Girls Write Out
Sunday, January 31, 2010


My youngest son likes to clean. When he was 5 and asking to mop, my friends would smirk and say, "Yeah, don't get used to that. He'll grow out of it."

But here is at 11 and still asking to clean. He has, however, learned he can turn a profit for his services. Sometimes, if we don't need the cleaning enough to pay him, he'll sigh and say, "Okaaay. . .I'll do it for free."

We shrug. "Suit yourself."

The other day he spent 3 hours cleaning out my vehicle. Vacuumed and spot-cleaned the carpets, cleaned the windows, the dash and console. He even polished the leather seats--which would explain why, when I entered the driver's side the next morning, I went sliding out the passenger door.

But hey. Not complaining.

And no, he's not available for adoption.

* Don't forget to pray for Diann today!*

Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:21 PM  
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Friday, January 29, 2010


Why are Writers Fascinating?

This is something that mystifies me. When I tell people I'm a writer, they are so excited and lob questions at me like I'm the all-knowing Oz. I live two blocks from the Apple campus (and they didn't ask me or I would have used my marketing degree to advise them on the STUPID iPad name -- hello? Focus group, people, get out of your closed-in world. I'm available at your Starbucks every morning!) Sorry, tangent. And it seems nearly everyone here has a PhD -- at least a Masters and they all wear their fancy college name on the back of their Mercedes. I went to San Jose State, and let's just say, I graduated all right? I was happy with that. I saw no reason to go to school any longer than that. I thought, quick, grab the degree before someone figures out that you guessed on that Scantron test for statistics and takes back that B-!

As someone who is good at things that make no worldly difference, like the lyrics to 80's classics or what season someone's Coach bag is, I'm always interested in hearing what people do around here. Yesterday, I was in line and I met an Indian woman who teaches university classes online. Well, I know another Indian woman who teaches online and I ask her if they're acquainted. Lo and behold, they know each other from the YMCA and unanimously, the worst part of teaching online is grading. I will put that info away for further use! But both thought they might write a book someday.

I met a female pharmacist the other day, educated in India -- who hates her job. She wants to be a writer and couldn't wait to pick my brain. I sort of resent this. These people are fully employable. So go. Work. Leaving the writing to us hermits with no other discernable skills, okay?

I want to tell these people, I'm a writer -- which means I am the most boring person you can imagine. Think of a librarian and take out the social aspects. We spend our days alone, in our imaginary worlds and we ingest a lot of caffeine. Does that sound like the life of Riley to you? Oh, and our paychecks are few and far between unless your name is J.K. Rowling -- and mine isn't.

Colin Firth was on "Charlie Rose" last night, and he said he wanted to be an actor because he didn't want to get up in the morning. He didn't want to do anything that required him to be somewhere early. I second that. My brain doesn't turn on until about ten. But that got me to thinking, these people who are so fascinated by writing as a job -- they are CAPABLE people with a paying job, why would they want to do this? Can you live with a paycheck being optional? Can you live with people saying you suck online and in magazines?

So why do people who are smart enough to get PhDs, and valuable enough to make the big bucks in Silicon Valley, why on earth do they want to ask me questions? Maybe they're thinking, how on earth is that stupid chick a writer? Gosh. Anybody can do it then!

At the same time, if I met Maeve Binchy, Anne Tyler or Martha Beck, I wouldn't be able to speak from being starstruck -- but what fascinates me is people who can get multiple advanced degrees because I could NEVER do it. I'm a writer because I want to know the answers. I want to know what made people the way they are. What building blocks go into what kind of people? Quirky people fascinate me. The guy with two Phds who is collecting/trading Star Wars card on a Saturday morning at the mall. What synapse are/aren't firing to make that happen? What kind of people do you find fascinating? And where do you find them? I get my best stuff at my son's soccer game.

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Kristin  
posted at 1:49 AM  
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

First off, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all of your prayers and words of encouragement, on this blog, in my email and on my daughter's blog! You guys are totally AMAZING!!! I've never felt the outpouring of love and support ever in my life like I have this week! I am humbled by your kindness, truly!!!

God has been working in the details like you wouldn't believe--allowing me to go to the clinic of my choice, had a dear friend who I haven't talked to in quite a while call and tell me she lives ten miles from said clinic and that our family can stay with them. On and on. God is watching out for us and holding my hand through this ordeal. I am blessed!

Now, enough talk of blechy stuff like cancer and all that entails.

You know how Jesus is my joy and how I dearly love to laugh. It IS the best medicine, you know.

So here's my question: Do you have any fun stories to share? I could sure use some! Crack open those memories and let's have a party! There's always laughter, when we party!!

I'm listening . . . .
Diann Hunt  
posted at 10:55 AM  
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I had some great girl stuff prepared for today--men not allowed, sorry. But then I changed my mind about telling our GWO girls about my very hilarious and embarrassing appointment with my physical therapist Monday. So men can stay.

Instead, I feel it's vital we keep our hearts and minds on Diann today. Her own heart is such a work of beauty from God's hands, we want to preserve that heart and her throughout this ordeal. I feel so blessed and privileged to be her friend. Last night, as posts flew furiously between the five of us just as your wonderful posts flew to us through the blogsite, I kept thinking about the friends who carried their friend to the roof of the house where Jesus, the Great Physician, was teaching. They broke the roof and lowered their friend down for him to be healed. And he was.

I don't want to drop my corner. I'm afraid I will. I don't feel strong. I feel weak and helpless right now. This morning, Diann repeated those very verses I'd contemplated last night. And of course, I cried. Again. She is so worth the carrying. I want to be with her, and God provided, months ago, a way for that to happen--we'd already planned a writer's retreat and Mel and I have our plane tickets ready. God knows. God sees all.

Would you please help me carry my corner? Would you please continue to pray for Diann Hunt? I can't blog about anything else right now. Can't think about anything else for long without her coming back to my mind and heart. As she has blessed you all so much, please bless her now with the precious prayers of saints. Please, please send encouragement to her, and only encouragement. She needs to have peace about this, and confidence in the love of God.

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 1:04 PM  
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

JOSHUA 1:9
Celeste, our buddy here on the blog, gave me this verse and it's so needed for all of us right now. I was all set to write a light-hearted blog post but we all just had a curve ball that has left us breathless. Our dear, dear Di was diagnosed yesterday morning with ovarian cancer. While we're thankful it was found in a routine PET scan, we're reeling and grieving that she has to go through this again.

There are some people who light up a room. Di is that person. She can make me laugh and just being around her lifts any care I might have away. She has so much love and compassion for people. She's the best grandma around and a wonderful mom and wife. Go here to read her daughter's post about yesterday. Di has this way of just looking at a situation that makes me giggle. Sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. I would do anything for her, just anything. I'd even take this on myself if it would mean this cup would pass from her. I can't do that, but I can pray. I can research the best treatments. I will go with her anywhere we need to go for treatment. I could take her wig shopping, but I hear Amber has already claimed that joy. :-) I can hear the laughter now. (Anywhere Di is you'll find lots of laughter.) So I'll do the things I can and know God loves her even more than I do. I know He has her wrapped in His big arms. He has us cradled there with her because He knows those of us who love her are hurting too.

Now realize that after surgery I won't be allowed anywhere near her morphine pump. Last time I gave her a shot of pain meds when I thought I was calling the nurse! I will never live that one down. All of us will be in town for the surgery. We'd planned two days of brainstorming together but God knew we needed to be together for this. Isn't that cool how He had it all planned out? And there is nowhere any of us would rather be than with Di.

We'll know about staging and treatment at the end of the week, but please, please keep Di in your prayers. Let's flood the gates of heaven with our petition on her behalf! Thanks for praying, friends. I know you love her too.

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 5:32 AM  
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today is Opposite Day. Not sure who came up with that one, but there it is. As a romance writer I think about opposites a lot. We've all heard the saying "Opposites attract", and that's a tool I utilize when developing my characters.

After all, opposite traits not only attract, they can also create that little thing we love in novels but hate in life: conflict. If my hero is impulsive and spontaneous, why not pair him with an organized, stick-in-the-mud heroine?

There are plenty of opposite traits among us Girls, but we get a kick out of our differences. Sometimes they send us into fits of hysterical giggles, and they always make things more interesting.

But sometimes opposite traits aren't so much fun, especially when you're talking about marriage. You're a saver, he's a spender . . . You're a homebody, he's a socializer . . . You're strict, he's lenient . . . You're a clean freak, he's a Messy . . . and on and on it goes.

Still, though opposite traits can cause conflict, they can also bring balance, and that can be a good thing. I've learned to be more social by hanging around my talkative hubby. I've learned to be more flexible because of his wing-it nature. I've learned it won't kill me to spend a little money.

Since it's Opposite Day, tell us how you're opposite from whomever shares your home, and if it's brought balance into your life.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:22 PM  
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Friday, January 22, 2010

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

As writers, we tend to be sensitive sorts and for me, that's nowhere more apparent than Winter. I am a Spring -- both in colors and nature. I'm happy, not yet the full bloom of summer (read: acts childish) and winter just feels never-ending. And this is California!

On the advice of another writer, I got myself a sun lamp to combat the winter blahs, but my brain isn't fooled. It wants sun. It wasn't to be outside, preferably in a convertible or running in the hills, but it's too muddy. I don't remember it raining this hard since the early 80's. It's been consistent and nauseating.

Last night, I worked out until my legs were ready to fall off and that worked for a short time, but today, again, I'm ready to hop a plane to Hawaii. What do you do to ward off the winter in your life?

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Kristin  
posted at 4:03 PM  
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Thursday, January 21, 2010
I'm all about staying in my comfort zone. But every once in a while, I push myself to do something I've never done before and it's good for me--most of the time.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to learn how to ski. Well, okay, it wasn't so much that I wanted to, I had to for a book I was writing.

Let me just say, it wasn't all that I'd hoped. The bunny hill and me just didn't get along. I never made it to the slopes. The whole experience left me with a migraine and the worst hot flash of the century.

I decided that if God had wanted me to ski, he would have given me skinny wooden feet.

Last week I watched "Last Holiday" with Queen Latifah. LOVE that movie! I love how she stretches herself to try new things (remember her bungee jumping experience?).

So I started thinking about trying something else . . . besides skiing. I have no idea what. Cross an ocean? Skydive? Bungee jumping? African safari? Eat a mega-size Hershey bar at one setting? Hey, I'm thinking big challenges here.

But in reality I guess it's not so much physical activity that I'm drawn to these days as people. I'd like to stretch out of my comfort zone and reach out more to strangers, offer hope, joy, a kind word. Doesn't seem like much, but for an introvert (at least around strangers) like me, it's not easy.

So I'm trying to nudge myself "out there" more. Maybe I'll climb a mountain or two (or not), wear more sparkly makeup, hug more, talk more . . . . but I will NOT be skiing.

How about you? Is there something you want or NEED to do?

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:05 AM  
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There is music in my soul today. I'm sitting here staring out across the diamonds on the lake, listening to the sounds coming through the open door. Somewhere, a maintenance man is using a saw. Somewhere, eagles call. The whisper of tiny waves of water kissing the shore drift up to me. The refrigerator motor hums quietly. But the music that fills me comes from the rich tones of the wind chime out on the deck. If I choose, I can block out all other sounds but that, and it thrills me. Yes, the notes are chaotic, and I never know which chime will reach my ears next, but each chime has such a beauty all its own.

I compare that to my life. Yes, there are distractions if I allow myself to be distracted. The cat wants in, then wants out, then wants in, then out, in, out.....AUGH! The phone rings, someone knocks at the door, my back hurts, my body aches, I'm cold, I'm hot...and on and on. But there are chimes of chaotic perfection as I answer God's calling and sit down and write. Yes, the thoughts that come can be confusing, and I never know which idea will approach me next, and often I don't realize what my characters are going to do next--and yet during these times of creativity, the music in my soul becomes most beautiful. I'm doing what I was made to do, and I am at peace in this time as I am at no other.

What about you? What special calling brings your soul peace, and what are the distractions that keep you from listening? Where does your own perfect music come from?
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 1:00 PM  
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CELEBRATION DAY!
Today is my birthday but that's not the real reason I'm celebrating. I just found out this morning that my sales at Thomas Nelson have hit an important landmark we've been working toward. I'm sooo thrilled and happy to be with Thomas Nelson. They are my family and I love them so much. They've worked hard to build me and grow me as an author and I would be nowhere without them! My dear Ami McConnell has taught me so much! Erin Healy too. And my agent Karen Solem is hugely responsible too. She has been such a great friend and advocate. I love how she gives me a swift kick in the behind when I need it! LOL Allen Arnold and his team are always thinking outside the box on promotions. Jen Deshler takes good care of me in the marketing department as does Katie Bond in the publicity department. :-) I couldn't even think about writing without my Girls Write Out buds too. We're getting together to brainstorm on Thursday for the new book. I'm so grateful God has brought such friends and partners into my life.

What a birthday present! This book, Without a Trace, is the book that started it all with Thomas Nelson. I'll never forget sitting on the floor at Mt Hermon Christian Writer's Conference and pitching it to Ami.

And now it's time to give away the free copies of The LIghtkeeper's Daughter you signed up to win last week. Here are the winners:
Valerie
Adge
Suzanne
hotcoffeenow
Karen K

Email me with your addresses and I'll get you all a copy right out!

So what are you thankful for as you look at the past year?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 10:22 AM  
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Every job teaches life lessons and writing is no different. Here are a few things I've learned--and am still learning.

1. Baby steps. Writing a novel can feel like a monumental task when you're staring at a blank page. When I first started writing, my kids were little, and I wrote 1 page a day. It doesn't seem like much, but in less than a year I had a finished novel. Chop big projects down into digestible, bite-sized chunks. What giant task are you avoiding?

2. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Lots of things in life are scary, and for me, the creative process is one of those things. What if it's not there today? What if it's never there again? What if this book tanks my career? I've learned to pray, then plow through the writing. Somehow it'll all work out the way it was meant to. Is fear preventing you from doing something?

3. Persistence pays off. Most writers have garnered enough rejection slips to wallpaper a small office--I'm one of them. You learn writing by doing it, and some of my early stuff? Not so good. Thomas Edison said success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I agree. Have you quit something prematurely?

4. Don't believe your own press. Riding the wave of public opinion is a roller coaster ride I can do without. If I get kudos, pride can rear its ugly head. If my story gets criticized, I question my ability to write. I can learn from the criticism, but in the end, if I wrote the story God gave me and did it to the best of my ability, I did my job. Are you putting too much stock in other peoples' opinions?

5. In everything, balance. Writing is an important part of my life, but so are my boys, my husband, my church, my family, and my friends. It takes constant checking to keep priorities in line, but it's so important. Is your life in balance? Would your family agree?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 7:05 PM  
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Friday, January 15, 2010


Do you have a bad habit you need to change?

Since I was 19, I have worn expensive sunglasses. In my defense, I need them for my funky MS eyes. They have to be polarized. Now, I used to always clip them on my shirt -- and consequently, they were always scratched when they fell off my person. Now, I wear them on my head. So they're safe.

But I have a new bad habit. I shove my keys in my back pocket. Today, I went walking in the hills, and when I came back there was a note on my car. It said, "Your keys are at the map station!" Sure enough, I walked over to the map station and there were my keys. Isn't that so cool that someone did that?? So later, I came home, did the same thing with my keys and they fell into the toilet.

So clearly, I need to get a hook or a new system for my keys. What habit have you had to adjust? How'd you do it?

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Kristin  
posted at 6:25 PM  
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ADDIE FOR REAL
I have the best cover designers at Thomas Nelson, bar none! With The Lightkeeper's Bride, Kristen actually did a photo shoot which was pretty cool. Ami and Kristen got my input on the dress the model would wear and consulted me on the model as well. As soon as I saw the model for the cover, I knew she was Addie. I'd never dreamed to find a model who looked like the picture I had in my head. I just love the way the cover came out! Then last week I got an interesting email from the MOTHER of the model! Isn't that the coolest thing? Her mom told me Alycia is expecting a baby girl in April. She lives in Oregon, which is just perfect since the book is set in northern California! She's a photographer herself by trade. Here is her website: http://www.echophotography.smugmug.com/

I was just thrilled to "meet" her mom, and through her, Alycia! Yesterday I got to pick the dress for the new book, The Lightkeeper's Bride, and last week I picked the model. I can't wait to see what they do with the new one too! But it will be hard to outdo this one. I thought I'd show you how it ended up because I asked your input several months ago when I first got it. It was beautiful then but didn't hint of any suspense. Several of you suggested darkening the sky, and I passed that request along. Kristen did exactly what I asked and I think it turned out perfectly! I'll be drawing a name from my last post to win the free copies and will post the winners here later today.

When you read a book, do you picture the person on the cover or do you come up with someone in your head? What makes you grab up a book? Title, cover, back blurb?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:31 AM  
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why are we here? I wonder this every year, come about January when the Indiana wind bites my skin with brutally cold teeth. I'm not a fan of the cold--I carry a sweater in the summer to combat indoor air conditioning. And yet here I am in northern Indiana where winter seems to last 98% of the year.

The truth is, my husband's career moved us here from southern Ohio over 20 years ago and roots have grown. I love this city, this state. The weather, not so much, but we take the good with the bad. God has blessed us here and I'm content.

People tend to stay where they're planted. Have you noticed that? I always wonder why people choose to live where they were born, no matter where that is. Family ties are strong, I understand that, and sometimes finances don't allow for many choices.

We've travelled quite a bit, and I'm partial to mountains and milder weather, so I think if I could live anywhere, I'd choose Nashville or Knoxville. I'm not fond of cold, but I like the change of seasons. I love Seattle, Jackson Hole, and Colorado Springs, but winter's are a little cold for my taste. I think I'd like Texas, but we haven't been there yet. Hoping to go this summer though, and it may very well win my affections. Still, even now, in the throes of winter, I can't help but admit the view from our porch is lovely.

What about you? If you could live anywhere and your family would follow (hey, this is a fantasy, let's make it a good one), what city or state would you move to and why?
Denise Hunter  
posted at 9:01 PM  
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Saturday, January 09, 2010




What a couple of weeks! I am exhausted, and I just realized I've forgotten to eat. I'm so tired of life being go, go, go. I want to get off for awhile. Unfortunately, with four kids and a big electronics show in Vegas, I am not alone in my thoughts this week. In fact, both my son's friend's parents were at the show, so he was here with us.

In case you can't tell from the photo, I work in the living room. Which is a small, dismal place, but it's all this house can manage. I had a desk that you could close off and so it didn't look like a desk in an obvious place, and it was fine when I was in Saratoga and had a beautiful, sunshiney view of the city. But now, it felt like I was working in a cell and on solitary confinement. This house has wood ceilings, so it's a bit dark to begin with. We never really get direct sunlight in here and quite frankly, I wasn't getting anything done unless I went to the coffee shop.

Which, you know, works if you don't have to do things like coordinate kids' schedules, pay bills, etc., at the same desk. So with my last paycheck, I splurged and bought myself a corner desk from Pottery Barn. Yes, it looks stupid in here. No, I can't close it off to the world, but sometimes, you have to do what you have to do.

So today, I set up my new desk (which is why I'm late posting, the computer was off.) I feel incredible not having to stare into that dark box and I'm hoping my writing will reflect it. I have drawers!! Have you ever had to do that? Stop mid-project and organize yourself so that you can continue? I have to say, I think it was worth it. I put the desk together myself and made my teenagers help me lift the top on -- payback for pizza and the non-stop driving to soccer. Since I'm the only "stay at home" mom on the team, I find myself shuttling freshman boys all over the city. Which, is very helpful for the young adult novel I'm writing. I only look innocent...

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Kristin  
posted at 12:32 AM  
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Daughter snapped a picture of hubby and me over Christmas and though I like the pic, I can't help thinking how much we resemble the couple who played on the cornflake commercial. Remember that one from ages ago? He held a pitchfork in his hand and the music was something like "New Country Cornflakes" or something like that?

Okay, never mind. Anyway, I've been thinking about how TV influences us over the years. I grew up watching Andy Griffith and Barney, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore (please say you remember them), and as I got older, Little House on the Prairie. I can't hear that whistling tune signaling the start of an Andy Griffith re-run without getting a warm fuzzy. And when Charles Ingalls pops up on the screen, I grab my coffee and settle in for a warm-hearted, feel-good hour of entertainment. In other words, those programs shaped me into who I am today. Scary, huh?

So here's the question I throw out into the great cosmos today: What were some of your favorite shows or commercials as a kid? Do they conjure up a feeling for you when you see them today?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:09 AM  
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Bad weather is threatening, snow is falling, and those of us with travel plans are scrambling to find out if we're going to have to make changes. I hate traveling in winter time, but some of the best experiences I've had are with close friends, huddled inside where it's warm, brainstorming new books. Um, did I mention those are writing friends?

I've mentioned before how important face time is, and I believe it's especially a big deal right now, when we tend to hide at home and avoid the weather. My mother, 84, lives alone in the country, and she's not able to get out on the snow because her car is not snow worthy. I'm trying to visit her more often, and she won't leave because she wants to keep her pipes from freezing. She's getting more and more despondent, because she doesn't have any face time with her friends.

If you're a hermit like me, this may be one of the worst times of the year, when you're alone, you're depressed from lack of sunshine, and the more depressed you get, the less likely you are to get out and be with people. Online, oh, yeah, you'll find a lot of time online, but that just doesn't cut it for me.

Fight the temptation to hide. We need living, breathing friends now more than ever. Take some vitamin D, take a chance and laugh a little with some of your sunniest friends, and then when you get back home, settle by the fire and read a funny book. Practice joy even in the midst of winter.

If anyone has any other ideas about how to fight the winter blues, would you PLEASE share? Because even though I follow all the above instructions and see my physical therapist every other day, I'm still drowning in winter. Help?
Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:10 PM  
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

MY BEST LIFE NOW
It's 2010! I can't believe it it was ten years ago we were all freaking out about Y2K. This last year of the decade was life-changing for me. My weight has defeated me all my life. I thought I was doomed to struggle forever. Then a reader told me about a new weight loss program called the HCG Diet. I was skeptical but the more I read about it, the more intrigued I was. I decided to give it a try with my friend's help. I've tried every diet under the sun. But this one sounded different. When I read the Pounds and Inches protocol, it made sense. And the thought that I would be resetting my metabolism was very seductive because I hardly HAVE a metabolism.

To say it was a success is an understatement. I've lost 55 pounds and I'm about to start my final round on Saturday. Here's how it works: you take a tiny amount of a natural hormone called hcg (yes the pregnancy hormone) and it rests your hypothalamus. You take it via an injection or a sublingual mixture. I prefer the injections myself. They're fast and easy and don't hurt. You then go on a very strict diet that lets you lose anywhere from 20-34 pounds in 40 days. Men lose on the higher end of that spectrum. I lost on the lower end because I was on my bioidentical hormone creams for my migraines and I wasn't about to go back to daily ones! But I was prepared for that and still thrilled at my weight loss! You're not hungry because the hcg is releasing abnormal fat, the kind that you usually only lose after months of starvation dieting. The hcg reshapes your body. I've always been a total pear but the protocol has me proportioned for the first time since I had a hysterectomy when I was 23. I fit in a size 12 jean and the waist AND the hips fit perfectly. No gaping at the waist because I had to buy a bigger jean to fit the hips!

This is a dream protocol. I tell everyone about it because it's the first thing I've ever done that actually works--and works so fast. You can do a 6 week round, then you go off for 6 weeks to stabilize before doing another round of 6 weeks. I started my first round in April and I'll finish up my journey in mid-Feb. So many of my friends and family have done it after seeing my results. There are clinics all over the country now but you can also do it yourself if you can't afford the clinic. You can buy the hcg from an overseas pharmacy and mix it yourself or you can do the homeopathic version. I realized I'd told tons of people about this but hadn't really shared it with my friends here. It's so easy, friends!

Just a few months ago, I gave away the smaller size clothing because I figured I'd never see it again. The last time I was in a 12 was when Dave and I got married! LOL Dave lost 32 pounds in one round by the way. Men are so lucky--they REALLY drop the weight fast. You feel really good while on the hcg. After the 6 weeks on the diet, you stop the hcg and continue the diet for 72 more hours. Then you can eat anything you want except starches and sugars. The key during this period is to eat enough calories. You really add in the fats and proteins. I eat 2000-3000 calories to reset the metabolism high. After that 3 weeks, you can add back starches and sugars, always watching your weight. If you go over 2 pounds above what you weighed the morning of your last dose of hcg, you do a "steak day" where you drink coffee, tea and water until dinnertime, then you eat the largest steak you can get down plus an apple or a tomato. It tells your body, "nope, the set point is down here." It works like a charm. :-)

So this is the first year in, oh about 37 years, that I haven't set a New Year's resolution to lose weight. I can run up and down the stairs with no pain in my feet and ankle from previous broken bones. I feel GREAT! And I'm going to get a cute bathing suit this summer, doggone it! I think I was 23 the last time I had one that didn't look like it was made for my grandmother. So in honor of not having to make a New Year's resolution this year, I'm giving away 5 copies of my new The Lightkeeper's Daughter which just shipped to stores. Comment on the blog and I'll put your name in the drawing. :-)

How about you? Any resolutions this year?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:57 AM  
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

There is nothing like being away from creative pursuits to spur inpiration. I take a break from writing during Christmas, while the kids are home from school. I take a short break between books and during Spring Break, if my deadline allows.

And each time, the same thing happens. After several days away from the creative process, something switches on. The gate goes up. Thoughts and ideas flood in from nowhere, from a movie preview, an article, a girl on the street. I write down my ideas. These are the seeds of my future stories.

I love the way it happens. I love the way the creative juices are freed up after being ignored for several days. More than that, it's as if, after being away from imaginative pursuits, my brain MUST get back to it, yearns to get back to it. Writing, art, ideas, anything creative will do really.

Even in New Orleans after Christmas, I felt that creative itch. I played on my computer with photos I took of my family during break. This is my favorite, taken of my 14-year-old son Chad on a street car in New Orleans, after I asked him how he was enjoying the ride. LOL Not so much, as you can see, but he got a good Facebook photo out of the deal.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:38 PM  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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