Published in the Rains County Leader on February 6, 2018:
To be accurate, the title should read “Observations from the sick chair” because every time I lie down, I cough so much that no one in the house, human or animal, can sleep. I’ve spent most of the last several days and nights in a recliner trying to find the perfect angle of recline that allows me to rest without hacking up a vital organ. However, regardless of the state of my health, deadlines come around on a regular basis, so in this week’s column, I’m sharing a few things I’ve observed during my illness.
- One of the little known symptoms of the common cold is writer’s block. I may have mentioned that when a blogger or columnist experiences a lack of creative inspiration, she often resorts to a list.
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 26, 2016:
I can’t decide if this week was so uneventful that nothing unusual has happened or if so much has happened that I haven’t had time to contemplate the deeper meanings of any one event. Either way, when I sat down to write, the only thought that crossed my mind was I got nothin’.
I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions, but I guess they were all busy watching play-off games. Nobody responded, and I ended up with what I started with – nothin’. (more…)
After living in Emory for almost five years, I finally made it to the Rains County Fair last week. It’s not that I avoided it up to this point, but all my prior fair experience was with the Texas State Fair in Dallas. That one runs for two weeks plus an extra weekend, so there’s time to dawdle over the decision about whether or not to go. The County Fair, though, lasts only five days, and in previous years, it was over before I hardly knew it had opened.
This year, however, I shared a booth with Kent Larson, another local Christian author, and I spent almost twenty hours at the Fair. I sold a few books, but mostly I chatted with people and learned more about life in small town America. Here are some of my observations: (more…)
It wasn’t my goal in life to become a writer. I enjoyed writing when I was younger, and I toyed with the idea briefly until I received my first negative review from an English teacher. I don’t take criticism very well, and I took her comments very personally, so my pen lay idle for several decades.
Then, when I became a caregiver, I was advised to keep a journal. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was a writer. With all the media outlets, being a writer can creep up on you. Sometimes you don’t recognize when you’ve crossed that line – when you’ve reached that place where you can realistically call yourself a writer.
If you’re somewhere in the process of becoming, and are not sure if you’ve crossed that magic line, you’re in luck. I have developed a top ten list of symptoms characteristics of being a writer.
You might be a writer if… (more…)
The most obvious way to know you’re getting older is to have another birthday. I had one a couple of weeks ago, and since it was impossible to ignore the event, I decided to embrace it in typical blogger fashion. Following are ten additional ways to know you are getting older. (more…)
Several months ago I noticed that my blog traffic was lagging. I still had my faithful followers, and a new reader popped in from time to time, but I wasn’t getting that mind-boggling kind of growth that makes the publishers beat a path to your inbox. I consulted with my main writing guru, my son Christian Piatt, and I read several “how to” articles on increasing blog traffic. I didn’t learn anything new, but I was reminded of the NUMBER ONE thing a blogger is supposed to do to build traffic – be consistent.
I’ve tried several times to blog on a schedule, but after a few weeks, I fall into the same old hit or miss pattern. But this time I was determined it would be different. I made up my mind that, regardless of what happened, I would post a blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and this month I added an Alzheimer video by Rick Phelps on Sundays.
I’ve kept to the schedule and even got my posts written a day ahead so I could schedule them to go live at 9:00 am (CDT). It’s been working pretty well – until today. I got up with nothing scheduled and no inspiration. I argued with myself that missing one day wouldn’t matter, and like a student facing her teacher without her homework, I thought of all kinds of excuses why I don’t have a post. Here are my top ten: (more…)