From-the-blog

A Bird’s-Eye View from the Ozarks

Last week I talked about the importance of stepping away from social media for a time. (You can read more here.) For writers, it's somewhat of a catch-22. We know we must write. We know, too, we must stay connected to a degree. However, the tendency to check in throughout the day (when we've promised ourselves a respite) can be sorely tempting. What's new in book news? How about that presidential debate? Where's my cute puppy photo fix? What's trending on Pinterest?  How many words did Sally Sue write today? See what I mean? Self-restraint and specific goals are productivity musts. It's perfectly okay to reward ourselves with a little social media time during our self-imposed vacay, but balance is key. I've found, too, while it's not necessary (or healthy) to stay tethered to Facebook and Twitter 24/7, it is a good idea to stay up to speed with industry news. (Discernment, discernment...remember?) And about balance...   Let's revisit that for a moment. Here's a refresher. Who we are
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A Bird’s-Eye View from the Ozarks

Pausing to Press Reset

Fall. In our little corner of the world, the official start to the new season arrived this week without much fanfare. While it marked the beginning of change, we still have yet to see colors shift or temperatures drop. In fact, the mercury's hovered around the 90 degree mark for the past several days, and most of our trees (except our old, ancient walnuts) still have green leaves. Our walnut trees boast thick, barren limbs and the ground beneath is littered with walnuts. Lots and lots of walnuts. That's the one subtle cue that change is at hand. Well---that and those unsightly cluster of webworms that seem to go with fall. Ugh. Nevertheless, I look forward to crisp, colorful days, cozy quilts, and the scent of wood smoke lingering over the nearby hills and hollows. Hands down, fall is my favorite season. And just like this old earth pauses to regroup, I need to rest for a while, too. (Click-to-Tweet) As
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Pausing to Press Reset

We All Start Small

The billboard caught my eye. A mama, a daddy, and a cute, cuddly baby. The caption? We all start small. Melted. My. Heart. How true. The billboard touted one of our area hospitals, but what resonated and stayed with me as I drove past was that single, simple truth. We all start small. Of course I loved the slogan concept and the family angle (kudos to the brilliant marketers), but more than that---those words lit on my heart and ignited something deep within this writer gal's soul. Our potential isn't realized overnight. Rather, it's something that's gleaned over time---usually, through a series of fits and starts and highs and lows. That's okay! We "grow" bigger by learning new things, applying what we've learned, and reframing our focus. We adjust our thinking to accommodate the bigger picture. We're no longer in that baby phase. Because we've experienced more of life, we've matured. We've adopted new goals and tested our wings. Hard knocks have smarted,
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We All Start Small

ACFW Post-Conference Wind-Down

Today marks almost two weeks since I returned from the 2016 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. (For a recap see this post.) Wow. It doesn't seem possible. During that time, I've written a few blog posts, sent out my September newsletter, and followed up on important business matters. A few days ago, I actually finished unpacking (I know), and I attempted to shuffle and organize office paraphernalia. I also made two more (albeit short) out-of-town trips, grocery shopped, cleaned house (okay---briefly), and perused workshop notes. I think it's safe to say---I'm officially in ACFW post-conference wind-down mode. Ahh. Goodness gracious me. The exhaustion has finally caught up! This weekend I plan to visit with my little college gal, as well as snag some much-needed rest. Next week, I'll hit the ground running again, ready to tackle my work-in-progress with fresh eyes and a renewed mindset.  I'll think forward. Sometimes, though, before we gear up it's necessary we wind down. It's okay (even biblical)
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ACFW Post-Conference Wind-Down

Visit Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks

From time to time, I enjoy giving you a sneak peek of life in the Ozarks. Because I cherish these old hills and hollows in this beautiful niche known as "God's Country," I sometimes share slice-of-life vignettes, as well as must-dos when visiting our area. Often, my newsletter subscribers are privy to this content first. (Not part of my newsletter family? Let's remedy that! Please sign up in the sidebar and join us for the fun!) :-) Now---let's sip a cup of cyber coffee, munch a chocolate donut, and briefly tour one of my fave places. Here we go! Known as one of the Ozarks' "best kept secrets," Ralph Foster Museum on the College of the Ozarks campus is a must if you're heading our way. As a former student and now an alumnus of C of O (known as Hard Work U), I've had the opportunity to tour the museum dozens of times, and I can honestly say, I never
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Visit Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks

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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