The Art of Interruptions

Okay, this is hilarious. I had this post completely written and guess what? It disappeared. Then I wrote it again. And added pictures. And the pictures disappeared. Then when I added the pictures again and checked on it–saved it, published it, the original post showed up without pictures. (I was working in Blogger for a cross-post to Hoosier Ink. I gave up and decided to post it here in WordPress.) I find this extremely ironic since I’m writing about interruptions. And I don’t believe in coincidences. Sometimes life gets so crazy and bizarre you just have to laugh. Just like God does when we make plans. I picture Him sitting beside me, jabbing me in the ribs with a loud “Got ya!” He probably isn’t, but that’s how I picture Him when things like this happen. (I mean no disrespect to God. He knows how much I admire His sense of humor.) You’d think after having kids with autism and a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s living with us, I’d be the Queen of Handling Interruptions. But I’m not. I have a hunch that God must be determined to make me an expert. Either that, or he enjoys a good laugh. You know the Yiddish saying, right? “We make plans and God laughs.” He is hee-hawing all over the universe with the way my summer has gone. You see, I’m a planner. I love to plan. I have several planners — one for home/church, one for my writing and one for my college classes. I begin student teaching in August, and I’ll have a teaching planner, too.  I also use Google Calendar to remind me of appointments and deadlines. I love to plan. I buy all sorts of stickers and tapes and tabs for my planner. Planning is my hobby. And oh yeah, I haven’t even begun to tell you all about how I plan on Kanbanflow! I have 11 (!) planning boards there. Now, admittedly, many of them are for books and projects. But a lot of them aren’t. Here’s how my summer has gone so far. Keep in mind, this is the summer when I was going to knock out those 11 Kanbanflow lists and cure world hunger: My dishwasher broke the same month of the twins’ graduation open house (mid-May) The twins’ caregiver quit in May. We still don’t have a new caregiver and they require 24-7 supervision Ordered new dishwasher New dishwasher arrived and quit working after one week Part for new dishwasher will not be here until August 12 Air conditioner is not acting right. And it’s only the hottest summer ever. June 25 my computer crashes. Kaput. Zero. Zilch. Will cost too much of a...

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Rocky Mountain Prophecy Conference Recap

I was blessed to have the privilege of attending the Rocky Mountain International Prophecy Conference July 15-17. And just as expected, I was blown away by all I learned. In fact, I actually ordered the DVDs to the entire conference before I left because my brain can only contain so much information at one time. And when I learn something, I like to learn it well enough to be able to teach it. I want to be able to explain things to other people and be ready in season and out. Besides learning, I had the best time meeting people I admire and have admired for a very long time. My excuse for spending so much money to go was that I was doing research for some book concepts I’m working on. This is true, of course. But I really just wanted to meet these fascinating people and experience their ministries in person. And when God made a way for me to talk to Gary Stearman, founder of Prophecy Watchers, I almost did a jig. There’s always so much to learn and they are promising that next year’s conference will be twice as big and even better with even more speakers. However will my brain contain it all? Here’s a video recap of this wonderful experience: Please tweet: Prophecy Conference recap: it’s time to wake...

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What’s on your writing desk, Mary Sayler?

Karla:  Today we’re visiting Mary Sayler at her writing desk! Mary also shares details about her routine. Take it away, Mary! Mary: I’m at my desk every morning, writing and posting Praise Poems or blogging on various aspects of words and The Word for The Word Center blog. Since I’ve been a full-time freelance and assignment writer for Christian and educational publishers for most of my adult life, I usually have a project in progress. Otherwise, I’m researching for my Bible study class, or I’m reading a new edition of the Bible I’ve been sent to review on the Bible Reviewer blog, or I’m revising my poems, or I’m critiquing someone else’s poems for a small fee, or I’m redoing my website, or I’m social networking, or I’m doing laundry or tending grandchildren or cooking dinner or emailing whoever is waiting for my response or waiting tables at our church’s weekly pancake breakfast. Karla: Whew. What a whirlwind! But it sounds so fulfilling! Mary: As a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church, I’m a persistent pray-er, but praising God doesn’t come naturally for me. Then, last Fall, I felt the Lord coaxing me to begin the Praise Poems blog to praise God for Who God Is, rather than what He does. Those poems have kept coming as contemporary psalms until I have more than enough for a book! Karla: That is so awesome! I love it when that happens! Mary: Although many of my books (27 in all genres) are no longer in print, the newest ones can be found on my Amazon Author Page. I posted some of my online writing credits on my website and set up Profile pages in the Poets & Writers online directory of poets, About Me, and the just-discovered QuotesRain. Back in the Golden Days, my traditional publishers did all of the marketing for me, leaving me free to write. Now, social networking seems to be a must for any writer with books or blogs, so I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and who knows what else! I’m grateful for my computer and Internet, but oh, I miss pencil and paper! Karla: Me, too, Mary! I miss the days I’d sit in the trees over the creek behind my grandmother’s house and pen prose. Those were delicious moments. But from the looks of your twitter following (10k+!), you’re great at this social media thing! Wow! Thanks for sharing your writing space with us today! It’s fun to peek in on professional writers’ lairs and see how they do it. Your space looks incredibly inviting for getting in the writing zone. How about you, Dear Reader? Where in the world do you...

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Announcing the Brilliant Blog Winner for the Month of June

June’s pick was a no-brainer. I love this blog so much for so many reasons, it’s hard not to gush about it. What really amazes me, though, is that this author has only been published a short time. In fact, I read her first book and loved it. I was drawn to it because of the title. As a violinist, it was a must read. You can read my review of it here. Kristy Cambron impresses me on many levels. All  young, successful writers inspire me, but when I come across a young writer like Kristy: fresh, witty, confident, productive, speaker, wife, Mom, creative blogger — I have to gush just a little. Here’s a bit about Kristy quoted from her website: “Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. The Illusionist’s Apprentice (HarperCollins, 2017) is her fourth novel.” Pretty impressive, eh? But her career and success aren’t why I chose her blog. I chose it because it’s fresh, visually appealing, and I sense her desire to connect with her readers. One way she does this is through video. As writers, I realize most of us really don’t like being in front of the camera. (I’m trying to learn to not be afraid of it.) Kristy has turned YouTube to her advantage when it comes to promoting her books. But I don’t feel like she’s pushing her books when I read her blog or watch her videos. I feel like she’s just hanging out. Which is what a really good author blog does. It helps the reader feel connected to the writer. One of her most recent videos does this brilliantly: And she’s a lefty like me! (That’s the real reason she won this month.) (Just kidding!) Please tweet: Congratulations, Kristy Cambron! Your blog is brilliant! Do you have a brilliant blog you’d like to nominate? You can do so...

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How’s that Chromebook working out for ya?

As I posted last week, my beloved computer died on me. Actually, it was the hard drive. The second one. I’m very hard on hard drives because I keep my computer on 24/7. I hate rebooting because if I stop in the middle of a project in the middle of the night, I don’t want to lose my train of thought the next morning. My train of thought is, well, easily derailed these days. I’m no spring chicken, you know. More like a fall-going-into-winter-chicken. Which, I suppose, is better than being a fall-going-into-winter-turkey. I’ve been using my son’s little HP Chromebook (actually called a Stream). Isaiah doesn’t need a powerful computer for working. He just needs something for accessing the Internet and playing around with social media. (He’s already graduated from high school. He used an iPad for schoolwork.) Basically, the way I understand it, a Chromebook is more or less just like a smartphone. While it doesn’t have the power to have a lot of windows open at the same time (something I’m famous for) or to edit things like videos, it can still do quite a bit. Here are the specs (for those who understand them) on this particular model. Keep in mind, these Chromebooks come in all sorts of sizes. This one is on the lower end of the scale. Extremely affordable at around $200. 13.3-Inch laptop Intel Celeron processor 2 GB RAM (in other words, very little power/speed) 32 GB SSD (This is the driver; it’s solid state which makes up a little bit for small RAM, but 32 GB is not very much on an android/PC device and I’ve had to limit the amount of apps to the very basics if I’m going to save any documents or pictures to the laptop itself.) The idea of these types of laptops is to use the cloud or google drive to store your pictures and documents. But I’m leery of storing everything online, and like to have my own backups. So what I’m doing until my own laptop gets here, is saving a document, then emailing it to myself. Then I delete it off of this one. It’s a pain. It takes time. But at least I can transfer these files to the new laptop when it gets here. Let me clarify. I only email those files that are extremely important for me to find when my laptop gets here. Others either go in the cloud, or get deleted permanently. Some things I don’t like about this Chromebook: The touchpad is very sticky and slow. It really doesn’t have the power to browse websites with pop-ups. I don’t browse too many like that unless it’s for...

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