The Power of Story and Potbellied Biscuits

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By Davalynn Spencer I enjoy hearing from readers of my inspirational Western romance, especially when they notice that a story portrays simple, everyday life as a believer. “Lifestyle Christianity” is how one reader described it. Another reader said she couldn’t get through my books without baking a batch of homemade “potbellied” biscuits. I have the same problem when I’m writing! But no doubt the most poignant note I’ve received was from a young woman who drew a direct line from my cowboy romances of the 1800s to her own life in the twenty-first century. After finishing one of the novels…

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Sweet Sprinkles

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by Donna Schlachter The Sweet Sprinkles Limited Anthology is a multi-author project originated by author Jennifer Miller. She wanted to put out sweet stories of romance and humor that included cake or cupcakes of some kind, in honor of her mother, who made the best cakes ever (according to Jennifer). So she gathered a group of 20 authors, set the ground rules for the collection, and got a cover designed. The goal was to release just before Mother’s Day 2022, and to target the stories for mothers. A few interesting facts about Mother’s Day that I thought you’d enjoy: The…

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Judging by Appearances

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by Yvonne Ortega Oh, no, I need a nickel for my four pennies. I can’t leave the kiosk with one gallon of water in the two-gallon jug. The kiosk won’t take pennies.   I looked for well-groomed men and women, who walked in or out of the grocery store by the kiosk. I tried to get their attention. Why did they turn away from me? That morning, I took a shower, shampooed my hair, and wore clean clothes that matched. With the words, ma’am, or sir, I addressed each adult with respect to no avail. Maybe someone put a sign…

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God Uses Unusual Teachers!

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by Ava Pennington We always had dogs during our forty-year marriage. And every dog had a very distinctive personality, much like people. My current dog is no exception. But ever since my husband died several years ago, Daisy has raised her antics to a whole new level. Daisy is an eight-year-old boxer who is both a blessing to my writing and a curse. Well, maybe not a curse, but she can definitely be a trial. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and her antics. But there have been times when I’m in the middle of writing and the words are flowing…

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Getting Skunked

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            Getting skunked means to be overwhelmingly defeated in a competition, such as “We got skunked, 72-10 in the basketball game.”              And then there’s the literal meaning.             I had been prayerwalking for many years in my small town in the Sierra Valley that cold morning I headed out my front door and down Main Street—bundled up in gloves, coat, and hat that pre-dawn morning. I had forgotten my flashlight but wasn’t concerned when two doors down I heard rustling in the bushes to my right.             Just birds.             But soon I learned the rustling was not birds, but a skunk defending itself from an…

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Start Your Morning Write

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Today’s timely message of encouragement comes Linda Goldfarb–CAN member, author, speaker, coach and dear friend to many who shares from the heart on her morning practice of daily writing. Thank you, Linda! I’ve written short term pieces daily for more than a decade. I began for my eyes only, as I’m a speaker who writes, you see. Until I chose to heed the Spirit to share my writings and now it seems I’ve started a fire of sorts. Not too hot for pre-believers, yet challenging, I hope, for those who have ears to hear. Here’s a taste. I pray its…

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A CASE OF TOO MUCH CONCENTRATION

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I’m the kind of writer who tends to be totally absorbed in what I’m working on as if on a cloud of inattentiveness to anything else.  This can prove dangerous at times or outright funny. This was especially true when I lived alone in a small housing project while in Jacksonville, Florida. Since no harm was actually done, I laughed at the absurdity. I had just settled in to tackle long overdue writing projects when the phone rang. My neighbor had called to give me a heads up. “Got some bad news to tell you.” I didn’t want to hear…

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A Season with a Different Harvest

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I used to enjoy public speaking. I was thrilled when, during my senior year in high school, I was chosen to emcee our school Homecoming festivities. Although I must admit it wasn’t for a particularly good reason. According to Mrs. Monroe, who was my high school English teacher, my voice carried across the classroom. Even when I was trying not to be heard. Apparently, that made me a good choice for Homecoming emcee, because the sound system hadn’t yet been installed in our new high school gymnasium. Soon after that, I was emceeing at music festivals and churches across three…

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Finding a Balance That’s Just Right

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Goldilocks had the right idea: neither extreme worked for her—she chose the one that was just right.  The same is true of social and civic commitments. Too many commitments cause us anxiety and stress and result in poor performance in one or more areas of our lives. Often, that’s the area that affects our family. We might wish we could be a superwoman and do it all, but we can’t.  Something will suffer—our health or our family’s well-being, a relationship with a friend, or maybe even our position at work. Saying yes too frequently can lead to anger and resentment,…

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First Impressions

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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…

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