Reading and Planning

Complete Set Series - Lot of 7 Liberty Bell Books - Gilbert Morris (Historical)
Picture found on an e-bay advertisement.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, Revised and Updated Edition
Picture found on Christianbook.com advertisement.

I’ve been reading lots of books lately. A series by Gilbert Morris—The Liberty Bell tomes, copyrighted in 1995 by Gilbert Morris and published by Bethany House Publishers, Bloomington, MN. Also, two books on writing by James Scott Bell

How to Make a Living as a Writer; NOOK Book (eBook); Author - James Scott Bell
Pictures found at BarnesandNoble.com.

Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life; Paperback; Author - James Scott Bell

and a re-read of Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-free Productivity by David Allen. This is the second version of Mr. Allen’s book. It was copyrighted in 2001, 2015 by him. Penguin Books published it in 2015, with a foreword written and copyrighted by James Fallows in 2015.

I’ve decided to take David Allen’s methodology to tackle a housekeeping area I’ve struggled with until it’s conquered. Some of his ideas I’ve learned from an organizing, planning company based in Rochester, NY that went out of business when paper planners became less prevalent. I missed Eagle Day Planners when they closed and then I moved on to the Franklin Covey organizing system for many years. This last year, I switched to Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner and I’ll start next year in the same planner as I keep learning the nuances to his helpful life structuring goals.

The Bible says to practice moderation in all things. Overwork does not equate with productivity oftentimes. My dad used to point to his temple and say, “using this will save these,” and then he’d gesture towards his feet. He did think things through and try innovative ways at his job and at home.

David Allen, Michael Hyatt, and others recommend taking time to think, and/or brainstorm with others while you ignore your internal critic at this stage. Although David Allen suggests some analysis might help. I can’t explain it well here. If you’re interested, it will help to read the book. I borrowed it from the public library and then purchased a copy for our family to read. Thus, I’m highlighting significant insights this second time through and feel I’m getting more out of it.

I’ll try to remember to tell you how my organizing project went. I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

Writing for Good

www.createspace.com/LoginProc.do took me a little hunting to find today, because I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for in regards to self-publishing with Amazon.

My daughter and her good friend, a surrogate daughter to me stopped over the house today. My daughter wanted to see her friend and the new baby. They met around 10 years ago in the state of MO. Some years back, the young lady decided to leave the warm state of Missouri and come to the cooler climate of NYS.

Seems God wanted her here, because she settled in and eventually a young man came along and they got married. She went to college for graphic arts and I want to develop a website, so I told her I’d love to have her help. She agreed, so after lunch and visit time ended, I got onto a domain hosting site and then realized I’m not quite ready to take that step yet.

There’s more to starting a website than I anticipated. So, I decided to check out Createspace.com, an Amazon company and discovered that I’m not ready for that either. I’ve started writing booklets that people seem interested in, and I thought I’d do one at a time, but as I read the details, it appears booklets to books is not what they do. That may be only in the fiction realm according to an article I read by James Scott Bell in the May-June 2017 issue of “Christian Communicator.”

He talks about short stories published under Kindle Select by Amazon under the Kindle Direct Approach in his article entitled, “Short and Strategic” under the Marketing banner in the periodical. I need to get more information. I heard at a conference that an author needs to spend as much time on marketing as they do on writing.

The short stories need to stand alone and each one can be a chapter in a novel. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of the magazine from American Christian Writers. There’s more than I could ethically quote since it’s copyrighted. Each month or bi-monthly, I learn more on the craft of writing from the “Christian Communicator.”

My daughter ended up critiquing my first booklet. She only made a few suggestions so that encouraged me.

I know God says to seek Him and the kingdom of righteousness first and all the material needs we encounter will be provided for. That’s in Matthew 6:33. I am trying to do that, and making it happen more often because of making the effort.

May God bless you.

Organizing the Writing Life

I’m reading James Scott Bell’s book Just Write: Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life straight through and then I’ll go through it and do the exercises. By reading straight through, I mean 15 to 20 pages at a time and then picking it up again. It’s been a few days since I last read it but it’s right up there with library books with looming due dates. He got this one published by Writer’s Digest Books and it’s copyrighted in 2016. It’s got advice that entails work hints and dedication and using brain cells and encouraging oneself – to name a few things.Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life

(photo from Christianwritersinstitute.com)

I like James Scott Bell’s fiction. I discovered his books while shelving returns from the circulation desk when I worked at the library. I bought his craft books, one from Barnes & Nobles, two from Writer’s Digest online. I recommend them all but this one is hitting me where I live and I’m glad I bought it.

We have a lady pastor at our church who’s told me that my husband’s preaching stepped on her toes. “I love it!”

The first time she spoke that way, my eyes widened and I said, “You loved it?”

“Oh yeah, I needed to hear that.”

James Scott Bell’s words to writers may step on my toes at times but I’m serious about improving. So, I appreciate the words of wisdom a published novelist passes along.

One of my goals this year is to finish Jerry Jenkins’ “Inspirational Market” writing course that I purchased as an online class.

As I get organized in my thinking and my environment I picture finishing projects and choosing pathways according to God’s direction. I do that now some of the time, but disorder affects me more than I’ve realized.

A friend of my husband’s and mine told me twenty years ago that he thought it was a spiritual battle and he may have been right. Anyway, God knows and I’m ready to organize the kitchen this week.

May God bless you!

Life Choices

About a month ago, I got The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammet by Nathan Ward out of the library. It’s published by Bloomsbury, New York, NY and copyrighted in 2015.

Media of The Lost DetectiveThis image is copied from http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-lost-detective-9780802776402/

Being Christmas and with all else that went on at that time, I didn’t get to read it until lately. Dashiell Hammet wrote hard-boiled detective stories based on his time as a private eye with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in 1915 through the middle of 1917. One of his famous characters is Sam Spade.

I’m intrigued with decisions people make and the course their lives take. I have been since my childhood days when my mom encouraged me to visit the elderly next door neighbor women.

After starting Mr. Ward’s book I decided to read James Scott Bell’s book, Just Write: Creating Unforgettable Fiction and a Rewarding Writing Life, copyrighted in 2016 and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.This image is copied from  http://www.writersdigestshop.com/just-write-paperback

I read James Scott Bell’s fiction and own a few of his books on the craft of writing. I’ve been praying about whether to write another novel and his book, Just Write is sparking my imagination.

May God bless you.

Friends, Work and Entertainment

A friend and I decided we’ll go see a lady in a nursing home on Thursday. She had a stroke last year. So, my friend is bringing the lady gifts. We just found out it’s the lady’s birthday. How cool is that? We planned to visit and marked our planners weeks ago. Is that not like our God, to direct our paths to her on her special day?

Also, I started reading James Scott Bell’s new novel, Romeo’s Rules tonight after a busy day. I think I discovered his fiction after buying a non-fiction book of his on writing. My first purchase was Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish. It was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH, copyrighted in 2004. The second writing book of his I purchased was The Art of War for Writers; fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises. This title was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH and copyrighted in 2009.

I’m going through my second reading of the first book and haven’t finished the second book yet. That one I use at a much slower pace. Digesting as I go, I guess.

As I wrote on my novel today, before dishes and vacuuming, I noted how relaxed and happy I was to be moving along on this new/re-write manuscript. I chose to change direction later in the day, and began Mr. Bell’s novel and got pulled into the story immediately. I couldn’t help thinking how much more I enjoy reading than watching television. Later, when my husband came home, he turned on the television and I got sucked into a show, so I quickly left the room. Later, I chose to join him and immediately got sucked into this other show. We watched a while, and I thought, television may drag me in, but it’s oh, so not satisfying. Two of the shows actually caused tension in me because the families were fighting. They made the dad’s look inept and sometimes mean.

I didn’t see much of those programs, but when he turned to a show we both like because we’re involved in solving the mystery, we watched a second one. I told my husband I didn’t want to let it go. I’m very glad we turned the television off. I wanted to blog and all that sitting hurts the older I get. I was paying bills and recycling paper as I watched tv, but still. Time fritters away.

We’re fixing our church where some flooring felt weak and we’re planning on remodeling upstairs as God provides. I sense such an urgency to get ready. As times continue to worsen, I think many will turn to Christ and we need to be prepared. I keep turning to Daniel in the word at random. I’m going to look for a Bible study on Daniel to do, because there’s lots of prophecy in there about the end times that we are living in now. I love seeking God’s wisdom on life.

Be blessed!

Plans Go Wrong

The beauty of being human instead of an animal is that when circumstances change, a human can formulate ideas and fashion tools and be creative.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog on discipline and when I woke up, I determined to clean a room, then do the dishes and go through some papers. After I finished my book, “Presumed Guilty” by James Scott Bell, I pulled on a pair of socks and felt spasms in my back and legs.

“No!”

So, after I processed it and took ibuprofen and had prayer from my husband, I decided standing is better than sitting, so the dishes are all done. I had another James Scott Bell book to read, “Deceived,” and enjoyed it without guilt, since I wasn’t able to do much of anything else.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Whatever happens, I’ll adjust and the people I impact will, too. That’s life, humans adapt and hopefully with loving consideration of others.

One of the disadvantages of reading too much fiction is that there has to be conflict and tension and showing the underside of life and it can be a downer even if it ends with a happy ending.

That’s why I like reading the Word. It feeds my spirit even if it too, shows the underside of life. It gives hope. James Scott Bell included some Scripture in his book that made sense to the plot. 🙂