Long Time, No Blog

October 25, 2010

Today I found myself browsing through old blog posts and smiling at my obvious passion for the work I’m doing, and the subsequent optimism that comes with it. I was also thinking about all the changes that have been taking place since my last post. So much has come about for me and Mike, and really, these things are simply an extension of what we’d already started. As people who speak and write about leading passionate, purposeful lives, it should come as no surprise that, even as we encourage others, we’re both continuing our journey to do the same.

In the past months, Mike trained for and completed his first triathlon. As someone who has battled weight issues his entire life, this was a huge coup! I’m very proud of my friend and partner for stepping out of his comfort zone and taking charge of his health and fitness. Way to go, partner! Have no fear, dear readers, I’m certain we will be writing about this experience in the future.

As for me, I’ve embarked on a season of change that is both daunting and invigorating. Although I won’t share all the gory details, I will mention a few. As anyone that knows me will tell, I’m a huge champion of education and self-betterment. Because of this, I’ve found myself back in the college mix. As a compliment to my English degree, I’m now pursuing a B.B.A. in Management from Northwood University. I felt this was an important move, as I grow my business and participate in wonderful opportunities that have come my way. One can never be too smart and savvy when embarking on creative and business ventures. From what I’ve learned in the past three years, creativity is big business!

With regard to our book, Mike and I have also mixed it up a bit. As we’ve progressed through the creative and development stages, we both found ourselves with a different vision than the one we started with. This is normal, as I’ve been told by other authors. A great thing for us is that our new vision is the same (or relatively close). As you know, this agreement of the minds is a huge bonus! Had we both developed conflicting ideas about the new direction to take our book, it really would’ve hit the proverbial fan. Mike and I are both strong personalities that would fight tooth and nail to get our way, desperately trying to get the other to see why our way is best. I’d hate to come to blows with my partner…that could really make our Skype meetings somewhat uncomfortable. 

Also in the mix is Extraordinary Magazine, which we hope will make its debut before the end of 2010. It’s work in progress and one that we’re equally excited about. Stay tuned!

To all of you, it feels great to be back and sharing our progress. Thanks for following our journey!


I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I am excited to share the stories of twenty people who’ve been featured in the film, An Anything But Ordinary Journey. I wasn’t joking in the least.

Carolyn L. Burke, for those of you who aren’t in the know, was the very first person to originate and maintain an online journal called, Carolyn’s Diary. Today, we refer to Burke as the first blogger. And as innovative as that is, as I watch the raw footage of her interview with Michael McCleary for his film, I find her to be so much more.

My hope, in the telling of Carolyn’s dynamic story, is to show our readers that this woman, who by all accounts lived an ordinary and quiet life as a child, created nothing short of an extraordinary life. With a burning desire to examine what it’s like to be a person, Carolyn embarked on recording every detail of her life, with the determination to be as frank and honest as possible. She referred to this as living “private in public.” Her story is relevant and fascinating as we live in the age of social media and using blogs for public and private communication. For Burke, she’s said that Carolyn’s Diary inadvertently acted as a source of therapy. It strikes me that in my time as a blogger and Facebooker, this is still a common purpose. Is it our deepest human need to be understood?

Writing this chapter has caused me reflect on my own life experiences, as well as the experience I’m currently creating. Hearing the breakdown of how this self-proclaimed shy girl revolutionized modern communication, I’m inspired to find ways to be more honest and live a little louder. Think about it….


The Whole Shebang!

February 10, 2010

Today I had the opportunity to listen in as my co-author and friend, Michael McCleary, premiered his first live broadcast of Anything But Ordinary Radio. Mike interviewed two stars of his documentary film, Ric Mixter, and Lindsay Wilson, as well as speaker, author, and entrepreneur, Myles W. Miller. It was a thrilling experience to see a friend shine! Based on the show’s feedback, Mike and his guests were a smashing success! I look forward to this weekly broadcast and hope listeners are touched and inspired to think about where their lives are headed, and if that is a place they desire to be.

In relation to the book, as this is a book blog, I found myself pondering all that is taking place that will directly affect our project. It is almost mind boggling, I’ll freely admit. Listening to recent interviews that Mike has done, I can’t help but get excited.

As a partnership goes (or at least what my impression of what partnership entails), one is focusing on a specific task while the other is working on the big picture. Our partnership is no different. While I am in the trenches of creatively bringing to life the stories of twenty extraordinary people, my partner is moving in at least fifty directions that will set a platform in the marketing and readership base of our book. Ultimately, when Mike is promoting his film, radio show, and magazine, our book benefits. As an author, this is a dream scenario.

Putting sweat and tears into something you’ve dreamed of is a lot less daunting when you have something solid for it to stand on. Since beginning the book project last fall, I haven’t had one moment of regret or that feeling of “it is me (and my book) against the world.” I’m blessed to be in a fulfilling partnership that allows me to simply create. I wish this for all who are pursuing their lives of passion and purpose!

Mike discusses his film, An Anything But Ordinary Journey, as well as our book, Anything But Ordinary: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, with interviewers John G. Barbar and Jed A. Reay, hosts of The Success Curve’s The Initiators New Beginnings.


Be sure to catch Michael McCleary and guests on Wednesday, February 10, 2010, at 12 pm!


Sorting Through

February 9, 2010

So many things are happening behind the scenes at Anything But Ordinary, it’s hard to know where to begin. First, I’ll start out by saying that I’ve missed the blog world!  I’ve been taking some time off booking and blogging to heal from a recent surgery, which also resulted in a week-long bout of vertigo. You’ll never know how difficult it is to make philosophical sense while spinning. In a way, this was a lesson learned, in regards to the writing process.

Looking at the timeline we’ve created for the book project, I’d only allowed myself three days off for recovery. This lesson taught me how connected the body and mind are, and also how severely pain medication can alter a thought process and typing ability. As a result, I’ve been off the job for more that a week. Today, it seems, I’m ALMOST ready to make my full-time comeback. In lieu of doing any profound writing, I am reviewing raw interview footage for my chapter outlines.  Specifically, I’m reviewing the footage of the three interviewees will be spotlighted in our sample chapters for the book proposal. Mike and I chose each person carefully and deliberately, to best represent our project and what we hope to communicate to our readers. Although the book and the film will showcase the same twenty people, their  stories are told in a different light, and with greater detail. The format is consistent, yet varied, allowing both to stand on their own.

On a different note, Michael McCleary will be hosting the premiere broadcast of Anything But Ordinary Radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/anythingbutordinary) on February 10, 2010 at 12 pm. I encourage you to listen in as Mike interviews filmmaker, scuba diver, and adventurer, Ric Mixter; professional dancer, Lindsay Wilson; and speaker, author and entrepreneur, Myles W. Miller. It will be an inspiring broadcast! FYI– Both Ric and Lindsay are featured in the film and book. Listening to their stories on ABO Radio will give you a taste of what to look forward to.

Also, and I can’t give any more away as we’re still in the development stages, the ABO team is working on Extraordinary Magazine (http://www.extraordinarymagazine.com/, a quarterly publication that will inspire and uplift its readers. I will be working as a columnist and editor, which, aside from the writing of the book, has been a dream for longer than I can remember. As we get deeper into the process, I’ll be sure to pass along updates.

As you can tell, there are many wonderful things happening for Anything But Ordinary. We are a blessed group of creative-types who are proud to share our message and vision with the masses. As always, Mike and I thank you for your kind wishes and feedback as we strive to help those who seek passionate and purposeful lives.


Progress and Partnership

January 24, 2010

How well do you play with others? In the past few months, I’ve asked myself that very question. I’m happy to report that I actually do very well at this, something I hadn’t anticipated. While writing is mostly an isolating venture, co-authoring is anything but. I’m learning how to merge the two into a workable mix. Shocker, it can be done!!

Mike and I had a very productive meeting last week, where we went over our timeline, discussed our book proposal, and shared our vision for Anything But Ordinary: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives. We discussed ways in which we could make our proposal stand out, thus enticing our dream agent to represent our book. We also talked about how our proposal will most definitely be ripped apart and reconstructed after we land said dream agent. Ugh! Of course, this is not what authors want to hear after pouring hour after hour into the research, format, and writing of their book proposal, but it is one of the necessary steps in the process. Despite our desire to work with a top-notch agent and find a publisher, we agreed that if it doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, we will self-publish. But believe me when I say that we only spent a micro-second on that train of thought, as we’re not allowing ourselves to compromise our ultimate publishing goal. We’re just saying that one way or another, our book will come to fruition and will be in the hands of those anticipating an uplifting, inspiring read.

One of the best things that came out of our meeting was the sense of camaraderie we share. When going into a project with a partner or a team, it is important to communicate your needs. Emotional and professional needs are not as separate as they are often perceived. For instance, after logging over a hundred hours (probably more) of research, reading, and planning our book, my fuel tank of creativity and inspiration was empty. I found myself in a place where I was losing sight of our goals, and becoming easily distracted by other projects. The isolated nature of research had me feeling lost and alone. Sensing my struggle, my parter, co-author, and friend, sent me a note of encouragement, appreciation, and an “I believe in you and your talent.” This couldn’t have come at a more pivotal moment. We do these things for each other because we KNOW what the other brings to our project, and we VALUE their contribution. Mike could’ve approached any number of amazing writers to partner with, but he chose me. It helped to be reminded WHY he did so. Thanks, Partner!

So on we go, with a new vigor and more enthusiasm than ever!