Self-published Authors

Writer: Teresa Madaleno3339059842_2fdbfe1b6a

If you like to write, and I mean really like to write, then you probably know that completing a book is only part of the journey when it comes to getting published. Finding a publisher that is willing to take a chance on you is much tougher in most cases than actually writing the novel itself. Luckily, in recent years the publishing industry has changed dramatically. E-books are now very popular so it is easier to get your work out there and read. As well, there are a number of self-publishing programs that allow writers to publish their own stories at a reasonable cost, and in some cases, free of charge.

While it is true that anyone can self-publish, not all self-published work gets read. It has to be good. It might surprise you to learn how many good books are out there that are self-published. Some of your favorite authors could have started out with self-publishing or perhaps they are still using this route.

Now a household name, David Chilton, the man we all know as a Dragon from CBC’s Dragon’s Den, published The Wealthy Barber out of his basement when he was still studying economics. Today, it is a top book for those who are looking to learn about the basics of investment.

There is also K.A Tucker. She self-published her own Y.A stories for about three years before getting noticed by Atria Books, which is a division of Simon & Schuster. Tucker is the author of the well known, Ten Tiny Breaths, which is the story of a girl trying to start over following a horrible drunk driving accident.

One of the most successful self-published authors of all time is, Michael J Sullivan. Before signing with a traditional publisher, he sold close to 70,000 copies of his Sci- Fi, Fantasy tales all by himself.

“Still Alice” is another book, made into a major motion picture not long ago and it was originally self-published.

If you are looking for a new author to follow, don’t discount self-published works. You just might find a gem.

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Zorbing – A different kind of sport

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Writer: Teresa Madaleno

Have you ever considered zorbing? Those who have played call it, a “wild experience.”

To play you need a zorb or orb, as some people refer to it. Essentially, it is a transparent plastic ball that you literally crawl inside and then roll down a hill in. Zorbing was invented in New Zealand back in 1994, but is catching on around the world, including here in Canada.

Zorbing works best on gentle slopes and can also be done on flat surfaces, which can allow riders to have more control. There are some zorbing areas that have runs up to a half a mile long. Now if you have never seen or heard of this extreme activity, you are likely wondering about bouncing around and getting injured. The fact is, these spheres are designed to minimize the impact of bumps while you are inside riding them. They are built with a ball inside a ball and with a layer of air between those balls, thus providing protection.

Zorbs or Orbs come in two different styles – harnessed and non-harnessed. Usually, harnessed orbs are built for one or two people and include a seatbelt-like mechanism. Non-harnessed can take up to three riders, but there are no seatbelts and they bounce more than the harnessed orb.

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Even though most people enjoy zorbing on land, you can add water inside the ball and make it a wet experience. There are theme parks in the U.K that allow “water walking” by placing the water orbs in a lake or large pool.

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If you think zorbing is something you’d like to try, check with some of your local resorts. A number of resorts, including ski hills have been known to offer zorbing.

This extreme sport is not without risk, as is the case with many extreme physical activities. According to the Mail Online, back in 2013 a Russian man died when his inflatable ball accidently plunged off a cliff at a resort. Onlookers reported that they thought the ball was going in one direction when it “suddenly veered” in another and headed straight for the cliff. The tragic accident brought about calls for barriers when zorbing and is a stark reminder to sports enthusiasts to do their homework when choosing a place to go zorbing. You need to know the lay-of-the land before you step foot inside a ball.

Those who have enjoyed zorbing for years say they believe that it can be fun and safe if it is played under the right conditions.

What to know before entering a Mud Run

Madaleno Magazine Guest Contributor: Sam Zeitz

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Although many would like to believe they could wake up one day and run a marathon, this isn’t the case. It takes lots of training and dedication, especially if you throw a bunch of obstacles and a slew of mud into the mix.

Mud runs aren’t your traditional race but they have been skyrocketing in popularity over the past few years. They combine the fun and benefits of a marathon and an obstacle course, but with mud splattered all over.

Here is what I have learned and can share about Mud Runs:

Preparing for an event can be very motivational and fulfilling. Having a goal in mind, makes getting in shape seem more of an accomplishment, rather than a task. But where do you start?

Mud runs are tough on the body so you should be sure you’re in good health before you sign up. With the word “run” right in the title you should be expecting lots of cardio. However, take into account the terrain you’ll be running on during the race. It won’t be anything like your treadmill at home! Do your best to work on your cardio outside. It will get your legs ready for the work that is about to come.

Don’t just focus on the running. It is a big part of the event but don’t forget about the obstacles. Body strength is important when it comes to finishing the race. Design a fitness plan that works for you. Make sure to incorporate exercises for all parts of the body. In the event you can face crawling under barbed wire, scaling walls, climbing cargo nets, etc. Some good exercises for training include, burpees, push-ups, pull-ups and lunges.

Since it is a mud run, don’t expect to only get your shoes dirty. There will be mud everywhere but there are showers at the end of the race. Be careful, the sticky mud adds extra weight to your clothes as you continue.

Don’t be nervous. Whether you’re doing this race to be competitive or to see what it’s like, there will be others just like you. When the race starts there are too many bodies to just sprint ahead. Once people get moving the group will spread out and you can move at your own pace.

Samantha Zeitz is an avid sports fan and hockey player. She has played hockey for over 12 years and is currently studying sports broadcasting.