Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tips to Adjust Your Writing Schedule and Enjoy the Holidays!

by Edie Melson

The holidays can be stressful
The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone. But for those of us who work from home, the juggling act can be a minefield of unreasonable expectations and disappointments. And turning off your computer for a month and half isn't the answer. It's hard to restart a productive routine after taking a month off.

Today I want to share some tips to adjust your writing schedule and enjoy the holidays.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Social Media Monday—Add a Custom Tab to Your Professional Facebook Page

by Edie Melson

Facebook is a valuable tool when it comes to social media. BUT, it’s important to make sure those who follow you on one platform, can find you on the others. There are several ways to do this:
  • Make sure your user name/profile name is the same or very similar.
  • Keep your profile picture consistent. It doesn’t have to be the exact same pose, but make sure you are recognizable.
  • Make sure your blog/website is linked on all of them.

Number three is the one I want to focus on today. I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to add a custom tab to your professional Facebook page.

Weekend Worship—Working with Us?

Edie Melson

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

I am constantly amazed that the God of the universe has chosen to work through us. I don’t know about you, but I am totally unworthy and unequipped for the honor. And looking at the condition of our world, I have to occasionally throw my hands up in frustration and ask, “What were you thinking?” Obviously, if He were doing the work Himself, we’d all be a lot better off

…or would we.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Social Media Image—The Power of Words

Oh the power of words—to hurt, to heal, to help.
When have the words of someone else helped you? 

"Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence." -Pythagoras
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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 visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Life Lessons—What's in a Name?

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting a local writer’s group. I went to the sign-in table, promptly wrote a name on a visitor’s name tag and plastered it onto my denim jacket. A member of the writing group who’s also an editor immediately noticed I didn’t use my own name.

Okay… besides the fact that I’m not tall with gorgeous red hair and dozens of best-selling suspense novels, how did this person know I was not award winning author Brandilyn Collins? Oh wait. That’s for another blog post.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Good Friend of Mine I Never Met—The True Value of Social Media

by Edie Melson

A casual remark caused me to stop and think.
I was chatting with a group of writers at a recent meeting and a random comment stopped me in my tracks.

“I learned that from a good friend of mine I never met.”

I held up my hand for everyone’s attention and asked the speaker to repeat what she’d just said. She gave me an odd look, but complied. The rest of the group mirrored her puzzled expression. I had to laugh before I explained.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Business Basics for Today’s Writer—Learn the CORRECT Way to Use Quotation Marks

by Edie Melson

I don’t do this often, but sometimes my inner editor just can’t take it anymore. So today I’m letting her loose with a personal rant about quotation marks. And we're begging you all to take a few moments, and learn the correct way to use quotation marks.

HINT: Quotations marks are not to EVER be used for emphasis—more on that later.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Writing Book You’ll Want for Your Library—Imagination @Work by Alton Gansky

A Review by Edie Melson
My friend and Blue Ridge cohort has just published a new e-book. It's a nonfiction work containing several years of essays he’s written about creativity and writing. Each of the 80 essays is short, designed to be read quickly.
This book is full of wisdom gleaned from years in the publishing industry. Reading it you’ll feel like you’re sitting, having coffee with a mentor.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Social Media Monday—Learn How to Pin Your Blog Posts

by Edie Melson

Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds as a valuable social media tool for writers. It’s a great way to connect with readers and there are numerous ways to utilize this image driven platform.

It’s also a great way to generate interest for your blog. Today I want to concentrate on that aspect of Pinterest, with step-by-step instructions on how to pin a blog post.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Social Media Image—Who Would You Thank for Helping Your Writing Dreams Become Reality?

I've been thinking lately about all the people who have helped me get where I am as a writer. It's made me curious. If you could thank someone publicly, who would it be? I'll chime in too.

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever
becomes a master." - Ernest Hemingway

Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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 visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Life Lessons—The Gift in You

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

Yes, I’m talking to you. I know that about now you feel you should chunk the computer in the electronics recycle bin and pick up knitting. Your words won’t flow and you just know you made a mistake deciding to be a writer.

You’re having a meltdown. Really, it boils down to an issue of trust. Judging by your fast drafting, mistake-making mumbo jumbo called prose, you don’t believe you can do it. Simply put, you don’t trust the gift in you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Review—The Emotion Thesaurus

by Lynn H. Blackburn

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase Show Don’t Tell I could afford to take all of us to a writers conference. Where we would, again, be reminded to…

Show Don’t Tell!

Telling is so easy though. If I say, “Caroline was so angry when they fired her” you know she’s mad.

Unfortunately, telling is also lazy writing. It takes a lot more of our creative juices to say, “Caroline turned toward the window and took a slow breath. Then another. Heat coursed through her limbs as she considered her options. If they thought she would be willing to go quietly, they had underestimated her. Again. She drove her heels into the floor to stop her legs from shaking…”

You get the idea.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Worship—A Colorful Life

by Edie Melson

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cool, crisp days that bring relief from summer’s heat. But most of all, I love the beautiful colors adorning the trees in our Blue Ridge Mountains. My husband and I get great joy from driving through the mountains to see the changing leaves. It always amazes me how vibrant the colors are and, until recently. I took that beauty for granted.

Last year, I learned what makes the trees brighter some years as opposed to others. The intensity and brilliance of the colors is virtually unaffected by the amount of stress the tree has suffered during the previous season—as long as it has plenty of rain. 

That knowledge stopped me in my tracks, as God immediately began to apply its spiritual truth to my life. God is the water, the lifeline that keeps my life healthy. It doesn’t matter how great the trial, as long as I look to Him for provision, I can come through triumphant.

Inevitably, I think about people around me who’ve suffered intense pain and come through to a place of peace. I could see that the constant in their lives had also been the Living Water of God’s Spirit, sustaining them, no matter the stress. The more God worked through their stress and suffering, the more vibrantly His brilliance shined through them.

Now this knowledge leads me to a choice. Will I fight God’s plan, turn my back on Him, and seek the path of least resistance—the path that leads to a life without color? Or will I let God transform my trials and tribulations into brilliance?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Social Media Image—Scattered Words

When I'm writing, sometimes the words come in abundance. At other times they drift, beautiful, but just out of reach. How about you?

"For the time being words scatter. Are they fallen leaves?" - Ruth Ozeki
Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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 visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Life Lessons—It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I see it in every activity in life. Great people are so focused on getting where they want to be, they forget to enjoy the journey. I call this destination syndrome.

It’s really a vision problem. Just like being nearsighted or color blind. Their focus is just off.

I rode in a cycling event once that took me right by the Space Shuttle launch pad, the largest known eagle’s nest in North America, and the alligator marshes.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What’s that Mean—Blog Post Titles that DON’T Confuse Your Social Media Followers!

by Edie Melson

But spend even more time passing over valuable posts because my followers would have no idea what the post was about. So today I want to give you the basics to help with blog post titles that DON’T confuse your social media followers.

I pay a lot of attention to my blog post titles, and I often spend almost as much time composing them as I do writing an entire post.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Take Time to Nourish the Writer Within

by Edie Melson

Writing is hard work.

Beyond the physical part, it’s emotionally taxing. We pour our hearts and souls into the words we arrange into stories, articles, even blog posts. We spend time and money learning how to write, constantly improving our skills.

Then, we take a deep breath and share our words with the world. So often that world can be less than kind. To face the tumultuous life of writing, we have to take time to nourish the writer within.

Today I want to share some tips you can use—even if life is crazy—to feed your writer’s soul.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Social Media Monday—Get Your Social Media Pages Ready for the Holidays

by Edie Melson

I know November is just starting, but Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, with Christmas right on its heels. Now is the time to get your social media pages are ready for the holidays.

The first thing you want to look at your cover photo on the different platforms. Consider ways you could enhance it to give it a warm, holiday feel. You’ll probably want to change it twice, once for fall and again for Christmas.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekend Worship—Are You Writing in Faith?

by Edie Melson

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

This is one of the first verses I learned when I began memorizing scripture. But until today, I had never thought about applying it to my writing. This morning I was texting back and forth with a fellow writer, trying to encourage her to move forward and leave the result up to God.

You see, Novemberis National Novel Writing Month. Or in the vocabulary of writers, NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. It was started to help writers get a story down, BEFORE editing. A good idea, but it can carry a lot of pressure. That’s what my friend was dealing with.

So I texted that my friend should just sit down at the computer and write in faith. As I hit send, the words were highlighted, and it hit me like a message from God. I knew, in that moment, that I desperately needed to take my own advice.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Social Media Image—Autumn Bliss

What's your favorite part of this fall season?

Share your stories in the comment section below. 

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 visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Life Lessons—Walk Through the Open Door

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

There are times when youhave your career all planned out. You know each step you are going to take and have it strategically planned down to the nano-second.

Then right in the middle of your best laid plan when you are least expecting it, a door opens right in front of you. It could be taking you in a different direction than you thought you’d go.

So what’s a writer to do? Stay put, or walk through the open door? It’s not always an easy decision to make. Here are some things that will help you determine which you should do: