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My name is Jeannie Mark

I’m a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken my passions — and forge a life set by my own rules.

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Life Lessons

4 Years of Travel

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China

A Last Look at China

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My Writer's Retreat

Creative Revolution Retreats!

Depression in Central America

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People assume a lot about me and jump to conclusions — sometimes they are right. Other times, grossly wrong.

The Solo Traveler’s Guide to London

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London is a city that wll never stop recieving press. It’s no secret that this city is not my fave, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage. My guest writer, Katie Turner, tells every Bridget Jones wannabe how to squeeze a good time outta of this international destination.

Visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle Solo

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How often do you stop and think about the world around you? It’s one of the many benefits of traveling alone, having time to yourself to contemplate just how incredible the earth really is. Take Iceland, a destination a friend and I recently gabbed about it.

“Is it high on your list?” I asked.

“Yeah! I’m not sure how warm it would be in summer, but to find an active volcano, with lava activity, I’d love to see that!”

It’s not high on my list because I tend to measure the liveability of a place on whether or not I can wear sundresses and flip flops every day. Also, not so sure about the whole “volcanic activity” deal. Iceland, with its geothermal hot springs, mighty waterfalls and towering geyser, still strikes me as a place to be introspective though, awash in its natural beauty.

Because I don’t intend to travel there at the moment, guest writer Jasmine McCoy is going to recommend the best places for your epic, solo trip to Iceland.

Marketing Tips for Your Writing Event

5 MARKETING TIPS

You’ve come up with a fantastic idea — one that will launch your brand to the next level.

You think, “Hey, I know tons about writing, I should share that knowledge with my minions!” That heck yeah, you’re going to create an external writing event, like a workshop or retreat, with the assurance that people will flock in droves.

This scenario is very close to reality. Recently, a colleague of mine who concentrates on blogging tips for women emailed me in a flurry of excitement: You inspired me! I’m going to do a blogging retreat, and wanted your advice about pricing.”

Whoah. Hold up. As creative, but ambitious beings we’re keen to build our empires, adding products that we assume our audience wants, BUT if you aren’t paying attention, what you’ll end up with is an empty room, holding the bill for a place you couldn’t fill.

Coming Out of the Closet: I’m Size XX

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“You are stronger than your muscles.” — Gloria Latham

“Are you pregnant???”

I swiftly looked down at my belly, where she was staring, dead centre at the hump where my abs were supposed to be.

“Uh, no.” I knew there was a grimace on my face when I answered. But, I was getting fed up with cultural propriety.

For several days, I tried to get use to these blunted questions in the Philippines. My brain reiterated that observational questions like this were not frowned upon, but my flabby stomach felt otherwise. I sucked it in — to minimize the scrutiny.

After I left that country, I’d move onto the next one, innocently appearing at a store or a restaurant, to be met with the same bluntness.

International Women’s Day: Female Trailblazers

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I couldn’t let International Women’s Day pass without, well, talking about women.

Particularly, I want to focus on five women who I’ve stalked, admired, salivated over, or just feel are plain awesome.

My upbringing was bizarre enough that to compete with women never occurred to me until high school when Laura pretty-mean-girl nominated herself my torturer. She aptly pointed out I wasn’t thin enough, beautiful enough, nor smart enough to cut it at Saint Francis High School. Ohh, one more thing — I wasn’t Catholic enough either (my mommy was a Buddhist). Can I just say Catholicism wasn’t something I aspired to. I skipped mass all the time.

Somehow I endured nasty Laura and other challenges to be right here, right now, writing these words. My mindset has always been to support other women, to celebrate our triumphs, to cry together when things turn to shit. I LOVE us. The one gleaming piece of knowledge I’ve come away with from my travels is women all over the planet still deserve more than what they’ve gotten.

In the spirit of forgiveness towards Laura what’s-her-name, these five women are on my radar because they do things that we can all aspire to — whatever gender you are.