This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Business of Writing International Summit. They were presenting three different tracks of training sessions for writers; Self Publishing, Book Marketing, and eBooks & Social Media. While the talks were very informational, what I enjoyed even more were the people I met. I only wish I could have talked to more attendees, presenters and exhibitors.
At the request of Andrea Gardner, author of Change Your Words, Change Your World, I joined her in Louisville, Kentucky for her appearances. As the keynote speaker, she got some press in the days leading up to the summit. She did some interviews and we both thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality in Kentucky.
Larry DeKay and Peggy DeKay were the driving force behind the summit. I had a chance to see a bit of the behind the scenes work that goes on during a large event like this. All I can say is, WOW! It takes a special person or group of people to pull something like this off. Hats off to Larry and Peggy!
Connie Williams and Sheila Tidwell are amazing women who I had the pleasure to meet. I was unfamiliar with their work up until this event. Connie’s book Thinking Consciously Rocks! is on my nightstand right now to read. Together Connie and Sheila are property investment pros. I’ve started listening to their podcast Connie and Sheila Talk and I love it! Their personality on the show is exactly how they are in real life. They are two very authentic people. So glad I had the chance to spend some time to get to know them both.
I first had the chance to meet Rik Feeney on Friday. This guy has some incredible advice. He sure knows his stuff in writing and publishing. What really got my attention were his promotion ideas and how to earn a very enjoyable living as a writer and speaker. I’m looking forward to checking out his book Writing Books for Fun, Fame & Fortune! very soon.
Even my love of podcasting was addressed at this writers summit. Dave Jackson from the SchoolOfPodcasting.com and Paul Clifford of Podcasting Church fame were both on hand to teach writers about the benefits and how-tos of podcasting. I had to get to Louisville, Kentucky to find Dave who is based in my home state of Ohio, about two hours away from me. He also won major cred points with me when I found out he was a fellow No Agenda Show listener.
I really wish I had a chance to talk more with author and filmmaker Stephen Zimmer. I have a feeling we would get along tremendously. He pushed through his car breaking down on his trip to Louisville to make it to the event. In triumphant style he arrived just as the panel he was to be on was getting started. Without missing a beat he stepped up to the task. Although I’m not a big fantasy reader, I eagerly look forward to checking out his work.
There were so many other people I wish I had the chance to talk to and get to know a little. I look forward to seeing how this summit evolves over the next few years. It was a great resource for all those who attended I am sure. I have a feeling the Business of Writing International Summit will become the premier writing conference of the midwest in a short amount of time.
One recent spring evening as I was about to fall asleep, I wrote down in a moment of frustration:
“Pretty much every day I wonder when I’m going to start doing something I enjoy. Then I continue my day doing things that make me miserable. At some point I’ll realize the only thing stopping me is me.”
At some point I’ll realize the only thing stopping me is me. I re-read that the next morning when I woke up. I read it before I left for work, before the world was awake. I read it before the day defeated me as it tends to do anymore.
At some point I’ll realize the only thing stopping me is me. It kept resonating with me throughout the day, the next day too, and the one after that.
So then, what are you gonna do about it?
I’m not really sure yet. I know I need to do something. Well really, I need to do a lot of things but I will try to start with one at a time.
Yesterday evening I made a last minute decision to go to concert in town. I walked up to the box office, scored second row seats in the loge. That didn’t make me miserable. It set off a small spark in me. It was one small step for Adam.
Maybe I’m also starting a change by just putting this out there. After reading Crazy Talk: The Do-What-You-Love Guide, I felt compelled to post something.
I’d like to think that my constant state of frustration will motivate me to continue to take the steps needed to create an amazing life. I think I need to focus on creating a way to earn a living doing something I love. I have a few ideas. I just need to figure out how to execute on them. At some point I’ll realize the only thing stopping me is me.
According to this US border patrol guard, three terrorists a day are stopped at the Canadian border crossings at the Port of Buffalo. That will make me think twice about visiting Niagara Falls any time soon.
You can listen here to an exchange between US Border guards and a Canadian couple trying to go to the mall where this information is revealed.
A friend shared this with me. I liked it… a lot. So I thought I would share it with you too.
A time comes in your life when you finally get It…when, in the midst of all your fears and Insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out…ENOUGH!!! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your AWAKENING.
You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety, and security to magically appear over the next horizon.
You realize that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you…and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.
You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself…and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self approval.
You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you – or didn’t do for you – and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn’t always about you.
So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself…and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties…and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.
You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for you next fix.
You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs are burned at the stake.
Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO!
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.
You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it, and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water and take more time to exercise.
You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.
More importantly you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it’s okay to risk asking for help.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happened to unsuspecting good people…and you learn not to always take it personally.
You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always somebody’s fault. It’s just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.
You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, and a long hot shower.
Then you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yours
Chantix a.k.a. Champix a.k.a. Varenicline
This post is a bit atypical for me. It has quite a few links to several articles. I am not a doctor. I am not a medical professional or scientist. I just notice the news with a discerning eye, thanks in part to the No Agenda Show.
In 2006 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Chantix in the United States. Chantix is a prescription medicine to help adults 18 and over stop smoking. I have been noticing stories ever since then about potential severe side effects of this drug.
Let’s start with the most recent…
June 1, 2011
Chantix Approval Revoked in France
“The study revealed that Chantix is a whopping 18 times likelier to be associated with “violence and aggression” versus other drugs.”
“…Chantix has so much potential danger it should contain restrictions including exclusions for police, military, and others who must carry weapons.”
May 28, 2011 in the Daily Mail
High suicide rates related to anti-smoking drug Chantix were ‘left out of crucial safety review’
“Hundreds of reports of suicides and violent reactions tied to the stop-smoking drug Chantix were left out of a crucial government safety review.”
May 27, 2011 from MSNBC
Smoking-pill suicides overlooked in missing reports: Drugmaker sent data to FDA through ‘improper channels’
“Before last July, the FDA had logged 122 reports of suicides linked to Chantix, including 37 reported by Pfizer and 85 reported by health professionals or consumers, Moore reported. After the 150 new Pfizer reports were added, the total jumped to 272.”
And don’t think this is all new news…
February 10, 2008 in a feature in New York Magazine
This Is My Brain on Chantix
“I’d heard it was the most effective stop-smoking drug yet. So I took it. Then those reports of suicidal ideation began washing in.”
September 19, 2007 from ABC’s Good Morning America
Girlfriend Believes Chantix Contributed to Texas Musician’s Death
“Months earlier people had started posting concerns about Chantix online. There were reports of suicide. “I thought I was losing my mind,” wrote one poster. Another described a “super depressed meltdown.””
PubMed Health is a consumer health Web site produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The article from PubMed about Varenicline was last revised on October 1, 2009.
Varenicline (var en’ i kleen)
“Some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts (thinking about harming or killing oneself or planning or trying to do so) while taking varenicline.”
When I read articles like these it makes me wonder about the motivations for pharmaceutical companies and the FDA. At some level aren’t they supposed to be trying to help people? It could seem that the love of power and money may have overtaken the number one priority. I remember once hearing about this thing called the Hippocratic Oath.
Primum non nocere