the importance of greeting cards

by WizardOfWords on September 18, 2014

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When is the last time you mailed someone a physical card of congratulations, thanks, or support?

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People who know me well know that I love to send and receive cards–of all types! I have a drawer in which I have various categories of cards that I send out to friends, family, and colleagues when the occasion arises. When I travel, I pick up greeting cards unique to an area or any that are particularly beautiful, so that when the need arises, I have something nice on hand. And when I spot a card that reminds me of a specific individual, I may adhere a yellow ‘sticky’ to the card, so that I know that card is perfect for that friend’s birthday, etc.

I admit I’ve slipped a bit in recent years, falling habit to using e-mail to communicate with people more than physical mail or the telephone. But I do know that whenever someone takes the time, makes the effort, and absorbs the cost of sending me a card in the mail, I really like it. And almost every time, will take the time/make the effort to acknowledge the card by way of a e-mailed thank you or a phone call. I really believe that a kind acknowledgement deserves a reciprocal acknowledgement of gratitude, and encourage you to do the same. As simple as an e-mail saying, “I rec’d your card. Thanks so much.”

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This past week, I had the great pleasure of receiving a congratulatory card from the Chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada in acknowledgement of my Readers’ Favorite award for Chocolatour. I was thrilled to receive this card from the leader of our prestigious association of authors! I save special cards that I have rec’d from throughout my lifetime, and this one is definitely a keeper.

How do you feel about greeting cards? Am I a dinosaur to appreciate them? Do you like it when you receive a card in the mail that acknowledges a special moment in your life, or is simply an acknowledgement of gratitude, an illness, death in the family, or accomplishment ?

Let’s talk about the importance and relevance of sending personalized cards, and then join me back here the week of September 29th for our next new post.

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award winning author

by WizardOfWords on September 3, 2014

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Wow. Seeing those three words in a note of congrats that I rec’d from a colleague made me realize I had actually achieved something wonderful. I am now an award winning author.

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This week, my latest book Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate (Volume I) was chosen as a Bronze Medal winner in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards in the non-fiction Cooking/Food category. This achievement is particularly sweet as this book is 100% my creation–with of course, the guidance and assistance of my editor(s), designer, and printing company.

Over the past five years I have researched, photographed, written, helped design the cover and interior of the book, crowdfunded, marketed, and independently published a full-colour 176-page book about the world of fine chocolate. I have interviewed hundreds of chocolatiers and chocolate makers, eaten chocolate from far more, attended dozens of chocolate events as a chocolate lover and as a speaker, enjoyed visiting choco-centric resorts and attractions, and become totally immersed in the world of artisan chocolate.

What an absolute delight it is to see the book saluted in the category of Food and Cooking, as chocolate has always been called the “Food of the Gods” and in its pure form, is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world.

It is my goal to establish chocolate travel as the new niche in travel for people who love indulgence and are interested in developing their palates, for people who want to understand where cacao is grown and how it is magically transformed into the amazing elixir we call chocolate, and for people who want to meet the highly creative and sometimes eccentric individuals who are creating these chocolate masterpieces.

I am currently researching Volume II of Chocolatour, and am happily speaking at numerous upcoming events about chocolate in Winnipeg (McNally Robinson Booksellers on September 20th), Seattle (Northwest Chocolate Festival October 3-5), Kingston, Ontario (November 20th at the launch of a new chocolate shop), details of a Toronto event are being finalized, and Miami, Florida (November 22nd for the Readers’ Favorite Awards Ceremony and the Miami Book Fair.) I also have some writing related speaking spots in Selkirk, Manitoba (Oct 23-25 for the Black Ink ReCon conference) and November 29th in Winnipeg for an event on crowdfunding sponsored by PWAC Manitoba.

Thanks so much to everyone who has encouraged me and accompanied me on this journey.

If you are an award winning author, please share with us what you have achieved and how it has come to be. If you’ve won another life-changing award, please share and tell us about it! And please join us back here the week of September 15th for our next new post.

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Have you found YOUR tribe?

August 21, 2014
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I’ve always been a joiner. I belong to numerous organizations, including Toastmasters International, the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada, and the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. There are other organizations I may have belonged to and have left and may rejoin. I feel a bit like my interests and loyalties are in […]

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accepting the Versatile Blogger Award

August 4, 2014
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Many thanks to Chris Nash for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Chris knows me via the Travel Blogged group on facebook, and so he nominated my travel blog for the award in his post. But as it is this blog where I talk about the muse that leads my writing and inspires my […]

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where is the care in healthcare?

July 23, 2014
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I think that everyone who knows me and/or reads this blog, knows that I like to focus on the positive. I rarely rant or let negativity occupy my thoughts. But I’d posted the following on facebook last night after a nasty encounter at one of our local healthcare facilities with a health care ‘professional’ and based on the […]

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what’s in a name?

July 9, 2014
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This week, I have the pleasure of welcoming a Toastmasters friend and colleague to my blog, with a guest post that’s actually a reprint of the amazing speech she recently presented to the Toastmasters in the Arts club in Gimli, Manitoba. Carolyn Dyane had us sitting on the edge of our seats with this thought-provoking, […]

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Book Review: 10% Happier by Dan Harris

June 25, 2014
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This week, we have the privilege of a guest post from author, writer, editor, blogger Jeri Walker-Bickett, whom I met via the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group on LinkedIn. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) writes short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological suspense. The rough Idaho mining town she grew up in populates her literary landscape. She also works as […]

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planning a virtual book tour

June 6, 2014
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I’ve been learning much from D’vorah Lansky during the past 4 weeks in her 30-day Book Marketing Challenge. Although I haven’t had time to properly digest all the material, the one thing that has really motivated me in the course material, is to plan a virtual book tour for my chocolate travel book, “Chocolatour: A […]

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collaboration: a key to success

May 29, 2014
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I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and over the past 20+ years, time and time again I’ve realized that collaboration is and continues to be the key to my success.   Indeed, freelancing can be a solitary life if you let it. But that gets you nowhere. Joining professional groups such as the Professional […]

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the impact of colour in our lives

May 16, 2014
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With signs of the fresh new shades of green finally springing up after the long cold winter, my attentions have turned to the importance of colour to me, and the impact it has on my life. Colour fuels my creativity and feeds my emotions. Without colour, my brain and my life feel void of stimulation. […]

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