Tag Archives: writing

My Super Fun and Exciting News!

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Well, folks, I’ve been teasing about it for days, so here it is– my big news!

I am super crazy excited to announce that I have signed a contract with Thomas Nelson publishers to collaborate on a writing project with none other than the amazing Max Lucado!

If you’ve read Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado (released last year) then you are familiar with his idea of “pocket prayers.” The whole book is about how prayer is a heartfelt conversation with God– that you can invite him in without the flowery words or flashy show, and God shows up. It’s about being free to connect with God in a powerful and simplistic way, without feeling like you need a big vocabulary or a “wish list” a mile long.

Coordinating with this book, Thomas Nelson will be releasing a series of prayer books geared toward specific groups (moms, dads, military, friends, etc.)–six books in all.

I am very honored and delighted to say that my name will be on the cover of Pocket Prayers for Teachers, releasing in May of 2016, just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week! (Is that divine timing, or what??) 🙂

Obviously this is outside of my usual writing genre (I’m usually writing fiction of the romantic, sometimes historical, sometimes contemporary, sometimes YA variety). However, if there are two things I know a lot about, it’s teaching and prayer.

As I work on this prayer book, God is reminding me of so many things– including just how much he loves teachers and what an amazing mission opportunity he’s given each teacher within their own school setting.  DSC02709

To say that I am honored to be working on anything associated with Max Lucado would be a gross understatement, as I have read and admired his work for years and years.

My heart is super grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead on this writing journey. There’s never a dull moment and God is always doing things that surprise me. He’s amazing and awesome like that.

Don’t worry– I’ll be reminding you (a lot) to pick up a copy of this prayer book for all the teachers in your life closer to the release date.

Thanks for your support, friends!

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Finding Motivation When You Just Don’t Wanna

Motivation

I’ve been suffering from a severe case of “lack of motivation” lately. Like, severe.

And not just for writing.

For the household projects I’d planned to tackle this summer, including painting the bathroom. For following my workout routine. For planning meals and grocery lists. For working on some projects for the various things I do at church. For all of the “fun summer” things I had planned to accomplish with my boys.

It’s been bad, y’all. So bad that I purposefully acknowledge it right now, in public, before all the world.

I have no motivation.

It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m tired, my list of responsibilities is too long, and that my summer break is pretty short and therefore my brain is already on the things I will need to do when I get back to work in a couple of weeks.

Whatever. No excuses other than I just don’t have the motivation to get anything done right now.

Ever been in a place like this? Your To Do list is a mile and a half long and yet you have no desire to tackle the first thing on it?

This is unlike me. Usually I’m finding serious joy in accomplishing things. So it has kind of been worrying me that I’m suffering from such a lack of motivation.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do:

  1. Just do it. No, I’m not encouraging you to buy Nikes, I’m just saying that this post is my first step in making the most of what’s left of my summer—I’m diving in and doing it. I marked off something small on my list today first, decided to write this post, and let the momentum push me along through the afternoon. I actually accomplished quite a few things today and it. Feels. GOOD.  Hallelujah. Let’s hope and pray that this momentum rolls into tomorrow.
  1. Look to others for inspiration. I have some seriously awesome friends who mostly rock at life. Just reading through their Facebook pages or sending a simple “I don’t want To Do anything but sit on the couch and read” text is totally helpful.
  1. Listen to the wisdom of those friends. One might say, “C’mon now, you can do it! Accountability!” while the other friend, also wise, might remind me that the occasional day of doing nothing but sitting on the couch and reading is actually healthy for both body and mind.
  1. Remind yourself of the commitments you’ve made. Some of those things on my To Do list must get done because they affect other people. For those particular items, it’s not about me and what I’m feeling or not feeling—it’s about the commitment I’ve made to someone else and the follow-through. I committed to following through, and I believe in keeping commitments. Whether it’s family, church, work or other, the items that affect others move up the list (my family has to eat…don’t they?).
  1. Hack up that To Do list. When you’re feeling unmotivated, shred that To Do list and start over. Put only the vital things on it. Put only the doable things on it. Put your commitments that affect other people, work items, and things that involve a time-table. Make it short and concise. Start there—you can add the other stuff back later.
  1. Show yourself a little grace. Claim some days off. Sometimes your body needs to re-charge. Sometimes your brain needs a break. Sometimes it’s totally okay and acceptable to step away from the To Do list and simply do something else.

So here’s to momentum that carries into the next days and weeks. Here’s to a summer filled with sun, completed projects, and precious memories with my family. That I will document and organize. Someday.

Share with me: What projects or items are on your summer To Do list?

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Am I An Alcoholic? Guest Post from Wendy P. Miller

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One of the biggest blessings in being involved in the writing community is that I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends with several amazing, amazing people. These people aren’t just writing buddies– they are supporters and readers and critiquers and developers and plotters and generally wonderful friends.  And most of all, they are incredible writers, using the gift of words to create stories that entertain and teach and challenge.

I’m honored today that my friend, Wendy Paine Miller, is stopping by the blog to share with you some of her thoughts about what is behind her newest release, The Delicate Nature of Love. Wendy’s writing is word-art, and I am so excited that she’s here with us today. Read below and let her words challenge you about a topic that touches so many.

From Wendy:

Am I An Alcoholic?

This is the question my main character in my latest novel, THE DELICATE NATURE OF LOVE, grapples with. I have an opinion about whether or not Emma Gates is an alcoholic. And I’m willing to bet many book club members will be sharing their opinions while sipping cabernet and sampling goat cheese.

Emma is a grieving widow. Wine has become her go-to when it comes to numbing her feelings. I don’t want to give away my thoughts about whether I feel Emma is addicted, but I will share a bit about why I gravitated toward this topic.

Addiction runs in my family. And I like wine. I like fruity mixed drinks. And with a hot pizza or a delicious chili recipe, I like to swig 312 Goose Island beer. Occasionally I ask myself the hard question: Do I like this too much? Because when I say addiction runs in my family I’m not talking six degrees of separation, I’m talking more like .14 degrees (about the same blood alcohol level several of my family members would hit at any given moment).

I remember suffering through a tragic season in my life when the idea of checking out—sanding down all of my depressed feelings to the point of numbness—sounded ideal. So I drank. A lot. And it did feel great. For a night. Then those feelings resurged and I was met with the weight of what I was going through twofold. And thankfully, I didn’t make a habit of tossing back the bottle. But this is exactly why I work hard not to judge those with addictions. I get the pull. The only difference is that I’m able to stop. I’m able to make a different choice. They aren’t. That doesn’t make me better. It just means the gene didn’t sneak into me.

Forget our country running on Dunkin’ as the slogan suggests. I’m convinced most of us have grown accustomed to running on whatever the five o’clock hour has to offer. In the first scene of DELICATE, my main character, Emma, finds herself facing a similar predicament Pink sings about in one of her songs. She’s looking for herself sober. She’s lost sight of who she is without her trusty wine bottle.

Because addiction is something I’ve grown to recognize, I care about others recognizing it in themselves and confronting it.

I think it starts with…

Accountability—asking the hard question, not just of yourself but asking loved ones who know you well to tell you what they think.

Awareness. Paying attention to when you say when. How many is too many for you? How generous of a pourer are you?

Finally, this might be the hardest one yet.

Honesty. It’ll always come back to this.

Does the topic of addiction hit close to home for you?

Wendy Paine MillerWendy Paine Miller is a native New Englander who feels most alive when she’s laughing, reading, writing, or taking risks. She’s authored eleven novels, including The Delicate Nature of Love, The Flower Girls and The Disappearing Key. Her books have prompted thought-provoking conversations at book clubs all across the country. Wendy lives with her husband and their three girls in a home bursting with imagination and hilarity. Connect with Wendy on her website.

 

 

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