Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lull Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

It's the lull week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. How are y'all doing? Can you believe K-Mart and Wal-Mart had Black Thursday sales?

I'm grieved that we nearly have no true holidays in American anymore. Stores are open seven days a week, sixteen hours a day if not twenty-four.

For what? Stuff. I saw a man first in line outside a local K-Mart at seven o'clock the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.

I said, "What's for sale that you're out here waiting?"
"A 36'' LCD flat screen for $97."


As I drove to my destination I got hit with the shop-cheap bug. "Wow, that's a great deal. I could give it as a present."

"Or, we could put a TV in the turret with a Blueray player. We don't have cable or DISH but we could watch Netflix."

I'm telling y'all, it was insane. I wanted nothing until someone else was told me what they were getting.  How true is that of mankind? We covet what our neighbor has or is obtaining.

The class warfare going on in our country right now is grievous. Anyone in this country willing to work hard, yes some more than others, can achieve whatever they want. Sure, some people have more advantage -- wealth, smarts, looks, ability -- but the only thing that prevents a person from getting ahead in this country is their own laziness, bitterness, envy or greed. Or lack of ambition.

Even obstacles like prejudice or poverty can overcome by anyone willing to do the work to win over an enemy, take a college course, aim for a promotion. Look around. Open our eyes at those who have overcome!

But what we can't overcome is if the gov't continues to take, take, take and spend our money. It's our money. Not theirs. It blows my mind they are on capital hill right now discussing how to tax "the rich more." That old mantra has worn all of it's threads thin.

Sorry, I had to go on that rant for a second because that's what hit me as I left K-Mart. Greed. I wanted what that man wanted because... just because.

But I didn't want to sit all night in the cold for a stupid TV so I actually pondered ways to get what I wanted without working for it. Yes, I did.

Hmm... another trend in our society. "Who can get it for me so I don't have to leave my comfort zones?"

Once I got to youth church, and in the presence of God, my heart was realigned and I knew I didn't want a TV or Blueray player or whatever else K-Mart was selling on sale.

Kuddos to those of you who shopped 'til you dropped and got good sales on Black Friday. I know it's a blessing to many who are on a budget and have lot of people to buy for. But what I hope is that greed was not your motivator, or envy or covetousness.

I have to watch those bad boys in my life. 

Here's to the spirit of Christmas -- love, peace and JOY to the world. That's what I "covet." JOY!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Write for Relief Winners!

A big thank you to everyone who bid for critiques for Write Now Relief! 

Your generosity added up to $2,300 for the relief efforts for the victims of Superstorm Sandy! Well done and congratulations to all the winners!

On this site Jeanne Takenaka and Charity Hawkins were the winner with their last minute bidding war. Thank you gals so much! And to all who participated.

If you are the high bidder or think you might be, please check the blog where you were bidding to get your marching orders.

Your first order of business is to donate your bid amount to Samaritans Purse. Then email a copy of your donation receipt with your 50 pages to the author who will be critiquing you. Again, thanks so much to everyone.

And if you didn’t win the critique please consider giving to Samaritan’s Purse for your year-end giving. The need back East is huge.

Here is the link to donate online. The GIVE button is located just below the photo gallery link.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Write Now Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Write Now Relief
How you can help the victims of Sandy and also get a little first aid for your novel!

WHAT: Bid on a 50-page critique of your novel by a published novelist! Highest bidder will send their amount to Samaritans Purse for their relief efforts for the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

WHEN: Begins Friday, November 9, ends Friday midnight EST November 16.

HOW: Head to the blog of the author you’d like to have critique your 50 pages. Find their Write Now Relief blog post and place your bid in the comments section of that post. Monitor it closely so that you can re-bid! Check back on this Facebook page for updates on all the bids. If you are the high bidder at the end of the week, make your donation and email a copy of your receipt to the author with your 50 pages. It’s that easy.

How much is a 50-page critique worth?
Most authors and editors can easily charge $35 an hour and a fifty-page critique is well over three hours of labor. But this labor of love is for victims who have lost everything. Their need is huge. One blogger who hosted a similar campaign last week had a top donation bid of $1,000 for a 50-page critique!

What will the critique entail?
The author you choose will read your fifty pages with an eye to giving you insights and feedback on all aspects of your story excerpt, including plot, character, story arc, mechanics, pacing, and reader appeal.

What is Samaritan’s Purse?
Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Here is a video from Samaritans Purse on their efforts to help Sandy’s victims.

How do I donate to Samaritans Purse?
You can head to the Samaritan’s Purse webpage on Hurricane Sandy
and click on the GIVE link imbedded on the page. Whether you are the highest bidder or not, do consider donating to this effort.

How do I start?
Check Susan Meissner’s blog on Thursday, Nov 8 for the full list of participating authors and their blog addresses. Pick an author, head to their blog on Friday, November 9, and make your opening bid.

What's it really worth?

For me, Rachel, I do this for My Book Therapy clients and a proposal therapy is about 30 pages and it costs around $450. So a 50 page critic is a GREAT deal and worth a good bit of $$. Consider my time as part of the donation. Your crit will be very detailed with a summary letter. Well worth your money!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

2012 Writers and Readers Reach Out

Pleased to welcome my friend and fellow belle on southernbelleview to share her heart on this great cause! 

Before us is a great opportunity to partner with one another to raise awareness about human trafficking and join together to raise funds towards their rescue through Kimberly L. Smith's foundation, Make Way Partners

And yet, even as we are set to launch, one-fourth of our population has been impacted by Super storm Sandy and many areas remain in distress. Far too many people have seen their homes destroyed and many others have suffered the painful loss of loved ones. 

The winds of Sandy have literally caused us to adjust our sails as we respond to the heartache in our own country. Writers and Readers Reach Out 2012 is enlarging the vision!

As you make your donation to Make Way Partners, please consider making a matching donation to relief efforts underway for our neighbors on the East Coast. 

We believe strongly that our being mobilized to respond to the needs of our neighbors at this very moment is no coincidence. We've been given much, let us give much.

Over the years I’ve challenged my readers at All Things Southern to join me in an annual benefit for the less fortunate. 
We’ve done everything from drilling wells in Africa with Life Today to partnering with World Vision to buy chickens and goats for needy families around the world.
Last year I became fixated with the exponential power represented by the fellow writers I meet in my travels. Knowing these wordsmiths all had a circle of readers that enjoy his or her work and interact with them via their websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter, I wondered what we might accomplish by combining our individual platforms and multiplying our efforts.
 The dream led me to launch Writers and Readers Reach Out. The positive results fueled my desire to do more. For the second year, I’m asking writers and readers to embark with me on 30 Days of Thankfulness to coincide with the season of Thanksgiving.
I was in the planning stages of the drive and personally burdened by what I was learning about human trafficking when I read Passport through Darkness, by Kimberly L. Smith.  
I knew immediately that Make Way Partners, the organization that Kimberly and her husbanded founded, should be the recipient of this year’s efforts. Make Way Partners works with individuals, churches, and organizations to help prevent and combat the evil of human trafficking and all forms of modern-day oppression.
If you’ll take the time to read just a few of the real-life stories on Kimberly’s blog of women and children who Make Way Partners has rescued from slavery, and for whom they provide long-term care, I believe you’ll want to participate in this beautiful journey of restoration.
Eight years ago, Kimberly began chartering small mission planes to fly her into the war zone where U.S. sanctions and Islamic regimes rendered thousands of orphansunadoptable
Providing food and opening a first-grade school in a lawless land with no other educational systems, MWP partnered with an indigenous leader to rescue and care for these most vulnerable orphans. Year-by-year, they have added a new grade to their school. 
Now, graduating eighth grade, the orphans of MWP have more education than many current leaders of their nation.  It is time to build a high school, making it possible to raise up the next generation of educated Christian leaders who will stop the cycle of violence and slavery.
Read about a few of these amazing students and the complete high school proposal here:
The quotes scattered here are those of the late Helen Keller.  Inviting Ms. Keller to share this journey with writers and readers feels right, for it was the power of a word written in the palm of her hand that unlocked Ms. Keller’s heart and mind and subsequently impacted untold lives around the world!
As readers and writers, no one knows the value of education better than we. Let’s dream big and build a high school for the world’s most vulnerable orphans!
Thirty days of thankfulness. It’s not a long time, but it’s a perfect time to join hands and do something grand, together. ~Shellie Rushing Tomlinson