Parable of the Sower

Summary

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Transcription

Parable of the Sower

Octavia E. Butler

I’m reading Octavia E. Butler’s book “Parable of the Sower” above is a quote from chapter nine. This book is a work of fiction and was published in 1993 but I feel this statement is relevent to today’s political circus. What do you think? Have you read the book? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Cicely Tyson

Currently I’m reading Cicely Tyson’s memoir ” Just As I Am.” When I got home I sat and ran my fingers over the cover of the book. The front cover photo is so striking! The font, the colors beige and purple, very fitting. When I opened the book there was a photo of Cicely and her family in 1920’s, turn the page and there’s a photo of Cicely, taken by Lord Snowdon, husband to Princess Margaret. He captured her in a Bill Whitten masterpiece of a dress, one she wore to the New York premiere of Sounder in 1972. The forward is by actress Viola Davis.

Written on the inside of the jacket cover these words:

“Just as I am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. In these pages, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and a mother, a sister and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I a am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by his hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.”

When I removed the jacket sleeve there on the cover of the purple binder book was Cicely Tyson signature. The book is a masterpiece, just like Ms. Tyson.

Cicely Tyson is one of the most respected talents in American theater and film history. From her starring role on Broadway in The Blacks to the Emmy-nominated film A Lesson Before Dying, her work has garnered critical acclaim for more than sixty years. She has received two Emmys for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and won the Tony Award for Best Actress for The Trip to Bountiful. A capstone achievement came in 2018, when she became the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar.

The book was written with Michelle Burford. Ms Burford is a Harvard-trained celebrity memoir collaborator, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and a founding editor of The Oprah Magazine.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu 2014

I worked for twenty-eight years at a government job in New York City. I kept a photo on my desktop of Machu Picchu. I kept telling myself that one day I’m going to go there and stand on the mountain. When I retired in 2013 I booked a trip through Grand European Travel (http://www.getours.com) to Machu Picchu. This was an eight day trip through Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Agues Calientes, and Cuzco. When I arrived in Lima the time change and altitude didn’t sit well with me. I got ill.

When we arrived at Machu Picchu my head was spinning like a top. I couldn’t walk all the way to the top of the mountain and was disappointed. I couldn’t believe I had made it to Machu Picchu and I couldn’t walk to the top of the mountain the altitude was too high. So I stayed at the “bottom” (pictured above) and walked around and took photos. It was still mesmerizing. I was in awe that people had built these stone houses hidden in the mountains. At one point I sat and took it all in. What beauty! The mountains, clouds, fresh air. Amazing!

When I returned home to Orlando Florida I went to an Urgent Care Center. I had a bad case of vertigo, and a bronchitics infection. It took a week of me getting bed rest, taking meds and doing vertigo exercises to feel better. But, that’s a trip I won’t forget. The group I traveled with were diverse seasoned travelers. I got lots of tips on how to travel (always arrive one day ahead to rest), what to pack (always pack long pants and a jacket.)

What’s my dream for 2022? To travel to Machu Picchu again, of course.

Take Time For Yourself

Dr. Sister Jenna

Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Dr. Sister Jenna has FREE guided meditations. Enjoy. https://sisterjenna.hearnow.com

Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/cminorwriter

Sales Sell Sheet

Brooklyn New York 1990

Canva

I’ve finally signed up for a free account with Canva http://www.canva.com. This platform allows me to design my book cover. I’m also working on a Sales Sell Sheet. Below is information I got from EverGreenAuthors blog (http://www.evergreenauthors.com):

Josie Robinson & Roseanne Cheng, Cofounders of Evergreen Authors

3 Simple Rules for Creating a Sell Sheet for Your Book:

The only “rules” you need to follow are these:

  1. You must include a high-resolution cover of your book.
  2. You must include an excellent, succinct description of the book. 
  3. You must include relevant purchasing information. 

Other additional items you can add to your book sell sheet include:

  1. Any key endorsements you’ve received. 
  2. A succinct “tagline” that sums up your book in one sentence.
  3. Your author photo and bio (especially if your book is non-fiction, and you are a speaker).
  4. Color imagery or extra illustrations. 
  5. Comparisons to other titles like yours. 
  6. Links to additional resources, such as a reader’s guide or teacher’s guide.

Your sell sheet is essentially a business card for you and your book. You want it to look professional.

Youtuber Alissa Rose in a Canva tutorial teaches how to create a digital Printable Planner in Canva, these steps are also helpful when creating a Sales Sell Sheet for your book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcNeZjmY4wA

There’s More To Do!

For the next few weeks I’ll be working on my Book Launch Checklist. My goal is to complete and publish my book by October 2022. This checklist will entail strategizing around my launch budget, considering the help I’ll need to help with the endorsement of my book. And where will I travel to promote my book? Will I do it virtually? I’ll have to reach out to podcasters and set up an account with Amazon and Goodreads. There’s more for me to do and consider. BookBub has A Marketing Timeline for Authors http://www.bookbub.com. I’ll be a busy person this summer!

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.” – Alice Walker, Author

Quiet Time

Satipatthana Meditation Center (Photo by Poet Minor)

I was so happy to find Dai Niem Xu Thien Vien Satipatthana Meditation Center in Leesburg Florida. The center is closed but the grounds are open. I took my time and walked around and took photos. This space is so peaceful and quiet. I was able to clear my mind and refocus myself. I was a bit troubled about my manuscript and needed some moments of quiet to recenter myself. This was a perfect space.

Park for the Holy Places (Photo by Poet Minor)

The Meditation Center is about five minutes from my new home in Leesburg Florida. They are rebuilding the park, center and monks quarters. There are benches in the park where I could sit and take some quiet moments for myself. Taking time here I got clear on the direction I wanted my memoir to go.

Photo by Poet Minor

After my visit to Satipatthana Meditation Center I was able to construct the outline for my memoir, with the help of my Writing Coach, Parthenia Hicks. I have compiled my manuscript and now I’m in the process of reading through it and revising it here and there. The quiet moments at the center were very helpful. This will be my new space to go to for quiet, focus and guidance. You can get more information about the center at http://dainiemxutv.com

Inspiration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are times I just need to find some inspiration to keep me going, to keep writing. I decided to take time out and watch the Soul movie by Disney. Besides this movie being fantastically made with exceptional actors and awesome jazz (I play the soundtrack on Spotify), the movie was just what I needed. The storyline is:

Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.

There’s much more to the story but I don’t want to give it away. I will say I found a lot of moments in the film were I was “awakened.” If you get a chance check it out online.

I live near nature so I want to try my hand at making “Word Wands.” Word Wands are made with tree branches and items that are sentimental to you. Deborah Singletary is the Founder of Vision Carriers and teaches workshops in Harlem New York. You can find information about Word Wands and Deborah’s work at https://www.visioncarriers.com.

Word Wands

My stand by source for inspiration is watching Bette Davis movies on Youtube. I can’t go wrong watching Little Foxes, All About Eve or The Letter. I think for my birthday this year I’ll buy myself the blu-ray box set.

Bette Davis in Little Foxes

Writers are readers so books are always on my list for inspiration. These are just a few books on my 2021 reading list:

1.On Writing by Stephen King

2.Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

3.Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont

4.The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 1837-1861

Happy Writing!

Idea-to-Outline

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

I’ve taken the necessary steps to get a coach. I made an appointment with KN Literary Arts (http://knliterary.com) for a free fifteen minute consultation. I am signing a contract for coaching on “Idea-to-Outline.” The outline is the roadmap to writing my memoir and I need guidance in this area. I’m still moving forward with working on my overview after that it’s tackling the Book Proposal. This will be a very busy month.

I picked up a few good tips from reading the Florida Writers Association (http://floridawriters.blog) that will help me with my posting on social media. It is suggested adding some stackable content. Here’s a few:

Quote Graphics
A quote graphic is a photo with a quote written on it, and it is probably the easiest type of snackable content to create. Use your book cover or snap a picture outside somewhere. Take a quote from your book and plaster it on the picture. Finally, you’ll want to add a discreet, subliminal “call to action”. Often, this may merely be a company logo for brand recognition, but for writers it’s probably best just to put their website address in one of the picture’s corners.
Infographics
This type of content may be more suited for nonfiction writers, but with a bit of creativity, fiction writers can certainly take advantage here as well. Infographics are a collection of imagery or graphics displaying data in order to give a brief and visually-appealing summary of a topic. These can be a bit trickier to make, but fortunately there are a lot of templates online to help you get started.
GIFs
Whether you pronounce it with a hard or a soft “G”, GIFs in terms of snackable content are those little animated clips that often play on a loop. They’re more than a static photo, but not quite a video either. Of all the content mentioned, these require the highest learning curve. They aren’t too difficult to make, but you may need some help from Mr. Google.
If you hope to increase your social media influence this year, be sure to incorporate snackable content on a regular basis to provide a fresh and updated feel to your online posts.

Happy writing!

Book Proposal

upsplash.com

Here I am on the threshold of writing my book proposal. With the guidance of Hay House CEO Reid Tracy and KN Literary Arts founder Kelly Notaras (http://www.knliterary.com) through the Hay House Writer’s Community. I am reading through the steps right now. I am trying my best not to get overwhelmed by this process.

The book proposal should be about a 40 to 60 page document. I need to include who my audience will be, my ideal reader and statistics. This means I’ll have to set aside time to do research online and probably at a brick and mortar book store. I don’t have to finish my book first. As I understand it, agents and publishers want to see the book proposal because it has information about your audience, platform and promotion plans.

There’s need to be about two pages of an overview, of my idea of the book. I’ll have to add an email list, which I’m currently working on through my newsletter. Of course, I’ll have to tell a little bit about myself and why am I the right person to be writing this book at this current time. I’ll have to get myself a professional photographer because I’ll need photos for my book jacket, and I really do need more professional looking photos for my website and newsletter. I year ago I took a photography class with Rinat Halon at Rollins College. She’s not only a good teacher but photographer as well (http://www.rinathalon.com). I’ll have to reach out and make an appointment with her.

There’s much more information that needs to go into the book proposal. I won’t rush myself. It will probably take about a month to complete. I’ve decided that I’m going to go the route of traditional publishing. I want a writing coach and editor. Since this is my first attempt at writing a book I want all the professional help I can get to learn and navigate the waters of being a published author.

If you have any samples or suggestion on writing a book proposal I would appreciate if you would share it with me and others.

Getting Comfortable

I’m getting comfortable with my writing routine.

Poets & Writers http://www.pw.org

Here you can get a weekly dose of writing prompts and recommended books on writing.

Poetry Prompt

In the introduction to an issue of Ploughshares edited by the late poet Jean Valentine, who died in December, she says: “My dreams were very important to me right in the beginning. I had a teacher in college who said ‘You could write from your dreams’ and that was like being given a bag full of gold.” Inspired by Valentine and her award-winning first collection, Dream Barker, write a poem that begins with an image from one of your dreams. Allow the internal logic of dreams to guide your lines.

Self-Portrait Poem

Most people spend at least a few minutes a day in front of a mirror, whether while brushing teeth at the bathroom sink at night, or involved in a focused morning makeup or hairstyling routine. Spend a more intensive amount of time in front of a mirror and write a self-portrait poem as you study your own reflection. How has your face evolved over the years? Do your features seem more or less familiar the longer you look? Are there particular elements of your face that remind you of certain people or memories?

My Gear

I found a pen that works for me. It easy to grip and doesn’t slide too quickly across the page. Z-Grip Ballpoint Retractable pen. https://www.zebrapen.com

JBL Go 2 Bluetooth Speaker http://www.jbl.com

The speaker is compact and I can carry it anywhere I go and has a great sound.

Insight Timer http://www.insighttimer.com

The Insight Timer has a desktop and phone app that I use. I like the music selections and I can choose how long I want to listen from 5 minutes to three hours.

Spotify http://www.spotify.com

I like the Indian Chill, Coffee House, Workday Soul and Mello Cello for writing. I have others that I follow for reading.

To keep myself motivated and going I now have an “Accountability Partner.” We talk once a week to make sure that we are still following our goal list. We provide support and remind each other what our end goals are. We do not discuss personal or political issues.

Meetup Groups

I joined Motivating Writers and Virtual Writing Get Down groups on Meetup.com http://www.meetup.com. I am taking advantage of every tool that I can to keep writing and to complete my memoir this year.

Trust

I’m reading the book “Trust” by Iyanla Vanzant and in it she has one of her favorite scriptures from the Bible that she learned in Proverbs 4:23-27 (New Living Translation):

Guard your heart above all else,

for it determines the course of your life.

Avoid all perverse talk;

stay away from corrupt speech.

Look straight ahead,

and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Mark out a straight path for your feet;

stay on the safe path.

don’t get sidetracked:

keep your feet from following evil.

I interpret this to mean to stay focus on your task and not to get caught up in what does not work for you or sustain you.

I’ll keep writing, no matter what, will you?

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