Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Walking in Peace

Those who have followed my blog for a few years know that every now and then I share random thoughts. Today is one of those days.

I still start my day with morning devotion, and a cup of tea, coffee or sometimes just water, meditating on how blessed I am and what I want to accomplish that day. At any rate, today I was reading from a devotional and the subject was – Your Purpose Will Be Accompanied by Peace. It basically discussed how many of us walk through life asking questions like: What am I supposed to do with my life? What’s my purpose? What does God want me to do?

keep calm

Occasionally I’ll ask myself questions like these, hoping I’m on the right track, but not knowing for sure. According to the devotion in The Word for You Today, God leads us through our life’s purpose through our gifts that we perform easily (whether with formal training or not). Do what you do well and watch God confirm it by blessing your endeavors. It went on to say something like, don’t waste time trying to do what you’re not gifted to do. If what you’re doing is making you miserable and you go into it with anxiety, it might not be what you’re supposed to be doing. I thought that was so powerful.

The devotional referenced the Bible verse – Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)- “You will go out in joy, and be led forth with peace.” Observe the things that you do well and that you enjoy doing and watch God work through you. I think another part of the devotion that really resonated with me today was when it said something like, trust God’s ability in you and don’t be afraid to be unique, be you. “God has a specific place and a specific plan for each of us.” I had to quote that part to make sure I got it right because I think that’s so important for all of us to remember.

Another question was posed in the devotion: “How will you know you’re in the right place fulfilling His plan?”

The simple answer: You’ll have peace.

I know I want to live a peace-filled life, but what about you? Are you doing what you feel you were meant to be doing? Are you walking in your purpose? Are you walking in peace?

June 21, 2016 Posted by | Just Thinking | , , | 4 Comments

My Readers ROCK!

Okay, so I can’t speak for every author, but for me, there are days when I just don’t feel like writing, or feel like being creative. I know, I know, I probably shouldn’t admit that, but it’s true. But then something awesome happens. I get an email or a FB message from a reader discussing my characters as if they know them personally! And others who ask questions, make suggestions (smile), and tell me they love my work and for me to keep writing!

When those messages come through, I feel as if I can take on the world! For real!

I absolutely love when readers take the time out of their busy schedules to drop me a line regarding one or more of my books! And for the last couple of months, the correspondences have been plenty -which I really, really love! I have to admit that the emails have been so timely and extremely encouraging, making me want to keep writing!

Now, there have been questions from readers that have come up several times in said emails. So I figured I’d address some of those questions on a larger platform. See below for questions that have come in regarding specific books/series.

Midnight 800x533

OPERATION MIDNIGHT / REUNITED SERIES

  • First let me say -I LOVE Wiz too! Lol. I’m so glad readers fell more in love with Wiz!
  • Question: Will Travis, Hunter & Stan get their own story? My response: Though Operation Midnight is the last book in the Reunited Series, I do have plans for Travis and Hunter AND maybe Stan.
  • Question: Will Midnight (Keisha) get her own story? My response: Never say never, but as of right now, I don’t have anything planned for her.
  • Question: Will Victoria get her own story? My response: Again, never say never…but I don’t think so.

Book cover - A dose of passion

A DOSE OF PASSION

  • Question: I loved little Jason! Why wasn’t he in the story more? My response: Since this was a Harlequin Kimani book, I tried to adhere by their rules and /or suggestions. I had him in the book more (along with a few other things), but was strongly encouraged to take out some of the scenes with him (and other things). So the story was toned down some, but I’m happy with the way A Dose of Passion turned out.
  • Questions/Comment: Please tell me Janna is getting a story. Another question: When is Janna’s story coming out? My response: Yes, Janna has a story and the release day is April 1, 2016. NOTE: This story is available for preorder on all retailers. Here’s the link to Amazon.
  • Question: Is Derek’s brother, Keith, getting a story? My response: Never say never, but as of right now, I don’t have a story for him.
  • Question: Is Tania (Nash’s niece) getting a story? My response: Again, never say never…but I don’t think so.
  • Oh and one of my favorite questions –
    • Question: What did Macy do with her house after she married Derek? This one I laughed out loud. My response: I have no idea. Lol!

TemptingArtist 1200x800

TEMPTING THE ARTIST

  • Question: Is Christina pregnant? My response: No she is not pregnant. Sorry.
  • Question: Loved the way you described Christina’s paintings. Do you paint? My response: I do, but I typically only do abstract paintings – no nudes (smile).
  • Question: Will Ben Jr. get a story? My response: I have some ideas for a spin off of the Jenkins Family Series that will include the male cousins. Stay tuned.
  • Question: Why didn’t Christina and Luke get married? My response: I didn’t think they were ready for marriage since they still had some individual issues to work through. BUT, they will get married soon. Stay tuned for the next two books in the Jenkins Family series – Negotiating for Love and Seducing the Boss Lady (release dates revealed soon).

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of my readers out there! I love you all and so appreciate your support and encouragement!

November 20, 2015 Posted by | Just Thinking | , , , , | Comments Off on My Readers ROCK!

Our Search for Significance

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that every now and then I have these – “Just Thinking” moments. Well, here’s another one.

Exodus

This weekend I went to see the movie Exodus, Gods and Kings starring Christian Bale (you know – the old Batman). As a believer of the Bible, I was curious to see how the creators and directors would portray the second book of the Bible. I must say, I enjoyed the movie. Not just because it had some great action, dynamic actors, and some AWESOME special effects, but also because they did a good job in telling part of Moses’ story. Granted they took a few creative liberties (which I liked), but for the most part, they were on point. Initially, I wasn’t sure I liked the part of how they had God reveal Himself to Moses, but by the end of the movie, I thought it worked. And then there were some scenes that were absolutely brilliant! As a Believer, those scenes, were downright powerful, reminding me that God is truly in control. Throughout the movie, you clearly saw the power of God.

For those who are not familiar with the book of Exodus (in the Bible), you might want to check it out before seeing the movie. You’ll better understand various parts.

Oh, and let me say this about the movie – I’m REALLY glad I didn’t go and see the movie in 3D. The scenes with the plagues would have totally freaked me out! Lol.

I can’t say that I had one favorite part, but one of the things that intrigued me about Exodus (the movie) is how Moses struggled with the truth about who he really was. He was raised as an Egyptian, but born a Hebrew. Once the truth was revealed, I wouldn’t necessarily say that he was searching for significance, but I enjoyed watching his internal conflict play out from that moment on in the movie. I also liked how the creators of the movie showed him arguing (sort of) with God. Basically saying that  – You want me to help free your people, but You need to help a brotha out! Okay, maybe he didn’t really say it like that – but that’s what I heard (in my own twisted way of hearing/thinking – smile).

At any rate, it was an enjoyable movie that got me to thinking. Hence, my “Just Thinking” moment.  I think many of us search for significance. Either by trying to keep up with the latest fashions, by trying to be seen with a popular person or group, or anything else that will make us feel important – like we matter. It’s easy to forget that none of that really matters as long as we know who we are to God.

As we go into the Christmas season, I can’t help but feel blessed in knowing that I have a wonderful family and amazing friends who make me feel like I matter. But most importantly, I know I’m significant because of whose I am. I belong to God. For me – just as long as I remember that, nothing else matters.

“For I am the Lord your God…you are precious and honored in my sight.” Isaiah 43:3-4.

Merry Christmas All!

Have a fun and safe holiday season and remember that you are significant and loved!

December 18, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | | Comments Off on Our Search for Significance

Just Thankful

Hi All,

I was just sitting here thinking about how blessed I am and what an AWESOME year it’s been! Granted its been crazy busy, but I’m so thankful that I’m in good health, I have wonderful family & friends, and I have some awesome readers! I could go on and on about what I’m thankful for – but I won’t. Although … let me give another HUGE thank you to all of those who voted for me for Breakout Author 2014! Here’s the award I received. It might not be the best picture, but because it’s clear, I wasn’t quite sure of the best way to capture its essense (smile). At any rate, here it is and I love it! Thank you again for your support!

Brab Award Photo

Some days it’s hard to believe that I published my first novel two and a half years ago. Now, nine novels later (that are published), not only do I have some wonderful readers following my work, but I have also been nominated for TWO awards this year (BRAB Breakout Author and an AMB Ovation Award for Outstanding Author in Interracial Romance). NOTE: I won’t know about the AMB Ovation Award until December 2014 – but I’ll keep you posted. At any rate, I have sooo much to be thankful for!

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s the perfect time of year to reflect back on how blessed our lives are. Sure we may not have accomplished everything we set out to do, or received everything we’ve wanted, but there are so many things to be thankful for. If you’re reading this post, you should be thankful that you have breath in your body, you have your eyesight, AND you can read! Yeah … we’re truly blessed!

So what are you thankful for these days?

Oh, and by the way – Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | 6 Comments

Turning Flab into Muscle

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that every now and then I have these random posts – hence the title of my blog – Just Thinking. Well, this is one of those posts.

writing

Whenever I start new writing projects, I always think about how to make my project/story stronger than the last. These thoughts really come to the forefront of my mind during the editing process – one of my least favorite things about writing.

The words in the title of this particular post would normally be found close to the top of my goals list and would usually be referring to weight, fat, calories, and stuff of that nature. But this time, the “flab” refers to all of the extra words, sentences and sometimes scenes that are not needed in my manuscript. Whereas the “muscle” refers to tightening it all up: getting rid of extra words, tweaking sentences, and sometimes deleting whole scenes. I have to tell you, getting rid of extra or non-needed “stuff” in a story is not easy – and that’s probably the biggest part of editing.

Before I go into the not so easy part of writing, let me tell you what I enjoy. The best part of writing a book is the brainstorming and planning. It’s an awesome feeling to create something from nothing – characters, plot ideas, when to blow up something, who you’re going to kill off in a story – all of it! Then you dive into the first draft where anything goes – most writers have a blast at this point. You can write anything you want  – anything! If I could, I’d stop there when writing a story and then start on the next project…but if I did that, my readers would be ticked off because the first draft isn’t pretty … and that’s putting it nicely.

But let’s talk about the more challenging part of writing…the part that sparked my thoughts about turning flab into muscles. Editing. Once you’re done brainstorming and having fun tapping into your creative juices to write the first draft – then comes editing. I can’t speak for other authors, but the editing process is the most painful part of the writing process for me. I’d compare it to having a personal trainer, but your editor is the trainer – helping you get rid of all of the flab (the excess) so you can get that story in the best shape possible. So here’s why I don’t enjoy the editing process:

  • There is nothing worse than having the perfect sentence, the most creative paragraph, and that dynamic scene – only to have your editor suggest cutting it. It’s like being punched in the gut! Usually they’ll suggest this if what you have written doesn’t move your story forward or if the sentence, paragraph, or scene has nothing to do with the story. NOTE: This happens to me more times than I care to admit.
  • Also, as the author, you read the story like a thousand times (I’m exaggerating, but when it’s all said and done – if feels like a thousand times). You read the story over and over trying to catch any mistakes or trying to make it stronger. You might like what you’ve read, but every now and then there are times when something feels off – and you can’t figure out why you don’t absolutely love the story. Needless to say, these moments are a pain in the you know what! Talk about pulling your hair out!
  • Another reason why editing is a pain for me – my editor(s) –like personal trainers – always increase the pressure (like adding more  weight to a fitness machine) pushing you to make the story stronger – making you sweat or forcing you to think…deeper! Don’t get me wrong, I love my editors, but man, sometimes…whew ….

I could go on and on with reasons why I don’t enjoy the editing process, but I won’t. I will tell you this though, despite all of the stress (and sometimes tears) that go into turning flab into muscle (as it relates to writing a book), once the story starts coming together and it’s all that you hope it to be, it’s a wonderful feeling! You’re happy. You know your readers will be happy, and then … it starts all over again.

Okay so that’s it for my random “just thinking” moment. What type of flab are you trying to turn into muscle these days?

October 8, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | 6 Comments

The Power of Words

wordsIf you follow my blog on a regular, you know that every now and then I have these Just Thinking moments. This month has felt busier than usual, especially since I’ve been trying to scratch some things off my master to-do-list. As I worked on one of my many projects, I started thinking about the genres that I write: romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and I’ve dabbled in a cross between sweet romance and women’s fiction. During this Just Thinking moment, I thought about the number of times people have asked – Which genre do you prefer writing? I’m not sure if I’ve ever given a solid answer…though in my mind I think I know which I prefer. But what I realize is – the genre I choose to write, is not as important as writing the story that’s in my head, and writing it well.

So during this Just Thinking moment, I’ve decided that it’s not so much about my preferred genre to write. My focus is (and should be) on writing an enjoyable story. A story that provides readers an opportunity to step away from their day-to-day obligations and snuggle up with a good book that provides them entertainment. I love that we as writers have the ability to string a few words together, connect some sentences, and create paragraphs that ultimately turn into novels.

*She puts elbows on the desk and releases a contented sigh*

Oh and for those of you who have asked me which genre I prefer writing…well, it depends on the day. Some days I feel like stirring up drama, blowing up stuff, or killing someone off (of course only on paper). Other days I slip on my rose colored glasses and write fluffy, eye-rolling, and yeah-right over the top romances. Either way – I enjoy what I do – deadlines and all.

All right, enough about my Just Thinking moment…back to writing.

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | | 2 Comments

Stay in Balance

BalanceFor the last two days, I’ve taken a much-needed break – short – but a break nonetheless. So as I prepared for my busy day today, I started it the way I usually do, with a morning devotion. My devotion this morning came from RUMC – The Word for You Today. Here’s the part that really caught my attention:

“If you are an ‘all-or-nothing’ person, the word for you today is, ‘stay in balance.’ Serve God fervently, but don’t forget to love your family and spend time with them. Work hard, but don’t forget to play, relax and ‘smell the roses.’ Think regularly about heaven, your permanent residence, but maximize every moment you have here on earth for God’s glory.”

Or as Joyce Meyer says: “I believe one of the major reasons why many people are stressed and burned out is because they’re going their own way instead of following God’s plan.”

As an entrepreneur, it’s real easy for my life to become unbalanced or stressed. I’m often trying to squeeze in that one more thing, or pull an all-nighter to get everything done. So I appreciate reminders such as this devotion, to reel me back in when I’m going a hundred miles per hour, or lose sight of what’s most important.

So how’s your life? Is it balanced?

April 21, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | 13 Comments

It’s A New Year

When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now…many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention. 

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

This is one of my favorite sentences in Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. You’re probably thinking that I’m going to share something super profound based on Pastor Warren’s words. Well…I’m not. I just like the sentence and figured I’d share it.

Just thinking2So, what I’ve really been thinking about is my day-to-day schedule. I’m guilty of always trying to fill every minute of the day, sometimes sacrificing sleep or peace of mind all in the name of scratching an item off of my to-do-list. But every now and then (like today), I take a step back and reevaluate  how I spend my time, deciding whether or not there are things on my list that really shouldn’t be on it. I’m convinced that everything that has my attention, might not be as important as I make it out to be.

Since it’s a new year, I’ve decided to get serious and make a change regarding one aspect of my life. While others have these wonderfully elaborate New Year resolutions, mine is pretty simple: be more mindful of the items I place on my to-do-list. Easy right? Maybe. At least that’s what I’m hoping. I’ll keep you posted.

Okay, now what about you? Do you have a new year resolution or something you’re planning to do or change this year?

January 9, 2014 Posted by | Just Thinking | , , | 16 Comments

My Evening with Joyce Meyer

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know that every now and then I share random thoughts or ideas. Today is one of those days. I was just thinking about my evening with Joyce Meyer.

Joyce Meyer Ministry

A couple of weeks ago Joyce Meyer was in town. I’m a big fan of hers and her style of bringing a message across. Well her message this particular evening was – It’s Never Too Late. She reminded us that when you’re going through something, quitting is not an option. Instead of giving up – get up and keep it moving! The people who make it to the finish line are the ones who refuse to quit!

What a wonderful reminder! The best part of what she said is that any of us can apply those words/idea to our current situation or some aspect of our life. Whether you’re a writer, someone who is trying to drop a few pounds, a job seeker, or an entrepreneur – if you refuse to quit, you can make it to the finish line.

Joyce (I feel I know her well enough to call her by her first name) gave twelve things for us to keep in mind while we’re going through. Keep in mind, the list is from the notes I took. So everything might not be grammatically correct for you scholars out there, and it didn’t help that I was writing super fast. With that said, I think you’ll still get the gist of her message.

  1. When you’re hurting don’t go wild and attack. Learn to control your mouth while you’re hurting and keep your focus on God and what He has done in your life.
  2. Don’t withdraw or hide yourself and get depressed because you’re in the “pit.” Remember you can be pitiful OR powerful. You’re not the only one on the planet who is suffering.
  3. Don’t believe the lie that God is punishing you for something you did in the past. The Bible says that God remembers our sins no more.
  4. Don’t blame and get mad at God.
  5. When you’re hurting, don’t ever think there’s no way out. Take God’s hand and let Him walk you to a place of peace (study His Word). Be an overcomer (don’t give up – anybody can quit). No pouting and feeling sorry for yourself. KEEP DREAMING – YOUR DREAMS MIGHT COME TRUE.
  6. To passively fight injustice, do all the good you can do – that will defeat the devil. Overcome evil by doing something good. God has a plan and can work good out of bad.
  7. When you’re hurting, keep your commitments – keep your word. Be honorable people (Galatians 6:9).
  8. Hang on to your integrity (remember while you’re going through, you’re growing spiritually).
  9. When you’re hurting don’t stop giving.
  10. When you’re hurting don’t trust your thoughts or feelings (go to the Word). Make sure your thoughts are in line with the Word of God.
  11. Trust God and say so (God I trust you!) – Psalm 91:2
  12. Be thankful and don’t complain.

I know these reminders helped me and hopefully they can help you or someone you know. Be blessed.

October 9, 2013 Posted by | Just Thinking | , | 12 Comments

I Still Believe In Miracles

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know from time to time I post Aha! moments, impart some of my wisdom (Ha), or just share random thoughts. Today is one of those days. Sometimes I can’t help but think about how blessed I am. Sure, like others, I have my share of issues: not getting what I want – when I want it; financial setbacks; death of family and friends, but even through the midst of life’s twist and turns, I still believe in miracles.

It’s hard not to considering how God always shows up. Maybe not exactly when I want Him to, but yet, His timing never ceases to amaze me.

MiraclesThe other day I had a situation. Nothing overly serious, just a little something to get on my nerves and distract me from what I should have been doing. And me, being me, tried to fix it…tried to figure it all out. I complained for a minute, tossed ideas around, created a pros and cons list, but still couldn’t come up with a solution. Then after  frustration set in, I did what I should have done in the first place. I had a talk with God. I’ve been a Believer for many, many years and love the special relationship that I have with God so you would think that I would have automatically gone to Him. But nope, I was all up in my feelins’ (as a friend of mine often says) trying to handle things on my own. There have been countless times when I have thrown up my hands and have said, “Okay, God, I’m going to need you to show up and fix this because I don’t know what else to do.” It has always worked for me so within seconds (not minutes) of me mumbling those words this time, the telephone rung and the problem was solved. All I could do was shake my head, chuckle and give God some praise.

So tell me, have you had moments like that – where you try to figure a problem out on your own instead of going to the Problem Solver right from the start?

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Just Thinking | , | 6 Comments