Why Not Just Talk About It?

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Social media EXPLODES these days when something horrible happens. Whether it’s a school shooting, a sports controversy, a fallen religious leader, or celebrity divorce…the Twitter and Facebook culture warriors furiously pound on their keyboards and send their thoughts out to the world. Now, don’t assume I’m saying this is a bad thing. In many cases, it’s not. But in this day and age, we are sacrificing a LOT when we hide behind a keyboard instead of looking someone in the face and saying the same thing.

For example, would you look in the eye of the students in Parkland and tell them that stricter gun control laws wouldn’t have stopped the tragedy? Be honest. If the answer is yes, then HOW would you say it? Maybe that is how you should communicate it on social media.

Would you look President Trump in the eye and call him a pervert? If the answer is yes, HOW would you say it? That’s probably how you should communicate it on social media.

Would you look a pregnant teenager in the face and tell them they are going to hell for sleeping with their boyfriend? If yes…well, you get the point.

We won’t be taken seriously if all we do is shout “outrage!” at every. single. thing. Especially as a Christian, I must ask myself “How does this reflect on Jesus?” And even if you aren’t religious, the same thing applies. How will what you say reflect on your stance? On your personal beliefs? Will you want your kids, family, friends, etc to think of you as that type of person?

Better yet, have these types of conversations face to face. If you know me at all, you know that I don’t shy away from hard discussions. I’m always willing to go bat to bat with someone over a hot button issue. But I should care more about my relationship with them than I do my opinion. Why not just TALK about it instead of write about it?

Look, I get the irony of telling someone to talk about something as I write! But I hope my heart comes through. Enough writing. More talking. So get off your laptop, or your phone, and got sit down and have coffee with a friend. You might just learn something.

 

It’s That Time

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It’s a little strange saying this but…my book is now available in both E-book (also Kindle Unlimited) and print. Really? How is that possible? It’s a bit surreal, to be honest.

Something that only seemed a dim possibility, with months and months of hard work, has become reality. The dream that all writers have…you know the one. Publication. Holding your work in your hands. For indie authors, though, that is just the beginning. Now comes that hard part (at least for me.)

Marketing. Ugh. So with that being said, will you buy it? Write an honest review? Sign up for my email list? Maybe, with a little help from my friends (and readers!) I can hit the #1 spot. For the pre-order, I reached #43 in the Christian fantasy category, and somewhere in the 80’s and 70’s for two other categories. That being said, it’s loosely Christian fantasy, so anyone will enjoy it who enjoys good old epic fantasy. Or just a good story. So help a girl out. Thank you to everyone who has purchased it already. You’re the real heroes *fist bump*

Short Story Tuesday: 22 weeks

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The ground was slippery as I rushed into the building. The rains from the night before had finally abated, so at least my head was dry. The Catholics were praying at the corner of the street, holding their rosaries. At least there weren’t any of those crazy protestors this morning. I had called the clinic to ask if they would be. The women had assured me they only came two days a week, so I chose a day that they wouldn’t be there.

The baby kicked my ribs. I had just started feeling those little movements a few weeks ago. It always made me nauseous. It didn’t help, because my stomach was already in knots. I’d argued with my boyfriend for weeks about this. He wanted the baby. I didn’t. Yet there was something about the decision that seemed…off. If it was true that this procedure was no different than any other minor surgery, like a gallbladder removal, why did I feel the baby inside of me? I didn’t want to know the gender. Yet…why was there a gender? Boy or girl? No one ever asked if your appendix was a boy or a girl. Those had been my boyfriends arguments. And now, they resurfaced as I adjusted my coat in the waiting room.

The room was full already. The baby bumps were obvious, and the mothers kept their eyes down. I took it all in. Their scared faces. Their bored faces. Their faces that scrunched up as they patted their bellies, as if in pain or discomfort. Maybe their babies kicked them, too.

Baby. Babies. Why did I think of it like that? I edged toward the door. Maybe this had been a bad idea. It wasn’t like I was completely incapable of caring for another being. I’d been taking care of my drunk of a mom for years. Yet finally I was doing something for myself…going to school. And then I got impregnated by Cole. Jerk. Didn’t want to use protection. “Just once!” he had said.

I was almost out the door before I even realized it. The baby kicked again.

“Hello.” I jumped and turned to look out the door. A woman stood in the cold, breath visible in the air as she exhaled. “I’m a sidewalk counselor. I’m here to help. Please, don’t kill your baby. Have you thought about adoption instead?”

I hesitated. Yes, I had thought about it. But the process seemed so…daunting.

The baby kicked again. I stepped out towards the woman as she smiled gently at me. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll help you along the way.”

 

***

Within the last two weeks, Democrats have blocked legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. Whatever your thoughts on human life, the United States remains only one of seven countries that have not passed such laws. The other countries are Vietnam, China, North Korea, the Netherlands, Canada (most provinces don’t allow it after 12 weeks), and Singapore. 191 other nations have abortion restrictions for under 20 weeks. This story was inspired by Baby Rowan. Read his story here, if you dare.

Want to make a difference? Volunteer at your local pregnancy center, or stand on the front lines to help scared mothers. Can’t do either? Perhaps donate to a center, or support a full time abolitionist.

That Moment

Every author knows it. That moment when you know that what you have written, or are going to write, makes the hard work worth it. Sometimes I wonder if we, as a community, band together so easily because we’ve all experienced it. On some level. Whether it’s finishing a manuscript, writing that perfect dialogue exchange, getting that review, or interacting with that reader who loves what you do…that moment.

Remember it. Savor it. Then get back on the writing bandwagon, because there are a thousand reasons not to, but for every moment that pops up to counter those reasons…it makes it worth it.

So raise your glass (or mug…or tankard) and toast yourself, and me, and all those others out there who want their dream to be reality. And don’t stop.

***

My favorite is pointing out the talent when I come across it. Self-promotion is hard, but promoting others? I love it.

JE Purrazzi and her Malfunction universe…Infraction comes out soon! (e-book). Sign up for my email list to get it for free.

SM Holland and Get In My Head…Sara’s Story is now out in paperback. Her work is needed.

Bonnie Anderson and Always Look For the Magic. The story of her grandfather growing up during the Depression. I’m loving it, and how it takes me back to middle school and devouring every book I could on history.

Debi Walter runs The Romantic Vineyard, and is publishing Cherishing Us: 365 Tips for a Healthy Marriage (e-book and paperback). She also wrote a novel about her grandmother called Through the Eyes of Grace.

Short Story Tuesday: The Warlock Council

Below are the first 500 words from my book Rift in the Deep, available for e-book pre-order here. 

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Colin Redstone inched backwards over the smooth stone, the sound of his shuffling feet masked by the raucous shouts of the Warlock Council. How had it come to this? Yet he knew how, deep down inside. Briton the Brown made it clear as soon as he invaded the peace talks and demanded an audience with the Council.

Never had Colin seen such anger and animosity. Or fear. The Council shouted at the diminutive man in their midst. Briton’s flowing brown robes were the same hue as his skin and eyes. At first glance, nothing about him demanded attention. Colin knew who he was, but if he hadn’t, he would have thought he was a drake, wandering too far from his temple.

But he was no drake.

Hence the shouting and anger.

Colin stopped his slow escape from the Council chambers as one voice rose above them all, twisting his neck to observe the commotion.

“We demand you cease your perverted ways!” Spittle flew from High Councilor Radan’s mouth, specks glittering in the air. “You have embroiled all the Lands in your war, and have forced the warlocks into hiding, even from our own nations!”

“You cannot blame me for this.” In contrast to his small stature, Briton’s voice rang deep and commanding. Colin felt the impact, a burning desire to believe him burning in his chest. But no. Briton was a madman.

Colin paused and leaned in to hear what he had to say. The whole room stilled, silent. As if the other warlocks wanted to believe him, too. It wasn’t true, since Colin had many a discussion with the assembly about Briton, and the consensus was that he was a manipulator.

That must be part of Briton’s accessing power; the ability to turn men’s hearts to him. It was a dangerous, seductive thing. And probably part of the reason the Lands were now embroiled in war. Actually, not probably. Most certainly the reason.

“We most certainly can,” Councilmember Josiah said, his calm demeanor a direct contrast to Radan, who sat red-faced next to him. “This war must end, Briton. And you are the one who can end it.”

“Am I to blame that the common people are afraid of us?” Briton’s dark eyes swept the assembled warlocks, turning from the table where the Councilmembers sat to appraise the other warlocks present. The room was packed wall to wall, mostly standing room. Colin stood closest to the door. Wedged as he was, he had a good view of the men present, and their wide, inquiring eyes watching Briton the Brown’s every move.
No doubt, Briton would hold them in his grasp, only to wrench the rug out from under their feet in an instant. His silver tongue couldn’t talk its way out if this predicament. A shaft of fear, icy and cold, crept up Colin’s spine at the thought.
Briton had made his bed. Violence is never the answer. Surely he knew this.
All roads led to him. All Lands feared the warlocks because of him.

***

Want to know the rest of the story? You can, March 1st! And don’t forget to sign up for my email list and receive a free copy of Infraction by JE Purrazzi.

Rift in the Deep Cover Reveal

Thanks to the tireless work of Jill Purrazzi and Susie at Poole Publishing…the cover art and book design are DONE. Ready for publication on March 1, and pre-order on February 18th. I’m so excited!

Let me know what you think!

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