Minimizing Challenges & Maximizing Chances

Minimizing Challenges & Maximizing Chances

It’s Day 309 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Challenge and I’ve spent the last few days practicing what I preach – as in minimizing my challenges and maximizing every chance I get. I’m not gonna lie about it – the devil has been busy throwing every D he can my way – dysfunctional relationships, discouragement, discrimination. It’s like what I say about coaching around the Ds – You name it, I deal with it in coaching. Well, you name it and I’ve dealt with it in my personal or professional life recently.  But rather than letting the Ds get me down, I’ve let push me forward – to promote the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic brand, to grow the coaching  agency and to promote my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, while working on the sequel, Hold On Her Heart. It feels good to be able to accomplish what I encourage my coaching clients to do: Minimize the challenges and maximize the chances!

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Me, Pink Collar Coach – Minimizing barriers and maximizing my best life in another oldie but goodie Calvin Klein jersey dress, infinity scarf, handbag, boots,                          & fun two-tone tights that tie the colors together.                                                                                       All TJ Maxx except for the boots found at Goodwill for $11 – brand spanking new!

After teaching Zumba yesterday, I did a complimentary life coaching session with a potential client and she found it so beneficial I didn’t have to ask for the commitment – she initiated. It’s exciting to see my list of clients grow slowly but surely – and they’re truly my target audience – professional women who are facing personal barriers that negatively impact their performance. By addressing their Ds, I prevent derailing and support them in living their best lives and being the best savvy and chic version of themselves. And I try to do it all to His glory. When there are tears during a session – often tears of release – because they can finally talk about their struggles – I know I’m living my purpose. Wonderful as it is that coaching clients “make the cash register ring”, that knowledge that I’m serving women is what I value as priceless.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur, getting a business up and going is not for the faint of heart. I probably work harder now than I did in my highest level position working for others. Though I’m sometimes viewed as someone who might not have gumption – that has more to do with my shorter stature and softer speaking voice than anything else – I do show initiative to make things happen. That characteristic is serving me well in trying to make Pink Collar Savvy & Chic work. And I need all the get up and go I can muster when the Ds threaten to make me feel like giving in instead. On my own, I can do nothing. But when I take my eyes off of the challenges, and focus on the chances I have to live the personal and professional life God has for me, I’m able to minimize and maximize on.

How about you? How are you being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose to minimize the challenges you’ve faced in your personal or professional life lately? How are you maximizing the chances your’e been given on the home-front or in the workplace?

To preview or purchase the print or Kindle version of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. It can also be purchased at Barnes and Noble.com at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seasons-of-her-soul-tammi-ector/1127818446?ean=9780998966359. Thank you!

Be savvy &   chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

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Wise Investment in My Work Wardrobe and My Work

Wise Investment in My Work Wardrobe and My Work

It’s Day 307 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I reaped the rewards of wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my work. Though I had a busy day coaching yesterday, it ended fairly early, but I was still too wiped out to post. Today I coached, did a ton of writing, attended my writing group where I served in my new secretarial role,  and am just ending my work day, but I’m invigorated. Knowing it would be a long one, I wanted to be comfortable and turned to an oldie but a goodie gray dress that is several years old but just happens to sport the ruffles that are all the rage right now. One of the first dresses I bought to start building my professional wardrobe back around 2011, I love it just as much today. And our monthly writing group meeting is invaluable and one of my favorite days of the month. The time and energy spent fellowshipping with and learning from other writers is so worth it. Some may look at our writing as a hobby; we view it as the work God has given us here on earth. Considering all of that, it seems my wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my work are yielding some high returns.

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Kristen is writing her first period romance, Angie is holding Book II in her dystopian series, I just published my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, and am working on the sequel, Hold on Her Heart, and Kim has won writing contests every year consecutively for nearly two decades. Me, Pink Collar Coach in gray ruffled dress, black hose, & handbag, all Calvin Klein -TJ Maxx.            Boots Calvin Klein from Goodwill – never worn at $11!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Maxxinista and novelist, there are few things I enjoy more than putting together a great outfit that works as hard as I do at my writing. Being a good steward of my resources, including my money, my time and my talents is a core value. That’s why I buy pieces that will stand the test of time and would rather spend my night immersed in writing than sitting on the sofa vegging. Don’t get me wrong – I do that, too. But not on writing group night – and this month we have two! Next week is our annual mixer – my first –  where visitors from other writing groups will join us. Good thing I’ve made wise investments in my work wardrobe and in my writing work…

How about you? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make wise investments on your work wardrobe? How about on your actual work?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

The Creative Writing Process & Progress on Sequel to Seasons of Her Soul

The Creative Writing Process & Progress on Sequel to Seasons of Her Soul

Day 305 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project had me blissfully immersed in the creative writing process so that I made tons of progress on the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. The day got started on a high when I learned that it is now available on Barnes and Noble.com. It’s been on Amazon since January, however, getting into B&N has taken more time, so I’m thrilled. Then, in preparation for Thursday night’s writing group critique, I worked off of the feedback from last month’s critique to revise the outline for Hold On Her Heart –  Book II in the Lee’s Legacy series and created a preface of sorts to re-acquaint readers of the first book with the characters and to introduce them to new readers. The group suggested that I read some sequels to see how to write one effectively, so I turned to the work of Karen Kingsbury, the Queen of Christian Fiction, and Francine Rivers, who I want to be when I grow up as a writer. All of these actions are considered Prewriting –  the first step of the 5-Step Writing Process. Time flew by, as it always does, when I’m in my zone AKA the creative writing process. It’s no wonder I made such great progress on my first novel’s secret!

Creative Writing

Sharing the creative writing process with was one of my favorite things about being a middle school teacher. Not only did I get to do this with my students; I got to equip fellow teachers to teach by writing and presenting a creative writing workshop. The creative writing process I use is only a skeleton – and each writer fleshes it out to build a process that works for them. For the purpose of this blog post, I’ll list all of the steps in the process but will only explain the first that I’m currently working through on how I use it.
The Creative Writing Process
1. Prewriting – This includes finding and building an idea, then planning and structuring the story around it. Keeping notes on new ideas is important. This can be done with pen and paper or electronically. (I type them into my laptop or phone when on the run or even in the middle of the night – they get lost otherwise). And I can’t emphasize how critical it is to keep the notes from a previous book when planning to  write a sequel or even a non-related book. Though you won’t use all of them, NEVER throw out the baby or the bathwater! The book – your baby – may be born from the notes you keep; your next one may be conceived from the ones you set aside and fertilize later! Finally, this step often involves some type of research.
2. Writing 
3. Revision
4. Editing
5. Publishing
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author, this writing life is like a crazy roller coaster ride. There are days when I experience extreme highs and then I get plunged into steep lows. Sometimes it can be terrifying. Other times it’s exhilarating. Like today when I not only learned that I reached a goal I set for my first book but when I maximized the creative writing process to make progress on its sequel.
I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and check on the book below. Also, I’d love to hear about your creative writing process. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~ Pink  Collar Coach

Critical Acclaim and Constructive Critiques – The Benefits of Both

Critical Acclaim and Constructive Critiques – The Benefits of Both

It’s Day 282 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and tonight I was the recipient of critical acclaim and constructive critiques; thankfully, I can see the benefits of both. Throughout my busy day of taking care of not so fun professional tasks and awesome life coaching, I looked forward to tonight’s writing group. Last month I stepped up to try and fill the large shoes of the former secretary who’d served in the role faithfully for many years. After getting my first newsletter out earlier this week, I then tweaked the outline for Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel right before the meeting. Upon arrival, one talented member, who I know is a discerning reader, let me know how impactful Seasons of Her Soul is for her. Next the visitor she brought surprised me by saying she’s on chapter five. For someone who’s dreamed of being published since I was six, it doesn’t get much better than that! But it did – when a gentleman who served as a beta reader and was a bit critical of the test manuscript shared with the group that he enjoyed the book! This critical acclaim held me in good stead when my outline received less than stellar feedback. Much as I value the optimism about the book I’ve already published – it bolsters me to keep writing – I embrace the opportunity to improve the next one – and my writing – based on constructive critiques. There are benefits to both.

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Kristen, Dayton Christian Scribes member & writer of Historical Romance; Danisa, her guest, &  me, Pink Collar Coach in Calvin Klein sweater, faux suede skirt, boots, & floral handbag. -TJMaxx.                   Both women are in the process of reading Seasons of Her Soul. ; )

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author who is continually honing my craft, I will take the constructive criticism and revise the outline to address the issues. Then I’ll take it back to the group next month – 2x! We’re having our regular meeting and an extra one where other local writing groups (including one I used to belong to) are invited to join us. I’m proud to be able to say I’m maturing as a writer – and a person – because rather than finding the prospect of sharing my work in front of additional people daunting, I’m stoked about hearing even more perspectives. Be their feedback of the critical acclaim or the critique kind – I’m ready for it because both are beneficial.

How Pink Collar Savvy & Chic are you about accepting critical acclaim? How about constructive critique? How beneficial do you find them? How can you use both to spur you on to produce your best on the home front or the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

I’d love it if you would check out my book, Seasons of Her Soul, and provide me with any feedback. A paperback or Kindle copy can be purchased on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

Maiden Voyage Speaking Engagement for Seasons of Her Soul at Local Altrusa Club

Maiden Voyage Speaking Engagement for Seasons of Her Soul at Local Altrusa Club

It’s Day 280 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I had my maiden voyage speaking engagement for Seasons of Her Soul, my debut novel, at a local Altrusa club tonight. Altrusa is an international organization that supports women’s professional development, literacy and a number of other causes that improve communities worldwide. The fact that my first official speaking engagement for my book, which chronicles a young woman’s journey out of domestic violence and into her best life, was held a the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), with a women’s shelter upstairs, made the event even more special for me. Prior to speaking, we enjoyed a comforting meal of three different types of chili prepared by members. They insisted I go first, and as I filled my bowl, the message painted on the wall above the table resonated – Eliminating Discrimination; Empowering Women. It also bolstered me on my maiden journey.

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Some of the Altrusans of Hamilton, Ohio club. It snowed intermittently all evening, so we lost a handful before we got a picture. Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the center next to a dear Sister. I was delighted that she got a book! I’m in a Calvin Klein sheath dress with a pearl neckline from TJ Maxx. The matching cardigan was a rare Macy’s find purchased long after the dress!

Though I actually spoke at a women’s workshop the day after I held my book in my hand for the first time, the time wasn’t specifically dedicated to presenting on the publication process. Tonight, I was able to share about that journey and educate a group of women who are committed to  promoting literacy with knowledge on how they can support authors to ensure books get into readers’ hands. Not only that, because they are committed to eliminating domestic violence as well, I was able to put a book that equips them with tools to do that into their hands! Furthermore, some of them took book cards to share with others. What an amazing first time out!

On the practical side, my years of attending Train the Trainers, getting a Fundamentals of Effective Training credential (a three day retreat experience) and presenting/attending “A Woman’s Guide to Powerful Presentations” and “High Heeled Steps for Dynamic Delivery” workshops with my cohort, Kay Fittes of High Heeled Success, held me in good stead. Planning the actual presentation is only part of ensuring it goes off without a hitch. Despite doing much of my prep in advance, this afternoon I couldn’t find my crate for transporting my books, props, etc. in my She Shed Storage Space (thanks for that Hubby!), and Siri initially took me to the YMCA vs. the women’s counterpart! Thank goodness I had a plan B for the crate and had given myself plenty of extra time to drive from the wrong location to the right one! Even with a few choppy spots, for the most part the waters remained calm.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose author and speaker, it feels great to this first speaking engagement under my belt. It connected me with wonderful women who were welcoming and receptive. And I got to know the one who shared the opportunity  with me – Thank you Dana Enrico! – a little better. There’s even a possibility that I’ll have a chance to present at the International Conference next year. I learned from the things that went right – and from those that almost went wrong. Now I feel like I’ve got my sea legs under me – all thanks to a maiden voyage speaking engagement for Seasons of Her Soul at Altrusa that provided smooth sailing.

Hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and support an unproven author by checking out the print or Kindle copy of Seasons of Her Soul, on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CXE6Wj or http://amzn.to/2r7qtm9. Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

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!

 

 

Debut Novel, Seasons of Her Soul, Book Cover Preview

Debut Novel, Seasons of Her Soul, Book Cover Preview

It’s Day 225 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and between completing final revisions approval for the publisher, Christmas, and traveling, I’m just getting around to officially sharing a preview of the new cover for my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, which releases in January. With all of the above, I haven’t blogged in five days (my longest stretch since I began doing it daily in May), and hadn’t even officially wished everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope you and yours did and are still enjoying the celebration of baby Jesus’ birth. As a believer, He’s truly the best gift I’ve ever been given. Completing those final revisions and simultaneously receiving an email with a preview of the new cover design with some tweaks I requested on the original is a close second!

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If you’re a Facebook friend (I’d love to get a request), you may have seen the first cover preview and think this one isn’t much different. The main change is the color of the header and font. Pink lover that I am, the previous burnt orange color just didn’t do it for me. Now I love this wine color – a softer shade that complements the blush background as well as Lee’s (the heroine’s) pink dress and lip color. Another change is the expanded image of Lee on the back. Previously her bouquet of flowers wasn’t visible. For as long as I can remember I wanted flowers on a pink book cover, so when I found this image, it seemed the best of both worlds. I’m so thankful the designer was able to make it work. The price, bar code and ISBN# will be added to the blank space. Finally the title and my name were enlarged on the spine. The blurb is not correct, so the book will be released with the revised version…What do you think?

The best part of the book cover is that it captures Lee’s essence. The search for the right model seemed endless, but when I found the one with the flowers and dug deeper for more pics of her, I landed on The One. It was as if Lee jumped off the page at me. I’m the type of person who has to look at all of the choices just to be sure… But after scouring countless images, I didn’t need to look at another one. The search was over and I emailed my publisher with the subject line: I’ve Found Lee Edwards! This was confirmed when when I posted the original preview on FB and got great feedback from those who’ve read the book stating the same thing. I even have a male beta reader who responded, “It depicts Lee perfectly!”.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose reader, who believes that we really do read to know we’re not alone, in our trials or our triumphs, I also believe other readers will love Lee. Yes, she’s beautiful on the outside, but her inside is made up of an internal fortitude that will make you root for her. She’s flawed, but she’s also full of faith. And most of all, I believe that as she experiences challenges (The Ds) common to women that can be so fierce we fear we may lose our souls, readers too will experience heartache, hurt, healing and hope.

If you’d like to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and serve as a beta (test) reader, please let me know and I’ll get a copy to you. Any feedback on the cover is also welcome! Thank you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach