OK … I’m someone who loves to cheer for and work with authors; learn new things; read a mystery/thriller; putter in the garden (on my list to do is to enroll in the Master Gardner course at the University of Colorado soon; cook for my friends; entertain in my home; and, I admit, I’m a bit of a news junkie.
At this point, I do not know where you are … but where I am is that I want to throw up. The unbelievable levels of hate and attacks that have become the new norm are alarming. Actions and words that people do and say are things that fiction writers reveal they couldn’t think much of what is unfolding on what seems a daily basis. Such as an item that surfaced October 23, 2018:
A Florida man was arrested for groping a woman on a Southwest flight bound for New Mexico. He told federal agents that President Donald Trump said it’s permissible to grab women by their “private parts.”
The woman had fallen asleep on the flight and woke up to the passenger behind her grabbing “the right part of her right breast,” the complaint said.
OMG, I’m on airplanes all the time. Because I either plan on working during the flight, or I’ve been talking nonstop at a gig, I rarely talk to anyone around me—including my seatmates. I want to be left alone.
Bruce Michael Alexander, 49, was arrested Sunday and charged with abusive sexual contact after a woman on a flight from Houston accused him of touching her “around her bra line” and elsewhere, according to the criminal complaint.
Jeeze … the day before, I read about a Ryanair flight passenger who verbally assaulted an elderly, disabled woman who was seating in a row aisle seat, he in the window. From calling her an ugly, fat cow and much, much more, a passenger whipped out his cell phone, recorded it all, and pushed it virally. Only one passenger spoke up in her defense. And, not one flight attendant did anything to shut the bully up. Not one.
This past weekend, the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania numbed me to my core. I’m not Jewish, but many of my friends and clients are. I reached out to them. I felt deep pain and anger for the assault toward their religion and the execution of a community gathering and practicing their faith.
In the entryway of my home is a cherished painting given to me by a friend—a painting the Nazis had confiscated and surviving family members had obtained years after WWII—a war that ended in 1946, yet the seeding of hate continues today for too many. And a painting that the Nazis had blacked out the name of the artist and painted in an Aryan name. My friend Nicole Shapiro’s mother survived Auschwitz … her father didn’t. I was told that I could have the “blacked” section restored—I’ve chosen not to. It’s a daily reminder of what bigotry and hatred does.
Sunday afternoon, I took to the streets—knocking on doors, saying hello to my neighbors and reminding them to vote in the upcoming election.
Over the summer, I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The buzz around it had picked up since the production rolled out on Hulu and the 2016 election, so I decided that it was time to find it what the pages revealed. Whew—and yikes. The author had done an update Introduction since the book was first published in 1985. It left me bummed. One line resonated—Offred asks herself and her one friend, “How did we get here? What was the changing point?”
Fast-forward to today. Not to be able to call individuals and groups out on bad behavior and actions and hate without being bully-attacked back or far worse is stunning to watch unfold. To see “normal” people think that cheating, lying, assaulting, defrauding, and killing is OK has me truly questioning, How did we get here? What was the changing point?
Hate … Fear … Ignorance … Stupidity are words that percolate up.
Long ago, I learned that SILENCE condones bad behavior and supports/encourages bad actions. My words expressed in my books, Woman to Woman-From Sabotage to Support; Woman to Woman 2000; Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace; and Sabotage-How to Deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions and Slugs in the Health Care Workplace always hit on that concept. My speaking for associations and companies always included it. As an expert in conflict resolution and dealing with toxic individuals in the female dominate workplace, the silence factor was a key factor in the breeding of more conflict.
As authors, we are visible with our words–on the page and those that flow from our mouths. It is part of our branding … or it should be.
When I work with authors in creating the ideal title and subtitle for their book, it is about the promise—where the title is “the grab” … to get the attention of the reader/buyer. The real power comes via the subtitle—it has to deliver. The subtitle is the “promise” … the promise of what is to come on the inside.
As an author, what is your promise to your reader?
What is your promise to the public in general?
Do your words and actions deliver on what you promise?
Do your words and actions parallel your branding?
Do your words and actions reflect who you are and what your beliefs are?
Do your words and actions demonstrate what you want to emulate?
In other words, do you walk your talk … and talk your walk? Do you know what your brand and promise are? Do you speak up and out?
Or, are you hiding behind a veil?
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 36 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos has earned 7 national book awards in 2017. Book #36, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech is one you want now and just out!
Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged Bootcamp, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2019, the dates are June 20-22. Participate in her Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Bootcamp held in March and November. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow.
Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.
The Book Shepherd™