Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I’ll Tumble for Ya

No, I have no channeled my inner Boy George.  Anyone who was around during the ‘80s knows that this was one of Culture Club’s hits.  (Not sure what happened after that album.)  The title means something more than that.  I am talking about the Final Five.
(c) 2016 Olympic 
In case you have been living under a rock, have no access to the media (television, radio, newspaper, and the internet), in a coma, or anything else that has prevented you from finding out about this talented group of young women, they are the U.S. Gymnastics Team, the last team under Marta Karolyi. This coach along with her husband, Béla, have transformed the U.S Women’s Gymnastics Team into the powerhouse that it currently is, starting with Nadia Comãneci (even though she was for the Romanian team), and ending with this team.  Their legacy will be hard to match.  Marta retired with the Final Five, a name that the girls; Simone Biles, Madison Kocian, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and Laurie Hernandez, gave themselves, in honor of Mrs. Karolyi.  I will miss watching her at the Olympics.
To be a gymnast (male or female) takes years of hard work and dedication, pretty much like I had to do with dance.  Because of my disability, I cannot do so much as a cartwheel, but I wanted to do gymnastics.  Dance was the next big thing I could do.   I thought that since dance was an important element in the floor exercise routine, I could work my way up from there. 
Did I mention that you could not have a fear of heights?  During gym class one year, I got on the balance beam and almost cried.  Hey, you try doing a forward roll in a beam that is 4” wide and 4’ off the ground.  Uneven bars?  The gym teacher had me stand on the bottom bar.  Not only I could not reach over to the top (due to my short arms), but I started crying for real, so the teacher (who was a man) had to catch me to get me off. Vaults?  I do not want to talk about it.  Thus ended my gymnastics career, before it even got started, but hey, I could do a nice headstand. Thanks for the experience, 7th grade.
This is why I admire the women who could do it.  Each one of them had a special place on the team, and they supported each other.  There was no, “how dare she place better than me”, “I can do that tumbling pass in my sleep”, or “if she gets one more gold medal, I am going to throw up.” They were very supportive.  It was others outside of the team that had a backlash to these girls, especially towards Simone and Gabby, and I do not get it.
First with Simone.  Why do people like to bring up the past?  The media constantly brought up her mother (who by the way lives here in Columbus), her grandmother’s birthplace, and her adoption.  This is mostly aimed towards Bob Costas (who will never read this, but…), adoption is a beautiful thing, especially when a person (the birth mom) is not able to take care of the child or children.  It helps in two ways; it helps a child feel like they are wanted.  Everyone needs love and support, no matter what their background or circumstances are.  It also helps the person who is adopting.  Maybe they are unable to have kids, or maybe they wanted to give back.  You do not know the situation, and God has blessed Simone to be with her grandparents because the situation could have been worst. 
With Gabby Douglas, people were criticizing her hair, she did not put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem, she looks mean, she’s mad, blah, blah, blah.  My question to all of you haters is this: Did you ask her why she did not put her hand over her heart during the anthem?  She was caught up in the moment.  She was taking this in. First being selected to be one of five women to represent the United States in gymnastics for the second time in a row is a feat in itself, and then win a gold medal to show who is the best team, give her a break.  Next, the hair.  It is hard enough to keep a black head in check, which is one the reasons why my hair is in twists, so I should know, and many in the black community should know.  Next, you cannot wear too much product in your hair when doing something like flying from one bar to another, twisting and turn on a balance beam, doing a floor exercise, or vaulting.  You will slide all over the place.  I did not see people criticizing Simone’s hair.  Oh, wait, I forgot, people were still having questions about her parentage and that she came from a broken home.
The point to all of this is people do a lot a criticizing when someone is doing something great.  It does not matter if you are opening a new store (startup or expansion), feeding the homeless, starting a program for inner city kids (which is where Simone got her start in gymnastics), or doing a double pike layout with a double twist in the middle of a floor exercise routine, and winning a gold medal for it.   When a person criticizes you, it means that you are doing something right.  What I also do not get is how a person can so mean and cruel, and the other person lets that remark slide off, like water sliding off a duck’s back.
It has to do something with the person’s character and how they take things in the first place.  They have already been criticized by their teachers, coaches, and anyone who told them that they could not do it.  It is their upbringing that allows them to ignore the haters and celebrate the successes in life that God gave them.  For instance, when Gabby Douglas wanted to try gymnastics for the first time, coaches in her gym could have told her that they do not teach black children and this sport was not for her.  Today, because if her winnings in 2012, black children across the country want to try gymnastics.  Their thought process is, “If Gabby (and now Simone) can do it and make it, I can try to do the same.  Before that time, it was only Dominique Dawes who did professional gymnastics, and at the time, she was the only one.  Today, Dominique is a motivational speaker.
Sometimes I wonder if the team had been all one race if the views of the public would have been different.  After all, there were not criticism towards Aly, Laurie, and Madison.  After all, they did the same thing as Simone and Gabby.  Laurie, I believe, is the first Latina to be on the gymnastics team, and I have yet to hear about her hair being messy or that she came from a broken home.
We, as the African American race need to learn how to not put each other down, and to celebrate the accomplishments of others.  It is a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes and to understand what they went through to get there.  We have had so many people from other races put us down, until we, as a whole, do not know how to give a compliment.
Yes, we want our people to look good (getting back to the Gabby hair complaints), but as a meme said that I saw on Facebook, “you try to do a double back layout off of a 4” beam.”  In other words, “do you want me to look fly or fail?”  Sometimes we cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.  We, as humans expect someone to fail.  “It’s impossible”, but has anyone ever thought that with God, it is possible?  How else do you think anyone, even a runner in these games got through to get the Gold Medal, luck? If that is the case, then good luck with that logic.
Be grateful for the small things in life.  So you cannot tumble like Final Five, run like Usain Bolt, swim like Michael Phelps, or sing like Alicia Keys, but I bet somewhere inside you is a balling ass negotiator, a great graphic designer, a wonderful wife, a marvelous mommy, a dad that is killing it in the boardroom, all while being a person of God, or whoever you believe in.

2016 is your Olympic moment.  May it yours.  Celebrate others.  Be a team player in school, work, and at home.    

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday Night Snippets

Princess has a question, Do you have the answer?
(c) 2016 P. Lynne Designs
I usually do not write Saturdays and Sundays.  I reserve that time to play catch up.  Well, since I have been a little under the weather this past week, I thought I would write something.
To get your name out there 101-answer questions
It sounds a little silly, but if you want to get some recognition, answer questions for people.  There are sites like Yahoo Answers, which people ask a general question like “why is the sky blue?” (OK, that is too general, but you get the picture).   I signed up on a site called Quora. Quora allows people to ask questions, and it is better organized than Answers.com or Yahoo Answers.  No matter how silly your question is, you can ask it.
You can become an expert for that topic after one answer, and that will allow you to receive questions in the mail on that topic.  If you do not know the answer, you can either “pass” it or do like I just did on a question, quickly look it up, and give your answer.  Do not copy and paste it, for I am sure they will know it. By the way, the question that was gifted to me was the on “why did Disney replace Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie in Halloweentown with Sara Paxton (Return to Halloweentown)?”  I had to look that up and found out that she (Kimberly) was not available at the time of production.  She was on another movie set. 
So here are some of the other answers I gave in Quora tonight:

Who are your favorite You Tubers?
Like most people who answered this question, I have several favorites.  Please note:  These are different from the ones mentioned because I like mostly family-oriented videos.
1.      GabeBabeTV
2.      The Nive Nulls
3.      Cullen and Katie
4.      Samika Vlogs
5.      Glass Posse-Sister of Sam Anderson of Samika Vlogs
6.      T'mika Miller of ScrapDaWorld.  She makes Scrapbook Projects
7.      The Dis Unplug-They give you the news of all things Disney Parks, Universal Studios, and Florida (and sometimes California)
8.      Melody Lane- Avid Cricut Cutting Machine user
9.      Of Mice and Trains- He shows his Disney Cruise Trips
10. Tribe Tyler -Friends with Sam Anderson of Samika Vlogs.  His style is different from all the other You Tubers.  When you see it, it looks kind of retro.
11. Honorable Mention:  Laura in the Kitchen and The Pink Stamper
You know, it is funny, but the first 6 are family oriented, and they are faith-based, even though they are not preachy.  They do have their opinions, when are closely related to mine.  These families do show only 15 to 20 mins of their daily life, and yet, I know what their family personality is like.  The others are because I am a Disney fan and I like to do crafts.  T'mika and Melody have mostly tutorials on their videos, but I am always eager to try their projects or technics.
What is the significance of keeping a journal? And How Should I write it?
Journaling helps you learn about yourself and you view the world.  I keep in my MS Word journal things such as how I am feeling, things that happened that day, current events (that is how I started my writing blog), inspirational words and phrases, and projects I want to work on.
Journaling is how I came up with the idea of my present business (P. Lynne Designs), how I envisioned it, and what I want customers to get out of it.  I talk about my struggles and my successes. (Both personal and business).  I put my wishes, prayers, and dreams in my journal as well as my wishes, prayers, and dreams for my family and friends.
What I love about journaling is no one is there to judge you, because you are in your own little world.  If there is a disagreement, it is between me, myself, and I, unless I ask someone to read what I wrote, and I very rarely do that.
So in answering your second question, “How should you write it?”  Write your journal anyway you want to, with or without grammar mistakes (hey, I am not judging you).  These are things you are getting off your chest and remembering.  I wish you the best of luck with your journal.  I hope you have it for many years to come.
That last question, I will dive in more detail on the last topic about journaling on this blog at another time.
So what do answering questions have to do with your writing?
It does several things:

1.        It helps you think.  Most of us in the society called “being human”, think about only the things, ideas, and topics that surround us.  This is our nature, but there is something wrong with this picture.  It does not allow us to do this second thing:
2.      Open our minds.  Everyone has an opinion, and with Quora, there are no right or wrong answers (to a point).  Most of the question on this site allows you to give an opinion to something (what are your favorite You Tubers?  How should I write my journal?) There are some questions that are silly to questions like “why are 99% of opinions towards Donald Trump are negative?”  I answered that question. 
3.      You get to show your expertness on a topic.  You can create a short sentence bio at the end when you submit your answer.  On the subject of Epcot, I put “I am a fan, and I am planning my vacation.”  Not much of a bio, but it works.

You do not receive money for it, but you could mention it on your writing resume (you do have one of those, right?).  If you don’t, no worries.  You can always find examples online.  I would show you mine, but I need to revise it since I have been doing a lot of writing lately.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pokémon Go Away

( warning:  Maybe some affiliate links ahead)

(c) 2016 Dennis Hwang
I like games. Games are fun and exciting. I have my few select games that I play on Facebook, my IPad, and my phone. Pokémon is not one of them.
I play puzzle games such as Candy Crush (jelly, original, and soda), Farm Animal Saga, Jigsaw Puzzle World, and SimCity Buildit. I used to be a big fan of Cityville, Farmville, and all the ‘Ville games, but I found that I was spending way too much time trying to build my city, farm my animals, and doing all the things that should be productive in the real world.
Now, you are probably wondering what is the difference between me building my city in SimCity Buildit versus building my city in Cityville? Maturity, I guess. When I first played Cityville, I had just gotten my account with Facebook. I had heard a tip from another consultant, who was a consultant in a different direct selling company, which she started Cityville, because, she can gain customers from Cityville. How? She said it was simple. She used to look on her Cityville account to see who has gifted her things (such as houses, businesses, and anything else that was related to Cityville). Then she would try to connect with them outside of Cityville to see if they would like to continue the friendship and Facebook. Once that was established, then she would talk about herself outside of Cityville, explain that she is also a consultant for the company she was a consultant with, and ask that person if they would like to hold a party, or simply place an order. She was surprised at how many people said yes to the idea. And that is how she gained customers. I thought it was a little bazaar, at first, but I decided to try it. It did not work for me, but I got addicted to the game.
Now with SimCity Buildit, is just me and my IPad. I do not have to bother anyone by inviting them into my inner circle, trying to see who has gifted me something (extra life, coins, and anything else related to puzzle game), and I have restricted myself to play before I go to sleep. Yeah I know, it’s a little stimulating, and it takes me a little longer to go to sleep, but it relaxes me, just like a book does. (Which reminds me, I need to start reading more again.)
Pokémon Go, A Go-Go.
I have heard of Pokémon before.  We all have at one time or another. I used to watch the show with my nephew when he was between the ages of 3–8, then the appeal sort of went away. He used to collect Pokémon cards, and dream of battles that he would have with Ash helping him. I thought, still do think that the characters, especially Pikachu are cute. There are a couple of them, however, I question the drawings of them, but hey, they are supposed to be battle monsters. I saw every movie, video, and television episode with my nephew, until at the time of the airing of each show or movie, and I knew just about all of them. In fact, I started following in love with Japanese animation. I used to watch Sailor Moon, but that is another topic for another day.
What is Pokémon Go?
In case you are over the age of say 60, correction 55, you may not have a clue to what Pokémon Go is about, the concept, nor this addiction that the younger generation has on this game. I am 52, and I barely know what this game is all about. So, I will try to explain what my 52-year-old brain can comprehend.
Pokémon Go is a “location-based” augmented reality video game you play on your Android or iOS phone.  The player uses their phone’s GPS system to help locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures (according to Wikipedia). These creatures are called Pokémon (or pocket monsters as it is translated to). In order to play, a person needs to establish an account and choose an avatar (a virtual representation of the player). The end game is to catch all the Pokémon you see around you and do battle with your opponents. Sounds simple enough, right? Here’s the catch (get it?). Instead of sitting glued to your phone all day, you are walking around your city to catch these Pokémon, put him in the ball, and prepare to do battle with the Pokémon. The game sets up virtual spots around the city, for instance, downtown Columbus, and there, what I believe are Poké spots. You need to get there before someone else to claim your Pokémon, then put him into a Poké ball. You get experience points for activities done before the battle, and these experience points determine how strong your Pokémon are at the time of a battle. Naturally, the more Pokémon you get, the more points you get for when it’s time to do a battle. Anyone with the game, at any time, can challenge you to a battle.
Pros and cons of this game.
What I like about this game, is simple. It gets you up, it gets you moving, and you are exercising. You are not glued to your chair and to your phone. Sometimes, it takes time to define your Pokémon, but when you do, there is a reward at the end of your quest. It makes you happy when you get that reward, and I heard it is fun. These are the only 2 I see going into this game.
I have a bunch of cons for this game. Let’s start with the first one, usage of memory on your phone. Let’s just say it takes a lot of memory to play this game.
Privacy is another issue, and in my opinion, is a major issue. This is the privacy of others, of businesses, and other things involving privacy. In news reports since this game was introduced in July, I have heard of people being shot at, arrested, and told by cast members at Disney World, for example, to not go in restricted areas only to find on authorize persons in areas that they do not belong. There have been house invasions because someone was told that a Pokémon has been spotted in a person’s house. There have been false spottings of Pokémon to the point where people have been robbed of their phones because someone placed a false Pokémon in an area where there wasn’t one there.
People have stopped in the middle of freeways, roadways, and gotten killed over Pokémon. Children have been ignored by parents who played the game instead of taking care of their child. The same can be said about parents being ignored by their children. It is bad enough that people do not talk to each other anymore. They rather text each other than opening their mouth speak. Now we can add Pokémon Go to the list of items that allow a person be antisocial, non-talkative, and isolated from members of their own family.
Safety First.
In order to not have a ban on all things Pokémon Go, these are some rules that I feel must be abided in order to prevent any further problems:
·        Respect all private property. Unless the Pokémon is on your friends, family, or your own private property, please do not go onto that property, PERIOD. People do not take kindly to all random stranger showing up on their front or back yard, destroying property, and waking them up at 3 AM trying to find Pokémon. This just does not happen in our world.
·        Not all public property or common areas are proper Pokémon finding areas. I used Disney World as a perfect example of this earlier. Finding Pikachu on It’s a Small World ride is fine, but going where Mickey changes his outfit is not. Stay clear of any area where only cast members (Disney’s phrase for employee), employees, construction workers (there is a lot of construction going on at Disney these days), and even public safety personnel (police, security, fire person, sewage personnel, or the hired help) need to go in order to prepare for your arrival at the destination.
·        Please obey the rules of texting on your phone and driving. The same rules in your city and state apply here with Pokémon Go. I may be driving next to you, and the last thing I need to be is in an accident because you cannot find Squirtle. It is bad enough people have to put up with others talking on the phone, at times, to the point of arguing, and now putting up with Pokémon. Just be mindful and attentive when driving. That’s all I have to say about that subject.
·        This goes out to, dare I say it, those people who like to put out false advertising for their gain. No, not talking about that, although that is a future subject. I am talking about those who profit from robbing and stealing from others. You know who you are and you probably not reading this, but in case you are, STOP IT NOW. You know you’re wrong, God does not like ugly, and you need to turn yourself in. Stop profiting off of others, and get a real job. If this is your real job, you need to find a new career. I’m just saying.

So What Have We Learned from This Boys and Girls?

1.      It is good to play this game if you want a bit of exercise. It gets your heart pumping and you are not glued to your chair and staring aimlessly into your phone for no reason. You can now walk and stare aimlessly into your phone for no reason. Look up every once in a while, and look around. The place you may find your Pokémon at may be a place of historical value. It may also be a place where you might find peace. But, if you don’t look up from your phone every once in a while, you may find yourself in a place you don’t want to be. So be mindful of that while you are searching for Pokémon. This also teaches you to be more observant of the world around you. You may find yourself helping someone, consoling someone, and finding out that the world does not revolve around you.
2.      Take heed of the safety measures I talked about. Respect private property and respect the common areas you can and cannot go into. If you find yourself on private property, properly excuse yourself, apologize, and give a warning to others not to go in the same place you just visited. If the person you encounter is not reasonable, immediately call 911. Do not take matters into your own hands. This also applies if you find yourself being robbed.
3.      Lastly, have fun. Although this is a competition and preparing for virtual battle (I have to chuckle on that), no one has to be killed over a bunch of little Pokémon.
If you would like more articles like this, or would like to see me write about a topic, please let me know in the comments below, or leave a comment on my Facebook page, My Ambience Life. You may also leave an email at plogan721@att.net (subject: My Ambience Life Topics)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Directly Selling to you…

(c) 2016 P. Lynne Designs
In continuing with the whole making money theme, today, I am focusing on direct selling.  My disclaimer for today is, there may be some affiliate links in this article, in particularly with a company I am a consultant for, however, they did not pay me to write this article.  I am doing this on my own as part of this blog. I will also give you the pros and cons of this business, so, if you want to be a part of this type of business, either through the company I represent, or another company (5,000+ strong) you can make this decision yourself.
In case you did not catch my previous article (which I highly recommend you read), I am an Independent Home Consultant for The Longaberger Company or Longaberger for short. I will not go too much into the company itself, but it started in 1973, in a little town, about an 11/2-hour drive from where I currently live in Columbus, Ohio called Dresden, Ohio, by a man named Dave Longaberger.  Longaberger makes and sells baskets and pottery, along with other accessories for the baskets and pottery.  I got started selling them in 2001 and have seen many changes in the company in terms of the products being sold, and ownership.  Dave’s daughter, Tami Longaberger took over the company when he died in 1996, and sold the company in 2013 to JRJR Enterprises (formerly called CVSL), the only thing that stayed constant was the making and selling of baskets. (Pottery actually was added to the line in 1993).
What is Direct Selling?
My take on what direct selling is “the art of marketing and selling of products to the customer in a comfortable environment through parties.”  It is a little different from what I said in the previous article, which was, “the art of selling exclusive products to a customer in hopes of developing a life-long relationship (buying of product).”  Both are correct, except there are other ways that a person can buy direct.  To me, infomercials is another, but, the problem is the marketing form is through television, not an actual person selling to you face to face.  If you do not feel comfortable with the product being sold on the television, you change the channel, right? 
Direct selling, before the home party movement, was mostly made up of the door to door salesman (think Fuller Brush man or the insurance person making house calls).  Today, a person asks you if you want to have a party, you say yes, set a date, invite a few of your closest friends to view the product, have them bring a friend who is interested, and they eat and mingle, while the consultant presents a few of the latest products. The guests make an order, and cha-ching, it is money in the bank.
OK, it easy to do, right?
I did not say that it will be easy to ask for the sale (getting someone to host a party or make a purchase).  Sometimes the hardest part about earning commission is hosting a party, but it is.  I cannot speak on behalf of all the consultants out there, even from my own company.  Everyone has different experiences as a consultant, but if you stick with it, you can even make leadership. 
Let me get this off my chest for a moment:  I have never made leadership with Longaberger or with the other 2 companies I was briefly a consultant with (4 years with Tastefully Simple; 1 year with Your Inspiration at Home).  I had a team that I inherited in the almost 15 years I have been with Longaberger. Personally, I think the person I inherited the team from, cheated, because when I called up my team members, many did not know that they were consultants, they just wanted to buy from her.  That is a big no-no, because, you can lose a lot of friends that way, not to mention, problems down the road when you leave the company, and your team gets inherited by your upper manager.  Because of this, I am slowly rebuilding a team, and I have had a lot of people who have said they want to sell Longaberger, but end up not making the commitment it takes to be a consultant.  So, in this business, it takes time, and commitment, because you are building a business.  You are building a team of people who have that same drive to work the business as you do.  You start off small, and in time, you will have a viable business.
What this business is not:
While you can make money off this business, it is not a 6-figure business, directly.  There are ways to doing it, but I have not been able to do it, so in this article, I will not steer you towards that goal.  The way that some people have made 6-figures, has turned me off to not even try to cheat my way into it. 
What can I get from this?
If you are seeking for a way to get in front of people, this is the business to do just that, but be aware that not too many people will buy from you at first. You have to learn how to promote your business and promoted it well. This is the only way you can gain customers without depending on your friends and family.
You can, however, ask your friends and family to help support and start your business, but the best way to earn more commission, is to have an open house or tag along with your upper manager to one of her parties. If you have an open house, be sure to ask your upper manager to come to your first open house, that way, she can give you pointers on how to make your parties better. If he or she comes, be sure to take notes, and apply them to your next party.
Most party planning direct selling businesses allow you to at least a 25% or higher commission. You also will get incentives for earning certain levels. You can also earn a percentage of the earnings from the people who are under you. Be sure to check with the company decide to sign up with.
There is much more where that came from.
That is all I have for you today. If you have general questions about joining a direct selling company or have specific questions about joining Longaberger, please comment or ask below. If it’s something that you have to ask personally, you may send an email to me at plogan721@att.net. You may also send me a message at my Facebook page, Tricia’s baskets – Longaberger, my Twitter account @Tricia721.

Next week, I will have an article about handmade businesses. Until then, I hope you would at least give this a try if this is something you are looking to do. Remember, there are startup costs when going into a direct selling company, but you will make up your money in no time after a few parties. Also, let me know if you want to see more of this type of article. Be well.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Time for a break, in the meantime, read this status from my Facebook page:

(c) 2016 Photo by P. Lynne Designs; Product by
The Longaberger Company

I know FB is now frowning on this, but I have to say it, because, I am still with this company. I am not sure what it will take to get someone to order. The goals are different this time. There are some many opportunities in Direct selling, but I represent one company, The Longaberger company. If you are not into sales, I get it, but think about this: It is extra money in your pocket for whatever you are saving for, rather it a car, a home, pay off debt. You do not have to strive for leadership, just be a leader.
I understand your job has benefits, but ask yourself, how long are those benefits going to last, if you change jobs, or if that company has problems down the road? Nothing is guaranteed in life. Running your own business, even if it is on the weekends, any business, not just direct selling, can allow you to do things, save for things. I am not trying to make you rich, but if that what you want, go for it.
God did not put you here on this earth to just wake up, go to a 9-5, and come back home. you need to take care of family, inspire others, and praise the one who gives you life. If you do not do it for yourself, do it for others. At least take a look at what is offered, but the offer still stands. Check out my website. I am sure you have something in your home that needs a home. In the meantime, I am going to sit this old post right here. The link has not changed.
This a preview of what is coming Monday.  I have not abandoned the purpose of this blog, this is something to give you an idea of what is out there, while you are developing your writing skills, and trying to make it as a writer. 
The original post was dated August 12, 2011, and at the time, I was struggling with my sales a little bit.  I had not received a sale in over a month.  Now Facebook is making it a little difficult for you to ask for sales, by not posting them at all, but there is a workaround for that.  Do not post the sale itself, post the benefits.  If the benefit fits the person, they will buy.
Anyway, I so not want to give away the store, because, this is the post of this Monday’s post, and I hope you return to read it. 
I am starting to have much longer articles, because I read an article that states that it is now OK to have articles that are 2,000-2,500 words in it, as long as it is informational and meaningful.  As I try to help you get started in your writing or help you improve it, I am trying to improve mine as well.  I eventually want this blog to leave this platform, and go someplace safe, like WordPress, and I cannot do that if I am posting sporadically.  So, I promise I will improve, and get back to posting on a regular schedule.

Keep writing, keep earning, and most of all, keep learning.   I will have a Monday post.  I also need your comments, rather it is here or on my Facebook page, My Ambiance Life.  Let me know if you have any questions about any of the subjects I write about. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How to Generate More Money to Live

(c) 2016 P. Lynne Designs
Ok, today, I am going to be serious with a twist.  I have a little concern.  It is about my financial status and it is about your financial status.  I cannot say that it has been on my heart lately (those of you who belong to a black church congregation will understand this phrase greatly).  So, I am going to say this in the most, lovingly, kiss it with kindness, powering it up and put on a pretty little bow way I can possibly can.
Baby (as my grandmother used to say), you need to generate more income.  We, as Americans need to generate more income.  When we have more income, we are telling the government thank you for the help (whatever help you are or not receiving), but, bye.  It is showing that you are independent, smart, and self-sufficient.
Now, there is nothing wrong with receiving help, but help needs to be temporary until I get on my feet type of help. It cannot be a multigenerational type of help, meaning my grandmother go help, my mom got help, I got help, and my child will get help.  Someone has to work.  I am talking about able-bodied people.  If you are disabled, physical, emotionally, or mentally unable to work, that is a different type of situation, and I understand perfectly.  You may not qualify for working, but I have seen disabled people working, and I commend them for at least trying.
In today post, I am not talking about finding work per se, I am talking about finding additional work.  I know what you are thinking, “Do I have to get a third job on top of what I am already doing?”   The answer to that is no unless you want to make a career out of it.  So people may not have the time, and that is ok with it too.  No set hours needed unless you want to.   
What I love about making extra income for yourself is this:  you can save the money, use it towards paying down a bill or two, or have the extra money for a house, car, or vacation, or to have it lying around in case of an emergency.  Use the money for anything you want or need.  Not only that, the skill that you decide to learn may come in handy for a promotion at your current job.
For instance, I am learning on my own to use the Adobe software suite.  I can call it a suite, because the programs piggyback off of each other, just like the Microsoft Office suite does for Word, PowerPoint, and other software.  My Bachelor’s degree is in marketing, but not the one that uses graphic design.  I also make scrapbook albums and cards, so, using programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and the rest allows me to expand into other areas, that required computer work.  If I want to, later on, I can apply to work at a 9-5.  There are also online companies like Fiverr, which allows you to create gigs or fulfill a customer’s order that I am utilizing my skills. 
Extra Money Looks Like this:

At some time, I will cover all of these topics in great length, but for now, I will mention briefly in this post:  One thing to note is some of these links will have affiliate links on them.  Affiliate links are one of the ways that I do generate extra income, and I will explain how in a moment.
Another thing to note as you are reading this: I am an entrepreneur, and I left my last job as of January 2010, but at one time I was working outside of the home and was making extra money on the side.  When I decided to leave my 9-5, I made two of my extra income gigs my main jobs, while still earning extra income on the side.  I cannot say that it has been easy, and I will point that out below.  In fact, I am in what they call lean times, but I am rising up from that.  It will be covered in another post.  I want to promote the positives of self-employment or entrepreneurship.
Directly Selling to You…
Direct Selling.  What do you immediately associate direct selling with?  If you said Avon or Tupperware, you are half right.  Direct selling is the art of selling exclusive products to a customer in hopes of developing a life-long relationship (buying of product).  This is my version of it.  According to Wikipedia, direct selling is the marketing and selling of products away from a fixed retail location.  This including peddling, which according to the same source, is the oldest form of direct selling.  Today, think of your party planning companies.  This is where you will find Avon (makeup and jewelry), Tupperware (kitchen products), and more recent Origami Owl (charm jewelry) and Younique (Makeup).  I am a rep for Longaberger (Baskets and Pottery) and have been since 2001.  The basics behind a Longaberger party (as well as other DS companies) is you can host a party.  You, as a host, will bring in as many of your friends to look at the products offered at your party.  You can have snack food, dinner, or a brunch.  As your consultant, I would come in to show the products available to purchase.  The more people you have at your buying party, the more money that can be made in one night.  For example, in order to have a $350 party, which is an average total, you need to invite 5 people, but I am going to encourage you to invite more.  With $350 in total sales, for example, you can have 2 half-price selections, $65 in free price, and buy a host bundle (which can be counted towards either one of the 2 half-price selections or host dollars.)
(c) 2014 P. Lynne Designs
A table full of potential sales
How does this help you earn extra money?  I tell potential recruits your business is your business.  You join a team of recruits (either through an invitation of a currently active consultant or the company will assign you a consultant in your area), and this team helps encourage you through your sales during the time you spend as a consultant.  You are earning a commission through each sale you make.  You can either work this business of direct selling as a hobby, part-time or full-time.  I never tell a potential recruit that you will make a six-figure salary from the beginning, and it should not be the reason for you to build up to that level.  Some achieve it quickly, others do it slower, and you may not get there at all.  If the company you join is a good to a great company, training is on-going to help you build that business, but you have to want it, especially on the leadership level.  I have seen people save for vacations and down payments on homes, and able to get by on that income.  I have also seen people use that money for bill paying money.  I will have a more in-depth post of what it takes to be a direct selling consultant at a later time.
Homemade Business industry:  If you have bought something on Etsy, you have bought a homemade item.  The homemade business industry is not your cute, little craft show anymore.  It had gone beyond that point.  If you knit, sew little cubbies, woodcraft, or make jams and jellies, you are a homemade artist.  You can turn that cute, craft into some major bucks.  As I said in the beginning, I create scrapbook albums and greeting cards.  I had several people, including some from members of my own family, tell me that I need to turn that into a business.  So, in 2009, I did that, and P. Lynne Designs was born.  It is my passion, my baby, and I love it.  Once I made something for family and friends, I created an Etsy account.  Now, in addition to that Etsy account, I am creating my website.  I will do a separate post on how I got started with this business at a later time as well.
Freelance Writing:  This is the basis of this blog, and I tell people all the time, that if you have a passion for writing, go for it.  I love all kinds of writing, but I cannot do all kinds of writing.  So the key to writing is learning what types of writing are out there, learn what type of writing, and go for it.  I compare writing to music, dance, painting, cooking, and crafting.  There are all kinds, pick one that works for you, and learn all you can about that area of your expertise.  Also, be aware of the other part of your craft.
How can you make money?  Would take out an ad, but before you do that, showcase your work.  Write what you know about.  You can do creative works about your family, humor about your job, poems about the food you ate last night or have a blog post about writing.  Create a journal.  Publish a book.  Do something that validates you as a writer.  Once you have achieved that point, advertise your service of writing skills.  Set a price.  There are several hundred websites, including magazines, card writing, writing contests, and content writing who are always looking for that new bright spot to keep their readers attention.  You can also start a blog like I did. 
Affiliate marketing.  This one is a little bit tricky to get into, but with a little research, you should be able to make a little bit of money from it.  This is what I like to call, “only make extra money with this.”  Why?  Because it is all about placement, and even then you cannot depend on everyone clicking on a link.  For this, you do need a blog or website.  You may have seen colored underline words in this post.  These are affiliate links, and they lead to a product on either Amazon or some other site.  I cannot say that all of the underlined words lead to a product because they also may lead to a post that I previously have written or something I want to draw your attention to.  This is why I have the disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links. 
I do not have a high dependency on affiliate links.  Why?  As I said, not everyone may like to click on links.  Not only that, I myself tend to forget to link a word to a product.  I like to write, and I am not used to earning $0.02 per click (per my AdSense page a couple days ago.)
So why use it at all?  AdSense in a way is a build up to a bigger picture.  My click depends on my readers.  So does Amazon, and I have never turned down a penny that has earning potential.
Ebates:  I love Ebates.   Ebates is very simple.  When you go shopping online, you get cash back.  Here is the trick to Ebates.  The cash back is given out quarterly, so do not expect a check every month.  (They will send it through Paypal as well.) Ebates has does something new, and I cannot wait reap the benefits of this as well.  If you register your credit card on their site, every time you do in-store shopping as well, and you use that credit card, you will get cash back from that as well.   Ebates is perfectly safe.  You can also refer people to Ebates, and you get $60 for doing so.  Nice.
I also do not recommend you go shopping just for the heck of it.  Remember that you are spending money, and if you do not have the money to spend, you do not have the money to spend.  I rather see you save it, but if you must shop online, you might as well get some money back for your purchases.
Surveys and mystery shopping:  You may wonder why I have not mentioned these two up to this point for earning extra money.  It is very simple.  I do not like them for the most part.  I am on a few, and yes, they do come through my inbox.  I only do a survey for a name brand I trust, such as Disney, Provo Craft (Cricut Die Cutting Machine), and a few others.  I have even done them for people I trust.   I am not talking about those surveys.   I am talking about the ones that allow you to win a free gift card.  Here is where I do not trust them.  You have to click on offers to get to the prize (the gift card).  If you are not careful, you could be buying something that you have no interest in or agreeing to a subscription that has a monthly fee. I have done that a few times.   
So, this is sort of an introduction to making extra money to make a living.  This is my take on the industry, and there are other ways to make extra money.  One last thing I have to say about this introduction is there are indeed scammers out there who will pretend to help you.  I would have to say be careful when going into it.  Always do your research before signing up for anything, even the direct selling companies and people who say they know a shortcut to where you want to be.  This is not a rush job, and it takes time and patience to get something going.  Be persistent if you do create a blog or vlog, create a schedule.  In fact, schedule everything, so your followers know when to expect it.  I am trying to get better with mine.  Know why you are doing this in the first place and set a goal.  
Everything I suggested can be done with or without having a job, although it would be better to have an income when you first get started.  They can also be done on a part-time or as your main job.

Good luck and God bless.

Friday, August 5, 2016

What is your Technology Pet Peeve?

(Caution: May contain affiliate links)

Excuse the Technology Mess (pet Peeve) (c) 2016
P.Lynne Designs
Yesterday was not a break.  I have something up. 
So, today’s topic of conversation (writing prompt) has to do with Technology.  I think of technology like a love/hate relationship (we all had at least one of those). Anyway, there are those things about the computer that we really love, and then there are those things that really get on our nerves to the point where we want to throw these things in the inferno, and never touch them again.  To start off, I have a few of them.

Why do I need a password for that?

OK, for the most part, I love the idea that we password protect stuff, especially personal information.  I do not want anyone to pose as me unless you are willing to do the following:

            Pay my bills!!!

I could not say it loud enough.  You want to be me, take on my bills.  This is what I want every hacker to realize:  We, as law abiding citizens of whatever country we are from or live in, worked too hard to get where we are in life.  We love our family, our friends, Our God (or whoever you worship).  We have enough problems for you to add to that problem.  Some of us are doing OK with what we have.  We are making due with what we have, and actually are doing better than we thought we would do.  So, if you are thinking that we will recover when you steal from us, pay for your habits that we thought were not there, until we put in our social security numbers on our credit reports and find a whole bunch of crap that was not there yesterday, and hack into our computer systems to see if you can find more stuff to get your hands on, think again.  No, my id has not been stolen and let’s keep it that way.  I have, however, had my computer hacked into, and my credit cards stolen, and I have a couple of relatives, whose id has been stolen. 

The most recent hack was back in January. Now, I have this annoying little program called Webroot, but it was necessary.  Because I now keep business records on a cloud accessible through my computer, I need all the protection I can get.
So why did I have the subtitle, “Why do I need a password for that?” I recently downloaded an Adobe Illustrator file with brushes on it.  Would you believe that the person who created it, password protected the little booger?  Why even offer the file for download if you are going to do that?  I even read the instructions, and the password is not on the document telling me the password.  
No internet, some internet, what is going on?
My next pet peeve in the world of technology is my internet or lack thereof.   I have good internet from AT&T Uverse when it is not fading in and out.  It is not that I do not have a connection.  It is the kind of connection that is ghetto-like.  Here is the deal:  I have a medium connection.  It is not the lowest, but, it is not the highest either. Either I need to switch services or agree to pay for Max.   I do not love my internet service that well to pay more.  I do not have money like that.
When I first got the service (which is part of a bundle- TV, phone, internet), I was having problems.  I found out last year that the techs who install the internet in the first place installed it on wiring that was 70 years old.  That cannot be right because the building itself was built in 1973.  I was in the third grade in ’73.  My youngest brother was born in 1970.  The point is they had to build a brand new wiring system, which finally got my router and modem off my nightstand, and next to my television.
Now it is to the point where the internet cuts in and out during certain points of the day, and it is really bad when it is between the hours of 1am-4 am.  I know, I am supposed to be sleep, but sometimes it is so quiet during that time.  I am the only one in the house, but the point of quiet means the phone does not ring.  I do not do it all the time.
Interaction time.

So let me know what are you pet peeves in technology?  It does not have to be much.  (there goes my pet peeve of the internet cutting in and out again.  Uggh).  It could be about the way social media is today (I have to create a separate post on that as well).  Anything.  Let me know.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August is writing prompt month

(c) 2016 photo by P.Lynne Designs   A site at Put-In-Bay, Ohio

I hope you enjoyed my last post.  For this month, I decided to sort of take a little break from thinking too hard about a subject.  (Like I have not been taking a break)

July was very busy as you can see by my lack of writing.  No excuses this time, but that did give me time enough to think about my next move.  Nothing concrete yet, but you will know.  I talk about anything.  I am still on that break, but this month, I decided to do writing prompts.  Writers, there is nothing wrong with prompts, IF they pertain to your niche.  My niche for this blog is writing, so anything goes here (except adult stuff, I want the kiddos to read too).  So, if you are looking for that raunchy, nasty, good for your libido type stuff, I heard that Zane is putting out new material all the time. Not here, no thank you. (I even stopped reading and watching that mess, but you do you, boo).
For August, I want to just talk.  (I normally do not use the word, “just”, but it fits here). 

The way you can participate for the month is simply:  Read, Comment, and Do.  Read the writing prompt.  For example, I used BlogHer’s writing prompt of “What is your favorite (spelled the European way) Fairy Tale?”  At the end of my post, I issued a call to action which was to comment on your favorite (spelled the American way) Fairy Tale.  I placed it on my Facebook page, “My Ambiance Life”, as well.  Next, in your journals, or wherever you write, my call to action is write your own post (to yourself or others).  This is a fun way to get your brain to think.  I would love to read your answers.

I will have another one tomorrow.  It will be either another one from BlogHer, or from somewhere else.  There is no prize, just pure, clean fun.  

Monday, August 1, 2016

What is your favourite fairy tale and why?

By Madam Marie
I am back with doing BlogHer’s writing prompts… post to follow

I am a huge Disney fan.  I know, I know, he borrowed from the greats and made them his own, but think about it for a moment… Most artists and writers do borrow from the original and make it their own.  That is just the way the world works.  People borrowing from on another to either try to make it better, if not the same.  It is not illegal and it does not violate copyright law.  Copying and pasting to make it your own, and I have a couple of posts that speaks about that very problem.
Off -subject, let me focus
Anyway, like I said, I am a huge Disney fan.  I like the parks, the characters, all things Disney, so my favorite fairy tale comes from Disney.  I will have to say that my favorite fairy tale is The Princess and the Frog.  It is one of the newest movies, and yes, it is in book form, but the prompt did not say that it has to come from a book.  I have several reasons why this movie is my favorite.
            First of all, it is diversified.  It has several elements of that.  OK, dare I say it…. The female lead is African American AND she looks just like me.   OK, I do not expect anyone, but another African American dark-skinned female to understand this, but I will explain it.  When the entertainment world comes up with an African American character for some reason, they either go too dark or too light with the character in mind.  This includes drawn characters.  When I was little, there was very few I could see myself in, and Disney had none.  So, it seemed right to make her of African American decent.  Prince Naveen is not white, but either of Hispanic or Middle Eastern decent.  This was the first animated movie to do that.
            The music was upbeat.  OK, all of Disney’s movies has some climatic song, but I hate to admit it, but “Let It Go” from Frozen is a bit slow, but it fits for the scene that was drawn too, New Orleans in the Princess and the Frog is a lively place, even the swap area urged you to “Dig a Little Deeper” with Mama Ode. 
            How can you not love an alligator and a firefly?  Louie is the best.  He does not think he is an alligator, he just wants to play jazz, and he gets to towards the end of the movie.  (sorry for the spoiler alert for those who have not seen it.) It is the other people who have a problem with it. Ray, his love for Evangeline, who is actually a star, but he does not care, he just loves his Evangeline.  He gets to meet her too.
            Voodoo.  OK, I personally do not mess with that stuff.  I had some great aunts who did it, but I do not touch the mess.  My mom hated going to their house (OK, she went once, and my grandfather, being a Christian, did not like it).  Voodoo was the thing that got Prince Naveen in the mess he was in.   Dr. Facillier sings about “Friends on the Other Side”, and you do not want to mess them either.  Prince Naveen’s overseer loved it because that magic allowed him to become Prince Naveen while he was a frog.
These are some of the things that draw me to Princess and the Frog, and there is plenty more to talk about.  My only disappointment is in Disney and the Parks in regards to the characters.  When Princess and the Frog was released, there was much fanfare to them.  They even had a coronation ceremony to officially welcome Tiana into the Disney Princess fold. All the Princess up to that point was there, and it was done right there in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.  After a couple of months, with new shows featuring them on the riverboat, and a few other things, the characters sort of went away, except for events like Disney’s own version of Mardi Gras.  Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen finally were allowed to be in the newest castle show that started in May 2016, but none of the other characters can be seen anywhere else, even though Dr. Facillier can be seen with the other villains in a Halloween show. 

I invite you to seek out your own favorite fairy tale and comment in the section below.  Next, go to your writing journal, if you have one, and talk about your favorite fairy tale.