The first day of the writer’s conference, my daughters and I crowded onto the elevator with several other conferees making their way to the morning keynote session. Fifteen-year-old Holly and 17-year-old Leilani were the only teen attendees that year.

“I just love to see expiring new writers,” spoke up an elderly lady. She nodded and smiled at my daughters. Of course, she meant to say aspiring. Not expiring. I think.

Quick-witted Holly didn’t miss a beat. “You must mean my mom.”

During the process of writing 29 of my own books and many titles for clients in addition to countless articles, some of the funniest moments revolve around what I meant to say compared to what I wrote. When those two elements align, writer and reader communicate. More like writer, editor, and reader communicate. Then there are the occasions when what I intended to write is different from the words on the manuscript.

“The plane began its decent” is more accurate as “The plane its descent.” Sigh.

“Her eyes rolled around the room” was supposed to be “She glanced around the room.”

“His face flew down the stairs” is better described as “I watched him come quickly downstairs.”

“The fallen woman lay at the bottom of the trail” or “The woman fell at trail’s end.” There is a world of difference between a fallen woman and a woman that fell.

Leilani went on to become a full-time writer and Holly’s writing skills keep communication clear and flowing in her career. And, okay, while half of my kids are writers, the others are allergic to reading and writing. But we all enjoy a good misplaced word or clever turn of a phrase. Leilani and Holly still occasionally refer to me as the expired writer.

 

PeggySue Wells

PeggySue Wells

History buff and tropical island votary, PeggySue Wells parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken (but not passed) pilot training. Writing from the 100-Acre wood in Indiana, PeggySue is the bestselling author of 29 books, translated into eight languages, including The What To Do series, The Slave Across the Street, Slavery in the Land of the Free, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, Homeless for the Holidays, Chasing Sunrise, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Radio talk show host, author, and speaker, she interviews industry experts, entrepreneurs, and exceptional voices to help people live better, together. Connect with PeggySue on Facebook, Linked In, and at  www.PeggySueWells.com

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I’m fascinated with names. Maybe all of us writers are.

I like creative names and creative spellings. I’m intrigued with old-fashioned names that come back in style, and I like unique names I’ve never heard of.

I’ve chuckled at names, like one of my college friends, whose first name was “Holly” and she married a gentleman with the surname “Wood.” She said she had trouble cashing checks with the signature “Holly Wood,” so she eventually stuck her maiden-name initial between the two words.

My brother had a friend named William Williams, but at least he went by the name “Bill.”

A convenience store in my hometown was owned by Billy Joe Deal who married a woman named Billie Jo.

When I became pregnant with our first child, David and I decided we liked the name “Jeremy.” I told my husband I thought it would be fun to give him a “J” name for me and a “D” name for him, so child number one became “Jeremy David.”

We stuck with the plan for child number two, and she became “Jenifer DeeAnn.” Yes, only one “n,” because my husband likes creative spellings, too.

Child number three answers to the name “Jeb Daniel.”

And then when God said there would be four, my husband and I pondered briefly abandoning our nomenclature method for fear of giggles from our new west coast friends.

Julie, we’re not in Georgia anymore,” fretted my Navy officer husband, who was serving a billet in California.

“Well, everyone out here thinks we’re tacky rednecks, so let’s do it anyway,” I joked. And our dear, California friends welcomed “Jessica Danae” to the mix, shortened to “Jessi” on occasion.

What my husband and I hadn’t thought about was that all of our kids would have the exact same initials, so their water bottles or snacks or other belongings were often labeled J1, J2, J3, and J4. We feared they’d grow up to tell a therapist: “We were just a number in my house.”

My favorite thoughts about a given name, however, come from Acts 4:12 (ESV) and says, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

I am so thankful for that Name.

Lavender FieldOh, and I did forget to mention – my parents named me Julie Anita Bland when I was born. So, when I married, my name changed from Julie Bland to Julie Lavender. My husband loves it when I say, “I went from dull to colorful when I got married.”

 

365 Ways to Love

BIO: Julie’s favorite color as a child was purple, so she loved adding “Lavender” to her name when she married. Julie Lavender’s newest book, 365Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories (Revell), releases this month. It’s on sale right now, 40% discount, at Baker Book House with no shipping cost and is also offered as a giveaway at Goodreads.com.

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A book review of Hello, Beautiful

“Reading Hello, Beautiful!: Finally Love Yourself The Way You Are, is like taking a breath of fresh air in a world that imposes ever increasing, unobtainable standards of beauty. Veteran author, Jeanette Levellie and her co-author, take a tag team approach with their starkly, personal true stories, that astutely correspond with lessons in inner beauty. Their writing voices complement each other seamlessly, like a musical duet, but each stands out in their own way, so even though the stories are not consecutive,  you get an intuitive feel for which author you are reading.

This book has all the bells and whistles including candid stories, famous quotations, Bible verses, places to journal your own responses to prompts and even COLORING PAGES! It doesn’t skimp on content either with forty chapters plus a bonus section.
Hello, Beautiful imprints on the reader how to love themselves and see themselves the way God does. It teaches beauty backwards, opposite of the world, from the inside out. Inner beauty may seem like a cliche but interestingly, as confidence grows, it shows. This. Actually. Works. The best way I can describe this experience is, internalizing the messages of the love, grace and forgiveness that is every woman’s birthright, is like sunshine for the soul. More precisely, this book does for people what sunshine does for stained glass windows.” –Jessica Reed, Guideposts author
“As an advocate for women who have experience with domestic abuse, I find this book fits a need many victims and survivors face. We doubt ourselves, question our worth, give more love and grace to our friends than to our own selves. This devotional journal is sweet and warm guidance for those who want to spend a little time reassessing self-esteem, opening to self-love, and believing in the power of God’s affection.” –Janna Leadbetter, advocate for abused women
“This delightful book skillfully reminds us that while true beauty radiates from a woman’s inner spirit, most of us have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, failure, and condemnation that cloud our radiance. Using poignant humor, personal stories, powerful Scriptures, and practical tips, the authors highlight eternal truths that can set women free from emotional bondage. Don’t miss this enjoyable read and its uplifting takeaway value.” –Diana Savage, author, editor, speaker
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Do not shampoo in the shower. Stop that habit right now!

 

I just noticed what it states on my shampoo bottle: Adds Volume and Fullness.

With all those suds cascading down as we rinse our heads,

no wonder Americans can’t lose weight!

 

 

Julie Cosgrove

Romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, digital ministry

www.juliebcosgrove.com

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One day, my friend, Kim, was teaching her toddler about the American flag. She pointed to the stars on the flag, and told the little girl that each star was for one of the 50 states in our nation—like Arizona, Texas,California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and so on, until she listed all of the states.

When Kim finished, her little girl looked up and with wide-eyed innocence said, “Which star is for Baby Jesus?”

Thank  you, Jackie M. Johnson, for sending us this and sharing it with us!


Jackie M. Johnson is an author and blogger. Her books include Power Prayers for Women, the breakup recovery resource When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty and Praying with Power When Life Gets Tough. Jackie also blogs for singles at Living Single on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk website.

 www.jackiejohnsoncreative.com

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