Rollercoasters of praise and rejection, which one will you dare to ride?

Huge rollar coaster at Six Flags Texas

Ride the waves of your writing career!     Being a writer, is not unlike being a bipolor, manic-depressive.  Would you not agree?   One minute, you are full of emotion, supercharged with motivation, and typing away furiously on the computer with your latest story idea.   The next, you are staring at the computer wondering why no one has like your brilliant tweet or blog post.    Can you relate to this juxtaposition?

Many writing coaches and publishers will tell you, the writing is easy.  It is marketing yourself and your work that is the killer.   It is flat out exhausting.   Tweeting, facebooking, links, and hashtags.  Talk, talk, talking about your book to grocery store workers, women at the salon, book clubs, book signings, and book festivals.   Seemingly, there are not enough hours in the day.     This constant demand on your time can fuel the rollarcoaster of emotions.   You, like your public will find that you vassilate between self confidence and self-flaggelation.    You are not alone.

Recently, there was a presentation at the Lexicon Writer’s conference entitled, Marketing your business on a shoestring, by Julie Hall, owner of Custom Websites 2 Go.    She talked about the importance of getting the word out there constantly about your book, especially with the short attention spans of your potential buyers.    At some point, you might consider investing in a service that would help you automate your tweets and generate connections for  yourself.   If you are Twitter naive or Facebook naive, take a course.    Only you can make your facebook and blog postings personal.    But at some point you have to care for yourself too.    Research and invest on small business that specialize in promotion of writers.  Several have been mentioned in previous posts (Ralphs Designs and DeliAskthepublishingGuru; AuthorMedia).

In utilizing these specialized services, they can help extend the connections that will make an impact for your book and your sanity.   The hard part is patience.  It can take from three to six weeks for the results of your marketing to show.   Not every effort, or blog post, or tweet will “go viral.”    Don’t you secretly wish they would?   But stay the course.   Keep putting one foot in front of the other.    Pay it foward by supporting other authors.    Like pages you really like!   Retweet posts that mean something to you.   But be genuine!    Establish your voice and brand.   Don’t just “like” to “like.”    Make those followup phonecalls;  log those book signings and book festivals;  and keep on writing.

The waves of emotion come in whether your book or poem is praised or rejected.    You surf to Amazon hoping to see likes, wait on baited breath to see your book review,  or eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s after reading a not-so-positive review.    One minute you are being praised at a signing.  The next minute no one opened your mass email containing your book reviews.    It happens.

The biggest lesson, which is the hardest of all?    Don’t be afraid of the big coaster.    The journey up it can be terrifying, but the payoff for your efforts is a huge, exhilarating high at the end.

Belles of Steel – meet P.K. Scheerle one strong, dynamic woman changing the world!

P.K. Scheerle, RN

P.K. Scheerle, RN
CEO of Gifted Nurses, Inc.

A few weeks back, a search began for Belles of Steel. Strong, dynamic women who through  tenacious ingenuity, or sheer guts, changed the world with their accomplishments.   The are powerful mentors for those of us trying to “make it.”  It wasn’t very hard to find a litany of them.   For the most part, they are unsung heros.   Some are known publicly, but many remain obscure.   Until now.

It is a pleasure to present the first inaugural belle of Belles of Steel, who describes herself as anything but that!    Please meet PK Scheerle.   Ms. Scheerle, a Registered Nurse with a clinical background in pediatric intensive care, is a self-made entrepreneur who saw a need in the nursing industry to keep experienced and talented nurses at the bedside. By utilizing her remarkable vision and tremendous determination she created one of the nation’s leading nurse supplemental staffing companies.

P.K. Scheerle, RN, a graduate of the Executive Program of Harvard Business School in 1991, founded American Nursing Services (ANS), a privately held, highly successful nurse staffing company in 1982. Under her direction, the company grew from five employees to over 3,000 employees with locations in 12 states providing local nurse staffing, travel nurses, therapists and private duty nurses.   The idea for starting the company literally came one night after a group of nurses went out for early morning cocktails at Riverbend in New Orleans for a gab session.  She and her colleagues were watching fellow nurses leave the bedside in droves;  feeling powerless and voiceless in a healthcare system with no leverage.   Talking over drinks, her colleagues discussed  starting their own staffing agency with nurses who were the best at the bedside.  Nurses with passion and intelligence who wanted to be there;  providing outstanding care to patients.    According to P.K., she was the only one brave enough in the group to go to the bank and sign a note.  “I didn’t know what I didn’t know” she laughed, referring to the challenges and risks in running her own business.

During her 24 year tenure at the helm, ANS received numerous awards including the American Business Ethics Award from the Society of Financial Service Professionals, a Top 100 Business by New Orleans CityBusiness for eleven consecutive years, and America’s Top 500 Women Owned Business by Working Women’s Magazine.

Ms. Scheerle has and continues to serve on numerous for profit and not-for-profit boards. She has also received many awards for contributions to the community and the nursing profession including, but not limited to, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross, induction into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, the Boggs-Bourque Woman of Distinction Award, and the New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year Award for three consecutive years. She also served as Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization for Louisiana and served on their Southern Regional Board.

In addition, Ms. Scheerle continues to be in great demand as a consultant and speaker for businesses, entrepreneurships and value creation. Additionally, she is regularly sought after and relied upon for her expertise by successful CEO’s.  P.K. is married to Bruce Bolyard and they have three daughters and a son.

P.K. attributes her success to the hundreds of incredible men and women in leadership who were “a little older and a little smarter” than she, but who were willing to share their kindness and guidance to a young pioneer striking out on her own.   “I never missed an opportunity to pay it forward with networking.   A hand written thank you note, a contact or connection for another colleague.  My shoebox full of business cards was never out of my reach.”

Ms. Scheerle doesn’t consider herself to be a Belle of Steel she believes that she is “just like every other self-made entrepreneur, blessed to create a better world.”  In her case, “better patient care for people I don’t even know.”   She remarks, “A rising tide lifts all ships.”   P.K. founded The Great 100 Nurses” Celebration in Louisiana – a program that recognizes and honors the top nurses in the profession.  It has now been modeled in numerous other states.

Five years from now, Ms. Scheerle hopes to still be running Gifted Nurses, Inc her current firm which provides programs by which nurses design initiatives to decrease costs within healthcare.  Yet,  increase patient satisfaction and quality of care.   She strongly affirms that our burgeoning elderly population needs to make informed choices about the astronomical and oft times futile healthcare expenditures which occur during their last few months in life.   “Nurses are high on the food chain.  They need to work collaboratively with physicians to reform models of care into best practice.  There needs to be an aggregation nursing’s expertise in this area.”  She remains committed to nurses designing and financing cost effective means to increase the dignity and satisfaction of patient care while limiting expenditures.   “It’s about basic human dignity, not 97 year olds suffering on a ventilator.”   Ms. Scheerle remains as passionate about the art of nursing today, as she did when her only goal was “to be a great nurse.”

For this and many reasons, P.K. Scheerle continues to be a shining beacon of what can happen when one doesn’t just talk or dream about an idea.  P.K. encourages women to think outside the box,  pull resources together, and makes it happen.   For her personal mentorship to me as a nurse and author,  it is an honor to select P.K. Scheerle as the first of 100 Belles of Steel.  I hope you find her story inspiring.   So much so that you take hold and begin your own metamorphosis.   Congratulations to P.K. Scheerle for being AgeView Press’  top, freshly pressed Belle of Steel.

The social media maze: how to effectively get the bang for your book

ImageSo you’ve written your book, set up your blog, twittered your tweets.   But no one is coming.  Your book cover it hip, your tweets twangy, your blog boisterous.  But still no one is coming.   There is an art to social media.   The basics just won’t cut it.   An author this weekend at the Lexicon Writer’s conference was overheard to say,”I write books.  I just don’t do that whole social media thing.”   Jaws dropped in amazement.  Even in the big publishing houses, they publish your book, but you are the one who will have to market it. 

It literally takes 3 or 4 times of contacting your customers before they might order the book.  The average self published book sells only about 100 copies.   The main bulk of books published by the big whig houses only about 200.   If you are ever going to make that top seller list, you must embrace social media.    That doesn’t just mean ebooks.   There will always be biliophiles that love to turn a page, but you have to get out to them.  Their must be buzz about your book, or you are a mere spec of dust amongst books a million.   

Here are few helpful links.   If you want someone to do it for you, then hire the right service.  Once such service is Ralph’s Design and Deli, a social media site specifically targeted to authors.  They know what you need and why you need it.   Their services are ala carte.  You only pay for what you need.  

So you have started a few things own your own, you do-it-yourselfer you, except one problem;  they aren’t working!  No customers.  In that case, you will want to get a consultation from Author Media.   They will take a look at your website, your blog and what yo have done and either blow it up and start over or point you in the direction of some things you have missed. 

For the adamant go-it-own-your-own author, this is the best $99 you will spend.  The Publishing Guru, Jason Rutheford.   He will write you a review and blast it out to milliions of radio talk show, newspapers, book bloggers and publicists who will review your book and the world out there.

Another author, with a book not selling said, “well the last thing I want to do is network with other authors, they aren’t the ones that will buy my book.”  Maybe not, but that isn’t the point.  They will network with their followers who will.   Again, the messge here?  Pay it forward.  Join groups that will help shout out your work.  If they won’t, why are you a member.

Tid bit for the day, don’t give up.  If what you have been doing isn’t working, scrap that plan and make another.  Don’t just sit in a dark corner and think, I have written it, they will come.   Not!!!

“More Self Published Authors Making Waves” will your book make it?

BABBLING ABOUT BOOKS, AND MORE!: 20 Weeks Running and More Self Published Authors Making Waves.

Yet again, Indie publsihers are making waves.    A long time book blogger named Katie Grant, who writes under KT Grant blogs about the phenomenon that is taking over the industry.   Indie publishing.    Hard to believe that he pendulum is shifting.   But one only has to look at the success that many Indie pub authors are achieving.

They are posting sales.  Generating great blogs.   Literally turning the industry on its head.

This weekend, it has been a priviledge to network with some of these powerful forces in the industry at the innaugural Lexicon Writer’s Conference in Denton, TX.   Honestly?   Wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has been a smashing success.   Over 120 writer’s, publishers, book bloggers,  screenwriters, writing coaches and agents convened for a weekend of powerful networking led by Indie author Mitch Haynes.    Just ask the successful writing team of Buck Stienke and Ken Farmer, writers of military fiction.

Mitch’s message was simple and powerful.  “Take your ego to the door.  No one wants to stand around and hear you babble about your book.”  But if you meet 10 other people and help them sell theirs while here.  Pave the way for what you can do for them, then just imagine how many more books you will sell if 1o people do that for you!”   Brilliant.   And guess what!  It works.

Black Force Eagle novel

Don't Cry daddy's Here novel

Flying Solo

More Great Indie Published Books

Just goes to show you, paying it foward pays off sweetly in the end.  Even if you have to wait to see it.   So don’t hide in the shadows of your work, get out there and make waves for your book.   Pay it foward for another author and they just might pay it foward for you!

Top five social media links you don’t want to miss!

Wagon full of social media logos facebook twitter youtube

Is your bandwagon full?

Just when you think you are hitting the wall, BAM!   A great networking site proves to be gold.   The World Literary Cafe, both their website and especially their group facebook page  are just platinum!    This site is for authors who are genuinely supporting authors.  There are plenty of sites that say they support authors, but come to find out the TLC comes with a  $$ price.    The synergistic networking that takes place immediately on signing up at World Literary Cafe just cannot be beat.

Traffic to my website AgeView Press, blog, twitter and facebook accounts increased exponetially in a week!    Thanks guys!    You really rock.   In surfing to the World Literary Cafe FB you will find discussions happening live with answers to many common issues within Indie Publishing.   There is a force moving!   The Indie world started as a ground swell, but expect it to surge to tsunami status.

Here are the Top Five Social Media links for today that you don’t want to miss!

1.   World Literary Cafe     Super discussions.  Author links.  Book reviews.   Fab networking gold!  Slogan?  #sharethelove4authors

2.  Reviewer Roundup on Facebook       Great place to find a jumping off point for your virtual book tour.

3.  Kobo     Now accepting Indie published ebooks with a 70% royalty!

4.   The    This is an article published just recently.  Evidence of the movement.  AM Heath  now supporting Indie authors!!

And the top link of the day which made the day worthwhile?

5.  The Online Converter         A way to convert your books and other files to epub for FREE!  That’s right.  FREE!

Enjoy and thank you for visiting.   Please share and link this page for your fellow writers and friends.   Don’t forget to follow on Goodreads !

Do you know some Belles of Steel?

Amelia Earhart flying solo

A dynamic aviatrix is born!

A new weekly feature of this blog will be to highlight the accomplishments of some inspiring women.  Those women who are true pioneers, movers and shakers, and thus Belles of Steel.   Throughout the course of history we have been inspired by these strong, dynamic, oft times ballsy women.   Many dared to test the unthinkable.   Some strived to prove that women could accomplish what men could.   Their actions brought about historical change.    Sometimes the choices they made had devastating consequences personally,  but furthered their cause.  Right now in your head, I’ll bet you can think of at least one.   

They were and are pillars for us all.   We love reading about them and writing about them.  Their antics provide fodder for books, magazines, and movies.  Many are famous and deservedly so.   Florence NightingaleMarie CurieSusan B. AnthonyEmelia EarhartAnnie Oakley,  and Rosa Parks to name a few.   You recognize those names, but what about Belles of Steel that you may not have heard about?   There are plenty of stories that are jaw dropping and phenomenal right in our own backyards.   These women quietly go about changing our world.   Some have reached notariety, but many have not.  

Thus, I am proud to introduce Belles of Steel.   Each week, the accomplishments of one woman who has made a difference will be featured.   Many of these women influenced why Flying Solo , my debut novel was written.   Flying Solo was based on a true story about a woman who most certainly was a Belle of Steel.   Her choice to become an aviator in the 1960s was unconventional within her social stratophere.    Not to mention the actions to which she was willing to resort in order to regain her children.  One of which was stealing a plane!    

Be looking forward to the first installment this week.    If you were influenced by a Belle of Steel, please shoot me an email or tweet.   It might be considered for a segment.     Happy reading this week!

50 Shades of Shock Value: how much is too much for your novel?

When it comes to shock value,  that is nothing new.   Remember Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind?   The year was 1931.   This book was banned from many stores.   Why?  All because of its last line.   Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.   Spoken with aloof, rancor by none other than Rhett Butler.   Famously played by Clark Gable in the movie version.   We were heart broken for Scarlett and wanted to scream out at Rhett,  ‘you scoundrel.’   But it hooked the readers of the world.   The sheer audacity of using a curse word in print!   Thousands of copies with damn in black and white.   And would the producers dare to put in the movie?  Hell ya!   Are you kidding?    Just the controversy over that one word drove thousands to the theater.

What has transpired, however, is an escalation in that shock value.    In the 1950s it was rock and roll and Elvis‘s shaking pelvis.   The 60s?  Twiggy and her miniskirts.   The 70s, an entire new generation was revolting against the establishment, conventionalism, and the Vietnam war.   In the 80s, can you say Madonna?  Come on.  You know you had those leg warmers, permed hair and lace tops with jean jackets.    Her latest tour is mimicking the  overtones of 50 Shades.  She is an absolute master in shock value!   In the 90s we saw the introduction of gay characters on TV.   In the millenium, we saw them kissing.    The trend to shock has been embedded within our culture for decades.

Madonna carressed in the MDNA tour

Madonna still sells salciousness at its best.

The question becomes where do you draw the line?   Sadistic sex is nothing new.  It has been around since Egyptian times.   Its participants, just discreetly hidden in the dark recesses of culture.   Is 50 Shades that great of a book?   Is it well written?  There are those that would argue ‘No.’   Then you might be asking how?  How then did it reach the NY Times best sellers list and stay there for months, selling over 500,000 copies to date?The answer is simple.  Shock value.  For the first time, the lunching ladies of middle America were reading a salcious story about sadistic sex.    From one of their own.    Tabu was taken mainstream.   It was so shocking, they found themselves embarrassed while reading.  Yet, unable to stop.  How naughty would it get?   What was the outcome?    Not to pay the book more undue homage; but from a marketing standpoint, a writer salivates with envy.

The concern?  How far must one go?   How dark, and twisted must the shock value be to capture the attention of today’s society?   Remember, it isn’t all about shock value.  It is about a good story.    Nicholas Sparks is hugely successful.    His first book, The Notebook has now sold close to a million copies.   It is rated G.    Your grandmother could read and probably has read this story.    A good book is based on a great story, tightly written with well developed characters that generate emotion by what happens to them.

The message here?   Sure, shock value sells.  But don’t sell out the quality of your story just to outdo.  Quality is job one!

As an Author, are You a Peacock, a Mockingbird, or a Hawk?

showy peacock

All show and no substance?

As an author, think about this question.   Are you a peacock, a mockingbird, or a hawk?  You might be asking yourself what birds could possibly have to do with being a writer?   But let’s take a closer look at all three.  See if you can identify with some of these characteristics, because their are more similarities than you might imagine.   Bet you will be surprised.

Peacocks are pretty, to be sure.   Colorful, flamboyant, and decorative.   But even though they are showy, if you look closely at the feathers of their brilliantly, vibrant tail; there is not much substance there.    Peacocks fan out their tales to be noticed.   At first, it is impressive.  Then you realize that underneath all that show,  is nothing but air.    Is your writing all showy?   Are you writing darkness and gloom because of the popularity and success of Twilight or Amanda Hocking?   Are you running raggard to attend every literary event?  Facebooking and twittering all over social media without anything real to say?  Or are you writing what you are good at writing?  Great stories with substance.   Tales that have a beginning, middle, and end.   Characters that have depth.  Locations and plots that have been researched and carefully plotted out.    Good covers are great, but it is the quality of the pages inside that count and will make people come back for more.

Mockingbirds, on the other hand, never stop squawking.  They twitter, and tweet a variety of chirpy tunes.   Short, loud, bursts in every possible call song.  Never sticking to one, just repeating what ever else they have heard around them.   If you listen to them, it becomes apparent  they are trying to attract attention from every angle.    From anyone who will listen.  First this tune, and then that.   Frustrated and fragmented that no one is paying them heed.    So, they change tunes, mimicking some other melody.  Some new authors know they want to write, but can’t find their own voice.   They chirp from this to that, trying to find their niche.   Slow down.   Find your true voice.   Then, sing it to the rooftops joyfully as your own brand.   Your unique author platform.    And stick to it.

Hawk sizing up a mockingbird

Sizing up meaningful tweets and twitters.

Now, consider the hawk.   Eyes on the prize.    Quiet and still as he calculates just the right moment to seize and capture.    The hawk sizes up the situation, calculates the risks, and strikes to take action.    At first glance, he may appear to just blend in, but on careful inspection, you will notice this intricate, exsquisite patterns woven within his feathers.   All aligned and symmetrical in attractive patterns.   Breast full of sustance with dynamic, sharp looking wings.  Proud, confident, and sure of who he is,  no need for overt showy-ness.   The hawk takes his time, hons his skills, and strikes with near 100 percent accuracy when ready.    Isn’t this the writer we all want to be?    Savvy about the business, sharp in our craft,  eyes on the prize, confident and patient, but fearlessly ready to strike when the moment is just right.     On some days, you may feel as an author that you vasilate between all three.    But try to stay focused.   Educate and train yourself on the literary world.    When you are ready,  be a hawk!

Are You Marketing Your Book by the Numbers?

lots of books in bookstore

Your book among the millions!

Several posts have been written about book marketing and yet, there is more to learn everyday.   In today’s ‘I want it yesterday’ mindset, having to wait for some distribution reports to post 60 days after the fact is excruciating!   Fans tell you, “I bought and love the book” yet, the author cannot see where.   It takes stamina not to shout,  “Where?  Where did you buy it?  Amazon, B and N?  Alternative book sellers?  Smashwords?  Where dang it?”

Recently, a very savvy book marketer, Jason Rutherford, otherwise known as the Publishing Guru gave some valuable insight to book marketing by the numbers.   For a fresh novel, six months is your target range.    By that time, if you are headed in the best seller category, your goal should be 1000 copies distributed.    About 1000 to 1500 is your critical mass, whereby enough people that have read the book will begin telling other people, “Read this book.”    Remember the message is “Read this book,” not buy this book.

A good word of mouth response with direct sales results follows this pattern.   For every 1000 people you contact, through blog reviews, personal appearances, book signings,  book festivals, public speaking and social media you should hope for a 1% return.  In other words, out of that 1000 people you tweeted, told, begged, borrowed and bribed to buy your book, you generated 10 sales.    For those of you into immediate, rapid rise to stardom, those numbers must be daunting.

A decent twitter following is greater that 100 real contacts.   Not generated contacts that mean nothing.  Industry contacts in the book world, writers, publishers, editors, and fab peeps including friends that will tell everyone about your book.  Twitter gold is 500 followers.  Twitter platimum 1000 followers who are looking to retweet your posts and links.   Again the goal?  Trafficing them back to your website or blog to give you credibility and a following.

Facebook stardom is 500 friends.  If you have more than that, you are well on your way.  Remember, however, that just because you post something in facebook, not all 500 of your friends are going to see it.   Therefore, the key is linking.   Make twitter, talk to facebook. talk to your blog.   And make your blog, blog worthy!   Don’t post just to post.

To check on how your book is doing,  a handy site is:  There, you can see exactly what alternative channels and how many are selling your book.   Not actual sales, but distributors that have ordered from Ingram.   One of the reasons to like is that even though you must patiently wait for sales totals, at least you get some kind of report.   Because some information is better than none.

So, pour yourself a cup of coffee, continue to write everyday.  Plan out your marketing strategy and put it into action.   With fortitude, practice and a little bit of savvy, you too can have the next NY Times best seller.

A Rollar Coaster for Sure

The trip to Six Flags was a rollar coaster of highs and lows indeed.   My sweet boy was elated to go.  When you have Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, you degenerate a little every day.   I try to make the most out of the saying carpe diem.  We seize the day to make it a good one.   We made a pact to try the rides he felt comfortable with doing.  Ones that would not load his spine to worsen compression fractures from the osteopenia and osteoporosis.   We thought we had a plan.   Lot’s of big “football” type boys and ride workers helped me load him into some rides.


Sombrero, check.   Log ride, check.   Tobogan, check.   Bubba tubs, check, check and check.   He loved those.  He was doing okay.  We were into about the seventh ride when disaster struck.   When we were lifting him into the Scrambler, the seat was higher than we thought.  His leg bent at an angle higher than his hip.   SMACK, CRACK, a shriek of pain he cried out.   Harrison never complains!  I knew something was instantly wrong.   He was in agony and tears.

I felt like the worst mother in the world, trying to show him a good time and now this.   He was hurt!    We tried to get through the rest of the day.   I so wanted to deny that anything was wrong.  He did too.  But to no avail.  He was just miserable.   The nurse in me knew.   Something was broken.   Surely.

We got through the night, but in the morning, when he was still hurting, it was time for the ER.   We sat, fully of anxiety and fear of the unknown.   I advocated for an IV and some IV Morphine for pain relief prior to the x-rays.  The ER doc agreed.    His pain was at the top of the scale, as he bravely mucked through the testing.    Some wonderfully, gentle ER techs carefully lifted my boy to the stretcher.

The first x-rays were negative.  Pelvis and hips intact.  But the doc just didn’t believe it.  She knew something was amiss.   And, it was.   Further x-rays revealed a buckle fracture to the neck of the femur.   My spirit was crushed for him.   I was terrified about what kind of long term healing that meant.   It was not surgically repairable!    They were talking about six weeks in a spica-sitting hard cast.  How could I possibly lift that?   What about work?   I would be broke!   The housepayment.  I surely didn’t have six weeks of paid time off.

I felt the bottom drop out of my courage stronghold.  I felt broken, helpless, and hopeless for him.   I began to pray.    Would God pick up the yolk?  Surely this was too much.

As his father arrived and I shared the news, Dr. Wong phoned.  She was visiting with the orthopedic surgeons about options.    With the osteopenia these boys endure, bone healing would be a challenge.

What to do. . . . and then a disposition was given.   No surgery.  No casting.   It would have to heal on its own.   Just gentle care and lifting.   No stretches or adduction inward of the leg.  Just TLC and pain meds.

TLC.  Meds.  I could do that.   I had a week of vacation to just be a Mom to my son.   I could do that.   By some miracle, some interventions from above, we were going to get through it.   My mother always told me that God would never send me anything that I could not handle.   Sometimes, I am pushed to the brink fighting this disease.  It nearly breaks me.   This event nearly did.   But that is what motivates me to keep going.   To keep blogging.  To keep writing.  To keep peddling as fast as I can.   My boy and his indomitable spirit.