A moment please, and a word about biding your tongue and minding your manners. I think we've all lost patience with the world since COVID-19 appeared. I know I have. Not surprisingly, social media has gotten ugly. If you don't agree with someone's opinion, then you're given all kinds of nasty labels. I tend to stay away from controversy and conflict, so you'll rarely see angry rants on my wall. it's time to simply step away, avert your eyes. You won't change their opinion, an
If you don't purpose to slow down and savor the beauty of the season, it won't happen. Here's some advice to slow down and savor Christmas: Make your favorite hot beverage, turn on the Christmas tree lights, sit down, and chill out. Give yourself a few minutes to just b-r-e-a-t-h-e. Listen to some Christmas carols. Sing along, if you'd like. Soak in the meaning of Christmas. Pray to Emmanuel (God with us!), and be quiet to listen to His leading. If you'd like a more structure
Huh? A scripture verse for the year? Yup. That's what I've decided to do this year—forgo the yearly "word of the year" for a scripture verse: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. I rarely select a word for the year, and I truly had no intention of seeking out a scripture for 2019, but this one leapt off the page one morning while I was reading my Bible. My heart beat a little faster. I read it agai
Last Tuesday I discussing writer's block and strategies to get your productivity back on track. Writer's block doesn’t have to paralyze your writing progress. I gave you the first few suggestions, last week. Here are five more methods to get your fingers flying over the keyboard: 1. Work on another project for a while If you can, switch gears to another project you have in the works or make notes on a subsequent project you’ve been thinking about. You may return to your “bloc
Did you know that boundaries are good for writers? If you want to be a writer, there’s no getting away from the fact that you have to write. And to write, you need time and space to create and complete your project. People often don’t understand when a writer in their life chooses to sit by themselves and tap out a story on their computer instead of ____________. You fill in the blank: watch a movie, meet for coffee, go for a walk, go out to dinner, play a board game, etc. Re
Do you ever feel like all your efforts to make your dream come true are for naught? Do you sometimes feel like you've done enough, tried your hardest, and you want to give up? Don't! Life is hard. Schedules get tangled. The pressures and tasks you face each day can just about do you in. It feels like there are more tasks to do than there are hours in the day to accomplish them. Sometimes it feels like you've stumbled and you're not getting any traction moving toward to your g
Remember when the dream of writing a novel first bloomed? How exciting that was, right? And then time wore on, and your writing career didn't reach the apex you'd hoped it would. I'm here to tell you that now is not the time to stop. You've started, don't stop! Everyday, go to the spot where you write, sit, and get cracking. Maybe you're tired of the struggle. Guess what? You're not alone. But it's the writers who continue on the journey who get the results. I'm glad you sto
I'm always on the lookout for fresh ideas and clever tactics to help make my life easier. However, one thing that I know I do well is mornings. That wasn't always the case. But as I've matured, I realized that to have a successful day, you need to build off of a successful morning. Strategy #1: Get enough sleep and have your clothes ready and waiting Make sure you're getting enough sleep every night. Believe me, I know that sometime's it's difficult to put that book down or
I have always been addicted to reading fiction. Books have taken me to other worlds and have helped me to figure out my world. When you read fiction, you can "try out" new situations and ideas by experiencing them through the skin of the character in the novel you're reading. You can travel to the outer limits and beyond or stay within the confines of a cozy setting. Fiction can let you experience highs and lows that take your breath away and give you plenty of food for thoug
We're into the new year. So many folks are clinging to resolutions and goals. Myself? I like to start the year with a prayer—one I'm happy to share with you. It's important to stay focused, press on, and have a sense of hope. For me, the best way to do that is through prayer. Keep moving forward, keep writing, keep praying! And as you continue your writer's journey, remember: Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading. ~Oswald Chamb
Friends, remember what the holiday season IS about: celebrating Christmas—the birth of our Savior. It's not about Santa, Rudolph, and empty traditions. Christmas is a season to enjoy friends and family. A time to dwell on the gift of our Savior. A time to be grateful for the gift of faith and hope. The end of the year is a time to be introspective as 2017 draws to a close and a new year is upon us.
Please don't allow busyness, stress, or striving for perfection ruin a beaut
Welcome to the 2017 holiday season. It's the most wonderful time of the year. Right? If so, then why are so many of us stressed and exhausted from Thanksgiving until New Years? The gifts, the decorating, the parties, the baking, the special events—the whole shebang can make the holidays feel more like a part-time job than a season of love and joy. It doesn't have to be such a tiring whirlwind. The good news is that you have the choice to join the madness or to step away from
It’s confession time. I don’t like grocery shopping. At all. I just returned home from doing my grocery shopping, and if I were a paranoid person, I’d think some folks were out to get me. You know that lady that pushes around the cranky child? Somehow she always shadows me through the store. Yeah, she was there today. What about the person at the deli counter that has a list longer than Santa’s naughty and nice list? Yeah, I was behind him today. And don’t you just want to cl
I once read an article about famous Hollywood types who feel compelled throw around their celebrity to get their way.
"Do you know who I am?"
Apparently that question opens doors, gives them discounts, offers a way out of legal situations, etc. Those people had learned how to get what they want by throwing the weight of their fame in the faces of anyone opposing their desire. That's too bad.
I've always been an Acts 10:34 gal, treating everyone equally. After all, if it'
Is it ever too late to pursue a dream? Can you ponder a dream for too long, and miss the opportunity for accomplishment? Consider the words of C. S. Lewis, "It's never too late."
I prefer to think he's correct. We're all so busy. Sometimes we forget to dream or don't have time to set goals. But in the quiet, solitary hours, our mind and our heart wanders to what if. What if I try . . .
Are you wondering if it's too late? Are you wondering if you've missed your window of
Have you experienced a moment when when reality crystalizes and you finally KNOW a deep, personal truth? I’ve been thinking about defining moments lately. As an author, they populate my books. As a human being, they have shaped my character and my choices. Merriam-Webster says a defining moment is the time that shows very clearly what something is really about I’ve often heard good fiction characterized as real life without the boring parts. That’s true, and both fiction and
Rejection is an ugly word, especially to a writer. But we need to keep it in perspective. To help you put rejection into perspective, I’d like to discuss my shoes.
A few months ago, I noticed my favorite shoes were beginning to look worn out and were no longer attractive to wear with dress pants. I thought about purchasing another pair of shoes, and then I had the bright idea to bring them to a shoe repairman. The repairman put new heels on my shoes, polished the leather, a
Consider yourself the luckiest writer in the universe if you’ve never experienced a moment of writer’s block. Consider yourself fortunate if you've never experienced a moment of, "where do I go now?" Consider yourself blessed if you've never thought, "How can I tie up this loose end?" The most important thing to consider when faced with the dreaded writer’s block is to realize that that this is probably not the last time you’ll be stuck. Personally, I think it’s part of the w
Happy is the person who dreams dreams and is willing to take the steps to make them come true. Don't be afraid to start climbing, and I'll see you at the top! ~ Zig Ziglar I’ve been thinking about perspective lately. So much of life’s experiences depend on perspective, especially for writers. We commit ourselves to long periods of solitary work and then endure the difficult process of publication. Even after publication, it's not a walk in the park. But whether you succeed in
Second chances. There comes a time when we all need one. After all, who’s perfect? Lately I’ve been thinking about second chances in regards to many things—relationships, dreams, challenges. Too often we just give up. We don’t extend grace to others or to ourselves. Many years ago I hosted a play date for my son with a boy from his preschool class. The mom came also and brought her two younger children who were the same age as my younger kids. When we’d rub shoulders picking