Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!!

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Fourth of July. And I ask everyone  to have our veterans in their  thoughts during this memorable holiday.

The Fourth of July is always an emotional time for me. It was my late husband's birthday. And although he has been gone twelve years, every time  I hear fireworks popping in  the distance, his words come to me, "Everyone celebrates my birthday!"

At times I still miss him even as I remember the struggles we dealt with in our relationship. I am reminded that it is our struggles in life that make us stronger and  our life sweeter. 

On this Fourth of July, as I recall the price  our veterans and their families have paid for  my free Freedom and yours, I want  to remember to be grateful for the good and  the seemingly bad, for it is through our tragedies that we find  faith and truth.

For those of you whom haven't met my cat, Sportster, and me, please enjoy this  wonderful interview  from a few years ago by Julianne Crane of Women RVers.  

RVer, author Judy Howard travels 'Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost'
Author and solo RVer Judy Howard with pet companion Sportster (Julianne G. Crane)
Solo RVer Judy Howard's lust for traveling became ingrained during a family vacation when she was a young girl.

In 1955, she recalls, "We traveled in our Willys Jeep towing our travel trailer from Springfield, Ill., to visit Disneyland" in California. "For a ten-year-old girl, that experience was unforgettable, not only because of Disneyland, but also because of the journey itself--Route 66, small towns, horned toads and Indians."

Now, nearing 70, Judy says she still feels "just as much passion for the journey as for the destination. Every day I am filled with gratitude for the privileged lifestyle I am able to enjoy."

Judy Howard's traveling rig.
She's married three times during her life. "My third was the longest of 25 years, the hardest and, amazingly, the best."

"In 2000 my husband and I purchased a 1997 24-foot Class C Winnebago Itasca.  We were only able to enjoy a few trips before he fell ill to lung cancer and died in 2004."

While she nursed her husband, she also nurtured a dream of driving their motorhome from southern California to Florida to visit a friend.

"After watching the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away, I created a life-sized doll like the Wilson (soccer ball) character in the movie. He would become my companion and I would tell him my plans," she says.

"Afraid and alone, three months after my husband passed away, I made that trip, accompanied by the doll and my cat, Sportster, riding shotgun. With country music cranked and blaring for 3,000 miles all the way to Florida, I cried and sang my lungs out. However, the woman who drove the 3,000 miles back home had changed. She sang 'I will survive,' 'I am woman,' and 'I’m Proud to be an American.'"

Inside Judy and Sportster's motorhome. (Julianne G. Crane)









In the beginning of her RVing adventures, Judy worked full time as the owner of a pet grooming business, The Canine Beauty Salon.  She joined a Good Sam chapter called the Rolling Singles and tried to be content with close-by, monthly camp outs. "But I yearned to go farther and longer."

Judy has traveled solo in her Winnebago for 11 years now. "I love its size and the coziness of the Class C floor plan."

In 2010 Judy discovered she had a talent and love for writing. "I’ve had a custom desk built in my motorhome so that I can spend my future doing the two things I love--writing and traveling."

Judy Howard's books (Julianne G. Crane)
She wrote her first book about her 2004 trip, Coast to Coast with a Cat and a Ghost. (2011). It is "a memoir about my loss, but more importantly, about my new beginning as an RVing widow," she says.

In 2012, Judy published:  Going Home with a Cat and a Ghost "a romantic mystery appealing to everyone in the second half of their life who have asked themselves, What if? Even in this work of fiction, Judy Howard delivers to the reader a message about how to rise above life's tragedies."

Her third book,  Masada's Marine: A Story of a Service Dog and her Wounded Marine Warrior came out in 2014. The novel, "the uplifting message of overcoming life's dramatic hurdles is delivered. Howard draws the reader into the life of a Marine Corps veteran who struggles with PTSD when he comes home from Iraq and, also, into the life a dog named Masada, who becomes a service dog for the wounded warrior."

About Sportster, the cat

Sportster (Julianne G. Crane)
"He has more fans and followers than I do," says Judy.

"He arrived in my life when someone brought him into my grooming shop as a small kitten, asking where the humane society was located. I was considering adopting a dog, but I agreed to take the kitten and find him a home," she says.

"I didn’t particularly like cats, but my employees talked me into making him a 'shop cat.' He didn’t last long in the shop cat position before he had purred his way into my heart, and I took him home. Now I would not own a dog. Cats are amazing, at least Sportster is."

He is a traveler, a companion, an explorer and a co-author. "He writes a blog, The Cat’s Perspective On Reading, Writing and Life, and has begun to write his memoirs. He too, loves to travel and gets very excited when he sees me loading the motorhome."

More about Judy Howard

Judy also presents inspirational seminars about writing and self-publishing at RV rallies, libraries, schools and veteran centers. "I believe writing is healing, and that we owe it to our youth to record our history."

Although not a full time RVer, she says, "the lure to do so is strong. I travel four to five months out of the year."

Always before a long trip she says she is scared. "The 'What If’s' try to consume me. Always before I publish my next book I am nauseous with worry. What will people think? Life is scary," she says.

"My message to everyone–and Sportster would agree–whatever it is you want to do with your life, don’t let fear keep you from getting behind the wheel.  Pack up your doubts, put your dreams in gear, and step on the gas. Life is for living."

Website: JudyHowardPublishing.com
Facebook: facebook.com/judy.howard.716
Twitter: twitter.com/SPORSTERHOWARD
Blog: The Wandering RV Widow.

She is currently working on books four and five.

– Julianne G. Crane


At the time of this interview  my latest books had not been published . 
Check out all of my books. click here to go to my Author Page on Amazon

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen!! Start Your Engines!!

Who’s going to Indy?? !!


The thrill of The Indianapolis 500 has fed the spirit of thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies for decades. I know the race of all races has already been run this year. But there is another thrill waiting for you to at Indianapolis Indiana this July, which 80 % of you have dreamed about but not dared to experience. 
What better place that in Indianapolis, Indiana to meet the challenge of fulfilling your dreams and discovering the inspiration of new adventures.
Come to Indy and I will help you qualify to feel the excitement of that checkered flag waving as you come around the last turn on your 
ROAD TO WRITING.!




video


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Beginnings.! But First ! Good bye , Farewell, Vaya Con Dios. I Wish you Well.

I have said a lot of goodbyes.
A few the gut wrenching, final farewells which only happen in death. If you’re young enough, you are lucky you haven’t had to  crawl and scratch your way out of that kind of pain.


We all experience those temporary good byes, from our first day in kindergarten, to kissing and hugging our own children as they venture out on their first date and then, too soon, on their honeymoon. All of us clutch tightly, cry, afraid to let go, worried, yet hoping in our excitement that our goodbyes  to our loved ones are, in fact, temporary.
There are the hurt and angry goodbyes. You know the ones. “I don’t ever want to see you again. Goodbye!” 
These, too, I have said at one time or another. Even if I  haven’t voiced them aloud, there have been times I screamed the words in my  mind at night, alone,  in the dark, for no  one to hear,  because I didn’t have the courage to voice my threat aloud.

And then there are the “Vaya Con Dios,” “Go with God” good byes. These brandish the sharpest edge. The   keen blades of these farewells draw a line in the sand, as if it makes its mark in blood ... not knowing if the farewell  will  be temporary or final, but knowing we  must let go,  we need to let go, yet dreading the act.

It's best to say these goodbyes while I'm  still strong enough, knowing  if  I wait, I   will be too weak, too far gone, too breathless to form the words and push them from my heart. 
 So, I wrench  out the words, “Thank you for the memories,” and I whisper, “I wish you well in your journey,” while at the same time my want   to stay cuts deep.   The days pass and  I imagine my body and soul bleeding out, wasting away to dust.

But as sure as good byes are the click of the lock, the slamming of the door, or the light in the window, they are only a disguise for new beginnings.




I turn around.

  I put my  back to the door and see the candlelight stretching through the window pane, across the road ahead. That is the way. Scary but exciting, it is the way ....  not the comforting chair behind the door I shut.


Each  state, each town, and each  campground, with its gurgling river, shifting surf, or vast forest lands lures me to stay, to relax, and give up  on facing the uncertainty of new adventures. But I start the engine and step on the gas. As Thoreau  once said, "How vain is it to sit down and write, if you have not stood up and lived?" 
Today with my back to the door, I face new thunderstorms and lightning to find my place in the sun. They ignite my energy and spur me  onward. Life is about living. During the   final hours on one's  death bed, the soul struggles and fights with a fierceness that brings the watcher to tears.

Don’t wait until you are too weak. Fight with a fierceness now, before you are too weak. Show the world how to live, and it will rejoice.




Click on the link below to find out more about Judy's books.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Celebrating Seven Years of Amazing Imagination, Creation, and Inspiration!!

Can you believe it!! I am celebrating my SEVEN YEAR
ANNIVERSARY as an author. I want to thank you for the support you have showered upon me.  Without your words of encouragement I would never have come this far. I could not have accomplished what I have without you, my readers.



Seven years ago, I signed up for a creative writing class offered by the community college just to try something fun and different. At the time I owned a pet grooming salon, which I had been operating since I was eleven years old. Since I was eleven years old! 
I was a dog groomer for over 50 years! 
Not an author! Who would have thought?

The new directions life can take us, if we are open to try something different, are always rewarding and full of adventure. For me, I discovered a creative passion for styling words instead of fur. From that moment on I have gone forward, from zero to sixty, and not looked back.

When you let me know my stories have moved you and affected your life, I am filled with humility and gratitude. Because of your encouragement  and reviews I rank in the top 10% – of Amazon’s Author ranking.  
I  travel the country presenting  seminars about writing and inspiration titled, “Have You Ever Thought About Writing?” begins the series, followed by “What Makes A Good Story?”  And my third seminar and my favorite, “Where’s The Inspiration?” I
This is my  hope in some small way to to give back the inspiration and knowledge which others instilled in me.

 The past seven years has been amazing – exciting, frightening, depressing, humbling, and fun!  A wild and crazy roller coaster ride. Thank you for sharing my books with your friends, co-workers and family. Without your support I would not have continued on this road. Like every writer, I survive on the emotional support of my readers. 
Today I have a question for you.


What I can do for your community? Do you belong to an organization in which you and its members  might like to become inspired to venture on your own journey of discovery?  Veterans’ groups, seniors  groups and  high school students are folks who could benefit attending the seminars.

Everyone has stories, talents, and ideas lurking in their mind, like the tigers pacing in their  cages, waiting for the chance to be free. Get Inspired. Release that wild idea! The seminars are the key!!


So today I am asking you to help me make a difference. Be part of this journey I am traveling. Be  the one who helps to  light the spark that just may change someone  life! 
All you have to do is invite me to your town. You can change the tide!  You never know who needs a nudge. Ride that inspirational wagon and pull others on  with you whom you believe would like or need that push  to grab the brass ring and follow their passions.








Please contact me if you would like me to speak to your club or organization. Don’t forget I travel. I would love to fit your town into my schedule. Just think, with your help others just may discover their passion and and begin their journeys. You can make a difference!

A raindrop never takes responsibility for the flood.

Thank you for your continued support.

Judy Howard

Jhoward1935@gmail.com

951-544-3046

Click here to find Judy Howard's books on her Amazon Author Page

Please enjoy an Interview with Judy Howard by Jim Hitt, award winning author, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and member of
The Diamond Valley Writers Guild


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Would you like to feel good?

 I like to feel good.

 Everyone I meet –– RVers, servers in restaurants, the educators at the schools where I speak and many others, like the young man in Algodones, Mexico and the bartender in Napa Valley, California –– they all want to feel good, too.

The problem, according to statistics from a Harris poll posted in the Huffington Post, determined that only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves “very happy.”

No surprise. 
Happiness requires struggle.



Thirty-five years ago, if someone asked me if I were "very happy," I would not have placed myself in the that category.  The happiness which I experience  today was not only out of my reach, but also impossible to imagine.

 I struggled through a divorce. I dealt with the discovery that my daughter was addicted to drugs. How could anyone be happy during such difficulties?
After the divorce,  I lived in my dog grooming shop, taking  baths in the dog wash tub and sleeping  by the light of the neon signs  of the shopping center. I lived a personal version of Jim Croce’s The Car Wash Blues. –you could say II was walking in soggy old shoes and singing “The Dog Wash Blues.”

 Spiritually, emotionally and financially bankrupt.


  The dream of writing books and traveling across country in a motor home with a cat, doing living a life I loved –– was not even a glimmer in my eye. I didn’t like cats and I had never written a book.  Thirty-five years ago  I believed my life would be what it always had been ––a life of enduring and “getting by.”
So what changed?
Those exact negative events changed me.

 I wanted to check out ––quit the rat race. The idea of suicide became alluring. I would do it with pills. But how many does it take? I didn’t know. It was not a question I could ask. There was no  Google back then.
 Failing at suicide, would have been impossible to bear –– the ultimate failure.

Fear of failure saved my life.

  People changed me.
No, not what you’re thinking. No kind individual rescued me. No caring  person took me under their wing and nurtured me back to mental health. 
Instead, I choose door number two. I stepped up to the plate.
The abusive husband whom I was divorcing and the drug addicted daughter who had sent me on my spiraling journey of depression –– it was they who became the catalysts for my survival.
I stepped up to the challenge, but not out of courage. Motivated by the fear of failing at suicide, I slinked into a 12 step program and set out on a path of self- discovery.

The wonderful quality of my life, which I enjoy today, was not determined by positive experiences. I became stronger  dealing with each  negative event and experience,  which came along  –  the  death of my husband,  being estranged from my daughter for so long that  I assumed her dead, and the death of my sister.


 Sometimes crawling, and other times scratching and fighting, I pushed through these events. Through the process, I  not only survived, but thrived.

So what do you want?  
What do you want enough to struggle for? 
To start up a business? 
To lose thirty pounds?  
To travel?  
To save money?

All of these goals require risk, sacrifice, and uprooting yourself from a comfortable, safe lifestyle. And, they require passion.

Do you want what you want enough?
What fears and disapproval are you willing to face?
Are you willing to suffer what  life will throw at you on your journey?

Twelve years ago after my husband passed away, I became a solo RVer. Five years later I became an author. This year I graduated to the status of living full-time in my Winnebago motor home,  I call The Big Story while   towing my Smart Car, The Short Story.
I travel the country, presenting seminars on how to flourish as a person  chasing whatever dream or  in which you have a passion.

Achievements, goals, to be happy, all have a price.  To be successful at anything requires dedication hard work, and the risk of criticism, rejection and even failure. To become an author I face all of these challenges as well as fear and doubt on a daily basis.


Traveling  the country requires driving  away from my comfort zone. I must push past my fears of being alone. My journeys   take me away from those I love, but in contrast,  opens up so many experiences and opportunities, which are priceless.


The prices I have paid in my life?  Forging through a bankruptcy, the deaths of parents, a husband, a sister, and worst of all, a granddaughter. too young to die.

 I’ve had to walk away from those I’ve loved. All of these things brought me to where I am today. They have made me an expert on how to live what life deals has dealt me.
Today I live in the “very happy’ category. I believe  in myself.
I trust  that everything I still ache for, I will find on the road ahead –– if I don’t look back. The way is not always easy.

I   am following my passions.
I am doing what I love …. because  I want it  bad enough.

And that is priceless!!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Believe it!!

Believe It!
by 
Judy Howard

Did you know you are what you think about?
Did you know what the mind perceives, it can achieve?
And did you know everything happens at exactly the right time?



For me, my biggest difficulty is the concept of living  in the present. My nature is  always to wonder, “What is going to happen tomorrow?”
I’m not so much a worrier.  I just want to know what amazing person or awesome place will I experience next.

As wonderful as my life has become, I still desire things which seem out of my reach. My passion for them drives me and lures me around the next curve, and over the next mountain.
Although  I believe that what the mind perceives, it will achieve, and also that I am right where  I am supposed to be. And yet I can be plagued with doubts, fears, and what ifs. Perhaps the habit  is unavoidable. Perhaps it is human nature.

As result, I do affirmations.

First, I do them  because the mind can only think one thought at a time. Every morning and every night  affirmations set my attitude in a positive direction.
Two, because stating my intentions and my desires  assures my conscious mind what my sub conscious mind already knows.
Here is a little exercise for you. Practice this faithfully for one week, and let me know the difference in your life and your attitude. I would love to hear from you.




Write down your ideal situation in regards to :
Your Body:
Do you want to be  healthier, eat better, lose weight?
To be able be able to go hiking?
Change your hairstyle?
Your Mind:
Do you want to  have a sharper mind, to learn new things?
To have a more positive attitude?
Your Soul:
Do you want to be less fearful, to have more faith?
To help others?
To fall in love?

Write down 3 obstacles or fears you see in trying to accomplish these ideal situations.
Your Body:
I’m afraid I can’t work out in bad weather.
I’m afraid I can’t find  time to work out.
I don’t think I can achieve my goal.
Your Mind:
I’m afraid I can’t achieve a sharper mind.
I’m afraid I can’t learn new things.
I’m afraid I won’t get a better attitude.
Your Soul:
I’m afraid I can’t overcome my fears.
I’m afraid I won’t have the faith in myself.
I’m afraid I won’t find a way to help others.
I’m don’t think I can fall in love.



With a red marker cross out “I’m afraid I can’t….” and  “I don’t think I can…” and write,  “I Will.”

Your Body:
I’m afraid I can’t work I Will out in bad weather.

I’m afraid I can’t I Will find  time to work out.
I don’t think I can I Will achieve my goal.
Your Mind:
I’m afraid I can’t I Will achieve a sharper mind.
I’m afraid I can’t I Will  learn new things.
I’m afraid I won’t I Will get a better attitude.
Your Soul:
I’m afraid I can’t I Will overcome my fears.
I’m afraid I won’t I Will have the faith in myself.
I’m afraid I won’t I Will find a way to help others.
I’m don’t think I can I Will fall in love.

Now record these affirmations  on your phone. . Read aloud, pausing  after each one. You may even want to set it to music.

    Listen to it daily in the morning, before your day begins.



 Every day, in every way, your life will be better.

                          Click Here For

BOOKS BY JUDY HOWARD 







Monday, April 3, 2017

Two Great Things About Writing



Two Great Things About Writing

Before I became a writer I wanted answers to a life I had not yet lived. I engaged in a constant battle with myself. Physically, I lived in the present, traveling across the country in my twenty-four foot Winnebago motorhome with my cat, Sportster. As  the day  rolled on by my windshield,  my  mind reached down the road, around the bend and  into the next hour, day or  year, wanting to know about  my future, my  next adventure. How many times did I miss the awe of the picture-perfect scenes scrolling past? I didn’t cherish the softness of the pine scented breeze, brushing my face, which drifted into the open window.  No, I let it all pass me by.  I wanted to know what was down the road. I wanted answers to a life I had not lived.

Today I am an author. I write novels. My mind creates stories from the places, the people and adventures I have experienced on the road. I don’t wait for what is around the next curve.  I create my own answers to all those “what if…” questions as I cruise along a thousand, forgotten country roads. Feeling the warm hue of fluttering, falling leaves, or filling up my heart with the promises from the green sprouts of spring, I lean back in the driver’s seat. The steady hum of the tires sing their freedom song and glide along the ribbon of asphalt.

 I shout, “OK Google, take a note.”
 

I don’t need answers to the life I haven’t lived.

I am an author, I can make up my own answers.

 
 
Before I became an author, I suffered many failures. Two marriages, many relationships, and worst of all, I failed as a mother. And when I really examine my past, my role as a daughter was dismal, too. The disappointments and heartaches I suffered would have driven many into depression and even suicide. I admit, I waded in those dark pools. During those dark days of desperation, I shared the miserable details of my existence with a friend.  
My wise mentor responded. “That is good, “she said. “Now you will be able to tell someone else who is going through what you are now that you have been  there. And you will tell them how you survived.” Your failures will be their hope.”
I didn’t take the dive into the deep pool of eternity. Do you know why? The fear of failure. What if I failed the suicide attempt?  To me, that failure would be the ultimate failure, so instead, I pressed on.

So what is the second great thing about being an author?  

As an author, I enjoy the success of those failures.   In simplest terms, I can incorporate my tragedies into my books. The experiences of those dark days and the process of trudging through them have miraculously evolved into the success I enjoy today. They are threaded into my stories and have changed people’s lives.

For me, the future has been a scary, unknown place, and yet in contrast, transformed into an exciting and rewarding world beyond my imagination.

Contrast, tragedy, and overcoming great odds. Makes for a great story, a page turner, a BEST SELLER!!

Enjoy the success of your failures.
It’s great to be a writer!!