Introducing inspirational author, Paula Mowery

From the time I met Paula online, I’ve felt a kinship with her as a pastor’s wife and homeschool Mama. I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce my readers to her wonderful writing! Paula is a pastor’s wife and a former homeschool mom to a daughter who just started Liberty University Online. She works part-time as an assistant in a Pre-K and is a published author, speaker, and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Paula, I’m so happy to have you here today on my blog. Please tell my readers about your writing space! (I don’t know why I’m intrigued by people’s writing caves but I am!) Where do you write? My husband calls it my writing hole. I have a wonderful L-shaped desk in a back extra bedroom. It is somewhat like being in a hole since it is at the end of the house away from everyone and most distractions. On one side of the L is my laptop. On the other side is stacked notes and lists of my present projects for writing and editing. Sounds fantastic. What is your process? (Spreadsheets, Snowflake, Lists/Outlines, Seat of the pants?) I’m what you might call a combo writer, meaning that I’m not totally seat of the pants but also not a big outliner. I normally get an idea and scratch it out on a piece of paper, putting it into a file. As I have other ideas for that story, I will add notes to that file. I usually make a short list about what the story is about, who it is about, and where it is headed. When I’m ready to start writing, I skim my lists and notes and then take off. I’m categorized as old-school because I write out my stories first in spiral notebooks. The only things I can compose directly on the computer are articles and blogs. I just can’t write a novel that way. I use notebooks, too, but usually when I’m on the run. Tell us about your book, Be The Blessing. My novella, Be The Blessing, released on September 13th. The main character in this book is a pastor’s wife named Addy. She wants to follow what God would have her to do but struggles when God asks her to be a blessing to others even when she is suffering through trials of her own. Another title, Brave New Century, released November 14th. This is an anthology of four stories set in cities in the 1900’s. My story is called “Forgiven” and is particularly special to me because of a scene that I included that really happened to my paternal grandfather. Why will readers want to read these?...

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Hallelujah! We have poop!

Hey, when you live with autism, you get excited about some strange stuff. This week I’m jumping for joy about poop. I’m not saying that when Isaiah woke me up first thing Friday with — “Mom! I pooped in the hat!” that it’s my favorite way to wake up. But let me tell you, it was a long-awaited event. Isaiah has been sick since October. We haven’t been able to figure out what’s going on. He’s been losing weight and his stools are very loose. He gets tired easy. The next step in pinning down a diagnosis was to get a stool sample. Which he refused to give us. He’s eighteen. How do I force him to give me poop? He was terrified of pooping in “the hat.” I called the nurse and asked for an alternative method. Nothing doing. It had to go in the hat and I had to scoop it out and put it in four different vials. Weeks later there was still no poop. We had an intervention. We sat him down and explained to him that he MUST poop in the hat. His twin brother told him that he wanted him to go back to school with him (he is in home-bound education until we clear this up). I don’t know how, or why, but the next morning — HE DID IT! And I had the pleasure of, er, collecting it. So now we wait for news back. Hopefully it will reveal answers. Otherwise he has to have a endoscopy and if you know anything about autism, you know that it will be terrifying for him. Here are some pics of his Grandma helping him endure another scan. He’s had three. Each time they have to put in an IV. And he’s terrified of them. Tweet this: Hallelujah! We have poop! How do you help your child with disabilities endure an illness? How do you...

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Strong Girls are Happy Girls

Do you know what kind of girl is a pretty girl? A happy girl. Are scowly, bitter girls happy or pretty? I don’t think so. Strong girls are happy girls. And one sure way to keep from being happy is to be unforgiving and spiteful. I know it isn’t easy. Our nature without Jesus is to take revenge. To give back whatever hurt us is our first reaction. But a Strong Girl stops before she reacts. She counts to ten. Or she takes a few days to calm down before reacting. And then, maybe she doesn’t react at all. It’s good to remember this: you can’t reason with unreasonable people. If a person has a point of view that isn’t yours, and they aren’t willing to listen because they are angry, hurt or just plain stubborn, then your efforts to change their mind are a waste of time. God knows all about human nature, and He’s given us some very good advice on how to treat people who hurt us: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.The tongue of the wise utters knowledge rightly, but the mouth of the [self-confident] fool pours out folly” (Proverbs 15:1 & 2, AMP). Being spiteful just continues the cycle of hatefulness. As Strong Girls, we’re called to love and grace, not hate and revenge. And that means laying down our own feelings and obeying God. It’s hard at first, but once you do it, you’ll feel more freedom than you can imagine. When you continue to hate and feel bitterness and resentment toward the person who has done you wrong, you give them power to make your life miserable. Why let them have the power to keep you bitter? Bitterness just leads to ugliness. Strong Girls are beautiful. Check out what God has to say here: Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive] (Colossians 3:13, AMP). And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32, KJV). Do you know what helps me forgive someone when they’ve been mean to me? I remember the words of Jesus as He hung on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:24).” If Jesus can forgive those who crucified Christ in the midst of the excruciating pain on the cross, and have compassion for those who hurt Him, the least I can do for His sacrifice for me, is to imitate Him by being...

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Ally’s Angle: Fantasy Literature: Through the Facade

Today’s post is written by my intern, Allison O’Neil. Last week I wrote about the value of nerd-thinking: the genuine desire and love of learning, teaching, and research. This week I want to explore another nerd-related topic very near to my heart. Fantasy literature (and a lot of sci-fi) are my favorite kind of fiction. While I love a good novel, and do enjoy a well-written read from almost any genre, fantasy books allow a certain kind of involvement which is rare in other kinds of reading. There are many explorations of this topic available in countless formats, but I will here explain the specific value of fantasy literature as I see it. A key element of most fantasy is the presence of a mission or quest. The main character(s) may or may not be aware of the quest as they begin, but the quest functions to give these characters a purpose in life. They have something to accomplish: usually in an effort to stave off evil, preserve a virtuous element of their world, or perpetuate their peoples’ survival. These tropes of fantasy must be interpreted in the context of metaphor, otherwise we would only have adventure stories. They are certainly that, but our analysis must go deeper. We, as readers, necessarily identify with the characters as we read a book. As we become attached to characters we like, we experience their turmoil and joy through them. Any book we enjoy contains features we recognize, whether a character, a place, or a feeling. Not only do characters function to allow us to experience adventure in our armchairs, but the literature itself represents elements of society. This is the key boon of fantasy literature, in my opinion. While other forms of literature are hampered by the desire or need to mimic reality, fantasy and sci-fi largely abandon this aim. That is not to say the observations and criticisms of social structures or patterns aren’t real—quite the opposite. By eliminating the imitative components of other literature forms, fantasy becomes more universal. Through artifice we see what is real.   Tweet this: Who’s your favorite fantasy literature...

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Interview with Award-Winning Author, David S. Brody regarding his new release, Powdered Gold

I’m excited and honored to introduce you to David S. Brody and his latest release, Powdered Gold. I’ve written about Brody before, and I read three of his books over Christmas break while recovering from surgery. I’m happy to say Powdered Gold: Templars and the Ark of the Covenant kept me as entertained as his two former books in the series, Cabal of the Westford Knight and Thief on the Cross. From his website: “David S. Brody is a Boston Globe bestselling fiction writer. He served as a Director of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA) and is an expert on the subject of pre-Columbian exploration of America. A graduate of Tufts University and Georgetown Law School, he resides in Westford, Massachusetts with his wife, potter and novelist Kimberly Scott, and their two daughters. In his spare time he coaches youth sports and Special Olympics, skis, and plays on adult ice hockey and softball teams.” I exchanged several of emails with David while reading his books, explaining that I was fascinated with his study of the Templars in North America. I learned tons reading his books. He was very patient with my questions and that impressed me a lot. Description of Powdered Gold from Amazon’s site: Cameron Thorne and Amanda Spencer continue their investigation of ancient artifacts which reveal the true, secret history of North America. Cam and Amanda don’t for a second believe the Ark of the Covenant is hidden in a cave in the Arizona desert. But when a militant survivalist leads them to a radioactive replica of the Ark, filled with a mysterious white powder, they begin to wonder if legends of Templar Knights visiting the American Southwest on a secret mission might be true. What is this strange white powder? And is it the key to understanding the true power of both Moses and the sacred Ark of the Covenant? Now for the interview: [Disclaimer: David S. Brody writes for the secular market and his books may be offensive to some readers of the Christian or Jewish faith. The thing to remember is that these are works of fiction with fictional characters.] Your characters believe, in your words, that “ancient Jews” and “Christianized Jews” came to Arizona around 800 AD. Do you believe that as well? Why or why not? My characters find artifacts in Arizona which leads them to this conclusion.  On their face, this is the story the artifacts tell (they contain a narrative, written alternately in Hebrew and Latin, carved into them—the narrative uses various dates circa AD 800).  The artifacts have been analyzed by forensic geologist Scott Wolter, who believes they are authentic.  So it is certainly possible that some...

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