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Indie and I Love It

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It is every author’s dream to get THAT lucrative book deal and an agent who never sleeps. Along with that book deal comes the media blitz, the tours, and resources you cannot imagine—all working for you. When you hit that point, you know you have arrived.

Thursdays_in_Savanna_Cover_for_KindleI am cool with a grandiose arrival, but damn, the journey that I am taking right now, I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I want all of those things I mentioned before, but I want those things when I no longer need the money. You see, with those things, you have to split every dime you make. Yes, that agent who never sleeps wants her share. The publisher wants their share. The media consultant wants their share, and selling a million books becomes necessary to pay all of those people. You no longer care if what you have written is formulaic or if it is even good. You just want to stay on top.

I am an indie author and I started from the bottom.

I am still kind of there, but it’s cool, and let me tell you why.

I have made a name for myself by the sheer sweat of my brow. I tell the stories I want to tell and I tell them the way my heart says they should flow. I have hired editors who understand my voice and my storytelling style. I hired a cover designer to evoke a certain feel on the covers that tell the reader, when your turn the page, you will understand those people on the jacket.

Each and every word in the story is carefully selected.

Each funny line is taken from my soul.

Each chapter moves your forward in the characters journey, taking you along with them until the last word.

When the reader is done, it is a story that has touched them. Some may feel adamantly opposed to the heroine and believe her to be stupid. But a woman who has been in her shoes, understands. Others may view the hero as a man on a mission. A man they want to come into their lives. Yet in the end, the story has stayed with them.

Every copy that I sell moves me one step closer.

Each review I earn touched one more reader.

I am not there yet, but I am proud of my journey.

In 54 Days, I sat at #2 on the Amazon top 100. A week later I fell to #3 seated behind a New York Times bestselling author contracted to Harlequin. I am still sitting in the top 100 with the same number of reviews.

For an indie author, that is pretty darn good. One hundred reviews in 54 days? I am okay with that. I am an indie author and I am proud.

I am working my dream job. Come with me on the journey and read my words.

Thursday in Savannah, available on Amazon.com and online retailers.

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I Am the Master of My Universe

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51Cs05wmy4L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_You Have the Power to Create Everything You Really Want in Your Life. That’s right Y-O-U!

Well that;s what she told me.

It seems like such a simple concept, but we limit our success by a limited belief system. Much like The Little Engine That Could, if we repeat the mantra that we think we can, we will. If we allow ourselves to be consumed with negative ideals, thoughts and surrounded by negative people, your little light will not shine.

Deborah Francis & Hasheem Francis have teamed up to bring the women’s version of the life-changing book, Built to Prosper. They clearly explain the ways people fall victim to have-not and do-nothing thinking. The husband and wife business duo use real-talk to delve into what limiting thinking can do.

 

The nine principles of self mastery tests your thinking about how you feel about yourself. When you learn the principles and how to apply them to your life, you will quickly understand how to:

• Get exactly what you want.
• Promote Win-Win relationships.
• Take responsibility for your life.
• Achieve the success you want.
• Stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
• Be a winner, no matter what others say!

I guess you don’t want my business?

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I recently ran across a website that I thought was pretty cool.  I was interested in buying some of the products, but I was not understanding how things were set up, and asked for clarification, stating I was willing to pay.

The first email was snarky.  Then he sent a second to apologize for being snarky, and insulted me. I responded asking for clarification before I put his services out on my networks.

This is what I got in return.

romance

Self-Talking to Sucess

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I have come to the harsh realization that some people are not happy not matter what. It does not matter if they have a good schedule on the job, the job still doesn’t pay enough.  It doesn’t matter if they are respected and revered by their co-workers; everyone wants to dump their work on “me”. I have found that it doesn’t matter, they are unhappy.

During a recent training session, our guide in the learning exercise talked to us about self- talk.  Self-talk are those positive words that we say to ourselves to get us through sticky moments.  You know, like the first time you were on a roller coaster and truly learned to pray. Or the time when you almost when to jail and even though you told yourself you were talking to Jesus, you really were just giving yourself a friendly reminder to never do this shit again. Those moments are called self-talk, positive thoughts in positive situations.

When you think positive thoughts, positive things happen.  When you speak positive words, you think positive thoughts.  If you need some help with either, there is an app for that. Ironically, sometimes we need some help.  Our inner children have been disappointed and we get hurt. Instead of dealing with the disappointment, we become unhappy and blame others for our maladies. This disappointment can turn you into a Bitch; a mean, surly, and angry one that no one likes.  Never fear, there is a cure.

When you arise in the morning, be thankful that you woke up, somewhere in the world, someone else, did not. When you look in the mirror, say hello to that face, tell that face you like it and are glad to see it.  There are soldiers returning from Afghanistan that are only coming back with half of their faces. These soldiers get to relive that nightmare for the rest of their lives thinking, if I had just moved two steps to the left instead of two steps to the right.

Today, I want you to recall one good thing that happened to you last week.  Now I want you to play for one good thing that is going to happen next week. Now give yourself some love, go ahead, wrap your arms around yourself and thank your vessel for still being able to carry your soul. Go get your vessel a cookie, because both of you deserve it. Because you will never perform at the level of your potential, you can only perform at the level of your beliefs.  You have to be happy or at least moderately content to do either.

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I think I hate you

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It is Saturday and I am angry. I am angry that it is Saturday and I have to get up and come into work for some training. I am also angry that our academic assistant is tasked with setting up everything all by her lonesome; I come in early to lend her a hand. She is awesome, so I don’t mind.

What I do mind however, is that this training is designed to help us do our jobs better, and for some reason you can’t seem to shut up. You have talked all throughout the training and gave me a headache. I think I hate you. I digress, please allow me to back up and bring you to this point.

We are expecting at least 100 staff members and our guest speaker flew in from Seattle. The poor fella spent most of the night in the Atlanta airport and finally arrived in Augusta at 2 am. He was tired, he did not look happy, but he did his job. He was ready to teach and we were ready to learn; well most of us.

The company provided a working breakfast. As we were going through introductions, there are two co-workers behind me that felt they need to comment on everything that is being said. Shut up already, I can’t hear.

As we move into exercise one, a constituent, who just so happens to make jewelry, decided she needs to share her online catalog on her phone with the two co-workers again, who were behind me. We were in training from 9 am until 2 pm with a forty-five minute break. (Please excuse me for this moment, but even as a Wordsmith, sometimes the best word choice is the obvious word choice.) Would you believe those witches talked the whole time?

Yes I wanted to say the B word because only a couple of witches could be so selfish. Our whole row was angry at them. I even asked them politely to please–you know, we can’t hear. They still did not shut up. Here is the rub, they were educators! If students in their classes did the same thing, they would put the student out. When we went for break, I took a break and moved to the other side of the room. When the session started back, can you believe that everyone was quiet and listening to the trainer and I could still hear those witches yapping.

Really?

Really?

You are not that interesting that you have THAT much to talk about.

I had a headache. I had lost my Saturday. I had a loaded carb breakfast. I ate shredded pig for lunch and my tummy was not happy. It’s their entire fault that I didn’t feel good and that I did not get the full effect of the training becaase of thier yapping.

To my constituents with no manners, I think I hate you…….

And you couldn’t keep that to yourself?

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I am often amazed that in our moments of fury, we open our mouths and allow words to flow out that should have stayed in our heads. I have seen it happen in the classroom, in the boardroom, and heard about verbal faux pas in the bedroom. How do we learn when to close our lips and speak with our eyes?

Last week, during demonstrative speeches, one of my students gave an excellent presentation on how to tie dye a shirt. One brilliant student in the back felt it was necessary to share her opinion once I mentioned I would be interested in trying out the method. She asked, out loud, if I would be applying the process to my sweater collection. Really? And you couldn’t have kept that you yourself?

Adding insult to injury, I have a student that is legally blind. Judging by the thickness of her spectacles, and the placement of the lens, legally, may just be a misnomer. I asked, “Do you still drive?” The student responded yes, and of course from the peanut gallery came the words, “Oh, hell naw!” Seriously, and you could not have kept that to yourself? I was proud of the other students for not laughing,

I was even proud of myself for waiting until after class to pull the student aside and speak with her about keeping something in her head.

Students you can overlook because they are of course, still in a learning slash training environment. In the workplace or in social settings, some verbal faux pas are not so easily dismissed. I experienced this yesterday. During a very prominent literary event in which I was a member of the planning committee, we took great effort in the placement of the authors. The authors in the entry way, the authors in the children’s section, the authors on the second floor were all placed by genres. One idiotic participant, who is friends with one of my fellow organizers, evidently felt as if she should have been given preference. Really? A young newcomer to her writer’s group, in which my fellow organizer was also a member, was given prime placement on the first floor as a new self-published author. He was placed next to a seasoned author with several published titles. This was a great opportunity for this young man and he maximized the moment.

Yes, I called her idiotic and here is why. Instead of her coming to me or one of the fellow organizers to express her concern or question her placement, yes, you guessed it, she opened her stupid mouth and allowed stupid words to roll out. She found a person that she felt she could express her concern, and she began her conversation by stating that, “Yeah, they placed all the black authors on the second floor and we ain’t getting no traffic!” She told this to the Big Boss. She told this to my fellow organizer’s boss. Did she know who she was talking to; I don’t think she really cared. I think she felt slighted and just chose to shoot off her stupid mouth. But she did not let it stop there, she started ranting and raving to other participants, creating an atmosphere of distrust. She created an atmosphere of disharmony. She created hostility.

Here’s the thing. Book festivals are designed for the author to meet, mingle and make new friends. Unless you are a New York Times best seller, in which you would be on press junkets, you are there to create a buzz about your book. If you are self-published, unless you have an excellent editor, your work is suspect anyway. Book sales that are made are really the luck of the draw.

Now, it is unlikely that she will be invited back next year simply because she could not speak with her eyes and keep her thoughts to herself. Adding insult to social injury, she shared her incorrect assessments with others, causing strife. Was it really that serious? Are you that angry that you could not have kept your feelings to yourself? In the end, you gained nothing but a reputation as a trouble maker.

And I will always love you…..

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    Over the past week I have been amazed, astounded and mesmerized by the sheer ignorance of my fellow-man. In the loss of one of the purest voices of our time, I listened, heard and watched many say some of the most inappropriate, if not stupid comments. I listened to commentary and watched live streaming feeds of adversarial anecdotes during the home going celebration. I read, or rather skimmed over blog posts that attempted to lay blame for the course of a life. I watched church people act ugly when deciding who was worthy to sit where in the church to pay their respects. There were so many who came to say goodbye to her, but in the end, when we leave this world, who will mourn us?

    I watched many come to say farewell to a life that was lived on its own terms. We may not have agreed with the way she lived it, but who are we to question? The fame, achievement and notoriety she gained before the age of 25, most of us will never achieve in our lifetime. Yet, we can take one moment in a 25 year career, and focus on just that—while refusing the see the whole picture. I vividly remember the 80’s and am thankful to still be alive not to mention surviving my fashion choices. I was forgiven and I grew while moving on to the next phase.

    There were phases in her life that we questioned her choices for choosing to hide in a chemically induced world, but there, no one was judging her choices. In that world there she experienced no pain. In that world, everyone and everything was love. In that world there was no responsibility and there she could sleep.

    It is hard to imagine what life would be like if on Saturday night, I was in Anaheim, high on the adoration of a crown of 35,000 people. Then on Tuesday, doing the performance all over again in San Diego, Thursday back in Los Angeles and Friday in San Francisco and Saturday in Sacramento. There is no time in between gigs to come down off the performance high. There is no time to decompress. There is no time for sleep.

    In the end, it is all they ever want. They want to sleep. The mind is a wondrous thing. It allows us to dream with our eyes open, we can dream with our eyes closed and we can learn to believe that anything is possible. However, if the mind is strained, the one thing it will not do, is allow us to sleep. I can smile and say that she and her voice are finally resting. I will miss the beauty of her voice, the grace of her presence and I want her to know that I will always love you….