Tag Archives: author

“The Wisdom Of Walt” (or Time To Win An Amazing Book!)

I’ve covered almost everything from the Entertainment New Media Network Conference in my past two posts. But I did skip talking about one of the speakers. And it’s not because I didn’t enjoy it. It’s because it was my favorite speaker of the entire event!

Jeffrey A. Barnes is a professor, an author, and a Disney fanatic. And as a fellow Disney fan, I was super excited to hear what he was going to talk about.

Without giving away a ton of Jeffrey’s story, he had always dreamed about writing a book about Walt Disney and Disneyland. Then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He put off having surgery for a while because he was teaching a college class on Disneyland (where was that class when I was in school?!?). After having the tumor removed, he had mentioned that he had the life regret of never writing his book. His wife told him that he still had plenty of life to live and encouraged him to write the book he always wanted to.

The book “The Wisdom Of Walt” was written as both a story about the history of Disneyland as well as leadership and self-help through the lessons that Walt Disney went through while building his park.

The Wisdom Of Walt

When Jeffrey was speaking at ENMNCon, he talked about how we needed to be the hero in our own stories. Every story needs a hero who is willing to fail, willing to act, and willing to dream. And to get your dreams accomplished nobody can be that hero except for you.

His talk really connected with me. I try not to be the victim in my story, but sometimes that’s tough. I need to focus as much as possible on being my own hero and making sure that my dreams are my priorities.

Obviously as soon as the conference was done, I bought “The Wisdom of Walt”. To say that I’m devouring the book is an understatement! I’m putting off watching my favorite TV shows to read more and more of the book! I’m getting close to the end of it and I’m already planning on re-reading it because I know that there is so much to absorb in the book.

I love the history of Disneyland parts. I do know a lot of Disney history but I’m still learning new things. And I love the lessons that are in each chapter. The book is such a great mix of learning Disney history and leadership skills with fun facts about the parks.

Why am I sharing this all with you? Because Jeffrey A. Barnes is super amazing and is giving away a copy of “The Wisdom Of Walt” on my blog! Not only is he giving away a copy, the winner will have their copy signed and personalized!

All you have to do is enter at the bottom of this post. There are a bunch of ways to enter including commenting on here, following me on twitter/Facebook/Instagram, and tweeting out the contest (you can do that every day and earn extra entries!). The contest goes until midnight on Thursday September 24th so you have lots of time to enter and earn extra entries!

And if you don’t want to enter (or if you enter but don’t win), Jeffrey has decided to give all readers of Finding My Inner Bombshell $5 off his book if you order it through his website! All the books ordered through his website will be signed (just not personalized) and if you enter the code “blog” in the notes, you will get a $5 refund after purchase! If you would prefer the Kindle version, you can get that on Amazon (but no discount and obviously it won’t be signed).

Good luck to everyone who enters! And I hope that even if you don’t win, you get this book because it is truly amazing!

Please make sure you enter through the Rafflecopter below even if you just enter by writing a comment. I will be selecting the winner randomly from the Rafflecopter entries on Friday the 26th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LA Times Festival Of Books (or Realizing I’m Only A Minor Book Nerd)

This past weekend was the LA Times Festival of Books at USC. I’ve always wanted to go to it each year, but I always seem to be working. A month or so ago, I saw something online about media passes for the festival and I decided to apply for it.

I had totally forgotten about applying for the media pass until last week when I got an email saying that I had been approved for one! I was already scheduled to work on Saturday, but I decided that I would go on Sunday and finally check it out.

I took the light rail there because parking was expensive (and I’m sure not too close to the event). When I sat down, I saw the perfect ad for my trip to the festival.


The light rail stop was right across the street from the entrance to the festival, so that was very nice. I was able to find the media check in pretty easily and got my fancy media pass.


I met up with a friend after getting my pass and she showed me around the festival. It was a little overwhelming, so I’m glad I had a friend guide me around. We checked out a bunch of the booths and the books for sale.

My media pass got me into any of the lectures that I wanted to go to, but I ended up not making it to any of them (plus all the ones I wanted to go to were on Saturday). There were also various stages with authors speaking that I didn’t need my pass to get in to.

I went to the young adult stage to see one of my favorite authors, Marissa Meyer, speak along with some other authors who specialize in young adult science fiction/fantasy.


That was pretty awesome. I didn’t know the other authors but they were all amazing to listen to. I’m not usually a science fiction/fantasy fan, but Marissa Meyer’s series The Lunar Chronicles really got me. The books are science fiction retellings of classic fairy tales in a dystopian society.

After the authors were done speaking, they were all signing books. I got in line so I could meet Marissa Meyer and I noticed how unprepared I was for the signing. Almost everyone in front of me in line had suitcases full of books to be signed. Multiple copies of each book from every author. Since all my books are pretty much on my Kindle, I didn’t have a physical book to have signed (and I didn’t want to get my Kindle signed like some people in front of me in line did). I realized that I was a pretty poor book nerd not having anything to get signed.

But I did have my media pass so when I got to the front of the line I asked Marissa to sign the back of my pass.


The line for the signing took a little over an hour. And once I got my pass signed I was feeling pretty tired from being out in the sun for so long (and it turns out I got pretty badly sunburnt as well). So I headed back onto the light rail and headed home again.

I had a really good time at the festival even though I wasn’t there for too long. But I will totally be returning next year (and making sure that I don’t have to work that weekend)!

Realizing My Reach (or Geeking Out Over A Tweet)

I know that people read this blog. I check my site stats (sometimes a bit obsessively), I have friends and family comment to me in real life about something I said on here, and I have people comment on the blog itself. I know that some people think that I’m brave for what I’m writing on here, but I’m just trying to be honest with myself. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone.

But even though I’m doing this more for myself than anyone else, sometimes knowing that somebody read your blog can just change your day.

Yesterday, I had an @ reply come through on twitter. Not an uncommon occurrence, and I didn’t check it right away. But once I did check my replies, I had a little freakout.

This is what I saw:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.19.23 AM

Jennifer Weiner is one of my all time favorite writers (I mentioned her in this post a while back). I can’t believe that she reads my blog! I’m still kind of geeking out over the fact that she follows me on twitter!

And even though I know that a bunch of you read this (obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing this post), knowing that one person who I truly look up to reads this (and without me personally sending her the posts to read) just freaks me out a little bit.

I am careful with what I say on here without trying to censor myself. I know that for any future jobs when potential employers google my name that this blog will come up. I try to be honest but not hurtful.

I know that anybody in the world can read this. And for some posts, I hope that lots of people read it and get inspired, hope, or knowledge from it. That’s why I’m being so open about things. For so long, I was quiet about all my struggles. And I thought that I was the only one going through them. But as I open up other people come forward and share their struggles as well. It’s so refreshing to live a more honest life and have more honest people surrounding me.

Quick note I wanted to add on here after I wrote this post on Thursday morning. I went out to lunch with my parents Thursday afternoon (I’ll share that story next week). I mentioned to my mom about Jennifer Weiner tweeting at me, and my mom mentioned how she was just starting one of her books, “The Next Best Thing”. I love when my life comes full circle like that!

Another Disney Day (or Making Disneyland A Book Nerd’s Dream)

Despite the crazy heat wave that LA is going through right now, this past Friday I had another outing at Disneyland. But this time was pretty special for a few reasons. First of all, this was pretty much the last time I could go until the summer was over due to my pass having so many blackout days. But the second (and more important) reason why this trip to Disneyland was so special was because of who came with me.


Do you recognize this person who is over the moon excited to be on It’s A Small World? It’s Lindsey Kelk!! When we had our lunch a while back, we discussed our mutual love of Disneyland. So when she knew she was coming back to LA, we made plans to go down to Anaheim and have an awesome day!

I wore a new Disney shirt to the park that day. I found this one while getting some workout clothes from Old Navy, and it was perfect for a hot day.


We went on a ton of rides while we were there. Inside the rides was one of the few places that were air-conditioned, so that was pretty nice. The only ride that Lindsey insisted that we go on was It’s A Small World. She had always wanted to go on it, and the only other time she was at Disneyland it was closed. Since I normally don’t go on that ride, the song wasn’t as annoying as you’d think it would be. And again, I was enjoying the air conditioning too much to mind (I actually wouldn’t have hated it if we got stuck inside just to stay cool).

I didn’t bring a hat with me to the park because I really wanted to buy a Disneyland hat. I don’t have one, and even though I don’t wear hats all the time, it’s nice to have a couple of options. At the same hat store, Lindsey bought a few gifts and got herself these really cute Minnie Mouse ear hair clips!


We also had to get a character picture. Lindsey has a new book coming out this week and her publishers wanted her to take some photos of her book traveling the country. We looked for Mickey, but he was hiding, so we stalked Pluto to get some photos.


And then I jumped in for one.


We did make it into California Adventure for a few rides, but only stayed there for about an hour before heading back to LA.

I had an amazing time! Not only was it Disneyland (which I pretty much always love), but I got to hang out with a pretty awesome person as well! And since it was so hot, Lindsey and I have already made plans to go to Disneyland in the winter. It will be a lot cooler then, plus the Haunted Mansion and It’s A Small World will have their holiday overlays on the rides.

I know that I’m totally getting my money’s worth out of my Disneyland pass. It was a good investment for me this year. And I know that I’ll be going a few more times after the summer is over.

Seriously, mixing Disneyland and one of my favorite authors really did make things amazingly awesome! Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I’m so lucky!