Writers & Personal Style~

22 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone,

 

I love to watch a good movie, preferably anything of either the superhero kind or a romantic drama / comedy. Everybody has their own tastes and preferred genres when it comes to movies. Some like horror movies or can’t seem to get enough of Stephen King flicks. Others watch only inspirational movies. For myself, it’s a mix. Around Halloween especially is when I really get courageous enough to see a new horror movie. But the point is: everyone has their own tastes.

 

The same is true for artists – some prefer watercolors; others, a different type of painting style. For writers, we all have our own genres that we prefer as well. I prefer romantic suspense, because I love a good love story, wound together within a intense mystery where the reader gradually pieces together a puzzle. Maybe that’s why Kate Morton is my favorite author. Also, there’s nothing wrong with the genre you prefer, or the type of writer you are.

 

The only thing wrong is when somebody makes it their priority to try to hurt you or else ruin the objectives to your dreams in which you’re currently working so hard for. These people are called bullies. Online, they’re called cyber bullies. Now there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism – the kind where people kindly correct you about how to be better at your dream career or hobby. That type of stuff I happily accept. But, as many of you probably know very well, there’s the ugly type – those who purposely try to say cruel and untrue things about you. They may post an ugly comment on a social media page of yours, or share your information just to publicly humiliate you or else try to destroy your public image on social media.  I’m not sure what causes people to want to purposely harm others to get what they want or maybe to even make them feel better about themselves, but I’ve dealt with it enough times to realize that these people are not worth even corresponding with. So whenever someone does try to purposely get you, just remember one thing: nobody can ever prevent the dream career or hobby you’re trying to reach. Absolutely nobody. All you must do is block them, maybe fix your privacy shields a bit if you need to, and move on. It’s not even worth trying to defend yourself to people who are not keeping an open mind or open heart about the kind of person you are, or the art you’re trying so hard to create.

 

Writers aren’t perfect. Human beings aren’t perfect, and we haven’t been since before Adam & Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. If writers make a mistake, maybe they aren’t aware of it. Maybe they need some kind advice. But don’t berate them, embarrass them either publicly or privately, and don’t belittle them. In the long run, such cruelty isn’t going to benefit you, especially if readers discover you’re cruel to other authors/writers. Don’t you want people who follow you on social media to look up to you?

 

Writers – we are all in the same boat here. We all want the same goal: to be published, and to positively affect the world through our stories. But how exactly are you doing that if you’re being a bully to other fellow writers/authors? Still, I forgive you. This post isn’t about shooting daggers at anyone, but rather, showing people the right and wrong ways to criticize art. The art of writing is a beautiful thing. God blessed us with the talents to commit pen to paper and create amazing stories. But God did not create us to harshly or cruelly criticize other people’s mistakes or personal styles. Such negative attributes are straight from the devil.

 

Constructive criticism is beneficial and is much encouraged. Going forward, please make sure that the criticism you give others is not going to hurt them in any way, and is said in the nicest way possible. As an artist, writer, or whatever hobby or career you’re passionate about, you’re always going to receive criticism. You’re also always going to have the chance to give criticism. But just make sure that both are done in the right way. Otherwise, it not only tries to destroy that artist or writer’s character, but it begins to eat at your character as well.

 

There are millions of people out in the world longing to make a difference to the world. Don’t try to ruin that for them, especially when you’re trying to make a difference yourself. Instead of being an enemy, be a friend, because friendship will change a person’s life for the better; enemies only destroy.

 

So writers, I encourage each and every one of you to write in your own personal style! Work your hardest and be the best that you can be, and don’t let anyone ever create doubts in your mind about yourself. Don’t ever let anyone try to thwart the dreams you’re working to accomplish. I especially encourage you to pray about it, because with a little bit of hard work and a little bit of fervent prayer, God WILL bless you.

 

Have a good week, everyone. And remember, be nice. 🙂

 

JMK~

Advertisements

Waiting for What You Want Most~

Waiting for What You Want Most~

14 January 2019

 

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year!!! 🙂 🙂

 

I cannot believe that it is finally the new year! 🙂 2018 was such a terrible year, filled with disappointment and death. Therefore, I am so thankful for a new year; for new beginnings and adventures. I’m so looking forward to what God has planned for us this year!

 

In fact, below are my 2019 goals. I never fulfill all of my yearly goals, but it’s still fun to plan and think ahead, isn’t it?

 

  • Develop a stronger faith & a complete trust in God.
  • Finish my current WIP (Work In Progress), “The Innkeeper’s Secret”, and thoroughly revise it and do research on it.
  • Finish my final FINAL revision of “The Dead Sister”, completely revise the query letter & synopsis, and once again submit to literary agents.
  • God willing – find our house, buy it, and move out of our apartment before the summer.
  • Spend more time with family and true friends, as well as church family.
  • Learn better on forgive and forget, as well as how to be completely content with my life for now.

 

Right now, I am waiting on several things in my life. One thing I can mention is that I am waiting for the time when I’m once again a published author! Within this past week, I became an official author on Goodreads!! How huge that is, because to me that means that I’m still not just a writer, but an author. Granted, I’ve only published one book in my life, but still, I have faith that one day, God will bless me with even more books to place on bookshelves. This time, God willing, they’ll be on shelves at Barnes & Noble – just like my favorite author, Kate Morton.

 

Waiting is sooooo tough. Everyone in the world has waited on something in some point of their lives. Maybe you’re simply waiting for life to begin – for college to start, to finally move out and be free from your parents. Or maybe you’re waiting to finish college and find that career you love. You could be waiting for that dream career, for God to bless you with that perfect spouse, for God to bless you with a baby, or for God to save you from the problems/trials going on in your life.

 

Whatever you’re waiting on – just remember, God knows. Right now, God has forced my husband and I to wait for blessings that only He can provide. But in those times of trial and uncertainty, it’s important not to lose hope or faith. This season of waiting is simply just a test of your faith. God wants to see how much you’ll depend on Him – or if you’ll take matters into your own hands! And folks, DO NOT TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS!! Do not even make a single decision in your life without praying about it first. It’ll only cause you to have to take a serious detour within that certain big decision or issue you’re praying hard for. But if you simply trust God and be patient, God WILL come through for you because He DOES exist and He DOES LOVE YOU more than you can possibly imagine!

 

One of the hardest choices I’m faced with right now is being patient – but in the course of that, I’m learning how to be content with where God has put me at this point in my life. No, it’s not fair, and quite often, I cry out to God and pray with my whole heart for Him to answer our prayers. But alas, we must let God’s timetable rule.

 

Soooo what are you supposed to do in the mean time while you wait?

 

Busy yourself with the hobbies you love. Right now, while I wait, I’m devoted to re-decorating and re-organizing our home, playing piano more, reading suspense novels, working harder to learn & love my job better, and planning and writing my current WIP. I’ve also devoted myself to spending more time in God’s Word, in prayer, and spending more time with my husband, Ryan, as well as my family, true friends, and church family. No, all of these hobbies do not block the desperate longing coursing through my heart several times a day. They do not block out the need for those dreams that drive me forward daily. But even more important than that – in fact, the most important of all – by gradually learning to let go of my fears and worries each morning and choosing to trust God, I’ve found an everlasting peace. That peace comes only by giving our Creator all control. I’m not saying it’s easy; in fact, it comes only over time, as well as through sincere Christian growth.

 

But I promise you this – when God whispers, “Okay, you’re ready now,” and answers your prayers – just think how eternally thankful you’ll be! And you know what? You’ll also be thankful that you had trusted Him in the first place, because He is our dearest friend we have, and He will never let us down. Never! No matter how He chooses to answer our prayers! 🙂

 

Are you struggling right now in your faith? Or are you looking to get closer to God? Or maybe it’s your first time turning to God in your life and you want to learn more about Him? Come on, don’t be shy. – Please feel free to comment or else drop me a line at my email: books_jmg@yahoo.com. Never lose hope, my friends, and never lose patience! Yes, it will be trying at times – but it WILL be so incredibly worth it!

 

Make sure to follow me on Goodreads! Have a good January, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

Christmas Memories~

Christmas Memories~

23 December 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

What are your favorite Christmas memories spent with your grandparents? Did you used to bake cookies / other desserts with Grandma or Grandpa? Or do you simply remember being surrounded by them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, relinquishing the cherished memories of simply being together.

 

This holiday season will be the first Christmas without my grandmother, a wonderful lady who taught me so many things in my thirty years of life. She taught me how to work hard for what you’re most passionate about, never give up, and never stop trying. She taught me that one doesn’t have to have good looks to be successful in life; among other things. Ever since I was a little girl, I enjoyed baking with her. Saturday afternoons growing up, I’d go next door to my grandmother’s house where she had fresh baked cookies cooling on the counter, and always offered to make me some tea. She had a ton of different kinds of tea, so she always gave me my list of options of teas I could choose from. She’d always recommend one, too, and together we’d sit together at the kitchen table, and she’d look over the day’s newspaper or magazine and ask me what I was up to these days, even if she’d only seen me a few days before. My grandma always had her dark hair, no matter how old she was, short and permed perfectly. Her bifocal glasses sat at the edge of her long nose. Her hands were spotted with age, but ones that reminded me of comfort, love, and patience as she taught me how to sew images on dish towels and kneel at the foot of the bed at night before saying my prayers.

 

I’m thinking about my grandma a lot this holiday season, such as how, every year, she created little drops of fudge and divinity for her grandchildren to enjoy. My sisters and I, my parents, and as many cousins as could come, celebrated Christmas Day afternoon opening gifts that my grandmother had given to all of her grandchildren. You could tell, simply by the joy on her face, that she adored seeing the looks on her grandchildren’s faces as they opened their gifts, while being quite humble about her own gifts. My grandma put her whole heart into the spirit of Christmas, and aside from God, family meant the most to her. I so wish I could hear her laugh again, her pleasant voice, and the comfort one can have simply by being in their grandmother’s presence. I plan to one day tell my future children about her and the woman who meant so much to me. I loved her very much.

 

This holiday season, make sure you’re humble within the spirit of Christmas, that you’re more excited to give rather than receive gifts. Cherish the sweet home holiday traditions you share with your families, and study them fondly so that one day, they’ll be rigidly clear in your mind as you think upon what once was. Bake lots of Christmas cookies and candies, even if you end up having to throw some. Buy different kinds of wrapping paper. Find lots of cute little knicknacks and streams to hang around your house, aside from a simple Christmas tree. If, in your head, you’re finding excuses to not go to a certain relative’s house or to visit this person or that person – don’t think on the negative. Because Christmas is about the positive, and sharing the season of giving and sharing with those we love most.

 

Happy Holidays, everyone 🙂

 

JMK~

 

 

When in Doubt, Do What Grandma Says~

30 October 2018

 

Hello everyone,

 

Hope everyone has had a good October and fall so far. Halloween is tomorrow, and I’m dressing up as Mario. What are you dressing up as?

 

This October has been a terrible one for me, mainly because my 92-year old grandmother, Agnes, passed away on Oct. 15th. I cannot even begin to explain to you the depth of how hard the past couple weeks has been. They’ve passed by in a blur, but it’s been a blur of numbness and shock. I keep having to poke myself that this wonderful, spirited woman who had lived next door to my parents out in the country all my life is now gone. There are no words to fully examine to you how much I miss her, or how much I crave her presence.

 

Almost every weekend when I was growing up, I went over to her house and hung out with her. I baked with her, prayed with her, and learned from her. As I grew older, I didn’t notice that she growing older, too, but in a completely different way, even though she was still her loving, spirited self. She had the same laugh, the same directness to handling disobedience as well as not being afraid to tell you exactly how she felt about something. But that was okay, because she was her own person. She loved the Lord, she loved her family, and loved reading, puzzles and, in the earlier years, enjoyed sewing as well. I fondly think that I’ve received my enjoyment of writing from her. She had a single typewriter she used for typing out all of her letters, recipes, and notes. She enjoyed reading and had done so for many years, up until within the past few years where she couldn’t see well enough to do so. When I was either 13 or 14, she started ordering Love Inspired/Harlequin books (which amounted to about 4 books a month) and gradually, when she was done reading them, she put them in a special cupboard in her desk for me to take and read for myself next time I visited her. Every time I visited, she always had a personal story to share that was similar to one of the books I picked up, or a story that reminded her of one of the books’ plots. And I’d sit and listen to her calmly and patiently talk, while she thought of every aspect of the story just to make sure she got every part right.

 

I went to high school and college, graduated, and lived on my own for a couple years before I married my husband. Along that time, I worked, enjoyed being a newlywed, and forgot about how my grandmother had gotten even older. She started using a cane. Then, gradually, a walker. Then, before I knew it, myself and most of the other grandchildren sat in her nursing home room surrounding her where she lay, unconscious and on oxygen. As I sat there, occasionally visiting with my sisters and cousins, I gazed around the room at the pictures that had defined her life. Her wedding picture sat nearby, and within that photo sat a much younger woman who had a full life of possibilities stretched ahead of her. It made me realize then, as I sat there, about how fast life really does happen. Once you reached 30, the age I’m at, you only have 10 years until you reach 40. Then, before long, your kids make your years whiz by up through age 60. For example, I can’t believe my parents are in their early 60s now. It seems just yesterday they were in their 40s, raising little ol’ me and my younger sisters.

 

If you think about it, it’s really not fair. Relatively, on average, God only gives us 70-100 years to live on this earth. We’re babies, then we’re children, and then we graduate from high school. Then, we graduate from college. Then, we get married and have kids. (Not necessarily in that order.) We raise kids, watch them graduate and get married and have their own kids, and before we know it, we’re sitting in a nursing home wondering where life had gone. Every day, especially lately, it feels like life just goes faster and faster. When I was growing up, particularly in elementary and high school, the days crawled. Maybe it was because I hated school and didn’t enjoy my classes, nor have very many friends. Or maybe it was because I didn’t think of how slow or fast life was going. But while I was growing up, my grandma was growing older. Whenever I wrote to her, she wrote back sometimes complaining that I don’t visit as often as I should. At the time, I just shook my head and chuckled, mentally reminding myself to visit her next time I visited my parents. But now, looking back, I feel ashamed of myself and not visiting her as often as I probably should have. However, within the past few years, I began visiting her more and more, and that makes me really thankful now that I did do that. We didn’t even have to talk about much. She had the volume on loud because she couldn’t hear the greatest, and we’d just sit there in her living room watching old game shows together. Neither of us really ever had anything new to share. But the time was made to simply just be with each other and cherish the time together. After an hour or so, I remember that every time I admitted I had to go, she had this big disappointed look on her face. But I also knew she understood. She’d been young once, too.

 

I’m saying all these things not to make you depressed or feel sorry for me and our family’s loss. Rather, I want you all to really take a good look at your own life. What kind of legacy are you going to leave behind for your children and grandchildren? The kind of life you’re living now, they’re going to be envious of one day – especially your grandchildren. If you’re away from home a lot, visit your folks and grandparents as often as you possibly can! Trust me, if you don’t grab hold of that time and cherish it, you WILL regret it one day. I regret not spending more time with my grandma. I should’ve made it more of a point to spend more time with her, even though I spent as much time as I could with her. One day, you’re going to be sitting in a nursing home wondering where life had gone and why it had gone by so fast. Don’t just bypass this blog post without thinking about it very much – REALLY think about it, like I have. Enjoy your life, and cherish it. Grab hold of it as hard as you can, and spend as much time with your family as you can. For if you don’t, you’ll regret it, and that’s a horrible feeling to have.

 

On the day that my grandma was driven to the nursing home, she left her home for the last time. She looked back at the home in which she’d lived for many years. So many memories had been there. Raising kids, grandkids, and having grandkids visit in your house. Walking across the land and breathing in that fresh country air. Thinking about the length of time and the depth of the memories ~ if you think about it, it really gets you. Life is built with memories, but most especially, with God as your Head.

 

Cling tight to those memories, but most especially to those family members you love so much. Keep God as the head of your life always. Plant a legacy the future children and grandchildren will one day be extremely proud of. Then, quietly leave it behind, trusting in the Lord to handle the rest in this wild adventure we call life. The continuous circle of life will go on until Judgment Day. But you – yes, you – only have 1 life to live. 1 life. How are you going to live it? Making choices you may one day regret? Or living in a way that is not only pleasing to God, but in a way where your future grandchildren will one day wish they’d lived it with you?

 

I will forever love and miss my grandmother. She was one of the more important persons in my life. But as I continue on in this adventurous and busy life, I will honor her memory by carrying on her legacy ~ a legacy she would’ve been proud of ~ all the while planting my own.

 

JMK~

Goals for Fall & Winter 2018~

25 September 2018

 

Hello, everyone!!! 😀

 

I am BACK!!! Back and ready to roll! 🙂

 

Some of you may be wondering where I was for two months. Well, I had been busily studying away to get my insurance producer license. For a month and a half, I took classes and studied for four exams for Property & Casualty insurance – only one in which I passed on the first try. Monday of last week, I finally passed the final exam. Along that time, I had sacrificed every evening to studying. My life only consisted of church, work, and eating. Friday evenings were the only time I used to spend with my husband. Otherwise, I was studying away, and I learned a lot and it was so very worth it. But now, I am back, and so excited to discover what God has planned for our lives. I’m also so excited for evenings spent with my husband again, and free time to do chores around the house, hobbies such as writing, knitting, reading, and playing piano. I’m so excited to get back into the business of writing and editing again – Lord knows how much I missed it.

 

Therefore, below is a list of goals I hope to accomplish before the end of this year, 2018. Hope you all enjoy, and comment your two-cents worth as well. I also enjoy hearing from fellow followers.

 

  • Finish editing my completed manuscript, “The Dead Sister” and send back to my beta reader.
  • Complete my knitting project (round table decoration runner) and give as a gift to somebody this Christmas.
  • Play a couple piano songs that will influence me as a pianist, songs I’ve been waiting to complete for a long time.
  • Get 2-3 novels read before the end of the year, including the newest book from my favorite author, Kate Morton: “The Clockmaker’s Daughter” (so excited!).
  • Get more organized around the house and maybe do some planning about the kind of decorations I’d like in our new home next year.
  • Start learning to sew by beginning a sewing project with my mother.
  • Start writing a new book with a catching title and a beautiful, thrilling storyline.

 

Now, it’s your turn! If you wish to join in the fun, let’s get to know each other better, people 🙂 Copy and paste the list below into your comments and complete it, or else send me a message if you prefer not to say. I’d love to get to know my followers better – whether you’re on WordPress only, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram 🙂 Come, and let’s be friends!

 

Hope to talk to you soon! Below is the list:

 

  1. Your favorite fall activity is:
  2. Your favorite fall hobby:
  3. Such hobbies such as knitting and sewing are_____________.
  4. Who is your favorite author?
  5. Favorite book genre?
  6. Favorite past-time?
  7. Outdoor or indoor person?
  8. Coffee, tea, or neither?
  9. Preferred weekend activity?
  10. State or province you live in?
  11. What you’d like my page to show more of? (Be appropriate, please.) __________________
  12. Was this list a good idea? Yes or No?

 

Blessings always,

 

JMK~

The Art of Contentment

15 June 2018

Hello everyone,

 

Are you ever at the grocery store, at the movies, etc and you overhear people complaining? And don’t you just wonder to yourself why they are complaining? I mean, even I complain about stuff. But if there’s one thing I try my hardest not to complain about are the blessings that God has blessed me with. And that’s what I’m here to talk to you about today.

 

I don’t watch the news anymore, because it’s far too much negativity. People killing themselves because they don’t have God in their lives and they’re not grateful for the blessings God has given them. The media complaining about the President that half the country didn’t vote for, when they should learn to be respectful of all people no matter what. The media complaining about anything. Politicians and celebrities saying or doing this or that that was shocking and apparently newsworthy. I’m sickened about all of that. Complain, complain, complain.

 

Let me tell you, if the majority of our world, or society in general, learned to be content with what they have and learn to follow God like they should, we wouldn’t have as many problems and misled people. We wouldn’t have a bunch of complainers we’re surrounded with. And it’s ironic, too, that a lot of things that they complain about in their lives they have actually wanted/hoped for/prayed for at one time in their lives. Now, hmm, suddenly that changes?

 

  • Don’t complain about your God, for He was the one Who created you and your loved ones and made you into a beautiful person, Who gave you all your hobbies and loved ones and people in your life. You should be extremely grateful to Him every day for all these blessings in your life, for it is actually only if we are thankful for what we already have do we receive more blessings.
  • Don’t complain about your job, because you need it to supply your income. Without income you wouldn’t be able to put food on the table, pay your bills, and buy stuff. It provides security for you and your household, and is a blessing.
  • Another blessing is your spouse. Actually, this should be #2 on your list that you’re thankful for blessings (#1 being God). Remember when you were in high school or college and the only single person among all of your friends, and how you longed for, in the deepest recesses of your heart, for someone to share your home with? And now you’re complaining how your husband or wife never does this or that, blah blah blah? Really? Don’t forget about everything your husband or wife DOES do to you, and how much they love you. Don’t forget how they always treat you right and how you’re #1 in their life. Spouses are a huge blessing. I should know – I married one 🙂
  • Don’t complain about your children and everything they do or don’t do. Try to be the best parents that you can and raise them right, but don’t wish that you never had children or that it wouldn’t be so hard. There are hundreds of infertile couples all over the world who would KILL to be in the same position that you’re in. Don’t forget that. Children are a blessing, more than you can ever imagine.
  • Don’t complain about your family, for there are lots of folks out there in the world who don’t have family at all. Families are a blessing.
  • Don’t complain about your friends, for God sees and knows everything, and along with talking bad about everyone else in your life, you will stand before the Lord on that one day. Friends are a blessing, but if they are thorns in your sides, then maybe it’s time that you find some better and truer friends. Friends should always make time for you and be by your side. They should encourage you and want to be around you all the time. That’s how one knows they have true friends.
  • Don’t complain about the food that you eat, the water you drink, the places you go. There are lots of people in the world who don’t have such luxuries. The right thing to do is to be thankful for the food that you’re eating, which is something I had to learn from a young age. Even if you don’t like the food, eat it anyway and be thankful that God has richly blessed you in supplying it to you.

Overall, folks, just be content. Be content with what you have and you can never go wrong. True contentment, though, is found through being a follower of Christ. Believe, repent, confess and be baptized for the remission of sins. Follow God and His unique plan and will for your life. It will change your life. It will make you into a better and stronger human being. And, for the love of all that is good and great, please just stop complaining so much. People don’t like to hear it anyway.

 

Be content. Be thankful. And be good to others. ~ That, after following God, is the answer to true and lasting happiness.~

 

JMK~

 

 

Goals for Summer 2018~

1 June 2018

Hello everyone,

 

Below are my goals for this summer of 2018 that I plan to get accomplished. All of it is in accordance with if God wills, of course.

 

In the mean time, what are your summer plans? How do you plan to make this the best summer yet? Feel free to share your comments below!

 

  • If it’s God’s will, accomplish my utmost heart desire, aside from serving God.

 

  • Be as active as possible with my church.

 

  • Develop a more consistent prayer and Bible study life where daily I am studying God’s Word longer, as well as pray to God longer. Also, this includes drawing strength from Him and learning to trust in Him completely to carry out His plans for my life.

 

  • Grow stronger friendships with the church brethren, as well as my close true friends.

 

  • Spend more time with my husband, Ryan, and do more fun hobbies together.

 

  • Find a literary agent and hopefully this summer, if God wills, get a publishing contract. If not, continue to search for agents and get my query letter finalized where I won’t need to constantly revise it anymore.

 

  • Make my 30th birthday on June 29th the best one yet.

 

  • Finish revising my book, “Crimson” and finish writing my book, “The Last Soldier”.

 

What about you guys?? Also, what do my followers wish that they could see more of from my blog posts? How can I make my blog posts more interesting?

 

I’ll check back in within another couple weeks or so. Take care and God bless~

 

JMK~