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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Well Launch Day is just around the corner, and I am getting super excited! It’s been almost 90 days now since I started this project, and I have my author’s proof copy of the book sitting on my desk. (I already had the digital copy downloaded, but there’s just something more real to me, to actually feel the paper pages, to smell that ‘new book smell’…)

It may sound a little strange to some, but as I sat here holding the copy in my hand, thumbing through the pages, I felt a sense of warmth surrounding me, like a hug from Christian. It brought some tears, but they were mostly of joy.

I’ve been working with members of my launch team, planning the launch party since I started the 90 Day Challenge, jotting down ideas and goals in my journal. It’s going to be a live event co-hosted by my friend, Melissa Eversull, on Facebook next Saturday, from 2 PM to 5 PM, Alaska Standard Time, and all are welcome to join me in celebrating.

There will be fun and games, prizes, and open discussions, including a Q & A session. So, if there’s anything you would like to know about me, or the book, or writing, or share something about yourself, this will be a great opportunity for us to make that connection! (A big part of the reason I decided to do this event live on Facebook is the chance to get to know my audience a little better, and let them get to know me.)

I will also be posting links at the even to download the Kindle version of the book for free that day, along with giving away a few free signed copies of the print version. (There will also be a surprise bonus, announced during the event.)

I’ve never hosted a live event online before, so this will be a new adventure for me, one that I am really looking forward to. I hope you will stop by for a visit, and join me in celebrating this accomplishment!

To join the event, just click Amber’s Book Launch or you can copy & paste the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/3095403733834644/ (Make sure to click on the ‘going’ button) And of course, feel free to invite your friends. I’d love to meet them too! (We’ll be using the hashtag #TheChosenOnes for the event.)

In the meantime, it’s back to work (I’m already sketching ideas for book #2) and finishing the final touches for the party. I hope to see you all Saturday! Have a blessed week! – Amber

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(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 New Journey…

For those of you that have not heard, a few months ago I decided to go full time with my writing career. (YAY!) In addition to books and articles, I also began doing some freelance work, along with helping other authors to publish their work.

Last month I created a new site that will be primarily for the new business.

The new address is: www.amberleggettealdrich.com

Today is Day 1 for a 90 day writing challenge for a new book, from beginning the writing process through publication.

This is a project that I’m super excited about, because I’ll not only be creating a new book, but fulfilling a promise to Christian.

I want to take a minute to say thank you for all the support, kindness, and encouragement you have shown me over the years here. And I look forward to our continued friendship.

I hope you will check out the new blog, and join me in this new journey!

Here’s to success, and happy writing! – Amber

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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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Kindness in the world of wordsmiths… Through the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful folks in the Author community. Without their kind generosity, my own journey into the land of writing would not have happened. Generally speaking, in the world of business, competitors are seen as the enemy. But in the world […]

via 3 Questions for Authors — Amber Leggette-Aldrich

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If you are (or are planning to be) in the writing business, this is some good advice. Also, for authors looking for an avenue to promote themselves and their work.

Amber Leggette-Aldrich

In the beginning…

When I write, I can put the jumbled thoughts that are
swirling through my mind into written words that can make sense, even if only
to me. Because I must focus to move my fingers on the keyboard, I can take my
time and just let the words flow in a more selected way, and then change the
thoughts into more organized patterns.

The intent is to imagine these patterns as pieces of a
puzzle, and then begin putting them together to form the complete picture. That
is the magic of writing.

When I write non-fiction, the pictures often represent the
emotions in my heart. But they also represent knowledge learned, which came
through seeing, hearing, and doing, my life’s experiences.

One of the books I am working on now came from the experiences I’ve endured on my journey to becoming an author, and I’d like to…

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Writers’_Rough_Drafts_–_Episode__36_With_Amy_Clover_-_Craft_Your_Content-1

After a lot of careful consideration, I decided to create a professional site for my author’s platform. That is where you will find stories, excerpts, news, tips for writers, and anything else to do with writing.

The name of the new site is Amber Leggette-Aldrich: Painting Pictures with Words. (Just click on the link to go there now.) I hope you’ll join me there!

I will continue to keep this site as my personal blog, for sharing things not related to writing.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 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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Time-to-Write-banner

It’s that time of year again. Time to get those fingers limbered up, pencils sharpened, and all of our writing tools in order. I hope you have your brain muscles ready to start creating your paintings with words!

I’ve been really busy setting up a new website that is all about reading and writing. And I’ve created a interactive project open to everyone. This project is set up to create a novel, with guidance for the writers by the audience. If you or someone you know is interested in participating as a reader or writer, just follow this link: amberlealeggette.com

Membership is free, and is required to join the forum where the writing work will be drafted. Readers may participate with reviews and suggestions in the comment section of the homepage. Make sure to sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive important updates and news.

And as always, please share!

Happy Writing! – Amber Lea

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