Monday, September 24, 2012

Labels

This past weekend I attended a writer's conference, the 2012 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas, Texas (www.acfw.com) and as always, it was fabulous. I took away a lot of info this year related to craft, and more importantly, related to my heart.

One of those nuggets of truth I'd like to tell you today.

Fellow author and teacher JIM RUBART (he writes fabulous books, ya'll) said during one class I attended "You can't see the label from inside the bottle." He was speaking partly in regards to our writing careers as authors - meaning it's hard to see how we are being perceived, how we appear to others, our label, our brand in our career, what we represent, etc. But he also meant in regards to our heart. And that applies to you too, author or not.

It's hard to see ourselves from inside us. After all, we all live internally. Only we hear the echoes of our hearts, only we hear the thoughts in our heads. These echoes and thoughts are what develop us and shape us and give people the outside persona.

What does your label say?

Your label, in my opinion, is how you dress, how you speak, how you act, how you react, etc. So what does your wardrobe say about you? What does your reaction to a traffic jam say about you? What does a bad grade on a paper say about you?

More importantly - What do you WANT it to say?

Think about today, as you go about school or work or other hobbies/chores. What is your outside label reading, and does it match what you want others to read about you?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

This Weekend, Watch a Movie


I know what you're thinking: Classic movies are boring. They're old. They're not relevant. But let me just tell you that I loved these movies as a kid, and as my kids grew older and I showed them these movies, they came to love them, too. So, since this is the weekend, grab your friends and host a classic movie weekend. You might just be surprised at "new" favorites you'll find!

Tricia's Top Picks:

Newsies—My 20-year-old daughter and I love watching it together. The music and dancing is great!

Source: google.com via Tricia on Pinterest


The Sound of Music—I didn't watch this until I was an adult, and now I watch it a few times a year. I've been to Austria and know members of the von Trapp family, so that makes it extra special to me.

Source: imdb.com via Tricia on Pinterest


The Parent TrapThis was my favorite movie growing up. I didn't know my biological father ,so I always dreamed I had a sister out there somewhere. Come to find out I had four sisters!

Beauty and the BeastThis was the first movie I took my son Cory to. He sat through the whole movie, eyes wide.

Annie (1982 version)I love the music, and I love the story. Carol Burnett cracks me up.

The Princess BrideThis is a family favorite. If you are around the Goyers for any length of time, you'll hear us quoting it!

The SandlotThis was Cory and Nathan's favorite movie when they were small. Along with The Land Before Time, I can sit there and quote the whole movie!

It's a Wonderful LifeThis is my favorite Christmas movie. I'd always begged my kids to watch it with me. They were turned off by it being black and white, but when they finally watched it, they loved it, too!

Below is a list of movies for teens. Make sure you check out reviews first.

The List:
2,000 Leagues Under the Sea
3 Ninjas
Alice in Wonderland
All I Want For Christmas
Angels in the Outfield
Anne of Green Gables
Annie
Annie Get Your Gun
Back to the Future
Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Benji
Big Red
Bob Hope Movies
Calamity Jane
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlotte's Web
Cheaper by the Dozen
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Cinderella 
Corina Corina
Crocodile Dundee
Denise the Menace
Dudley DoRight
E.T.
Free Willy
Incredible Journey
Into the West
It's a Wonderful Life
Goonies
Heidi
Herbie the Love Bug (old versions)
Home Alone
Homeward Bound
Hook
Iron Will
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Karate Kid
Little Women
Mary Poppins
Matilda
My Fair Lady
My Girl
Newsies
No Deposit, No Return
Not Quite Human
October Sky
Oklahoma 
Old Yeller
Oliver
Pete's Dragon
Pippi Longstockins
Pollyanna
Richie Rich
Rocketeer
Sabrina (older version)
Secondhand Lions
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Shirley Temple
Short Circuit
Singing in the Rain
Sound of Music
The Apple Dumpling Gang
The Labyrinth
The Man from Snowy River
The Mouse on the Motorcycle
The Mountain Family Robinson
The Never-Ending Story
The Court Jester
The Princess Bride
The Sandlot
The Scarlet Pimpernel (with Leslie Howard)
The Secret Garden
The Swan Princess
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Music Man
The Little Toaster
The Three Musketeers
The Treasure Seekers
The Wizard of Oz
Where the Red Fern Grows
White Fang
Yours, Mine and Ours

Enjoy! And also let me know of any that I missed!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Who’s reading Young Adult novels?

Camy here! I came across this article in Publisher’s Weekly today about a study that showed 55% of YA Books are bought by adults. I thought that was interesting, although not really surprising.

I know this blog has a wide age range of readers, but the majority of you guys are young, right? So I thought if you guys are up for it, some of you please tell me:

1) how old you are (you can fudge and say twenties or thirties or forties rather than your age)

and

2) if you read young adult novels

I admit that I do, and I’m almost 40. But I’ve also worked with the youth group at church for 16 years now. My editors have often told me my adult characters sound too young, and I’m like, “But that’s how I talk!” so I think my youth group stint has made me think I’m younger than I really am. :)

Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Out now is the first book in her new series, Protection for Hire, which is like Stephanie Plum meets The Joy Luck Club. She is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she ponders frivolous things like knitting, running, dogs, and Asiana. Visit her website to sign up for her quarterly newsletter.

Monday, September 10, 2012

For every season...let there be candycorn.


I mean. It's like they read my mind...

Autumn brings to mind blessings, and for the above, trust me - I'm pretty grateful ;)

What about you? What does Harvest Season do for your soul? I've never met a person, young or old, who didn't like Fall.

Think about - Spring is pretty popular, but has naysayers because of the pollen. (achooo!) Winter is enjoyed or despised for various reasons (too cold, or some other people love the cold) Summer is controversial because kids love being out of school (and teachers too!) but a lot of people just can't stand the heat.

But Autumn? It's beloved.

I think Autumn reveals to us a lot about God. It's a season when things are reserved, calming. Leaves are changing colors and twirling to the ground. It's almost mystical. There is still color, but it's muted. The air is brisk and tangy. Some view the falling leaves as death, others as a peaceful wait period before the promises of Spring and renewal.

Are you in a rough season right now? Remember, God promises His own Spring. Whatever trials you're facing are only for a season, an appointed time until life buds forth again. Regardless of the season, God is with you. He promises that, friend.

(And I'm personal testimony to the fact that you CAN save up enough candycorn through Autumn to last well into the summer...)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

True or Not True?


In the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy, one of Katniss’s friends (I won’t say who in case you haven’t gotten to Book 3 yet) is held prisoner by the evil Capitol. He returns a completely different person who has been so tortured mentally that he no longer trusts Katniss. In fact, thanks to the Capitol’s cruel mind games, he is convinced that she is his enemy. The method that finally brings him back to reality is an ongoing routine of “True or not true.” He has a memory, good or bad, and asks her if it really happened.



“You (fill in the good memory). True or not true?”

“True.”

“You (fill in the bad memory)? True or not true?”

“Not true.”

Even while hearing that some of his worst nightmares are false, he must learn to trust Katniss again. Is she playing games with him like the Capitol did? Learning to recognize the truth from the lies in his head forces him to consider the source and choose to trust a friend who has so clearly earned it. 

Recently, the “True or not true” topic came to mind while discussing fears with some friends at church. One friend wanted to teach her kids to play this game when they got scared.

“There’s a monster under my bed. True or not true? Really?”

“God is with me, even in the dark. True or not true?”

I realized that I needed to start playing “True or not true” in some areas myself.

“I can’t expect God to keep providing for me. True or not true?”

“Life will always be this hard; I might as well accept it. True or not true.”

“Just because I can’t see what’s next, doesn’t mean God isn’t working. True or not true.”

I admit that it’s often difficult to sort the truth from the mind games that the enemy plays with me, and even the games I play with myself. But I’m learning to trust what I know about God. He has definitely earned my trust.

What about you? Do you feel like your mind is full of so many confusing messages that you can’t decide which is true and which isn’t? Do you need to start a regular “True or not true” routine? How do you know when a thought is from God?


 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Paranoia






My mother raised me to be paranoid. Which is why I am probably still alive despite growing up in (name of town censored lest I receive hate mail for speaking the truth).

What mom did not foresee was the consequence of teaching her airhead daughter to lock the door every time I leave the house. Mom now has a daughter who cannot get back inside the house, even if someone was chasing me... because the keys are inside.

I have met every neighbor on my street because I am too ashamed to use the phone at the same house more than twice (in a week).

One neighbor felt sorry for me when I was expecting. "Oh, it's just pregnancy-brain," she said. Another (who smelled distinctly of marijuana) withdrew his offer of a funny looking rolled up piece of paper after he realized it wasn't just a tumor growing in my stomach (medical relief, he said).

I think I'm inadvertently teaching my daughter to be paranoid, too. We always lock our doors and never talk to strangers... unless they have telephones or can remind us which rock our spare key is under.

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Q4U: What funny or helpful habits has your mom taught you?

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Bekah Hamrick Martin is a local writer who can be reached at writebrained@gmail.com, unless she's accepting a ride from the neighbors.


Girls, God, and the Good Life

 
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