Discovery – Poetry and Art

It’s been a while since I did any self-promotion. I do love supporting other authors and music artists. It makes me happy when I can help spread the word about the work of another.

But, today, I want to talk about a book that I am probably the proudest of, out of all of my babies, and that is the poetry and art book, DISCOVERY.

You may have noticed the author names include Rick Sikes. In truth, the only reason I included my name as an author, was so I could legally publish the book since Rick is deceased. And, I do write poetry, so I included some of my work in the back.

Several things about this book set it apart from other poetry and art books. Firstly, Rick wrote this book in its entirety while he was incarcerated in Leavenworth Prison. Secondly, he created all the artwork that is included in the book including the cover.

He’d always had artistic talent, but until he was locked behind bars, he didn’t discover it fully. The artwork represented here is what we referred to as ‘pen-and-ink’ drawings, but the correct name is Pointillism. The drawings are made up of millions of tiny dots. I loved to watch over his shoulder, after he came home, while he created a new piece. But, all the drawings in Discovery except for one of Willie Nelson were created while he was in prison.


The original title Rick gave the poetry book was “Etchings In Stone.” But, since we released a music CD with that title, I needed to find something different.

You can see all of Rick’s music on my webpage

The first poem in the book is entitled, “Discovery,” and it tells of a turning point in Rick’s life when he decided to be, think and do only positive things in a negative situation. It was a resolve that served him well the rest of his life.

You’ll find everything from raw bleeding hurt and emotion, to off-the-cuff silly poetry, to strong political statements included in this book. It is a true baring of the soul.

The Forward to this book was graciously provided by Connie Nelson, ex-wife of Willie Nelson.

Myself with Connie Nelson

This beautiful book is available in Hardback, Paperback and eBook formats.

PURCHASE LINK

Chance to Win! @IndieBeacon @DEARTexasRead

valentines image_Page_1

THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO ANY AUTHOR IN THE WORLD! 

A special radio show is scheduled for February 14, 2019.

Win a chance to be on a show plus, receive extra promotion and advertising for this Valentine’s Day Special. This is open to any author in any genre. You do not have to be a member of the Texas Association of Authors to enter! 

Publicity is what every author needs and wants. And, an international radio show is one of the best platforms available. 

Indie Beacon Radio was created out of DEAR Texas Radio and has on average 2,000 listeners on all of its various platforms. Now, as part of the iHeart Radio, we are expanding Indie Beacon Radio by doing both Audio and Video Live.

On February 14, 2019 we will be doing extra promotion, press, etc., for the lucky author scheduled for this special event. We have also turned this event into a fundraiser to continue our various literacy programs with DEAR (Drop Everything and Read)/Indie Texas.

To be the selected author for this special event, we are offering a chance to purchase a tax-deductible raffle ticket for $5.00 each. Simply follow the link and select which hostess you’d prefer, then purchase the ticket.    http://Radio.IndieBeacon.com 

Of course, you can purchase as many tickets as you would like. You may purchase one ticket at a time, of IF you would like more then one ticket, simply email us the Host/Hostess name you would like to have interview you and how many tickets you would like to info@dearindie.org

The winner will be selected on January 31, 2019. Tickets are available now here:  http://indiebeacon.com/index.php/services/services-radio-show/radio-show-interviews

Still on the fence? Here are 14 reasons why you should participate:

  1. Supporting Literacy
  2. Get Worldwide Exposure
  3. Increase your Social Media Following
  4. Turn Listeners into Fans
  5. Sell Books
  6. Grow your Author Platform
  7. Increase Visitors to your Website
  8. Raise your Amazon Rankings
  9. Get Reviews
  10. Get a Tax Write-off for your Purchase
  11. Free Advertising that Lasts for Years
  12. Have Fun!
  13. Any Author Anywhere has a Chance to Win
  14. Gain Exposure to New Groups Promoted to for this Show

Purchase before December 31st to get your 2018 deduction!

valentines image_Page_3

Mountain Laurel – Segment 6

As we closed out our segment last week, Andy Roberts had a vision and a visit from his father telling him to get his ass back in the fancy car and go make some music. But, he’s also leaving the cabin with a priceless bit of information about his brother, Timmy. Let’s see what he does next.

###

I pulled into a truck stop not far down the road.

truck stop

With a steaming cup of coffee in hand, I fished the yellowed paper out of my pocket, located a pay phone and dialed the number on the letterhead.

Pay Phone

“It’s a great morning here at the Blackmon Children’s Home,” a cheerful voice greeted me.

After I finished explaining who I was, I heard excitement on the other end of the line. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that you called. We thought Timmy’s family was dead. He’s just about to turn eighteen, you know. He had an obsessive fascination with the banjo when he first came to stay with us, so we taught him to play. You should hear him. He’s nothing short of genius.”

I choked back tears and promised to be there within two hours. I told the kind lady I would be taking my brother home with me as soon as paperwork could be processed.

Just before I turned onto the highway, I rolled down the window, hung my head out and shouted, “I love you, Papa. Keep watching because I’m going to get this right!”

I thought about the fragrant blooming tree in front of the cabin and how Mama’s eyes shone the day Papa planted it. I began to write.

She is like a Mountain Laurel

A breath of pure fresh air

Her hair the scent of floral

Her eyes so bright and fair…

   THE END

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this short story. It won first place in a short story contest sponsored by the Texas Associaton of Authors in 2016.

It is part of a printed and eBook, “Short Stories By Texas Authors Vol 2.”

Tx_Shorts_Vol_2

If you’d like more information about The Texas Association of Authors visit the WEBSITE.

For more on this short story contest for 2019, click HERE 

Helpful Tips

Tips

In going back through some of the handouts I received at the Authors Marketing Event two weeks ago, I found these useful social media tips and wanted to share.

Facebook_logo-7

When is the best time to post to Facebook to get results?

  • Best – Weekdays between 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Peak – Thursday and Friday
  • Most clicks – 3 p.m.
  • Use images to increase engagement by 104%
  • Don’t forget Facebook Groups – you can create your own group – start discussions, moderate posts and you have the option to make the group private or public

linkedin

When is the best time to post to LinkedIn?

  • Best – Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday
  • Peak – 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., Noon, and 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Avoid – Monday and Friday 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • LinkedIn groups are hot! And just as with Facebook, you can start your own group.

Twitter-LOGO-png

When is the best time to Tweet?

  • Best – Monday – Thursday between 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Peak – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Avoid – Fridays after 5 p.m.
  • Avoid other days after 8 p.m.
  • Tweets with images have Retweeting, visitor conversion 42% to 48%
  • The life of a Tweet is an average of 24 minutes
  • Using #hashtags increases visibility and lifespan

pin

When is the best time to Pin?

  • Best – Weekends
  • Peak – Noon and between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • For retail, Fridays at 3 p.m.
  • 55% of Pinterest users buy stuff!

Instagram

When is the best time to utilize Instagram?

  • Non-working hours (evenings and weekends)
  • The typical audience is people under the age of 30
  • Images are a must

What are your experiences? Have you done experiments or seen other statistics about the optimal times to utilize social media platforms?

I’d love it if you’d connect with me!

Author Facebook Page

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram

Pinterest

F.E.A.R.

Fear concept with word eraser and pencil on white background

Just last weekend, I attended an Author’s Marketing Event. There were so many interesting, informative and educational workshops and I learned lots.

But, one workshop, in particular, started off with the letters above.

F alse

E vidence

A ppearing

R eal

That gave me pause. How many times do our fears (false evidence appearing real) stop us in our tracks? We can imagine failure before we even embark on a quest. So, this thought came to mind. What if we could immediately erase “fear” (cancel, clear, delete) and replace it with a positive vision? I personally think that would change our entire gameplan. Just the incredible energy of switching one thought is extremely powerful and produces results.

We’ve all been programmed to think and act a certain way. We have filters that we view through. Not all of these are bad. Some are extremely beneficial and positive. But, anytime we let even the tiniest bit of negativity in, a seed is planted and grows like a proverbial weed.

So, I thought about a few ways to turn “fear” (false evidence appearing real) into “FEAR” (Fearless Eager Approach Reward).

Finding a quiet space of solitude to do some meditation is first and foremost the number one most effective way to release fear and gain a different perspective. There are some excellent guided meditations on YouTube. If you are a beginner, search for the ones that say “beginner meditations.” Of course, it would be wonderful if we all had our own private beach for practicing meditation, but the truth is most of us don’t. And you don’t have to sit in the cross-legged position on the floor to do meditation. You can practice that quietness sitting in a chair or lying on your bed. It doesn’t matter. The importance is going within and letting your own sweet soul help you gain a more open and more positive perspective.

Meditation_Beach

Take a step back and look more objectively at whatever is causing fear.

Kitty Lion

Listen to some uplifting music. Music is an excellent way to raise our vibration.

Music_Uplifting

Get outside in nature and reflect on the reality of what is causing fear.

Nature

It has been said that the opposite of fear is acceptance. There is a nugget of truth in that. Find what works for you, but most of all, don’t let FEAR cripple you and keep you from going for that pot of gold or rainbow.

There are approximately 3,600 books published per day in the United State. That’s a heck of a lot of books!

But, there will NOT be one book exactly like the one you write. Organizations can often be helpful in the entire frightening process of publishing your first book and I’ve listed some of the ones I know to be excellent below.

What do you do when you find yourself dealing with the fear of moving forward? I’d love for you to share your experiences, including any organizations that you’ve found to be supportive and helpful.

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF AUTHORS

THE ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENT AUTHORS

Take time to research active writing groups in your area. They can be invaluable for feedback and critique.

LIST OF WRITING GROUPS

TIL DEATH DO US PART – A REVIEW BY @dlfinnauthor

When someone reads and leaves a review for one of my books, I am always moved. But, this review from D.L. Finn made my eyes misty.

Here is her review on Amazon:

“This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book. I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.”

Thank you to D.L. for the kind words! Please visit the original post on her BLOG.

Christmas is coming! If you’d like an autographed copy of TIL DEATH DO US PART, visit my website.

And, of course, this book can be purchased on Amazon

You can find out more about all of my books on my website

Ad_Texas_Shorts2017

 

Hill Country Writing Symposium

Hill_Country_Symposium_Logo

Hello, fellow Texas authors! I want to make you aware of, and invite you to, a Writing Symposium in Comfort, Texas September 14 – 16, 2017.

Yes, that is SOON!!

I will be presenting two separate workshops at this event to be held at the Comfort Public Library. If you are anywhere near this area and wish to hone your writing skills through hands-on workshops, check this out.

Hill Country Writing Symposium – Fall Edition

September 14-16, 2017

Comfort Public Library

701 High St, Comfort, TX 78013

Thursday, September 14, 2017 – Meet & Greet Reception

7 PM to 9 PM

More information on location to follow.

Friday, September 15, 2017

9 AM Nature Writing

10 AM Five Forms to Use to Awaken the Poet in You

11 AM Writing for Non-Fiction

Noon – Lunch on your own

1 PM How Many Ways Can You Say ____?

2 PM Writing for Young Audiences

3 PM Journaling

4 PM Editing 101

Saturday, September 16, 2017

10 AM Writing for Different Media

11 AM Marketing 101 – Renegade Style

Noon – Lunch on your own

1-4 PM Book Festival in Library

 

Attendee Fees – Check options below for any discounts that may already be applied.

Regular Purchase $65 All Inclusive

10 Sessions plus Cocktail Reception

Plus 1 Free book from a presenter of their choice.

(hotel, food, misc at attendee’s own expense)

REGISTER HERE

Libraries in Hurricane Harvey’s Path

flooded-books

Hurricane Harvey left SO much destruction in its path and that didn’t exclude libraries along the coast.

Most small libraries have little outside funding and depend on donations to survive.

PLEASE dig deep into your pockets and help these libraries recover. Your donations are tax deductible.

Here is the link: Hurricane Harvey

This is just one of the many ways the Texas Association of Authors helps.

Tx_Authors_Logo

New desk!

20170812_090413

For years, I have worked on a small student desk. And now, thanks to my two daughters, I have a “real” desk to work from.

Of course, there’s still lots to do. But, I will get it all put together (hopefully today).

20170812_091951.jpg

So, if I miss sharing a blog, Twitter post, Facebook post, or answering an email, forgive me. I will get it all back in order and return soon! Wish me luck. 🙂

heart-1237269_1280

Texas Association of Authors – Did you Know?

txauthors-logo

I’ve been a member of the Texas Association of Authors for several years and for Indie Authors living in Texas, you won’t find more a comprehensive marketing avenue.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT TXAUTHORS

TxAuthors was created in the summer of 2011 and continues to expand every year.  Texas has an estimated 8,400 published authors and that number grows every year.
In 2016, we estimated our in-person outreach to 30,000 people, in addition to our Social Media following of over 25,000 people, to be a great value and resource in helping you get the word out about you and your book(s).
With each year, we continue to increase our outreach not only within the state but around the world.This alone is worth the membership price!
The only requirement for membership is one of the following items:
1 – You live in Texas and are a published author or
2 – Your heart is in Texas and you are a published author.
Below is everything that is included in our regular membership.
Plus, notice of new and exciting events that we create to help you market yourself and sell your books.
  • Listing and ability to sell your book(s)on our bookstore website  http://Books.TxAuthors.com 
  • Participation in the DEAR Texas event -listed on the website http://DearTexas.info
  • Dear Texas Radio Interview – No Less than 2 times in a calendar year.  The show is recorded live and then distributed as a Podcast on several channels.
  • Listing on the Texas Authors Institute of History website with the opportunity to sell your book(s).
  • Having your book(s) available for sale in our Pop-Up traveling bookstore. (In 2016 we did 15 events across the state of Texas)
  • Access to the Members Only section of this website that has articles, links, and connections to a variety of items and people to help you grow in marketing your work.
  • Major discounts on events and programs sponsored by TxAuthors, which includes our Annual Book Contest, Short Story Contest, Authors Marketing(http://Authors.Marketing) event and other programs.
  • Access to Book Festival events at extremely low discounts
  • Assistance in videotaping a book reading or interview for use on YouTube
  • Listing on our YouTube channels
  • Printing discounts for marketing materials by a Texas printer
  • Weekly email newsletters with the latest information about TxAuthors and informative articles to help you succeed
  • Use of eBook Download Card system to sell Mobi & ePub books yourself and make more money.
  • Monthly tweets on 25 social media sites to over 30,000 followers and growing by 100 followers per week
  • Plus access to the Book Festival Network program which increases your exposure at book festivals and on the internet.
All of the above services are included in your membership.  Individually, you could spend up to $1,500 per year or more.  The cost of these services and more is only $125 for your first-year membership. We do offer payment plans.
TxAuthors is designed to help YOU save money and time while gaining exposure, which equates to the opportunity for more book sales.