My son, Jared, is a missionary in Taiwan. Every week he e-mails chastisement and general instruction on how we can improve our lives. We love hearing from him and since we’re imperfect we can always use a dollop of motivation. I’m still fretting over last week’s letter. Here’s the portion that kept me awake for a few nights.
This week was a blast!
Elder Hoer and I are having lots and lots of fun. We do a lot of hard stuff which is soo much fun. Our investigator is still smoking, and is not doing as well as he should be. Keeps getting answers to his prayers but then not following them. Why? Don't ever do that family. Don't ever ask God about something and then not do what you’re told. Pretty much just always do what you are told and you will be pretty well off. That's all Heavenly Father really asks for. Just do every single thing that you are told.
Having read his letter, I decided that I would pray and ask how I could increase my book sales. And a few more remarkable e-mails came. The first was from my author brother asking for marketing advice. (Check out his book on Amazon, Dennis Dickson) I came up with the idea of collaborating and doing joint book events. Yes, we’re totally different genres, but we’re both funny and I think we’ll be great together. Dennis loves the idea.
The second e-mail was from my sister-in-law who is serving as a CES missionary at UC Santa Barbara. I thought, if I can do this with Dennis, I can do this alone. GULP. And then I thought, I don’t want to do this.
I’m not a stand in front of people sort of gal. I used to be more of a sit on the back row, look invisible and make snarky comments sort, but then I was given enough speaking assignments that I learned to have compassion for the poor person standing in front. But that doesn’t mean I’ve ever wanted to take their place.
And then an almost immediate thought—if my books were selling the way I’d like, I’d never, ever agree to or seek out speaking events. So very, very true. And this thought was followed with the horrible thought that I might not sell another book if I don’t step things up.
So, now I’m speaking:
In church on Easter Sunday on the Atonement of Christ (I did NOT volunteer for this assignment, but I thought I’d mention it and invite anyone in the Rancho area who wanted to attend. 11 a.m. 30522 Vía Con Dios, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (949) 858-9867.
At the LDS Institute of Religion UC Santa Barbara—Understanding Our Divine Natures and Developing an Eternal Perspective. April 13th, 12 noon.
And no, I won’t be selling my books on either of those occasions.
Places where I hope to sell my books at events (I’m thinking libraries or independent bookstores) with my brother. I’ll be speaking on imagination and the creative process. I hope Dennis won’t talk about fish:
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
San Diego, CA
And with or without Dennis
Las Vegas, NV
Salt Lake City, UT
As my husband said, there are some questions that you just shouldn’t ask because you really don’t want to know the answer. The lesson here is: do not ask if you don’t want to know.
As a side note, since I’ve made these commitments, a couple of totally unforeseen marketing opportunities that have nothing to do with standing in front of people have come my way. God is good.