Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Your Testimony Is Not Your Own

It is often said that the testimony you give is not for you, but those struggling with the same challenge. So it is with Shiloh Griffin.  
Being a pastor’s wife is challenging at best. Being a pastor’s wife with a past that won’t let go is more than troubling for Shiloh. The annual ritual she performs gives her little peace. She believes that her decision to take the job as a music teacher just might. It's perfect for her, but little does she know that it will cause her to internalize her secret in a way she could never imagine.
Lead Me Home opens the discussion to acknowledging that no one is without flaws. Beyond this it speaks to the importance of accepting those flaws in order to walk in who you’ve been called to be.
Stacy Hawkins-Adams – “I'm a lifelong writer who pens novels with characters like me and people I know - trying to live fully and faithfully, and trusting God to lead the way. Though we often fall short, grace is ever present. You'll likely recognize yourself, your relatives or your friends in my characters, and by book's end, I hope you will have laughed, cried and found yourself reflecting on how the twists and turns in their fictional world relate to your own.”
You can learn more about Stacy and her works at:


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Buyer Beware

The song—‘While I Run This Race’ simply asks the Lord to guide our hands, our feet, to stand by our side and to search our hearts, because we don’t want our race to be in vain. Today I thank Him for opening my eyes to the not-so-kosher representation of a product promoted as a valuable tool for writers. Because He did I redirected my steps away from this work and sat down to write this post.
I often come across or receive suggestions for an enjoyable read or processes that should enhance my skillset. Today I looked into a new recommendation and saw red.
I bit the bait for the free download because intuition told me this could not be all it was promoted to be.  That selection became the beginning of my journey. Before I could get to the free download I was connected with a lengthy audio power point presentation. It of course speaks to how the author made millions of dollars and I could too. Points that were presented as viable, in my opinion danced on the shady side of the room. Beyond that it led to the typical, I’ll give you this, but in order to capitalize on my genius, sign up for my program at a cost of $$. 
Oh, yeah, click the button to BUY NOW. That in and of itself, became a hostage situation in that it wouldn’t let me out. I ended up having to close the system and log on again. At that point I revisited and  was able to bypass the video to get to the download.
As I skimmed through the table of contents I became aware of the fact that it did not align with the title of the book. Or should I say, the steps presented, one would be hard-pressed to complete in the time-frame suggested; at least not for a work of standard. Needless to say I deleted the download and now refer to my twenty minutes of wasted time as a teachable moment. I did because as writers it is important that we become perpetual students of not only the craft, but also the business side of writing. It’s also important to build our skillset and protect ourselves from endless scams promoted as a valuable tool.
There are those who shared their stumbles with me and I feel that I can do no less for others. So in closing, I cannot say this enough--writing is a calling. It’s also a calling that comes with responsibility. I caution you to take care to investigate offerings sent your way. Some will be legitimate, others may not. Bottom line is that you don’t want to run your race, your writing business, in vain by casting your pearls before swine.
Until next time -- remember to use your words to bear good fruit.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Journey: Setting the Calendar


We’re twelve days into the new year. I pray that these days have been blessed and productive for each of you. I also have a question – How many of you have made resolutions for this coming year?

Have you resolved to lose weight, stabilize your emotional state, or perhaps, achieve a business goal? For me I've resolved to adhere to a better laid business strategy. Now that I've gone public with this declaration and I promised to be honest with you, I’ll share what has transpired thus far.

This month I will complete a marketing course specifically designed for those in the arts. The classes have caused me to take a hard look at my current business model, then compare it to the vision of On Assignment Publication for this coming year. By doing so I saw the need to tweak the mission plan. Note I said mission, the method needed to reach the goal; not the vision, my end goal. Readjusting the mission became the rudder for steering my literary ship. That rudder transformed into my ‘Master Calendar’.

By utilizing this tool, I’m able to set attainable goals and not lose heart due to lack of preplanning. This is done with the assistance of an electronic and manual calendar. I’m using two calendars because I’ve been known to destroy an electronic item or two. Having a hardcopy backup is my safety net. It’s also mounted on my wall so that I’ll always see it.*

I started the process by plugging the preferred dates of my major and minor projects into each calendar. My next trip through the calendars, I added holidays and special occasions observed by my family. Trip three through the calendar consisted of adding deadlines for things such as promos, edits, printing and other needs associated with publishing this book.

As advised I selected one of the projects, noted the end date then backtracked. I chose 'Her Gifts', my Christmas Ebook release.

Of course I thought that December 1st would be the perfect release date. However, research told me that those releases should be available for purchase no later than October. That pearl of wisdom required a need to reset the pre-release work schedule. This included aligning with the schedule of the editor and others whose services I’d selected for this project. Revamping that calendar involved more than the Christmas work. It caused me to realistically look at the schedule for my other works. I was fortunate that only a few things had to be rescheduled.

To some this may seem time-consuming and possibly, overkill. For me it’s working smarter rather than harder. Speaking of working smarter, I need to get back to work. Talk to you soon and please remember to use your words to bear good fruit!




*A visual of your vision should be placed somewhere that allows you to see it daily.