Aransas Evening: Excerpt

ARANSAS EVENING
Sequel to Aransas Morning
by
JEFF HAMPTON
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: Jeff Hampton, Writer
Publication Date: October 4, 2018
Number of Pages: 346 pagesSCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

Life in Port Aransas was looking breezy and bright for Sam and his friends at the Dream Bean coffee shop. Shelly and Dave were talking marriage, Allie and Bo were tightening their family ties, and Sam was welcoming newcomers to town and falling for a new singer at the Sea Garden. But storms are never far away on the Texas Gulf Coast, and there would be none more destructive than Hurricane Harvey. Would Sam and his friends survive Harvey’s awful fury? And would life in Port Aransas ever be the same again? Find out in Aransas Evening, the sequel to Aransas Morning by Jeff Hampton.
 
 
 
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PRAISE FOR THE ARANSAS SERIES:
    “Hampton’s characters pulled me in; hook, line, and sinker.”
    “The pace of the book is slow and easy, and I slipped into its rhythm like the ebb and flow of the water lapping against the shoreline.”
    “A lovely story about community, and how family isn’t always the one you are born into.
    “Isak Dinesen once wrote, ‘The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.’  Jeff Hampton has illustrated that with grace, elegance, and excellent coffee.”

Excerpt

“Harvey Approaches”

Excerpt from Aransas Evening

              By Jeff Hampton          

The wind blew up clouds of rain mixed with grit off the pavement as Sam rushed toward the Dream Bean and climbed the front steps into the eye of a different type of storm.

“After we board up these windows we need to get off the island,” said Dave, dragging a sheet of plywood in front of the plate glass window.

“No, this is my home,” said Shelly. “You go if you wish, but I’m staying here.”

“But the mayor issued a mandatory evacuation. You’re just going to ignore that?”

“Yes. And I’m going to ignore you too, so you can go jump on the ferry with everyone else if you want, but I’m staying here.”

Dave exhaled loudly. “We could die if we stay, you know.”

Shelly stood firmly, hands on hips. “How do you know so much? Been through some hurricanes in Dallas, have you?”

“No . . . but have you?”

“Not directly, but . . .”

“But what? Allie’s the only one of us who knows anything about this.” Dave shot Allie a glance that said, “Need your help here,” but Allie, who had been drawn outside by the loud talk, wasn’t going to help the way Dave wanted.

“My mother was swept away by Ike because she went out in the storm,” Allie said. “We’ll be okay if we stay inside.”

Dave struggled to hold the sheet of plywood by himself and when he reached for the drill he lost his grip and the wood fell back against him. “A little help would be nice,” he growled at the women, but Sam stepped up to help hold the plywood in place while Dave drilled the screws into the corners and across the sides.

“Where you been? We were looking for you,” Dave asked after pulling a screw from his shirt pocket and pushing it flush into the wall with the drill.

“Fishing . . . so . . . what’s the latest forecast?”

Dave brought Sam up to date as they finished covering the windows at the Dream Bean: Harvey’s path was still uncertain but he was gaining strength so everyone was preparing for the worst. The rain and wind were coming in waves now, and Dave and Sam went next door to the Cassie and covered the windows on the boat, and then moved tables and chairs from the Sea Garden into the pilothouse and inside the Dream Bean. Standing inside the Cassie with the rain blowing hard outside, Sam had a flashback to that night on the boat with Bo and Allie. He recalled the helpless feeling that they wouldn’t survive and yet they did. With his feet on the firm ground this time he didn’t feel lost like he had but he was still anxious knowing there were a thousand ways this could go bad.

Inside the Dream Bean, with everything stowed away, Shelly looked around while unconsciously wiping the counter with a dry cloth. Dave put his hand on Shelly’s and stopped her movement.

“I think we’ve done all we can,” he said. “And I’m sorry if I’m edgy but I just don’t like taking risks when there are other options. If it were up to me I’d have us a hundred miles north of here. But I guess if I’m going to live here with you then I better start learning how this is done.”

The ferry wailed from its landing down the street and everyone looked at each other. Dave shook his head knowing they wouldn’t hear that much longer.

Shelly looked around the room and changed the subject. “Thanks everyone for helping here. I know you all have work to do at your own places so better get going. I’ll be fine here.”

Nobody moved. Shelly made a shooing motion with her hands but nobody would shoo.

“I’ve done all I can do,” said Allie.

“Me too,” said Dave. “I got everything up off the floor this morning and I’ve got shutters so I’m protected . . . sort of.”

“What about you Sam?” Shelly asked.

“The house is okay. I’ve got nothing worth protecting . . . just my vinyl records, and they’re waterproof. I could use a hand at the Pier Association, but then so could a lot of folks down here. Why don’t we spread out and see what we can do.”

“I’ll go with Sam,” said Allie.

“And we’ll check on some of the other shops,” said Shelly. “We’ll keep the door unlocked and meet you back here later.”

When Sam and Allie got to the office they found the windows already boarded up.

“Looks like you’ve taken care of everything,” Allie said.

Sam shook his head. “It wasn’t me.”

“Well you’ve got people watching your back,” she said.

“Yes, and we should do the same,” he said, and for the rest of the afternoon and on into the evening they meandered from business to business, boat to boat, house to house, lending a hand wherever they could.

Jeff Hampton has based his life and career in Texas writing for newspapers, magazines, businesses, and institutions. His interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms. Aransas Evening is his sixth book, following Aransas Morning, Grandpa Jack, Jonah Prophet, When the Light Returned to Main Street, and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane
║ Website ║ Goodreads ║ Twitter Instagram ║ Amazon Author Page 


————————————
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2 Winners:
Signed Copies of both Aransas books + Grandpa Jack + a pack of Texas Themed note cards
2 Winners:
Signed Copies of Aransas Evening & Grandpa Jack + a pack of Texas Themed note cards
JANUARY 17-26, 2019

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1/17/19
Author Interview
1/17/19
BONUS Promo
1/18/19
Review
1/19/19
Excerpt
1/20/19
Playlist
1/21/19
Review
1/22/19
Guest Post
1/23/19
Review
1/24/19
Review
1/25/19
Scrapbook
1/26/19
Review
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Tangible Spirits: My Review

Tangible Spirits Book CoverSometimes you just want to read a book for pure enjoyment; sit back, relax, and escape into a thoroughly captivating story that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Author Becki Willis has written exactly that! Tangible Spirits combines history, romance, murder, mystery and paranormal activity into a totally enjoyable and heart warming tale.

The setting is Jerome, Arizona (an actual old mining town turned tourist attraction because of ghost sightings) where protagonist Gera Stapleton risks her own life to determine whether trickery or actual spirits are at play in a series of mischievous acts and murder.

Most of Jerome’s citizens are convinced of life beyond the grave. A skeptic herself, Gera isn’t pleased that her magazine editor has sent her there to write an article on the spirits that supposedly haunt the town.

One spirit in particular is believed to have watched over the townspeople throughout the years but now Mac, who wears a long coat and top hat, is being blamed for the murder of a prominent citizen. Gera arrives at the crime scene just after the murder’s occurrence. No longer willing to just write some “fluff” piece on ghosts, she is determined to prove the killer mortal and publish a more meaty journalistic article. Not everyone is happy with her nosing around and asking questions… certainly not the local sheriff, the bank executive, the barkeeper, or the murderer –  whoever that might be!

Vera does encounter an older woman named Minnie with whom she enjoys listening to the history and secrets associated with the town, and she falls hard for the hotel owner, Jake. Yet the property and legends of long-lost gold may be her undoing. Will Gera discover the identity of the murderer? Will she find out that there really are unexplained phenomenon? Will she find happiness with Jake or open doors that could result in her own death? No spoilers here, but readers just may discover for themselves that the power of love transcends even death and lasts forever.

Tangible Spirits has appeared before on this blog in conjunction with the book’s promotion by Lone Star Literary Life. See my earlier post, an interview with Becki Willis, dated June 30, 2018. It has been on my “to read” list ever since and I’m so glad that I went back to it!

 

 

Einstein’s Compass: Excerpt

EINSTEIN’S COMPASS

A YA TIME TRAVELER ADVENTURE

by
Grace Blair & Laren Bright
Genre: Young Adult / Historical / Fantasy / Science Fiction
Certified Lexile Measure: 860L
Publisher: Modern Mystic Media
Publication Date: January 2, 2019
Number of Pages: 394 pages
Coming on Audio, February 2019!SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

How did Albert Einstein come up with his wondrous theories of light and time? In Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure, a young Albert is given a supernatural compass that allows him to travel through time and space and find wisdom in other dimensions, including the lost city of Atlantis. But evil forces seek the power of the compass, including a monstrous, shape-shifting dragon from a different age. Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

PURCHASE THE BOOK
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PRAISE FOR EINSTEIN’S COMPASS:

“This is an amazing story. Everyone should thoroughly enjoy reading it. I was impressed with how the authors managed to incorporate the known information on the lost continent of Atlantis, Light Workers, souls, reincarnation, time travel and the early years of Albert Einstein before he became famous, into a mesmerizing work of fiction readers will have difficulty putting down. 
–Doug Simpson, Author of We Lived in Atlantis

“I could not stop reading this book. I read at stop lights and in line at the grocery store. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” –— award winning children’s author, Lisa Reinicke

This is highly recommended for those who enjoy a saga of good vs. evil that spans tens of thousands of years, for readers who devour novels that blend history and fantasy, and for anyone who is simply looking for a unique story that they will not want to put down.

— Author Jacqui Murray, Ask a Tech Teacher blog
The weaving of the story between the religion realm and Albert’s world is a captivating tale that keeps the reader’s attention. The good and evil of the timeless religious realm is like watch a chess match to see who outwits whom … I hope there is a next book somewhere in my future. 
–- Rox Burkey, author of the Enigma Series
Excerpt

Excerpt from “Interlude III” of

Einstein’s Compass
by Grace Blair & Laren Blair

The regal Akhenaten, in a simple knee-length, ivory shendyt, slipped off his sandals. He sat down and crossed his legs. He relaxed into a lotus position under a majestic oak tree outside the Temple of Research. From the sky he heard a trisyllabic oop-oop-oop, and fixated on a hoopoe bird circling above. The bird’s broad and rounded wings swooped down. With wings in a beat, like that of a giant butterfly, flew into a nest box mounted between two branches of the tree.

“Master Aten,” said Koral Kendra, a young neophyte in a natural temple garment. Her chestnut hair wrapped in golden threads cascaded when she walked toward Akhenaten. She possessed the gift of looking through the telegenic portal. The training was difficult because neophytes like her had to go beyond understanding. She lived within a Temple of Seers, all women who made the temple their way of life, a devotion she loved.

“Koral, how good to see you. What can I do for you?” replied Master Aten.

Her face lit up with excitement and seemed to glow. “Do you have a moment to show me how to search through time using your telegenic portal? I have completed my training in the Seer’s Temple. Saint Theresa of Avila directed me to you. I wonder if you could show me how a Traveler sees through time. I learned that Travelers come to bring a special balancing. To help transmute the negativity of the people they serve to each period in history.”

“Of course, I am glad to know you have ascended to the next level in your training. Yes, Koral you are correct in your understanding of role of a Mystical Traveler. I might add that your virtues of keeping one’s word. Personal integrity, unconditional loving as well as holding a consciousness of upliftment. These will give you strength enough to advance to even higher levels of awareness.” Master Aten gestured for her to sit next to him on the carpet of grass.

Koral settled next to Master Aten. She gazed into her teacher’s eyes asked, “May I ask you a few questions before we work with the portal?”

Her curiosity brought a broad smile as he replied, “What would you like to know?”

Koral asked, “How did you become a Mystical Traveler? Where did you come from?”

Master Aten rested back on the tree behind him. He replied, “On earth I ruled the country of Egypt. My name Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. I became driven to be God’s most dedicated prophet. In a dream God asked me to build the city Armana. A place comparable to a ‘New Jerusalem’. Here a universal teaching, that of the knowledge of one God called Aten. A radiant being communicating through light and sound. A spiritual man dedicated to the glory and brightness of the Egyptian Sun. As Aten, I turned Egyptian tradition upside down. The changes were not welcomed by most of my people. Their rejection of my heresy, and my death, was swift and complete. The memory and teachings of light and sound has left a distinct place of reference in history.

Koral wanted to know more about life on Earth “Are there many mystical travelers? How do they help people on Earth?”

Master Aten replied.” Yes, there are many mystical travelers. Some are poets, writers, scientists, philosophers and teachers on Earth. A few have held the keys to soul transcendence. The practice of awareness of yourself. Awareness of your Soul, awareness of God.The inner mysteries of light and sound held secrets for many centuries until the Mystical Traveler Jesus. During his lifetime he made the inner wisdoms available to the masses. Now the spiritual knowledge is available to anyone who awakens to the truth within.”

Master Aten pointed to the telegenic portal. He said, “Let’s begin your lesson on the telegenic portal.”

The telegenic portal was the size of a large, horizontal book. It had the appearance of a mirror of precious stone planed and smooth. Backed with a dark material to hold the light within the surface. For many months the children trained as Seers would gaze within these portals. They would see the colors, and the light and symbols of the spirit world. Their vision would deepen to the vibration and color of the world around them. They would feel, hear and see in their portal, the colors and emanations of the world of spirit. Daily meditations and spiritual inner exercises honed their ability.

Master Aten laid the telegenic portal down in front of them. He waved his hand over the portal to clear the screen.

Reset, the portal projected the holographic sacred geometric pattern of the Flower of Life. The floating flower pulsed energy all around.

Grace Blair is an award-winning self-help and motivational author, and podcast host, who has assisted thousands to find their spiritual wisdom to solve everyday challenges. Throughout her adult life, Grace became a serious student of the spiritual. She found that, often, psychological principles and practices were incomplete, but could be filled out by adding the missing spiritual component. Her approach was always to see practical applications for what she uncovered in the mystical. It was through immersing herself in this field of study and experience that she came up with her idea for her book, Einstein’s Compass. She lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband, Dr. John Blair.

║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter ║ Instagram  
 ║ Goodreads  Amazon Author Page  Bublish 


Laren Bright is a three-time Emmy nominated award-winning writer who has written nearly 100 children’s animated cartoon scripts. He has spent the majority of his professional life over the last two decades assisting authors to produce topnotch books with titles and other promotional writing indistinguishable from those of mainstream publishers. During that time, in addition to Einstein’s Compass, he also co-authored a young adult fantasy series and several books for young children about positive values. Laren lives in Los Angeles with his wife, computer, and two grand-dogs.

║ IMDB Amazon Author Page ║ Website 


————————————
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
FIRST PRIZE: eBook + Einstein’s Compass Cap
SECOND PRIZE: eBook + Einstein socks; THIRD PRIZE: eBook + bookmark
JANUARY 2-11, 2019
(eBooks can be sent internationally, swag USA only)

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

1/2/19
Guest Post
1/2/19
Theme Song
1/3/19
Review
1/4/19
Book Trailer
1/4/19
Author Spotlight
1/5/19
Review
1/6/19
Review
1/7/19
Excerpt
1/8/19
Review
1/8/19
Author Interview
1/9/19
Character Spotlight
1/9/19
Character Spotlight
1/10/19
Review
1/11/19
Author Interview
1/11/19
Review
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Happy New Year!

2019 will be a busy and exciting literary year for me.

9ab95-lonestarbookblogtours2bsmIt begins with my continuing association with Lone Star Literary Life and the periodic use of this forum to assist them in promoting Texas authors and their work. Currently featured on the Lone Star Blog Tour is the YA Action-Adventure book Einstein’s Compass by Grace Blair and Laren Bright. Targeted at readers age 12-18, it imaginatively takes a look at a young Albert Einstein, time travel and spiritual exploration to explain how he arrived at his groundbreaking theory of relativity. Look for an excerpt from the book January 7th.

Also arriving the early part of 2019 is my own book release! Tarnished Brass looks at America’s involvement in El Salvador throughout its civil war (1980-1992) and the aftermath of that bloody conflict. Twenty-six years later gang violence has replaced and even surpassed the brutality of both the Salvadoran military and the guerrilla factions during their prolonged struggle.

Loosely based on my own experiences in country, the story is told through the perspectives of a U.S. Army officer, a guerrilla leader, and a refugee turned gang member. By giving voice to all three, the novella looks not only at history but at the current crises. Today, El Salvador has one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the world, and the influence of MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) has spread beyond its borders to many cities in the United States.

Page Publishing LogoI do not have a release date yet, but I’m working closely with Page Publishing on both page and cover design and will post publication information to my blog as soon as it is available.

I wish everyone of my readers a very Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Texas Blood: My Review

Texas Blood Book CoverTexas Blood: Seven Generations Among the Outlaws, Ranchers, Indians, Missionaries, Soldiers, and Smugglers of the Borderlands is far more than the genealogy of author Roger D. Hodge’s family. It is the story of the land itself, the past and present history of the border Southwest.

It isn’t an easy book to classify. It’s scope is as big as the state – a rambling account that is part memoir, travelogue, and history book. Meticulously researched, it can at times read like a textbook. Moreover, people, places, events, and the author’s thoughts are not presented chronologically and the juxtaposition of time and place can be disconcerting to the reader. However, if you can adjust to the many digressions that result from Hodge’s stream of consciousness style of writing you will encounter a lyrical, unsentimental, and sometimes brutal account of the Lone Star State.

The reader must decide whether Texas Blood refers to the blood that runs through Hodge’s veins or the bloodshed that has flowed ever since the conquistadors attempted their conquest of the New World, Native Americans (including the Apache, Comanche, and others) perpetrated depredations against Anglo settlers and each other, or the drug cartels fought to expand their narcotics and human trafficking networks. Violence has always been a part of Texas’ past and present and Hodge is unflinching in his account of its impact on the state.

The probability that anyone would choose to live in such rugged country and endure the unbelievably harsh and cruel conditions therein seems unlikely, and for this reason Hodge has retraced the  footsteps of his ancestors… to find the answers to their settlement in West Texas. “What was it that brought my people to this particular place? Why would  anyone attempt to settle in this unforgiving landscape? What were they searching for that was found here, in the devil’s own country, alongside his namesake river?”

His attempt to resolve these questions has yielded a richly descriptive portrait of the contested borderlands along the Rio Grande. It is the story of human habitation. It is the story of a country and its hardships. It is an ode to the land and its people from Native Americans, to European settlers, to today’s occupants. It is the story of the ongoing struggles along the international boundary with Mexico. It is the continuing saga of Texas.

Presidential Libraries

 

Recently the nation watched as our 41st President, George H.W. Bush, was laid to rest in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A&M University. As a graduate and former cadet I was especially proud to see the student body and citizens turn out along the route and witness the Corps of Cadets render honors as the hearse carrying the flag-draped coffin passed by.

The news coverage had me wondering which of our Presidents also located their libraries on college campuses. Surprisingly, there were only three; Lyndon B. Johnson (The University of Texas in Austin, Texas), Gerald R. Ford (The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan), and George W. Bush (Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas). *While the Gerald R. Ford library is located in Ann Arbor, the museum is a separate facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

These four are among the fourteen Presidential Libraries federally maintained and administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The facilities not only provide a broader understanding of the Office of the Presidency but information specific to the individuals who aspired to and achieved the highest office in America. They house their memos, letters, policy decisions and ceremonial/personal artifacts.

This formal Presidential Library System didn’t exist until 1939 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated his belief that the historical records and artifacts associated with his presidency were a part of our national heritage and needed to be preserved for future generations of Americans. Prior to that time these items might have been sold, lost, deliberately destroyed, or subject to ruin because of poor storage conditions by other libraries or private collectors.

FDR was the first to raise private funding for the construction of a library and museum and ask the National Archives to be responsible for its administration upon completion. In 1950 President Truman followed suit, and in 1955 Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act establishing privately funded and federally maintained libraries.

Because the facilities are built with private funding each President is allowed to choose the location. Additionally, up until President Reagan’s administration, access to and inclusion of personal property was at the discretion of the former President. Since then any records created or received in conjunction with constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties are considered property of the United States government.

For further information on all fourteen Presidential Libraries I recommend visiting the official website at:     https://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries

Finally, this post comes just before the holidays so I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Fierce, Funny, and Female: Guest Post

FIERCE, FUNNY,
AND FEMALE

A Journey Through Middle America,
the Texas Oil Field, and Standup Comedy

by
MARTI MacGIBBON
Genre: Memoir / Drama / Humor
Publisher: Stay Strong Publishing
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Number of Pages: 412 pages
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 

This book is the celebrated prequel to the critically acclaimed, nationally award-winning and bestselling memoir, Never Give in to Fear. In her raw, vivid, and unabashed style, author Marti MacGibbon delivers a sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, always engaging account of her passage through trauma, betrayal, and loss in adolescence and young adulthood to discover her inner badass self. As one of the first women to work as a laborer in the Texas oil field, she set off explosives and staked oil wells before realizing her childhood dream of becoming a successful standup comic. Marti introduces readers to a wide range of characters in her life: from sleazy authority figures, wannabe Sixties musicians and crazed Corn Belt cult leaders, to Texas oil billionaires and wildcatters, to wild-eyed redneck coworkers who robbed banks on their lunch hour―in the company truck. The book includes scenes with iconic comedians, Hollywood entertainment industry moguls, and a legendary bluesman, and offers insights into resiliency, courage, and self-empowerment.
WINNER, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Humor
WINNER, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in Women’s Studies 
WINNER, 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards in Women’s Health
WINNER, 2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards in Women’s Issues 
WINNER, 2018 Independent Press Award in Humor
WINNER, 2018 Independent Press Award in Women’s Studies 
WINNER, 2018 New York City Book Book Award, Women’s Studies
FINALIST, 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Memoir (Overcoming Adversity)
PURCHASE THE BOOK
PRAISE FOR FIERCE, FUNNY, AND FEMALE:

“Being funny is a survival skill. Fierce, Funny, and Female is not only a survivor’s tale but an inspirational story of overcoming the unthinkable, again and again…Her courage and comedy make Fierce, Funny, and Female a winner.” — Foreword Clarion Reviews

“An effervescently witty…chronicle of perseverance and the power to overcome the darkest of days…Perhaps the most rewarding chapter in this chatty, affecting book is the concluding one, where MacGibbon lists the tried-and-true pearls of wisdom that continue to sustain her…” — Kirkus Reviews

Fierce, Funny, and Female is a thoroughly engaging memoir packed with witty observations, high adventure, and a glimpse of behind-the-scenes Hollywood. Highly recommended!” — Midwest Book Review

“MacGibbon is a natural storyteller, and her life story is a most interesting one. The characters she has run across during her life journey are well-drawn and absolutely fascinating, particularly the good ol’ boys in the Texas oilfields.” — San Francisco Book Review

GuestPost

Build Your Creativity and Invite More Fun into Your Life

You don’t have to be born a genius, a gifted person, in order to be creative; you can develop and build your own creative genius. The key to creativity is action. A person who thinks of innovative, exciting ideas, and then doesn’t act on them, is an imaginative person, but not a creative person. The act of creation brings something into being.

Whatever you think, whatever you believe, you become. Believe in your creative abilities and motivate yourself daily. Sometimes staying motivated means taking one or two baby steps per day. Other days, you’ll accomplish two or three giant strides. The key is to stay in the game. Keep chipping away at your project and it will take shape before you know it. Your genius will emerge, one day at a time.

Let go of limitations — open yourself up to opportunities. Throw your brain a curve ball — try something new: make changes in your daily schedule, drive a different route to work, rearrange your furniture, wear different colors or clothes than usual. Learn a new language. Shake things up. Free yourself to think outside the box. Avoid negative self-talk that stifles innovation. Instead, make affirmations such as, “I am creative,” or “I’m a prolific writer,” or “I have a unique vision and voice.” These are self-enhancing statements that build confidence and switch on creativity and charisma.

When it comes to unleashing your creativity, go “crazy.” The primitive part of the brain speaks of fear, listing all the “shoulds and shouldn’ts,” and the “ought tos” and “could’ves,” which hampers creativity. Often the craziest idea, the one most feared, is the one to explore. Try embracing the things that unsettle you, or the things you’re inclined to immediately reject — you may discover a creative wellspring which will feed your productivity. Allow your imagination free rein, never giving in to the urge to downplay who you are. Stay loyal to yourself and your goals.

While you’re creating, remember to have fun. Fun helps you stay energized and enjoying the process. Here are 11 ways raise your fun quotient and build creativity:

  1. When you wake up, take a few moments to visualize yourself surrounded by love and beauty, and filled with purpose and the power to realize your dreams. You can see it in your mind as a movie, a still photo, or a series of images. This action primes your subconscious mind to the idea that wonderful things can happen.
  2. Get outdoors and into nature. Take a walk in the park. Sit under your favorite tree and enjoy a beverage. Step outside at night and spend some time star gazing or appreciating the moon.
  3. Laugh whenever possible. Watch funny movies and television shows. Call up an old friend and reminisce about crazy, embarrassing, or ridiculous past experiences you’ve laughed about together. Reading humorous memoirs will help you remember/recognize ways to see the humor in your life. Watch standup comedy¾live or on TV.
  4. Join a group and share new experiences with new people. Take an art class. (Paintnite https://www.paintnite.com/ offers a night out in a restaurant or microbrewery combined with oil painting on canvas. Sierra Club can connect you with a hiking group. Try taking an improv class. The rule of improv is: Always say yes! Agree with what your improv partner has created, and go with the flow. You’re saying, “Yes, and…
  5. Do emotional check-ins. During the day, take a moment to observe your emotions, then describe them to yourself. This keeps you in touch with how you’re experiencing life. Use creative words for your feelings, that is, don’t use “good,” “great,” or “okay,” but be specific. This can be a fun word search, even if you’re feeling peeved or frustrated. Finding synonyms for annoyance and frustration can lead to sarcasm, then on to goofy hilarity.
  6. Crank up the volume on your favorite music! Jump up and dance to it. Lean back and luxuriate in it. If you’re driving, sing along with it, even at stoplights, and especially if you’re stuck in traffic. Don’t sweat the drivers around you, even if some stick-in-the-mud eyes you with disdain. You rock, so rock your commute! Fun is contagious, you might even spark a sing along in the next lane.
  7. Just before leaving the house, look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Dang, you’re cute!”
  8. Take a meditation class. Mindfulness meditation is easy, and it’s fun. The number one rule of mindfulness is, “Refrain from judging.” This is a cool way to open-up your mind to new attitudes and experiences, right?
  9. Do nothing. Yes, give yourself thirty minutes or an hour a day that is absolutely free and is only for you.
  10. Be kind to yourself and others. Forgive yourself and others. Give freely of your time or resources, to someone or something that serves the greater good. These are “feel good” acts.
  11. Take gratitude breaks during your day. Make a gratitude list on paper or in your head. Express gratitude to a co-worker, a neighbor, or a friend. Begin and end each day giving thanks.

A compelling speaker and storyteller, Marti MacGibbon delivers high-energy presentations and writes books on overcoming adversity, addiction and recovery, and inspiration, with humor and a genuine, down-to-earth style. She’s experienced critical situations that no human being should have to face. In the past, she hit rock bottom in every possible way as a hard-core drug addict, was homeless, and was trafficked to Tokyo and held prisoner by Japanese organized crime. Her story of triumph is testimony to the power of the human spirit. Marti lives her message. She reveals simple, effective strategies that anyone can use to get back on track, build resiliency, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of humor.
Marti is a bestselling author, inspirational speaker, certified addiction treatment professional, Gorski certified relapse-prevention specialist, and member of the National Speakers Association. She’s been interviewed in Entrepreneur, Investor’s Business Daily, on ABC-TV, CBS-TV, and numerous radio shows. And she’s funny: Marti traveled all over the U.S. as a professional standup comic and performed at the Hollywood Improv and Comedy Store. She is founder, producer and host of Laff-aholics Comedy Benefit for Recovery, an annual charity fundraiser in Indianapolis featuring nationally headlining comedians. She also serves on the outreach committee of IPATH, Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force.
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Each of Three Winners Gets a Signed Copy of the Book PLUS:

FIRST PRIZE:
$100 Spa Finder gift card + $25 Starbucks gift card + Moroccan oil sample collection
SECOND PRIZE:
Estee Lauder Limited Edition Gift Set + $25 Starbucks gift card
THIRD PRIZE:
$25 Starbucks gift card.
DECEMBER 12-21, 2018
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/12/18
Excerpt
12/12/18
Author Interview
12/13/18
Review
12/14/18
Playlist
12/14/18
Guest Post
12/15/18
Review
12/15/18
Excerpt
12/16/18
Review
12/17/18
Guest Post
12/17/18
Scrapbook Page
12/18/18
Review
12/19/18
Excerpt
12/19/18
Guest Post
12/20/18
Review
12/21/18
Review
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