IMG_3433 Happy Tuesday, everyone! This is Janice Thompson, your CAN vice-president. Let me start by thanking those of you who've been promoting the CAN blog through twitter, facebook, etc.Keep up the good work.  Our goal during the month of December is to remind people that this blog is our gift to the writing community. The CAN blog has a lot to offer, and best of all. . .it's free!

Today I want to tell you a little story. It happened a few years back at Christmastime. My daughters were helping me decorate our living room for the holidays. The room looked fantastic. I reached into the box of decorations and pulled out my "N-O-E-L" plaques (four individual letters spelling out the word NOEL). I always loved placing them on the piano in a place of prominence. I located the "N" in no time at all and placed it on the piano. Next came the "O." Funny, looking at the two of them together, I realized they spelled out the word, "NO." Not a very happy holiday message. Next came the letter "E." I fished around in the box for that final letter. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found. My daughters and I stared at the "NOE" and shook our heads. "Mom," one of my girls said. "There's no L." 

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Hello from Jeanette! Today my family woke up to our first major winter storm of the season. It closed schools (including the University) and kept most people home shoveling snow. My sons and I had to scoop the driveway twice before my husband got home from work and then he still had to clear more. Early in the day we got hit with another type of storm—the news that the store where my husband works will be closing in four weeks. They promised to transfer employees to other stores but we know there is a chance that some will find themselves out in the cold. So we’re tapping into what we learned through this past year of one storm after another and trusting that God will not only get us through it but use it for good.

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Dianne Neal Matthews here, taking a break from decorating the tree. Last night I helped with a Christmas party for the women in my church. Since the theme was "Christmas Memories", we invited the ladies to write down and turn in favorite Christmas memories to be read throughout the evening. As always, my mind returned to a long-ago scene that still helps me keep my focus in the right place during this hectic month of December.

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Tracy (T.L.) Higley here, posting another marketing lesson I’ve learned from my years in online retail sales. As I mentioned in previous months, I’m currently in the midst of an experimental year, applying principles from my retail business to the marketing of my fiction. If you’ve missed earlier posts, and would like a better explanation of my background and what these posts are about, please see Principles #1 through #3 here.

So, on to Principle #4…  Repeated contact through social networks drives sales.

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Jen headshot denver 09     Hey, friends! Jennifer Devlin, your CAN president here, wishing you a wonderful season of joy and peace. I love this time of year, especially these few weeks between thankful celebrations and the anticipated gifts under a tree.

     As Christians, we've so much to be thankful for, and we've so much to celebrate — much more than a mere trinket under a tree. In this season God has me thinking of gifts. God places gifts inside the body of believers that glorify Him and build up the Church as a whole all year long! Not just a quick tearing of paper and a glimpse at a surprise, but a lasting, equipping, loving working together of spirits whose hearts are set on the One who gave all.

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