About a year ago, while standing in the checkout line in the Indiana Historical Society gift shop, author Janis Thornton and I struck up a conversation. The line was long, and the two of us packed a lot of information into those few moments. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that both of us are long-time newspaperwomen, able to compress many words into a brief period.
-- We are both former managing editors in the former Nixon Newspapers, Inc. chain – she in Frankfort; me in Attica.
-- Janis was in the building to promote her cozy mystery, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies and I was there with my women's Christian fiction book, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast.
-- We both consider veteran newsman and retired NNI publisher and executive Ray Moscowitz a major influence in our careers.
-- To this day, Janis assists Ray with special projects including books and social media.
-- We know several of the same people, although the two of us had never met.
From that encounter, we friended each other on Facebook, quickly becoming colleagues and sharing tips and promotional ideas. Janis claims that I gave her some good marketing ideas. I know for sure that she helped me bunches. Last summer, Janis even paid a house call and helped me set up this website and blog. I’ve been blogging twice a week since.
Janis also told me about a crowd-sourced project that Indiana University Press is publishing for Indiana’s 2016 bicentennial. It’s a book called Undeniably Indiana and Janis told me the project had both our names all over it. Sure enough, we both have essays accepted and the book will be out next fall.
I count Janis as one of the unexpected joys of 2015! A delight of this author gig is finding kindred spirits who come beside each other with support, information, ideas. Besides Janis, I’m thinking of Trista Hill with the how-to lifestyle book, Eat Cheap!; Mary Wilkinson with the young adult work, Call Me Lizzy and Mark Herbkersman with his three westerns, and special friend Debbie McCray with her blog, Snowdrops for Faith.
After years of thinking that I should work on my author’s platform via an active blog, this year it happened, thanks to Janis’ assistance. For half a year now, I’ve been posting right here wice a week.
The other day, Debbie, who is my most faithful blog reader / commenter, asked if I prefer she comment on the blog website or on the Facebook link. I told her that I don’t care which, and that I simply appreciate her comments. Then the thought hit me: I have failed badly this year in responding to comments readers are kind enough to leave, and thus, am failing to advance potential dialogue between us. Even though I get more than a thousand blog page views a month, few leave comments. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been a good steward of my own words. So here’s a vow for the new year: I plan to do a better job at responding to your comments.
As we wrap up 2015, consider picking up a copy of my book via Amazon, Kindle or directly from me for someone on your gift list. I’d be delighted to sign the book to whomever you wish, and even wrap it for Christmas and mail it back to you. If you are interested, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll quickly work out details. You can also go to the ABOUT DONNA tag on this site, scroll down, and buy the book. Boom!
I haven’t said much about my next big project because you'll hear a lot about it in 2016. But even though some new things are coming, please know that I’m still actively booking programs relating to the first book. If your Red Hatters, home ec club, church life group, book club, spring tea committee or any other ladies group you are involved with needs a program, I can tailor one to suit your needs. Give me a shout at the email above and we’ll talk.
I leave you with a look at this little ornament on our Christmas tree. I picked it up at a camel ranch last year on my trip to Israel: “Trust God but tie up your camel.” The saying made me chuckle. We have to have faith in the Lord, but we have to reach out and do our part too, accomplishing what He has for us to offer the world or at least, offer our little sphere of influence. That looks different for each of us as we are all uniquely wired according to His will and boundless creativity.
The main theme of my first book is this: Trust in the Lord and He’ll walk beside us in every season of life. As I put a wrap on 2015, I believe that. And pretty soon, a new season will arrive for all of us. It’s called New Year’s Day 2016. Are you ready?
Special invite: If you're a blogger, please share your blog link and tell a bit about it. My village might well be interested in yours.