Books

Spotify Word Genre

by Lindy

I’m not sure if you’re already familiar with Spotify or not. It is one of the numerous options available to listen to music – on your phone, PC, tablet. (It’s free with ads/paid for ad-free).

I’m always looking for the ideal channel to tune into on Spotify for just the right music to work and be productive. It’s hit or miss a lot of the time. You might like one song, but not the next 20. (But I’m too lazy to do a few extra clicks to change it up.)

Lately, I’ve discovered a random and interesting genre on Spotify called ‘Word’ (at the very bottom of the options under ‘Browse’). It is so intriguing… When trying to focus on work, you can’t really listen to and absorb it all, but it’s nice to have on in the background to take some of your mind off the mundane. Check it out: https://open.spotify.com/genre/word.

Spotify Word

The Spotify Word playlists are eclectic and unique – poetry, speeches, stories, meditation, self help, foreign languages, vintage radio, children’s stories, presidential voices and more. They have specific writers featured in some playlists as well – Shakespeare, Bronte, Jane Austen, Noam Chomsky, Emily Dickinson… You can learn what you might have missed in high school English!

The voice actors can be varied, dramatic and entertaining. A few times I’ve tuned into the Shakespeare poetry playlist and got entranced in it. It’s nearly impossible to comprehend what is being said, but it transports you to another place in time. Then, at random, you start speaking in Old English to your colleagues.

I highly recommend exploring it for yourself. Play some for the children in your life for good measure. It’s truly a fun and passive learning experience.

Save

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Book Publicity: Midlife Opportunity

by Lindy

My friend and author, Barrett Clemmensen Powell, has written a book that is geared to people in the mid-life age bracket – Midlife Opportunity. My ‘Lit Chicks Anonymous’ book club is currently reading The Husband’s Secret, but Barrett’s book is on my reading list. (Although I’m in denial of this midlife phenomenon).

Please take a read of Barrett’s book and leave a review on Amazon and/or Good Reads.

Barrett Clemmensen Powell - Midlife Opportunity

Barrett Clemmensen Powell – Midlife Opportunity

Midlife Opportunity: Power, Money and Wellbeing in Your Late 30s & Early 40s

Early midlife (ages 37-44) is a time when we can go through midlife transition or have a midlife crisis. The attainment of money and power still looms large but the third “leg” that provides a stable, and good life is wellbeing.

This book examines the four “journeys” we take in early midlife and the generations of the 20th and 21st century at midlife. Wellbeing is within walking distance — it is attainable if you choose to journey well. As the author explains, you do not need to be a millionaire; you do need to plan for the future and handle your finances responsibly.

You do not need to be a CEO of a company; you do need to be an honorable, trustworthy person with integrity in your family, among your friends and at work. You do not need to be an Ironman or a fashion model; you do need to take good care of your body, mind and spirit.


Entertaining the Masses with Toastmasters

by Lindy

It is now the end of January and I’ve published no new blog posts or podcasts. This is evidence that resolutions don’t work and that I am not disciplined enough. Or that I’m just way too busy to stick to a writing/podcasting plan. I’ll blame the latter.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International – Based in Orange County, CA

What is new to my creative communications tool belt, however, is my involvement with a local Toastmasters group at my work. Toastmasters International helps people become better public speakers – which I could definitely benefit from. We’ve been meeting every two weeks to practice our speeches and then we are timed and evaluated by our peers. Sounds fun, right?

My overarching goal with Toastmasters is to treat it like stand up comedy and practice making people laugh. My nerdy, shy, business version of clown school. So far, I’ve gotten a solid number of laughs and positive feedback. Even though I rely heavily on my notes during my speech, I love my written words so much, I don’t want to veer too far from them.

My first speech was about me being a passionate communications professional who doesn’t prefer public speaking.  Today we met for our second official speech where we spoke for 3-5 minutes on a topic of our choice. My topic was ‘Ways to Enjoy Reading for the Chronically Busy’. I wrote this little beauty up in less than an hour right before the meeting, in true procrastinator fashion.

For the record, it was under the five minute time constraint. Some feedback I received was:

  • Very creative
  • Informative
  • I came across very relaxed
  • Loved the specifics
  • Great job tying it all together
  • Good writer
  • Got everyone’s attention with something they can all relate to
  • Humorous
  • Outlines within outlines (ways to get a book)
  • Nice ad hoc comments to other speaker topics
  • Negative: more than 20 ‘umms’ and too much reading of notes. (GUILTY)

For your reading pleasure, here is my speech. Forgive the funky numbering/bullets formatting issue.

Ways to Enjoy Reading for the Chronically Busy

Opening

I’m sure there are a lot of people here who love to read books, but claim they don’t have time to sit down and read.

I’m going to explain some ways you can find the time to read – and you don’t even have to sit down to do it.

If you have a library card and access to technology and some creative ingenuity, you can enjoy books while you’re on the go.

Body

  1. I’m a busy mom of three young children as well as juggling a full time job. So I understand how difficult it is to read a book in the traditional sense.
    1. I have very limited time to myself.
    2. With my already limited time, I recently co-founded a book club with some other moms we called “Lit Chicks Anonymous”. Anonymous because there is some drinking involved, and we all often read in secret.
    3. I’ve been able to read four books in the last few month for Lit Chicks Anonymous with various technology: The Boys in the Boat, Bossy Pants and Labor Day.
  1. Books I’ve read had different tech methods:
    1. Labor Day is the most recent book I read in less than two days over the weekend. It’s written by Joyce Maynard and is coming out as a movie this month.

i.    Our book club is going to see it together next month.

ii.    This book I read on my phone using the Kindle App.

iii.    I read it at the dinner table, at the gym, during homework, bathtime, in the car (as a passenger). I couldn’t put it down.

iv.    A little anti-social/bad parenting but necessary.

  1. Boys in the Boat was an audio book I got free from a free trial membership on Audible.com.
    1. I finished it in less than two weeks playing it at 1.5x regular speed.
    2. Bossy Pants I got at the OC Public Library as an audio book.
      1. It was narrated by the author/comedian Tina Feye and it was really good.
      2. Listening to the comedic points in her own voice wouldn’t have been captured in a physical book.
      3. But it was missing the fun visual references of the actual book.
      4. Secret Garden for my eight year old daughter who is having trouble in third grade.
        1. I downloaded it as an audio book from the public library for my iPad
        2. Played it for my girls at bedtime
        3. She loved the beautiful language and the British accent
        4. They continue to quote lines from the book
        5. My process for getting and reading books is:
          1. Check the OC Public Library and the Mission Viejo public library to see if it’s available as an audio book.
          2. If not available, I check for eBook options at the library.
          3. If not available, I check for the actual book I can check out.
          4. If not available, I go to Amazon.com to see the cost for an audio book on Audible.com (partner) or Kindle version.
          5. I compare and contrast the various options and decide which is the best one based on

i.    Price (free is always best)

ii.    Method (audio is preferred)

  1. The Benefits of my non-traditional reading methods are:
    1. Significant cost savings
    2. Low commitment to ownership
    3. Less household/bedside clutter
    4. Avoid accidental book injury when falling asleep with a book

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is my fervent belief that everyone here can go back to enjoying reading again, even if it’s not the method you prefer. I encourage you to get a library card, download the Overdrive Media App on your phone, tablet or PC and start searching for books. Maybe I’ll even let you join my book club. Shhh…

I know I have room for improvement in the speech writing/stand up comedy industry; I’m just glad my heart palpitations went away! Until next time…


Bryan Elliott on Why You Should Pick Yourself

by Lindy

Linked OC - Seth Godin - March 15, 2013

Bryan Elliott, founder of the progressive networking group, Linked OC, emailed a poignant story to our group today that was very touching and encouraging. I know his story will resonate with so many people; we could all benefit from learning the important lesson of PICKING YOURSELF.


This idea of ‘Picking Yourself’ will be the featured topic at the upcoming March 15th LinkedOC with bestselling author and thought leader Seth Godin. Godin will be speaking on his latest book, The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Here is Bryan’s Story
(used with permission)

I just finished writing my next article for Entrepreneur Magazine, (working title) 3 Reasons to Pick Yourself where I shared part of an important lesson learned a long time ago and again recently by reading Seth Godin’s new book.

The full article will be published on Thursday this week but I didn’t include all of the personal details and I’d like the share the full story with some confessions and embarrassing truths here with you, my loyal tribe, with the hope that this helps at least one person…

1 out of the 3 reasons to pick yourself (vs waiting to get picked by someone else) is:

1. You are NOT going to get picked.

For me, waiting to get picked always conjures up painful memories of the elementary school playground. I was in 5th grade and loved to play sports, especially basketball. The problem was that I hadn’t hit my growth spurt yet and was one of the shortest kids on the court. I usually got picked last or not at all when we split up teams.

It’s sad to admit but more than 30 years later I’m still kind of pissed at Mr Hamblin, the PE coach, who mocked me because I was in his words, “too short to play” in the coveted Teachers vs Students basketball game on the last day of the school year. This and other times of rejection left me feeling frustrated and misunderstood. I was pretty good at sports (by 5th grade standards) but I was being judged solely on my height. I often sat on the sidelines feeling defeated with resentment and great contempt for tall people!

This pattern continued on into high school and although I worked hard to earn a spot on the varsity team in 3 different sports, I was often ignored or given limited playing time by coaches who preferred to play the bigger kids who were in their minds “a sure thing” to win games. (that’s me below in my freshman year).

Bryan Elliott

Bryan Elliott, high school football

In business I continue to experience the feeling of being ignored, passed over, exploited, rejected and being treated unfairly all the time. I have felt defeated and wondered where my friends were when I needed them most. I have felt desperate and alone. I have felt the resentment and contempt for those in power who didn’t pick me after nailing the job interview; after years of thankless service; for well deserved promotions; new projects or whatever.

I confess that I’ve held grudges–even for things that are ancient history…
During my darkest moments when I lost sight of hope, I was so miserable that I was tempted to blame others or outside circumstances for my misfortune–real or perceived–to the point that I wanted to retaliate and seek revenge.

I’ve heard it said that “holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It’s true, I’ve had a taste of it.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Some people, like Coach Hamblin, suck. Yes, we will be treated unfairly by unforeseen circumstances or people–deliberately or without malice–and either way isn’t fun. But we shouldn’t be surprised when adversity or rejection come, nor allow the applause or lack of, to determine our worth. This is the journey we’re on.

The path that used to be safe and secure–that cushy, high-paying job at the glamorous brand or position that is never in jeopardy of being downsized–is gone. At any moment the tightrope you’re walking on can get cut out from under you. And there’s no safety net.

Whether you work for someone else and love it, spend your days sending out resumes or are confined to a soul-sucking cubicle, there’s comfort in knowing that there’s an alternate choice: Pick yourself.

Don’t waste time playing to an audience who couldn’t care less about your tune. Don’t waste another breath of air trying to convince the unconvinced. There’s a danger after you’ve been rejected so many times…tell me if this sounds familiar:

  • You want to crawl under a rock and stop trying…
  • You start believing the critics or crickets and settle for less…
  • You get mad or resentful every time you hear the word “no” feeling undervalued and unappreciated…
  • You sabotage relationships or opportunities by rejecting them before (you think) they reject you as a defense mechanism…
  • You start using those in power as the scapegoat or excuse for your less-than-awesome output or performance…

Don’t do this. Don’t give them power by giving in. Keep your chin up, find the right audience or do better work until you get noticed. Never quit.

Seth said this in his latest book, “The Icarus Deception”:

“Our cultural instinct is to wait to get picked. To seek out permission, authority and safety that come from someone who says, ‘I pick you.’ Once you reject the impulse and realize that no one is going to select you—that Prince Charming has chosen another house in his search for Cinderella—then you can actually get to work.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this either publicly on our FB page, or privately by replying to this email.

–Bryan Elliott
Founder, Linked OC

Twitter: @BryanElliott
LinkedIn: /in/BryanDElliott
FB: /BryanElliott

Linked Orange County is about: Connecting. Business. People.

Our mission is to be a hub for thought leadership, entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups with emphasis on helping our members prosper and contributing to the growth of the Orange County economy.

We are a leading business community network connecting the disconnected to create value among our members and in the community.

Our main purpose is:

* Connecting buyers & sellers
* Connecting information seekers with information
* Connecting teams, collaborators and innovators to each other
* Connecting those with similar business goals
* Connecting job hunters with jobs
* Connecting organizations spending money with ways to save money
* Connecting like-minded, passionate people into a movement

What is your story?


Ted Talk: How a Boy Became an Artist

by Lindy

Ted Talks are absolutely awesome; if you’ve never watched one, you should; immediately. Especially this one by children’s book author and illustrator, Jarrett J. Krosoczka: How a Boy Became an Artist.

It is so inspiring to hear him recount the path he took to realize his dreams and artistic aspirations. Though he experienced some difficult circumstances in his life, Jarrett persevered. Through his talk, he exhibits a great sense of humor and a compelling way with words. It’s apparent that his life story has touched many people’s lives just by the numerous glowing comments on the video.

One of the best quotes from the talk: “I use my imagination for my full time job; my imagination saved my life.”

For me, being creative is very therapeutic and supremely divine. Perhaps I will showcase my clever children’s stories I wrote in elementary school and put some of the ones I’ve told verbally down on paper someday…

More About Jarrett’s J. Krosoczka

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been a storyteller since the ripe age of eight, when he wrote his first book, The Owl Who Thought He Was The Best Flyer, about an owl who challenged Hermes to a flying race. Since that rather promising start Krosoczka has published 18 picture books and graphic novels for children, including the much-loved Lunch Lady series, which is a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award. Krosoczka hosts The Book Report with JJK on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live, a radio show about books, aimed at kids 10 and younger. In 2010 he founded the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships at Worcester Art Museum, to fund classes for young and underprivileged aspiring artists.

 


Random Page: On the Art of Writing Fiction

by Lindy

Here is a random page from a book titled, On the Art of Writing Fiction By Mrs. Molesworth, Sabine Baring-Gould published in 1894. This page is from a chapter on ‘Style in Fiction’ by W.E. Norris.

This book discovery was made possible by Google Books.

 

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