Monday, January 10, 2011
A sprawling, coming of age story set vividly in Ancient Rome, and based on the lives of two young people who must
grapple with grave injustice and social constraints of the Roman Empire. The sub-plot is how faith can survive--and even thrive--under
the adverse circumstances the characters must endure.
Enjoyable and well-drawn major characters, but what they endure on their journey through the book is rather harrowing. Nevertheless, I found this book interesting and well-written and I loved how the plot thickened towards the end. A great twist and climactic ending--along with a nice (if belated) dose of romance makes this book the sort you close with a contented sigh.
The Master's Wall
Available from Amazon.com, and other booksellers
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Last Light by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well written, intriguing and fast-paced. The end might have been a little stronger with regard to the villain (who becomes more of a cut-out bad guy the more we see of him) and the heroine, who makes annoyingly obvious bad choices; but otherwise the premise is so strong that we are compelled to see what happens,and we do care about the characters. I recommend this book for sure.
View all my reviews
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Have you thought out goals for the new year, yet? I love taking stock of things by reviewing my goal sheets from the past year, and then hammering out a new one.
There are many ways and means for doing this, but let me share my method with you. And if the shoe fits, wear it. Here's what I do:
I brainstorm goals for the new year under FIVE categories:
A. Personal, Spiritual
When I begin my list of goals, I start without the categories and just list everything I can think of that I want to accomplish in the coming year, or see happen around me. I pray about my list, asking the Lord to help me focus on the important versus the urgent. Once my list is complete (usually around 100 items) I sort them beneath the five categories, above.
I don't list things I cannot control. For example, I may have "Spend one hour a week cleaning out desktop files," But I won't list "Have a clean house at all times." I don't live alone, and I cannot control whether the house stays neat and clean at all times. Would I enjoy it if it did? Absolutely. But my goals have to be things I can manage--not hopeful, pie-in-the-sky ideals. Having said that, some of my family or home goals might be, "Make new chore charts for the kids." That helps me improve the state of things in a way that I CAN control.
Once I finish my Master List of about 100 goals, I go through the whole list, and then type up a monthly goal list. Out of the 97 goals I listed for 2011, I have a total of 40 of them on my January list. That may sound like a lot, but many of them are not one-time goals, but things I hope to do habitually, for the whole year.
For example, "Don't skip flossing." This may sound humorous, but for someone who gets lazy at night, I needed to make it a focused goal. This will be on every month's list for the whole year unless it becomes so ingrained like brushing teeth that there's no way I'd skip it.
I also listed, "Have weekly nights out with Mike." My husband and I used to go out together once a week for dinner, just the two of us--but we've let that degenerate into an occasional thing. This year, I want to revive the once-a-week custom, so it's on my list. Again, this will probably appear on the monthly goals sheet for a few months, until it's ingrained.
Numbers 12-26 are BUSINESS goals; 27-30 are HOUSE goals; 31-33 FINANCIAL; and 34-40 FAMILY. I take my WEEKLY PLANNER and write in the things I want to see done weekly, and use the NOTES section to jot down one-time things so I don't forget them. (Such as, "Get a new mattress" for one of the kids.)
Obviously, I enjoy planning. But the most fun is getting to cross off and finish things on the list.
If you have no idea how long a goal will take, (such as, "finish my manuscript")then schedule it as "SPEND ONE HOUR ON MANUSCRIPT TODAY" OR, "WRITE ONE SCENE." Continue scheduling small steps until you reach your goal.
Any goal is manageable if you break it down into small enough steps.
Have fun, brainstorm, and let 2011 be a year full of accomplishments that you can be proud of.