Deloris Teedlebaum

Brilliant scientist, writer and member of the G.R.R.

Though you will never find her name in a local paper, or discussed via primetime news or social media, Deloris Teedlebaum has had an indirect personal influence on more women and youth in Clockworks City than any other gnome in the history of the Gentre people.   Wife, mother, scientist, author and devout member of the G.R.R. (Gnome Resistance Revolutionaries), Deloris has the passion, power, and insight into the struggles of the Gentre mind. With a profound appreciation and love for others, she dedicated her life early on to make a difference in the lives of her fellow citizens. First through indirect means, then as opportunities knocked--more direct means.  

A Brilliant Writer

While still at Clockworks Academy , Deloris watched many female students struggling with self-worth and confidence. It was at a time when blogging had become the rage for those with a desire to talk--but traditional publishing still held the attention of most citizens. She quickly saw an opportunity to share her own thoughts and experiences and to lift others up.   The only challenge Deloris had was putting out enough content. Everything she released seemed to act as a magnet to those searching desperately for answers. Youth, college students, adults...tens of thousands discovering a unique voice who knew what they needed to hear.   One of the first challenges Deloris noticed among her peers was a lack of being able to deal with variables in their lives. So she wrote an article called "Variables and How to Deal with Them."   It was a flop...rejected by editors at the University. So she did what ANY clever gnome would do in her circumstances -- she took on a male pen name and resubmitted the exact same article.   They called the work brilliant--and published it.  
READ: Variables and How to Deal with Them

Variables and How to Deal with Them

by Deloris

  RIGHT! I’m up, pumped and ready for a new week.   Let’s start this with a short and sweet post to get the blood flowing. By now I’m seeing the extensive work this is going to take to accomplish this 100 Sales a Day goal. It is turning out to be harder than I thought.   It’s the variables that are getting to me.   Not that it’s complicated. It’s not. I’m a pretty organized guy when it comes to writing and the resources are being cranked out, as requested. No, the first challenge is the sheer volume of specific content that must be produced...and right now, I’m only able to maintain the minimum of 12 posts a day instead of the 18.   Is that bad? No. At least not for me. It’s exceptional when it comes to a personal best. Question is—can I maintain it?   Then I have to say that I’m physically and emotionally tired. Now, before you jump to any conclusions, this is actually a good thing—because I’s exercising!   (insert Rocky music here)   That’s right—I’m making a consistent effort to work with my weights in the effort to shift my energy levels. The side effect is that as my body begins to adjust, I’m tired, which is affecting my ability to focus.   Bad focus means bad writing. Bad writing means suffering results and I see the 100 Sales a Day drifting from me.   Not good.   To top it all off—my computers are showing serious signs of wear and hints of rebellion. I’m well overdue to have them all replaced—but again, can’t afford it yet. If money comes in from side jobs, it goes to rent first, food second, then utilities on down the priority list. You see how my mind works?   Variables.   So how do we deal with these variables? I don’t know what you may be struggling with, BUT...and I assure you, with me, it’s always a BIG butt...there are some things to remember.    

You Are More Than You Think You Are

  This is key. Variables will happen each and every day. You cannot control them all. You can, however, influence them, endure them and even ignore them (just don’t forget the anniversary or wife’s birthday). YOU made these goals. You also did it for a specific set of reasons. Think about those.   Get that motivation bubbling in your mind and chest once more.   This IS going to work. Why? Because you were made to do this. Don’t believe it. Know it.  

Make Sure You Have Your TO DO Lists

  Don’t leave anything to chance, not when variables start poking their nasty fingers into your plate. Keeping a strong focus on what steps you have to take will help you with a level head when things hit your hard.   Make your decisions up front and as I’ve already told you in previous posts—do the most important things first. That doesn’t mean the easiest first, it literally means the MOST important.   Use paper. I know this might sound archaic to some of you but try it. Rip a section of paper from a notebook and keep it with you throughout the day. Place it in your pocket, pin it in front of your desk, tap it to your computer console. Just try it.   Don’t Wait   If you get hit with a variable that you can’t do anything about, leave it. Move on. Now, not later. Don’t fuss over the problems—because there are no problems, only challenges.  

Don’t wait for other people either.

  I know that might be hard when I don’t know what your goals are—but if there’s anything you can do personally, focus on that instead. Make sure that if this is to fail, it won’t be from a lack of follow through on your part. Trust me when I say that point alone is a mental and emotional saving grace.   There are slow people, cruel people, dishonest people and stupid ones to boot. That’s ok. Keep going and push yourself.  


  If I can impart anything in this post that will stick in your mind, the first would be to keep going. Personally, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in striving to do the right thing for the right reasons and pushing myself, staying persistent despite the circumstances.   Sometimes it works. Sometimes not so much. Many time I fall flat on my face. Hurts like hell too. But it’s then that I remember what my dear father taught me back when I was young and violence was a constant in my life.   Get up one more time that you get knocked down.   When you think you can’t take another step, take one anyway. If you can learn to do that, you’ll carve out your own luck  

Challenge Your Limits

The second thing would be to challenge yourself. Hopefully, your goal is such that it keeps you up at night and wakes you up first thing in the morning. I know this does for me.   My days start promptly at 3am. They go until 6pm with bathroom breaks, unless I miss a deadline, then I work later.   Is this worth it? Absolutely. Is it hard? Most definitely.   Know what I say to the odds against me? To all the people who look at me and say this cant be done? To all the critics and Nay Sayers of my life, inCLUDING that nasty little voice that occasionally surfaces from the back of my own brain?  


I hope that helps you in your own struggles with the variables in life and your goals. Don’t get discouraged. There’s no need to. You’re bigger than these challenges.   Goodness, I know I am.   But it’s all love and handsomeness. (wink)

Ms. Ingenuity is Born

The article was such a hit, Deloris decided to start her own blog while still at University, which she called Gnomania - because you are more than you think you are. Her engagement with Morty Teedlbaum had unlocked a series of articles, organized to assist young women in getting the jobs they WANTED, by explaining exactly what employers were looking for. What made these articles unique was how they also instructed readers to stand strong as a woman. This mini-series propelled her to fame:  
READ: Why We Can't See The Road

Why We Can't See The Road

by Deloris Teedlebaum

  I mentioned yesterday in my article “Don’t Give Up,” that there are times when we just can’t see what’s going on around us and we lose sight of our goals. If we are not careful, the weight and stress of it all can pull us down, even cripple our progress.   If it’s alright with you, I’d like to approach this from a different perspective.   What if not seeing the events around us was the Universes way of protecting us? What if, after all the complaining we do, this is in reality—an advantage?   Think about this for a moment.   Imagine standing on the top of a mountain, and for the sake of my own visual—I’m imagining TGII. You can imagine a fluffy swirl of Cosmic Dust if you like—just imagine someone or something in charge of the big picture, ok?   So there we are, standing over what looks like an endless sea of white mist, completely covering all we survey, with one small exception—a tiny mountain peak miles and miles away.   “What’s that over there?” you ask.   “That is your destination,” says TGII.   You frown. “How am I supposed to get there if I can’t see my way?”   TGII then smiles, “I’ll guide you.”   “But why?” you complain, “If this mist was gone, I could walk it alone. In fact, I could run to the other side!”   With a sigh, TGII waves his cybernetic hand. “You may think so, but let me show you something...” and the mist vanishes.   You can’t help but reel back and gasp.   Before you is a slippery slope of mud, not more than five feet from you, that winds down the mountainside and to the edge of a giant chasm.   Linking one side of the chasm to another are two flimsy-looking ropes, followed by paths of broken glass, lava...and the list goes on. Everywhere you turn, there is danger. Beasts, pitfalls, boiling oil, Vallen, Therrin, Täku, obstacles...with only small spurts of green grass where the path is clear.   “Are you insane!?” you cry aloud, “I’m not going down there!”   With a firm hand on your shoulder, TGII gives you a solemn look, “That is the path to your goal. If you want it, you must walk it.”   “But...,” you start to say, yet it looks utterly impossible.   With another wave of his hand, the mist tumbles into the valley and all vanishes from sight. Again, all you can see is the mountain peak in the distance.   With a heavy sigh, you mumble, “It’s impossible.”   “No,” says TGII and there is a degree of comfort in his tone. He looks at you cheerfully. “Not with my help. Not with the mist in place.”   “Why cover up all these dangers and trick me, when it’s impossible?” you complain, “I’m more likely to die down there than achieve my goal.”   Then TGII laughs. Not a mocking or scornful laugh, but one you hear when a small child does something delightfully funny out of innocence.   “The mist is there to hide your perceptions of what is possible and what is not, nothing more.” Then he leans closer and points to the far peak. “Look over there. It exists because it is possible…and you are more than you THINK you are. All it takes is guidance and your own determination to endure to the end. If you will walk the path, I will make sure you get there.”   Now I turn my mind inward.   There are so many times in my life that I thought the Universe was dumping on me. Making me some private joke, or taunting me with my own hopes and expectations, only to cheat me. So many attempts to pursue a goal—only to fall flat on my face and have it escape me altogether.   Take one simple event that completely changed my life. An accident that took away the ability to dance.   I’ve loved dancing all my life and I trained to be a professional dancer all my youth. ALL my youth! Then, in an instant, that dream was squashed.   Yet I also met a darling man, who just proposed to me, and this specifically because I lost my ability to dance—specifically because of that horrid accident. We will be married soon.   It was because of that accident that I started writing these articles—and didn’t give up on the scientist in me altogether. I also had to find other forms of employment, developed skills to publish, blog, build websites, make podcasts, make videos, book trailers...and the list goes on, just to survive.   Now I use each and every one of those skills to get that much closer to the goals I have. These painful experiences that carved up my life and rearranged circumstances so I could reach for something more than just dancing on a stage, were a blessing.   At the same time, had I seen the first event—the accident, through the mist, I would have done all I could to avoid it.   Where would that have left me?   Sure, you can say it might have all worked out anyway—but I’m not sure of that. Fact is, we don’t know—AND it is more likely these things would NOT have happened. My mentality would have been wrong.   I would have pursued another course.   Heaven forbid, I never would have met the man of my dreams!   So I may be wrong...I may be crazy (nothing new there), but I think we can’t see the road for a very good reason: it’s for our own protection.   Think about it.
READ: Developing Skill Sets

Developing Skill Sets

by Deloris

  Today didn’t start out as I hoped it would. Normally I like to get up quietly, slip out the bedroom door while Morty is still sleeping—mainly because it’s 3am—but also because I’m secretly an operative for N.E.R.D.S..   Unfortunately, I was unable to move in the way of our elite government teams do and kicked the steel corner of my bedpost in the dark, turning the three smallest toes of my foot into swollen grapes. Luckily I do have skills in mythology and pretended to be a moaning ghost as I limped from the room.   The day didn’t get better.   Before I knew it, my workload demonstrated made it apparent to me that I was lacking needed skills. A few challenges in both writing material and code for the website posed problems that seemed beyond me.   Luckily, that’s when I thought about you.   Yes, you. The one I’m sharing this journey with. The one I think about each and every day.   Shut up—it’s no creepy, it’s flattering.   Get with the program here.   I realized this was a perfect opportunity to mention something infused into my last book. It’s called developing skill sets. The ability to learn and grow, adjusting to the environment around you. Instead of sink or swim, we are the ones who think of water more like a surfer and find a way to glide across the water instead.   We, my friend, are always developing our skill sets.   I solved my challenges for the day by doing some focused research—and BTW, there ARE GnomeTube videos on how to hold chopsticks—but over the next week or so, I will go into detail about skill sets. Why they are important, what skills are important, the difference between ‘hard’ skills and ‘soft’ skills, technical skills and more.   This isn’t just about those of us who write. I’d like to cover enough to help anyone who may be looking for side work—to put a few bucks in the pocket or food on the table. I’ve been there and I have a pretty good idea how to help.  

What ARE Skill Sets?

  A skill ‘set’ is a particular group of abilities to help you in any given task. I have creative and writing skills, which help me as an author, both to write books and also to secure side jobs as a ghostwriter, content creator for companies and blogs, etc.   There are specific skills required for various professions and guilds. Accounting, Counseling, Advertising, Banking, Construction, Receptionist, Sales, Nursing, just about any job out there—it comes with a set of skills you need to have to perform it properly.   Do you have the skills needed to accomplish your goals?   If not, then you need to know how (and where) to get them.   More of THAT…toMORROW!
READ: Skill Sets Bosses Look For

Skill Sets Bosses Look For

by Deloris

  The economy, no matter what anyone is saying, seems awfully slow to me. It’s still incredibly difficult to find work while I’m marketing Gnomania. Depending on what field you work in, there are specific skill sets that will give you an advantage in finding extra work. In fact, if you have the right skills, you may be able to beat out the competition for that job you’ve been shooting for.   There are some natural skills we all have to some degree—but the following list may tip the scales in your favor.  

Communication Skills

  How well do you communicate with others?   There’s nothing more highly prized by an employer than someone who can communicate well. This includes listening, speaking, writing and interacting with others. A great example, though not overly common is translation.   Here in Clockworks City, if you have the ability to translate between Vallen and Gentre, you’re already a prized employee. If not, you’re being undervalued.  

Researching and Analytical Skills

  This is one skill I have benefited from for years.   I pride myself on having a passion for learning. If I don’t have a skill, I’ll acquire it. It’s that simple—and with that kind of confidence, I guarantee you’ll be able to get work anywhere when you market yourself properly.   At the same time, I have a certain knack for finding information. This skill, coupled with a few others, provided me with a job paying five figures a month!   It didn’t last forever, mind you—but I did get recommended to an even better job paying 8K credits a month, and I only worked a few hours in total for the whole month! Do you know why? Because I was paid for results—and I knew how to get those results by the research I did.  

Computers & Technology

  I don’t know of many jobs that pay as well as those involving computers or technology of some kind. In self-publishing I learned to use programs for formatting, which landed me side contracts with famous people! That’s right—I actually format the works of Gnome Central Times Bestselling authors, even though I’m an unknown.   How did I accomplish that? By talking to them and showing them the formatting of their books currently, then display a sample of their work I had already repaired.   The jobs were mine as long as they lasted.   Think in terms of the internet. Great amounts of money are being made over the internet and in the digital realm. Consider this when you look for skills to acquire.  

Interpersonal Skills

  This is close to the ability to communicate, but it’s specific in that it focuses on relating to and interacting with co-workers. This is a fantastic skill for management. Teaching, coaching, deliberations and team- building are some aspects of using such a skill.  

Leadership Skills

  All employers love people who can lead and take charge in complicated situations. This also includes management skills to organize people, teams and those with other skills sets. All business inevitably comes down to people and relationships. Your ability to work within that realm makes you a highly prized individual.   There is no possible way I can cover all skills or skill sets on this blog and so I’m going to focus more on writing professions over the next few days.   Though they are more focused on what I’m trying to accomplish myself—there will be overlapping skills to help you in your own ventures, I am sure.   Cya tomorrow!
READ: Soft Skills

Soft Skills

by Deloris

  Next to writing, what other skills should we, as aspiring indie authors, try to develop? It’s been on my mind for weeks. This constant desire to improve upon myself and to expand my influence with others brings the question to my mind over and over again.   “Soft skills,” is what whispers in my heart.   Soft skills, Deloris? What are those?   Ahhh, I’m glad you asked—because they’re actually delightful. That is, unless you’re an inherit jerk or jackass—but not everyone’s a politician, so you should be okay.   I like to refer to these as personality skills. The ability to work with others, make friend sand connections, take corrections or learn from others and to be an all around decent person. There are ten general categories when it comes to soft skills, so take a look below and see where you excel...and where you may need some work (don’t worry, we can all do better, not just you and I):  

How you communicate

It’s more than the words you use. It’s also your body language, how well you listen to others and interact with them. Are you the type of person that customers prefer to talk to? That would be a good indication that you score high in this area. I love people and seek new relationships all the time.  

Technical knowledge

Specifically with computers, technical knowledge is essential nowadays. This includes registers, printing machines, even accounting or manufacturing programs. Even if you don’t know a certain program, having previous experience in some form of technology will assist you in learning curves. This helped me learn how to make my own website for Wanted Hero, develop this blog and even publish my own books.  

Interpersonal abilities

Essential for growth. Being able to work with others and resolve conflicts of any nature are a huge advantage in the workplace. I communicate with people over the phone and email constantly—both solving problems and developing mutually beneficial relationships.  

Can you adapt?

Life does not hold still for anyone and it’s rare to have a project, no matter how well it is thought out and organized for, go as planned. Industries change, environments shift and the constant development of new technology can tax anyone. Your ability to learn and grow with the demands of your job will place you at an advantage to those unwilling to stretch.  


A common requirement in today’s market. In the age of information, your employers or clients don’t have the ability (nor desire) to hold your hand. You have to be willing and able to learn whatever is required to get the job done. That means seeking out the information yourself, assessing situations and developing multiple perspectives. Indie authors are forced to do their research if they have any hope of being successful, especially long-term.  

Project management

These skill sets are highly prized by any employer. Organization, planning and keeping al the related tasks on track to the finishing line. In fact, more and more employers are expecting this to be a standard trait in many that they hire!  

Are you a problem solver?

Can you call upon past experiences and reason through challenges? If the company you work for finds themselves in a sticky situation, those who can creatively and effectively solve it will be sure to be promoted or rewarded first.  


Essential in this ever-evolving landscape. Every company is striving to improve upon methods of communication, manufacturing, customer service, response time and more. Individuals who have a natural tendency to trim processes and make the flow more efficient are highly prized in organizations.  

Work ethics

Work ethics are not as common as one would think. Do you have the drive and ability to stay self- motivated? Do you strive to do the job the right way the first time? Do you strive to correct your own mistakes and go the extra mile to be of service? Are you honest in your labors and give an honest days work for an honest days pay?  

Social skills

Not always talked about—but your level of emotional maturity and emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly important. How you self-govern/manage and how you deal with others is becoming closely watched in many fields. Do you take correction and instruction well? How would you do if thrown into an openly social environment where people skills are key to your success and you had to rely on relationships you made to achieve your end goals?   There you have it—soft skills that place any individual at the top of the hiring list for virtually any field. Do you think I missed anything? Let me know.
READ: Hard Skills

Hard Skills

by Deloris

  A couple of days ago I talked briefly about soft skills, which are personal abilities that help with virtually any job or industry. I was asked to touch on what "hard skills" were, and explain the difference between the two.   If you recall, soft skills were personal, internal skills that vary according to personalities and emotional intelligence. They are how you deal with life around you and adapt to any given situation. In my opinion, soft skills, if grown and fostered, will help you accomplish nearly anything and make you a more sought after individual because you’ll essentially grow to become whatever is needed. That’s amazing in anyone’s book.   Hard skills are a specific set of skills that can be taught to anyone, passed on, learned and executed. Think of a factory where you have an assembly line of workers. Each person in that line has a specific lever to pull or button to push. They know just when to pull the lever so that a certain effect is achieved. That’s a hard skill. The soft skill would be the ability to comfort or reassure a fellow co-worker if something went wrong, getting the team refocused and back into the groove of pulling levers and pushing buttons.   Make sense?   
Other examples of hard skills might be typing, driving, learning a language or computer programming.   In writing Gnomania, my hard skills involve using a computer, using computer programs, outlining, editing, formatting, drawing, etc. My soft skills are used to communicate with family and friends when they interrupt a work flow, making and building relationships with book bloggers, creative problem solving when I hit a snag in a story arc, etc.   Hope that makes sense.   Tomorrow I want to talk about the struggle of being found on the internet.   There are so many assumptions we have when dealing with the internet—I’d like to share some experiences that may help you in your own online projects!

Deloris Teedlebaum's Rise to Fame

Gnomania grew in popularity quickly, gaining more than 120,000,000 weekly readers by the time she graduated with honors. Now married to a brilliant gnome tinkerer, Deloris poured her heart into her printed personality.   It wasn't long before the big publishers approached her, seeking to grab their cut of her ever-increasingly popularity. She was offered exclusive contracts, but they also wanted absolute control of her works. This wasn't a bad thing in her mind. Marriage turned out to be tougher than she thought--not the relationship, but the financial struggles when both you and your husband were both so brilliant that anyone with any power or influence wanted to control you!   Just before signing the largest contract, which would put the Teedlebaums into a completely paid for penthouse and living expenses for the following 6 months--a fan pulled her aside. A young lady...who happened to be the personal secretary to one of the publishing executives, overhead a plot to lock Deloris into a contract and then eliminate her ideas from society.   The reach a single, newly married gnome female was having, not just on the female population, but on EVERYONE who read her works, terrified the status quo.   Deloris walked away from the deal and went Independent.   She was so angry, Gnomania fans grew by 64% after her release of 7 Things Successful Authors Don't Do.  
READ: 7 Things Successful Authors Don't Do

7 Things Successful Authors Don't Do

by Deloris Teedlebaum

  It's taken me a while to get to the point that I was willing to bring this subject up, but after my experiences of Clockworks top publishers trying to chain me into a contract, I self-published my first book, then my second, then third. It wasn’t easy, but I felt connected to my readers, so I took a chance and at a recent book signing in District 9, I thought it critical to bring up some points for you to ponder upon.   Not only do I believe this subject matter is career changing, I think it's life-altering. The first three posts contain content which you can apply to any aspect of your life, and I believe they can produce dramatic results when used. [Br] Of course, that's only my opinion. You can put it to the test and let me know.   Thinking back to the event itself, I realized even in all the excitement and all the conversations I was having I was still looking around and observing. I wonder if it's the scientist and me, spending so many years analyzing personalities so that I can construct experiments or point out flaws in my theories.   Who knows.   Yet I watched patterns in the people around me to such an extent that days later those same patterns reappeared in my mind. Patterns of behavior that would keep me or anyone else who engaged in them, from success in selling their books and developing their careers as authors.   So let's take a look at them, shall we?  

#1 Successful authors don't resent another author's success.

  Yes, I realize there are probably selfish, ignorant, mean authors out there, and there are exceptions to just about anything we could talk about, but I'm talking about you.   I'm talking about me.   I'm talking about the type of person who wants to have a far-reaching influence with their readership and desire to become the type of author their fans speak highly of and recommend to those they know. The type of authors that are admired and respected. So you decide whether or not you want to be that type of author.   I believe there is a common barrier to the success of some authors.   Again, this is just my opinion from watching people, having conversations with them and reading their own personal blogs. This is a habit or character flaw that impedes success.   Oh, an author might be successful right now, but what goes through my mind is how much more successful would they be if this flaw didn't exist?   Some call it resentment, some call it jealousy and some even call it covetousness. I call it a waste of time and energy.   After all that I've experienced over the last 2 to 3 years, including being homeless twice so soon after being married, I learned that my time and energy are finite. It's also been a blessing to develop a part of my character that gets very excited for other people.   I don't have to know them. I don't have to meet them. My heart simply gets excited when someone else is successful, or they achieved something that is very important to them personally.   It's almost as if I'm achieving it myself and it's a blessing in my own my. Crazy as that may sound, it doesn't matter. I love having this experience over and over again.   To give you a good example, I cheered for Amanda Docking when she started to succeed with their books. But what excited me even more, was when she got her book deal with the traditional publishers. There was such a division in feelings from her fans when that happened. Many said that Amanda had sold out, throwing her potentially wealthy career out the window by succumbing to an industry that is now known to take advantage of authors.   But that's not what I saw.   What I saw was a young lady, who had worked exceedingly hard and stayed incredibly focused on a heartfelt dream. It wasn't MY was HERS. A young lady who had proven, not just to the world, but more importantly to herself, that she could indeed write wonderful stories and entertain other people. That in itself is awesome. What was missing, and this is just my own interpretation, was the process that she wanted to experience.   Amanda just wants to write books. That's it!   She doesn't want to have to deal with the editing and the design and the marketing. She wants as few headaches as possible, so she can keep her focus and her creativity on writing the next book! Can you really blame her? I know after writing so many books myself that that's the very process I want to follow as well, I'm just wanting to get it in a different way. I was overjoyed to see someone who had finally achieved what they wanted so desperately!   Back to my point. There is an author I met at the event who seemed to be a very nice person. A bit reserved, a bit quiet, which is completely normal for our species of human, but there was a cloud over her head. Now maybe I'm all wet here, and perhaps I completely misunderstood things, but I'm relaying to you the impression that was left upon me. Her attitude was very pessimistic and I had the impression that she was upset when other authors were interacting more with readers and receiving more of a positive response. In short, she gave me the impression that she resented the success of others.   Now I'm not picking on this person, because I've met many individuals in many walks of life and they do the same thing. My point is things are not likely to get better with that kind of an attitude.   So change it.  

#2 Successful Authors don't waste time feeling sorry.

  This is huge and it covers a wide variety of situations, so let's cover a couple. Personally, I don't think you should be wasting your time feeling sorry about things you cannot control. We can influence our environment and we influence the personalities around us, but we don't control them. So why feel sorry for them, or feel sorry for situations that arise because of them? I believe it is far wiser to accept some as they are and deal with them as they are. So acknowledge mistakes and misfortunes, correct them and move on.   The second example, and I believe this is the more important one to focus upon, is don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself.   Here's a little tough love: YOU chose this profession.
• YOU want to write a book.
• YOU are responsible for yourself and the type of information and impressions you broadcast other people.
• YOU are the only one you have the blame if you are not successful, so stop looking at everyone else and look in the mirror.
  You CAN do this.   I don't honestly believe you would've ventured to write a book and go through these experiences if you had zero confidence that you could succeed. That just doesn't make sense. So in my mind there is something inside of you that is telling you this is possible.   BELIEVE it.  

#3 Successful authors don't ignore change, they embrace it.

  This is huge.   In fact, this is something that I think about all the time because unless you are prepared and understand the complexities of change and how it is going to affect you as an individual and as a professional on various levels, you are likely to go mad.   This isn't about authors either. This is about every individual and every industry and every aspect of our lives. But I will tone it down a bit and apply it just to us as authors.   As an indie author, one of the greatest things that we struggle with is exposure.   We've written our books, we believe in ourselves, at least to a certain degree, but none of this is validated or improved upon unless people know that we exist.   How can you get reviews if no one will read your book? How will people read your book if they can't find your website? How will they find your website if you're not advertising, building relationships or ranking higher in search engine results?   These are all intertwining patterns, efforts and long term strategies.   But the brutal truth is, it's always changing. The rules I mean.   Let's just take Goggle for an example. The algorithms and ways that they judge sites, list sites & allow advertising is constantly in flux.   You hear about black hat and white hat SEO (what if you don't wear a hat?), and most of us have to pay for services, which can amount to huge bites from our wallets, just to chase after those changes.   But there's no guarantee!   In 714CT I wanted to build my first website for Gnomania, but the designer wanted nearly 20,000 credits. I didn't have that kind of money! So I went to the local library, found books on web code and built one myself. It wasn't the prettiest thing, but it was functional.   When I launched the site in 715CT, I was nervous as could be.   What if people didn't like it? What if no one ever found me?   Thing is, I'd already done the work. I'd already invested the time and what little money I had. The truth was, I had already embraced the change. The Internet was the future of my career and though I was scared, though I didn't understand the Internet (and to a large degree I still don't understand it) I plotted out the best course I could and started down that path.   Sometimes my friend, that's all you can do.   But the Internet has changed and the tools have changed. The opportunities have changed. I was selling PDFs for ¢.97 an issue, years before the eReaders was even invented, AND I was making money! So when I saw someone INVENT eReaders, I was elated. I always wanted someone to develop some kind of device that would allow children to read comic books other than paper, and look, now we have them!   So my last bit of advice on this subject is embrace the change.   You can't control it. Your life will not stay the same. The industry will not stand still for you. It will not wait for you.   So embrace the change.  

#4 Successful authors don't worry about things the things they can't control.

  My friend's mother passed away last week. It was a sad day for many people that I knew, though I never met the woman personally.   At the funeral, her son shared some fun stories, and one of them sticks out in my mind. He said that anytime he wanted something, his mother would call him over.   "Tell me what you want sweetheart," she would say in a soft tone, "and I'll show you how to do without it."   It just made me laugh.   "But," he added, "that wasn't the most profound thing she said to me." He slowly shook his head, a smirk crawling across the surface of his face. "Mom always taught me that there were two things in life that I should never worry about. The things I CAN control...and the things I CAN'T."   He got a huge laugh from the congregation, but that’s true motherly wisdom for you!   We don’t pay attention to simple, clear information like that and it’s a shame. It would prevent a lot of heartache and anxiety.   She is right, you know.   Successful authors don’t worry about the things they can’t control, and if it’s something they can control, they do something about it.   We stress about whether or not we get a good review or if we have enough traffic to our website, so we fiddle with things, make changes—not because it’s the right thing to do, but because we hope by mixing things up we might get visual results we can measure.   You know what the real trick is?   Creating value and then sharing that buyer with others.  

#5 Successful authors don’t please everyone.

  Maybe I should change that title to “EVEN successful authors don’t please everyone.”   It would make more sense.   It doesn’t matter how successful we become, or how far our influence reaches, there will be those who simply cannot or will not be pleased. That’s life, plain and simple. So why worry about that either?   As authors we should be focused on producing the very best stories and material that we are capable of making. To be in a constant learning, critiquing & refining mode. Evolving as individuals and professionals so that we can leave behind the best parts of us for others to partake of.   I know that probably sounds melodramatic, but hey, I’m also a fiction writer.
 Don’t stress out so much about the negatives, because there ARE going to be negatives. In fact, if you’re lucky, those negatives will seek you out.   When I was teaching self-defense courses to young gnomes at University, one of the things I would point out consistently was that you didn’t have to destroy an opponent to be safe or to put yourself into a safe situation.   You simply had to do enough.   I trained a lot with young mothers in my class. Incredible and kind women, who had never hit another being in their lives. They were afraid of not being strong enough, fast enough, skilled enough. But that wasn’t the point.   The focus was to achieve the end goal: to get home, no matter what.   That’s when I would share a core belief of mine—that it is not always the person with the greatest STRENGTHS that comes out on top, but the one with the LEAST NUMBER OF WEAKNESSES.   So when you’re feeling down or beat up, take a personal inventory. No, you won’t please everyone, but is there something you can improve upon to broaden your reach, to get one more recommendation, to win one more good review?   Keep building on your strengths, but focus on eliminating your weaknesses as the priority.  

#6 Successful authors don’t repeat their mistakes.

  I’m not saying that there aren’t stupid people, stubborn people (of which I am one), but the wise of our breed learn from their experiences.   When I look back at the book signings I’ve done or considered the conversation I had with Morty on the way home, my mind forms a list. In fact I’m creating articles so I can share these perspectives and points of view WITH you.   Why? Because I want to learn from my mistakes so I don’t have to suffer or wait any longer for success to find me.   My goal, after all, is to make a full-time living from my website.   IF I can achieve that, I will have one of my fondest dreams come true: to help support my family through the full-time efforts of writing.   How cool is that?   There’s a challenge to all of this, you know.   It seems to be a flaw in gnome nature that justifies anything that’s uncomfortable. We don’t look at ourselves as we really are, we look at ourselves the way we would LIKE to be.   That’s not always a bad thing, but it does prevent us from taking an accurate inventory of what we’ve done wrong.   So take ownership of your mistakes. Take ownership and accountability and then make the changes necessary.   If you don’t, no one will know except you.   On the other hand you’ll have no one to blame, except you.   The last part of this article marathon is a singular topic that I’d like to go into a little personal detail with you, because I think it would help.   My goal here is to help you understand the importance of enduring.  

#7 Successful authors don’t expect immediate results.

  That is not to say that we don’t wish for immediate results or want immediate results, but we don’t expect them. The reason for this is because anything of great quality or lasting value is something that has to be worked for, and even sacrificed for. Let me explain this in a very real and personal way.   I have been producing and publishing the stories from Gnomania for some time now. I have had a wide variety of what I would deem successes, but I’ve never become wealthy and the money I have made hasn’t been consistent.   On the flip side, I’m very quick to include that in the things that REALLY matter, meaning the impact and influence these stories have had on other people, the results have exceeded my expectations thus far.   You see, I want to make a real difference in your life.   Maybe we’ve never met and perhaps we never will, but that doesn’t make any difference to me.   Knowing or even imagining that something I’m saying or doing on this website is helping another person is what charges me. It is what gets me up early in the morning and the drive that pushes me beyond my normal capabilities. To place myself in a position to reach you takes time...and it takes a considerable amount of effort.   Over the course of the last 10 years I have written thousands of articles, more than a dozen books (many are still in their first draft, I know), made hundreds of podcasts, written thousands upon thousands of comments and reached out to hundreds of other authors. The hardest part about all of that is that I don’t see any results 90% of the time.   No comments, no feedback, nothing.   I’m just writing my heart onto a scrap of paper, walking to the top of the highest mountain and letting the wind take it where it will.   That’s not what I actually do, but it is how I feel oftentimes.   It’s almost enough to break one’s heart.   Almost.   People matter to me. It’s not important if people think I’m crazy or stupid or ignorant or chasing a pipe dream. People matter to me and so I keep trying.   All the while there is this small, little voice in my heart that tells me to keep going. That tells me this will work. Definitely. Absolutely.   Eventually.
 Maybe this is too much for you to swallow or accept yourself, I don’t know.   What I do know is that if you truly want to make a difference or you truly want to promote your book or product or maybe even CREATE a book or product, it’s going to take time.   That is the price.   One of them, at least.   I started a little more than 90 days ago with my goal to make 100 sales at day from my website.   I am not there yet and it hasn’t happened...YET. But it will. I know it will, and you know why?   Because I’m doing the right things for the right reasons, in the right order, every day.   I also seek out my weaknesses and focus on eliminating them one by one.   I know this is going to work because I’m willing to sacrifice, my family is willing to sacrifice, and even my FRIENDS are willing to sacrifice to make this happen.   I don’t know about you, but that says a lot to me.   So don’t give up.   Don’t you dare give up.   Enjoy the adventure, enjoy the experience, and realize that the alternative to pushing forward seriously sucks.   Your friend,
Deloris Teedlebaum

The Big 5 Publishers throw a punch

  As Deloris’s fame grew throughout Clockworks City, especially with the younger readers of the lower Districts, pressure was applied. The largest publishing companies, known as the ‘Big 5’ saw the personal reach of an independent author as a threat.   Pänguin Random Shack, Hachette Handle, HarperCollick, Simon & Schuckster, and Macamillan Publishers started a public campaign to shame the thoughtful author into silence. Front page articles were created, splashing lies and accusations across every newspaper within the city. The goal was to ruin Deloris’s carefully and meticulously earned reputation.   It didn’t work.   For some strange reason the publisher’s couldn’t explain, Deloris’s exposure, reputation, and reach only flourished under the increased scrutiny.    

One Step Too Far

  When the waters started to settle, Deloris took a closer look at where she might do the most good for her fellow gnome citizens. The publishing industry was hot in two major areas: fiction novels (which provided a wide range of genre’s to a whole gamut of age ranges), and self-help books.   When one of the primary furnaces exploded in the lowest regions of the city, tens of thousands of workers were killed. Families suffered in more ways than one—and the Government Faction felt the immediate strain upon their coffers, as widows and widowers showed to claim their death benefits.   But the worst problem affecting the close-knit communities which made up the factory workers were the children. Millions fo children had lost a parent to a horrible tragedy which could have been avoided (due to underfunding by corrupt officials).   A massive wave of suicides followed the furnace deaths.   In response, the Big 5 Publishers spewed out countless books on suicide, dealing with the loss of loved ones and even how to support and counsel family and friends. The sheer number of books made available in a matter of weeks made the companies trillions of credits in profit.   Yet the suicides continued.   Needs were not being met. Questions were not being answered. So Deloris did two last things: first, she worked closely with a girlfriend from University in investigating the explosion. The hope was to find enough evidence to both compensate the suffering families more that the standards death benefits, and also to make sure such an accident didn’t occur again, by holding those responsible, accountable. Secondly, she reached out once more to the public in a personal way.   Deloris had lost her own mother in a tragic accident. She had the personal understanding and experience to draw from, so she set out to write a small booklet—and to make it available for free to anyone it could help.   Her office phone and email box was immediately flooded with gratitude and questions from hurting youth. So much so, that the top radio network, WHRN got wind of the response Deloris received and The Voice had her on for an open-ended interview/question session with the public.   She was a complete hit.   …which put a target on her back.   By weeks end, her husband’s licensed experiments were cancelled, his workshop shut down…and their landlord refused to renew the lease on their apartment. When confronted, old Mrs. Capperton said the building had been bought by Pänguin Random Shack to be used as a rehabilitation center.    
READ: Don't Give Up

Don't Give Up!

by Deloris Teedlebaum


A Personal Note

  This is a very personal journey for me. I never thought I would be willing to expose myself or my life in this way. But you know what? I’ve seen too many people suffer.   Too many friends die or lose their family over issues that can be overcome. It may not be easy, it may even be terrifying…but the challenges of life can be overcome.   All of them.   Oh, I know I’m supposed to be the grownup, the parent or the one who has all the answers. At least that’s what adults tell you, right?   It’s a lie.   Total crap.   The harsh yet liberating truth here is that I’m only a little further down the road of life than you are. That doesn’t make me better or smarter…or even right.   It only means I have experience in some areas, and I’m willing to share those experiences with you…IF you’re willing to listen.   The words contained in this work are the actual experiences I have—collected and compiled for the express purpose of sharing with you.   To empower you and give you both knowledge and encouragement in your own pursuits to improve up (or survive) your life.   If you’d like to know more, read more and heaven forbid—INTERACT with me—then come to Gnomania and check out my daily blog.   Maybe you’ve never heard of Gnomania and don’t know what I strive to do for a living. Maybe you don’t even read fiction. That’s perfectly ok. Apart from being exceptionally weird, I still like you and want you to succeed.   But that’s not what’s important here.   YOU are the important part to this equation.   If you can get through today and get a foot up on tomorrow because of what you glean from the words that follow, well, it’s been worth it.   No matter what happens, keep swinging, loving and striving to reach your goals.   I have.   …and I’ll never have to say “what if.”   This book is about getting your mind and heart right…to do what some may deem impossible in a world bent on keeping people down. TEEN or not, you CAN do this.   Don’t listen to nay-sayers. because they’ve already given up and personally, I refuse to allow someone take their own feelings of guilt, inadequacy or shortcomings and put them on my shoulders. I have enough weight to carry on my own.   So do you.   When you’re done reading, please stop by the retailer or website you got it from and leave a review.   Seriously, leave a review.   Or five.   This book is FREE for a reason: I want to help those who need help…but they won’t know that this work exists if no one talks about it.   The more people who talk about these works, the more people we can help and uplift.   Thank You Deloris T.       Chapter One Why I Care   Listen to me.   Yes, I’m talking to you.   No, you’re not imagining this—I’m talking specifically to you. You’ve been looking for someone who would notice, haven’t you? Wanting to know if anyone will even care if you’re gone…or even realize you’re gone. Will the world will be any different—even in the least—if you no longer existed?   The truth is, the world will be a vastly different place without you in it and it would suck. You, my friend, are far more important than you know.   Yes, I realize you can’t see that right now, but take a chance on me here and let me show you why.   The second truth however, which is the truth you haven’t seriously considered yet, is the chain of events you set in motion with each choice you make. There’s nothing you can do that won’t directly or indirectly affect the people around you, for good and bad.   Didn’t think about that? Don’t care?   You just might care by the time we’re done.   But you’re wondering why should I care, right?   Good question.   I’m just a stranger—some fantasy author, throwing out words onto the internet and into books…why?   Because I have enough experience to know that the Universe would take this and get it into your hands if you really needed it—exactly when you need it.   I have full confidence that this message will find you, so I can boldly say:   I’VE BEEN WHERE YOU ARE, RIGHT NOW!   HOLD ON & DON’T GIVE UP!!   Nope, I don’t know exactly what you’ve been through. Don’t claim to know. It’s impossible for one human being to completely understand the experiences of another in every detail, so don’t hold that against me. It’s crazy thinking and you’re not crazy.   You’re hurting.   Just understand that I know you’re hurting.   It’s all I need to know to care about what happens to you.   I can relate to pain, loss & suffering…and on a pretty big scale.   No, this isn’t a comparison. Your suffering is intense and your pain is real. Don’t confuse bluntness with sarcasm, because there’s nothing funny about your pain. This is an effort to show you that I’m NOT some n00b who is trying to pat you on the back and whisper, “It’s gonna be alright,” in your ear.   I won’t insult your intelligence—you’re smarter than that.     What I am specifically saying is this:   You matter.   I understand you may not think so, but you do. I’ve experienced something very similar and found a path through it all…and I want to show you another way.   Another option.   Would you be interested in a path with LESS pain, LESS anger, LESS frustration and a TON more happiness?    

My Qualifications

  Now comes the hard part, for me.   You’ve taken a step of faith by reading to this point, but now you wonder who I am? Do I really know what I’m talking about…but more importantly, how can I possibly relate to what you’re going through?   I think you deserve to know who is spewing this information out at you and why I feel I qualify to say anything at all.   This is where I’m willing to expose myself.   Not just to you, but to the world,…if it will help you.   I’ve thought a lot about what I’m going to say and realized that if I were still a youth, there’s no way I’d listen to an adult unless I knew our paths were similar. That person would have to know what it feels like to be lost, scared, angry, confused, depressed, worn out and beat up.   Here’s where the rubber hits the road.   Since I don’t know your exact circumstances, let’s cover the gambit of my life and cover as many possibilities as possible.   I know full well what it’s like to be abused by adults as a child. To be the prey of some evil bastard and not have anyone in the world to help me.   Why do these things happen?   I can only guess at times.   It wasn’t until I turned eighteen that I had a breakdown and told my parents all of my horrid experiences.   I felt so…dirty.   The whole day exploded when it came out. I’d been working at Snarf King and was zoned out. Sweeping the floors and scrubbing the metal counters, I never noticed my boss walking up behind me. To this day I don’t know why I reacted as I did—he’d never hurt me, but the moment my boss placed a hand on my shoulder, I spun around, punched him in the jaw and knocked him out cold.   My mother showed up soon after and had to coax me out of the storage room.   I couldn’t stop shaking. All I wanted to do was melt into the shadows and cease to exist.   Two days were spent in the bathroom, all the windows blotted out and light off, my sobbing body curled up in the bathtub.   My mother hardly left my side. She sat on the toilet, crying with me softly through the blackness as I described everything that had ever happened to me.   Violence became a regular part of my life and I never told those who loved me the most.   To this day I haven’t understood this part of my existence.   People, even strangers, trying to hurt me or even kill me: shooting at me, trying to run me over with cars and trucks. There was one crazy loon who even tried to blow me up as I slept.   What’s with that?   I was a mousey kid growing up. An artist-type that preferred to be by hermself and I tried to make friends with everyone I met. Come on, you must know the kind of kid I’m talking about—there’s always one in school like me. You’d probably call me a teachers pet—but that was never accurate. I was just a kid who tried to be obedient, to fit in, so I’d stay out of trouble. The problem was, trouble found me more times than not.   Why did so many want to take my face off? Was it because I didn’t like wearing dresses? That I rarely wore makeup? Was it because I preferred to study than go to dances or hang out with girlfriends?   No clue.   I was once in a vicious fight with a kid named Patrick, at least 6” taller than me—who pounded my face in.   Yes, a huge guy, hitting a girl. …and a mousy-girl at that!   I never got a chance to swing, he hit me so hard. All I could do was get back up off the ground and smile, which seemed to unnerve him. I guess watching a girl get up over and over, smiling through a mouthful of blood would unnerve me too.   Anyway—I felt so bad when we both got suspended, I asked my mom to give him a ride home since he’d missed the bus!   Come on…does that sound like a bad kid?   No matter how I tried to avoid confrontations, I was beaten by bats, bricks, pipes, rocks, boards & even beaten unconscious by a large group of teens. I woke up in my home the next day, covered in what felt (and nearly looked) like a single purple bruise over my entire body.   Now if this was happening to my BROTHER, I would understand, cause…he’s kinda a punk.   Seriously, I love him with all my heart, but even I’d like to hit him with a brick once in a while…   The only consolation I had was when our landlord showed up and yelled at my mother for what I’d done to his son (one of the bullies). My mother, bless her heart, grabbed the gnome by his shirt and yanked him into the kitchen, where I was hunched over a bowl of cold cereal in nothing but a bed sheet and my underwear.   She made me stand up and drop the sheet.   I’d never seen that expression on an adults face—the way Mr. Bower looked at me. My face was all swollen and I was unable to stand up straight. I even had to lean on the table for support.   “This is what your boy and his friends did you my DAUGHTER,” is all my mother had to whisper.   Never had a problem with the Bower boy or his goons again.   These are not isolated incidents. For most of one year I had casts on both hands and forearms. Why? The first time was due to an accident on my bike. The next three sets of casts were because I couldn’t go the full six weeks without powdering them in fights. Bigger kids made the mistake in thinking I was defenseless and beat me. So I did what any intelligent child would do.   I started using them as weapons.   I lost count of how many incidents I was in.   Many of my bones have been broken repeatedly. There were even school teachers who would bet on whether I’d win a fight against my bigger foes, while they watched.   Gotta love public schools.   After a time, violence became a way of life for me—which was hard, because my family couldn’t relate. The older I got, the bigger the stakes and the more vicious the attacks. I didn’t learn how to actually fight until I became an adult…I just learned to endure.   Through mind-numbing repetition of violence against me, I lost a part of me. Something broke…and I became an animal so I could survive. It still sits here with me, watching, waiting, sleeping with one eye open.   Then there were drugs.   For starters, I’m an alcoholic. I was also into various ‘recreational drugs’ when I was a teen. Do they still call them that nowadays? At first it was the only way I knew how to deal with the emotional and mental pain. At the same time, I started smoking to calm my anger. First a few cigarettes a day, then a pack,…then two. By the time I had my drivers license, I was smoking three packs of non-filtered cigarettes a day—and nearly a carton on the weekends when I couldn’t keep my mind busy.   I was certain that the TGII hated me.   Why, when I’d try so hard to just be a decent gnome, would the world crap on me like that? Why did every asshole on the planet feel like their boot belonged on the back of my neck?   The longest night of my life was dragging my girlfriends body almost two miles, up over the delivery ramps in District 9, trying to get home without being caught. It was the start of Harvest Festival, so there was a great deal of partying going on, including multiple check points by Centurions looking for drunk drivers.   My friend and I had gotten into his dads liquor cabinet, along with various drugs we’d scored from school. Jerry (not his real name) had taken LPD, while I was struggling through tanking Chiller buttons. Half way to my house, she had passed out.   She was also bigger than me.   Okay—fatter.   To avoid the Centurions—I dragged her across the truckers lot, flipped her over bob-wire fences and a slight detour across the water-main municipals station rooftop (again, Centurions). If I could have figured out how to steal a security cart, I probably would have.   Hated that disgusting place anyway.   After a great deal of struggle, urinating and then puking in a drivers face (well they shouldn’t have screamed at me peeing on the side of the road…they startled me), we got to my home safely.   Then life got bad.   Nothing prepares you to lose the people you care about.   People try to reassure you, comfort you and tell you that, “It’ll be ok.”   “You’ll get through this.”   “Things’ll get better.”   No, they won’t get better.   I’m not going to lie to you. You deserve better than that.   It’s not going to get better…but you will find a way through it. That’s the difference.   When I lost my mother—the woman who held my hand for days and cried with me in the darkness—the one who loved me unconditionally through all these trials, and helped me to find some semblance of light at the end of the tunnel of gloom, I came unhinged.   I crumbled.   To this day I still carry 35 pounds of that pain with me.   When we lose someone, it doesn’t get better.   It can’t.   Do you know why?   Because they own a part of your heart. It belongs to them!   It can’t be filled or replaced by someone else.   It’s okay to be sad, to be mad…even pissed off. There was a long time where I hated my mother for leaving. It was a car accident and she didn’t choose the event—but I hated her anyway. My life and all the hopes and dreams of a future that had her near its center was gone. It also changed my father, her dying.   He doesn’t know it yet and I’ve never told him, but he changed greatly. Part of him died too, and I hurt for him.   Mom wasn’t the first and she hasn’t been the last one I’ve lost or buried either. I have buried close friends and family along the way because of violence, drugs, tragedy, cancer and the older I get, the losses seem to be accelerating. I even buried one of my greatest heroes this year and I can’t think about it too much for fear that my heart’ll stop beating.   Most people don’t know what it’s like to have only enough energy and will left to question the bad things in our life.   To be in a place where everything…hurts.   Pain is all you see…and hope, many times, no longer exists. You’ve forgotten what it looks like and the world seems to be standing on your chest. You can’t breathe properly, while your mind spins, trying to find options of escape. You might even find yourself weighing and considering the pros and cons of enduring the pain another moment…or simply leaving altogether.   It’s not that we don’t want to live.   It’s because we don’t see an end to the intense pain.   I’ve been there, alone in my office, at the end of the gun wondering why no one cares.   …and at the moment of pulling the trigger, my phone rang.   On the other end of that phone was a frantic, crying, hysterical friend who had a horrible feeling that something was wrong at my home.   She was on the freeway, more than twenty miles away, when she felt the powerful urge to call me and flip her vehicle around.   Suzie cared about what happened to me. I never told her that my hand slowly pulled a loaded gun from my mouth. She never actually came to my home, because I told her (through waterfall tears) that everything was fine.   All I said was, “There was a problem, but it’s ok now. Everyone’s safe.”   Suzie saved my life by telling me she cared.   …and that mattered.   Enough.     That’s what THIS conversation is.   A phone call.   I awoke to today with the feeling that something was desperately wrong.   Horribly wrong.   Like someone was drowning.   I checked on my family, my friends, and they’re all safe.   But that feeling remained.   So I’m reaching out to you.   I don’t know what your situation is. Maybe you’re just feeling low. Feeling lost or hurt. Maybe you’re feeling like I was…at your wits end.   Maybe you feel hope is gone.   It’s not.   You just don’t know where to look.   When things don’t happen the way we want them to, we start to believe people don’t care.   But that’s the lie. People DO care.   I care and I’m positive that there are people in your life who care as well. People who are unaware of the struggles you’re facing right now.   Why did these things happen?   Honestly, I don’t know.   Yes, we make mistakes and sometimes we make bad choices on purpose. We all do. If we’re not careful, one bad choice leads to another and the next thing we know, we’re drowning.   Sound familiar?  

Who I Am Today & How I Got Here

I’m almost 32 years old as of this writing, married to the most wonderful gnome in the world. We have 2 children with one on the way. Neither of these things may seem to matter to this conversation—but they do.   It’s my point, actually.   I’m still here!   After all this time and countless other challenges I haven’t mentioned, I’m still here. From pain, suffering, financial ruin and homelessness with children and an aging father to care for, I’M STILL HERE!   What’s more important, though, is that I’m happy, laughing and building my own slice of heaven one day at a time.   I’d like to show you how to do the same thing.   It may sound impossible to you at present, but I believe you can completely flip any set of circumstances around. With time and experience on my side, I’ve learned some things I want to share with you.   Are you open to brighter possibilities?   I started Gnomania, both the concept and its accompanying website, and spend as much time as I can writing more stories…so I can be of help to others. To be of service and use the pains of my life to guide others to safer grounds.   For me, the way I find personal healing is by helping others through the darkness. To show them, step by step and inch by inch if that is all the strength they have, that there is a bright, beautiful world out there filled with love, compassion and happiness.   That’s why I believe I experienced all the things I did growing up. All the tears, all the pain, all the suffering…were all so I could be a better servant to you.   To reach out to you.   To be a better wife to my husband.   To be a protective mother and guide my own children.   To know my place in this world and stand boldly in it while the structure of families in society deteriorates.   To be…hopefully…a good example to thousands of others. Tens of thousands. Millions.   Crazy? No.   If I can help you, it will happen.   You won’t have to teach anyone openly, but you will teach.   Through your example. Through your words. Through your life—and you will affect others for good, because of your good choices. Not because you’re trying to be good, but because you ARE good.   One kind word saved my life.   It saved my heart.   Now let me save yours.   Ready?   Take a breath.   Let me share seven important principles I’ve learned.  

#1 You matter.

I know that might be difficult to hear, perhaps even imagine, but it’s true. It’s called intrinsic value and you have it in spades.   It doesn’t matter if you’re smart, attractive, talented, strong, fast, funny, charming, popular or rich. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have, you still have value…because you exist.   Don’t believe me? Then consider this:   If your grandfather or grandmother died before having any children, would you even be here?   Of course not.   Go back further than that. Go back to your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. If he died before having kids, how many generations after him would cease to exist?   There isn’t a number you can put on it, because our families grow exponentially. Through you, unlimited generations can come into existence.   Without you? A whole branch of this world will never come to be.   That’s a HUGE loss!!  

#2 Stop trying to meet other people’s expectations and find your purpose.

This is a complete life-changer.   You will never be able to please everyone, so stop making that your focus.   It’s what I tell my children when they’re struggling with feelings of self-worth. It’s hard when we listen to our friends, or feel that immense pressure to live up to other people’s expectations (even our own). The stress can seriously hurt you, but what’s even worse, it’ll twist your perceptions and perspectives.   The filters you use to look at life around you will get warped and out of focus.   That’s why I encourage people to find their purpose and pursue it with vigor and vim. Speaking for myself, life was wasted trying to appease the people around me and it was killing me. Not a single person valued the loyalty I gave them, without qualification, or saw the effort and talent I tried to pour into each and every project in front of me.   Not a single person.   It wasn’t until I was homeless that I realized if I was going to struggle at all in life—I was going to struggle while going after what I really wanted to do.   What I was meant to do.   Uplifting the world through Gnomania.   Maybe that sounds silly to some, but I found an amazing tool in being able to take all of my life’s experiences—some of which I’ve talked to you about—and put them in story form so others can benefit from them.   So I suggest making your next mission to find out what makes you happy.   What are you good at?   Do you have any particular talents that get you excited in life—puts a bounce in your step when you wake up in the morning?   If so, that just might be your life’s work.   Don’t worry about the acceptance of others…try to discover what you can do to make the world a better place.   Trust me, it’ll change your life for the better.  

#3 Life will never turn out the way you think it will.

That is the first huge truth I discovered.   I’m sorry if this rocks your world, because it did mine—but it also put many things into perspective.   Much of my life made sense all of a sudden. It’s not good or bad, it simply…is.   What causes us pain is when we try to hold on to our own expectations of what we think life should be. We use terms like “fair,” “need,” “has to,” …but we’re wrong.   Life has it’s own agenda and you’re included in it. It never seems to fit in that box we constructed and brought with us. You’ will always find yourself let down and disappointed so long as you refuse to see life for what it truly is.   Changing, unpredictable and brilliant!  

#4 You are GOING to fail.

The biggest encouragement I can give you is this heavy dose of reality…with a twist.   No matter what you do, no matter what you plan for, arrange, or how smart and talented you are (or think you are), you’re going to fail.   Now before you have an anxiety attack—let’s define “fail”.   All I mean is, you are going to find out how something does NOT work.   That’s it.   It’s not tied to expectations of others (though they may try to tag you with their emotional vomit).   Knowing this truth is a very good thing.   If you’ve ever watched a new baby try to walk, you’ll understand what I mean. The infant looks around at all these people moving independently under their own power and it thinks, “Huh. I wanna do that too!”   It’s never walked before. It’s never tried. It doesn’t know it’ll succeed…but what it DOES know is it’s possible.   How can the child possibly know that?   Simple.   It sees proof all-around when you or I walk by.   So the infant pulls itself up by the couch or chair and tries to take a step.   Each tiny motion is triumph.   The question here is…what happens over and over again during this process?   The infant falls.   Now if that child was an adult, we’d call it “failure.”   But is it really?   Doesn’t the babe get back up and try again and again…and again? It does. The child keeps going until eventually, it walks. Yet each time it falls (or fails), the parent comes over, picks the child up and says, “Wow. Look how far you’ve gone! Good job!!”   Then they lift the child up, place it back on its feet and adds, “Let’s see how far you can get THIS time.”   My point here is, you will fail over and over again.   It’s how we learn.   It’s called success in motion.  

#5 Everything happens for a reason.

Here is my consolation in life: I don’t believe in chance.   Used to, but not anymore.   There’s too much proof in my own life to the contrary.   At the same time, if we’re not careful, this can make a person very angry, so let me clarify...   I believe everything in life has a reason for happening.   Yes, even the horrible things in my life, world hunger, evil…all of it. Even my mother being killed in a car accident.   How can I say that?   My mother loved us more deeply than you can imagine unless you’re a parent yourself. She had ten children—four boys, six girls. There is not a day of our lives where we did not feel loved by our mother. She was always there, encouraging, comforting, teaching. leading, guiding.   In my opinion, she was the most Tgii-like woman I’ve ever known—because she was the same way with everyone, not just her own children.   Yet there was a problem.   That same magnificent love was also a wall. A barrier that kept many of us, me especially, from growing and developing independent skills in life. We relied too heavily upon her and in the end, my mother was a crutch.   Do I wish my mother was alive? Absolutely.   The tough question is, would I trade what happened to her in exchange for what I’ve learned and become?   No, I would not.   The same goes for all the struggles and supposed failures I’ve experienced in my life.   There are times when I felt I was tossed from place to place, job to job, nearly starving from lack of work. Yet not many years ago I was hired at 22,000 credits a month, to use unique skills I’d gathered over a decade. Things I was seemingly forced to learn out of desperation, like designing websites, podcasting, and teaching, became a dynamic (and uncommon) skill set that corporate companies would pay top dollar for.   The next job paid me 7,000 credits a month, which lasted just over a year…but I only had to work 90 minutes a month. That’s over 5500 credits an hour!   Not a bad hourly wage, eh?   Another good example is knowing how to be a good and protective mother, because I know what signs to look for. I understand many dangers that exist in the world. I know the value of family, love, mercy and compassion.   …and I learned it all through my painful experiences.  

#6 Experience.

Every event in our lives provides experience. There is no such thing as good experience or bad experience, only experience. The constant question before you is:   What will you do with that experience?   Spend your life filling the role of a victim? Life’s not fair? I can’t? I won’t? It’s not possible?   …or will you embrace the tools at your feet and carve out the life you want? The amazing life you deserve!   For most of my life I thought I was under the boot of the Universe. Everything seemed to go wrong or fail. People turned on me, hurt me and used me….but you know what? It made me stronger, better and wiser in the end. It educated me and trained me to be who I am today.   There’s a side note to all this.   When you start taking responsibility and accountability for yourself, you are going to experience such strength, such power…until you hit a frequent bump in the road.   Being wrong.   This usually comes from having our hearts, once again, set upon life being a certain way instead of letting it all flow and documenting as we go. We plan and strive for perfect execution of our plans, but if it falls short or goes wrong, we think to ourselves, “If I’m wrong about this, I must be wrong about everything.”   That’s not how life works.   Let it go.   Keep your focus to the issue at hand.   Don’t let your experiences bleed over and contaminate your successes. Instead, let your success stand as bold witnesses that you know what you’re doing and will figure out the right way soon enough!  

#7 You Are More Than You Think You Are.

This, my friend, is the whole point…AND my life’s mission.   YOU.   That’s right—this is all about you.   We live in a world bent on controlling us from birth until death. To use us up, sell us goods and con us into a dream that we didn’t make for ourselves.   You are so much more than that.   Inside you is a geyser of talent and untapped potential waiting to explode.   You just have to let it out.   Don’t worry about things not being perfect.   Don’t worry about not having all the answers.   Don’t worry about the expectations or criticisms of others.   Be who you were meant to be.   Amazing. Brilliant. Powerful. Fantastic. Unique.   Once you start this adventure, you’ll still have bumps, you’ll still get bruises…but with the right perspective, you’ll soon discover that TGII has been giving you the opportunity to uncover the greatest treasures in life.   What you will discover is unequaled in all of creation.   What you will discover…is yourself.     Your friend,
Deloris Teedlebaum

My Mind's Eye

One of Deloris Teedlebaum's greatest hits with the younger generation was a snippet on Gnomania called My Minds Eye - a fun perspective word game, where readers try to guess the person, place or thing who is telling the story.  

My Minds Eye #1

The most beautiful girl looked at me and just smiled.
It made me so happy.
Every day, she would take the time to smile at me.
Whenever she smiles at me, it makes me smile...and her beauty will always be in me.


ANSWER (Don't Cheat!)
ANSWER: A mirror
Current Location

Cover image: by Jaime Buckley


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5 Jul, 2019 07:09

I would like to bring to your attention your usage of the adjective “slow” in such a negative light and in correlation to “cruel people”. I am hoping you didn’t mean to imply what it seems you’re implying. Assuming that, I would heavily recommend choosing your wording more thoughtfully to avoid the potential harm it could cause.   While I greatly appreciate the creation of any capable, female characters, I would encourage (as a woman) to focus less on the male-centered aspects of her life (the only real information here about her is listed under life as a male) and more on her as a person who also happens to be a woman. I, like most other young women, appreciate powerful “feminine” roles that benefit and operate solely on her own abilities. Many of us enjoy seeing a woman who is powerful and still a woman. Applying more “masculine” characteristics to strong, female characters still creates the opposite effect desired for young girls, implying that conformity is still necessary for success. This is more or less a very personal opinion, but from what I’ve seen I am presuming you take your audience’s views into high consideration. Take my views however you like.   Besides that, the artwork and heading for this character is very charming and sweet. I’m very fond of mature female characters that remain important despite their age, and Deloris hits that point easily. The only other thing I would really want is more information on her. She seems like an enjoyable character with an interesting backstory.   Very cute artwork for a very sweet woman!

6 Jul, 2019 03:19

Howdy Leech,   Thanks for stopping by and giving feedback-- I appreciate ALL feedback. though i know I can't please everyone and there is always someone who will take apart a work simply because they have a different perspective, let me address some of this and set your mind at ease here...   First off, I decided last night, because I want to finish the challenges for Summer Camp, to get my articles over the 300-word mark, turn them in and then complete them throughout the remainder of the month. That being said, this article is about 1/5th complete.   There is a LOT of information missing, and my notes are here--so you will see the evolution of Deloris--who was a major character in 4 of my published books.   As for the 'slow' comment, people take it many ways, so I can't help that--but if you are thinking I meant mentally slow, read the whole sentence--she refers to "stupid" people as well. Slow means lazy, people dragging their feet...and no, I won't be changing the words I used--so the clarification here is for your sake.   My focus is in the right place, I assure you--and there is much more information to come. As a loving husband and father of nine (9) daughters, it's good information to boot. There aren't any masculine aspects of Deloris. That was an article she wrote to get her foot in the door like many have done in RL, until they earned the attention and respect of a male environment who wouldn't judge on merit alone.   Hope that helps and clarifies for you--and THANK you for speaking up. I appreciate every opportunity to have conversations like this! =D   I will definitely seek you out to let you know when the full article is complete--because I'd like you to pass judgment upon my skills as a writer once you have all the facts and figure to draw from. I feel very confident Ill win you over (smile).

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