The Gift Horse

This advertising course, said the post, would help me to understand just how to market my book. I was a little skeptical because I’d taken part in a few such courses with disappointing results. Still, I decided to enter the five-day challenge, which was an introduction to give you an idea of what to expect. I was only one day into the course before advertising was demystified and I felt less fearful and more encouraged. And it was FREE! Right up my alley. But why take an advertising course, you may ask?

“Y’all don’t understand!” Bernie Mac

I was terrified of marketing. So much, that the thought of it would make me near hyperventilate. I was so afraid to advertise that it took longer to release Pale Rider than originally intended because I kept getting hung up on the “how.” How would I get the word out? How would I do things differently this time? How would I know I was on the right track? How could I guarantee my success? For that matter, who could I trust to teach me? And as we know, fear paralyzes. It clogs up your brain with inconsequential matter so that you can’t think properly. You can only see the challenge before you and can’t get past that.

That’s when I saw the devil peeking out from his curtain (ala The Wizard of Oz movie) and realized that this was his plan to derail my efforts. So, I pulled on my big girl pants and got ‘er dun. No more procrastinating, I released my book. But I still had to conquer my fear. I called on the lesson gleaned from the ten lepers whom Jesus healed.

“Go,” he’d said. He didn’t mention how it would happen but they instinctively obeyed. They were healed, not at that moment, but as they went. The blessing was in the going, the doing, and the obedience. Following their example, I went as I felt I’d been commanded. I didn’t know the how but felt sure that he would bless me along the way. So, when this opportunity popped up, I felt like it could be a sign.

My decision made, I enrolled in the advertising challenge, and immediately began to breathe easier. I still had reservations but soon relaxed under the tutelage of the instructor. “See?” I told myself. “This isn’t so hard! You worried for nothing. You can do this.”

The second day into the challenge, things got hard! I became overwhelmed with all I needed to accomplish and fell behind quickly. Now I was playing catch up and wondering if I ever would. I was tempted to drop out then, but a thought occurred to me. What if this course was not a fluke like the others and truly the answer to my prayer? I examined it more closely. What did I ask God for?

I looked my gift horse in the mouth right then, something we’re always told not to do. I remembered being so afraid before. Paralyzed. Overwhelmed. Confused. And thinking, if only I had someone to make it clear and not so scary. I had that now. I realized, despite falling behind, I was no longer afraid. I was having fun!

After that revelation, I examined not only the gift more closely, but myself. The ad course was just another example of receiving a direct answer from God, though I hadn’t realized it until that moment. I saw then that my prayers were often answered in like fashion. I only needed to open my eyes to see.

I completed the challenge and was pleased with results and my improved mindset. I feel empowered and more knowledgeable. And I no longer sit around waiting for a golden arm to descend from the sky and rescue me. God has shown me that he will lead me to the tools that will allow me to succeed. As in the case of the lepers, I’m being blessed as I “GO!” I’m an authorpreneur now. I must learn all there is to know about this craft.

Be blessed,



“What class are you?” When my classmate asks, I just smile. They try again.

Self-doubt leads to self-sabotage

“What year did you graduate?” Since everyone is waiting for an answer by now (which increases my hilarity), I mumble again.


Mumble, mumble, I reply. Everyone laughs, as intended.

I think it’s super funny (for some reason, shrug) when I get questions about my age. It always takes me back to the saying: a woman never tells her age. My classmates obviously already know but I always subtract ten from the year. Just for funsies.

Suffice to say, I’m old enough to have two adult children. And, like many of my generation, I remember coming home from school to roll over laughing at the antics of the Three Stooges. One phrase that keeps coming to mind lately (and I picture Curley’s scrunched up face as I say it): SABATOOGEY!

I’ve been thinking lately – gently guided to this realization, I’m sure, by a greater power than myself – about the times in my life where I undid my own efforts. Been my own enemy. Shot myself in the foot, so to speak. Self- sabotage.

How do we sabotage ourselves? More importantly, how can we stop?

I’ve been going through an Amazon Ads course to glean a better understanding of marketing. One theme that covered two lessons: Fear. So powerful that it would make you second guess and undo your work. A voice of doubt so insidious that you will destroy what you’ve done, regarding it as unworthy, or give up too soon when you don’t see the desired results. Sound familiar? That’s because that trait is not familiar only to Amazon marketers, it’s all-too human. I received their message, loud and clear. Don’t quit just because things don’t look like you think they should.

And many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out.” Keep Going, Edgar Guest.

Another thing God has brought to my attention is complacency. Have you ever prayed so hard for something – a job, a relationship, a house, or car – only to fast forward years later and find little appreciation for that object or person? Your job that you were sure was a blessing has now become laborious, the requests of your boss get on your last nerve, and you just want to scream and walk out. Really? From the job you prayed for. SMH. Just in case you think I’m shaking my head at you, dear reader, I’m not. I always talk to myself first and hope that my shared experience will bring some enlightenment to others. Complacency will have us feeling ungrateful and entitled until that thing we’ve prayed for has sprouted wings and taken flight, no longer a concern of ours.

My beloved Kia, may she rest in peace, was a great car. The absolute best. But then I began to get it in my head that it was time for a new car. One with less mileage, an updated exterior, and a carpet that wasn’t so ratty.

I decried my old car more than I knew, I now realize, for a friend remarked upon seeing my car: “I thought your car was old! You must think mine is ancient.” I didn’t. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized his beautiful truck was older than my car and had far more mileage. He drove it for several years after that conversation, before it gave out in Arizona.

My own car died in service to me, too, totaled in a devastating car accident. She protected me to the last, my faithful Carisma. Before her twisted frame was hauled away, I took one look back and burst into tears at the sight. I saw just how injured I could have been and began to hyperventilate. Days later, I visited my car to retrieve my personal items. I drove by her twice because I didn’t recognize her gleaming beauty. I kept looking for a much older vehicle, which she was in my mind.

It was only after the accident that I saw what my friend had. Carisma was still a beautiful car. I was doubly saddened by her loss as I shopped around and found out what it would take to replace her. I’ve had several cars, but I still miss her. We had some great times together. But I think I miss her more because I devalued her until she was taken away. It was only then that I saw her worth.

And he learned too late when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.” Edgar Guest, Keep Going.

I’m listening to an audio book that I really like right now, The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwartz. There’s a common theme that seems to run throughout: positive thinking. Can success really be that simple? Change the way you view the world and the world around you will seem to change. But it’s not your job, your partner, or your circumstances that will change, in reality. It’s you. Every time I listen, I grow a little more in that direction, seeing things in a more positive light and being grateful for this life that I have.

And that, I think, is key to bringing a halt to self-sabotage in our lives. How close are we to living the life of our dreams? It may be just a positive thought away.

I leave you with the great ministry of D Train’s Keep On (The Sky’s the Limit) and pray that it encourages you!

Be blessed,


Speaking of trains, if you haven’t gotten on board, you should! Pale Rider has left the station and is chugging along. Let’s help it pick up steam! Order your copy on Amazon today!

Stay tuned for updates! A book discussion, book signings, and more are coming up soon!

Bad as you wanna be

I just wanted to share some insights from this week that encouraged and lifted my spirits. I hope it does the same for you. While out shopping, I wore a simple black dress with a message emblazoned upon the front in white script: Queen. A woman who was walking down the street with her family stopped to remark: “I love your dress!” The exclamation startled me for my mind was far away, ruminating on terrible, awful things.

It was a blue day for me. I was losing the battle of the bulge, again. I’d found the pandemic weight I’d worked so hard to lose and it seemed to settle right across my middle. Normally I subscribe to the Shenaenae (from Martin) school of beauty: Keep it cute in the face and thin in the waist. But today I felt frumpy in my straight dress with its side split, even with the uplifting declaration. (IKR? Sounds totally cute.) I should have felt amazing, but my stomach wouldn’t cooperate, protruding in an unsightly manner which made for a less-than-flattering reminder each time I passed a mirror or darkened window. I felt, well, fat. When the woman broke into my dark thoughts, she reminded me, just for a moment, of how others view me. And how God sees me. Just in case I didn’t get the message (I hadn’t, for no sooner than I was out of the parking lot, I’d return to my depressing mental cage), it happened again.

“I love your dress,” said another random woman. Translation: Beautiful dress, beautiful you. It was then, that I finally received what God was trying to tell me. Even on a bad day, I’m still pretty awesome. He knows this because he knows what he instilled in me. The good news is, you are, too. We all have that innate spark within us, automatically making us capable of greatness. And, as I told my daughter during her teenage years, you are more than what you weigh. There are worse things in this world you could be besides fat. Being overweight has not been the worst of my sins, unfortunately.

So, with my head and mood lifted, I continued my day and no longer felt like a failure. I reminded myself of all I’ve been able to accomplish and just some of the things I’ve overcome lately. But I didn’t need to travel too far down memory lane to see myself more clearly. Those memories were enough to restore my crown. I was enough. And so are you. Make up your mind today, that no matter your present circumstance, or the pressures you are facing, you are enough. Straighten your crown and walk like royalty. We are rocking this.

Be blessed,


P.S. The Kindle version of Pale Rider is live. Be sure to download your copy on Amazon. If you’re a fan of Bible stories, you’ll love this tale. Also, I’m still partnering with Story Origin to get the word out about more indie authors like myself. This week I’m sharing the works of author Sherif Guirguis. Check out book two of the Agartha Chronicles, Red Soul.

And, if you haven’t seen the latest action trailer for Pale Rider, you can watch it on YouTube. I loved putting this together and I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Have a great, fun-filled, fourth of July weekend. Be safe.