Thursday, August 3, 2017

Focus on Goodness and Good Times

Do you want goodness and good times? Do you want to make the world a better place, to make a difference?  

What can one person do, you ask? 
There is so much to do.

I came across a quote the other day that made me smile. “A raindrop never admits its responsibility for the flood.”
Traveling this country I have discovered the world is not as bad as it is painted to be. 
Everyone ….yes, EVERYONE!  …wants  goodness  and good times. 
Everyone is beating down the paths to their  places of worship because we long for peace and good will.

“What the mind perceives, it will achieve.”

I believe this to be true. We are all proclaiming our good intentions and desires for a better world. So, what are we doing wrong?
I am offering  you my simple theory.
A simple idea yet so difficult to achieve.   Because the very concept and lifestyle in which we profess that we long for … that  utopia of peace and good will  which we are frightened will not come about … can not  manifest,  because we don’t have our eyes on the prize, which is goodness and love. We do not have faith. We do not believe. Which is it? Do we believe in evil or goodness? I believe we can’t have it both ways.
Choose one. 
That is my challenge.
 Believe  there is only good.

 For one week, only see the good. Erase all  “Yeah buts … from your thoughts.  If you do this, not only will your life change, but also so will your world. GUARANTEED!
Good or evil? 
Which will you choose to believe?
If the marathon runner sees the race as too long, too steep, or too many obstacles he will not finish he has lost the faith that he can finish let alone win.
You marry someone not to make your life better, but because you want to make your partner’s  life better.  If you marry for the former reason, your marriage will fail.

Focus on those  relationships  with  what the Dali Lama calls, Sacred Friends
“In life we have friends and then we have sacred friends. Friends are easy to love and easy to forgive. Sacred friends are very hard to love.”

Tell me what you think. If you meet my challenge I want to  hear from you!

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unforgettable. Unstoppable. Astronomical.

Unforgettable. Unstoppable. Astronomical.
Judy Howard
How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone?
I know. Morbid, huh?  And I want to be a motivational speaker, you ask? My goal is to do a Ted talk. I want to be unforgettable, unstoppable and astronomical.

I know what you’re thinking. If she’s going to talk about dying, she’s not going to make it in the motivational business. Fat chance, huh? 

A few years ago I attended a friend’s funeral.  Like me, after her husband died, she packed up her motor home and began traveling alone, across this great country of ours.  I admired her because after her loss, she picked up the pieces and pursued a wonderful life of freedom and happiness.

At her memorial, each family member trod up the stage stairs and approached the podium. Each one recalled similar, personal experiences about Donna.  “I worried about her.  She was so daring, traveling alone across the country.  I never rested until she made it back home in that huge rig, as Grandma called it. My goodness you’d think she was a trucker! None of us could talk her out of her carefree lifestyle. She was unstoppable. Yet, I admired Grandma’s astronomical spirit.  She was my inspiration.  She gave me the courage to quit my job and start my own business. I love you, Grandma. I will never forget you.”

That’s the way I wanted to be remembered.   I want my friends and family to say, “She set a fiery inspiration under my feet. Her words sent me dancing into my future.  And, because of Judy Howard, my dreams flared into a reality."
I want them to say, " She was an unstoppable kind of person.  She lived an astronomical life.”

According to a recent Harris Poll, 70% of us are unhappy and don’t know what to do about it. I am not talking about being so miserable you want to blow your brains out. I’m referring to that "unhappy but hopeful attitude." You know?  That restless feeling?

The #1 reason we are restless is   because we don’t know what we want.

The #2 reason is because we DO know what we want, but fear is stopping us.

Are you part of the 70 %? Or maybe you already know what you want. Or, maybe you don’t. I want to offer you a simple, five minute exercise which will kick start your journey to becoming that unforgettable, unstoppable, and astronomical person you want to become.
1.     Imagine your memorial service and ask yourself these questions.
·       What would your family and friends remember about you?
·       What would you regret NOT having done?
·       What do you dream about doing?
·       What could you do to make the world a better place?

2.     Study these simple, but complex questions for the next week.
·       Write down you answers.
·       Take your time.
·       Study your answers.
·       Examine the feelings they evoke.

 Steve Harvey, who talks a lot about finding your life purpose, wrote a book titled, “Jump.”  He points out that every successful person you know, in order to get where they are now, had to take a risk. They figured out what they wanted and committed to their goal or passion. They jumped.
To be successful at some point you have to “Jump.”
 Six months ago, I jumped.  Except for the stuff I  could cram into  every nook and cranny  of my 24 foot Winnebago, I  sold an accumulation of  fifty years of  belongings, rented my house, and began an entirely new lifestyle, living full-time in my motor home. I wanted to simplify my life in order to feed my two passions, traveling and writing.  As I left everything familiar and headed down the road, I felt homeless, friendless and alone.
I was   on my way. I had the bug.
You know the one.
To find my slice of heaven,
My place in the sun.

Now, let’s look back at this simple exercise.  You have been examining and feeling your reactions for a week. You have gotten a pretty good idea of, not only what you want, but also what you DON'T want, and what you’re afraid of. Your next step?

3.     Plan and take Action!
I don’t mean walk off you job or, like me, sell everything you own. Just take one small action toward your goal. Get up one hour earlier to write before you go to the job you hate. Or give up something in order to begin saving toward your goal. Or volunteer at a venue of your interest.

You will have to sacrifice something. You will have to get off the couch, to step outside your comfort zone.  But any small step you take will build your confidence and give you encouragement. A plan and taking action will boost you up and send you on your way to becoming that unforgettable, unstoppable, and astronomical person  who is living with his passion and making a difference.
It’s time to JUMP!

Let me know how you are doing. I would like to hear from you!
Believe and Become!
Unstoppable! Unforgettable!  And Astronomical!

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

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."

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 


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


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!!