Tag Archives: writing

This Blog is moving!

Moving a house, LA

We're moving.

Follow me to the next adventure,
and please remember to re-subscribe.

Photo source here.

All previous posts and comments have moved too.
This blog will be a
read only site, until it is phased out, in the near future.

Thanks for visiting here. I can’t wait to see you at the New blog.

5 Reasons I Don’t Read (Christian) Chick Books

Data on this blog reports that married men, ages 25-35, with children are the biggest frequenters of this blog. I’m really flattered.

It’s a throwback to being picked by the neighbor boys to be quarterback for both teams during the zenith of my football prowess, ages 9-11. I guess they just trusted my skills. (Or, maybe I was bad at tackling.)

It seems I don’t write like a chick. A Lady. Or what have you.

BUT! I KNOW I don’t seem to read like one.

Case in Point:

I’d love to be involved with the women’s book club at my church. I love books and the discussions that ensue. I put one together for Blue Like Jazz. 3 people came, including me. One of them was a friend I drove to it, because I begged her to come at the last minute. She hadn’t even read the book.

The truth is, in general, I like the richness of mixed gender book clubs, and I like to hear various perspectives (unless it devolves into gender battles and insults, like Sunday School this past week. ACK! The men were PENT UP. Arrows were flying!) Plus, I think, this gender war stuff gets old, fast. Hello, John and Stasi Eldridge, can you hear me? Um. You’re causing infighting. It’s the truth.)

But for the exception of the wonderful Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God, that came up at book club, it’s been just a slew of girly books. I just cannot stop my gag reflex long enough to muddle through something Pioneer or Amish related. I can’t stomach “historical fiction/dreamy (and yet Christian-safe–in-all-the-right-spots) romance–with–a–God-twist”. This dominates our book club. Completely.

Thanks to a reader’s helpful link, you’ll find a really fascinating rendering of this issue here (Newsweek article).

(Bear in mind that my area can’t support a Walden’s Book store in the mall (which shut down a number of years ago) let alone something mainstream like a Boarders. Something like that is 31 miles away. And a cozy and bookish sole proprietorship? HAA! NEVER. So, it could be the situation that I’m just a fish out of water around here.)

So, in a measure of self-soothing, I’ve come up with a quick list-

5 Reasons I Don’t Read (Christian) Chick Books

1. I don’t care about reading gooey, implausible stories about the Amish. I live near the Amish. You know what? They aren’t that interesting.(Basically, they just dress weirdly, frequent “dent and scratch” bargain grocery stores, and have gaggles of children.)

2. I like history, and I like (good) fiction. But, it always seems like the category so-called “Women’s Christian Historical Fiction” is just a mash up that’s two levels closer to crap than anything else.

I feel insulted by everything from the predictable plot-lines, to the saccharine Christian-evangelism tactics that snake through like, well, “like a string of pearls snaking between ample bosoms”.

3. Since I’m not a big fan of the macho man/Christian book market, I can’t start getting aligned to closely with mushy, girly books. It’ll trash my street cred. (Guilt by association, obviously.)

4. If it makes a guy wince to see a chick book, it makes me wince. I just don’t like feeling I should defend my gender for enjoying overly sentimental tripe, that often sacrifices intellectual integrity for dramatic episodes that involve a high- stakes rescue, or a whore-come-home riff. Call me silly.

5. These books all seem to severely lack in the sense of humor department. This. is. not. okay. This is perhaps the biggest reason I just can’t do it. I need more. I want to be challenged. I want to laugh and cry, but not because “his heart has been too scarred to let her love in, despite their undeniable attraction…but he unknowingly gave himself a milk mustache on his curvaceous and stubbly upper lip, and her heart skipped a beat.” (You get the idea.)

If you are a fan of these books (or a writer of them, or an agent of them (like Chip MacGregor, my agent)), I apologize for being so brash. I’m not trying to be a guy about it.


It’s just my opinion that these books are for women what the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show holiday tv special is for men. They offer something superficial, that aims to scratch an itch, but ends up inflaming the whole thing. Less, not more, is the remedy, but no one wants to give it up.

victoria's secret fashion show 2010

Image by cattias.photos via Flickr

I realize writing this will mean I’ll never get a Christmas card from:

For a long list of these books, click here. If you start to feel ill, even at the sheer multitude, I wanna hear from you.

Here’s the surprise ending:
If any of these authors will have me over for dinner, and try to change my mind, I will indulge that. (In stereotypical male form, you may get to me through my stomach. And that’s a chance I’m willing to take, especially if there is PA German Apple crumb pie involved.)

What do you think about this genre?
Are you a woman who gets embarrassed by what’s available in the “Women’s genre”?


Ladies, if you like these books, have your say.


And guys, what’s your take on any of this? (If you were given $20, would you read a “bonnet ripper” and contribute at a book discussion? Or would you just break out in hives?)

7 Reasons Why my Blog will make you cry LESS than Jon Acuff’s blog

I’ve known Jon Acuff for few years now. We have the same agent. And he’s even given me an invitation to write on his blog. (Here’s the post). I was a fan of Stuff Christians Like long before Jon wrote his first book, called, well, surprisingly Stuff Christian Like. And even long before he was selling ads to….what?! NBC… (what the heck? wow. whoa. Jon Jon, way to go.) Oh! and even way back (sort of ) when he was using his spy name “Jon Christopher”… seemingly to throw weaker fans off his scent.

This is all to say that this post isn’t to actually rival Jon’s awesomeness, or his blog. (Jon gets more views in two minutes than I get all week.)

In fact, I’ll tell you outright that Jon’s new book called Gazelles, Baby Steps, and 37 Other Things Dave Ramsey Taught Me About Debt promises to be awesome. And Jon delivers in a way that could compete with Octomom. Delivers.

Is this a “coattails post”… like something written to ride on another writer’s popularity and winsome humor to get more readers? Of course. [And frankly, I’d be surprised if you’d need me to ask such an obvious rhetorical question. Will I always ask rhetorical questions?]

Anyway: I highly recommend you order Jon’s book for a loved one for the holidays. It makes a great gift. A limited time special here will give it to you for only $10. Laugh, Learn about Money, and Linger on the comedic stylings of Jon Acuff.

If you’re a Jon Acuff fan, you already know all these things, and I hope you’ve stayed with me. We all must be on the same page. You know this. I know this. Jon knows this. We’re a fan club, er…  family, er…community…team. So we have to move like one. As. one.

7 Reasons Why my Blog will make you cry LESS than Jon Acuff’s blog

Jon Acuff: Funny man. Serious man. Modern Legend.

 

 

1. Unlike Jon, I only rarely talk about orphans. Right now, I’m tearing up just thinking about a person (Jon) writing about orphans. So this has to be true. You need more proof, then click here. Orphans break out the water works like nothing else can. The only thing worse for your tissue stock pile is an orphan with cancer. That cute bald head. The sweet bloated belly. Horrible stuff. I’m changing the subject. ugh.

2. Jon can make plenty of us cry, just by being a tad more serious, on Serious Wednesdays. That’s skill folks. I’ll never do that to you. It just not in me. (I mean I don’t haz the skillz) For future notice, I happen to be sillier on Wednesday than Jon is, thereby making my ability to incite tears pale by comparison.

3. Jon writes touching things about his kids, that are profound and can make your eyes as moist and irritated as rubbing a hot chili pepper on your iris. Go ahead get a chili pepper and see for yourself.

4. Jon raises money for orphans. Frickin’ orphans, dude. If that’s not so sweet to be tear jerking, than you must be the Tin Man–pre-Emerald City–my friend.

5. When Jon cries, we cry. More proof here. Don’t miss the comments section. About 400 people admit to crying. Unbelievable. I never cried in an airport except when I’ve been with a TSA.

6. Jon loves his wife, and it shows. Witness this. Honestly, where the heck are my tissues? (I don’t know if people even know if I’m married-which I am. There I said it.)

7. Jon is generous. He’s always helping out struggling writers, ahem, and plenty of other people. Plenty. It’s almost too good to be true. (I have NEVER given iPads, or shuffles, or really any Apple products at all. I’m so lame, but unfortunately not lame enough to stir your tears of pity.)

Have I made my case?

(If you enjoyed this post, please come back soon, or click the “update button” for … you guessed it–post updates. Thanks.) 🙂

P.S.
If you are a blogger that offers fewer crying opportunities than Jon does, tell us your blog, and we’ll stop by.

Humor Site Premiers

Triple Dog Dare is the humor portion of my writing.

This page may give opportunity to divert there, if the post is recent and fairly funny, witty, ironic, or silly. There will be games, riddles, dares, polls, and prizes.

I hope you enjoy it. Tell me what you think about the first post/game. Thanks.

Yes, I have a fan page.

Welcome Schuylkill & Berks News readers (SBN- Facebook link). (Related to my column: If you have good traveling tips, please leave them in the comments section.)

Some of you have been wondering if you can “LIKE” me.

This is perfectly understandable.

You have a battle raging within…or maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about…or both…

Um. So.

We all like to be well-liked, but in this case, if you haven’t figured, I’m speaking about Facebook. It’s a so-called fan page. Even though I’m not my biggest fan, in a desperate attempt at self-actualization, I created my own fan page. Pathetic. I know. But wait.

If I could have changed the name to “Fun page” I would have. It’s really all Facebook’s fault. It’s not vanity. You would do the same thing, if you were backed into a corner. And what a corner…

What if, you’re Not on Facebook?
very bad. Your punishment is to leave a comment explaining why. 🙂

OKAY! I just snapped, a little. Sorry ’bout that. (See why spiritual practices are indispensable? Imagine if I didn’t do them. Yes. We’d all be sorry.) Um. Yes. Where were we?

Right. The Page Facebook page called “Triple Dog Dare” is my way to connect with friends, fans, and the random person who likes to read something humorous.

(Image yourself holding a full pail of funny…See, you’ll love it.)

Click a photo below to get there; and remember, I love you, more than cheddar cheese, despite its power, and I mean that!

If you “Like” and “Share” to your FB page, I’ll leave you a witty quip on your Wall, and you’ll actually like it, (Help me know who you are, and/or confirm you did this, right here, or on my Facebook wall).

Happy Autumn, ya’ll.

-Lisa

Facts and Fiction: 10 “impressive” things (I may have done)

by monteregina FLICKR

Okay, when you become wildly famous, rumors circulate, and some of them must be dispelled. I wouldn’t know much about that.

Just have some fun with this:

1. I invented Pop Tarts

Fiction. But I do like them.

2. I am an illegal alien of African descent.

Fiction. I was born in Puerto Rico, but the island is an American Territory. African descent? My Nana was a bit mum and shifty-eyed on that.

3. I’ve been hit by a bus.

Fact. I’m writing about that right now. Your appetite is now whetted, yeah?

4. Author Donald Miller wrote me a personal note.

Fact. It involved something about Paraguay and paper, but I don’t want to embarrass him too much at the moment.

5. I wrote Hebrews.

Fiction. But, It’d be great to write a book about my husband who makes me coffee each morning, and it could be called, He-brews: All about Hymns and Hers. (Okay, that’s but a working title) Also, I wrote a mediation in the Holy Bible: Mosaic. But, that’s not really the same thing, is it?

6. I’ve been shot out of a canon.

Fiction. But, I’ve both shot a Canon (camera), and written about the (biblical) canon.

7. I’m allergic to bananas.

Faction… half-in-half. Unripe bananas make the roof of my mouth feel like it’s sort of dry, splitting open, and raw. Ripe bananas? No problem.

8. I’m bilingual.

Let’s not get carried away.

9. My son can count cards, like Rainman.

Fiction. Nathan has autism, but his cool savant-type of qualities are limited to paper 3D models and legos. (So far, not all that marketable.)

10. I’ve stayed in Prague.

Fact. And I like to call it Praha.

Now you try.

1. List 1 fiction and 1 fact, and we’ll make a guess.

2. Guess what the photo is.

5 Things Readers Wish Bloggers Knew

wifi, coffee, donuts: A bloggers paradise

If you want to have a devoted readership, these 5 ideas will eliminate some common mistakes bloggers make. That means more readership, and more reader loyalty.

1. Be original. Even if you get sparked to write because of someone else, put your own creative twist on it.

2. Use good images. In a recent static that just came to me… more than 90% of regular internet users are visual people. The other 10% squint. A good image attracts attention, and makes your post more memorable. [Double points if it’s funny.]

NOTE: Be ethical. Always use your own photography, or ask permission and credit your photo sources. Link to the original image. Photos belong to the creator, not to you. Swiping them for your uses is what we called stealing.

3. Remember, you’re probably not that interesting. Rarely do people enjoy a personal journal type blog, unless you’re Lady Gaga, David Hasselhoff,Lance Armstrong, Snooki, or someone who is both famous and intriguing–No one cares that you made Mac and cheese, went shopping, took a nap, ate something, or some other stupid thing that chronicles your life. No. One. Cares.

(If that’s all you have to post about, read an interesting book, and blog about it, or skip the postings until you become infamous.)

4. Know when to post. Don’t write and post when you’re tired, quite ill, hungry, or up late because of insomnia. These posts you may live to regret. They won’t be your best work, and if you write during these circumstances often your posts will get very annoying.

5. Don’t linger. If possible keep your word count to 200-500 words. A reader should be able to get through your post in 3-7 minutes. Blogging is a different writing medium than books, or magazines. Don’t get confused and believe that even with good content you can get readers to stay for more than 3-7 minutes on one post. It just doesn’t work that way, my friend.

Sometimes I break this “rule,” but I know my blog suffers for it.

What things bug you about blogs?

Any questions?

UPDATE: In the comments, I post a reply to a reader who defends “swiping images”. Find out what is legal to take from the web, by clicking the Comments button. Thanks for reading and participating!