Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Greetings from the Not-So-Oval Office

President…not a term I thought would ever be associated with my name. CWG/Word Weavers doesn’t elect officers. The founding members decided many years ago elections aren’t much more than a popularity contest or personality clash. When Jan Powell suggested passing the pen to me for this office as her term ended, I confess I took a step back. I don’t have an “A” type personality (more like a “Z” type, if there is one), and never considered myself presidential material. Although I’ve outgrown my fear of speaking to large crowds, thanks to many years in theatre and a leadership position with Tampa Christian Women Club, I do have difficulty in reaching out to form relationships.
When I met Jan at the Florida Christian Writers Conference in 2005, I never dreamed a friendship of this depth would develop. Her kindness and encouragement are a blessing to me to this day. A Little History Jan visited the original Word Weavers group in Orlando for a year before I finally joined her. Until then, we’d had a two-person critique group. She found more writers from Tampa who attended the Orlando group, and soon we had enough members to start our own chapter. Jan took charge as president, Tina Yeager agreed to be our chaplain, Sheryl Young accepted the role of recording secretary, and I became the group division specialist. Under Jan’s leadership, we have grown from four hopeful writers to a chapter of twelve members. And we’re successful! Over one-third of our group has sold stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Member Kat Heckenbach’s novel, FINDING ANGEL, is now available on Kindle and will be available in print mid-September. She designed the cover, too! Multi-talented, to say the least. (See it on Word Weavers grew from a few members sitting around a kitchen table to a merger with Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild. New groups are forming in other states, and now with a chapter in Canada, we’ve gone international! In the next two years of service to CWG/Word Weavers - Tampa, my goals are to grow our group to a divisible size, help our unpublished members become published authors, and bring glory to our Lord in our reputation as Christian writers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Fight of our Lives by Bennett & Leibsohn

I prefer to read fiction because non-fiction usually serves as a good antidote to insomnia. I struggled to get through this work for that reason only. Unlike other non-fiction list-our-woes type of books, THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES is a true eye-opener. Most books of this ilk merely point out the problem, but this one delves deeply into the cause of our slide into political correctness and directs us to a clear resolution. "Rolling off our couches" is a good first step. In eight short chapters, plus an introduction and epilogue, Bennett & Leibsohn describe the lessons we SHOULD HAVE learned (but didn't) from Viet Nam (which showed Bin Laden our weaknesses) to the Ft. Hood massacre (which underscored our PC standing). Quoting Gen. George Casey of the recent attack: "As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse." I had to read that line several times, asking myself, "Can a military general REALLY put diversity above his soldiers?" This book clearly identifies our enemies, some of whom are within our own culture. Eleven pages of notes for their voluminous footnotes is indicative of the authors' intense research. THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES isn't based on opinion, but proven facts. I hope it starts a wildfire of couch potatoes getting involved in taking back our country. I will certainly share it, give it as a gift, and recommend it. I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze®.com in exchange for my review, and am in no way compelled to write flattery for flattery's sake.