Three Life Lessons I Learned from Buckaroo Banzai

The wisdom of Movies – © gorralit stock.adobe.com

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eight Dimension introduces crime fighting brain surgeon, adventurer, rock star and all-around renaissance man, Buckaroo Banzai. He and his band of eccentric friends, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil aliens from the eighth dimension.

This completely unique Sci/Fi Adventure is a cult classic. I recently watched the featurette of the movie on it’s anniversary release. Though most of the actors had no idea what the plot was really about at the time, they were still excited to be part of the movie. Buckaroo Banzai can be considered a venue for the most talented comedians of the 80s (and today). For me, it was a revelation.

The Wisdom of Buckaroo Banzai

  1. Eight Dimensions of Opportunity – Buckaroo Banzai was released in 1984. I was a freshman just entering the big world of University life. This movie had a strong impact on my world view. I, like many of my contemporaries, were raised by “Depression Era Babies” who drilled the notion of “Get a job. Stay there until you retire. Then have fun.” I’d never been exposed to anyone like Buckaroo Banzai. He showed me I could be more than one “thing.” I didn’t have to live under a Label I’d chosen when I was still an inexperienced kid. I could pursue careers and hobbies I loved during my entire life, instead of waiting until I retired from a job I hated.

Seek out your own truth!

  1. No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – This is probably Buckaroo’s most quotable saying. He admonishes the crowd when they are unkind to a tearful Penny Pretty. I think his words have two meanings. First – Be Kind. We’re all humans going through our own difficulties. Second – Look into your own heart, before judging others. Who are you, really? Do you know for sure? Find out.

Be Kind!

  1. Laugh While You Can, Monkey Boy! – Okay. I’ll admit I doubt John Lithgow meant anything by this, but the obvious warning. It’s still a good message. Life is a terminal illness, so fill it full of laughter and joy rather than negativity.

Fill your life with joy

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

It’s release month for Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warriorseries. I’m celebrating with a Halloween Giveaway! Click here to enter for a chance to win these Boo-tiful Prizes:

  • Signed Print copies of Books 1 – 3 of the Heart of the Warriorseries with 2 limited edition bookmarks
  • Mini-flex LED Reading Light
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Plush Lion
  • 1000-piece Halloween jigsaw puzzle
  • Halloween mug filled with candy

Visit my EVENTspage for scheduling information and blog stops I’ll be visiting this Fall.

 

 

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The Spooky Movie You Forgot You Loved

Start The Spooky Season With An Old Favorite! © Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com

Happy Spooky Season! I know I’m a few days early, but I am too excited to wait! This October is going to be a fun one. Creed of the Guardian – Book Three in the Heart of the Warrior series – comes out October 18th. I’ll have details on tours and giveaways soon.

Let’s kick off the season with a blast from the past to get you in the Halloween Spirit!

The Frighteners – directed by Peter Jackson and starring Michael J. Fox – is a satisfying mix of paranormal haunts, suspenseful plot twists, and comedy. Fox plays Frank Bannister, conman and paranormal investigator. Frank finds himself up against a supernatural serial killer preying on unlikely victims around his home town.

First released in 1995, this movie came out at the height of Michael J. Fox’s popularity. His acting is heartfelt and real. The entire cast brings their best performances in this entertaining paranormal adventure. It is Jackson’s ground-breaking special effects that propel this movie over the top. According to Jackson, they developed software and techniques in The Frighteners that made it possible for him to film The Lord of the Rings.

Make sure to put this spooky fun film on your Halloween Playlist. I highly recommend the Director’s Cut released as part of the 15th Anniversary Edition Blue-ray.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well. And Have a Spook-tacular Spooky Season!

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Wearing White After Labor Day and Other Acts of Rebellion

You Be You. © cristovao31 Stock – Adobe.com

It’s September in Colorado. This year is unseasonably warm even hitting a record 100 degrees on Labor Day. I hate being hot. It’s one of my least favorite things, especially when you’re stuck behind the wheel during peak traffic. I decide to grab a silk tank top and my white summer sweater.

Then I hesitate. It’s after Labor Day. I can’t wear white. My other blouses are too warm. What should I do? Coming to my senses, I grab the white sweater and the tank top.

Whoever came up with the weird rule of no white after Labor Day clearly never struggled with Colorado’s fickle September weather. I’m no fashionista. It’s still unclear why I even care. Life is a struggle. Laundry isn’t self-cleaning. Comfort is Queen. Leave me alone, I’ll wear what I want.

Acts of Rebellion

We have a great deal of faith in the “tried and true” sayings of experts. Hey, they’re experts. Of course, you should carefully consider what they say. Sometimes, however, you have to rebel a bit. Challenging the status quo can bring about new innovations and positive change.

Write What You Know – Stay in your box. Don’t push the boundaries of your knowledge or imagination. Phooey to that! Writers are intelligent and inquisitive. We love to learn, so we may share our knowledge with readers. Besides, hard facts can add depths of realism to works of fiction.

Do your research. Interview experts in your subject area. Ask them to read what you’ve written for a reality check.

Biting Off a Bit Too Much – I encourage you to push your boundaries, but I caution you to know your limitations. For instance: You shouldn’t try writing a complex mechanical engineering textbook on your own if you don’t have any background or knowledge of the subject. Partnering with a mechanical engineer would be a better approach.

You Must Have Natural Talent to Write – Hmmm. Maybe. It certainly helps. BUT:

Love is a powerful motivator. If your passion is writing, you’ll do what it takes to learn, improve and grow in the art form. Failure and criticism will not deter you on the path toward publication. Why? Because it’s fun (most of the time) and fulfilling. Writing feeds your soul. What could be better than that?

Don’t discount natural talent. We all know or know of someone with an amazing natural gift for the written word. Rather than struggling over every word, they make it look easy. These are the Mozarts or Beethovens of the Literary World. You will never be better than they are. Neither will I. AND THAT’S OKAY. Don’t compare yourself to these seemingly supernatural artists. Or anyone else.

Remember: We each have our own stories to tell. You were given your story for a reason. Keep Writing!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Top Five Ways to Keep Creative Projects Fun

Joy in Creativity © Vjom stock.adobe.com

We live for our art, don’t we? Sharing our work with the world is a way to give back to the community. It can be gloriously fulfilling and at the same time an overwhelming responsibility.  Keeping the joy in our art is important in encouraging our productivity.

Remember: The world needs your art! Don’t let anything stop you from creating – including YOU!

Top Five Ways to Keep Things Fun

  1. Plan Your Events Around a Favorite Holiday: My latest Dark Fantasy Novel – Creed of the Guardian– comes out October 18th. I’m having a blast with Halloween themed gift basket ideas and marketing
  2. Get Your Friends and Family Involved: Great ideas often come during group discussions.
  3. Don’t Take Yourself or Your Project Too Seriously: Art is hard work, but it should also be fun. Don’t suck the joy out of your creativity by taking it too seriously
  4. Plan Well and Finish on Time or Early: It’s a wonderful feeling when you check off all those tasks on the way to completing your creative project. A job well done!
  5. Don’t Forget to Celebrate! Completing that crappy first draft or a preliminary rough sketch is a major accomplishment. It gets you one step closer to a full creative piece of work. Reward yourself with a nice meal or a spa day.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Three Super Quick and Quirky Reads for Your Three-Day Weekend

Reading

Reading on Labor Day Weekend – © dragonstock stock.adobe.com

Labor Day. It’s the last HOORAH of Summer in the United States. Three days of grabbing the last rays of sun or swimming in the lake before it chills. Don’t forget your reading list this weekend. Need some ideas? How about these three quick and quirky reads?

Three Quick Reads While You’re Lounging

I’m a Pole (And So Can You) by Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert brings is unique and funny perspective to this hilarious book.

Dr. No by Ian Fleming

This quirky James Bond book is a quick read. It expands on the events of Dr. No’s Island where Ursula Andress rises up from the waves in her iconic bikini.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Read about events from the criminal master mind’s point of view. I love this series. It’s clever and unique. I’m also pleased to report Artemis finally gets his own movie. Disney 2020.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

How Work Management Software Can Help Creatives Finish Their Projects

work management for creative projects

Work Management for Creative Projects – © Tartila Stock.Adobe.Com

Creative brains are restless processors of imaginative ideas. Our itchy fingers yearn to start creating the next fun project we dream up. Unfortunately, our next big idea rarely waits until after we’ve finished our current endeavor. Progress on our manuscripts, paintings, or screenplays falter. We lose momentum and begin missing deadlines.

Work management software can assist in planning our creative projects and help us stick with a firm schedule.

What is Work Management Software?

Work Management Software (aka task management or collaboration software) is a category of digital tools designed to plan projects and non-project tasks. Their applications can range from single users or small teams to large project management offices. Easy to use and readily available online, these tools are perfect for creative projects.

In other words, work management software is a project management tool for everyone.

Which Tool Should I Use?

I’ve been a project manager for over fifteen years and have used many complex project management tools to track my large enterprise level schedules. Mastering the platforms required extensive training and some technical knowledge. Many times, the tools were cumbersome and made managing the project unnecessarily complicated. It also limited project management tool access to companies who could afford the expense and resources to maintain them.

The new wave of work management digital tools has opened the door for individuals and small business owners who can’t afford the expense and don’t have time for extensive training. Larger businesses are adopting these easy to use tools as well, effectively reducing their setup and training times.

In researching for this post, I’ve discovered a smorgasbord of new tools. Most of them are unfamiliar, so I’m suggesting a few I know are free and reliable. Asana and Trello are both easy to use and have free basic plans.

A Sneak Peek at Trello

I use the free version of Trello. Why? One of my project teams used it in the past. It’s familiar. It’s free. And it’s fun.

Trill

Trello for Creative Projects

Simple Steps to Set Up Your Creative Project

Trello and YouTube have great “how to” videos to get you started setting up your new account and boards. In this post, I want to give you a few tips to help you plan effectively. You have some things to think through before jumping into the tool. What will it take to complete your project? How long will each task take? If I connect these tasks and their due dates correctly, then will I have my project completion date? Finally, who do I want to access my boards? Are there team members I’ve assigned to tasks and do they need to see those tasks?

Step One – Create your board

  • Give your board a meaningful and descriptive name, so you can quickly identify which project it represents
  • Set it to “Private” (setting located at the top of the board by the name) if you don’t want anyone to see your board
  • Invite your team (if applicable)

Step Two – Plan and create your cards

  • Think about the task categories your creative project must navigate:
    • Create – What steps must you take to create your book, video, etc.?
    • Edit – Do you or a team member need to review the work and quality check?
    • Publish – Are you sending this to a client? Or will you be producing/ publishing the work yourself?
    • Market – Do you need to create marketing tools and advertising?
  • Set Due Dates to hold yourself accountable
  • Plan carefully to calculate a reasonable and accurate project completion date

Step Three – Track your progress

  • Mark your finished items ‘complete’ to gauge where you are in the project
  • Review your splendid progress in ‘real time’ for a boost of self-confidence
  • Watch potential time slips and mitigate them before they happen

Work Management Tools can help you stay on track. Keep your designs easy and straight forward. You’ll soon see the value of organizing your work.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Cosplayers Assemble!

Denver Pop Culture Con – © Viacheslav stock.adobe.com

Denver Pop Culture Con is coming this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center! I’ll be there doing panels with awesome authors: Terry Brooks (Shannara Series), Cinda, Williams Chima (The Heir Chronicles) and many more!

Stop by the Author’s Booth during my signings for a chance to win free ebook copies of The Heart of the Warrior series books one and two!

Find my complete Denver Pop Culture Con Schedule at this link.