Monthly Archives: December 2013

Humility: The Most Important Thing I Have Learned as an Author

Photo Courtesy of LiveLifeHappy.com

Dear Readers,

It has almost been a year since I first started blogging and since then I’ve met many amazing bloggers, published my first book, and learned many, many things. There is one thing in particular that I am reminded of over and over: humility. And it is these experiences, one very special one in particular, that I would like to share with you today.

1)   Because I was an English major in college, I assumed that Kingdom of the Sun would not need much editing. I had first treated it as a term paper in that I had assumed a read-through two or three times was enough. Four months and 150+ reads later, I was still making edits.

2)   In an attempt to save money, I wanted to create Kingdom of the Sun’s book cover on my own. I read how-to manuals and watched instructional videos to no avail. There actually came a point where I was concentrating so hard on my computer screen as I was trying to make a perfect cut around the sun that my eyes started to water. That’s when I knew I needed help.

3)   Back to number 1: Even though I had spent all those months self-editing my book, I had tried on numerous occasions to find a professional editor. However, I kept finding ones that were much too far out of my price range. So in an attempt to submit copies before the close of school for the summer, I read through the book again, made more edits, and sent out several copies. Two weeks later, I found out that there were still typos in the book. I sat down for the sixth time that year and tried with all my might to find a decently priced editor. I finally did.

4)   Now for the special experience I mentioned. In the past month, I have been doing a lot of outreach for book reviews. There was one reviewer in particular who came off as very snotty and condescending, so I somewhat knew what was coming. After I received his response to my book, I was not shocked that he did not like it, but it was more of a shock that he was the first person that didn’t as well as the fact that this man sent me his response on Christmas Day. There was so much that was going through my mind and so much that I wanted to say, but my exact response was: “Thank you for taking the time! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was absolutely wonderful.”

Overall, these are the lessons that I have learned in humility:

1)   I cannot do everything on my own.

2)   I am not perfect.

3)   No matter how many people will like my book, there will always be many that hate it.

4)   No matter how rude, condescending, or disrespectful someone may and will be, always treat them with the kindness, compassion, and respect you wish they had.

So, why am I telling you these things? You see, I was never a fan of critiquing poetry. When I wrote poetry, I wrote from my soul because that was where the words freely, easily, and purely came from. I’m sure other poets and authors experience the same. So when it came to critiquing an author’s work, I could not help but feel like it was their soul that was being judged.

Throughout the years, I have met many people who were afraid to write or show off their work due to what others will say or think. There are people out there harboring fear of following their dreams due to failure or rejection. I am here to tell you that there is no need to be afraid because:

1)   If you believe in yourself and all that you do, everything will most likely turn out okay.

2)   There will always, without a doubt, be someone who will not like your work. Move on.

3)   There will always, without a doubt, be someone who was touched or influenced by your work. Remember them.

4)   If you are humble, patient, and kind, success will follow in the eyes of God, yourself, and others.

Do not be afraid. Write what’s in your soul.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

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A Picture and a Thousand Words

Photo found on http://www.viralnova.com/touching-photos/. I do not own.

Dear Readers,

When I first saw this photo of volunteers Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Laxmi Chandra giving free education to homeless, orphaned, and impoverished children in India, I didn’t have any words. Acutally, I couldn’t even find the words to express the emotion I felt. Two weeks later, I found them. And although they may not be a thousand words, and although this photo is worth so much more, these are the words I have. I invite you to add more.

Goodness

Godliness

Compassion

Passion

Strength

Will

Drive

Love

Hope

Hope

Hope

I shall follow up with another post on this photo.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

The Sunshine Award

sunshine-award

Image from http://heatherbcosta.
wordpress.com.

Dear Readers,

Quite some time ago, I was nominated for the Sunshine Award by heatherbcosta.wordpress.com. I thank God for this blessing and Heather as well for nominating me! Thank you so much, Heather!

So, one of the rules of this award is to tell you ten things about myself. So, here I go!

1) Xena: Warrior Princess was my favorite show growing up. I’m still huge fan.

2) Sticking with the same theme, Lucy Lawless was my “idol” along with Mel B and Mel C from the Spice Girls and Serena from Sailor Moon.

3) I fell in love with my husband when I was sixteen years old. He’s still my one and only.

4) My favorite color is red.

5) I bawled my eyes out at the ending of 2012’s Les Miserables. Religious themes touch a special place in my heart.

6) My favorite food is an authentic Caribbean beef patty with coca bread.

7) This year I added Cloud Atlas to my list of favorite movies that only includes one other: The Lover, ’91.

8) I learned how to back a car and a commercial truck in a parking space just this year.

9) I tried eggplant, pomegranate, kale, collard greens, and brussel sprouts for the first time this past couple of months.

10) I am currently following the TV series Almost Human. Michael Ealy, if you’re reading this, I think you’re awesome!

Alright, here are ten bloggers that I am nominating for this award:

1) Faith Life and Compassion

2) Prince’s Daily Journal

3) Miss Ananda

4) Charis: Subject to Change

5) The Life-Charged Life

6) Inspirational Reflections

7) Unforced Rhythms of Grace 

8) Teaching in New York City

9) Poutine and Kimchi

10) Faith & Virgin Cosmopolitans

Thank you so very much for sticking with me on this journey, and congrats to all the nominees!

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

Last Day for the Giveaway and New Offer!

Kingdom of the Sun-5Hi Everyone!

Today is the last day that you can download a free copy of Kingdom of the Sun on Smashwords.com for your iPad, Kindle, Sony reader, and much more. All you have to do is enter the coupon code QW97R (promotion over) during Smashword.com’s checkout process.

For Today Only: I am providing a PDF version of Kingdom of the Sun for download absolutely free. This works well for those of you with or without an eReader. Just follow this link: (promotion over).

As before, all I ask is that you provide an honest review of the book on one or some of the following sites: Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads. Enjoy and be inspired!!

Peace and Love- Ariffa

Free eBook Giveaway!

Kingdom of the Sun-5Dear Readers,

For one full week, you will be able to download a copy of Kingdom of the Sun for any platform absolutely free! From December 1st to December 8th, you can download a free copy of Kingdom of the Sun on Smashwords.com for your iPad, Kindle, Sony reader, in PDF, and so much more. All you have to do is enter the coupon code QW97R during Smashword.com’s checkout process. All I ask is that you provide an honest review of the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads.com.

Kingdom of the Sun captures, discusses, and questions many of the themes that are very present on this blog: compassion, knowledge, truth in leadership and history, the definition of hope, honor, and happiness, and so much more. If you’re new to my blog or would like a reminder of what Kingdom of the Sun is about, please read a press release about it below!

“The goal of author is to give the readers something to walk away with, something to remember. I want to give mine new perspectives, new thinking, and most of all, hope, honor, and happiness.” This is what author Ariffa Bevin has to say about her recently published book, Kingdom of the Sun. The novella is about the modern-day kingdom of Sooryan that upholds and glorifies education and its teachers. However, as the kingdom grows older, these ideals become less of a significance and Sooryan falls into economic, educational, and political strife. The story begins with the reign of a new ruler that the protagonist, Helena, is extremely wary and untrustworthy of. Even though her societal position is an initial cause for hesitation, Helena attempts to fight for what many are afraid to make: change.

Bevin describes Kingdom of the Sun as a product of her anger and frustrations at society, leadership, education, and history. “I wanted to take their conventions, standards, and rules and crush them…destroy them,” she says. “And from that dust, I wanted to create something that should have always been: truth in words, truth in leadership, respect, and light. Kingdom of the Sun reflects the desire that most of us have to make a change, whether it is in the world or in our own lives, and how we may lack the strength or the courage to do it. The novella highlights the significance of what it truly means to be educated as well as the power that one can possess when they are. It questions what we may value as important and necessary, and challenges several societal conventions.”

Bevin states one purpose in writing the book as the desire to present questions and different view points that readers have never thought about before. She adds that she wanted to create characters and situations that everyone can relate to, which would thus make the book more personal to its readers. “That is why I made Sooryan a modern-day kingdom with modern-day issues that everyone can understand. My goal was to create a work that would be able to sheds lights of hope and inspiration in all my readers.”

I hope this book touches and inspires you all.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

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