Monday, April 29, 2013

In everything that happens there's a seed for something better

For months, I’ve prayed for God’s guidance about my writing career, for the wisdom to make the right choices and the strength to bear the weight of those decisions. I kept asking God for a sign that I was doing exactly what I was meant to do, but a sign never came. He wasn’t listening, I thought.
It turned out that I was the one who hadn’t been listening, who hadn’t seen the signs that were right before my eyes.

Sorry, God. I got it now. Promise.

I think that in everything that happens there's a seed for something better. But first, you have to recognize the seed and plant it in fertile ground. Then, you must nurture it, making sure it gets just the right about of water and sunshine.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Take Five: Jim McClure, journalist, historian, author and blogger

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Jim McClure, editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News in York, Pa. Jim has penned numerous history books, including the recently released “East of Gettysburg” on Kindle (previously available in hardback). I’ve worked with Jim for more than a decade, and he’s one of my heroes. Not only is he a terrific journalist and author, but the best mentor I’ve ever had.

He’s agreed to kick off my Take Five series. If you’re a published author and would liked to be featured, email me at and put “Take Five” in the subject line. And now, meet Jim.

Jim McClure
Editor of York Daily Record/Sunday News and author
Historian and author

Connect: Facebook, Twiitter

Books: All available here

“Never to be Forgotten, A Year-By-Year Look at York County’s Past”

“Nine Months in York Town, American Revolutionaries Labor on Pennsylvania’s Frontier”

“Almost Forgotten, A Glimpse at Black History in York County, Pa.”

“East of Gettysburg, A Gray Shadow Crosses York County, Pa.”

“In the Thick of the Fight, York County, Pa., Counters the Axis Threat in WWII.”

“Civil War Voices From York County, Pa” (co-authored with Scott Mingus)

“Echoing Still: More Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.” (co-authored with Scott Mingus)


Q. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and what would you ask?

A. Jonathan Edwards was a 18th-century theologian and philosopher, a leading New England intellectual of his day. He produced a body of work so large that scholars at Yale and elsewhere have spent years preparing it for publication and still have a way to go. I would ask him simply: “How did you do so much, so provocatively, so well?

Another inspirational song

I love this song. Added it to my playlist:) Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Love this song

I love this song! Keep the dream alive!

Lunchtime observations

I went for a walk over my lunch break. I never stop being a reporter or writer. I notice details others might miss and I wonder why -- a lot.

Sometimes when I walk, I see something and then I try to describe it in my mind. For example, today this is what I saw and how I described it in my mind.

Saw: White buds falling from trees

Described: White silky blossoms fluttered from the tree, carried away by the sweet spring breeze.  

Saw: Tiny green buds on trees

Described: The tiny leaves, snuggled together, reminded me of a butterfly’s wings, waiting to burst open and welcome the world.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Change is good

Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. I’ve learned to embrace the unexpected, not fear it. I always say that change is good. It gives us a chance to re-evaluate where we are and where we’re headed. Too often people resist change and miss opportunities.

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
                                                                  --Bruce Barton

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When an ending is a beginning

My WIP, "The Christmas Violin," is constructed like a violin concerto.

The first movement is titled Despair, the second movement is titled Journey and third movement is titled Hope. The second movement is the longest, followed by the first and third movements.

It’s coming in at around 26,000 words, so it’s more novella-length. I included one paragraph after the last movement, titled Encore, that I hope nails the ending. When I wrote it, I cried. Not because it was the end, but because it was the beginning.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

StoryPress app records history for future generations

Check out this StoryPress app, spoken history recording application.

From its Kickstarter page:

"StoryPress believes that everyone has an important story to tell, and our app lets you easily save these stories to share with future generations. We launched the 1st generation of our product in December 2012 and have already had an overwhelming response, with thousands of downloads from around the world."

Sometimes sleep helps writing

Weird how sometimes when I’m struggling with my novel I go to sleep and when I wake up, I have the solution. Somehow it works out in my head when I’m not actively trying to work it out. It's pretty cool that sleep somehow helps us process information and work out solutions. 
Does this happen to you? 

Using Layar or augmented reality to enhance print

So I've been experimenting with Layar, which allows me to make the print world clickable. I mention it here because it's something that might interest some of you. Pop over to my social media blog, Buffy's World, to see what I've been working on.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Excerpt: Don’t forget to listen to your little voices

Excerpt from Smart magazine column

Don’t forget to listen to your little voices

I hear it. I know you can’t. I wish you could.
It’s that little voice inside of me that tells me I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. Funny how something so quiet can speak so loudly. But it does.
I even hear it when I’m sleeping. It comes to me in the quiet of the night, slipping into my dreams, nudging me on. I feel it with every part of my being. It’s how I know that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do.
When I was a teen, I thought I had life all figured out. But the older I get, the more I realize how little I knew. Decades later, I’m still learning and growing and figuring life out.
There is one thing I have figured out, though, one thing I’m certain of. Each of us has a gift, a talent. You just have to find yours.

Read the rest

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NewHive page for Yearbook Series

You know that I'm always looking at ways to promote my work. I used NewHive to do an expression (that's what NewHive calls them) featuring my Yearbook Series.  Check it out and let me know what you think. NewHive is a really cool tool to use and it's very intuitive. I also created these expressions using NewHive:
Central Market York
Remember series
Gettysburg 150
Author page

Here's link for NewHive Yearbook Series.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Confessions of a writer

I’m nearing a very important turning point in my WIP. A part of me can’t wait to see how it unfolds, and a part of me is scared that I won’t do it justice. I want to get the scene just right, and I’m afraid that I won’t. And I’m doubly afraid that because I’m afraid I’ll procrastinate writing it.

I’ve been thinking about this moment from the time the story popped into my head, which, by the way, was while showering.

I feel like I’m coming to the edge of a cliff. I know that I must step off the cliff. I can’t stay where it’s safe forever.  But still....

Do you ever feel like this? Do you ever procrastinate because you’re afraid you won’t write something well enough?