Small Publishers – Indie Publishers

Happy July! Happy 4th of July!

July’s theme has a lot to do with freedom. We have the freedom to choose how we want to publish. We have the freedom to become our own publisher, or to start our own company.

I hope you will come back every week to read about these publishing journeys and be inspired!

Quality is the key. The editors and authors I’m highlighting this month are quality. I’ve known a couple of them for several years and can attest to the quality of the books they publish. I think you’ll agree.

Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, July 10th
Tracy Ruckman
Write Integrity Press
Pix-N-Pens Publishing
TMP Books
Thursday, July 17th
Nike Chillemi
Crime Fictionista Press
Thursday, July 24th
Nicola Martinez
Pelican Book Group
Thursday, July 31st
Hallee Bridgeman
Olivia Kimbrell Press
Sign of the Whale Publishing

 Mark your calendars. Or sign up to receive my blogposts via email. “Like” my Facebook page.

Happy Birthday USA (& Leigh Ann)

On July 4th, America celebrates her birthday. So does my daughter-in-law, but that’s not what I’m writing about today. Our nation is approximately 237 years old (my daughter-in-law is considerably younger).

Many of you will celebrate the fourth with cookouts, picnics, and/or fireworks. Around here, they’ve been shooting fireworks for several days and will probably continue for several more days. I just wish they had a curfew. Some folks have to get up early. When she was little, my daughter-in-law thought all those fireworks were for her birthday. I think we’ve finally convinced her otherwise.

America’s short history is fascinating. While some of those guys were scalawags, most were actually God-fearing men who truly cared about the future of the nation for which they fought. Some wanted a king. A few wanted to be king. I’m thankful they settled on a president. What we’ve done with that is another subject entirely and not one I want to take up at this time.

Whatever you end up doing, I hope it’ll be an adventure. I think it’s wonderful that we can celebrate the history of our great country. Whatever our misunderstandings and arguments at this moment, they’ll all be distant memories one day. Some won’t even make it into our history books.

What is important: men giving their lives, fighting and dying for their country. Protecting the number one most important thing––freedom. That freedom of speech we like to shout about––someone fought for that. Someone died for that and all the other things we often take for granted.

When the fireworks burst into beautiful, colorful streams of light, remember. And while you’re looking up, why not give thanks.

Now I have to go put a few candles in the apple pie. I forgot to bake a cake for d-i-l. But I happen to know she loves apple pie and ice cream, so I think it’ll be okay.

As always, thanks for reading. There are some exciting things coming up in the next few weeks, so stop back by if you get a chance.

Paid in Full – an Epiphany

There are moments in life when we figure something out and the knowledge sets us free. We sometimes call this an epiphany.

I had one of those things this week. If you owe someone a lot of money and you can’t pay even part of it back, you’re not going to be excited to see them. But one day, a man in similar circumstances (we’ll call him Ray) received a summons to appear before someone from whom he’d borrowed a large sum of money (we’ll call this guy Arnie). Arnie had a business to run after all, and needed his money back. Ray dreaded the appointment because he didn’t have the money to repay the debt. The time came for him to go to the meeting with Arnie and knowing he couldn’t get out of it, he went.

On the way, he contemplated, what is the worst that could happen? Well, at that particular time in history, the worst could be death or imprisonment. Or, Ray and/or his family could be sold into servitude to pay his debt. Which is exactly what happened. When Ray told Arnie he couldn’t pay, Arnie got mad, slammed his fist on his desk and promptly called for his minions to take Ray and his entire family and sell them. Sell them. Slavery. The money made on the sale would pay off the debt.

Yikes. Ray was pretty upset. This was not one of those seven-year indenture kicks, it was life. Not just for him, but his whole family, too. Ray fell on his face in front of Arnie and began to weep. “I’m so sorry! I’ve been an idiot. Please forgive me, and allow me a bit more time to come up with the money.”

Arnie was smart enough to know that a man like Ray would have a really hard time coming up with the amount of the debt, which was great by the day’s standards. Years of compounded interest had ballooned the original sum. But Ray’s humility as he sobbed like an infant, lying on the floor, touched Arnie’s heart. “Get up, Ray. Today’s your lucky day. I’m going to let you off the hook.”

Ray stood, blew his nose and wiped away the tears. “When do you need payment? I’ll get it somehow.”

“No,” Arnie said. “You don’t understand. I’m letting you completely off the hook. You don’t owe anything.” He picked up the paper that Ray had signed, tore it in two and tossed it on the fire. “The debt is paid in full.”

Ray was speechless. Once again, tears ran down his bearded cheeks, obscuring his view of Arnie. He swallowed a grapefruit-sized lump in his throat, and pushed out a word of thanks. Confused and kind of in shock, he backed out of the office and started home. Then it hit him. His debt was paid in full. He owed nothing. Zero. Naught. Zilch. He danced all the way home.

I am standing here today, free from debt. Set free from a load of debt I could never repay unless I’d won the lottery or. . .ok, that’s just silly. I have no debt. None. Zero. Zilch. Free. It feels good. I’d like to break into a song and dance routine, but it would scare the neighbors.

When someone pays a debt for you, a really big debt, after you recover from the shock and humility, you’re going to feel pretty good. Like Ray, you may want to dance. But one thing I would urge you to do: Do unto others. You’ve been forgiven, forgive others. No matter how big the debt incurred against you. Forgive. In complete forgiveness, there is true freedom.

I know this is a little different, but it comes from my heart. Thanks for reading.