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I Write Because…

Desk

“That is why I write — to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.”
— Paulo Coelho

 

When I sat and began to mull over the reasons why I wanted to start The Libra’s Balance, it all came down to the quote above.

 

I would consider myself to be a loner, except for when my creative juices begin flowing.  When I write a speech that I must deliver, something stirs within me that changes my entire nature. I compare it to the stories I’ve read about comedians.  From what I understand, they’re always thinking and are calm in most instances – except for when they’re on the stage. That’s when their behavior explodes!

 

That’s what it’s like for me when I write.

 

When I became an “adult,” I became engrossed in developing my career and didn’t take as much time to creatively write for the joy of writing.  Writing instead simply became a chore of what I did to earn an income – causing it to lose the excitement I once held for the art.

 

I wanted to regain that pleasurable sense so for my 40th birthday last month, I decided that I was going to sincerely make every effort to creatively write again!

 

What better way to do that than to have a blog?

 

I can connect with folks of every stripe and publicly hold myself accountable to rehabilitate the desire needed to run this marathon.

 

Hopefully, I can get your help!

 

So, what do you think?  Is your story like mine?  Why do you write?  I’d love to learn…

 

Ten Reasons for Going Live on Facebook

Using Facebook Live is almost a no-brainer for business owners today. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have. You could be a Mommy blogger and make use of Facebook Live. You can also own a bakery. It will work wonders for you. Let’s look at several reasons to go live on Facebook so that you can get started.

1. To Create Buzz on a Project You’re Starting – One way to get your audience excited about what you’re working on is to talk about it as you work on it. Tell them what you’re going to name it and tell them what it’s going to include. Get their feedback on what they think so you can perfect it and make it what they want and need.

2. To Explain a Difficult Concept – When you have something you want to explain to your audience, something that is hard to demonstrate with only text, video can do wonders. You can teach the proper way to mix a cake, how to code something, or how you organize your files. If it needs visuals, going live can help.

3. To Answer Questions You Got in Email – If you get regular questions in email, on social media, or in your help desk that you think would be great to answer on live, do it. You can go live for just one question at a time, then add the recorded videos to your help desk.

4. To Launch a New Product or Service – If you have finished creating a new product or service and you’re ready to make sales, use a live event on Facebook as part of your launch. You can even record yourself clicking to make the site live. This is a great way to get people excited, especially if you offer a special launch coupon code.

5. To Conduct a “How To” Webinar – If you need to teach something to your audience, Facebook Live is the perfect way to do it. The stream can last up to four hours, so you should be able to teach a lot to your audience in that time frame.

6. To Host a Panel Discussion – Hosting a panel discussion with other experts is a great way to boost your own credibility, plus give your panel a platform to teach something to your audience. Your audience will be thrilled that you brought them experts too.

7. To Broadcast an Event – Are you at an event that’s relevant, or at an event and you thought of something relevant to share? Even if you’re just taking a walk and think of something important to share with your audience, it’s always a good time to go live.

8. To Stream a Relevant Interview – If you plan to interview someone for a blog post, an article, or a review, a great way to do it is to interview them live for Facebook. Later you can transcribe the interview and repurpose it more easily.

9. To Cheer on Your Affiliates – People like to be praised and encouraged. Use Facebook Live in your affiliate group to talk about who is making the most sales, and to give tips about how to make more sales.

10. To Announce Breaking News – A wonderful use of Facebook Live is to announce breaking news. Selling more than ever before? Tell the world. Find out some juicy industry info going down? Go live. It’s fun to be on the cusp of exciting news.

Which one are you going to try first? Remember, you can always delete it. If you want to practice, set your settings so that it’s only showing to yourself, or create a small group of friends to help you practice. Once you get the hang of it, you can go live whenever you want to share something with your audience.

Nine Facebook Live Tips to Look More Natural

Everyone is naturally nervous about being on video. Going live brings that anxiety to an entirely new level. Whatever happens live, happens – and there is a record until you delete it. But, if you take the time to practice and prepare, while nothing can ever go perfectly, you can appear very natural and in your element on Facebook Live.

1. Ensure That You Have Good Lighting – If you can’t afford to buy lighting, you can just do the event in front of a window where the light shines in. But, getting the right lighting doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy lighting that works from Home Depot. If you wear glasses, put the lighting up high so that it doesn’t reflect in your glasses.

2. Check Your Sound – One of the problems that people experience most with video is sound. You may want to invest in a professional mic instead of using earbuds. Some people do fine with earbuds, though. Check how your sound is and ask people who do videos that have great sound what they use.

3. Be Prepared – Sometimes, one reason people have issues going live is that they don’t know their topic and they’re not sure what they’ll say. Give some thought to what you’ll talk about. Use notes if you need to for words you are uncertain about how to pronounce or names and quotes that you want to remember. Nothing is wrong with looking at notes.

4. Be Sure to Flip the View – Sometimes the view of the video is in mirror view. It depends on your device on how you change it, but you’ll want to change it so that you’re not in mirror view.

5. Notice Your Background – The background of your video can distract or add to your appearance. How it looks depends on your own personality and your niche. You don’t want to be fake, but you do want to be comfortable. Try out different solutions so you find out what works best for you.

6. Talk Like You Normally Talk – Something weird happens sometimes to people when they know they’re being recorded. They start talking differently and using words they’re not accustomed to using. Plus, they always try to fill the air with sound. This is not natural. It’s okay to pause and think about what you’re saying. Silence can be a good thing.

7. Be Yourself – Even as you practice improving, you want to be who you are. If you don’t wear business suits to work, don’t wear them in your videos. If you do like to dress up, do that. If you like wearing makeup, do it. If you don’t, you don’t have to. Good lighting can help if you have any skin issues, or you can just wear light makeup to help if you need it.

8. Know Your Audience – Before you plan your first live event, you need to know who you are, who the audience is, what they need, what their pain points are, and how you can best help them and serve them.

9. Know Your Niche – You don’t want to go outside of your niche when you perform your live events. If your niche is about spreadsheets, you don’t want to do a cooking demo. You want to be interesting to your audience about your niche and not go outside of it.

Going live may be nerve-wracking but after you do it more, you can keep improving as you watch your videos play back. You can watch for lighting, listen to the sound, and notice where you do trip up – usually it’s because you are trying to be perfect. All of this will help you improve. Let go of the emotion, look at the data, and change one small thing to make it better with each Facebook Live event!

What do you think?  Did I miss any tips?  Let me know how you look natural during your Facebook Live events below.

Signs That It’s Time to Let Go of a Relationship

fighting

 

No man (or woman) is an island, as the famous poem states. We all need other people in our lives, in various types of relationships. In fact, we are often defined by them in our families:

Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Wife

Or:

Father
Son
Brother
Uncle
Husband

 

Outside our family circle, we decide who people are to us, and who we are to others:

Friend
Best friend
Boy/girl friend
Lover
Domestic partner
Business partner
Colleague
Boss
Person who reports to us
Support staff in the office or building
Freelance worker

And so on.

 

We can’t choose our family, it is true, but nor should we punish ourselves trying to make a negative relationship work by constantly compromising who we are or what we believe in. We may not be able to let go of the relationship with a parent or sibling, for example, but we can let go of the idea of being obligated to please them – especially if they are a difficult type of person who is never pleased.

We can choose friends, lovers and spouses. However, that choice will often come into question when different things shake the foundation of the relationship, such as trust, and the assumption that the person cares for you and wants the best for you, and vice versa. If that is not the case, then you might find yourself thinking more and more about letting the relationship go.

Signs That It’s Time to Let Go

No one likes to waste time and effort, but it also does not make sense to hang on to things in our lives that drag us down and drain our energy. It’s also true that the more you hang on to baggage, the heavier it will become, and you won’t have your hands free to embrace other things. So here are a few signs it might be time to let go.

1. You constantly feel hurt or resentful

The person has done something so bad, it is almost impossible to get beyond it and try to forgive them.

2. You are the one doing all the heavy lifting

You are the one putting most of the energy into the relationship – calling, emailing, organizing get-togethers, and so on.

3. You are at different places in your life

The other person might be ready to settle down and have a family, for example, but your career is just taking off, or you want to travel the world and do other exciting things.

4. You can’t agree on the essentials in your lives

Marriage, children, where and how you want to live, are all big questions. Sometimes loving a person isn’t enough to get over the bumps in the road that become exposed when your two views of an ideal life don’t mesh with one another.

5. When you have to make too many sacrifices

Some people might make sacrifices in order to maintain the relationship, but end up disappointed and bitter. For example, they promised if you had children together, they would be there doing their fair share, but they are still spending long hours in the office while you’ve given up your career for a house full of dirty diapers. And of course it is much harder to let go of a relationship once you have had children, due to co-parenting.

6. The other person is not trustworthy

They may not lie outright, but they don’t turn up on time or follow through with their promises, or they deceive you in various ways. People are often evasive about money, or how they spend their free time. Don’t jump to conclusions, but do insist on honesty.

7. Dealing with the other person is draining

Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. If you know any “energy vampires” who are constantly draining you and leaving you no time to for yourself and the things you really enjoy, it might be time to let go.

It’s never easy to let go of a relationship. But if you recognize one or more of these signs, it may be the best decision you can make in the long term.

Have you had to  let go of a relationship?  What were the signs for you?  Any words of advice?  Share your thoughts in the comments below…

How to Stay Calm during Your Facebook Live

When you’re nervous about something, it can be hard to stay calm. And when you’re nervous about doing a live event, it can get in the way of the enjoyment of it. Let’s talk about some tactics that can help you stay calm during your Facebook Live.

* No One Is Perfect

It’s okay not to be perfect during your live event. The most important aspects are that they can see you or what you want them to see, and that they can hear you. When you first sign on, give it time for people to show up, and then ask them if they can see you and hear you fine. It’s fine to adjust once you’re live.

* Technology Screws Up

Sometimes your internet isn’t working right, or a guest’s internet isn’t working right, or something goes wrong. That’s okay; you can start over. There is no time limit or reason you can’t just ditch it and start again. One tip that works is if you’re using your computer, hardwire yourself to the net instead of using Wi-Fi.

* Have Notes

If you have certain things you want to talk about, quotes you want to share, and other information, don’t rely on your memory. Instead, write down some notes. It’s also OK to look at your notes. Nothing is wrong with having notes. You do not have to stare the camera in the eye the entire time you’re live.

* Allow for Silence

Don’t try to fill the void with sound at all times. It’s okay for there to be silence at times. Knowing this will help you avoid saying “um” and “er” too much – but even if you do say these things sometimes, it’s okay. Be who you are and let yourself know that it’s okay to be who you are.

* It’s OK to Look Down at Chat

Sometimes you need to read the chat, and it requires you look down. While this is not ideal in terms of the picture-perfect camera pose, Facebook Live isn’t about that. You want the live session to be interactive, which means you need to read what people are saying during the event.

* It’s OK to Take Time to Type in the Chat

Sometimes you may want to provide a link or other information that requires text, so typing in the chat or having someone else do it during the live is fine. You want a lot of interaction, so encourage that. If you know you want to share certain links, put them in a note file, so you can copy and paste them easily.

* Go Live One Hour before Time to Tell Them You’ll Be Here Soon

This might seem strange, but this is a good way to check that the technology is working. Go live quickly just to express your excitement that you’ll be starting in an hour. Then listen to it and watch it to make sure your sound and lighting are working.

* Freshen Up Right before Your Live Session – Brush your teeth if you can, go to the bathroom, and get a cup of tea, water, or coffee to have with you during the event. You want to ensure that you are relaxed, feel good, and carry the mood with you that you’re going to talk to your friends.

If you have any type of rituals you like to do – like meditate, pray, or pet your dog and cat before the event to help calm your nerves, that’s great. However, one thing that can be said about some nerves is that on camera, nerves often come off as high-energy instead of fear. That can be a good thing too!

What do you think?  Do you have any tips or tricks for staying calm during a Facebook Live?  Share them in the comments along with a link to one of your Live events showing you utilizing your tip.

Eight Benefits of Using Facebook Live for Your Business

Facebook Live is a gift to small business owners everywhere. If you really want to get the word out about your services and you’re not using Facebook Live, you’re missing out. Facebook Live is a great way to engage with your community in an original and effective way.

Let’s look at all the awesome benefits of using Facebook Live for your business.

1. It’s Easy to Do

Over time, Facebook Live is getting easier to accomplish as they add in more functionality to the process. In the past, you had to have special software on your computer or your phone, but now you don’t need it. Having said that, for special effects and that type of thing, the add-on third-party software does exist.

2. A Fun Way to Create Unique Content

When you go live, anything can happen. It can be spontaneous, or it can be more formal and planned. It’s up to you. You can answer questions from your viewers live; you can even bring them in to interview them if you have the right technology set up. But rest assured, whatever you create can be repurposed in numerous ways.

3. It Doesn’t Cost Much

It is actually free, although as mentioned, you can spend money on third-party software and also on marketing your broadcast. And of course, you spend your time. But otherwise, going live on Facebook is free. What’s more is you can stream for four hours.

4. It Creates Buzz and Excitement

When you go live, your followers may get a notification that you’re live, especially if they ask for notifications. Be sure to ask them to sign up for notifications, to like you, and to share your broadcast with others.

5. An Effective Way to Connect with Your Audience

You can connect with your audience in a way that’s unique and real, in real time. This is an amazing development in broadcast technology because your customers literally may have you in the palm of their hand at any time.

6. Increases Brand Awareness

Even when people don’t watch when you are live, if they see the notification and see that you did go live (and if there are comments on the live event, they’ll see those too), it will automatically increase awareness that you exist. The more activity there is, the more curious others will become.

7. Drives Traffic

Going live definitely drives traffic to your Facebook page. If you’re going live in a private group, it encourages participation. And, in both cases, it can also drive traffic to your products and services if you include a call to action in the video and in the comments.

8. It’s Saved for Future Viewing

Unless you direct it otherwise, Facebook saves the video so that it can be watched later by those who missed the live event, or by those who want to watch it again. You can also download it and repurpose it on YouTube or another venue.

When you use Facebook Live, it takes a little time to build up an audience. In fact, you may end up getting most of your views after the recording is active. But, you’ll make connections, and maybe even sales, long after you did the work for the video. This is the ultimate doing the work once while experiencing the payoff repeatedly through time!

Have you used Facebook Live?  Is it a waste of time?  Did it work for you?  Share your thoughts on the pros and cons in the comments.

A Reader’s Review of American Fairytale

American Fairytale Cover

 

American Fairytale (Dreamers #2)
Author: Adriana Herrera
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Release Date: May 2019
Genre(s): Romance, M4M
Audio Length: 7 hours, 36 minutes
Reviewed by:   Will Burley
Heat Level:4 flames out of 5
Rating:5 stars out of 5

 

Blurb:
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Fairy-tale endings don’t just happen; they have to be fought for.

 

New York City social worker Camilo Santiago Briggs grew up surrounded by survivors who taught him to never rely on anything you didn’t earn yourself. He’s always dreamed of his own happily-ever-after, but he lives in the real world. Men who seem too good to be true…usually are. And Milo never ever mixes business with pleasure…until the mysterious man he had an unforgettable hookup with turns out to be the wealthy donor behind his agency’s new, next-level funding.

 

Thomas Hughes built a billion-dollar business from nothing: he knows what he wants and isn’t shy about going after it. When the enthralling stranger who blew his mind at a black-tie gala reappears, Tom’s more than ready to be his Prince Charming. Showering Milo with the very best of everything is how Tom shows his affection.

 

Trouble is, Milo’s not interested in any of it. The only thing Milo wants is Tom.

 

Fairy-tale endings take work as well as love. For Milo, that means learning to let someone take care of him, for a change. And for Tom, it’s figuring out that real love is the one thing you can’t buy.

 

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Oh my Jebus!  You’re going to judge me, and I don’t care, but there is a new fan boy for Adriana Herrera!

Camilo Santiago, (affectionately known as “Milo”), is the tough, strong, vulnerable and sexy as hell protagonist of this story.  Milo has a chip on his shoulder – not because he doesn’t care but because he’s cared and been hurt too much.  Thomas Hughes is a wealthy entrepreneur who’s no-nonsense and somewhat aloof manner has been constructed as a wall to protect his heart and keep his blinders on so he can focus on what’s important to him.  The narrative that the author has penned is truly excellent in my view and opinion.  Normally, I can’t seem to really stomach how most romance novels seem to want to focus on all the “flowery” things in relationships and skip over the real-world struggles in getting to the pairing.  I can say that this tome did not do that.

There was really good chemistry throughout.  From Milo’s friends to the connection with Thomas, things came across as very natural to me.  I was able to see myself in many of the characters.

Ms. Herrera did an excellent job at the pacing, too!  A major complaint I normally have is how many writers leave out the little detail relating to the timing of the story.  While not forcing us to count calendar days, the author was able to get us to focus on time in a natural way.  It helped me think in terms of life outside the novel – which in turn helped me to really connect with what the characters were experiencing.

When I listened to the final phrase uttered by the narrator, I felt satisfied , hopeful in the idea of love and like it would eventually happen for me as well!  I’ve never been touched by a book like this before.

What did you think about American Fairytale?  Have you read it yet?  Do you want me to convince you to read it some more?  Chat me up in the comments…