Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Sales Is Mashed Potatoes

Sales Is Mashed Potatoes
Sales Is Mashed Potatoes by Tim Northburg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wrote this book as a funny, anecdotal, quick, guide book to keep motivated in sales. A manager of mine told me once that sales is like mashed potatoes. I expanded on that quote and created this fun inspirational guide book.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Blog Post (Part Two) on Patricia Stoltey's Blog

Check out my guest blog post on Patricia Stoltey's blog.  (Part Two was posted today)

My Writing Itch (Part One) by Tim Northburg

My Writing Itch (Part Two) by Tim Northburg

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bring A Joyful Spirit To Your Life

Bring a Joyful Spirit to your Life

All too often, we get wrapped up in the “to do list” of life. With our fast paced lifestyle we are constantly on the go, doing projects, working, running errands, or doing things for others. Many times we don’t “stop and smell the roses” and take time out for ourselves.

When we don’t set aside time for ourselves we can get grumpy or down. The joy and happiness in our lives gets lost to the everyday pressures. This can affect us in many ways. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, hatred, self loathing, and suicide are all side effects of not bringing a joyful spirit to your life.

What do you do when . . . ?
  • I have to take the kids to school.
  • I have to mow the lawn.
  • I have to run to the store and go shopping.
  • I have to make dinner.
  • I have to fix that leaking water heater.
  • I have to finish those reports and go to the meeting.
  • I have to deal with a customer.
  • I have to do the laundry.
  • I have to meet the needs of my employees.
  • I have to run to the post office.
  • I have to pay my bills.
  • I have to meet the needs of my children.
  • I have to vacuum.
  • I have to get ready for work.
  • I have to meet a client.
  • I have to meet a friend for dinner.
  • I have to meet that deadline.
  • I have to clean the house.
  • I have to do those dishes.
  • I have to meet the demands of my spouse/partner.



Sometimes the pressure is all insurmountable. We are constantly doing more and running ourselves to the ground. But you can bring a joyful spirit to your life. You can set aside a few minutes to a half an hour each day to do some simple things to bring joy and happiness to your life, and reduce your stress.
  • 10 minute breathing exercises.
  • Read a book.
  • Meditate.
  • Write.
  • Paint
  • Draw.
  • Take a walk.
  • Work out.
Whatever it is, do something for yourself!

T.A. Northburg is a writer from Colorado. He is finishing his forthcoming novel titled, “Otterocity! Bring a Joyful Spirit to Your Life.” You can learn more about Otterocity! (the quality of otters) Bring a Joyful Spirit to Your Life, on his website and follow his website blog at

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Guest Blog Post on Patricia Stoltey's Blog

Check out my guest blog post on Patricia Stoltey's blog.

 My Writing Itch (Part One) by Tim Northburg

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Tim Northburg Became A Writer

Someone recently asked me:  

What was the defining moment you became a writer?

Even as a young boy, I read many books and had a wild imagination. My parents took me to the library, bought various books for me to consume and read to me before bed. Then in 1979, my father took me to a drive in theater. The move I watched sparked a greater imagination that was unknown to me. That movie was Star Wars. Later it came out on HBO and watched it repeatedly. I watched that movie 193 times in my life.

From that time on, my imagination kept growing. I became fascinated with Superman, Indiana Jones and James Bond. I was a normal kid who played with Legos, Star Wars action figures, and Matchbox cars. Later I became fascinated with Dungeons and Dragons and went on many quests with my friends.

In High School, I became engrossed in sports and Swimming consumed much of my free time. It was in the second semester of my senior year that my life changed. One of my good friends committed suicide. I was in my first class of the day, creative writing, when we heard the news over the intercom. It happened that morning before school when he took his life selfishly. I looked over at the empty desk to my right and realized that I would never see my friend Cory again.

That was the defining day I became a writer. From that day forward, my creative spark inside flared up. I wrote about my friend and many of the great times, we had together. I even did a story from his viewpoint explaining what was going on in his mind the seconds before his life ended. I also created many short story pieces that just sprang from within and poured out onto the paper.

Three years later (1993) I decided to write a novel and incorporate many of the pieces I wrote in that creative writing class. I wrote my first 300-page manuscript titled, The Toads of War in freehand (which I later typed into the computer.)

Then after selling Insurance and working as a Investment Adviser I became an Automotive Sales Professional. I spent several years selling at a Saturn retail facility. I learned about Customer Service and Needs-Based Selling.

Over the thirteen years as an Automotive Sales Professional and Automotive Sales Manager, I compiled the knowledge, techniques and principles I learned into three automotive training guidebooks and currently use these to train my sales professionals.

In 2002, I completed a 390 page Success and Motivational manuscript titled, Fuel the Furnace and created goals workbook to go with it.

In 2004, just before the birth of my third daughter, my latest creation sprung to life. I was reading my oldest daughter Enid Blyton's The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair books as bedtime stories. Inside something nagged at me. The writing voice inside told me that I should create some kind of children's story with a grand adventure-much like the ones I was reading to my daughter.

That is when the thoughts of kids, a teleportation watch, multiple planets and the search of magical items came to mind. I do not know how it all came together-it just did. Now, I have my first book in the series published on Amazon and Kindle, my second manuscript in the works and rough outlines for the six remaining books in the series.

Thinking back, the moment I became a writer was that day I lost my friend. My friend inspired me to write. I will always remember our friendship and the gift he gave to me.

Thanks Cory--I will always remember you!

To learn more about my fantasy/adventure series visit:

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Monday, May 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Simple and Easy to Make!

Here is a great Slow Cooker meal that you can assemble in under fifteen minutes and set it on autopilot the rest of the day. Your slow cooker crock pot will do all the work and this hardy stew will be ready for you when you get home.

I you have a smaller slow cooker you will want to half this recipe. A slight variation to the recipe can be made when you sear the meat. After you seared the edges cook the meat in a pint of ale (recommended for best flavor) for two minutes then add your meat to the stew like normal. This adds another dimension to the flavor of your finished stew.

**This recipe is for a 5-6 quart crockery pot.**


(NOTE: Less expensive cuts of meat are better suited for slow cooking)
  • 2-2 1/2 - pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • 1 - medium onion, chopped.
  • 6 - carrots, cut into 1/2 - inch pieces.
  • 6 - ribs celery, cut into 1/2 - inch pieces.
  • 5 - medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 - inch pieces.
  • 1 - 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, un-drained.
  • 20 - ounces of beef broth.
  • 2 - tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2 - tablespoons dried parsley flakes.
  • 2 - bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 - teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 - teaspoon pepper
  • 4 - tablespoons cooking tapioca


1. Sear/brown your beef meat in a separate pan to seal the edges. (Some prefer to cook meat all the way through. This is all right because meat will get tender as it slow cooks.) As stated above you may want to simmer your meat in ale to give your stew added flavor.

2. Prep all vegetables. Make sure they are cut uniformly as cooking times vary for various sizes of onion, carrot, celery, and potato and you will want to have all pieces tender, not some mushy and some hard.

3. Add your meat and vegetables to your crockery.

4. Pour your tomatoes and beef broth over everything.

5. Add Worcestershire sauce and stir.

6. Add parsley, bay leaves, salt, pepper and tapioca and stir thoroughly. (The tapioca is used as a thickening agent.)

7. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 5-6 hours.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you are home you can stir occasionally as slow cookers tend to simmer along the sides. Also, find and remove the bay leaves before eating.

Let the slow cooker do its job and when you get home - ENJOY!

-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Goal Setting Quick Tip

"I AM . . ."

Every year I sit down and write out my goals in the different areas of my life. One tip I received form a motivational speaker last year was to write out your goals using I AM:

Most people just write down their wants.
Others start off with, I WILL . . .
This year use, I AM . . .

This year, in my "writing" goals, I started off with these three goals:
  • I am a writer and speaker that inspires children and adults of all ages, to achieve their dreams and goals in life.
  • I am an author with a successful, highly respected, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic literary agent.
  • I am contracted, with a medium to large publishing house, for my novel.


-- by Tim Northburg AKA The Darth Writer

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Interestingly Funny Bumper Sticker

I saw this bumper sticker but didn't have the chance to snap a photo of it. It made me laugh out loud. So, here it is;

"I don't have anger issues, you are just pissing me off!"

I know that there are days I really feel this!