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SYNOPSIS

Discovering who you are is not just for teenagers. Midlife men must also rediscover the world around them while struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles.

Middle-aged men like me are under siege, beset on all sides by personal ambition, internal expectations, familial pressure, disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy. It’s a constant battle to balance the needs of the self and the needs of others and a struggle to discover which ones really take priority. Some win this battle and some tragically lose.

Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think. We are the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks because we know the old tricks are tried and true. We have firm beliefs that can’t be shaken. Free trade is good. True leaders are rare. Happiness is a luxury. Golf is a waste of time and we don’t have enough years left to be unproductive. We don’t apologize for our views because we’ve spent half a lifetime developing them. Theory and idealism sounds good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world determines ground truth. Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think and have low expectations on the world because it’s done little more than disappoint us. We’re middle aged and tired of looking, acting, feeling the way people want us to, so we’re breaking out and being who we were meant to be; irascible curs who make the world a better place through brutal honesty. We see this as our duty and take it seriously.

Buy the ticket. Take the ride.

Where to purchase Curmudgeonism

EXCERPT

 

Think you’re owed happiness? You’re not. Happiness is a luxury, not a necessity. Some say “if you’re not happy doing what you’re doing then don’t do it.” Those people are surprisingly more comfortable with a welfare Christmas and a moped than the average person. It’s idealistic, but many times unrealistic and as we’ve learned already, idealism has a cost.

The definition of happiness is different for everyone but one thing is for sure-it’s fleeting. Just when you think you’re on the verge of a touchdown, the goal line moves. The variables change and suddenly you’re on a quest to make it to the next level of happiness. Even then, you can accomplish your mission in life and buy a nice house, nice cars, and a baby giraffe and feel happy but then you realize you have to protect it. You have everything you wanted and a life that’s enviable. That means you have to maintain it. You have to keep it going. That adds pressure and makes you unhappy again. It’s a vicious cycle.

The universe does not owe anyone a single atom of happiness and there’s no law that says you have to love your chosen profession. As long as a job provides income and necessities for the family then it can suck badger milk because true happiness for a man comes from being a provider. It’s our responsibility to take care of our kin and we want to fulfill that responsibility no matter how happy or unhappy it makes us. Curmudgeons sacrifice the happiness of the self for the needs of the family because we’re not egotistical or narcissistic.

Some Deepak Chopra Zen master schmuck will tell you that you have to be happy in life or that you should continually strive to find greater levels of happiness. That works for some, but if you’re a family man then you have the responsibility to provide for those you love and that’s it. If you’re not happy but you’re providing a good life then suck it up, cupcake.

My soul dies a little each day at work, but I provide a comfortable living for my family therefore I will be its punching bag and shut up and take it. Some days I hate what I’ve become but then I step through the doors of my house and it’s all washed away. Coming home from a day on the job is like finishing a hard ass gym workout. It sucked, but in the end it’s satisfying to know my sacrifice had a purpose and my good health means I will live to work another day and my family will be good to go a little longer. Men are wired to provide, even if it’s just for ourselves, and when anything threatens our ability to do that we freak out just a little bit.

On the grand scale of things happiness is a want, not a need. We need to provide. We want to be happy but if we’re not happy, but we’re providing then that’s a form of happiness in itself or at the very least a form of satisfaction. I may not fit some liberal’s view of happy but I’m content and that’s good enough for me. Don’t agree? Quit your crappy job just to spite me. It’s not easy is it? Show me a job that pays as much as I’m making now that I can enjoy and then I’ll listen to your “don’t work in a job you hate” argument. Otherwise leave me alone. I have a family to provide for.

 


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The Author
Kelly’s Twitter / Facebook  / GoodreadsKelly Crigger is an angry troll who lives under a bridge, eats goats that wander past, and throws their bones into the canyon of despair.

Follow the entire Curmudgeonsim Tour HERE

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Storytelling isn’t only for writers or Hollywood producers, and this book is a great resource for people who are starting a business or venturing into the world of entrepreneurship.

In a simple, straight-forward language, often sprinkled with humor, Mazzocchi — who isn’t only an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner but also an award-winning medical thriller author — takes the reader through the process of developing their story to maximize success, especially when it comes to attracting investors.

Mazzocchi begins by defining what it truly means to be an inventor/founder entrepreneur as opposed to other titles, such as a start-up entrepreneur, and professional manager. He also explains what the art of entrepreneurism entails, stressing the importance of how the telling of the story needs to improve during the entrepreneurial journey or “it will fall off the cliff into the abyss.”

But how do you spin a visionary tale that has not yet happened, but could, and should happen? Mazzocchi compares this to trying to explain your dreams or fantasies to a stranger — they are real and exciting to you but difficult for others to appreciate. And even when you get your story across, why should they care? It is here that the author’s expertise comes into play, taking the reader through each part of the story and step of the process, from developing the “hook” to knowing your audience to keeping their interest, and more.

Storytelling is a fascinating read, chock-full of information, advice, and interesting “behind-the-scene” anecdotes from someone who’s been there and done that first-hand. Though it is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs, the wisdom of this book applies to many other careers and aspects of a person’s life. Reading this book is like having your own business mentor or coach guiding you every step of the way through the development of your story. Highly recommended!

Find out more on Amazon and Twilight Times Books.

Visit the author’s website.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.

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Author Photo“Internet famous” for her humorous and inspirational self-syndicated webcomics about surviving the insanity of life and parenthood, Tanya Masse, AKA: “Comic Strip Mama” is a mama, a writer, a cartoonist and an entrepreneur who has faced a tremendous amount of adversity throughout the challenges of her life and has risen above it all!

Enter the Comic Strip Mama™ Blog Tour of AWESOMENESS Extravaganza Giveaway for your chance to win some AWESOME prizes!

http://www.comicstripmama.com/STAIRWAY-TO-AWESOMENESS.html

Through her comics, award winning blog, social media platforms and literary works, she entertains and encourages others to: 

Make the best of the busyness, craziness, chaos, frustrations and challenges of life and parenthood!

Live on the AWESOME side!

STOP taking life SO SERIOUSLY!

Embrace the INSANITY!

Focus on the POSITIVE lessons!

Recognize the BLESSINGS!

Find the HUMOR whenever possible, and

CELEBRATE LIFE! 

Connect with Comic Strip Mama at:

http://www.comicstripmama.com

http://www.facebook.com/ComicStripMama

http://www.twitter.com/ComicStripMama

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Interview

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Stairway to Awesomeness. What was your inspiration for it?

A: Thank you! My life was the inspiration for this book! Life is HARD and it isn’t always fair. And sometimes, life is downright insane! I have experienced many of life’s seemingly insurmountable blows and for many years I struggled and lived a dark, disturbing, depressing, miserable and reckless existence as a result. Eventually, I discovered why I was struggling so much. That is when I changed my way of thinking and being and reinvented myself into the person that I am today…a strong, happy and positive person and parent who strives to achieve “awesomeness”. Too many people take life WAY too seriously instead of focusing on the positive, recognizing the blessings and fining the humor. This book is based on what I have lived and what I have learned about what is most important in life.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: Ummm…She had to google what “protagonist” meant and then I found out that my protagonist is ME. 😉  (Forgive my ignorance… I’m a virgin/not your average author.)

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00068]A: Well, I talked about writing a book for a good year before I started the actual writing process in February of this year. Then I changed my mind about the title and table of contents twice and I finally managed to complete and submit my manuscript at the end of May. It wasn’t long enough!! So I had a week to resubmit the manuscript to meet the publishing deadline. At the time I was also working on the start-up phase of my self-syndicated webcomic company so it was slightly challenging. Also, I can put the “pro” in procrastination! But I did it!! =)

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel? 

A: It’s real, motivating and humorous with a unique comic cartoon twist.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: Once I am able to focus, writing is soothing and relaxing. I feel WAY more anxiety after I submit my work to be reviewed and critiqued!

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time? 

A: I really don’t have a writing schedule. I will meet deadlines, but I work around my life as a mama and an entrepreneur. I have managed to balance it all pretty well, but sometimes I am a little overwhelmed. It’s ok! I embrace the insanity and laugh it off when I look back. 😉

Q: How do you define success? 

A: Success should never be measured in dollars and cents… it should be measured by life well spent. I am successful in life because I am a strong, positive, happy, awesome person who makes an effort to positively impact, empower and add value to the lives of others every chance I get. I am also successful because of my skills, knowledge, experience, my open mind and my ability to make good choices. I take great pride in all of it.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: Healthy and strong relationships consist of individuals who are true to themselves, love themselves and respect themselves first. You should never be expected to stop being an individual in order to be in a relationship. Your life partner should bring out the best in you, encourage you and support you. I am a firm believer in living your dreams. Life is too short not to. Communicate your feelings about living your dreams with your spouse and then try to compromise. You both need to be reasonable and not selfish, especially if there are children involved. But if you spouse flat out refuses to support you and is not being reasonable, then you should probably reevaluate your relationship. 😉

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: I don’t agree. Writing my book was challenging, but it was an awesome and fulfilling experience. I feel a great sense of relief and pride knowing that others will learn from what I have lived and hopefully more people will make an effort to change their way of thinking and live a life of awesomeness!

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

A: Stairway to Awesomeness is not your average self-improvement book. It is the ultimate self-improvement book that goes against the grain of many self-help/self-improvement books out there. I take my readers on my very real tragedy-to-triumph life journey and explain HOW and WHY I changed my way of thinking about many things that so many of us are conditioned to believe. The 30 fundamental steps that I write and illustrate about are tried and true and life changing and I prove that achieving a life of awesomeness IS possible. There is also a very unique and humorous comic twist throughout the book that will make you smile as you make your own climb to awesomeness!

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According to Psychology Today, 60% of remarriages fail. What are the reasons? Why do people believe that whatever went wrong the first time won’t happen again?

Have you gone through a divorce, found a new partner and are considering remarrying? Perhaps you’re afraid of making the same mistake twice and are thinking of living together first? Do you wonder if you’re doing the right thing?

Before You Say I Do, Again answers these important questions, and much more. Written by a divorce attorney with over 30 years of experience, the book is filled with insightful information, practical advice and statistics supported by research studies.

Other questions discussed include: Does your new partner have debts that will affect you? Will her/his kids ever like you? Are there any health concerns? Do you know why your previous marriage failed or how you contributed to its destruction? Have you wondered at the legalities of the new marriage? How much are attorney fees? The author points out all the vital questions you should be asking yourself at this important and critical time in your life.

Before You Say I Do, Again
is divided into 4 parts:

Part I takes you back to revisit your first marriage and the reason you’re now single; Part II discusses what you’ll need to do before remarrying so that you’ll be emotionally, financially and legally ready to take the first steps (this section includes a test to help you determine if you’re ready); in Part III, the author uses the ‘buying a car’ analogy to show the importance of ‘knowing’ before saying ‘I do;’ finally, Part IV is a compatibility test to determine how your new partner compares to your former spouse. There’s also an appendix that provides useful forms such as a testament, a pre-nuptial agreement and an asset organizer.

Besides being chock-full of information, author/attorney Benjamin Berkley writes in a simple, light, engaging style, making the reading experience enjoyable. The structure is clear and well organized. Best of all, it is written by someone who really knows what he’s talking about. If you or someone in your life is considering remarrying, please do yourself a favour and get a copy of this book. It is definitely an eye opener.

Purchase information:

Before You Say ‘I Do’ Again: A Buyer’s Beware Guide to Remarriage
By Benjamin Berkley
Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc.
ISBN-10: 0883911736
ISBN-13: 978-0883911730
Copyright September 2009
Paperback, 240 pages, $14.95
Nonfiction/Self-help
Publisher’s website: http://www.fellpub.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Before-You-Say-Do-Again/dp/0883911736

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addNot being a psychologist or a doctor, I’m reviewing this book from the point of view of a person who is familiar with ADD and ADHD only from personal experience and from reading extensively on the subject.

When you hear the term ADD, hyperactive, badly behaved children who do poorly at school come to mind, but this condition doesn’t only affect children. Gina Pera’s book, Is It You, Me, or Your Adult A.D.D.? takes a look at an often ignored aspect of ADD, that of adult ADD.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I mainly deals with discovering the condition in your partner and the roller coaster ride that it often is; the signs; the twists and the turns. Part II takes a close look at the disorder itself, breaking down its elements; and its management. In Part III, the author shares four successful strategies. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the book only has three parts, as each one is scrupulously detailed and offers an amalgam of information. With its 370 pages, the book is quite hefty. I don’t want to list all the topics included in the book, but suffice to say that it covers ADHD in all its forms, from what it is, to its effects, to how to treat it, to the misconceptions, to its sometimes erroneous perception by doctors and educators, to the various treatments and medications available. Pera also looks at the possible causes and at the possibility of it being hereditary.

Pera uses graphics, tables, and a full bibliography to support the information offered in the book. It is also well structured and clearly written in a straight forward, engaging style.

Some people joke about it; others take it lightly; yet others take it seriously. One thing’s for sure: ADHD affects many people and their families, and the more we become educated on the subject, the better. From what I have read and heard, it’s amazing the ignorance of most people on the subject. If you have a partner who suffers from ADD, this book is definitely a must read to help put things in perspective.

Visit the author’s blogs at http://adhdrollercoaster.org and http://adhdpartner.org.

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Author Mary Cunningham

Author Mary Cunningham

Your hair is getting white, you’re losing muscle tone, you wish gravity didn’t exist so wrinkles wouldn’t take hold of your face, menopause is finally kicking in – really kicking in. Is it the end, or the beginning of great things to come?

Authors Diana Black, Mary Cunningham, and Melinda Richarz Bailey share their experiences — sometimes sad, sometimes joyful, sometimes funny — about their road ‘downhill’. Or is it really to middle age? They also share their dreams and realizations about life and what it really means to be 50.

WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty is a combination of short personal essays, poems, and witty quotes that will touch your heart and enlighten your mind about the aging process. At the end of each chapter the authors invite readers to write their own experiences and thoughts, so you may want to have a pencil or pen in hand as you read.

Bad hair days, chocolate (and expanding waistlines!), dogs, the menopause (flashing!), being a woman, cell phones, and computers are some of the topics covered in the book. Take a look at this short segment on the powers of chocolate:

Seriously, how could something so rich and luscious;
something that can make most grown WOOFers lie, cheat
and steal; something that can, with one delicious, melt-in-your-
mouth morsel bring a menopawsal, endorphin
deprived, raving lunatic back from the brink of insanity;
be bad for you?
Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking
about. Who hasn’t searched underneath the sofa cushions
in January for a stray piece of Halloween candy?

And of course, every WOOFer over 50 must have a WooFer name. In the book, Diana Black is ‘d. d. dawg’, Mary Cunnigham is ‘Milkbone’, and Melinda Richarz Bailey is ‘Mad Dog’. Towards the end there is a list of names with their behavioral characteristics, so you can choose the one that best suits the WOOFer in you.

WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty is a light, humorous, entertaining, and certainly uplifting read. I finished reading it in two hours. Many of the segments are hilarious and made me laugh out loud – and mind you, I’m not 50 yet. This little book would make a great Christmas or birthday gift to anyone who loves a good laugh, but especially to those Woofers over 50.

For those interested, the authors have formed a club for WOOFers: www.woofersclub.com.

And there’s also a blog: www.woofersclub.blogspot.com.

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ChaChanna Simpson is the editor of Twentity.com, an online magazine where young people in their twenties can go to learn what to expect after college. Before this, she had her own copywriting business and wrote copy for direct mail companies. She's been writing for twelve years now. Presently she's touring the blogosphere to promote the release of her first book, Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You.

Thanks for being here today, ChaChanna. Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

Absolutely! I only read mystery books. Every other Saturday, my mother would take me and my brother to our local library to get books. I would always get so excited on those Saturdays. My mother encouraged me and my brother to read from the time we were born. She would read to us before we went to bed and then when we were old enough to read, we read to her before we went to sleep.

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You answers questions such as: I've graduated from college, now what do I do? How do I adjust to moving back home with my family? Why is it taking so long for me to find a job? How do I focus on what I want to do rather than what my parents want me to do? How do I manage my finances? And much more.

This book provides solutions readers can immediately use to help make their transition from college life into the real world easier. I’ve also included stories and tips from recent college grads sharing their wisdom and experiences so college grads know they are not alone in trying to make it in the real world.

I wrote this book to prevent those who are graduating or recently graduated from college from making the same mistakes I did when I graduated. Those who have been out of college or on their own for a while, we take what we know for granted such as how to get an apartment, things to ask on a job interview, balancing a checkbook and budgeting. These things are really not taught in schools.

From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?

It took me one year and two months!

Are you a disciplined writer?

No, I am a lazy writer. I’ll write a couple of paragraphs, stop, look outside, look back to my notebook, maybe scribble down some more words and then decide I should lay down a bit and let the rest of my words marinate in my brain before writing anymore. It’s a wonder I get anything done sometimes.

Who are your favorite authors? Why?

Carolyn Keene (I guess that means all the authors that wrote under the pseudonym) and Mary Higgins Clark are my favorite authors. I loved the Nancy Drew series growing up. In fact, I believe the first book I ever read to my mother was The Secret Clock. I think it is the first book I ever read, period, now that I think about it. I fell in love with reading then.

I love Mary Higgins Clark because she is just a darn good mystery writer!

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

While I was freelancing as a copyeditor, I met a woman who had numerous books in print. And I remember saying to her that one day I wanted to write one book. But because I was so busy I didn’t think I’d ever have the time. She told me to write what I could, even if I just wrote a sentence a day. No matter how busy I was I could find time to write a sentence. And for this book, I actually followed that advice.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?

Yes, you can visit me at www.twentity.com!

Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!

Thank you for having me. This was fun.

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