Posts filed under ‘Newsletter’

Become a Published Writer…

Once a month I let Mom Peep talk. Here’s her Taylor’s Tips Newsletter for July. Enjoy, while I take in some sun.

CB August 2011 in HB 012

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

So, you want to be a published author. A writer who sells stories to magazines, writes devotionals, pens a great novel.

But they say you need a “platform,” and a well-written piece of work. You realize, like me, that you have a lot to learn and a long way to go. Should you give up now and say the heck with it? Should you discount the passion and drive you have inside? Should you curl up and let your talents wither away?

Take it from this guy:

Charlie Bear 1

The answer to each of those questions is the same: no.

Should you give up now and say the heck with it?
Charlie Bear was a mess when we adopted him. He threw temper tantrums, ferociously guarded his food, and didn’t like to be touched. But he had Potential (make that your new P word as you work on your Platform!). Start small and add to it weekly. Join Twitter, or Pinterest, or any of the social media sites. Layer your platform step by step.

Should you discount the passion and drive you have inside?
There was something about Charlie Bear when we first met him. He tolerated, and even liked, my husband stroking his soft fur after he jumped into my husband’s lap. They became passionately connected to each other. What are you passionate about? What drives you to write? Hang onto that when life threatens to get you down, like when you’ve received a non-acceptance, or an agent or editor isn’t picking up your book. Remember your gifts.

Should you curl up and let your talents wither away?
We could have easily given up on Charlie Bear the first couple of weeks. He snapped and growled at his tail. He didn’t like me touching him at all. And he attacked our big dog Rex, grabbing him by the throat. Poor Rex didn’t know what to do with this spunky monkey of a dog invading his golden year space. But Charlie Bear had talents: he made us laugh. He had good qualities: he loved my husband with joy and helped him get through a trial in his life. And Charlie Bear even helped me when I had to deal with loss and pain. Now a dog with just a few remnants of those early years, he’s settled into his life as a wonderful companion. What about you? Are you going to give up on you? Sure, you have things to work on…we all do. But there’s Potential for a blossoming Platform. A novel structured well enough to sell. Short stories formulated with P MS to a T. You have talent. You have gifts. Like Charlie, it just takes time to grow into the you that you are destined to be.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself I CAN DO IT. I CAN BE A PUBLISHED WRITER.

Then pick a word for your year (mine is COURAGE) and go after your dreams.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

http://amzn.to/1H3PxWy

What’s Going On:

Fourth of July is here! Fireworks. Barbecues. Chilled Lemonade. Laughing Children. Grinning adults. Games. Fun!

While enjoying the summer, I’m also hard at work on my novel about a young couple, a little baby, and forty-nine days. If you glanced at a cover for the book, which would appeal to you more:

  • 49 Days (numerical)
  • Forty-Nine Days (spelled out)
  • or something else?

What does 49 days make you think of? Wonder? What questions are in your mind? Thanks for your input. You can reply via email to bj@bjtaylor.com or comment on FB. Thanks!
* * * * * *

This review is from: P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell (Paperback)

5 out of 5 Stars

By Diana Savage on June 6, 2015

It Delivers the Subtitle’s Promise

“B.J. Taylor’s friendly, conversational style makes reading this information-packed book a delight. Having experienced the same fears and rejections that intimidate other writers, this award-winning author freely shares the winning formula she now uses to write personal-experience stories that get published. I appreciate her concrete tips, step-by-step instructions, and numerous examples. The successes of writers who’ve followed her advice prove that the method works. I can hardly wait to implement her suggestions on my next manuscript.”

* * * * * *

Portland Book Review for: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me about Life, Love, and Second Chances

By B.J. Taylor
Inspiring Voices, 214 pages

Charlie Bear: Unexpected Love Dividends

“Hon, do you think the day will come when we don’t have any pets?” B. J. Taylor asks her husband when they lose their second cat in a few months apart. His answer, “I don’t think so,” is probably common for all animal lovers and it isn’t surprising that soon they decided to add a small dog to the golden Lab, Rex, the only pet left at their home. What is surprising that while looking for a dog like a Yorkie they spot a the photo of young Shih Tzu/Terrier mix rescued from the street and both fell in love with his cute appearance and decided to give him a trial. Was this a right decision?

‘“I need a home and someone to love me.’ How could someone not love this dog?”

Charlie Bear is adorable, but has a lot of behavioral issues. B. J. and her husband are responsible pet’s owners concerned not only with animal rights but with proper animal behavior as well. Would B. J.’s place be a good home for Charlie Bear? Can he trust his new owners? Read the book to find it out. Short “Charlie’s monologues” are funny and provide an additional charming aspect to the story.

Reviewed by Galina Roizman

* * * * * *

For Charlie Bear’s dog blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. Have a friend who might like to receive Taylor’s Tips? It’s easy…all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.”

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtaylor.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

June 30, 2015 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

Make money by writing short stories…

Charlie Bear here with some news from Mom Peep. She apologizes if you already read this from her Taylor’s Tips Newsletter, but she likes to send it out via FB and Twitter too. Here it is!

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

The P MS to a T book is hot off the press! Seriously…it just got here a week ago. But now I’m in a quandary.

P MS to a T Signature Size

The winning formula has helped many writers learn how to write short stories that sell. They’re making money! But how do I get the word out that the book is available? I just attended a writers conference and sold out in a day. I’m bringing them to my next conference in two weeks. How do I tell others who aren’t at those conferences?

I have to ask for help. But that goes against the bones in my body. Why? I don’t know. Because I feel like I’m imposing? Asking for a favor? Putting you on the spot? All of those. I have to swallow my fear and reach out. So I’m doing that right now. I’m asking for your help. (A footnote: Thank You to all the wonderful folks who have already helped me. You’re the best!)

I’m not asking for your help to sell more books (I would give the book away for free if it didn’t cost me money to make it). I’d just like to ask for the favor of passing the word around. It might help your writer friends to make this:

money bag

If you want, you can forward this post, or to make it super easy I’ve listed a few ways you can pass on the information by cutting and pasting any of these into an email or onto a Twitter post, on Facebook, or wherever you like. I would be so grateful!

  • Thought you might like this new book. P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • People are selling their writing and making money! They’re in Chicken Soup and other markets with their short stories. We can do it too if we follow the formula in this new book: P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • I don’t usually do this, but I’m forwarding this link to a new book that just came out. I’m thinking of getting it. P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. Available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • Sold out in 24 hours: P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. Available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  • I know the author who wrote this. P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. Available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble She just put it up for sale.
  • Have you seen this new book? P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell. It’s available now. Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Thank you soooo much for passing the word around! And if you feel like it, let me know that you did so I can email to you a big smooch of a kiss on the cheek and a warm hug. And a HUGE and grateful THANK YOU!

P.S. If you are a writer who purchased the book at the OCCWC this past weekend, I would be extremely grateful if you’d write a review on Amazon. That would be utterly fantastic of you! SMOOCHES to you, too!

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond, Washington (near Seattle). My workshops: Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. I’ll have the P MS to a T book there and can’t wait to help more writers have it in their toolbox for writing stories that sell. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

May 5, 2015 at 12:00 pm 8 comments

Ever Wish Things Happened RIGHT NOW?

Charlie Bear 1

Charlie Bear here with a monthly newsletter from Mom Peep (I have to let her have her say once in a while…I guess). Anyway, even if you’re not a writer, you might get something out of it. Here it goes…

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Do you ever wish you could have things done RIGHT NOW!? As in yesterday, last week, a month ago?

now

My new book P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell is ALMOST ready. But the background color for the cover is still being decided upon so it’s not quite done.

The new domain name for my website (www.bjtaylor.com) and the refreshed website are under construction.

I know they’ll get done. The outcome will be terrific and all will be well, but right now, I’m eager and a little frustrated. Ever feel that way?

Okay, nothing I can do about it today, so I’m going to tell you something you can do right now. You can decide to invest in your writing career by attending a wonderful conference. I’ve said this before, but this is my Springtime Conference Push to help you to choose. If you can afford it at all (check out the websites for scholarship opportunities), pick one of these and be there. You owe it to yourself to invest in learning your craft to be more successful. And you can attend my classes and learn how to MAKE MONEY — sell one story to Chicken Soup for the Soul and you’ve paid yourself back for the conference fee!

Here are the two I highly recommend. One is in April, one is in May.

In April in Southern California you’ll find the Orange County Christian Writers Conference. www.occwf.org/conference Check out what’s being offered:

  • Fiction and Nonfiction
  • Magazine & Blog Writing
  • Childrens & YA Writing
  • Drama & Comedy
  • Working with Agents
  • Publishing & Marketing
  • New Sessions, New Faculty
  • Dine with Faculty
  • One-on-one Consultations

All of that for one low fee? Unbelievable. The dates are Friday April 24 and Saturday April 25. I’m leading two workshops: Make $$$ Selling True, Inspirational Short Stories, and GPS for Writers: How to Get Where You Want to Go. Will I see you there? Shoot me an email to bj.taylor@verizon.net or reply on FB and let me know so we can hug and say “HELLO!”

* * * * * *

In May in Redmond, Washington (just outside of Seattle) you’ll find the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal Check out what’s being offered:

  • 21 Workshop Sessions
  • 16 Workshop Presenters
  • Appointments with Editors and Literary Agents
  • 2 Keynote Addresses by Angela Hunt
  • NEW this year: Personalized WriteCoach Labs
  • Manuscript Critiques
  • Reality Panel of Experts
  • A Newly Expanded Vendor Avenue
  • Dessert Reception with Angela Hunt
  • Book-Signing Party for Authors in Attendance
  • Valuable Prizes Awarded Throughout the Conference

All for one low fee? Again, unbelievable. The dates are Friday May 15 and Saturday May 16. I’m doing group editorial appointments for writers and leading two workshops: Writing for the Guideposts Contest, and Make $$$ Selling Personal Experience Short Stories. I hope to see you there. Shoot me an email bj.taylor@verizon.net so I can look for you and we can hug and say “I know you from online!”

* * * * * *

If you are not a writer, what are you passionate about? What would you like to achieve this spring that will springboard you into your own personal success?

potential

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell We’re fixing a few quirky errors in the manuscript before we turn it loose on Amazon for print. My wonderfully talented team from www.GeniusBookServices.com is doing the revisions. This is the original cover I went with, but I’m considering a different background color. Any comments or suggestions?

P MS to a T

What Writers Say About the Formula:

“This formula worked so well for me that I was able to use it to write a story that was accepted by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Miracles.”   – Judee

* * * * * *

For Charlie Bear’s dog blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. Have a friend who might like to receive Taylor’s Tips? It’s easy…all they have to do is send me an email that says, “sign me up.”

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
w
ww.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 

March 31, 2015 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

What’s Prime Time?

Charlie Bear 1

Charlie Bear here with a Newsletter from Mom Peep B.J. Taylor. I hope you like it.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Christmas is more than two months behind us. Spring is about two months ahead. (Let’s hope it’s less, right Northeasterners?) Summer is right after that.

So what does that make NOW?

PRIME TIME to get things done. Do you have goals? Something in your brain that’s niggling at you? A writing opportunity / deadline that beckons? A story you want to write? A book you want to work on?

What’s stopping you?

stop sign with hand

The biggest stop sign is the one you place in front of yourself. The cure is to:

Just do it

How about these strategies:

  1. Cram writing in between the tight spots, working on a project for half an hour when the house is quiet or getting up early to put in a little writing time.
  2. Grab fear by the tail and send it swinging, giving in to the knowledge that yes, there are lots of things that are frightening, but you’d rather be afraid of revising and making it better than not having started at all.
  3. Percolate on your project all the time: when you are washing dishes, making the bed, stuffing laundry into the machine, folding fresh clothes, driving to work (but be attentive—daydream only at stop lights), and even when with your spouse (you know you do it—as long as you give that person your undivided attention when it is required).

We writers never really turn it off, do we?

Brain

I think I’ve said it before: if you don’t know where you are going there is no way you will get there. Like an airplane flying without a destination, a writer without projects and goals will never accomplish anything. Agree?

So plan your strategy for the in-between time right now. Spring is coming…summer right after. What are YOU going to accomplish before that time? Let me know.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

B.J. Taylor domain name: Maybe you’ve noticed that my website is longer than just my name? It’s www.bjtayloronline.com. That’s because the name B.J. Taylor alone had been taken. A man had it “parked” which meant he had the rights to it as long as he paid the yearly fee for renewal. At the end of last year I hired a wonderful woman named April Michelle Davis from Editorial Inspirations to upgrade/update my website. She reached the owner of www.bjtaylor.com and negotiated for me to buy it. I’ll admit it wasn’t cheap. But I think it’s worth it. Look for the shorter, quicker-to-type version of my website name soon. And don’t worry if you don’t remember to switch, the old website with “online” in the name will rollover to the new one. Isn’t technology wonderful?

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell The manuscript is now in the hands of my book services guy and his wonderfully talented team from www.GeniusBookServices.com. They will format the book for print through Amazon and as an e-book available through the regular channels (Amazon, B&N, etc.). Here’s a sneak peek at the cover. What do you think?

P MS to a T

Orange County Christian Writers Conference I cannot wait to see you at the conference. It runs Friday, April 24 from 5:30 to 9:30, and Saturday, April 25 from 8:00 to 5:00. Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. It’s going to be filled with opportunities to learn more about your craft. www.occwf.org

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal I’ll be doing something different: group appointments. I will meet with six attendees at a time for 30-minutes. You get to do a three-minute elevator pitch and then receive feedback. Sounds like fun! I’ll also be teaching Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. Did you register yet? www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle).

* * * * *

By Portland Book Review: www.portlandbookreview.com
By Galina Roizman

This review is from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)

“Hon, do you think the day will come when we don’t have any pets?” B. J. Taylor asks her husband when they lose their second cat in a few months apart. His answer, “I don’t think so,” is probably common for all animal lovers and it isn’t surprising that soon they decided to add a small dog to the golden Lab, Rex, the only pet left at their home. What is surprising that while looking for a dog like a Yorkie they spot the photo of a young Shih Tzu/Terrier mix rescued from the street and both fell in love with his cute appearance and decided to give him a trial. Was this a right decision?

‘“I need a home and someone to love me.’ How could someone not love this dog?”

Charlie Bear is adorable, but has a lot of behavioral issues. B. J. and her husband are responsible pet owners concerned not only with animal rights but with proper animal behavior as well. Would B. J.’s place be a good home for Charlie Bear? Can he trust his new owners? Read the book to find it out. Short “Charlie’s monologues” are funny and provide an additional charming aspect to the story.”


* * * * * *

For Charlie Bear’s dog blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

March 3, 2015 at 11:36 am 4 comments

Do you have it?

Charlie Bear here.

Mom Peep wants to know if you have it. I want to know if you have it.

What is it? I’ll let her tell you all about it in her first Taylor’s Tips Newsletter of 2015:

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Have you heard about the trend of picking a single word to concentrate on for the coming year?

My word for 2014 was TRUST. It served me well.

My new word for 2015 is COURAGE.

courage.word

Picture the lion in the Wizard of Oz, pulling on his tail, twisting it all around, blubbering and choking out the words, “All I need is some courage.”

lion with courage medal

That’s me. I have so much to accomplish in 2015. Maybe you do, too?

I need strength, determination, and fearlessness to go after my dreams.

fearless

But I have a feeling I can do it. I already feel infused with courage and am ready to put my all into this new year.

Are you ready to join me?

Write to me at bj@bjtayloronline.com and tell me what YOUR word is for 2015. We’ll pursue our goals together.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

With 2015 now here, we can set our sights on writers conferences ahead. I have mine planned out. Do you?

Orange County Christian Writers Conference A fabulous way to kick off your year. Starts on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and runs through Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. A great conference with a fabulous staff devoted to giving you the best opportunity to learn your craft. www.occwf.org

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal This is going to be a good one. May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ll be teaching Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. There will be lots to learn, editors to meet, agents to talk to. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

The promised book:

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell A hearty THANKS to the wonderful beta readers who gave me valuable input into the manuscript. I am in the revision stages and plan to have the book available in print and e-book format by the end of February or early March. Stay tuned for more info on how the book is developing.

* * * * *

5.0 out of 5 stars Very loving book

By Barbara A. Castleman “LadyWebPro.com” (Salem, OR United States)

This review is from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)

“I laughed and I cried along with the author. Very well done story of how we love our fur babies.”

* * * * * *

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

January 6, 2015 at 10:14 am 10 comments

Do You Know This Guy?

Charlie Bear here with a Taylor’s Tips Newsletter post from Mom Peep. I like this one, cause the little guy is kind of like me.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

I have a friend who sits in my bookcase in my office. He’s green with bright red eyes, and he’s made out of rubber.

Gumby.1

His name is GUMBY and the reason I love him so much is because he reminds me to bend, to go with the flow, to look at things in a happy way.

Like now, with the holidays approaching, it is definitely a time when we really need to be flexible, open, receptive to changes and upheaval. For instance, who is coming to dinner, who is not? How many places should I set? Will there be in-laws? Outlaws? Barely-know-you new family members?

Will they arrive on time or be late? Will dinner burn or dry out? Will I have enough gifts for everyone? Did I spend enough? Will it look like I’m cheap if I don’t overspend? What if I want to craft a gift for family instead of spending lots of money, will that go over okay? What will others think of me?

Will I get everything done? The shopping, the wrapping, the shipping, the baking, the cleaning, the ho-ho-ho-ing. Can I keep a happy attitude this holiday season or fall into a funk of not enough time and too much to do?

Gumby is all about being flexible.

Gumby

Just look at him. How could you not be relaxed? Look how happy he is. Can we be like that (at least part of the time) this holiday season? I’m going to try, how about you? Who knows where changes will take us. I plan on welcoming them all, friends, family, in-laws and outlaws. The future will take us where we are meant to go and as the days, weeks, months, and years fly by, I’m going to be a Gumby and relax and go with the flow.

Oh, and while we’re at it, what about our writing? Gumby has a friend. His name is Pokey.

Pokey

When it comes to our writing career, isn’t Pokey appropriate? Things move slowly (especially during the holiday season), so my expectations have to be pokey too. And can’t we say that we also don’t know where the publishing industry is going, who is at what publishing house, who is acquiring, who is buying, what is selling, what should we be doing in all this? We’re surrounded by changes, and that’s again where Gumby comes in.

Let’s embrace the unknown instead of fear it. Let’s welcome changes. We could waste precious time railing at the injustices in the publishing world, but instead, how about accepting it and going with the flow?

Gumby and Pokey Christmas

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Has your family asked you, “Mom/Honey/Darling, what do you want for Christmas?” And have you rehearsed your answer? “A contribution to my conference fees would be fantastic!” Start an envelope and drop in those donations (aka Christmas gifts of cash) and you’ll have the funds when you need it. See you at one (or maybe both?) of these wonderful events.

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ll be teaching Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. There will be lots to learn, editors to meet, agents to talk to. Don’t miss it. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

Orange County Christian Writers Conference  Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. A great conference with a fabulous staff devoted to giving you the best opportunity to learn your craft.

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell My self-imposed deadline is almost here. I’ll be sending the manuscript off to the wonderful people who volunteered to be beta readers. If you are on the list, watch for an email from me soon. And know that I appreciate you!

* * * * *

5.0 out of 5 stars I just want to say I really loved the Book, November 23, 2014
This review is from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)
I just want to say I really loved the Book!!!! I did not want it to end. I love books that you pick up and start to read and by the first page you are into it, and don’t want to put it down. I could vision everything that B.J. Taylor was writing about. She has a really neat way of explaining things happening. I loved Charlie Bear’s messages too!
This book is a must have for any animal lover out there. Will make great Christmas gifts, I have it on my list.
Enjoy!!!!

* * * * * *


For Charlie Bear’s dog blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

To see his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. Have a friend who might like to receive Taylor’s Tips? It’s easy…all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.” Sweet as cherry pie.  lol

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

November 25, 2014 at 11:29 am 4 comments

Trick or Treat?

Charlie Bear here with a Newsletter from Mom Peep especially for Halloween.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

TRICK or TREAT!

It’s Halloween. Time for pumpkins carved and lit from within standing guard outside of doorways, and gourds on the table in wicker centerpiece baskets ushering in fall colors and cooler weather.

pumpkins

There’s also spidery cotton batting, pulled thin and wispy, stretching over mailboxes and bushes and trees. Rest in Peace signs are stuck into the ground in front of homes. Ghosts and goblins are on many commercials. The holiday is in full swing with Haunted Houses, Fright Nights, and SpookFests.

skull

Aaaahhhh….Halloween. Can I share a secret with you? I don’t like Halloween. Oh, I like the candy distribution part when the little kids come to the door dressed in their favorite costume and they squeal, Happy Halloween to me.

kids trick or treat

I like watching the moms and dads steer them around the neighborhood, protecting the little ones so they don’t trip over their own feet because the eye-holes on their costume aren’t big enough and they are trying to look into their pumpkin to see what candy they just got. I like watching their orange plastic pumpkin fill up with goodies and how happy they are with their bounty.

What scares me are the big, tall, masked trick or treaters who come to the door. They fill the doorframe, stick out their white cotton pillowcase, and in a deep, baritone voice say, Trick or Treat. Most of the big kids are fine, and I even know some of them (without the masks and ghoulish faces), but they scare me nonetheless.

kids big trick or treat

Why? Because I’m easily scared. I have to cover my eyes, or close them, when a commercial comes on television about an upcoming movie like Edward Scissorhands, or Fright something or other. I don’t know the names of the movies (remember…I don’t watch). Anyway, I’m not a big fan. But if you are, great! I have friends who LOVE Halloween, so I say, “Enjoy the holiday.”

But here’s the thing…just because I don’t like the ghosts and goblins and the stuff that it all represents in the horror movies, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the soft side of the day (the little kids, the candy, the pretty orange pumpkins).

So what is it about something that scares you that you can turn into something not so frightening? Ever have an attack of the heebee-jeebies about submitting your work? Worried that the novel you want to write won’t ever make it past the dark confines of your home office or if it does, are you afraid it might be….oh, that awful word…rejected…? Stepping out of our comfort zone can be very scary.

Maybe we can work at it together. Let’s try taking baby steps. Let’s submit to a place we’re comfortable with, and then to one other that we’re not so sure about. Let’s write that novel or nonfiction book and pray hard about whether it should be published and when. I’ll peek through the fingers laid across my eyes the next time a commercial is on for a horror movie, at least for a moment or two. And maybe we’ll both realize that it’s not as scary as we thought and that we are tough, and we can handle it, and that we are becoming stronger every time we step out of our comfort zone.

Deal?

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell I’m deep into writing the book, pouring all of my heart into putting into print what I have been teaching for years: how to write inspirational, personal experience stories that sell. With 40 stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, many dozens more in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and numerous other publications, I’m proud to say I’ve helped many a writer become published by using this formula. Some of you already know it!

BETA READERS WANTED:
At the end of November, I will be looking for Beta Readers to read the book before it comes out in print. What’s a beta reader? It’s someone, like you maybe, who likes to read, can take a manuscript and follow the instructions for what to look for, and to be critical without being hateful. You’d receive a Word document from me with the track changes feature turned on and you’d make your comments right into that document. I’m looking for a ten-day turnaround once I get the document to you (so that could possibly mean between Dec. 1st to the 10th. If you think that might work for you, kindly let me know. I’d really like at least a few of you who have NEVER heard of the formula to read the book to be sure it is well written and easily understood. Email me at bj@bjtayloronline.com if you’d like to be considered as a Beta Reader. And thank you!

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal I’m hopeful you are keeping this conference on your radar. I’ll be teaching two classes: Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. When I have a big dollar goal, I break it down into little dollar goals (like save $25 this month, $25 next month, etc.). I put the money in an envelope marked “Conference” and I don’t touch it until I have to pay the conference fees. Do you want to be there? Start saving now. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle).

Orange County Christian Writers Conference Same here. Looking to enhance your writing and your writing career? There will be LOTS to learn. Check it out and start saving now. The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California.

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)

5.0 out of 5 stars unwanted animal to find that perfect “forever home” October 8, 2014

By Jeanne Pallos (Laguna Niguel, CA)

B.J. Taylor’s writing touched my heart in the deepest places. Her writing is so descriptive and pulled me right into the story. She is a talented and gifted writer. For anyone who loves animals and longs for every unloved, unwanted animal to find that perfect “forever home,” this book is for you. Bless B.J. and her husband for believing in Charlie Bear and having the patience to help him to overcome his fears and issues to become a wonderful family member.

* * * * * *

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

October 28, 2014 at 9:28 am 7 comments

Sweater Weather and You…

B.J. here with a special…

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

It’s October. Time for sweater weather (some of you already have sweater weather), pumpkin seeds for roasting and munching (my favorite part of carving), ghosts and goblins hanging from the trees (they’re already here and scare the dickens out of Charlie Bear on our walks).

How was your summer? Do you remember the Summer Challenge?

SUMMER STRATEGY 1  2  3

  1. PLAN –
    Dream in Clouds
    Pick 3 things to accomplish.
  1. PREPARE –
    Things to Do
    Gather the materials you need ahead of your work time.
  1. PERFORM –
    Energizer Bunny
    Get busy when a window of time opportunity opens.

How did your Summer goals go? Did you hit the target bulls eye every time or were you just a bit off the mark?

target with many arrows

Here were my goals and how I did this summer:

  1. Chicken Soup entries. My goal was to submit two stories. Done. Did that.
  2. Blog Posts. My goal was to write them in advance and have a few in the pipeline for when I was super busy. Done, but not to the extent I wanted. I still struggle with time management and sometimes I’m ahead on my blog posts and sometimes I’m behind.
  3. Outline upcoming book. I’m about halfway there. I have the structure, chapter headings, some chapters written, the forward, and I’m working on more each week. So I’d say my goal was halfway met.

How about you? Did you achieve all your goals? Some of them? Reply back to me and let me know how your summer challenge shook out. And if you want to, let me know your fourth-quarter goals. Mine? Sort of the same, with a little twist.

goals people

Sweater Weather Goals:

  1. Chicken Soup entries—submit two by the end of December.
  2. Blog Posts—write at least four in advance of needing them.
  3. Write complete P MS to a T book by the end of December.

I’m not afraid to say I didn’t quite make a goal. The key for me is to regroup, restructure my writing time, and rethink what is important. As the holidays approach, family is most important so I’m going to work on achieving my three goals WAY before a fun December. How about you?

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal I was just asked by the conference director for a description of the classes I like to teach and I had two responses: Writing for the Guideposts Contest or Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. The conference director was going to pick one. He emailed and asked if I’d teach both. I said YES! Do you want to be there? Start saving now. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle).

Orange County Christian Writers Conference This was a great conference in 2014 with new directors and people in charge of the event. It ran smoothly and met the needs of writers looking to enhance their writing and their writing career. The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. Come on down!

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Kindle Edition)

Beautifully Written!

By Gloria J. Field “V-Star girl”

Definitely worth reading. Beautiful story, well written. Buying copies for friends to enjoy this Christmas. Highly recommended for you, too.

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. You can forward this email to your friends and if someone wants to sign up, all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.” Super easy!

B.J. Taylor

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

October 1, 2014 at 9:24 am 6 comments

Did You Enter and Were you Wondering?

Charlie Bear here to introduce you to Mom Peep again. Here’s her important post, especially if you entered the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest. Did you?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

What happens when a writer enters a contest and doesn’t win? One of two things occurs.

The writer digs deep, looks at the possible reasons why (we’ll analyze those below), and tries again.

or

The writer folds up into a shell, depressed, angry, confused, and never submits another piece of work.

Which writer are you?

I attended a class on writing for Guideposts in 1997. In 1998 I sent in my story to the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest. I thought I had it down. I was confident. But I wasn’t chosen.

sad face

There are many reasons an entry doesn’t make “the cut.” In the case of the Guideposts contest, they receive thousands of entries and they run the contest only every other year. Look at those odds. On top of that, there are many good stories out there. Many good writers. It’s a daunting task to the editors to choose only 12 people.

When I didn’t hear anything in 1998, I knew I didn’t make it. (They don’t contact the thousands of people who submitted unless they are chosen.) I was sad, but not entirely depressed. Heck, I was up against staggering odds. So you know what I did? I took the same story, yes, the same story, and reworked it, revised it, looked at it with a critical eye to see what they were printing in their magazine, how my story might fit, how I could make it better. Then I rewrote it. Put a different title on it. Chose a different editor to address my cover letter to, and sent it out again in 2000. Again I didn’t hear. In 2002 I did the same thing to the story. Didn’t hear again.

By 2004 I must admit that all that reworking, revising, reshaping, turned me into a better writer. I had attended workshops on how to write personal experience short stories every year since 1998 and I cut my teeth on the art and craft of an inspirational short story by submitting numerous times to Chicken Soup. And I was accepted over and over again. Huh, I thought, I’m making it here, why not there? I didn’t give up. I kept on writing for Chicken Soup, other magazines and anthology publications, even the local Orange County Register, and in 2004, I submitted that same story again to the Guideposts contest.

After trudging out to the mailbox one August day in 2004, I came back into my garage holding an oversized blue and white envelope that said Guideposts in the upper left-hand corner. I stood in front of my washer and dryer, ripped it open, and read the words, “We’d like to invite you to join us at the Writers Workshop in Rye, New York…..” You should have seen me. Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. That was all I could say. I was a babbling mess. It took eight years, but I was finally chosen and now I’m a Guideposts writers workshopper. Can you just imagine the thrill?

winner on billboard

The rest is history. I have written many stories for Guideposts, Angels on Earth and other publications in addition to now having published 40 stories in the Chicken Soup line of books, an inspirational book titled CHARLIE BEAR, a compilation of heartwarming stories in SUNNY SIDE UP, and my agent is working on selling my first fiction book (hint: it’s about a young woman searching for love and the capricious and unruly dog that helps her find it). And I’m not stopping there. I have many more stories within me.

Do you think YOU should give up? Absolutely not.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Did You Enter the Guideposts Contest? A reader asked the question on the Guideposts blog on Aug 24: Will there be a general announcement on your website when the winners have been chosen and notified?

  • And a reply from: bleveridge on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 9:32 am:
  • The winners were chosen and notified last week. Their names will be announced in a future issue of Guideposts.

So for those of us wondering, we have our answer. But do not give up hope for the future. Please enter again. I know it hurts to not be chosen, but please be excited along with me for Judy, an attendee at the FCWC earlier this year who attended my class on the P MS to a T formula. She entered the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest and won! I am thrilled for her and for all of you who did your best with your submission. I applaud you all. Now go forward and revise for the next time!

Thank you! To everyone who responded to my question on whether I should write the book on how to write inspirational short stories using the P MS to a T formula, I humbly thank you. I hope to have it out within a few months. I want it to be good, very good, so that many of you can enjoy the success, thrill, and reward of seeing your work in print.

Orange County Christian Writers Conference The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. This conference was packed with writers and full of enthusiasm in 2014. Jump-start your writing for 2015 by attending.

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’m excited to be on faculty and look forward to teaching and meeting with writers. Put this one on your calendar. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Bear has a good home., August 3, 2014

By sara sara

“I did like the book. B.J. Taylor has a lot of patience and I’m so happy Charlie Bear got a good home. I passed the book on so someone else can enjoy the story.”

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

August 26, 2014 at 9:38 am 8 comments

A Call-Out and a Question…

Charlie Bear here with Mom Peep’s monthly newsletter. I like this one. Practical, sound advice and even a question for you. Here it is:

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Hey there readers! I have a call-out and a question. Which would you like first?

We’ll go with the call-out. Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories for a new book. I’ll bet you can find a story to wrap around one of the suggested topics listed below, can’t you?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: HOPE & MIRACLES

Here’s what the call-out said, direct from the editors of Chicken Soup:

There are events that happen in our lives that we cannot explain and that cause wonder and astonishment. These events give us hope for a better future, for the resolution of our problems, for miracles. We invite people of all faiths to share their true stories of how their lives have been transformed by wondrous events.

We want this book to be for everyone — whether religious or secular. We are looking for personal stories about your feelings of expectation and hope and the extraordinary events that have happened to you. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did your positive attitude give you hope for better things to come? Did you find something you had lost long after you had given up hope of finding it? Did something good happen when only bad was predicted? Share your awesome stories about how good things happen to good people!

Here are some suggested topics:

  • Power of prayer
• Messages from loved ones who have passed on
• Dreams and premonitions
• Guardian angels
• Mysterious helpers
• Divine intervention
• Miraculous healing
• Unexplained happenings
• Visions and revelations
• Everyday miracles
• Signs and wonder
• Any other stories about hope and miracles

Please remember, we no longer publish “as told to” stories. Please write in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the “Comments” section of the submission form. If the story was published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO OUR WEBSITE. Select the Submit Your Story link at the bottom of the page and follow the directions.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS OCTOBER 30, 2014.

Did your antennae peak when you read the part about making $200? How about the 10 free copies of the book? Awesome to give as gifts, right?

Okay, so that’s the story call-out. Now my question. Those of you who have attended one of my classes have probably heard me teach the P MS to a T formula for how to write inspirational short stories that sell. Lynne Leite attended my class “Writing Personal Experience Stories that Sell” in 2011, wrote a story for Chicken Soup, submitted it, but didn’t get picked to be in that book. Buuuuuttttttt….she didn’t give up. She submitted another story for another book, and that story was chosen and published. Hooray! Lynne was a published Chicken Soup author and made $200 bucks and 10 free copies of the book.

But Lynne didn’t stop there. Using the formula from my class, Lynne went on to sell 8 more stories to Chicken Soup over the next 18 months. Awesome? Yes!

P   MS   to   a   T
the winning formula for writing inspirational short stories that $ell

Besides Lynne, this formula has helped many others to sell stories to Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’m considering putting the formula into a small print and e-book for sale on Amazon or at the conferences where I speak. Would that be something that would interest you? Kindly email back with a “reply” so I know if I should begin to put my teachings into written form. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Personally, I have 40 stories accepted and published by Chicken Soup, plus numerous stories in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and other publications.

We all love to write (well, most of us…some are not writers, but that’s okay too). Wouldn’t it be nice to make money in the process of sharing our passion? I would love for you to wave a check above your head when you become a published author and grin as wide as the sun with happiness and pride.

Please comment with something like a “yes, write it” or whatever you would like to tell me about this idea. Thanks!

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Orange County Christian Writers Conference The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. This conference was packed with writers and full of enthusiasm in 2014. Maybe plan on attending to jump-start your writing next year?

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ve accepted the invitation to be on faculty and I am very excited. Put this one on your calendar. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

A review found “helpful” to people per Amazon:
0 out of 5 starsFull of surprises…just like Charlie Bear
By L. Frankel

As someone who has been ‘mom’ to two rescued dogs, I approached this book with curiosity and to be honest, a bit of skepticism. Would the author be honest about the ‘see-saw’ of emotions adoptive owners go through? The many “did I make a mistake” moments? Would she understand that, over time, it is the “peeps” (as Charlie Bear likes to say) who have been rescued, as much as our animals? B.J. Taylor managed to convey these truths and many more, while taking us on an engaging and tear jerking ride. I felt as though I was on the ride with her and Roger as they embraced their newest love and grieved their departed (and soon to be departed) loves. I never expected the story of a challenging rescue dog to be so multifaceted but Ms. Taylor exceeded my expectations as she told the story about Charlie Bear’s impact on an entire family. This should be on every animal lover’s ‘must have’ list when they are wondering what to read next and it is a ‘no brainer’ choice when looking for a great gift.

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.
bjtayloronline.com
www.
bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

July 30, 2014 at 11:37 am 4 comments

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