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Set Your Goals – You Can Do It


“Set Your Goals – You Can Do It” by Joan Y. Edwards

Set your goals larger

This is the time to review your past goals and set your goals for the current year. Any time is a good time to look at and focus on recommitting yourself to your goals. If they are no longer meaningful to you, it is time to revise them to make the goals in your mind and on paper ones that you really want to reach.

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher had these little encouragement signs all over the room. One of my favorites was: “Make a Wish Upon a Star, take a seat and there you are.”  This showed me that if you set your eye on a goal, you can reach it.

Day 1 Title the page with your name and goals for the current year. Brainstorm possible goals. Set time to reach the goals for December 31, 2018 or 12 months after you’ve made your list. List them all on a piece of paper or in a file on your computer. Let them sit overnight in your mind.  Save file as Day 1 Goals for this year.

Day 2 Read them over the next day. Delete any goals that you have already reached or revise them to be goals you really want to reach. Delete goals that you wouldn’t care if you reached it or not at the end of the year. You want your goals to be items you feel a strong yearning to reach. Save this file as Day 2 Goals for this year.

Day 3 Read the goals again. Make sure you agree with them. Make sure you believe you can accomplish them. Revise any to make them so they not too hard and not too easy. Goldilocks goals…just right. Believable and Achievable.

Add 1-3 Images at the top of your goals to inspire you.

Free images from www.pixabay.com/

or www.morguefile.com/

Print out your goals. Post in a picture frame on the wall or on a file cabinet where you can see them every day. Revise when necessary to keep your mind positive and motivated to meet your goals and live and conquer your fears.

There are many ways to reach your goals. You know yourself better than anyone else. Choose the method that works for you. Many people make goals in their heads and are successful at keeping them. Others write down their goals. Still others share their goals with a close friend that keeps them accountable for their goals.

As for me, I like writing the goals down so that I can look at them every once in a while to see how I am doing.

If you check your goals every 6 months, you’ll be amazed when you see how many of your goals you have reached and how close you are to others. There may even be one or two you want to change and set a different goal.

Here is a link about a Harvard Business School study of goal setting that says that it’s a good idea to not only write down your goals but also write down the steps to achieve them.  Even if you don’t write down the steps, you can achieve your goal.

Good luck!
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Thanks, Mary Lash for sharing your story with me before it was published!

All Bernadette “Bernie” O’Brien, an underachieving, overweight 14-year-old, who happens to be blind, wants is an average share of happiness. Instead, her life is on a runaway roller coaster that can only plummet down. Failed by those she idealizes, despising her own weaknesses, Bernie plunges into the desert of her own hopelessness. A Roller Coaster Down is a luminous, gently humorous story of failure and redemption, of the universal hunt for love and self-respect.

Giveaway Prize Awarded on January 10, 2018.

Thank you very much for the many people who read this blog and the five people who left a comment on this post between January 2 and midnight, January 9, 2018:

  1. Violette Early
  2. Linda M. Andersen
  3. Carol Federlin Baldwin
  4. Lisa Anne Cullen
  5. Sandra Warren

Random.org chose number 4 as the winner. So Congratulations, Lisa Anne Cullen. You won a free paperback copy of “A Roller Coaster Down” by Mary Lash and Vasant Garcia. Please send me your snail mail address and I will mail it to you.


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Watch the Hands of People When They Talk

Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Image Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

“Watch the Hands of People When They Talk” by Joan Y. Edwards

Have you ever watched how people use their hands when they talk?

When people talk, many of them move their hands in rhythm to what they are saying. Mother used to do that. When she walked with her cane, we had to stay our distance or be hit with the cane.

Italians are noted for talking with their hands. Their hands move to emphasize their words. Watch the woman on the right in the following video saying English words uses her hands to make a point:

Motivational speakers and preachers use their hands for emphasis. The movement of the hands can show different emotions. Perhaps you can make your own list of descriptions for the emotions shown in the manuscript you are writing at present.

Most of the pictures in the Westside Toastmasters link shows a use of the fingers or hands and hidden meanings of this body language:

When people get angry, what do they do with their hands? They clinch their fists. They raise their arms and hands up high and slam them down on something. Visualize in your mind what you or others you’ve witnessed do with their hands when they get angry. Use these descriptions in your manuscripts to show one of your character’s displaying anger. It works better than telling.

Many of these pictures show meanings of body language. There’s one section about hand signals.

Here’s a collection of Body Language Gestures with their meanings:

There is a whole language using hands. A universal sign language. Here’s a video with  Melissa from Expert Village teaching you to say words: TV, ball, candy, play, yes, no, and jacket in sign language .

Here are 100 common words in sign language from Lifeprint.com on You-Tube by Dr, Bill Vicars:

Fascinating! Speaking and understanding sign language is a gift.

Good luck with your writing.

Here’s another blogpost in my Watch series: “Watch How People Talk:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/watch-how-people-talk/


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I thank all of you who have subscribed to my blog. If you haven’t signed up, I invite you to sign up for an email subscription from the left-hand column. You’ll receive a free Never Give Up logo image.

When I reach 200 subscribers, I’ll give a free MP3 recording of positive affirmation statements to all who subscribe to my blog.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2013 Joan Y. Edwards

Other Resources:

Charlie Moritz. “Read Body Language:”http://readbodylanguage.wordpress.com/

CCCOE.Net. “Teaching Social Skills in Language Arts, Body Language:” http://www.cccoe.net/social/bodylang.htm

Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story

“Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story” by Joan Y. Edwards

Editors ask: What is the universal theme of your story? information book? article? poem?

What do you answer? Are you clueless? Perhaps I can help.

I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop in Oceanside, Oregon from July 12-16, 2010. I was sharing a poem I wrote. The editor wanted to know what was my poem’s universal theme. What I had thought was a universal theme was really not universal. It was regional or subjective. Therefore, I did research to find out more about the subject of universal theme.

But first you have to know what your conflict is. To gain more readership, make your conflict one of the universal conflicts listed below.
What does the main character want that he cannot get or have?
Conflict adds excitement and suspense to the story.
What disturbed him beyond belief? What is the cause of distress for the main character?
What disrupts the business as usual of the main character?
What happens that the main character may try to ignore but cannot? He has to deal with this problem, internally and externally.

The internal conflict comes when the main character has to choose between two solutions to the problem: one moral, one immoral; one against his family rules; one against club’s rules; one that might hurt his friend, one that might hurt himself; one that might win the trust of his friends, one that would make him untrustworthy, one that makes him a liar, one that makes him tell the truth; mixed emotions add the tension to the story and make people want to read it to find out what the main character decided to do and what the consequences were for his actions….did it bring him closer to the goal, or bring him to his last breath.

Universal Conflicts
In a story you have one of the following universal conflicts played out:
Man against Man
Man against Self
Man against Nature
Man against Society
Man against Family
Man against the Universe
Man against Machines
Man against Institutions
Man against God
Man against Time
Man against Destiny

Never fear: Your story will probably fit into one of the universal conflicts listed above.

Goals Main Characters Struggle for, Search for, Need, Want
Acceptance, Admiration, Ambition, Approval, Attention, Authority, Awareness, Beauty. Belief, Belonging, Choices, Commitment, Community, Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Dedication, Dream, Education, Equality, Experience, Faith, Family, Friendship, Godly love, Good, Gratitude, Heroes /Heroic Figures and Actions, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Human Relationships, Humor, Identity, Independence, Individuality, Innocence, Justice, Laughter, Law and Order, Live forever, Love, Loyalty, Marriage, Money, Morality,
Nature, Nonviolence, Passion, Peace, Perseverance, Possibilities, Power, Principles, Rebirth, Redemption, Religion, Respect, Responsibility, Romance, Sex, Spiritual enlightenment, Success, Taxes, Time, Trust, Truth, Understanding.

Forces Opposing Main Character, Keep Him from Reaching His Goal, Struggle Against, Has to Triumph Over, Doesn’t Want, Opposite of Goal, Perils of, What the Main Character Doesn’t want:
Accusation, Alienation, Ambition, Authority, Beliefs, Betrayal, Blame, Challenge, church, Coming of Age, Competition, Corruption, Country, County, Court, Crime, Death, Deception, Despair, Destruction, Disallusionment of adulthood, Disapproval, Distrust, Envy, Etiquette, Evil, Faith, Family, Fate, Fear, Forbidden, Freedom, Future, Government, Greed, Grief, Guilt, Handicap, Hatred, Hospital, Initiation, Injustice, Institutions, Jail, Jealousy, Justice, Lack of compassion, Lies, Loss, Materialism, Nation, Nature, Nature as dangerous, Oppression, Past, Power, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Pride, Prison, Problems, Punishment, Rebelling, Rejection, Religion, Responsibility, Revenge, Rules, Sacrifice, Schools, Self-Doubt, Shame, Society, Taxes, Time, Town, Tragedy, Vengeance, Village, Vulnerability, War.

After you finish writing your story or when you’ve finished your outline, what has your main character learned from his conflict? What did the main character learn in his battle against one of the conflicts listed above? This is the theme. Make it a universal theme shared by all mankind, so that all of mankind will want to read your book.

The Universal Theme
The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave. It is the statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition that the author wants to convey to readers. It’s an observation about life that can apply to any and everyone representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears across cultures and continents, and from generation to generation. It could be the moral to the story, a teaching, or an observation. It transcends race, gender, sexual preference, and creed. Some examples are love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life.

Universal themes exist because people worldwide go through the common human experiences of being born, experiencing anguish and joy, and dying come from emotions and that touch and can apply to any and all cultures, genders, ages, sexual preference, creeds, geography, historical periods, and genres.

The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave in a particular situation. It is a statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition through the author’s words and characters. The theme is universal when it transcends race, gender, sexual preference, creed. cultures, continents, and generations representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears such as: love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life that can apply to any and everyone.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Conflict of Nature against death
You do not have to worry about dying and death. It’s a natural thing.

Law and Order Television Series by Dick Wolf
Conflict of Good over Evil – Dick Wolf presents both sides of the issues
Even with the latest technology and evidence, police and district attorneys do not always win their cases against evil.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love against society, family, death
Love can be so passionate that one would prefer death to living without the loved one.

Here are links I went to find information about universal themes:



Universal Emotions

Emotions Are Universal.

Put emotions in your story. It makes your characters come alive. One way to make your story have universal appeal is to add the tension of opposing emotions. We all feel mixed emotions every day. Should we do this? We shouldn’t do that. It’s smart to do this. How could I be so stupid? How could he be so naive? What’s the wisest choice? What are my choices? Do I get a choice? When a character has two or three choices and none of them are very good, it’s tension time for reading and living, and it makes the reader want to turn the page.

All people experience emotions. Putting believable emotions into your story will help it reach more readers.

Here are Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions Robert Plutchik used the above six emotions and added two others below:

Ekman’s Eleven Other Basic Emotions
Pride in achievement
Sensory pleasure

The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin gives nine emotions
Nine Emotions

Nine States of Emotional Empowerment by Swati Chopra

Swati Chopra from New Delhi, India says the nine rasas are:
Distress (hunger, discomfort)


Here are websites with information about emotions:

http://library.thinkquest.org/25500/index2.htm Great gives text descriptions of body when feeling 6 basic emotions
http://www.clipartguide.com/_search_terms/feelings.html Great! Pictures matched with emotions

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. I hope I enlightened you, rather than confused you. Please let me know if I helped you make your writing appeal to more people, to make it more universally appealing. Capture this universal appeal and you’ll capture an editor’s heart!

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I would be honored if you would. The sixth person to subscribe to my blog after May 12, 2010 from the left hand column where it says, “Sign Me Up Here,” will receive a free paperback copy of my book, Flip Flap Floodle, a little duck who never gives up on his song. Don’t give up on your writing. Never Give Up on winning and resolving conflicts that come your way.

You are a published author in your mind, before you get that way on paper.  You can do it. Yes, you can.

Please write a comment below. Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010-2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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