Encouragement From The Crates

Things I Ponder:

(c)JPHarris, 2014

One of the most upsetting things to encounter for those gifted to be scribes/writers is to be silent. It is dangerous for a writer to be silent. It is dangerous for our pens to be still, screens blank, skills dulled to the point of collapse. Our eyes seeing with no faith to believe for change, no words to create to draw attention. Words which have power to stir thoughts to instill or stimulate change. It is the artistry of imagination where possibility is created, exposed and changed. Writers are misfits. We see the unseen, name the unknown and touch what is hidden. Yet, these things must be seen and said. The atrophy of time must be rebelled against. We must race against the light given to us, race against it. We cannot curl up with the words, the word inside us. The unsaid, the unwritten must still be said…even in dreams.

[image from Kai Ellis, all rights reserved.]

Beta Readers: Pros & Cons (Part II-PROS)

There is something so amazing about sharing your work with people excited to read it!

It is a testament to the WIP (Work In Progress) that those whom you have asked to read you work are just as passionate about what you are creating as you are! The people whom are willing to look over typos, incomplete sentences or even lopsided plots (and their holes) and see the potential (and potential greatness) in what you’re creating!

Beta Readers are the frosting on the WIP cake! They make it better, sweeter and help to bring everything together. When your Beta Readers are engaged; when they communicate with you; when they get swept up in a world you’ve created? This is the very best thing.

Beta Readers offer you first hand reaction to your story! The scary part of any WIP is the actual draft, but to have someone willing and engaged enough to read it? Including the revisions? This is a high compliment and encouragement.

Think of Beta Readers as sous chefs. They help to get and pull everything together. Their help and input help to shape the document, making it perfect for the rest of the world.

Do not shun the extra eyes, dear ones. Don’t negate the power of those whom are willing to review your work and invest in it! Beta readers are needed! Seek them out and use them!

The work awaits!

Spring 2019-Writing Workshop

The second writer’s workshop is in the next 2 weeks!

The purpose of these workshops is to assist budding and aspiring writers with with manuscripts, ideas or works in progress! For 2 hours, there will be advice dispensed, questions answered as well as resources given!

I am excited for what this second workshop will bring and the work to be created from it!

Pushing writers is what I do, and this platform is one more way to do that!

Best,

JBHarris

Protecting The Work: Integrity In Chosing Beta Readers

The most important thing for Beta Readers is not the reading.

No, it’s not a joke.

Yes, I’m serious.

The most important thing for a Beta Reader is not to steal your work. Even if it’s a rough draft.

In choosing your Beta Readers, the best advice is to keep your number small and composed of people you trust. It also doesn’t hurt to have your Beta Readers sign a contract that dictates not to share/plagiarize the work you show them.

Intellectual property is still property! It needs to be protected to the fullest extent of the law.

Take pride in your work! Protect it.

There is nothing worse than having your work stolen by the very people you believed you would trust with it.

[image from ad-Martin.com]

What Is A Beta Reader?

According to Wikipedia:

A beta reader is usually an unpaid test reader of an unreleased work of literature or other writing, who gives feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.

Note: A beta reader is not a professional and can therefore provide advice and comments in the opinions of an average reader.

Let me make this clear, to publish or become published, you don’t need to have a beta reader.

Let me also make this clear: beta readers are a tool and Shekinah Glory Writing Services is a fan of beta readers!

Beta readers are a great, living addition to your writing tool kit. They can give honest opinions and observations about what you’ve written. They can be just as passionate about your characters as you are. They can ask questions of you to pull out more story–sometimes parts you didn’t think about!

Beta readers are the unsung heroes of revising and drafting! Don’t believe me? Ask Stephen King. It was his wife, Tabitha, that rescued a novel from the trash because she liked what she read! That novel was Carrie.

Keep writing dear ones!

Writing Corner: B.M. Hardin, Amazon Best-Selling Author

If you haven’t heard of the quixotic, eloquent and driven BM Hardin, you are missing a great gift! On the eve of the release of her 37th book, Secrets Of The South, she gave me a few minutes to pick her brain and talk shop.

Shekinah Glory Writing Services:

How did you start writing?

BM Hardin:

I’ve always loved to write. I tried writing my first book at 14. I didn’t know enough. I wasn’t ready. But I continued to win writing and essay contests and went on to major in Communications. In 2012, with the support of friends, I decided to try writing a novel again: it was a success!

SGWS:

Are you published anywhere?

BMH:

Am I published anywhere? Amazon. Some books are in Booksamillion and in tons of libraries. 

SGWS:

Do you have any current projects?

BMH:

Yes. I am preparing for a release but haven’t revealed the title yet.

[Editor Note: As of this posting, her latest book has been announced through social media and has been released on Amazon–Secrets Of The South.]

SGWS:

Do you have a writing schedule? Have you been able to stick to it?

BMH:

No writing schedule. I write when I’m in the mood. When I’m inspired. When I’m happy. [When I’m] sad.

SGWS:

What do you wish people realized about writing?

BMH:

I wish that they realize that it’s okay to find your own lane. It’s okay to mix genres and hit stick to just one. Write what feels good!

SGWS:

What have been your greatest joys in writing? Challenges?

BMH:

Greatest joy has been the amount of support and dedicated readers I’ve picked up over the years.

Greatest challenge is not having enough hours in a day to type out all my crazy ideas.

SGWS:

If you could offer one thing to potential writers, what would it be?

BMH:

I would offer them advice on the importance of being unique!

Don’t follow trends or do what everyone else is doing.

Do your own thing!

You’re title is important! Your cover is important! Definitely invest in them.

Thank you, Ms. Hardin for your wisdom and joy. This is a reminder to keep writing, let us as the writer define the work!

-compiled by Jennifer Harris, Lead Administrator-Shekinah Glory Writing Services

BM Hardin is a freelance writer and entrepreneur. If you want to know more about her, along with a list of writing services she offers, click here.

[image from shereads.com]

2019 Writing Workshops

Image result for writing on a calendar

 

Mark your calendars!

From the success of the Fall 2018 Writing Workshop, there are two workshops planned for the early part of 2019! The first will be in January! The second in late April.  will be a Spring session planned for January 2019! The cost for registration is $25, and will cover the cost of your materials, as well as a copy of the book Bend Blank Pages, Volume 1.

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Payment must be remitted before January 10th, as the January workshop will be January 12.

The venue accommodates 30 people comfortably. You can register for the workshop by emailing your name to sgwritingservices@icloud.com, as well as through Eventbrite by clicking here.

There will be some surprises as well as some giveaways!

For more information about Shekinah Glory Writing Services, follow us on Facebook!

 

 

[image from Px.here]

From The Crates

LEAVING:

(c) October 2015 JPHarris

The voices are aging. The forebarers that lit the path through the igniting of thought are leaving towards the same light that sent them.

In contemplation, I find myself going to these people: my mother Bessie Bush, Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou. It was my mother whom introduced me to the worlds books hold, and the solace they provide. In my darkest moments, she would ask me, “Are you still writing?” I would answer her as my situation dictated. I recognize there will be a day where I will no longer have benefit of her voice on the other end of a phone. Despite past contention, she has been graced to be my mother. I will need her until the Lord will need her Home. I thank her for being my mother when it would be easier not to be.

Anyone that knows me understands my love for the other 2 aforementioned women. With the nation losing our grandmother Oracle in Maya, I grappled with that sense of loss-I have enjoyed her work since age 9 when my mother gave me her copy of I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS. All we, yes we, have left of her, is what she left: her letter and voice.

Toni Morrison is 84. The same age as my grandmother whom would be 86 this year. I found Toni Morrison in high school and was rapt with her tone and description of anything. I knew then, this gift of words and being a writer, was indeed a craft. Indeed a craft. There will too be a day where the world will only have her letter…and voice.

The Word of God says “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” In this space, I commit these intangibles back to Him seeing as He is the giver of all good gifts. In that process, in the beginning of the becoming and faith in its end, I believe a portion of my legacy will be left to treasure in letter and voice.

See mom, I am still writing.

When The Paper Is Empty

Think of writing as an ocean, ebbing and flowing. There are times where there is a lull in writing. There is a time where the words aren’t coming or won’t come.

The paper or screen lays there like a blank, whitewashed catacomb. It is the scariest thing to a writer. It’s not writer’s block. It’s a quiet, the lull…the ocean moving away from the shore.

The ocean is your talent, gift, the ability to create with pen and paper. The shore is the connection of idea, talent and availability. Creativity flows in cycles be seasons. There are times when the flow is seamless and writing is easy.

The tidal waves are what I live for! The ideas that flow and crash. The ideas that come out of nowhere and everywhere! There is the calm, soothing waves after you finish a work.

But the lulls? As hard as that is, they are scary and quiet. They are these desolate places where you try and push back to the shore. And if enough time has passed, you look for the shore. You look for anything that has life to it or shows life on that shore.

The scarier part still, during this lull, you think you may never get back to it.

Fight the lulls! You do that with rest, time and learning to swim, as it were. Not everything is a novel, or a blog post. Some things are just meant to be noted. Recorded. What you catch during the lulls crafts your ship, which will always take you back to shore.

Sometimes, you have to tread water…even in the ocean. What you catch will keep you afloat.

[Image screenshot from YouTube Channel, BioGraphics]

The Weapons Of Your Warring: Build Your Vocabulary!

Image result for build your vocabulary

Writing is work. If you follow this space, you know this. You know that I pull no punches in regards to this craft. This post will be no different.

You only get better at writing, by writing. There is no quicker way, there is no secret, there are no ways to be a writer without writing. One of the ways your get better as a writer is to increase your tools. The essential tool every writer has is your vocabulary.

Build it.

Push it.

Develop it.

 

One of the quickest ways of increasing or strengthening your vocabulary is reading. Any word you come across–look it up! I know, I know. Very rudimentary, extremely low tech, but it works. That word, start to use in conversation. Know that it means, and write it down. The other way? Dictionary app.

The Dictionary App is on of the quickest ways to build your vocabulary! There is a option this app has where you can subscribe to The Word of The Day. Everyday, you can learn a new word, or even look up the etymology of words–especially helpful for expanding your vocabulary horizontally.

Case in point. Let’s take the word witch. The archaic word for witch is beldam. This word, beldam, is also a word for an old woman or a hag–hag is another word for witch. See how that works?

Good writers are good readers. Good writers have an arsenal of words to build words and create.

Don’t fear it–build it.

 

Happy Writing.