Thursday, January 30, 2014

Changes Coming Your Way

It's amazing how much time we can spend on social media. I'm considering starting a new blog with WordPress, and boy is it hard to start up when you're not very computer literate. Now, you could ask me almost anything about Microsoft Word, but that's as far as my electronic wisdom goes.

I spent hours trying to get everything to work. Adding a profile picture was a nightmare. Picking the right theme and setup was a challenge.

I know- all you're hearing is complain, complain, complain. I'm done.

On the bright side, I got it set up for the most part. Maybe soon this blog will move to WordPress. I'll keep you updated on that change. I hope it'll make my blog a little more user friendly for me and my readers.

To all you WordPress users...HELP! I need some help.

Goodnight my friends.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Relax!

It's been one of those glorious weeks where I've had some time to relax. It's amazing how much you miss it when you've been going non-stop for two months as I have. Thanks to the snow and kid's being out of school, it was even better than a normal rest, too.

And it's really something when I don't care if someone sees me in my comfy, don't leave the house clothes, but since it was one of those weeks, I didn't bother to get embarrassed when Karla dropped something off for our newly released book, Memphis Learns the Hard Way. She definitely eyed the baggy pants and huge gray sweater I love to wear, yet she didn't say a word. You see, it is rare that anyone sees me in those kind of clothes. Image is important to me. But comfort this week won out.

I spent two days of playing Nancy Drew, a computer mystery game, with my family, including my sister and her kids. That's also a rarity that she can take the same time as I do to relax. With my husband at the helm of the computer, we beat one game and started another. All the snacks and popcorn circulating were enough to ruin the calorie count for me. I guess I'll have to double-time it at the gym next week, but it was worth it.


My father-in-law even provided the main course of two dinners. What a blessing!

These times make me so thankful to my God. He provided all the things I love so I could take a break. He's the best, isn't He?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Public Eye- Good or Bad?

Today, my husband and I joined the gym. Yep. I broke down and did the one thing I didn't think I'd ever do. Why you ask? Everyone wants to lose weight. No one is truly happy with who they are.

The answer is simple. Being in the Public Eye. If you're going to pay the monthly fees, you'd have to commit to working out on a regular basis. And I don't want anyone to see me sweat. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I don't care to be in the public eye much. You can imagine how that affects the car salesmen I had to become when I had my first book published.

This problem of shyness can have a devastating affect: i.e. don't work out-gain weight, don't get out there and sell your books- your platform is going to remain small.

It takes a lot of dedication and devotion to get the results we want. Whether it's sticking to an exercise regimen or getting on the phone and setting up book signings, it's important to press forward and tucker down till the work is done. Which means my shy side has to go.

The first attempt is the hardest. For those of us who are shy, it seems like an impossible task to get in the spotlight. How do you do it?
  1. Take it one step at a time- At my first book signing I couldn't get out of my chair. I had to focus on looking each person in the eye and thanking them for coming as I signed their copies. By the third one I was able to walk around and talk to people to get them to come to my table. (My knees were knocking at this feat.)  
  2. Set a goal- Maybe today you set yourself to task making just three phone calls to set up book signings, or thirty minutes on the treadmill.
  3. Make a checklist- It can help you focus, and it'll give you the opportunity to see what you've accomplished as things get crossed off.
  4. Pray- It's important to be in line with God's will for us.
Whether I'm working out or preparing to do a book signing, I need to start with baby steps and work with a definite goal in mind. How about you? Are you ready to get in the public eye?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Newly Released Illustrated Book

I was so excited last year when I began to collaborate with a fellow friend, Karla Gragg, to do some illustrations for a story she'd written. I didn't know what I'd gotten myself into at first, but just the thought of a new project invigorated me. She'd written a great story years earlier. It had a very important life lesson I wanted to be a part of bringing to children.

God is amazing. He gave me the opportunity to know a couple, Lisa and Butch Montgomery, who'd started a small publishing company a few years back. They were great to work with on this manuscript. Thanks to them, all the little pitfalls and adjustments along the way were made much easier.

It's interesting to take someone else's story and put your own design into it. Karla was a little surprised by my color choices, but she gladly let me have artist freedom to work as I pleased. Every few weeks, I'd bring my computer for her to see my progress. We both celebrated together as the book began to take form.
Then off it went to be published. For all you writers out there, you know that's not the end of the work. Designing the front cover, working on page setup, and sending and resending the proof was part of the long process. And a big thanks goes out to Butch for fixing some problems between my program and the one used by the publishing house.

It was on the one year anniversary of losing three foster children we loved dearly that I commemorated their life with us by starting the first picture of this book. It was part of the healing process to create the illustrations.And I dedicated it to them and my own five children. I hope someday to hand them each a copy of this book.

Here we are today with our book on Amazon and True Horizons Publishing. I've heard it made it into some stores too. Thank you Lord for overseeing us through this beautiful journey

Now, I hope you all enjoy this book with your children and grandchildren.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow: So Like Humans


The snow has come to lay upon the ground in the most glorious of fashions. One minute rain poured from the sky, the next, huge flakes almost the size of a cracker began to land on the ground just a couple hours ago. I stood in amazement. They had to be the biggest I'd ever seen.

To some who abhor even the thought of snow I can imagine the horror at the forecast for today, but for those snow lovers like myself, it was a most wonderful addition to my afternoon.

There's nothing like looking out onto the whitest of white yards. I can't help but think of God when I do. The beauty of it is like the clean slate he gives us to shape and mold our talents.

Snow can be such a malleable substance, or it can turn to hard ice. Isn't it amazing how it is so like humans? When we're as snow, God can make igloos and snowmen, trails and sledding tracks, snowballs and beautiful white garlands on trees with us. But when we're like ice, there's little to be done. It takes the salt to melt or the sharp blade to cut to turn ice into anything.


I want to be as snow: washed white and ready to be used. I want to be a clean slate for God to work with. Just imagine what He can do with us writers. Think how we can be shaped to change the world with our words. Our words can be delicate as a cold flake in our palm or as powerful as an igloo wall. And we can do it all for His glory.

I hope that today, if you have the fortune of looking upon a glistening wintry scene, you'll allow it to be a representation of who God wants you to be.