author tom collins

Middle Tennessee Authors Circle

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Franklin and its surrounding areas are home to many artists including authors. There are several 2019 events featuring local writers for you to consider.

The Authors Circle (an association of local writers) will have a booth at the downtown Franklin Main Street Festival which takes place April 27 and 28 (Saturday and Sunday).  Plan to stop by the Authors Circle booth.  Local writers often offer discounts and they are always happy to sign their books and answer questions.

The Authors Circle is a regular participant in the Downtown Franklin Art Scene held on the first Friday of each month.

One of the largest Authors Circle events in terms of participating authors will take place on June 1st and 2nd at the Williamson County Library at 1314 Columbia Ave, Franklin, Tennessee. Fifty authors, including yours truly, have already signed up for the educational and  book signing event. The event is an opportunity for one-on-one visits with area authors. The June event also includes educational panels for aspiring authors, or anyone interested in the literary world: 

 Saturday, June 1

10:00                    Children’s Books
11:00                    Young Adult
1:00                      Creative Nonfiction
2:00                      Writing for an Anthology
3:00                      Christian Fiction
4:00                      Fiction--Historical, Crime, Fantasy

Sunday, June 2

1:00                      Book Business--From Manuscript to Book Sales
2:00                      Poetry
3:00                     Nonfiction
4:00                      Fiction--Crime, Mystery, Horror.


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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Must Have Kitchen Tools for Seniors

Times have changed. Now, you need a new set of tools to survive in the kitchen, and don’t forget the Band-Aids. It is all because of how our foods are packaged. Thank goodness that now we can buy most milk products in bottles, but cartons are still around, and it’s the only way to buy cream or specialty milk products like buttermilk. Just try to open those cartons by following the instruction—"press here”.  Forget about it—can’t be done. Go get the saw!

Opening today’s hermetically sealed jars, (pickles, preserves, mayonnaise, etc.) would challenge Hercules. Hot water, lid tapping, and table pounding doesn’t get the job done any more. Even the simple and safe looking packages of bacon and what we used to call lunch meat has become defeating. The package instructions read “peel from here”. I should read peel from hell! Oh, and what about the resealable Ziploc style packages that will not reseal, at least not  my me. And God help us and bring the Band-Aids, if you try to open a can of green beans, or some other canned goods, using those pull-to-open rings on the top of the cans. I have visions of amputated fingers. I usually I save my fingers, but don’t always succeed opening the things without the help of some tool. More than once, the only thing that stood between me and dinner has been my hammer and chisel!

I have discovered that continuing  to eat requires a new set of kitchen tools.  Luckily, I found most of what I need in the tool shed.  

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Earth Has Never Stopped Changing

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Powers far greater than man’s shaped Earth’s past and control its destiny. Some believe the current configuration of land and seas is the result of global expansion—that our earth, as illustrated above, doubled in size over the last million years. Others believe that it was continual shift that pulled Pangaea apart forming the current continental configuration. In addition to the movement of its land masses and formation of seas, Earth has been frozen and defrosted, slammed by Cosmic Objects, and exploded by volcanic eruptions. Earth is also constantly bombarded by solar winds and fluctuating radiant energy from our Sun. Our atmosphere’s chemical composition has never been constant—it too is influenced by solar forces, geological variations, and environmental activity.

Given the enormous controlling powers, the idea that mankind can preserve Earth’s character as of a given point in time, or that such character deserves to be preserved to the exclusion of others, seems a bit silly. Doesn’t it?  

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

A Conversation about America's Future That Could Occurred in the Capitol

Them: (Some of our newly elected Democrat Representatives) I tell you we can make a better America! We start with health care—Medicare for all!  We’ll nationalize the insurance companies. That way we get all their “reserves”. That is the money they have allegedly stashed away to pay future claims. As a government, we do not need reserves.  We will operate on a pay as you go method-like Social Security. Now, here is another key element; we get rid of the competing insurance companies. We decide which one is the best, and shut the others down, freeing all those workers to fill the other job openings. We eliminate all the duplication—tremendous savings!  That alone may pay for universal healthcare.

In addition, we can do the same thing to improve other bloated inefficient industries. For example, just think of all the waste because of duplication in the auto industry.  Duplicate factories and work forces –and high paying executive jobs.  Because there are so may different cars, we are very wasteful when it comes to repair and service.  The person who works on a Ford isn’t trained to work on a Lexus for example. And, if you want to know why electric cars have not taken over like we want—it is because our resources are locked into the gas and diesel side of the business.  The sensible thing to is get rid of the wasteful duplication.  We pick one company, decide on one standard model—make it electric. That’s is what everyone will drive. We lower costs. We free up resources and labor to invest elsewhere. With smaller electric cars we also get a bonus—their small footprint means we need less road space. Especially, if we can cut down on the number of trucks and we have some great ideas for doing so. We can take part of those roads (one lane from of every Interstate, for example) and dedicate it to bicycles and walking. People will be healthier. We can finally solve the obesity problem.  Cars will be only for trips of ten miles or more—for shorter distances people will walk or use their bicycle.

Me: Will people really give up their favorite cars for bicycles and the new electric car standard?

Them: Sure, they won’t have a choice. But your question brings up the media issue.  They are not exempt from the capitalist model—wasteful duplication. Think how many different news organizations there are—yet, they are all supposed to be doing the same things. We can clean that up, and while we are at it, we get everyone in the country on the same page. That way we pull this country together to accomplish great things—unity instead of discord. We settle on one national newspaper, one news network and a single news website.  We will get rid of the duplication and freeing resources and enormously talented people to invest in other areas.

There is almost no area exempt from the waste caused by the duplication of effort and resources. That is the real challenge for the future. We are consuming the flesh of Earth! We are using up all the natural resources  and contaminating the rest.  It is not sustainable!  Capitalism is wasteful. So called competition is nothing more that duplication that spreads our resources too thin—we need more concentration not  duplication.

Think about this for a minute.  If you really want to tackle the income gap, then eliminate the benefit of having more income and wealth than someone else.  There is no reason for me to drive a cheap car while you drive a Bentley.  We get rid of Bentleys, 5,000+ square foot homes, first class air travel, etc. Get rid of the distinctions and there is no reason for anyone to have substantially more than anyone else.  Just think of how much more there is for everyone when you get rid of the billionaires and millionaires and free all that money to circulate!

Me: But what about all the people who will reenter the labor force?  Aren’t you concerned that there might not be enough jobs?  

Them: No, that is the beauty this.  Men (and women) aren’t meant to work their lives away.  Once we have gotten rid of duplication and eliminated profits that only go to the very few rich people,  the rest of us will not need to work as much. We will be freeing people to enjoy life more.  We will reduce the work week to thirty hours, add more holidays. Everyone will get at least four weeks of vacation plus maternity leave.

Did you know that as much as 50% of motel and hotel rooms in this nation go empty at times?  In other words, half of the investment in hospitality goes unused. And hospitality profits are some of the highest. We have most of the population just trying to enjoy themselves while their hard-earned incomes are drained away to the pockets of real-estate tycoons who own our hotels and resorts. We can do better than that.  One of the things I have in mind is free vacations for everyone at government owned nonprofit resorts.  We can build them in our national parks and forests. They will not cost us anything. We already own the land, and we can use our Army Corps of Engineers and military personnel to build them.

Me: That sounds good, but how are you going to attract the best and brightest to run things—to make this work?

Them: We save the perks that the millionaires are enjoying now for our leaders. But we are not going to let Wall Street  greed drive things. We will elect our leaders.  Our best and brightest will want leadership positions because that will be the new path to the kind of perks that today only rich people enjoy by exploiting people and accumulating wealth. We will have taken wealth out of equation. The only way you have those special benefits will be by serving the people—not through economic greed!

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It will be a wonderful world····Would you like some more Kool-Aid?

Me: No thanks; I’ll stick with what I’ve been drinking!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

The Best Pies

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Over the New Year’s family dinner table the discussion was “Pies.” In the old south there are two kinds of pies:

Pecan pie or jes' pie (it's just pie)  i.e. no pecans. Over time a poor translation of the Southern dialect resulted in jes' pie becoming known as “chess pie” among those who spoke in a more sophisticated vernacular.

It is kind of like a Hershey’s Candy Bar – you can have it with or without nuts.

Jes' pie may have started out as pecan pie without the nuts, but by the time it had metamorphosed from jes' pie into chess pie, it had its own recipe.

The people around the table declared that most pecan pies were too sweet or too gummy—the exception was the pecan pie of Alice Collins, who everyone declared made the best pecan pies.

Well the secret is out! I discovered Mother’s recipe for both pecan pie and chess pie. What made hers the best? It was probably the simplicity of her recipes.

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If you have trouble reading ingredient #3 in the pecan recipe, it is White Karo syrup. 

Her chess pie recipe starts out the same with ½ stick of butter and three eggs but only a ½ cup of sugar and no syrup.  Instead she adds a teaspoon of vinegar, a teaspoon of vanilla, and a tablespoon of white corn meal.

 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.
Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

"The Language of Excellence" by Tom Collins

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Looking for that perfect gift for the business leader or young professional in your life. Give them a signed copy of the book successful business leaders are talking about–The Language of Excellence.

From now through December 25th get free shipping plus a 20% discount by going to www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Or click on BUY NOW and enter the code GIFT at checkout.

Here is what business leaders are saying:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives. In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject.”—Gary Slaughter, Management Expert and Author. 

“Tom Collins' The Language of Excellence just may be the only guide book to personal and business excellence you will ever need to read. A must-read for achievers.” C. Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country.  

“Collins defines the essential ingredients of business with masterful simplicity and clarity. I wish I had read this 30 or 40 years ago.” —Edward Rosenberg, Designer/CEO Spectore Corporation

“Not only is Collins an accomplished businessman, but he is also a two-time stage IV cancer survivor who has clearly demonstrated great determination and the ability to overcome difficulties and carry on successfully. His book teaches you how to equip your team to deal with almost anything business or life will throw at them.” —Doug Ulman, President / CEO at Pelotonia and former President/CEO the LIVESTRONG Foundation

Select Amazon Reviews:

  • “This book is filled with common sense that is so lacking in corporate business practice today. Principles transcend business and apply to life across the board.”

  • "Section V, People: The Foundation for Excellence" is worth the price of the book.”·      

  • “I have read countless leadership books and they all either say the same thing or are difficult to implement. Tom Collins book is excellent and an easy read but what really stands out is the advice to quickly inculcate the tools for achieving excellence in your leadership teams. A must read for start-up organizations and young entrepreneurs.”

  • “I could see this book as being a part of a company’s on-boarding process and employed regularly. Anyone in management can find value in employing this book. Buy it - distribute it - read it - use it.”·      

  • “I’m re-ordering more copies today for all the young managers in my life. This book should become a well-worn tool in any organization serious about achieving excellence and fostering the right corporate culture.”

  • “I've found these principles incredibly useful in both my personal and professional journeys.”

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Signed copies of my books including The Language of Excellence are available only on www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

President Donald J. Shrek

Re: “How to Find a Good Leader”,  November 3, 2018, Peggy Noonan)

For those of you (Trump Haters and Never Trumpers) still angry and confused by the election of Donald Trump, perhaps you would be enlightened by the animated movie, “Shrek”.

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Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp. He is crude, smelly, rude and uses ear wax for candles. He likes his life just the way it is. Because the cowardly prince, Lord Farquaad, has confiscated his property—Shrek has to bargain to get his swamp back.  The deal is that Shrek must rescue the Princess Fiona who is under the spell of an evil witch from a remote castle guarded by a fire breathing dragon. He dons a helmet and sets off with his donkey to rescue the princess.

Shrek and Donkey locate the castle, cross a rickety bridge over burning lava, and find the princess. Fiona is anxiously waiting for a gallant hero, but Shrek is not gallant, shakes her roughly and simply says Lets go! Fiona who was expecting something more, protests-- I am awaiting  a knight so bold as to rescue me. Should this not be a wonderful romantic moment?  You should sweep me off my feet and take me down a rope to your valiant steed!  You could recite an epic poem, or ballad…..

She continues to complain upon hearing the dragon roar:  You didn’t slay the dragon?  But this isn’t right! You were meant to charge in, sword drawn, banner flying.  That’s what all the other knights did.

Shrek, sarcastically:  Yeah, right before they burst into flames.  (Think all other Republican Congresses and Presidents!)

After a harrowing escape from the dragon and crossing the lava, Fiona insists that Shrek remove his helmet so that may share “true love’s first kiss”.  Reluctantly, he takes off the helmet. A shocked Fiona exclaims, You’re…an ogre!

Shrek replies: Oh, you were expecting Prince Charming?

Fiona:  Well, yes, actually.  This is all wrong.   You are not supposed to be an ogre. 

And so, this the lesson of Donald J. Trump.   Sometimes we don’t always get the leader that we expected or imagined.  The hero who is brave enough, bold enough and persistent enough to save the day--or the country—may not meet the highest standards of probity, eloquence and political correctness.

Or, you can refuse to be rescued by an ogre.  You can return to your lofty tower prison and wonder why your country was lost to socialism, mob violence and poverty.  You will compromise with the dragon and the evil witch as you “work together to get things done”.   There you will sit, waiting, growing old and demented, softly humming:  Someday my prince will come, someday I will find the one…….   

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Post was jointly conceived and written with my wife, Martha.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Just When I Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse!

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First it was blackmail. Now they have stolen my identity! I spent the morning filing a Fraud Alert and updating my LifeLock information.

Apparently, the bad buys got my name, Social Security number and date of birth off the dark web. That’s all they needed to get new credit cards.

Fortunately, thanks to an alert vendor and LifeLock, the fraud was detected, and the cards shut down before the bad guys had a chance to activate them. Let’s just hope there isn’t more that I haven’t discovered yet!

If this happens to you, immediately contact one of the three major national credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Whichever one you contract, that credit bureau will notify the others. The fraud alert puts lenders on notice that your personal information has been compromised. Because of the fraud alert, new lenders must take extra steps to determine that they are dealing with you—the real person.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Will Stealth Voters Determine the Outcome in November?

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The pollsters could be surprised again by stealth voters this November?

Who are these stealth voters? They are the secret  balance of power opposed to our dysfunctional national government and especially to the current radicalized misbehaving Democratic party, and by extension they support Trump. Unseen, they could tip the scale in Trump’s direction. They are people who do not wear Make American Great Again hats. They don’t put signs in their yard or bumper sticker on their cars. They are stealth, because they don’t want to be attacked, ridiculed and intimidated by the radical mob. But, they vote. THEY VOTE!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

I Stand Corrected

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In my prior post updating readers about the attempted blackmail, I said that the men I knew didn’t spend their time viewing porn. But, it depends on your definition of porn. My wife reminded me about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Playboy magazine, Hustler, etc. and “it was not just for the articles”. As she pointed out, there was a time when Hugh Hefner was celebrated—even among the liberal Hollywood crowd.

And, women are reading—Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, etc. with articles like 50 Ways to Seduce a Man, and lots of info on looking sexy and hot.

Yes, men do like to look at beautiful women and women aren’t exempt from looking and thinking about men. I think God made us that way.

The Internet porn I was talking about in my prior post seems different from the magazines. Not sure what makes it different. I suppose it is the anonymous side of it—something doable in secrete. Whereas, the magazines are on store shelves. That must be a validation of some sort. Apparently, the Internet is different enough that someone would be willing to pay a blackmail demand to keep from having their Outlook contacts know they watched a porn site.

To read my original post go to Attempted Blackmail. For the follow-up go to Blackmail Follow-up.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Blackmail Follow-up

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Well, nothing happened. The day I was supposed to be exposed came and went with no mega email burst to all my contacts. I say nothing happened, but I changed a lot of passwords and I started using a password system, Dashlane, to protect myself. And on day two, the blackmailer dropped his price from $6000 to $1000—still wanted payment in Bitcoin.

I have also learned from law enforcement that this scheme is rather common. I wonder just how many people are taken in and actually pay up. I guess it doesn’t take many to make the blackmailer happy. It is a poor commentary on society, that the assumption is a lot of people are secretly watching porn. I should add that the “Me Too” movement promotes the idea that all men are lecherous dirty old men. If we are not molesting women, we are in a dark room somewhere watching porn.

I think that is a bad rap. At least in the circle of my friends and business associates. It is a stereotype that places men in a guilty until proven innocent position—as our new Supreme Court nominee is discovering. It appears there is no equal footing when it comes to the issue of innocence or guilt. Maybe in such matters, it was always one sided—just the other way around. But either way, the presumption of guilt is dangerous and destructive for society.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Wind River Mysteries

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In a prior post I mentioned that while recovering from knee replacement surgery, I read the first fifteen Margaret Coel novels set on the Arapaho Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The Wind River mysteries might never have been told except for an incident that occurred when Ms. Coel first set foot on the reservation. To hear the surreal story of that first visit to the reservation in her own words go to the following website:   http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/160133/9fa7a260a9/458451033/99855a255e/.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

TWO CERTAINTIES

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Perhaps the most important model in my book, The Language of Excellence,  is the one for TWO CERTAINTIES. The term “death and taxes” in the flip chart image is often quoted as the two certainties in life voiced by Benjamin Franklin. The graphic pairs Franklin's common sense terms with the words “change” and “judged” because change and judged are better descriptions of the two certainties as faced by businesses. For deliberate long-term success, an enterprise must have an understanding and acceptance of the two certainties— (1) we either purposely change to improve, or natural forces erode and change us for the worse, and (2) what we are is determined through the judgment of others.

I wrote the The Language of Excellence as a teaching aid. I discovered by accident that when all members of an organization understand the implications of important management and leadership concepts, magic happens within that enterprise. It is as if someone pulls back the curtain and turns up the lights. Suspicions disappear, replaced by unity.

To learn about the behavior of change, to gain an understanding of the rule of the fewest, to be able to put a name to observed phenomena such as the life cycle and suboptimization tears down the iron curtain between “management” and “employees.” A team arises—a competent team, one that shares a core set of beliefs and a common sense of direction—eager to help write their own playbook.

I want to clarify that I claim no origination credit for the concepts in The Language of Excellence. They are a compilation of ideas collected, distilled, reshaped, blogged, and even tweeted during fifty years of on-the-job training and a lifetime of reading and listening to the great minds of business—people like Peter Drucker, W. Edwards Deming, Nancy Austin and Tom Peters. The use of graphics and trigger words that bring those visual images to mind was inspired by usability improvements contributed by icons in graphical user interfaces (GUIs), by the power of Tom Peters’s model of excellence, and by the effectiveness of Model-Netics, the graphic image-laden management training courses of American General during my brief tenure with the company.

The concepts inside The Language of Excellence, like the Two Certainties apply to life as well as business. The book is one of the best gifts one could give to a young professional. It can be invaluable to the entrepreneur starting a new business or to a seasoned executive frustrated by the difficulty of steering an unresponsive corporate ship.

The Language of Excellence teaches the skills for long-term purposeful success. The concept of the Two Certainties conveys that for that long-term success, you must learn to deal with and manage change, and you must accept that you and your accomplishments are what others perceive them to be. 

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For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Lonely Planet is reading "The Language of Excellence"

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The Nashville headquarters of the company Lonely Planet is using my book The Language of Excellence in its management training program. A bulk purchase program is available for companies and organizations that want the book for training or promotional purposes.

The book is a powerful training tool—one that makes doing and saying the right things, making the right decisions and avoiding the wrong ones, a habit.

The book is also the perfect gift for a company’s business clients or prospects. Sales organizations use signed copies of the book as a door opener—a gift that has the capacity to increase the recipient’s business and personal success.

Author and management training expert Gary Slaughter said The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on the subject of management and leadership.  For a list of the best five management and leadership books click on FIVE BOOKS.  

For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Where is My Next Book?

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Due to my knee replacement, I have made zero progress on my next book. Pain and pain medications are not compatible with creative writing.

I have been, however, taking advantage of my convalescence to listen to a lot of books on Audible. A fun one was Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. Better than the book itself, was listening to Fannie Flagg’s vocal interpretation of the characters as she narrated the story.

I also read the first of fifteen of Margaret Coel’s mysteries that take place in the Arapaho Wind River Reservation. And, I have listened to six of R. Allen Chappell’s books set in the Navajo Nation.

Coel’s and Chappell’s mysteries are wonderful examples of using strong geographical and cultural canvases to tell their stories. In several books, Coal successfully takes a bit of Arapaho history and uses it as kernel for a completing fictitious story. The little bit of real life at the story’s center makes her mysteries even more believable.

I have not spend all my time on mysteries. For book research I read Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich, Bogeys and Bandits by Robert Gant, Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton, TopGun Days by Dave Bio Baranek, Operation Overflight by Gentry and Powers

I already have the story for book seven, my next book, in my head. When I finally start putting it into the computer, it will be a better story because of time I have spent with Flagg, Coel, Chappell, and others.

Writers don’t just write; they read!  They read a lot.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

77 And still Counting

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We made it to seventy-seven! Martha on the 19th of May, and I today, the 23th. (Yes, I married an older woman.) So far, 2018 has not been a great year. My mother passed away on April 15th at the age of 98. Double pneumonia sent me to the hospital in March, and it looks like I’ll be going back there soon for a knee replacement. I have tried everything I could to avoid surgery for the knee—injections of lubricants and, finally, a stem cell injection. Unfortunately, none have worked.

The good news is that I have started on a new book.  I have not yet put "pen to paper" so to speak, but the idea is there, and research has begun. I can’t be sure that I will stick to this new idea, but I’m already having fun with it. It seems that the military is rethinking its concept of leadership. The old school method has been about “drilling” into the warrior’s DNA obedience to orders and the chain of command.

Now technology is driving warfare in a new direction—one that isn’t compatible with filling the ranks with graduates of old style boot camps. Military thinkers are beginning to envision a battlefield without boots on the ground—a time when then the top gun of the air force could be a paraplegic who has never left terra firma to win the wings he or she wears.

Only time will tell where this idea leads me.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Best Five Leadership and Management Books

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A friend and former associate at Juris, Inc. just let me know that he had ordered a copy of The Language of Excellence.

Like most successful business people, he has a library of books on management and leadership. Many have a list of their favorites. One of the smartest people that I have every met is Gary Slaughter, AKA the man who saved the world. He has a “best five” list and it includes The Language of Excellence.

Here is what Slaughter has to say about the book:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives.
In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject.The other four include these classics:

The Motivation to Work by Fredrick Herzberg
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
The Transformational Leader by Noel Tichy

Moreover, The Language of Excellence replaced One Minute Manager on by ‘best five’ list. OMM, written in 1982 by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson has sold over 13 million copies and been translated into 37 different languages, Despite OMM’s popularity, The Language of Excellence is far more informative and easy to apply.”

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

MY MOHTER'S JOURNEY

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My mother, Alice Elsie Welch Collins, is ninety-eight years old.  She is now in the nursing care of hospice in the Memphis, Tennessee area. We expect her to leave us any day.

Mom was born August 22, 1919 in Grand Parish, Louisiana, the tenth child of John Ira (John) and Ardella (Della) Waits Welch. She was living in Monticello, LA at the time of the disaster known as the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. The river reached a width of sixty miles. Her father died in August 1933 when she was just fourteen. The family broke apart, and she moved to Memphis to live with relatives. That is where she met and eventually married my dad, Marion Collins, in 1937.

With mom’s help, I published her story, My Journey, in 2009. I have attached a downloadable pdf. In My Journey, she wrote the following:

“We shared our home with many folks along the way and always made room for anyone needing a lift in life. The Lord gets the praise for the blessings he has given us…The Journey has been a long one and although we have had a few bumps along the way, we made it and now we are almost there.”

She will be greatly missed, but her journey will not end. It will go on through her four children, thirteen grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren, many nephews, nieces, and others whose life she touched.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion, A Mark Rollins Adventure


 Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Bring a Little Magic Into Your Home

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Tom Trebing is the person I turned to to design of the covers for all of my novels.  It is his imagination that makes Tom’s art so wonderful. His pieces range from the serious to the whimsical, from lifelike to abstracts that just make you feel better, but he is at his best when he lets his imagination loose to create art with his uniquely fresh childlike perspective. You’ll find that magic on display in his series of paintings at https://www.imaginehood.com. The best part is that you can purchase one of his art pieces for as little as $150.00.

I have two of Tom’s original paintings in an upstairs guest room.  They have followed me from house to house and always bring a smile and a chuckle to visitors.  So if you want to add a little magic to your home, or to the home of a grandchild, order one of his prints by going to  www.imaginehood.com. Or if you would like more information you can email Tom at tomtre@imaginehood.com.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion, A Mark Rollins Adventure


 Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Tagged: pneumoniaAuthor Tom CollinsMark Rollins Adventures

I Live to Write Another Day

Time to go home again.

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Hopefully the Franklin birds have moved on to find another sucker with a bird feeder and an unlimited budget for bird welfare. I leave behind well fed birds of Sanibel who actually work for their food.

Sanibel Island is known for its shells which were mysteriously missing this year. I understand that the missing shells are the result of result of unintended consequences from the September 2017 big one—Irma. Apparently, Irma cleaned out the crustacean beds lying off Sanibel’s shores. That wasn’t something anyone was expecting. Sounds like something our government might have been in charge of. Congress is the master of unintended consequences.

Had a great time in the Sun except for adding a two-inch gash in the top of my head. Just as I was raising up, getting something out of the car trunk, the trunk lid decided to come down. The local doctor put things right, and I live to write another day.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion: a Mark Rollins Adventure. Published by I-65 North, Inc.