Sunday, June 26, 2011

Desert Gift - Book Review

What happens when a nationally known, marriage expert, about to start a book tour, learns that her husband wants a divorce? How will she face her audience? How can she continue her ministry when everything she teaches doesn’t even work in her own life? Is everything she believed a lie?

Desert Gift by Sally John is the story of a woman’s struggle as she faces her failures, learns to forgive herself and others, and leans on God for a hope and a future.

For anyone who’s experiences a similar situation, this book may help you heal. You’ll relate to the painful emotions Jillian goes through and be encouraged as you watch God walk her through the ordeal.

If you haven’t experienced a situation similar to this, you need to read the book in order to be better prepared to help others who have. This happens more times than you think!

I loved the ending! I can’t reveal it, but I can tell you that it ends on a positive note, however, not as you might expect.

Although Desert Gifts doesn’t have an adventure-packed, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat plot, it is a book that everyone should read. You might see a bit of yourself in it!

NOTE: I received a review copy of this book from Tyndale House; however, I do not have to write a positive review.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Project!

As many of you know, I have been "dabbling" in HAM radio. My husband has been enjoying it for years, but when his vision started going, he was unable to drive himself to the meetings. SO, I started taking him. At first, I dropped him off and picked him up, but I finally decided I just as well find out what it was all about. So I started going to the meetings, too.

In December, I passed my Technician's license (KF5JFM) and in March, I passed my General. I am currently working on my Extra license. I enjoy teaching and writing, so I have been doing a newsletter for TRO, one of the groups I attend, and I hope to become a VE sometime in the future.

So, what's my new project? I'm thinking about starting an all-girls HAM event. The boys have a donut day every Friday. There is too much testosterone there for me and the donuts are fattening. I got talking with Cathy, another female amateur operator and friend of mine, and decided we needed a Panera Bread group. She said the boys would probably come after they found out how good it was. I said we'll give it a name that will keep them away! So, here it is: The Pink HAMsters! I even had a logo and Facebook Page made for us!

Now, all I have to do is figure out when we will meet and start "hamming it up" with the girls!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Balancing Act

Because I am a freelance writer, one of the most difficult challenges of writing for me is balancing the time I spend on writing to get paid, writing for my nonprofit organizations, and writing "that book" I keep trying to write.

I need to earn income, so nonfiction writing takes up a large part of my week; I want to help my church and nonprofit groups, so that writing takes up another part of my week. Between that and the rest of my life, I have little time left to work on that book I want to write.

However, the one thing that keeps me going on my fiction writing is my SCBWI critique group. There are four of us in the group, and we meet once a month. Knowing that three other people are expecting me to contribute helps motivate me to keep plugging at my children's book.

If you find yourself putting off that book you want to write, I highly recommend you join or form a critique group. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Writing Without Distractions

Last night, Ally was talking about how she uses an Alpha Smart to write her first draft so that you doesn't have any distractions. With this small word processor, she doesn't have any temptation to go back and edit. She also can't get on the Internet and get distracted by email or other online activities.

Ally writes the first draft on the Alpha Smart and then sends the draft to her computer, where she does all the editing. (She also leaves home so she is not tempted to cook, clean, or otherwise be distracted.

I thought that sounded like a great idea, but I wondered if there was something on my iPad I could use instead.

Sure enough, I found an app for my iPad called, My Writing Spot. With this app, I can write, keep track of the number of words written, and sync it with an online version using my Google Account for a backup.  I can also send myself an email copy or print the story from the application.

Another feature of My Writing Spot is the ability to look up words in a Thesaurus and Dictionary right from the application.

Simply type the word in on the app; the app goes online behind the scene and brings in the definition or synonyms from or the online Thesaurus. No need for me to go online and get distracted.

Granted, this app will have the potential for more distractions than the Alpha Smart, but I like the convenience, simplicity and backup features. I carry my iPad with me all the time and have a bluetooth keyboard that I can use with it for more efficient typing.

I'll give it a try for a few days and let you know if it works!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

SCBWI-Writer's Group

If you don't have a writer's group, you need to find one. I am a member of two: SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).

Tonight, at my local SCBWI meeting, we were honored to have Ally Carter, author of Heist Society, speak. It was so good! She was funny, as well as informative. We learned all about her road to success, both the good and the bad. Even if I don't write in that genre, it was very informative and inspirational. I got an autographed copy of her book, too!

And then, there is the before and after meeting with all my writer friends. It's so nice to be able to bounce ideas off one another, cheer for those who get published and give a hug to those who get a rejection. We all need friends, especially those who are going through the same things as we are. I wouldn't miss this for anything.

Thanks to Anna Meyers, Pati Hailey, and Helen Newton for planning these events. You are SO appreciated!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A HOT day of HAM Radio!

Today, my Ham Radio Club, TRO, did the communications for the Tour de Cure in Tulsa, OK. It was HOT!!

Tulsa Repeater Organization at Tour de Cure
Bill's radio was set wrong, so we had to share radios, but I did get to some "communicating." The biggest problem I had was remembering my Call Sign! I know I stumbled a lot, but it was good practice.
Glad to get home and back to writing. My husband likes to do these kind of events, but I don't like the heat, and I don't like just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for something to happen. I get bored easily! 

The next thing I'm going to do is go to a Field Day. Maybe I'll like DXing! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The hardest part of writing for me is editing. I just finished the first draft of an article for Oklahoma Living Magazine. The article is required to be 1,700-2,000 words in length. My word count is almost 2,500! I've got some serious cutting to do!

I interviewed six people and gathered lots of interesting quotes and valuable information. The challenge now is to decide which quotes and information are most important. It makes me sad not to be able to use everything I learned from these helpful and informative people.

I go through this every time I write an article, but it has to be done. Editors aren't happy when you hand in a piece that's too long. So, tomorrow is chopping day! Sigh!

Of course, there is another solution. I could take what's left and craft a second article for another magazine!