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Hi folks, welcome to the end of this series. I've been celebrating the happy news, that the ebook version of PLUMB CRAZY from Swoon Romance has found its way onto the virtual shelves of booksellers worldwide. Try here for a copy from Amazon US. Here is Amazon UK. Here is Amazon Australia. Here is Amazon Canada. Try here for a copy for your B&N Nook . It will be available in paper in a few weeks. I hope you consider giving it a look.Currently it's only available as an ebook but for sure paper copies will be available soon.
Gorgeous sunshine calls me outside, and I want to soak some of it in. This week I 'm going to keep it short. Today I want to chat about my view of grace. It's a big universe out there and I'm sure that there are folks with a wider view. This will be about what I see in my little corner.
I have read many books that have never been published. Some of my favorite books are in this state. For whatever reason, these wonderful stories have not found their way into the hands of publishers. I have a number of manuscripts that are tucked in folders too. You put some pieces of your soul on the page when write a book. Publishing one is like your soul sprouting wings and taking off for far green pastures.
So today, I'm feeling the grace, not of movement, but of privilege. I wrote my novel because there was this ticklish feeling right under my heart that others might want to know this. Maybe it will help them along in their journey, I thought. Now my words are out there. With this dove on my shoulder, I'm feeling winds of thankfulness inside. Journey well! Huzzah!
I hope you see the privileges in your life this week and let the winds come. Come back next week for more of Seize the day.
Here is the doodle. Clover Poof.
Here is a quote I keep tucked in my pocket. I hope you tuck it in yours.
At my window
Watching the sun go
Hoping the stars know
It's time to shine
Townes Van Zandt
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17
Rae's Thought: Every year, I have a theme or word to focus on for that specific year. 2011 was all about change; 2012 was all about living outside my comfort zone. So, I wondered what would 2013's theme be? After prayer, consideration, and confirmation, the word that came to mind was "new." "New what?" I asked God. His answer? "New mercies. New grace. New adventures. New relationships. New chances. New assignments. New."
Well alright then. "New" it is.
As soon as God gave me a theme, He gave me 2 Corinthians 5:17, more specifically, the last part of the verse: the old has gone, the new has come. 2012 was an awesome year for me. I did things I only dreamed of doing, went to places I only dreamed of going, and met and befriended some wonderful people. I stepped out of my comfort zone and survived. 2012 also brought challenges that took a lot out of me. Looking back, there are things I would've done differently. It's ok for me to reflect upon 2012; to remember the blessings as well as the challenges. Both the excitement and challenges of 2012 has helped mold me. But it's NOT ok for me to stay there. The old has gone (2012); the new has come (2013).I'm so glad I serve a God of new-ness. I know "new-ness" isn't a word, but I'm practicing my creative license and making it one. Haha! He doesn't leave me stuck with the old stuff. Once I became His, my old life passed away & I became a new creature. No longer am I the dirty sinner, doomed to spend eternity in hell. I am now a blood-washed believer, destined to spend eternity in heaven. Yes, I still sin. Yes, I still make mistakes. But, once I've asked for forgiveness, God casts those sins in the sea of forgetfulness, never to be seen or heard of again.And what about His new mercies and grace? Do you know what God's grace and mercy are? His grace is giving to us that which we do not deserve. We don't deserve His love, but He gives it to us anyway. We don't deserve his forgiveness, but He gives it to us anyway. We don't deserve His blessings, but He gives it to us anyway. God's mercy is Him withholding that which we do deserve. Because of sin, we deserve to spend eternity in hell. But He gives us the chance to spend eternity with Him in heaven. This year, I'm bound to disappoint God at some time or other. That's a part of being human. But with every new day, comes God's new mercies and grace. And He's got enough to go around for all His children, 365 days.2012, I didn't do all the things He'd asked me to do, I'm ashamed to admit. I'm not going to make excuses. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that I didn't do them. BUT, thank God this is the year of new chances. He's giving me more time to get things done. He's telling me to keep going. I'm disappointed you didn't do them last year, but I'm giving you another year to get it right. He's a God of second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc) chances. To me, this means He hasn't given up on me (even though sometimes, I want to give up on myself). Here's a new year, Rae. What are you going to do with what I gave you? My God is good. So, while I enjoyed 2012 and wish I could've done certain things differently, I choose not to dwell on the past. I plan to learn from it and move on. I'm excited about all that God has planned for me this year...the new adventures, relationships, assignments. I'm excited about experiencing God's new-ness.
By: Sara Burrier
Blog: warrior princess dream
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What is your foundation?
Before I get into what mine is, I want to give a bit of background to the images you're going to see.
Towards the end of last year I introduced three little angels to you. One named Twilight
, one Dusk
, and the other Noon
. Each one features animals and obviously, a certain time of day. This was the basis/theme for the series. To catch up, here are the two links to those posts:
|Created by Sheila Lygo|
Not too long after that, Crafts and Me
asked if I would finish the sketches and create line art for digital stamps. And I did, you can find them here:
Many crafters have used these images and created gorgeous cards with them! It has inspired me not to give up on the images....but I still wasn't motivated on how to use them yet.
I have created many line art works for Crafts and Me
, and there is something rewarding seeing all of your paintings and sketches in beautiful, black, and clean lines. I knew this past Monday I had to keep painting. Oceana
is finished, and I'm still working on the months and another large WIP, but I believe I can do more. With two shows next year (more on that later), I need to be painting!
Though, I didn't want to think about composition or the poses. I went through those beautiful line art works and saw the little angels. PERFECT! Now is the time.But will I stay with the titles and theme?
Here's what I wanted from these:
The results? The Three Pillars.
- The focus to be solely on the angel, and the background to be simple enough for licensing.
- Large enough to make an impact in person, but not so huge I will never get them done.
- They have to be sitting on something that can be similar in each and again, doesn't take away from the angel.
- To have a meaning worth sharing, that aligns with my faith, and inspires.
The Pillar of Love
By: Claudette Young
Blog: Claudsy's Blog
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Writing and Poetry
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My father’s next youngest sister epitomizes the term “generosity of spirit.” As a young woman she could have modeled for any top agency in the world, with raven hair, laughing eyes, full mouth, and alabaster skin, all in a tall lithesome frame. She had all of this and more.
With marriage to a kind and playful man came responsibilities of farm, home, and family. Two daughters, each unique and talented, kept her busy and focused. Bickering inside the family was unheard of.
By the time the first grandchild came along, this dark beauty had become a matron, happy in her authentic plantation-style house and space enough for the girls to have enough land of their own to build homes next to the big house. Any threatening clouds to her life were as yet unnoticed. Her life was moving along very well to all appearances.
Months rolled by, minor medical issues came into the household for her, but for the first grandchild, the issues were serious and potentially deadly. She dealt with her fears and uncertainty as she dealt with life in general. She faced them, head-on, one step at a time, and helped wherever she could.
The grandson never grew out of his early medical distress. The situation grew more complicated and disconcerting as time wore on. Soon another child entered the picture, and he, too, suffered from the same disabilities.
Soon, the younger daughter had begun building her own family, living on the other side of Mom and Dad. The brood had expanded with another son-in-law and three more grandkids. Over the years serious medical concerns stalked the branches of that family tree, bringing with them sorrows, fortitude, and making do for the family’s members.
My aunt moved ahead through it all, through her own medical troubles, with frequent hospitalizations, treatments, etc. She did what she’d always done. She took care of her family; cooking, cleaning, soothing feverish children, smiling, praying, and loving.
She did all of this, and if she ever complained about her lot in life, I figure only God witnessed it. She has faced her days with gentle resolve to do the best she can, able to laugh at the foolishness and play of both human and animal, and using her indoor voice most of the time. Getting flustered never gets a task done, so she never bothered to use it.
I remember this lady from the time I was five or six years old. I’ve never known her to exhibit rage, prejudice, or ill-will. I’ve seen her cry, rock a sick child for hours in the middle of the night, and work until her fingers bent with arthritis. I know why her family is the way it is.
Those in her immediate family follow hers and my uncle’s example in their generosity and grace. There are no personal complaints about how life isn’t fair. They recognize that truth and work hard with what they have to make their situation—whatever that might be–the best it can be at that moment. They accept their roles in life, without blaming anyone for them.
Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Always happiness and light, never raw emotion hanging on the clothesline for all to see, no enemies or troubles coming from the outside.
Like most things in this world, happiness is a relative emotion. These lucky people love and respect each other. They work as a team to make it in the world and to move forward as quickly as they can. Their happiness comes from trusting God and knowing that they are safe in the hands of one another. They support one another in all ways.
Emma Turner loves to read and write. And more than anything, she’d like a real, store-bought book of her own.
But her family doesn’t have money for extras. They move from place to place picking crops. There is a collection of coins in a hard-times jar, but it’s only for when the family runs out of something before payday.
So Emma writers her own stories on brown paper and helps her family pick apples — hoping that one day there will be enough for her to buy a book.
The Hard-Times Jar (Frances Foster Books, 2003) by Ethel Footman Smothers and John Holyfield shares how Emma discovers a treasure trove of books when she goes to school and sees the library. But the books are so tempting she brings a few home, even though her teacher said they needed to stay at school.
What happens to Emma when her mother and the teacher find out?
Let’s ask today’s guest reviewer, Grace.
Our reviewer: Grace
Things I like to do: Ride my bike and swim.
This book was about: A girl who had a hard-times jar. Her mom said she couldn’t pick apples any more, and her mom said she had to go to school. And she felt squiggly. Her new teacher showed her around. Everyone was a different color than her, but there were books. She broke the rules and took some books home even though the teacher said not to. She was reading them and her mom found the books. She made her bring them back and tell the teacher, and she did. When she got home, her mom said she was proud of her and gave her quarters from the hard-times jar.
The best part was when: She got the quarters from the hard-times jar.
I smiled when: She was checking on her little sister, and she was all cuddled up in the box. I also smiled when she wrote the story about the lizard.
I was surprised when: She took the books home from the library. She hid them in her sweater.
This book taught me: To not take stuff home when the teacher says to keep it at school.
Three phrases that best describe this book are: “Hard-times jar.” “Apple orchard.” “Creamy buttermilk skin.”
My favorite picture in this book is: When they are all looking at the hard-times jar.
You should read this book because: You can learn to not just take stuff. And that it’s good to be honest with each other.
Thank you, Grace! (By the way, Grace says that if she came into some extra cash, she would buy chapter books.)
If you’d like to learn more about the author, check out Ethel Footman Smothers’ biography.
If you’d like to learn more about the illustrator, check out John Holyfield’s website.
By: Jenny Martin,
Writing friends, I just gave up. Completely surrendered.
And you know what? It felt great. I’ll probably do it again tomorrow. And the next day, too.
I see the confusion on your face. Surrender?? Gave up on what???
Stuff I have no control over. Factors outside my influence. The immoveable metric ton of tricksy particulars I keep trying to shoulder. Pesky things like:
–market and genre trends
–shifting state of the publishing industry
–today’s seven figure deal for the latest self-published/YA/fanfic/erotica/BDSM/OCD/PTSD/STFU phenom
–three day auctions
–present learning curve
–the submission process
–submission response times
–THE SPEED OF LIGHT
Maybe your list is different. Maybe you’re querying agents or staring at your debut’s book cover or sobbing over your last royalty statement. But I bet you have a list. Take a good hard look at it, and ask yourself if you’re like me, a writer who needs to put her hands up and say…
I am not psychic. I am not a special snowflake. I am not superman, yet I am not immune to kryptonite. I am just a girl, sitting in a red chair, typing some words. I am just trying to tell a story, the best way that I can. I can control the words. I can’t control the rest. The rest will not cripple or paralyze or smother the joy I find in words. Yesterday and today and tomorrow. Amen.
Surrender is sweet. I highly recommend it.
Filed under: Writing
Tagged: control issues
By: Linda S. Wingerter,
Blog: Blue Rose Girls
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I'm thrilled to announce that the paperback edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is NOW available. The interior illustrations are still printed in full color and there is extra-special back matter that show photos from my inspiration trip to China. If the hardcover was just a little too pricey, the paperback is now here!
AND to celebrate the paperback edition of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, I’m giving away a FREE PRINT OF YOUR CHOICE from my etsy shop to 8 random people. To enter, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of your favorite print!
Winners announced next Wednesday on April 20th (so you have more than a whole week to enter).
*please note that if you enter you will most likely end up receiving my monthly e-newsletter in the future but it is very easy to opt out of, if you wish (a click at the bottom of the newsletter)
A while ago, a fellow illustrator and I were having a discussion and she said to me, “Don’t you ever want to break out? Don’t you ever want to do something really different?”
The question surprised me. Yet, in a way, looking back, I’m surprised I was surprised. It seems to be fairly par for the course that artists radically change their style, sometimes a different one for each book. Meghan even posted how she felt winners of the Caldecott are oftentimes a well-known illustrator who has changed his/her style.
Because, I think we equate change with progress and courage. “It’s so brave of him/her to change his/her style like that,” someone will say, “and not stick to his/her same old way, the same old things.”
But when I hear this, I always think of the artist Giorgio Morandi, a painter we studied in school. For most of his career he painted bottles and vases. The same objects and shapes over and over again—for years and years. Each painting was beautiful, the sensitivity to light, the placement, the simplicity of his strokes. But you’d think that by, say, painting #10, he’d figure he had still life mastered, be bored and would want to move on. But he didn’t.
And I realize how admirable his dedication was; how much braver it was for him to continue to do what he believed in. Audiences thought his work was boring and mundane, yet he continued. There was something about these still lives that fascinated him. Maybe to him, to feel that he had mastered this subject matter was hubristic. Maybe to him, there was always so much more to discover.
So, even though sometimes I worry that people think I stick to the “same old thing” (as all my books seem similar), I’m reluctant to change just for change’s sake. Right now, I enjoy finding out how much there is to discover in what others might think is a narrow field. I’m not saying that I will do sixty years worth of books on Asian culture; but when my friend asked me, “Don’t you ever want to break out?” I did say, “No.”
Originally published February 21, 2007
So, the 90-second Newbery Movies are trickling in...and this one is AMAZING!!!!
Honestly, when I saw this I was speechless. I am completely wowed by the Bookie Woogie Bloggers' creation! Not only are the shadow puppets so beautifully done, the pacing, script and music is great, too. This is the perfect movie to show students before and after they read the book.
Bookie Woogie: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon from Z-Dad on Vimeo.
The Bookie Woogie
Bloggers even created a separate blog chronicling how they made the movie
. It's great fun to see the sketches, the storyboarding--and very helpful if you want to attempt a movie of your own. After reading it, I'm thinking about making my own 90-second Newbery with my niece.
Anyway, take a look and let the Bookie Woogie
creators know what a wonderful job they did!
THANKS SO MUCH, Bookie Woogie
By: Linda S. Wingerter,
Blog: Blue Rose Girls
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