Category Archives: Uncategorized

Las Vegas Education?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Still processing all the things I saw in Las Vegas, but I’ve come up with some lessons learned that might be helpful to others.

Did not see any books in Las Vegas on the Strip. Okay, I saw a couple children’s books at the Siegfried and Roy Dolphin and Tiger Sanctuary, but the only other books I saw were in the Elvis exhibit from what he had on his nightstand. Elvis loved to read. Yes!

White tigers and lions are amazing; tiger cubs even cuter! Tigers are bigger than lions. I had no idea. Cubs make the cutest growly noises when they play.

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McDonald’s has some killer oatmeal and it’s way cheaper than $7.99 for a bowl of room service oatmeal. McDonald’s is also smoke free, which cannot be said about any other place on the Strip practically, except Denny’s.

I gamble very little, bet a buck and cashed out at $1.11. Don’t drink much and didn’t go to a show. I wasn’t there for a convention, bachelor or bachelorette party. So I am not their target demographic. I’m good with that. Las Vegas hosts 22,000 conventions a year. That is NOT a typo.

The street performers are everywhere. Personally ran into KISS, Chewbacca, Mickey and Minnie, Hello Kitty, Catwoman, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, multiple Minions, the snowman from Frozen, show girls, dominatrixes (how do you make that plural?) some guy in cowboy boots, cape and red, white and blue underwear who must have been freezing and Darth Vader. To name a few. All I did was walk outside.

Took in the night lights bus tour of the casinos and when everyone was taking pictures of The Mirage volcano erupting, I was taking pictures of them and the rest of the Strip. Another rule from photojournalism; when everybody is looking in one direction, look the other way!

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Highlights were seeing the dolphins, lions and tigers and learning about the conservation program to save them all. Enjoyed the Elvis exhibit from Graceland very much. Got to see his actual Army uniform too. The end of the exhibit had a 26-minute film of Elvis performing from 1956 to 1973. You can only see it at this exhibit and it is amazing.

One song in particular he sang hit me pretty hard and I wasn’t the only one tearing up. I’ve thought of it many times since returning home.

In these days before Thanksgiving, I am so glad to live in the USA and be grateful for all I have. Because no matter what happens, America was built by dreamers for dreamers. We have to keep dreaming big.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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Can You Say Bead Bonanza?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Returned from a girl’s four day road trip to Las Vegas last Saturday. While my poor little creative brain is still on total sensory overload trying to process everything I saw and experienced, I wanted to share a few pictures of my view of Las Vegas.

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Most folks go to Las Vegas to gamble and see shows, but I prefer seeing exhibits, lights and animals. We took in the Elvis Exhibit from Graceland, the M&M’s Store, and the white tigers at The Mirage.

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One amazing thing which caught my eye was above my head in the Golden Nugget Casino in downtown Las Vegas. Having a bead addiction, I about lost it when I spotted this chandelier. These three pictures don’t do it justice, but I had a wonderful time getting closer to try and determine the crystal and bead patterns with my zoom lens.

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With so many things to see, hear and experience in “Sin City,” you know I found the biggest piece of bling I could find on a ceiling. Now if I can just figure out how to make one of my own. I’m sure Spec Ops Cat would love to play with these beads!

I will share more of my fun Vegas finds with you next week, so stay tuned. Or in my case, what happens in Vegas ends up on WordPress!

 

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Let’s All Flip Potato Cakes On Saturday!

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Tomorrow is Julia Child’s birthday. The woman who brought fun cooking to tv and an amazing French Cook Book to us all deserves our respect and imitation. You can watch many of her shows on YouTube, but I love this short clip  where she takes a normal kitchen muck-up and creates something new. Fearless in the kitchen she is!

We can all learn a lot from Julia. So tomorrow take a shot at being brave in the kitchen. Julia would want us to flip with the courage of our convictions. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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How Long Does It Take To Finish A Book?

by Kimberly A. Cook       (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

As long as it takes. It depends on the book and the author. Is there one right way or standard length of time? No. See the only real trick about writing is finding out what works for you – not what works for somebody else. That is the true secret about writing. It also means one has to write. Small detail, but important.

Eighty percent of Americans want to write a book. Only one percent of us do. Celebrate that accomplishment!

Eighty percent of Americans want to write a book. Only one percent of us do. Celebrate that accomplishment!

Recently I met with one of my former Writing War Stories students. He finished his book. Party time and confetti throwing! Doug started writing his book while he was in the waiting area to leave Vietnam. Now, 40 years later, it’s done.

Doug knew it was finished because the manuscript “clicked” and he knew. I’ve told students they will know when it is done, but until one actually experiences the “click,” it is hard to believe. (Being sick of a manuscript does not count, by the way.)

Then of course there are the folks who think the first draft means a book is ready, but that is the time to begin editing. Doug worked hard on his book, had it edited by professionals and went back and did the real “grunt” work to polish the manuscript. Doug is now moving into the business side of writing to decide how he wants to publish his book. I will let you all know when it comes out. It’s an amazing read.

A former coaching client thought his book would be done in six months; four years later it was complete. Getting manuscripts right takes time. Will our books ever be perfect? Nope. But they need to be the best we can make them, or to borrow from the Army, the best books they can be!

In this world of publish anything online and damn the editing, there is a multitude of un-polished and downright stinky work out there; don’t let your book suffer that fate. Easy doesn’t make it done for book manuscripts or basic training. If we give our manuscripts the time, devotion and tough love they deserve, they will rise to the top of the digital publishing pile. Equip them with all the best gear when they go out to meet their readers.

We only get one chance to introduce ourselves and our writing to each new reader; let’s not disappoint our books or ourselves. Write hard!

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing Muse