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Category Archives: People

An Author is Born via Createspace

The Missing Five Cover SmashwordOn November 3, 2013, I became an Author when I self-published my debut novel, The Missing Five by Gwen Pegram.

It has been a week since I have seen my novel in print and the excitement is only escalating. And, it’s not because the number of sales are increasing, it’s all attributed to the rush of feelings I am experiencing. Of course, I would love to sell a million books and get a movie deal; but, if it doesn’t happen, it’s okay because it will not extinguish the euphoria I am feeling knowing now that I can call myself an Author.

I’m an AUTHOR — hallelujah! And this is another accomplishment I have scratched off my bucket list of things to do and see before I die.

A little more than a year ago, when I penciled my first draft of just 50 pages–the storyline had been simmering for 30+ years–it was just another project I had started, like so many others, which I threw to the side without another thought.

I am a procrastinator, no doubt about it. I can’t tell you how many projects I have started with exuberance, and then let die a lonely death. This time, however, was different. And the thanks goes to my confidant who showed me an article in our local paper. A writer had self-published a book through Createspace that she had started writing only four months earlier.

What?

That one article made me spring into action in April of this year. “If she can do it, I can do it.” I searched everywhere for the composition tablet where my outlined tale resided, and got to work. My days and nights were consumed with research, writing, and typing. Those who read my blog might recall an article I wrote in March titled, Hiatus, Brain Fart, Writer’s Block. Amazingly, I did not suffer any of those afflictions–not one time while I was writing the novel.

I figured out the secret, for myself anyway. So, for all you aspiring writers out there, I had my cable disconnected. Yes, that’s right. I realized and accepted that I was addicted to the television, especially crime-related shows.

I was amazed and thrilled at the flurry of ideas that rushed to the forefront almost begging to be written into the pages. The creativity flowed nonstop. Fictional characters pleaded to be part of the story, which I added. So, when it was time to cutout stuff, I was okay with that. Why? Because it is stuff I will use in my sequel. Yes, I already have the ideas firmly planted for a sequel, which I plan to publish in 2014.

My debut novel, The Missing Five is set in Washington, DC.

The metropolitan area is in a panic. Over the span of a month, middle-aged, African-American men are disappearing without a trace. The local police are slow to respond in investigating these bizarre disappearances, and not because the victims are black, but because statistics show that men in the U.S. are not kidnapped unless robbery is involved.

During the upheaval, successful real estate agent, Jackie Trumpleton, cancels a dream vacation to South Africa with four women she has vacationed with for twenty-plus years, and decides to stay in the country. She dismisses the danger and invites the women to vacation in the DC area.

The crisis escalates as the disappearances continue to mount. To avoid backlash, Arlington PD contacts the FBI, but it’s too late. Disaster strikes again. Without warning, more men disappear in the blink of an eye. The count now stands at five.

When the FBI finally gets a clue, secrets are uncovered that will blow the case wide open and shock everyone, except the perpetrator who wears an elaborate mask.

I hope you have an opportunity to read my debut novel, The Missing Five, and post a review either here, at Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Books, People

 

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The Preventable Death of a Child

To witness the painful emotions of inconsolable parents, grandparents, and great grandparents was difficult to watch. Three children — ages three, six, and ten — were gone, seemingly in the blink of an eye, like steam dissipating from a hot shower gone cold. It’s like black magic. First, they’re here; then they’re not. Past joyful memories cannot erase the three white caskets that are spread out in the pulpit before us. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Health, People

 

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Crocs™, Not Your Child’s Shoe

I’ve known about Crocs™ since its debut in 2002. However, I refused to jump on the bandwagon. I viewed this plastic shoe as kids’ play shoes or adult shoes for the beach — definitely not a trend or a shoe for comfort. Then, in 2011, I had a long overdue bunionectomy. Due to this large bony protrusion on the side of my big toe, I was unable to wear stylish shoes, and definitely no heels. In order to pacify the pain, I increased the width of my shoe from a normal B to a wide D, which alleviated the pressure somewhat on my bunion.

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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Health, People

 

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Hiatus, Brain Fart, Writer’s Block — Steps to Cure It

I don’t know what happened over the last three weeks. It was neither my intention nor my plan to go on hiatus, to take a break from blogging. However, I still encountered — whatever one wants to call it — a brain fart or writer’s block. I definitely suffered something because no matter how hard I tried, nothing, not a single idea emerged. My brain housed a big, blank space. I’ve read of this happening to writers but since I’ve only been writing for a couple of months, I didn’t expect this phenomena to visit me so soon. Of course, it would have been easy to just write a subpar article blabbering about nothing, or post some random photos in order to fill up the page; but that would have been unfair to my readers and a desperate attempt on my part to stay the course. My readers would have recognized immediately that the article was written by a drowning woman gasping for air. I only hope that this involuntary, forced inaction will not happen again anytime soon.

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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Education/Learning, People

 

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The Conning Elitist — a Mother’s Son

iStock_000002902871_ExtraSmallNo, I’m not referring to that select group of individuals who seem to have inherited elitism. I’m talking about sons who are raised by mothers who tend to forget that they’re raising boys to become men.

A conning elitist, in my opinion, is a son who erroneously holds himself to a higher standard than those he views as inferior, and only because he thinks he’s smarter, funnier, more good looking, and/or awesome. He uses this advantage to con his mother, who falls under this false spell.

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Posted by on February 27, 2013 in People

 

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You Have the Power to Donate the Gift of Life

Gwen Pegram and Andre BraggPlease register to Become an Organ, Eye, or Tissue Donor?

Today is Andre and my 11th Anniversary. We are bound together by my kidney.

Eleven years ago, I participated in a pilot program (Living Kidney Donor) through the Washington Regional Transplant Community. This program allows an individual to donate a kidney to the pool of waiting patients who are anonymous. The list holds the names of thousands of patients awaiting a kidney. Prior to this pilot program, a patient had only two choices: a kidney donation with a blood-type match relative or await a kidney from a stranger’s loved one who is brain dead/on life support.

I was honored to meet my recipient and quite surprised to learn that my 50-year-old kidney went to a 13-year-old boy. Andre and I are both doing well and I have no regrets.

If you need a really great story to get you inspired to “register to donate,” please read this very touching and humbling story of paying it forward, which was posted in The New York Times a year ago, February 18, 2012.

Please tweet or email me. I’m happy to share my experience with anyone who wants more information on becoming a living organ donor.

©Photograph copyright.
 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Health, People

 

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Become the Interviewer in Your Job Search

Job-Interview-jpg-V2Make the decision that you will not stress out or over think your next job interview. Keep in mind that the interview process is a two-way street — a win-win situation for both you and the prospective employer. Realize that once you’re invited to interview for the position, you have crossed the employer’s threshold of phase one. Know that you were selected because you represented yourself as experienced, skilled, and qualified for the advertised position.

Nailing phase two is up to you. This is where the transformation begins. You must become the interviewer. Mentally switching places — changing from interviewee to interviewer — means being adequately prepared, having confidence in your abilities, and keeping your eyes on the prize. There might have been hundreds of resumes and applications for this one position. More than likely, the search was narrowed to three finalists, which included you. Now is not the time to do the proverbial war dance. Now is the time to ratchet up your research of the employer and do due diligence on every aspect of the organization, its board if there’s one, and its leadership/executive staff. You cannot duplicate similar mistakes as in past interviews, in which you were not successful in getting a job offer. You must do more than reread online advice or listen to your coach dictating how to present yourself. You must compartmentalize all the instructions given about what to say and what not to ask during the job interview. Know that the do’s and don’ts of interview preparation are only reference points. Harness your heightened level of anxiety to quash unnecessary nervousness.

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Employment, People

 

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