Tag Archives: Blogging

I AM Breaking a Big Rule

15 May

Blackberry blooms copy

On the Porch 

Onisha Ellis

I am breaking a big rule of blogging today. I am going to ramble, go off topic, bounce around. I am NOT going to stay focused. Why oh why would I commit this crime? Because I can. Because that is what my brain is doing. So let’s rock and ramble!

 RAMBLE ONE

I enjoy eating boiled eggs. For seventy calories I can grab a God created protein snack. I do not enjoy boiling them and peeling them is even worse. So this Easter when Facebook was filled with posts about baking your eggs in the oven I joined the frenzy and tried. It worked!! They peel like a dream even a week after I baked them! My eggs had a slight brown spot on the egg white but it was very easy to flick off.

Here is the “recipe” and you can visit Unsophisticook! to read the complete story.

 

How to Bake Hard Boiled Eggs

 

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

eggs

ice water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place desired number of eggs in a regular or mini muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove eggs from oven and, using a pair of tongs (I like these tongs with rubber tips from OXO), immediately transfer the eggs to an ice water bath. Allow to cool down for at least 10 minutes.

RAMBLE TWO

I have been working my way through book blogger websites, looking for bloggers who would be willing to accept an ARC (advanced reader copy) of Rebekah Lyn’s (otherwise known as my daughter Beck) upcoming release, Jessie. I feel the same anxiety I felt when I left her with a babysitter, sent her off on her first sleepover and drove her to college. Do mothers EVER get over the instinct to protect their children? I am pretty sure I have spent more time praying over my children in their adult like than I did when they were little tykes.

If you happen to be a book blogger or just enjoy reading and reviewing, speak up in comments and I will email you an ARC.

I am humbled and thankful that my BFF Pam has joined the Rebekah Lyn Books team as a marketing and Publicist assistant. Launching Jessie and planning Teas has so many elements to pull together, I was feeling totally overwhelmed.

RAMBLE THREE

My heart has been filled with prayers for a sweet thirteen year old, Kylie Myers who is receiving chemo for a rare cancer. You can visit her Facebook page Smiiey For Kylie. She has had a rough time adjusting to having cancer and the side effects of chemo.

Her dad is author Mark Myers who wrote Virgil Creech Takes a Swipe at Redemption.

When I think of Kylie, I wish she could meet my friend Wanda and her daughter, Allie who has been on a similar chemo schedule with Kylie. Allie shines with joy and confidence in Christ and my faith is made stronger when I see her on Facebook rocking the headscarf or sporting the smooth head style with her brother.

That’s the end of my ramble. There is a lot more in my brain such as why does the male cardinal insist on constantly banging his head on anything shiny, but that is for another day. Our blackberries are in full bloom and the locals say if we get a frost while they are blooming, our winter will be called a blackberry winter. Temps are expected to drop this weekend so we will see, I like blackberry blossoms because they remind me the flower of life is beautiful and even though there will be thorns, the fruit will be delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting the New Year Face to Face

8 Jan

Last night the bloggers for Old Things R New met face to face for the first time in our history. It was an incredible and laughter filled evening.

photo

From left to right, Judy Wills, Divoran Lites, Onisha Ellis, Lynn Shepherd (web genius and daughter of Louise) Louise Gibson, Janet Peres Eckles. Back row, Bill Lites

I created the blog January 13, 2012 and my first post was to announce my daughter, Rebekah Lyn’s debut novel. I had no idea what I was doing, but knew I needed a platform to help promote her work.

In Febrauary 2012,  DiVoran Lites, my long time friend and mentor, brought her fun and inspiring wrting to our blog. She has now published three novels which you can find here.  Her husband Bill, loves travel and vintage WWII airplanes and we were pleased to add him on April 19,2012. In September of 2012  we welcomed Judy Wills, a talented pianist,  whose life as a military spouse brought us an inside look at family life both in and out of the military. In 2013 we were blessed with two new bloggers, Louise Gibson, whose poetry about nature, feline friends and life touches many hearts and brings smiles to the readers face, and last but certainly not least is Janet Perez Eckles, a dynamo of energy and faith, who shares her life experiences with us through weekly posts that encourage us to dig deep into our own faith and challenges.

Janet was recently interviewed on Emotional Mojo   a nationally syndicated show that  combines the best of Psychology, personal development, life coaching, and daily inspiration in a single Mojo brand.

My Brain is Twisted Spaghetti

27 Apr

On  the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Onisha

I’m pretty sure I am driving a very dear friend crazy. You see, she made the mistake of offering to help me create a website. To begin with she told me where to purchase a domain and secure a host server. After I had accomplished step one, she patiently led me through choosing a WordPress theme, then loaded it onto the server. Easy, I thought I can do this. Next she told me to begin loading content. Whaaat? How does one load content into a blank website? I am comfortable with a blog. All I have to do is write my thoughts and publish. Content it seems is way more complicated. Without having a clue, I began creating pages and adding links. My confidence began to build then she asked me to provide pictures in a custom size for the slider. I think she mentioned other pictures too but my mind totally blanked out.  So did my friend. Her last email stated she would be hiding, I mean relaxing in the woods without Internet or phone for the whole weekend. Did I mention she lives up North?

So, I am reaching out to our blog readers with questions. Why do they call widgets, widgets? Why aren’t widgets more specific? I need one that says “want a badge, paste it here.” Why won’t my categories parent? How do I remove the book covers on the right side of my landing page? How do I get those nice Amazon buttons and how do I become an Amazon affiliate and do I paste that somewhere?

I have been reading a great deal about content for websites and they all agree a website needs a great call to action so I am practicing on our readers. Here’s my call to action- anyone want to be my website tutor?

 

Top Grade Literacy

11 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites

jungle divoran

I’ve always liked kids, reading, and books. That was the reason I took on a once a week job with reading challenged kids. It was fun. I learned a bit about ADHD, Dyslexia, and people who can read, but don’t comprehend what they read. We had young man stuck in the sixth grade because although he could mentally photograph a page, he could not explain what the words meant.

Several people I know have severe dyslexia. One is on welfare for it; the other is a brilliant doctor who gets books for the blind from the library so he can enjoy adventure books in his spare time like anybody else.

That’s one side of the coin. The other side is a friend who could go through ten romance novels a day and still take good care of her husband, children, and home. She ended up going to adult classes to get her college degree and supporting her children when her husband left them.

I know a couple of people who have turned reading into a fine art. One is Albert, a tall brown fellow about ten years old who is a wonderful natural athlete, especially as a basketball player. The first time I heard Albert read aloud in Sunday school I was thrilled and amazed. He had inflection; depth, tone, rhythm. I asked whether they  recognize his skills at school, and he confirmed that they do. He reads the announcements over the intercom every morning. When asked, his mother said she had read to him with those same embellishments since he was a baby and he had picked it up from there.

The other artistic reader who was an English teacher, taught her children to read before they went to school. Now she is frail and cared for by a daughter and a son who is a policeman. I never have heard one word of complaint from this dear lady. She’s always telling other people how wonderful they are.

She tells me that, frequently, her daughter calls her on the phone and reads to her from Jane Austen. They just finished, “Northanger Abby.” Every night her son reads a chapter from a James Herriot novel. “I get a bedtime story,” she says, happily.

Does that thrill you as much it does me? I’m not going to say reading aloud is a lost art. Obviously, it is not and someday perhaps someone will read to me in just that way, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying my IPod, http://www.audible.com, and my all time favorite author whose books are recorded for a new generation: D. E. Stevenson.

The best book to read, aloud or silently is, of course, the Bible, which can change your life for the better forever.

Matthew 4:4

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

*kids.

What Was She Thinking? An Interview with Novelist, Poet and Painter, DiVoran Lites

11 Feb


I consider myself a reader rather than a writer. Not only am I a reader, I am a very curious one. I love knowing why a writer choses a subject or location and sometimes I just want to know “what was she thinking? To satisfy my unseemly curiosity I decided to offer author interviews.

For my first interview, I have chosen novelist, poet and artist, DiVoran Lites. She is a chief contributor here at OldThingsRNew and one of my dearest friends.

jungle divoranHer debut novel Sacred Spring was released on Amazon in November 2012.

DiVoran, I would like to welcome you as my first author interview and thank you for allowing me to practice on you.

 Thanks for choosing me. I feel honored. It will give me a chance to think through some of the motives, the trials, and the joys of writing novels. I love anything to do with writing for example, grammar books such as, Eats, Shoot & Leaves, by Lynn Truss, to listening in the car to Building Great Sentences, a college course from The Great Courses. In other words, I’m one of those who enjoy the nitty-gritty of writing, so this will be fun.

I know you love nature. Is that why you chose to set your first novel at a Florida spring?

As you’ve probably heard readers say before, the setting chose me. Many years ago, we camped at De Leon Springs. It was before it became a State Park, when it was a bit run-down and the word was that it was  slated to be sold for a subdivision, but I thought that would be a shame because De Leon is one of old Florida’s most beloved, beautiful and historical spots. My imagination worked as we swam, ate, slept and in general made ourselves at home and relaxed with our children. One friend said I took up my pen and created an alternate fate for the springs.

The Story of Sacred Spring could have been written without the faith element. Why did you choose to include faith?

Could it have been written without the faith element? Maybe, but I couldn’t have been the one to do it. Leaving God out is like leaving out the sun, the moon, and the stars. Way before there was ever such a thing as a “Christian Book Market,” there were writers who included their faith in their work. A great story is paramount, but to my way of thinking any book that turns out to be worthwhile is made up of what is called “moral fiction.” Moral is good, but why not take it just that logical next step and let God join the party. He wants a part in everything we do.

Do you have a work in progress?

My work in progress is the second novel in my trilogy of Sacred Spring, Living Spring, and Clear Spring.  My husband has read the chapters and marked things that needed clarification. It’s a big help, because when I know what I’m talking about I assume any reader would know, but that isn’t always so.

Writing your first book can be a challenge, why did you choose  to start out with a trilogy?

In a way, Living Spring is a sequel, to Sacred Spring, but in another way, it isn’t. My favorite author, D. E. Stevenson wrote seventy novels and you could be sure that when you started one you would again come upon someone you knew in a previous one. I loved that. It was always the most delightful surprise. The story goes forward with the lives from Sacred Spring, and the loose ends from Sacred Springs slowly tie themselves into tidy bows, but Living Spring is a full new story as well.

Many of the people who read Sacred Spring ask when they’ll learn what happens next. For those of us anxious to read Living Spring, when do you expect it will be published?

It is almost ready and  I plan a Spring release.

I know that you have been writing for a long time. How did you decide to publish through Amazon?

Some time ago, when I first wrote Sacred Spring I did all the things you’re supposed to do to get a book published. Far more people do their best to write good stories with great characters and follow all the rules in getting them published than those who actually get published. I had a good book. I won a writing contest with it and got a lot of great reviews and encouragement from various publishers’ editors I met at writer’s conferences. I had an agent, for a time, as well. However, for who knows what reason, no one actually bought it.

The publishing houses spend so much money and time getting books out there, they have to be sure they will make their money back plus a profit, so a lot of times they go with authors who already have the highest possible sales—the big ones like Nora Roberts and John Grisham. The competition, in other words for the publisher as well as for the unknown writer is fierce.

When I discovered I could publish with Kindle for free I grabbed the chance because I knew my books and my writing would be worthwhile to its particular audience. If I hadn’t tried one more time, it would have been like spending hours, days, money, toil and a lot of love on a huge banquet and then hiding it all in the kitchen where no one could taste it.

For our readers who might have a manuscript in a drawer or have always wanted to write but were afraid of the publishing process,  would you share your publishing journey?

First, I was advised to get a professional editor and given the name of Beth Lynne at BZ Hercules. Not only did she go several extra miles for me, but also she was consistently kind and encouraging. Her services were reasonable and she did it all very quickly. She prepared the book for Kindle (apparently Kindle speaks a different computer language) and she prepared it to be printed in paperback by Create Space. Beth has an affiliate who can and will do everything to get you a good cover whether you supply the images or she does. That was especially important, because I painted the covers for my trilogy myself and wanted them to show to the best advantage. I’ve been thrilled with the work of Laura La Roche at laura@llpix.com on Sacred Spring and can’t wait to see what she’ll do with the cover to Living Spring. I never dreamed publishing could be so easy, nor that self or indie publishing could be so inexpensive, especially with its print on demand through Amazon.

The theme of our blog is old things are new. Tell me something from your past that you feel has become new  or fresh again.Our blog is called Old Things R New reminding us that when we receive Christ as Lord and Savior all things in our lives, in our pasts, all mistakes, and sins, are gone because he atoned for them–paid for them, saved us from them. The new life that ensues is wonderful, full of surprises and serendipities.

One of the things in my life that was old, but has now become fresh and new is my friendship with Onisha Ellis. We met over thirty years ago and helped each other through a time of spiritual questioning. We were dear friends, then things changed and we were no longer running in the same circles or members of the same church. Onisha worked every day, I got busy doing my things and we fell out of contact, accidently meeting in the mall or the library and loving it, but not getting together again because of our busy lives.

One day I saw Onisha’s daughter, Rebekah Lyn,  in a big store and we got to talking about writing books. I knew she had always wanted to write a novel and I now had one I wanted to write too, so we agreed to help and support each other in starting those very books. We met for over a year, by end of which each of us had a brand new novel.

Onisha was tremendously involved in Rebekah’s writing career, and was starting her own blog site, Old Things R New. I wrote to her and she invited me to join the blogging team. She also offered to help market my novels and our friendship which, originally, was based on love and mutual respect lifted into new spheres, we had never dreamed of. We now talk almost every day via email. We love discussing so many things. We again have mutual goals and mutual friends and we have each other’s backs, which means so much in today’s society. Now we know that God can take an old, valuable friendship and make it new again. As a matter of fact, the same may be said of my relationships with Patricia Franklin, Judy Wills, and Charlene Gibson whom you probably do not know.

When my daughter was in Girl Scouts we learned a song that said, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” I thank God now for my Old/ New friends and although I do have newer friends and truly love them, the old friends are newly precious to me, too.

From an Amazon review by author, poet and editor Mary H Sayler:

     This personally awaited book does not belong in the “First Book” category as that implies the work of a novice, which DiVoran Lites is not. For years she has patiently perfected her craft, working on all three books in this trilogy with great care in doing her research, writing, revising, and finally, releasing the novel at a timely time. Her credible characters carry us quickly into their story and the Florida story too, presenting an authentic and lively perspective that’s thought-provoking and well-told.

I would like to thank DiVoran again for agreeing to be my first interview. I hope our readers enjoyed it too. I would appreciate your  feedback.-Onisha

DiVoran Lites books can be found at Amazon

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DiVoran Lites aretwork can be viewed at Creative Art Works

        

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