Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reflections of a Bird's Companion with Cindi Maciolek

Title – Divatiel: Reflections of a Bird's Companion
by Cindi Maciolek

Genre – Non-Fiction
Format – Ebook & Print

Can four ounces of feathers and personality change a person’s life?

She can if she’s the Divatiel!

Cindi was looking for a roommate, and finally settled on a fine-feathered friend who was a gift from a co-worker. What she got was a loving, intelligent, fun, free-spirited, demanding – Jaké.

After recovering from illness that put her near death’s door, Jaké healed and was let out of the cage so she could spread her wings. She lived her life with gusto. Jaké took risks, used her intelligence to her advantage and loved unconditionally. She took charge, not only over her surroundings but over her owner as well. Luckily, she had a cooperative Mommy in Cindi.

Not only was she demanding, Jaké did things some humans have never done. She flew on an airplane several times, went on numerous road trips and ate fresh vegetables daily.

Jaké lived a very long life and had many adventures along the way, most of which are captured in this book.

Jaké was first a gift to William, then a gift to Cindi, and now a gift to the world.

Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion will tug at your heart strings and bring a smile to any animal lover.


Making your dreams come true for 2012
Wow! Can you believe it’s nearly the end of February? How are you doing with your goals for the year?
It’s amazing how quickly time flies. In December, you had just finished National Novel Writers Month, with somewhere between 5,000 and 50,000 words complete. You congratulated yourself but took a break through the holidays, vowing to get back on track in the New Year. On January 1st, you were energized with the prospect of finishing your book in 2012. Then, life happens, and your goals and desires take a back seat. Now it’s nearly March, time to refocus and get to work!
Grab a cup of tea and your unfinished tome. Sit down with an open mind and read through everything you’ve written. Take notes. Recall why you love your book. Then, head directly to your computer and start tapping those keys!
It’s so easy to get sidetracked from completing your project, but keeping yourself in check and moving forward will bring you something to celebrate in a few months. Here are a few suggestions to help you create your dreams:
1.       Track your progress. Don’t focus on your daily page count. Instead, record how many words you’ve written on a weekly basis. Before you know it, your first draft will be complete!
2.       When you’re stuck, don’t fret. Take the time to look at ways to market your book. Ask friends what they would Google if they were searching for your genre of novel. It’s amazing the different ways people look at things, and the varying results you’ll get. Keep those in mind and expand your marketing search. It’s never too early to start marketing your book.
3.       Chances are, you have the title. So, get your cover designed! Blow it up nice and big and hang it in front of your computer to motivate you.
4.       Create a plan for completion and promotion of your book. I use Excel, with different worksheets for each category of the process. I include ideas, contacts, websites, blogs and so on, that I definitely want to explore as publishing nears. Then, when the book is done, I have a complete record and a great reference for my next project.
5.       Make a financial plan tied to your writing. We’re not in this just for the fun of it! Look at all the different ways you can make money, including book signings and merchandising.
6.       Reward yourself. Treat yourself to dinner every 25,000 words. Go away for a fun weekend when you finish the first draft. You’re working hard on your novel and you deserve to have some fun.

Whatever your dreams, know that with focus and effort, you truly can accomplish them. The year is still young. Dream big!

Cindi R. Maciolek is a writer and business consultant, whose published works include Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion; Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People and The Basics of Buying Art. She’s also a contributing author to the books Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion and Life Choices: It’s Never Too Late. Maciolek has written numerous articles for the luxury marketplace, including the Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas. Maciolek lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. www.cindimaciolek.com.


My Little Divatiel
She’s the fattest cockatiel I’ve ever seen!”
Okay, that was the fourth vet to make the same comment. The average cockatiel weighs between 90 and 110 grams, and Jaké was generally 115-125. I didn’t see what the big deal was. What’s a few grams between friends…
I don’t clip her wings,” I countered. “Those extra feathers must weigh something!”
I mean, we’re talking half an ounce here. The feathers must have accounted for a few of those extra grams.
The vet seemed unconvinced.
I allow her to fly around the house. She has great cardio,” I added in her defense.
So, now you’re telling me it’s muscle weight?” The vet nearly doubled over in laughter. “She’s fat! Get over it!”
I packed up my princess in her cage and took her back to the palace, where she could eat her healthy food (vet prescribed, by the way), have her run of the house, and nap at her desire.
Fattest cockatiel, indeed, I thought. She’s not fat. She’s just big boned.
I knew my life was in for a big change when, just three seconds after I put Jaké on my shoulder, she had unhooked my necklace.
I had heard birds were intelligent, but I really had no idea just how smart they are. Generally, when people think of talented birds, they think of the large ones – parrots, macaws, even mynahs. No one pays attention to the little ones that can infiltrate every aspect of our lives when given the opportunity.
Jaké was an absolute blessing. Sure, she had her moments, but I’m certain she felt the same way about me. I never had children, so Jaké became my child. She was spoiled as much as you could possibly spoil a fine feathered friend, and her hours of blissful companionship were my reward.
While many pet owners carry around their designer dogs in custom made totes, I’m certain they have no idea what joy a cockatiel could bring into their lives, if they only allowed it. Or, maybe I just had the perfect storm” of bird and owner and I’m very grateful for that.
Like a dog, Jaké was my faithful and loyal companion from the very first day we met. Like a dog, Jaké sat on my leg while I typed on my computer, nipping at my elbow when I moved and disturbed her naps. Like a dog, she sometimes chased her tail, particularly when a feather was ready to come out and it got stuck in an upright position, like a rudder on a plane. And, just like a dog, Jaké liked to take naps with her owner, picking the time and the place regardless of my plans for the day.
Jaké had her quirks, and just like humans, they changed over time. One that always made me laugh was how she hated to hear the sound of a utensil scraping a dish. I don’t care where she was in the house – sometimes even sleeping in the bathroom – but as soon as she heard it, she started to yell!
She also found comfort in taking naps on the rungs of my office chair. Sometimes when I’d been out for the day, I’d go into my office to find her sound asleep, waiting for me to come home. You gotta love that.
It’s been said that cockatiels have the brain power of a two-year-old child, and their behavior is not much different. If I wanted Jaké to stop doing something, I’d tell her, “No!” She’d acknowledge my request with a little chirp, but proceed on, totally ignoring me. She knew I didn’t want her to do it, but she didn’t care. Sound like a two-year-old, parents?
Like a kid, she hated the toys I bought her, preferring to rip up the boxes they came in. And, instead of sticky fingerprints on those nice greeting cards that were ready to mail, Jaké left a bite mark in every one of mine.
Since birds in the wild fly all the time, I never gave it a thought that they have to improve their cardio when the need arises, just like humans. When I moved from my tiny condo to a house with a really long hallway, Jaké would follow me to my office only to be winded for about five minutes, until she built up her stamina.
Jaké was never really like a bird; she was always more like a spoiled Diva, from the first moment I let her out of her cage and welcomed her into my household. My Divatieldiscovered a side of herself that would have remained buried if not for the freedom she was given, and the communication we developed.
Most people don’t realize just how much personality a little bundle of feathers can have, but I assure you, if you nurture the relationship, that personality will not only appear but will strengthen over time.
So few books have been written about pet birds, particularly from an owner’s perspective, that I felt it was time to change that. Here’s my account of life with the sweetest little thing to cross my path. Everything is to the best of my recollection although I’ve changed or omitted a few names. Jaké and I were together a long time, so I’m sure her version of some of the events would differ from mine, but I guess we’ll never know.

Cindi is a writer and business consultant, helping small to mid-sized companies with everything from strategic planning to marketing activities.

Her writing focus is on books, CDs and screenplays and sharing those lessons, experiences and ideas with others.

Her recently released book, Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, is the true story of life with a diva-tastic cockatiel, a story any animal lover would enjoy.

Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People, is both a book and CD, a unique combination of spoken word and original music. Her first book, The Basics of Buying Art, is sold out. There’s more to come. Stay tuned!

Cindi was also a contributing writer for The Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas for many years and had articles published byDelta Sky Magazine.

Her travels have taken her to 23 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.


Purchase Links


Patti Hultstrand said...

Welcome Cindi.

Ok everyone, you know what to do.
You must "Release your inner Jake!"
Enjoy the blog stop and write in to let Cindi know you are breathing out there.

Patti Hultstrand said...

We have an update to this post with Cindi adding her article on Making your Dreams Come True for 2012. So, come by again, and read to new article and add your comments or questions for Cindi today.

Nightly Cafe said...

Love that excerpt! Thank you for hosting Cindi today.


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