THIS Is What Chick Night Is All About

Angela, Julie, and Anne at their FIRST Official Chick Night - a fun-filled laugh-filled sleepover

Take a look at these three happy faces, while I tell you how much I APPRECIATE what they’ve been up to.

Before I do that, I’ll have to give you a bit of background for context…

Talking to women, doing interviews, writing artices and blog posts, prepping for speaking engagements is very exciting, but it’s also time-consuming.

Keeping up with a book launch, even a REALLY FUN book launch, can get draining  – especially when you forget to take your own advice.

That’s why I took this past weekend OFF. I unplugged my phone and turned off my computer from 6PM Friday night until 4PM Sunday afternoon.

(By then, I just HAD to check my email.  I was starting to exhibit signs of withdrawal).

That day-and-a-half felt really good. I had time to step back from the logistics of this and concentrate on one of the main reasons why I wrote the book in the first place – to ENCOURAGE WOMEN to take time out for themselves.

Then I started to wonder if I had begun to forget my own message. That would be IRONIC, wouldn’t it?

While I was still puzzling over that question, I opened and read an email I received this morning.

I was so excited I actually called Angela and asked her permission to share what she’d written. She agreed, so here is her email………..

Colleen,
I just wanted to fill you in on my fabulous “Chick Night” I had with my two best friends from my hometown of Perth.

Julie and I have been friends since Grade 4 and our friendship with Anne began in high school…so these are decades old friendships here!

One is married and one is divorced and they both each have two young children. I am the single gal of the group and don’t have the same family ties they do, but I still love hanging out with them and we always try to get together whenever I’m home from Sudbury.

Suffice to say we’ve been through a lot together.

After numerous back and forth emails deciding on what, when and where we were going to meet, we decided on dinner Saturday night in Ottawa and a sleepover at a hotel.

One of my friends works for a hotel chain and was able to use her employee discount for a fabulous rate in a posh hotel in downtown Ottawa.

We ate dinner in the Byward Market at Fat Tuesdays and then walked back to our hotel room. We stopped for late-night snacks on the way there (which absolutely included chocolate!)

When we got back to the hotel room we all put our PJs on, took some pictures and then watched a “Pay-Per-View” movie, gabbed, reminisced and laughed like we did when we were in high school.

It was terrific!

I had to leave earlier than they did Sunday morning. When I left them they were capitalizing on sleeping in – without children waking them up.

Thank you for all your suggestions and the wonderful idea to make this a regular thing. Chick Night will absolutely become a regular thing for us.

I gave them each a copy of your book to read so I can only guess they’ll pour over it and point out to their family members that they have permission to “recharge”.

I can’t always get to Eastern Ontario once a month but I told my “chicks” they need to try to get together once a month – with or without me.

Thanks for everything,
Angela

How is THAT for the power of Chick Night?!

Women connecting, and in doing so, helping each other reconnect with themselves.

Angela gets it! Now, so do Julie and Anne.

THANKS, Angela. I truly appreciate your email – and the REMINDER within YOUR message.

Talk soon.

Colleen

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An Early Christmas Present

Writers can be a strange breed. We have words and thoughts swirling around in our heads and the only way to get them to SETTLE DOWN is to write them OUT.

By doing so, we show our ideas the respect they deserve. Plus, these printed words become tangible proof of our creativity.

With the exception of knowing you have just crafted the PERFECT sentence, there is nothing more exhilarating for writers than seeing our words in PRINT.

In recent years, I’ve been writing for newspapers and magazines. I have kept paper copies of all of these articles in a portfolio.

This has worked well as a way to show new clients what I can do, however being published in this way also prompted me to set up what I jokingly refer to as the “Wall of Fame” in my home office.

Every time an article I’ve written appears in a magazine, I head off to Michaels to purchase one of their “floating frames” to display that issue’s cover.

This is how I remind myself of what I have ACCOMPLISHED. The bare spots on this wall ENCOURAGE me to continue to fill these open spaces.

I highly recommend you give yourself this type of visual acknowledgment. It WORKS WONDERS – especially during times when you’re feeling discouraged or you’re experiencing writer’s block.

After having my book published, I had been concerned that nothing else (short of a SECOND book) would ever give me that rush again.

As always, I worried for NOTHING.

Yesterday, when I saw my article in the November/December issue of Calgary’s Child Magazine, it  triggered that old familiar exhilaration. I was so relieved!

Then, I opened the second email attachment…

Finding out that Melissa Thomson, Copy Editor at Calgary’s Child Magazine has also included my book on their “must haves” list for moms – the Annual Holiday Wish List – well, THAT was nothing short of an EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT.

Woohooooooo!

Thanks, Melissa. Hope Santa is good to YOU, too.

Talk soon.

Colleen

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s a GREAT Big World Out There

When I was young, I couldn’t even comprehend how BIG our Universe was. That’s because I thought the EARTH had to be the largest thing there could possibly be.

My mom would always refer to the earth as the “entire world”. Her wording strengthened my belief that this planet was as big as it gets.

Now that I’m an adult…okay, fine, now that I’ve been an adult for quite a while, I realize that the earth is big – but not THAT big.

During the past couple of decades, we have heard more and more about global markets and global technologies. It is these global TECHNOLOGIES that I want to talk about today.

Actually, I want to THANK global technology. In particular, I want to thank the INTERNET.

The internet’s incredible ability to transmit information across the planet in mere seconds has opened up our field of possibilities to BEYOND our wildest dreams.

Less than a quarter of a century ago, the FAX MACHINE offered information transmission at what seemed like breakneck speed.

That was, of course, as long as both parties owned a fax machine and that it was turned on, had an adequate supply of ink and paper, and that someone was in the office to read it.

NOW, we can post information on websites so that it is there whenever anyone wants to read it. We can also send information out by email and social media channels.

People can access our messages and information through work computers, home computers, handheld devices, even by their cell phones – ANY TIME of the day or night.

After reading it, they have the option to send that information out even further – to THEIR email and social media contacts.

Do you ever stop to think about how HELPFUL the internet really is?

I know that you get busy with your daily life, and that the internet now seems commonplace – but if you do take the time to think about this, it may give you a bit of a head rush.

There is no end to how far news can travel and to how many people around the ENTIRE WORLD can read about it.

For example, I sat in Hanmer, Ontario, Canada (east of Sudbury, four hours north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) to write a book. Information about that book, The Beginner’s Guide to Chick Night, has now been transmitted to online sites – and been made available for purchase – in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia.

Book reviews have been written and uploaded, articles have been written and posted, contacts have been made and information exchanged – all without me having EVEN MET these people, and in some cases NOT EVEN KNOWING it was going to happen.

The internet has taken the concept of WORD OF MOUTH to a whole new level.

As word spreads, connections are made that I never imagined. For example, my publicist Cindy Dashnaw emailed me yesterday after discovering that my book is now available for purchase at Target.com

I was understandably excited about that, until I discovered that neither SHE nor my publisher’s rep, Kelly Ferguson, at iUniverse have EVER heard of one of their author’s books being picked up by Target.com

It’s never happened before. So HOW DID IT happen?

I don’t know, and I may never know – but I can honestly tell you that when the power of the internet even surprises the people who work with it every day – I call that a REASON TO CELEBRATE.

So, who’s bringing the snackies?!

Talk soon.

Colleen

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The POWER of Words

Words have such POWER.

They can calm or enrage. They can soothe or devastate.

Words NOT SAID (or in my case NOT WRITTEN) can have a huge impact on the meaning of a statement.

Case in point, my blog post from yesterday. In it, I referred to a time in my life when things seemed totally bleak.

In the next sentence, I was TRYING to make the point that I am certainly not the only person who has gone through a difficult time. However, what I typed was “I am the only one”.

Sigh.

I proofread that post at least twice before hitting Publish. Every time I read it, I said the word “not” in my head but didn’t notice that it wasn’t actually there.

By accidentally leaving the word “not” out, it COMPLETELY changed the meaning of the sentence.

Leaving words in or out is one way your meaning can be misconstrued. There is also a risk when you use a word out of context.

Here again, I am NOT the only one. A friend of mine accidentally requested that her investment broker begin to invest her money MORE aggressively. What she meant was LESS aggressively.

As a result of that one incorrect word, she now has $12,000 LESS in her investment portfolio than she did at the end of the last quarter.

One word. It was ONE WORD.

My message today is to be very, very, very careful what you say and what you write.

Words have POWER.

Talk soon. Carefully.

Colleen

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Counting My BLESSINGS

The adage “count your blessings” has always fascinated me because it can have two completely different meanings – depending upon the way you look at it.

Those three words can serve as a reminder to be GRATEFUL – as in “count your blessings” when life is going well. This helps you recognize and APPRECIATE everything you have.

By looking at that simple phrase from another angle, it can also provide much-needed PERSPECTIVE during difficult times – as in, “count your blessings” because things could be worse. When life throws you a curveball, this can help you refocus your attention for some much-needed COMFORT.

There have been periods in my life when that angle has literally SUSTAINED me. These were times when it felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world, to the extent that I truly questioned whether or not I would ever laugh again.

YOU KNOW what I mean, don’t you?  I am NOT the only one who has ever felt this way.

It is for these times that I highly recommend you arm yourself with this wonderful LIFE TOOL. Keep it within easy reach – available for you to pull out and use whenever necessary.

As you begin to notice more and more of the POSITIVE elements in your life – the people, things, and events – more and more of them will APPEAR.

I kid you not. This really works!

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. Last week, I received an email from my publicist, Cindy Dashnaw to say that Take 5 Magazine wanted me to put together six hot tips for bonding with friends.

After a quick Google search, I was EXCITED to see that Take 5 Publications is based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

I was GRATEFUL to Cindy for setting it up, and I was GRATEFUL for the magazine’s interest.  Last Friday I  wrote the piece, emailed it to Cindy, and looked forward to seeing it in print.

TODAY, I opened my weekly report from Cindy and discovered that I had made a mistake. The article wasn’t intended for Take 5 Magazine in B.C. It has gone to Take 5 Magazine in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.

AUSTRALIA! A whole new CONTINENT could now hear about my book.

Do you really need a better example of the power of gratitude than THAT?!

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering…Yes, I will CONTINUE to COUNT MY BLESSINGS.

Talk soon.

Colleen

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

When TIME Pulls a DISAPPEARING ACT

Where the heck does time GO?

Seriously! How can one particular day feel like a WEEK…and one particular week feel like a DAY?!

Have YOU experienced this? Do you have an EXPLANATION you can “share with the class”???????????

We’re all working with the very same way to MEASURE TIME. One minute is 60 seconds. One hour has 60 minutes. One day has 24 of these hours…..

Intellectually, I know this to be FACT. However, it doesn’t explain that sudden “You’re KIDDING?!” feeling that hit me when I read one of my Chick’s emails this morning.

In it, Bonnie mentioned that I haven’t posted a new blog here in more than 10 days.

“No way”, I thought. Then I checked my calendar and discovered that she was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

My last blog posting was October 11th.

Yikes!!!!!!!

Once the initial shock wore off, I started mentally reviewing the past week-and-a-half, trying to figure out how THAT MUCH time had slipped by me unnoticed.

I will admit that I lean toward workaholic tendencies when I get focussed on my writing. I can easily lose HOURS when I’m working on my laptop – especially if I’m doing any sort of creative writing.

Lately, there have been quite a few requests from newspaper/magazine publications and blog sites for 500-750 word articles related to the various THEMES of my book.

I’ve spent COUNTLESS happy hours writing those.

There have also been some AWESOME book reviews posted on several blogger sites.

Recording, cataloging, follow-up and distribution of these reviews took far more time than I had anticipated.

Just for the record, when I say these reviews were “awesome”, it’s not just because these bloggers have had nice things to say about my book – although I sure was grateful for that!

Even better, these women TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD what I was trying to say.

Best of all, they’ve decided to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Woohooo!

If you’re the least bit interested in reading these reviews (Mom), you can see them by checking out my Media Interviews/Book Reviews page on this site www.mychicknight.com

As you can imagine, I’ve been VERY FOCUSSED on this part of my book launch. Plus, I’m STILL running my business, doing the prep work for upcoming projects, finishing assignments for clients…

….Oh, well okay, maybe I’ve just answered my own question.

I’m not the only person who is BUSY. Please feel free to weigh in on this issue. I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on this.

Talk soon.

Colleen

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A MEETING of the Minds

Without ever having met her, I already know that Cascia Talbert and I understand each other.

Cascia is the founder,  editor, and CEO of The Healthy Moms Magazine – the #1 health and wellness magazine for moms – at www.thehealthymoms.net

She is also a blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of FIVE children.

I BELIEVE her when she says she’s busy.

Recently, Cascia requested a copy of my book for an ONLINE REVIEW.  How this busy lady finds time to read is a mystery to me, but I definitely applaud her for it! This is a woman who could EASILY teach time-management to corporate executives.

Keep in mind that I have never met this woman before, and that no money changed hands (or purses), however her review Regular “Chick Nights” Can Help Ease Stress was quite glowing.

http://www.thehealthymoms.net/2011/10/regular-chick-nights-can-help-ease.html

I believe Cascia Talbert’s response was positive because she totally GETS what I am trying to say to women in The Beginner’s Guide to Chick Night:

  • GUILT-FREE “me” time is really important for women who are busy taking care of others.
  • SOLUTIONS can be found for every perceived obstacle to fun.
  • There is a SPECIAL BOND that only girlfriends can share – and YOU DESERVE to have this bond in your life.

As a woman, I encourage her AND YOU to seek out women who you can begin developing friendships with.

As a mom, I can assure her AND YOU that through regular Chick Nights, the ultimate message you will send your children is one of self-worth.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked on numerous occasions HOW busy women are supposed to figure out WHO they could ask out for a Chick Night.

The answer is – look around you. Who do you know, even just casually enough to say “Hi” to, that you think might be a potential Chick?

Think of women you work with, women who live in your neighbourhood, women who go to your church or belong to community organizations you are involved in.

Take a look around you the next time you’re sitting at your child’s ball or hockey game, dance or piano lesson. Which of the other moms who are also sitting here have you enjoyed chatting with in the past? Who do you feel you might have things (besides your children) in common with?

Start a conversation about how hard it is to find time for yourself, and time to socialize with other women. Listen to what she says. If she totally agrees, ask her if she’d be interested in going out for coffee and a chocolate dessert sometime – no husbands, no children.

If her eyes light up at the idea, you have met your first potential Chick Night chick.

Looking in the present is one way. You can also look in your past.

Who have you not seen or spoken to in ages? Think of someone you really like but have lost touch with.

If you haven’t called or emailed her because you are embarrassed about how long it’s been – do it TODAY. Chances are, she’s feeling the very same way, which is why SHE hasn’t called you.

Suggest that it’s been too long and that you would really like to meet her for coffee and a chocolate dessert. See what she says!

Honestly, this doesn’t have to be complicated as it seems. You may be uncomfortable to make that initial approach but you are bound to find other women who are also craving female friendship.

Enjoy your first Chick Night!

Colleen

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized