Sunday, January 20, 2013

Questions and Answers

This past week Pauline Phillips died. You probably knew her as Dear Abby. She died of Alzheimer’s disease at age 94. She was the most widely syndicated newspaper columnist in the world. For over 60 years she dispensed answers to people’s most perplexing questions about marriage, children, and jobs. Every question she posted was given a well thought out answer, often times telling people to look within themselves to change instead of expecting the situation to change. She was still “blooming” into her 80’s and sounds like my kind of woman. Her life could be summed up by the following Swedish toast that she liked to quote: “Fear less; hope more. Eat less; chew more. Talk less; say more. Hate less; love more."
This quote speaks to me as a writer. In the art of writing, emphasis is constantly placed on saying more with fewer words and eliminating unnecessary words in all sizes of manuscripts. In other words, don’t be “wordy.” Everything I write can usually be pared down by one-third. The discipline of staying in the allotted word count is a real challenge.
I recently participated in a radio interview about my book, Born Three Times. I was given fifteen minutes to answer questions about my story and I wanted to make every word count. I sweated bullets trying to figure out what the interviewer would ask me. I listened to other interviews done in the same format and heard other writers droning on about what they had written. A fear of doing the same thing motivated me to action. With pen in hand, I came up with six questions that I thought I would be asked and wrote out my answers to those questions. My goal was to “talk less and say more.” There were a few “ums and aahs” when I was surprised by a question I didn’t anticipate. My interview was aired on, an online radio station that posts interviews with new authors. Now I am allowed to use it for my personal use to promote my book. You can hear for yourself how well I did.
To find my interview, click on the Radio Interview tab at the top of this post. Click the black button to start the audio. Thank you for listening and feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Take if Off -- Put it On

Two people that I admire and whose counsel I seek gave me some good advice recently. My doctor advised me “to taste, but not eat” and my pastor spoke to my heart when he told me “what to wear in the New Year.” If I want to continue “blooming” during 2013, I need to follow their wise words.
An unknown author once said, “People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” 
OK, the holidays are over and it is time for me to get with the program. I’ve spent way too much time this past year, sitting at my computer, writing my book, and munching along the way. I never knew that writing is fattening. My memoir, Born Three Times, is published and now I have to get moving to undo the weight gain. My doctor’s advice doesn’t eliminate any food group (I like that part), but is all about portion control—in other words Self-Discipline which is a challenge for me. I have three months to get some weight off and my blood pressure back to normal. It’s a good thing I like lots of veggies and feathers and fins—chicken and fish. I need all the encouragement and support I can get, so please comment below if you are willing to join me in streamlining your body during 2013. 
New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming, so how about thinking of a daily resolution? I recently found a quote by Henry Moore that speaks to me. He said, “I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.” My pastor put flesh on that quote during last Sunday’s sermon. His message was from Colossians 3:12-14. 
            “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
It seems overwhelming to clothe myself with those seven virtues, unless I put them on one by one. Seven virtues—Seven days; one virtue each day that I can pray for. I can do that!
Sunday – compassion
Monday – kindness
Tuesday – humility
Wednesday – gentleness
Thursday – patience
Friday – forgiveness
Saturday - love 

My goal is to be the person God wants me to be in 2013. In order to do that, I need to care for both my physical and spiritual health. Consider joining me in this venture.
My book Born Three Times-A New Life, A New Liver, A New Love is available to purchase from several different sources. Please see the How to Order tab at the top of my blog for more information.