Confessions of Faith: A Child, A Quarter and A Cheating Man

What does a child, a quarter and a cheating man have in common? No, this is not a riddle or a dirty joke. It’s something to think about.Quarter

Since this is my blog and I can do what I want, I’ve decided to start posting some of the random thoughts I have on a variety of subjects. They won’t always be pretty, but I promise they’ll be one hundred percent real. I’m all about encouragement and inspiration, so today I’d like to talk to women that have had the unfortunate experience of being cheated on and/or left by a man. As in played for a fool. As in dumped. I told you it wouldn’t be pretty. It happened to me. I also told you I’d keep it real.

Having lived through the betrayal of an unfaithful spouse, I can personally identify with the feelings of low self-worth that come along with it. I know what it’s like to question your value as a woman when you’ve given the most sacred and beloved parts of yourself to someone who essentially treated you like rubbish at a yard sale. More than the pain that comes with having your heart broken by a stab in the back, is the lingering doubt about what you have to offer long after the bleeding stops and the wounds heal.

It took me while, but I got over it and fell in love. With myself, that is. I had to treat myself with tenderness. I had to remember my own individual dreams and goals. I had to show myself that life does indeed go on. Somewhere in the process of nurturing me, I started to celebrate me as well. The two go hand in hand. My self-esteem increased and so did my standards. I surrounded myself with people who love and celebrate me.

Which leads me to the scenario I thought of as I ate lunch under the shade of an oak tree yesterday. If you give a young child a choice between a shiny new quarter and a crisp one hundred-dollar bill, the child will most likely choose the quarter every time. They see it as sparkling and holding weight. It glimmers and beckons to them. They have no idea that the one hundred-dollar bill is of far greater value. They’ll happily collect dozens of quarters and ignorantly shun the bill. Anyone observing would probably smile ruefully and shake their head.  After all, it’s just a child and he doesn’t know any better. What they wouldn’t do was get angry at the child or start questioning the value of the bill themselves.

The same is true of a good woman. She holds her value whether other’s recognize it or not. If a woman is the crisp one hundred-dollar bill and a cheating man is the child, why should she question her value simply because he didn’t see it? Why should she allow herself to become bitter and angry? For all intents and purposes he is just an ignorant child playing with quarters, unable to see that they are of little value. Distracted by pretty packaging without the desire or where with all to look deeper. And while he’s busy playing with quarters, a man will come along that knows the value of what the child overlooked. He’ll be a man that appreciates the finer things in life and fully understands the responsibilities that go along with having them.

Ladies if you’ve been overlooked by a child playing games with shiny things, don’t despair. You’re still worth being faithful to. You’re still desirable. You’re still valuable. You still matter.

XOXO,

Faith

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.—1 Cor. 13:11 NIV

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Bucket List–Writer Style

parees-bucket-list-2

You may remember the movie The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman from a few years ago. While it wasn’t my favorite movie, it did spark a trend: creating a list of things to do before you die. Having such a list is supposed to make you more aware of what really matters in life. Any item on the list can be as big or small as you like. It just needs to be something that you’ve always wanted to do and haven’t done yet.

I already know that writing is of paramount importance to me, so I thought: why not make a bucket list specifically for my writing goals? Without further adieu, here it is!

My Writing Bucket List

  • Become a published author (completed March 2014- Check it out here).
  • Write and publish my first novel (coming December 2014, yay!).
  • Write and publish a novel that sparks social reform and inspires conscious awareness.
  • Write and publish a novel based on the relationship between sisters and dedicate it to my sisters.
  • Write and publish a solo book of poetry and short stories.
  • Write and produce a stage play (kinda did this one already, but I was 13. I’d like to give it a shot as an adult).
  • Become an Amazon top 100 seller in my genre.
  • Either publish an article or be featured in Essence magazine.
  • Visit New York city, specifically Harlem (I consider New york the mecca of modern-day publishing, and Harlem because I’m nostalgic about the Harlem Renaissance, so that’s why it’s on my writing bucket list).
  • Attend a writer’s conference.
  • Attend a blogging conference.
  • Co-write a book with another author.
  • Mentor/Teach/Assist new authors once I’m an established author myself.
  • Plan and go on a nation wide book tour.
  • Attend a writer’s conference/event overseas.

There it is folks! I’m sure it will evolve.  I’ll add more items to the list as I grow and learn more as a writer. I hope you choose to make your own Writer’s Bucket List. If you do, share it in the comments below. If you have a blog, feel free to leave a link to your bucket list post below as well.

Happy Writing Y’all!

 

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Hook’em From the Get-go

money-43The other day I read an interesting post from one of my favorite author bloggers, Quanie Miller,  about the paramount importance of the first three chapters of your manuscript.  Check that post out here. She offers some great tips for making those first three chapters pop. You won’t be disappointed.

If you’ve been studying publishing for any amount of time, you already know why the first three chapters of any book are important. For one, it’s what you send to agents and publishing houses when querying your work. Two, it’s the standard amount of time you have to hook a reader. Three, it’s one more way for you to get paid as an independent author. If you have any interest in self-publishing, then that last one should have made your ears perk up.

Now that I have your attention, let me tell you how you can rake in the cash by simply having a great hook. As an author, if you enroll your book in Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) you’ll get royalties every time a reader makes it past 10 percent of your book! This means that if a reader borrows your book from the Kindle  Owners Lending Library, and they read about the first three chapters, you cash in. It’s a win-win situation.

I still need to explore KDP a little more to weigh in on the pros and cons (perhaps I’ll post about that another time), but for what it’s worth, I think it sounds like a great incentive for authors to allow their books to be a part of the KDP select  program. Some authors may turn their nose up, thinking that allowing their books in the KDP library might tap into their personal sales, but I think it provides awesome exposure. What are your thoughts?

For more information about KDP select click here

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Book Review: Invisible

 

Invisible

I’m pretty sure I’m a grown woman, but for some reason I keep accidentally requesting or downloading books in the young adult/teen category. I’m considering writing in that genre eventually, so maybe the Lord’s trying to tell me something. Anywho, I downloaded Invisible by Cecily Anne Paterson without realizing it was for teens, and since I have a personal policy to not return e-books, I went ahead and read it. Surprisingly, I enjoyed every bit of it! Here’s the description:

Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now.
When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she quickly finds herself involved in more than she can handle. Sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: help drama teacher Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a four week suspension.
It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play.
For a while it’s all good. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela quits the play and with only a week to go, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.
But then Shalini returns from her suspension. She’s out for payback, and she has just the ammunition she needs to force Jazmine to quit the play and go back to her old ways.
Will Jazmine be confident enough to stand up for herself against Shalini? Will Liam still like her if he finds out who she really is? And does she have the strength to face the truth about her father’s suicide?

It’s the classic girl has self-esteem problem, gets in with the wrong crowd, finds second chance through wise older mentor, awakens hidden talent, and transforms from the inside out story. It’s a tried and true formula for a successful tween book, but it’s the telling of the story that makes all the difference. Paterson has a knack for writing poetic prose in the believable voice of a teen girl who looks at the world from a unique perspective. I found myself rooting for Jazmine. I cared about what happened to her, and I wanted everything to work out for her in the end. So if you’re in the market for an inspirational read for yourself or your kid, I heartily recommend Invisible. Check it out here.

Have you ever been surprised by a book you didn’t think you would enjoy?