An EXTRA-ORDINARY BLOGGER AWARD for this EXTRA-ORDINARY BLOG

Hurrah, I received an award!

With honour I accept the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, handed to me by the hardworking, handsome and athlectic handy-repair man Mr.jackchaser. If you like to read something (slightly) naughty during your waking hours, this man is for you. I still wonder how he found me, the clean cut housewife (and author!) from Vancouver.

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In order to accept this wonderful award, I have to follow certain rules. Here they are, I MUST

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

I will keep it short and sweet, here are seven things you should know about Christina- or better, here are seven items I don’t mind reveiling about myself:

– I don’t know WHY I want to reach the bestsellers list on either Amazon.com or The New York Times. The more I know about it, the less appealing it is! Hint: most authors buy their own way into the list!

– Everybody can write a book- that’s the easy bit! But not everybody can promote his own work! Let me tell you, it is fun to create a new job description for yourself. In my case I added  “Speaker.”

– As much as I love our new home, Canada, and as much as I love to support it – economically – I prefer doing our shopping in the US. It’s way cheaper!

– Rain can’t bring me down – if you don’t like the rain, don’t move to B.C.

– I am falling victim to the great advertising scam!. In particular: Age Defying and Youthful look! I start buying more and more of these creams!

– For some it’s the Happy Place, for others it’s just a room; I refer to the klitchen and cooking. Am I a bad mother because I don’t really care about cooking? Don’t worry, somehow I manage to feed my family with good stuff. Not with creative recipes, but with basic ingredients!

– Personally, it is still a mystery to me why children prefer playing on the Xbox than reading books!

And here they are, the seven nominees for the Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Lesley Carter, for showing us that it’s possible to live the dream

2. This wonderful recipe blog for the inspiration!

3. Olivia, because I totally agree that a glass of bubbles can solve just about any problem.

4. Reading this brings back wonderful memories of our life in London:

5.This quasi redhead has some funny stories about diets and life in general!

6.Barry from Australia, aka Baz-The Landy,  for doing something I would never do: Climbing mountains higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro

7.  This one is a mom’s blog– do I need to say more?

If you have a moment check out any one of these wonderful, inspirational bloggers. They are all special and WOW in their own way! Happy reading!

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NETWORKING the OLD FASHIONED WAY

I unleashed the beast – aka myself! The mission of  controlled exposure has begun. So far I had no dinner, late dinners or rushed dinners on a daily basis. Our youngest son got early good night kisses from me because his mad mother was off networking, socializing and spreading the good news of her arrival around the lower mainland area!

Along the trip I met some amazing women- and they all know about my book now! Yes, I still do it the old fashioned way, I mingle and talk about my project face to face. For the cyber exposure I need to get myself an IT marketing guru. For now, personal contact has to be enough!. Let me give you a quick account of what happened.

Monday: I met with a couple who tempted me with a brilliant business opportunity – in my own time, with fantastic monetary rewards! Of course I went, how can I say no to ‘brilliant?’ Dominic smelled multilevel marketing from a mile away! But I went anyway, just to prove him wrong.

Do I need to spill it out? Dominic was right (as usual). Yes it was multilevel marketing; and no, I am not interested in selling insurance (of all things) to my new friends.

Verdict: Petrol money and time wasted! I gave them my card, but they didn’t look like a couple who would enjoy a good read about ‘mother-preneurialship’. They love their network-insurance-marketing too much! Serves me right- why did I fall for that cheesy éasy money’pich anyway!

Tuesday: Monthly meeting of Golden Ears Writers club! Now, this is more my cup of tea. This presentation was all about the right and wrongs of writing for magazines!

Verdict: Time well spent! Bonus point, I connected with the presenter, a successful writer!

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Wednesday: Meet-Up group in White Rock to LoveLaughInspire! The location itself was a bit out of my way, – but the reward was / is fantastic! See, good things come to those who will travel…(I just made that up). White Rock definately offered their best; it became a night to remember! We spent an evening of laughter, fun filled , deep and meaningful conversations together! The ladies even bought my book!

Verdict: Petrol money and time well spent!

Thursday: Heart Link Network group here at our local community! Guess whom I sat next to on the couch? An independant consultant from the same insurance company I mentioned above! It’s a small world after all!  Meeting her made me laugh, there must be a lots of unhappy folks out there in need of a new or different insurance!  To tell you the truth, it wasn’t as heartfelt and warm as on Wednesday; this was a business group, not an inspiring, loving, laughing meet-up. Nevertheless, we laughed and we shared our stories. It was as interesting as on Wednesday, just more business like! Now I know what mothers do in their free time, e.g. they design jewellery, they heal, they organize homes, they consult on colours, they design wegpages or they work with multilevel marketing companies… the list goes non!

Verdict: Time well spent and yes, they know about my book now, Here are the extra bonuses: I will get a free make-over on Monday from one of the Mary Kay ladies and won myself two tickets for a fun, glam Oscar night at our local arts studio! Ladies, I will be back!

Friday: The choices for today are a) watching 24 on tv or b) watching the musical 9 to 5 at Garibaldi High School. All I need to do is decide where to meet more innocent people I can talk to about my book!

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A BABY SHOWER for my BOOK

Any excuse will do to have a party! Our latest excuse was the official launch of my book VERY BERRY EXTRA-ORDINARY, We opened our house to our new friends and acquaintances to celebrate the ‘birth’ of my new baby.

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As you may all know, there is a big difference between talking about a project you really want to do and actually doing it! One of the best feelings ever – to me that is – is to present your finished project to the world. Nearly 16 years ago we celebrated our first baby shower for our first ‘bundle of boy’.

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This time around my ‘bundle of joy’ was presented in the shape of an easy to carry, non crying, beautiful looking rectangular book! One of the less pleasant side effects from 16 years ago were my lactating boobs; this time around, my front stayed try!

Here we go again, like the previous three times with our children, I am facing the huge responsibility to make sure this baby can stand on his own two legs one day! I want to make sure the book can bring joy, happiness and inspiration into other people’s life.

Let’s face it, if your health permits, everybody can have a baby. Conceiving a child is not the problem; to çreate’ responsible, loving, caring, independent individuals out of these babies is the challenge!

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My fourth baby was my coffee lounge in The Netherlands. The same concept I just wrote about applies to running a business: Lots of people can and will open up their own enterprise. This is not the challenge – the challenge is to create an ongoing, profit making, much loved and much talked about business out of your original idea!

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Just like my children, my book is out there – in the wide, open, scary, whacky and exciting world. My kids are exposed to the real life adventures here in B.C. whereas my book is floating around in the big wide cyber world of online book retailers.This is  exciting and scary at the same time! Why? From now onwards I am exposed!  I put myself, willingly, at the mercy of every ready who is willing to give this book a shot! From this moment onwards I am an open target to every comment ranging from ‘loved it’ to ‘forget about it.’

Writing this book wasn’t the hardest part – today is the day the real work and challenge begins! I need to get out into the world to connect, communicate and inspire every living soul who is willing to lend me an ear.

This reminds me of the saying “If it’s easy, everybody would do it.” Oh so right, everybody can write a book- but how many of us have the stamina, determination and character wit to see this thing through till the end? Until (in my case) it hits the no. 1 spot in one of my categories on Amazon.com?

Oh well, ce la vie! Here we go again. I am ready to take the plunge. I also know I need to do this on my own- but, is there a chance you can help me?

Do you have any advice, tips, strategies, stories or wisdom to share when it comes to book promotion? Please, let me hear from you! Share your pearls of wisdom with me! I really appreciate your help! Thank you! Thank you!

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There is a Sucker Born every Second

My book has arrived for its first proof read- slowly but surely I am moving towards publication date! It is exciting and very scary indeed. For the previous five months I have been bombarded (I really MEAN bombarded) by US based marketers with their free telesiminars, video calls, and free subscriptions, free listen –ins etc. All in the name of book promotion to the masses! Three hundred million people across the border are reasons enough to listen to the tips and tricks of these master marketers.  I have to know what makes American tick!                                                                                   This is what I learned: By far the most important, single item on the list is to have a good sob-story to share.                                                                                                                              Oh these Americans, they still LOVE the old fashioned “From Rags to Riches” tale.  If you want to connect, to really connect and gain credibility in the American market you should have risen like a phoenix from the ashes – e.g..

Escaped a destructive husband and marriage.

Survived a near fatal car crash.

One should have been broke, bankrupt or nearly broke with maxed out credit cards.

One should have experienced the death of a loved one.

Other good topics are being evicted from the house, become unemployed, lived on the street, being a single parent…

Now I begin to panic:  What happens if you Don’t have a story to tell? What about if your story is about ‘the deep desire to follow your heart’, and your only life motto is “to JUST DO IT” (Nike, I love you for this slogan).

Very soon I will find out if  “Only a sad story is a good story” Or if I will stand a chance in the US market with my “happily married, three children, fun life story”.  One thing is still for sure, none of these ‘suckers’ will get my money!

My husband is deeply concerned that I will eventually break down and will part with my money to get the help they promised. As I said in blog “ Ïmpulsive Decisions, write a book & shrink my waist, I don’t believe in short cuts. In order to reach the No.1 spot on Amazon .com I actually want people around the world to read my book and recommended it to their friends- i.e. the old fashioned way. It may take much longer than any tried and tested road map from Mr. Marketer, but at least it is honest and much cheaper.

On this note I will raise my glass to every wonderful, unique individual out there who prefers to explore the path of the unknown without the help of an expensive guru! The road ahead may be more bumpy, but at least it is your own!

Prost to being extra-ordinary!