Compromise: The Key to Successful Relationships

Compromise: The Key to Successful Relationships

I’ve been learning about compromise nearly all my life, as most of us have. A long time ago, I heard the phrase: “You must give a little to get a little.” It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes, to give as well as take.

I’ve had some interesting teachers along the way, and most of them were animals. I learned about unconditional love from a small dog who was mistreated by the person who was supposed to be caring for it. That person made me mad, and I wanted to retaliate for the hurt he caused. And then I watched the little dog make friends with that person a few days later, as though all was forgiven. How could the little dog still be loving to that terrible person? It’s a compromise I still have trouble with when I see injustice.

I learned another lesson in compromise when I introduced a female cocatiel, “Sweet Cheeks,” to the male, “Peaches,” which was my pet first. The male was pretty nasty to her, and I watched how she handled him. It was really very interesting, and taught me a big lesson in “getting along” with others. He started out by claiming his territory, instead of making friends with his new mate. I thought that was pretty selfish of him, as I watched him peck at her, and force her off their perch.

She didn’t fight back, as I would have done at the time. Instead of retaliating, she turned her back to him and stayed put when he acted belligerent. It took a week or two, but finally Peaches figured out she wasn’t a threat, and calmed down. When he became less hostile, Sweet Cheeks made an effort to be friendly. She would sidle over to him, closer, and a little closer, as time went on. When he still pecked at her, I talked to her sternly: “How can you be so forgiving when he treats you like that?!”

After another long while, I saw them sitting close together on the perch. He allowed her to groom his neck feathers, and before I knew it they were starting a family! Her non-reaction to his behavior showed me a lot about compromise and how to get along with others who are being difficult. I admit it has taken me longer than it took her to be forgiving in unforgiveable circumstances. It’s good to remember, though, that it might not always work, and the person being mistreated may have to pull away in truly difficult circumstances.

That being said, I’m still working on the valuable lessons a bird and a little dog taught me a long time ago! From them I learned that in a successful relationship, one person must be willing to change their mind about the difficult situation between them. If the relationship is worth keeping, choose compromise over retaliation, or avoidance—either of the subject or the other person involved.

We can learn a lot from the animals in our lives. For the most part, they love us unconditionally, forgive us when they need to, and trust us with their lives. If you have a pet, or there are animals in your life, watch them. Learn from them. They give back much more than they receive.

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
Book Cover Photo Shoot: Creating an Action-Oriented Cover

Book Cover Photo Shoot: Creating an Action-Oriented Cover

I had an interesting experience last week at my first book cover photo shoot!

The publishing team for A Shadow Away, the first book of my Alex Cort Adventures series, decided we should create a new, more action-oriented image for the cover. A Shadow Away was written as an action adventure with a touch of magic, but I was told the cover looked more Young Adult and Fantasy. I wanted to appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, from a romance for women, to adventure for men, to something appealing to young readers, as well. Kind of like Indiana Jones, who everyone likes!

Anyway, the team experimented with new, more exciting backgrounds depicting action and the excitement of a chase through the jungles of Brazil, when a jeweled statue linked to the legend of El Dorado disappears under mysterious circumstances. It has been a long process, with suggestions analyzed, and portions accepted while other parts rejected.

Finding the right character to portray “Alex” took a while, too. Many long hours were spent searching for just the right model, who resembled most closely my imagined image of the hero of the series. And guess what—we found him!

Of course, my ideal image won’t match every girl’s or woman’s hero image, so that’s why you won’t see exactly what “Alex” looks like. You can imagine him for yourself!

Several days before the scheduled book cover photo shoot, I had to decide what I wanted “Alex” to be wearing on the expedition to find the lost city of El Dorado, as depicted in A Shadow Away (Book 1). I had a lot of fun choosing the right clothing—from shirt to jeans, to jacket/no jacket, to the right type of boot. I had no idea there would be so much involved. Lists of costumes were made, lists of possible action shot poses, lists of lists. It was all rather exciting.

The day of the shoot was actually pretty much all fun. The team works well together, and we all had brilliant ideas about what our action hero could be doing. Many, many photos were taken of multiple jumping, standing, crouching, leaping, climbing poses and actions. The best will be selected, then fit into the action sequence on the new cover.

The team was pretty tired after a full day of running and jumping by all of us, not just our hero. I give him credit though, because he was willing to wear a twenty-pound pea coat with a scarf wrapped around his neck in 90-degree weather, for a possible image I was thinking of for the fourth book, set in Ireland, The Black Horseman.

So much goes into the actual publishing of the stories we writers try so hard to bring to life. I’ve been very lucky to receive many positive and enthusiastic responses from the people who have read A Shadow Away. I am so happy that those of you who have read my book love it and can’t wait for the launch of All Under Heaven, the second book of the series. It’s coming!

I hope you enjoyed the images I wanted to create in your minds of all the work and the fun of publishing!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
LiDAR and New Archaeological Discoveries

LiDAR and New Archaeological Discoveries

Because I am fascinated by ancient civilizations, science and archaeology, and as research for my magical, archaeological adventure book series, the Alex Cort Adventures, I subscribe to several archaeology and science magazines. In school, everyone considered “History” dull and boring. I have to say, the way history was taught to us was dull and mostly boring. Memorizing dates, to me at least, isn’t the way to remember history. It’s the battles themselves, or the tragedy and the intrigue about those battles, that captures my imagination. The more we learn about the history of the people who lived before us, the more we can appreciate the rich cultures and complicated lives those people led.

In case you aren’t familiar with LiDAR technology, here is a brief description: LiDAR is an acronym of light imaging, detection, and ranging. Drones use this surveying method to measure distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of the target.

LiDAR drones are capable of peering through jungle canopies, forests, desert sands, and even under the oceans in locations around the world. For example, LiDAR surveys of areas like Guatemala and Peru are disclosing the remains of vast areas of interconnected cities, with residential areas, temples, irrigation systems, reservoirs, and tracts of land worked to provide food for large populations. More than just thousands — up to several million people lived in these extended communities. We are now able to see much more sophisticated civilizations than scientists previous to our generation believed possible. This news is very exciting!

Talking about new archaeological discoveries: new finds are validating theories of scientists from many disciplines that this world was more populated, earlier peoples were more sophisticated, and they traveled wider than ever given credit for in years past. Though this new information is controversial, it is now believed that Neanderthals, far from being the ignorant brutes they’ve been pictured to be, are to be credited with ancient cave paintings in Spain, and possibly also some of the earliest cave paintings in France. These paintings have been dated to a time before the race of modern humans, called “homo sapiens,” arrived in Europe!

Of course, there is controversy, because other scientists question the validity of these earlier dates, but that is what often happens. Whenever new ideas are presented, there will nearly always be resistance on the part of those unwilling to accept a change of their world-view. The funny thing is, though, after a while that new idea meets less resistance. Doubters are won over, or become more willing to be convinced. They start to believe this not-so-new-now idea might be possible after all, and the jeers turn into cheers. That’s why it’s always good to keep an open mind about any new discovery that might threaten your established views about how any subject “should be.” As a caution, though, use your good sense and don’t be too eager to leap into anything without careful consideration!

Learning about the history of our world can be exciting and challenging. Enjoy the exploration!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
YA Classic Adventures: Not All Teens are Depressed, You Know

YA Classic Adventures: Not All Teens are Depressed, You Know

A lot of readers ask me why I choose to write what some call a return to the “classic adventure” for my series: the Alex Cort Adventures. Beginning with A Shadow Away, I decided early on that I wanted to provide an alternative to the many books written today with emphasis on chaotic, scary worlds. Instead of fictional depressed or stressed characters dealing with what is already happening too much in real life, I wanted to write about people I’d like to spend time with. Adult friends who come together to solve supernatural mysteries linked with legends from around the world.

In researching magical adventure books, I found virtually no adventure stories with positive adult role models in the bookstores I visited. I did discover most teen and young adult books are dark stories set in dystopian worlds, preoccupied with death and suicide. This might be a sign of our times, but I thought it interesting that Hyperion editor Stephanie Lurie said she was told by a young girl, “We are not all depressed you know.”

In that same bookstore, I heard a father refuse to buy his young sons the books they wanted because the stories “gave them bad dreams.” A lot of movies and books give me bad dreams, too. I don’t need more stress in my life! And I feel there are many teens who are looking for stories that capture the imagination, without the negativity that darkens so many novels today.

I like mysteries and being completely involved in an adventure with a good plot. And because of that, I want to take you on an adventure. Draw pictures with words so you can be swept away into magical worlds of your own imagination. I’d like you to come to love the characters and be sorry when the story is over. I wanted to write adventure stories with positive adult role models for the younger readers who may need some in their lives, and enjoy a good adventure, too. Most of all, I want to offer entertaining stories with a positive approach, and a chance for everyone to learn something interesting about this world, its people, and their myths and legends.

If you like the legends of Merlin and King Arthur, I highly recommend Mary Stewart’s trilogy. Merlin’s story begins with The Crystal Cave, then The Hollow Hills, ending with The Last Enchantment. If you go online and check out her list of books, you will see many, many that capture your imagination.

James Herriot is another author whose books I treasure. His first book is called All Creatures Great and Small. He is a veterinarian in the Yorkshire Dales of Northern England, and the way he tells his stories is fabulous. You will love his veterinary “family” in Darrowby. I envy you for being able to read it for the first time.

If you like stories with horses, Dick Francis used to be the Queen of England’s own jockey. He has a knack for telling a good story, too!

Just know there are many books you can sink into for such enjoyable adventures that you will want to read them again.

Happy Reading!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
Developing Your Story Idea

Developing Your Story Idea

This week I’d like to share with you the convoluted and not always easy process of developing your story idea — the one that’s been rattling around in your head, waiting to be written. Ideas are pretty easy to come up with, but organizing the storyline, the characters, the conflict, and the action take a lot more doing! Your brilliant idea must now evolve to create situations to introduce your characters. Where is this great story idea going?

It’s not as easy as just letting your imagination flow and letting it go where it takes you. From the introduction, to the drama, to the conflicts, and their final resolutions, a finished product must follow a set of rules for your story to be the great success you’d like it to be. I’ve talked about those rules in previous blogs, so today I’d like to tell you how my “brilliant idea” became the finished book I hope you will all read someday!

I like to write adventure stories with a touch of magic. Myths that are part of our world’s culture and legends have always intrigued me, so that is what I choose to write about. It’s important for you to write about what interests you, whether it’s science fiction, romance, or a thinly disguised autobiography. If your story idea intrigues you, write about that. Be yourself, because that is what will shine through. It’s not a good idea to write something just because you think it might sell. That story won’t have your full involvement, and it will show.

I’m just starting research on the fourth book in my Alex Cort Adventures series. I have a title, and an idea of where the story is going, but I don’t have all the characters “imagined” yet that I will need to tell my story. This is another step for you to think about in developing your story. Who is going to “tell” the story? I use that word with caution, because it is very important to show what happens in a scene while the action is commencing, not just tell about what happened after the fact.

Secrets of the Crystal Skulls, my third story in the series, takes place just after Atlantis is destroyed by a sorcerer. I have an ensemble of characters I like to include in every story, so I already know that adventurer Alex Cort, archaeologist Andrew Seaton, and a young woman named Angel, who calls herself a witch, are going to be involved. My stories wrap around these characters, and each of them contribute to the action of the story with their own points of view. If you only have one book planned, even if you plan a series, it is important to create “character arcs” that show how your character(s) evolve and grow. How will they be different, better, wiser, than they were in the beginning of your story? Conflict and Character Arcs are two subjects your editors will mention to you often. Be sure to include both!

The other characters you will need are those who bring conflict: How do they connect to your main character? How to best introduce a romantic partner? It’s hard not to give too much away in the beginning. It’s important to sprinkle “backstory” bits of information about your characters throughout, not just dump in a paragraph or two at the beginning. Weave this personal information you created for your characters into the storyline. It isn’t always simple, but it is important to lead your readers into becoming involved with, and care about, your characters.

When writing is a joy, you’ll never have writer’s block!

Video: Alex Cort Adventures, Book 3: Secrets of the Crystal Skulls

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
Character Development Tips for Your Novel

Character Development Tips for Your Novel

Readers often ask me how I come up with my characters. So, here are some character development tips based on how I do it. It’s pretty interesting how it happens!

My story, like A Shadow Away, starts with a myth or legend that interests me. That legend determines what country (real or imagined) the story will take place in. I’m also interested in archaeology, science, magic and metaphysics, so I weave those elements into my stories as well. Those decisions lead me to outline events, actions, mysteries, problems — and the people who will be needed to experience the “drama.”

Character Development Examples

My characters evolve from the story I want to tell. My three favorite characters appear in each story of my “Alex Cort Adventures” series, starting with A Shadow Away.

First is Alex. He loves adventure, has a curiosity about this world, and isn’t afraid of danger. Magic is a mystery to him (not to me), and he finds himself attracted to a woman who mystifies and unsettles him. It’s up to Alex to get Andrew out of trouble when he gets over-enthusiastic.

Dr. Andrew Seaton is an eccentric British archaeologist who’s always getting himself into trouble. He gives me the chance to take us all on expeditions and searches for long-lost treasures. With him, I can share what I’ve learned over the years with my long-time interest in archaeology. Andrew’s approach is scientific, but he loves legends and superstitions, so he adjusts to magic pretty easily. With him I can write about everything from science to superstition.

Last, but certainly not least, is Angel. She calls herself a witch and has her own kind of magic. With Angel I can write about magic, fantasy, and the supernatural.

As for how they got their names, they named themselves. And each has their own point of view to add to the scenes of the story. When I have to come up with answers to a glitch in the plot, the most amazing thing happens when I am stumped for a solution. Time and again, it’s one of the characters who comes up with the answer. I can’t give them all the credit, though! Another solution for a glitch in the plot is to reverse the scene, or characters, or give the problem to a different character. Seeing it from a different perspective sometimes provides the clue I need for a solution to keep the story moving.

Creating a Villain

The villains vary, depending on the location and plot of the individual stories. In A Shadow Away, Andrew’s corrupt colleague and a black-market art thief want the jeweled statue linked with the lost city of El Dorado for themselves. The second book, All Under Heaven, for another example, has a sorcerer, a magician, mythical elemental dragons, and a ghost. They are all fun to write about, and I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did writing them!

I hope you have a happy summer. Whether you travel, or stay home with some time for yourself — take A Shadow Away with you for an adventure in your imagination!

Video: How Do You Go About Writing a Book?

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
When I’m Not Writing, I’m Playing Banjo!

When I’m Not Writing, I’m Playing Banjo!

Hello, Everyone. Happy Fourth of July!

This week, I would like to talk about my favorite instrument — the banjo. I’ve always loved the sound of bluegrass music, and I always listen for breaks with the banjo solos. Some tunes call for bands to play at blazing speeds. I like listening to them, but that’s not the kind of music I enjoy playing myself. I like some rhythm in my tunes, a little slower pace with syncopation — that’s my kind of music!

If you play the banjo, or just love the sound of it, Tom Adams is my hero. I absolutely love the way he plays. He also writes original tunes, and I liked so many of them that I got his whole book of tunes, with accompanying tablature. They’re better suited for intermediate to advanced banjo players ’cause they’re not easy, but I do love every tune! If you’re interested in learning more about Tom Adams, you can find him at www.AdamsCountyBanjo.com. I’m not promoting him, I’m just a fan!

Comedian Steve Martin also plays a mean banjo, and he is one of the guys who inspired me to learn. He plays fast, three-finger style too, but the last time I saw him, he played the clawhammer style. Clawhammer is okay, but for me, I prefer the sound of the three-finger style.

I still love my violin and playing Irish music on the fiddle, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to pursue music right now, because I am very involved in the marketing and publishing process of A Shadow Away, the first book of my “Alex Cort Adventures” series. In addition, I have just completed my second book, All Under Heaven, a time-traveling adventure in ancient China, with a sorcerer who controls mythical dragons and wants to force my hero, Alex, to find the enchanted cauldron of the First Emperor of China. It is now going to the copyeditor/proofreader and will be released in the fall of 2018. The third book, Secrets of the Crystal Skulls, a different take on the legend of Atlantis, is now entering the editing phase, so that it can be released in the spring of 2019. As wonderful as my stories are, there is always a bit of editing needed to make sure they are “perfect” for you to read and enjoy.

Again, all that editing and correcting and copyediting and proofreading takes time! And that’s why I don’t have time right now for my banjo, or anything else, really. If I play a little, then don’t get back for a while, I forget the progress I made and have to start all over again. That’s happened to me at least three times, and it’s very frustrating! I learned a beautiful boss nova tune on the guitar — and now it’s completely gone from my brain. Muscle memory is very interesting, because my fingers can remember parts of the tune even if I can’t. That’s why practice and repetition are so-o-o-o important!

Music is a part of my life, and always will be. It gives me joy, and a sense of accomplishment when I learn a new piece. I’m happy to say that while I will still be involved in my weekly blogs, writing articles, and doing radio interviews, I have scheduled time for my music in a way that I can still write my fourth book, The Black Horseman, set in Ireland, which will be released in the fall of 2019.

I hope you all enjoy music of some kind in your lives, too.

Happy Fourth!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
Writing is Rewriting: How to Shop for Book Editing Services

Writing is Rewriting: How to Shop for Book Editing Services

Imagine you’ve just finished the perfect novel and edited it yourself way more than once. But even when you think you’re done—you’re not done. Now comes the professional editing portion of your writing program. In today’s post, I hope to shed some light on the book editing process, and all of the various book editing services out there.

You can always have friends and family read what you wrote, but they aren’t professionals, and besides, they care for you, so you can’t count on getting workable feedback you can use to improve your writing. And your writing can be improved, no matter how attached you are to your brilliant ideas!

After I finished what became known as the “First Draft” of A Shadow Away, I researched editors for a professional opinion—and found there are about five different kinds. Be specific when you look for an editor. Ask about their experience and training, and it’s important to know what genre they specialize in, so they will have an affinity for your work. Be aware of untrained editors, because they could actually do more harm than good. Get recommendations from your writing group or someone who’s been down the road before you, and check their work.

I started with a Content Editor to make sure my story flowed, with no holes in the plot. She also checked that my characters were strong individuals, and that the voice and setting of my story were all written well.

After I made corrections based on her comments and suggestions, I was ready to engage a Copy Editor for another go-round of re-writing any mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. Luckily, I have a good grasp of the nuances of the English language, but my biggest trouble is knowing exactly where commas should go. They are peskier and not so obvious as I once thought!

A Line Editor is a good choice for you if self-publishing is your goal. They combine the jobs of both Copy and Content Editing, so you’re getting two editors for one, which is a good thing if you’re on a budget. A Line Editor will thoroughly check your manuscript word by word.

After all the editing and rewriting, you are now ready for a Proofreader. Their job is to find any mistakes that may have been overlooked in each of the editing processes. I know, right? You’d think your manuscript has been edited to death, but mistakes do creep through no matter how diligent you and your editors are. So always be on the lookout for new errors!

The final rewriting begins after Beta Readers review your book. They shouldn’t be professionals in the publishing business. You can prepare a list of questions for them if you like, then check sites online where you can find beta readers willing to give an honest assessment of your work. The best are avid readers in your genre.

You are probably wondering what all this is going to cost. Find out whether the editor or proofreader charges by the word or the number of pages, and whether they offer a package deal for second edits and proofreading. Be sure of all your costs up front—and get it in writing first!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
5 Video Interview Tips for Book Marketing

5 Video Interview Tips for Book Marketing

Preparation for recording video interviews begins long before the camera rolls!

When I began my book marketing efforts for the first book in my magical adventure series, A Shadow Away, I had no idea what to expect for my first on camera interview. I soon learned that, several days before the actual taping, I needed to decide on a topic for the interview. What questions would I be asked? How should I prepare the best answers for what I wanted to say? How can I remember it all?!

Even after answering many of the same questions multiple times, I found I didn’t want to prepare cookie-cutter answers. I love my book, A Shadow Away. The storyline is an exciting adventure, and the characters have come alive for me. I love to listen in on their conversations, and they are people I enjoy spending time with. So, I want my answers to show my excitement about the story. I draw pictures with words to let readers feel what it’s like to hike through a Brazilian jungle and lose themselves in a magical world of their imagination.

It’s easy for me to do on paper/computer, but how to condense that feeling into thirty-second responses for video? It’s a challenge! Here are 5 ideas to help you prepare for your 15 minutes of fame:

  1. Especially on TV, it is important to maintain a high level of excitement to capture the audience, and your host. Emphasis on keywords adds interest. Remain poised, because how you present yourself is as important as the words you use to express yourself.
  2. Make bullet points of topic responses, rather than scripted dialogue. Get the general gist down, then try to let the answers flow. Review the answers you expect to be asked early and often! Take time to get them into your head, so they become automatic.
  3. On camera, look at your host when you speak. Engage them in your conversation. They are people, too, and appreciate it when you recognize them. Use their name, and be gracious.
  4. Do some vocal exercises beforehand. When you see actors in movies preparing with “mee mee mee/maa maa maa,” etc., it does help to open your mouth, so you can be understood more clearly when you’re speaking in front of the camera later on.
  5. Practice loosening up your throat if you have trouble speaking. I spend most of my time in front of a computer, so I can go long periods without speaking at all. I was given very good advice to lower my voice an octave. Doing that really does take the strain off vocal cords!

I will have to take my own advice several more times, because my “Alex Cort Adventures” is scheduled to launch at least 6 books in the series!

Well, there you have it. Really, the hard part is preparing for your interview. The day before, put all you’ve been doing out of your mind, and relax. When interview day comes, briefly run over your thoughts to remember the flow. And when the lights go on, have an interesting conversation with your host. Good Luck!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.
6 Travel Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Adventure

6 Travel Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Adventure

Hello! Summer is here and it’s time to plan some summer vacation fun! If you decide to take a trip, I want to share a few tips with you. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer, or about to set out on your first journey of adventure, traveling is a great experience. It can also be an important way to learn interesting things about our country or this world, the people, and their cultures.

Don’t rush! Spend time to fully experience everything you can about the location you’ve chosen to visit. You will have so many more happy memories!

Here are my tips for you:

  1. Take advantage of travel during non-peak periods, if you plan to travel later in the year. Costs are usually less for everything from flights and accommodations, to entrance fees and attractions. And, there are fewer crowds.
  2. Baby Boomer tip: Use any discounts you qualify for. One of the perks of being a senior citizen is the wide range of travel discounts that are now available to you.
  3. Go for longer visits. Spend time at your destination. Plan to see just one city, or country, and experience it more thoroughly. That’s the best way to soak in the local flavor.
  4. You might appreciate someone else making the arrangements, and group travel provides security for solo travelers, or if you’re not confident about planning all the details on your own. Groups eliminate worries about finding transportation, missing an important site, or not speaking the language, if you are traveling abroad.
  5. If you prefer to go it alone, it’s important to do your research: Decide on your destination, then search the Internet for flights; browse hotel and restaurant reviews, and read up on what to see in the places you’re planning to visit. Preparing can be part of the fun of travel, too! If you have any concerns about getting around or being able to visit popular sites, look for day tours with reliable companies, especially those offering front-of-the-line access, or other methods for avoiding the crowds.
  6.  And last, seek out new experiences. Make a to-do list for your visit — and when you’re there, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

I hope these tips give you insights and inspiration. Safe travels!

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Magical adventure author Joan K. Lacy combines research and imagination to create the Alex Cort Adventures series, a series of metaphysical, fantasy adventure books, including A Shadow Away, All Under Heaven, and more forthcoming stories. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Google+.

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