My writer friend, Linda Burklin, has written a great blog on writers’ conferences. I wanted to share it with you, especially if you’re a new or unpublished writer.
Author: Vickie Phelps, Writer, Author, Booklover
Christmas is . . .
seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes as he hears the Christmas story.
hearing and singing age-old carols as if it were the first time.
reaching out to others who need us.
being content with what we have in life.
spending quality time with family.
realizing that the best gifts can’t be bought.
keeping a bright, positive outlook in the middle of holiday frenzy.
knowing what the season means to you and not what others say it should be.
celebrating in your own way and not allowing what others do to color your festivities.
being grateful for every small gift whether it’s a hug from a friend or a smile from a stranger.
allowing peace to overtake us.
knowing the Christ of Christmas in a personal way
( From the book, Simply Christmas, by Vickie Phelps & Jo Huddleston, available on Amazon)
“In trying times and dark days, it’s not easy to sing. We may lose our song when the world collapses around us, tragedy rears its ugly head, or we feel alone. Our song may take on a different tune. Not so with Mary. She may not have understood everything happening to her or why, but she magnified the Lord with her voice. The Bible doesn’t give any details about Mary during the following six months, after her visit to Elizabeth, up to the time she and Joseph went to Bethlehem. We don’t know what she endured during that time–maybe discomfort, gossip, pain–we aren’t told, but I’d like to believe that always she had a song on her lips, other times, maybe only in her heart, but still a song of praise to God.”
From “Simply Christmas” by Vickie Phelps & Jo Huddleston, available at Amazon
Two years ago, Jo Huddleston and I decided to write a Christmas gift book expressing our feelings about the holiday season. The result is “Simply Christmas.” Some of you already have a copy and know the contents, but for those of you unfamiliar with the book, I’ll be sharing tidbits from the pages from now until Christmas. The book contains stories, traditions, poems, recipes, and devotions. May it warm your heart and give you a fresh outlook on this most hectic of seasons.
From “Simply Christmas”:
Recipe: Tiger Butter
1 pkg Almond Bark, 3 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Melt almond bark in top boiler or microwave. Add peanut butter and swirl together. Add chocolate chips. Do not mix chips, just swirl together gently. Pour out on baking sheet or other large flat dish. Let harden, then break into pieces. Store in plastic container.
Devotion: December 2: The Prince of Peace
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
Throughout the Bible we find the use of the words perfect and perfection referring to God and Jesus Christ: God is perfect, his work is perfect, his way is perfect, and God’s law is perfect. Living as we are in a world of imperfection, why wouldn’t we trust in God?
Before Jesus ascended, he promised to leave the people a peace that surpassed all understanding. Now, in the Scripture above, Isaiah tells us that God will keep us in perfect peace if our mind steadfastly stays on God and we trust him.
Some call the Bible God’s rule book for us. If so, we can be assured that the things he sets out for us in his Word are for our good. Scriptures tell us that, among other things, God will give us peace if we believe in him and obey him.
Among other beautiful names that the prophets gave to Jesus was the Prince of Peace. Peace: a wholeness and well-being for us and our society. Peace can be ours if we trust in God.
During the season when Christians commemorate Jesus’ birth would be an appropriate time to affirm or reaffirm our trust in God and claim his perfect peace.
Prayer: God, thank you for your perfect peace as our blessing for trusting you.
If you’d like your own copy of “Simply Christmas,” it’s available at amazon
Good advice for the coming days of the season.
As our holiday task lists grow, how will you slow?
The rhythm we keep during this holiday prep time largely determines our ability to be present with ourselves and others.
Turning down the dial on busy may seem unrealistic.
Keeping yourself above water might be a stretch:
The pressure mounts as the household tasks multiply like gremlins. Moms with growing boys know what I mean …
Making decisions about what is necessary and what is not may help reduce your list, but this post is about time with Him.
Some of you may not have the opportunity for quiet time, unless it is in the shower.
Some of you may not have a closet or chair or room that is yours, where you go to be with Our Lord.
Fear not, my friends! In the midst of the coming days, simply look up:
When you step outside to get the…
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I’m sharing this on my blog because of the message she shares.
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author who writes novels inspired by her fascination with the 1950s and her love of her native American South. Her newest novel is “Unraveled”
In 1954, twenty-six-year-old Alice Patterson undergoes a pregnancy loss that affects everything and everyone she touches. Emotionally and physically drained, she must come to terms with her traumatic loss or risk losing her husband, her best friend, and her sanity.
In her small southern Mississippi town, her church Sewing Circle’s new project triggers an unsettling setback to Alice’s recovery. Afterward, she succumbs to suspicions of Paul’s infidelity that causes her collapse, from which she may not recover.
Jo has shared an excerpt from the book. Continue reading below to find out more about this intriguing story.
Tuesday, March 2, 1954—Talasia, Mississippi
Alice Patterson bolted upright in the bed and listened for what had awakened her. She heard nothing out of the ordinary. Only the hushed, even snores from her husband Paul’s side of the bed. The black hole in her recurring nightmares must have invaded her subliminal mind—again. She had awakened before she sank into its depths. Paul still slept. Obviously, she hadn’t screamed out this time.
She eased from beneath the covers, pushed her feet into house slippers, and grabbed her pink terry cloth robe lying across the foot of the bed. After stepping into the hall and pulling the door shut, she stuffed her arms into her robe and tied the sash around her waist. She knew her house, even in the night, and walked to the darkened bedroom next to hers and Paul’s.
Pale light from the street lamp outside huddled beyond the curtains covering the lone window. Standing in the middle of the room, she peered toward the baby bed, then her gaze focused on the rocking chair with the golden cushions padding its back and seat. She went to the small chest placed against the wall across the room and opened the music box sitting atop it. The tiny box played its shrill rendition of “Brahms’ Lullaby.”
Alice sat in the rocking chair and idly moved it with one foot grazing the hardwood floor, her arms empty. She remained there even after the music box played its last note. Blinding light burst from the hall and pierced the darkness of the room to reveal the baby bed. Empty.
Paul’s voice reached her through the night. “You all right?”
Would she ever be all right again? She turned toward the open door where her husband’s silhouette stood in dark contrast to the brightness behind him. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“It’ll be daylight soon. Come on back to bed. If you can’t sleep, at least you can rest your body. You need to conserve your energy to help regain your strength.”
Paul repeated what Dr. Stallings had told her before he released her from the hospital ten days ago. But what did she need her strength for? She no longer carried the baby they’d both dreamed of. Her body was now empty like her arms and the baby bed.
* * *
Jo’s novels in her endearing Caney Creek series, her West Virginia Mountains series, as well as her stand-alone release, Tidewater Summer are sweet Southern romance novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN). Visit Jo at her website (www.johuddleston.com) where you can sign up for her mailing list and read the first chapters of her novels and novellas.
Jo is giving away an ebook copy of “Unraveled.” Leave a comment on this blog to be entered into the giveaway.
You can purchase “Unraveled” at http://amzn.to/2rczXKZ
Links to Huddleston Online:
Website and blog (Read novel first chapters here): http://www.johuddleston.com
Sign up for Jo’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/1ZFaZwG
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2cfSroU
Facebook author page: http://bit.ly/2aqFEeT
Facebook personal page: http://on.fb.me/1Ubic69
Inspirational blog: http://bit.ly/2gttKVr
BookBub Profile: http://bit.ly/2liB0G3