Siracusa by Delia Ephron

I began reading this book while sitting in a parking lot waiting for a wake to begin. I just needed something different from all of the seriousness and sadness going on. I actually wanted to finish reading this book, something that rarely happens.

Two couples decide to go on vacation together and their secrets, their past, and their problems follow them. The ending you don’t see coming and the big reveal is only one line that you may miss if you skip ahead.

Enjoy. Siracusa will have you hanging on for more.

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Under My Notebook (Answering Seth Godin)

What will they tell their friends?

I usually carry a notebook and pens with me wherever I go. The notebook is filled with math calculations and notes about my resume clients’ work experience.

What I can’t carry with me is what other people have to say about me.

I was at a meeting for a group I’m involved with the other night and one of the women there was talking about her own business and how she hates marketing. However, marketing oneself is a necessary evil if one wants to run a business. Yes, marketing is tough but the people who do it constantly, be their true selves, and without being jerks come out the best.

Women have a difficult time with this because of the caught-in-the-middle attitude of society. Other women don’t like women who are straight shooters and men don’t like women who “brag” and stand up for themselves. A business owner has to find their crowd and find the people who support them.

Doing what I do, I have to be a straight shooter. I had to tell a resume client this week their email address wasn’t too professional and come to find out they had another email account they hadn’t been using. I’ve fought it out for my clients with parents, teachers, and even principals. Being a straight shooter and asking the tough questions gets things done and reveals insights.

What will they tell their friends? I usually find this out on social media. As much as I beg and plead for referrals, my best ones come from people referring me when a third party is asking for help. It takes them less than 10 seconds to tag me and write a few words. I jot everything down and save it and put it on the landing page for my website. Then I have it to share with anyone who wants it.

Don’t believe the movies.

A friend of mine introduced me to the British TV series “Horrible Histories”.  The show is designed for youth but offers a lot to be learned for adults as well, especially if one thinks history is boring.

In Eleanor Herman’s The Royal Art of Poison, Herman takes “Horrible Histories” one step further.  People defecating anywhere they could find in royal palaces, sewage up to people’s heads in basements, poor medical treatment, murder most foul, no antibiotics.  

How did humanity survive? How did we get here? Why was the movie Amadeus so wrong?

Herman goes through the lives, final days and hours, and the post mortems of many of history’s big names: Henry VII, Napoleon, many mistresses, Caravaggio, and many more.

Cosmetics haven’t changed much either.

Having a bad day? Read this book and you’ll feel much better.

Answering Seth Godin: Worldview

What is the worldview of the audience who you are seekng to reach?

Seth Godin talks about how every single individual has their own voices in their head. We all have our own point-of-view, worries, dreams, things in our lives.  Each individual has had a unique experience in life, even identical twins have their own experience because we each experience the same situation differently.

How can I combine people from all walks of life, all levels of education, socio-economics, family situations?  I’ve been in million dollar houses and the worst poverty stricken areas. What is _the_ common factor between all of the people I’ve worked with over the years?

Does everyone I work with or have worked with share my worldview? No.  That is totally fine. I don’t want everyone to be my clone or think like me.  I want different points and perspectives. I love learning from people because there is always something to learn from everyone.

The common factor is reaching for their “it”, what they need.  I give them a boost and aim toward their reach. As the idiom says, I lead them to the water.  I am their bow, their green light, their coxswain, or whatever image you want to use.

Question #2: Answering Seth: What’s It For?

This is the harder question to answer.  “Who” is always easier.

First, and to paraphrase a song from the 1990’s, what is “it”?

“It” is what you are looking for.  Success, change, improvement, great grades, passing THAT class, getting THAT job you want, getting THAT license.

You define your “it” and we help you accomplish and achieve your “it”.

What is your “it”?  How can we help you with your “it”?

Don’t Disturb My Circles: Navigating Early

A family member selected this book on audio to listen to.  Clare Vanderpool is a Newberry Award winning author.

Jack Baker’s first person account about change in his life with the death of his mother, his father returning from World War II, and his father’s decision to place him in a boarding school in Maine weaves this tale together beautifully.  At the boarding school, Jack meets Early and Early changes his life forever.

Left alone at the boarding school together (something that would never happen today), Early and Jack set out not only an adventure but a quest for what Early has been looking for.  Jack’s story holds you until the end.

Jack’s story is also a reminder that we are all connected, even if we don’t realize it.

What am I doing now?  Early was obsessed with Pi.  Pi (3.14) features prominently in the story.  I’m listening to videos about Pi.

Answering Seth Godin’s Question: Who’s it for?

It’s for you.

Who are you?

The worried parent.

The worried spouse/ significant other.

The student of any age who needs help with organization and processing.

The student who never learned the language of Math correctly.

The English language learner who is here in the United States creating their dreams.

The employee who wants that promotion but that piece of paper or State certification test is stopping you.

The recent parolee who needs to be self-sufficient once again.

The dreamer who knows better opportunity is out there but they need to express their experience succinctly on paper.

The college student who wants to transfer to the school of their dreams.

The person who cares about their future and wants to start NOW.