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JD and T  Baker and Goodman

Silent Struggle

Literature & Fiction

Katie, a stoic young Native American, faces family pressures, a developing distant romantic relationship, and stress from nursing school clinicals during her junior year at Crestmont University in Dallas. Her dream of becoming a nurse is challenged when her mother suffers an injury that could force her to stay on the farm, assume her mother’s duties, and postpone her education, perhaps permanently. Compounding her stress, Katie’s childhood friend and soulmate’s demand for a greater level of commitment drives her into an emotional spiral as she tries to balance her dream of becoming a nurse and her love for John. The academically sound Katie finds that book learning is not sufficient for success in the clinical setting. Her frustration grows as she encounters difficulty in implementing her carefully crafted patient care plans. Her relationship with the Nurseketeers, her best friends and support system, deteriorates as she tries unsuccessfully to cope. She struggles in silence, turning in secret to alcohol to quell the chaos of clinical practice and putting herself in jeopardy of failing out of nursing school.

Book Bubbles from Silent Struggle

Honor a Compromise

In negotiations with another individual, we don't always get what we want. If one is able to negotiate a compromise, it's important to move forward, honoring the agreement. To continue lobbying for a specific position is disrespectful and can damage the relationship.


Easter has so many things going for it. In addition to its religious significance, students get a much-needed spring break -- an opportunity to rest, relax, and play before the end of the semester and finals. Easter, too, is associated with the beginning of Spring, and who doesn't relish the coming of warm weather, green grass, and flowers.

True Love

True love is a relationship that withstands the test of time... that is not tarnished by jealousy, selfishness, or impatience with the time it takes for each person to pursue their personal goals. True love is a relationship worth investing in, cultivating, and cherishing at every stage of development.

To Address Most Problems, Consult the Mirror

We may not be the source of a problem we're facing, but if it's affecting us, a solution is ours to find. Complaining isn't productive. To change the situation from problematic to manageable, we have to change the way we're interacting with it. Maintaining the status quo is a choice. The solution is to DO something effective, or walk away.

Care and Compassion

Although clinical expertise is essential, commitment to the patient is a valuable characteristic of nurses. Nurses chose their profession because they wanted to help others, and it is usually the nurse on the most competent of medical teams who brings warmth, understanding, and comfort during a patient's darkest hours.


Nurses face situations, where acting in the best interests of the patients requires ignoring a rule, and ignoring it leads to chaos. When a dilemma is persistent, pursue changes in structure through the system with evidence that supports the concern. Nurses are patient advocates and the process of making the environment patient friendly is worth the effort.

Nurses are Flexible Folks

For nurses, a day rarely goes as planned. Nursing care involves the sick and injured, people who are understandably not at their best. They don't feel well; they're often frightened or angry; some are unable to do much for themselves at all. Nurses know that changes are frequent, surprises are not unusual, and some interactions may not go as smoothly as they'd hoped. In every case, a soft voice and a smile serves everyone well.

Behavior is a Choice

Certain situations bring out the worst in us, but that “worst” person isn’t the one you want the world to see, especially if you’re a nurse. No matter how stressful the situation, patients AND colleagues deserve the best behavior we can manage. Tantrums are disruptive and pointless. A “we can do this!” attitude is what every nurse offers the world.

Unpredictable Future

Years ago, marrying early made more sense than it does today. A young adult's future was more predictable. Men were breadwinners, women were homemakers, and marrying early didn't alter your future. Today, the technology alters our world rapidly. By early adulthood, what you "always wanted to be" might no longer be a viable option. Unattached college graduates are free to take advantage of the best opportunity on the road to a current and relevant objective. Married graduates must accommodate one another's needs. It's rare that the best choice for each is also the best choice for both.

Celebrate Success

A good harvest deserves a celebration, as does any achievement. Celebrating success motivates future successes.

Take Every Chore Seriously

The old saying goes like this: "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." Paying attention to details ensures a positive outcome.

Independance Day Festivities

The Independance Day activities bring out fun, food, frivolity, and fireworks. This celebration is a reminder of the importance of freedom, equality, and justice for all. These founding principles led to the birth of the United States of America. This holiday is an opportunity to contemplate how these ideas continue to shape the nation and inspire people around the world. Rejoice, reflect, and take time to honor the history and ideas that make the US a beacon of freedom. The Nurseketeers wish each of you a wonderful and safe holiday.

The "Right" Treatment

Sometimes instead of a single "right" answer, there is a variety of options, all of which have merit. Different people make different choices depending upon what is "right" for them. In healthcare, the best providers are those who are sensitive to their patients' unique needs.

Little Happens in a Vacuum

We're more connected to the world around us than we realize. Our choices affect others. Consider the broader implications of all options when making a decision. Take others into account.


Every culture has celebrations for important milestones, like Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. But we needn't wait for a holiday to celebrate the things that bring value and joy to our lives. Acknowledging our "gifts" makes them all the more meaningful.

Everyone Needs a Tree

Comfort comes especially when settling in at the base of a tree with a leafy canopy of branches that protect us from "whatever's out there." Everyone needs such a tree.

April Fool's!!

Life is full of surprises. We don't always get what we expect... or what we've prepared for. An important lesson in the process of growing up is discovering ways to adapt to life's surprises.

Don't Struggle Alone

From time to time, each of us struggles with a challenge. The process, while painful, is manageable with the support of friends or family. A different perspective helps us recognize the solution; someone else's caring gives us the energy to seek a resolution.

I Have a Dream

Sometimes our dreams seem beyond our reach. Achieving them might require significant effort... effort spent on learning and growing, becoming more capable and more mature. The value of success increases with the amount of effort it takes to achieve it.

Positive Thinking Promotes Better Outcomes

I do believe that how we approach a challenging situation can affect the outcome. Positive thinking encourages productive behavior while hand-wringing and complaining does nothing but sap our energy.

Lazy Days of Summer

As we juggle responsibilities, and deadlines, and too many things to do at once... taking a moment to remember the lazy days of childhood summers and letting a smile replace a frown can summon up the energy we need to see the day through.

Mom's Kitchen

Who doesn't remember Mom's kitchen... the coziest, warmest, safest place in the house. What mom doesn't know the magic of chocolate cake and homemade ice cream to make memories that last a lifetime. We are also most grateful to all the Veterans that have served our country to keep us safe.

Happy Father's Day

You can count on a DAD to know when his children are ready for responsibility. So glad we have a day devoted to saying THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

Rising to the Occasion

Occasionally, learning opportunities demand that novices put aside their fears and trepidation, then follow their instinct to apply the knowledge and skills that they have learned. Some fall short; Others rise to the occasion.

Invest in Yourself

Few of our dreams come true by themselves. Getting what we want takes focus, a game plan, and action.

The Pathway to Excellence

Nursing is a complex practice. A nurse's skills develop with each patient interaction. Competence and confidence grow with time and practice. No end game exists... just a steady progression toward excellence.

Cultural Sensitivity

St Patrick's Day celebrates Irish culture. Legend has it that wearing green makes one invisible to leprechauns. A multitude of cultures intertwine to create the fabric of the United States. Enjoy celebrating the uniqueness of each one.

Valentines Day

Valentines is a day for cuddles and smooches and loads of being together with those we love.

Sign of the Times

Things have changed a lot since the 1970s ... but have they really?? We're still arguing about equality, the underprivileged, and the under-served. Outlawing the external boundaries between the haves and have-nots was just a start... an investment in a different mindset. The solution isn't a handout; it's a positive attitude and a hand UP!!

Sharing our Woes

Reviewing the same alternatives over and over rarely solves a problem. We need a new perspective. Sharing our frustration with a trusted friend might be just what we need to work through the problem and come up with a novel solution.


Partnering with a stranger can produce results that neither could have anticipated. Each partner brings a unique perspective, and when both people are flexible and enthusiastic, the synergy can be like magic.


In addition to being celebrations of a special event, holidays give families the opportunity to celebrate. Family members come together, often from long distances, to enjoy one another, catch up, and maintain currency in one another's lives. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Share Your Expectations

Sharing expectations increases the likelihood that things will turn out the way you intended.

Agreeing to Disagree

Sometimes, when people disagree, there's no middle ground that will satisfy both parties. That's the time to agree to disagree... to accept that neither is going to get their way. If the relationship is important, both parties must respect the other's position. Agreeing to disagree means no more discussion... no more attempts to persuade or dissuade.

How Much is Too Much

We've all faced situations where there's more to do than we have the time or resources to accomplish. Setting priorities, then letting go... can be difficult.


Sometimes the best friends are the ones who give you grief when it's warranted. They're also the ones who let you know when you've done well.

Value of Agreement

Before opinions can differ or interpretations clash, good friends, good neighbors, and good partners agree on how they will resolve conflict when it occurs... and, of course, it will occur eventually. The agreed-upon process for resolution elevates a potentially sticky situation from emotional to manageable.


Accepting a gift for what it IS, without caring about what it ISN'T, is the essence of true appreciation.

4th of July

Fireworks! No 4th of July celebration would be complete without a dazzling display of light and color to remind us of the exciting new world of opportunity that our forefathers founded.

Father's Day

Somehow a Dad knows exactly what what will make his children happy... all the while keeping them safe and on the road to becoming the adults he knows they can be.


Katie's dream was to help the Choctaw patients see the value in both Native and Western medicine. This takes a blend of skills, resources, and perspectives to achieve the best outcomes.

Pick the Moment

The answer to that all-important "ask" can depend upon how you ask and when you pose the question. Strike a balance between giving it serious thought and working yourself into a tangled ball of nerves.

Against the World

Literature & Fiction

Robin, a fiery red-head, arrives home from her freshman year of nursing school, to discover her home is slated for demolition for upscale housing she can’t afford. Her summer vacation devolves into a chaotic circus of exploration of sexuality, violence, and tragedy. Then, thieving by an ex-friend threatens Robin's job and brings her to court; but that's not all. Robin’s summer spins further out of control when the unanticipated reunion with her estranged mother is derailed by family violence that leaves Robin grappling with grief and railing against the world. Back at school, the Nurseketeers band around Robin to embrace women’s issues, gender discrimination, cultural diversities, and plan a March against Violence. A chance meeting motivates Robin to question her sexuality in an era when homosexuality was illegal in every state but one - and that one wasn’t Texas. Her roommate’s homophobia challenges the need for secrecy as Robin explores her emerging lesbian impulses. Exposure could turn her nursing career into an impossible dream or worse, she could land in jail.

Book Bubbles from Against the World

Armed Forces Day

It's an honor to serve one's country, but members of the Armed Forces also accept the possibility of dying in the line of duty. We owe our Servicemen a debt of gratitude. While Armed Forces Day is dedicated to thanking them for their service and for their dedication and commitment to protecting our freedom, any day we encounter a Serviceman is an opportunity to show respect and express our appreciation.

Leadership is a Process

Becoming a leader is a challenging process that requires dedication and commitment. It begins with honing communication and organization skills, and developing self-confidence. The process continues with taking advantage of opportunities to practice. "A born leader" is one who has risen to the challenge.

Luck is a Matter of Perspective

Recognizing and appreciating fortune is part of growing up. Our perspectives broaden as we mature and we begin to realize the importance, the value of things we once took for granted. We begin to recognize how lucky we are. A child's evolution from entitled to grateful is one of the great joys of parenthood, a validation of parenting well done.

Presidents Must be Leaders

Lofty goals are rarely achieved easily. A good leader considers the implications of the situation. They assess resources and probable outcomes, then make a decision that respects the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.

The Giving Season

Every season provides an opportunity for us to help those who need support. Winter, especially, is a time when many folks find it difficult to navigate the outside world. Running errands, providing groceries, ensuring that shut-ins have heat, and, of course, knitting scarves and mittens.

Just the Right Present

The best presents are ones that someone thought about and chose specifically for you. As we grow up, our appreciation for gifts matures, but parents can instill that appreciation early. A pile of toys under the Christmas tree sends a different message from the few thoughtful gifts under the tree of a family with limited means.


Thanksgiving reminds us to celebrate the blessings we take for granted, to celebrate our successes, our relationships, and the fortune we experience by living in a free society. Personal travails always exist, but they pale in comparison to waking up each day to a world of opportunity.

Veteran's Day

Stepping into the line of fire to preserve something so valuable that it is worth risking your life is the ultimate definition of bravery. Unfortunately the world’s various cultures have such disparate ideas and beliefs that collaboration and compromise are sometimes impossible. Then, war happens, and the best person doesn’t always win!

When Things Go Wrong

Learning from our experiences isn't an automatic process. Adversity doesn't make us wiser or more capable. We only benefit from a situation-gone-wrong if we make it an opportunity to explore alternatives and come up with an effective approach. The best time to come up with a better mousetrap is when we are keenly aware that current one isn't working.

A Grandparent's Influence

Grandparents have a privileged position in our lives... and they're perfectly situated to give us the best guidance. They aren't responsible for raising us, so they can love us unconditionally and be whatever we need when we need it: protector, teacher, motivator, guide, confidant, safe haven.

Do the Right Thing

The most difficult situations to manage involve relationships. Those not involved in the decision-making process may choose to be dissatisfied with the outcome. We make our own life choices. Now is the time to do the right thing.

The Speed of Technology

It seems like forever since the walkie talkie represented state of the art communication, but actually, in the scheme of things, it hasn’t been that long. Less than 150 years ago, there was no telephone, and another 60 years passed before the wireless walkie talkie arrived in 1937. It was only 46 years later when the first commercial mobile phone was sold (for $3,500), and in a mere 20 years more, everyone had access to an affordable cell phone. Now, in less that 20 more years, we have AI. Can you even imagine what tomorrow might bring?

Positive Thinking Promotes Positive Results

When an opportunity comes along, embrace it. Concentrate on how to make it happen instead of dwelling on what might interfere with success. A positive attitude goes a long way to ensuring the desired outcome.

Be BOLD...

...when you're organized and prepared to manage whatever opposition encountered. Thoughtful discussion can lead to enlightenment, compromise, and adaptation. Confrontation can trigger emotions that override reason, derail the conversation, and leave communication in shambles.

Grandmothers Day

Sometimes the "mother: in your life is someone else who fills those shoes. Our grandmothers' words of wisdom may be the ones that shape our lives.

Celebrating Culture

St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of the Irish. Every ethnicity needs a day to focus attention on its uniqueness and to celebrate its contributions to the development of the country.

Losing an Election Does Not Make One a Loser

Even if an election is a choice among stellar candidates, only one can win the position. The rest are not losers; they must move on to other opportunities to share their expertise, influence, and stimulate progress.

New Years Resolutions

Most of us choose the new year to focus on improving ourselves and furthering our personal agendas. Here's wishing all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023


However you celebrate, Christmas is one of the most joyous of holidays, with bright lights and lovely music, a special gift for each loved one, and a holiday feast to share with family and friends.


No holiday more than Thanksgiving lends itself to sharing with others ... loved ones or strangers. We open our hearts and our homes to share the feast.


Make holidays special for those who have few resources fits well with the culture of nursing. Nurses are committed to bringing health and well-being to others.

No one Ever Promised Life Would Be Fair

When life's inequities affect us, we have the choice to shrug or speak up. Even when we can't change "the way it is," we can let folks know "the way we think it should be!"

Good Advice in ANY Situation

Whatever done to acknowledge that each individual is important, everyone will appreciate the effort and accord the respect needed to manage a challenging situation well.

Fiscal Responsibility

Even when we can't be completely independent, how we participate in financing our lives is an indicator of the respect we have for those who support us, and a preview of how we will manage in the future.


It's a revelation to realize that each of us is in charge of our future. We may not be able to predict what future events will occur, but we are responsible for what we do about whatever comes our way. How we respond influences our future.


Regardless of circumstances, we are each responsible for our own decisions. Though making the right decision might be be difficult, good decision-making promotes positive outcomes.

Grandmother's Insight

Grandchildren give a grandparent the opportunity to be both friend and sage.


Maturity demands that we recognize when we've made a mistake and that we're willing to do something about it.

Right and Wrong

Right and wrong are absolutes to a child; however, in an adult world, right and wrong are subjective. Maturity demands that we consider all of the aspects of a situation before making decisions or passing judgment.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is time set aside to honor the military personnel who have given their lives protecting the rights, privileges, and freedom that make our country unique in this world.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is to celebrate all the women in our lives who've influenced us, protected us, and shepherded us along the path of becoming who we are today.

Earth Day

Rachel Carson"s Silent Spring, published in 1962, opened our eyes to the damage we were doing to the environment. It took another eighteen years before Earth Day was recognized to give voice to environmental concerns and placed conserving our vital resources and protecting our environment front and center.


Make your work personal and embrace it wholly. Everyone will benefit. When serving your employers well, they will pave the way for your continued success.

The Best Presentations

The most compelling and engaging presentations include personal experiences, key insights, and loads of practice and editing.

President's Day

Our governmental leaders are challenged to present a platform in a way that everyone can benefit from supporting it. The bigger the issue, the greater the challenge. However, quality action can restore hope.

Time Well Spent

Time spent in helping others is time well spent. Volunteering and donating are options. Gram's knitting was her contribution... what's yours?

Travel Challenges

Travel these days is challenging... what with crowds, delays, and cancelled flights... not much we can do about that. But... if you want to avoid the stress of lost luggage, take only as much as will fit in a carry-on... put your essentials in your carry-on and what you can afford to live without in your checked luggage.

Veteran's Day

War is a tragic experience regardless of the nobility of the cause. Needless death, destruction of resources, and disruption of life as we know it are too high a price to pay. We'd be well-served to find a better way to address world conflict.

The Child in Us

Reliving the joys of childhood as often as possible keeps us young and reminds us how good it feels to be happy.

Suffering is Personal

Each person deals with adversity in a unique fashion. Some suffer in silence; others need to share their grief. Sensitivity to the uniqueness of others is one hallmark of a wise person and a good friend.

Think Positive

Positive thoughts promote positive behavior. When you expect the best outcome, your actions enhance the possibility that the outcome will be a good one.

Living is Learning

Personal experience enhances formal education. Relating personally to what is learned, new knowledge gained has a breadth and depth that might otherwise be lacking.

Nursing Covers All Bases

Nurses practice in every setting imaginable. Outside of the traditional healthcare arena, nurses provide care everywhere... in large companies, factories, schools, summer camps, and cruise ships. No other profession has so many options for practice.

A Black and White World

Absolutes are important for small children. They must be able to differentiate right from wrong defnitively... in a child's world, decisions should be easy... yes/no... black/white... Beyond childhood, though, the world is more gray. The right choice for adolescents and adults is rarely that uncomplicated.

A Lie is Never the Right Approach

No matter how carefully a lie is crafted, the truth will ultimately bring it crashing to earth in the end.

Perception of Time

The length of time that something takes is a matter of perception rather than hours, days, or weeks. The more anxious one is for something to happen, the longer it takes... BUT when you just don't want something to end (like summer vacation), it seems to be over in a flash!!

Nursing, Unlimited Options

Nurses practice in an unlimited variety of settings. Although healthcare facilities of one kind or another engage most nurses, one finds nurses anywhere there are people who have the potential for getting sick or hurt... schools, office buildings, manufacturing plants, cruise ships, combat zones... ANYWHERE!!! Salute to nurses.

Slow to Change

Women have been fighting for equality for more than a century. With all the gains that have been made, there is so much left to do!

People Are Emotional Beings

Humans are often influenced by their emotions than by cognitive awareness. Events can rekindle emotions related to a relationship, even though it has ended.

The Best Laid Plans...

Sometimes our well-designed plans lead to disappointment instead of fulfillment. The best response is to review and revise... never give up!!

The Magic of Christmas

We never outgrow our Christmas memories. They continue to bring joy throughout our lives. We wish each of you a wonderful, happy, safe, and healthy Holiday.


Where better than a peaceful farm to spend Thanksgiving.... with friends and family, scrumptious food that's fresh and delicious, and far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Stay Kids Forever!

Things in our lives bring out the child in us... like Christmas presents and Easter egg hunts.

Be an Early Bird

Avoiding procrastination is always the better choice. Being on time, or even early, can be rewarding.

Labor Day Insight

Sometimes getting a job depends upon the willingness to exceed an employer's expectations.

Facing Mortality

Sometimes it's necessary to face mortality, and make the best decisions left to us.


The death of an acquaintance, no matter how distant, drives us to assess our lives, review our accomplishments and failures, and contemplate our mortality

Job Security is Often in One's Own Hands

Being a dependable, valued employee is the best way to ensure job security. No employers want to lose an employee they can count on.

Summer Fun

Can you remember a time when summer meant FUN ... no school, no work... just play. Not everyone can recall such a privilege.

Doing the Right Thing can be Risky

One would think that doing the right thing would be easy, but... sometimes it feels like a Catch 22 -- you know you must do it, but if you do, there are consequences that make the decision feel insurmountable.

Caught Between Bravery and Fear

Doing the right thing can be frightening when there's no guarantee that the outcome will be good... but ... doing nothing guarantees that the outcome will be bad, Bravery must overshadow fear.

A Bit of Intrigue

Sometimes ordinary things -- like a summer job -- lead to extraordinary experiences.

Keep the Door to the Future Open

If we let situations that didn't go well in the past close the door on opportunities to improve them, we deny ourselves the potential for turning a disappointment into a celebration.

Sometimes the right thing to do takes courage

The things you want most may be the hardest to get. That could be why we want them so badly.

A Scholarship's a Blessing, but...

The cost of a college education is steep, and a scholarship is a boost, for sure... but an important part of the education is learning how to manage for yourself.

Dressing Up

There's something to be said for "dressing for the part". When something important to you rests in someone else's hands, viewing the situation through their lenses is a good way to prepare.

Being Realistic Promotes Better Outcomes

Considering the downside of the decision you're about to make increases the likelihood that you'll be prepared to manage whatever happens.

The World Around Us Has Ears

Even in a crowd, it's sometimes feels like we're alone, that everything and everyone around us is focused elsewhere. It pays to remember that, even though we're not talking to them, those around us hear what we say.

Nothing Stays the Same

Things change around us all the time. It pays to stay alert and think positive. Good things happen to those with a positive attitude.

Do Not Live with Regret.

Perhaps it is time to bare your soul and come clean with loved ones as Robin did. Start fresh with the New Year.

Think before Speaking

Advice of thinking first is not always easy. What will your New Year resolution be for this year?

Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Christmas

The Holiday Season is about memory making no matter where you are. May your Christmas experiences be special and filled with wonderful moments among family and friends, to be treasured throughout the New Year.

The Wake-Up Call

Literature & Fiction

In 1970, pampered, naïve, Philly-born Frannie is overwhelmed by the responsibilities of nursing school and college life in Dallas. A love-hate relationship erupts when Robin, her fiery, red-headed roommate, arrives from Chicago to find Frannie's belongings covering every inch of space in their room, and Frannie nowhere in sight. Adding fuel to the fire, Frannie pursues a relationship with a sophomore hunk whom Robin insists is pond scum. She ignores her suitemates' pleas to join their study group, insisting her high school achievements will guarantee her success in college. Frannie's wake-up call comes after nearly two semesters of disastrous decision-making. She finds herself flunking out and her nursing career ending before it begins. With support from an unexpected source, she faces the biggest decision of her life - one that no matter the outcome will upend her future.

Book Bubbles from The Wake-Up Call

Mother's Day

A while back, mothers managed the home and raised the children, while fathers worked to provide for the family. Today, mothers run the gamut from helicopter moms, to working mothers, to someone special taking the place of a mom. Mother's Day provides kids of all ages the opportunity to celebrate the MOM in their life, and for moms to appreciate the influence they've had and the difference they've made.

Cinco de Mayo

While Cinco de Mayo celebrates Hispanic culture, predominantly in the US southwest, every culture has ways of celebrating its heritage. Though there is no specific day devoted to celebrating Native American Indian culture, there are many opportunities throughout the country to explore its rich history and wealth of talent.

Earth Day

It's not just the folks who make their living from the earth who must think of conserving its resources. The world's entire population must unite in support of mindfulness and wise use, not abuse, of natural resources if the planet is to survive for future generations.

Taunting Isn't Funny

Teasing can be funny, as long as the target is enjoying the interchange.... otherwise it's bullying... and there's nothing funny about that!

Nursing is a Popular Career Choice

Nursing as a profession is rewarding for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is the variety of career options. Anything one can want to do can be done as a nurse.

Do the Best with the Current Reality

Strive for the best outcome, no matter the situation. The best choice is made by considering the most likely result of the decision.

Responsibility for Outcomes

In higher education, the responsibility for learning falls on the student. Accepting responsibility is one of the important lessons college provides. Regardless of the teacher's ability to impart information meaningfully that can vary widely among faculty, each student must seek the resources he or she needs to master the course content. Whether it be studying with fellow students who have a better grasp of the material or engaging a tutor, success or failure in a course lies with the student. Complaining doesn't alter the outcome.

The Chance of a Lifetime

A wise teenager realizes that college gives one a head start on making dreams come true. Whatever the dream, a college education is an investment in gaining the knowledge, maturity, and confidence to take the next step. Opportunities come to those who are prepared to act on them.

Learning to Think

One of the greatest benefits of college is learning to USE the knowledge gained. The world expands with the capacity to explore, interpret, and consider a myriad of possibilities. The obvious answer isn't the best one.

College is Different

Grade school and high school fill us with information and test us to see if we "got it." College, on the other hand focuses on application of our knowledge and the testing is quite different. Some folks find that challenging; others have a difficult time making the transition.


Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people light bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. Today we celebrate by carving jack-o'-lanterns, trick-or-treating, and attending costume parties. In the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, Halloween has become a significant cultural event, celebrated with enthusiasm.

Accepting is Only the First Step

When things haven't been going well, and you discover what can be done to turn things around, your first step should be committing to a plan of action. You actually have to DO things differently if you expect the results you've been getting to change.

Don't Wait

Good planning ensures success. Staying on top of progress toward objectives prevents waiting until it's too late to achieve the desired outcome.

Knowing Isn't Always Enough

The smartest people aren't always the most mature. Applying your knowledge is a characteristic of maturity. Another component of maturity is being aware of what you DON'T know and seeking the information you need in order to effect the best outcome.


Raising children is a huge investment. It takes years to complete the process. Sometimes parents share the responsiblities of loving and teaching, but most often one parent is the "softie" and the other the taskmaster. When you're little, the "softy" is the good guy, but once you've grown, appreciation and respect for the taskmaster soars. It takes both to produce a confident, competent adult.

Honor Those Who Protect our Freedom

Memorial Day is our country's tribute to the men and women who protect our freedom. No matter how or where they serve, they defend our country in countless ways, sometimes with their lives.

Old is not Inferior

What's missing in driving a brand-new car, is the thrill in driving a roadworthy, restored classic automobile. Wearing a dress with a joyful history can be more satisfying than buying something new. And... for sure, a night of dancing is more pleasurable in comfortable old shoes than brand new ones never broken in.

Everyone Contributes Something

A friendship is the sum total of the friends' individual contributions. No one keeps score; friends appreciate that the value of the friendship lies in each one's willingness to invest his or her unique strengths and resources in one another,

Managing Disappointment

Making lemonade from the lemons life hands us is not easy to make, but making excuses and wallowing in our disappointment won't benefit us. Accepting that we don't always get what we want, then pursuing an alternative can take us to a satisfying experience.

Valentine's Day

On Valentine's Day each of us should let the special folks in our lives know how much they mean to us. This day is when hearts, flowers, cards, calls, and candy show how important they are.

Overcoming Adversity

Sometimes, even with a support system in place, we need to solve our problems on our own.

Holiday Time

Holidays give us the opportunity to share our love and good fortune with others. Let's appreciate the joyous atmosphere and all the ways we celebrate the season.

HOW You Teach Affects How Students Learn

Regardless of the subject, the best teachers make learning relevant, exciting, challenging, and meaningful.

Spreading Our Wings

One thing about going away to school is meeting new people... people who will know the person we are trying to be, not the person we used to be.


The sense of accomplishment we feel is determined by the amount of effort we put into the process of reaching success.

The Value of Knowledge

The value of knowledge is in it's application. Information is only meaningful if you know what to do with it.

The Right Answer is Just the Beginning

Expectations of college students can be a rude awakening for bright freshmen who weren't challenged academically in high school. Gone are the days of just knowing the right answer. Higher education requires one to apply what they know.

Diversity Promotes Excellence

When assembling a group to achieve an objective, select members who represent a variety of strengths and expertise. Diversity of ideas, experience, and talents increases the likelihood that the group's achievement will be stellar .

Happy Father's Day

Count on fathers for the best advice! Father's Day is a great time to let Dad know how much he's appreciated for his wisdom, his influence, his support, and his guidance.


Like any holiday, Easter is a time of celebration, and including others who are less fortunate in the festivities enhances the celebration. Giving is an act of kindness that brings joy to both giver and receiver.

April Fool's Day

Good-natured kidding is intended to engage friends in light-hearted fun. Pranks, on the other hand, are not so friendly. In 1582, when France switched to the Gregorian calendar, the new began on January 1 instead of March 15. April fools were folks who "didn't get the message" and those who did taunted them with jokes and pranks.

First Car

Who can't remember every detail of their first car? ...the most important of all those we've had since. Driving was the first rite of passage... the first step toward independence... and it felt like we'd been looking forward to it "forever."

Time to Grow Up

The more parents shelter their child growing up, the harder it will be for them to achieve independence. Parents, consider letting your children face life's challenges while you're standing beside them to guide them.

Dorm Living

Dorm mothers in the 1970s enforced rules that intimated young women needed protection from young men. Imagine their horror at today's co-ed dorms... quite common in colleges and universities in the 21st century.

New Year's Resolution

Along with the annual New Year's resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and be more positive, add one that represents a meningful change in behavior.


Though people celebrate differently, the trappings we associate with a holiday help to create shared memories and a sense of togetherness No matter how creative and varied the costumes, or whether or not we trick-or-treat, pumpkins, black cats, goblins, and witches will be part of everyone's Halloween memories.


One thing that differentiates children from adults is perspective. Balancing fantasy and reality lets all enjoy both.

Shopping is a Woman's Thing

The joy women find in shopping can be as big a mystery to men as cheering is when a boxer knocks an opponent unconscious is to women. Clichés are cliché because there's truth in them.

A Changing World

The world around us continues to change... it swells, and shrinks, and shifts. Sometimes it throws us a curve ball. We have to keep up with the changes... adapt, cope, grow!!

A Friend Indeed

We each confront life's challenges at different times in our lives and in different ways... but... a friend can make a tremendous difference in the process. No matter how devastating the situation, life's easier to tackle with a friend by your side.

Memorial Day

One way to celebrate a special day is an outing with good friends... like a day at the county fair. There's something for everyone!


Spring has sprung and thoughts have turned from mufflers and mittens to daffodils and sunshine. Spring is a time for showers and flowers, fantasy, and budding romance.

Mother's Day

Mother's deserve a special day for all the "taking care of..." they did raising us. For some, like Frannie, growing up and assuming those responsibilities is a slower-than-normal process. Happy Mother's Day

When there's no way out...

When it looks as if there's no solution to a problem, a friend can bring a different perspective, share new insights, and suggest alternatives.

Happy Valentine's Day

Flowers, candy, and a romantic candlelight dinner.... the hallmarks of every girl's Valentine's Day dream.

Fall Semester

The best part of a semester is looking forward to vacations!

Learning at the College Level is Different

College freshman often face a rude awakening when they discover that studying like they did in high school doesn't prepare them for success on college exams.

Fairy Tale Evening

Events create memories that can rival the fairy tales we were told as children. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Teachable Moment

Everyone once in a while captures an insight that produces a new way of thinking and enriches the outcomes.

A Day at the Fair

Small town fairs are marvelous... there's something exciting for everyone... of all ages. Games, rides, animals, food, arts & crafts, and the conviviality of a close community.

"Do it Now" is the best policy

The longer we postpone accepting responsibility, the more likely that when we rise to the occasion, it will be too late.

Holidays bring out the best in us

Celebrations can be richer and more rewarding when shared with others. Holidays remind humans of their humanity.

Learning Commitment

Sometimes a commitment to learn comes to late to be effective.... but even that can be a learning experience.

Commitment to Learn

Tests results are often the best indicator of our actual commitment to learning. The response to the test results is a testament to the level of accountability.

Father's Wise Words

A father's advice can be just what's needed when facing a challenge. You just have to be mature enough to take it.

Beware of leopards who change their spots

It's wise to be cautious when situations differ from what you expect... and wise to heed the warnings of those who care about you.

Never to be forgotten

Some things that happened in the 1970s are seared into the memories of those who were there at the time.

Keeping Secrets

We've all been faced, at some time in our lives, with keeping a secret that consumed us with constant monitoring of both our communication and our demeanor. Honest folks have the hardest time with secrets.

Wise Words, Katie

Sometimes experiencing the reality of a critical decision is the most effective teacher. We aren't always the best at taking excellent advice.

College:Different Things to Different People

Regardless of one's motivation for going to college, one valuable component of the college experience is developing habits that lead to success.

A Poignant Memory

Sometimes, when we're reading for enjoyment, we relive a personal experience that we can remember as clearly as if it were yesterday. Nurses and other health care workers are working to make better memories for us in this Covid-19 environment. Be safe and healthy.

Education is an Investment

Maturity is an important factor in learning, and not all young folks in college are in the right place at the right time for the right reasons.

There's something about men and shopping....

There's not a much clearer example of "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus" that a shopping trip.

Take Charge of Our Own Life

Sometimes, before we can help others, we have to learn to take responsibility for ourselves. What are the lessons you are learning to take charge of today?

Some Things We Never Outgrow

Some things that brought us pleasure when were were children, we just never outgrow. Think of going to bed after a bedtime story, or licking the bowl when Mom made something tasty. I still sleep best if I read a bit first, and I can't resist licking the beaters when I make meringues.

Wisdom is More than Just Knowing

Knowledge by itself is having information that one knows and can explain to others. Wisdom is more than that. Wisdom is the sage application of one's knowledge... the ability to use knowledge to create, solve problems, and contribute to society.

Women Shop; Men Buy

Purchasing is another example of how differently men and women view everyday activities. Frannie and Stephen demonstrate their first foray into buying the right thing for the right reasons.

Growing Up's Not Easy

There's usually more to people than what you can discern at first glance. It pays to take the time to explore. Sometimes it takes exploring to get to know yourself.

What you see isn't always what you get

Sometimes looks can be deceiving... and that applies to college professors and their courses, too.... it's best not to jump to conclusions.

New Friends; New Options

Away from home for the first time, Frannie discovers a world much larger than the one she left at home. The new one is full of interesting people and options she'd never before considered.

Not Everyone is an Earlybird

When roommates find they have different habits and routines, negotiation and accommodations are next on the agenda.

Uggghhh... Memories of College Cafeteria Food

The Nurseketeers learn it is better to arrive at the cafeteria earlier rather than later to avoid the dregs of the meal. Some things about college cafeteria food don't seem to change.

College isn't High School

The first year in college is as much a window into a new world as an investment in academic preparation. Sheltered, pampered Frannie didn’t see that coming. Frannie’s college world was one big playground, just like in high school. For some freshmen, it takes a wake up call.

Roommates First Meet

Meeting up with a new roommate in a new college is a challenging experience. In The Wake-Up Call, for Frannie and Robin it turns into an "Odd Couple" experience. Frannie has no idea how to manage her own affairs and Robin has no patience with her roomates inept behavior. Move-in day at Crestmont University in Dallas for the Philly born Frannie is not exactly what she had envisioned that college life would represent. From the beginning, she makes decisions that cause her Chicago born roommate, Robin, to explode.

A,B, & Cs of Author Partnering

Education & Reference

The award-winning book, the "A, B, & Cs of Author Partnering," guides you through the process of creating a partnership, establishing a productive work environment, and producing the work of fiction, non-fiction, or a journal article. Authoring a book or article with a writing partner can take the sting and isolation out of a solo writing project. Alignment (A) is the foundational component that explores the what and why of the partnership and its targeted product. Balance (B) focuses on the need for author partners to respect their work-life responsibilities and ensure this critical element is incorporated into their production process. The seven Cs include Commitment, Contract, Communication, Conflict Resolution, Commerce, Creativity, and Call to Action. The included workbook provides activities to help partners craft their strategies and maximize their collaborative efforts. The "A, B, & Cs of Author Partnering" presents a meaningful sequence of topics that can be read cover to cover or selectively to meet specific needs. Working collaboratively brings a diversity of strengths and skills to the project. As a team, partners provide a broader platform to address the variety of tasks involved in writing, publishing, and marketing. Their commitment to one another and to the project keeps them focused on their work while enjoying the process and celebrating accomplishments throughout the writing journey.

Book Bubbles from A,B, & Cs of Author Partnering

Take Advantage of Conflict

Conflict in relationships is inevitable. Wise partners approach conflict as an opportunity to explore options and draft creative alternatives. The output of a productive partnership is more than the mere sum of the partners' contributions.

Partnership Enhances Creativity

An author's creativity is enhanced by sharing ideas and exploring potential outcomes with a partner. Communication among partners can broaden each author's vision and perspective, leading to greater creativity and a richer product.


Partners celebrate their successes and build upon them. Celebrate your 2023 successes and move in to the New Year with a plan that capitalizes upon them and addresses any stumbling blocks. Make your "resolutions" achievable, attainable, and realistic... pipe dreams without an action plan can be difficult to achieve and lead to disappointment.


Accommodation is identifying an option that both partners can live with. As such, it is an effective approach to resolving conflict, unless one partner, attempting to "keep the peace," consistently gives in to the others' position. Accommodation in that case is acquiescence which, in the long run, becomes damaging to a partnership.

Addressing Conflict

Conflict inherently triggers negative emotions and a negative response that serves to intensify the situation. Concentration and effort are required to overcome the urge to lash out. Practice is how skills develop. Each conflict faced is an opportunity to practice effective behavior, and the response to conflict will become more appropriate and productive each time.

Maintaining Equity

Partners are unique people and differ from one another in many ways, but a partnership implies equity. Equity doesn't mean equality. Over the course of a project, when each partner contributes, in a timely manner, the quantity and quality of partnership product, there is equity.

Know Your Audience

To engage an audience, a presentation must be tailored to their specific needs. Sometimes you need to skip the introduction and start with what they need to know.

Working Together

Working effectively with others on any project at all requires that everyone focus on the same objective. In order for the group to get there, everyone must know where "there" is!

Available Resources Shape Communication

Understanding the communication resources prevalent at different times in history gives insight into effective communication with those who grew up at that time. Capture the attention of your audience by choosing your communication tools wisely.

Combined Communication Styles

Writing partners must recognize, appreciate, and adapt effectively to the different communication styles found in a partnership. A DOMINANT communicator grasps the overarching concepts and relies on a CONSCIENTIOUS partner to hone the details. Dominants have great ideas, appreciate clarity, and respond better to choices than ultimatums.

Essential Anagrams

Anagrams pair to create essential and rare lessons. Although LISTEN and SILENT are sister anagrams, together they are essential components of effective communication. Thinking before speaking is important, but the quality of what one says can be enhanced by sitting silently and listening carefully to the wisdom, experience, and perspective of others.

Effective Communication

For communication to be effective, there must be a connection between the sender and receiver. To ensure that others "get it" when we have something to share, it's essential that we establish that connection by framing the message using language and context that will resonate with them.

Creative License Requires Sensitivity

Credible authors are respectful and sensitive to their readers' perceptions. Emotionally-charged or divisive subject matter challenges the competent author to select an approach that tickles the intellect, engaging rather than incensing the reader.

Trust Your Partner

Constructive Critique is an essential part of crafting an outstanding product. Partners must be able to tell one another when there are opportunities for improvement without pushback or resentment. When communication among partners is open, honest, and respectful, critical review is a welcome and productive experience.

Flexibility is Essential

At times, other relationships and commitments may disrupt partnership plans. Knowing that your partner values the partnership promotes understanding, flexibility, and the willingness to review and reschedule. Supporting one another enhances the partnership and increases each partner's commitment.

Know Your Readers

Your readers are the best source of the information you need to craft the story they want to read. Reach out to them; ask questions; listen carefully.

Conflict is Inevitable

Conflict doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can stimulate the quest for a satisfactory solution. The key to managing conflict effectively is establishing a game plan early, so that emotions related to conflict won't short-circuit a productive response.

Managing Conflict

In a partnership, there is always the potential for conflict. When the partners discuss how they will address conflict should it arise, they are encouraging a healthy process of resolution instead of risking the anger and frustration that can destroy a working relationship.


A contract documents the partners' agreement on the structure and function of their endeavor. Crafting the contract encourages the partners to examine their expectations and create alignment around process. Addressing potential stumbling blocks serves to resolve conflict before it occurs.


Achievements, like holidays, are opportunities to celebrate. Celebrating honors the occasion and validates the work that has been done Celebration encourages pride in accomplishment and the desire for continued achievement.

Communication Counts

Poor communication, miscommunication, or the absence of communication account for most problems in a partnership. Open communication encourages partners to resolve differences and explore alternatives, keeping them in synch and focused on their goals.

It Takes a Commitment

In most partnerships, success requires the combination of skills that the partners bring to the table. Neither partner can produce an outcome as robust as one they can achieve together. Outstanding outcomes require a commitment to focus on the objectives and do their best work in a timely manner.


Take the time to define goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to ensure that when you achieve a goal, you have accomplished something significant.

Project Scope, Value, & Relevance

Take the time to identify the criteria for success before beginning a project. Determine what the target audience wants, what they expect, and what they will appreciate.

Ground Rules

For a team to work successfully, there must be an identified structure and process that all team members understand and respect. Ground rules keep everyone focused on success.

Managing Stress is a Personal Responsibility

Stress is inevitable in the lives of busy people. Stress can be debilitating. Managing stress is a personal obligation, and the ability to manage stress can make the difference between success or failure of a partnership.

Agreement Promotes Success

Identifying at the outset what each partner expects to achieve from the partnership enhances the probability that each partner will be supportive and accommodating to ensure that both partners' expectations are met.

Partners Determine Partnership Success

The old saying "We get out of a project what we put into it" describes the formula for the success of a partnership.

Communication Enhances Productivity

Partners are people with responsibilities outside the partnership that can interfere with productivity. Partners who are sensitive to one another step in when the other is overwhelmed, distracted, or off-schedule. Acknowledging one another's challenges and adjusting to them strengthens the partnership.

A Partnership May Expand One's Options

One reason to partner is to bring a wider variety of skills to a project. Another is to expand one's options. Partners have different perspectives, different resources, and different contacts that broaden the partnership's outlook, extend its vision, and increase its opportunities.

A Partnership is a Promise

As a partner, each brings unique talents and resources to a project, but must also commit to DO what's expected to achieve the outcome. Books and articles don't write themselves. Productivity and timeliness depend upon each partner's willingness to stick to the schedule and respect deadlines.

Ideal Partnerships

The most effective partnerships are those in which the various partners represent all of the skills required to achieve a stellar outcome. It's unusual for a single individual to excel in every aspect of of the partnership process. Choose partners who provide the skills you need; not the ones you already have.

Value of Partners' Differences

Partnerships between individuals with different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses produce robust outcomes. When partners approach a challenge from diverse perspectives, the synergy generated and the resolutions produced are impressive and greater than either partner could achieve alone.

Prepare for Change

Anticipating change and exploring techniques to adapt before unexpected events can interfere with the current reality helps us weather change without resentment or disappointment.

Embrace Conflict

View conflict as an opportunity to explore options, be innovative, and to produce superior outcomes. Most often, a negotiated outcome is superior to either of the original alternatives.

Balance can Prevent Burnout

If we take the time to identify all of the important elements in our lives, and commit to respecting each with the time and attention it deserves, burnout will have no time in our lives.

Ethics and Creativity

Poetic license gives the writer leeway to be creative... to embellish, improvise, and interpret... ethics encourages the writer not to distort the truth or purvey falsehood.

Balance is Essential

Balance in a partnership is multifaceted. Partners have obligations outside of the partnership so work-life balance is essential. Balance relates to the the workload within the partnership. Partners' responsibilities at any point in time are rarely equal, but the partners must perceive that each one's contributions are equitable over time.

Alignment of Purpose and Complimentary Skills

To produce a successful outcome, partners must be aligned on the purpose of their efforts and provide talents and skills that complement one another's.

Creativity in Writing

Authors partners rely on creativity for more than producing unique, inspiring narrative. Creativity turns both conflict and confusion into an opportunity for inspiration.


The environment is a critical factor in creativity.You must be sensitive to your surroundings, set the scene, and address relevant variables to encourage and support creative thinking.

Commerce Requires a Strategy

Getting books into the hands of readers does not happen without a marketing plan based on effective communication. One essential component is the reviews that readers post to influence other readers.

Conflict is Inevitable

Planning conflict resolution strategies before conflicts arise facilitates creative problem-solving and outstanding results.

Communication Counts

Communication is the key ingredient whenever more than one person is involved in the success of an endeavor.

Make Contracts Count

However formal or informal, a partnership should begin with a contract that documents the important decisions the partners make about process and product.

Structure and Commitment Go Hand in Hand

Successful projects rarely happen in the absence of structure. Good outcomes depend upon creating a plan that details process and timing... and a firm commitment to stick to the plan!!

Creativity Requires Integrity & Collaboration

Together, author partners can create a product richer and compelling than either might have done alone. Partners stimulate one another to build on shared ideas, taking them to new heights.

Marketing Can Be a Challenge

Author partners who plan to sell their published work often lack sales and marketing skills. They must address this challenge in the planning phase of their partnership. Solutions include the commitment to master a new skill... or a decision to contract with outside resources to bring sales and marketing skills to the partnership.

Consensus requires effective Infrastructure

Constructive communication leads to quality consensus among a diversity of partners. Building an infrastructure to support effective communication helps prevent divisive positioning among the partners.

Success Depends upon a Call to Action

The most thorough preparation and the best-laid plan can't produce results unless you put the plan into ACTION. Once you have identified all of the components for success, make a commitment to ACT. Determine what, when, and where you will do what it takes to succeed... then DO IT!

Boost Your Creativity

Creativity is essential to writing; you can't just wait around for those juices to flow. Identify when, where, and how you are most creative and address the specific challenges that interfere with that perfect space. Remind yourself that hard work should also be fun.

Commerce Is a Component of Success

There are expenses associated with writing for publication, so you must sell your work to sustain your ability to publish. Tell the world what you've written and why. Folks need to know what to expect from investing their time and money in your work. Capture their interest and you will attract followers.

Conflict Promotes Creativity

Conflict in a partnership is inevitable. The outcome depends upon whether partners perceive conflict as a threat or an opportunity. When partners explore their opposing views, there's an opportunity to create something better than either initial offering.

Cummunication is Key

Good communication is a process with a host of well-oiled moving parts... all leading to content that is well-conceived, delivered effectively and efficiently, received with appreciation, and that achieves the intended outcome.

Start with a Contract

A partnership must begin with a clear picture of the partners' goals and expectations...a contract that should be captured in writing. Discussion and documentation when the exploration of issues is objective yields a contract that can prevent discord later when emotions interfere with a cogent review of a problem.

Commit to Success

Commitment to your partner, your product, and whatever it takes to achieve success is what makes a partnership work well. Promises to yourself are often harder to keep than promises to a partner.

Influences on Commitment

In the process of deciding whether to commit to a partnership, partners need to consider not only what they expect to get out of the endeavor, but what they will have to put in to make it work.

Balance: Essential to a Healthy Partnership

A writing partnership exists within the larger framework of the partners’ lives. Balancing the time and resources required to complete a writing project with the demands of everyday life is essential to a successful writing partnership. A keen assessment of resources facilitates realistic commitments and keeps the writing project on track. Essential to success is the partners’ ability to accept that unexpected demands can interfere with partnership plans, and to remain flexible, supportive, and committed to their goals.

Partners Align

In the Alignment chapter, we explored the partners’ relationship and a process to assure that the content of the project is consistent with the needs of the target readers. We used these techniques in starting our own writing partnership and has provided a foundation for our future writing. The chapter includes exercises for addressing authorship and author order and determining the roles of guest and ghost authors. We intended the exercises to engage partners in an effective process of aligning with one another to achieve success.

Take the Sting&Isolation; out of Solo Writing

Working with someone who has knowledge and skills that complement your own can make the task of writing easier and the finished work more comprehensive and robust. Partners motivate one another to stay on track and to produce their best work.

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