4 Life Principles I Learned as a Marine – Part 2

sleddingToday continues my 4-part series on principles I learned as a Marine that can be applied to our lives and to our work as writers. Click Teamwork to read part 1.

Marines have the well-earned the reputation of being the toughest fighting force of the US. Hard work, not laziness, laid the foundation.

Boot camp was grueling. Day after day we drilled, ran, and marched for hours under the unforgiving summer heat of Parris Island, South Carolina. Would my muscles ever stop aching?

I realized the full extent of the physical change I had undergone at boot camp only after I came home on leave (that’s military speak for vacation) after boot camp graduation. The daily physical demands of training had [Read more…]

Charlee Harris on Publishing

Author Charlee Harris

Author Charlee Harris

Today I’m pleased to interview Charlene Harris, though she prefers to be called Charlee. She’s both an artist and writer, and previously wrote for a local newspaper, reading and critiquing books by established and new authors.

Many moons ago, Charlee was the first female basketball official for her section of the Eastern conference in Alabama. But her dream has always been to be an author.

Her favorite quote is by Cyril Connolly who said, “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

Charlee, at what point in writing your book did you begin to look for publishers? [Read more…]

5 Magazines’ Submission Guidelines

Congratulations to Edward Arrington, winner of the $20 Amazon gift card. I certainly hope those of you who participated in the CrossRiver author hunt enjoyed it.

This was the first time I’ve used Rafflecopter for a prize giveaway. I’m very pleased with how easy it was and recommend if you blog, that you give Rafflecopter a try for your next giveaway.

Now for today’s market news. [Read more…]

Fun for Friday the 13th – Giveaway

CrossRiver Author HuntWelcome to stop #12 on the CrossRiver Author Hunt.

I hope you’ve been enjoying the author hunt and have discovered some new authors whose books you want to read. I’m a CrossRiver Media author as well as a freelance editor. I’m also CrossRiver’s editor, so I get to read all these wonderful books before they ever get to the bookstore shelves.

My passion is to help writers seeking to get published, so here at my blog you’ll find posts about the craft of writing, the ins and outs of marketing, and submission markets. And have the opportunity to hire me to help you make your manuscript one that publishers send to the presses.

Writers, take a look around and if you like what you see, be sure to join my email list to receive a free copy of my ebook How to Create Characters that Captivate Readers (pdf). The information in this ebook is one of my most popular writers conference workshops. All the same information I teach in the hour-long workshop and more, you’ll get for free! Sign up here.


To celebrate the scavenger hunt, I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift card. One winner will be drawn randomly. Enter below for your chance to win.

Enter here
a Rafflecopter giveaway

CrossRiver Media is also giving away a chance to win one of 5 prizes:

Grand prize:
One winner will receive a Kindle loaded with CrossRiver books! Winner will be chosen randomly from among those who enter the correct phrase.

Other prizes:
Four winners will receive hard copies of 3 different CrossRiver books, signed by the author!

Before you go to the next stop, collect your clue below. You’ll need this to enter the giveaway on the CrossRiver website.

Here’s my clue for the CrossRiver Media giveaway:

lives that

Thank you for stopping by during the CrossRiver Author Hunt! Your next stop is here: Angela D. Meyer

Have you stumbled onto the Author Hunt and not sure what to do? Visit CrossRiver Media for all the details.

4 Life Principles I Learned as a US Marine

Debra L. Butterfield, Marine

Me in my Marine Corps summer uniform, umpteen years ago.

I’m celebrating a birthday today—the 240th birthday of the US Marine Corps. Yes, the Marine Corps really is one year older than the United States. Today is also an anniversary of sorts for me. On Nov. 10, 1977, I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps.

I never realized how much I learned about life by being a Marine until one day when I actually stopped and examined my life. The principles the Corps taught me are as effective for civilian life as they were for military life. Those principles can be applied to life in general, our lives as writers, and our spiritual lives, too.

Principle #1: Teamwork

A cadence we learned in boot camp used a variation of the John Donne quote (a 16th century clergyman) “No man is an island.”

From our first day to our last, our drill instructors taught us that Marines function as a team. What we accomplish we accomplish together, not as individuals.

How does this apply to life in general?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all rely on others. Someone else builds the home we live in; farmers and ranchers raise the food we eat; someone builds the businesses that provide the paycheck we work for; doctors work to keep us healthy, and on down the line.

There may be a few hermits who live solely on their own merit, but overall, to survive today, we must depend on a network of people to help us live the life we want. By thinking of these people as part of our team, we gain a new perspective for who they are and what they do to make our lives better.

How does this apply to my life as a writer?

While writing is usually a solitary action, getting our story published takes a team effort. The publishing team is much more of a cohesive unit than the community network I mentioned above. The traditional publishing team consists of agent (often, but not always), publisher, editor, designer, printer, distributor.

Even if you independently publish, you still need a printer, distributor, and possibly a graphic designer to design the cover of your book.

Can our physical body function without the brain? Without our heart? No. Can we function without an arm or a leg? Yes. But our functions are impaired!

Some members of the publishing team may seem unneeded, but without them, the final product is less than the best. You and the publishing group are a team working together—at least you should be—toward the same goal: getting your book published and sold to the public.

How does teamwork apply to our spiritual lives?

What example of teamwork does God give us? The Bible is replete with them: Adam and Eve, Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and the disciples.

Our best example is God himself. “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis added). It wasn’t “let me make man in my image.” God is triune—God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, three in one, working to complete God’s will for His creation.

When we accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and ask Him to be a part of our lives, God comes to dwell in us (see John 14:23, NKJV). God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are our teammates, and He promises never to leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5).

God is the most vital member of my team—and so much more. He is my Lord and Savior, not a magic genie who grants my every wish. But He is there to help me! I don’t want to imagine where I might be in life right now if I hadn’t had God to help get me through all the challenges I’ve had to face.

Marine Corps League color guard.

TEAMWORK – Marine Corps League members carry the colors in a local parade. That’s me carrying the American flag.

When we apply the principle of teamwork to every aspect of our lives, we can gain a new perspective toward the people in our lives. It’s no longer “me against the world,” but “together we can do this.”

What perspective do you have toward publishers? How has this idea of teamwork changed the way you think?

In my next Tuesday writing tip, I’ll discuss Principle #2: Physical Fitness

Happy Birthday, Marines, and Semper Fi!

6 Publishers Accepting Submissions

Here are today’s markets.

After reading today’s submission markets, hop on over to CrossRiverMedia.com to read The Making of a Book Cover. The 4-part series discusses the fun and difficulties the CrossRiver team and I had in creating the book cover for Road to Deer Run, due to release Dec. 10.

6 publishers now accepting manuscripts [Read more…]

An Author Interview with Jennifer Slattery

I’ve got an extra treat for you this month. Author Jennifer Slattery, whose books include Beyond I Do, When Dawn Breaks, and now her newest release Intertwined, has stopped by for an interview.

Author Jennifer SlatteryJennifer writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves [Read more…]

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