Monday, August 16, 2010

New Book Promotion!

Weight Loss Empowerment: "50 Ways to Lose Your Luggage" by Kevin Graham

I recently edited this weight loss empowerment book by Kevin Graham and it is now ready for release.  I'm excited for Kevin!  He did a great job with the book.  It's easy to read and extremely motivating. This is not just another new way to diet; the book helps you change your perspective when it comes to food and it introduces a whole new way of thinking that  can really help you stay on track.  Not just with food, but with many other goals you'd like to achieve.  It's a fun and inspirational read, so check it out!  Congratulations Kevin!  I'm so happy for you!

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or you can click right here to find it on Kevin's weight loss website.  And as Kevin says, "Let the vision empower you!"

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Does this photo give you a headache? too!  Welcome to my brain! Focusing on writing takes a whole lot of discipline my friends.  Especially when there are so many other things on my mind. 

However, I recently tried a technique to help me focus which was introduced to me by a writer acquaintance. Now I will share this method with you. By the way, this technique can be used to accomplish any task; obviously I'm using it to keep my writing on track.

Start by setting a timer for 50 minutes.  During that time, allow yourself to concentrate fully on your task.  Turn off your phone, disconnect your Internet to keep yourself away from emails and other distractions, and just WORK! Fully immerse yourself in the activity for 50 minutes.  When the timer rings, it's time to take a 10-minute break.  You need to walk away from whatever it is you were doing.  (In my case, I need to leave my desk.) You can take a quick walk, go get some water or food, but only take 10 minutes off.  Then do the entire thing again.  Reset the timer for 50 minutes and once again immerse yourself in your task.

I used this technique the other day.  It was difficult, but everything worth having is difficult, don't you think?  It's really intense to work this way, but I got a lot accomplished, so it is definitely a productive approach.  I wrote using this technique for about 6 hours and I will admit it was exhausting.  But rewarding!  Not sure I could work at this intensity level every day, but for a couple of hours a few times a week, it may be the way to go.

So if you've been having trouble focusing, you might want to try this out.  It's really important to take that 10 minute break, and then immediately go back to your task.  Don't let that 10 minutes turn into 15 or'll lose your momentum and then the focus is gone, gone, gone.

Give it a try...let me know if it works for you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

And here comes another Mercury Retrograde...

I have more than just a passing interest in astrology and in another life I might have actually been an astrologer.  In this life, however, I can't seem to wrap my brain around all the nuances that astrology has to offer.  It's not just about reading your horoscope in the LA Times.  There's a lot more to it, including math...I find it hard to interpret... and oy vey...I've never been very good with math.

So, I admire astrology from afar.  I read the reports of several highly respected astrologers, and more often than not, the things I read are accurate.  I don't live my life by these astrological summaries, but I will admit that I sometimes find them reassuring.  They seem to validate what I already know about myself and my life.'s Mercury Retrograde time.  I've written about this before because I definitely feel affected by this period of time. If you don't know what this is, I will try to succinctly explain it here.  Again, I will remind you that I am not an astrologer, and you will probably find a better explanation if you google it.

About 3 or 4 times per year, the planet Mercury, ruler of Communication slows down and actually travels backwards.  The result is a slowing down in our lives, breakdown in communication, electronics go haywire, tires go flat, air travel is affected, and there is a general feeling of malaise that seems to take over our everyday lives.  Once again, I encourage you to find a more specific explanation for Mercury Retrograde, but this should give you a general idea.  This time, the retrograde occurs during August 20th through September 12th...a three week period.  We will have the final retrograde of 2010 starting December 10th and going through until December 30th.

Astrologers say this doesn't have to be a negative period.  Actually, it can be quite productive if you know what to expect.  But as of right now, I'm already feeling a bit sluggish. These feelings have a lot to do with what is going on in my life right now, but I'm sure they are exacerbated by the retrograde which will be directly upon us next Friday.

In any event, I need to push through it and get things done.  I have much to do and am allowing it to overwhelm me.  Writing about it makes me feel many of you know, I advocate writing to help you deal with your stuff!  So here I am...writing to deal with my lethargy and attempting to compartmentalize what I have to do rather than allowing it to overwhelm me.  HA!  Easier said than done, right?  Well...we do what we can.

So if you are feeling a little fuzzy in the head in these last days of summer, chalk it up to Mercury going retrograde.  Or take an inventory and see if you have too much going on in your life.  I say...SLOW DOWN!  Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Trust me, your life will still be there when you get back!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Damn--This Traffic Jam...

I know that when you live in a major urban city, traffic comes with the territory.  I know this.  I have given traffic the benefit of the doubt more times than not.  BUT...I've just about had it. can suck it!

There used to be a time when there was a window of opportunity; when you could get on that freeway between, say, 10AM and 2PM and sail on through.  Or maybe if you left really early, like at 5 or 6 AM there wouldn't be a problem.  It was hard not to notice when that window of opportunity began to shrink.  Slowly, incrementally; but shrink it did.  Now it seems, that window is nonexistent.

Back in the day, a long, time ago, people in Los Angeles used to proudly say, "you can get anywhere in 20 minutes." I think that's an urban legend. I don't think that was ever possible. Maybe in 1920 Los Angeles, but not lately. Not in the last 20 years...that's for sure. Twenty minutes?  You're lucky if you can get in a mile or two in 20 minutes. I'm not exaggerating!

I simply cannot wrap my head around the psychology of a traffic jam.  I know I'm not alone.  Sometimes, the reasons are obvious: rush hour, accidents, idiot drivers who don't know how to properly yield or change lanes...yeah buddy, I'm talking to you! But when I sit in traffic for TWO HOURS, and can never get out of second gear (Yes, I'm still one of the proud but few who drive a stick-shift...big mistake in traffic!) I don't get it.  I don't understand how one second we speed up, getting our hopes up, thinking "finally, finally, I'm going to see some open road," only to be slamming on those brakes just as things are starting to pick up.

I wouldn't mind so much if I had to go slow.  Really.  If I had to creep along at 25-30 miles, it would be okay.  As long as we kept MOVING!  But the stop and start and speeding up just to slow down is KILLING ME! 

Bottom line:  there are too many people here.  Yes, we have a great climate, we have movie stars and beaches and all sorts of cultural stimulation...but we also have earthquakes and fires and mudslides and TOO MANY DAMN PEOPLE! 

I know...I'm being crabby.  And when that happens, it's time to do something about it.  It's time to go.  It's time to leave LA.  And where will I go?  Where can I find the best of both worlds?  Where can I find the great climate, the lovely beaches, and the cultural stimulation (don't really care too much about the movie stars...)without all the crowding?  Is there such a place?  If it exists, it won't stay that way for too long. 

Only one cool thing happened the other day as a result of my being stuck in traffic.  I was sitting on the I-5 at a dead halt.  Same thing on the other side.  I was in the far left lane and I used the opportunity of being stopped to pull my hair up in a ponytail.  I glanced across the freeway partition to see a fairly attractive guy watching me.  I nodded and he broke out in a wide grin. He said, "hi there cutie!"  I busted up laughing.  Traffic--the new Love on the 5 freeway!  Maybe something good can come out of it after all. 

But I'm still leaving...