“Matters of the Heart” Wins Blog Award

sisterhood-tagI am happy to announce that Matters of the Heart has won the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. I want to thank fellow author, Debbie Piccurelli, for nominating my blog.  Herself a winner of the award, Debbie’s blog, Nuggets from God, is well worth your following it.

To qualify for the award, I was asked to do five things:

1) Thank the person who nominated me. Thank you, Deb Piccurelli!

2) Answer the 10 questions Deb sent me (See below).

3) Nominate 10 other bloggers (See my list below).

4) Create 10 questions to ask my nominees (See below).

As part of the judging, I was required to answer the following ten questions:

1) Did you reach any of the goals you set for yourself in 2014?
Yes, I reached the goal of publishing my children’s picture book, WHO IS JESUS?

2) What do you hope to accomplish in 2015, whether in your writing, or life in general?
I hope to achieve new levels of intimacy with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

3) What do you consider your biggest accomplishment ever?
My biggest accomplishment ever was the decision I made to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord 44 years ago.

4) What is your favorite Bible verse, and why?
My favorite Bible verse is John 8:32: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” I have experienced this verse personally over and over again in my life. Every problem I’ve had has resulted from not knowing the truth about the issue at hand. When I discovered the truth and applied it, I overcame the problem by God’s grace.

5) Is there anyone in your life you consider a mentor?
I have had several mentors, but the one who has helped me the most is a long-time friend of mine who has always given me wise counsel. She has always helped me to see issues from fresh perspectives.

6) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would go to a beach to spend time alone with God and to write.

7) What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. I love the brisk, fresh air and the brilliant colors. I also am reminded of new beginnings, perhaps because the new school year starts in autumn.

8) Do you feel you are doing exactly what you thought you’d be doing at this point in your life?
When I was in my twenties, I thought I’d be a college professor of foreign languages at this point in my life. Although I did teach foreign languages at the university level for several years, God called me to write for Him at age thirty.  So I am now writing full-time for King Jesus, exactly what I was meant to do. Scripture tells us that “we can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

9) If you knew there was one thing the world should be informed on, what would it be?
The world should be informed on how current events relate to Bible prophecy and the imminent return of Jesus Christ. Because of lack of knowledge, many will be stunned at His return. There is nothing more important than to be ready to meet our Maker, no matter when that day occurs.

10) Given the condition of the world, at this point, what would you tell brand new parents is the most important thing they should know?
The most important thing brand new parents—and any parents, for that matter—should know is how to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit in their own personal lives and in the rearing of their children.

Now, here are my nominees followed by my questions for them:

1) Karen Lange, Write Now

2) Stacy Fleury, Anchor of Promise

3) Jan Heck, My Time to Write

4) Vicki Palaganas, Heartbinders

5).Rose McCauley’s Blog

6) Lynette Sowell’s Blog

7) Patti J. Smith, Gridiron Granny Football Fanatic

8) Terri Gillespie, My Blog

9) Joyce Magnin’s Blog

10) Susan Reinhardt’s Blog

 

MY QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEES:

1) Why do you write?

2) What single most important thing do you hope your readers will take away from your writing?

3) What is the first adjective that comes to mind first to describe your writing?

4) What, in your opinion, is our culture’s most urgent need?

5) If you could start over again as a writer, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

6) What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

7) Who has most influenced your writing?

8) Where do you see the publishing industry headed in the next five years?

9) What is the role of the writer who follows Christ?

10) What do you love most about the writing life?

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.  All Rights Reserved.

Matters of the Heart

Vector red heartThose of you who know me know that my writing passion is dealing with the deepest issues of the human heart.  I do this primarily through writing fiction, but I also address heart issues in my non-fiction and in my poetry.

For the past several months, I have been working with a publicist to establish a brand for my writing.  After much prayer and discussion, I have decided that, in order better to reflect my writing passion, I will need to shift the focus of my blog from tips on writing fiction to matters that deal with the human heart.  All of my writing—whether fiction, non-fiction, or poetry—deals with matters of the heart, especially the deepest matters of the heart.  So it is fitting that my blog should deal with matters of the heart as well.

I did not make this decision lightly.  As you know, I love teaching writers. At the same time, there are numerous blogs out there that focus on fiction writing, while there are fewer that focus on those matters of the heart that affect not only our writing but also other aspects of our daily lives.  With my new focus, I will be able to reach not only my fellow writers, but also those who read my books and others who are interested in matters of the heart and how they affect daily life.

So, beginning this month, I will be writing a weekly blog called “Matters of the Heart” that will appear on Wednesdays.  In this blog, I will discuss issues of life that all of us face at one time or another. Together, we will explore the human heart in relation to Scripture, and we will learn how to overcome those matters of the heart that lead to failure and cultivate those matters of the heart that lead to life. 

We live in an age where the heart must be restored to its original place of submission to Christ and to His ways. I trust that you will join me on this journey and that you will tell others about “Matters of the Heart.”

 

Thanks and Blessings,

MaryAnn

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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Source: Fotolia_77086115_XS

(Attitude) The Humble Writer

Humility is a much and often misunderstood concept. To understand what humility is, let’s look at what it is not:

1) Humility is not putting yourself down.

2) Humility is not comparing yourself to others.

3) Humility is not denying your talents.

4) Humility is not refusing a compliment.

5) Humility is not taking no credit.

Now let’s look at what humility is:

1) Humility is agreeing with God that you are who He says you are and that you can do what He says you can do.

2) Humility is recognizing that you are a unique person of great worth to God, just as every other person is unique and of great worth to God.

3) Humility is acknowledging your talents and being grateful for them, understanding that they are gifts from God for the betterment of humanity.

4) Humility is graciously accepting a compliment with a simple “thank you,” knowing that without God you would have no talents.

5) Humility is acknowledging that you have cooperated and co-labored with God in creating a work of art.
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Copyright 2014 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD.  All Rights Reserved.

All in a Day’s Work

The writing business is a multi-faceted process that begins with the creation of a story and then progresses to the marketing of that story.  This was not always the case. Time was when a writer wrote, and that’s all she did pretty much.

Today the writer has become a marketer as well. It is no longer only about writing; it is also about promoting that writing.

If you’re like me, you wish things had stayed as they were. After all, writing is hard work.  I’d much prefer using my creative energy for creating stories instead of devising methods to market that story. But, alas, we must move forward with the times if we are to survive in this evolving industry.

So what does my typical writing day look like? Here’s a snapshot:

—From 8am until 1pm, I write. I focus on creating story. Usually, I lock myself in my writing studio and do not emerge until I reach my self-imposed word count: 1000 words minimum per day, five days per week.  If I do not stick to this regimen–and, I confess, at times I fail–I will not achieve the writing goals I’ve set for myself.

—I do my best to resist the temptation to check email.  Email poses a major distraction for me, so I have decided to relegate answering email to the hour between 4pm and 5pm. Again, I sometimes fail at this, but setting this boundary has enabled me to accomplish more actual writing of story.

—I leave the marketing aspect of writing to those times of day when my mind is less engaged creatively.  Early morning works best for me in terms of my creative energy. It is then that I am freshest and most engaged. So that is the time I devote to creating story.

What is your day’s work like?  What steps have you taken to ensure that you write?  What pitfalls have you encountered that have robbed you of valuable writing time?

One last thing–and the most important thing: I take very seriously God’s injunction to commit my writing to Him.  He says in Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  I do this every day and have noticed that, despite my failures and weaknesses, the Lord keeps me on track and His job gets done. For this, I praise Him and thank Him.

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Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Upcoming Children’s Book Launch:

The upcoming launch of my children’s picture book, WHO IS JESUS?, is progressing well.  My amazing illustrator, Kim Sponaugle, has completed all of the illustrations, and my awesome publisher, Fruitbearer Publishing, is in the process of putting text and illustrations together.  Launch date is scheduled for late summer.

WHO IS JESUS? was birthed in the children’s section of a secular bookstore.  I was browsing one day, as I am wont to do, and discovered a children’s book on Jesus. Excited to see such a book in a secular bookstore, I proceeded to read it.  To my great dismay, I soon discovered that the author’s presentation of Jesus was not the Biblical presentation of our Savior.  Instead, the author presented Jesus as a good man, a good teacher, and equal to such false teachers as Buddha and Mohammed.

Deeply grieved in my spirit, I rushed home and wrote WHO IS JESUS? I pray it touches many young lives for Him.

Below is the front and back cover spread:

Who Is Jesus-9781886068827-ColorCase for MaryAnn RGB-DEFINITIVE