[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

From Writers Helping Writers:

A common query Becca and I get is, “Why do you do what you do?” It’s a fair question, because in order for us to coach writers through our books, speaking, and our One Stop for Writers site, we’ve had to temporarily put our fiction-writing on hold. Not an easy decision. But the fact is we love to see dreams realized. This is why we do it. As writers ourselves, we know the power of THIS particular dream–a book in hand, our name paired with the title, and the knowledge that readers are losing themselves in a world we’ve created.

We celebrate each time someone we know achieves this dream–and how could we not? It’s so wonderful to see all that hard work pay off! Today, we are celebrating because our friend Kristen Lamb has just released her first mystery thriller, The Devil’s Dance.

. . . .

When an author releases a book, it’s all smiles and excitement…on the outside. What we don’t see is the anxiety going on within: will this book find its readers? Will it become lost in the glut of fiction available? If I share my excitement too freely, will people see it as unwanted promotion?

These worries are universal among authors. And, with the saturation of promotion these days, it’s important we don’t push a book too hard ourselves. Inside, we hope others will step up and help.

. . . .

1: Ask your local library to bring the book in. Many libraries have an online form and they often pay attention to requests. Click here to find a library near you…and why not request Kristen’s book while you’re at it?  If it is an ebook release, first encourage your author friend to make the ebook available to a service like OverDrive.

2: Leave a review. This is the clear obvious one, but often people stop at only submitting it to Goodreads or Amazon. Please cut and paste the review to all the main sites the book is being sold (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and if it applies, Smashwords.) For example, you can review The Devil’s Dance on Amazon and Goodreads. It wasn’t at LibraryThing, so I added it (if you’ve read this book, please give it some review love?)

3: Place the book on appropriate lists. If you loved reading the book, help others find it. Goodreads has many great lists you can add books to, or start your own. Using Kristen as an example, you’ll see her reviews are excellent. Think of how much it will help her if reviewers add The Devil’s Dance to some of the “best” lists so others also find it.

Link to the rest at Writers Helping Writers and thanks to Julie for the tip.


[syndicated profile] homesteadsurvival_feed

Posted by admin

How to build ice cooler wooden bench diy project that allows a cooler to be incorporated into a bench without having to take the cooler apart and construct it into the bench. Make sure you like The Homestead Survival  and Homestead Survival  Facebook,  and explore our  PINTEREST BOARDS  for innovative ways you can become self-sufficient on […]

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Posted by admin

How to make seeds garden tape for even planting is detailed in this step by step tutorial. The materials are inexpensive, the project is quick to make and make planting a snap.  Seed garden tapes are great when you are planning multiple harvest. Make sure you like The Homestead Survival  and Homestead Survival  Facebook,  and explore […]

The post Make Seeds Garden Tape for Even Planting appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

[syndicated profile] thebookdesigner_feed

Posted by Joan Stewart

By Joan Stewart

Readers love chunks of information they can digest easily in just a minute or two.

That’s why they’re wild about cheat sheets and checklists. These powerful one-page PFDs are like digital crow bars that can pry an email address out of a website visitor faster than any other lead magnet you might offer.

Tie the topic of your cheat sheet or checklist into your book, and you’ve got a promotional hook that reels in readers and, in some cases, clients.

That’s what Internet marketer Perry Marshall discovered when he was promoting his business book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing – The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More. He offered a one-page cheat sheet in exchange for a name and email address. It includes 34 facts or challenging statements about the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Rule, that says you can save 80 percent of your time and money by zeroing in on the top 20 percent of your market that brings in the most revenue. His book takes it two steps further and recommends you apply the 80/202 and 80/203 to gain 10X, even 100X the success.


Tip #29 reads:

“It only pays to answer a question in a marketplace if nobody else is answering it. When you solve the most urgent problems that the most responsive 5% are searching for, you hit pay dirt.”

Cheat Sheets are Keepers

The cheat sheet appeals to serious students, or the 20 percenters who bring in 80 percent of the revenue. “I had a guy who runs a large accounting firm join my Roundtable and I saw that he had made the cheat sheet his master marketing guide for the entire year,” Marshall said. “He carried it with him everywhere he went.”

People who sign up to get the cheat sheet, one of his most valuable lead generation tools, turn out to be fans of his book as well as his most valuable customers.

Play Off Other Famous Lists

If you can’t think of a title for your list, consider playing off the titles of other famous lists.
For example, Pat Morgan’s book, Concrete Killing Fields, describes her work with the homeless in Tennessee. She played off the “12 Steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous and created “Twelve Steps for Do-Gooders.”

It describes the difficult balance that many advocates and social workers must strike in order to be truly helpful. AA’s Step 4 reads: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory.” Her Step 4 reads: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and the ‘help’ I was trying to provide to others, often rendered unrecognizable because of my frustration and anger at the very people I wanted so much to help.”

Think of these lists as stand-alone content for the media. Pat could submit the entire list of steps, or only part of it, to a magazine which could print it as is, with a short mention of the book at the end.

Make Checklists a Part of Your Book

Dr. Robert Kotler, author of Secrets of a Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgeon, included “A 29-point Checklist to ‘Check Out’ Prospective Doctors and Their Surgical Facilities” in the back of his book. He even suggests that patients take a copy of it to each consultation.

The checklist is also available as a free download at his website, RobertKotlermd.com. It’s a perfect “extra” to offer to the media during his many media interviews. And he mentions it on the back cover. Who knows how many people bought his book just to get the checklist?

I recommend authors use at least one cheat sheet or checklist in their book’s Media Kit. A template to create a cheat sheet is in my “Quick & Easy Media Kit Templates.”

Ideas for Fiction

If you write fiction, you too have opportunities galore for cheat sheets and checklists. You can even embed links within the PDFs that lead readers to other content: a Pinterest board, your Facebook page, or a blog post.

Five examples:

  1. Create a checklist of advice from your main character on how to overcome a challenge or solve a problem mentioned in the book.
  2. Offer a cheat sheet for tourists who want to visit the city, state, region or country where your novel takes place. If your book is about Venice, your cheat sheet could be titled, “Favorite Foodie Hideaways to Explore in Venice.”

  1. Do your sci-fi characters have their own language? Create a cheat sheet of words and their definitions.
  2. Create a checklist of “7 Most Romantic Places to Propose” that ties into your romance novel.
  3. Does your children’s book include a fairy as one of the main characters? Create a cheat sheet of “What the 5 Most Famous Fairies Can Teach Your Child.” (The Tooth Fairy, Tinkerbell, etc.)

Include a short blurb about your book at the end, with a link to the sales page.

These lists don’t have to be about serious topics. Be helpful and have fun.

Photo: Pixabay.com. Amazon links contain affiliate code.

The post Use Cheat Sheets & Checklists to Entice, Engage Readers appeared first on The Book Designer.

elf: Leetah & Nightfall in the woods (Femslash)
[personal profile] elf
Ooh, this is a fun one. My happy-dance memories cross several genres; the hardest part here is not repeating several songs from the "loud" set. There's a whole bunch of pop/rocks songs that get my feet tapping, and a handful of country songs, and a bunch of Irish ceilidh tunes (most of which I don't have names for), because I taught intermediate ceilidh dancing at the Starry Plough for a few years.

Intermediate is the easy level for teachers. Didn't have to teach the basics; didn't have to provide challenges for the experts. Intermediate works on refinement, expanding figure knowledge, and learning new dances.

Hal an Tow | Strip the Willow | Maid Behind the Bar | Sellinger's Round | The Congress of Vienna | Walking on Sunshine | Blue Suede Shoes | Twist & Shout | Baby Got Back | 65 Love Affair | Jose Cuervo | It's a Cowboy Lovin' Night | Relax | Blister in the Sun

But really, there's only one that always pulls me onto the floor )

Meme list
[syndicated profile] thewildhunt_feed

Posted by Terence P Ward

TWH –Pagan and polytheist religions, or at least the modern versions of them, have only been publicly practicing for a few decades at best. Therefore, a relatively small number of practitioners have entered into an elderhood which requires residence at a nursing home or other long-term-care facility. Those numbers are only likely to grow in the coming years.


Timothy Anderson (Timotheos) is a program director for an assisted living facility, and while he isn’t aware of any Pagans or polytheists at his job, the issue is close to his heart. Anderson recently made a presentation on Paganism at a conference of the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals, to help his peers recognize people who practice one of these minority religions.

“By law, they must be allowed to practice their faith,” he explained, but ignorance of what that entails can be an impediment. Indeed, staff members must even assist residents unable to practice without help, so long as that doesn’t interfere with the rights of others. That might mean allowing a resident to maintain an altar in their room, or perhaps helping that resident lift an athame to salute the directions.

Gloria Cummings (Vesta Brightstar) spent the last 25 years of her nursing career in long-term-care facilities, before retiring in 2011. “As a community, I don’t think we understand how the environment is,” she said.

“The spiritual supports available are overwhelmingly Christian.” Lacking a specifically Pagan nursing home, she expects that the growing number of Pagan residents will have to advocate for themselves more than their monotheist neighbors.

“Paganism is so very young,” Cummins notes, that that there are far fewer practitioners past their 70s. “We really don’t like to think about aging.”

Like many life activities, religious ones to be curtailed by other rules governing such facilities, which is why Anderson recommends giving thought to what’s most important ahead of time. “Make a list of the bare minimum needed to practice, and tell them,” he said. “It’s like going back to college, with no candles or incense allowed. People must be prepared to adapt.”

When one is making a list about what’s critical to one’s practice, it is also appropriate to consider what advance directives might be desired when it comes to extraordinary life-saving measures, end-of-life care, and disposition of one’s sacred items and estate. Anderson sees all these questions as part of the systems to put into place to guard against a time when making decisions itself is impossible.

He notes that any of these documents “can be changed at any time.”

Cummins didn’t recall ever encountering a patient who she knew was Pagan or polytheist, and she has two competing theories as to why. On one hand, many of her contemporary co-religionists may simply choose to identify as “spiritual, not religious,” which she has herself claimed on forms to avoid a hassle.

On the other, many elders she’s known have simply passed on when the time comes, without the need for extensive care of this type. “That’s what I want to do,” she admitted. “With a lot of Pagans, when it’s time to check out, we check out.”

Not everyone is public about their religious practices, and many people are not even out to their children about what they believe and do. In the long run, becoming more open about that information may become very important when it comes to geriatric and end-of-life care. “If family dynamics are an issue be clear about things like not allowing family members to pray over you,” Anderson said. “The tough reality is that we are not going to be independent for the rest of our lives,” and may need assistance not only practicing, but advocating as well.


Cummins feels that coming to terms with being open about one’s religion can make a big difference, especially for those who belong to spiritual communities. “Perhaps their high priestess can visit,” she said, or a resident can take advantage of the occasional overnight stays out of the facility to stop into a festival or observe an important rite. “A lot of people don’t realize that’s an option, without losing their benefits,” she said. When it comes to advocating for religious expression, “It’s important to weigh the benefits of being public.”

Questions Anderson suggests asking include, “How would my practice change if I couldn’t walk, or couldn’t see? What if I am not allowed to have a knife? What religious care would I need if I were to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease? What can we not live without?” When it comes to practicing one’s religion, “What services are we looking to get?

As for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Cummins didn’t recall any patient on those wards “who talked about their goddess, or anything like that.” It can be tricky to recognize Pagans who were private about their faith prior to being stricken, as they frequently respond to music they were familiar with in youth, which may include Christian hymns. “It may be that the elders who are able to set up altars in their rooms are cognitively intact, and don’t need our help.”

“They may not know what we do,” Anderson explained. “Be blunt. Ask, ‘Can I do that here, or do I need to look elsewhere?’ It will save the rigamarole if, for example, they have a ‘no altars’ rule.” He said it’s also important to remember that private rooms are a rarity in all types of elder-care facilities, and that other accommodations might be necessary for even solitary observances. For groups visiting to practice together, it might even be necessary to rent a room. Again, it’s important to confirm the rules around what’s acceptable in such a space, such as the presence of open flame.

Healing and other magical work is also something which should, if at all possible, be discussed in advance of admission to a facility. Practices such as entering altered states and the usage of herbs should be hit upon, and it’s possible that a waiver may need to be signed whether or not the staff doctor approves them from a medical standpoint.

Cummins and her husband are in their 70s, and should she have to move into a long-term-care facility she has every intention of availing herself of all healing modalities, both medical and spiritual, that she can. However, home care is the option that they would prefer.

It’s not uncommon for Pagans or polytheists to be in non-traditional relationships, either. “You should explain those dynamics before you walk in the door,” said Anderson, again to avoid expending effort justifying them after the fact.

Staff members at facilities should also be asked about spiritual matters, in Anderson’s view. “Do they have a spiritual care coordinator? A chaplain? What does person do?” He estimates that in perhaps 90% of facilities, the activities director is given oversight of spiritual nurture among their many other duties, rather than hiring either of those specialists instead. It’s not inappropriate to find out if the person in charge of spiritual activities understand the needs of a polytheist or Pagan. “Can a non-monotheist have option here?” is what he suggests finding out.

Preparing for this silver tsunami in Paganism should not solely fall on those who are themselves aging, either. “The Pagan community needs to be available to people who can’t get to circles and services,” Anderson said.

Pagans and polytheists should also be working on outreach now, Anderson said, before too many more community members have need of such services. “We are a minority,” he said, and “we need to have this conversation from a place of education.” That should include an explanation that there are many different Pagan faiths, else even those who have a passing familiarity may make incorrect assumptions. “If you’re not Wiccan, say so,” he said.

Given the number of people whose practice is entirely solitary, Anderson is of the opinion that “all priests need to be ready for phone calls from strangers,” even those who practice an entirely different Pagan faith. While members of the community have made inroads into chaplaincy, finding a Pagan one in a nursing home is still nigh unto impossible. An alternative he’d like to see is a resource list of chaplains willing and able to visit via Skype or another video platform.

An alternative to living in a facility is aging in place with some sort of home care provided, such as Cummins desires for herself. Even then, Anderson cautions, it’s important to ask questions before retaining a service. “Does the system support the right to practice?” he asked. “Will the aides assist in getting to the home altar or reading prayers? I’ve heard horror stories of conversion by home-care professionals, which is illegal and wrong.” That’s a case where filing a grievance should be done as soon as possible, in his view.

Cummins and Anderson agree that these conversations need to be happening more often in the various Pagan communities. The success of a religious revival can in important ways be judged based on how its elders are honored and cared for.

*  *  *
The work of journalist Terence P. Ward was made possible by the generous underwriting donation from Hecate Demeter, writer, ecofeminist, witch and Priestess of the Great Mother Earth.
[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

From Publishers Weekly:

Two Dollar Radio, the Columbus, Ohio-based small press, is opening a bookstore where it will sell its own titles, alongside a carefully-curated selection of books published by other independent literary presses.

In September, Two Dollar Radio will move into its new headquarters in the city’s South Side neighborhood. Aside from an office to house its publishing operations, the building will also feature a bookstore, café, and a bar. The press’ expansion is following a trend set by other small literary presses: in 2016, Milkweed Editions opened a bookstore in the Open Book literary center near downtown Minneapolis, followed a few months later by Curbside Splendor Publishing, which opened a bookstore in Chicago’s Revival Food Hall in the National building.

An 1,800-square foot space in the front of the building that has been leased and is being built-out this summer will house the bookstore, café, and bar. The company’s publishing operation will be located in the 1,100-square-foot back area, which also includes enough space for storage. The entire enterprise will operate under the business name, Two Dollar Radio Headquarters.

The publisher’s bookstore will emphasize the offerings of independent publishers, and the café will be vegan, serving only plant-based items, as well as locally-roasted coffee and tea.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

PG doesn’t want to be insensitive in matters of literature and culture, but a bookstore in Columbus, Ohio, might want to sell Ohio State sweatshirts in addition to vegan dishes.


[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

From Medium:

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” — J.M. Barrie

You know exactly what you want in life. But you can’t seem to get there. You have all these resolves.

You’re going to get healthy.

You’re going to write that book.

You’re going to be more present with your loved ones.

You’re going to start that home-based business.

You’re going to learn another language.

You’re going to be more patient and happy.

You’re going to get out of debt.

You’re going to be more organized.

You’re going to be a better friend.

You’re going to overcome bad habits.

But the problem is: Doing these is really hard. And it gets harder every day. Some days, it seems more realistic to just give up entirely. The whole taking one step forward and one or two steps backward pattern is getting old.

. . . .

“Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them.” — Stephen R.Covey

Journaling daily is the most potent and powerful keystone habit you can acquire. If done correctly, you will show up better in every area of your life — every area! Without question, journaling has by far been the number one factor to everything I’ve done well in my life.

The problem is, most people have tried and failed at journaling several times. It’s something you know you should do, but can never seem to pin down.

. . . .

Most people live their lives on other people’s terms. Their days are spent achieving other people’s goals and submitting to other people’s agendas.

Their lives have not been consciously organized in such a way that they command every waking, and sleeping, moment of their life. Instead, they relentlessly react at every chance they get.

For example, most people wake up and immediately check their phone or email. In spare seconds, we hop on Facebook and check the newsfeed. We’ve become addicted to input. Or in other words, we’ve become addicted to reactively being guided by other people’s agendas.

On the other hand, Josh Waitzkin, author of The Art of Learning, wakes up and immediately writes in his journal for 30 minutes.

He does this because while he’s been sleeping, his subconscious mind has been brewing, scheming, problem-solving, and learning. So when Josh wakes up, he rushes to a quiet place and engages in a bust of intellectual and creative flow.

I recently wrote about the importance of morning routines. If I were to re-write that post now, I’d include my journal. I’ve been doing this the past few weeks and its reframed my entire approach to life. Additionally, I’ve never before had so many creative ideas crystallize.

Link to the rest at Medium


Each generation

Jun. 27th, 2017 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

George Orwell


[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

From The Ringer:

Twenty years ago, Bloomsbury published J.K. Rowling’s debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first installment in a saga that would span seven Potter books, eight Potter movies, and numerous spinoffs and extensions, in the process becoming one of the defining stories of a generation. Since Dumbledore isn’t here to help us pull any celebratory crackers, we’re marking the occasion by toasting Rowling’s magical creation — and the two decades of euphoria that it’s brought us.

. . . .

“The Prince’s Tale”

Zach Kram: “The Prince’s Tale,” Deathly Hallows’s 33rd chapter, is a writing masterpiece independent of its connection to the rest of the series. Young versions of Snape, Lily, and Petunia form with defined personality and motivation in mere sentences; relationships blossom and wither over the course of a concisely illustrated arc; the memory vignettes build atop one another with a clear exposition, climax, and emotional denouement.

But of course, “The Prince’s Tale” is not disconnected from the rest of the series. It solves perhaps the books’ greatest mystery and gives a richly complex character the firm definition around which he’d skirted for the previous six and a half books. The one-line callbacks to previous events — “Keep an eye on Quirrell, won’t you?”, Fleur and Roger post–Yule Ball — ground the memories Harry observes in familiar territory, while the new revelations pack a fierce emotive punch. In the most compelling scene, Dumbledore displays shades of cruelty while Snape counters with a gentle, sympathetic approach — a twist that still tracks from a narrative perspective. Rowling plays every note perfectly, and any reader can’t help but cry.

. . . .

Shopping in Diagon Alley

Kate Knibbs: As a middle schooler discovering Harry Potter, I cherished the scenes in Diagon Alley where Harry, flush with magical orphan gold, has his pick of the finest broomsticks, robes, and assorted wizard paraphernalia. Going on a school-supply shopping spree with unlimited funds in an enchanted British alley sounded like heaven, and the gulf between my reality (rifling through college-ruled notebooks) and the “barrels of bat spleens and eels’ eyes, tottering piles of spell books, quills, and rolls of parchment, potion bottles, globes of the moon” that Harry encounters sums up the wish-fulfilling appeal of the franchise, which offers a more exciting, dangerous parallel school life tucked just beyond Muggle sight.

Link to the rest at The Ringer


MARKED - Oops, hiatus. :(

Jun. 27th, 2017 03:35 pm
aldersprig: (Marked)
[personal profile] aldersprig
MARKED - Oops, hiatus. :(

(From Cal~~)

So I’m on vacation and totally forgot to actually get my twitter contact info while I was gone so I can’t… do the polls.
Sorry about the hiatus! We’ll be back with the poll next Monday (the 3rd) and pick up the updates again on the following Thursday.

read on...

Esther Sarto

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:18 am
[syndicated profile] phantasmaphile_feed

Posted by Pam


Esther Sarto

These days it's all Twin Peaks all the time Chez Phantasmaphile, so my tastes are running even more toward the unsettling than usual - and that's saying something. I am currently infatuated with all of Esther Sarto's work, especially her psychedelicate paintings of weird woodland gatherings. These paintings are erotic and odd (oddrotic?), populated with pink-fleshed beings and their panoply of body parts. It feels like a glimpse into some sort of commune where secrets are exchanged and the owls are not what they seem.


The Amusement Park OF DOOM

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:01 am
knockyoursocksoff: (Default)
[personal profile] knockyoursocksoff posting in [community profile] bakerstreet

This meme may contain triggers. Click through at your own risk.

Everyone loves an amusement park: the rides, the games, the sights and sounds and smells of cotton candy and popcorn. It is a child's dream, an adult's playtime, and a source of fun and entertainment for all who visit.

At least until the sun goes down.

Welcome to the amusement park of doom, where darkness brings a complete transformation. Beware the rides, brave soul, unless you care to risk more than an upset stomach. Venture not into the haunted house, unless you want to find more than you bargained for. And never, never touch the food.

♦ Post a comment with your character name, canon, preferences, etc. Are there options you do or don't want?
♦ Others will post and join you at the amusement park. You can use RNG to pick an option, or just choose one.
♦ Try to get out alive. Or don't, if that's your thing. I don't judge.

warning: possible triggers for blood/violence/monsters ahead )

original meme credit [personal profile] enthymeme

John Rain in Zero Sum!

Jun. 27th, 2017 07:06 am
[syndicated profile] barryeisler_feed

Posted by Barry Eisler

Hi all, I’m excited to announce that the new John Rain novel—ZERO SUM, is out today! This is another prequel, again set in Tokyo ten years following the events of Graveyard of Memories:
Returning to Tokyo in 1982 after a decade of mercenary work in the Philippines, a young John Rain learns that the killing business is now controlled by Victor, a half-Russian, half-Japanese sociopath who has ruthlessly eliminated all potential challengers. Victor gives Rain a choice: kill a government minister or die a grisly death. But the best route to the minister is through his gorgeous Italian wife, Maria, a route that puts Rain on a collision course not only with Victor but with the shadowy forces behind the Russian’s rise to dominance—and the longings of Rain’s own conflicted heart.
It’s a battle between kingpin and newcomer, master and apprentice, a zero-sum contest that can only end with one man dead and the other the world’s foremost assassin.

I’m already hard at work on the follow-up to Livia Lone, out in January 2018, so alas there wasn’t time to tour for Zero Sum. Just one signing—Thursday, June 29, 7:30 PM at Kepler’s in Menlo Park.

Thanks for all your support over the years, and I hope you enjoy Rain’s latest adventure.
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Posted by admin2

If you are fortunate enough to find yourself stranded somewhere near a lake or stream you need to know how to catch fish, even if you don’t have to have a fishing pole. There are many different ways that are fairly easy to master and can be accomplished using objects from the surrounding area. This […]

The post Fishing Pole Alternatives for Survival appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

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Posted by admin2

Learn which gold and silver you would want to acquire if you were doing it as a prepper. When it comes to surviving in a post catastrophic natural event or even worse you may be presented with a situation when you trade things of value in order to survive. This is why some survivalist always […]

The post Gold and Silver to Acquire When Prepping appeared first on The Homestead Survival.

[syndicated profile] thepassivevoice_feed

Posted by PG

From the Atlas Obscura:

The residents of Los Alamos, New Mexico—a town that wasn’t supposed to exist—lived in a viscous state of secrecy during World War II. To disguise the existence of the nuclear bomb being built there, the group of Manhattan Project scientists, security personnel, and families needed to consider and reconsider their every move. They couldn’t leave “the Hill,” as Los Alamos was known, without required passes. Their mail reached New Mexico through a series of forwarding addresses set up across the United States, arriving in a P.O. box 20 miles away in Santa Fe. Food was purchased from a single commissary; a trip to Santa Fe was “a major event.”

When they first arrived at Los Alamos, they were told to buy train tickets to New Mexico from a variety of locations. One Princeton physicist recounted how he and his colleagues had to avoid the local train station, because it was so small, and too many people purchasing tickets to Albuquerque from there might raise suspicions.

The importance of silence at Los Alamos was doubly true for scientific breakthroughs. One woman, Adrienne Lowry, only learned that her husband Joseph Kennedy had discovered plutonium when she was cataloguing books and kept seeing the acronym “PU.” When she asked her husband about it, he confessed that “PU” stood for plutonium—an element he’d helped to identify a few years earlier.

. . . .

One of the most significant features of this elaborate security apparatus was the scientific library, a virtually unknown space that, during the 1940s, housed the secrets of the nuclear bomb.

. . . .

Nestled alongside the massive Los Alamos lab—which Lisa Bier in Atomic Wives and the Secret Library at Los Alamos described as emanating an “aura of utilitarian haste” with its unpaved streets and barbed wire gates manned by guards—the library appeared quite bleak. The photos that exist today show a small space crammed with books, shelves, file cabinets, and a Ditto machine (an early copier). Because the library was expected to be demolished after the war, everything was built from cheap wood.

The library had two sections: the main area, pictured at the top, and the document room—a locked vault containing reports and designs from Los Alamos and the other Manhattan Project sites. The library’s all-female staff—a mix of wives and Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps officers—needed to catalog, secure, and distribute thousands of books and manuscripts in a matter of months.

The rapid pace made the work so intense that, when one WAAC officer was offered a job at the library, she “took a look at the huge stack of technical reports from chemical companies, piled up ‘like a teepee,’ the classification of which would be her primary task.” According to Atomic Wives and the Secret Library at Los Alamos, “she avoided this sentence, which she termed ‘solitary confinement,’ by opting instead to drive trucks.”

. . . .

Here is a puzzle. You have no library experience, and you are tasked with a) heading a top secret facility, b) devising security protocols to ensure the U.S. military’s greatest secrets stay hidden, and c) importing thousands of documents to a site in the middle of nowhere—all in a vanishingly small window of time as World War II unfolds. How do you do it?

Link to the rest at Atlas Obscura


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Posted by Ellen Jackson

Psychology of Comparison

By ProBlogger expert Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology

Bloggers, solopreneurs, consultants, writers, founders – we’re solo species. Lone hustlers,  tucked in cafe corners with laptops and lattes. We’re perched at breakfast bars tapping keyboards in the early morning light. Hunched at the spare room desk deep into the night.

We’re inspired and driven. Focused and fearless. Joyous in our independence.

And often consumed by what others are doing.

“How do my stats compare to hers?”

“His Facebook following is bigger than mine.”

“Her Instagram feed is so slick.”

“Are they launching another new product?”

“I’m falling behind!”

Blogging is ripe for comparison. We measure by metrics; social media, readership, subscribers, conversions. We lap up the data. We compare and contrast. Are my numbers good? Am I getting this right? Am I doing okay? Am I winning? Or losing?

Isolation feeds the monster. With no colleagues to calm, reassure and soothe us, comparison messes with our heads. The human mind abhors a vacuum. We fill the space by watching others, measuring our performance against theirs. One question ever present: Am I doing okay?

Don’t Worry, You’re Human

Comparison is not unique to the blogger and solopreneur. Humans are social creatures. We live in a network of others. We compare to understand where we fit. What’s my social worth? How do I stack up? Who am I in relation to everyone else?

Psychologists call this social comparison and it’s fundamental to the human condition. We compare ourselves in every interaction; immediately, subtly, often unconsciously, We start as little children. Comparison is a strategy we use to cope with threats, build ourselves up and establish our identity in a world of others. We do it to learn who we are.

Look down to feel better, up to feel worse

Social comparison exists in two types. We compare upwards and downwards.

We look to people we perceive as less capable to feel better about ourselves. It’s a boost to our ego and our mood. Downward social comparison, as it is known, helps us affirm and reassure. Compared to him, I’m doing okay. I must be doing something right *Breathe out.*

This feels uncomfortable but it’s okay. Social comparison is a way to regulate our mood. It’s normal human behaviour and most of us have the requisite social skills to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

But downward comparison is a short term solution only. You might feel better for a while but it won’t help you get more done. Productivity, success, even happiness are dependent on taking action.

Tip for success: Do more than just compare. Rather than looking to others to manage your mood, set your sights on your goals and plans. The satisfaction you feel from achieving even one small task will give you a boost far beyond the momentary gain from comparing yourself to others

Beware of Success

The danger is in comparing upwards.

When we look to people we consider more successful or ‘superior’ in some way we risk despondency and derailment. It can flatten us and prompt us to question ourselves.

My site will never look that good.

I will never have stats like hers.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

At its worst comparing upwards can be the path to defeat. I will never do as well as him. I may as well give up.

The perils of social

Social media is the ultimate upward comparison trap. Studies suggest that immersing ourselves in those feeds filled with beauty and success may damage our self-esteem and put us at risk for depression and anxiety. (e.g. Vogel et. al., 2014; Vogel & Rose, 2016)

Don’t despair!

It’s not all bad news. When we feel good about ourselves and our progress, checking in on others’ success is motivating. It’s a kick in the pants to raise our sights and strive onwards. We push ourselves to achieve more. If she can do it, so can I – and I will!

Our successful peers act as role models. Their achievements are our inspiration.

The paradox?  When we’re happy with our hustle we’re not looking at others. Our heads are down. We’re hard at work. We’re not hanging out on competitors websites, or checking their social feeds.

It’s in our moments of doubt that we compare, looking for reassurance. On our best days we know where we’re going. We don’t need validation or support.

But what do we do on those difficult days? How do we avoid comparison and the risk of defeat?

Tips for avoiding the comparison trap

1. Be a racehorse

A racehorse does not watch his competitors. He is focused straight ahead and galloping towards that finish line. He knows where he is going and what he has to do to get there. Be a racehorse. Be clear on your goals, your finish line and the steps you must take to achieve them. Everyone is running a different race.

2. Know your motives

Why do you compare? Is it for inspiration and motivation? Or to manage your mood? Rising anxiety prompts us to look for reassurance and sometimes we compare to boost our self esteem. If you’re using comparison to manage your mood, does it help? Or hinder? Would your time be better spent working towards your goals?

3. Aim for personal bests

Comparison with others may be fraught with danger but there is profit to be gained from comparing with yourself. Look back and I ask, ‘What have I achieved so far?’ Regular review of your wins, no matter how small, boosts your mood. When you’re feeling good you’re motivated and creative. Worry less about how you compare with others. Focus on achieving your personal best.

3. ‘Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.’

This quote from author Jon Acuff reminds us that we all start somewhere and we move at different rates. Successful people also have their struggles. They’re just further along the path.  We’re all human and fallible. We’re also equally capable of greatness.

What do you do to avoid comparison affecting your blogging mojo?

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The post The Psychology of Comparison and How to Stop appeared first on ProBlogger.

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This homemade treadle feeder for chickens diy project is built in an effort to reduce chicken feed waste. Make sure you like The Homestead Survival  and Homestead Survival  Facebook,  and explore our  PINTEREST BOARDS  for innovative ways you can become self-sufficient on a budget. The treadle chicken feeder constructed with the DIY instructions listed here minimizes […]

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Whole Foods Could Be The Next YouTube

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by PG

From Seeking Alpha:

The big speculation is whether there will be a bidding war for Whole Foods now that Amazon has made a play for one of the nation’s leading organic foods grocers. That is, do whatever it takes to prevent Amazon from landing Whole Foods.

The case can be made that other retailers, such as SuperValu or Albertson’s, need to come in and prevent Amazon from buying up Whole Foods.

For one, the possibilities of a Whole Foods owned Amazon is rather limitless. But a major grocer could enjoy some impressive synergies with Whole Foods. Yet, the only company with deep enough pockets to go head-to-head with Amazon in a bidding war is Wal-Mart. However, Wal-Mart has its own ‘demons’ as it looks to right-size its own 4,600 store base and to figure out how to blend its online presence with its physical presence. Still, for Wal-Mart, the big benefit could be cost savings via synergies.

For John Mackey, the Whole Foods CEO, it’s a win as he gets to keep his job. Mackey is also a fan of Amazon’s ability to look to the ‘long-term,’ noting “One thing I absolutely love, love so much about Amazon is they think long term. They have had the courage that almost no other public company has had: the courage to, basically, resist the drumbeat of short-term, quarterly earnings that have had us trapped here for a couple of years, as our same-store sales came down.”

. . . .

For Amazon, it’s very different. The company gets a guy who knows a thing or two about organic groceries.

The bigger opportunity for Amazon isn’t in selling organic produce, however, it’s about turning Whole Foods into a tech company. This could be one of those seemingly small deals that turn out to be huge wins. Much like we have seen with Google’s buyout of YouTube, and Facebook’s purchase of Instagram. Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 – today it’s said to be worth $90 billion or more. With YouTube, there have been immense cross-selling opportunities, and it’s given Google the ability to compete in new and growing markets. Same for Facebook + Instagram, where Facebook paid $1 billion in 2012 for Instagram, and today it’s worth $50 billion or more.

Amazon gets immediate and relatively large exposure to one of the largest parts of the retail industry – groceries. And with the buyout of Whole Foods, Amazon becomes the fourth-largest grocer in the U.S. Given Amazon’s operational know-how and ability to cut prices, Amazon will surely be able to take market share from the conventional grocers – but the big question is; how long will that take? There may be value in the fact that the market has over-discounted the likes of Kroger and Costco, assuming Amazon will ‘kill’ those businesses overnight.

Link to the rest at Seeking Alpha


Prompt for 2017-06-27

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:22 pm
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Today's prompt is 'cold'.

Self-publishing News: Congratulations

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This past weekend saw the staging of one of the most iconic events in endurance sport, the Western States 100 mile race. Like thousands of others I was glued to twitter as history appeared to be in the making for more than 70 miles, with ultrarunning phenomenon Jim Walmsley looking to chop 3/4 of an […]


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