Talking to Myself

If you pull up next to me at a traffic light, you are going to see something a little unusual. It is going to appear as if I am talking to myself. I want you to know I am not really like crazy as I look. Please note, I did not say I was not crazy, just not that crazy.

So why am I talking to myself? You see my primary learning style is Auditory. That means is I process information better if I hear it out loud. So years ago I learned to work on my presentations in my car. I never write my speeches down. I simply work through sections out loud, testing phrases and pacing, till I find something that sounds exactly right.

I have often used this same technique as a foundation of my blogging strategy. Talking through my ideas helps me write better blog posts. I often write a paragraph and read it aloud. I edit the text based on the way it sounds. This is probably why I use so many extra commas. I hear the pauses and think a comma needs to be there so everyone else will hear it as well.

About six months ago, I started recording random thoughts and ideas to use as blog post starters. It worked so well, I expanded the process and now you can often find me dictating entire posts into my iPhone as I am driving in my car. (So ​​the looking slightly crazy at traffic lights.)

I often record the post two or three times. I listened to the recording and adjusting the flow, the way other people write, edit and rewrite a post. Some people think into a keyboard, I think into a voice recorder.

There is still some editing required once I type the post, but embracing my natural work style has made blogging much easier and better. I really like many of the posts I have created in the last few months because they sound like me. They are more natural, more conversational and yet still informational.

This technique may not work for everyone, but if you are struggling with writing get a voice recorder and try using it in car. Do not worry that others think you are talking to yourself, because the process of recording then writing will help you talk to lots of people through your blog in the long run.

Source by Lorraine Ball

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Loss – When Half of a Whole Feels Like Zero

The mental fog that had sent me emotionally during those first four months after my husband's death is slowly, and painfully, beginning to clear. Coincidentally, this occurs just as the world around me appears to need me to get out and on with my life. And so, I'm finding that this is an important time in my mourning because with my new found awareness comes the need to take a stand, to "own" my grieving process. Sounds like I'm getting stronger? Yes, in some ways, but the reality is that sadness, crying and feeling lost are still very much a part of my day-to-day world.

Two weeks shy of the fifth-month anniversary of my husband's death, I can say, without the slightest hesitation or hint of exaggeration that grieving sucks. Ugly word? Yes. Ugly feeling? Absolutely! Grieving is neither gentle nor quiet; it is bottomless loneliness, anger and depression, until finally, a year or two down the road, I will be at peace with my loss – or so the experts say.

But for now, there's no way around my grief; I can not hide from it (for long anyway) or run away from it – it follows me wherever I go, no matter how fast I'm travelin '. I'm reminded, painfully once again, that losing a spouse is different from any other loss.

When my husband died after prolonged illness, I thought I was prepared for his death. And I was – intellectually. What I now know is that we can prepare our intellect, but when death happens, emotionally, it still feels as if you are slamming into a brick wall. The rhythms of life continue around me unaltered, but I feel as if the universe is out of kilter, even on my best days.

Feeling so raw, what did I do to try to take care of myself at a time when I felt incapacitated of dealing with anything? Thankfully support was available in a variety of forms. All it took was my willingness to take life baby step-by baby-step and work hard to keep an open heart and mind. The following steps I found to be helpful.

Bereavement Support Group

Profound grief was, for me, deeply isolating, because although family and friends wanted to help, it was impossible for them to relate to what I was going through. Instead, I joined a bereavement support group run by professional counsel, which made the experience more manageable. Itave the process structure and me a place where each week, no matter what else was going on in my life, my grieving was encouraged. I joined a support group – even though the thought of being with strangers was, at that time, the last thing I felt capable of doing. No matter what other challenges I was dealing with, this was a place for me to fully know my sorrow. By its very structure, a bereavement group offers a sort of marker, one that allows you to appreciate your own ups and downs, as well as your progress. Sure, you'll cry in front of people you do not know, but they'll cry as well. And ever, you'll cry less and laugh more as you cherish the emotional safety this group provides. You'll also feel good about helping other group members, which in turn helps you to begin to feel powerful and whole again.

You may feel afraid that it's like going to therapy, something that might be especially scary when you're so vulnerable. Be assured that while a licensed bereavement therapist modifies the group, this is a "support" process group that deals with the here and now, it is not a therapy group that delves into your childhood in order to resolve old issues.

At this point in my mourning, these have been my most important discoveries:


Recognize who amongst family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are emotionally safe right now and base your expectations on that information. Trust your ability to sense with what you can be vulnerable, and with what you can not. My saddest moments are when something wonderful happens and my husband is not there to celebrate or congratulate. By the same token, I've also lost the one person I could always go to when I needed a break from life's everyday problems. He was not there so much to fix things, but to provide a place to rest when I needed it. It's not the same, or quite as good, but I turn to others for that, for now.

Honor yourself and your need to put yourself first … for now. This is hard if your spouse passed away from a prolonged illness and you were, as I was, his caregiver. I'm just beginning to realize how, over the challenging care-giving years, I've lost the ability to be spontaneous-too many doctors, dialysis, pills, procedures to be aware of, not to mention my husband's inability to be left alone for more than an hour at a time, and even then, I was never far. Doctor appointments, medical treatments, medications, the to-do's were many, so much so that taking care of my own needs quickly fell to the bottom of the list. Our lives revolved around my husband's illness. Now is your time to re-learn the art of spontaneity, to have adventures and fun.

Be open with your adult children about your grief and the process you're going through. Just please remind them that it's not their job to take care of your grief or to make your grief disappear. First of all, no one can make your grief disappear; it is a process you will work through. They can support your effort; they just can not do it for you. By example, you will encourage them to process their own grief in an honest, open way, allowing all of you to remain emotionally open to each other.

Slow down. Meditate, nap, sit in the garden, smell the roses; the exact opposite of keeping yourself busy, busy, busy. Sure, busy might keep you from having time to think, but you also will not heal.

Exercise. God / Mother Nature / The Universe blessed us with endorphins. Our body's own feel-good high; it's natural and it's free. Allow this brain chemical to neutralize stress hormones to help you feel better. All your endorphins need is a little stimulation (experience tells me that it takes only a half hour of brisk walking to kick into gear.) Exercise should not be brutal, just regular.

Timetables. Honor your own timetable for sorting out your spouse's personal things, for changing the message on the answering machine, and taking care of the other pending tasks. The added tragedy of loss is that many of us are also left to agree with the mechanics of a business and must contend with all of this at a time when we feel unable to cope with anything. Look to family, professionals, and trusted friends – do not be afraid to ask for help.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Live in the moment, for that's all we have any control over. The past is gone and the future holds no guarantees. Moment-to-moment, celebrate life, or rage at the forces, but stay present. For me, taking care of "the now" included honoring those close friends of my husband's who were also struggling with this loss. I wrapped personal objects of my husband's, a treasured fountain pen, a tie, little objects from his desk at the office and sent them with a note letting each person know how special their friendship had been to my husband. It gave me a way to gracefully put closure to relationships that I knew would not survive his death because they had been his. I was uncomfortable enabling these special people to just drift without closure.

Five months in, that's all I know for now – but I'll keep learning, making mistakes, growing stronger, feeling sad when I least expect it, and living. Oh, and yes, reminding myself to breathe now and then as I begin to feel strong enough to once again reach for my joy.

Excerpted from: THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter by Gloria Lintermans and Marilyn Stolzman, Ph.D., LMFT (Sourcebooks, ISBN 1-932783-48-2)

Source by Gloria Lintermans

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Pram Doll For Your Little Girls

Are you looking for the best gift for your little girl? Why not get her one that she can play with most of the time? Perhaps, a toy that she can enjoy playing along with the other toys that she have would be a better idea. Nothing else comes closer to a perfect gift than a pram doll for little girls.

We all know how our girls love to play mommies or big sisters. With a pram doll for little girls like her, no doubt that she will enjoy owning one. Now, she can show off her little baby to her friends. She can take a stroll to the park with her baby doll stroller. Definitely what every little lady dreams and looks for in what a doll should be.

What makes toy prams different from an ordinary doll is the pram that goes with it. Sleek and stylish, it comes in many sizes, different designs and colors to choose from. Some are just so realistic that you can only dream of having your baby on it. They have cushions, foldable umbrellas and mobiles just what a pram is supposed to be.

We all know that our children learn by imitation. Buying them a pram doll will give them a chance to have a feel of what it is to be a mommy. Likewise, it gives them a feeling of being responsible for their baby doll. Thus, getting a pram doll for your little tot is a good investment. At an early age, you are teaching your child how to show love to her younger siblings. You are also teaching her how to become responsible and to show respect towards other. More importantly, you are teaching her how to show love and concern towards another human being.

Both the doll and the pram can be played separately. As such, it is a very practical toy because it serves several uses. The babies prams can be used to carry your child’s stuffed animals too. However, in buying a toy of this type, there are things that you have to consider too. First and foremost, the baby doll stroller should be lightweight such that it can be easily pushed by your child. Moreover, it must be of good quality and durable enough. Please check for safety too. You do not want your child’s little fingers to get trapped in some of the pram’s parts.

Source by Annette H. Cabra

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The History of Anime – Where Did Anime Start?

Are you interested in Japanese filmmaking, have you ever surprised, while watching their anime, drama or manga, where it all started? Anime first started off in Japan in the 20th century shortly after the boarders were opened in the late 19th. This made the animation techniques that developed in the West easy to transport to Japan by 1914. "The very first three animated films created in Japan fit on one reel and were between one to five minutes long." (Patten) The content of these works were primarily of old folk tales and samurai legends. Japanese animators were greatly influenced by American animators so the black and white style was a must but the rounded heads and animal adaptations of people was Japan's first signature to making a style all to their own.

Many animators were urged to produce animations which enforced the Japanese spirit and national affiliation as a result of cultural nationalism, that japanese government began to enforce. Anime started to gain more appeal. The one to five minute shorts about common folk tales cave way to a more Western like style. The change in style meant that Anime was now going in a comedic fashion used to lighten people's moods on intense topics like war.

In 1970 Anime introduced its most popular style of work yet: Mecha. Mecha, which is short for mechanical, involved large robots that were used in times of war. Also a theme variation started to show itself through Anime. Writers began to twist the good guy / bad guy roles and relationships. The idea of ​​a troubled hero presented itself in shows like Lupine Sansei where a human infected with a demon had to use the evil inside him to defeat other demons.

If you are interested in watching anime, its just one click away.

Source by Phillip D John

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A Brief History Of Horror Movies

Horror movies has been around for almost as long as movies have been made. Before looking at the horror movie it may be best to look into horror in literature. Knowing this can help our understanding of horror films and where they come from.

Horror in literature left a legacy that helped to propel this genre into films. If there had not been such a legacy of literary works then we may not have the same movies we do now. The term horror was first coined in 1764 in a book by Horace Walpole’s called The Castle of Otranto which was full of the supernatural. In the following centuries literary giants like Edgar Allan Poe championed this genre with great works like The Raven. Some of the great horror movies of today are based on old horror stories like Frankenstein and Dracula which were both written in the 1800’s.

At the beginning of horror movie history these movies were often ones that had the supernatural in there. In the late 1890’s short silent films was where these movies start. The Frenchman Georges Melies is thought to be the creator of the first horror film with his 1896 short silent Le Manior du diable. Around this time the Japanese also tried their hand at this genre with Bake Jizo and Shinin no Sosei.

The first full horror film was an adaptation of the hunchback of Notre-Dame. Many of these first horror films were created by German film makers as the early 1900’s were the time of the German expressionist films. These films have influenced horror film makers for decades to Tim Burton. During the 1920’s Hollywood started dabbling in the horror genre with Lon Chaney Sr. Becoming the first American horror star.

It was in the 1930’s that the horror film was first popularized by Hollywood. Along with the classic Gothic films Frankenstein and Dracula there were also films made with a mix of Gothic horror and the supernatural. In 1941 The Wolf Man was an iconic werewolf movie created by Universal studios. This was not the first werewolf movie made but is known as the most influential. During this era other B pictures were created like the 1945 version of The Body Snatcher.

In the 1950’s there had been many innovations in the technology used to make films. Additionally in this time the horror film was divided into two categories being Armageddon films and demonic films. During this time social ideas and fears were placed into movies but in such a way that it was not direct exploitation.

The 1960’s were the time when many iconic movies came about. Hitchcock’s movie The Birds was against a modern backdrop and was one of the first American Armageddon films. Perhaps one of the most influential films of this time was Night of the Living Dead. This movie brought zombies into the mainstream and it also moved these movies from the Gothic horror to what we know today.

The history of horror movies goes back to the beginning of movies. The long history shows how they changed from Gothic classics to what we know today.

Source by Adriana Noton

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History And Background Of Betta Fish

Historically speaking, Betta Fish are said to have gotten their name from an ancient clan of Asian warriors called the “Bettah.” They were given these warriors’ names because about 150 years ago people enjoyed participating in a popular sport that involved the fighting of two of these warrior fish. (In fact, the sport was so popular that it was regulated – and taxed – by the King of Siam!)

One interesting note about Betta fish fighting is that, unlike cock or dog fighting in the west, at Siamese fighting fish tournaments, the actual fight was more to test the bravery of the fish, rather than a fight to see how much damage would be inflicted, or a death match.

Spectators bet on how long a particular fish would fight, and which one would give up first. (In fact, most fish would only fight once or twice, and then live out the remainder of their lives being pampered and used for breeding.)

Natural Habitat

A Betta fish’s natural habitat is in shallow, tropical water. This is because they need to be able to surface frequently, in order to breathe air. They can be found in nature in rice paddies, drainage ditches, slow moving streams and fresh water ponds. Betta fish have even been known thrive in large puddles! Their natural food source is insects and mosquito larvae.

How Breeding Began

According to historical accounts, a close friend of the King of Siam, Dr. Theodore Cantor received a pair of breeding Bettas from the king in 1840. The doctor bred them and studied them for several years, and then wrote a scientific paper about them, giving them a Latin name of “Macropodus Pugnax.” However, shortly after his paper was published, Dr. Cantor discovered that a species by that name already existed, and so the fish were renamed “Betta Splendens.”

Several breeding pairs of Bettas where sent to Germany in 1896 and then in 1910, Mr. Frank Locke of San Francisco California imported several Bettas to the U.S.A.

One of the fish that he received had unusual red fins – and he excitedly thought he had discovered a new species, and named it “Betta Cambodia.” In reality, he had one of the first of the Betta splendens that had naturally developed new colors and characteristics through breeding.

Since that time, breeders have been able to develop Bettas with all of the vibrant coloring and varied fin shapes that we find today. Betta breeding has become a profitable and ongoing passion for many people today, many of whom started with just one or two Bettas in a small aquarium.

Source by Michael Worthington

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4 Different Types of Marketing Copy

Whether it is offline or online content, most companies fail to make a distinction between the different types of content they publish. Often a failure to do this makes it harder to communicate with readers and satisfy their needs.

On occasions, each type will over-lap, but to begin with it helps to make the distinction between:

1. Transactional Copy – that makes readers want to buy

As a marketer, this is the most important type. If you have a product or service to sell be upfront about the fact that you want to sell it! Too many companies present what they offer as information – in the hope that someone will buy.

Customers who are in a buying frame of mind want to be sold to. The easier you can make it for them the more likely they will be to buy. This means being crystal clear on:

  • Your offer
  • Your price
  • Your benefits
  • Your credibility
  • Your guarantee

You also need to give very clear instruction on what you want them do. If they need to fill in a form, tell them. Just don’t assume they will do what you want.

Often, the more intellectual a product or service, the more resistant the company is to use sales language to sell. It is a very British trait, somehow linked to the idea that selling is vulgar and what ‘sales-people’ do.

If you are in that camp, you need to get over it. In this economic downturn getting good at writing copy that sells is gong to be the most important type of content you publish.

2. Information – that educates the reader

We are all dependent on information. Your readers want information that:

  • Educates them about your product or service
  • Is concise in the way that it is written and presented
  • Is from a reputable source so that it can be relied upon
  • Can be accessed quickly and easily.

When readers are in ‘information only’ mode they don’t want to be sold to. It’s important to make that distinction so that you deliver only what is relevant.

With printed material, the content carries a physical sense of authority and professionalism. When online, the expectation is slightly different. Your reader either wants to be informed instantly or to discover the reputable source. This is why it is sometimes more cost effective to offer specialist content via a free report in .pdf format or a separate HTML page.

3. News – that is instantly memorable

The decline in newspaper circulation doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be informed. Instead, online media means that you can mix and match the way you receive news. If you are happy to receive it in a very granular form, then the smaller the granule the more likely you are to digest other bits.

The BBC News Channel is probably the best example of this. It’s brilliant at giving you the facts but giving you to the option to go for more detail.

In contrast, most businesses tend to use News as a way of boring the reader about a recent achievement. They go into far too much detail when the focus should be on ‘selling’ just one or two memorable facts.

4. Lifestyle – that touches the emotions

This type of content is about brand and image. It’s designed to appeal at an emotional level so that what is published creates a sense of desire. High street retailers are obvious examples here.

There is minimal copy because the content is image led. Here, the psychology of colour comes into stronger play than the use of words. Look at any expensive/upmarket product and often you will see a design that uses a mix of red, black and gold. These are aspirational colours associated with wealth, mystery and luxury.

Lifestyle content is obviously expensive to produce so it needs to be thought of as part of long-term brand value.

Your objective is to be clear about the type of content you are working with and who the target reader is in order to have a ‘message to market’ match.

Source by Joe Pelissier

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Criminal History Background Check – How to Get Complete Background Checks

There are lots of organizations that provide a criminal history background check to the general public not to mention to corporations and everyone in the middle. Because there are so many companies to work with, it can be difficult to find out which ones are the most effective options for you to think about. The goal you need to have, is simply how well each business can offer the information that you might want, and just how trustworthy that info really is. When you consider this stuff, take the time to insure that they are capable of providing you with the vital information checks you need and deserve.

What should the company that you work with provide for you? Let's take a look at some of the features that are necessary for you to have in a criminal records company.

What can they offer? The company should provide you with both the ability to receive a criminal record as well as a criminal history background check on the person. The two are extremely different issues and without the other, one will be useless for your requirements. It does not offer a complete look at all that is necessary and offered. A company that does not supply both of these services is not enabling you to get a full view of the individual.

Good reputation. You are able to find out more about the good reputation of the company from the internet. People love to complain about issues that they got so simply search for reviews or comments about the company online. In addition, there is no telling the capabilities that you have here when you get the consumer viewpoint.

Affordable prices. Acquiring a price which is really cheap just is not okay, however one that is reasonably priced is. Have a look at a number of businesses to ascertain exactly what that is. You will pay a respectable amount for detailed info, but that is a modest price to pay what you'll receive in return including reassurance.

One thing that you need to take note of concern a criminal history background check, is the capability to secure information which is up to date. Keep in mind, that these businesses are only able to pull information that's in the system. Sometimes, that is not completely updated or even tracked effectively. Thus, insuring that you utilize a business that will give you accurate details are critical. The truth is, all of these things play an essential part in the criminal record search industry.

Source by Marcus Passey

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The History of the Ballotin – The Classic Belgian Chocolate Gift Box

This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ballotin. I am sure that every Belgian chocolate connoisseur has opened one – or many – of these ballotin boxes in their life. In fact, since its creation in 1915, the ballotin has always been around, carefully filled with chocolates in a countless number of shops or voraciously enjoyed by thousands of chocolate lovers around the globe. This box is elegant yet understated in its appearance, and it shows the content while successfully protecting it.

The beginning of the last century saw two major inventions that changed the way people enjoyed chocolate:

In 1912 Jean Neuhaus developed a technique that made possible, for the first time, to create chocolates with a soft filling. This first invention was called the "praline". These chocolates continued to be sold wrapped in paper, a traditional method that however had two major drawbacks: it was not able to display the chocolates in an elegant way and even worse it offered very little protection, often damaging or compromising the look of the pralines .

As chocolates were becoming more and more sophisticated, with attractive designs and complex fillings, the Belgian chocolate kitchens were crying out for a box designed specifically to suit their needs. A gift box that would be beautiful and elegant but also practical in their ability to protect the chocolates from being damaged on the way home.

In 1915 their crores were answered, Louise Agostini, wife of Jean Neuhaus Jr, designed the first ballotin (from ballot, French term for "small package of goods"), a box in which the chocolates could be packed safely. It was also an aesthetically marvellous design, simple but elegant, easy to fill and close with its flips elegantly secured with a ribbon. To the delight of the other chocolate houses of the time, Jean Neuhaus decided not to patent this invention, and that is why nowdays all the top tier Belgian chocolate manufacturers sell their chocolates in this timeless gift box.

One hundred years on, the Master Belgian chocolatiers use the ballotin more than ever, in fact this box can be considered the signature of the finest Belgian chocolatiers. While there have been a few minor changes in design over the years to allow for more efficient manufacturing processes the simple aesthetic beauty of this gift box remains the same making it one of the most recognizable items in the world of luxury foods.

Source by Shaka Zulu

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Find the Best Web Hosting Providers

Website hosting is the service wherein a business or company will buy an online disk space as a storage where they can keep the files needed for their website then broadcast it on the internet. Because of this, it will be possible for them to promote their services and product to their prospect clients. Internet is the place now where most people meet and interact. There are a number of website hosting services available to people who will need these hosting services.

Linux hosting is considered to be one of those services that are very popular in the market. This type of hosting service is made by Linux, which is also known as an operating system manufacturer that has been giving services at a very cheap price.

Another among the popular host is windows hosting service. This is also manufactured by Microsoft and has been very reliable just like the operating systems that they have been creating.

Virtual Private Server or VPS is another type of web host. The servers on this kind of website hosting service will be divided into smaller servers and assign them to different computers. This will give them an independent server that will enable them to boot independently.

A person may also buy these disk spaces and sell it to third party companies. These are called reseller hosting services that are giving income. This is because these resellers have bought the servers in whole sale and paid for it at a cheaper price.

Managed hosting or also known as dedicated hosting is where the company will just get a server space and owe it for their website alone. This is a good way of keeping the server secured because they will not be sharing it with other websites or company.

There are always services that will meet the needs of different websites and companies. And it is going to be possible for companies to buy the ones that will meet the allotted budget and preference of a company.

Keep in mind that searching the internet will help you find the right companies to provide you the best website hosting service that is going to help your website's visibility online and its promotion. Read some reviews about these companies as this will help you find the most reliable company to help you achieve your business' aim of becoming very successful in the future.

Source by Alberto Sanchez

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