Change is a four-letter word in some people’s vocabulary. But not mine. You know this because 2018 was a year of transformation for me.
After I suffered unexpected and unwanted changes in 2017, I decided to submit. Become the caterpillar, I thought, and let the Creator make me into a glorious butterfly.
Or not so much.
I’m a work in progress.
Thus, the year of building for 2019.
But that sounds boring. And I’m a wordsmith, so I found a synonym I could embrace.
Since my brand has been transforming and I’m venturing into new genres, I figured I might as well move away from the traditional blogs, too.
For the three of you reading this (Hi, sis. Hi, cuz. Hi, Aunt B.) Whoops! Didn’t mean to leave out the one reader not related to me. A BIG hello to Deborah!
For the FOUR of you reading this, that means I’m not going to be posting my witty repartee about whatever strikes my fancy. Try not to cry. I know you’re seriously bummed.
Instead, starting in April, I’ll be posting excerpts from whatever I’m writing.
In August, I’m going to transition into a weekly study format. I’ll use a few chapters from FINDING FOCUS THROUGH THE LENS OF GOD’S WORD. Then I’ll take that book off of Amazon so that I can add content to it.
IF I get the participation I’m looking for from the website and my Facebook Group, I’ll include some quotes from YOU in the new and improved book. I’ll also be adding a devotional section divided by the topic of the chapters. Devotionals for Mentors and Devotionals for Teachers (those are two of my favorite chapters in the book).
Once I feel happy with the new content, I’ll send it out to beta readers. Hopefully, I’ll have it back up and for sale in early 2020. But no dates yet.
So…my blog will become a place for Christian living nonfiction content. I’m hoping this will help me as I search for an agent for the book I’m writing about journeying through grief. (There might be some modified content from this book here, too).
What do you think? Will you keep reading the blog?
Another new year is here, and millions of people have made resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, save money or eat more healthily. Statistics say that by mid-February, a large percentage of those resolutions will already be broken.
As an author, what sort of resolutions should I make for the new year?
Goals, Not Resolutions
First off, I don’t make resolutions. Not personal ones and definitely not ones for my writing career.
I learned the hard way that breaking resolutions is easier than keeping them.
Does this mean I let a “new” opportunity to make changes leave me in the dust? Nope. I decided to set goals instead.
You’re wondering, “What’s the big difference?”
The difference is in mindset and planning.
Goals are written down (or should be if you’re serious about meeting them). More intentional thought goes into forming goals because we WANT to meet them.
No one wants to say, “I set these goals, but I didn’t reach them.” It sounds like failure and it feels like failure.
Failure is no fun.
Some writers make a resolution to:
write every day
finish their novel,
submit their novel
or other reasonable sounding things.
But do they have a plan?
If their GOAL is to write every day, they might get out their appointment calendar and block out time each day for writing. Since they want to meet that goal, they form a plan to do it.
Resolutions are generally vague and abstract which is why they’re hard to keep but simple to break.
Goals need to be finite and measurable.
Maybe an author is going to finish a novel. They need to pull out their calendar and block out time to work on the novel. Maybe they’ll do a little math to figure out how many words they’re going to write so they can set a FINISH LINE.
Who wants to run a race when they don’t know where it ends?
Not me. I don’t like running that much.
So, how do I meet my goals?
Tracking My Baby Steps
I’d love to say that I have met every goal on time with finesse and verve. But that would be false.
However, in the past five years since I’ve being “doing this writing thing for real,” I’ve learned what helps me meet goals. And what doesn’t work for me.
First, I lay out a plan. It includes a step-by-step list of what it will take to meet my goal. And I track the markers I meet along the way.
This is like watching the mile posts go by on that run I mentioned earlier. It lets me know I’m making progress, and it reminds me that there is an end in sight.
I also like to reward myself for meeting these markers. It’s an incentive plan, which is something writers probably need more than the average non-author.
Why? Because you get a regular paycheck from your job (one that probably meets your expenses) but many authors get sporadic and often anemic paydays. Not that I’m complaining. I write for the joy not the money.
But it’s human nature to produce better results when an incentive is involved.
I know I can write 1,000 words per hour once I get in the groove. I’ve been known to write up to 1,700 in an inspired hour dedicated solely to writing. I give myself a word-count goal every day I write. Then I plan the “reward” for when I finish. It might be, “You get to read that awesome fantasy novel you checked out from the library.” Or it could be, “You can sit outside in the sun.” It varies depending on WHAT I WANT THE MOST that day.
I’ve also started keeping checklists on a free site called Workflowy. You can mark things off your lists there (which feels pretty amazing) and you can lay out every step in the writing process. Such as first draft, rewrite, first edits, submission deadlines, editing deadlines and publication dates.
This same strategy works for me if my goal is to lose (or maintain) weight or save money for a vacation.
Why not try these simple steps for your “resolutions”:
Make the plan.
Work the plan.
Reward yourself for the baby steps along the way.
What about you? What resolutions have you made for 2019? What plans do you have in place to help you KEEP those “best intentions”?
**This post first appeared on the Roane Publishing blog in February 2018. In honor of that wonderful small independent publisher, I’m reposting it here. Share the love. Spread the word.
This year is a construction zone in the world of Sharon Hughson the author.
You know, the multi-genre author who had FIFTEEN titles in various genres published until October 1, 2018. What genres? There was sweet romance, fantasy romance, young adult fantasy, historical fiction, Bible studies and a devotional as well as Christian romance.
Oh, so she’s basically a romance writer.
Except reviewers will say things like, “There needs to be more romance.” Or “Her stories explore in some gritty issues.”
Not that I want my fiction to read like a soap opera. Or a crazy police scanner.
I am not a drama llama.
But I write stories for real people about people with real problems. And even though I give them a happy ending (because that’s what fiction should ALWAYS promise as a pay off), they fight their personal demons and work through real-to-the-world problems along the way.
Yes, there will be cancer diagnoses and assaults and family tension and runaways and foster families. Maybe these aren’t your problems, but I hope they’ll help you understand those who face those issues. Our world could use a little more compassion.
When I entered the world of Christian romance, I hoped to interest my sweet romance readers in crossing over to read the Christian. After all, it’s not preachy or overtly religious because…no thanks.
I invested tons of time and effort in the Christian romances (there are FIVE of those babies in the First Street Church World), so I hoped THOSE readers would follow me into the sweet romance genre.
Then all my sweet romances disappeared overnight. (This is old news.)
So I was left with my Christian romances, the young adult fantasy short story (a biblical retelling in a dark, futuristic setting), two Bible studies and my indie title.
This happened while I was writing the first drafts of the two Christian romances I’m adding to the First Street Church world in 2019. I expect to write two more books for that series in 2020, and then I’ll either be done with that, or have fans clamoring for MORE…and I’ll be happy to oblige them because I have tons of story ideas.
The thing about the indie title is that it’s a biblical fictionalization. It’s a first-person account from the perspective of Mary the mother of Jesus. I promoted it all December long because…Mary has a heart for Christmas. She was a major participant in that first Christmas after all.
Since my Muse will not give up on the idea for this series, I’m writing it. I’m working on completing the first draft of the first two books between now and the time MOMMY LOVES THE BANKER releases in April.
Later this year, I’ll be offering glimpses into these books and trying to tempt you to sign up for my Advance Reader Team (more on that later).
Recently, I surveyed my newsletter subscribers. About ten percent of them responded, and of those, only about ten percent said they would NOT be willing to try the biblical fictionalizations I described. So if that percentage carries true, I might have an audience for my new genre experiment. YES!
Do you read romance? Would you try a biblical fictionalization written by a romance writer you loved? Or is that too much of a stretch for your reading preferences?
Time found its warp speed in 2018. The months were mere blurs out my view screen. And now we’ve arrived in a different calendar called 2019.
Maybe you recall that last year was a year for Metamorphosis around here. And there were a TON more changes and transformations than I had planned.
This year, I’ll be building upon those “new” things. That’s why my word for the year is
What’s Under Construction
My brand is the biggest thing that transformed last year. As you know, I went from a sweet romance author to almost solely a Christian romance author. I do still have a young adult fantasy short story in an anthology (IN THE BEGINNING) available, and my freebies are fantasy romance stories.
Two unexpected changes came last year.
First, out of left field, was when Kindle Worlds closed. You can recall my turmoil here.
Thankfully, Melissa Storm came through for all of the authors she rallied to her Kindle World and started Sweet Promise Press. I now have five titles available in the First Street Church series (with two more planned for 2019).
The most crushing change came when my first small publisher, Roane Publishing, closed its doors on October 1, 2018. Suddenly, my list of published titles was reduced by half. And, most devastating of all, my first full-length novel died before it could be released in November 2018.
As I worked through all the possibilities this closure revealed, it became clear to me that I should be going a different direction with my fiction. After all, I was building a list of Christian romance readers.
Would they be interested in my Bible studies and devotional? What about my historical women’s fiction based on women from the Bible?
I guess we’ll discover those answers as I construct a NEW back list of titles this year.
The Scriptural Reference
Since one of the biggest transformations last year was to almost entirely Christian fiction, I’ve decided to share my verse of the year on my website.
When you see what’s ahead for 2020, my penchant for this scripture will make even more sense. I hope you’ll stay with me, and even if you’re not sure the new trends will be “your thing” you’ll at least sample them before clicking “unfollow” and “unsubscribe.”
Per the newest tradition in the world of Hughson vacationing, this post comes to you from Not-at-Home. We’re enjoying the sunny South with my cousins.
This is the third full day in Branson, MO, and the weather has been nearly ideal. Yesterday was the only “day” it wasn’t sunny. The breeze made out jaunt down the Landing in the morning a bit nippy, but since rain stayed away, I was content.
My husband wandered through a Bass Pro Shop (a small one according to my cousins) and we ate some authentic barbecue. No one in my family-of-four likes ribs but me, so I was happy to sample Famous Dave’s. They were smoky, but Tony Roma’s melt in your mouth and has a sweeter sauce (on their Carolina Honey’s).
The gentleman went to the car and tractor museum after we saw all the Landing had to offer us. We were happy to drop them (and their $2 off admission price coupons) at the door and head to another shopping destination.
Where we purchased a few Christmas gifts. ‘Tis the season. Chrystal assured me that as long as I purchased at least ONE time in a store as a gift, it counted wholly toward Christmas shopping. Have I mentioned I like the way she thinks?
There was an electrical storm…and rain. But that was AFTER friends I knew back in Oregon when I was in elementary and middle school stopped by for a visit.
No, they don’t live here, but it’s a common destination for their Christmas shopping goals. Obviously, December is the right time of year to visit the Nashville of the Ozarks…shopping destination extraordinaire.
When you wake up to this sort of view…
It makes being grumpy seem more than a mite ungrateful.
We have three more days to enjoy the sights…and sounds of our destination. Tonight is a trip to the Sight and Sound Theater (see what I did there?) to see THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS. Afterwards, we’ll eat out to honor my cousins’ third wedding anniversary.
Hopefully, we’ll finally see some Christmas lights.
But for now, it’s enough to chill on the balcony in the sunshine with the man who’s loved me for three decades.
What’s your take on Christmas shopping? What do you enjoy doing on your vacation?
The essence of true heroism was portrayed by Wonder Woman in her big screen feature film. Finally, a hero without a baggage-laden past or an ax to grind.
Wonder Woman’s heroic worldview is summed up in this quote, first said by Steve Trevor in the movie and later by Wonder Woman.
“It’s not about deserve. It’s about what you believe.”
A hero doesn’t stop to think if a person deserves protecting or rescuing. If they believe they can save someone, they step in and do it. Because to NOT act would be worse than whatever peril they face during their rescue.
After watching Wonder Woman’s movie twice, I’m ready for a Captain America and Wonder Woman film. Which will never happen because… Marvel and DC. But in my mind they are the supreme superheroes because they stand on their ideals.
What about the movie? You ask.
I loved it. Loved it two viewings worth and can hardly wait to own it on DVD so I can watch it again (maybe interspersed with Cap and the Winter Soldier).
I’m not a comic book reader, as I’ve stated multiple times. I don’t know how closely the film version of Wonder Woman comes to the comic-book rendition. But I like how the mythology is intertwined with the contemporary world (which shouldn’t surprise people who know I’m a huge fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, as well as the two spin-off series he’s written/writing).
Diana is a princess on an island set out of time and populated entirely by women. She is the only child on the island, and her mother tells her she was sculpted out of clay and brought to life by Zeus. Later, we learn that Zeus got Hippolyta with child the good old fashioned way (in the tradition of Greek deities).
She is enamored with fighting, which is what the Amazon warriors were originally created to do, but her mother denies permission to learn it. This doesn’t stop Diana from meeting with her aunt (the general of the Amazonian army) in secret until finally her mother allows her to train.
“But she can never know the truth.”
Diana doesn’t like hurting people (which is surprising from a warrior race), and her instinct is to rescue the stranger she sees crash into the ocean near their island. (It’s never sufficiently explained to me how the plane and later the Nazi boats can enter the bubble when Diana is warned she won’t be able to return if she leaves the island.)
All the stories Hippolyta has told Diana about the Amazons’ purpose come back to bite her when Steve Trevor shares the horrible news about The Great War in the “real world.” Still, the queen allows Diana to steal the armor and the God-Killer and leave with Steve to “save the world from Aries.”
Diana embraces her purpose and never shrinks from it, which adds plenty of tension. She’s happy to waltz into no man’s land rather than waiting for a safer route to her destination. In the end, it’s her head-on confrontation that sparks the heroism of the men with her, from the soldiers in the fox holes to the pilot spy.
Eventually, she does meet Ares, and their battle is epic. Of course, the secret her mother withheld is revealed by the villain and almost cripples Diana’s resolve to defeat him once and for all.
Gal Gadot is not Lynda Carter. Gal is much more athletic and equally as beautiful. Lynda sold me in her portrayal. I haven’t watched the old series for many years, so maybe it’s childhood hero worship that makes me say this.
I adored all the hand-to-hand combat. The Amazon warriors terrified me when they swung down the cliffs and thundered in on horseback. The Germans might have had guns, but they were seriously out-classed and under-trained to meet the immortal warrior race.
Diana’s motives sold me on this story. She whole-heartedly believed the Amazons were created to save mankind, and how could they do that on an isolated island?
I loved the innocent reactions Diana had to things like kicking in dresses and tasting ice cream. The filmmakers could have included more of this, because she seemed to adjust to the world of men rather easily.
I was sad the romance with Steve Trevor didn’t get to run its course. Because of their intense time together, I can believe that they loved each other. He was the first man she’d ever met, and his handsome exterior accentuated his rescuer’s soul.
While the effects during the battle with Ares were cool, I had a difficult time believing he would destroy her. And was it anger or grief that pushed her to finally end him?
In any case, she wasn’t even happy about doing it. Resolved, yes, but she showed so much fervor for killing the general and Ares before she heard his story, and that wasn’t present when she finally shot the god of war out of the sky.
There were portions of the story that didn’t make sense to me: the creation of the Amazons and how they were enslaved by mankind. If Zeus was dead (as Hippolyta described in her story), how could he father Diana? And why would the Amazon’s still pray to him?
If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think? Did it live up to the hype?
Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice for the musical festival, and she spies an intriguing stranger.
Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing from one competition to the next. Interest ignites at his first glance at the woman who is enthralled by his music. He is drawn to Cadence whose heart seems big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.
A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a major problem—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?
Unmarried and approaching thirty in a small town branded her as ready and willing to meet every unattached man who set foot inside the city limits. A sigh escaped. Like last week when Espe called Trent Sullivan over to their table at El Tres Amigos and then suddenly remembered an important errand, leaving them together. What Espe hadn’t known was Cadence and Trent already had been set up on blind dates—twice—by other well-meaning friends.
Nothing had clicked on those occasions either. Cadence craved someone with a mysterious past like in her beloved romantic suspense novels. A dark, shadowy figure who knew how to excite a woman with a molten look or a lingering touch. A man who fought to hide his pain and almost succeeded. Not someone like Trent—a guy whose high-school accomplishments she could probably recite.
Sweet plaintive notes of a stringed instrument floated on the breeze. Cadence stopped, straining to recognize the tune. A person didn’t grow up surrounded by folk music without knowing just about every ballad that could be plucked.
But this one eluded her. The twanging strings cried with a soulful sadness that grabbed her by the throat. Her thoughts were washed in loneliness, and she turned toward the sound, past the Heritage Herb Garden. A part of Cadence that couldn’t resist helping others had to see who was expressing such need.
She lifted the hem of her long skirt and hurried toward the haunting sound, as if the notes pulled her feet along the path. The compulsion to know who played added speed to her steps. Abreast of the groundhog pottery kiln, she slowed and peered toward the outdoor stage.
On the platform, several musicians were gathered—some unpacking instruments, others adjusting microphones. Off to one side, a dark-haired man sat in a straight-backed chair, one foot braced on a scratched case. He leaned forward and strummed a dulcimer, the light wood instrument cradled on denim-covered thighs.
Cadence stood a dozen feet away and studied the talented player. His too-long hair was tied back, his shoulders were broad inside his western-cut shirt, and his legs were long and lean. Scuffed boots, faded jeans and a worn Harley-Davidson tee-shirt composed his attire. Definitely more attractive than her own outfit. Even from this distance, she spotted a posture that meant the man had an attitude…or was mysterious. A thrill ran over her skin.
Who was this guy? He’d definitely swagger when he walked. Yummy. At the thought, she stepped closer, wanting nothing between her and the performance.
Long fingers picked the strings in a heated crescendo—note on teasing note, twang on shivery twang, strum on driving strum. He ended the song with a flourish, right hand arcing upward as the last note hung on the early morning air.
How did he know exactly how she felt on nights when everyone in Mountain View either had a date or was home curled next to a spouse? The isolation of being solo at the drive-in or enduring the knowing smile of a sympathetic waitress. His song wrapped all those feelings tight around her heart and squeezed. She inhaled, and the backs of her eyes stung.
Hadn’t she learned her lesson about musicians from the way Dale deserted her when his band got the chance to go on the road? Three years running, and he hadn’t yet steered the tour bus through his hometown.
The stranger laid a hand over the strings, rolled his shoulders, and lifted his head. Piercing brown eyes scanned the area, surveying the other musicians, and his gaze locked with hers. For a suspended moment, his gaze roved along her length, widened, and then returned to her face.
Under his scrutiny, she shifted her feet and tugged at the sides of her skirt. Her period costume didn’t exactly show off her figure to its best. Not that the fact should matter, but she couldn’t look away and chose to ignore the warning bells ringing in her head.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. As an adult, she discovered romance books and read them at every spare moment. Upon reaching a landmark birthday, she decided to write one of those romances she loved so much. Easier said than done. Perseverance paid out and twelve years later, she received her first call from a publisher and a confession story was published. Now, Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor and a bit of sass, and many have a tie to her previous home of Texas.
With interests as widespread as baking, crocheting, watching dog agility matches, and reading thrillers by Swedish authors, Linda is the mother to 4 adult children and grandmother to 2 granddaughters. She currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of 35 years.
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.
Contemporary Romance By: Laura Lamoreaux and T.L. French Publisher: Roane Publishing
Sometimes, to remember all that is best and bright about love, you must go home.
After being dumped by her boyfriend of two years, there is nothing that Sarah Jepsom dreads more than going back home to her marriage-obsessed mother. To make matters worse, it’s for her little sister’s fairytale wedding on none other than Valentine’s Day. The only positive note is it will also be a chance to see her dear friend Mark for the first time in a year.
Sarah’s Bridezilla sister Valerie takes it upon herself to invite Sarah’s old high school boyfriend to be her date for the wedding. Nathan is set on renewing their relationship, but old feelings remind Sarah why it didn’t work the first time. When Mark confesses his long-held feelings for her, Sarah is angry and convinced that romance is not for her. Then, her father reminds her of all that is best and bright about love, that can often be found right under our noses.
Laura Lamoreaux is a licensed clinical psychologist, and drew from her work in therapy to show what living with a mental illness is really like. Her writing partner provided all of the teaching details included in the story.
Connect with her on Twitter – @laura_lamoreaux
T.L. French is a Junior High English teacher. Connect on Twitter : @ticilsmith
Win these Great Prizes
Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance at a $25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
Exciting news, dear readers! The next installment in one of my favorite series by one of my Pen Sisters is finally here. I’m talking about EMBERS IN THE SEA by Jennifer M. Eaton.
I adored FIRE IN THE WOODS. You can read my review here. It was a rollicking good time, and I don’t even like science fiction. Except for after I read book two in the series, I had to recant that claim. If I was reading these books and loving them, I obviously liked SOME science fiction books.
Now you can read the third installment in the series. I read an early version of this manuscript, and let me tell you, it goes beyond anything you could possibly imagine. David and Jess face their biggest test ever (and a crazy alien leader was trying to kill them in the last installment so…)
After you read the amazing excerpt, don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post where you can enter a giveaway to win some awesome prizes.
Title: EMBERS IN THE SEA (Fire in The Woods #3)
Author: JenniferM. Eaton
Pub. Date: January 31, 2017
Format: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Alien scientist David has dealt with disappointment his entire life, but failing to breathe life into the planet Mars is his greatest regret. Out of options and in need of a new home for their people, the alien Caretakers rekindle their plan to inhabit Earth. First they will have to eliminate the human race, including Jess, the only human David holds dear.
Humanity has one final chance at survival. David needs to emulate Earth’s precipitation on Mars. But the catalyst to make it rain lies in the fathomless depths of Earth’s ocean.
The clock is ticking down to humanity’s last hours as Jess and David face a world more alien than either of them can imagine. The sea hides secrets, but some secrets don’t want to be found.
Here is the Promised Sneak Peek:
Jess and her friend Matt from FIRE IN THE WOODS (Book one) are hanging out at Columbia University when a strange apparition forms in the sky. Of course, our girl starts snapping photos!
“What is that?” a man yelled.
Matt grabbed my hand and we followed the throng away from the steps, across 116th Street, past the sundial, and onto the South Lawn. A huge hole had formed in the clouds, widening into a shimmering circle of crystal blue.
I plucked my camera out of my backpack and joined the amateurs clicking away with their cell phones. I hid my amusement behind the lens of Old Reliable.
These people had no idea what a picture could be, how to focus in just the right place, how to find tone in the simplest of images, and catch the perfect light to evoke the exact mood. I hit the shutter four times as the anomaly widened, expanding past several city blocks. Nature never ceased to astound me.
A few more photography students added their lenses to the crowd. There’d be no deficit of pictures for the internet newsfeeds to choose from, that was for sure.
I snapped seven more shots. The race was on. Click. Who would take the best shot? Click. Who would be the first to get their work published?
Me. That’s who. Click. Click.
The shape shifted and elongated, swirling until it settled over the courtyard and froze as if someone pressed the pause button.
The crowd grew silent. I lowered my camera. WTF?
A ball formed in my gut as the air in the middle of the circle formed a nearly transparent, shimmering bubble. A rainbow formed across its surface; the stripes brilliant, clear, and defined. Dozens of breaths hitched as an iridescent flicker glimmered across the apparition. The form pinched and molded into a colorful, swirling tube that slowly dropped from the sky.
Matt tightened his grip on my hand as the other spectators stepped away. Half their gazes staring up, the remainder staring at me. Some stumbled into the bushes lining the walkways.
“Friends of yours?” Matt asked.
I shivered. “No. That’s not Erescopian technology.” At least I didn’t think it was. Erescopian ships were liquid metal … shiny opal or silver. “That just looks like … ”
“Water,” Matt whispered.
Water hanging in the sky. Or more like a lake … a huge lake with a giant elevator tube dropping out of it. So. Not. Good.
This is part one of a three part reveal of the spaceship landing in chapter one of EMBERS IN THE SEA. For the next excerpt, please go check out Read Coffee and Teen on 2/7/2017 (Sorry, it was totally NOT my idea to be SUCH a tease. Really.)
Jennifer M. Eaton hails from the eastern shore of the North American Continent on planet Earth. Yes, regrettably, she is human, but please don’t hold that against her. While not traipsing through the galaxy looking for specimens for her space moth collection, she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband and three energetic offspring. (And a poodle who runs the spaceport when she’s not around.)
During infrequent excursions to her home planet of Earth, Jennifer enjoys long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but great adventures are always a short shuttle ride away.
Another New Year is here. Welcome 2017. What did you do with 2016? Hide his body in a calendar of HOT firefighters?
You all know what it means that we’ve started a new year. This author will choose a new focus.
Reviewing What Came Before
In 2014, I decided to BE THE CHANGE. This happened after July 2013 changed everything for me. How?
I graduated from college and committed to writing full-time.
Yes, there was a connection. It’s not easy to walk away from a guaranteed paycheck into the jungles of publishing.
The hard knocks I took that first eighteen months of full-time, professional writing did a number on my confidence. Which led to…
My theme for 2015. My posts were all about learning to have a positive attitude. Because, let’s be honest, the world is swamped with negativity. If you just go with the flow, you will become a huge downer.
And there are too many downers out there already.
So I went against the flow and took a friend’s advice to “accentuate the positive.” It’s pretty amazing what can happen when the two words you choose to focus on for 365 days are positive and attitude.
And that positive outlook carried over into 2016.
Do I need to remind you what happened this year? How about this?
And a sample of what that looked like…
And what it morphed into once a brand building expert set me straight…
These yearly focus words or phrases have been building blocks in the new life I’m carving out of the old one that held me stale and stagnant for forty-some years.
My decision to be the change I wanted to see in the world is a perfect foundation. What better architectural framing to use for the changed life than a positive attitude. And if you’ve experienced it, you know there isn’t a warmer, more welcoming color for the walls than gratitude.
So where does that leave me for 2017?
Looking Toward What is Yet to Come
It’s time to clean up the scraps around the building site. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those nails, lumber scraps, and broken boards that didn’t make it into the finished project.
What does that look like in my new life?
Yep, I’ve been talking about this lion over the past few weeks, and now I’m confronting him head on.
This year, I’ve even adopted at verse from the Bible to fortify my position. I know not every reader here ascribes to the Bible as God’s Word and the guidebook to truth, but I hope you’ll bear with me. I promise not to go all Bible-thumper on you.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment” 1 John 4:18
And to start things off right, I have to face down a fear. Tomorrow I’m going under for my first ever surgery. I know 50 years without s surgeon’s knife and now this.
Don’t worry, it’s “routine.” I should be back up and running in no time. But I appreciate all the positive thoughts and prayers.
This year while I’m sweeping out the shiny new space I’ve carved for my dream of author-ship, we’ll be looking fear in the face. By the time this year ends, I hope love will have relocated fear to some continent far away.
Won’t you join me on the journey to a life lived by love without fear?
What’s your goal for 2017? Do you have a word or phrase you like to build around?