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Sugar Hill Book Study Group
Cec enjoys speaking for book clubs. In August, he spoke for the Sugar Hill book study group in Sugar Hill, Georgia. Here are a few pictures from that night. Above, he's with Gail Mundy. 
Sugar Hill Book Study Group
Sugar Hill Book Study Group
These two books in the Murphey's Writer to Writer series have found a new home with Steve Laube and the Christian Writers Institute. Cec's book about ghostwriting--Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method--will be available in January 2017.
Writer to Writer
Unleash the Writer Within
“Okay, Goofus, you did it again,” Bob* said to his teenage son. (Goofus is a slang term for an inept person.) Ray* had messed up a model airplane and his father grabbed it and made the correction.
Eight years later I was visiting Ray when his young son spilled his milk. “Okay, Goofus, look what you did this time!”
Neither time did I say anything, but I realized that Ray had not only absorbed the belittling words of his father, he had also passed them on to his son.
In some sense most of us are like that. We heard the negative comments about ourselves from an older or respected person and unconsciously claimed them as true (even if they weren’t). Because we accepted them, when we made mistakes or failed, we tended to say to ourselves something like this: “You did it again, Goofus.” That word wasn’t part of my vocabulary, so I used terms like dumbbell, lazy, or stupid.
No matter how many times we did something well, on those occasions—even if they were rare—what did we say?
Regardless of the negative term, each time we used it on ourselves we reinforced it on our brain. As long as we don’t question the correctness of the putdown, it stays with us and grows stronger.
When I made a mistake, my default mode was to say, “You did it again, idiot.” Or “That was a stupid thing to do.”
About 30 years ago I started disavowing those accusing thoughts. I was driving and made a wrong turn (even though I had consulted a map only minutes earlier). “There you go again, stupid. Like you always do.”
“I don’t always do that,” I said. I had made several correct turns and that was the first mistake.
Just then I thought, I’m not stupid. “I do a lot of things right.”
That simple experience began to reshape my life. It still took me years, but I’ve now learned to say, “This action is not typical of you, Cec. Please don’t do it again.”
I also remind myself, “I’m the creation of a loving God. By repeating those negative words, I insult wonderful work.” One of my favorite verses reads, “For we are God’s handiwork” (Ephesians 2:10).
God designed me; I honor the divine handiwork.
Personal News
  • September 23–24 I’ll speak and teach at the Successful Writer Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • More than a year ago I wrote a book called Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method. A publisher issued me a contract, but a few months later, they  went out of business. Recently, literary agent Steve Laube bought the Christian Writers Institute material and the rights to publish the annual Christian Writers Market Guide, and he wants to publish books on the writing craft. He contacted my agent, Deidre Knight, and me, and bought my previous two books on writing, for which I own the rights: Unleash the Writer Within and Writer to Writer. When he learned about my ghostwriting book, he offered a contract without seeing the manuscript. He plans to release the book in January of 2017.

  • That’s my fourth book contract since I started easing into my retirement, but it’s already written, so I don’t have to do any work on it.

  • I am slowing down, even though the output may not seem like it. I’m working about half-time now. Each day I say to myself, “I’m working less and enjoying my life more.” The first statement is true; the second is becoming true. 
The Twila Zone--Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
Cec and I were delighted to learn from the publisher that our book I Believe in Healing: Real Stories from the Bible, History, and Today had its fifth printing in July.
Because of the cumulative effects of weekly chemo treatments, I’m not accomplishing as much as I’d like. Everything seems to take more effort than what it used to before, but I’m trying to push through and do what I can. This month I have an article about breast cancer due for the October issue of MTL (More to Life) Magazine, and I’m writing a series of blog entries for Cec’s Writer to Writer blog.  
If everything stays on schedule, I’ll have my last chemo treatment on October 7, and surgery will follow.
Here’s my latest Care Pages update—New Happenings, New Words, and God.
If you’d like to follow my breast cancer journey and get periodic updates, you’re welcome to visit my Care Pages site. (To access the account, you'll need to log in.)
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