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Monday, August 30, 2010

Television VS Reading by Terry's client Max Elliott Anderson


Recently I heard a speaker who talked about the negative effects of television viewing on our children. My father used to call it the idiot box, but this speaker went a step further by calling it hellevision.

Here's why.

He said that the average child in America today, watches between 5 and 7 hours of TV every...single... day!

If you tried to do that, just for a couple of days, you'd be shocked at the content. And when you realized what your children were watching, hour after hour, you’d do something about it. These same children spend only minutes a day interacting with their parents. The balance of their time is spent on video games, computers, cell phones, homework, and if they have to...reading.

Coming This Fall
I’ve set out to try to change that, by writing the kinds of action-adventures and mysteries that readers, 8 and up, would enjoy. Even though I speak of them as books for boys, they are still equally enjoyed by girls. Many report that reading one of my books is like
being in an exciting or scary movie.





Released August 1
If you doubt the positive effects you will see, in your own home, by turning off the TV and giving your children exciting books to read, let me relate a true story in an attempt to change your mind. And if there is a TV in your child’s bedroom today, I hope you’ll be encouraged to remove it.





A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of children in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago. These kids need all the help they can get, in order to break out of the cycle of poverty all around. I told them about this same true story.





GIFTED HANDS: This is a true story of a child who felt he was the dumbest student in his fifth grade class. Through the demands of his single, working mother, who didn’t know how to read, he learned the value of the public library and learned to read. He discovered that he enjoyed learning.


Benjamin Carson, M.D started out on the mean Detroit streets. His mother knew he had it in him to get out of the Detroit ghetto where they lived. She believed he could make something of himself. His mother demanded that Ben, and his older brother, turn off the TV and begin bringing home books from the library. Their TV viewing was cut to one hour per week. Can you imagine? Even though she could not read herself, Ben’s mother required her sons to read their books and write book reports which they had to read to her out loud.

But Ben's beginnings were certainly not easy. Signs of determination showed as young as the age of 10. He started out as the "class dummy" in school, frequently getting every single question on his math tests wrong. But then, through hard work and a lot of reading from the local library, he expanded his knowledge in every subject. Soon, "good" wasn't good enough. Ben was driven to be the best. In fact, he was so driven that he won a full scholarship to Yale University.

Ben Carson ought to be regarded as a role model for today. Those not on the right path to a successful future could especially benefit; as a story like this could assist in a serious straightening out of priorities.

He is an inspiration to all because the life he began with wasn't as easy as many other families who have attended good colleges for generations. Ben, and his older brother Curtis, were the first in the family to ever attend college. Curtis went to the University of Michigan, and Ben enrolled at Yale University.

In the last chapter, Carson gives recommendations to students on ways to live and to achieve.

* You can also look for the feature film on DVD wherever you get your videos. I would encourage you to rent it, sit down with your children, and watch it together. You might even go a step further by watching it yourself first. Then write out a few questions. Turning off the TV in your own home, and requiring more reading, could be the difference in your child’s success or failure in the future.

Expect a lot of yelling at first. But in the long run, it'll be worth the struggle.

Next time, turn it off...and turn your kids on to reading!

Send this link on to other parents and grandparents who you think should see it. http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/


Author Web Site http://www.maxbooks.9k.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Net Casters, Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men written by Craig von Buseck.


Periodically I like to review with you a book that I have recently read. Today I am highlighting the title, Net Casters, Using the Internet to Make Fishers of Men written by Craig von Buseck.


Craig von Buseck is ministries director for CBN.com, the Web site of the Christian Broadcasting Network where he oversees all online evangelism and discipleship efforts. He also writes the popular ChurchWatch blog and has served on the faculty of the Jerry Jenkins “Writing for the Soul” Christian writers conference. Craig lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


As I read this book, I had a hard time sitting still. I kept jumping up and rushing to my desk to refer someone to this title, make notes and twitter sentences that grabbed me. This book grabbed me a lot. I felt a re stirring of the passionate fire I felt while in Bible College, years ago. Street evangelism was a regular weekend activity and something we looked forward to all week.

With chapter headings such as: Casting an Electronic Net, Fishers of Men, Weaving the Nets and The Daily Life of a Net Caster, Craig tells us who is leading the way, and just what baby steps we can begin to enable us to be a player online. Harnessing Technology to preach the Gospel prepares us to, “take up the torch and carry this gospel message to the World through the World Wide Web. You can be a part of the NetCasters' revolution.”


How do we reach them? Through vlogging, (taking your blog to the next level with video feed) in chat rooms and through Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts and more.


Craig quotes Tony Whittaker, a leading NetCaster based in the United Kingdom, editor of the Monthly Web Evangelism Bulletin. “ Effective Internet evangelism is almost always one-on-one because a person reading a page is, of course, only one person. So a writer should always be writing as if to one person, not preaching as if to a congregation. The gifts needed for a web writer are those of a journalist not a preacher.”


Millions of Christians are on the internet everyday. Approximately 1.7 billion people are logging onto the Web on an ongoing basis. Craig tells us, “The problem is just as in the real world, Christians and non Christians are not talking to each other. There is a major disconnect” Tony Whittaker named this the 99 percent rule. “Only one percent of Christian Websites are designed to reach the lost.”


Craig quotes Jesse Cary, managing editor of RelevantMagazine.com, “We always want the readers to engage with the content.” Web 2.0 has made this an option with comment possibilities and small community forums as well as placing text, graphics audio or photos- all of which beg for conversation.


Net Casters, brings us the statistics that challenge us to act on this incredible open door.


  • 70% of blog readers are 'influencers', people who are articulate and networked- the 10% of America who set the agenda for the other 90% (D.J.Chuang, digital ministry architect at ForMinistry.com, an outreach of the American Bible Society).

  • Bloggers comment on one another's blogs, then link to one another- a community is formed.

This easy to read book will teach you many incredible things about internet usage many of us did not know of as well as provide us with small ways one might jump in and participate in addition to larger commitments one might make to become a committed full time Web missionary.


No longer do we have to leave the country to reach those around the world with the gospel. We can do it from our kitchen table. Or home office. We can make a difference and I for one am grateful to Craig for showing us the way in Net Casters.


I hope you will check out Craig's book. If you are looking for a read that will fire you up, you will not be disappointed. And the World Wide Web will be the better for it.


An author I know has set up a site that I recommend to my non churched friends. You might want to stop by and check it out. They are casting their net at, http://community321.com/.

Have a blessed day. From my heart to yours,

Diana

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Congratulations to Bonnie Calhoun by Terry Burns



Our congratulations to Bonnie S. Calhoun for being named "Writer of the Year" at the Greater Philadelphia Writer's Conference for the second consecutive year. That's terrific!

Bonnie is a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world with the many hats that she wears. As the Director of the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, she leads a contingency of 200+ book reviewers that do bi-weekly blog tours for the latest in Christian fiction.

She is the Owner/Publisher of Christian Fiction Online Magazine which posts a monthly issue of 35+ columnists by the best and brightest authors, publishers, and agents in Christian fiction.

The American Christian Fiction Writers have designated her as the Northeast Zone Director, where she leads the membership loop for New York, New Jersey, and the New England states.

She is on faculty at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, teaching workshops on Blogging and writing mechanics as well as on faculty at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. She is an Author member of International Thriller Writers.

As an expert "Blog*Star", certified by Google, she dispenses problem resolution advice on the Blogger Help Forum for those using the Blogger platform and runs a blog specifically addressing blogging problems at "How Can I Do That?"

In her home-every day life, she is a Bible Study teacher and Teen Sunday School teacher at her church and serves as the webmaster for her church's website.

She runs her own business as a seamstress and clothing designer. She and her husband Bob live in a log home on 15 acres with a pond, an old apple orchard, and a dog and persnickety cat who she says "are pretty sure that we are wait-staff and they run the show!"

In her spare time Bonnie . . . hmmmm . . . what spare time?

Friday, August 20, 2010

What is Print on Demand (POD)?


When the technology first came out it simply meant a machine that could produce as few as one single book at a time. It has come to mean something else. People have begun to think it is synonymous with self-publishing or vanity presses. It has acquired some sort of a stigma that is absolutely false. This confusion over the term is clouding the issue on the discussion on e-books and e-readers that seems to be going on all over the industry right now.

It's simple, Print On Demand (POD) is a method of printing. Period. Exclamation mark!

It is indeed what it started out to be, a method by which a book can be printed one at a time or in significantly larger orders. What is important is how that book is used once it has been produced in this manner. For most POD places the quality is as good as the products produced by other methods, better than some. And if there is a problem with a book, all the POD houses that I know of stand behind them and will replace immediately.

There are respected small and medium houses that use this technology to cut down on warehousing and often even have orders of size sent directly to customers which impacts shipping costs. Right now, as we speak, there are some large houses starting to utilize the technology as well. Many houses using the technology have significant distribution and marketing and take returns allowing the product to go to bookstores and into their usual distribution channels. Some that are going to traditionally print a product even use POD to produce early copies or review copies or maybe to extend a title at the end of a big press run. Chances are if the book has a known imprint on it identifying it as a product of a house people recognize they do not even know or care how the book was printed.

The Authors Guild has a "Back in Print" program for its members. The AG makes sure an author owns the rights to his or her book and then the author sends two copies to iUniverse and it is placed on their AG Back in print section. It costs the AG member nothing and the AG author gets one sample copy. Other authors are using POD through various avenues to keep books available after they have gone out of print.

As the quantum leap is occurring with e-books and e-readers POD will become even more significant as authors and readers continue to want a print alternative to these products. We can’t forget with the double digit gains that the e-book industry is making that the majority of books sold are still print copies. While we MUST get on line with the e-book surge and maximize our return from that growing market we have to be cognizant of the old phrase “always dance with the one that brung ya!”

Print books have always been the backbone of the industry and will continue to be for many years to come. But the method of printing those books? More and more are going to utilize this technology. To fully understand what is happening we have to separate the terms in our head. POD does not define the publishing house, it is simply the method they are using to produce their books.

It does tell us one thing about the publisher, however. It is not economical to produce a large quantity by POD. They are by necessity more expensive to produce and necessitate a higher retail price. A major publisher looking for a book to do very well will take the economy of scale and have it produced in a large run on the big presses. But maybe not in the United States.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E-books, POD’s and other such things by Joyce Hart



I received a “Nook” for my birthday last week. Between my son, the gift giver, and my grandson, it is up and running. My son, Jeff, bought me the one with wifi, but not with the 3G phone capability. He feels the 3G technology is on its way out. And, I recently saw an advertisement about 4G phone service this week. Where are all these changes leading us? And, how long before the Nook, the Kindle, the Sony Reader and even the iPad are obsolete. How long will it take me to learn how to use it? I have some free books on it, but I haven’t bought any yet. Will I like reading on it? I sure hope so. My editor and agent friends who have these readers love them and my son, who travels for a living, loves his. That’s why he bought his mom one. I’m traveling again and so I’ll try it out on my trips this fall.

Rumor has it that a major publisher is telling their clients they want to do their next books in POD. What does this mean to the authors and the agents?

When POD first came into being it was mostly for people who were self-publishing. It was a much better answer than for an author than having 5,000 books printed and sitting in his/her garage on pallets. In those days a 5,000 print-run was where the publishers could make a profit. Now, it’s possible to do a 3,000 or even a 1,000 or 2,000 print-run and still make a slim profit. But even so does an author want to buy that many books and have to store them?

One problem with POD books is that they cost more per copy to produce. However, with speakers who want to sell their books at the back of the room, when they speak, this isn’t a problem. They can sell the book at the full retail and still make some money to support their ministry and they don’t have to warehouse their books. The author can have the number of books needed for each speaking engagement shipped directly to their location. Also, POD is a way to keep books that are several years old in print.

It is interesting to watch technology. Some feel that before long we will be doing everything on our smart phones. At first we wanted larger screens, now we are going smaller. My grandson, the computer science grad, is going to buy a net book for e-mail when he travels. He’s going to Europe in the fall and wants something smaller than his laptop. I’ve been thinking about getting one too, it’s easier to carry than my laptop 

Stay tuned for a much more technical blog on this subject from Terry.

In His service,
Joyce

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Friday but Sunday is Coming!


The Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference held in Langhorne, Pa at the Philadelphia Biblical University was a huge success in many ways. Writers connected with editors and agents. Agents were inspired by the creativeness of new authors, old friends reunited and all were encouraged by workshops and divine appointments along the way. At lunch, at dinner and even along the pathways.



Conference Director Marlene Bagnull writes:

Each year I say it’s the most powerful conference yet and again it was. Father’s presence was very real as we worshipped Him and as He spoke to us through stirring messages from the faculty. And GPCWC 2010 was again MORE than just a writers’ conference as we first and foremost focused on Him. We addressed and prayed about the slippery slope (the free fall) our nation is experiencing; the need for compassion, justice and advocacy for “the least of these” who are so precious in God’s sight; the work He is doing in the hearts and lives of Muslims who He calls us to love; and our need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and not abandon Israel. I trust that the growing sense of urgency I’m feeling to make the most of the opportunity to proclaim His Truth while the doors are still open to print and distribute Christian literature was imparted.

I was especially inspired by keynote Dr. John M. Perkins's message of Good News. He reminded us of God's predetermination in each of us being present right there at that time. Here are a few highlights from my notes: Good News is the fulfillment of our longing. The Good News is that God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us. God is a wordsmith, we read the words in His word and they sing to us- then HE gives US a message. "I go to the scriptures out of my pain- I preach to solve a problem- allow the redeemer to come by and meet us here! The energy of the Christian life is Joy! God wants us to bear His image"

SO much more was given to us by Dr. Perkins, I fail to convey it all with these words.

As if that was not enough, Dr. Perkins was followed that morning by Tony Campollo. Tony mentioned concrete practical ways we could be the hands and feet of Jesus. He shared with us what he has learned from young people he calls Red Letter Christians.

I have to tell you all that seeing and hearing Tony that morning put me in mind of a time in the early 70's, when I and a lot of other Jesus Freaks of the day had gathered in a city of tents 10,000 strong and Tony preached a sermon I still remember to this day. "It's Friday.... but Sundays Comin' " He brought us to our feet back then and as I shared it with a few of my sisters at the conference we were inspired all over again.

Here is a short portion for your encouragement tweaked just a bit for this particular congregation- I mean readership.

It was a Friday when they laid Him in the tomb. It grew dark and lightening filled the sky. His mother was led away weeping as if her heart would break and his disciples wondered around as if they had lost their best friend...but IT was only FRIDAY and SUNDAY was COMIN!

Sunday, the rock was blown out of the way and out stepped our Risen Saviour and I am here to tell you that regardless of your present circumstances, it is only Friday but SUNDAY is COMING!


It's Friday, the rejections just keep pouring in, the bills are stackin up but sister and brother, I am here to tell you that Sunday is coming!

It's Friday and that Publishing House that asked for a full read just went out of business and you can't get any one on the phone, it's Friday but Sunday's comin'

It's Friday and you spoke with a few editors at this writers conference and everyone liked your writing but you need a platform, that is what they all said. It's Friday but Sunday's comin'

Dear reader, whether you be an agent looking for the right slot for many of your authors, an author finding it hard to keep at it in a stressed market and few open spots, or an editor at a publishing house that finds your co worker's desk empty next to yours as more are laid off due to the economy, I am here to remind you that it is Friday but Sunday is comin'. God has a plan for each and every one of us and He will see it through to fruition. As we wait, may we encourage others along the way. May we make it a better journey by praying for one another and doing what we can to hone our craft and be the best we can be at what God has called us to do.

From my heart to yours,
Diana

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two announcements from Joyce Hart:




I’m pleased to announce that Jane Kirkpatrick has won the prestigious Willa Literary Award, best paperback novel for 2010 for her book, The Flickering Light. This award is presented by the Women Writing the West organization. The Willa Award will be presented at their Conference on Oct 16th at the Rancho de los Caballeros guest ranch near Wickenburg, AZ. Jim & I plan to be with Jane to celebrate this honor. The Flickering Light was also a Christy Finalist.

Also, Suzanne Woods Fisher’s program “Amish Wisdom” is now the top-rated show on toginet.com! Suzanne got a call from the producer and he said it's been climbing steadily for the last month or so and is now on top--both with live listeners and podcast downloads.

Congratulations to both Jane and Suzanne. Needless to say I am proud and pleased to represent both of these fine authors.


Jane’s web site is www.jkbooks.com, Suzanne’s web site is www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When we have doubts - Terry Burns

Why would writers have doubts? Just because most of our feedback comes from form letters that do little to inspire us, maybe cause us to wonder if our words are really good enough?

Perhaps because we tend to work alone with little feedback, sometimes little support from family or loved ones? I'm lucky to have tremendous support at home but I know a lot complain that isn't true for them. Maybe we feel if our words were what God
wanted us to do that he would cause them to get out more effectively? There is no shortage of such questions.

It's a recurring problem. We publish and start feeling better about things, then time goes by, more rejection letters come in, and the doubts begin to creep back in. There is an immediate round instantly after I finish a work, "What if this is the last one, what if I'm out of ideas?" Then a new idea pops into my head and I'm off again.

Satan is good at planting seeds of doubts, it's one of his specialties. Because writing is something we have to do alone, our minds are fertile grounds for it. But Satan doesn't bother to chastise anyone who isn't a threat to him, so if he isn't after us we must not be doing what we're supposed to be doing.

The best cure for doubt is fellowship with others who understand writing and writers, that's why I'm in several writers groups and share my concerns with those at church who understand. Getting to conferences such as the upcoming conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers in Indianapolis is a great fure for this.

The second thing is to understand that publishing will happen in God's time and even though we may not have the required patience (not my strong suite) His timing is always perfect.

The third is to realize when we get these little barbs from editors and agents that they don't know us well enough for it to be personal, it's just business. We're either a fit for them or we aren't.

The main thing is to keep writing, keep perfecting our craft., and keep interfacing with our support group. Then comes the biggest support mechanism of all, a letter from someone who loved our work and said it touched their life. It doesn't take many of them to make us feel good about what were doing, to offset all of the negative correspondence that is so much a part of this crazy business, and to make us feel like our words are making a difference after all.

I can run for months on just a single letter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why do we write? by Terry Burns



The market for westerns is soft. That means editors aren't buying many. A group of western writers I interface with have been talking about this with several saying they weren't sure they wanted to try to write them any more. Keep in mind this group has bibliographies up well in the hundreds. The discussion has been enlightening. One writer summed up the thoughts of many when he said:

"Now I don't know about the rest of this crowd, but I for one write for the love of writing. And I write westerns for the love of the American west. I write for the love of Bob Steele and Hoot Gibson and Randolph Scott and John Wayne, those people who birthed my imagination back when a bent stick could be a blazing six-gun and my old dog a faithful steed. I write, I suppose, because I've never really grown up."

I love westerns too, always have. I haven't tried to write traditional westerns because I came to the party late and I knew it. I've had some small success in writing some in the time period for the Christian market, and I'm trying to reach out to some new readers of the old west with a YA series. That's a tough sell too.

But is that why I write? No, that's why I have written in that time period, for the love of it. The long answer of why I write is on my website, under the writing testimony link. The short answer to why I do what writing I still do, and my efforts to help other writers get their words out is very simple. After much soul-searching and foot-dragging, I believe God has asked me to do it, and until I am relieved from one or both tasks I'll continue to do it.

Some write to achieve recognition, some for financial gain, some because they have words on their heart and nothing will do but to get them out. A secular writer who doesn't sell books well up in the five figures does not impress the mainstream publishing industry. A Christian writer who makes only a single sale but that sale changes someone's life would be considered a success. Having said that, I don't know a single Christian writer (including myself) who only wants a single sale. We all want to get our words in as many hands as possible, and sales is how we measure how well we are doing that. I write out of love and obedience . . .

. . . why do you write?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Diana Welcomes Guest Blogger and Client Bonnie Towes

Bonnie Towes is a writer of Suspense revolving around wartime situations. Her heart of compassion for the Canadian and US Military is commendable and she uses her journalistic skills to place this issue continually before her blog readers. The following is one of her impassioned pleas to awaken us to get involved in our returning troops needs. May we prayerfully seek God about what we can do. Below you will find an edited blog post of Bonnie's- if you would like to read the complete article- please go to Bonnie's blog address embedded in today's post. Bonnie writes: It is wonderful that we celebrate the lives and courage of our fallen soldiers , but the question that is never answered: who looks out for the returning vets? Especially those whose minds, bodies and spirits have been shattered on a continual rotation of tours through the past eight years.

How do we get our governments to see their responsibility for family counselling in rehabilitating vets?


When I first created this spin-off from Heart Tugs, which tracks Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, I began by talking about what it is like for single soldiers coming home to their parents and families. What are the soldiers’ expectations? What are their families? And then what about married couples? How do their reunions work after one of them has been deployed for months at a time?

There is no clearcut approach. Everyone is different. Some single troopers say that when they get home, they want everything to be the same as it was when they left — that’s what they’ve been remembering and holding onto in their minds’ eyes. Mmmm… life doesn’t stand still, so maybe that expectation is too difficult to meet. Troopers’ disappointment in the status quo can begin the sense of estrangement some soldiers and families develop toward one another.


What about married couples? What is it like for them when their spouses’ deployments are over? For them, say many, the reunion is like a second honeymoon, and one military wife noted how much she appreciated her husband’s parents, his siblings and her own parents for not showing up to greet him off the plane. As a couple, it gave them needed time to rediscover each other and to adjust before they included everyone else in a welcome-home celebration.


I applaud this couple’s parents and in-laws. I think they are remarkable because I can’t picture most parents, mothers especially, giving up their place in the reception line to welcome sons and daughters back home from war.


Some young people fall in love with being in love without understanding or being prepared for the responsibilities of their relationship. The ones left home only know the devastating loneliness and fear they experience. With the return of their spouse, they are reacting to their expectation of normalcy and being cared for again, not with the understanding of what happened to their spouses “in country” or how that experience might have changed them. In fact, what comes with this juvenile “me-first” selfishness is an attitude of punishment against the soldier for abandoning the partner while on deployment.


In 1994, I was saddened to learn that many Canadian peacekeepers returning from missions in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia and Rwanda were handed divorce papers the minute they stepped off the plane in CFB Trenton. The apathy of their loves ones crushed these returning soldiers’ souls. No one seemed to care that they witnessed horrendous brutality and mass slaughter and counted themselves lucky to return home alive. Their marriages and families were sacrificed in military silence and denial.


Wiley Wright, a Vietnam vet, suggests in comments he made to an article about the increase of U.S. military suicides in today’s deployments: “All of these soldiers are volunteers. Every one of them. If we are going to keep participating in foreign conflicts with a volunteer force on a fast rotation basis, we need to discourage soldiers from marrying, especially during their first enlistment. And, we need a corps of truly hard men who are willing to endure extended conflict in tough situations. Pay them well, and turn them loose without restrictive rules of engagement, beltway oversight and wimpy commanders.


From the point of view of the wife of an American Afghanistan vet, Clara Calderon shares what happened to her husband: “My husband was active duty until last year and stationed at Ft. Campbell. The amount of stress that these soldiers endure is unbelievable. I believe that it effects each and every soldier at all levels and all ranks – whether they are seasoned NCOs or privates still wet behind the ears. EVERY LAST man and woman who chooses to bravely defend our country is overstressed, overworked, under appreciated, underpaid, and not thanked enough. It’s pathetic how underappreciated they are.”

Calderon goes on to explain what has happened to them as a couple. “I believe families definitely need to be supportive and not add stress to their military spouses. However, I witnessed my husband’s agony and am grateful he is no longer on active duty. Even if you have a well-balanced home life, WAR IS NOT MEANT FOR FAMILIES. It was the source of our near divorce. Even after his deployment, he was working like a horse. He got up at 3:00 a.m. and would not return until 8:00 p.m. on a regular basis. If we arrived [home] at 6 p.m., we considered it early. [His outfit] was training for the next deployment in Afghanistan as soon as it returned. He was a Sgt. 1st class promotable with 16 years active duty and he LEFT without a job lined up! This is unheard of. Why????? He was tired, exhausted, depleted, and just frustrated on so many levels. The Army tried everything to get him to stay. The pension simply wasn’t enough. He was done. It was hard. Now, he is much better. We are on the mend. He feels better that he made this decision.”

Calderon’s husband becomes a statistic, but at least he doesn’t end up under the column for military suicide. In his frustration, he took a positive step to change the things dragging him down, thereby saving his marriage as well. From Calderon’s comments, their genuine and mature love for each other stands out. Other couples don’t have sound marriages to help them survive.


In conclusion, 1) If the military expects to create heroes and heroines, then the upper ranks have to treat their officers and non-coms with the respect and understanding they deserve to receive for doing outstanding jobs under the worst of conditions; 2) The military and home government that our troops serve have a responsibility to provide the best counselling and training services possible to help our fighting forces and their families bind together in support of each other under the most trying circumstances.

A commitment of political leaders to these two things would go a long way to reduce traumatic stress and the military’s climbing suicide rate in Canada and the United States. It’s something substantial taxpayers would be willing to support, especially if the military broke their vow of silence and opened witness to “in service” programs that heal the lives of our vets and families.

About Homecoming Vets

About this site: People forget that family and partners become victims of the war. When our vets have fought, they return home needing special care and consideration. Who helps them? This blog is dedicated to our homecoming vets and their families who need our understanding and support in making sure they receive the assistance they need to reintegrate into civilian life.

Thank you Bonnie for bringing to the forefront this great need.

From my prayerful heart to yours,
Diana

Friday, August 6, 2010

Today Joyce shares 2 of her favorite recipe's with us


As summer winds down we are all trying to fit into it's remaining days time with friends and family. I thought I would share 2 recipe's that are crowd pleasers for those picnics or reunions you will be attending.

Hot Buffalo Wing Dip


1 cup of Celery- chopped
1 cup Cheddar Cheese- shredded
1 cup Ranch Dressing
2 8oz pkg cream cheese- softened
2 cans Chicken breast
6 oz Franks Red Hot Sauce

Saute' celery. Mix all ingredients together.
Pour into casserole dish and bake until bubbly. (15 to 20 Min.)
Serve warm or cold with celery or crackers.

Serves a ton of happy campers!

BLT Dip ( A new Favorite of mine after Diana prepared this for my Birthday Lunch!

1 cup Sour Cream with chives and onion
1/4 cup Mayo or Salad Dressing
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon (8 slices)
1 1/2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped Roma (plum) tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
32 slices (1/4 inch thick) baguette-style French bread (from a 10 oz loaf)
1. Mix Sour Cream and mayo in small bowl til blended. Stir in bacon
2. Arrange lettuce in shallow bowl or on small platter. Spoon sour cream mixture over lettuce.
Top with tomatoes; sprinkle with chives. Serve with baguette slices.

16 servings (2 slices baguette and 2 tbls dip each

Blessings to you and yours,
Joyce

Monday, August 2, 2010

Transition time



With all the recent drama in my life maybe I needed a little transition time, a chance to decompress, relieve the stress, and get back to work. The Oregon Writers conference here outside of Portland Oregon is just the thing. I came in on Sunday, spent time with other faculty, went to bed early and took a nice walk this morning before breakfast. I love this leisurely start for faculty. We have a faculty meeting at eleven, then the conference starts this afternoon.

I think it is just what I needed. The setting with all of these huge trees and campground type campus is just beautiful. I was here once before a couple of years ago and I know it will get hot before the day is over but it is just great.

I'm going to be teaching "Survive your way to publication" as a seven hour continuing education course with a lot of hands on work. I'm looking forward to it. I love to teach and really get into it. I went through an exercise many years ago about how to use my spiritual gifts and one of the gifts the exercise identified was the gift of encouragement.

I do look for good clients at a conference but my primary goal is to interface with and encourage writers, particularly Christian writers, and teaching is a part of my wanting to use that gift. I do look forward to the week and to getting back in the flow of things.