Saturday, April 23, 2016

Alina Frank on Wanting Sex Again and Rekindling Passion Using EFT

Alina Frank talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her book, How to Want Sex Again: Rekindling Passion Using EFT.

If you want to have passion in other areas of your life, then really consider sex as a path to having more passion in your life overall. ~Alina Frank

Alina had been looking for a way to heal herself of a serious illness when she discovered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which enabled her to get the healing results she so desired. She then became a practitioner, attaining several certifications and working with literally thousands of people all over the world, over the course of twelve years from her home, thanks to the Internet, and it was four or five years into her practice that Alina began focusing on healing people who had challenges with sex and intimacy. She thus became an expert in these areas, something she admits she would have not wanted to do while growing up Catholic.

EFT is a healing modality that is also called “tapping,” as part of this modality involves tapping what are effectively acupuncture points on one’s head and upper body, using fingertips. It is used to remove negative emotions and to remove that which is limiting people in various aspects of their lives. Practitioners and trainers are certified by such organizations as EFT Universe and AAMET.)

Alina intended the book to be read primarily by women who are experiencing challenges with sex and intimacy, although men could also get something from it. She notes that regular sex is good for one’s body, resulting in lower bad cholesterol levels and a younger biological age than one’s chronological age, and she wrote the book to reach more people than she could otherwise do with her practice, as well as to help her settle some of her own issues when it came to communicating with her children regarding talking to them frankly and properly about sex. Alina notes that she wrote the book in such a way that those who aren’t familiar with EFT can work on themselves, and that she had received lots of signals from those around her that she should write a book, which she admits that she greatly resisted.

The book isn’t just for those victims of violent sexual trauma, such as rape and incest, who shy away from intimacy, as Alina notes that most concerns with intimacy have sources outside the bedroom, particularly since women don’t isolate the bedroom from the rest of their lives, which meant that concerns in their lives in these spheres interfere with sex and intimacy. Alina gave the example of her own experience, when she got annoyed by men (not women) interrupting her for whatever reason, and she traced it back to when she was flashed at by men in her younger years, and it was through EFT that she was able to heal herself of this concern.

To those who are experiencing concerns with sex and intimacy, the most important point Alina wants to make is to not buy into the excuses that may be used to explain the lack of desire for such, such as “You’re going through menopause,” as even people in their eighties and nineties can enjoy passionate sex. Alina also remarks that a blockage here could also be representative of blocks in other aspects of people's lives.

Writing the book might have been fun for Alina, but she has been gratified by the response to it, particularly by readers who have told her that it touched them and has changed their lives. She wants to be able to train others for the work that she does and has launched a six-month program called “Reclaiming Intimacy” for women who might want to become trainers themselves.

Alina Frank’s website for her book, How to Want Sex Again: Rekindling Passion Using EFT, is

Purchase on Amazon: How to Want Sex Again: Rekindling Passion Using EFT by Alina Frank (EFT Coach)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Larry Smith on Having No Fears, No Excuses and Living that Great Career You Want

Larry Smith talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about his latest book, No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career.

Passion is an essential attribute for a great career, but it’s not enough. ~Larry Smith

Larry knew that he would be a teacher since the age of ten, so it was perhaps no surprise that he became a professor of economics after spending some time in private companies to earn some job experience. He was also influenced by his being raised in a farm environment, as economics (supply and demand, price fluctuations, and the like) was what was discussed all the time over dinner.

Larry has also been a career counselor, and over the course of thirty years he collected a lot of data on the experiences of the thousands of students he counseled, particularly when they came to him, asking for advice; and the effectiveness of his advice was related to that Larry specialized in labor markets, so he knew the job market. It was when one of his former students organized a TEDx talk at the University of Waterloo, that he gave a fifteen-minute talk, coming from his frustration at hearing the excuses people gave for not pursuing a great career, about why people will fail to have a great career that brought him into the public spotlight, as the video was recorded and uploaded onto the Internet. Larry received so many e-mails from people around the world about that video, indicating how universal the problem is, that he was influenced to write the book, No Fears, No Excuses. Larry notes that he was also influenced to write the book because, when his students asked him if there were any good books he could recommend to enable them to have a good career, Larry could not, in all conscience, recommend any book, as he found these to be “wildly incomplete” in the information these gave and as he also admits that he is a fan of plain speaking and feels that advisors should also tell their students about the obstacles that they face.

The book is based on Larry’s database of both the successes and failures that his students have had where their careers were concerned, and he remarked that he really had to limit the number of students he talked about in his book. He says that, where excuses are concerned, he suggests that people examine the reason behind those excuses and to be present to the reality of the situation as well as why they believe that excuse. Where fear is concerned, Larry remarks that fear is very useful for one’s survival, but that fear should not paralyze people, and what people should fear most is essentially being seventy-eight and thinking, I should have done this or that.

Larry’s concept of “The Great Sampling” comes from his understanding that people nowadays have a great variety of choices when it comes to careers and that, because of that “huge mass of possibilities,” it would be impossible for a single person to go in-depth into every last thing that interests him or her to determine if that is what he or she is passionate about. Larry thus recommends that a person methodically sample a wide variety of things, starting with subjects that one has a flicker of interest in and then moving outwards from there.

To those who would be interested in creating a great career, the one thing that Larry would say is that the world doesn’t tell one to have a great career, instead it’s telling one to settle for second best, that jobs are “okay,” and that one should lean against that mindset to create a great career. All these considered, Larry sensed that there was a way by which people can get great careers, and the more he worked on his book the more he became confident that he was giving the proper guidance.

Larry would like for people to imagine the best life for them, so they would know what their destination is, and then move to achieve that best life. He also remarks that people might not pursue great careers because they have not tasted, even momentarily, how sweet it could be, or cannot imagine what it is like to not be able to differentiate between a workday and a weekend.

Purchase on Amazon: No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to Do to Have a Great Career by Larry Smith

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Debbie Clarke Moderow on the Iditarod Trail with Her Alaskan Sled Dogs

Debbie Clarke Moderow talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her book, Fast Into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail.

“The real heart of the journey lies not in actually in getting there, but in working through the challenges.” ~Debbie Clarke Moderow

Debbie Moderow with two dogs. Courtesy of Doug Sonerholm.
When her children were still young, Debbie and her family adopted a retired Iditarod husky named Salt, even though she was somewhat depressed at the time, and from there, they created their own dog team. Debbie’s children learned how to mush before Debbie and her husband, Mark, did, and it was after her children had participated in the Junior Iditarod, and after her son, Andy, did the actual Iditarod and told her that she needed to do the race, that she considered running the Iditarod, particularly since she was starting to look at her empty nest at the time.

The Iditarod was started in the 1970s by a man named Joe Reddington, who settled into Alaska in the mid-1900s. He was inspired by the way dogs had connected Alaska in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as by the epic diphtheria serum run in the deep winter of 1925 to Nome by dog teams and their drivers. The race itself takes place on the first Saturday of March each year, and the course runs a thousand miles, from Anchorage to Nome, and has twenty-two checkpoints along the way, where both dogs and mushers can get checked and rest. Each team needs to send a package - a “drop bag” - of their own supplies at each stop, and preparation takes years.

Debbie notes that full preparation for the Iditarod requires three to four years, that one has to be mentored by a musher, that one has to know their dogs very well and that one has to be dedicated to the lifestyle of living with and raising sled dogs. Debbie says she requires assistance from a ranch hand as well as veterinarians and masseuses to keep her dogs in top form.

Debbie remarks that the humans who undertake this race travel with “sixteen good friends,” and that each dog plays various roles, from leaders to swing dogs (who run right behind the leaders) to wheel dogs (who run right in front of the sled), comparing her dog team to a sports team, where each player has a particular position to fill. She also remarked that there is a social dynamic that comes into play, as each dog has its own particular personality, and it is up to the musher to nurture these and place them in the positions where they are most effective in the team. She notes that running is innate to huskies, as nine-month-old pups who are first put into harness know instinctively how to do so, in the same way Labrador retrievers instinctively know how to swim. Debbie’s dogs are Alaskan Huskies, which would find twenty degrees Fahrenheit hot and are well suited to the rugged, cold, northern latitude environments.

Debbie remarks that the driver needs to know her dogs as well as the dogs know the musher for the team to work effectively. As an example, she knows that, when one particular dog’s ears perk up, that that dog is detecting either another dog team or a wild animal nearby, whereas, when another dog looks at the dog running alongside, that that dog is annoyed with the dog she’s eyeing. She notes that routine and consistency are part of the race, so that, when they are in the race, the dogs know that, once they run into a checkpoint, they’ll get rested, massaged, and looked after, and that, every two hours, Debbie will give them a snack.

During Debbie’s first run, she ran for six or seven hours and then rested eight or nine, which she admits wasn’t efficient, and things didn’t go as planned when they reached a stretch of sea ice under whiteout conditions, and the dogs refused to go any further. Debbie rested less during the second run, and while they initially balked when they reached that same leg where they stopped in the first run, Debbie managed to get them moving and finish the race.

Finishing the Iditarod on her second run made her realize that she had just lived a story she didn’t fully understand, and it was only when she was writing the book that she fully came to understand the story she had lived, as well as her own life to that time. She hopes that people who read her book will understand what it takes to collaborate with a group of sled dogs, as well as inspire them to set out on big goals of their own, goals that might be difficult to get to, but having the kind of journey that still makes the attempt worthwhile.

Debbie is presently working on a book on climate change, as she feels that Alaska’s climate is already being affected by global warming.

Debbie Clarke Moderow’s website for her book, Fast Into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail, is

Purchase from Amazon: Fast Into the Night: A Woman, Her Dogs, and Their Journey North on the Iditarod Trail

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Monica Wood on Her Book, The One-in-a-Million Boy

Monica Wood talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her book, The One-in-a-Million Boy.

“I just want the reader to feel as if he or she has left his or her own life for a little while and truly experienced someone else’s life.” ~Monica Wood

Monica grew up in a small, yet multicultural town. She was introduced to writing by an older sister who was also an English teacher, which was also the first time Monica realized that there were such people as writers. Monica wrote a lot of primarily fictional stories after that, but it was only when she was thirty-nine that she finally published her first book, and she has been publishing her works since then. The One-in-a-Million Boy is her fifth novel, and she has also written for magazines, has brought out a book series intended to help writers and has also written a play.

Monica remarked that The One-in-a-Million Boy was “ready-made” and that she drew inspiration for Ona Viktus, the centenarian lead character of the book, from the elderly Lithuanian people she had encountered while growing up, as well as an elderly lady who became her friend when Monica was renting a room in the lady’s house. With regard to the other characters, Monica created them out of bits and pieces of various people she knew, heard or observed and admits that the character of the Boy was drawn somewhat from herself, as both she and the Boy share a love of lists, for one thing. Monica decided not to reveal the Boy’s name because doing so wouldn’t “feel right.” Although the book is set in Portland, Maine, Monica remarks that there seems to be some universality to the story, as it is being simultaneously released in such nations as South Korea, Italy, Turkey and Brazil.

The story is emotional, but Monica managed to keep the novel from becoming overly sentimental by creating imagery that people could see, enabling the readers to understand the characters while avoiding sentimentality. Writing is a craft for Monica, and she commented that it takes her a long time to write a novel because she is very intentional about it, inspecting every sentence to make sure these have the kind of impact that she wants to have. Monica also remarks that, for her, writing is “ten percent inspiration and ninety percent craft.”

Monica is presently working on her second play, as writing plays is presently something that appeals to her, as she liked interacting with other creative people, which created an atmosphere different from that she experienced whenever she writes a book.

Monica Wood’s website for her book, The One-in-a-Million Boy, is

Purchase on Amazon: The One-in-a-Million Boy

Friday, April 1, 2016

Peg O'Connor on Philosophy for Alcoholism & Drug Addiction Recovery

Peg O'Connor, Ph.D talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by about her latest book, Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery.

“You have the potential to make some wonderful meaning, even out of really terrible or debilitating circumstances.” ~Peg O'Connor, Ph.D

Peg became interested in philosophy during her undergraduate years and got her bachelor’s degree in it, and after taking a break for three years, went ahead and earned her postgraduate degree in philosophy. She has been teaching philosophy for well over two decades and has a philosophy blog called Philosophy Stirred, Not Shaken on She is also a recovering alcoholic.

Peg remarks that philosophy is essentially self-help, and that the original philosophers, like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, understood about the care of one’s soul or character and of happiness flourishing, and her interest in using philosophy to help her recover from alcoholism was triggered when a friend of hers, who was, like her, a recovering alcoholic, wondered if the self that she was before she was an alcoholic was the same self that she was at present, and this piqued Peg’s curiosity, because, for her, philosophy does deal with the issue of continuity of identity. Peg then began integrating philosophy into her recovery, and as a result, she became more engrossed in philosophy as a real-world tool to help solve real-world problems - in the streets - as she said, rather than the purely academic pursuit that it is made out to be nowadays.

Peg thought of writing the book because she wanted to gather all of the insights she had collected into a single work. The book has several essays which can be read on their own, but which, if read altogether, creates a tapestry of suffering to transformation. Life on the Rocks might deal with addiction, but anyone can get something from it, she says. Writing the book gave her a deeper appreciation for philosophy and mentioned that it has made her more compassionate as a teacher and more involved with getting philosophy back into the regular daily lives of people.

Peg noted that shame is both a cause and a consequence of addiction, and this acts as a lens that distorts one’s view of oneself, and it doesn’t help that an addict tends to push away those people around them who can tell them who they really are. She mentioned Ludwig Wittgenstein, who remarked that “Even if all scientific questions could be answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched,” and gave the example that science can say that, when one is addicted, the neurotransmitters go into overdrive, but it doesn’t explain what happens in the experiential level and doesn’t answer the questions why people get addicted in the first place.

She also objects to addicts being reduced in essence to a biological body part, the brain i this case, rather than their being identified as people and independent beings. Peg remarks that all people have what philosopher William James calls a “misery threshold,” a sort of boundary where people will stop, and when an addict reaches this point, they change in order to bring balance back into their lives and notes that, sometimes, external forces can help people recognize and deal with their addictions. She notes that there is no one philosophical stance regarding drugs and alcohol, and notes that, just because it’s legal, it may not necessarily be right.

At present, Peg is delving into shame and how it interrupts self-forgiveness and is also working on a project regarding William James.

Purchase on Amazon: Life on the Rocks: Finding Meaning in Addiction and Recovery by Peg O'Connor.