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Nov 11, 2023

Twenty years ago, I wrote, and it was terrific. I had found my passion, and my thoughts soared. Books were self-published. I became the Queen of my Kingdom! Over time, the intensity lowered, and thoughts slowed. Doctor’s diagnosis, pills followed, and then the worse—a couple of minor strokes. When one cannot concentrate, one does not do research, study, or write.

Finally, the day arrived: Operation or face the Grim Reaper. So, I underwent the operation, and my health returned with each step taken. Health’s return leads to choice. Continue writing by doing mountains of research, tons of “I can write this because I am quoting so-and-so,” and—aside from an original thought or two—feel that the finished work is yet another copy of other people's books. Or, after prayers of asking, I can finally listen to the answer of, “What is Your will?”

Warning: Do not pray this unless you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. A barrage of thoughts and inspiration and insights, even questions followed. Anticipation built. Was I brave enough to follow the thread given? The man everyone loves to hate kept popping into my head, but I do not hate Judas Iscariot. I feel sorry for the man. I do not have enough evidence to sentence him to damnation for eternity. Maybe I should discover what kind of living experiences this person had in Palestine during the 20s and 30s CE.

I found my treasure when opening a near-forgotten box: the bare bones of writing I was not brave enough before to develop. Redoing those notes, combined with tons of new information, and before long, there were years of research pouring into 3-ring binders, resulting in reams of typed notes. Then the excitement of building the story. Why can I not type fast enough to keep up with the flying thoughts? Over one thousand glorious pages later, Judas walks out of the manuscript, hands on his hips. He wants to know when I am going to tell his story.

Almost two years ago, I gave Judas my answer. Little did I know I would step into the strangest world, where people talked in a language I did not understand. I had terms thrust at me: linking, platform, eReaders, paid reviewers, influencers. I was so lost. Well, when lost, ask questions. Swallow your pride and become a child again, asking, “Why?” “How?” “Explain”.

The murky cloud of the Unknown has cleared. Now, just a fog that comes and goes. Knowledge and know-how do conquer. Look for people who will lend a helping hand in this learning process. Be sure to thank them profusely for their correct answers just saved you hours of searching. Never return to those who gave you incorrect information, for they are not working in your best interest.