How is that Year of Gratitude Coming Along?

If you follow my on social media, you know that I’ve been posting and tweeting everyday about gratitude. Some of those memes have gotten a little more toward the “refecting on life” side of things.

And since my brain is just as fried this week as it was last week, I thought I’d share some of this months memes. You know, for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

(The truth is, I’m so busy working on several writing projects at once that I don’t want to spend the time previewing videos I think you might enjoy. I just want to get this post written so I can get back to work on the novel, short story or nonfiction project).

Gift I’m Grateful for this Month

Day 275: Drinking coffee like a superhero.
Day 275: Drinking coffee like a superhero.

Something Small to Make me Smile

Day 275: Feeling super thrilled to have another fantasy story debuting this month.
Day 275: Feeling super thrilled to have another fantasy story debuting this month.

Words of Wisdom

Day 282: One of the motivating saying from my video trainer. What excuse is holding you back?
Day 282: One of the motivating saying from my video trainer. What excuse is holding you back?


Day 286: Rain pattering on the glass makes me so so sleepy. No driving in the rain for this girl.
Day 286: Rain pattering on the glass makes me so so sleepy. No driving in the rain for this girl.

A Little Sunshine

Day 288: I am not ready to say goodbye to the sunshine.
Day 288: I am not ready to say goodbye to the sunshine.

Truth to Seize

Day 291: Everyone needs a hand up at some time or another.  Remember to pay the kindness forward.
Day 291: Everyone needs a hand up at some time or another. Remember to pay the kindness forward.

What are you feeling especially grateful for this month?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

Already read one of more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

Friday Reveal Banner

Birthday Bash means FREE Books!

This isn’t your average Friday cover reveal. This is a PARTY. And there are books to win. Did someone say free books? I’m in!

Welcome to Month9Books Turns 4 Birthday Bash!
We’re thrilled to share this celebration with you!

Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of Month9Books!
“Month9Books is turning four this year, and I could not be
happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and
inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing
it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who
have made this possible. We write for you.”
–Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books
Thanks so much for 4 awesome years! We look forward to celebrating #5 with you in 2017! We have something for everyone from every
genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Paranormal and Horror! As a thank you, we’re giving away some well-loved books from 2015 and 2016. All paperback and hardcover winners must reside in the United States. International readers may receive only eBooks if they win.
Here’s a look at all of the books we have published through the years!
Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition
Praefatio (Praefatio, #1) by Georgia McBride
THE Undertakers: Secret of The Corpse Eater by Ty Drago
Fledgling (Dragonrider Chronicles #1) by Nicole Conway
Avian (Dragonrider Chronicles #2) by Nicole Conway
Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton
The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham
Summer of The Oak Moon by Laura Templeton
The Undertakers: Last Siege of Haven by Ty Drago
The Artisans by Julie Reece
Into The Dark by Caroline Patti
Serpentine by Cindy Pon
Minotaur by Phillip Simpson
Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins
Ashes In The Sky (Fire in the Woods #2) By Jennifer M. Eaton
The Undertakers 5: End of the World by Ty Drago
The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman
Emerge by Tobie Easton
There Once were Stars by Melanie McFarlane
The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
Argos by Phillip W. Simpson
Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3) by Nicole Conway
Rise by Jennifer Anne Davis
In The Shadow Of The Dragon King by J. Keller Ford
Hair In All The Wrong Places by Andrew Buckley
Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley
Into The Light (Into The Dark #2) by Caroline Patti
un/Fair by Steven Harper
Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
The Perilous Journey Of The Much Too Spontaneous Girl (The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl #2) by Leigh Statham
Sacrifice (Serpentine #2) by Cindy Pon
Clanless (Nameless #2 ) by Jennifer Jenkins
The Legend of The Pumpkin Thief by Charles Day
Immortal (Dragonrider Chronicles #4)  by Nicole Conway

Giveaway Details

A total of 13 winners will receive….
(1) Hardcover of SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon, US Only.
(1) Paperback of EMERGE by Tobie Easton, US ONLY.
(1) Hardcover of POPPY MAYBERRY: THE MONDAY by Jennie K. Brown, US Only.
(1) Paperback set of THE DRAGONRIDERS CHRONICLES by Nicole Conway, US Only.
(1) Paperback set of HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Andrew Buckley, POLARIS by Beth Bowland, and ARTIFACTS by Pete Catalano, US Only.
(1) Paperback set of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES, THE REQUIEM RED by Brynn Chapman, FIRE IN THE WOODS by Jennifer M. Eaton, & RISE by Jennifer Anne Davis, US Only.
(3) Paperbacks of MINOTAUR by Phillip W. Simpson, US Only.
(3) International winners will receive 5 eBooks of their choice from books listed above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Everyday Heroes Teach Unexpected Lessons

Maybe a hero is someone who showed you how to be a better person. You might not even have realized that person was heroic until much later.

It might have been a family member who showed unexpected tenacity in a difficult situation. From them, you learned that life was hard, sure, but also that the hardness didn’t have to crush you.

Stand up and fight against cancer or an unexpected accident that cripples you.

All of us have had a teacher or coach who imparted an unexpected life lesson to us.

For me, there were several:

  • My seventh grade language arts teacher made me believe I could be a writer
  • My freshman basketball coach showed me that no matter how little a person has to offer, every bit is important for the success of the team
  • I learned from a high school teacher that dreams don’t always look the way you expect them to…but that doesn’t make them any less amazing
  • A drill sergeant taught me that a positive attitude changes everything and affects everyone around you

The list could go on.

In this article from, the author learned these lessons from everyday heroes.

  1. From her grandmother: nothing is impossible
  2. From her basketball coach: the greatest enemy of excellence is “good enough” (Here is double proof that coaches impact lives AND the athletics teach real life lessons as well as any sit-down subject in school)
  3. From an employer: learn from your mistakes

What can you add to this list? Share a lesson you learned from an unexpected source in your life.


What to Write in November? Help!

November is nearly here. That means National Novel Writing Month for all you non-writerly types. In other words, insane writing for thirty days. And I still don’t know what to write.

Today, I’m asking for your advice. I need your input on how to spend my 50,000 words (or more) in November.

It’s not like I don’t have any ideas. Ideas flood my mind at every odd moment day or night.

In fact, I have four ideas that all hold equal appeal to me. Mostly for different reasons.

Here are my ideas:

  1.  A time travel story about a female lawyer
  2.  The elf novel that’s plaguing me
  3.  A New Adult romance that’s a spin-off of the novel my beta readers are reading
  4.  Another collection of short stories

All great ideas, right? That doesn’t help me narrow it down to one. I can only write one during NaNoWriMo.

Idea #1

More than a decade ago, I started this story. Here’s the gist:

A young attorney struggles to defend a guilty client. She’s fallen so far from the faith of her childhood, but this feels like an assault on her ideology of justice. In a freak hiking accident, she’s transported through time to first century Jerusalem, where she comes face-to-face with the Christ she left behind.

Upon returning to conciousness, she quits her job and gives up all her fancy goodies. When she walks into a private law office hoping to find somewhere to utilize her degrees and skills, she meets a man who was in her “dream” about Jerusalem.

Why was he there? Is she imagining things? Was the encounter real?

She is on the path to facing down the ugly truth about herself because it’s the only way she can move forward in freedom.

This story crosses many genre lines so I’m not sure how marketable it would be. But it has many solid messages that I enjoy writing about in my fiction.

Also, it works in my new commitment to write women’s fiction.

Idea #2

Masked_heartsI’ve written two short stories set on Earth that are published with Roane Publishing. Click through to get the newest one for free.

But when I wrote the first novel, I did a lot of backstory. I realized there was easily a novel that should happen in the elven realm (Evendon).

Holt is taken hostage by a magical artifact collector and forced to lead the man and his mercenaries into his home realm. He slyly leads them to his sister’s neck of the woods, where she puts the three outsiders into an enchanted sleep.

Alyona returns to Earth to fetch her human boyfriend who specializes in finding and neutralizing magical objects. He goes into Evendon with her to help stop the bad guy. Of course, he’s one-quarter elf and has an innate magic, that begins to surge through him once he’s in the magical realm.

There he will reunite with his elven grandmother and face the truth about his heritage. And he’ll need to learn to control his magic if he’s going to stop the bad guy from retrieving an artifact that will help him access the dragon realm and a magical power that would breech the borders between the four realms forever.

I’m not supposed to be writing fantasy. I’ve decided to put fantasy on the back burner. But this story begs to be told.

And I already have two published stories that would tie into it so I could create a sales funnel.

Idea #3

This is the other idea that works with my new writing direction. Although it isn’t women’s fiction, it springboards off of the novel I’ve written.

The youngest narrator from my novel, Mercedes Glen, makes a life-altering decision to move to a different state to pursue a relationship with the man she loves. Her parents are opposed so her father cuts off her health insurance.

One of the part-time jobs she takes on brings all her insecurities about her ability to counsel teenagers to the forefront. Her boyfriend’s Greek Orthodox parents aren’t in favor of him marrying outside the faith, even though he is a member and minister of a non-denominational Christian church already.

Lots of conflict. Some sweet romance. And I love this character and I’m already familiar with her voice, plus I have the character study completed. This would be the easiest project to write.

Idea #4

Virtually Yours CoverI wrote a novella that was published in a collection with seven other romance authors. It’s off the market now and I’m subbing it to Roane for a sweet romance call they have open.

I have begun the second (much requested by readers of the first) installment of Marcus and Ronnie’s romance story. It would be another novella I might submit to my small publisher. I have a vague idea for a third installment. I could then put these up and have another series sales funnel to direct readers to my writing.

Even if Roane doesn’t pick up the first one, I could offer it for free as an independently published title to funnel into the other books in the series that I could release within a few weeks of each other.

This is the idea that seems the smartest marketing-wise.

But I despise marketing. I just want to write stories.

So, which idea do you think I should pursue in November? It’s nearly here. Cast your vote in the poll.

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.

Already read one of more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.



On the Job Heroics

Heroes are everywhere. Your mail carrier might be the next one to make the news for an act of heroism. Segment two of the Everyday Heroes spotlight is all about on the job heroics.

In fact, this week’s hero fills a special place in my heart because of her ordinary job. Because I’m here to tell you, there is no career so mundane to keep an opportunity for heroism at bay.

I also admire her because you wouldn’t catch me doing her job. Why would you trap yourself in a moving vehicle with small children? Or teenagers? Or anyone?

And driving a big old bus under those stressful conditions is doubly admirable.

Once again, I found this story courtesy of A Mighty Girl.

Just Another Day on the Bus

Renita Smith drives a school bus in Maryland. Every morning she picks up kids and drops them at school. In the afternoon, she returns to the school and runs the route again to see the children safely home.

One afternoon, her bus caught on fire.

When her glance in the rear view mirror revealed flames at the back of her bus, Smith went into action.

She didn’t panic. Or stop to wonder what the protocols were for situation.

“I undid my seat belt, jumped up, got my babies and got off.”

To be sure every 4 to 9-year-old on her bus was indeed safe, Smith climbed back into a smoke-filled bus and checked every seat.

“By the time I got to the last step on the bus, it just went up in smoke.”

Not your average day at work.

Not your average bus driver.

Needles to say, parents of the twenty children riding the bus that afternoon are calling Smith a hero. And those kids have a new-found respect for the duties of a bus driver.

Smith doesn’t think her actions were heroic at all. “I have to handle each child with care, as a mommy would. That’s what I hope any human being would do for any child.”

We can hope that every person would respond in a similar fashion. Smith’s quick thinking and brave actions renew our faith in humankind.

Read more here.

Do you know any everyday heroes? If you’d like to see them featured here, leave me a comment. It’s about time some positive stories flooded the Internet.

Like what you read here? Would you like a Hero Delivery directly to your email inbox? It can be on the way in a few clicks.

Check out Poet Inspired and my other books.  Already read one of them? Your honest review is a golden nugget in this writer’s world.


Getting a Style Fix in the Mail

I love getting packages. This is one of the reasons I adore shopping online.

But some things shouldn’t be bought via mail.

This is what I used to think about clothing.

The Down Side of Clothes-by-Mail

Sometimes a shopping excursion to the mall is fun. Other times, the crowds and pushy people don’t make the measly sales worth the trouble.

Or the gas. Even if the prices aren’t skyrocketing these days.

And there are all those glossy catalogs you get in the mail. Or maybe the advertisements in the sidebar on Facebook or some other website.

Sometimes the idea of squeezing yourself into another pair of jeans that who-knows-how-many other people have tried on before you in a claustrophobic dressing room is about as appealing as a root canal.

Maybe the confusion of sizing makes your head spin.

Should I take a 6 or 8 into the dressing room? I need a 12! I’m never shopping in this store again.

Let’s face it, mail order makes things simpler.

Except for one thing: shipping charges.

They charge you a bunch to ship it to you. They send a pre-paid label for your returns. Somewhere on it in ultra-fine print is the warning “$7.99 will be deducted from your refund when you use this label.”

But sometimes UPS will charge you $10. And the post office used to be cheaper. But not these days.

So you can take a chance that you might love the clothes you’re buying unseen. And pay the fine in shipping fees.

Or you can try a service called Stitch Fix.

The Up Side of Stitch Fix

All the things you like about mail-order clothing comes in that box from your own personal stylist. (And doesn’t it feel awesome to think you have a personal stylist?)

And all the things biggest drawback is solved.

Stitch Fix includes an actual pre-paid envelope for your returns.

You don’t have to figure out how to repair the one you ripped open with abandon. You know when you were so excited to see your new clothes.

Nor do you have to wrestle with packaging tape. You can even put the thing in your mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up (provided you don’t have that bank of tiny boxes at the end of your block that has only a slim letter slot for outgoing mail).

It also has a special feel to it. There was a card with all the instructions in a nice envelope. There were style option cards with pictures of what to wear the individual pieces with.

And of course a note from Kristen explaining why she chose the way she did.

My First Fix

I recently received my first box from my personal stylist. Her name is Kristen.

Now I didn’t really give Kristen much to go on when I filled out my style profile on their site. None of the groupings they showed truly appealed to me. I liked a piece or two from some of them, but not everything. How do I know they won’t imagine I liked those hideous zebra-print shoes?

I asked for jeans and casual tops. And shoes I could wear if I was on my feet all day.

Kristen sent me five items:

This is the Loveappella knit top. So soft, but seemed tight in the arms.
This is the Loveappella knit top. So soft, but seemed tight in the arms.
  • DV8 Penny Loafers in Teal
  • Papermoom Melcon Lace-Up Back Blouse
  • Loveappella knit top
  • Kut from the Kloth Maribel straight leg jeans
  • Market & Spruce button-down top – plaid

I will say that straight out of the box I didn’t love any of these items. But I liked all of them. I would have tried on any of them at the store.

The best thing about trying them on at home?

“These shoes would go with my jeans.” You know how you think that when you’re trying stuff on at the mall? And use that to convince yourself to buy whatever it is?

Then you get home, and it doesn’t match.

I walked right into my closet and pulled out my teal jeans. Yep. Exact match with the shoes.

But I didn’t love the shoes. And they were $70. I don’t spend over $50 on shoes. Ever. If they’re more than that, I wait for a sale.

So maybe I’m too cheap for this service. Time will tell.

I liked the way the jeans felt. I saw some black ones while perusing the Stitch Fix Pinterest boards (because that’s the way to really inform your sylist). And I really would have preferred those because they are a tad dressier. But I did ask for casual.

And straight leg isn’t my favorite. It usually feels to snug on my thighs.

The blouse was pretty but not really my colors. I liked the flowy fit, but did it make me look fat? (The question for the ages, right?)

The button down shirt would look great with my gray and black slacks. But as often happens with button-up shirts, it pulled slightly across the bust. Not a big gap like so many blouses do, but enough that I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it without a cami underneath.

Notice the gap across the chest? My husband didn't either.
Notice the gap across the chest? My husband didn’t either.

And for $58? Well, I could pass that up.

If it wasn’t for my husband, I probably would have sent the whole shipment back (although I drooled on the shoes for a good long while before talking myself out of them).

This is the outfit I kept:

Outfit cost: $122. More than I would pay at the mall
Outfit cost: $122. More than I would pay at the mall

I could have added all five items for $218.50. (They give you a 25% discount if you buy everything in the shipment.) That’s a little lot over my usual shopping budget.

Once I slipped my returns into the pre-paid envelope and dropped it at the post office, I promptly updated my style profile online. To help Kristen, I created a Pinterest board dedicated to my style and pasted the link in my Stitch Fix account.

Now I have to wait until December 13 for my next “Fix.”

I will be newly back from my birthday trip to Hawaii. My tanned skin will be ready for whatever my stylist sends me next.

Have you ever used a service like this? What was your experience? Do you prefer shopping at home, online or in person?

Like what you read here? Would you like a Hero Delivery directly to your email inbox? It can be on the way in a few clicks.

Check out Poet Inspired and my other books. Already read one or more? Your honest review is a golden nugget in this writer’s world.


It’s Fried-Brain Friday

I’m so thankful it’s Friday. Aren’t you?

Welcome to “It’s been one of those weeks.” In fact, it looks like October is going to be one of those months.

But my followers want to see three posts from me each week. This is what I’m told by Social Media Jedi Master Kristen Lamb. Or if you don’t want to read them, I need to post them so Google thinks I’m alive and well.

And they’ll give me better consideration during searches.



I don’t really care about that so much when my brain is fried. I’ve got two speaking events to plan for (and the thought of the second one makes me nauseous).

Plus I’m supposed to be writing.

So, today I’m offering the first (of many) Fried-Brain Fridays. I’ll post a couple videos that might make you smile. Or maybe feel warm and fuzzy.

Or if nothing else feel grateful they didn’t have smart phones with video cameras when you lived your Most Embarrassing Moment.

And in case you’d rather have some cuteness. Or can relate to falling asleep however and wherever, I give you kittens.

Like what you read here? Would you like a Hero Delivery directly to your email inbox? It can be on the way in a few clicks.

Check out Poet Inspired and my other books. Already read one or more? Your honest review is a golden nugget in this writer’s world.


Meet Some Everyday Heroes

My fascination with heroes has only been strengthened by the current comics-into-movies craze. What’s even more inspiring? There are heroes around us dressed in the guise of an ordinary person.

This month on my blog, the midweek posts (I will be changing from Thursday to Wednesday halfway through) are dedicated to these individuals.

Today, I’m dumping some links to videos and articles that will give you a glimpse at the sort of people who we don’t see in the news.

Why do they tell us all the bad news? Shouldn’t they always follow it up with some good news?

While mainstream news shows protests and property damage, another kind of television station focuses on the goodness birthed from tragedy. Here is a video that shows how the fury of nature brings out the best in some people.

I’ve seen people hanging from a bridge in protest. I’ve seen others standing on an overpass threatening to jump and end their lives.

Would you have the courage to stop someone from jumping? In this next video, you’ll also see heroes reaching out to rescue those who are falling.

I had mixed feelings about the last story. When I saw the headline, I immediately thought, “Here’s an everyday hero.”

Hero mom dies rescuing son from Oklahoma fire

And then I read the story.

Every mother would hope to have the same courage to enter their burning home when they realized their young child is still inside. That’s what this woman did, after escaping with her two infant sons, too young to walk out on their own.

But then I read on. Rescue crews were on site. Trained professionals were there to do the job. She didn’t listen to them.

In the end, both she and the four-year-old she tried to rescue perished from injuries sustained in the fire. Now her other children our motherless.

Would the fire personnel have been able to pull her son out in time if they weren’t trying to rescue her too?

We’ll never know. While I admire her self-sacrifice, part of me feels the loss was unnecessary.

What’s your idea of an everyday hero? Do you have some stories for me?

Like what you read here? Would you like a Hero Delivery directly to your email inbox? It can be on the way in a few clicks.

Check out Poet Inspired and  my other books. Already read one or more of them? Your honest review is a golden nugget in this writer’s world.


When No News is Good News

Writing is waiting. And waiting some more. All the while you keep writing, but part of your brain is wondering about the wait.

Even self published authors must deal with some of this. They send a manuscript to their editor and have to wait for it to come back, marked with changes they must make before they can publish. A cover designer has their idea and so the wait begins to see if they can translate it into a cover matching the author’s vision.

Once they upload their manuscript to a print on demand company or an e-book publisher, they wait for notification that it has been accepted. Or that it doesn’t meet some requirement and they need to change it.

Eventually, their book is available for readers to purchase.

In the traditional writing world, the waiting expand exponentially.

My Publisher Waiting Game

Back in May, I submitted a manuscript to one of my publishers on speculation. Meaning they asked me to write a specific story and send it to them. For a refresher, read this post.

After I sent it, one of my non-writer teaching friends and I were discussing it. When I explained that it would be eight to ten weeks before I heard anything, she was aghast.

“You might not hear anything until July? I would be on pins and needles.”

I laughed. Well, not in her face because that’s just rude. Writers understand that ten weeks is much too soon for most publishers to respond to a full manuscript. Some have waited six months to a year.


Yes, it IS a long time to be on “pins and needles.” But authors know there is no thumb-twiddling while you’re waiting to hear. You start writing the next story.

I have finished two projects and begun the sample chapters for a nonfiction project I hope to submit to agents in a month or two. All while waiting for the publisher to respond.

In the middle of August, I received an email from an editorial assistant with Month9Books. She informed me that my manuscript was the next project to be read. I should hear within a week or two.

In the middle of September, I got an email from my editor. She wanted to schedule a conference call with the publisher.

We’re talking. It can’t be all bad news, can it?

I’m telling you, all those months with no news was definitely the good news in this situation.

The publisher wanted to reject my manuscript outright because it didn’t follow the rules of a single genre. BUT since the novel is a spin-off of my short story which is coming out in this publisher’s anthology later this month, she wanted to capitalize on that if she could.

I won’t bore you with the details. In short, if I wanted to do a bunch of things to get my manuscript out there (publish on WattPad or Amazon), they would support that on their social media channels. But I should consider this manuscript rejected and released.

Agent’s Play the Game

During this same time, I have continued to submit my YA fantasy called DRAGONS AWAKENING to a few agencies and small presses.

I’m surprised by the number of literary agents who say, “If you don’t hear from us in six (eight, ten or twelve) weeks, consider that a pass.”

Because dropping me a two-line email will take so much time? Don’t you have an assistant who could handle that to give her (or him) a break from weeding through your slush pile?

It baffles me.

So in this case, no news is BAD news.

They are so disinterested in your story that they couldn’t even take a minute to type a sentence or two.

This isn’t all agents. How would I know what a rejection email looked like if I hadn’t gotten one or two or twenty?

And I respect the agents who at least reply. They remain on my list of possible candidates for my next project. Provided they even represent Christian nonfiction or women’s fiction.


Small Publisher’s Win

Even though the publisher who asked for my novel-and took four months to reject it-isn’t a major publishing house, they do have a presence in bookstores, with libraries and with major review journals.

roanepublishing_1399215274_75My best success with hearing back in a timely manner from publishers has come from small publishers, like Roane Publishing.

We can speculate that this is because they don’t receive the same quantity of queries and manuscripts as agents and larger publishers. While this might be true, they also have a much smaller staff. In fact, Roane’s staff is spread all over the world.

Imagine conducting your business 100 percent virtually. When you have an editor in New Zealand. You’re awake? Well she’s sleeping.

Whatever the reason, I give the award for treating authors respectfully and professionally to these small publishing houses. Kudos to you for making writers feel like they aren’t submitting into a void.

Someone is actually reading those queries and sample pages. Even if they aren’t buying it, they’re reading and

Without authors, there’d be no publishers – Roane Publishing

At the moment, I’m writing again (actually rewriting and then editing). But then I’ll begin part one of my the never-ending game: waiting for beta readers to read and comment on my early draft.

How are you at the waiting game? Have you ever experienced the “no news is good news” phenomenon?


Like what you read here? Would you like a Hero Delivery directly to your email inbox? It can be on the way in a few clicks.

Check out Poet Inspired and my other books. Read one or more already? Your honest review is a golden nugget in this writer’s world.

My opinion meme

Video Training: Does it train you?

Every year the school district sends a link to some video courses. It wasn’t one of the things I missed when I became a full-time writer. Now that I’m a substitute teacher, guess what?

I get a link to a bunch of video training classes and associate quizzes.

This year their were nine different classes. At least two of them were completely new. At least four of them I had taken at least ten times already.

But a refresher course is good, right?

As I clicked through the slides, scanning the classes I’d already taken, I wondered how much training I was really receiving.

Would I need to dispose of something blood-soaked while I was at the school? Did my knowledge of the homeless statistics and federal programs enable me to assist students?

In short—do these video training courses really train you?

The Process

So many statutes govern public education. And I don’t remember what year the privacy act went into effect. Or when concessions were made advocating special services for homeless students.

Why do I need to recall the year?

But that’s one of the quiz questions. Every. Time.

The district sends a link. An employee or substitute clicks through and verifies their personal information.

The next step is to open up the list of courses you’re required to watch and pass a quiz over. Because we all know, people would just run the videos and walk away from their computer if their wasn’t a quiz at the end.

Once the course has finished running, there is a link to the quiz. Quizzes are between 8 and 20 questions, with most of them being 10 questions.

The Shortcuts

Of course there are ways to shorten the time it takes to go through the courses.

I don’t listen to the narration. Even though I generally am an auditory learner, I’ve taken these courses often enough that just reviewing the information visually will help me pass the quizzes.

After all, do I really need to listen to someone reading the screens to me.

Failed Power Point presentation=when the presenter says exactly what’s on the screen.

You can take the quiz without watching any of the video. I did this with the blood-born pathogen class. After taking the same thing ten times, I think I know the answers. It was also only an 8-question test.

According to the time ratings on my courses, it should have taken me 210 minutes to complete all the videos. Using my shortcuts, I finished in around 100 minutes.

Still a colossal waste of time in my opinion.

Putting it in Practice

To answer the question, I think that video training courses benefit regular employees more than they do a substitute. (No, I’m not just saying this because I don’t want to take the classes.)

Daily interaction with homeless students and educational records make an employee aware that their are rules in place. They might even use some of the best practices if they have affected students in their classroom.

The truth is, if I witness bullying, I will step in and stop it. And I will report it. Because that’s who I am, not because I read a bunch of Power Point slides on the subject.

And, yes, I passed all the quizzes. I have to in order to substitute in the school district.

But I don’t think these videos make me more prepared. I still need to adopt a mindset of caring toward the students. This will involve daily choices when I’m on a job.

What do you think? Have you completed video training? Is it effective? How is it better/worse than in-person training sessions?

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