Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Courage Makes a Difference


I have a lot of old posts from the blog I had previous to this one. Some of them should be left to gather dust in the cyber closet, but some of them deserve a new day in the sun. This is one of them. Pictures and formatting may be different from original post. 

Originally posted October 10, 2011


Many years ago, a church had a vision. To make a movie with the message, skills, and resources God provided them. Flywheel, a movie many of you have never heard of, came to be. That small, relatively local success spurred them on to bigger things. Facing the Giants played in theaters nationwide. It caught the attention of other people. Fireproof was born and marriages and lives were changed.

The latest movie from Sherwood Baptist Church is out now. Courageous was the top earning debut film the week it came out. After its second weekend it is still hanging in there on the top ten movie chart. I have heard countless tales of fathers changing the way they do things because of this movie.

So fellow writers, hang in there. Fellow Christians with a dream, keep on. Standing firm for God may not garner us New York Times #1 Bestsellers, but I hope that is not what we're writing for. If nothing else, the success of this movie proves that there are people - lots of people - out there, open to receiving a message from God through their entertainment.

Take this as a reminder. Let it be an encouragement. When we allow God to create through us, miracles happen, lives are changed, and sometimes even earthly success is achieved.

Way to go, Courageous. Your courage to stand firm and not compromise is making a difference.

Looking for something to do this week? Go check out Courageous! Click here to check out the official site.

Have you seen Courageous? What other God-honoring movies have you seen lately? When was the last time a movie changed your life?

Addendum


This post was written just over three years ago. Have you seen the growth of the Christian movie industry over those three years?

Regardless of how you feel about the representation and theology, you have to be excited that movies like Noah and Son of God are getting people talking and reading their Bible. God's Not Dead was incredibly inspiring.

Last weekend Kirk Cameron was in a new movie called Saving Christmas.

Don't give up on your dreams. God put them there for a reason.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Disney Princess Songs

One of the beautiful things about the fact that my daughter doesn't read my blog is that I can tell you about her Christmas present and she'll never know.

The project I'm working on for her involves quotes from Disney Princess songs, so I've been weeding through a lot of musical memories the last couple of weeks.

Here are, in no particular order, my ten favorite Disney songs sung by or about the princesses. (So, no, it doesn't include Hercules. No yelling at me for not including I Can Go the Distance.)

10. If I Never Knew You - Pocahontas

This is kind of a cop-out because I didn't really like the movie and the version I listen to isn't the movie version.



9. Reflection - Mulan

Sometimes songs have meaning because of the memories they invoke moreso than the song itself. That being said, I've always liked this song. Who doesn't struggle with the conflict of other's expectations and your own.


8. Someday My Prince Will Come - Snow White

The only copy I could find of the actual movie version didn't allow embedding. You can watch it here. The version below is a really beautiful one though.

 I wasn't one to dream about my wedding, but I often dreamed about and prayed for my future husband. Snow White could probably have settled for someone she didn't love and gotten out of the castle, but she was waiting for the right man. And I think that's pretty cool.


7. Friend Like Me - Aladdin

Stretching the princess connection here as Jasmine has nothing to do with this song, but it is so much fun!



6. I'll Make a Man Out of You - Mulan

On the theme of songs that are just plain fun...


5. When Will My Life Begin - Tangled

Great to sing on those days when life feels stuck in a rut.


4. Part of Your World - Little Mermaid

I think i love this song so much because it's fun to sing. Thinking about it now, though, with the internet and everything, we all have a bit of this mentality. How many celebrities do we follow on Twitter because we want to be part of their world and know what is going on. Interesting thought.


3. For the First Time in Forever - Frozen

I may get some flack for leaving Let It Go off the list, but this is my favorite song from Frozen. Life is full of new experiences and opportunities, even with people we thought we knew. I put the second part of the song, too, because it shows the difference in how people look at those opportunities.





2. I See The Light - Tangled

My daughter loves this song which gives it a little extra oomph in my eyes, but what I really like about this song is that this other person has helped them learn more about themselves. Yes, they want to be together but they've also grown in their own right. It's the mark of any good, true romance.


1. Tale As Old As Time - Beauty and the Beast

I'm going to get all philosophical on you now. In every person there is a bit of beauty and a bit of the untamed. As a lover of romance, the tale of Beauty and the Beast has always held a special place in my heart. I think this song is about that core quality of love and romance: finding the person that connects with you and discovering how that connection changes your life.


Honorable Mention: Half the Anastasia soundtrack

She isn't Disney so she really doesn't belong in this list. But I really love Journey to the Past and At the Beginning. The entire soundtrack was really amazing. I was kind of sad that the people who did Anastasia didn't do more movies. 



Did I leave off your favorite? Tell me in the comments below! 



Friday, November 14, 2014

Tweets of the Past Two Weeks: The Something for Everyone edition

A little something for my fellow control freaks: 

@JonAcuff "God doesn't need your help figuring out your life. He's been God for a long time." What @Jimwideman told me recently.

I focus all day on the words I write, but all too often forget the words I live. 

@StudentLife_Com If "Christian" is a noun, not an adjective, it's time to look at our verbs.

Great for fiction. Scary when you apply it to your life. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing. 

@AdviceToWriters There is a rule for fantasy writers: The more truth you mix in with a lie, the stronger is gets. Diane Duane

For the history buffs out there:

@HistoryInPics The first official passengers in New York City's first subway, 1904
You know how you occasionally see pictures of tunnels with ridiculously intricate brick work? I have to wonder if this is why. The first subway car is awfully open to the elements. See those beautiful arches? I think this might be the old city hall station, well preserved as it's no longer in use. Check out the pics here. 


And there's always a little something for my writing buddies: 

@KierstenKrum I've no problem ending tweet w/out a period or deleting an apostrophe to make 140 characters, but by God there *will* be an Oxford comma.

@RandiLawson Don't be too hard on yourself when you're not feeling creative. There are literally 2 major league baseball teams named after sock colors.

And one of the best things about Twitter? Those moments when you feel like someone out there gets you and you're not quite as alone as you thought. Or as bizarre. 

This. Almost every day.

@MaggieSheWrote I think I'm caught up. Which generally means I'm forgetting something critical...

This would be me. If I were a runner. Which I'm not. Partly because this would be me. Also because it requires running. But I feel the sentiment.

@SuperWriterMom Saw a running sticker that said 27.4 (I got lost) - this amused me.


 Because getting up early to get something done NEVER works out for me.


@TanyaMichaels I have friend who get up at 5 a.m. to write. I could NEVER do that-- esp. when I've stayed up writing until 4:30. #waswriting



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Don't Get Peed On

I have a lot of old posts from the blog I had previous to this one. Some of them should be left to gather dust in the cyber closet, but some of them deserve a new day in the sun. This is one of them. Pictures and formatting may be different from original post. 

Originally posted on October 7, 2011

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
We were driving down the interstate today when something very disgusting happened. Clipping along at 65 miles per hour behind a livestock truck didn't seem all that eventful...

... until a cow in the truck decided to relieve himself. That's right, pee flew through the air and decorated the windshield. Thoroughly disgusting.

Moral of the story? Even if you think you are whizzing along in the right direction, if you're following the wrong thing, you might get peed on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Title of My Own

One of the things I love about writing Regency is playing around with the aristocracy. There's just something fun and romantic about titles in the fictional world. In the real world titles and the politics and obligations that come with them could be a really big headache.

But I now have a title of my own.

No, not an aristocratic one, though I've heard there's a way I can one day get one of those as well.

I have my first official story title.

In less than a year, my novella will be coming out. The good news? It will be free. The better news? It's a really fun story with some characters I love and can't wait to introduce to you.

Coming in the fall of 2015,

A Lady of Esteem

Isn't that a fun title?

I'd love to hear what kind of thoughts and images that title invokes for you, so leave them in the comments!

*Want to be the first to hear the news including book titles, contest announcements, and more? Sign up for my newsletter. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tweets of the Week: The Giggle-licious Edition

If laughter is the best medicine, Twitter definitely took its vitamins this week. Below are some of the most giggle inducing tweets of the week. 

On the announcement of the new royal baby: 

@HonestToddler First Daniel Tiger, now the Royal Infant? If these things really do happen in threes I wonder who's next.

@HonestToddler: Don't cry Georgia. If royal siblings are anything like Frozen it means you get to break the law & it's their job to get the charges dropped.

@HonestToddler George, should that infant come to you talking about do you want to build a snowman, just say no. I've seen this before

@honestToddler: I would keep an eye on that shifty uncle though. With another stumbling block between him and the throne he's more dangerous now than ever.

@HonestToddler George, at the end of the day, you're going to be king. If that new infant doesn't obey you it's treason.

@honestToddler Maybe you'll have to share some toys <whisper> *pulls you close* But the kingdom is yours* </whisper>

And since we're talking of things that are English:

@PearlRMeaker The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

And it case you missed it, Apple announced a new watch device. 

@TheEllenShow So excited for the Apple Watch. For centuries, we've checked the time by looking at our phones. Having it on your wrist? Genius.

And sometimes things are just funny. 

@StephenAtHome If i become Dalai Lama, expect lots of changes to Buddhism. First and foremost, more Jesus.

@shutupmikeginn We get it poets: things are like other things.

@MrGeorgeWallace Why do football players only dance when good *stuff* happens? Just once I wanna see a QB throw an interception & do a sad interpretive dance.


 And after all the giggling, I have to get back to writing.

@noveldoctor I hide myself in the stories I write and find myself in other people's stories. I think this proves the existance of wormholes

@advicetowriters A line of dialogue is not clear enough if you need to explain hows it's said.  Elmore Leonard

What's the best joke you've heard this week? 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Measuring Success: How to know you've "made it" as a writer.

When you're an unpublished writer, you're ultimate goal is easy to define. Either A) you are aiming for the elusive traditional publishing contract or B) you're waiting for your skills and stories to be strong enough to confidently publish yourself.

But what about once you've made your goal? What are the new goals you make to help yourself see the progress your making on this crazy, ambiguous path called publishing?

I took some time to make a few goals/mile-markers. And since every article I've ever seen says goals are more likely to be achieved if you share them, here they are.

1. Hold my book in my hand. Sign a copy. Do the happy dance. 

2. Have a twitter "followers" number that is higher than my "following" number. 

3. Make a social media connection with someone who has no association with me other than the fact that they read my book. 

4. Win a Rita, a Carol, and a Christy. I think they'd look right cute sitting on a shelf next to each other. And people always say to dream big. ;) 

5. Have a book signing that people I don't know attend. 

6. Get asked to speak at a writer's group. 

7. Get asked to speak to a church group. 

8. Get asked to speak to a school group. 

9. Go on a talk show. (I'm not being picky about which one or which medium because that's something that changes a lot and this one could take a while.) 

10. Donate swag and/or a basket to the M&M Conference. (Yes, I know I don't have to be published to do this, but I wanted to be.) 

11. Have fan art. 

12. Be on a panel/event with mixed-genre authors (not just inspirational romance). 

So, there you go. Twelve of the things I hope to accomplish as I continue my writing career. What do you think? What are some goals you have? What would you suggest I add to my list?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tweets of the Week: Oh The Places I Didn't Go Edition

One of the beautiful things about twitter is getting to experience places and things you don't use or don't get to go to.

For instance, the double fun weekend whammy that was Decatur Book Festival and DragonCon.
@NancyNorthcott Overheard in elevator as people rearranged to make room: "Hey! It's elevator Tetris!" #DragonCon2014

@SuperWriterMom What I hear in my head isn't crazy; it's a gift. @maxwellcathy told me so. #dbf2014

Something else I don't experience anymore? The wonder that is singledom. And by wonder I mean the wondering things like this:

@sarahsibsayy I just made bacon stuffed pancakes... How am I single??

(For the record, Sarah, I have no idea because you are awesome.)

Also "the cloud". To which no one has ever been. Or even knows where it is. 

@Jonnie_W You guys. New pic! Just leaked from the Cloud! (picture of rain puddle)

@StephenAtHome I keep hearing there are nude pictures in the cloud, but which one? I could only see one that kind of looked like an elephant

And though I haven't been here yet:

@kierstenwhite "Sum up your book in one sentence." Solidly rectangular, made of wood pulp, ink, and glue.

I will be soon. And that is exciting for any writer. 

@novelDoctor writing is a thing writers do between long stretches of convincing themselves they can't write


@Tiffanyreisz You might be writing my next favorite book. If you stop writing it, then I'll never get to read my next favorite book.

Is there somewhere your friends have gone recently that you'd like to have been to? 





Thursday, September 4, 2014

ACFW Mix and Mingle

I'm heading to the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference at the end of this month. Are you? If so, check out Laurie Tomlinson's pre-conference mix and mingle to get to know people before you get to St. Louis. 
My answers to the mix and mingle questions are below. You can see the other people at Laurie's website as well as put up a link to your own answers. Looking forward to seeing you in St. Louis! 
Name: Kristi Ann Hunter
Location: Atlanta, GA
What you write/tagline/trademark: Historical Romance / “Let me tell you a story...”
Place in the book world: Recently contracted to Bethany House Publishers. First two books will release Fall 2015.
On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: I'm a side-hugger. Or maybe that weird angled hug where you hug necks but the bodies are side by side. Yea. That one. 
The unique talking point that will get you going for hours: Almost anything. I love to talk.
- TV Shows (Doctor Who and Sherlock are my most recent obsessions)
- good books (though I'm terribly behind on my reading. Almost embarrassingly so)
- Music
- why llama is an awesomely fun word to say
- the possible reasons for the choice of decor in whatever room we happen to be in
Seriously, I'll talk about anything. 
Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: The Hubs and my three cutie-pie kiddos. 
Conference goals we can pray for? I want to meet people, build my network, and but some faces to the names I see in my inbox. 
Anything we can celebrate with you? I'm having a crazy good, exciting year. I won RWA's Golden Heart a couple of months ago and I'm a finalist in the Historical Romance category for the Genesis. I also just scored my first book contract. So pick your favorite thing and I'll scream and dance with you over it. ;) 
One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can check out my blog (guess what, you're already here... have a look around). You can sign up for my brand spanking new email list to which I promise not to send anything spammy. I haven't even sent a newsletter yet.
You can also check me out on twitter. If you're not a twitter person, you can check out one of my other social media hangouts

This was fun! Can't wait to go see some other people's profiles and meet you in St. Louis. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Football and Focus

This weekend I had the opportunity to watch my nephew play football and my niece lead cheers. They both did a fabulous job. I couldn't be prouder of either of them.

If you've ever been to a kids' sporting event, you know that all of the action doesn't take place on the field. The stands can be just as interesting.

First let me say that, by and large the parents were pretty well behaved. I've heard horror stories from kids sporting events. The stands at this game wouldn't even merit a comment if I hadn't noticed what I'm about to share.

Second I will admit that I don't know a whole lot about football. I know just enough to watch a game and not have to constantly ask, "What's going on?" I never played, my brother never played, and other than a guy I had a crush on for a couple months in eighth grade, I didn't really know anyone who played. So this may be standard coaching procedure and I'm just clueless.

As often happens at sporting events, the people in the stands were yelling encouragement to the players on the field. In this case, their kids. A frequent mantra among those attempting to motivate was, "Get mad! Get mean!"

After thirty minutes of yelling "Get mad!" an amazing thing happened. The people yelling it started to get mad. Granted, our team was losing and, if those in the stands were to be believed, the boys weren't playing up to their usual abilities.

But they weren't just upset. They were mad. And then some of them started to get mean. Yelling things at the refs (yes, I know this is also a common sporting event occurrence) at occasionally at their own children.

I'm not trying to make a point about youth sports or even sporting parents. Because before any of us can point a finger at them, we need to realize that we do the same thing.

What we focus on impacts our feelings, attitudes, thoughts, and actions.

Have you ever noticed that commercials for depression medications are depressing? Or that ads for sports drinks and equipment can be almost hyperactive?

What we focus on spreads itself through our brains until it infiltrates what we are and what we do.

I cannot watch cop shows of nearly any kind. They creep me out until I can't sleep at night and I jump at every little creak the house makes. It's why I gravitate to sci-fi and fantasy. When the bad guy is a fifty foot worm with green tentacles and a suction cup face, I don't have to worry about him showing up on my doorstep.

Runners know the music they play could be the difference between a mediocre run and a stellar one.

Stores know that if they emphasize how much you're saving, you won't think about how much your spending even though you never planned to buy that item in the first place.

So when I find myself acting, talking, or even thinking in a way contrary to what I'd like, I consider where my focus is. I try reading a Bible passage, spending some time in prayer, playing some uplifting music, or doing something nice for someone else. Change your focus, change your feelings.

What's the best way you've found to get your head right when it goes somewhere you'd rather it didn't?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tweets of the Week: The Ice Bucket Edition

Technically, not all of these came my way via Twitter, but I did see them via social media and they all cracked me up.

The ice bucket challenge is huge. Therefore, people make jokes about it. Some of the best ones I've seen are below:






If you've been having trouble keeping up with whether or not the ice bucket challenge is still cool or not, I give you the latest Blimey Cow video which dissects the life cycle of a viral event.


Have you done the ice bucket challenge? Whose video has been your favorite?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Doctor Who and Anticipation

As some of you may know, the latest season of Doctor Who debuted this weekend. (Don't worry, there's no spoilers in this article.) The event was highly anticipated. Excitement built as the day drew near, countdowns were made, every scrap of information was devoured by avid fans. People had parties, rearranged work schedules, and some even lined up at theaters.

At the risk of sounding like I'm Jesus-juking Doctor Who, why don't we anticipate God's work in our lives with as much enthusiasm?

This weekend also marked a significant change for me personally, as my husband and I started a new chapter in our ministry. As difficult as concluding our previous position was, I was very much looking forward to our new adventure. I didn't make paper chain countdowns or draw art of the coming day, but I was very aware of the day as it approached.

It's hardly the first major change God has brought about in my life, but rarely do I know the exact date that God is going to bring it about.

Countdown clock for the London
Olympics. I always look
forward to the Olympics.
via Wikimedia Commons
I think that is a significant reason why we find it easier to anticipate things like the new season of Doctor Who. We also have a certain amount of assurance that we're going to like what happens. No matter what trepidations you have about the new Doctor, you know that more than likely you'll love him within a couple of episodes. That's been the pattern time and time again.

God's timing is not ours. When you combine that with the uncertainty of where God is going to lead you, it can be very difficult to drum up excitement for the coming development... whatever it may be.

So how do we do it? How do we build anticipation for the Lord's work in our lives?

One thing we can do is link expectancy of God's actions to events in our lives. God can use anything to speak to us, to change us, to bring us closer to Him. If we start looking for Him in the big things, we'll have an easier time seeing him in the small things.

We won't be able to schedule God's plans on our wall calendar, can't mark of the days in anticipation. Not often, anyway. God needs us ready and flexible so that He can use us whenever and wherever He needs to.

But we can live each day with hope. And after all, isn't that what anticipation is? A specific form of hope? We hope the coming event will be everything we want it to be. We hope it lives up to the hype. We hope.

Train yourself to hope and every day you'll wake up anticipating what God is going to do.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tweets of the Week: Crazy Edition

On the craziness that is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Trend: 

@FakeJDGreear I challenge all Southern Baptists to the KFC Bucket Challen... whoa. Finished already, huh? That was fast.

@NickiSalcedo This ice bucket challenge would really impress me in January

On the craziness of the Internet: 

@JonAcuff I've invented something new that allows you to make definitive statements about people you've never met. I'm calling it the Internet.
@ChrisRiceMusic Personal Peace Principle #1: Social Media for fun. Real life friends and family for deep, meaningful, or controversial discourse


On the craziness of people in general: 
@JenAshleyWright A guy in this bookstore is telling his girlfriend she has too many books. Question: who should this girl's new boyfriend be?

@FeliciaDay When you're in an elevator with a stranger and they get a text and it makes them laugh, the should share the joke.

@NatWaltersWrite Anyone else look at the UPS delivery person like they're the year round Santa?

@hankgreen I was trying to think of the names of some of my friends and I typed "friends" in to Google so...

@CapriceCrane More often than not, the right thing to say is nothing at all. More people should try that.

And on the hope that crazy sometimes brings:

So good! @ChrisSwain73 "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." - Henry Ford

@SimoneElkeles It's the little notes that Mom puts in your lunch that say I love you - mine are a little different


Have a great 1st day of high school! If anyone bullies you tell them your mom is an author and will make them the nose-picker in her next book. Love, Mom