Featured Poem: Nothing is Far

By Robert Francis

Though I have never caught the word
Of God from any calling bird,
I hear all that the ancients heard.
Though I have seen no deity
Enter or leave a twilit tree,
I see all that the seers see.
A common stone can still reveal
Something not stone, not seen, yet real.
What may a common stone conceal?
Nothing is far that once was near.
Nothing is hid that once was clear.
Nothing was God that is not here.
Here is the bird, the tree, the stone.
Here in the sun I sit alone
Between the known and the unknown.

 

Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer and Other Bookish News

 

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* Pop Sugar has put together their own list of the 25 best new books to bring to the beach this summer!

* Time Magazine interviewed Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith here.

* The 2018 O’Henry Prize Stories were announced. You can see the full list of winners here.

* I read this opinion piece by novelist Jessica Knoll in The New York Times a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it! Read it here.

* If you love a A Wrinkle in Time (I’ll admit, I have not read this), I stumbled across this awesome list of 9 other diverse sci-fi and fantasy books you should read.

* Last, but not least check out the longlist for the Best Translated Book Awards ahead of the announcement of the finalists next week.

Enjoying this new series? I’ll be back next week with the latest rumblings in the literary world!

Crushing It!

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

In his 2009 international bestseller Crush It, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success, In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what principles remain timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of the social media platforms, and their willingness to do whatever it took to make these tools work to their utmost potential. That’s what Crushing It! teaches readers to do.

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.

Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.

I REALLY enjoyed this book! I haven’t read much this year so it’s maybe less significant when I say this is my favorite book I’ve read this year, but I’ll say it anyway: this is my favorite book I’ve read this year.

If you’re a business owner, content creator, influencer, or desire to be any of those things, I think Crushing It! is absolutely required reading for 2018.

I didn’t read Crush It! until September of 2016…basically seven years after it came out. While I liked Crush It!, it did feel dated at that point in time. I suspect how I feel reading Crushing It! now is how some people felt who read Crush It! soon after it came out.

The first half of Crushing It! reads like a motivational, personal development/business book. I highlighted so many great nuggets in this section. It’s like listening to one of Gary’s podcast episodes except that it’s laser focused because someone took an editing pen and applied a tight structure to it. The second half drills down into specific platforms and gives ideas on how you can use them and where those platforms are going. So if you want to know how to kill it on Instagram, Gary’s got advice for you. Want to be a podcaster? That’s in here, too.

Crushing It! also includes many case studies of people who were able to put into practice the things Gary wrote about in Crush It! and have been able to really dominate with their brands and companies. One of the things I think that’s really important in the personal development and business space, whether it’s a book, blog, video, or podcast, is to give examples of real people who are doing the things you’re teaching about. It’s easy to assume one person’s success is a fluke, but once you start giving examples of others who have had success, it’s hard to argue it away as, “Well, you’re Gary Vaynerchuk. That would never work for me”.

Aside from this book being pure Gary Vaynerchuk (meaning if you don’t like Gary, don’t read this book), the thing I found most significant about Crushing It! is that whenever I stopped reading, I felt really inspired and motivated. One of the things that most excites me about with my new business (Minute Marketing) is the chance to experiment and try new things to create better and more impactful content. And that’s true not only for Minute Marketing, but for my clients and even this blog! I had some great thoughts while reading this book about both of my brands and I’m looking forward to getting back to being creative and playing around with content.

I wanted to share one quote I really liked from the book with you:

“When you really own it, and you put yourself out there and be you, your vibe is going to attract your tribe, and you’re going to be able to make change in this world.”

So here’s my commitment to you: to be really authentic and unapologetically myself. To be less strategic and more focused on putting out the best of the best. To crushing it in all spaces and places.

May 12th-May 18th: Week in Review

The official launch of Minute Marketing went great – I am so honored and floored by all the support messages I received! I truly have best the best community, friends, family, and boyfriend. Just blessed.

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In order to keep myself accountable and to hopefully avoid slipping into bad habits, I’m going to start chronicling the weeks of my life over here. The idea being that knowing I have to write these posts will keep me from doing anything I’d be embarrassed to admit that I did (like spend an afternoon binge-watching Shameless instead of working).

So here we go!

Saturday I worked for most of the day, but I found time to run a few errands and I took my dog, Elliot, for a walk. I also ran into my neighbors who had some amazing news and I am so stoked for them!!

We rent the house we live in, but I love it. I wish it was at least one bedroom bigger, but it’s super cute and we have the best neighbors. I literally picked this place off of Craigslist 3? 4? years ago, toured it, wrote the application that night, and moved into what has been a dream situation. That’s one of the many things I’m super grateful for, after moving so much during college, to have landed in the best situation. And the landlord is awesome, too!

On Saturday night, the boyfriend and I finally got around to watching Infinity War. INSANE!! We got dinner beforehand at Rubio’s and it ended up being free because the new guy rang us up and majorly messed up. It almost made us late to the movie which was a little stressful, but luckily I had bought tickets online and this theater lets you reserve your seats. Overall, it was really nice to have an evening off.

Sunday, I also worked and then we celebrated Mother’s Day with my boyfriend’s family. My mom lives in Colorado, but I am proud of myself that I managed to sort out the gifts and get them delivered in time with everything else that was going on. I like picking out and giving gifts, so I always handle that. We got Korean BBQ with his family and then we got ice cream at a shop around the corner (Ocean Rainbow) that also served Mexican-style desserts.

Monday, I went to the barn bright and early to ride Pia, my younger horse, before going to my old office for a bit to do some training. Then I did some work before tuning in to my Writer’s Group in the evening. My neighbor is in the group, too, but the other members actually live in different states so we hop onto Discord to talk about the pages that were submitted this week. A couple of us have never met in person so I can tell we’re getting more comfortable with each other every week.

Tuesday, I didn’t get as much work done because I had some errands and things to do. But I went and looked at new office chairs because the “leather” on my current one is literally peeling off over my kitchen. It gives me anxiety because of how messy it makes the floor look. My office is currently in the kitchen because it’s starting to get warm. Tuesday night I celebrated my friend K’s birthday. We tried a place close to my house that I had never been to before: Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ. It was SO good! If you like Korean BBQ, you will like this place. It was a bit expensive though, so more of a special occasion option I think.

Wednesday, I also started the day at the barn with Pia. In the afternoon, I met with one of my clients and their new team member. Then I went to the chiropractor who is one of my favorite people because he is a miracle worker. Go see Dr. Brady with Walk-In Chiropractic in Pacific Beach!

Thursday, I worked basically the whole day in anticipation of heading to a conference on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, I went to a Facebook Ads workshop in San Diego with Rick Mulready and that was super great! I learned so much and met some great people AND…I met Amy Porterfield. Amy is pretty instrumental in me being where I am right now. When I decided that I wanted to use my marketing skills to help people, I randomly saw this FB ad from Amy for a free webinar she was doing. I knew her name, but I’d never engaged with her content before and I felt like it was a sign I had made a good decision because the webinar topic was spookily about what I had just decided in my head I wanted to do. I did the webinar and I’ve been a fan ever since. That ad was just the first of many spooky beautiful signs I’ve received since then that I’m meant to walk this path. And I’m just so grateful to Amy for continuing to give tons of value to her fans. I pretty much cried when I met her and she let me give her a hug.

I was tired after the conference on Friday…I haven’t had to focus on one thing for that long in several weeks. So Friday night I took the night off and the boyfriend and I went to The Crafty Butchers for a sandwich and a beer.

What I’m Reading:

Ghost Bully by Brain Corley (review coming soon!)

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

What I’m Listening To:

The Youpreneur Podcast – Chris Ducker was a guest on a few other podcasts I listen to so I recently subscribed to and started listening to his podcast and I’m OBSESSED. I have been binging on the episodes. Luckily there are a lot of them and I spent a fair amount of time this week driving around.

Snow Patrol is releasing a new album, Wildness, and I pre-ordered it through iTunes (yes, I use iTunes) so I have been listening to the singles that have already been released.

Also discovered The Killers released a new album last fall, Wonderful, Wonderful, so I downloaded and have been listening to that as well.

What I’m Watching:

I actually listened to this (rather than watched) but this video from Sunny Lenarduzzi was gold.

What I’m Loving:

That berries are back in season! I love raspberries and strawberries. I just wish they weren’t so expensive and didn’t go bad so quickly 😦

Reading Spaces: Traditional Window Seats

My Reading Spaces series is back by popular demand! Even though I haven’t been writing this series, I’ve been saving a bunch of inspiration for Reading Spaces posts so don’t you worry, I’ve got even more dreamy book nooks on deck!

This week I’m keeping it classic and focusing on the traditional window seat – the reading space bookworm dreams are made of. Enjoy!

All images via Houzz

Featured Poem: Dawn

By John Gould Irwin

Above the east horizon,
The great red flower of the dawn
Opens slowly, petal by petal;
The trees emerge from darkness
With ghostly silver leaves,
Dew powdered.
Now consciousness emerges
Reluctantly out of tides of sleep;
Finding with cold surprise
No strange new thing to match its dreams,
But merely the familiar shapes
Of bedpost, window-pane, and wall.

Within the city,
The streets which were the last to fall to sleep,
Hold yet stale fragments of the night.
Sleep oozes out of stagnant ash-barrels,
Sleep drowses over litter in the streets.
Sleep nods upon the milkcans by back doors.
And, in shut rooms,
Behind the lowered window-blinds,
Drawn white faces unwittingly flout the day.

But, at the edges of the city,
Sleep is already washed away;
Light filters through the moist green leaves,
It runs into the cups of flowers,
It leaps in sparks through drops of dew,
It whirls against the window-panes
With waking birds;
Blinds are rolled up and chimneys smoke,
Feet clatter past in silent paths,
And down white vanishing ways of steel,
A dozen railway trains converge
Upon night’s stronghold.

 

via Poets.org

Happy Release Day to War Storm and Other Bookish News

* War Storm by Victoria Aveyard is out today and I can’t wait to find out how the Red Queen series concludes! Check out the blurb for the book here.

* Parade Magazine has put together a list of “The Top 25 Hottest Books of Summer”. I’m most intrigued by A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell and The President is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (yes, THAT Bill Clinton!)

* See the six books on the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist here.

* A little bit old, but author Celeste Ng recommends 27 books she loves here. I spy Exit West!

* Fancy a writer’s residency? Check out these eleven unusual options.

* Want to fall in love with a new author? Check out The Guardian’s list of fifty fresh voices in literature.

* The 2018 Hugo Award Finalists have been announced! You can find the list of honorees on Tor’s website.

* Authors Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin talk comics and queer characters on Literary Hub

Looking For Alaska is being made into a Hulu TV show and author John Green took to Reddit to answer questions about the new project.

* Last, but not least, Buzzfeed has a list of 21 new books to read this spring.

Enjoying this new series? I’ll be back next week with the latest rumblings in the literary world!