Tag Archives: self-pub

Let Go, Let God; It’s a Process

Photo by Sean Loyless used via creative commons license. Link at end of blogpost.

Funny how you’re cruising along in the it’s all good zone when BAM! you get hit with the “ohhhhhh, you just THINK you’ve figured out the whole let go, let God thing.”
This week I’ve run the emotional gamut. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say things kind of stunk at times the last 48 hours. About 24 hours ago I finally remembered to take it to God. About 10 minutes ago I realized that letting go and letting God is a process. It’s not immediate and it doesn’t make the worry disappear, but it does make it easier to know He’s there and we don’t have to work through the tough stuff alone.

It’s a week of new beginnings. Even though we’ve been to yearbook camp, this week everything truly starts fresh. That’s one of the best parts of teaching. I know this is going to be a great year. The education crisis in Texas will make things emotional, I’m sure, but it won’t affect what goes on in my classroom. I’m sure I’ll be posting about education often throughout the year. I’ll make sure to tag and categorize those posts so you know ahead of time. 🙂
I’ll also post about my writing. I got a detailed request for revisions from Carina Press this week and I’m working through revisions on The Guardian Book 2. I need to write the next Triple Eight Ranch book. So my writing plate is full and I’m ready!

If you like my blog, I hope you’ll look at my books available in print everywhere and in eformat for kindle. I write YA as Elizabeth Lee (Honor and Lies, Dead Girl Walking: The Guardian Book 1) and christian fiction as Mary Beth Lee (Grace is Enough, Letting Go). Find out more on my Amazon author’s page. If you’re a reviewer and would like to review my books for Amazon, Good Reads or a personal blog, let me know and I’ll get you a review copy. THANKS!

Photo Link

Sometimes the Story’s Bigger Than the Work

Image by Clyde Robinson. Used under Creative Commons License. http://www.flickr.com/photos/crobj/2930997855/

I was horrified when I heard about the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. My prayers go out to those affected. I hope the media can figure out a way to cover the story without implying the shooting would have been understandable had the temple been a mosque. I don’t think that’s what they mean to be saying but it’s sure coming across that way. Salam Aleikum. ***

At the mid-point of today’s writing I tweeted that my new normal was stuck between thinking what I’d written was genius and horrible. I was being silly, but usually that’s somewhat true. Usually I like a lot of what I’ve got on the page and hate a bit. Not so much this go around. Working on The Guardian Book 2 (Sharlene Gallagher), started fast because of Fast Draft. If you don’t know Fast Draft, I can’t say enough good things about it. (It’s a class run by Candace Havens. Look it up!) I finished a book draft in two weeks. Notice I said draft. I know some people can write fast and have something amazing at the end of that process. I wrote fast, have a great collection of plot twists and characters and an interesting story, but the magic isn’t there. I’ve struggled for a week trying to figure out what’s wrong. I broke down scenes, took notes, found all those repeat works and worthless verbs, but the STORY was missing. I killed Sharlene’s voice. That’s what I kept saying to myself. But FINALLY at the end of last night’s revising session, I found it. And I found the conflict that’s central to the theme of the book. It was there all along, buried in the words, hinted at from scene to scene. Jennifer Crusie calls that kind of thing the Girls in the Basement. It took me 10k words to finally see those girls! Hopefully revising will be easier now. When you work and rework and still know something’s missing in the story, it really messes with the ability to keep moving forward. At least it does for me!
I meet with my editors today. I guess it’s school kick off time and time for me to figure out how I’m going to write, stay healthy and advise. I know I can do it, but it’s going to take work.
If you’re a praying person, please pray for us this week. DH and I have a plan. On Thursday that plan might come to fruition. If you’re not a praying person, please send positive thoughts. ###
If you like my blog, I hope you’ll look at my books available in print everywhere and in eformat for kindle. I write YA as Elizabeth Lee (Honor and Lies, Dead Girl Walking: The Guardian Book 1) and christian fiction as Mary Beth Lee (Grace is Enough, Letting Go). Find out more on my Amazon author’s page.

A Home for Every Heart

My parents are ministers. My grandparents were ministers. I was raised in the church. And still, in my early 20s I wasn’t sure I believed in God. I’d definitely turned my back on organized religion.

I went to church with my parents sometimes, and I took my daughter to church sometimes, but I could have argued with the best of them about how the church was created for two reasons: money and the subjugation of women.
The lifestyle I lived could be classified as humanistic, I suppose. I was a “good” person. Enough said.
When an elderly customer invited my boyfriend to church one Sunday, I’m not sure why we went. Probably because they were expecting a new minister and the church was by the mall.
Whatever the reason, we went. And from the moment we walked through the doors, the church motto, “A Home for Every Heart” rang true. We weren’t judged. We were accepted. Everything changed.
My church made a point to minister to people with a world of hurt in their eyes. I think Letting Go started way back then. An idea I had to grow into.
So many people hurt today. And so often we forget the role of the church as my minister today says is to Love God, Love People. We get so caught up in life or work or what we need, we forget about others. I’m certainly guilty of that. Or we get so holy and full of our “rules” we think we’re better than others. I’ve been there, too.
Thankfully, God doesn’t expect perfection, but he did give us direction.
John 13:34-35 (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Today, I believe. I don’t clobber people upside the head with that belief. I don’t preach hellfire and brimstone. I don’t talk about the rules. I simply say God sent His son to die for our sins and He loves us unconditionally. He’s ALWAYS there, even when we don’t believe. ###

Find out more about my books on my Amazon author’s page. Letting Go by Mary Beth Lee available in kindle format and print.

***GUEST BLOGGER alert. Janet Brown will be guest blogging here tomorrow. Her story is so inspirational. Please stop by!

It Started With a Flashlight

It started with a flashlight.

Once upon a time publishing meant query–wait 3-6 months–partial–wait 3-6 months–full–wait 3-6 months (if you were lucky) and repeat.

Last year I published Honor and Lies. At the time, I thought that would be my only indie book. My writing goal for years had been 1-sighted. Harlequin. I love category romance. I’ve loved it as long as I’ve been reading romance when my cousin and I read a Greek shipping tycoon, virginal English secretary who won the lottery story around the time I was in 6th grade. We read by flashlight and hoped our parents wouldn’t catch us. They didn’t.

A few years later my mom subscribed to the Silhouette book club. Again, she finished a book, I started a book. My school librarian subscribed to Harlequin and kept the books on the shelves for us. I read them all.

When Harlequin was my one and only goal, I wrote, submitted, got great requests and then devastating rejections.

Self publishing last year changed that. Honor & Lies wasn’t a manuscript targeted to Harlequin. Neither was Grace is Enough (originally published as Prodigal). Both books got great feedback from readers, neither found a home with a publisher. Hello Amazon and Smashwords.

This month I launched Dead Girl Walking, book 1 of The Guardian series–my first contemporary young adult novel. I wrote it with indie publishing in mind. I just “finished” Letting Go, an inspirational romance, and I have A Different Kind of Hero, a contemporary romance ready to go.

Now I’m sitting here reading through A Different Kind of Hero one last time and praying about which direction to go. It takes so long to go through the query process, and these days time means everything. I’ve got a decision to make. I’ll keep you posted on what happens.
“High school’s never been easy. Now it just might be murder.” Dead Girl Walking, The Guardian Book 1. Available here.

Sharlene Gallagher, teen scream movie queen, was the biggest thing to happen to Primrose, Texas. Until she died.
Now Sharlene’s back as a guardian angel life coach. Only her real objective is a bit more intense. Her charge: figure out the identity of her murderer before high school junior Addison Karchusky falls prey to the killer. Enlisting Addison’s help without letting her know her life’s in danger? No problem…she hopes.
High school used to be easy. Now it just might be murder.

Honor and Lies is out!

In 1999 I finished my MA with a creative thesis and promptly filed the book away as done when it garnered some positive feedback from editors but never made the cut.

Welcome to 2011 and Smashwords.

Actually, I started at Amazon and kindle, but after a GREAT experience with the print program became a nightmare trying to format for the kindle, I almost gave up. I’m techno savvy when it comes to design. This formatting stuff was driving me crazy.

Instead of giving up, I turned to the almighty google and found smashwords.


First, if you want to self pub, get the free copy of smashwords style guide. It’s a lifesaver! Some claim they can reformat a book in less than an hour. It took me six, but I bet it’ll go faster now. I’m a kinesthetic learner, so I learn by doing. It’s always taken me a little longer to get things done right the first time, but after that, I’m usually good.

Second, you can’t edit enough. I mean SERIOUSLY! But don’t edit immediately. Give your eyes time to rest and your brain time to forget the story.

I’m so excited Honor and Lies is up! Hope you enjoy!

check it out