Wednesday, November 14, 2018

11 Ways to Say THANK YOU to Your Network

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions!
Gratitude is a practice. Make it a priority.

Words matter more than ever. There are too many vitriolic words being shared on the airwaves. So in this official season of appreciation, why not expand the words (and actions) of love that say "thank you?"

How important is it to thank your social media network? Your blog family? Facebook friends and Twitter followers? You know the answer: VERY IMPORTANT!  People love to be appreciated. Your gratitude gesture is an act of civility that blesses both you the sender, and the receiver. 

It also makes good business sense; it's a core principle for any heart-centered enterprise that guarantees to keep your business thriving and your messages rippling!

Yes, saying a quick thank you in an email or post is a good thing, but it is often deleted as quickly as it was made.

Happy news! There are many ways to say thank you and here are 11 of my favorites ways. 
Thank you in advance for commenting, sharing and/or Tweeting. YOU are appreciated! 

Sharing as Thank You's
#1 Comments – Take time to post a sentence or two to thank your readers and colleagues in your comments; make them authentic and specific on their blog or post. Consider using phrases that start with "You are appreciated for your.." vs. "I appreciated the..."

# 2 Share your reader's and colleague's posts on social networks. Tag them so they know what you're up to. "Sharing is caring" is a phrase you'll often see and some websites are designed for this screen to pop up after their blog is shared. Consider places where that would benefit your readers (and you) from sharing more than one time! Use others' content-rich posts to complete your scheduled posts on Facebook or elsewhere. Be sure the posts compliment and reinforce your brand.

#3 Mention your readers and colleagues on your future posts. Who doesn't love to see their name in print? Better yet, link their name to their business page, book, or current project.

Connections as Thank You's
#4 A quality introduction is priceless and worth its weight in gold. When you hear someone seeking something, scroll through your "mental Rolodex" for someone who could assist them. Be sure to ask that they close the loop and give you feedback if they connect. Likewise, if you receive an introduction, be sure to thank the introducer and fill them in with what happened--or didn't happen.
If YOU seek an introduction to someone, please share WHO that is and for WHAT in the comments below. 
(Pssst...I'm looking for places to hold 2019 spring book events in CA, WA, and OR.)

#5 An authentic referral is similar but more serious as you've used this service and are putting your name and reputation on the line with someone in your network. Again, ask for honest feedback if the referral pans out for future work or collaboration.
If YOU need a referral for a service, please share that in the comment below and how to best get hold of you. 
(Pssst...I'm looking for a referral to a copy editor AND a launch designer/coordinator!)

#6 Recommend on your website with a resource page. This can change monthly or quarterly with a name, description, how you know this person, and link. Information is a powerful giver of information by connecting others.
If YOU have a resource page, please share that website page in the comments below.

#7 Review on Amazon or Goodreads also takes time. It's a thank you that every author appreciates. You are putting gold into the "Bank of Karma" for when your book is published. Remember, your review could help connect a reader to the perfect book that inspires or blesses them in a way you may never hear about...and that's okay.
If YOU seek a book review, please share your book's link in the comments below.

Touchy, Feely, Tangible Thank You's
#8 Postcards and handwritten notes always thrill when received. Why? Because they take time, they’re as rare as hen’s teeth these days, so getting something in the mail is unusually unique. Make it easy and have a stack of postcards or notes with stamps ready to pop into the mail.

#9 Giveaways – Have giveaways for your readers on a monthly or seasonal time period. You could give away a product, a PayPal gift card, an eBook, etc. 
If YOU have a current giveaway, please share in the comments.

#10 Actual Gift  Have actual gifts that are also ready to pop into the mail--your book, or something with your brand like a  mug, paperweight, etc. 
If YOU have a source for creating actual gifts or promo items, please share in the comments.

Truly free gifts are always appreciated!
Free Gifts as a Thank You

#11 Free eBooks, templates, lists, bookmarks- to download and print with no email required that ends up on your list. Consider only gathering an email for people who subscribe to your blog.
If YOU have a free gift that doesn't require an email and can be downloaded, please share in the comments.

Want to join me? Save the dates of July 9-11, 2021--yes, 2021--for this festival of collaborative arts and theme events!

Consider becoming a PATRON of the ARTS NOW by supporting Omni-fest for as little as $1.00 to $100 a month. You choose.
Your support for this UNIQUE, FIRST TIME FESTIVAL celebrates the confluence of creativity and jubilance through the elements of food, art, song, dance, illumination, craft, and merriment. The hosting organization, Whimsicalitea, is a young Southern California arts-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that nurtures expression through the genteel arts, with a special fondness for literary endeavors. >>

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Meet 11 Literary Muses for November Inspiration

"I have learned to surrender to the muse. I become obsessed with a theme or certain stories; they haunt me for years, 
and finally, I write them."-Isabel Allende

How do you surrender to the muse?

One way is to be curious while meeting some familiar and new literary muses. Some of these eleven authors and poets still create. Then, as Stephen King suggests that some, “Muses are ghosts, and sometimes come uninvited.”

So what is a muse? Muses are visible and invisible energies, found in trusted people, places, pets, and things. They're always present and often not present when needed and so writer’s block appears. Some writers state they've never experienced this state of mind. Lucky them!

Wendell Berry,  poet, essayist, farmer and novelist, offers these clarifying insights:
“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who return, again and again, to say "It is yet more difficult than you thought." This is the muse of form.

These 11 writers and poets born in November could serve as your 
“Muse of Inspiration and Muse of Realization."
Won't you please meet and read:

"The book is actually divided into five sections, through which the key character, 
the muse, leads us." –Christopher "Kit" Williams

Margaret Mitchell November 8 (b. 1900)-Pulitzer prize winner and American author-Gone with the Wind (1936)

Alicia Ostriker November 11 (b. 1937) – American poet – A Woman Under the Surface: Poems and Prose Poems (1982)

Bahá’u’lláh (Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri  November 12 (b. 1817) - Persian Mytsic, founder of the Bahai Faith میرزا حسینعلی نوری)   – Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Ayaan Hirsi Ali November 13 (b. 1969) – Somali writer, human rights activist –Infidel (2007)

Karen Armstrong November 14 (b. 1944) – U.K. writer (religion); memoirist – the Spiral Staircase (2004) 

"Writing sometimes feels frivolous and sometimes sacred, but memory is one of my strongest muses. I serve her with my words. So long as people read, those we love survive however evanescently. As do we writers, saying with our life's work, 
Remember us. 
Remember me." -Marge Piercy

Marianne Moore November 15 (b. 1887)- American poet, The Fish

George Eliot November 22 aka Mary Ann [Marian] Evans (b. 1819) – British novelist, journalist, poet, and translator – Brother Jacob (1864) 

Dale Carnegie November 24 (b. 1888) -American author and speaker- How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936)

Alexis Wright November 25 (b. 1950) – Australian (indigenous) novelist, short story writer – Carpentaria (2006)

Louisa May Alcott November 29 (b. 1832) American novelist and poet-Little Women (1869), Little Men (1871), and Jo’s Boys (1886)

Lucy Maud Montgomery November 30 (b. 1874) – Canadian novelist – Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Like Allende, might you now surrender to your familiar or new muse? 
Which author or poet "whispered" to you? Share a link to your book(s).

Shout Outs!
Celebrating the success of others.

As a student of chakras for decades, this IS the Ultimate Guide!

Let's Stay Connected!
Join Writer's VisionQuest, a free, dynamic private Facebook group for women writers to help "transform your words somewhere brilliant."
* Read Women as Visionaries with Lore Raymond, 5-year old magazine format with women contributors to "empower women through spiritual inspiration." Interested in contributing? Please inbox me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why and How to Write Your Epitaph on All Soul's Day

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
"Wit is the epitaph of an emotion." 
Frederich Nietzsche

Tragically, recent current events remind us that life is fragile, fleeting, and not forever. The world is offering sympathy and condolences for lives lost in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting; the Yosemite death of an Indian couple falling from a cliff; Ntozake Shange of "For Colored Girls" fame dead at 70 and; the list continues with the recent names of loved ones and pets--too many to add here.

While prayers must continue to disavow hate by being love, these events must also serve as a strong reminder to get your house in order--to make certain your wishes are legally listed in a will or living will; that instructions about your gifts to others and medical wishes are documented; your passwords to bank accounts and social media sites are compiled and; your epitaph is written.

For anyone--including writers, authors, and creatives--this may be one of your toughest assignments to embrace: 

November 1, Plan Your Epitaph Day. 
It also coincides with All Souls' Day 
"Day of the Dead."

According to Google Dictionary, "This is a phrase or statement written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone." It can also be a short poem that’s serious, witty, or humorous!

What one or two lines would you want on your epitaph? 

My dad, an Air Force pilot and veteran, left his earthly flight suit on October 4,  2003. His burial took place at the National Bay Pines Veterans Cemetery in St. Petersburg, FL. For his gravestone, they allowed for only five words besides his name and dates of birth and death. 

Yes, just five words to reflect 75 years of life and 30 years of patriotic service. 

In a Divine Download, his epitaph came to my mom; she recalled what my brother at age three used to say when people asked, "What does your daddy do?" 

He always answered, "Zoom in the sky!" 

And that's Daddy Bear's epitaph.

While this day on the surface might seem morbid, doesn't it make more sense for YOU to be the author of this final piece of writing?

Decades ago while feeling forever young and immortal, my "final day" seemed too far away to give it any thought. The reality now whispers and reminds me every day that I am in the "autumn" of my life at 65 years young.

Perhaps you will join me for this challenging writing assignment and follow these suggestions on how to write an epitaph:
World National Holidays reports on "The Origin of "Plan Your Epitaph Day": We believe Lance Hardie is the creator of Plan Your Epitaph Day. He is the author of How to Write Your Own Epitaph -- and Live Long Enough to Enjoy. (I was unsuccessful in finding the book's link.)

So, if you "need a little nudge to plan your epitaph, let today be the day."

Shout Out! Celebrating the success of others:

Dr. Debra L. Reble's new book,  Soul-Hearted Living: A Year of Sacred Reflections & Affirmations for Women , will be released by#InspiredLivingPublishing on December 5th!

Each of the 365 daily reflection pages features a sacred reflection and affirmation by Debra, as well as an inspirational quote submitted by women around the world. 

Claim your gift of gratitude, two free meditations, when you register for VIP notice today!

Delighted to be a contributor!

Let's stay connected!
Join the Writer's VisionQuest, free, dynamic private Facebook group for women writers to "transform your words somewhere brilliant."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Three Stages of Evolution: The Soul of Book Writing

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions

After 18 months, I am grateful for the gentle book writing evolution through different and surprising stages. The following reflections surfaced during a recent Divine Dialogue Writing meditation.

Book writing is anything but completing just a checklist; establishing a writing practice; identifying your ideal reader and; setting a daily writing goal. There's a considerable expansion of experiences you might not be aware of. 

Perhaps these insights will help you or someone you know who's writing a book or perhaps thinking about writing their autobiography.

Thank you in advance for letting me know which stage you connected with or perhaps are now in.

Tasks are essential, and I believe these three stages speak to the soul of book writing from another perspective. 
They include:

#1 Ego Stage: “I am writing a book.”
Here you excitedly announce your plans to write a book and share the answer above when asked, “What are you doing these days?” With dreamy, hopeful sparkles in your eyes, visions of sugarplums and the title of New York Times bestselling author dance in your head!

Caught up in perhaps your own happy hype, your book writing is hit or miss while completing some or none of the book writing course modules (like me). 

Delusions, distractions, and denials get amplified; you think you’re writing your book by writing other projects, i.e., a blog, proposal, or new website copy.

You allow your dream to come true and begin.

#2 Ego Fading Stage: “The book is writing me.
Submerged into the mystery of book writing, a butterfly transition begins; you become aware that this is a co-creative project that requires discipline. Something more expansive than yourself calls you to share your story.

A commitment to collaboration becomes essential to honor the ideas and words found in research. Perhaps, you’re now faithfully keeping the goal of writing 111 minutes every day (like I was), completing course modules, and writing for fewer projects.

You accept your book writing assignments with joy, satisfaction, and eagerness!

#3 Ego-free Stage: “Book is writing me.”
In this sacred place, there’s no option, no turning back, no excuses. A subtle and profound shift happens within your psyche and soul. The writing now completely transforms how you spend your time, talent, and treasure. For example, if I could take a pill for all my daily nutritional needs--DONE! 

You sweetly remember and embrace the purposeful passion that catapulted you onto this literary journey. There’s no "should" or "could." There’s only must

Book exudes a seductive, attracting energy to do her bidding—to write!

You surrender to what is yours to do. You now write until you don’t write. 

What’s next? I’m not sure. 
I know that Book will have something to say sometime. 
I also know she's...
Our launch date is March 20, 2019, the New Moon of the Spring Equinox.
Book and I hope you will join us!

Celebrating friend's successes and offerings...

Andrea Hylen's new book--the story behind the story of the Heal My Voice anthologies that she published with hundreds of women.

Heart and writing sister, Andrea, is offering the Writing Incubator--100 days of support, prompts, and Writing Labs, starting November 1.
Check to see if it's a fit--like it is for me. Count me in!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

11 Pieces of Advice I Would Include in a Letter to My Younger Self

Your Soul Café: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Action

Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wings of time.” ~Jean Paul

I just celebrated 65 successful-turns-around-the-sun. Yes, trite to say, but where did time fly to?
As my birthday wound down, I paused to time travel over the past six decades, I thought it would be fun to list 65 things I would put in a letter to my younger self. In this case, it would be “Little Lorraine Monique” when she was 10 years young and making straight A’s as a fifth grader at St. Francis de Sales School in Riverside, CA-- and to my only grandson Blake, now age 3 ½.
Then a breezy thought blew by, "Who wants to read 65 pieces of advice from you--or anyone for that matter?!" 

Not me.
And because I enjoy numerology if you add 6+5 (my turns-around-the-sun) =11; eleven is a portal number, reminding me that I am walking through the door to Chapter 3.
Some are serious, and some are just fun, but all have meaning for me.

Please share which "birthday feather" you practice or enjoyed being reminded of.

#1 Love is all there is. Love is all there. Love is all. Love is. LOVE. ~Lore

#2 Explore your relationship with God—or whatever name you choose. Invest in it, nurture it, grow it, express it, and never divorce.

#3 Listen to your inner whispers and follow the promptings; Intuition always has your back.

#4 Expect and give lots of H.U.G.S. >> Happy Unexpected God Surprises.

#5 When the horse is dead, get off!” -Rosita Perez. There’s no need to stay in any relationship that doesn’t bring you joy. Period.

#6 Make gratitude a daily practice; the positive energy will bless you abundantly and over time, become as natural as breathing.

#7 Be a forever student and teacher; read everything and anything; take classes and courses and; give back what you’ve learned.

#8 Make self-care of your body temple vs. a tent a priority with healthy food and thought choices. The greatest wealth you’ll ever have is good health—don’t squander your youthful treasure.

#9 Forgive yourself and others often. Repeat and repeat.

#10 Follow the Jewish proverb, “Plant a tree. Have a child. Write a book.”

#11 To travel far, travel light and be sure to pack your pen, paper, and all your dreams! ~Lore

Some final thoughts:
We are travelers on a cosmic Journey.
Stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity.
Life is eternal.
We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, 
to meet, to love, to share.
This is a precious moment. 
It is a parenthesis in eternity."
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Happy Birthday to me.

Supporting sister writers & friends. Take a look-see...
Debby Kevin offers up her #1 Amazon bestselling adventure tale

#1 Amazon Bestselling series by Jodi Chapman  & Dan Teck; proud to have contributed to two of the books!