Sunday, October 31, 2010

Be hungry for life

Be hungry for life. I meet too many people who lack a hunger for life and I always think it’s so sad. They don’t live life. They don’t experience life. They just go on, day to day, getting up in the morning and going to bed at night and filling the hours in between with a nothingness that leaves their hearts empty. I met a guy recently and he was lost. Very lost.  He thought maybe he should do this or maybe he should do that and he ended up doing nothing at all. Maybe he feared failure. Or rejection. Maybe he didn’t have the confidence to try and so instead he stayed in the hole he had so carefully dug because there he felt safe and secure. But all it took was an outstretched hand to pull him out of the hole and be the light he needed to find his way. If you feel like the guy in the hole, my hand is reaching toward you. You are important. You do matter. People do care. Believe in yourself and allow others to believe in you, too.  Life is too precious to not live it with everything you’ve got. Life is good and bad and happy and sad and tough and easy. But when you have a hunger for life, when you live it and breathe it with every ounce of your soul, you will feel gloriously alive. And that, my friend, is a grand thing. As Grandma D always said: Live life. Don’t watch it from the sidelines. Get in the game and play your best. The winner is not always the brightest or the best but the one who, despite all the obstacles, doesn’t quit. Be hungry for life – always.    

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Quote of the day

"Sit down every day and DO IT. Writing is a self-taught craft; the more you work at it, the more skilled you become. And when you're not writing, READ." --Lois Duncan
What is one thing you wrote that you are really proud of?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contest alert: YA

Here's a great opportunity for those of you who write YA. Serendipity Literary Agency, along with Sourcebooks and Gotham Writers' Workshop, is holding its second Young Adult Novel Discovery Competition. Get the skinny here. And good luck to all who enter.

The Forest for the Trees

"[I]t's the child writer who has figured out, early on, that writing is about saving your soul." — Betsy Lerner (Forest For The Trees)
I just bought Lerner's revised and updated book and can't wait to read it. Have you read it? If you have, did you like it?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quote of the day

"Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures,
but of the success that may come tomorrow.
You have set yourselves a difficult task,
but you will succeed if you persevere;
and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.
Remember, no effort that we make
to attain something beautiful is ever lost."
--Helen Keller
I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You make a difference

Pastor Greg had a great sermon Sunday. He asked if we had to write our life story, what would we say? Would we say that we led a good life? Helped people? Made a difference in this world?
Pastor talked about the apostle Paul and his difficult journey. This dude (my words, not his) went from persecuting Christians to becoming what many consider the most influential evangelist in history. So how did Paul deal with the result of his conversion? He was probably treated like crap by those he had been after, and yet he kept going.
I wanted to share with you a little bit about what Pastor Greg said because I think that we can apply it to our own lives. So, here’s my attempt at summarizing what I remember from his sermon.
1. Pastor said that people without a purpose are people without a destination. Whether your purpose is to be a mother or a teacher or a writer, a purpose gives you a reason to keep going because you know it’s the right thing to do. Paul clearly had a purpose. I think if you’re reading this blog, you do, too.
2. Pastor said that you can make a difference. Don’t listen to the naysayers of this world. Listen to your heart and listen to what God is telling you. You are a child of God. You have a purpose. You make a difference. You never know whose life you’re going to change or how they might change your life.
3. Accept your weaknesses. Where we can’t do, God picks up. Let God be your strength. Pastor Greg said to remember that “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.” Let God be part of your life. You never know what will happen. You never know that when you’re saving someone’s life, they might be saving your’s. That’s the adventure of living the Gospel, he says.

So Sharon and Sheri and Nat and Candyland and Marissa and Martina and Marcy and Lanita and ALL of my other friends who bless me with your kind words and support, I think that each of you has a purpose. That you do make a difference. And that the world is a better place because you're in it. Have a terrific week and I hope it brings good things to everyone.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Have a terrific weekend

I've been thinking Hobbes --"
"On a weekend?"
"Well, it wasn't on purpose..."
--Calvin & Hobbes

Hope you have a happy weekend!

Charity auction update

And the great books from area authors keep coming.Just received from the awesome James McClure two autographed copies of In the Thick of the Fight and the entire local history series that includes: East of Gettysburg, Almost Forgotten, In the Thick of the Fight, Nine Months in York Town and Never to be Forgotten.Thanks Jim. Previous charity posts here and here.

You can also find posts from me:

Hey peeps, here are some of the other places you can find me. I would love to have you follow or become a fan of these Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

FACEBOOK (included some posts below)



Two of my posts from Smartmama Facebook:
1. Hubs and I are going to renew our vows next year for our 25th anniversary (Yeah, I know. Can't believe he survived my quirkiness all those years!). We're considering doing it at Disney (which we love) at the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian. Or, maybe a cruise (which we also love). Our sons will be going, too. I want ...them to be a part of this. Hubs says it's up to me (great guy!) So, what would you choose? --Buffy
2. So I was at a meeting last night and they were talking about students dancing inappropriately at a school sponsored event. What is it with grinding anyway? Seriously, there's no place for this overtly sexual style of dancing at a school function. Do you agree? Or do you think it's the in trend, like jitterbug and disco... were? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I just too old-fashion? --Buffy

Two of my posts from Letseatpa Facebook:
1. So I come home after working out at the Y and it's almost 9 and all I can think about is sipping a Bud Light Lime. Something tells me that's not a good idea, though, so instead I eat a bowl of Cheerios and two pieces of 15-grain bread ... AND then I drink the beer. --Buffy
2. So the Oreos are calling my name. "Just one," they say. I'm like, "but I can't because if I eat one then I'll eat 2 and 3 and..." What I need are some low calorie snacks that taste good and are filling when the Oreos start partying in the bag and want me to join in. So tell me, what snacks do you have that are low in ...calories but satisfy my sweet tooth? --Buffy
Oh, forgot to mention, we run Twitter and Facebook contests with really cool prizes.

Contest alert

The seventh Dear Lucky Agent contest of the Guide to Literary Agents blog is for young adult. Woo-hoo! Here are the details and good luck to all who enter. Contest ends Nov. 3.

Quote of the day

"Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the most. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window." -William Faulkner

I'll end the week with this great quote. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  Oh, and in case you missed my Facebook post about getting an Ipad, here it is:

So, hubs got me an Ipad for Christmas. (Happy dance) Well, technically, I bought the Ipad. And Christmas seemed like a good excuse. And hubs was like, "Get one if you want one." And I'm like, "Oh, yeah, I will." Ordered it one day and it came the next. Then I called hubs and told him thanks and he says, "glad you like it." Gotta love that man. Anyway...--Buffy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quote of the day

"Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” --John Jakes

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

History books added to auction

 Two more great autographed books for charity auction from Scott Mingus: Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign and Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign Volume II. Awesome stuff!
To see what I've collected so far, check here.  If you'd like to donate an item, please e-mail me, Thanks everyone for all you're doing.

Baker's dozen agent auction

What can be more fun than agents bidding on contest entries. Get the skinny here.  
And good luck to all who enter. I hope you win!

Just for fun

This idea popped into my head and I thought it would be way fun to try. Here's the deal. I write a word and the next person (in comments) writes a new word that begins with the last letter of my word. Confused yet?
So, for example, let's say I write "sleep" (cause I'm so needing it *SMILES*), the first person to respond could write "pepper" in comments (p was the last letter in sleep). The next person could write "run" (r is  last letter in pepper) and the next could write "nonsense" and so on. Just remember to base your word on the last letter of the previous word, which if people join in, you'd find in the last comment posted. So, here goes. The word I'm starting with is:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A minute list

Write one adjective to describe the following. Mine is in ()'s. Copy and paste list in comments and add your answers.
1. Floor (creaky)
2. Book (tattered)
3. Pencil (dull)
4. Macaroni (cold)
5. Water (muddy)
6. Apple (bruised)
7. Lip (pierced)
8. Purse (stuffed) 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote of the day

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne Lamott

I know that many of you have hope that if you keep writing and learning and honing your craft that the dawn will come. I also know that waiting for the dawn is difficult when the Monster of Rejection keeps poking its ugly head into your dreams. But don't give up.

I remember when my sons were training for their black belts the Master told them that very few students attain that level. He told them to remember the first day they started Tang Soo Do. White belts flooded the dojo. Over the years, many students who had started with them dropped out. Some made it to orange belt; others to green or another color. But only a couple stuck with the rigorous training schedule that would eventually lead them to the ultimate test.
After years of training, both of them earned their black belts. It wasn’t easy. It was probably the most challenging and difficult thing they have ever done. Yes, there were times when they were tired and felt like giving up. But they didn't. Yes, they failed belt tests, but they learned from their failures and trained harder. 
Only those who want the dream, who can taste it and feel it and pour their heart and soul and sweat into it, will succeed. You see, they have this intangible little something deep inside of them that whispers in the quiet of the night or seeps into the free minutes of their day and says: keep going, one step at a time, keep going. That next step might just be the one. The dawn is right around the corner, waiting to welcome you.
I hope that each of you has a great week filled with hope and promise and, most of all, love.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Charity auction update

My dear awesome friend Sharon Mayhew is donating some scrapbooking supplies. Woo hoo! Thanks so much Sharon.
Also, received nine autographed copies of Pearls Before Swine comic books from the awesome cartoonist Stephan Pastis.
Thanks so much for your contributions.
What I have now:
  • Autographed copy of "Spoken from the Heart" by Laura Bush.
  • Autographed copy of "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack" by Chuck Sambuchino
  • Autographed copy of "Shifter" by Janice Hardy.
  • Autographed copy of "We Hear The Dead" from YA author Dianne Salerni.
If you would like to donate to this worthy event, please e-mail me ( And thanks peeps for all of the support.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Query Tracker contest

    Here's the skinny on the latest contest from the Query Tracker blog:
    Agent Joan Paquette from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency will judge the entries. Contest begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 27 and ends at 9 a.m. Oct. 28. It is for completed children's picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, or young adult novels.Good luck to everyone who enters.

    Blog tour: Janice Hardy

    I'm super excited to have YA author Janice Hardy here today. Janice is the author of THE SHIFTER and its newly released sequel, BLUE FIRE, part of the fantasy trilogy, THE HEALING WARS. I love, love, love Janice's blog and if you have never checked it out, you're missing something special. She's always giving great advice, often using her own work as examples. And she graciously allows me to repost her blog posts on (with links back to her blog, of course) in order that Inkwell members won't miss her great advice. Check out her website when you have a chance and don't miss these great reads. Oh, almost forgot. Janice lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel.

    And now, I give you author Janice Hardy. (APPLAUSE)
    Changing the World One Word at a Time. Kinda.
    Every event I do, someone usually asks me if I’m trying to say “something profound” with my books. The “something” changes per asker, but it’s always along the lines of a grand theme, political statement, or a commentary on the way the world works: Is the Healers’ League a metaphor for the health care crisis? Is the pynvium a symbol for oil and how our natural resources are drying up? Are the war orphans a statement on kids struggling with working or single parents?
    I always say no, and this seems to surprise folks.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be one of those writers with “something to say,” but my goal when I sit down to write a story is to tell a great story. I want to whisk a reader away and wrap my world and story around them and give them an opportunity to lose a few hours in literary bliss. The same things good books have always done for me.
    However, I know that inspiration comes from everywhere. I don’t think it’s possible to write a story without the reality of the outside world creeping in, even on a subconscious level. So while I don’t plan for a greater meaning, or for anything I make up in my troubled fantasy world to be more than me causing trouble for my characters, I’m not surprised that some readers read more into it. I draw from what’s around me, so naturally current events might influence me. Same as current events influence readers.
    And that tickles me to no end.
    Because we find meaning all around us, same as inspiration. A topic we’re thinking about or struggling with suddenly pops out from the most unlikely places and gets us thinking. Our minds are looking for these connections so we can make sense of things. And one great way to explore an idea is to read about it or something similar.
    By creating conflicts in stories, authors can give readers excuses to think about things in an abstract way. It’s a lot easier to debate a topic when it’s part of a fantasy world, or a made up town, or happening to pretend people. It’s safe. There’s no judgment. You can try on a strange idea and see how it fits. Some ideas will resonate with you, others will wig you out, but that’s okay. Stories open up a dialog—be it with yourself, your family, or your friends. And talking about stuff is good for the soul.
    Which is maybe why authors love delving into tough topics that make people think. Because we’re also trying to figure things out, and through our stories, we get to be part of those conversations. And if one of those people goes on to change the world, well, maybe something we wrote helped make that difference.
    Books are like that. Once they leave our imaginations they create imaginings of their own.

    About BLUE FIRE: Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.
    Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.
    Buy Blue Fire here.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Update on charity auction items

    I will be collecting items for my church charity auction to benefit the local food bank for the next couple of months. I want to thank all of these great authors for their donations and encourage others to prayerfully consider my request for help. 
    1.Autographed copy of "Spoken from the Heart" by Laura Bush
    2. Autographed copy of "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack" by Chuck Sambuchino
    3. Autographed copy of "Shifter" by Janice Hardy. 
    4. Autographed copy of "We Hear The Dead" by Dianne Salerni. 
    Thank you for your generosity and blessings to each of you, Buffy 
    P.S. Contact me if you're willing to donate an item:) 

    Social media and you

    Anyone who knows me knows that I love social media. I juggle multiple Facebook accounts and probably about a dozen Twitter accounts in addition to my blog. And this is all in addition to my work as an editor leading a department that produces two glossy magazines, a daily newspaper features section, a weekly entertainment magazine, multiple websites, e-newsletters, and various other niche products. In my role as social media coordinator, I see the value of these various platforms and the need to expand our digital footprint.  We are no longer just a newspaper. We are a media company, and one of the things we happen to do is publish a daily newspaper. But, we are so much more.
    As the industry reinvents itself, we are finding more ways to connect with our readers and bring them the news and information they want in the way they want to receive it -- whether that's via mobile or website or the traditional core product. Not only are readers consuming news and information via a variety of platforms, journalists are using these same platforms to gather and report the news.
    As an author, social media plays an important role as well. Social media tools allow us to connect with our readers and publish our work in ways that authors 50 years ago could never have imagined. While I  might prefer the physical book, I understand and appreciate that a new generation of readers might prefer to receive and read this same book in a digital format. In today's constantly changing world, there is room for both.
    Don't run away from technology. Don't let it frighten you. Embrace it. Push its boundaries and learn how to effectively use social media tools. And, heck, have fun with these tools. Those who learn how to navigate this new media landscape, who understand it and run with it will be out in front. Let's run this marathon together!
    What social media tools do you use to connect with your readers, fellow writers etc.? Is there one you particularly like?

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Quote of the day

    "We become what we think about all day long."

    --Ralph Waldo Emerson
    So what do you think about? What is your passion? What do you want to be doing five years from now and how are you going about achieving it? Tough questions, I know. But I don't think it's enough to have a goal in mind. You have to have a plan of action. How are you going to get from point A to point Z because you know all of those darn letters in between are going to raise hell and give you grief and pull you in every direction but the one you want to go in. So, how will you deal with these challenges and do you believe enough in yourself and your talent to persevere even when it would be way easier to give up? The thing about life is that it's never easy. Sometimes, most times, it's downright difficult. But it's what we think about all day long. It's what gets us up in the wee hours of the morning and keeps us up late at night that will be the driving force behind our success. Believe and it will be.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Pieces of the past: Postcards

    I found these awesomely cool postcards that belonged to my hub’s grandmother while I was digging through some boxes in the basement. These postcards are more than 100 years old. Wow! They are absolutely beautiful. The ones I posted here are all Christmas postcards. I found some Easter ones, too. And get this. They are addressed to Jessie May Truman, Lucas, Iowa. That’s it. There is no street address. No route number. Just Jessie’s name and the town she lived in. I never even heard of Lucas, Iowa, but I’m guessing that in 1910, it was probably a pretty small place where everyone knew everyone else. The postcards have a one-cent stamp on them. Anyway, I just love when I find these pieces of the past. Jessie married my husband’s grandfather, Chester Gross, who was a U.S. congressman. They met in Washington, D.C., where Jessie worked for a congressman from Iowa. She was also the first female mayor of York, Pa. Grandma Jessie was a first class lady all the way. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to know her.

    Another piece of the past: Check out this link for a picture of me when I was 2 ½. My mom and I were featured in the newspaper. Notice the glass milk bottle. At the time this picture was taken, milk was home delivered by the milkman to the tin milk box on the back porch.
    Do you have any old things that make you smile?

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Making a difference

    We go about living life doing what we do and not giving it much thought. It’s who we are. We might volunteer at church or at school. We might compliment the cashier when we buy our morning coffee or send a hand-written note to tell someone we’re thinking of them. We might hold open the door for the lady using the walker or help the young mom at the checkout who thought she had another five in her wallet.
    But I’ll tell you a secret. People are watching, we just don’t know it.
    True story. A friend of mine lost his job. Guess what? He was quickly offered a better job making more money. Turns out that my friend, who was active in the community, was being watched by the owner of a company. The owner saw the good things he was doing and thought, “There’s someone I’d like to have on my staff.” When the company owner called my friend and offered him a job, he was blown away. He had no idea that the owner had been watching him. He was living his life doing what he always did, not for accolades or because there was something in it for him, but because it was the right thing to do.

    Another true story. The other week I was at the YMCA. This young woman came up to me and told me that she had been watching me work out and how I had inspired her to lose weight. She said something like, “I see you working so hard. You don’t care what you look like (picture a wet dog). You are just doing your thing and I think, ‘Look at her go. I’m gonna try.” She thanked me. I had no idea that she had been watching me or that I had inspired her by my rather intense workouts and not-so-pretty appearance. (Smiles) So now when I go to the Y and she’s there, she runs up to tell me how many minutes she’s been able to walk on the treadmill. At first, it was 5 minutes. I encourage her to add another minute and not to give up. We talk about how she can make better food choices. And I’m so grateful that she said something to me because now I can encourage and support her in her efforts. One of the saddest things I ever heard someone say was that their goal was to lose enough weight so they could go to an amusement park and get on the rides with their kids. Wow. Just writing it brings tears to my eyes.
    So what’s the point of this post? I guess to remind all of us that our actions can make a difference. There are far too many people in this world who want to know what’s in it for them. And here’s the truth that they will never know because they are incapable of seeing beyond themselves: It’s not all about you or me. It’s about everyone.
    I want to live the kind of life that I can be proud of. That doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes. I make them every day. That doesn’t me I make all the right choices. I’ve made plenty of bad ones. It means that I try to do the right thing. That I try to help others and give back to the community when I can. I hope that you do, too.
    If the spirit moves you, I'm looking for charity auction items. Details here.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Quote of the day

    "I don’t know if the optimists or the pessimists are right. But the optimists are going to get something done." --Craig Venter
    So which are you? An optimist or a pessimist? 

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Charity auction donations

    So, I'm collecting items for a charity auction I'm involved with every year through my church. The proceeds benefit a local food bank. My friends and I have been doing this auction for more than 10 years, and we have raised thousands of dollars. If the spirit moves you, I'd love to have your help. So far, I have an autographed copy of "Spoken from the Heart" by Laura Bush (read about my dinner with her here) and "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack" by the awesome Chuck Sambuchino. Many of you know Chuck from his role as editor of Guide to Literary Agents and the author of Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript. He also maintains the Guide to Literary Agents blog. Anyway, if you'd like to donate an autographed copy of your book or an illustration or anything at all, I would love to have it. Just e-mail me ( and I can tell you where to send it. Also, please include your mailing address so we can send you a thank-you note. And thank you to everyone who considers this request. It's a great way to help others. Blessings, Buffy

    Stephen King quotes

    “Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought”
               “Books are a uniquely portable magic”
    "When asked, "How do you write?" I invariably answer, "one word at a time."
    "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Contest alert

    Here's the skinny on the October Secret Agent Contest, which begins Oct. 11. This month's contest will
     include the following genres: Adult commercial fiction (NO SF/F) and young adult. Good luck to everyone who enters. Details here.

    A minute list

    List two things you wonder about. And if anyone knows the answer to what someone wonders, share in comments.
    I'll start, I wonder:
    --why dogs likes to stick their heads out of car windows when the cars are moving?
    --when I go to the movies, which arm rest is mine?
    Now, you’re turn.

    “Wondering's healthy. Broadens the mind. Opens you up to all sorts of stray thoughts and possibilities.” --
    Charles de Lint

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    A mustard seed size faith

    In Pastor Greg’s sermon today, he talked about faith. He talked about how Jesus told his apostles, when they asked him to increase their faith, that they didn’t need a large amount of faith. A mustard seed size would do. What Jesus was trying to tell them in this parable is that it doesn’t take great faith to produce great results. That the results don’t depend on us; they depend on God. Have faith that God will give you what you need to move mountains and uproot trees.
    I’ve always loved this parable. It’s so simple and yet so profound. A mustard seed is a speck, one of the tiniest seeds in the whole world. And yet, look at what it can become if we only believe.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Quote of the day

    "Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses." --Arlen Price
    Sooo true. I thought of this quote the other day when I was complaining (to myself) about not having enough time to write. I didn't find a thousand ways to get more time, but I did find a few. Does this quote speak to you? If so, in what way?