Christmas!

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This Christmas has been exciting. Not that I haven’t loved each Christmas and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (no matter ‘when’ or ‘what time of year’ He was born, I celebrate now), but lights have gone up, a small tree, the Nativity scene, the songs of yore… stockings, and gifts.

Once upon a time, I was so down I purchased a Bonsai tree and put one ornament on it. That was it.

Then we travelled to relatives far away to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas all at once. That was fun, but more fun than anything, since there were very few of us in the very large family gathering who contemplated or spoke of Christ and the reason why we are free.

But this year, it’s different. I don’t know why. This year, I’m going to collect any and every bell and at midnight on Christmas Eve, like the Catholic/Episcopal tradition, ring every one to fulfill at least in our house, that wonderful event where in the ‘olde’ days, those who believed that Christ’s birth caused every bell to ring on earth. Did they have bells? Not likely. We’ll raise some candles, and share with our family the tradition.

The kids play the modern songs of Santa, Happy holidays, White Christmas, Santa Baby. This year, that changes.

So what changed? I have no idea. But, there it is. And celebrate loudly I will.

So have a merry Christ Mass, whether you are Catholic or not, and I hope all my online friends will stop to contemplate why Christians celebrate this blessed hope, Jesus, the Messiah (Savior) who came in the flesh as a babe to grow and eventually to become the first and only perfect Lamb for the best Passover, ever.

Our freedom to come boldly before the throne of God.

‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’ Get ready, for the days are short. And look up, for your redemption is near. Nearer than ever before.

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The Great Poison

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This may be a controversial topic.

OK it is. But, I want to share with you something I thought about first thing this morning, and not a thousand percent sure how I got there. But, here it is.

Poison has been used before a historical timeclock was kept. To kill, some in small amounts to heal, some to get rid of ‘things’ unwanted.

Let me go back, back, and a wee further back to ancient Greece. I promise I will not go into a lengthy history. There were a zillion religions. Many involved horrific rituals. Prevalent was the worship of Baal (infanticide). Look familiar?

baal image

baal bull

Molech (sacrifice of infants)

molech

and Asherah the goddess of nature and fertility and the poles (phallic??) that were worshipped. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how these names and symbols became part of the Catholic church and why.

asherah

asherah

Men, desperate to have children were deluded through ‘faith’ that their wife/wives would become pregnant after these rites. Girls as young as 12 were deflowered ‘for’ the people. These temples and rituals were maintained <cough> with money <cough> obtained from <cough> temple prostitution. Supposedly, a man would pay and have sex with a prostitute, she who walked the streets in great finery (costly gowns) and jewels on their arms, hands, fingers, etc., and his wife would become pregnant. This is one of the reasons St. Paul called for women to dress modestly. If not, they could be mistaken for a prostitute and all of the images that went with it.

This raised that weird question in my mind. How did these women prevent pregnancy? Well, obviously they didn’t. But they weren’t stupid, not even. They had a poison to deal with it, an abortifactant called ‘Wolfbane,’ or Oleander (similar in chemical structure to modern abortifactants). Thus, they could continue profiting from being prostitutes. What is Wolfbane? Wolf. An obvious reference to wolves. What is bane? Death with bitterness and misery. Snatch away life in misery (aka pain. Whose? The prostitute? No. Think about it.) making this a very bitter rite. One of the biggest centers in Greece (now, Turkey, which is now anti-Semitic, and think on that one for a moment, too) was Pergamum. Baal was worshipped there, and John called it the seat of Satan. There you had an oven. This was in the shape of a bull (Baal). You worship Christ? You worship Yahweh? The oven! You go to the temple priestess, the abortifactant, Wolfbane.

Pergamum’s seat of Satan was moved to Germany by Hitler, by the way, including the oven shaped like a bull (which is where martyrs were roasted to death before and after Jesus’ time) and Hitler’s own praise for putting ovens in to kill Jews. Evil.

Think… World War II.

Of course, I spent the better part of the morning looking this stuff up. Last, I came upon a blog and thought, ‘whoa.’ ‘Wolfsbane, Aconie and A Christian,’ on hummingbird-lamplighter.blogspot.com. I recommend this article on Baal worship for church leaders and attendants. The author spoke about the poison being fed to Christians by shepherds Jesus called vipers (poison…?) and wolves. These leaders denied (and still do) the Deity of Christ, they mingle religions, they misquote sripture, add in weird rituals and promote abortion. Even Paul made reference to this in Romans 3:13-16. This poison brings about abortion of babies and poisons the Word of God. You in a fellowship? Have you made absolutely certain he is not a false pastors? Is that pastor reading the Bible and taking everything out of context? Well, just go worship Baal, Molech, Asherah, because these are things being preached today.

There is a modern ‘Asherah star goddess’ who talks about sex magic. Mmm, hmm. ‘Nothing new under the sun.’

What does this mean to YOU? Worship anything? Pro-choice? There are chemical abortions to hide surgical abortions. Up to 92% of abortions in Europe are chemically-induced. Has the wolfbane-harlot-Baal worship concept hit you now? Speed that one forward in prophecy just a bit.

Last, please don’t forget that scientists (not creationists, not religious scientists) have reported that life begins at conception.

So… who do you worship? If you don’t see this as Satanic, I suggest you open your Bible and read.

The Mountain Goat. Hind’s Feet on High Places

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This post is not mine, but I feel it needs to be shared.

http://kevindustow.com/2018/11/10/lessons-from-the-mountain-goat/#comment-15

This is a great visual for those of us who depend on God’s protection, his provision, his covering. I really enjoyed this post. I hope you do, too.

Wisdom from Kristen Lamb

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This is another good post from the insane, I mean … wise Kristen Lamb’s blog. These are editing tips you do not want to skip.

Why… Pay… More?

kill bill

So slash those sweet lil’ things you love so much. Hey, I had to, and it … sucked.

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/04/self-editing-writers/#comment-92608

Don’t blink. Save them in another folder if you can’t let go, but … <pulls pages from your hands> Just Do It. Stop thinking.

wonder

Dopamine and social media

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OK

Gone for the day. Social media is sucking up what’s left of my soul and I have no desire to fall into pools or poles for that matter, no matter how awesome the text.

Can I go for at least an hour without  (addictive as heroin, cocaine, cigarettes) checking my sites? Not even texting.

See you in a few. Days. Maybe hours. Minutes?

A Funny Reblog

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Kristen Lamb has blogging down.

Especially about serial killers, I MEAN writers. So, as a writer, I can relate. Reading her blog this afternoon just sent me into a fit of giggling.

I have read her blogs, and her fiction. She is an awesome serial killer, I MEAN writer, and if you aren’t following her, well, your loss. Give me a comment that you are not, and I may write you in as a … victim.

jason bourne

Read. Please. Before I add you to that list …

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/04/diagnosing-real-writer/  Continue reading

Writing, Critiquing, Beta and Launching

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Wow. What a list there.

listThe list may go on.

As I write, I look for those readers/writers for critiquing, and Beta before I send to editor. And then … launch (that does not mean, ‘to the moon, Alice, to the moon!’)

moon

Writing is my job.

jim carrey typing.gif

Critiquing is for … critique-ers – i.e. committed folks offering to suggest better sentence structure, grammar, and spelling, big plot holes. Pronouns with each sentence … i.e. I, I, I, or she, she, she … confusing statements, things slowing the plot down.

Beta readers are those committed folks who reads/swap novels to beta (or critique), and look for interest, pacing, plot holes and words like, ‘I would buy this.’ Or … ‘this sucks, start over, dump it,’ etc.

reading dog cartoon

Not the soul-sucking critiques/betas that pulverize the soul of the writer/author. Generally, in one’s genre or close to … or willing to suspend belief enough to read the work (and if you swap with me, I would do the same). But, honest. Above all honest and respectful. I have had the bashers, some with good points; good grief, leave the mean crap out. Not cool.

writer book sucks.gif

Then the launch. Meaning … I am now ready to sell that work. Add the novel to social media. All of the above willing to be part of it. Easy job. Post to your Twitter, Facebook, or whatever your favorite social media site(s).

When I review a book, launched, I hit all my sites. I give stars (honest) on Amazon (no stars if it requires work, at which time I send the author a note … this needs work, want another review?). I am a dedicated critique -er, Beta, and launcher, ARC reader and reviewer. It is what authors & readers do.

If you are interested in a dedicated swap, critique, beta, launch, these are free copies/swaps. I post via email to a group I dedicate, both readers only, writers only, both. And swapping novels. I have two more Betabook spots that are free. On my beta site I send chapters at a time since my current work is still … in the works.

writer reader dedicated

Let me know if you are interested. Send me that email, and I’ll answer and add you to my list of readers etc.,.

c.mahoney.fnp@gmail.com

Self Publishing. Is it up or down?

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Make Self-Publishing Mighty – Setting Goals

Claire O’Sullivan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaire1/

Steps to publishing have many different routes, including (yay!) self-publishing. These free the writer from the constraints of the traditional route. I point to the length of time one may wait for agents/traditional houses to accept a novel. Not all (many) make it through slush pile(s). Indie is self-publishing peppered with a light to traditional publishing taste, except… different.

The cavalry has arrived. No, really. The cavalry is here and self -publishing, after several years, is gaining popularity. Again, yay! That cavalry is you. So this is a sexist image, but… okay, I think he’s hot.

cavalry

 

How does one enter the foray of fast growing market? As you read, don’t lose heart. It seems overwhelming for first time self-publishers. Self-publishing is a funny animal. It has ups. Then… downs. The market waxes and wanes.

These are the goals you must have to follow through. You are starting a business, and floundering around ends in ‘dead fish’ fodder.

While tempted to throw your first draft to a self-publishing outfit, don’t, have a cup of coffee. Do not pay an agent or publishing house unless you are wealthy (or a politician). Do you want to spend your hard-earned money for ‘I’m published’ gleam in your eye? The real sparkle is in their eyes: the scratch in your pocket. Oh, get your mind out of that gutter. Money.

 

Here it is:

You’ve completed the manuscript. That is an endeavor. And a half.

pen and sword

 

Determine your budget for every step of this endeavor listed. I cannot stress this enough. Encourage an elephant to sit on you before you write checks. Have a look around for self-publishing groups.

What do you want to sell, e-books only? Consider Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/about/tos Or both e-books and paperback? I recommend both, but in the end, this is up to you. E-books are far less expensive but bring fewer royalties (though I have heard some great success stories). Smashwords gives you about 70-85% of royalties… though you pay 35 cents per book sold. This royalty number is awesome. You keep copyright, and can participate in other parts of the program. Well worth the look. Your biggest obstacle with ebooks is the dearth of readers who are aghast at any work requiring more than 99 cents.

 pay writers ha

 

Set a time goal. Six months before your novel is ready for printing, start your online advertising. Tell your friends. Get the word out. You are Wonder Woman. Or Superman. Pick one.

      Wonder_Woman                              superman          

 

Plan a marketing program. Let’s talk cost. Squish your toes in social media. Make it sexy. If you don’t have a website, fer cryin’ out loud, get one. WordPress blogs are free. Their websites cha-ching your pocket from one hundred to five thousand dollars. A domain name will cost from ten dollars to one hundred. Go Daddy and others will offer for a fee, SEO (search engine optimization) to improve visibility.

marketing

Some custom websites charge ten times that amount.

Facebook fan page. Love this. If you want advertising on your Facebook fan page advertising costs, but nominal. Twitter is free. With WordPress blog free, you can post to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter… you get the idea. You can find free or pay for website services. I went cheap. As in, starving-artist-free: http://cmahoneyfnp.wixsite.com/claireosullivan a DIY site. 

 

ISBN number. You must have one for your novel. That’s the little barcode on the back so you get paid. CreateSpace offers one free, however it remains with them … forever. You can also purchase one for one hundred dollars or more.

 

ISBN.png

Get your murder hat on. Why do I mention this here in your goals? You want your book to sell I suspect. So, slash those scenes like Dexter in a bad mood, those that don’t push the plot along. Some self-publishing businesses will not pass three-hundred-eighty pages. Paying for editors is not cheap. Pretend for a second your novel is five hundred pages. You want to pay said editor a zillion buckaroos for pages to be removed, and edited… again? How do you spell redrum? Editors often charge thirty to forty dollars per hour. Your team of readers/critique buds can help with murder. One with the vase. One with the rug. One with the shovel.

kill em offer

 

The cover. I know you already have a cover in mind. Now find an artist/photographer to design, or look at stock photos, you can pay a lot or minimal. On my website, I have stock images I want on my new works. Some folks have luck with fivver, a less-expensive method. Fivver is a conglomeration of people who will work in five-dollar increments. Ask your Facebook fans which cover mock-up they like best.

CreateSpace offers free front/back and spine flaps with limited covers, though you can upload your own. When they create a cover for you, now you are looking at over three hundred dollars. I changed one book’s title and cover three times… that’s a buncha clams if you switch from one picture or another through custom artists. Keep that in mind. This was my second free cover (which I liked), another DIY on CreateSpace. The Big However… upon beginning the first chapter as a reader, I realized my fiction (and title) didn’t fit the cover—the formatting was fine. Don’t bother looking for it, the cover never moved passed the proofing stage. Sigh. Looks lovely, though. Keeping it for my next book.

CreateSpace is an easy platform that offers eBooks and paperback. They do the hard work such as bookbinding. They will gently place your work on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and it’s ready. Amazon Publishing is not currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts, but this is their site: https://amazonpublishing.amazon.com/work-with-us .

Preview your work online. Order five book drafts if in paperback. Most self-publishing requires a minimum. CreateSpace requires five. When you receive the box, shout with glee, review it, and bust out the champagne (or beverage of choice). I have declined some first copies and reformatted. No they don’t give you your money back. Rats. Each print-on-demand book through CreateSpace costs three dollars and ten cents. Minus shipping and handling.

Social media blitz and marketing. Put pictures of the books, a box of books in fact, onto every social media site you have. Plug to your friends, and now, family (they don’t count early on). Take the box you’ve ordered to local bookstores. Go to signings wherever you can find them. Authors Innovative Marketing on Facebook is chockfull of ideas for authors. Post your novel on Goodreads. Don’t forget! Put a PayPal button click on your website, and your Facebook fan page-

social media

 

Before you think the endeavor is beyond you, it’s not. Royalties may be great: but read the contract with a jaundiced eye. Not … really jaundiced, but … Consider the amount you will pay for twenty-five books, print-on-demand. Three-dollars per book. Consider shipping/handling and your profit and loss.

So check around. Self-publishing sites that are true self-publishing sites are tough to find. Vanity and boutique presses, shrouded vaguely, tell you the cost for purchasing a package and then sink their teeth in your pocketbook like Monty Python’s savage attack bunny… “Run away, run away!

monty python

            If you are interested in Indie publishing, the larger Indies (for independent, not East Indian) pay well. And do not make fun. I thought that’s what Indie meant… hey, it was a long time ago, yeesh.

 

https://www.myidentifiers.com/Get-your-isbn-now ISBN site

 

This is Diggypod. I don’t consider these folks self-publish but you may get some ideas: https://www.diggypod.com/self-publishing/companies/

 

Here is CreateSpace, and I do recommend taking a look: https://www.createspace.com/

Post your books on https://www.goodreads.com/

 

And … a list of the top Indie publishers: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/73281-fast-growing-independent-publishers-2017.html

Here you have it. Goals for your journey to self-publishing.

I love editing … said nobody, ever…

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. . yes, still editing Forget Me Not . . . and trying to decide if I should change the title.

      Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis — refers to a specific character…

     OR . . . should I change it to Nobody Girl — the victim?

 wonder

     Thoughts?

     Let me know!

     You can also give me thoughts at c.mahoney.fnp@gmail,com

If you pray, please pray.

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via Writing until “The End” 

I AM PRAYING FOR YOU. And in a moment, going to your amazon site.

Blessings, hope, prayers, miracles for you I pray.