Our World, Our Stories

TheSperlingChroniclesBanner-FINALHumans love stories.  We exist in stories.  That is why the great teachers like Buddha and Jesus are still revered by the masses. They taught through storytelling, vivid parables and examples of how life should be lived. Their stories resonate within our souls. Stories. They are timeless and are continually seeding our minds with worry or hope or faith, dependent on your life’s situation.

Think about it. You are always telling yourself or someone else a story. Other people are always telling you a story as well. For instance, people listen to the office gossiper because that person is so good at relating a story, even if it’s detrimental. How do you think President Obama was elected or even Trump?  President Obama seeded us with stories and visions of a better progressive world. Trump planted the world with stories of fear. He had his followers envisioning the past as the good old days. Let’s face it, there is never a time when we are not amid a storyline, one that has happened, one we are creating, one that we are planning, or one that we are fantasizing about. Isn’t this why we have become a society of television watchers. We are hooked on stories. I admit I am a binge-watcher. There are only a few shows that I worry about seeing as they air anymore. I’d rather watch the whole season at once for the story. I want the entire story from beginning to end, like reading a book or a series of books. I must have it all.

As a writer who loves to read books for stories as much as she likes to watch television, I know the value of all stories is the word. The words that tell the stories evoke emotion and possible action. What words are creating your stories today?

Dilsa Saunders Bailey is an independent author who has not only self-published three novels and a non-fiction book; she has spent most of her medical services career writing policies, bylaws, operations manuals, and more over the last 27 years. Dilsa is now coaching writers through the self-publishing journey and helping them to set up their businesses using their books as a marketing tool to build their platforms. If you want to learn more about how she can help you, contact her at dilsa@simplydilsa.com or join her blog below to keep up to date with her books and seminars.

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The Top Six Reasons You Should Write a Book

 rawpixel-com-267082-unsplashThe reports may differ, but a huge chunk of Americans want to write a book. That chunk is reported to be anywhere from 82% to 90%. Consider those percentages and you will calculate about 200 million adults in this country that dream of writing a book one day. Why shouldn’t they? Why shouldn’t you? More than 725,000 self-published books were registered in 2015, and the numbers are climbing. If you include the traditionally published, that adds up to more than one million books released per year to a population where one of four people do not read books and only one out of four reads more than 12 books a year. Sounds daunting, but it really isn’t. There is an audience out there to read your book. It may be smaller than some, and more substantial than others. Neither the size of your audience nor the statistics I have presented should deter you from writing your book. If you are a writer, you have to write it. If you have something to say, you have to write it. There is room for your book somewhere, even if it’s just meant for your family members. I believe everyone should record their book in print form. Hold it, feel it. Cherish it. Stop giving yourself a pass on why your book isn’t written.

Here are six tips to remind you why you must write it.

1.    Capture Family History – So many of us have a cultural perspective and family history that we need to pass on to our children. This is becoming more evident to me each day as the last few members of my previous generation are becoming sick, frail, and forgetful. Like those before them, they will be taking some very precious history with them. A history that our family will never be able to recover.
2.    Share your struggle to help someone else – What have you overcome? How did you overcome it? I have often wondered how one person who is filled with pain and faced with one tragedy after another not only survives but succeed in life when a healthy person with all the benefits handed over freely misses the mark. We know perseverance and commitment are two of the determining factors, but what was it, that special something, that set you apart and helped you. Can it help someone else?
3.    Support or build a business platform – Increase your earnings by becoming an established leader. The book is your credential supporting your expertise in the field of your business. It’s your badge of honor.
4.    To entertain people who like a specific genre – Do you love Star Wars, Star Trek, and other science fiction? It doesn’t matter the genre if you love to read the books, watch movies, and binge watch television shows, you can easily create episodes in your mind, or recount what you have seen to others in an entertainingly, write your book. Don’t be afraid. In fiction, you create the world, and the characters create your book. It’s like kismet.
5.    To teach other people a skill – In today’s environment, I think we should all learn how to garden. But, we should also know how to monitor our finances, write a simple letter, use Word, or anything that you can think of, such as cooking, sewing, and coding. Teach someone how to create an app. It doesn’t matter. Each one. Teach one. Put it in a book.
6. To improve someone’s quality of life spiritually, mentally, or physically – Have you found your source of peace? You know how to meditate. You have seen the results. You use words games and your memory has improved. You walk or jog or line dance, and you are getting your waist back. Maybe you changed your diet. Or, perhaps you travel and have the best places to visit for a relaxing vacation. All of it counts. You know what you can share.
I have been googling reports, and one stated that 97% of people who start books, don’t finish. Make yourself one of the 3%. Set aside time daily, even if for starters it’s a half hour during your lunch break. Start somewhere, and work up to finding a time slot somewhere else in the day until your project is complete. Think about the amount of time, you spend checking your phone. You could be writing on it instead of monitoring social media. Put yourself on a schedule and get it done. There is a reason so many people want to write a book. They want to be heard. We all do. And, that’s perfectly fine. Write it! Start it today!
From Dilsa Saunders Bailey, author of The Sperling Chronicles and A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Doctor, loves to blog as “simplydilsa,” a woman who loves to write out loud and share her journeys in the self-publishing world. The third novel in The Sperling Chronicles, No Tears for Dead Men, is now available in Print and on Kindle.

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The Increased Value of Networking

Global Business - Chadive Raja ReddyHave you heard the adage about networking? It goes something like this, “your network equals your net worth.” A friend of mine, the great speaker, Richard Hardon, can easily motivate you to reach out to others to help you succeed to greater heights using that phrase. Without a doubt, he is right about that. But, I get something else from what he teaches, too. I understand that networking is something even more valuable than your net worth or its ability to open doors to increase your income. I get that networking is important because it allows you to connect in so many ways. For instance, during networking, you realize more intimately that you are not alone in your endeavors or your struggles.
For instance, a few months ago I was asked to share some self-publishing advice with a writers’ group in South Atlanta. If you are on the southside and want to join this vibrant group, they are called The Turtle Queen Author’s Club. The Turtle Queen is Pauline Mansfield who has written several books, two of which on how she survived domestic abuse. Ms. Pauline is a very charming woman whose heart is the source of her network. She hasn’t met a person that doesn’t instantly fall in love with her. Many of the writers in her group had been published traditionally and self-published, and many were seeking insight on the mechanics of writing and publishing. But, it was a sharing event that increased the value of their minds and spirits. Mine, too.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when I attended a book club in midtown. I found it on Meetup and since it was sponsored by the Black Lit Society, a very active organization founded by author Tamika Newhouse, I thought I would check it out. Tamika is a young powerhouse. Having authored and published 19 books, she owns a publishing house, a production company, a book club and book review website, and is the founder the African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) Awards held every year to highlight the achievements of African Americans in the literary world. Tamika attended this event and shared her life’s successes and failures along the way during her exciting career. Again, in attendance were not just readers but writers and aspiring writers looking for that small crumb of motivation to keep at it, not giving up on becoming a writer. Ms. Newhouse was very easy to chat with, very open, and relaxed. I don’t think anyone walked away without some form of encouragement. What I walked away with though was something more than the networking value of hearing and seeing someone else’s success, but in comparison where I had not succeeded. I won’t use the word failure, because that I did not do that overall, fail. But, I didn’t succeed in moving forward with my writing and publishing as she did. And, that had been my dream as it had hers. You see, the lesson I walked away with from her networking event, was not to quit this time. She and I had attended our first ever book conferences in Houston, Texas years ago, exact event. At the time, we both had only one book. Yet, for me after spending hard-earn dollars on several book conferences later, I no longer believed that I was going to make it in the business, so I quit. She didn’t. She kept trying until she got it right. I stayed in my career and kept earning a paycheck. She worked for herself and built her empire.
Yes, networking with the right people will put you in the right position and afford you the right mindset to uplift your income, your net worth. But, overall, it’s those networking eye openers that uplift the soul as well and that net worth is priceless. So writers, get up from your computer, walk into the sunshine, and get into your car. Go meet someone new. Maybe they will increase your value to the Universe.
Dilsa Saunders Bailey, the author of The Sperling Chronicles and A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Doctor, loves to blog as “simplydilsa,” a woman who loves to write out loud. The third novel in The Sperling ChroniclesNo Tears for Dead Men, is now available in Print and on Kindle.

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Three Trash Bags, A Rain Poncho, and a Warm Blanket…How to Survive the Seabreeze Jazz Festival

As I sit here listening to Seduction by Boney James, I am reminiscing about my fourth trip to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. As usual, the lineup was fantastic, Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Eric Darius, and the list goes on and on. If you have never been, you need to put it on your bucket list. It was four full, fabulous days of 29 of the top jazz musicians and R&B artists in the world. Some of which performed so intensely, you could not stay seated in your chairs. Your body demanded that you move with the music. And as always, there is one artist that makes me fall deeply in love with their style, Damien Escobar. I had heard his music before, but his performance was intense. Yep, I was on my feet during most of his show. I would pay to see him again. All of the acts were great; one faltered a little bit. I won’t mention her name, but if you were there, you know what was up. I can only wish whatever she is dealing with; she can overcome.
20180422_144518So what’s up with the trash bags? It seems never to fail; rain wants to attend the show, too. And this year, it didn’t just rain, it was cold. But, my crew of jazz aficionados and I were prepared. Thought I would share some of the tricks. If you are sports fans or regular music fest folks, you probably have a set of tools you already use. But, these I find irreplaceable. Yep, trash bags, the large black or green ones. I say take three. Here’s what to do with them. Put one on the back of your chair. Tie it down. It got windy out there Sunday. The rain was blowing sideways. It wasn’t playing. Put the second bag on the seat of your chair. Yes, chair. At the jazz fest, we had chairs. It’s easier to rent than to lug, but you can carry a little canvas in a bag. It’s up to you. Don’t forget your blanket for the cooler nights and days. The rain and the chill will try to sneak in and try to disrupt your good time.
What do with the third bag? Well, this is key. Wrap your blanket around you, pull your poncho over your head and put your legs in the third bag. Yep. You are thoroughly covered and waterproof. Sit back, bounce in your seat, tell the rain and the chill that you are not paying them any attention. It’s all about the music and the beautiful energy that is so obvious throughout the crowd. I wish all venues were as peaceful and soothing as a jazz festival. Everybody there is just there to groove, relax to the sounds of the soulful instruments played by artists who put their entire soul into every note. You can almost see their spirits traveling around touching each and every one in the audience. There is nothing like it. This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. Kudos to the producers. My crew and I will be back next year. Rain, shine, or wind chill.
Dilsa Saunders Bailey, the author of The Sperling Chronicles and A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Doctor, loves to blog as “simplydilsa,” a woman who loves to write out loud. The third novel in The Sperling Chronicles, No Tears for Dead Men, was released on Amazon May 5, 2018. Buy it Now.

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Writers! Having a Hard Time Staying Focused? You Are Not Alone!

pexels-photo-93405Too many times when I mention that I am a writer, the individuals I am speaking to tell me they want to write a book. And when I ask them why haven’t they, I hear the same excuses. You know the ones, not enough time, don’t know what to write, experiencing writer’s block, don’t know if they can, and on and on and on and on. I understand precisely how that individual feels because I have used the same excuses over and over when I am not writing.
You see, it’s taken me years to write four books, literally. When I left Philadelphia over 20 years ago, I trashed boxes of manuscripts. Looking back, I regret that wholeheartedly. I had written on hard copy pages using typewriters and word processors to generate thousands of pages of the written word. But, on my move, I decided to give up the writing dream and follow the career path that was taking me somewhere. An organization had recruited me in Atlanta, and I was happy. But, what I didn’t expect was to realize that the dream of becoming a writer would never fade. It would haunt me until nine years ago as I was searching for something in my basement in a box that had nothing to do with writing when I found a manuscript that hadn’t gotten tossed. It had survived, and it was a tale of a young southern girl facing the trials and tribulations of adapting to life in the City of Brotherly Love. I sat down on another box and started reading it. The fire in me reignited. I had to finish this book. And I did. That was my first attempt at becoming a writer and an independent author, though I wouldn’t have called myself that then. I stumbled through the journey and gave up again.
But, the writing bug kept biting me. So, three years later, I released number two in the series. Then dropped off the radar again. After that, I wrote a non-fiction book. Out of sight, out of mind is the term that comes to mind as I dropped off the writing radar again. Are you getting the drift here? One minute I wanted to write, and the next minute I was giving the hard work to my career. Why?  I told myself I had to make a living. I needed to earn money. Can’t earn money writing books. Right? So I lost focus, once again.
That bug was still biting though, so I wrote number three in the novel series and recently released it with an entirely new perspective. Over the years, I learned so much about the publishing world, and now I feel more focused. You see after all these years, that life’s purpose that I tried to ignore kept popping up anyway. My desire to be a writer had become an integral part of my jobs, writing policies and operations manuals, even newsletters, so I was writing anyway. It was just that type of writing wasn’t what I wanted to do. With that said, I hope, if you have the same struggles, staying focused on your life’s purpose, especially writing and publishing, that you stick around and see what we can learn from each other. Maybe we can encourage each other to STAY Focused. That’s my goal. All I want to do now is WRITE OUT LOUDER AND LOUDER. How about you?
Dilsa Saunders Bailey, the author of The Sperling Chronicles and A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Right Doctor, loves to blog as “simplydilsa,” a woman who loves to write out loud. The third novel in The Sperling Chronicles, No Tears for Dead Men, is now available in Print and on Kindle.

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Write What You Know

TSCDTA-StandingKALINA HUGGED HER pillow even tighter as sunlight invaded the darkness of her room. She buried her face in it to hold onto the peace that had enveloped her before the bright intrusion of the spring morning. The sun’s warm rays streamed through her lace curtains creating psychedelic patterns on her pale blue wall, teasing her to get up and get going. It was Sunday and, as usual, her day was already loaded with activity. She wished she could be like many of her friends who didn’t have to get up and go to church every Sunday.
Above is the first paragraph in my first book, Dreams Thrown Away. It’s a prime example of writing what you know. Not every detail, of course, but what you know is what you can translate into emotional and visual manifestation on a page. Was this me in the first paragraph? Was this me in my first book? Partially, yes. Kalina Denise Harris (Kali) shares some of my characteristics, but let’s not get confused. Kali’s parents were a Baptist minister and a choir director. She had grown up in the church, so had I. My grandparents were my primary caregivers and they were very active in the church. They were so involved I felt that I only lived in one of three places, home, school, and church.
Are you with me on this? How many of you who grew up in a Southern Baptist church and had friends who didn’t have to be in church every Sunday? Call me a heathen, but my hand just shot up, high. As I said, I lived in one of three places and church was a big chunk of my existence. I can recall being in church, literally, all day long. My grandfather was a deacon and custodian at the church. He had to get there early to turn on the heat or the fans, etc. So we were at church before anyone else arrived. After that, Sunday School would start, and it would always run over. Shortly after Sunday School, there was a prayer meeting or a pre-meeting of some sort before regular service. That would last almost an hour and then, then, then there was the service that could run from two to three hours. Whew!!! Some of you can relate, I know.
If that wasn’t enough, there were other reasons to go to church during the week regularly, choir practice, deacon meetings, and custodial duties are what I remember off the top of my head. I am sure there were more, and I have filed them away in my memory. I still have visions of that church and the feeling of begrudgingly walking into it. To make matters worse, I know I shouldn’t complain, but once a year there was the weeklong revival where there were two services and two prayer meetings on the first Sunday of August, then there were prayer meetings and services Monday through Friday. Whew, you couldn’t wait until Saturday, but the next Sunday morning came quickly.
Yes, I lived in the church until I became a teenager and my grandparents got tired of the struggle. Happily, I became one of those friends who didn’t have to get out of bed so early, anyway, on Sunday morning. Not all of it was bad; I did enjoy my friends and the family I made there. Sometimes I miss that familiar feeling, but these days I don’t have to wonder about friends who don’t go to church. I’m not there every Sunday myself, and I am okay with that.
Dilsa Saunders Bailey is an independent author who has not only self-published three novels and a non-fiction book; she has spent most of her medical services career writing policies, bylaws, operations manuals, and more over the last 27 years. Dilsa is now coaching writers through the self-publishing journey and helping them to set up their businesses using their books as a marketing tool to build their platforms. If you want to learn more about how she can help you, contact her at dilsa@simplydilsa.com or join her blog below to keep up to date with her books and seminars.

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

4thJuly-frank-mckenna-184340-unsplashGrowing up this was one of the happiest days of the year. It was only second to Christmas. This was the day that family and friends got together to barbecue over hot grills, hang out in the hot sun, play games, and to dance, dance, dance until it was time for the fireworks. The loud, brilliant bursts of color would prance over the night sky reminding us to file in our memory banks the good times we had celebrating our country’s birthday. I am sure many families and friends are still doing the same, some adding morning races, parades, as well as still preparing for that great backyard barbecue, that big roasting pit where the pig has been turned all night, or the trying to get to the park for the perfect spot and the widest picnic tables. Either way, this is still a day that needs to be celebrated with the one common thing that we all share as residents and citizens in this country, our freedom! Freedom is something we should never take for granted nor deny anyone else. Happy Independence Day, America. May we never forget why our country became a free country!
Dilsa Saunders Bailey is an independent author who has not only self-published three novels and a non-fiction book; she has spent most of her medical services career writing policies, bylaws, operations manuals, and more over the last 27 years. Dilsa is now coaching writers through the self-publishing journey and helping them to set up their businesses using their books as a marketing tool to build their platforms. If you want to learn more about how she can help you, contact her at dilsa@simplydilsa.com or join her blog below to keep up to date with her books and seminars.

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