Life is a verb. - Brian Doyle

Life is a verb. ~ Brian Doyle

If anybody’s living life as a verb these days, it’s ME.

I left Charleston before Labor Day. Destination? Portland, Oregon. Last week, I appeared at libraries around greater Portland and Seaside. I gave motivational talks at multiple civic clubs. And I spent time with one of my writing idols, the very person who authored today’s quote.

This week, I’m visiting two book clubs, another library, and several business groups. I’ll probably collapse when I board my plane of Friday!

Why do I do this to myself?

People remember VERBS.

Verbs are all about action. They make an impression. Sure, people can interact with me online, but when I stand in front of them, gaze into their eyeballs, and share my story?

I’m weaving verbs audiences don’t forget.

On my last jaunt through North Carolina and Tennessee, I made lots of new connections. One group wants me to return to their library next February. Another set of library patrons requested another program for Hard to Die. Groups at North Carolina State University want me to visit, and student civic clubs in Tennessee are interested in my program. Someone even approached me about a 2017 conference keynote on Grand Cayman. Another group wants me to address their Chamber of Commerce.

Verbs create more verbs.

I’m already anticipating a busy 2017, but I’d still like to visit YOUR community. Here are several ways we can partner to make it happen:

  1. If your local library doesn’t carry my titles, REQUEST THEM FOR PURCHASE. Libraries buy books patrons want.
  2. Once the library has my books, ASK WHO COORDINATES LIBRARY PROGRAMMING. Librarians are more receptive to programs suggested by patrons. I’d love to pitch my program to the right person in your area. Send me a name and contact information, and I’ll take it from there.
  3. Are you part of a book club or reading group, either through a library or privately? SUGGEST ONE OF MY BOOKS. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve created Discussion Guides for every title. Book clubs can download them HERE. Plus, I love to visit reading groups, either in person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout.
  4. Are you affiliated with a school, university, civic club, historical society, or business group? RECOMMEND ME TO SPEAK. I often leverage one invitation to book multiple appearances in one area. I’d relish delivering a dynamic program to your group.

I want to make more verbs in 2017.
Will you help me?

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

We all got miracles on our side, 'cause I done seen a few. -Roy Watkins

We all got miracles on our side, ‘cause I done seen a few. – Roy Watkins

I consider my website a series of miracles.

Seriously. MTM broke his collarbone a few days after I started assembling data. The week before launch, I had a setback with my eye and proofed everything half-blind. Pictures didn’t convert from my old site. Comments didn’t work. Posts went to social media with the wrong information. The header was wonky on mobile.

I struggled for months,
hoping for a miracle.

Friendship was my miracle. Someone swooped in and helped me get everything on track. Users probably didn’t notice a difference, but I finally spent time on my site without tearing my hair or screaming obscenities. I eased into writing a post per week, responded to comments, and otherwise spent very little time here.

New books require change.

With the impending release of Hard to Die, I knew my site needed a refresh. But did I really want to dig into the details and upend things? Especially when maintaining my miracle website was seamless for so long?

I sucked it up.
Check out the facelift all over my website!

Here’s a short list of enhancements to AndraWatkins.com:

  1. Check out my new homepage slider HERE.
  2. The service blocks under the slider contain LOTS of new information. Can you spot it HERE?
  3. Scroll over Books on the homepage top menu. A drop-down box contains new tools for readers, plus a complete page for Hard to Die.
  4. Scroll over Speaking on the homepage top menu. A drop-down box reveals new Speaking pages tailored to specific groups.
  5. Visit my Bio page HERE to see my new author photo.
  6. Come back for even more changes between now and November 1, the launch date of Hard to Die.

Now it’s your turn.

What can I do to make my site easier to use? Would you like to see something specific on the site? Is anything missing?

PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT.

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

When someone remembers us, we live forever. -Andra Watkins

When someone remembers us, we live forever. ~ Andra Watkins

If you’ve seen me speak, you know I talk a lot about whether anyone remembers us and how history treats its losers. Take Theodosia Burr Alston, main character in my upcoming novel Hard to Die. How much do you know about her?

Her father, Aaron Burr, didn’t care that his
only legitimate child was a daughter.

Burr was a progressive. Despite his florid sexual conquests, he believed his daughter to be equal to any man. He hired top tutors and ensured that she was as well educated as any son. He spoke to her as an equal and challenged her to keep improving herself throughout her life.

She lived more of her life in New York.

Though she’s often associated with South Carolina, she was born in Albany, New York and reared in New York City. Aaron Burr was always short on cash. When Theodosia was marriageable, she endorsed her father’s notion that she consider candidates who were rich. South Carolina’s Joseph Alston was a worthy candidate: a wealthy, powerful family; a South Carolinian, to bring Burr the Southern vote; and handsome. Theodosia moved to his South Carolina plantation (now Brookgreen Gardens) and divided her time between the farm and their Charleston residence.

She was the first caucasian to honeymoon at Niagara Falls.

Theodosia set a trend, right? She and her new husband bushwhacked through the wilds of New York State to reach the falls. Sacred to the Iroquois people, the chief allowed his charming guest and her man to take a gander.

She only bore one child.

Her son wrecked her lady bits. She spent the rest of her life going from male doctor to male doctor, begging them to treat her prolapsed uterus. When everyone refused her, she bent her mind toward her own treatment, making visits to a hot spring near Poughkeepsie, New York.

Most of her papers disappeared with her.

Reconstructing Theodosia’s voice wasn’t easy. When she boarded a ship in Georgetown, South Carolina on one of the last days of 1812, she carried much of her correspondence. Her father, four years in exile, had returned to New York. She sailed to convalesce with him, because she was clinically depressed over the death of her ten-year-old son six months before. While many rumors persist, no one knows what happened to her. Her ship never reached New York or any other port.

Want to read more about Theodosia?

Hard to Die is available NOW. Amazon/Nook/iTunes/Kobo.

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This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!