Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Legacy of Kara Tippetts

I was late catching the Kara Tippetts bus, but so thankful I hopped on at the last minute. Her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, is an authentic, gritty look into living life slathered with God's grace.

She died last Sunday . . . but her words live on. What an impact this humble author made in her 38 years here on planet Earth. What a picture she created by sharing her beautiful passage into eternity. And just today she'd pre-posted a letter to her readers upon her death.

Words remain long after we are gone, which is a solemn reminder to choose your words carefully.

If you didn't have a chance to meet Kara over at Mundane Faithfulness, here's a little sample of the amazing woman she was (and yes, the blog will continue, run by her friends) . . .

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Authors as Presidential Candidates

It's barely 2015 and already things are heating up for the presidential election of 2016. Ted Cruz, senator from Texas, just announced he's throwing his hat into the ol' election ring. Personally, I like him, but it got me thinking what if an author became president? What would that be like?

Stephen King
Terrorists shmerorrists . . . no one's going to mess with a man who pens murder and death in horrifically creepy ways.

Nicholas Sparks
I know Obama was supposed to "bring us all together and tear down barriers," but yeah . . . how's that working out for us? If Sparks were pres, just imagine the warm fuzziness that would blanket the country.

Veronica Roth
With her no-nonsense, hard-hitting characters such as Tris or Four in Divergent, this woman would single-handedly whip congress into shape.

Dr. Seuss
Who wouldn't want executive orders to rhyme? Yeah, I know he died like twenty years ago, but honestly, some of those senators have been in office so long, one wonders if a few of them are actually breathing anymore or just taking up chair space.

J.K. Rowling
British accent. 'Nuff said.

There are my top five pics for authors as presidential candidates. Share yours in the comment section. Go on. Be brave. I don't wield a politically correct axe around here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pumping Up Some Motivation to Exercise

I kind of just want to sit around and eat. Could be because I've got a container of homemade chocolate chip cookies calling to me from the counter. But more likely it's the dang snow outside. The calendar says shorts weather is just around the corner, but my thighs and the weather are screaming that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

Yeah, I've got a gym membership. Yeah, I should walk the dog. But here I am, sitting on my rump roast, thinking about cramming one more killer cookie into my mouth. Why is it so hard to exercise? Oh yeah. That's right. BECAUSE I HATE IT.

You didn't know you'd be tuning into a rant today, did you? I suspect, though, that I'm not the only hater out there.

Here's the deal . . . thinking about slipping into shorts and tank tops without any cottage cheese type lumps or serious muffinish overhangs is oh so much easier than doing the hard work to achieve that body -- which is eerily like writing. Except for the cellulite. What I mean is that it's easier to think about writing a novel than committing the actual deed.

So. There's the ugly truth. The only way out of this lack of exercise pickle is through, one sweaty sit-up at a time, just like the only way to make it to "The End" of a novel is one word at a time. Wait a minute . . . pickle?

I think there's a hamburger calling my name. Smashburger, here I come, baby.

Oh, quit your judging. I'll jog there.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Why Writers Should Use Instagram

Facebook shmacebook. Move over Pinterest. Tweeting? Yeah. Been there, done that, and honestly still do. But even so . . . Instagram is the hip-hop happening place to be. It's way more than stupid cat pictures or selfies in a mirror. I'm still a relative newbie to this venue, but hot dang! I'm having a wingding of a time over there, posting pix of my England trip and other randomosities of my life. Click HERE to sample the wares.

But my followers are nothing compared to 18 year old Emily Ables. This chick has close to 54,000 followers. Why? Because she posts beautiful pictures of books. Check out her readerly pix HERE.

I hear ya, though, "Seriously? I don't have time to make dinner or plow the back forty let alone add one more social media time waster to my schedule. Why in the world should I cave in to peer pressure? What good is being on Instagram?" You do where this is headed, right? You got it, grasshopper . . .

5 Reasons To Use Instagram

1. Connects you with a new audience.
Looking to garner new readers? The Instagram population is generally a younger group of users, which is a great way to broaden your fan base with minimal time spent posting. When you attract this population to your pictures, they'll become interested in you as a persona, visit your website -- and hopefully even toodle over to your Amazon page.

2. Gives you a break from words.
I know. Words are your life. Can't live without 'em. Yada. Yada. Whatever. But the thing is that writers have a love/hate relationship with words. Sometimes you just need to take a break from them in order to appreciate them more. Instagram lets you create without the "hassle" of words, and honestly, everyone needs a sabbatical every now and then.

3. Opens your eyes to the beautiful mundane.
Sure, writing is art, but so is life. Capturing moments via picture causes you to slow down and really look at the things around you, the pile of books next to your bed on the floor, the way the sunlight slants in through the window, creating a halo around that pile, the zillion zinging dust-motes dancing in that golden ray. Then transfer that new perspective over to your writing.

4. Promotion.
No, not the beat-the-poor-slob-over-the-head-with-your-latest-book kind of marketing. Instagram provides a kinder, gentler sort of tooting your own horn. Case in point, I post pictures of historical places and items, tying in to my latest historical fiction release.

5. It satisfies your inner artist.
As writers, we paint with words, wishing we could master other mediums. Instagram is easy to use, with filters and photo enhancements that are so intuitive even a 3 year old (or me) can use them, that you can create a beautiful picture in less than a minute. Now that's satisfaction, folks!

Now that you know why to use Instagram, want to see how other authors use it? Here are a few for you to follow so you can have a daily dose of inspiration . . .

Michelle Griep

Laura Frantz

Lisa Tawn Bergren

Amy Tan

Amanda Torroni

And those are just a few. If you've got a favorite author you like on Instagram, or you're on there yourself and want to share your link, go for it in the comments.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What If?

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." 

What if you believed that?
What if you lived life with those words etched into the front of your mind, the back, the sides?
What if you swallowed those words and they became part of you?
What would happen to fear? Doubt? Loneliness?

God, forgive us for merely entertaining "what ifs" instead of embracing them.

Friday, March 20, 2015

How To Be a Happy Writer

This is it. Today's the day. Blow your horn twiggler and bang your hog-doggity drums. Huzzah for the International Day of Happiness!

The idea of proclaiming a day of happiness came from Bhutan – a country that supposedly houses some of the happiest people in the world. According to the UN . . .
"The day recognizes that happiness is a fundamental human goal, and calls upon countries to approach public policies in ways that improve the well being of all peoples."

Yeah. I know. Sounds like a bunch of feel-good gobbledegook, but just for the heck of it, let's take the happiness ball and run with it for awhile, shall we?

10 Ways To Be a Happy Writer

1. Stop looking at your Amazon rankings.
2. Decide that failure is an opportunity to improve.
3. Happiness equals word count so write, write, and then write some more.
4. Pry your fingers off of perfection.
5. Quit comparing yourself to others.
6. Step away from the naysayers because no one needs extra negativity in their life.
7. Go ahead . . . love what you do, you crazy little writerly animal.
8. Encourage another writer -- a rising tide lifts all boats.
9. Write what you love, not what you think you "should" love.
10. Eat chocolate, and lots of it.

Now then, slap a delirious smile on your face and get out there and play ball. This day only happens once a year, so yuk it up, happy pants!

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I probably should have been writing today, but instead I doodled around on Twitter and discovered a super fun hashtag.

Ditch Your Date in 5 Words is a creative playground. Here are some of my favorites:

You're not Benedict bloddy Cumberbatch!

I have chronic diarrhea.

Been sober since 7 a.m.

I'm more into fictional people.

You look like my wife.

Hey, want to go--SQUIRREL!

You should really order salad.

Does this smell like chloroform?

Focus on the dollar menu.

So, I thought, hey, I'm a writer. I should give this a whirl. How hard can it be to put together 5 little words? Turns out, way more difficult than I thought. Here's what I got:

Oh yeah, about that felony...

Trench mouth isn't contagious, right?

And Saturday, we'll join ISIS.

My mom's in the trunk.

I was raised by goats.

There you have it. Are you ready to give it a whirl? If you're brave enough, leave a Ditch Your Date in 5 Words in the comment section, or go all out and tweet it for the world to see.

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