Publications

Author of: The Notes They Played - a lyrical collection of short stories & The Impossible - a what-if story of the triumph over fear

Friday, September 29, 2017

Bring on the Hand Cramps!!!!

Last Wednesday, on my way to the bus stop to retrieve my children, I spotted a woman with a copy of my book in her hands. The next day, I took my daughter to gymnastics and another mom, dropping off her child as well, held MY book!

Okay, okay, full disclosure...those gals are two of my best friends. But, for a moment, in my mind, they were just two beautiful, intelligent women who bought my book and planned to read it.

For the past few weeks, I've been getting pictures of my book and various Barnes & Noble storefronts texted and emailed to me. One friend bought ten copies (nine as Christmas gifts). High school friends, college friends, and friends of friends are emailing and texting to say they ordered, received, and/or loved their book. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude!

One friend remarked that I should get ready for hand cramps, as I have a lot of book signing to do. Well I say, "BRING ON THE HAND CRAMPS!"

As excited as I am about all the love I have received, there's still a small voice asking me, "What about the criticism?" I know there are people out there who will read my book and think they wasted that $10.50. There may be some right now. I know because there have been books that I have started to read, and thought, "This book better get better!" And I've completed many books only to discover that I truly wasted the hours it took. Will people feel that way about my book? Absolutely!

Do I want to hear from them? Intellectually I do. I want to mull over their criticism with a fine-tooth comb. I want to have the courage to deeply consider each negative remark (with the same enthusiasm I absorb all the positive ones), and draw on it all to make me a better writer. Realistically, I might cry for a good long while before I'm brave enough to truly deliberate. But, I vow to scrutinize every unfavorable review.

Because, I think I can finally admit to myself (and to the world) that I'm really taking a stab at this writing thing. It's not just some hobby I took up to help fill the time and the void while raising four kids and running our family. This is an honest-to-goodness endeavor.

A very good friend asked me simply, when she found out about the book, "Now is this just something you're doing for fun, or is your goal financial gain?" One of the many reasons I love her is that she's so direct. I had to think for a few seconds.

I do want to make money from this; to contribute financially to my household, and also because in our world, money is a measure of value. Our world tells us that something that lots of people are willing to pay for has merit. I don't get paid to mother (or wife) and oftentimes this "job" can become a never-ending series of thankless tasks. I do receive a wealth of hugs, kisses, snuggles, and thank yous. If I had to choose the money or the love, you know what I'd pick. But with my writing, it will be lovely if I can have my cake and eat it too. It will be golden if my readers read and love and truly crave more!








Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Personal Appearances

Read The Notes They Played and loved it? 
Have burning questions?
Want to chat about it?

Read it and hated it? 
Want to throw it back at me?

I'm now available to meet with local Metro Atlanta book clubs for book discussions, signings and readings.

Contact me at joiya.me@joiyamewrites.com to make a request OR keep up-to-date right here for scheduled local events!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Countdown Begins

In about two weeks this book, my book, will be available to the world. I'm feeling incredibly grateful to God for this gift and this journey. I'm humbled by the fact that someone, in fact an entire team of someones, at Paradigm believes that my work is good enough to market. I'm excited to know what the response is. I'm proud that my kids will get to hold this idea we've been talking about in their hands. They will see that dreams come true when you sprinkle hard work on them and douse them in prayer.

But, I am terrified!

I sent an advance copy to my dad last week. I never did write a blog post about finally telling my parents about the book. But, I did. My mom was here, and so I just couldn't hide it anymore, with all the last-minute edits and approvals and applications that were going on here (not to mention those darned pictures)! And, I couldn't tell Mom and not tell Dad. So, I told them rather unceremoniously and not at all the way I had planned.

Once I told Dad I was sending the advance copy (in eBook form), it took me at least two minutes to go ahead and just click "send." Once I did, it took me a few minutes to text him to let him know I'd sent it. Then, the real torture began - the waiting. Because, I was exposed. He would get to see the product of my dreams and hard work and prayer. And he'd make a determination of whether he thought it really was good enough. He read all of my stories in less than a day, and he said he loved them. He gushed, actually!

But, he's my dad. So, what about the world? What about you? Will you love it? Will you feel your money was well spent on words I poured over? Words I fought for?

I wish there was a way to send my stories out into the world on a trial basis to just see how readers will react. And a way to call them all back in if the reaction is negative; sprinkle amnesia dust over everyone who's read them. Forget they ever existed. Forget I'd had this ludicrous idea.

But, the world doesn't work that way.

In this world we must dream and hope and pray and try and expose ourselves and pray again and then wait...

I'm not so good at waiting.