Top Ten Tuesday

Today’s theme, chosen by The Broke and the Bookish, is a Halloween Freebie, and we’re supposed to create a list of anything Halloween related or scary.

However, I do not celebrate Halloween. Therefore, I have decided to create my own Top Ten list of Books that encourage and inspire me.

  1. The Bible, my preference is the NIV published in 1984 or earlier, and the 1599 Geneva Bible.
  2. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.
  3. A Charles Dickens Devotional This book offers an excerpt from a Dickens novel, with a lesson and Bible verse for each day. I enjoy it because I have always enjoyed Dickens’ novels, though I still haven’t read them all.
  4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. This is a wonderful story of redemption.
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This story is a wonderful example of standing up for what is right, for what you believe, no matter what everyone else thinks.
  7. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin. This is a story about real unconditional love and second chances in an unexpected way.
  8. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd because it’s a great story of love and acceptance across color/race boundaries.
  9. Grey Matter: A Neurosurgeon Discovers the Power of Prayer by David Levy, M.D. This is a story of testimony of the power of prayer.
  10. Dirty God by Johnnie Moore. This book is about the amazing grace we can freely receive through/from Jesus Christ.

A Disappointing Giveaway and What’s New for the New Year

I must say that I am stunned!  My giveaway posts earned me some new followers, and to all of you who are now following me, I extend a hearty welcome!  I hope you will find many posts here that you will find enjoyable, inspirational and/or helpful.  However, the requirements for a winner for the giveaway was that people were supposed to leave comments on my giveaway post letting me know how long they have been a follower on this blog and what they would like to see more or less of, and, to my chagrin, the giveaway post received not one single comment.  Therefore, I am disappointed to announce:  the winner is . . . No One!

Maybe it was the books I chose to give away.  Maybe they were too old.  Maybe no one who reads this blog is a fan of Mary Higgins Clark.  Maybe you don’t read Christmas mysteries.  I don’t know what happened, but I never thought that “giving something away” — for free would fail.  But alas, it has.  I will, however, try not to take it personally and will attempt to have another giveaway at a much later date.

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Now for the happier, more positive item — What’s New for the New Year?  Well, I know I did this a couple of weeks before the new year, but my blog has a new look.  I think it’s cleaner, crisper and sharper.  I hope you all like it too!  Also, the photo in my blog header, behind by blog title box, is one I took while we were on vacation on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands in October 2014.  I thought it went well with the new look.

Also, if you scroll down the page and look at the things listed on my right sidebar, you will notice a button for BookLook Bloggers.  I have decided that since I love to read so much, and reading and writing go hand-in-hand, AND since I enjoy writing book reviews anyway, that I would join BookLook Bloggers.  I should be receiving my first book soon, so I hope you will look forward to upcoming book reviews here at Kelly F Barr.

I was excited to receive a year-end report from WordPress on my blog.  I don’t believe I received such a report at the end of 2013, so this must be new as well, and I found it very helpful to see what my readers (you) like to read.  I hope to use this information to keep you all reading here.

I was also shocked and thrilled to look at my follower count today.  The last time I was here, my follower count was just under 90, and I was hoping to hit 100 by 2015, and here it is, January 1, 2015, and my follower count now says 198!  I am not sure if that’s due to the fact that I updated some settings and have the blog automatically connected to my other social media sites now, instead of me simply posting links to all of my posts on Facebook and Twitter, or if the follower counter could somehow be wrong.  But, I hope that it’s accurate and that the count continues to climb.  I don’t worry too much about numbers, but I don’t look at my followers as numbers — I look at them as my readers; readers I hope will come to love what I write and spread the word that what I write is worth reading, because, as a writer, my desire is that others would find value in what I write.

In 2015, I will also continue to keep you up-to-date on my writing journey.  In the past month, I have submitted two nonfiction short pieces for consideration; one to a children’s/family devotional magazine and one for possible publication in an upcoming book of inspirational short nonfiction stories.  I will keep you posted on any response I receive for these submissions.  Just having submitted a couple of things makes me feel like a real writer and it motivates me to keep writing.  I have a few more short nonfiction pieces I want to write and submit to other locations soon, and I will certainly keep writing my fiction.

I saw a friend on Monday who asked me if I’m still writing.  I told her that yes, I am, and that, as a matter of fact, I had recently begun submitting things, hoping to gain some recognition and maybe earn a little money for my writing as well.  I was so blessed by the next words that came out of her mouth, “Well, I don’t know why someone wouldn’t pick you up.  You’re good.”  Such words of encouragement are a light to my writer’s soul.