Category Archives: Newsletters

Looking Back at 2016, Sending Season’s Greetings, and Making Plans for 2017

A note beforehand: I would like this message to go to all subscribers to the Optimist Writer’s blogs and news. Thus it will be sent to all three blogs, Writing, Business and S1000D. This will mean that some of you will get this message more than one time. I apologize in advance for the possible inconvenience.


Dear friends,

2016 was an amazing year for Optimist Writer, with a steep learning curve, with lots of writing and publishing, and a growing consulting part of the business toward the end of the year.

One of the important and maybe a bit surprising (giving the name of my venture) achievements is that I leaned to call myself a writer when introducing myself. I feared to do so before.

Now I enjoy what I do, more than ever, and see happily how tightly entangled my books and my consulting work are. I use my books in the consulting work, and use my experience from interacting with my partners and customers, as well as advice from them as input for my books.

All of my books got wonderful feedback so far, including a number of 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon and other retailers, and a very encouraging review from a judge of a Writer’s Digest 2016 Self Publishing Book Award Contest.

Two out of my eight books published so far (six offered on various online retailers and two on my site upon subscription) became my personal best-sellers, meaning they were bought/downloaded most.

The permanently free e-book “Nothing Is As It Seems” was downloaded more than 300 times and the most expensive book of those I have on offer so far, “S1000D Issue Untangled: 552+ Business Rules Decision Points Arranged into a Linear Topic Map to Facilitate Learning, Understanding and Implementation of S1000D”, sold about 30 copies. The numbers might be considered low, but for a starting writer the growing interest and the feedback I get on these is extremely encouraging, especially taking the large offer of various books available for the first book (fiction) and a very limited and narrow niche for the second book (S1000D) mentioned above.

I am very glad and thankful that the consulting part of my business is growing, so that I don’t have to put pressure of earning my living from my books and writing. And how wonderful that I combine the two!

I would like to thank all of you for your support this year! Your friendship and help are simply priceless! Many of you supported me with a kind word, others also with active participation in shaping my books, buying them, advising and helping me to optimize my online presence, and in many other areas.

My plans for 2017 involve release of further books and continuing to do consulting work and giving training courses in all three areas that my blogs are dedicated to.

Here are some more details on my plans for 2017.

Writing. “Cheerleading for Writers” is now under first self-edit and I hope to publish it withing the first half of the year.

I started three other projects (two of them were actually started already in 2015, but they waited on my shelf to be re-activated. 🙂 )

The first is a collection of true stories by my dear friend Marcy,  Marcella Belson, which she published on the Elder Storytelling Place, and from my life. The working title is “Everywhere At Home” and I will report more on this project soon. Here are a few words on the idea behind this project. I would like to share the wonderful stories of kindness all of us (one way or another) experience every day and how they enrich our lives and make us feel at home, wherever we are.

The other two projects which I will work on in 2017 are fiction projects. One is the Book 2 in the series “A Life Upside Down” called “A President’s Sister”. About a month ago, I planned it to be an on-line project, but now I choose to do it offline, without posting each chapter online. I realized that writing this book will be a very non-linear approach, with a lot of research and restructuring during writing. But I will share with you the process time to time.

And the other fiction project is based on my experience of teaching English to beginners in Moldova. I started it one or two years ago and wasn’t sure, when I would pick it up again. But it started finding its way back into my mind recently and the beautiful Christmas ad for an English self-learning text-book and program I saw a couple of weeks ago has convinced me to pick it up and continue.

Business. Many of you heard and saw me being very keen to share my knowledge on Business Rules with all kinds of projects and businesses. The book dedicated to this topic has being read by Business Rules specialists and I got already a very helpful and motivating feedback. Over the holidays I will work on revising the book once again (the fourth time) and hope to send it to the editor in January. The working (and modified several times) title is now “Take Control of Your Business: Learn What Business Rules Are, Find Out That You Already Know Them and Use Them, Then Update Them Regularly to Maximize Your Business’s Success”. Here is the link to the very first draft of the project.

I’ll also continue posting articles in already existing and possibly new categories of my Business blog. Business rules will of course remain a topic and another two topics, which interest me here are a Startup’s Glossary where I examine my experiences as a small an still quite new business, as well as the art of business writing and what it means.

S1000D. I have presented my first book on S1000D “S1000D Issue 4.1 Untangled” at the S1000D User Forum in Seville this year. The feedback was wonderful, including requests when I will publish the next book. Many asked whether I would address the upcoming Issue 4.2 and some suggested extensions to the first book. I use the book also for S1000D training and consulting. I haven’t expected to open my book that often during my working day, and it is still a bit confusing but also extremely wonderful to have created something useful and helpful, which helps also me in my work.

The next book on S1000D is in work and it will be dedicated to both Issue 4.1 and Issue 4.2. This will go along with the compatibility of both Issues intended and announced by the S1000D Steering Committee at various occasions, including the User Forum this year.

The working title of this new book is “A Navigation Map for S1000D Issue 4.1 and Issue 4.2” (the subtitle still needs to be elaborated).

The very best wishes. I am very excited to step into 2017 and curious to discover what the year will bring. It might be scary and many recent events might seem to show that nothing good is ahead of us. But I don’t believe so. I believe that there is much more kindness in the world than evil and that each of us is able to be kind and create some true magic for ourselves and the world around us.

I hope I am contributing at least a little to one of those magic forces and events, the magic of books and written word.

And with the means of these tools, called words, I would like to wish you beautiful holidays with your loved ones and friends, and I wish you a year 2017 full of happy moments, experiences, and full of kindness!

Picture above: a very sweet and cosy Christmas display I discovered at a department store in Aalborg.

Brief September/October’16 News from Opitmist Writer

I miss sharing my thoughts or news about my writing.

You have probably seen my writing progress here on this site, either as “Cheerleading for Writers” or new categories in the Business Blog, as well as restructured, simplified and improved website.

But I haven’t written about my writing quite in a while. Neither in separate newsletters.

I thought I had to send the newsletters only as letters to my subscribers and not post inside my blog. It’s interesting how most of us try to fit in some standards even if we fool ourselves by thinking that we are rebelling. Does rebelling itself have standards? Is the standard for rebelling the breaking of all other standards? But what are those other standards to break?

Do I have to break standards at all?

Now that I think of it, Yes, there are standards to break. But maybe they are not quite standards, but rather limits that I set up for myself, which I mistakenly consider to be standards.

I really liked sharing my Newsletters as blog posts, and sharing in them what I have been up to lately. Thus, in respect to Newsletters I am coming back to what I like doing. Writing them as short blog posts, once in a while — the while often being about one month.

So in respect to writing, this is what I have done up to this point and since the last Newsletter. I finished the very, very first draft of my future book “Cheerleading for Writers”. If you follow the blog series on “Cheerleading for Writers” you might wonder how this could be, since I have published so far only until including the letter S. This is because I allowed myself to continue writing without editing, which is necessary before publishing the posts on my website.

So now I am editing the remaining articles and will post them as I make progress with incorporating the changes on the paper onto the computer screen. I do this work in frames of the 5 Minute Perseverance Game I love playing for many of my projects and about which I have written a small book structured as a board game description. Thus the posts might appear in unequal intervals since the articles are of difference length. A spoiler alert for the article starting with T. It is quite long. 😉

I’m looking forward to discover how my project games change and develop, and what limits/standards I set for myself, as well as how I break them to create new rules.

And I am curious to hear about your breaking of standards and changes of something you have thought was so well established you forgot to question it, until your heart pushed or pulled you “by your ears” through those brick walls of the limits you’ve set up for yourself. What are those? If you don’t want to comment on them here, but still would like to share them with me, then feel free to write to my e-mail address:

Picture: Who said that you need to destroy a thing completely in order to create something completely new and fresh? Look what the Australian street art artist Guido van Helten, has created out of a silo of an old asbestos cement factory in Aalborg. He decorated it with wonderful and powerful portraits of workers from this factory.IMG_1367

February 2016 News on writing by Optimist Writer

Dear friends,

The longer than usual but shortest in the year month is coming slowly to its end. Although it is short, my life is busy and filled in with projects, so that I caught myself recently wondering whether I am mistaken, that what happened since the last newsletter in January didn’t happen in one but in two or more months. I can’t quite believe that only two months have passed this year. It is wonderful to be productively busy.

Here is February news in respect to writing. The other will follow in frame of business newsletter.

I shared this news already, but still: “Seven Broken Pieces”, prequel to series “A Life Upside Down” came out on January 30. I will present it along with my other two books at my author’s talk on March 2nd at the South Gate Society (SGS) School of Creative Writing  here in Aalborg. So, if you are close to Aalborg on that day, come and join me. It will be wonderful! But if you don’t manage to come, then I will let you know what happened in the next month’s newsletter.

I started two giveaways (the first in my life and my writing career): one for “The Truth About Family” on Facebook (I will announce the winner today) and the other on Goodreads for “A Spy’s Daughter” (continues until March 13). More will follow, but these first baby steps in marketing and sharing one’s books are pretty exciting.

Most of the busy times I referred to in respect to writing have to do with the progress of the books I write. “Nothing is As it Seems” is close to its resolution and my guess is that in March we will read “THE END” there. “Cheerleading for Writers” got several articles including one on Characters.

I’ve revised and had edited twice my first short story posted initially back in 2013. This story is called today “Between Grace and Abyss” and it will be available soon for free download here on my site. If you are already subscribed to this site and to the writing blog and news, then I will send it to your per e-mail as soon as it is up and running.The book cover for this e-book is done as well. My wonderful cover designer Alice Jago did again an amazing job. I decided to reveal the cover in this post below.

Oh, I almost forgot, I have given an interview to Samuel Mork Bednarz, a student at the SGS and responsible for SGS podcasts. You can watch one of the episodes here. The interview with me will be soon available on YouTube. This interview was quite an exciting experience. And I am curious to see the result soon.

Have a wonderful month of March. It is quite special in Moldova. And I will of course write about this.

Between Grace & Abyss - cover V4

Picture: E-book cover for “Between Grace and Abyss”, created by amazing Alice Jago.

January 2016 News on writing from the Optimist Writer

Dear friends,

The time since the last newsletter (mid December) was one of the busiest I ever had in my professional life. And not only due to the holidays. Or rather less because of the holidays. They were as wonderful and recharging as always when we celebrate it with the family.

The busy side comes neither from external projects, since just like my family and me, most people took a break from work.

I did take a break from work (that is business side of my work), but I continued writing (and publishing), which helped me finish and start several projects in January.

You’ve heard already about the launch of “A Spy’s Daughter” a few days before Christmas. The freshest additional news here is that I have already received the edits on the prequel and my cover designer, Alice Jago, is working on the cover this week. So the prequel to the series “A Life Upside Down” called “Seven Broken Pieces” will see the light in February.

The free story “Nothing is As it Seems” is also well on the way and its end is near. I am very curious how exactly it will be.

I have also re-worked my very first short story and after that sent it to my editor. And I got the edits back this past weekend. This story was already published on my blog, but I have adjusted and edited it heavily. So it improved a lot and I will offer to download it free on my site soon.

My motivational resource for writers, “Cheerleading for Writers” is also taking shape. The three introductory and the first of the twenty-six alphabetically ordered posts are published and receive positive wave of likes and retweets on  If I write it in similar pace as now (one post a week or most every two weeks) I might finish it this year. I am very excited to see how it will develop.

Besides continuing writing my works-in-progress and preparing those finished for publication, I learn a lot about promotion and marketing. I am working with BooksGoSocial to promote my first book “The Truth About Family” on various social media. It is very exciting to see many tweets about my book and see how the whole community there is supporting each member. I became a member of their two groups on Facebook and started supporting other writers there and on Twitter as well. I still got to look into other Social media they advertise at. There is so much to learn and find out. I am very excited because this is truly a new world to me. Here is the link this service created for my book. Apart from the description you can also read the first page of the book there.

And then there are many extremely exciting things awaiting me in February. Writing and publishing are two of them. But I am also thrilled about my collaboration with the South Gate Society (SGS) School of Creative Writing  here in Aalborg. On the one hand, I’ll be involved into their teaching process. Last year I have given an introductory course on Creative Nonfiction for their students and this year I’ll teach several courses on various topics. On the other hand, LeAnne Kline Chistiansen, the CEO and founder of the SGS, offered to organize an author evening for me, at which I will read from my books and share stories of my life as a writer. This is so extremely exciting! (How many times write I say exciting or excited in this post already? ;)) It will be the very first reading from my published books. I’ll report in the newsletter next month how it went.

In the meanwhile have a wonderful second month of the year 2016, enjoy reading, writing, your families, dear and loved ones, your work and any other passion you have in your lives!


Picture: A guest in our garden.

More Christmas news from the Optimist Writer: The paperback of “A Spy’s Daughter” is available…and plans for the next year

The paperback of “A Spy’s Daughter” is now available too! You can buy it among other here.


I am very excited about it and wish all the readers very much fun reading it!

I was thrilled to have got a reader’s feedback on the book already two days after publishing it! And they loved it!

In the meantime and on this wonderful wave of motivation, I am working on my further writing projects.

They include an inspirational and motivational book for writers “Cheerleading for writers” the chapters of which will be post one by one in this blog and summarized here.

Then I will finalize the story I publish on bi-weekly basis here on my page. This story is called “Nothing is Like it Seems”. After finishing it, I will have it edited and will publish it as a permanently free book.

The prequel to the series, which “A Spy’s Daughter” started, will be published in the beginning of the next year. I am self-editing it right now and am going to send it to my editor in January.

And I started plotting the sequel to “A Spy’s Daughter”, “A President’s Sister”. Most in my mind but the story is deepening. This book will require some research in the part, of which I used to think was not interesting for me. Politics and how it is made. Now, I am basing a book on this! Because apparently, it is quite interesting for me, especially of how it is made and the dynamics between people when they do politics. I am quite curious of this new adventure for me.

There are also more ideas and projects looming and waiting for me to bring them further, including two fiction books and one an essay collection “Everywhere at Home”, I mentioned in the newsletter from November.

I am very excited about all this, and I will let you know how these projects progress.

In the meanwhile, this blog will have a Christmas break and will recommence after the New Year’s holidays.

Here I would like to thank all my readers and friends for your support and cheering in the past year and wish you all, and your families and friends, wonderful holidays, much happiness and many exciting moments in the coming year!