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It’s time to gear up to for the madness we call the Holiday season. Already I have seen five homes decorated for Christmas, and last I checked the calendar Thanksgiving hadn’t been celebrated yet.

It seems retailers have caught us in their trap to rush us through the seasons. Instead, of hurrying up and getting through, we need to take time to just enjoy the moments that makeup life. Time is the one commodity we have that we chose to share, embrace, let trickle through our fingers or give away pointlessly for the sake of staying busy. When was the last time you indulged yourself with a mindless walk or sat curled up in a comfy chair and read a good book? When was the last time you lingered over dinner with a companion with whom you shared meaningful conversation? How many times have you recently squeezed in another activity or rushed to home so you could rush out or juggled your calendar so that you could fill it again?

We all need to relax more and enjoy the finite amount of life given to us. So what if we don’t complete a task today? It will wait for us to get it finished. Who cares if we achieve our bucket list? It’s not going to make people like us more. Yet if we stop and breathe, if we make time for those who love us then an undone task and unfinished list have given way to making a cherished memory, moments of laughter, brought us some peace and filled us with some joy that comes from letting our minds and body take downtime.

So as we are being pushed by commercials, status pressures, family members to cram our lives full of things that should make us feel successful, happy and important, stop for just a minute and think. With all the holiday parties you are trying to attend, and event things you are loading up on, are you able to enjoy them or are you so stressed by trying to do it all that the only thing you really want to do is crash and sleep?

If you are so busy in life that enjoying a dinner, a party or even a school function is not an enjoyable moment, then you need to rethink your priorities in life. You are not really living, you are merely functioning. Checking things off a to-do list is not a life. But filling time with laughter, absurd thoughts, great conversation, and beautiful memories is what makes one worth living.

So you can’t go to every party you’re invited to, so you have to pick and chose between functions and events. Big deal! If you are relaxing, taking time to be mindless and live in the moment, then you, instead of being rushed and frenzied about sticking to a schedule to knock another item off your list, will be able to breathe, relax, and most importantly enjoy yourself.

That makes Life well lived, and one that is well lived has little time or room for regrets to dwell in.






A Trip through Titles

Posted: 14 Nov 2017 12:30 AM PST

by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine
From time to time, I enjoy browsing through the latest book titles to observe current trends in titling. This time around, I thought it would be timely to focus on the 158 books that appear in the brand new 2017 Southern Writers Holiday Catalog.  
Often, I break titles down into about four categories. For this exercise I chose seven categories, to get even more specific but also because it makes for a colorful pie chart.
As is often the case, the titles chosen by most authors (54 in this case) come under a non-specific GENERAL category. These are books that give a sense of what’s inside without giving too much away, yet still establish the right mood. Here are just a few examples.
A SITUATION is implied in the second most popular category. We learn just from the title such things as that a murder has taken place or that Cupid will be flinging some arrows.
(Notice a familiar title by one of your friends and hopefully favorite authors)
Then you have titles that are poetic or ambiguous and evoke curiosity. They sound thoughtful and erudite, in the order of Gone with the Windor Of Mice and MenLet’s call these SYMBOLIC.

The MAIN CHARACTER can be identified by name or by their role in the story, sometimes suggesting the plot.

Or the title can get SPECIFIC about an important object or setting in the story.

There are, of course, NONFICTION titles that speak to the purpose of the book.

And a title can also be a STATEMENT unto itself.

Clearly, there are many roads that can be taken when coming up with a title for your book. The most important thing is to make sure your title is different from other books already out there and that it conveys something, preferably something that will grab attention and interest your potential reader enough to buy it.

If you enjoy browsing titles as much as I do, you’ll enjoy thumbing through all 158 in the 2017 Holiday Catalog, which you can do right now by clicking on the cover to the right, or by visiting

Happy holidays and happy reading!