DiAnn Mills's Blog: Latest From DiAnn's Desk

July 8, 2019

Creating the Perfect Reading Spot

By Cathy Baker @DiAnnMills


This week Cathy Baker @CathyBaker is my guest blogger.


Do you have the perfect reading spot?

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” —Ursula K. Le Guin


Creating the Perfect Reading Spot

Click to tweet


You’re handed a book by your favorite author and told to take the afternoon off. Sure, you could go home, fluff up the pillows and nestle under the covers before escaping to another world. But trying a new place to read exposes our senses to new sights and sounds, some of which can enhance our reading time, like:


(1) The library. To change things up a bit, go with the intent of reading as many short reads as possible during your allotted time. Not “let’s hurry through this book” type of intent, but as one who desires to immerse themselves in short stories, narrative essays, poetry, etc.


Take a small journal to jot down words and sentences that speak to you. Or visit the library with a favorite novel, settle in for the afternoon, and surround yourself with colorful spines coated in sweet musk, a scent only old pages could muster.


(2) Traveling, try the hotel’s lobby. As a reader, you’re not cooped up in a room and the surroundings offer new sights you might miss otherwise. Most have comfortable seating with coffee and other goodies available throughout the day.


And if you also happen to be a writer, this location is a petri dish for character studies.


(3) Pack a picnic. Tuck your book, blanket, favorite beverage, and healthy snack (sugar leads to the drowsies) into a picnic basket and head to a safe, shady place. Snap that blanket in the breeze and let the reading feast begin. Sure, you can always lie down on your blanket to read, but if you want to add a tad of nostalgia to your setting, find a large tree to lean on.


(4) Create a space in your backyard. It can be as simple as adding a garden bench beneath a shady spot, on a deck, or in a quiet corner by the bird feeders. Whose reading wouldn’t be enhanced by a serenade?


(5) Prepare a reading corner in your home. Place a few books you’re currently enjoying, a light blanket, reading glasses, bookmarks and pens inside a basket. Having a ready-made space encourages us to take regular reading breaks, and who hasn’t fancied a space to call their own?


Cathy’s Tiny House


A longtime dream of mine to build a tiny space to read in the Carolina Foothills has come to fruition. My Tiny House has other benefits too! It will have an eight-foot-long desk, offering ample space to write, host online Bible studies, record podcasts, and invite others to join me for a writing day.


In addition to the desk, a raised reading nook will claim a corner of its own. Stocked with vintage chenille spreads and plentiful pillows, this twin-sized bed area will be the perfect place to break from writing, especially on days when rain pelts the tin roof overhead.


Do you have a favorite reading spot? Do tell!

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. Cathy is a Hope*Writer and Bible teacher who has taught numerous studies and workshops over the past twenty-five years. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. She and her husband, Brian, are currently building a writing studio. To connect with Cathy, visit The Tiny House on the Hill @ https://www.cathybaker.org or find her on Instagram @CathySBaker.


Thanks Cathy! Be blessed, my friends,


Like this content? Subscribe to my weekly blog below.
















































  Subscribe







The post Creating the Perfect Reading Spot appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 08, 2019 17:00

July 1, 2019

Happy 4th of July!

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Happy 4th of July to the greatest country on earth!

Happy 4th of July!

Click to tweet


The ways we celebrate our country’s birthday are varied—parades, picnics, backyard barbecues, firework displays, relaxing with family and friends, or simply spending a day of quiet. No matter how you enjoy the holiday, remember the hard work and sacrifice our founding fathers and so many others made to ensure we have this 243rd birthday.


How are you celebrating the 4th of July?
God bless America!


 


 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: Red, white, and blue! America’s colors. How does your library reflect our nation’s birthday?



Available for Pre-Order At Your Favorite Book Retailer!


 


 


 


The post Happy 4th of July! appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on July 01, 2019 17:00

June 24, 2019

The ABCs of Summer

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Summer is in full swing, and we are loving every sun-kissed day. Who can think about summer without swimming, picnics, fishing, and sunscreen? Describing these warm lazy days can leave us searching for how to fill our hours, but let’s give it a try.


The ABCs of Summer

Click to tweet


A – Adventure

B – Baseball

C – Camping

D – Dance Barefoot in the Grass

E – Excitement

F – Film Your Own Movie

G – Garden

H – Hiking

I – Ice Cream

J – Journal

K – Kick-start a Hobby

L – Lemonade

M – Making Memories

N – Nature

O – Outside

P – Pool

Q – Quality Time

R – Read

S – Soak Up the Sun

T – Travel

U – Underwater

V – Vacation

W – Watermelon

X – X-citement

Y – Yes! I love summer!

Z – Zoo


I could think of a dozen words for some letters, but a few were hard.


How do you describe the summer? Are there substitutes you’d make for some of these letters?


 


 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: Does your library sparkle with the enthusiasm of summer? Are you providing activities for summer fun?



Available today at your favorite ebook retailer!






 


 


 


 


 


 


The post The ABCs of Summer appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 24, 2019 17:00

June 17, 2019

13 Ways We Can Make a Difference in Our Communities

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Summer has us busy—sometimes too busy. In the middle of fun-filled exhaustion, we hear a speaker or read an article asking how we are making a difference in our community.


Ouch. We hadn’t thought about that. We’re busy planning and implementing a vacation which leaves us a bit stressed and needing a rest afterward. Work piles up in and outside the home. Kids and grandkids are home from school, and we’ve all heard the “I am bored” complaint. But there is a cure for that one.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 17, 2019 17:00

June 10, 2019

June 11 – National Making Life Beautiful Day

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


National Making Life Beautiful Day is an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face. Everyone needs a touch of beauty. Indeed, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford shows us the value of an esthetic experience.


What makes your life beautiful may be acts of kindness or encouragement while another person values life behind a photographer’s lens. It’s unique and sometimes challenging to discover what touches the heart of those whom we love.


June 11 – National Making Life Beautiful Day

Click to tweet


The list of possibilities is endless, so let’s take a look at the following ideas. One of these may spark an idea of how to brighten another person’s life.


Crafts

Many people value a handmade gift. Are you known for your craft-making or is this a time to purchase a craft item as your token of the day?


Pets

Pets can calm us, make us laugh, and fill our hours with unconditional love.


Sports

Presenting a sports-minded person with a ticket(s) to a favorite game or offering to watch a game on the big screen may perk a lonely day.


Cooking

Giving the gift of a meal or hosting a dinner is always appreciated.


Landscapes and Nature

A drive through the country, a hike, painting, photograph, a walk in the woods can calm the spirit and inspire hope.


People

Many of us thrive on being around others, especially friends and family.


Success

Some measure beauty by personal success or the achievements of someone they love. Can this be your means to show life is beautiful?


Wildlife

Consider these options for an animal or bird enthusiast: a trip to the zoo, a farm, a safari, or a vivid documentary


Entertainment

The ability to provide enjoyment or watch a person relax shows caring.


Various art forms

This topic covers a wide range of options—flowers, sculptures, museums, architecture, a trip to the library, listening to music, and the list goes on.


Donation to a worthy cause

Charities and organizations that thrive on monetary gifts often steal the hearts of those touched by sincere mission statements.


So what about you? Care to share your plans to commemorate National Making Life Beautiful Day?



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: You are a vital part of National Making Life Beautiful Day. Thank you for the gift of books!



Available today at your favorite ebook retailer!






 


 


 


The post June 11 – National Making Life Beautiful Day appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 10, 2019 17:00

June 3, 2019

My Passion For Sudan – How Solar Powered Radios Are Changing Lives

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


I recently introduced you to my June 4th ebook release LONG WALK HOME where three people from separate cultures faced the realities of life in southern Sudan. Today’s post shares my continued passion for the Sudanese people and additional story and character insights.


Illiteracy remains rampant, and many are unable to read the Bible. Your purchase of LONG WALK HOME will directly impact the people of South Sudan since I will be donating all royalties to Every Village, a 501(C)(3) Organization, to help distribute solar-powered, hand-held radios in local communities.


My Passion For Sudan – How Solar Powered Radios Are Changing Lives

Click to tweet


This video from Every Village gives a first-hand account of how radio is impacting the lives of the Sudanese today.



As you can see from what’s shared in the video above, Every Village’s radio network reaches the masses with the gospel and community development teaching—broadcasting Bible stories, health & hygiene training, news, and educational programming in local languages. Learn more HERE.


In this next video I share story and character insights into LONG WALK HOME




Available @ Your Favorite ebook Retailer!












Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Christian Book Distributor
Buy from Google Play
Buy from Kobo



Additional information about LONG WALK HOME including a video clip, chapter excerpt, and discussion questions are available here on my website. I’ve also included some specific ways you can pray for the Sudanese.




Don’t forget our friends in Sudan. They daily need our prayers and support. Will you join me?


 


 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: Nonfiction books and biographies that focus on Africa provide hours of entertainment and knowledge for patrons.



Available to order from your favorite ebook retailer!


The post My Passion For Sudan – How Solar Powered Radios Are Changing Lives appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on June 03, 2019 17:00

May 26, 2019

Observing Memorial Day

By Barbara Latta @DiAnnMills


This week’s guest blogger is Barbara Latta  @BarbaraLatta


Observing Memorial Day is not a contemporary ideal. Remembering those who’ve given their lives for others has given us reason to value the sacrifices of courageous men and women.


Twenty-two-year-old Marine Corporal Jason Dunham and some of his military buddies sat around their barracks in Iraq swapping stories. The talk drifted to grenade attacks. Each marine had an idea of how to survive such a strike, and Corporal Dunham’s contribution to the conversation was maybe a Kevlar helmet would do the job. In April, 2004, Dunham was on his way to help a convoy that had been ambushed when an insurgent attacked him and dropped a grenade. Some of Jason’s marine buddies rushed to help him, but Dunham threw his body and his Kevlar helmet onto the grenade as it went off. He saved his friends, but eight days later he died. He’d extended his tour in Iraq by re-enlisting and when asked why, Jason Dunam had replied, “I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive.”


Observing Memorial Day

Click to tweet


Across Europe, in the South Pacific, Indonesia, and the deserts of the Middle East, the blood of millions of Americans has poured into the dirt. On American soil, Revolutionary blood was spilled from 1775 – 1781 as the birth pains of a new republic shouted to the world with the message of independence. Less than 100 years later, blood flowed again from men during the Civil War when the unity of America was threatened.


Our freedom has been purchased or defended with the blood of the sons and daughters of America. We travel, shop, work, play, and worship because so many who lived before us paid the ultimate price. The sacrifices of millions of men and women have bought our political freedom.


Over 2,000 years ago, blood more precious than any other flowed into the ground at Calvary when Jesus bought our ultimate freedom. Spiritual bondage was broken, and sin was defeated when Jesus paid the price.


It’s because this nation was founded on God that we enjoy so many blessings. We can give thanks to God this Memorial Day for those who were willing to lay down their lives so we could live. And thank Him for Jesus who laid down His life so we could live forever.


Yes, blood cries from the ground. And it was and continues to be expensive.

On this Memorial Day, may we thank God for His blessings, and honor those whose blood calls from the ground with the plea, “Please remember me.”


God bless America!

Thank you, Barbara, for the Memorial Day tribute.



 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: Gather fiction and nonfiction books for a patriotic display that includes Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the Fourth of July celebrations.



Available to order today! – Click to learn more.





Check out this great deal!


 


The post Observing Memorial Day appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 26, 2019 17:00

May 20, 2019

Sneak Peak into LONG WALK HOME – Upcoming ebook Release

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


In today’s blog, I want to share about my upcoming June 4th ebook release LONG WALK HOME.


Long Walk Home is a snapshot of how three people from separate cultures faced the realities of life in southern Sudan. I shed many tears in the writing process, and I imagine you may too as you read it.


Sneak Peak into LONG WALK HOME – Upcoming ebook Release

Click to tweet


Here’s a brief video clip about LONG WALK HOME



Over a decade ago, I visited Juba, in southern Sudan, to research Long Walk Home, an updated and refreshed novel made available for today’s ebook readers. While I had dreams of encouraging the people in their struggle for freedom and commended their bravery in the face of oppression, something quite different happened. I fell in love with the Sudanese people. They impacted me, not the other way around.


Through interviews and listening to their stories, I sensed their incredible faith. We laughed, cried, and even faced danger. Their constant reliance on God challenged my faith.


I wanted good things for the Sudanese, but more importantly, I wanted them to experience the peace of waking up in the mornings without the threat of gunfire. I longed for their children to walk the roads of their homeland without fear.


My two-story home and double-car garage, my full pantry, health insurance, church, and freedoms I took for granted back home in the U.S.A. took on new meaning. I was convicted of my selfishness, and my spirit weighed what was essential to life. Did I understand “Jesus is enough” through the eyes of someone who’d lost his family in the fighting, limped without a leg, or lost loved ones to disease?


Illiteracy remains rampant there, and many are unable to read the Bible. Your purchase of the ebook will directly impact the people of South Sudan since I will be donating all royalties to Every Village, a 501(C)(3) Organization, to help distribute solar-powered, hand-held radios in local communities.


Every Village’s radio network reaches the masses with the gospel and community development teaching—broadcasting Bible stories, health & hygiene training, news, and educational programming in local languages. Learn more HERE.


Available @ Your Favorite ebook Retailer!












Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Christian Book Distributor
Buy from Google Play
Buy from Kobo



Be sure to pre-order your ebook of Long Walk Home now so you can download and begin reading June 4th.

Additional information about LONG WALK HOME including a video clip, chapter excerpt, and discussion questions are available here on my website. I’ve also included some specific ways you can pray for the Sudanese.




Don’t forget the Sudanese. They need our prayers and support. Will you join me?


 


 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: International adventure and suspense stories appeal to many readers. Do you have a unique section for these type of stories?




The post Sneak Peak into LONG WALK HOME – Upcoming ebook Release appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 20, 2019 17:00

May 13, 2019

Are You Cut Out to Write a Novel?

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


We’ve all wondered if we’re cut out to write a novel. We experience an unusual or exciting event and ask ourselves, “Could I write a story about this?” Sometimes we dwell on it for days, weeks, months, and even years, still asking ourselves the same question. Why not take a novelist writing quiz to see if you’re a potential novelist?


Are You Cut Out to Write a Novel?

Click to tweet







I daydream about potential stories and how I could place them in an exciting plot. _______
I crave an adventure through the reading of an extraordinary story. _______
I observe people and how they’d interact in a story. _______
I think about what kind of characters would fit into my story. _______
I create settings that would challenge my characters. _______
I imagine myself as a writer at a book signing. _______
I read a story and rewrite sections or the ending. _______
I write dialogue between characters when no one is watching. _______
I recognize a good story on the first page _______
I know I’m a little creative-quirky, and I like it. _______
I labor over every writing task from emails to grocery lists. _______
I edit every writing task from emails to grocery lists. _______
I prefer working in solitude. _______
I am disciplined and a self-starter. _______
I can handle constructive critiques. _______





If you said yes to 7 or more of the above characteristics of a novelist, you are on your way to learning the great craft of story writing.
What is your score? Are you ready to develop a story?


 


 


 



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: Do you have a section of your library devoted to resources for writers? Have you considered a writer’s group that could meet at your library?



1-800-588-7222 – Call To Register & Join Us Next Week!





Available to order from your favorite ebook retailer!


The post Are You Cut Out to Write a Novel? appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

1 like ·   •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 13, 2019 17:00

May 6, 2019

7 Reasons We Love Stories

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills


Thousands of stories are released each year. So many wonderful and amazing books, and we’ll never be able to read them all. But we try.


What’s the fascination for story? Why do we crave the next novel and the next?


7 Reasons We Love Stories

Click to tweet


Here are 7 reasons we love story.

Entertainment is the number one reason we love story. When our work is done for the day, we can relax and lose ourselves within the pages of a highly-crafted novel.
Story is a slice of real life. I dare say every plot has its origin in facts. Readers see truth in a non-threatening environment and an opportunity to explore values.
Characters draw us into their setting. A well-written story explodes on the page with characters we adore. We relate to their wants and needs and how they interpret life. Our imaginations are challenged, and we become the character.
Problems are solved within the story. The reader seeks ways to make their own life easier and more purposeful.
Heroes and heroines travel on an impossible journey. They inspire us to be better people, attempt new things, and see a goal to completion.
Healing takes place within the storyline. Subject matter that touches our personal pain addresses ways we can survive our past. By exploring behavior, we gain new insights.
Satisfaction of engaging in a story from the beginning to the end provides a sense of accomplishment.

Why do you love story? Let’s share ideas.



DiAnn’s Library Corner


Library Tip: The celebration of story is a year-round event. While we encourage children to read by providing incentives and prizes, consider the same to entice adults to read.



Available to order from your favorite ebook retailer!





The post 7 Reasons We Love Stories appeared first on DiAnn Mills.

 •  0 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on May 06, 2019 17:00

Latest From DiAnn's Desk

DiAnn Mills
Latest From DiAnn's Desk Blog
Follow DiAnn Mills's blog with rss.