FREE stuff!

We received word that Amazon’s Matchbook program is up and running. When a publisher signs up for Matchbook, they are able to offer the Kindle version of a title at a discounted price to people who purchased the print version from Amazon.

The publisher gets to set the price for the Kindle version. And since we think it’s kind of rude to charge you twice for the same book (especially when there are no costs to us for the Kindle), we’re giving The Long Way to you for free. We also signed up for Amazon’s Book Lending Program which means you can lend The Long Way to friends and family.

Long story short: Anyone who purchases (or has already purchased) the print version of The Long Way from Amazon can now download the Kindle version at no additional cost. Perfect for trains, planes, automobiles, covered wagons, or sedan chairs.

Keep an eye on your dreams

daruma one

It’s hard not to attain your goal with a cyclops watching your every move. This Daruma Doll was given to me by a very special friend a few years ago as a gift of encouragement when I began writing The Long Way. The Daruma is a traditional handmade Japanese wishing doll that keeps one focused on achieving one’s goal. It’s a hollow, round doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. The dolls vary greatly in color and design depending on the artist. My Daruma is made of shredded Yen.

Though considered an omocha (toy) Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded as a talisman of good luck. They are seen as a symbol of perserverance and dreams.

There are five steps to using a Daruma. The first is to decide on a specific goal you are determined to achieve. Provide yourself with a clear vision and be exact. Goals can be professionally driven (sales, computer programming, athletic achievement, etc.) or personally driven (education, weight management, healthy eating, more exercise, etc.).

The second step is to color one of Daruma’s blank eyes in. This signifies your commitment to achieving your goal. I think the third step is the most important. Place the one-eyed creature somewhere visible in your home or office so that you are reminded to focus on your goal. I placed my Daruma on a bookshelf in the bedroom. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw before falling asleep. If you are working on a weight loss goal, you may consider placing it in the kitchen. If your goal is profesionally oriented, consider placing Daruma on your desk at work. Daruma is a reminder. Nana korobi yaoki (fall down seven times, get up eight).

Once you achieved your goal, fill in Daruma’s other eye.

daruma working

Lastly, write the achieved goal on the back of your doll, congratulate yourself, and celebrate like Daruma is watching.

daruma long