Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

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  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Archive for the ‘Working from home’ Category

AutoCrit Editing Wizard, a useful tool for writers

Posted by April W Gardner on November 14, 2012

Last month, someone on the John 3:16 Marketing Network recommended the website AutoCrit.com. Today, I looked into it, and so far, it has all the appearance of being useful tool for writers.

In the company’s own words, “The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is an instant book editor. With the click of a button it shows you the problems in your manuscript.”

Copy, paste, click “analyze.” That simple.

The free version analyzes 1,500 words each day. It will check for overused words, sentence length variation, and clichés and redundancies.

The paid version increases word count to 3,000 per day and adds on repeated words and phrases, phrases summary, pacing, dialog tags, initial pronouns, readability, and homonyms. The repeated words and phrases alone is worth the $47/year!

I put the first scene of my latest novel through the wizard. Mind you, it had already undergone four critiques, but I was still shocked at what the wizard caught. It’s mostly nit-picky stuff, but since I’m a nit-picky author, AutoCrit has potential to become by bestest buddy.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, it was a no-brainer to fork over $47, but I plan to test-drive it hard over the next month!

Swing by there now and pop 500 of your latest words into the wizard. Just for fun. Then come back and let me know what you think!

April W Gardner is an award-winning author and the founder of Clash of the Titles.

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Disconnect Days

Posted by Lisa Lickel on October 10, 2012

On behalf of April:

 

Me (in a whiny voice) “Honey, why don’t you hold me much?”

Hubs (with a shrug) “You don’t slow down enough for me to catch you.”

I laughed, because it wasn’t the answer I expected. And because he was right.

I’ve been thinking lately about how many hours of work I put in every day. If we’re talking writing-related work, about nine. If we’re talking cleaning, cooking, caring for the kids, homework, shopping, yard work (and the list goes on), we’re getting closer to…every hour I’m not sleeping.

From the moment I wake up at 5:30 to the time I go to bed 10:30, I don’t stop working in one form or another. When I do stop, I crash—out like a light as soon as I sit down.

Two Sundays ago, I woke up and knew I needed a day off—one of those rare “disconnect” days. I wasn’t burned out, but I sensed it coming. First thing that morning, I told my 8 year-old that I wasn’t going to turn on my phone or my computer all day.

Her eyes lit up, and she gave one of her “you’re the best mommy in the world” hugs. I was a little stunned by her enthusiastic response and was happy she was on board with the idea.

An hour later, while I was combing her hair for church, she exclaimed, “This is going to be the best day EVER!”

My mind ran through what we had planned for the day, but came up blank on activities. No children’s choir, no eating out (leftovers again), no one was coming over to play. It was going to be a rather uneventful day, as far as Sundays went.

“What’s so special about today?” I asked, thinking surely I was forgetting something we had on the calendar. Was I supposed to bring a covered dish for an after service fellowship? (Those are her favorite.)

She splayed her hands, palms up, and looked at me at out of the tops of her eyes. “You’re not going to be working!” Then she proceeded to tell me everything she and I were going to do that afternoon.

  1. Sit on my bed and watch a girly movie
  2. Do our nails
  3. Make moccasins for her Fall Festival Native American costume
  4. Go to Goodwill and look for accessories for the same costume

We did them all.

I don’t FEEL like I work too much. I hardly talk on the phone, and when I do, it’s usually while the kids are in school. But what I think I do and how my family perceives the same things are two different monsters.

The family doesn’t complain about me working too much, but I can recognize a warning bell when I see one.

Now, I’m scheduling “disconnect days” on my calendar.

Have warning bells been going off in your home? Are you acting on them? Making adjustments? Making time for those who matter most?

You might be surprised at the enthusiastic reception you get if you do!

 

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Heart and Home, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Parenting, Working from home | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

Hobby or Business—How Do You View What You Do?

Posted by April W Gardner on September 26, 2012

(This post is a carryover from my “Do You Need a Business License?” post from two weeks ago.)

When I discovered I needed one to be legal, applying for and obtaining a license for my fledgling home business did something for me I never expected.

I’m an author and, more recently, an editor with Astraea Press. True to their claim, authors don’t make much money. Pennies really. I got my first royalty check nearly three years ago and, for whatever reason, have struggled to go anywhere much with sales. Paying taxes hasn’t even been necessary.

But to be perfectly honest, I viewed writing more like a hobby than a business. Don’t get me wrong,

Me. Working from patio furniture purchased with my hard earned dollars.

I didn’t want it to be a hobby. I WANTED to earn money, but a person’s mindset has everything to do with whether or not that will happen. If a girl doesn’t take her work seriously, if she doesn’t appropriately value her skills and time, no one else will either.

Late last year, I came to a critical juncture in my career. Frustrated and weary, I decided I’d either swim or sink, but I was going to do it on my own. One of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions (the only one I’ve ever stuck with) was to have my writing support itself 100%—no more begging money off my very sweet and willing husband. I’d pay for business cards, fliers, or that $1,000 conference, or I wouldn’t have them.

It seemed an outrageous notion. I honestly didn’t think I could do it and actually get anywhere, but for half the year, I did OK.

This summer was turning point. It happened the day I decided to get a business license.

It took me some weeks to get around to making it official, and if you want to read step-by-step how I went about doing that, you can visit my last Reflections post.

Come to find out, investing (yes, investing!) in a business license was exactly what my floundering career needed. The moment I held that license, I felt like a business woman. Stupid, I know, but it’s true. I view my job in a whole different light now. Notice my use of the word “job”? Yep, writing and editing isn’t a hobby anymore.

It’s what I DO. And I treat it with all the value and respect of a business. I have a budget and daily, weekly, and yearly goals. My time is blocked for certain activities, putting the most time toward my DPAs (dollar producing activities).

I require others to value and respect my work and time, too. No middle of the day chats with friends. I love you all dearly, truly, I do. But if you call me while I’m working, I’ll let the phone go to voicemail and get back with you at my next scheduled break.

At the risk of sounding New Age, let me point out that the mind and one’s attitude are a powerful things. Do not underestimate them.

God called me to this job. He believes in me. I should believe in me too! After which, I’ll give Him all the glory for the skill, energy, and encouragement He provides along the way.

I’m not a name-it-and-claim it kinda Christian, and I’m not rolling in the dough (far from it!!), but I’m got business cards, fliers, and went to that $1,000 conference. No thanks to my sweet, willing husband’s wallet. :-)

In addition to that, at the suggestion of a my very business savvy sister, I set a goal to reward myself for my hard work. She told me to think of something–a luxury–I’ve wanted but couldn’t afford. Something I’d never spend the money on because there’s always something else more important that needs to come first.

So I did.

Somehow, that goal in mind made me work harder, and to my utter astonishment, I not only  reached my goal, I surpassed it. Now, I work from my patio on my lovely new furniture. (Pix above)

And you guessed it, I have set another reward-goal for myself.

My business has supported itself probably 95% this year. 2013 will be even better. Actually, in 2013 I plan to make a PROFIT. There have been times since January I’ve had to say “no” to whatever marketing venture I wanted to explore, but for the most part, God has provided.

What was the big change? It’s as simple as this–I’m viewing what I do as a business, and THAT makes all the difference.

How do you view what you do? Is it an accurate perception? What are your time and skills worth? Put a monetary value on them, then shoot for it!

–April W Gardner is an award-winning author, an editor,

and the founder of the literary contest site, Clash of the Titles

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Do You Need a Business License?

Posted by April W Gardner on September 12, 2012

The short answer to that question is—I have no idea. Every city, county, and state has different laws, but it’s your responsibility to know what those laws are. A quick call to your town’s city hall should answer the question for you.

My particular Georgia city requires me—author and editor—to have one. This is a recent discovery for me, but one I didn’t mind making. Obtaining one actually moved my career forward in a way I never would have expected. Next time I’m at Reflections in Hindsight, I’ll explain exactly what I mean by that.

Today, let’s talk nuts and bolts.

Before getting into how to get a license, let’s discuss what they ARE.

WiseGeek.com defines a business license this way: A business license is a type of legal authorization to operate a business in a city, county, or state. Typically issued in document form, a business license gives a business owner the right to conduct entrepreneurial activities as set forth in the license application. In most cases, there is a fee charged to obtain a business license.

Requirements for a business license vary by state and municipality. Some locations require anyone conducting a business to obtain a business license. On the other hand, some areas allow smaller home businesses to operate without the need for a business license. Such small businesses could include consulting, web design, or typing services.

When I set out to get a license, I had no idea what the process involved. You might be in the same boat, so let me share with you how MY town does it.

After making a call to my local city hall and discovering I did indeed need a license, I made my merry way there to collect the necessary paperwork. On the same visit, my name was put on the books for my license to be discussed at the next town council meeting.

I had a week to fill out the paperwork, which consisted of some basic, personal information and a section requiring me to describe what I do. The part I did NOT expect was having to visit seven of my immediate neighbors asking them permission to conduct my business in my home. The conversation went something like this…

“Hi, I’m here asking if you wouldn’t mind signing this form giving consent for me to sit at my desk and type on my computer.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

To the last one, they laughed, shook their heads in wonder, and happily signed. Of course, if I was a machine repairman who wanted to fix washers and fridges in my garage, they might be thanking the city for making people get their neighbor’s permission…

Forms complete, I turned them in and waited for the city to deliver my lawn decor. Yep, lawn décor. The city placed a “public hearing notice” in my yard that had to remain in place for three weeks—until the actual hearing. This was to inform the rest of the neighborhood that they were welcome to come to the town council meeting and protest, if they so desired.

The evening of the council meeting came, and I made my obligatory appearance. Just like they do at such meetings on TV, I was asked to come to the podium and speak into a microphone. Way cool. The chairman asked me to state my name, address, and give a brief description of what I do. After that, he asked if anyone wanted to object to the town allowing me to conduct “said business” on “said property.”

No one did. Shocker.

I was allowed to leave the meeting and advised to pick up my license in two days. I did. But not before forking over the pro-rated fee of $64.00. Come January, along with the rest of the business owners in town, I’ll renew my license. It should be around $120/year.

It feels like a lot for someone who earns as little as I do, but when I swiped my little business debit card, I did so on the faith that, soon, $120 wouldn’t be a suffocating, drain-your-account kinda number.

In two weeks, I’ll tell how that little step of faith is doing just that.

In the meantime, give your city hall a buzz and ask what your local laws are. What did you learn? I’d love to know!

–April W Gardner is an award-winning author, an editor,

and the founder of the literary contest site, Clash of the Titles

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Karin Beery shares about writing

Posted by Lisa Lickel on September 5, 2012

NOTE: Sorry, people, I’m caught flat-footed this week as I have not been a good planner of my time this summer. I do plan to return to the Senses in Writing posts next time, Lord willing.

On that note, I pulled up a friend, Karin Beery’s, post on Making the Time to Write.

You CAN Find the Time to Write by Karin Beery

Original Date: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:20 am ((PDT))

About Karin:

Freelance writer/editor/coach, part-time accounting assistant, part-time homemaker.

I started writing to write a novel.  I continue writing because I love this job.  I’ve written for many local and national periodicals, have edited 200-wordpress releases and edited 65,000-word novels.  Whether I’m writing my own stories or helping others develop theirs, I put all of my passion and talent into each job.

NOTE: Since this original post, Karin’s home life has changed :)

Making the Time to Write

I can plan a wedding in three weeks. I can coordinate a sales retreat for 200 representatives. I can even figure out a work schedule for thirty employees working 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ve done it all. So why do I struggle to find time to work on my manuscript?

After months of frustration and feeling guilty for not meeting my writing goals I’m finally settling into a pattern that works for me. If you’re like me (not the over-the-top-planner, the
struggling-to-find-time-writer), I think I can help.

There were two areas in my life that I had to look at:

When I Work and

How I Work.

Once I could answer those questions I started to see progress. Here’s how:

When I Work: I don’t have a schedule. I wish I did. I thrive in a structured environment. Public schools worked for me because I like knowing where I’m going, when, and for how long. When I worked in hospitality I worked on random days and at random hours, but I knew how long my shift was and what I had to complete each day. I graduated top of my class and both of my former employers still ask me if I’d consider coming back. I was that good.

Despite all of that, I’m a horrible freelance writer. It’s not because I can’t write, but because I’m on my own. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do. My newspaper deadline is “Tuesday night”. Okay, but when? 5 pm? 11:59 pm? I need specifics.

As if that lack of structure wasn’t enough, I’m also a substitute teacher. I don’t work every day, and when I do work it might be a half or full day. I have to be at the high school by 7:30 am and the elementary schools by 8:30 am. And that’s only one school district. The others vary, so my schedule does, too.

When I started going to conferences and reading books on writing almost everyone said to write a certain number of words per day. They also said to pick a time to write. Well, I trust these multi-published best-selling authors, so I followed their advice. I failed.

It’s easy to have daily goals and a scheduled time when you know where you’ll be and for how long each day, but I don’t have that luxury. I might get a sub call at 6 am. Sometimes I even get a cancellation. Either way, I have to be flexible.

When I noticed my lack of schedule I also noticed the futility in scheduling writing times and daily goals. If I can’t guaranteed that I’ll be in my office every morning at seven to write for two hours, then how can I force a daily goal upon myself? I can’t.

What I can do, however, is set weekly goals. I don’t know what each day will bring, but I know that I don’t let myself sub more than three days per week. And I also do my laundry and clean the house once a week. And since I’ve changed my writing goals from 500 words per day to 2500 per week, I’ve not only been meeting my goals, but exceeding them. That was my first revelation…when I work. Then I looked at my process.

How I Work: I am a natural procrastinator. I always have been, and I probably always will be. I don’t mean to do it. It just happens.

Take my part-time job at the local weekly paper and my Tuesday night deadline. I cover the monthly Planning Commission (PC) meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. I have an entire week to write the article, but I never start it until Monday. The only reason I write it on Monday is so one of the PC members can review it for me before I submit it to my editor (I tend to misspell last names). I’ve been attending the PC meetings all year. I never write the article before Monday.

This is true for most areas of my life. I work well under pressure, and when there isn’t any I put it on myself by waiting until the last minute. I hope to change, but I won’t hold my breath.

Because I know that I procrastinate I know that I won’t write my articles until the beginning of each week. Back when I was trying to meet daily writing goals, this caused a problem. I couldn’t sub all day plus write/edit/re-write/submit an article and write another 500 words on my manuscript all in one day if I also wanted to exercise, eat, sleep, and see my husband. The guilt and frustration of not meeting my daily writing goals pressed in on me…until I changed.

When I switched to weekly writing goals I removed all of that pressure because it gave me Monday and Tuesday to write for the paper and the rest of the week to work on my novel. That plan has continued to work for me! Since I know I won’t start my articles until at least Sunday
night (if I’m motivated), then I don’t worry about writing the articles over the weekend.  That gives me the freedom to work on my manuscript over the weekend without the deadline-guilt. I went from being a stressed-out, goal-failing writer who dreaded her assignments and manuscript to a woman who makes deadlines and enjoys her job.

For some of you, writing everyday works with your schedule. But for some of us, it doesn’t. I would LOVE to be able to do it, but if I truly want to write my novel (and I do…really, really, I do) then I have to find a way that works for me.

How about you? Do you struggle to make it work? The take a good look at yourself – who you are, what you do, and how you do it best. Fit your writing into that. Don’t try to remold yourself around the writing. It should become a part of you and your life – not the center of it. You have to find what it is that compliments what you’re already working with. That’s the point that I think I was missing. Because it’s not about when you write or for how long – the point is that you write.

From Lisa:

I first met Karin online a few years ago. She’s one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic people I know. And she’s a lot taller than me.

Posted in Encouragment, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Do You Know Your Life Purpose? with Teena Stewart

Posted by Lisa Lickel on July 18, 2012

Do You Know Your Life Purpose? Here’s How to Discover It.

By Teena Stewart

This past year has been a year of discovery and assessment. I stepped out of a highly stressful job at a non-profit the end of June in 2011 and have been figuring myself out since.  Being married to a pastor who currently isn’t being paid a salary from our start up coffee shop ministry, means I need to help bring in income as he works sports officiating jobs for pay. I’ve been collecting unemployment and piecing together freelance jobs including writing, art, and managing a pet silhouette business for a friend. It’s been a rocky ride.

I’ve spend lots of time figuring myself out. Who am I really? Where should I be working? What’s my heartbeat?  What I have discovered is  that God has made me a creative individual who thrives on variety and innovation–not status quo. I usually become miserable in jobs that become routine. More than anything, (and this has been going on for years) I  love of turning trash into treasure.

                       

How do these all connect? This theme of broken but beautiful comes through in my art (you can see on my Serendipitini art website and Serendipitini blog  and is present in my most recent book, The Treasure Seeker, though I wasn’t fully aware it was in the book at the time. The theme of the Treasure Seeker is of being lost and found and being refined into something valuable. Sound familiar?

This same life theme has been slowly forming over the past several years. It even manifested itself through Java Journey, our Christian coffee shop ministry. First, through the physical look of the place with its golden hues and funky decor. I had no choice, because of our limited budget, but to implement creative reuse. And that has really connected with people’s hearts. Something about it draws them in and second with our ministry purpose itself.

 

Java Journey, a non-profit coffee shop community in Hickory, North Carolina, provides hope and restoration to the hurting and broken by sharing Christ’s story, showing His love and by empowering the restored to serve others. We also serve up a great cup of coffee and other palate delights. 

Interesting. Trash to Treasure again. This period of reassessment has made me realize that every individual has certain values and passions and over time they can become our life theme. They are something we cannot turn off. Mine continually rises to the surface. If I try to ignore or squelch it by focusing in the wrong area, writing on the wrong topic, or applying for the wrong job position, it’s a recipe for misery and disaster.

So here’s a suggestion for my readers. Take a good look at what makes you tick. What you are passionate about?  Does this theme keep replaying?  Is it your heartbeat?  You may have discovered your life theme and mission statement. Embrace it and then hone it and try to make it more of your focus. Use it for your benefit and the benefit of others. You will waste less time, be more fulfilled, and will impact more lives in a positive way.

Teena Stewart is an author/artist/ministry leader. Her most recent book is The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father.  For more info on her books and writing visit www.teenastewart.com or http://nearly-brilliant.blogspot.com

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment, Happiness, Heart and Home, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , | Comments Off

Holiday themes in books

Posted by Lisa Lickel on July 4, 2012

I really should let Elaine have this day, since it’s her forte, and she does thing so marvelously…but I’ll keep it and chat about using theme days in writing instead.

June Foster’s book, number two in the Bellewood series, releases around today: A Hometown Fourth of July (review live on Sunday, July 8: http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/hometown-fourth-of-july/). June effectively used the national holiday as the launching pad for her romance between her characters who meet in a rather messy way at the Fourth of July parade.

He should have worn his Mariners cap the way the midday sun over Ft. Freedom beat down in him. Whamp. Ice cold goo slid down from the top of his head to his ears and neck. Did a giant bird drop a frozen bomb on him? Max stretched his neck back to investigate the sky above him. A little girl, eyes wide and mouth open, perhced in the lower limbs of the cottonwood, holding an empty sugar cone in her hand.

The more common themes feature romances at St. Valentine’s Day and Christmas, but how can we think outside the box? Does your community choose a memorable moment in time to honor? May Irish immigrants settled the county where I now live: in the Town of Erin, a St. Patrick’s Day parade is rather famous/infamous–not quite so much as turning the Chicago River green, but still…an interesting setting for intrigue, danger, murder… Who’s going to see what in all that bedlam?

Is there a local figure whose namesake gets hauled out, dusted off and put on display every now and then? To name a few in Wisconsin (and no, you’ll have to look them up): Paul Bunyon, Les Paul, Aaron Rodgers, August Derleth, Leo Aldopold, Al Capone.

But we also have a Strawberry Fest, Fish Days, Marsh Days, Salmon-a-rama (http://www.salmon-a-rama.com/gallery/), SprecherFest, Highland Games, Rain Days, innumerable Fireman’s Picnics, Ethnic Fests every weekend throughout summer. Summer concerts, and so forth. Rodeos.

What can you find in your community to jumpstart your book? How many ways can people “run into” each other? Find and lose each other? Plant or find clues? Be intrigued by a costume or enthusiasm (or lack of)? Stalk or simply follow? Lose, drop, pick up or find something?

Feel free to share some plots or themes that can start around a local celebration–and start a whole different set of fireworks.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Promotion in Motion: Debut Novelist Jennifer Fromke

Posted by Lisa Lickel on June 26, 2012

Welcome to our guest, Jennifer Fromke

I am a displaced Michigander living in North Carolina and it’s wreaking havoc on the way I speak. Fortunately, I am a writer. When I need to, I can still hear Northern voices in my head and if I write a Southern character, I can walk outside to hear the local twangle any day.

My local grocery story will order Vernors if I request it (and I do!). People ask me almost every day, “Where are you from?” (read: you don’t sound like you’re from here), and I’m always proud to respond that I’m from Michigan. I’m also getting used to mild winters and serious BBQ.
But I miss the lakes. I miss walking beside them, swimming in them, driving over the river that leads to them, boating on them, and most of all, seeing, smelling and listening to them.
North Carolina has lakes. I’ve seen them. But they are not the same. And they are not Great Lakes, though some of them are pretty good. But there are no lakes here that you can snowmobile across in the winter. The water temperatures are much higher all year round, which means the contents of said lakes are . . . different.
My first novel was written from a place deep inside that longs to be in northern Michigan. I return every summer with my family and I think it’s my favorite place on earth. I’ve used the place as my setting because I know it well, but also because writing the story became a vehicle for me to hang out in Charlevoix. That was especially wonderful when I was hibernating in the air conditioning during our 55 consecutive days of 90+ temps one summer.
Living outside my comfort zone has given me a true appreciation for my roots. When I write scenes in the Midwest, I think my separation from it infuses the story with a tenderness I might not be capable of if I was living there now. Distance can crisp the memory and sharpen how I feel about a place, which will hopefully bring to the reader a truthful and engaging picture.
I’m blessed to be displaced, and I hope to put this experience to good use on every page I write. A Familiar Shorebegins at the coast in North Carolina, but travels to Charlevoix in Northern Michigan, with a brief touch down in Charlotte, NC and Key West, FL. The story begins when a young lawyer travels to meet an anonymous client’s estranged family. She must decide who deserves which part of the estate on her own, but when she uncovers an old family secret, she finds herself caught between the suspicious family and a deathbed promise her conscience demands she keep.

****

Buy the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Jennifer Fromke was born and raised in Michigan, attended Wheaton College in IL,
and lived her first married years in Minneapolis, MN. She writes from North
Carolina these days where she pines away for cooler temps amidst a sea of people
drinking sweet tea. Her number one fan is her husband of 20 years and her three
children keep her life filled with brilliant colors and big dreams. Jennifer’s
debut novel, A Familiar Shore, won the 2010 ACFW Genesis Award.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Encouragment, Friendship, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , | Comments Off

Tuesday Promotion in Motion: Delores Beggs

Posted by Lisa Lickel on May 8, 2012

Delores Goodrick Beggs is a prolific writer. Her work is influenced by the tolerance of horses for imperfection, the warmth of hounds reaching out, and the caring of heart for all human conditions, packaged in whichever format her inspiration of the moment decrees.

Growing up, she was always writing because radio and television before closed captions failed to entertain. During her teens she wrote mostly nonfiction, poems and short stories, collecting them over the years in a box she saved one Christmas.  As an adult with a hearing disability, she started her From the Heart western series evenings when she came home after working her day job, writing her own stories in the days before closed captions were added to television shows. Breaking Point is the first book in her From the Heart series, coming May 11, 2012 from Desert Breeze Publishing. Visit her web site.

 

 

About the book:

Mauranie Wells is at odds with her sister Tennyson and her demands for money they don’t have when handsome cowboy banker Stemson Arroyo Smith rides into the Wells Double Bar ranch requesting assistance.

ISBN: 978-1-61252-166-4

Available May 11

Welcome to Reflections, Delores. Our usual first question is, What do you love about this book?

The heroine of Breaking Point, Book One of my Place in the Heart series, became my best friend during the long dark evenings spent writing Breaking Point at home after my day job. Television held little appeal for me because closed captions were not available yet, and radio was just a noise. But Mauranie Wells graciously filled entertained me, telling me her story as I pecked on my typing machine. Like Mauranie, I have to compensate for my poor hearing.

So it sounds like you were able to explore your character in a way many of us will never know. What’s the main thing you learned during the process of writing and publishing this book?

You know the saying, stop sometimes to smell the roses? The main thing I learned was what a rich life I had been given to draw upon for this and my upcoming other books of my From the Heart series. I learned how very much I appreciated my wonderful and supportive family, the strength of my horses and the unconditional love of my dogs. We never had much money, but we had a great wealth of the things money can’t buy. Love.

Love. What more can we say? Delores, What should your readers discover and want to share with their family and friends after reading this book?

All about growing up, the good, the bad, and the what ifs. It’s like the saying sunshine always follows a storm. But in life, when they persist, persons have the option of blowing the storm clouds away so the sun can shine.

Thank you, Delores, and best wishes with your future work.

Delores Goodrick Beggs:  Horses, hounds, heart

Breaking Point - May 11, 2011

Charming Champion – Aug. 2011

Substitute Lover – Dec. 2011

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Encouragment, Working from home | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Positively Moving Ahead

Posted by Lisa Lickel on May 2, 2012

The best thing to do while you’re waiting for that contract to catch up with you, after submitting of course, or having you agent submit :), is to KEEP MOVING.

I’m taking baby steps again, but that’s okay for me. I have stockpiled over twenty manuscripts, many of which are not just salvageable, but saleable. I’m chipping away at that frozen sculpture of alphabet art.

A book I wrote in 2006 while Heartsong Presents: Mysteries was unraveling was another mystery, set up for a potential series. I liked it. It’s first person, my first experiment with that POV, and has fancy cats, Egyptian Maus to be exact, as fun non-human characters. My first agent sent it out to a few publishers who weren’t interested in jumping into the inspirational cozy mystery malestrom, although one editor said she liked my voice. I’m adaptable. I rewrote the manuscript a few times. I like adverbs, but I can easily take them out again. Not a problem.

I wish my writing was noticeble by publishers that secure national television interviews and cross-country book trips, but I’m still building my name and reputation. That simply cannot be hurried, unless one of those unspeakable accidents happen. I check around for publishers who offer realistic, fair contracts who are dedicated to putting out good product. I ask authors I know who are with that publisher about their experiences.

The smoke, bronze, and siver Mau

After doing the above recently, I was offered and signed a contract with Janet Durbin at Whimsical Publications. She said right away she wasn’t crazy about my title. I can live with that. I had a blast on Facebook in a huge chat about the story. I’m excited to get into edits, and the editing team from The Map Quilt seems to think that the process for the re-release of the Gold Standard, book one, is coming up soon.

Here’s the initial blurb:

Ivy Preston keeps other people’s secrets for a living. When a small town mayor invites Ivy Preston and True Thompson to move their businesses to Apple Grove, can their love survive the sudden rise in crime?

After being left at the altar, Ivy Amanda McTeague Preston uproots herself and her cat, an Egyptian Mau named Memnet, from her boring and lonely life to start over at the urging of Mayor Conklin, a fellow pedigreed Mau owner. Truesdale Thompson is ready to move in a fresh direction with his life. A private man whose physical wounds are the only outward sign of a tragic accident in his past, True and his cat, Isis, open a branch of his trendy little bookstore and coffee shop in Apple Grove. When Ivy takes a mysterious message while the mayor is away on business, only Ivy’s criminology professor mom, and True believe there’s something rotten in Apple Grove. Can Ivy carry on her romance with True while saving the town from further Mayhem?

 

Although I’ve branched off into short stories and done more radio theater, and worked on magazines for a while, I’ve been working. I’ve been editing. I jumped into Linked In a bit more seriously. I’m working with Brenda Hendricks, and Clash of the Titles, and doing book reviews. I’m plodding forward.

I’ve been pleased with the reviews coming out for The Map Quilt, which was delayed until May 4. Watch for the electronic version, which will be available then, and the print book, coming soon.

In fact, I’ve almost caught up with myself and have to get crackin – back to finishing The Newspaper Code, book 3 in the Buried treasure mysteries. After all, my back list is still selling, and I’m selling my stockpile slowly and surely. Perhaps I’d better start jogging again.

How about you? What kind of things do you do while you’re in “wait” mode?

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment, Publishing, Uncategorized, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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