I did it! Ryana Lynn, did you see that! I am actually typing! Y’all, this laptop thing is so interesting! I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m surprised at how easy it is! Oh…I suppose I should introduce myself! My name is Dixianna Mason of Four Tree Springs, N.C. Ryana Lynn told me she has written a series of books about my family, but not all of you have read them yet. She thought perhaps you should meet me and get to know me a little better. Well, I’m nothing special, just, well, me! I just happen to live during a war…just like you!
Oh, Ryana Lynn says I’m rambling -What’s that thing you write when you laugh? Oh! - lol! That looks so cute!
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, you may wonder why I’ve taken over the blog! Well, today is my Birthday! Yes, I am a Valentine’s baby! And as a present to me, Ryana Lynn has sweetly allowed me to fulfill a dream of mine since…well, since I met her…lol! (I’m getting this!) If I lived in your year, I would be 173. But I’m not in your time, I am in mine. The year is 1864 and I just turned 18! And officially an old maid…like I said, there’s a war on, so…I’m waiting patiently.
Huh? Oh, all right, apparently, I need to end this introduction and get into my main topic. So, The End.
My topic today will be…me! I am going to tell you a little bit about myself and hope you find it interesting…
My Favorite Instrument. As you can see on the photograph above…wait, it’s not a photograph?...oh, the “blog graphic” above, I play the fiddle. I play hymns, folk music and patriotic pieces, usually with my brothers. I can play the piano, but fiddle is my passion…how do you…oh, there 😉 I love those little faces!
Okay, back to the fiddle. My fiddle was made in 1812 by my great-grandfather, Richard MacIntyre, for my grandmother, Dixianna Rose MacIntyre Mason, only she wasn’t married at the time. She was named for her parents, Richard (Dixie is a nickname for Richard, don’t ask me how that got started) and Anna. Maw-Maw has always gone by Anna, because she felt, when she was young, that Dixie was too masculine. How things do change!
Maw-Maw gave the fiddle to my father when he was thirteen, and he passed it along to me when I was thirteen, though I was playing it by the time my arms were long enough to hold it.
My Horse. Do any of you like horses? I do! My horse is a slate gray Mustang Stallion named Confederate 😉 My Papa Rains (My mother’s father) bought him for me right before the war began three years ago. Confederate is quite playful, though if you had seen him when I first got him, you wouldn’t have thought so. He had a rough life, poor baby, but now, he gets all the love and attention I give him and plenty of pasture to run in. His favorite treats are apple peels and carrot skins. I know, I’d love to give him the whole thing, but with the war on, we need all the food we can find and there’s no money for extras. Not that I’m complaining.
My Favorite Color. Contrary to what one might think, my favorite color is purple. Many assume it’s green, because of my eyes and my red hair and the fact that green looks the best on me, but purple is my favorite. My favorite dress was purple…my brothers bought me the material for my birthday…sure miss that dress. Ryana Lynn says you should read book 3 if you want to learn more about what happened to it…
My Favorite Sibling…
Just making sure you were paying attention! I don’t have a favorite sibling and Ryana Lynn says I can’t tell you much because of something known as spoilers. But I will tell you this: Growing up in a house full of boys is difficult, but also quite the adventure! I used to loath the slamming of doors, but with the war on now…I kinda miss it.
One more fun fact and then I shall…how did she put it…oh! I shall “Wrap-up” this post. You people of the 21st Century sure have some interesting ways of expressing yourselves! But it’s also quite intriguing!
I’m rambling again.
My Favorite Song. Hymn wise, it would be What Wondrous Love is This? So hauntingly beautiful. Patriotic wise, I like The Homespun Dress and of course, Dixieland 😉 And I was born on a frosty morning! I also love the North Carolina War Song. It’s to the tune of Bonnie Annie Laurie, a Scottish folk song that my Maw-Maw Mason adores. It’s not well known outside my state and Ryana Lynn said that in your time, most people have never heard of it. It’s so pretty though…now I think I’m gonna cry!
I suppose this is where I “wrap-up!” I hope you enjoyed my very first (and probably only) blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed it! But, I must rush back to my world…the troops are still in winter quarters, but soon, the fighting will resume…I encourage you to take a moment to thank God that the war your country is fighting now isn’t being fought on your home soil. I’m not so fortunate…
Have a blessed day,
P.S. Below is my favorite Psalm. I hope you enjoy!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
King James Version
A Note From Ryana Lynn: Here's Dixie's song, The North Carolina War Song. She couldn't figure out how to post it, lol ;)
Hello everyone! I’m here with another writing post in the “I have a Story” series! (If you are new, click here for links to the previous posts.) Today is a fun post! The Team Edit is a part I look forward to, because this is the beginning of the end! My book is actually turning into something people will one day read! Something that will be published! But, that being said, it’s still a lot of work. Here’s what it looks like…
Unlike my other methods, I don’t have a step by step process for this stage. Each book is different, so I have to adjust to meet the current need.
My mom is my editing teammate 😊 Some say that’s not a good idea, but my reply is that, “You’ve not met my mom!” She doesn’t play favorites and can be painfully (but kindly) honest when the situation calls for it. I can honestly say that my books would be a mess without her! (Today is her birthday, btw! Happy Birthday, Mom!
One thing that never changes is the nervous feeling I get giving mom my book for the very first time. It gives me chills! Sometimes we read it together, sometimes she reads through it once by herself, and still other times, she’ll go part way through then pull me in midway. The best times are when we sit together and read through the book together, discussing the problems and finding the solutions. She has the best story ideas. Those who have read The Land of Cotton, remember that scene between Jeremy and Drew in chapter 18? Yeah, that was mom’s idea! Know and love Burdy Boyles? Again, Mom’s idea 😊
Often times, working with mom is like doing another round of color coded edits. I take the corrections, go through and fix them, then we read through the book again…and again and again until we are ready to send it off to…my grammar editor!
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today is the 3rd day of our week-long FBN Fall Share-a-thon, so I thought it would be appropriate to post today rather than Friday. I mentioned that I was planning to share about how we became involved with the Fundamental Broadcasting Network and today I’m keeping that promise! Enjoy!
Ever since I was born, my dad has been a preacher. I always seemed to know that. But we didn’t start in full-time ministry until I was five years old. 9/11 had just happened when the Lord called us to Maryland. My dad served as the pastor’s assistant there for four years, as well as serving as the administrator of the Christian school our church ran.
God used us there for four years. In 2005, my dad was voted in to pastor a church farther west in Maryland where we would serve for two years. One evening, we were each busy doing something outside…so busy in fact that we didn’t realize my little sister (3 at the time) was inside by herself. The phone rang and she answered it. Following a rather amusing conversation, she hung up, very proud of herself for having answered the phone. When she mentioned it later, we had no idea what she was talking about, since she had made up a funny name for the caller. At last, dad used the redial setting on the phone and contacted the caller. It turned out to be Pastor Dennis Leatherman of Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church. He had called to invite us to a revival service. He laughed as dad explained what had happened with my little sister and said, “I told my wife, ‘I don’t know who that little girl was, but she sure loves me!’” We all had a good laugh and mom marked our calendar for the revival.
We made a true friend in Pastor Leatherman and his wife. They were such a blessing to us over the next two years as my dad battled health issues. It was also at their church that we learned about the Fundamental Broadcasting Network. They had a station on their property and told us about the mother station, located in North Carolina, four hours away from our hometown!
We fell in love with the King James programing and beautiful, conservative music. And when we heard our first share-a-thon, we knew that it would be our favorite time of year from then on!
It was also Pastor Leatherman that introduced us to the Sword of the Lord Conference. He hosts one every fall at his church, but he said the one in Walkertown, N.C. was even bigger and such an encouragement.
In 2007, we moved back to North Carolina and attended the Sword Conference. There, my sister Gera and I ran across the FBN booth and met Bro. Dwayne Ebron and his wife. He is the General Manager of FBN! We were so excited!
The following year, we attended the meeting again. While walking around the gym looking at all the booths, an older lady approached us and said, “Oh, look how your children have grown!” None of us knew who she was, but we talked with her for quite a while. She said, “I want you to meet my husband.” We rounded the corner and met Pastor Clyde I. Eborn, founder of FBN and pastor of Grace Baptist Church! One thing led to another and we decided to visit the church that fall. We loved it! We toured the station, met the voices behind the broadcasts and even got to take a trip to see the ocean, something none of us younger ones had ever done. Thank the Lord it gets cold at the coast, so we could enjoy the sights! 😉
We loved FBN even more having seen the place that had encouraged us so much over the years. We returned in 2009 to visit and on this trip, Pastor requested that we represent FBN as dad preached in other churches in our area. We agreed gladly.
In 2010, we were able to attend our very first Fall Share-a-thon. Oh! We knew we had to be at them every year after that! It was amazing! Answering phones, running papers back and forth, working the controls, the desk and dad getting to be on air…it was so much fun! Little did we know that by January of 2011, we would be living on campus, serving in Grace Baptist Church and FBN full time! Pastor talked with my dad at that Share-a-thon and by the end of Autumn, we were making plans to move.
In January, the same month I started writing my first book, The Land of Cotton, we moved in the “White House,” and started serving in our new church. We loved it! We worked in the radio (dad helped build a tower in Georgia!), the bus ministry, the nursery and anywhere else we could! We helped man FBN booths at fairs/events, traveled out of town to tell others about the network, helped with Share-a-thon, and knocked on doors inviting people to church. We were able to help with our church’s military ministry too (That would be an interesting story, lol! Working with Marines is never dull!)
Even though we were homesick for our hometown, we believed we would spend the rest of our life in Newport, North Carolina. But God had other plans. In 2013, Pastor called dad into his office and made an offer to him; since our hometown is smack-dab in the middle of the state, would we be willing to move back there and go out from our church as Missionary Representatives for FBN? We would retain our church membership, but now we could more easily travel out to tell others about the radio, hopefully raising support as we went.
In early 2014, we moved back home and put Pastor’s plan into action. And we have continued to represent FBN ever since! God has blessed and over the last few years our listenership has grown! We have the best of both worlds, serving through our church and living in our hometown near family. We still get to be involved with ministry at our church, including Share-a-thon and VBS!
This week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. our Share-a-thon will be live on www.fbnradio.com. Please tune in and be a part of this amazing ministry, reaching people around the world!
Hey y’all! I’m back with another post and today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before…a book tag! I’m so excited! I’ve seen other bloggers/vloggers do these and I’ve always wanted to do one so when I saw Ivy Rose’s video of this tag, which in turn led me to Lindsey’s video, I was like, “Yes, girl, you’ve got to do this one!” So, I’m doing it today and I hope you enjoy! Sorry in advance for my grainy pictures...the phone isn't the best at these things and the lighting...*Sigh*
1. Find a book for each of your initials. R- Rachel and the Riot by Susan Martins Miller; L- Lights out! By Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry; M- Mandy the Outsider by Norma Jean Lutz (This one needed some minor edits.) I really enjoyed all three of these books, especially the first one. It’s set during what would later become the Labor Unions and how a family was divided by this evil institution. The main character’s dad was a doctor and cared for people on both sides. It also took a look at the “new” procedure of intubation, which fascinated me. Lights Out! is a Christian mystery story set in Tennessee. The main detectives are homeschooled brothers Jason and Andy. These books are sweet, innocent and very informative! The final book, Mandy the Outsider is about the days leading up to World War Two. I loved how it included a Japanese family who had come to America, become citizens and contributed to society. It also stayed away from the internment camps, which is a topic that I think often gets abused in literature. Don’t get me wrong, it was a sad time for everyone during that time in history, but sometimes I think some topics get over-killed and both sides are ignored, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, this book was amazing!
2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it? I took this from my “To Be Read” (TBR) shelf. It’s Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies by Janet and Geoff Benge
3. Pick a book set in your country (State 😉) Following these girls’ example, I’m going to pick a book set in my home state because 80% of my books are set in America 😉 And I see I only have my books to choose from! Oops on that one! But, The Land of Cotton, Our Heritage to Save and The Rivers of Sorrow are set in my state and county! That’s North Carolina for those of you who don’t know. These books take place in North Carolina and Virginia predominantly. Coffee Shop Christmas is also set in North Carolina, but the county is not specified.
4. Pick a book about a destination you would like to travel to. The Baker’s Daughter by D. P. Cornelius. I have not read this book, but it’s the only book I have at this moment that is set in Berlin, Germany. (I just realized today that all my WW2 books are set in the United States, surrounding European countries or the South Pacific! None are set in Germany! I need to remedy that…) So while I can’t recommend this book yet, I can’t wait to read it! I’ve gotten the desire to Germany over the last few years, though my top place I want to visit is Israel (I have no books set in there…or wait…oh! The Bronze Bow! Okay, so I’ll count both 😊). Anyway, my ancestors came from Germany in 1755 and settled in North Carolina shortly thereafter. I think it would be neat to visit the land of my ancestors and see where my Great-grandfather spent three years of his life defending the freedoms we know today. While the WW2 history of Germany is nothing to smile about, there are those who fought back (Think the White Rose Resistance Group!). I don’t know…I really want to go some day 😊
5. Pick a book that is your favorite color. The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington. I just read this book and I loved it so much! There were a few small things I had to fix, but this book was so good! It’s put out by Majesty Music…loved it so much. Oh…I forgot what this question was about…The book is GREEN! I LOVE GREEN! It’s my favorite color ever and emerald is my birthstone, so…yeah, I’m in love with this book’s cover 😊
6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of? Probably Behind Enemy Lines by Bill Doyle. I read this right after I moved from Newport, N.C. near Cherry Point Marine Base and while I knew I loved our military, this book gave me more reasons to love them. It wasn’t sugar coated, but also not too detailed for 2.7 reading level that was assigned to it. I think there were only two things I marked out, so I would suggest an adult reading it first, but it is quite an eye-opener into what our guys are willing to face to make sure the war stays over there. This is one of the few books I actually cried while reading. Words fail me to describe how much I appreciate them. God bless our troops!
7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? (No pictures for this one. I don't own on, don't recommend the other and can't get to the last one:))
Okay…so as far as the hardest to read because of content was Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. I was listening to the audiobook…and I couldn’t finish it. At that time, was not ready to dig into everything that happened at this infamous Concentration Camp. It made me sick to my stomach. That being said, I do want to finish it someday, but I want to read it rather than listen to it. Don’t ask me why, but when it’s a book dealing with subjects of this matter, I prefer to read it myself rather than hear it out loud. I’ve heard it’s a good book and I want to know what happens to the characters…I just wasn’t ready.
For a book that I had difficulty reading because it was so bad, it would have to be Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pickney. Y’all…it was so bad! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just…the topic was not a children’s topic and this is a middle-grade book! And of course, her view of history differed from mine, but she had facts misstated that both sides of the Civil War agree on. Like timelines and things of that nature. I made myself finish it because I wanted to be able to explain why it was wrong if someone should ask, and the worst part came out at the very end. I tried to give the author a benefit of a doubt, but…it was just bad.
For one I had difficulty with just because I wasn’t grasping it on my own, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford takes the prize. I had so much trouble with this book until my mother saved the day by offering to read it to me. Problem solved! It is now one of my favorite histories and I desperately need to read it again! It was amazing! You can’t make up stuff like this! READ IT!
8. Which book in your TBR pile will be your biggest accomplishment once finished? Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper, Jr. and the Elsie Dinsmore Series. I’ve read…four or five of them, but I want to finish the series. They say the later books are full of history…right up my alley! And the first one is a very thick book and I’ve never read one on the Confederate President…*hangs head in shame* and I can’t wait to read it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed answering the questions! Normally in a tag, you tag other bloggers, so I am tagging Amanda Tero and any of you bloggers/vloggers out there who would like to give it a try 😊 I only request that you link back to my blog in your post :P
Until next time,
You’ve got a lovely little story idea and you want to share it with the world! But…how do you turn it into a story? I mean, one that you can actually publish? Today, I would like to share with you a few opening steps to preparing your idea and finding inspiration.
I have lots of ideas for stories, ranging from WWII, The American Revolution, Modern Day, Retellings of old stories, sweet mysteries for younger girls…I won’t bore you. For the sake of this series, I will take my book The Land of Cotton as an example and explain my current mode of getting inspired to write the story. Note: I didn’t do these things with this book, per say, but I currently try to incorporate them into my brainstorming process.
Also, some of these examples include internet use so PLEASE! if you are not an adult, ask your parents for permission before you go browsing! I am an adult and have my parents’ approval to research. So, I repeat, make sure your parents are okay with you using the internet.
Write out a back-cover blurb (synopsis) for your story. We all read the back cover of a book to get a gist of what the story will be about. Write one for your story. It may not be what you will use in the end, but it is a good exercise and helps you get a feel for your story.
Example: “The year is 1861. With tension growing between the states, the Mason family finds themselves torn: Should they remain loyal to their home state of North Carolina or should they hold to the Union of their nation and fight to retain it? Either way, they can’t make everyone happy, since Mrs. Mason is originally from Pennsylvania and Mr. Mason is from North Carolina. And if they side with the South, what cause will they be supporting? A rebellion? Or something far deeper…and more important?
Join the Masons as they discover a cause worth fighting for. Experience the Battle of Manassas Junction first hand and learn things about our country you won’t learn in your average History Book. Get ready for a battle, both spiritual and physical! Once you know the facts, you can no longer sit on the fence!”
Create a picture file for your book. Anything that inspires you about your story, save in a file on your laptop. For this book, it would be photos of landscapes in the Virginia countryside, pictures from reenactments, horses that look like the ones in my story, people who make me think of my characters, old houses, gardens, battle paintings, clothing, hairstyles, old-fashioned meals, etc. (This will also help you describe things in your story later, since you have a visual!) I strongly recommend caution in looking for pictures on the internet. Get permission first, if you are not an adult, and be VERY specific in what you type into your search engine. You never know what will pop up. I recommend using Firefox.
Write out your character profiles! I cannot stress this enough! You need to know who your characters are and what makes them who they are. My favorite profile to use on all my characters came from www.victoriaminks.com. (When you subscribe to her mailing list, you get access to her members-only resources, which are amazing!) These help you figure out their physical description, family relationships, likes and dislikes, favorites, background, etc. It will also help you make sure your characters are different from each other.
Take the Myers Brigg Personality Type Test for each of your characters. This will also help you keep your characters different from each other. Go to www.16personalities.com to take the test for free. You can also read up on the different personalities to make sure your characters are consistent in every situation. Oh, that I had known about this before…
Make a playlist for your book. Go through your personal music, look on YouTube, find movie soundtracks that make you think of your book. This always inspires me so much! My favorites for my Civil War books were the Gettysburg and Gods and Generals soundtracks, any Civil War song I could get my hands on, old hymns and relaxing instrumentals. (Listening to some now as I type!) Again, get permission first. Also, please keep in mind that every time era had bad music, even the colonial days. Be very careful. For my historical fiction, I read the lyrics to songs, and if they’re good, I try to find a group that sings it that appeals to me. But again, be very careful, because music is one of the doors to your heart. That’s another post for another time, but when in doubt, stay away from it! For my modern day Christmas novella, I used conservative gospel music and conservative Christmas music to inspire me 😊
Collect quotes that make you think of your book. Think of your book’s theme and setting and look up quotes on that topic. For example, I ran across the quote “Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change.” That applies to pretty much every book I write (even though I snagged it for a WWII idea I had 😊).
Pick your inspiration verse. For me, it is Jude 22 (as if y’all didn’t know that 😊). “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” That personifies what I want to do as a writer. But I also choose a verse for each of my books. For The Land of Cotton, that was Isaiah 19:2a, “…And they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.”
Above all, pray over each step and make sure that everything you are doing lines up with God’s will for your life!
Next time I post on writing, we’ll discuss the plotting stage: What I did and what I do now 😊
Christian. American. Southern. Author.