Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG, Hurricane Update, Being Thankful

Posting the First Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer's Support Group, is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. YOU can sign up HERE to participate.

Every month a question will be posed that may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Remember, the question is optional. You can write about anything that relates to your writing journey.

Let's give a warm welcome to our co-hosts: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

This month's question is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey? 
Don't expect to get rich. Although making some money is a nice reward, be realistic knowing that your books are among many millions and that it's hard to make your voice heard amid the thundering hordes. Therefore I would advise being content with knowing that at least you got yourself published, that you are out there, that SOMEone, SOMEwhere will read you story and enjoy it. 
Hurricane Update - Eleven Months Out
Meanwhile... Here are a few stats about the state of tourism. On St. Thomas there are approximately 954 rooms available compared to about 3,000 before the storms. On St. Croix, there are about 990 compared to 1200 before the storms. The big hotels are still not opened and most won't be until the fall of next year. Before the storms 848,411 cruise ship passengers visited St. Thomas compared to 637,597 since the storms. Visitors to St. Croix have gone up, 24,743 pre-storm, 48,836 post.

Book Drive for the School Libraries
I got this lovely form letter from the Office of Senator Janelle K. Sarauw, thanking me for the books I sent and encouraging me to send more and to ask others to do the same. So that's what I'm going to do. Please consider sending new or gently used books for grades K through 12 via media mail (it's cheap!) to:

Janelle K. Sarauw
Legislature of the Virgin Islands
PO Box 1690
Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas, USVI  00804

A BIG THANKS to those of you who have sent books.

Songs for the Saints
I've never promoted "famous" people, but in this case I'm making an exception.

Kenny Chesney's new album Songs for the Saints is now available HERE on Amazon. All proceeds from the sale of the album go towards the continued recovery of the US and British Virgin Islands.

He's really done a lot for the islands. He was among the first people to help bring in supplies and evacuate people. He donated musical instruments to the St. John School of the Arts (which lost all of theirs) and told the kids if they learned to play them he'd fly them and teachers up to the states to see one of his concerts, which he did recently. Since the storms he's flown out and re-homed over 1000 dogs that were stranded or abandoned. His Love for Love City Foundation has helped many, many people including, without his knowing it, my sister and me.

Here's a video where he explains how he came to write the songs.

A look back.
It's hard to believe but, a year ago this month (just a month before the storms) I was visiting the islands. Here we are, a few of my classmates and me at a mini-reunion. None of us knew that just a few weeks later our lives would change. And yet, everyone survived, life goes on, and rebuilding is underway.
Seated L to R: Me, Seba, Judy.
Standing L to R: David, Maurice, Margaret, Ronnie, LeRoy
Note adult beverages on the table... :)

Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful for resiliency and the people who help make that resiliency a little easier.
Where there is hope there is movement forward.

What are you thankful for? Any publishing pitfalls you'd warn writers about? Please send books to my beautiful islands. And if you like Kenny Chesney's music, buy his album.


  1. What a wonderful post about thankfulness and giving. It does the heart good to know people give back and try their best to help when it's so needed. I will have to have my daughter go through her books and see what we can donate. Thank you. I'm thankful for where I am I guess and the healthy of both my young kiddos. My heart goes out to you. Happy IWSG day :)

  2. I sent books and got a thank you letter, too. Hopefully people continue to send them.

  3. Hi Bish, I just gave this advice to someone today, that as writers we shouldn't expect to get rich!

  4. Quite an inspiring post today, Bish. It's good to hear that the recovery continues. Mr. Chesney is an inspiration! And yes, having any expectation of being rich from writing would be a major pitfall!

  5. It's almost frightening 0-- and definitely sad -- that after almost a year, people are still trying to "come back" from all of this.

  6. Slow recovery but that's a lot more people visiting, which I'm sure helps.

  7. A year and moving on. This has been such a challenging time for you, your family, the island. And yet, in all of this I've read things that show just how resilient people and nature are. That gives me hope.

  8. The expectation of becoming rich or have a lot of success, readers, sales and reviews, can be a tough one to get past, but it's true that it's an unrealistic one to have and we have to be okay with what we get.

  9. Hi Bish - so much for them to do - yet they are persevering ... so difficult for so many. I'm intending to send books - but got curtailed being in a new country and the term ending - where I hope to source some books. Take care and all the best to everyone on the Islands and life returning to some form of normality ... Hilary

  10. Such a good reminder. Publishing is not about getting rich; it's about reaching a goal. Nicely said, Bish.

  11. Thanks for the update on the islands. We went there on our honeymoon (many, many years ago) and I loved it there. I'm so glad your family is okay. You're so right--getting published is not about the money (what little there is). it's pride in accomplishment. But then that doesn't pay the bills, does it?

  12. So true that writing will not make us rich or even support us. And thanks for the update on the islands. Love the picture you shared. So weird how things changed in such unimaginable ways.

  13. Rich in knowledge, rich in joy, rich in experience, yes. Rich in money? Not so much. :-)

    Thanks for your updates. You always remind us about what is really important in life, and I appreciate it.

  14. Publication and readers are the dream. I also realized long ago that it was highly unlikely to make a significant amount of money from writing.

    Huzzahs to Chesney and everyone else who is helping with the recovery!

  15. I hope there are no more storm surprises in the near future for those beautiful islands. I love Kenny Chesney for all he does. And I've loved his music for years. This is a great album.

  16. Thanks for letting us know about the book donation address. I am glad the islands and people are recovering- it certainly hasn't been an easy road. I had a friend go on a cruise to the islands in April and she said they couldn't use their debit or credit cards most places or on the tours/day trips from the cruise ship. So glad to hear that Kenny Chesney is doing so much to support the islands and helping raise money towards their recovery. :)

  17. I got goosebumps reading through all the Chesney stuff. So awesome. And I agree on the don't expect to get rich thing. Publishing is a long game these days. It's not until you have many, many books out that you get the visibility, and thus more readers.

  18. Storms on the ocean always pick up speed. they scare me more than a possible earthquake.

    Great to see your friends all together.

  19. I still can't get over this great place I recently visited! This isn't only a good place. It is also one of the best around here. There isn't a listing of the unique offerings, although there should be! These rental spaces for parties are magnificent!

  20. nice article great post comment information thanks for sharing.


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