Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

The last 2 years have been emotionally and physically challenging, requiring all my energy simply to survive the turmoil ensuing from my husband’s battle with pancreatic cancer. While still struggling to adjust to life without Alex, I lost my mother-in-law, and then a sister. During those long, sorrow-filled months I also lost all desire to write, or to think too deeply about anything at all. Thankfully, my faith and my family have finally helped me find a measure of peace, and words once again enthrall me with their power to express the feelings and thoughts that whirl through my mind.

I am amazed that my blog statistics show my average daily readership has doubled since I quit posting in February 2013. Makes me wonder if I should just leave well enough alone and remain inactive here. However, I enjoy researching and writing and have decided to resume posting occasionally. Perhaps I will eventually commit to a regular schedule, but for now I will simply post whenever I think of something that interests me and might interest others as well. I have a few ideas in mind, but if there is a topic anyone feels would be helpful to discuss, please feel free to make suggestions in the comments section.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read my blog posts. I appreciate each of you, and am grateful for the encouraging comments and friendship so many of you have shared with me over the years.




Read Full Post »

My daughter turned 21 last month. She’s a full-time college student, works 2 jobs, and is moving into her own apartment this weekend. One of her brothers is an honors student working as an intern on a government-funded study with one of his college professors. Her other brother has been working part-time while trying to get a computer-related business started.

Each of my children is awesome. Each is also different, with ideas and goals of their own. Looking at them now, I’m amazed by how quickly time has flown. They’ve grown from babies dependent upon me for just about everything, to young adults. I’m extremely proud of them.


Looking at my own life, I’ve grown, too. I’m at the stage where statistically speaking there are more years behind me than ahead of me. I’ve changed in many ways, hopefully for the better. Yet some of my ideas, dreams, and goals are still the same ones I had as a child. As I approach my own birthday this month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is that I’ve achieved and what I still hope to accomplish.

Though there are several things I still want to do, the one that’s relevant to this blog’s theme is this: I want to write a novel that brings warmth and hope to another person’s heart.

I’m working toward that goal slowly, but surely. It’s been sidetracked this spring due to family commitments, but I’m getting back to it today. I’m also trying to get back to blogging regularly, but may still be a bit sporadic with my posts until my kids get into their summer routine (and the laundry gets caught up!)

Please be patient with me as I get it all together. And to those of you who’ve asked me questions I haven’t answered yet, I apologize, and will respond as quickly as I can gather some useful resources for you.

Thanks all!


What are your goals? Are you making progress toward them? What is holding you back from achieving what you hope/plan to do?

Read Full Post »

Recently I received a book to review called Our Witchdoctors are too Weak. I posted my review as soon as I finished reading the book, just prior to getting an email asking me to post it during the first week of April as part of a virtual book tour. To make up for posting prematurely, I’m contributing to the tour by listing the other reviews for this book on my blog. If you’ve reviewed this book and are not listed here, let me know and I’ll add your site to the list.

I enjoyed this book, and admire the authors for their dedication to the Wilo tribe. Living in the Amazon in order to learn and record an unwritten language isn’t something I’d be willing or able to do, but I can and do encourage others to read about the authors’ experience.

If you’d like to know more about Davey and Marie Jank’s book, take a look at the reviews by: 

Carol Benedict

Valerie Comer

Carol J. Garvin

Tana Adams               

Sharon A. Lavy


Sue Harrison

Susan Panzica

Our Witchdoctors Are Too Weak: The Rebirth of an Amazon Tribe

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it?

Read Full Post »

Due to a family emergency, I will not be online for a couple of weeks. I would appreciate prayers for my family and myself, especially today and Friday. Thanks.


Read Full Post »

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving week with my family, but my kids headed back to college last night–so here I am, back to posting.  As this is a busy time of year for me, I’ll only be blogging twice a week (or less) through December, but hopefully more often in the New Year. I’m still checking other blogs regularly even though I may not post a comment each time I visit.

I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas next month. Our tree is up, along with most of the traditional decorations, and I’m starting on my Christmas cards and shopping. I’ve also created a musical e-card at Jibjab again this year, and am sharing the link here for those of you who might enjoy a bit of holiday silliness. It will be available until 1/11/11. http://elfyourself.jibjab.com/view/wt4g3TiGT3OVrptJXl19

I hope each of you has a wonderful and safe holiday season.


Is your writing schedule affected by holiday busyness, or do you stick to a regular routine no matter what time of year it is? What holiday traditions do you enjoy most? What are you putting on your “wish list” this year?

Read Full Post »

Just wanted to stop in and assure my regular blog readers that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’m learning technology in order to make my blog better, and it’s taking more time than I anticipated.

Yesterday I chatted at length with the tech support team at Kodak, trying to figure out why the video camera I got for Christmas wouldn’t load pictures onto my computer. The young man patiently explained how to do all those techie things some people seem to understand intuitively, like take out the SD card, remove the battery cover, and plug in the USB. He eventually figured out that I was using the charging cord rather than the built-in USB thing to upload the software on my camera—and, duh, it don’t work that way. (Yes, that’s grammatically incorrect, but used for effect. Isn’t it odd that someone so OCD about perfect grammar can know nothing whatsoever about technology, and not care at all?)

I’m doing this to give you an absolutely awesome video experience in my next post, which I’ve written and desperately want to share. However, I’m too cheap to pay WordPress $50 per year to upload my video directly, so I have to learn how to upload to YouTube before I can put the video on my blog. And of course the Kodak moment I want to share was stuck on my camera as I couldn’t figure out how to upload to my computer. Step 1 is now resolved, but today I tackle YouTube.

Learning how to do the basics is key to success in many ventures. As writers, we need to have at least a basic understanding of grammar, story structure, characterization, and setting. Building on those basics will allow us to create stories that captivate readers, and mastering them will set our stories apart from the ordinary ones.


Have you ever posted to YouTube? Do you have tips for taking interesting home videos? How do you learn to use new technology? Is your writing hindered in any way by the inability to master some aspect of technology?

Read Full Post »

A common question from writers is whether or not it’s necessary for them to develop a blog or join a social networking site such as Facebook. The majority of us seem to think it is. However, there are differing opinions as to when, why, and to what degree networking is important.

For those who are published, or soon-to-be published, a website, blog, and social networking may be essential marketing tools. The trend in publishing is for writers to take over much of the responsibility for promoting their own work, and online activities can make a big difference in the success of a book.

For unpublished writers not actively submitting stories or articles for possible publication, though, an online presence may not be helpful. Devoting time to blogging, participating in forums, and updating Facebook may distract us from writing and studying the craft, which we should be doing to make our work marketable. On the other hand, those activities can be fun, and help us find like-minded people who will encourage us and possibly become critique partners.

I have mixed feelings about the value of a blog at this stage in my writing career. The people who read my blog tend to be other writers, but writers also tend to be readers—so somewhere down the line, this may become a valuable asset. Since I enjoy blogging, it makes sense to keep at it. For those who haven’t started submitting work for publication and don’t enjoy blogging, I think it’s more beneficial to spend time working on writing stories and articles than blog posts.

I haven’t joined a social networking site, so can’t say from personal experience whether or not they are worth the investment of a writer’s time. My opinion on blogging may not mean anything to those of you reading this, either. So, I’ve compiled a list of sites where publishing professionals discuss this topic. If you’re trying to make up your mind on how much you need to be doing online at a certain stage of your career, you may find these sites helpful:

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/03/author-platform-what-are-you-waiting-for/  Joel Friedlander on author platforms

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2009/03/lets-talk-about-platform.html  Rachelle Gardner talks about platforms

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2009/07/social-networking-vs-writing.html Rachelle Gardner on unpublished authors and networking

http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2009/04/building-platform-for-fiction.html  Jessica Faust on fiction platforms

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-on-platform.html  Janet Reid on nonfiction platforms


What online activities do you participate in? Which ones do you think are useful for promoting your work? How much time do you spend each day blogging and/or networking? What topics do you talk about most often on your blog or networking site? When do you think an aspiring author should start building an online presence?



Read Full Post »

I have a lot of things I must do today, so I’m going to refer you to some excellent posts I’ve read on various topics instead of writing one of my own. Here you go:

Agent Chip MacGregor lists skills a writer needs to develop. http://chipmacgregor.typepad.com/main/2010/03/what-skills-does-a-writer-need-to-develop-.html


Patrick Dent provides lots of tips on writing fiction, including setting, scenes, dialog, and more.


Holly Lisle gives advice on how to revise a novel.


Editor Lynn Price discusses the role of blogging in an author’s “platform.”


Those should keep you busy for a while.  🙂


Do you have some interesting/informative sites you can recommend for writers? What about a post you’ve written on a particular topic that writers might find helpful? Post links in the comments so we can all learn more about the craft of writing.

Read Full Post »

Reviewing books is a pleasure for me, but also a responsibility. I feel I owe the readers of my blog and the authors of the books I read a fair, thoughtful assessment. In an effort to provide quality reviews, I’ve examined those written by professional reviewers, and researched articles for tips on how to go about it. Here are a few of the things I think are most important to keep in mind.

1. A review isn’t supposed to be a book report. Give a brief overview of what the book is about, but concentrate on your reaction to it. How did it make you feel? Were the characters believable? Was the setting clear? Was there a theme or point made that was especially interesting?

2. Don’t give away the whole story, and don’t reveal the climax or the ending. Keep the review short but helpful.

3. Assess who the target audience is and whether you think the book is appropriate in content, style, and difficulty.

4. For nonfiction, mention whether the organization, format, and style are effective for the book’s purpose. For example, if there are maps, indexes, or other features, tell readers whether they were helpful, easy to understand, or lacking in some way.

5. Give praise where it is due, with specific examples of what you liked in order to support your opinion.

6. If you have a valid criticism of the book, tactfully mention what you disagreed with or disliked, and why.

People who read reviews want an honest opinion from someone who has read a particular book to help them determine whether it is worth investing their time and money in it. Give them the help they need, in a way you’d appreciate if you were the author. Maybe, someday, it will be your book someone is talking about.

Do you read reviews before deciding to buy a book? What do you want to know about a book before you decide to read it? Do you have a favorite site for reading book reviews?

Read Full Post »

The holidays always distract me but I’m getting back into a reading and writing schedule of sorts. I posted a review of the NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible today, and am awaiting two new books to read and review. I’m also working on a blog post related to genres, and taking notes on several other topics to develop into articles. So, it may seem like I haven’t been doing much since my blog has been rather stagnant, but there is a lot going on that doesn’t show up here.

What are some of the things that prevent you from sticking to a regular routine–with writing, or with other things you’ve tried to commit to?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: