It’s true! The Huffington Post recently ran an online article about Laura Kaye. Like my character Louisa Copeland, Laura Kaye also suffered a bump on the head.
In real life, Laura Kaye woke with a writing skill that turned her into a best-selling writer.
When I took on the writing of Mind of Her Own I wondered if this could possibly happen and through research found that retrograde amnesia would work for Louisa to be turned into Jazz Sweet, best-selling romance author. To read about it happening to someone in real life feels a bit strange.
I wonder if Jazz went on to write some best-selling books? If you’ve read MIND OF HER OWN what do you think?
I’m over on Seekerville today 4/18 talking about missteps and plan B. Hop over and join the conversation and maybe win a copy of Mind of Her Own. Seekerville
As most of you know last week was all about marketing for me, was it a success or full of woe?
I feel that it was a success, I had two great authors Pam Hillman and Johnnie Alexander Donely also marketing at the same time since our books released at the same time.
Some of the ‘how to’ I learned from the Indie Author Book Marketing Success.
While the book may not be for a beginning author I know I would have read this back when I started writing. I’m the kind of person that wants to know everything when I get started–no harm in that.
I’m not an indie author, but I found a piece of gold in each chapter that I can apply to marketing a traditional book. It’s good to know what has worked for others so you have a less rocky road to travel.
Staci Stallings included a list of hashtags which is worth far more than the price of this book.
Face it even traditional authors are responsible for so much marketing this book is a huge help.
I want to thank you all for being so patient with me last week while Mind of Her Own was on sale. I hope you were able to get a copy along with Johnnie’s Where Treasure Hides and Pam’s Claiming Mariah. It was a challenging week of learning how to write tweets and facebook posts. As a reader and before being published I didn’t realize how much extra work a writer must do to get books noticed…kind of like when you become a teacher and find out you need to also be the volleyball coach, take on car lane duty and be an art teacher!
In this life we often make two mistakes that cause immense amounts of pain. The first is to believe we are separate from God, thus rendering our lives void of meaning. The second is trying to find or gain that meaning from something outside of God.
We do this in many ways–trying to build up our bank account, buying or building a bigger house, getting a better car, and even serving ourselves into the ground trying to prove our worthiness to God and others. None of these work. But I think the most tragic way we try to gain meaning is through our children.
You know the scenario. The marriage isn’t happy, so the solution is to have a baby as the baby will give meaning to the loveless, lifeless marriage. When that doesn’t work, unhealed parents begin to strive to live out their failed dreams through their children. They put them in every camp, class, and activity that they themselves always wanted to be in–or were in but never quite succeeded at.
Then they begin to push and demand far too much from the child. Every misstep the child makes is met with condemnation and an order to do better (conditional love). I actually know parents who have taken their child out to practice for hours on end “to make them better.” Oftentimes doing so against the child’s will or better judgment.
The answer lies in the parent’s strained relationship with God. That parent, pushing their child beyond their limits in a sport or activity the child doesn’t even want to be in, is trying to gain meaning through their child’s accomplishments. The parent doesn’t realize that something “out there” — i.e. their child’s success will not give them the peace they so desperately seek.
The only thing that gives that peace is seeking God, falling on Him, and letting His love and acceptance flow through your life–not because you deserve it but just because He wants to give it to you. Until you find that, nothing “out there” will ever fill “in here.”
So if you’re a parent who is yelling at refs, forcing your child to be in an activity they neither want to be in nor like, or demanding your child excel for your benefit, it may be time to take a few steps back and ask if you are doing this for your child or for yourself.
Sit and talk with your child, ask what they want in the situation and in life. Do they like this sport or activity? Would they do it if you let them choose whatever they want? You see, their life is also between them and God. Their meaning in life is God–not pleasing you. But if you set it up so that they are trying to please you instead of God, you have set yourself up as an idol for that child.
Parenting is absolutely one of the hardest, most challenging callings on this earth. Just don’t make it harder by trying to do it unhealed and searching for your hope “out there.” Give your child the gift of putting God first in their lives, and give yourself the same gift. It can make all the difference.
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2012
Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a #1 Best Selling author and the co-founder CrossReads.com a new website that gives Christian readers and authors a place to meet and fellowship. With a newsletter, a blog, a forum, and other exciting, inspiring areas to visit, CrossReads visitors can find fabulous Christian books they never knew existed.
Come over on Feb. 12-14, and enter to win one of 169 virtual baskets of ebooks, gift cards, and other prizes!
The voice of an artist, or voice of a writer–have you heard those terms before?
My son, Andrew Brandmeyer is an artist, and teaches art at the university level. I consider him an expert so I asked him, “How can you tell what artist painted which painting. I find it fascinating that some people can identify the artist by brushstrokes.”
Andrew said, “Monet being one of the Impressionists used loose brushstrokes. He also was one of the first to use a technique known as broken colour. The term impressionism was based on a critics negative review of one his paintings, “Impression Sunrise.” Leonardo da Vinci was famous for many things. These include being an inventor and anatomist as well as a painter. There is so much about him that I’m not going to bore you with a lengthy history lesson. He was one of the Italian Renaissance painters.
Monet and Leonardo da Vinci were quite different in their approaches to painting, being from movements that were 400 years or so apart.”
Then like a good professor, he sent me to do some checking on my own. Here’s what I discovered.
Jackson Pollack– that’s an artist’s name I knew, so I googled him. Pollock is well-known for his drip/ action paintings. It was pretty much the last approach he had to painting before his passing. In his earlier works he did use a brush and his work ranged from representational to abstract. He was a student of Thomas Benton at the Art Students League. Now that I know that I ‘see’ it in his paintings. Take a look at Number 8. I’ll wait.
What I discovered about Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is he was a Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Yes, Wikipedia is my friend, sometimes. Leonardo da Vinci was more anatomically correct in that he was a realist painter. Look at Lady with Ermine
I’m not an expert, but I see the MATH, it’s exacting to me–almost measured.
Looking at Monet’s Impression Sunrise I see the loose brushstrokes, with other colors popping through, but it’s a painting that makes me comfortable. I ‘feel’ Monet’s voice, much like I feel my writer’s voice.
Maybe I’m a loose describer?
Writers have a voice too. Think about your favorite writers, is it the style or the stories that keep you coming back for more? My friend and writer Julie Lessman writes with lots of details making sure you see where her characters are and what they are doing. Another writer friend Camy Tang writes with a fast pace which takes my breath away sometimes. If you handed me a sheet of paper with some of their work typed on it I would be able to tell from the writer’s voice who wrote it, much like my son can identify an artist.
Are there other creative people you would know their work by sight or sound? I know I could pick out my friend Janice’s, fudge out of a line up.
She welcomed me with that smile. Then told me not to be afraid if I couldn’t keep up or figure out the routines. What was important to remember was be safe.
“Yes, if you’re getting tired, march in place run around in circles just don’t stop. Do the foot work the best you can and ignore the hand movements until you feel ready. Have fun! There is joy in moving your body.”
I was hooked. It wasn’t until later I discovered Doreen’s story. She too had wandered into a class and loved it so much she took the classes to teach. In the process she lost 35 pounds. I’d say she gained in new friends as well. She’s so full of energy and brings it to her classes.
I’m over 50, I don’t even mind admitting that. I’m glad I found Doreen’s Zumba class because the music and movement have given me back my excitement for living. Yes, I’ve lost weight but I’ve also done a few other things like power stretch and essentrics. What’s important to me is that I’m not sitting on a couch explaining my non movement as my right because I’m getting older.
Instead I’m toning up, able to lift items with ease and have more energy.
Another bonus to taking classes is that I have met many new friends–and not all of them are 19! Some are my age. There’s the proof that you too can do Zumba.
Who knows maybe there is a Doreen waiting for YOU to arrive!
The words Anxiety of Public Speaking doesn’t sound as scary as it is. The video is more accurate of how anxiety really feels.
When I stand up to speak this is me. I have an urge to run screaming as far from the danger zone.
You know the zone? The place where a person stands and 80+ eyes look at you in anticipation of learning or being entertained?
I have an event I’ll be speaking at Ministry for Kids workshop in January. Thankfully God –in His humorous way– made my co-author and co-speaker a therapist. I’m hoping she can talk me down from the ceiling as the chairs fill with people.
This should be easy for me. I’ve had training to speak in front of people. I taught school (but they were little ones!) and lead Bible studies.
I’ve been on the radio and videoed, but it doesn’t get easier for me.
I spend a lot of time in fear before the event. The bonus is that I should lose a few pounds, or yikes it could swing the other way and I’ll buy boxes of Pamela’s Gluten Free Cookies!!!
Any tips you all can share with me? I’d be grateful to learn away around, over or through this fear.
Can you imagine being told you have to read J. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Series? For a grade? That’s what happened to me in college. I wasn’t sure I’d like them since I wasn’t into the fantasy genre. I was wrong. Bilbo Baggins was so likeable in the Hobbit I couldn’t stop reading.
I devoured those books.
Later I bought the audio books for my youngest son who didn’t care for reading but loved listening to stories. When the first movie came out I had a willing partner to go with me. We saw all of them together. Now he’s in Chicago so unless I can get my husband to go see the Hobbit with me, I’ll be hitting an afternoon viewing soon, alone.
Meanwhile I still get Hobbit type cravings for meals at all times of the day.
Can you imagine J.R. Tolkien –a lover and student of language had already made up a language at the age of seven? I wonder how his mother understood him?
Before we sing Happy Birthday to J. R. Tolkien (you are singing with me right?) I’d like to leave you with this quote from the great man.
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
– The Two Towers
Do you read in the fantasy genre? What authors would you recommend?