Bea Fishback | Blog
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STOP building that social platform. DO this first.

STOP the presses. Forget those social platforms. There’s something else you need to do first to build your readership.       In the last blog, I shared about how writers build a body with our God-given imagination. We create individuals, families and perhaps a romance or fantasy that exists only in our minds. With the created characters, a writer moves into developing a plot and then a complete story. One that hopefully draws readers into a wonderful world of your making.       So now you have the people, the place andthe product. What next? Everyone in “the know” insists writers build a platform. For newer scribes this means a list of ways to market and promote a book(s) through such things as:   Speaking Social media Newsletters Blogs Vlogs Selling through fairs and book signings Book readings at local libraries and bookstores       The ways and means of building a platform are as various as authors themselves. Each comes up with a means to get a book into the hands of the world—not just family and friends.   Perhaps you are a seasoned writer and what I’ve just said makes you yawn and think, “What else is new,” and your index finger is hovering over the exit key. But bear with me if you're still reading what this fledgling writer is trying to say.   Building a platform is much more than creating your persona online for the world to admire. It is creating yourself as a person so that others are interested in reading your work. Then they will learn to trust you—even if they don’t know you personally.     So what I suggest is that we need to build the foundation for our platform through things such as:   Integrity: What we write is who we are. When we say we believe certain things, are we willing to uphold to those beliefs even when writing something else might garner more readers. I want to be known as a writer who doesn’t include gratuitous sex or violence and my readers expect that. That’s just my preference, not a judgment statement. Encourager: Be willing to build others up on their platforms. Become an encourager to those who are learning the craft or feel discouraged in what they are doing. Share the work of others on your social media sites and be the best cheerleader the world has ever known.     Stay away from politics: Of course everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But as writers we should keep personal thoughts for loved ones and maintain neutrality with the rest of society. After all, many will not agree with our positions. Why alienate a potentially large group of readers when it’s not necessary or professional?     Build a platform. But start with creating a podium of moral disposition others will admire, respect, and trust. Those are the qualities to build on first and foremost before you begin creating your online presence. http://amzn.to/2pjEZT5 http://amzn.to/2gtaUR8   ...

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Build a Body

Everyone has creativity. It’s built into our DNA. Analytical types focus on mathematical equations or scientific discoveries, things that are innovative at their core. Others paint, act, dance or sing, because their genetic makeup pushes them toward the arts. Like pulsing veins and stretching muscles, our creative ability is part of us—a God-given molecular entity within our souls.   Writing is no exception. I like to think of it as building a body. When characters start on a page they are in the thought womb of the writer. Their cells divide and change. Gender, size, shape, hair and eye color have distinctive traits developed by pen to paper or fingertips on a keyboard.     Move to the skeletal system. An adult has 206 bones and two distinct parts to the skeleton make-up: the axial and appendicular. We are complex creatures. So a writer must develop their new human being with intricate physical and emotional structures. This is no mean feat.     We are not God who created something out of nothing, but we generate from the millions of options available to us to form a new entity that comes alive because of our ingenuity. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes wrong. And it’s back to the drawing room of characters. We want them perfect for the purpose of our story.     Then there are muscles, lungs, brains and hearts to consider. Will our character be heartless or loving? How does their brain function: are they brilliant or childish, young or old? Are they blind, deaf, perhaps an athlete preparing for the Olympics? The possibilities are as endless as the stars in the universe.     Isn’t it wonderful that we get to be a part of the creative process? I am at awe that humans can join together and have the ability to produce another in the true physical sense. I’m also fascinated that we can create fictional people within our minds.     Want to write? Get those creative juices flowing and pick up some dust along the way.   After all, from dust we came and from dust we shall return. It’s a great way to start the thought processes of building a body.         www.amazon.com   ...

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Water on the brain

Water comes in three forms: solid, liquid and gas. As a writer I can go through all three states within minutes as I stare at my computer trying to create a complete sentence.     Not just any sentence. One that might inspire or evoke an emotional response. A whole string of them to produce a story with the punch of James Patterson or the sweet journey of Nicholas Sparks.   Instead, I turn up using the analogy of water. First I come up with a solid idea. Cozy mystery perhaps. I list characters and their foibles. Take Daisy McFarland, the protagonist in my next novella, for example. A mousey spinster with a huge cat named Pillow; Daisy is a retired American schoolteacher who moves to England to fulfill a dream of becoming the next J.K. Rowling. Interested in reading more of her story? Me too.   My idea quickly turns from a solid form to liquid as I continue to write. It’s amazing how concrete thoughts can melt into nothingness within minutes. It’s the plight of all writers, I suppose. What I long for is a broken dam of words that rush into my head and land on the laptop. Ideas that pour through with eloquence and beauty. Instead? A trickle. A drip. One measly letter at a time.   Pretty soon it’s obvious that my watery brain has sprung a leak, and the solid story turns into a liquid that quickly becomes a gaseous form with no substance.     I don’t want to discourage any would-be writers out there. I have spoken to many of you and don’t want to dash your dreams into a puff of smoke.     What I want to do is open your eyes to the reality of what you are about to embark. Worlds created that don’t exist other than in your mind. People and places that take shape and come alive as your fingertips touch a keyboard. It’s wonderful, but more often than not it consists of a faucet-leaking, gas-empty place in which we dwell.   Bottom line. I want give you some food for thought, or better yet, some water to quench your thirst for words. It will eventually happen. www.facebook.com/beasattitudes    ...

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People you never knew but perhaps know better than others

Irene Onorato. She and I have a lot in common (click her photo to find her on Amazon). Both of us are New Yorkers. We love pizza. Is there a New Yorker who doesn’t? Those two things instantly bonded us when we met a few years ago…     But we have even a closer link.   Although we didn’t know each other growing up—she is from the Bronx, I am from upstate—we share the past. Irene and I were raised under the shadow of a father who came home from war with emotional and physical scars.     Irene's dad served in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge while my own father was active duty for five years, was wounded three times and earned the Purple Heart in the Battle of Saipan.       I wasn’t with Irene when we were children but each of us is fully aware of what it means to have grown up with a dad who suffered from the nightmare of battle. Therefore, we have a deeper understanding of our childhood, how that formed us and it has created a deeper friendship others don’t quite understand. But that’s not all we have in common…         Irene has a great sense of humor and I enjoy how she spins a tale with a twist. And together, we are passionate about our call of writing wholesome stories that give readers a sense of God’s love and hope for the future.   I’m proud to say that in 2015 Irene landed a three-book deal with Kensington Publications’ Lyrical Press. Her Veteran’s Heart series touches not only the romantic’s heartstring with the gentle touch of a harpist to the string, but she gives insights into the struggles of military veterans and their loved ones. With firsthand experience, she offers an insider perspective to when war comes home and its affect on all those whose lives it touches.       A Soldier Finds His Way, (click the book pic above to order) the first installment of her Veteran’s Heart series made its grand debut in 2016. In the story, fate throws Special Forces Lieutenant Edward Giordano and first-year schoolteacher Audra Lorenzo together and locks them in a remote cabin during a raging blizzard. Sparks fly, but the road to happily ever after is rife with detours and obstacles.   More Than A Soldier, RELEASED 6 JUNE 2017 (Be sure to preorder your copy by clicking the photo above) Former Army Special Forces soldier Hank Fleming is the sole survivor of an RPG attack that took the lives of four other men during a tour in Afghanistan. The explosion caused Hank to lose an eye and the hearing in one ear, and left scars on his neck that serve as a daily reminder of his ordeal. Now, several years later, nightmares bring back the dreadful sights, smells, and sounds of the dying men. Despite his injuries and the weight of unfounded guilt he bears because he alone survived, Hank still hopes that one day he can find peace, and a girl to share his life.   IN 2018, BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:   A Soldier’s Song, Sergeant Jason Dexter is a devoted Special Ops soldier. Gregarious and well liked, the only person he has tension with is his father who hates that he chose a military career. He longs to hear his father say he’s proud of him, but doubts that day will ever come. When Jason goes home to New York to attend a friend’s wedding and meets Aria Greco, the beautiful and talented pianist daughter of his commanding officer, he never expects that she could be the key to restoring his faith and mending the broken connection with his father. But all is not guns and roses as their relationship takes an unexpected turn and misunderstandings seek to destroy their love.     So sit back, tear off a slice of pizza (as we like to say in NY) and enjoy one of these grand stories from a friend that I have known only a few years but have shared a lifetime of memories. Once you begin, you will want to continue reading her Veteran Heart Series....

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What’s THE man have to say?

Even men read romance. Scroll below to view the video of one man's opinion of a particular historic novel. Bear in mind, this man might be a bit prejudiced.   Every good read has a antagonist, a foe of devious character and unpredictable behavior. They want revenge, lash out at the innocent, and destroy the beautiful. Inspirational, historic romances are no exception in offering such individuals. The question is, can the evil deed-doer be redeemed?   Simeon Quire, "Bethel Manor Reborn," is a treacherous person. But his contemptible acts take place in one of the most renown and lovely places in Great Britain. Ely.     Ely was an island for most of its history, until the marshy Fens around it were drained. The first known spiritual structure to be built was in 673 as an abbey. In 1083 construction of a cathedral began. Today the great cathedral is known as The Ship of the Fens.     Simeon works within the cathedral as the keeper of the records and steals from the church's coffers. As well as a thief, he works out a scheme to ruin the Blackwell family and the beautiful Bethel Manor. Does he succeed? Read Bethel Manor Reborn and find out.   [caption id="attachment_41596" align="alignnone" width="300"] Click the pic to go with James down memory lane.[/caption]    ...

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Mothers and Sons

Recently, I was looking for a photo of our two children when they were younger. Swept along memory lane and traveling slowly back in time, I flipped through all the pictures. The first one that I set aside was one of the four of us.         Then I came across one of myself, and our son, Jamie, who was about two at the time. A bond exists between a mother and son that’s different than a boy shares with his father. And it is even unlike the one between a mother and her daughters. Sons must be raised to become men, yet learn the ideals of love and forgiveness without compromising their manhood.       Princess Diana was known to have said this about her sons: “I will fight for my children on any level so they can reach their potential as human beings.” And I agree with her wholeheartedly.           I used to call Jamie my co-pilot because he always rode in the front seat when his dad was away from home. Jamie's job was to read the map since those were the days before GPS. Even through those experiences, he was learning to become a man. But he was also a precocious, smart child who even at a young age decided he liked pushing the boundaries we set.       We had hired a babysitter for him one evening, and Jamie decided that he wanted to stay up longer than we permitted. Without the sitter’s knowledge, he moved all the clocks in the house back one hour in order to get his own way. When we returned home, he was just getting ready for bed, and we discovered the “plot of the clock” that he had so cleverly devised.               Our son is now a father with his own two children and with his God-given, creative personality performs as an actor. Visit his website: www.jamiefishback.com.               Even in Victorian times, mothers and sons held a special bond although more often than not, a son was sent to boarding school at an early age.   James and Clare Blackwell—Bethel Manor Reborn—now have a child, George Andrew. He is the apple of his father’s eye and his mother’s heartbeat. Clare loves to sing a sweet lullaby as she holds him in her arms.           But tragedy strikes and the relationship between Clare and her son is put to a test. Will their family survive the difficulties and will baby George be reunited with his mother? Read Bethel Manor Reborn and find out. If you would like to read more about Mothers and Sons click here: bit.ly/2oM7Hxe. Or if you are looking for the perfect mother/son wedding song this just might be it: bit.ly/20xIDrK....

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Our son introduced his father to the perfect woman

Our son introduced his father to the perfect woman. She was brought into our home and given a prominent place. This sleek, attractive woman doesn’t answer back, replies politely when asked a question, and can discuss everything from weather to sports. She doesn’t speak unless spoken to nor rudely interrupts a conversation. I must say I am a bit jealous of this new female intrusion.   How could our son do such a thing? Didn’t he know it would cause dissention and breach communication between his parents? There was now a new standard in our home. And it seemed I couldn't keep up with her.   Perhaps you’ve guessed by now that the new woman in our lives is Alexa. She is the latest in computer additions that every home apparently needs. Developed by Amazon Echo, Wikipedia tells us that, “she is designed to interface with other smart devices and acts as an automation hub in the home. She is voice activated and responds with real time information.”     It’s the twenty-first century, but it’s feels like we are living with the Jetsons—that 1960’s futuristic cartoon that featured a walking, talking robot known as Rosie. Periodically Rosie would talk back, regress to childish behavior and sometimes refuse to do her chores. In fact, she was a bit plump and unattractive. In more ways than one, I can relate better to her than Alexa. (**the below picture is NOT Rosie but all photos of her are copyrighted :-))     So what’s my beef? When comparing myself to one robot I feel inept and stupid. When aligning myself with the other, I feel better about who I am and what I know. But don’t we do that on an ongoing basis? Especially as women? We compare ourselves to every other female and give ourselves a thumbs-up with some, or we feel our hackles rise and let the beast of jealousy/envy rear its ugly head with others.       It’s time we stop the comparison—even with robots—and be content with the woman God has designed us to be. We are each unique beings that no other can replicate. So puff out your chest, offer some real time information with confidence and courage, and be kind to the other women in your midst. After all, they are as insecure as you are, no matter how attractive and polite they can be.         *** In “Bethel Manor Reborn,” Clare Blackwell allows her jealousy of her friend Phoebe Tripp to enrage her. What will Clare do when she discovers Phoebe and James—Clare’s husband—might be spending too much time together? Be sure to read “Bethel Manor Reborn” and find out.  ...

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dog walking and drinking

We have been without a dog for years. So when some friends asked us to babysit their cocker spaniel Clio, I agreed. As an avid walker it was a treat having her along one Saturday morning.   I had our route all planned out. She and I would begin our jaunt on a path running alongside a riverbed connecting one village to the next, about a three mile round trip. This little walk is a favorite of fishermen, bicyclists, walkers, and mothers pushing strollers.   Starting our trek, we passed an obviously experienced, fisherman. His rod dangled from the river’s edge, a box of lures and bait at his side, the quietness abruptly interrupted by a cyclist clattering past.   Further along we came across two boys beginning to set up their meager fishing lines. Compared to the earlier fisherman these two were novices. Yet their enthusiasm would no doubt bring plentiful rewards.   For the moment the world seemed to be a safe, pleasant place, even going so far as to feel like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.   Then the scene changed. Like a curtain closing and opening on the second act of a play, the beauty was broken. Coming toward us was a middle-aged man carrying an open bottle of liquor.     Trying to hide the bottle behind him, he appeared to have the look of “being caught in the act.” His crooked walk, and half-hearted smile, betrayed his behavior. At seven-thirty on a Saturday morning, along the path of peace, a bottle of alcohol is as out of place as snow in summer. As I walked quickly past, I almost sensed him hanging his head in shame. My heart melted with intense sadness. I wondered if he ever imagined as a youth, one who may have even fished from this very river, that he would one day find him self in this state? How he had traveled from his younger years to this station in life? I couldn’t get him out of my mind for the rest of the walk.   It reminded me a little of the original garden, where God created the perfect everything, and then brought in the perfect pair—Adam and Eve. Idyllic was an understatement. Adam could have fished and never been disappointed with a catch. Eve could have walked the paths of peace and never gotten shin splints. Yet the scene was interrupted by the lure of a serpent and mankind has been lured ever since. They went from walking, laughing, sharing jokes, singing around the proverbial campfire in paradise, to the door of their home being closed behind them as they stepped out of Eden in shame.     It's sad if you think about what happened. Fortunately we have a restoring, loving God, who not unlike the line on a fishing rod, reaches to the depths of our hearts, and brings us back to life. Not with lures or bait but with the gentle tug of forgiveness, faithfulness, and a future of hope.   In "Bethel Manor Reborn", our hero and heroine James and Clare Blackwell make some serious mistakes. Is it too late for this couple? Will the door of their home shut one or the other out? Or will they turn to God and ask and offer forgiveness? On 5.29.17 the answers to all these questions will be answered. Crooked Cat is getting ready to release the sequel to Bethel Manor—Bethel Manor Reborn. The question is, will you be ready?...

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Announcing the Union of The Princess of Daffodil and The Earl of Grey

A letter to a friend…   Dearest one,   I won’t bore you to tears with my recent woes of health issues. Suffice it to say the past few months have been a bit difficult which included a stint in the nearby hospital. I’m afraid I have given my poor husband quite a fright with these ailments, but he is a true gentleman who has taken care of me as if I were a queen. One could concentrate on the many trials during this period and how challenging the road to recovery has been.     However, this isn’t about what has passed but to inform you of the present. In recent days my energy has begun to slowly improve and short walks around the garden path have refreshed my spirit and body. But there are two things that have given me great comfort during my time of recuperation.   First, the Earl of Grey. This wonderful tonic has taken me back to days in England where cups of tea are offered for every occasion, times of grief, illness, or for a party. The bergamot of Earl Grey is particularly soothing and sipping this drink has given me consolation as if sitting with a friend.     Second, the Princess Daffodil. Her golden highlights and bright face can enter a room and cheer the most downcast of hearts. Her signal that spring is around the corner, that Easter is soon to be celebrated with Christ’s resurrection, stirs the desire for better health and days of beauty ahead.     I do believe these two should be married. Together they are quite powerful with their presence and could do the world of good as a royal pair. What say you, dear friend? Shall we announce this upcoming engagement?     Perhaps you have found other means of quiet pleasure in the midst of an illness. Could you share if this is so? I’m sure any advice would be greatly appreciated, not only by me, but many others.   In the meantime, I do pray you are well.   With kindness regards, Beasatitudes *** P.S. James and Clare Blackwell ("Bethel Manor") are experiencing their own health and relationship challenges. Makes you wonder if either of them have thought to stop and enjoy a cuppa or flowers in bloom. Guess we will find out 3.29.17 when "Bethel Manor Reborn" is released by Crooked Cat Publishing. ...

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#Selfie

#Selfie, noun: a picture that you take of yourself especially by using the camera on your smartphone. It’s a whole new world of photography with our electronic gizmos. It used to be you would never have your picture taken unless you were looking your best. Photo shoots were meant for family mementos or as gifts for special occasions. You would primp and pose and hope for the perfect you. Now we take Instagram or Snapchats, add some animated hats or quirky facial features and the world gets to see us in our least attractive pose.   Then again, I have come to enjoy this new found photographic freedom…   There’s something to be said about spontaneous, quirky pics of ourselves, and with others. Seeing friends as they travel, to be a part of their world while they are on the move. It can be an awesome way to enjoy a moment in time and create new memories instantaneously.   The only caution is checking the motivation for our selfies. The word itself implies being self-centered. But God knows our hearts and those of others. We shouldn’t judge someone else’s motive for taking pictures, but we need to be aware of our own incentives for these shots—are we looking for kudos, focusing on ourselves or merely enjoying the experience? Loving A Selfie, is a novella based on the story of a self-serving woman who is determined to conquer the world. Shelley Auburn is the proverbial A-type personality. As the executive for Universal Station, a competitive website designed to take over every major worldwide web, her ambition and drive propels every decision. However, Shelley is interested in more than just being an executive for the company. She will stop at nothing to become the primary shareholder, and the best course of action is marrying the heir apparent, Patrick Malloy.   An unexpected trip to the company’s London office with John Cox, Universal Station’s spiritual advisor, turns out to be a major test of her will and heart. On Shelley’s return to America, an automobile accident along with a doctor’s frightening diagnosis put a halt to her ambitions. But are they enough to sway her life goals and dreams? Will Shelley marry Patrick for his wealth and finally have all she has strived for, or will the sudden changes in life’s circumstances open her eyes to a world of unimaginable love that plunge her headlong into its embrace?   *** I hope you  enjoy this Valentine's Romance. Be sure to share and if you sign up a friend to receive this blog, you can read this story free of charge. It’s a gift from me to you to say thank you for being a part of www.beasattitudes.net.   Click the pic below and order your copy today:   ...

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