Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sign up to win!

Only TWO people have left comments for Lynn D. Morrissey to win her beautiful prayer journal book, Love Letters to God on When I Was Just a Kid. You only have until Saturday to leave a comment! (Although the two who have left comments are kicking me now...ha.) If you want to start or have ever journaled your prayers, you certainly want to look at this book.

Next up will be Sandra Bricker who has a romance from the new Summerside Press, so you won't want to miss that one!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This is a Test


Count every ' F ' in the following text:



See Comments for Answer!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can You Raed Tihs?

From Cambridge University

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !!


If I were editing this, I'd take out the exclamation marks.

The human mind is an incredible thing. When I was teaching school (first grade) many of my students could write their names backwards--like you would see in a mirror. Their parents would be all upset, but I told them they would right themselves in a few months. Maturity takes care of things like that, usually. Knowing the developmental stages of children helps us not to panic. And maturity is not a race, either.

I love Mind Benders and brain puzzles. More to come.

Don't forget you have a couple days left to enter for Patti Lacy's book, An Irishwoman's Tale.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

An Irishwoman's Tale

Patti Lacy has worked with me in ACFW/American Christian Fiction Writers, so I got to know her cheery attitude from that experience. Then, she came out with a novel about an Irishwoman transferred to the U.S., so of course, I wanted to know more about that as my family has Irish ancestry (Rileys from County Cavan of Ireland.) I talked her into answering some questions about how she does her writing and comes up with book-length stories, and now you can know these secrets, too!

CLM: What are three key elements for you in getting into your writing mode?

Patti: Oxygen, Nitrogen—sorry, Crystal. I have to tell you science with its logical way of doing things has eluded me for years.

CLM: LOL! Try, Patti, try!

Patti: Okay. I’ll give it a try.
(1) Set a writing goal to instill discipline. My little rule is at least three pages a day. That’s about three manuscripts a year!
(2) Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to infuse your writing with truth and grace, before you sit down in your computer chair.
(3) Drink coffee or green tea to caffeinize your mind.

CLM: I especially appreciate that number 3--and Patti gave me some Irish tea that is so strong it could float yer horse shoes (that's Sharon Lavy's son's quote, so I can't take credit for that!)

CLM: Can you tell us how you decide on a character? Are there certain types of characters whom you gravitate toward for a heroine/hero more
than others?

Patti: A newspaper article, a person in a dream, or a real-life friend grabs hold of my gray matter and won’t let go. When the images keep me up at night, I open a new computer file and label it Novel #3 or whatever, then start adding snippets of information when they float into my brain. So far, my characters have been women with deep, dark secrets that have stained their lives. They’re colorful, edgy, and walk in wet grass rather than on a sidewalk.

CLM: How did you decide on your setting?

Patti: I take a mental vacation to the places I’ve visited and loved—or maybe hated—and try to include them in my books. New Orleans and Ireland are two of the former. However, my bossy women usually command me to place them where they want to be. Imagine that?

CLM: What is special to you personally about the setting and
characters of your book?

Patti: Now we’re talking specifically about An Irishwoman’s Tale, right?
CLM: Yes, I really want to know how you came up with such a fascinating story!

Patti: Since I fictionalized a true story first told to me on the front porch of my home in Terre Haute,(INDIANA!) part of my heart and soul is embedded in the pages of that book. Since I’ve known the Irishwoman, she’s symbolized friendship and forgiveness to me. That’s about as special as you can get. And after our 2005 visit, the mystical, marvelous country of Ireland grabbed hold of me and has yet to let go.

(And, so lasses (and laddies, if you dare) come join Patti in her weaving of an Irish tale, based in truth and set to grab your hearts.)

CLM: What process do you go through to brainstorm a new book? How do you come up the idea? (Do you keep an idea file? Or use photos? News

Patti: Oops! I got ahead of myself up there! Definitely news items. It’s also fun to surf the net and look for character and scenery images.

CLM: When your well runs dry, how do you recharge your creativity?

Patti: I dig through dusty shelves of eclectic CDs and choose something that will set off certain emotions. When I want to be sad, I play Rachmaninoff. Happy? Some of my oldies, like Don McLean, Harry Chapin, Tracy Chapman. Lots of Christian music for pick-me-up times, like Third Day, Switchfoot, Selah. And, of course, Eden’s Bridge and other artists that utilize marvelous minor key Irish flutes and whistles.

CLM: Answer this...The only thing I know for sure about my creative
process is....

Patti: God has to direct it or it’s no good.
CLM: Awesome.

CLM: What's your favorite way to celebrate after a project is complete? (Gotta talk about food here in the cafe'!)

Patti: A delectable dinner served family style at our favorite Thai restaurant. And a toast and hugs with my beloved “peeps” (soul mates and relatives.)

CLM: Where is your favorite place to work on your writing?

Patti: My daughter’s old bedroom, which I commandeered when she went off to college. Creamy yellow walls soothe my soul, while Scott Mutter posters and an Angel Ambrose painting inspire. A couple of succulents and an airplane plant oxygenize the room and help detract from the piles of books and pens and notes and envelopes and…Of course there’s a crammed-full-to-sagging bookcase.

CLM: What are your favorite things to eat while in the creative
process? Or do you forget about eating and drinking? (As if!)

Patti: Black coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, crunchy nuts.

CLM: What's one piece of advice to anyone reading who wishes to write their own stories?

Patti: At times the publishing world progresses at an agonizingly slow rate. Try to be patient.

Patti: Thanks so much for having me, Crystal! It’s been a blast.

CLM: I love your sweet spirit, Patti, so of course I'm delighted to have you.

Be sure to go to Patti's web site and enter her September contest!

The days shorten. A cool breeze goose bumps bare arms. It's time for
school again. Are you glad you never have to ride another school bus?
Or do you yearn to purchase supplies, label and sort papers and
folders, then polish a perfect apple for that...perfect teacher?

What is your favorite school memory?
Please stop by visit the news/contest tab to enter the September contest.

An Irishwoman's Tale at
Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future. It takes a crisis in her daughter's life—and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant—to propel Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (July 8, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0825429870
ISBN-13: 978-0825429873

List price: $13.99

If you would like to win a free copy of An Irishwoman's Tale, leave a comment with your contact (your name AT your ISP. com) and you'll be entered into a drawing for it. Be sure to leave a comment by September 12th!

CARLA STEWART WON! (Must've had the luck o' the Irish.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Colors of Careers

On the Career Builder site today there was an article about colors and how they can show your leanings and preferences in career building. I'm slightly past the day when I'm looking at my first career, but I am working on the career for this stage of my life. Tests like this always fascinate me. Kids today have so many resources to discover who they are, how they think and where they should be going on their career path.

Take this color test and see what it says about you. I picked colors I liked to look at and disliked, until this is what the test said about me. I think it is pretty accurate:

The Dewey Color System® is the world's first and only validated, color-based personality career testing instrument. Based on our experience and your interests, your best suited occupations are listed below.

Best Occupational Category
You're a CREATOR
Key Words:
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional
These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Suggested careers are Advertising Executive, Architect, Web Designer, Creative Director, Public Relations, Fine or Commercial Artist, Interior Decorator, Lawyer, Librarian, Musician, Reporter, Art Teacher, Broadcaster, Technical Writer, English Teacher, Architect, Photographer, Medical Illustrator, Corporate Trainer, Author, Editor, Landscape Architect, Exhibit Builder, and Package Designer.

Consider workplaces where you can create and improve beauty and aesthetic qualities. Unstructured, flexible organizations that allow self-expression work best with your free-spirited nature.

Suggested Creator workplaces are advertising, public relations, and interior decorating firms; artistic studios, theaters and concert halls; institutions that teach crafts, universities, music, and dance schools. Other workplaces to consider are art institutes, museums, libraries, and galleries.

2nd Best Occupational Category
Key Words:
Witty, Competitive, Sociable, Talkative, Ambitious, Argumentative, and Aggressive
These enterprising types sell, persuade, and lead others. Positions of leadership, power, and status are usually their ultimate goal. Persuasive people like to take financial and interpersonal risks and to participate in competitive activities. They enjoy working with others inside organizations to accomplish goals and achieve economic success.

I have been a dessert girl, ticket checker, assistant to a university president secretary, preschool teacher, elementary teacher, P.E. teacher, a coach, a Bible study leader, book reviewer, acquisitions reader, church children's department leader, executive school board officer, an editor (well, this is also current,) and a writer.

If I could go back in time, I would have found the career path to be an editor,I think, preferably in fiction, or I would have been a cartoonist.

Anyway, this was interesting and it's something you might think about allowing your teen to take, too, but it can reveal something about you, at whatever stage in life you are in.