Read my guest posts:
1. The Writers in Residence – Called to Please
2. Shannon Vannatter's blog – Romantic Excerpts
Serious Reading Interview:
An Interview with Rebecca Carey Lyles, author of “Winds of Change: A Kate Neilson Novel...“
(You can also read the interview here on this website)
Eight Ways to Make Your Editor Do the Happy Dance
Posted by: Becky Lyles on August 22, 2016
Some of you may know that in addition to writing books and blogs, I also work as a freelance editor. Over the years, I’ve edited a wide variety of publications from white papers, newsletters, articles and business letters to Bible studies, short stories, memoirs and novels. I’ve met a lot of great people along the way and learned much about the writing process.
The key insight I’ve gained is that writing intended for publication, whether it’s traditional, partner or self-publication, should be sifted through an editor filter. Why? Because we authors tend to read what’s in our heads, not what’s on the computer screen. We also have trouble pinpointing weaknesses in our own manuscripts. Editors who have no emotional attachment to our work can provide unbiased, professional feedback. Even editors need editors. My writing is always improved by an editor’s candid comments, more than you might imagine.
Just so you know, an editor’s job is not to clean up your first-draft mess; rather, it’s to hone your second, third, fourth, fifth draft—whatever it takes for you to submit your very best work. In order to receive the most benefit for your investment when you hire an editor, take these suggestions to heart.
Posted by: Becky Lyles on January 7, 2015
Sometimes I wonder if I should be writing nonfiction rather than fiction. You know, something more profound and educational. And then I read a scene in a novel that teaches me about another country or culture or zaps me between the eyes with an attitude I need to correct, like the novel I just finished. Truth is, a good short story or fiction book mirrors real life and challenges us to become better people as we observe the characters becoming better people. Read full article here on beckylyles.com.
In Case You Haven't Heard
Posted by: Becky Lyles on July 2, 2014
Passageways, the long-awaited short-story collection by Lisa Michelle Hess, Peter Leavell,Valerie D. Gray and yours truly debuted yesterday in eBook format for a mere 99 cents. The special price is good through the 4th. Celebrate our freedom to read what we want! Get your copy while it’s hot off the press – and cheap!
• Kindle: tinyurl.com/pomktj7
• Nook: tinyurl.com/neq8gxr
(Access full blog online)
Simple, Inexpensive Tips for Healthy Living from Becky Lyles
Slipping Out of Summer
Posted by: Becky Lyles on: October 8, 2016
Think of all the great things you did for your health over the summer. You left your air-conditioned house and went outside to play, which means you stretched and strengthened your muscles and soaked up lots of fresh air and Vitamin D. Along with your burgers and hot dogs, you ate strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard, beans and melons from your garden and enjoyed roasted zucchini from your neighbor’s abundant harvest.
You relaxed with a good book or good music on the beach or the patio, by the pool or the creek and rejuvenated your mind as well as your body. You left home for a vacation, experienced a change of scenery and reconnected with loved ones. You took time to sit back, reflect, regroup, refocus and plan your next steps.
As we slide from September sunshine into October’s crisp mornings and evenings, what can we do to maintain our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health? Here are just a few ideas. None of them is original, all of them are borrowed.
Don't Let Anyone Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes
Posted by: Becky Lyles on: January 15, 2015
I recently read “Wool,” an enormously successful science-fiction novel by Hugh Howey. I don’t normally read sci-fi, but I’d seen and heard enough rave reviews of the book that I decided to read it for myself.
Why am I discussing a novel, especially a science-fiction novel, on a health blog? Hang with me. I have my reasons.
“Wool” tells the story of a group of people who’ve spent centuries surviving in a huge underground silo drilled deep into the earth – one-hundred and fifty-plus levels, if I remember correctly. Each level has a different function. Some contain gardens, others host shops and restaurants, and others have infirmaries and law enforcement quarters. The residents live near their places of employment. Mines and miners are on the lowest levels. Generators and pumps and the mechanics who keep them in operation exist above them. The supply rooms and staff are even higher. And up it goes to more “important” departments, like IT.
One long, spiral staircase connects all the levels and all the silo people. The only way to see daylight is to tread the winding, metal stairs to the topmost level, which has huge windows that display, via camera lenses, the overcast, windswept, lifeless, toxic landscape outside the silo. Few people make the trip on a regular basis.
Are you feeling claustrophobic yet? I did while reading the book.
Mr. Howey is an excellent writer whose story immerses the reader
in a world that lacks the sunshine, freedom and beautiful vistas we
take for granted.... Read full article here on beckylyles.com.
LAVISH LOVE: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1 NIV)
December 8, 2014
In the midst of the holiday jingle and jangle...
…parties and presents, shopping and sharing, STOP!
Yes, stop right where you are, take a breath—and look down.
You are standing on holy ground.
Because Jesus came to earth as God-with-us Immanuel, wherever we are, He’s there. He’s before us, behind us, beside us. His arm is around our shoulders. “Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects his people, both now and forever” (Psalm 125:2 NLT).
For those of us who don’t live in Jerusalem, or Bethlehem, or anywhere else Jesus traveled in Israel, the notion of holy ground is hard to grasp. The old hymn I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked begins with, “I walked today where Jesus walked, in days of long ago,” and ends with “and felt him close to me.” But the truth is, we don’t have to be in a certain country, cathedral or temple, or even in a particular position to be close to Jesus. If we know him as Savior, he’s with us and within us. The Bible says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27 NIV).
God met Moses on the hot sands of a lonely desert. He approached Jonah outside a large city and walked with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego inside a blazing furnace. He stopped Saul in the middle of a road with a flash of brilliant light. But now, because God sent his Son to earth to save us from our sins and come into our lives twenty-four-seven, he’s with us all the time. Whether we’re standing on a kitchen floor, a cement sidewalk, or the wide tiles of a shopping mall corridor, Jesus is with us – and we’re on holy ground.
Yes, our Immanuel came long ago, and he will come again in glory, hallelujah! In the meantime, he’s here right now…loving us, guiding us, saving us. “She will give birth to a son,” the angel told Joseph, “and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 NIV).
Matthew then quotes an Old Testament prophet named Isaiah: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23 NIV) As the Baloche/Kenrick song “What Can I Do” says, what can I do but thank him, give my life to him, and make everything I do a hallelujah?
Thank you, Jesus, for becoming our Immanuel. You are our hope of glory.
November 24, 2014 - Give Thanks in All
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:18b NIV
After church yesterday, I stopped by a health-food store to pick up a couple items. By then, my breakfast had worn off, so I grabbed an energy bar to eat on the way home. However, when I exited the store, I saw a man playing a guitar on the corner. Although the sun was out, the temperature was in the low thirties. I wondered how his fingers could move in the cold.
And then I remembered the pastor’s sermon – and how he said one of the secrets of contentment is to be generous. My taste buds were primed for an energy bar I hadn’t tried before, but I knew I could go home to a warm house and a full refrigerator. I put my purchases in the car, drove to the corner and rolled down my window.
The man walked over, and I said, “I don’t have any cash, but here’s an energy bar.”
He took the bar and appeared to read the front and the back before asking, “Is this GMO-free?”
A bit miffed, I said, “I don’t know, but I just bought it at that health-food store.”
He glanced at the store, looked at me, looked at the bar, and finally said, “Thank you.”
At that point, the car behind me honked, and I drove away.
© 2017 Rebecca Carey Lyles, All Rights Reserved