Friday, December 6, 2019

Hair/Writing Obstacles/Kanye West/Devo/Cookie Recipe


1.  Language is so rich and provides many ways to describe hair. Yes, you read that right. I said, "hair." Writers in the Storm takes a post from their archives and shares it with their readers. Do you need help describing your character's hair? This is a good place to start.

2. Lynn H. Blackburn posts at The Write Conversation about moving past writing obstacles. Wow! She perfectly described what I'm going through right now as I'm in the early stages of my next book. I think this post will help a lot of you who are struggling to find that sweet spot in your writing.

3. Kanye West's acceptance of Jesus as his Savior and Lord has drawn much attention. While some have questioned whether or not he's indeed changed, I think his turning away from crude lyrics and commitment to preach the gospel speaks for itself. Let's rally around him with prayer and love. Check out this article on Faithwire.

4.Do you sometimes think what you're doing in ministry doesn't amount to much? Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, shares her thoughts on being used by God.

5. While some of my friends get in the Christmas spirit in October, once Thanksgiving passes I'm all in. Yeah, the yearly cookie baking frenzy hits me full force around this time. With that in mind, I checked around for some cookie recipes. Enjoy!

Writers:  Which writing article helped you the most? Please share.

Readers:  When does the whole Christmas season take hold in your house? October? November? December? I'd be interested to see if I'm the only one who gets hit with cookie-baking frenzy. :)

Photo Credit: Kenneth Jones

Friday, November 29, 2019

Writing Dialogue/Real-Lie Intrusion/Infanticide/Prayer/Cupcakes

Tiny Feet 3

1.  Kathleen Neely posts at The Write Conversation on the Do's and Don'ts for Writing Dialogue. Newbies and seasoned writers alike can benefit from this post.

2.  Julia David urges, "Writers Beware. Your Real Life May Intrude on Your Creativity." See her post at Seriously Write.

3.  Virginia's governor made some outrageous comments in an interview regarding infanticide. It's no surprise he got his talking points from Planned Parenthood. Check out this article.

4.  Lori Hatcher shares a Writer's Prayer at The Write Conversation. Readers can relate by simply substituting whatever gifts God has given them.

5.  Christmas is right around the corner. Check out these cute cupcakes at Preppy Kitchen.

Writers:  What kind of difficulties do you experience when writing dialogue?

Readers:  What would you substitute for writing in The Writer's Prayer?

Photo Credit: Benjamin Earwicker

Friday, November 22, 2019

Book Publishing Trends/Speaking/Illegal Seizure/Devo/Thanksgiving Decor


1.  Know how the book publishing market is trending can provide helpful information to authors (both fiction and non-fiction). Jane Friedman gives an extensive report.

2.  Cathy Fyock posts at The Write Conversation about how to generate more speaking engagements.

3.  WND reports on a major U.S. city facing claims from 35,000 people as a result of confiscating cars, land, and homes without reason.

4.  Rhonda Rhea's humorous devotionals always make me laugh. She recently posted at The Write Conversation, "Persona Non Au  Gratin." What does cheese have to do with it? Hop over there and see.

5.  CountryLiving's website has some cute ideas for Thanksgiving decorations.

Writers:  Do you have a speaking platform? If so, what are some of the ways you get additional gigs?

Readers:  Have your reading tastes changed over the past couple of years? What new genres have you explored?

Photo Credit:  Gabriella Fabbri

Friday, November 15, 2019

Hugs/Write Boldly/Homeless/Legacy/Turkey Recipes

Sleep Tight 2

1.  Respected writing teacher, Margie Lawson, posts at Writers in the Storm about, "Fresh Writing Sells: Make Hugs Carry Power." A simple hug can turn into a powerful statement that grabs the reader. Please note this isn't a Christian website, but there are only minor things that might make you wince.

2.  Heather Webb posts at Writer Unboxed on, "Writing Boldly, Without Fear." Are you afraid to give your character flaws?

3.  WND reports on Kentucky's law that makes it illegal for a ministry to help the homeless.

4. Harry McLaughlin posted on The Write Conversation about what kind of legacy are we leaving. He's not only speaking to writers but everyone.

5.  Do you have a pressure cooker? With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought you might be interested in some turkey recipes. I found some on Pinterest and decided to share the website, Berry and Maple, with you.

Writers: Which writing link interested you the most?

Readers:  Do you ever check out the writing links? What information did you find surprising?

Photo Credit:  A Syed

Monday, November 11, 2019

On My Kindle - Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Mayflower Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 1

Mary Elizabeth Chapman's world is turned upside down when her father announces they are going to the New World with their congregation. Things are not easy for the Separatists in Holland, but it's home.

William Lytton is urged by his mentor to travel to the New World where his carpentry skills will be a valuable asset and his past will be unknown. He's been taught well and has an excellent reputation, but he wants nothing to do with God.

When the two young people meet on board the Mayflower, sparks fly. Yet Mary  Elizabeth feels guilty because he's not part of their congregation. Her father would never agree to a match with those they call, "Strangers."

Will they ever have a chance at love? For that matter, will they survive the journey to the New World and the troubles that await them?

Kimberley Woodhouse is a new-to-me author. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of history and fiction. It made me grateful for those hardy souls, who braved unspeakable hardship to settle this country. She also shared her research and how she went about writing this book. It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes story.

I'll be looking for more of her stories. 5 stars for the Mayflower Bride.

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Writers and Readers:  Do you find historical fiction educational? Who are some of your favorite authors?

Friday, November 8, 2019

No Unsolicited Manuscripts/Writing Time/Student Forced/Inspiration/Panic Attacks

Liberty Bell closeup

1.  If newbie writers don't know how publishing works, they soon find out. Checking publishers' websites, they'll see, "no unsolicited manuscripts." Cindy Sproles, at The Write Conversation, takes on this subject and gives suggestions on how to break through this barrier.

2.  We hear so much about time management and how we can carve out enough to write. Lynn Blackburn, at The Write Conversation, urges us not to despise the writing time you do have. This article hit close to home for me. I'd be interested in what you think.

3.  Breaking Christian News reports on the possibility the Supreme Court may take on the case of a Christian student being forced to recite an Islamic conversion prayer.

4.  Do you ever wonder if your writing impacts others? Lucinda Seacrest McDowell shares how God showed her He wanted her to continue writing. Check out her post at The Write Conversation.

5.  Usually I reserve this spot for fun stuff. However, this week I'd like to share a post by Dr. Caroline Leaf on dealing with panic attacks. Dr. Leaf is a Christian and an expert on the human brain. Her posts are informative and practical.

Writers:  What kinds of discouraging thoughts plague your mind about your writing, and how do you deal with them?

Readers:  What book (other than the Bible) spoke to your heart about a personal situation? Please share.

Photo Credit:  R L

Monday, November 4, 2019

On My Kindle - The Fiddler by Beverly Lewis

The Fiddler (Home to Hickory Hollow Book #1)

Amelia, a successful concert violinist, has a secret passion. As Amy Lee, she enters contests and plays the fiddle at major venues. It's her way of breaking free from the control of her father and agent. She's tired of the constant traveling and a romance that has grown stale.

Michael, a young Amishman, still sits on the fence whether or not to join the church or walk away from that life. He still honors God, but the restrictions of his community leave him frustrated and unhappy.

On her way home from a fiddling gig, Amelia/Amy gets lost in a raging storm. She happens upon a cabin in Amish country and meets the kind Amishman. There's no way their worlds can intersect unless...

It's been years since I read a Beverly Lewis Amish novel. After sampling a number of other authors in this genre, I moved on to explore other books. Out of all the Amish authors, Ms. Lewis has been my favorite.

"The Fiddler," was a happy choice. The storytelling, characters, and setting captured my imagination, and I spent many hours enjoying Hickory Hollow. I might even pick up the next book in the series. It was a pleasant change of pace for me.

Five Stars!

Disclaimer: Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed, as always, are mine and mine alone.

Writers and Readers:  Have you every grown tired of the genre you prefer and moved on to other types of books? Would you consider going back and sampling the latest offerings in that favorite genre?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Emotions/A Hiding Plot/Christians Banned/Devo/Geraniums

Country Geranium

1.  Lisa Hall-Wilson, at Writers in the Storm, talks about writing emotions in deep point of view. Don't let that frighten you. She's an excellent teacher, and I've learned a lot reading her articles. :)

2.  Janice Hardy, at Writing in the Storm, posts on, "Getting Lost When Your Plot Hides Behind the Details." Sometimes we have an idea for a story, and it isn't working. She gives a great example and then dissects it.

3.  When a Christian band was excluded from a concert on public property, they asked the ACLJ for help. The lawyers met with the organizers and pointed out that the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the free speech rights of individuals. Check out this informative article on WND.

4.  Peggy Sue Wells posts, at The Write Conversation, about Cec Murphy and how his experience on the mission field impacted his writing.

5.  Geraniums add so much beauty to a garden.  Instead of buying new plants every year, why not try overwintering them?  I found these instructions at Nikki Lynn Design.

Writers and Readers: Which link resonated with you this week? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Kym McLeod

Friday, October 25, 2019

Co-Writing/Don't Quit/Coffee Shop/Courage/Birthday Freebies

Leap of faith

1.  Joshua Masters posts at The Write Conversation about co-writing with the Holy Spirit. If we consider ourselves Christian writers, we must get to know the One who has written and sold the greatest best seller of all time.

2.  Most of you know I've struggled writing each book. At the moment, I could easily walk away from writing (well, not THAT easily since ideas keep popping into my head). I found this post at The Write Conversation, which encouraged me. God never promised the writing journey would be a cakewalk. So, my friends, keep the faith.

3.  Faithwire reports that Pastor Bruce McLeod is opening a coffee shop staffed with special needs people. Don't miss this heartwarming story.

4.  How many need a dose of courage? Yeah, I could use some of that myself. Gail Johnson posts at Seriously Write about this subject. While she comes from a writing perspective, we can apply this to many situations.

5.  Birthday freebies! Check out Hip2Save's latest list here.

Writers and Readers:  How do you stick with projects that encounter multiple obstacles?

Photo Credit:  Dave Shields

Storytelling/Theme/Free Speech Ban/Devo/Budget Fall Deco

Fall leaves 01

1.  Peter Selgin, at Jane Friedman's blog, talks about vivid storytelling. This article also gives writers a glimpse into a strong edit of a first page. One main lesson was, "don't confuse your readers."

2.  Jenny Hansen, at Writers in The Storm, teaches about finding the theme of our story. We all recognize that books focus on a particular aspect such as forgiveness, joy, purpose, and love. Jenny gives us tips and examples on how to identify that aspect of our story.

3.  Four students from Wheaton College are suing the City of Chicago for banning them from sharing the Gospel in local parks. Several times they were told they could not talk about religion under a rule that bans disruptive behavior. The students are countering this is in violation to their free-speech rights. Check out this story at Christian Headlines.

4.  Rhonda Rhea, at The Write Conversation, gives a humorous encouragement about, "Less Burden, More Joy."

5.  I found The Budget Decorator website that gives easy and inexpensive fall decorating ideas. The colors are so pretty this time of year. Why not give your home a touch of the season?

Writers:  When writing a story, do you have an underlying theme in mind? Please share.

Readers:  What kind of decorations do you put up for fall?

Photo Credit: David Mackenzie

Monday, October 21, 2019

On My Kindle - Finding Love at the Oregon Coast by Angela Ruth Strong

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast: A Romantic Novella Collection by [Strong, Angela Ruth, Coryell, Christina, Woodhaven, Heather, Phillips, Lisa]

This book is written by four authors, covering the romances of four friends.

Christina Lovejoy cancels her wedding to Eddie when she realizes he's not committed to the Lord. This isn't how a romance novel usually begins, so I was intrigued. Each friend moves on with their lives and wonders if there's truly someone special out there for them.

If you're looking for a simple, clean romance, you'll enjoy this book. It's a fast read, well written, and has a strong spiritual message.

5 Stars - enjoy!

Writers and Readers:  Do you enjoy writing/reading romances minus historical/suspense elements? Please share.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Agents/Scents/Right to Know Law/Devo/Herbs


1.  Getting an agent is akin to grasping the brass ring. So many publishers require agents to submit manuscripts. Rachel Pieh Jones posted at Jane Friedman's blog about, "What Happened After I Lost My Agent - Twice." This article gives specific suggestions on how to handle rejection, including our attitudes toward our writing and ourselves. (You'll see from our devotional below the tie-in. I needed this, and I'm sure many others do as well.)

2.  Zoe M. McCarthy talks about introducing scents into stories. Her posts always give me great ideas.

3.  WND reports on a judge's ruling that The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania forfeiture records are subject to the Right to Know Law. The government can take - yes, TAKE - property and money even if no criminal charges are filed. This is definitely a must-read article.

4.  Beth K. Vogt posts an encouraging word at The Write Conversation. While it's geared toward writers, the principles apply to everyone. What kind of words are you speaking - strong ones or weak ones?

5.  Winter is fast approaching. You can have fresh herbs by growing them indoors in pots. Check out this post at Easy  Balcony Gardening for instructions.

Writers:  Which writing post resonated with you? Please share.

Readers:  Do you have an indoor garden during the winter (things you'd normally grow outside in good weather)? Please share what types of plants you select. I'm especially interested in saving the beautiful geranium that graced my porch all summer.

Photo Credit: Gerson Ben David

Friday, October 11, 2019

Non-Fiction/Guidelines/Agencies Banned/Encouragement/Recipe

4 padlocks (locked)

1. Attracting an agent or publisher for a non-fiction book takes quite a bit of finesse. Chad Allen gives tips on how to make your proposal stand out.

2. Last week, I shared a post about Online Safety. This week, I found an article by Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, about her guidelines for what to share online. If you're active on Social Media, writer or not, I think you'll find this valuable.

3.  WND reports on how the City of Philadelphia is banning Christian agencies from helping kids.

4. Audrey Frank posts at The Write Conversation about Encouragement. Although it's geared towards writers, everyone can use their words whether written or spoke to encourage others.

5.  Are you looking for an easy version of beef and broccoli? I found this recipe on Just A Taste and plan to try it soon. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to reduce the sodium content? I looked through the comments, but only found one person who said to use low-sodium soy sauce. It still has too much for us.

Writers and Readers:  Do you have personal guidelines on how much to share on social media sites? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Nick Benjaminsz

Monday, October 7, 2019

On My Nightstand - The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

Margot DeWilde works as a crytologist (code breaker) during World War II. A brilliant mathematician, she's a great asset to the Intelligence community. Her life centers around logic and math even though her faith is strong. She doesn't see how matters of the heart and head can work together. She's about to get some big lessons.

Drake Elton is stationed in Spain, working undercover for Great Britain. His instincts and prayers have helped him successfully foil German plots. His opposite number in the German spy network manages to severely wound him. He's flown back to England, where he faces a long, difficult recovery.

He's fascinated by the beautiful, but unconventional, Margot. What chance does he have of capturing her heart when so many others have tried and failed?

The author created characters of such depth it was hard to believe this was a novel. I've read quite a few of her books, and this ranks as one of my favorites. It would be helpful for the reader to pick up the previous series before starting the Codebreaker Series. While a stand-alone novel, having the background from the other books made this a richer experience.

Roseanna M. White is fast becoming one of my go-to authors. I can't wait for the next book in this series. 5 Stars for The Number of Love.

Disclaimer:  Neither the author nor the publisher paid me for a favorable review. All opinions expressed, as always, are mine and mine alone.

Writers and Readers: What are your favorite elements in the Historical Romantic Suspense genre? Please share.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Online Safety/Character Emotions/Yale Prof/Perseverance/Coffee

Protection helmet

1.   Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation gives 8 Tips for Writers to Stay Safe Online. The cyber world has many criminals looking for an easy mark. Protect yourself by taking some simple steps.

2.   Jerry Jenkins tells us how to skillfully reveal our characters' emotions. I was unable to do a normal link, so I'm posting the entire one here.

3.  Finally, a Yale professor rejects Darwinism and points to Intelligent Design as a serious theory. Check out this article at Christian Headlines.

4.  Whether you're a writer or reader, there are areas in life where perseverance is required if you're going to succeed. Christopher Wells posts an inspiring word at Seriously Write.

5.   I learned something recently from a houseplant post on Houseplants love coffee! Instead of dumping leftover coffee down the drain, you can use it as a natural fertilizer for your plants.

Writers:  What are some measures you take to stay safe online?

Readers:  What topics regarding current events interest you?

Photo Credit:  David Guglielmo