Friday, March 29, 2019

First 500 Pages/Prevent Errors/Divorce Shocker/Devo/Pressure Cooking

invasion of the plants

1.  Bill Ferris, at Writer Unboxed, gives tips on how to Nail Your Novel's First 500 Pages. Think about the agent or editor with a stack of proposals. If you don't grab their attention in the beginning, it's an instant rejection.

2.  Zoe M. McCarthy is a favorite writing blogger. In this post, she gives "4 Ways to Prevent Errors From Invading Your Books."

3. Breaking Christian News shares "Divorce Statistic Shocker." It's not as bad as we've been led to believe.

4. Audrey Frank posts at The Write Conversation about the opposition we face when obeying God's direction. It's related to the writing life, but can be applied to any situation we face.

5.  I'm enjoying my new Crock Pot Express Multi-Cooker (similar to Instapot). Yesterday, I made a pot roast and herbed carrots. Here's the link for Home Pressure Cooking that I discovered on Pinterest. This post gives recipes for egg bite molds.

Writers:  How do you approach your novel's critical beginning?

Readers:  What is a big turn-off when reading the first few pages of a book? Mine? I read a story which introduced at least 10 characters in the first couple of pages. While I usually will give a book some time to get moving, this was too much for me.

Photo Credit:  Constantin Jurcut

Monday, March 25, 2019

On My Kindle - Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann


A tumble into the water and a nasty bump on the head render our heroine without a memory. She emerges out of the mountains of Kauai and meets a caring islander, Monica "Nica" Pierce.

Cameron "Kai" Pierce investigates all manner of fraud on the mainland. When his sister sends him an S.O.S. about her unexpected guest, he flies back to help her out. Jade, as his sister has dubbed the woman, is an enigma he is determined to either expose or protect. Whatever happens with her, his sister's safety is paramount.

Wow! This story took off from the first page and kept me riveted. I've read many of the author's books and always savored the mix of mystery, suspense, danger, and romance. Freefall delivered on all counts.

5 Stars for this book!

Writers:  Have you crafted stories with multiple elements? Please share.

Readers:  Many books stay with one element like romance, Sci-Fi, etc. Others combine elements. For example: Historical romance is popular. What's your favorite genre/genre combo?

Friday, March 22, 2019

Writing Zone/7 Writer Hacks/March for Life/Powerful Words/Spring

Woodland Path

1.  How do you start the writing journey? I've heard this question multiple times. Edie Melson, at The Write Conversation, asks, "Have You Entered the Writing Zone?" Newbies, you'll find this helpful, and it's a good reminder to those of us who are further along in our journey.

2.  Did you make New Year's resolutions about your writing? How's that going? If you're stuck, Positive Writer gives 7 Writer Hacks.

3.  Faithwire reported in January on Ben Shapiro's address at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Science shows that life begins at conception. All the arguments for abortion are based on when life matters.

4.  The old saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never harm me," is totally false. Edie Melson, from The Write Conversation urges us to remember the power behind our words. Whether we're writers or not, what we say can have either a positive or negative effect on others.

5.  I'm giddy that spring is here. To get a taste of the season's floral delights, I hopped over to Better Homes and Gardens and checked out their spring flower slide show. I hope it has the same effect on you as it did on me!

Writers:  How are your writing goals progressing? Please share.

Readers:  Have any of the books you've read (other than the Bible) had a profound effect on your life? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Chris Burke

Friday, March 15, 2019

Descriptive Writing/Motivation/Your Rights/Devo/Adjustments

pine 2

1. Jean Fischer posts on "How to Use the Bible to Practice Descriptive Writing."

2. Jean Fischer does it again with "5 Ways to Push Forward When Your Head Says Stop." If you're having difficulty staying motivated, hop over there and read this post.

3.  Principal Bans Teacher From Church Event where Students Will Be Present. Yes, this is happening in the United States. The lesson here is don't be afraid to stand up for your rights.

4. Eva Marie Everson talks about, "Dipping the Quill Deeper: Developing The Devotional Life."

5.  Jeanette Levellie shares an interesting experience about adjusting from a big city to a rural environment. I thought you might enjoy this short piece.

Writers:  What actions do you take to stay motivated to write?

Readers:  What kind of links spark your interest the most? Recipes? Devotionals? Home Decor? Reading related posts? Other? Please share. This blog is all about writers and readers. Your opinion matters. :)

Photo Credit:  Adem Kaya

Monday, March 11, 2019

Turn the Volume Up

Public Address System

When I'm alone on a long drive, listening to a CD makes it less boring. In the winter, the engine noise and heater combine to blot out the sound. If I want to hear the content, I have to turn the volume up a notch or two.

I've noticed the noise of the world around me makes it hard to hear the voice of the Lord. Ah, time to turn the volume up. There are no dials or other gizmos that I can turn, so how do I accomplish this?

1.  Pray and ask the Lord to speak to me. It doesn't stop there, I need to have ears listening for His answers.

2.  Regular time spent in the Word increases my sensitivity. I'm giving Him my attention.

3.  Listening to anointed preachers, and teachers of the Word is another way to hear His voice. I've been pouring my heart out about a certain subject, and all of a sudden there are people talking about that very thing. Their teaching clarified and gave me the answers I needed.

4.  Ordinary conversations with other believers can shine a light on a problem or an attitude needing adjustment.

5.  Often a word or phrase from the Bible will jump out at me. As I focus on them and study further, light dispels the darkness.

As a writer, I've often run into a seemingly impenetrable story wall. Where do I go from here? Worry and wringing my hands didn't solve these difficulties. I've learned to take a break, pray and ask the Lord for direction. Many times I've dreamed or received the answer coming out of sleep.

I've been on a hiatus from writing. Burnt out, discouraged, and ready to throw in the proverbial towel, it seemed impossible to get beyond this dry time. Wishing things were different, yet remaining passive, have not and will not work. There have been many false starts. 

As I've made a quality decision and turned the volume up, my spirit and soul are drinking deeply from the water of the Word. It's taking some time, but the inspiration and desire to write are coming back.
Writers and Readers: What are some ways the Lord speaks to you in your daily life?

Photo Credit:  Bugdog

Friday, March 8, 2019

Piracy/Misused Words/Big Brother/Devo/Soup Recipe

Disc smashed by hammer 1

1.  A lot of authors worry about their books being pirated. Traci Tyne Hilton points out some interesting facts. It might not be as bad as you think.

2.  Zoe M. McCarthy continues her blog series, "Words Misused - Part 3."

3.  WND reports on the State of Oregon's considering a bill mandating home visits for newborns. Big Brother is trying once again to exercise control of what should be family matters.

4.  Emme Gannon posts at The Write Conversation. She asks, "Has God breathed life into your writing?" Whatever endeavor God has entrusted into your hands can benefit from this insightful post.

5.  I've been getting brave and trying new recipes. This is one I'm saving here for future reference. The Italian soup, Pasta Fagioli, is a favorite of many. Ready, Set, Eat posted this recipe. Hey, if you try it, let me know how it tastes and if you'd consider making it again. :)

Writers:  Traci doesn't seem overly concerned about piracy. Do you agree/disagree with her assessment? Please share.

Readers:  We're well into the New Year. Have you decided to try something new like a hobby, job, education, etc.? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Leszek Soltys

Monday, March 4, 2019

Writing About Social Issues

Feuding cups 1

Virtual fist fights break out on Facebook all the time. People have their opinions, but rarely couch them in polite terms. How can we express our opinions without alienating those who differ from us?

In a word: Story.

When faced with difficult questions, Jesus often told a parable. Think about The Good Samaritan, The Pearl of Great Price to name a couple. He painted a word picture in real-life terms.

I started out as a non-fiction writer. The task of communicating scriptural principles came out more as a textbook than something to catch the reader's attention. Using some basic fiction techniques helped "put skin on the words."


These changes made the pieces come alive. Readers (and editors) could relate to the stories, and the principles jumped off the page without beating the reader over the head.

Ha! Perhaps if we applied these less combative methods to social media, it wouldn't feel like a war zone.

And that's my opinion for today.

Writers:  Do you touch on social issues in your writing? How do you keep it from aggravating the reader?

Readers:  How do you feel about expressing your opinion on social media? Is it something you dive into or do you shy away from it? Please share.

Photo Credit:  Richard Styles

Friday, March 1, 2019

Time/Book Cover Design/Christian Airline/Devo/Amish Cleaning Hacks


1.  Lisa Hall-Wilson gives 5 Ways Time Affects How We Write. In deep point of view, we're not supposed to name emotions. However, there are exceptions. She explains the principles involved. I think even non-writers will find this article fascinating since it gives insight on how we process traumatic events.

2.  Carol Ashby posts at Seriously Write about designing book covers that appeal to both men and women. Since many authors are now going the Indie route, they're assuming full responsibility for every aspect of production. Don't miss this valuable advice.

3.  Christian Headlines reports on the world's first Christian airline. They will provide churches and missionaries with easier travel.

4.  "What is a God Adventure?" This devotional on CBN made me think, especially as the new year is fairly young. Check it out.

5.  I came across an item on Pinterest about Amish Cleaning Hacks. Check out some of their tricks for discouraging pests, degreasing, etc.

Writers:  Either fiction or non-fiction - how do you go about designing your book covers?

Readers:  Do you enjoy reading devotionals? What are some of your favorites?

Photo Credit:  Michelle Seixas