It's that time of year. Anticipation is in the air. Some of us watch and marvel at the first buds of spring, anticipating the glorious flowers to appear.

purple flower

Others, like my high school son, anxiously await spring break to arrive this Friday.

It's of course, the time for Easter and Passover.

And for many authors, it's the time when new books are released. Including mine. I was trying to explain the feeling I have inside, the anxiety surrounding a new release and it's hard to explain to someone who isn't in the creative field. But for those of us who are, you get it. It's unveiling the work of art for the first time, playing your new song in front of a live crowd for the first time, that butterfly inducing, fingernail biting feeling.  And sure, reviews are already appearing, so I'm already getting accustomed to the good - and the not so good - that my newest creation is attracting. All I can hope is that on May 1st, when IN THE MIRROR is officially released,  the good reviews outnumber the bad and that like a bright field of flowers, my words will touch some readers' hearts.

That makes the anticipation and the work, worth it!

PS: This helps, too. Check out what Kirkus, Foreword, and the US Review of Books have to say about my newest baby, IN THE MIRROR!

Real You: Getting started, staying motivated

     So here I sit. My debut novel Here, Home, Hope has been in the world for four months. It's been going great - but in the marketing and book tour push I've been single-mindedly focused on, I've been neglecting my passion. Writing.      So I need to get started. Get back to it. Sure, since the publication of Real You Incorporated, I spend a lot of my time motivating others to pursue their passion and get going. I love working with entrepreneurs and I truly believe we need to be the country where everybody is starting something. That's the magic of our history. Anything is possible if you are a doer. You can never dream too big or set your sights too high. Not here. Not now.

     The hardest person to get to hear that advice? You guessed it - me. So, today I'm giving myself a big shove and I'm jumping into the story that's been following me around all summer, well, actually, for a long time. I'm starting.

     How about you? Is it time to get going? Happy sailing.

"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." ~ Andre Gide

Real You in the Workplace: Act Your Gender

Women in the workplace often try to act like men in order to get ahead. However, this can sometimes backfire and cause more damage than it’s worth. Women just aren’t wired like men. And when women approach others with a male attitude, it can be a turn off.

Instead, I strongly encourage you to be yourself. Don’t put on a male front. We need to be strong and stand up for ourselves, but in the appropriate manner. It’s really the only way that people will take us seriously.

Women also need to remember we are natural networkers. So don’t isolate yourself—even if you are in a position of authority. Ask questions and get involved with mentors and other people in a similar line of work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In addition, don’t hesitate to ask questions. And definitely don’t live in a vacuum. It just won’t work.

Keep a positive mental attitude, and never let them see you down

Remember that success and power are really nothing more than directed energy. As soon as you give mental recognition to self-doubt, that’s when the cookie crumbles. Stay positive! Make a list of the characteristics that people admire the most about you. If this seems awkward initially, ask a real friend or family member to help. After reviewing the list, are you happy with what you see? Do you need to tweak your attitude—just a bit?

Connie Spruill, one of the entrepreneurs featured in Real You Incorporated, has a great attitude. With a defining word like “spark plug,” she’s never been one to let others get the upper hand. She’s all about maintaining a positive attitude, so much so that the name of her company is Attitude Marketers International, Inc. For Connie, it hasn’t always been easy, and she has had to overcome some pretty daunting obstacles over the years. “I feel that a positive mental attitude moves one forward—always,” she says. “No matter what business I practiced, I wanted it to always market a positive attitude.” Whatever she does, whether it’s selling workforce education, financial analysis, small business services or life coaching, that positive mental attitude shines through.

You can read more about Connie Spruill and her upbeat attitude in Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.