A Most Beautiful Gift Indeed

The other day, I was cleaning out magazines to give to a nursing home–I have a LOT of magazines, I’m not sure how or why–and so I was zipping through them. And then I came to an O Magazine and it literally flipped open to a page. I figured that was a sign and so I quickly skimmed and immediately knew what I needed to see:

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I almost fell down from the power of those words, too. Not because I didn’t know this, but because I too often forget this: I am the loving expression of God. And so are my children, and so are my friends, and all of you readers, and even all of those people out there that I may not agree with on a pretty regular basis.

And I wonder if I’ve forgotten this because my mother and father are no longer around to remind me. Not that Mom and Dad said this to me…well, ever. But still, the way they loved me expressed those words to me every single day. A most beautiful gift, indeed.

I hope my children know that they are the loving expression of God. And I hope that I can remember that the next time a teenage driver cuts me off in traffic.

(Happy Mother’s Day in whatever way that wonderful word applies to each of you!)

(Also, thank you to Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the Dreamers, for sharing that reminder. And just like that, I know I will read this novel.)

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My Favorite Thing About May

2014-08-12 15.16.02May came in with temperatures around 80 in my little corner of the world so wheeee! Bring on the heat! Bring on the flip flops, sunscreen, and sandals! Hand me a Popsicle or a long, cool beverage and then don’t bother me. I’ve got reading to do.

It’s not that I don’t read during colder temps; it’s just that I read snuggled up in bed (because duh, I’m cold) and before you know it, my eyelids are getting droopy. Bottom line, it takes me ever so long to finish a book when I do my reading late, late at night.

But when the sun’s shining and the deck’s nice and warm, I take my book (or Kindle) outside and Libs lounges about, too, watching me read. (And just so you know, I get all my writer business work done in the morning, and I write later in the afternoon, so I’m not a complete scofflaw.)

Lately, I’ve had a couple of self-pubbed books at the top of my To Be Read pile. And I thoroughly enjoyed these stories, even though they’re outside the genres I generally read. However, I do have a small bone to pick; you’ll have to zip over to The Muffin to read Self Publishing Pitfalls to get the details. And then you’ll have finished your work, too, and can join me for a lovely after-lunch read on the deck.

Wheeeee!

If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Time To Post…

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The snake on my deck, which has NOTHING to do with this post. Except that on top of all this writing I had to do this week, I also had to take care of a snake on my deck.

I don’t have a regular day to post here at Cathy C. Hall. I just post when I’ve got something to say that may or may not be interesting. So I was kinda surprised when this day came along and I was just posting all over the place…

If you’re looking for how I can take one of my favorite sports and connect it to writing, then you’ll want to check out The Muffin and “If You Want To Succeed in Writing, You’ve Got To Play Ball!” I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty impressed with my ability to take something that I have frittered away hours and hours upon and make something instructional out of it. Although, it wasn’t really me so much as the quote from…well, just give it a read and then you can let me know whether I struck out or hit a home run. (See what I did there? Lots more where that came from!)

And then writer and author Kathryn Schleich is celebrating National Volunteer Week and asked if she could use one of my Muffin posts on the subject and I was pleased to say yes! So if you want to see which post (hint: it’s about volunteering), head over here and take a look. And tour her site for some wonderful writing resources!

And speaking of volunteering, I manage the SCBWI Southern Breeze blog, sometimes writing posts and sometimes forcing asking very politely for volunteers to write up something. So if you’re in the Southern Breeze region (Georgia, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle), go see what’s happening in our region. We’d love for you to join us anywhere in SCBWI but if you’re around here, then we can be new BFs!

Whew! I think that’s enough posting for the day, don’t you?

Have You Read This One Yet?

If you’re a regular reader here then you know Lisa Ricard Claro. We met years ago at an open writer’s critique group and found that we had a lot in common.

I mean, seriously a lot. It’s kinda creepy, if you want to know the truth. But I’m used to it by now. And so when I read Lisa’s latest blog post, listing some of her favorite reads, I laughed out loud. Because on yesterday’s Cathy C. Hall To Do List was “Blog–books.”

Yep. I was too tired last night at 10:00 when I sat down to write the post, figuring I’d just check what was going on in the world. That’s when I read Lisa’s list of books; they sound like excellent reads. But first, I think you should read my list of great reads (because technically, I’ve had “Blog–books” on my To Do List for a couple of weeks now):

The Write Man by Lisa Ricard Claro

51FhOrynCpLI read Lisa’s novella back when it first came out in December or maybe early January, and it was an absolute treat to be transported to the breezy Barefoot Bay when the cold winds were blowing around here. (And truly, Lisa’s descriptive writing of this seaside setting is lyrical and lovely and downright passionate!) I loved, too, the kidlit writers and their romance, but I will happily admit that if you write about a pirate, I will follow you anywhere. (And if you haven’t been following Lisa’s romance reads, then you can start with The Write Man, but you’ll want to catch up with her Fireflies series!)

 

Blood Ties by J. T. Hardy

51M3pWDKBuLJ. T. Hardy is the writing team of Janice Hardy and her husband, Tom. And I expect they’ll be collaborating on a lot more novels to come because Blood Ties is a heckuva ride with a gritty (yet surprisingly witty) protagonist in Grace Harper, and I have to know what happens next. You can read more about the particulars, but all you really need to know is this: if you’re a fan of supernatural, fast-paced, urban fantasy thrillers that read like screenplays (and P.S., the dialogue could be a master class in itself), you’re going to want to pick up Blood Ties. But clear your calendar, ’cause you’re not going to want to put it down till you get to the very end. Which really, is just the beginning.

The Falling Between Us by Ash Parsons

9780399168482Ash Parsons writes compelling Young Adult novels and her latest release, The Falling Between Us, is…is there a word for beyond a page-turner? Because there’s so much more to this story than its mystery-suggestive tagline, “What happened to Joshua Blackbird?” Though maybe that’s meant to suggest multiple layers of meaning, now that I think about it. Because this story, with its exploration of fame, fortune, and social media, exposes all the sides of our exploitative culture. It’s a provocative and eye-opening novel and a worthy read no matter what your age.

 

Spring! Glorious Spring!

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A tiny door and Popsicles–yep, that’s spring!

 

When the yellow haze spreads across…well, everything, then I know spring has sprung in my little corner of the world. And despite all the sneezing and the knowledge that in about a week, it’ll be awful hot and muggy, I love spring!

Not as much as I love summer, but still. I’m ready to toss my much-loved boots in the closet and slide my pale toes into my comfy and much-loved sandals (and flip-flops). I can’t wait to take my books out on the deck and enjoy my afternoon siesta there under the glaring sun. I love opening doors (even when I have to chase out the occasional bird and/or wasp that flies in), flinging open windows, folding up blankets and stuffing them away. I love hanging plants and cheering on my favorite baseball team (and please, please let the Atlanta Braves be better this year) and working up a sweat on my walks.

Yep, I’m pretty crazy about spring. I’m not as crazy about spring cleaning, but even that onerous task can have its bright points when I apply the principles to my writing business. And I thought you might want to spring clean your writing business, too, so I shared all about it over at the Muffin in Spring Cleaning, Writer Style.

(And if you are a writer of a certain age, you heard the tune from Love, American Style when you read the title of that Muffin post. Such a cheesy show, and probably way politically incorrect. But yeah, I kinda loved that, too.)