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Category Archives: Pegg’s Musings

Life is Precious – Start There

My heart breaks for the families who have once again lost loved ones to violence. And it’s angered by those who once again maneuver to gain political points on the backs of those who sorrow.
 
We need answers as to why these horrific events not only keep happening but are on the increase. Yet there are no simple answers. There is no fix that will happen tomorrow.
 
Many people want to blame guns. We’ve had guns as part of our culture since it’s beginnings. The guns haven’t changed. You can fuss and argue about the makes and models, but they all still do the same function. We lived in this country for more than 200 years without using guns in this way. Guns haven’t changed. People have.
 
People used to grow up in families with a mother and a father, often grandparents in the same neighborhood. Neighbors helped neighbors. People chatted over backyard fences. People looked out for one another’s children. People lived in “communities” in a way that is totally foreign now.
 
People valued other people in their marriages, in their families, in their workplaces, in the churches and synagogues. Was everything rosy-glowy and perfect? No. But they weren’t shooting each other up. There was a basic understanding of the sanctity of life. And we’ve lost that.
 
We have legislators who stand and CHEER for the right to kill a just-born infant. What would our grandparents have said about that?
 
We have games that people play for fun – for FUN! – that glory in killing people with graphic images on a screen. And many of those playing these games are impressionable boys. How can that not warp their young minds?
 
We watch movies where people are routinely shot, knifed, run over, or blown up, and we watch these for FUN. We call it “art” and “entertainment.” And we idolize the actors that make their living portraying the very actions we decry when they happen in real life. How twisted is that thinking?
 
There are no easy answers, but we can look back and see what worked in the past. It wasn’t gun control. It wasn’t anything the government did. It was families and communities who loved and cared for each other. It was valuing LIFE. We don’t do that anymore and that’s what needs to change. Not one of these horrific shooters, these demented individuals, would have pointed a single gun at a single person if they’d valued life.
 
That’s what needs to change. It can only happen in our homes, our families, our places of worship, and our hearts. The government, for all it’s posturing and posing, cannot fix this problem … but “we the people” can.
 
I challenge everyone who’s read this far to start making the changes at home. Start loving one another. Work out your differences at home, show your children how it’s done, dig deep and find the strength to be the kind of person who can make the difference in your family, your community, your little corner of the world. Make better choices as to your entertainment and what you’re allowing your youngsters to be exposed to. Tell them why these games and movies are horrific – not fun.
 
We can’t fix it overnight, there are too many broken people out there, but we have to start somewhere, and we have to start now.
 
All life is precious. Start with that.
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Posted by on August 6, 2019 in Pegg's Musings

 

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Exciting Times!

I don’t tend to post a lot about me on this blog – and perhaps I should – but today I need to whoop-n-holler a little bit. It’s been an exciting year so far.

Back in February, I decided to enter the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Carol Awards. I had three books release last year, and I hemmed and hawed about which one to enter. Well, I gave up and entered all three. It was announced this evening that I have two of the three finalists in the novella category. “Her Redcoat” in “The Backcountry Brides” and “In Sheep’s Clothing” in “A Bouquet of Brides.” Yowzer! The winner will be announced at the ACFW Conference in September.

At about the same time, I entered the RWA (Romance Writers of America) Faith, Hope, & Love Readers Choice Award. I only entered one of the books in that contest, “In Sheep’s Clothing,” and it’s also a finalist there. The winner will be announced at the end of July.

And then, knock me over with a feather, I was nominated for the ACFW Editor of the Year! I have no idea who nominated me (they don’t tell you), but I’m now a finalist in that contest as well. The winner will be announced at the ACFW Conference in September.

Did I mention that it’s been an exciting year so far? Well … it sure has. Even if I don’t win a single one of these contests, at least I know that I’m good enough to romp with the big dogs.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2019 in Pegg's Musings

 

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The Care and Feeding of Book Reviewers

What do authors crave? Book reviews. Most especially, five-star book reviews, but in reality, any book review is a good one. Why? Because it’s book reviews – pure numbers – that boost a book’s visibility on sites such as Amazon, Christian Book, and Goodreads. People looking for books see what the search engines tell them are the top sellers, the most active, the books people are “talking” about in the cyber world.

How does an author get reviews? Begs, pleads, threatens (this only works with family and close friends), and whines. Does that work? Marginally. So what’s the better way?

How about cultivating relationships with people who do book reviews? There’s a revolutionary thought. Many authors build what they call their “street team” and offer them freebies and perks for being the frontline of their book’s release. These folks agree to post reviews, create blog posts, and share on social media forums like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

That’s great! That’s just what an author needs. But … how do we reach out and find other reviewers beyond our circle?

Start stalking the reviewers – in a good way!

Find books comparable to yours as far as genre and audience appeal. Visit Goodreads and look at the reviews for these books. Are there some reviews that really stand out to you? Reviews such as you’d like to get? Click on the reviewer’s name and go to their Goodreads page. There’s a place there to message the reviewer and offer them a copy of your book to review. You can’t demand a review if you send the book, that’s not allowed, but if this person is regularly reviewing books and you’re impressed with how they do it, ask them if they’d like a copy of yours.

(It should go without saying – so of course, I’ll say it – that your book needs to be worthy of a good review.
If you’ve got twelve reviews and they’re all three-star and below, don’t expect better from someone who is reviewing books regularly.)

Now you have your street team and you have some new reviewers. What do you do next? That’s right, you’re not done. Check Amazon and Goodreads often – even daily when your book is released. Both places allow you to click a little button after the review that says either “helpful” or “like.” Click. Click on each and every review you’re given. This shows the reviewer that a) you read their review and b) you value it. It doesn’t matter if you have ten or three hundred reviews, you should be personally clicking on each and every one. That’s the pay-back for your reviewers. That’s their “thank you.” Neglect that, and you’re neglecting your reviewers in a world where it’s getting more difficult to find them.

 

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Pegg's Musings

 

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Two Buckets

 

Back in the day, I was able to mentally juggle four to six important thought threads throughout the day. I knew what I needed to do, the steps I needed to take to complete each task, and how to integrate the steps into a seamless day that would end with all of my work done and dinner on the table. I didn’t even consciously coordinate it, the thoughts just sifted through my mind as I multitasked with a vengeance. Farm chores, work, house chores, writing, meal prep, and even special things like entertaining or spinning and knitting a project … they all got done.

Back in the day.

These days, it’s completely different. These days, I have two buckets in my mind for information. One is marked “Necessary for Survival” and the other is marked “Junk Mail.” If I don’t consciously make the connection that something needs to be remembered and stuffed in the “Necessary for Survival” bucket, then it slips into the “Junk Mail” bucket where it may never surface again.

I guess this is what my grandma meant when she said getting old wasn’t for sissies.

What’s really annoying is that this change didn’t happen gradually. One day I was clicking along on all six cylinders, the next I’d fallen off the cliff into my two-bucket system. Now I write lists, make notes, send myself emails, and post everything even remotely vital to Google Calendar. Anything that falls between “Necessary for Survival” and “Junk Mail” has to be recorded somewhere or I’ve lost it.

I find this all vastly annoying. Hense, this blog post to whine about it. But now I have something else that needs doing. I just wish I remembered what it was. *sigh*

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in Pegg's Musings

 

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