Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Give Thanks for You

Last evening, I had a wonderful time at Barnes and Noble in Fort Wayne, Indiana with my favorite author, Richard Paul Evans. If you are a writer, speaker, friend, family member or spouse, his message is clear: Be Honest. He spoke for about thirty-five minutes, and then signed his newest book, Mistletoe Inn. Taking time to ask about my back surgery, my brace and walker were clear giveaways, he shared that he too has had back issues that required surgery.

As a writer and psychologist I know his openness is what sells his books and he create millions of friends/readers with his friendly manner. If you are struggling with co-workers, family or friends due to honesty, remember six things:
  • 1.    Be honest with people, in down-to-earth but not vulnerable ways. Don’t seek sympathy … seek commonality and empathy toward others.
  • 2.    Don’t open up about things in your life that can later be used as ammunition against you. Share how God has helped you rise above your shortcomings and limitations.
  • 3.    Don’t use an “Ain’t it awful” attitude, but an “I am blessed,” triumphant attitude.
  • 4.    We are never triumphant over others, but triumphant over our own illnesses, injuries and failings.
  • 5.   We’re never triumphant over others, but over our own stumbling blocks, because we know too well we are not perfect.
  • 6.   Only God is perfect.
If you have a chance to hear someone speaks who inspires you, take the time out of your busy life to listen. This is the month for giving thanks. Don’t waste an opportunity to share with others all those people, events and things in your life that are a blessing to you. Your family and children will never really know you unless you tell them what brings you joy and challenge.

I give thanks for all those who read my blog. You are a blessing to me and I ask for blessings for you as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

News at Eleven - A Novel, Goodreads Giveaway

Great start everyone! Many of you have already signed up to try to win one of the ten copies of News of Eleven – A Novel. You will love it.

During my rehab following my back surgery, it happened to be CNA week. I gave a copy of News at Eleven – A Novel to each of the CNAs in appreciation for their wonderful care during the six weeks I was there. Several asked if there would be other books in the series, so … yes there will be!

It started as a novella for Glo Magazine, serialized in Jan – April 2015. The first couple of chapters in the novel are that novella. The remaining chapters are the-rest-of-the-story.

Please be patient. I am currently writing the third in the Length of Days trilogy. I will have the second News at Eleven out next year. Again, thank you for your interest in my novel. Good Luck!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Author Fair - Allen County Public Library 2015

See you at the Allen County Public Library at the Author Fair. I will be on Panel #2 - "Write On! Steps to Fabulous Fiction." 
Life is fun! Are you enjoying life? I'm not saying life is easy. Suck it up, Buttercup. I'm still recovering from spine surgery: complete with back brace, physical therapy, walker, cane, and the fact it takes all morning and all my energy to take a shower, wash my hair and dry it. But, I am so blessed and I take time to notice each blessing. If you are waiting for a perfect day to begin being happy, you are cheating yourself out of all those wonderful moments that make up a giving life. Oh, you just want to receive? Then you will never be happy. Happiness can never be a goal. It is the byproduct of the way we live our lives. Begin living today.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Freedom Re-born

Freedom Re-born – the theme for 2016. We have an opportunity to re-affirm the precious values of United States in 2016. The Age of Silence is already upon us. Lord God, give us the courage to go beyond the forbidden borders and restraints forcefully placed around us, so that we may bring in a Re-birth of Freedom. We will not deny that we are a unique country. Freedom gleams brightly, so that we may press on toward the … prize … before us: Freedom … a Holy concept, a grace-filled word. Be counted in 2016. Length of Days Freedom Re-Born, the third and final novel in the Length of Days Trilogy, will be available beginning in 2016. The first two, Length of Days The Age of Silence and Length of Days Beyond the Valley of the Keepers, all by Doris Gaines Rapp, are available now on

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Seize the Moment! Jane Pauley and Me

I didn't think for a second! I grabbed up two of my newest novels, News at Eleven - A Novel, and hurried to give one to the keynote speaker, Jane Pauley, and one to Melissa Long, the local Fort Wayne newscaster who read the novel and wrote an endorsement for the back cover.

I'm glad I didn't waste any time! There I was, in a wheelchair awaiting my back surgery on May 12 and wearing a newly fitted, bulky, thick back brace that makes me look like I have gained fifty pounds! The chance was in front of me, a few feet away. There was no way I was going to miss out on meeting such wonderful women and pass along my novel, just because I was concerned about my appearance.

All of this took place last Friday, a wonderful day away with 1,400 other women, plus vendors and volunteers, at Tapestry in Fort Wayne, IN. I was there at the Glo table to sign the book I had expanded from the novelette they had invited me to write for Glo Magazine. It was serialized January through April, 2015.

My friends, some opportunities come by so fast we hardly see them passing. Don't let them escape your grasp! Seize the moment and dwell on the blessing of the meeting, not on how you look, what you have on, or how you're stuffed into a brace or have a bad hair day. Opportunities are not about you or me; they are about the blessings along our path and recognizing them before they evaporate into the mist of time. Act now!

(Photo of Jane Pauley and Doris Gaines Rapp from the Journal Gazette, 4/25/15. Event: Tapestry - A Day for You, 4/24/15)

News at Eleven - A Novel is available online at Amazon; at the Bookmark on Anthony in Fort Wayne,  IN; at my book signing Saturday May 2 from 11 am to 1 pm in Huntington, IN at Dorothy's Hallmark; and, for those in the U.S. you can buy a signed copy at Tapestry price and free shipping by posting an I.M. on Facebook at Doris Gaines Rapp - Author Page. Limited number of copies available)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A World of Hurt – Dark-Day Word-Experiences

Writers are always searching for new ways to describe familiar situations. If you’re like me you don’t take the opportunity to jot down new words and expressions when they invade your days.

If you have followed my blogs or Facebook pages, you know I have developed a very painful back—spinal arthritis that, right now, has me nearly immobile. Rather than going through all of this suffering and not permit my writing to benefit from this agonizing time, I have decided to start a list of words and sentences to express my experience. Later, as I am writing another novel, I can pull out this blog post and remember to check my list. I will not give all of my descriptions away, since I will want to use them later as fresh and new material. The post here is to encourage you to use the dark times of life to make more realistic writing later when you are creating something new.

First, I’ll admit, the title of this blog is trite. “A world of hurt” has been around for a while, but hopefully it caught your attention. Trust me, right now, with the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae deteriorated and crumbling more, my whole world does hurt: every cough, sneeze, step or slight movement creates teeth grinding nerve pain. So, please forgive the title and think about the process.

Start a notebook of “descriptors,” either in single words, phrases or sentences. Later, when writing something else, you can use the notes, in part or in whole, to describe a similar but different experience. To show you the type of list of which I speak, I will identify each of the five basic senses and then a word or phrases relative to my current back pain so you can see how to create your own “dark-day word-experience.”

Sight: I knew my face had given away the pain I tried to hide, with uncontrolled grotesque tics every time spiky bones stabbed my nerves, when people looked at me with pained empathy.
Sound: I wanted to keep my pain to myself, but somewhere deep inside me, sharp agonizing screams would escape like trapped broken prisoners, with no more than shift of my foot.
Touch: I reached down and scratched my foot; the sensation was “there but not there,” skin or leather, it would have all felt the same.
Taste: A sip of water should have dissolved the tiny pill, but it stuck in my throat and slowly slathered its bitter butter across the back of my tongue.
Smell: Although the pain in my back barely relinquished for a moment allowing me to stand, the aroma of shampoo that filled the shower as it frothed over my head and shoulders, set my senses free for a moment of pleasure.

My practice has always been to try to remember an experience long after it happen, searching for words to give voice to a fictional character. This time, I am creating a list as I experience it and I invite you to consider doing the same.

Have a happy spring!


Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Support Your Indie Author Day!

“You’re the lady who wrote the books, right?” a man asked while I was deciding between over-ripe or under-ripe bananas at the grocery store.
I recognized him as a man who attends my daughter’s church and had purchased two of my books. He has an American Indian ancestry and asked Katy to bring, Hiawassee – Child of the Meadow and Smoke from Distant Fires to him.
“I loved them,” he said. “My daughter (a Divinity Doctoral Student) cried when she read Hiawassee,” he told me. “I mentor several people,” he added, “and I've asked them to read all of this lady's books.” He asked for all of my titles, so I told him to enter Doris Gaines Rapp on Amazon. My list of books will be there.
What’s the point of all of this? Positive Recognition of their work is a wonderful gift to give an Indie Author. We have no publisher holding our hand through the process or publicist lining up appearances on talk shows. In fact, publishing is currently an “everyone for themselves” industry for authors who do not make millions for them. Mid-list authors have to do their own editing, publicity and marketing even if they have signed with a publishing company. Some really successful authors, once under contract with a publishing house, have decided to self-publish so their work continues to be available for future generations of readers, and not retired after so-many-month on the market.
It is a long and exciting process to get out a book. Let today be the day when you tell an Indie Author, “Thanks. I really enjoyed your book.” Perhaps today could be, “Support Your Indie Author Day!”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hannah's Assignment

Doris Jean Gaines Rapp, PhD (Grandma Rapp)

What is my most significant life event and why did I chose it?

There are so many to choose from, before and after this event, but it is a key. God has been very good to me. For this assignment, I’ll chose the time, when I was about twelve years old and I walked home from the movies.

My cousin Claudia had come to visit for the weekend and my usual Saturday activity was to take the public bus from the suburbs to nearly downtown Dayton. The National Cash Register Company had their huge cluster of factory buildings and the world headquarters just past Oakwood, almost to the city. The Montgomery Country Fair Grounds was on the northern boundary of the NCR on the west side of the street.

Every Saturday, the NCR offered a free movie and a candy bar to any kids in the greater Dayton area who could get to the 2000 seat auditorium. Claudia and I went. We walked to the corner and took the bus.

After the movie, we walked the two blocks up to the bus stop and got there just as our bus pulled away. We no such thing as a cell phone; I couldn’t call my mom to tell her we’d be on the next bus. So, I suggested that we walk home. I knew the way. I had ridden the bus every Saturday for several years. We’d simply follow the bus route. Now, this is not like a New York City bus where the driver drives up and down Fifth Avenue all day. Dayton city buses wound round and round through neighborhood streets, providing transportation for the whole area.

Claudia and I walked for many miles, maybe fifteen and we were tired and thirsty. Daddy drove up beside us just as we were walking past WHIO-TV. Now, as an adult, I know he must have been frantic. But, he rolled down the window and asked in his soft southern accent, “Where’re ya goin’?” I said, “We missed the bus and decided to walk.”

“Oh,” he said casually, “you both must be tired by now. Why don’t I take you the rest of the way home?”
Claudia and I eagerly agreed and hopped in the car.

Why did I choose this memory? Both Mother and Daddy taught my sister and me to be independent, and getting around all over Dayton was part of that. He didn’t reveal his fear when we hadn’t come home on the bus—that would have made us fearful of trusting ourselves to make decisions and fearful of the world around us—both necessary in independence building.  This is just one trait they taught me that was preparation for being an independent person.

I met Grandpa when I was 18; we married when I was 19; had our first three birth-children; moved to New Mexico to finish our undergrad degrees; taught school for six years; went to graduate school where I earned my Master’s Degree and Doctorate. I directed the Counseling Centers at two universities and now write full time. I have five novels in print and will be finished with a sixth in another month. I could not have done any of that if I had not been independent. Life lessons are just that: learned when you are young and continue to support you throughout your live. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, psychologist, former college professor, and author. All of these are possible because one day, Claudia and I walked home from the movies.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For Indie and Small Press authors, the hard part is not the writing. There is a love-affair between the creator and his/her characters that an author would embrace, even if they have to write in a closet. Oh, wait, a pantry off the kitchen was once my office. The “real” people in their novels are their sweethearts and authors must tell their stories. Before you try to apply an amateur diagnosis to these words, I remind you I am also Dr. Rapp, a psychologist. It is just that we know our characters and their motives very well. The hard part is marketing and distribution.

Family Christian Stores’ recent filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy saddens many writers. I don’t pretend to know the details or the impact it will have on their brick-and-mortar stores. I do know, when a writing outlet has trouble, we all grieve for them and the authors they support. Thank goodness for the Internet.

If you are like me, I still don’t know how to utilize the net to the advantage of the books I write. With Publishers who navigate the cyber-world and offer books through their online presence, we all say, “Thank you!” We may not make the money of a Richard Paul Evans or Dan Brown—did I say, “May not?”—we won’t make big money, we write for the love of writing, to introduce the world to our “sweethearts.”

I just released, Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers, the second in the Length of Days trilogy, behind the first, Length of Days – The Age of Silence. I send my friends, Christy and Jason, out into the unknown to overturn the Length of Days law, thus ending the extermination of people for no other reason than they have reached their Length of Days. Read about the two books at . Will Christy and Jason succeed? They already have, because I have given them a voice.

To all of you Small Press and Indie Authors, I say, “Tell us about your sweethearts.” Readers now wait with paper- and-print books, eReaders, cell phone screens and their own computers for an invitation into your world, to learn about the people who live there. Type on! Happy writing! Happy reading!


Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Assertive Author with a Passive Voice

Now tell me please, how does someone as assertive as I am, too frequently write in a passive voice? I write as it flows from my finger to the keyboard. I’m finished with the first draft when I type the last word. Then, I clean it up later. What my friends in a writers group I attend point out after I read a chapter, “I heard some passives in there.”

What is a passive voice? Here is an example:
If it could have been written by a better writer, it would have been. 

A little saying I give to psychotherapy clients is: “If you could’ve, you would’ve. But, you couldn’t so you didn’t.” Now, that is not passive, but it is assertive.

After writing four novels, I finally found a way to spot passives quickly. It’s all thanks to the WORD 2010 magic little check box. Here it is. In a document:
1.      Click “File”
2.      Click “Options” at the bottom
3.      Click “Proofing” on the left
4.      Under Correcting Spelling and Grammar in WORD, go down to Writing Style: Click “Settings”
5.      Scroll down to Style
6.      Click Passive Sentences

I wrote: Your passive sentences will be underlined for you. In my Spell Check — “will be underlined” —was UNDERLINED.  So let me fix that. The program will underline the passive sentences for you.

I know you have already found this great aid to writing. If you haven’t, try it. Happy writing.
Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Friday, January 23, 2015

Prayer for Release from Anxiety - A Post-to-Phone Messages

I just uploaded to Amazon my first Post-to-Phone Message book, Prayer for Release from Anxiety. This small book is a slimmer, trimmer adaptation of  Prayer Therapy of Jesus focusing only on Anxiety.

Purchase Prayer for Release from Anxiety for $0.99 and open it on your smart phone. Bookmark the specific prayer for release from anxiety. You will have it as close as your phone, so you can open and read the prayer each day, and specifically when you are feeling anxious.

I have included pages on prayer therapy development and a devotional using the topic of Anxiety. In Prayer Therapy, you pray the specific prayer for release from anxiety three times a day, then live the remainder of the day, knowing God has heard your prayer and give him thanks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To Sign Books or Not to Sign Books, That is the Question

There seems to be a debate among writers if they should or shouldn’t have book signings. One writer said, “I would just die if no one spoke to me.” Here is the secret to a successful book signing: Talk to them first!

Engage them in conversation about whatever is in their immediate surroundings, like — the weather, something they are wearing, or a book they’re holding. Then ask them something like, “May I tell you about the books I’ve written?” Does everyone buy a book? — Of course not. Do most of the people want to hear about your books? — Of course they do.

A book signing isn’t about how many books you sell. It’s about how many readers you meet. The young woman who captured my heart at a signing event yesterday, said, “I graduated from high school and I’m in college now. But, I have never read a book.” She picked up, Length of Days – The Age of Silence, and said, “I’m going to read this one.” That young woman is why I do book signings. Awaken a love of reading in someone, and lead them on an adventure into places and people they have never known, and you will expand their world and bless the lives.
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Books by Doris Gaines Rapp
News at Eleven (Glo Magazine Jan, Feb, March, and April 2015 – now on newsstands and online at - page 50-51
Just a few of my Novels:
Length of Days – The Age of Silence
Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers (End of February)

News at Eleven – A Novel (April 2015)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Through A Ca-Person’s Ears

Our Silky dog is not a canine. She’s a ca-person, I’m sure. She takes the blame when the computer acts up – “It’s Baby Dog’s fault,” is my favorite assignment of cause. She takes it in her stride, which is, by the way, right behind me when I walk about the house. She also takes credit when something, which has been lost, suddenly turns up. “Look, Baby-Dog found it.” So, it’s fun at times to see my writing through Baby Dog’s ears.

Since she is a well educated ca-person, having graduated from Dog Training classes, I try to make sure I use the correct tense and that spell-check in operating correctly. But, her greatest asset to me is her willingness to listen to my stories as I read them to her.

The elementary school in Berne, Indiana had a resident dog that slept on a pillow outside the nurse’s office. Children penciled in an appointment to sit on the floor beside the Book-dog and read their favorite tales to them. Reading aloud has almost become a thing of the past, with audio books being very expensive and parents working long hours.

If your writing is suitable for children, invite them to a reading in your living room or the public library, with cookie served of course. If you have a polite ca-person who will sit on your lap during the reading, you will gain extra praise from your listeners.

However, you don’t need an audience of willing listeners to critique the words you’re writing. Your own ears are important. You just need to read everything aloud. Your words will either ring true to you, or they’ll fumble in your mouth and demand correction. If you are lucky enough to have a ca-person in your home, they make excellent listeners too. You could borrow Baby-Dog, but she sleeps a lot and is seldom available for outside bookings. Happy writing, happier reading in 2015.
Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Writer's Resolution

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. All they turn out to be are sad, worn out, nearly forgotten, unfulfilled promises by the time the snows of January lay deep on the ground. But, my writer’s heart and creative mind tell me that I will continue to write in 2015 and beyond, so I choose a purpose.

I resolve to write that which is acceptable unto God, each story lifting up a piece of Him: love, forgiveness, hope, joy, peace, acceptance, compassion, anticipation, inspiration, all that which will bring the reader closer to Him.

Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

Books by Doris Gaines Rapp
News at Eleven (Glo Magazine Jan, Feb, March, and April 2015)
Length of Days – The Age of Silence
Escape from the Belfry
Smoke from Distant Fires
Hiawassee – Child of the Meadow
Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers (January 2015)
News at Eleven – A Novel (April 2015)

Collection: Christmas Feather, one of eight short stories in a wonderful collection titled, Christmases Past
Lincoln’s Christmas Mouse

Waiting for Jesus in a Can’t Wait World – Advent 2014
Prayer Therapy of Jesus
Promote Yourself