Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
As the days for this draw near, I find myself hyperventilating. I've always had this problem. It's not the kind of hyperventilating that can be fixed by putting a brown bag over my mouth. It's apparently called "hyperventilation syndrome." If you google it, you can read more about it. Point is, the closer the day comes, the more dizzy I get. I already fight vertigo because of the stupid MS. Well, now my nervousness makes me dizzy too! I'm just meant to be dizzy! ARG.
Anyway... I try not to dwell on that mess, otherwise I'd go nuts. That's biblical, you know. Where is it? Philippines 4:8.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
I like that word: DWELL. You know, with all the crap that's happened to me over the years, I believe I could literally go insane if that's all I thought about. Think about it. (No pun intended, lol.) We become what we think about. I could dwell on all the abuse I've suffered and really feel miserable. Or I could focus on God and His love and what He's done for me in my life and be happy. Personally, I hate feeling miserable, so that's one of the reasons I try to focus on the positive. I'm hardly perfect at it, and I'm certainly no Job and have sinned with my lips and even yelled at God. So yes, I've had my negative moments. But God has gotten me through them. I certainly don't deserve His help, but He gives it to me anyway.
Now, speaking of "dwelling," or where I "focus" my mind, there's something positive I need to share with you about my dad. I've shared plenty of negative about him, and although he's caused me and others A LOT of grief, I also know I'm a better person because of him for many reasons. You see, he did something for me when I was a child that's CARRIED me through all the health mess I've been facing.
When I was about five, he took me to a check-up where I had to get a shot. Well, before the shot, he asked the doc/nurse to let him have a moment of private time with me to prepare me for this shot. (I'd had plenty of shots when Mom would bring me to the doc's, but this was the first time I remember Dad taking me. I never caused a ruckus, so I didn't really understand why he felt he had to talk to me about it, but now I know, and I believe God used that moment for me TODAY.) Dad sat with me and told me in detail how if I just relax during this shot, it won't hurt as badly. He said, it will hurt, but I just need to focus/dwell/concentrate on relaxing my body. He took a whole five minutes to explain this to me. :-)
Well, with all the MRI's, the radiations where I've had to wear a tight mask (I'm claustrophobic), and the pet scans and other tests, the many shots and having a pick-line in my arm, not to mention the upcoming port they're going to put in my chest . . . I've really had to concentrate on RELAXING my body. It's not easy because I'm a very uptight person. But my mind constantly flashes back to that five minutes my dad took in the doctor's office to tell me that all I needed to do was relax and it wouldn't hurt as badly. Not only does relaxing make it not hurt as badly, but it also makes these tests get done much faster. After all, if I were to panic, we'd have to stop and start again, stop and start again. I can't tell you how often I've wanted to stop and NOT start again, but I really didn't want to prolong the inevitable. Nor did I want to have drugs to knock me out because it takes days for that mess to get out of my body. Anyway, God used my dad at that time to help me NOW. Isn't that amazing? Thank You, God.
So . . . back to breathing. Or "hyperventilating." I don't know why I hyperventilate. I do it without even realizing it. What makes me realize it is I get dizzy. Ha! Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about breathing lately. I know. Weird.
You see, I watched my grandpa die. While he was on his death bed, all he could do was BREATHE. He could barely utter one word at a time, and it took all he had to suck in a breath. I've felt that way numerous times during all this mess. Only difference is, nothing can stop me from talking. But that's a another story. Anyway . . . I always wondered what made my grandpa stop breathing? Was it that he just didn't have the strength anymore? He died after he saw my mom. He'd requested to see her, and she came. After she left, he died. He loved my mom. She was very special to him. She was a hard worker, and he liked hard workers. All I know is, he stopped breathing after he saw her. We'd walked out of the room and took her to her car. When we walked back into the house, Grandpa was gone. He'd finally taken his last breath.
My thoughts about breathing of course involve God. I believe if God knows the number of hairs we have on our head (Matt. 10:30), which I could care less about, then He also knows every breath we take. And He knows my every breath. And . . . He knows how many I have left. It also means . . . He's VERY CLOSE. Imagine how it is when you go to kiss someone. Sometimes our breaths intermingle. Imagine being that close to God! Wouldn't it be wonderful to KISS HIM? I mean like a parent kisses a child. I love kissing my babies. I don't care how big they get. I'm sure He'd love to kiss us too.
Acts 17:27-28 says: God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
In a previous post I asked: why, oh why, does my heart become heavy when I feel like fighting for my will?
I have to say, it's a lot less stressful putting everything in God's hands. After all, He knows what's BEST. Doing this means I'm not fighting and worrying about my will. I'm just letting go and letting God. I'm in His hands. I know. I've said that a billion times. But instead of standing in His hands with MY hands on my hips and arguing with Him and trying to convince Him of what I think is best, I'm going to lie down on His loving palms, and TRUST in Him to perform His will in my life. That's what I HAVE to do, otherwise, I won't be able to RELAX.
I must TRUST in Him, TRUST that He's aware of every breath I take.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Yesterday in the online Wall Street Journal:
MICROSOFT agreed to buy internet phone company Skype Technologies for $US8.5 billion ($7.8bn) in cash -- the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment.
The deal will let Microsoft "be more ambitious, do more things," chief executive Steve Ballmer said in an interview.
The software giant was motivated to acquire Skype because communication technologies have been "the backbone" of Microsoft's growth in recent years and that Skype has "built a real business" in the communications field, said Mr Ballmer.
In a joint phone interview with Skype chief executive Tony Bates, Mr Ballmer said Microsoft sees an opportunity to expand Skype's reach by blending it with technologies across Microsoft's vast portfolio of products, including the Xbox videogame console, Windows Phone software and Lync communications product for businesses.
Our book club has used Skype to speak with authors of the book we are currently discussing and just finished reading. It has been fun and informative and definitely influenced our members to read more of the same author. They felt they had gotten to know them, felt a strong connection to them, like they had become their friend. This is what made Blogs grow in popularity. Blogging put the author/writer in touch with their reader. Allowing a reader to comment on the writers article or book review helped develop relationships.
Please share with us how you as an author or writer have used Skype to promote your books and writing or how you think you might in the future.
And have a great 'Over the Hump' day!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Congratulations to Joyce's client Suzanne Woods Fisher:
Her title, "The Waiting" has been named a 2011 Christy Finalist in the Contemporary fiction category.
As previously announced, Joyce's client Lisa Harris's title, Blood Ransom, has been named a 2011 Christy Award finalist in the Women's Fiction category.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Normandie Fischer, writer and editor
Saturday, May 7, 2011
TEN WAYS TO WRITE LIKE A BEGINNER
Let’s see, you’ve had this great idea for umpteen years, and now you’re going to start writing! Or maybe you’ve been writing for a while and you’d like to get your story or book published. Will you be labeled a beginner or an old pro when the agent or publisher looks at your work?
If you can say “yep” to any of the points below, all I can say is “uh oh.”
Go ahead; let’s see how you do:
1. Never read any books in the genre in which you write. You don’t want to steal another author’s ideas.
2. Write when you feel like it, even if the radio or TV is blasting.
3. For your first project, write the next 'Great American Novel' with plots, subplots, foreshadowing, & complicated characters.
4. Start your fiction manuscript with 5 pages of narration and description from 5 points of view. Have 600 pages in your book.
5. Develop a boring plot with no climax, characters with no depth, & dialogue that is flat & the same for all your characters.
6. Don’t get help from a critique group, “how-to-write” books, or writers’ conferences because God told you what to write & how to write it.
7. Send your manuscript everywhere without querying first. Buy the Writers’
Market Guide, start on page 1, and don’t stop until you get a sale!
8. Write query letters that are “you.” Smother them in chocolate or perfume smells and write: “Dear Editor, this is your lucky day. My family has read this, and they absolutely love it.”
9. Send your first draft to a different editor once every six months; then go into deep depression when it’s rejected.
10. Ignore all suggestions any editors or agents make. The manuscript just wouldn’t be “your” work anymore.
If a lot of these pertained to your writing style, perhaps you should take up basket weaving or bowling instead!
Thank you Marsha for this humorous look at the writing life. Please stop by and visit Marsha at the following links.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Joyce's response; “Tamela is a good friend and has been a valued employee. We will miss her and wish her the best in her new endeavors.”
In related activity, a number of rumors have been circulating including one that Joyce is about to retire. That is not the case, although we will try our best to get her to scale back a bit to help her in the healing process. Terry and Diana have NO intention of leaving the agency. A number of restructuring things are being discussed in the wake of all that has happened all of which are aimed at making Hartline even stronger.
Other News: Lisa Harris, a client of Joyce's has been named a finalist in the 2011 Christy Award Women's fiction category. Congratulations to Lisa. We are of course hoping she wins!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
It was indeed a serious injury but her prognosis is good and those of us in the agency are certainly doing anything that needs to be done and the office activity is going forward seamlessly. She will be on limited activity for a while but wants her clients to know that their needs will be taken care of. The full resources of Hartline are available if she needs our help during this period.
Joyce issued a statement which said:
"Thank you for the outpouring of support, prayers, cards and flowers, especially the prayers. I appreciate it very much. If any of you have questions, please direct them to Terry Burns or Diana Flegal. I am asking God for a quick and speedy recovery and I look forward to getting back to work."
We so much appreciate your prayers and your concern for her. Please continue to do so. We feel very good about her progress and are sure she will continue to move toward a full recovery.
The Hartline staff