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June, 1944 “Nothing of historical significance has happened.”

I guess even wars can have their slow days. I’d love to read some personal diaries written during war time. I doubt Anne Frank was the only one. ~ Connie

Sailors Attic

Have you heard the popular retort from the 1940s, “Don’t you know there’s a war going on?”

During the Second World War, naval commandants wrote diary entries about major events in their commands.  The subordinate officers submitted reports to their commandants who typed up “war diaries” for the Vice-Chief of Naval Operations.  The War Diaries were official U.S. Navy records, to be examined post-war as a source for histories of the various Navy commands.

But whose decided what was important enough to write down?

The answer, of course, was everybody.  And everybody had a different view of the same experience.  So the entries in War Diaries varied from one commanding officer to the next, and from one command to the next.  A hand-written desk diary kept by the Commandants of the U.S. Naval Training Station at Great Lakes shows how different people viewed the exact same place and experience in vastly…

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Hooking the Reader with a Killer Opening to Your Book

A Writer's Path

by Helena Fairfax

This is another topic that has made me take a good look at my own writing. My first thought is that it’s vital to have an opening that hooks the reader. Some people say a killer opening is even more important now, since online stores like Amazon have a facility to “Look inside” the book, or to download the first few pages as a sample.

They say readers have too much choice and a short attention span, and we have to be hooked immediately or you lose us. But I think back to the days when there was no Amazon and I could only obtain books from bookshops or libraries. I used to do exactly the same thing before choosing a book – check out the blurb, and then have a read of the opening to see if it grabbed me. If I wasn’t hooked, I put the book back.

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Number 1 on this list doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m not into baseball or any sport for that matter. My favorites were volleyball and badminton. Maybe if we related worship more with sports it would get people interested in seeing what it’s all about. How about sermons titled: Getting to First Base with God; End Run with Jesus; How not to Hit a Foul Ball; Fight on the Ice; or Jogging with Jesus. ~ Connie

Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois.


1. Pastors battling preaching pride would flip their water bottles after sticking a closing line and walk off stage…

2. Pastors would be doused with Gatorade after particularly good Easter sermons…

3. The pastor’s favorite hymn would play as he/she walks up to the pulpit…

4. Congregations would do the wave when the sermon got a bit slow…

5. ATTENDANCE ABOVE REPLACEMENT would be a major metric when determining pastor’s salaries…

6. Pastors and staffs would communicate during church services with their bibles covering their mouths…

7. Relief preachers would come in to finish sermons when the starting preacher begins to fade…

8. People would dream of sitting in the front row…

12 Things I See Happy People Do (that unhappy people do not)

I came across this and wanted to share it before it got lost on my Facebook page. ~ Connie

Rev. Shane L. Bishop

I have been thinking a lot about happiness of late, partially because so many people seem unhappy.  I think that was my first epiphany upon entering the world of Social Media; people are unhappy and there are a lot of them.  Now don’t get me wrong, we all know some people who wouldn’t be happy, were they not unhappy but I am not talking about them.  We will just let them be.  I am also not thinking theologically here (i.e. juxtaposing happiness and joy), today I am going to err on the practical and pragmatic side of things.  With that being said, let’s get going.

I think most people want to be happy; they are just not quite sure how to get there from their present location.  Many people honestly believe that happiness is a lucky bounce; a sunny disposition or favorable circumstances but I disagree.  Happiness is a choice…

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Literary Agents Now Available

Writer’s Digest By: Guest Column | July 10, 2017
Agent Spotlight: Tanusri Prasanna of Foundry Literary + Media
About Tanusri: Tanusri was born and raised in India and has strong roots in the sub-continent. She has a law degree from the National Law School of India, an LLM from Harvard Law School, and holds a PhD in jurisprudence and human rights law from Oxford University. She has worked in the World Bank’s legal department in Washington and as a teaching fellow at Columbia Law School. Before joining Foundry, she worked at the Hannigan Salky Getzler (HSG) Agency.
She is Seeking: Tanusri represents children’s books across all ages, ranging from picture books to middle-grade and young adult. She’s particularly drawn to ambitious world-building fantasies, contemporary novels that convey emotional truths about self, familial relationships, identity, and community with nuance and empathy, charming and relatable romances, and voice-driven suspense. In middle-grade, Tanusri is partial to literary voices with vulnerable yet resilient protagonists, mysteries, and humorous stories set in schools or quirky neighborhoods. In picture books, she is looking to represent authors and author/illustrators. She is a big fan of wry humor and twisty endings, but also loves lyrical (though not rhyming!), meaningful, and concept-driven texts. For adults, she is always on the lookout for diverse voices in fiction, and for voice-driven, accessible, narrative nonfiction set against the themes of social justice and human rights.
How to Submit: Send queries to With your query letter, include a synopsis, the first three chapters of your manuscript, and a bio.

[New Agent Alerts: Click here to find agents who are currently seeking writers]
I’ve listed some of the agents below; if you go to this site, please be aware that several comments were made that Jen Hunt of The Booker Albert Literary Agency is No Longer Available. I’m still considering going with an agent for my next novel. Unfortunately, I’m no where near ready to start looking. Good luck with yours. ~ Connie
Agent Update: Becky LeJeune of the Bond Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | June 12, 2017
Literary agent Becky LeJeune of the Bond Literary Agency is open to queries! She is seeking commercial YA and a variety of genres on the adult side, including horror, science fiction and fantasy, and thrillers.
Agent Spotlight: Danielle Burby of Nelson Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | May 29, 2017
Literary agent Danielle Burby is open to queries! She is looking for all genres of middle grade and young adult fiction.
New Agency Alert: Root Literary
By: Guest Column | May 22, 2017
Holly Root and Taylor Haggerty of Root Literary are open to queries! They’re seeking commercial and upmarket fiction for adults, teens, and middle grade.
New Literary Agent Alert: Blair Wilson of Park Literary & Media
By: Cris Freese | May 8, 2017
Literary agent Blair Wilson is open to queries! She is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction, as well as various types of adult nonfiction.
New Literary Agent Alert: Gabrielle Piraino of DeFiore and Company
By: Guest Column | May 1, 2017
Literary agent Gabrielle Piraino is open to queries! She is looking for …
New Literary Agent Alert: Sarah Bedingfield of the Levine, Greenberg, Rostan Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | April 24, 2017
Literary agent Sarah Bedingfield is open to queries! She is looking for most types of literary and upmarket commercial fiction.
New Literary Agent Alert: Joanna MacKenzie of the Nelson Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | April 17, 2017
Literary agent Joanna MacKenzie is open to queries! She is looking for women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, coming-of-age young adult stories, and more.
Agent Update: Roseanne Wells of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | April 10, 2017
Literary agent Roseanne Wells of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency is open to queries! She is opening up to picture books, and is still interested in young adult, middle grade, literary fiction, and much more.
New Literary Agent Alert: Kaitlyn Johnson of Corvisiero Literary Agency
By: Cris Freese | April 3, 2017
Literary agent Kaitlyn Johnson is open to queries! She is looking for young adult, new adult, and adult fiction in a variety of genres.


All About Healthy Choices

Publication2CROPPED400Providing guidance to help people achieve a better quality of life is a noble goal. One of the biggest problems, however, is not knowing what the recipient’s goals and desires are. It is easy to tell people to:

  • eat better

  • exercise more

  • reduce stress

but without clearly understanding an individual’s needs, these recommendations may not meet the requirements necessary to achieve the lifestyle desired.


It might be more advantageous to view lifestyles like we view cars. The above pictures show eight examples of different cars. Although they are all designed to get a person from point “A” to point “B”, each one does so in a different manner. The “economical” car will likely require less maintenance, less gas, and provide less performance than the “sports” car. The reason for such a variety of cars is to meet the variety of needs for the consumers who drive them.

Determining LIFESTYLE needs…

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There’s a Huge Scientific Benefit to Being Bald!

Baldness was a normal rite of passage as the male ages according to what I understood. It also affected females but not as much. ~ Connie

From Reader’s Digest BY BROOKE NELSON

Mourning the loss of your full head of hair? We have some good news for you! Being bare up there could actually be a huge plus. According to new research, people tend to perceive bald men as more dominant, stronger, and taller than those with hair. (There’s also a scientific reason why shorter men go bald more often!)
In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, participants rated photos of men with hair and men with shaved heads according to levels of dominance and agreeability. Turns out, the bald men were considered more dominant than their hairy counterparts. Plus, when participants saw pictures of the same men with hair and with their hair digitally removed, the latter were perceived as more dominant, taller, and stronger than they truly were.
What gives? These results suggest that our culture tends to view baldness as a sign of maturity and leadership in men, just like being tall or having a deep voice.
“In U.S. society … shaved heads are often found on men in traditionally masculine professions, so dominance may emerge through stereotypical associations with these figures,” Albert Mannes, lead researcher and now a data scientist for the U.S. government, said.
Mannes’s advice: If age has caused you to start losing your hair to begin with, you might consider shaving your head completely. Doing so could actually boost your credibility with others.
“Instead of spending billions each year trying to reverse or cure their hair loss, the counterintuitive prescription of this research to men experiencing male pattern baldness is to shave their heads,” Mannes said.
Still, we don’t blame you if you’re holding out hope for a full head of hair. If so, these natural hair loss remedies and treatments are definitely worth a try.