Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Year of Celebration: Butterfly Phoenix Business Shorts

I’ve been working on some new publications, “Butterfly Phoenix Business Shorts”, which can be found on Amazon, in the Kindle Shorts section.

I have a love for the craft of writing, and I feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds since 2011, when I first published Sticks and Bones – my first full-length novel. However, I have discovered that I enjoy writing for business and nonprofits just as much.

The debut Butterfly Phoenix Business Short was published on March 5, 2017, Mindfulness in Business, and reached #75 in the Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 15 minutes (1-11 pages) > Business & Money category, within the first 24 hours. I was pretty stoked about that! You have to celebrate the small things in order to achieve the greater things.

Each month, Butterfly Phoenix will be publishing a new Business Short that will cover social topics of interest to the business community. Butterfly Phoenix Business Shorts are designed to be read in thirty minutes or less, to inspire thought-provoking conversation and critical thinking, surrounding the issues that matter most to business leaders around the world.

Don’t miss the April Short: “C-Suite Exodus”. Take a look at how the retirement of not only Baby Boomer executives, but also older Gen X executives (b. 1965 – 1973) is having an effect on leadership.

For those of you who are waiting patiently for “Prairie on Fire” to be released, I appreciate your patience and understanding. I’ve been intentionally holding off on the publication due to current events in the world, and my home state. I began writing “Prairie on Fire” in 2014, and I don’t want any sense of confusion with reality and the fictitious content of the story.

I know that law enforcement and the oil industry particularly have an interest in what the book might contain, so I’m going to clarify for you right now. The book has nothing to do with the protest events in North Dakota; nothing to do with the oil industry at all; and nothing to do with politics. Also, there is nothing in the book regarding the relationship between state or federal government relationships with the Native American nations.

However, with that said, it might leave you wondering what it is, and what could be so volatile as to start a “prairie fire”. Good! Wondering is good for the mind. It fosters imagination and innovation!

Until next time! Keep living the dream!

Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 Year of Celebration: I Got the Chair!!!

I felt accomplished over the weekend! Yes, there is nothing in the world like knowing you can do something by yourself!

I am not the world’s most mechanically inclined person, but there are some things that just have to be done. I had to buy a new office chair. Of all the tools at our disposal, writers most often use our chairs, and they tend to wear out over time.

So, there I was in the middle of my living room floor with parts spread out all over around me. A package of screws and washers and caps, and even some handy tools for my convenience were included in the box. Oh, and also the directions. It turns out the directions are very useful in times like this, as most of my readers can probably attest.

One step at a time and I managed to get it all together in less than an hour! I was pretty stoked about that! Every Facebook quiz says that I will not survive any sort of apocalypse – not the zombie kind or otherwise. Well, I can put a chair together! That’s a start. Next time, I probably won’t even need the directions! Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself there, but a woman can dream!

Putting a chair together is minor compared to the other things in the world we have a tendency to fear trying. But, trying is the key, then sticking with it until it all comes together. It’s sort of like writing a book. It might not start out very well, but as time goes on and the story moves forward, it gets easier.

For now, I’m celebrating putting my chair together, and enjoying the seat of my labor! What are you celebrating today? Email me at butterflyphinx@gmail.com and share your stories of celebration! Each month, starting in February, I will be sharing the triumphs of my readers!

Also, the new website is nearly complete, and I’m pretty jazzed about that too! It’s been a long time coming, and I can’t wait to get started on my new adventure! Read about here on Butterfly Phoenix first!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Celebrating an Enduring Legacy ~ First Lady Melania Trump

AP Photo Pablo Martinez Monsivais

As the whole world watched in breathless wonder today, the 45th President of the United States of America was sworn into office. Amidst the Pomp and Circumstance, and all the fanfare America could muster, stood a giant among women. She said nary a word, yet the whole world felt her presence as she stood beside her husband and children on the world stage.

It was the essence of the woman who is now our First Lady that caught my attention. My mind traveled back to the first days of Princess Diana, a kindergarten teacher who had no regal experience. Diana became the Princess of the People in England. She was beloved by all, at home in England and abroad.

First Lady Melania Trump is beautiful, bold and enduring. She is poised and stoic as the day is long. She exudes confidence, something that is severely lacking in our young women of today. To be the wife of a strong-minded man, you must be a strong-minded woman.

Melania is nobody’s trophy; not President Donald Trump’s or America’s. She is a woman in her own right, in all the right ways. She is the woman that many women so dearly want to be. Not because Melania is a model beauty, because she is her own person without regard to what others want her to be.

Her cause, as First Lady, is as noble as the position she holds: Cyber-bullying. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her today, but First Lady Melania Trump knows what it feels like to be alone in a crowd. For her first two years in America, Melania lived in New York City, where she spent an enormous amount of time at home – alone. She didn’t go out much and was focused on her own American dream. I doubt at that time, she ever imagined that dream would take her to the White House.

Today, we are going to celebrate Melania Trump, a Slovene immigrant, who dreamed under the torch of Lady Liberty in the harbor of New York City. Melania Trump, a woman of great strength and great faith, with a legacy yet to be left to the people.

What I want you to do is make it a goal to celebrate the small things and the big things in your life. Send me your celebrations:butterflyphinx@gmail.com! I want to celebrate with you! Once a month in the Butterfly Phoenix newsletter, beginning in February, I’m going to spotlight you and your amazing lives!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

I'll Love You Forever - Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Ten years ago today, my grandson came into this world. These past ten years have been the best years of my life!

I remember pacing the hospital room floor, while we waited for my grandson to be born. It seemed like an eternity. When all was said and done, he was perfect – so perfect and beautiful. A grandparent never forgets the moment they hold their first grandchild. It was surreal. It was like looking into the face of an ancient history that only a family would know – all the years of our lives culminating in that one perfect moment. It was a moment of hope for the future.

Over the next months, I would get up in the middle of the night with my grandson and walk the floor with him. He was colicky and his mother was exhausted. I held him close and breathed in the scent of new baby. I would whisper, “I’ll love you forever,” into his ear, and call him Grandma’s little man. To this day, the entire family calls him Little Man.

A few years ago, we went to Maplewood State Park in Minnesota and climbed Holloway Hill together, with his little sister. He had the best time, leading the way and watching out for Ol’ Grandma. He would tell me about all the different trees and wildlife that we saw along the way. He even warned that there could be skunks, so we have to be extra careful. His shining moment was pulling the caterpillar from his hair. He thought it was funny, his sister and I, not so much!

As he grew older, we learned to play together. We crawled around on the floor with trucks and cars, and made blanket forts when Mom wasn’t home. We read stories together and talked about everything under the sun. Sleepovers at Grandma’s were always an adventure waiting to happen.

My Grandson has a special love for God, which I am unsure of where he gets it. It’s not your average love; it’s something more, deeper and honest. Ever since he received his first Bible for Easter from his Aunt Sara, he has read the Bible almost every day. He was six. Recently, he received the Bible in Graphic Novel form, which has become his preferred Bible. No one tells him to. No one requires it of him. He chooses it. Perhaps he finds something there, that he does not find in the world. When he comes to Grandma’s house, he brings it with him, and when all the lights are out and his sister fast asleep, he reads to me and tells me about God.

Video games and movies have fast taken over the love for cars and trucks, and blanket forts. He finds it hysterical that Grandma is NOT a gamer. He often tells me that Candy Crush is not gaming. I don’t even try to learn the video games, even if it is Star Wars or LoTR, because Grandma has poor hand / eye coordination.

Alas, my Little Man is fast growing into a Big Man, and soon all the adventures will be tucked away in his memory for cold winter nights, when he will tell the stories of his life with Grandma to his own children.

Today, I celebrate my Grandson! I celebrate the life we have shared together and all the moments that have brought me joy! 

What I want you to do is make it a goal to celebrate the small things and the big things in your life. Send me your celebrations: butterflyphinx@gmail.com! I want to celebrate with you! Once a month in the Butterfly Phoenix newsletter, beginning in February, I’m going to spotlight you and your amazing lives!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - A Year of Celebration!!!

Joy to the World! Joy to you and me! Joy to fishes in the deep blue sea! Life was never meant to be lived in misery, no matter what your circumstances are. I know, it sucks being poor, I’ve been there and done that. It truly sucks. It sucks having money too. Oh yeah, we’ve all got our problems, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the life that is ours. The world has definitely spun out of control with the whole profits over people business, but it is what it is. We can’t change a system of society overnight, but we do have to learn to live in it. Life is about more than surviving or worse - just existing. Life is about being alive and feeling alive! The best way to feel alive is to celebrate, with celebration comes joy!

In 2017, let’s celebrate! Let’s be intentional about it!


·         Celebrate the milestones of loved ones! Let’s acknowledge the gift of age, from 0 to 125! Don’t wait for the 18th, 21st, 50th or 100th birthday! None of these are guaranteed for any of us! Celebrate the year that is! Gather friends and relatives and celebrate among yourselves! Life is a gift that is given to each of us, and it is ours to be joyful in it!

·         Celebrate the gift of education! Not everyone in the world has such an opportunity. When those we know and love graduate from school – celebrate it! Shout it from the highest mountains and let everyone know how proud you are that your little one graduated from kindergarten or your teenager has successfully completed high school! Even if a teenager gets a GED over high school, celebrate with them! When your adult child has achieved their college degree - be it under graduate or higher, let them know how proud you are!

·         Celebrate employees, co-workers or bosses! Make it a point to know when great things happen to those you work with! Celebrate their weddings, new babies, or personal goal achievements! Let’s be sincere in our celebrations. Instead of a flat email, let’s shake their hand, pat them on the back, or just say something nice!

And most importantly in 2017, let’s celebrate ourselves! We deserve it! Now, I’m going to challenge you to celebrate with me! Every week on Butterfly Phoenix, I’m going to post the celebrations of the week from my life!

What I want you to do is make it a goal to celebrate the small things and the big things in your life. Send me your celebrations through the website: Butterfly Phoenix! I want to celebrate with you! Once a month in the Butterfly Phoenix newsletter, beginning in February, I’m going to spotlight you and your amazing accomplishments!