Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Writer’s Tool Kit By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Do you have a “writer’s tool kit?” If not, I’m offering a giveaway of a pink tool kit from Lowes and several Writers’ craft books to one of the writers who comments on this post and an e-copy of my Christmas novella, The Fruitcake Challenge, so read on ...

If you’ve been reading Seekerville for very long, then you’ve been building and stocking your own writer’s tool kit. And craft books are also valuable additions to a kit, such as Julie’s wonderful paperback Romanceology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Inspirational and Sweet Markets.

I thought I’d add some additional elements to include in your kit, as you continue on your journey in writing Christian fiction. I recently posted a blog on ACFW about cross promotion, but I also touched on reciprocity. So I’m going to address social relationships a little bit for your tool kit.

Social Relationships for Your Writing Toolkit:

1)   Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. The Golden Rule has a big place in your tool kit. That means if you want people to promote you and your books (or blogs), you need to similarly return the favor. Think about it—if you continued to ask people to dinner at your house and they never returned the invitation, would you continue? No, of course not—because they’d be taking advantage of you and your good graces. Some folks may need a gentle reminder. But just like in today’s social milieu, you’ll find people who are only interested in what you can do for them with not even the slightest inkling that they would even consider doing anything for you. My observation—such authors often lose their audience because this disregard for others often shows itself in an author’s writing voice.

2)   Be a good guest when you do visit blogs, Facebook parties, etc.  Say something kind. Snarky doesn’t have a place in the social business world of writing. While you may enjoy that type of humor, it is not appropriate in a writing venue with readers or, in my opinion, other writers’ groups. Remember that what you say and do online will be around to haunt you for a long while afterwards. Do you really want your 28-year-old snarky comments to follow you ten years later when people are Googling your early books?

3)   Be a good host when you have online events. Show up. If you’re part of a group and you committed to being there, make sure you’ve marked your calendar. Engage with your readers. Take the time to comment back individually if possible. This is linked to another important asset in your toolkit—engage with other authors and link up in groups. Participate in a group blog if you can.

4)   Know yourself. #2 and #3 above might be a moot point if you know that the only social interaction you want with readers is face-to-face at book signings and you don’t want to deal with computers and today’s social media. But you’d better know your readers, too! If they all hang out on Twitter and Facebook and never at Barnes and Nobles where your book signings are, well…

5)   Engage with those who have supported and encouraged you even when there isn’t any goal in mind at present. For instance, if you have a great reviewer or beta reader but have no book for them to read at present, don’t just go silent on them. Check in. Most people who do you the favor of engaging in these activities are inundated with requests. Why should they give you the time of day when you vanish for months on end? Be considerate of others and their time. And yes, I do know there are some dedicated readers/reviewers whose sole desire is to get your book and read it without ever having any contact with you. But those are the rare reviewers these days.

6)   Do you like people? This is a valuable asset in your toolkit. If you love God’s people, you’re going to want to bless others, reciprocate, spend time with readers, engage online, and follow up with others. And if you don’t really have that love in your heart and want to do these things—don’t give the excuse that you “need to be in the writing cave” if it is more about not being around others socially. Pray for God to stretch your heart so you won’t want to make that excuse, but use it only when it is indeed critical (as in #7). I recently heard Jeanne Wynn talk about doing what works for you, but you’ll also find certain venues are less reader-engaged than others.

7)   About that being in the writer’s cave—it has to happen. There has to be a balance. Readers realize an author simply can’t get their writing done, and hence more books out for them to read, if s/he isn’t spending time writing. Let your social network know what you’re working on and how long you’ll be out of the loop so they can watch for your return. Kind of like having those signs on an office door that say “be back after lunch” only ours are “be back after spending hours and hours writing” or editing!

QUESTION: Of all these suggestions for the social part of your toolkit is there anything in particular that resonates with you? Is there something you’ve done that has blessed your socks off? Readers (not writers) do you agree with my suggestions? Leave a comment and you're entered to win a very cool writer's tool kit and an ecopy of The Fruitcake Challenge.

THE FRUITCAKE CHALLENGE:
I had the pleasure of reading Carrie's Christmas novella, The Fruitcake Challenge (only 99 cents, people!) and LOVED it! Here's my review:
 
The Perfect Recipe for Love! When it comes to cooking up delectable romance, Carrie Fancett Pagels is quickly becoming a chef extraordinaire in the Christian market, and her latest “dish”—The Fruitcake Challenge—is downright delicious! With a plot as fresh as the fruitcakes baked by the ladies of the Christy logging camp, romance is in the air when a handsome new logger dares the camp’s pretty cook to “bake a fruitcake like my mother’s, and I’ll propose.” Toss in a hint of mischief and a whole lot of sass, and the challenge is on! And so is the fun with a delightful Christmas story so sweet, you’ll be savoring it long after the last bite.

ABOUT CARRIE:
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. “Hearts Overcoming Through Time,” is an award-winning Christian historical romance author. Carrie’s Amazon Christian Historical Romance bestselling novella, The Fruitcake Challenge, released September, 2014. Her short story, “Snowed In,” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (2013). She’s the Amazon best-selling and top-rated author of Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2013). Her short story, “The Quilting Contest,” appears in Family Fiction’s The Story 2014 anthology. Carrie received Honorable Mention for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence for her unpublished novel Grand Exposé. Former psychologist (25 years) and mother of two.



133 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

I always find that the advice for writers is really just loving those around you and that's something we all need to do!
Thanks for your post Carrie. I'm not a writer, but would love to be entered for the Ebook! Thank you

Keli Gwyn said...

Great post, Carrie! The social skills are an important part of anyone's tool kit, writers included.

I enjoy interacting with others online and have been blessed so many times I couldn't begin to count them. The Seekers and Seekervillagers have blessed me greatly. Love this place!

Cindy W. said...

Hi Carrie. Thank you for the post. Social skills are important and I found that your #7 hit home with me. My time in the chair seems to be less and less during this busy season but right now it's beyond my control. But come the new year I plan to 'root' myself...

I would love to be entered for you took kit.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jackie said...

Hi Carrie,

I'm not published, but I try to help any author I can by hosting them on my blog. This year I realized giving good book reviews is more helpful than I thought. So I've tried to start doing that also.

Your book sounds like a fun story to read. Thanks so much for sharing with us today.

Mary Hicks said...

A writers tool box is a great idea. Carrie!

I have a mental picture of carrying one around like an old fashioned Doctor's bag.:-)

I practically do that with my big leather tote.

Each and every point you made is right on! Thank you for sharing. :-)

Wilani Wahl said...

Carrie,

Thanks for the advice. I will keep this in mind as I continue this writing journey. Social skills are vital!

Please enter me for the tool kit. I have read the Fruitcake Challenge and loved it and gave a copy as a gift. I am wondering if you know when the other books in the series will be released.

Jenny Blake said...

Hi Carrie, I agree with what you write. I have had people ask to be on my blog and have hosted them let them know the interview is up, had people stop buy and respond, ask questions and the author has not stopped by, answered the email etc. I as a reader and blogger find it disappointing. Even more so when they have asked to be on the blog.
I have to say most authors are good and when I have asked they have said yes or been honest and said they are busy but most will visit. Its the ones begging to be on and then when they don't even acknowledge the post I lose faith in. (most have been vanity press authors who I know will often give a wide berth).

One other comment if you do offer a giveaway on a blog it is important you go through with it and send the book to the winner. Having to chase up an author can be embarrassing for both the blog host and winner. Its even more disheartening when the author says they are sending and never do and yes this has happened both to me as a winner and as a blog host (I actually ended up sending the book myself).

Carrie's story is really cool. I enjoyed it.

Audra Harders said...

Hi Carrie, great to have you here in Seekerville!

OMG, the long lost rules of good etiquette. I'm glad you dusted them off and dressed them up for Christmas!

I love interacting with folks, I wish I could indulge more. I love celebrating hard won successes and commiserating with folks when things don't go exactly as planned in their writing careers. But I inwardly cringe when the only social posts I see on twitter scream "buy me."

Great post. Thanks for sharing!!

Audra Harders said...

BTW, I think Seekerville is blessed with the greatest group of friends ever!

Sally Shupe said...

Really loved this post! I would absolutely love to win the pink writer's tool kit! It would match the pink toolbox kit I got my daughter for Christmas! She wanted a tape measure; I found the toolbox with the pink tools inside and couldn't resist. Now she can redecorate or fix things with her own set of tools. And when she moves out next year, she will already have her tools.

I am working on finishing my first novel. I have gotten to know so many authors by doing book reviews. They appreciate the reviews and helping them get the word out about their books. Social media has opened so many doors for readers and writers to get together. I think I would find it really hard to have a face-to-face book signing. What if no one showed up? Online parties seem to be such a hit. But I've "attended" a few where the author wasn't there. It was disappointing. It was portrayed as a time to get to know the author, but the author wasn't there.

The point that resonates with me the most is number 5. When I get a book published and have reviewers and beta readers, I hope I will remember to make them feel included so when I have another book coming out, they would enjoy helping me. The relationships I have developed with authors I hope I can reciprocate with readers when the time comes.

Thanks for this great post! I would really, really love to win the pink tool kit!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

MARIANNE, you are so right!!! If we'd just do that, what a better world this would be. I have RA and OA and some other arthritic issues and maybe I should have added to this post--don't put your grumpy pained self out there to engage with people when you are in an arthritis flareup! Maybe for a post elsewhere for the arthritic author! It's more loving to hide in a writer's cave than come out and be like a bear on those bad days!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KELI, you have blessed others for years, via your blog promoting first time authors and now corralling the Guidepost Books A Cup of Christmas Cheer 2014 team to help get the word out! I totally agree--the Seekervillagers/Seekers are awesome. I was just thinking the other day about how I can't believe these authors are still working so hard (and it is hard work as you and I both know) to keep this stellar site up and active and engaged! Bless you and bless them, too!

Cindy Regnier said...

Hi Carrie. My favorite tool is book reviews. I write them whenever I can honestly leave a 4 or 5 star and skip it when I can't. Please enter me for the tool kit and I can't wait to read The Fruitcake Challenge!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

You are welcome and me, too, CINDY as far as #7!!!
January and possibly February I'll need to be deep in the cave with the sign on the door! Merry Christmas!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Carrie, I recognize your name from Christian Indie Authors FB. You make some great points that I really need to pay attention to. Thanks for sharing with us in Seekerville today. Your toolkit sounds fun. I know some winner will be happy.

Think I'll run over and buy that Christmas novella. Sounds fun.

Have a great day and thanks again for sharing with us.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JACKIE, you mean you are not published "yet" but you are a writer and you've got a wonderful blog! Loved this recent post and I hope I can leave the comment with this link to it. And it shows you already have the social skills and heart for God's people like I'm talking about here! Ty for your kind comments!

http://jackiesbackporch.blogspot.com/2014/12/going-extra-mile.html?showComment=1418220993158#c2887153747188706431

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

MARY, as soon as I saw that pink toolbox I thought--that would make an awesome giveaway at some point for a Christian romance writer! Just a fun kind of thing! I'm afraid I have several writer's briefcases. My fave is one that is a rolling briefcase made for travel and I take that to conferences with me. Christmas blessings to you!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

WILANI, great to see you here! Glad you enjoyed the novella! I think we get SO caught up in the writing that we forget to re-enter the world and behave appropriately. I don't think this is just writers, today, though--I see this lack of consideration throughout society. Many blessings to you!

Julie Lessman said...

SOOOO thrilled to have one of my FAVORITE people in the whole, wide world here today, Dr. Carrie Fancett Pagels!!!

Carrie, you are one of my favorite people, not only because you're smart and caring, but because you are incredibly sensitive, too, something this post underscores beautifully. As a psychologist, you know that "social skills" (i.e. kindness, sensitivity, courtesy, reciprocity, etc. are key, ESPECIALLY for Christian writers whose first goal should be to emulate Christ. And not only for writers, but for people in general in a world that desperately needs the true love of God.

Thanks for your beautiful (and practical) post today, my friend, especially during a week that my grandkids are here from Spokane to celebrate Christmas! SO appreciate you!!

Hugs,
Julie

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hey JENNY!!! You and I talked about some of this stuff when you were here from Australia. Bad behavior by authors toward bloggers, readers, and other authors. But, as we both know, God doesn't care for that and we need to keep praying for them that He'll help them correct that behavior. I'm guilty of being late and over-committing, too, and have to be reminded of my lapses. As for those authors who beg for a spot and don't bother showing up for the readers - they "earn" a consequence on blogs of never being invited back, don't they? Big hugs to you!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

AUDRA, we just attended Jr. Cotillion "Holly Ball" with our son and I'm always astonished when they do the "Social Moment" because I'd bet most of the adults in the room need those reminders, too! I don't think social toolkit reminders need to be "dusted off" but blasted with an air blower because in today's society we think basic social niceties are archaic! Yes, Seekerville rocks! Merry Christmas!

Missy Tippens said...

Carrie, thanks for these great reminders! I sometimes feel bad that I don't get on Facebook often enough. And when I do get on there, I feel behind! I miss so much if I'm not visiting every day.

I think the trick is to plan time to visit each day. Even if only for a few minutes.

Sandy Smith said...

Nice post, Carrie. I haven't written any books yet, but the advice is worth keeping in mind. Please enter me in the drawing.

Sherida Stewart said...

Good morning, Carrie! Congratulations on the success of The Fruitcake Challenge! Your toolkit of ideas is great! I find myself enjoying the social media too much, so must do #7--back to the writing cave. Thank you for your thoughts....and please enter me!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Excellent post and reminders. I'm building a collection of readers that I can send advance copies as a 'thank you' for being so loyal!

As for pet peeves...while I don't like to be too negative, I have to admit a certain annoyance for those authors who barrage you with requests to 'like' their page, but never return the favor, ...you know?

Donna said...

Carrie, what a great list! It is so important to treat others with respect. Most people are kind and just want to be treated the same. Some of us are a little socially awkward (me) and can make good use of this list!

Please enter me for the writers tool kit or the ebook. Thanks!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SALLY, I sent you a PM on FB!!! I think we may have some things in common besides writing! I would LOVE for you to have the pink toolkit. Not sure how they do the drawings here, though, as most of us bloggers use random.org for winners. But God's in control of that, so let's see! I love that you are trying to make your daughter independent!

I have hosted a bunch of parties and I have two group blogs. I know exactly what you are talking about when you say authors don't show up. Here's what we've had happen with Colonial Quills parties--we've had sudden illnesses, which we try to explain to readers but some things can't really be shared (e.g., if you have someone with a serious illness that does not want that shared for any number of reasons.) We've got a couple who have grandkids who are "supposed" to be at the parents' homes and they drop them off with our authors that day! We've had some where the authors' kids have had stuff come up unexpectedly and so on. And then, I hate to admit it, we've had some where even I have gotten no explanation as to where the author was :( What gets me is if there is an online party for an author friend, they do NOT comment back to people, and THEN they are posting all over FB so you know they are there! That is just rude. Makes you wonder if their publicist set up the party and they are being passive-aggressive! OOPS! Sorry, I put my psychologist's hat back on. Anyways, great seeing you here and Merry Christmas!

kaybee said...

Hi Carrie,
Thank you. I tend to be sarcastic/sardonic by nature, so I have to work really hard and pray to keep it at bay. I've found that people often misinterpret my dry humor if they can't see my face, and sometimes even when they can, so I have to be very careful on line. The 12th commandment is "Thou Shalt Not Snark." (Well, it could be. The 11th is something about internet hacking, I didn't understand it so I skipped over it. Ha ha.) I'm learning how important the relationships are. It's like any other part of the Christian journey.
Kathy Bailey

Kelly Bridgewater said...

Carrie, thanks for some food reminders. The last one resonates with me. Yes, I spend time writing, but how much other stuff do I allow to distract me from finishing my novel? Tons.
Thank you for your offer of a writer's toolkit.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Carrie,
So nice to see you here! And thank you for the great 'tools'!
It's hard juggling all the balls in the air, but when it comes to kindness and thoughtfulness, those are things we can't afford to forget!
Cheers,
Sue

Tina Radcliffe said...

Carrie, what a beautiful cover!!! Just lovely. And welcome back to Seekerville!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen and amen to all your tools!

I hope everyone reads them and not just the choir! LOL.

Sally Shupe said...

Hi! I messaged you back. What fun! I figured it couldn't hurt to say I really, really wanted it lol. God's got this. Each step along this journey, God has brought people into my life, or situations I would never have found on my own. I leave it to Him!

Your psychologist's hat? That's what my daughter wants to be. She heads off to college next year. I dread it. She is ready to go. But it's so true. No matter what is going on. If you can't be there, just say so.

It is great meeting you here! Merry Christmas to you, too!

Jeanne T said...

Great tips, er tools, Carrie! I loved each one of them. I think, as much as we writers sometimes wish to deny it, a lot of good comes from relationship--with other writers and readers. I say we might want to deny it because it takes time to engage.

As a pre-published writer, I'm working to build relationships now. I'm still trying to find the balance between the social end of writing and the cave end of writing.

PLEASE enter me into your drawing! :) And thank you for such a wonderful post!

Natalie Monk said...

These are great tools for the toolkit, Carrie!

I loved The Fruitcake Challenge! It was such a fun book and is exactly what I look for in a Christmas story! History, romance, comedy, faith, and a tidbit of suspense.

Thanks for bringing us this post, Julie!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I will be brave and comment on your question of the day. I am a huge introvert. Doing author events are required and I do them and actually end up enjoying them, but they totally wear me out. I prefer to meet one on one or even two on one for small gatherings.

For example I made plans to meet with Marianne Barkman and her lovely momma for breakfast. That was delightful. Not draining at all. But put me in a position where I am selling myself and I want to cry.

Pam Hillman said...

Great tips! Now where can I find that pink toolkit???? My DIL asked for a took kit for her car. Pink would be awesome!! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I saw pink preloaded tool boxes at Home Depot, Pam.

Cara Lynn James said...

Thanks for the tips on social skills, Carrie! They're so important.

Meghan Carver said...

Great, great post, Carrie! My biggest dilemma is knowing where and when to hang out. We all have only so much time and energy (hello, introversion!), so it's a careful balance to know what our personalities and our families can handle. I guess that's your "Know yourself" point. :-)

Your book sounds terrific! Merry Christmas!

Cynthia Herron said...

Great wisdom here, Carrie!

You nail the "social" part. I'll always remember sharing your table with you at the little Starbucks shop while at ACFW. Your kindness resonated with me that day and I'll always remember it.

I love that you address how important balance is. So, so true and something I've gotten better at! :)

Merry CHRISTmas and blessings over your writing ministry!

Mary Connealy said...

4) Know yourself
This one is one of my personal mottos.
Only my version is, "If I can't change myself, I can at least know myself."

Toward that end, I don't own exercise equipment.

Mary Connealy said...

I actually owned a pink tool kit once.

My Cowboy Husband was appalled. And not because it was pink...(well, not ONLY because it was pink)
It was bad tools. He says I have to buy at least Craftsman. Cheap pliers and screwdrivers are junk.

Does this have anything to do with writing?

I'm thinking not, but it is good Christmas shopping advice.

Missy Tippens said...

Sally my daughter (my youngest) heads off next year as well and is also interested in psychology. We can cry together when they leave! I'm just dreading it like crazy. Empty nest!

Mary Connealy said...

I also love The Fruitcake Challenge.

Fruitcake is NOT my favorite. But I have had delicious fruitcake and to tie it in with a love story, well, perfect Christmas story!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CINDY, that is a GREAT way to BLESS other authors! I try to do that as often as I can. I find if I don't put up a review right away I forget, though. On the Overcoming With God blog there are three reader/reviewers who are so much better at reviews than I am that I try to stick with my author interviews! I'll do bibliotherapy reviews and audiobook ones and those for special friends and my fave authors (of COURSE I am going to review JULIE's amazing books!) Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SANDRA, yes, I'm a hybrid author and I am SO appreciative of the CIA group on FB! Nice to see you here but I have also seen you around ACFW for years! TY for looking into my novella and I hope you enjoy it!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

MISSY, I think you are EXACTLY right!!! Scheduling the time makes it a nice social habit plus then people can look forward to seeing you at those regular times! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JULIE!!! You are the best!!! And this is like preaching to the choir for you as you're a social being despite, like me, being more of an introvert. And like most writers. But that just underscores why we have to make an effort and do God's will and not just hide in our houses, in our sweats, and write all day! Merry Christmas and thanks for having me on, Julie!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SANDY, how far are you along in the process? SEEKERVILLE is a great place to pick up all kinds of advice for your tool kit! Blessings!

Myra Johnson said...

Wonderful advice, CARRIE--thanks so much for joining us in Seekerville today!

I have to echo MARY about the importance of knowing ourselves. There was a time when I really, really did not like who I was--mainly the fact that I am an introvert and often become terribly uncomfortable in group situations.

Over the years, though, I've learned to value this aspect of my personality and to use it to its best advantage. I've learned to recognize when when I've been pushing myself into too much socializing, as well as when I've spent too much time alone and really need the company of others.

I also love your point about engaging with others with no goal in mind. It doesn't always need to be about the networking. We need true friends in this business, not just colleagues and peers. This is one area where I do need to work harder not to let my introverted nature hold me back from relationships.

Regina Fujitani said...

Carrie, what a great post!

As you know, I am not a writer. But, as a reviewer, beta reader, influencer, and promoter, I agree with you on the point where authors need to keep in touch. For me, it would make me think, did I do something?, was I in the wrong?, etc. Communication is vitally important. I like receiving feedback and I like giving feedback to the author as well.

I just wanted to comment, please don't enter me into the contest. Those that haven't read her book yet, I highly recommend you do! You'll fall in love with Jo and the others.

Sally Shupe said...

I figured once I found out what she was going to do with the tools, then I'd get her a nicer set lol. I found it on Amazon. As long as she doesn't try tearing the house down and rebuilding, we're good.

Missy, my son is 21 and just moved out a few weeks ago. Now my daughter will be leaving for college. I will be crying. I may have to follow her--even though she's one of those independent types lol.

I am such an introvert the online facebook parties scare me. I couldn't imagine doing an in-person author event. How do you prepare yourself for them?

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SHERIDA, at some point today I have to get back into the cave to finish up some edits on a MS due back to my agent, requested by an editor. What a blessing though to have a great reason to go in there! I worked as a psychologist for 25 years and even though I spent much of my time working with clients it was not the same as more typical social engagement, so writer-reader relationships are much more fun. Blessings!

Julie Lessman said...

NATALIE ... you are MORE than welcome ... I always LOVE bringing Carrie to Seekerville because she is a wealth of knowledge from a perspective that writers truly need (to understand their characters), but seldom get -- psychological!!

And I agree with Cindy's comment that:
"My favorite tool is book reviews. I write them whenever I can honestly leave a 4 or 5 star and skip it when I can't."

BLESS YOU, Cindy, because I SO appreciate reviewers like you. We are not part of the secular world, we are the Body of Christ, and frankly, if I can't say something nice about a book, I don't write a review, period. And when I'm not over the moon about a book, I focus on the thing I loved about it because there's always something, be it the historical research, lovable characters, or a spiritual message that hits me between the eyes. I personally think it's flat-out wrong for Christian reviewers to EVER give a 1-star because that's nothing more than a slap in the face and venting their anger by hurting someone. Give a two-star if you must (I don't advise it, but some people feel pretty strongly), but make sure you do it in a courteous manner, balancing it out with a positive (if you can find one).

And I'd love other authors' takes on this, but for me personally, 3-stars or lower is not a compliment since these are our babies we're talking about here. To me, it's kind of like saying you have a below-average or ugly baby. :) But maybe that's just me ... or me being WAY too honest as usual ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Mary Connealy said...

What MYRA said about the introvert thing.

I truly am an introvert. I love talking to other writers so that takes care of about 95% of my exposure to social situations.

Except for people I have given birth to, I pretty much avoid every one else.

BUT I have learned to recognize this knee jerk 'withdrawal' reflex I have.

I can't always control it, nor should I. But I do see myself longing for a quiet room at a conference maybe. And I catch myself doing that and just STOP. This is my chance to talk with people, DO IT!

Someone's gonna carve "Loner" on my headstone.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SHERRI, I know what you mean! What I've started doing is giving people my Author page link and requesting that they tag me back on FB with theirs so I can like in return. About 2 years ago or so, I kept getting these invites to like a page from people who never engaged with me at all and that bothered me. I liked your author page btw!!! Blessings!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Hi Carrie! Thanks for the great advice. I am not published yet, but I recently began blogging with a lovely group of writers. This is my first step in establishing a social media presence as a writer, not just as me, so I am learning the ropes and have been trying to support the other ladies by promoting their entries as well. I'm glad I now have some "tools" to continue my journey!

Please don't enter me for the e-book, as I do not have an e-reader. The tool kit, however,would be awesome. Have a wonderful day!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

DONNA, I like to think most people do want to treat others as they wish to be treated. But in our culture of narcissism, we regularly run into people who expect OTHERS to treat them as they wish to be treated (as a diva!) but they think nothing of mistreating or ignoring others. That happens even with some "Christian" authors. All we can do is be responsible for our own behavior. Blessings!

Julie Lessman said...

MYRA SAID: "There was a time when I really, really did not like who I was--mainly the fact that I am an introvert and often become terribly uncomfortable in group situations. Over the years, though, I've learned to value this aspect of my personality and to use it to its best advantage."

YAY, MYRA ... because I happen to love your personality A LOT, so I'm glad you're learning to appreciate it too. We all can't be noisy and out-there like Ruthy and me (smile) -- we need buffers like you and Mary so the world doesn't go crazy! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KAYBEE, I love that nickname! You are SO right--sarcasm online doesn't come out right. It might be meant just as haha funny but you never know how people will take it. I have the problem of being terse. With my arthritis, my hands often hurt, so I'll try to be succinct. Instead people think I'm being curt. Sigh... So that is one of my commandments. On the phone, though, there is no good control over that! blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KELLY B, I just added you on G+! Tis the time of year to either feel guilty about not being in the writer's cave or accept it and move on. But boy oh boy come January--ack!!! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...


SUSAN M I LOVED what you said!!! "It's hard juggling all the balls in the air, but when it comes to kindness and thoughtfulness, those are things we can't afford to forget!" So true!!! TY for coming by, sweet lady!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TINA, TY--that was created by Cindy Hickey, who did all the Christmas Traditions covers! TY for the welcome back--I love visiting you Seekerville ladies! Golly, I remember when ya'll were just staring out!!!

YES I hope someone who is being self-centered will read this post and not stick their nose up in the air, thinking that just the choir should know this lol!

You said "Doing author events are required and I do them and actually end up enjoying them, but they totally wear me out. I prefer to meet one on one or even two on one for small gatherings. "

Between my introversion and my RA these events practically KILL me so I understand! I can only do a couple of these a year, which gets back to the thing of what works for you. I know they can be such blessings, though!
Hugs!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JEANNE T, I've been bumping into you for years around ACFW and on FB and I am SO happy about your upcoming release! When I was a psychologist I fretted about the 40-50% of the time I had to spend doing paperwork and other practice related stuff. Does that amount seem shocking? I had to get to the point where I accepted that such was the reality of practice. I think it is kind of the same way with writing. We act like social relationships and marketing are optional instead of integral to what we do. Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

NATALIE, God bless you for being so kind! Love your blog! As a long time blogger myself, I've learned a lot about how readers and bloggers want to be treated. Or at least I think I have. And how they don't want to be. I think this is why blogging is often recommended to writers, for one reason anyway. Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

PAM, TY! This toolbox came empty when I got it! That is a great idea for a gift for your DIL!!! Merry Christmas!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CARA, You are very welcome. TY for coming by! We get in our caves with our characters and forget to come out and engage with real people sometimes! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Meaghan, one of the great things for me being a woman of a certain age is that I've finally figured out what works best for me. Although I'm slow to do it and then it changes again! Staying in tune with God can direct our paths. Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CYNTHIA, TY!!! I love hugging people and hanging out at conferences and am SO glad we got to connect!!! I had a wonderful great aunt who was a super role model for me. She loved people to pieces and that is what I aspire to do! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

LOL MARY!!! I totally agree with your hubs--good tools not pink cheap tools. So those shopping for good Christmas gift--Mr. C is right!!! Now if they were GREAT tools AND PINK--well how much more perfect could they be???

SO glad you enjoyed The Fruitcake Challenge. Have you tried Tom's mom's approach with pound cake plus whatever nuts and fruit you like added to it? Makes a delicious cake!


You said, "Someone's gonna carve "Loner" on my headstone."
BUT what if instead they ADD "Who loved God so much she loved all His people and engaged with them regardless"!!? It takes SUPERNATURAL effort to get most of us introverts to reach out to others (like you said--besides those we've given birth to!)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and I know people are being blessed by this latest very exciting Christmas novella of yours!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

MYRA, The GREAT thing about being a good listener is that people love being listened to (of course I love to chat, too!) But maybe if that's the thing you pray for. It's a whole lot less intimidating that feeling the pressure of engaging. I was a certified wallflower for years. My professor, Dr. Gilbert Gredler, had to teach me how to interrupt people so I could actually say something during sessions! JULIE might not believe that, though. But my point is that being a quiet introverted listener is a good thing, too. Many blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

REGINA!!! You are one of the BLESSINGS God has given me as an author!!! You're an amazing Beta reader and such a lovely person who loves others like Christ commanded us to do. SO glad you are feeling better, too! Gigantic hugs to you my friend!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TY, JULIE, yes we are the Body of Christ, so we have to be careful. About reviews, I do think a 3 is kind of saying the book is soso. Personally, I don't continue reading a book that is a 3. I don't have time. And I wonder about someone who'd bother. Why not just return the book if it is Kindle? But, I also want to say that I believe every author is entitled to a "stinker" lol and sometimes we get warned off that one or maybe should give others a little warning to save them money that could be spent on purchasing the author's other great books! Not that you've every had one yet, JULIE, but IF you do we'll give you grace!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

STEPHANIE, Working with other writers on a group blog is an AWESOME experience! That's how all these lovely Seekerville authors started out! As far as for an ereader, you better get one because you'll need to read all the comparables you can get your hands on! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JULIE "the noisy introvert"--hmm, there's a blog post brewing! I get charged up around other writers in their story worlds and that is when I am most vocal. That's the great thing about conferences--other writers understand each other.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Carrie. Thanks for the excellent points on handling social media!

I need to be more faithful with Facebook and Goodreads. This will be a New Year's Resolution that I hope sticks. Even when I like and comment on facebook, I rarely post anything. I need to study what kinds of posts create interest. Sad to talk in a vacuum.

Janet

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SALLY, I think the "trick" is thinking of others rather than yourself. When you do that, those social opportunities to engage with others can be a chance to bless people, and be blessed in return. So in engaging in an online party, if you think--what would I want from this experience (e.g. as mentioned for the author to actually SHOW up lol for one!) and go from there. All gets back to the Golden Rule that Christ gave us. Hugs!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TY JANET! GLAD TO BE HERE!!! Is there one particular social media place where you feel most comfortable? The thing is--being on a huge blog like Seekerville is a labor intensive and highly socially engaged activity right there. Since you are already engaging with authors and readers in this venue, I'm just thinking you'd have to stick with something that isn't so busy, like maybe Twitter or Goodreads. Merry Christmas!

Diana Flowers said...

Not being a writer I'm a little (make that a lot) out of my element here, but I definitely agree with your tool kit advice! As a reader I'm 100 times more likely to keep buying certain authors' books if they interact with me from time to time. I do understand that an author just doesn't have the time to personally acknowledge every fan, but when us reviewers go to the hard work of writing and posting reviews (believe me it IS time consuming) on our blogs a gracious "thank you" is always welcome! I agree with Jenny Blake -- it is disappointing when the author doesn't even show up!

Carrie, I can honestly say that you live by the advice in your tool kit, and always do unto others, and we LOVE you for your generous spirit and godly heart!

Chill N said...

Such a good post, Carrie. For me, #5 is particularly important -- engage with those who have supported and encouraged you even when there isn’t any goal in mind at present. For me, it's not a relationship when someone is in it only for what they can get out of it :-)

Thanks for some great 'tools.'

Nancy C

Debby Giusti said...

Carrie,
Such important points and great tools for every writer's toolbox.

Love the idea of collecting "tools" for our trade. Reference books, pens, notebooks, calendars, and your social media protocol pointers. Excellent!

Hope you have a joyous Christmas. Thanks for being with us in Seekerville today.

Debby Giusti said...

BTW, I love FB. Really enjoy connecting with folks that way. Seekerville is #1, of course, with FB at the #2 slot.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

ANGEL DIANA!!! We've commiserated and have had many a discussion about the points covered in this post. Since publishing Return to Shirley Plantation, I've learned so much about what might cause authors to behave badly in these social venues. I think we haven't had an author on OWG in a long time who didn't at least express appreciation for a review or a post (just like in real life--you don't get invited back if you have an ungrateful heart, that's a social consequence.) Thanks for your kinds words! Love you!!!

tammy cordery said...

I so agree with everything that you wrote. I hear from bloggers that have people leave bad comments that they don't like it and they want to stop blogging. I try to be nice when I write on a blog.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

OKAY, I have a recipe I'm going to post here for those who are Gluten Free but enjoy chocolate chip cookies. Follow the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. Instead of the flour--substitute 3/4 C Coconut flour and 1 1/2 Cup Bob's Red Mill pancake mix. Reduce the salt and baking soda to 1/2 teaspoon each. At 10 minutes bake time at 350 REDUCE heat to 325 and heat for 5 more minutes and allow to cool. They will not appear as golden brown as regular cookies. Do not over bake. They will eventually firm up. https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/18476/original-nestle-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Chill N, I think sometimes the "relationship" someone has with you (in their mind anyways) is exactly that--taking whatever you'll give. There was a great book about this back in the 1980's "The Givers and the Takers" and they gave a kind of pop Psychology explanation of the two types. In some cases the relationship really might be blogger/author contact solely and that might be how both parties want it, for instance a blogger might be happy to simply receive an ARC, read, and do a review and have the author show up that once or twice a year and have little contact in between. And that is fine, but I do think it is going to be a more satisfying relationship for both if they have a bit more contact in between!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Chill N, I think sometimes the "relationship" someone has with you (in their mind anyways) is exactly that--taking whatever you'll give. There was a great book about this back in the 1980's "The Givers and the Takers" and they gave a kind of pop Psychology explanation of the two types. In some cases the relationship really might be blogger/author contact solely and that might be how both parties want it, for instance a blogger might be happy to simply receive an ARC, read, and do a review and have the author show up that once or twice a year and have little contact in between. And that is fine, but I do think it is going to be a more satisfying relationship for both if they have a bit more contact in between!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Chill N, I think sometimes the "relationship" someone has with you (in their mind anyways) is exactly that--taking whatever you'll give. There was a great book about this back in the 1980's "The Givers and the Takers" and they gave a kind of pop Psychology explanation of the two types. In some cases the relationship really might be blogger/author contact solely and that might be how both parties want it, for instance a blogger might be happy to simply receive an ARC, read, and do a review and have the author show up that once or twice a year and have little contact in between. And that is fine, but I do think it is going to be a more satisfying relationship for both if they have a bit more contact in between!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TY DEBBIE!! I am very thankful to be visiting with the Seekers and your followers! I am very grateful for all you gals do for writers and readers. I'm mainly a "lurker" over here but I do enjoy all the posts! Blessings~

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Oh TAMMY, that is awful! We've been blessed on both of my blogs to rarely get those awful comments. We do get a ton of spam and some of that is nasty and we've had to turn on comment moderation on CQ, like they have here on S'ville, to keep the bots off. Thanks for coming by and Merry Christmas!

Christen E. Krumm said...

I love making connections and building relationships with (hopefully soon to be) readers!!!

xo,
Christen
ChristenKrumm.com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carrie! Welcome to Seekerville! Thank you so much for being with us on this beautiful Advent day!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I find myself saying too much sometimes.

GRRR. My bad. I should not be opinionated and I should always remind myself I'm not chatting around the fire with my buds in a living room.

Sigh.

I'll try harder! Thanks for the reminder, Carrie!

The Artist Librarian said...

Great suggestions, Carrie!

I live in an out of the way area, so normally I'll only ever get to "meet" an author online. I especially appreciate those that take the time to comment and interact with their readers online. I still enjoy reading my favorite authors' books even if they aren't able too do that a lot, but it is nice for many of us who won't have the opportunity to meet you in person!

That being said, it's also nice if your just as friendly in person as you are online! Authors, especially if it's one of your favorites, can kind of be like celebrities. We readers can get starstruck at times (speaking from experience). :)

bonton said...

Speaking from a reader's viewpoint, Carrie, I loved your post and agreed with all points!!

I love reading and the pleasure, knowledge and inspiration it brings me- but it is also a ministry for me, feeling led by God to pray for and help promote Christian writers/authors and their gift of writing to inspire and draws others closer to Him. In the last couple of years - I've invested much time and a considerable amount of my retirement income in buying books, reading, proofing, online commenting and sharing, attending book signings, gifting of books, reviewing, word of mouth, contacting libraries, other forms of promo and praying - for many writers/authors. I love doing it, have formed many wonderful friendships with sisters and brothers in Christ and only wish there were enough hours in the day for me to reach every writer/author every day. Alas, there aren't and I have to rotate time with many of them.

Of course, there are a few Christian writers/authors who need to make some changes in their social skills, as in any field, however, I've never met a more gracious, caring, inspiring, sincere group of people than those I have contact with. They have been appreciative and blessed me immeasurably. Those who take the time to utilize the "tools" you mentioned are even more special to me and I have to agree with Diana that you are one who "practices what she preaches", Carrie!!

Thank you Christian writers/authors for all that you do in His name - for me and other readers!!

I loved "The Fruitcake Challenge", Carrie, and love the idea of that pink tool box, LOL!!

Shared post!!

Jeanne T said...

Oh Carrie, I obviously said something I didn't intend to. I loved your answer to my comment, but I'm not putting a book out yet. Sigh. One day, though. I'm being optimistic. :)

Your book sounds wonderful!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Christen, As a psychologist I was also a businesswoman for almost three decades. And writing is a business, too. But it is so different, in some ways from being a mental health professional. Those relationships had a level of tension to them that you don't find in writing, i.e., you must have relationships with other professionals who can provide services that you cannot and in particular with people who can work with the most serious mental health difficulties, e.g., suicidal patients. Totally different mindset because you really MUST work together.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TY, RUTH, for you all having me here on S'ville! LOVED your novella in the Christmas collection! Hmm, I didn't say anything about being opinionated--and as this article clearly proves, I'm very opinionated about social behavior! Are you making a confession about snarking in "public"? Let me see if SISTER JULIE has her habit on and maybe she can get the priest to absolve you! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

ARTIST LIBRARIAN, Thanks for commenting. My chronic health issues keep me at home a lot so I know what you mean! I'm also from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, originally, a very rural area so I know what you're talking about. When you get to meet an author in person you are looking for a connection. And if they've been friendly online or wherever and are a cold fish in person, well... On the other hand, I've had the experience of being at a conference and people who I'd been wanting to meet later said they didn't want to interrupt me and others because I was constant with people--but I wish they had! And I worried they misconstrued being busy as being unapproachable. Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

BONNIE!!!! Now ANGEL BONNIE!!!!! I am so glad that the Overcoming With God gang has prayed you into joining us (with God's help of course!!!) You are a blessing to everyone you meet!!! Thanks for your kind words and I sure hope that I am living what God wants me to do. Love and hugs!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JEANNE, well maybe that was the Holy Spirit telling me that. I believe you will publish and I think that is realistic. Today there are so many options for publication and so many ways to reach readers. And when you do, please contact me at OWG blog so you can give us your testimony of overcoming!!! Blessings!

Cynthia Howerter said...

Great post, Carrie. You always teach me something new!

kandi723 said...

Hi Carrie!
I love what you said about loving God's people. If one is a Christian, than that applies to EVERY occupation. I am a nurse (though I'm not working at the moment) and I could get easily get caught up in the "charting and nurse's notes cave". I must be very intentional in caring for patients and also not fall into the "don't-get-too-involved-so-I-don't-get-hurt" mentality.
I do agree wholeheartedly with your suggestions.
Thank you for sharing your insight with us.
Kandi

Davalyn Spencer said...

Great recommendations, Carrie - just in time for our New Year's resolutions and goal-setting. Thanks!

Ruthie Madison said...

Great tools! I have a question about reviewers. Are you referring to professional ones or the ones you meet on Facebook? I happen to be friends with two of them on Facebook.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hey CYNTHIA, Great to see you here! I've learned some things from you, too! Time to hang out and do something historical together! Hugs!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

KANDI, TY for your kind comments! It is ridiculous the amount of paperwork required today, a lot of it for insurance stuff. Praying you will bless your patients with your care! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

RUTHIE, I am mainly referring to bloggers who review, but there are others who review and post on goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, etc. I'm wondering what makes you ask? Blessings!

Lyndee H said...

HI Carrie,
You had me at pink! Terrific idea, creating a writer's tool kit. Thanks for the great post.

I've been in the writer's editing cave for a month and it's getting dark and lonely in here. Ready to be done, but I have to push on. I like the tip of telling readers where you are so they don't think you've quit.

I recall an author sharing how she'd sold two books right away, and promptly toured, blogged, and scheduled as many speaking engagements, conferences and luncheons she could manage over a two year period. Suddenly she realized she didn't have another book in the pipeline and her fans were losing interest. Big lesson. Yes, we HAVE to write!

Tanya Agler said...

Carrie, Thank you for your post. I think they all tie together nicely. Sometimes I enter my writer's cave and the rest of the world disappears for a bit, but creating social ties with other writers helps reinvigorate me when I come up for air. I have to work on what you wrote about being kind to others in return and not lose track of things for months at a time.

And congratulations on being a Maggie finalist.

Sandy Smith said...

Carrie, I'm still in the plotting stages right now.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

LYNDEE, That's a perfect example of how there has to be balance. And I'm "guessing" that the author might not have been engaged enough with other authors who would have cautioned her that such excessive promo wasn't good for her or her fans. Thanks for popping out of your cave and yes--make a sign! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

TANYA, TY, sometimes the question of the day has to be "What can I do for someone else today?" so that the focus isn't just on our writing! Today I'm a co-op mom, driving my home-schooled son about 40 minutes each day and sitting around for several hours while he takes classes! Fortunately, there are other friends there but we're all putting our focus on the kids. Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

SANDY, You didn't say what you are plotting! Are you plotting to bless another writer? Plotting to take over the universe (my 12-year-old would like that idea!) If you're plotting in your story, I hope you have the Bell book on plotting. Blessings!

Patricia A Radaker said...

Carrie, thanks for this post. It has really nudged me to take the time to review the books I love! When doing some reviews of high school performances, I got stung by comments, nasty letters, from those who don't understand that an honest review sometimes includes suggestions for improvement. Now I only review what I can be positive about, I think if I feel the need to make suggestions for improvement it might be better to send a private message for that purpose. Those upsetting reviews were for newspaper articles when I worked as a full-time reporter. Thanks again for the encouraging post. And please enter me in the drawing for the tool kit.

Leslie Lowe said...

Excellent tips! I find that #7 hit home with me because I spend a lot of time reading other writers' posts and blogs, but then that takes up the time I could have used to write. I do enjoy giving encouragement to other writers and congratulating, but the characters in my head are starting to get mad. LOL! Please enter me for the writer's craft books and Ebook. Thank you!

Robin Mason said...

Hi Carrie,
I am published [as you know] but as a reader and a human person, I want to give kudos for a wonderful post. I can be snarky at times, but I also know when to NOT! hee hee As an author and a blogger, I first did reviews and interviews to build my own platform - but what I discovered, much to my delight, is a wonderful circle of friends!! Thanks again for a lovely post full of timely reminders for us all! Merry Christmas to you Carrie!

Chris Bailey said...

Your title, The Fruitcake Challenge, piqued my curiosity and made me smile! Thanks for the tool kit reminders. It's all about love, isn't it? :-)

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

PATRICIA, I'll be honest--when I was a psychologist and did a number of book reviews for a national periodical, I didn't sugar coat. Those were supposed to be peer-reviewed book reviews and at the cost of over $35 and upwards to $100 or more for a professional book, the psychologist purchaser needs to know what they are getting.I tried to do a balanced approach but I didn't omit the problems with the books. With fiction, though--I don't see the point of bothering to continue to read if it isn't at least a "4" star book. Why waste time? It's different for a contest, where you are trying to help someone improve their craft (and are anonymous lol!) Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hey LESLIE, Yes, I think the consensus is many of us are ready to get back in the cave after the holidays!!! Great seeing you here and thanks for coming by! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Waving, ROBIN! Yes, we were told to blog to build platform but I see my blog as a ministry to others. And honestly, who would keep up the chore of doing a blog if it was to bring glory to God? It's too hard!!! Am very grateful to have the two group blogs where we can all support each other, engage our readers, and hopefully bless people! Merry Christmas.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CHRIS, TY! My heroine, Jo Christy, took up hero, Tom Jeffries' "Fruitcake Challenge" as did the other ladies in the lumber camp and I sure had FUN writing their story! Yes, it is about LOVE. When we show God's love to others we'll be blessed, too! Merry Christmas!

ladyinwaiting16 said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I am new to the amazing world of writing and finding Seekerville is a blessing in disguise for me. I am very much learning so much for each of the posts i have read.


I would love to be entered in for the tool kit.

Becky said...

I'm not at the point of needing to do launch parties yet, but getting experience on how to do them from attending those for others :)

Janet Grunst said...

Great advice and a valuable reminder, Carrie.

Caryl McAdoo said...

Hugs and blessings to Carrie! :) Good article and all true!There are times of the year that have to do with celebrations that I'm unable to return favors because of personal convictions, but the rest of the year...I love nothing more than supporting the precious friends and wonderful writers God has brought into my life! :) I can only pray they will understand. Love and more hugs!

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Great blog with good tips Carrie! I LOVE Seekerville & I LOVE OWG. You have had so e great reviewer of wonderful books (like Julie's) & even allowed me to share my BC testimony there! Plus I have won some great books there (like yours) & best of all you & the angels have become great friends.

Seekerville has had great tips for aspiring writers which have been helpful to me; however, I get bogged up because I want to read every single comment & there are so many! I need to learn that balance & I think maybe that tool kit would be great for me.

Speaking of the tool kit--I have a purple one (I'm sure you aren't surprised Carrie) & although the tools may be cheap, they have been enough for me to put up pictures & do a few 'little' fixes.

Finally, as a newly published author of my first book (my BC Memoir titled HOPE IN THE SHADOWS --MY BREAST CANCER JOURNEY) these tips are even more precious to this Indie publisher. Love you all for all your support & friendship.
Vicki

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

LADY IN WAITING Seekervile has blessed so many people--you an me included! Merry Christmas!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

BECKY, as far as launch parties, if you pretend you really are at a party and be a good hostess, you'll do fine! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

JANET, TY! You are such a gracious lady and I am blessed to call you my friend! Love being co-hostess with you for our Tidewater Christian Writers - North group!!! Hugs!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

CARYL, You are such a sweetheart and you are definitely one of the "choir" lol! You don't need to read an article like this because you could write one about how to be kind to others!!! Hugs!!!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

VICKI, I am SO excited for you and pray your new nonfiction book will encourage many others. So glad Angel Diana was able to reconnect with you, her BFF, and we're so glad to have you visiting with us regularly on OWG blog! CONGRATS and Merry Christmas!!!