Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Woman's Heart

As you know, I've been struggling lately with my inner peace. I'm finding things that are uplifting to my soul. I know that I'm not the only one feeling lost. Here's a beautiful song that applies to every person in every kind of faith.

Please excuse the delay, I'm thinking something happened during the recording.



Morning comes and finds her on her knees
The Spirit speaks and she is listening
She offers everything her soul can give
To make a difference through the life she lives

Her faith holds her family close
She understands what matters most
And her gentle touch is where love starts
That’s the way of a woman’s heart

She’s a keeper of the vision
She’s a beacon in the night
A teacher and defender of the truth
And everything she touches bears the traces of her light
She’s faithful to
What God Himself would do

She’s a friend to the lonely and the lost
Everyday another bridge to cross
Her hands of mercy know the healer’s art
That’s the way of a woman’s heart

Chorus

Evening comes and finds her on her knees
She softly speaks and He is listening

And her gentle touch is where love starts

(With sweet assurance that she’d done her part)<-original song

She weeps
In His peace
And that’s the way of a woman’s heart

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Gratitude . . .




I am grateful for snowflakes dancing in the air so soft,

the leaves whirling and flitting and twirling.

I am grateful for round fuzzy kittens, so warm and sweet,

the puppies nibbling and playful and fun.

I am grateful for writing and its worlds so magic'ly real,

for the power of thought and wit to share.

I am grateful for friendships unjudging, open and so true,

the love, the secrets, the times most pleasant.

I am grateful my children so lovingly carefree to be,

their heartfelt warmth and the kisses and hugs.

I am grateful for life pleasant yet harsh, choices left to me,

the sadness and joys and trials, I grow.

Thank you, dear Lord, for all things weak and strong--

for everything granted, for wisdom, my guide . . . the great beyond.


by Elizabeth Mueller





photos found at Photobucket.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Review: The Widow's Mite by Christina Dymock

Carol bravely faces the world alone after the death of her husband. It isn't the easiest thing, especially with children and the upcoming Holiday Season.

She learns that, when giving her all, peace will fill the void in her heart.

*The author dove straight into Carol's thoughts and brought her to life. I was able to empathize with her quite well.

I've learned that it doesn't matter what stage in life we are, or our circumstances, the Lord expects charity to bloom in our hearts and we will be blessed for it.

Christina Dymock is married, and is a mother of four beautiful children. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Public Relations. She has published in Woman's World Magazine and several Chicken Soup books.

Visit her blogs!

http://myamateuradventures.blogspot.com
http://kidsabletreats.blogspot.com

Add this to your Holiday cheer!




*updated

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Field of Roses


A dear friend of mine, Lizzie (is it coincidence that she shares the same name as mine? I'll never tell!) shared with me a very inspiring allagory. It made my heart smile. Thank you, Lizzie. *HUGS*

I'm going to personalize the following as it was told:


All you see are the thorns. Strong. Hooked. Piercing. Bit by bit, you work your way through the gnarled nests. The roses, full and red and strong, are what keep you going. Still, the work is tedious. Each shaping takes its toll on your tender fingers bleeding. And yet, you know how your field of roses might look when you're done. Glorious and grand and inspiring. The thought drives you on. And on you go. Each thorn at a time. At last, you gladly--but lovingly--set your gloves, sheers, apron and hat away. You tremble. You are weak from hard labor. You lift your weary face and . . .



All the thorns, all the razor cuts, all the sweat is forgotten.

All you see is a beautiful field of roses.


These are the exact words Lizzie had said to me:

"...Once you're done and you can look back on what you've spent so long working at all you'll see is a beautiful field of roses. And it's really true. All the time and stress will soften and become less significant when you see the result."

Thank you, Lizzie!!!




This post of for you, for those who are finding themselves drowning in their sea of thorns.

You're not alone.



photos found in Photobucket.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Guest, Kristie Cook

Meet My Character – the Lykora!

After about the seventh draft of what was once my first book and now has become both Promise and Purpose, I decided I needed an animal. But it couldn’t be just any animal. It needed to be the epitome of protection, loyalty and fierceness. So, as we writers do, I went on the hunt on the Internet. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

No one particular animal embodied these three characteristics in the absolute way I needed them to. Then I realized, hey, I’m writing a fantasy…guess what that means? I can make something up and get away with it! So I did.

I took the two animals that came closest to exhibiting the qualities I needed (as well as the added bonus that they’re both beautiful creatures) – the wolf and the tiger – and combined them. Then I added wings, because, one, I think it should be able to fly, and two, it’s a gift from the angels, so they gave it wings.

Then I needed to name it. This took even more research, but what I decided in the end combined the two animals again. Lykos, lykin, lyka, etc., are variations of the word “wolf” in several languages, mostly Latin based. And tora means tiger in Japanese. The result:

Lykora


The Lykora doesn’t really make a physical appearance in either of these first two books. It’s described in Promise, though, as a beautiful creature small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, extremely loyal and when it feels its master or loved ones are in danger, it will grow as big as it needs to be and will fight to the death. I think it will actually become a character with a real role in a future book – maybe book three or four.

For the longest time, I’d always wanted to know what this strange creature would actually look like. No one I knew with any artistic talent was able to put the image together...some didn’t even want to try! Then I won a contest at The Alliterative Allomorph and my prize was the above drawing by our own Elizabeth! I bubbled over with excitement to finally be able to see a real picture of my Lykora. And when I saw Elizabeth’s sketch… Wow! Beautiful! Isn’t she amazingly talented?

Thank you, Elizabeth, for a beautiful rendition of my Lykora. As well as for letting me take over your blog today. I bow to your artistic talent…and know who to come to next time. Bwahaha!

...................

Thank you, Kristie, for the nice compliments and for sharing your wonderful writerly sanctum with us! It was way fun getting to know you.


Go visit her blog and get to know her better! :)



Friday, November 19, 2010

Fantastic Friday Writers!

What inspires our Fantasy/Sci-Fi minds to write?

For me, this post took some brain power to think up (it's been a crazy week).

First of all, I 'd like to mention my findings with my recently voting thing on my blog, asking which genre you write. I was amazed at the results!

Romance came in at 25%, historical at 8%, Sci-Fi at 33%, High fantasy at 41%, Horror 8%, Paranormal 50%, Urban Fantasy 33% and other33% out of 12 voters.





I know this for sure, my creativity opens and flows so much better when I write fantasy. I get a strong sense of escapism that is very liberating for me.



I don't have just one specific thing that gives me inspiration. It could be a phrase, instrumental music, beautiful art, a tree, a sunset, clouds, an idea that is briefly introduced in a movie, a thought shared by someone at church in passing that has nothing to do with vampires, but the phrase stirs great plots...



As an example of an idea shown to me in the movies, here is my secret. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. The little cupid guys that sang and flew around their heads. I was so enamored by them that an entire novel unscrolled before my eyes! I was so thrilled to get home and start writing.

I quickly jotted down the basic thought into my cellphone so that I wouldn't forget. Previous to that incident, the word stupid cupid kept floating back to me. I loved the idea and played around with it that when I saw that movie--bam! It hit me all at once.



Another incident was while we were traveling a great distance to my hubby's job interview, a summery entered my head. I wrote it down as soon as we got to the hotel, and when we got home, I completed the novel weeks later.

Another one, and I find this hilarious, is when my hubby and I were at a bed and breakfast. He was up to his chin in bubbles in the jetted-tub (now I know why there are rules against bubble baths in those things, lol!!) and when I saw him, an entire novel flashed before my eyes. It had to do with mermaids, a necklace and a teen girl. Go figure.



I can't say what inspires my fantasy mind to write, exactly. But I do know one thing for sure, it really takes pure imagication!


*See what the Fantastic Friday Writers have to say about this!


What inspires you're magic?






Have a GREAT weekend!


(Next FFW posting: Dec. 3, 2010: How do you connect with your MC on a personal level?)

photos from Photobucket.com

*post has been updated
















Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Loved!

How am I like a dragon?



I hoard treasures! Now it's time to share! :)




I would love to express my gratitude to my friend, Michelle Teacress for thinking of me when she passed this warming award! Thank you, Michelle!

Lisa Turner


Rachna Chhabria


Rebecca Blevins


Old Kitty


Sytiva Sheehan


Amber Lynae


Melissa Cunningham



...............................................

Rachna Chhabria has awarded me the Grasshopper Award! Thank you! :)
I'm returning the favor by awarding it to...

Salarsen
Alex J. Cavanaugh

Andrew at TheWriteRunner



---

Because of short time issues, I'd like to mention the Lovely Blog Award from Melissa. Thank you!

Are you joining NaNoWriMo? How is your revving coming along? You're plotting thoughts? Where's your word count at?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seeking Your Inner Strength

No matter how old we are, we all need to feel loved and accepted.

I've recently have felt unwanted, and struggled with my tears to be strong.

This came to mind: even though I'm not feeling welcomed, I need to remember that I am a strong, loving person. I am worth something. I am a mom. A wife. A friend.

I have been blessed with gifts that could help brighten others' lives and I love to share.

Those who surrounded me don't really know who I am, and won't let me get close on any level for some unknown reason. I could only guess, but what good would that do me?

As the moment pressed on, I pushed the unpleasant thoughts from my heart and lifted myself and let go the hurt.

I always need to remember that I belong to my family at home. To a fantastic group of writers, including all my bloggie friends--you!

I want you to know this, when you are feeling down, lonely or worthless, please know that you are, indeed, loved, treasured and wanted.

You have a friend in me.

*hugs*
photos found at Photobucket.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Featuring: My Gift to You by Lori Nawyn


From the back of the book:
Trish Ingram works hard to maintain the perfect suburban household—or, at least, the appearance of one. By managing her outer world with lavish attention and rigid control, she’s able to ignore and conceal the darkness of her inner world, which is plagued by traumatic childhood memories of loss. Her terminally ill sister-in-law, Jamie, sees through the façade and reaches out in love to Trish, inspiring her to seek a more meaningful life and a more authentic self. But the childhood scars run deep, and despite Trish’s best efforts, she’s unable to be the wife and mother her family needs.

Devastated by the departure of her husband and daughter, Trish faces the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. She desires to move forward in faith, but this desire alone cannot mend her family's shattered trust. The hollow realm of denial and fear has been her safe haven. To confront pain and transcend the shadows of her past will require a level of courage she’s not sure she possesses. This gripping story of familial love and conflict tenderly reminds us that forgiveness—of self, and others—is both a difficult choice and a precious gift.
Here are some words from our lovely author:


Why I wrote the book:
“My Gift to You” is about forgiving ourselves, despite what we perceive as our shortcomings.
When we judge ourselves as less than acceptable for any reason, small mistakes can cripple us with discouragement. It becomes easy to lose sight of our potential, as well as precious opportunities for growth.

I was an only child with ample time to ponder the intricacies of human behavior. At a young age, I became fascinated by the fact that while several people in my life were happy, upbeat, and in possession of inner peace in most if not all circumstances, some seemed inherently unhappy no matter what happened—good or bad. Money and possessions didn’t seem to have a bearing, and I wondered what did.
Though I’d been baptized when I was eight, my family didn’t attend church. If I wanted to go, I had to attend on my own. It took me a while to grasp gospel concepts, and I found that most of the time I was among those who were unhappy. About twenty years ago I decided to stop asking Why me? and instead start asking What if?

One by one, I replaced negative emotions with those of a positive nature. Instead of wondering why I couldn't make everyone around me happy—and becoming despondent because nothing I did seemed to change them or their opinions—I started asking things like, "What if happiness really is a choice? What if it can be my choice, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels?"

Instead of commiserating over why my extended family couldn't accept me for who I was and what I believed in, I asked myself, "What if I could choose my own thoughts and emotions based on what I know in my heart is right and true?" In short, "What if I accept myself for who I am?"

And, "What if I forgive—knowing that forgiveness doesn't mean acceptance?"
When I began writing “My Gift to You,” I decided I wanted my main character, Trish, to discover something important about herself: I wanted her to discover her own inner strengths and worth—much like I had when I began to unravel my own life.

Some of the things I hope the book will lead the reader to consider:
What does charity mean? Why is it important we extend it to ourselves?
What can happen when we base our worth on what the world values? On what should we base our worth?
Why are women so hard on themselves? What defines true success?
What can result when we judge ourselves to be less than others? Why is important we have a clear sense of self and purpose?
Are cruelty and shallowness signs of strength, or weakness? Why can cruelty be the result of fear?
Bio:
Lori Nawyn's award-winning writing has appeared in regional and national publications including Outside Bozeman, Segullah, Deseret News, CraziBeautiful Women, and Latter-Day Woman. She is also a columnist for her local paper and a former member of Utah Press Women. One of her short stories was published in the anthology Stolen Christmas. Her first novel, My Gift to You, was released in October 2010.

Lori is currently writing her next novel, Day, about a mother’s relationship with her son. She works as a freelance artist and is the illustrator of the award-winning children's picture book What Are You Thinking? which was released in July 2010 by ThoughtsAlive Publishing. She and her fireman husband live in northern Utah where they enjoy spending time with their four children and two granddaughters, plus an assortment of dogs, rabbits, and chickens.

Purchase My Gift to You!




Now a few words from the insane blogger: Wow, Lori. I truly admire you. You're such a stalwart lady and your example brings peace and happy tears to my soul. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to have you as a guest today!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: Perilous by Tamara Heiner


As a huge fan of YA, but having never read a thriller, I was excited when the author asked me to review her book. I read the synopsis and thought, hmm, I've watched detective shows, I think this one will be just as good. Even better . . .
Guess what?

I’ve never read a book that had my adrenaline pumping so hard and for so long! She succeeded in appealing to my reader’s eyes for a whole new genre world.
Young and carefree and daring, four teenaged girls accidentally witness a robbery while waiting for their ride home at the mall.
Detective Carl Hamilton is devastated when he finds a girl’s body. Now, where are the other three?



Tamara Heiner constructs a fantastic read that touched every one of my emotions. Fear clawed my stomach, urgency twisted my nerves, anticipation grated my brain. Yes, humor packaged the thrill perfectly where needed.
With the action so tight, it was bittersweet when the story slowed a bit toward the second half of the book. I was a bit confused toward the end with the way certain things were presented, but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment. It’s certainly a satisfying read.
This book is a must!

Kindle giveaway!

This contest is point-based and begins ends Dec. 15!
Whoever has the most points wins the Kindle.
There will only be
one Kindle given away.
Here are the points:
1 point: blog comment (can comment on all the blogs, multiple times, on
the tour)

1 point: follow my blog (http://tamarahartheiner.blogspot.com)
1 point: retweet
2 points: blog about the blog tour
5 points: purchase the book (ebook or paperback, must email me theconfirmation email) if they actually buy the book in the store (which is unlikely), they can mail me a copy of the receipt.
Have them add up all their points as well as their proof (links, etc) and email it to me at the end of the blog tour (tamara at tamarahartheiner dot com)

You can earn an infinite number of points!



Good luck! :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Loving You



Friday, the 5th, I posted this comment and question on my Facebook wall:

"This thought popped into my head as I laboriously worked on my WiP today: Don't base
your self-worth upon others' opinions of your book. I hope I won't do that. Do you do that?
"


I had many responses and all of them proved very interesting:

Gaye Sharpe I don't. My writing is a flow yielding many streams, but I am a being, living, residing within the world. Whatever our words reveal, they do not show all of who we are. :)

C Michelle Jefferies While I don't base my self worth on how others view my work it is cool to find someone who LOVES what you wrote. Definately stokes my ego.

Bethany Wiggins I have learned not to, but it is a hard thing to do!

Jenn Adams Wilks Yes, I do that. No, I shouldn't. Thanks for the timely reminder! :D

Elana Johnson Yes. It's hard not to. A lesson I'm sure I'll have to learn sooner or later. Le sigh.

Marsha Ward There's always the initial twinge at a bad review or disparaging remark, but you do get over it and realize you are not your book.

Bryan Coltrane That is the reason I never let anyone see my writing. I have tons of stuff, that I care not to know others opinions of.

Marsha carried a very encouraging dialogue with Bryan after his reply.

I know I tend to let others' thoughts affect the way I feel when they read my stuff. I've seen
authors feeling low after one bad review. And how we feel after several rejections. It's tough to keep a positive outlook because no one likes the feeling of rejection.

Writers are a tough lot. We have to be. Remember always, that what you have is special and we must try not to let others' views bring us down.

A saying my dad always used:

"You can please some of the people some of the time, but can't please all of the people all of the time."

I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Do you let the others' view of your books affect you?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weclome, the Fantastic Friday Writers!

A few of us have decided to form an unconventional group blog, called Fantastic Friday Writers.

There are five of us: Alex J. Cavanaugh, J.D. Brown, Anastasia V. Pergakis, Deirdra Eden Coppel and myself!

Together, we will write about a single topic within our respective blogs every other Friday. You are invited to hop around with us to see how 5 different writers view that particular subject.

For those of you who are first-timers here, WELCOME!

I'm Elizabeth. I have 4 kidlets ranging from 14 to 5 years of age. I love being a mom. I love writing, too!

I started my writing career with a few poems in 4th grade and moved onto short stories in 6th and started my first full-blown novel at 17. I thought it was way cheesy, so I played hide-in-seek with it until I finally finished it when I was 23. This was my only book that I've hand-written from beginning to end.

I've completed 7 novels since along with a handful of children's picture books. I have a few published poems, and have been bitten by the rejection bug.

I'm feverishly editing Rockstar. Here's my oneliner: Rock star Moggie suffers a tragic loss and falls in love with Beth who is dying of cancer, but she feels love with him isn’t possible.

My genres so far:

High fantasy
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Romance
Contemporary Romance
Historical Romance
Children's Books

Genres I'm planning on exploring: Steampunk, Thriller, Middle Grade and not sure what next.

Thanks for visiting me! I hope you'll come to love Fantastic Fridays with us! I've posted our Bloghop on my sidebar along with future postings. I hope to see you then!

PS--If there is anything you want us to cover, please leave your idea in the comments. Thank you!

PSS--Please drop by November 19th to find out what inspires our Fantasy/Sci-Fi minds to write!





Have a GREAT weekend!


photo from Photobucket.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Autograph are You?

My husband brought home a career worksheet on graphology. That is the study of handwriting, what it says about your personality. Exciting, isn't it?

Many think that graphology isn't reliable, but it's fun!

Let's see what your author's autograph (or others') say/s about you after you've signed your books:



Large


Large writing: You think big. You enjoy being noticed.












Small


Small writing: You're detail-oriented; you don't like being the center of attention











Right


Writing that slants right: You like to show your feelings; you're a social butterfly, active and motivated











Left


Writing that slants left: You keep your feelings to yourself; you don't want to go out and "face the world"











Optimistic

Writing that slants up: you're optimistic












Mine is large. Ahem. Yes, it's true!!! :D

I'm curious! What does your autograph reveal about you? Is it accurate?