Sunday, May 31, 2009

Megan's Speaking Brochure

This is the front and back of my new marketing piece to promote my speaking ministry. Pretty, isn't it? My designer, Natasha, ( created exactly what I had in mind.

I gave Tash a photo I took last year of the beautiful prairie flowers that grow alongside the path I walk on during the warmer months. (The Cherry Creek Trail runs behind my neighborhood.) That's the same photo I've used on my blog and website. I told her that I wanted to use those colors. Didn't she do a great job?

For the back image, I gave her a mountain-view photo that I took two weeks ago when I crashed the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for the day. I went there to cheer on some friends who were attending. If you scroll down to the previous post, you can see that lovely photo.

Now I'm ready to really start promoting my speaking. I'm only going to have only about 50 of these printed (locally) for now because I'd like to have a new headshot taken by the talented and delightful Pauline Fortuna of Fat Tuna Photography.

I was in a rush to create this piece because I'm going to be the featured author at ParkerFest next Sunday (6/7) on Mainstreet in downtown Parker. If you're in the area, you should come over. It runs from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and is a wonderful street fair with food, cool stuff to buy, and great music to enjoy.

The piece is what is called a rack card. I wanted my brochure to stand out from so many of the tri-fold brochures that are floating around out there, so I choose a different format. This card rack is a 4x9 glossy with color on both sides. This is a great size to pass out, and it will fit into a legal size envelope. Like I did for my bookmark, when I order a larger quantity, I'll purchase it online at PrintRunner.

In addition to this hard piece, I'm also going to have a digital brochure that can be emailed. I love to network (I've passed out over 2,000 bookmarks in less than a year) and when I'm at book signings or events like ParkerFest, I'll give my speaker brochure to people who agree to pass it along to the women's ministry leader in their church.

If you click on the images, they will enlarge in your browser.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

65 Questions

There are probably about a million other things I should be doing now (maybe not a million, but I can think of three other more worthwhile pursuits), but I was cruising through some blogs, and my friend Kay had this list on her's. It interested me, but then, Kay's pretty interesting. :)

65 Questions You've Probably Never Been Asked:

1. First thing you wash in the shower? My hair.

2. What color is your favorite hoodie? Hmm. Do I have a hoodie?

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Oh, yes!

4. Do you plan outfits? Most of the time.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now? Hopeful.

6. What’s the closest thing to you that's red? My dog’s toy.

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having? I remember, but it’s too sad to share.

8. Did you meet anybody new today? Yes.

9. What are you craving right now? Prayer, there’s never enough.

10. Do you floss? Ah, yes.

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage? Red in salads.

12. Are you emotional? You better believe it.

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000? Nope.

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it? I’m a licker.

15. Do you like your hair? Yes.

16. Do you like yourself? Yes, I do, actually.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? Sure.

18. What are you listening to right now? Pandora and my dog squeaking a toy.

20. Would you go skydiving? No.

21. Do you like cottage cheese? Yes. Sometimes I splurge and put it on rye toast.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity? Perhaps. Depends on the definition.

23. Do you rent movies often? Yes, I love Netflix.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in? My grandmother’s antique crystal.

25. How many countries have you visited? About seven.

26. Have you made a prank phone call? Naaah.

27. Ever been on a train? Yes.

28. Brown or white eggs? Doesn’t matter. Eggs are eggs.

29. Do you have a cell phone? Yes.

30. Do you use chap stick? No.

31. Do you own a gun? No

32. Can you use chopsticks? Yes.

33. Who are you going to be with tonight? My husband.

34. Are you too forgiving? No. My heart's been bruised too badly to not be careful with it.

35. Ever been in love? Absolutely.

36. What is your best friend doing tomorrow? That would be my husband, and he’s doing yard
work with me. He just doesn’t know it yet.

37. Ever have cream puffs? Oh yes. Aunt Beatrice makes the best!

38. Last time you cried? Not too long ago.

39. What was the last question you asked? Why is the patio light on?

40. Favorite time of the year? Summer. The colors, the fragrance, the starry nights.

41. Last TV show you watched? “Lie to Me” on Hulu.

42. Are you sarcastic? On occasion. But not if it will be hurtful.

43. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect? No.

44. Ever walked into a wall? No, thank goodness.

45. Favorite color? Changes.

46. Ever slapped someone? Can’t recall.

47. Is your hair curly? No.

48. What was the last CD you bought? Probably a Christmas CD.

49. Do looks matter? No, appearance matters.

50. Could you ever forgive a cheater? I try to be forgiving, but forgetting is the hard part.

51. Is your phone bill sky high? No.

52. Do you like your life right now? Yes!

53. Do you sleep with the TV on? Not on purpose.

54. Can you handle the truth? Yes, even when it hurts.

55. Do you have good vision? It’s okay.

56. Do you hate or dislike more than 3 people? I don't hate anyone. I avoid mean people.

57. How often do you talk on the phone? As little as possible. Hate talking on the phone. It’s a
tool used for a specific purpose.

58. Do you text a lot? No, not much.

59. What are you wearing? Sweat pants, T-shirt. (My home attire.)

60. What is your favorite animal? Dogs

61. Where was your default picture taken at? What??

62. Can you hula hoop? Yes.

63. Do you have a job? Yes.

64. What was the most recent thing you bought? Eyedrops.

65. Have you ever crawled through a window? I think so.

The photos were taken a week and a half ago when I drove up to Estes Park to spend time at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference for the day. Beautiful, isn't it?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Okay, life's too short to burn any brain cells on this, but - - really? What kind of person buys a specially-designed doggie stroller?

I can't imagine it, but maybe that's just me. Don't our pets need exercise too? And wouldn't that little dog be happier walking around interacting with other dogs and people? The poor dear looks so miserable in there.

What has the world come to that we have to push our pets around in a stroller?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Words For The Journey Day

Today at WFTJ we had an active-vs-passive-sentence contest.

The delightful Dianne Daniels was taking on the rule-obsessed and feisty Robbie Iobst. In a slick move of both physical skill and mental acuity, the talented Ms. Iobst prevailed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Gift of Friendship

If you've got a tender heart, grab a tissue before you watch this video.

We were going out to dinner to celebrate my darling daughter's college graduation, and her best friend's mom and sister just happened to be at the restaurant where we were dining. Watch the video for the rest of the story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I survived (and actually thrived) at the Dynamic Communicators Workshop last week. I learned to prepare speeches with focus, deliver with clarity, and speak with power. It was fairly intense, but I soaked up knowledge and learned new ways to communicate. If you know me, that's a big deal. I always try to be specific and purposeful in my communication, so I was the crazy lady who occasionally broke into spontaneous applause at the conference.

While I was there I met a new reader, and was able to have my photo taken with him. That cow's got good taste in fiction, right? :) And, who knew the Chick-fil-A cow was so tall? Well, I guess since he's standing on his back legs--oh, never mind. :)

One of the best things about the conference was making the acquaintance of so many amazing people: men and women from all walks of life who were intent of polishing their skills and making a difference in their world. I saw hearts that were humble and truly wanted to serve God and tend to others. Some of the pastors who attended have been preaching for 20 or 30 years, and yet they still wanted to dig deep and find their best talents. There were people in ministry looking for fun and effective ways to speak to their audience. Incredible.

Here's the group photo. It represents people from all over the US and from all walks of life. What an honor to be in that group.

This photo is of me and Tennessee Richard. There were two Richards in my small group. This gentleman brought tears to my eyes with his mission. He's retired and has purposed to best learn how to present apologetics to high school seniors to prepare them for college. Isn't that something?

There were three pastors in our group: The Other Richard, Thomas, and Dan -- wonderful, God-loving men. Then there was Denise, a woman who was refreshingly authentic and was intent on polishing her presentation skills for her job (at Dollywood!). Sonny was there to improve his presentation skills for the premarital counseling he did. Gary was preparing for the next step he knew God would lead him on, and our coach was the wonderful Scot S. who gently critiqued and strongly encouraged us.

All in all, it was a great week. I was challenged, satisfied, and stretched. I made incredible friendships with many people and had a great time. Best of all, I'm ready and eager to honor those who invite me to speak with clear, logical, and entertaining speaking. Rock on!

The conference was held at the beautiful Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

Monday, May 04, 2009

This week I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. Actually, I'm taking a giant leap.

When I purposed to become a published author, I began to attend writers conferences. Well, I've decided to pursue another goal, to become a more effective speaker. I've been delighted to be able to speak to women's groups and moms' groups, and I want to reward their confidence in me with the best presentation I can give them.

Since attending writers conferences seems to have worked out as hoped, I've decided to attend a workshop to learn how to present my ideas better.

I'll be in Asheville, NC this week at a Dynamic Communicators Workshop. Gulp. I'm going to give a speech every day, and they're going to tape me! Oh, be still my heart.

I'll give you a report after I survive the experience. Okay, that was said tongue in cheek. I don't think it will be a torturous experience, just a new one.

Have a blessed week, friends.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The joy of deadlines

Sooner or later, as a writer you’ll be under the gun of a deadline.

You can look on the bright side and see deadlines from an optimist’s point of view:

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

~Diane Scharf Hunt

That’s a good quote. If you’re a new writer you can appreciate Ms. Hunt’s quote. I remember hammering away on my novel, trying to complete it by my deadline, which was the 2006 ACFW conference. If I hadn’t set that deadline for myself, I probably wouldn’t be published today because it was at that conference that I met my acquisitions editor. (One of the first questions she asked me was, “Is the manuscript complete?”)

Deadlines. Some writers hate them, some embrace them, and others learn to live with them. Sooner or later, as a writer you’ll be under the gun of a deadline.

Do you fall into the I-hate-deadlines-but-understand-they’re-necessary category? If so, you’ll appreciate this quote:

“One forges one’s style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines.”

~Emile Zola

A daily deadline is a form of encouragement for me. I know what’s expected, but I also know that with work, I can accomplish my deadline. When I was a young woman, my first job out of college was as a radio reporter. I had to broadcast a three-minute newscast ever hour. Five days a week, I had six hourly deadlines to meet. And I always did.

Here’s another great quote:

“A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”

~Rita Mae Brown

Yes, have you ever had a writing assignment with a deadline? Boy howdy, you’re inspired while working under that deadline. At least if you’re professional you are.

I don’t think there are many writers who’ve never heard of this quote:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make when they fly by.”

~Douglas Adams

Uhh, yea. Take that attitude and you may never have to worry about another deadline again. Editors expect that when you’re given a deadline you’ll meet it. Blow their confidence in you, and you may never get the opportunity to be under deadline again.

Have you ever heard of Dr. It’s an online site that allows you to write under a time constraint.

The application is called, “Write or Die: Putting the Prod in Productivity.”

To participate, you input your word goal, your time goal (anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours), select the grace period (forgiving, strict, or evil), and select the mode (gentle, normal, kamikaze, or electric shock).

It’s amazing how much you can do when you know the clock’s ticking. I sampled the site on kamikaze mode, and the border around the space where you type glows red if stop typing for too long. And then, believe it or not, your words start to disappear, letter by letter, until you start typing again. That consequence got my fingers flying over the keyboard.

Give it a try, and have fun! Write or Die: Dr. Wicked’s Writing Lab