Book of the Month for October 2017

The book that made my read pile for October is The First-Time Manager by Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick, Gary S. Topchik. Many times, new managers, supervisors, and lead-persons are thrown into a leadership position with no idea of how they are supposed to manage. According to The First-Time Manager that is known as the sink or swim approach which makes this book an excellent selection for that newbie manager.

Title: The First-Time Manager

By Loren B. Belker, Jim McCormick, Gary S. Topchik

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: AMACOM; 6 edition (January 3, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0814417833

ISBN-13: 978-0814417836

Rating: 4/5

Wouldn’t you like to know how to manage people without being that Boss?

Come-on, we’ve all had one of those, that Boss in our lifetime. You know the one who never has anything good to say about your work performance and never seems to appreciate how hard you try to please the Boss. Is there more to managing people besides cracking the whip in hopes of getting a couple of extra completed orders out of them?

According to Belker, McCormick, and Topchik, there is more to managing people then telling them to move their hands faster than their mouths.

Loren B. Belker who is now deceased was an executive for a Midwestern insurance company for 30 some odd years.

Gary S. Topchik is a managing partner for SilverStar Enterprises, Inc. which is a consulting firm that specializes in management development. Topchick is also the author of The Accidental Manager and Managing Workplace Negativity.

Jim McCormick is not only an author, but he is also a speaker and a professional skydiver that is known for being an expert in intelligent risk-taking and innovation. He is also the founder of The Research Institute for Risk Intelligence.

Many leadership topics are covered in this book such as how best to respond to team members appropriately. Don’t be one of those bosses that correct their workers in front of everyone. Take them aside and explain in private without making a show of the incident. You will build more trust with your team members and not hurt department morale. Without spoiling the book, the information found in this book is well worth the read.

I did give this book a four-star rating only because some of the information sounded repetitive. However, that may have been the writers’ purpose since much of what is written in this book is helpful to all new managers and even some leads who have been in their position for some time would find this book useful if they want to learn to motivate their workers.

If you are looking at becoming a manager, supervisor, or lead-person soon, I highly recommend reading this book. Even if you have been in your position for some time, there is probably at least one chapter that would benefit your leadership role making this book well worth the time and effort for your next book to read.


If we were having coffee…

I would tell you…


~ Lost one of my writing coaches this week.


RIP – 12/2001 – 10/2017

She was an extraordinary pup and spent many hours sitting by my side while I wrote. Julie was one of my main inspirations for the story Aaron and Keja even though Keja is a golden retriever and Julie was a long-haired black lab mix who had a Rottweiler for a daddy. It was her time. She was in pain from arthritis and was having difficulty standing and walking. I feared how she would handle the winter months because last winter she was already struggling. Snow and ice were no longer her friends.

When she was a pup, she loved to lay in the snow until she was entirely white, and then walk with her mouth open scooping up the snow to eat. She’d have a choking fit whenever she tried to do this with a snowbank that had gobs of sand mixed with the snow. I’d try to warn her, but she wouldn’t listen.


May you rest in peace, Julie, we will miss you dearly.



~School Updates

This term is focused on Psychology and Statistics. I like – no – love psychology. Statistics well, it appears that statistically, most people don’t enjoy statistics because it is a hard concept to understand. I hope I pass. It was a huge risk taking statistics. I will continue to attempt to do my very best and not give up with that class the way I had given up on pre-calculus in high school. My saving grace is probably the fact that I have psychology at the same time to help temper any anxiety I feel about taking that risky class. 4 more weeks to go and statistics will be over!

~A little bit of Writer Advice

“I say, it’s getting tough out there selling books. I’m beginning to see the signs.”


Today I received my first desperate book review request from an author who does not realize that sending a chapter of their book to someone without it being requested is not really kosher.

I hit the delete button on that one.

I get it. You want your book reviewed so you might sell a few books, but please, don’t send me a bunch of crappy text in an email, and I don’t do Pdf’s either.

Right now, I really don’t have enough time to review random books. I work a full-time job, and I have plenty of school work eating up the rest of my time. Any books that I am reading at the moment are a prerequisite of my Professor, or they are directed at my potential career.

Unless you’re G.R.R. Martin with the book Winds of Winter you need to find someone else who is looking for something to read.

Go to Goodreads and give copies away in their book giveaways.


On Amazon, create a giveaway with them to help find reviewers.

When you beg or spam readers you lose readership.

I don’t even know what that book was about. I can’t remember the name of the author who sent me the chapter. I only remember that I hit delete.


I’m booked up for the next 3 years.


~ NaNoWriMo is coming soon!


I’ve been plotting and doing a bit of writing. I still don’t know what this year’s story will be about, but I’m ready for November 1. Hopefully, I will have a stronger plot outline by then.

It has to be a romance no matter what.

Boy meets girl + girl meets boy = happy ever after.

Anyone have story twist suggestions?

I’m game to hear them.


Book of the Month for September 2017

The latest book to make my read pile is The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People written by Gary Chapman and Paul White. Many times I’ve heard my co-workers complain that they don’t feel appreciated in the workplace which is why this particular book caught my eye and became my next to read selection and it offered a strong insight to why they were probably feeling this way for some time.

Title: The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Author: Gary Chapman and Paul White

Pages: 222

Publisher: Northfield Publishing; Reprint edition (September 1, 2012)

Publication Date: September 1, 2012

ASIN: B00887P9L2

Rating: 5/5.0

The title says it all. There are 5 languages identified for giving appreciation in the workplace. Employees need to be appreciated to be encouraged to perform at a productive pace. When they don’t feel appreciated production falls communication falters and the organization loses sales and profits.
Dr. Gary Chapman, one of the authors of the book, has a BA and an MA degree in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University. He also has an MRE and a Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. His expertise is in marriage counseling which led him to write his first book in the Love Language series, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The series is a huge success leading him to write many others.
Dr. Paul White is a psychologist that graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wheaton College majoring in Christian Education. He then earned a Masters in Counseling at Arizona State University and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. He is not only a psychologist but also a speaker and “consultant who “makes work relationships work””.
The explanations of what the five languages of appreciation are and why they are so important is the greatest takeaway from this book. If you are like me, as you get deeper into reading this book you will begin to notice the different languages of appreciation your co-workers speak every day whether they are aware of it or not. Dr. White indicates that 75 percent of the population will use their main language of appreciation when giving appreciation to others. Many people, even when they are complaining will complain about not receiving appreciation will indicate in the complaint their main appreciation language.
The information given in the book makes sense after working in a positive workplace many years ago this sort of appreciation in the workplace was exhibited. Many toxic workplaces don’t provide any form of appreciation to their workers. Wage increases and bonuses only work short term to give employees a boost to their work productivity. But, when they feel they are appreciated in their workplace there is less bicker among employees, attitudes become positive, loyalty is created, workers are retained, and productivity increases across the board.
No one likes to be employed where they don’t feel they matter. No one likes to be just another number. We call employees resources when in fact they are more than just resources without them the company wouldn’t be able to function. No work would be done. No profits made. No sales taken.
When was the last time you felt appreciated at your workplace?
Do you know what your main language of appreciation is?
Mine is quality time!

Battling Over Old World Views – America’s Dysfunctional Society of Unrest


Confederate monuments are statues of the past. A different life, a different time. Those statues are what keeps the southern society locked into their past with constant reminders of what came to be a horrific event. The Civil War which was fought on the grounds of slavery and the southern landowners didn’t want to give up their free farm labor. The industrial revolution took place and lessened the need for extra farm hands. Cotton was picked by machinery, tractors plowed the fields, and textile mills introduced manufacturing.

Individuals could make more money providing for their self vs. employing someone to do all their work for them. Europe noticed this trend first and decided to release slaves from bondage.

In the article, Tempers Flare Over Removal of Confederate Statues in New Orleans, posted in the New York Times, Mr. Suber’s perspective is, ““let everybody take a whack — just like the Berlin Wall.”” (FAUSSET, 2017)

The argument is made about the statues belonging to history, but many believe that this part of history will be forgotten or wiped clean by the removal of their long treasured reminders of a time long past. These statues are being moved to a history museum where they fit properly in today’s society. The museum would be a better place, offering preservation from the elements of weather, and society could benefit from them being placed in an establishment meant for learning.

Another perspective mentioned by Fausset in his article is by Mr. Stewart, an 81-year-old business man, and civic leader. ““I ask you, Mitch, should the Pyramids in Egypt be destroyed since they were built entirely from slave labor?” he wrote.” (FAUSSET, 2017)

Some people are angry by the fact that the statues still stand as a horrific reminder of the past. Many would love to obliterate the memory. Mr. Stewart is from a different era. He was born in 1936. That says a lot right there about his beliefs. Times have changed, many opinions are changing, though apparently not quickly enough. The same racial mentality still exists in the United States even to this day.

Times are changing, and the beliefs of White Americans need to change soon because soon European white Americans will be the new minority living in the land of opportunity for some. According to the article, It’s Official: The U.S. is Becoming a Minority-Majority Nation, posted by Wazwaz, “They may not know it, but for kids under the age of 5, the day the United States became a minority-majority nation has already arrived.” By 2060 the minority population is projected to rise to 56 percent making no majority groups turning the United States into a plurality nation. (Wazwaz, 2015)

Some factions believe that whites are superior to others. A belief that passes from one generation to another taught from parent to child. Such belief continues the problem of the color line which is the relation of the darker to the lighter races. Society is still plagued by color lining which is noted by the demonstrations taking place to this day in the United States. Over 100 years have passed since slavery was abolished. Why are Americans stuck in the past?

Just the other day there was another demonstration taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia and people died because of the violence taking place over the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee. A car with an Ohio license plate plowed down over 34 people in a crowd of people injuring several and killing a woman. Many of the activists believe they are acting on Trump’s words of taking back America. The protestors said they were, ““going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”” (STOLBERG & ROSENTHAL, 2017)



We could compare the statues to the Roman Colosseum or the pyramids of Egypt, but they only remain because they were able to weather the ages of time. A statue is more likely to crumble to pieces if left to battle Mother Earth. The Roman Colosseum and the Pyramids both have other benefits keeping them precious to mankind, being the architectural designs involved with the structures. Yes, they have history, but their design is more important than their history. And a slave revolt did take place by one of the gladiators of the Roman Colosseum. (10 Amazing Facts about the Roman Colosseum, 2017)

After this last demonstrative exhibit of violence, statues that are tied to hate should be removed from the public eye. People have become too passionate about objects to the point that they believe you are taking a statue of their God away. An idol they have put higher than themselves. Christian faith commands that no idols be created. The violent nature of the demonstration demonstrates why the commandment about idols made the top ten of what not to do and society has once again not followed the rules.

If the European nations can accept those who do not look alike and accept other peoples beliefs and cultures, why is America, the melting pot of the world, the least likely to accept anyone who is different from themselves?

Americans once called Native Indians barbaric, look who is barbaric now. US!


10 Amazing Facts about the Roman Colosseum. (2017). Retrieved August 13, 2017, from Roman Colosseum:

FAUSSET, R. (2017, May 7). Tempers Flare Over Removal of Confederate Statues in New Orleans. The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from

STOLBERG, S. G., & ROSENTHAL, B. M. (2017, August 12). Man Charged After White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Ends in Deadly Violence. The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from

Wazwaz, N. (2015, July 6). It’s Official: The U.S. is Becoming a Minority-Majority Nation. US News and World Report. Retrieved August 13, 2017, from


I’m a Feminist are you a Feminist?


Go, feminists! Treat everyone like you would want yourself treated.


Feminist – The belief of equal rights for both men and women. The term that began in 1895 as an organized movement for women’s rights and interests. (Feminism)

Image courtesy of creative commons license by … juliejordanscott Feminism, VDay 2007 and Me | by juliejordanscott via and google images

“I need feminism because all the heroines in my stories are feminists. They are not only strong individuals, but they will stand for what they believe in and not back down regardless of the odds.” – Linda Nelson


I guess you would say that I would call myself a feminist. I believe in equality for the most part and women are not as weak as some would like to think. Women have internal strengths that even men can’t touch. That which lacks for in physical form is made up on the emotional and intellectual level and also the psychological level

I may not have the physical strength of a man, but I have my inner strength. Feminism is a balance between genders bringing about equality across the scale. Imagine what the world would be like if both genders worked harmoniously together with equal responsibilities.


An article written in the New York Times during 2014, Who is a Feminist Now? Featured actresses and other Hollywood stars arguing over what feminism meant. Many had no clue to even the origins of the women’s movement. The feminist movement brought about women’s rights and began in 1895. If it hadn’t been for that movement, women would still be staying home having baby after baby, no right to vote, and no rights to an education. Several women in the article fear to call themselves feminists, thinking it means to not like men or they have to do everything themselves or bring about a power trip. (MELTZER, 2014)

Feminism is more of a social problem that has a political and economic impact of equality between the sexes. Women do want representation. If they must pay taxes, then they should have voting rights. They do many of the same jobs that men perform. Not every job is designated to a gender role these days. There are men nurses, women politicians, women mechanics, and even women driving race cars such as Danica Patrick. So, should women seek equality socially, politically, and economically with equal wages?

Even men and boys can be considered feminists. Some men chose to stay home and raise the children while the mother goes to work. Why do men need to miss out on the first steps of their children and the women witness it all?

In many countries such as Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden there are family leave policies in place that promotes family life. These parents receive multiple forms of paid family leave in the kind of social-insurance which lowers the employer’s resistance to hiring young workers such as women who would probably be leaving for periods of time to tend to family life like child care. Social policy is in place to help everyone not just lower-income workers. These European nations are caring for their people equally.(Gornick, 2010)

The statement made by Ellen Page, in the article, Who is a Feminist Now, “we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word,” does bring to mind the reluctance of the United States to accept equal rights. Knowing how many strides made in Europe showing the United States behind the times socially and economically. The world is changing slowly, and America, unfortunately, is still in the dark age.  (MELTZER, 2014)

In response to the #YesAllWomen social media hashtag, violence against women is common around the world. Did you know that many women are raped by their husbands and never report the incident?

But women are not the only victims of domestic violence and rape. Men are also victims too.

When it comes to murder, some countries still live in darker ages than the United States where honor killings still go on, or women are sold like cattle for marriage purposes. (Henslin, 2017)

So, why do we need feminism?

I don’t think I would want to be sold like a farm animal for breeding purposes and I certainly would not want to be a victim of murder. I also like learning so without feminism I would not be able to have a college degree or work outside the home.

Everyone should have equal opportunities to find and experience prosperity and happiness.



Feminism. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2017, from Merriam-webster:

Gornick, J. C. (2010). Atlantic Passages: How Europe Supports Working Parents and Their Children. In D. S. Eitzen, Solutions to Social Problems (pp. 101-103). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Henslin, J. M. (2017). Sociology: A Down-To-Earth Approach. Boston: Pearson. Retrieved August 6, 2017

MELTZER, M. (2014, May 21). Who Is a Feminist Now? Retrieved August 6, 2017, from The New York Times:

We need Feminism Because. (2013, July 9). Retrieved August 6, 2017, from University of Cambridge:












Dog Dead Tired

image courtesy of by use of twitter embed.

After a day’s work, I try to sit and tackle the homework only to be found like this within an hour’s time.

Image courtesy of Cat Calendar | by Zabowski Cat Calendar | by Zabowski via Google Images and

I’m not sure which is more comfortable, but you get the point.

Social Progress Decline of America Sucks Life From American Dream

The President wants to make America great again even though many argue that the country has never lost its ranking. However, it never ranked that high, to begin with, and too much focus has been placed on GDP over the years that Social Progress in the United States continues to slide down the scale of the quality of life. The United States ranks 16 with Sweden on top as the most livable country all due to the social policy of taking care of all the citizens of their country and not just the wealthy. Other nations feed, shelter and offer health care for all and not just a few.

Social Policy in the U.S. will take care of their poor to a small extent. Many go without any help.
Did you know that early childhood deaths rank higher in the U.S. than most countries?
We can blame substance abuse, poverty, or negligence of the social structure in the American society on the high childhood deaths. Our nation is technologically advanced; there is no excuse why children should face such odds of survival in America. Dr. McCoy on Star Trek would be appalled by today’s society and poor survival rate of the lowest class.

Gross Domestic Product also known as GDP tracks the income of a nation. However, this is based on the averages of the society. There are those whose wealth is recorded in the billions; this will offset those whose wealth is null. There is a better way to measure the quality of life in a country, and that is by using the Social Progress Index. How is it that the United States is considered to be the wealthiest of nations and rank at 16 on the quality of life index? Canada, Sweden, France, and many other Western Nations when it comes to the quality of life out rank the United States. They do this by funding welfare policies with tax or VAT revenues. Everyone in these countries has healthcare and can afford to put food on the table and sometimes with the monthly rent monies. (Reid, 2004)

The United States has the highest rank among its peers when it comes to social problems. Those issues are of murder, rapes, robbery, incarceration, drunk driving, fatalities, cocaine use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The social problem list for the U.S. continues with acid rain, forest depletion, hazardous waste per capita, garbage per capita, and cars per capita ( other than public transportation). Moreover, continues with even more problems such as elderly and children living in poverty, homelessness, bank failures, divorce, single parents, infant mortality, the death of children under age five, and teenage pregnancy. One would not be able to tell any of this by using the GDP index. (Eitzen, 2010)

Fact: The United States is the only industrialized nation that has no form of universal health care. (Eitzen, 2010)

Some may not think it is fair to compare the United States with smaller countries such as New Zealand and Switzerland, but why not? They are taking care of their population and with much lower crime rates. Our nation may have a higher population but we are spread out more, and this is supposed to be the land of opportunity. I don’t think crime was to be one of those opportunities. Why else do the people immigrate to America?
To find work, to own a home, to have a family and receive good medical care and education.

Perhaps it’s the beer and pizza, or maybe the cheese and wine.

The United States boasts of having the best academic schools in the world such as Harvard, Perdue, and Princeton which is mostly open to those who can afford such schools. Many American students can’t afford a higher education regardless of the college they choose. Other nations compared to the U.S. provide higher education regardless of the student’s income level. If the student can maintain the grades, then the education is provided at a much lower cost or free. With higher education comes lesser crime, a much better solution than incarceration for the many. (Reid, 2004)

America even has the best hospitals, but not everyone can afford the medical care. Prescriptions are outrageously priced, and many of the elderly can’t afford to pay those prices. They are forced to choose between taking their medication or food.

If that is the case, then I’m not looking forward to retirement anytime soon.


Eitzen, D. S. (2010). U.S. Social Problems in Comparative Perspective. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Reid, T. R. (2004). The European Social Model. New York: Penguin Press.