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I interrupt writing about my Australian Saga to bring you the following announcement:

My ebook, Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three will be available FREE through Amazon on Sunday October 14, 2012.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” to read the first several pages at the link to the book’s Amazon page (book title above). Please  take advantage of this one-day free promotion to download the book for your Kindle or other electronic device.

It’s not necessary to have a Kindle to read it. With a free app from Amazon it is available for reading on computers, iPads, iPhones and other devices. Here is a link  to get that app.

If you choose to read the book, I sincerely thank you for your interest in my story. An honest review would be welcome and appreciated.

I will return to telling the story of our Australian journey. Here is a cute picture we took of a Mama Kangaroo and Joey at the Cairns Zoo to tide you over.

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1. Look at the big picture. Remember you are in this life together – you are each other’s best ally to navigate this crazy world.

2. Treat your honey once in a while – bring him/her a glass of wine or cup of tea, draw a hot bath or offer some bodywork. Mmmm… give your spouse a reason to feel lucky to have you!

3. Got a beef? Speak up, solve it and move on. Get over the hurdles and back on track. (But don’t disagree on an empty stomach – eat, relax, then discuss).

4. Compromise. Easy to say – hard to do, but worth the effort.

5. Spouses deserve the best of you, not the cranky part that can come out after a hard day. If something is making you cranky every day, then that is what you need to look at.

6. Make the effort to be mentally and emotionally connected even if you are physically apart.

7. You don’t have to ask your spouse for approval on decisions you can make for yourself, but discuss the big stuff and make joint decisions together.

8. Always keep your spouse courteously informed of your whereabouts and future plans.

9. Don’t cheat – not even once. Deceit causes lack of trust, which can sink a marriage.

10. Don’t say things behind your spouse’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. If your spouse gives you a reason to do so, consider that a clue, and deal with it.

11. Travel together on this journey of life. Sometimes you can travel independently for a little while, but always go back to finding each other as a couple.

12. Remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others (including and especially your spouse) as you would have them do unto you.

I love and appreciate my husband Cliff more than words can say. I am ecstatic to be celebrating this milestone of a 30th Wedding Anniversary with him.

If you are curious about the early days of my relationship with Cliff – how we met, fell in love and navigated our life and motorcycle trips together, it is all in my ebook, Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. Take a “look inside” the book here. And yes, that is us on the book’s cover, on September 25, 1982.

To the left is a photo of us taken last weekend. We are still traveling together and enjoying the journey.

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“A 1980s love story on two wheels, with adventures and great scenery.”
 
That is how I describe my first e-book, a memoir titled Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Makes Three. I am thrilled to announce it is now published and available in the Amazon Kindle store.

I met Cliff in 1981 and we married a year later.  We took several motorcycle trips together — to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, the Black Hills, Door County, and Colorado.  Our adventures during those journeys are the basis for this book. At 20,000 words it is a quick read.  

I hope you will consider taking a “look inside” at the link (book title) above.  Let me know what you think!

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Today I am sharing excerpts from my journal, about some of my goals for 2012: 

  • “Write my first book — Motorcycle Memoir – draft by 8/1/12.” 
  • “Focus my positive energies in ways to enhance the lives of myself, Cliff and others.  Journal to help me with context and staying on track.” 
  • “Work on organizing/clearing stuff out of house.  Keep only what we need and love.” 

I added quotes, including this one:  “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” — Lennon & McCartney

I wrote the journal entries yesterday while travelling home from a weekend in North Dakota.  Within an hour of writing the words above (and more), the Beatles song The End, with the lyrics I quoted (from the Abbey Road album, recorded in 1969) came on the radio.  I felt like I had called it to me.  Those are certainly words to live by.

I would like to thank Dorothy Sander, who generously invited me to be a guest blogger.  The result was this piece I wrote about  Lifetime Learning: Summer Camp for Adults.  If you have not yet checked out Aging Abundantly, I can highly recommend it for its inspiring and honest articles on subjects that matter to women. After Dorothy posted my piece, it was linked to, as Summer Fun for Boomers, by ThirdAge.com, a website for boomer women. 

I am grateful for this recognition and opportunity to share my writing. Thank you!

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Here is the guy I fell for! This photo shows Cliff on his bike, with our travel trailer, taken in the early 1980s.

I am living in the 1980s, as I remember my past in order to realize my dreams for the future.  I am writing my first travel memoir.

Traveling Together: Cliff and Me and the Motorcycle Make Three is about the journeys I took with my husband which generated stories of love and adventure.  During the past few years I have been composing my account of these stories during writing classes. Now I am putting the chapters together to become my first e-book.

I am well on my way to completing this memoir. My plans are to publish this as a Kindle e-book before I publish the book I have been working on: Realize Your Dreams: An Action Plan for Life Transformation.

Last week I had the great privilege to participate in a writing workshop called Pilgrimages: Mindful Travel Writing & Memoir at Madeline Island School of the Arts, where I worked on this memoir.  It was taught by Catherine Watson, an accomplished travel writer and inspiring instructor and mentor.  I was part of a small group of students who poured our hearts out, writing in a supportive environment. My thanks to all involved. Did a mention that it was a fantastic experience?

The reason I was able to participate in this workshop is because I was the recipient of an Individual Artists Grant, which I would like to acknowledge with gratitude: “This activity is made possible by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds generously provided by the McKnight Foundation.”

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There was an interesting segment on the CBS Sunday Morning show today about charisma.  Reported by Susan Spencer,  it was mostly about charisma in the context of assessing modern day presidents and presidential candidates.  Somebody who is charismatic can be defined as one with charm or personal appeal.  I’d rather have a strong sense of character than something so superficial. But I realize that charisma goes deeper than what we see on the surface.

The program introduced us to Joseph Nye, professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.  He describes certain people with charisma as having a “personal connection”, and ability to “project warmth and personality.”  Aha, so it is a communication thing, and I am all in favor of clear and positive interpersonal communication.

But I wonder if charisma something genuine if it can be quantified and taught?  Professor Alex Pentland from MIT and his team say the have found a way to measure charisma. (Why didn’t I become an academic researcher of charisma? It sounds like fun and probably pays well, too!)  What their device actually measures is whether a person is energetic. The show also features John Neffinger who runs workshops to teach people how to have charisma. He says the key factors are “strength and warmth”, as projected by a smile and body language.

What does this all mean to me?  I believe it all starts with what is inside, so it is up to each of us to let the energy and love of the universe into ourselves – and develop our own qualities such as humor, adventure, and integrity that define our character.  Then, when we use that energy from within to smile, look somebody in the eye, to listen and react to what they have to say, we are doing so from an authentic center.  It is essential to make this kind of connection with other people.  Character or charisma? My vote: have both, but the character comes first.

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In the past two weeks, my husband and I have lost three family members.  All were from the generation ahead of us.  As we mourn their passing, we also celebrate their lives. We enjoy the company of family from near and far away.

It is a reminder to me that our time here on earth is fleeting, and the end can come quickly. It is too easy to go with a daily routine, and let the simple pleasures slip away. Don’t put off fishing, or hiking, or getting together with friends, or teaching a kid something new (or letting a kid teach us something new!) It is important to find the joy every day, living a fully realized life and being a positive influence on ourselves and others.

Take time to see and appreciate Aunts, Uncles, and others who have come before us, and helped shape who we are. Enjoy the company of friends and family, young and old, who we are blessed to have in our lives. Remember to show the love.

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