Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Answers part 2

Here is the second set of answers. I still need to corner some people to answer their questions. I may have to resort to bribery : )

So when ru gonna finish writing my story?
- Devonte

It's always interesting when one of my main characters contacts me. I'm assuming Devonte had a little help. Devonte is a 12-year-old boy who ends up in foster care. His foster mom is a single foster parent and he's her first foster child. He's also not exactly what she imagined. I haven't shown this manuscript to anyone yet, but am getting a critique of it at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference next week. I am stuck at the point where everything is going wrong for Devonte, and his foster mother, Carlie.

People tell me to write a book on my life. rocking with Jesus as a child. Where do I start. Many miracles in my life. Anonymous

The kind of writing you are talking about is called a personal experience story. Normally to write that kind of book you either have to have a large following to ensure editors that enough copies will sell to make it worth while. Or you have to be a celebrity because then of course enough copies will sell. Many people end up self publishing personal experience books and that is okay as long as you have a way to sell several thousand of them to make back the money you put up front.

That's not to say that it's not possible to write a personal experience book. What I'd do first, though, is write some article about your life and send them to Christian publications. You could see how well they are recieved and what kind of feedback you get from that. Which magazines depend on your age, the story content, your denomination (some such as Southern Baptist, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Catholic etc have their own magazines and are always looking for stories featuring people in that denomination.)

Make sure you follow all the rules of article writing and submissions. There are lots of places online to find those.

Some resources for you are:

this is her webpage where you can purchase a book that tells you what different magazines and publishing house buy and offers critiques

Read over this article on writing a book proposal and it will help you know what all you need to do as your write your book.

If you get a chance to attend a good writer's conference, do it :)

About your in laws. It looks like they came for your son's graduation and never again and there are only a few pictures of them on your trips. I just want to say because I have such godly in laws that they are missing out on some major blessings and the chance to make good memories. You only get one lifetime to do good and make memories. Or maybe I'm wrong and there just aren't pictures. Middle School Mama

I can't really answer this because I don't have the answer. I think most of us marry hoping we are marrying into the family. I know this was my hope, especially since my dad has just died and had been an invalid years before that. But in reality, that didn't happen. I guess my charming personality bugs them, and that's okay : ) Any of our family is welcome to visit at any time. 

You are very blessed to have a good relationship with your in laws, and your children are blessed to have their involvement in their lives. I think kids can learn a lot from their grandparents.

Sorry I'm rambling but speaking of trips, it looks like giving your kids those experiences is important to you and I wonder if you have summer trips planned and if it's not too personal, how to choose and how do you pay for them? Middle School Mama

We have all decided that we'd rather do things than buy things. That's why I drive a 2001 SUV with 215,000+ miles on it : ) We have regular TVs without any extras and don't own the newest of anything. When our fridge broke down, we used coolers for a couple of months until we found an old clunker fridge for $100. It's nothing to look at, but it keeps food cold, but no ice or water machine.

Sometimes families with a lot of kids miss out on things, and I didn't want that to be true of ours. While Rick was in the USAF we lived in England, Okinawa for a few months, South Dakota, North Dakota and Georgia. We tried to make the most of the opportunities with the money we had. Which was usually not much! Like, we went to Disney in both Tokyo and France, although the kids were infant when we went to Japan. We caught a hop on a military cargo plane for $25 and sat among boxes. When we went to Euro Disney, we drove to France from England in our old station wagon that we weren't even sure would make it. In England, we took the train into London a few times. We went on the Red Bus tour to see the most.

We travel cheap, and just do what we can afford from my Legacy royalties. We pack our food, drive to our destination and stay in the less expensive hotels. We plan carefully. We've never stayed in a Disney hotel (except France) or a hotel at Universal. We buy the Florida resident passes that have block out dates and just go when we can.

We are planning two trips this summer. I don't know if we'll be able to pull it off!! We want to do a short (three day) cruise that just goes to the Bahamas and back, with all of us. I think it would be the first trip we have all been together since we visited the twins in Haiti in '07. We are waiting to see if prices drop as it gets closer to the trip. We also need to make sure everyone can get off work. This is a problem for Rick and why he doesn't always travel with us. 

Each year there is a Christian book convention that I try to go to. It rotates between Atlanta, Orlando and St. Louis. This year it's in St. Louis. I hope to go, but only Jessica and Jasmine will be with me. The twins will be at mission camp. Tyler and Adam could go with, but we are combining it with a three-day trip to Mt. Rushmore that the girls have been saving for. The guys weren't that interested in it. And that's okay. We hope that we will all meet up in Indiana after the St. Louis/Rushmore/mission camp week.

But all this depends on not having any major car or appliance repairs, and the SD trip depends on the girls making their savings goals. Hint, hint girls!

I noticed that there hasn't been any pictures of Jessica and Anthony lately, did they decide to go their own way? or is he just off at college?

Jessica broke up with Anthony over a year ago--right before Thanksgiving 2011. There were some real differences in maturity and finally the gap just got too big. He is a nice guy, though, and we wish him well. He's going to army basic training on Monday to be a military police officer.

Kayla and Kaleb what's your favorite subject in school and what do you want to be when you grow up?
I asked them separately so they wouldn't give the same answer, although obviously they'd talked about being police officers together. I hope these videos play for you.

More answers to come later.


One Crowded House said...

I think even if people aren't sure they could "sell" their story- that it is always a great idea to go ahead and write your story (whether it be autobiographical or other)... your children and grandchildren will love it.

My husband's grandpa wrote a story about Moses' sons- it never got published (he got many rejection letters), so he just printed it out and bound it for all of his kids and grandkids. And nowadays, there are so many self publishing websites, you can get books that look "professional".

I think those would be such special gifts for your family!

Kathy C. said...

That is a possiblity too. You would use a different kind of publisher to do that to avoid the extreme expense. I got really excited when I saw Jerry Jenkins was offering a program for people wanting a high quality self published book, but when I inquired about it, I found out it was $10,000!! But that included a high quality cover and good binding. But that only included a few copies. You had to pay even more for additional books.

Starting with articles is a really good way to test the waters for the project.

Renee said...

I always love reading about your family! It sounds like a great summer!

Kathy C. said...

Thank you. Applies for the twin's passports today.

Kathy C. said...


One Crowded House said...

I have heard good things about this website-

for publishing your own book (and buying few copies- or only one!)

Kathy C. said...

It's worth checking out. Thank you for sharing it.