Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Twelve Ways to Bless an Author



Writers write. It's what we do.

We write because we have a story or message that aches to be told. We write because we can't NOT write. It is a part of our DNA.

We also write to connect with others. We want our words to bring joy, knowledge, and/or healing to those who find themselves in a similar situation or season in life. We may write in solitude, but we envision our audience as we pen our next work.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Totoro Family Recipes: Angel Bites

Most of you would recognize this confection as Puppy Chow, but in our family, it is affectionately known as Angel Bites. Personally, I think we should rename the recipe and call it "Heavenly Crack" ... because once I take a single bite, I can't seem to stop.

My mom collected angels for years. At one time she was even a member of the Angel Collector's Club of America. At one of their annual conventions, she purchased a fundraiser cookbook that included this recipe, and it was love at first bite.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Totoro Family Recipes: Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread, along with Sausage Balls, are family favorites on Thanksgiving morning. I take the bread out of the oven around 8:30am so it is still nice and warm by the time the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade begins.

However, for those who prefer to sleep in rather than watch the Parade, both recipes are quite tasty served at room temperature.

The combination of gooey Cinnamon Bread and savory Sausage Balls makes for a filling breakfast treat. And we eat enough of both to keep us satiated until the traditional dinner is served around 4:00pm.

I don't remember where I first found this recipe. It was shortly after we moved to Kansas, circa 1990, and I vaguely remember finding it in an old recipe book my grandmother gave me.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Trusting the Creative Process

I do not procrastinate. I like organization and routines. Each Sunday I sit down with my planner and contemplate the week ahead. I review both appointments and tasks and then create a schedule to meet those demands. I strive to make life as stress-free as possible.

This is my normal, left-brained world.

My creative life is a different story.

While I try to plan manageable schedules, editorial calendars, and brainstorming sessions, my right-brain refuses to cooperate. Sure, I go through the motions, but there is little concrete evidence on the page. Stress sets in and I begin to doubt: Do I have anything worthwhile to say?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Day 31: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome


The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
~ Joseph  Campbell

Thank you for joining me on this month of learning self-acceptance.

I'm not sure there is a cure for Impostor Syndrome, but daily positive affirmations help silence the lies and recognize God's truth: we are loved - we are accepted - we have value.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Day 30: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome

.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
~ e. e. cummings

We are coming to the end of this October blogging challenge, and I can think of no better quote to sum up the month.
  • Don't allow fear to sabotage your life. 
  • Embrace the imperfect - for in our weakness God is made strong.
  • Celebrate your God-given talents.
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments.
  • Share your passion with the world.
  • Don't buy into the lie that humility is self-deprecation.
  • Don't judge others... including yourself. 
  • Remember comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Accept God's unconditional love for you.
  • Everyone is worthy and has value simply because they exit.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Day 29: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome


Courage is being scared to death
and saddling up anyway.
~ John Wayne

I never realized how fear controlled my life until I identified Impostor Syndrome and exposed Delilah's lies. I associated comfort zone with ... comfort, until I recognized it was a trap.

When I taught writing to middle-schoolers, I used the book Courage (Bernard Waber) to help explain the term show vs tell. This picture book identifies courage in all its forms: everyday courage, such as getting your first haircut or saying I'm sorry ... to extraordinary courage like skydiving or bungee jumping.

I don't crave death-defying adventure so my comfort zone can serve me well in that area. And while I despise snakes, I am not afflicted with any paralyzing phobias.

But the fear of rejection is a powerful force in my life.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day 28: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome


You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.
~ C. S. Lewis

My mother was fond of quoting trite axioms. One of which was, There is a fine line between being  'too young to know' and 'old enough to know better.'

In other words, the young are ignorant and not as knowledgeable as they think. But ignorance is also bliss... a luxury old age cannot claim.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day 27: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome


Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good
we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
~ William Shakespeare

Lately, I've done a bit of research into the anti-villain. I'm thinking of writing a novel about Delilah and I need to develop her fictional character.

I was sharing this idea with a friend, who cautioned me about writing a story from the antagonist's point of view. Readers struggle to feel empathy for a villain.

Her words caused me to sit up and take notice. Not that I questioned her writing advice, but I questioned her assessment of Delilah. Is she a villain?!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Day 26: Affirmations to combat Impostor Syndrome


A dream is a wish your heart makes.
~ Walt Disney

I've dreamed of international travel since second grade - the first year I took French as a foreign language. It was also the year I met one of my parent's friends who just returned from his junior year abroad. I remember sitting on his bed looking at all the postcards, listening to his adventures, and vowing I was going to do that one day.

That dream became a reality my junior year of high school. For three glorious weeks, I traveled with fifteen other students to the south of France where we lived with French families, attended French school, and immersed ourselves in the French culture.

I loved every minute and the experience whet my appetite for more.

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