Tell Me What You Think

This week I am asking for you to help me with my blog. My publisher Elk Lake Publishing, looks at the responses I get to my blog. If people, make comments and share them on my blog my numbers of interest go up. They also look at Facebook, for comments, likes, and how many times someone shares my posts. Especially ones about my books.

I am also trying to build up my presence on LinkedIn and GoodReads. There is still so much for me to learn about this business. The social media portion is the hardest to keep up with. There are parts to each media that I still am not sure how to work with. At this age it’s harder to learn and understand how it all works. If you can help me, please contact me via my blog, to set up a meeting.

I know a lot of you aren’t used to answering blogs. I never did until I became a published author. Now it’s part of my job to do all of this. Really, writing my books is much easier for me, than all of this. Your responses to my blog only have to be a few words. Tell me if I’m doing okay or if you see something I should do differently. You can also ask for me to write about something you would like to learn more about.

I thank you for your responses, and help in this endeavor of mine.

God bless you.

A Look at a Writer’s Conference

FCWC2016 stands for Florida Christian Writer’s Conference 2016. We meet at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg Florida. On Wednesday February 24, it all began with registration at 1:30 pm. Two workshops were offered in the afternoon. Then it was on to dinner, and a meet and greet with a Sock Hop as our theme.

The rest of our days begin at breakfast with a guest speaker at 7:30 am, if we bought that package for the conference. Then we have worship, a speaker, workshops, and meetings with publishers, editors, and agents. There are several workshops to choose from. I chose as my continuing, or daily workshop, “The Continuing Critique Track.” We each were allowed to bring up to 7,500 words to be critiqued over the course of the conference. In these classes we receive good comments, and suggestions as to what might be a better way to say something, or this is confusing. It is very helpful to get feedback from others. It all helps to make our manuscripts better before we try to get them published.

These are some of the other workshops that I chose to attend. “Writing for the Guideposts Contest” with B. J. Taylor. “What Do You Meme? Working With Images to Enhance & Grow Your Social Presence” with Edie Melson. Friday late night I went to a fun workshop called “Bring on the Bling: Discovering Your Inner and Outer Beauty” with Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett. We had a fun time talking about how makeup can enhance your looks and make you feel better on the inside. I had another workshop “Beginner Blogging: Do’s and Don’ts” with Kristen Hogrefe and Ashley Kirby Jones. This class gave me some good pointers on easier ways to do a blog.

The first three years I went to the conference I took material to show and talk to agents, publisher, and editors. When meeting with them you give them a “pitch,” or quickly tell them about what you wrote. It has to be short, but exciting. I would take my manuscript to as many as six of the professionals. This is fun, yet exhausting. It felt like being on stage all of the time, continually trying to improve how you pitch your writing.

This year wasn’t as stressful as in the past. I already had my contract, as well as the next three manuscripts almost ready to send with a proposal to my acquisition editor, Deb Haggerty. She was at the conference and we finally were able to meet each other. While speaking at lunch one day I told her about a picture book manuscript that I have. It tells the Easter story through the eyes of a child.  I told her I was advised to write for older children, that it is hard to get a publisher to take on picture books because of the expense.  Deb asked me to send her my manuscript, that she would like to read it. After some more editing, I will send it off. It has been a dream of mine to get this published. It is the follow-up book to “This Babe So Small,” the nativity told through the eyes of the inn keepers daughter.

What types of conferences or workshops to you attend? Answer me back on the blog to share with us.

Florida Christian Writer’s Conference 2016

FLChristianWritersConferenceFeb. 24 – 28. 2016
I’m taking a week off to prepare for an awesome conference.

This is a conference of mostly Christian writers, agents, editors and publishers. We come together to share what god has put on our hearts and help each other in our careers.

I’ll let you know next week what I learned. Have a blessed week!

Bible Characters Through the Ages

Thank You God, for this blessing. It’s still hard for me to believe that He has me as a published author. This isn’t something I ever even thought of doing. I am having the time of my life doing it though. While writing, I learn more about the characters. When talking with the children and adults, I can share my faith and hope to bring them to a stronger faith.

The first two books in the series “Bible Characters Through the Ages” are now available on Amazon. “Book One Adam in the Garden” and “Book Two Meeting Eve” are ready as an eBook and a paperback.

I can’t wait to start setting up book signings and talking with the children. I pray that this series helps bring children and families closer to God. Let me know if I can visit your church or school to share these books. If I don’t live near you, we can set up a Skype visit.

Ash Wednesday

This week we begin Lent. In the past I have given up something, like dessert, chocolate, and snacks. Other times I have tried to add something to my daily routine, like more prayer, or reading more in the Bible. This year, I think I will try to be better focused on what God wants me to do each day. In Matthew 6:1-7 it says:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

I will add to my morning prayers: Please, Father, help me to see more clearly who You want me to help today. Please guide my thoughts and writing to be to Your glory. Amen.

How about you?

  • Do you give something up for Lent?
  • Do you try to do something to help others?
  • Do you want do something to improve your health?

Let’s work together and see how we can improve our lives. Go to the end of the blog and write what you want to do this Lenten season. Then each week we can share how we are doing. If we stick to what we have planned maybe this can be a new beginning for being more faithful to God.

I can’t wait to hear what you have planned. God bless you.

 

 

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 6:1–7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Making Time for God

This shouldn’t be so difficult, but it is. It’s easier now for me, but as a young wife and mom, the day seemed like it was over before it began.

  • Make sure everyone was up and ready
  • Get breakfast on the table
  • Check backpacks for homework
  • Errands for the day
  • Make dinner
  • Dance class
  • Bath and bed time
  • Whew

As I fell into bed, I’d start my prayer: I’m sorry God I forgot to talk with you today. Please forgive me and help me to do better tomorrow.

Over the years I have learned to take more time for God throughout the day. Once I started praying for direction for what I was going to be doing things fell into place better and easier. I even started asking for driving directions. Usually there is more than one route to where I would want to go. The first time I did it I later learned that there had been a bad accident and I was able to avoid the area by listening to God’s direction.

During the day if a name comes to mind, I pray for that person, for whatever is going on in their life. Or if I see that a cashier looks like they are having a rough day, I make sure that I smile and thank them for helping me. Also tell them to have a blessed day, and then pray for them. Sometimes when out shopping or walking you may see someone that looks like they are having a tough time. You can say a quick prayer asking God to give them peace.

A benefit I have for talking to God more during the day is that I see things more clearly. I notice people not just a blur that is walking by me. I see more in nature when I am on a walk and hear the birds singing more clearly. The more I walk, the better I feel. The pain from sciatica stays away if I keep active enough. Getting older isn’t for the weak, but it sure helps when you feel God’s loving presence helping you get through your day.

Ways to help in making time for God:

  • When you wake up say a prayer of thanks for getting you through the night
  • Tell Him you hope He had a good night
  • My husband and I read a chapter in the Bible with our morning coffee, then comment on the reading
  • Weather permitting, you can sit outside for breakfast and listen to the birds around you
  • Pray for safety and guidance on the road
  • Ask God to help you make a decision
  • Thank God when you are ready to go to sleep for a good day

I believe that my writing books for children, is a gift and a call from God. It’s not something I ever had even thought of doing. I pray when I first sit down to write the books and my blogs asking Him what I should write. Many times when I go back over my manuscripts I will find parts that I don’t remember writing. Those are the time when I feel He really has put the words down that He wants the children to read.

Still Waiting!!!

Our youngest daughter and I are both still waiting, maybe a little impatiently, for our arrivals. Nickie is awaiting the birth of her second child, and I’m awaiting the publication of my second book. (Okay, she’s not waiting anymore☺)

There are lots of things we can be waiting for.

A big part of the country is waiting for a huge winter storm to go away. Here in Florida it’s windy and cold, being raised in Michigan I think it’s chilly. Thank goodness it started on Saturday and not as many people need to be out on the road.

While you are recovering from whatever the weather has brought your way here’s a little something to read. 😉

 

Chapter 2

They found everything on their list they needed to get started. Mom dragged the box to the playroom from the garage and cut a hole for a door in the box for them.
“Thanks, Mom. You’re the best. We’ll finish the rest. Can we cut a picture from a magazine?” Daniel laid his hand on the box.
“Sure.” Mom put down the scissors for them to use. “The magazines are in the basket in the living room. Call me if you need any more help.”
“What do we do now, Daniel?” asked Sarah.
“You get a picture that looks like something we could be flying over from a magazine. Mom gave us two empty spools of thread to use as dials. You can put your picture on the wall just above them. Then I’ll write the names of the people we want to see around the dials.”
Daniel called, “Mom, will you come cut the holes for the thread spools, so they can turn, please?”
“Sure. Are you going to decorate the spools?” Mom asked.
“No, I’m going to have Sarah cover the top with paper and draw an arrow on it, so we know where to turn our dial.” “That’s a great idea,” said Mom.
“How can we decorate the inside of the box?” Daniel asked. “I want it to look real cool. It’s got to look like we’re traveling through space.”

 

Other things you might be waiting for might be:

  • School to be over
  • School to start (Probably the  parents)
  • A boyfriend/girlfriend to call or text
  • A big football game (Super bowl 50)
  • A trip you have been planning
  • A wedding

I pray you didn’t have damage from the winter storm. Please reply on the blog: What effect did this storm have on you? What are you waiting for?

Sneak Peek!!!

It’s almost here. “Bible Characters Through the Ages Adam in the Garden Book 1” is next in line to be published. It will be available as an eBook, Audio book and Print on Demand. This is so exciting, it’s like waiting for a baby to be born. You don’t know quite when it will arrive. Then it is awesome to hold that new book in your hands.

I can’t thank God enough for guiding me into being an author. It has been so amazing. Family and friends are so supportive. A plus is I am getting to know the Bible characters much better myself. He has blessed me with being able to use His book and put it in the language of the children. I pray these books reach many, many children.

 

Bible Characters Through the Ages Book 1
Adam in the Garden

Genesis 2:5–25

Chapter 1

“Sarah, where are you?” Daniel called as he ran into the playroom. He stepped on a Lego he missed while cleaning up last night, and jumped around in pain. Looking around he didn’t see Sarah.
“I’m in my room,” Sarah yelled back.
Daniel went down the short hall to her bedroom. Sarah stood in her play clothes at the door, she still wasn’t quite awake and rubbed her eyes. He was too excited to notice her grogginess. “Want to go on a time travel trip with me?”
“Really, Daniel?” Her eyes lit up, as she picked up her ballerina doll, named Princess. “How are we going to do that?”
“Let’s make a time travel machine!”
Running down the hall, they almost ran into their mom.
“Whoa—!” Mom put her hand on Daniel’s shoulder. “Where are you going in such a hurry?”
They started to talk at the same time.
“I can’t understand a word you are saying,” Mom said. “One at a time-what has you two so excited?”
“You know how in Sunday school we learned we can talk to God and ask Him to help us learn more about Him and the stories in the Bible?” Daniel tilted his head sideways. “We want to build a time travel machine and travel back in time to meet the people in the Bible. The first one we want to meet is Adam.”

I’ll let you know when you can order your copy. I’m working on “The Amazing Esther” now. What character would you like your children to meet next?

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution?

I used to make a resolution every year. My resolutions ranged from working out more, dieting, reading more for fun, and education. Like most people I was successful for a while, but then stumbled and went back to my old ways.

This year I didn’t make a resolution, but want to try to listen more carefully to God’s guidance in what I eat. I need to lower my cholesterol and sugar numbers. I am cutting back on the carbs I eat and keeping a journal with my count for each day. There are many different plans and diets available for any type of way you want to stay healthy. I don’t believe any one plan is meant for everyone. We all have different body types and reactions to the food we eat. Some people can eat a lot and never gain an ounce. We have to figure out what our metabolism is and work with that. We can look at our family and see what traits we have from our parents and grandparents.

Once we have a better handle on what works for our body, then we can work on finding the best type of eating plan we should be on. If you’re like me this can be very frustrating, I have worked at keeping my weight down most of my life. The older I get the harder it is because our metabolism slows down. I work out more and eat less, but still struggle with loosing.

These are some of the different plans you can follow, after talking to your doctor:

You can also check with your doctor for recommendations for you and your health conditions. You should always make sure the plan you want to try is approved by your doctor.

I really want to make it work this time. Where are you in this struggle? Can we work together and help each other? Let me know what you think. Please leave a comment on this blog so others can benefit from your experience.

What is Winter Like For You?

We live in Florida now. Growing up in Michigan is quite different in the weather department. Winter in Michigan can be beautiful with the snow and ice when you are sitting safely in your home by a nice warm fire drinking a cup of hot cocoa. I loved winter as a child and I could only have to worry about playing out in the winter wonderland

As an adult however it is a completely different story. We have to drive on the slippery and icy roads, be concerned for our loved ones in the car with us and those around us. Sometimes the people around us drive like they haven’t a clue as to how to handle the weather conditions. They either, drive too fast or too slow and cause accidents because people around them aren’t sure which way they are going to move.

As a kid even shoveling the snow was fun. We’d see how high we could get the plies along the sidewalk. Then we’d make snow angels and snowmen. Sometimes we’d even build walls. Then stand behind them and have snow ball fights. Those are good memories, but I’m glad that is all in the past.

Now we shovel sunshine during the winter. This winter has been above average in temperatures so far, but I still like it better than trying to handle icy streets and sidewalks. I do miss the pretty sweaters and cuddling up with a soft warm afghan. There is something to be said for floating on a raft, with a drink, and listening to Christmas music on Christmas Eve though.

Having more sunshine in the winter is a definite benefit too. Cloudy days can make it hard to be in a good mood. There are people that suffer from Seasonal affective disorder , this link will take you to a site for the Mayo Clinic. If you feel more down or depressed than you think you should be read this site and call your doctor to see what he thinks. Don’t let it just go on; there are things that can help you.

What state do you live in? What is the weather like for you? What types of activity keep you busy during the winter?