Friday, April 28, 2006

Four

4 movies you would watch over and over

• When Harry Met Sally
• Sense and Sensability
• Dirty Dancing
• Five Heartbeats

4 Places you've lived:

• Guam
• San Diego, California
• Orlando, Florida
• Pensacola, Florida

4 TV shows you love to watch

• Commander In Chief
• Mediem
Grey Anatomy
• House

4 places you have been on vacation:

• Salem MO
• Odessa MO
• Pensacola Florida
• Seattle Washington

4 Websites you visit regularly (daily/weekly):

• Forensics and Faith (Brandilyn Collins)
• Romancing The Blog
• Rhythms Of Grace
No rules. Just write
• Camy's Loft

4 of your favorite foods

• Fried Chicken
• French fries
• Pizza
• White Castles

4 places you would rather be right now:

• Home
• Disney World
• On the beach in St. Crox
• At a spa getting pampered

What are your four?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Writing Awards

Yesterday I was watching Medium and part of the story line was about the daughter writing a speech to deliver in front of the assembly. The speech was about discrimination. In her class one of her schoolmates had a better speech. She questioned the teacher about it and he said he felt her speech was presented better; however she could read his inner thoughts and he said he didn’t like the boy because of the way he looked and acted. He didn’t want him representing the school.

I thought this was ironic considering they were writing speeches about discrimination. Wasn’t what he did discrimination?

It made me think about writing awards. On another blog the subject of RWA awards and the lack of African-Americans winning them was a hot topic. The author of the blog entry wanted to know why there were never any African-American writers in the award listings.

Is this a form of discrimination I wondered?

As an African-American I’m not surprised by this, at first I questioned it myself. What was the deal? Then I found out this particular award, the writers submit their own books. Most of the writers I knew who are in this organization, chose not to submit their books. They didn’t believe their book had a chance.

I once questioned the first African-American President for RWA about this and she felt the multi-cultural books shouldn’t have a separate category. They were romance books they should be included in the romance books.

Unfortunately if this were true, I never would have had an online magazine that featured multi cultural books. The books weren’t included. It’s been ten years and they still aren’t included. I honestly believe they never will.

I believe there should be a separate category for Multi-cultural books. Why? Because the publishers felt a need to make our books a niche then we should have a niche award, just as they have a separate award for Inspirational/Christian books.

As a reader of romance, I’m proud of the multi-cultural books. I enjoy reading about people who look like me. I love reading about men I could dream about marrying one day. Why? Because since I was eight years old and read my first romance, I enjoyed them, but I wished the man had caramel skin and dreamy dark brown eyes instead of blue eyes and blond hair. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to read about someone who looks like you. I like the idea of having a choice. If I want to dream about Brad Pitt or Will Smith I can. I’m not stuck with one choice, like it use to be.

I know the awards system has a ways to go before we see a multi-cultural author in its mists, but I believe we can help it along by submitting our books. At least we can say we did enter its up to the judges to read the book and see we’re great writers too.

You can’t win if you don’t enter.

Speaking of awards, I have to say something about the awards SORMAG presents each year. I’m amazed at how many authors don’t vote for themselves. It’s a simple form. You type in the names and books. We tally the votes and the author and books with the most votes is the winner.

However each year many authors don’t vote. As I said before you can’t win if you don’t enter. Many times an author is one vote away from winning, their own vote could have taken them over the top.

You can’t win if you don’t enter.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Talking With God

Yesterday I was going through some of my old things and I came across one of my diaries I kept while in the Navy. Yes I had some wild times in the Navy and this diary is proof. Reading it I came up with some great stories to write.

One of the things I noticed about my diary is how much I talked with God. During this time I wasn’t saved. I use to say I didn’t go to church, but I had a relationship with God. It was nice to see that even when I wasn’t a Christian I was conversating with God.

It made me smile because I hadn’t realized how much I use to talk with God. The best part is he listened and spoke to me. Sometimes I didn’t agree with him or chose to ignore him which I found out later in the diary, I should have listened.

Reading this diary again, I learned a lot about myself. I was horrible in picking men (OK at 20-25 who is). My dream of becoming a published writer began at this time. When I was writing the entries I was sometimes in tears and wondering if I would laugh at these words later. Yes I did, some part has me cracking up. How naive I was back then. The most amazing part I learned is I relied on the Lord. It was the beginning of our friendship.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Being In God’s Arms

One of my favorite poems is called Footprints. The first time I read the poem, it spoke to me. I understood what it meant. I always think of it as I make my journey in this life.

For the month of March, the Lord has been carrying me. I’ve been holding on for dear life. Having a sick parent is hard. Not knowing if she’ll make it through is even harder. I’ve been so grateful for my faith. It has helped me through these rough days. Praying and talking with God has kept me at peace.

Yes I will admit I’ve been stressed, who wouldn’t be. However I’ve also learned its God’s will. No matter what the doctors or their charts say. God has the ultimate say.

I visited with my mother yesterday. It was the clearest she’s been. It was wonderful seeing the glaze removed from her eyes and hearing her say she wants to eat. As I left the hospital I said thank you Lord because I know he isn’t through with her yet.

Sure it will be more days like this, but I know as long as I have Jesus, I can get through them.

For all who prayed and offered your wonderful words of encouragement, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Author Intro - Dena Dyer


Speaker, Writer, Motivator

Dena Dyer speaks and writes to busy women, encouraging them to make space for solitude, silence, beauty and grace in their daily lives. She also urges women to reawaken their sense of wonder and creatively add gracious touches to their everyday lives.
Just what is a Groovy Chick?

The Groovy Chicks’ Roadtrip

Just like life, The Groovy Chicks' Roadtrip™ to Peace is full of humor, inspiration and real-life ups and downs. Delving into this brand-new "Chick Lit" compilation, you'll find stories about infertility, depression, churchiness versus godliness, and much, much more! And as if the trip weren't unpredictable enough, our 60's alter-egos, Starshine and Pepper, provide wacky, wise, and sometimes-poignant sidebars.

The reason for the journey? To remind women in this chaotic world that Jesus is the only REAL roadmap to peace, and that with God, we can ALL be groovy! The Message says in Psalm 18:30:

“What a God! His road
Stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
Makes it.”

So if you're in a groovy mood--or if you just need to laugh--set aside your cares, and let the Groovy Chicks drive you from fear to faith, from hurt to healing, and from chaos to contentment!

And who better to take you on the road than two crazy, God-fearing hippies? So pack your bags and hop in the VW Bus!



You Know You're a Groovy Chick If...

10. You love to laugh (especially at yourself!) and see life as a celebration.
9. You know that God cares more about the size of your heart than the size of your jeans.
8. Your wardrobe, accessories, and home d├ęcor reflect the real you.
7. You can multitask with the best of them, but you also know that the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t do it all in one day.
6. You carve out moments in your busy schedule to spend time with friends and family.
5. You have trouble resisting a bargain, sweet baby, or cute puppy.
4. Your car may be messy, but it’s only because you’re the carpool/soccer/mission trip Volunteer Queen.
3. You appreciate old age, especially if it’s staring you in the face.
2. You’re not a pacifist, but passionate about life.

And the #1 quality of a Groovy Chick is…
1. You know you are Groovy only because of Christ in you!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Calling On The Lord

A few weeks ago, my mother fell and hit her head on her oxygen tank. My sister took her to the hospital and they said she was bleeding on the brain. Supposedly they gave her some medicine that would help dissolve the blood. She stayed in the hospital for a while, each day she become more confused. The doctors claim it didn’t have anything to do with the injury.

She came home last Monday, but she wasn’t herself. She was still confused and unknown to us having headaches everyday. She went to her dialysis on Saturday and they called an ambulance to take her back to the hospital, they say she was talking crazy.

It’s been an uphill battle every since. The doctors insist the confusion had nothing to do with the injury. Yesterday they had to drill a hole in her head to drain the area that had started to bleed again.

My sister spent the night with her because our mother likes to get up in the middle of the night. My poor sister had a rough night with her mother. She refused to rest and she kept talking about being pregnant and hurting the baby. My sister has never seen her mother like this, so I’m sure it was pretty scary for her.

I know I’ve been stressed out for months now. It’s hard seeing your parent go through pain and suffering. My mother is only 58 and I assumed, we wouldn’t have days like this until she was much older.

Being a caregiver I believe is harder job than being a parent, because you become the parent to your parent, which is hard.

I find myself calling Jesus. Just saying his name some days gives me peace. I know I can’t do this alone. I feel helpless on the days she’s confused. The past few weeks I ask myself and my sister what are we going to do if she doesn’t stop being confused?

I’m a book reader and I normally can find a book on any subject when I’m having a problem. I haven’t found one on how to cope with a sick parent.

I call out to Jesus. Help me Lord because I don’t have a clue.

Are you a caregiver? What do you do when your parent is confused, how do you cope?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

AUTHOR INTRO - Keri Wyatt Kent


See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Keri Wyatt Kent: I'm a mom of two great kids: Melanie, 12, and Aaron, 10. I've been married to Scot for 15 years. I am a working mom, I do freelance writing for magazines and businesses, and write my books. I also do quite a bit of speaking. Fortunately, I can work from home so I can be around for the kids. As a writer, my background is journalism--I was a newspaper reporter for about 10 years before having kids and going into freelancing. Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life is my fourth book. I also have a couple of books where I was an editor or co-writer. You can check them out on amazon.com, or on my website, www.keriwyattkent.com

SYOTN: Tell us about your current book?

KENT:
It's called Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life. It's a book on how we can really pay attention to God's voice. The book has three parts: the first is about how God speaks to us through our lives, through the struggles and joys. The second part is about how God speaks to us through others, and how we can grow spiritually by offering the gift of listening to others. The final part looks at spiritual practices that are transformed by listening, such as prayer or mediation on Scripture. For example, you can just pray and throw words at the ceiling and hope God hears you, or you can incorporate listening into your prayer life (by being silent, waiting on God, listening to his word in Scripture) and then, it moves from being just talking to conversation. Listening transforms the practice, which in turn, transforms you.

SYOTN: Writing this book, what did you learn about yourself and God?

KENT:
I learned that I've often limited the ways that I'm able to hear from God. Writing this book opened me up to noticing how God has spoken, not just through "leadings" or bringing ideas or people to mind, but through the circumstances of my life. My life--its joys, its struggles--has been a way for God to communicate with me. He also speaks through other people--and not just preachers. He speaks through you children, through people you don't expect to provide wisdom. God got bigger for me as I wrote this book--I realized he is always speaking. I learned this about myself--that I need to tune into his voice and pay attention.

SYOTN: What aspect of God do you most hope readers will take away after reading your book?

KENT:
I hope readers' spiritual lives will be transformed. That may seem like a pretty grand expectation, but really, learning to listen to God is transformational. So many of us just go through the motions, or feel like we are living life disconnected from God. But when we begin to pay attention to what God wants to say through our circumstances (even the difficult ones) and other people (again, even the difficult ones)--we'll discover that God desires communication and communion with us--and that means our relationship must be one where we both speak and listen--two way communication. I hope readers will realize that is indeed possible--and that can be a transforming truth. If you could live your life in on-going conversation with God, that would be transforming, right? I hope so.

SYOTN: How do you feel about critique groups?

KENT:
I've been in one before, and just recently joined an on-line one, but we're a bit slow getting started. I find them helpful if people are willing to be honest. But sometimes they're not. I find that having a group of two works better, if you can find someone who's willing to be brutally honest. I'm lucky--I have a friend who reads my stuff and is willing to actually help me improve it.

SYOTN: What one thing about writing do you wish other writers would understand?

KENT:
Well, if you want to write, you have to be willing to re-write. I do several drafts of everything I write. You will not get it right the first time through. So good writing depends on re-writing. I think the willingness to revise, edit, improve--that's what separates good writers from wanna-be's.

SYOTN: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

KENT:
That writing is a job. I often go and speak, and have my four books spread out on the book table, and have just given a well-prepared presentation, and people will come up to me and say, "So, Keri, do you work?" Other author friends say they've experienced the same thing. Um, my writing/speaking/teaching is a JOB. I may not make a lot of money, I may do it from the spare bedroom (typically in my pajamas) but it is my job, it is work.

SYOTN: Do you have any promotional tips for writers?

KENT:
Write about what you love, because it's a lot easier to get excited about promoting something you are passionate about. If you write a book you don't really care about, you're not going to do the marketing. And marketing is part of an author's WORK. (see above)

SYOTN: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

KENT:
I'm a working mom--very few books keep me up, because by the end of the day I am tired! I read all the time. Most recently, I enjoyed "A Year by the Sea--Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman" by Joan Anderson. I also love Donald Miller's work--Blue Like Jazz was amazing, and I also really enjoyed his Searching for God Knows What.

SYOTN: What resources do you use on the net?

KENT:
I don't fully utilize the net as much as I should. My kids are much more computer savvy than I am. I Google anything I am trying to learn more about. I am in just one writers group on-line--it's helpful but also takes a lot of time away from actually writing. biblegateway.com is a great way to look up Bible verses or other bible info --you can search all versions of the bible, in different languages. I also am always checking amazon--I love bookstores and that's a way I can sort of spend a few minutes in a bookstore without leaving the house!

SYOTN: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

KENT:
My website, www.keriwyattkent.com, has a place to contact me, get info about having me come and speak, and also a way to sign up for my monthly e-zine, which is called Connecting with Keri Wyatt Kent.