Categories
Encouragement General Humor Inspiration for Writers

First Impressions

Today’s Fascinating Friday insight comes to us from award-winning author Linda Rooks.

It was my first book to be published, and I was excited about flying to Colorado Springs to meet my publishers at their headquarters. 

Coming from Florida and having been warned of the possibility of a late spring snowstorm in Colorado, I carefully picked out my clothes for the trip to make the best impression, strategic about packing a separate suitcase for cold weather and snow.  But the next day when the plane arrived in Colorado, my suitcase with my cold weather gear was missing.

I awoke the next morning to find a blanket of freshly fallen snow outside my hotel window. Wanting to look my best, I donned my new suit, fussed with my hair, then pondered what to do about shoes. My boots were in the cold weather suitcase that had been lost, and all I had otherwise were the open toe shoes I wore in Florida. One with high heels, one with low. I decided to go with the low. 

When I arrived at my publishers, I was surprised at the long winding snow-covered walkway leading from the parking lot to the front entrance. I looked at my open-toe shoes and the distance to the front entrance and sighed. 

Nevertheless, raising my umbrella to protect my carefully coifed hairdo from the falling snow and blustery weather, I gingerly stepped onto the snowy path. My feet immediately sank into two inches of snow.

Halfway up the walkway, a gust of wind seized my umbrella and pulled it inside out. 

Mustering all the confidence that every new author should have, I continued slushing through two inches of snow in open-toe shoes, with my umbrella inside out and my button-less coat flapping back and forth in the wind. 

And there they were, watching from the front door and holding it open—all smiles— with a large banner behind, saying, “Welcome Author Linda W. Rooks.”

Yes, my publishers all had a good laugh at this Florida girl wearing open-toe shoes on the worst snow day of the year. My only consolation was that I had enough sense not to wear high heels. 

 Linda W. Rooks has a ministry of hope for those in broken marriages. Her award winning book, Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, and her first book, Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation walk with those in the midst of marital breakdown to bring hope and practical guidance to those desiring reconciliation. Linda writes for both adults and children, and her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family, HomeLife, and Today’s Christian Woman. Linda has participated in numerous radio and television interviews across the North American continent. She and her husband reside in Central Florida and thank God for the many reconciled marriages they witness through their ministry and the classes they lead.

Categories
Encouragement Humor

What’s Wrong With These Boots?

Author Yvonne Ortega blesses us with today’s Fascinating Friday post!

Ouch! What’s going on? These boots are supposed to be my comfortable ones. The rain is attacking me vertically and horizontally. I need to get the trash can to the curb for pickup. Gremlins must have put nails in my knee-high rain boots. 

They were buried in the back of the hall closet. Only gremlins could get in there. 

I looked down at those shiny black boots. My other shoes fit. My snow boots fit, and the company that made them made the rain boots in the same size. 

Forget the logic. That’s for mathematicians and scientists. I prefer languages, music, and dancing. I would do well as Mary Poppins.  

Help me, Lord. I can sing and dance in the rain but to suffer for an unknown reason seems unfair. Your servant Moses put up with those grumblers in the desert for forty years. For one act of disobedience, you didn’t let him go into the Promised Land. What did I do wrong?

I have writing deadlines to meet. Either stop the rain or the pain without taking me home early. Please find me a remedy.

Hmm. Last year, women saturated their legs in Vaseline to slide into tight jeans. This year, they wear yoga pants. I can coat my feet with Vaseline before I wear those boots again. 

Once back in the house, I removed those torture chambers.

I put my hand into the left boot. Out came a balled-up plastic bag. The same thing happened with the right boot. I remembered a trip to Canada before the pandemic. It rained. On my return, it didn’t. To prevent crushing the boots in my suitcase, I put a plastic bag in the toe of each one.

The boots look great. My feet are crushed, but I can write.

Yvonne Ortega speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her struggles to help women find freedom, joy and peace in life’s challenges. She’s multi-interviewed for her Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Book Series. Yvonne celebrates life at the beach where she walks, blows bubbles, builds sandcastles, and dances.

Categories
Humor Writing craft

My Notorious Mind Game

Today’s Fascinating Friday post comes from Joan C. Benson. Thank you, Joan!

The quirks of this writer are about to be laid bare before the world. Oh, no! What will they think? After years of self-analysis, I reached an “Ah ha!” moment not long ago. My trick may amuse you, or even better, might help you in your creative endeavors. I hope my revelation will at least be fascinating since this is a “Fascinating Friday” post.

Have you known people who set their clocks ahead so they won’t be late? I used to laugh at this ploy. I was sure my brain would override the trick and think, “Oh, no worries. I have an extra ten minutes.” 

For the backstory to my discovery, I confess. I began as a contract writer. I was hired, mostly by educational publishers, who always seemed behind schedule. There would be scopes and sequences, outlines and projections, but the project was often behind when it began. The managers, editors, and supervisors, from my observation, lived in a constant state of stress.

As a novelist, I had no high-pressure stakes. I had learned how to keep deadlines because paychecks were tied to nailing guidelines and deadlines. I even worked ahead of schedule whenever possible. To do this, I mapped out my due dates on the calendar for each aspect of my writing. However, when I faced my own creative projects, no structure focused my writing. I lost momentum. The conclusion in this quirky story is I had to “set my clock ahead” to trick my brain! I had to devise deadlines on my own. Otherwise, every little squeaky wheel became a saboteur. 

Perhaps this has made you grimace, giggle, or acknowledge how challenging time management can be. Working from home as an author is not an easy feat when life beckons with demands. I pray this might help you in some small way. Or, give you a laugh.

Joan C Benson is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, and author/speaker. She has been a freelance writer for over thirty years. Her debut historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released by Elk Lake Publishing in 2020. She has been published in magazines and on CBN.com. She is a blogger and you can find her at www.joancbenson.com

Categories
Encouragement Humor Marketing Writing Business

Mistaken Identity, Grateful Heart

Thank you to CAN member and contributor Michelle Medlock Adams for today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays!

I had just finished signing my latest children’s book at the Guideposts Booth at the largest Christian Book Show. To celebrate my signing, my mom and my sister took me to lunch at a beautiful restaurant in downtown Atlanta. As we studied the menu, I couldn’t help but notice a group of women sitting at a nearby table. You know why I noticed them? Because they were all staring at me.

I tried to ignore them, but their staring turned to pointing and whispering. I started feeling a little self-conscious. Just as the waitress brought our food, I watched as one of the ladies slowly walked toward our table.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said, “but I just had to meet you. Your book literally changed my life.”

Jolene Philo

"Jolene

Jolene Philo is the author of several books for parents of children with special needs and caregivers. They include the Different Dream Parenting series. Her Caregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool to Help You Care for Others was in November of 2014. She and Katie Wetherbee are co-authors of the recently released Every Child Welcome: A Ministry Handbook for Including Kids with Special Needs for churches and children’s ministry volunteers. Her newest book, Does My Child Have PTSD? What To Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out will be released in October of 2015.

Jolene speaks at writing and special needs conferences around the country. She and Katie also conduct special needs ministry training workshops for churches and ministry leaders. Jolene blogs about special needs parenting at www.differentdream.com and about life on her little gravel road at www.jolenephilo.com. Jolene and her husband have two children, both married, and three delightful grandchildren. They enjoy visiting family, walking, and kicking up their empty nester heels in Boone, Iowa.

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Down the Gravel Road: www.jolenephilo.com

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