Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kickstarting LETTERS FROM HEAVEN off to SUCCESS!

I recently launched a Kickstarter Project to take my book further than the "Ebook" format (which I can do and am doing on my own). Until you have to do it, you have no idea what it takes to, not only get your book written and published, but to make it a Success! I have all the faith and confidence in the world that my book will be exactly that: SUCCESSFUL! But, even successful people have; oftentimes, needed a little help along the way to their success.

I come to you as my Family, Friends, and Acquaintances to ask your help in taking LETTERS FROM HEAVEN to the next level...and the NEXT! 


On a $10,000 Credit Card donation from a "Friend," The Shack (a self-published Christian Fiction Novel) went on to be on the NY Times Bestseller's List and earn the author, William P. Young, $3.5 million dollars (by now, even MORE!). It all started with a "Friend," a Donation & Determination...and the rest is history!

I can only imagine that this friend is one happy guy today, and wealthier for his Faith in his Friend.

I'm hoping that you will come on board as my Friend and help me to SUCCEED at the Kickstarter Project, and know that the success of one is the success of all...as we all believe in Paying It Forward!
 

You can check out my Letters From Heaven Kickstarter Project at: http://kck.st/1017F2v.    

(And, by the way...IT IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE)!
 
So, Please consider helping. It would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and to all A BLESSED LIFE!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

LETTERS FROM HEAVEN: In a nutshell!

The first thing a person asks you when you tell them you've written a book (or is writing a book) is...What is it about. Then when you begin to tell them--after the second sentence--you've lost their attention. You're still trying to explain your "masterpiece" to them that has taken you, sometimes, years to write. You want to give them every juicy detail, but they want the whole book in one sentence! Frustrating for sure, but this is the give-it-to-me-quick, fast and on-the-run generation. Even sex has been reduced to a "quickie!" So, I'm going to give it to you in a nutshell, what Letters From Heaven is all about (although, if you've been reading these blogs, you've been given a bit of information regarding this, already). But, for the quickie generation who's never been to this blog before and isn't about to read it from the beginning, this information is for you. So, again, in a nutshell, this should summarize it:

It's a compelling love story of the unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter, who refuses to allow even death to keep them apart. 

Now, for those of you who really want the low-down on this book and a little more to "chew" on, this is for you. And, by the way, you are more like me...I want to know as much about a book as I can in order to make a decision as to whether or not I want to invest any real time in it. So, for you...here goes:

In a time when rape was a secret one kept to one's self; when bearing a child outside of marriage was taboo, Angelica "Geli-bean" Snowden was born to a mother whose life defied the times and whose love defied death. Ava Lorraine "Rainey" Snowden (the mother of Angelica) set out to prove that love doesn't have to end with the grave...and the power of love doesn't end at all.

Letters From Heaven is the story of a precocious little girl--born of rape and of another race into a family of wealth and prestige--whose journey through childhood into womanhood is guided by the love of her mother (via letters) who refuses to allow, even, death to keep them apart.

Upon discovering her fatal illness, Rainey (Angelica's mother) begins a series of letters that will follow her daughter throughout her life (long after Rainey's death), hoping to give Angelica the feeling of security and stability that only a parent--in her case, a mother--can give. If only she could have foreseen the future, she would have known that it would take far more than "letters" to bring stability to her daughter's life. 


Angelica's life will be everything but stable: Her conception, a crime, her birth unwanted and her race a travesty to her family's name. Angelica's life is doomed to be filled with bumps, bruises, twists, turns, pain, and unimaginable darkness. The letters may appear to come from "heaven," but her life is the stuff of...well, let's just say, the other place!

Letters From Heaven is an intriguing story of four women whose lives are interrelated and interconnected (unbeknown to them) in a complex web of secrecy, all weaved around the life of Angelica (Geli-bean). Her mother, Rainey, is a woman of strength, even in the midst of terminal illness. Myra "Grand Myra" Snowden (Angelica's grandmother) is cool, aloof, and haunted by devastating secrets that have been sheltered by old money and her family's name, much to her unspoken shame...and pain


Louise "Mama Louise" Cash is a self-appointed, African-American surrogate grandmother to Angelica, who harbors secrets of her own that could destroy both her and Angelica's family. And, Angelica--who possesses a supernatural bond with her mother that extends beyond the letters from the grave--discovers (at the brink of adulthood) that her entire life has been a lie!

It is the 1st in a series of *3 books (written in the form of letters and lyrical prose) that proposes to change the way on views death, challenge the way one champions loss, and encourage one to embrace all of life's possibilities. 

(*NOTE: Next 2 books in the series will include parts of diaries as well).

Now, that should be enough information for you decide whether this book is worth you checking it out or not; hopefully, it is. It's fun, it's sassy, it's painful, and it's life! 

I truly hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you like V.C. Andrews, Anne Rice style of writing (not content, but style--though their content is GREAT as well), and such books as Nathan's Run, Angela's Ashes, and the Nanny Diaries, I believe you will absolutely LOVE LETTERS FROM HEAVEN!

So, there you have it! And, if you're ready to read this book in it's totality, consider helping us to Kickstart it off by going to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/784316705/letters-from-heaven-a-mothers-love-never-dies.  

However you choose to support this book, whether through the Kickstarter Project or by purchasing a copy once publish, know that you are so appreciated.

Remember to LIVE, LAUGHT, LOVE...and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Oh, and remember to SPREAD THE LOVE!!  And, Be Blessed!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kickstarting LETTERS FROM HEAVEN off to be a GREAT SUCCESS!

ALERT, ALERT:  AWESOME NEWS ALERT!!

Yesterday, I was excepted by the KICKSTARTER Team to Kickstart Letters From Heaven off to be a phenomenal success.  It's taken me almost 2 month to put my project together for acceptance! There were a lot of stages I had to go through to get it accepted. You can't begin to imagine what this means to me...to any writer!

The Kickstarter Program has helped many artists--not just writers--to take their projects, whether it be books, a new technology, fabulous fashions, or a debut album--to the NEXT level. It has helped some to achieve success at a LEVEL they would never have achieved otherwise!

✉LETTERS FROM HEAVEN ♥ A Mother's Love Never Dies! ♥   by V. V. Taylor ~ A compelling love story of the unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter, who refuses to allow even death to keep them apart.

It is a known fact that the "surviving" Traditional Publishing Companies have all but shut their doors to debuting authors...unless they know someone who knows someone! Even literary agents have over the past 10 years become extremely picky; looking for some knew style of writing to add another genre to the already confusing list (so they can claim discovery for it); only to leave great writers (not yet known or discovered) out in the cold with little possibility of being discovered. That's half the literary agents! The other half only want authors who have already been published and/or have achieved some level of success on their own. Such authors as Amanda Hocking, who had already reached a phenomenal level of success before the agents and publishers came knocking at her door. By her own admission, no one was even remotely considering giving her a chance at traditional publishing, until she'd already accomplished a level of success--many of us can only dream of--before being offered a contract: A contract she accepted by "choice," not out of need or necessity!

The Kickstart Project (if it's SUCCESSFUL) will afford me the opportunity to spend more time writing, and less time worrying about how I'm going to get the money for a Paperback cover, or pay for the ISBN# it will need, or pay for an editor (which is why I've been editing myself), and a number of other things I simply cannot afford on my own. Even the author of The Shack (an awesome Christian book), who self-published via $10,000 given to him by a friend (who saw potential in him and his book), admits he didn't have the funds to take it past the writing of it: No money for editing, book covers, distribution...none of it, until a friend offered the necessary help (financially) to move the book forward. And forward it moved: All the way to the NY Times Bestsellers List! If I remember correctly, the last time I saw Mr. Williams P. Young on TBN (Christian Network on TV), he claimed success of $3.5 million dollars.

I know that LETTERS FROM HEAVEN has the potential for the same success! I've tested it with "readers" (outside of the family) and have been given a 5-Star go ahead. Even when I focused on poetry before writing this book, I never got less than a standing ovation at the Poetry Slams; not to mention, that the very first "article" I submitted to the Local Newspaper for publishing, garnered me a "freelance position" on the spot with that paper! Absolute, true story! I wasn't even looking for a position at that time; I was already employed as a Social Worker with the Department of Social Services. So, can I write? There's no question about it! I was born a writer!

If you enjoy this blog - along with the excerpts of Letters From Heaven that I've added for your enjoyment - then help me to Kickstart Letters From Heaven off to be a world-wide success. You can help me achieve this goal in several ways: By sending your friends to this blog, telling everyone you know about the upcoming novel, LETTERS FROM HEAVEN; by tweeting it to your friends, talking about it on your Facebook page, and by going to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/784316705/letters-from-heaven-a-mothers-love-never-dies and assist in helping to move this book forward!

I am an independent, self-publishing author who more than believes in her work! I'm destined to succeed, but I know my limitations. You can be a huge part of my SUCCESS! So, come on board with me an assist in taking this book to the next level. I can do it alone if I have to; but I can DO SO MUCH MORE with YOUR HELP!

Help Angelica "Geli-bean" Snowden to come alive! Give her her rightful place in the hearts of the people at large (where she belongs), and get ready for her antics as a child, her complex life as a teen, and her many life-learning and life-giving lessons as an adult! Only you can take her from the pages to the hearts of the people, and help her to become a memorable "classic" for years to come.

We are depending on YOU, so lets get started--or should I say, KICKSTARTED--to help make LETTERS FROM HEAVEN a phenomenal SUCCESS, and become a PART OF SOMETHING GREAT!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays...and many, many Blessings!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

LETTERS FROM HEAVEN: The Labor Pains Have Begun...

Well, here we are once again...Heck, FORGET THE FORMALITIES! Isn't this WONDERFUL...absolutely GREAT!!! It's like giving birth to your very first child and, boy, do I remember that! Those were the days when there was no epidural unless an emergency called for it; you squirmed, twisted, rocked, kicked, walked, flipped, SCREAMED (not me of course, I was too much of a lady for that, plus my mom would never have let me live it down), and CURSED (definitely, NOT me) in pain! You thought the baby was refusing to come on purpose, as though he/she had some malicious plan to make you suffer as much and as long as possible! But, as soon as the sweet little angel was born, your face would light up like the morning sun and you were, suddenly, engulfed in eternal bliss! The smile plastered on your face lingered so long that it began to look like you had gone into a coma with your eyes wide open! THAT'S THE WONDER OF CHILDBIRTH!

Now, I'm about to give birth for the eighth (8th) time; only this time, it's not to a person...but to many people. Actually, to a WHOLE CAST OF PEOPLE!! To some of the most awesome people you'll ever meet! And, a few you'll just love to hate! Oh, and the other thing is...they didn't come out...well, you know...not the normal way! It just so happens that this capriciously eclectic group of people was born from my head...well, my BRAIN, to be more specific! They are the "stuff" of my imagination, and what an imagination I have!

If you've been reading this blog, then you're already ahead of the rest of the world (and by the way, I'm going to post sort of a CONTEST in a few days JUST FOR YOU, so keep reading!). You already know the premise behind this book and a bit about the book itself! But, the time has come for you to learn more about the characters, and what make them tick...or get ticked off, or tick off each other! At any rate, the book is about to be birthed--it's been a long, torturous labor--and, hopefully, bring forth a golden child...I mean, an AWESOME BOOK!

Ooohhhh, you've been waiting for me to give you a date, haven't you? What am I thinking? Of course you need to know when to expect this "birth." Well, if you promise to come back and read the blog (and bring some friends with you), I'll promise to tell you then--in the next blog. I promise. But, in the meantime, I have a little treat for you that will hold you over until then: Another lengthy excerpt (to give you a better idea of the "tone" of the book: A lighter side of it, rather! I will be adding a few of the "letters" written in the book. I truly hope you enjoy the "Prologue" and excerpts from the book:  I do look forward to sharing the book (in it's entirety) with you in the not-so-far future.

In the meantime, merry Christmas shopping; have fun, try not to overspend, and be Safe. Until next time....Live, Love, and Laugh with a PASSION!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

LFH: The COUNTDOWN is On!

Can you believe it? We're almost there...almost at the finish line! Who would have thought it could take so long to write, then edit/rewrite one book! WOW! It's been a journey to say the least! A long, hard journey!

There's been times I wasn't sure it would ever see completion. The funny thing is, the book was written over three (3) years ago. But, when it came time for me to publish it, I wanted to give it a once-over; and being the perfectionist that I am, I was no longer satisfied with it. It's like...I found every flaw under the sun in it, and couldn't rest until they were corrected. But, this is the other thing, I was now on medication (for arthritis, nothing mental lol!) that tired me out and slowed me down, considerably. It's only been a couple of months ago that I realized it was the medicine slowing me down like this. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what the problem was. Here I was working 10-12 hrs. a day on this book, sometimes longer -- just editing/rewriting -- which should have been relatively quick and easy and, yet, it felt like I was trudging through mud in slow motion. Just the thought of finishing this book was becoming exhausting! Not to mention you have to market yourself the entire time to keep people interested. You have to keep up your Facebook and Twitter and Book Blog, which I began to fail miserably in. But, all that is behind me now!

In January 2013, we will be debuting Letters From Heaven, the first (1st) in a three (3) book series in a line of Mainstream Contemporary Fiction with a Hint of the Paranormal. Many of you have asked where did I get such an idea for a book; whether or not it's fact or fiction. Well, it is indeed fiction, but the idea for the book was birth from a personal, family tragedy. The clip below will tell you more:

video


I hope you enjoyed the video and have a better understanding of how Letters From Heaven came into being, and I do hope you help me to kickstart it off with a BANG by telling all of your friends to come here and read the Prologue and Excerpt and hopefully, buy the book when it's released in January. I'll be giving you an actual release date for January, SOON!

Thank You for your awesome support and I truly hope you thoroughly enjoy LETTERS FROM HEAVEN and all it's wonderful characters!

Oh, in the meantime, have a Wonderful THANKSGIVING, and try not to eat the whole TURKEY!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Letters From Heaven: The Accidental Child

Angelica Angelique "Gelibean" Snowden's life was no different than any other child's. Her mother adored her, her grandmother could hardly bear the sight of her, her uncle wanted her out of the picture altogether; and a woman who didn't know her at all, was unnerved by the presence of her! You see? A normal dysfunctional family! Not only was her birth unwelcomed, her very conception was a crime! And, thus, you have the premise for LETTERS FROM HEAVEN.

But, let's examine this for a moment. Can you imagine a child being born under such complicated circumstances into such a complex family? It sounds like a book just waiting to be written, doesn't it? Well, guess what? It is a book, and I wrote it!

The fact is, children are born under such circumstances into these situations every single day! If born in Africa this way, the child and the mother may be put out to fend for themselves. Or, the child may be left by the side of the road to die! If this happened in China, the young mother would be expected to commit suicide to "save face," to avoid bringing shame on the family, though she had no control over the shame brought on her own person. Again, in Iran, the mother and the child might very well be put to death; whereas, in Malaysia, the child might very well be sold (along with her young mother) into domestic or--even worse--prostitution slavery. But, what happens to the man in all of this? He blames the woman for his crime--she came on to him, she flirted with him, she showed too much shoulder, etc.  He barely gets a slap on the wrist (if anything at all), while the young mother (and the child, if it's allowed to live) suffers lifelong rejection and/or abandonment from their family and lifelong shame, if not outright death!

Luckily for Angelica, she had a mother who loved her with her very life! In fact, she loved her beyond life! And, no, this isn't a vampire or ghost story! It is simply a love story of an unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter that is absolutely out of this world!

Angelica was fortunate enough to have been born an extremely bright child; yet, unfortunate enough to have been born to a family who'd rather she'd not been born at all; except for her mother (who was a 15 year old Catholic without a husband), raised in an aristocratic household in the old south in the 50's. Are you getting the picture?

Now, to add pudding to the pie: Angelica was born of rape and of another race to a mother who was sent away (to get rid of her); only to return nine months later with her in her arms. Can you imagine the shock to Angelica's grandmother? And as the Old Dame would put it, "....a horse of a different color!" I mean, we're talking rape, old money, old south...I do believe you get the picture! Now, get this picture: Angelica's mother will die within a few years of her birth! WHAT IS ONE TO DO?!

Even after Angelica's mother dies, her grandmother, Grand Myra, will continue for years to come to stoically dismiss her presence as if she was a mere apparition; her young uncle would seek to rid the family of her at every turn; and a woman who was first fearful of her presence (but who learned to love her every bit as much as her mother did) became her strong tower.

In spite of all the obstacles presented because of her daughter--and because of life, itself--Ava Lorraine (Angelica's mother) would stop at nothing to give her daughter the most love and the best life that any mother could give...even if it cost her her life! And, you know what, that's the kind of love every mother should give her child! And, don't misunderstand me...I mean EVERY CHILD!

A child doesn't have a say in how he or she enters into this world; they have no say in how they are conceived...none say at all! Those of you who believe in abortions, then that's your belief. It's NOT my belief, but I'm not knocking your belief. This is what I am knocking...that women wait until the 5th and 6th month to have an abortion! You're not going to convince me that you don't have some idea of what you're putting that human being inside of you through at that point...the TORTURE, plain and simple. You might convince yourself in the earlier months that it's just a "fetus" and not a human being, but at the 5th month and on....go somewhere with that nonsense!

What I really want to talk about though, is this...The Accidental Child, if there is such a thing. On earth, yes...maybe. But, to God...their are NO ACCIDENTS...not PEOPLE accidents. If you're here, He meant for you to be here! But, I'm not going to preach to you, either. What I want to do is to encourage you to think about that child that you might consider an accident.

Mothers won't admit this, but they tend to treat these children just a little bit different than their other children (if they have other ones). Some parents are just downright abusive and cruel to these children; others just not very warm or tender to them...cool, distant. If you think these children aren't aware of how they're treated versus the other children, they are: They are very aware. And, they will become--in turn--one of two ways when they are adults: Either overly protective and giving, or very distant and aloof. The first one tends to over-compensate for what they lacked in life growing up, and the other will withdraw affection and become very selfish; possibly, even cruel and abusive to both their mate and their children.

Every child has the right to be loved: Every single one! I don't know what boils my blood more than to see someone harm, neglect, or mistreat (in any form or fashion) an innocent child who cannot fend for themselves; who's not strong enough to ward off an aggressor. And, it doesn't always have to be abuse. It can be something as simple as not assisting them with their homework, leaving them frustrated and feeling alone because no one will help them. Then, the next day in school, they don't really know what to tell the teacher when she asks why he or she doesn't have his or her homework, because children are afraid to tell on their parents, and will possibly get in trouble at home if they do. Which, of course, puts them between a rock and a hard place. Countless of children are in this predicament and, yet, the teachers act as if they don't know and blame the kids! Are you serious?

And, how about the kid that struggles so hard to get the grades on his own because the parent at home refuses to help (though he'd better not ever tell his teacher that!), and when he get an award, with all the parents taking turns going up and standing with their child; except, this one parent who decides all of a sudden, she doesn't feel like it, and the child is left standing alone! I call that passive-aggressive abuse! This child is left feeling alone and inadequate and is ALWAYS trying to win his/her parent's approval that he/she will NEVER receive!

Parents, children are fragile: We can make them or break them; mold them, shape them, and help them to be the best part of our society! But, it is up to us. We can't keep blaming them for things that are not their fault, no matter how painful that "thing" or "incident" was, even if they were a "part" of that "incident."

Can I be for real for a moment? If this is going to be the case, then give the child up for adoption so that a loving parent, someone who can't have a child but wants one, someone who's more than willing to love the one you don't want! Listen, if the child came about via rape, etc., no one is going to blame you for making an alternative choice. I'm simply saying: Don't give birth, keep the child, and then make him/her pay for what happened to you for the rest of his/her life. Do what's right for the both of you and just let him/her go!

LETTERS FROM HEAVEN is a book about an "accidental child" whose mother's love carried her through the many trials of life, long after her mother's death. It is a book that speaks to the heart of every mother who's given birth under questionable and difficult circumstances, but with a vision of triumph; to women (sisters, aunts, grandmother, etc.) who need a fresh perspective on how to love and live again--even on how to forgive; to teens searching for their identity only to find it where they began--at the heart of their family where it's always been; and to those (men and women, alike) seeking hope and faith in the midst of pain, trials, and unbelief...realizing that where there's hope, there's a future.

Though part of this title is The Accidental Child, I still stand firm that no child is truly an accident; maybe, in term of how he/she came to be in our society; but surely, not in the eyes of God. And, in all honesty, once the average mother sees that child (however the conception came about), it will not be that easy for her to let her child go, which is why most mothers in this situation chooses not to look at the child after birth. They know...they know the mother instincts are going to kick in, and they don't want that to happen, and chances are...once they see that baby, it's a done deal...baby is going home with mom.

If, by some strange chance, you're reading this and your child was conceived in a manner not of your choosing, consider the things I've said here: Children will love you with their lives; they just want to be loved back. They are innocent of any wrong doing; and if given a chance, they will more than make it up to you. Just open your heart...open your life...open your LOVE...AND LET IT FLOW! Love that little person with ALL your heart, with all your might, and with all your soul. I promise you...I PROMISE YOU, THAT LITTLE ONE WILL MATCH YOUR LOVE...

LOVE FOR LOVE!





Friday, October 12, 2012

The Writing Life...Slow, Tedious, But Worth It!

It's easy for people who don't write to question what takes a writer so long to complete a writing project. The process is different for each individual; for example, one writer may be a morning person versus an evening person. One writer may be more comfortable in a coffee shop type of environment, e.g. Starbucks versus another writer being more productive in his/her bedroom. Then one must consider whether a writer is single versus surrounded by family as well as young versus elderly. All of these elements come into play in the life of a writer and may very well affect his/her productivity. 
 
Now, let's skip to me. My project (Book) was completed (all 400+ pages) over 3 yrs ago, but because I'm a perfectionist, I insisted on a once-over (complete edit/rewrite) before publication, as I should have. People want a perfect product when they're paying their money, and they deserve no less than that! So, what happened, you're probably wondering? Life happened! 

The day I completed those 400+ pages, I was so elated I thought I was floating on a cloud! I just couldn't believe it! I had had so many interruptions--thought it would never be finished--and, yet, it was done! I couldn't contain my excitement! And, yes, I thought I could finally give myself a week or two off before starting to edit/rewrite; I mean, how long does it take to edit? A week or two at the most...or so I thought! I guess that cosmic joke was definitely on me!

As soon as I decided to get back to work, my daughter (next to the youngest) decided to drop her life into my life, and the rest is history as they say! It immediately became one thing after another until I became so frustrated I put my book aside and refused to do anything else on it! I didn't touch it again for over a year. And, believe it or not, as soon as I made this decision, no one needed me for anything else. But, this is the crazy thing: As soon as I put my sights back on the book (not having touched it for over a year), here come the "I need you to do" all over again. You may think I'm making this up, but this is the gospel truth. Go on and say it (God knows I've heard it enough times), these are just excuses to keep from finishing the book; well if they are excuses, they are true-event excuses, because these are the things that actually happens every single time I decide to finish my book. I declare it seems as though the universe is against me completing and getting it published. And, just for the record, I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced these types of situations in their course of writing/editing/rewriting? Please comment and let me know. I'd really like to see if I'm the only person this is happening to or if it's somewhat universal.
 
The other question that comes up from none writers is, Why did it take you so long to write your book in the first place? Again, different writers have, not only their own pace of writing, but the length of time it takes to complete a writing project also has to do with the type of writing project they're working on and how detailed and complex the information in it might me. Some authors have an enormous amount of research to do in order to complete their writing project; to include, traveling out of the country. Fortunately for me, my books (so far) doesn't require anything more than my fertile imagination.

I tend to say I can write a book with my eyes closed (not meaning to being cocky)--it's a gift God gave me, but He also gave me many other gifts as well, and when people discover you have gifts or talents of any kind, it makes them somewhat...let me say, dependent on you! You become their "go-to" person for everything, and if you dare say, "I can't, I'm busy," you become the bad person! People think since you're a writer and you work from home, you've got ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to do their bidding! So, while I'm trying to write my book (before it was finished), I'm also being bombarded with, "I need my taxes done," "Look, I need you to do my bankruptcy," or "Can you please do my divorce for me? I can't afford an attorney." And, the list goes on!

Now, that I'm finally in the editing/rewriting stage of my book, it's "I need help with my term-paper, I need a Resume, Can you look over these legal papers?...I need, I need, I NEED!" And, if I mention that I'm extremely busy trying to finish my editing, then I get attitude and will hear, "It's not like you're ever going to finish it, anyway!" But, if I point this out to the very people who keep asking what's taking me so long to edit/rewrite, they say I'm just making excuses! I simply can't win for losing! What they don't realize is I don't have "A" BOOK to finish, I have MANY BOOKS TO FINISH! But, I have to get the FIRST ONE OUT FIRST
 
Then, you have those who think they know the publishing "system" better than the writer do, so they throw hints of how it should be done! Bless their hearts!

So much time has now passed and not only am I not as young and strong and energetic as I used to be, but due to my disabilities (and the medications that I take for them), if I'm not in incredible pain, I'm tired and totally exhausted; yet, I press on because writing is what I LOVE doing!

Here's the real deal: Writers are people just like you. They have families, some of them have other jobs, they have joys, troubles, pains...just like everyone else. My favorite author, the now deceased V.C. Andrews, had crippling arthritis and was wheelchair bound, but between her pain and limitations, she wrote the most profound books... you couldn't put them down! And then there's Danielle Steele who is a phenomenal writer, but you have to wonder when does she have the time to write, between all of the children she's birthing and tending to! My point is, we're writer's, but we also have lives outside of writing, and when people are waiting for you to finish a project (especially family), they don't feel as if you should be doing anything outside of writing. But, if people would just step back and allow us to do what we do best--at our own pace--I promise, we would come through for you, and you wouldn't be disappointed. 
 
Put yourself in our place for just one moment...and you might understand what it's like to be a writer in any given day. I promise you, it's a job like no other...but, a worthy job. It takes us places we've never been, introduces us to people we've never met, and opens the world up to us in ways we could never have imagined...had we not created it.

We are CREATORS of PEOPLE, WORLDS, and UNIVERSES. We are the AUTHORS of LIFE, JOY, PAIN, and so many COMPLEXITIES. We are ARTISTS who PAINTS THE WORLD WITH WORDS and changes your perception of the world around you! We are YOUR EYES, EARS, and VOICE. And, we LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

The next time you pick up a book to read, think of what it took for the author to get those words on those pages--his/her life, pains, passions, joy, and life's interruptions--and just sit back and relax. Revel in every nuance of every word and just know...this book was written just for YOU!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

God Cares For YOU...

I've been on a Consecrated Fast all week for things I have before the Lord: I don't tend to share my personal business to this degree, but I'm sharing this because God reached out to me (via a complete stranger) to let me know He Heard me (which I already knew He had, but it's human nature to desire confirmations... 

I had appointments today and afterwards decided to grocery shop as church is tomorrow. Lo and behold, I failed to take pain medicine with me (which I never forget) and got caught out there. My pain level was off the charts and my perspiration matched it! I literally looked like I was being rained on. At this point, I'm scooting my legs along, versus making steps (which was way too painful). This lady, who I had seen near the frozen food about 25 min. prior, caught up with me--on the other side of the store--and told me the Lord told her to locate and give me a Message. She said she wasn't sure if I was even still in the store or if she'd remember what I looked like, but she found me and did recognize me.  I was sure the message was going to be something concerning my "health" as she had to have noticed I was in grave discomfort. This messenger fooled me, and I realized quickly, she REALLY WAS sent by God. The Message was: How very much God loves me (she emphasized this over and over again). NOTE: Accept God told her, this lady couldn't have known if I was saved or not as we had no prior conversation. She said God isn't through with me; she said I may think that He is, but He isn't. Not at all. She said, He still has work for me to do! She said, not to concern myself with what other people opinion of me is; Keep my eyes on God (which I do, Day and Night...when most people are sleep, actually). And, other things she said to me from God.

Since I gave my life to the Lord at 17, God has sent people to me from time to time just this way with various messages of encouragement throughout my life: Times when I felt like He had totally forgotten me! I haven't felt that way in years; More spiritually mature than that now, but there was a time! 


It could be tomorrow, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, before He sends someone else, but what I know and I know for sure, my Father is Dependable. I can ALWAYS DEPEND ON HIM! And, as my oldest son says, It's good to know that you're on God's Radar! 

People, be blessed and be encourage, for He has NO respect of person. He knows what plans He has for YOU as well! God once told me STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN (in His Voice), "There's NOTHING going on in your life that I'm not FULLY AWARE OF!" That was about 30 years ago, when I was putting some groceries away and wasn't thinking any spiritual thoughts whatsoever at the time. He just started talking to me, out of the blue. I've never forgotten it, or what He said. When things have gotten rough, I've always returned to what He said to me, and it's like someone throwing me a raft when I feel like I'm drowning! I've heard Him quite a few times since then (verbally), but that time is the most significant to me! Like I said, God has NO RESPECT OF PERSON! He's Thinking about YOU right now!

David says in the bible in the Psalms: Who am I that He is mindful of Me? God is ALWAYS thinking about YOU! Just thought you should know that. Be blessed!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

ABUSE by ANY OTHER NAME is still...ABUSE!

"I don't know why I acted that way! I just wanted my phone from him! I had been without one for so long and he was just jealous. I told him I wasn't talking to anybody but him, but he didn't believe me, so he slammed my arm against the wall. But, he wasn't trying to hurt me, he was just trying to break my phone, which he did! He wouldn't have really hurt me anyway; but no, I had to threaten him, telling him I'm going to tell my daddy. And, then, on top of that I hit him in his face for breaking my phone. I mean...that's what really made him so mad, that I hit him. And, I mean...he only pushed me. He didn't really mean to hurt me. It's my fault that I had those stupid heels on and twisted my ankle and hit the floor. He was trying to push me on the bed. He never even meant for me to hit the floor!"

This is a real conversation with a 17 year old pregnant female who was 6 or 7 months pregnant at the time this happened to her. Nothing I said could convince her that she had been and was still being abused by the young man who reportedly did these things to her. Her rationale was that "all the guys do it" and that "all the girls take it," and that it's not really abuse anyway as no one ends up with bruises (anyone can see), or broken bones, or bleeding. Not only was she very arrogant and cavalier with her statements, but they came with a lot of eye rolling and finger quotations. Her whole attitude about the whole thing was totally unbelievable, not to mention unacceptable.

I've worked in Social Work and Mental Health for many years and I've counseled a great many young and old women (abused and others); but I'd never run across anyone before in that state of absolute denial. Didn't say I've never experienced denial before, because I most certainly have. What I said was I've never experienced that level of pure, unabashed denial before: Ever! And such acceptance of it! Owning it like it belonged to her. Almost like it was a badge of honor or pride, that he chose her to beat up on.

I watched her mother sit inflamed with shame and disbelief at the naivete her daughter was showing for her situation, and the mother's fear for her daughter's life...and future! I'm usually quite good at talking to young folks, but there was no getting through to this one: Her mind was made up. And, in her mind, she had not--in any form or fashion--been abused.  And, did I mention that his intoxicated mother (the young man's) got in on the fight and punched her in her face, and she said it wasn't the lady's fault because "she was drunk."

If this is what young women are accepting from their young men this day and time, then I'm very afraid for their lives:  Any woman's life...young or old. If a man pushes, shooves, hits, slaps, drags, kicks, bites, punches, or anything else that you know to be aggressive, it it considered abusive. If he talks to you in a way that is a put-down, or always gruff, or always holloring in your face, etc.: That's abuse! And, if he does it ONE time, he will do it AGAIN! You can bank it!

And, watch out for the little playful, annoying "slaps"...if you tell him you don't like it and he keeps doing it, he's not playing...no matter how much he laughs and says so! Watch out for the guys who plays games with you (board, cards, etc.) who always has to win, and you keep letting him because you don't want him to get upset: That in itself is a red flag! And, don't let him get mad, because you decided for once that you were going to win (and did so), and he throws the cards on the floor or knocks over the board games or dominoes, etc.: If this happens, know that you have a problem on your hands!

Anybody you love more than yourself isn't worth loving! That person will drag you in the mud; suck the very life out of you; and leave you to die...what's left of you, and won't even look back when they walk away. And, believe me, they won't even walk away until there's nothing left of you! Not because that person loves you so much, but because they see you as there personal property and they're not going to allow anyone else to have you...plain and simple. And, while they're sucking the life out of you, they're enjoying themselves with someone fresh and full of life on the side, because they are not going to be without! You become trapped in a never-ending jail that you made long ago for yourself because you thought love was more important than your life!

Do you know what happens to people like this...who gives so much for nothing in return? They end up giving up all their dreams, they become allienated from their friends and families; they become depressed, listless, lifeless...riding on an emotional rollercoaster; some suicidal. And, even, the strongest among these will most likely end up living in a state of hopelessness, no longer caring for themselves, and barely able to care for the children they may have. Everybody suffers, everbody pays...except the perpetrator. If you can finally let him go, he simply goes on to do it to someone else...again and again and again.

Open your eyes and open them WIDE! If you have children, he's not just controling and hurting you, but everyone around you! That includes the children! Your parents who worries about you! Your brothers or uncles or cousins who could very well get hurt in the process of trying to protect you! Your children could get injured!

So, again, I say open your eyes and open them WIDE! Do you really think you have to Bleed or have visible Bruises or a Black Eye or a Swollen Lip or Broken Bones to consider it ABUSE?

I think YOU KNOW better than that! I think you know what ABUSE REALLY IS! Let's not play the I didn't really know it was abuse game, because the game you're playing may be the last game you ever get to play!

The fact is...Abuse by any other name is still...Abuse!

Friday, August 31, 2012

NO MORE RAIN by V.V. Taylor

"Striking blows where they may pierce..."
The torrents come in heavy blows
Dismissing the glow of shine so fierce,
Unrelenting to soften woes,
But, striking blows where they may pierce.

The heated night cries out for calm
Amidst the shadows running wane,
Releasing only scaling balm,
Lending horror to the pain.

Freedom stalled with each night's storm,
Passion forced on fragile flower;
Brightness dimmed by shadowed form...
Repressed by fear, raped by power.

Stones are cast where they may fall,
Rocks are scattered where none has lain;
Applaud for victory, be it small,
The sun bursts forth...there's no more rain!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Realizing Your Reality!

My 1st Reality!
How often in life have you been told, "You need to face reality!" or "You need a reality check!" How about this one: "You're not being realistic." Let's go a little deeper: How about this one, "Are you for real?" 

The root word for reality and realistic is real. When someone tells you your dreams or thoughts or opinions or ideas are not realistic, that person is telling you that they are not reality based or real. And, are these not the very words that people use when you say I'm going to be a singer, or I'm going to be a movie star, or I'm going to be a musician, or even a writer. People tend to try to discourage you by telling you that you need to try something a little more serious, or that you need to focus on something more realistic. In other words, stop reaching beyond yourself--stop reaching for the stars or the moon--and stay earthbound; reach for something more within your reach!

How often have we limited our children with this kind of talk; with this way of thinking? How often have we limited ourselves? And, why when the words reality or realistic are used, they're always used in the negative! Could this be why our children don't attempt to aspire for anything above teaching or nursing or truck driving, etc. Because we've clipped their wings and destroyed their dreams with our negative attitude and words?  It's like telling them their dreams are foolish and unreachable!

I was a Summer Youth Counselor many years ago with the S.T.O.P. Program and I began to help teens that would not be returning to school in the fall to find jobs. In assessing them, I asked them what would they like to be when they grew up. I got answers like truck drivers, nurses, teachers, etc. Some actually said they'd like to work on trash truck, etc. I asked them: Doesn't anybody want to be a Scientist or Doctor or Writer when you grow up? And, they told me that wasn't realistic. They said they could never be those things. They brought me to tears! Who stole these kids dreams? Because our realities comes from our dreams! In fact, our realities are our dreams grown up!

I've had many dreams and not all of them became realities, but many of them did. Because I believed in myself. My grandfather used to say, "Nessie, can do anything!" He said it so much that I began to believe him. I've had many successes in life because I believed I could! But, then I believe in miracles, too...so, the impossible has always been possible to me!

Not only can your child be anything they want to be, but so can YOU! If you're alive and breathing, there's a possibility! Believe that! Don't let anyone turn your reality into a negative: If you can dream it, you can be it or do it...or achieve it! Your reality is what you make it! Make it a possibility...make it take you places you've never been before! And, make it allow you to LIVE BIG!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Learning Curve...

Like I said before, there was a time if you were a writer you wrote your book and assisted in promoting it and prayed the sells hit the roof! Now, it's media and multimedia and blogging and youtube and book trailers (I've only known about them for a few months, believe it or not)...it's all so overwhelming! Writing...I can do that in my sleep! The greatest compliment I ever received (did I tell you this already?) is when I was accused (via my son's 4th grade teacher) of plagiarizing something I had helped him to write for a school project. Even when I gave in and told teacher that I helped him, she still insisted I had to have gotten it out of a book, and she was going to find the copy of the book I got it from to prove it! Needless to say, she never found that book! On one hand she was insulting my intelligence in insisting that I couldn't have written that well in the first place; on the other hand, it was a compliment because it was my very first hand at fiction. She had given the children a scenario whereas a young girl dressed in red (or was it white) was sitting at a bus stop (supposedly waiting for the bus) and the children (including my son) had to take it from there. This, of course, was a class assignment. It only had to be 2 to 3 pages long. Well, my son and I did it together: I asked him where was the girl going? Did she miss the bus? Was there a seat on the bus for her to sit down? Was the bus late? Did it come at all? The kind of questions that would get him thinking. And, the next thing you knew, we had a story! She gave him a B because she insisted he (even with my help) couldn't have made the story up! My point is, telling stories comes easy for me, but I didn't know it until that assignment. Until then, I had only written non-fiction; although, I loved reading fiction books.
       Finally, I've stepped out and am ready to do something with this fiction and the world has changed on me! I've been trying to edit for 3 months! Normally, that would have taken me 2 to 3 weeks, but having to stop and blog and stop and tweet and stop and add to Facebook and stop and respond to people writing me...by the time I finish all that, I'm exhausted and the editing gets an hour in and I'm calling it a day! My kids (who don't write and don't understand how it works now, either) are saying, Leave Twitter alone until you finish, but then you lose your following and have to start all over again. You ignore Facebook and in a few days they want to know...who are you?
       An assistant would solve that problem but who can afford one? Amanda Hocking, for sure. But, I'm not there, yet. Because I will hire one as soon as I am. I have 2 hands and 10 fingers...and I sure haven't learned how to type with my toes, yet!
       The thing is (truth time) people are hungry for interaction...any kind, any way they can get it. Parents ignore children, children are bored out of their minds...everyone is looking for that new wave of interaction, even if it's behind a keyboard. Words of encouragement. Words of kindness. A sort of media holding of the hands! We're human and we yearn for the human touch...even if it's behind the glare of a computer or smart phone screen!
       That's why I've named my Publishing Company, A Soft Place To Fall. I know it's a mouth full and not at all, a typical name, but it's what people need and it's what my books will offer when one reads them. Comfort, Hope, Care...Possibilities! And, no...it won't be all fun and games between the pages, but there will always be light at the end of the tunnel: There will always be a Soft Place To Fall.
       Yep, this great grandma has had to face and achieve a learning curving and I'm still going around that bend (sometimes a bit slow), but I've met a community of wonderful people that will help me to get where I'm going, just like I'll help the next person to get where they're going. If we all keep that shoulder strong and firm, we'll always BE that soft place to fall ON...or at least, to LEAN on. That's been my learning curve..realizing that in all this, I'm NOT alone! And, neither are you! So, come on...take my hand...Let's go around this next curve together!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Back...And I'm Proud!


Ok…giving up the blog didn’t work: It didn’t work for me and it didn’t work for you! I saw you looking every other day for some new information up here; only, to find the same old thing!  So, I apologize!  The truth is…I’m too old for all this stuff! Plain and simple! There was a time you wrote a book, advertised it, marketed it, toured with it, and if things went well, you sold a few!  Now, you have to Twitter…I mean, Tweet—See how old I am? My grandson laughs at me because I keep saying I’m “Twittering”—make a Facebook page for your family to take over…it’s a nightmare! When all I ever wanted to do in this life was write my books and hope you enjoyed them, and maybe meet you in the library or bookstore and talk with you about them over a cup of Ginger Tea or Capaccino…oh, those were the good old days! At any rate, I’m back and I’m not going anywhere: I Promise! I’ve got to find a way to make this work! So, here’s the plan. I’ll start putting more pics up here and stuff like that!  Maybe, write shorter posts more often…that should be doable!  And, so in catching up, I can assure you much has been going on here in Virginia, the most important being I just became a Great Grandmother! Yep...you heard me right! On Friday, July 27, 2012 (Yes, a lot of time has passed), we welcomed into our family JaCorey Pierre Parks, weighing in at 7lbs. 10oz. at 9:15 am. We were exhausted (I assisted in the all night labor), but he was worth it. So, here he is......



I will most definitely find a way to incorporate him into one of my next books; maybe, even one in this series...I'll see. I don't like to "stuff" them in, I like to put my grandchildren in where their fit feels natural. In case I haven't told you this before, I always put one or two of my grandchildren in each of my books (or rather, I use their names). I actually got this idea quite some years ago from a reknown author, Danielle Steele (who just happened to have been on The View just a few days ago). At any rate, he's here and I'm back! Thanks for being so patient and understanding. Now, back to editing for me! I've got a book to get ready for publishing! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letters From Heaven...little update...


It’s been a long weekend; the fun is over, and it’s time to buckle down and get back to work. Being the workaholic that I am, I hardly enjoyed my forced weekend off. You’re probably wondering how was it forced? First, there was a 70’s party on Saturday that I had to attend (my son-in-law’s BD); then, my oldest daughter decides she’s going to have a cookout the very next day (Sunday): No rest for the weary! Two days off that I desperately didn’t need, and couldn’t afford! So, here I am now playing catch-up; hope I actually get caught up!
On top of all that, I’m out the door this weekend; going out of town to my granddaughter’s H.S. Graduation (more time to be lost from editing)! Now, you see why it took me so many years to write this book in the first place? These life interruptions are constant and often.  And, I won’t even mention the phone! 
I hope everyone had a great holiday.  I will be keeping you update on what I’m doing and from where.  You can always follow my movements on Facebook and keep up with me on Twitter.  Until next time, Peace, Joy and Happiness!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Would YOU Do?...


Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  It’s not just little girls being snatched on their way to school anymore, or little boys being sweet-talked into an alley by an older boy; it’s far bigger, far more insidious than that! Our society is being raped on an inter-continental scale, far greater than our finite minds could even have imagined 15 or 20 years ago. We tend to speak of our ancestors turning over in their graves for some of the things we’ve imagined to do (and, indeed, DO), but we don’t have to go nearly that far back anymore. I can assure you, the turning over in the grave is now of massive proportion! What am I talking about? I’m talking about Human Trafficking across borders…from one country to another to another. Women, Men and CHILDREN who are stolen from their homes—their cities, their states, their COUNTRIES—to make a profit via sex (and in other cases, drugs) for men and women without hearts or souls! And, what really blows my mind (besides the sheer sickness and tragedy of it all), is that the people who do this sees themselves as normal family men and women trying to make a living. That’s what they call make money off of the backs of little girls and little boys! (Ok…I’ve got to move on to my point because I’m getting angry just writing this!). 
Letters From Heaven is a story born of tragedy, but steeped in love and triumph. The story is based around a little girl conceived by rape (and of another race), born into an aristocratic family, to a young mother who refused to give her up. Unfortunately, the mother will die a few years after giving birth; thus, leaving her daughter with an eclectic group of people that will do anything from showering her with love, treating her like she's invisible, to torturing her almost to death! 
This is the 1st in a series of 3 books with many colorful characters fighting their own demons their own way, but they all learn—ok, not all, there’s always one who just refuses to learn and will, eventually, pay the cost for not learning (oh, well)—and are better for it in the end. 
Oh, and the secrets! Everybody has a secret!  Good, juicy secrets! I mean…if Wendy Williams (How you duwin?) was reviewing and gossiping about “characters” instead of real people, these characters would be first in line…just saying.
Anyway, I did promise you the Prologue to my book a while back, so here it is.  Also, as we all know, rape is a very serious issue (and, not at all to be taken lightly), and because the main character in my book was conceived by raped, I will be donating a percentage (%) of my earnings via Letters From Heaven to The Polaris Project (www.polarisproject.org). Let’s do our part to help stop human trafficking: Lets do it NOW!


PROLOGUE

It was not my face that my mother saw on that unnaturally cold September day, but the face of a cruel and savage stranger.  It was the day that she gave birth to me, the day that she chose to keep me and see that face for the rest of her life. 
I will never know why she chose to make such an incredible sacrifice under the most deplorable of circumstances, but I would come to know that she lived with no regrets of it.  She would defend my very existence—time and again, declaring that I was but a delicate flower born from the twisted root of a poisonous plant, and would further argue that even some poisons are used in healing.  But her family would hear none of it and I was not to be accepted.  To them I was everything but a healing balm—my innocence lending them no comfort to my presence.  I was an abomination, plain and simple—a child born out of the malice of rape and rage; a mockery of decent, civilized folk.  And as my grandmother would so callously put it, “…not to mention, a horse of a different color!”
 But to my mother, I was beautiful.  I was the absolute sunshine of her life and she loved me more than anything.  She saw nothing different or lacking in me; all she saw was her precious baby girl who happened to have creamy caramel-colored skin,  and crinkly hair the color of gold.  As far as my mother was concerned, there was nothing more to see…and nothing more to be said of it. I was hers and she was mine, and the two of us would endure and conquer any and everything together…even until the day that death would come and do us part.
 Little did we know on that unnaturally cold September day that her death would soon eclipse my birth, and—little did we know—that from my unseemly beginnings to her fragile ending, a bond of love would be forged so powerful and so strong as to transcend the boundaries of life and death, to reach far into the distance of time and space…to live forever in the heart of a little girl.
This is my mother’s story, and these are my Letters from Heaven.
  
Now that you have read the the Prologue to my book, I want you to consider and write back to me your thoughts on this issue:  What would YOU do in a similar situation? 
I've been asked if the book is based on me or my life: No, it isn't.  But, as a writer we're taught to write what you know about.  Having worked in the fields of Social Work, Mental Health, Corrections, and as a Pastor, I've come across all type of people in all type of situations. I don't just write about what I know, I write about what touches me...what pulls at my heart strings.
Thanks for dropping by: Feel free to leave a comment, and don't forget to check out the Polaris Project @ www.polarisproject.org. A worthy project for a worthy cause!  And, in the meantime...Live...Laugh...Love!