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By Lauri Mackey — 4 years agoI’m Not That SpecialStan Lee – “Well, you just think about it! You just sit down or walk around and probably have a big, dumb look on your face and you wonder, “What would I like to read? What kind of character would interest me?” I’m asked a lot what tips I would give to other writers. The truth is: I don’t know any tips. I can’t think of a single tip. Now I’ve been writing long enough to have met an awful lot of writers who sit down at their computer or whatever and say, “OK, now I’m going to write the story for young ladies, aged 17 to 26.” I don’t have a clue how to do that. I don’t know what other people want. So the only thing I can say when answering that question is: Please write stories that you think are great. Write to please yourself. That’s how I’ve always done it – not because I’m so desperate to please other people, but because I feel very genuinely that if I really love a story, then there must be a few other people out there who would love it, too. I’m not that special.”I took this excerpt from (believe it or not) my December’s Costco Connection monthly magazine. It is honestly one of my favorite magazines for articles and business tips! You never know where you’ll find the inspiration you are looking for and didn’t know you needed.As you know, I absolutely love movies and I have collected all of the Avengers, Captain America’s, Thor’s and now recently Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man and Stan Lee is the creator of them all! How wicked cool is that? When I saw that Costco had conducted an interview with him I was really excited to learn more about his story, but what he said above truly touched me.I write this blog not just to hear myself talk, but because I’m guessing that there are others out there like me who need a repetitive dose of positivity in their lives. I’m not that special. I write because I truly enjoy the process. I write because it feels like I’m leaving a legacy of my thoughts and way of thinking. I have looked forward every week to sitting down and putting my words in print for the world to see…unapologetically and crazy authentic.
How do you create positivity in your life?
Gumption, Bandaids, Slapstick, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.The first thing you need is GUMPTION. By definition, gumption means courage and confidence. This is not only faith in yourself that you are capable of hard things, but a continuous amount of courage and confidence in one’s self to accomplish the things you set out to do.The second thing is a lot of BANDAIDS. My husband and I help coach the local high school mountain bike team and I always tell the kids that it is not a matter of if you will crash, it is only a matter of when. From newbies to pros, everyone crashes. If you can accept this fact before your journey even begins and keep bandaids at the ready, it makes the falls more tolerable.The third thing is SLAPSTICK. Now this is the one that I am not as good at as the other three…I admit it. You must be able to laugh at yourself or at the situation. You need to solidly believe in horseplay. Give yourself permission to laugh and be happy. We were meant to be happy! Don’t forget that once you find that happiness to share it with others. And as James Altucher advises: If you’re having a bad day, just chalk it up to a bad day, don’t make any major decisions during that time and wait for it to pass.The fourth and last tip is to WASH, RINSE, AND REPEAT. Repetitiveness is the key to learning anything. Practice makes permanent. You must practice positivity. If you don’t even try it out you’ve already lost the battle with negativity. I promise that if you practice baby steps that you will soon be walking, running, and then sprinting with positivity.I admit that my thought process is not within the “norm” of what you may be used to hearing, but it is uniquely and authentically me. I’m guessing that a few other people might relate, love it, and be able to incorporate these steps into their lives for the good of themselves and ultimately the good of those around you.
Practice Makes PermanentIn the end, I believe that Stan Lee IS special. I believe that YOU are special. We are all unique and the only ones here on earth that can fulfill our potential to the best of our ability. My goal is to have you believe that you are capable of more than what you may think. Collect your gumption, a box of bandaids, your sense of humor and practice it over and over again!
By Lauri Mackey — 3 years ago
I am a New Year’s Resolutions kind of gal. I am that crazy, somewhat OCD person that makes a goal list every year and does her best to get ‘er done. At the beginning of 2017 I realized that my goal sheet needed some sprucing up…it was BORING! I renamed categories and just added a healthy dose of fun into the titles and the goals themselves. Today, I’d like to share one of those goals about books I wanted to read in 2017 with you.
I created a stack of 10 books to read throughout the year. That was it. Boring. Snore. Probably not going to happen even though they are staring me in the face every. single. day. And then I remembered something. When I was in 3rd grade my teacher held a contest. She created a bookworm for each of us and for every book we read (think Golden Books back then) we added another segment to our bookworm. I adore reading and my bookworm went around at least two of the walls in our classroom.
So that’s what I did! This year I created a bookworm and named her Ms Penelope Pickwick and she is beautiful! I’m not a crafty person, but I AM creative. I cut out circles on pretty paper and every time I finish a book I add a segment to Ms Pickwick which now goes along an entire wall and started onto the next wall here in my studio.
In honor of it being November and I’m down to my last few books for the year, I’d like to list the books I’ve read here for the year and give you a little rating (solely my opinion, of course) from 1-5 stars and why. Enjoy and happy Reading! If you have any comments on any of the books listed here please feel free to let us know so that everyone can decide which one to buy next! (Links to buy included below and the order is in what I read first, second, etc.)
Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So far…)
This was the first steampunk proper romance I had ever read and devoured it with ease. Mystery, fantasy, love, women who kick-ass and take names. This is an incredible read!
The Love Dare for Parents – 2 Stars!
I am a HUGE fan of the movie, Fireproof and the workbook available called The Love Dare so when I started having some trouble with my teenager it seemed like a good fit, but while I am Christian this book seemed a little too fire and brimstone for me. There was some good advice, but I would not recommend this book.
My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!
After I read Beauty and The Clockwork Beast, I wanted more Nancy Campbell Allen (you can listen to her podcast interview with me here) and this was the next one. While not a steampunk romance, it is a play on My Fair Lady and devoured this one in 24 hours flat. Yep, it was that good.
Dr. Julie Hanks was a guest on the podcast (listen here) and her method is pretty much foolproof. Loved her interview, loved this book, and believe it can help you learn more about yourself and finding the strength to be assertive in your life.
This year I completed my collection of novels by Louis L’amour via second hand stores, thrift stores, used book stores, and finally some on Amazon. He is one of my favorites and I never tire of the good guy winning! Glad I didn’t live in that era of old western towns, but can’t get enough of these!
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 5 Stars!
My husband bought this book for me Christmas 2015 and it took to the end of 2016 to crack it open. I was really interested, but other books came first What I didn’t know is that it was a workbook and would take weeks to complete. I learned more about myself during those weeks than I have over the last decade. It is a MUST READ and is phenomenal in its content. It was through this book that I got the idea for #PlayDates and #Recess and was a influence in me finding my creativity and learning that I was actually creative! Who knew?
The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack – 5 Stars!
This is truly a children’s book, but because I had Merrilee on the podcast (listen here) and we talked about this very book, I had to get it and read it for sure. I highly recommend it for your young’uns!
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – 5 Stars!
“A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is so good that I still have the 5 steps of business on my dry-erase board in my studio. Want a teaser? The first one says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”. Get it, read it, enjoy it, implement it!
Kissing A Frog by Sharlene Hawkes – 5 Stars!
This was recommended to me by my best friend, Elizabeth and not only did I read it, enjoy it, and implement parts of it – I then asked Sharlene to be on the podcast and you can LISTEN HERE! Miss America 1985 and the first foreign-born Miss America ever – you will love her! There are only 95 copies of her book left in print and if you click here you will be directed to my website where you can get an autographed copy just for yourself!
The Conference of The Birds by Peter Sis – 3 Stars!
Given to me by a friend, it is beautifully illustrated and hard to understand. Maybe I am just too simple to get all of it’s deeper meaning, but it is now my coffee table book because the artwork adds beauty to my home.
Josi stole my heart long ago with her recipe/mystery novels featuring Sadie Hoffmiller and I’ve never looked back. I was so deeply honored (and am a crazy huge fan!) that I asked her to be on the podcast and she accepted! (Listen Here!) These three are some of her best proper romance books to date and I fall in love with her all over again every time I read them. I went on a bender here obviously and read three in a row! Highly recommend all three, but would read A Heart Revealed before Lord Fenton’s Folly – interconnected just a bit, but still can be read as stand alone books so pick your favorite!
This is an insightful book on how you can fit meditation (even four minutes) into your daily schedule. It is definitely a way to do that, but found myself only giving four stars because I’m not very woo-woo…sorry ladies! I loved the stories and indeed love Rebekah “Bex” Borucki so much that I had her on the podcast and had an incredible interview! (Listen Here!)
If you need a Christmas present or birthday present or graduation present for any girl or woman in your life, look no further…this is it! There are not a lot of words, but little there are makes an impact. Even more impactful are the images. Kate’s photography in this work is worthy of any bookshelf or wall. I found myself going from laughing to crying to being all out contemplative as I consumed the photos that fill it’s pages. A must have for you and anyone else you can think of. Want to learn more about Kate? Listen to her podcast here!
Another guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand The Positivity Podcast for Women (Listen Here!) Kelsey has empathy down to an art and in fact teaches it to other via her workshops. In all honesty, I didn’t read the book before our interview. Then this happened: One of my closest friends started going through a divorce that still isn’t over as I write this and I felt like I could be a better friend. I then devoured the book within a couple of weeks and started using its wisdom immediately. It’s worth every penny – get it!
Don’t need to say another word more than what I did on her first two books listed above other than I can’t wait for her next steampunk romance coming out in 2018!!
Ladies, this book is tailored just for you and your dirty money secrets you might be hiding. Don’t hide under the covers about your finances any longer…Kate take you through her own experiences and what you can start doing right now today to make a difference in your personal finances. True eye-opener and guess what? She tells much, much more during our LLS Podcast interview (Listen Here!).
Choose Yourself by James Altucher – 5 Stars!
This book is all about possibilities. Believing in possibilities. Coming up with new possibilities. It was so fun (even hysterical in some parts) to read and chock full of knowledge about how to Choose Yourself in this world in the best possible way. Implementing even one part of this book could seriously change your life. Try it out!
Books I’m reading right now (Unfinished)
What’s on your bookshelf?
Would love to hear recommendations on new books, give me your two cents on any of the books written above and let me know if you purchase any of these based on the above reviews. I would love to hear from you!
By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoWho I AmLearning to Sleep in the Bed that I MadeNo TV. Ok, well I do own a TV and am honestly a huge movie buff with lots of movies and some sitcoms, but I do not have a cable network of any kind. No channels. No commercials. Been that way for over 20 years now. I still get hooked on sitcoms! I owned every season of Gilmore Girls and if Agents of Shield has a season on DVD, I’ve bought it and watched it in marathon order over a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long).My current addiction is Arrow. In a recent episode I learned the origins of the character, Felicity Smoak. (Third Season in case any of you are Arrow buffs, too) While it wasn’t anything too horrific…think Bimbo mom and illegal computer hacking stuff, it was something that she was embarrassed and ashamed of.One of the point’s I’d like to make is that we all have things in our past that we are both embarrassed or ashamed of. The first of those are the decisions that we have no control over. Felicity did not choose her mom or her circumstances growing up. The second are decisions we make that may cause shame as we see them as mistakes or just plain ugly bad choices. In Felicity’s example it was creating a super crazy computer virus from her college hacker days and nearly spending her life in prison.But where is she now? Working for a millionaire dude (who’s handsome and sexy by the way) and The Arrow as a computer genius who is calm under pressure, knows her stuff inside and out, and has made herself indispensable. She is also friendly and is loved by just about everyone who meets her (except the bad guys, of course).Which brings me to my second point. Her upbringing and her so-called “mistakes” brought her to this part of her life. Her life is not without mistakes now and it’s not perfect, but those life experiences made her who she is today. They shaped her into the woman she has become.Your life up to this point has made you who you are today. Right now in this present moment. Who are you? Where did you come from and where are you going? I’ve been pondering a lot about this lately in my own life.
This is WHO I WAS:I believe my upbringing was pretty darn good. My mom taught me to choose the right and how to be strong. She showed me that she was human and made mistakes like everyone else. I learned to ride horses, ride a bike, and do good in school. I loved to read and compete in spelling bees! In unfortunate typical fashion, my parents were divorced when I was 11 and my mom re-married a wonderful man with 5 boys. As per usual in most divorced families, it’s just tough. Tough to figure out your identity, tough to reconcile your mom and dad not being together. Tough to adjust to doubling your family size and learning to get along with not only 2 brothers, but 7! (It’s just a flat out miracle that mom was never committed to a looney bin. She gets huge props for that.).Imagine 9 kids; 7 boys and 2 girls all under the age of 11. I know I had it tough, but my mom and step-dad are down-right saints in my book. We were all on the local swim team and all of us did some kind of sports. I remember doing basketball for 6 years, soccer for 3 and swim team for 3. I was also in the band with a killer marching ensemble for parades and half-time shows. My parents did the best they could and honestly, even though I might not have agreed with my mom and dad’s “parenting skills” (what child does??) if I had followed their advice, my life would have turned out better than the decisions I made for myself.The rest is all me. I made my bed and I laid in it. Every good and bad decision was up to me. It still is. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I love to work outside the home. I love the challenge of new opportunities. I’ve been a property manager, an Ombudsman to a Naval Ship during the 9/11 conflict, worked for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, made burgers as the Drive-Thru Queen of Burger King (age 18, cut me some slack for that one), lasted one whole week at Taco Bell, sold MaryKay and Pampered Chef, and yes, even the dreaded Amway for a spell. I’ve owned my own business for a lot of years and was even a stay-at-home mom 9 years straight which was the hardest “job” I’ve ever had in my life.I’ve been married more than a few times with the common denominator of failure always being me in those relationships. My two older kids are no doubtedly scarred for life due to my inability to have, find, and keep good marriage relationships. While it is not an easy thing to talk about or simply admit, it is most definitely part of my past that made me who I am today.
This is WHO I AM:I am in a beautiful marriage relationship with my best friend and hero, Eddy. He has given me a safe place to grow and learn about myself and who I have the potential to become. I will forever be indebted to him.I love to sing. I like to knit and hate to scrapbook. I love riding my mountain bike and I love to cook. I like making my house feel like a home where anyone that comes in will feel comfortable and at ease. I stink at keeping green things alive. Many a plant has died at my hands over the years. I love to read Louis L’amour and I love to watch action movies and chick flicks. I love to speak with people and connect with them. I love the mountains, but don’t much care for the beach.I believe in God and love my church family because they show love to me unconditionally. I am a WFPB health crusader (yes, I eat plants and yes, I get enough protein). I have two dogs that are sweet as pie. They are both black and both boys. It seemed only fair as I have three daughters and my hubby was the only testosterone representative in the house. I love making goals and then checking them off my list. Did I mention I was a list-maker? I LOVE LISTS! The best part of my lists is marking the things off I’ve accomplished.Some of my favorite things are freshly cleaned sheets, new pillows, the sound of the dishwasher or dryer running, Kelly Rae Roberts, my courtyard fountain, the smell of jasmine in full bloom, Brooks Cascadia trail-running shoes, and getting packages in the mail.
This is WHO I AM BECOMING:First and foremost, I am always working on being more kind and being of service. First to my husband and children, then my neighbors and then my community and ultimately the world. I’m also working on being more cheerful and not complaining so much about bad drivers. 🙂I’ve recently started collecting pull-over hoodies…don’t know if that trend will stick, but it seemed worth mentioning.I want to learn how to pop a wheelie on my mountain bike. I want to replace the rest of my VHS tapes with DVD’s. I want to take a trip to Whistler and ride some killer trails up there. I want to find out who my Gram’s biological parents were as she was adopted at age 5.I want to write a book, public speak to women who need a confidence boost and power uplift in their lives. I want to do a weekly podcast starting in February of 2016 to support these same women to help them believe they are capable of more than they think.I just had to highlight this last paragraph in orange because I’ve accomplished it since I wrote this post in October of 2015. My book came out in 2018 and the podcast is now over 2 years old – go me! I would like to do more speaking to women, but I have done that as well. Setting goals is oh so important! Party in the house right now after reading this again!!!Oh, and I want to own a Model X Tesla…
Please comment below and tell me some things you already know about yourself. Be proud!