From-the-blog


September Update from My Niche in the Ozarks

As September draws to a close, there’s a hint of fall in the Ozarks. Though the metamorphosis is subtle, change is on the horizon as leaves grow restless and weary with the shifting season. It’s the time of year when earth yawns and new colors emerge replacing summer greens and once-vibrant blossoms. Usually, there’s a nip to the air by now, though, in my little niche we’ve hit a brief heat wave and we’re into the nineties again. Go figure. Though I’m unable to attend the 2017 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference this week in the great state of Texas, my thoughts and prayers go out to all conferees. May you meet with fabulous connections and divine appointments! For those not attending the conference, be sure and follow along at the ACFW website where updates and links will be posted. If you’d like to catch the awards ceremony on Saturday, September 23rd, check here for more info. (Watch for
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September Update from My Niche in the Ozarks

What Stories Matter?

Over the years, I've blogged often about story. As you would expect, stories are near and dear to my heart. I love to read them, write them, and listen to others tell them. It's my firm belief that everyone has a story. Not everyone is a writer, but all of us have life experiences to draw from. We may journal, write books, or simply share our stories aloud with family and friends. One thing's a given. The stories that matter most depend on perspective. The greatest stories aren't necessarily the trending story. They might not win a prize or gain wide recognition, but sometimes, those are the stories we file away in our memory bank. We remember them forever. For instance, consider this story. As I prepared for the national ACFW conference last year, I met with my local chapter. A group of us mapped out our route to Nashville and planned accordingly. I would ride with a dear friend from
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What Stories Matter?

5 Great Things About Today

When we're besieged with bad news, it weakens our resolve and wrecks our emotions. It challenges us on a whole new level. This is one of those weeks. From fires, floods, and hurricanes to big and small heartaches in relentless doses, this week sucked us dry. And to make sure we didn't miss a thing, media outlets provided 'round-the-clock coverage. Disaster and impending peril unfolded 24/7 with the tap of an app or flick of the remote. Please understand, I'm not denigrating the media. The public wants to know, and the media responds. I applaud the media's attention to detail. While each outlet delivers its own spin regarding event specifics, most news teams do a wonderful job. However, sometimes, "the news" is almost too much to bear. Because we're human, we hit a certain threshold. We shift to auto-pilot. It's called overload. We simply can't take another tragic photo, snippet, or news story. We must pause, recenter, and think about something else
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5 Great Things About Today

Revisiting Hope

Have you ever experienced those moments you knew you'd remember with vivid clarity? Maybe it's your wedding day. Your children's births. A family celebration or a special holiday. Maybe, though, it's more specific than that. Maybe it's that sixty-second encounter, a fleeting impression, or a few fractured seconds in your twenty-four hour day. Perhaps, it's that one thing---the thing that suspends your attention---and heightens awareness in a surreal sort of way. We're not sure why that snapshot embeds itself within our mind, but somehow, the moment changes us. It alters reality and shifts our awareness. We know, regardless how many years pass, that snapshot is with us forever. It may even grow into a story. Now, as a writer, I'm drawn to stories. Sometimes, the story is a simple imprint---a poignant nugget to savor and digest another day. Sometimes, the story's a "mirror moment," or something that triggers a specific impression. Take this, for instance. Recently, I selected a box of breadsticks from the freezer case
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Revisiting Hope

August Update

Greetings from the Ozarks! It's great to be back with you today. As you may have noticed, this summer I've stepped back from blogging. Other than holiday breaks and a few short vacations, I've blogged steadily since 2011. I decided I was long overdue for a sabbatical. Our college gal's been home for the summer and we've enjoyed reconnecting. Now, the not-so-fun stuff? Last spring, as is common in our area, we met with some seasonal storms. Those included the usual hail and high wind, but thankfully---no tornadoes this time. Still, our home did sustain some damage, and in the last several weeks, we replaced the roof, gutters, downspouts, and garage doors. Whew! Let me just say...the entire process kept me hopping. I almost need a sabbatical from my sabbatical! If you're a newsletter subscriber, I addressed some of this more in-depth, but suffice it to say, this season's been a lesson in patience. To add a little variety to the mix and
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August Update

Meet Cindy

A hopeless romantic, wife, mother, lover of the Ozarks, and passionate follower of Jesus. And that’s just for starters…
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