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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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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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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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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Word

Choose a word. The challenge comes every New Year with the same predictability as the ball dropping on Times Square. A word is chosen to influence one’s life journey for the next twelve months. Rebel that I am, I have decided to choose not one but four:   Think. Outside. The. Box. Our granddaughter emptied a box of Lego, the shape of a piano on its cover. She didn't contemplate what it meant to think outside the box, she came by it naturally.   So instead of building a #BabyGrand, she created the Tower of Babel.   I want to emulate her childlike approach and bring this line of thinking into the New Year in three areas:     Relationally: When I consider how I act toward others I naturally want to treat them the way I want to be treated. But why not step outside of myself, go above and beyond the call of duty and treat them even BETTER? Perhaps I'll do something anonymously. Send flowers to someone who’d least expect them. The options are endless, my imagination just needs to be released.     Personally: Every year I ask what I want to do to improve my health, my spiritual and emotional growth. This time, I want to try something different. Something outside the ordinary. And not just one thing, I'd like to explore several new adventures. To begin, I’m going to sign up on www.runtheedge.com and walk 2,017 miles this year.     Creatively: I want to write outside the box. In the hands of Disney, a dog becomes a talking, animated creature. Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, makes a young woman with braids and freckles a warrior who saves the world. It takes musing to create a New World in art, music and with words. And one must Think. Outside. The. Box to do so.       These four words will be mine this year and I’m sticking with them—whatever it might mean and however they reveal themselves.     Do you have any suggestions what Thinking Outside The Box might look like? I’m open to any and all advice in these three areas of my life for the next twelve months.   By the way, don’t forget the BIG DATE:  5.15.17. Bethel Manor Reborn will be released by Crooked Cat.   In the meantime, I hope your New Year is blessed and perhaps you might consider stepping away from the norm and THINK. OUTSIDE. THE. BOX. with me. Bethel Manor Dying to Eat at the Pub    Christmas at the Corp   I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. Gustave Flaubert  ...

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You Only Live Once…

You only live once. But Christmas comes every year. And this morning, I woke with visions of sugar cookies, decorations, Christmas cards, and gift-wrapping dancing in my head. Made my inner world spin with the sheer thought of everything that needed to be done in the next few weeks.       So I decided to go for a walk to clear the onslaught of thoughts, to hopefully put everything back into perspective.     Walking down the lane, on my right flank a lone gray heron swept low and quietly along the water. The long wings and elongated legs resembled some type of prehistoric creature, a stealth fighter trying to stay beneath the radar to capture its unsuspecting fish prey.       In front, squirrels played hopscotch and a game of hide-and-seek with their acorn treasures. They flitted in circles, spun up and down trees with the speed of delighted children in a playground.     To my left, odd shaped stalactite-type roots grew from the ground.       God’s creation was at work, play, and offering a sight of fascination. There was so much to enjoy, I forgot the frenzy that only an hour before had consumed my mind and had given me heartburn.         The joy of Christmas can at times get lost because of self-imposed stressors. This year as we consider the tree, trimmings, pretty packages and blinking lights why not take time to enjoy some free gifts?   Creation offers so much pleasure. It’s time to tap into what’s within our midst and lay aside the pressures.         May I suggest another way to relax, besides enjoying the grand outdoors? Fix a warm cup of hot chocolate, have a cookie and curl up with a Christmas story.   You Only Live Once so why not unwind and enjoy *Y.O.L.O. Christmas at the Corps an inspirational novella. Click here and download to your Kindle or Nook.       Or if you suggest www.beasattitudes.net to a friend, and they subscribe, I will send the book to you and them at no cost. What a great way to escape the stress by giving and receiving a free gift this Christmas season—it’s almost as wonderful as enjoying God's creation. Well, almost :-)...

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Pumpkins? A mystery?

Pumpkins are a mystery to me. If you think about it, they aren’t very attractive—plain in color and odd in shape. However, the origin of their name is rather interesting. In Greece they were originally named pepon; translated means orange melon. Once autumn begins, and Halloween looms pumpkins are everywhere. And not just as Jack-o-lanterns on the front porch. They are made into soups, baked in breads and used for table decorations. At a recent outing, pumpkin corn bread was served.     There is a growing appreciation for these rather plain gourds. It seems they are with us more often than guests during the holidays, and are found on almost every fall-celebration table. We use them for pies during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in our hot drinks—pumpkin spice latte, extra pumpkin please.   In order to create the perfect pie or drink, though, ingredients must be added. Cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of sugar make the ideal combination. Alone, the orange melon is quite tasteless.   So what’s the mystery for our love of pumpkins? Part of it seems to be their ability to create ambiance and nostalgia. For some, they bring us back to home-gatherings and memories of childhood. For others, it offers an opportunity to create new memories of standing in Starbuck lines and having the first taste of fall in a cup.   Pumpkins aren’t the only mystery we can enjoy, though. There is a genre of books called cozy mysteries. If you haven’t heard of these, they are known for the ingredients of humor and amateur sleuth characters —think Agatha Christie.   Alone, a mystery offers suspense and drama but read a cozy and you have the perfect ingredients for creating memories of places never visited and fascinating people you will most likely will never meet.   So,  why not curl up with a pumpkin spice latte and a Cozy today? After all, that's how memories are created...

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Waiting in the doctor’s office is never easy…

Waiting in the doctor’s office is never easy. Even though they try to make your stay as comfortable as possible, you still know that behind one of those ominous doors a doctor waits to take your vitals and give you the news. Good or bad.     A recent visit to the clinic, and we were surrounded by the typical décor of many waiting rooms. Two colorful pictures hung on one wall. Expressionistic paintings of fall colors replicated on a thousand other photos of the same scene. Magazines were on side tables, and in one corner a fake ficus tree was trying to present hominess and comfort. But the plastic leaves in the attractive pot fell short of duplicating a cozy home.   Although this tree was a better option than a blank space and cold antiseptic atmoshere none of us had to be told it wasn’t the real thing. How could we tell? The leaves, and the obvious absence of dirt and earthy smell. Try as we might to recreate the natural with replicas there is nothing quite the same as the real thing.   Take this leaf for example. Its corners are curled, the color is fading and the shape is not necessarily appealing. Yet we love to gather these fallen foliage and plunge headlong into their waiting arms. You wouldn’t find anyone doing that with a pile of Papier-mâché ones.     Although I thoroughly enjoy social media, it too offers the fake. There is nothing in the media that is social, as we once knew it. Although it can be a wonderful means of meeting up with old acquaintances and is certainly a way for companies to sell their goods it still doesn’t replace the authentic.     A real social experience is one where people meet together—one on one, as a church group, a restaurant gathering or at sports events. It is doing life together. And that means being real. It’s accepting the fact that we have curled corners, our color is fading with the fleeting years, and our shape might not be as appealing as it had been. But what matters, what counts the most is the real deal and not the fake—plunging headlong into an embrace, not a ‘like’ on an Internet site.     If we want to get to know someone, it’s the person beneath the façade that appeals to us. It’s time to get real and not stand in a corner wearing our fake. How about you? Ready to meet others face to face and accept them as they are?   By the way, may I introduce you to some genuine people? Dana K. Ray, Irene Onorato, Linda Robinson These writers are not necessarily well known, but they spend many hours trying to formulate stories that they pray will be a joy for their readers. I do hope you enjoy their work, but most of all I hope you get to know them as friends—they are the real deal.  ...

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