Friday, February 24, 2012

Are you stuck in your comfort zone?

A Friend emailed this to me this morning. It says it was written by an anonymous author, but It fit's every one of us that have stepped out of our comfort zone and realized we were brave enough to try new things, learn new skills, and to have more confidence in ourselves.  For all of you and me!

The Comfort Zone
by Anonymous

I used to have a comfort zone
where I knew I couldn't fail,
The same four walls of busy work
were really more like a jail

I longed so much to do the things
I'd never done before,
But I stayed inside my comfort zone
and paced the same old floor

I said it didn't matter
that I wasn't doing much,
I said I didn't care for things
like diamonds or furs and such

I claimed to be so busy
with the things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for
something special of my own

I couldn't let my life go by
just watching others win,
I held my breath and stepped outside
to let the change begin

I took a step and with new strength
I'd never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone good bye
and closed and locked the door

If you are in a comfort zone
afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners
were at one time filled with doubt

A step or two and words of praise
can make your dreams come true
Greet your future with a smile,
success is there for you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet Sandi!

I have never been a fan of pitbulls and when my son took a picture of her with his phone and sent it to my phone...No it wasn't love at first site...It was, "Please tell me that's not a pitbull."

But Sandi is sweet, shy, and always smiling and has worked her way into my heart. My son will tell you that  she's a sissy. Since my son lives about 120 miles away, we try to get together at least once a month so she knows who we are and my little dog Duggy and her, simply adore each other. Sandi will be on the cover of my next book, (Tentatively titled "The Good Dr. Grant") and I know there will be lovers and haters, so I want to introduce her and let everyone get to know her before the book comes out. So here she is! Hi Sandi, grandma loves you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


My life used to be simple, well not really, but it was organized.
When I had my gift shop, I'd get up at 6 a.m. get on the computer,
check emails and catch up with friends and family on facebook,
 go open up the shop at 9 a.m. come home for lunch at noon and
 check in back in on the computer, back to work and
then check back in after dinner. Simple, right?
Well now that I am at home all the time and writing...
There are blogs to maintain, twitterers to tweet, websites, groups, profiles...
Well you get the idea. With Facebook and all the changes they have been making
I have a hard time trying to keep up with everyone, With family and friends and groups and pages liked and subscribed to, I'm just about at the 5,000 limit. 99 new notification notices every morning.
I do like the changes Twitter has made though, especially making it easy to keep up with
conversations without have to go back through 200 tweets just to find out why someone laughed at whatever you said...
How does everyone keep up with everything going on and not go completely insane! Much less have time to write and clean house? Yep, life was simpler when I ran my own business :-))

How's your platform holding up? Tweet, tweet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

I wasn't going to post today...

But... I'm so excited! I sold my first book today! I am doing back flips and cartwheels, and jumping for joy! Well not literary, not sure if I could do a backflip or even a cartwheel anymore.
I want to go shake my son awake and tell him, because he asks me every day, "So did you sell any yet?"
I was reading on another blog that you shouldn't say you self published your book, but I can't help it, "I am proud of me." I wrote it, went through all the... steps of publishing it and now have sold my first one!
No not rich yet, I made $1.70 but hey! I sold my first book. I sent out an email to all my family and friends telling them and gave them the link to get the e-book for free,  because I am having a giveaway on the 14th and 15th of February and I forgot to put a comment in the subject line of the email, so half of them probably deleted it without even reading it :-(  My old email address was hacked into last month and was spamming everyone in my address book and there was no comment in the subject line, so everyone is probably saying, "Karen's email has been hacked again and sending out spam. Delete." I know, I'm goofy, but to me it's exciting.
How did you feel when your first book sold?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm a Reader too!

I think this is going to be a continuation about my other posts on "Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing" I was also going to go off on a tangent about the economy but decided against it.
There are a great many self publishers out there, including myself now, but we need to remember that it's not always  about the money, but about keeping our readers happy and giving them quality books.
I love to read! And even though I'm a devoted Stephen King fan, I decided last year that I would support new authors by buying their books and reading them. But...
If I am going to spend money on a book,
 (which I rarely do,I normally tell everyone, I want this book or that book, for my birthday or Christmas, including the Stephen King ones.)
 I want the book to be worth the money I put out!
Since I am new to all the writing, self publishing thing, I have no right to hand out advice, but as a reader, now that's a different story...
I know you wrote the book, I know you want to get it out there and let others read it, but stop for a moment and read it yourself!
I know I am nit picky, but I don't want to spend money on a book and in the first chapter find 6 mistakes. I don't like to have to read a sentence over and over, trying to figure out what the writer is trying to say, because they have a word in there, that shouldn't even be in there.
I make the mistakes also when I write, hear becomes here, and know sometimes ends up as no, and my biggest mistake is HIS which always seems to be HI, I mean I will read back through mine and it will say "Hi green car was really blue" Huh? Yeah I do that all the time, but I am my biggest critic and will read back through what I wrote at least 10 times to make sure it makes sense and sometimes I will have someone else read through it too and that's all I'm asking. Before you upload it and hit publish, read through it and make sure it makes sense. As self publishers we don't have the luxury of agents and editors and proofreaders, so we need to do that ourselves or have a friend or family member do it.
Take pride in your work, make people want to buy more. Be your worst critic and your biggest fan!

You can find my other rants about self publishing vs. traditional publishing here; 
And here;

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Things Your Mother told You

My mom was a troubled soul. She had low self esteem, which caused depression, which eventually turned into alcoholism, because back when she was depressed, people told you, "Just get over it" there wasn't medications for depression then, they didn't send you off to counselors for being "sad", (which is how family and friends looked at it. No they said, here have a drink it will make you feel better). Depression had a stigma attached to it then and in some ways it still does. But through it all my mom was a kind, sweet, loving person for the most part and she taught me many things. My parents divorced when I was little and when my dad remarried, my stepmom wanted him to get custody of me, but my dad said little girls belong with their moms.
Thank you dad. To me, even though things weren't like they should be, I'm glad that he left me with her, I think it helped shape me into the person I am today.

Anyway my mom taught me to be patient. We would be standing in the line at grocery store if I moved up to close to the person in front of me she'd say,
 "Right now, it's their turn, don't crowd them, just be patient and your turn will come."
She taught me to never say anything bad about people. I can guess that most of you have heard,
"If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all" 
 "Treat everyone as you would like to be treated"
She also told me to never hate anyone, you might not like their ways, but you should never hate them.
My mom actually did have one person she hated, who it was, I don't recall, but every time that person came around she'd say,
 "I'm sorry Lord, please forgive me, I can't help it, but I just hate him/her."
See I can't even remember if it was a guy or girl. I also have one of those people that has been in my life, you know the ones, the one that makes you cringe, with just the mention of the name, the one that sets off red flag warnings to stay away, and makes your skin crawl. grrr...
Being raised by my mom taught me to be kind and helpful, to care about others and to be respectful of their feelings. My mom did quit drinking 2 years before she passed away, It was like getting her back. I miss you mom, you taught me well.

What are some of the things your mother taught you? Things that you will carry throughout your life and pass down to your children?

How Low Will you go?

Some of you might remember about a year ago, a story on facebook about this scam to sell more books.
A girl had someone else post for her that she had been in this terrible accident and that her little 5 year old brother had been killed and that she was in a coma. Someone else, a kindhearted soul, not knowing this to be a lie, created a fb prayer page for this girl and shared with everyone. I shared the page with my family and friends asking for their prayers and put the link to her page on my page. All book sales were to go towards her brother's funeral. Well luckily someone (A friend of hers) found out what she was doing and within  2 days it was all out in the open, it was just a ruse and the girl was banned from fb.

We as writers want our stories out there. We want people to buy our books, but...How low would you go to sell your books? Would you make up these horrible stories? I mean that is just shameful. How could you even think of something so horrible as that? That is something I would never wish on anyone, much less myself.

So how low would you go? Would you sell your soul to the devil?

Monday, February 6, 2012


I have blogged here on my blog about my son's leukemia 

And a guest post about my son's journey with Leukemia here on Brian's blog

Today I want to bring to your attention another writer whose son is in his own fight against leukemia.
And here is another blog where you can read about Joshua
If you would like to help you can go here...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Am I cheating?

This is my Tarot for today. Hi Karen! Here is your Daily Tarot Card for Sunday, February 5

"The World card suggests that my alter ego is The Conqueror, whose superpower lies in graduation to the next level. Today I am free. I have accomplished my mission and feel on top of the world. I will enjoy the experience to its fullest. I have come full circle on my path to success. My job is done, my dream fulfilled, and I have them eating out of my hands. Accept and embrace the journey taken. It has served great purpose in my growing wiser and stronger, and has provided a sense of relief in that now it's complete."

As some of you know, I self published my first book this past week. For me it was an experiment to see if I could do it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good story. A novelette though, not a novel. It is a classic traditional romance, like the ones I used to read all the time and Romance is what I write. And I am happy, but why do I feel like I've cut in the lunch line? There are so many great writers that are sitting waiting for a publisher to pick them up and here I cut in front of them and self publish, shouldn't I be waiting in the line behind them?
And I'm not picking on others that are self publishing, I have read books from a couple of self publishers and they are awesome. You wouldn't know they were self pubbed, unless they told you. Great stories, well written, awesome covers, and I support them 100%
I am working on another book, this time a novel, or so I hope, that I will self publish also, but I will continue querying my series to agents and publishers for the time being, so I don't feel like I'm cheating? No, I don't think that's the reason. I know everyone has their reasons for choosing self publishing over traditional and I believe that we all have to make the choice that works best for us, just like we do with all the choices we have  to make in our lives.
As for my Tarot, I can't agree with it totally because, I don't believe, "I have come full circle on my path to success. My job is done, my dream fulfilled, and I have them eating out of my hands." Nope don't agree at all,
I know that I still have a long way to go!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Testing The Waters

Instead of jumping in feet first and being in up to my neck,
I decided to just dip in my toes,
wanting to know if the water is warm and inviting,
or so cold that it makes me shudder.
Everything we do in life can be scary...From that first kiss, to saying "I Do"
Bringing a child into world. Loving and nurturing, praying they won't be led astray.
Writing and publishing a book is a lot like that.
From the moment we put that first word on the paper,
 we love and nurture our characters, our dialogue and our story line,
wanting it to grow, hoping it will head in the right direction, and not be led astray.
And then it's grown, matured, and ready to face the world on it's own, but wait, it still needs you!
There's still work to be done.
I wrote a novella to see what self publishing was about and how it works.
I went to createspace, and found I had to create an account, and then I had to have a book title, okay...
What I wanted to find out was about the formatting and was also curious about the cover creator and the options they had. I am still learning, but so far I am happy with my progress. Still trying to figure out the pricing, but right now the paperback is $3.99 and the e-book is $2.99 and if you are a Prime Member you can borrow it at no cost to you! Even if you don't have a kindle you can find the kindle app on Amazon here and it's free!
You can find "Kyle & Kelly, The Perfect Party Planner" on Amazon.
It is available in paperback and for your Kindle.

I think my toes are happy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

After You Die

M.G. Miller did a guest post on Debra's blog today

and it was very interesting. They were talking about reincarnation and his new book "Bayou Jesus"
Which you can find on Amazon here 

My thoughts on what happens after you die tend to go back and forth.
I believe the spirit leaves you on the third day, and yet when my brother passed away, I could swear I seen his spirit standing there with us as the paramedics put him on the gurney right there in my hallway before rolling him out.

I think my nephew is on to something when he told me that maybe what happens when you die is exactly what you believe.

If you believe that as soon as you stop breathing that the heavens open and welcome you, then that's how it is for you.
If you believe that you will lie in a sleep state in the ground until the second coming of Jesus, then that will be your fate.

And then there are the ones that believe that there is nothing after death.

We all have our own beliefs in what happens, and I tend to believe in reincarnation.

I picture a beautiful stairway leading to Heaven with each step representing a new life.
Standing at the bottom looking up at the illusion that the steps are getting smaller, but maybe it's not an illusion, but they are actually getting smaller. Each one representing a shorter and happier life, leading to the top and closer to Heaven.
The bottom step signifies that your are closer to the devil, which in turn would make that bottom step the longest and hardest to go through, but the next steps are shorter and become easier to maneuver as you go up.
People who have had near death experiences have often commented on a bright light and my explanation for that is the lights in the delivery room as you are being reborn. If you come back from the light, to me that signifies a stillbirth on the other side. And yes it is sad for the family at that point, but it means that that person has crossed their last step into Heaven.

Maybe my philosophy is flawed. Maybe you are asking why kids suffer pain and sickness only to live a short life, when their short life should be a better one. I can't answer these questions.
I just believe we have to go with our own faith and beliefs, and the hope that there is something good when we finally reach that last step.