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Ten Blog Picks for Blog Pick Friday

Friday, December 24, 2010

Today is Christmas Eve and we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. And all over the world little ones are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa. So in the spirit of giving I'm supplyling you with some links to awesome pages I've enjoyed this year. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I'm taking a break from blogging but will return on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011!

Writerly Gifts by BJ Hoff.

Here's to You by Rachelle Gardner

Jabez and Walmart by Mike Dellosso

Charmin and the Afterlife by Tamera Alexander

Blame It On Prince Albert by Debra Marvin at Inkwell Inspirations

Seeking Positive Influencers by Ruth Logan Herne at Seekerville

Ten Writing Tips From NaNoWriMo by James Scott Bell at The Kill Zone

Creating A Book Readers Can't Put Down by Jody Hedlund

The Time Has Come by Brandilyn Collins

Wedding Memories by Francine Rivers

Creating a Life Plan by Michael Hyatt

Celebrating the Regency Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I haven't spent much time researching Christmas during the Regency so I thought I'd do some research now as we approach Christmas and give you a list of links you may find of interest.

Christmas Traditions, by Jo Beverley at Christmas in the Regency

Decorating 19th Century London with Holly at Jane Austens World and more.

Christmas at Carlton House Celebrating the Season in Regency Style, The Jane Austen Center. And don't miss The Legend of the Mistletoe


Your Best Years/Max Lucado

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A little encouragement as we look forward to Christmas.

When you look ahead to the future, what is it that you hope for?


Friday, December 17, 2010


What do you think Jane would wish for this year if she were here to blow out the candles? Besides a lot of help from her friends. :)

Researching the Regency

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've just recently finished my edits on my first novel, Secrets of the Heart, which is Book One of The Ravensmore Chronicles. I probably won't see it again until I get my galleys. It is an incredibly difficult task when writing a Regency novel to be certain you have all the forms of address correct and the use of titles. I rely heavily on people like Nancy Mayer, who truly is, "A most proper authority on all things Regency." Please follow this link to Nancy's website. Regency Researcher I first discovered Nancy on line when I joined the The Beau Monde specialty chapter of Romance Writers of America  a long, long time ago.

You would think after reading many, many Regency novels through the years that this part of completing a novel would be the least of my concerns. Not so. I'm always learning something new. I also recently discoverd Vic Sanborn's blog, Jane Austen's World

If you are interested in getting your facts straight, and I pray I have, then I highly recommend that you visit these sites and see what these very astute women have to say about the Regency era. Some of the things I've learned over the years that may interest you as you research your own Regency novel  include:

  1. Why was a Regent necessary?  The short answer is that King George III went mad so his son made the decisions since he was no longer able to do so.
  2. What were the years of the Regency? 1811-1820. However, some writers stretch that time period a bit.
  3. What's a pelisse? A long fitted coat. Sometimes fur lined and then evolved into silk with no fur. The pelisse was inspired by military wear. I always thought the women wore a short jacket that was also called a pelisse. Perhaps someone visiting today can clear that up. :)
  4. Who is this guy called, Beau Brummell? He was the fashion icon for the men and quite well known.
  5. How do you tie a cravat? Very carefully. :)



So what have you learned about the Regency? Ask a question and I'll try to answer. This could be very amusing. :)                                                                                                 

The Proof Is in the Pudding from Sunday Morning

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If you always wondered how the English make that Christmas pudding, figgy and otherwise, you must check this out. Happy Sunday. And if any of you have ever tried this please tell us your experience. :)

The Proof is in the Pudding

James Scott Bell/Blog Pick Friday

Friday, December 10, 2010

If you have never met James Scott Bell and you want to learn to write you must get aquainted. He visited my agent Rachelle Gardner's Blog yesterday so that made my pick for the week really easy. They are both awesome.  Agents Got Heart

And you have to read his latest book on writing. Awesome!

  And his latest novel.


Incandescent Power

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I've been trying to figure out how I feel since finishing the final edits on my book that will be released in May 2011 from Strang/Realms. Book One of The Ravensmoore Chronicles: Secrets of the Heart. I wanted to document this first time experience of what it's like to finish a book that is scheduled for publication. It's kind of like a firework  Rorschach Test experience. Interpret your inner fireworks.

Yes, I'm relieved that I made it this far. But I can't quite figure out how I REALLY feel. I know that probably doesn't make any sense at all, but I thought this would be a kind of huge jumping for joy feeling. I'm happy, don't get me wrong, but . . .  it's like fireworks. Different ones go off and make all these pretty patterns, but they're not all beautiful. Some can make your ears and eyes hurt and others can jiggle your insides or make your heart pound. Kind of like the emotion of this experience. Weird. I know.

Did I just finish this revision?

Ohhh. Ahhh. Wow! Hmmm. Gee Whiz. Yikes! Shazaam! Uh-Oh, now I've got to do it again. Can I do it again? Sure. Maybe.

What do these firworks mean? They're pure emotion. Bright, and shining, and beautiful. Sometimes they just fizzle out after making a lot of noise. Some go really high, burst, and then disappear quickly, while others linger and leave their mark on the air.


Brenda Ueland wrote a book called, If You Want To Write

Her 8th summary point on page 178 says the following:

"Don't think of yourself as an intestinal tract and tangle of nerves in the skull, that will not work unless you drink coffee. Think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers. Remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle! Think if Tiffany's made a mosquito, how wonderful we would think it was!"

And that's what I want you to remember when you write. I don't care if it's your first paragraph or your 50th book. Remember how wonderful you are and then experience your own fireworks. Your own incandescent power.

So how do you describe those moments in your life that aren't easily described? What do they look like? How do they feel?

Snoopy vs. The Red Baron (Snoopy's Christmas)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One of my favorites. Remember this one?

Good news for ebooks/Kathryn Lilley's Post/My Blog Pick of the Week

Friday, December 3, 2010

Good news for ebooks: the 82-year-old mother test

I enjoyed this post a lot. I still don't own a Kindle but when I read Kathryn Lilley's post over at the Kill Zone this week I thought it might be time I buy one of these and maybe I should get one for my mom first.

Do you own a Kindle? Do you like it? Would you buy one for an elderly parent who has difficulty reading?

Develop A Mission Statement For Self-Care

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What better time of year to develop your own personal mission statement for self-care. This is a subject I believe needs lots of thought and just not at the beginning of the New Year when it's all too easy to say, "Yea, I'll go on a diet. I need to lose some weight," or "I'll exercise three times a week," or "I'll give up drinking my calories in coke or milkshakes, etc." And then within two weeks it's all over. I suggest making a plan of self-care and reviewing it every month. See what works and what doesn't and then revise as needed.

There's a lot more to self-care than our eating habits. How much time are you spending at work verses time spent at home with your loved ones? Or if you work from home how are you meeting your needs and everyone elses needs too? What works for one person and their family may not work for someone else. We all seem to be in search of that ever elusive thing called balance.

That might be easier to find if we take time to listen.
Listen to what we are telling ourselves. Have you ever got stuck in "stinkin' thinkin'?" I know I've gone there before and it just doesn't help. Therapists have long recognized the value of postive thinking. The term cognitive therapy is all about changing our thought life for the better. You can learn more here: National Institute of Mental Health.

Are you pursuing your dreams? Remember that saying, "A dream is a goal with a deadline?" It's true. If you really want to achieve your dreams you've got to set realistic, achievable goals. I wanted to write books so I did. I wrote, and I studied, I joined a critique group, I attended writing conferences, I asked questions, and I listened a lot. And after twenty long years of perseverance my first book is being published in May 2011. The point is that I just didn't talk about it, I took action.  I know there are many of you out there who have done the same thing, whether it's writing a book, building a business, going to college, raising a family.

Okay. This post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to self-care. Here's my current self-care plan.

  1. Maintain a strong relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and worship.
  2. Listen to my families needs and work on a plan proactively with them.
  3. Be aware of "stinkin thinkin" and practice being aware of the times it raises its ugly head. 
  4. Challenge negative thoughts and work hard to change them over time.
  5. Work hard to keep deadlines and write to the best of my ability.
  6. Be an active team member at work and listen carefully to my students. 
  7. Organize my work space.
  8. Sleep at least seven hours a night.
  9. Exercise three times a week.
  10. Eat more fruit.
  11. Don't overspend.
What's one thing you can do to take care of yourself this next month? We all have to start somewhere. Take time to make a plan of self-care. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Max Lucado on 3:16, The Numbers of Hope

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Dina Sleiman and What A Difference A Personality Makes/My Blog Pick Of The Week

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hope you are all having an awesome Thanksgiving and counting your blessings this season. I'm a Myers Briggs fan and saw this post by friend Dina Sleiman over at Inkwell Inspirations last Friday. So Dina's Blog Post is my pick for this Friday. Way to go Dina. Great job!

I think you'll enjoy it. So did you recognize yourself or someone else? I'm an ISFJ. What are you? Discover anything special?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If you could live and dress during another time where would it be and what would you wear? Would you enjoy wearing a dress like this?

Of course I'm prone to Regency wear.  Or would you never dream of returning to the past because you adore the present?



Or would you prefer a more modern look? Too modern?

Or just go for comfort? There's something to be said about a favorite pair of jeans isn't there?

Think of the eye wear in days gone by. Not much of a selection way back when. No laser surgery.

Do you like these glasses? I can't help but think of Harry Potter when I see these glasses.

Or something more modern. Like these?

And then there is always footwear. Do you like these? If I traveled back in time I would have to have my favorite pair of sneakers. One never knows when they may have to out run a rogue. :) 



Or maybe these? :)
What do our choices in clothes, shoes, eye-wear say about us?  What do we want it to say?
What's your favorite look for YOU? Historical, Modern, FUTURISTIC?

Or as the song from the WHO asks . . .  Who are you? Who? Who?

Jane Austen Fight Club

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Does anyone notice anything amiss?

James Scott Bell for Blog Pick Friday

Friday, November 19, 2010

Want to Be a Professional Writer? Act Like One.

Don't you love the picture that Jim picked for his blog post over at the Kill Zone? This is from Sunday, November 14th and worth every minute of your time. Just click on the link and get some advice from one of the best writing teachers around. This is a good reminder for everyone and doesn't become passé ever.

And if you haven't read Jim's book, The Art of War for Writers. I recommend you run out and buy it pronto. Here's the link. Enjoy!

York - Protestant Cathedral: "Psalm VIII" - Anglican Choir

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's been a long time since I visited this awesome cathedral. That was in the fall of 1976 when I spent a semester abroad. Little did I know then that I would be writing stories about Regency England. I've always been fascinated with architecture. How about you? What's the last place you visited that will be forever etched in your memory?

Opera Company of Philadelphia/Random Act of Culture

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Pick Friday/Vic Sanborn's Blog/Jane Austen's Visit to London

Friday, November 12, 2010

If you're a Jane Austen fan you will love Vic Sanborn's blog. I've only recently discovered it and it's fabulous. What a gold mine of information. Check it out by following the link below. Have a great weekend.

Madness and Creativity

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One of my very favorite blogs is the Bethlem Blog. The Bethlem Royal Hospital Archives and Museum is a place I could get lost in all day long.

Bethlem had a Criminal Lunatics Department. You'll be fascinated with stories about patients like, Richard Dadd and Henry Hudson. You can learn even more about Art and Madness if reading Maureen Park's book of the same title. "Art in Madness looks at the contribution of Dr William Alexander Francis Browne (1805-1885) to the development of psychiatry in 19th century Scotland."

Bethlem Arts

Art has provided a creative outlet for patients through the centuries. Today art continues to do the same in psychiatric hospitals all over the world.

What do you think the connection is between the world of art and mental illness? Next week I think I'll look at writers and mental illness but for this blog post I'm going to stick to the artists like Van Gogh.

And then there is the famous painting by Edvard Munch: The Scream. Ever felt like this? I think there is a strong connection to artits trying to make sense of their own personal worlds and coming to grips with their own personal demons in many circumstances. Art may calm or cleanse the artist in the same way that those of us who journal get our thoughts down on paper. Maybe it's a form of better out than in. What's your thoughts on this?
Van Gogh Painting
About four years before Blakelock's death, Harrison Smith, then a young reporter with the New York Tribune, was informed of Blakelock's whereabouts and went to see Blakelock in the asylum. He found him largely lucid, although under the delusion that an imagined "diamond of the Emperor of Brazil" had been stolen from him.                    
Beyond Madness
The Art of Ralph Blakelock, 1847-1919
Norman A. Geske
Foreword by Peter H. Hassrick                                              


His Fame Spread/Encouragement for Sandi Rog and Family

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Healing/Mark 1:21-28
                                                           Photos from Picasa

21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.


Don't you just love this sentence? 28And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

I wish Jesus would just show up and heal my family members and friends like he did in the days when he was teaching and healing in Capernaum. Imagine how incredible that would be! Anyone who visits here understands that I'd love to see a healing for everyone tortured by mental illness. I've had too many friends diagnosed with different forms of cancer over the past few years. I pray each one will be healed completely.

Do you have an experience of healing that you'd like to share as an encouragement for others?

                                                                      Matthew 25:35
For I was a hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

Please follow the link related to writing buddy Sandi Rog. Praying for complete healing, Sandi!


Blog Pick Friday/The Tools of Your Trade/Rachelle Gardner

Friday, November 5, 2010

My agent, Rachelle Gardner posted this blog on her site Tuesday, November 2nd at Rants And Ramblings.

Although I know how to use track changes, I don't know all it's little nuances. That's why I think it's important that I evaluate just how much I do and don't know about the tools of the writing trade and keep trying to keep up. It's not easy, especially after you get your contract.

So what are some of your tools of the trade you would like to share?

The Brain, Books, Science, and God's Mystery

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm in one of those thoughtful moods about the brain and how it works. I know, it's deep. I've always marveled at how we work as human beings. How intricate our inner-self is and how our brain does what it does. If you want to have some fun today read on. God really did knit us together in awesome style.

Please take a minute today to check out this link at Live Science. 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain. I did know about number 3 though. Anything surprise you?

Did you ever wonder what people living in centuries past may have thought about a picture of the brain like this one?  Through the ages scientists and doctors have been dissceting to see what the inside of the human body looked like and how it worked and how it could be fixed. I have no idea when dissection first took place and who was doing it. If you know this please tell us.



I'm no expert on dissection and it's history but it is fascinating to me. I've read lots of non-fiction about body snatchers, grave robbers, etc. I love reading fiction books that employ this kind of stuff. I remember reading Tess Gerritsen's, The Bone Garden, which I loved. I won't give anything away but you might like it.

When was the last time you were absorbed by a work of fiction or non-fiction that had a similar theme to this post?