Writing As a Career Builder – What Are the Payoffs?

Writing As a Career Builder – What Are the Payoffs?

I've been a professional writer for 35 years and have published 15 books, thousands of articles, and a decade of monthly columns. They've been a great career booster, creating a steady stream of clients and invitations to lecture and speak at conferences.

When I was about to start my third book, an old friend came to town – a highly successful man with a stock portfolio as long as your arm. "Tell me," he asked over the expensive lunch he treated me to, "Writing books – is it cost effective?"

Of course, I laughed (somewhat hysterically), and so did the carefully selected friends I repeated it to. However, the question has stuck with me over the years, and it's one you'll want to ponder if you're thinking of doing a book. The unambiguous answer I've come up with, after years of observing the creative process and its results, is, "yes and no."

If you're talking about direct financial payback, no, it's NOT particularly cost effective. The author generally earns less than a dollar royalty per hard copy sold, except for the ones you sell yourself, and there you get 40% of the cover cost but no royalty. If it's a hard copy book from a publisher, the first payment does not arrive until a year or longer after you complete the hard work of writing the book, unless you get an advance on royalties. With an ebook, you get 100% of the royalties if you are marketing it yourself from your own website, or generally 50% if it is marketed elsewhere.

Writing IS extremely cost-effective in other ways, however. There are the indirect rewards of creative self-fulfillment, the pride of seeing your work in print, the sense of contributing to the field, and the satisfaction of knowing that your ideas are reaching and helping people you'll never meet. If it's a good book, you enjoy increased prestige and respect from your collections and readers.

Not bottom line enough? I have also had many more tangible but indirect rewards, although there's no guarantee that everyone who publishes a book will do as well. Because of my publications, I've been invited to speak at conferences and to lead seminars around the world. There have been five all-fee-paid, one-month trips to Europe, three to Brazil, and a month in Australia. Without the books, none of these groups would have heard of me. A well-received work can be an entree into speaking at conferences. It's not the only way-some of our finest and most popular speakers have yet to write a word and are still invited to speak abroad.

And, no, as my wealthy friend would point out, the trips were not cost-effective either, because of the income lost during those months away. However, the chance to travel and to meet astrology lovers all over the world is a priceless reward. Another indirect benefit has been the clients who came after reading my books-satisfying, astrologically sophisticated, insightful folks who were attracted to my way …

College Football Week # 1

College Football Week # 1

Tennessee Back In This Doghouse

I have never gone broke underestimating Phillip Fulmer.

Over the last four seasons, the University of Tennessee has been one of the most vexing college football powerhouses in the nation. They were loaded on defense and had a potential interest quarterback tandem in '05, and went 5-6. They had an absolutely dominating indemnity led by Casey Clausen, but could not stop Auburn and lost a weird home game to Notre Dame in '04. Since the '98 national championship season, UT has gone 61-26 straight-up, but 2-4 in bow games (they failed to reach a bowl last year) and have been a dreadful 4-16 against the number in home games since 2003. Indeed, if there's one thing you could count on last season, it was that Tennessee would be too highly valued against the spread, especially in Knoxville.

Into this break step the Cal Golden Bears, who travel to Knoxville this weekend to meet Tennessee as a two-point underdog. Cal had terrible troubles at quarterback last season and went a disappointing 8-4, after coming within six points against USC from registering an undefeated regular season in 2004. If Joe Ayoob stays on the bench, I think Cal is a much better team, and from the sound of it, last year's presumptive starter, Nate Longshore, who broke his leg during the Bears' first game of '05, should helm the team this year. There's no question who the running back is: it's Marshawn Lynch, who's averaged 7.0 yards per carry in his first two seasons in Berkeley. I have visions of the Vols' once-destructive run defense being unable to stop Memphis's two backup rushers last season (Joseph Doss carried it 17 times for 77 yards; Maurice Avery carried it 18 times for 72 yards), so it's not unthinkable that Lynch could pick up where he left off in '05 (for the record, where he left off was a 24-carry, 194-yard Las Vegas Bowl performance against BYU last year).

Cal was crummy against the last last season (2-9-1), but I'm betting that a lot of that had to do with Ayoob, who looks like a nice guy, but was way too erratic for Jeff Tedford's wild-and -crazy offensive game plans. Now Ayoob's the backup again; Longshore is your dropback guy who will not make the big mistake, and I'm not sure I can say the same about UT QB Eric Ainge, who has that job all to himself this year. Tennessee fans are absolutely awesome, and Knoxville is an incredibly difficult place to play, but I think Fulmer will find a way to lose this game. UT is 2-8 against the spread in their last 10 against non-conference foes, and California is 9.4-1 against the number in their last 14 as a road dog. I'm not sure exactly how much business Lynch will be able to do, because this Tennessee defense should still be pretty good against the run (that Memphis game notwithstanding). But I think the Golden Bears …

The Best Options For Online Colleges

The Best Options For Online Colleges

There are a few things you should know about online schools before you read on. They offer a great variety of different classes and areas of study. Going to a traditional college, you have to go in and sit for hours on end on a very exact schedule. With an online school you can create your own schedule and it is extremely easy to access. This allows people to keep an eye on the rest of their life. They can get a job on the side so they can work and do school at the same time. The cool thing is that you can do it at multiple places. You could head down to the coffee shop down the street and at home. You could even do your schooling in another country if needed!

There has been a rise in the number of online universities. Their popularity is raising every day. The University of Phoenix has proved itself time after time as one of the top schools out there.. They have about 16 different schools and 200 campuses around the united states and British Columbia. A study showed that the average amount of time to complete a degree at Phoenix is about 20 months. Then you can move on to your career or transfer to a traditional college for a higher degree. It has become the one of the largest accredited online schools since it was founded it 1976.

With about 9 area’s or study, including business, health science and business, Kaplan University is another one of the top schools. Being founded in 1937 Kaplan has grown with the ages and is far ahead of their time in their teaching methods and have great educational resources at their hands. People who have or are serving in the military get special rates and those who aren’t or haven’t been in the military can apply for a great or financial aid.

DeVry University is an online school that offers 5 very specific and different college’s in different area’s of study. One of the best things about this school are the 90 locations in the United States and Canada. They offer 3 different options for schooling. These are going into class, doing all your work online or doing a bit of both.

Doing college online costs a lot less than going to a regular college. They work perfectly with everyone’s schedule. It also helps that most online schools offer the going in or doing it on the computer option. They are a great option for people with busy lifestyles who want to get their degree.…

All About the Starcraft Mods

All About the Starcraft Mods

StarCraft is a military science fiction video game that came on the market in 1998 from Blizzard Entertainment. It has become one of the best-selling computer games with more than 9 million copies sold throughout the world. It is considered as one of the best games of all times and raised the bar for the development of future video games. Based on the success of this game Starcraft mods have also been developed, by hackers who want to cash in on this success and make money on their own.

Many of the custom configurations you get when you purchase the StarCraft game use the same editor. However, with some of the newer games you have to make a few custom hacks changes to be able to get around the restrictions of the existing editor. Some of the mod creators even record their own sound effects and voices, but for the most part they still exhibit the same polished integrated structure as the original game. This is because it is reliably easy to break the balancing and produce artwork that fits in with the Blizzard creations.

There are custom mods for the StarCraft game that do have changes made in the programming. This gives these mods their own unique take on the game. Hackers that create these mods can adapt the StarCratft files and have different sounds and graphics. Some of the mods are even more intense than the original game providing for single players. Others have made extensive changes to the sound and graphics and even the action of the game itself.

There are many different mods of the StaraCraft game, some of which vary little from the original. They include:

– Aliens vs. Predator: Retribution TC – this is a German speaking version of the game with total conversion
– Brutkrieg.de's TC pack – This German version of the game features a collection of homemade add-on packs and TC's. They are bundled together and sold as one package.
– Gundam Century – This was originally called GundamCraft that replaced the StarCraft graphics with the manga mecha characters of Gundam and their robotic vehicles. The game also replaced two of the StarCraft races – Federation replaced Terrans and Neo Zion replaced Protoss. The site was shut down for a while, but is now live again. However production of new mods has not resumed.

– NeoTech – This mod features an upgrade to all the Terran forces with most of the units replaced by units that look more spectacular.
– Open Rebellion – This is a total conversion of the Brood War that very closely resembles the original version.
– Robotech: Enemy Frontier – This is a total conversion of the Robotech game of the 1980's.
– StarCraft Sickel Add-On – This is a fan built extension kit for the Brood War game. It adds to the existing line of units and allows for the addition of new units. There are two new Terran tanks, a new Zerg unit and several …

Top Tourist Spots For Kids in Kuala Lumpur

Top Tourist Spots For Kids in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur (or "KL" in short), the capital of Malaysia, caters to visitors of all ages, including children. After Mom has enjoyed her shopping spree and spa treatments; Dad, his heritage-trail walkabouts, golfing or binging in pubs, where do you take the kids for some fun? Below are some recommendations where to take them.

(1) NATIONAL ZOO
Tucked at the foot of the Main Range on Jalan Ulu Kelang, National Zoo houses more than 3,000 mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds from all parts of the world. Among them are antelopes, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, rhinos, penguins and local species such as orang-utans, sun bears, civets, boa constrictors and gharials. The pride of the zoo are its rare species such as the Pademelons, a miniature-sized kangaroo; Milky Stork, Flat-Headed Cat, Golden Cat, Aldraban Tortoise, the largest tortoise in the world, and many others. A multi-animal show comprising sea lions, macaques and macaws is held at 11 am and 3:00 pm daily. The Tunku Abdul Rahamn Lake within the zoo compound is home to more than 300 free-roaming birds. They are fed at 11 am and 3 pm. Visiting hours are 9am to 5pm daily.

(2) PETROSAINS
Ensconced on Level 4 of Suria KLCC in the PETRONAS Twin Towers, PETROSAINS contains countless interactive exhibits about the science and technology of the petroleum. The center aims to stimulate interest in petroleum science and the exciting career opportunities in the industry in a fun way. The center's front-line personnel act as guides, presenters and demonstrators as well as facilitators to ensure that visitors enjoy and learn as much as possible from the exhibits. The highlight of one's visit is a simulated helicopter ride to an oil rig! Operating hours: Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 9.30 am – 6.30 pm (Last admission is at 5.00 pm) Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9.30 am – 5.30 pm (Last admission is at 4.00 pm) Friday: 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm Last admission is at 4.00 pm). Monday: Closed

3 KL BIRD PARK
KL Bird Park is a fantastic world of birds and a tropical paradise. Located within the Lake Gardens, the park is also well known as a "Free-flight Walk-in Aviary" that offers eight hectares of verdant valley terrain waiting to be explored. Upon entering the door of KL Bird Park, you are apparently transported into an intense bird cage, with ample opportunities to observe how 800 birds representing 60 local and foreign species live together. These have adapted so well to this man-made paradise that they breed naturally. If you are lucky, you can see the courtship display of the Indian Blue Peacock, or get a glimpse of the Crowned pigeon, that has the body size of a turkey. Wading birds, raptors, Oriental birds, flightless birds are the other main attractions.

(4) BUKIT NANAS FOREST RESERVE
Sprawled over 10 hectares and perched atop a hillock, Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve boasts of walking trails, a children's playground and an arboretum. The Merbau, Jelutong and Kapur Trials offer opportunities to …

Teaching English in Mexico: Hermosillo, Sonora

Teaching English in Mexico: Hermosillo, Sonora

About the city of Hermosillo: The Majestic “City of the Sun”

Hermosillo is the Capital City of the State of Sonora located 2037 km from Mexico City, via federal highways 57, 45, 110, 90 and 15 in Mexico. Hermosillo is also known as the City of the Oranges because of the abundance of oranges in its territory. Called the majestic “City of the Sun”, it is a sister city to Phoenix, Arizona. It has a population close to one million residents and is highly bi-lingual, with English being highly promoted and widely spoken – especially in tourism-related businesses.

Among the main attractions you can visit in Hermosillo are: The Government Palace, which has interesting murals, Zaragoza Square and its Moorish kiosk, The Cathedral of La Asuncion, The Del Carmen and Espiritu Santo Chapels, The modern building of the Autonomous University of Sonora, where the Museum of the State is situated. There are also: Madero Park, The Culture House, the Tres Pueblos Square and The Batuc Church. Nearby on La Campana Hill (the Bell Hill), there is a lookout from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. Another attraction is the Abelardo L. Rodriguez Dam, an ideal place for fishing. Hermosillo has several hotels and restaurants where the tourist can taste the famous regional cuisine. The main festivity in Hermosillo is the Vendimia Feast, which is celebrated on June 21st-26th, with a parade of floats and an industrial exhibition.

How about teaching English in Sonora?

Instituto Soria High School

Hermosillo, Sonora

Contact: Selma Guerra, Language Program Coordinator

E-mail: sguerra_murillo@hotmail.com

The program is constantly improving, monitored by education investigators that work within our Soria Educational Group. Our Language Program includes English and French. Currently there are about 600 students. The campus is located downtown, close to the commercial and financial area of the city. Our teachers work 40 hours a week, 20 teaching hours, and 20 hours organizing and preparing material, lesson plans, attending to workshops, and other activities related to the field. Our groups vary from 10 to 25 students. Teaching at Instituto Soria is a great opportunity for teachers: the school was founded in 1918 and is located about three hours from the U.S.A. border. You will have access to the Pacific Ocean, which is about an hour from the city. The climate is very hot, so we ask our prospects to have been in hot weather before applying. The requirements for this full-time position are: Native English speaker, a Bachelors degree in related field (this is Mandatory), some teaching experience, 26 year old minimum age; you must be willing to work as part of a team, be sociable, dynamic and flexible with an excellent personal appearance. Some Spanish speaking ability is also desired.

Universidad del Noroeste

Hermosillo, Sonora

Contact: Carmen Garcia, Language Department Coordinator

E-mail: krmen@villa1.uno.mx

University seeking 3 full time EFL teachers with experience working with groups of up to 20 students. Requirements include a Masters Degree in related field (MANDATORY), ability to speak Spanish …

Three Questions To Inspire Big Career Changes

Three Questions To Inspire Big Career Changes

I read an interesting article that featured a study finding 90% of people would rather die than make big health changes. The article postulated that it is easier to make radical changes rather than small incremental changes. I do not have a scientific study of my own to confirm or dispute this, but the statistical and the advice give much food for thought.

Are there big changes that you want to make? Do you want to work in a different industry? Do you want to change careers alike? Do you want to double your salary? Do you want to start your own business? Do not worry about what is realistic at this point. Do not let the market narrow your brainstorming. Just think big. Are you unable to think big about career choices, salary, lifestyle, even for this exercise?

What is stopping you from making those big changes? Do you not know where to begin? Perhaps, you can not even imagine someone with your current background in the dream career you envision or making the salary you target or being able to launch a business. In this case, work with a coach or mentor, find people who have done it and get their perspective, read biographies of people who have done what you want to do. However, if you do know generally how your career transition might work, but do not take the next step or all the steps required, then why not? What do you get by staying at your job? What would you get by changing? Is the former more appealing than the latter? Do you start but do not finish? Do you get overwhelmed, bored, distracted? Do not judge your answers. Just collect these insights to get better clarity on yourself and what you need to forward your plans.

Brainstorming on all the possible big changes, what are the ones you must do now, the ones you can wait on but definitely want and the ones that you could take or leave? All goals, but especially big ones, need to be prioritized. Maybe you want everything that I listed: a new industry, more money, an entrepreneur chance. While you can work on more than one goal (and it can even be complementary), many times there just is not the time, money or energy to pursue everything. A new industry or more money? Is a new project at your current job best for now or do you need to strike out on your own? If you have to pick one, what is the largest, most meaningful change you want to make now? …

Improve Memory to Guidance Your Career Skills

Improve Memory to Guidance Your Career Skills

Females are recognized to multitask. It is a talent many are proud of, often performing from mindless repetition, often learned because of their see returning their children, sometimes heard because they grew up in a huge family where everyone had to function together to keep the house in order. Is it a wonder that at some point they become overworked and overstressed and forget something important?

In the business enterprise world, your career skills depend heavily upon your memory. It could make or break your chance getting that long-awaited and much deserved promotion or maybe the vacation you have earned. One little forgetful mistake and everything could wear out. No pressure, right?

Your study to take a while for yourself, to give yourself that few minutes of peace and relaxation appears all you must improve your memory and grab that moment of success. Businesses have learned that successful employee performance relationships while ensuring their employees get their much deserved breaks and that positive enforcement is a key element to moving forward and upward. Some businesses have inherent gems, daycares, saunas, sandwich machines offering healthier choices.

On another note, improving your memory will survive easier getting through those business meetings, lunch dates, or parties where naming names is essential to success. Calling an essential person by the wrong name could be devastating to your career.

Some banks have practiced rewarding the customer so with a dollar if their teller does not greet them by name. It is, of course, a temporary advertising gimmick. It does make for good customer service relatives to hear one treated as to a greater extent a ma'm or a sir. The customer feels more appreciated and may make a feat to be more pleasant when teller sees more aware of them as an individual rather than a nameless face.

Any job you choose will suffer if you are one of those who does not make the effort to think about the important aspects of that job. If you are unconcerned and think you would be delivered by with the minimum of effort and try to substitute where it is unacceptable, it could make you be fired. Forgetting courtesy, forgetting to tidy a mess you made, forgetting to return things to their proper places, forgetting to wash your uniforms, forgetting to bring the right tools for the job, forgetting the due date of a project … all are critical for overall performance ratios and job security. Your boss and your co-workers must know that they are able to trust in you to consider and to put forth effort.

It makes for good relationships between your fellow employees, too, to can consider things you own about them. Birthdays, the special events in their family life (like little Charlie or little Susie having a large recital at college), their favorite candy, or perhaps their favorite musical artist, all could bring kudos for you bought to you need their support on a particular project or need a favor or want …

TOEFL – Test of English As a Second Language

TOEFL – Test of English As a Second Language

TOEFL or Test of English as a Second Language is a test registered to Educational Testing Services (ETS) that is administered worldwide to evaluate the ability of an individual to use and understand English. The test is primarily used by academic institutions to measure the English ability of prospective college students of reading, listening, speaking and writing.

In the past the TOEFL exam was a paper based test, however since 2005 it has become exclusively delivered via the Internet. To register for the test there are three primary steps you must follow. You must register and receive an ETS id number. After, choose the test day and time that best suits your needs. There are many test sites and many times throughout the week that the test is being offered. Many English Language Schools and colleges and universities through out the world offer the IBT TOEFL test. The current price for the test is $170.00 and payments can be made directly to ETS through their website.

As the IBT TOEFL is the English language standard by which colleges and universities decide on acceptance it is important to study hard for the test. The TOEFL test is not pass or fail. Each individual institution that uses the TOEFL score sets up their own standard of admittance. One school may accept candidates with a score of 70 other colleges may only accept candidates with a score of 80 and above.

Preparing for the TOEFL class can be done individually as there are many books and third party resources to help someone study. Due to the importance and high demand of a good TOEFL score schools and colleges have created classes built around strategies for passing the TOEFL successfully. These classes usually follow the guidelines and framework of the test and your study id focused on each of the four content areas.

The Reading Section consists of 3 to 5 passages and you are responsible for answering academic questions based on those readings.

The Listening Section consists of 6 passages 3-5 minutes in length and then test takers are required to answer questions based on the listened information. There is a mandatory 10 minute break after the listening section.

The Speaking section is consists of 6 Questions that test takers answer by speaking and being recorded.

The Writing Section involves measuring the test takers ability to read and listen to information and then write about it.

Students can take the TOEFL test as many times as they want, but most colleges only accept the most recent scores. The entire test lasts about 4 hours and all sections are completed together.…

Tips For Getting Scholarships

Tips For Getting Scholarships

College isn’t cheap. It’s a serious investment that can have a wonderful return. If you are concerned about finding money for college, you have options. You can apply for grants, grab yourself a loan or two, or look for scholarships.

Looking for scholarships can be a challenge, because there are so many out there, and the application processes are usually pretty involving. It takes work to track down a scholarship that you qualify for. Once you find one, you have to put together an application package with essays, forms and transcripts. This whole process can seem a bit tedious, but when you consider the possible benefits, it really makes sense try.

Here are some tips for getting scholarship money for college:

Start early. Begin applying for college scholarships immediately after you complete the seventh grade. Okay, so that might be a little bit to early to start applying, but it’s never to early to start pondering. If you have athletic abilities, hone them and use them as a tool to pay for school. If you’re good at music or art or writing or making films or anything, find a way to get paid for being special and creative.

Use the Internet to search the world for scholarships. There’s millions of dollars in aid to be had, but you have to apply for it. Look a little bit everyday, and if you find a scholarship that you can apply for, don’t hesitate. Get your application in immediately.

Look for scholarships while in high school. You’re going to need to have funding lined up for you when you get to college. Utilize your time in high school wisely, so that by the time you get to school, you already have plenty of funding options on the table.

Check out your universities scholarship programs. Find out what scholarships are specific to your college and major. If a former student set up a fund to help kids in your situation, you better know about it and turn in an application.

See if your employer offers any scholarships. Get a job at a fast food place and apply for their corporate dollars. The business will have nice press, and you will have a nice check.

If you don’t get to go to school for free, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s also not the end of your scholarship search. Keep looking for ways to reduce the financial burdens of college. Always keep searching, and you’re bound to find something that you qualify for. If you apply and get rejected, use it as motivation. If you let the disappointment get to you, you’ll forget how proactive bout your life this whole scholarship search has made you.…