Before the Week Ends: Important Reminders

Hey Guys!

Before you tuck in for the week, I want to remind you of some important things that are going on. First, with the Renaissance release date coming up I will not be very present in the days to come. However, you will see me around so do keep your eyes open. I’ll still be reading and commenting on your blogs and all that good stuff. After release I will take a short break before getting back on the grind. I still have to get Book Two ready for the December release but I intend on taking some time off first.

Poetry Contest

If you have not already heard, I am hosting my first poetry contest on Colleen’s Blog with some amazing prizes. Please do head on over to see how you can participate. I will be doing more promo posts for it but in the meantime, head on over. Also, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to inform me. I also appreciate as much promo of the contest as possible just remember:

It will help us if you could promote the original post. Not this post but the one on

>>>Colleen’s Blog HERE. <<<

Nora Book Giveaway

I have not been promoting this much, I admit. Part of the reason is that I did not time it well. In the future, I intend on using a better program and being more organized (didn’t mean for everything to be so close). BUT, there is still room to win!

Fifteen people have already entered for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of Renaissance with a matching bookmark and my author seal. That’s not all. Winners will also win a $10 Amazon Gift-card. I am choosing two winners so go ahead and jump on it.

CLICK HERE to enter but hurry. There are only 3 days left!

Thunderclap

If you have not already supported my Thunderclap, there is still time. I am EIGHT  people (at this writing) away from my goal. It’s free and only takes a second. Thanks so much everyone for the support.

UPDATE: I have made my goal! If you would like to still support, you can. There’s still time left on the clock which means from now I can gather as much extra support as possible before the big day.

CLICK HERE to support with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or all three (I move up three points when you use all three).

If you would like to learn more about what Thunderclap is, CLICK HERE for my post and why you should support me. (Also keep in mind that after the campaign I am publishing the results and my thoughts on this blog. I am saving my data to share with you. Should authors use it? Or no? I’ll share my experience. Stay tuned.)

Social Media

If you are not already following me online, now is a good time to do so! It will help you stay in tune while I am away.

Facebook

Twitter

IG

Email List Sign-Up (If you really want the goodies!) Join HERE

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Dear Bloggers, Remember to Edit Your Blog Pages and Sidebar Text

Before we tuck in for the weekend I wanted to give some quick heads up to those who may either be new to blogging or still trying to find your way around the WordPress platform.

If you are at all serious about blogging, whether that is to build an author platform or just to share your thoughts, be sure that your pages are all filled in and that your sidebar is as well. What do I mean “Fill in?”

There is nothing that screams amateur more than:

“This is a text widget, which allows you to add text…” and so on.

You would want to ban these words from anywhere on your blog! GET RID OF THEM. Why?

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To put this as nice but as real as I can, it makes you look lazy. It only takes a few minutes or maybe even a few hours to fill in the text on your blog.

There aren’t rules to blogging exactly but there are things that are common sense. This is one of them.

To get rid of those dreadful words, you will need to be sure those words are replaced with images or text. No, you don’t have to get super fancy but if your blog theme is one that requires you to fill in an area, such as an about page, you may want to go ahead and do that. Or else these words will speak to readers before you do. When I see them I think maybe that blogger just started out. If you started your blog a year or more ago, that’s not exactly the impression you want to give.

Go to your WP Dashboard. To edit a page, go down to Page > All Pages and edit the pages you have there. If you don’t want to show pages then it is best to delete them, although I am not sure why anyone wouldn’t want an About page. Either way, it is your prerogative. If you want the page to show to viewers, please fill it in with something. Do not leave it blank.

This is especially  important if you are an author looking to grow your audience through blogging. I mean, come on. You are a master of the written word (Yes, you are! Say it and then believe it). Anything that has to do with words should be taken seriously, even if it is text on your blog! If there’s no effort put into these words, then what are we to think about your books?

To edit sidebar Widgets, go to: WP Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets

This will show you the widgets that come with your blog’s theme and give you the chance to add more if you like.

You don’t have to be extra fancy. (We actually prefer you be your relaxed and funny self), but do put something there. Unless you don’t want your blog to grow, in which case, leave it how it is.

Now, run along now and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

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A Writer’s Responsibility

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Writers must understand what their responsibility is as a voice. As a shofar to the world. Low self-worth, ignorance, and low self-esteem can be smelled from miles away. The stench of give up is not something that is difficult to discern. If you dare to write, then dare also to own it. Your words, your message, and your purpose is something that must not be shared timidly. It’s not about arrogance, for arrogance will surely destroy you. What it is about is writing with authority and making yourself responsible for every word, every syllable, and every piece of heart contextualized. Humility is understanding who guides you every day and who came before you. It is not thinking less of yourself. Every blog post, every email, and every book demand from you a responsibility. You are responsible for being professional, exact, kind, and factual despite how inappropriate others may be. You do not have the permission to curse people or spew opinions that are not rooted in fact. You are a writer and this is your responsibility. When it comes to writing, there is no modesty for the words that you put on the page. If you cannot strip yourself down to the bare minimum and expose your gift for what it is then what are you doing writing? In the words of Maya Angelou, “Life will knock a modest person down faster than a G-string falls off a stripper”. If you cannot take advice on how to better your work, what are you doing writing? If you cannot take it the same as you dish it, then what are you doing writing? What you do will come back. If you can give constructive criticism then be able also to take it. So what people think negatively about you. Their loss. Accepting correction is part of your responsibility as every artist or professional is told what they don’t want to hear at least some of the time. If this is something you can’t handle then again I ask you, what are you doing writing? The same applies to every profession. Dare not put your trust in man for man will always disappoint you. Instead, see every critique, every negative, every mistake, as part of the gift and the growth. You don’t have to agree with me but you will respect me and I will respect you. Not for you alone but because it is my responsibility as a person and as an artist to do so. Authors, you are a fountain of information. If you cannot hurricane Katrina, or tsunami this with the world and be confident and open about it, then what are you doing writing? To be courageous is not just a choice, but it is your responsibility. Every word I stitch into this blog, every piece I spit on stage, and every book I publish comes with trembling fear. But it is a fear that I must use as energy I need to push on. Always forward. Despite those looking for grains of fault in every post I publish, hoping to catch me in a trap as to accuse me of not being the person I’ve always shown myself to be. Despite this, I must write. Even if I do not speak (muteness is addictive. I’ll shut down with the quickness and write you notes as Maya did), I must write. I must do so because it is my responsibility. What’s my point here? Stop complaining. Are you a writer? Then be strong. Own it. You are here and you have something to do.

Letter to My Younger Self #MayChallengeDay 26-27

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Do not think that I am upset right now, though my speech is slow and my brow furrowed in my forehead. This is just my thinking face. We are actually pretty calmed right now, optimistic if you will. You see we’ve learned to be this way, content. I want you to know that it is OK to take your time. What you need is already prepared for you in the day that you need it. You’ve got some hard times ahead but some groundbreaking ones too. Your level of resolve will continue to be placed against your desire to endure, so pay attention then to the choices you make; they will bear fruit of whether or not you’ve chosen to be strong or held captive to your weaknesses. I want you to know that it is OK to acknowledge the good in your life; to seek good and to pursue love. The attacks to which you are set to receive are not small but they do have the potential to tear you down if you let it. But if you can instead take the time to ponder all of the good things in your life, to notice the small progressions, these occurrences will not move you nor will they alter your desire to win. I know, I know things are never easy for us, never have been. They are always hardcore, up front, and personal. I regret to inform you that this will not change and it will cause you to often, doubt. I would tell you not to doubt but you won’t listen. Experience will continue to boss you around and pain is still your teacher. However, love, joy, happiness, and contentment will not leave you. Like a mother, sister, aunt or a good friend they will not leave you. There will be temptations galore and they are not limited to the flesh. But remember that the fascination of wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind. Hold on to your innocence but do not be naïve. Learn to understand the world that you live in, and how to properly navigate it. If I remember correctly, we have much more important teenage stuff to do than to sit here and talk about goals but one more thing before you leave. I want you to write this down and to remember it whenever you feel hopeless. Paulo Coelho, a Brazilian journalist, once said

There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to change them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them, will we understand why they were there.”

Signed, Your Future Self

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I’m reposting this from a throwback Bewow post I did last year. My birthday was yesterday (yayy) and I thought it was perfect to repost as the #MayChallenge is coming to a close, which I’m sad to admit makes me excited. (Seriously, I think I was the only person who participated lol). I’ll have something much more organized next time. I don’t think I was ready. LOL.  Anyways, enjoy your weekend.

Dear Indie Authors: Build Your Dream Team

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Before we all tuck in this weekend (don’t you just love Fridays?), I have to share what came into my inbox today.

Timothy Pike of “Dream, Play, Write” has presented what looks to be a great opportunity for Indie Authors. I couldn’t find a re-blog button so here’s an excerpt of the post below. For the entirety, please follow the link at the end of this post. Otherwise, have a great weekend people. Rest well.

“Traditional publishers have top-notch teams of editors, graphic designers, and marketers, all ready to descend upon your manuscript, turn it into a book, and sell it.

But for the self-publisher, where does one begin?

That’s where MyDreamBookTeam comes in. Need a great editor? She’s here. A fantastic book cover designer? He’s waiting. How about writing coaches? You’ll find them here too.

It’s all about hand-picking your own “Dream Team,” so that you stay in control of your own book, yet don’t feel intimidated or overwhelmed by having to do everything yourself.

I’ll be introducing some of these professionals in this mailing in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

And if you know someone who may be in need of these services, forward this e-mail along. There will be some great deals coming your way, and many opportunities to connect with publishing professionals who will exceed your expectations as you turn that Microsoft Word document into a shiny new book on the shelf.”

>>>Check It Out Here <<