Sunday, October 23, 2011

When It's Real

**Kind of in a random, unstructured mood tonight so I'm going to just type that way, m'kay? Thanks for understanding. :-)**

When it's real...
It really doesn't have to be spoken because it's felt.
It lifts you up instead of tearing you down.
It makes you feel light on your feet and not like you're carrying the weight of the world.
It nurtures your growth instead of demanding your change.
It flows like a river instead of a rain-starved creek.
It feels warm like the sun and is never frigid like the poles.
It is patiently accepting and not harshly judgmental.
It travels the distance instead of leaving the path at every obstacle.
It fights to exist by any means necessary instead of extinguishing itself with fear & doubt.
It comes through the fire refined and brilliant instead of disintegrating in the heat.
It applauds your success instead of celebrating your failure.
It encourages your healing instead of attending your pity party.
It is rooted in truth instead of deception.
It speaks words that you need to hear instead of words you want to hear.

As I go on, I could probably think of a million of these. My aim is to invoke thought and introspection. I hate settling and I don't want anyone else to settle, either. Think it over and if change is necessary, make it. Peace & Love.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

3 Stars from Europe

This week I had the pleasure of chatting back and forth with the lovely Kelly, the very first reviewer from the United Kingdom to read and review my fiction novella "Love & Wrath: The Beginning". Insert indie writer scream here --> ________ Okay, in my defense I don't always go straight away to the groupie response, but this first book of the series has only been out for about 2 and 1/2 months and God has seen fit to accelerate the progress of this book at lightning speed. AMEN... for real. So, I suppose I should not have been overly surprised when Kelly turned out to be a sweetheart and very considerate of how I felt about her review before she posted it for the world to see. Tender, kind, and giving people seem to be on overflow these days in my life. Again, AMEN.

NEVERTHELESS, I had a few "raised eyebrow" moments when reading the review. Is it against protocol to review the reviewer? I don't know, but I mean absolutely no harm in my commentary. So, I get the e-mail with the proposed review and I start reading immediately so that I can digest the write-up that's going to make all of Europe want to buy my book. Welll... let's just say I have a few "issues" right away. "Story of Lily... middle-aged woman..." WHOA! Really, Kelly? My characters are all in their EARLY thirty's. I'm not one to quibble over minor details, but if you feel that thirty-something is "middle-aged", you may be an American after all. Seriously, I thought we were the only ones who believe that life is a steady decline after twenty-five.

Moving on... I'm loving that her summary is so detailed. She really did read the book! Awesome. Then I get to the section on why the book doesn't get a full five star rating. I still have no worries because I already know that the five star review from anyone other than loved ones and friends is a RARE species indeed, although I have been blessed with a few from readers that I truly did not know. So, reading on, I discover that one reason I'm short of a full five is because of "minor spelling errors". Aww, come on, Kelly! Cut me a break! I edited this book myself and clearly MS Word's spellchecker was off duty that day. Besides, I didn't say anything about the "independAnt" that I saw used in your review. Irony!

Then, apparently my dear Kelly, as a reader, does not enjoy third person. Fair enough, but I have been experimenting with writing in first person and let me tell you, it's not easy! Well, for me anyway... Finally, my "prose could have done with a little more polish." I'll take that. I'm a beginner and I fully expect to make rookie mistakes for a while. Overall, though, the book got 4 out of 5 stars and a "would try the author again" because "it shows great potential." Excellent. A second look is a wonderful gift to a writer. So, if Kelly from the UK gave the book four stars, why the title of this blog?

Well, let's let Kelly explain herself: "Typically a 4 star review here translates to 3 stars on goodreads, amazon and smashwords..." YIKES! So does that mean when you go to those sites to enter your review, I should expect to see three stars instead of four!?! Ok, Kelly... have it your way, but I'm only going along with this because you were the first and because of that, I hold you dear to my author heart. Seriously though, as a writer, I would be more than happy to send any book I have written to her for review. She was prompt, fair, honest, and extremely considerate. I give her a sincere THANK YOU and a "Cheers" from across the pond. Oh and by the way, when I checked Amazon UK, I saw four stars. "Cheers" indeed!

WRITERS: To contact Kelly for a UK review, go here: or here:
UK READERS: Give me a try! I'm cheap...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's Nothing Like An Original...

Since I published my first novella two months ago, I have been constantly making the book promotion rounds on the internet and I am amazed at the love that I see for paranormal romance novels. Maybe it's the result of the awe-inspiring popularity of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series or the seemingly endless lust for everything vampire that has taken over modern civilization. Either way, it's an amazing phenomenon that no one can or even wants to ignore.

I am reminded, though, that the idea of a torrid love affair with the human undead is not a concept that should be new to any of us. In fact, it is an idea that has been around for decades in movies, books, and in oral fiction well before Edward or Bella were even a twinkle in their parents' eyes. I blame this current resurgence on the youth and their need for some good old-fashioned romance in the midst of all the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" debauchery of mainstream media.

The book that introduced me to amorous ghosts was an AMAZING book titled "The Hand I Fan With" by Tina McElroy Ansa. I read it in 1996, a decade and a half before this current wave of spirit infatuation. I fell in love with the books' heroine and, inevitably, I fell in love with her ghostly suitor. The book was both lyrically poetic and classically romantic, while maintaining the action and rhythm of an excellent fiction manuscript. If you have not read "The Hand I Fan With", you have missed out on a Classic Paranormal Romance novel and I suggest you remedy that by buying a copy today. It's priced steep in comparison to today's ebook prices, but it is worth EVERY PENNY.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sow a Seed, Reap a Harvest

I have been contemplating a first post for this blog for several days, wondering what in the world I could talk about. What hasn't already been said? What topic hasn't already been written about, rewritten, edited, and rewritten about again? Then it hit me. Just like with all of my writing, I must write about the things that move me. It is always easy to share the things that stir us up and ignite the passion stored away in our spirits. 

Today, I was so touched when a seed that I had planted erupted into a lovely crop for a friend. Her hard work, talent, and creativity paved the road for sure, but I cannot express the joy that I felt when she thanked me for sharing something that seemed to be insignificant to me at the time, yet proved to possibly be the catalyst for the eruption. A seed had been planted. She reaped and so did I.

Strangely enough, this news came at a time when I was not physically feeling well. My fingers were aching from all of the typing that I had done during the day. My stomach was growling and I was wrapped deeply in my flannel robe from the chill in my apartment. I was all smiles anyway and in the simplicity of my joy, these words came to mind:

It is at my lowest that I must rise to the highest point.
It is at my weakest that I must be the strongest.
It is when my heart is breaking that I must love the most.
It is in the midst of tears that I must dry another's eyes.
It is when I am tired that I must run the fastest.

How can this be? These are the times when we are expected, and even entitled, to focus on self and no one would blame us or even think twice about it. However, it is the nature of God within us that pushes us to carry on, realizing that we always have access to His everlasting supply of all that we need, even when we are depleted or empty. Simply put, rely on God and your cup will never cease to run over.