Win Books and Laugh at My Expense

Win Books and Laugh at My Expense

Before I became a writer, I thought that the whole Christian writing world was a whole lot of kumbaya, lollipops and unicorns.

And then I realized that even though I had a real live book contract, I still wanted more.

But hey, I’m not the only one...
If you are interested in writing, you absolutely should be reading my agent Rachelle’s blog and specifically Thursday’s post by my fellow author Marla. It is the funniest true confession I’ve read in a long time.

And definitely go enter the drawing over at Marla’s blog to win The Husband Project and Is That All He Thinks About. Tell her I told you to stop by.

How Not to be a Jerk – the E-mail Edition

How Not to be a Jerk – the E-mail Edition


I hated to see that name come up in my inbox.

Do you ever have that reaction? You see the name on that email, and your heart just sinks. Ugh.

And of course, the email was jerky, pushed buttons, and made me ticked. I’m sure that was the desired response.  So of course, I had my equally jerky response all written in my head.

“The next time you want something from me, perhaps you should choose discussion instead of declaration.” That was the nicest sentence in my reply.

I knew it would feel good to hit send. It would feel oh so good. But I also knew that sinking to their level would ultimately just let them win.

And I didn’t want that to happen.

So here is what I’ve did to not sink. (This advice is hard won after sending too many emails impulsively…)

  1. Wait. Yes – it feels great to send off that nasty response in the heat of the moment, but it will feel even better to send a thoughtful response – or perhaps no response at all.
  2. Pray. the reaction I have is out of the flesh – I want it to be out of The Spirit. Prayer is the only way I’m ever going to do that.
  3. Consult. I wanted to send the nastygram. Roger talked me out of it. Roger was the one who reminded me that I needed to act Christlike even if I didn’t feel Christlike. I sent him the email and he congratulated me for taking the high road (this time.)

Any additional suggestions to not being a jerk?

Update as of 3:13 (about an hour and half after I posted this.)

OK – said person said something super-jerky in a follow-up email. And I ignored all the advice above and sent something back super-snotty. Sigh.

I am no longer engaging in the drama. This is officially being moved over to the Crazy File (a file that Roger reads before I do so that I do not escelate crazy discussions.) Sigh.

I will do better next time. I can’t promise. But I can pray.

I’ve Missed You

I’ve really, really missed you.

It has been a whirlwind month with racking up flights on Southwest, meeting new friends in New Mexico, Missouri and hanging out with Mickey in Florida.

But with all that traveling, and the time changes and the altitude (who knew that New Mexico was so high…?!?) I just plain left the my real world (bloggy and home) behind.

Here are some of the things that I missed, in no particular order…

1. My dog Jake
2. Being able to share random thoughts on the blog and having all of you share back with me.
3. My mattress
4. Sharing recipes here
5. Facebook (ok, I did a little of it…)
6. Starbucks (the didn’t have it at the Ghost Ranch in NM and the coffee at Disneyworld is atrocious…)
7. Tivo
8. Cooking
9. Writing

Oh, and did I mention the coffee?

Glad to be home. I will be working on finishing up my next book, The What’s for Dinner Solution. I’m excited to finish it up and be home for a while.

The Comfortable Traveler – Part 1: Airplane Travel – The Little Things

The Comfortable Traveler – Part 1: Airplane Travel – The Little Things

For the Airport

Since I have spent a considerable amount of time on an airplane in the past week – and I know some of you will as well, here are some of the Little Comforts that have made flying cross country a little mroe bareable…


 I am an unpaid sales person for the Contigo Travel Mug. I evangelize everywhere I go about how much I LOVE this little gadget for one reason and one reason only – it does not spill or leak.


There is a button at the back of the lid you have to push in order to take a sip – keeping you from spilling. The cup is dishwasher safe but the lid must be cleaned by hand. That is how confident I am about this mug. It keeps coffee hot for about 3 hours, and tea cold for about 4. I throw my coffee into my computer case – that is how confident I am about this cup.

I was at a conference in the New Mexico desert for almost a week. I was without a car and about 90 minutes from the closest Starbucks. My Contigo became my best friend.

At the airport, I pack it in my carryon and then fill it up once I get past security. That way, if I have a super early flight, my morning Peet’s coffee doesn’t land on the lap of the guy sitting next to me.

Southwest Airlines’ Early Bird Check In

For only $10 one way, you can be in the early borading group assuring that you will at least get the window or aisle seat – whatever your preference. This is definately worth the extra $10 when I’m traveling with Roger or a friend so we can sit together.

Neck Pillow
If you are someone who can fall asleep on a plane or in a car or on a train, (thank you, Dr. Suess…) this little pillow is a must have in order for you to keep from drooling on your seatmate. I always do the Early Bird ticketing so I can have a window seat and fall asleep with my head in the neck pillow, leaning against a window.
Noise Canceling Headphones

I didn’t buy noise candeling headphones for a while since I thought if I wanted to get some effective ones I would have to pay the $200 for the ones that are  avaiable from foo-foo chi-chi shops. No thanks.

However, after a long flight of trying to watch movies with my cheapo headphones, I knew I had to try something… Sony makes a pair that retails for around $50 that is just great.I can hear every word of How I Met Your Mother on my iPad. And that’s a good thing.

So tell me – what is your favorite travel tip for those long flights.

How to Get Your Husband to do (just about) Anything

How to Get Your Husband to do (just about) Anything

On Tuesday Roger and I will begetting up at 4:30 in the morning, (have I mentioned that I am not a morning person?) to fly to New Mexico to teach at the Ghost Ranch CLASS Christian Writers Conference.

We must really love writers in order to get up before many farmers.

There has been a lot of prep work getting ready for this conference and that, on top of our every day jobs, (me, writing and speaking, Roger, working for HP,) has been a bit overwhelming what with the plague hitting our house and all.

I don’t think that Roger was expecting quite so much prep work and kind of shut off his brain to the influx of all the e-mails that were coming in. Which worked for him.

For a while.

That is until one or two people were trying to get me to get him to respond. One of those people, Gary Chevalier, had requested an interesting fact from each of us to use in his role as emcee for the event. He was getting desperate and sent me the following email:

I’ve sent him (Roger) the email about telling me an Interesting fact for Introductions, but I haven’t heard back from him yet. Can you give him a gentle spousal reminder to do that? Maybe over dinner tonight, you can give him a little something like this,

“Oh Roger! I had so much fun today coming up with an interesting fact about me to send to Gary Chevalier (pictured left with his adorable wife Andrea) for the Writer’s Conference.
Remember when I flashed those trick-or-treaters?
It was sooooo hysterical!
What interesting fact did you tell him?
You haven’t sent him anything yet?
Roger Lipp, I’m appalled!
No nooky for you until you send Gary that interesting fact!”

Roger sent Gary the interesting fact about 30 minutes later.

You Say it’s Your Birthday (um. whoops) Ideas for last minute gifts – the far away edition

You Say it’s Your Birthday (um. whoops) Ideas for last minute gifts – the far away edition

Monday was my agent Rachelle’s birthday. Normally, I don’t send a lot of gifts to people I work with (ask my husband’s side of the family, I’m not so great at keeping up with people I’m related to…) but we have been working together a lot this year and some cool things have been in the works, and well, it just seemed like the right things to do.

I’ve had it on my calendar for a year now. You would think I would have done something about it. But no…. I have to wait until the last minute to make sure I add some DRAMA to the event.

So today, when I saw that half of my friends on Facebook had wished her a happy birthday, I thought that – perhaps – it was time to do something about it.

I’m sure that most of you are WAY more organized than that – you pre-order birthday gifts months in advance and have a stack of pre-addressed birthday cards in your tickler file (OK, I actually do that. Don’t tell anyone I’m a freak…)

Rachelle is one of the few people I know who reads more books than I do (not just for her job, but by choice!) so she is easy. I just went to and under gift cards purchased one that could be sent instantly.

There are a bunch of designs to choose from (I am in LOVE with these two little birdees…) and any book lover (especially if they have a Kindle!) would love it.

Vermont Brownie Company

If you have a very understanding (and hungry) friend, you can let them know that their B-Day present will be a couple of days late but TOTALLY worth the wait.

  1. The goat cheese brownies from Vermont Brownie Compay are just this side of heaven.They are:
  2. 1. rich
  3. 2. chocolaty
  4. 3. and delivered right to your front door

Those are three attributes I like to see in my snack food.

Are they good? Don’t take my word for it. Vermont Brownie Compay beat Bobby Flay in a taste test. Enough said.

Yes – you can send a Netflix membership to someone and within an hour they are watching movies they can download to their TV.

Just be warned – Roger sent this to his mom and they had a heck of a time canceling. It was like the Fruit of the Month Club in Everyone Love Raymond, ‘There’s more fruit coming next month?!?! How do we make it stop!?!?)

However, I sent it to my mom when she was going to be recovering from surgery and she loved it. It combined my mother’s love of movies with my father’s love of going to the mail box. A win-win.

Any instant gifts you would like to share? I would love a shout out for your favorite companies/gift items.