Archive of ‘Writing’ category
My husband is a phenomenal man! He doesn’t settle for second best. He seeks to do everything with excellence. So when he told me he was updating his first book, Steppin’ Out of the Darkness, my first question is, “Why?” He replied, “I can do better.” So after many months of rewrites and revisions, my husband has now published and released his first hardcover book entitled Come Morning. You can view a description of the book on my husband’s blog, “When Least Expected.”
Come Morning is indeed a blessing to read. There is something for everyone in this book. It was easy for me to identify with different characters in the narrative. Oh, and there are surprises in the book as well. I remember reading and editing the revision for one chapter, and as I read, I suddenly laughed and said, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.” I won’t tell you what happened; you have to read it for yourself.
Take a look here to read what my husband has to say about the book. Then go to Amazon.com and order it! Keep a journal by your side as you read. As someone already reviewed, it “…will make you take a slow, deliberate & honest look at your mindset…” You’ll want to write the insights you make about yourself in your journal as you read.
Invest in yourself…invest in others…read Come Morning.
I remember when I first started blogging back in November 2006. It was fun. It was exciting. It was draining. It allowed me to uncover a writing voice I didn’t know existed. I have been grateful for the opportunities it has given me to get to know a few people out in the blogosphere that have given so much of themselves, people I’ve learned alot from.
Nonetheless, I experienced a block, and I neglected posting for a significant period of time. I thought about whether I had anything of any significance to say, and discovered that I really didn’t at the time. So instead of trying to post something of no value, I sort of disappeared. I sputtered a little here and there, attempting to make a comeback. But it just wasn’t there for me.
Part of me was dealing with the fact that I didn’t feel I had anything to say. But a large part of what I was doing was helping my husband get his book published. And while I posted back in December “It’s Here!” to celebrate his completion of the book, we experienced some production issues that took a minute to resolve.
Well, this time, it’s here!!! The book has been published and it has been released. Below is the new cover image:
Steppin’ Out Of The Darkness, “When Good People Become Great,” is an introspective, inspirational story about “personal leadership.” The premise is that it’s not what happens to you that matters most; it’s how you choose to respond after adversity strikes when life happens and after bad things begin to happen when least expected.
Moreover, Steppin’ Out Of The Darkness is a family friendly book containing lessons lived and learned by three generations of men. Not once did the author disclose the ethnicity of the characters in the story because he wanted each reader’s life experiences to color the faces of the characters. He did this to avoid forcing the characters to fit into a mold that may not apply to each person reading this literary legacy of faith, hope, and love. The book is 272 pages. It is only available through Generation Y™ Publishing, and you can purchase it through my husband’s blog, “When Least Expected.”
Well, I now have something to say. To celebrate, I have a new look for my blog (for those who were past readers here)! And what I’ve decided to do was write some reflections around Steppin’ Out Of The Darkness. To give you a little flavor before I get started in a couple of days:
“When life happens and the invisible fist of Adversity strikes, always expect the ‘Giver of Gifts’ to do the unexpected when least expected.“
To get a little flavor of the tasty nuggets my husband has cooked up in the past, take a look at his blog. Purchase the book. And let me know how you like (or don’t like) the new look of my site!!!
As we all know, an horrific tragedy occurred on the campus of Virginia Tech on Monday, April 16th. I cannot imagine being the parent of any of the children who lost their lives that day. I can only extend condolences and prayers to the families of the victims, to those still fighting for their lives, and to those with wounds who are now recovering. I can try to understand that the professors and students who were in classes that day are experiencing pain, yet I cannot say I understand that pain. If I were there, I could extend support by lending my presence if needed or wanted.
I cannot imagine, though, people preying on those students who chose to share their horrendous experiences on their own blogs that day and days following. I’m referring to some journalists who just have to get the story. Journalists who must be first on the scene.
I’m not knocking journalists. Without journalists, we wouldn’t have access to information about the world and around the world to which we have access now. And, in fact, I’m sure being a journalist is tough; I surely wouldn’t want to be one. I discovered a quote from CNN Student News, regarding the role of the journalist, which stated:
“(A journalist has the) inescapably impossible task of providing every week a first rough draft of a history that will never be completed about a world we can never understand.” – Phil Graham, late chairman of the board of the Washington Post Company
And surely, there is no understanding the massacre one man imposed upon dozens of people. Yet, one must question the motives of journalists who use these students’ tragedies to get a story.
As has been reported, many students recorded the incident, as they saw it and experienced it, on their personal blogs, whether on Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, Friendster, etc. Surely, their entries were not meant for public consumption. Robin Hamman of cybersoc.com wrote about this phenomenon in his post, “virginia tech bloggers: approach and confirm or link and disclaim?” He refers to Robert Andrews at journalism.co.uk who reports of one blogger in his post, “Reporters turn to blogs for shooting witnesses,”
“Bryce Carter, who reported hearing gunshots at the university campus, subsequently wrote of his mixed emotions after his posts were picked up by Fox News: ‘Each time I hear something else, I get a brief moment of selfish joy before I am stabbed in the heart, realising that I deserve no credit and that lives are gone, destroyed and in pain.
“‘What is the significance of all this? My postings are simply what I always do, except I left my thoughts for the public instead of just my friends.’”
It seems some journalists are getting their stories about the massacre by perusing blogs to find authors who wrote posts on their personal blogs about the incident from their own perspectives. Hamman discovered one reporter’s approach:
“Sorry to hear about this. CBC Newsworld is doing live interviews with people who are affected by the shooting. Can you please drop me a line at [email] when you have a moment? THANKS”
There are many more of these types of inquiries Hamman writes about in his post. And to me, it seems sad. Young people are experiencing tremendous tragedy, and reporters, wanting to get a good story, pounce upon these students in their time of grief and pain. I just think there is a problem with attempting to capitalize on the tragedy of others. There is something unethical about it, borderline inhumane. I recognize that journalists have a job to do. But isn’t there a better way of obtaining a story than obtrusively gaining access to people’s lives by scouring blogs? I understand that by putting your personal information on a blog you’re out there in the open for the entire world to see. But do we not, in our own souls, understand that people are going through intense tragedy? Can journalists put themselves in the shoes of the victims and ask themselves, “Would I want to be barraged by people who I don’t even know to suck a story out of me?”
We need to know that there are unethical journalists out there. And Hamman lays out the truth of the situation. But in recognizing and acknowledging the truth that some journalists are using “underhanded” methods to get their information, there is opportunity for those journalists to redeem themselves. Hamman states,
“…yesterday’s events, and the ensuing media frenzy in the comments of a LiveJournal user and elsewhere, show that where mainstream media does use – and yes, that word was chosen deliberately – content created by bloggers, that the journalists, researchers and reporters do it with sensitivity.
“Think when you link. Understand that some content published in public was never intended to be seen by a mass audience.
I am thankful for people like Robin Hamman who have exposed the truth about this type of reporting. It allows me to see the reporting of incidents like that which occurred at Virginia Tech in a different light.
How do you feel about the reporting of the Virginia Tech massacre?
(Disclaimer: This post didn’t really go where I wanted it to – but this is where it ended up. Sorry if it doesn’t make much sense; yet, I hope it is of some value.)
One of the great things about being here in the world of blogging is I’ve been able to begin developing my voice to attempt to talk about some things that are important to women (and men too!). Since I’ve started, I’ve met so many great people who’ve encouraged me along the way, tagged me for memes, wrote great comments, linked to my blog, joined my MyBlogLog community, interviewed me for their blogs, featured me on their blogs, and added me to their blogrolls. To be mentioned in some way in this world is an incredible honor to me.
Well, there’s more!
Crunchy Carpets and Keith have graciously chosen to bless me with the Thinking Blogger Award started by Ilker at The Thinking Blog. Thank you for “thinking” so highly of me; it’s hard to know what to say. Nevertheless, in light of their honor, I’d like to pass it on to the following five folks who make me think (this list is not comprehensive!!!):
Thinking Blogger Award #1 goes to Manchild at When Least Expected™ – Sure, he’s my husband, but to see the thought that goes into everything he says really just blows my mind. I see it firsthand and I know that what he writes is from his heart and soul. He’s never afraid of what people will think about him, he doesn’t care about the status quo – he just challenges just about everyone who reads his blog. He genuinely cares about people and their own personal and spiritual growth, not only in the blogging world, but in the physical world as a whole.
Thinking Blogger Award #2 goes to Camille at Now – Camille is a wonderfully gifted writer who writes with incredible insight. A person with so many gifts and talents, it comes out in her writing. She offers some very raw and revealing moments at times, but it’s not soupey or necessarily sentimental. It’s just very real.
Thinking Blogger Award #3 goes to Alexander at B.I.D.E.: Spiritual Commentary on Current Events – B.I.D.E. stands for Benevolence In Dharmic Exploration. Alexander, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, really takes the time to discover what’s going on in the world and writes about spirituality and faith related to the world’s current events. He even covers those tough stories about “ugly” issues that many people don’t want to talk about.
Thinking Blogger Award #4 goes to Jennifer at Goodness Graciousness – Jennifer writes with incredible grace. I really can’t describe what she does over there. Her “desire is to put thoughts of goodness and graciousness into the universe.” All I know is every time I visit, I come away with something thoughtful and beautiful.
Thinking Blogger Award #5 goes to The New Parent – For those of you who are parents, I recently discovered this wonderful place where we can learn how to educate ourselves to raise thoughtful, well-behaved children. I’ve not really come upon a parenting site like this one. The father of this site is a new parent (hence the name), but somehow, he has a wealth of wisdom on how to change the world by changing our children.
Final thoughts – for my winners of this award, if you want to nominate your own “thinkers,” here are the rules of engagement:
If, and only if, you get tagged, Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
- Link to Ilker’s post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
- Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).
Manchild, Camille, Jennifer, Alexander, and the New Parent – thank you for making me think!
The title of this post sounds like I’m about to play a childhood game, huh? Actually, Jose over at Tried It Myself! was tagged and he tagged me, so here I am, participating in the “Five Reasons Why I Blog” meme.
Jose calls himself an “accidental blogger.” That’s a good way to describe how I arrived here as well. In fact, my husband was talking about blogging a few years ago as he talked about the release of his upcoming book project. At that time, he got a bit sidetracked with another essential project, and I forgot about the whole blogging business. All of a sudden, though, back in November ’06, the idea of blogging entered my mind. I remembered what he said and began researching it for him (I am a great researcher). As I was gathering information to encourage him to begin his blogging endeavors, I was reminded of the fact that I have a ministry waiting in the wings that had not yet gotten off the ground because it just wasn’t time.
Nevertheless, it seemed to now be the time, and it appeared blogging would be a good way for me to begin. As I talked with my husband about it, he encouraged me to go forth while he was completing his project. And I was excited about it. So I went forth, not knowing. And so here I am.
So why do I blog? Here are my five reasons:
- Blogging allows me to communicate with people around the world without having to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars to do so. It is my hope that I will, someday, have the opportunity to travel to provide ministry somewhere. However, I don’t know how long it will be before that happens. So God has provided me this opportunity. And it’s been great! I had no idea the wonderful worldwide exposure you can get just by putting yourself out there.
- Blogging gives me an opportunity to exercise and refine the writing gift God placed within me. Please know I never considered myself to be a writer (although I’ve written tons of papers during both of my grad school stints). In fact, my husband often told me that I was a writer, and just as often I looked at him in disbelief. However, now that I’m blogging (writing) regularly, I’m enjoying it, and seeing improvement in my gift (if anyone would like to provide feedback, please do so – I welcome it!).
- Blogging allows me to be aware of those things that I, personally, need to improve upon in my own life. In other words, my blog is sort of like a journal, but not. The fact that I’m a wife, mother, friend, daughter, teacher, etc. all inform who I am, but I also know I need to work on all of those aspects of my life. By blogging, I enter into conversations that help me to gain wisdom so I can grow to be better today than I was yesterday.
- Blogging gives me the opportunity to develop the material I need to have a fruitful ministry. Although I’ve only been blogging a short time, I already have lots of material I’ve generated here that I can further develop for ministry purposes.
- Finally, I blog to have fun in the blogosphere! There are lots of interesting people out there, and it’s fun discovering who they are. What’s the sense of doing something you don’t like to do, especially when it’s practically for free (except for hosting expenses)? Not here, buddy!
So those are the five reasons why I blog. I’m sure others will creep up as I continue my ramblings in the blogosphere, but I’m certain I’ve been long-winded enough. Okay, who’s next?
I don’t know how I found Rachel Briggs at The Challenge Of Life, but I admire her courage to share some very personal experiences and the challenges that go along with them (hence the title of her blog). So Rachel, let us know, what are five reasons why you blog?
If you want to see a blog with some good graphics, photos, etc., in addition to great content, check out Peg over at Peg, As She Is. And so, Peg, you’ve now been meme tagged (is that a term?). What are five reasons why you blog?
When I stumbled upon Paula Neal Mooney‘s site, it was sort of tough getting off it. I finally had to just cut myself off and send her a message telling her that she was completely nutty (in a good way). Paula, you’ve been tagged. What are five reasons why you blog?
Lastly, I mentioned at the beginning of this post that my husband was the inspiration behind my blogging start. Well, under the name “manchild,” he began his blog entitled When Least Expected in Jan. 07. So, manchild, what are five reasons why you blog?
Thank you, Jose, for the opportunity to share a bit about an endeavor that keeps growing by the day!
I am a huge football fan (I know my husband was s-o-o-o glad to hear about that when we met almost seven years ago). Right now, I’m working on my blog, trying to make the most efficient use of the limited, scarce hours I have remaining this evening. I’m working on my blog at the expense of…
THE CHICAGO BEARS AND NEW ORLEANS SAINTS GAME!!!
I want the Chicago Bears to win…my husband is cheering for the Saints. His favorite phrase is “Don’t sleep on those Saints!” But I haven’t seen but a drop of this game! What kind of football fan am I?
Oh, I just heard the commentator say, “Reggie Bush just showed off his speed…” but I didn’t see what he did! “Reggie Bush picks up a first down…” “This guy started off the year…but he maintains his balance…right there…” Oh, my! It’s a great game too. What the heck is wrong with me?
I love this blogging thing. I am finding my voice. I enjoy sharing information. I also want to make sure everything is right. I know that it will never be perfect, but I still have a long way to go. It takes a lot of time; time I would be spending doing other stuff. In fact, Tony Hung (who is now working over at ProBlogger) talks about this with his post “5 Prerequisites for Blogging Success” (wait, my husband is saying “Watch this! Watch this!!!” He got a touchdown! Yes, it’s Chicago! So sorry, sweetheart.). He’s so right – the writing takes time, the marketing takes time, to try to be interesting takes time…it all takes time!
(New Orleans challenged the ruling on the field! New Orleans thinks it’s a fumble. No way! The ruling is…it’s Chicago’s ball!)
Alright, I’ve had to sacrifice. But one thing I can’t sacrifice – feeding my daughter. Gotta go…
If you’re a football fan, I hope you enjoyed the games…
I’m going to enjoy the second game – I promise!
“There’s no vaccine for it.
It will spread until it reaches epidemic proportions.
It has already consumed my mind, time, and family.
Each time I breathe I exhale blog dust.”
–quote by KWiz’s husband
Indeed, I’ve caught the “blog bug,” and it is vicious. Since I started my blog in November 2006, I haven’t been able to stop. I’ve researched themes, definitions, RSS, trackback, permalinks. I’ve edited code. I know the general purpose for CSS files. I’m learning how to find other folks’ blogs who have similar interests as mine and participate in their conversations. It’s fun to read what other people have to say, to read those wonderful things they have to contribute to the world.
One post I came upon in my research was entitled “Unsuspecting Secrets to Fast Blogging Success” by Wendy Piersall at eMoms At Home. What I enjoyed about this article is Wendy’s sense that blogging is really about vocation and calling (this is my interpretation of her post), but in order to discover that sense of vocation, you must ask yourself, “What is your ultimate purpose in life? What do you love to do?” (She includes many more questions with which to examine yourself and your life) Ultimately, you must “Blog with a higher purpose in mind” understanding that what you say to the blogosphere really is about inspiring others to become better people and helping people achieve their own dreams. I do believe everyone has purpose; we need to help each other understand, move toward, and meet up with that purpose.
Nevertheless, while you may discover your purpose, it isn’t always easy living it out. In fact, it can be quite a bit of work and can take a good bit of time. Darren Rowse talks about this at ProBlogger in his post “5 Prerequisites to Blogging Success.” I love his work, because he is so incredibly generous about sharing the nuts and bolts of being successful at blogging to the point where people in the blogosphere actually are interested in what you have to say. I am trying to incorporate some of his tips into my efforts because there are a lot of women out thereÂ who have much wisdom, discernment and understanding in many areas of life. I believe I have a venue through which we can all share that wisdom with each other.
Nevertheless, as Darren says in his post, it’s not just the blog setup, the theme selection, or any of the technical issues that can become time consuming; it’s the actual writing activity that can take over your life (my interpretation). Indeed, writing posts has taken a great deal of time for me (I am thankful that my husband has been so incredibly supportive of me and my efforts); but it is time that I enjoy immensely.
So even if there was a vaccine, I would decline it. I’ll let it consume me (of course, there are boundaries to establish). I’ll dig myself into the trenches.
And I’ll enjoy inhaling that blog dust!