Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Coyote Within

One of my favorite blogs this year has been Adrian Savage's The Coyote Within. Sometimes, it's Adrian's voice that we hear and sometimes Coyote speaks directly. I especially love it when Adrian goes after something that has been giving me grief for years -- like multi-tasking, budgets, and annual reviews. He's an animal. And wait until you hear from Coyote. He's awesome, too! Adrian told me that Coyote has a book coming out next year. In the meantime, you can read Adrian's book:

Spark from Heaven? the Place of Potential in Organizational and Individual Development
Spark from Heaven? the Place of Potential in Organizational and Individual Development

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

What a Wonderful World

Whenever I think of problem-solving, I think of my good friend Ron at Magnetic North. I think he has a completely different technique, but he is a good problem-solver, too. I agree wholeheartedly with something he said in a workshop I attended. I think it went like this:

"An incomplete understanding of the problem leads to an incomplete solution."

He is a very good person to be around, as he always makes people feel like they are respected and cared for. I guess you might say he has a good aura. Which is why we sometimes call him Roni Lama. But then, because of a very humourous tall tale he told last year, we also sometimes call him Rhonda May.

He is a very good facilitator. He doesn't have a blog and I give him a hard time about that every time I see him. But he does have a beautifully insightful newsletter that you can sign up for. He has also written several books, including:

What a Wonderful World
What a Wonderful World

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Genius at Work

I subscribe to Dick Richards' blog, Come Gather Round. He has started a Genius Workshop Google Group based on his book:

Is Your Genius at Work?: 4 Key Questions to Ask before Your Next Career Move
Is Your Genius at Work?: 4 Key Questions to Ask before Your Next Career Move

I told him my genius was problem-solving. He said, "'Problem-solving' sounds like a process at the outside of the onion you must peel. So...What is your unique process for solving problems?"

The way I solve problems is:

1. Start with knowing for a certainty that there is a solution to every problem and that I am capable of finding it or at least of finding the people who can find it.

2. Ask if what seems to be a problem is really a problem. If someone else has brought it to me, I ask "What makes you think that this is a problem" or "What problem are you trying to solve". Sometimes people say that something is a problem when it's really just a broken-down solution that doesn't work anymore. You might want to fix what they bring you or you might want to throw that out and handle the problem a completely different way. For example, if the toaster doesn't work any more, the problem is not that the toaster is broken, the problem is that you want toast and you can't make it. There is only one solution to the first, fixing the toaster. But there are lots of solutions to the second -- fixing the toaster, buying a new toaster, borrowing someone else's toaster, making toast on the stove, or doing without toast.

3. Get up very close to the problem. Look it all over in detail. Ask other people what it looks like from their point of view. Take it apart, if possible. Look at all the pieces. Understand how they work and how they work together. Sometimes the answer is obvious.

4. If looking at it up close doesn't give you the solution, start moving back from it. As you move back, you gain perspective. You can see other possible solutions or whether there is a way around the problem. When you look at it up close, there's only you and the problem. When you start moving back from it, there's you and the problem and the people and things immediately around it. If you move back far enough, there's you and the problem and all the people in the world and all the resources in the world. With all the people and resources in the world, the problem hasn't got a chance. You just have to let your mind consider all the possibilities that are there -- not just what has been done in the past, no just the standard way this problem is handled, but anything in the whole world that could be used to solve the problem.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dear Oprah Revised

If people only knew, we create our lives by our choices. Not that we should worry or obsess over them, just do the best we can, because there are always more choices. That's something that you seem to know.

You can't always choose what happens to you. But you can choose what to think about it. You can choose what to do about it. You can choose to stop waiting for things to happen to you and go out and make things happen for you.

And there are other choices that are more subtle. Accepting people just as they are. Believing that people always have a good reason for what they say and do. Knowing that everyone is doing the best they can. Listening and speaking with respect and compassion. These are choices, too.

We can choose to treat everyone the same and treat them well, not because of who they are, but because of who we are.

I think you are in the business of helping people to see what their choices might be. I think it is work you love because you are a searcher yourself. Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time is my gift to you. It is about the choices that people can make in their relationships with other people. It’s about doing the right thing, which also just happens to be the way to achieve all your goals.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dear Oprah

If people only knew, it's all in what you choose. That's something that you seem to know. You can't always choose what happens to you. But you can choose what to think about it. You can choose what to do about it. You can choose to stop waiting for things to happen to you and go out and make things happen that you want to happen.

Believing that all people are good and good enough. Believing that people always have a good reason for what they say and do, at least what is a good reason to them. Believing that everyone is doing the best they can, at least the best they can at that moment. Listening with respect. Speaking with compassion. These are choices.

Monday, December 26, 2005

If It Was a Movie, Would This Be a Good Pitch?

A cranky, self-righteous woman fails at every job until she sees someone else doing what she does and realizes how badly she has been treating people. When she decides to treat people well no matter what they seem to be doing, it has a magical effect on her and the people around her.

and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Last night, I got a Merry Christmas from someone in Malaysia on my last blog. I don't know the blogger who put it there. When I followed the link to their blog, it was in a language I couldn't read. But Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Sangkelu! And I think I will go out now, too, and wish Merry Christmas to all the bloggers I like to read and some I don't know!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

What Christmas Means to Me

For me, Christmas is a time to celebrate all that’s good, past, present, and future:

the love of family and friends
the fellowship of all people
a safe, warm, and beautiful world

From the past, we have memories of this time when, since we were small, people made a special effort to get together and demonstrate their love for each other and joy in life and their good will toward people everywhere.

In the present, we help to create again what was created for us. We leave judgment and disapproval alone for a season and wish everyone well. Even when I am alone at Christmas, I feel this oneness with the rest of the world and do my part to celebrate it.

For the future, we have hope. Maybe that’s why practical gifts are not the best gifts at Christmas. Although we may need something in the present, gifts at Christmas are about the future. They represent hope for a time when there is abundance, when we have not just what we need but what we want. And chief among these gifts are love and peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas, Too!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

If I Disappear

My web host is making some changes, so if I disappear for a few days, don't worry, I'll be back!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Just spent the past few days getting my Christmas newsletter together. All the events of the year for me and Gator (my husband), Bubba, Jack, and Millie (the dogs), and Samson (the cat), with many pictures. Samson was just
exhausted from watching me:

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Movie for Every Mood Blog

Sue Mazzone over at A Movie for Every Mood ( has started posting again. She's got great reviews of Christmas movies. Sue always notices interesting things in the movies that no one else does and she always knows why a movie touches you, what you take away from watching it. Check out her very cool reviews at:

A Movie for Every Mood

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oprah Winfrey

Having sent books to business owners, a college, and a government agency, I decided to go ahead and send one to Oprah. I looked all over her site and couldn't find an address. Does anyone have Oprah's address? I looked at her favorite books. I think Doing the Right Thing would fit right in with them. Finally searching outside her site for the address again, I found this most beautiful quote:

I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. I knew there were other places, and there was another way of being.
Oprah Winfrey

I found it at this url, but oddly enough putting in returns a page not found message.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Janet Elder

I met Janet Elder at a writer's get-together in Santa Fe recently. She writes college reading improvement texts. She liked Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same time (I had it on me, of course). She may consider using an excerpt in one of the textbooks she writes because the writing style is "clear and accessible" and the topic is pertinent to her readers. She also said she loved the user-friendly, bite-size sections. Here is one of Janet's books:

Opening Doors: Understanding College Reading

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

e-mail from An Author

I got this interesting e-mail today. I have never gotten an e-mail from an author before. Have you?

The Town That Forgot How to Breathe
The Town That Forgot How to Breathe

Here's the latest on my new novel, THE TOWN THAT FORGOT HOW TO BREATHE, which concerns what happens when the art of storytelling begins to die out in a small, coastal community.

I hope it might be of interest to you.

With all good wishes,

by Kenneth J. Harvey
(St. Martin's Press, November, 2005)

* starred review, Publisher's Weekly

"Comparisons with Stephen King's commercial power and Annie Proulx's literary warmth are apt but glib. Harvey is an author whose storytelling prowess can speak for itself."
-- Publisher's Weekly

"An eerie and gripping story, the work of an extravagantly haunted imagination."
-- J.M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author of Disgrace

"Both a contemporary and an historical novel, The Town that Forgot How to Breathe is a tour de force! It speaks of the sea: of those who are upon it, beside it, beneath it. Kenneth J. Harvey, a writer like no other, is as knowledgeable as he is adventurous. A very exceptional novel, extraordinary in its power."
-- Alistair MacLeod, author of No Great Mischief

"A novel of dazzling ambition and strange, haunting loveliness. Grippingly entertaining and bursting with life, it is an absolute triumph of the storyteller's art. Many books are hyped as 'unputdownable'. This one really is."
-- Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea

"This is a massive book in every sense. Long, with a huge cast of strongly-drawn, idiosyncratic characters, eerie and haunting, poetic, funny, moving, it takes on the big themes-- the meaning of life, our relationship to the dead, man’s place in the rapidly changing modern world-- and carries everything off with a surging confidence that leaves the reader, well, breathless."
--John Harding, Daily Mail (London)

"A masterful work" -- Vancouver Sun

"A triumph" -- National Post

"As compelling as it is unique" --

"The Town That Forgot How to Breathe is brilliant. Here comes overnight success. -- January Magazine

"A tightly woven fabulation" -- Globe & Mail

"Harvey paints it (Bareneed) as beautifully as any picture postcard --
Montreal Gazette

"Bang-on dialogue... spring-from-the-pages characters" -- Georgia Straight

"His best novel yet... a near-epic scale" -- The Telegram (St. John's)

Foreign rights sold in: Germany, England, Italy, Russia, Denmark, Canada, France and Sweden.

Recently optioned for a motion picture by:

Catherine Gourdier (Some Things That Stay) and
Don Carmody (Good Will Hunting, Chicago)

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Good Quote

I thought I might find an inspirational quote by searching for "good" but this made me laugh instead:

"I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top."

An English Professor, Ohio University

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Not Holding Back

Miz was right in her comment to the last post. I did get a great compliment for not holding back even though my speech did not come out as I would have liked. I am very grateful for that comment, because otherwise I might think that was the problem. And part of my message did get through, because another person said that there was something he could take away, which was that people don't need to change, they just need to make better choices. And I got some great suggestions for making it better, from illustrating my point with my own story to putting the emphasis on relationships, which is really what it's all about (yes, it is!).

An interesting thing happened after I had given my speech, too. I went to the store where I had had a misunderstanding with a person and saw her. She saw me, too, and, once again, I needed something out of the ordinary. Not labels this time, though. She remembered me. She asked one of the salespeople to help "this nice lady". Then she looked me in the eye and smiled really beautifully and said, "a very nice lady". I gave her my best smile back. I think she understood that I was and I am trying to be a good person. And I understand that about her as well.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why Did I Do That?

I had an emotion to share and I wasn't able to deliver it.

I don't mean that I was disappointed. I don't mean that I was embarrassed. I mean that I failed to establish a connection with my listeners. Instead of being able to transmit that energy, it stayed with me and overwhelmed me. Not that I meant to make them sad. I meant to make them happy, excited. It didn't work.

So it didn't work. That's why we try things out, to see if they work. I didn't mind that they saw a lot of "areas for improvement". Not having practiced and not having delivered it very well, I expected some of that. I just wanted to know whether to keep working on it or throw it out. And I was doing just fine, not feeling bad about any of the comments, making notes. Even when I realized that there was so much wrong with it I would have to start over, it didn't bother me.

And then, at the very end, someone said "good speech" and I got choked up and the tears flowed down my cheeks, unstoppable. It was not an act of kindness that touched me, because, in fact, I didn't think he meant it. It was the final comment, ending on a good note, as we are supposed to do.

They say that you have to take risks to get better. I was willing to take risks. That they wouldn't like it. That they wouldn't understand it. That they would give me a hard time because I hadn't practiced. I didn't know about this other kind of risk.

I thought about it a lot. Why? I know that it looked like I couldn't take the criticism. That I was too sensitive and let it hurt my feelings. Which would be bad. If I want to get better, I have to be able to listen to criticism and learn from it. But I don't think that was it. Sometimes that has been true. Okay, lots of times! But I don't think it was this time.

Friday, December 09, 2005

New Mexico Book Association

The New Mexico Book Association had a networking get together last night in Santa Fe. It was a very friendly group. Two different people offered to show my book to people they knew that might be able to help with distribution. One through a college and the other through a business consultant.

I am also sending out more letters to businesses and agencies.

Life is interesting!

Here's a tip though. Never ever try to feed labels the wrong way through your laserjet printer. They will wrap themselves around the wheels and you'll break something trying to get them out of there.

Thursday, December 08, 2005



Workshop & Book about:

People Who Work in Offices,
Why We Fight,
How We Can Stop Fighting,
Solve Our Problems,
and Get Back to Work

21 Perspectives
Anybody Can Use
to Resolve Conflicts
and Create Better Relationships
with People at Work


In an office, conflicts take up employees’ and managers’ time and energy, destroy morale, and interfere with efficiency, productivity, and just getting the job done and enjoying the work.


People can resolve conflicts, solve problems, achieve all their goals, and have good relationships with the people around them just by changing the way they look at things.


We all respond to other people based on what we believe about ourselves and about them. To change what is not working for us, what is making us miserable and getting in the way of our goals, we have to change what we believe. Then everything we do and everything we say changes automatically. See if you can believe these seven premises.


To do the right thing and achieve all your goals, you need lots of information. Here are seven techniques for getting the information you need.


Now it’s your turn. You’ve thought about what you believe. You’ve listened and gathered information. When you speak now, tell the truth, do the right thing, and keep your goals in mind. Here are seven tips for communicating clearly.


1. People Are What They Are And It’s Irrelevant Anyway
People are many things. One-word labels can’t describe them. Anyway, to achieve all your goals together, you don’t need people to be something, you need them to do something.

2. We Don’t Know What Other People Are Capable of Achieving
People know themselves best -- what they can do, what they are willing to try to do. Ask them.

3. People Are Not Accountable for Their Thoughts and Feelings
Thoughts and feelings are not choices we make. Think and feel whatever comes into your head, whatever comes into your heart. Allow others to do the same.

4. We Don’t Know What Other People Are Thinking and Feeling
Guessing what other people are thinking and feeling is not very accurate. Even if you’re right, you need to ask to start a discussion.

5. People are Accountable for Their Words and Actions
What you say and do, what other people say and do, are choices that you make, that they make. Words and actions invite and will get a reaction.

6. Everyone is Doing the Best They Can
People aren’t perfect. Neither are you. Don’t make people feel bad for not being perfect. Or yourself either.

7. Everyone Has a Good Reason for What They Say and Do
People will want to work with you if you assume they say and do things for good reasons, even if you don’t agree with the reasons. If you don’t, they won’t.


8. Listen Very Carefully
If you listen so well that people feel rewarded by talking to you, they will want to tell you what you need to know. Even when they don’t, you will know by what is happening all around you.

9. Welcome Information -- Criticism is Information
It takes a lot of information to achieve your goals. You can’t fix something if you don’t know about it. Accept all information, however it is presented.

10. If You Have a Choice, Don’t Choose to Be Hurt
Know who you are. Then it doesn’t hurt for people to call you something else. It would be good to find out why they are trying to hurt you though.

11. Examine Your Motives
There are two reasons why people do things, the public reason and the real reason. Know what your reasons are. Make sure they are both good.

12. Targeting Problems is Good, Targeting People is Evil
Whatever plan you come up with to resolve a problem must not require someone else’s destruction. A good plan allows everyone to come out all right.

13. If You Want Someone to Do Something for You, You Have to be Completely on Their Side
People don’t like to do things for their enemies, even if it’s their job. They do it begrudgingly and badly if at all. You have to be on their side.

14. When People Don’t Understand, Listen Better
When people don’t understand you, it’s because you have not connected with them. Start over at the beginning. The beginning is always listening.


15. State Your Position Clearly and Ask for What You Want Specifically
Explain yourself. Explain what you are trying to do and what you want from other people. It is not as obvious as you think.

16. Tell Them Even If You Know They Won’t Understand
Tell people what you want and why you want it. If you don’t tell them, they might think you are hiding something. Are you?

17. All You Can Do is Tell Them, You Can’t Make Anyone Do Anything
People do things because they want to. They will fight you if you try to make them. You must convince them instead.

18. When People Don’t Meet Your Expectations, Change Your Expectations
Your expectations may be impossible or people may choose not to meet them. When what you expect doesn’t happen, make a new plan.

19. Give Them 100 Tries to Get It Right
If people are punished for asking again, they won’t ask. But they may fake knowing something. Tell them as many times as they need to hear it, every time just like the first time.

20. If They Can’t Get It in 100 Tries, There Must Be Something Wrong with the Procedure
Procedures are designed to serve people, not the other way around. Procedures should be designed to make it easier to do things right. Change the ones that make it easier to do things wrong.

21. Teach Everyone to Do Everything
If everyone knows what everyone else needs, they can be that many minds, eyes, ears, and hands making sure that those things get to them.

Doing the Right Thing
and Achieving All Your Goals
at the Same Time

is a book written by and
a workshop developed by

Marianne Powers

To purchase books or find out when a workshop is scheduled, contact her at:

Marianne Powers
1413 33rd Circle SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

(505) 892-4990

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Change the World 2

Accept everyone just as they are.
Just as they are.
Listen to them.
Tell them they are good, they have good skills and knowledge,
they are made of good stuff.
Tell them how they can get even better and show them how to do it.
Be positive, be supportive, believe in them.
Everyone you see, everyone you meet, everyone you know.

If you disagree with them, if they seem lazy, crazy, stupid,
believe in them anyway.
They are not inferior, less valuable, less worthy.
They are still human beings, they still have potential.
There is nothing wrong with the person,
he doesn’t need to change, it’s all there in her, just like it is in you.
They just need to make different choices.
How can they do that?
With information, with experience,
with help from people who care about them.
They won’t listen to anybody else, nor should they.

All these things we learn and practice in Toastmasters.
It’s how we treat each other that works for each of us and all of us.
When you leave here today, take it with you.
Respect for each other’s strengths.
Compassion for each other’s weaknesses.
Joy in each other’s accomplishments and
what we can accomplish together.

There is a brochure in front of you.
I wrote it before I even knew you.
But it describes what happens here.
What we know, that is, what we believe, how we listen,
and what we say and do are the keys.
It’s not just learning or being able to share what we know
or enjoying each other’s company,
we have changed, are changing, our own lives.
And we can do more than that.
Which is why there is such an excitement here.
It’s the potential of what we can do.
You feel it!

What are we going to do?
Change the world.
When are we going to do it?
Right now!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Change the World 1

People say that it is hard to make a difference.
That it is hard to change the way things are.
Today, we are not going to believe that.
We are going to believe that we can change anything.
Because, by changing what we believe, we change the world.
Right now.

Why are you here?

It has something to do with being a Toastmaster.

The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide
a mutually supportive and positive learning environment
in which every member has the opportunity
to develop communication and leadership skills,
which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

Maybe you want to learn communication skills? Certainly.
Maybe you want to improve your leadership? Perhaps.
Maybe you like the mutually supportive and positive learning environment?
Yes, it’s warm and comfortable.

Is that all?
Is that why you’re here?
It may be why you came, but is that why you stay?


It’s the personal growth.
What does personal growth feel like?
It feels like stretching, stretching very far.
But instead of getting thinner and weaker,
something deep inside unfolds,
and you get bigger and stronger and more beautiful.

Personal growth feels good, very good.
And even to see someone growing feels good, very good.
It makes you want to do it, too, so you do.
And then what, do we just stand around admiring each other.
Well, yes.

But sometimes don’t you feel excited, too?
Not just good, but like there’s more, more to it than that?
There is!

Stretch out your hands to the others who are growing.
See the light in their eyes and grow toward the light.
Connect with them.
Feel the jolt of contact.
Feel your strength merging with theirs.
What can you do now?

What is there to do?
Change the world!
Start right now. It’s time. The world is ready to change.
How? How can you do it? You know how.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Jonathan C. Miller

We also hobnobbed with the effervescent Jonathan C. Miller, who was there selling his books:

Rattlesnake Lawyer
Rattlesnake Lawyer

Crater County: A Legal Thriller of New Mexico
Crater County: A Legal Thriller of New Mexico

If you're a writer, you'll love this book by Jonathan:

Amarillo in August: An Author's Life on the Road
Amarillo in August: An Author's Life on the Road

Sunday, December 04, 2005

David Corwell

At the Page One Bookstore yesterday, I saw David Corwell, who is also in Southwest Writers and manning the NM Book Co-op Bookstore, too. He said that my signing was the second most successful so far! That is very cool. David's book is also at NM Books & More at Cottonwood Mall:

Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves
Cloaked in Shadow: Dark Tales of Elves

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Busy Day

I started out the day at 8:00 AM at Albuquerque Weekenders Toastmasters. It's early for a Saturday, but always starts the day off right. One of my friends there, Wendy, had given away her copy of Doing the Right Thing and bought another. A distributor! Very cool!

Then I rushed over to SouthWest Writers with my flip chart to test out whether people would be able to see it for my lecture on blogging in February (and to reassure Rob that I was really working on it) and put some books on the table for sale. No luck there. We had a great speaker, though, David Morrell. His new book, Creepers, sounds really interesting: urban exploration.


Home for a quick lunch, then over to Page One Bookstore at Montgomery and Juan Tabo for the monthly book fair for local writers in the cafe. I had a wonderful talk with James, who bought my book. I think I am going to like the talking and listening as much as selling books.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Something Inspirational

My friend and coworker, Phyllis, convinced our office neighbor, Harry, that my book was wonderful, so he bought one this morning. This afternoon, after I had left the office, he brought it back and Phyllis called me. He didn't want to return it, she said, he just wanted me to write a note in it to his son. Something inspirational. His son is 16 years old. I would really like to do that. Inspire someone who is 16. Wow! That would be awesome. So, if you have any ideas, my friends, please let me know! In the meantime, I will try.

To A Young Man,
Whatever you choose to do in life, and I hope it is something amazing, you will need people. If you treat people the way this book describes, they will think that you are handsome, strong, sophisticated, and wise, and they will be right. Believe the best about people, treat them with respect and compassion always, and they will want to be near you and help you in all that you do.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Holiday Letter -- Short Version

and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time

is my holiday gift to you. It is a book about people who work in offices and why we fight. It describes the ways we treat each other that lead to conflict and how we can change that, instantly, by seeing each other from a different point of view.

To order Doing the Right Thing and Achieving All Your Goals at the Same Time for your employees, contact:

Marianne Powers
1413 33rd Circle SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
(505) 892-4990
(505) 270-9150 cell