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Your Little could be Someone’s BIG

11 Sep

Oh the Amazon eBook rankings! The Evolution of a Stir went from placement of 1,000,000 to 100,000 from just ONE sale (a big thanks to Brian and Sharon Jones). Of course I’ve watched the rankings on and off since the release of my book, but this morning a huge reminder of what one person’s small action means to another. I am so grateful for one sale, however you can imagine what snowball effect one more could have. For those that don’t understand, rankings drive sales by boosting a book’s appearance. The more exposure, the more opportunity. Simple for a reader, significant for an author.

And about that book. A reader and fellow blogger’s recent prompt…
“Imagine yourself doing what you love…being unique, being you”. That simple comment, another reminder of what stirs me most and why I wrote about it. (Thank you Traveling Tortuga!)

Whether it’s buying an eBook, or offering a stranger a smile, your seemingly small gesture could impact another in a grand way.

So click here to buy The Evolution of a Stir now…it’s only 99¢! Then go smile at a stranger!

P.S. Brian Jones has a book too! Indian Paintbrush by B. K. Jones is available here.

Learning to Grow

9 Dec

Excel spreadsheets. That I knew. Word documents. Not so much.

I could use bold, cut, paste, and even highlight, but now I was a writer and it was time to know more. My dream of publishing a book required more knowledge and a massive list of to-dos.

But the things I had begun to list…most of them, foreign. Copyright, trademark, ISBN, bar code, cover design, formatting, marketing. What’s a domain? And how do I get one? What does print ready really mean? What’s the difference between publisher and printer? Library of Congress? Books in Print? Really? REALLY?

So, wide-eyed and curious beget an expedition to learn. If I didn’t know it, I looked it up. Thank goodness for Google, website forums, and help menus! I read and read. I played and maneuvered and practiced; until I felt it was enough. I borrowed my well-read daughter to edit and I contracted a home town book binder to print. With a near nothing budget, I proceeded.

And I did it. And I’m proud.

My first book delivered and my first book is worthy. It may never make it to a brick and mortar bookstore, but it’s worthy. It’s my building block and foundation for more.

How about you? What is that aspiration you’ve yet to conquer? If you’ve read my book “I opened to voices that said yes and rebelled to those that said no” you’ll understand how I got here. And those voices can help you learn to grow too!

Visit the Bookstore to read The Evolution of a Stir!

 

And So It Begins!

17 Nov

A writer. Who would’ve believed? I surely never did.

A blog. When thoughts transformed into words, an opening began.

A dream. A series of books…life lessons from my heart, eventually to include other writer’s stories as well.

A book. My first! The beginning of a dream come true.

I proudly and enthusiastically present…

The Evolution of a Stir - Front Cover

It tells of my journey…a series of revelations that began a process of change. Each a short story, each a life lesson, each prodding me forward.

With a limited number of print books available*, get yours now! One of those life lessons may speak just to you!

Click here for more information and purchase!

 

Ifs, Ands, or Buts

30 Jun

As I slapped my hand on the steering wheel…another sigh escaped from my lungs. Dang it! Once again…my thoughts jumbled with the “other” choices.

My temporary job was located clear across the city. Determined to avoid the idiots, the hurried, and the cluster of the freeway, I chose a different route. Necessary to go through parts of town I’d never known, I tried many options. Always trying to best my last drive, I’d contemplate the ‘what ifs’.  If the light hadn’t been red. If there wasn’t any construction. If only that accident hadn’t happened.  A constant nag of betterment resounded in my head. Over and over I questioned my route. I wanted a clear shot, but that never happened.

And so with my writing. If only I didn’t have to market. If only I knew more about publishing. If only. If only. If only. But if I want to get somewhere, I have to keep driving. While still avoiding the fast lanes, my own path calls. I may encounter wrecks, red lights, and detours, but I’ll get there.

And those various city routes…never mind the challenges…I made my destination every time!

~ ~ ~

Update: The project alluded to in The Party’s Over

I’m in the process of editing and designing an eBook…
“The Evolution of a Stir”
…the first in a MAY YOUR SOUL STIR series.
Coming to an electronic shelf near you!

SELL SELL SELL

1 May

I have a friend on Facebook…his usual post “SELL, SELL, SELL”.

There is a difference between my friend and me.  He is a salesman.  I am not.  I’ve always shied away from any type of peddling.  Of the opinion that salesman were vile creatures looking to sell snake oil, I wanted no part of that.  Perhaps my view has changed.

Before beginning this blog, an epiphany to write became the catalyst.  A story in itself, one of healing and spiritual awakening, I imagined this could somehow blossom into more.  Through hours of varied research, I’ve learned in lieu of a bestselling novel, to make a living you must supplement with speaking engagements, newsletters, or some type of innovative promo.  Just as marketing is not my forte, neither is speaking.   I began writing as often my words flow better on paper than from my tongue.

With articles submitted for publishing, I realize that path is a difficult one.  A story is stirred from my heart, not my pocketbook.  Substantial attempts to promote are not in my nature, as neither is writing on demand, but

My writing has a purpose.  Still unclear exactly why, this I know…it has its place.  I’m trying to discern…where I fit, where I don’t.  I do have a gift for seeing a story in the mundane and the inordinate.   I am confident my words are worthy…the context, the message, the delivery.

Although I may not be a salesman, I do have something to offer.  But rather than snake oil, I sell bits of inspiration.  I hope you’re looking to buy!

Path to a Friend

6 Feb

I had never met her.  Only from his words of love and adoration, did I have a sense of who she was.

He…a dear friend that lost his life in a fishing accident…was someone special.  He had many friends and united in grief, we muddled through the pain.  After a week of deep emotions and wistful tributes, the silence became a dim cavity of devotion.

I wrote her a letter…his mom.  He spoke so proud and preciously of her, I knew she had to know.  With tears for a woman I had never met, I mailed my heartfelt words.

Months later, still reeling in the pain, I felt a need to revisit the church in which his service was held.  And I felt a need to meet her.

I made my way to the church, trying diligently to keep the tears inside.  A bit early, I paused to look at various pictures on the wall.   A sweet elderly lady asked if she could help me.  I timidly declined.

Making my way to the back of the sanctuary, I took my seat.  I saw the music director who sang at his service, a beautiful accolade in song.   His perch on the raised platform reminded me.  Although the church was large and much space between us, the director felt compelled to come speak with me.  I was a stranger, yet something drew him to me.  I told him who I was and why I was present.  He now pointed to the sweet lady that had approached me in the hall.  That was her.

A bit into the service, I stared into the stained glass to refrain from tears,  just as I had during the memorial service.  But it was too much, too reminiscent of that day.  Feeling the tears flow, I made a quiet exit through the back doors.  As I fled down the hall, I heard someone call my name.  As if she knew me, it was her.

We, these strangers, had now become friends.  In an immediate and unknowable way, we embraced…no words, no explanation…just tears.

That day began a bond of a sweet and perfect friendship.  Although it’s been years since, we carry a place in our hearts…for him, and for each other.  No doubt that day, heaven was directing our paths.

Nevertheless

6 Jan

In the wee morning hours, with a broken heart, an empty bed, and the light of my television, I wrote. Reveling in the aftermath of a break-up, I searched for closure. The significance of the man is no longer, but the importance of this writing still lingers.  One of his last words to me, “nevertheless”, prompted me to reveal my thoughts on paper. It was then I knew I could use words for healing. 

As is, unedited and imperfect, I present my first writing.   Who could know that five years later, I would begin a public endeavor doing just that.  I thank him.

“Nevertheless”

Life, with its twists and turns, does not always present itself to our liking…

I know that people come in and out of our lives for a reason. For those that choose to stay, I cherish. For those that walk away…there is a reason, although sometimes I do not understand. I do know that a diamond in our possession is a precious stone. In someone else’s it is just a thing of envy. Being envious of something just brings ourselves discontent. Instead we should choose to be grateful for those things that are around us and let go of the things that slip through our grasp.

I know I am responsible for some of the things that slip through my fingers, others I am not – they are beyond my control. I realize that in some moments of personal anguish, I speak or act hastily, thereby hurting the people I love most and pushing them away. I wish I could have the moments back when I was wrong, but at forty-six, I am still learning the whys and how comes and strive to fix the things that matter most. Sometimes I have a resolution, other times I do not. I will forever be a work in progress and I make no apologies for that, rather I feel proud of the small accomplishments I continually make and strive for.

Sometimes you just have to let go to release your pain and move ahead. In the aftermath of a divorce, someone told a story of a woman falling off a cliff that in desperation clung to a small branch to hold for dear life. In the darkness, she knew only to cling to that, but in the light of day realized that had she not struggled so and let go, there was a ledge just beneath her feet that would have caught her fall. I am releasing my grasp. It only causes pain and stagnation. I know that I will fall, but the duration of the fall will be shorter than I expect.

I will never say good-bye to my past; instead use it as a tool for learning. I do have a future. I know not what it brings, only that it will provide me joy and sorrow. Joy to be savored and sorrow for lessons learned.

Find a path and enjoy your journey. It may not be the journey you chose, but it is still your journey with yet more twists and turns.

I Fear No Evil

25 Nov

In chase, the demons fought diligently.  Conniving, relentless, and forceful their silhouettes of darkness encircled my presence. Frightened and panicked, I ran.  I ducked and cowered but no act seemed to escape their ruthless terror.

Eerily I lay on the bed…flat on my back, arms folded over my chest as though I was going to my grave.  I was in a dream or a nightmare rather, and I was scared.  Still unclear the blurred lines between my slumber and awakened state, I knew I must do more.

They fought hard.  But I fought harder…and I began to recite the 23rd Psalm.

I fully awoke to my voice speaking loud and determined, and with each verse it was as though their chase grew weary. With eventual retreat, I was free from the apprehension of their darkness.

One of the most horrifying dreams I had experienced, I reached into my nightstand drawer to retrieve my bible.  It remained in my clutches the remainder of the night and I slept well.  It is truly amazing the calm that comes from relying on God.

Let it be known, even though the 23rd Psalm is not foreign to me, I do not have it memorized.  The splendor of that is deep within me, through teachings from the bible…and faith.  A deep seared faith that stays with me and rises up when I need it most.

I needed it that night and the protection it offered, flowing freely from my lips.  As the need comes today and tomorrow, God will deliver as well.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Sun Stir

14 Nov

As I witness the sun remove its presence from today, I stand in quiet reflection.  Putting the long arduous day behind me, I am reminded of the potential yet realized.

In the darkness of night, my soul stirs with apparitions of tomorrow.  I dream of love…an exquisite joy born of an exceptional friendship.  I dream of serenity…a peace that only peace can bring.  I dream of purpose…a selfless act that gives my life fulfillment.

My night ends and I peek to see the sun beginning its approach.  As this new day offers itself, I prepare for visions turned to truths, and ready myself to say graces to He that brings them.

Of Faith, Love, and Rattlesnakes

21 Oct

We were on a mission…mission unknown to me, but hand in hand we walked.  We trekked through that pasture, over the unevenness, having to watch each step before we took another.  Unsure of the destination, I knew he loved me and I trusted his course.

His instructions…walk lightly, take small steps, and look straight ahead.  I began to feel apprehension build as he guided me.  Over the rocks, over those crevices, and to the peak of that terrain…we were there.  Still unclear exactly where there was…more instructions ensued.  “Hold my hand tight, do not let go, and be still.”

“Now look down.”

My breath stopped, my heart raced, and my eyes widened.   In those crevices we had maneuvered…hundreds of rattlesnakes lay still beneath us!  He felt me tighten and gripped my hand stronger.  He reminded me to trust him.  And I did.

“Now look up.”

In awe, I took in the beauty and I felt the reward.  We stood on top of that hill…a view of triumph and grandeur.   With poison just below our feet, we had prevailed.  My fear now subsided, we stood high and proud and accomplished…and still he held my hand.

Never alone could I have done that.  Only with the guidance born of love and trust could I have made that trek.  I wonder where my path is taking me now.  As God is holding my hand, I step over rocks.  In whatever form He chooses, I trust I will stand on that hill once again.

My Daddy

28 Sep

As I completed the task, I viewed with satisfaction…a job well done.  A privacy wall for my patio and I built it alone.  This wasn’t my first project and it won’t be my last.  Often wondrous that I am capable, I remember why.  I got this from my dad.

He is a man with many talents and building is one of them.  As a child, I often became his unofficial apprentice.  Fetching a tool or “hold this” was the vital purpose, although popping the chalk line was my preferred task.  With peripheral instruction my little mind absorbed bits of his skill.

A blue-collar worker and athletically apt; he was blessed with an unexpected gift for art.  I have watched him craft astonishing pottery, take amazing pictures, and sculpt simply to engage himself.

With his understanding, encouragement and advice to never give up, I am writing.

Writing is an art, and I got this from my dad.

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