Organize Your Day

I ordered an e-book from our library when I couldn’t get there, so I looked for one of my favorite topics – getting organized.

Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims wrote a book called Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009.

Organizing your day by Sandra Felton(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/organizing-management-techniques-that-will-work/sandra-felton/9780800733155/pd/733155?product_redirect=1&Ntt=733155&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP )

What I love about their books is their motto about taking “small” consistent steps to effect real change.

I tend to think that starting four habits when I want to make one alteration multiplies the results. Surely, more is better than less, but then reality sinks in. “I can’t do this!”

In this book, Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims give four styles of organizing charts. One that caught my attention was for a man with such a broad range of interests that he wrote sixteen things he wanted to do.

Of every two items, the man chose the most important and soon the list was down to eight. Once again-the most important whittled down to four.

It forces the planner to think-now it’s down to two. Final choice, what is the most significant thing to the individual? The man felt relief, one thing I can focus on until it’s done.

This morning as I read in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Nashville, TN; Dallas, TX; Mexico City, in Mexico; and Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil; and copyrighted in 2011, there was a devotional page which I thought was from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling, was copyrighted in 2004 and published by HarperCollins Christian Publishers, Nashville, TN.

On page 1037 in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, there’s an entry entitled “Protection” and it’s got a reference: “(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)” on the bottom of the page.

She reminds us that Jesus is with us in the good times and the bad times. When we’re struggling during times of affliction, He’s even closer than usual.

So, He hears our cries over a lack of control over clutter or gluttony or road rage or whatever tendencies which cause our hearts to hurt. The Scriptures the Bible gives at the bottom of this devotional are “Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 23:4, and Psalm 18:35.”

Jesus is our protector if we ask Him to take control over our lives completely. He helps us to release the tight grip on our lives in a manner that we can deal with, if we really mean it. He’s not a mean task master in the sky. He’s a loving Father, beyond what any earthly dad could ever mirror with their behavior.

I hope you are well. May God bless you and protect you, lead you and guide you if you want Him to.

 

Joy in Writing

 

Monday night I searched files to see what I would bring to a new writers group I got invited to earlier this year. I chose a devotional I sent out in 2016. I’d been tracking it for quite a while and then I got busy with other things and let it go. I thought: if I bring a devotional that is already published, it probably won’t need much critiquing. So, I got online to check e-mail and sure enough, an announcement from the publisher said they’d accepted the devotional and the tentative date was for September 25, 2016. If you want to check it out I’ve included the link here: http://www.christiandevotions.us/viewblogentry/833

It’s called “For the Love of a Daughter.”

That made my night and then when I found the tucked away home of the writer who invited me, I prayed that it would go well. The last critique group I attended had a writer who criticized my Bible study, Chapter One so harshly, I left wondering if I was delusional and if any talent I thought I had really belonged in the land of dreams. I looked to the leader of the group for a suggestion to lighten up or to be kind, but she remained mute. As I headed home, I thought God said in His still small voice, “I didn’t call you to this group.”

This past year I ran into the leader of the group at a library gathering to hear a poet, and she invited me to attend the writers meeting they host there. I told her “Thank you for asking me,” as I pocketed the slip of paper with the time and day they meet. A Christian friend saw the exchange and encouraged me to join them; she had recently started to attend. I told her I’d pray about it, and I did. I didn’t sense any leading to be a part of their meetings and then this opportunity arose.Writing Groups(photo from http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=writers+group+photos&button=)

The members of the home town gathering may be different by now. Maybe that particular author didn’t feel well that day and so she got cranky over my offering. I don’t know. What I do know is that the group on Monday night was gracious and did line-by-line critiquing where necessary, grammatical editing and gave suggestions on the flow of the work. One lady is beginning a novel and I told her I wanted more description, less telling and more showing without actually using those words. What I did tell her was that I wanted to see what her interaction with her grandmother was like. I wanted her to set the scene.

One of the writers asked me what type of article was I writing, where did I picture it being published? I wrote an essay on health for mature readers, but the market I thought I’d send it to seems to be out of business now.

Then the published author thanked me for making it out and for the contributions I added. She and the others blessed me and I hoped I could bless them. Now that I’ve met them, I’m going to bring a more substantial project. We each had fifteen minutes for the reading of the piece and then the comments from the other wordsmiths. I hope we’re able to continue for a long while. We’ll see what the Lord has in mind for us. I’ve wanted a writer’s group for a number of months. I’ve learned that God’s timing is best. Isaiah_40:31, (KJV) says:  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

May God bless you.

Novel Beginnings

 

I spent a few hours purchasing and setting up a notebook according to the suggestions by Phyllis A. Whitney from her book I purchased many years ago. Guide to Fiction Writing was published in 1982 by The Writer Inc. Publishers, Boston, MA; and copyrighted in 1982 as well.

She groups information together in her notebook that helps keep the novel on track without limiting the ability to add characters later on or to inhibit creativity. It’s been a lot of years since I’ve read this book, but I’ve set up more than one novel in working notebooks that I didn’t finish for one reason or another.

The Young Adult novel I’ve been working on forever and finished it, per say, lacks tension and one editor suggested I change the main character to a male instead of having a female lead. I felt like I wanted to curl into a ball and roll down a slight incline until I blended with the horizon.

Last week I read Davis Bunn’s advice to new writers on Goodreads’ site. He said the first novel is wonderful and you may even get it published, but it’s pretty rare. Put it aside and start a second novel. He suggested the future may allow an author to re-write the first novel, but usually they are a learning experience. Maybe that’s why after all this time I couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to re-write again. It’s changed so much from the original I can hardly recognize it.

I got so excited at the library over an idea that I think the Lord planted in my heart. My husband is not thrilled about it for me because it’s going to be a difficult book to write. So, I asked him to pray for me. I called a few others and asked for prayer. Should God allow this novel to grow and get published, I am writing without a publisher pushing for a deadline. Yet this is the first time I noticed how Phyllis A. Whitney used her notebook to keep herself on a deadline.

She says that if you notice in the chronology section that day after day you are jotting down an excuse for not working on your novel then you should ask yourself if you really want to write. This is my paraphrase of her advice. She’s got a list of books written and published. Quite a few of her mysteries are out there.

Friends gave me a framed and matted calligraphy of encouraging words when I found myself as a pastor’s wife at age 50. It says: “The Grace of God will enable you to be what He made you to be and do what He has called you to do.”

Then there’s a photocopy of a perfectly symmetrical leaf and under that in smaller print is, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24.

It’s a beautiful reminder to me that whatever I set my hand to according to His wishes, God promises to help with it.

May God bless you!