Monday, December 31, 2012

Social Media Monday—Top 10 Ways to Fail Spectacularly with Social Networking


This past year, everywhere you turned someone was offering help on how to succeed with marketing, aka social media. Today I’m going to turn the tables and give you my top 10 ways to fail spectacularly with social networking.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Life Lessons—It's Over!


by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Ok, well at least it’s almost over! 2012 is rapidly moving into the history books. In just three days, we’ll put the period at the end of the year and usher in a new one.

Some are looking to that new year with great anticipation and excitement. Others with angst an uncertainty. Still some feel the world will end before the end of the year.

There are a few things that are certain in this uncertain time we live in. They bring hope, so I want to share:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Greetings!

I hope you're all enjoying a wonderful holiday season. I'm spending time with the family and will resume blogging on Friday, December 28. Thanks for following us in 2012. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2013!

Blessings, 
Edie

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekend Worship—A Holiday Blessing


Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith . . . Hebrews 10:22

Our son’s first deployment was the first time our family was apart during Christmas. I found myself dreading the holidays and consequently postponed decorating the house. This was way out of character for me. I’d always delighted in filling the house with multiple trees, twinkling lights and all the trimmings of Christmas. But somehow it didn’t seem right to celebrate so abundantly when my son was halfway around the world in the middle of a war.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Review—Some of My Favorite Writing Conferences for 2013

BRMCWC Awards Banquet, Photo Courtesy of Mary Denman
Today I'd like to highlight some of my favorite writing conferences that are coming up in the first part of 2013. There are literally hundreds to choose from, but I only endorse those I've been to or where I know the majority of the faculty personally. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Real Life Love Story


Today is our thirty-first anniversary. I don’t normally post on a Wednesday, but I decided to share my real life love story.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Evaluating the Writers Path


The writing path is a journey of a lifetime
I’ve found the writing path to be the journey of a lifetime. At times it’s fraught with discovery and at others, discouragement. I’ve learned how to avoid some of its pitfalls by spending some time each year gazing back at the way I’ve come.

This time of year, with Christmas and New Year's close at hand, my thoughts turn backward as I evaluate the past year and prepare for the next one. I've given up New Year's Resolutions completely and find the freedom from those expectations a major relief.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My 13 Social Media Predictions for 2013


We’ve seen a lot of changes over the last twelve months. Some were easy to predict, others, well…not so much. I’ve spent a lot of time researching what the experts have to say, and I’ve decided to weigh in with my thoughts. So here’s my personal list of Social Media Predictions for 2013.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Worship—Where was God?


He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Its times like these when we want to
know, "Where is God?"
Have you ever wished you understood God completely—understood why He allows things to happen? This week we’re all reeling from the children who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut. To be perfectly honest, I don’t believe there are words that can bring comfort to those families involved. The hurt is too senseless, too cruel, to horrific to ever be bandaged with words.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Life Lessons—Change is Good...You Go First


by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

I’m one of those strange individuals who enjoys change, most likely because I am very easily bored. I quickly tire of one thing and am eager to move on to the next great adventure.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Review—Take an Unbiased Look at Your Site


This time of year I’m already looking ahead to what’s to come. I enjoy the holidays, but sometimes it feels like life is on hold and I’m ready to get back into a routine. One of the things I can do, is get everything ready to go when the New Year blossoms. Part of that involves taking an unbiased look at my site.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!


The Next Big Thing…we’d all like to hear our book spoken of in those terms. Not likely, but who knows, I might help you find it! 

I’m participating in a blog hop, exposing my readers to some new authors. For those of you who aren’t familiar with a blog hop, it’s a series of posts linked to each other across the web. I’d like to thank Staci Stallings  for tagging me to participate!

In this particular hop, I’m answering ten questions about my latest WIP (Work in Progress). Feel free to post questions and comments!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Top 10 Gifts for Writers!


All I want for Christmas…

‘Tis the season of gift-giving and, with Black Friday just around the corner, I’d like to propose a few. Most of us are members of critique groups or have a special friend who’s a writer. Here is my top ten list. Consider these a jumping off point, use them for your own Christmas list or as a way to bless another writer this season.

10. A Christmas ornament. This could be something that pertains directly to a WIP (work in progress) or be more generic in nature. Through the years, my critique partners have gifted me with some amazing Christmas ornaments and I look forward to adding them to my tree.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Social Media Monday—How to Verify Your Website for Pinterest


Pinterest is a social network that’s becoming more and more popular as a social network. If you’re not sure how to utilize this versatile platform visit my post on How to PersonalizePinterest.

But you may be missing out on part of this valuable resource if your website or blog isn’t verified. When you filled out the profile section of your Pinterest account there was a place to list your blog/site address. That’s great, but to make that a clickable link you must verify your site.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekend Worship— Don’t be Afraid of Red on White


“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?” Luke 14:34


This weekend I’ve been privileged to be on staff at the first annual Lightning Bug Literary Festival in Canton, Mississippi. This has been an amazing experience in many ways, but one of the highlights has been the faculty I’ve gotten to serve with. I’ve known several of them for years, but others are now new friends. I had time to sneak into a few of their workshops and have come away refreshed and reenergized by what I’ve heard. I was particularly impacted by the insights of filmmaker Brian Bird.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Life Lessons—It's Never too Late

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D.


It's never too Late to follow your dream

I hear individuals all the time saying they wish they would have done something earlier in life, because now it’s too late. I can understand that if you wanted to be a child idol and you’re 35. I’d say that dream is gone. If you want to be a wide receiver for the NFL and you’re 62 AND female, chances are that ain’t gonna happen.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Review—Christmas Writing

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

With all the things we have to do during the holidays, it’s easy to set our writing aside. But what if we could incorporate our writing into some of our favorite holiday traditions? Here are a few suggestions that will help you “keep calm and write on” during this busy time of year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Make Your Settings Sing—Using Narrative as a Tool


The writing world is cyclic, just like everything else. Right now, the cautionary phrase on the tip of every critique partner’s tongue is show don’t tell. They’re right, of course. Showing draws the reader deeper into the story, and adds an immediacy to the reading experience. But many well-meaning crit partners often label narrative or exposition as telling. 



Narrative is an integral tool that a writer uses to make the scenes come alive. Without good narrative the story isn’t grounded. So how do we make our settings come alive? We let the reader view the story’s settings through the filter of the POV character’s emotions, experiences and beliefs. Look at the examples below to see what I’m talking about.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Social Media Monday—Resize an Image with Your PC or Mac


In this age of social networking it seems that every platform has a different size requirement to post images. Because of that, it’s imperative for you to be able to resize an image with your PC or Mac. It’s not hard…once you know how to do it. So today I’ll take you step-by-step through the process for Mac and PC.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekend Worship—Second-Mile Living


And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41

The Patriot Guard stands at attention at the funeral
of a fallen soldier.
This past week I found myself at yet another military funeral. I’ve lost track of the number I’ve attended in our community this year—a sad commentary on the world where we live. Every one I’ve attended has been incredibly moving, but the passage the chaplain chose for the funeral sermon this time has stayed with me all week.

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…

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writers Challenge—Assemble Your Dream Team!


Who would you put on your writing dream team?
I admit it, I’m hooked on the TV show, Castle. The main character, Richard Castle is a larger than life writer. He’s the talented, rich alter ego most of us dream of being. He lives in New York City and meets with several other famous writers for a weekly poker game.

It’s that fictional weekly poker game that got me thinking. I couldn’t resist, I began to compile my own list of famous writers. These are the secret crushes I’ve harbored for years—those I’d love to hang out with on a regular basis. In my mind, every time I write a story I secretly wonder how it would stand up during a discussion with my dream team.

Have I piqued your curiosity? No worries, I’ll share all.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Worship—Energized or Enervated: The Power of Words


These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. Luke 6:46-47 (The Message)
  
I get a lot of joy from the blogs I follow. They bring energy when I’m down and life to an otherwise lackluster day. These are frequently written by people I’ve worked with or met at conferences or who’ve been in my classes. Be warned, if you’ve been one of my students, I do keep up with you.

Many have commented that they wonder how I keep up with so many. I readily admit I don’t read every blog, every day. If I did, I’d never get anything done.

But I do pay attention to the post titles and try to pay attention to that gentle tap on my spiritual shoulder when I need to stop and read one. It’s ALWAYS a blessing. God has spoken to me so clearly through so many of you. I wish I had the time to tell each of you in person how you’ve impacted my life. I know I could never adequately explain, so my prayer is that, in Heaven, you’ll get to see the result of your faithfulness.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life Lessons—Mining for Gold


by Reba J. Hoffman

Gold doesn't hang from the trees.
What would you do if you could walk outside and gold would be hanging from the trees and sprouting from the grass? You’d stop reading this blog post right now (sorry Edie), grab a bucket and head outside, right? Of course you would.

Well, while gold isn’t hanging like an ornament from the oak tree in your front yard, writer’s gold is everywhere. Great authors take advantage of that wealth, understand it on a deep level and invest in its growth.

Each and every day of life is chocked full of precious golden nuggets of truth and wisdom. And yet writers—and people in general—expend an overwhelming amount of energy trying to avoid it.

I wrote this in one of my books of long ago: True wisdom is forged on the anvil of suffering. It’s absolutely true. All the hardships you face in life hammer out a wisdom that will be intricately and uniquely woven into the fabric of your story. But, it’s completely up to you whether or not you mine for it.

Here are some steps you can take to turn the calamity in your life into award winning novels.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Review—Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel


Today's blog is a guest post from my friend, and fellow My Book Therapy Core Team member, Michelle Lim. Her new book on brainstorming is a great resource for writers and I'm excited to introduce her to you today!

Brainstorming, a Tool for ALL Writers!
by Michelle Lim

Brainstorming is an essential tool for writers in all different areas of their career. I often hear people ask me, “How do you come up with blog topics?”

My ideas often come from the inspiring things in my world, physical as well as visual. I love to go and look at different online pictures. Sometimes they inspire blogs I’ve written like, DoYou Have What It Takes to Be Chicken? 

Other times, I look at my life and draw inspiration from my kids, family and house. These have inspired blogs like, Rearrangingthe Furniture: How to Rearrange Words To Give Them Punch.  

Events are also helpful in planning blog topics. I look for things that are important to my audience, paying particular attention to what's going on in the world around us. That’s why blogs on conferences, the Olympics, and writing contests are all popular.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Social Media Monday—Social Media & the Law of Diminishing Returns


Social Networks are as hard to number
as a charm of Hummingbirds!

At the time I'm publishing this blog, there are approximately 40 large social media platforms and networks. I say approximately because counting them is about as hard as numbering a charm (flock) of humming birds. And they come and go almost as quickly.

Trying to chase down and join all the networks is not only impossible, it’s completely counterproductive. As writers, we need to remember the purpose of social networking, and it’s not to make a career as a marketer. It’s the means to an end—actually a couple of ends. Our goal with social media needs to stay focused on two thing:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Worship—Does How I Spend My Time Truly Reflect What I View as Important?


A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:2

I love exploring old cemeteries
This weekend we spent time exploring old churchyards, and the cemeteries that populate them, in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. I was fascinated with the bits and pieces of life hinted at on the carved tombstones. I love history, but this went even deeper.

It made me consider the hectic pace of life, and the things I might be missing.

As we wandered through these memorial grounds, I wanted to know why families chose the markers they did. Some were plain, some ornate, others almost works of art. Was the tombstone chosen based on how much those left behind had to spend, or was it some commentary on how well the deceased had been loved? Truthfully, it was probably a multiple of factors, but I found myself oddly comforted as I walked through these peaceful places.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Life Lessons—Killing Time, A Dangerous Pursuit


by Reba J Hoffman
Life was slower when I was growing up
I grew up in a slower time. Summers seem to stretch on forever. My friends and I would go down to the creek on a lazy Sunday afternoon. We’d skip rocks across the water, swing from a rope, splash into the deep end, and dry off in the sunshine while gazing at clouds. When I got home and was asked what I’d been doing, my answer was always, “killing time.”
Today is a much different world. I have gray hair and a few extra pounds. I’d injure myself if I swung on that rope and there is absolutely not a single second to, ummm, “kill”.
With every passing day I’m reminded of what a gift life is and how my days are numbered. Even if I live to be a hundred, I’m on the down slope. When I was young, I really thought life was forever. I was invincible. Immortal. Today I know that I’m not even guaranteed tomorrow.
Being faced with that truth, I learned a few things I’d like to share: