Are You Investing in The Right Things?

A few weeks ago, I treated my tootsies to a pedicure at my local salon. Sharing the pampering experience were two sisters and a toddler. Suddenly Grandma came in with a stack of lottery scratch cards. She divided them up between their family. The toddler – wisest among us all – was asleep. Fun right? Her daughters didn’t think so. They begrudgingly took the cards and started to scratch. I was left with the impression they’d done this game way too much in the past.

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Grandma assured everyone in the salon buying the lottery scratch cards was worth it. After all, she’d won $61 once. Nodding with what I hoped would be taken as polite congratulations, I began to do the math in my head. Now I’m not a lottery player, but I believe those scratch cards are five dollars a pop. The stack was about an inch thick. Her money. Her decision. The practical cynic in me, however, can’t help thinking a better use of her money would be a family trip to Disney World. Everyone would have a better time. And memories don’t end up in the trash can at an indifferent salon.

The experience made me think. What resources have I been throwing away by investing in the wrong things? We all have precious resources. Time. Energy. Hope. Love. And yes – Money. Most of these are finite. Invest your time, energy and money wisely. Spend your hope and love extravagantly.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

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Five Ideas for Learning on the Cheap

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Are you a curious person who likes to learn? Maybe you’re looking for a career change. Or maybe you’ve recently retired and just want to do something different. Taking classes or workshops can be the answer. Here are five ideas for learning on the cheap.

Five Learning Resource Ideas for Adult Learners

  • SCORE.org(United States Small Business Administration) – Did you know the Small Business Administration wants your business to be successful too? They started the SCORE program in order to foster growth in the small business community. SCORE provides classes and coaching professionals to help. Highly recommended
  • LinkedIn.com– For a minimal monthly fee, you can take online workshops presented by industry professionals
  • Udemy.com– Online resource for just about any course subject you can imagine
  • Local Colleges – You’ll find adult learning programs at many community colleges. They offer a wide variety of classes at reasonably priced fees
  • Local Museums, Botanic Gardens and other venues – Stuck for ideas on your new learning adventure? Try your local museum or botanic garden. They frequently offer specialty classes/ workshops for interesting subjects. Don’t forget local organizations! These groups focus on writing, art or hobby interests

Honorable mention – YouTube.com:I’m a big fan of this online resource. I’ve lost count of how many times I access YouTube in order to figure out how to do a DIY project or a quick home repair.

Being a lifelong learner doesn’t have to break the bank. Technology has provided us with opportunities to learn at a lower cost. So, enjoy those classes and keep your brain active!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

The Benefits of an Active Shelf Life

I’m a reader. Not just a reader. I’m a “must read the list of suggested books from my local library or online resource” type reader. Don’t try to limit me to only one genre. I’m interested in everything from books about local history to ghost stories to modern thrillers to classic tales. I will, on occasion, explore the works of foreign authors from diverse backgrounds. Why do I read everything I can get my little mittens on? I’m a reader, because I’m a learner.

The Benefits of Being a Reader:

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  • Reading is exercise for the mind – Your brain needs fresh knowledge to grow. Don’t stop learning just because you become an “adult.” Growth is essential for everyone regardless of age.
  • A well-read brain is a healthy brain, especially as we age – Staying active is important for a healthy body. Your brain ages too. Learning new things can help keep your mind sharp.
  • Reading promotes imagination – Movies, TV and video games are entertaining, but someone else is doing the imagining for you. Reading a book offers plots and descriptions of the author’s story scenes, but it’s your imagination building the world as you see it. You take away inspiration, encouragement and knowledge gleaned from what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye.

Read Often. Learn as Much as Possible. Share Your Knowledge.

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Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well

Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treat! How About a Special Book Cover Reveal Instead?

Coming Spring 2019!

Book Cover Design by ebooklaunch.com

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Blood Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Catch up on the Heart of the Warrior series

Amazon

BN

Amazon

BN

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Embrace the Creepy – Five Must Do October Activities

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October is all about the Spooky Season. Relishing in the creepiness, we seek out ways to scare ourselves. Horror movies and scary books are a great start. Why not take it to the next level? All Hallows Eve only comes once a year after all.

Here are my top Five Spooky Season Activities:

#5 – Fall Festivals – Think pumpkin patches, cider and hayrides

#4 – Horror Classics on the Big Screen – Grab a bucket of popcorn and attend a special showing of your favorite classic horror flick at the local movie theatre

#3 – Zombie Crawl – Plaster your best Walking Dead make up on and join the rest of the mob as they search for brains in your city

#2 – Haunted Houses (or Amusement Parks) – Enter at your own risk for a ghoulish good time! While these are super scary, I have to say, “Ghoul Please!” I was at a REALhaunted house this weekend. Which brings me to my #1 October Activity.

#1 – Ghost Tours – I’ve been on ghost tours and hunts all over the United States and some places in other countries as well. These tours are always an eye opener, especially when you discover the chilling history of your home town.

Bonus Activity – Regional Events. Your home state/province is unique. Clever organizers use that special something to plan themed events. Here in Colorado, one of our special somethings is our mountains. A few of the foothill and mountain towns offer haunted trail walks through the creepy woods at night.

So many October activities. So little time! Let that inner little kid dressed in the super hero costume out. Go have some fun!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.Be Spooky. Be Gruesome. Be Goofy.

A special Halloween treat on DTJ next week! Stop by for a book cover reveal for Creed of the Guardian(Book Three of the Heart of the Warrior series)!

No Sweetie. Vampires Aren’t Sparkly

5 Reasons Why Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the Best Version of Himself

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Sparkly, but sullen teenage vampire hunks. Cutesy fanged monster toddlers. Friendly blood suckers who own hotels and throw parties. The entertainment industry has taken a classic horror icon and defanged him.

I’m a Dracula purist. Nothing evoked more fear in my childhood than the mere mention of the legendary vampire. Bram Stoker’s book haunted my imagination and inspired me to write tales of dark fantasy and horror.

Here are 5 reasons why Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the best version of himself:

 

  1. He is “The Count.” While Polidori penned “The Vampyre” decades before, Bram Stoker made Dracula an unforgettable classic character.
  2. His story is weaved with mysteries that keep the reader enthralled.
  3. Stoker’s book contains the common elements of Horror with a terrifying villain, elicits feelings of fear and dread, immerses the readers in a macabre world.
  4. His intelligence and power over his victims add a psychological terror element many of the other horror classics lack.
  5. Dracula is iconic. Put on a cape and fangs for Halloween. Everybody will immediately recognize your costume.

Dracula is my favorite monster of all time. If you’re looking for a horror classic to read during the Spooky Season, give it a try.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.Be Spooky. Be Gruesome. Be Goofy.