Monthly Archives: October 2010

NaNoWriMo is almost here! Am I ready?

November 1 is approaching far too quickly for my liking.  NaNoWriMo will soon be starting and thousands of us will be lurching out of the starting gate.  I for one am excited and nervous about it.

I am looking at this writing challenge as a way of motivating me, of propelling me into ‘real’ writing – meaning committed writing.  I know it is not going to happen without work, but it could be a sound beginning for me, a departure from short children’s stories and articles for Valley Sunshine publication.

My problem, as I see it, is that I have nothing to start with, no characters, no plot, no scenes, no genre, no plan.  As I said, nothing.  Well, okay .. so I have a few ideas floating around in my head but they are just that .. floating, not attached to anything in particular.  And I have had a couple of dreams, just strange ones so that I wonder … is that a NaNo clue?  I don’t know!

I do know that most people who apply themselves to NaNoWriMo do so with a plan in mind or outlined on paper (or computer).  They have an idea of where they are headed.  There are some others who don’t, and – like me – are going to be sitting down to write whatever comes to them once they begin.

Thus far, on my NaNo page I have three ‘buddies‘, one is  also a first timer.  I think for each of us this is going to be a major undertaking because of other time-consuming things, but we are going to make the effort.  I’ve signed up for the daily tips and encouragements, hoping that will spur me on and keep me going.

Well, if nothing else, I’m sure to learn a lot about taking on something like this, and about myself.  I hope I like what I find out!

I will try to keep an update going on here of my word count and experience as I go along.  It might not be pretty, so I apologize now.  🙂

Do you have any tips for me?  Any plans for doing NaNo this year yourself?  Or have you done the challenge in the past and have a story to tell me about your experience?  I would love to hear about it!  Please!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

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Book Review: Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado – (not what I expected)

Awhile ago I joined BookSneeze.com and spoke for Max Lucado’s new book Out Live Your Life ... You Were Made To Make A Difference.   In exchange I am to write a review, post it here and on some place like Amazon.  So, here is my review.

Out Live Your Life

I am not sure what I expected – but this book wasn’t it.

Perhaps I thought Max Lucado would be offering something personal to me, telling me how to come out of blah living, rise up out of the occasional doldrums, and get a new and exciting perspective on life.  Instead he creatively reminded me of how good I have it in this part of the world, and how so many are lacking in the comfort things that this world offers.  He reminded me of my comfortable Christianity, and of the spiritually depraved, and of those who hunger to know God, and of those who dare to know Him in places where Jesus is not welcome.

Max challenged me to look beyond my supposed needs to consider once again the needs of others and what more I can do to help make another’s life a little more bearable.  I have often thought that if we each were to make a positive difference in one other person’s life – what an impact and growing influence it would have on our world.  Max gives many simple examples of how to do that, never straying far from the word of God.

So, even though this book wasn’t what I expected, it is more, and what I needed to read.   Max Lucado’s writing style doesn’t disappoint.  This book will take you beyond your own narrow space in the world and open to you a panoramic view that will broaden your horizons.  If you really pay attention, put time and thought into each chapter’s study questions in the back, and seek God’s direction for where your focus should be – you can out live your life.  In so doing you will find excitement through making a real difference in this world, one person at a time, in Jesus’ name.

You can find Out Live Your Life ... You Were Made To Make A Difference listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 

Have you read this book yet?  Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 


I love books! Know of any new ones to tell me about?

I ‘love’ books.  Did I say yet that I love books?  Well, I do.

Last Saturday on Twitter I got into a chat thread in which author Susan Gilmore was being interviewed, Twitter style, by Bookmaven.  I made a comment about not seeing any of her books yet, but her new one being discussed … The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove  … I must purchase!  It sounds like a great read.  During the two hours of tweets from people asking questions of Susan and making comments about her books, there were five copies of her new one being given away.  And what a surprise, I won the first copy!  Imagine that!  I love books!

Tonight I read on http://lauraabest.wordpress.com/ about a new book by Jan Coates who lives a few miles from me, but whom I’ve not yet had the pleasure to meet.  Her book is A Hare in The Elephant’s Trunk.  That is another must have.  Jan wrote about the true experiences of Jacob, a Sudanese boy who suffered through much while fleeing for his life with other “Lost Boys.”  I knew I had heard about this book through a radio interview, and I’m sure I heard Jacob on there.  Anyway, I am eager to purchase a copy of this YA novel, and maybe even meet Jan at a local book signing.  I love books!

Another new book is by KC Dyer and is called Facing Fire – a time travel book.  Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  Note the interview at http://evbishop.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/facing-fire-by-kc-dyer-win-a-free-book/   I just thought I would add the link for the fun of it, which you can too, and be entered into the draw for a copy of the book.  Because … well … I love books!

Finally, I want to make mention of something else rather important.  Please go here and place your vote :

 

Laura Best’s novel “Bitter, Sweet” has been shortlisted for the Geoffery Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People – so I voted for her.  And because it’s a really good book, I enjoyed my copy signed by her.  And she is a nice person .. does that count?  🙂  And … yes, you guessed it … I love books!

 
So, now that I have all that good news out of the way I must get back at putting together another issue of Valley Sunshine publication.  Time is ticking away.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I love books! —   just sayin’.  😉

So, do you know of any new books to tell me about that I must read?  Sure want to hear about ’em!  ‘Cause … you know …

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Different Thanksgiving day, same thanks giving

Here it is already a few days past Thanksgiving.  Our weather has changed from a week of above normal temperatures for this time of year, to the next week’s cooler than normal temperatures for this time of year.  Strange weather persists, but .. I honestly believe it is all part of Earth’s natural cycle.  Just look back in history.  Still, no matter the varied opinions on that, we have much for which to be thankful.

Thanksgiving here in Nova Scotia, Canada, was a windy but colourful day.  The leaves have changed colour and many that have let go of their tree’s branches are now either blowing in the breezes or are already part of the Designer‘s carpet covering the ground.  Very pretty.

I have been asked why is our Thanksgiving earlier than USA’s?  Well, our harvest comes a little earlier due to the fact that we are further north.

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October to give thanks for a successful harvest, but was first started in 1578 as a thanks for surviving the long journey from England.  In 1621, settlers in what is now the USA celebrated a bountiful harvest with the Wampanoag Indians who helped them survive. It now is celebrated the fourth Thursday of November in remembrance of those Pilgrims who settled the ‘new world.’

My family always has a big dinner on the Sunday, as do many families, even though our actual Thanksgiving Day is on Monday.  It is a day we spend together (after church for some of us) enjoying the produce of our gardens and a beautifully cooked turkey.  And yes, we eat too much.  But who can resist all those wonderful veggies and the selection of pies?  Yum!

God has made ample provision for us in our two nations.  We have so much for which to be thankful.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him and bless His name. – Psalm 100:4

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  Do you observe any traditions at this time of year?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Is the book as we know it disappearing?

I have been observing.  There is a lot of discussion in all arenas about the traditional book eventually disappearing from use.  This is mainly because of e-books – those online electronic books you can download to read, and whatever else technology will – and has already – come up with to simplify things for us.  Just to let you know … I am not educated in that because I love books as they are and have been for centuries!  Well, the scroll was a little difficult to handle and pack around, maybe, but .. you get my point.

I am not interested in reading a book on a hand-held device, nor am I excited about sitting at the computer to read one on the screen. I am all for holding a made-from-paper-and-ink writing, turning those pages and flipping back and forth as I need to, underlining or highlighting (did I hear a gasp?) when the occasion calls for it – which is rarely because I also use bookmarks and sticky tabs.   I fill my bookcases with old favourites (some saved from my childhood), and soon-to-be-loved stories.   I have books all over the place, a few in the living room and our bedroom, many in my publishing room, my ‘computer room’, the main room downstairs, and even packed away in boxes in our storage room.  My husband, not a voracious reader, also has a few titles on hand.

Most of my children’s storybooks I have kept, and my grandson now enjoys those. I have books that made me laugh out loud, made me cry (and hide behind), pulled me in so deep I didn’t hear anything going on around me.  I have books the Lord used to teach me something important. And there are many volumes in my collection which I have yet to cuddle up with and appreciate their written pages.   Somehow, I doubt very much that I could enjoy an electronic book the same way, it would even be annoying to me.

I don’t get to the library much at all anymore.  There was a time when I would take my daughters there to pick out books for their extra reading, and that was fun for us.  I borrowed several for myself when I was taking a writing course and wanted to read the ones mentioned in it.  But I prefer to own the books I read, I like to gather them and add them to my own personal collection.  Would I feel the same way about having them filed in a little electronic device?  I doubt it!  It is NOT the same thing!

So, is the way of the traditional book one of antiquity?  Is it disappearing?  Will my great-grandchildren not even know what it is to own a printed-on-paper book, to smell its ‘bookness’, to experience the thrill of a page-turning story on paper filled with bright pictures and powerful words?

Now I ask you …. what do you think?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂

Customer service worth talking about

Just a quick post to tell you about some good customer service I experienced today.

I have an online account with Chapters.Indigo … (Coles bookstore is a few miles from where I live.  Same thing.)  I recorded birthdays on my account page and they send me reminders with a percentage off coupon against purchase of a book.  I try to use them but don’t always.  Yesterday I was pleased to receive the reminder as there is a book I want to buy, but even though it said the coupon was attached – it wasn’t!

Now, I appreciate those coupons.  I like books.  And I like to buy books as gifts.  So, I sent Chapters.Indigo an email to inform them of the discrepancy. A few hours later I received an apology, there was a technical glitch, and if I set up another birthday reminder they will resend.  I did that.

This morning I received a new email from them saying the coupon was included – again it wasn’t!  So, I sent them another email simply saying sorry but the coupon is still not there.  A few hours later here is part of the reply that came — “Due to technical difficulties, our coupon generation was turned off during a recent upgrade to our warehouses. We are unable to re-issue a new coupon, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”  Then they kindly informed me that they had deposited a credit into my online account to replace the coupon!
Now that is good business practice, and Chapters.Indigo is a company that has my business!

It is wonderful to be treated well, don’t you think?  Customer satisfaction can go a long way.
Do you have any such uplifting tales to tell?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂