Can I give you a high-five?

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The cashier said to the woman in front of me, “If you spend $8 more dollars, you get a free turkey!”

The woman looked at me and woman behind me and said, “I don’t want to hold up the line!” We both yelled, “Get that free turkey!” The cashier ran for the turkey, the woman’s husband ran for $8 worth of pot pies and the woman behind me exhaled, “I’m just happy to have 5 minutes where I don’t have to do anything.”

After the mission was accomplished, I gave turkey-lady a high-five. Then the woman behind me wanted one. The cashier high-fived all of us.

So naturally, because of this, I’ve started high-fiving pretty much everybody. I think it’s a positive and contagious gesture – and heck, we all need a little encouragement sometimes, don’t we?

Please accept this virtual high-five, and if you’re so inclined, pass it on.

Oh yeah … if you need help writing copy that’s even better than a free turkey, I’m your gal. Happy 2017!

Secure your garbage cans

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In addition to being the enforcer of beating shore traffic, my dad is also my personal weatherman. He informed me today that high winds are coming and I should secure my garbage cans.

He’s dead serious. The booming authority, commitment and passion with which he needs me to secure my garbage cans (or stay off the road in bad conditions or change my windshield wipers) can’t be ignored.

When my dad calls me about the weather, I listen.

And when I tell you this, I want you to listen…

Humans want to work with humans. Not robots. Not aliens. 

I know this because the more human the relationship between me and my clients and creative partners, the better the work we do together. And the more fun we have.

The point?
As the year winds down, I have to tell you—from one human to another:
I’m so grateful I can be myself with you in doing what I love.

If you need help putting more of yourself into your business—I’d love to help.

And thank you, sincerely, for being so amazing.

My ambiguous guinea pig

My first pet was a tri-colored guinea pig named Violet. Though essentially a rat with hair, she was Elizabeth Taylor to me.

The weirdest thing about Violet? Because her beady little eyes blended into her dark furry face, you couldn’t tell whether she was coming or going. It wasn’t immediately clear which end was which. (One end ate carrots). Because she was cute, most new acquaintances took the time to figure it out.

The point?
If your business isn’t as cute as a guinea pig, there’s no room for ambiguity! Can your website readers quickly understand what you do? If not, I can help.

I’ll point you towards the carrots,

My mother-in-law: Face down in the cactus.

Bouquet of fresh pink peonies

Along with my newish house (and its high-maintenance driveway) came a 50×20 perennial flower garden. Around the time I moved in, I was greeted with pretty pink peonies. Then—it turned into a jungle.

In the blink of an eye, it was out of control. Where did the flowers end and weeds begin? I thought I knew, but could I just start pulling things out? What if I accidentally weeded the important stuff? I was frozen. This is when my mother-in-law single handedly turned my garden back into a thing of beauty (which did involve a minor cactus injury).

Sometimes clients have been planning their website content or blog ideas for years. They have Evernotes that go on forever. Then they are so weighed down by weeds, they can’t see the flowers.

Let me help you. I’m not decisive about everything—if we ever go to a movie together, can you please pick?—but I’m reliably clear on your most-authentic direction and how to represent yourself to your ideal clients.

The point?
When we work together, your word-garden will be beautifully pruned and planted to highlight the blooms.

Here’s to the flowers,

The self-checkout debacle…

 

Bag, Groceries, Recycling.

Every time I’m at the supermarket with my full basket, I think:
Sure, I can do self-checkout. Heck, I used to work at a supermarket!

But every time I’m in the midst of self-checkout, I realize how naïve I am. Like yesterday…

The supermarket is empty. I start scanning my items. Suddenly self-checkout is overrun with people. A man (with just three items) hops in line behind me. Stay calm, Deidre. You can do this. As I try to separate the edges of the yellow plastic bag, it won’t open. Panic thumps in my chest. Serves you right for forgetting your eco-friendly tote!

I start sweating while simultaneously embarking on a one-woman comedy show in attempts to garner goodwill with Mr. Three Items. I frantically swipe what feels like 600 Kind Bars. None will scan. Save them for last. Just breathe.

Oh dear God…produce! My face is redder than these apples (“BEEP—item not recognized!”) and WHAT IS THE CODE FOR BUTTERNUT SQUASH?! With plastic bags flying everywhere, another man gets in line, already looking irritated. Run away, Deidre! Drop your stuff and run!

Flabbergasted, I eventually leave with my groceries.

Forevermore I will be going to a register manned by a human being. I learned my lesson. For my own sanity, I can’t check out alone.

The point?
Sometimes we just need help…from a real, live person. If writing makes you want to abandon your Kind Bars and run, I’m here to lend a hand.

I fell in love with a goat.

Back when I was 7, I fell in love with a goat at the Catskill game farm. We stared into each other’s eyes and I knew we were best friends. My parents had to pry me away. I clung to the fence and cried as they lovingly explained that our brick ranch in suburbia was not agriculturally-zoned. Fine, I huffed! But we need to move to a farm immediately. 

At 17, Simon the Shetland Pony had my heart.

On New Year’s Eve 2002, while everyone else was finding cute boys to kiss, I was outside under the bar’s dumpster trying to lure a stray kitten into my purse.

You get it. From donkeys to hummingbirds, animals fill me with joy. (Except for spiders; they fill me with terror.) So, you won’t be surprised that when hubby and I stopped renting and bought an animal shelter a house of our own, it didn’t take long to find some furry friends to come live with us.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Cannoli. Though she lived in the shelter for 4 years with her siblings, she is turning into a total love-bug with tons of personality. She is currently snoring on the couch in my office. I’m also fostering her sweet sister, Tootsie (the red one), who is available for adoption.

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Here’s to infusing more joy into your life this year—in whatever way that means! If doing less writing yourself will increase your joy, I’d love to help.

Witness relocation for spiders

The only spider I ever squished was crawling on my arm while I was driving.

I was startled, and I didn’t have the compassion or reflexes to save him (or her). It was a panic-squish. Yes, I still feel bad.

All the other spiders get vacuumed up in my dust buster to “make friends” or “hang out” for the day—and they get released into the wild in the evenings.

The truth is, I dislike spiders very much. I worry they might crawl into my hair and make a spider-nest if I’m not vigilant.

My family makes fun of me because I have a “witness relocation” program for spiders—but I just see it as a small thing I can do to be nice, and at the same time, to cope with something that I’m scared of. Alas, being adults in the world, we occasionally find ourselves face to face with a spider—and we’ve got to cope somehow. This is how I cope.

The point?
It’s my firm belief that people want to work with humans, and sometimes it’s our quirks that make us human. So, all else being equal, if you want to work with me because I catch and release spiders, let me know. (I think that would be the very first time in history that has ever happened.) Or, if writing simply makes you want to panic-squish your keyboard, I can help release your fears.

Save the spiders!

Can you smell the Drakkar?

Radiohead was playing. I inhaled the smell of Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and I got a passing whiff of something like Drakkar. For a moment in the mall today, everything aligned and suddenly I was 17 again. It was perfect.

Then I snapped back into my semi-disgruntled, errand-running reality. Why was I disgruntled? In that split second, nothing had changed at all.

Now, I wouldn’t want to be 17-year-old Deidre again (too close to the mullet years), but I loved that feeling. It was freedom. Everything was so new, so exciting. The world was my oyster.

The point?
With cologne-filled nostrils, it hit me that youth is a feeling, a smell, a moment—a state of mind. We can be young, unburdened and lighthearted whenever we choose. If only we stop being so damn serious.

For me, creativity thrives on joy. This means that talking to chipmunks is pretty much a business necessity.

Just for a moment, what if we forget about life’s responsibilities and start thinking about its possibilities? Well, that’s exactly what I did. I ditched my errands and bought this youth-invoking reminder.

It’s yours too,

What would Frank do?

In one of the many joys of homeownership, I had to get my driveway resurfaced. Frank, the driveway company’s owner, gave me a few options at different prices. I said, “Well Frank, I don’t want the driveway to fall apart. If it were your driveway, what would you do?”

And he said, “Sweetheart, my driveway is stone. Asphalt driveways are too much damn work!”

I nearly peed myself laughing. I mean, really—the man who paves asphalt driveways for a living has a stone driveway. Is that not funny?

The point?
I believe in engaging website words.
I believe in them so much—that I use them myself.

Ready to pave the path to your business with golden words? I’m in!

Grateful word-paving doesn’t require wearing tar-covered boots,

Is it a bird … is it a plane?

Dreamy image of a Hummingbird feeding on Zinnia flower
Something that sounded like a gigantic bee (or a relatively small airplane) swooped towards me. Automatically, I started waving my hands to thwart attack. As I looked up, I discovered a teeny-tiny hummingbird checking out the feeder I had just hung five seconds ago. Boy, that was quick. 

I watched in awe as right next to me, the cutest little red-headed hummingbird daintily sipped a bit of nectar and darted off. With only a fleeting moment of guilt (I could be doing something so much more productive right now!), I just sat, for 30 entire minutes, and allowed myself to watch hummingbirds come and go. I just sat and watched the hummingbirds.Guess what happened after that? My wings started flapping faster too. I came inside and zipped through my work, almost effortlessly. Perhaps watching the hummingbirds was my nectar?

Want my creative wings to fly for your business? Let’s chirp.

Making time for the birds,