Thursday, September 1, 2016

Challenges … How Do You Stack Up?


We interrupt the regular book-theme schedule of this blog to bring you something a little different. Do you ever challenge yourself to go beyond what you think you can do or challenge yourself to reach a goal you’ve dreamed of or just to finish something you’ve started?

I’m pretty sure at some point or another each of us sets goals we want to accomplish. They can be small goals, work-related goals, lifestyle goals, life-altering goals and/or dream goals. But do you really challenge yourself to complete any of those goals?

Author C. Lee McKenzie had a post recently, Failure Cancelled for the Day, that got me to thinking. Sometimes I don’t challenge myself when it comes to goals. I’ll set goals for myself, but don’t make the extra effort I really should to reach those goals. There’s the age-old ‘got to lose weight/eat healthier’ goal and the ‘I’ve got to get better organized’ goal. These are goals I find myself working at all the time.

I have challenged myself in the last couple of months, both on a professional and personal level. Both challenges were scary (one continues to be), but I’m so glad I pushed myself that extra shove.

Please indulge me a few moments while I tell you about the professional challenge. I, like most people, have wanted to have a job I could do from home, something I enjoyed and felt was fulfilling. I had been toying with the idea for a year or so and finally decided it was now or never. The challenge was to put my plan into action, quite just thinking and start doing. I saw an opportunity and I challenged myself not to back out, but to go forward and I did.

I started my own virtual book tour service for authors – MC Book Tours. I know, I know there are so many tour services out there (and I still host for a number of them), why start another one? I felt, having been a book blogger for almost seven years (Oct. 31, 2009) and dealing with tour services, I knew what bloggers need when participating in a promotion. As a blogger you want to be able to communicate anytime with the service, you want your material ahead of time to prepare your post, and you want to know the service/author sees your post.

I’ve dealt with a service or two in the past where you won’t receive your material until late evening the day before your post was scheduled. That doesn’t work for me and it’s unfair to the author. Sure things happen and I understand that, but not on every single tour. Other times you don’t receive material and don’t get a response from the service for several days, then it’s only here’s your material can you post it.

So I challenged myself to overcome that any fears I had and give it a try. I was extremely fortunate that author Joylene Nowell Butler decided to take a chance with my new venture and became my first author to promote.

Joylene’s book, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries, is being released Nov. 1st by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C. Joylene’s tour is running Oct. 17 through Nov. 19. We’re offering review, guest post, spotlights and a giveaway. If I haven’t been in touch asking for your participation and you’d like to participate, please feel to drop by MC Book Tours and sign up for Joylene’s tour. We’d be happy for you to join the tour.

The MC Book Tours site is up and running and operational, but still needs a few tweaks here and there before it’s exactly the way I want it. I hope authors will drop by and see what is offered. Questions, concerns and comments are welcome.

The second time I challenged myself, it was personal. Quick background – I love to fly. In fact, I’ll fly in and/or on all most anything. I especially love helicopters, but planes (single/twin engines, jets) are fine and I’ve even flown in an ultralight (very bumpy landings). I’ve always thought I’d love to parachute but I have weak ankles. With that you’d think I’d love roller coasters and anytype of high flying ride – DEAD WRONG. The sudden drops and quick movements make me sick to my stomach. Just can’t handle them.

Now back to my challenge. I’ve wanted to ride a zip line for some time. Last year I had the opportunity to ride one in a parking lot at a company outing. By the time I got in line, they closed it down due to an approaching thunderstorm. This year I had another chance to ride one. This time it was a much different zip line – not in a parking lot, but at a Christian retreat area.

We were told (as we waited for our harnesses) that this zip line is the second largest in the state coming in at 11,500 feet long. The zip line goes from the side of a mountain, down through the woods and across a lake before you land on a platform a good number of feet off the ground. You reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

After we were fitted with our harnesses and given our gear, we had to walk down a hill, around the lake and up the side of the mountain. I will tell you I had to stop about three different times just to catch my breath. By the time you get to the starting platform you’re so give out from the walk, you don’t want to think about walking anymore.

Once I got on the starting platform (there were two sets of steps to get there), I was beginning to rethink what I was doing. Looking off the platform, down the cable line through the trees, I thought to myself ‘you’ve got to be crazy, you’re no kid, just turn around and walk back, no harm, no foul’. But then I remember how much I love to fly and that this would probably be as close to parachuting as I would ever get. After my harness was connected, I sat back letting the harness hold my weight and made myself pick my feet up. That’s all it took and I was OFF DOWN THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.

Talk about a rush, WOW! It only last a few minutes, but it is so incredible. It’s hard to really describe other than to say, it was an experience of a lifetime and I’ll definitely do it again every chance I have. The accompanying photo shows the zip line coming out of the trees and across the lake. If you look real close, you’ll see someone on the line. I’m not sure who it is, but it does show the height you’re moving across the lake. Also if you notice a cross on the far side of the lake, I don’t think it means someone was killed there – this was at a Christian retreat.

Click on the photo to enlarge it. The opening in the trees is where the zip line goes up the mountain.

Those are the two major challenges I’ve given to myself recently. Thanks for indulging me in this unusual post. We’ll be back to regular book-related posting topics tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Remember if you’d like to participate in Joylene’s tour, just drop me an email (mcbooktours@gmail.com) or sign up HERE. Also if you’re interested in MC Book Tours handling your next virtual book tour, please drop me an email. Do you have to challenge yourself to reach a goal or finish a project? Have you challenged yourself in a major way lately? Have you ever ridden a zip line? If so, what did you think and would you do it again?

*Side Note: Does anyone know anything about AngelList? I’ve gotten several invitations and I don’t know anything about it.

20 comments:

  1. Congratulations on both fronts. I tend to just muddle along. Any report card would surely say 'could do better'.

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    1. Thanks, E.C. Your report card sounds like mine. With these two challenges I decided to really push myself and I'm glad I did.

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  2. Hi Mason - congratulations on starting out on the MC Book Tours - sounds a great idea and especially if you're considering the author and giving them time. Glad Joylene's going to be first ... I'll be over to the site.

    Fantastic about the zip line - and so glad you've enjoyed it and will go again ... not something I've done, nor a helicopter ride - but I have piloted a glider (sans engine) .. many moons ago ... but freedom in the air is extraordinary ... enjoy the next zip line opportunity. Cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. Hope you enjoy your stop by MC Book Tours.

      Wow, you've piloted a glider. That is awesome. That's one I haven't been up in, but would go in a heartbeat. I agree freedom in the air is extraordinary.

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  3. Ziplining at a Christian retreat - talk about an Oh my God moment! Good for you.
    Ironically, last year was my first time to go ziplining as well.
    Pass on the helicopter though. Had a chance once and said no thanks.
    And very cool you've started your own tour service! Kicking it off with a fellow press author - how awesome.

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    1. Alex, you are so right it was an 'Oh my God moment!' Helicopter rides are so much fun in my book. I especially like the old Bell models that look like a big glass ball in front. You can see so much more out of them.

      I'm excited to be kicking off the tour service with Joylene and her intriguing mystery.

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  4. I'm so pleased you are doing Joylene's tour. I'm going to send all of my authors to you.

    Down the side of a mountain would be such a rush. I do love roller coasters and that first drop is pure Heaven to me.

    My husband surprised me one birthday with indoor skydiving and it was an incredible experience.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I'm excited about Joylene's tour.

      That first drop on a roller coaster is what gets me. :) And it was a rush coming down the mountain and so calming going over the lake.

      Indoor skydiving sounds awesome.

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  5. Congrats on the first author, Pamela! Here's to a thousand more :)

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    1. Thanks, Dez. Here's hoping those thousand sign up. :)

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  6. Good luck with your challenges! Challenges are important if we want to do new and great things.

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    1. Thanks, Lady Fi. You're right - without a challenge we sometimes miss out on new and wonderful adventures.

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  7. Congratulations, Mason, on challenging yourself. I think that's fantastic! I give you a lot of credit for facing your concerns and, as the saying goes, just doing it!

    And on another note - thanks so much for helping get the word out about Past Tense. That means a lot to me :-)

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    1. Thanks, Margot. Sometimes you've just gotta jump right in and either sink or swim. I'm paddling really hard. :)

      Always glad to help out and let readers know about new releases, especially one of yours.

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  8. I actually love when you veer off course and do something like this. Congratulations on launching your own business - I wish you the best of luck with it. And for challenging yourself. I challenge myself on a regular basis with my singing and dancing - and big time when I wrote and published a novel. I think it's what keeps us alive and kicking and wanting to live life fully.

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    1. Karen, thanks so much. I always worry when I post about something besides books. :) We do have to challenge ourselves to reach those goals. I agree challenges keep us kicking and wanting to do more.

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  9. I love that you're doing the book blog tours and will be a happy host and reviewer for your clients. As for the zip line, that is something I'd never have the guts to do.

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  10. Pat, I'm delighted to have you as a tour host. When I first looked down the zip line from the starting platform, I almost lost my nerve. :)

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  11. Congratulations and best of luck with your book tour service. Not sure I could handle the zip line - slight thing with heights - but my grandkids tried it while we were vacationing in San Juan last year and said it was awesome.

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    1. Thanks, LD. I'm sure you could handle the zip line. Just challenge yourself. :) Your grandkids are right, it is awesome!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.