Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Asking For Help + Teacher Love / IWSG


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers.

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Incase you haven't noticed the announcement at the top of my blog, or anywhere else, I made my two most popular blog posts into downloadable PDFs:

The Ultimate Editing List

Blogging 101

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I’m insecure about my unpublished series starring Avrianna Heavenborn from Ghost of Death. So many reviewers say they want to read more of her, but I haven’t even had anyone look at book one! To get over this anxiety, I’m going to go one baby step at a time.

But I need YOUR help.

Is there anyone out there who would like to read the first 3 chapters of my book (25 pages)? I’m looking for a critique of the opening, grammar check, and an overall honest but gentle opinion.

DETAILS: This book is a commercial thriller with a splash of the supernatural. There’s criminals and assassins as well as angels and gods. And if you like forbidden love...I’ve got you covered!

I’m just asking for a few people to look at the first 3 chapters. And then I’ll work from there if anyone is interested in reading a bit more.

Any takers? 

Email me at ChrysFey@yahoo.com or leave your email.

UPDATE: Wow! I am shocked at the response I've received, and so soon too. I really thought I'd get 3 offers, tops. I have more than enough beta readers now. Thank you all so much! BUT I'm working on a short-short story about Avrianna that I'll need betas for, so I can write your name down for that.

THANKS!

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In January, I hunted down addresses for my old teachers who encouraged me to be a writer. My letter detailed specific things I remembered from their class. I also thanked them for everything they did for me, and all of their students past, present, and future. I included a "thank you" card as well as my business card and a Hurricane Crimes postcard to show them their hard work and dedication helped me to become a published author.

Out of the six letters I mailed out, I got two replies. I was hoping to hear back from all of them but these two replies really made my day. It was great knowing how my letters touched them.

Highlights from the letter I got back from my 6th grade teacher:
You have no idea how delighted and flattered I was to receive your letter. I remember you very well. I always enjoyed having you in my class.
Thank you very much for sharing all of this with me. I appreciate your comments. Teachers love hearing from students, particularly ones like you!

So if you’re feeling a bit down about your writing career, lift up someone else by thanking them for what they did for you.


QUESTIONS: Have you ever tried to contact a teacher to thank him/her? 
Anyone want to beta read the first 3 chapters on my book?

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Follow this link to a sign up form: Chrys' Chronicles Sign up Form

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118 comments:

  1. Hi Chrys ... if you'd send me your chapters I'll give them a quick read through and email back some thoughts. Your premise sounds interesting.

    Great about contacting your teachers ... and how lovely two replied back. Take care and go on creating the next novel, or the next book in the series ...

    Looking forward to hearing from you ... name sans hyphen at gmail ... perhaps I should write in code more often?! Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary! Thanks for your offer! If I get a couple others to read them and if I have to touch up on some things, I will definitely send the chapters to you after for your thoughts. I want to make sure they are a bit better before you read them. ;)

      Delete
  2. What a great thing to do for those teachers who've encouraged you to write. I'm so going to use that. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a nice experience. I think you and your teachers will love it. ;)

      Delete
  3. Hi Chrys, I'd be happy to read the first few pages for you. If this doesn't work then I will send an email. Website will contact me of course.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Roland! I can send you the first few pages. Those are the pages I really want looked at because I have rewritten them about a million times!

      Delete
  4. Big thanks for the ultimate editing guide - I love it and shared it with my critique group.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing my guide! :D

      Delete
  5. I hope you get your readers . It's good to get opinions and I also hope all goes well with the book.
    At school I really detested poetry and would do anything to skip the lesson so if my teachers were still alive I think they would be astonished at my three published books.
    Enjoy your day.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much Yvonne! Haha! I think they'd be pleasantly surprised. :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Chrys! I will definitely help you out! I'll send you an e-mail that probably says, "Hey, this is me!" lol

    Sometimes I look up my Pre-1st teacher (like Pre-K but for first graders who aren't necessarily ready for 1st grade). Both my sister and I had her, and my mom still talks about how great she was. I should tell my sister we should write to her. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much, Deborah! :D

      I didn't go to Pre-K. My siblings did, but I didn't. I remember being so upset about that. lol I think you and your sister should write her. Even your mom could include a letter. That would be awesome!

      Delete
  7. Hi Chrys, you can send me the first three chapters, will be happy to read it for you.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yay! Thank you so much, Rachna! I really appreciate your offer. :)

      Delete
  8. How wonderful you contacted your teachers like that! Such a thoughtful thing to do. I bet it made their day, even if they didn't all respond. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never looked up my teachers, but there was one that I remember got me into writing a bit. I'd read, but don't know how good a beta reader I'd be haha

    ReplyDelete
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    1. HAHA! That's okay, Pat. I appreciate that you thought about beta reading. :)

      Delete
  10. I'm not sure my teachers are still teaching. Or alive for that matter. Cool that you heard back from two of them.
    Hope you get a lot of offers!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Alex! I've gotten quite a few offers so far. :D

      Delete
  11. Thanks for this, really good post. Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am not sure if my teachers are still teaching either. I know one died five years ago, so no I have not written them, but have thought about a few of them over the years. I'll read for you, but I'm not that great at the grammar patrol, need help with that one myself, too many years out of school, lol.
    You can email through my site and then I will send you my personal email to communicate.


    Juneta Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Maybe you should try to get in contact with those few you have thought about. :) Thanks for your offer, Juneta!

      Delete
  13. I'd be happy to give your first 3 chapters a look. I have a thriller trilogy, so it's a genre I know something about. email me: hartjohnson23@gmail.com And I love that you contacted all those teachers! I had a chance to tell my 4th grade teacher what a difference she made for me and I made her cry. The English teacher who was biggest passed away several years back.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much, Hart! I will email you later today. :D Awww! We really should tell our teachers what they mean to us because they put so much into teaching us, nurturing us...they are essentially like our second moms. I'm sorry that the English teacher who influenced you the most passed away.

      Delete
  14. I'll be willing to read your first 3 chapters, Chrys. That was nice of you to write to your teachers and expressed your gratitude to them. I agree, it would have been nice to get replies from all of them, but that one you shared with us was a great one!

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Betty! I appreciate your offer. It was really nice to get those two replied from my teachers.

      Delete
  15. How nice that you heard back from your 6th grade teacher! It was thoughtful of you to thank her for what she did.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In sixth grade is where I started writing, so it was fitting that she replied back. :)

      Delete
  16. It's amazing when we give a few kind words or do something nice for someone, how our burden is lifted!! Thanks for sharing!! I only crit MG or upper MG. I've learned to just stick with what I do best:) Hope you get some great feedback!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It truly is amazing. That's why we should give back more often. :)

      That's okay, Jennifer! I wouldn't want you to beta read something you don't like or prefer.

      Delete
  17. What an uplifting post, Lady Chrys! I'm not even sure my old school is still standing - ha! But wish I'd had the forethought to keep in touch with some of the teachers. So glad you had at least a couple replies:-)
    Reader feedback can be such a wonderful source of encouragement and trust you to come up with a novel way to attract interest! Keep on rockin:-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I moved back to my home town in April, I drove past my elementary school and high school. It was a bit surreal.

      Delete
  18. What a wonderful idea! And so cool that you received two responses!

    Send me your stuff, I owe you big time, but as for grammar, well, you know my problem there. Still I'd love to help!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much, Yolanda! After you read these chapters, I'll owe you big time. ;) And no worries about the grammar, I am bad at it too.

      Delete
  19. I always feel like I'm terrible at critiquing, but what the hey, I'll beta read for you if you need anyone else. I'm a sucker for forbidden love! :D
    You probably have my email but just in case: sarah.a.foster@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have received any astonishing amount of offers. I seriously that I'd be hard pressed to get 3 people to offer to beta read for me. Image my surprise when that's not the case. But I so very much appreciate your offer as well.

      Delete
  20. I recently wrote my elementary school principal after hearing via facebook that he had cancer and he wrote me a nice note back (I was a little concerned if he'd want to hear from me after our last encounter in his office).

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That was nice of you to write your old principal, Sage. Even after your last encounter with him.

      Delete
  21. As a former teacher, I can tell you how much those letters meant to me. I have a folder with all of them saved. Touching lives is what it's all about , writer or teacher.

    Susan Says

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's awesome! I wonder if my teachers have a folder. :)

      Delete
  22. It looks like you had a lot of takers on your offer. But, if you need another eye, feel free to let me know.

    Nice thing to do for your teachers. I don't even remember mine.

    I'm going to download your pdf posts! What a great idea!

    Heather

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am surprised at how many takers I have. I thought I would've been lucky to get two people to agree. I added your name to the list in case I do need more eyes.

      Thank you, Heather! :D

      Delete
  23. That's so nice of you to let your teachers know! I never thought about doing that. Thanks for making those pdfs available! I'll check them out. If you find you need more readers, you can send the chapters my way.
    lmaclaug82@gmail.com :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for the offer, Lori! But I think I have more than enough readers now. Which is surprising and humbling.

      Delete
  24. I have contacted teachers. They deserve the praise after years of service. =)

    I'm sure you've got enough readers. Keep me on reserve for the second round if you need more.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. They sure do!

      Thank you, Crystal! What's funny is that I thought for sure I'd have 3 offers tops. I will keep you in mind for the second round. :)

      Delete
  25. Ask and you will receive! You seem to have scored a coup with your reading request. The blogging community can be so great.

    I like the idea of telling old teachers, mentors, and such how much they have been appreciated. It's good to hear about the fruits of ones labor and teachers influence so many lives in their careers.

    I guess most of my teachers are no longer alive and the ones that are still around probably didn't have that much positive influence on me. Can't think of any at least.


    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blogging community is AWESOME! I really didn't think I'd get this response.

      Delete
  26. So glad you reached out to your former teachers. They made your day, but I know you made theirs!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I was always told I write well, but I never had an opportunity to write fiction in school. It was always non-fiction essays on a dictated subject.I had teachers who encouraged me to read (thank you!), but I don't recall ever being encouraged to write.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mostly had to write essays too, but I started writing fiction on my own in school.

      Delete
  28. I wonder if I could track down one English teacher who really made a difference? I did visit with my old cross country and powerlifting coach a few years ago. He was such a motivator and I wanted him to know it had made a difference in my life.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's great that you visited your cross country coach!

      Delete
  29. Good luck on finding some beta readers! I'd offer, but my plate is so full right now, I don't think I'll manage :(

    It's always SO nice to hear from teachers like that and I imagined you made their days :) My ninth grade teacher was SUPER incouraging about my writing. I have an awesome email from him about how my work was better than some of his college students haha .. I need to track him down and send him my first book whenever its published :)

    - Madilyn Quinn @ NovelBrews

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's okay, Madilyn! I totally understand. And thank you!

      You totally should track him down and send him your first book. Whenever my first book comes out in print, I plan on mailing it to these two teachers. :)

      Delete
  30. Chrys, I'm glad you go so many responses for beta readers. Keep me in mind if you ever want more. Best wishes.

    As a former teacher, it would be great to hear from former students. I often think of some and wonder how they're doing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I will definitely keep you in mind. Thank you, Diane!

      Delete
  31. Glad you had so many beta reader responses already. Avrianna is an awesome character. I can't wait to read more about her. That is so sweet you sent letters out to your old teachers. Teachers are so under appreciated and they deserve so much more.

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    1. Your comment made my day, Christine. Avrianna is my favorite character. She's the reason why I'm a writer today. :D

      Delete
  32. I'm a teacher, and it would mean a lot to me if one or more of my students wrote letters to me to let me know how my teaching/my classes affected them. I'd definitely like it more than an apple. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. More than an apple. :) I'm sure so many of your past students appreciate what you did for them.

      Delete
  33. That was so nice of you to write your teachers. I imagine even those that don't answer appreciate your thoughts. I know, even though I'm retired, whenever I meet a former student at the store or wherever, if they say something about how I helped them, it makes those years worthwhile.
    I downloaded both PDF's and will read them as soon as I make changes to my ms for a publisher. Best wishes for your new work.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you for downloading my PDFs. I hope they help you, Beverly! And I bet you were a great teacher. :)

      Delete
  34. I'm glad you received so many offers to read over your chapters. I was all set to volunteer until I saw you already had enough readers. Sniff. Next time I'll get to your blog earlier in the day.

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    1. Aw! Thank you, Ken! I'll have a short-short story about Avrianna done soon that I'll need betas for, so I'll put your name down. :)

      Delete
  35. I have never tracked down previous teachers. I would have no idea how to even do that. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, let along Mrs. Olsen, my 7th grade English teacher. Hey! I guess I did remember!

    Now, good news and bad news. I finally got around to downloading Hurricane Crimes on my kindle. But somehow I've misplaced it! I mean my kindle. I swear if my head wasn't screwed on, I'd lose that too.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Haha! Hi, Mrs. Olsen!

      Oh no. I hope you can find your Kindle soon. I'd be upset without my Kindle...wait I don't have a Kindle. :P

      Delete
    2. I hope to find it soon. And if not, I'll find another way to read. I've been dying to get around to reading it. Why do I not have five hours a day I can set aside for just reading?

      Well, now we are both in the same boat. I don't have a Kindle either. :(

      Wait! I hope the same boat we are on is not the Titanic!

      Delete
    3. I know what you mean. I want to read more buy then I write less.

      HAHA! Always back to the Titanic. ;)

      Delete
  36. That was so nice of you to reach out to the teachers who inspired you. I'm surprised you didn't get more responses. So glad you got lots of takers on those 3 chapters too!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm surprised too. I really though a couple more, who really were my favorites, would've responded.

      Delete
  37. I've started Ghost of Death. I promise I'll finish it now that summer is over! If I were a teacher (I was a long time ago, but for toddlers!), I would love to have a student do what you did. Very thoughtful...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ghost of Death is a short story (35 pages) so you should be able to finish it with no problem now. :)

      Delete
  38. I'm pleased you found readers so quickly. It really does help to have a second (or seventh) opinion.

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    1. So am I. And it really does make all the difference.

      Delete
  39. That's great you got replies back. There are a few teacherseconds I'd like to thank. Unfortunately I can't remember their names, will have to hunt through my yearbooks. And hopefully they're still their teaching. But I can never forget Professor Dion, who leaned over to me, squeezed my hand and said "you deserved to be published." Wanted to cry after she that. The power of teachers.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Wow! I would've hugged her. What a great comment.

      Delete
  40. It's always nice to hear back from a teacher. I'm sure some of my teachers have passed on (and I know my miserable fifth grade teacher has been in the other world since 1999), but some are still young enough to be around. I found my fourth grade teacher on Facebook after I was confirmed as an Aspie back in 2009 (after suspecting it for years). I told her I'd finally discovered the reason for all those unexplained issues I'd had in her class, and I probably thanked her for how much she helped me. This really was the teacher who broke through my shell with her tough love and the way she encouraged my writing. I'm sure some of her methods wouldn't be allowed today, but they worked for me. She's still in my area, so it's possible I'll bump into her in person someday.

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    1. Tough love is good. But I think I would've been scared of your teacher. lol

      Delete
  41. What a beautiful thing to do. I'm sure it made their day hearing from you. Hope the other 4 respond! Glad you got a good list of beta readers. Add me to the list if you need more :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's been many months, so I doubt the others will respond. But that's okay. Thanks, Sharon!

      Delete
  42. Wow, what a great idea! I can just imagine how thrilled your teachers were to receive those letter. The response you shared is very touching.
    Glad you got all the readers you needed! I'm sure the story is wonderful

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Julie! It was nice being doing something for my teachers.

      Delete
  43. I know you've already had a lot of offered, but for future projects, you can drop me a line and see if I have time to beta read.

    Recently at a craft show a preschool teacher (who I actually didn't remember at all. The only thing I remember is being in love with a boy named Scott and we were going to get married) stopped by my table and saw my books. She was very proud to see what I had accomplished. =)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you, Patricia! I would love your help for future projects! :)

      That is awesome! The world can be a small place.

      Delete
  44. What a wonderful idea to contact your instructors. I know they loved it.
    So glad you got such a great response on your 3 chapters. I'm available if you need me.
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you for your offer, Sandra! I would love your help in the future. :)

      Delete
  45. I'm a big fan of telling people what they mean to me. I've reached out to all the teachers I could find who made an impact in my life. Usually I've had very kind responses that made my day - a couple are even on Facebook!

    Glad you found beta readers. I'd be first in line, but I'm already editing a book full of angels and demons and assassins for a client, so you'd probably want a fresh eye. Also wary about editing for friends, and that's why I consider you. BUT, if you need me, I am here, regardless.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's great being able to show/tell others what they mean to us. We should all go it more often. And I think it's awesome that you do it so often.

      Thanks, J.H.! I completely understand. There has been times that I've had to pass because I was too busy.

      Delete
  46. That's a lovely idea--writing old teachers. I bet they loved that you reached out to them.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow, what a response. Here I was, all set to volunteer. *Sighs* You can put my name down for the short short - if there's any room left on THAT list. :D

    This is why I love the blogging community so much. Everyone is always at the ready to lend a hand. Love it! And love you too girl!! Good luck with the story. No doubt it'll be great. (((HUGS))) Eva

    ReplyDelete
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    1. LOL! I would love your eyes for the short story. Eva. Thank you so much! I love the blogging community too.

      Delete
  48. Wow, Chrys

    This is amazing and such a good way to find beta readers. I have a mystery series I'm working on that I'll need beta readers for soon. Maybe I should try a post like this. Good idea. And thanks for creating PDF's for your useful articles. I'll put my name on the list to read your book, if you still need people.

    That's a very nice letter from your sixth grade teacher.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think you'll find many willing helpers. I was so surprised to get so many. Last time I did this, I only had three offers so that's what I was aiming for this time. Thank you, Sunni! I'll add you name as extra eyes. :)

      Delete
  49. I'm so glad you got readers so fast. I've been thinking about getting some more beta readers, so now I know I can post online about this. :) I've had two teachers inspire me to become a writer. I think it's wonderful that you wrote letters to yours.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. YES! And I bet you'd get a ton of offers. Twice as many as I did. I have been in serious need of beta readers every time I have a finished story, so it's nice having a list I can fall back on in the future.

      Delete
  50. I love that you reached out to past teachers, and that you actually heard back from a couple. I moved in the same circles as one of the teachers who encouraged my writing so much for awhile (I worked for the same school district I finished school in), but after I had my son we lost contact. She was an aspiring writer, as well.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm sorry you lost contact. Maybe you should try looking her up, seeing what she's been up to. :)

      Delete
  51. Glad you are rockin and rollin in readers, Chrys. And kind of you to make those PDFs available for free. Nice teacher story. I have a couple of brilliant writers in my classes and hope they go on to take the world by storm one day.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm sure your students will become great peoples.

      Delete
  52. Of course you got a ton of offers! This group is amazing!!!!

    And how wonderful that you sent that to your teachers! Love the two replies, they remember you! If that made me smile, I can imagine what it did for you ;)

    And thanks so much for the free PDF, you're the best!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This group is so amazing!

      I was smiling from ear to ear when I read the two replies.

      You're welcome, S.K.!

      Delete
  53. Chrys, thanks for the Editing list. Downloading now as I'm working on more line edits for Salem's Daughters.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Awesome! I hope the list helps you. :)

      Delete
  54. Hi,
    Happy to hear that you have more than enough beta readers. I'm sure things are going to turn out well.
    As for sending thank you notes to teachers. I have done that and each time that I've done it, I've gotten responses that make me feel good.
    All the best.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat.

      Writing to our old teachers is a great experience.

      Delete
  55. That is so awesome that you reached out to former teachers! I'm friends with some of my former teachers on FB and they've been following my writing journey. But I can't WAIT until I can let them know I have a book published and thank them for inspiring me! Someday...

    Thanks so much for the PDF's!! You're amazing!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will, you will, you will!!! :D

      You're welcome! :)

      Delete
  56. I knew you would get many people wanting to help you! I would not be the right person for that job but I knew you would be fine. I think writing to your teachers was a wonderful thing you did. How they must have appreciated the letter you sent each of them. I have not done this. There was one teacher I hold in high respect but I had heard he had passed away. Glad you wrote your letters

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Birgit! I was nervous.

      I'm sorry your favorite teacher passed away. But he knows what he meant to you now. :)

      Delete
  57. Writing to teachers is a great idea! I've had some wonderful teachers over the years. My 6th grade teacher was the first one to really get me interested in writing and I have often thought about looking her up. I know some that would really appreciate a thank you and they deserve it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should definitely send your teachers a thank you note, Elizabeth. I'm glad that I did it. And wish I had done it sooner.

      Delete

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