Archive for January, 2015

RE: THE TRUE MEANING OF SUCCESS

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

My new book of fiction, “Just A Kiss,” has gone to press! I will receive my author’s copy any day now, and when I examine it carefully and approve it, I will be sent five more complimentary copies. Next, I will be writing my own press release or hiring a professional reviewer to do it. Of course, the professionals, unlike me, know all the best newspapers and agents to send it to, so I probably will opt to go with them rather than try the independent route that I have taken before, which turned out to be “penny-wise and pound foolish.” This time around, I want to make the best investments in the sales success of my new little baby; that is, of course, my newborn novel, “Just A Kiss.”

The novel will be available in online bookstores, either as a paperback or as an electronic book in about two weeks. Then, there will be a marketing campaign from March until May to get the novel into as many physical bookstores as possible across the country. It is a little overwhelming, exciting and amazing to me…all at the same time. You see, I have had my previous books only in online bookstores or digitally available, not to this point in actual physical book shops. The prospect of this goal being reached is mindboggling to me, the same woman who back in sixth grade was told by her classmates that someday she would be an author. Well, my friends, you were right. You believed in me probably more than I believed in myself.

NOW, THAT BRINGS ME TO A LITTLE STORY THAT I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT SUCCESS, THE INSPIRATION OF WHICH IS MY GRANDSON, WILLIAM. I REMEMBER PRETTY ACCURATELY HOW THE STORY GOES!

Along with my husband, I was babysitting for my three wonderful grandchildren last Friday night. Our oldest grandchild was at a friend’s house, and the middle one was at a basketball game, so we were basically babysitting just for Will, the youngest. He was busy on his cell phone upstairs, in between watching a movie, but every so often we called or went upstairs to check on him. It was then when I made my visit upstairs, that I learned from Will the true meaning of success and my status in that area.

After making small talk including asking him what movie he was watching and noting that it was good that he didn’t spend too much time on the phone, I happened to ask him what some of his friends thought of a few of my books that they had read, especially the “Sammy Squirrel” series and the nonfiction book about all my pets, “A Legacy of Love.” After telling me that they liked them as much as he did, I started talking about success in the writing field, which monetarily depends on sales. (You see, William is very bright for his age, and I often find myself talking to him as though he were an adult, not a nine-year-old.)

“Writing means the world to me,” I said. “It has kept me going through all kinds of problems in my life, and I appreciate having the ability to write and to communicate with others. But,” I paused for a minute or so, “someday I want to be a success.”

I remember Will looking up at me and saying, “You are already a success, Grandma. You love what you are doing. You keep trying, and you never give up. Plus lots of people have read your books and really liked them. So, whatever you may think, you are a success even now.”

Because there were tears in my eyes, I didn’t say anything for a few minutes, which gave Will a chance to continue. “I love video games of all kinds, and I’m good at them. (He really is!) “And many people think they’re a waste of time, but I think that, if you really enjoy something and it makes your life better, you should continue doing it, no matter what other people think.”

“You’re right,” I agreed, “but within limits. There has to be a balance,”

“I guess,” he conceded.

“And that makes you a success, Will,” I said, “not only in that one area, but in your sports, school work, etc.”

He smiled, and I know he knew I really meant what I said just as I knew that he meant what he had said about my being a success.

It is funny how adults can often tear other adults, (sometimes even children) down with their criticism and pre-conceived ideas, but precocious and highly perceptive children like Will can often see things clearer and ironically with a better perspective. Will made me feel much better about myself, my writing career and life in general with his sincere praise. Whatever the financial outcome from my writing, I will always remember and respect what he said.

Look at your own life. Clearly reflect upon it. If you have given every goal and dream your best shot, and you have been focused and dedicated, then in my eyes you can never be a failure. And I know that William, my darling grandson, agrees! Don’t be discouraged by the opinions and harsh criticism of others. Most of the time, they don’t know what they’re talking about or they’re jealous of your talent, perseverance and creativity.

I hope you will read my latest novel and any of my other books published since 2006. (A summary of my other books can be seen on this website under “About the Books” and “Library.”) Most of them are available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, (“A Time For Peace” and “Escape From the Maelstrom” are also available at Dorrance Publications), and “Just a Kiss” will be available in about two weeks at the Xlibris bookstore online or on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. By May or June, it should be available in physical bookstores.

Until my next post,

Best wishes,

Cheryl

IN A FEW WEEKS THE PUBLISHING OF MY NOVEL WILL BE COMPLETED!

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

It is so exciting to have a book published! To the writer, a manuscript is like a fetus that is waiting to be born, for it is the publishing process that gives the manuscript life. It becomes a living thing…almost…at least in the eyes of the writer and often in the reader’s eyes as well.

My manuscript will be alive to me once I see it in book form, and that will be in a few weeks. Then begins the marketing process, my goal being to have my novel available, not only online, but in actual bookstores as well. My marketing team will make that happen, for they will do all the legwork for me. They will represent me, the author.

It will be wonderful to have such great exposure for this novel, “Just A Kiss.” It is a book, not only about the challenges of young love, but also about the difficulties of establishing strong family relationships, especially between parents and children. I think that anyone could relate to something in this novel, even if it is only the conflicts that we have within ourselves. Those are the most difficult ones to work out, I am sure, but even they can be overcome with or without professional help.

My main characters, Bruce and Carolyn, fall in love even while going through an experience that makes it almost impossible for them to date and get to know one another better without incurring the anger of their respective parents. It is Bruce’s inappropriate actions, that impulsive kiss, that results in its being almost impossible for Carolyn and him to develop a relationship that could lead to something beautiful and permanent.

How they work out their problems and what happens to the secondary couple in love, Carolyn’s best friend and roommate and Bruce’s cousin, Kevin, a country lawyer, make the novel even more exciting with many twists and turns. A compelling page-turner, “Just A Kiss” is hard to put down, but rather, it invites the reader to finish it in a single sitting of maybe three or four hours. To enhance the book further, the cover is just perfect. I won’t describe it to you. You will have to see it yourself once you read the book.

I can’t wait to get my author’s copies and to ultimately see my book in many bookstores. Until the next time, stay warm and happy.

Cheryl

UPDATING MY READERS…

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Hi there!

I received the proofs or galley of my novel, “Just A Kiss”, which is currently being published. Yesterday, I proofread the galley and made all the corrections, which I subsequently sent in to my publishing company. It was a great deal of tedious work, but it had to be done. I hope I caught all the mistakes!

Today I wrote a book review for a cousin of mine and a book review for one of my own books, a children’s novella. I like writing favorable reviews only.

I subscribed to the Author Learning Center, which, I am sure, will be of great help to me. Now I have to get back to my emails and think about preparing dinner for my husband and me. A cup of coffee sounds good, too, around this time.

I feel terrible about the terrorism attacks in Paris. The march in Paris yesterday showed great strength and solidarity of the peace-loving countries of the world. America is peace-loving and freedom-loving, too, of course. I wish we were represented!

I really enjoyed the Golden Globe Awards last night. It was very well done! I was moved greatly by George Clooney’s tribute to his beautiful and highly intelligent wife. To me, it does not really matter when true love comes, as long as it comes one day.

I wish you all a great evening. Until tomorrow,

Cheryl

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT MY BOOK!

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Although I am writing just a brief post today, I still wanted to update you on the publishing of my latest novel, “Just A Kiss.” It will probably be complete and ready to be advertised and sold in three months…around the end of March or in the SPRING! But so much has to be accomplished between now and then!

So far I uploaded my manuscript and all the extras that go along with it, like the dedication, acknowledgements page, preface, author biography and back cover synopsis. I also finally selected the right cover for my novel. It took a while, but I am so happy with my choice!

Next, I will be receiving the first set of proofs. It will take me a while to go over it carefully and make sure that it is exactly as I would like it to be. Then there are a few more steps before the final production of the novel when it is ready to go on sale.

The book will be in paperback form and electronic. It is a sweet love story that would be appropriate for women of all ages. (Unfortunately, I’m not sure that most men would enjoy it, but I am sure that some would if they are sensitive and feel things deeply and do not need to read only action books or sports.) I was inspired to write the novel by an incident that actually happened to me when I was barely twenty years old.

It has been a busy, cold day, so I think I will be bidding you farewell for the evening. Until the next time, keep warm and happy!

Cheryl

AT THE END OF A LOVELY DAY!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

I may have been tired before I started working on my computer, but I seem to have gotten my energy level back. I guess writing agrees with me.

Today, at the Kingdom Hall, we heard an enlightening talk about the Resurrection. Having the Bible Hope of living eternally in a Paradise is a wonderful gift from Jehovah God and His Son. Hearing about it, both in the Public talk and in the Watchtower Study, was a true gift. It really made my day!

After preparing dinner, my husband and I watched the Dallas Cowboys beat Detroit in today’s playoff game. Even though I am not a staunch football fan, I enjoyed watching them win. And that’s a lot coming from a Giant fan. Since the Giants are out of the playoffs, why not root for my son-in-law’s and nephew’s team? It seems perfectly all right to me.

I enjoyed watching “Charade” again (for about the tenth time) tonight. Audrey Hepburn was an excellent actress as well as a truly beautiful woman. Cary Grant is also amazing! “Charade” is a true classic!

I can’t wait to continue with the publishing process of my novel, “Just A Kiss.” Tomorrow I will be getting an e-mail from the company letting me know what the next step will be.

Very soon I will be starting a new literary venture. It will be a sequel to my last published novel in 2012, entitled “Escape From the Maelstrom.” I’m working on plotting the novel. I might call it “Carrie’s Story,” after the child of Karina and Feodor in the original novel, mentioned above.

Now it is time to return to mundane but necessary activities like laundry and a little cleaning. If there is time, I want to bake two apple pies, but all that activity depends upon my energy level. I hope it remains strong, as it is right now. But with me, all of a sudden I can get very tired, and then it’s time for television and a nap or even going to sleep early.

Have a good evening, dear readers, and keep warm and comfortable! The meteorologists tell us it will be cold this week in the East! Until the next time,

Cheryl

Working Hard on Preparing My Manuscript For Publication

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

I have been writing a blog so far each day in January, so this is my third blog this month. For me, this is very impressive, since I have been known to miss an entire month when I get busy. I will try so hard not to do that anymore, however. I guess that is one of my New Year’s resolution or goals.

Today, despite the snow showers, has been a good, productive day for me. I wrote the dedication for my novel and the acknowledgements. It involved a great deal of thought, but I felt great satisfaction when I finished since I believe that I included everyone who is special to me and has been of great help, not only in my writing “Just A Kiss.” but in my everyday life.

I love to write, as you all must know by now, so anything constructive that I type or write in longhand is enjoyable to me. The need to communicate is exceptionally strong in me. Most of all, I love to present themes in my fiction that will help people increase the quality of their own lives. I allude to the Bible many times as well.

I am looking forward to my meeting tomorrow at the Kingdom Hall. I enjoy hearing the Public talk as well as the Watchtower. I learn so much each week! Also, it is great to socialize with my friends and acquaintances.

I usually study the article in The Watchtower on Saturday afternoon or evening so it remains fresh in my mind, and I can participate in answering the questions. When I listen to the Public talk, I like to take notes to look over afterward or to convey to my husband.

I hope that you are enjoying your afternoon, too. If you feel down, however, read some of the Psalms and Proverbs. They cannot help but inspire us. Also, Revelation 21: 4,5 provides a great deal of hope for the future. Our website, www.jw.org is very informative and positive. You can download all kinds of upbuilding and encouraging information.

Have a great day!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT IS ALREADY THE SECOND DAY OF 2015!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The first day of the New Year was rather stressful, but today was idyllic, so who’s complaining? To me, a day is perfect when there is no contention and I do at least a few constructive things. My friend and I cheered up a lovely elderly woman today with a long visit and a few comforting words from the Bible. When I got home, my husband and I went food shopping so we could have the right ingredients for a good dinner and I would have the supplies necessary for making a few apple pies. I was so tired I took a half-hour nap, and now I am invigorated to blog before I actually eat my own dinner.

Don’t worry about me, though. I managed to snack on a very small Shepherd’s Pie. I bought it frozen for my husband and me, but I realized how easy it is to make from scratch. Next time, that’s what I’ll do. When I make it myself, I’ll make a pie crust from scratch ( a small one), and for a filling, I will use chopped meat, corn and a mashed potato. I’ll let it bake until it is browned nicely. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

At least my husband ate his dinner: roast chicken and potato. (How I wish I could get him to eat a salad and veggies, but I haven’t succeeded yet after twenty-six years of trying.) A friend of mine just told me yesterday that we can only control (to a certain extent) our own lives. We cannot control the lives of others. It is their responsibility. So we do what we can do and then try to stop worrying and leave the rest in God’s capable Hands.

Just now I signed my publishing contract with my new publishing company. The company that I used for my previously published book is being phased out. They are not accepting new manuscripts or new authors, but they are servicing the contracts already signed. Only one of my books is with them. All the others can be purchased on Amazon, however. Thank goodness for Amazon! It seems that just about every book ever printed is on Amazon.

As soon as I complete this blog, I will be writing the preface to my novel. I finally decided that it needed a preface. I must admit that I was undecided about it for quite a while.

I hope that all of your goals and New Year’s Resolutions ( if you made them ) will come to fruition. Don’t expect big changes all at once, though. Small changes, one step at a time, work so much better! And if you experience a setback, as so many of us do, (like the old song), “just pick yourself up and start all over again!”

HAPPINESS AND PEACE ALWAYS,

Cheryl