Find a nurse

As a registered medical sonographer, one who can perform ultrasounds, I often get frustrated when I see actors, in tv shows or commercials, place the ultrasound probe on the wrong area of the patient to look at a specific structure.

For instance, a character will be in the hospital and a “doctor” will place the ultrasound probe on the center of the abdomen and then a picture of the spleen or kidney will appear on the screen.

“But the spleen is on the left side of the body.” I scream at the television like a rabid sports fan when their favorite player makes a mistake.

Many authors make similar medical mistakes in their books, including myself. Below is a medical boo-boo I made.

I had my character flat-line and shocked him back to life. My nurse friend told me that she couldn’t read the rest of the chapter until I fixed it – it bothered her that much.

“You can’t do that,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because you have to have a rhythm to shock. A defibrillator is used when the patient’s heart goes into an irregular rhythm that could kill them. We shock the abnormal rhythm to try to get it to correct itself and return to a normal rhythm. If the person is flat-lined, there is no heartbeat to shock.  Flat-liners need chest compressions.”

There are almost 4 million nurses in the US, not including all the other medical professionals who are reading our books. ~Click to Tweet

So authors research your hospital scenes well – a healthcare provider may be reading.

Yum…Shoe Leather

laugh-1121127_1920Ever tasted a little shoe leather?  It’s not very good, especially when we open our mouths and stick in our foot, all on our own.

Psalm 141:3 says,

“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Hopefully, visions of Hannibal Lecter didn’t pop into our minds when we read about guards over our mouths (if it did, then we may need more help than we first thought.)

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Writer Towns – Asheville, NC

Tweet this – Writer Towns – Asheville, NC

Yes – Asheville, NC is my home town and I am biased, but what a great place to write. From mountain tops to nearby waterfalls, so many things here inspire a writer to write, especially the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference.

If you have a couple of minutes – why not take in some of our local sites?

We are home to the largest home in America, the Biltmore Estate.  I do think that home will inspire a great setting for a future book.  Biltmore.png(www.biltmore.com)

We have some amazing mountaintops and beautiful waterfalls. Mountain  waterfall (Photos by Michael Cole)

If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, then their are plenty of eclectic shops, tasty restaurants and great character watching in the Downtown area.  If you love Jesus like me and here on Sunday, then stop by one of my favorite places, Biltmore Baptist church.

Asheville Downtown Biltmore Baptist church

So come visit us, find a great rock, local coffee shop or park bench by the river and be inspired to write!

 

 

5 Tips to Optimize Writing Time

time-488112_1280As a busy full-time career women, wife, mother and writer, time is something that must be protected at all costs.  After all, we want to get our books written and hopefully published, then do it all over again.  So here are 5 tips to help you make the most of your writing time.

  • God created Time – He can help us manage it. ~Click to Tweet this birdie  Always begin our days and writing time devoting it to God.  He can keep our thoughts on track, our minds focused and  provide the ultimate source of creativity.
  • Find your best writing time – My mind is freshest in the morning, after two cups of coffee.  Devote this time to novel-writing.  Social media, blog posts and emails can be completed during less fresh moments.
  • Zone in when writing –  Some like to write when it’s quiet. Others when constant noise (coffee shops or parks) bounces around them.  If noise bothers you, but you can’t escape it, download an app with some white noise and plug-in the earphones.  They help transcend a writer to that far away setting.
  • Set a stop time -.  A writer’s family needs to spend time with them too.  Writing can consume us, become an obsession.  We should only be consumed by God and His priorities – that includes time with our spouse and kids. Plus a daily deadline helps push us to make the most of our allotted time.
  • Remove the naysayers – especially the ones in our heads.  Don’t let doubt, fear, discouragement or negativity keep us from writing.  Think of women in the past who washed clothes by hand, could shoot a shotgun, and squished cow utters for their milk.  Strong.  Determined.  Survivors.

That’s what we are – Writers.

Writing at 4am – anyone?

shutterstock_358435634I met a lovely lady at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference who won an award for her poem.  Before the excitement of her win, we chatted a bit and I share with her how I struggled to find time to write.  I work a full-time job, have two active teenage boys and love writing.  What could I do to better manage my time?

“What time of the day do you write best?”

“My mind is fresher in the mornings,” I said.

“Then you need to write at 4am,” she said.

Now just because my mind is fresher at 4 am, does not mean I’m a morning person. In fact, the opposite of morning person best describes me.  I really could never imagine getting up at 4 am to write, but then she did the unspeakable –

She prayed God would give me the energy and motivation to get up and start writing at 4 am! ~Click here to tweet this

God is faithful as always and here I am for the second day in a row – beginning my writing at 4am.  Thank you, Penny for your God-given wisdom.  It really does work.

Just remember if you are coming for an evening visit – my bedtime is now 9 pm.

So for all you writers out there, hoping to get a novel published one day or just completely written, I am praying that God will give you the motivation and energy to join me writing at 4 am.

 

 

Writer Towns – Matlacha, FL

 MatlachaMatlacha always intrigued me.  The colors, the atmosphere, all the creative people…Love it!

The small eclectic town sparks creativity and the imagination. I wanted to share with you some of the things I found while researching a setting for my novel.

If you’re looking for the glamorous or famous, high dollar hotels and country clubs, then this might not be the town for you.

 However, if you want vibrant and interesting than this is the place.  Matlacha is on the water and some of these little shops boast big views.  So much artwork can be found here.  Even the telephone poles in the area have been made into canvases.

Check out neat places like LoveGrove Gallery and Gardens and Matlacha Menagerie.  Other galleries line the streets, as well as ice cream shops and parks.  All tourist must also check out the fishing bridge.

So if you are looking for a cool town to visit this summer or even after the temperatures turn cold.  Don’t forget Matlacha!

Challenge:  Share off the beaten paths from your camera rolls.  How many places can we discover?  ~ Click here to tweet this birdie!

 

 

The Hero I Never Knew…

shutterstock_249573793They named me after him.  My middle name is Lee.

He was left handed.  Guess I got that from him too.  I’m the only lefty in my family.

They said he loved Jesus.  So do I.

But I didn’t get to sit on his knee.

I didn’t get to go for ice cream with my Pappy.

I didn’t get to listen to stories of old or walk hand in hand with him.

He died in battle.  A gunshot wound to his leg.  The bridge was out and he bled to death before they could get him to a medic – one month before the war ended.  My mother was one year old at the time.  She didn’t really know him either.  Memories from old photos and one purple heart are all that we have left.

But, I know that we will see him again one day.  I know that he is with Jesus and will welcome us home.  I know that we will have eternity together.

I pay tribute today to my grandfather, Lester Lee Robinson a WWII soldier who fought to protect our country, our freedoms, our lives. So proud to be your granddaughter.

Thank you to all our soldiers who fight for our freedoms, our protection and our lives.  We are grateful every day to you.  ~Tweet this birdie

 

 

5 Writing Tips to share from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference

IMG_0527Ever have one of those weeks that changes your life for the better?  I spent the week at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference and learned hundreds of things, but since I was taught to keep posts to less than 500 words, I want to share the top five things this newbie didn’t know… Continue reading

God and the Busboy

cartThe busboy packed away my groceries one by one in a very organized manner, which brought a smile to my face.  He placed all my boxes together, separated out my bread, and asked if I wanted my milk in a bag, to which I replied, “Yes,” while recalling the one time I didn’t.  My trunk smelled like soured milk for months.

Then came the question that I dreaded.   Continue reading

Grocery Store Joy


galaxy-1335475_640“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

Sometimes life gets us down and joy is nowhere to be found…unless – you go to aisle 21 in the grocery store.  There lives a whole self of Joy…dish detergent, that is.  

That got me to thinking, which can be a dangerous thing, but I thought…

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find true joy that easily?   Continue reading