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THE PENCIL

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The background buzz suddenly stopped.               
It didn’t die down gradually or turn into another noise. It just stopped abruptly, as if someone had turned the volume right down and then pulled the plug to be sure. His subconscious registered the change and he looked up from his drawing. Everyone sat motionless in their seats, as if frozen between two heartbeats after seeing an apparition. They were all staring at the same point, apparently the source of their collective bewilderment.

In The Pencil, you will meet Tom, a briljant young and talented artist. When he finds an old pencil in his mother’s antique shop, his life turns into an ongoing adventure.Even his own fantasy could not imagine the dangers that were looking for his and other lives. Or was his own talent the key?

With help of beautiful Lisa, the perfect blond school icon, and his talent, he has no other choice than to fight for his life. Will he be able to turn back the things he started or is it already too late?

 

The following story is about my colleague, Guido Kees’ experience with our ex-publisher. Guido is a fascinating writer, I encourage you to read his books, and for your convenience they are listed, along with his contact information, at the end of this article.  

I signed my contract with Tate end of 2014. By January 2015, my book ‘The Pencil’ was ready and published. As I’m living in Belgium (Europe), I did send my manuscript to other publishers in Amerika, without any info about them. Think I did send it to almost 20 publishers, some never responded, some didn’t take the manuscript. 5 of them returned with a positive answer. I did choose Tate Publishing as they were the biggest and promised promotion and marketing as well. I even got a special remark in the contract, offering as compensation for the fact that I couldn’t do events in the states because I’m from Belgium. Extra promotion, extra broadcasting adverbs, extra trailers, etc.…

I didn’t know about vanity press, so I was surprised when they returned with a bill of almost 2.000 dollar. This was needed for production costs, but as my manuscript was so good (Quote Tate), I would easily have my money back and much more… ‘The Pencil’ would sell very well, so no worries for me. They said.

After signing the contract, I really had the feeling Tate was a (very) professional company. Editing the manuscript went very well (but it was already checked in England, by a professional translator), response and feedback came swift and immediately. I was updated with all progress and my contact person gave me the feeling that I was respected as an author. When I received my first books, it was a very emotional moment.

Why emotional?

Six years ago, my wife Jacky was diagnosed with breast cancer (both sides…). Although it was a heavy battle with operations, chemo, radiotherapy and aggressive medication, she never gave up. It was a terrible time, but she won the fight. Cancer-Jacky: 0-1

We promised ourselves to realize our dreams. A future is not obvious, so why wait until later or just talk about it? We took this second chance with both hands. But first we had to fulfill a promise. The first week Jacky was in hospital, she promised to cycle to Lourdes if she would survive this mess. Lourdes is a pilgrimage site in France. A place all European Christians wants to visit to pray and thank for healing or health. One small problem: Lourdes is about a thousand miles from home. And Jacky wanted to do this by bike …

Immediately after the chemo and radiation we started our cycling trip to Lourdes. It took nearly three weeks to ride across Belgium and France. Because friends and family were worried, I promised to write a blog in which they could follow our adventures every day. This blog was widely read. Not only friends, but also strangers. People we did not know followed us through the blog. During the bike tour, every night I wrote my thoughts on that blog. Not just about how far we biked or what we experienced, but also my thoughts. The fight against cancer and the impact it had on our life became the theme of the story. In the end, we had thousands of readers. To my surprise.

Extract blog trip to Lourdes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynrPn96W4Z4

We received emails and letters from fellow sufferers. We inspired others to do the same trip. Actually, this was my first writing adventure for an audience. I was asked to publish this blog, but I didn’t want it.

By the way, Jacky made it whole the way to Lourdes!

When we came back from that trip, we were even more convinced to do what we love to do. Life is too precious to waste. Jacky convinced me to fulfill my childhood dream: to write a real book. Much more motivation wasn’t needed. I wrote a story and sent the manuscript to one publisher. Within a week, I had an answer. They wanted to publish it! My first book, a children’s book “No trace of Kevin’ was in the store! My dream had come true.

I then immediately wrote my second story. But why not do very crazy? My first dream was already there, why not immediately begin a new adventure? A book publishing in America? As a Belgian? Can it get any crazier? No sooner said than done, I sent my translated manuscript to a lot of publishers in America. We had found them on the internet. From some we never received an answer, others could do nothing with the script. But five publishers responded positively. Including Tate Publishing. ‘The Pencil’ found its home in Oklahoma.

Belgium is a long way from America. The release of ‘Pencil’ happened without me. Meanwhile, I had a publisher for the Dutch version of ‘Pencil’. That way, my third book was born. The reviews were good and attracted the attention of a movie producer. He bought the movie rights in 2015 and also asked me to write the script. Something I’ve done with great pleasure. The shooting for the movie will start next year.

I wasn’t a fulltime author yet. My real job was accountant at Ford Belgium. I worked at the location in Genk, one of the biggest Ford plants in Europe. But after a career of 28 years, Ford decided to close the factory in Genk. I did not grieve and wrote diligently. On my website, I wrote about the closure of a plant and how I walked the last time through the empty building. The media and newspapers picked it up. Before I realized what was happening I was on the radio and appeared in the newspapers.

Coincidentally, a theater company was planning a piece on the closure of the local Ford plant. When they read my piece, they contacted me to ask if I wanted to write the text for their story. Again, something I did with pleasure. The performance was called “Scrap” and received very good reviews. Now I had not just written a book, not just written a screenplay, but also a play.

Again, I got a call. This time asking to write the books for a youth series that would appear on TV. Based on the screenplay, I wrote two books with the title ‘The son of Artan’. Then, it was pressurized with signing sessions and readings.

Meanwhile, it was 2016. I knew from friends, acquaintances and former colleagues of foreign Ford plants that “Pencil” was bought by them and read. Yet I heard no news about Tate royalties or sales. I contacted Tate almost weekly. No answer. What I got was a lot of emails with new bids to buy my own books. The former contacts disappeared and the communication was first impersonal and then completely disappear. Because meanwhile the movie rights were sold, I informed Tate so that promotion could be made. But I got no response back. When I asked again for information about sales, about the promised marketing and promotion, everything remained silent. Very quiet.

And then one day, I opened their website (again) to find a contact, I discovered that Tate Publishing stopped. No info, no message. They simply closed the doors. And all authors and artists stood in the cold. I started to look for information on forums and discovered the sad stories of the writers and artists who were at Tate. I read stories of people who contracted loans, which received money from family, which saved/spend their last penny just to be able to publish their book at Tate. And suddenly remained with empty hands. No book, no music, no money. I read that nobody ever got royalties. I read the books are still sold.

So back to the beginning of this story. I became emotional. Angry. I was angry. How can a company that calls itself Christian put such injustice to all those people? We are talking about thick 39,000 customers! All of which were promised that their work would get all the attention and respect! They all paid a lot of money. Tate Publishing collected, took the money … to do nothing? Even their own people were not paid, were dismissed.

I wanted to help those people, even though I’m on the other side of the world. I could not just stand by and rest. I felt the need to shout out that they weren’t alone. That’s why I started a Facebook group “Ex-Tate authors and artists”. When I found, People asked on forums for help, I sent a message that they could connect. Eventually given information, advice and support in that group. Every time I heard that someone was helped thanks to the information of that group, I felt happy. I saw that the people gives each other courage and give useful information. Those people do not give up.

I do not know if these people will ever actually get something back from Tate Publishing. I know Tate will have to pay some difficult issues and that many of their workers remain without money. And yet I wonder what is left from all the money from the countless customers from Tate. I hope that investigation will be done. And if it turns out that after paying all those fines by Ryan Tate, something would remain, I’m the first to tell it to as many former Tate authors and artists as possible.

I see my experience with Tate Publishing as a life lesson. I learned that I will do more research into new publishers. I was lucky that my next books landed with traditional publishers. I’m a writer. I want to spend my energy on searching words, write stories. Not at the technical side to create a book of my story. I want my books in the store, not just online from a publisher. My book “The Pencil” is now free again. I want to give it the same opportunity in America as in Europe, where sales are good and the filming will be done. Somewhere sits an American publisher who will choose my book. It’s up to me to find him…

Guido Kees.

Website: www.guidokees.be

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008921922414

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GuidoKees

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guidokees/?hl=nl

Email: guido.kees@telenet.be

1: No trace of Kevin. (traditional publisher)

2. The Pencil (Tate Publishing!)

3. European version of ‘The Pencil’. Movie rights sold! (traditional publisher)

4: Son of Artan, part I, Secret of the Dragon. Youth serie on Tv. (traditional publisher)

5: Son of Artan, part II, The Dragonmaster. (traditional publisher)

  Me, at the bookpresentation of The Pencil in Europe.

Ford employee becomes author.

Signing the contract with the producer. ‘The Pencil’ will become a movie in Europe.

The first book of ‘The Pencil’ at home. With a special word for my muze…

 

 

I am proud to introduce Matt Welsh and everyone should check out his website: The Spiritual Media Blog, Matt Welsh.

 

Matthew Welsh is a pioneer in conscious media and spiritual entertainment. After graduating from law school, Matthew moved to Hollywood to work at a talent and literary agency, the William Morris Agency. While working in Hollywood, he realized that there were a lot of spiritual movies, TV shows, and programs being made that were not getting the attention they deserved. This experience drove him to create Spiritual Media Blog to raise awareness for emerging conscious entertainment and provide pro bono consulting services to various non-profit organizations. Matthew has served as a volunteer film reviewer for the Heartland Film Festival, an entertainment consultant for the International Interfaith Initiative, and Board Member for the Peace Learning Center.

Matthew has given motivational presentations across the country on this topic and on how you can turn your passion into your career path to venues ranging from the San Diego Convention Center, University of Notre Dame, and the Professional Women’s Group for Dress for Success Worldwide non-profit organization. He has appeared on international media outlets including CBS Radio, Conscious Content TV and in film for the Spiritual Cinema Circle.

He is also the author of The Bottom Line, a novel about a guy in college learning how to overcome the male ego. You can read an excerpt from The Bottom Line by clicking here.

http://www.spiritualmediablog.com/2012/09/19/your-spiritual-life-materialism-and-balance-thoughts-on-co-creating/

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The following two articles are written by Matt Welsh, creator of Spiritual Media Blog (www.SpiritualMediaBlog.com)  Spiritual Media Blog contains reviews of conscious books, movies, and TV shows along with guest posts and exclusive interviews with best-selling authors and award winning filmmakers who are committed to creating content that has a positive impact on the world.

 

The Dark Night of the Soul has appeared in traditional

spiritual texts,famous stories and popular movies throughout our

history. I believe it has been written about so much because it is

a common experience that everyone who is committed to reaching his

or her inner and outer potential must go through. It is a period of

time where we learn our most difficult lessons because any flaw,

inauthenticity or shadow that is holding us back must come to light

so that it can be consciously released. Normally, this takes place

right before we are about to have a major breakthrough or shift in

our life.

       A good description of this phenomenon is in the classic

novel, The Alchemist, when Paulo Coelho writes,

        “What you still need to know is this: before a dream is

realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned

along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we

can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve

learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which

most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the

language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm

trees have appeared on the horizon…

       ‘Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search

ends with the victor’s being severely tested.’

The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said

that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.”

    So if you are facing any sort of personal or spiritual

obstacle right now, just hang in there and don’t give up. This is

a challenging time for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If we

can remain steadfast, then whatever difficulty we are facing now

will eventually be seen as our greatest friend because it gave us

the necessary strength to carry out our life purpose.

********

A popular theme in movies these days seems to be revenge.

I find this a bit troubling and would like to offer an alternative

for dealing with those who have wronged us:

–An advanced form of forgiveness–

This is an advanced type of forgiveness because:

       1.  It is for you, not the person you are forgiving.

       2.  It is unconditional and holds no grudges.

       3.  It simply involves letting go of resentment

     As Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like

grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone

else; you are the one getting burned.”  When you let go of

resentment, you are freeing yourself to focus your thoughts,

energy and intentions on what is truly important to you.  You

do not have to tell the other person that you are forgiving

them.  Simply forgive that person in your heart and let go of

their energy.

  This has many powerful seen and unseen benefits because

after you forgive the other person then that grudge, anger or

resentment that you are holding onto literally disappears and

you free yourself from that negativity.  This is why this

type of forgiveness truly is for you and not for the other person.

       We can practice this type of forgiveness on ourself too.

For example, we all make mistakes and can let go of our anger or

guilt by forgiving ourself.  This is not always an easy process,

but the more we practice it, the easier it becomes and the more we

begin to heal ourself on a conscious and unconscious level.

********

 

 

 


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