Category Archives: Encouragement

Patty Wiseman: Where it All Started

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patty_wiseman_authorThis month’s guest blog post is from Award Winning Patty Wiseman who writes stories of strong women overcoming insurmountable odds. From historical to contemporary these romantic and suspenseful tales carry the message of survival by extraordinary women. Find Patty on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Amazon.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

I was that kid with the flashlight under the covers every night. The minute I learned how letters formed words and words formed sentences which turned into stories, I was hooked.

HOW ONE PERSON CAN BE AN INFLUENCE

My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Bell, really had the most impact on my love of reading. Oh my, could she tell a story! The classroom was transfixed when she read to us. Forty-odd years later and she is still the one I think of when I look back at how it all started.

Books became my escape. I always carried an armful of books home from the school library, read into the night, only to return them the next day for another stack. I devoured them.

A LACK OF CONFIDENCE HELD ME BACK

All this reading lit a flame in my heart to explore the writing world. I won poetry contests in high school, secretly wrote short stories that never saw the light of day. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement for me back then.

When I married and had children, the spark grew brighter as I read to my children. I wanted to write that book burning in my heart so badly. Again, I received little encouragement.

Fast-forward into my twenty-five-year career in a financial institution, a divorce, raising my boys as a single mom and writing fell by the wayside.

REBIRTH OF A DREAM!

A second marriage, a man who lived to fulfill my every wish, and once more, the writing bug latched on and wouldn’t let go. My husband encouraged me to retire from my job and throw myself into writing full-time.
Seven years later, I have eight books published and tons of ideas for the next seven years.

The moral of this story is…never give up on your dream. Years may pass, but the dream can ultimately come true. Keep moving forward, even if life gets in the way.

Writing is my full-time life now. Sometimes, I look back and say ‘I should have done this sooner. Look at all the time I wasted.’ The truth is, it wasn’t my time then. It’s my time now and I fully embrace it.

Follow your dream, don’t snuff out the light by getting discouraged, because just around the corner you may meet that dream head on.

Be sure to check out Patty Wiseman’s website and be inspired!

What are you goals for 2018?

Self-doubt: An Authors Worst Enemy

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IMG_2009Authors are plagued with self-doubt and worry over silly things.

Harper Lee, for one, threw her whole manuscript for To Kill a Mockingbird out her NYC window while editing. Fortunately, her publisher made her retrieve and finish the book. See, Fling Manuscript From the Window.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter, Rose, stated in a diary entry the she doubted her mother’s manuscript would “come to anything.” [Smith Hill, Pamela. Introduction. “Will it Come to Anything?”: The Story of Pioneer Girl] However, in an interesting twist, Rose later used her mother’s rejected Pioneer Girl to craft new novels for herself. By 1932 she and her mother had published novels base on Laura’s original adult manuscript. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name and books are still world-famous.

Authors want praise for hard work, readers to love their words. They want to make a difference in the world. But even after a book is published, garnered accolades, and the author praised, doubt returns. Why? Simple rejection by one person.

Even if multiple people have purchased, reviewed, or praised the authors work, it’s that one person who reads the back cover and walks away, or promises a review and doesn’t, who triggers an author’s fatalistic imagination.

My dear authors, hang on to your sanity! Stay focused on your goal and start a file of all the praise, awards, and encouragement you’ve received. Self-doubt is destructive liar.

How do you overcome these times?

Happy Left-Handers Day

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Happy Left-Handers Day!

There are people who care about our needs.

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I found this store on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco when I visited in June. I was awed by the wonderful treasures and wanted several items. Unfortunately, the prices were beyond my vacation budget.

 

I really wanted this notebook though.

lefty's_notebookI purposely flip spiral notebooks over to write in them because of the dang metal hindrance.

So, be encouraged fellow lefty’s and have a great day!

Click here to check out Lefty’s store. Treat yourself or a left-handed  friend to a gift.

I Am Officially an Award-Winning Author

“I am officially an Award-Winning Author!” I have to keep telling myself this so I’ll believe it.

A while ago, I paid for Hungry Monster’s Review Service plus the cost of my eBook so the review would show as a verified purchase on Amazon.

“But it doesn’t count if you pay for it!” Some would say.

I kind of thought that too, until I went to their FAQ page and read. The main two questions I needed answered were: Who are these reviewers and am I guaranteed a five-star review?

The answers given, set my mind at ease. I especially liked the statement, “All reviewers associated with the Hungry Monster have a deep passion for books, have a college degree and are professional writers and editors.” And concerning the guarantee: “Absolutely not. All the reviews posted on this site are an honest opinion of any work submitted. The fee goes toward paying the reviewer for their time and maintenance on the site. It in no way pays for a positive review.”

I received a four-star review—my first. But the reviewer did, indeed, give a knowledgeable and professional review. Their only issue: “If there is any criticism for the book that can be offered it would be for something that is almost uncontrollable. It concerns the background conflict between the Colonies and the Crown. This is what gives historical fiction its flavor, but it does overshadow the very personal, family struggle between Mary and her father. This is the only real issue with the storyline, beyond this Defiance on Indian Creek will be a pleasurable read to any person who enjoys YA and a painstakingly researched historical fiction.”

I did chuckle a bit at this and wonder how one removes the historic subplot in a historical fiction series set during the pre-American Revolutionary frontier—and then I moved on.

When I received my Silver Literary Award, I went from elated to doubting. I went to the website and sure enough other books reviewed during the month had received three stars.

I highly recommend Hungry Monster’s affordable review service. Check them out!

One Lovely Blog Award

It’s such an honor to be nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award (origin unknown) by the talented author, writer, and blogger, Patty Wiseman.

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When I first met Patty at the East Texas Writers Association meeting, she immediately offered her friendship and support. She has a heart for mentoring new authors and a genuine desire to encourage women to reach their full potential. I’m bless to have her friendship and look forward to learning more from her.

About Patty: (From her website) Patty writes clean, fiction stories about the challenges women have faced in the past and continue to face today. The characters are in the throes of a time of transition, struggling to maintain their own identity or simply dealing with the unexpected events that life throws at them. Her published and future novels cover a variety of genres—from her love of stories that inspire and encourage, to those suspenseful dramas that keep you on the edge of your seat, and adventurous journeys of those who have overcome society’s constraints. Go to Patty’s inspirational website to learn more.

HERE ARE  THE RULES

  1. When you get this award,
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
  3. Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
  4. Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio
  5. Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15)
  6. Include this set of rules
  7. Inform your nominees

7  THINGS ABOUT ME THAT ARE NOT IN MY BIO?

1.  I LOVE GYMNASTICS

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Before I knew there was a name for turning cartwheels, hand-springing, and flipping over Monkey Bars—I was that kid. I also loved to swing as high as I could, let go, and FLY. My favorite place was in the highest tree I could climb, until I reached the precipice that swayed to-and-fro while I enjoyed the view and the solitude. My fourteenth year landed me in the boot hill of Missouri where I discovered Gymnastics. The gym became my retreat and an outlet for my need to conquer a task. I grew confident and my coaches became my family.

2.  I ENJOY GENEALOGY/DNA

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I asked my grandmother if we were related to anyone famous. She said Robert E. Lee might have been her grandmother’s cousin but she didn’t really know. That’s when I became interested in the family history. There are multiple people with a Lee ancestor they wish to connect to this Lee family. I’m six generations down from Ann Talitha Lee who was the daughter of Madison County Kentucky’s Richard Lee. This Richard Lee had been proven NOT to be of the same DNA male line to the exclusive Lee’s of Virginia. However, due to the multiple cousin marriages in my grandmother’s family, the connection could be in an untraceable female line. Thanks to my uncle, who is the last to carry Ann Lee’s maternal DNA, we at least have proof when/if her mother can be proved. Oh, well. Being interested in this connection led me to discover Ann’s mother-in-law, Mary Shirley McGuire. *Smiles*

My Silhouette shining the light.

My Silhouette shining the light.

3.  I LOVE ADVENTURE TRIPS

My husband and I like to travel. One year we went to San Ignacio, Belize and accepted a tour from a local guide to Barton Creek Cave accessible only by canoe. I held a large flashlight at the front of the canoe as we ducked beneath the low hanging ceiling.

     

4.  I’M A SKY-GAZER

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My fascination with the sky began at the age of four or five. I love a blue sky with fluffy white clouds sailing by. I love a clear view of infinite stars at night. I like sunsets better than sunrises.

 

 

5.  I LOVE APPLE FRITTERS and hate plain yucky glazed donuts.

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6.  I’M DETERMINED, NOT STUBBORN

Picket FenceI had to keep up with my big brother or he’d leave me out of things—like climbing a tree by the age of five, walking a fence rail, and soldier crawling. This determination has played a crucial role in my life from marriage, writing, and refusing to give up.

 

 

 

7.  I HAVE A RARE BONE MARROW DISORDER

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I almost passed out at work and my chest felt tight. The ER internist showed me my labs—freaking out. He said, “You have thick blood. Why is your blood so thick?” I took myself to an Internal Medicine Dr. who referred me to a Hematologist. I have Polycythemia (bone marrow makes too many abnormal red blood cells) translation—I take baby aspirin every day and have therapeutic phlebotomies every three months to prevent having a stroke. However, this causes low energy levels. Sheer determination keeps me going some days. I mention this, to encourage everyone with chronic health conditions to keep living and be strong!

CHECK OUT MY NOMINEES:

Dawn Husted: Young Adult Fiction Author

C. S. Lakin: Professional Help

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writers_need_chocolateWhile in the process of writing my first novel, I followed an agent’s blog who warned those wishing to query her not to, unless the manuscript had been professionally edited. She offered a list of recommended copy editors. From this list, I chose C. S. Lakin.

From her website, Live, Write, Thrive, Lakin offers a number off valuable services for writers. Before paying for an edit, I opted for her professional critique. Read more

Promoting White Bird Publications

wbpublications_book_coverIn the early days of writing my book, I researched and followed agent blogs. I expected to submit my synopsis and the first five pages to one, and then wait three months for the traditional non-reply rejection.

However, during the course of the revision process, I’ve learned that the publishing business has changed. Many writers self-publish to keep more of the profits, but I didn’t want to take another year to learn all the pros and cons.

I joined a local writers group and discovered White Bird Publications, an independently owned, traditional publisher who didn’t require an agent, and wasn’t a vanity publisher.

I’m pleased with my decision to add Defiance on Indian Creek to White Bird Publications growing number of quality books available from fiction and non-fiction genres.

 

Go Set a Wat…Chapter One Opinion

So, I just read the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee, that’s trending all over the Internet as a promotion for the book release on the 14th of July. This was the original book she wanted published.

Let go of expectations. Read it as if you know nothing of To Kill a Mockingbird and you won’t be as shocked. This is a different story with an edgier style and slower pace, yet still crafted by a genius.

I’m leaning toward To Kill a Mockingbird being the better choice, however.

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