Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

No Starbuck's for you!

This new world of not "going" to a job every day can be a bit unnerving. Time seems to fly by a little too quickly for my liking. For those of you that know me, I do have reassure you of something.

I do not miss flying one little bit.

For those of you who don't know me well, I have left a job I have held for almost the last ten years and moved on. No more waiting in lines at airports. No more cancelled flights. No more lonely nights. In fact, when a fellow employee called me to let me know they were stuck at the Rochester airport because of a delayed flight, I smiled. They went on to say that the company no longer allowed them to buy anything at Starbuck's either. I smiled again.

Don't get me wrong, my company was a fantastic company to work for. My boss, a gem. They gave traveling employees a decent food allowance, and $50 per trip to use for "extra" things on the trip. Yet, over the past few years the "extra" things were being whittled away. First, they stopped allowing us to buy any magazines, which seemed aimed directly at the women travelers, who, like me, bought Women's Day, Oprah, People or Ladies Home Journal as a way to occupy the many, many hours we spent alone. Later, it was found out that one of the non-employee travelers that joined us from time-to-time, a male, had purchased not-so-nice magazine, which ruined it for the rest of us. That's how these things work. Someone does something not to "the higher powers" liking and everyone is punished for it.

Well, truth is, its probably my fault that Starbuck's was taken away from my former fellow employees. You see, I'm a bit spoiled. I have a latte every morning at home, made with love and whipped cream. So, when I travelled, Starbucks was the first stop for me. Double tall, latte made with whole milk and whipped creme. Sometimes I had a Morning bun to go with it. Usually I'd buy a water to use throughout the balance of the day. Sometimes that morning bun and water became both breakfast and lunch if I were stuck at the airport for hours on end. Yup, it was probably my fault.

One thing these companies should take into account is the fact that talented, relationship builders have given up way too much of their lives professionally representing their companies to have a magazine or a cup of coffee taken from them.  Just because the boss doesn't drink Starbuck's, doesn't mean the travller shouldn't. The bosses don't spend over one-half of the year stuck on airplanes, in rental cars, at airports or hotels, looking for any small distraction that might chase away the loneliness of leaving everything they love behind. No, they are with their families, attending bithday parties, having anniversary dinners and living their lives.

 Yes, the employee could move on if they don't like the policy, as they are usually well paid for the job they do. But, I find it humourous that the company is one who usually brags to others about how much they "value" their employees. Come on! You give the employee $50 to spend for the "extras," and then tell them, "No Starbuck's for you!" That mindset is ludacrist. In reality, all this does is make the employee feel less than "valued."

In a world where finding and keeping proven relationship builders for the long-term health of the company is difficult, shouldn't these little "perks" be kept intact? Or am I just out-of-touch? One cup of Starbucks for each day you are gone from your home is a small price to pay for employee loyalty. But then again, is anyone loyal to anyone anymore?


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends!

I've had the pleasure lately to mentor a few new writers. In fact, since leaving work, God has put so many opportunities in front of me that it's almost unbelieveable.

Here's the latest for January...

I'm busy writing a novella, or shorter novel called The Button Box. I work on it a little each day and hope to have it completed very shortly, as I have promised my sweet little editor that I would:-)

I'm working on reviewing two new novels.

I'm judging a new fall contest.

I'm planning a trip back to New Brunswick to speak at the invitation of the Plaster Rock Library Board, which to me, will be a highlight!

I'm writing a monthly health column for Book Club/Book Fun.

I've entered a couple of writing contests.

I'm interviewing two authors for upcoming blogs.

Even though I'm not officially "working" anymore, (yes, I am looking,) I'm staying pretty busy.

*****So, stay tuned for more news to come, but in the meantime, you writers out there, send me a poem , a short story or an essay that has to do with an egg. Don't ask why, just do it. Keep stories and essays to 1-2 pages. Might be something special in it for you! Deadline will be February 10!!!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome Christian Author, Tanya Eavenson!

Hello Friends! I find doing interviews one of the best ways to not only learn about other authors, but to learn about what avenues God has put in our lives to get His Word out. Today I have the privilege to welcome author, Tanya Eavenson!

Hello Tanya and welcome to Novel Travelers. I've already told you that I love the name Tanya, as my youngest sister is blessed with that name! For our travelers, tell us where you are from and what makes it special to you?
I was born and raised in Florida. I remember when I would climb on the roof of the house to look at the stars, it would be close to the time the fireworks from Disney colored the night sky. That was years ago when Kissimmee was mostly pastures. I’d sit in awe. So what makes my hometown special? The memories.
Tell us a little about the book and how you came to write it.
Here’s a short rundown of the story for your readers.
 He will fight for her at any cost...Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.

When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost. She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?
As far as how I came to write it, I don’t know if I came up with the plot or if God had put it on my heart. Many families, churched or un-churched, find themselves struggling in their marriages for one reason or another, but God wants them to fight to save their marriages and families. I grew up in a family were divorce is common, like most people today, with the idea once you “fall” out of love, and you can’t get along  anymore, it’s time to get a divorce. It was almost engraved in me witnessing everyone in my family get divorced one time or many times. I, too, almost went down that route with divorce papers in hand. I told myself many things at the time, but the truth. I was focused on our failures, not the hope that with God, all things are possible. The question was, were we willing to save our marriage at all costs? Would we fight for each other, whether we felt like it or not? It is my hope through this story, that no matter the circumstances the reader is facing, a loss of a child, infidelity, abandonment, anger, emotional hurt, etc., they will know there is hope in Christ.   

I am a Master Cruise Counselor, a designation in the field of travel that required a five–year commitment to the travel industry and at least 40 cruise visits or cruises, so it was interesting to me that you have a cruise setting in your story. How did you go about doing research for the cruise setting of Unconditional?
My research mostly concentrated on gathering information for a cruise Elizabeth and Chris, my heroine and hero, took during the novel. I’ve never been on a cruise so I asked several friends about their experiences. I was grateful for them sharing their memories and pictures.
Friends are such blessing when they share their experiences! Then did your life experiences play a role in the characters and/or the situations you developed in your book?
I’d have to say that every character has a piece of me within them whether it’s something the character likes, a physical attribute, or even a journey of spiritual growth. There’s a scene in the novel were Elizabeth and Chris head out to the lake. Elizabeth tries to hold onto the dock, but is unable and the boat floats away. When I thought to add that scene, I could only laugh. It was the first time I’d ever tried to use a trolling motor. 
That’s funny! I guess we’ve all had some of those “don’t take pictures” moments that pop up in our writings, don’t we? Do you see parallels of your life in your writing or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?
Interesting question. I believe God allows us to go through things in our lives. Why? I don’t know. That’s for God to decide. But I know in my life, God has allowed me to experience hardships so I may help others, to be a witness, and to have a closer relationship with Him. So if God can use my life and my words for His glory, I should get out of His way and incorporate it within my stories.
That is so wise to know as a writer. Most new writers are trying to set up some kind of a structure to make daily writing a habit. Can you share some of your writing habits with us?
 Well, my writing habits haven’t changed much since I began to write. I write late at night while everyone is asleep. There’s nothing better than sitting at the laptop with coffee in hand and words waiting to spill onto the page.
And I’m just the opposite. I’m an early morning writer. I guess I just want to be sure I’m fresh when I start in. I was influenced having to get up very early for my previous job. So, who or what’s been an inspiration to you?
It wasn’t a person really, but several novels that spoke to me. It started with Author Lori Wick and her series, “The English Garden Series.” I loved the biblical aspects and how the characters felt like family. I read the “Twilight Series” because the youth in my Sunday school class came in week after week discussing the novels. While reading, I found a connection to the characters through their emotional journey. Then to top it off, I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It had everything the other novels had combined within one. I remember praying that if I was going to write, I wanted to touch people and bring a better understanding of God through my characters.
Giving the glory to God is a sure way to be successful, not always monetarily, but in a way that is so satisfying to the reader and the writer. Describe the process you have when you write a book – with so many other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time? 
As a writer, I heard time and time again that I needed to write every day to be successful. I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t meet that goal. It took two years fighting with this idea when I finally gave up. So I decided to do something different, I set a word count goal each week, and it’s worked. Some weeks I write 3,000 words and others 7,000 depending on what’s going on during the week. Flexibility is the key for my writing success. Oh, how I’d love to be outside and write, but with three children, it seems the only time is at night after they are in bed. 

I think all authors are searching for the utopia of situations for their writing, so I am sure you are not alone in adjusting their schedules to meet their daily demands. With anyone and everyone being able to publish a book in this digital age, how have social networking sites, even including email, etc. impacted your writing? Do you find the internet to be a helpful or harmful resource in research, advertising, reviewing, etc. your books? 
I enjoy doing research for my novels since I know I will never be able to go to the places I write about, or time period for that matter. I’d also have to say, if it wasn’t for email and ACFW, a Christian writers’ network I belong to, I wouldn’t be the writer that I am today. I’m very thankful, however, social media sites, if I’m not careful, take away from my writing time. I have to be disciplined to the point that if I have something that needs to get done, I avoid it.

It’s been a joy to have you visit us, Tanya! Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know about you or your writing, maybe a piece of advice you could offer new writers?
Thank you, Ginger. I’ve had such a great time being here. Let’s see, my piece of advice would be to never give up on yourself or God. Whatever God is directing you to do, step out in faith and go for it. You won’t regret it!
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Tanya! I’ll be buying your book shortly! 
For my readers, take the time to visit Tanya at www.tanyaeavenson.com and comment on her interview, won’t you?

Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been in the ministry for fifteen years teaching youth, adults, and counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world. You can find her on Twitter at @Tan_eave and contact her at her website www.tanyaeavenson.com Want to learn more about writing? Stop by her blog http://guidedgirls.blogspot.com
Tanya Eavenson
Guided Girls~Writers blog
@Tan_eave ~Twitter
"Unconditional is a powerfully-gripping story of deep heartache laced with fears, yet even through the sorrow, Tanya Eavenson reminds us that nothing can separate us from God's love." ~ Alice J. Wisler, author of "Still Life in Shadows" and other novels

"Not your typical amnesia story, Unconditional tells a tale of loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. Eavenson drags her characters through the fire, then reveals God’s power through their broken lives. The writing is stellar; the emotion, raw and palpable; the cast, impeccably crafted. This author is one to be watched!"~ April W Gardner, award-winning author

"Unconditional explores the struggles that married couples sometimes experience, and the decisions they must make after going through difficult circumstances. A powerful story of hope and healing." ~ Laura V. Hilton, Healing Love (Whitaker House)

"Unconditional is a beautiful story of God's never-ending love. Throughout its pages, Tanya Eavenson evokes a myriad of emotions in her readers, from deep despair to heartfelt praise. The characters gripped my heart, showing me the reality of man's sin but also the depth of God's grace. Unconditional is a well-written, heart-stirring novel written by a talented new author." ~ Jennifer Slattery, Novel Reviews



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Christian Authors Show

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the upcoming radio program The Christian Author's Show. The interview will air on Tuesday, January 15!  The interview is posted under "Broadcast Schedule," which can be found by opening the link and scrolling down the page.

The show plays all day so I hope you'll have plenty of time to stop by and listen to the 15 minute interview!

God continues to open doors for me, and I pray that I'll be able to give him glory in all things! Thank you for the support and kind words I continue to hear from you all! Click on the link below to enjoy it!


Monday, January 7, 2013

A New Interview Coming!

I'm excited to let you know I'll be interviewing Christian author, Tanya Eavenson for an upcoming interview on Friday, January 11! Her new novel, Unconditional, will be released the day of our interview!

Tanya and her husband have been in the ministry for fifteen years teaching youth, adults, and counseling. She is a fellow member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world.

There's no better way to start the New Year than to host a woman of God!

I hope you'll tell your friends about the interview and join me to welcome Tanya on Friday!