Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When Opportunity Knocks...

Sometimes fate works in mysterious ways. I believe it does. Why else would my world have been rocked upside this week with huge anticiaption of my big break. So imagine this...I am changing into my running clothes to go for a noontime run with my running girls when my cell phone rings. "Hi, is this Tomi Tuel? This is CJ from The Morning's a fox affiliate. We are wondering if you would be interested in coming on our show day after tomorrow. Oh by the way we are in New York. You're in California is that correct?"

Wow! Like that is even a question they would have to ask. Oh course I was interested, but how did they get my information, I wondered. I mean, in some cases I have solicited local radio for months on end and get no where, and then this...out of the blue, blahblam! They sought me out. The first time this ever happens to you, it is an amazing thing. You keep pinching yourself. I could be in New York by tomorrow. I have never been to New York and to get a chance to go at Christmas time was beyond my wildest expectations. If I got this spot, it might be my big break launching sales of my book enough to get some attention.

So, I had all my friends sending positive energy and karma my way. But when I hadn't got a call back by noon the day before the show was to air, I started to doubt my big trip. As it turned out, the producer was under the wire and brought in another expert. So, my big break didn't come, yet. I have no doubt it will happen. It isn't my time yet, but I believe it will come.

My message to you is this, have hope and faith, and don't give up. All that you are learning through your divorce process can be applied to life after divorce. It's like that book, All I needed to know in life, I learned in Kindergarten. Hence the title of a future book, All I learned in Life I learned from My Divorce. Divorce makes you stronger and when you have ups and downs in life you can take them in stride, because nothing can compare to the ups and downs while you are in the middle of a divorce. It becomes your benchmark for all other ups and downs in your future.

So, I am being positive that after the new year I will get to New York and be on that show. You too have much to look forward to after the new year. Stay positive. We're in this together!

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's All in the Follow Up

No one takes you by the hand in the publishing business, I've found out. It is going on four years and well I've only received one very meger royalty check. No it's kind of like college. I remember in one a Marketing Research classes I had. The instructor took a poll that day. Looking back, I wonder now if he was silently laughing to himself to see how many of us actually bought into this. He asked, "How many of you here in this class expect that you will be corporate executives someday?" Without hesitation I raised my hand with about a third of the class. I was surprised when some students didn't raise their hand and looked blank faced back at him. I guess I had bought into the notion that was what was going to happen immediately after I graduated with my undergraduate degree. I thought I was being primed for that. Maybe that is the ego of a young college kid, but really what I later learned was that I was just nieve and all those other students, the ones that didn't raise their hand, knew that it took more than just a degree.

My piont is that lesson has been applied time and time again to my life. I remember that lesson as something that humbles me. Because, I am not a corporate executive, perhaps by choice I like to think. I am very content doing what I do, no I haven't quit the day job...yet. That reality of my life is a constant reminder that no matter how hard you work to get somewhere in life, it is all about the follow up and the relationships you build. I think that is so true in anything. I have been in this business barely four years if you count from the very first day I put pen to paper to scribe my first book. I have been in the promotion end of this business barely six months. And I can honestly tell you, if you want to get anywhere you have to follow up with your contacts. Sometimes several times. I was able to secure my first Borders book signing after 22 emails and 12 months of follow up. I had some issues with the timing of my book's release and then Borders book buyer didn't actually agree to buy my book for their shelves. BUT, nonetheless, I still managed to have a book signing and nearly sell out of all my books that night. Not bad for not even being picked up by them at first. This is still being worked out hopefully will bode well with the buyer at corporate.

My biggest endorsement would not have happened if I hadn't followed up that last time. John Gray, PhD and best selling author of the Venus and Mars books actually endorsed my book. His quote is on the front cover of my book. But I almost missed this huge endorsement. It took nearly 11 months of monthly follow up calls to his office. At one point, my manuscript had been lost and because I followed up I found this out. So I sent another copy. Then another 5 months of calls to check in and see what the status was ensued. Each time his staff was just as nice and could be too and would tell me he had many to get through, it is next in his pile, etc. So the day I decided to call for the last time I had to convince myself to push through it and make the call. I felt like I was a nuisance, and almost didn't make the call. Again, as they had always been they thanked ME for my patience. I was the one who should have been thanking them. But here was the kicker. They told me that he had endorsed my book, but because they didn't have the correct email it bounced back and he was heading to Austrialia for an extended trip. Ugh! I thought I was destined for this kind of luck all my life, when she told me she could forward his email/endorsement to me. So she did and that is the story of how I almost missed the biggest endorsement of my life!

Just today I followed up with Dr. Phil, Ellen Degeneres, The View and about 3 other contacts for various magazine articles. It only takes a few minutes, but the personal phone call is key. So how did I get the contact information...that's another conversation we will get to tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Shopping in High Heels

What was I thinking when I left the house in my heels. Still doning the outfit I wore to work, I did a once over as I passed by the mirror and decided I shouldn't waste time changing my outfit, and besides I might as well look like I have money to spend, even if I don't. Believe me, I am the first one to admit I love being comfortable while I am shopping. I'm not much of a shopper really, in fact, I feel a little overwhlemed and my dyslexia starts to show. But for some strange reason I felt the need to look spiffy. I am paying the price for it now. My dogs are barkin. Even my comfy fussy red Walmart slippers can't save them now.

So where were we...oh yes, deal breakers. I was recently on the Armstrong and Getty talk radio show. They featured my book and did an interview of me I think. It happened so fast and when it was over, I wasn't sure what really happened. There's a joke there somewhere. But the PR was good and that's all that matters. These two guys are punchy and political and controversial. Their show airs in parts of the bay area and northern California. So, after what was about the shortest interview of my life, they continued on for the next hour with callers calling in their deal breakers because of something I had written in my book.

People called in with all sorts of deal breakers. They ranged from the ridiculous to the wise. For example one caller said he broke up with a girl because she let her cat drink milk out of her cup and then went back to drinking it. Another caller had a good bit of advice that raising voices in the thick of an argument is a deal breaker and when that happens they take a break from the argment. Good advice.

My point in the chapter where I talk about deal breakers is that everyone has their "end-its" or boundaries if you will, that will end their marriage in divorce. I remembered having a conversation with my ex early on in our marriage about each other's deal breakers. Mine was, I would agree to a divorce if he ever wanted out and if he ever had an affair it would be instant grounds for divorce for me. Those were my boundaries and my point was it was black and white. I don't really remember his, probably because I was so focused on my own end-its and I wanted to make sure he understood them, that I probably tuned him out. I didn't want there to be any confusion. I think his were very simple, if I ever wanted a divorce he wouldn't stand in my way. Now mind you, this conversation was very early on in our relationship...way before kids even.

So when he did start seeing someone else outside of our marriage there was no guessing what I would do. But the funny thing was, at that point, he really didn't care. He was in his own world. It was later, not a lot later either for those of you going through this now, that he wasn't sure about what he wanted after all and that perhaps he had made a mistake. I found that my boundaries that were once black and white could be gray and that there were no rules and no absolutes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well Hi there!

Today is Wednesday, December 12, 2007 and today is my first blog.

I don't really know what I am doing, only that I have never blogged anything before. Heck, I didn't even know what the word meant until recently. I remember hearing the word back when the tsunami hit and people were going onto blogs to find their lost family members. I didn't understand it then fully, only that it seemed really valuable and was a wonderful way to connect people. Wow only three years later and I'm onboard now, what a relief!

Whether or not the world can use one more blogger I'm not sure, but it does seem to be a good idea in today's publishing world and with the new release of my first book, 101 Things I Learned AFTER My Divorce, I thought I just might give it a shot.

My book is for anyone on the heels of divorce, going through a divorce or even a year or two out from divorce. It's about survival and about movng on. I have been divorced for nine years and have been remarried for the last four. I was once in your shoes and remember all too vividly the pain of splitting up especially when there are children to consider. But, know this, you are not alone.

It was amazing to me to realize how many people were moving through life, yet so many were going through exactly what I was going through. When I got divorced I started talking to others who had been divorced. It was truly shocking to me that so many people carried this same suitcase of baggage around with them and fought through it every single day. At the time, it seemed like everyone else was doing it with ease and I was the only one struggling. My friend, I'm here to tell you, you are not alone and life does get better.

Well, to keep this short, here is the first topic for the blog:

I thought I'd start with something appropriately related to the holidays. The holidays are a very telling time for troubled relationships. Bad relationships have a way of revealing themselves during the holidays and we pretty much have to come to terms with the sad truth by New Years whether or not they will last. I would say that there are two days in particular that are dealbreakers in most bad relationships. That would be New Years day and the day after Valentines. Certainly if you aren't together on New Years Eve, that can't be a good sign and well everyone pretty much knows that the national breakup day is the day after Valentines. Oh wait there's one more, the day after your birthday...isn't that grounds for a break up too, if they forget it?

What are your dealbreakers?