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!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Believe it!!

Believe It!
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.

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