Friday, November 30, 2012

Life Lessons—Living on Purpose

by Reba J Hoffman, PhD


I talk to people everyday who say they would like to do this or that but just can’t find the time. I understand their plight.
There are some days when I feel as though I need to hold my breath to open up a spot in my day.
It’s a wonder we get anything done in our busy world. Remember when summer days seem to stretch into infinity? You could lay in the grass for hours on end watching the upper winds blow puffy clouds by.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Review—Writing Season's Greetings from Amelia


Today I'm excited to introduce you to my friend, Naty Matos. Her friendship is one of the reasons I so love social networking. We met online, and even though we haven't yet met in person, she's a good friend. Her new novella, Season's Greetings from Amelia officially launches on December 1, she's agreed to drop by and share the story behind the story. She's also included a special link that allows us to download the ebook early, for only 99 cents. Be sure to leave a comment for her!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Can I Set What Shows up in My Facebook News Feed? Part Two


Yesterday I gave you the information you need to Set What Shows up in Your Facebook Personal Profile News Feed. Today I want to continue and show you how you can add Pages into your News Feed and give you a little more info about personalization options you now have.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Social Media Monday—Can I Set what Shows up in My Facebook News Feed?


Plug the words Facebook Frustrations into a search engine and you’ll come up with pages of complaints. I’ll be the first one to agree that Facebook has issues, but a lot of what frustrates people comes from ignorance not idiocy. The number one question I get is whether or not it's possible to set what shows up in the Facebook News Feed. Today and tomorrow I want to clear up the myths about what shows up in your news feed, and help you use Facebook more effectively.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend Worship—Inclusive, not Exclusive


Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. Acts 17:23

Everywhere I turn, it’s beginning to look more like Christmas. Carols are humming over the airwaves, stores are decked in red and green, and Santa and his elves can be seen peering around every corner. As a Christ follower, this is the season I celebrate His birth. It’s the time when the God of creation stepped into the world and divided time…B.C from A.D. It doesn’t matter that scholars are renaming the divide, it can’t be argued who initiated it.

It’s also a time of unprecedented political correctness. It’s no longer Merry Christmas. Instead a chorus of Happy Holidays fills the air. Schools aren’t out for Christmas, but close for winter break. It’s not inclusive enough to have a Christmas party—only generalized holiday themed celebrations are lauded for their open-mindedness. Christmas, it’s argued, is only for Christians. It’s too exclusive, and leaves people on the outside of the fun.

Everyone seems to have forgotten God came to save the world—the entire world. I don’t think it can get more inclusive than that.

So this year I’ll be unashamed as I remind everyone I meet that they are included in Christmas. The message isn’t one of exclusivity, but one of love. It’s the season of God’s outstretched arms, encircling a cold world in His loving embrace,  through the birth of a baby.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Critiques...the Good, the bad, and the ugly


Don't be afraid of critiques, instead learn to use them.
Critique—just mention of the word can make me break out in hives. Don’t get me wrong, I really like to get feedback on my writing, as long as it’s positive. But there’s the rub, a steady diet of positive critiques alone doesn’t help me grow as a writer. Now, I’m not one of those who believe positive feedback is worthless. I like to know what I’m doing well, so I can do more of it. But, I also want to know where I need improvement.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Social Media Monday—Pinterest Basics


Pinterest can be a fun addition
to your social media plan

Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds. Although it’s not one of my MUST use sites for writers, it’s worth your time to check out. Even better, Pinterest basics are easy to master. Here are some of the ways writers can utilize Pinterest.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Worship—Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer


Ghostwriting is one of my new skills

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26


This past year I had the opportunity to hone a new skill, ghostwriting. It’s something I’ve wanted to do, although I wondered whether I’d really enjoy the process.

For those who aren’t familiar with how ghostwriting works, here’s the process boiled down into its simplest form. The ghostwriter agrees to take a concept or story and put it into manuscript form. It might involve turning a series of sermons or the events of someone’s life into a full-length book. The concept is that the idea comes from the author, and the order of the words comes from the ghostwriterThis means that in most instances, the final decisions on how the idea looks as a manuscript belongs to the author, NOT the ghostwriter. Frequently the ghostwriter isn't even mentioned.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Life Lessons—Stop Thinking Outside the Box

by Reba J Hoffman, PhD


Is it just me or do you get tired of hearing people say, “think outside the box”? I personally think that’s very poor advice. Here’s why. Thinking outside the box interjects that confining cube into your life when it never was part of the décor in the first place!

You wouldn’t have to worry about that if you never had a box, now would you? That whole concept is entirely limiting. Think about it. You only have two options. Either you think inside the box or your think outside it. Right? Are you feeling a bit claustrophobic? Yeah, me too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Review—Help Your Blog Load Faster with Jump Breaks

With the latest tweaks to search engine algorithms, how fast your blog takes to load is now factored into a site's ranking. What does that mean for you? If you have a slow loading site (one that takes longer than a second or two to show up onscreen), you'll be penalized.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby


I help a lot of writers hone their article writing skills. I also see a lot of the same mistakes. Through this, I’ve discovered how much writing an article is like feeding a baby. This may seem like an odd comparison, but bear with me. I think you’ll see the similarities just like I did.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Social Media Monday—Are You Social-Media Awkward or Social-Media Savvy?

The world of social media has its own rules
when it comes to interaction.

The social media universe has developed into a world with it’s own ways of interacting. Stumbling around this brave new world is exciting, but it can also lead to some embarrassing moments. Today I’ll share some tips to help you acclimate to this new online society.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend Worship—The Price of Freedom

Who is this glorious king? He is our LORD, a strong and mighty warrior. Psalm 24:8


I snapped this picture as my son left on his first deployment

It was our son’s first deployment and we were on base to see him off. Toward the end of our visit, God showed me things I’ll never forget.

The men were called in groups to the low, brick building that held their rifles. When Jimmy came back with his gun, he took great delight in explaining all about it to his brothers and his dad. I stood a few steps away, just watching and praying. As I watched, I realized that he was so comfortable with his weapon, it was like a part of his body. He knew every piece of it by touch and handled it with a casualness that bespoke many hours practice.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Life Lessons—The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


by Reba J Hoffman

Ok, I know many of you started humming a song just then, didn’t you? I know that, before long, you will be GPS-ing “over the river and through the woods” so you’ll safely make it to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. Nothing like family, love, turkey and trimmings. Oh yeah, and lots and lots of FOOTBALL!!!!!

I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. Know what else I wouldn’t trade? My dreaming. This really is the most wonderful time of my year because it’s when I dream big and set goals for the upcoming year. My imagination conjures up all sorts of exciting possibilities. I usually set about three goals in each important area of my life that I’ll spend my time accomplishing during the 365 days that start January first.

I’ll admit, that doesn’t sound as inviting as Grandma’s pumpkin pie, but I promise you that the results will be just as sweet. Here’s why:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Review—Author Cindy Sproles Shares the Story Behind Her Newest Book, New Sheets

I'm excited to welcome Cindy Sproles, Executive Editor and co-founder of ChristianDevotions.us. She has a new devotional out, New Sheets: Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be


Cindy, Tell us about your new release, New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be
New Sheets is a thirty-day devotional/inspirational book. In the beginning the title was longer (if you can believe that). It was Thirty Years in Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. The reason…well, it took thirty years for God to refine me into the woman  I knew I could be. And by the way, I’m still being refined.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My First Exposure to the Horror of Domestic Violence


Most of you know my best friend and her daughter, Jennifer and Abby Blagg, were murdered by her husband in 2001. Tonight, the documentary filmed in March will air with part of my story from that time. I hope you'll tune in, we all need to be more aware of the often silent destroyer of families that is domestic violence.

The show is The Devil You Know, it airs on Investigate Discovery Channel (ID Channel) at 10pm TONIGHT. The episode is called, Twisted Faith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What’s Holding You Back?

So often, when I tell people I’m a writer, they’ll look at me, sigh and tell me how they want to write . . . if only.

By now I've heard just about every excuse in the book—and truth be told—used a lot of them myself. 

The truth of the matter is that everybody has an excuse NOT to follow their dream. We're all busy. We're all dealing with crazy family issues of one type or another. None of us have enough money to make it easy to do it. The list goes on and on.

But really, the important point is why you SHOULD follow your dream. Life's too short and too precious to waste time doing things we're NOT passionate about. Okay, very few have the luxury of ONLY doing what they're passionate about, but even that is just another excuse.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Social Media Monday—Is SEO Dead?



With the birth of the Internet came the birth of SEO
Like everything else in our world, social media is changing and evolving. When the Internet was young and search engines new, a way had to be found to rank the order of websites that came up during a search. With that, Search Engine Optimization was born.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is simply that, an algorithm that ranks websites when a consumer types in a query. The quandary comes when you compare the goals of the consumer, the specific search engine and the website owner.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend Worship—Are Your Bags Overweight?


“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

It's not the flying I mind—it's the packing!
Several weeks ago I flew to a conference. I don’t mind flying, but I absolutely hate packing. You see, I’m a chronic overpacker. And this trip was a huge challenge because I was going to be away for nine days.

I have trouble not carrying too much.
I spent several days planning my wardrobe—packing and repacking—weighing and reweighing the suitcase. I was determined to come in under the fifty-pound maximum. Finally success! I even had two and a quarter pounds to spare. I was off, zipping through check-in with no problem, literally flying high.

I enjoyed my week and a half with other writers. It’s always fun to get away with people who truly understand the way your mind works. But in the midst of having fun, I didn’t pay attention to the extra stuff I was accumulating. At these conferences publishers and authors give away tons of books…literally. And I’m a writer—I can never turn down the temptation of a free book—especially from friends! I didn’t prioritize what I needed to carry home and what I just wanted to carry home.

It turned out to be a big difference and the cost was high.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Life Lessons—Only One Thing!

by Reba J Hoffman, PhD


A to-do list longer than Santa's?

Ever had a to-do list that’s longer than Santa’s list of who’s naughty and nice? Yeah, me too, especially when it comes to writing and developing new ways to live my dream. My dad used to say, “The more I do, the behind-er I get.”

Wasn’t great English but the wisdom rang through. There are so many things to do sometimes, those with a dream become weary. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming, you just pop-n-plop. You toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave and plop down in front of the TV to watch a movie.

It becomes routine until you look back over a year wondering what happened to it. Your dream is no more realized than the day you birthed the desire in the first place. There is something you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. That is, concentrate on Only One Thing!

Here’s why that helps you: 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Review—You Know You're a Writer When You Procrastinate by...


by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

NaNoWriMo
One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is that it demands you cease all forms of procrastination and get ‘er done. But since I’m not participating this year, I’ve been thinking about how writers have our own special ways of procrastinating.

So here you go.

You Know You’re a Writer When You Procrastinate by…