Disappointing Final Chapter

Today was supposed to be the grand opening of my new online home, but some unforeseen events transpired and it looks like it’s going to be later in the week. I’m not giving out another date, you’ll just have to be surprised. 

Are you disappointed? All the hype and then…nothing.
Let’s learn a lesson from this. When we’re writing, remember to follow through. As we lead readers towards the climax, we have to keep in mind that the end has to be equal to or greater than the threads we use to pull them along.

If you’re writing a romance, and the tension intensifies all through the book, let the ending be a bang! A satisfaction that leaves readers thinking about it for days.
If it’s a mystery, and you’re leading readers to an unknown murderer, make the twists and the revelation send their jaw to the floor. 
If it’s suspense, don’t peter out at the end with an easy save for the hero. Make it hard for him or her to win. 
Have I missed anything? 
Chime in, Writers.
Readers: name a book you’ve read lately that gave you a satisfying end and why?

WHEN my website goes up, I promise I’m still giving away prizes. I may have several just because I’ve left you all in suspense for so long. 🙂 

Blogburbia

 

One of my favorite all-time movies is The Burbs with Tom Hanks, Corey Feldman and Princess Leia. At the moment her name ain’t ringin a bell and I don’t feel like googling it. It’s about a man who lives in suburbia, he’s lost his job and all he does is watch his neighbors. It’s hysterical really.

But that’s not what I’m going to chat about today. Instead, I’m going to talk about blog community. Blogburbia. I read How to Build a Community on Your Blog by Caitlin Muir at authormedia(dot)com on Monday. You can read it HERE

She had some great tips. But, I wondered about a few of them:

“If someone takes the time to leave you a comment, you better take the time to respond.”

“When a reader comments, talk back to them and ask a follow-up question. Probe. Find out what they really think. They have stories of their own that are worth being up on your website. Get to know them like you were sitting across from them at a coffee shop.”

I agree with these statements. Completely. More than anything this blog is my online home. A place I spend lots of time. I take care of it and nurture it and I want all who show up to feel welcome, invited, entertained, encouraged and comfortable to share their thoughts whether serious, funny, or somewhere in between.

 

 

But I’ve found that when I leave a comment on someone’s blog I don’t have time really to go back and see if they’ve responded to my comment and to go back several times for a conversation isn’t always doable for me. In fact, 8 out of 10 times, I can’t. 

I’ve seen it happen. One person commenting several times and if it’s valid that’s cool; sometimes I think it’s just to monopolize a blog, but everyone really knows this. 

Sometimes I respond to each comment on my blog, sometimes it’s a general comment to everyone, but I try to always respond to a new guest. I’m not sure any of you come back to see if I’ve made follow-up comments. Do you? I try to twitter a response on occasion and my friend Heather Sunseri uses Disquis. So…I’m curious.

 

Do you always respond to every comment? Do you go back to blogs and keep up with the conversation and comment more than once? How do you build a blogburbia?



Oh yeah, it just came to me. Carrie Fisher.

 

Do come back Monday! My home will be freshly painted, re-decorated, the coffee will be on and an assortment of creamers will await you! Oh, and chocolate…lots of chocolate, friends!


And prizes! (Real ones)

Pull It Together: Belt of Truth

“Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they’d have had the strength to stand”
One of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns. Voice of Truth.  Everyone in my world is a giant, at 5’0. But most of the giants that  tower over me are unseen. Huge.
What kind of strength would it take? To stand before a giant? For a young man named David, it looked like a lot. Saul made sure his armor was secured around him before going out to do what no other man would do, not even Jonathan (and he’s one of my favorite men in the Bible).
I imagine all that heavy armor, two sizes too big clanged against David like metal garbage cans.
And David knew he didn’t need it anyway. He stripped it off. Stood bare.
But did he? Stand bare?
Only a sling and a stone?
No.
He was girded with an unseen belt of truth.
“But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”
The Voice of Truth.
A belt if you will. I’m still traveling at my own pace through Donna Pyle’s, Your Strong Suit, Bible study and this week she talked about the Belt of Truth. She says, “God’s truth brings our focus back to center and strengthens us.”
Since we talked about exercising our core last week (here), I thought how appropriate that when we get lost in the lies the enemy throws at us, such as these:
“But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again “boy, you’ll never win!
“You’ll never win.”
We have the truth to remind us, we only need the armor of God–unseen to us but seen by the enemy– to fight. The neighbor mowing his grass smiles and nods, the stranger on the street pays us little attention but the unseen giants we face each day, those that may even manifest in circumstances and people who hurt us, see the belt of truth glittering like sunshine off Caribbean waters around our waist.
And they tremble.
We can’t physically see them shaking in their evil boots, but we can feel it–they turn up the heat in our lives trying to melt away the truth. Those fiery darts can fly swiftly when an enemy is frightened.
Ephesians 6:14, “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…”
To gird in the Greek is “perizonnymi.” It means “to equip one’s self with the knowledge of truth.” Equip, gear up….get ready…prepare…
Generally, in the Old Testament to gird up meant to ready yourself for service. We see this in the NT as well, when Jesus girded a towel around His waist and washed the feet of His disciples. An intimate display of servanthood. A glorious example for us.
What is truth? Donna says, “Living truthfully is really knowing God closely and intimately.”
Truth is Jesus, Himself. “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.” John 14:6
Truth in the Greek is, “Altheia” meaning, “What is true in pertaining to God and duties of man, moral & religious truth.”
Girding ourselves with Jesus Christ is strengthening ourselves with power we do not have. Hanes and Playtex can’t invent a girdle strong enough to fight our enemies. We can not do it in our own power.
We are but flesh, dust, vapor…weak.
But…
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
 And flesh, dust, vapor, weakness moves mountains.
John 8:44 says (Jesus speaking), “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
“But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don’t seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me”
He cannot stand in Truth because he has to bow at the feet of it. Of Him. He’s been defeated. At the cross. But we…we get to stand, ladies and gents.
“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.” 
Are you a belt person? How many belts do you own?