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Monthly Archives: April 2016


Gardening Season is upon us!

Either you have started or are going to start soon. Here is a video with some additional tips!

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Please Help Me Decide Which of These Three books to Use for the Cover of Sailing Under the Black Flag

One of the ways that an author can prepare her audience for an upcoming book is to encourage them to help choose the book cover. I showed these covers to my friends and family on Facebook. I thought I would have four but it looks as though my friends and family on Facebook narrowed it down to two Which one of these two books do you prefer?

Book cover A

Book cover A

Sailing under the Black Flag photo 9

Book Cover B

 

Book Cover 3

Book Cover 3

Draft Written Description

Another thing that an author can do to get her fans involved in the prelaunch is to ask what they think of descriptions. Here’s my first attempt at writing this book’s description. Perhaps it can help the audience decide which photo better fits the story.

 

Young Jonathan Mayford wants to join the Patriot Cause because he wants to prove that he’s a man. Much to his parents’ misgivings, they allow him to join his father’s privateer, the American Elizabeth.
He learns, however, that it’s not fighting in the war that will prove his manhood.
Jonathan befriends an old sea cook, Finis Henderson who teaches him about the sea. He also becomes friends with a young African American boy named James Forten.
James Forten, though born a freedman did not know what being free was really all about until he experienced the freedom upon a privateer. He also did not know realize how treacherous slavery was until he saw individuals of his own color in chains.
The relationship that took him from boyhood to manhood however began when he met the red-headed Lowri Howell, a girl of noble Welsh blood.  He dreamed of the day that he would become worthy of her affections. He hoped that by winning this war, he might have a chance at capturing, what he considered, the greatest prize of all

 

What do you think? How can I improve the description? I know most haven’t read the book, but do you get an idea of what the story is about from this description? Why would you pick this book up? Just as important, is Why wouldn’t you?

IMG_8330 final copy.

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Before I get into today’s post, if you see my daughter Boni today, wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday, Boni!

Happy Birthday, Boni!

Happy 15th Birthday, Boni!

As we learned in last week’s post, we learned from I John 4:1-3, we are to test the spirits in regards to other people.

Does your Spirit line up with God’s Word?

Who do you say that Jesus Christ is? Do you believe as it says in I John 4:1-3 that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? Jesus asked basically the same thing of his disciples when he asked “who do you say that I am? in the gospels.There are a lot of people who claim that they are believers, but act as though God has no influence on their lives at all. They claim to be saved, but are they?

In Psalm 119:105,says that God’s word is a light unto our path and a lamp unto our feet. In the book of John in chapter one, it says that Jesus is the Word of God. If we are following Jesus, our spirit follows what he wants us to do. If we are not following the path that he has laid out for us, then perhaps we need to question whether we believe that God as Jesus Christ did come in the flesh. God knows the truth, and so do we. If The Word has not changed our spirit to follow him, we may end up with those who say “Lord, Lord, didn’t we. . . ” and him saying that he never knew you. I would hope this does not happen to you.

In Acts 17:10, we learn of the Bereans who studied the word and searched the word daily for the truth.

What is the Truth?

II Timothy 2:15 reminds us that, like the Bereans, we cannot truly get truth from listening to what others tell us is the truth. We are to study the word to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The important thing here to remember when studying the scriptures is that truth is not something that each of us comes by naturally in this world. We can only get it by realized that only God is righteous and that we are not in ourselves. We have to humble ourselves and allow him to change us from the inside.

 

Does your Spirit Witness to God’s Word?

Every Christian has at least some discernment Hebrews 5:13-14 If you are a Christian, you have been given discernment to know that what the Bible says is true. Discernment is that you believe it in your spirit. It is important to recognize what is being said here. It is not important that the Word of God lines up with what YOU believe. It is important that YOU believe the Word of God.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


character stereotypesWhen writing a novel series, one of the problems that an author faces is that the characters all start to appear the same especially in a saga like the one that I am writing. They become predictable because the writer rehashes the same character type over and over and that character reflects the writer.  To guard against this, I like to return to something that I learned in one of my college psychology classes from the teachings of psychologist Carl Jung where I learned about archetypes.

Archetype comes from the ancient Greek. Achein means “original or old” and “typos” means “pattern model or type” making the complete word to mean “original pattern” where similar people objects or concepts are derived, copied, modeled or emulated. According to Jung, archetypes represent fundamental human motifs of experience and evoke deep emotions.

 

These archetypes symbolize the basic human motivation of the character. Each archetype has his or her own set of values, meanings and personality traits. There are three different cardinal sets of archetypes ego, soul, and self.

Within each of these sets are four different archetypes. Although there are many different archetypes, Jung defined twelve primary types that symbolize basic human motivations. Each type has its own set of values, Types in each set share a common driving source. The Ego set are driven to fulfill ego-defined agendas. The soul set fulfills soul-defined agendas, and in the last, the self drives the values.

Most, people have several archetypes and so should each of your characters especially the protagonist and the protagonist,  however, one archetype should dominate the personality. A study of the people around us can help us gain more insight into behavior and motivation so that we can demonstrate this in our fictional characterizations.

The four Ego types are the innocent, the regular guy (or orphan), the hero and the caregiver.

The innocent believes that we should be free to be who we are. This person’s desire is to get to paradise, he or she just wants to be happy. This person’s greatest fear is to be punished for doing something bad or wrong so this person always wasn’t to do the right thing. This person’s talent is faith and optimism. The problem with this person is that they bore those around them. Often people use this archetype as the “good guy”.  Labels that we can give this person can include Utopian, traditionalist, naïve, mystic, saint, romantic, and dreamer.

The orphan or regular guy archetype believes that all men and women are created equal. This person’s driving force is to connect with others so that they can belong. This individual’s greatest fear is that they will be left out or will stand out in the crowd. This person’s life strategy is to develop solid virtues, to be down to earth, they believe in common sense as the deciding factor. This person’s weakness is that they lose a sense of self in the effort of blending in for the sake of superficial relationships. This person is empathic, and lacks pretense. This regular person is also known as ‘the good ol’ boy’, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority.

The next ego-archetype is the hero. The hero believes that if there is a will, there is a way. This person’s core desire is to prove through courageous acts that expert mastery improves the world. This individual fears vulnerability and weakness he braces himself to be as competent and strong as possible. This person’s weakness is that he is arrogant and always needs another battle to fight. The hero is also known as the warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner, and the team player.

The last of the ego-archetypes is the caregiver. This person believes that you should love your neighbor as yourself. This individual desires to protect and care for others. This person fears selfishness and ingratitude. This person is always doing things for others. (often a female archetype, but not always). This person is often martyred and exploited because they are compassionate and generous to the core.    The Caregiver can also be characterized as: The saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter.

 

The Soul archetypes include the explorer, the rebel, the lover, and the creator.

 

The explorer doesn’t like to stay in one place. He is looking to find out who he is by exploring the world around him. His goal is to experience a better, more authentic and fulfilling life. The biggest thing this person fears is being trapped and conformed and feeling empty inside. If this person is physically oriented, he is seeking new lands and people. If he is intellectual, he is seeking new information and looking for ways to challenge his search for the unknown. He has the potential for wandering aimlessly and not fitting into society. He has a talent for autonomy, ambition, and being true to himself. The explorer archetype is also known as the seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individual, or pilgrim.

The rebel archetype believes that rules are made to be broken. His type wants revenge or revolution. He wants to fix what isn’t working. His biggest fear is that he is powerless to make a difference. He makes a difference be disrupting, destroying or shocking others into opening their eyes to what the rebel sees. His weakness is that he can easily fall to the dark side or a life of crime. The rebel is also known as the outlaw, revolutionary, wild man, misfit, or iconoclast.

 

The next soul archetype is the lover. Intimacy and experience is his soul desire. To him, you are the only one. This individual’s goal is to be in a relationship with people, work, and environment that they love. Their strategy to accomplishing this is by becoming more physically and emotionally attractive. They have compassion, gratitude, appreciation and commitment. There’s nothing that they fear more than being alone, a wallflower, unwanted or unloved. This fear leads to their greatest weakness in that their outward-directed desire to please others puts them at risk of losing their own identity. The lover can also be described as the partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, and team-builder.

 

The last of the soul archetypes is the creator. This person believes that if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. This person’s core desire is to visualize and create things that last. Their greatest fear is that their vision or execution of that vision will be mediocre so they develop artistic control and skill to create culture and express their own vision. These people have a propensity for perfectionism and may often come up with bad solutions, but their creativity and imagination help them work through those mistakes. Other names for the creator is the artist, inventor, musician, writer or dreamer.

Finally we come to the self types. The self types are the jester, the sage, the magician, and the ruler.

The jester believes that you only live once. His person lives in the moment and doesn’t see beyond the current moment’s pleasure. He wants to have a good time and lighten up the world. He fears being bored or boring to others. To avoid this, he tells jokes, tries to be funny, and plays. He is always happy, but his weakness is that he is frivolous and wastes type. Other names for the Jester are: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian.

The sage archetype believes that the truth will set you free and this person’s goal is to find that truth through intelligence and analysis. This person’s biggest fear is to be duped, misled or found ignorant. He avoids this by seeking out information and knowledge and reflecting on himself and how he understands thought processes. This person analyses things to death and might not never act because there might be something that he or she missed.  The sage can also be called the expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative.

The next archetype is the magician. The magician is the person who says he can make it happen. His core desire is to understand the fundamental laws of the universe. He develops and vision and lives by it. He has a talent for finding win-win solutions, but however, he can become manipulative. Other names for the magician are the visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, or medicine man.

The final self archetype is the ruler. The ruler believes that power isn’t everything, it is the only thing. There’s nothing the ruler want more than to be in control. His goal is to create a prosperous and successful family or community  he does this by exercising power. Naturally, his greatest fears are chaos and being overthrown. He is often authoritarian and has difficulty delegating. He has a talent for being responsible and being a leader. Other names for ruler include the boss, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager, or administrator.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Its the time of year when many parts of the country are planting their potatoes or even planting their second crop of the season.. Do you grow your own?

Here’s Part 2 of this video

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


office building

Help From Your Chamber of Commerce

Now that winter is over in most of the country, attention is turned toward outdoor festivals where crafters, artisans, and  authors can get out and mingle with other people. It’s a good time of year to also contact Chamber of Commerce chapters in nearby towns to find out what will be happening during the upcoming year.  At some events, you will probably set up tables for book signings, but if you find an event that is too far outside your price range, consider going to the event to pass out business cards to the vendors as well as other people who might be interested in what you have written.  This way too, you can attend several events that might be held on the same day. Don’t just be passing out cards either. Buy a few things and enjoy yourself.

While conversing with the Chamber, if you’re interested in speaking at events, let them know what you can speak about. Chamber meetings is an excellent way to meet other business people both for book displays and for other writing services that you provide. If you speak at an event, and it is allowed, remember to set up a book selling table at the back of the room otherwise, remember to hand out plenty of business cards and tell them about your free book.

Hand Out Business Cards to Vendors

I personally have an e-book online that is permanently free. I could get people into conversations and then give them one of my cards and point out that I have the free book that I would love to share with them. Of course, because the book is attached to my newsletter (which also has a bunch of free articles), I also will get their names and email addresses to let them know when I have new books coming out.

Handing out business cards with the offer of a free book could be used anywhere, not just events. If I go to a restaurant and the server is a reader of my type of book, I will be sure to include a business card with the information about how the server can get the free book, along with a generous tip, of course. Some goes for sporting events. While waiting, I could be talking with other fans and passing out business cards. Meetings that I attend can also be places that I can pass out business cards.

bookshelf

Help Your Library, Help Yourself

Does your local library have a copy of your book(s). If not, find out what it would take for the library to buy a copy of each of your books. If the library lacks funding to purchase books, offer to give the library a copy of your latest book, but don’t stop there. Offer to read to the kids during story time (read a kids’ book, if your book isn’t for kids, that’s okay read someone else’s work at you enjoyed reading either as a child yourself or to your children or grandchildren.) Make it an afternoon with a local author. Tell the local newspaper and radio station and let them know about the donation.  Make it as big of a deal as the media will allow. If necessary, have a photography friend take pictures and write your own press release for the library event and send to all your local and regional newspapers.

Help Teachers With Class Scheduling

Once federal testing is done, it is a good time to make your initial contact with middle and high school English teachers to schedule a meet the author day at school. They probably won’t be using your services until next school year, but at least the teacher has your contact information and knows about you BEFORE the teacher makes out the upcoming school schedule. Remember to get their information too so that you can make another contact prior to the upcoming school year to remind the teachers that you are serious about your offer.

Contact Other Organizations

During the spring is also a good time to contact churches and church groups about speaking if you are so inclined. Many churches have events planned well into the fall months so don’t be surprised if you find yourself scheduling events of this type for next fall and winter.

If you’re really adventurous, don’t stop with local events. Begin spreading out regionally doing all the above. Eventually, you won’t be calling them anymore, they will be calling you. This summer I have planned a working vacation back in my hometown in Pennsylvania which is almost 900 miles from where I live now. What other things can you think of that a writer could do to expand readership in real time?

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


nativity with angels

Do you believe that God came to earth as a mortal being?

I John 4:1-3  says “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because  many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth nto that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of antichrist. Whereof, ye have heard that it should come and even now is already is it in the world. (KJV)

 

How do We Test the Spirit?

What does it mean “to try the spirits?” For a long time, I used to think that testing the spirit meant that you ask a person if that person believed that Christ was come in the flesh, I have since then realized that isn’t the case. Trying the spirit means that we are to observe another person for the spirit that person is using.

The Spirit of Selfishness

One spirit that we might come across is the spirit of selfishness. When someone tells us something, we are to examine whatever they said lines up with God’s word. We also need to make certain that whatever they are saying is not just sell serving. I had a friend who told me that God told her that I was to give her a new coat that I got. I knew that what she was asking was her own doing and that God had nothing to do with it. She liked the coat and wanted it. She used God as an excuse to get me to give it to her.

The Lying Spirit

Another spirit is one of the enemy trying to prevent us from doing God’s will. This spirit tells us that there is a short cut to doing God’s will. It’s basically the same one that the serpent used on Eve in the Garden of Eden. He said “Did God really say?”  He in essence offered her a short cut. Nah, he said you won’t really die. You’ll just become gods like him. I can’t tell you how many times I personally played the fool with this one. Shortcuts are never really short cuts.

A friend of mine told me a story once about how when he was a boy a couple friends of his wanted to take a short cut home. The problem was, the road that they were taking was a straight shot to their homes. My friend did not join his friends, but took the road home. He made it home just fine, but his friends weren’t found until the next morning.

The Spirit of Lust

Proverbs talks a lot about spirits. There’s the spirit of the harlot whose siren’s song draws people to their doom. This spirit is any spirit that causes you to lust after someone that belongs to someone else.

The Lazy Spirit

There is also the spirit of the sluggard. This person sits back and waits and doesn’t take action. This person believes that tomorrow is soon enough for anything. This person decides to wait until the eleventh hour, but sometimes unfortunately this individual’s life ends at ten-thirty.

 

The Spirit of Truth

Jesus Christ coming in the flesh is a demonstration of God’s love for us. If the spirit behind what we are doing (or someone we know is doing) is of God, then God’s love for that other person will be a motivator for that person’s actions or words. His gift was the ultimate love offering that he could have given to us. He came as a human baby, lived the life of a man in the flesh, experienced the same temptations that we all share (the difference is he resisted every one and we don’t), and then went to the cross with full knowledge that he was going to suffer so that we could live. That is the spirit that we are testing. The spirit of truth is also the spirit of knowledge wisdom spoken of in Proverbs. When we seek the truth of who Christ is, when we search the scriptures to understand who we are in Christ, our spirit demonstrates that Christ is come in the flesh and that he has offered himself to us through his generosity.

 

 

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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