Here I am, on Wizzley

by NanciArvizu

Welcome to my Wizzography! A story teller of all types, Wizzley is a great platforms for writers like me.

I love to write about all kinds of things. Places to go, food, people, books, movies, even thoughts and poetry once in awhile.

Interviewing other people about their work is what I enjoy the most. Sharing great stories about seemingly ordinary people who are following their passion is a satisfying experience.

But there is more to life than writing. Living in a semi-rural area of the Sonoran desert, north of Scottsdale, AZ, lets me enjoy the outdoors on a grand scale. Hiking and horseback riding the trails surrounding my home are the greatest joys of life. If you've never been to the Valley of the Sun, come for a visit anytime between October and May. You'll love it. I promise.

Other hobbies and adventures I enjoy include photography, drawing, cooking and of course, reading.

Digital Photography

Discovering Digital Photography through simplified cameras.

Living in the beautiful Sonoran desert and being an avid hiker, gives me plenty of opportunity to take beautiful photographs. The only problem was the quality of my smart phone just didn't do the scenery justice.

So I invested in a small semi-automatic digital camera.

I bought it because the sales person at Best Buy said it came with "idiot and super-idiot proof settings." Sold.

He was right. Even when a half-dozen or so little icons are flashing on the screen, it still takes great shots. Unfortunately the camera came with very little instruction and well, I guess I haven't taken the time to research it. I haven't needed to. Seriously, I've figured out just enough to be dangerous. I love the quality of photos I'm taking with this little camera that fits perfectly into the pocket of the ScotteVest I hike in or my purse making it easy to take great pictures every where I go.

Some of my Photos

Having great scenery helps
Egret in Bodega Bay
Egret in Bodega Bay
Nanci Arvizu
Washington State Tulip
Washington State Tulip
Nanci Arvizu
Washington State Tulips at the Pike
Washington State Tulips at the Pike
Nanci Arvizu
Cacti on Pinnacle Peak Trail, Scottsdale, AZ
Cacti on Pinnacle Peak Trail, Scottsd...

I love my Sony Camera

Sony Cyber-shot has idiot proof setting, takes excellent pictures
Sony DSCW830/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)

It"s the amazingly easy-to-use camera that slips right in your pocket-with an 8x optical zoom, 20.1MP photos and beautifully-detailed HD videos. And pics stay clearer, even with...

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Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch LCD (Black)

Sony Cyber-shot DSCWX220/B

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Being Outdoors is Best

There is no better gym than being outside.

Nothing is better than going for a walk, in my humble opinion. Walk, run, hike. Just be outside, breathing fresh air. It's addicting.

Living in the Sonoran desert gives me the opportunity to be outside the better part of the year, most of it when the rest of the country is dealing with something called winter. From October to May, the winter here consists of watching it snow on the TV and thinking, wow. What's that?

Taking pictures of the beauty around me is a joy, a treat. So easy to do. Especially with the right camera. But even cell phones can do the job, especially when taking pictures of cloudless blue skies and sending them to friends and family who have no idea what that big bright thing in the back ground is. 

**I have vowed to stop doing this after the 2015 Superbowl and TPC "Fog and Rain Gate." I am so sorry for bringing on that kind of karma. And you all who came into town from your far away foggy lands should have left your weather at home!**

If you're ever in the Valley of the Sun and you're an avid hiker (and in pretty good shape) I highly recommend hiking Pinnacle Peak in north Scottsdale. Take plenty of water, because there is none on the trail, only on the trail head, and wear proper shoes and a hat! Also, please note that is not a loop, however far you go out is how far you have to go back and there is no short cut.

Must Have Water

Don't forget your water. Too much is better than not enough.
BONL Hydration Bladder for Hiking, Cl...TETON Sports Oasis1100 Hydration Back...

I Love to Cook

My diet has changed so much in the past year.

I'm the freak at the table, although I do my best to hide it.

I don't eat wheat (gluten or other products containing wheat), dairy products, most corn products or soy. 

That leaves people asking, "what do you eat if you don't eat all that?"

My response? "Anything I want to." Then I explain.

I know what food makes me feel good and what food makes me feel bad. I want to eat the food that makes me feel good. I do not want to eat the food that makes me feel bad.

I've discovered that life without these items is really fairly simple. And so good. So very, very good.

It took a while for all the pieces to come together, but over the past year I've lost close to 50 pounds and went from a size 14 to a size 6. But like I said, the pieces needed to come together and of course the biggest piece when it comes to weight loss is food. What we put in our mouths!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, what you put in your mouth is your choice. I know, what a concept. 

I'll share a few of my favorite recipes here.

Fish Tacos

Super easy to make at home, better than what you'd get dining out.

Prep time 2 min  -  Total time 20 min
Ingredients for 2 servings
Two pieces of Tilapia (white fish)  • Coconut Oil (Refined for higher heat)  • Corn Tortillas (this is the one corn product I eat)  • Any kind of salsa or creme sauce you prefer  • Makes enough fish for 4 - 6 tacos.

Super Easy

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Place the fish pieces in the oil and let cook until brown on one side before turning over. Let both sides get brown then break up fish with spatula. Let the fish get crispy in the coconut oil.

Warm tortillas on stove or in microwave.

Spoon fish into tortillas. Garnish with your favorite salsa or creme sauce.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (1 Votes)

I turned a hobby into a business

My passion for reading and writing led me to something wonderful.

I've never know any other career choice.  Since I was little all I wanted to do was read and write.

I understood the stories had been written by people with imagination and determination. I pictured myself at my desk, pen and paper (I just dated myself) in hand, spending time weaving the characters in my head through mysteries, romances and the occasional western. Just like, or even better, than the stories that had swept me away all my life.

While I worked on that best selling novel (along with the several other story drafts and partial manuscripts) the publishing world began changing. Authors were learning the new "dark path" to publishing. "Indie-Publishing" or "Self-Publishing" was new and authors going this route were still being looked down upon by traditional publishers, media outlets and "real" authors.

I can't really tell you what I saw as the opportunity at that moment. Was it helping others acheive their own dreams, or mine of a really full library? 

Podcasting was new too, and I was listening to all kinds, fascinated. Anyone could be behind the mic. Even me. So I figured it out, Blog Talk Radio made it super easy and free, and ta-da; PageReaders was born. And yes, I put the two words together like that on purpose. A purpose that I can no longer recall.

I hit up a few authors on LinkedIn, explaining the platform and benefits they'd receive from being guests on my show, for free. Those first few authors that took the plunge with me are still people I consider some of my closest friends. 

Each show is about 30 minutes long and most focus on just one guest at a time. There are a few interviews where I had a rapid series of short Q & A's with authors who participated in anthologies, which were a lot of fun. A couple of books had been written by two people, so when I could, I'd interview both authors.

After each interviews I'd post it to my blog site and share it to the growing number of social media and news outlets available to me, a newbie in the world of author promotion. Over time the blog moved from Blogspot to WordPress. The world of Indie Publishing grew up and the money centered around self-pub'd authors got serious. Promotion became very, very important.

Around this time, I partnered with Aggie Villanueva to create Promotion a la Carte, an affordable service for authors, both traditionallly and self-pub'd, who needed more online exposure for their work. And with the number of books hitting the shelvs on a daily basis, standing out is the name of the game.

And since Aggie had seen both sides of the fence, having been both traditionally and self-published, she brought an understanding to the different promotional aspects available to each kind of author. She'd been around the block, she knew what lay around each bend.

Aggie and I worked hard and created a huge group of promotion "junkies" all working together to share the news of the authors we presented to them. It was fun, but it didn't necessarily create sales for the authors and it was a lot of sitting at a computer. 

After a few years, we decided change was needed and we closed the business. I had an itching to try my own hand at writing and a few other hobbies. Aggie had decided to leave the southwestern desert and head for the southern coastal region. We remain friends to this day.





Books by Aggie Villanueva

Fiction and non-fiction, traditionally and self published best selling author.
Amazon Categories Create Best Sellers: Making author publicity an open book (Volume 1)

With the exception of 5 days, an IMMEDIATE KINDLE BESTSELLER in multiple categories the first 36 weeks of publication! How do so many authors get a bestseller? Amazon created an...

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The Rewritten Word: How to Sculpt Literary Art, No Matter the Genre

2011 winner of the Global eBook Award in Writing/Publishing, this is the only How-to-Write book that has nothing to do with writing. It's all about rewriting. Whittle away what ...

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Rightfully Mine (God's Equal Rights Amendment)

"Why should the name of my father be wiped from Israel like footprints in a sandstorm because he bore only daughters? " - The Promised Land - God's precious gift to the Israelit...

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Chase the Wind

Chase the Wind

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Rightfully Mine (God's Equal Rights Amendment) [Paperback] [2009] (Author) Aggie Villanueva

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The Next Phase

What am I doing now?

After PageReaders ended and Promotion a la Carte closed, I started taking on editing projects for authors I'd worked with. After spending years reading and reviewing manuscripts, I'd developed a good eye for errors, not just typos but story line problems and other developmental issues that continued to tarnish the Indie Pub industry.

Editing and proofreading are still a part of what I do today. However, I started seeing a new opportunity in the world of public relations and have begun developing a business based on this new perspective.

And that's how Cowgirlheart Media was born. I'd picked that name a long time ago, I can't even remember why or how or for what anymore. But I like it, so I kept it and now I'm using it.

The public relations approach I take is a little different, but it accomplishes what is necessary: Higher search engine rankings and more organic traffic to your site(s) giving you the opportunity to make more sales.

It also gives me the opportunity to do what I love - write about all kinds of different things!

Updated: 06/12/2015, NanciArvizu
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DerdriuMarriner on 06/20/2017

NanciArvizu, What drinks do you recommend with the tilapia fish tacos?

greentree on 03/21/2016

As a hiker, do you know for some method to prevent mold on moist sleeping bags or cloths?

blackspanielgallery on 06/21/2015

I see your work has evolved. Static today does not work.

NanciArvizu on 06/19/2015

Thank you Clint. Yes, it's been quite the journey. Thankfully, there's still more :)

swampnut on 06/19/2015

You've surely followed an interesting path. Enjoyed learning a little about you here. I will also look forward to some of what you have learned in the area of book promotion for self published works.

NanciArvizu on 05/27/2015

I'm working on those and so much more. Thank you for your interest!

sheilamarie on 05/27/2015

You've taken some interesting turns. I'd love to read some wizzles on what you've learned about book promotion.

NanciArvizu on 05/22/2015

Thank you! Life is a constant work in progress. 😊

NanciArvizu on 05/22/2015

Thank you! Life is a constant work in progress. 😊

CruiseReady on 05/22/2015

Wow! You have traveled a busy path! Seems like you were always focused enough that you didn't lose track of the prize, but not so much so that you missed the opportunities presented by the changing landscape. That's ab accomplishment in its own right, in my opinion

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