Start Your Affiliate Marketing Journey With Me And Internet Jetset!

For 20 years I have looked for that “tool” to create extra income on the internet. Finally in 2004 I created a website, and one of the programs that had just come out was from Google called AdSense. In short, for those who may not know, this program was brand new, and it offered website owners the opportunity to allow Google to post what are known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads anywhere on the webpages the owner selected.

This was a brand new concept. The double intent for Google, was to create an amazing outlet for their Advertisers using the AdWords program. This program was aimed at advertisers selecting specific key words to capture potential buyers for products on the internet. The advertiser only paid when one of the selected keywords was “clicked”.

Google then placed these keyword ads on those websites where AdSense customers were part of the program. In the beginning it was an awesome program and I was fortunate to actually see income almost immediately. After a few months the decision was made to sell the site while it was profitable. Huge mistake, as I was never able to duplicate that success. By the time I created a new website, everything had changed.

When I had been making as much as $250 in a month, it now was taking a year to make $100. Of course, the internet had changed but my thinking and learning had not. No matter how many websites I created, no matter how many pages I wrote, no matter how much I focused on keywords, the income was at best a dribble. Does any of this sound familiar? have you “been there…done that?

I won’t try to list the number of programs I invested in attempting to learn what the secret was I seemed to be missing. A variety of these programs included some information, most of it good just never enough.

The most recent outlined a series of things that I followed to the letter. One of the “extras” included the opportunity to have pages written that were SEO optimized, supposedly by experts. The people responsible did not indicate these pages were going to be written by non-native English speakers.

Because it was taking an inordinate amount of time for the “experts” to create my paid site and upload the pages, I decided to create a companion site dealing with a similar topic so I could compare the efforts I was paying for, to my own. In short, of the 20 pages I paid for, I had to completely re-write them. Comparing my efforts to the paid site was nearly as bad. To date, the site I created has drawn more traffic than the one I paid for. In short, lesson learned.

I kept researching and reviewing various opportunities centered on affiliate marketing. Over the years I had the opportunity to meet some of those who have actually made the “big money” in this niche. I was determined to at least generate some additional income. Being a millionaire was not so much my idea as simply not being dependent on a fixed income that could someday disappear. I’m speaking of a pension as it relates to Social Security.

So along come John Crestani and Internet Jetset!. It looked like so many others I nearly didn’t bother. Something made me do what I had done before. Look for the “scams” for this particular program to see what I could find.

Over the last several years the words “review” and “scam” have almost become synonymous. Those marketers have captured those keywords and written reviews claiming to review a scam, when in reality they were either promoting the same program, or one of their own.

It didn’t take long before I had found a good deal of positive info, but I knew from previous experience this was no guarantee. John offered the typical 60 day money back guarantee, including the offer that if a program was set up and the purchaser was still not satisfied, their money would be refunded and they could still keep the program.

Having had the experience of getting refunds in the past with few negative results, I knew by this time that as long as VISA was involved I would get my money back one way or another. So I did one more thing which was check out John on youtube. A number of videos promoting his program elements were there, which I later discovered where the same ones being paid for. However, lacking a great deal of the information.

So I paid my $47 for Internet Jetset! to see for myself. I’m not even going to attempt listing all the information I gleaned from this program in the course of a few days. One of the claims John makes is that some will be able to create their first commission in as little as two hours. Some have, but I’m not sure what they did. As for me, I was going through everything with a fine tooth comb. Checking out the various links and videos that would further reinforce that I had made the right choice. What was the most exciting for me was the depth of information, that really drilled down to reveal things totally unknown to me. The real nuts and bolts necessary to make it happen.

In the next week or so don’t be surprised if I’m writing another page describing exactly how this has really resulted in income for me. Like no other program has in the last 13 years!

In the meantime, don’t take my word for anything. Discover this for yourself. It will be the best $47 you’ve ever spent if you’re interested in creating that extra stream of passive income affiliate marketing can provide. Internet Jetset!. Get yours! Click Here!

 

25 Days Of Me And President Trump!

 

 

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The “Trump Train” has left the station!

I may not have been present in Washington D.C., or anywhere nearer to my President than FOX News that fortunately extends 4000 miles away, but in spirit I was with him since the first time he played with the idea of being a candidate in 2011. The very first thought was, finally someone who is not a politician!

We as a populace have been lied to so many times by politicians, that we have almost become inured to it, which I suspect is what they have always counted on. Once they’re in power Continue reading “25 Days Of Me And President Trump!”

Is Your Life Satisfying Or Just Bearable?

How many people are actually satisfied with their life? Happy to a fault, looking forward to every minute of each day with gratitude, seeing positive opportunities in abundance. Is this you? Can you relate to feeling this way?

Asking this question to a mix of people with no agenda other than to discover what the average person on the street is thinking, would likely provide some not too surprising answers. It’s always interesting to Google something like this, just to see how many different answers show up. For the most part, there seems to be a general lack of understanding as to just what “satisfied” is or means.

Some will start off by trying to relate satisfied to happiness, and I find that while they may play in the same sandbox, they are two different emotions. While satisfied may include happiness, one can still be unhappy and satisfied, accepting a not so agreeable situation as the hand they have been dealt, resigned to moving forward in spite of circumstances.

Merriam Webster defines it this way;

:a happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you

:the act of providing what is needed or desired

:the act of satisfying a need or desire

: a result that deals with a problem or complaint in an acceptable way

As noted satisfied can include happiness but is not dependent on it. So the question still remains, is life satisfying? There’s a good chance, better than even, that when closely questioned a majority would have to answer no to the question. Majority being anything over 50 percent may not seem a fair measurement, but let’s continue along this path to see where that leads.

Why aren’t people satisfied? A better question could be when is enough, enough? Ego will constantly claim just a little more, but a funny thing happens in that “more” is never specific and therefor never enough.

Here again ego is in the mix, that illusion of what we think is necessary to satisfy yet never does. Sound familiar? With more than 90 percent of the world’s population caught up in their ego, obviously some more than others, it doesn’t take much observation to see the signs where people have learned to endure current circumstances, but far from being really satisfied and much less happy.

Ego is not very different from addiction. Once caught up in it’s illusion, breaking free and recovery are just as challenging, and some days are better than others. It is a day by day effort, and no cure as such. As with addictions of all natures, it is learning how to cope more than be cured.

So is being satisfied with life an issue of breaking free of the ego and starting your own recovery program? Is it something as simple as recognizing how hypnosis or even self hypnosis can change your life? Oh wow, I can just imagine that wall which just sprang up out of nowhere!

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Not an advertisement!

As with so many things in life, that which one really knows nothing about is relegated to rumor, hearsay, urban legend, and all those metaphors that could be applied. I was one of those, until seeing it applied in a most unlikely place in regular everyday life during my residency with the government at Schofield Barracks in the middle of our squad bay.

One Archie Andrews, no relation to the comic book character except in real life, performed several acts on those of us willing to take part. What I witnessed destroyed any doubts as to the validity of hypnosis. At that time we were all taught how to use self-hypnosis to our betterment. I don’t think any of us really knew how to make it as effective as it could have been.

The point remains that today, medical practitioners are using it more and more with patients to reduce pain, depression, asthma, paralysis, and countless other physical and emotional issues.

 Where does this lead in terms of satisfaction with life? Quite simply that anyone can freely, easily, safely and effectively indulge in self-hypnosis to learn how not only satisfaction with life can be achieved, but a level of happiness never before experienced.

Do I endorse it, recommend, embrace or take advantage of it myself? The answer is really not important as it relates to the reader, since every one is distinct, unique and individual. Choices are always yours to make, and should never be based on what another has experienced.

Research is always recommended. There are books galore by respected authorities and sources. Those who choose can be convinced by the Bible itself, or books such as Think and Grow Rich, with it’s amazing secret, that whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Thinking that neither has anything to do with hypnosis, simply fail to understand what hypnosis is. In simplest terms, it is the ability to determine how one wants to live life, the faith to believe it will happen, and take steps to make it so.

Most often referred to as autosuggestion, it is defined in these terms; The theory that if individuals can suggest a belief to themselves, they will come to believe it.

Also defined as; The process by which a person induces self-acceptance of an opinion, belief, or plan of action.

There’s a good chance that some might even attempt to view this as “brainwashing.” And why not? In effect, it is reaching the subconscious part of your mind, housed within the brain, and bringing about change through clearing or cleaning out thoughts and beliefs detrimental to success in many areas of life, based on fear of survival the subconscious mind operates on constantly.

Here’s the point. Anyone can be satisfied with status quo, following the crowd, or simply giving in to the path of least resistance. As a rule this does not bring the unbridled joy, thrills or adventures life has to offer.

Have you discovered your mission in life and your purpose? Is it to be satisfied, or is there more to it? Do you know? Is it a scary proposition to ask yourself such a question, for fear of not having an answer? Is there more to life than what you have been willing to extract? Is life stopping you, or is that something you have engineered yourself?

Many sit around looking for answers to sort of magically show up, rather than taking the necessary steps to dig in and find those missing pieces to the puzzle. Your puzzle is far from complete, and won’t be until you become that final piece, which will signify the end and the beginning.

Since our bodies were created with the ability to heal us, I’m going to see how to convince it to grow hair on a bald head!

Do You Do What You Love Or Do What You Have To?

Getting up excited about the day is where you are? You jumped out of bed knowing what lie ahead for the day, fully expecting surprises along the way. You know you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way.

Cortisol just climbed to high levels with the sound of your alarm. Dragging yourself from the bed to the bathroom is not where you want to be. Those reports are nagging you to get finished and it’s like dragging yourself through molasses to get them done. It’s only “hump day” and you’re already exhausted.

Which of those two scenarios describes you? These days there is a good deal written and talked about concerning doing what you love as opposed to whatever job you can find. Greater yet is attempting to answer the question: If you could do anything you wanted and knew you COULD NOT FAIL, what would it be?

Chances are you have no idea how to answer that question. Welcome to the club. First off, there may be many things that come to mind you have never tried, like being a professional athlete. How many men would give their eye teeth for that sort of opportunity?

Then there are the many things you have done in life, some of which you actually enjoyed and wouldn’t mind repeating. The question comes back to the word, anything. A blank could just as easily be put there, and it would still get the same result. A great big “huh?”

This is similar to having a Genie pop out of a bottle and giving you three wishes, only the first two don’t count. How do you pick that one thing you want to do and could not fail? The thought comes to mind, if I could not fail, then let me be successful at every single thing I try! That has a good sound to it.

Mindset seems to be the key to the question. If I am determined to be successful at something, anything, and willing to do whatever it takes ethically, morally, personally and spiritually, then how could I fail? Believing in myself to that degree would appear to be the most important key. So where does this tend to break down?

I like what T. Harv Eker says, as to how we’ve been trained from childhood by all those in authority in our lives, that we have to fit a mold, educating ourselves as some sort of professional. That is a mold that has been broken for decades.

Take a look at all the Masters degrees, Doctors, Attorneys, MBAs, Engineers, Accountants and others, who are floundering. Are you one of those? What were you told  at seven years old you could never do? Maybe again in you teens when you demonstrated a talent for something out of the mainstream, like being a radio broadcaster, or inventor with way out of the ordinary ideas an creations that actually work.

When this came to the surface you were made to feel stupid, immature, unwise, irresponsible, to name just a few of the comments made to intimidate you into thinking there was no possibility that you could have an inkling what might be best for you. Are you nodding your head recalling such moments in the past?

With these labels carried throughout life that jump out from the subconscious mind to haunt and repudiate everytime we dare to test our fear factor, what are the chances of ever rising above unbelief? Effort to overcome those labels and that fear take work and commitment, which translate to change. Now this, change, is the name of everyone’s favorite topic.

Can you say, “been there, done that, got the poster and T-shirt!”? Then you will want to follow this series of articles dealing with how that change comes about, as I go on that journey. I’ve been to the mountain top once, and rolled down the other side, bruised and beat up in an environment that only added to my insecurity to attempt anything like I had just accomplished.

On the Cuicocha Trail around the lagoon!
On the Cuicocha Trail around the lagoon!

At a point where most would be ready to hang up the gloves, there is still too much to accomplish, and no reason not to do it. Age certainly is not a factor, so it’s time to beat down all the things that have been allowed to rule up till now.

Writing about the experience may encourage another to do the same, as for once that determination and commitment is right where it needs to be. Join me on this journey, or be a bystander. Whichever suits you at the moment.

Is The Question What To Write Or When To Write?

Many times I have seen posts from other writers that are just starting. A common question is, how to get started. An equally common reply is, just write. Content is not the issue as much as just getting in the habit.

Worry about a topic to write on is really not the issue, rather just doing it. Creating a shopping list, writing about the days activities, anything that you can think of no matter how silly or seemingly inappropriate for a writer.

For example, they still make pencils with erasers, yet a whole story could be written about how something that has been such a symbol of education, school, and writing, is slowly but surely being edged out by keyboards, digital communication and the delete button.

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What happens is once words start to appear, more begin to invade your mind. In no time at all as you give your thoughts free reign it can almost be like magic happens as the words flow forth. In some cases it could seem like a tsunami of words.

I have had both extremes where words would come, but I had to work to get to 500. On other days I have started and more than 3000 words later, I have been amazed at what was written. Having an environment free of distractions, which I do not, can be the seedbed of even greater results.

Being retired would seem to be an ideal scenario for writing. In my case, I start at 3:30 in the morning. After a cup of coffee, time is spent in meditation for about 30 minutes. The I sit down for another 30 minutes to just write. As 5:00 rolls around it’s out to walk 3 to 4 miles, then back to start getting things ready for breakfast with my wife and brother-in-law.

By 7:45-8:00 we are sitting down to eat. By 8:30-9:00 a short drive to drop off my wife where she is Principle of a small, private school. Then back home by 9:30-9:45. If there are no other errands then I am free to research and write until 12:50, at which time I leave to pick up my wife. The afternoon may be free or there could be Dr’s visits, trips to pick up something for the house, any number of the typical things that interrupt the flow of writing.

From that point on the atmosphere is full of phone calls, being in a small office together where we have both computers and the T.V., conversations about the day, people, all the normal activities which create distractions.

Some might think this is ideal in terms of how much time is available from 9:30 on. If that could be spent just writing it would be ideal. Loosing sight of all that goes into writing such as editing, book covers, creating a promo team, time spent blogging, study on writing videos, summits, conferences, reading, reviewing other writers, plus the interruptions life throws in your way all compete for that time.

This has been written in that 30 minutes from 4:30 to 5:00, but there is not time to review and edit the content. The positive part is this has completed writing 500 words in that short period of time.

The point is when there is determination to do it, what to write about is hardly ever the challenge. Sitting down and hitting the keys is!

What About The Carnival Shill vs. The Pied Piper?

While there may seem to be some similarities in comparing these two, it is easy to confuse the difference. Both are quite adept with their various abilities. One is all about deception while the other is equally adept in a different sense.

We see this same scenario played out on a daily basis in cultures and societies around the world. There are different names and faces, but it seems to be true that history repeats itself. The difficulty is many times it comes in disguise and not in your face.

By definition a shill is one who is an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others that whatever they are promoting is safe.Ride 'Em, Cowboy Indian  (5)

Now let’s compare that to the infamous Pied Piper. Legend has it a city in Germany had an infestation of rats. Along comes a “rat catcher” who happens to play a type of flute. His multicolored dress was referred to as “pied.” So the name “pied piper” or a piper with multicolored dress stuck.

The story continues the Piper offered the mayor of the city removal of the rats for a sum that in it’s time was quite expensive. None the less the mayor agreed and the task was completed. Yet the mayor then reneged on his agreement, paying a paltry sum, also claiming that the Piper likely created the infestation in the first place.

The Piper swears revenge, which is supposedly carried out by using his flute on another occasion to lure all the children away from the village, never to be seen again.
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This story seems to have modern day implications. Major differences are the choice of instrument and dress. Who might the Piper be? One who is offering to do the seeming impossible task for what may be a fair recompense, and could be seen as a representative of the public.

The “Mayor” could only refer to one in political power, who first agrees to resolve a very difficult situation in the best interest of the public, only to renege on the agreed terms, exposing the public to an even graver danger.

Does this sound like anything going on at present, or that has been going on since time began? The story of the Pied Piper may be all fiction, but there is nearly always an element of truth. History does an incomplete job of fully documenting the true events, but there does seem to be some references to the day all the children left in the town chronicles, although no proof is ever provided.

The struggle for power that does not result in an outright war, is very much like this story. In the end all are losers. No amount of power creates a lasting peace or happiness, as there will always be the attempts to right the wrongs that so often accompany the rise to that power.

History has shown that no power endures forever, and generally implodes. Was the Pied Piper right in exacting his revenge? What did the Mayor accomplish in refusing to uphold his word? Did any proof exist of wrongdoing by the Piper?

Here is the age old accusation being cast about with no evidence, or in other words a lie. How many times have we seen this played out today? What damage will be done and who will pay the price?

Just as in the story, it is the public that always pays the price! Did the Mayor pay a price for his actions? Since there is no recorded indication or information to that end, it can be assumed he did not. Had the public tarred and feather him, running him out of their fair town, that might have made news. None such exists.

A whole generation of children gone. Since this supposedly took place in the year 1284, and the only reference was a depiction in a church window that was destroyed in 1660, there seem to be no reliable records. Is it simply one of those legends that contain just enough truth to be believable?

When compared to more current events during the last 100 years, there are many similarities, which I will leave to the imagination of you readers to ferret out. One that might create some interest is the historical facts behind the cause of WWI.

So who is the Shill, and the title of Pied Piper might by applied to whom today? I think I’m going to check my wardrobe for multicolored clothes…just in case.

Are They Crazy Ideas Or Genius?

No one has asked me where I get inspiration to write, or how do I come up with ideas. So I asked myself and got some interesting answers. Now before this gets completely out of hand, a writer asking such questions is not at all weird or unusual. Talking to ourselves is different from those who also answer.

For me it has to be a vivid imagination. I remember Zig Ziglar commenting in one of his books about the greatest nation in the world. It’s the one named Imagi Nation. That immediately resonated with me simply because I got it.

“Crazy ideas! Don’t you just love them?” A line from the movie,  Under The Tuscan Sun, fits right in there, because so many of those ideas spawn from what appear at first to be dis-jointed thoughts. In fact imagination can likely be defined in many ways. One such summed it up in this way. “New ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.”

Not present to the senses. Out of my mind seems to apply, or not consciously entertaining thoughts in a given category. Unconsciously thinking, sure seems like a contradiction of terms, yet to me that seems very natural. How else could you account for ideas that seem to emerge out of nowhere?

To me the so called subconscious mind is like that. It’s sort of out there in that place called nowhere. See, here I go off on a tangent, fully prepared to discuss the merits of nowhere and how invisible thoughts emanate secretly from that noplace. Now my spell checker put a red line under that word as not existing, but I contend that spell checker needs to get an education.

Is it still difficult to imagine where I come up with things to write about? My greatest desire is to pass along this ability to others who desire to write, but find it next to impossible to come up with the “what” to write.

Fiction is not my thing, or at least I have never really entertained any serious thoughts about it. Still, I do have several “Christmas Chronicles” spread out over a period of roughly ten years. Based on the “Night Before Christmas” story, the idea was to create memories using our sons various events throughout the year and weave them into the story in poetry form, ending with a delivery to the birth of Jesus.

So I guess I can’t really say fiction is not my thing. Better said it is not a conscious thing. It seems to come when my fingers get on the keyboard with no particular thought in mind. It comes from “noplace!” Sorta like these words that somehow get the letters mixed up that are different than what my fingers typed. If I type from it seems to change invisibly to form. I may have a dyslexic keyboard. Hmm…that could be an interesting story.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, and mine doesn’t stand a chance of that happening. What really is somewhat amusing, is most think it resides inside a skull. All that mushy stuff that works together to make my eyes blink or my lungs breathe. Nope, not the mind.

I contend the mind is simply the brain’s ability to connect to countless thoughts held in the limitless space between quarks. No not quacks such as in ducks, but quarks such as what atoms are made of, or at least what the neutrons and protons that make the atoms.

It’s an infinitesimal space that can contain an equally infinitesimal number of thoughts, that never cease to exist. So how do I know? Well this may be my fiction at work, there may be some truth, or a combination thereof. I do believe that is a relatively simple definition of fiction. Often more truth than fiction as a matter of fact.

So how is this doing so far in convincing you, the reader, that ideas for writing just pretty much can come out of thin air? Just for me? Not a chance. Then maybe it’s like speaking before a group of people. Still one of the biggest fears for the greater majority of people. I’m not one of ‘em! Anyone who knows me will vouch for that in a heartbeat.

The truth is it is a learned behavior, just as going to noplace to discover those crazy ideas that become genius. It takes the “want to” for that to happen. I like what Lisa Nichols says in a recent interview. When asked about her fear to write her first books, she says it this way.

“I hold fear in one hand, and all my commitment, passion and determination in the other.” She led out with the one while holding back with the other. Fear was held in check, while she moved forward with her passion.

I saw it as holding back the fear, while releasing the passion, commitment, desire, determination and belief to move forward. Even an addict can reach the point where the fear of facing the pain of their addiction, becomes less than the fear of staying where they are. So it is for writers.

I saw a post recently of someone who described themselves as a “closet writer.” That resonated with me simply because if my writing has stayed hidden in files on my hard drive, what’s the difference. They may as well be hidden away in a dark file cabinet, or a dark closet.

It was reading a book by Jeff Goins, then another by Bryan Hutchinson, both who struggled with the idea of being writers until the moment came when they could no longer deny it. 
Some things will lie dormant for indefinite periods of time, eventually rising to the surface to no longer be rejected.

It appears this is what has finally happened to me, just as it did to both of them. Jeff and Bryan are published writers, with thousands of books sold. My two little eBooks may have garnered 50 sold over the course of three years. There’s a good reason for that which has nothing to do with the content. Finding a good book has as much to do with promotion as any other one thing. The best book in the world will never be read, if people can’t find it.

Like thousands of others I thought if I wrote it and put it on Amazon/Kindle, why it was there for the whole world to see. That’s true, along with how many millions of others? The ones that get noticed are those with a promo team behind them that starts months in advance of publication promoting the book. Lesson learned.

So for you reading this be aware there is a new voice emerging that intends to be heard. Only because there are those with a need, maybe even a desperate one, to be encouraged that they too have a voice that needs to be heard. Is that you?

Is There An Art To Writing Or Just A Heart?

20150212_104833For years I have been writing for me. In part because I never felt like cowing down to the “rules” so many insisted on when opportunities were available for online publications and such. Change is great in some things, and to be sure all things change and we with them whether we realize it or are completely unaware. Conscious knowledge of those events are normally a better bet than not.

Surprises are a different sort of change, which can be pleasant or otherwise, usually with less warning than the inevitable directional detours on new avenues and exchanges under construction.

When rules get involved, it seems as though the unspoken message, as it applies to writing, says I/we are not capable of creating something worthy to be read by the general public. Blogging has become extremely popular for just such a reason.

During the last few weeks a personal campaign has been started to just write. At the same time writing summits, books by published authors such as Guy Kawasaki, Nancy Hendrickson, Lisa Nichols, along with others, to gain perspective on whether or not I have anything to offer.

My heart first and foremost is to encourage others that have a desire to write but don’t believe they have anything to offer. How this is going to be accomplished is uncertain, other than to be willing to share how this has been a desire of mine, and how it has been fulfilled with the willingness to share the ups and downs, the trials and errors, along with the experience of two eBooks published that have basically gone nowhere.

I know I have something of value to share, especially that of encouragement. This will be even more piercing as the next book will be the one that finally makes it out there where hundreds, even thousands of people can’t wait to buy it.

June 18, 2016, is the date, and September 18th 2016 is when this next book will be out there. That is the intent and now it is in writing. Goals have never been something I have subscribed to. There was something about them, that never seemed genuine to me. Solving challenges is a different story. That seems to be what I rise up to. Give me a problem to solve and let’s see what happens.

Knowing what I have experienced with my writing, and that there are others like me who have felt the frustration of being made to feel that their writing was not good enough, will have the opportunity to see that the rules of editors determining what the populace wants to read just don’t apply anymore.

The theme for writers today is just write! Speak with your voice and not one determined by someone besides you. Our voice is genuine, original, has meaning, honesty, truth, with no manipulation by another. Readers will sense that and reward us with purchases that signal their approval. Their reviews solidify the acceptance that it’s a fact. We are writers with something of value to share.

Is There A Time To Write And One That’s Not Right?

If you’re a writer there’s a chance you never find a moment that you can’t write something. The prompt suggests not just sitting behind the laptop cranking out pages. Instead some time to do other things like exercise, a hobby, an activity to distract attention for a time to come back fresh.

Fortunately for me I walk every morning for 3 miles in a woods located close towards the middle of the city. A huge tract of land with roads and a plethora of single track bike trails. For the most part the roads are cobblestone, with shoulders of compressed dirt and plenty of erosion on the shoulders from rain.

The single track is also great for trekking, and I have made a combo of the two. No here’s where I have to admit there is some method in my madness of walking the single track.

Each day there is a couple that arrives as early in the morning as I do. Darkness before the dawn, as timing usually finds the sunrise by the time of arrival at the return point. This couple serves as my “rabbit.” My goal is to either start before them, or catch them and pass them on the single track and beat them to the starting point.

Being a fast walker in the first place usually works in my favor. Rarely do they arrive before me, which spells success for me in my efforts to make it a good exercise.

There are days when the birds are singing up a chorus, and many when they are not. The frogs and other insects generally keep up their chorus no matter the weather. Still the birds are what I enjoy the most.

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Good morning Quito!

Next to that are the amazing sunrises, and the Moon when it’s in it’s movement across the night sky. Personally walking while the Moon creates a shadow before the sun makes it’s appearance is really cool. While those pitch dark mornings reveal a plethora of heavenly bodies, all are appreciated and cause me to enjoy changes from those mornings laced with clouds.

Looking on the valley from the lookout point some 500 feet below is always a sight to see. Most days are witness to either clouds, fog or a mist, attempting to hide the lights to the naked eye.

Some mornings are thick with clouds off on the horizon, hiding the major mountain peaks yet not those closer. Each day provides something new to enjoy, to those who even stop to appreciate what’s in from of their eyes.

As to writing, these scenes absolutely create images, especially when the morning sun tints those clouds, and for a few minutes you are witness to a real art show. Those are more than sufficient to create the need for expression in word. Attempts to describe those sights with words test the most proficient.

Those walks do as much to stimulate creativity as most other activities. Add that to an already fertile imagination and creative spirit, for interesting moments in writing.

What Really Defines Success Or Is It Just Money, Possessions And Fame?

A Story.

Axel was just a hard working guy. Education had not really been his strong suit as far as school was concerned. He was literate enough, but his real strength was reading. Books or the usual things one relates to reading, couldn’t hold a candle to Axel’s ability to read people.

Standing 5 ft. 10 inches tall, slender of build, muscular, weighing in at maybe 160 lbs., dark complected with traces of Latin or African American, penetrating eyes, a rugged completion lined with experience, skin very porous adding to that tough, masculine look. Hair cut almost to the scalp resembling a Brillo pad, clean shaven every other day.

First glance would make one think he might be sad, but only until he spoke. A million dollar smile which immediately transformed his face into the kind soul he is, caught all newcomers off guard. This is what kept them coming back.

He was an enigma. It is like the mystery of the moth that just can’t stay away from the flame. It keeps coming back until it is consumed.

As a leather craftsman Axel was very good. Perhaps not the best, yet in every way he was a true craftsman with his work and creations. One of his best customers had also become a friend. The opposite of Axel, in terms of social and financial position. Benjamin seemed to have it all.

The two became friends years ago when Benjamin was looking for a wall hanging made of leather for his father. He had been referred to Axel by a very satisfied customer. The resulting leather piece had not disappointed, and hangs in the patriarchal home to date.

A family of five, Axel has two daughters and a son. They have been raised on respect and love, knowing the difference between the value of material goods and that of relationships.

Benjamin has one son, who has wanted for nothing. Yet there is the typical strife of one who has known no boundaries, yet who’s behavior constantly demonstrates a crying our for limits.

Axel has noted for some time the stress and unhappiness in Benjamin’s eyes. Knowing the challenges with his son, he clearly understands the origin, yet also knows his boundaries with his friend.

Not certain what to do, Axel is inspired with an idea he believes will touch Ben’s heart with the truth, while staying within the limits of friendship.

All other work is put aside as Alex feverishly works on creating what may be his best work in leather. His passion to touch his friend in a way words couldn’t drives him. For days on end he is consumed with his project, setting aside all other work.

As Axel senses Ben is nearly at his wits end with his son, the project is finished. He invites Ben for a cup of coffee. While they have been friends for years, they have never met socially, so Ben is somewhat surprised at the request.

As they sit down at a table with their various brews, Ben notices the rather large package Axel has brought with him. Curious, Ben is more interested in the occasion than the package. He has no idea that Axel is up to anything.

On various occasions Ben has met Axel’s children at the shop, always impressed with the maturity, respect and love shown to their father. Jealousness has never been a part of their relation, yet a heavy heart for Ben as he has wished for a son that would be after his own heart.

As they sipped coffee and talked of superficial things, Ben finally sensed there was a reason for their meeting, and pressed Axel as to why.

Anxious for the moment, not a word was spoken as the package was handed to Ben. With some suspicion and surprise, Ben first searched his friends face for clues as to what might be in this package.

Carefully, he unwrapped the brown paper covering. The aroma of treated leather met his nostrils, as he took in the most amazing leather work he had ever seen. A message was hand tooled into a finely tanned work of art, set in a frame equally ornate yet appropriate.

Tears began to appear, as Ben read, then re-read the message. It was simple, yet full of all the meaning needed. It  said, “Love never fails! So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

The one thing that was missing in Ben’s life was now being clearly demonstrated by Axel. All the material possessions, position, things, could not give the one thing Ben didn’t even know was missing, until this exact moment. It was at this very point he realized what was the key to reaching not only his son, rather all those in his life.

While the story is fictional, the point is not. Success was measured in love, not in things. Are you successful?