Lita Burke Pub Photo

Close Your Eyes For A Fantasy Surprise

1This is how legend says it began. A long, long time ago … a little girl decided to let her imagination run ramped. Throughout this ever-evolving process she mixed and mingled legends of adventures and inserted many of her own characters, I’m sure will stay with us long after her stories have come to an end. You know, those memorable personalities who unexpectedly pop into our thoughts … pure reflections of the tales she weaves with seeming artlessness. Her characters come alive to merge, appear, vanish and they strengthen their bonds of friendship along the way. Sometimes it is a quest to explore one of the many places Lita Burke has created. It’s thrilling to read about a dashing rescue in order to save the day.

Visiting her site is akin to slipping down a rabbit hole and landing where you never dreamed you’d be. It’s a wondrous chance of fantasy fate, when you look about to realize you’re surrounded by the complexity of her creatures and in discovering the magic that makes you never want to leave. The artwork and graphics are fresh, intriguing, and the lands of which she speaks are far from the world in which we live. She’ll take you on a journey only to make you wait for the next installment of that continuing story. It’s enchantment and romantic and bone chilling, too, with dashes of this and that, to keep us hanging on until her next reveal.

The other day I sent out a Tweet, which read:

@LitaBurkeWriter I don’t know where to start! It’s like entering a candy shop. All I can think to say is “Lita Lita Lita … You R Amazing!”

Tumbling down that rabbit hole might be the best thing you do all day. There’s such range of variety to read and best of all, you might not want to stop.

Theresa: Lita, at this point I really need to know how you think up all this stuff? The descriptions of these fantasy places are incredible. Where do your ideas start?

5Lita: For me, the process is as natural as breathing. I have always been fascinated with how and why things work. If no one else knows, then I fill in the holes and make it up as I go along and tell myself “maybe things work this way…”

Theresa: How long has it taken you to create a whole new language complete with little glossary terms?

Lita: The glossary is the result of creating consistent rules for fantasy worlds in my stories. Fantasy fans delight in the absurd as long as the author doesn’t contradict the rules.

Theresa: I looked up the word novelettea short novel, light, romantic or sentimental in character. I suppose it is born from ebooks written for Kindle or Amazon. Am I correct in my deductions?

Lita: At 7,500 to 20,000 words, the novelette is longer than a short story, but not as long as a novella. Its length is well suited for ebooks. I find that a novelette has plenty of room for a reader to step into one of my fantasy worlds, meet some folks, and snoop around.

Theresa: I assume there are many bloggers who would like to understand the process of being published online. Can you give us some pointers and a few of the most commonplace rules to guide us?

Lita: The most important “rules” about blogging are choosing whom you are writing for, and what you want to say to them. I suggest you pick a theme (my blog’s theme is about the scary and fascinating delights of fantasy worlds). Also pick a writing style (I am a humble scribe for wizards and enchanters).

Theresa: How long have you been writing ebooks and was it a complicated process or a relatively easy one? Any more tips?

Lita: I’ve written and published ebooks for over two years. The mechanics of producing ebooks is straightforward—paperbacks too. I have two tips: first, research before you buy any author services and ask other Indies for suggestions. Second, improve your writing craft by learning how to plan plots, write riveting dialogue, and master scene description.

Theresa: This is excellent advice. Lita do you draw your own artwork or do you work with an artist?

Lita: I humbly admit that my talents lie with words, not images. I use stock photography for my blog and hire professional book cover artists.

Theresa: “Lita’s Worlds” … places like elsewheres. This is major fantasy speak. Please describe where elsewheres are located. I’m assuming there is more than one.

Lita: Ooh, I love visiting fantasy elsewheres. Let me name a few: Hogwarts, Oz, Middle Earth, Narnia, and down the rabbit hole. Where are they located? Just follow the second star on the left, and straight on ‘til morning. Or you can just pick up a fantasy book and find one inside.

Theresa: How many books have you written and at which age did you realize you wanted to become an author?

3Lita: I have published five books. I am currently drafting two more novels that I plan to publish within the next year. I have about seven manuscripts that need quite a bit of work to make them presentable. I was about five years old when I figured out that people wrote the stories in books, and I wanted to be one of those people. Of course, at five years old I had to learn my ABCs first.

Theresa: How cute! Tell us something about where you grew up and what you did along the way to present readers with the gift of your imagination.

Lita: My family lived in a rural area and childhood friends lived too far away to visit unless our parents took us in a car. My siblings were quite a bit older, and I didn’t have much in common with them. I entertained myself with reading everything in the grade school library. I didn’t share my stories until high school, when I found a kindred spirit in one of my English teachers.

4Theresa: If you could turn into one of your own characters, which one would you become?

Lita: I’m rather fond of Wizard Kadmeion, but of course I’m female and he is not. There is probably an elsewhere where that conundrum would not be an issue.

Theresa: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Lita: Steven King, Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, and Terry Pratchett.

Theresa: Have you ever set up a story in modern day? If so, which is it?

Lita: I have a complete manuscript of a woman-in-jeopardy thriller set in modern day about a gal who solves a decades-old murder and is tangled up in the killer’s revenge. My husband stayed up all night reading the manuscript so he could find out how it ended. The plot therefore has spousal approval, but the story needs rework before I’d foist it on my readers.

Theresa: Where do you live? Do you enjoy traveling? Apart from writing what are some of the things you enjoy doing?

Lita: I live on the edge of a large metropolitan city. I’m so-so for traveling, but I do love vacationing at the beach and in the mountains. When I’m not working my day job or doing my fantasy writing, I like to play poker or go camping.

Theresa: Who has most inspired you to follow your obvious passion for your fantasy worlds?

Lita: My mother was tolerant of my introverted ways and encouraged me to write down my visits to fantasy worlds.

Theresa: Have you ever shaped a person or entity that later you could not like?

Lita: When I was in college, I wrote a novel about the Enchanters of Sye (one of my current fantasy worlds) that had a bad guy that was too nebulous. Yuck. I kicked him out of my Sye fantasy world and instead dreamed up a proper controversy between the sensual Enchanters and the strict moralistic magicians of the Church.

Theresa: What is your idea of having a good time?

Lita: I enjoy going to the carnival and marveling at the dazzling lights and dark fun. Kids shriek on the rides and act terrified of the clowns. Teen sweethearts emerge with guilty flushed faces from the Tunnel of Love. Cotton candy is no more than pink-spun spider webs. I love it.

Theresa: You seem right at home on social media and are noticeably engaged with the people with whom you connect. Are you naturally relaxed in these venues or did it take time to be at ease?

Lita: It took a few months to figure out what to say on social media. I’m a very private person, but I’ll bore my family to tears chatting about my writing. On social media, most folks want to hear about my writing-related matters.

Theresa: Are you a moviegoer? What’s the last one you watched?

Lita: I enjoy going to the theatre and seeing movies. I love fantasy and science fiction flicks, and will consider case-by-case other types of films. The last movie I saw at the theatre was The Hobbit.

Theresa: What do you expect from yourself? By this I mean have you reached most of your goals in life and if not, would you consider sharing some of them with us?

Lita: I am very satisfied with my career goals in my day job. For my writing, I have many more things to do. I’d like to publish 100 novels before I die. I want to collect five hundred thousand blog followers and a million Twitter followers. I would like to sit down with Steven King, drink a couple of beers, and talk about how fun it is to write stories that scare the bejesus out of people.

Theresa: “6 Critical Elements For Fantasy World Building”, is a series of posts you wrote. What is the main purpose for these instructions?

Lita: These posts are the most successful for my blog—they still get many hits each week. With them, I took a different angle on a very popular writer’s craft topic and described what I thought was critical as a fantasy reader.

Theresa: What are you plans for the remainder of 2014?

Lita: I plan to release the next Clockpunk Wizard story, called Glitter Ponies, by the end of the year. In Glitter Ponies, Lady Luck’s daughter helps Wizard Kadmeion discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness.

Theresa: What do you want our readers to know about you that you haven’t shared before?

Lita: Although I sometimes write about fantastical and scary things, I am an insufferable optimist. Why? Because now is a terrific time in all of human history to be an author. With little more than a computer and connection to the Internet, anyone can compose scribbles (or words of wisdom) and give them to the world.

~~~~~

Lita Burke has a fascinating imagination and describes herself this way …

“I am a humble scribe for wizards and enchanters”.

Lita, I thank you for spending time with me. I’m getting my Kindle next month!

As an avid reader and kindred spirit I certainly appreciate that she recognizes herself as an instrument in channeling the creative universe. Her characters almost jump off the pages of her books, and once read they are personalities to remember. And when you do visit her site it matters not which direction you take to land in her “elsewheres” … or do what I do … fall down the rabbit hole.

She is a master storyteller. I like how she thinks and she loves her readers to snoop around. Hurry on over to Lita’s World and remember to bring some cotton candy.

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com

oldschool

James Egan’s Bullseye Tactics

Screen shot 2014-07-09 at 11.03.34 PMJames Egan is a man who determined a long time ago, that he would  improve his life, by absorbing as much positive information as he was able. Early on, James recognized the huge gap between the mindset of someone with a public education, to the mindset of someone who attended a university that encouraged their students to set goals. It has taken him years of practical research and trying things he learned and used to help improve his own life. He was adamant that he should teach and coach anyone desiring to change their destinies, to aim higher and use his system. He took copious notes over the years and finally developed his own formula, so he can pass on this key evidence to those individuals dreaming of a better future.

What a noble and generous thing to do. James spent years constructing his teaching methods and honing these strategies … “expect more from life” He delivers great posts on his blog  Goals For All and shares a wealth of information with us.

Coaching others to believe in and to

cultivate their dreams is a beautiful thing.

Theresa: James how many kids did you and your wife raise? Did you share your ideas with them and if so, were they receptive and supportive?

James: We raised four children and they were receptive to my interest in setting goals. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as adamant about them setting goals, but as my career progressed I saw the amazing benefits that goal setting could bring.

Theresa: For those who have never sat down and written out their goals where is a good place to start? Which of your posts, manuals or books would you have a beginner read?

James: I would have them read “Three Easy Steps To Change Your Life” and later on, “Three Easy Steps to Improve Your Life”.

However, the best overall workbook is the one on my homepage, because it has all the worksheets and examples that someone should have.

Theresa: What do you consider to be the five most important concerns people need to get through in order to succeed in life?

James:

  • Fear of failure
  • Uncertainty about where to begin
  • Not being motivated enough
  • Having goals in mind but unsure how to achieve them
  • Uncertain how to change something in their life

Theresa: Why do you feel these are major obstacles to overcome?

James: Because each listed are all roadblocks to success.

Theresa: You said you served in the Navy. How did this affect you as a young man starting out in life? What did you take away from your experience? What did being a soldier teach you?

James: Serving in the military teaches discipline and respect for authority, and that carries on through the whole of your adult life.

Theresa: How would one go about making a “Personal Assessment”? Have you designed questions or a checklist for students to follow?

James: My workbook has all the tools to show how this assessment should be made, but it’s basically sitting down and outlining everything in your life that you’re not satisfied with and then prioritizing this list to put the one most important thing at the top. This becomes your very first goal.

Theresa: I noticed today you wrote this Tweet: “Real goals are not “to-do” lists. They should be dreams or desires of major importance”. I really agree with this statement. I’d like you to elaborate a bit because I feel it definitely changes our perspectives and the way to look at the places we want to go or things we wish to accomplish.

James: Major goals are the things in your life that cannot be achieved by some “to-do” list. They require a detailed strategic plan that ensures the success of any significant or valuable goal you want to achieve.

Theresa: How many years experience went into the foundation of the self-help books have you published?

James: After being involved in goal setting and strategic planning for the better part of 30 years, I feel that qualifies adequate experience.

Theresa: It surely does James! You reached for your goals and are helping teach others to do the same.

You acknowledged that you didn’t want to have to work a manual labor job. It seems to me, that this might have been the catalyst in motivating you to move into the corporate world. How did you feel when you began working in an office? How did you know what your next step would be?

James: I knew after two years of working manual labor (after leaving the military), I wanted something different. Initially I applied to be a manager of a department. Once I had achieved that level, I just kept shooting for something higher and once I learned how to do this, I kept moving up.

Theresa: Please tell us a little about your book, “Three Easy Steps To Improve Your Life”.

James: It’s a condensed version of the workbook that’s on my website homepage, and is a shorter read that accomplishes the same result, without all the worksheets and examples that are in the workbook.

 Theresa: What was your upbringing like James? Were your parents, goal setters and positive thinkers? What influences did they make in your decision to have a better way of life after leaving the Navy?

James: My parents were positive people but never talked about goal setting. I saw something in the military that piqued my interest in art of strategic planning, and it just grew from there.

Theresa: I see you have an entire website dedicated to instructing people to follow. How did Goals For All come about?

James: I felt that after I left the corporate world I wanted to use my training and experience and “pay it forward”, so others could reap the rewards that I had, and change their lives for the better.

Theresa: Can you give us an example of how to spot a bad goal on your list?

James: I don’t believe in “bad” goals. I just believe there are goals that are less important in nature, and the key is to find the goal that really gets your “juices” flowing. That’s the one that will get you so excited that you can’t wait to tackle it!

Theresa: There are a lot of authors on the Internet telling us we need their product to improve the way we think. What is special about the way you teach people to reach their goals?

James: The “process” I teach is founded on years of experimenting, failing, and then finding the right formula that guarantees that you will achieve any goal you desire. If you look carefully at everything I’ve stated above, you’ll realize that if my “process” is followed as outlined, you can accomplish anything.

Theresa: You mention dealing with difficult situations in life as something, which should have been taught to us when we were young. I remember being taught for instance: how to be a good winner and how to be a good at not coming in first, or second place. I do not remember being taught, how to deal with disappointment. What would you recommend when facing disappointment or difficult times?

James: If you learn the goal setting process correctly, you can overcome any disappointment. Remember, disappointments are actually roadblocks, and once you learn how to get around roadblocks, you won’t be disappointed again.

Theresa: Is this practice of mine, in sync with what you teach? I make a list for the day, however after working diligently, there are still things undone. It isn’t that I forgot them but rather other things were taking longer than expected or there could have been interruptions. Do I make a new list for the next day and place these unfinished tasks at the top? Tell me what I should do please.

James: Okay, but you’re talking about “to-do” lists and not major goals. But to answer your question directly, you should constantly bring anything forward that was not completed the previous day, and re-prioritize the new list every day. You must develop the habit of doing the most important thing first.

Theresa: James what are your plans for the remainder of 2014 regarding your website and blog?

James: I take all of this one day at a time, but with my personality I will never be satisfied with things as they are. Remember, my site and blog are only about 17 months old.

Theresa: Finally, I wonder if you will think about a time that stands out, whereby you helped someone do a complete turn around and share a brief tale of their success story.

James: I have helped hundreds and probably thousands of people on their journey to success, but don’t have any particular story to point out.

oldschool

~~~

James Egan is a man who has our best interests at heart. Stop by and delve into his instructional posts and purchase his books, in order to set up your list of goals and have the future you truly want. He even has a chart to make this easy to do.

James I sincerely thank you for spending time with me today, and I wish you much success in what you have to offer to us readers and to your future endeavors. You may follow him on BC here.

Check out his Goals For All website and get started setting your goals toady!

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com

3

Spinning Words Into Pure Fiction

Kathleen Maher’s Pure Fiction is a site I have visited a number of times over the past week and I plan on returning. She is a New Yorker with such style and flair. The smooth flow of words is immediately apparent with each of her Flash Fictions. Thus far I have read “Superpowers” and “Guaranteed Happiness”. 2And the jacket of her book that is for sale on Amazon, “Diary of A Heretic”, has made me think about buying it and these days I seldom purchase books. Even the magazines I get delivered lie about untouched.

As I read Kathleen’s stories I am eager to click the read more link to see how her Flash Fictions will end. What a cool genre for the tales she tells! And she has the keen ability to tempt us with her array of diverse titles.

Theresa: Kathleen, you certainly understand the method for piquing our interests. You have an almost magical gift for this style of writing. It doesn’t take long before you have drawn your readers into the heart of your plot. How many years has it taken you to develop this finely tuned skill?

Kathleen: Theresa, thank you for the kind words. I have always wanted to write fiction, since my parents first started reading to my sisters and me before bed. Now I’ve been seriously writing it for thirty.

When I’m not writing, I get frustrated that I’m not sensible enough to the charmed life given to me, the many blessings.

Theresa: Your characters’ chemistry makes it easy for us to connect and be sympathetic to their story. I enjoy the combination of love and friendship, which develops quickly. Please give us an understanding of how you perceive the growth of these budding relationships.

Kathleen: It feels as if they happen spontaneously. Put two characters in different circumstances (age, sex, money, and skills) together so that their desires and attitudes have an impact on each other, and the relationship quickly becomes intense. The plot seems inevitable then. It may not work. But that’s what it feels like when I’m writing. The coincidences of fate may involve research, but can also cohere in ways I didn’t anticipate.

Theresa: Do you ever agonize over fitting together the pieces of your storylines?

Kathleen: Not often. I’ll start off thinking I know where everything goes, only to discover the story takes a different direction. Sometimes I have to wait for the details to become apparent. I agonize over structure: what to put in and what to leave out.

Theresa: I look forward to reading more of your work, mainly as it is easy to find writers but it is not always easy to become engaged with their work. How do you manage to captivate us so easily? Is it your fast pace from beginning to end?

Kathleen: The fast pace developed when I dared to write fiction online—like performance art. It lasted seven years. Now I try to keep the same pace but step back, off-line, and get some depth-perspective.

Theresa: You mentioned in your BC Bio, that you have a husband and two children. Does any of one them write creatively? Are they supportive of your craft, or do you maintain a low profile and publish quietly?

Kathleen: I have a grown son and daughter, who are both musicians. My son plays the saxophone and composes music I can’t always follow. He works as a business metrics analyst. My daughter wrote a music blog for years. Every year I gave them journals. My daughter was always ready for a new one by March. She loves music and is a data scientist. I’m not sure but I think my writing embarrasses them. I talk about my characters so much that my son occasionally checks my sanity. “You know they’re fiction, right?”

My husband is a writer and editor. He edits everything I write—including this. He writes business speeches and has a novel out this month, using a pseudonym because the story is at odds with his professional life.

Theresa: New York is a hotbed for creative ideas, history and vibrant people from around the globe. Name for us some that you might have drawn inspiration from. Are there any favorites you haven’t used yet?

Kathleen: Originally, I’m from Chicago as is my husband. We knew each other as children and have lived in New York for thirty years. I love living among people from all over the world. But I don’t know very many people well. I’m not sure where creative ideas come from. Certainly, they’re related to a collective unconscious. I had never seen a James Bond movie until the girl in the serial predicts the actor would get the role next. Why she did that, I don’t know. But I decided to keep it. Then I watched a few movies and read Ian Fleming. In another serial, a young man is enthralled by Bob Marley and runs away to Jamaica, a wannabe Rasta. A Jamaican blogger saw the story and sent me patois dictionaries. Curiously to me, Ian Fleming spent every winter in Jamaica.

Theresa: I’ve a favorite theory that we all possess gifts or talents with the obligation of sharing them with our fellow earthlings. It is obvious you have the wondrous gift of writing, getting to the point, developing your stories and leaving us wanting a bit more. Are there any other traits you have developed during your life such as dancing, acting or mountain climbing that you would care to tell us about?

Kathleen: I love the mountains and hiking but am not especially accomplished. We rarely travel except to visit family, especially now that my kids live in Chicago and California.

Theresa: Kathleen if you have the chance to relocate or move to a different part of the world, which places or cities would you choose and why?

Kathleen: If offered the chance to live anywhere and the means to survive there, I doubt I’d pass up any place if my husband came with me. Japan and South Korea intrigue me.

Theresa: “James Bond and the Girls of Woodstock” is only one example of exemplarily named titles you have conjured. I know our readers would be fascinated to learn how these titles come to mind. Do you find that you write the story from the title or does the title become clear once you have written?

Kathleen: The title is the last touch or else it pops to mind somewhere along the way. As I said, I didn’t start “James Bond and the Girls of Woodstock” with any interest or even common awareness of James Bond. That serial grew huge with so many characters and crisscrossing relationships that I’ll need to divide it into sections and cut it a lot.

Theresa: Dashed dreams or things you’ve longed to do, but either never will or you do not have the ability to do; I’m interested to know about two or three if you’d like to elaborate.

Kathleen: I’m horribly single-minded. All I want to do is hit the mark I set for my writing. I yearn for readers. Because of my nature, it’s unlikely I’ll be satisfied that I’ve done well enough.

Theresa: Your Pure Fiction site is testament to the different directions your writing takes you. I easily relate to having many irons in the fire. It’s a bit of a balancing or juggling act. Do you feel the same?

Kathleen: The site is still new. It’s nowhere near done and the technicalities alone drive me crazy. I wrote Flash Fiction for Mike French who ran an English literary blog, “The View from Here.” I didn’t have time to write for him but he pressed a little. Foolishly, I assumed if I kept it short, it wouldn’t take long. I write 30 pages for each I keep, though, so it was a good exercise. “Superpowers” is the first Flash Fiction I’ve written in years. It’s an aside in the novel I’m rewriting. My blog was popular for a few years so I’m doing my best to put something up once a week, even if it’s only a quote from “Diary of a Heretic,” which is often the case.

Theresa: If you were one of your characters, Kathleen, give us a shortened example of how you would “burst” upon us and however did you come up with this terminology?

Kathleen: I’m not sure I can. The challenge for me is getting away from my characters. When they take over my dreams, arguing and doing things they would naturally do but aren’t part of the story, I take a day off and walk along the Hudson or go to a museum.

Theresa: What are your publishing plans for the remainder of 2014?

Kathleen: I won’t finish rewriting “The Vitruvian Man” this year. With luck, I’ll finish the first half, from the man’s point of view this year, and rewrite “The Vitruvian Woman,” which is the novel’s second half in time to publish it in 2015. “The Vitruvian Woman” is currently on my site as “Work-in-Progress.” When I take it down, you’ll know, I’ve finished Walter’s half.

~~~

4Kathleen Maher I fully expect great things from you. Your literary treasures spring from the depths of your secret writing place. And I predict that someday in the not too distant future, a majority of readers will know your name, too. I appreciate your time and extend a warm welcome to BlogCatalog. I invite you all to get to know this author and her works of art by visiting her website and on BlogCatalog.

About Theresa H Hall

As a professional vocalist, licensed broadcaster, artist, published poet, lyricist, writer, animal lover and budding pastry chef, my blogs are intended to be conversational, thought provoking, interesting, mostly humorous and sometimes serious. Please join me on my quest to make "Sleeping Kitten - Dancing Dog!" (SKDD) a favorite of yours to visit. Read me on Half Hour Meals dot com and on BrooWaha dot com

cavemanmoney2

CAVEMAN MONEY – A Affinity For Personal Finance

The Caveman Money on BlogCatalog is a personal finance blogger who uses his anonymous internet handle “The Caveman” on the internet because he found that after blogging for about six years he started feeling a little uncomfortable discussing his own personal finances in detail.  He also found that using his anonymity name allowed him a little more freedom when it came to sharing his own ideas and his blog while still giving him a great excuse to refer to his wife as “Mrs. Caveman,” which elicits an eye-roll every time she reads one of his articles.

So now I have to ask, how does a young man such as yourself in his twenties grow to know so much about personal finances?

Caveman:  I suppose I don’t have a good answer to that question. Personal finance has always been a fascination of mine, ever since I first learned about the beauty of compound interest. The idea that I could make money simply by letting it sit somewhere has always amazed me. As a young kid, all you really know about money is that it is meant to be spent on toys. I figured out pretty early on that if I invested my money for a while, I could buy more toys later.

Angie:  Are your parents the same way and are you their only son?

Caveman:  Well, I am an only child, but my parents think very differently than I do when it comes to personal finances. That isn’t to say that they are bad with their finances because they are not, but they are definitely bigger consumers than I am. My father works in manufacturing and puts in 60+ hours in any given week, and he’s not afraid to spend a little bit of his hard-earned money when he wants. Overall, though, my folks are more responsible with their finances than probably 90% of people out there, so I can’t complain!

Angie:  Why did you choose a career in corporate finance?

Caveman:  As much as I love personal finance, most jobs in that field require a lot of cold-calling and a lot of sales ability. Selling things for other people is just not something I’m interested in, so I decided a career in corporate finance was right up my alley. Working in corporate finance allows me to gain valuable experience and perspectives, and I can spend my free time blogging about personal finances. It’s a great balance!

Angie:  I read on your blog that you listen to Dave Ramsey’s teachings.  When did you start listening to him?  Before or after you started your financial analyst career?

Caveman:  I started reading Dave Ramsey’s books when I was in college. At the time, I was working full-time in a call center while attending college and I had built up a good bit of debt after I bought my first home in 2006. I was still trying to make sense out of “being an adult,” and Ramsey’s teachings really helped guide me back toward a good path, financially.

Angie:  I also read that even if you do agree with Ramseys teachings there are a few things you don’t agree with.  Can you share those with us?

Caveman:  Well, Ramsey is a great teacher for the average person. I think that once a person has a good hold of their financial situation, though, some of Ramsey’s teachings can seem a little too extreme. A great example is Ramsey’s view on credit cards. He advocates that you just never use them, but the reality is that responsible use of credit cards can yield to several hundred dollars in benefits each year. I’ve got about $350 sitting in my Capital One Rewards Cash right now from the last six months of spending, and I have never paid them a dime in interest.

Angie:  Have you ever had someone challenge your advice?  And if so, how did you resolve it?

Caveman:  I always say that personal finance is not a science, but rather an art. People challenge my numbers and assumptions constantly, and I encourage that. If you’ve found a better path toward financial freedom than following the advice I’ve laid out, then I say blaze your own trail. Just be sure to share your knowledge with the world once you’ve been successful doing it your way. Remember: If you’re reading articles on my blog, then you’re probably already doing more than 95% of the United States is doing to help themselves. It’s all about doing your research and implementing a plan that works for you.

Angie:  Have you ever gone a little crazy spending some serious money just for fun?

Caveman:  All the time. I advocate a balance between paving your way toward financial freedom and enjoying life today. We want to be as stress-free and independent as we can be when we’re older, but not at the expense of suffering while we’re young. I go on a nice vacation every couple years. Most recently, I converted my empty basement into the ultimate “Man Cave.” I’ve got a 100-inch projection setup with a nice surround-sound system, a full stocked bar, a 7-seat wrap-around couch and my own separate recliner, and all sorts of signs and memorabilia hanging on the walls representing my favorite NFL team. I even built up a little bit of zero-interest debt to make this happen. It puts me in a little bit of a squeeze in terms of meeting my financial goals in 2014, but that just means I’ve got to work a little harder.

Angie:  Your post on the APMEX silver bars was fun to read.  I then noticed below that you  mentioned to “TonyB” that your all time favorite company to invest in that also made you the most money was Disney.  Is that really true?  And If so, how much are you investing in it this year?

Caveman:  Unfortunately, I had to liquidate all of my Disney stock when I bought my house a year ago. To give you an idea of what that has cost me, I sold the stock at $60 a year ago, and it is worth $80 today. They’ve also paid out some dividends over that timeframe as well. I love my new house, but a stock gaining over 30% in the last year would have been really nice. This year, I’m a little apprehensive on Disney because of their major run-up in 2013. I’d like to move a little bit of my Roth IRA funds into their stock, though – maybe 25%.

Angie:  Do you have any major financial goals you’d like to share?

Caveman:  Actually I do! Recently, I shared on my blog that my long-term goal is to have $1 million in net worth by my 40th birthday. That’s about 12 years from now, and I’ve got a long way to go. Loyal readers of my blog will get an opportunity to follow my progress via my monthly net worth reports!

Angie:  Who do you most admire in todays world? And why?

Caveman:  Honestly, I admire my father more than anyone. He has worked his tail off for the last 30 years to support me and my mom. While he is successful in his industry, he still puts more hours in an average week than I put in even during my busiest times at work. He has taught me a lot about work ethic and being thankful for what I’ve got. While we all want to do better and have more than our parents, he has set the bar pretty high and has given me a lot to aspire to. On my journey from child to independent adult, he has never shied away from telling me he’s proud of me, and he has also never stopped giving me advice and life lessons. 

Angie:  Those are really nice words, and thank you for sharing some good and constructive sound advice with all of us on BlogCatalog.

Connect with

The CaveMan on BlogCatalog      On Twitter 

Chris Monty

Our Very Own “Viral Video Box” on BlogCatalog

Hello Chris Monty from Baltimore, MD.

Chris, I believe you have one of the best entertaining blogs out there, which we will soon share with our BC members as everyone on BC enjoys getting to know the blogger behind the blog.

Chris’s blog is called Viral Video Box  and when you visit his blog you’ll know instantly why he chose that name.  In fact here’s a taste of his latest post that will blow you away.
Click here >  Swedish-subway-hair-care-ad-will-blow-you-away-video/

Chris is a husband, father and a blogger that loves meeting other bloggers because he enjoys the social aspect of the blogging and who wouldn’t?  It is fun.  ;D

Chris in reading your BIO on BC you wrote that you started blogging in 2008 and never looked back.  Were you really so serious about it that you gave up your day job?

Chris:  No, I became serious about blogging after I was laid off from my job in mortgage.  I began to realize the potential in blogging and decided to “take the bull by the horns.”

Angie:  Well, looks like you grabbed him really tight  and didn’t let go.  What was it that you use to do at the mortgage company?

Chris:  I was a mortgage loan officer.

Angie:  Yup, been there and done that….it’s boring alright.  Is that all you did, work on your blogging career?  If so, how did you make ends meet so quickly?

Chris:  No, I had a few jobs in between…I took a job at another mortgage company, then did some local SEO for a marketing company in Baltimore.  Eventually, the blog took off to the point where I could give up my day job.

Angie:  Was that before or after the three daughters came around? Just wondering b/c that couldn’t have been so easy to leave your job.

Chris:  Quite right.  My daughters are 16, 10 & 6 so they were born before I started blogging.  It wasn’t easy walking away from a day job, but things were going well enough at the time that it was possible.

Angie:  That’s pretty awesome.  Not to many people can say that.  So back in 2008 who’s blog or article was it that inspired you to start blogging?

Chris:  I used to spend a lot of time reading the ProBlogger blog and bloggers like ShoeMoney.  I think they make it sound a little easier than it is, but at the time, it was very motivating.

Angie: How do you select the videos you’ve chosen to use on your blog?   Because the ones you presently have are all so much fun to watch.

Chris:  I subscribe to about 80 different video feeds, some from YouTube, some from Reddit, some from Vimeo, etc.  I take the ones that look like they’re going to resonate with our audience and those are the ones we write about.

Angie:  Can you remember a time when someone might have criticized what you wrote about?  – How did you respond?

Chris:  There are times when people think a video goes too far, or back when I wrote a local news blog, there were people who objected to me portraying a certain part of the city as being a “bad neighborhood.”  Being a blogger, you learn to develop a thick skin pretty quickly.  You can’t please everyone.

Angie:  One of your videos under your “Prank” tab, I thought was horribly cruel yet the ones that did the prank and the ones watching it while it happened thought it was so funny.  I’m referring to the one called “Most Extreme Wake-Up Pranks Ever”    I mean really……if that  was you what would you have done afterwards to those people?

Chris:  You have to understand, a lot of these pranksters will do anything to get more views on their videos.  Sometimes, the pranks are real, and sometimes it’s clear that the victims were in on it.  I don’t know if that wake-up prank was real or not, but that would be an incredibly dangerous prank to pull on an unsuspecting victim.

Angie:  I got a kick out of the way Samuel L. Jackson DESTROYS the Reporter who mistakes him for Laurence Fishburne who did the Super Bowl commercial.
And for those who didn’t watch the Super Bowl here’s Laurence Fishburne in the commercial.

You also have what is called:  “Get Viral Videos in Your Inbox.   Is that the same as a news letter only you’re sending videos?  Or is there something more added to your subscription?

Chris:  Yes, that’s just a way for readers to get the daily VVB feed sent to them.  Some people like RSS, some people like Facebook or Twitter, some people like email.

Angie:  How does your family feel about your blogging?  Do they help you with finding great videos for you?

Chris:  My family has some idea of what I do, but I try to keep my work life separate from my home life.  Every once in a while, if a video is REALLY funny, I’ll show my teenage daughter and she’ll get a kick out of it.  Sometimes, my wife will show me a video that’s circulating on Facebook and I’ll realize I need to get that on our blog ASAP.

Angie:  After blogging for over 5 years now professionally, what advice would you give to bloggers that are new and serious to blogging?

Chris:  Never give up.  Just when you think you’re done and you’ll never make it, don’t give up.  Just when you think all is lost, don’t give up.  Never ever give up.  The universe rewards the persistent.  Also, make some connections (i.e. – friends).  Find other bloggers who blog about what YOU blog about and make friends.  It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.

Angie: Was there something you learned the hard way?

Chris:  There are a lot of ad networks out there who will try to screw you out of the money you’ve earned.  Trust no one.

Angie: Besides Facebook, which social network would you say you’ve had the best experience using and why?

Chris:  I would say definitely Pinterest.  As Facebook has completely destroyed the news feed for brands lately, Pinterest has really picked up as a valuable traffic source.  If you can get invited to contribute to some of the big boards out there, you can generate a lot of traffic quickly.

Angie:  If you weren’t blogging professionally what would you be doing today?

Chris:  I still work as an SEO for a local digital marketing agency.  With three kids, it’s nice to have health benefits.  :)

Angie:  Will you still be blogging 10 years from now?

Chris:  No one knows what tomorrow brings, but I certainly hope I will be. ;)

Angie:  I’m glad to hear you say that.
And If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?

jedi-mind-trick

Chris:  Jedi mind trick…obvious reasons.

Angie:  And who wouldn’t want that?   :D

Connect with Chris Monty aka “blippitt” on BC

On FaceBook as himself or as The Viral Video Box                   On Twitter            On Pinterest