Friday, May 22, 2015


1.  Ace Collins guest posts on Everyone's Story and shares the challenges of writing a Dedication. How do you condense a life into one or two short lines?

2.  Whatever you think of homeschooling, this New Jersey couple were subjected to an interrogation and threats that should give all of us pause for consideration.

3.  Betsey Duffy and Laurie Myers guest posted on Seriously Write. They used readers to advise them on the accuracy of their scenes.

4.  K. Douglas Brown guest posts at Blogging Bistro. He gives 3 Lifesaving Tips for Newbie Bloggers. I wish I'd had these when I started out. I'd add one more to his list: learn how to schedule posts. :)

5.  Beth K. Vogt shares a devotional on The Write Conversation. She encourages us to "Be All There."

Writers:  How do you find experts to help you with your works-in-progress?

Readers:  Is there some area of expertise you have that could assist your writer friends? Please share. Maybe I'll consult you in the future. :)

Photo Credit:  michelemik

Monday, May 18, 2015

The More I Write...Part 1

You'd think after writing four books, I'd have my process nailed down. Yet with my current book, I'm learning so much. Yes, I'm still a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, but there are nuances to it just as there are with plotting.

Here are some of my latest discoveries at the halfway point in this novel:

1.  Having a passion for my story is essential to writing it.

There are two camps out there: 

A) Those who say you can't wait around for inspiration. It's all about just doing it. 

B) Those who say you can't write when you don't feel inspired.

I don't belong to either camp. True inspiration, or vision as I like to describe it, isn't about feelings. It's about direction and passion for the story.

Unlike my futuristic novels, my latest work-in-progress is a contemporary. It was conceived while attending a series of meetings at my church. Quite frankly, it scared me silly because I didn't know how I'd ever pull off such a story.

I wrote a single page and then didn't write another word for months. Maybe I was hoping it would go away, but it didn't. Part of me ached to write it, but I held back. What was wrong with me? After taking a long, hard look at my situation, I discovered:

A)  Every book I'd written before caused the same reaction in the beginning. This wasn't anything new.

B)  I overcame the fears by trusting the Lord and diving into the manuscript.

2.  Before I start each session, I pray.

I've done this before, but wasn't as consistent as I'd like. This time, I'm leaning heavily on His direction. Is He dictating the words? No, of course not, but He is giving me ideas for scenes and subplots.

Again, I look back and see how God helped me get through the writing of the first four books. This one is no exception. He will give me the strength, ideas, and anything else I need to make it to The End.

Writers:  How do you get past the fear element of a big project, whether a long article or a book?

Readers:  We all face major projects, whether it's writing a book or working on a home renovation. How do you get from the "want to" to the "doing?"

Photo Credit:  svilen001

Friday, May 15, 2015

 1.  Sierra Godfrey posts at Writers In The Storm about promotional items for authors. She discusses giveaway items, setting up a booth at book fairs or other venues.

2.  Positive Writer talks about keeping others from sabotaging your work.

3.  WND reports on the second state to resist the militarization of local police forces. Law enforcement agencies are using federal grants to buy heavy-duty military equipment.

4.  Are you in a quandary between traditional publishing and Indie? Barbara Hartzler guest posts at Elaine Stock's blog on 5 Reasons Why I Decided NOT to Choose Between Them.

Writers:  Do you share your work with others or hold it close until it's in publishable condition? Please share.

Readers:  Do you read Indie books? Please share.

Photo Credit:  creactions

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Writing Journey - Then Came Preparation - Part 3

Our pastor has been teaching on recognizing God's purpose for your life. One of the hallmarks is preparation. The Lord is not one to throw you into the pool and say, "Sink or swim."

Preparation entails not only learning the technical aspects of your calling, but also developing patience, perseverance, and endurance. The publishing industry is ever changing in this digital age, and requires all of these character traits.

Like most writers, I started off doing small projects. Short pieces for Christmas programs and skits increased my appetite for writing. Later, the need arose for Sunday School Curriculum and a monthly devotional for our tape ministry.

At one point, I sent out poems to several Christian publications, but nothing came of the effort. Back then, the Internet didn't exist, so I relied on information in their magazines. The lack of support for Christian writers discouraged me, and I set my writing aside for a number of years.

When I got married and moved to another state, the dynamics changed. The Christian writing community was vibrant, and my husband urged me to pursue getting published. The Internet provided ways to connect with other writers, readers, and publishers.

Devotionals, short articles, and pieces in several anthologies soon followed. Eventually, fiction became the vehicle for my stories. The journey continues with new book projects. Out of the Mist will soon be published, and I'm also working on a contemporary novel.

All the years of preparation are bearing fruit. Did I want to quit? More than once. Am I glad I didn't? You better believe it. :)

Are you still wondering if you've found what you were meant to do? Look back over your life and see if there are repeating themes. 

Writers:  What kind of preparation did you/are you going through for publication?

Readers:  What preparations were necessary to reach your goals/purpose in life?

Photo Credit:  asifthebes

Friday, May 8, 2015


1. With conference season upon us, crafting a dynamite elevator pitch may make the difference between a request for a full or partial proposal and being sent home empty handed. Writers In The Storm give excellent instructions on how to produce a great one or two sentence pitch.

2.  Fox News star, Greta Van Susteran, goes all out to rescue Christians - She notes that her parents' generation said they didn't know what was happening to the Jews. Our generation cannot use that excuse. We see the evidence every day on the news and through the Internet. Check out this insightful article.

3.  Do you want people to find your blog? Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, gives valuable information on how to find labels and tags that will make the search engines sit up and take notice.

4.  Susan Panzica, at Eternity Cafe, wrote an insightful post on How Can I Know God's Will? I think you'll find it helpful.

5.  Marja Meijers, at Fresh Insights On Ancient Truths, talks about restored relationships.

Writers:  Do you have a one or two sentence pitch for your manuscript? Please share any tips you have on producing one.

Readers:  If you blog, what kinds of tags and labels do you use?

Photo Credit:  ilco

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Writing Journey - Then Came the Magic of Story - Part 2

Once I nailed down reading, a whole new world opened up to me. I'll never forget how entranced I was when I read the story of tiny people, who lived in a child's dollhouse. For the first time, I didn't think about how thick the book was or the "work" of reading. I cared about each character and their dilemmas.

Many other books followed from The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, the Sue Barton nurse series, Cherry Ames to early Christian Fiction books for children. Every month, I looked forward to the catalog of books for sale and begged my parents to get me the titles on my Wish List.

The library became my favorite hangout place, and the workers all knew me by name. Every week, I'd pick out 7 books and rush home to read my treasures. It became difficult to find new books after awhile, and I began taking out non-fiction titles as well. Biographies and books on hobbies and ballet caught my attention.

The Internet didn't exist, so I couldn't search Google or read about my favorite authors. Wherever books were sold, I searched for more reading material. We are blessed to have a wide variety of Christian fiction available to us now.

One important lesson this rite of passage taught me: Learning the technical skills needed for reading opened the door to great books. In the same way, when we take the time to hone our writing, it creates a pathway to stories that will reach a reader's heart.

Writers:  What important lessons have you learned on this journey?

Readers:  Was there a special book that hooked you forever on reading? Please share.

Photo Credit:  iamWahid

Friday, May 1, 2015

Inside Info/Disabilities/Marketing/Devo/Names

1.  Here's an insightful article from an interview with a Bethany House editor. If you write fiction, you won't want to miss this.

2.  World Net Daily reports on a Princeton professor's declaration that severely disabled infants should be denied healthcare under the Obama program. Yes, here in America, the unthinkable is being promoted. We are now going from search and destroy in the womb to infanticide.

3.  T. J. Marino, of The Strategist, gives a checklist for those who self-publish and want to actually sell books. It takes a lot of work and isn't easy. Are you prepared for this?

4.  Dena Netherton's post on My Father's World, My Father's Words, caught my eye. She talks about the "I'll show you people."

5.  Jeanette Levellie provides our chuckle for the day at Hope Splashes with a post entitled, "Name That Kid."

Writers:  Do you have a marketing plan for your book? Please share.

Readers: What was your favorite link this week?

Photo Credit:  svilen001

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Writing Journey - First Came Reading - Part 1

Unlike some authors, I didn't come from my mother with pen and paper in hand, spouting stories. Writing slipped into my everyday life almost unnoticed and hid if I caught a glimpse of her in my mirror.

When I was in elementary school, writing was the furthest thing from my mind. The learning curve for reading was like climbing Mt. Everest. Thankfully, three awesome teachers provided the tools I needed to master this skill.

My parents, who were strong believers, started taking me to midweek service. The Word of God and much prayer on their part got me through this difficult period in my education.

One day, everything clicked. Letters and words made sense, and I was off and running.

Writers:  When did you first develop an interest in writing? Did you face any unusual challenges?

Readers:  How did your love of reading begin? Please share.

Photo Credit:  cieleke

Friday, April 24, 2015


1.  For those writers who want to take a shot at plotting (not me, thank you very much), Wendy Paine Miller gives some pointers on the process.

2.  Devotional Time: Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, asks, "Am I carrying baggage or luggage?"

3.  A chuckle for you compliments of Linda O'Connell, at Write From The Heart.

4.  Jessica Nelson guest posts at Craftie Ladies of Love Inspired. "No Chocolate Chip Cookies? What?!?!

5.  Zoe M. McCarthy gives 32 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Book.

Writers:     Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you every tried a plotting method? Please share.

Readers:  Which link was your favorite this week and why? What kind of links do you prefer?

Photo Credit:  Daino_16

Monday, April 20, 2015

Make "Someday" Today!

Once people discover I'm a published author, they'll often make statements like, "I'm going to write a book someday." I've learned a thing or two over the years:

1.  It takes a quality decision to write a book. I can talk about it for a decade, but unless I take steps to make that dream a reality, it will never happen.

2.  We've all heard it:  Writers write. We can hang out at writing blogs, hobnob with authors, go to conferences, but that won't make us a writer. It takes sitting down, opening a document, and working on a project.

3.  If we wait until we have time, we'll never write. We must MAKE TIME to write. This may mean giving up or curtailing a favorite hobby. When writing became a priority for me, I had to limit the time I spent crocheting and doing crafts.

When I first started, I was working with my husband in a small business. We talked and decided that part of Wednesday would be my writing time. No matter how much time we set aside, consistency is critical. That time was blocked off on my calendar, and my husband held me accountable.

Getting into a habit takes time: Make "someday" today!

Writers:  Did you have a moment when you decided writing was something you would pursue? Please share.

Readers:  These principles apply to many areas of life. When did you stop dabbling in an area and get serious about a project?

Photo Credit:  O_M

Friday, April 17, 2015

Social Media/Silenced/Characters/Devo/Questions

1.  Are you on Pinterest? Working Writers has an article on how to get more out of this Social Media site.

2.  Atlanta, Georgia's mayor has declared that if employees have different beliefs than those of the city, they must check their beliefs at the door. This is one of the many attacks on free speech and endanger all of us, both Christians and non-Christians alike.

3.  Marian Merritt guest posts on Zoe M. McCarthy's blog. She gives 5 easy tips on how writers can deepen their characterization.

4.  Devotional Time:  MaryAnn Diorio shares her teaching on Believing is Seeing.

5.  Karen Lange, at Write Now, asks some questions that can enrich our writing.

Writers:  What are some of the questions you ask when working on a manuscript?

Readers:  Are you on Pinterest? What kind of pins do you enjoy?

Photo Credit: mst_b

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Temporary Pause in My Writing Journey

Please note that my books, The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and the Christmas Wish, are temporarily unavailable for purchase. I am moving on to another publisher, and I will let you know when they become available again.

I am excited for the future of my writing and look forward to new opportunities. In the meantime, I will still be on social media and celebrating your successes. Thanks so much for your support!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Writing Crutches/Twitter/Spying/House Cleaning

1.  Blogging Bistro had an article about Google penalizing websites that were not mobile friendly. Not being the techy sort, I got lost in some of the jargon. However, I thought some of you might benefit from this information.

2.  Cindy Sproles guest posts at The Write Conversation on the subject to throwing away your writing crutches. Now, doesn't that sound intriguing?

3.  Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, does her best to convince us that Tweeting and Writers were meant for each other. She gives examples of how to construct a tweet using hashtags. I may have to print this one out.

4.  World Net Daily reports that a U.S. city is spying on churches in its community an demanding they get licenses.

5.  Jeanette Levellie, at Hope Splashes, shares how she handled the drudgery of house cleaning (almost without pain).

Writers:  What do you think of Twitter? Please share.

Readers:  It's your turn to share your cleaning secrets. Ready, set, go!

Photo Credit: cx ed

Monday, April 6, 2015

Warned! Now what?


In the Old Testament the watchman had an important job. He kept an eye out for invading armies. If he saw one approaching, he sounded the alarm, so the citizens would not be taken by surprise.

Many are warning about the conditions here in America. You don't have to be a prophet to read the signs of the times. Yet, it's one thing to see approaching danger and another to take action. Wringing our hands or taking a fatalistic attitude won't accomplish anything.

Kingdom Intercessors United is calling the Church to prayer. While it's important to participate in our government by voting, contacting our representatives, etc., that's only one small part of protecting our freedoms.

It's time for united, concentrated prayer. Here is a prayer for our nation KIU has provided that you can use in your daily devotions:

According to Psalm 91, I confess that America dwells in the secret place of the Most High and we as a nation abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Lord, You are our refuge and our fortress, our God, in You do we trust. We trust you God to protect this nation from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. You shall cover us with Your feathers, and under Your wings we will take refuge. May the Word of God and the Name of Jesus be this nation's shield and buckler. We will not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of any destruction that the enemy may plot, for anything that is hidden will be revealed to our national security.

I confess that no evil will befall this nation; neither shall any plague come near or within our borders. Heavenly Father, as an intercessor, I give your angels charge over this land. As a nation, may we set our love upon Jesus, call upon Jesus, and honor Jesus.

I also pray that the decisions made by our leaders would be divinely directed by you; therefore, the leaders would be men and women of discernment, understanding and knowledge so that the stability of America will continue. I pray that the righteous would be in authority so that the people in our land can rejoice and live in peace. Amen.

Writers and Readers:  Do you pray for our nation on a daily basis? What are your thoughts on the subject? 

Note: Please no theological critiques. We're only interested in praying for the nation.

Photo Credit: coloniera2

Friday, April 3, 2015

Powerful Words/Super Blogger/Avoiding Snack Attacks

1.  Zoe M. McCarthy gives tips on how your words can possess power. As writers, we are not only trying to give our readers facts, but to paint word pictures that evoke emotion.

2.  Chad R. Allen did an interview with super blogger Jonathan Milligan. I particularly liked his blog template and how he keeps the ideas flowing.

3.  World Net Daily reports on disturbing medical experimentation with cells from aborted babies.

4.  Jeff Goins, at Goinswriter, talks about the process of finding your calling in life. I thought he did a great job giving expression to what is often viewed as a difficult process.

5.  Susan, at Writing Straight from the Heart, shares how she averted a snack attack. :)

Writers:  Do you consider your writing a calling or a profession? Please share.

Readers:  What's your favorite way to avoid a "snack attack?"

Photo Credit:  plattmuck