longer than one and a half lines. Next, I ask them to count how many sentences are in each paragraph and write that beside the paragraph.
With another highlighter they have to mark the prepositions. Any sentence that has three or more requires a rewrite. Another color is used to highlight every verb and then circle those which are passive. Again, those that are passive require a rewrite.
This exercise is frustrating for many, but once you begin doing it, you’ll find that your writing quickly improves and your editors will love your work.