A Reflection of Who I Am

Posts tagged ‘Deborah Karper’

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 – Sylvia’s Room


Reprint:crossroads

Ministry Offers a shoulder, and more, to the grieving
Courierpointonline.com
Kim Mulford – Keeping the Faith

I won’t rewrite this article in full because it touches on a lot of personal information about others who were involved and may not want their names put on social media at this time. I will quote from the article only specifics about “Sylvia’s Room”. The article begins telling the story of a woman who had just lost her husband. He passed away at home as was his wish.

“There were no tears from his wife, not yet. As her family members wondered who to call- 9-1-1? The police? An ambulance?— she was calm. As she had done during her husband’s illness, she called Deborah Karper, a friend and trained volunteer from her church’s new bereavement support ministry called Sylvia’s Room.

“She got everything in motion,” said (the widow), during a phone interview on what would have been her 27th wedding anniversary last week. “She called the pastor’s wife. We got a beautiful funeral home. I didn’t have to do anything. They picked me up and carried me through everything.”

Sylvia’s Room was launched in October as an outreach ministry of Green Grove Baptist Church, led by the Rev. George E. Holland, Sr., in West Berlin. Eight volunteers, called ‘roommates’ meet monthly with the Rev. Albert Griffin, an associate minister at Green Grove, who is also a certified hospice volunteer.

The volunteers are trained to recognize the states of the grieving process, the signs of severe grieving and how to help those in mourning.

The ministry is named for Sylvia Martin, a Green Grove congregant’s mother who died last year.

Volunteers are typically matched with families before the death of a loved one, and remain in frequent contact for 13 months after the death. The church also holds quarterly Sylvia’s Room seminars, inviting people to learn more about life insurance, hospice care, wills and other end-of-life concerns.

The ministry is open to assist anyone, not just church members, said Griffin.

“We believe that with this type of focus, we can help people transition through the grieving process in a more healthy way,” said Griffin.

Volunteering as a roommate is not an easy job, but it is rewarding, according to Karper.

The 57-year-old Atco woman is already familiar with grief. She lost her husband of 20 years to cancer four years ago. When she can, she shares what she has learned with the two women assigned to her.

“Basically, I have been mostly a shoulder to cry on,” said Karper. She reassures them they aren’t going crazy, that their feelings are natural. If a woman is having trouble sleeping at night, Karper tells her to start a journal and write down their thoughts. She is there to listen and to offer spiritual support.

“When they ask for prayer, I try to pray immediately,” said Karper.

Since her husband’s death, (the widow) and Karper talk even late at night. (The widow) is a mother of three—including a 13 year old who still lives at home— thinks God brought her to Green Grove because she would need its help after he husband’s passing.

“Deborah has gotten me through quite a few nights,” she said. “Shes been a blessing to me.”

Although Sylvia’s Room is now a ministry of individuals who take on the task willing and eager to be roommates to those who grieve the lost of a loved one. In 2003 I was widowed after almost twenty years of marriage, and in 2004 my current husband was widowed after 20 years of marriage. It is very hard to ask for comfort when your whole world shifts so dramatically. We both know what it is like to experience the lonely hours after the funeral or memorial service and everyone returns to their lives. A widowed individual is left to start life without their significant other; no matter how good or bad. The emptiness takes time to be refilled and with each person it is different. 

No matter how long time passes; no matter if remarried or not; a widowed person carries their departed loved one with them always. Don’t find it strange. Take my word for it, this is a memory that will always stay with you. 

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.

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