A Cautionary tale of seeking endorsements. . .

 

 

We’ve all gotten those types of responses; the ones that make us go. . . HUH?!?

In the course of seeking endorsements for my debut release last year, I heard a lot of “I would love to, really, but I’ve got all these crazy deadlines. . .” and “Sorry, but my publisher/agent is really choosy about who they’ll let me endorse. All the best!”, but there was one response that I never saw coming; one that made me stop and go:

Wait. . . WHAT!?!?!

 

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way – I feel that your story isn’t quite ready for publication. I hope your publisher has provided you with a good editor, but if they haven’t, you should invest in hiring one. Having a trained editor’s opinion can make a world of difference in the quality of your writing.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! I have been helped by some of the best authors in the business in my publishing journey, and I’m always willing to provide the same for others.”

 

Is it just me or does that sound like an advertisement – wrapped up in a dig, hidden behind an apology?

 

The good news: I am now immune to such nonsense.

I might not be. . . except that:

  • I have been published—quite successfully—under a pen name for years!
  • When I handed this manuscript to the woman who, at that time (God rest her soul), was considered THE agent for Amish fiction, one of the first things she asked was who handled my editing, because it was “flawless”.
  • When I sent the story to the agent who later signed me, she told me the book read like it had already been published. . . it was “that good”.

 

The bad news: Other authors are going to ask this person for their endorsement…

I’m certain of it, because of who the author is. And, if they are not as experienced as I happen to be, they might actually be taken in by it. And my guess is that they would panic and beg her to help them get the manuscript ready before it is published imperfect and they end up a laughingstock.

 

As for me, I’m not worried. The book was edited by my personal editor before an agent or publisher saw it. Then, of course, it went through extensive editing through the publisher.

Not to mention, even THE BIG FIVE publish books with mistakes. I don’t just mean typos either. I mean big, huge, glaring mistakes that you wonder HOW on Earth they ALL missed. And. . . yes, I’m certain there are one or two of those in my book as well because. . . no matter how many eyes see a book, we’re all human and imperfect. In fact, one of my beta readers caught a mistake that, when I went back through my past documents, the only conclusion I came to was that the computer actually made it. Darn autocorrect.

 

So, to newbies, debuts, first-timers: BE VERY CAREFUL whose advice you take! DON’T just automatically assume that one person’s opinion is the be-all, end-all, last word. . . especially if you happen to have compelling evidence the other way.

This novel has been “quite ready for publication” for over two years. And now I must get back to work on the next one.

 

 

 

 

©Rachel L Miller 2017

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What CHRISTmas means to me…

Over the years I have discovered that Christmas is one of those things that means something a little different to everyone – even people who celebrate for essentially the same reason.

Obviously I cannot list all of those reasons because… well… 7.3 billion + people… But I’m going to list some of the general reasons. I have a point – I promise.

To some, Christmas is a very serious season – meant to be revered, solemn, quiet, still… Some of these people may decorate a tree, where others want nothing to do with trees because they feel so commercial.

To some, Christmas is all about the fun – meant for sleigh riding, snowball fights, ripping into wrapping paper and hanging out with friends. You’ll find that most of these people decorate a tree, bake tons of cookies, shop endlessly and watch every Christmas special they can. I did say most though… there are always exceptions.

To some, Christmas is just about family – baking together, making one of a kind gifts, doing a secret Santa drawing so you can really personalize and pour all your energy into that one perfect gift, and of course… traveling to visit family.

 

But where do I fall? What does Christmas mean to me?

Well, I am – like so many others – one of a kind.

I cherish CHRISTmas because of what the holiday originally stood for – the birth of our Lord and Savior; JESUS CHRIST! And there is reverence in holding this dear.

I value my family during this time – because without JESUS’ sacrifice and Saving Grace, would any of us be here now?

And of course, I focus on having fun with my family – because I believe it is what JESUS would want me to do this time of year… in reality… every time of year. JESUS blessed me with my two children – two little miracles all my own – and I intend to do everything I can to show them how rare and precious they are; not just to me but to their Heavenly Father as well.

We will watch Christmas specials that focus on all these things; A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nativity Story, Christmas comes to Canaan, etc… because the most important thing about Christmas isn’t the tree… or the presents… or the food… or the movies you watch… or even the people you watch with… it’s remembering WHY all of that is important – because JESUS gave his LIFE to save us and HE deserves ALL THE PRAISE for blessing us this season and every other!

GOD BLESS YOU!

MERRY CHRISTmas!

Christmas 2015 Name

 

©Rachel L Miller 2015

Being single and adhering to God’s will | From the other side of marriage

I read an article this morning – and it inspired the following post.

So, being single at 28 doesn’t mean I’m desperate, but it does mean that I’m choosing to sacrifice my desires for God’s desires and plan.

TODAYSCHRISTIANWOMAN.COM

I’m Not Desperate, Just Single.
Please stop stigmatizing my singleness

 

. . .

First off, let me say – I LOVE this article. It touched my heart and gave me renewed sense of purpose.

Second, I will tell you that I live on the other side of this discussion – not just because I am in my thirties, but also because I am single, having married and divorced in my twenties.

For years . . . absolutely years, I heard “Just give yourself some time. You’ll decide to move on at some point and meet someone new.”

Well, I tried that. Before I re-dedicated my heart and life to God, I tried NOT being married and having the full-on relationship. I went from one-night stands to serious committed relationships to casual dating and “hooking-up”.

And I have to point out right here that I had a pretty impressive track record for a girl who was told over and over and over in high school that she would never be attractive to men unless she dropped about 50 pounds. Amazingly enough, I did lose about 30 pounds after my divorce. And then I got involved in a relationship that lasted over two years – and when that one ended, I was actually heavier than I was in high school. So I spent my wild years in relationships with men (not all handsome, but not all dogs either) who found my plus-size figure attractive enough. . . No, I’m not condoning my behavior – I’m just pointing out that size doesn’t make as much a difference as everyone would like to think.

OK.

After I decided my crazy, mixed-up, messed-up ways were not the best way to go about things, I decided I needed to get married again.

Clearly, since I reside once again in the world of the single life, that was a mistake.

I did not wait for God’s leading.

I did look for signs from God, but I was seeing them in the wrong places and still going about things all the wrong way. So it’s really no wonder that things ended . . . badly.

And once again, I heard the well-wishers who proclaimed that all I needed was to give my heart time to heal.

 

But here’s the thing (and it’s really the most important thing) . . .

It’s not about what I want.

GOD knows – so much better than I ever could – what is the right way for me, what is the right thing for me.

If I had listened to God . . . if I had waited for God . . . my life would be very different right now.

I might be married . . . I might not . . . But my life would definitely be very different.

THIS TIME, I am determined to wait for God’s plan. I am determined to wait for God’s will! And if that means I spend my life without a husband, then THAT is what I am going to do!

It doesn’t matter that my entire family looks at me like I’m damaged goods.

It doesn’t matter (though it really does hurt) that the families in our home-school organization look at me like I’m being rebellious and strong-willed. I know why I’m doing this and IT. IS. WORTH. IT!

So, from the other side of marriage, I have to agree with Rachel on this aspect, at least – it is more important that we do what WE KNOW GOD wants from us and WE have to make the choice to FOLLOW HIS leading!

 

IN GOD I TRUST!

Pretty Signature RLM

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

 

In remembrance of the day, of the lives lost, of the history and culture lost on that day… I will not be online between 8:46 and 10:28 am EDT today.

If anyone is interested, I am posting a basic timeline below.

For the full unabridged timeline, click HERE and visit the memorial site.

• 7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, takes off from Boston’s Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.

• 8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard, takes off from Boston; it is also headed to Los Angeles.

• 8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C. The Boeing 757 is headed to Los Angeles with 64 people aboard.

• 8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.

• 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building

• 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.

• 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

• 10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.

• 10:28 am – The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.

• 5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives.

I am thrilled to say that, though we’ve never forgotten, we have moved on and we stand proud and strong – rebuilding and showing our resilience as a nation.

Parents, teach your children the significance of that day fourteen years ago.

And PRAY today for everyone who lost loved ones on that day. PRAY thanks for everyone who volunteered that day to put their life on the line. PRAY for the leaders of our country, and for the people of the world.

PRAY for the salvation of those who do not know Jesus Christ. PRAY that they would see the truth of God’s love and accept the precious gift that Jesus gave to us more than 2,000 years ago.

God Bless You!

Never forget…

NEVER FORGET - RLM

© Rachel L Miller 2015

Let’s Get Real – Grateful!

Today is my birthday… and I am ever so much more grateful today than I was yesterday…

Yesterday I was feeling a bit melancholy. I tend to be introspective this time of year and the devil takes advantage of that to hit me hard with some things that I normally don’t even think about.

He loves to drag me down and he loves to lie to me and tell me… probably the same things he tells a lot of people… I’m not special. I’m not loved. I’m not worth anything. I’m not truly saved… the list goes on and on but you get the idea.

Thankfully, I was reminded this morning – by a friend’s recent blog post – that I have SOOOOOOOOOOO many things to be thankful for!

I have an amazing family who loves me, puts up with me, takes care of me, and tells me regularly… that they cannot live without me!

I have wonderful friends, both online and in real life, who tell me how talented and brilliant I am and how they cannot wait to see what God has in store for my gifts!

I have unbelievable talent that God has blessed me with – me… the girl who’s not special. Well, I’m not – but God obviously has some special plans for me!

I have the best, sweetest, most precious blessings of children – who love me despite my faults and shortcomings, who tell me they like me fat, like me even when I get fussy, hug me even when I lose my temper or patience, and cannot stand to be away from me even for the short time it takes to go pick up dinner and bring home.

I have had thirty-six years of blessing and love and patience from my heavenly father; who stood by me even when I turned my back on him, lifted me up even when I chose to lay in the ditch, and carried me through the storms I stumbled my own way into!

I am so very amazingly, unbelievably, incredibly, spectacularly BLESSED!

 

I am Grateful and I am Thankful and I am in AWE! And I hope you’ll join me!

 

GOD BLESS YOU!

~ Rachel

♬ HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! ♬

 

© Rachel L Miller 2015