Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm spending time with my family as my husband has some time off work and my kids have some time off school. I will be back January 2nd to start a new year with you!

I'd like to wish all my regular blog readers (and those who drop by) a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for spending time with me each day via this blog. You bless me with each visit.

Remember that starting January 2nd I am going to be beginning a study of Write It Down, Make It Happen by Harriette Klausner. You can buy it from most any online or retail store and I was even able to find some used copies available. We will be going through a chapter a week. I hope that many of you will leave a comment at this post and let me know you're going to be participating.

I'm excited to come alongside you guys in 2012 as we write down our goals together-- then support each other in making them happen! Until then, eat, drink and be merry... and so, so thankful.
Pin It!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bonus: Review of War Horse

I got a chance to see War Horse a few weeks ago, but I promised I wouldn't talk about it until today. I wanted to share my thoughts with those of you who may be considering going to see it.

1. The movie is beautiful-- exactly what you would expect from Spielberg.

2. The horse is the star. If you love horses, you'll probably love this movie.

3. The movie is extremely graphic. Spielberg doesn't gloss over the horrors of the battlefield. But there are beautiful moments exemplifying the human spirit even in the face of darkness interspersed throughout-- enough to keep the viewer engaged with the story. As I said to my husband after the movie, "I was surprised there was no love story." He responded, "Well there was a love story-- it was between the boy and his horse."

4. After seeing it, I know why it garnered a PG-13 rating. I will not be taking my children younger than that age to see it. As I said, the horrors of war are presented unflinchingly. Some of the images and themes I feel are a bit much for a young child's emotional state. I'd recommend if you have a teen who loves history, war, battles, and/or horses, send them. There's no sex and hardly any bad language. But there is violence-- not gratuitous, just enough to make the aspects of war very real. If you and your spouse like historical movies, go. As my husband said, it's a good date night movie.

5. Because it's a historical movie, it can be a bit slow. I felt like the dialogue and even the pace of the movie was accurate for the time period the movie takes place in, if that makes sense. Life moved at a slower pace, things were simpler. To truly appreciate the film, I think you need to get in the spirit of that time period and not expect a blockbuster, blow-em-up movie like you see today. It definitely has that epic feel to it. And I can see why there's already Oscar buzz surrounding it.

Below is a summary of the movie. I hope my review helped some of you out there in your decision about whether to see it-- and whether to take your kids.

DreamWorks Pictures’ “War Horse,” director Steven Spielberg’s epic adventure, is a tale of loyalty, hope and tenacity set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.

The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse—an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. “War Horse” is one of the great stories of friendship and war— a successful book, it was turned into a hugely successful international theatrical hit that is currently on Broadway. It now comes to screen in an epic adaptation by one of the great directors in film history.

And if you'd like to see an interview with Spielberg talking about the movie, you can go here: (It's quite the interesting interview.)
Pin It!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fiction Friday: A Writer's Review

This is my last post for December. I am going to take some time to enjoy my family since my husband has time off work and my kids have time off school. I'll be back in the new year to share some new stuff! (And I might be in and out with the occasional missive between now and then.)

And now... on to today's Fiction Friday post!

This post really inspired me. So I thought I'd share it with those of you who would also like to use these last few days of this year to summarize and dissect their writing year. I am posting the questions she asks herself below. Pull out your journal and take some time to conduct your review, then set some new goals as we turn the page on another year. (Can you believe it?!)

What have you written this year?

How have you pushed yourself as a writer? What risks have you taken?

What have you done in terms of professional development this year?

How have you networked with other writers and other industry professionals?

How have you supported other writers? When did you ask for support?

What have you done to prevent burnout? How have you celebrated your accomplishements?

What have you done to nurture your creativity?

How did you promote your work?

What did you do to build your online presence this year?

Did you make any tough choices or do anything truly scary to further your career this year?

If you wrote for free, was that writing supporting another part of your career?

Where did you go to support your career? Conferences, retreats?

What is your biggest accomplishment of the year?

Where did you fall short of your expectations this year?

How much money did you earn? Is that up or down from the year before? How much would you like to earn next year?

What are your goals for your writing career for the coming year?

What’s one thing you can do today towards accomplishing one of those goals?
Pin It!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Thought: Be So Good They Can't Ignore You

I love Steve Martin. When I say I loved his memoir Born Standing Up, I am not gushing randomly... I truly loved it. It's one of those books that still makes me smile when I run across it. It was a reading experience. Bonus: I listened to it on audio, and he read it, so it was even better hearing it from him.

So I was delighted to run across this post referring to the book, dissecting one of the points Steve (I call him Steve) made ("Be so good they can't ignore you"), and showing all of us how we can apply this principle in our lives. I thought I'd direct you to the post in case you'd like to read it.

This got me thinking further about what it means to be the best in your field-- whatever your field may be. And it solidified something I've been thinking about doing in the month of December. (And maybe January depending on how December goes.)

I've taken this month to devote intentional time to getting better at writing. That means actually reading the books I've bought on writing. It means taking an online class I've signed up for on food writing, as I've got an idea that would involve history and food and I need help to make that idea a reality. It means evaluating where I'm at in my writing and setting some goals for where I want to go. I'm at a good point to do that as I've just turned in the edits on my next novel and don't have to start the next one right this minute. (Though you can bet I'm still jotting down notes and allowing the elements of this story to emerge. This is my favorite part of writing a novel so I'm savoring it.)

As the year wraps up and another one begins, it's a perfect opportunity to set aside intentional time to get better at what you're doing, whatever that may be. If it's being a homemaker, maybe it's time that you'll read some books on cleaning, organizing, cooking, etc. If it's being a mom, maybe it's time to read that parenting book you bought but never got around to reading, or time to plan crafts or purchase board games or whatever it is that's been nagging at you to do with your kids. If it's being a better steward with your money, maybe it means finally creating that budget, learning to use coupons to save money, finding websites that teach you how to save/shop/menu plan. If it's being a better follower of Christ, maybe it's time to finally create that prayer journal, read that spiritual growth book, ask that person to hold you accountable, etc. Whatever you do, the point is to set aside the distractions that keep you from making the effort to become better.

I liked what Michael Hyatt had to say about this idea in this post.
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Psalms For Moms

Psalm 101:8
"Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land..."

Every morning. (Before I start my day-- before I let all the voices start talking inside and outside of my head)

I will. (I have to make the effort.)

Put to silence. (Stop the noise.)

All the wicked. (Now this might be a stretch because when you think "wicked" you might think evil or bad or... whatever connotation that word means to you. But bear with me. There's some wicked stuff going on inside our heads. Stuff we tell ourselves. Words we replay in our heads that other people have said to us. Bad things that have happened to us or people we love.)

In the land. (Within my sphere of influence, my community, my workplace, my home. Everybody's land looks different.)

King David may have meant something different when he wrote this verse. He may have meant that he was going to arrest or kill the wicked in Israel. But I think this verse can still apply to those of us who are not kings. Every morning we can put to silence all the wicked in the land-- we can make the effort to seek truth and to live by it, to silence all the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies we've been told by others. It takes effort. It takes intention. It takes awareness. It takes faith. It takes creating silence, and then letting God fill that silence with His voice.
Pin It!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two For Tuesday: 2 Goodies To Make!

One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is make a variety of treats, package them, and take them to neighbors and friends. It's a nice, reasonably inexpensive way to say "I'm thinking of you at Christmas."

This year I am planning to make these:

No Bake Oreo Truffles (I did make these for a cookie exchange-- they're pictured above-- I added my own twist by sprinkling them with peppermint chips! Pretty!)

Pecan Pie Bars

Perhaps you'd like to, too!
Pin It!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Making Christmas Sweeter

I've got Christmas goodies on the brain this week-- will be sharing two links tomorrow for easy goodies you can make. This week I am hoping to get into Christmas baking after clearing off my to-do list enough to do so. I want to make some old faves and new ones, too. On the list will be peanut butter bars and M&M cookies and peppermint bark. And I think I might have to make the Vanilla Peppermint cake pictured above, inspired by Southern Lady magazine. The peppermint glaze recipe is listed below but I am going to do a different, easier vanilla cake, probably from the pages of my Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.

But seriously, isn't that so pretty? I think pulling this out for dessert after dinner one night would make Christmastime even sweeter. Does anyone else just love this time of year??

Here's the glaze:

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and peppermint extract until smooth. Use immediately.

PS. I made the cake last night-- I made chocolate chocolate chip cake and topped it with the peppermint glaze and crushed peppermint chips. I served it with a scoop of Edy's Peppermint ice cream on the side. I ate my slice while watching one of my favorite Christmas movies-- ahhh.
Pin It!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Fiction Friday: Pick Yourself! A Guest Post

A few Fridays ago, we heard from Mary DeMuth about dreams that might look dead but are just nesting. Well this Friday, she's back with more wisdom! This time the wisdom she's sharing is about no longer being a wallflower at a junior high dance. Who among us has good, positive memories of junior high dances? Anyone? Anyone? I do not. Ok, except for the music which was uh-mazing. But we're not here to talk about my love of 80's music.

I remember reading a blog post by Seth Godin that talked about picking yourself instead of waiting to be picked. He was referring to the world of ebooks and self publishing. As I read Mary's post, I thought of how both of them are essentially saying the same thing. Maybe your answer is not ebooks or self publishing. Maybe your answer is to get off the wall and join the dance at all-- write that first scene, tell that trusted friend that you're going to finally write that novel and ask him or her to hold you accountable. The point isn't what your next step is-- because that looks different for everyone. The point is to simply join the dance. Read on...

I remember the buzz in my stomach, that insistence that everything inside of me screamed nerves. I entered the cafeteria feeling the weight of my loneliness. I scanned the streamered room, searching for a friendly face, hoping I'd spy a friend. I did.

We stood together, alone with our thoughts, as the music blared from a DJ. We talked in nervous jitters. I scanned the room, wondering. Would I be asked to dance?

The answer would come two awkward hours later.


I don't know about you, but I think hell is like junior high dances for wallflowers. Isolating. Humiliating. Awkward.

Problem is, I've carried the experience with me into adulthood. How often I feel like I'm lining the wall of life, waiting for someone or some opportunity to find me, grab my hand, and pull me out into life's limelight.

It's only been recently that I realized that life is not meant to be a junior high dance. We aren't suppose to live sidelined, afraid, insecure. We are encouraged to live uncaged, to soar, to engage in life. To do so means risk.

In high school, I abandoned the silly rules of dances. I took a risk. Instead of waiting, my friends and I chose to venture to the middle of the dance floor and dance like crazy people. The contrast between the junior high dance and the high school dance is the contrast to the life God's wants us to live today. To be unafraid. To be innovative and spunky and fun and alive. To grab the hands of our friends, shun the so-called rules, and engage in life to the fullest.

That's what I want for me.

That's what I want for you.

I want you to dance.

You can find more of Mary's wisdom at
Pin It!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Thursday Thought: Jumping Fences

"I don't understand why Maverick does that," my 11yo daughter exclaimed as we watched our dog jump our fence and run into the neighbor's yard. "He's got the best yard of any yard around here, yet he always goes to the other yards. Why can't he just be happy where he is?"

A spiritual lesson if I've ever heard one.

That day in the kitchen, on the heels of her question, so many images came to my mind:

The person who has it all yet strays into another relationship.

The person who has a beautiful home yet longs for another one.

The person who has enough yet goes into debt to get more.

The person who has accomplished so much but still wants more.

The person who has the ability to walk and good health, but is still dissatisfied with their body.



We have the most beautiful yard but we fight this urge to jump into the other ones. Maybe we don't leap over the fence. We might just stand safely behind it and just stare longingly, telling ourselves that's ok. We want and we want and we want. And we forget to notice where we are. The beautiful children. The husband or wife we chose. The job that pays. The roof over our heads. So much beauty around us and we look right past it.

This is a season of want. A season of shopping trips and wish lists. A season of looking into other yards. And in the midst of that season I think it's important to remember-- as hard as it may be in your situation-- that we are where we are for a purpose, by God's design (the One who makes me who I am-- see below). God put you in your yard, beautiful as it is. The best yard around for you. The trick is to stay inside our fence and look towards making our little corner of the world as beautiful and blessed as possible for as long as we're there. To follow Paul's words below...

"I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Phillipians 4: 11-13 (MSG)
Pin It!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Psalms For Moms

"I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts." Psalm 101:2b (MSG)

This verse jumped out at me when I read it in the Message version. (FYI: the NIV version is "I will walk in my house with blameless heart." I always like to hold up the NIV against the Message, as sometimes the two can be quite different. But in this case, it's close enough. And I love the way the Message communicates this truth.)

For the last several weeks I've had to be out of my house a lot as the deadline for my next book edits approached. And this absence only proved something I already knew. My home-- my family-- needs me. Not a sitter. Not the older kids holding down the fort. Not even the daddy of the family handling things. My family needs ME. (Curt does a great job when I have to be gone but he'd be the first to tell you he can't-- and wouldn't want to-- do my job.)

As today's Psalm says, what I do at home counts. It counts when I sit and listen to my kids' stories about their day. It counts when I make a meal that we can all sit down to. It counts when I remember to buy their favorite cereal or cookie or brand of chips. It counts when I make sure there's toilet paper. It counts when I fold the laundry (though I do make them put it away). It counts when I fill out the forms for school and check up on the projects that are due. It counts when I take them to the library. It counts when I show up at their school events. It counts when I stop and put a bandaid on a booboo. It counts when I am... there.

Sure writing books is fun. Going to author events is fun. I'm living my childhood dream and I am so blessed to be able to do so. But one thing I can't forget in living that out is that I had another childhood dream... and that was to be married, to have children, to create a home. I can't give up on one dream in the name of pursuing another. And to be sure, if I had to lay down one in the name of the other, I would choose home every time. Because while living the writing dream is great-- it can't touch living the wife/mom one.

Maybe today you're feeling like all the little things you do go unnoticed. Like what you do within the walls of your home don't count. But they do. They're essential. They're valuable. You-- the mom-- are valuable. You do things no one else can do. It's no one thing you do. It's everything you do.

Do the very best you can, at home, where it counts. Because oh boy, does it count.
Pin It!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Two For Tuesday: Hot Drinks For The Holidays!

I plan to serve these the first chance I get! (Recipes are linked to the original sites I saw them on in case you want to bookmark them for yourself!)

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

½ gallon apple cider (64 ounces or 8 cups)
½ cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed or good quality
1 orange
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (fresh ones)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup caramel sauce (or more to your own taste)

Optional: caramel-flavored syrup and sweetened whipped cream (or substitute maple syrup for caramel)

Pour 8 cups of apple cider into a large stock pot on the stove pot. Set heat to medium-high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks and allspice. Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke a little hole first, then insert the cloves. (If you are doubling the recipe, you can still just use one orange. Just double the number of cloves you poke into it.)

Gently drop the whole orange into the pot.

Bring cider to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes or longer if you wish. If you’re keeping the pot on the stove for an extended period, keep an eye on the orange. If at any time it splits open, remove it from the pot. If the white pith is exposed it will add a bitter taste to your cider. If you’re going to have the pot warming for hours on end, take out the orange. After you’ve simmered for an hour, add caramel sauce and stir to combine and dissolve. Add more caramel to taste if needed.

When ready to serve, ladle into mugs, top with whipped cream, and give it a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Peppermint-Mocha Coffee

6 cups freshly brewed MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee
4 squares (1 oz. each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1-1/2 cups hot milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
8 peppermint sticks

POUR coffee into large saucepan. Add chocolate; cook on low heat 5 min. or until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.

ADD milk and extract; stir until well blended. Garnish each serving with a peppermint stick.
Pin It!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Easy Holiday Dessert Idea

We had a crazy weekend that involved a lot of running around. And in the middle of that, I had to pull together my husband's birthday celebration. So I thought I'd share what I made for dessert, in case anyone else out there needs a quick and easy and delicious solution for a Christmas party.

Buy an Oreo Crust.

Spoon softened peppermint ice cream into it.


Serve with hot fudge to pour over each serving.

Sprinkle with peppermint chips or crushed candy canes if you're feeling really adventurous.

Voila! A pretty and festive dessert with NO BAKING INVOLVED.
Pin It!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Saturday Bonus: The Muppets

I blogged about seeing the new Muppets movie and enjoying it-- perhaps some of you have now seen it. For those of you who have, I thought you might enjoy reading these fun facts about the movie. Share them with your kids!


LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN -- Disney’s “The Muppets” is the 7th feature film featuring the Muppets.

MANY MUPPETS -- More than 120 Muppets appear in the film.

STEPPIN’ OUT – The film tapped 60 dancers to perform with Jason Segel and Amy Adams for the “Everything’s Great” opening musical performance.
• Hollywood Blvd. was shut down for two evenings to record the finale dance scene of the reprise of “Everything’s Great,” featuring 100 dancers.

PRETTY PIG -- A total of 12 different costumes were made for Miss Piggy—more costume changes than any other actor in the film.

SO BIG -- The largest Muppet, Thog, stands over 9.5 feet tall and is 4 feet wide.

TOP TEACHER – Amy Adam’s character Mary is a teacher with 16 students. Thus, no less than 16 perfect apples sit on the edge of the stellar teacher’s desk.

AT THE HELM -- Director James Bobin makes his film directorial debut. Bobin co-created HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” which he wrote, directed and executive produced.

CUE THE MUSIC -- Bret McKenzie of “Flight of the Conchords” wrote and produced three original songs and served as music supervisor for the film.
• McKenzie fills some big shoes: “The Muppet Movie” was nominated for two Oscars®: Best Music, Original Song (“Rainbow Connection”) and Best Music, Original Sound Score.

ALL IN THE FAMILY -- Choreographer Michael Rooney is the son of Mickey Rooney, who appears in the film in a cameo role. This is the first time the two have ever worked together on a film.

MINI ME -- Muppet versions of Gary/Jason Segel and director James Bobin were created.

HIGH FASHION -- Miss Piggy had shoes made for her by Christian Louboutin and a dress by Zac Posen, which she wears in the finale scene.

FANCY DUDS -- Kermit had a suit made for him by Brooks Brothers for the scene where he walks through the streets of Paris with Miss Piggy.

TIME WILL TELL -- Walter wears a Kermit watch in the film.

TICKLING THE IVORIES -- Rowlf’s original piano is back—incorporated into the Muppet Show orchestra.

STRUMMING THE SAME STRINGS -- Kermit uses the banjo from 1979’s “The Muppet Movie” during the “Rainbow Connection” performance in Disney’s “The Muppets.”
• The staging of the scene features Kermit on a replica of the log where he was first found strumming his banjo in the very first Muppet movie. Miss Piggy shows up in a rowboat very much like the one the late Dom DeLuise used when he joined Kermit in their sweet duet.

SEEING GREEN – Disney’s “The Muppets” was a green set (in more ways than one) with an environmental steward who made sure the proper recycling receptacles were utilized on set. All of paper products were made from recycled materials and were compostable. The production also provided each crew member with aluminum refillable water bottles to cut down on the use of plastic bottles and paper cups. Water was readily available on set for cast and crew to fill their personal water bottles.

NICE PAD -- Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

OUI, OUI -- Miss Piggy’s Vogue Paris office was filmed at the Pink Palace mansion in Bel Air.

GO BIG -- Tex Richman's 51st Floor office was shot in the old ARCO headquarters on Figueroa Street in downtown LA.

MAKING MUPPET STUDIOS -- The Muppet Theater, built on Stage 28 on the Universal Studios Lot, incorporated parts of the old “Phantom of the Opera” set into its audience section.
• The Jim Henson Company gate was turned into the Muppet Studios entrance. A sign showcased a series of tour attractions, along with their sad fates:
 Fozzie's Joke Room: Closed
 Gonzo's Cannonade: Closed for Repair
 Rowlf's Music Parlor: Under Renovation
 Dr. Honeydew's Laboratory of Fun: Out of Order

TRICKY TOUR -- Walter's tour through Muppet Studios actually went through The Jim Henson Company on La Brea, Crossroads of the World on Sunset Blvd., the outside of Stage 3 on the Disney Lot in Burbank, two soundstage sets on the Universal Lot (Kermit's Office and the Muppet Theater interior).

SIGNATURE ARCHES -- A set design replicating the arches from the opening title sequence of “The Muppet Show” was recreated and used in the Muppet telethon.

RIBET – Kermit the Frog first appeared on “Afternoon, Footlight Theater” and “Sam and Friends” in 1955.
• A balloon of Kermit appears annually in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
• Kermit has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• Kermit celebrated his 50th Anniversary in Kermit, Texas, in 2005 and received a key to the city.

PROMINENT PIG – Miss Piggy first appeared in the chorus on “The Herb Alpert Special” in 1974.
• She appeared as 1st Sow in the “Return to the Planet of The Pigs” bit on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975 (which was, in effect, the pilot for “The Muppet Show”).
• She was also a chorus pig in the first season of “The Muppet Show.” Her break-out performance was in a number called “Temptation” on the Juliet Prowse episode.
• The confident character was called Miss Piggy for the first time on “The Muppet Show” in 1976.

MAKING HIS DEBUT -- Walter was a character conceptualized by Jason Segel specifically for Disney’s “The Muppets.”

THE GREAT – Gonzo first appeared in “The Great Santa Claus Switch” as the Cigar Box Frackle in 1970.
• He appeared on “The Herb Alpert Special” in 1974.
• Gonzo as he’s now known debuted on “The Muppet Show” in 1976.

WOCKA WOCKA – Fozzie first appeared on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

TOP DAWG – Rowlf first appeared on for a Purina Dog Chow commercial in 1962.
• He began appearances on “The Jimmy Dean Show” in 1963.

HECKLERS -- Statler & Waldorf first heckled on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

STAR-SPANGLED -- Sam the Eagle first was offended and appalled by the Muppets on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

PRE-HEATED -- The Swedish Chef kicked off his cooking career on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

RAT-A-TAT -- Rizzo the Rat originally appeared as an uncredited vermin in “The Muppets Musicians of Bremen” in 1972.
• He was revamped by Steve Whitmire for “The Muppet Show” sometime between 1978 and 1980, and credited as Rizzo the Rat for the first time in 1981’s “The Great Muppet Caper.”

IT’S ELECTRIC -- The Electric Mayhem, including Dr. Teeth, Animal, Janice, Floyd and Zoot, launched their legendary career on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds. To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With secret, signature, celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets” hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.
Pin It!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fiction Friday: Two Writing Books To Add To Your Collection

I am very excited to recommend two new writing books!

The first one is a book that you can read a little bit every day. If you've heard of (or done) NaNoWriMo this book is the guidebook for how to make writing a novel in a month actually happen. It's not just "You can do it!" it's "Here's how to do it!"

Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book In 26 Days (And Live To Tell About It) by Rachelle Melander

Find the focus, energy, and drive you need to start--and finish--your book

According to a recent survey, 81 percent of Americans want to write a book. But finding free time to write can be difficult for Americans. According to Gallup's annual lifestyle poll, 60% of working Americans say that do not have time to do what they want to do.

So many would-be authors start writing only to stall out due to writer's block, mental fatigue, and other challenges. Write-A-Thon helps you overcome those stumbling blocks and complete your book once and for all. And you don't have to type away for years on end. Here's a plan that will help you write your book--in twenty-six days!

Write-A-Thon gives you the tools, advice, and inspiration you need to succeed before, during, and after your writing race. Solid instruction, positive psychology, and inspiration from marathon runners will give you the momentum to take each step from here to the finish line.

*Start out well prepared: Learn how to train your attitude, your writing, and your life -- and plan your novel or nonfiction book.
*Maintain your pace: Get advice and inspiration to stay motivated and keep writing.
*Bask in your accomplishment: Find the best ways to recover and move forward once the marathon is over and you have a completed manuscript in hand.

Writing a book in twenty-six days may seem impossible--especially if you don't write full time--but in Write-A-Thon, Rochelle Melander will teach you the life skills, performance techniques, and writing tools you need to finish your manuscript in less than a month--guaranteed!


This next book is from a writer I've been following on YouTube for awhile. So when I found out she was creating a "how-to" book on plotting, I knew I had to get my hands on it. If you want to learn to plot, this resource is a wonderful overview with details any writer can benefit from. Here's what it's about:

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Storytelling Any Writer Can Master by Martha Alderson

When it comes to writing bestsellers, it's all about the plot. Trouble is, plot is where most writers fall down--but you don't have to be one of them. With this book, you'll learn how to create stories that build suspense, reveal character, and engage readers--one scene at a time.
Celebrated writing teacher and author Martha Alderson has devised a plotting system that's as innovative as it is easy to implement. With her foolproof blueprint, you'll learn to devise a successful storyline for any genre. She shows how to:

Use the power of the Universal Story
Create plot lines and subplots that work together
Effectively use a scene tracker for maximum impact
Insert energetic markers at the right points in your story
Show character transformation at the book's climax
This is the ultimate guide for you to write page-turners that sell!
Pin It!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Book Review: The Names Of God Bible And Giveaway!

This Bible is perfect for that a good friend who loves to study the Bible or a special woman who has influenced you in your own walk. This hardback edition is FILLED with resources to keep her digging into the Word all through 2012! Maybe you could get one for yourself and one for a friend and give it to her with a giftcard to Starbucks and a promise to meet regularly to talk over what you're learning. That's a gift that truly keeps on giving!

Since this Bible is truly filled with information, I decided to go ahead and post the write-up that the publisher did-- because otherwise I wouldn't do it justice. This new resource is one to check out for someone else... or put it on your wish list for yourself! :)

One of the best ways to get to know God on a deeper level is to know the names and titles both he and his people give to him. Now the bestselling author of Praying the Names of God reveals the richness of God's character and love found in his names. The Names of God Bible restores more than 10,000 occurrences of specific names of God--like Yahweh, El Shadday, El Elyon, and Adonay--to help readers

Discover the Hebrew names of God within the biblical text
Understand the meaning and significance of each name
Encounter God in a new way through prayers, promises, and devotional readings

Perfect for personal study, prayer, and reflection, The Names of God Bible includes these special features

more than 10,000 names and titles of God restored to their Hebrew equivalent and printed in brown ink to stand out within the biblical text
Names of God Reading Paths lead readers to the next reference of the name so they can pray the names of God throughout Scripture
Name Pages feature
- background information associated with 68 names and titles of God
- key Scripture passages in which the meaning is revealed
- devotional readings on each of the featured names
- specific Bible promises connected to each of the featured names
introductions to each book of the Bible highlight the main themes and list the names and titles that appear in that book
300 callouts highlight key Scripture for memorization and reflection
Calling God by Name sidebars shed light on the relationship between biblical people and the specific names they called God
topical prayer guide, pronunciation guide, name index, and Bible reading plans to assist in study

Anyone who desires a deeper understanding of God and new insights into the Bible will cherish The Names of God Bible as it opens a door into the Hebrew roots of the faith and the Scriptures.

But wait, there's more! I am giving away one copy of this Bible! Please leave a comment and make sure I can reach you if you win. I will announce the winner on this post next Monday!

Pin It!