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Month: December 2015

CLOSED CAPTIONING: “Captioning as I Get Older – Should I Keep Paying Those Fees to Maintain Those Certifications?” Broadcast Captioner Lorilyn Roberts

Captioning Weather for WVTM, Birmingham











Many years ago I let my certifications lapse when I went back to get my college degree. Life changed and I ended up having to go back into court reporting. I didn’t need the certifications to get hired but I did need the certifications to participate in the External Degree Program through the NCRA (or whatever the current name is) at the University of Alabama. 

I retook the tests for the certifications and went on and received my B.A. degree from the University of Alabama in interdisciplinary sciences five years later. I was able to deduct the costs of getting my college degree as part of my business expenses because I received C.E. credits for the classes. When you consider I traveled to Israel, Italy, England, Australia and New Zealand as part of my college degree, I took tons of money off my income taxes, so I have never been one to complain about the costs of C.E. credits or membership. It’s paid for itself.
However, I do think things continue to slide in the wrong direction. Pay per hour is less than I earned for the first show I captioned with no experience. A few years ago I got worried when the bottom fell out and went back to college and received my Master’s degree in Creative Writing. I started writing books and continue writing, hoping to someday make a living from it. 
While that hasn’t happened yet, without the flexibility that captioning offers, I would not have been able to do that. Not only that, but I was able to adopt two children from Asia as a single mom and homeschool them—because captioning paid well (especially back then) and gave me flexible hours working at home.  

Captioning also gave me skills for writing I wouldn’t otherwise have. And to maintain those certifications, I have done online classes that will help me with writing—Microsoft Word, Photo Elements, and a copyediting course. The money I spent on the courses wasn’t that expensive, I think around $80 each, and I did them from home. I also deducted them for tax purposes.

I don’t think the NCRA is unreasonable in what they ask. It’s pushed me to take courses I probably wouldn’t have taken but from which I benefitted. Those certifications look good after my name on email, and it means I’ve met a certain standard that people in the industry recognize.  
Will I continue to pay the yearly fees and maintain my certifications? I just turned 60 (ouch) and I am asking myself that question. Probably till I’m 65 or until I start selling tons of books. Remember, I let my certifications lapse once and I told myself I would never do that again.
I sure wish I could earn what I earned a few years ago, but those days are gone unless I want to work A LOT of hours. But it’s still better than anything else I’m qualified to do—yet. It’s hard to start over in an entirely new career at my age, but it does allow me to pursue my passion—writing books—that a typical day job would not afford. 
When I’m not sure what to do, I usually stay the course until a door opens so wide that I know not to shut it. And as far as I’m concerned, that means staying certified and paying those dues (which I just paid). Seems like they went up this year. AGAIN.

FREE on Amazon Kindle


When you look at the alternatives, captioning is still a good field. It’s just not as good as it once was. But then, rarely does anything stay the same. Except for taxes and death.

Want a free book for your Kindle? Download “Seventh Dimension – The Door” from Amazon.


Merry Christmas, Everyone.
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BOOK REVIEW: “Seventh Dimension – The Castle: A Young Adult Fantasy,” Five Stars from an Amazon Top Fifty Reviewer Doug Erlandson

By Doug ErlandsonTOP 50 REVIEWERon December 17, 2015
Seventh Dimension – The Castle is the third book in the Seventh Dimension Series of young adult fantasy written by Lorilyn Roberts. The protagonist is a young man named Daniel, who is Jewish, and who was born in the late twentieth century, but who is stuck in the “seventh dimension,” where time is illusory and time travel is possible. The Castle takes place mostly during the time of the earthly ministry of Yeshua (Jesus), in particular from shortly before his crucifixion until shortly after his resurrection. However, Daniel also on occasion finds himself flashing back to the time of the Holocaust, which he has also experienced in the course of his time travels.

While living during the time of Yeshua’s earthly ministry, Daniel encounters many of the characters spoken of in the Gospels and the Book of Acts and interacts with them. However, the one who most fascinates him is the miracle-working rabbi, Yeshua. As a Jew from the turn of the twenty-first century, Daniel has been told that Yeshua is not the Messiah, but that the Messiah is yet to come. However, as he witnesses the ministry and teaching of Jesus, and finally sees the resurrected Christ, he becomes convinced that Yeshua is indeed who he claims to be.
2015 Literary Classics Award Winner – Gold in YA faith-based fiction.
Daniel is more than a passive observer of all these things. He is also wanted by the Roman authorities for a crime he did not commit. His own life is often in danger, and this subplot is woven into the story of Daniel’s encounter with Yeshua.

This is a fast-moving, gripping book. It is thoroughly grounded in the scriptural account of the events of Jesus’ life. Because of this, it is especially appropriate as a way of bringing young adults into a better understanding of who the Messiah is and what he has done in bringing his people to salvation through his death on the cross.
Award-Winning Finalist: Religious category 2015 USA Best Book Awards. 
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ANGELS, ROACHES AND A CHRISTMAS CHILD: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Lighting of the Christmas tree in Atlanta
I never thought roach droppings would become one of my favorite Christmas stories. But stories have a way of writing themselves on our hearts.
Each year my sister Paige invites all of us to her house. We sit around the dining room table where odd knickknacks are transformed into lovely Christmas decorations. Paige is an artist, and it’s a good thing for my daughters. Most of my art projects never go as planned. I always miss an important step and my results are memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
Last year all the cousins created angels to hang on our Christmas trees. The ornaments were dressed in white lace, had feathery wings, and a red rose dotted the front collar. Instead of halos, the kids crowned the angels with macaroni noodles.
Joy, my youngest daughter, proudly hung her angel on our tree. Christmas came and went. January rolled around, and I packed the ornaments away in our attic for another year.
Last week I climbed up into the attic to pull out the Christmas decorations. Joy set up the tree and I opened up the first container. When I unlatched it, dozens of roach droppings littered the bottom of the box. A few tumbled out onto the living room floor. Several ornaments had brown pellets clinging to them. I was quite repulsed, only slightly less than I would have been if live ones had scampered out.
I fetched the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed up all the droppings. Visions popped in my head of hundreds of roaches crawling over my beautiful ornaments. How many roaches would it take to make that much crap? I cringed. Living in Florida has its dark side.
Then Joy cried out, “Mommy, my angel has no hair.”
“What happen to her hair?”
“I think the roaches ate it,” Joy said.
We broke out laughing. The roaches had spent the summer feasting on the macaroni hair of my daughter’s angel. 
As I think back to my fondest Christmas memories, many of them are also quite eclectic. There was the Christmas in downtown New York when we got trapped inside a car on fire. The electric windows were stuck and my grandfather smashed the driver’s side window with a suitcase. Mother pulled me out through shards of broken glass. Sirens blared and emergency lights flickered in the cold night air. We never did get to see the lighting of the tree but spent the evening in a fancy hotel.
Later Mother told me a Hollywood director was there for a children’s beauty pageant and had pleaded with her to let him take me to Hollywood. Sometimes I wonder if I missed my chance to be the next Hayley Mills (who I was often compared to when I was young). 
My most vivid memory from that snowy winter was Christmas Eve when I heard Santa’s reindeer pounding on the rooftop of the apartment building. It was a loud swishing sound followed by gallops. I didn’t believe in Santa Claus until that night. I lay in my warm bed imagining what Santa and his reindeer looked like. I wanted to jump up and peek out the window, but I was afraid if I saw them, he wouldn’t leave me presents.
The next morning I ran to the window and looked below. To my surprise, there were large sleigh marks in the snow. I stared out the window for a long time.
I’ve thought about that more this Christmas because of a strange conversation over Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my brother’s wife if their children still believed in Santa Claus. I shared my experience at my grandparents’ apartment when I was young, but mentioned only the part about the sleigh tracks in the snow.
Mother said, “I saw them, too, and heard Santa land on the roof.”
“You did?” I asked surprised. “I also heard the reindeer hoofs pounding on the roof. The swishing sound woke me up,” I added.
Silence followed as we thought about the strange coincidence. Sometimes I wonder if God allows fanciful moments to bring comfort to children. Maybe that’s what I needed at that time—to have something to believe in. 
Many years later I was in Vietnam on Christmas Eve to adopt Joy. Christmas music wafted through the streets of Hanoi. The beautiful lyrics filled the nighttime air.  I rejoiced, so far from home, realizing nothing can silence what God proclaims from the mountaintops—or loudspeakers hoisted on poles in a communist country.
Joy in Hanoi when I adopted her Christmas 1999
God’s love reaches to the ends of the earth—in Nepal and China and Haiti; in Israel, where shepherds tend their flocks on the same hill that angels proclaimed glory to the newborn King. If we did not speak of the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, the rocks would cry out. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father. The greatest gift of all came through the birth of one small child.
Joy’s hairless angel hangs on our tree this Christmas. All the gifts will be opened Christmas morning. I will eat far too much chocolate and then bemoan the five pounds I will gain. I will make my usual promise to start exercising on January 1, which I will probably break by the middle of the month. We will enjoy all the traditions that this wonderful season brings, full of joy, giving, and love. Then the ornaments will be taken down and packed away until next year. 

This joyful season, I will pause to reflect on the gift of the baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, knowing someday, too, I will bow before the newborn King. And, just maybe, there won’t be any roach droppings there.  

Hopefully, the roaches will find something else to eat besides angel hair. Life will resume its regular course, and I will be glad for the start of a new year.


LORILYN ROBERTS BOOK REVIEW: If You Only Read One Christian Nonfiction Book This Year, This Should Be It – “Living Backward,” by Angelique Cooper McGlotten

If you only read one Christian nonfiction book this year, this should be it. “Living Backward” is inspiring and God-breathed. In my almost fifty years of being a Christian, I have dealt with almost everything Angelique talks about, but so quickly I forget some of these lessons and how much I need to be reminded.
Thank you, Angelique, for sharing these wonderful Biblical truths and encouraging me that even when I fail, not to give up, but to keep my eyes on Jesus, and to remember that we are just passing through this world on our way to the next. I loved the analogy of the airport and the quote, “Every person alive is on a spiritual layover.” 

I was convicted more than once of things I need to change in my own life, and as I prayed for God to make me more holy, the evil one took notice. What a battle we face!

“Living Backward” will make you think about things that are eternal and draw you closer to God as His Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. I wish every Christian would read this book. Thank you for writing “Living Backward” and helping me in my walk with God. What a blessing!
Angelique’s bio from Amazon: “If you asked me what I do, I’d tell you that I teach, mentor, and volunteer in a variety of capacities. I also write poetry and prose. If you said, Angelique what do you most enjoy doing?, I’d respond that whether it’s lending a helping hand, sending a greeting card out of the blue, or picking up thoughtful gifts for others, I love to give. I also love, love, love being used as a channel of God’s grace to bless people. Because I absolutely enjoy encouraging others, my husband and children affectionately call me “Triple E” (Encourager, Edifier, and Exhorter). In fact, my latest book, Living Backward, is birthed from my desire to inspire others to live out God’s plan for their lives and in so doing experience contentment, genuine success, and lasting significance.”
I (Lorilyn Roberts) chuckled when I read Angelique’s bio. Angelique is a member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network. Many times when I have needed a word of encouragement, Angelique has emailed me to let me know she was praying for me. Her kindness has inspired me to try to be a blessing to others in the same way she has been to me. The right word at just the right moment is the most wonderful gift this side of eternity. Once you have received it, you want to “pass it on.”
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LORILYN ROBERTS BOOK REVIEW: The Gopher & The Erstwhile Wizard, by J.L. Rallios

The Gopher and The Erstwhile Wizard is a delightful story I highly recommend for ages 5 to 14. 
My children are past this age now, but I wish they were young enough that I could read it to them. And yes, I read to my daughters into their teens—family togetherness at its best. This book is also a wonderful story for readers of all ages who love allegories and enjoy Narnia-type books with talking animals and unusual creatures.

I worried about the gopher relentlessly, who always seemed to go from bad to worse in his journey of life, but rest assured, the ending is full of redemption and fulfillment in a way you do not expect.

If you are a Christian, you will see a lot of subtle symbolism. If you are not a Christian, the story will resonate with you because Rallios is a great storyteller. The Gopher & the Erstwhile Wizard is well written, has characters you will love, and a classical feel. I hope readers will pick up The Gopher and The Erstwhile Wizard and add it to their Kindle library. Don’t miss out on this one!
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