What would you do?

What would you do when confronted with your own mortality?

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I know some of you have wondered where I’ve been. And why my blogs suddenly stopped. I urge you to go to my blog at http://klorraine.com and read my story.

I also want to thank you for moving the blog number counter forward. Maybe I will see it reach 10,000 visits with this blog.

Today, the number was 9,325 viewers. It’s possible. It’s doable.

It’s said that before you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 ESV

I’ve enjoyed my time with my world-wide fans. I’ve loved entertaining you with my written words. And I look forward to finishing three books that are still in the hopper.

Until we meet again,

Happy reading.

Hugs, K. Lorraine

Social Media Meltdown… a quote is a quote, is a quote, is a quote

NEW weekly blog to post today. So, keep checking. The blog will be ready TODAY depending on your time zone.

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I liked this quote by one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer Blanchard. “It’s my belief we’re supposed to trigger people and get triggered by people–that’s how we all learn and grow.”

What inspired me to write this blog, you ask? Read the full blog http://klorraine.com

Until next time…

Happy reading.

K. Lorraine

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There’s four P’s in becoming a writer + one

When you are a writer, it’s essential to know your standings among other authors. This is something that I don’t normally do. And that’s to check my ranking in Author’s Central on Amazon books.

It’s just something that doesn’t occur to me to do often. I’m so busy just coming up with topics to blog about. And then, I thought, an author’s RANKING might be interesting for my audience.

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There is so much more to becoming an authentic, verified writer. We just don’t sit down and plunk away on a computer keyboard. It first takes an idea. Sometimes an idea just pops into your head. And other times it comes from an inspiration.

The next step is the idea needs to germinate and grow. I write two weekly blogs. So, I have twice the workload. And I also try to put a monthly book out on CreateSpace and in the Amazon e-book store.

The inspiration to write this blog, came from roaming around in my Author’s central page. I found it rather interesting. This is the way the Amazon Bestsellers Book Ranking works.

You need to have more than four books in your bibliography. And I do.  Then they list your top three best sellers. My top three are…

Spog Goes to School (Spog’s Children’s Book Series 5)

#1, 481,785 in Kindle books store (paid) 66,168 spots today

Seychelles Survivor

#1, 762,106 in Kindle books store (paid) 2,557 spots today

Haunted Manor: Voodoo Murder

#1, 882,754 in Kindle books store (paid) 2,825 spots

Retailers selling your book, need to take part in the Nielsen BookScan. Your book to belong to one of the companies from which Nielsen derives its list of reported ASINs. The ASIN is the Amazon Standard Identification Number. It’s a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com. The number is used by its partners for product-identification within the Amazon.com organization.

For example. If your book is a partner with the Ingram Company, you can see the sales info. If your book is Print on Demand. Your publishing company may not report ISBNs to Ingram. Thus, you may not see any sales information. It will show up as, ‘current rank unknown.’ Most of my books show this prompt.

To see sales data for Amazon sales, you must take part in one of the direct-publishing programs. CreateSpace.com or Kindle Direct Publishing. CreateSpace is an Amazon print on demand company. For this reason, sales of your CreateSpace book on Amazon may not appear. Mine does not show because I print my books on demand.  It’s costly to buy books up front and then try to peddle them.

But, CreateSpace books might be eligible for enrollment with the Ingram Book Company. And then the book report sales go to BookScan. Does this sound complicated? Yes, for me anyway, it’s a lot to digest.

All CreateSpace Author members, can see a manufacturing report. This shows the volume of their books printed to meet the demand of various sales channels. Createsapce offers five or six free channels.

Amazon.com

Amazon Europe

CreateSpace e-store

Libraries – I just went to my local library yesterday to drop off some promotional literature about my print on demand books. Over half my books are already in the library. But, I reminded them that can get my new books to put on the shelves. This is because, libraries are in the Createspace channel of distribution.

CreateSpace Direct

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Any copyright holder can publish a Kindle book on Amazon for free. Members of the KDP program have access to reporting data. The information has a weekly update.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank History

The Amazon Bestsellers Rank History page shows the best seller rank summary of all your books. The Bestsellers Rank does not include sales from any of their International websites. And I belong to a few of these. I can get my international ranking through another source.

But, the Bestsellers Rank shows books in their (meaning Createspace) catalog. The ranking system tells the author how well their books are selling. This is relative to the sales of other books in the catalog.

Sales rank is a relative measure. Print books rate among all books in the Amazon Books store. Kindle books rate among the free or the paid books in the Kindle store. Remember, this number is a comparison of your book with all other books in the catalog For example:

Spog Goes to School (Spog’s Children’s Book Series 5)

Rates # 1, 481,785 in Kindle books store. The book was among 66,168 (paid) spots today.

Beyond the Twilight Zone

Kindle Edition

Current Sales Rank: Rates #2, 732,649 in the Kindle Store.

Beyond a Kiss: Book Five; Mia Perez series

Kindle Edition

Current Sales Rank: Rates #3,  343,493 in the Kindle Store.

You might think, gosh the book ranks in the one million, two million or three million range. Yes, that’s a lot of competition. And that’s why writers are among the group known as ‘starving artists.’

It takes a lot of practice, persistence, patience and promoting in our trade to eek out a living. It also takes discretionary cash. Books aren’t free for the writer. We pay for each book with the hope we can sell them to the general public. The most lucrative way is to hold a book signing. And this avenue takes all of the (four P‘s) and a lot of cash.

You might think a writer makes a lot of money. This is a misnomer. That is, unless you’re lucky enough to sell a lot of books. Depending on the retail sale of a book. A writer’s royalty can be a few cents to maybe three dollars and a few pennies.

I call it a hallelujah moment if a book sells. I know when this happens because it shows up in my band statement. Someone recently bought a book online through a catalogue. But that sale didn’t affect my ranking. Most likely because more books in the same category sold more than my one book. I’ve even watched my ranking drop. But, I take this lightly.

On the same note, I’ve seen my ranking improve. My best educated guess is the group of books in my same genre, is selling one copy a week. And my book’s sales rate remains the same. Perhaps, even my book sold two copies in one week. So, this is an indicator why my rank improved.

Of course, it’s a two-way street. My rank may still drop even though my book kept selling one copy a week. This is why I refrain from checking the numbers. I’m not into roller coasters and the nausea I get from the ride.

Amazon Author Rank is based on sales of all your books relative to the sales of other authors. The Amazon Author Rank shows how an author’s book sells relative to other authors. Like the Billboard charts, lower numbers are better. An author with the Amazon Author Rank of #1 will only appear as an author in the top 100.

Of course, this is a dream of mine. To be listed in the top 100. But, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Amazon looks at paid sales of all the books sold by an author on Amazon.com. This includes books in Kindle too.

My author ranking is  #136, 842. I consider this pretty darn good. This means that I have 136,742 more books to sell before I rank in the top 100. It’s a doable goal.

As of a few moments ago, I had 9,222 visits to my K. Lorraine website http://klorraine.com. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to reach 10,000 views by December 31st. I’m almost there and I have seven months left in this year. ‘Hip-hip-hurray,’ for my accomplishment.

My fan base has grown leaps and bounds. I couldn’t be more humbled or I couldn’t feel more blessed. And that’s where the (P word) patience falls into play. I’ve been writing all my life. But, I didn’t publish until 2013.

It’s taken, (P word), persistence to grow my fan base. It’s taken (P word), practice to hone my skills. It’s taken learning to market my talent. And it’s taken time to (another P word), promote my books. But it’s taken a strong faith in god’s Will and an a lot of prayers to keep the pace steady.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Until next week.

Happy reading,

K. Lorraine

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P.S.

Be sure to drop by my other blog, ‘No Shoes Required.’ http://www.noshoesrequiredblog.wordpress.com. You can also get there by going to http://klorraine.com and click on the ‘No Shoes,’ icon.

You never know what you’ll find there. It’s fun. It’s flirty. It’s fabulous. And it’s fashion at its best. You never know who might show up as a guest blogger either…

Pounding the keyboard-Clicking the mouse

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A Good Friday Thank You…

I realize that this won’t post until Monday, the day after Easter. But, I decided to write this blog anyway. The idea came to me this morning, Good Friday. I will have my editor post it on Monday, the day after Easter.

Like I do every day, I spent fifteen minutes of quiet time. This is my alone time to plan my day. I thanked the Lord for another day of hope, promise, opportunity and success. A day to receive, live and speak the Gospel. I was in a quandary what next week’s blog topic would be. And then it happened. The Holy Spirit led me to the theme for the week’s blog.

It actually started on Holy Thursday. My husband Ed and I went to a special Easter luncheon at our church. The Pastor’s topic was, THANK YOU. Not giving thanks, but the two words, THANK YOU.

This was food for thought. I started to think how lazy, we’ve become in giving thanks. Today, we do everything over the internet. We send a typed thank you note. We send cards of all sorts. We even write our letters on the computer. Little is done, any longer the old fashion way. By hand.

And, we often thank God in a sloppy, lazy manner too. But, I wanted to do something about saying THANK YOU to God the Father for giving us life.

Just saying THANK YOU, didn’t seem enough. I needed to THANK God the Father for sacrificing His only Son. It was when Jesus was nailed to the cross that brought forth our redemption. And this message made me think about my own life.

God has a purpose for everyone.“But I have raised you up for this purpose. That I might show you my power. And that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16).

God’s purpose is the one that lasts. Each of us are born with a purpose and a calling. We have the opportunity to discover it or completely miss it. The influence of the Holy Spirit gives us insight to His purposes for us.

I thought back over my life. Like most of us, we’ve gone through stages. I don’t often think about dying. But, this morning, I did. God the Father gave me life. He chose me for a reason. I have a purpose to fulfill here on earth until the Father calls me home.

So, phase one of my life was to be the best kid that I could be. Especially as a child, hard times can make it difficult to see God’s purpose. Often times, we don’t want to see that God is working our difficulty for our good. But, with the mindset that God is working things out for us, things don’t seem so bad.

In my case, I found it hard being a kid with a disability. But, the Lord and His purposes are perfect. Yet we are not. Doubts and fears can keep us from living out the purposes that He has established for us.

Even as a child, I reached out to God. The more I learned about God, and prayed to Him, I became stronger in my trust. I started to see His purpose for me. God longed for me to start on the pathway to the life He created for me.
In Ephesian 1:11, “In Him we were chosen according to His plan. And in conformity with the purpose of his will.”

As I got older, I started to understand that I was born by His purpose and for His purpose. But, I still struggled to understand my disability. I had questions. How could I live a successful life as a person with a disability? I kept looking within myself to find the answer.

But, I didn’t create myself so how could I have the answer? It was God who directed my life. That’s when I began turning my concerns over to Him. After all, I couldn’t start the phase with the focus on me.

My disability continued to weaken me more. I started seeing miracles happening. They may have been small, but there were still miracles. My artistic talents grew and developed beyond my wildest dreams. I loved my work and delved into it with deep passion.

I felt alive because God willed me to live. I had my share of setbacks. I even turned my back on God. I went through a failed marriage. But, two beautiful children were His gift to us. Life didn’t make sense. And all roads came to dead ends.

I seemed doomed to be a failure. But why? How could a life that was so good, turn sour? I had strayed away from letting God use me for His purpose. I liked being in control. But, it says in Romans 8:6 vs. 8, “God isn’t pleased when ignored.”

I was smug. I knew I could find success if I put my mind to it. And I did, by the world’s standards. I had climbed my way to the top. I was a successful Director for a non-profit. I was well known in my community. And yet, I still missed the purpose that God created for me. In Mark, 8:35 it says, “Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.”

I still couldn’t figure out what was not fulfilled in my life. Wasn’t I sacrificing a lot by having a muscle disease that was taking away my quality of life? I had a quantity of material things, but my heart felt starved and empty.

The next phase came without much warning. I spent the next fifteen years fighting three bouts of cancer. I prayed. I bartered with God. I wanted to give up on life. And I gave up on God. I wasn’t thinking about Jesus, my savior. I was thinking of me. Poor me…

But God wasn’t giving up on me. He sent the Holy Spirit through my husband to shake me up. He wasn’t through with me. Not yet, and neither was my husband. He said, “I know you have to do the work and go through the steps to rid the cancer. But, I’ll be with you every day, and we’ll get through it together.”

I knew it was Jesus talking to me. I was ashamed of myself for wanting to throw in the towel. My suffering was miniscule compared to Jesus’ suffering.

I learned through some Bible passages that God uses the disabled for His glory. God uses a disability to show His awesome love for all creation and to help us imitate His love. God allows things to happen for good reasons. God uses people with disabilities to inspire and advance to His kingdom.

People take things for granted. Like, getting dressed. Combing your hair. Picking up an object that’s fallen to the floor. Driving a car. Going shopping alone. Even feeding yourself without dropping food on the floor.

There are people who are blind who see better than people with eyesight. There are people who are deaf who can hear better than people with good hearing. Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory. And that outweighs the perfect body. God remains perfect, good, loving, kind, and just.

John 9:2-4 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

So, on to the next phase of my life.

Proverbs 3:5–6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

I threw speculation out the window. There was no more theorizing, conjecture or guessing games. I went straight to the man who sat in the driver’s seat of my life. I asked the Creator of my life. The Bible said. “God’s wisdom goes deeper into the interior of His purpose.”

Revelation! I needed to hear God’s words. After all, He was the source of my purpose. God thought about me before my conception. He chose everything about me right down to the color of my eyes and hair. He chose my gender.
I was not a mistake. God chose my parents. I was conceived in His mind. He custom made my body just the way He wanted it. He predetermined my natural talents. He knew me inside out. He planned the days of my life in advance. And only He knows the circumstances and the moment of my death. And He chose my purpose.

God had a plan in creating me. He never does anything by accident. And He never makes a mistake. God’s motive for creating me was His love. God made me so He could love me. Because God is love.I no longer drift through life without a purpose. The Holy Spirit guides my way through each day. And Jesus walks with me through my day.

Once upon a time, I was a student. And then I became a mother. And then I was an artist because that was my purpose at the time. But then that purpose changed and God sent me back to school. He had many wonderful things planned for me that required a higher education. He also planned an early retirement because of more health issues.

The Lord was a focal point in my life now. But He knew I would soon need someone to be my caregiver. And that’s when He introduced this wonderful man into my life. And we married. So now we are a blended family of five children and six grandchildren.

My physical abilities have deteriorated. I no longer can use some talents that were on loan to me by God the Father. But He has a new purpose for me now. I might be living the final chapter of my life. I don’t know. But, what I do know is God has more for me to do. He’s not finished with me yet.

So, I’m off to yet, another phase of my life. I’m grateful for my relationship with Jesus. I’m grateful for my life. The Holy Spirit has gifted me with words. I write two weekly blogs. My general K. Lorraine blog, also known as ‘My Funn Stuff.’ And a new blog. I love my work…

‘No Shoes Required.’ This is a new concept blog. A blog, especially structured for women with disabilities. It’s a sharing & learning web blog. I hope you take the time to take a look. You don’t need a disability to have fun. Most women love fashion. I’m a self declared Fashionista. And, I believe that I have my heavenly Father’s permission.

         So, in this new phase, my instructions are to pound on the keyboard. And click my mouse until my fingers no longer function. And then, well, I’ll just have to wait and see.

You can read more of work by visiting my website. http://klorraine.com. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. My books are available in the Amazon e-book store. Createspace. Goodreads. Barnes & Noble and the K. Lorraine website.

Until next week,
Happy reading,
k. Lorraine

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NEW webpage design. Come see!

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I invite you to take a look at my NEW webpage design.

Jeannie out did herself this time. It’s more than awesome. Great job Jeannie. You go girl.

http://klorraine.com Lots of great stuff to read.

FYI… And a new feature blog will post on Monday. A special post about the true meaning of Easter. Don’t miss this one.

Have a great weekend.
K. Lorraine

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March Wind

 

MARCH WINDS

AUTHOR UNKOWN

March wind is a jolly fellow;

He likes to joke and play.

He turns umbrellas inside out

And blows men’s hats away.

 

He calls the pussy willows

And whispers in each ear,

“Wake up you lazy little seeds;

Don’t you know that spring is here?”

 

I thought it might be fun to write a story using bits & pieces of quotes about the March wind. There were too many authors who penned the quotes. So, I chose to just paraphrase them.

Did March come in like a lion and go out as a lamb? In the desert of New Mexico, the answer is YES and NO. you see, the March winds are upon us here in the desert. The temperature is a gorgeous 88 degrees. But, the wind gusts range from 45 MPH and up to around 55-65 MPH.

What makes the March winds blow? Botanists say that trees need the powerful winds to flex their trunks and main branches. There is a wonderful mythical law of nature.

In the Sprig, the green leaves sprout from the buds. The Spring wind draws the sap up to nourish the budding leaves. And we enjoy watching them as they flutter and shake about.

When one has faith that the spring thaw will arrive, the winter winds seem to lose some of their punch.

And the rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. The Daffodiles, Lilies and an array of other flowers are in bloom. The sun shines bright with a warmth that rises with a glorious hallelujah.

The wind is differences in atmospheric pressure. If it weren’t for this rising and sinking motion in the atmosphere, we would have no wind. But we’d not have something we call weather.

Make the most of today. Our passions are the winds that propel us. Nothing will stop the truth from marching on. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees.

Poems are one of the best ways to connect oneself with the imaginative world. We all know that May comes after April. And April is a month of a wild ride of alternating snow and sun. We all know that the flowers start to bloom in May, except for a few warm states where they show off every day of the year.

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They say April showers bring May flowers to tell you that it’s okay when it rains. A daffodil clings amongst the downpour. April says she’s tired of it being cold. And  the showers stirred up the soil. May thought that was pretty nice.

On that rainy April day. Would all the flowers turn to showers in the sunny month of May?

Life is a splendid thing, for sure. Wasn’t God so nice to make the cloudy skies? He planted all the flowers. I want to thank God for His daily blessings. And for the softest of April showers too. If it wasn’t for the gentle April showers, there wouldn’t be the loveliest of May flowers.

So, my advice is, always look on the sunny side of things. And give thanks for a fresh new Spring.

 

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5-7-5 poem

by K. Lorraine… February 15, 2016

The morning breeze sings                                 

On the ribbons of spring air

Her love melody, gentle

Until next time… Happy reading, K. Lorraine

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The Dark Side of Being Different, Beauty & the Beast

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The Dark Side of Being Different

(Beauty & the Beast)

Posted on Fanstory January 20, 2015

The story received  65 views

Copyright © 2015 by K. Lorraine Books

Graphic, courtesy of Bing Public Domain

I thought I’d change up this week’s blog a bit.

The new movie Beauty and the Beast debuted in the theaters this weekend. “Despite her fears, Belle befriends the castle’s enchanted staff. And she learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior. She realizes the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.”

This prompted me to delve into my archives. I remembered a short story that I had written. I found it.  I thought you might enjoy my version of a take on Beauty of the Beast from 2015, Alien style.

Read the full blog on the K. Lorraine website http://klorraine.com.

Have a happy first day of Spring.

Happy reading,

K. Lorraine

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