Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekend Worship—The Question We Must Ask

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. II Corinthians 3:15 

Travel back in time with me as we watch Joseph and Nicodemus take the body of Jesus from the cross that fateful Friday and prepare it for burial. It must have taken valuable time to convince Pilate to let them have Him, but they managed. Nicodemus carried seventy five pounds of myrrh and spices to prepare the body. It was an offering worthy of a king—a dead king.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Writing Prompt Image—What Words Can Do

What words have impacted your life the most?

Share your answers in the comment section below. For me, the words that carry the most weight during this season are these: 

"I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance." 
~John 10:10

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Life Lessons—When You Hit Rock Bottom

by Reba J. Hoffman Ph.D

Yeah, it’s going to happen. Sooner or later you’ll plummet to the lowest valley in the rock quarry and find yourself face down in quartzite and shale.

Writing is an emotionally exhausting endeavor. You feel the angst and depression of your characters as you write all manner of evil against them. Then, when you triumphantly put the period at the end of the happily ever after, you… well, sit. And wait. And wring your hands, hurl a few expletives and mourn the day you called yourself a writer.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Review—April Holidays, Special Days & Downright Crazy Days

Last month I did a post listing all the crazy special days in the month of March. 

Many of you contacted me and requested I make it a regular part of the blog. I thought it would be a fun addition, so I'm adding it to the regular schedule. I'll be posting the next month's special days on the last Thursday of the month.

If you missed my last post, here's a link to the Holidays & Special Days in March. Using the calendar for blog post or even article ideas is a great way to jumpstart your creativity. It's also a fun writing prompt idea. 

Calendar days are also great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—Now I’m a Book Collector Too

My wife had this autographed—to me.

I was perfectly happy not being a reader. Oh I can read, I just never much cared to. I made it all way through school—with a master’s degree in engineering—without commercial fiction. I thought I was safe…then my wife began writing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Time of Rebirth

Happy Easter Everyone!
With Easter on the horizon, it's a time of renewal in our lives. Since early biblical times, people have looked at the onset of spring as the perfect time to start over, and to renew their life and themselves.

What can this mean for our writing? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Social Media Monday—9 Reasons You’re Failing at Social Media AND How to Fix it

I wish I had a nickel for every one who’s told me that Social Media just doesn’t work for them.

Let me suggest, respectfully, that you’re just going about it the wrong way.

I know it sounds harsh, but hear me out. Today I’m going to give you nine reasons you’re failing at social media and I’m going to share how to fix each one.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Worship—Doing Good Things for the Wrong Reasons

Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

For years I did things for the wrong reasons. The things I did weren’t bad—quite the contrary—many were good, God-serving things. But I wasn’t doing them from a heart of abundance or grace, but because of guilt.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Writing Prompt Image—Depth of Life

What are some things you do to add depth to your life?

Share your answers in the comment section below. I can hardly wait to see your suggestions!

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Life Lessons—Trust the Seasons

by Reba J. Hoffman Ph.D

Right now in Florida, springtime is in full bloom. The live oaks have long since shed their winter leaves and have sprouted lime green new growth. The azaleas are fully blossoming. And yes, even the St. Augustine grass is cracking through its dismal brown protective winter sheath.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Review—Writing Advice You Should ALWAYS Follow

Several weeks ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about Writing Advice You Should NEVER Follow. Today I want to share writing advice you should always follow. Now, like ninety-nine percent of publishing rules, take these with a grain of salt. Writing is rarely a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—I’ve been Sucked into Social Media!

By Kirk Melson

As you know by now, I’m an engineer. I use a computer as a tool—for work. If I want to get social (and I rarely do) I go to a movie or have dinner with friends. My life used to be divided into nice, manageable compartments. Now, not so much. I've been sucked into social media.

With a writing wife, my computer has now become a social gathering place. The compartments in my life are getting jumbled, and that makes me just a tad uncomfortable. I was more than satisfied with my social life before. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Sweetness of Writing

I just love chocolate, don't you? Now as a woman, I have cornered the market on blaming everything from PMS to hormonal swings for our craving for chocolate. Truth is, chocolate is just good. It melts in your mouth in positively sinful decadence.

What you may not know is that today is National Chocolate and Caramel Day. Not only do I love chocolate, but a box of high quality nuts and chews just calls my name. Appropriately, today is also my birthday-- yet another excuse to buy a box. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Social Media Monday—5 Things I've Learned About Blogging from Duck Dynasty

Duck Dynasty is our New Favorite on A&E!
I don’t know if you’ve seen the top-rated television show on A&E, Duck Dynasty, but it’s a HUGE favorite at our house. This camo-clad family has taken America by storm, and we’ve fallen in love with everyone of the Robertson Clan. Which is fairly funny when you consider the men in our house don't grow beards or hunt.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Writing Prompt Image—Poetry of Life

What poetry do you see captured in this solitary leaf...

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it ~ Gustave Flaubert

Share your answers in the comment section below. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, like Judythe Morgan did last week with her One Word Wednesday post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Life Lessons—The Ripple Effect

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

I know most, if not all of you dream of seeing your stories in print. Sometimes it seems like you’ll never get there. You may even routinely beat yourself up for wasting all that time and energy stringing words together when you could be doing something else.

What you may not see is the ripple. You know the one. That tiny, hardly noticeable little wave your writing caused in the world that hardly made a splash at the time. A story here, an article there. A word count goal or plotting out your debut novel. Ho hum, right?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thursday Review—Essential Digital Tools for Today’s Writer

Now, let me preface this post with a caveat. I know that TECHNICALLY we can write anywhere, anytime, with nothing more than a pen and a pad of paper. The things in this post are digital tools that make my writing life flow more smoothly.

I for one love being a writer in this digital age. Sure there are challenges. Can anyone say DISTRACTIONS? But the positives outweigh the negatives for me. So here’s my list of essential tools for today’s writer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—Being an Apple is at the Core of the Issue

By Kirk Melson

An Apple is at the core of the issue
NOTE: The Contest is Closed. The puns are highlighted in yellow, and if you count the title, there are a total of 15 puns - if you count the sticker on his head. If you got 14 or 15 you've been entered in the drawing.

Last week I shared with you how my wife loves gadgets more than jewelry. Well the more I thought about that, the more I realized the issue really extends beyond just gadgets. If you boil it all down, being an Apple is at the core of the issue.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Girl Scout Preparedness

Did you know that today is National Girl Scouts Day? Most of us look forward to the girl scouts selling their cookies every year. This year alone, I bought six boxes for me and my girls. Sad to say, we need to find more....I forgot to get thin mints.

When we think about writing, we can learn a lot from watching our younger counterparts, or reflecting on our own childhood.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Social Media Monday—How to Use Twitter Lists Effectively

Twitter lists are truly valuable

Many people have heard the mention of Twitter lists, but don’t know how to use them effectively. They also may not realize how truly valuable they can be. Today I’m going to give you some information about how to utilize them, then show you step-by-step how to set the up.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Worship—Solid Ground

You have not given me into the hands of the enemy, but have set my feet in a spacious place. Psalm 31:8

My husband and I love living here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We enjoy hiking and camping and all manner of outdoor activities. While the boys were young we always tried to set aside at least one weekend a year for the two of us to slip away. Frequently that getaway took place in the mountains.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Writing Prompt Image—Secrets

If you were a leaf what secrets would you whisper to the wind.....

And the leaves were telling secrets to the wind ~ Peter Mulvey

Share your answers in the comment section below. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with!

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, like Judythe Morgan did this week with her One Word Wednesday post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Life Lessons—There's a Good Reason for That

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Last Saturday late afternoon, I drove home from an outdoor video shoot in North Florida that never happened. The wind was blowing so hard, we would never have been able to complete the shoot.

After an afternoon at the Home and Patio Show with a friend, I cruised down Interstate 95. Suddenly, the traffic came to a complete stop. If you’ve ever been on I-95 in Central Florida, you know that’s not unusual.

But the traffic continued to sit parked on the freeway. I knew something was up. After thirty minutes I was able to inch my way a half mile to an exit. As I drove on the overpass crossing the highway, I saw a solid line of vehicles as far as my view would allow.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday Review—Undaunted

A Review by Lynn H Blackburn

Every now and then I come to a place where I need to step away from books about writing and spend some time with books about living.

The crazy thing is once I owned up to the fact that “I AM A WRITER” I found that just about everything I read has a writing application. Sometimes a big one.

This happened last week when I inhaled Undaunted by Christine Caine. If you aren’t familiar with her, Christine Caine is the founder of The A21 Campaign which stands for Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century and works to save people from human trafficking.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It’s a Date—Use the Calendar to Write Brilliant Blog Posts and Articles

Lately I’ve spoken to a lot of folks who are having problems coming up with ideas for blog posts. My suggestion, look no further than the calendar. Utilizing the calendar anyone can write brilliant blog posts and articles.

This technique can also make any writer a favorite with magazine editors. It’s difficult to come up with unique ideas for a monthly magazine and any writer who can help is a valuable commodity.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Social Media Monday—With Facebook, The Times They Are A-Changin'...AGAIN

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Facebook is the fact that it’s always changing. Well to paraphrase Bob Dylan, The Times They are a Changin’AGAIN.

Weekend Worship—Damage Control

No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

We are in the middle of some minor renovations at our house. It didn’t start because I just wanted to update a room. It began because of a small problem. We had a small leak in one of the pipes behind our commode. It was so small it seemed more of an irritation rather than an actual problem.


By the time we got around to dealing with it, the damage was extensive. Fortunately our son works in construction, and he was able to do the work for us. But it meant he had to cut out several large sections of sheet rock and replace it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Images of Writing—Fishing

Every week I post an image for you all to use online for free. I also took this photo while we were on vacation in late January.

As always you're welcome to use this image as you wish, online. You may post it to social media, your blog, or website. It's my gift to you. I only ask that you not remove my website watermark or use it in print.

Blessings to you all!

Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after ~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 1, 2013

Life Lessons—Change is Good…Yeah, Right!

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Anyone who cheerfully says change is good has either never experienced it, or is heavily medicated. Change is tough. Agonizing. Downright heart stopping.

As a writer, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Grammar rules changed. Thanks Kirk for letting us know. Publishing requirements remain a moving target. And if that’s not enough, those voices in your head keep changing their mind.

So what is a writer to do to maintain their sanity? Well, vowing to never change won’t quite cut it. But there are things you can do that will help you gain the upper hand on the big “C” word. Here are a few: