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Archive for January, 2014

Friends, Romans, New Pharmacists and STEM Princesses…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

…I bring you good tidings of great joy!

BOTH final book galleys – for The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM, and my new book on pharmacy – are DONE.  I have officially signed off on BOTH galleys!

Nothing like this feeling for a writer after a very long month of editing!!!!

HUGE shout out to all who helped with both books – peeps like Pam Fraizer (illustrator of STEM Princess), everyone who helped out on the Kickstarter campaign and getting the books into public libraries.  Thanks as well to those who worked on 46 Doses – the cover was illustrated by BoldThink.  Last but not least, thanks to Mascot Books, who is the publisher of BOTH books, and both are first hardcover titles for me!

I will be celebrating this weekend.  Stay warm, and stay tuned – new books will be rolling out soon!

One Polar Rant…

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

…one giant step for Indianapolis…enjoy my post over at the other blog about why I think Indy needs to seriously reconsider some major issues if we really want to be a truly global innovative city of the future….

10 Things I Dig

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

I’ve been a complete and utter failure on the old blog this week.  But I really have been working. Hard.

I’ve been editing the two new books.  Nothing like waiting for the book (or two) to roll in, go home from the day job, print it out, then go through it with a fine toothed comb on the treadmill, again, and again, and again…over and over, until I’m just totally over it.

But, being over a book while in editing is a good thing.  It means the end is near! Yay!

Second, I’ve been drilling on a new writing thing for work this weekend too, which has completely bottle necked my last two brain cells from functioning for the evening.

So, in an effort to write a blog post about something fun, I’ll just go ahead, get my Julie Andrews on, and give you 10 of my favorite things right now.  Ready?

1. Books (particularly the ones I don’t have to edit, and as I was telling a friend recently, need to go to the Library of Congress to look up a few of my own books there, but I’ve never visited)
2. Glitter (even pink glitter, believe it or not)
3. Scarves (because they cover up my neck, mainly – it’s an Ephron thing…and I dig a man that can pull off the scarf too…)
4. Sunny and 72 degrees (which, I’m beginning to think I may never see again – ever)
5. Bellini room spray (honestly, I love real Bellinis, but they’re really a summer drink – so I bought some room spray to PRETEND it is sunny and 72 degrees poolside, with my Bellini in hand – it’s a stretch. Besides, “Oceanside” sent would just put me over the edge…)
6. Green, hairy lawns (which, I’m beginning to think I may never see again – ever.  Then I’m reminded of my old house, the Ladybug Chalet, where the green grass and the English gardens just popped up different stuff all spring and summer long…sigh…)
7. Fleece lined tights (whoever invented these was just straight up brill – however, after I washed them the first time, they pilled quite a bit – can someone work on the concept without pilling in the washer?)
8. Chloe  (actually, for Christmas I bought myself a Sephora women’s perfume sampler, to try a bunch of different fragrances, then you get to order your favorite of the samples – my favorite thus far of the bunch is Chloe – something about how it reminds me of my grandmother’s perfumes….  Not to mention, there’s a princess Chloe in one of the new books, and she’s fierce!)
9. People who can make something from absolutely nothing  (This is kind of some of the work I’ve been doing lately, and I even shared this advice with one of my students this month: it is a far, far easier thing to check out and not care what you’re passionate about and just live life through the motions, with whatever floats your way, than instead to do the really, really hard work to create something you’re passionate about from nothing.  MUCH harder work. EXHAUSTINGLY hard.)
10. Spring (see, 4, 5, 6 above for the explanation)

That is all.  Carry on, my fellow Hothians.  (And if you’re not living on Hoth right now – I hope you have the guest room ready for me!)

To Book Launch Party on #STEMPrincess or Not? That is the Question.

Monday, January 20th, 2014

So: book launch parties.

On one hand, they’re fun.  You get to mix it up with supporters and fans of your new work, which is cool.  You also and most importantly get to THANK your supporters and partners in public on the book.

On the other hand, I’m not going to lie: they are a TON of work when it comes to putting together correctly.  Almost as much work as writing the book itself.  (And for someone higher on the I than E scale in Myers Briggs, probably more work than writing the book, at least as perceived in my mind.)

Now that STEM Princess is almost done and heading off to the printer soon, I’m contemplating this week whether or not to hold a book launch party.  Again, on one hand, I wrote this book to support girls in Indiana getting smarter about STEM career options, and would love to hi-light options for girls in Indiana to get educated about STEM.

On the other hand, I’m pretty tapped financially and mentally when it comes to the daunting idea of throwing a book launch party on this (and I along with my company have invested a LOT of time, money and energy into this project already.)  The Kickstarter campaign, while it helped raise enough $$ for books for the Indiana public library system, did not leave me a lot of wiggle room for an additional book launch party.

I decided to test the universe on this one – I sent an email to some of my favorite savvy and most-connected friends locally who volunteered to help out in order to see what they thought.  While I still don’t have any answers here, let me just say that I’m a firm believer in the Universe handing back to me exactly what I need on this project, and exactly what the girls of Indiana need as well.  If it comes back and says, “SOIREE ON!”, I’ll go with it.  But if I don’t hear anything back, I’ll know that I at least put the energy out there to check and see what’s up.

I’m open, dear universe…

5 Things I’m Working On – Spring, 2014

Friday, January 17th, 2014

I like to keep my peeps edified on the things I’m up to (all 14 of ya!), so here’s what I’m working on right now:

1. The Butler University COPHS Annual Continuing Education Program for Pharmacists – it’s a 2 day affair, June 5-6, 2014 here on BU’s campus in Indianapolis.  Registration will be coming soon.

2.  The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM – here’s hoping it goes off to the printer on MLK Day! Yay!

3.  New Mystery book on pharmacy – Still tight lipped on this one, but I think it will be good for answering the #1 question I get from pharmacists 18-24 months after graduation.

4.  New Class Design on Social Media – This one came out of the hoopla and discussion/learning at #SMDames13 last fall.

5.  The blending of Smart tech and better Healthcare – I’m geeked and obsessed with wearable tech, especially now after CES, and attending ADC/GDCNext last fall in LA.  I’d like to write more around this, and I’ll be doing so along with some of my students this quarter…stay tuned.

5 Random Things I’m Thinking About Right Now

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

1. I think I may be headed toward the protagonist, Emma, in the book, P.O. Box Love.  She’s just a few years older than me. Relating to her on sooooo many levels…(although, I’m just a few pages into the book).  If she’s into infidelity – she will immediately be removed from any comparative list in my head.

2. I asked my friends over at the Faceplace tonight if they know any women rappers.  Stay tuned on this one–the idea is a little crazy (but, then again, you’ve come to know and expect this from me…hahaha!).

3. Why are my favorite people New Yorkers?  Most of my favorite New Yorkers don’t even live in New York anymore, but something about their tenacious spirit really is something I’m very drawn to, for some reason.  Why?  I don’t know.  But I dig it!

4. Class begins for the spring semester for me tomorrow.  Entrepreneurship is the class – prepped today by watching the TOMS video for teachers on social good and entrepreneurship.  LOVE the people on the video – including Blake himself, Tony Hsieh, and so many other amazing social ‘treps.

5. I heard from not one, but five amazing friends today in other parts of the world.  It’s amazing how good you can feel when talking to an old friend–as though you just spoke with them yesterday, (but technically didn’t) and are picking up the same conversation, just in one incredibly long strand.

That’s all I’ve got right now.

Keeping it Classy in 2014

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

If you resolved to “take a class” this year (I usually do myself), enjoy this post over at the other blog on a few ideas where you could check that box–that don’t involve thousands of dollars and a lot of lost time.

Enjoy! And let’s keep those New Year’s Resolutions marching forward out there this year…!

Smarthomes, Smartclothes, and Wearables: Being the Dumbest One in the Room is Fine with Me

Monday, January 13th, 2014

I can’t resist a post on this, because I’ve been thinking about it a LOT lately.

Everything is getting smarter around me (except, for me…hahaha!)

CES this year was all about smart appliances, like in this article. This article also over at Forbes about the top companies to watch for Smart Homes 2014 I saw as well…and with the baby boomer population heading towards retirement, this industry is going to explode in the years to come, because no one wants to go to the hospital.  If we can keep patients out of the hospitals, all of our healthcare spending will go down.

Wearables are important now too – I’m particularly infatuated with them for health.  I bought myself a Fitbit Flex for Christmas, and I gotta say, it’s holding my feet to the fiery treadmill – pretty much every day since Christmas I’ve hit my 10K step goal.  I saw this article online tonight, and it actually ranks the wearables thus far from worst to best.  Google glass still really isn’t quite available to the masses, but I’m not sure I could wear them just yet – they’re just a little too…Google Glass-ish for me.  (I guess I saw some hard core Google glass wearers at ADC/GDCNext in LA last fall, and I just don’t think they’re personally my style…)

While I dig my Fitbit Flex, it’s still kind of clunky, and honestly, I’d like to see more features added to the app (like, a BMI calculator or a way to track BMI at least, some kind of app where we could take a picture of our food from major restaurant chains and track calories–protein, fat and carbs, and a vitamin checkbox.  There’s definitely more that we could track here for patients long term too – like blood pressure and even blood glucose readings…come on, Fitbit! : )

Here’s my point: everything is getting smarter around us.  From refrigerators knowing when we are almost out of milk, to Amazon’s future drones dropping it off at our front door, to how many steps we walked per day, I think this is some fabulous tech we’ve got headed our way.  I hope you’re taking advantage of it.  I’m trying to…and, last but not least, just so you know…I didn’t write this point UNTIL I got my 10K steps in today!

Back Cover Coverage

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

I realize that I’ve been a bit of a slacker when it comes to blog posts–and that’s happened (or not happened) for several reasons:

1. Spring semester at the day job starts next week, and I’m teaching 3 classes.  (Entrepreneurship being one of them, which I haven’t taught in awhile, and I’m extra excited about);

2. I’m trying to pump not one, but two books into the world right now.  The last time I juggled production of two books at the same time, I ended up gravely ill.  Trying to avoid overdoing it this time and learning from my previous mistakes.

But, I’m happy to report that the two new books are chugging along nicely.  In looking at all things–cover art–for the two new books, I asked over at the Faceplace the other night the following:

What, if anything, do you want or expect not from the front cover of a physical book, but the back cover?

This is an interesting question, because eBooks have pretty much reduced the back cover to nothing on eReaders.  However, I still prefer physical books, and so do many of my friends.  So, does the back cover language or layout “sell” the book in a physical bookstore anymore for anyone?

To me, the back cover should have a summary of the book.  I personally don’t want a bunch of celebrity quotes on it.  Whereas, after I asked the Faceplace question, some people actually want quotes from people to whom they respect talking about or endorsing the book.

The other thing that’s changed over the past couple of years is the offline or online activity AROUND a book project.  Stuff like–pre-book crowdfunding, or pre to post-book social media portals for those interested in the book.  For example, a Facebook or LinkedIn group for the book so people can follow the story online even further than the 4 corners of the book.  How does one figure this out?  (For example, on one of my two new books, I emailed Pinterest to see if I could use their icon, since they have no policy on printing their icon online that I could find.)  They haven’t gotten back to me, yet. I’m not going to wait, either.

See?  I really have been working hard to put more cool book stuff into the universe.  But, the book and publishing industries are changing so fast that it’s really, really hard to keep up with them all.

What I’ll leave you with is the thoughts around your own book reading and buying habits these days. Are you an ebook fan, or do you still like paper books, like me?  Do you read the back cover?  If so, what do you want to see on that back cover that will seal the deal for you?  What do you expect from an ebook vs. a book-book, and how are they the same or different?

These are the things that have occupied a bit of my gray matter…if they occupy yours and you have thoughts on this you’d like to share, please email them to me.  I’m curious…

What’s Your Love Style?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

One of the things I hammer my students on across pretty much all of the classes I teach is to “know thyself.” I didn’t originate that quote. A philosopher did (they’re all such smarties!).

Anyway, being trapped in Hoth on Earth all week thanks to the Polar Vortex, I decided to maximize the time and take a couple more quizzes on myself, because I like to walk the talk with my students. So…I took Good.co’s work style quiz a couple of weeks ago, and thought tonight I’d flip the coin and test out my love style, just in time for Valentine’s Day–my favorite. (Insert dark sarcasm here.)

So, according to the Five Love Languages Quiz (and companion book), I value most: 1. Writing and 2. Time in my personal relationships. Not really that surprising, considering what a book geek I am and, I also try and remind myself that time is the one thing we never get back, so maximize it whenever you can.

What’s your love style? Take the quiz and find out…just in time for February…if you’re waiting for the great defrost.

Happy weekend!