Boost your Recognition- Travel to a Travel Show.

Image by PatheMathos from Pixabay

When I got offered the opportunity to help Atma island living at the new York times travel show at the Jacob Javits Center, I jumped on the opportunity.

Although I was helping to promote a Grenadian small business, I saw a world of opportunity to let people know about my upcoming book.

Many marketing consultants and public relations rep advised me to go to book or publishing shows. If I was writing a book on traveling, I’m almost certain I would have been advised to get a booth for my “traveling” book, but a sci-fi book confused emoji?

I say “why not?” I also say why not:

  • Fiction
  • Political
  • Religious
  • Motivational
  • Young adult
  • Or children?

These are the genres people read right? Last time I checked, traveling to another country took a few good hours. It would be great if they had something to read other than the emergency brochure tucked behind the drunk bottle of juice and the crumbled up barf bag.

If you have traveled by public transportation, you must have noticed the bookstands in the depots or even the rest stops on the road. This proves that people read while traveling. The travel show brought many travel bloggers and agents to the event. The opportunity to speak to a blogger about my book was endless. I was able to collect their information for future email listings for both the villa and myself.

Having a booth would also allow you to promote yourself. The truth of the matter is even if you don’t sell one book, (which would be questionable if you don’t) the amounts of followers you can collect will make up for the fact only a few books were purchased. It is also an opportunity to discover new worlds or locations for your next book.

They were several countries that displayed their culture in forms of art, dance, clothing, and food. Attendees were able to partake in samples of exquisite delicacies from around the world. Not every country brought food, but those that did had lines of people wrapped around the aisle. Atma Island Living had brought in a taste of Grenada with samples of cocoa tea and blue tea. They also had the opportunity to be a part of the food show held at the convention.

Another important part about getting your book purchased at a travel show is location. We were fortunate enough to have our booth in front of the restrooms so we were able to capture a lot of attendees as they stepped out. I am not certain how booth distribution works but from past experience when I marketed my homemade, all-natural products, (if I reserved early enough), I was able to pick my booth location. This is ideal because you want to capture as much traffic as you possibly can.

Going to a travel show to market yourself may sound out of the ordinary, but it is a market so few writers even think about reaching out to. The next time you need a place to market your book think of somewhere that no one has dared before. You might be surprised who you find there.

What other places have you tried to sell your book or market yourself?

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What to do When Someone Knocks Your Book

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I remember when my son was around the age of four and we gave him a Lego set containing 150 pieces. He, all by himself, followed the directions and built his masterpiece in two days. We were very proud of him. The most important thing was he was proud of himself. The Lego masterpiece sat on the floor for all to admire, then it happened.

The family came over for a gathering. Everyone was taking off their coats and settling in when they did it. All we heard was a monstrous crackle as we watched our niece and nephew tear down an independently made Lego, as they innocently laughed. My daughter saw her brother’s heart crushed; I heard it. What the other people in the room heard was the kid’s mother say to our son, “It’s Lego, you are supposed to take it apart and build it back together.”

Many times as a writer, our Lego’s have been destroyed and mostly by people close to us. I use the word Lego as a simile to our book. In the past, I have written stories only for them to be demolished by jealous friends, mean teachers, and uncaring family members. I had one close family member throw one of my pieces down the stairs. These destructions did more damage to my ego than to the stories.

Let’s talk about the ego for a minute. It is said a lot of artists have one. With that comes the emotion of feeling hurt especially when someone destroys something we worked so hard on. This is by no means an opportunity for any bully/spoiled brat to say their famous line “get over it,” nor is the perpetrator supposed to get away with their heinous acts. Instead, take this episode into two considerations.

CONSIDERATION 1-Take the beat down maturely.

Distinguish the difference between a constructive critic, and a hater. A constructive critic will obviously show you where improvement can be made. A hater, well….these are the people we need to avoid in order to effectively thrive in our goal; however, they are times when being in their presence is unavoidable. It is at those times when we have gone through the hater’s demolition that we go on to the next option.

CONSIDERATION 2– Continue or start again.

It took me years to build back the stories that were unconstructively ridiculed and literally ripped apart. Like my son’s Lego constructions, it was never the same. He—like me—took what was destroyed by others and made something better. We did not let other’s actions (or thoughts) destroy us. Once the emotion is removed, you should be able to focus and continue on your work. Constructive criticism should always be taken into consideration when perfecting your work. The hurt you receive from the hater can be accepted as well (not everyone is going to like your story) Use their hate to fuel you into a better story. Let it make you stronger. You can always use that experience or character in your story.

The years went by and my son got harder Lego sets which he started to keep on his shelf. As far as his cousins, well, they helped him build one of his newer sets. They also built a few sets of their own.


Have you ever had someone destroy your work? What did you do?

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Taking a Chance with Your Goals

I wrote a little motivational thought to help us going with our goals.

When you start a goal you are always taking a chance that it will be successful or it will fail. You take the chance anyway.


Sometimes we do things for a person who don’t recognize, appreciate us or is taking advantage. It’s called chance.

And the one who is rooting in your corner and is there for you, you ignore. It’s called opportunity.

But what if say chance met opportunity and they didn’t get along. It’s called exploring.

In rare cases the two get along but not without chance taking the opportunity to explore. It’s called conclusion.

The conclusion could be good. An opportunity to take a chance exploring.

Or it can be better exploring the opportunity to take a chance.

Either way it’s a chance we have to take.


What chance have you taken to achieve your goal?

Still afraid to take that chance and start? I am offering my 8 week goal achieving course for just $310. Sign up between June 15- 25, 2018, to receive this offer.

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Feed Off of Someone Else’s Goals-Person 3

One of the best things I got on a rainy day was a specialty cupcake from a daughter and pop shop. I went to Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia to the Tea and Spice Exchange to buy some tea leaves. On my way back through the rain, I saw a cupcake shop.

Related imageIt was inside one of the Victorian homes on the first floor. The shop wasn’t big at all; it didn’t have to be. What was inside made the store look and feel like a grand plaza. The smell of freshly made cupcakes bounced off the pink walls as the frosting glistened on all the various flavors. The candyland chairs sat daintily next to the tiny two-seater tables that rested comfortably against the wall.

I admired the owner. She baked the cakes as her father tended to the customers. She lived upstairs from her bakery. I remember growing up in New York city and seeing the apartments above the Bodega (corner deli store) and how the store owner lived above it. This was the exact thing except in a house.

It wasn’t only the cupcake that mesmerized me but the owners success in having her own cupcake shop. It was her dream to own a bakery and she achieved her goal.

This makes my third person and final example in my three section blog. No matter what your goal is, seeing another person succeed in theirs can be encouragement for you to accomplish yours.

I use a lot of different examples and success stories to help encourage me. I want to make my own success story. I want to  go back and tell someone else the steps I took to completing my book.

More important, I  want them to learn it and pass a success story on.

What encourages you to continue your goal?

Still afraid to take that chance and start? I am offering my 8 week goal achieving course for just $280. Sign up between May 15- 25, 2018, to receive this offer.

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What Networking Can do For Your Writing


Flyer for Intros&Collabos

The thing that I constantly blog about and drive in to my clients heads is to stop procrastinating. When you see an opportunity to better yourself, take it! That is exactly what I did on Sunday, August 20, when I attended Intros & Collabos networking party hosted by Events by Celeste.

The afternoon started with a singing lesson for my daughter turned into a last minute invite. In the beginning I was not going to attend but I quickly thought to myself ”This will be an opportunity for me to meet event planners and possibly other people that can help me.” I received a lot more than what I anticipated.

Intros & Collabos was one of the best networking events I attended. The crowd of professional entrepreneurs was of moderate size and enough for everyone to network comfortably. Like I said, this was a last minute invite from my sister-in-law, Mayra Figueroa-Clark, #The LoveExpert; therefore, I did not have business cards or a pitch for myself. That didn’t stop her from encouraging me to network. The result was certainly memorable.

After everyone introduced themselves, entrepreneurs flocked to me in regards to wanting to write a book. Thank the Lord for modern technology. I was still able to make a lasting impression without my business cards. I put my contact information into their device. Absolutely no way of dropping or misplacing it now.

So What Can Networking do For a Writer’s Career?

  1. Give you fans and opportunities in all types of industries.

Try to attend as much networking conferences as you can and not only specifically in your niche. If you are writing about a spaceship flying to Saturn, go to a scientist convention. All you have to do is tell them you are writing a book about spaceships and not only would they be interested in reading it but also they may be willing to help you with your research.

  1. Be the shell breaker you need.

Hard to believe but I am an introvert. If Mayra did not push me (let’s be honest, give me the ‘you better do this’ look,) I know I would had sat in my seat and soaked in the ambiance. Without a speech I explained who I was and what I can do for them. In less than a minute people knew how I can be of service to them.

  1. Prove business cards are not the only way to leave a memory.

Besides not being properly dressed for the occasion, I did not have business cards with me. This did not stop people from getting my contact information. Having social network exposure really helps. This is why I stress to my clients to get a blog. As a result of not having business cards and still getting contacts, I am going to add this no card concept to my branding. Giving my number and putting theirs in my device, is a confirmed way to stay in contact with potential fans or clients. Tell your contacts to make sure it is stored in a cloud or somewhere safe in case the phone zombies decide to attack.

  1. Introduce you to fans and more fans.

I have new friends! I have people I can call on when my clients want to hold an event and need a complimentary outfit to wear-jbaldymac. Of course getting there without having to stress about directions and traffic-Borden Transportation is also something I can give to my clients. Let’s not forget about looking gorgeous for the crowd-Flawless Faces. All these entrepreneurs and gifts inspired me to continue to inspire you.

At the end of the day I gained more contacts in three hours than I did in six months. I am excited about going to more events and hope to have and other contacts help me with the premier party for my first novel. Networking improved my writing because more people are depending on me and expecting my book. I have more accountability and less reason to procrastinate.


Have you been to a networking party? What have it done for you?

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Life Journeys Writers Guild Webcam Kickoff

From Page, to stage, to web meetings, the Life Journeys Writers Guild is always doing something to keep itself moving in the game.

August 29th was the first live cam web meeting for the guild and it was a success. Over 10 attendees were on the call, reading their stories and hearing the latest and greatest updates of the publishing world.

The life journeys writers guild is an organization based in Waldorf, Maryland where writers of various genres come together and learn about the writer’s world. It is free to the public. Meetings are held in the Waldorf West Library, every third Saturday of the month.

As a member of the guild, you have the opportunity to read your story and have it constructively critique by all attendees. They are also opportunities to have it performed by local actors while at these meetings.

Hearing other writers stories is not the only advantage one can get out of the guild, they are countless opportunities to meet published authors, learn about the copyright laws, start to finally get your blog started, hear about the laws of publishing, win prizes and the best of it all, bask in the awe of being around fellow writers.

The Life Journey’s writers guild was once limited to only the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia but now with them being on the internet, they can reach the world.

The meeting was hosted on, a website that allows a person to hold meetings as well as show presentations. Zoom is used by many individuals and companies for plenty of reasons. One can have as little as three to as many as 1,000+ participants on the site. It is great for meetings such as these where attendees are not able to get to the actual conference or meeting.


The next video meeting will be held on September 19th starting at 7pm. To join in or get more information about the life journeys writers guild, visit their website at 

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Dealing with Depression Through Writing


That is what I tell myself every morning when I wake up. For some waking up is an obvious task, but for others making it through a day turns into a successful mission.

Although I was a B average, honor roll student, it was very hard for me to keep up with the rest of the students.

During my years at school, it was very hard for me to understand the school lessons being taught. Although I was a B average, honor roll student, it was very hard for me to keep up with the rest of the students. I had to take notes and then review them at home. When I miraculously made it into college, I realized what took a student maybe one hour to learn took me five hours.

I was also very shy and non-disruptive; therefore, teachers never knew I didn’t understand what I was learning. I was also afraid to ask questions because growing up, whenever I did ask a question, students looked at me as if I had two heads. Some even laughed at me and started taunting and talking about me (what they call bullying today). I became more of an introvert and started doubting my talent and worth.

Woman Sitting Down in Prayer SilhouetteLife did not get better for me as I grew up. My parents went through a separation and I became ill with a heart condition doctors are still trying to diagnose to this day. I received a pacemaker at the age of 11 and I was medically banned from any contact sport (which didn’t make a difference since I was the kid no one ever wanted on their team anyway) and I couldn’t engage in anything that would make my heart go above a certain rate. Bottom line, if I got angry there was the possibility my heart rate would go up causing me to feel weak or get sick for a week.

You can’t imagine how hard it was for me growing up not being able to verbally or even physically defend myself when taunted or mistreated by others. To make matters worse, my mom, being the devote Christian that she is, always told me to turn the other cheek and to pray for those that are against me. It was hard for me to grasp the difference between being meek and looking weak.

I can admit those tactics have made me mature in my faith and helped me find better ways to resolve conflicts, besides physical fighting. These mechanisms, mind you, did not help the depression that was unknowingly growing in my soul.

I spent most of my teen and young adult years sad, insecure, a victim to taunting, and a person who had no idea who she was nor what her gifts were. I struggled on my job, I struggled with friendships, I struggled with myself. It seemed nothing I did was ever good enough. My husband, (yes I actually got married and delivered two wonderful human beings onto this Earth) told me we are our own worst critic. He also tells me I am ahead of my time and society isn’t ready for my ideas yet. Despite the encouragement, and the results of me achieving every dream I set out to do, I, at the end of the day, was still unknowingly depressed.

I state “unknowingly depressed” because  I didn’t know why I was sad all the time. Depression wasn’t something that was widely talked about when I was growing up. It is only recent with the rise in suicide and famous entertainers and entrepreneur’s committing suicide, that the topic has taken front page notice. It is also something I have not been professionally diagnosed as having. I am currently searching for a therapist and that also is depressing due to the fact everyone I contacted is not taking new patients or wants to videophone.

I honestly have to thank Jesus, and my mother, for keeping me alive and aware of the signs of when I feel myself going into a depressive state.

Now, I am not writing this to say the way I handle my moments of depression is the way another should handle it. I am also not writing this to say becoming a Christian will cure you of your depression.–I recently just heard a youth pastor, who I considered a friend, passed away from a suicide attempt. He had major back issues and was constantly on medication and going through operations. I heard he also was having marital problems again and him and his wife were separated at the time.

I am writing to say despite everything I have gone through and what I currently deal with, I find writing has helped me tremendously. In writing, I create my own world. I do not have to conform to what society calls normal or perfect. I can purge out all my emotions, ideas, feelings and opinions. My characters can be who they want to be. The great comfort in writing is it does not matter to me if someone thinks it is great or horrible, it is what I feel that matters.

Another form of writing that can be in the non-fiction category is journaling. This seems to be the latest craze from a marketable standpoint. In journaling you also have the opportunity to draw or collect images that can be place near or with your writing. You can gather a lot of ideas from Pinterest. That was how I got started. Follow me on Pinterest for journal ideas

Keeping a journal for me is a way I can look back and see how far I have come from that once situation that had me depressed or feeling anxiety. It helps me assess how to handle the next situation I may go through and how I can handle it. I also feel relaxed and comfortable when I write. It helps me see things clearer and with a more understandable outlook. I wrote in the past because I wanted to become famous and make a career out of writing. I now write because I want to help.

Depression is something that can happen to anyone but for some it is actually a condition that needs attention. I highly recommend seeking help if you feel you have symptoms of depression.

I write this in memory to all the great artist we have lost to depression including two whom I loved and favored all their work:

Robin Williams

Kate Spade

Do you know anyone dealing with depression? How do you think your writing or teaching them to journal will help?


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What’s a Gal to do?- When a Goal takes Too long


Adobe stock_19767463

It has been a year and I am not ashamed to admit it. I would love to say I have become a successful published writer–but I have not. I want to tell you I have gained countless followers and have a fluent social page–none of this has happened.

What has happened is,

  • I designed and published two other writer’s.
  • I have been off of facebook for over three years.
  • I found a job that takes me two hours to get to and two hours to get home.
  • I no longer work on weekends and don’t think I ever want to again.
  • And the most important thing, along with having more time for my family, I am starting a new goal.

You may think after an entire year, I should have my goal accomplished. I wrote so much on procrastination you would think I avoided procrastinating. I’m happy to say I didn’t procrastinate. The steps I took whether planned or happenstance, took me closer to my goal of writing a book. I was able to get my personal life together and find more time to write.  Situations that once bogged my mind, no longer occupy that space and in my journaling process, I was able to write down all the goals I have accomplished.

So to answer what’s a gal to do when a goal takes too long? First ask herself,

  • “Did you really have a time limit on this goal?”
  • “What did you do during the time of goal?
  • What have you achieved during this time?
  • Did it help you get closer or further to goal?
  • Did it help you realize “this” is what you really want to do or was it just a faze in your lifetime?
  • And did another dream emerge from working on this goal?

For me, I can say I evolved another vision. While journaling, I realized everything I wanted to accomplish I have done.  I wanted to create my own magazine, I wanted to be a bartender, I wanted to hold a public party in  club, I wanted to live in Maryland in a nice home, I wanted three kids, I wanted to become a freelance graphic designer, and I wanted to be an event coordinator. I also wanted to do scrapbooking and journaling and realized that was not something I never want to do again (sorry my fellow journal and scrapbookers).

In all the goals I have accomplished, the procedure were all the same. This concept lead me to my new goal which is helping others achieve their goal. I am still going to continue encourage you to write your story, but now I can help you find ways in getting closer to getting published.

These steps will also help with any goal you are trying to accomplish. If you think it won’t work, go back to my list of some of the things I accomplished.

If you know of a way I can start this and get followers, I would love to hear it.

What goal do you think is taking you too long to achieve?

How do you think you can achieve it faster?

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Journal Your Goals

The main point I have been stressing for the past year and since I started my Aliefwrites blog, is the importance of not procrastinating. I tried to show areas where we procrastinate and why as well as how we do these procrastinating things.
 This year I wanted to not only talk about procrastination but no longer do it and finally write my book. The best way a few of the best ways I figured this can happen is by setting some goals for myself.
One of the biggest goals that I have is that I will be in the New York City Book Con on the panel five years from now. From the first time I went to the Book Con, it was such an amazing event, I cannot see why any author would not want to be a part of it.
The next thing I did was think to myself “Okay I have this goal now how am I going to get there and accomplish it?” That is when I started writing down the steps I would have to take in order to achieve this goal.
One of those steps is to:

1. Stop procrastinating writing my book and actually write it!

The fact that I always have a variety of story ideas in my head, as well as the things that I have to do for the day, it can all get a bit frustrating and overwhelming.
I figured out a way easy-to-do way to compile all these ideas for a book I have floating around in my head. The same way I write a food list (so that I can remember what I need from the store) and the same way I write a to-do list (so that I know what I am doing for the day), I can also write a goal list of the things that I need to do in order to achieve my dream of having a published book and being a speaker.

Along with the list of the things I have to do, I also want to be able to look back and see all the steps I made during the process. I find that when I write down what I went through or what happened for that day, it helps me reflect on:

what went well,

            where I can improve,

                      what will move me along better,

                                   and how far I have come.

 What do I plan to do as far as achieving my goal for writing my book The Elements? I decided to keep a journal of my steps and procedures of writing this book.
I thought to myself this would also be good for anybody else who has procrastinated writing their book or who can’t see why the book isn’t being published yet.
One way to start is:
  • write down the steps that we took
  • how far we came
  • how we felt about our time of writing and
  • if any of the steps were helpful.
This will help us see where and why our book has been procrastinated. It may also be a great motivator for us to continue writing because having to write in a journal holds us accountable to having to have some type of information or story-line to give our journal for the week. If we don’t have something to say to our journal, that shows that we haven’t done anything.
Considering the fact I know that I am not the only person going through this (trust me I have so many people coming up to me saying how much they are procrastinating),  I have decided to create a writing journal that will help accomplish my goal. So as I embark on this goal journey, I hope that you will join me as and purchase the book so that you can follow the steps in the procedures and see how far you’ve come with your book writing.
 How do you hold yourself or persuade yourself to continue writing your book?
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How to Find a Mentor Without Looking For One

I always like to shop the competition when it comes to my publishing design skills, but as I was about to Google my next opponent, I noticed Google Doodle had a new image on their homepage. For those of you who are common users of Google, you know for the past years they have been putting up various video images that when you click on them they are more in-depth.

This particular day (I don’t think anything special was going on) I noticed the image was of an African-American lady in a futuristic space suit and silhouettes on either side of her. I couldn’t help but click on it to find out who she was.

To my surprise it was the famous science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Ms. Butler, who was born and raised in Pasadena, California was known to be the mother of Afrofuturism. She wrote the books Kindred, Dawn, Parable of the Talents, and Bloodchild, to name a few. These books not only talked about space but it included the controversial issues African-Americans were facing during her era.

She was the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. What am I getting at you ask? I just made Ms. Octavia Butler my mentor. Although she passed in 2006 at the age of 53, I decided to use her life and path to becoming a science fiction writer.

Although I was not looking for a mentor that day, I was amazed at how I came across one. They are plenty of other ways to find a mentor, even if you are not looking for one. If you are looking for one, they are esoteric places where one can discover a mentor. Here are a few ways to go about finding them.



Seeking by Dianne Johnston. Found on Google images

Search Your Goal.

If I put in the word writer in my google search, the top search is a Wikipedia definition but upon scrolling further, I found a list of places I can go in order to read or become a writer.

When I went further in-depth and typed sci-fi writer “OH Nelly!” A slewful of sci-fi writers and their pictures appeared. I can easily email them or their publicist or even follow them on instagram or twitter.

They are actual websites which are strictly for motivation. One of them that has quick but impactful messages is Goalcast. You can find a person whose life or words can inspire you to achieve. I found an article on one of my favorite artist (Pitbull). His ideas on how to go about making the right decisions from a business stand point was aww inspiring.



Walking by Sport Knee. Found on Google images

Walk Outside.

Whether your goal is to be a painter, weight trainer, teacher, or chef, walking outside can open your mind to ideas and other ways to accomplish your goal. Yes, the great outdoors has a way of freeing our minds from the mental clutter that impacts them.  The sound of a bird can help you write the voice of your character or the sway of a branch may help you find a way to explain to kids how to flow the pronunciation of a word.



Eating out.  Google image by eating low.

Eat Out.

While on my quest to find a job as an editor, I attended a seminar for job hunting. The speaker mentioned to the group to go places where the people in your field hangout. Everyone eats. After work on Thursdays was the days my co-workers and I used to go and  hit the clubs. We would find a lot of account managers and advertising sales managers at these places (mainly because that was who we worked for). Find the area or place where your mentor would go.

For writers, you may find a mentor eating in an organic restaurant or artistic neighborhood. Doctors would be in the hospital cafeteria or the food places around the hospital.

Wherever you would eat would more than likely be a place where you would find someone like you and they can become your mentor.



Library. Google image of Toronto Library

The Library or Bookstore.

Any goal achiever is in the books seeking information or finding the next largest seminar to attend. If you go to a bookstore, simply walk to the area where you would find information about what you want to achieve and more than likely you would find someone with the same interest there as well.


They are other ways to find a mentor, maybe someone on your job or try striking up a conversation while you are waiting in line to check out. They are plenty of other ways to find a mentor besides the usual of attending a seminar or finding one by goggling “mentor”.


What are some ways you find a mentor even when you are not looking for one?


Light up one of your goals!  I am offering 2 free sessions with the purchase of my goal achieving package. That’s a $120 section absolutely free. This offer ends July 5th 2018, so act now.


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