Code

This word conjures up several different meanings such as ‘code of conduct’ or the ‘code’ to a safe, but for this blog, I want to look at programming ‘code.’

Isn’t it amazing that by stringing together symbols, numbers, characters and letters, we can get beautiful images like these? They are so lifelike that you can almost hear the roar of the waterfall or feel the gentle touch of the butterfly lighting on your finger.

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It fascinates me!

In my new novel, When Two Worlds Collide, the protagonist, Jag Peters,  is a computer programmer. He spends his days writing code, but never unlocking the one leading to his own happiness.  He lives a settled life with few bumps in his road until he almost collides with Rena Jett and her candy-apple-red Harley. Rena carries deep scars from a lifetime of abuse and hides it behind a dark scowl and sharp tongue. It is a story about opposites with much to learn from each other and, of course, to fall in love with little hope of ever meshing their two worlds. Add in a paranormal aspect and it is shaping up to be a powerful story.

So, the next time you see a GIF like these, or play a computer game, think about the mile-long code it took to create it.

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Have you unlocked your own code to life? Have an AWESOME weekend!

 

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Made It Into the TOP 5!

What a pleasant surprise to find this video in my Inbox this morning from the Texas Association of Authors! 

I made it into the TOP FIVE Bestselling Authors list.

What is TxAuthors?

Very simply put, it is a non-profit organization created to assist Indie Authors in Texas with the marketing of their books and this is done in a variety of ways.

  • DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Texas
  • Texas Authors Institute of History (A museum dedicated to preserving Texas Literary History)
  • Lone Star Book Festival
  • Representation to the American Library Association as well as TLA
  • Website and Social Media support
  • A variety of Book Festivals held across the Lonestar state
  • Opportunity for readings in Libraries and Indie Book Stores
  • Writing Contests
  • Virtual Bookstore as well as a traveling Bookstore
  • Dedicated work with Texas Government officials for author recognition
  • BlogTalk Radio Shows

This is simply a brief list of ways that the Texas Association of Authors supports authors who live in the State of Texas, or as the founder of the organization says, whose heart is in Texas.

If you think this organization may be helpful to you, I invite you to take a look and decide for yourself.

In the meantime, I am ecstatic that I made the TOP FIVE list of Bestselling Authors in the organization!

 

#RRBC Writer’s Conference and Book Expo! Coming SOON!

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A Writers’ Conference like none other!  OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! Participate from the comfort of your own home. animated coffee

This is a virtual conference. Because the membership of Rave Reviews Book Club is international, this is a innovative solution to bring members together for a conference.

From Thursday, December 1st until Saturday, December 3rd, some of the greatest writers, authors and avid readers from around the world will gather online!

This conference will consist of three days of fellowship (Gathering), having fun (Enjoying) and becoming enlightened! (Learning!).

You’ll find newbie authors, seasoned authors, and readers of all stages and interests, in one arena, teaching, learning and growing.

What an amazing opportunity to be a part of an event such as this!

Rise by lifting others

Just like at any conference, we will have Author Booths, Vendor Booths and Workshops.

And there will be GIVEAWAYS!!

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To find out more about this virtual conference, click here!

To register, Click Here!

Workshop sessions include such topics as:

*Building Your Author Platform

*Why Your Brand is Important and Why Protecting It Is Even More Important

*Why You Should Never Refuse LIVE Media Interviews

*Blogging for Success

*Literary Lingo 101

*Marketing 101

*Indie vs Traditional: Which One Wins?

*Social Media Dos & Don’ts

*Editors: Sniffing Out The Right One

*Formatting Made Easy

*Your Best Self Promotion Tool…

*Writing In The Senior Season

*Writing the Perfect Book Review

*Book Blurbs Do’s & Don’ts

*Cover Design (FREE bonus session!)

So, as you can clearly see, there is literally something for everyone!

Don’t miss out on EARLY BIRD pricing!

If you are not yet a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I invite you to check it out.  See if it is a perfect fit for you and if so and you join, please tell them Jan Sikes sent you over! 

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#RRBC – WRITER RESPONSIBILITIES

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With the question posed, I had to give it some serious thought.

So, I decided to see what Webster had to say about the word “Responsible.”

“Answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control or management (often followed by to or for)”

Accountable for my own actions as a writer…

My first and foremost responsibility, as a writer, is to myself. As with any other facet of life,  honesty with, and respect for, myself is #1. My writing voice is unique. It is my responsibility to use that voice to tell a story.

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Secondly, my responsibility is to my story and characters. It is my job to get inside their heads and let them tell me what I need to know. If I don’t do this, then I am never going to bring my reader along for the ride. The words will fall flat on the pages.

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The third part of my responsibility as a writer is in supporting and uplifting others. We are all on this journey together. It isn’t a competition to see who gets to the top first.

Writers are as diverse as the stars in the heavens or snowflakes that drift to earth in winter.

Many times, a writer’s existence is rather lonely. Friends and family often cannot relate to the way we think of our characters as real people. We may be labeled as eccentric or obsessed.

We have a strong need to belong to a community who supports, promotes, encourages and lifts each other.

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For me, The Rave Reviews Book Club is that community. This is not the only organization I belong to or strongly believe in, but it is the most supportive of any I have found. I’ve never been part of any other group that will openly share my books…even create attractive graphic designs to hawk my stories.

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But, there’s a catch. Nothing in life is a free ride and as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, my responsibility is to support, promote and propel others.

Does this sound like something that you’ve been searching for as a writer?

Not only is this community made up of authors, but also readers, editors, book designers, bloggers, radio broadcasters, and publishers .

It is truly a WHOLE community of support.

I invite you to take a close look at The Rave Reviews Book Club and all that it embodies.

If you feel this is a good fit for you, join. But, don’t expect to sit back and do nothing. It is your responsibility to get involved, support others and enjoy the support you receive.

If you decide to join, please say I sent you.  – JAN SIKES, AUTHOR

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Help propel this title to #1 and WIN on 9-18-16!!

Order your copies of ETERNALLY at WAR on this date.  At least one!   So we can push EAW to #1 in sales for that day. If you do, send an email to Jeannette Vaughn to let me know!!!!  You will be entered to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards!     Use the link in the picture or click here:   http://amzn.to/2cTBpZA

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Sales go to support the Vietnam Veterans of America.  www.vva.org

Vietnam. A USMC A-4 Skyhawk pilot. PTSD. He survived Vietnam, but would he survive its aftermath? The experiences of combat produce different memories by those whom have served. Some return as warriors, seemingly unscathed. With others, their life is never the same. The horrors of each mission come back to haunt them for years. Ten years after returning from Vietnam as a two time decorated A-4 Skyhawk pilot, Captain Robert “Gene” Lathrop described war as hell. Flying the scooter as a part of VMA-311, he completed over 275 missions. His squadron completed 54,625 sorties dropping over 9 million tons of bombs. That record will never be broken. But the bomb damage assessment was steep for Captain Lathrop. The nightmares and emotional rage he experienced threatened to tear apart his family. To keep from unraveling, he sought a voice in the written word. This memoir serves as part of his mission to honor the men and women of the military. He believed veterans who return to peacetime should never feel eternally at war.

Thanks so much,  Jeanette Vaughan and Captain Robert “Gene” Lathrop, RIP

 

What the heck is it? #RRBC

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Just what is the Rave Reviews Book Club anyway?

The word that comes to mind immediately is Community.

Here is the definition of Community, according to Webster:

com·mu·ni·ty
kəˈmyo͞onədē/
noun
  1. 1.
    a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
    “Rhode Island’s Japanese community”
  2. 2.
    a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
    “the sense of community that organized religion can provide”

    So, based on the official definition, I would say that the Rave Reviews Book Club is a  Community of authors and readers, sharing fellowship and common attitudes, interest and goals. 

Having been a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club for two years, I can openly and honestly state that the members of this club adhere to the idea of supporting, uplifting and promoting each other.

Rise by lifting others

If you are of the mindset that being an author and selling your books is a competition, then the Rave Reviews Book Club is definitely not a good fit for you. If you understand the simple truth, that in supporting others, you are supported, then please, by all means, take a close look at this community.

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And, if you decide this is a community you’d like to be a part of, tell them Jan Sikes sent you!

#Musings from Don Ricardo

This blog came across my inbox recently from my friend, Richard J. Dobson, aka Don Ricardo and I felt his words were worth sharing.

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“It’s an old habit, this saving of clippings. I cut out a page of excerpts from commencement addresses that included this from Jessye Norman, opera singer, to graduates at Oberlin College, Ohio: “You see art brings us together as a family because it is an individual expression of universal human experience. It comes from that part of us that is without fear, prejudice, malice or any of the other things that we create in order to separate ourselves one form the other. Art makes each of us whole by insisting that we use all of our senses, our heads and our hearts, that we express with our bodies, our voices, our hands, as well as with our minds.”

I often find myself thinking about art and what it means, what it can do. What is an artist, anyway? For me at this point it’s a person who over a lifetime accumulates a body of creative work. Along the way he or she must gain enough support from the larger community to keep on creating. Success, while helpful, may not be required. Too much of it, and you’re prima donna bound, and risk trading your voice for that of a public persona.

Influence

People who write about art and artists look to trace influences. They want to know who it was that helped mold the artist, and thereby suggest a link to some known figure or movement. But when you’re young and starting a career, your greatest influence might be your old roommate, or an English professor who liked your early stories. Or a guitar picker only a handful of people ever heard of, like the reclusive country-bluesman John Grimaudo down in Rockport, Texas. Or Jack Saunders in Florida churning out a lifetime in prose he never sold; or Jason Eklund, street singer-roofer living out of his car and printing his hand-written manuscripts at the copy shop. These people, and others I could name, have probably influenced me as much as any better known artist.

Considering the economics, I’m still amazed that anyone would choose a life making music or writing books or painting. The answer to that one, of course, is the life chooses you. This opens up other questions about success, and what that might be. Artists are forgotten like everybody else. Only a tiny handful are remembered. Success might be nothing more than survival. I might have given a different answer thirty years ago.  Now I would say honoring your vision and your muse, carrying on, and doing your work. That’s your joy, and that might be what success really means. The hobbyists, the people who never had a vision, or didn’t really want it bad enough, tend to winnow out. What you’re left with is artists. Shorn of all the romance and bullshit, just people going about their work”.

If you like what Don Ricardo has to say, visit his website, take a look at the books and extensive catalog of music he has published.

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Barnes & Noble Adds Print Feature to Nook Press | Digital Book World

I think this is GREAT news and wanted to share. I have tried in the past to set up book events at Barnes & Noble and was unsuccessful because I was a self-published author. Looks like they are re-thinking that policy!

 

Barnes & Noble has launched a new self-publishing print platform called Nook Press, which allows authors to create print versions of ebooks that can be sold at B&N.

Source: Barnes & Noble Adds Print Feature to Nook Press | Digital Book World

Songwriter Extraordinaire, Richard Dobson

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Richard Dobson and Jan Sikes at the Llano Music Festival

How often does a person actually get to experience recognition for a lifetime of work while they are still here to enjoy it?

I’d say the answer to that is ‘not often.’

My friend, Richard Dobson, has literally spent an entire lifetime writing songs, poetry, books and other ramblings. Just recently, he was honored by having some of his work preserved in the Fondren Library at Rice University in Houston, Texas!

This man is most deserving of such a prestigious honor. Here is a link to the listing.

Richard Dobson Collection

He has a brand new CD out – Plenty Good People which is a music collaboration with the famed adventurer, treasure hunter, poet, novelist and songwriter, W.C. Jameson.

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If you are interested in any of Dobson’s music or books, visit his WEBSITE!

Follow Dobson on Facebook

But most importantly, treat yourself to the unique sound of Richard Dobson Music!

HOLIDAY TRAIN BOOK TRAILER BLOCK PARTY #RRBC!

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DAILY GIVEAWAYS:

Two (2) EBooks – HOME AT LAST

One (1) – Autographed copy of Home At Last along with a music CD (This giveaway only available in the US)

If you already have this book no worries. These will make GREAT Christmas Gifts!! 

Thank you SO much for visiting my blog today. I am thrilled to be a participant in the Rave Reviews Book Club Holiday Book Trailer Block Party which will run through the end of December 2015. I encourage you to support all of the authors who have posted their Book Trailers on this block party!! ‘Tis the season!

For my stop along this tour, I am giving away three awesome prizes any book lover or music lover will enjoy. If you’d like a chance of winning, please visit my book trailer (Link Below) and leave a comment to automatically be eligible for one of the daily prizes. While you there, a “Like”, Tweet or share would also be totally awesome! Now, check out the trailer and the story. Sit back and enjoy!

HOME AT LAST BOOK TRAILER 

WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED DAILY HERE!

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This is a story about a second chance at life, love and family – but not without struggles that would discourage even the most determined.

As always, thank you for your support and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Merry Christmas Book Lovers