Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fish Sticks

So...I knew it would happen. We've gone back and Fourth about the fish needing a heater. Spouse says no, they are fish....I say yes, they aren't trout, they are exotic goldfish....So anyway, I peek out to check on them this evening before locking up the castle, and there is a solid sheet of ice on the pond!!! And yep, no heater plugged in....grrr...and double grrrrr.....all I can say is that it's a good thing I checked or I woulda had frozen little fish sticks by morning....and my spouse would have been responsible for the deaths of 11 helpless little fishies not that he would feel bad about it. Tomorrow I will purchase a padlock for the electrical box and hide the key.....

I have been hooking up with new and old friends via facebook recently and I've been amazed at how great it is. This last week, one of them posted a video of the Gruver High School production of Lil Abner that we did in's a hoot to see how young we all looked then! There is only a fleeting glimpse of me in the back but if you can pick me out of the crowd, I'll give you a free copy of my book....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Buy your beach house now....

I can't even tell you how great Hawaii is....Todd Dean's seminar went very well so we're all looking forward to LA in a few weeks. Now that work is over, we can be touristas for a few days. The whole TAG team went on a sunset cruise last night. They took us out past Diamond head and the view back to Waikiki was beautiful at night. We saw some really huge turtles from our balcony yesterday summing just a few yards off shore. Since we're 26 floors up we know they were pretty big for us to see them...and a surfer went by one and it was more than half the size of his yeah....pretty big.

Tonight everyone is excited cause we're all going to the Rockin Rockin Luau....that's the one at Paradise Cove...its a six hour event and we have seats right up front so we expect some great fun. I know I will not want to get back on the plane on Wed. Especially since I know its snowing at home. Heather has been of fish patrol and reported today that there are so far no that's good.

Its really odd the way business flows your way when you least expect it. We've been contacted over the last two days by three people out of the blue who have heard of our group. Of course the only way you can hear about us is word of mouth since we don't advertise and don't take just anybody as a client. A couple of these people are prominent sports starts and business people so word is definitely getting out - helped in no small part by the fact that we had a #1 on amazon. Amazing what that does for your credibility.

We're also working on some books coming out under our own company imprint...more on that later...must go now and learn the Hukilau......

Sunday, November 30, 2008

4 days til Hawaii!

Can't wait to dip my toes in the Pacific and have 82 degree days every day for a week! Lots to do before hand and loose ends to tie up as always but its more exciting to have Hawaii for a deadline. Who wants to have to work on the beach? But then again, the fact that I can work on the beach if I choose to is a huge perk.

The fabulous Todd Dean was on the Wayne Resnick show in LA again last night and of course was great! See his website at We're finishing up the workshop info for his conference next week and can't wait to see the response.

Now for the castle update....

My brother helped get our xmas lights up and they look fab and now everyone on the block is lit up...its kind of neat to be on a block where everyone plays the Christmas game - although at night the sightseers really clog the streets. Not a big deal this year as we'll be in Hawaii for a week. The lights all have sensors and a timer so the show goes on whether we're here or not. Of course Steve's house is one of the main attractions in this part of town. If you go down the street between sonic and jiffy lube on Georgia, Steve's house is on the corner on the next block. He has about 70,000 lights and the show is set to music you can tune in to on your radio..its pretty neat actually.

The ghost has been pretty active lately. Of course Kevin is still in HUGE denial, but whatever. If he heard the knocking at 3 am he'd be freaked to. Other than that things are going well. The fishys seem to be doing well in the cold - their heater keeps the water above 42 so they seem happy. I'll have to have someone come check on them while we are in Hawaii.

Business for TAG is still running strong and this is usually our slowest time of year so we're excited that we have lots of work to do and our writers aren't twiddling their thumbs as they sometimes do around the holidays. Of course all this work does cut into my xmas movie viewing - but I'll suffer through it......

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

#1 On Amazon!!!

I'm thrilled to report that one of the books I ghostwrote has just gone to #1 in its category on Amazon and its quickly climbing the overall list. It's Joe Vitale's newest book, Expect Miracles and its just in time for the Christmas season. Needless to say our value as ghostwriters just took a big leap! I have a feeling that several of the clients we're working with right now will really bring TAG into the limelight as the ghostwriters to have do your book.

One of those clients is of course our very favorite - Todd Dean. We're finishing up the seminar workbook (chris is) that will be used in Waikiki in December and getting the presentation ready. Todd will be appearing on Island Television News This Morning (ABC Affiliate) in Hawaii on Dec 2 and we're really thinking that will help kick things off.

Its hard to concentrate on work when the universe love us so much.....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Waikiki here we come!

We booked flights today for the whole & Kevin, Liz and Greg, and Chris and Maegan. The whole TAG Team...pun intended. Chris seemed excited and I have to say that he is doing a stellar job on the companion workbook to Todd's book for the seminar attendees. Maegan is his squeeze. We got to meet her last week and she seems really sweet...and WAY too skinny. We told Chris she needs to gain about 80 pounds before Hawaii.

A quick pond update - we got a new Plecko since the others died. He is HUGE. Gina thinks his size will help him no be so affected by the cold. I also did quite a bit of research on them and apparently, while they are algae eaters, they are a type of catfish and somewhat none discriminate in there foraging habits. I was a little concerned that he might not get enough to eat since we killed off all the algae. I discovered that the larger Pleckos like zucchini slices. So I went and bout a zucchini and followed the instructions posted on the Internet and softened them in the nuke-o-wave. I dropped in a couple yesterday but the fish ignored them. I was a little dejected, but today I go out and - no zucchini - and he was much more active than he's been. I deduced he was hunting for more zucchini so I dropped in a couple more. We'll see if he gobbles those too. Of course I didn't want a dog because they are a hassle to feed and here I am cooking zucchini for a fish....oh well..

The IRA book is coming out Oct 30 and you can get a copy on amazon or b&n or pretty much anywhere. I'm anxious to see it but I still think the cover stinks. I'm catching up on many other projects so I'm contemplating my next new project...I'm sure it will be in the financial area especially since the market is so ripe for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sad Day at the Pond....

Sad sad day at the pond....I go out to feed the posse and there is a floater....and its the big one that looks like a shark so very sad!! so then I take out all the little castles around the pond and check everyone out. Sadly I find the two other algae eaters dead but hidden inside the coral and logs! So the total is 3 dead..out of 11. Not a great percentage. Of course I was on the cruise all week but Kevin swears he fed them and everything. But still....bummer... So I checked out the rest of the crew and honestly they don't look well so I call Fishy 911 (Gina at exotic aquatics) and she will be by tomorrow to check them out and test the water to see what it could be. Sad Sad Day.....

In other news, we (me and Liz) are back from the cruise. Since it was a working cruise, it wasn't as much fun as the others but still, if you have to work why not do it on the high seas? Our day on the beach at Grand Cayman was sooooo worth it!! Beautiful water, pina coladas, great music...totally fab! Other than that is was like being at an Amway convention for a week and everyone wants to talk to us.......not a bad gig necessarily but tiring. Lots to do on our return so we're hard at it. Chris (our marketing assistant) got to work from home the week we were gone and I have to say he made great progress. So we told him we were planning to take him to Hawaii with us in Dec. when the seminars he's working on are presented for the first time. It sounds very generous, but in reality its to save our bacon! if something goes wrong he can fix it whereas we would be totally in the dark.

Another good thing that happened on the cruise is that Todd's web guy was there and we got to talk (REALLY talk). I have to say I really like this guy (Ernest Barbaric) and he has his own company. He is fab if you are needing some web work done so check him out He's in Canada, but if you can overlook that he's a great strategist so give him a buzz and see what he can do for you!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Well this was an extremely exciting week! First of all we sent out the first round of press releases for Todd Dean's book, More Month Than Money. He was going to be in LA so we sent it to 12 major media outlets in the Los Angeles area. Less than 48 hours later, the producer of the Wayne Resnick show on KFI 640 AM called to book him for Saturday. KFI is the Number 1 talk radio station in America so we really hit one out of the part. We also did a quick promotional ebook version of the books since the Hardback won't be available until November. When I told the producer we were going to offer the ebook free to their listeners for 7 days, they were thrilled!

The publisher was also excited and now we will be going on their yearly cruise that they take all their authors on. It leaves next Saturday and is doing the Jamaica, Bahamas, Grand Cayman itinerary which is good because I've already been there and can focus on the authors instead of sightseeing....still its great to be in the Caribbean now that fall is here!!!

We're hoping the radio appearance will help fill up Todd's seminar in Waikiki on Dec 6 which we will be attending as well.....very exciting stuff. We named our new marketing company TAG Media Solutions and with a score like this on, we should be well on our way!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

New Marketing Assistant

So we hired an assistant this week. His name is Christopher and so far he's been pretty good. He's awfully quiet though but I'm sure he'll come out of his shell eventually. He's helping us with all the marketing we are now doing for our authors so its exciting!

We are also going to Hawaii the first week in Dec to help Todd Dean with his seminar. It so exciting to see one of the authors really make their book work for them. I also heard from Michael Nicholas yesterday and he just got the copies of his books too. He's sending us a whole box!! Not sure how long that will take from England but I can't wait to see them. He put some pretty neat videos up on his website too. You can listen to him at

Regina's book is also due out in a few weeks and I'm anxious to see it too. Its funny we work on so many books, but then its like they all get printed at once! We have several more interesting projects in the works and the web guys are still working on our website which we hope to have up ASAP. I'm glad we have Michael's ebook now to add to the site as it is really a wonderful book on leadership!!

I also booked the January cruise last week. We're going to the Mexican Rivera for 8 days! I always hate the end of January - everyone is in a bad mood (they spent all their money) and it so freakin cold! So this year I'll be enjoying a week of sun an surf and leave all that icy wind & snow behind.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to Marry For Money

So we started a new book for a client called "How to Marry for Money". It is very much a smart ass how to manual for the lovelorn and finacially destitute - and its a lot of fun. Also on the menu is a sassy real estate book, a new solution for back pain, and the details of the worlds best money seminar. As busy as things are, they are really quite fun and entertaining as we don't get to do creative books very often.

Also working on the next couple of installments of my leadership series for CU Business. Hard to believe its been almost a year since it started. Its been a lot of fun and I've met some great business gurus like John Maxwell and Tom Feltenstien.

Also on the agenda is the final push for the ebook site. I talked to the developers today about how many people can download at once and he started in about bandwidth and mega giga bites....kind of like when Charlie Brown's teacher talks...wha wha wha.....that's all I heard. I just wanted to know if twenty thousand people downloaded at once would it work...he answered me but I still don't know. The correct answer is "of course it will" even if it won't, I wouldn't know the difference and I'd feel much better about the whole thing.

We also got three more fish - I know i KNOW...its eleven now and if they keep shitting in the pond, we'll have mud soon but oh well...we also now have lights on the fountain at night so its like a miniature Caesar's Palace...if you're around, come by and take a peek... Harley (my niece) was over this weekend and named the big fat one Nimo...I forgot what she named the other one...anyway when I have pictures, we finish the official naming....

Since several people know that we're writing a book about marrying for money, the question has come up....What would you do for a million dollars? So I ask - how low would you go?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pond drama.... was the day to go and pick out the lucky little goldfish that will get to inhabit our pond. I had thought we'd get six decent sized (4 or 5 inch) ones and that would be enough. Wellllll......there were two black ones (Esmeralda and Elvis) and one large calico(Spot just doesn't sound right for a fish). There there were two orange and white ones with these weird bubbles below their eyes....but they were smaller....THEN.....there were two yellow/black ones with pompadours....THEN there were two smaller gold ones with pompadours......sooo

You guessed it, they are all ours....NINE gold fish (plus one large and two small algae eaters to suck up all the fish crap) it will be a full pond....but most of them aren't that big. Of course they will all grow. Gina said if they get too big, we can swap them out for smaller ones so they don't overwhelm the pond. What a concept...too bad you can't do that with dogs, where every time your puppy outgrows the 'cute' phase you swap it out for another puppy! Dog lovers - don't email me, I'm not a dog person and don't care. I'm all about pets you can flush if they croak.

I have been working a lot, but that's normal for this time of year. We got a video camera to film some short clips for clients for video blogs and websites and of course as soon as I figure it out I will post video of the pond participants....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More tales from around the castle....

I know I know....this is a writing blog...BUT several of you have asked for an update on the pond and photos of Elvis and Esmeralda. Well, there was a delay of game (that's for you Britta!). The pond peeps couldn't come give it a look until last Sunday so E & E (as they are now being referred to) are on order and set to arrive Thursday!! So excited!! Tom and/or Gina will be coming by next Sunday to get the pond ready. We have also ordered blue gravel for the bottom cause I don't want to have to look at cement at the bottom of the pond.

They said it would take about 150-200 pounds of gravel ...which seems like a lot, but I guess they know their stuff. They are also ordering us a center fountain so we'll see how it looks....they said we could have about 6 or 8 decent sized fish so it will be E & E, Ed & Betty, and another couple as yet to be named. If you have any ideas, send them along.

I also found some new cleaning ladies and they are fabulous! Don't speak a word of English, but I say if someone wants to work they should get to work! God knows we run across numerous writer wanna bes who have no clue how to work!! The castle now sparkles and I feel a little bit guilty that they didn't ask for more money.

Business on the writing front has picked up a bit as more publishers are seeking us out!! Yea TAG! And that is only because the writers we do have want to work...go ethic speaks volumes no matter the country you are in or what language you speak.

The ghost was silent for a few days but the other night I heard him (or her) knocking..I 'd hate to think we'd run it off!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

there is life in Baton Rouge!!!

I finally heard from one of our writers in Baton Rouge. Andrea. She told me it was really devastated....estimates of electricity back on in four to six WEEKS!! I can't even imagine. so of course i gave her the update on the Palin situation.....and what else was going on in the country. I can't imagine stopping life for weeks and hearing no news, no nothing...good to hear she and hubby Jeffrey are doing fine...still wondering about Camille and Heather though. Andrea and Jeffrey are helping man the radio station...sunny 103.3 go to the station website for live broadcasts....anyway she is going to try and get in touch with Heather and Camille tomorrow so we'll know that they are okay.

In other news, the castle has a ghost! there is this weird tapping in the pantry on occasion that we can't figure out... it almost sounds like a kid in the pantry knocking to see if you will come and check it out....and of course nothing is there. Its not scary, just interesting I think....cause its loud enough to make anyone in the kitchen or den go check it out. My husband is a HUGH disbeliever but then he never thought we'd have a castle either - JOKES ON HIM!! of course he was whining tonight because the 'man cave' doesn't have the balcony view....he keeps saying he has the 'projects' view - I mean really!!!! He used to have newspapers on the windows at the old house so you'd think this would be great.

I also found a guy to get the pond ready for Esmeralda and Elvis. His name is Tom and he's from Exotic Aquatics. He's coming to clean everything and get it ready to be a good home for our future goldfish clan. He'll even order Esmeralda and Elvis to our I wonder what one of those fish with a pompadour is called?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stories from around the castle....

I'm getting used to the boxes you know.....but not getting far in the unpacking. Still lots to go and since work backed up during the move, I've been putting in long hours so who knows when the boxes will be gone and really - who cares?

So I'm taking it somewhat easy tonight and of course nothing is on TV. I added myself to facebook at the urging of some business friends and I'm surprised at how people have found me. Kevin is playing with timers on the sprinklers again - too bad he can't figure out how to make them go off every time someone lets their dog take a dump on our yard.

And what is the deal over here with everyone having a horse for a dog? If you want a horse, get a horse! A dog should not have to be walked with a golf cart! Our favorite client from Toronto will be in next week and then we'll be in Toronto with the Publisher Sept 24-26. Hopefully I won't have to endure the breeze from the ice cubes they have on that big lake up there...I mean really! February is not the time to hop into Canada.

YOu know how you get a really cool new fridge with all the latest features that seem really don't know - this really annoying beep if you hold the door open too long? So it sounds like a great thing right? And in theory it is if you're just staring into the depths of the fridge hopeing something will appear - this noise will snap you back to life and remind you, hey its the same stuff that was in there twenty minutes ago. Sounds great...right? NO.

See the little beepy noise is very effective for me - it beeps I close the door. But it doesn't seem to have the same effect on my spouse. It beeps - he ignores it. It doesn't bother him - it bothers me. Another ten seconds pass. More beeps and still no response. So now, its beeping and I'm complaining "HEY! It beeps for a reason!" And I get a blank stare. "What?" grrr...of course now that he KNOWS it bothers me its the funnest game ever - for him....

At least the moat is gone.....Yes I said moat. Last weekend, the fact that the sewer lines haven't had the roots removed in ..oh maybe five years became evident as a moat of raw sewage poured over our lawn and down the gutter around the castle. I'd even said something about wanting a moat but one with turds of unknown origin was not what I had in mind. Anyway, Paul the plumber to the rescue. The only good thing about the moat, was that all those people who let their dog/horse crap in my yard, also let them lap up the 'moat' water and then lick them in the face!! Yes, daddy loves his little horsey!!! Bwahahahahah

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Made It!!

So we are moved in!! - Not unpacked mind you, but moved. They delivered the bedroom furniture and the matching desks for our office. The red couch makes its appearance on Thursday along with the Frig. You know you never realize how attached you are to your frig until you are without one....I've had to ice down my bottles of wine in the sink for the last few days.

We absolutely love the house!!Kevin is on cloud nine and has been trying out all the neat features of the house - like the doorbell on the backdoor which is really annoying to me since I come downstairs to answer the front door and no one is there. And then there are all the various jets that come out of the wall in the master shower. I didn't notice them really or play with them - I just took a shower cause I wanted to get clean. Of course I'm a girl and that's what we do. Kevin however had to play with all the gadgets so he took a long shower then proceeds to tell me how cool the 'butt hole' cleaners are in the shower and how its the cleanest his butt hole has ever been. Really? Did ya have to share that??? Oh the joys of marrying a redneck. He has also arranged his 'man cave' with his desk, computer, TV, video games and beer frig which is the envy of all the guys who have been to the house so far.

Hopefully we'll be out of the boxes soon and can start having people over. For now, back to work!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We move this Saturday!!

Its been a flurry of activity around here this week getting this house ready to lease. I have to say our renovations look pretty snazzy and we put the 'For Rent' sign out in the yard last weekend. We got quite a few calls so I'm sure we'll have it rented in no time.

We haven't packed as much as I'd like - okay I haven't packed as much as I should - Kevin is already packed and ready to roll. We have given away ten years+ worth of crap and I'm sure will be giving away more. I went and verified furniture deliveries for Saturday and me & Liz picked out two matching executive desks for the office. So the it will be two desks and the red couch so far in the office.

I'm really excited and went to the pet store to look at some fish for my new outdoor fountain/pond. I thought I wanted some KOI so I got a KOI for dummies book - turns out I don't' want KOI - They get really big and need all this special stuff. What I need is a fish that looks pretty and doesn't really need to be feed on a regular basis - turns out that's called a goldfish.
So once we have the little fountain cleaned, I'm planning on getting a few bug eyed goldfish - Perhaps a Black pair named Esmeralda and Elvis or a bright gold pair named Ed & Betty - what do you all think?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Red Couch

So we've moved the closing date for the house up to the 16th.....eager to get there you know. Things are going well on the fix up for the rental and we've found the bestest handy man ever - his name is David and he can fix anything! So he's basically remodeling our house $50 at a time so it will be ready to lease out by Sept 1.

We bit the bullet and went furniture shopping this past weekend. We really only urgently need a bedroom suite - most of the rest can wait. However, over at Texas Furniture they had this little red couch I've had my eye on. Its curved and very girly and I wanted it for the office since we'll actually have room for people to sit in our office now. Anyway, I've looked at it several times and haven't gotten it because it was just a little pricey....then Saturday I went over to see if they'd sold it and they had marked it down to half price! Needless to say I snatched it right up! What can I say? The universe loves me! So now you all can get to visit the red couch when you come to the office - its really cute!

Today and tomorrow we have a client in from Calgary, CA. We're working on his book and some other programs he will be launching. His name is Todd Dean and he is a radio personality up there. We met in a couple weeks ago in Dallas and he's a nice guy. Actually I think he just wanted an excuse to come back to Texas...I mean who would live in the great white north on purpose??

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Listen Up You Blog Stalkers!!

It has been pointed out that I have been incredibly remiss in my blogging - which is true...I've been swamped since the cruise which turned out to be a trip of a lifetime for everyone. I think we inducted a whole new generation of cruise lovers!! Jen & Ryan seemed to be quite smitten with the boat and ports of call and Ryan even went para sailing!

I'm not sure why the person who was the most reluctant to get on the boat (all that water you know!) ends up being the one tethered to a speed boat like a kite in St. Thomas. As most of you know I would highly recommend a cruise.
So anyway, like I said, we got back and I am swamped - which is good. We got our ebook site in the design phase and after some misses, they finally hit one out of the park!! The design is awesome and we should be ready to launch in the next month or so. We're presenting the idea in Dallas this week for one of our publishers and so far everyone who has seen it has loved the concept. It looks like a winner!
Added to the flurry of activity during this, our busy season, my husband finds a house online. We've been haphazardly and not really seriously looking at moving to a nicer home. We've gone to many open houses, but nothing has really struck as right. Not even close enough to investigate the financing. So we go and see this house which is really just a few block from where we are now. For those of you in Amarillo, we currently live in white trash Wolflin. This house is in REAL Wolfin. Anyway, I really liked it. So we began investigating financing and over the last few weeks everything has completely fallen into place. We're keeping our current house as our first investment property and will be leasing it out soon. We close on the new house the third week in August.
Since I'm so busy I'm seriously considering piling all our current crap in the yard and setting it ablaze...out with the old, you know. Below is the virtual tour of the new house and if you see a blaze in the yard of a house in white trash Wolflin soon, you'll know we moved.

Virtual tour:

Click here to view:

Friday, June 06, 2008

It's Tomorrow!!

So tomorrow is the big day. We fly to Miami to begin our family cruise extravaganza. So far we seem to have everything in order. There was a very small blip this morning as Kaci's car broke down in Stinnett. Her Dad picked up the car and took it back home and I picked her up and brought her to Amarillo so no big deal. At least it will be fixed when she gets back.

I also picked up Kayla and we did the last trip to WalMart. We should be good to go and I think I have everything about packed. Didn't quite finish a couple of projects, but I guess it wouldn't be normal to actually go without work to do so I'm bringing them along.

We leave for the airport at a 6a tomorrow and should touch down in Miami shortly before 2pm so it will be a long day, but a relief once we all get there...of course there will be cruise updates!! so stay tuned.......

Monday, May 26, 2008

13 days til the cruise.....

Actually 12 days until we leave...we Fly into Miami on June 8. Everyone is so very excited and I for one, can't wait. Normally, I wouldn't take a vacation this time of year as summer is our busy season, but with everyone graduating and other people bringing their kids, this was the best time. Though work will pile up, I'm really looking forward to getting away. The map at the left shows where we will be going.

Here's one of the locations we'll be visiting:
Its the fort in Puerto Rico as you round the island coming into port.

Though we will be cruising the eastern Caribbean on this trip, Kevin and I are planning our regular birthday cruise for this fall. We usually go at the end of September and started it on our 40th birthdays (which are on the same day). We've continued to keep it up as cruising is very economical and life is too short to go for long periods of time without seeing the beautiful blue waters and feel the soft salt spray from our balcony. We'll be heading to the Mexican Rivera out of LA so it should be a good time. And its Mexico so we probably won't get off the boat that much - I'd prefer to stay on board anyway most of the time.

I'd have been saying that I hope to work on my book on the cruise for weeks - but I'm not saying that anymore. I WILL work on my book. I suppose some would find it odd that the one thing that I do every single day - write - is also the thing I look most forward to when I go on vacation. I guess that's a good indication of what your true passion is, if you do it every day and still can't get enough then its what you were meant to do. Anyway I will be finishing my new book on the cruise - and updating about the trip on the blog so stay tuned.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Memphis, Graduation, and Good Times

So I just got back from spending most of last week in Memphis. The hometown of Elvis, on the banks of the Mississippi, and keeper of secrets......yes, secrets (but more on that later). My parents and I all converged on Memphis for the graduation of my son from college. He is now a graduate of Rhodes College and to the thrill of the family and my son, HE HAS A JOB. He got his dream job at the corporate office of Auto Zone in Memphis. His does some kind of financial stuff (don't' ask me exactly what as it involves spreadsheets and stuff). But we were all VERY extremely proud of him.

So now I have two graduated from college and doing well in real life (with jobs and everything). We have another one graduating high school this year and one that's 16 so we still have a couple to go.

Memphis was totally fabulous. I had always envisioned it a very dangerous city (which it is if you look at the murder rate) because I watch The First 48 and its seems like every horrible murder happens in Memphis. However, I have to say that I totally loved it. The river was tremendous and I got an up close look from Mudd Island. The old peeps and me went down to Beale Street for a birthday lunch for my dad. Had fried green tomatoes, collard greens, grits and BBQ. We stayed downtown at the Madison and it was great. The valets were fab, and service impeccable. I got to treat my parents, but it was pretty obvious they aren't used to that level of service. Due to some issues with their room not being ready the hotel treated them to a suite and they learned pretty quickly why a $40 steak is better than sex and how fabulous room service really is.

My mom has been an Elvis fan her whole life and actually sneaked out late one night as a teenager in Dallas to watch the Elvis train roll through. She finally got to go to Graceland and will adamantly deny that the King is really dead (although she seems to think his estate is commercializing his memory??????).

The whole fam went to Rhodes for Graduation and it was really very nice. The weather was slightly overcast and the graduation was held on a large lawn surrounded by a forest of trees on the campus. I have to say that its something special to see your kids launch themselves into the real world.

In a few weeks we will all be off on the family cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate the grads and get together as a family before they all start acquiring spouses and reproducing. We're traveling essentially the same itinerary as me & kev did last year and I really think they will all love it. To top it off, my sister and her kids are going as well as Kevin's sister and her family so it should be a fun time.

On the home front, I'm catchin up on numerous books in the works and talking to many clients to get their projects underway. Thanks to all for the good wishes on my new book in the fall, The Trouble with Money. It is a book on reducing financial chaos in your life and we'll be teaching it as a class at Amarillo College.

Now for the 'secrets'.....I'm currently reading a book called "The American Plague" by Molly Caldwell Crosby. It is the story of how the epedimic of yellow fever almost destroyed Memphis in the first decade of the twentieth century. It is very haunting and yet educational. It was really intersting going to Memphis because 100 years later you can still see evidence of the result of that epidemic which is incredible......I'd advise everyone to learn about it and understand how it affected the population ....and if you have to go to Memphis and eat cheese grits (and visit Elvis) really understand it, then all the better....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Trouble with Money

Good news! I have the preliminary mock up for my new financial book, The Trouble with Money. It may change a bit from this but it will be very similar. (the swirl is a watermark that will not be on the final)

The book is basically a look at what hang ups people have about money and why. Then I discuss how these money habits or erroneous beliefs can get them in really deep S*** financially and what to do about it.
It is interesting that I receive a certain amount of criticism for discussing money and financial issues so openly. Most people know that I have a strong background in finance, experience in the financial industry, and an MBA. But because my main source of income is writing they seem to believe that I'm not supposed to be interested in, or know anything about, money.
I'm sure all the business people out there are reading this thinking, "WHAT??" Exactly. Everything I do, whether that is writing, consulting, selling on the Internet, or playing poker is done from a business mindset. This does not mean that I only think about money, but it does play a part in what choices I make and where I choose to spend my time.
Often people just think about money as the amount in their bank account and they judge how they are doing in life by that amount. What they don't think about is money in relation to time. If you run out of money, screw up your credit score, or blow your retirement account on jet skis and tequila, it can be fixed, repaired or sold on Ebay (except for the used Tequila). But if you run out of time, that's it. There is no more and no second chance.
Time is and always will be your only non-renewable resource and as such, is the most valuable thing you have. This is why I am such an advocate about everything that I do bringing in the maximum dollar amount possible while taking the least amount of time. I know time is infinitely more valuable than money and spending time stressing over financial crises is a waste of life's most valuable commodity - especially when you could spend that time DOING something about it.
When I look back and think of all the time I wasted in endeavors that didn't serve me in the long run, it made me very conscious of how easily it could have been avoided and the financial issues in my life smoothed out. With the economy in a bit a slump there are millions of people living on the edge of that same financial chaos having no idea how to help themselves. I hope some of them will use some of their most valuable asset (their time) to read this book and understand that there is no financial crisis you can face that is hopeless. The release is set for fall and I hope you all will check it out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WPT Ladies Event....

As many of you know, I'm currently in Vegas indulging my poker playing. It is sort of my 'secret life' that isn't really secret. Last night was the WPT Ladies event and I placed 26th (or 27th I'm not sure which) out of a field of 150. Not bad, but not in the money. It is really interesting how you can feel irritated when you play bad (even if you cash) but feel good when you don't get into the money because you played well. Part of the psychology of poker I suppose.

Speaking of which, I pulled up Travis' blog this morning and he had a post about Amarillo Slim ( One line really caught my attention - he said : "Gamblers tend to be motivated by one of two things, cold hard cash, or fame. " of the time it's neither. Of course I'm speaking of poker players specifically but I can tell you that for the vast majority it's not about the money or getting your face on TV.

It has been said that playing poker is a hard way to make an easy living. Very few individuals make enough money over the long term to gamble full time as a profession - so why do they do it? Interestingly enough, the motivation of a gambler and of writers are virtually identical. They both work in industries that 'look' easy to outsiders. The population at large assumes they have fortune and fame at their fingertips and want for nothing. In reality, most have traveled a very hard road filled with years of hard work, trial and error, and massive rejection or failure.

The motivation of both of these professions is not money. It is not fame. It is the desire to be good enough. The desire to be the best. For the writer, the years of struggle that culminate in a book finally being published are deemed 'worth it' when their book is placed on a shelf shoulder to shoulder with Nora Roberts, John Grisham, or Tom Clancy. Does it matter that they made almost nothing in the transaction? Does it matter that 35 agents once rejected the manuscript? Does it matter that they probably don't have a prayer to hit a list? NO. What matters is that they were good enough. They competed and were recognized. Their emotions wouldn't be more intense if they'd made a million, what matters is that they won the race.

Poker feeds these same emotional needs. Like writing, it is one of the few arenas where anyone can play, but only the best win. It doesn't matter if you're a millionaire or a reject from white trash land, you stand equally side by side with the best in the world and you compete. You sit down shoulder to shoulder, as I did last night, with individuals who have literally won millions playing the game and you try your hardest. I sat at a table last night with Kathy Leibert, a woman who has won millions playing poker and just last week got second at the WPT event at Foxwoods. We played, we talked and we enjoyed the event. In the end, I was 26th and Kathy was 20th.

I am good enough, I can compete, and I will win the race - that's what matters.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

New books plus Vegas.....

A quick update since its Saturday and I have so much to do that I don't know where to I'm starting with a blog to get the creativity flowing. There is so much going on that I divided it into sections:

My books:

I have several in the works as always. The one that will be coming out in a couple of months is a book called: IRAs & IRA Investing. It's for Atlantic Publishing and will be great info for those of you who are interested in retirement investing. It was my specialty when I was at Prudential and I sure don't want to let that knowledge base go to waste. The cover is a little bland but I'm sure they are trying to convey a 'serious' tone. I think a cute little piggy bank would sell better though. Here's a preview -

We are also doing "I'll Start Monday" which is a diet and health book to support UC Fit. We have partnered with a guy who is starting the program and the book will be part of the launch in the fall. It is being done by TAG Publishing and will be available by August. As soon as I have the cover I'll post it and see what you all think.

I'm also doing another book called "The Trouble with Money" It is a book about the hang ups people have with money that keep them from making more money or that encourage them to make poor financial decisions. Its how to move from financial chaos to an investor mindset to turn your financial life around - and it WILL have a cute cover that is less intimidating and more about helping real people with real problems. This one is also being published by TAG Publishing.

On the ghostwriting front:

We have a conference call with five new writers(new to us anyway) that will be coming on with our group this summer. They come from a variety of writing backgrounds but all have strengths in various areas so we're looking forward to them coming on. We are just now hitting the busy season and so we want to be as prepared as we possibly can to handle the volume. We expect to top 100 projects by the end of the season and so will at least double our output from last year. We are still looking for more writers, but are being very choosy.


Off to Vegas again this week (Thurs-Tues) to play with the big boys. On Friday I'm playing a satellite into the Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio and on Sunday I'm playing in the WPT Ladies event. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Books

Hard to believe two posts in one week! Its like the end of the world or something. During all my recent travels I had lots of time on planes to read. I haven't posted a list of current favorites in a while so I figured I'd catch you up on my current ones in no particular order:

Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas

I got to read an advanced copy and actually teared up at the end!! The flight attendant kept saying, "Ma'am are you alright?" So that's like the best compliment I can give that it actually brought some emotion out in me. It's due out in April so don't forget to pick up your copy.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I know its been on the bestseller list forever but I like it anyway (I don't usually like the ones that make the list for some reason). I think I like it because it's a framed story and I have a particular affinity for that particular concept which includes works such as Forrest Gump, Fried Green Tomatoes, Amadeus, Interview with a Vampire. And its about the circus - who didn't dream about running away with the circus after getting your mouth washed out with soap for the thousandth time? Okay, maybe that was just me...

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

This one centers on the Influenza epidemic in 1918 in a small town in rural Washington State and what happens when they try to keep the epidemic from coming to their town. The characters are really great though the subject matter is a bit dark. I have to admit it's really a page turner - I don't usually let my baggage take a free spin on the carousel in baggage claim just to finish a chapter!

Issac's Storm by Eric Larson

This one is actually nonfiction and is about the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. Its pretty good as it intertwines the survivor accounts into a narrative. It contained a lot that I didn't know about the race between Houston and Galveston at the time and how they dealt with the aftermath of the storm. Unfortunately it had some similarities to Hurricane Katrina's aftermath which says we haven't come far in the last 100 years.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

This is also nonfiction and is a National Book Award winner. I have to say it is spectacular!! And not just because I grew up in the areas and with the descendants of the people he talks about. It is just very well written and includes a lot about the people who endured the dirty thirties and the time they live in. I remember my grandma telling some of the same stories that the survivors in this account did so it brought their experience home to me. I highly recommend this one to any writer who is interested in this era. I would also recommend reading the one about the Galveston hurricane before this one as the stories are intertwined in some strange and unexpected ways though they were written by completely different writers.......

happy reading!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Canada is Freakin cold!!!!

Yes it is. I'm sitting in Toronto looking out over Lake Ontario with its floating ice cubes and wondering why anyone would come to Canada on purpose in the winter. Although it looks like it would be really nice in the summer, its cold and dreary right now. The people, however, have been stellar and the service fantastic. I met my new ghostwriting client at the Royal York this morning and it turned out to be a fabulous day. His name is Joe Vitale and he is another of The Secret gurus but his expertise is in the marketing arena so we got along great. I also learned he lives in the hill country which begs the question, why are two Texans meeting in Canada?

The answer is that the publisher is shooting a TV special on Joe tomorrow and he was going to be here anyway, so it was convenient. But we both agreed we'd rather be in Houston than in the great white North.

In other news, the Virginia trip last week was informative and I think LSP is heading for a good future on the distribution side. The jury's still out the project management piece and I'm still working with the writers to address their concerns. Its given me a great chance to talk to everyone at length again, as we get so used to communicating by email, and its been a great reconnect.

The feature story I did for CU Business is due out this month and I can't wait to see it. It will have part of the interview I did with John Maxwell and I'm anxious to get it out there and see what the feedback is. I'm crossing my fingers. I'll post the PDF on this site as soon as the mag comes out (don't want to steal the editor's thunder!)

I finished up the Pilates book this week, but am still working on the geese parable. I think I have the characters down a bit more now so its flowing easier. I'm also still working on the IRA Investment book and the editor has been kind enough to extend the deadline to accommodate my travel schedule, although it really chapped me to have to ask - I hate not meeting any deadline and this is a first book wise for me. However she's been pretty understanding so I'm sure I'll make it up to her.

Friday, February 08, 2008

getting ready for VEGAS!!

so we're off to vegas next week for the credit union convention that I'm speaking at. I did land the Maxwell interveiw and it went incredibly well. I spent a day rewriting my kickoff article for the leadership series for CU BUSINESS with the stuff from the interview and the editor loved it! He even gave me a bonus!!! Dr. Maxwell also sent me a galley copy of his new book Leadership Gold and I told him that I'm more than thrilled to promote it during my talk in vegas. He really is very nice. It was an exciting week!

I also finished up the parable for Bob. It took forever!! I've gotten so used to doing non-fiction that I forget how creatively draining fiction is. I'm still not all that excited about the last two chapters, but we'll see what they think. I'm finally finishing up the wheelchair book - I feel really bad that I had to put it aside for the Bob thing, but I'm hoping she'll understand.

Lots of little stuff to do before Vegas, and one big thing - TAXES....ewweeee. This year has been crazy and I'm still getting 1099s from aritcles and stuff I wrote that I totally forgot about! I have a big pile of them on my desk and haven't even started gathering our business tax stuff....gotta get that done this week and over to our accountant dude......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

squirrels eat cars....

OH YES THEY DO!!!.. so I'm just this unassuming little writer person and Gumbai the squirrel tries to make an example of me. I don' t know if I am just working for the man, buying into the reality of republican life as we know it, or hoping for the best when I turn that little piece of metal hoping my car will start. Which ever, the road kill that was previously destined to be on Larry King live has now made my formerly fine KIA ride a four door paperweight.

Yes its true. I hopped in the KIA to run up to market street to get my rotisserie chicken and the whole vehicle started shaking like a meth addict in lock up!!! I was real scared until we opened the hood. Hidden inside was a little nest that some squirrel had decided to make his home. On top of which he'd also decide that the main wires to my engine were incredibly tasty.

I thought that this was a big deal. But according to the D&K guys, it's really common. Our tow truck driver said his sister had it happen to her. Go figure. It was totally new to us and really it wouldn't be that big a deal, but the squirrels at our house constantly throw acorns at all visitors and generally make our lives miserable. So now I dont' feel the least bit bad if I squish one. They are horrible little rodents and I don't there. Report me to PETA already....I dare you!

hooterville - the sequel.......

so...just when you think our hooterness has dissipated.....the la squirrel and plumber... commences......

so the first thing was that we had a plumbing issue....not unusual.....its an old house! But the plumber they send....Lupe....was totally unfamiliar with the house. We know to ask for Paul...he's been our plumber for more than ten years. He knows the pipes....he knows that Curly and Moe put this house together....but do they send Paul????? NO....they send Lupe....who piddles around for two hours figuring out what Paul already knows. Then he snakes the drain for 15 minutes and charges me $120 bucks. Of course while he was wasting time he finds out that I'm a writer and he ASSUMES that I make big bucks....which granted I do, but hey what does that have to do with my pipes???? So he overcharges me (Paul never does) and I'm totally fuming....but I figure, as long as he fixed the issue its not that big a deal - right?

So then this guy sits out in the drive for freaking ever...and then finally he rings the bell again. Come to find out he has no clue where the key to his van is - and he thinks he lost in underneath the house!! So I'm of course laughing as the guy spends the next 45 minutes searching under my house for the key to his van - serves him right for over charging me.... which still would have been fine if the problem was fixed.

BUT the problem is that it was not fixed. The washer is draining, but the dishwasher is I try to remain calm...a tough thing for me. I don't hear from them most of the next day. So by 5, I'm speed dialing everyone and their mama. Finally the owner calls me back...they are swamped and he is going to send over excited!!!!! That's what we wanted in the first place!!! woo hoo...Paul is the bomb! So sure enough he pops over....fixes the problem in less than fifteen minutes.....teases me that my xmas tree is still up and leaves...he's just the most fab plumber ever!!! more on the squirrel thing in the next post.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

catching up

So I haven't blogged in a really long time...been busy...also have been working from my laptop a lot because I had surgery in Dec. Not the kind of surgery you dread, but the kind you look forward to after the birth of that first tax deduction. I had a tummy tuck. All went well but the downtime was a bit of a bummer. However the results are great! Its really fabulous that you can just write a check and they make you beautiful...I can see why some women get addicted to it.

The ghostwriting is now moving back into full swing after the xmas lull. More projects coming in from our main publisher. Two other publishers contacted us this week and we now have projects from them - so its is going very well indeed. My feature for CU Business magazine was due today, but I also heard back on the contact info for John Maxwell's office - I've been trying to get an interview with him to kick off the series so hopefully that will happen by Monday or Tuesday. I called the editor and he was excited so we're putting it on ice for a few days to see if the interview happens. It would be great to get to promote an interview with him as well as the series in Vegas.

Plans for Vegas are all secure and we're staying at the Paris where the credit union conference will be held. Kevin made reservations for the restaurant at the top of the hotel, but I'm pretty sure he's not going to like French food - at least we'll have a nice view.

I also got word that I'll be flying to Toronto in March to interview another guru that I'll be ghostwriting for so that's on the schedule too. We're also making the plans to attend Ryan's graduation in Memphis in mid-May. The family cruise will be coming up shortly thereafter in June and I think that will be great fun for everyone.

So far nothing on the schedule after June, but its early yet.