10 Questions for Mary Byers10 Questions for Mary Byers
1. Tricia: I've heard somewhere you're an enthusiastic and energetic speaker. What energizes you? Are you an introvert or an extravert?
Mary: I’m energized by helping people live up to their God-given potential, which is why I like to both speak and write. I believe if I can touch one person through my words, then I’ve been successful. So many people are living lives of “quiet desperation” (Did Thoreau say that?) and that saddens me.
2. Tricia: One of the topics you write/speak on is managing conflict. If you could give one piece of advice for those of us who RUN whenever there is the slightest hint of conflict, what would that be?
Mary: Here’s the advice: Remember that conflict does NOT age gracefully. The longer you let it go, the worse it gets. And here’s some assistance: for those who RUN, learn these two questions: “Can we agree to disagree and still be able to work/live together?” and “What did I do or say to make you feel that way?” These two questions will make it easier to address conflict. Finally, practice focusing on areas you and someone you have conflict with agree on rather than focusing on your differences. This will enable you to overcome the differences.
3. Tricia: I'll let the whole world know that you helped me come up with my writing tag, Reflecting Reality, Honoring Truth . Amazingly, this fits all my writing--from my fiction to non-fiction. In three easy steps, how can writers do this for themselves?
Mary: Ask yourself these three questions and immediately write down the answers you “hear” in your heart:
1. What drives you in your writing (i.e. why do write do what you do?)?
2. What message resonates with you that you want to share with others?
3. If you had to sum up your writing in a sentence or two, what would you say?
Once you’ve done the above, look for the theme that emerges. Your tagline will likely come from what you’ve unearthed in this exercise.
4. Tricia: You seem like a wonderfully busy lady, what do you do for fun?
Mary: Fun? What’s fun? Seriously, I love to get together with friends, I ride my bike (a blue “Coastal Cruiser”), and spend time with my family (a hubby and two children). My favorite fun (after the above) is to get lost in a good book. There’s nothing better!
5. Tricia: If there was one phone call that would leave you jumping for joy, what would that be?
Mary: I entered a writer’s contest this summer and I’d love to hear that I was selected as one of the winners.
6. Tricia: The title for one of your books is, "How to Say No and Live to Tell About It." What is one thing you've said no to lately?
Mary: Believe it or not, I said no to writing a book proposal this summer for what I hope will be my next book. Instead, I followed my own advice and said, “Now’s not the best time for me. May I get that to you in September?” Even though I wrote How to Say No , it’s still something I have trouble with so I was proud of myself!
7. Tricia: You help people figure out their priorities. What is one priority you have for the rest of 2006?
Mary: I’ve assigned a theme for each of the past five years of my life. The themes reflect the one over-arching goal I have for the year. This year is “The Year of Bigness” which reflects my desire to more fully grasp how big God really is—and how he wants to do big things in my life (and everyone else’s too!). My goal is to be quiet enough to hear God’s call on my life—and courageous enough to take the steps necessary to act on that call.
8. Tricia: Italian or Mexican?
Mary: Mexican, no question. I had my first burrito when I was ten years old and I haven’t looked back since. Kraft Spaghetti dinner (which I grew up on) just didn’t cut it after that!
9. Tricia: What is the last book you checked out from the library?
Mary: The Weekend Marriage. It’s impacted me so deeply that I’ll be co-teaching a Sunday School class based on its precepts with my husband and another couple this fall. The bottom line is this: our marriages aren’t what they could be because we’re so time-starved. Instead of whining about it, the author challenges us to decide what we’re going to do about it. Thankfully, she also shares some ideas about how to respond to it. It’s an incredible blessing to be teaching this class with my husband because we survived a REALLY bumpy patch in our marriage years ago and I’m humbled by the way God restored our love for one another.
10. Tricia: If all the blog readers were invited over for dinner at your house tonight, what would you serve us?
Mary: Tenderloin cooked on the grill, buttery corn on the cob, green beans (fresh from my garden!) and red, white and blue popsicles for dessert (just because they are so much fun!).