5 Guiding Principles of Creative Leadership

*** Last week, Dr. Leeanne Bell McManus, Chip Rouse, and I gave a three-hour presentation to an organization entitled, “Event Planning: A Seminar in Communication.” Centered around ideas from our textbook, Event Planning: Communicating Theory & Practice, we talked about communication theory, ideas, tips and case studies, and offered strategies for leaders in event planning….

Bridges of Madison County Author Dies: A Tribute

* The year was 1992. I picked up a copy of best-selling author Robert James Waller’s The Bridges of Madison County and couldn’t put it down. I knew it was a love story, and I was riveted. Like many other readers, I was intrigued by Francesca and Robert Kincaid’s 4-day, intense love story set among…

What It Feels Like to Finish Writing a Novel

* Well, friends, I’m coming down the home stretch. By next week, my novel will be written, if it does not happen sooner than that. People have asked me this question: what does it feel like to finish a novel? As this will be the third one I have published, it feels a little like…

Books That Make You Cry

About two months ago, on a nice day in March, I sat on my back porch and cried my eyes out as I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. My friend, Shawna, and I were talking about both the novel and the upcoming movie on Saturday at the pool. She hated feeling so sad…

A Good Book Will Never Let You Down

I’m about to finish Adriana Trigiani’s touching and inspiring novel entitled The Shoemaker’s Wife. I’ve enjoyed reading this sweeping story of Italian immigrants loosely based on the history of the author’s own grandparents. From the mountains of the Italian Alps to New York City to a small town in Minnesota, the characters and sights covered…

Suggestions for Helping Kids (and Adults) Enjoy Reading

I’ve been teaching now since 1993 when I instructed that first course in public speaking. Over the years, I’ve moved from teaching public speaking into teaching writing and other communication courses. Over this period of time, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in the amount of outside reading done by students (I’ve also noticed, as have…

For Writers & People Facing Change

Sometimes I see something that makes me stop and pause. This saying did it for me today. As a writer, blogger, professor, and a believer in a positive vision for the future, I love the meaning of this quote. Too often, we hold on to the past, when sometimes, what we need to do, is…

I Totally Missed It

You’re supposed to remember the dates of big anniversaries. I didn’t. I totally missed it. Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the publication of my novel. It wasn’t even a blip on my radar; I am wrapped up in other things and didn’t take a moment to reflect on the last year. Anniversaries are for…

Persevere

I’ve been addicted to Pinterest for the last few days. Seriously. I find it relaxing, and I’ve always loved looking at magazines. Pinterest is such a great way to share ideas, decorating tips, recipes, fashion, books, and more. If you want to see what I’m up to on there, check it out here: Pinning on…

Positioning Yourself & Your Work

In 1972, two guys name Al Ries and Jack Trout collaborated on a series of articles for Advertising Age. The articles were about positioning: positioning a company or a brand in advertising. Now, 41 years later, the term “positioning” still holds true and is a buzzword among media creatives. The question? How can we get…

Recap From Words & Wine Benefit

Well, the Words & Wine Benefit was lovely. Despite the torrential downpour, ominous sky, and tornado warnings, “people did come, Ray.” I always enjoy myself; chatting with people always makes my night. Meeting Governor Ehrlich, chatting with Rafael Alvarez, and talking books, Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and the professional writing program at Towson University with people…

“Do You Like Being An Author?” she asked.

* * * I was sitting in the Author’s Tent at the Baltimore Book Festival a couple of weeks ago when a young lady and her friend came up to my table. They couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13. I had bookmarks and candies as giveaways on my table, along with a stack…