Friday, May 25, 2018

How Can We Solve the Problem?


Somebody needs to do something about this problem!

I’ve heard that sentence so many times I could gag. Who is this elusive ‘somebody’ and what ‘something’ are they going to do?

I’ve heard ‘We need to talk to our legislators and demand that they do something.’ What is it you think they should do? Do you have the answers to give them? Or are you just going to stand on the Capitol steps and demand they ‘do something’?

How about if we look at each problem individually? What is the problem? Why is this a problem? What is causing the problem? What is/are the solution(s) to the problem? What steps need to be taken in order to solve that problem?

Is it that simple? No.

For most problems in life there are many problems causing the visible problem. Keep digging beneath the visible problem and find all the problems causing the visible problem. Then keep digging. What are the problems causing those problems? And what are the problems causing those problems?

We can’t solve the visible problem until we dig so far down that we find the roots of the problems. Then we have to tackle each of those roots individually.

Start with a focus group and a large white board. Write the visible problem in the center and put a circle around it. Then start brainstorming. At this stage in the planning don’t focus on solutions. Just focus on identifying the problems. Keep digging and digging and digging until you find the roots of each problem that is causing the problems that are causing the visible problem.

Then, find the solutions to the roots. Who is most qualified to tackle each of those roots? When you say it takes a village to solve a problem, you’re right. It takes a lot of people focusing on the one root for which they are most qualified.

It might take hundreds of people all tackling the same root, at the same time, in order to heal that root. Keep healing root after root after root until you suddenly look up and realize in solving the roots, you’ve solved the visible problems.

One more big suggestion, and you can start throwing your proverbial daggers at me. Let’s get on our knees, as a community, say on that beautiful football field we pay taxes for, and pray for our community, for our kids, for our schools, for our state, for our country, and dare I sound cliché when I say ‘for world peace.’

You can pray to whomever you think is listening. I personally believe that Heavenly Father is real. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ to be our Savior. He sent His Spirit, often referred to as the Holy Ghost, to be our comforter. God sends angels to help us here on this beautiful earth He created. Those angels are waiting for us to ask for their help. Let’s ask for help!

Would it hurt anything, or anyone, for us to pray together as a community? If anyone doesn’t want to come and pray with us, they can stay home. But could it help? We don’t know until we try. I, for one, am willing to try. I have faith that a whole community on their knees, uniting in prayer, will get God’s attention.

Get on your knees as if it’s all in God’s hands, then stand up and go to work as if it’s all in your hands. Find your roots and go heal them!

What's your opinion? -Julie L. Spencer

Sunday, May 20, 2018

New Release! Buxton Peak: London Bridges

When stars fall, there’s only one way back up.

Buxton Peak’s bassist, Andy Smith isn’t sure he can be the man Vanessa needs. When a chance meeting finds them at a cafe in London, Andy is only four months out of rehab and Vanessa is days away from returning to Nashville. A whirlwind romance ends in tragedy and loss. Can they find a way to patch up a relationship that spans across the Atlantic?

Andy’s best mate, Gary Owens finds sobriety more difficult than he’d hoped. Temptations from a flirtatious American tourist don’t help. But Buxton Peak needs their drummer back, and Gary is the only person who can pull himself back to center stage.

Can the guys reunite with their rock band? Or will their out-of-control behavior be too much for Buxton Peak to accept?

Buxton peak fans will love this little bridge between Book Two and Book Three of the series. Let’s rock!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Buxton Peak: London Bridges Chapter Two: Tulips and Ivy

“I want to know all about Vanessa,” Andy said, taking a sip of his ice water.

He looked across the table to the elegant bar situated in the center of the restaurant. Andy had forgotten how much it dominated the main dining area at The Ivy. Crystal glasses hung from racks, glittering in the soft overhead lighting.
If only one of those crystal glasses could be sitting in front of him filled with a fine wine, or better yet, a nice glass of scotch over ice. Stop it, Andy!
Being a recovering addict was never easy, but sitting at a table overlooking a bar stocked with every imaginable delicacy was almost more than he could bear.
He turned his head and gave Vanessa his full attention. “What do you do when you’re not on holiday in London, toying with the hearts of unsuspecting rock stars?”
“Toying?” Vanessa placed her hand in front of her mouth, feigning shock at his accusation. “You make me sound so vindictive.”
“Well, aren’t you?” Andy leaned closer and lowered his head to look her in the eye. “Toying with me?”
“I’m merely enjoying a lovely day of shopping with a handsome man, and a fine dinner at his favorite restaurant.” She lowered her eyes and pouted in true Southern-belle fashion. “Although, I am disappointed that you never took me to see the garden.”
“The garden?” Andy cocked his head to the side.
“Yes, you said we were going to visit the Covent Garden.”
“We’ve been here all day,” Andy said.
“Where are the flowers?”
“They stopped selling flowers in the 1970s, I think.”
“Then why do they call it a garden?” Vanessa asked.
“Because…” Andy stammered on his words. “I dunno. That’s just what it’s called. This area used to be well-known for its wholesale flowers. Now it’s just a very large shopping area, but it used to supply flowers to the whole country.”
“Well, I’ll expect you to bring me flowers the next time you take me on a date. It’s only fair since you didn’t bring me to a garden.”
“I suppose that can be arranged.” Andy reached over and took her hand, giving it a little squeeze. “But first I need to know about you. For starters, what’s your favorite flower?”
“That is for you to figure out.” Vanessa walked her fingers up his arm and then poked him on his lips. Two lips? Maybe she likes tulips!
“Okay, no more stalling,” Andy scolded her. “Tell me more about Vanessa. Do you have a job?”
“Yes, I do.” Vanessa batted her eyelashes.
“You’re not going to make me guess that too. Are you?” Oh, crap. Another ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. “Let me rephrase that. What do you do for a living?”
“I’m a hairstylist.” Vanessa reached across and laced her fingers into Andy’s hair. He almost moaned audibly. “And I am dying to get my hands on that mop of yours!”
“Mop?” Andy feigned insult. “I am a rock star. There is nothing wrong with me having long hair.”
“How long has it been since a stylist has gotten her hands on you?” Vanessa raised her eyebrows.
“About fifteen seconds ago, and I wish she’d put her hands right back into my hair.”
“I will not touch your hair again until I have a pair of scissors in my hand,” she said.
Andy looked around as if to find a pair of scissors.
“And before you get any ideas about asking our waiter for a pair of scissors, I’ll add a caveat. I will not cut your hair unless you are sitting in my salon… in Nashville.”
“What time does our flight leave, again?” Andy leaned forward and rested his elbow on the table, staring intently into Vanessa’s eyes.
“My flight leaves in two days, well,” Vanessa looked at her watch, “a day and a half, actually.”
“Well then, you’re going to have to go out with me again tomorrow,” Andy said.
“Why’s that?”
“Because I haven’t had a chance to kiss you yet.”
“Is that so?” Vanessa leaned forward on her elbow opposite him and smirked. Her face was close enough to his that it would have taken little effort to close the distance and connect. But he didn’t. Torturing her was almost as much fun as her torturing him.
“Do you folks need a few more minutes with the menus?” their server interrupted. Andy and Vanessa didn’t flinch.
“I think I’ve decided what I want….” Andy said.
“I’ll bet you have,” Vanessa drawled in her adorable Southern accent. She broke eye contact first and smiled sweetly at the server. “What would you suggest? What’s your favorite thing on the menu?”
“Uh…” The server cleared his throat and gulped, clearly affected by her flirting. Andy almost laughed out loud, glad he wasn’t the only man in the room completely entranced with Vanessa. “Well, we’re famous for our Shepherd’s Pie.”
“I don’t really care what you’re famous for,” Vanessa said, waving her hand dismissively. “I wanna know what’s your favorite.”
“I really love the seared scallops.” The waiter smiled down at Vanessa and then glanced at Andy and looked away.
“Then that is what I’ll have.” Vanessa sat back and crossed her arms, winking over at Andy. He didn’t release her gaze as he gave his request to the server.
“I’d like a steak, medium rare.”
“Ribeye, fillet, or sirloin?”
“Fillet,” Andy said. “No… ribeye. No, fillet. Yeah, I’ll stick with a fillet.”
“I thought you said you already knew what you wanted.” Vanessa raised her eyebrows.
“For dinner, I want a fillet.” Andy felt Vanessa’s foot tickle his calf muscle under the table, and he almost jumped out of his chair. He cleared his throat and looked up at the server. “With heritage potatoes, please.”
“As you wish, sir.” The waiter scribbled on his little pad of paper.
Andy shook his head infinitesimally and smirked at Vanessa.
“Would the two of you like any starters?”
“Want to try the fried duck egg?” Andy asked Vanessa.
“That sounds disgusting.” Vanessa’s sweet tone could have easily substituted ‘delightful’ for ‘disgusting’ and not miss a beat.
“How about a nice spinach salad?” Andy suggested.
“Much better,” she said.
When the server was finished getting all the details for their selections of dressings and sides, he offered them the perfect wine to go with their choices of meals. Andy politely declined, and the man left them alone.
“You are in so much trouble, you little vixen,” Andy murmured, a cheesy grin hovering on his face. “You are going to be the death of me.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want to kill you,” Vanessa said, placing her hands in her lap and sitting up straight. “You haven’t even kissed me yet.”
“I’m afraid to kiss you now.”
Vanessa’s expression shifted from teasing to smoldering. “You won’t be when the time is right.”
This time when Andy fought to stay in his seat, it wasn’t due to shock but pure emotional desire. He knew in that moment he was no longer tempted by anything behind that bar. All he wanted was to see her soft smile across the table for the rest of his life.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to Send a Document to Your Kindle


Step One: Find your Kindle email. Go into Amazon.com and make sure you are logged in.

Hover over ‘Your Account’ and scroll down to ‘Manage Your Account and Devices.’ Select the tab called ‘Your Devices’ and you should see at least one box that has your Kindle's name on it. I have two of them: Julie's Kindle Cloud Reader and Julie's Android Device. 

What you're looking for is a tiny email that should be right there on the main page. Mine is called juliespencer1998@Kindle.com (write your Kindle email down).

On that screen, go to the tab called ‘Settings’ and scroll down to ‘Send to Kindle Email Settings’ right below that should be ‘Approved Personal Document Email List,’ be sure your own personal email is on that list.

Step Two: In your personal email account, attach a document to a blank email (document can be Mobi, Word, or PDF). In the subject line type the word ‘Convert’ and send the email to your Kindle email from your personal email. Within a few minutes of sending that, the document should show up in your Kindle! 

Step Three: Read! (That’s my favorite part!)

Don’t have a Kindle? If you have a computer and/or smart phone you can download the FREE Kindle Cloud Reader directly from Amazon. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that so I don’t know exactly how to get to it on Amazon. I searched on the Amazon search bar for ‘Kindle Cloud Reader’ and the top thing that pulled up was a little box that said ‘Access Kindle Cloud Reader’. I suggest doing the Cloud version rather than the PC or Android or MAC version because you can read it on any device and it marks your place. If I’m reading on the phone and then later pull the same book up on my computer screen, it goes right to the correct spot! After you have the cloud loaded on your phone or computer, follow the other instructions on this page!

Author: Instructions on how to obtain a free Mobi file that you can save to your computer and email it to your customers:

Sign into your KDP account and in the Bookshelf tab find your book and hover over the little ellipses to the right. Click on ‘Edit eBook Content’ then scroll all the way down to ‘Kindle eBook Preview’ and click on ‘Preview on your Kindle device’.

There will be three steps. You’ll see the following:
‘Step 1: Download your converted book file:’ and you’ll have two choices HTML or Mobi. Click on Mobi. This will download the Mobi file to your computer. Save it in a folder where you’ll be able to find it forever, and see below.


Author sending a free Mobi file to a customer’s Kindle:

Author: attach the Mobi file to an email directly to your customer!

Customer: hit ‘Forward’ and send the email to your Kindle email.
(Note: the author will not be able to send the Mobi file directly to the customer’s Kindle without going through a lot of extra steps.)

Author: This is the text I send to my customer ahead of time either by messenger or email:
“I’m going to send you an email with just the Mobi file attached and the word ‘Convert’ in the subject line. All you have to do is forward that email to your Kindle email account and within a few minutes of sending that, the document should show up in your Kindle.”