Category Archives: Uncategorized

PowerPoint and Copywriting

Are you a PowerPoint User?

While at my day job a few weeks ago, I received a request asking about taking a PowerPoint presentation and adding a narrative to be recorded. After asking a plethora of questions, I realized recording the video seemed a great idea.

A PowerPoint Feature I’d Never Used

Okay, I knew that with the newer versions of PowerPoint have that feature, but the request struck me as a challenge. And I couldn’t admit I’d never looked into this before. After checking with a couple of our IT types, I realized they knew less about the “how-to” of PowerPoint than I do after using it for many years. Oh well. What to do now?

When in doubt about any Office product, just search it. If you’re interested, click here to go to Microsoft’s help page on this subject.

PowerPoint in My Business?

It looks now like PowerPoint presentations may become an important segment of my business. Here’s how it happened. In that request I mentioned above, they wanted to pull the recording and save it to their intranet home page.  That way the recording could be presented at a later date. I’m not going to bore you with the details. Suffice it to say recording the PowerPoint itself became the answer.  The issue became downloading a saved recording through our learning environment.  It just took too long having to be downloaded in real-time.  So when I heard PowerPoint had recording capabilities, I found several ways to use it.

Okay – How do I do this?

What does this have to do with my home business? I didn’t realize at the time how this would help my business. In retrospect, when the light bulb flashed over my head, I also felt I should have thought of this before. So when I received an email from a friend who had a PowerPoint presentation to give to 26 people last week, I thought this might be the way to test my theory. My friend had been tasked with taking a presentation to the next level. Her boss wanted the presentation to be a “class” with a quiz at the end. At her request, he’d just purchased a license to Adobe Connect and spent the better part of a week watching videos about the things you could do with it. Now, my friend was great at creating the slides and doing outlines of what she wanted to be said with the slides. Also, her virtual events always received 95% or higher survey evaluations at conclusion.

My self-imposed word count just won’t let me go into everything I actually did for this group by the end of the project. Let’s just say, there’s a whole new area to explore.  So, this company agreed to pay me a handsome fee for using skills I developed while working a day job, along with new skills I’ve learned recently.

Now, with these newly acquired skills, and the serendipitous request from my friend,  I now offer something new in my business that uses my writing skills combined with my favorite virtual learning environments and PowerPoint.

Use You Software Skills to Enhance Your Business!

Don’t put aside your abilities with software you might take for granted.  Other folks out there in companies big and small  will actually pay you to use those skills on a contract basis. Why? Who knows.

Boot Camp Starts Tomorrow!

Boot Camp starts tomorrow!

Yes, it’s repetition!  I’m excited about the Boot Camp Live Stream – are you, too?

I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t attend in person.  The Facebook Group has been a great help to me getting past my disappointment.  To be honest, I hadn’t been active on Facebook for a long time.  Being involved in the writing groups from the courses I’ve taken put me back in that groove.

The live stream turns out to be a great thing for me since I’m travel restricted right now.  As a matter of fact, it’s already a great thing.  Today was to be my travel day, and I’d taken leave from my day job to include it.  It’s been put to good use.

  • I took the agenda, created with all times in Eastern (logical), and opened it in Adobe Acrobat.  Now, all the times are now Central time (my time zone).  now messing up time zone changes issues have disappeared.  I don’t want to miss a thing.  I’ll do replays, I’m sure.  And I want to see it first hand, too.
  • Both of my blogs, this one and, received much needed work.  Makes me want to retire to do this full time – more and more!  However, still needs work to be ready to go public yet.  It is getting closer every day.  If I could only make up my mind on a theme to use. 🙂
  • An affiliate account or two received the attention needed.  Now, the wait for acceptance and appropriate links begins.

Anticipated Boot Camp Take-Aways

  1. Networking.  Even though I am not Facebook proficient, I’m getting the hang of it slowly.  And the number of people participating in the group is growing.  I uploaded a copy of my business card (with permission, of course).
  2. More motivation.  I’ve accomplished several things today that I’d really like to continue doing.  The motivation I need requires I come away from Boot Camp with the motivation to get those spec assignments turned in. Then completion a couple of AWAI courses that will help me find clients in my favorite writing areas.
  3. Watch everything!  My household, including the very attendant Australian Shepherds, have been informed that even though they can see me, I’l actually in Florida for the next 4 days.
  4. Take copious notes!  Even if the videos will be available right after the event, notes are essential to my life.  Especially since I’m still adjusting to digital – I like my written notes.
  5. Remember how important this is.  I can’t retire without it.  My health makes it very important to retire as soon as possible.  Get the drift here?

Enjoy Boot Camp!

In conclusion, It’s time for me to put this one to bed and go back to work preparing for tomorrow afternoon.  Most of all, enjoy every minute of Boot Camp.  Not matter if you’re there in person or live streaming in your living room!  It’s an incredible opportunity for all of us!

Happy Writing!

Back again – NaNoWriMo 2016 is here!

It’s been a while since I’ve darkened the WordPress door.  With the long illness, then the recovery from surgery, and then going back to work, I’ve found the energy levels have not yet returned to their previous levels.  I’m working to find ways to save energy while still making sure I get the amount of exercise I need to gain energy.  I also need to keep up the energy going for NaNoWriMo. What a circle it becomes!

The coming of November and NaNoWriMo has definitely helped in the process of healing.  The people at the cancer center who read my novel (bless them!) have given me more positive feedback than I expected.  So NaNo is the start of the sequel.  Several people have asked for one.  And I actually feel it’s on its way.  Today was day 11 of NaNo, and I reached a record 30K words by the official counter. Since November 11 is a Friday, a holiday at work, and a bright sunny day, I actually took the iPad out on the back porch in the sun while the dogs chased squirrels.  The temperature reached almost 65 here today.    It seems too good to be true – and tonight’s news made that so.  The temps will be dropping, possibly below freezing tonight.

The words are flowing this year.  Perhaps that’s a sign that I am getting my energy as well as my mojo back!  So with that in mind, I’m going to get as far as I can during November to give myself momentum to finish that awful first draft before the ReWrite days in January and February.

The McPherson clan will be at it again, finding trouble where others don’t even look.  I can’t wait to find out where they’re going to take me this year.  Of course, they’ll still be in Alaska, gallivanting around the state like they’re both under 50.  And, being the cockeyed optimist that I am, I’m positive the entire clan will be doing that for many years to come (including me).

Thank you so much to my readers who have, without exception, asked for a sequel.  Within a day of the comments being heard and read, the story showed up in that storage center I call a brain.  I’ve made notes, and I’m keeping to them.  The story seems determined to come out this time!

P.S.  If anyone from NaNo reads this, my user ID there is Wickedfast.


In Answer to Reader Requests

Over the past few months, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to receive email from several people who’ve now completed reading “The Crystal Birch.”  All of them, with one exception, asked for another adventure starring the same set of characters.  Now, I had Katy and Marty all set for a happily-ever-after sort of thing.  Guess what?  That has changed.  (The one exception is waiting for the time travel one.)

I am happily working on a sequel to TCB, with the pair getting ready for their son’s wedding.  I won’t say anything else about it.  Well, maybe a little bit:  The story will include their telepathic links, a murder or maybe two, an unknown source of energy out west of Denali National Park (The conspiracy theorists have been having a go at this one lately.), and a myriad of other conspiratorial happenings.  All, of course, taking place in Alaska.

Of course, I haven’t figured them all out yet.  I’m sure I will.  I also promise not to take 22 years to write this one! And no – I don’t have a title yet.  And I hope you will all forgive me if I don’t paint detailed pictures of what the towns and cities look like right now.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to go home for a visit.  Maybe later this summer – hmmmmm?

I will also TRY to keep this blog updated.

So, til next time, please remind the Cheechako mailman in the apartment complex that it’s not wise to get out of his truck if there’s a moose with a calf grazing on the lawn nearby.  I’ll never forget the look on that guy’s face when she charged him.  🙂  He did make it into his truck safely, but we didn’t get our mail put up for several hours.

This is what Ninilchik looked like in 1953.  Please notice the lack of pavement on the road.  You could still land a plane on the beach, or camp there under a parachute tent.
This is what Ninilchik looked like in 1953.

Note the lack of pavement, and campground.  Even with all the growth over the years, it’s still a spot I love to visit.  The old film is faded and streaked, but I think it tells the story.

Jessie – the Nostalgic Novelist


“The Crystal Birch” & there’s a new one!

“The Crystal Birch,” re-edited, re-packaged in a beautiful new cover, and in paperback as well as for Kindle, is now out!  There’s a bit of a feeling of freedom now.  I finally got done what I wanted for this novel, so now I can start writing the next one.  The really weird thing is that I decided that was the case just before I went to bed last night.  I dreamed a new story sometime in the somewhere in the early hours of this morning.  For once, I got right up, sat at the computer (after booting the laptop and getting a cuppa) and wrote it down.  It’s a start.  It’s a Sci-Fi.  Most people who know me won’t be surprised at that, even though “The Crystal Birch” is definitely not in that genre.

I’ve put up a new website also.  Please take a look at  And I’m not going to be shy this time.  Please buy a copy of “The Crystal Birch”.  This link will take you directly to my Amazon page.

I’ll post updates as the next one moves along.  I’m just happy to have the WordPress blog up again, even if I don’t get better at filling the pages.  You know, when it comes down to a choice between blogging and working on a novel, somehow the novel always wins.

Have a great week, everyone!