Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Three D's Of Success for Dog Days of Summer & Life's Interruptions

I love this picture..... this statement. This little quote that talks about how us nobodies can actually become somebodies no matter what time of year it is or what you're facing and right now, folks are facing a lot.

Dog days of summer... the lot o' youse are familiar with the phrase, I'm sure.

High heat, high humidity, scorching sun, pop-up thunderstorms that bring no relief, only more moisture into already moisture-laden air.

Dog Days of Summer... Here in the north we love summer, but most of us are northerners for a reason.  

1. We can't afford to move

2. We love snow

3. We are stick-in-the-mud folks

4. We are tied to business, family, faith and community. 

But Dog Days of Summer aren't a Northern thing. They're an everywhere thing. It's when heat indexes rise all over this great land, cicadas drone, Katydids clatter night after night, grasshoppers spread their funny little grasshopper wings and go from plant to plant, eating, munching, laying eggs... and the pavement seems to sizzle. 

It's hard to get motivated in the heat. I've often wondered how people in desert areas do it because they don't get my fall/winter reprieve. Now I understand that some folks like heat. 

I am not one of them. 

Even being in really good shape, I'm not one of them. Can we dish here?

I hate it. I really, really, really dislike anything over 82 degrees and humidity should be declared an enemy of the people and my hair, but I digress... this isn't about me. For once. This is about you and how you can push through times of struggle, heat, holidays, tempest, problems, etc. because that's one of the things all authors need to figure out. When life hands you curves, how can you best navigate them and still be productive?

(Then the question bears asking, how productive do you want to be? Are you satisfied with where you are and what you're doing? That's an important benchmark right there.) 

That last part is up to you, but here's some advice worth talking about:

1. Devotion: Think of Mary, standing by Jesus all those years.

     Mary sets the bar high for people, but particularly for women because despite the problems that they encounter, she never leaves her son's side. Through it all she stands strong and tall, helping, loving, her presence a beautiful thing. Be like Mary.

2. Determination: Take a page from Jessica Long's book and hold it tight.

Born to Russian parents in 1992, Jessica had a condition which meant her legs would have to be amputated below the knee. The lower structures in her legs hadn't developed properly. She came to America, to her adoptive parents at 18 months of age and has become a national hero for perseverance, choices, determination and guts. Here's a quote from the winner of over 50 championship gold medals, Para-Olympian Jessica Long: 

"I didn’t just wake up one day and become a Paralympic Games gold medalist. Dedication, hard work, and passion are hugely important to achieving your goals. That’s my big advice to kids: Find something to be passionate about, be confident in your abilities, and really go for it."

Be like Jessica.

3. Dedication: Model yourself after Mother Teresa.

In 1946 the young nun felt/heard a calling during a train ride. A calling to help the poor, the lowly, the sick, the ones who never hear about Jesus's healing love. After two years of being instructed and tested in her resolve, Mother Teresa was given permission to begin her own hands-on charity. Taking to the streets of Calcutta, this small woman nursed and nurtured the sick, the lame, the dying, the mentally ill and at the time of her death had over 4,000 people working in similar fashion around the world. From one calling, a calling she heeded, much good has come and I thought of this as we faced a pandemic and church leaders of all denominations kind of hid in their rooms/homes/rectories... because fear of the virus was stronger than dedication to the flock. 

We can learn a lot from one woman's courage and dedication, how one woman's hands made such a difference to so many.

Be like Teresa.

It is easy for us to make excuses, particularly in first-world countries where we have so much, so much is freely given and taken, and we are surrounded by a store after store of choices and goods and options and Amazon sending everything and anything you need 24/7/365.

But to tackle those difficult times in working, those Dog Days, or funerals, divorce, illness, anger, separation, sorrow, and yes, even joy because joy can be a detractor... Three D's. 

Devotion, Determination and Dedication.

In the end, getting through anything that comes our way isn't up to "them", the detractors or doubters or downers of life.

It's up to us.

And actually, friends:

It's up to you.

Jump into the conversation below and Ruthy will tuck your name into the candy dish alongside some really tasty Hershey's Kisses for a chance to win Ruthy's newest mystery

"Prescription for Mystery" from Guideposts Books! 

Somewhat bossy and very productive author Ruth Logan Herne is blessed to be living her dream of being a published author and having worked with numerous publishers including Waterfall, Waterbrook, Harper Collins, Love Inspired, Guideposts and Amazon, she knows that these three "D's" are crucial to your success as an author... So go for it! She loves to hear from readers and writers. You can email Ruthy at friend her on Facebook (always an interesting place, isn't it?) or swing by her website You won't find her on Twitter because there are too many angry folks over there... and Ruthy can't abide all that negativity, which isn't a surprise because Pollyanna is one of her all-time favorite movies. 


  1. You always give me--us--a great wake-up call, don't you, Ruthy? I'm glad, because I need them! I'm at a point of evaluating what it is I want my next stage of life to look like and these are really great reminders of what's important and how to do it. Luckily, we don't do it any of it on our own. Thank you, Jesus!!

    1. Glynis, you know it's hard to focus on fiction when reality is handing us tough times, isn't it? Summer is hard on lots of folks... in different ways... but then life hands us all kinds of things, doesn't it? And this year and a half, we've been challenged. So many rules, so much change, so many rules changing... :) Oh, dear, we have to deal on multiple levels, but you know what?

      THAT'S OKAY. We figure out where we are, then we move in a forward direction.

      We've got this. Us... and God. Oh, that God!

    2. Nobody does a wake-up call like Ruthy.

  2. I have benefited from Ruthy's kicks-in-the-pants for several years now. This one was a good reminder that yes, God's got this.
    I think it's important to establish really good discipline BEFORE we're published. Self-imposed deadlines are pure gold. This week I have an edit letter from my fiction publisher to deal with, along with the proofs for my nonfiction history book. Proofs and edit letters demand a certain amount of get-it-over-with, so I cleared two days and have them pretty much done. Could never have done it if I hadn't established good habits -- and listened to Ruthy.
    A lot of things here are still closed due to you-know-what, so I haven't HAD much of a summer. Might as well work, right?
    May be back later,
    Kathy Bailey
    Your Kaybee
    Fielding projects in New Hampshire

    1. Aw, thank you for your kind words about my kick-in-the-pants nature! :) My children are ever so grateful (as you can imagine.)

      And yeah, we have to get things done in order to get other things done, so we do it... and forge on.

      That was my "one word" a few years ago. Forge... because we forge on but also a forge strengthens metal into steel... and we steel Yankee magnolias like to be strong!

  3. Great post as usual, Ruthy. I'm still working on that discipline to get through. No need to put my name in the dish. I have already read the book. Really enjoying the series.

    1. SANDY!!!! I am so glad you're enjoying it. I am just doing edits on Book 11 and I LOVE IT!!!!!

  4. Ruthy, I live in Texas, so I don't want to hear a Yank complaining about heat. Girl, you don't know heat. I don't like the heat either and I really don't like the humidity. This is why we have air conditioning. And why my writing is always more productive in the summer because who wants to be outside?

    I love your three D's, though. Anything we want/hope to achieve requires devotion, determination and dedication. You can sit around and wish all day, but the three D's require action. Great post, Ruthy!

    1. I am always amazed and inspired by folks in the South and I understand the mindset of "just flip the winter and summer and spend the "summer" indoors but the hard thing with that is being a Northern gal and we look forward to the warm weather for so long... that having June through September be nice is like ingrained!

      And Luke says the same thing, that he just figures the trade off is NO SNOW.

      But I like snow, so I am a happy Yankee most of the time. But yes, those three Ds are clutch!

  5. Our "dog days of summer" came in July this year. Heat...but without the humidity. Well, it was humid for this area. Suffering in 50% humidity, even with 100° temps? We are such wimps!

    But what didn't help is that our air conditioner decided to take the summer off, and with all the new construction coupled with supply-chain problems, we couldn't find anyone to come out and fix it until fall.

    What have I learned this summer? A bit of Yankee ingenuity, lessons from my Mennonite aunt's upbringing on the Kansas prairies, and determination has made the summer mostly pleasant. We might just leave that AC off next year, too.

    Now it's time to transfer those lessons to my writing! Thanks for the encouragement, Ruthy!

    1. Oh, you are the clever one. Did you use a bowl of ice and a fan?

      Because I can totally see you doing that. :)

      You know, my couple of window units give us enough respite to make it comfortable to bake and cook... and that's all I care about.

      But I do remember roasting in a southern exposure room as a child and how hot that was, up on the second floor... and not a breeze.

      Maybe that's what turned me off heat?????

  6. Ruthy, my summer has been filled with numerous hospital stays for Dave. It has been challenging, and at times, overwhelming. Thank you for your encouragement I. This post! ❤️

  7. I lived for two years in the middle of the Mojave Desert, think 104 to 110 degrees on a regular basis in the summer, and I've attended Mass with Mother Theresa and heard her speak. In fact, I was about a foot away from her at one point. So, do I get an Atta Girl? :)

    Plus, I like summer and heat. Maybe not humidity. School started back on August 1st. Really? August is still the summer.

    Okay, enough from me. I'm heading back--devoted, determined and dedicated--to my WIP!

    Book club tonight with outside dining, which is always fun. Can't wait to see what our next read will be. This past month we read Kristin Hannah's THE FOUR WINDS.

    1. I can't imagine the desert... and Mass with Mother Teresa would be lovely. :) Atta girl!!!!!

      And girl, you look great even in heat... I'm so jealous!

      And yes, back to WIP.... go get 'em!

  8. We did follow God when he led us to move to Florida in 1999, we are from Nebraska. My husband applied for a job in May and they wanted him to start in 1 month, we made it in about six weeks, then in August had to come home for our son's wedding. The company paid for all of our moving expenses when we came home for the wedding and to get our 'household' things, so it was meant to be.

    We were there for 18 years and returned home in 2017 to live out the rest of our lives. It was good for us in Florida and even better for us now that we are home. Yes, we listened.

    wfnren at aol dot com

    1. Wendy what a wonderful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

  9. Hi, Ruthy! I love these three examples of 3 Ds. I have your top ten list that you posted on Seekerville a while back for motivation as well. More Ruthy wisdom and motivation. Love it. And I'm always amazed at those who do so well in the cold and snow. I visited relatives in Illinois one summer and they loved their air conditioning when I was outside thinking it was gorgeous weather (low 80s, no humidity) and then when I went inside I'd wear a jacket because the air conditioning was set to the 60s. Thank you for a wonderful post and I loved reading the comments.

    1. Hahahahah! I can totally see that disparity between A/C and northerners, LOL! We only have a couple of window units, just enough to take the edge off... which I know makes my Southern friends laugh! :)

      And Tanya, you know this business isn't easy. It's got some rough edges and when you're on the inside, you see those turns and twists, but I absolutely love what I do... and if folks love telling stories, this is the place to be. :) We keep writing... and encouraging in my bossy, endearing way! :)

    2. I remember freezing in air-conditioned places, especially in Florida. People got sick moving from the outside heat to the inside cold. Energy costs eventually forced business establishments to raise their thermostats, thankfully.

  10. I'm reading this on Thursday night, as I watch the Field of Dreams baseball game on Fox. It's been a dog day of summer here today in Kentucky, but I wouldn't live anyplace else! Thanks for the motivation! You always bless me!!

    1. Connie, that game was so good! What a wonderful presentation and the Field of Dreams... oh mylanta, now I want/must go to a game there. It was perfect... even if my Yankees didn't win. I'm so glad they did this!

  11. Nice pep-talk, Ruthy. I'll try harder to do well. I promise.


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