Missile Tourism

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capsuleThe Air Force Times recently ran a story about F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming turning one of their missile silos into a museum for the Peacekeeper missile and opening it to the public. (http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/11/04/missile-tourism-wyoming-peacekeeper-historic-site-in-works/75161372/) Whiteman AFB, Missouri has already done this for the Minuteman II missile.
“One of the most stressful and least glamorous jobs in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War went to the men and women who stood ready ’round the clock to launch one of the deadliest weapons ever made, the Peacekeeper nuclear missile.” And I would add the Minuteman II and the other important parts of the nuclear triad.
Reading the article brought back memories of my missileer days. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was down in that capsule, layering clothes to try to stay warm in the freezing air condition meant to make the computers comfortable–not humans. And having to loop the pistol belt over my shoulder instead of my waist because it was made for a sturdy male, not one of the first females to pull crew in a capsule. The 2-3 hour drives were painful, especially in Missouri winters.
It was pretty thankless. Not the glorious face of the Air Force like pilots. But I wouldn’t trade my time. I’m proud that I was there at the end of the Cold War. I did my part…what was asked of me.
So when you think of the Air Force, remember those that aren’t soaring the wild blue yonder. Think of those that are stuck underground, keeping watch 24/7. And thank an Airman.
We’re here to serve.

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Dedication

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Yesterday my 14-year old competed in the 2A Virginia State Championship for Cross Country. It’s the first time since 2005 the girls’ team has even made it to state. They finished fifth overall. A GREAT race in 36 degree weather with the wind blowing non-stop.

The dedication of these kids is amazing. Personally, I really don’t like to run. I find it boring, time consuming and with nothing to show for it in the end. On the other hand, my daughter has opened my eyes to all the great things it can be. She is in great physical shape (yes, I could use that….). She has made wonderful friends that share her same values for pride in self and confidence (these are really good kids!). And running is a big part of her social life, with her friends along side her. They can actually talk and run at the same time (a real challenge for me!).

My daughter reminds me every day that if you set your mind on something, it can be accomplished. I am so fortunate to have this constant reminder in my life to never give up, never give in, and to be dedicated to what you want in life.

Please take note of those high school kids that ran in 36 degree weather yesterday to finish what they started when they joined the team. And to those crazy parents that drove 3 hours to watch their children leave the start line and arrive at the finish 19-25 minutes later. True dedication!

via Dawn Parker Brotherton.

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Sisters in Crime

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Sisters in Crime is a writers’ organization that I recently joined. They have a fun idea, the “blog hop.” If you’re interested, check it out and add to your own blog. http://www.sistersincrime.org/BlogHop

The idea is to pick one of the questions from their page and answer it. I selected: Which authors have inspired you?

James Patterson is my all time favorite. I realize he is co-writing with others now, but I love his characters, Alex Cross especially. Big, tough guy with a soft side–and don’t you dare mess with his Nana Mama!

I used to read everything Patricia Cornwell wrote, then she became repetitive. Not so much in her main story lines, but in her back stories. The relationships, anger, and misunderstanding between the characters got old.

But you learn from everything you read. I know what I want to avoid myself and what I want to emulate. A writer can never READ too much!

via dawnparkerbrotherton | Publishing a Dream.

Good Morning!

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It’s Saturday morning and I was able to sleep in until 8 am. I woke up without the aid of an alarm and immediately felt that I had forgotten something! No softball games to get to, no Girl Scout event…it was refreshing to be still for an extra minute.

Then it was time to get the day started. No where to be, but plenty to do! Maybe I’ll get a little writing done today–but wait, I still need to go through my emails, update my Facebook, and blog (check!). I have to stop and ask myself if I’m really that busy or if I’m avoiding the writing. Why avoid writing? I love to write.

I love getting in the zone and creating characters. I like being a part of their lives. But then life tears me away and I’m gone for so long. When I go back to them, it’s like having to get to know each other all over again. It makes me sad. So, like picking up the phone and calling the friends that I haven’t talked to for ages and feel guilty about, I avoid getting back to my characters.

But today is a good day. I’m going to pick up that phone (get to the keyboard) and say hello to some characters I haven’t had time for recently. What about you?

via Blue Dragon Publishing – Making a Writers Dream a Reality – How Do I Get My Book Published.

Where does the time go?

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Most people have the best of intentions. We want to do the right thing…then time slips away from us. We meant to call our mothers and check in. We were going to get around to planting flowers this year. There are a list of things we know we should do.

So that’s what I do–I make lists! Even if I don’t get a chance to check everything off, or even if I lose the list a few days after making it, somehow I feel as though I have more control over my life because I wrote it down.

Don’t be discouraged. Lists are very helpful even if you don’t remember where you put them. Sometimes you can remember what was on it, simply because you wrote it down. And they do help you prioritize your work effort. The trick is to start with the highest priority and not be tempted to skip to the bottom of the list because those are easier. (Although when you are feeling discouraged, knock out a few easy tasks as a pick-me-up.) Are you one of those people that add things to your list just so you can cross it off? I am! It makes me feel more productive.

The list I’m working off of today is my Marketing Plan. There isn’t any set format for a Marketing Plan that I’ve found. A lot of suggestions and examples, but nothing that says there’s only one way to do things. So mine looks like a to-do list! Then I broke it down into short-term, mid-term, and long-term timelines. It’s a living breathing document so it changes every week. Having it on the computer has kept me from losing it.

The important thing is to have a plan, even if you deviate from it. You have to have a starting point.

So go on! Go make a list. Turn it into your marketing plan. Try to capture some of that useful time before it slips away.

via Blue Dragon Publishing – Making a Writers Dream a Reality – How Do I Get My Book Published.

You Can Do It!

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When people hear I’ve been published, they seem really impressed.  Then the inevitable question–how did you do it?  Most people know that breaking into the publishing world is a tough sell.  Unless you’re a known quantity, it’s hard to get noticed. I find it embarrassing to admit that I published myself. I mean, isn’t that what people do when they aren’t good enough??? The answer is NO!
I found that big companies wouldn’t even answer me, although they wanted me to submit my query letters to only one company at a time, and wait up to 6 months before following up. And one of the first questions I had to address in the query letter was how much I would be willing to pay for the marketing and printing. And most publishers I researched kept 55-65% of the cover price.
With eBooks and a plethora of printers available, I decided I could do it myself! Self-publishing wasn’t for those that were unsuccessful. It’s what people do when they have the drive, energy, and the ability to work hard to get what they want. And in the long run, I get to keep more of the profits!
But I didn’t just self publish–I started my own publishing company (Blue Dragon Publishing). I applied for a license, built a website, and started researching. I’ll cut to the chase for you though…it was a lot of work! Then, I decided that since I had already done the set up, I’d help other people get published too. There is some benefit to more authors under one publishing name than totally going it alone.
It’s been a great learning experience and my authors have been patient adventurers with me. I’m learning more every day and I love passing it on. This blog is the next stage in my evolution.