Writing and Journaling - Whether you are already a writer or would like to be, it's up to you to take the steps, practice and work on your craft. Journaling is one way to start. More...See Below

Marketing And Advertising - It doesn't matter what type of business you have online, you "Have" to know how to "Market and Advertise" your business or product to the people. More...See Below

Product Reviews - Whether you know it or not, you depend on "Product Reviews" from someone you know to decide when you are considering making a purchase. More...See Below

Fiction and Non-Fiction - This is a collection of Fiction and Non-Fiction stories written by myself and other new up and coming writers. Writers Promoting Writers is a noble gesture online. More...

9 Steps To Gain Control Of Your Business

9_steps_to_gain_control_of_your_businessFocus is a word that you will hear and read about online until it’s “done to death.”  However, it is a very important part of working online.  Until you decide that you are going to focus on and hold yourself accountable either in a group or create your own goals, then you are destined to spin your wheels and fail. 

We all make jokes about the SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) but it is a very real monster that will creep in and take hold of you again many times over, if you keep allowing it to do so.

I came back to work full time on November 14, 2016 and as ashamed as I am to say it, the “monster” took hold on me again and I allowed it.

mle-blog-post-11-28-2016a

Scatter-brained

Before I realized what had happened, I had signed up for three different programs.  I was in the middle of a course about Pinterest (actually 2 of them) and I had created a new website, along with my already existing sites MonnaEllithorpe.comBlueJeanWriter.comDoubleWeddingRingQuilts.com

Well as it happens and many times things just don’t work out as planned.  We found it’s very hard to find a full care Alzheimer’s unit in Indiana or at least close to where we wanted her to be.  So Friday, December 2nd, I will be flying up to Indianapolis to bring Mom back home.  Hopefully we will find a more suitable Alzheimer’s Care Facility here in SW Florida.

I will be caring for her again here at home until a definite and acceptable place can be found to ensure that she will not walk out of the facility on her own, as what has happened already.

focusBack to my point of this post, I took a good long look again at my business online. I realized I needed to scale back and decide for the last time what I am going to focus on and “NOT” change my mind.  I need to learn to ignore new things that come along and we all know there will be new things coming along.

Writing and Self Publishing will always be a priority for clients and myself. To start with, I listed all of what I was involved in and set a priority to each.  I then proceeded to drop the things that I thought I would work with but in actuality, I know I will never follow through with them.

As we don’t know how long Mom will be here at the house this time, I have to keep things to a minimum and in my “Bullet Journal,” I’ll plot out a weekly plan on what I will be working on and the most efficient way to do this.

9_steps_to_gain_control_of_your_business9  Steps To Gain Control Of Your Business

  1. Make a list of everything you are involved in.
  2. Go through the list and be honest with yourself as to what you are really interested in working with and delete or cancel the program, membership, etc.
  3. Assign a priority to each of the things you have left on your list.
  4. First thing each day – you should work on something that creates an income for you.
  5. Use a timer on each task that you work on.  The timer should  be mandatory for things like email, advertising, social sites and connecting with people.
  6. Be consistent each and every day working on the money tasks, blogging/writing and email and social media.
  7.  Don’t be discouraged if you are sidetracked by life occurrences but be very aware of any people or things that will distract you from your intended work for the day.
  8. At night, evaluate your progress for the day and list anything that distracted you and keep notes on things that you are prone to let get in your way.  I find that writing something down on paper seems to embed it deeper in my mind.
  9. Plan your “consistent tasks” for the next day and get a good nights sleep.

This is an example of my “Bullet Journal” for this next week.  I’m not done planning the week yet but this will give you an idea of my accountability system.

mle-blog-post-11-28-2016

 

9-steps-to-gain-control-of-your-businessWeekly Business Priority List:

  1. MLE Blog
  2. Blue Jean Writer Blog
  3. Double Wedding Ring Quilts Blog
  4. Self-Publishing for clients and prep-work for publishing
  5. MCA – My Weekly Checks (aff.) (since I now have a car) 
  6. The Women’s Connection (aff.) encouragement and accountability) 

 

243px-lux_minute_minder_timerDaily Tasks by Priority (Using Timer):

  1. Writing (mystery novelette – release date planned for February 2017)
  2. Reading blogs and commenting
  3. Social Media
  4. Advertising
  5. Email
  6. Exercise and water intake

I hope I have provided some ideas for you to begin your own method of prioritizing and getting consistent and organized.

We are coming to the end of the year and a new year is ahead.  Now would be a great time to start thinking about how you can streamline your business and your life for 2017. 

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If you have found value in this post, please share on your social media sites and with your friends and associates.

 

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Weekly Writing Prompt 11-23-2016

writing prompt 11-23-2016

It’s time again to start with the “Weekly Writing Prompts” to help you with getting over “writer’s block” or if you just don’t have any idea of what to write about.

Writing prompts can bring to mind a story or a poem in a matter of seconds when you read the prompt.

In some cases, I have read a prompt and absolutely nothing came to mind at that time but you can wait a little while or even the next day and an idea can light up like a sparkler in your mind and you can’t wait to get to your pen and paper or computer. 

I do hope to inspire you to take part in the “Weekly Writing Prompts” and share them in the comments section below.  

I have written my short story for all to read below.  I do hope you enjoy it and I would appreciate it if you share with your associates, friends and family. 

Writing Prompt:

A Butterfly Has Followed You During Your Entire Hike in the Forest

I’m Never Alone

Sometimes when I get lonely or depressed, I take a walk in the woods behind my house. I was missing my husband more than usual today which always happens around the holidays.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and even though I will be with family, I still miss him. He’s been gone 8 years and 3 months, which seems like a lifetime ago but it also seems just like yesterday.

So I went for a walk to clear my head. I noticed a beautiful yellow and black butterfly that seemed to keep up with me where ever I walked. It would land ever so lightly on a purple flower and stay there as I stood watching.

I looked back and saw that the butterfly had taken flight again and had landed on some shrubbery just ahead of me.

This went on for quite a while. It seemed odd that the butterfly would fly when I walked and almost seemed to know when I was going to stop again.

I saw this beautiful shade tree just up ahead. There was a small creek that meandered through the woods and I decided I would sit for a while. I wanted to write in my journal which I always have with me.

Once comfortable, I looked over to my left and there was the yellow and black butterfly. It was resting on a leaf that hung down from a low branch of the tree.

The movements of this wonderful butterfly for some reason made me feel safe and not so alone. I couldn’t explain it but I was meant to take this walk in the woods.

Thinking back over the last 8 years and 3 months, I recalled another time when butterflies visited me.

A day or so after my husband passed away, I was also taking a walk and there were many butterflies in flight all around his truck.

I remember thinking to myself, this was a sign that my husband was still with me to comfort me and let me know I wasn’t completely alone.

I looked up at the butterfly who had been with me this whole time and I called out my husband’s name. Slowly the butterfly waved its wings a couple of times and then stopped.

The butterfly took flight again and gently landed on my head for a few seconds and then flew away.

Believe what you will but I know that my husband was with me on my walk in the woods.

I’m never alone. He is with me in my heart, in my thoughts and even in a beautiful butterfly who took a walk in the woods with me.

I’ll be alright now. I have spent some secret time with the love of my life.

© 2016 – Monna Ellithorpe.com | http://monnaellithorpe.com

Did anything come to mind for you when you read the writing prompt? If so, great. Let’s read what you wrote. If not, there are other writing prompts that I have shared. Maybe one of those will spark a story when you read the prompt.

Weekly Creative Writing Prompt 9-23-2016

Weekly Writing Prompt 9-14-2016

Weekly Writing Prompt 9-6-2016

Remember you retain the rights to your stories or poems that you submit in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful to you, please share with your friends on your social media sites. 

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Do You Know Who I Am?

The past couple of weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me and my adopted family.

alzheimers_disease_do_you_know_who_i_am_3My best friend of 50+ years has moved to Texas with her husband and her mom, my second mom, has now been moved to an assisted living facility because of Alzheimer’s disease.

I am grateful to this family for so many reasons. I am grateful for a friendship that has lasted through every phase of our lives since grade school to the present and her mom who stepped in to comfort me when I lost my own mom.

My second mom, also widowed gave me a place to live and the time to heal after my husband passed away when I just couldn’t seem to get it together and go on.

I gave her the friendship she needed since her husband died and her children had their own busy lives to lead.

alzheimers_disease_do_you_know_who_i_am_2We were good for each other for 5 years and 11 months. As the fifth child in a family of eleven children, she was not used to being alone but the disease was taking her strength away from her.  The daily trips out of the house were getting less and less.

For the last 5 years, 11 months I’ve watched the silent disease called Alzheimer’s take her away from us, little by little each day.

As a dear friend who comforted me many times told me, “She’s like a two year old child again and you have to realize and accept she is not the mommy anymore. You are in charge now and you have to remember she has no control over what she says and does and she doesn’t remember from one second to the next what you said or even what she said.”

Thank you, Mae Kelm for the many hours of support and conversation you went through to get us through this time of our lives.

You were also one who was there for me when my husband Rea died 8 years ago. I am grateful and thankful that I met you.

After many months of ups and downs, I finally realized I had done all I could do for mom in this phase of her disease. Each day was something different and I was just someone who loved her and I was not trained to handle the daily occurrences in a way that would keep us from becoming so frustrated and agitated with each other.

I came into this situation not realizing what was ahead for either of us. I now believe and completely 100% agree that you need to have training on how to deal with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease.

There also comes a time when you have to say, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s not good for either of us.” Tension is high, the stress is increased, frustrations are all jumbled up into a mass of emotions.

I am physically and mentally exhausted.  In some ways, she’s the lucky one, because she doesn’t remember that I got upset with her for not knowing how to do simple things she has done for herself for over 80 years.

That’s the guilt that I have to live with, along with the feeling that I let her and the family down by giving up and saying we have to let her go so she can receive care from trained professionals. She needs to be safe and I’m so afraid my care will not keep her safe.

alzheimers_disease_do_you_know_who_i_amIt is so very hard to look at a sweet and dear woman who has been a mother figure to you for so many years come to you and ask, “Do you know who I am?”

So last week I hugged and said goodbye to my best friend and this week, I hugged and said goodbye to my second best friend and mom as she moves away.

The feelings are bittersweet. Many times over the last few months I have thought that I can keep her here with me but I know that’s not possible now. It would only be relieving some of my guilt but not doing what is best and safe for her.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of her mind Marybelle knows I love her and always will. I will always cherish and remember the laughs and good times we had before the Marybelle we all knew and loved was slowly taken away from us.

alzheimers_disease_do_you_know_who_i_am_4God Bless You dear lady; mom and friend. I will say a prayer for you each night that you will live the rest of your days being silly and having fun in the place you were born and grew up with your sisters and brothers.

I have missed my online work and my online friends and I do look forward to coming back to work but I will be taking a much needed 5 or 6 days to just rest, regroup and vegetate a little. 

I plan to be back working full time online on Monday, November 14, 2016

 

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Weekly Creative Writing Prompt 9-23-2016

Weekly Creative Writing Prompt 9-23-2016

Did you know that when you participate in the writing prompts each week, you can gather them together and create a Kindle e-book or a paperback book of short stories and then self publish?  

 

As a result, you will then have your first book published with your name on the front cover.  (Note: Be sure to give credit to Writing.com as they have supplied the prompts that I share with you).

 

WRITING PROMPT:

She crouched behind the sofa in terror as a hand came through the window.

 

I am wondering if you are finding the prompts thought-provoking enough for you to start writing a short piece? 

 

Share your thoughts with me.  Would other types of prompts work better for you?  Give me suggestions of some types of prompts you would like to write.

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Thank you for your participation and share with your friends and associates.

 

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Weekly Creative Writing Prompt 9-23-2016

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Whats A Bullet Journal and Why It Will Help You

What’s A Bullet Journal and Why It Will Help You

bullet-journal-whats-a-bullet-journalManaging your time when you work online at home can be an infuriating daily struggle. One day you will be able to keep on track and the next day, every little plan you made for the day has run into a snag or your computer decides it doesn’t want to cooperate with you, maybe your internet provider service is down. 

 

There can be any number of legitimate excuses as to the reason why you got off track but in the end, how you recover is up to you. Maybe you can take a short break and complete some of your tasks in what time is left of the non-productive day or you may have to wait until tomorrow and begin again. 

 

Either way, “DON’T STOP.”

 

You control your life and your accomplishments, so make a conscious decision on “HOW” you are going to get back on track.

 

I would like to refer you to an older post of Donna Merrill’s, “Keeping Focused.” 

 

Donna shares some of her daily tasks, along with some of her interests that she sometimes finds that impose on her working online time. It does all come down to focus and finding the best way that works for you to keep organized, in control and productive.

 

Lesly Federici shares her “One Page Planner” that helps her to stay organized and on track. Also if you ask Lesly, her most important tool that she uses to keep focused is a kitchen timer.

 

While Donna and Lesly’s methods of staying organized and focused work for them, I needed something different as those methods just did not quite do it for me, so I continued looking. I know I spent more time than I should have searching for a solution but it was well worth it.

 

What I found and is fast becoming a trend among bloggers, writers, college students, moms, teacher, etc. in their quest for tracking time, tasks, exercise, tracking moods, etc. This gem I found is called “Bullet Journaling (or BuJo® for short).”

 

You may already be aware of it but it’s totally new to me.

 

I’m certain you have heard of journaling but this technique was created and developed by Ryder Carroll – Bullet Journaling It is more than just a journal. It is a basic analog system that you start with the initial Bullet Journal ideas and then as you progress, you make it more of your own by adding sections and trackers of the things that are important to you. The ideas are endless.

 

After a few failed attempts at starting a Bullet Journal, I now have my first week mapped out and I am looking forward to keeping up with the new system. This is my unfortunate “bad” first start. 

mybulletjournalbeginning-horz

 

For me, what sets this apart from any other journaling system is that I have missed working with my scrapbooking and with Bullet Journaling, each evening I can finish my day with check marks of what I accomplished, what I want to accomplish the next day and use some embellishments and some color and designs.  This also relaxes me, while seeing how productive I was and providing myself a little time with a hobby I enjoy: “scrapbooking.”  This is my second try and I’m very happy with it so far. 

mybulletjournalbeginning-horz-2

On Sunday evenings, I will create a new layout for the next week; either using the same layout as before or by searching online in YouTube or in some of the Facebook groups about Bullet Journaling for a new design that I may like better. It’s flexible. You can add and subtract any section that you need each week or add a new one.

 

A piece of advice, pay close attention to the pens, pencils and markers you use. I started mine off with what I thought was a Sharpie pen but it was actually a fine line Sharpie marker which bled through the pages. So disappointing.

 

There are so many different types of journals or books that you can use. If you are not sure about your commitment to the Bullet Journal, you might be better off to start with something simple like a regular journal, a spiral notebook or a 3-ring binder.

Here are some of the most favorite types of journals that people are buying and using for their journals.

 

This is not a complete review, as you may have noticed but rather just informing you of something I found that I think you may find useful.  I will make a more detailed review after I have used the system a bit more. 

So, I am wondering how many of you have heard of a Bullet Journal and if you use one or may use one after reading my post?  Looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments. 

 

redarrowrightIf you have found value in my post, please share with your friends and associates on your social media networking sites.

 

 

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