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Archive for the ‘FAITH’ Category

(This is for the book idea that my son Christian started. I promised him that I would publish it, and even though he’s gone now, I am determined to keep my promise.)

So, I decided to take a little time off to give my eyes (and brain) a little break. Yeah, right. Let me share with you how that went.

The first 2 days, I did actually stay off of the computer, and all other digital screens (they really drain my eyes). Instead, in between loads of built up laundry and cleaning chores, Frodo demanding to play with the frisbee, and the cats getting into everything, I managed to catch up on a little reading.

As I read through the next section of the 90 Day Challenge, my brain went into overload with questions and ideas. There are so many possibilities, so many little details and choices to make.

Having published 2 previous books, and helping several other authors to publish their books, I’m not a novice. However, I was disappointed in the sales of my books. But I learned from the experiences.

I learned that there are many more hats to wear as an independent author than most people are aware of. So, I made it my mission to learn every aspect of the writing industry, and learn how to become efficient at each job. I won’t say that I’m an expert in all of it, particularly in the technology area, but I learned how to perform all the duties for each different job title.

After the rough draft was completed and being reviewed, the next phase is creating the book cover.

Being an artist, I love the creation aspect, though I’m not proficient in using the modern art programs on the computer (I still prefer paper and pencils, but I’m old). It takes a little longer for me to figure out how to work some of the programs, but with a fierce stubbornness, I finally managed.

Once I figured out how to use my art software, I created 3 different cover designs that I felt represented the feel of the story.

I also created a private Facebook group, where I posted pictures of the 3 designs and took a poll for the members to vote on their favorite.

While the voting process was going on, my mind jumped ahead to the actual uploading the book to Amazon, along with creative marketing ideas. (Sometimes, I start wearing several different hats at the same time, and it gives me a headache.)

Knowing that Amazon changes their formatting requirements from time to time, and this part of the technology is confusing to me at times, I decided to check for any changes. And of course, there were several.

It took me a few days to work out the details, and I had a few issues with the computer along the way. At one point, I felt like throwing the computer out the window, so I took a break and played with the dog for a while.

Once I got the bugs worked out of the computer, I tried to create a sample cover, but part of the process involves giving a page count to build the correct size spine for the book.

I used KDP’s template to create the proper trim size, but of course, in the conversion process, it changed the chapter layouts. So, I had to change quite a bit of formatting, which took a few days. And since I’m still working on editing, there may still be more formatting work to be done in the days to come. But I at least got the majority of the work done for the cover.

The poll ended last night, and the winner is:

As of today, there are 31 days left until the book launch, and still much work to be done. But for today, I’m celebrating one more check off the list of to do’s.

The next phase will be where I’m going to need the most help in making this book launch successful. So, if anyone is interested in helping out, things like spreading the word, it would be most appreciated. (You might even win a prize for your efforts.) You can let me know here in the comments, or on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmberLeaLeggette/  I’ll be posting more details in the coming days.

In the meantime, I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone for all the support and encouragement. I am so excited to see this all coming together!

Have a great day, and share a smile.  – Amber

#MakeADifference

(Reposted from: https://amberleggettealdrich.com/blog/ )

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A leap of faith… “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him…so shall your plans be established and succeed”. (Proverbs 16:3 AMP) In 2014, when he was in the 7th grade, I gave my son, Christian, a writing assignment for a fictional story as part of his Language Arts class. […]

via 90 Days to Published Challenge… — Amber Leggette-Aldrich

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Writing For Fun I’ve been working hard all week, and now my brain is feeling a little weary and fried. So, I decided to change things up a bit and just have some fun. I think I’ll start with a little insight into my personal life. One of my top favorite things to do in […]

via Friday Fun #1 — Amber Leggette-Aldrich

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Beginning with his debut as the quirky and lovable character, Mork from Ork, on the hit TV series Mork and Mindy, I was always a fan of Robin Williams. His quick-witted humor and explosive energy-filled antics brought laughter from deep within, you know, the kind that just seems to make the problems of the world a little less intense.

The bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Maybe that is why I enjoy laughter so much…I need the medicine!

I have always loved being goofy and making others laugh as well. It just makes life seem a little better. And let’s face it, there is already enough darkness in the world, and I don’t want to add to that.

But it’s not all about jokes and deep roaring laughter.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend”. (Melody Beattie)

Finding real joy in life involves sharing an appreciation and thankfulness for life itself, and binding hearts together in that light and hope.

I think Mr. Williams knew that somewhere deep in his heart. I think it is what drove him so hard and filled him with a passion to make people laugh. Regardless of the pain and struggles he endured, he wanted to make the world a brighter place.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile or kind word or gesture to put a smile in someone’s heart. And it is definitely worth the effort.

What have you done today to put a smile on someone’s face and light up the dark?

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Please feel free to share any tips or suggestions you have!

God bless, and have a smiley weekend! – Amber

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When My Heart Stopped

It’s been almost 3 years since I last posted anything here. I don’t know if anyone is still following this blog, but if there is, I just wanted to explain my absence, and share my story.

On February 6, 2016, my 13 year old son, Christian, passed away in a tragic accident, and life as I knew it ended. My heart was still beating and my lungs still took in breath, but my mind went numb and my soul seemed to leave me. I was no longer alive.

I saw a post on a grief support group that said, “I died that day too, but they forgot to bury me”.  I thought, “how true”.

The “me I was” no longer exists, because that “me” had hopes and dreams for a future, one that included Christian in every aspect, a future that will never be. And so, that life ended.

A long time ago I said that my words were seldom polished or rehearsed, that I didn’t follow any fancy writing style, but that my writing came from the heart. But when your heart is shredded into tiny particles, words and thoughts don’t make any sense. Neither does life. So, I stopped posting. I did some journaling from time to time, but it was full of darkness and pain, not the kind of words to encourage hope and faith. I was dead inside.

CPR for My Soul

I woke up each morning and did whatever needed doing that day, but it was like watching someone else through a misty veil living a life that didn’t make any sense.

The next winter my Dad passed away and I slipped even further into the empty darkness. In just a few short years I had lost so many family members, I was beginning to feel like Job from the bible. And I kept begging God to take me too, but He didn’t.

About a month after my Dad passed, my pastor’s Dad also passed away unexpectedly. Being a pastor, he upheld a face of dignity and faith, and on the surface he showed great strength. But when I looked into his eyes one evening shortly after his Dad’s funeral, there was a reflection of pain that I knew all too well. When Christian died my pastor had said he couldn’t even imagine what I was feeling. But that evening as we talked about his Dad, I knew he now understood, and a connection was made.

I felt compelled to try to offer a sense of comforting, but I had none to give. Or at least so I thought. My pastor is a man I have always looked up to and felt a deep respect and admiration for (and still do). So when he told me that evening that he felt inspired and hopeful because of the strength and faith I had shown, I felt a little awkward and insecure. But I listened, and we exchanged a few memories and stories.

Later, I saw 2 memes on Facebook that I knew I had to share with him. One said, “Someone had to go into the fire in order for Nebuchadnezzar to see God” and the second said, “God uses broken people like you and me to fix broken people like you and me”.

I understand now that every one of us goes through all kinds of struggles, trials, and pain throughout our lives. But we have a choice in how we react to it. We can allow it to consume and destroy us, or, we can allow it to be used to help someone else, even if only to listen and try to understand on some level.

Many times in the past few years I’ve asked God what He wants me to do. I don’t know how I got the idea that He would speak to me in a loud booming voice and give me step-by-step instructions on what to do (probably too much Hollywood and not enough Holy Bible), but that is not how He answered.

I kept finding myself coming to these bible verses, and it finally occurred to me that these are God’s instructions for me:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 KJV)

Coming Back to Life

I have been broken by my grief and there are many pieces of my heart that are gone now. But it has opened my eyes to others that are hurting, and it has stirred compassion in a heart that I thought was dead. That spark of compassion led me back to writing, to share hope and encouragement in any way I can.

I know I will never be the same person I used to be. But in my heart and in my writing, I am coming back to life. It will not be easy, but the journeys that make good stories and testimonies never are.

My goal here is to make connections in sharing our journeys, to lift each other up with stories and prayers, to share hope and smiles where they are needed most.

Since I have forgotten practically everything about the functions on how to run this site, I appreciate your patience as I get reacquainted with the workings. I plan to begin posting a couple times a week and look forward to your feedback. As always, please feel free to share, leave any comments, questions, prayer requests, etc. I welcome the interaction!

God bless!

– Amber Lea

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

May the peace and hope of Christmas live in your heart everyday. Merry Christmas!

Faith, Hope & Miracles

I know everyone is quite busy this time of year. I have a long list of “to do’s” myself. But I wanted to take a moment to share a quick message, and a prayer.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and the real Spirit behind it. Yesterday we were asked, “What gift would you give to God”? It is His birthday being celebrated after all. But from everything I have learned over all these years, I know that the one gift He desires most of all, is my heart.

Sometimes my mind becomes very distracted with the details and demands of everyday life, and I lose my focus on what really matters…God, my family and friends, and doing what I can to be a blessing to others.

So I want to take this time to tell all of you…you are the gifts that I treasure most in this world…

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When Time Stood Still

Faith, Hope & Miracles

(A letter to my son, Christian)

It was Saturday, November 13, 2010. A typical winter’s day in Alaska, with a beautiful fresh snow blanketing the ground. What started out as a normal day quickly turned into the most horrific day of my life…the day I held your head in my hands and watched you die, helpless to do anything but pray.

Many times I had heard the phrase, “cry out to God”, but on that day, I literally screamed to Him, begging Him to save my baby. There are no human words to describe what I felt, but it seemed as if time had just suddenly stopped. It was as if I was in another world, watching, and waiting.

I don’t know why it occurred to me, or how it happened, but I was suddenly and utterly filled with an indescribable faith, somehow trusting and knowing that God was at…

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Jason’s Gift

Inspired by recent discussions regarding passion and purpose. Sometimes gifts come from the most unexpected places.

Faith, Hope & Miracles

Being a creative minded person for as long as I can remember, I have always felt a fondness for art. I find a beauty in paintings, songs, crafts and literature, that I could not explain for the longest time. But recently I began to discover some things about myself that has given me a new understanding of my life. Art in its various forms stirs emotions within me, and creates a connection between myself and the artist.

My journey into writing began a little over 13 years ago, when my son, Jason, died. On the outside, I put on the mask of strength, trying to show that I was okay. I did this for two reasons. The first being that I was 8 months pregnant and everyone around me was concerned that the stress would cause me to have a miscarriage. So I tried to relieve their concerns, not wanting…

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Here is the interview with author R. Glenn Kelly I promised. Take a look and tell us what you think…and please share! Thanks – Amber

Faith, Hope & Miracles

It is always a joy to share  a great book, and today I have the pleasure of introducing author R. Glenn Kelly and his book, “Sometimes I Cry in the Shower”. It is a story of a journey I promise you won’t soon forget. It is well written, informative, engaging, honest, and laced with tears, love, and laughter. Read some of the reviews here.

Ron Kelly Sometimes I Cry in the Shower

On to the interview…

Q: Give a little background of why you wrote your book.

A: After the tragic loss of my son Jonathan I refused to grieve, convinced that holding it back from others, and ultimately myself would allow me to survive the dark pain. However, the corrosive emotions enwrapped within grief soon began to take their toll emotionally until one morning the very spirit of Jonathan came to me in the shower. He wanted me to understand that I was not honoring him…

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On Grief and Healing

Author Spotlight: R. Glenn Kelly, and his book “Sometimes I Cry in the Shower. The journey into the grieving process is never easy. But there is hope for healing.

Faith, Hope & Miracles

It takes a warrior’s heart to persevere in the publishing world. Walk in the confidence that God has put a story in your heart and He will equip you to tell it. After all, it’s really His Story, isn’t it?” – Pamela Thorson, author of “Song in the Night” and “Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver“.

Writers are often said to be introverts, and that may be true for many. But they are also a brave sort of people, for it takes a tremendous amount of courage to put pen to paper and share dreams, thoughts and ideas with the world. There are often ideas created out of seeing a perspective or need that needs to be addressed. Perhaps the courage comes from an overwhelming need to share a personal message, maybe an experience that might benefit others.

Such is…

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