Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Little Girl's Dream

The dream of every little girl is to be a ballerina, a flawless porcelain fairy with a beautiful flowing dress, gliding across the stage as if she were enchanted. I remember the first ballet I went to see with my mother, Coppelia. It was wonderful, beautiful, and amazing. I recently took my own daughter to the ballet, and was fortunate to experience the dream again through her eyes.

The vision of a ballerina is one of exquisiteness, strength, and grace. Digging a little deeper, there is also focus, an enduring commitment, and tenacity. The drive it takes to pursue the mastering of the ballet is a seemingly impossible conquest. Amongst the most competitive, most difficult, fickle, dangerous, and short lived accomplishments there is in the world, the title of Prima Ballerina, or Prima Ballerina Assoluta, is a title earned, not given. Originally inspired by the Italian ballet masters of the early Romantic Ballet, the title was bestowed on a ballerina who was considered to be exceptionally talented, above the standard of other leading ballerinas. (For some, Prima Ballerina Assoluta is apparently the second rank to the ‘principle’ title of the Royal Ballet, though not nearly as romantic)

The simple, flawless, feminine grace of the ballerina is the most defining. A woman’s steel is her emotional and physical strength, flexibility, allure, grace, presence, and charisma. This list of qualities is what we all strive for in our lives, and one of the most important abilities of a ballerina is the power of balance, both figuratively and literally. Anything worth doing is worth doing with your whole heart, but there must be balance. Where you have physical strength, you must have health. To maintain emotional strength there must be Zen, a place of calm where focus rules and the wilds of the world disappear.

From the moment she could walk my daughter has loved to dance. She has been enrolled in dance school since she was five and has strived to be the best in her class. I am so very proud of her and in thinking of this post a conversation I had with her came to mind. All women should strive to be ballerinas, and the prima-ballerina is the strongest of the breed. Some think it is a girly, non-women promoting statement, but I think the biggest compliment someone could ever give me is that I am a prima-ballerina.

Perhaps we should find the ballerina doll, picture, music box, or snow globe, we have tucked away in a forgotten box and dust her off. She is beautiful, fragile, inspiring, romantic, and the fantasy of the little girl we once were and the women we are.

Here are some wonderfully inspiring quotes about ballerinasenjoy!

    ~In life, as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet.

    ~It doesn't matter where you are on the stage, just as long as you're there.
   ~Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt and dance like nobody's watching.

   ~Ballet technique is arbitrary and very difficult. It never becomes easy--it becomes possible.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Armor of the Goddess - Red Heels

Undeniably, the color red is a sign of strength and power, the clout seekers of the world wear it like a uniform, and the most influential countries have it as part of their flags. It is known as the power tie, and a universal statement of, “don’t mess with me, you will regret it.”

Great leaders of the world wore red when making some of the most infamous speeches in history. There have been many songs have been written about its luster, and the color has been symbolized and condemned in the same thought.

After much thought on the iconic symbol of unforgettable women and all super-women I have decided red heels are the winner. Superman has his red cape, Superwoman has her red heels.

Have you ever watched a woman try on a pair of red shoes? There is a shy smile, a twinkle in her eye, and many times her cheeks will blush in embarrassment. Every woman on the planet owns a pair of red heels, and if they don't, it's because they haven’t found the perfect pair yet. Oh yes, you will find them in every closet, of course they may be hidden in the back corner, but they are there, waiting to be worn. There is no understating the confidence it takes to wear them either. We want to be able to back up the statement they send and some of us are not quite there yet.

For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, to wear a pair of red heels, even in the privacy of your own bedroom, is like an adrenaline shot to the heart. They exude power, confidence, sexual prowess, and most importantly--the armor it takes to be unstoppable.
Many will think that I am staking too much on a pair of shoes, that it is just a symbol of a confident woman with a sense of style. Oh no it is much, much more than that. There is a reason women do not wear red heels, and there is a reason they do.

Red heels are scary. If you wear them, people will notice, people will look, and you will attract attention. Self doubt closes in and suffocates those who are just not ready for that kind of exposure. So the heels sit at the back of the closet waiting for their time in the spotlight. It will come, someday, we just have to be ready for it.

The power of the red heel is not something to be trifled with, it is a double edged sword. The red heel definitely obtains the spotlight, but there are always critics who will not approve of the choice. We know as women we must be prepared for both, and in reverence to the red heel we must be strong and gorgeous or the magic disappears.

Wow Amy, you are going way overboard on this whole red heel thing…

Am I? Ask yourself, when was the last time you wore your pair of red heels, and how did you feel when you did, and why haven’t you donned your red heels lately?

The truth is red heels--your red heels, speak volumes about who you are as a woman, your strength, your passion, your fire. When you wear red you feel confident and in control. Wearing red brings excitement into your day. It is the color of stimulation, showing a sense of exhilaration, but also suggesting a demanding character. You are amazing and the red heels make sure everyone knows it! So pull them out of the closet, put them on, and prance around the living room, wear them to lunch, or pull them out for some fun in the bedroom.

They, my dears, are one of your many secret weapons, use them wisely and knock the world back a few notches! You are sexy, you are strong, YOU are unstoppable!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hero Arsenal - The Utility Belt

While usually unfashionable, all superheroes have their patented utility belts. The little gadgets that make them seem incredible. Grappling hook, throwing stars, a button to activate stealth, a small rotating saw, cryo-capsules, and anything else the hero would need in battle.
Sure, Batman could have used the stairs, but the grappling hook is so much cooler, right?

We all have our little shortcuts, our utility belts. I am going to share a few of mine, and I hope you will share a few of yours. 

MS Excel – For most this program is a foreign language. If it is for you, put the Rosetta Stone CD away and take an excel course. It will save your life! The automation available in this program is phenomenal and will enable you to turn tedious work into productive process and quick results, quick being the focus word in that sentence. Working in today’s world people want the information now, and the faster you can get it them the better. Excel can boost your productivity, reduce human error, and if used correctly, will earn you a reputation as someone who can get it done. 

ASAP Utilities for Excel - The cheat for Excel, this cheap program enables you to be macro-tastic without the hours of having to learn visual basic and tons of code.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Software - Speech to text has come along way and I have found Dragon to be the winner. Easy to set up and use, Dragon is a life saver when I need to just spout and not worry about typing. Also super handy for spreadsheets when you are copying invoice numbers into a list. 

Ladies Efficient Organizer - I was using an excel spreadsheet for all of my stuff (by stuff I mean a million and one passwords, accounts, software serial numbers, etc. LEO lets me keep it all in one spot and there is a portable version I keep on a thumb-drive, total life saver.
Ginger - This is one I just started using, it is a LIVE grammar checker. I am a grammar dunce so this program saves my skin on a regular basis, they have several different plans based on how much you will use it and it is web based so it can be used on any computer. LOVE IT!

Google Docs (aka Google Drive)– This is a fabulous online resource that too many do not know about. It has saved my butt on many occasions, from the online ability to share a document in seconds without email, to the wonderful survey builder that takes all of the data and puts it into a neat excel file. It takes a few minutes to create the survey; you post it and gather the data when you are done!

Dropbox – Wonderful, easy file sharing program that makes it incredibly easy to share documents between teams while also securing files you do not want to be seen. It is also an awesome place to back up your documents. Instead of emailing files large and small, I save them to the shared box. It alerts the people I have shared the box with, and allows them to download, edit and resave to the same place.  All of your documents are also accessible online, safe and sound. 

Evernote – This is a life saver for those who are out and about or have several jobs, like myself. It is loaded onto your laptops and cell phones. Make a note on your cell and it syncs with your computer and vice-versa.  Your computer and cell are obliterated in a shoot out in Gotham City? Guess what? All of your notes can be accessed online. 

So what is on your utility belt, you can’t live without? Share it with us, you are amongst friends, we promise not to give away all your super-secrets.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Don't Forget the Lyrics Sunday!

While this is a very cheesy television show, the title seemed appropriate for the topic. I wanted to share some muse sparking song lyrics and see if anyone has a few I missed. Music and or lyrics are the core of my writing, I will attach myself to a line or two of a song and wonderful images will pour from my brain. It is a wonderfully exciting experience as I never know when something will jump out at me and what ideas to follow are sometimes surprising.  Some of these are older, but some are newly discovered, hopefully they will spark something inside of you.


You silly woman
Come here and let me hold you
I love you like crazy, girl

Crazy Girl - the Eli Young Band

Just let me hold you while you're falling apart
Just let me hold you and we'll both fall down

    Ever the Same - Rob Thomas

In the instant that you love someone
In the second that the hammer hits
Reality runs up your spine
And the pieces finally fit

    The One – Elton John

And it's been awhile
Since I said I'm sorry
And it's been awhile
Since I've seen the way the candles light your face
And it's been awhile
But I can still remember just the way you taste

    It’s Been a While – Staind

I keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go
Stop breathing if
I don't see you anymore

    Far Away – Nickelback

But to wait for you, is all I can do and that's what I've got to face
Take a good look at me now, cos I'll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It's the chance I've gotta take

Against All Odds – Phil Collins
Hope these added some inspiration to your day, if you fall in love with one let me know, I would love to see what you get out of it!

Love, Laugh, Learn… Everyday

Friday, June 6, 2014

What is Your Super Hero Code?

Every Super Hero has a moment when the tide turns in their favor, the story climaxes all of the pieces fit into place and the circle is complete. Usually this is when they set their sights on righting the wrongs and stopping the villain once and for all. Then they get this look, the -- okay, you want to play, let’s go, bring it on! In this moment, they know, you know, and the villain probably has an inkling as well, the hero is going to win and there is nothing you can do to stop him.

"Tell Me No, I Dare You", is my way of laying a challenge out to all those who will oppose me. I have my dreams, aspirations, motivators and or goals. There will be obstacles in achieving them, but I will prevail and I will do it using all of the weapons in my arsenal. 

Warning though, don’t become too cocky with your superpowers, always play to win.

Confidence is the key, and part of that confidence is knowing your personal code, aka your Super Hero code.  A personal code, to me, is a list of parameters you will live within, strive for and even defend. The outline of who you want to be, to yourself and those around you.

The revelation of my personal code came when I read a fabulous book, “Guts!: Companies that Blow the Doors off Business-as-usual”. First, love the title because it sums up the requirement for anything you want in life. It is all there for the taking, you just have to have the guts to go for it! My hope is to help you discover your superpower-- and you do have one-- and empower you with the guts to go after everything you want.  I have my code tacked to my bulletin board at work and I find myself looking at more often than naught. It reminds me of who I am, what I am about, and how powerful I am. I like to think my heroes live by the same code and I am probably right.
  • Stand up and people will stand with you
  • If you messed up, fess up
  • The answer isn’t “I don’t know”, it is “I will find out”
  • Admit you will never know it all, there is always something to be learned
  • The only constant is change
  • Your gut is never wrong
  • To cut a corner is to lose the journey
  • Do it right, or don’t do it
  • Coincidence is denial, not an exception
  • What you push out always comes back to shove you

So now I have an assignment for you, what is your code? List out the things you live by, and for, every day. Now take a moment to think about what each of these statements means to you.  Life experience makes the meaning different for each individual. The meanings will also change with age. A statement may mean something to you now, and have a different meaning later on in your life.

Now take each of these statements and change them into an "I Will."
Like this, 
  • I will fight for what I believe in
  • I will admit my mistakes, and learn from them
  • I will strive to know the answers
  • I will always embrace a different point of view
  • I will strive to adapt
  • I will trust myself
  • I will accept every challenge with open arms
  • I will never accept less than my best from myself
  • I will get up when I fall
  • I will always deliver results with honesty, integrity and confidence

Every hero survives because of a core strength built on a personal code, like the one we just did. The code lay close to their heart and are what guide them, protect them and in the end save them. Read what you wrote. How amazing are you? These are the reasons you are strong, these are the reasons you will survive no matter what. These are the reasons you can look a challenge in the eye and say "Bring on your worst!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our Secret Weapon - The Superhero Within

One of my favorite Disney characters by far, Mrs. Incredible, aka Elastigirl, from the Disney Pixar movie 'The
Incredibles'. Helen Parr is the wife of Mr. Incredible, aka Bob Parr, but a Superhero in her own right. She is the supportive, loving wife, wonderful mother of three, and bustling homemaker. There are also the insecurities every woman faces, has she become a nag, is she not as attractive as she used to be, not as young, or has she lost her effectiveness as a woman.
At the beginning of the story Helen Parr is a content housewife, the hero of the world she created. We are all the heroes of our own universe. The journey begins when something or someone tampers with that world. We have all been there, things are running along smoothly everything is in its place, and then the stable ground beneath our feet shifts and the world tumbles. 
When her worst fears become reality and she finds out her husband is going off on adventures behind her back, she visits an old friend, Edna Mode, a miniature Donatella Versace, who makes her opinion of the situation clear.

Helen: [sobbing] Now I'm losing him! What'll I do? What'll I do?
Edna: What are you talking about?
Helen: [stops crying] Huh?
Edna: [shouts] You are Elastigirl! My God...
[swatting Helen with a newspaper]
Edna: Pull-yourself-together! "What will you do?" Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who *you* are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!
[normal voice]
Edna: And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits.

These are the moments where we head for the phone booth do a quick change and reveal our strengths. Edna Mode shook the superhero out of the crumpling weeping woman, and Helen Parr comes out of her shell and goes for the throat, rescues her husband, and then proceeds to inform him of what a complete ass he is.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Mrs. Incredible is sneaking into the secret lair. She is venturing
down the hall and passes some chrome revealing her reflection. Her brow furrows in criticism of her womanly curves, specifically her widened hips and butt.  She sighs, resigns herself to the fact there is nothing she can do, and moves on to kick some serious bad-dude's ass.
We all know the Elastigirl part of Mrs. Incredible's personality didn’t disappear. Her superhero abilities didn’t
simply stop working she just forgot how to use them. Once she made the decision there was no stopping her.
Sometimes it is difficult. We have been battered and bruised, there is a chain of kryptonite around our necks, and it takes an Edna Mode to lift us out of the rubble.
Once we get to our feet and dust off our clothes we become the women we are meant to be. The shell we create falls away and we remember the women we are, the strong, resilient masters who define ourselves and are ready to kick some ass.

The trick is not to forget the Elastigirl within. She is our secret weapon. We all have steel within our core, we just need to find it, grab it, and use it when we need it. 

*All characters are owned by Disney and Pixar

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Modern Woman Motto : Tell Me No - I Dare You!

OMG! Are You Superwoman? Yes, yes I am. How can you tell? Is it the smart phone I read, while taking notes, and eating lunch? Is it the briefcase, the purse, the packed lunch and the laptop bag? Or could it be the sparkle in my eye that says “I dare you”?
Every woman in today’s world is a Super Woman,  whether you are Condoleezza Rice, or Susie Homemaker. To survive in the ADD driven society around us we all must be super women. There is no choice. I save the world, or my little place in it, every day. Sometimes staying up until midnight finishing a school project that is due tomorrow--and just happened to get forgotten about right after it was assigned two-weeks prior. Other times changing out of my comfy sweats to prove to the local store clerk at GameStop that my seventeen-year old son, is in fact seventeen, so he can purchase the “M” rated game with his Christmas money.
 I also display my extraordinary powers when I come to the one o’clock client meeting with the charts and data they are expecting, despite the fact they never in fact verbalized the need. To those who know me well, it is just who I am. It is expected.
Those who encounter me for the first time it might think I do have super-powers granted from a far off world
beyond the sun. Either way the label Super Woman is succinct and gets the point across, although I am of the opinion I am no different than any other woman, I just know how to work it a little be more.
 I want to share knowledge, tips and tricks I have learned in my forty years in the hope they may somehow assist all of those super women out there who feel a little overwhelmed, and or under appreciated.  As well as introducing the world to the Super Women I know and love! To start the ball rolling I will tell you a little about me, and I mean a little – I am a woman--and yes I have double checked, no demon, male hating entity here.
I am married with three children, three dogs, and three cats. I love every single one to death! I have a best friend by the name of Brenda, for whom you will hear me reference often.  I live in northern Texas, I grew up on the East Coast, lived in Las Vega for a spell (best damn time I have ever had…) and then the West Coast. I work for a Document Solutions Company in the MPS division.
I am also a romance novelist–no really check it out on Amazon! I have lots of unrealistic goals, worries, financial obligations, kids who think money grows on trees, that credit is free money and all of the stress to go along with being a wife, mother, sister – yes I have a younger sister—daughter, friend, co-worker, blogger, author and expert. Can I do it all? Tell me I can’t – I dare ya!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Romantic Suspense Author Amy Romine's Site 

Tell Me No, I Dare You 

is going LIVE on May 2nd 2014!

Hope to see you then!

Questions, thoughts or concerns?
email me @ writesromine@gmail.com