Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Celebration Time!


Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo! We’ve all raced, sweated and slogged water, food and chocolate on the run - and now, now we are at the finish line with words in tow! Yeah! Don’t forget to validate your word count on the website so you can collect your special prizes. By the way, you can still add to your word count after validation in case you’re waiting to eek out that last little phrase.

Congratulations, NaNo’ers!

This is no small feat!

If you have won by passing 50,000 words, you must be elated! If you have not passed 50K don’t fret – as every writer knows, having some word count is far better than no word count. It’s just that those over 50K now have more work ahead of us in editing, lol!

Celebration Giveaway!

To celebrate my household skating over the finish line for NaNoWriMo (me and my teens have won!) and to celebrate MuseItUp Publishing’s December Launch, I’m offering a giveaway through the good folks at CSN stores!

One lucky winner will receive a $35.00 gift certificate. All you have to do is join my blog and leave a comment on this blog post. Also, optionally, if you’d like to be on my email list for my writing newsletter, please leave your email with your comment like so: avidreader-at-gmail-dot-com. That way spammers can’t grab your email off the internet and I can send you the newsletter when it comes out. You can join my blog through Facebook on Networked Blogs or through Blogger. Through Blogger you’ll need a gmail account which is fast, easy and free. If you have already joined this blog or my homeschool blog, just leave a comment on this post on this site or the other.

This will run from today through Thursday night at midnight and then Molly will pick a name out of a hat which I’ll announce on Friday in this blog post.

As some of you know, I carry my backpack with me everywhere, yes, even to fancy social events. I always have my notebook and pen handy and more often than not, my netbook as well. My teen authors-in-training are carrying notepads and pens with them everywhere in their own backpacks now – it’s becoming a family tradition...or quirk, lol! It’s never too early to encourage a budding writer and CSN has an amazing selection of children’s backpacks if you have a child who would like their very own writing kit - it would make a lovely Christmas and/or Chanukkah gift.

MuseItUp Publishing Launch!

 Hope to see you at the party tomorrow for MuseItUp Publishing and for Boston Wrimo’s, I’ll see you at the TGIO party in the Hub!

And at this turning point, MuseItUp Publishing is having our launch party all day tomorrow! Please join the readers group (this is mainstream) to be eligible for spectacular door prizes! It gets even better… we’re having a sale in the bookstore.

Holiday Special: Get 25% off any purchase from today until December 10th.
Use code: HC2010D at checkout in the discount code box before going to Paypal.

Write on!

photo credits: morguefile.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving & An Invitation!


Launch Party!

As many of you know, I work for MuseItUp Publishing as an editor and an author.  December 1st we're having our Grand Opening!  All the details are on my writing blog.  I hope you can join us! 

I have edited several of the YA books that are releasing and they are excellent.  If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.

December 1st we'll have fun and games for everyone, and now the two houses have two reader's groups as well.  The mainstream line is family friendly and I daresay children can go online for the contests.  I'll check that out with my publisher but since there's no adult content, it should be fine!


Happy Thanksgiving!

It's our family tradition to stay home on Thanksgiving.  I love getting up early to put the bird in the oven and pad around in my slippers setting out breakfast for when my sleepy heads get up.  In the next few days, me and the girls will bake cranberry bread, apple and pumpkin pie and prepare vegetables ahead of time.  Our fat turkey is thawing now on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

If this is a difficult time for you due to illness or the economy, or you know of a single person who is alone for the holidays, there are several local churches who are serving Thanksgiving dinner to families in their areas.  Pick a few in your town and give them a call.  Chances are that if that one isn't, they know which ones are. 

Kell's Restaurant in Allston is serving a free Thanksgiving meal (Christmas, too).

Here are some places on the North Shore.

A country club in Halifax, you need to call ahead of time.

I tried to get a Boston listing but couldn't find any online.  If you know of a church nearby, or other facility, be sure to leave it in the comments section for others.  And you know, if you burn the bird on Thursday, you can go have dinner there, too! 

Sneak preview, I'm hostessing another CNS gift certificate giveaway in honor of finishing NaNoWriMo on November 31st and the launch of MuseItUp Publishing.  Details to follow!

photo credits: morguefile.com & MuseItUp Publishing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who are you sleeping with tonight?

How scandalous!  Especially for a devotional homeschool blog.

I can assure you, it's much worse than it sounds.

A number of years ago Paul and I decided to have no chat about other people or non family situations in our bedroom.  We were tired of having our room populated with other people and their stuff.  This has kept the sanctuary of our bedroom a place of peace and rest.  I really don't want to think about politicians or anyone else when I'm going to sleep, thank you so much.

Aren't we spiritual?!  We'd never have an adultery problem.  Or would we?

Many folks think adultery is cheating on your spouse.  They aren't wrong.  I think it goes deeper than that, however.  I think adultery is also cheating on God.  Recently I read this verse as I was thinking about keeping our sanctuary free from unwanted visitors and nearly fell on the floor.

Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Ephesians 4:26

Right before this verse God says to put away lying and right after he says to not give place to the devil.  The following verses refer to lying again, then evil communication, then to grieving the Holy Spirit.  A clear repeated pattern of ABC-ABC, which draws attention to the points in these verses. Lying with lying, wrath with evil communication, giving place to the devil with grieving the Holy Spirit.

I began to think about Wrath taking a seat in my room before going to sleep at night.  Hmm... Not pleasant, eh?  I didn't relish the thought of waking up to Wrath in the rocking chair either...or getting dressed in front of him.

While most preachers will tell you this verse means not to go to bed angry, there are a number of other ways to take this.  Sundown began the Jewish day in the First Century chuch, so another interpretation can be to not let wrath travel into the next day.  Don't welcome Wrath into your bedroom, whether between you and your spouse or anyone else. But also don't let the light go out on your wrath, don't bury wrath so it can't be lit up by truth, don't hide it in the dark, which reminds me of another scripture. 

Men don't come to the light because their deeds are evil.  Paraphrased from John 3:20.

Ever meet a thief who wants to hear you tell them how to stop stealing?  Umm, no.  They want to steal so they don't want to hear you say it's wrong.  They refuse to come to the light. 

Wrath stems from unforgiveness and if left unchecked by the light of the Word, it will morph - into murder.

Are you a murderer?  I don't know.  Have you ever spoken evil about someone?  God links that to murder because it steals the person's reputation and can shut them off from a community.  Some aptly describe it as murder with the tongue.  Have you ever cut someone out of your heart?  There are times when it's godly not to have contact with some people, and the scriptures are clear on when those times are.  But not having contact and cutting them out of your heart are two different things.  God doesn't look well on this, dear ones. Not because he wants to punish us, but because he looks after our well being and if we're not in his playground, we're playing in someone else's and become easy prey.

Maybe it's your brother who irritates you to no end. Maybe it's your spouse.  Maybe it's your pastor.  Maybe it's yourself.  Maybe it's your congregation or  your neighbor. 

Whomever it is, they are sleeping with you. 

The sun is going down on your wrath and it's sitting in the chair in the corner of your room when you wake up - pretty soon you will ignore it and be flabbergasted when someone points it out to you. 

God does know what he's talking about and his way will work.  Of course it seems counter intuitive, his ways are not our ways.  But when we try to protect ourselves, from anyone or anything, what we're really saying is that God isn't able to.  Forgiveness cures you from taking Jesus' place. 

Peter asked Jesus how many times he had to forgive someone suggesting seven times.  I read a commentary recently that said the Children of Israel had a rule that you forgive someone three times but not the fourth.  Doesn't that sound like "Screw me once shame on you, screw me twice shame on me."?  Apparently Peter thought seven times was right because obviously three times wasn't. 

He was in for the shock of the century.  Jesus told him seventy times seven which is 490 times.  I can just hear Peter stuttering "Wh-wh-what?!" 

That is an Orientalism meaning we are to forgive always.  Stiff consequences come to us when we don't.  Some of those consequences are tormentors who refuse to leave your bedroom, figuratively speaking.  Ever think something was one way and it turned out it was completely the opposite?  Unforgiveness blinds you to what's really going on. 

Unforgiveness left unchecked in your heart will come out of your mouth and lead to murder.  Murder with the tongue, murder in the heart and sometimes physical murder.  This is how that nice guy down the street can come home from work one day and kill his family, shocking the  neighborhood.  Unforgiveness took up residence in that house long before murder did. 

What's the way out?  Repent.  That amazing five letter word!  Repent for unforgiveness.  It will change your life.   

Proverbs 29:8 says scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.

Want to bless your city?  Repent for scorn and turn away wrath with wisdom.  Your city will prosper and you'll be taking spiritual responsibility.  God will reward you for such things.  What we do in secret he rewards us for openly.

I wonder what it would be like if we all repented for unforgiveness.  I think mountains would shift across the universe.  I for one try to do it routinely.  In 2004 I had a revelation of repentance and forgiveness that irrevocably changed my life and I haven't stopped preaching it yet.  I have lived my life at the butt end of many men's sins.  I'm not alone, we all do in one way or another and all of us have suffered from Adam's sin.

Whose sin affects you?  Everyone's.  Forgiving them changes it all and opens up the miraculous to you from God Almighty.  Give it a whirl and be sure to share the miracle reports.  Jesus paid it all at the Cross for us.  What have we got to lose, except some unwanted visitors in our bedrooms?

So, who are you sleeping with tonight? 

Make it God and your spouse only and you will have a restful sanctuary and live a protected life. He's not slack concerning his promises.

photo credits: morguefile.com

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do You Need A Writing Program?


As many of you know, I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year, with my teens for homeschool.  I've seen a lot of the writing programs that are out there and each have their merits but NaNo offers something more valuable, I think.  It gives you experience.  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

The goal is to write a 50K word novel in thirty days.  Of course it won't be perfect, it will obviously be a first draft but it wll actually be a draft instead of a wish in the back of your mind.  That boils down to 1667 words per day of fiction.  And you do this for 30 days.  Editing is not allowed so once that word is on the paper, you may not erase it until December!

Last year Elizabeth and I stayed up until midnight on October 31st and had a NaNo party with hot chocolate and our trusty pens and keyboard.  Each of us, Molly, too, finished our novels by the end of November.  Molly's was done and only needed editing.  Her's was a horror romance.  Elizabeth is still working on that novel at 114.K words now.  It's a YA fantasy.  I added another 16K to the original 52K and spruced it up to submit and it will be published in the spring by MuseItUp Publishing.  So much good came out of that month long lesson on writing!

This year, we planned our midnight madness writing party and Molly joined us.  After almost 2000 words, I fell asleep on my keyboard as did Molly; but Elizabeth decided to stay up all night and clocked in at 13K words yesterday!  That's almost a week's worth of NaNo!

What's the draw?  I think it's the experience.  You can study anything forever, until you're actually applying it you can't really know it.  There's nothing like writing to teach you how to write better.  Every word is an improvement.  

The best part for homeschooling moms is the workbooks.  If you sign up at the Young Writer's Program site for NaNo, you can download worksbooks for all grade levels.  And these are free.  Each one is excellent in how to craft a novel.  For the YWP you can have your own virtual classroom, track everyone's progress together and post fun things and writing tips.  You can also change the word count necessary to win.  So if you have a first grader, you, as their teacher, can set their goal at 10K words.  You can also order a school packet (first packet is free) that has NaNo buttons, a poster, a chart where students can sign in their word counts and stickers. 

Whether you use the YWP site or the adult NaNo site, or both like we do, each participant can make their own author pages and share a bit about their book.  You can even upload cover art for your novels.

This is a wonderful thing for homeschoolers!  There's still time to sign up!  Enjoy!