Friday, August 30, 2013

How Do You React When You Don't Meet a Goal?

Earlier this month I blogged about a colleague, Reba J. Hoffman, who was on a cross country biking trip to make others aware of PTSD (read her story) and give women the courage to defeat their fears. She had been on the road for almost two months and had made it from South Carolina to the Kentucky Indiana border. Unfortunately, she has suffered an injury to her shoulder and knee and will have to abandon the trip (read the update).
I was sorry to hear this about my friend, but she is upbeat and she is still an inspiration. I started thinking about how easily I become discouraged, when I don't accomplish what I set out to do. This led me to consider what are some healthy ways to react when we realize a dream or goal is not going to happen.
Here are 4 ways I came up with:

1.  Grieve and Do Something. It is okay to be sad and feel a little discouraged; just don’t let it last forever. After you grieve, DO SOMETHING to help you forget about your discouragement. Take a walk or talk to a good friend and tell them your story. Even though you don’t feel like it, get up and DO SOMETHING.


2.  Write. Put it on paper. Record the things you learned from the experience, your current situation and five things for which you are thankful.

3.  Pray and think. Go over your next possible moves and ask God for guidance.


4. Go. Take that next step, but just a small one. Even though you may be hesitant and fearful that this new thing might not work, you won’t go forward unless you take a step.


How about you? How do you bounce back when you experience a setback?

Join the conversation.







Friday, August 23, 2013

Writing Stalled? Try These Five


This week many schools opened their doors for the new academic year. I always loved going to school. It was like a new beginning.

When I was in elementary school, my Mom would buy my school supplies and keep them in her bedroom. Since my father worked nights and slept during the day, she thought this would keep me away from using them. But, I would sneak into the bedroom as he slept and pull out the school supplies and look at them. I would run my fingers across the unused crayons, new pencils, and notebooks.

       I still get excited when it is time for school to start. I even look at the sale flyers and buy the inexpensive notebooks and pens. It is a time to take a fresh look at my writing projects.

       If you are stalled or stuck in your writing, here are five ways that might help you get started again:


1.  New writing time. If you haven’t been able to produce during the time of day you put aside to write, try a new time or location. I didn’t think I could ever write in the evenings, but I have written many blog posts during that time.
2. New word count/or time spent. If you just can’t seem to reach your word count, then reduce it; break it down. Producing half the amount is better than not producing at all.
3.  Start a new journal. It is always exciting for me to look at that first blank sheet of paper in a new notebook. While you're at it, get a new pen for the journey. You could write down your writing frustrations, add descriptions of your characters for a new novel, as well as settings or time periods you would like to write about. You could also include subjects of articles and ideas you would like to explore.
4.  Read about a new area of interest. Begin reading about a subject you would like to know more about. This could be a time in history you find interesting. Read not only nonfiction works, but novels about that time period.
5.  Find that quiet place. Take time to stop and be quiet and let yourself think about where you are in your writing life and what direction you want to proceed. And don't forget, as believers, we have the awesome privilege of prayer and the encouragement of God’s Word.   


How about you? What is one thing you do to jumpstart your writing?




Friday, August 16, 2013

Ragged Hope

I found Cynthia Ruchti's latest book, Ragged Hope, Surviving the Fallout of Other People's Choices, true to its name: hopeful. I believe the book can give people a new perspective regardless of their struggle.

The book is full of stories, 25 of them, about people in messy situations. For example, you will meet grandparents raising grandchildren, troubled teens, a wife who contracts AIDS from her unfaithful husband, and an abused wife, trying to stay one step ahead of her ex-husband. Through all the fear and turmoil, there is the underlying story that there is hope for a new beginning. Those involved decide they shall not cower and be defeated by the actions beyond their control.

The stories are about real people, some friends or family of Cynthia and many she has met from her 33 years as host for The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. The names and some unessential details have been changed to protect those caught up in the situations.

I will use Cynthia's words from the introduction that aptly describes how some may feel: "When we stand in a muddle of misery someone else created for us, too weary to be creative, too worn down to embrace a trendy problem-solving technique or follow a seven-step plan to a new, improved life, we need an arm around our shoulder assuring us god hears, God understands, and God is not stingy with hope."

You can read more about Cynthia, her other books and speaking ministry at

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, Retailers’ Choice, and Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, among others. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Technology: "I Won't Give Up"


Bear with me, as this post is a little long, and as I cry over some technology woes.

I learned two things this week.
Number One: We are, where we are, when it comes to technology. 
Number Two: Never give up, and sometimes the best remedy is to turn the computer off and back on.
This week I had to deal with “too much new technology,” that I didn’t understand, but I have to admit, I learned a few things.
My challenge involved my laptop, my Kindle Fire, and my cell phone.  
Situation One: I wanted to download a free app to my phone for the conference I am attending at our church (Global Leadership Summit). The app was available on iTunes. I knew what iTunes was, but I haven’t used it, as I don’t download music.
First, I had difficulty opening an account because the form wouldn’t allow me to enter my data. So after contacting customer service, I was able to establish an account, only after waiting overnight (turn computer off and back on). I then downloaded the app to my laptop. 

My next problem was I didn’t know how to get the app from my laptop to my phone. After Googling (not sure if this a word), I downloaded two, no three more apps to get my laptop and phone to sync or transfer files. This involved three apps, because I inadvertently downloaded an inexpensive updated version of the first free syncing app and then had to uninstall the free version (I need to read more closely). But, I still couldn’t download the sought after “free app”, until the next morning. Go figure. Turn computer off and back on.

I later realized that I could gone directly to my Android phone and used the Google Play Store. Ugh. But, I wouldn't have learned as much or that is what I tell myself.
Situation Two: My Kindle Fire. I use my Kindle Fire to look at my personal emails, on my breaks, while at my day job. I couldn’t get the emails to show up. So, I Googled and went to YouTube, something else I don’t explore much. There I found a tutorial (lots of them) for the Kindle Fire and was able to figure out how to get the emails to display!
So, I have touched more technology this week, than I usually do in months, but I have learned some things. I was frustrated, but I’m not giving up. I will continue to ask questions and someday I will laugh at this blog post.

Thanks for the indulgence.
How about you? What frustrates you about technology?


Friday, August 2, 2013

Road to Freedom Bicycle Tour Across America

During the past three weeks, there have been interviews on this blog about how various writers go about their work. This week we meet another writer, who through a traumatic event, has written a book and is taking her message on her bike around the country.   

Reba J. Hoffman left South Carolina on July 13 riding "Dakota" her Waterford Touring Bicycle. So far, she has logged over 500 miles, met many interesting people and has adventures to tell. But, she isn't just riding to see who is out there, she is riding to inspire women to emerge from their fears and live their dreams. Specifically she is wanting to inspire women who have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and this would include herself. Read her personal story on her blog.   


I met Reba through My Book Therapy, a writing community founded by Susan May Warren. Reba is the Member Care Coach and a great encourager. When I found out she was doing a solo bike ride, across the country, I began to follow her journey. In addition to riding her bike, she will be speaking at various locations about PTSD and violence against women. She hopes to finish her ride, with no time table, on the coast of Oregon or Washington. 

If you struggle with fear or PTSD, Reba has also written a book you might want to check out. Facing Fear and Finding Freedom, Unleash the Power to Live Your Dreams! is an e-book, available on Amazon. You will find fear defined, why we deal with it, and how we can use it to our benefit. Although, it will never totally leave us, we can be free from its grip and reach our goals.

Safe and happy trails, Reba.

Be sure to go to her blog for frequent updates:

How about you? Have you ever attempted or would you like to attempt an adventure similar to Reba's?