Friday, February 29, 2008

An Extra 24 Hours?

A friend passed this message on to me. I'm not sure of the "original" source, but it made me think. What am I going to do with my extra 24 hours?

"February 29 – What will you do?

Do you sometimes wish there were more than 24 hours in the day?

Well today we get an extra 24 hours – a full, extra day! It only happens every four years and today is the day!

So this morning I asked myself what would I do with this extra 24 hours. I began it with an extra long quiet time with the Lord. I have written some long, overdue letters, I’ve spent a longer time in prayer.

Today I will celebrate being alive. I’ll celebrate being in good health. I’ll celebrate my salvation. Lastly, I’ll tell my Lord how much I love Him.

How will you spend the day? Will you treat it like any other day or will you consider it as a gift?"

This is the day the Lord hath made--rejoice! I know what I'm going to do with my 24 hours--what about you?

Okay, just don't sit there...leap for joy!

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Heat Anyone?

Last night around 10:00 p.m., my husband woke up me up and said, "The heater is off...can't you hear it?"

Did you know that you could hear "heat"? I guess my hubby meant the furnace wasn't making its usual noise. Let me tell you...warmth is something I took for granted. When I woke up this morning, I could see my breath, and I'm keyboarding with gloves on (I cut off the ends!). "No," not my fingers, the gloves!

So I took out my list of handy verses that I keep posted by my computer and found what I was looking for: Psalm 18:1-3. I know a "Rock" doesn't sound very comforting when you're cold, but I always run to those verses when I'm suffering..."He" keeps me warm.

Just in time...the heater guy is here to fix the furnace. PTL!

Keep warm everyone!

P.S. This is book giveaway Thursday (I just decided it was time to declare such a day!). The book is I'm Glad I'm a Mom by Harvest House (due out on March 1, 2008) by Hearts at Home Ministries. My contribution is titled, "The Perfect Corsage." As a mother of sons, I have too many stories to tell about the not so "perfect" corsage. If you're a mother of sons and you have a story, please e-mail your stories to my assistant Tami Winters at and we'll post the winner the second week of March.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Graduation Day!

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about "graduations" and "careers." Although I talk about my son and his teaching profession (how he found his passion through my cancer diagnosis), I also share reflections on a dear friend who lost her battle with cancer on Monday, February 25, 2008.

Wendi Fox Pedicone was the "warrior princess" of breast cancer and led an amazing four year battle. She did more in that brief window of time than most of us do in a lifetime. She brought hope and humor to millions and I'm honored to call her friend.

You can read more about her life at and at her website:

"There is pleasure in new friendships, comfort in old ones, and sweet memories in those we've lost." ~Anonymous

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Yesterday, I had a discussion with a friend who asked me what "blogging" was all about and I explained to her that it was like writing your thoughts in diary-form for the World Wide Web to read.

She asked me, "Why would anyone want to do such a thing?"

Then I realized I've been doing this blogging thing for a while, not consistently, but long enough. And I blog on other sites as well, including Boomer Babes.

Blogging has become a powerful source in connecting with others. In fact, some of us may have more virtual friends than flesh and blood friends. The Internet is not going away and will continue to become an important part of our friendship network.

I will be hosting Allison Bottke's new book, Setting Boundaries, on April 30th and will be offering a free book at that time. If you would like to read more about this powerful new topic, check out Allison's website.
How powerful is the Internet in the book industry?
The following are some of the reasons why people buy and read books. Let me know if this rings true with you.

1. Previous familiarity with the author - 99.1%

2. Recommendation of a friend - 91.2%

3. Reading about a book on another person's blog or website - 80.3% (That explains the blog tour phenomenon!).

4. Reading about a book on the author's website - 62.6%

And I would like to add a fifth reason why people read a book--interest in the subject!
If you know anyone who has enabled their adult child (and who doesn't), then grab a copy of Allison's new book: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children.
Bless you on your blogging journey!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Out of Place?

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes about feeling out of place? It happens quite often and sometimes it's where I least expect it. I'll let you read for yourself and maybe you have some experiences you'd like to share.

But today, I thought I would answer a mentoring question posed to me in an e-mail about writing. This is where I feel "out of place" because I believe that writing is a gift...for some of us it comes naturally and for others it is a craft that continues to evolve. There's no one set way to get into writing. I never even intended to be a writer, but a cancer diagnosis changed the way I looked at life. I knew absolutely nothing about writing, publishers, editors, but I do remember attending one event in Nashville (I thought it was a writer's conference!); it was NOT. It was a publisher's conference and it was scary! The first editor I met said, "You're not blonde, rich or famous so why do I care?" That was my first introduction into the writing world. I went home and in two months I wrote Trading Ashes for Roses, number 17 on my passionate to-do list (I guess now we can call it the "Bucket List" made popular by the movie!).

Here's my advice to new writers:

1. Make sure you love to write because you will be spending a lot of time in front of the computer screen. Ask other writers how they plan their day and what drew them into writing (you might be surprised at the answers). Don't quit your day job yet!

2. Writer's Groups. That's a hard one. I just recently joined one (sort of). I'm one of those writers that flys by the seat of her pants. I write, revise (only once), and then submit! I know other authors who have to go to a writer's group, get their piece critiqued, sit on it for months, and then eventually hit the send button. There's no right or wrong way. My advice: Just do it! Writer's groups aren't for everyone. If you feel that you need the input of others to stay focused, encouraged, and enlightened, then by all means join one.

3. Writer's Conferences. This is where I'm going to get into some real hot water, so I'm going to share my thoughts cautiously. This is where you have an opportunity to meet editors one on one. In the writing industry, it's not what you know, but who you know. So I know authors who gallop from one conference to another to rub elbows with editors (sometimes jumping over barricades to shake hands and give a pitch). If this is you, then go for it. There are some great workshops, a time to network, have your work reviewed, and possibly even land a book contract. I have only been to one writer's conference where I was presenting a compilation book and I do teach at writer's conferences. Something to consider: They are expensive, so find out what your needs are first. Ask yourselves these questions: Do you want a quiet, intimate setting with more one on one mentoring or do you like the highly charged, 350 editors and authors in one place with hundreds of workshops to choose from? Just Google "Christian Writer's Conferences" and you'll find one that will fit your needs.

4. Why do you want to write a book? This is a question I ask everyone first. You would be surprised at the answers I receive. "I want to be rich and famous!" Wrong answer. Unless you are in the top ten best seller's list of the NY Times, you will not get rich writing a book. Certainly, it does open doors that otherwise wouldn't be opened for you, but unless you have about six or seven books under your belt, you may be surprised at those royalty checks. Why? Books are sold by proposal, which is 80% marketing, which means you need a platform (what is it that makes you the right one to write the book; do you have big name endorsements; do you have a large e-mail list; do you have a unique message with a hook and slant?). Think of it in these terms: Every book has already been written ("there's nothing new under the sun"--you just have to come up with a different slant and twist!).

5. Submit, submit, submit. Start small and work up. I did it backwards. I wrote my book first and then submitted to magazines and compilation books. Write for Chicken Soup, Cup of Comfort, and God Allows U-Turns. There are a lot of compilation books out there. Building writing credits is important; it gives you credibility and it also allows you to find your "voice" in writing. Most editors will tell you that the "voice" of a writer is one of the most important things they consider when reviewing book proposals. Don't try to write like other authors...that's their voice, not yours. I hear young writers say, "I wish I could write like...(fill in the blank)." My reponse is, "Why would you want to do that?" That's their two writers are the same and all of us would approach the same subject in different ways. I know authors who tab pages of books, underline phrases, and try to "copy" another author's approach, but that's not really writing is it?

6. The last and most important question is, "What is your message?" Do you have a unique story to tell? Then don't wait for the right time, start writing and do it every day. Don't wait for inspiration...just write! Find a place that's comfortable for you: I write in hotel lobbies on paper napkins!

7. I wanted to end with a perfect "odd" number, but realized I would let you determine what #7 is for you!

Wherever your writing career takes you, I pray it's one that is a blessing to you! When you've identified what makes writing a "blessing" to you, you'll never feel out of place as a writer!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Sister...My Twin!

Do you have a sister or a mentor who has made a difference in your life?

Today I’m blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about my sister, who is also my “twin.” We are so much alike in many ways and like all sisters, we differ on many things. We don’t dress alike anymore, except accidentally and we don’t “fight” like we used to, but what we do more than anything is cherish the few times that we have together. My sister, Sheryl, lives 3,000 miles away and so spending time with her on a day-to-day basis isn’t possible, but we make up for it in concentrated snippets of time while I’m home.

The remainder of the month of February I’m collecting stories of mentors who made a difference in your life. It could be a sister, a neighbor, a teacher, a friend…someone who made an impact that left a lasting impression.
At the end of the month, I will post the story and the winner will receive the One Year Life Verse Devotional by Tyndale House Publishers.

Enjoy the joys of a mentoring relationship!