Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’m a Collector of Old Computers by Big Jim Williams


I’m a collector of old computers. Like old friends I find them hard to discard.
“Aren’t you ever going to throw out that old Amstrad word processor you bought thirty years ago?” asked my wife.
“That keyboard and I spent a lot of hours together writing rejected manuscripts.”
“It’s collecting dust in our bedroom closet.”
“Yeah,” I challenged, “and I’ve got four more like ‘em in the garage.”
“Junk ‘em!” ordered my wife.
“I don’t throw old things I love away,” I said, “including you. But one more word and I may change my mind.”
The British-made Amstrad--that only a computer museum director has ever heard of--served me well. The additional four Amstrads, gifts from friends who advanced to real computers, proves you can never have too many spare parts. Just ask an orbiting astronaut with a broken toilet seat.

However, while working in education as a publicist, I advanced from a manual typewriter (I hate electric ones) to my first office computer, a Hewlett-Packard HP-150 in the mid-1980s that used a touch screen and introduced the 3-1/2 inch floppy disk drive to computers.

Most people claim touch screens didn’t exist then. They did. A Google search of Old Hewlett-Packard Computers will bring it up.

The small screen’s frame was circled with a series of tiny holes. When I touched the screen, it did what it was supposed to do: delete, highlight, spell check, or cut and paste. This was looooooong before the iPAD.
My HP was linked to a matrix printer that produced a sound like buzzing bees.

After I left the job, I replaced my home Amstrad with a Compaq computer that still lurks like a lost relative in the corner of my office, attached to an old, old sea-anchor size Canon printer I refuse to toss because I’ve refilled the ink cartridge more times than my car’s gasoline tank.

I eventually advanced to a 20-inch Mac desktop computer with more toots and whistles than a Mississippi paddlewheel. In recent years I’ve added a used Mac laptop, and now have a touch-screen iPad that came with my birthday.
I’ve failed to mention a strange little word processor laptop (it runs on three AAA batteries) purchased several years ago. It’s called an AlphaSmart, comes with a four-line screen, and hides in my car trunk. I often write with it while waiting in doctors’ offices and, later at home, transfer text via cable to my desktop.

If all else fails, including a power outage, there’s always my old manual typewriter wrapped in layers of plastic in my garage. And if I can’t find my typewriter, there’s always pencil and paper.

A three-day power outage did occur during my former job and I did use my manual typewriter, the only one in all the many offices. I was clicking keys while everyone else twiddled their thumbs.
The point of all this:

When it comes to writing, write on whatever you have, from a stone tablet or papyrus to the latest PC, Mac, or tablet. Just write, that’s the important thing.
And if all else fails, there’s always pencil and paper.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Does Rejection Make You RAR? by Mishael Austin Witty


Does Rejection Make You RAR?

If you are a writer, you will face rejection. This is a sad fact of life that I still find distressing, although I’m learning how to deal with it.

“Don’t take it personally,” they say, but really, how can we not take rejection of our writing personally? Each time we pick up a pen or open a new Word document, we’re opening ourselves and letting our hearts and souls pour out onto the page. One of my favorite quotes of all time, from Ernest Hemingway, says it best, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Not many of us use typewriters anymore, and, as I said, there’s more that goes into our writing than just blood. But he’s got the right idea.

When our writing is rejected, for whatever reason, it hurts. And, sometimes, if we’re in an especially bearish mood, it may make us want to roar...or, for the purposes of this blog post, we might just want to RAR.

1. First, I think it’s important for us to REACT to the rejection. As I said, it hurts. And we’re only human. We’re going to feel that hurt, and we should be allowed to do so. So often, when faced with rejection, I’ll try to stuff my feelings inside and not deal with them. This, as it turns out, is exactly the wrong thing to do. So, if you’re a “bottler” like me, I encourage you to (the next time you’re faced with rejection) let yourself react to the hurt. Feel it, acknowledge it, and move on to the next step.

2. ASK why the rejection occurred...or, more obscurely, what you might learn from the rejection. Sometimes, as is the case in my latest rejection, there’s no really good reason why your book was rejected. The quality’s there, but the publisher/committee/whatever just decided that it wasn’t right for them at the time. In that case, you can always try to resubmit at a later date, and sometimes you might be encouraged to do so. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to set yourself up possible rejection again at a later date. I’ve received this sort of rejection myself various times, but I’ve always let it stop me cold. I’m starting to rethink my position on this, as I think this sort of rejection might be an opportunity for me to learn and grow past my fears and insecurities to persist in the face of adversity...which leads to the final step.

3. Rejection is almost always an opportunity to REFOCUS on the things that are most important—both in your writing life and real life. As Christian writers, our main focus should be on pleasing God and telling others about Him. In the interest of trying to make money with my writing, I tend to focus on the more lucrative opportunities, whether I feel God’s leading in them or not. This, I’m finding out, is a very big mistake...and it could be a major reason why some things don’t always work out the way I’d wanted them to. Lesson learned...I think. At least, I hope so.
So, the next time you’re faced with rejection in writing or in any other aspect of your life, I hope you’ll take a step back and remember to do these three little things. It’s one very good way to turn a positive into a negative, so that you can keep on moving forward in response to your divine calling. I wish you all great success and very few rejections!


Mishael Austin Witty obtained a B.A. in psychology from the alma mater of Pearl S. Buck and an M.A. in experimental psychology from the University of Louisville. After she completed her master's degree, her graduate advisor suggested she find another line of work because her heart just wasn't in psychology.
Dazed and a little confused, she checked every career book and help wanted ad she could find and decided that she would, in fact, like to become an editor. Still not completely satisfied to edit other people's writing, Ms. Witty decided it was time to write and publish her own work. Her international bestseller, SHADOWS OF THINGS TO COME was a direct result of this, as were her sweet contemporary romance novella, BELIEVE IN ME, and her historical novel, SUN’S PARTING RAY.
And when the opportunity came to have a short story published in Kathi Macias’s Twelve Days of Christmas series, she took it. Another opportunity soon followed, and she was thrilled to become part of the SAN FRANCISCO WEDDING PLANNER team.

She currently lives in Louisville, KY, with her husband, three cats, and two daughters.

Website: http://www.bluebrownbooks.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MishaelAustinWitty
Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/woweditor12
Amazon::: http://www.amazon.com/Mishael-Austin-Witty/e/B007R5PTO8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1406835594&sr=1-2-ent

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adoption: A Glimpse into the Heart of God By Ruth L. Snyder


Adoption: A Glimpse into the Heart of God

By Ruth L. Snyder

Have you ever noticed how certain passages of Scripture come alive in a new way because of what you’re experiencing in your personal life? This morning in our family Bible reading, my husband read from Galatians:

Children of God
23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[k] of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[l] 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[m] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
(Galatians 3:23-4:7 NIV)

I’ve read this passage many times before. I knew that I was a prisoner to sin, that the law showed me my need of a Saviour, etc. However, I had never stopped to think about the rights and privileges God granted me when he ADOPTED me into His family.
My husband and I have had the privilege of adopting five children. They came to us at different ages, through various circumstances, with unique needs. However, before we adopted them, they were all orphans. They had no one who was committed to caring for them for life. When we adopted them, they gained a permanent home, love, hope for the future, committed advocates, an inheritance, and a family name.

Adoption is a beautiful glimpse into the heart of God. He loved us so much, that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. When we accept His free gift of salvation (adoption), He provides His presence every day, an eternal home in heaven, perfect love, incredible hope, an advocate (the Holy Spirit), an inheritance out of this world, and an amazing family (the Church).
I’m thankful for this glimpse into the heart of God. What new insights have you had from Scripture lately? I’d love to hear about them.

Ruth L. Snyder was privileged to spend the first 10 years of her life in southern Africa where her parents served as missionaries. From there her family moved to Canada, settling in Three Hills, Alberta. Ruth enjoyed her years as a "staff kid" at Prairie and is grateful for the biblical grounding she received there. She now resides close to Glendon (the pyrogy capital of Alberta, Canada) with her husband and five young children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. She is a member of The Word Guild and The Christian PEN. Ruth currently serves as the President of InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship.


Connect with Ruth on her:
Website:http://ruthlsnyder.com/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/wwjdr
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Ruth-L.-Snyder/e/B00H4IAA7E/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1410521839&sr=1-2-ent



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like...by Anne Baxter Campbell


The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like...

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
(Matthew 13:45-46, NKJV)

This is an amazing pair of verses on how much it means for you to be able go into the Kingdom of Heaven.


Add up everything you own. Everything. Don't leave out a pencil or a Band-Aid. Add in all the things you wish you had. Think about if you could sell it all at face value--No! At ten times its value! Even that (including Mr. Gates, Mr. Trump, and all of the DuPont heritage in this calculation, by the way) would not be worth as much as one small corner of heaven.


And yet--God gives it to us at a cost far greater than that pearl of great price. It cost the life of His Own Beloved and only begotten Son to get a ticket for you to enter there. That's how much He loves us.

Wow, Lord, my thanks and praise would never be enough, but this is what I offer you in return: Myself--all of me, all of my love, all of my worship, all my strength, all of my worldly goods, everything. Everything. You are worth far beyond the price of any pearl or diamond or other precious jewel. Amen

Anne Baxter Campbell is a woman with a deep love of God and family. She calls her releases “One Step Closer” Fiction because it is always her hope that the books will take people one step closer to the Lord. She and her husband live on a ranch in north central California with one dog and one cat, occasionally interspersed with large doses of offspring.



Anne is the author of The Truth Trilogy, a first-century historical romance/adventure series about Romans, Greeks, Jews, and Egyptians. Their adventures—while historically accurate—are amazingly like our own, and you might find yourself mirrored in one or more of the characters.

She has also written several short stories, some in collections with other authors and some on her own. She’s one of the writers in the Summer in Sweetland series (women’s fiction/ romances/ mysteries set in small-town America) and in the short stories of Kathi Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas (a variety of Christmas scenes set in the 12 days prior to Christmas). She’s the sole author of the Once Upon Series (young adult/adult holiday fiction revolving around a family in Phoenix, Arizona). Several others are in the planning or editing stage.


Anne's Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Baxter-Campbell/e/B00G7RTTDO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Twitter:https://twitter.com/Anne_Baxter_C

Blog:http://pewperspective.blogspot.com/

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sue Badeau’s “Roots & Wings at "Loonstone Lake" - Volume 3 - Growing Roots” is available as a pre-sale on Amazon Kindle.


Sue Badeau’s “Roots & Wings at "Loonstone Lake" - Volume 3 - Growing Roots” is available as a pre-sale on Amazon Kindle.

Below you will find the link, story synopsis and a little bit about Sue.

http://www.amazon.com/Roots-Wings-Loonstone-Lake-Growing-ebook/dp/B00MX6IKEC/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409849883&sr=1-6&keywords=sue+badeau

Livingston Investigators, aided by the determined sleuthing of Deion Abernathy and Emily Hubert, are closing in on information about the Loon’s Nest’s past, while Louanne and Frank enjoy getting to know the youth from foster care and juvenile detention facilities that they have hired as staff. Former campers visit, and young and old learn together as prejudices are revealed and forgiveness transforms lives. A second threatening letter and the death of one of the baby loons tries Louanne’s faith—where are the answers?

Love children (mom to 22, grand mom to 35, great grandmom to 7!) chocolate, camping, road-trips, writing, reading mysteries and more, standing up and speaking up for those without a voice. I have worked in children's services, policy and advocacy for 35 years. Married to my best friend, I divide my time between my home and kids in Philadelphia and traveling to speak and teach on the topics I am passionate about - healing and hope for children who have experienced trauma, foster care, adoption, permanent families for all kids, and more. My faith is my rock. After the 3rd of our 3 terminally ill children passed away in 2012 we decided the time had come to write our story and so we are proud and excited to share "Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids" with you all!

You can visit Sue Badeau’s Amazon Author Page at: http://www.amazon.com/Sue-Badeau/e/B00EHZ95CS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_3


It's Here! "The Captain's Wife" has released by Marian Baay


Marian Baay’s New Release ‘THE CAPTAIN’S WIFE’

It’s here! THE CAPTAIN’S WIFE has released!

After many requests for more about the characters, Andrew and Olivia from my previous story The Officer’s Daughter, I have written the sequel—The Captain’s Wife. I’m so excited to share this new story with you all!
Although a sequel, The Captain’s Wife can be read as stand-alone. However, I do hope you will fall in love with Andrew and Olivia and want to read about how they met in The Officer’s Daughter.

As said, in The Captain’s Wife you will meet again with the main characters; Captain Andrew Burns and his sweet but spirited and beautiful wife, Olivia. Of course, Olivia’s pet squirrel, Bubba, is also present. And let’s not forget Corporal Dean—the man with a heart of gold that everyone so loved is back as well.

Here’s the blurb:
After being rescued from Confederate captivity, Olivia Burns has married her handsome rescuer—Union Captain Andrew Burns. A few days after their marriage, Andrew takes off to fight in the battle of Nashville and Olivia stays behind, waiting on word from her husband about where they will meet again.
When Andrew sends word that he hopes to meet her in Eastport, Mississippi, she travels down south. Their reunion is sweet and they spend a wonderful night together in a barn, but in the early morning of New Year’s Eve, they are abruptly disturbed by sounds of battle. Andrew must go back to the men of his company and leaves an anxious Olivia alone. Terrified to get captured again, she must learn to deal with her fear and emotions. When someone enters the barn where she is hiding, will her greatest nightmare come true?

Only 99¢ for Kindle. Download it here: http://amzn.com/B00N40SBVS

~
Marian Baay lives in the Netherlands, together with her husband and dog, near the North Sea. She enjoys reading a good book, hiking in the woods, dunes, or nature reserves. As a lover of animals, she has always had various pets to brighten her world. In the outdoors, her imagination runs wild and seeds for stories are planted there.
Marian likes to read and write in various genres, but romance is an important ingredient in her stories. The love between a man and woman is such a wonderful gift from God that she likes to add a touch of that heavenly delight into all her stories.

~

Find Marian online at:
Blog: http://marianbaay.blogspot.nl/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarianBaayAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marian_Baay
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Marian-Baay/e/B00G51X9QA/



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quiet Times With God Throughout The Day by Patti J. Smith


This past Friday I threw my back out pulling down decorations from the top shelves in the garage. It was one of those "I am woman" moments. I didn't ask for help from my much taller husband, father or uncle and because of my fear of heights, I wouldn't use a ladder. I just kept poking the boxes with a cane over and over again until I got the items close enough to the edge to tip over into my arms. I started to decorate the tree and house with my family but instead of being joyful, I was miserable. I finally had to give in, take pain medication and confine myself to the recliner with a heating pad for the weekend missing out on the festivities.

This type of situation also happens on our faith journey when we convince ourselves we're in control and don't need God's help. That's when the chaos begins and we become anxious, angry and despondent. It takes awhile to realize the reason for our agony which results in us losing precious days of peace and serenity.

I'm trying to be more diligent in setting aside quiet times with God throughout the day and turning my life over to Him. I'll also ask for help at the end of the Christmas season putting those boxes back on the shelves in the garage.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)


Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog: http://www.gridirongrannyfootballfanatic.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7306825.Patti_J_Smith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gridirongranny5
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giridirongranny
Pinterest: http://wwwpinterest.com/gridirongranny