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Nov. 26th, 2013

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Commending the efforts of the Coast Guard during Katrina rescues

Nov. 24th, 2013

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

CNBC Newline: Reliving Hurricane Katrina

Nov. 19th, 2013

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

The Katrina Video Congress Doesn't Want You to See

Firemen give an account of the disaster. What happened and how they worked diligently to save people.

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Video and a Timeline

Better than a movie and a show. This raw footage I came across today not only takes place where my Katrina story takes place, but it records the time. With this, I have an accurate account of how fast St. Bernard's Parish flooded and how long it rained/stormed over a little more than 24 hours. Very excited about this find! Very frightening video!

Oct. 14th, 2013

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Little Things Mean A Lot

Posted on October 14, 2013 by ACFW

by Dr. Richard Mabry

As writers of fiction, we obsess over the big things: characters and plot. We work to make certain that readers invest themselves in the people who populate our stories and that every page provides an impetus to turn to the next one. We worry about the big things, and that’s as it should be, but how about the little ones? Are they important enough to justify the effort involved in doing research? I believe they are.

For my own purposes, I needed to know about a specific piece of equipment, one we don’t think about until it’s needed. It’s hidden in overhead bins on airliners and tucked away unobtrusively on ferries. If you look carefully, you can see them as you walk through airports. They can be found in major department stores, shopping malls, even restaurants. I’m talking about AEDs-automated external defibrillators. What if an author wants to make use of one in his or her novel? How hard is it to find out the necessary details?

I can hear you saying, “You’re a doctor. You know about these things.” Actually, even as a physician, I never had occasion to use an AED, but I needed to know about them when I wrote Heart Failure. In the past, I might have spent hours at the public library doing research. After that would come phone calls and even visits to learn enough about the device to write knowledgeably. A day or two of research might be the price for writing accurate material.

I was able to skip all that, thanks to our modern world. An hour spent on my computer using a search engine gave me all the information I needed. I confirmed the presence of an AED at a particular location about which I was writing. I learned how to use one, including a video that walked me through the steps. I saw pictures of various models. I could have included a manufacturer’s name and model number of the device if I’d wished.
Heart Failure cover

Some authors may question the need to do research in the first place. Most readers won’t know the difference, they say, so why not just put in something and move on? Let me assure you that among your readers will be one or more people who know about the subject, and although they may not take the time and trouble to email you or send a note to your publisher, you will have destroyed a bit of your credibility with them. I don’t want to take that chance.

Some writers, like John Grisham, are quick to admit that they hate research. I’ve found places where it’s evident Grisham failed to do his homework. Did I stop reading his novels as a result? No, but what I noticed did destroy a bit of his credibility with me. With the easy availability of modern resources to answer our questions, is there any excuse for skipping research as we write? Until I’m a multi-published author with fans numbering in the millions, my answer is going to be “no.” What about you?

Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of six published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. Richard’s next novel, Heart Failure, releases on tomorrow.

http://www.acfw.com/blog/?p=8859

Jun. 19th, 2013

Sad Insight to Hurricane Katrina Experience

Apr. 4th, 2012

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Dream Big!



I've been reading Sheila Walsh's God Has a Dream for Your Life. She talks about broken dreams. We've all had them. Dreams that have shattered, not always due to any fault of our own. The shattering can occur when a marriage fails, a job is lost, a death occurs ... there are countless dream-crushing devices the enemy uses to cause us to lose our way. But our God is the giver of dreams. If one dream is destroyed, God has another one in store for you. 

This is a something I've struggled with lately. Finding my dream. I think my dream-crushing devices are multiple. First and foremost, I am a newly established empty nester. I love my children, but always thought that once they were grown, I'd have this glorious independent life that was anything but boring. Instead, I experienced sadness, loneliness and felt quite lost. 

This transition period has forced me to seek God. So, I've been asking God diligently, "What is my purpose? What is your dream for my life?"

One of the greatest acts of restoration He's performed in the last month is reestablishing my joy in writing. I haven't felt joy in my writing for a long time. It's been more of a chore. I am so thankful to have this back. To have a focus and a purpose. A "Dream." 

I admit, I have more dreams. I don't know if they are all from God just yet. The desire to be married again some day. The desire to travel. The desire to continue work on my family's genealogy and to write historical fiction based on my ancestry. The desire to provide and care for my parents, kids and grandkids when and if necessary. Then there's the dream of owning my own business some day. 

My prayer has been that God would fill me with his desires that align with his purpose in my life. I pray He takes away desires that aren't from him. I have a wonderful friend who gently reminded me that God might not necessarily take all of the desires away that would cause me to stray from the path He has set before me. After all, sometimes God uses those to teach us things. But I do pray that He at least gives me strength, guidance and wisdom to follow the right desires that best serve him. 

My favorite quote in Sheila's book so far is "When all your dreams have been crushed and your heart is broken, you stand in the perfect place for resurrection." 

Don't let the death of a dream leave you hopelessly wandering through life. If you are at this point, where a single dream or a multitude of dreams have been shattered, I pray that you seek God and allow him to resurrect new dreams for you. 

Mar. 21st, 2012

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Emotional Hurricane Katrina Photos

"The Superdome

   "Thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina await buses to depart the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 2nd, 2005. (AFP/Getty Images)" From boston.com. 
   

I wanted to post all of these pictures individually, but being that most are taken from AP photographers, I didn't want to infringe on any copyright issues. These are very emotional photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. For example, a family being rescued from the roof of their SUV. A makeshift tomb for a body that had been decomposing on the sidewalk for days. Rooftop rescues. A woman grieving for her husband who had lung cancer and ran out of oxygen while waiting to be rescued. A parking lot flooded and full of buses that could've been used to rescue people. Heartbreaking.

I still can't fathom that people suffered like this in our country with all the resources we had available. Seems so many suffered and died senselessly. 

Here's the link:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/08/remembering_katrina_five_years.html

Mar. 19th, 2012

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

Fire Ant Survival During Hurricane Katrina


While doing more research for my book, I unearthed an interesting bit of information about fire ants. During the flood that followed Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, golf-sized balls of shimmery copper could be seen floating on the surface of the water. These balls were fire ants. By using air bubbles and interlocking their bodies, they are able to create a "raft" that has the ability able to stay afloat for months.

This is just one of the interesting pieces of information I've run across that probably won't be used in the book, but I found it fascinating. Click this link to see an actual fire ant colony floating:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzwyxObPx5Y

Mar. 8th, 2012

writer, Cindy Lynn Jacobs, author, Cindy Jacobs

My Return to Journaling



While journaling has been a huge part of my life throughout the years, it has not always been an experience I considered joyful. In the past, you wouldn't normally see me skipping to my room to pull out my little book, eager to fill up its pages with exciting snippits from my ever-so-colorful life. No, indeed, it was a chore. I viewed this tedious task more as an interruption. A side note from reality. Just a necessity to record events and supposedly grow me as a writer.

I have about 15 journals total that I've written in. And in the past, I was never consistent. Never really sure what to jot down in these crazy little books. It was easy to write if I was emotionally bent or deranged ... happy, sad, angry or mentally instable. But I still struggled with journaling.

The last several years, I journaled very little. I knew I wanted to record my life and thoughts for generations to come. I know I would've LOVED to have journals from my ancestors to mull over. Plus, as I mentioned, journaling is an important exercise and resource to me as a writer. 

Finally I was thrown into a life situation that sent me reeling into a hole of doubt and despair. I questioned God. I questioned my purpose in life. I spiraled downward and lost my vision for who I was and who I wanted to become. As I tried to sort out my thoughts and cried out go God, I discovered journaling helped me keep track of my thoughts, my blessings, my struggles and so forth. It kept me sane ... although some of the entries may not sound so sane. (That was a warning to my descendants who will, more than likely, be reading those wondrous thoughts.)

So, I changed my "routine." It's like exercising. If you grow bored with your routine or it becomes ineffective, change it. Instead of simply recording life's events and periodic ups and downs, I began using my journal as a record of conversations between God and I. Some quite serious. Some quite humorous. Some will make others question my sanity. These were very deep conversations at times. And still are. 

My hope is that others who end up reading them (after I am gone, I hope, because I would die of embarrassment otherwise) will see God's power in my life. That I am human and, even though I sometimes grow angry or lose hope in God, He still loves me and ministers to me. They will also probably note that I am one of God's greatest whiners. Not proud of that, but it seems to be a thread that carries through my journal more often than I care to admit. And regardless of that, God still loves me. 

Ever night I get a bottle of water, turn on my fan (for noise cuz I can't sleep without it purring in the background) and the light on my lamp stand, crawl under my soft, warm blankies and open up my journal. Sometimes I even go to bed a bit early so I can spend a little more time with God. I love to question God, and then spend time seeking and listening to what He has to say. 

Because of this, at age 48, I am a more serious journaler. My previous journals are random thoughts and events. Anyone who tries to organize them is going to discover that sometimes I didn't follow correct journaling protocol. I would often begin in one journal, then misplace it. So I would start another, then return to the previous once I found it again. I apologize to anyone future descendant who takes on the responsibility of trying to organize these in chronological order. Purchase a bottle of Ibuprofen in advance. 

I am more disciplined an much more organized in my journaling now. Writers need to Journal. Writers need to read. I am thankful to finally be back to journaling as it encourages my creativity, generates fodder for story ideas AND draws me closer to a God who loves me unconditionally.

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