Tuesday, August 30, 2011


In light of my latest "Bible Verse" posting about being joyful always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)...I began to ponder about what exactly IS being joyful and what makes ME "joyful"?

Do you ever have one of those days or moments when you just don't feel like putting on a "happy" face for those you encounter? You don't want to be cheerful, let alone being anyone's cheerleader.You know what I mean, you're just having a moment!  We all have our little "moments" and some people I can say, more so than others! LOL

I know in ANY profession it is difficult to look and appear as if you are always happy-go-lucky. Me included...being an attorney, real estate agent, wife, mother, and now author...trying  to appear as though nothing phases me is a daunting task.  Lets look at some situations I have personally encountered in my life in the different roles I play...

As an attorney, trying to keep your cool while at the same time arguing on your client's behalf. Then  prevailing on your client's case to only face your client arguing with you over the small amount of attorney fees that doesn't even cover the cost of the entire litigation process.

Or how about in my role as a real estate agent spending countless hours day-in and day-out (even working until the wee hours of the night and even on your much needed vacation) trying to get a property sold on a client's behalf, only to lose the property to foreclosure.

Or even as a wife and mom, spending several hours in the kitchen preparing a fabulous meal (or at least you think it's fabulous, LOL) and having your spouse NOT get second helpings (you see, I know when my spouse doesn't like what I've cooked--he doesn't go for seconds) and having your absolutely honest kids tell you "Mom, I don't like this...can I get a bowl of cereal?" Ugh!!! Really??!! When I have just spent hours in the kitchen and now will have to spend more time in the kitchen cleaning up ALL the evidence (from food left on their plates) of how much they didn't like the meal!! LOL

And what about my new role as an author? There are many ups and downs in the book world, especially if you're a new author. From not getting the support you thought you would receive from some of your family and friends...to selling a decent amount of books, however having one person "Return/refund" one of your books. Of course you don't know the reason why someone has returned a book, but your curiosity runs rapid and even though you've sold many books with great reviews...that ONE returned book will stay on your mind for the longest!!

So the point to all the above examples...it's difficult to always put on a happy face, but what about having joy. Yes J-O-Y as the Bible speaks of!!!  Being joyful always...Is this even possible??? Obviously the Bible thinks so. So what is being joyful?

Well, the dictionary defines joyful as
1. full of joy, as a person or one's heart; glad, delighted.
2. showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech
3. causing or bringing joy, as an event, a sight, or news; delightful

Of course there are countless books on the subject of JOY and ALL the ways to obtain it. There are songs in almost every genre, perfume fragrances, even a society for "joyful beings" on the internet. But can you obtain joy by joining a Joyful Being society, hearing it sung in a song, spraying it on, or reading how to obtain it in a book?? Well maybe LOL, guess it depends on the book!

Personally, I believe my joy comes from the Holy Spirit within. Several verses in the Bible allude to this, but one in particular points out that one of the fruits of the spirit is JOY (Galatians 5:22).
Therefore, how do I define joy or being joyful?  I would define being joyful as something that you have within that brings about a peace, a calmness, a solitude that helps you react a certain way to your surroundings.  No matter what the day or circumstance may bring, you have an underlying joy that does not waiver. You may not be having the best day or moment, but that underlying peace, calmness, solitude, joy, makes you sit back and take a deep breath before reacting to a difficult situation.

Your underlying "joy" within could also make you think of things that bring you joy...such as a certain person or people (i.e. your spouse or children) when you're having a rough day at work. Or like a favorite quote from a good book when things aren't going your way. The song "Favorite Things" from the movie Sound of Music comes to mind. Your underlying joy makes you think of your favorite things in life!! SMILE.

Being "happy" in every circumstance and situation in life is probably not realistic. However, having that underlying joy...being joyful always...most certainly is!!! At least I think so...and so does your Heavenly Father! SMILE :-)

How would you define joy or being joyful and what brings you the MOST joy?

         God Bless!
       T Denise Clary

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Bible Verse ~ Sunday, Aug 28th

New Bible verse posted as of Aug 28th...Have a great week!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV84)

Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

God Bless,
T Denise Clary

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"2011 Best of Houston" ~ Vote Today!

Take part in VOTING in the 2011 Best of Houston!! Remember me, T Denise Clary, when you get to item #54 Best Local Author!! ;-)

Voting ends Sept. 14th

Monday, August 22, 2011


I have never liked Spam -- and by that I mean that distastefully salty MEAT-N-A-CAN, LOL...Side note, my parents cooked up Spam all the time when we were kids and temporarily living in the Middle East. They would have it shipped to Saudi Arabia and hence that was our "meat" to eat...I had everything from spam sandwiches, to spam & eggs, spam & hash, etc etc YUCK!!! It's maybe because I ate it so much as a youngster that I had grown to dislike it!!

Well, now I have grown to dislike another type of "spam."  Apparently "spammers" are clogging the self-publishing bookstores (such as Amazon) with copies of authors' work (basically not there own) to make a buck!
read about it at this link http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/16/us-amazon-kindle-spam-idUSTRE75F68620110616

Why is it when you hear the word "spam" it brings a negative connotation??  Ummm, well let's think about this...lets compare...

MEAT-N-A-CAN's  SPAM= Distasteful and Salty

SPAMMER's SPAM = Distasteful and Insulting

Yep, pretty similar. LOL. Sorry for all of you who love spam--the meat that is (can you really call meat-n-a-can MEAT??).

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Bible Verse ~ as of August 22nd

Just FYI, new Bible verse posted...From now on I will begin to post when a new Bible verse is up, it's a way for me to also keep track of what I have posted...God Bless!

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back From A Little Piece Of Paradise!

Well I have been away for about a week on vacation. Just returned home today as a matter of fact (well actually yesterday seeing that it is now 2:00am--why am I still awake?!?!?). And although I absolutely love being on vacation, I am very happy to be back to the grind!! I actually missed being fully engaged in the "book world." I still found myself responding to some emails and other what-nots while on vacation, simply couldn't help myself ;-)

But if I may just reminisce for one last time of our family vacation, check out the pic below...

I took this pic while we were on the beach at Malibu's "Paradise Cove." Yes, definitely a little piece of paradise. My two children are in the pic, waiting for a wave to come in. If you're wondering where my third child (the 2 yr old) is...well, let's just say she wasn't feeling the whole beach experience thing, LOL

God Bless,
T Denise Clary

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Martin King and the "#100Blogfest Tour" ~ Day 14, Blog Entry #37

Hi and Welcome to my Blog!!

I am happy to be a part of Martin's #100Blogfest Tour, his quest to complete 100 Blogs on 100 different Blog sites in 31 days!!  I am day 14, Blog entry #37 on his tour.

Oh those sweet childhood memories!! It's amazing how Martin King can remember so much of his childhood. Do you recall all the games you use to play as a child and with your friends? Well today, Martin recalls his fond memories of some of those childhood games...

Guest Blogger Martin King's "Games We Played"...

Back in the days when I was a lad, we never had electronic games. The first I remember anyone having was Donkey Kong and Pacman. No, we had to make our own games.
So what did we play? The girls played hopscotch or hula hoop and we often played football. There weren’t many cars on the street back then. The worst thing would be kicking the ball in someone’s garden.
Hide and seek was another game, but buzz off was better. Buzz off was a game where someone stood at a lamppost and closed their eyes while counting to, say a hundred. Everyone else would run off and hide. But then the person who was tasked with having to find everyone also had to try and protect the lamppost at the same time.
Because if I ran from my hiding place and got to the lamp post and shouted “relive 1-2-3,” it meant I was safe. But if they saw me and got to the lamp post first, they would say my name and then one, two, three. You still with me? Well it was dead brilliant.
Another great game was called kerbie. We would stand at opposing sides of the street and throw a football at the kerb. If the ball hit the kerb in one go (no bouncing) and came back, you scored a point and got another turn. But if it came back in the air and you caught it, you would get two points. However if the opponent caught it, you didn’t score and it reverted back to their turn. Usually we played first to ten or twenty.
I could go on and on. I could even talk about the little rhymes we made to pick someone to start off first. You know, you all put your foot into a circle and then you say; “Hip, dip, sky blue, who’s it, not you...” You know what I mean, right?
So do you remember what games you played out in the street?
These blogs are all about fun and sharing. Thank you for reading a ‘#100blogfest’ blog. Please follow this link to find the next blog in the series: http://martinkingauthor.com/blog/7094550076
Thanks Martin for being a guest blogger on my site! In lieu of your story, I would also like to briefly share a fond memory of a game I use to play as a child (by myself!!) and how that childhood game eventually turned into my son creating the images to illustrate one of my books! The story titled "My Son The Illustrator" can be found on my Blog at the link: http://tdeniseclarybooks.blogspot.com/2011/07/my-son-illustrator.html

Thank you for visiting my Blog...I hope you decide to join or at least come again! ;-)
God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had Jeff the illustrator do some minor changes to a couple of the other covers...well not exactly minor, but definite improvements non-the-less!!

Check out the additioanl improvements below :-)





"My Forgivefullness" Cover ~ Complete!!!

I also had Jeff add a blue background (shown below), but I decided that the white background (above) looked better. Made the characters stand out more and the colors pop! So the final cover that I chose was the one above, with the white background!! Not sure if you also noticed the subtle change in the position of the mouth...in a previous image, the mouth was dropped down just a bit, but I had him raise it up to make the boy's appearance look a little younger

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Recently someone posted on the KDP Author Forum threads the recent buzz about the latest independent “indie” author that signed a big publishing deal with one of the “Big 6” publishing companies. This of course only happened after the author had tried publishing the “traditional” way, but was met with many rejection letters from publishers. She then decided to publish her book on Amazon’s Kindle, and was eventually successful as an indie author. So what happened??? Of course, one of the Big 6 publishing companies came knocking on her door…

Sounds like a DREAM come true, doesn’t it?!?!?  For many indie authors the answer would be a definite “Yes!” 
However, another author on the Forum decided to chime in and put the whole “traditional publishing” DREAM into perspective when he posted his response on the thread. His response is below (please note that I shortened his originally post as it was quite lengthy. I also inserted words by using [ ] to make the response flow better.
The response…
I applaud the author's success, but sympathize with her potential loss of income. The Big 6 [publishers] demand that they get the electronic rights to [an author’s] books, and have set the share rate at 25/75. Guess who gets the 25% and who gets the 75%. Further, they require that [an author] have an agent. For new authors, agents get 20% of [the] 25% percent. So what does the author get? Let's do the math. Amazon pays $0.70 cents on the dollar when books are priced between $2.99 and $9.99. For each sales dollar, [an author] gets 25% of the $0.70 cents if [they] work through a Big 6 publisher. That's 17.5 cents. After the agent takes his or her 20%, the author gets the remaining $0.14 cents. For a $4.99 Kindle book, the 'published' author receives $0.70 cents, while an independent author gets $3.49. Ten thousand books at $0.70 equals $7,000. Ten thousand books at $3.49 equals $34,900.

Publishers have been the gatekeepers of the publishing world forever. Being published by a big publisher has long been considered an endorsement of an author's ability. And new authors craving recognition continue to court the Big 6. [However] I think that authors seeking a Big 6 publisher haven't yet had their eyes opened to the fact that if they are successful, they will make a pittance of what they could currently earn as an [indie author]. Many midlist authors published by the Big 6 cannot afford to quit their day jobs because the publishers keep most of the royalties. Simply put, they want a piece of [the] pie, but they expect to get 75% of the pie.

I don't fault anyone who wants to be published by a Big 6 house.  I only suggest that [an author] examine the deal carefully before signing and weigh all the other considerations. If in the end you decide to take an offer, [an author should] attempt to limit the contract to just one book. A four book deal is to the benefit of the publisher, not the author. If [the] book is good, and sells well, they will grab anything [the author] produces. And if the book doesn't sell well, they won't publish the other three. There will always be some reason why they won’t accept it when [an author] attempts to deliver the second book of a four book deal. The publishers want to lock [an author] up in case they hit [it] big. But there's no reverse benefit. They are not committed to publishing even a second book. But publishing a single book that only sells a hundred copies will make you a 'professional' in the eyes of writers’ groups, where selling ten million eBooks through Amazon [unfortunately] won't.

I know that many [authors] have dreams of being picked up by a major publisher. But if [an author is] successful [on Kindle] and the money earned as a writer is important, I suggest that [authors] concentrate [their] energies on sales as an independent and forget the Big 6. If [an author’s] books are good, [they will] make a lot more money, and be able to quit [their] day job sooner.
You have a wonderful opportunity to excel as an [indie author]. Don't be so blinded by the glitter that you give up that status too quickly or too easily. I wish you every success in your writing endeavors.
(response posted originally on the KDP Forum by a poster we know only as “scribbler”)

So now how to do YOU way-in on the matter? If you became successful enough as an independent author to be approached by one of the Big 6 publishers,  would you take the publishing deal ?  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Cover ~ My Forgivefullness ~ In Color!!!!!

Yay!!!!!!!  Here is the cover for the book My Forgivefullness with color added!!

Rough Sketch For Book Cover ~ My Forgivefullness!

Jeff the Illustrator just sent over the rough sketch for the cover of my book My Forgivefullness. Yay!! Doesn't it look great?!! Love it!!!! SMILE :-)

Can't wait for the color to be added...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Most Annoying Phone Call That Made Me Smile!

I received a phone call today from an unknown number. Now I normally don't pick up the phone for numbers that I am not familiar with, so what prompted me to answer this number, not sure??

Anyway, the person on the other end asked if I was T Clary, I said "yes" and he proceeded to tell me that he was from Xlibris Publishing and proceeded to tell me about ALL the benefits of self-pubbing with them.

I kindly remarked that I was not interested...

And if I may digress for a moment here to provide you with a little background, I had provided my contact information (phone and email) via the web to Xlibris prior to me publishing on Kindle. This was in my early research days of finding the best publishing place for my books. Of course they sent me an immediate email to contact them, but I never responded. They proceeded to send me more emails, and more emails, and phone calls...never responded! I thought they would take the hint that I was NOT interested. Finally after countless emails and messages, one in particular was a little rude, I finally decided to respond with the "Thank you, but no thanks!" email. Well, you would think that the contact would have stopped...NO!!! I guess my "file" was assigned to a new person, now I have a new person that continues to contact me via email and phone.

OK, so back to the phone call of today (which I'm still wondering why I answered). I once again remarked that I was not interested in their services I have decided on another publisher to print my books (right now they are only available in eBook format). He asked me who was I publishing with? GREAT! NOW I HAVE ENGAGED HIM!!  DON'T RESPOND--DON'T RESPOND--DON'T RESPOND. I responded... "I've decided to publish with Createspace" digress again, I really hadn't decided yet, but that is what I am leaning towards. So of course he proceeded to tell me ALL the benefits of publishing with them, completely trashing Createspace and letting me know that I will not find success with them, they are not well known worldwide, have litte distribution outlets, Blah Blah Blah.

Now I was already annoyed that I even answered the phone, even more annoyed that he trashed Createspace/Amazon, but was the most annoyed of his remarks of how my books will not be successful by choosing the path that I have chosen. Wow, REALLY? What kind of marketing strategy is that?? Any hopes that they had of me EVEN considering them were DASHED!! I advised the person that I am not worried about my path because I am guided by the Holy Spirit so I don't worry about those things. Well, he still proceeded on and on and on...

And when he was finished with himself, he snarkly remarked "good luck with your book, I'll call you in 6 months to see how it's going" and hung up.

WOW, am I glad I know the Lord!!! The phone call actually made me smile a little because I am confident the Lord knows what He is doing. Did that phone call discourage me? NO! Did it phase me? NO! There are distractions out in the world that can sometimes cause you to get off track and discourage you. Don't allow that to happen! Keep your eye on God and His promises!! The Lord knows your thoughts, your desires, your DREAMS!! Don't allow those doubters to discourage you! Keep your eye on the Lord and on your dreams!!

Remember: "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure." Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inspirational Thought...

FYI, just posted a new inspirational thought...

This is my prayer for you:
"Comfort on difficult days
Smiles when sadness intrudes
Rainbows to follow the clouds
Laughter to kiss your lips
Sunsets to warm your heart
Hugs when spirits sag
Beauty for your eyes to see
Friendships to brighten your being
Faith so that you can believe
Confidence for when you doubt
Courage to know yourself
Patience to accept the truth
Love to complete your life!"

--Jade Gold
God Bless,
T Denise Clary

Another Book Cover Complete! Yay!!

Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split's book cover is finally complete! Yay!!  This cover took the longest because I couldn't make up my mind about the way I wanted it to look. I knew what I didn't want...but didn't really know what I wanted. So it took Jeff the illustrator many tries before I was satisfied with the cover art. I am so relieved!!!! I was beginning to worry that Jeff would think I was becoming a major pain! However, being that he is so patient, he was more than happy to oblige all my requests. I believe I requested about 3 nose changes and about 4 different cover layouts.

Finally complete and ready for upload, here it is...

I think it turned out great!! Now compare the re-illustration created by the illustrator (above), with the original illustrations my son drew, at age 12 (below). For the complete story behind my son's drawings, read the Blog post dated July 29, 2011 titled "My Son The Illustrator."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Author's Publishing Experience ~ The 'Kindle Scribbler' Blog

There is an author, Anna Coach aka Kindle Scribbler, who created a Blog about the Kindle publishing experience of authors. I found it interesting to read about other people's experiences as they go through the publishing process. The other fascinating aspect of this blog is that it sheds light on the real numbers to expect when publishing "your masterpiece."

I too was interviewed, check out my responses as well as the Blog!


God Bless!

Exposure~ And The Threat Of The Sweet 'Old Ladies'

Being that I have always been a very private person, it was and still is challenging to "reveal" myself so-to-speak to the world. When you become an "author" (wow, that sounds so glamorous doesn't it?) you are basically telling people "LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT MY BOOK I WANT YOU TO READ!!  LOOK LOOK LOOK AT ME--BUY MY BOOK!!"

 Well the endless self-promotion and endless plugs for my books is very difficult for me. Like I stated before I have always been a very private person. I dislike causing a scene, I dislike the spotlight being on me, I dislike drawing attention to myself, I never like to take credit for anything, etc. And as far as privacy...oh how I like my privacy!! Now, if you are related to me or a friend, I am very open and forthright, but if you are an acquaintance or business contact, usually a different story. I can even give you an example of the insecurity I have with exposure: In my office when I had my law practice, I never kept any family photos of myself, spouse, children, etc. You know how most people will have cute pics of their kids, etc.? Nope, not me! I didn't want my personal life exposed.

There was one particular time when I relented and brought ONE photo of my kids to the office...well I was in a meeting with a client and I left my office to make copies and when I returned, I found my client taking a picture of the photo with my kids. Can you imagine my HORROR!!!?? Why did she need a picture of my kids on her phone?? She had just made a comment that my children were so cute and she wanted to take a picture.  This client was harmless, she was an older sweet lady, but STILL!!! That's a little creepy OLD LADY!!!!! But what if it wasn't that sweet old lady? What if it were someone else with a criminal background? And as an attorney representing close to 1000 people in my years, although I didn't practice criminal law, I had many clients that had criminal backgrounds--everything from aggravated assault to child pedophilia. Well after that incident you can guess what happened--my cute little pic with my kiddos went bye-bye! LOL
Ok so if you didn't know by now, now you know how I do not like exposure and I do not like the spotlight. So back to my original point of having to expose myself (and a little of my family as well) as I make my way through the "book world." Like I said it has been challenging! I can definitely identify with and understand the authors that choose to go "anonymous" or choose "pen" names as opposed to their real names. I'm sure everyone has their different reasons for doing so. However, I often wonder how authors market themselves that choose to remain "anonymous" or choose "pen" names? Isn't part of selling your book also selling yourself in the process...or is it not? Of course if you have a big name publisher backing you, I think the question might be mute in that instance. However I have seen indie authors as well try to go anonymous, and many have pen names (I wish I knew the percentage of authors that use pen names). When you are a no-name indie author, like myself, you almost feel like you have to reveal yourself in a way. At least I feel that way. Of course I could be wrong about that, but it does make for an interesting discussion.

I have to admit...I too have a pen name, or at least a quasi-pen name and I think you already know the reason as I pointed out above...lest I run into any more of those sweet old ladies! ;-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mr. Pitt Gets A Nose Job!

I wanted the character, Mr. Pitt, from my book Mr. Pitt & Lickety's Split to have a larger size nose to be more comparable with the original drawing my son created.

Jeff the Illustrator just sent me the sketch this morning with Mr. Pitt's new nose. Mr. Pitt got a nose job! LOL

I also decided NOT to include the teeth and tongue I spoke about in a previous post (you can view the images in my post of July 29, 2011).
And here is the image in color...

Comment Away!!


I think my "COMMENT" tab on this Blog is finally working...

With that said, please feel free to leave me a comment below...if you feel so inclined...I will be glad you did ;-)

T Denise Clary

God Bless!