Monday, June 28, 2010

The Moment I Knew...

I read a lot of writers and editors blogs. I belong to several writers groups online. I subscribe to writers magazines. I've been published in an anthology. My first devotional book was released in March. All that would seem to hint that I'm an author wouldn't it? Well, I haven't felt like one lately. I suffer with several chronic conditions, one of which is fibromyalgia. It's the one I despise the most. It takes the most from me. But, it helped me gain some recently.

Since we moved to North Carolina, for the most part, it's remained in remission. However, for the past two months, it's been raging on and off. Actually, more on than off. So my writing went into deep deep hiding. Did I mention deep? Actually a lot of things "went into hiding" but it was my lack of writing that really affected me.

I've read in so many places that "true" writers write because they have to, are compelled to. The only thing I felt compelled to do was nothing, absolutely nothing. I had no desire to write. That scared me. Was I a fraud? Was I not a true writer? Say it isn't so!

Okay, it isn't so. One day last week I took my personal laptop to work. During lunch I sat outside under a shade tree and opened up Word, hoping for something, anything. Tada! The words just flowed. I can't say I've written every day since then, but I've written more in the last week than in the past two months.

Honestly, after using all my energy to make it to work and back home, there's no way I could put together truly cohesive thoughts. I guess I could have tried, but honestly, it wasn't worth it to me. Am I still worried that I might not be a "real" writer?  Nope. My perspective has changed. When I'm in a fibro flare, if I can write, great. If I can't, that's fine too. I will not feel guilty because neither of those scenarios changes reality. The reality is that I am a writer. Period.

I felt truly energized when I wrote that one day at lunch. Every time I've written since then, I've felt energized. There are no forced words. They just leap on the page. I think that says it all for me. I've had my health imposed break. That's over. Now back to what I've been doing all my life, writing. That makes me happy.

Be blessed everyone!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Guest Today - Fellow VBT Author Marvin D. Wilson

My guest post today is from Marvin D. Wilson. He calls himself "The Old Silly".  Don't be fooled. Marvin has a lot he can teach young writers (and older ones like myself.). Marvin has three books to his credit and is also an editor. I'd call him "The Wise One". So let's get to know "The Old Silly" a little better. And please, utilize the links at the end of his post to purchase his books and visit his blog. Enjoy!!

Mari, thank you so much for having me on your blog today. It’s a pleasure to share with your readers. Today I thought it would be interesting for your readership to get a glimpse, a sneak preview of my new novel, Beware the Devil’s Hug, slated to be released later this summer or early Fall. So here is the Prologue in Parts One and Two. Enjoy, all, please leave any comments/feedback, and I will stop in occasionally to answer any questions and interact with y’all.
Oh – before getting into the Prologue, here is the short adblurb for the book, giving you some idea what it is all about...

What if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a radical terrorist Muslim want to befriend and love a Christian and visa versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace – nobody wants to come near him out of fear.

Ok ... now on with the short preview-

Prologue – Part One
In a dim, small room with no walls was a lit candle, its tiny flame flickering. On a sturdy wooden table it sat, perched in its pewter holder like a glimmering, waxed, miniature monolithic Cyclops. One sat on one side of the table, Eye sat on the other. Shadows were cast in all directions, but appeared nowhere around this boundless microcosm. 
One said, “You sure you want to do this?”
One knows everything, right? So Eye said, “No doubt.”
One said, “Incarnation hurts. There is carnal pleasure, yes, but there will be pain. The whole trip, and especially the exodus, most cases.”
Eye knew that. “Tell me some thing Eye does not know.”
One said, “There is no thing you do not know.”
“Then why does Eye not see all of It?”
“Because your focus has been upon your self.”
“Get out of here.”
“No, you get out of here … if that’s what you desire. Have your self a good look around.”
One laughed and disappeared.
Eye went to Terra.
Prologue - Part Two

Ali raised his rifle to shoot. As he was about to pull the trigger, he heard a voice from behind.
“Wait—take me.”
Ali whirled round and saw The Old Man, sitting cross-legged on the floor, his hands clasped together in a prayerful pose of petition. He glared at The Old Man and said, “What is this? Who are you and how did you get in here?”
The Old Man wagged his hand in the air. “That is of no significance. I am here to ask to take this man’s place. Please—kill me instead.”
Ali regarded The Old Man for a moment. He lowered his rifle. “And why … why should I do this?”
The Old Man shrugged, raised an open palm and nodded toward the rifleman’s captive Christian. “He is a young man, his entire life ahead of him, and has done nothing to deserve such a fate. I am old, and have lived my long life to the fullest. In the Qur’an it says to kill an innocent being is to kill the entire human race. He is innocent, a good man. I, my friend, have made many mistakes, committed many sins in my life. It would be best, for all concerned, if you were to shoot me for your cause rather than him.”
Ali looked deep into The Old Man’s eyes, clucked his tongue and gave a slow nod. “Very well. You are a brave man. If you wish, I will honor you with a final request before I take your life. Do you have one?”
The Old Man paused, then smiled. “Yes. Just one.”
“And that is?”
“I can ask anything of you?”
Ali looked down and checked his rifle absently, fiddled with the chamber. “Anything within reason, old man, other than sparing both yours and this other man’s life.” He looked back up at The Old Man. “So—out with it. What is your last wish?”
The Old Man stood and held his arms out wide. “Let me hug you.”

Marvin D Wilson is the author of three previous books, I Romanced the stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie), Owen Fiddler, and Between the Storm and the Rainbow. Marvin, known in the world of Bloggydom as “The Old Silly, has a popular blog, The Old Silly’s Free Spirit Blog, at Marvin is an editor with All Things That Matter Press and also does freelance editing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Almighty Amazon versus Almighty God

My publisher no longer lists our books on Amazon. Since the company has taken the direction as a direct sales company whose primary product is books, it makes business sense to allow the Diva Sales Representatives the opportunity to sell the books. As such, Amazon is out as a sales outlet. There may be other reasons for the decision, but that's the most important one.

When I first heard this news, I was a bit disheartened. Amazon is HUGE! Everyone lists their books on Amazon. Everyone buys their books from Amazon. In fact, I told someone I know about it and they had quite a response. They told me that I was never going to sell any of my books if they weren't listed on Amazon. Wow! That didn't make me feel good a week before my book launch party. I told one of my best friends and she, as usual, gave words of wisdom. What did she say?

"Mari, you should have told him that his God is pretty small. Your God is bigger than Amazon. "

Well amen! My God is certainly not small. And He is certainly bigger than Amazon. How do I know this?

Only God could have connected me, months earlier, to the two people who hosted me on their blogs. Amazon had no power to do that.

Only God could have connected me to the woman who started a business support group for Christian women. Even though it's based in Chicago, she expanded the group's support and services to women outside of her area. I was fortunate enough to be selected to join. She has provided such encouragement and insight. Amazon had no power to do that.

Only God could have placed it on this same woman's heart to interview me for her new Internet radio show. Amazon had no power to do that.

Only God could have also placed another woman in Raleigh that was joined this same group. She had a product launch in Chicago. because we were connected through this group, I was able to participate in her swag bag and connect with 80 potential readers. Amazon had no power to do that.

Only God could have connected my brother to a woman who is involved in a ministry that was holding an event during the time my book was launching. Only He could have orchestrated an opportunity for me to be  a sponsor of the event. Amazon had no power to do that.

Only God could have orchestrated circumstances such that I would call into an Internet radio show as a listener and wind up being able to talk about my book and my publisher for 20 minutes. 20 minutes. Think Amazon had the power to do that? Nope.

Time and time again I have seen God market this book in ways that neither Amazon nor I could ever put together.

You can have almighty Amazon. I'll take Almighty God every day!