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Book Fun Magazine
Click on the image above and then again on Cec's picture for his article "Beginning Again" in January's issue of Book Fun Magazine. In it he asks, "What would your life be like if you said, 'Today I can redefine my life. Today I can start again?'"
January 3-10, Cec taught at the Book Writing Boot Camp at Sea (a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean). His friend Martin Burks joined him on the trip.
Gifted Hands
Cec wrote Dr. Ben Carson's book Gifted Hands. It was first published in 1990 and continues to sell well, especially now that Ben is a presidential candidate.
"Busy, Very Busy"
Six months after George's retirement, I asked, "How are you doing these days?"
"I'm busy, very busy. I'm busier now than before I retired."
His words shocked me. I thought retirement meant cessation of work and an opportunity to relax and enjoy sitting on the porch or taking a daily nap. I've since heard those same words from others.
Those statements imply the significance of productivity—of usefulness—of having value because of what they accomplish. Some of us hold the secret fear that if we don't keep doing something practical we're worth nothing. Therefore, we keep proving we're significant by our output.
For most of my life, that's been true of me. It's taken me years to say that staying constantly on the go doesn't make me a more worthwhile person. It means I've missed out on simple pleasures because I didn't want to "waste" time, and every minute had to count for something.
Maybe that's why God created our bodies to wear out—we're forced to slow down, to do less, and to appreciate the quiet moments of life.
Some may laugh that I'd talk about retiring and relishing life because I stay busy. Some days that reality saddens me because I'm not apt at doing nothing.
By contrast, the first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, written in 1647, goes this way: "What is the chief end of man? [We'd say humanity today.] The answer: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever." 
Most of us don't grasp that second part. To enjoy God certainly means to find pleasure in being alive. Many of us are too busy to delight—regularly—in the things of life.
This year, I’m intentionally slowing down and moving toward a full retirement. Each morning I remind myself (and the words are true), “I’m working less and enjoying my life more.”
I don't know when I'll fully retire, but I already have an answer I want to give when someone asks, "What are you doing since you retired?"
"Not very much."
The more I value who I am, the less I have to prove who I am. (Pinterest)
Personal News
  • In my plan to slow down this year, my only out-of-town trip this month will be to speak for a retreat for a Presbyterian church in Myrtle Beach, SC,   February 19-21. I’ll also teach an afternoon seminar on writing.

  • For the other three Sundays in February, I’ll teach adult Sunday school classes in my home church.
     
  • My next trip will be in April when I’ll speak/teach at a number of events in Iowa, several of them arranged by my author-friend Mary Potter Kenyon.
The Twila Zone--Words from My Assistant,
Twila Belk
As Cec mentioned in his personal news, he'll be in Iowa in April. He's scheduled to speak in Dubuque, Coralville, Manchester, and Cedar Falls, Thursday-Monday (April 14-18). I'm working on lining up events in the Quad Cities for the surrounding days. If you live in the area and would like to host an event with Cec, let me know
It's possible that Cec will go to Toronto in May. If you have speaking opportunities for him there, please contact me.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
February 5-7, I'll teach three classes at the Writer to Writer Conference in Hershey, PA. Following the conference, February 7-9, I'll attend the Christian Product Expo, where I'll participate in a personality party and sign copies of my 366-day devotional, Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God's Power, Presence, and PurposeI'll also sign copies of I Believe in Healing and I Believe in Heaven (books Cec and I wrote together) at the Suzy Q booth. 
You might think of me as The Wind Beneath Cec's Wings, but I'm also known as The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, and I enjoy speaking at events across the nation. To see what I offer, visit the speaking page of my website. (For the record, Cec claims that I'm the hot air behind him. He's not very nice, is he?)
And now for some fun...
A big thanks to Martin Burks for supplying the photos below (and many more) of Cec teaching at the Book Writing Boot Camp at Sea.
We certainly can't pass up this perfect opportunity for a caption contest, can we?
What comes to mind when you look at the pictures? If you have a creative caption for an individual photo, or the group as a whole, send it to me. I'll announce my choice for a winner in next month's newsletter (if I still have a job).
The prize for best caption? A copy of Gifted Hands, of course!
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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