Monday, October 13, 2014

Big News in the Business Arena!

At least it's big news for me. I am no longer a sole proprietorship.  I am All Things Writing, LLC.  Check out

I've come a long way! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Idea for a Poem

My dog
makes me feel guilty,
bounding through the covers
like that, way more eager
than sunrise, while I
turn over and mumble,
"Sallie, go lie down."
She does.
On my chest.
Then licks my face
with her big, wet tongue.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Five Ways to Get Educated Outside the Classroom

by Katherine Gotthardt and Rosemary McDowell

The road to becoming educated is often a winding one that can feel more like a lonely path. Along the journey, we get discouraged, feeling like there is only one way to get things done, one way to learn and one way to progress. These are myths. The paths towards learning are varied, and they include these five.

1. The Internet

The Internet is a revolutionary tool that has redefined the way we think about learning. Reading professional blogs, watching educational videos and taking free online classes are all ways to educate yourself. But besides reading words from the experts, you can revel in new information through TED talks and whole courses available through Academic Earth.

2. Seminars and Workshops

Some of the best education comes from successful people who are not only mentors but teachers and dynamic speakers. For example, Bill Walsh, CEO/Founder of Business Coaching/Venture Capital firm Powerteam International, hosts and speaks at events all over the world. His goal is to empower entrepreneurs and business owners and help individuals understand specifically what it takes to build successful companies.

3. Experience

It’s said there’s no replacement for experience, and you can get it outside the classroom by traveling and volunteering. Through travel, you can experience not only new places but new ideas. Via volunteering, you can learn useful skills and gain insight. You can do both by becoming a VolunTourist.

4. Observation

By closely watching the actions of successful people, we can learn not only what they do that makes them successful, but how we can integrate their techniques into our own lives. For example, we might study the body language of leaders. According to Forbes, “The effective use of body language plays a key role in effective leadership communication.” Studying aspects of a person, like his or her body language, not only helps us learn but can enhance our image as professionals.

5. Mentoring

A mentor can be defined as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher,” and/or “an influential senior sponsor or supporter.” Partnering with someone who already has experience is a great way to learn. When we connect with other professionals, we are able to get personalized advice and insight. And many professionals are eager to teach others what they know, especially if they received good mentoring themselves.

It is crucial for every professional to continue education even after secondary and postsecondary schooling. But learning doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting in the traditional classroom. We encourage you to forge your own path. If you do, be sure to share your success stories with others.


Rosemary McDowell is a successful entrepreneur and business strategist with over 25 years’ experience in government and industry. Learn more at

Saturday, October 04, 2014

FREE Business Building Workshop How To Leverage Advanced Sales & Social Media

What: FREE Business Building Workshop How To Leverage Advanced Sales & Social Media
When: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 1:00 PM

Where: Coyote Grille
14101 Saint Germain Drive
Centreville, VA 20121


“Business Building Workshop On How To Leverage Advanced Sales & Social Media Skills”

Northern Virginia Business Referral Networking lunch
Coyote Grill 14101 Saint Germain Dr, Centreville VA.
1:00 PM Tuesday October 7th 2014

Steve Black can teach your team traditional sales skills, or cutting edge techniques to get more business. Steve is also regarded to be one of the nation’s best sales trainers and public speakers. Having worked with Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy for almost 20 years, and spoken to over 500,000 business people ... he really knows his stuff. Get ready to increase your team’s productivity! (800) 806 1232 http://www.SteveBlack.Biz/

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bull Run Library Presents: October 2014 Adult and Family Programs

Bull Run Library Presents: October 2014 Adult and Family Programs

All programs are free but registration is requested and begins three weeks prior to the program unless otherwise noted. Registration is in person, by phone at 703-792-4530, or online at using Online Calendar of Events.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

Wednesdays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 6:30 pm and

Fridays, October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 10 am

English class. Contact Literacy Volunteers at 703-670-5702 for information.

*Fear in the Dark Movie Series #1

Thursday, October 2, 7 pm

Tonight’s film is The Ghost Ship (1943), produced by the legendary Val Lewton. It was withdrawn from release in 1944 due to a lawsuit and is one of the rarest of films we’ve ever presented. No ghosts on this ship….something worse. Plus Laurel and Hardy get shanghaied on a ship in The Live Ghost. Free popcorn! Trivia quiz! Bring your own covered soft drink. No registration.

*English Conversation Club

Mondays, October 6, 20 and 27 at 6 pm and

Tuesdays, October 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 10 am

This is an opportunity for new speakers of English to practice their speaking skills in a fun and friendly environment. No registration. New members always welcome.

Monday’s Page Turners

Monday, October 6, 1 pm

The Language of Sand by Ellen Block. When a series of mysterious crimes strikes the island, Abigail finds that she must face down her deepest fears if she is to save herself, her neighbors, and the new life she’s unexpectedly come to cherish. No registration required.

*Memoirs Writers

Tuesday, October 7, 10:15 am

Group meets monthly to share their writings and offer encouragement and constructive criticism. No registration required. New members always welcome.

Spanish for Fun

Tuesdays, October 7, 14, 21 and 28, 12 noon – 2 pm

Bring your lunch and chat with new friends in Spanish. We’ll supply coffee and dessert! A native Spanish speaker will be available for help. No registration required. Todos bienvenidos.

*Fear in the Dark Movie Series #2

Thursday, October 9, 7 pm

Isle of the Dead (1945) is another Val Lewton masterpiece with a wonderful performance by Boris Karloff. A small group of people flee from a terrible plague and end up on an island that may harbor something worse than the plague! Plus Popeye visits the Isle of Sinbad in a newly restored version of Popeye Meets Sinbad the Sailor. Free popcorn! Trivia quiz! Bring your own covered soft drink. No registration.

Writers of Adult Literature

Saturdays, October 11 and 25, 2 pm

Group meets twice a month to share their writings and offer encouragement and constructive criticism. No registration required. New members always welcome.

Bull Run BookTalkers

Tuesday, October 14, 7 pm

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. James A. Garfield was born into abject poverty, rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, a renowned congressman, and a reluctant presidential candidate. Just four months after his inauguration in 1881, he was shot in the back by a deranged office-seeker. Although he survived the attack, he became the object of bitter, behind-the-scenes struggles for power—over his administration, over the nation's future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. Read the book and join the discussion. No registration required.

Random Reads Book Club

Monday, October 20, 1 pm

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo. In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Read the book and join the discussion. Feel free to bring your lunch! No registration required.

Your Library for Dummies (and Others with Questions)

Thursday, October 23, 10:30 am

Your library is so much more than shelves of books! Find out what you can do from our website, including electronic resources, e-books and downloadable magazines. Join library staff members as they present an overview of what is available and work one-on-one to help you access it. Please bring your laptops and/or e-gadgets! No registration required.

*Fear in the Dark Movie Series #3

Thursday, October 23, 7 pm

Cry of the Werewolf (1944) is not a Val Lewton film, but is done in much the same manner. It’s a subtle werewolf story with a unique twist. Plus Lon Chaney attempts to find a cure for his werewolf affliction in an excerpt from House of Dracula, entitled The Wolfman’s Cure. Free popcorn! Trivia quiz! Bring your own covered soft drink. No registration.

Lecture: The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire

Tuesday, October 28, 7 pm

This book won Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy both the 2014 George Washington Book Prize, which recognizes the year’s best books on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history, and the 2014 New York Historical Society’s annual American history book prize. Dr. O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and Professor of History at The University of Virginia. To register for this free program, contact RELIC @ (703) 792-4540 or email

*North of 50: Lunch and Learn – Memory Magic

Thursday, October 30, 12:30 pm

Learn how to keep your memory sharp with rejuvenating techniques as quick and easy memory habits will be described and demonstrated. Simple materials and household objects will be used to aid short-term and long-term memory. Register online or by phone beginning September 25.

*Fear in the Dark Movie Series #4

Thursday, October 30, 7 pm

The Seventh Victim (1943) is possibly Val Lewton’s best film, certainly his darkest, and stars Oscar winner, Kim Hunter. It is said to have inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous scene and is the precursor to Rosemary’s Baby. Plus our short will be horrifying (and funny) as you experience The Jon. Free popcorn! Trivia quiz! Bring your own covered soft drink. No registration.

*Special thanks to the Friends of Central and Bull Run Libraries for their programming support.

Bull Run will be closed on Monday, October 13 for Columbus Day.

Bull Run Regional Library
8051 Ashton Avenue
Manassas, VA 20109-2892
TTY 703-792-4524 / Metro 631-1703 ext. 4500

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pepsi, thou hath tricked me.

Or is it “thou hast”? I used to know these things when I studied Shakespeare and esoteric authors. Alas, it seems some details suddenly slip away. I could blame age. Or I could blame Pepsi.

You see, I am a diet soda addict. And I am trying to quit. There. I’ve said it, and I’ve said it in public.

Now, I know diet soda is one of the unhealthiest things you can put into your body for a variety of reasons, including its link to memory loss. Perhaps even more insidious, it is actually made to be addictive. What makes it addictive? Well, caffeine for one thing. Sweetness for another. Carbonation for yet another.

The caffeine and sweetness parts are common knowledge, but did you know that once your tongue gets used to carbonation, when your mouth gets hot and thirsty, you start to crave those little bubbles? It’s true. Carbonation stimulates the senses in a way that other drinks do not. And if you drink your soda extra cold, you get even more stimulation.

Here are the upsides to my addiction.
I drink. A lot. This is good, because the body needs fluids.
I drink cold liquid. This is good because cold liquids jump start the metabolism.

So here’s my plan to kick the habit (and I’ve already started). Instead of drinking diet soda, I am going to drink cold water or water flavored with organic lemon. Or, I will drink 100% pure cranberry juice mixed with water. And I will drink lots of it.

Why these drinks? First, they are cold. Second, they have zing. Third, the cranberry juice has just enough natural sugar to cure those cravings for sweetness, but not too much, since it’s mixed with water.

For anyone who has an addiction to something unhealthy, I am here to say, I know how hard it is to change because it’s not just about food or even habits. It’s about lifestyle. I firmly believe that as I change my lifestyle, I will see improvements in all aspects of my health. Eating organic food is one piece of the plan. Kicking the soda habit is another. You can bet other things are going to change, too. I will let you know what those are and when I’m going to start. My hope is that you will be inspired.