Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. I know you want to know ... WHO WON?But before we announce our five winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Laura Hilton who offered her  Amish Romance  Awakened Love.Valerie Goree who offered her  Suspense  Colors of Deceit. Annslee Urban who offered her  Romantic Su […]
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    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
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    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
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    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
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      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
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      A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandabl […]
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      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

Tuesday Promition in Motion: Zeke Lam and Submission Ministries

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 27, 2012

About Zeke:

ZEKE LAM is the founder of SUBMISSION Ministries—a ministry devoted to seeing lost souls encounter God and live lives fully surrendered to the risen Christ. A graduate of Liberty University, Zeke’s deep passion for following Christ’s will has led him through many years of youth ministry and itinerant evangelism. Both of these experiences have enriched and fueled his desire to hand others the keys to a Christ-centered life. Zeke resides in Virginia with his beautiful wife, Kathleen, and a growing family of future world-changers.

Author website: http://submissionministries.org/

 

About the Book: subMission

What is the greatest challenge that the Church is facing today? Zeke Lam suggests that one word is the greatest challenge:  submission, or the lack thereof. It is not external forces that nullify the testimony of a Christ-centered believer, but rather the failure to humbly submit to the voice of the Lord. This book will help you to live a surrendered life abiding in Christ.

  •  Is the approval of God more important to you than the approval of man?

  •  Is the presence of God evident in your life?

  •  Do you fiercely protect your intimacy with Christ?

  •  Do you desire to live a life of truth, free from the lies of the devil?

  •  Is God’s divine character visible to those around you?

Learn how to submit your life wholeheartedly to the Lord so that you can dwell continually in the secret place—a place of intimacy, surrender and joy.

c. December 1, 2011

Burning Lamp Media 

$9.99

ISBN    978-1-9374-8100-1

ISBN    1-9374-8100-X

Prepare to be stirred by this authentic calling to return to Scriptural obedience.

Pastor Gabe Turner, The Point Church of Charlottesville, Virginia

In my opinion Zeke has laid his finger on the defining message for our time. This message is essential for believers everywhere…

Eric Stephens, Pastor of Life Changing Ministries and Fellowship in Sugarland, Texas

Zeke, what do you love about your book?

I love the simplicity of this book. Although it addresses a critical and complex truth, subMISSION speaks to the heart on a practical level.

Can you tell us something about the book we won’t learn from your web site?

The entire manuscript was hand written. I owe a great deal of thanks to my beautiful wife who so sweetly typed every written word! For some reason, I maintain a better flow of thought when I have a pen in my hand.

And I thought I was the only one who at least did some plotting and scenes on paper. What was the major influence for this piece of work?

The major influence was the dire need in my personal walk with the Lord for complete surrender. With all the pulls and influences around us, it can be hard at times to clearly discern God’s voice. As my family and I stepped out into the unknown, we saw the miraculous hand of God come through. I learned that a humble and obedient heart is always honored by our God. He loves to show off in the lives of the obedient. My desire to communicate and usher others into a level of complete submission was my influence to write.

Posted in Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Encouragment, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Publishing | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Lessons From Creative Writing Workshop (A Brief Satire)

Posted by Luther D. Powell on March 21, 2012

*Note:  I don’t claim to be an expert in anything writing or art related, nor do I want to come off as haughty or arrogant in saying the following. I’m writing this with humorous/informative intentions to describe the wonders of the Creative Writing Workshop course I’ve taken this semester and the pieces by my peers in said class. I’ll admit, there are definitely some talented writers in this class, but I’m been thoroughly shocked for the entirety of the semester just how many students seem to treat the class as a Creative RANTING Workshop more than anything else.

Shall we begin?

:adjusts monocle:

First and foremost, one must know that in a creative writing workshop, consistently bashing the pieces by your peers is a surefire way to showcase your own expertise as a creative writer, to earn the love and affection you deserve from your peers and future readers and most importantly of all, to raise your grades tenfold. Nobody wants to hear anything nice about the short story they spent a month conjuring and secretly, the verbal abuse only motivates them to write more. Bigger mouths = bigger encouragement! Don’t forget your obligatory expletives!

Also, taking ten minutes to feed a novice writer negativity about his/her piece will always take attention away from any mistakes or problems within your own piece for the class. Go confidence!

For those of you who have a vendetta against anything and everything governmental, who have suffered through unfortunate relationship experiences, or who simply feel misunderstood by humanity, writing creative nonfiction is for you! Be warned, the minute your pen hits the paper (or your fingers the keyboard), you’re entering a vicious contest to see who hates his/her life the most. You absolutely must delve into the deepest, darkest depths of your inner being to stir the most depressing memory of your life in order to write the most effective piece. Breakups = creative nonfiction gold, because there is nothing more depressing than a failed relationship (definitely, definitely not), and every peer and reader will take the time to give you sympathy after praising your literary mastery.

For writers of fantasy/sci-fi fiction, the only topic material ever worth exploring is that involving vampires, witches and time travel. The student who deviates from this formula will always and forever receive an F-.

Having troubles making your character(s) seem realistic and relatable? How about some expletives? Profanity tops daily conversation like whipped cream, and we all know there’s not a soul in the world without a sailor’s mouth. Why beat around the bush, right? Expletives serve as a sign of maturity and intellect, so slipping them into the dialogue of your characters (or better yet, your narrator) will give their personalities more depth and wisdom.

Writer’s block got you down while you’re composing the most mind-blowingly thrilling piece of fiction ever? One word will forever solve that problem: sexism. Expletives not giving your main character enough depth? If your main character is a woman, develop the daylights out of her by expressing what horrible monsters all men are through some awful experience she has with her father, brother, uncle, boyfriend, boss at work, et cetera, and make this the main focus of the character’s thoughts for the remainder of the piece. It’s realistic, relatable, and not offensive in the slightest! And if your main character is a man, be sure to riddle his life with romantic flops between himself and a variety of scantily-clad women whose sole purposes are to lie, cheat and steal every ounce of his sanity. Remember folks, depressing is interesting, cheerful is boring, and who in the world wants to read about two people in a perfectly stable, healthy love relationship?

Answer: nobody… unless those two people have all kinds of gratuitous sex. Graphic sex scenes are also handy for developmental purposes, because… well… it’s something real people do… therefore, people want to read about it.

Punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors mean nothing to your peers and your course instructor. Feel free to ignore them completely, as the rest of the class will, and it might even help readers focus on the actual story a bit more!

Don’t worry about your general interactions with peers, because there is no possible chance that any of them could become literary agents or end up in the publishing business and/or somehow be connected to your writing career in the near future or anything.

Last but not least, if you receive no comments or feedback of any kind of a written work, that means you should just keep doing whatever it is you did when you wrote said work. It certainly doesn’t mean the piece is so unspeakably bad that nobody had the heart to tell you that you probably shouldn’t be taking the class…

Welp, that’s what I’ve got for you today, Reflections-readers. I hope it was somewhat enjoyable and/or relatable. Until next Thursday, here’s a picture of me pretending I can paint good. Cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Authors, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

History and Murder with Jean Kinsey

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 20, 2012

Debut author Jean Kinsey has my highest respect. She freely admits to being a septuagenarian, and gracious, I only hope I can still hold a pen and put two thoughts together when I get there.

Welcome, Jean!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

For beginners, I have dabbled with writing ever since I was old enough to put two sentences together, and over the past several years had a few stories published in Chicken Soup. It was not until my husband died in 2005, after a five year bout with cancer, that I started writing seriously trying to fill the void in my life.  I sold ten more stories to Chicken Soup and started taking writing workshops. I joined ACFW two years ago and began my first novel. At the age of 71, my first book will be released by Desert Breeze March 15, 2012. My three-book Willow Shade Series will be released in 2012 and 2013.

Short story, “Slow Dancing” is in the current edition of Splickety magazine and others.

I have three children, five grandchildren and live in Brooks, KY.

Visit Jean at her blog

and Facebook

ABOUT THE BOOK

THE LIGHT KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is an historical romance, set on the South Carolina coast from 1915 through 1918.

It is the story of a young girl, Belle Montague, as she grows into womanhood. Caught in her affluent fiancée’s family secrets, she is falsely accused of theft. Her papa, a lighthouse keeper, relocates them to a place where he feels they will be safe. “Papa” is a rich character who teaches by example with his love for people and God. 

Belle’s hide-out is soon found by the dapper Captain Fred Logan who helps her with her new life. Her escapades include rescuing a child from the sea during a hurricane, exposing fraudulent “baby farms,” tending wounded soldiers and nursing influenza victims.  When she rescues the old fiancé from a shipwreck, she must choose between her first love and the man who has loved her for the past two years.

 

The Light Keeper’s Daughter March 2012-Desert Breeze Publishing

Willow Shade Trilogy- Desert Breeze

Secrets at Willow Shade August 2012

Foreclosure of Willow Shade March 2013

Murder at Willow Shade Oct. 2013

 

Thank you, Jean, for sharing about your upcoming books. Can you tell us what you love about your books?

I am fascinated with lighthouses, so when I decided to write my first novel, I naturally thought how interesting it would be to learn more about them. I remember my grandmother telling about WWl and the flu epidemic. I loved the hours researching this whole era.

My Willow Shade Series is set in Logan County, KY, where I was born. All my characters are fictional, yet I put little bits of everyone I knew in each of them. Anyone in Logan County who reads this will recognize my dad as Daddy in the books.

 

That is so precious! What a great way to keep memories of your family alive. How about sharing something you learned during the publishing process?

I am still a newbie in the publishing process with THE LIGHT KEEPER’S DAUGHTER being my first book. I am surprised at how much other Christian authors are willing to help new authors get started. I hope I’ll be able to do the same soon.

Thank you so much, Jean. Blessings upon all your work!

Posted in Author Spotlight, Encouragment, Life Experiences, Publishing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Sunday Book Review – Awesome Guide for Self-Publishing Questions

Posted by Lisa Lickel on March 18, 2012

 

Publish A Book!

Compare over 50 Self-Publishers

By J. Steve Miller

$4.99

c. 2012

Wisdom Creek Press LLC

Smashwords

 

Miller testifies in his introduction that he’s been both traditionally published and self-published; it’s simply that trad is better for some authors; likewise self-pub for others

Publish! Is not a marketing guide, but a guide to help authors who have decided to go this route make the best decision for their particular situation.

Since I am often asked about how to go about getting a book published, I was especially interested in adding Miller’s advice to my repertoire, and being able to point out a good guide with much more succinct advice. The author also points out that in an industry that seems to change hourly, consumers must still do their homework to catch up on the latest events of their chosen company.

Starting out with the various  definitions of “publisher,” “printer,” “subsidy,” “vanity,” “make available to the public,” along with the distinctions of what services are offered regarding distribution and record keeping. The two largest Print-On-Demand resources for self-publishing is Lightning Source and Create Space.

Miller offers recommendations to authors that helps play down the stigma of “self-publishing,” and the direct hyperlinks to the written-about companies and articles are valuable.

From the need or not for International Standard Book Numbers to pricing to royalties to how to watch out for hidden fees. Miller carefully explains the latest most up to date information about electronic vs. print books, and how to choose the company that’s right for you, from the do it yourself big names of Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to the companies that charge a fee, like Lulu, XLibris, Outskirts, iUniverse, Xulon, and a host of others.

An appendix check list helps the author go through options in a logical manner. A highly recommended helpful resource for those with many questions about the whole self-publishing industry. 

About the Author: J. Steve Miller is president of Legacy Educational Resources (www.character-education.info), providing web based resources for those teaching character and life skills in public schools and through service agencies. Connect with Steve by interacting over Amazon reviews of this book, or at www.enjoyyourwriting.com, http://www.enjoyyourwriting.com, www.sellmorebooks.org , Facebook, LinkedIn, and various other blogs and sites and forums.

 

 ♦♦♦♦♦ Reflections

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment, Publishing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Balancing My Tone as an Author

Posted by Luther D. Powell on March 14, 2012

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books were the first chapter books I read and collected as a child. My parents being protective of my underdeveloped mental and emotional state, it took a few years of pouting and ‘but Moooom’-ing to convince them to let me read them.

Much like this ^

Though the Goosebumps books are considered children’s horror fiction, I could read one of them now and love it like I used to. The books were scary, but in a fun way. They grossed me out, made my skin crawl and made it hard to sleep at night, but they didn’t make me fear the reality of the world around me, if that makes sense. I was only afraid of the creepy-crawlies and monsters in the books, which were usually magical, supernatural, or of some science-experiment-gone-horribly-wrong kind of origin.

When I was younger, I wanted to write like R. L. Stine.

My most recent struggle as a writer is the realization that this story I’ve been writing for so long was started when I was something less than a young adult. Because of that, the majority of what’s written is lacking a certain ‘adult’ tone that I would like the story to have. The beef of my story was written five years ago and since then, I’ve been adding and changing things at a rather sluggish pace. My issue is figuring out how to write about young adult characters in a way that adults would enjoy reading, to write about unbelievable monsters in a way that’s believable, and to write about adult fears in a way that young adult readers would understand.
 
I was eleven when I first invented my main protagonists, and though they’ve undergone some intense surgeries, they’re still my protagonists. Most of them are the age I was when I began writing the story, which seems natural, right? We write about what we know about, and what we enjoy reading most usually involves characters we can relate to. The Goosebumps books were never about adults, not about husbands or wives or mothers or fathers or people working in office cubicles or whatever (that’s a hefty generalization, I know, but I also know a lot of adults who work in office cubicles). R. L. Stine’s books were about kids like my kid-self, doing stuff kids did, only adding haunted houses and green slime. They didn’t need the assistance of graphic sex and violence to feel real to children, and they stirred fears of the unknown more than those of reality. For the record, I also feel that they’re ‘safe’ books for Christian kids who want a good scare, as they don’t involve anything Satanic, demonic or otherwise anti-Jesus. Clean language too!
 
Were I to leave my story untouched as of now, it would probably be read as young adult fiction. I have nothing against young adult fiction, but I want a broader audience than that.
 
If I could pick a book which has influenced my writing more heavily than anything else in the past few years, it’s Let the Right One In, by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist (also known as Let Me In). This book is a serious work of horror, very much not intended for children, and features a variety of adult themes. It plays on both fears of worldly and otherwordly things in an extremely graphic fashion. However, the main protagonists are children (well, sort of *wink wink*), and the author does a great job of portraying the characters in a way that is reminiscent of my childhood. It feels nostalgic, as opposed to writing the story to please the age group which best relates to the characters.
 
I consider myself an adult now, with adult problems and adult fears and adult responsibilities. As a writer, I want to sound like an adult, like I’ve had experiences like those of the characters. What separates young adult from adult fiction, anyway? Graphic content? Length? Age-range of characters?
 
Goosebumps books aren’t young adult books, but as children’s horror, they could be compared to and contrasted with Let the Right One In. As an adult-fiction-horror writer, I’d like a mix of worldly and otherworldly scares in my stories; both the campy-fun quality of Goosebumps scary and the gut-wrenchingly-dark quality of LTROI scary. I want to write about high school students, but still appeal to adult readers. As a Christian author, I want to leave out bad language and sexual content that most ‘adult’ books might be filled with, but still write as realistically as possible. I need to balance my tone.
 
That’s the interesting thing about The Bible (preachy tangent alert!): there is no Young Adult Bible. A Precious Moments toddler Bible maybe, but nothing blatantly dumbed down or edited for other age groups. There is only The Bible; God’s Word. He wrote it and man put it on paper. The Book is raw, gritty, in-your-face and beautiful. There was no worrying about tone when the words were translated; it was translated to say what it says. Interpretations may vary inevitably, but there’s no escaping its message, no matter how old you are. Just a thought. Until next Thursday, God bless!
 
In Christ,
 
Luther D. Powell

Posted in Author Marketing, Authors, Book Reviews, Inspiration, Publishing, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

End of the Line

Posted by Ben Erlichman on March 1, 2012

As I sit here in the hallway just outside my condo (I locked myself out—my house and car keys are inside so I’m stranded), I can’t help but reflect on how far I’ve come since I first started blogging for Reflections in Hindsight. I began awhile ago upon seeing an admonition from our very own Lisa Lickel via the ACFW Midwest loop for anyone interested in contributing to this blog. I answered her call and offered to contribute, and soon I was posting once every other week.

Not long after that, I began posting every week when the gentleman I was co-posting with had to step back from the blog, so Thursdays became “my day” at Reflections. It worked well for a long time. I could probably go back and tell you exactly how long it’s been, but I haven’t any desire to try to figure out how to do that on my iPad via the WordPress App and risk losing an entire post (it’s happened before) in the process.

I’ve shared on a great many subjects during my time here, some of which still attract readers even though the posts have been live for months. Some of my top posts include my thoughts on witchcraft in YA books (above and beyond the level of Harry Potter, which I think is mostly harmless), a fun post entitled “WWJBD? What Would James Bond Do?“, and my personal favorite, An Obituary for Harold, a squirrel to whom I paid tribute a few days after I ran him over with my car.

All in all, it’s been a great run, but as I said in a previous post about how much I hate blogging, I just don’t have the time, energy, or the drive to continue to write anymore. Part of it stems from the fact that I don’t enjoy reading blogs very much, and I hate the idea that I have to blog in order to be a “successful” author as far as my books go. If I hate blogging, why am I doing it?

I apologize for my negative outlook on this subject. As this is my last post at Reflections, I want to leave on a positive note, something I have done for basically everything I’ve posted. I’m that type of person: the optimist who sees the glass as half full—usually.

So here’s my positive spin on all of this: in not blogging at Reflections, I will have more time to write books, work on Splickety Magazine (which you can buy here), and be a good father to my son (or possibly daughter), who we’re expecting to be born within the next few weeks. Posting at Reflections has been an obligation that I worried about fulfilling every week, and now I won’t have to worry anymore.

Thank you all for reading my posts throughout the last year or so. You’ve walked along with me on this journey, through the good times and the bad, through the well-planned posts and the not so well-planned posts. I am forever indebted to you for your support.

As I sign off for the last time as a regular contributor (that’s right, you may see me again at some point, it’s just that I won’t be the one driving the carriage) I have to make three final requests of you.

1. Please continue to read Reflections authors’ posts. As you well know, I’m not the only one here at this site. Never was. Please continue to support this site, and tell your friends about it. I owe so much to Lisa and the other contributors for what they’ve taught me, so please check them out often, if not every day.

2. Keep reading on Thursdays. My replacement is the very able, intelligent, creative Luther D. Powell, a young man with a bright future ahead of him. You can check him out on our author page soon. He will continue to bring the heat through his posts, a heat that has cooled in my recent posts. Give him more than a fair shot—I think you’ll be impressed.

3. Finally, keep your eyes open. I’ll be around. I’m at conferences, I’m not leaving Splickety Magazine any time soon (just started it—duh), and I’ll eventually have a book or 19 published that you all can and should read, and then buy more copies for your friends and family. When that day comes, I’ll appear on Reflections again, probably for an interview. Until then, support Splickety, and if you see me wandering the halls at some conference you happen to be attending, come up and say hello. I’m okay with faces but horrible with names, so please pardon me if you have to remind me who you are.

With that, thank-you again, and God bless you all.

-Ben

This is me preparing for my undoubtedly bright future.

Posted in Anxiety, Author Marketing, Author Spotlight, Authors, Encouragment, Friendship, Happiness, Heart and Home, Homemaking, Hospitality, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Music, Parenting, Publishing, Till death do we part, Uncategorized, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

1000 Pounds

Posted by Ben Erlichman on February 23, 2012

Last week Thursday, I accomplished something amazing. Check out this video: 1000 Pounds

If for some reason you can’t open it up, it’s a video of yours truly and my friend Steve Carter leg pressing 1,000 pounds multiple times. Perhaps this doesn’t sound so amazing to you weight-lifting blog-reading types, but I’m six feet tall, 185lbs, and can’t even bench press my own weight, so this is actually pretty darn incredible.

1000 Pounds

I previously accomplished the feat of leg pressing 900 pounds, which spurred a fun response from some of my writer friends. One in particular has asked me to create a blog post featuring things that weigh 1,000 pounds, or the equivalent of what I can leg press ten times. Here is that list.

  • In the American measuring system, 1,000 pounds is a half-ton.
  • The internet says that if you were to cut a killer whale into three equal-sized parts, each would be about 1,000 pounds.
  • The median weight of a male polar bear is about 1,000 pounds. (Yes, I could probably leg press a polar bear if he cooperated. Maybe if I gave him a Coca-Cola.)
  • Speaking of Coca-Cola (or Pepsi, which I prefer), that would equate to about 1,334 standard 12-ounce cans, or a little more than 111 12-packs of cans.
  • I mentioned that I weigh 185 pounds. While I can’t even bench press my own weight, I leg pressed more than five times my own weight (5.4 times, actually).
  • 1,000 pounds equals $1571.80 in US Dollars, but those are British pounds (their currency) and so it doesn’t really apply to this list.
  • Someone in Pennsylvania made a butter sculpture that weighed 1,000 pounds.
  • Adult male sea lions in California can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
  • An eight-month-old baby elephant in the Oregon zoo weighed about 1,000 pounds at the date of the article connected to the link I posted.
  • Certain types of horses can weigh around 1,000 pounds.
  • 120 gallons of water weighs about 1,000 pounds (actually a little less).
  • According to this site, a blue whale’s heart weighs about 1,000 pounds.
  • 50 reams of 500 8 1/2 by 11″ sheets of paper weigh 1,000 pounds. That’s 25,000 sheets of paper.
  • Or, if you want to take the environmental approach, 1,000 pounds of paper is about 12 trees.
  • Cows can weigh 1,000 pounds. I suddenly want steak…
  • So do some moose, oxen, and bison.
  • In smaller terms, we would need between 571 and 1,000 gray squirrels to equal 1,000 pounds, depending on their weight (16-28 ounces).
  • This ice cube maker is 1,000 pounds.
  • Snowmobiles can weigh 1,000 pounds.
  • This guy was executed via a machine described as a “shooting gallery of steel” in Nevada in 1913.
  • Someone actually took the time to figure out how much a million dollars weighs. If a million dollars in $1.00 bills weighs 1.1 tons, that means that a half a ton (1,000 pounds) would equal about$445,000 in $1.00 bills. (If my math is wrong, oh well. It’s a LOT of money either way.)
  • Apparently Christina Aguilera, 5’2″, weighed 100 pounds in March of last year (or so she claims). That means that I leg pressed ten Christina Aguileras.
  • A barrel of honey weighs 100 pounds, so I leg pressed ten of those too.
  • Since mama grizzly bear weighs 400-500 pounds and papa grizzly bear weighs 500-600 pounds, it’s conceivable that I could leg press them both at the same time. (Baby grizzly bear can watch. Maybe I’ll give him a Coca-Cola too.)
  • Really, really big cougars can reach 200 pounds. I could leg press five of them as long as I wasn’t distracted by them trying to eat me. (***NOTE: these are the large cat-type, not the older-woman-going-after-younger-men type. I won’t venture estimates for how many of those kinds of cougars I could leg press.)
  • Two bales of cotton weigh about 1,000 pounds.
  • As an author, I deal with books a lot. A hardcover book weighs about a pound or two, so that means I could leg press between 500 and 1,000 of them. Paperbacks weigh less, so I could get more literature on the press. Ah, but here’s the kicker: if I used my wife’s Kindle 3 (8.5 ounces), I could leg press about 2125 of them. Given that each Kindle 3 can hold 3,500 books, I could leg press 7,437,500 e-books, or a little more than a fifth of the entire Library of Congress’s collection of books (if they were in e-form).
  • Your standard North American beaver weighs about 99 pounds, so I could leg press about ten of them, each with a stick in its mouth.
  • And finally, speaking of beavers, we end our list with a bit more pop culture: according to the internet, Justin Bieber is fabled to weigh between 120 and 130 pounds. I could leg press between 7.7 and 8.3 Justin Biebers.

Well, that’s my list. If you have things to add to it, please post your findings in the comments section. Tune in next week when I introduce my replacement, Benjamin Lucas Powell, a good friend and a great writer, who will be taking my place here at Reflections in Hindsight.

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Tuesday Promotion in Motion: Tracy Krauss

Posted by Lisa Lickel on February 21, 2012

Today we welcome Tracy Krauss who shares about her book,

Play It Again. Read the review here.

Also today, as a special treat, Tracy has several gift offers to accompany a purchase of Play It Again, including the full e-book copy of my novel, Meander Scar.

Tracy Krauss, author of ‘edgy inspirational fiction’, is launching her book  PLAY IT AGAIN on Feb. 21. You can help her achieve ‘best seller’ status by purchasing the book at amazon.com TODAY – and receive all kinds of cool free gifts while you’re at it!

Here’s how:

1. Go to the Landing Page on Tracy’s Website

2. Buy the book at amazon.

3. Go back to the Landing Page and fill in the form with your name, email and purchase number

It’s that easy! You’ll be directed to your free gifts and all you have to do is choose which ones you want.

About the book:

An unlikely duo meet in Play It Again, a story of love, life and faith. Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the much anticipated prequel to Tracy’s debut novel And the Beat Goes On. Find out where Mark Graham’s journey began in this, the story of his parents.

 

What others are saying about PLAY IT AGAIN:

“This is one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read all year. . . Not only was it well-written, but it was edgy in that the story dared to be honest. . . I can see this touching a lot of people who have thought about God but have been afraid to move forward.”

-  Michelle Sutton, author of more than a dozen inspirational novels

“This book is hot property, and grabs your interest from page one.”

-   Yvonne Pat Wright, author of From Spice to Eternity

 

Author bio:

Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. Her first two books were both nominated for the ‘Indie Excellence Book Awards’ for religious fiction in 2011.

FREE STUFF:

Here’s just a sampling of the FREE e-gifts from generous supporters:

-          An e-copy of Lisa Lickel’s award winning novel Meander Scar

-          Sample chapters from The Promise of Deer Run by Elaine Cooper, Warring Spirits by April Gardner, and The Right Person by Stacy Padula

-          Beautiful downloadable art cards by author and artist Brenda Hendricks

-          A free subscription to ‘PixApple’

-          You copy of Frazzled No More by Shelley Hitz

-          A cool ‘Daily Scheduler’ developed by author Janalyn Voigt

-          And much more!

All if you buy your copy of PLAY IT AGAIN at amazon.com on Feb. 21!  All links will be operational on the ‘Landing Page’ at www.tracykrauss.com/ 

 

DISCLAIMER: This ‘Best Seller book launch’ has been coordinated with the help of the ‘John 3:16 Marketing Network’ and many other generous supporters. The free gifts are deliverable electronically over the internet or by email by individual authors and supporters. They are not in any way associated with, nor deliverable by, amazon.com  

 

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Observations on the Aftermath of Whitney Houston’s Death

Posted by Ben Erlichman on February 16, 2012

Whenever a celebrity dies, especially one of the caliber of Whitney Houston, or Michael Jackson, or Larry King–wait…he’s not dead yet? Oh, he just kind of looks like he’s dead. My bad.

Whitney Houston

Anyway, there’s a predictable pattern of reaction from the media, from social networks, and from other celebrities. It’s horrible, but true, and most of it infuriates me. Here are two of my observations regarding Whitney Houston’s recent passing:

1. The media was well-prepared–too well-prepared. I think we all know by now that major media outlets have obituary files and footage already picked out for most of the world’s major celebrities, so all they have to do is pull out that file, mash together that footage and have the anchors/reporters practice going through some of said celeb’s lifetime highlights, low periods, and everything in-between before going on live and presenting the obituary.

That means that these news outlets not only have those files and footage, but that they update them regularly, and they also probably prioritize them based on who they think is going to croak first. In a way, this is a totally heartless and cold approach to the death of an important person, but if you stop and consider it, isn’t that kind of news exactly what everyone is supposed to get? Even-tempered, unbiased reporting of the facts?

I still don’t think I like it, though.

2. Idiots used Whitney’s death as a chance to advance their own agendas. This is the reason why I felt I should write on this topic today. I’m flummoxed at some peoples’ stupid behavior in response to Whitney’s death. If you thought the media outlets were bad for being well-prepared for Whitney’s death, you’ll be disgusted at some of the things coming out of celebrities’ mouths and from social networking sites like Facebook.

Two examples in particular really made me fume. Tony Bennett, who, for our younger readers, is a very famous singer/performer from yesteryear, made one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever heard after a celebrity’s death: he said, “I’d like to have every gentleman and lady in this room commit themselves to get our government to legalize drugs. So they have to get it through a doctor, not just some gangsters that sell it under the table.”

Tony Bennett

Look, I’m not going to comment on the validity of his argument. Maybe he’s right, maybe not. But that’s not the point. The point is that he stood up in public and used Whitney Houston’s death to advance his own agenda. Wow…what a way to pay tribute to a friend–use their death to tell the government that drugs should be legalized. How do you think the population would have responded if reputable pastor like Rick Warren (not that he would) came out in public and said that everyone should accept Jesus and live fulfilled lives so they don’t end up like Whitney Houston? The universe, including a lot of Christians, would throw a conniption fit. To sum up, Tony’s comment was poorly-timed, and inappropriate.

Here’s another dumb thing I saw, this one on Facebook:

Yes, I know this is Steve Jobs and not Whitney.

I used Steve because I saw this meme used after his death first–and also because the one I found with Whitney had a picture of her with her chest halfway hanging out. You get the idea, though, right? Millions “cry” when a celebrity dies, but no one cries for the millions dying from AIDS in Africa, or from ethnic cleansing/genocide, or from hunger.

::Sigh::

I won’t argue with the premise. Yes, the world is a place of a profound injustice, and this does a good job of showing that discrepancy. That said, this is just as opportunistic and inappropriate as Tony’s comment above for exactly the same reason: the author is using a tragedy to advance their own agenda at the expense of the departed person immortalized in their meme, as if subtly implying that somehow, it’s partly Whitney’s or Steve’s fault that millions are dying. Or, at the very least, such memes are made to make us feel guilty about how we react to celeb deaths.

I’m probably not the best example of how to react to a celebrity’s death because I generally don’t spend much time following their lives in the first place. That said, you’re getting my opinion anyway.

When Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson died, and even more so when Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) was skewered by a stingray a few years back and died, I felt very sad. I didn’t go out and place flowers or notes or teddy bears on their graves (or in front of their chain of Apple stores like folks did with Steve Jobs), but their deaths impacted me (less with Steve Jobs, as I’m only a recent convert to the cult of Apple).

The meme above makes the assumption that we stupid, spoiled Americans care more about a person (who has actually affected our lives in some way) than we do about those suffering and dying around the world. Honestly, I’m sure that is the case with a lot of people, but to use a celeb death as an opportunity to guilt-trip the rest of us, including people close to Whitney or Steve or Steve or Michael, is wrong.

Sorry, but you’re just being a jerk. You haven’t considered how many people those celebs actually did touch in a profound way, who are already hurting at the loss of a friend, family member, or loved one (celebrity), upon seeing your meme, feel guilty and used as a part of a scheme to raise awareness for an issue that most people would already agree with anyway. In other words, your timing sucks because you don’t have the balls to try to promote your ideas in a time of normalcy and instead do it at the expense of someone’s death and others’ grief.

Alright. I’m done ranting. I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Next week, stay tuned for a much anticipated post, probably the second-to-last one you’ll get out of me here at Reflections: Things that Weigh a Thousand Pounds (aka things that I can leg press).

-Ben

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Blogging is the Devil

Posted by Ben Erlichman on February 9, 2012

Why do people blog? What makes them think that anyone else  in the world wants to know about the new recipe for mongoose flambe they just created? Who actually reads blogs?

I’ve been pushing myself for the last year or so to blog once a week here at Reflections (occasionally I’ve missed a few weeks, but hey, one of them was on Thanksgiving, so there). In that time I’ve learned that, for me, blogging is the devil.

See? I told you it was.

What I mean is that like the devil, blogging distracts me from what I should be doing. Also, I hate the devil. likewise, I’ve grown to hate blogging. I have never enjoyed reading blogs, and I’ve always felt like I was supposed to blog as a part of my life as a writer because that’s what I’ve been told I’m supposed to do.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m attempting to write four novels this year. Correction: four GOOD novels this year, not just some garbage books that I don’t care about. In my mind, each word that I write on a Thursday morning (or before if I’m really prepared) is another word that won’t get written in one of my books because I’ve written it here. I’m not okay with that.

Perhaps this springs from my lack of interest in blogging as a medium of communication. The only time I read blogs is when a friend asks me to, or when I see something on Facebook that’s of interest to me and it happens to link to a blog post. I don’t go out trolling the internet for blogs. That’s not my idea of entertainment. I don’t enjoy that. The closest I come to that is Cracked.com, a site that I visit regularly because it’s funny and informational (but not always appropriate–you’ve been warned). That’s not really a blog sight, though.

Randy Ingermanson has sent out a lot of good stuff in his Advanced Fiction newsletters since I’ve been a subscriber (and probably before that too). In his last one he suggested that an author should ascribe a value to every business-related thing he does, as follows: $1 work, $10 work, $100 work, $1,000 work. The dollar amounts represent how much money you make from the various tasks you perform.

For instance, I run Splickety Magazine, which takes up a lot of my time. At this point I’m not privy to how much I’ll make from that rag, but I’m imagining it will be in the high $10s or the low $100s. I anticipate it will go up over time as I’ll get better at producing it as time goes on, plus I’ll hopefully make some money by selling some advertising for it. Compare that with my novel-writing: that’s definitely $1,000 work. Sure, it hasn’t actually made me any money thus far, but once I do get published, then I’m confident I’ll be in the $1,000 range.

This formula pertains more to marketing in my case than anything else. The idea is to focus either on A) what I’m good at/enjoy or B) what makes me the most money. I’m good at writing books, I’m good at running Splickety, and I’m good at Facebooking, plus I usually enjoy those things most of the time. I’m kind of good at blogging–of the top five most-viewed posts here at Reflections, four are mine (not including the Author page or the site’s homepage)–but I don’t like it. As of right now, it hasn’t made me any money that I can see, so it falls into the $1 work category. I think you can see where this is going.

I’m going to stop blogging. Over the next few weeks you won’t see me around here much anymore, and then eventually I’ll be gone, with perhaps an occasional guest appearance here and there. I just can’t justify the time I spend blogging anymore. I’ve already spent too much time on this one as it is to make it a decent post.

As such, I need to find a replacement. If you or anyone else is interested, comment on this post and the rest of the Reflections staff/administration will consider contacting you about it. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve benefited from this experience in ways that aren’t as tangible or measurable as money. I’ve made new friends and connections, I’ve learned to be more concise in my thoughts when blogging, and I’ve grown as a writer and as a person, but it’s time for me to move on.

This isn’t my last post here, but it’ll be one of the last. I’ll see you around, okay?

-Ben

Posted in Anxiety, Author Marketing, Authors, Encouragment, Friendship, Happiness, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Music, Publishing, Uncategorized, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

 
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