What Brings Me to Tears

What brings me to tears?

A sad love song. Or an inspiring one that gives me hope. A moving movie where someone or a favored pet has died. A romantic movie where there was no hope, then suddenly hope is found. The loser will finally win against all odds. Almost all the old animated Disney movies have made me cry.

Being surrounded by those I love, my husband, children, grandchildren and close friends. Enjoying each others company. Laughing together. Holding hands. Touching hands with hugs and sighs. Showing our love for each other in kind words and special tasks. Baking, cooking the food everyone enjoys. Showing respect and kindness to those I meet in my travels.

Peaceful walks outside where I can see God’s creation all around me. The trees, flowers, birds singing. The gentle lap of water against a riverbank or the sand of a beach. Sunsets and sunrises. The whisper of the wind against my face. The Carolina blue of the sky with a few fat cotton ball clouds lazily drifting. The warm feeling of the sun on my face.

Riding my horse, who has learned to trust me. She knows me now and she is now taking care of me. She helps me groom her and she loves taking the treats I have made for her. When I sit on her back, I know she is willing to take me where I would like to go and she is willing to do the exercises I set out for both of us. It is taking time to build up my strength again but I am grateful for what I can do. I am grateful that my Gizmo is careful with me and listens to me. I am trying to be a good rider and I am trying to understand what she understands. The sun and the wind on my face is glorious. I appreciate the songs of the birds around me and I pause to listen.

These are all things that will bring tears to my eyes.

But as a woman going through breast cancer treatments, the pain that sometimes wracks my body, will not bring tears to my eyes. The fear of the unknown. The uncertainty. The way the treatments have changed my body. These things will bring tears to my eyes but NOT the physical pain. I have cried enough for the emotions. I will not cry for the physical pain. The pain I can endure and I will rise above it. I have so much to live for. I have so much I need to do.

I am a warrior and I will survive.

Self Publishing

I took the plunge today. I opened an account in Createspace and intend on self publishing my second novel, You Are Mine. I did win an award last year for this novel at the Blueridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. Third in  Fiction: Speculative/Mystery/Suspense.

After reading from other writers/authors about finding a publisher or self publishing, I was more and more convinced to just self publish. It isn’t just finding a publishing company, one also has to find an agent. Both tasks are next to impossible. A writer needs the proper query letter and expect rejection after rejection. Most publishing companies will not look at a writer unless they have an agent. And unless you have an angle or a shtick, an agent won’t look at you.

Now I have opened an account in Createspace. My novel has already gone through a thorough edit. Any author who is worthwhile, will tell you to edit, edit and edit even more. Especially if you are going to self publish. Anyone who tells you they can successfully edit their own work, well, I won’t even look at that person’s book. Although there is one author, who I greatly respect, who does a really thorough job of editing before submitting her book to her publisher. But they still edit her work.

You Are Mine will be published by Createspace. While I am going through this process, I am working on my third novel. Right now I don’t have a title for it but it is a paranormal story. At times, it frightens me. My imagination is pretty lively. But I have a story to tell with this book and with the support of God, I will finish it.

I will keep you posted on these novels.

 

I Almost Ran

I almost ran last night. I was at the point of getting up and leaving.

I am attending the Blue Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference here in Ridgecrest, NC. This has been the best Christian writer’s conference I have ever attended in previous years.  I did not attend last year but I wanted desperately to come this year. When I finally arrived Tuesday morning, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that are here. Over 475 attendees. The largest number ever.

I felt small. I felt insignificant. I did not see any familiar faces. I felt like I did not belong. Certainly after two women made very catty comments about skinny jeans, I felt devastated as I looked down at the skinny jeans I felt comfortable in. And I certainly did not feel like I was a writer that should be at this conference. That was it. I would leave and no one would notice or care.

Until Todd Starnes had his speech. I laughed with him and felt a little better. Then Todd talked passionately about Christians needing to take a stand. We all need to keep writing and keep standing up for our Christian rights. I prayed last night. I prayed for all my loved ones and I prayed for God to let me know if I was doing the right thing with this writing that I feel compelled to do.

Well, did He let me know. In the morning Edie Melson shared how insignificant she had felt in the past. She shared that she wondered if she should be writing. Why in the world should she be writing when there were so many wonderful writers around her who were so much better. Then God showed her a picture of a choir. There are many people in the choir. Many have the same range. But each one is unique and when blended together, the choir is wondrous and beautiful. God directs the choir as He directs all of us with our special gifts. We are all needed and special. God has given us a purpose and we need to listen and follow His purpose for us. The same goes for writers. Wham!

Then Bob Hostetler spoke. He talked about all the famous authors he is friends with. He talked about how he hated Davis Bunn and how irritated he was with all these people who were such wonderful authors and could do so much. He said we should all just give up and go home. Then he shared the story of Ehud from Judges. Ehud had a deformed right hand. But God sent Ehud on a mission and used him. God’s plan was perfect and the plan would not have worked if Ehud had a perfect right hand. Instead Ehud used his left hand. God has a plan for all of us. Even though we may think we are not useful, God has a plan for us and we need to be ready for it. God has given us a gift and we need to listen to God’s plan and be ready to follow it.

Okay, okay, God. You did hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I got it. I got You. Thank you God. I love you.

Writers Beach Weekend

This past weekend I drove to Topsail Beach in North Carolina where I joined eleven other female Christian writers for the weekend. Lisa Carter and Alice Wisler started this writers’ retreat three years ago. I have gone every year, so far, and this weekend has done more good for me as a writer than I can say.

Alice and Lisa have done a phenomenal job of organizing the weekend for Christian writers. Alice always leads the devotionals and Lisa has given us a wealth of information on writing, getting to an agent, publisher and the marketing aspects of our books. We have had so many interesting conversations about the whole book writing thing that has gripped us.

Not everyone has an agent. Not everyone has gone the traditional route of finding a publisher. There are a few self published authors. Discussions, this year, have been on the changing climate for writers. The market is changing and publishing houses are changing their ways. Change has had to happen due to the demand of the public – the readers of our material.

The best part of this yearly weekend is the sharing and the love and support that comes from each woman at this retreat. Prayer is a big part of all our lives. Just knowing this is a safe and secure place to retreat to is a welcome calm in the storms of our lives.

Lisa strongly recommended that every writer should attend at least one workshop every year. I agree. Workshops, retreats, conferences for writers are a necessary charge for our batteries. I attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference two years ago. I will attend again this year. The first year I attended, I felt my head would explode with all the information from the workshops. But it was a wonderful, safe and secure place to attend. I could not believe how published writers, agents, editors, publishing representatives and authors were willing to share their experiences, their ideas, their recommendations to be a successful author.

To anyone who is thinking of writing a book, I say go ahead and take the plunge. It is said that everyone has one good book in them. I am so grateful to Alice and Lisa for their support, love and guidance. Thank you Alice and Lisa. You are both a blessing to me.

 

My First Novel – The Goblet

Excerpt from The Goblet – “An object in the sand, not far from her foot, caught her attention. Sarah was not sure what aroused her suspicions, but she leaned over and brushed off the sand from the object. She pulled at it and saw that it was a goblet. It was a very ordinary, wooden goblet, which seemed to be delicate. She raised her eyebrows at it and gasped it gently by the stem. Instantly a warmth spread into her hand and glowed slowly up her arm.”

While on a family trip to Israel, Sarah hasn’t discovered just any goblet; she has come into possession of something not of this world. Something of Jesus’s very own.

The trip had been rocky so far. Sarah’s husband, Bill, was distant as ever, and her son, Alex, is disagreeable as usual. Once Sarah gets the goblet, though, everything starts to change. All of a sudden, Alex is enthusiastic about family events. Sarah soon comes to learn that this is no coincidence.

Life starts to change back home as well. Sarah and her children go to church the first Sunday at home – which is a feat in itself – only to discover that Sarah’s singing voice is inspiring everyone. The church goers all around her turn and are moved by Sarah’s angelic voice, and she joins the church band.

Everything is going right for Sarah. Well, almost everything. Her children are making better decisions, the church band is really taking off, but her husband still isn’t living up to his obligations. In fact, Sarah discovers evil forces are at work in him, and he is trying to steal the goblet.

On a last minute trip back to Israel, can Sarah save the precious relic before Bill does the unthinkable? Find out in The Goblet.

The Goblet by Sylvia Patzold is available on Amazon.

 

I Have Moved

Well, hello!

As you can see I have changed my website to a WordPress site. But this has not been an easy change. It has been highly frustrating to say the least.

I am not all that tech savvy but I do know a few things. When I took out my domain name of sylviapatzold.com, I had purchased it with a company (I really can’t remember who it was). After hunting around for a free website host, it took me a while to settle with Ignite Builder. I built my website and kind of just sat back and let things settle.

I have another blog and a website with GoDaddy. GoDaddy has been extremely helpful and I thought I would make my life easier by including my author’s page with GoDaddy and just change it into a blog with WordPress. And so my frustration begins.

I was told by GoDaddy that my domain name was with register.com. GoDaddy told me to change the nameserver and they gave me the instructions on how to do all of that. Except when I got to register.com, I had no idea how to log in since I did not remember signing up with them. So I called their customer service. I told them I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. Mistake. They then told me that my domain name was with their international division and my call was redirected to them only to be told that weebly.com was hosting my domain name.

I logged into my account with weebly.com only I could not find my domain name of sylviapatzold.com. So I emailed their customer service (which was not easy to find). I made the mistake of telling them that I wanted to redirect my domain name to GoDaddy. I was told that customer service could not do it, that I would have to do it. Starting to get a little frustrated.

I had to email weebly.com again to tell them I could not find sylviapatzold.com on my account. They emailed me back with the email address that had access to sylviapatzold.com. I had to email weebly.com to ask them for a password since I did not have that information. Getting more frustrated.

When I finally received all the information to be able to log into the account, that I did not know I had, I could not access the domain name to make the changes. Getting a little tight around the lips now.

Again, I emailed weebly.com to ask them how to change the nameserver on my domain name. I received another email saying they could not do it, that I would have to log into my account to make the changes. I thanked them very much for their non service, by now being not so gentle with my keypad, logged into my account, and finally was able to make the changes to the nameserver.

I received a number of customer satisfaction surveys from weebly. Since I couldn’t figure out how to give them negative scores, I went ahead with the extremely dissatisfied. My recommendation? Keep track of who is hosting your domain name and DO NOT use weebly.com.