Friday, April 18, 2014

An "Action of Love" ...Not Really

I often wonder what travels through the minds of people.  I'm sure others wonder this about me as well.  It's human nature to be curious and to seek understanding.  I also wonder how it is that some people can so easily judge under the guise of "love."  How they can put so much time and effort into something that, when that time and effort is stripped away, is nothing more than a foundation of judgment, hidden in what is supposed to be seen as an action of love.  How is it that they believe it is their job or their right to take this action...even if it came from a place of love...Judgment rolled in love is still judgment.  Condemnation rolled in love is still condemning.

As I sip my coffee this morning and pray for a softer heart and understanding... the twinge in my gut and the nausea in my stomach is a sad confirmation of my initial reaction to this "act of love."  I pray for a way to define what I'm feeling so that I can dissect it, cut through the emotion and think rationally.  The word that keeps penetrating my thoughts is arrogance.

This "action of love" was dripping with arrogance and it sent a red flag soaring in my spirit.  Asking myself if I would ever do the same, the answer is a resounding no.  I wouldn't...but not because the thought behind it wasn't special...but because the river of arrogance carrying that thought is something to which I cannot relate.  I would never deem myself worthy enough to take this action.  I would never assume that I knew better than everyone else and that it was my duty to pass my knowledge, my perspective, my beliefs, my interpretations, and my outlooks onto them.  I would never assume that I knew more than anyone else.

How can an act of love send such a crushing blow?

Often times when judgment is dolled out under the pretense of love, we try to use that affection to justify the judgment; but it cannot.  There is no justification.  There is no blanket of love large enough to mask or hide the true spirit behind the action.

I don't sit here in anger this morning... I sit here in sadness.  Once more, arrogance has reared it's ugly head and taken out the feet of those it encountered.  Out of love, you say?

No.  Love waits and speaks when asked.  Love doesn't force or assume a position that is not theirs to assume.  Love doesn't push. Love doesn't drive a wedge.  "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy or boast and it is not proud."

Thought, time and effort can be beautiful actions of love but only when they are not dipped in utter arrogance, laced with condemnation and a raw, hurtful action of judgment.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Size DOES Matter

After taking my kids to school, I usually saunter back into the house, re-fill my cup of black coffee so it’s piping hot and sit down at my computer.  First, I check my personal email, then my author email and then I open Facebook.  I had just taken a sip of hot coffee when I opened my FB email and saw this picture with a notation that read, "My dick is hard."

I added the black rectangle over his face just so he might have a tiny hope of deniability.  I won’t tell you the fellow’s name, but I am certain that since he sent his naked, full frontal picture to me, a complete stranger, that he is quite comfortable with it being posted online. 

After regaining my composure from almost spewing coffee all over my computer screen, I sent the picture to my husband with a comedic notation.  Then, I stared at the picture for a moment and let the thoughts drift in and out of my mind.

Who DOES this?  That was my first thought.  I’m not judging, as I, in no way, have a conservative, innocent or even remotely demure history…and yet, I can honestly say that I have never photographed my genitalia and emailed it to anyone.  Interesting.

Why do this?  Certainly there is a reason…right?  I mean, when one sends a picture of one’s genitals to another person they are hoping for a response. 

Why choose me?  This is where the real analysis begins.  See, on my FB profile it clearly states that I am a married woman.  There’s a link to my husband’s FB page and a quick jaunt through any of my photos testifies to the fact that our marriage is currently intact, stable and happy.  So I have to ask myself, if you’re going to send a picture of your privates to a woman, wouldn’t you choose one that is single with a greater propensity to give you the response which you are seeking?  I clearly am not the wisest demographic choice.  Then again, my ego is not so inflated as to believe I was the only woman to be graced with the presence of his penis first thing this morning.  One must assume that this picture was sent to every female “friend” on his Facebook account, thereby rendering a verdict of desperation.  How desperate does someone have to be in order to take a picture of their genitals and email it to strangers?  Now I just feel sad for the guy.

What response did he want?  Here’s the big question.  There are limited options as to how this thing can play out.  I mean, he has to know this…right?  He’s obviously intelligent enough to work his camera phone, so one can assume he must have had some forethought as to what might happen:   A) He gets ignored.  B) He gets reported for spam.  C) He gets blocked.  D) I actually respond, telling him that he has the best penis I’ve ever seen, that I am drawn to his utter manliness and that I must meet him in person so we can titillate between the sheets.   Just so we’re clear, I opted for (C).   Though, I do wonder if he ever thought he might end up as the center of attention in someone’s blog?  Maybe this is the response he was seeking after all?

How confident do you have to be?  This is the part I truly do not understand and to which I cannot relate.  The human body is considered a work of art and can be deemed sexy at times.  That being said, with regards to 99.99999% of the population, nudity alone is not sexy.  The circumstances in which a person becomes nude can be sexy, their personality can add to the sexiness, and good lighting doesn’t hurt; but to watch a great percentage of human beings walk around naked is not arousing.  If you don’t believe me, go visit a nudist colony.  Years ago I visited one in Malibu and I can honestly attest to the fact that most of the people there had no business being naked in public.  I also walked on a nude beach in Mexico, thinking surely the nudists who take beach vacations will look better naked than most of the human race, but this was not the case.  So, how confident do you have to be to strip down, take a picture of your penis and email it to strangers?  More confident than even the nudists, who parade around with their dinghies flapping in the wind and soaking up the sun?  Wow.  I envy that level of confidence.

Which brings me to my final thought:  Know your competition.   Our world is saturated with pornography and whether you think it right or wrong doesn’t matter; it exists nonetheless.  So, if you’re going to send out pictures of your body parts, you might want to first analyze the competition and make certain your parts are up to par.  Otherwise, it’s just embarrassing.  I, personally, don’t enjoy pornographic movies.  They’re incredibly redundant.   I do, however, appreciate photographs that are professionally done and tactful, i.e. the beautiful model on the beach with the wind blowing her long hair backwards and her hands delicately covering her breasts, or the shape of her ass silhouetted against the sunset.  I’m not anti-nudity.  I just think there is a time and a place and if you’re going to get naked, by God, make it look as good as you can.  Sitting in an office chair, displaying a penis that is no bigger than my thumb isn’t probably your best look.

While we’re on the subject, let’s face another harsh reality.  Men, size DOES matter…especially in photographs.   We’ve all heard the old adage:  “It’s not the size of the train, it’s the power of the engine.”  That’s all fine and dandy if you can make that small train do mighty things in the bedroom.  But, trust me, refrain from taking pictures of your tiny Thomas, because women want to see you soft at heart, not below the waist.  ~


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Make Spring Break Suspenseful

The Candy Shop has been selling like crazy and I'm very excited!  Thank you to all of my readers and please remember to write a review and post it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or wherever you ordered your copy.

If you haven't read it yet, pick it up or download it today.  It's a great way to add a little suspense to your Spring Break!  :)

"One decision can change everything."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Excerpt from the Upcoming Sequel to House of Lies

An excerpt from the upcoming sequel to House of Lies…

     Tess depressed the button that made the back of her hospital bed sit up a little straighter and then narrowed her eyes at Shane.  “All you wanted to do was steal my joy.  I was happy until you started nosing around in my business!  What concern is it of yours anyway?”
     Shane swallowed hard because she didn’t want her answer to come from a place of anger, but from the love that she felt deep down.  “I want nothing more than your happiness and I’m sorry that you think I have somehow robbed you of joy.” 
     Rising from the bedside chair, Shane turned toward the door.  Maybe Braznovich was right.  Maybe it was time to give up the fight to save her sister.  No!  Not yet!  Her inner voice screamed and taking only two steps, she whirled back around to face Tess.  “It was my concern because I love you.  I looked into what you were so deeply into because I cared for your wellbeing.  I saw it destroying our family and your life and all I wanted you to do was open your eyes and see what was happening before it was too late.” 
     “You wouldn’t have been happy until I gave up everything that was important to me!”  Tess seethed.  “I’m not going to do that.  I’m never going to do that, no matter how horribly you persecute me!” 
     Shane fought the lump rising in her throat and tried to calmly continue.  She silently reminded herself that her sister was brainwashed and that the deception she had been living under would not be undone overnight. It was going to take time.  “I didn’t ask you to stop believing what you believe or even to stop doing what you do.  I only asked that you would take some time to study it from an objective perspective so that you would fully understand the hold that it had on you.  The hold it obviously still has on you.”
     “I don’t feel that God is telling me to study it,” Tess rebutted.
     Shane had heard this excuse one too many times and it grated her like nails on a chalkboard.  She stormed to the other side of the bed, pulled open the bedside table top drawer and took out the Gideon Bible.  Tossing the Bible unto Tess’s bed, Shane blurted, “Look up James 1:5.”
     “I don’t need to look it up.  I already know what it says,” Tess spat.  “‘If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach; and it will be given him.’” Tess gloated.  “I don’t lack wisdom.  You do.”
     Shane’s breath caught in her chest as a realization rushed over her.  She wasn’t talking to her sister.  Not really.  She was talking to the demonic, blinding stronghold that had taken over Tess.  She could see it in the hollow stare of her sister’s gaze.  Tess’s body was here but whoever or whatever was peering from behind her eyes was not Tess.
     Slowly backing toward the door, Shane fought to keep her composure. “Maybe you’re right.  Maybe I should go and ask God for more wisdom.”
     An evil smile spread across Tess’s face and sent a chill darting up the back of Shane’s neck, the same chill she had felt when she stood face-to-face with Maxwell Sagan.  ~

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lied, Defrauded & Falsified

I received tax information from my ex-publisher (Vanilla Heart Publishing) and couldn't help but laugh. Though she noted what she had paid me for 2013, what she failed to provide in this sloppily, hand-written W-2 form was any element of truth.  Book sales?  Not included.  Statements?  Not included.  Just a random number for a random payment that matched none of the numbers provided by any of the retailers in 2013. I wasn't surprised...for you see, had she claimed the correct number of book sales she would have had to admit to fraudulent activity and theft.

I wonder... what earnings is she claiming to the government?  It might be worth suggesting to the IRS that they audit Kimberlee Williams and Vanilla Heart Publishing, for I am merely one author in a line of many from which she has stolen money and, sadly from some,  is still stealing.  I just might take this up with my attorney and will certainly register another complaint with the State of Washington and the Better Business Bureau.

You see, for me, this was her last chance to rectify the wrongdoing.  Admitting she had stolen from me and taking steps toward restitution prior to sending out legally falsified W-2 documentation would have shown at least some form of remorse, be it small and pathetic.  But, that time limit has ceased and the hour of pursuing restitution is now upon us.

To the authors who are currently with Vanilla Heart Publishing, please be aware that Kimberlee Williams is lying to you.  She has the ability to print monthly reports of your book sales from Amazon.  Also, Amazon pays timely, VERY timely each month and so she should be able to pay you on time as well.  No excuse is viable.  EVERY excuse and play for your sympathy is a lie.  In addition, Smashwords pays every quarter in a timely manner.  They are never late and reports can be pulled at any time during the quarter where she can see book sales by title, type and distributor.  There is no reason you are not receiving statements and payments in a timely manner.  NO REASON!

Thankfully, for me, the Vanilla Heart nightmare is over.  I have moved on and found great success.  I wish that for every author.  If you are with a publisher that is robbing you blind and filling your head with excuses, break free and earn what you deserve from your work.  A legitimate publisher will not give excuses because in today's world of technology and minute-by-minute reporting there is no need for excuses.

You deserve to be treated with respect and honesty and publisher's like Vanilla Heart are nothing but wolves in sheep's clothing, preying on new and naive authors.  Open your eyes and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  ~

Monday, January 20, 2014

If it Scares You...

There are times when I am tempted to play it safe, take the path most traveled and lean toward the conservative side when writing; and then, I stand up at my desk, jump up and down three or four times and shake it off.  When I feel this stagnation coming on in life, I jump from a plane, skinny dip or do something else exhilarating to liven things up.

I try to make a conscious effort to live on the edge on paper and in life.  That doesn't mean live dangerously, but purposefully.  It doesn't mean to live carelessly, but care-freely.  I think it means to embrace every chance you're given and whenever you can, choose the path less traveled and leave a piece of yourself on the trail.  That is to say, pour a little bit of yourself onto the pages even if it's scary. 

Writing my novels has taken me into some dark places.  For the Just Call Me Angel series I studied the Mafia and for House of Lies I studied cult groups, past and current.  Writing The Candy Shop took me to a new precipice, as I studied the psychological profiles of serial killers.  It was uncomfortable and, at times, downright creepy.  I dove in nonetheless and I'm thankful I did.  The newly found knowledge I embraced added a depth to each story that otherwise would not exist.  It scared me, but the positive reviews have made those fearful moments worthwhile.  :) 

Trying something new or looking at something from a new perspective can cause trepidation.  Those feelings are normal.  If it scares you a little... you're on the right path.  ~

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sustainable Success

The easiest part of being a writer (at least for me) is the act or art of writing.  The hardest part is the marketing and promotional efforts.  When I have a writing day planned, I wake up excited; whereas, when I know the day holds nothing more than plowing through marketing strategies and delivering promos, I awaken less enthused.  This needs to change and is my first work-related New Year’s resolution.

Dive into marketing and promotion with a fresh feel, a new outlook and a positive attitude.

I won’t bore you with my other business resolutions… suffice to say, if I can tackle the first one I will be content. 

So, how does an author effectively market their work?  Ah, the age old question.  There are many of us out there who often feel as if we are spinning our wheels, but this isn’t happening only in the literary world.  It happens with everyone in every field.  We don’t see the results we want and we get tired.  We slow down.  We lose our mojo.  It’s natural… but, it is changeable.  Success can be sustainable. 

In this blog I’m only going to cover the first three steps:

First, start with a cup of coffee….okay, that’s a lie…you’re going to need a pot of coffee.  More importantly…start the day with prayer.  Thank God for all that you have, for every blessing in your life, and hand Him your hopes, dreams, aspirations and the desires of your heart.  Trust me, they are much safer in His hands than yours.

Second, write down every goal you want to accomplish.  Big or small, write down them all!  Now, tack those goals in a place where you will see them multiple times a day.  Print them small and tape them to the corner of your computer screen.  Place a copy in the bathroom, on the cover of your cell phone, etc.  Make your goals visible.

Third, make a to-do list.  Add to it every day and check off items every day.  This will keep you organized and help you not to feel overwhelmed.  There is a certain satisfaction that comes with checking off an item on your to-do list.  Feel the satisfaction.  Relish in it.  Reward yourself for it and then harness that sense of accomplishment and use it to tackle the next item.

I’ll say it again:  Success is sustainable.  The key is to take it step by step.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It doesn’t come in a whirlwind.  It arrives after years of hard work.  Dream big, work small… and your dreams will come true.  ~