Category Archives: Guest Blogs

Time, Habits & Investing: Are We Undermining Ourselves?

Like most of the world, my life is filled with good and bad habits, which lead to good and bad situations.  Awesome things like writing a book or helping someone through a tough time are inevitably counterbalanced by things like a chaotic house or the pressure of not enough time. A recent blog post by social media guru Kristen Lamb really struck home with me, not just with writing, but with many of my daily frustrations.  Here’s an excerpt, with Kristen’s text in green: Are We Undermining Our Own Writing Success? I rarely reread books, namely because there are so many new titles I want to consume and only so many hours in the day. But, there are a handful of books I read and reread namely because they are areas I struggle in and so reinforcement is tremendously helpful. The three books I seem to cycle through the most are … Continue reading

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The Mirror World of Books

Books let us escape from current life woes.  They let us explore other worlds and other times. But did you ever think about the things we learn without realizing it, the things we can apply (consciously or not) in our own lives?   Mikey Brooks wrote a great post over at Emblazon about young readers and learning from the “Mirror World” of books, and he very kindly said I could share it with you: The Most Important Thing a Child Should Be Doing When a child reads a book they view it as a type of mirror world—as if by magic they become the main characters, living and breathing in that character’s mind. Gender holds no boundaries when it comes to this mirror world. Whether they are a boy or a girl, when they read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, they become Harry Potter. When they read The Lightning Thief, they are Percy Jackson. … Continue reading

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Newbie, Apprentice, or Master Writer?

I’m not a newbie writer anymore.  I don’t even cringe as I say the words that used to scare me:  “I’m a writer.”  Nope, that’s ME! But despite the people who tell me I’m a genius and are waiting breathlessly for my next book (yes, there are a few of them out there), I’m nowhere near a master.  I’m solidly in my apprenticeship, working and learning along the way. Kristen Lamb blogged about this yesterday and gave permission to share.  Here’s our Jedi Master on the three stages of a writing career: The mark of a pro is they make whatever we want to do look easy. From running a business to playing guitar to wicked cool Kung Fu moves, masters rarely seem to even break a sweat. Same with authors. With the pros? The story flows, pulls us in, and appears seamless and effortless. Many of us decided to … Continue reading

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The Redemption of Scrooge

I can never decide which version (and star) of A Christmas Carol is my favorite: George C Scott, Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney (mostly because of the song “Thank You Very Much,” although only disassociated with the fact that they’re thanking Scrooge for dying), or even, yes, The Muppets.  One of the things I like about the Muppets is that Gonzo narrates it with quotes directly from the book.  Anyway, I love them all and we watch at least one every year. But today I want to share a blog by author and social media guru Kristen Lamb, talking about the meaning of the story, not just the acting and directing.  Why does it speak to us so deeply?  And can you separate the message from its Christian context?  She ponders the power of names, the power of words, and more.  So without further ado . . . heeeeeere’s Kristen: Why … Continue reading

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Author Interview: Kassandra Lamb & the Story Behind the Story

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Story, with a capital S. Why do we authors feel compelled to tell stories? Why do others read our stories?  Why do we choose one story to tell over another? So I decided to interview a writer friend of mine who has just released the seventh book in her mystery series, and who also happens to be a retired psychologist, to see what her answers to these questions might be. So let me introduce you to Kassandra Lamb, author of the Kate Huntington mystery series. Hi, Kass, thanks for joining me today. Thanks for having me, Jen. We wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t have stories itching to come to life.  So why do you feel compelled to tell stories? *laughs* Have you ever seen one of those figurines of a Native American storyteller surrounded by children, some in her lap, some hanging … Continue reading

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