A Reflection of Who I Am

Archive for the ‘Personal Journey’ Category

Brazen Third Ager: Aging Well


Looking back on the last year, I know I am blessed. If you follow me on facebook and twitter you know 2015 was a challenge for my family and me. We are believing in 2016 opportunities to build a more stable foundation to live out the rest of our years.

I turned 65 in 2015, and I committed myself to not to do anything to age prematurely. And by premature aging I wasn’t concerned too much with the outward appearance such as wrinkles, sagging and gray hair. I was concerned with emotional and mental aging. I thank God I have fallen in love with reading, writing and arithmetic. Yes the three fundamental skills I struggled with as a child in elementary school.

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are my passions. I don’t necessarily read alot of books, but I read and research information I need to help my author clients and myself write. I do a lot of reading for my Biblical Institute classes. Last year it was Old Testament Survey, Christ and Culture and The History of the New Testament.

I’ve read and edited manuscripts prior to their publication by Karen Foote -“Crossover – Death to Life”; Crystal Cambisaca -“Isaiah’s Gift of Hope”; Rev. Harold Sutton – “Do The Hard Thing Train Up A Child”; Andrea Gadson – “Released In Search of a King”; Diane Renee – Sacred Diaries – Vol 1: Reflection. I am currently reading and editing: “Yea, Thou I Walk Through the Valley” by Lois Dais-Kelley; “In Search of – MRL” by David Dutton; “Still I Stand – A Journey to Purpose” by Prophetess Minister Mary Height. I have a few more projects which I am working on, but the three I mentioned are ready for production this month (January 2016).

I’ve also added a service to convert print books to Digital format. Zee Browne at Soul Bites Studio took advance of my service. So if you have a book you self-published and would like to digitize it let me know.

Arithemetic 

I realized finally that I can only work on x number of projects at a time. Especially since I was not charging in a way which allowed me to keep up with my cost of living. So this year I have changed my business model. I am definitely not ready to retire. I have too many skills and gifts to use. I am emotionally and mentally sound and actively looking to help first time and aspiring writers get their writing projects off the ground.

So premature aging is not an option for me. God has blessed me with a mission to help his people write their testimonies in memoirs, non-fiction and fiction formats.

Deborah Wilson Smart is author of “Pearl the Little Light That Shines” a look back at a child’s life in the 50s and 60s told by Pearline Richardson. (Middle to Third Age Generation)
“Hadana and the Skating Club” a story of childhood confusion in dealing with an angry adult.
(Grade School -3rd grade plus)
“Joy Comes Through the Mourning” a compilation of letters, journal entries, poetry and short stories written to help get through the grieving process.
(Young, Middle and Third Age Generation)

 

 

Unpacking Memories – Emails, Emails, Emails


I found a folder with 50 or more emails from 1999 to 2000. I was not equipped to respond favorably to all of the submission and query letters. As I read through the emails again, I wondered if they ever found a publisher to take on their project. I even searched on Google for one.

Her name was Maria. No last name, just Maria. She was from Russia. She enclosed the title and identified 23 chapters. She was also seeking asylum. There were a number of books with similar sub-titles but not by an author named Maria.

I received an email from a poet in his seventies. I wondered if he lived a long and healthy life and if he was still waiting for his book of 100 poems to be published.

The following is an excerpt from that article. If you have read it before, just skip past it to the # # #.

Writer Gets Creative About Publishing
(Excerpted from a Philadelphia Inquirer column by Ewart Rouse, “In Business,” 12/21/99.) 

After too many rejections of her manuscripts by mainstream publishers, aspiring writer Deborah Karper of Voorhees, NJ was toying with the idea of self-publishing her fiction when she met Gary La Forest.

Jake Garrison, Garrison Printing with Deborah Karper 1999

Jake Garrison, Garrison Printing with Deborah Karper 1999

LaForest, a Philadelphia resident . . . had been managing the speaking tours of Dave Goerlitz, who was RJ Reynolds’ leading Winston Man between 1980 and 1986 and is now an anti-tobacco activist. He had been trying without success to get publishers interested in a book on Goerlitz, the “golden boy” in those ubiquitous billboard ads.

Karper found Goerlitz’ story so compelling that she promptly launched Gladstone Publishing. . . “My intention was to go off and write and publish my own stories, but it was an opportunity to help Gary and Dave get their book out,” Karper said.

Karper has not stopped there. . . . She was back at the printer, going over proofs of a second manuscript, NO NONSENSE, NATHAN!, a children’s book by a business associate, Paula Nolte. Like LaForest, Nolte had shopped around her book to publishers, but received no takers. Karper liked the story and the illustrations, and a first run of 2,000 copies is set. . .

. . .”I want to do about 10 books a year, all children’s books,” Karper said. “Where would I find my writers? In supermarkets, daycare centers, on the bus, the Web . . . I’ve gotten 5 manuscripts from people who have seen our website. . .”

. . . Future books will be edited by LaForest, who has helped a number of public figures, including the Winston Man, write and sell their stories, and Karper will hire other professional editors.

. . . She has the full backing of her husband Donald, who is an engineer. In fact, it was Donald who landed her next writer — Iris Calaci, formerly of Voorhees, now of Florida.

The book, MATTHEW MOUSE, is one of the 10 books she plans to publish next year. It is a “diversity story” about a church mouse who learns to get along with Christian, the cat. A sequel, in which Matthew and Christian take off for the big city, is planned.

Karper, who is African American, said she also hoped to team up with LaForest to nurture and publish young African American writers in this region. The market for books about African Americans is estimated at $320 million annually in retail sales.

This, LaForest said, is something he is looking forward to. “I know there is poetry out there,” he said, referring to the quality, not the type of writing. “They are trying to get stuff done, and they don’t have many outlets.”

Karper works full time at both Gladstone and Direct Konnections (her computer consulting firm she founded 15 years ago.) She said she hoped to get Gladstone to a point, conceivably in 2 years, where she would not need the income from Direct Konnections to support it.

At that time, Karper hopes, she will be able to go back to her postponed dream of becoming a published author.

# # #

I was surprised at the speed in which Gladstone Publishing Services became a public name. I won’t say household name, but for the individuals who sought my services, Gladstone was a beacon in the storm.

Some of what is not in this excerpt is the quote from a seasoned book reviewer. He called me a “California Dreamer”. He said I was the type of person who thought they could make something work just because they dreamed it. Well all I have to say is, fifteen years later, I am still dreaming and working to help others achieve their dream.

Animal Talk: An Illustrated Workbook of Animal Sayings

Animal Talk: An Illustrated Workbook of Animal Sayings

From this article, I met Dr. Donald Morse, a dentist and his associate Dr. Marvin Herring, a medical doctor who submitted a query for “It’s a Zoo Out There”. We ended up publishing “Animal Talk: An Illustrated Workbook of Animal Sayings”. It was Dr. Morse’s vision to bring this workbook to ESL teaching programs and Senior Living Facilities. The illustrations were deemed unprofessional by a reviewer; nevertheless the book is a jewel.

My time with Dr. Morse was life changing. I learned more about editing illustrated books from his project than any other project that came across my desk. I also learned about being youthful regardless of my chronological age. Here is a link to an article from Life Extension Magazine. He was a body building champion at the age of 74. Just another influence in who I am today. Not a body builder, but someone who is not on any prescription medicine and young in my mental and emotional outlook on life. I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life along this journey.

Unpacking Memories – The Morning Exchange


Reprint:
A.M. Exchange – Women go beyond networking
by Christine Norris
Courier-Post – This Week Section
Wednesday, November 24, 1993

Businesswomen, helping business women is the basis for a new group formed in April of this year (1993). Created to deal with the special needs of female entrepreneurs and corporate professionals alike the Morning Exchange caters to helping its members thrive in an ever complex world. Formed by two former members of the Alli Lassen Leads Club, the Morning Exchange brings a group of hardworking South Jersey women together every Tuesday at 6:50 a.m. at the Friends Meeting House in Haddonfield.

Sharing advice

They come to share advice on how to grow in their businesses, but more importantly they gather to improve their self-esteem and to learn more about themselves.

The Morning Exchange where lasting relationships were formed.

The Morning Exchange where lasting relationships were formed.

Involved in women’s networking since the early 70’s, co-founder Deborah Karper knew that there was a need for something more than exchanging business cards and getting business leads. “The Exchange allows us to have the business networking piece where we learn about each ther’s business. But it also brings us together to discuss the lighter side of working,” she explains. “We deal with everything from self-esteem to working in a male-dominated profession to tapping into your whole self.”

Safe feelings

Morning Exchange co-founder Janet Janka, a massage therapist from Collingswood, compares the weekly ritual to a friendly gathering of friends instead of a hard-nosed networking session. “It’s a safe haven. If…”

That was it. I didn’t have page 13 which continued the article. I am so happy to have revisited with the program Janet and I formed together. Right now I do not remember how long we met but it was a wonderful experience and I met many wonderful people.

The article also shows how I have been true to my path. I still believe networking should be more than exchanging business cards. We should take the time and build strong relationships.

Spiritually Connected to My Cats


Don’t judge me for what I am about to write. All I can say is this thought has entered my mind and I cannot shake it. I believe God wired us to be spiritually connected not only to other humans, but to animals also. I have read and seen on television many stories of how animals have come to the aid of their masters. This morning as usual I was actively dreaming. This means I could sense every aspect of my dream. My dream sequences instead of inspirational or enjoyable were disturbing. In one dream sequence, I was strangling a woman. Startling? Yes. I could feel the anger I felt toward this person and It disturbed me.

The next thing I knew my cat, Bubba was nudging me to wake up. DSC02768I rolled over and stroked him and he purred. I looked over at the clock and it a little before 4 am. I thought he was ready for me to do our morning ritual of feeding him. This was really unusual. I rolled over and it was my plan to go back to sleep. A few minutes passed and he did something totally out of character for him, he crawled between my husband and me. Of course, Will barked “Get down.” I moved Bubba to my side and told Will, “No there is something wrong with him and I don’t know what it is.” I continued to stroke him and squeeze parts of his body (the cat not my husbands) to see if he reacted in pain. He loved it and purred. I know sometimes cats purr even when they are in pain, so I stayed awake and just watched him. I then got up and gave him catnip and he was satisfied.

I fell back to sleep, but again he came in to nuzzle next to me. This time I got up and went downstairs to check his food bowl. I was at the Stay Focused Writer’s Retreat all day yesterday so I thought, “Maybe his bowl was empty.” No that was not the problem. So back to bed I went.

As I lay there, I began thinking back about the retreat. It was an awesome day. I rekindled relationships with wonderfully talented individuals I met over the years and only communicate through social media. My thoughts when back to the article I wrote in the Stay Focused Magazine entitled “My Sacred Place”. As I read the published article for the first time, I saw what I thought was an awful mistake. At first I thought it was my mistake, and then I thought it was the person who retyped my work. When I pointed it out to Deanna Davis, Publisher and Editor of the Stay Focused Magazine, she corrected me and said I had written the wrong scripture reference. I immediately realized she was correct and it disturbed me that I missed that mistake when I read it over before submitting it.

My Sacred Place” is an article I wrote about creating a sacred place in your home or office where you could go to pray or meditate before beginning your day. I tell how each morning I begin my day with a blank 8 ½ x 14 blank sheet of paper. It covers a tv tray I have next to my workstation. I write at the top in the center, Matthew 6:33 “First seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be given unto you.” I have been doing this for months, in my article I wrote Matt 6:22. As I reviewed my papers, I seemed to switch to Matt 6:22 on March 8th. I continued writing the wrong scripture reference, but the correct passage. I did it inconsistently and never realized the mistake.

This morning, I acknowledge a major shift occurring in my spirit. It’s a good one, yet a scary one. I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and expand my territory as an author, publisher and public speaker. I believe my dream was my inner fight with my self who wants to stay contained in the world God had led me through. A world where I serve Him through the work I do with my clients. Even so, I believe God now has me on a new path to do more on a grander scale. I also believe he wants me to remain humble and authentic as I pursue this new path.

Matt. 6:22 “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” I researched this passage this morning and came across a wonderful explanation by Pastor John Piper “The good eye is a single eye. It has one Treasure. God. When that happens in your life, you are full of light.

So even though it looked like I was so totally off the mark, what I didn’t know, was God yet again was giving me my marching orders. As I desire to expand my territory, I must also desire to only serve Him and not money; and to continue to store my treasures in Heaven and not here on earth where they can be eaten by moth and rusted So my passages each morning have expanded to Matt 6:19-24. Ironically, in my book, “Joy Comes Through the Mourning”, I write how I read each passage that matched my birthday, 6/24. Matt 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” It is a great passage for everyone to focus on.

Now back to being spiritually connected to my cats. I believe Bubba sensed my discomfort as I slept. He was being protective and would not allow me to go back to sleep. I am so happy he woke me and I was moved to think about Matthew 6:22 and its significance to me. God reminded me this morning, as long as my spiritual eyes are on him, he will light my path and he will continue to covered with love, joy and everlasting peace.

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Other Blogs By Deborah Wilson Smart
Http://www.onesmartladyproductions.org

A New Beginning…Once Again!


Saturday Morning, April 11, 2015

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was on our move. We are leaving our large home with four bedrooms a 2 ½ bathrooms to a much smaller home; 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom built in 1950. The actual year Willie and I were born. This summer we both turn 65, another major adjustment.  Our new house, beautifully and humbly laid out, is sufficient for my husband and me at this time in our lives.

Even so, my heart sank as we returned from inspecting our new home and walked into the expansive living area of our current home. It hit me, we will barely be able to take anything with us. Where the rooms are spacious with a family room, living room, and dining room; our new home will have a tiny area for the kitchen table and chairs. The upside, there is a beautifully bright family room, an addition extending the living space of the small Cape Cod. I suffered the thought of getting rid of 90% of our “stuff”. This spacious house allowed me, a literary pack rat, to shelve my books and papers. Bookcases and shelves that allowed me to stockpile folders, papers and books. Open areas where I line up bags and cubes of clothes which cannot fit into the limited closet space in this large home. And we currently have a two car garage where our new home will barely accommodate our two cars in the compact car off-street parking spaces in the front of the house.

After our daughter went out with friends, and my mother-in-law and husband went on to bed, I went out to our garage and began bringing in boxes and piles of papers. These papers and boxes contained research papers and articles written by me. I had to begin the process of eliminating unnecessary stuff. I was successful in filling two lawn size trash bags of papers and retired to my bed.

As I lay there staring at the ceiling, my mind went back to the tiny new home and the limited storage space. In my anxiety, I recognized I would not easily fall asleep, so I rose and went down to the kitchen to make some Tension Tamer tea laced with Noni juice. As I sat down to the table, I spoke to God about how I was feeling. I was moved to get something to write down my thoughts. I knew this would also ease my anxiety to get the words out of my mind and onto paper. That is exactly how I have over the years accumulated so many piles of papers. It is my way of cleansing my mind and spirit of negative thoughts.

I went to the box where I placed my spiral notebooks and returned to the kitchen table. The first page in the book were notes from my church’s 2005 Watch Night Service titled, “May The Source Be With You.” Pastor Holland spoke from Jonah 1 and Isaiah 43:16-21. Our theme for 2006 was “New Beginning In The Lord”.

I turned the page and BAM…”You’ve got to let go of the former things.” Isaiah 43:18 and “…I am making a new thing” Isaiah 43:19. It is just like God to lead me to the one book in the box where he could direct my path for this move. I thanked him, finished drinking my tea and returned to bed. I slept very soundly until Tank, our six year old pit bull, needed to go out. I easily fell back to sleep and woke up rested and ready to continue the purge.

###

Footnote: As I was typing my actual notes from that sermon, the Lord reminded me this was the night I gave testimony of a year prior, my New Years was much different. My late husband Donald had passed away December 16, 2003. I wasn’t a member of Green Grove or even attending a church. I had grown in the Lord dramatically through 2004 and my life was on a much more positive track. He also reminded me, it was the night my husband, Willie Richard Smart, Jr. crossed over to shake my hand. He told me he understood what I had been going through and if there was anything he could do to help me, to just ask. You see, Willie’s wife had passed away three months earlier. He was still grieving, and understood we were members of an elite club. We did not know God had orchestrated that meeting. Four-and-a-half years later, we were married in that same sanctuary.That night was a new beginning for the two of us, and God wanted us to put our former lives behind us because He had a totally new beginning charted out for our future.

I Act-So Smart: Mentoring the Youth


IMG_20141023_131447

Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acute readers.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, January 11th, I had an awesome opportunity to facilitate the weekly Gloucester County NAACP Act-So chapter meeting.

What is ACT-SO?

The NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics is a year long achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students.

ACT-SO includes 26 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, business, and performing and visual arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated from the program since its inception.  Source: NAACPConnect

We had a conversation on “Writing Essentials”.  I met the nicest and most respectful teens who are participating in this national competition in the area of their passion…

  • Engineering
  • Photography
  • Writing: Essays, Short Stories, Poetry and Spoken Word
  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Music

They followed an agenda and during one point introduced themselves and talked about their competition area. When it came to my point in the program, I took the opportunity to critique their introductions. I wrote their names and disciplines down as I heard and understood them. When I read my notes back to them, six (6) out of the eleven (11) names were incorrect. I stressed when they stand before the judges, they must speak in strong voices to the last person seated in the room The person must be able to hear the proper annunciation of their name and the reason they are participating in the competition. It was a good start. It allowed me to stress, they needed to write out their who they were, why they were there, and what they were passionate about before hand. I challenged them to keep a journal as they participated in the Act-So competition.

I then went on to talk about how to become a great storyteller. Regardless of their discipline, storytelling is crucial to their presentation. We talked about the following:

  1. What makes a great storyteller.
  2. How to get started writing or telling their story.
  3. How and where stories are captured.
  4. How to define their main characters and keep them consistent throughout the story.

We discussed their personal mission and their passion. And I gave them a list of personal challenges for them to think and write about.

These high school students carried themselves as freshmen and juniors in college. I want to say to their parents and guardians, “Well Done!”  I want to thank Mrs. Larae Carter and her team of Mentors for inviting me and opening up yet another way for me to keep the process going. I am not giving back, I am paying it forward. That is what teen mentoring is all about.

We, yes I am on board as a mentor, are looking for more mentors. If you are interested please contact me at ActSoSmart@gladstonepublishing.com.

Gladstone Publishing Services: http://www.gladstonepublishing.com
One Smart Lady Productions: http://www.onesmartladyproductions.org

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My Thoughts on World Healing and World Peace


WHWP2012Through Apathy Comes a Path to You

©2012 Deborah Wilson Smart

Through Pain Comes Anger

Through Destruction comes Pride

Through Selfishness comes Arrogance

Through Self-Awareness comes Truth

Through the Word of God comes Healing

Through Redemption and Reconciliation come You

Anger withholds the truth.

Pride resists the truth.

Arrogance blocks compassion and mercy, yet

Truth takes away weapons of hate and self-destruction, when

Healing removes the wedge between the loved and unloved; then

You find yourself on a new path.

This path leads to complete Healing and Love.

This path opens your heart to others pain.

This path allows you to be whole.

Whole like you were at birth.

No prejudice, no hate.

Whole like you were before the abuse.

Mental, physical, spiritual and emotional abuse.

Whole to be the individual God meant for you to be.

Lacking nothing, desiring everything; freely expressing you.

This path paves the way for a new beginning.

Like the rivers Tiger and Euphrates when the earth was born.

Your rebirth from apathetic soul to healing soul is the secret, to

World Healing and World Peace.

Published by InnerChild Press

World Healing and World Peace Vol. 1 & 2

An Anthology of Poetry 2012

http://www.innerchildpress.com

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