Enter to Win!

Unknown galaxies?Christmastime is the best time to send your child or grandchild on a great adventure through the universe in my new middle grade fantasy novel that will take them out of this world on a journey to another galaxy. Their journey will carry them to a dying planet in the Tri-fold Galaxy (more about this galaxy in my next book!). Can Kristian summon the courage to stop the entity lurking in the forest? Can he summon the faith to persevere before time runs out?

You can check out the book trailer on my website:  The Secret of the Golden Heart. Or, visit my Book Launch Party page at SCBWIparty. Sign up for my Book Giveaway under “Enter The Contest” that will be held tomorrow, Dec. 18th.

 

Advertisements

Book Launch Party Is Here!

christmas-1058667_1280

I’m officially launching my book today, December 1st, and I would love you to hop on over and check things HERE (http://www.scbwi.org/display-book-launch-party/?id=367073). It will take you directly to the site. The book is available in paperback and digital format.

Please sign the guest book while you’re there so I know you stopped by. I will be giving away a few free signed copies in the coming days. Just click on the “Enter the Contest” tab.

Thank you for joining me. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

God bless you all!

Debbie

 

Book Launch Party! Keep This Date Handy: December 1st–2015

balloons-25737_640

Celebrating!

I’m so happy to finally make this announcement just in time for Christmas!

I’d like to invite you to my Book Launch Party that will be held in a few short days. I will be releasing of my new middle grade fantasy novel The Secret of the Golden Heart, the first book in my Golden Heart Series. I know it’s a busy this time of year for everyone, but there’s no better time to buy a last-minute gift for a child.

Are you ready for a great children’s story that will transport your children, grandchildren, and children everywhere to a place that’s out of this world? Where adventure and mystery surrounds a boy after discovering he’s been chosen to fulfill his mother’s destiny? Where he discovers he must find the key that unlocks the only object that can save him, his family, and the others? This story is a fun adventure that will transport young readers to a faraway galaxy! 🙂

Here’s a brief excerpt:

The Secret of the Golden Heart

The Secret of the Golden Heart / http://www.debbie-erickson.com

Alon, the ancient oak—the forest’s primeval icon—loomed. Its dark, edgy streaks wound around its bare, twisted trunk, forming black-eyed knots that stared through the shadows with contempt. Its branches sprawled over the forest canopy like mummy fingers, but it was the huge black hole in its trunk that still stirred embers around his nerves, even after all these years.”

I will be giving away a few signed copies of my book. All you have to do is stop by the Book Launch Party on Tuesday, December 1, at your convenience, and sign up for the Contest. (you’ll find details in the Contest box). And while you’re there, please sign my guest book so I know you stopped by! I will be posting a link Tuesday a.m. that will transport you right to the Party site!

I pray that God will touch little hearts and minds in big ways and sprout the seeds of faith that will grow into mighty oaks. God is our refuge. God is our strength. He will not disappoint.

Thank you so much for your support and your encouragement as I begin this exciting chapter of my life. I hope to see you there!

 

 

sun-310144_1280

It’s a beautiful summer day and warm temperatures have revisited the midwest in November. I hope all of you are doing well.

I’d like to announce that the printed version of my book is shipping out today and should reach my doorstep, and my eyes for review on Friday, November 6th. Woo Hoo! Hopefully, I won’t find one mistake! The next step in the process is preparing it in digital form and then up on Amazon, which shouldn’t take too much longer. The announcement will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all who’ve wished me success, who’ve given me encouragement, and for those of you who’ve told me you can’t wait to read my first book, The Secret of the Golden Heart, in the “Golden Heart Series.” It’s been a journey, let me tell you, some ups and downs and bumps, but great fun. I hope all children, the young and the young-at-heart, enjoys the story. 🙂

There are some who’ve helped answer my many questions along the way, and I’m thankful for you (you know who you are), and I’m so grateful. You’ve been so nice and willing to take the time to offer advice. It lightened my load. I only hope I can pay if forward someday.

I’m humbled that I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends on FB and to meet new friends along the way.

I hope that children everywhere will find hope and blessings along their own journey as they travel through time and follow my characters to see how their journey ends.

A tease for my 2nd book in the series

(A tease for my 2nd book in the series)

To God be the glory.

I also have a picture book in the works for younger children that I hope to have up in the coming weeks.

Please sign up for updates either on this blog, or my website at www.debbie-erickson.com for further details.

Wishing you all great success and joy-filled days ahead.

 

 

Update On My Progress

stack-of-books-1001655_1280

I wanted to update you on the progress of my book. I’ve uploaded it to Createspace to get it ready for the printed copy. Then I’ll upload it to Draft2Digital for the digital copy so it’ll be ready for digital distributors. It’s a process, and I hope to have a future post on a step-by-step process of how to get you story published. It’s been difficult to know exactly what to do and when to do it because I’m a step-by-step person. I’ve asked lots of questions to those in the business and everyone has been helpful.

 

My book cover is done for those who haven’t seen it yet….

Space background of blue color

I’ve also created a book trailer that you can check out at www.debbie-erickson.com if you’d like. Just click, “Books”.

It’s been a lot of fun and so exciting to go through the process of self-publication. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have the freedom that comes with self-publication. Learning the process takes some patience but when you see everything come together it’s such a great feeling of accomplishment. And I’m getting to know some really neat people along the way.

For those who love to write, don’t give up. Keep going even if you have to tell yourself everyday not to give up.

I will post when the book is up on Amazon.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors whatever your dreams are.

~blessings

 

Traditional or Self Publishing…What I Chose

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

After a long time researching and contemplating between traditional publishing (finding an agent to represent me; sending queries, synopses, the first 10 or 20 pages to an agent, etc.) and self-publishing, I’ve decided to self-publish my middle grade fantasy novel, Secret of the Golden Heart, and I’m totally excited! Self-publishing comes with the freedom that you don’t have with traditional publishing. You’re in total control and that’s why I think self-publishing has become more popular and has grown tremendously in the past eight years.

I began this blog several years ago to route my journey of writing and publishing my first book as well as follow my main character on his journey. Going with the traditional route, you’re kind of limited to how much you can talk about your story in the public arena before publication. That’s why I’ve been hesitant to talk about my book or some of my characters because I never knew how much information I could give away.

It’s been a long journey, lots of ups and downs, discouragements and roadblocks that I’ve had to work through. Not to mention the pesky questions that made a nice, cozy bed for themselves in the corners of your mind: What are you doing? Do you really think you can pull this off? You’ll never finish this book so why not just give up, save yourself the grief, and go on with your merry life? And, I admit, I fell for it sometimes.

So, I put *threw* my writing life into a plastic bin–hundreds of notes and information–and sadly said, “I’m done. Writing fiction is too hard.” I shoved the bin beneath a desk and stared at it for about half an hour. I could finally see the top of my computer desk, note-free, clean and sparkly. Wasn’t that better? I sat . . . staring at the bin . . . thinking about the past several years and hours of hard work I’d put into the book.

I began my new-found freedom as a non-writer . . .

At least for a day or two. I inched myself back to my office and “piddled” while at the same time thinking, I’m not getting any younger. Time is a-wasting. *Blah, blah, blah.*

Well, forgive the cliché, but you can’t keep a good horse down. I thought about my future without writing. When you’re more unhappy not writing than you are by the discouragements that comes with writing, then it’s almost impossible to quit.

So . . . I didn’t . . . I couldn’t . . . quit.

Courtesy: Pixabay

Courtesy: Pixabay

I decided to take my journey to the next level and self-publish. There’s a lot to learn, I had to hire a professional editor, but I’m half way there, and I hope to pass along what I’ve learned so I can help make the process smoother for others who are thinking about self-publishing. Unfortunately, self-publishing means there is some cost, whereas, when you sign with an agent they take care of that. But being accepted by an agent means being a good fit on their list and whether they want to take a chance on a newbie author. This is time-consuming when searching for an agent. It can take up to two years to get your book published and this is after an agency has accepted you as their client. It’s hard for first-time authors, but surely not impossible. But agents aren’t so quick to take a chance on a new author. With this being said, it is a personal choice, and I know there are a lot of good agents out there waiting for a good story.

I’m relieved that I decided to self-publish. I’m looking forward to it. I’m meeting a lot of awesome people who’ve been there and done that and are willing to help. Now I can spend time doing what I really like to do: WRITE! I am hoping to have the book out soon and planning on it being a series of three.

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

What is the Secret of the Golden Heart?

 

Stay tuned to journey out of this world when twelve-year-old Kristian McNeal’s life turns upside down, and he’s swept from danger and taken to a place he never knew existed . . . until now. After arriving at his destination, he discovers that he has been chosen; now he’s bound to fulfill his mother’s destiny after stealing her golden heart heirloom for selfish motives. Now, it’s a race against time to find the key that unlocks the secret of the golden heart and save the dying planet of his heritage. Will he choose to follow that still, small voice, or go down an unknown path?

Author Interview – Is Independent Publishing Right For You?

Hi everyone! I am so happy to be able to post this interview!

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to independent publishing, and whether it might be a good fit for you? I asked Z.R. Southcombe to take us behind the scenes on her journey to Indie Publishing with her new eBook The Caretaker of Imagination and what’s involved in the process. It can be a little daunting.

Zee is from New Zealand, and here she is with a copy of a print book:              ZR Southcombe

One of my goals for this year was doing some author interviews. So,I chose my first interview to be with my friend, Z.R. Southcombe. A few weeks ago, I posted an interview with her that appeared on Inger D. Kenobi’s blog site.

This time, I wanted to interview Z.R myself to offer insight into the writing craft/marketing. So, here goes:

Hi Zee, I’m so happy you’ve joined us, and that you recently had a book launch for your second book, “The Caretaker of Imagination,” which is a delightful story about “John Carroll who is bored with his normal life, so he runs away with his faithful cat in search of adventure. When he meets a real-life pirate, John realizes there is much more to the world than he’d ever thought possible – magic is real, and in desperate need of a hero. John must convince the (once fearsome) Captain Simon Peabody to join him on a fantastic and perilous quest to find the only person who can save magic from being lost forever: the Caretaker of Imagination.”

First, can you tell us, Zee, how you plan your stories? Do you outline or write a summary and go from there? What is your process?

Zee:     At first, I tried to write [with] just a rough idea of the story (characters & setting, problem, solution). It didn’t go very well! So, I did a LOT of research into how to plan a narrative, and [how] I use a few different planners to make sure the story is rounded. Below is a really basic outline of what I do. Once I’ve set up all of these, I then do a chapter-by-chapter breakdown and use that to guide my draft.

 

how i plan

Debbie:   Since some may have little knowledge regarding Independent Publishing (Indie Publishing), would you mind explaining the step-by-step process you took with “The Caretaker of Imagination,” and how to get from point A to point B, etc.”

Zee:  Basically, independent publishing means that we don’t submit our manuscripts to an agent or publisher. Instead, we publish the book ourselves. This means we are in charge of printing the books, getting them up online, distribution, cover art, and all the other parts of the publishing process. It can feel daunting sometimes, and it’s a lot of responsibility, but ultimately means we have control over our own work. [Especially rights]

In the past, self-published books have had a bit of a stigma to them. As the industry grows, more information becomes available and we are all able to create books to a more professional standard. As far as a step-by-step process, I’d like to plug my friend Joy Findlay, who is a self-publishing master, and I used her experience and techie know-how to make sure I had everything covered.

  • Get the cover art done. My illustrator drew the image, and then my cover designer put it all together for me.
  • Write a blurb. I found this REALLY difficult, and most other writers seem to as well. Once I’d written it, I got feedback from a few people to tweak it into what it is now.
  • Research and find a printer (if you are doing print books. Many use CreateSpace, and even more don’t bother with print at all, preferring to focus on the digital market).
  • Set up an account with Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo and Smashwords to distribute your work online.
  • Contact bookstores, and set up direct sales on your website to sell print books.
  • Market, market, market!

Debbie:  I read in your acknowledgements in the back of your book that you had to be convinced to publish independently. What changed your mind to go the Indie route?

Zee:   Brownie points for reading my acknowledgments, Debbie! Really, it was down to a few key people who convinced me. They helped me question my purpose for writing, and my goals. I realized that the main reason I was looking for a publisher was for the prestige of having been published, and being on a bookstore’s shelf.

My purpose was – and is – to write stories that are true to myself, and empower young children. My goal is to make a career out of writing. With Indie publishing, I have control over what goes in my story, and what stays out. I can choose my illustrator and my cover art, and I have a much bigger chance of making a career through my work—as long as I apply a bit of business sense.

Debbie:   You had print books for your book launch. Tell us what the process is. And I read that you had a bit of difficulty concerning the deadline for the print books with getting them done before the launch. Can you tell us what happened?

 Zee:   Oh gosh yes, I was completely stressed out that week!  I had ordered proof copies of the book, which hadn’t turned up, and when we rang to enquire (my sister kindly stepped in for panic-control), they said the order hadn’t been put through! I was ready to have a no-books book launch.

But as they say, all things happen for a reason. I ended up getting a beautiful print book done right here in New Zealand (on the way to work, no less) and I’m glad to be able to support local business. The cost was a little bit higher, but I’m still making a profit and that’s the bottom line. We did have to make a change with our special hardcover edition, which has different cover art and a foreword from the illustrator, Jane Thorne. It’s now a limited edition.

I sell the print books through Pt Chev Bookshop, who are lovely booksellers that hosted my launch party, as well as direct through my website. I’ve made sales fairly consistently after the launch, largely from friends-of-friends. I manage payments and send the books out myself, currently as a sole trader business.

The process was to get the files print-ready, and I utilized Flying Kiwi Services for this. She did a fantastic job, and the books were okayed from the get-go. All I had to do was pay, and pick them up!

Debbie:  How did the launch go? What did you learn, and is there anything you’ll do differently next time?

Zee:  It went amazingly well. I was truly blown away. We had an actual crowd in the little bookstore, and there were a bunch of people milling outside as well. A lot went fantastically – there were plenty of cupcakes to go around (thanks to all my friends who baked for me), the kids LOVED the goody bags, and all in all people enjoyed themselves.

My next book launch will be in May (or early June) which is winter for us. I’m currently tossing ideas around in terms of what I’ll do differently – we need to organise a way to hold everyone in the shop, or move to a larger venue, and I’d like to have an online component as well, but need to work on the logistics of that. Also, as it will be colder, we’ll need a way to entice people out of their warm, cozy homes!

Debbie:   You’re working on your third book, “Lucy’s Story: The End of the World.” It’ll be out soon, and you’ve decided to publish it as an eBook again. What are the pros and cons, if any, to Indie Publishing?

Zee:   Honestly, I love it! I’ll start with the cons, cause that’s a smaller list: everything depends on you. That’s it. I have to manage my accounts & bookkeeping, and make sure everything that is supposed to happen, does actually happen. I also have to do my own print distribution, which is much harder as an indie author.

Some people say that marketing is a drawback in indie publishing as well, but no matter how you’re published, you need to market yourself. I’m thoroughly enjoying the process! Most of all, I like that I can ‘employ’ my friends – editing, graphic design, illustration, teacher resources and formatting are all done by friends (who also happen to be talented professionals!), and I can be creative as I like with my writing and marketing strategies without having to ask for permission.

Zee, thank you so much for your time. I’m sure many can learn from your experience. You can find a link to Zee’s website here if you wish to buy her book or learn more about her.

A few other websites you may find helpful:

The Book Designer

YouTube Video on Creating a book

I hope to have another interview in the near future from Heather McCorkle of McCorkle Creations.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderful day, and God bless!

 

 

 

Passion and Faith

bigstock.com

Courtesy: bigstock.com/Who can comprehend the mysteries of the universe but God alone?

While continuing my agent search for my MG fantasy, I’m in the process of learning how to create digital book covers to ePub some of my children’s stories. I’ve never pursued graphic design because writing became my dominant passion, but I like it.

My other passion other than writing is encouraging people. We’re never too old to accomplish our goals and dreams.

I’ve been thinking lately how passion and faith sort of go hand and hand. Our passion becomes a reality when we have faith to know that we can attain our goals. We cannot allow ourselves to be weighed down by the world’s cares; we must have faith to look beyond the obstacles to the path that lies beyond them.

20150319_124004

Courtesy: Me

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” ~Hebrews 12:1-2.

Since no one is perfect, (ugh) God’s grace helps us recognize our shortcomings in order to help us begin the process of peeling the layers, and eventually eliminating them from our lives. When we finally win the victory and lay them down, then the weight is lifted and we can move forward in freedom without the pesky weight that sometimes envelops us. But faith gives us the strength to keep moving.

How do we get more faith? First and foremost: “So then, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17

Believing in things that we can see isn’t really faith. Believing in things we can’t see is faith. Blind faith. For example, if we’ve never seen our mother or father, we know that they exist. Our sight doesn’t determine their existence. Our existence determines their existence because we are the product and proof of their existence since they are the only vehicle in which we come into the world. So even if we never saw our mother or father, we’d still know they exist/ed. This is faith.

“Jesus said unto him, ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'”

Is it easy to believe in things we can’t see? No. But faith sprouts and grows through God’s word and eventually makes it into our hearts. This is what keeps passion alive. What do you think about faith?

20150319_124241

Courtesy: Me

May you continue to follow your dreams, your desires, and your passion. I wish you all the very best on your road through life. If there is anything I am able to do for you, let me know. We’re all in this together!

~blessings

Interview With Children’s Author, Z.R. Southcombe

Hello everyone! I’ve had the pleasure to become acquainted with Z.R. Southcombe, a children’s adventure and fantasy author from New Zealand. She has such a helping attitude toward others. I think you’ll find her delightful and interesting. She believes “We’re all in this together,” and so do I. 🙂

You can find her delightful first book What Stars Are Made Of on Amazon, which tells a story through pictures. 

Z.R.’s new book is The Caretaker of Imagination:  GetAttachment (1)

The following is the original interview Z.R. gave to Mrs. Inger D. Kenobi, and I’d like to share it.

And now, without further ado .  .  . ahem . . . (drum roll, please) Z.R. Southcombe:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in India and raised in New Zealand, Z.R. Southcombe is the author of the GetAttachmentpicture bookWhat Stars Are Made Of. She is also an accomplished illustrator, a teacher, and a passionate promoter of  the New Zealand arts scene. In preparation for the launch of her new children’s book, The Caretaker of Imagination, Zee Southcombe is busy getting ready for a local book signing event, and also touring the web promoting the book and talking about her life as a writer.  Please give her a warm welcome!

Hi Zee, and welcome to this blog interview. Tell us, what inspired you to write for children?

Books were what inspired me most as a child. Stories like The Chronicles of Narnia, Matilda, and Watership Down made me feel empowered and important – I want my stories to do the same for other children. In fact, after I write a story or create a painting, I have three criteria that tell me whether it’s good enough:

-Does it empower?

-Is it true to myself?

-Am I proud of it?

Did you have a specific person in mind when writing this book?

Yes – I wrote something that I would have loved as a child. It’s for two groups of people, really. Firstly for children who read a lot and want something a little bit different, and secondly for older people who like those old children’s stories as a read-aloud for their own children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, or students.

Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

Planning takes a long time. I’ve come to realise that I need a strong plan – even though it is likely to change. What’s interesting is that the start and end tend to stay the same, but the bits in the middle move around.

The drafting process is my favourite, and once I get stuck into a draft I’ll write every day. Editing is a pain for me, but I’m getting better! I send it off for a manuscript assessment from Jeni Chappelle first (who is amazing!), work on those revisions, and then send it off to my betas.

That version is the manuscript that my illustrator, Jane Thorne, gets as well. Jane’s been a friend of mine for years – I think we met about seven years ago, and I really look up to her as an artist. One reason I’m really glad I’ve published independently is that I get to choose my illustrator. Her work is perfect for my stories.

As an educator, what is your take on the importance of books and reading in a young person’s life?

Many reasons! The most obvious is the academic benefit. In western education, much is based on the English language – including maths and science. Essay writing is particularly prominent, and we know that we learn from good examples. How can a student possibly write an insightful, balanced, well-written essay if they don’t know what that looks like?

Empathy is built through reading as well, and for me this is the most important benefit for young people. Even if we read characters similar to ourselves, we are thrown into the mind  of a different person, and it’s probably the closest we can get to actually seeing life through a different set of eyes. It’s certainly helped me understand people from different walks of life.

Empowerment is another biggie. I know I talked about this in the first question, but the very structure of narrative means that we’re reading about a character who has a massive problem, somehow overcomes it, and comes out better off. Reading stories help us solve our own problems.

I know that some children just don’t like reading, and I truly think that the main reason they don’t read is because they find it difficult and / or boring. It comes down to finding books that are at the right level for you, and about something you’re actually interested in.

Which one of the characters in this book do you most identify with?

Hmm… either John, or Theo. John is one side of me – the side that a lot of grown-ups have, where we watch children playing and want that innocence, naivety and wonder back again, if just for a moment. I don’t actually want to be a child again, but I don’t want to stop seeing the world as a magical, wondrous place.

And as for Theo, I’m pretty sure I was a cat in my previous life. In fact, one of my friends bought me a cat charm for my bracelet, because ‘if was I was any animal, I’d be a cat’.

Some of the most important characters in this book are animals. Why is that?

You know what? I’ve never thought about that before! It’s probably a sneaky influence from C.S. Lewis and A.A. Milne. Perhaps Wind in the Willows as well. I like the idea of animals and humans living in harmony with another – to a point – rather than us feeling like we’re ‘above’ the natural world. Newsflash: we’re a part of it.

Have you ever met a real pirate?

Nope, but my favourite real pirate is Captain Bartholomew Roberts (also known as ‘Black Bart’) because his beverage of choice was tea! In The Caretaker of Imagination, the pirate Simon Peabody names his ship after Black Bart’s ship: the Royal Fortune.

Did your parents, or other relatives, read to you growing up?

I’m pretty sure they did, when I was very young, and my granddad (we called him Pa, and the chimp, Cuthbert, is named after him) would read with me. He taught me to play cards, and chess as well. I hooked into reading quickly though, so I often read to myself.

 What children’s author do you admire the most, and why?

Roald Dahl, because his stories are so crazy, and yet they work. He has a way of truly seeing the world from a child’s point of view, which I admire.  

What advice do you have for other authors who wish to publish independently?

Tell people what you’re doing and find people who support you. I’ve been blown away with the support I’ve received from friends – even from acquaintances – who are as excited about my book as I am!

Make writer friends, as well. Partly for exchanging advice and services, like beta reading (no matter how far down the ladder you are, you do have valuable knowledge and experience), and partly for the ‘we’re all in this together’ feeling. There is no reason you should be on your own as a writer, and fellow writers go through similar ups and downs to you. Youneed this.

Do you have any upcoming projects you want to share with us?

Well, the next story in this series (though it’s a standalone as well) is Lucy’s Story: The End of the World, which is set in space, and with my illustrator at the moment.

I’m currently doing an illustration job for a picture book called Animal Heaven by Anne Vankrovich, and working on the draft for the third book in this series, of which the working title is Beyond the End of the World. It also has pirates and cupcakes.

Where can people buy your new book, The Caretaker of Imagination?

It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and Kobo, and you can buy the print book from the Pt Chev Bookshop, where I’ll be having my book launch. For all other information, go to www.zrsouthcombe.com.

images (2)Having already read the book, I can’t recommend it strongly enough. If you have young children, or if you love a good story, this book will not disappoint. Here is a short synopsis, just to get you going. Happy reading, and congratulations to Zee Southcombe for publishing this wonderful book.

 GetAttachment (1)Bored with his normal life, John Carroll runs away with his faithful cat in search of adventure. When he meets a real-life pirate, John realizes there is much more to the world than he’d ever thought possible – that magic is real, and in desperate need of a hero. John must convince the (once fearsome) Captain Simon Peabody to join him on a fantastic and perilous quest to find the only person who can save magic from being lost forever: the Caretaker of Imagination.

 

Thirteen Things that Mentally Strong People Do Not Do

Portrait Of Confused Girl Holding Two Books

I wanted to share some things for those who sometimes trod into Slumps-ville. I go through slumps, too, as a writer. Highs. Lows. Ups. Downs. Discouragement nags at us, and if we’re not on our guard, it could very well swallow us. It’s okay for a while as long as we get back up.

Writing fiction involves character development, writing great settings and having a good plot, and it’s having a satisfying ending that wraps the story up. Selling it involves perseverance.

We can all use a mental boost once in a while. I’d like to share ten things that radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, believes what it takes to have a mentally strong attitude. Some either love Mr. Limbaugh or hate him, but if you put him aside, his ten traits have some meaningful life lessons. His statements are in red, mine are in black:

  1. They don’t give away their power–they avoid giving people power to offend them. People will always offend us. Let’s not let it bother us, rather, allow them the freedom to speak their mind.
  2. They don’t worry about what others think. I’d only like to add, we should always strive to set good examples.
  3. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They take responsibility for their actions and accept the fact that life isn’t fair. They quickly learn that no one is responsible for their lives but they, themselves.
  4. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control. They can discern when there are things that are out of their control. 
  5. They don’t worry about pleasing others. Other people’s happiness and contentment is not our job or responsibility, however, we try to make peace to the best of our ability.
  6. They aren’t fearful. They aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe even if it means they are the only ones standing.
  7. They don’t dwell on the past. This one here is actually found in the Bible: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). What this means, is that we can’t keep looking back and expect to be productive as we move forward. We must stay focused on the road ahead. 
  8. They don’t make the same mistake twice. They learn from their mistakes.
  9. They don’t resent other people’s success. They cheer another’s success and give others encouragement.
  10. They don’t give up after a failure. 😉 They may fail time and again, but the secret is getting back up.
  11. They don’t fear time alone. They treasure peace. They draw strength and become refreshed when they take time to be alone. Peace of Mind wooden sign on a beautiful day
  12. They don’t think the world owes them anything. They work hard toward their goals and take pride in their accomplishments. 
  13. They don’t expect immediate results. This is a tough one, and I’d like to expand on this point. I’ve been guilty of this vital mistake. Things worth having are worth working hard toward and waiting on. I also must say, this comes from the Bible, too: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” ~Palms 27:14

We are all called to pursue our interests. We must seek what it is we’re good at, and what our passion is. Then, take one step at a time to work toward that goal. Most of the time the road is long and dusty. It isn’t easy, but the winding path will lead you to the right place if you follow your heart to the end.

Autumn Girl enjoying nature on the field. Beauty Girl Outdoors r

~blessings

Debbie

http://www.debbie-erickson.com