Friday Celebrations

It’s Friday, it’s summer, and it’s the perfect time for celebrations. Here are some things I’m tickled about today …

  • My writing friend Lynda Schab got word that her first novel will be published by Oak Tara Publishing. Woo-hoo! The book is Mind Over Madi and I had the chance to read a lot of it when Lynda and I were in an online critique group together a couple of years ago. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Lynda is the kind of writer who makes me laugh out loud, and that’s always a good thing in my book (um, no pun intended). I’m so happy for her and can hardly wait to get a copy of my own. Check out her story about “the call” at her blog.
  • I’m officially registered for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference in August. I went last year and had a great experience — learned so much in the classes, made some great new writing friends, and felt God everywhere I went. I registered early enough that I’ll automatically have appointments with 5 (!) of the faculty members. Those can be a bit nerve wracking, but they’re the best way to get your work in front of people who can really help you move to the next level. I won’t know who my appointments will be with until I’m there, but I’ve sent in my requests. Now it’s time to buckle down and get lots of work done on some projects so I can talk about them! 🙂
  • I’ve changed a few things on my website and added the book trailer for Divas in Disguise so you can see it right there instead of clicking over to YouTube (you can watch it here). I must admit, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that one out.
  • I’ve just joined a new critique group through ACFW that focuses on middle grade writers. That’s where most of my focus is these days, so I’m excited about connecting with some other authors who “get” writing for kids in that age group. We officially kicked off things this week and I’m really looking forward to it. Maybe this will be the incentive I need to work on my stories on a regular basis instead of being so hit and miss with it all. And maybe they can help me brainstorm some ideas to get me past the “stuck” point in a new book I’m mapping out. I always learn so much about my own writing just by reading things from others — it’s a win/win.
  • And, last but definitely not least, I’m excited that vacation time is approaching! It’s never too soon to sink your toes in the sand …

OK, so what about you? What has you feeling good on this Friday?

 

What I’ve Learned Lately … With Lynda Schab

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to author Lynda Schab. Lynda and I met a few years ago through an online critique group and I can honestly say that I have absolutely loved any of her writing I’ve ever read. She has a fresh, funny, I-can-relate-to-everything-her-character’s-going-through writing voice that pulls you right into her stories. I have a feeling that if we ever get the chance to meet in person it will be like we’re old friends. 🙂

So, here’s Lynda with some things she’s learned lately.

“Four things you can’t recover: The stone, after the throw. The word, after it’s said. The occasion, after it’s missed. Time, after it’s gone.”

I’d never heard that quote until a friend posted it on Facebook. But I love it! It’s so true, isn’t it? The two that hit me the hardest were WORDS and TIME.

WORDS: How often have I blurted something out to my kids or my husband in the heat of the moment? Too many to count, that’s for sure. There have been so many times I wish I could take my words back. I say I’m sorry, but it’s too late. The damage has been done. The hurt has been handed out. There have even been times when my words (or someone’s words to me) were so hurtful that major work needed to be done to repair the damage and restore the trust.

With that in mind, what a responsibility we have as writers! The words we write will impact the lives of those who read them – whether for good or bad. And the critiques and feedback we offer other writers will also leave a mark. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything we say or write has to be positive and cheery. But how we execute criticism and bathe a difficult or negative message we’re conveying is what’s important. Always speak the truth- particularly hard-to-hear truth – in love. Remember that once the words are out, we can’t take them back.

Some scriptures to keep in mind:

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

James 1:26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 3:5
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

TIME…man, how many opportunities to spend time with my kids have I missed? Again, too many! Even more, how many opportunities to spend time with God have I passed up? WAY too many. Which makes me wonder how many priceless memories, or imprints on my kids’ hearts, or breakthroughs in my spiritual walk have been lost because I didn’t spend my time wisely.

Oy…

In the same way, how many books could I have written by now if I had spent my time writing instead of playing computer games or watching television? It kills me to think about it.

I don’t know about you, but when I get to heaven, I want to make God proud of the ways I used the time He gave me on earth. I’m not saying that playing computer games or watching TV is a bad thing, just that I, personally, need to re-evaluate how I spend my time. And when I do, I’m sure I’ll realize I’ve wasted way too much of it.

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:5-6
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

James 4:14-17
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Basically, the quote about the four things you can’t recover has helped me to consider what’s truly important in life. How I act, what I say, and how I spend my time…these are things that affect not only my life (and others’ lives) here on earth, but that hold eternal value.

Something to think about today.