Tag Archives: indie writers

Watch RWISA Write: Marlena Smith

August is Watch RWISA Write month. Today, we celebrate author Marlena Smith!

 

Will it ever be enough?

Will I ever be complete?

These questions haunt me;

They scream out defeat.

A mind vacant of answers;

A soul lost in time;

A heart full of sadness;

And eyes that just won’t shine.

A whisper full of sorrow;

A smile full of regret;

A life less than ordinary;

One I wish to forget.

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Life is too precious to not make the most of every day.

Cherish memories.

Strive to make more.

Make every moment count.

Tell others you love them.

Forgive quickly.

Laugh often.

Pray every day.

Have a thankful heart.

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Author Bio:

 

Marlena Smith is a true Southern Belle at heart. Her home has always been in Alabama and she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Growing up as a preacher’s daughter, faith and family played a large part in her life.

 

Her earliest memory of writing was that of 2nd grade when she was selected to attend the Young Author’s Conference in her home state. Little did she know then that her future was being mapped out.

 

Marlena now wears many hats, including:  writer, author, blogger, freelancer, reader, reviewer, researcher, paranormal enthusiast, traveler, and Secretary of Rave Reviews Book Club. Writing, though, has and always will be her main passion in life.

 

Marlena has several works in progress, including an upcoming short romance, titled THE POWER OF LOVE. This debut book is expected to be out in 2017. In addition to her debut, she has a romance novel, a cookbook and a horror screenplay on her to do list.

 

 

Follow Marlena online:

 

Twitter – @_MarlenaSmith_

Facebook – @AuthorMarlenaSmith

Instagram – @MarlenaLafaye930

Marlena Smith, RWISA Author Page

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Watch RWISA Write: Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

August is Watch RWISA Write month. Today, we celebrate author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko!

 

WOMAN

 

He calls me Woman because that’s the way some men refer to their wives in this part of the world. He calls me Woman! But I have a name.

Ngozi is alone in her house. She sits all alone in her well-furnished parlor, on a love sofa, reading a magazine. Beside her on a side table is a glass of red wine from which she sips. Her feet rests comfortably on a beautifully decorated ottoman. Her toenails are not painted, but are well-manicured, so are her fingernails. In front of her, a wide screen television shows a soap opera. The sound is tuned low so she can hear the dialogue as well as hear what is happening around her.  Calm and peace surround her, but not for long.

 

She hears a car pulling stealthily into her open garage. She knows who it is. Her moments of peace and reprieve are over. With haste, she quietly puts everything away; her glass of wine, the wine bottle, her magazine, and she wipes and cleans away the telltale signs like the reclining sofa that shows she was resting. She turns off the television and hurries into the inner room of her house.

 

Emeka walks stealthily into the house with his briefcase, without making any sound, as if to catch the wife in some mischief. He sniffs aroundand scans the house with his eyes looking for her. Everything is spick and span clean, and there are no signs of any mischief in his house. Finding nothing to hold against his wife, he tosses his briefcase onto one of the sofas. He walks to the switch board and puts on the fan, picks up the newspaper, flops down on the sofa, and pulls at his tie to loosen it. He crosses his legand reads his newspaper.

 

Ngozi returns to the parlor with a tray.

 

 “You are back!” She smiles and offers Emeka a glass of water. “Your food is ready,” she says, walking away toward the dining area.

 

You are back, you say.  What do you think, that I won’t be back?” He sucks his teeth and goes to the dining table to eat.

 

She serves him his food.

 

He finishes eating and withdraws to his room … mind you, they sleep in separate rooms—he changes into something comfortable; khaki shorts and a white tee.  He returns to the parlor, sits down again, and reads his newspaper.

 

Ngozi finishes tidying up the dining room and the kitchen and returns to the parlor, sits and picks up her magazine to read.

 

“Have you nothing to do, Woman?” Emeka frowns at her.

 

“Is there anything you want me to do for you?” she fires back without looking up from her magazine. Emeka looks at her with a frown on his face.

 

“What is this new thing about sitting around doing nothing?”

 

“I have finished my work, and I am resting!”

 

“Resting from what? Have you mended the button that fell off my shirt this morning? Have you fixed it?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And my socks?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Emeka tries to think of something else to say, some job she must have missed, and not coming up with anything, he shrugs. “Well, if you have nothing else to do, find yourself something to do.” He returns to his reading and, at the same time, waits for her to leave.

 

Ngozi doesn’t move. He wants me to leave?! He doesn’t even think of me as his wife. He calls me Woman. As if calling me his wife will give me the respect he isn’t willing to give me; the respect he has always denied me all through this marriage.

 

I know why he calls me Woman. To put me down, way below him, so that he can continue trampling on me.  He knows that as a wife, he will owe me the respect which will allow me to sit here with him, relax and read, if I want. But, as Woman, I will always remain his thing, his toy, his property to be bullied into subjection. I will not leave. Let him do his worse!

 

She sits tight, but alert.  She doesn’t know what her stubbornness this time will trigger, but she sits nervously, waiting for his next move. She fixes her eyes on the magazine, but lowers it enough for her to see Emeka’s movements. She has been on the receiving end before for less than this, with him throwing objects at her or whipping her with his belt.

 

Not anymore! This time, I will fight him if he tries to lay a finger on me.

 

Emeka is also jittery. He is used to being obeyed. He doesn’t understand this new attitude from Woman. After many years and four kids, she should know his likes and dislikes. Why is she being so stubborn? For much less than this, he would have taught her a good lesson. Where is she getting this courage from, enough to challenge him? Our people say that if you come out in the morning and your chicken begins to chase you, you better run because you don’t know whether the chicken grew teeth the night before. Woman has grown more than just teeth, she has grown wings!

 

“Did you hear me Woman?” he growls at her.

 

Woman stands up, slaps her magazine on the small center table, and huffs and puffs as she walks away.

 

Emeka tenses up with a level voice.  “What do you think you are doing, Woman?”  She doesn’t respond and continues to walk away.

 

“Stop!” Emeka shouts.  She stops, turns, her expression questioning. 

 

He fumes. “Can’t you understand that when I come home, I want to rest! I work myself to death from morning till night to provide for you, and when I come home, you will not allow me to rest.”

 

“What have I done? What did I say?”

 

 “You are disturbing me. Do you hear that? You are disturbing me!” he shouts.

 

“What do you want me to do?” Ngozi asks, feigning remorse.

 

Emeka glares at her and holds her gaze for as long as it suits him; then he shrugs and resumes his reading.

 

Ngozi returns to her seat, picks up her magazine, and flips noisily through the pages. Emeka looks at her with a twisted upper lip. He realizes that Woman is looking for a show down.

 

Woman on her part is thinking that after so many years of marriage and four kids, she has earned respect for herself. She deserves, no, she demands to be respected. This house is her house, too. She has every right to enjoy it as much as he does. She works herself too hard cleaning, cooking, and making the house comfortable, for her not to enjoy it, as well.

 

The days are gone when she squirmed at the sound of his car, his voice, his threats. Now, with her children grown, and in position to defend her from their father, she sure has grown wings. Her kids have warned their father of the repercussions of beating their mother ever again. She smiles to herself.

 

He cannot touch me anymore. I have arrived. Is he even sure that he can defeat me in a fight? I know I can beat him! After all, I’m bigger than him. Why should I find something to do when I have nothing to do? What is wrong with sitting down and relaxing? Why should he relax and not me? He doesn’t work more than I do.

 

Emeka stares at Woman some more, and then he gathers his things and walks off. Ngozi does not even raise her head from her magazine.

 

After casually turning another page in the magazine, she says, “My name is Ngozi.”

 

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, RWISA Author Page

 

 

Words of Wisdom From Author Kim Cox

Greetings, readers! Today I am welcoming author Kim Cox to The Indie Spot. Kim is sharing some of her experiences as a writer—in her own words! Take it away, Kim…

My Writing Style

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Writing Techniques

I don’t think I have any writing techniques. I don’t do any of the things good writers should or are supposed to do. I don’t write every day, don’t set a certain time to write. If there is a certain time, it’s late at night. I seem to be more creative at night, and I’m not a morning person anyway. That may come from working third shift for a while when I was younger.

I don’t have a space where I write. I used to but my home office went away when we made it into a bedroom for my mother-in-law. I think we’d planned to put a smaller desk in my library but my husband is a bit of a pack rat. That room is full of boxes stored with who knows what. Plus, I needed more shelves that my hubby never got a chance to build. Maybe one day I’ll get that space back. But I don’t let it stop me; I write from my recliner in front of the television.

I find that sometimes it takes me a while to get started but once I get started and the muse starts to flow, I also have a hard time stopping. Work gets in the way since I have to get up early. It’s hard for a night person to work days. I’m hoping to retire next year and that won’t be a problem.

Research Techniques

I don’t write the type of books where I need to do a lot of research. Basically, I mainly research places or areas. I do have one book in process that’s set during World War II. I researched that era a long time ago where I published articles for a writer’s resource site. The idea for the site was to have articles on all types of different things from guns and petticoats. My articles were on the World War I and World War II eras. You can find these articles on my website at kimcoxauthor.com.

Anyway, when I’m writing, I mark it on the manuscript where I need to research. I try not to stop when I’m writing the first draft or I’ll lose my flow. Either before or after the second edit, I’ll do the research.

I normally make my towns fictitious but based on actual towns. See the blog article on locations.

To Outline or Not to Outline

No, I don’t normally outline. I did with BEFORE WE WED. I did a brief chapter by chapter outline and it’s the only book I’ve ever done that with—about three-quarters of the way done, I had my first bout with writer’s block. I knew where I was and where I wanted to end but not what to do between. It was getting long and needed to end but there was so much more that would go between where I was and THE END.

It was the first and probably the last time I outline. I normally start writing and around chapter three, I stop and do a short synopsis. I tend to lose interest if I know too much about where I’m going.

Listen to Music or Not When Writing

No. I do have noise going in the background. Sometimes it’s music from the CMT station but usually it’s a television show that I rewind once I’m done writing. I’m a very focused person, so the television doesn’t bother me when I’m writing.

Find Pictures of Your Characters

Yes. But not right away. Usually about the tenth time of having to go back and look for hair or eye color that I decide to find pictures. I have a Character Info file for both of my series. You can also find a Series Casting Board for both on my Pinterest group at https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr. Also see my blog article on Hollywood Character casting.

Prefer Writing Single Novels or a Series

I like writing both but only recently started creating series. I have found it easier to jump on the next book when I’m writing a series. I have two series started. One is a romantic suspense series and the other is a paranormal mystery series. The romantic suspense will have at least three books (has 2 now) and the paranormal mystery will have about eight (has 4 now). I also have a few standalone novels started, and I hope to release one the end of this year and one or two more next year, along with book 3 of the romantic suspense series.

ABOUT THE BOOK

BEFORE WE WED cover

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?

Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.

Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.

Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.

She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.

Go to Kim’s Readers List and visit her at the following sites:
Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com
Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page
Social Media locations:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr

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Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME.

“To enter Kim’s giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!”

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Encouraging Indie Authors

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We see it in the news from time to time. A fellow indie author strikes it big, with sales entering the six figure realm. We read the numbers and find ourselves renewed with vigor, certain that we, too, can achieve these same heights of publishing glory.

Then, six months later, reality sets in and we’re still mired in the no-sales or low-sales blues!

What can we learn from those who have achieved the success that we all crave so much for ourselves? More to the point: What aren’t we doing that these others have discovered?

I recently read one such article in my local newspaper. The story highlighted indie author Mara Jacobs, who, after ten years of treading the path toward traditional publishing, with little success, opted to for the self-publisher route. Mara’s case is all too familiar to many of us in the indie world. But that’s where all similarities to the majority of indie authors end.

Mara Jacobs is a bona fide New York Times bestseller. I don’t mean she found her name or book attached to some obscure list; Jacobs’s first three e-books sold enough copies to allow her to quit her very lucrative job at a local company in order to write full time. She also purchased a second home in Las Vegas. One of her e-books has nearly a million downloads.

Another indie author, named Rick Murcer, is enjoying similar success, seeing his novel Carribbean Moon and others in his mystery series top 800,000 in sales.

In all fairness to the rest of us self-published authors, these two cases are far from typical. A survey by Digital Book World discovered that less than 1 percent of indie authors earned more than $200,000. The typical income tended toward $5000. Nineteen percent of self-pubbers reported no income at all.

The fact is, most of us struggle where sales are concerned. As indie authors, we are afforded greater control of our work. We have the last word on pretty much every aspect of our work, from start to finish. But this also means we’re usually the sole marketing arm for the project. If we lack social media skills, our ship may sink in lonely waters.

So again I ask: What aren’t we doing that these successful authors have done? I couldn’t tell you. Neither author shared any marketing info in the article. Yet, we can still take comfort in knowing that the indie way is gaining ground and respect among the traditional publishers. We’re no longer the silly little step-child with delusions of grandeur. These few and abnormal peaks of indie success should offer the rest of us hope for our own work.

I write for fun and out of need. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love the opportunity to do this for a living. A comfortable living! That day may come. Though I might find myself in fits of frustration from time to time, I am not discouraged. Any one of us could easily become the next a sales anomaly. To settle for any lesser ideas about what is truly possible is to short-change ourselves and our industry.

Let’s continue to push forward in our endeavors as published authors. Where we’ve stumbled upon that certain trail of bread crumbs leading to a few extra sales, let’s share this information with our fellow indie writers. One person can’t carry the torch; this is a group effort.

HEY! It’s the Nonnie Jules Blog Tour!

Here we are on the third day of my 15 day “HAPPY BIRTHDAY:  ARE YOU WATCHING NONNIE WRITE?” Blog Tour and today I’m with one of my uber-supportive fellow board members, Beem Weeks.  Beem and I share a common passion.  Most of you know him as @voiceofindie on Twitter.  I know him as my very supportive and loyal friend.  Support, is what we both stand for and strongly believe in.

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This month marks the one year anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books, and have learned so very much about the industry.  Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013.  Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot!  “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge.  “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry.  “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I share with you tips on writing, publishing and support, all topics equally important to the writing industry.  I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

 

With that being said, here is…

“JUST LIKE MOTEL 6, I’LL KEEP THE LIGHT ON FOR YA!”

In the days of old, you would never have had such open access to authors.  Wanting to speak with them, see them, interact with them, was an evil none dared expect, yet many were hopeful about.  Having their contact information such as a direct mailing address, was just unheard of.  There were publicists, managers and agents that you had to go thru just to request an interview or a speaking engagement.  And most of the time, your requests never even reached their waters.

Today, we Indie Authors are a different breed.  Readers worldwide have all the means necessary to reach out to us and to interact with us directly.  Email, voicemail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…all avenues open to the general public.  So, with that visibility and accessibility, why do so many authors keep their readers in the dark?  Any opportunity that you have with a reader is a new opportunity for you to turn them into your very own loyal fan for life…you know the ones I’m speaking of, don’t you?  They’re the ones who buy your books MERELY because you wrote them!

Here are just a few ways that you can become your very own version of MOTEL 6:

1)       Make selling your books to new readers the start of a lifelong relationship.  Don’t just take someone’s money and run, engage and allow yourself to be engaged.

2)      Encourage readers to contact you and regard this as an opportunity to serve them, to help attract new readers through word of mouth, and to publicize everything you can offer them…in this regards, many great reads.

3)      On social media, take the time to reach out to your followers ever so often and try to respond to everyone who has reached out to you directly with a question, tid bit or even just a morning Hello.

4)      Welcome the chance to say THANK YOU and always reward those who so generously help you.

I know authors who act as if they are on top of the world, and in their minds, almost untouchable.  But here’s the deal, when your ego is that big, the pop when it explodes makes a noise so loud that if you weren’t standing alone before it happened, you will surely be standing alone afterwards.  I don’t want you to have to stand alone.  My wish is for you to be successful beyond measure and surrounded by adoring readers and fans…always.  But for this to happen, you must make yourself accessible to those who can make you successful.  It is a must that you stand out,  because as we say in the South,  Authors are as common as churches and liquor stores…there’s always one on the very next corner.  That means, that if you’re not open or if you don’t deliver, the products or services can be readily found elsewhere and very close by.

My tip, leave the light on for your readers.  That light is your WELCOME mat and in its steady flashing, there should always be a tiny whisper that says, “Come on in, I’m here for you and I’ve got just what you want to read.”   Be your own kind of MOTEL 6, because we know that no matter how far or how late you’re travelling, somewhere, they’ve left the light on for you and are anticipating your arrival.

Thanks, Beem to you and to all your wonderful FANS!  I know you have lots of them!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 NONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known and highly successful, Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection.

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniejules@gmail.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s  feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.

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BUY LINKS:

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!tinyurl.com/lod5jtj      createspace.com/4355124

“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend”tinyurl.com/lyd5dtg   createspace.com/4386308

“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4

 

 

Keith Richards and the Kiddies

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So Keith Richards is writing books for the kiddies now, huh? Well, he’s certainly not writing for your kids or mine. No. Keith is writing for his own daughter. But he’s not penning a book to read to his child. Mr. Richards is helping his daughter write a book. That’s right, a rock-n-roll guitarist is now a children’s author.

Or is he?

Some might say Mr. Richards is merely lending his globally famous name to a project undertaken by his own child. This would allow the young lady to bypass all of the struggles many of us in the real world face daily while trying to promote our hard work to the public. Enter Keith Richards; his daughter’s work is now immediately known across the globe—even before it hits the bookshelves.

The ink of the indie author is his/her blood, sweat, and tears. We’re all still paying our dues in this effort to reach readers.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan. Keith is an amazing guitarist and a brilliant songwriter. His memoir “Life” is one of my all-time favorite reads—because of the content, not his writing skills. (Even this book he’s “writing” with his illustrator daughter is being co-written by two other authors.)

Imagine if, when the Rolling Stones were a band of young upstarts, while playing clubs across the U.K., honing their chops and building a following, another band came along and took a recording contract that could have gone to the Stones. Now imagine this other band had never played a club gig but rather secured their record deal simply because one member’s father was a famous record producer or movie star. Struggling musicians everywhere would have certainly taken offense with these usurpers.

Perhaps Keith’s daughter is a gem of a writer just waiting to be discovered. Then again, maybe she’s truly awful! Either way, let her work stand or fall on its own merits. To attach a world famous name to this project takes away all of the struggle. Struggle builds character.

I’m reminded of an actor named Nicholas Coppola, nephew of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola. Young Nicholas had a bit part in the 1982 film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Much of his performance ended up on the cutting room floor—this despite his family connection. The thing is, everybody in Hollywood knows the Coppola name. That’s all anybody ever wanted to talk about when the struggling actor showed up for auditions. So Nicholas, wanting to forge his own career, changed his name…to Nicholas Cage.

When a person rides the name and fame of another person, the work is usually diminished in the eyes of many. Do your daughter a favor, Keith, let her sink or swim on her own. If she’s a woman of character and talent, she’ll thank you for trusting in her abilities.