Friday, December 27, 2013

Much To Do About Writing: Healing After Injury

Anise, my best milker, with a halo of webs between her ears

Hi readers,

It's been too long since I last posted. I injured my back: four torn ligaments and various other injuries to hips, neck and pelvis.

I have a goat farm, with two does to milk, so how do I heal properly with all that responsibility? Or how do I heal at all, for that matter?

The Lord was gracious and sent caregivers to my home. It was rough going, no sitting, only reclining, no standing, stooping, or lying flat. Heat and ice a million times a day, and doctor's orders: walk, walk, walk.

I found I could cook our meals, though. Whew, at least I was good for something. I still had to have help with pot and pans lifting and someone else doing the cleanup (my husband did mountains of dishes). :))

I even discovered mountain climbing while we deer hunted helped my lower back. I started out with small inclines and when my back didn't hurt, I graduated. My husband and I climbed our first ever mountain, and that's the day he shot his first deer in thirty years. Wow, huh.

What does this have to do with writing? Much to do about writing.

I now know what it's like to feel the pain of torn ligaments, so I can write about it with authority. I now know what it's like to teach people to milk goats. I've learned it's humbling to ask people a half a dozen times a day to pick up what I've dropped on the floor. I've been embarrassed when someone younger than me, a 13-year-old, mine you, shakes a finger when she's caught me bending to pick up something I've dropped.

I observed the people who cared for me. I learned more about different types of personalities for characters in future stories. What I learned the most is that I'm a projects person and when I'm down, I lose a bit of who I think I am. I'm a doer. I have two speeds: fast and faster. I'm still moving a bit slower these days, but I can do fast once again. Every so often. When it's a better day. :)

To sum up, a writer never, ever let's life experiences go to waste. And a Christian never, ever passes an opportunity to see what God may have in mind for us as we suffer in the moment.

Until next time . . . live life and use it to write.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"One Thousand Gifts"~A Book Review

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, is a must read for anyone desiring to draw closer to Christ and live fully right where you are. Ms. Voskamp writes with deepest longings few people are brave enough to share with the world. The author asks a lot of questions, many I have asked myself.

In One Thousand Gifts, the author comes to terms with a huge loss in her life. Her baby sister died when Ms. Voskamp was only four years old, and the family dynamics changed for her and the family.

An uptight and nervous worrier that began at an early age, Ms. Voskamp is challenged to write down one thousand things that are a blessing in her life. She begins to count and is amazed by the many gifts the Lord has given to her.

My favorite quote in One Thousand Gifts from Ms. Voskamp: "This act of naming grace moments, this list of God's gifts, moves beyond the shopping list variety of prayer and into the other side. The other side of prayer, the interior of His throne room, the inner walls of His powerful, love-beating heart." 

Brilliant-white beautiful!

The take away for me in One Thousand Gifts, besides the deeper meaning of Jesus' sacrifice for humankind, was that even through loss of a loved one, we can continue to grow closer to Lord God and His Son.

I needed to read this book, for I struggle daily with grief over my son's death by suicide.

Ms. Voskamp writes with a literary bent and even though it's not my favorite style of writing, she did it with a simplicity I enjoyed. Her words grew on me like a fresh breeze after a hot day. 

Great job, Ann Voskamp! I look forward to reading more of your books. God bless you and continue to keep the faith of Jesus Christ.

If any of you read One Thousand Gifts, please let me know and let's discuss it.

Until next time . . . let's find more books that draw us closer to Christ.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

You Should Really Write a Book~Review

As part of building my platform, I decided to read Regina Brooks and Brenda Lane Richardson's You Should Really Write a Book: How to Write, Sell, and Market Your Memoir.

This book not only talks about the categories of memoirs, it also talks about just what the title suggests. And the authors cover platform building. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering writing a memoir. The authors wrote this book to help out those of us unknowns, meaning we're not celebrities, who want a chance to get their memoirs written and into the hands of those who can publish it.

Brooks and Richardson lay out the groundwork in simplistic and easy to understand steps on how little known folks can get a shot at their book being read by the masses. The book is 290 pages and has many examples of memoirs that succeeded and those that could have done better.

This honest and detailed book is well worth the time for anyone wanting to gain insight on writing and publishing a memoir.

One of my main goals in reading You Should Really Write a Book was to find out how well the memoir sells, and to also learn about the categories. Not only did I read that memoirs are selling and selling well, but there are many more categories than I had imagined.

Major Memoir Categories:
  • coming-of-age
  • addiction and compulsion
  • transformation
  • travel and food 
  • religion and spirituality
 Outlier Subgenres:
  • biblio
  • canine
  • comedic
  • family saga
  • gardening
  • grief
  • incarceration
  • information-based
  • parenting
  • romance
  • venture
After reading You Should Really Write a Book, I have identified the category of the memoir that I am writing in a devotional style: spirituality/grief.

To rate this book, I'd start my own category of ratings and give it seven stars!

Until next time . . . read and write!

Friday, March 8, 2013

How To Build Your Platform, Part III

Jean Ann Perches On Top Of A Winter's Supply of Firewood

I stand amazed at how willing people are to encourage me and help me with platform building.

There are a lot of kind folks out there in the world. A sweet lady, Dorene, wrote an email to The Drew Marshall Show, and she told Drew he should consider having me on his radio featured as a God Blogger. Drew contacted me, and we set a date and a time. Just that simple and my interview went real well.

Drew said the point was to drive more traffic to my Love Truth blog. Guess what? It did just that. I am averaging 50 to 75 page views daily, since the interview. Far more than ever before. Thank you, Drew Marshall!

Now I know God as always had a hand in all this, and then a sweet woman felt a need to help me. Thank you, sweet lady, Dorene!

In two months, I've had one TV news interview, two radio interviews, and one radio interview scheduled for April. In this same time frame, I've also had several people featured on my Love Truth blog and have two more interviews scheduled, one will be a week long of posts.

Also, I've been accepted as a contributing writer for the Thinking About Suicide blog that helps others to NOT consider suicide. I'm very excited about this opportunity to help out this fantastic blog. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

I'm still reading Chuck Sambuchino's "Create Your Writer Platform" and folks it's good stuff. Allow me quote from his book:

Chuck writes, "Numbers matter in this business, so you must find ways to quantify your platform." Here's Chuck's example:

Wrong: "I am on Twitter and just love it."
Correct: "I have more than ten thousand followers on Twitter."

Wrong: "I do public speaking on this subject."
Correct: "I present to at least ten events a year--sometimes as a keynote. The largest events have up to 1,200 attendees. A full list of events is on my website."

I would never have thought the numbers should be this high as a platform builder. I did know to include details in my proposal, but they are very small in comparison. It's a truth that I am just getting started in this business of platform building.

If anyone has any words of wisdom that they've learned about platforms, please let me know. Hmmm, that just gave me an idea. I need to find some people to interview about their journey to building their platform. Any takers?

Until next time . . . I keep building.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How to Build Your Platform, Part II

Where my creative writing simmers while I'm away from my desk

The Living Joyfully Free radio program interview on February 4th. went okay.

I must say it was not as easy as the TV interview I did three weeks ago. I kept interrupting the host, Lisa Buffaloe, talking too long and taking forever to answer her questions. It was as though I wanted to give her the history of the answer before I answered. Not good.

Lisa said I did wonderful for a first timer. Thanks, Lisa! You made it wonderful. :)  She has a calming radio voice and is a professional radio host. I'm glad Lisa became my first interviewer on Internet radio.

I plan to listen to my interview a few times to get into my head what I did wrong, how to be more professional, and still be transparent for listeners. With God all things are possible. :)

The question is, why was the TV interview easier? My husband, who interviewed as part of his job, said it's easier to sit in front of the interviewer. I could see the person with whom I spoke to. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy my radio interview. It means it's different.

My next radio interview is tentative for spring on Christian Devotions Speak UP radio, with host Scott McCausey.

To help with building my writer platform, I'm reading a how-to book, "Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience, Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author", by Chuck Sambuchino.

Chuck writes for Writer's Digest Books and does a great job helping other writers on the road to publication. This is the second book I've bought by Chuck, and it's money well spent once again.Thank you, sir.

You may order Create Your Writer Platform on

My nonfiction proposal, slanted for Hartline Literary, is almost ready to send. I've created a basic proposal which is more detailed to cover all the bases. I read Hartline's guidelines for what to include in a book proposal and followed them perfectly. A writer may not fudge on this point. It's unprofessional not to take serious an agency or publisher's guidelines.

I'll write more on the topic of platform building once I have an update.

Until next time . . . I hope this helps someone else!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Build Your Platform, Part I

The Road To Building A Platform Is Worth It

I'm learning how to build a platform. If you're a writer, especially of nonfiction, you need a platform.

To date, I don't have much of one, but that won't be the case for long.

I began building my platform two years ago. I've written and published articles on my personal story of loss and how I manage that journey. I've kept in mind my audience: mothers who've lost a child to suicide as I have. I wanted to help these mourners, because I have compassion for them. I  I know the horrors and sorrows that come with that tremendous loss.

That began the steps for my platform.

Soon after, I joined bereavement organizations and familiarized myself with these online sites. As I began my proposal, though, it became obvious I needed much more exposure and quickly.

I contacted a TV news anchorman and told him a bit about my story. I asked if they'd give me a slot for when my book publishes. The gentleman not only said yes, he asked if I'd be interested in an interview the following week. I was taken by surprise, and explained, "But my book's not published."

He said, "I don't care. You've got a fascinating and unique story that needs to be told."

Fast forward to a week later. I did the interview two days ago with KOBI 5 News in Medford, Oregon. They acted kind and made me feel at ease, and most important the gentleman was sensitive to my topic on the loss of my son. Now, my interview can be viewed on U Tube and it was all for free. What a great way to begin my interview and speaker career.

You may be wondering what didn't go well. When I thought  the interview was completed and we were off the air, I made an expression of relief to the interviewer, while I thought, "Oh, I hope I did well."

When I viewed my interview on U Tube, the expression was not edited out. After talking about the serious topic of suicide, to have my expression shown on TV was not respectful to grievers, especially early grievers. Yes, it was innocent and my thinking was understandable. Still, it was not a thoughtful way to end an interview targeted for mothers, whose lives still spin from the horrific death of their child's suicide.

Upcoming on January 21st, I'll be interviewed on Living Joyfully Free Radio by Host Lisa Buffaloe. I'm excited about this interview and less nervous, because she assured me the taping would be edited to make us both sound great.

I'll post about that interview and tell you how it goes, what I learned, what I could have done better.

The topic of platform building will be this blog's focus, where I will share with my readers each new adventure I experience.

Until next time . . . begin to build your platform before you start your book.