Guess what Authors – Not everyone is going to love your book!

I heard you gasp. But I also saw you nodding your heads. We all know this, right?

We’ve all had it happen – that moment when a scathing review shows up. Famous mainstream authors like Tom Clancy and James Patterson get one-star reviews. Tom Clancy’s novel, The Stand has almost 5,000 reviews and yes, some of those are one-star ratings. That is proof that not everyone is going to like your book.

We spend days, weeks, months and sometimes years toiling over a story. Then with great enthusiasm we send it out into the world. I often compare it to giving birth. That baby is the most precious and wonderful thing to its mother. That baby is beautiful.

So, what do you think happens when someone comes along and says to that mother, “You have an ugly baby?” First off, the mother is going to feel protective, then secondly she is maybe going to feel a little hurt.

It’s the same way with our books. Our first reaction to criticism of our books is to defend and protect it. The second normal reaction is to feel hurt and maybe even a little beat down.

Sound familiar?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and while to most of us, it would seem mean or maybe even cruel to tell a mother her baby is ugly, it can represent that one person’s truth. And shouldn’t everyone stand in their truth? Maybe the baby is indeed ugly, and after all, don’t we promote freedom of speech?

Where is protocol for these situations? Or is there any?

A review with a low mark doesn’t bother me. I’ve given plenty of them. But when someone goes beyond leaving a review and chooses to trash our work publicly it changes the dynamics. And it is entirely up to us, as the creator of that work, how we respond. That is when it turns into the ugly baby scenario.

One thing I know for certain, is that you never engage in a debate about your work. You would be bringing yourself down to their level, opening yourself up to further criticism and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

In my opinion, the best option for any author in that situation is to take the high road. Look closely at the criticism. Maybe you can learn something from it. Maybe what you learn is that person simply doesn’t understand your story or doesn’t like your style of writing. Or maybe you learn that person, even though they don’t know you, don’t like you, or is jealous of you, and it has nothing to do with your writing. Or maybe they have a legitimate criticism about your writing but choose to express it in a harsh way. Whatever the answer is, the best solution for every author is to learn whatever lesson can be had and move on, always striving to be better and staying professional.

Remember when you put your work out to the world, you’re putting yourself out along with it, so developing a bit of thick skin might be helpful.

Don’t hold on to criticism. Don’t let it stop you from creating. Don’t let it destroy your confidence or your creativity.

We live in a society where many seem to believe that everyone who doesn’t think exactly like them is either ignorant and uninformed or plain stupid. The new normal is to discredit anyone who doesn’t see things your way. Please, never let yourself fall into that category. Everyone doesn’t read through the same eyes. Everyone doesn’t understand the same way you do. And everyone doesn’t have the same moral compass that you do. And none of that makes them wrong and you right or vice-versa.

Don’t stress over things you cannot change. Focus your precious energy on the things you CAN change!

Have you experienced the “you’ve got an ugly baby syndrome?” What did you do? Let’s learn from each other. This is a safe and open forum. Let’s talk!

#TuesdayRunes – Ansuz

Happy Tuesday, everyone and welcome to another journey through the runes! The next rune in The Elder Futhark script is Ansuz (ahn-sooze).

The keywords for this rune are communication, wisdom, divine power or a message.

The meaning of Ansuz is mouth and it is the rune of communication in all its forms, but chiefly verbal communications, whether it involves writing, speaking, or even singing. This sounds like the patron rune for authors!

When drawing this rune in a reading, it can indicate messages, advice, or new information may be coming from external sources, or you may need to pay closer attention to the messages coming from your higher self.

The rune also refers to wisdom and knowledge. On occasion, this rune appears to suggest an apprenticeship to a new trade or refers to an aspect of life or situation that you may never have encountered before. In this case, it is likely you will be helped and guided by a sympathetic and patient individual who is attentive and knowledgeable and from whom you will learn a great deal.

Chance encounters that lead to new connections, beginnings and opportunities may be possible when this rune shows up in a reading. Keep your eyes and ear open as you socialize with others, whether for business or pleasure. Because of the association between Ansuz and Odin (the father god) this rune can sometimes indicate advice or opportunity coming from an older wiser person.

Ansuz reminds us that the divine presence is always within and around us, no matter what difficulties we may be facing.

Ansuz is the rune associated with the birthdate between August 13th and August 29th. My birthdate is August 21st. So, I am absorbing all the information about this rune today!

Thank you for stopping by and as always, I hope you are enjoying our journey through the runes!

Monday #Meditation #Motivation #TarotReading

Happy Monday, everyone. I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to start another week. Today, I am sharing a short meditation from Jason Stephenson to help start your day in a positive way. Enjoy!

This mini-Tarot reading for the first week of March week starts off with two cards from the Major Arcana. The Chariot is all about willpower, determination, and strength. The Chariot calls on you to assert yourself and be courageous. I know for some, that comes easily. For me, asserting myself does not come easy, so I draw upon the strength of this card to help. It can also indicate travel, but with the pandemic still in full swing, not so sure that applies. The Temperance card reminds us of the importance of finding balance, practicing moderation, having patience, and keeping purpose firmly set in your heart. We round the week out with the Nine of Cups which symbolizes contentment, gratitude, and satisfaction. I can’t think of a better tone to start and end this week with.

Thank you for stopping by and engaging with Monday Meditation, Motivation and Mini-Tarot reading! I’d love to hear from you!

#SundaySpotlight – These Fine Moments @thesefinemoments @mcguckinpr

Ten years ago, singer-songwriters Hilary Kaufmann and Robert Watts walked out of Mark Hallman’s  Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas with the five-song EP These Fine Moments, named after a line in one of their songs.

Today, I am super excited to introduce this musical duo to you and let them tell you a bit of their story. Their music is fresh and creative and I haven’t found one song on their newly released album I didn’t like! Their harmony is perfection and the unique chord progressions kept me engaged! I think you’ll agree with me when you listen. But in the meantime, they have a story to share about how the Pandemic has affected their lives.

How has the pandemic affected us, both personally and as musicians?
As far as the toll on us personally, we had already quit our jobs prior to the pandemic to tour more. So when everything shut down and little was expected of us, we stayed up late, slept late, developed our culinary skills, and drank entirely too much wine and Mescal. 
Hilary re-read all of the Harry Potter Books, and I read biographies and watched documentaries. We found common ground by re-watching all of the Marvel movies, the old Star Trek, Picard, and the new Star Trek Discovery series.
But as the reality set in, we were left with a void, and asked ourselves “what are we going to do now?” 
So we opened up our garage doors and gave concerts for the neighbors, learned how to live-stream, and started recording the songs that are on our new self-titled record.
Hilary was eventually able to go back to work part-time, and now she is around other people a lot. But I’m still home all day, and it’s hard on me being by myself so much of the time.  I probably drive Hilary crazy when she is home since she’s the only one I have daily contact with. But if I’m driving her crazy, she hides it pretty well.
From a musician’s standpoint, we don’t know what’s going to be left when the pandemic plays out, or what is our role is going to be. We’ve spent years making contacts and cultivating relationships with clubs and venues around the country, and most of those are probably not coming back.
For now we’re just doing what we can, a little live-streaming and some zoom interviews to promote our record. Having more time on our hands has not automatically translated into more writing and rehearsing, so we really have to put forth an effort to be creative and to stay in shape mentally and physically.
Being musical partners and being in a relationship has actually helped us get through the pandemic and brought us closer together, I can’t imagine trying to keep a band together during these times.

**I think a lot of us can relate to Robert’s words**

And now, here’s a snippet from their new album. Please leave a comment and let them know if you enjoy it!

You can connect with Robert and Hilary here:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Spotify

YouTube

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Paranormal #Romance – Ghostly Interference: (White Rune Series Book 1) by Jan Sikes.

Amazing blogger and author, Sally Cronin, has posted her review of “Ghostly Interference!” Thank you SO much, Sally! I am doing a happy dance today!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Jan Sikesthree days ago Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series)

About the book

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow…

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WELCOME TO DAY 9 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @nonniejules @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Nonnie Jules, founder and president of RRBC and RWISA has some brutally honest words about giving and receiving today. Please stop by and read the full post, then choose a side.

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 9 and the conclusion of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules, who is also the Founder of RRBC &RWISA.  Take a peek at her writing below…

A LIFE ISN’T WORTH LIVING IF NOT IN SERVICE TO OTHERS

I’d like to begin by thanking two of my fellowRWISAAuthors who were also on this tour, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linnea Tanner, who both had the courage to write about, or reference the ills of our world, that many would like to keep deeply hidden.  I speak of hatred and systemic racism.  Again, thank you both for your courage to write with such substance and I hope that it is still resonating with all who read both of your pieces.  I am honored that your words are a continual ring…

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WELCOME TO DAY 8 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @KARENSSTORIES @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Karen Black is sharing some deeply insightful thoughts on Day 8 of the 2021 RWISA Revolution Blog Tour! She makes an apropos comparison of life to a dealer with a deck of cards. How did you handle the hand you were dealt in 2020? Hop on over and read the rest!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 8 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISAmember and the 2nd graduate ofRWISAUniversity,Author, Karen Black.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THOUGHTS ON TWO THOUSAND TWENTY

Who could have imagined the changes that last year brought to us all? Like so many, I’ve read more than one book that told a tale of life during a pandemic. Scary stuff to be sure, I never expected that fiction would describe so much of that which became reality.

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday celebration; the end of a chapter and the start of the next one. It is the time to get over mistakes, mishaps, or misfortune that might have littered the past year, and plan for a positive future, with fresh energy and new goals. On December 31, 2020…

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WELCOME TO DAY 7 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @PAT_GARCIA @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

I am so excited to share this author’s blog today! Please take the time to read her post. She has inspired me! AND, today is the release of her new short story, “Turn The Light on!” Congratulations to Pat!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 7 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Pat Garcia.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THE GOAL, THE PURPOSE, THE  CONTRIBUTION, AND COVID19

Among the books that I have placed in collection boxes on my iPad, Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes is sitting in my favorite collection box. I read it for the first time in the print version of my first year at University.  It impacted my belief system, turned my way of thinking upside down, and challenged me to get my act together and do what I had been called to do.

Later, the song  To Dream The Impossible Dream that is so widely well-known from the musical Man of La Mancha, based on the Don Quixote, had me believing that I could take my experiences…

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#TuesdayRunes – Thurisaz #Runes #RunicSymbols

Welcome back for another segment of exploring the magic of the runes!

The next symbol in The Elder Futhark script is Thurisaz (thoo-ree-sahz).

The keywords are: Protection, warning, contemplation, decisions and luck.

Thurisaz is mainly concerned with aspects of protection and resistance to danger and other unwanted circumstances. The shape of this runic symbol represents a thorn on a branch. It symbolizes the wisdom of choosing a defensive stance, rather than rushing to attack an adversary.

If you go into a challenging or potentially dangerous situation, you can surround yourself with a shield of protective energy, carry a talisman, and be extra mindful of your environment and your actions. Taking these measures is often enough to deter potential attackers from trying to harm or take advantage of you. Consider this rune as a stern but friendly warning to be alert to potential danger.

Another common interpretation of Thurisaz indicates you are facing an important decision requiring careful consideration. Be sure to evaluate every aspect of the situation before making your move. Don’t make your choice from a place of emotion. The ability to come from a rational place when making a decision that could significantly impact your life is another form of protection.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this close look at Thurisaz!

My very good friend, Kay, sent this to me, and I thought it would be fun to add to our exploration of The Runes. It is the first time I’ve seen runes associated to a birth date, much like birthstones. I don’t know if this contains any amount of accuracy, so adding it just for the fun of it.

WELCOME TO DAY 6 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @JANSIKES3 @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

I am up today on the RWISA Revolution Blog Tour! And, I’m sharing some blogging tips! I’ve made some fabulous friends around the globe through blogging. A BIG “Thank You” to everyone who follows me!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

Welcome to Day 6 of theRWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISAVice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

HOW BLOGGING KEEPS ME SANE

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize…

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