Turning Off That Internal Editor

Turning Off That Internal Editor

Over the last few weeks I’ve been making some excellent progress on my third novel, tentatively called Drone. I’m hoping to finish the first draft this year. But lately I’ve been facing a problem. What some  readers may not know is that I’m self-employed and work my day job as a book editor. This type of job requires that I edit numerous pages of text on my computer screen every day. This job demands an ever-vigilant internal editor. My problem is learning to turn off that internal editor when it’s time to work on my own book. When I reread what I wrote during my previous writing session, a little voice in my head says, Oh, that’s stupid. The writing here is really sad. This scene is falt. Your story stinks! I don’t need the negativity right now. I struggle enough with self-doubt and insecurity with each project. That internal…

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Want to Make Phone Calls for Free? Part 3

Want to Make Phone Calls for Free? Part 3

See Part 1 and Part 2.  Last fall, I began a series of articles about my journey to “phone independence.” Basically, I found a way to make and receive free phone calls (yes, free) using an actual telephone and a free Google Voice account. This is possible through a gadget called the Obi 100 or Obi 110. This graphic pretty much says it all: If you are fuzzy on the details, please see Part 1 and Part 2 (listed above). I don’t plan to rehash everything here. Unfortunately, I’ve now hit a setback, and I wanted to be honest about it, since I agreed to document every step of my journey. This spring I was planning to port my landline phone number to Google Voice and take the next step. But then Obihai, the company that makes the whole phone-calls-through-Google-Voice thing possible, announced that Google plans as of May 15,…

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Buy Your Way to the NYT Best-Seller List?

Buy Your Way to the NYT Best-Seller List?

When my first novel came out, I had no notions of being a best-selling author. My goal was simply to sell enough copies to make my publisher happy and ensure future contracts. An odd thought struck me. Hey, I know how to be a best-selling author. I just need to be rich enough. I could give tons of money to a friend, who could then buy up all my copies. Then my publisher could proclaim that I have an instant best seller! Does that idea sound fanciful? Not so fast. It appears that others have entertained the same idea. I recently saw an article in World magazine about Mark Driscoll, pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, who authored the book Real Marriage. According to the article’s author, Warren Cole Smith, Mars Hill Church paid a marketing company up to $210,000 to ensure Driscoll’s book made the New York Times best-seller list. How exactly the marketing…

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Making Something from Nothing

Making Something from Nothing

Photo courtesy of George Hodan Someone recently asked me, “When was the last time you made something from nothing?” At first I was baffled. Based on my understanding, God is the only Being who has created something from nothing. Ex nihilo. Then I got to thinking. When was the last time I watched God produce something in my life I knew I was lacking? Memories came to me, and I decided to share them along with my answer to this question. When my father was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2009, my parents moved near me so he could be close to our hospital for cancer care and so a son could be nearby. What I didn’t realize at the beginning was how I would  be called on to serve as a caregiver in so many ways. I knew nothing about this role and didn’t know how best to help…

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