Showing posts with label #writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #writing. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Best Tool for Writing & Exercising

     A writer, as well as other careers, plasters our bottoms in the chair and our hands on the keyboard. (BICHOK is a shortcut reminder for writers.) It's a lonely, sedentary existence, but how else might our words mount up on the page?

     Recently, I found that my most useful tool for time management while I write is a simple kitchen timer.


     Allow only thirty minutes to check social media before going to writing; set the timer to alert you.
     Promise an hour of writing before checking social media; set the timer for an hour and write away.


     The timer turned out to be my best tool for time management. I can get two pages finished by turning off the world, setting the timer for the half hour before my husband comes in for lunch, and write. I love it.
    



 
     If you're a frequent follower of Writing with God's Hope blog, you know I'm a recovering food addict. Twenty years ago, I lost a hundred pounds and have maintained it to this day. I teach classes and workshops on permanent weight loss, and post here about hints that help me, in the hope it helps others. Well, guess what?

     The same tool that increases my writing and manages my promotion time, also helps my weight maintenance. Keeping down our weight is a combination of eating less calories and expending more calories in our activities.

     My kitchen/writing timer above helps my activity level on a heavy writing day.

     1. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     2. Write with abandon. Keep your head in the story.
     3. When it goes off, get up and do eight jumping jacks.
     4. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     5. Write away. Think of nothing else but your story.
     6. When the timer dings, get up, do five frontward kicks, five backward kicks, and five sideways kicks on each leg.
     7. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     8. Plot, edit, whatever your writing needs.
     9. When you hear the ding, get up and do eight squats.
     10. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     11. Repeat the cycle again.

     You can't imagine how much activity and writing you will accomplish in a five hour afternoon.

     That's my newest tip. Do you have any for me?

 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Inspirational Quotes

Sunset over my grandson's first scrimmage for baseball, 2016
I post a quote that helps me at the top of this Writing with God’s Hope blog. Such thoughts can minister over and over.

Today, I decided to post several that influence my thinking over my overeating compulsion.

To heal emotionally and gain deliverance from food addiction, we must change the way we look at ourselves, our God, and our food. If I know the author, I give credit. I hope these speak to you.

 
    It is the life, not the lips, which truly praise God.

  

Death of self helps prayer life.

 

It’s not who runs your eating; it’s who you run to for your eating.              
                          -Janet K. Brown

 


The enemy of our souls wants to discourage us from ever thinking we could have a supernatural self-control.
                         Lose It for Life

 

Change your thoughts, and you change your world.
                            Norman Vincent Peale

 

Food is not the cure for your pain.

Freedom, not bondage is what we seek.

 

Losing weight is not the end in itself; it’s merely a by-product of other, more important, transformations.

 
You can’t change life, but you can change yourself.


God can’t give you anything new until you let go of the old.
 
One day at a time.
                - Overeaters Anonymous
                

 
Do you have a quote to share?


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hungry? 4 Things to Do

It's not my brother nor my sister, but it's me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
That is a line from an old gospel song, reminding us to only judge ourselves, not others.

God says it best in Matthew 7:3

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Overeaters need support groups. They encourage us, inspire us, and motivate us, but what happens in the afternoon when you're hungry enough to eat the strings off the floor? You promised God you wouldn't eat in between meals, but dinner is three hours away. You're on your own.

What do you do?

1. Plug into your power source.

   Spend quiet time with God. Read God's Word, pray, and meditate.
 
   I'm powerless over food.
   God can handle this, if I surrender to His will.
   My job is to ask, seek, and knock.
   His job is to answer, provide, and open doors.

2. It's not all about you.

Gratitude moves out pride.

Call someone. Write a card.
 Compose an e-mail. Visit a shut-in.




   If we're struggling with the desire to overeat, we're dwelling too much on ourselves. We may be angry, envious, or frustrated. When our attention is drawn to the needs of others, God provides our solution. 

3. Is not eating too drastic?

Are you really hungry? Maybe you need food because you haven't eaten enough earlier in the day, or maybe, you exercised more than usual.

As overeaters, we don't want to obsess over food, but neither should we obsess about not eating. Snacks aren't bad. Some lose better by snacking. Are you feeling faint? Is your tummy growling? Maybe you are really hungry? What healthy snack would energize you?

Have you missed out on sleep? Are you sick? Take time to rest or nap instead of grabbing a snack. What is your body telling you?

Don't be drastic or dogmatic to what you "think" you should do.

4. Write about it.

In the last few weeks, my weight has fluctuated 3-4 pounds, but it never goes all the way back down to my goal weight. Angst settled in. I teach how to maintain weight. Why can't I get back on track? I began to journal my food choices and activity level. The discipline opened my eyes. Through the months since I last did this, my appetite has grown. I didn't even realize it.

Do you need to list your foods again for awhile? It's helping me.



****Overeaters face hunger feelings by themselves. We can redirect that hunger. What is it you need to do today to get yourself back on track?
 
 
Give yourself a valentine. Lose three pounds before the end of February.


P. S. Watch out for those chocolate-covered strawberries. They're sneaky and dangerous.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Three Ps of Success

Are you trying to lose weight?
    A hundred pound loss begins with the first pound. Have you talked to God about it?


Are you beginning a writing career?
    Whether this is your first book or your fifteenth, furthering a prospering writing career takes hard work.


Is your new football season beginning?
    High school around Texas including Leonard, TX where my grandson plays are beginning their 2015 football season with two-a-days before school starts.


Whatever your goal, success comes through three P words.




Preparation  To insure success in losing weight requires a mental change, a physical turnaround, and a spiritual search.


1. Seek God. Read His Word. Pray for His guidance for what to eat, what exercise to do, which meeting is right. Set aside a place and time to commune with the Lord, daily. (Spiritual search)
2. Join a support group. Dwell on the positive. Visualize yourself at a smaller size. Get your mind off the food and on to other things that interest you. (Mental change)
3. Purchase fruits, veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, and healthy oil. Rid your pantry and refrigerator of trigger foods by giving them to others or throwing them away. Buy a notebook and keep it handy to journal. Find recipes and favorite restaurant menus and pick out low fat choices you like. (Physical turnaround)



Patience  If you lose slowly, or have a gain, patience can save you from giving up. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience. Ask God for that fruit to be active in your life. Keep doing what you've been doing, and God will give the success.



Perseverance  Continue to follow the first two Ps over the long haul. Prepare weekly. Have patience when you can't see the results. Keep going. Don't give up. 



Those same three Ps can be applied to any other goal.

To be successful at a writing career:

Preparation  Go to writing conferences and workshops. Network with other authors. Take online courses about writing. Read writing craft books and books in your own genre and genres you don't write.
My debut novel 

Patience  I recently read an article about "Why I Am Glad it Took Me 11 Years to Get Published." The longer the process takes, the better our writing gets. Have patience and know that you are growing, so it's all good.

Perseverance  Write every day. Write after your work is rejected. Take the suggestions and corrections given by critique partners, agents, or editors. Improve. Grow. Don't quit.


What about those beginning a football season?


Preparation That's what two-a-days is all about. Preparing and improving before the games begin.


High school game with my grandson & son-in-law coach along with my daughter and granddaughter.

Patience Other teams are good, too. We're human, so we mess up. Good football players learn from their mistakes and remain patient for the next opportunity to get it right.



Perseverance Keep working. Keep improving. Be ready for the next game. Keep on keeping on.



Saturday, August 8, 2015

What's My Best Tip for Permanent Weight Loss?

Permanent weight loss appeared to be an impossible dream to me twenty years ago. I learned compulsive overeating takes healing physically, mentally, and spiritually. Many good plans out there incorporate great ideas for the physical and mental, but I found I must also apply salve to the spiritual side of my life.

I've posted my favorite ten tips to weight loss. Trimming it to ten was difficult. Today, God sparked my mind to list the one thing that probably, more than anything, this time produced success.

Can you guess?

My biggest tip here is to keep this big boy in his cage at the Amarillo, TX. zoo.










What is it?

Is it learning to eat more veggies?
   That really helped because I didn't like them. At times, I could handle green beans. I ate my hamburgers with no veggies. I didn't like salads. My veggies consisted of eating more carbohydrates like with potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes.


But, that wasn't most important.


Maybe it was becoming more active.
    For sure, activity is imperative for keeping off the weight. Sometimes, I've done nothing right except exercise. When I began with ninety-five extra pounds on my body, I was a couch potato. My job was done sitting. I plopped as soon as I could at night. Walking would give me a stitch in my side.


That isn't number one.


I know you've by now guessed going to your support group.
    I have Weight Watcher friends who fear missing even one meeting. I began weekly Divine Dining Christian Weight Controllers classes at my church because I feel the support and encouragement of a group is important.


Yet, I would put that at about number four or five on my tip list.


I believe my one best tip, the thing that made the most difference to heal my thinking and helping me lose weight and maintain that loss for eighteen years is:

Ta-da`


Daily Writing.



For me, as a writer, keeping a journal comes natural. For some, it's hard, but I can only tell the difference it made for me. Perhaps, it will ignite in you a writing frenzy.

Here's the benefits:

1. On paper, I verbalized to God what I needed that day.

    Lord, I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with all I have to do today. Please give me an extra measure of Your peace. Make me focused, alert, and productive.

   Communion with God can make a difference in the day you have.

2. Writing out angry words enables me to "let go and let God."

     Lord, my husband made me feel worthless when he talked about my writing income not covering my expenses. I did make some money, Lord, and I work hard. I'm really mad at him. Would you take the anger away, so it won't make me overeat.

Anger and resentment are the biggest causes of overeating. They're right up there with frustration and boredom. We must allow God to remove it, but that's not easy. Once I write it in my journal, it seems to disappear. Try it.

I've even written a whole letter to someone that has hurt my feelings. I tell them they acted hatefully. Sometimes, then, I throw it away, but it gets it out of my heart where it will fester.

3. I draw closer to God.

     Using more than one sense causes us to more effectively learn. That's why it helps to write down a new person's name. We use two senses, hearing it and seeing it. Writing out praise to God uses two senses, hearing our words and seeing it in print. The closer we draw to the Lord, the less we overeat.



My best tip to my husband, grandson, & me is not step back off the ledge at Palo Dura Canyon near Canyon, TX.



That's my number one tip to permanent weight loss.

Do you agree?

Why?  Why not?

What's your number one tip?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Perserverance

Not giving up may be the hardest lesson to learn if you're trying to lose weight. The road looms lengthy with many peaks and valleys. Stepping on a scale that doesn't move, or worse, goes up threatens the strongest motivation.

God's weight loss plan challenges us to rely on Him, not our wishy-washy self will that can turn on us with one step on the scale, or one roadblock to our carefully-constructed plan. While we immerse in God's Word and pray for His direction, He whispers for us to presist, to keep our eyes on Him, not the problem.

I love how God uses His creation to teach us lessons.

On a short trip with our grandchildren to Amarillo, TX., God provided two great examples.

The first I spotted at the Amarillo Zoo. In the educational building, one of the cages held a prairie dog. He so wanted to be out of that cage to roam free with his buddies. He jumped toward the door at the top, over and over and over. I couldn't help but admire his gutsy leaps. His stamina was strong.


How many times would I jump to escape a prison. Ninety-five extra pounds along with low self esteem imprisoned me as surely as those bars confined that prairie dog. I grew weary, gave up, and wallowed in failure. Will that prairie dog do that? "No," the young man in the room told us. The animal jumped most of the day every day, a tribute to its instinct for freedom.

The other example was a beetle. My hubby, the three grandchildren, and I hiked up to a cave in the Palo Duro Canyon. On the return trip, my grandson spotted a beetle the size of a dime pushing a rock the size of a golf ball up the hillside.
I obviously didn't zero in on the beetle that well.


We surrounded it watching. The rock fell to one side. The beetle repositioned itself and pushed again. The rock began to roll. The beetle moved out of the way and then circled back behind the rock. We tired of watching and left, but the beetle was halfway up the hill with his treasure.

The example of the prairie dog and the beetle might inspire us in any field. A writing journey requires much persistence. Any career can challenge or defy us at times. A road toward sobriety or away from drug addiction may seem long and tedious. With God in charge, He asks only that we keep trying, keep praying, keep submitting to Him.

If you're on a difficult path now, whether it's weight loss or something else, stop today and remember the prairie dog and the beetle that persevere.

If God is for us, who can be against us.
                        Romans 8:31

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Love Hunger

In my weight controlling classes, I use quotes and examples from many books. In Love Hunger: Recovery from Food Addiction by Dr. Frank Minirth, Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Robert Hemfelt, & Dr. Sharon Sneed, we read, "The first step to food addiction, Love Hunger, most often begins in childhood, but one can get on the addiction cycle later in life as well." 

Finding the root cause of our compulsion or addiction means discovering when and where it started. A baby isn't born that way. I wracked my mind trying to determine what gave me love-hunger.



I was very fortunate that both my parents were in my life, and both loved me. However, I will say that I never lived up to my mother’s expectations. She loved me, but more than that, she loved what she wanted me to be, only I wasn’t that perfect daughter in her mind. She complimented me a lot, but always with a but … .
 
“You’re such a beautiful girl, if you would just lose a little weight.”
 “You are so smart, but I wish you’d speak up more for yourself.”
 
Mother took me to my first weight loss place where I began a diet when I was fourteen. Thinking back, I guess this was my trigger (my love-hunger). I was embarrassed and felt insecure to need such a place.

To receive my total emotional healing from God, I began with that trigger time. Before I could heal, I had to forgive. By this time, my mother was gone. I didn't know how to express my forgiveness. One time, while I was taking a course on the book of John in the Bible, God spoke to me to write her a letter.

I did, writing to my mother and telling her how she hurt me with her comments, with her lack of acceptance of who I really was, then I told her that I knew she did the best she could do. I remembered her telling me about her mean-spirited grandmother. Compassion welled in my heart for the little girl who was sickly and unable to work in the cotton fields with her brothers and sister, for the taunting and harsh words that befell her though she was unable to change her health. The more I wrote the freer I became.


When I was bound in addiction, I could've never imagined that God would have me writing at this desk as He dictated. Praise God for His miraculous healing.

I'm not saying that you need to write a letter of forgiveness, but maybe you do. What I'm saying, is if you're bound with a food addiction, ask God to show you the root cause. Then, ask Him to heal that love hunger.

(See the way God does things and fall into line. Don't fight the facts of nature.) Who can straighten what he has made crooked?
            Ecclesiates 7:13 The Life Recovery Bible


Not everything is fair in life, but God is control.

And, God heals. My life is a testimony to that.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

How does symbolism affect our lives?

When I was in college, I loved English except for when the professor asked us to look for the symbolism in the stories we read. The stories she choose didn't make sense to me. Though I did well at every part of English except that, I often failed the symbolism tests.

Several years ago I took a fiction mentoring class for three days with award-winning Christian author, DiAnn Mills. One lesson focused on symbols. I explained I hated that. She tirelessly tried to convince me of its importance. The next year I took a class from DiAnn at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writing Conference, and I finally got it. Sorry, I was such a hardhead, DiAnn.

In my latest release, Worth Her Weight, food symbolized freedom to my main character. Of course, she learned that freedom only exists through Christ.


Tomorrow is Flag Day in America which gets me to thinking about how symbolism affects our lives. Men and women have died protecting the flag. Because we love America, we handle the flag with care by keeping it off the ground and folding it a certain way. Tomorrow, as flags unfurl across our cities, our minds will think of the United State of America. The flag doesn't become the land mass from "sea to shining sea," nor the great people that live within its boundaries, but we do fly it as a symbol of those things.
 
 
 
 
Other than God, the most important thing in my life is my marriage. The love that Charles and I share warms my heart. He's my friend, my lover, and my biggest fan. When we married, he slipped a wedding ring on my finger, and I've kept it there for 53 years. He's offered to buy me a new one, but this one means more to me than anything I might purchase today. The ring on this old, wrinkled hand of mine symbolizes the day I said "I do" commit to Charles.
 
Think about what symbols we use.
 
A cross represents our Christian faith because of Jesus' death on a cross.
 
A red rose stands for romantic love. (Take note of that, guys.)
 
For a fiftieth wedding anniversary, we give gold to indicate the golden years. (I wish.)
 
After 9/11, the workers looked at a metal beam that looked like a cross as a symbol that we would overcome.
 
Like my character, Lacey, in Worth Her WeightI used food as my God, but food, drugs, alcohol, or even sports, shopping, or fishing can't replace God.
 
I open my Bible. I don't see it in the same way as the decorative cross. The Bible doesn't symbolize God's Word, it IS God's Word.
 
How does symbolism affect your life?
 
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 


Saturday, May 9, 2015

REJECTION

Rejection requires patience.

Patience requires the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives nine fruits.

The fruit of love, joy, and peace gives freedom.


In Writing

When I retired from my medical coding and bookkeeping job, I set a goal to write and submit to agents or editors on a regular basis. I followed steps to make that dream come true. I joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a local group called Red River Romance Writers (RRRW). I wasn't sure what I wanted to write, but I knew all my stories included romance in some way. I attended a weekly critique group where my writing was torn apart verbally.

One of our speakers in RRRW that first year was a writer form Tulsa, Margaret Daley, who spoke on "Falling in Love without Falling in Bed." I loved it. Though I love romance in stories, I'm turned off by the overt sexual content that most publisher seemed to want. She introduced me to a group called American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I joined and attended a conference. I pitched to agents and editors. I submitted and waited, soon receiving rejection after rejection.

Each rejection stalled my writing while I threw myself a pity party.
Finally, through the grace of God and the fruit of patience, I submitted again. I reached the point that I agreed with God to allow one day of self-pity, but the second day, I was required to submit something else, a short story, a query, something. Author, DiAnn Mills, taught at Blue Ridge Christian Writing Conference how to write as a ministry to God. I clung to that idea.

Through RRRW, I learned about another group called Oklahoma Writers Federated International (OWFI). At my first conference in 2011, I pitched to the publisher/owner of 4RV Publishing, Vivian Zabel, my one and only young adult. In a few months, I had my first contract. In 2012, my debut novel, Victoria and the Ghost, became a reality, almost seven years after my first rejection.


In Weight Loss

All my adult life, I exercised a yo-yo cycle of losing and regaining weight. One of those hundred pound losses prepared the way for me to purchase and run a Diet Center franchise. Even then, I faced rejection on a major scale. I became a closet eater. Because of teaching others in the community how to lose weight, I couldn't be seen eating a heavy meal or dessert at a restaurant or banquet. I regained every pound plus five.
BEFORE


Rejection nagged at my heels with every new diet, with every new exercise, with every new pill or shot. Once, taking shots from a doctor to lose weight plunged me into deep depression. Again, I failed.

My husband didn't mean to reject me. He loved me, but he couldn't face what I was doing to myself. I had no patience with anything that took the weight off slowly. The fruits of peace and joy eluded me. I wanted to die. Compulsive overeating bound me in unbreakable chains.

Rejection to patience. Patience to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit to the fruit. The fruit to freedom.
AFTER
God began to heal me. The more I concentrated on the Lord, the more the weight came off, slow, steady, but sure. The Spirit gave the patience. In two years and four months, I lost ninety-five pounds. That was nineteen years ago. God gave freedom over rejection and failure.

In Teenagers with Dysfunctional Families

I write the message of hope for compulsions, addictions, and hang-ups. In my YA book, a fifteen year old girl named Victoria faces rejection from a mother that she adores. The material world that Victoria lives in hasn't prepared her for feelings deeper than deciding on the latest pair of sandals or the biggest thing in jeans. She responds with anger toward the dad that moves her away from her Dallas home to Hicksville.

Anger rules this girl's life; anger at dad, anger at people that are kind to her, anger at God, angry at everyone except the person that rejected her.


 

That's one emotion she can't face.

Rejection to patience, patience to the Holy Spirit, the guidance of the Spirit to the fruits, the fruits to the freedom to love and conquer fear. Victoria learns to forgive without giving up love.


If you face rejection, failure, and bondage, the answer is the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches about Jesus.

With eyes on Him, anything is possible; relief, success, and freedom.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Haunted Jed Johnson Lake, Oklahoma

A favorite day trip from Wichita Falls, Texas is the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in South Central, Oklahoma, near Lawton. If we travel a little over an hour, we reach a destination filled with wonder and fun. Buffalo, deer, and Longhorn cattle dot the plains. Mountains, tall on the Oklahoma horizon, rise in jagged peaks and form rocky canyons. For the fisherman, the park sports thirteen lakes. Children ooh and ah over the animals and run free over the boulders. The view from the peaks is breath-taking. For Christians, one area is reminiscent of Israel during Jesus' time on earth. Each year, this Holy City is the setting for an outdoor Easter pageant.

My husband and I drive to the top of Mount Scott, the highest peak in the Wichita Mountain chain. The next stop is usually the Holy City. Once, when we had our grandsons for a visit, we parked and hiked around Jed Johnson Lake. An old tower built in the 1930s stands guard over one end of the lake. The youngest grandson wanted to climb up the tower steps, but the way was blocked.


Since then, I have discovered that perhaps there's more than one reason why the steps are closed to that tower. The ghost of a woman who ran her car off the road and into the lake to drown was seen in that tower by explorers and workers alike. Wow, am I glad we didn't venture in. The outside was strange enough with its tall, thin stature like a park sentinel.

Still, it's rather fun to imagine a ghost in this remote location. When you're there, few people pass your way. An imagination could play tricks on those who dare.


For information on many other Oklahoma ghost legends, go to the blog for Haunted Oklahoma at:  http://hauntedoklahoma.blogspot.com/?m=1


Do you have a ghost legend a day trip away?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

An Interview with Blanche Day Manos

Today I wish to welcome a new online friend, Blanche Day Manos to my Writing with God's Hope blog. She is also a Pen-L author with three books published by them. I have ordered her first cozy mystery book. With a title like The Cemetery Club, I'm definitely curious.
 So, here we go:
 

Is there a story behind getting three books out all in one year for your first effort?

 

Actually, this was not my first effort and that’s why they all came out at the same time. The Cemetery Club was first published a few years ago by a different publisher. Same is true of Grave Shift.

Best Left Buried had never been published. I probably went at this backward (I have a tendency to do that). I sent my third cozy mystery, Best Left Buried to Pen-L Publishing. My publisher and I talked about the fact that this was the third book in the series, so he took book one and book two so that there would be a consecutive order to the books.

 

Very interesting. How did you find your publisher?

 

I met Duke and Kimberly Pennell almost a year ago at the Northwest Arkansas Writers’ annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I introduced my books and myself at that time.

 

Are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
 

 
I am currently working on a devotional book and am planning to put together two books of my mother’s life into one ebook. For many years I’ve worked on assignment for a Christian periodical based in Cleveland, Ohio.
 

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
 

My favorite genre is cozy mystery. Since that is my favorite book to read, it is also the genre in which I choose to write. I love to have a comfortable case of the spooky shivers while sitting safely in my chair with a cup of coffee close at hand. I’ll have to confess, when I re-read my own cozies, I get a case of the shivers too. Fun!

 
What has your writing journey been like so far?
 

My writing journey has been long and enjoyable and I hope it continues for many years. I’ve written stories since I was a child. Many of my articles, poems, songs and short stories have been published by various periodicals through the years but The Cemetery Club was my first published book, followed by Grave Shift and Best left Buried.
 

Do you have another book due to come out?
 
 
I’m hoping! My publisher has a completed fourth cozy mystery which is under consideration.
 

Where is your favorite place to pray or reflect?
 

Hmm. I have reflecting spots all over the place. One favorite spot is my dining table which is over a hundred years old and belonged to my dad and mom before it came to me. Maybe it’s because of so many dear people who have sat around that table that I seem to get inspiration from sitting there with pen and paper at hand.
 

Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
 

A fun fact about myself, or maybe I should say a funny fact is that sometimes I react spontaneously and unexpectedly. For instance, if something strikes me as funny, I’m apt to laugh out loud even at inappropriate times, at things nobody else considers funny. Another funny thing is my favorite bird—an owl. Some of my friends think of me when they see owls. That’s pretty neat, and I’m flattered!
 
 
 
Where can viewers find you?
 
 

Facebook Page: Facebook.com/blanchemanos

Twitter: Blanche Manos

Google +: Blanche Manos

Email: manosmeadows@sbcglobal.net


Buy Blanche's books at:
 



 
Grave Shift

                Goshen Cemetery lay quiet and peaceful under a benevolent spring sky. Darcy Campbell and her mother, Flora Tucker, had no inkling that in a few moments, the scene would change and they would face a horror on the ground and a threat from above, beyond their imaginations.

     Becoming entangled in a centuries-old legend, being targeted by a group of ruthless men, and discovering a long-lost love were not in Darcy’s plans when she returned to her birth place, Levi, Oklahoma. She merely wanted to soak up the peace of her mother’s home and try to heal the wounds left from her husband’s death. Fate, however, had other plans for Darcy and Flora.

A rousing good tale with appealing characters, an intriguing puzzle, and unexpected twists. Sure to charm."  Carolyn Hart, award-winning author of Ghost at Work, Merry Ghost, Ghost Wanted, Death on Demand series

Having a good time despite my age.

Investigate my cozy mysteries

http://goo.gl/f5LPbj


I love that line. Having a good time despite my age.

Thank you, Blanche, for visiting the Writing with God's Hope  blog today. Anyone have questions or comments for this writer or for me, click on post a comment below.

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elizabeth Maddrey Gives us Her Writing Tip of the Day

Have you ever dreamed of being a writer? Many try, but few survive. Dreams vanish because of trying to follow so many directions that often the writer finds it overwhelming and stops trying.

Elizabeth Maddrey, author and Virginia area coordinator for American Christian Fiction Writers (#ACFW), visits the Writing with God's Hope blog today with a writing tip and news of her new release.


Writing Tip: Finding What Works For You

 

So many people dream of being a writer, it’s probable that you’ve run into a handful of them over the course of your life. And for those of us who decide to take that dream a bit farther and see if we can’t transform it into a reality, chances are the first thing we do is buy (or check out from the library) a stack of writing books that tell us how to be a writer. Delving into those books, you’re likely to be inundated with six different “right” and “only” ways to be a writer. And, if you’re like me, you’ll dutifully try them, one after the next. And none of them will fit very well.

 

And that’s the point where you will hopefully realize that, as with the majority of life (with the notable exception of hats) there’s no one-size-fits-all in writing. The mechanisms and methodologies that work for one person may not work for you. And that’s okay.

 

Maybe for you that’s not news. If that’s the case, you’re way ahead of me. It took me years (seriously – years!) to realize that I didn’t have to follow any particular prescription for writing. It wasn’t like a course of antibiotics that needed to be finished if it was going to work properly. It was okay to try something and switch to something else when I realized that whatever I was doing didn’t work for me. That realization, when I finally had it, was amazingly freeing. And that’s why I’m taking the time to share it here.

 

There are a lot of great things that can come from a long, detailed outline complete with timeline and twenty-page character outlines. You’ll know everything about your plot and your characters backward and forward and diagonally. But, if you’re me, by the time you’ve assembled a two-inch binder of paper planning a novel, you’ll be so sick of that plot and those people that you won’t be able to abide the thought of spending any more time with them.

 

For me, what works is to just sit down and write. But that doesn’t work for everyone, either. Some people can sit and stare at a blank Word document for hours on end and never come up with a word to type. They need that structure, the outline, the character profiles, the Pinterest page full of actor and model photos and outfits etc.

 

And then there are the people who split the difference. They do a little plotting and then write. Or they write a little then take a break and do some plotting. Or they have a wall full of post-it notes that have ideas written on them…the possibilities are endless.

 

So that’s my best piece of writing advice: find what works for you. Read the books. Try the various methods. Keep the parts that resonate and throw out the pieces that make you cringe. And then keep working and refining your process until you’re able to sit down and enjoy letting the words come through your fingers onto the page into the book that you’ve always wanted to write. And be aware (and excited about the idea!) that your process may change with time. Mine has – because I keep reading the books and trying new methods and refining my workflow. Being a writer is a fluid thing. And that’s one of the things I love about it.

 
Thank you, Elizabeth. That's wise advice.
 

Now, tell us about your new release Love Defined.
 

 
Dreams Change. Plans Fail.

 

July and Gareth have reached the end of their infertility treatment options.  With conflicting feelings on adoption, they struggle to discover common ground in their marriage.

 

Meanwhile, July's twin sister, June, and her husband, Toby, are navigating the uncertainties of adoption and the challenges of new parenthood.

 

How much stretching can their relationships endure before they snap?
 

Sounds very interesting and the cover is beautiful. Since your book released this week, give us the link where we can purchase it.
 
 
 
 
 
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey
Here's three other ways to find Elizabeth online. 
Twitter: @elizabethmaddre
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ElizabethMaddrey/posts
 
 Thank you for visiting Writing with God's Hope blog today. Good luck with the new book. I see you also have two other books available,
Faith Departed  and Hope Deferred. Those viewing this post might want to check those books out as well.
 
Is there any would-be writers out there struggling with following everyone's advice?