His Words

Why you need to become a “best-selling novelist”

For years I kept saying, “One day I want to write a novel.” Okay, that’s not entirely true. What I actually said—though rarely out loud—is, “One day I want to write a best-selling novel.” It was only last summer, after a couple decades of such daydreaming that I finally had this epiphany: An unwritten novel has ZERO chance of being published, much less becoming a best-seller. (Feel…

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Her Words

Be a human who cares about humans

It doesn’t take too long in this news-heavy, social media-saturated, self-promoting world, to feel worthless. How can I compete with a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, a doctor performing life-saving procedures, Academy Award-winning actors, technological geniuses, professional athletes, or The Real Housewives of Anywhere? If we laid out our resumes side by side, and evaluated them on the sliding scale of success, I’m…

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Decent people saying indecent words

@&*$%! Suddenly, I am obsessed with cursing. In large part this is because I recently completed a novel that has some “language” in it. A couple of my characters—despite my stern instructions that “this is not that kind of book!”—insisted on using some colorful expletives on several different occasions. My agent warned me that this might very well be the “kiss…

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Her Words

Holy Ducks! I’m Crying!

My insightful husband has recently written posts on grief and tears and the need to pay close attention to both. But like wild animals, those two things can be scary and unpredictable. As I confessed here recently (Black Heart Down), I had reached a point of emotional numbness, leaving me impervious to significant, tear-worthy moments. Ten years ago it took…

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Debbie Downer on Facebook

Remember Debbie Downer? The Saturday Night Live sourpuss a few years back who had the amazing ability to suck the life out of a room with her gloomy pronouncements? I’m friends with “Debbie” on Facebook! Not the make-believe character and not the comedienne Ratchel Dratch who played her, but an actual acquaintance who posts at least a dozen depressing stories every day.…

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Improvving our way through an off-script life

“All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players.” If you have never taken part in a stage production, you are missing out on an amazing creative process. A little band of artists gathers around a script and attempts to tell a story. If done correctly, the fantasy on stage will feel every bit as authentic…

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How to make your kids proud (without winning the Nobel Prize)

A couple weeks ago, I got to spend time with some younger friends who have kids in the 4-9 year-old range. It was fun—and sweet—to see adorable kids adoring their parents. It reminded me of what Proverbs 17:6 says: “Parents are the pride of their children.” The experience also took me back to 1999. My boys were 9 and 6. That was the…

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