Getting Closer to Publication – Editor Feedback

I’m so sorry I haven’t connected with you all lately. My days have been busy and time seems to slip away. I wanted to drop a line to say that I received the notes from my editor and the rewrites will begin soon!

My wonderful friend Nichole Gause, an amazing author, poet and playwright, is my editor. I am so grateful that she took the time to review my work and give me honest feedback. Words can not expression how much I appreciate her!

I have to admit I was a little nervous about what she would have to say. There was no need because her comments were both encouraging and enlightening. She stated, “Overall, it is a wonderful novel. Rich in drama. Maureen is a complex character that you like to watch.” Maureen is my main character and the novel is written in her words. I’m sure you will like her too! 🙂

Mrs. Gause gave me feedback regarding the places where my writing was the strongest and ways that I could strenghten the weaker areas. She also noted were there was contridiction in the plot and unclear scenes. I’m excited to rework the novel to make it the best that it can be.

I’m aiming for a summer release date. I will continue to keep you posted as things progress. I can’t wait to see my work in print and share it with the world. This is truly a dream come true!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (New Living Translation)

Much love,

Sherry

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Another Step Closer to Publication! – Reader Reviews

Hi everyone!

Last week I sent my book to a couple of avid readers to get their honest feedback. They responded with glowing reviews! They loved the characters, story line and message. They said it was a page turner that kept them engaged. They wanted more and even gave me ideas for the sequel. I did leave it open for that. Now I guess I have to make it happen. lol But first thing first. I have to get the first book published. 🙂

They did find some typos and a particular scene that I needed to clarify, but those are easy fixes. I’m so thankful they enjoyed it and got the message I intended. That means my writing wasn’t in vain. My book is entertaining and inspiring. It’s one thing for me to think that, but for readers to agree is an amazing feeling!

My editor is still doing her review and I’m waiting with bated breath. I’m excited and a little nervous to hear her thoughts. I know she will give me great feedback that will help me tighten things up for even more impact.

My dream is closer to becoming a reality. II will keep you posted on each step of my journey. Hopefully, I will have my book in my hand soon!

I am so abundantly blessed right now! My book is a work in progress. I let go of fear and shared my presentation “Being a Holy Ghost Diva” at a women’s fellowship last month. It was such an amazing experience. I look forward to more opportunities like that. I started a new job and it’s going well. I’m stretching myself, growing, learning and becoming more of what I’m destined to be.

It makes me think about the song “God’s Got a Blessing (With Your Name on It) by Norman Hutchins. That is so true! Whatever blessing God has for you is for you. Your name and only your name is on it. I’m claiming mine! What about you?

Sherry

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One Step Closer to Publication!

Today is a day I will never forget! I completed the first draft of my novel today! The characters, scenes and dialogue that have been dancing in my head for over 7 years have been completely unleashed. The book I have been talking up is finally a reality.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a writer and I am working on a book. If you talk to me for more than 30 minutes, it’s going to come up some how. lol I’m sure some people may have thought this book was a figment of my imagination. She couldn’t possibly still be working on that same book she was talking about two or three years ago. But, I was.

My writing process was very odd to say the least. I wrote when I was inspired and when I wasn’t I procrastinated and came up with excuses about why I couldn’t write. I didn’t have time. Devin needed me. My husband needed me. My friends needed me. I’ll do it tomorrow.

I didn’t feel so bad about this when I heard that Shonda Rhimes thought about Scandal for over a year before she wrote one word. When it was time to submit the pilot she got a hotel room and wrote for 4 days straight. If it worked for her, it should work for me, right? Not exactly. 😉

When I wasn’t in avoidance mode, I was involved in a spiritual warfare. The enemy put all kinds of barriers in my way. One particular barrier caused me to have writers block for about 2 or 3 years.

I was working in Drama Ministry when something I wrote was misconstrued and my salvation was attacked. I knew I was called to write in a way that would uplift the body of Christ, but I was being told that God didn’t receive what I wrote and it wasn’t inspired by Him.  I was devastated! I was a Christian writer and everything I did was for and about Christ.  I eventually disconnected from that ministry and allowed church hurt to block me from fulfilling my purpose. For awhile I didn’t go to church at all. I was a Christian without a home and God was not pleased.

When I finally found a new church to unite with, I purposely became a pew sitter. I was afraid to work in ministry. I was afraid to share my gifts. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened before. My salvation wasn’t up for scrutiny. My desert experience taught me who I was in Christ and no one was going to make me believe otherwise.

It didn’t take long before I was called out and thrust back into ministry. That was such a blessing! I love Drama Ministry again and enjoy presenting God’s word in unique and creative ways. I enjoy teaching Sunday School and sharing wisdom with the younger generation.

Once I got back into ministry, why didn’t I go full steam ahead and finish my book? There’s one answer, fear. I wasn’t afraid of sharing anymore. I was afraid of succeeding. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I was afraid I wasn’t worthy of success. As long as it was a dream, it was just that, a dream. Dreams are lovely and full with hope. Reality doesn’t always look like that. As long as it was a dream it was something I was striving for. I couldn’t fail or succeed. The problem was I kept the dream alive for way too long. I knew I could be doing more than I was doing. I was making progress, but I should have been closer to the finish line.

Then I heard a sermon titled “What’s Fear Got to do With It?” delivered by Minister Edward Walker. The Word resonated in my spirit and caused me to spring into action. Jesus was saying, “What are you afraid of Sherry? I got you.” It was time for me to step out on faith. It was time to cast fear aside and be who I’m destined to be.

That’s why today is so important to me. I showed myself that I can do it. I showed myself that I am worth more than a dream. I showed myself that I am the daughter of the Most High and with Him all things are possible! God bless!

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Keeping Christ in Christmas

Hi everyone,

There are only 2 more days until Christmas! People are running around doing last minute shopping for their loved ones, making travel plans and deciding on their menu items. But have we forgotten the reason for the season? Do we really understand why we celebrate Christmas? It isn’t just a time to get the latest electronic gadget, visit grandma and eat fruit cake. It’s the time designated to celebrate our Savior’s birth.

A couple of weeks ago my son Devin had a doctor’s appointment. When the doctor asked him about Christmas he said “Christmas isn’t just about gifts. It’s about Jesus’ birth. He was born, died and arose to save us.” I was extremely proud of his response and the fact that he understood the things he has been taught at home and church about the Lord. I’m thankful he was bold and willing to share what he knew. It’s such a beautiful blessing!

My seven year old knows we must keep Christ in Christmas, but do we? Are we too caught up in the commercialization of the holiday? Are we more focused on the gifts we are going to exchange than the ultimate gift that God gave us in Jesus? I would like to share three things I think we can do to keep Christ in Christmas.

  1. Maximize Jesus and minimize Santa Clause – I know I may upset some people with this one. I’m not saying you shouldn’t tell your children about Santa Clause and have them leave cookies and milk for him. I loved Santa and left a snack for him when I was a child, but with Devin I wanted to handle things a little differently. We have never labeled Devin’s Christmas gifts “From Santa”. He has always known that his gifts came from Daddy and Mommy. He’s never taken pictures with Santa and I don’t think his childhood has lacked anything because of that. He knows all about Santa and has seen him in the mall, movies and commercials, but our focus wasn’t on that. We wanted to make sure he knew the reason for the season and the story of Jesus’ birth. He loves Christmas and says it’s the best time of the year. Of course it is! What child doesn’t want gifts and a break from school?  lol But, he understands that it’s also a special time because of Jesus. For that, I’m truly grateful.
  2. Don’t get in debt for Christmas – Christmas is not the time to max out your credit cards to buy gifts for people that they won’t use. Some of us get into so much debt for Christmas that it takes us well into the New Year to get our finances back on track. It’s wonderful to give gifts and show others that you care, but please do it within your budget. Start early so you can take advantage of lay-a-way. Set a budget for each person and stick with it. Homemade items can be a personal touch that means so much more than something from the store. Every year I say I’m going to start shopping early and it never happens. I pledge to try again next year. 🙂 I use to get in debt and then have to wade my way out in the New Year,  but not anymore. This year I know I can only do what my money will allow. I love all of my friends and family and wish I could get everyone something grand, but we have to live after Christmas and that’s way more important.
  3. Share Jesus with others – We should always share the message of Jesus whenever we have an opportunity, but particularly during Christmas. It’s one of two times in the year when the majority of the country is focused on a Christian holiday. What better time to share our faith?! You don’t have to stand on a corner holding a sign that says “Jesus is the reason”. When you greet someone and they say “Merry Christmas”. You can say something like “Same to you. Christ’s birth is definitely something to be merry about.” Make them think about the real reason for the season.

I think if we keep these three points in mind we can make Christmas what it was meant to be, a celebration of the ultimate gift! John 3:16  states “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.” We quote that scripture all the time, but do we really understand how awesome it is. Without Jesus, we would be lost in sin. Without Jesus, death would be the end. Without Jesus, we would be nothing. Remember Jesus while you are opening gifts, eating good food and spending time with family and friends. He is the reason for it all!

What are your thoughts about my recommendations? Please share.

Sherry Speaks wishes you all a very blessed and safe Christmas!

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Faith & Entertainment: Should Christians watch Empire?

Hi everyone,

For me, Wednesday night is not only Bible study night, it’s Empire night! I rush home, put my son to bed, grab a snack and sit in front of the television a little before 9pm, ready to view the Lyon family drama. But this past Wednesday, a thought came to mind that made me question my Wednesday night ritual. Should I be watching Empire? As a Christian, can I watch the racy love scenes, homosexuality, crime, greed and lust and be okay with it? It’s one of the biggest shows on television, but is it appropriate for Christian viewing?

I’m also a big fan of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Scandal romanticizes adultery and for a while I was Team Olivia and Fitz. As a married woman, I should have been totally against it, but like millions of fans, I got caught up in the fantasy and wanted the dream to come true.

How to Get Away with Murder actually shows us how to get away with murder. Isn’t that wrong on so many levels?

I love these shows because of the great acting and fascinating story lines. I know that everyone in the world isn’t saved and there are people that act like these characters. It’s real, but is it too real?

I Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV) states “Abstain from every form of evil”. Is that even possible? There is so much evil in this world. How can we avoid it all?

Proverbs 4:23 says “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Those issues are listed in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies”.

The Bible is telling us that we have to protect ourselves from the evils of this world so that we are not negatively influenced. But does that mean we have to live in a bubble and surround ourselves only with faith based content? We are in the world, but not of the world. How does that relate to our choices in entertainment?

Let me know your thoughts about this topic. Are shows like Empire, Scandal and HTGAWM off limits to Christians or is it okay for us to watch as long as we don’t allow it to change our perspective and how we live?

I’m a fan, but should I be? Sound off….now!

 

 

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About Me

Hi everyone,

This is my first blog and I’m very excited to share my thoughts about faith, love and life with you. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend and woman of God. I am a poet, speaker, writer and playwright. I have a passion for helping others see the best in themselves despite their circumstances or the limits placed on them. I strive to see life through the eyes of God, but my vision isn’t always clear. I am human and flawed. I am courageous and scared at the same time. I am complicated, yet easy to please. I am Sherry R. Jones and I thank you for your interest in my blog. I look forward to getting to know you. Sherry speaks, but I listen also. 🙂

As stated above, I will discuss three main topics; faith, love and life. Today, I want to share some of my thoughts about faith.

“Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

This is one of my favorite Bible verses. I try my best to trust the Lord with everything, but it’s not always easy to do. How do I trust Him when there are more bills than money? How do I trust Him that healing is on the way when a loved one is faced with a health issue? How do I trust Him that my child will be okay when he is having difficulty in school? How do I trust Him when the goals I want to accomplish seem so far out of my reach? I don’t know how I do it, but I do.

Newborn babies don’t know how to trust that they will be taken care of, they just do. They know that if they cry someone will come and figure out what needs to be done. Oftentimes I’m like a baby crying out when things are not right in my life. I don’t know how things are going to work out, but I know my Father will come and figure it out.

That’s faith. Trusting things will work out before they do. Believing beyond what you see. Not depending on your understanding, but knowing that God knows all. Following His path, not yours. Giving Him glory in everything you do.

Faith is a major part of who I am. Faith pushes me forward when I want to run back. Faith allows me to strive to be more than I dreamed I could be. Faith is my foundation. It has been shaken from time to time, but it has always held me up.

What is faith to you? Is it important to you? What role has faith played in your life? Please share. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. God bless!

 

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