Posts filed under ‘Newsletter’

What’s precious to you?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

What is precious to you? What comes to mind when you think of the word?

In the dictionary, precious means of great value, highly esteemed. Synonyms include: dear, expensive, extravagant, high-end, costly, premium, priceless, valuable.

God considers all of His children precious. Here on earth, there’s something precious to me…can you tell what it is?

This year’s Social Directors at our Wisconsin Family Reunion (grandson Nick and pregnant Kaitlyn — yes, that will be my GREAT-grandchild!) did a fabulous job.

Mini golf teams were picked by blind draw.

 

   

We celebrated birthdays.

And we did our traditional group photo.

 

Tonight, as I write this, the California side of the family will get together to go to the Fair. We’ll play games (I love throwing darts at the balloons and winning a little stuffed animal — more fun stuff to send to the great-grandbaby!), eat big turkey legs and corn on the cob (if we were back in Wisconsin it would be cream puffs and cotton candy), and we’ll attend a concert of The Guess Who and Three Dog Night (and stay up WAY past my bedtime).

Precious. All of it.

There are material things that matter in life, like having a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. There is the need to work to make money to live. And there is our health to be concerned about as well as day-to-day activities.

But there is something extra special, something precious, about being with family. Do you agree?

I hope your summer is turning into everything you want it to be, and that you’ll take the next month to make precious memories.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

What’s Happening…

The Dog Days of Summer are here! And Charlie Bear has an announcement to make.

First, he wants to know:
Are you a dog lover?
Do you like getting cool things for your dog?
Want to win a free $25 PetSmart Gift Card?

Charlie Bear is putting on a contest just for you and your pets. Go to www.bjtayloronline.com to see details on how to enter. It’s easy and fun, and it could be YOU and your doggie who wins! And remember…the more times you mention @CharlieBearY2K on twitter, or go to Charlie’s Facebook page and make a comment, the more chances you have of winning!

And don’t forget to post a cute photo of your pet. We really want to see those!

 
Latest review: 
I truly enjoyed this book. It was straight from the heart. It makes a great case for giving rescue dogs a chance and the emotions that we work through. I had to giggle at several parts and love Ms. Taylor’s style of writing. Not only did it take me on the emotional ride but kept me guessing if Charlie Bear would stay with her family. Thank you for sharing your story Charlie Bear & B.J.!
From Petmamma…Corrales, New Mexico

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/IrI4U1
Available on Publisher’s site, Inspiring Voices: http://bit.ly/HHI8zs
Available on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/JTorap

Blog:www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

August 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm 11 comments

It Never Gets Old

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Have you ever come home to this?

I get all wiggly with excitement when I see a box tucked behind the plant at my front door. What’s in it? It’s a thrilling, spine-tingling surprise until I slit open the tape and lift out the contents.

In some instances, it’s a box of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Did you know that when you have a story published in one of their books you receive a check for $200!, and you also receive a box of 10 free copies of the book? Now isn’t that nice!

On some days, it’s a box of Guideposts or Angels on Earth magazines, like this:

I helped a woman named Linda write her story about running again after being shunned by her high school coach. She is now participating in marathons and loving it. The story was published in this May/June issue of Angels on Earth.

Do you ever see these guys around your neighborhood?

    

When a truck like one of these tools around my streets, I wonder, “Could he be delivering something to me?” I love the feeling of having “acceptances” out there in the publishing world: Chicken Soup stories, Guideposts or Angels on Earth stories, or even one of my latest books like CHARLIE BEAR. It keeps my adrenaline flowing and keeps me motivated to submit more stories for future publication.

Keep those trucks comin’, guys!

And if you don’t have any trucks dropping off boxes at your front door behind your plant yet, don’t worry…they could be pulling up real soon. Just get to work submitting and never give up. It may just be that 5th, 6th, 18th, or 20th submission that finally gets accepted. And then watch those boxes pile up!

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

Charlie Bear offers a loving tribute to a rescue dog that eventually sheds his headstrong ways, becomes a loving member of a family, and ultimately changes three lives forever.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/IrI4U1
Available on Publisher’s site, Inspiring Voices: http://bit.ly/HHI8zs
Available on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/JTorap

What’s Happening…

Hooray! It’s summer! I’m so excited to gather with loved ones at our family reunion. I can’t wait to hug every one of them. Hope you are all having great family time this summer.

Blog:www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

July 17, 2012 at 9:38 am 4 comments

The First Timers Club

TAYLOR’S TIPS FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE YOU…

Dear Friend,

Have you ever felt like a duck in a dry pond? A vegetarian at a hamburger and steak tailgate party? Ever been uncomfortable in a new situation?

I remember my first writers’ conference. Green. Shy. Scared. All those people, all those successful writers, all those editors and agents. And I remember my firsts of a lot of other things: first date, first kiss, first born, first story published.

Recently, I’ve been thrust into new situations that have me shaking in my used-to-be-white sneakers: a brand new book for sale, contacting people to ask them to read it and review it, and doors opening for promotion.

I got a call. A videographer was coming over. Huh? What the heck is that? I’d done a photo shoot for a Guideposts story. Hours of standing there putting expressions on my face while a photographer snapped hundreds of photos, all for the use of just ONE for the magazine. Whew, I got through that years ago. What could be worse?

Well, video, that could be worse. It’s a photographer, but he also asks questions and shoots video. So there he stood in my family room, a big light on a tripod set up behind him, a camera on a stand, and a microphone on both of us. He asked me questions, I answered, wondering if I looked okay, and trying not to sound like a moron. I knew the questions ahead of time, but I forgot most of what I wanted to say.

That was a first. Then came the request to do a thirty-minute radio show. Live. On the Air. OMG! I received a guest prep sheet with a few questions. I wrote some notes and spread them around my desk to prompt my thoughts. I didn’t have to be on camera, hooray!, but I still had to sound coherent. What if I messed up? I was so nervous. http://bit.ly/LaWVTn

That was a first. Then came another radio show, this time for an entire hour. I felt a little bit better. Hey, I’d done this before! But guess what? They asked all sorts of different questions and I felt totally off guard.

Can I ask: what are YOU doing for the first time? Are you stepping out by submitting your written work? Are you signing up to attend a writers’ conference? Are you writing a book?

After all of these things happened, I thought back to my first writers’ conference. Green. Shy. Scared. Now, I’m a speaker. The first time I stood in front of a group in a classroom my voice wobbled, my knees wiggled, and my heart beat a drum roll in my chest. But the next time it was easier, and now I’m not nervous at all.

We can’t “get on down the road” unless we begin the journey. And if you wait for all the traffic lights to be green, you’ll never leave your driveway. Yes, it’s scary. Susan Jeffers wrote a book that I read years ago. It sits on my shelf with highlights in it, underlining, and dog-eared pages. The title? “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

Here’s that book I’m promoting. You know what? You never realize how much it takes to get buzz going about a new book until you have one out. If any of you have read the book, and you feel like you have a minute or two, would you write a review on Amazon about it? That would mean a great deal to me. Send me an email afterwards, so I can thank you personally!

Charlie Bear offers a loving tribute to a rescue dog that eventually sheds his headstrong ways, becomes a loving member of a family, and ultimately changes three lives forever.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/IrI4U1
Available on Publisher’s site, Inspiring Voices: http://bit.ly/HHI8zs
Available on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/JTorap

Here’s a link to my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bjtaylor

What’s Happening…

I’ve taught at four conferences in the last three months so it’s time to take a break and go on vacation soon. Hubby and I will head out on a road trip to see some sights and shortly after that we’ll fly to Wisconsin for a family reunion. 

 This was the family gang in 2011.

Hooray! Here comes summer!

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

June 19, 2012 at 9:36 am 6 comments

Life Coach – Do you have one? Do you need one?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

I’m in a conundrum (that’s a funny word, isn’t it?). 

I was watching a golf program on TV with my husband and they were talking about golfers having life coaches.

Golfers have these people who help them to stay positive, think well about themselves, encourage them not to let the last bad shot affect the next hole, to think of themselves as a great golfer, a great driver, a great putter, even in the face of bad scores or unhappy results on the golf course.

I looked at my husband and said, “Did Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, or Gary Player have a life coach?”

Does the average PERSON have a life coach?

Heck, we all go through those feelings every day. Maybe not on a golf course, but in the course of our life at our job, at our hobbies, at our feelings as a wife, mother, daughter, son, father, husband, employee, boss, writer, singer, painter, speaker, entertainer, actor, actress (the list goes on).

Do you have anyone who does this?

Or this? (if you are a man, picture a male image here…)

I happen to agree we all need support, encouragement, and motivation. I wouldn’t call it a “life coach” as much as I would call these people by one word: friend.

And I am blessed to have more than one. They help me when I’m down, feeling blue, under the weather, under deadlines, feeling sad, angry, hurt, afraid, and they share my happiness and elation, too. Some of these friends go WAY back in years, and some are new ones I’ve just met. Some are writers group members for me, maybe for you they are church members or coworkers. Maybe they are members of a MOPS group or an informal gathering at the playground around the kids.

I think Arnold, Jack, and Gary had their own life coaches, we just didn’t have a name for it back then. It was probably their wives, their parents, other players, or their friends.

Whoever it is that helps to coach you through life, give them a big hug today. If you can’t see them in person, send a handwritten note. And if it’s your husband or wife, give them a big smooch when they walk in the door.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

Sunny Side Up: Inspiring Stories for Dog & Cat Lovers includes a bonus section from Charlie Bear on his life before adoption. It’s a prequel to the book releasing soon: CHARLIE BEAR: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love, and Second Chances.

DOG & CAT on Kindle: http://amzn.to/A7FAmC
DOG & CAT on Nook: http://bit.ly/ze6Lna

Also available:

SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for WOMEN
Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES
Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

What’s Happening…

Antelope Valley Writers’ Conference May 4-5, 2012 Learn about the writing world, mingle with others who share your passion, come away rejuvenated and refreshed. The line-up of faculty looks fantastic. I’ll be there–will you? For more information: www.avwriters.com

Orange County Christian Writers Conference May 18-20, 2012 Registration is open for this fabulous conference and they are going to have intensive workshops running the full day on Friday. And guess what? I’ll be teaching one of them: Writing Personal Experience Short Stories that Sell. I am so excited to share the formula for inspirational writing (the kind we do for Chicken Soup or Guideposts or other publications). You may have attended my class last year (we had 61 people crammed into the tiny room) and want additional help, or maybe you weren’t there but you’d like hands-on help in a small group setting (the class size will be limited–sign up early). You’re going to submit your story in advance, and then we’re going to work on it in the workshop. And don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of instruction to take with you when the day is done. This conference will have intensive workshops, faculty panels, dining with faculty, consultations with those in-the-know, and much, much more. For more information: www.occwf.org

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

April 2, 2012 at 7:03 am 6 comments

The Love Month

Dear Friend,

This was the month for love.

We bought special gifts for our spouse, coworkers, children, even our beloved pets.

If I could, I would reach out and hug each and every one of you. Why? Because you mean the world to me. You are unique and special, like every butterfly that emerges from a cocoon, or every flower that sprouts from the rich soil.

 

You are my sunshine on cloudy days.

You are my inspiration.

Maybe we met at a conference, maybe we’ve been friends forever, maybe we’ve crossed paths at a lecture or you signed up for this newsletter through my website, maybe we know each other through Facebook or Twitter, or maybe you’re a friend of a friend.

It doesn’t matter.

I love you.

YOU!

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

It’s done! Sunny Side Up: Inspiring Stories for Dog & Cat Lovers is now available.

DOG & CAT on Kindle: http://amzn.to/A7FAmC
DOG & CAT on Nook: http://bit.ly/ze6Lna

Guess what else? Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love, and Second Chances is almost ready as well. It’s been a whirlwind of details to get it all right, but it’s almost here.

SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for WOMEN and SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES are also available, and so is the writer’s group book. 

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

 TOUGH TIMES on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
TOUGH TIMES on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

Read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

What’s Happening…

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. It doesn’t matter where you are in your writing career–if you want inspiration, instruction, fellowship, good food, great fun, you have to join us where the redwood trees tower above us but our hearts beat together in one song. You’ll often find me in the little stained-glass chapel saying my prayers or I’ll be teaching a class or meeting with writers (like you). This conference is going to have it all: workshops and major morning tracks geared to freshman, sophomore, junior and senior writers. For more information: http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

Antelope Valley Writers’ Conference May 4-5, 2012 Put this one on your calendar. Learn more than you thought possible about the writing world, mingle with others who share your passion, come away rejuvenated and refreshed. The line-up of faculty looks fantastic. I’ll be there–will you? For more information: www.avwriters.com

Orange County Christian Writers Conference May 18-20, 2012 Guess what? I’ll be teaching an all-day workshop on Friday: Writing Personal Experience Short Stories that Sell. I am so excited to share the formula for inspirational writing (the kind we do for Chicken Soup or Guideposts or other publications). You may have attended my class last year (we had 61 people crammed into the tiny room) and want additional help, or maybe you weren’t there but you’d like hands-on help in a small group setting (the class size will be limited–sign up early). You’re going to submit your story in advance, and then we’re going to work on it in the workshop. And don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of instruction to take with you when the day is done. This conference will have intensive workshops, faculty panels, dining with faculty, consultations with those in-the-know, and much, much more. For more information: www.occwf.org

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

February 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm 6 comments

The Forest for the Trees

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Do you know that saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees”?

It means that you are deeply involved in a situation, and perhaps focusing too much on individual details, and not enough on the situation as a whole.

And sometimes, as with what happened to me, it can be physically harmful:

I’m washing my face with a washcloth. I’m in a hurry, behind in my schedule for the day, and thinking about a project I’m working on. I bring the washcloth from my face down to my neck and then back up to the lower part of my face. I feel something scratchy, but I keep rubbing my face vigorously with the face cloth anyway. When I move the cloth away, I feel something drop down around my neck. It’s my necklace with a small one-inch gold cross. I look at my chin and see two scratches. One is three-quarters of an inch long and the other is a full inch. And they’re bleeding. Two bright red lines of blood stretch from just underneath my mouth on the left side toward the middle of my chin. 

What was I thinking?

Trouble was, I wasn’t. Thinking that is. I was in a hurry. And my mind wasn’t on the task at hand. Getting lost in my own thoughts was hazardous to my physical health.

Days later it still hurts when I wash my face. They’re still there, those pesky scratches, a reminder to pay attention to what I’m doing.

For me it was a wakeup call. I realized I had been so focused on my own world that I wasn’t paying any attention at all to the forest around me. A significant date had just passed and I missed it. A birthday card wasn’t sent because I forgot. What about being inattentive while driving? Have you ever missed an exit, almost ran a red light?

I don’t want to miss the special moments in life with a loved one because I’m caught up in a character’s latest tangled web, a plot point, or a turn of a page.

I don’t want to become so engrossed in my own world that I cause harm to myself again, or to others.

As I walk my path in life, I promise to look at those gorgeous trees sprouting up around me. They are my projects, my dreams. In fact, I will intently study them, admire them, bask in their glory and growth and work diligently. But I will not forget that even if I invest myself in that for a moment, there are bigger things God wants me to remember. The forest. The beautiful, ever-expansive, filled-with-opportunity forest. And it’s only when I take my eyes off the individual trees that I see it.

Thanks, God, for the reminder.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

Sunny Side Up: Inspiring Stories for Dog & Cat Lovers is done and can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’ve been working diligently on the dog book: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love & Second Chances. It’s been a whirlwind of deadlines (for the manuscript, the back cover copy, the author bio, photos, cover copy, etc.).

SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for WOMEN and SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES are available already, and so is the writer’s group book. And I’m working diligently on that third one, while keeping in mind the forest for the trees!

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

TOUGH TIMES on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
TOUGH TIMES on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

If you have an e-reader–great. If not, you can still read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also still available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

What’s Happening…

Drop me an email and let me know if you’re going to be at these wonderful events. I’d love to meet up with you there.

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. This premier conference has been geared for writers at all levels: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Rachel, the conference director, has made it easy to find just the right classes to help you to better your craft. Come to Mount Hermon to meet, to learn, to refresh, to pray. http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

Southern California’s BEST:

Antelope Valley Writers’ Conference May 4-5, 2012  Put this one on your calendar and plan to attend. Learn more than you thought possible about the writing world, mingle with others who share your passion, come away rejuvenated and refreshed. Join us. www.avwriters.com

Orange County Christian Writers Conference May 18-20, 2012 This conference has tons of learning opportunities, from intensive workshops, faculty panels, dining with faculty, consultations with those in-the-know, and much, much more. You get to meet these people up close and personal. They’ll share with you their knowledge and expertise. Come with an open mind and learn, learn, learn. www.occwf.org

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

February 17, 2012 at 7:23 am 10 comments

Change

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Sometimes change is easy. Sometimes change is hard.

Sometimes we choose change. Sometimes change happens whether we like it or not.

Our lives could look like that meandering river pictured above. Our finances might take a turn to the left, or maybe a turn to the right. Our love life might look good one day and not so good the next.

Our writing world might look promising today and tomorrow not so bright.

Whatever happens in our life, there is one constant: CHANGE.

We need to embrace it, enfold it, hold it close to our chests. Why fight it?

I’ve tried fighting change. I’ve railed, I’ve cried, I’ve stomped my feet and screamed out loud. Did it do any good? Nope. Change still happened.

Maybe there are some changes you are looking forward to? Maybe there are changes in your future that you will eagerly embrace? That’s the spirit! Look for ways to love change. Make change a big part of your 2012. Institute little changes (like getting up an hour earlier to work on that manuscript), and larger changes (like sending out 4-6 manuscripts a month for possible publication), to even bigger changes (like attending a writers conference to talk to editors and agents).

You can do it! Change can be exciting and exhilarating. Breathe it in. And when good things happen to you because of changes you’ve made, pat yourself on the back. You’ve taken a step forward. Rejoice.

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

I admit it. I didn’t get everything done that I should have over the Christmas holidays. I wanted to get my third and final Sunny Side Up e-book on Amazon and B&N but it isn’t done yet. My bad. 

These two are still available. The first is SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for WOMEN, where you’ll find uplifting and encouraging narratives about life as a mom, wife, sister, friend, and more. In SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES, you’ll discover how others have tackled their problems head-on with faith and hope.

   

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

TOUGH TIMES on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
TOUGH TIMES on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

Did you get an e-reader for Christmas? GREAT ! If you didn’t, you can still read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also still available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

If you’d like to write a review after reading any of my books, I would absolutely love that! Thank you!

What’s Happening…

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. This premier conference has been geared for writers at all levels: freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior. Rachel, the conference director, has made it easy to find just the right classes to help you to better your craft. Come to Mount Hermon to meet, to learn, to refresh, to pray. http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

Southern California’s BEST:

Antelope Valley Writers’ Conference May 4-5, 2012 Guess who’s the keynote speaker? Cec Murphey! You won’t want to miss this one! Put it on your calendar and plan to attend. Learn more than you thought possible about the writing world, mingle with others who share your passion, come away rejuvenated and refreshed. Join us. www.avwriters.com

Orange County Christian Writers Conference May 18-20, 2012 This conference has tons of learning opportunities, from intensive workshops, faculty panels, dining with faculty, consultations with those in-the-know, and much, much more. You get to meet these people up close and personal. They’ll share with you their knowledge and expertise. Come with an open mind and learn, learn, learn. www.occwf.org

See you at one, or maybe all three!

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

January 23, 2012 at 6:33 am 4 comments

Backing Up – Taylor’s Tips Newsletter

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Beep, beep, beep, beep….. you hear the sound of a truck backing up…

 

 

 

Beep, beep….you don’t want to get run over, so you stop, pay attention, and get out of the way, right?

There are two reasons I want to talk about backing up. First, when we hear little warning bells going off in our head during this hectic holiday season, we need to stop, pay attention, and often back up. Things like being tired, or overworked, or money being tight, or no time to shop and wrap and ship all create stress when added into an already overstuffed life. Picture yourself taking a few steps backward and breathing deeply. The stress will pass. Everything will get done. Christmas will be merry and bright.

The second reason I want to talk about backing up is the computer kind. I know, it’s not a glamorous topic and it’s rather dull to talk about, but about six years ago my computer died. It had been making noises, not the beep, beep variety, but more of a clunk, clunk, churn, churn. I’d smack the side of the tower (not smart I know) and the churning and clunking would subside. Until the day it just died.

Photos, documents, emails…everything was lost. Unrestorable. I never thought it would happen to me. After I recreated everything, I began to use one of these to back up:

That was good for a while, until my data took up more than one, so I went to this:

And that was good. It held lots more. Then a friend told me about this:

External hard drives back up everything you tell it to. And that was good. 

One day I looked at the post-it note stuck on it and the date said six months prior. Yikes. I plugged it in, ready to back up all my stuff, and….it wouldn’t work. Not only was I not able to run a back up of new data, but the old data I saved was not accessible.

Geez.

Coincidentally, I’d just heard some writers talk about what they do to back up their systems. And I heard the word “online.” Could that be for me? Was it safe? I found all sorts of online backup systems: Mozy, IBackup, Carbonite, and others.

I chose Carbonite because many people said they liked it. I also liked the price. For $5.00 a month (the price of one cup of coffee at Starbucks) I could have all my data backed up automatically. No need to remember to do it. The technology was secure. The files were offsite in case of a fire or theft. It’s fast and simple to recover a file.

I’m not a techno wizard. This was super easy. Just install, let it back up everything (which took a long time during the initial run), and then watch it work its magic. It backs up all my files (email, documents, photos, everything) in the background while I’m working.

I don’t have to remember to plug it in, drop files into it, or do anything at all. If my computer crashes, I can restore everything to a new PC. How’s that for peace of mind?

Happy writing and blessings on your work. And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

Want some inspiration with that Christmas shopping? The second of three e-books filled with stories of hope and faith is available now.

In the follow-up to SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES, you’ll find uplifting and encouraging narratives in this second book just for WOMEN.

   

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

Tough Times on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
Tough Times on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

And if you don’t have an e-reader, you can read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also still available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

I would love it if you’d write a review on any of my books. Amazon readers dig those. Thank you!

What’s Happening…

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. This PREMIER conference is for writers at all levels, whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior to the craft. Come one, come all, to the greatest place to meet, to learn, to refresh, to pray. Ask for this as a Christmas gift, and do yourself, and your writing career, a big favor.  http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

26th Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference (and Retreat) February 17-20, 2012. Another great conference to check out.  www.WritersConference.com

See you there!

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

December 16, 2011 at 9:42 am 2 comments

No Chips – No Kidding!

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Today, let’s talk about a CHIP.

Nope, not “A Chip off the Old Block.” Not even “Blue Chip” like in stocks. Or even “Chips ‘n Dip,” which I can always go for (especially ruffled potato chips with onion dip – yummy. Let’s put that on the list as a Thanksgiving Day appetizer…oh, I’m getting off track, sorry).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today, we’re referring to something else. We’re going to talk about having “A Chip on Your Shoulder.”
 
This phrase, ‘a chip on one’s shoulder,’ is reported as originating with the nineteenth century U.S. practice of spoiling for a fight by carrying a chip of wood on one’s shoulder, daring others to knock it off.
 
I have to admit it doesn’t happen often, but I had a BIG one on my shoulder early this month. A change had occurred at work and I was being thrust into something I didn’t want to do. It involved revamping my schedule. It upset my routine. It put a crimp in my life.
 
I ended up carrying around the biggest chip you have ever seen. Then one day I realized — who was getting hurt by this? And the answer was: ME! My attitude was terrible. My performance was sub-par. My happiness was gone. That chip weighed me down. I didn’t like me and how I felt about myself and my attitude.
 
And that’s when I did this:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I printed a little picture of a potato chip bag and drew a circle around it with a red pen. Then I cut it out and stuck it on my computer at the office.
 
Most people don’t know what it means. They probably think I don’t want to eat greasy potato chips (they’re not really good for me–fine in moderation though). But it doesn’t matter what others think of my little picture. To me, it means:
 
NO CHIPS.
 
No bad attitude. No sub-par performance. No more unhappiness.
 
It made all the difference in the world to let it go. To change how I thought about the issue. To resolve to be happy in spite of the changes that were occurring.
 
And you know what? It worked. No more chips for me! (Except for Thanksgiving – bring on the onion dip!)
 
Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

Want some inspiration with that turkey and stuffing? The second of three e-books filled with stories of hope and faith is available now.

In the follow-up to SUNNY SIDE UP: Inspiring Stories for TOUGH TIMES, you’ll find uplifting and encouraging narratives in this second book just for WOMEN.

WOMEN on Kindle: http://amzn.to/tchBTI
WOMEN on Nook: http://bit.ly/uNwVSC

Tough Times on Kindle: http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
Tough Times on Nook: http://bit.ly/q7bNTG

And if you don’t have an e-reader, you can read e-books on your computer with Kindle for PC: http://amzn.to/dk8GIF

Also still available:
“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

I would love it if you’d write a review for me on any of my books. Amazon readers dig those. Thank you!

What’s Happening…

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference March 30 – April 3, 2012. This PREMIER conference is for writers at all levels, whether you are a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior to the craft. Come one, come all, to the greatest place to meet, to learn, to refresh, to pray. Ask for this as a Christmas gift, and do yourself, and your writing career, a big favor.  http://mounthermon.org/adult/professionals/writers-conference 

26th Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference (and Retreat) February 17-20, 2012. Another great conference to check out.  www.WritersConference.com

Hope to see you there!

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

November 23, 2011 at 9:11 am 6 comments

Potential – You’ve Got It!

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Having potential
works exactly opposite to the way
a savings account does.
In a savings account, as time goes by,
your money compounds interest.
The longer you leave it untouched,
the more it increases.

When it comes to potential,
the longer you leave it untouched,
the more it DECREASES.
Unused potential wastes away.
If you want your potential to increase,
you have to tap into it.

John C. Maxwell

Setting aside the fact that in the first paragraph it would be really nice if we were all gaining interest in a savings account (that isn’t happening lately in this economy, especially in money market accounts), but let’s not go there. I’m thinking positive that things will get better.

Instead, let’s look at the second stanza. POTENTIAL. You have it. I have it. The last line says that we have to tap into it. How did I tap into mine? I took classes on writing starting way back in the 1990’s. I learned from experts–those who have done what I  hoped to do. I started or joined three writers groups for support, encouragement and motivation. I took a chance and submitted my work. I was even shot down early on by an editor who said I didn’t know what I was talking about when I sent in a query. That got to me, but with the support of my writers group I rose above his rejection (I now call it nonacceptance). 

It took me eight years to win the Guideposts contest and many, many submissions to Chicken Soup for the Soul before I figured out what they wanted. I wrote lots of other people’s stories (still do) so I conducted interviews. The first one I did I shook in my JC Penney shoes. Now, it’s no big deal. I’m even teaching at the SCWC conference (see below) on “The Art of the Interview” along with “Writing Personal Experience Stories That Sell.” And last, I never thought I’d write novels, but I am!

Do you think I’m living up to my potential? Yes…and no. I’ve done a lot, but I’m nowhere near done. I have so much more I want to do–in particular, help dogs and people to live harmoniously together. I’d like to write more novels and finish the true story of Charlie Bear, our adopted rescue dog. I’m pulling together true inspirational stories I’ve written into an e-book compilation called Sunny Side Up: Inspiring Stories for Tough Times. There will be other books added later this year. And there’s a particular novel that keeps nagging at me to get back to writing it.

Potential? You have it. I have it. Are you tapping into yours?

Happy writing and blessings on your work. 

What’s Happening….

Southern California Writers’ Conference –  Sept. 23-25, 2011 join me at the Ninth Annual Southern California Writers’ Conference *LA (at the Hyatt Regency in Newport Beach). The SCWC has facilitated nearly $4 million worth of first-time authors’ book and screen deals. Dozens of read & critique and Q&A workshops–this event is purposely tailored to empower writers to sell their work. www.WritersConference.com

Sorry to report:

CANCELLED: Christian Writers Guild of Santa Barbara – Saturday, October 1st. Doctor’s orders have required conference director Opal Mae Daily to cancel this year’s conference. But watch for the date again next year. There isn’t much that keeps Opal Mae down!

Follow your dreams…

B.J.

New e-book filled with 18 uplifting and encouraging true stories on sale for just $2.99:

  http://amzn.to/oWyIIO
  Available on Kindle, Nook, or read it on your computer with the
  FREE Kindle for PC.

“The Complete Guide to Writers Groups That Work”
For your Kindle http://amzn.to/qDh28y
For your Nook http://bit.ly/qZTHIX
In Print through Amazon: http://amzn.to/n3wS5D

BLOG: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 

Facebook: listed on FB as B.j.Taylor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/bjtaylortweets

Website: www.bjtayloronline.com

September 22, 2011 at 8:17 am 10 comments

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