Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Publication Process – A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Publication Process – A Marathon, Not A Sprint

 “Publication is a marathon, not a sprint. Writing the book is only the start.”

                                                                                                – Jo Linsdell, Children’s Book Author

Two Women Working Out

It’s Day 279 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and if you’re anything like me, a marathon sounds a lot more daunting than a sprint! And whether you’ve ever run track or not, as we get older running any race is not as easy as it used to be! This was a humbling lesson I learned on vacation last year when I challenged my twenty-five-year-old stepson to a race. It’s the first one I can remember ever losing. That being the case, I’ve yet to watch the video his brother shot! Even so, as an almost fifty-year-old woman, I held my own. At 5’1” but with long legs, I was designed for speed and am still a pretty fast sprinter. But with my asthma, I’ve never had the stamina to go the distance required for marathons.

Like running, breaking into publication is not for the faint of heart. I’ve dreamed of doing it since I was a little girl and set the goal of accomplishing it by age twenty-five. Then I watched that deadline whiz by at ages thirty, thirty-five, forty, and forty-five. At forty-eight, after rejections from traditional publishers, I finally made it happen by self-publishing. But as was often the case with my races, though I won, I crossed the finish line with my heart thumping in my chest and my breath wheezing in my lungs – physically, mentally, and emotionally spent. Exhausted. Still, that pain was worth the gain – not only of having won the prize, but of having finished my race – on the track and as a published author.

The above is the rapport building section of a presentation I’m doing tomorrow night for our local chapter of Altrusa International.  Next I’ll share the what I’ve learned from my publication journey and summarize by retelling what I told them during the presentation with this:

As you can tell from my publication process, novel writing is only one leg of the race. It requires intensive conditioning and training in the form of obtaining mentoring, networking and continually honing the writing craft. And because publication is a spectator sport, identifying and connecting with the targeted audience AKA potential readers – meaning YOU! — is critical to success. Finally, building a platform, reach and stamina will help authors to not only cross the finish line, but to keep going the distance in publication marathons throughout their writing career.

Then, I’ll preface a few words copied and pasted from a reader that make the grueling race worthwhile –

Whew! I’m winded just explaining my race to publication! But then I stop to catch my breath and read an Amazon review by a reader who may be someone like you, entitled “Beautifully Written Treasure”:

This book is a shining example of the work that God’s love can do in your life. You will feel renewed in your walk with Christ. Lee is a character that you wish was a real friend that you could call for sage advice, love and laughter. I’m recommending this book to all my friends and family. As a lover of music, the song that pops into my head as being the anthem for Lee’s story between these pages is Mandisa’s Overcomer. I hope there will be more to Lee’s story in the future for me to read. I’m already ready to reread this one!

Finally, I’ll close thus:

Though I’ve always been a sprinter, not a distance runner, it motivates me to pick up my track shoes – I mean laptop – to run another publication marathon.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose debut novelist, I’m excited to share my publication journey with a group that supports women’s professional development and literacy, and I’m excited to share it with you. This is my maiden voyage speaking engagement as a newly published author! I hope it coaches, encourages and inspires you to keep running your race – whatever it may be!

What are you currently trying to achieve at home or work that feels like running a marathon? How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and apply any of the above to help you cross the finish line?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle copy of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating International Women’s Day – The Zumba Way!

Celebrating International Women’s Day – The Zumba Way!

It’s Day 275 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and spent it working hard and then celebrating International Women’s Day. Originally I was supposed to speak at an event around this but somehow my information wasn’t received by the organizer’s. Rather than let that bum me out, after I took care of other work related tasks, I maximized the extra time and prepared my “Pink  Collar Savvy & Chic Publication Process – A Marathon, Not a Sprint” presentation for our local Altrusa group next week. I Time flew as I wrote about my journey to publishing Seasons of Her Soul. By the time I’d finished writing it and sharing it with my hubby for critique, it was time to jump  in the car and race across town twenty-five minutes to my Thursday evening class. Its the only weekday I don’t dance at the Y, but so worth the drive! While I love my all of my classes, this one is so diverse that it has a different flavor – a spicy one! Our fierce Instructor, Patrice, brings all kinds of ethnic, Latin, hip hop, R&B, and even a little rap music to the mix, creating a true dance party! We’ve even formed a traditional Soul Train line the last few weeks! As cool as the variety of music is, the true harmony is found in women of all ages, colors, ethnicities, shapes and sizes coming together through the love of dance. What an awesome way to celebrate Zumba fitness and life each week! We usually have a man or two, but the only one ducked out early tonight, making it  literally “Ladies Night” and all about celebrating International Women’s Day!

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Fairfield Fitworks Zumba Fitness Crew with Patrice, in the black and silver Zumba shirt. Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the white T. So many lovely ladies!
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Oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night, and the feelin’s right, oh, yes, it’s Ladies’ Night – oh, what a night!                    – Kool & The Gang

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I can’t say enough about the contributions women have made to the world in every field. I could go on and on about them but will only share three I just learned of today: Windshield wipers, disposable coffee filters, and disposable diapers can all be attributed to the ingenuity of women! I for one and grateful for them all! And without women, let’s face it, the human race would cease to exist – whether you’ve ever given birth or not! As I posted earlier today, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14. We dance in front of a mirror on Thursday nights, so I know it’s true. Because no matter our age, color, ethnicity, shape or size, we know how to move! So to put a positive spin on the negative lyrics in that old “Queen” song, it’s no wonder Pink Collar Girls make the world go ’round! And that, lovely lady, is reason enough to celebrate International Women’s Day!

I hope you’ve had a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose International Women’s Day! And if you’re inclined to celebrate an accomplishment of one of your own, please check out the Kindle or print copy of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

 

 

What Will I Gain When I Lose The Gummis? – Dealing with The Ds: Diet!

What Will I Gain When I Lose The Gummis? – Dealing with The Ds: Diet!

It’s Day 255 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and for the last week I’ve been asking myself, What will I gain when I lose the Gummi Bears? In Kindergarten I got accepted into a bilingual magnet school. But that wasn’t all I got. From the moment my 1st grade German teacher passed out authentic Haribo Gummi Bears as a reward, I got hooked! Forty-two years later, gummi bears are still my go-to candy. Given a choice between gummy candy and chocolate, the former will win with me every time. Sure, I enjoy other gummy candies, like Good and Plenty and am especially fond of sour gummy candies such as  Sour Patch Kids and Sour Worms. In fact, the only thing I like more than than Gummi Bears is sour Gummi Bears! Though I consumed more than my share of Gummi Bears in my twenties and thirties (many of them intended as treats for my students when I was a teacher), I only discovered sour Gummi Bears in my forties. Coated in sugar, they contain 20 more calories and more grams of sugar per bag than their regular counterparts. They’ve become a D (a barrier – diet)! Add that to the weight I naturally put on following a complete hysterectomy four years ago, and something’s gotta give: My Gummi Bears! It’s a true sacrifice, but I have so much to gain if I lose them…

Plump & Thin Woman - Before & After
Though I’m not the woman on the left, I’m not the one on the right either. I’m in the middle and would like to move a little to the lighter side. Please know, I don’t feel one is better or more attractive,   I just want to feel healthier and fit all around.

In case you’re a regular reader and you’ve seen pictures of me that make you question why I think I need to lose weight, I’m gonna be real and tell you clothes hide a lot! I’m only 5’1″ and very small boned. That being the case, any extra weight has very little surface on which to spread, so it settles on my bust, tummy and thighs. Because of the early menopause hormonal changes, including my metabolism grinding to a screeching halt, sugar just seems to turn to fat. So, as much as it may look like I’m fairy trim (then again, maybe I don’t), I’m not at my healthiest weight (I don’t weigh myself, but go by how my clothes fit). If it weren’t for eating as healthy as I can – apart from the gummy candy! – and dancing seven – that’s right – seven days a week, I’d blow up like a balloon! I don’t say that in jest – obesity runs in my family…Besides, I can’t afford, nor do I want, a whole new wardrobe! In short, I love Gummi Bears but they’re not my friend!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Life Coach, fitness instructor and lifestyle blogger, I want to model a healthy lifestyle! That’s why I’m excited that when I ran out of Gummi Bears this week, I didn’t buy more but replaced them with low fat yogurt. Positive a step as that was, I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard! Working throughout the day without my go-to snack, watching the Olympics, reading a book in bed – I wanted to cave. But I kept asking myself, What will you gain when you lose the Gummis? Then I answered, I get to keep my clothes. I get to save money not buying new clothes. I get to look and feel my best. I get to model healthy practices for my coaching clients and Zumba participants. I get to lose the guilt from overindulging. I get to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose…I could go on and on, so I’m soldiering on!

How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about losing one thing in your diet? What will you gain by doing so?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Women Feel Better When We’re Dancing

Women Feel Better When We’re Dancing

It’s Day 230 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and yesterday reinforced how women feel better when we’re dancing. As I mentioned in Saturday’s post (I didn’t hit publish until after midnight so it showed up on Sunday), I took a nasty tumble getting into the shower that morning as I prepared to present at the High Heeled Success and Pink Collar Savvy & Chic women’s workshop on networking. After falling my first concern was about how it would impact my performance at the event; my second was It’s going to hurt more tomorrow, so how will I teach Zumba? Thankfully, pain meds and prayer got me through Saturday, but Sunday morning I woke up so sore and stiff, I thought I’d have to do low intensity to get through class. What I didn’t bank on was having about twenty high energy women show up ready to go full throttle. I shared my mishap and then showed them my proof copy of Seasons of Her Soul. Their combined empathy, enthusiasm and excitement throughout made me feel as if I had wings! I was able to lead the class pain free. Women really do feel better when we’re dancing!

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Lovely Zumba-loving Ladies. A few left before we could grab a pic –  the energy is still evident! Me, Pink Collar Coach, front center in black, gray and white Calvin Klein performance wear.

Lest you wonder why I’m using the collective term “women”, I’m not the only one who expressed feeling better. There are at least two women in attendance recovering from surgeries, but they attend because a modified dance session is better than none. One Sunday class lover returned because I reinstated the class after a few years without it. The first two classes she was miserable, but this week she was back in her full-on dance zone. Another let me know life has settled down in all other areas so she can now resume dancing, which she’s missed. A young college student, a true Dancing Queen, has expressed interest in becoming a certified instructor. And a Zumba frequent flier who attends classes throughout the week, confessed she gets so into it she has to make herself not sing along so she won’t disturb other dancers. Having one of my mentors attend class and lead a routine and express that I’m doing a great job was so cool and encouraging. An Indiana transplant who just moved here for her husband’s job is finding her tribe with Zumba and I believe will become a friend of mine – she’s another Tammy (with a “y”). And I had the joy of watching at least three newcomers fall in love with Zumba right before my eyes. A beautiful thing to behold. Once the bug bites you, you’re a goner – in the best way!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor, I’m humbled by the way my classes have been received and feel so blessed to be able to serve women in this way. It’s not just dancing, it’s ministry for me…Case in point, I received a text message following yesterday’s class from a woman I hadn’t seen in Zumba in a long time. Knowing that she’s been dealing with some major Ds (challenges), I’d been concerned about her. She told me she ran into one of the other instructors who let her know about my class. She thought it was wonderful and plans to attend each week. She’s also going to read my book and do some life coaching with me as she continues to pursue her best personal and professional life. All because women really do feel better when we’re dancing!

Oh, and doing my first book signing EVER for a someone who brought her copy wasn’t too shoddy either!  ; )

How about you? What makes you feel better? Are you like the women in my class who fight through the Ds to do it? How can you incorporate more of what makes you feel better into your personal and professional life?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview or purchase the ebook or print copy of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.

http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9

http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj

 

Moe(‘s) Healthy Eating in 2018! – Restaurant Review

Moe(‘s) Healthy Eating in 2018! – Restaurant Review

It’s Day 231 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and Moe healthy eating is in my future for 2018. Just to clarify – I haven’t resorted to slang writing; I’m referring to Moe’s Southwest Grill and the fact that I’ll happily be eating more of it now that some have opened in the Cincinnati area (apparently they’re buying the Quadoba’s that are going bankrupt). I treated myself to it tonight after one of the best, busiest days of my life yesterday – releasing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and having it do very well on Amazon sales rankings – largely thanks to you readers!  Then today was spent at Zumba, hanging out with a friend and trying to figure out what to wear to my women’s event, “Kick Up Your Negotiating Skills for Career Success”, next weekend. Finally, an hour ago I realized other than a snack at lunchtime, I hadn’t eaten all day. Making my second stop in Moe’s since I discovered it, the generous serving size allowed me to load up on fresh, healthy rice, beans, chicken and all the veggies, guacamole (a fat that’s actually good for you), and salsa my little heart desired. To make it an even better deal, the guac is free (Who does that?) and there’s complimentary salsa bar! Moe’s will be seeing a lot more of the girl from now on!

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Since I’m home alone, I enjoyed my bowl and reading my book (My book!) in complete bliss. ; )

This summer, my sister and brother-in-law, who reside near Atlanta, introduced me to Moe’s (they were just in the south but are expanding) when they had the restaurant cater dinner the night family arrived from out-of-town for their son’s wedding. I loved it then and looked forward to having it when we were just there for a few days over New Year’s Eve. But for logistical reasons (and my book deadlines) it wasn’t to be. Literally craving it, I Googled it on the drive home and had my poor hubby go a few miles out-of-the-way to get it in Chattanooga. That was my first time in the restaurant where I discovered the veggies on offer: black olives, chopped cilantro, cucumbers, jalapeno peppers, and mushrooms! Then there’s the option to add as much as you want at a salsa bar. Epic!  And if that isn’t enough to recommend them, the one near me, in West Chester, Ohio, has one of those cool machines that dispense every drink imaginable – only I can actually have one because they offer zero calorie choices – like gingerale with vanilla and a myriad other flavors – YUM!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose healthy eating advocate, please see the recap below for why Moe’s is a marvelous option.

Moe’s Southwest Grill as Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Pick for Healthy Eating:

  1. Large portion size (More food, but good vs. bad! I eat 1 bowl 3x – initial & leftovers )
  2. Free quacamole (No one does that!)
  3. Veggies not offered at Chipotle or Hot Heads (They definitely wont’ be at Quadoba’s)
  4. Salsa Bar with 5 varieties (Green chile mild up to fiery hot)
  5. Technicolor array of zero and low calorie beverages (Refreshing water alternative)

I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and consider Moe(‘s) healthy eating in 2018!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To get a preview of Seasons of Her Soul, or to purchase, please visit Amazon.com. Thanks!

 

 

 

Find Your Fit in 2018! (My First Official Zumba Class as a Licensed Instructor)

Find Your Fit in 2018! (My First Official Zumba Class as a Licensed Instructor)

It’s Day 226 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and having an amazing experience teaching my first official class as a licensed Zumba instructor reinforced how important it is to find your fit in 2018! I’m scheduled to teach Fridays and Sundays and was supposed to start at the end of October, but a diverticulitis diagnosis and nearly two months of misery prevented me from doing so. Then, due to the holidays, the start date was postponed to this Friday. Chomping at the bit to get going, you can imagine my disappointment when the frigid temps caused my class to be cancelled again. All the waiting was worth it though, because this afternoon, a small but brave band of Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Zumba loving ladies didn’t let bitter cold, child care hour restrictions (one had to leave early to pick up before close), or even a boot hold them back from Zumba fitness with a little faith based music sprinkled in. We were small in size and mighty in support of one another. The fun and fellowship we had made it clear we’ve found our fit and made me want to encourage you to find yours in 2018, too.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in Calvin Klein pink, white & gray athletic wear with my original New Balance dancing/gym shoes. I didn’t own any when a friend invited me to Zumba in 2012!             All from TJ Maxx.                                                                                                                                           Lovely Zumba loving ladies (minus one) made my first time out the gate a winner!

If you’ve been in a retail store this week, you probably noticed Christmas has been relegated to Clearance and athletic wear has surged to the front of the displays. Merchandisers take full advantage of the New Year’s resolutions so many people make about getting fit this year. And regular gym attenders often lament how there’s barely a parking space to be had between now and February/early March because everyone who resolved this would be their year comes out in droves for a few months but are seldom seen after that – when it’s warmer and no big deal to walk a country mile to park!

All that to say, I’m not talking about a resolution here. I’m talking about a lifestyle. Take it from one who  hadn’t worked out much since my daughter’s birth in 2003 – when I started doing Zumba in 2012, I had to sit or even lay down and take huge puffs on my inhaler between every song. But I LOVED it. I went from going on Saturdays to four to six times a week depending on what was available. I’d found my fit. What does that feel like? you ask. I’d say it feels like you’re not even working out, but that’s not it exactly. It’s more like being ready to pass out from being overheated with your lungs, arms, and legs all burning, but what a lovely way to burn! The positive release of endorphins is amazing! If you’re familiar with Strengths – there’s a sense of timelessness when you’re doing what you love and were created to do. Like when you’re in the zone. Like it isn’t just a workout, but a way of life.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba Lover, I feel like I’m in my Zumba Zone when I’m dancing and hope all of you can find that exercise routine that puts you in yours. Be it biking, Bootcamp, elliptical, Insanity, pier barre, running, speed walking, swimming, treadmill, Zumba or any of the other myriad ways you can get healthy and well. Because contrary to what the retailers would have you believe, getting in shape is  about so much more than just losing weight. It’s about getting your heart, mind, body, and spirit in shape too. The workout is just the beginning of that journey to holistic health and wellness.

Think about what you love and are naturally drawn to. Even if it’s been years since you did it, go for it. It might very well be that this is your year and you’ll find your fit in 2018!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

Zumba Love Is Why I’m Now Heartsaver CPR and AED Certified

It’s Day 203 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my intense Zumba love is why I spent the early part of the day at my local fire department getting certified in Heartsaver CPR and AED. Though I’m a former teacher and child care center director and was required to have First Aid and CPR training in those roles, AED (automated external defibrillator) is new to me. The course has been revised to reflect advances in technology as well as the demographics and needs of the individuals served. To say times have changed in the last six years since I last attended a full course is a huge understatement! I’m so thankful becoming a certified Zumba instructor presented this professional development opportunity. Especially since I can use it in my personal life too. Because of it, I feel much more confident about my ability to help save a life during a Zumba class, or outside one, now that I’m Heartsaver CPR and AED certified. img_0617.jpg The training I attended is through the American Heart Association, which is commited to everyone being healthy in heart and mind. Their answer for why they do what they do: Life is Why. When I got home, bookish as I am, I studied the Student Workbook provided by the AHA more in-depthly. At the front of it, course participants are encouraged to discover our Why. The questions to ask ourselves are: What are the moments, people and experiences I live for? What brings me joy, wonder, and happiness? Why am I partnering with AHA to help save lives? Why is cardiovascular care important to me? On the most basic level, all of my answers have to do with Zumba, since that was the primary reason I got certified. But on a deeper level, I’m a Life Coach who believes strongly in a holistic coaching approach. As such, I’m committed to the health and wellness of every woman in my world. So, in a sense, you’re my Why.

After discovering our Why, there’s an offer to participate in the AHA’s mission and Life Is Why campaign. I accepted the offer and completed the above activity by filling in the blank with what describes my Why. The next step is sharing my “Zumba Love Is Why” with the people I love and to ask them to discover their Why. That means you!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach with Firefighter Ryan, our Heartsaver CPR and AED Instructor. The artwork is a drawing by talented Lakota East High School students.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach I love Zumba so much because I love life and know how much excercise can contribute to a long, healthy, happy one.  I hope that in sharing, I’ve encouraged you to think about experiencing more of life’s precious moments. Through dancing. Through taking better care of your heart and your health. Perhaps by considering your Why and then demonstrating it by sharing this post. Maybe you’ll get certified and join the Chain of Survival. In our world where heart disease, poor diet and excercise, drug abuse and other illnessess run rampant, you never know, we might just save a life…This morning I thought I was just a Zumba loving instructor getting my Heartsaver CPR and AED certification. Discovering my Why and sharing with you means I got so much more than I bargained for.

What’s your Why? What Savvy & Chic on Purpose action steps will you take because of it? How could getting certified help you in your personal life? Professionally?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach