First Book Award for Delightfully Different! 12

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundation

Young Voices Foundaton.

Young Voices Foundaton.

Today I am grateful. I received the following via e-mail from Bobbi Carducci at the Young Voices Foundation Awards today,

“Congratulations! Delightfully Different has met the criteria for a prestigious BRONZE AWARD by the Young Voices Foundation Awards judges in Categories Regional Youth West Pacific and Regional Teen/YA West Pacific. It also earned a Blue Seal of Approval in the Spiritual/Inspirational Category. Young Voices Awards are sponsored by the Young Voices Foundation and honor books that Inspire, Mentor, and/or Educate Readers of all ages. The announcement will appear on the Young Voices Foundation Awards website within 24 hours. A link to your website will be added within a week.” You can view the results at Young Voices Awards ™. 

Success with Self Publishing 14

D. S. Walker 1st Book Signing ©Delightfully Different LifeI have heard that it takes approximately seven months for authors who use self publishing to begin to have success. I have even read blogs that swear the traditional publishing is the only way to go if you want to ever get your books in book stores. I have attended conferences that imply that you should only self publish if you plan to just sell your books at conferences where you are a speaker. 

Yet, I still chose an assisted publisher versus traditional publishing. Why did I do this? Was it because traditional publishers rejected my book? No, I did not send my manuscript to any agents or publishers, so it was not rejected by traditional publishing.

I did my research and determined that hiring a good editor costs almost as much money as an editing package and a publishing package combined through iUniverse. They have a relationship with Amazon.com and with Barnes and Noble. I previously purchased two iUniverse books that were well written, one from a local author I knew personally. I also spoke to another local author who used them and had a good experience.

Therefore, I chose to use iUniverse too. I can always pursue traditional publishing later if I choose. I continue to own my copyright. I get to choose how I market my book. I am not required to spend thousands of dollars traveling to multiple cities, on a tour, at a time my publisher chooses where I might or might not have success.

Remember I have two children who are still school age. No they are not toddlers, but they do still need me around, so having control of my time is important to me. That was the biggest factor in my decision.

How’s it going you ask? Okay, I am far from being on the best sellers list. Still, I am in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and I have received two small royalty checks. I have my first book signing tomorrow. I will be happy if at least 50 people show up although I would certainly love it if more did.

I am just at month seven. Remember I am not even supposed to have my book in a book store by some accounts. I received Editor’s Choice and Rising Star designation from iUniverse which means they believe my book has the potential to have some commercial success. I also received a good Kirkus review. I have entered two book contests that are pending.

Locally, I have been on two news shows, the second of which was an evening news show and that station repeated the showing on their morning show the next day, so technically I guess I could say I have been on three news shows. I have been on a talk show on Hawaii Public Radio. A local, free, biweekly paper told my story this week. The paper is the only source for grocery store ads so most households on the island receive it in their mailboxes.

I have made wonderful new blogging friends. Four bloggers have written reviews of my novel which you can read from this blog. Another blogger wrote a mini review.

One school has twenty copies of my book which they will hopefully use. Teachers at another school have read and talked about my book. The book has been given to a third school.

I told a former colleague that I would be happy if my book changed just one life when I made the decision to quit work and to write my first novel when bullies targeted my child. Today I am grateful for success!

Forgiveness Defined and Explained: First in How to Forgive Series 18

Definition and Why I Still Need Help

The first definition of forgive in the 2004 version of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: to give up resentment of.

I am still learning and growing as I continue to pursue forgiveness. I realized that I still have much to learn when someone once again wounded my loved one. Therefore, I did more research and found a wonderful book, Forgive for Good by Dr. Frederic Luskin

Introduction to Forgive for Good

I am still reading it; however, the first eleven chapters have had a profound effect on me.  I hope by sharing what I am learning others will see the valve of using Dr. Luskin’s techniques too.

The introduction to Forgive for Good explains that forgiveness is about obtaining peace.  It is not for the offender.  Dr. Luskin notes, “forgiveness does not mean that we give up our right to be angry when we have been hurt or mistreated.”  Several things Dr. Luskin states ring so true to me.  One of my favorites is, “Forgiveness is the powerful assertion that bad things will not ruin your today even though they may have spoiled your past.”

Part I

Dr. Luskin divided his book into three sections with Part I focusing on how we all create grievances in response to not getting our needs met and in the process we “rent too much space in our thoughts to disappointment.”  He is not saying anger is never appropriate, instead he explains that, “Anger can be a wonderful short-term solution to life’s difficulties, yet it is rarely a good long-term solution to painful events.”

I also love that he points out that holding others accountable for their actions is not the same as blaming them for how you feel.  Therefore, you can hold someone legally accountable for an injury and still forgive so you can heal.

Part II

Part II explores our choice to forgive.  He makes a point of explaining how we get stuck in being victims and that these stories, “unlike wine, do not improve with age.”  He points out that forgiveness is about changing our story from victim to hero.  We become heroes when we use our stories to heal, to help others or to avoid repeating mistakes.  We then stop using our stories for revenge or to get sympathy.

He dedicates a chapter to the health benefits of letting go of the anger where he mentions four studies he conducted.  The benefits include psychological and emotional well-being.  Another study showed that people who are forgiving are less likely to have a wide range of illnesses.

He also shares stories of families affected by violence in Northern Ireland who took part in the Stanford Forgiveness Project and forgave those who murdered their loved ones.  They should set an example for all of us.  I imagine this is one of the hardest things anyone would ever forgive.

Part III gives techniques to help us with forgiveness which I will explore in a future post since I have five more chapters to read in this section.

Gratitude for First Television Interview 27

Delightfully Different Book CoveI awoke shortly after three AM to get ready for my first television interview at one of our local news stations.  I was nervous and afterward I thought of other things I should have said including mentioning what a broad spectrum autism truly is, yet despite this and having a bad hair day today of all days, I survived.  I do ask that you keep in mind that I only had two and a half minutes to talk and believe me when I say it went by fast.  You can view it here.