Friday, November 28, 2008

Bette Midler and Vaudeville

This is one of the Keith Theatres that plays a part in my book.

Have you ever witnessed a more energetic and fantastic a performer? She gives the appearance of having so much fun at what she does, and she does everything so well. When I was writing my novel Ghost Music of Vaudeville I needed a wild card draw to help the people in that book raise enough money to save the old Keith Theatre and the apartments above it that had become homes for actors and actresses that were trying to keep the music of Vaudeville alive. I needed someone who was warm, approachable, energetic and likely to come to the aid of a good cause. Bette Midler's name just popped into my head. I can't think of a better choice. If, in real life, Charlie Wolfe was trying to save Ironwood, Michigan's bastion of history and they needed a star to help them out I'm sure if she was approached she'd be there in a heart beat. She fits the book and the lives of the characters perfectly.

If you would like to read a chapter of Ghost Music of Vaudeville, please go to my website and click on the Books link.

I've spent the last couple days looking for places where I might find out more about Bette and perhaps an address. I have not found an address, but I've watched video's of her, listened to her sing, listened to her play a role in movies -- I found out she was born in 1945 one place said Hawaii another said New Jersey -- it doesn't matter to me - I'm glad she was. She was a fan of Judy Garland - I can see that in her stage presence. It has been a wonderful experience to submerge myself in finding out more about her - and I wish that she could appear to help me at my booksignings of Ghost Music of Vaudeville, I have a young lady who may portray her - she is the spitting image of Drew Barrymore so I'm sure she could do a Bette Midler as well.

Entertain lavishly and let yourself burst out with song when the occassion merits it - and then preserve what you can of history for our younger generation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prolific Writers - Are You One?

So you think you write a lot — How many books have you written? As a reader, how many books do you read a month?

Barbara Cartland, who my college Women’s Lit Instructor disliked intensely, wrote a stunning 723 books and made the Guinness Book of World Records for her efforts. She wrote a novel in one or two weeks. The critics say she actually didn’t write them she dictated them to her secretaries and they typed them up. I beg to differ with them. It was her creative genius that dreamt them up in the first place. If she hadn’t dictated them would each of her secretaries have written a best seller and had them published?

I take issue with the big name authors who have an understudy of sorts write from their outline and create a book for the named author. I see James Patterson and a few others are finally listing those as co-authors on the covers of their books. But now does that make them author of those books or the co-author? Who gets to count coup – will Patterson have 300 books because of their efforts or will he let them count those as their own?

Isaac Asimov wrote over 200 books, by himself – he then, in my humble opinion, especially with all the special issues Sci Fi authors face, was a prolific writer.

Georges Simenon wrote 400 books each book took him eleven straight days of writing. I’m sure he took food breaks and a nap break here and there – but that’s profound. Imagine fellow NaNoWriMo authors if you could write a novel in 30 days, why not one in eleven days?
How many words a day would that be? Approximately 4,500 words a day. Hey you could do that couldn’t you? {smile}

So write like the wind, read like a Tsunami and perhaps you will earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for your effort. After NaNoWriMo I’m sure many of you are thinking you deserve at least that commendation. I am proud of those of you who tried, even if you didn’t finish. And I am doubly proud of those who did – included in that my own daughter who finished her novel at just under 54,000 words ahead of the deadline. GO BECKIE!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Words Once Printed - subject to change

Change is good--except or unless...

When an author re-reads something they have written long ago it’s sometimes very disconcerting, at least I thought so. I thought I was the only one who looked at my once written, even once published books and thought, oh my good gracious how could I have let that go as a publishable piece? I don’t feel so bad any more after reading this from Aldous Huxley (Brave New World 1932 among other novels) This was in the revised/republished 1946 edition of Brave New World. “…Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment….”

He goes on more eloquently but it boils down to what we both feel after pouring over the short comings of a novel written at a younger more inexperienced time in an attempt to patch a faulty piece into a perfect masterpiece. That particular piece having missed that mark the first time around—should be repaired to a place where growth had taken me. To spend time trying to mend the artistic sins committed by that different person, the person I was then—is surely vain and futile. Its defect may be part of its charm.

I could rewrite the whole book as an older, perhaps wiser, other person. What might happen then though is I probably would get rid not only of some of the faults of the story, but also rid it of some of its merits as it originally possessed them.

So, resisting the temptation to wallow in artistic remorse, I leave well and ill alone and move on to ‘next’ with what I have learned and am able to create in my next novel, with much thanks to Aldous Huxley for making me feel less alone and imperfect.

Billie A Williams
Cricket Sawyer

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Exercise: The Reluctant I

In the picture my Mom is in the forefront, my Aunt Lois is pointing to the cake. Mom's birthday, but they shared the same birthday two years apart.

I sat there listening to her always with the phrases for everything. A quote a song title a bible verse, pulled as if from a small box in her mind. This time it was essential that her directive be avoided (not that it was known then.)

"Brags a good bargain, but hold on is a lot better," she said.

"Then how do you propose a writer will sell his/her work? No one can promote what another has written as well as the author. It's his/her baby, birthed with no fewer labor pains than the birth of a human infant. It seems weird to internalize that phrase and know now that one size, or in this case, one phrase, does not fit all.

Years after her death her phrases pop up as rules of life. Life is not a box of little ticker tape answers to every questions, though a lot of those do strike home with a ring of truth. Following, hanging on her every word helped to raise a lemming, a self-conscious, fearful individual with a couple dozen successes that many have never had, and yet that success feels like an embarrassment. It shouldn't.

Not all her phrases affected life that same way. Expressing the way her grandfather began a story - a phrase she repeated often, began a story created for my only Young Adult Historical novel. Watch For the Raven was born from her phrase, "When Tag was a pup, and turkey's chewed tobaccy."
Her phrases in all fairness did guide and still do.

We stood, the five of us, at her coffin during her wake, the final time we were able to talk with her and reminisced those phrases and funny fax paus she emotionally rendered throughout our growing years. "I'll slap my face against the back of your hand," was meant to be an admonition to my brother for inappropriate actions and words that we no longer remembered. We did remember watching our dad try to repress the laughter lighting up his mahogany eyes, the twitch in his lips that threatened to curve in a smile. Five faces suppressed the laughter only until she caught her mis-spoken words.

Laughter, hearty and long, followed as the tension in the room dissolved in fits of laughter, as it was as we swayed, arm-in-arm, remembering--the good, the bad and the hilarious--

And now alone, I think of perhaps the only wrong phrase, at least for me, that she ever insisted was law. Perhaps, she was right, but never for her daughter, the multi-published, award-winning author who needs to promote herself to sell her books.

Perhaps there is a way to brag without boasting, is that what she meant? Be proud but not too proud? Be verbal, interesting, social, outgoing, be discovered by your talent, not what you say on your own behalf. If only it was possible to ask her for clarification, if only she had lingered as long as her phrases have. If only she had stayed until I had my first book published--then maybe it would have been different. Maybe then she would have said,"You deserve to be proud and brag," perhaps...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Want Free Books?

If you want to read some of my books for free--go here and then send me an email to become part of my STREET TEAM. - directions are at
It's a win win situation. check it out now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some things you may not know about Books

Books return dividends for life.
A new tie never changed anyone's life like a book has.
A book is affordable, portable, memorable, and keeps on giving forever
A book is the perfect gift for someone who has everything, and even more so for someone who has nothing, its an opportunity to escape into to dream and hope with.
Books create miracles within.
Give a book - birthday, anniversary, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Still Not Convinced - You Need This Book?

Interview With Masha Malka

Enjoy an insightful conversation with Masha Malka, author of The One Minute Coach.

1. Tell us a little bit more about your journey and the most important lessons you’ve learned in the process?

I immigrated to the USA at the age of 17 with my parents, very sick grandfather and a younger brother. We were allowed to take $100.00 per person and a little suitcase of clothes per person. None of us spoke English. Also, as refugees we lost our citizenship and we could not communicate with the friends we left behind because we didn’t want to get them in trouble with the KGB.

As a result, I went from an outgoing, well-adjusted, happy teenager to a depressed and introverted one. And it took me some time to rebuild my confidence and my self-esteem.

Although I was always a good student, did well at work, and seemed quite happy on the outside, inside I felt completely lost. I lived in the darkness of not knowing what I wanted and who I was. As I mentioned, I had a low self-esteem and settled for a lot less than I deserved.

Fortunately there are people such as Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Mark Victor Hansen, Stephen Covey, just to name a few who help those in the situations like I was. Although my transformation was often painful and not easy, it was definitely worth it!! In fact, this is exactly why I do what I do now. Because I know it is possible to create the changes that we want if we really want to, if we are willing to learn what to do and then take appropriate action, of course…

Thinking about the most important lessons that I’ve learn in the process, it would be

1) That I am responsible for my own life

2) Never to let anyone, including, or should I say especially myself, make me feel guilty

3) And to value myself as the most important person in my life (different from being selfish)

2. You’ve lived and worked in 6 countries with very different cultures (Ukraine, USA, Austria, UK, Bulgaria, and Spain)... Does where we come from determine how successful we become?

Where we come from, age, socio-economic status, education level, the people that we know - none of these determine how successful we become. The only thing that does is a person’s MINDSET or their belief system – they way the respond to life’s situations and challenges.

3. What does being successful mean to you?

For me the word “success” is equivalent with the word “freedom” – freedom from my own limiting beliefs; freedom to be who I am and living the life that is meant for me to live!

4. Your new book, The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time has just been published. Tell us a little bit about the book.

The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time book is a compilation of inspirational one-minute messages all followed by application/action steps and engaging images.

Although this book can be read from the beginning to the end, it can also be used as a reference guide. For example, what many people say works best for them is to wake up and just open the book on any page. It takes one minute to read, get motivated and start the day in a positive way.

Some of the chapters in the book include:

ü The secrets of people who are successful

ü Freedom to be who you are

ü Why do we suffer

ü How to get what you want

ü What it takes to be a great leader

ü Time management and decision making tools

ü The best source of wealth

ü The most important job you do

ü The secret to a great life

ü And more (52 chapters all together)

5. What makes The One Minute Coach different from other self-help books out there?

Although there are many self-help books out there, what makes “The One Minute Coach” different is that it is specifically designed for busy people who understand the importance of learning and growing but just don’t seem to be able to find the time to read lengthy books.

Also, the book is written using Accelerated Learning Techniques, incorporating images, stories, short paragraphs, etc., which makes it easy to read and assimilate even when there is a very complicated topic.

6. With three young children, coaching career, a new book, family and personal demands, do you find it difficult to stay level-headed and keep a healthy balance?

If I tell you it is easy, I will be lying to you! J

First, I make sure that my needs are met. Getting enough rest.

Also, knowing how to prioritize is what helps me achieve a lot. You know the famous 80/20 rule (Paretto principle) that states that most people spend 80% of their time attending to activities that only give them 20% of the value. People who are more productive and efficient are not like that because they have more hours in the day or because they are more intelligent… they just know how to focus on the 20% of activities that give them 80% of the value.

7. You call yourself “The One Minute Coach”. What made you chose this name?

Everyone seems to be very busy these days plus people like and want quick results and immediate gratification. If people think they can change in one minute, they are more likely to invest that minute – and it does not overwhelm them.

The truth is, it takes even less than a minute to change. Change happens the moment we make a decision to change. However, often it takes many minutes to accumulate the knowledge that will help us make that decision.

As someone once said, it took me 20 years to achieve an overnight success!

8. There are many coaches out there, what makes you different?

1) Fist of all, I don’t just coach in the way most coaches do. I have created a system that I call “Foundation to Success” and I always start with teaching this system to my clients. I think a lot of issues and problems can be eliminated (and not just temporarily but forever) when we treat the cause rather than the effect of the problem. There are 6 elements to the foundation:

1. Purpose

2. Vision

3. Values

4. Goals

5. Action Plan

6. Mindset

2) Also, my background in teaching and Accelerated Learning Techniques helps me present the information in the way that is easy to understand and apply

3) My personal journey to success as well as almost 6 years of experience working with people from all walks of life

4) Finally, and probably most important, I am very good at connecting with people and making it easy for them to open up, sometimes face their fears and make the changes they want to make.

9. Do you have an advice for people who want to write a book but still didn’t do it?

First of all, ask yourself how much do I want to write this book and why? Get motivated.

Then, before you do any writing, do the research!

If you find out that your book is needed, that you have a market for it then break it down into small manageable bits. One page at a time you will get there!

10. What One Minute Tip can you leave us with today?

If there is something you want in life and still do not have it, never blame yourself for it. Because if you can dream it, you CAN have it!

If you haven’t reached your goals yet, it is not because you are not smart enough or capable enough – in fact you have everything you need to achieve your goals… you are just missing the right tools: information, skills, and mindset, to do it. And that is all learnable!

So never stop dreaming and never give up going after your dreams. Enjoy every moment of your journey, because it is YOUR journey and not necessarily the end result, that makes life exciting, worthwhile and fulfilling!

11. Thank you Masha! Please tell us how can people get in touch with you and where can they purchase The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time book.

I would invite people to access a very special page for our book launch of The One Minute Coach. Order you own copy of The One Minute Coach within the next 24 hours and receive over $9,000 in bonus gifts from experts around the globe. Go to

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ORDER NOW -for yourself or a friend -

Here’s a peek at what readers will get

The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time

By Masha Malka

Foreword (by Cary Johnston)

Part 1: Freedom To Be Who You Are
Whose Life Are You Living?
The “Impossible” Is Often the Untried
If They Can Do It, So Can You!
Are You Starving Your Soul?
What Fulfills You?
The Gift of Personal Freedom
It All Comes Down to Faith

Part 2: The Secrets of People Who Are Successful
What Successful People Know
What Is Success?
One Word to Define Success
What Determines Success?
How to Get What You Want
Can You Really Change Your Life in One Minute?
Do Not Underestimate Your Skills
The Most Important Ingredient for Your Success

Part 3: Why Do We Suffer?
Are You Looking For Problems?
How to Get What You Want
An Opportunity for Guaranteed Enlightenment
Success Is Not Forever, and Failure Is Not Fatal
How Successful People Deal with Failure
Are You Guilty?
Eliminating Worry
Why Do We Argue?
How to Eliminate Self-sabotaging Beliefs
Everything Is Relative

Part 4: The Secret to a Great Life
Who Are You Not to Be?
Life Is About Creating Yourself
What Does It Take to Be Attractive?
How Much Do You Love Yourself?
Have a Great Day!

Part 5: Are You a Natural Leader?
Leadership Begins With You
The Power of a Team and Cooperation
Using Words with Good Purpose
Personal Satisfaction at Work
Helping Is Not Always Good
What Is Your Greatness?
Are You Busy Being Busy?

Part 6: Time Management and Decision Making
Effective Decision Making
How Much Do You Rely on Logic?
Are There Bad Decisions?
The Currency of Today
Creating a Balanced Life
The Value of an Hour
The Slower You Go, the Faster You Will Get There
Are You Living for the Future?

Part 7: The Best Source of Wealth
Produce the Results You Are Looking For
What Did You Miss Out On Today?
The Power of Questions
Ask and You Will Receive
Excellence Is Not an Act, but a Habit
You Have The Power – Mind Power!

Part 8: It Is Never Too Late
You Make a Difference!
Can One Person Change the World?
NOW is the Right Time

The Most Important Job You Do
Thank You!

References and Recommended Reading
About the Author
About the artist

To order the book got to

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who is THAT Woman? Why Should I Notice?

Masha Malka is a former Soviet refugee who knows first hand what it is like to be living below poverty level; to have low self-esteem; to start out without the language, money, or contacts and to make a great life for herself!

Masha went from living a life with little clarity and focus to becoming a successful entrepreneur, author, Clarity and Focus guru, international speaker and trainer as well as the mother of 3 children.

Understanding what it takes to successfully balance the demands of a growing career as an author, international speaker and a life coach with 3 children, husband, family, friends, and personal needs - she is passionate to show others how they can do it too!

Masha has delivered workshops, seminars, written articles and books, and provided personal training and coaching in the field of success and the skill of learning since 1998.

She graduated with Highest Honors from Florida Atlantic University majoring in Elementary Education. She then continued her graduate studies at Capella University completing a graduate certificate in Teaching and Training Online as well as Instructional Design for Online Learning. A life-long student, Masha is currently taking courses for an MBA. She is also a certified trainer in Accelerated Learning Techniques as well as Transformational Thinking.

Come Back Tomorrow for some exciting news on how you can grab what she has to offer. It's exciting, it's life changing, and you won't want to miss out - plenty of freebies to go along with it. See you tomorrow right here!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How Safe is Your Chocolate - or Toys?

Barcodes aren't just for books you know.

Something we all need to know - a note in Cynthia Sterling's excellent newsletter today.

The whole world is scared of Chinese made goods. Let me tell you how you can differentiate which one is made in Taiwan or China...the first 3 digits of barcode690, 691, and 692 are MADE IN CHINA. - 471 is Made in Taiwan .

This is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.
Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products "made in china", so they don't show in which country it is made.
However, you may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is 690-692 then it is made in China .
00 ~ 09 USA & CANADA
30 ~ 37 FRANCE
40 ~ 44 GERMANY
49 - JAPAN
50 - UK

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Perserverence What is it? Why bother?

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo - yup I signed up again this year and then I wonder when will I find the time to do that too. Then I read something about Michael Crichton -- he is the author who won the Emmy and Peabody Awards. He is the author of ER and other television serials. He has sold over 100 million copies of his books in 30 languages, He directed 7 films of the 12 of his books that were made into movies. Remember Jurassic Park and Twister Westworld--those where him - books and director - there were others. He is the only person to have the number one book, movie and television show in the U.S. all at the same time. What does he have that I am missing - well, I know his books are fantastic. *sigh* He says, "Books aren't written--they're rewritten..." Guess I haven't put in enough time at the rewrite stage yet.

The publishing industry is full of examples of those who succeeded. Rarely will you find an overnight success - not even JK Rowlings was an overnight success. I guess that's why I read biographies to find out how they did it. It all boils down to never giving up.

Michelangelo - 4 years on his back to paint the Sistine chapel or
Roosevelt coming back from debilitating polio,
Japan's Shun Fujimoto landing a perfect triple, somersault-twist dismount from the rings to win a gold metal --he landed on a broken right knee (broken earlier in a floor exercise)but he knew to win the gold he needed to participate.
According to Michael Jordon, you have to be willing to be "the first one on the floor and the last one off," when all your teammates have gone home or are out for the evening having a good time - you need to be practicing, working, practicing to make the grade. "Fake it until you make it," but work, work, work until you do...I guess that is really the only way.
So I'll see you at the wall, I'm off to work. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.
Have a productive day!