If you’re reading these words, you’re probably aware of the richly informative and entertaining blog posts the agents of the Steve Laube Agency post daily (Monday-Friday). I’m constantly amazed by the wealth of free and valuable information my colleagues share (and I pitch in every Wednesday with some drivel of my own).
As helpful as I try to be in my posts, it’s consistently the comments that make reading the blog every day so worthwhile. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to mention just a few of my favorite comments on my blog posts so far this year.
For example, in a January 9 post titled, “One Agent’s Rearview Mirror,” I rejoiced in (among other things) having donated blood six times in the previous year. Joey Rudder commented,
It may sound strange (at least until I explain), but thank you. Thank you for donating blood six times. It will be fourteen years ago this month that my husband and I rushed back to the hospital when I began hemorrhaging a week after our daughter was born. I will never forget the fear, the possibility of not being here to watch her grow up.
She will be fourteen soon. I have thousands of memories stashed in my heart with more coming every day, and I thank God for every one of them.
So again, to you, Bob, and everyone who donates blood – a sincere and heartfelt “thank you” and God bless you for the powerful difference you’re making.
Back in February, I posted twice on the subject of “writing playlists,” the music different writers find helpful to listen to (or not) as they write. I cribbed a whole new repertoire of writing and editing playlists for my own use. Thanks, everyone!
My post, “Write for Narcissists,” occasioned this comment from Linda Riggs Mayfield, recalling a conference appointment with my former colleague, Dan Balow:
Dan asked me WHY I wrote [my] historical novel series, and I was caught completely off guard. I hadn’t even thought about the why. I went into full teacher mode. I said I think there are things most people don’t know about history that they should that they would consider more palatable if it were embedded in fiction. That off-the-cuff answer was completely honest and very revealing. It was all about ME sharing what truths I thought readers should learn through my fiction. ZINGER! But fiction isn’t curriculum. I need to be thinking about what the reader already wants to know and meeting that need.
Thomas Womack commented on my post, “Break the Rules…On Purpose,” saying:
“In our writing, many of us will often put rules (instead of clear communication) in the driver’s seat, failing to realize that in many circumstances a conventional ‘rule’ will hinder clear communication instead of promoting it. I don’t think grammar can ever be a hard science, try as many like to make it so. It seems to be rather a living, breathing, changing thing, and perhaps the better we realize that, the better our writing will be. I suppose the real test is never ‘Did I follow the rules?’ but rather ‘Did I clearly communicate, without distracting or confusing the reader?'”
Carol Ashby, commenting on my “Using Someone Else’s Words (What is Fair Use?)” post, offered a helpful resource:
“You can find the publisher’s preferred format for copyright statements at the Blue Letter Bible. Search a verse in any version, click on the reference (chapter:verse) for one of the verses displayed, click on the Bibles tab, and 24 different translation choices will be offered. The copyright info is linked there for each translation.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser is a faithful, skilled, and always-entertaining commenter, who writes his responses in sonnet form. Commenting on my post, “Recent Questions I’ve Been Asked,” Andrew wrote,
To get name recognition,
just change a single word;
thus, to the world I’ve given
This does sometimes raise alarums,
and purists sheik, “You’ve sinned!”
when they see my work on orange farms
which I call ‘Gone With The Rind’.
I’m really very grateful,
that titles own no rights,
allowing my delightful
ode to parents, “Mothering Heights”.
And for an aquatic path through strife,
come read my ‘Porpoise-Driven Life’.
And, finally, the best comments are those between blog readers, as they offer encouragement, even prayer support, to each other–not only in their writing pursuits but in health matters and life struggles. Those are by far my all-time favorites.
Your playful spirit and willingness to engage—so wonderfully evident at the BRMCWC—are remarkable, if my perception that you are deeply introverted is not mistaken. I am also a regular blood donor, and I find it mysterious that so few people donate. I think if someone is not a donor, it rarely arises in her or his consciousness that such an opportunity exists. I believe the true value of these critical gifts of love is a quantifiable $100-$300 a pint (and for men and older women, there’s a clear selfish health benefit, too). You an interesting man, Bob, and it was a pleasure meeting you.
Maco, you get me. You really get me. I am an extreme, confirmed, convicted, and clinical introvert. And it was a pleasure meeting you too.
Damon J. Gray
Maco, it grieves me that I can no longer donate blood. For decades, I have donated whenever the bloodmobile came around, but beginning in 2012, I am on blood-thinners and am no longer able to do so. Props to you and Bob for your gifts of life.
Damon J. Gray
Andrew, Andrew, Andrew …
Over and over, you have me in stitches.
I love you, brother!
Love back, Damon!
And I do ask your prayers, especially today. Rough couple of weeks, and I may be in a bit of trouble here.
Lord, hear our prayers.
Bob, thank you so much.
Damon J. Gray
Of course, Andrew. I will pray straightaway.
Damon…thanks, brother, from the bottom of my heart.
Christy, thank you so much, truly.
I’m so glad you mentioned Andrew! His comments are always a highlight, and something I miss when I haven’t been on here for a while. But the conversation within this group in general is rare and pretty great!
Jaime, you’ve brought warmth and light to a dude in a dark time. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Bob, I am so honoured by the callout, and to be a part of this community.
‘Tis here a wondrous cyber-land
,of wise hearts, compassionate faces,
and I come, now with outstretched hand
to seek your prayerful graces.
There is for man a tide of glory
to be taken at the flood;
but a darker tide’s now taken me
to sail a sea of blood.
I’ve fought the Beast from dusk to dawn
but it’s getting hard to cope.
Discouragement is cancer’s plan
and I need your help, to hope.
Please raise your hearts to God on High,
for I’m scared, and do not want to die.
Damon J. Gray
Brother, you are sustained by God’s perfect love, and we know perfect love casts out fear. Fear not, my brother, my friend. Fear not.
O death, where is thy victory? Death, where is thy sting?
Be at peace my friend. My prayers to that end will continue.
Damon, that is such is lovely prayer! Thank you1
As a cancer researcher, I have studied the ways of this demon, and know its dark purposes well. But Christ is stronger than even this hellish foe, and He will be victorious in the end. You are in a loving circle of prayer, hope and faith, and never alone in this fight.
Sy, I am so grateful for your words, and for your taking the time to encourage me.
He is indeed stronger, and it’s not over yet.
I’m on the ropes now, but the final bell has not yet rung.
Colleen K. Snyder
Lord Jesus, hear our prayers. We know You do. I pray for my brother Andrew, that You would give him peace; that You would give Him rest; that You would give him vision beyond the now. Not knowing exactly what You are doing in us… that’s scary. Not knowing what will come… other than being with You… is still fearful. Give Andrew peace as You walk with him through this time of his earthly life. Lift him up, lift his family and friends. Hold him in Your loving arms, and carry him through this darkness. “What’s true in the light is true in the dark…” You are still with us when we can’t see You. Give Andrew assurance that You are there. In the Name of Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Savior. Amen.
Collee, thank you so much for this prayer! It’s a bright light in a hard, dar night, the firelight of faith and welcome.
I’m so grateful.
Janet Ann Collins
Bob, the posts by you and others in this agency are inspiring lots of writers. Some of their work will go on to inspire other people as a result, so you’ll never know this side of Heaven how many lives you’ve touched by what you’ve written here.
P.S. I agree that Andrew is an especially great inspirer.
Bob, I always leave time in my day to read your blog. As I sit down to write The Zucchini Chronicles (an annual ode to the dastardly plant), I am reminded of how many times you make me laugh or smile, and I think that I should give back too. So in your tradition of making people’s day, I am hoping my facebook chums will chuckle at the adventures of zucchini. I am glad you met “our” Maco Stewart, the leader of our little writer’s group, he “gets” us too! Hope to meet you too at the Oregon Christian Writers Conference in August.
Hope to meet you too, and hope to get there! I’m in Southern Oregon (the redneck area, and which I proudly claim to be one).
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Bob, the only postings I enjoy as much as yours at the Laube Agency are your puns on Facebook.
Andrew- blog says I didn’t post if this is a repeat, well, you can still read it 🙂
Keeping you in prayer, constantly!
Claire, thank you! 🙂
Prayers mean the world to me.
I enjoy your blog, so thankful you joined the rest of the crazy I MEAN wise folks of the agency. I always find humor, fun, pearls, and resources from everyone.
Hope to meet you in August at the OCW. Hope you land in Medford, I’ll meet you there and drive up to Portland. LOL.
Bob, Your posts are a bright spot in my day. Our daughter, who is as much an introvert as you, posted a thought one time: “Introverts are great people. They just keep it quiet.”
While extrovert friends are sitting across the room, blithely chatting about useless things, the rest of us introverts are sitting in the corner, hoping no one will notice us…and we’re thinking of great descriptions of people for our next novel.