Tuesday, July 12, 2016 | By: Lisa LaMendola

PRESS RELEASE: Talking to the Dog ~ Animal Communication for the Pet Owner

For those who follow me for writing tips and information, I would like to share with you a lesson in turning old trash into something new and better.

As you know I always write about dogs, because they are what I know best. But in my work as an Animal Communicator, I work with many different types of animals. They all speak the same language, and it is one that we can speak to.

Many writers write things and never complete it, putting it in a file to be readdressed later. This happens a lot, but it is how we come up with great ideas for books and great content for our work. So....

A long time ago, far away, I wrote an eBook for Sammy's Mission so my clients could learn how to communicate with their pets.  Many liked it, some couldn't find the time to do what they needed to make it work. Others took my Animal Communication Course instead (which is taught every year in the spring ~ if you are interested in this be sure to sign up for the mailing list on our Home Page). If you are interested in pets and how to care for them properly, be sure to like the FaceBook Page that Sammy and I share. So I took that little eBook and chopped it up and moved it around, added a lot to it, and came out with a new and exciting masterpiece!

Today I share that masterpiece with you so you can talk to your pet.  Plus it is out on KINDLE right now!

READ SAMPLE

This book will change your world! It will help you better connect to your pet on a telepathic level so that you can effectively know what your pet is saying and when.

You will probably be surprised at how simple and complete their responses are, and you will learn to see the world you live in just a little bit differently.

SO get your copy of Talking to the Dog: Animal Communication for the Pet Owner on KINDLE for only $2.99! There really is no excuse not to get it... Besides, even if you think you don't have time to read it now, that's the beauty of books! You can buy now and read later! So what are you waiting for?

Oh, you don't have a pet? Don't really want to learn to talk to them? Well, do you know someone who does? This would make a great gift! Or just pass on this post to them and let them order it themselves!



Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | By: Lisa LaMendola

How to Release the Book That's Hiding Inside of You

There are so many people with a story to tell.  They keep it hidden in their head so they can mull it over year after year after year.  They tell you how THEY couldn't have written than, or how THEY have a book to write and yet they never do.  The problem is they are not ready for the journey to take thoughts to paper.


I have always loved writing.  My first published story was in Mademoiselle Magazine in the lat 70's.  My English Lit teacher suggested I submit it when I received an A+ on a short story assignment that reflected 1/3 of my overall grade that semester.  She even gave me a copy of the magazine page telling me how to enter.  I thought about it for two weeks before retying the pages that had the teachers notes on it.  Back then we typed on old fashioned typewriters.  My typing teacher let me use my favorite typewriter in her class during my study period.  She even helped me by addressing the envelope and mailing it for me.  

I forgot about it after that, but four months later I got a letter in the mail.  My Mom thought it was odd since I never got any mail, except letters from a dear friend who lived far away.  When I got home from school that day she handed me the envelope. My eyes lit up.  It had a letter and a check for $50 as the Third Place Winner. The letter said that I could expect my story, as well as those of the First and Second Place winners to be in the September issue. 

I told my mom about the submission with my teachers help, and gave her the check and the letter.  She was happy for me.  I was happy for me.  It was someone, besides a teacher or my parents, telling me that I talent at writing.  I've never forgotten that moment. And I have never stopped writing.

I have always written in a journal, so my thoughts can get out of my head.  You see if you don't let go of those repetitive thoughts they just take up space where new thoughts are formed.  When you never have new thoughts you get stuck in the past, second guessing your thoughts, and that's how thoughts can become negative. The same holds true for stories.

If you have a story to write, write it! it doesn't matter if someone reads it or not. I have several half started books almost done books, and barely started books.  I also have several outlines for books I haven't started yet.  I will get back to them, when the time is right.  I just finished a book I started three years ago that will be published on Kindle later this week.  So you see eventually it gets somewhere, even if it's in the trash bin years later because you never go back to it.  Perhaps something better came from releasing those thoughts to paper?  Or perhaps the story was too personal?

The latter is true of so many people holding books in their head.  They are afraid to put it on paper.  Afraid that it will be come real if they do.  The problem is, it's usually about the past and so its gone.  Just a memory. And there in lies the problem. You think you have to relive it when you write it.  That may be true for some, but not for all.

You would be surprised how many people write their past and have no attachment to it,  It's like they are looking at it from a whole new perspective; and that would be because they are. You are no longer the person who experienced it, instead you are the person who survived and healed and moved forward from it. You have a new view on the old you as you write the words that have been held captive in your thoughts, so by releasing them to paper you you allow yourself to move forward, past the hurt you thought you still had.  The hurt is gone, only the memory of the hurt remains.

Then again, you might have a novel inside of you.  A thriller that you know would be great, but you don't have time to write.  This is where an outline comes in handy.  Write down the plot, the characters, and the ending; then set it aside.  Once that is out of your thoughts, you can actually start to write.  The problem with most people who want to write is they think they have to go from chapter A to chapter B to chapter C when they write, and that is not true.  Yes, some people do write in linear fashion, but most do not.  Most writers write what comes to them, an experience the character is having (or a memory they are having for memoir/non fiction book).  They write what they have and label it as such. 

For example instead of chapter 1 call it Adele's Story, or Mack's Experience, something to remind them of what the section or chapter is about.  Then one day when they have ten sections they start to see how it will flow together, allowing them to understand what is missing and how to write those mission areas. I hear, from other authors, that this is a much easier way to writer.  Unfortunately I wouldn't know. I have done this in the past, but since my brain injury things come in linear fashion I write copy or novels, or even blog posts.  My Neurologist says that is from my brain trying to shut down the damaged side of the brain and rely more on the healthy side. It is also part of the reason why I feel like my eyes are bulging out of my head after writing or proofing for a few hours (the other part is that i have nerve damage behind one eye).  I have to set a timer so I force my brain to relax and my eyes to rest, lest I force a seizure upon myself.  This break time is advantageous as it forces me to use meditation more often, clearing my mind of too many thoughts so that when I return to my work I have a clear head.

So if your still harboring that book inside of you, here are three simple things to help you get the book ideas out of your head so you can see if you actually have something worth writing.

1. Outlines.  Outlines are nothing more than notes on a paper.  Its about the plot, or idea for the book,  The characters that are coming to mind, their names and what they give to the story. The ending of the story, because you are obviously going somewhere with this, right?  Outlines allow you to get things out of your head and move on to whatever is more important in that moment, but allowing you to wander back to it days, months or even years later to refresh your memory.

2. Journaling.  Get a journal or notebook that is exclusively for your book ideas.  Leave few lines/spaces at the top, this is where you will later write the title of the chapter/section. Just let your ideas hit the paper. There can be lines of thought, bullet points, anything that comes to mind.  There needs to be NO ORDER in which it leaves your mind and lands on the page.  Many writers use this when they are in the middle of finishing one book, but ideas for the next book are coming.  Once the time is right you can go back and read all the notes, allowing you to form more details for the book you have in mind.  This process is one step further than an outline and most useful when you are already formulating the entire book in your head.

3. Meditating. What?? How can meditating help?! By allowing you to get clear on the who, what and why.  Taking a few moments to close your eyes and breath (clearing your thoughts) you can then ask your subconscious self WHY you want to write this (be honest!), WHO you are writing this for, and WHAT are those who read it going to gain from it? Being honest with yourself can only be done if you let go of any agenda you might have.  If you find that you are writing for the wrong reasons, then get yourself a journal or notebook and start writing things down at the end of the day. Write anything that comes to mind, about your life, your needs, your wants, your work, your book ideas, write all of it. Think of it as your own personal therapist or book consultant who's going to help you see things more clearly and move through any form of writer's block you might be having.



I find it amusing that so many people think writing is so hard, when in fact it is the easiest thing to do!  You just have to get your own personal mental agenda out of the way and let the words flow. Also, make sure you are writing in a way that works for you.  

First, do you prefer to write long hand? If so do that, if not do it on a computer keyboard.  If you are more of a verbal person get a voice command program.  Several authors I know use on their computer and talk into a microphone while the program transcribes into a computer document.  I personally cannot use this type of program due to my brain injury, so I write in a journal every night and type all my writing work via computer keyboard. In many instances I just close my eyes and type what comes, going back to read and spell check when a break in thought comes.

Another thing to consider is where you are when you are writing.  Writing, even for an accomplished author, is a personal thing.  A story coming from somewhere inside. And so it makes sense to want to write in privacy.  Also the fact that writers don't like to be disturbed when they are working.  Interrupting our train of thought can cause us to be very unhappy with the intruder! As for me, I already have a broken connection between parts of brain and my ability to do things so if you interrupt me I will completely forget my train of thought and possibly never get it back. 

So find the place where you feel the most comfortable, get in a place where you won't be in pain after a few hours of writing, and make that your sacred writing space. Don't decided on the place and then decide if it works for you, instead think about what you need and determine where that is. It helps if you can have more than one place to write.  I write different things, so if I'm working on my novel or on a copywriting project I tend to be in the den on the couch (great light and quiet with a nice view).  If I'm doing copy-proofing or working on a blog, weather permitting, I like to sit in the shade on the porch (nice view and fresh air, but not the place to be to write for long periods of time).


One last thing, be sure to take BREAKS!  I know many writers who get so caught up in what they are writing that they don't take breaks. Then when they do go back and read the last part of their work, they find they went of on a tangent or took the story in a different direction.  This is because you need to disconnect and recharge your batteries to get clear thoughts.  Taking a break takes much less time than rewriting something.  So time yourself so you can take a break; take a walk, have a snack, watch the rain come down, get a fresh cup of coffee or tea, and allow yourself to have a good life in between being a great writer.


Sunday, June 26, 2016 | By: Lisa LaMendola

The Dog in the Book

Excerpt from The Dog in the Book by Lisa LaMendola ©2016

"That's pretty lame when a dog gets to see you before I do," Dobbs said as he walked in the hospital room.  "He's better looking than you, that's why." Jack joked.  


There in the doorway stood Jack's best friend of almost 50 years, Benjamin Dobbs, and under his arm was a rolled up newspaper with two corned beef on rye with pickles on the side.  This is the lunch they had every day since Jack bought Old Man Sander's bookstore twenty years ago.  He called it an early retirement plan, but what he was looking for was an end to his teaching career without actually retiring.  


"That better not be dirty laundry under your arm Bennie" Jack said, remembering the time Dobbs had left his sandwiches on a park bench to feed the pigeons and when he got to Jack it was full of old socks instead.  Someone had switched out his sandwiches for socks.  They laughed so hard at the absurdity of anyone stealing a sandwich in this town when all they had to do was go to St. Anne's every afternoon for a full meal.  'He must have needed it more than we did.' Dobbs had said, picking up the phone to order two more to be delivered.


"It's not Jack, it's not." Dobbs replied, putting down the package and giving his friend a bear hug.  "Oh dear, I didn't hurt you there, did I Jack?" he said quickly pulling back.  Dobbs was about three inches taller and a hundred pounds heavier than Jack and could sometimes forget his own strength.  For 70 years old he looked like he was in his late 50's and could have been a linebacker for the 49ers.  "No Dobbs, I'm good, northing broke." Jack replied, smiling.


"Then what the hell are you doing in that bed?" Dobbs asked.  


"Waiting for a pacemaker." Jack replied.  "It will be here in the morning."  


He could see the relief on Dobbs face, for he also had a pacemaker going on 10 years now, so knew that Jack would be OK.  Jack pulled out a game of checkers from the nightstand drawer and began to set it up on the table under the window.  "It's not your set Dobbs, but it will have to do for today."  Dobbs smiled, happy to be able to play his daily game while eating his sandwich.  Sam curled up under their feet hoping for a sample of corned beef.


An hour later the food was eaten and the game was over.  "Ready for a lift home Mr. Dobbs?" Jack Junior said standing in the doorway of his father's hospital room.


 "Sure am," Dobbs said getting up out of his chair. "Finally beat your old man for once.  I suspect I had the upper hand this time, but I'm still going to relish in it."


"Oh go relish in it somewhere else Bennie, your glow is blinding me!" Jack said with a laugh.  "Need anything before I go dad?" Jack Junior asked his father.  "If you could get my journal from the bookstore safe and bring it to me?  I'd like to write in it tonight." He replied, his son nodding in agreement saying he or Mabel would bring it to him later, and watched them walk out the door.


Jack turned to look out the window at the afternoon sun.  For just a moment he wondered what the sun looked like from heaven.  Then he let that thought go, telling himself he would find out soon enough.  He looked down at Sam, lying in the one spot where the sun shined on the floor.  'You my good man, "Jack said looking at his faithful dog, "you I will miss the most."


After a long afternoon nap, Jack woke to find Sam lying next to him and the most beautiful woman in the world sitting beside his bed.  There was Mabel, petting Sam, reassuring him I would be fine.  Sam wasn't letting on that he knew more than she did, he just let her pet him as he wagged his tail.  "Now you're a sight for sore eyes." Jack started, "how long have you been sitting there?"  "Only a few minutes dear." Mabel replied.  "I thought I might bring you dinner.  I made your favorite."  Mabel made the best pot roast this side of the Mississippi!  He knew it was the same ingredients everyone else used, but for some reason her love changed the chemistry of it into something amazing.  Jack looked over to the table by the window, the one where he had played checkers and eaten corned beef on rye with his best friend Dobbs several hours earlier.  Now it had a red check tablecloth and two place settings. There were two plates with silver covers on them, the kind Mabel used at the Rusty Pub to keep meals warm.  Jack got up and walked over to the table smelling the aroma of the food he knew was underneath the cover.  They sat down, toasted water classes to his health, and began to eat.  Even Sam had received his own bowl of pot roast, just like he would if they were at home.  It was so good to have Sam with him today, Jack thought.  Of all days, today is the most important.


When dinner was over he and Mabel sat watching the sun set and talking about their next trip.  They loved traveling and when they went away he had always left Jack Junior in charge of the bookstore, and on those rare moments when Sam could not come with them he took care of him too.  An Alaskan Cruise was next on the list, they just hadn't decided when to go.  Jack had never been away from Sam for more than a few days, and this trip was almost two weeks.  He had put it off, but talking about it seemed to bring a twinkle to Mabel's eye.  So they talked about going the next summer, even deciding on the month.  Even though Jack knew he wouldn't be here, he wanted her to know how much he wanted to go.  


He was taking Sam's advice and saying what he needed to say, without anyone realizing what he was doing.  Before his nap he had called David, his oldest son, who always seemed in a hurry.  He said he would be here in the morning after the surgery was over, he had some big meeting early but he would come right after.  The corporate jet would have him there by 10:30am, which is when Doc Holliday said he should be out of surgery.  Too late, Jack thought, but didn't say anything.  He told him that was fine and looked forward to seeing him.  He made sure he told him he loved him, making David pause to say he loved him too.  That was hard for David, expressing real emotions, but Jack felt he was actually connected to his son for a moment before they hung up.


After Mabel left, Jack and Sam sat on bed while Jack wrote in his journal.  His last entry would be the most telling and the most important of his life.  He made sure to explain everything that had happened in his life since Sam began talking, and how he was meant to live on as Jack Junior's spiritual ally. His will had explained all the technical details, how Jack would get the bookstore and David would get the house.  He hoped that David would keep the house and come visit more often, maybe even retire back in his hometown.  In his heart though, he knew he would sell it for the money and that was fine too.  He didn't want him being somewhere he didn't want to be.


If I wake up tomorrow to find that I'm still here, I will eat my words and that of my best friend Sam's.  However, I know that through the past five years I have been given a gift beyond measure.  One that has always been accurate and always had my best interest at heart.  Sam is a gift from God and now, my son Jack Junior will be just as or even more, blessed than I have been.


Jack closed the book and placed it beside him.  Sam was now lying with his front paws across his chest giving him a few kisses.  "You're going to a fine place, Jack." Sam began.  "It's the most magical place you will ever experience, because it is your true Home.  You can see all of us from there and even send us a sign now and again, but you must go with your father so that you do not get stuck in limbo."  


"I promise." Jack replied.  "I know in my heart it's time Sam, I will just miss you so very much.  Be sure to have Jack Junior read the book, but not until he's opened the bookstore again.  He won't understand until then."  Sam agreed, knowing that there was a perfect time for everything.  


"Visiting hours are over" Doc Holiday said as he walked into the room with Jack Junior a few paces behind him.  He gave Jack a form to sign, having Jack Junior as his medical advisory in case anything happened where Jack couldn't speak for himself.  It was only a precaution, he said, reiterating that he probably wouldn't need to use it.  


"I'd like a few minutes with my boy before he goes, doc." Jack said.  "That's fine, but only a few minutes.  The nurse will be by shortly to check on you so that's your clue to leave." He said, directing his words towards Jack Junior.  They both agreed it would be a short visit and then Jack Junior and Sam would be on their way home.


Jack handed his son the journal, asking him to put it back in the safe and that if anything happened to him, he must read it right away.  Jack Junior agreed, saying he knew he would be fine, but that he promised if anything happened to him he would read it.  Dismissing the thought he hugged his dad, let Sam give him a few goodbye kisses, and they walked out the door.  They made it to the elevators when there was a loud alarm.  The elevator door opened and Sam sat down, not ready to get in.  Jack Junior looked at him and for the first time saw his soul and he knew something was wrong.  


"Code Blue Room 311.  Code Blue."  That was his dad's room and suddenly his eyes swelled up with tears, still staring deep into Sam's eyes knowing this was not good.

Jack Junior and Sam slowly walked back towards his father's room.  Doc Holiday was standing in the doorway.  'There was nothing we could we do.  He was gone before even got to the room."  'I know you did what you could Doc.  And I think Dad knew he wasn't going to make it.  I don't know how he knew, just that he did." Jack replied as the tears flowed and heartache of missing the man he was named after welled up inside of him.  He pulled out his phone and called his brother, trying to console him from a distance.  And while he was trying to console him, Jack Junior was now the new owner of the Wisdom Bookstore and the new master to Sam, the dog in the book.