#AtoZChallenge – “D” – A “Divine” New Product

I hope this post will count toward the A to Z April Challenge.

Like many people, I like pretty things. When I saw this product for April, I thought “This is Divine!”

Divine is Mother’s Day – Scentsy‘s new warmer for April. And, add a new scent to your collection! This month’s scent is “Cerise.”

The warmer is a soft purple hue.

Pale and shimmery, the warmer is a fine backdrop for the jeweled center.

Just enough bling for the Mom, Sister, Aunt, Grandmother or any lady who likes very feminine things.

I love the smell of cherry blossom and Cerise has that gentle scent, paired with plums and white flowers. Check out this cute video promo Scentsy crafted for this month’s scent.

Visit my website to learn more about Scentsy’s “Divine” products.

#AtoZChallenge “A” ~ Airports

First day of the A – Z Blogging Challenge!!! WOOP, WOOP!!!

Right now I’m sitting at the computer with one of my 2 children waiting for the time to leave for the airport. I’ll be gone on a business trip for 2 weeks, ugh!  I will miss, miss my children so much!

This blog is about going to the airport. I’ll be flying out of Atlanta which is a huge airport. Very busy and can be quite complicated. I’ve been there enough to get around okay. The airport in the destination city is not so bad. It has like 8 gates. There’s not much confusion there. You get off the plane, go through the gate and around the corner, you can rent a car. Easy. A girl I’ll be flying with said flying makes her nervous. I kind of get excited about going into the air. I look at it as an adventure. How about you? Do you love or hate airports and flying????

Z – Zipped

The A-Z blogging challenge really “zipped” by and today is the last day. I had a lot of fun on the days I actually posted something that corresponded to the day’s word. I appreciate my friends Lindi and Missy bringing some awesome posts during this time as well. I am also excited about everyone who has visited the blog and said hello! It’s always great to meet new blogging buddies.

There is still time to leave a comment for Missy’s book A Family for Faith. I’ll announce the winner on Thursday. And on Friday, another FAITH blog sister, the multi-talented Angela Breidenbach will be right here on this blog talking about how she keeps her busy self organized! She’ll also be giving away her new book Gems of Wisdom. Please come back and see us and leave a comment for your chance to win.

I may have to revisit the A-Z blog challenge from time to time as I would think of something cool to write about a certain letter the day after the letter premiered. That’s the way my mind works. Sometimes it gets overloaded and is “zipped” shut.

Have a happy Tuesday!

V – Give Me a “V” by Missy Tippens

I’m so excited to have my friend and multi-published author Missy Tippens as a guest today. Please give Missy a warm welcome and leave a comment to be entered to win her book A Family for Faith… I don’t have a review for Missy’s book yet, but I can tell you the way A Family for Faith begins is absolutely adorable! And I can tell you, Missy’s books are always enjoyable and a heartwarming read!)

Give Me a “V”!
By Missy Tippens

When Christy first talked to me about guest blogging with the letter “V,” I told her if nothing else, I could talk about working Very hard. 🙂 But that I would try to come up with something more creative. 😉

So I visited an online dictionary and it gave me to the top V words. Among them were vagabond, vector and volts. But then I smiled when I saw velocity (the speed at which something happens—pretty appropriate for writers), Verb and Vowel. Not so hard to find writing words after all! Another of the top words? VICTORY.

In the business of writing, we have to claim victories along the way or else we’ll be tempted to give up. As I think back to my victories along the way, I see how God was working. I thought I’d share a few…

One of my first victories was when my husband’s aunt, after reading my Christmas letter mailed to the family, told me I had found my voice. “That’s wonderful,” I said. “What’s voice??” 🙂 She was in a Masters of Creative Writing program at the time, and filled me in. I was so thrilled. I had never considered writing until that moment. And it gave me the beginnings of a secret, barely-hoped-for dream. Victory!

I started taking online writing classes and joined organization like Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. In two different online classes, the teachers each told me I was good at one of my assignments. Victory!

Along the way I had several setbacks. Terrible contest scores (tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!). Rejections. But then, a critique group I had secretly longed to join asked me to join! (Smiling at Lindi, Meg and Maureen, here.) Victory!

After working through tough critiques that sometimes left me despondent, I improved my craft until I got the nerve to enter another contest. I was a finalist, then won the Laurie. Victory!

I started entering more and more contests. Began to final more often. But I sent a new manuscript and got painful feedback—made all the more painful because I knew the published author was right. I was devastated and decided it was time to throw in the towel. I’d spent way too much or our family money and time on the writing. Thirty minutes later, I got a call that the same manuscript had finaled in the Maggie (and it later won). Though I knew I needed to make changes to the mss as the author had suggested, it was enough encouragement to keep me going. Victory!

I tried different formats. Sent a short story to BelleBooks. And wonder of all wonders, they offered to buy it! My first sale! Victory!

A couple of years later, a manuscript I had given up on at my current publishing house got discovered by a new editorial assistant. After two sets of revisions, she bought it!! Victory!!

And that victory, the culmination of my dream, was almost 12 years after that first email from hubby’s aunt. Since that sale, I’ve had other victories that God has put in my life at just the right moment. Contest finals. A wonderful Agent! More sales. Positive comments and smiley faces on manuscripts just when I need them.

So many things can keep us moving ahead. Friends that encourage us. Professional recognition. Sales. Paychecks. But there are also the daily things that I also count as victories:

Making my daily word count.
Turning in blog posts.
Updating my website.
Making time for my husband and children.
Cooking a half decent meal! 🙂
Cooking a fully decent meal! Haha
Washing the underwear before someone runs out. (whoo hoo! Aren’t you glad?!)
Meeting my deadlines even if it takes staying up overnight a few times.
Coming up with a new story idea I love.
Surviving the writing of a synopsis without causing bodily harm to myself or anyone else.
Checking items off my to-do list.

I hope you’ll look for the small victories as well as the mile markers to help encourage you on the journey. What can you do each day to move closer to your dream, to your goals? I hope you’ll share some of your recent victories!

Missy





Missy Tippens, 2006 Golden Heart finalist, made her first sale to Steeple Hill Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been finalists in the Booksellers Best, ACFW Book of the Year and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her most recent from Love Inspired, A Family for Faith, was released in April. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com
 About the Book:
 When Faith Hagin sees widower cop Gabe Reynolds every day in her coffee shop, she can’t help but feel for the struggling single dad. She’s raised a teenager of her own—and sadly, knows what not to do. But thanks to his matchmaking preteen daughter, Chelsea, the whole town’s praying for Gabe to find a wife! Even though Faith thinks she’s content being just friends, spending time with him and Chelsea starts to feel like a fresh start at having a family. And their love may be the answer to everyone’s prayers.

R – Reviews & Winning

I gave a book review of Ruth Logan Herne’s Waiting Out The Storm on the FAITH Blog and am giving away a copy. I’ll announce that winner on Friday, April 22nd. Ruthy has graciously said she’ll also give a winner Made to Order Family.  I’d love to see you hop over to the FAITH Blog and leave me a comment for a chance to win!

And be sure to check out Friday’s post here on At Split Ends to enter to win Lindi Peterson’s Debut Novel, Her Best Catch!  The winner of Her Best Catch will be announced TOMORROW!!!!

O is for Overcoming Obstacles

Lindi here.
ob·sta·cle [ob-stuh-kuhDescription: http://sp.dictionary.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngl] –noun.  something that obstructs or hinders progress.
o·ver·come [oh-ver-kuhm] -came, -come, -com·ing.    –verb (used with object)
1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
So here we have the dictionary definitions of our A-Z challenge O words. As writers how do we feel about these words?
Personally they drive me crazy. 
Mixing it up with the A-Z challenge is an overall theme of accountability. Although I’m not sure I’m the best person to be speaking on that aspect. I once told my father I was going to call one of those work from home places. He told me that was something I probably shouldn’t do.

I do have a problem with discipline.

I am a procrastinator. 

Yet there is a very ‘cool’ thing that happens when you are a writer. We’ll get to that ‘cool’ thing in a minute. After we figure out how to overcome the obstacles.

Obstacles are different for everyone. Everybody has their own lives. Some people have jobs outside the homes, some have children, husbands, families. Some people have all of those things. 
Others have deadlines, revising syndrome,(you know, you can’t quit revising long enough to send the manuscript out!), the I can’t finish it blues.

First you need to identify your obstacles. Identify what stops you from getting the manuscript out the door. 
(I promise I haven’t forgotten about the ‘cool’ thing. It’s coming!)

Then you put into motion the overcoming part. Like the dictionary definition says ‘to get the better of in a struggle or conflict.’

One of my biggest obstacles is time. I have a full time job away from my home. Some days I have a long way to drive and spend up to 4 hours on the road. I find it hard to write at night. The creativity doesn’t seem to be there. Now get me up at 4 a.m. and I can crank out some pages. 
Some ways I’ve made an attempt to overcome this obstacle are:
1.Rise early.
2.Learn to write in small segments. Let’s say I get up a little later than I want. I check my email, get my coffee, then look at the clock. Sometimes I only have 15 minutes before I have to get into the shower. I do something with those 15 minutes. I’m not going to lie-it was hard to learn. At first I felt I wasn’t making any sort of progress. But I was. Think on it like this-15 minutes a day for 5 days is 1 and a half hours. That’s more than you’d have if you didn’t do anything. And it adds up.

3.If I’m having trouble with a scene I print out what I have then take it to work with me. I leave it on my desk and think about it when I can. My mind can work on the scene while I’m on hold or if I’m waiting for my computer to do this or that.

4.If I’m at work, and something comes to me regarding my story, I quickly email it to myself. It’s a great jump start the next morning.

These are just a few small things that go a long way when it comes to adding words to your manuscript.
Okay, I think this post is getting a little long, and I really don’t do long posts, so I’m turning it over to you guys.

Oh, but wait—the ‘cool’ thing. Yeah, I did promise that, didn’t I?
The End.
Yep, The End. Typing those words is the ‘very coolest’ of all writerly things. I still remember typing those words for the first time over 12 years ago. I remember the feeling and I LOVE the feeling. I can’t wait to FEEL like that again.

Those words are my main motivation for overcoming obstacles and those words hold me accountable. 

Now I’ll turn it over to you. What are your obstacles? Have you tried overcoming? If not, what are some ways you can try? Or throw it out to us and we’ll all chime in!

Thanks for having me, Christy! I love your blog!

And remember-Happy Endings Are Just The Beginning 🙂

*************************

Thanks for being here, Lindi! What an awesome post! I need to heed every word!

Leave a comment to be entered to win Lindi’s debut novel Her Best Catch.



About the Book:
Allison Doll’s mother is rebelliously turning fifty, her two best friends have started dating and a gorgeous injured relief pitcher named Ashton Boyd has joined her Sunday school class, rocking her world into confusion, heartache and temptation, places she hasn’t visited in a long time, much less all at once.

But with the help of family, old friends she really hasn’t lost, a new friend she really can count on, and God, she begins to find out whether she’ll always be a girl waiting for life to happen or a woman who’s ready to commit to her best catch.

Lindi Peterson definitely believes happy endings are just the beginning. She lives out her real life romance with her husband in a small Georgia town. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, bowl and spend time with her family. Read more about her at http://www.lindipeterson.com

L – Lindi Peterson

Ok, I’m back on the A-Z blogging challenge train and today’s letter is L.

And, I’m so excited to tell you to tune back in to this blog on Friday, April 15th when my good friend and newly published author, Lindi Peterson will be here!

Come back every day, but especially on Friday to chat, leave a comment and be entered to win her debut novel, Her Best Catch.

Read more about Lindi on her website.

Tea for Two by Trish Perry

A-Z Blog Challengers… Yes, I realize this isn’t the letter K
And don’t ask where H, I, and J went… I guess they felt abandoned and ran away… On to another book review… I haven’t read this, but it sounds like a good read!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tea For Two
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2011)
by
Trish Perry

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from our Author: I started writing short stories—pretty bad ones. And I started taking creative writing courses to round out my degree. So I was in classes full of people just like me—lousy writers. But we were learning!

Then the Lord led me to a local writers’ group, Capital Christian Writers, and the contacts and friends I made through CCW enriched my personal life and my writing life more than I can measure. Through CCW and through reading just about every book and magazine ever published by Writer’s Digest, I started catching on. Now I’m writing full time and man oh man do I love it.

Before the writing began, I worked for attorneys in Washington, D. C. I worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission. And I was a stockbroker. A horrible stockbroker. How do people do that? Take responsibility for other people’s financial futures? Yikes. I’m perfectly happy to take responsibility for the amount of time any one person wants to spend reading my books. If you enjoy the experience, then know that we both enjoyed it together. I love that about books.

In the midst of all that fretting over other people’s money and writing about other people’s lives, I racked up a few personal experiences myself. Some good, some bad, but all part of God’s plan. Now I’m an empty nester living in Northern Virginia. My brilliantly funny son is in college. I have a savvy, gorgeous grown daughter, a charming son-in-law, and an amazing grandson.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he’s losing his grip on them in their teen years. They’ve both had scrapes with the local law.

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women’s group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she?

Tina’s connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.

And when Tina’s women’s group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group’s meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Although heroine Tina Milano and her women’s group are mentioned in The Perfect Blend (the first book in this series), Tea for Two is where we meet her and hero Zack Cooper. I knew I would write this book while I wrote the first, so it was fun to plant a passing mention of Zack and Tina while I wrote Steph’s story in The Perfect Blend. By the time I was able to write Tina and Zack’s story, I was eager to unfold their lives, conflicts, and love. I hope readers will be eager to experience what happens to them!

If you would like to read the first chapter of , go HERE.