Friday, June 29, 2012

Dance dance dance

DANCE
Dance--at Lisa Jo formerly Gypsy Mama


My girls have both been taking dance classes since they were three years old. That means I've been a dance mom for twelve years.

Twelve years of tights, bobby pins, pink ballet shoes and black and tan tap shoes, jazz moves and handstands and cartwheels, pointe shoes and "look what I learned in class today, Mom!" Storybook ballets like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Nutcracker performances with professionals, competitions, and recitals every spring.

We've been in seven dance studios in four states, with probably twenty teachers between both girls.

I'm still amazed that the girls can be so talented, when I have lived such an uncoordinated life. Not just physically, although I know now that I can blame my ear condition for a lot of my balance issues. But I know that I've lived my life believing that I could not achieve coordination through dancing. It's tough to let go of all that, and I didn't want my daughters to deal with all that baggage.

So they dance, and my heart dances to watch them dance. And I believe it makes God smile to see it all.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Doctor's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Doctor's Devotion
Love Inspired (June 19, 2012)
by
Cheryl Wyatt


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born Valentine’s Day on a Navy base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Cheryl loves interacting with her readers and can be found almost daily on Facebook.

Word from the Author:
I do regular giveaways including a Kindle for every 250 people who join (aka "Like) my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/CherylWyattAuthor and I'd LOVE for word to spread about that. We have a lot of fun there as I ask for frequent reader input on current books, with helpers being mentioned in the acknowledgements and fun stuff like that.


ABOUT THE BOOK



A Doctor’s Vow.

When he fled Eagle Point years ago, former air force trauma surgeon Mitch Wellington left only broken dreams behind. Now he’s back with a new dream—opening a trauma center in the rural area and saving lives. He hopes to hire the quick-thinking nurse who impressed him during an emergency. But Lauren Bates lost her faith and doesn’t believe she deserves to help anyone. Mitch knows firsthand what loss feels like. And it’ll take all his devotion to show Lauren that sometimes the best medicine is a combination of faith, community—and love.

Eagle Point Emergency: Saving lives—and losing their hearts—in a small Illinois town.

If you would like to read an excerpt of the first chapter of Doctor's Devotion, go HERE.

Pattie's Review:

I have to say, once I got into this book, I realized how much of a gift it is for a writer to be able to create realistic characters who struggle with things real people struggle with, and with problems I know people have gone through {losing loved ones in tragic and preventable accidents; bank loan issues; making promises and being unable to keep them due to circumstances}.

Cheryl Wyatt is such a writer. She is wonderful at creating characters like these. I related in many ways to both Lauren and Mitch, as well as walking alongside friends who have gone through what Ian went through {and I believe Ian will be the hero of the next book--if not the next one, certainly book 3--he needs his own happily ever after!}. Life is tough. I have friends right now going through some pretty tough stuff. Life is tough--but God is good. He gives us more than we can handle so that we can turn to Him, depending on His strength, trusting in His providence.


Thanks to CFBA and the author herself for sending me a copy of the book for review.

Five Miles South of Peculiar

Book Blog Tour Post for Angela Hunt's Five Miles South of Peculiar
Five Miles South of Peculiar Cover


About the Novel:
Darlene Caldwell has spent a lifetime tending Sycamores, an estate located five miles south of a small town called Peculiar. She raised a family in the spacious home that was her grandfather's legacy and she enjoys being a pillar of the community . . . until her limelight-stealing twin sister unexpectedly returns.

Carlene Caldwell, veteran of the Broadway stage, is devastated when she realizes that a botched throat surgery has spelled the end of her musical career. Searching for a new purpose in life, she retreats to Sycamores, her childhood home.

Haunted by a tragic romance, Magnolia Caldwell is the youngest of the Caldwell girls. Nolie spends her days caring for her dogs and the magnificent gardens she's created, but when she meets a man haunted by tragedy, she must find the courage to either deny her heart or cut the apron strings that tie her to a dear and familiar place.

About the Author:
With nearly 4 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including The Tale of Three Trees, Don't Bet Against Me, The Note, and The Nativity Story. Her nonfiction book Don't Bet Against Me, written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She and her husband make their home in Florida with their dogs. Learn more about Angela at AngelaElwellHunt.com.

Pattie's Review:

This novel is a good Southern Christian novel about an old Southern family, and it flows like thick Southern sweet tea. At times, to this Northern gal, the story unfolded a bit more slowly than I would like. It took me a bit longer than usual to get into the story. Nevertheless, the storytelling method is fitting to the story of a family of three women, a homeless and churchless pastor, and plenty of memories and secrets that are revealed gradually through the narrative.

I think anyone with a sister will relate to the tensions between Carlene and Darlene, the twins who look nothing alike, and who lived very different lives. I also think anyone who's been in ministry in any capacity will relate to Erik's pain with regard to his painful experience.

Overall, I'd recommend this novel to fans of Southern fiction, because in the end, it's refreshing to the spirit as drinking sweet tea on a hot summer day.



Thanks to Glass Road PR and Howard Books for a review copy of this novel. 
All opinions about the book are my own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hope Springs Book Review

Welcome to the blog tour for Kim Cash Tate's Hope Springs.
Litfuse

About the book:

In a small community where everyone is holding tight to something, the biggest challenge may be learning to let go.

Hope Springs, North Carolina, is the epitome of small town life-a place filled with quiet streets, a place where there's not a lot of change. Until three women suddenly find themselves planted there for a season.

Janelle hasn't gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn't long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened.

Becca is finally on the trajectory she's longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she's been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women's conference. But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father's church in Hope Springs.

And Stephanie has the ideal life-married to a doctor in St. Louis with absolutely nothing she has to do. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels strangely compelled to do the same. It's a decision that will forever change her.

As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches. God's plan for them in Hope Springs-is bigger than they ever imagined.

About the author:

Kim Cash Tate is the author of Cherished, Faithful, Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. She and her husband have two children.

Pattie's Review:

I have to be honest: because I was reading from a NetGalley copy on my Kindle, I could not make heads or tails of the family tree--so I ignored it. And it took me about halfway through the book to see that the two families were of different races!

{Color me clueless, I suppose...pun intended.}

But that's a testimony to the power of good writing, I believe. And yes, that's how good the writing is. The author makes us care about the people and their hearts--not their skin color.

This was a very good, thought-provoking novel.

Read what other reviewers on this blog tour are saying here.

Giveaway:

Win a Kindle Fire at @KimCashTate's Hope Springs Author Chat Party {7/10}!
Celebrate the release of Hope Springs with Kim Cash Tate by coming to her Author Chat Party on Facebook.

Find out what readers are saying here.

Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join me for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!

During the evening Kim will be sharing the story behind her new book, posting book club questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways - books, gift certificates and (I'm so excited about this) - a Kindle Fire!

But, wait there's more – she’ll also be giving you a sneak peak of her next book too!

RSVP today and then come back on the 10th ... and bring your friends!
I was given a free copy of this book via NetGalley.com as a part of this blog tour. I was not in any other way compensated for my honest review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 15 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Serve
http://goinswriter.com/serve/

Service. Finally an idea I can stand behind. I spend my life in service to God, my family, and others. In fact, in a couple of hours, I'll be volunteering for a new organization.

Except, I don't know what to offer for free right now, HERE at Fresh-Brewed Writer.

Once I have a platform and a niche, I could offer a download. But I'm just a woman of a small blog, with a small audience and barely a soapbox on which to stand.

This is definitely something over which to ponder...

In the meantime, perhaps some book giveaways are in order soon...

Bible in 90 Days or more

Behind in Bible in 90 Days Reading www.terilynneu.com
http://www.terilynneu.com/2012/06/one-amazing-summer/

I have fallen behind in my reading plan, but I'm not giving up!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Risk (5-Minute Friday)

5-Minute Friday on a Saturday Morning

RISK
Risk--at Lisa Jo formerly Gypsy Mama

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud 
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin~

It's tough taking a risk. I risk embarrassment by saying something stupid, or embarrassment by wearing or doing the wrong thing. I risk failure. I risk bruising my pride.

I risk imperfection.

I'll admit, I'm chicken when it comes to risk. The few times I've risked something really large, I've failed. {Submitting to regional parenting magazines, for example. Or the One Big Christian Women's magazine a few years ago--again, rejection.}

I allow those failures to color grey over my self-confidence, my not-adventurous but dreaming spirit, my God-given personality.

This is something I'd change about myself if I could. But I can't do it on my own.

I feel very strongly at this moment that this summer will be about the risk to blossom, instead of remaining in my tight little secure bud. Because sitting in my house, afraid to venture forth (in more ways than one), is not what I imagined this summer to be. It's not what I want, even though it's safe and secure.

Day 14 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Brand
http://goinswriter.com/brand/

Here is what Jeff Goins has to say about branding:
A brand is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an impression you leave on a customer or reader; it’s a mental imprint. We all have them.
You’ve likely heard some adage about the importance of first impressions. This is branding — the belief that people get an idea in their mind of your personality based on an experience they had.
Sometimes, the impression is accurate; sometimes, it’s not. But it’s never the full picture of the person, (that’s impossible). And that’s okay. It’s what branding is all about.
A brand is the simplest, most memorable part of yourself you can give.
So what does a small-time, little book reviewing blogger like me do with this?

Think, pray, and pray some more. Because this isn't something I can just hammer out in one day. But at least the idea has taken root in my mind and heart, and perhaps soon I'll have some clarity in what to do.

Rome wasn't built in a day--and neither will my brand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 13 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Publish
http://goinswriter.com/publish-your-work/
So. I haven't done this. No, wait, I did... I submitted a blog to BSF, but haven't heard back. I submitted a devotional to my editor of an as-yet-unannounced project, but no edits back yet.

Methinks I need to do more. But it will have to wait till tomorrow. Hold me to that.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SRT 2012 Wrap-Up

http://callapidderdays.com/2012/06/spring-reading-thing-2012-wrap-it-up.html

Here is the link to my original post, and my final list is also copied at the end of this wrap-up blog.

So in typical Pattie reading fashion, I love making a list--and I love breaking up with my list and making changes along the way. (I think it's my inner rebel.)

Another pattern emerged once again--it's so easy for me to sit down and read a fiction novel. But when it comes to reading meaningful nonfiction, the kind that will kick my butt and rock my world, I hesitate because I feel like I need to give it my full attention, journal and pen at the ready.

So I don't read it.

This is why I didn't finish my original list by two nonfiction books. One remains in my "to read" this summer stack: 7 by Jen Hatmaker. The 1001 Things to Love About Military Life book will probably wait for a later time.

My summer reading list can be found here, on my summer checklist post.

Thank you once again to Katrina of Callapidder Days, for hosting a twice-yearly romp into literary listing. I appreciate you!

And...my list:

  1. Cooking the Books - Bonnie Calhoun (Kindle via NetGalley, for review)
  2. By the Light of the Silvery Moon - Tricia Goyer (Kindle via NetGalley, for review)
  3. Seven - Jen Hatmaker (recommended from many friends) **pushed to summer reading list**
  4. You're Already Amazing - Holley Gerth (picked up from a table at Barnes and Noble, looked good and I always need encouragement)
  5. Joy for Beginners - Erica Bauermeister (Kindle via library loan)
  6. **delightful!!!**
  7. I Love a Man in Uniform - Lily Burana (won from Homefront United Network contest)
  8. 1001 Things to Love About Military Life by Crooks, Henderson, Hightower and Scherer (won from Homefront United Network contest) **will get to another time**
  9. Blue Moon Bay - Lisa Wingate (CFBA review; tour was last month)
Other books read:

  1. A Billion Reasons Why - Kristin Billerbeck. Cute story.
  2. Beyond the Gathering Storm - Janette Oke
  3. When Tomorrow Comes - Janette Oke 
  4. The Language of Flowers - Sarah Jio This was a good book, great story, thought-provoking.
  5. Heiress - Susan May Warren
  6. Baroness - Susan May Warren (for review)
  7. Wish You Were Here - Beth Vogt (for review)
  8. Death Comes to Pemberley - P.D. James
  9. A Weekend with Mr. Darcy -  Victoria Connelly
  10. Wallflower in Bloom - Claire Cook
  11. Then Again - Diane Keaton
  12. Must Love Dogs - Claire Cook
  13. Multiple Choice - Claire Cook
  14. Summer Blowout - Claire Cook
  15. You are a Writer--So Start Acting Like One - Jeff Goins
  16. Chateau of Echoes - Siri Mitchell

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 12 of 15 Habits

Provoke Badge
http://goinswriter.com/provoke/
Great Writers...Provoke


I hate provocation. Conflict. Emotional displays. Craziness. Arguing. Did I mention conflict?

All of this makes me literally feel sick. Just typing this makes me have that familiar unease in the pit of my stomach.

In my family, I became the peacemaker when my parents split up. For a long time I was their go-between. Both my husband and my counselor at the time told me to stop, so I did. But I kept on with my role as the family peacemaker.

I know I'm wounded from many events and people, and the desire for everyone to be happy is so strong that I often deny myself the very peace I crave by tamping down my own feelings and wants and thoughts in order to make peace with others, to make sure everyone else is happy.

This tendency has spilled over into many of my friendships as well. My friends know this about me, and some of them probably unconsciously (or who knows, maybe consciously) use this to their own advantage. Or not. I don't know because we don't talk about this.

So I don't know what to say to a topic such as provoke, because to consciously provoke someone is to cause conflict, which I do not like.

Day 11 of 15

Declutter Badge
http://goinswriter.com/declutter-writing/

(Better late than never, right?)

On his blog today, Jeff Goins quotes something I just saw last week--in the movie Midnight in Paris. I laughed and laughed, as would anyone who had to study Ernest Hemingway in high school, college, AND grad school (such is the burden we American lit lovers face....).

No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.
—Fake Ernest Hemingway (via Midnight in Paris)

It's funny because first of all, it's true--and second of all, it's like he's teaching about himself while he's living his own expatriate life!

If there is any writer alive who didn't need to declutter, it's Hemingway. Short, sweet, to the point--with a few beers.

(Now Faulkner, on the other hand...no, don't get me started. He'll never be my favorite novelist, even though his short story "A Rose For Emily" will probably always be on my syllabus. That story is delightfully creepy. But I digress.)

So today's topic is decluttering. Not just the prose, but the desk.

Cutting the prose, those darling words and phrases, is tough.

Cleaning the desk is easy in comparison.

We're doing some cleaning at our house tomorrow. I'll be taking more books out of the house, dusting and sweeping and vacuuming, bagging up the trash, collecting and stacking the recyclables in the garage.

I'm hoping to also declutter my brain in the process of the physical decluttering. We'll see if it makes me more productive.

PS: If you haven't seen Midnight in Paris, go rent it now. It's a really enjoyable movie.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 10 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Badge
http://goinswriter.com/share-work/
Sharing some friends with you:

Dana at Deepening Years. She's a cancer survivor, a pastor's wife with tattoos and a nose ring, and she is a loyal and devoted friend. Oh, and she's giving me my fix on sunset photos since I will not see sunsets again for many weeks. :)

Teri Lynne at Terilynneu.com. She is a great friend, a wonderful writer, and also an amazing pastor's wife. She is also the reason I did not fail debate class in college. True story. She is a great friend and a fine scholar (and the fact that I called her that proves I, too, am a graduate of the Dr. Bob Derryberry school of public speaking!).

Stacey at Stacey's Daze. I've known Stacey online for many years, and we met in person two summers ago in Texas, right before her family moved to Oklahoma (where the wind...well, you know). She's been a great encouragement to me, not only as a friend, but as a fellow writer. She has a great way with words.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 9 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Connect Badge
I'm writing this a bit late--I got slammed with fluff. Cottonwood fluff, that is. It's one of my pollen allergies (along with Texas mountain cedar and Midwest ragweed). I can finally breathe today (Sunday), but I sound awful, so we stayed home from church today.

I'm a small blogger on a very small blog. I've had this blog as a personal writing outlet for several years. I'm okay with being a small woman in a small space on the vast internet. Because in many ways, I can control what I do here.

Thus, branching out by doing prompts that I'm linking up on a growing blog like GoinsWriter is a huge, huge step of faith for me. Almost wild and crazy, to be honest.

So if you have found me via the link-ups on Goinswriter.com, please leave a comment and let me know. Because we're making connections as writers.

And today's post from Jeff Goins reminds me to follow up on a guest post invite I had from another military wife that arrived during finals week, when I was too busy to do anything but grading.

I'm happy to connect with you--and I hope this is the start of a friendship.

5 Minute Friday: Sunday Edition

Path
Path

When I saw the topic for this week's Five Minute Friday, all I could think about was Robert Frost.

You know the one. The poet. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." That guy.

But instead of waxing philosophical, I'll write about an actual path. Snowy. Blocked by a moose.

This year our spring break was in March. But March in Alaska is not very springy. In fact, it was still quite chilly, very snowy, and dark-ish in the mornings and evenings.

On the last day of that week, I announced to my family that we were NOT going to stay home and be bored. We were going to go do something new.

We drove about thirteen miles down a road, where it ended at the nature center. We paid our parking fee, looked around the inside room at the displays, then headed outside to look at the great outdoors.

It was really awesome. We saw the glacier in the distance, the remaining piles of snow from our record-breaking snowfall that winter, birds galore, and lovely scenery.

Taking one of the paths, the girls who had run ahead reversed their direction and came back to us. "There's a moose in the way. We can't go that way." We'd already been warned about these giant unwieldy wild animals. So of course I turned on the zoom lens of my camera and walked a bit toward the moose who lay in the path, chewing on branches. (I figured she'd have to stand up before chasing me, so I had a few moments' head start if she got up.)

I took several photos of her. It was awesome.

We went back to the car the other way.




Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 8 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Build Badge

Building, not just starting. Generally speaking, this is where I tend to break down and not finish things. Get discouraged and quit. Start out with grand plans and goals galore, then hit the brakes at the first few signs of discouragement.

Today I am going to finish my guest blog post for Blue Star Families. I have had an idea for many months, but haven't finished it. I'm updating a piece I wrote for an online writing class a few years ago. Off I go. I'll link to it if and when it's published.

**edited to add**
I not only added to it and finished it, I sent it off to the BSF editor! Yay me!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 7 of 15 Habits


Great Writers Start Start. Start ugly. I always tell my students that I can't do much with a blank piece of paper, but get something on there and we can make it pretty later.

So off I go to write what Anne Lamott calls a "s****y first draft."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 6 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Steal
So while I'm not a fan of the word "steal," in this context I know where Goins is going. He's asking us to find inspiration from another artist and use it as a springboard for our own writing.

Right now I'm on deadline. I'm using God's Word as my springboard. :)

Till then, if you'd like to see how I responded to a prompt (a word I am a fan of), click here to see this post.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 5 of 15 Habits

Great Writers Prepare


Prepare. This makes me think of John the Baptist in Mark chapter 1: Prepare the way of the Lord! Make a straight path for him!
I may not be preparing the same path, but I can see why preparation can make the path more clear and straight. It goes back to the same message for me: QUIT PROCRASTINATING!

Today is full. I have some non-negotiables on my calendar, commitments our family has made, that will take the bulk of my day. But this evening--ah, this evening. Writing. A deadline at the end of the week that must be met. I want the draft mostly finished so I can read it Tuesday again with fresh eyes and then send it to my editor for revision or approval--most likely revision *grin*.

To quote Frost's famous poem's closure:

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Checklist

Many of my military wife friends call this the Summer "Bucket" List, but I tend to think of a Bucket List as long-term goals. This is a "to do in the next 80 days" list.


  • Finish my devotional for its deadline in June. Done! Early hours of 13 June. Now waiting for probable edits/rewrite suggestions.
  • Read the entire Bible! ** I will not finish this. Sigh. **
  • Watch the British miniseries Fortysomething and return it into the Swap a DVD system. I tried, watched a couple of the episodes, but just couldn't get into it. It should be funny with the cast it has, but it just isn't. Disappointed.
  • Watch the movie Lost in Austen. Turns out it was a 4-part TV miniseries. Not all that super--they could have done a lot more with the idea that would have made it much more fun. Alex Kingston was awesome, though. **Finished 21-22 June 2012**
  • Visit the local nursery and buy a mint plant, cactus soil, and a new pot for my oldest daughter's cactus from Little Shop of Horrors. Done! 18 June 2012
  • Read the rest of the books in my Spring Reading Thing challenge list. That's a lot of nonfiction in the next couple of weeks! Let's hope I can get it done by the 20th. Wrap-up posted on 21 June for SRT 2012 here. Finished all but 2 nonfiction; one is on this list, the other is not.
  • Visit the art museum. 
  • Visit the native heritage center (I have a Groupon!). **Done! 6 Aug 2012**
  • Schedule my next ear dr. appt. 2 July.
  • Finish "The Artist's Way." I sort of left it after week 6.
  • Sort my upstairs bookshelves. ** Done!**
  • Sort and organize my downstairs bookshelves. **We're gonna call it done. There's empty space for the hubby's books should he so choose :)**
  • Go through my DVDs and choose what to keep and what can go away. Done! 6-11-12
  • Take books and DVDs to the local used bookstore for credit--deadline of 9 August for this! Done! 8-9-12; we now have a lot of credit. Yay!
  • Go through my syllabi and decide what needs to change and what can remain.
  • Write at least 2 articles to send out for publication to Blue Star Families. I'm overdue on blog posts for Molly! **1 is done! 14 June 2012 ** Published 28 June** **2nd done! Published 24 July**
  • Read the following books:
    Seven by Jen Hatmaker
    Grace for the Good Girl by Emilie Freeman
    Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt (for review)
    Doctor's Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt (for review)
    Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate (for review)
    Letting Go of Perfect by Amy Spiegel (for review)
    Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green (for review AND because she's a friend)
Yes, it's a long list, but definitely accomplish-able. Putting it in public here will keep me accountable.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Day 4 of 15 Habits



Practice.


The challenge: Find a way to practice in public.

OK. Well, in lieu of actually throwing a rough draft out on my blog, or something like that, I will say that I have opportunity to do this right now.


  1. I am a contributor for Wives of Faith, a supportive website for Christian military wives. I contribute as often as I'm able.
  2. I also have a deadline next week for a piece I have agreed to contribute to a collaborative project. 
  3. I have an opportunity coming up very soon to guest post for someone I met on my chaplain wife blog.
I guess the difference with this and what Mr. Goins has in mind is that none of these are particularly risky ventures (well, except for #2, as I don't have a rough draft yet and I'm really procrastinating!).

I touched upon this in the Day 3 post: I need to establish these new habits of really being a writer instead of merely calling myself a writer, or being a "wannabe."

So do it. Now. Today. Fail fast, and then tell us what you learned. This will be messy, no question about it. That’s okay. Because practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes habits. ~Jeff Goins

Day 3 of 15 Habits



Initiate. Take the initiative.

Every day, you have a decision: to start or stop the things worth doing. To continue building habits that make you more of your truest self, or to break the ones you’ve been doing for awhile. ~ Jeff Goins


I signed up for this challenge knowing I would be free to set a new schedule, perhaps set up some new habits, figure out a new normal. Well, of course, things don't always go the way we imagine or plan, and this did not happen. So in typical me fashion, I wrestled around with the idea that I needed to quit.

Then I decided, NO. I am not going to quit. I'm just going to delay.

Often we need to set aside the good things we want to do, in favor of the more immediate needs that need to be met. This week is just such a week for that.

So I will post my thoughts about each of these habits, but it will be next week sometime before I can really, seriously, wholeheartedly, put them into practice.

Life is like that sometimes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Day 2 of 15 Habits



While day 1 was declaration, day 2 is belief and faith in myself as a writer. This is where I always break down in my resolve, in my practice, in my self-talk, and in my heart.

I am insecure.

There, I admit it. I'm insecure about myself and my writing. It's not my career, but it's more than a hobby to me. So I'm left floating aimlessly in the sea of "why do I do this?"

I am a trained, certified, experienced secondary English teacher, currently working as a college composition instructor. Most of my students now are between the ages of 25-55, and many are my own age. I have incredible joy in my job, and I believe it's where God wants me. It's that "sweet spot" where even when it's hard, it's still good. Taking time off from education was the right thing for me at the time, and going back last fall was the absolutely right thing to do.

Herein lies the irony.

I teach others to write, but I don't follow my own advice.


I don't write daily anymore. I allowed the business and busy-ness of my life to take precedence.

I took the few rejections I received when I thought I was to be a freelance writer, planted them in my heart, and they grew and choked out a lot of my dreams. Unkind words, careless words, all watered and fertilized those plants. Weeds, really. Choking out the fruit that will last (John 15:16).

This is why I am pursuing these 15 habits. One reason I'm regrouping this summer, working on finding my identity first in Christ, and then in His work. Finding His will. Pursuing Him, reading His Word, and resting in His promises.

Day 1 of 15 Habits



 I am a writer. I just need to get back into the habit of writing every day. Even if it's not public.

Monday, June 04, 2012

I need to start acting like a writer.

In other words, I need to be writing. Every day. In many ways.

Starting here: http://goinswriter.com/great-writers/

I signed up for the challenge even though I won't be able to start until Wednesday. So for my fans and groupies (okay, the 15 followers I have!), I'll join in soon. I promise. I am committing to this right now.

*gulp*

Review: The Dinner List

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle My rating: 4 of 5 stars I heard about this novel last month. It sounded great, because who hasn't m...