Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nine Days Later

Dear God,

This past week  or so was full of many surprises both good and tough and I did not have the opportunity to write much. However, my head is full of thoughts so I've not quit simply because I'm behind in the game.

NaNoWriMo has felt more like "Nah! No Write No Mo" this week but I've come up with a plan. It's a little tool I used to employ when I was plagued with arthur-write-us due to Lupus; it's called "Dragon Naturally Speaking". Heaven knows I can talk a mile a minute to someone I know very well and since I've been known to talk to myself and I know myself well, I think together we can make this happen.

Oh, God. I'm glad You have a sense of humor and that You seem to let my dreams play Hide and Seek with me. I'm also thankful that You keep life running so fast and full that I have so much about which to write. Maybe You want me not to be so serious and to use this over-tired brain to write comedy. It seems to be all that I can muster these days. So, well, I'm in for the ride.

Maybe I will write a comedy mystery romance how-to sci-fi novel with a twist of historical fiction. Ya, that oughta do it. Then I can enter it in every contest I find online so that I can once again receive the familiar rejection letters I used to see so often. You know how much I need my daily dose of rejection. But You--You love me no matter how many words I write or how novel my ideas sound and You--You already know my heart so that when I am too tired to make any sense, You have heard my prayer and answered before I have even spoken a whisper of it.

Thank You, Father for loving little ol' writer-me and showing me that I am not what I do but  who You made me, a person made in Your image. Though I can only see  the me that is still in the depths of the molding process, in Your eyes, I am a masterpiece. Thank You.

Now I ask that You allow me to see the world through Your eyes enough to know what Your plan is for my writing, whether it be to write a novel, an article, steady chatter for my companions or some brilliant work of words that touches a million hearts. I give this gift that You have given me back to You for Your use, Your goals, Your purpose and for Your glory.

In Jesus' Name,


Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One, Prayer-Confessions of an Aspiring Novelist

Dear God,The Author and Finisher of ALL things,

Did you know a human could truly write several thousand words without editing and survive it? I didn't. In fact, I assumed that most unplanned writing was not worth reading but pure drivel. Perhaps some of it is. I just never thought I could write that way.

 But I can because of Your help. How weird is that? No editing. Well it's suppose to be "no editing" but I just couldn't help myself 100% of the time.You know that, of course. You made me and knew that I would obsess about doing it right, but through Your grace, I did it. I  imprisoned the ciritical side of my brain and let the creative thoughts flow. That HAD to be Your handiwork there.

Here's what I found: in writing, I am a very big plotter, planner and editor, so much so that I edit myself right out of writing the story at times. Next, I've also discovered that writing is a great deal like life in that one cannot micro-manage it or it will never go anywhere and one will always be frustrated and uptight. Some planning is helpful but too much of it stifles the creative flow of the story.

So, I did it. I wrote my first day's worth of writing for National Novel Writing Month as a seat-of-the-pants style novel. Wow. It feels good. (unless you count the occasional one eyebrow I raised as I told myself not to correct things yet.) The time will come in December to edit. This month is all about the writing. It's so revitalizing to my soul. I've missed this part of me. I was lost but now I'm found. Only a writer could understand that statement in relationship to this topic. You understand. You are THE ULTIMATE author, only--You never lost Your vision or thoughts. You always had us in mind even before we were formed in our mothers' wombs. You wrote the words of our Life Book. You knew I would want to be a writer. You even knew (when I didn't know) that I could write creatively if I stopped over-planning.

 I can't sit and revel in it though because I have several thousand more words to write this month and this type of writing is new to me. So I'm going to need a little help freeing up my schedule and my busy brain if You want me to do this.

I have no idea how it will turn out in the end but at least for now the process has begun and I am finding my creative juices have not totally dried up.  I'm not being proud-just happy, happy to find something to enjoy and delight in. As my friend and I discussed tonight, we are made in the image of You, our Creator. You create and  are pleased with Your creation. We were designed to create and be pleased with our creation. Because we are human, we have the chance of being displeased with our work  periodically but when we take the time to relax and keep creating, eventually we will produce something that makes us smile with satisifaction. That is because You made us in Your image. In those ways, we are like You.

 I've heard it said that we are most like You when we play and create--more so then when we work ourselves like dogs. Even You rested on the seventh day to enjoy what You had made.

It's not proud, is it, to be glad God gave you a gift to use and to use it? It's an insult to not use it and not believe that You knew what You were doing when You gave gifts to men. How much more intimate we become with You, our Creator when we realize that You created us each to have such pleasure in creation of our own. How endearing it is. What insight it is into Your character!  When we see what we create and are pleased, we know a smidgen of the feeling that You have for us when in Ephesians You say we are Your masterpieces. Amazing.

Well, I've not created any masterpieces yet but I have seen the beauty of Your wisdom in creating each of us with our own creative bent. How wonderful it must feel for You to see one of Your children delighting in the gift prepared for them from the foundations of the earth. It's just like we feel when we see our children enjoying a gift that we labored for them to have. We don't resent them for enjoying it. We smile with glee to see what joy it brings them.

Thank you, God for the gift of writing. May this novel writing journey bring praise and delight to You who created me to love linguistics and  made me a scribe of life's events and innovative ideas. If for nothing but the mere pleasure of reading and writing the words, may I always use this gift as a reminder that You love ME. Yes, Me. You loved me enough to create a gift that You knew I would love for all of my days. May it not only be pleasing to me but may it be a blessing to others as well.  Thank You, God.


Your Daughter


Note: Yes, this is really me. I've been on a long haitus. Life swamped me with responsibility. I'm still swamped but I've decided that the topic of this post is the way I can jump back in to the pool of writing again.

 NaNoWriMo.  WHAT????  What kind of baby talk is that? Oh, maybe it's another language. That's what I first thought several years ago when I heard about NaNoWriMo. A few of my friends participated. Then the next few years, they participated again.Me. I watched with wonder and felt unworthy for the task. I still do but I'm putting on the hip-waders and jumping in this year because--well--this year is different. It's not because I have any less responsibility weighing on my schedule but because I decided I'm tired of not pursuing my dreams and I'm just gonna go for it, no holds barred.

So... this year is the year. I am going to sign up for NaNoWriMo. Here's some info on it. http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/whatisnano

Who else is with me?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Inspiration from Good Books

When I was a teenager, I used to be an avid reader of the Mrs. Polifax mysteries. I read and felt like I was on an adventure with her. This is how I long to write. For so long, I've been writing the facts of life. I naturally and easily write the non-fiction but there is a part of me that longs to write fiction and not just any fiction. I want to combine comedy, mystery, suspense and romance into a novel that people drewl over and stay up all night reading.  Is that even possible?

I love, love, love old-fashioned murder mysteries. I adore comedy. I can only write that when I'm overtired and then I don't know I'm funny until the morning after. Then there's the suspense. I've been told I have no poker face. Maybe I can get over this in writing since people will not see my face... and romance, well, certain kinds of it I enjoy. Some of it is so unrealistic. Is that my non-fiction writer voice coming through?

In addition, how will I ever make writing anything more than play if I can't find time to write until my brain is a white screen of static? In years past, my creative brain was on full force and I wrote all the time, everywhere about anything and everything. I even had some writing published. It wasn't bad either. So what shall I do to wake up my sleeping  muse? Well, if you can't write it, read it.

I'm back into Mrs. Polifax mysteries again and loving it. I figure that I might as well begin where I first started. Maybe that will inspire me.

What do you do when you just seem stuck? I hear people say that they never have a problem with this because they are true writers and they always write. I always want to write and I seem to write in spurts.  Sometimes it's all or nothing, Baby.

For now, I will inspire myself by reading some good books. I shall put up the "DO NOT DISTURB"  sign. Mrs. Polifax and I shall have tea.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I'm so thankful for the time to write once again. A part of  me was missing without being able to "write my heart" as much. I am once again "back in the saddle".

Last weekend, I watched my boys as they enjoyed therapeutic equestrian training. It was quite the experience. So much of their involvement focuses on balance, posture, learning to communicate with the horse and listening to the trainer. It struck me as similar to life. Whatever we learn to do takes focus, concentration and communication as well as learning the rules and philosphies around the particular interest. Mistakes can be dangerous or even fatal.

Writing is also like that. It takes research, time honing the skill, a general interest in what you write, advice from the experts and listening to your Trainer. You have to balance your unbridled dreams with the "bit" of editing and consideration of who is sitting in your audience. Your posture on topics and what you present publically determines the direction that your writing takes in the market. You have to run a few times around the ring to learn what works and what doesn't. Maybe you make a mutitude of laps before you see a rut behind you.  You mount carefully and ride confidently all the while realizing that your horse is bigger than you and must be tempered. You must lead your horse rather than letting it lead you but you'd be a fool not to notice what your horse is doing and "saying". Are you tracking with me here?

Writing is complicated. It flows naturally but must be harnessed as well. If you don't pay attention on the trail, you are likely to be bucked accidentally at bumps. After a great deal of riding, you climb off and need to rest for a while. You might be a little sore from the effort. It can be a while before you are able to climb back on again.

Well, I'm there. I'm finally back in the saddle.  This week, I began working again on my Christian RAD Parenting book.  I also had a children's book idea that "asked" to be written right away. I have several works in progress:  one big one and many little projects (some finished and some still developing).  I don't know if this is unusual or not but that is how I tend to work best with many irons in the fire (I had to use that analogy since we are talking horse sense).  I needed to be off the ride for a while to straighten up some things in the ring and on the trail of life but now I am ready to ride. Fences needed to be mended; holes needed filling.

So where will this ride take me? I feel like I have trail maps now and a good compass. God will be my guide too. Please pray for me if you are so inclined. And if you are a writer, saddle up, partner! You're along for a great, scenic ride, Lord-willing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pardon Me, My Epidermis is Showing

It's been ages since I posted here. I've been too busy with other writing and real life duties as a: therapeutic parent, counselor-in-training, band member, teacher, homeschool mom and many other responsibilities. I'm doing well now, though I was overwhelmed for a few months. I needed to drop a few things and balance the plate a little better so I had some time to write and to blog.  I recently began working on a book I had on hold for a while---which leads me to this story:

 When I was an awkward eleven and half year old, a smart-alek boy in my school walked up to me and whispered through grinning teeth, "Your epidermis is showing." I looked down at the hem of my skirt and around at my body for a few minutes until I realized he was attempting to provoke me. I rolled my eyes and walked away, all the while shaking my head in disgust. How dare he put me on the spot like that? Later I chuckled. It was kind of cute.I just couldn't believe I fell for it at first. How humiliating!

I've had many embarassing moments in my life: like the time in my teen years when I attended a youth conference with 7,000 other teenagers and my worn half-slip fell to my ankles right in front of a clump of sharp-looking 16ish year olds. With my puritanical type upbringing, humiliation became a familiar friend again. I walked right out of the slip and never looked back for fear that the shock on my face would provoke even more of a reaction from the boys. I ran up the steps to what I thought was the balcony and right straight into the mens' bathroom. My only option was to back out and run down the steps, right into the pack of boys I just left. Of course, that was not the last time that I felt the blood rising and my face flush as I or someone near me did something very, very embarassing. (Oh, trust me. All of my sons have found pleasure in finding ways to make a public scene at some point in time.) 

Not too many years back, I sang on a worship team where suddenly the worship leader changed songs DURING the service. Good thing the projector crew was on top of it. The words were projected on the front and back walls for the worship team and congregation to both be able to view. I had forgotten my glasses and did not know the song at all. Since I grew up on stage, I figured I could fudge it well enough. I was right. I really fudged it, not as in faking it-pull-the-wool-over-their eyes-that-I-know-the-song kind of fudge but bigtime-make-a-fool-of-myself fudge.

The fatal line was "God is bigger than the biggest________________".

The blank was suppose to be filled by "canyon" but with my heavy but rare for me, New England accent bursting from the deepest parts of my inner nervous consciousness,  I sang, "crayon" squarely into the microphone for three hundred people to hear. Can you say, "Awkward"?

So what is the point of this blabber about bloops and blunders? As I said, I've picked up writing again on a book I had on hold for a while.  Honestly, I'm not the provokational type; I'm a peacemaker but this message includes some not-so-easy chunks to swallow. 

 "God, do you really mean for me to write this? This is not going to put me on the well-loved resources list." I prayed a few months back.
Don't get me wrong; it will not be condemning, but merely off the beaten path compared to what is out there. I sometimes wish it was someone else called to write it but the inspiration has not dissipated regardless of the time spent avoiding it. Write I must...but...but my epidermis is showing.

Do you ever write things that you feel in your heart of hearts that you are suppose to write but you know that the product may not contain the most desired message? How do you deal with the inner urgings to write things from your heart that may not be popular? Or how do you deal with writing the truths from the hidden places of your soul that you feel others may not be willing to say either? I've had this feeling when I shared my testimony a few times and when I've written a poem about something personal.  Often, the writing when read, has stirred up someone's honest realization of things in his or her own heart that they might not have realized or it gives hope to someone going through a similar experience.

I pray that whatever I write, God will use it to touch hearts, change lives and inspire hope. If He wants me to also lovingly chide, well then, I must say "yes" to the call, though I dread it, in part. Can anyone relate? Or is all your writing pure pleasure to share with others?

Thank you for following my blog about writing. I hope to post more often on this page.  If anyone is still a reader, thanks for being so patient.  Please feel free to jump in the conversation and tell me about your writing journey. I'd love to hear from you.


Monday, March 29, 2010


Do words sometimes jump out at you while you write? Today, while competing with several deadlines, I developed an intense curiosity about the word, "deadline".   From where did it orginate? What on earth does it mean?

Every humorous thought came to mind. Maybe it is because you feel like you're going to die before you meet your deadline OR maybe you write for such a long period of time that everything begins to look like  dead lines. Of course, these were not the correct explanations but it was fun imagining it. Eventually, though, my inquisitive side won out and I popped the question into the search engine.

Here is what I discovered:  According to Merriam Webster's Dictionary and commonly known legend, the word, "deadline", has it's roots in the American Civil War when there were no literal prisons in the field.  Captives were held at gunpoint and told to line up and stay behind two  temporary lines. If they crossed the first line, they were ordered back behind the line. If they ventured over the second line, they were SHOT. Yes, SHOT. Thank God we don't get shot by editors if we are tight on the deadline but it's really a good idea to get your writing done on time anyway or your chances of keeping a writing job are SHOT!

To quote Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story." 

With that in mind, let me get back to my deadlines. I'll be back soon with April's Cheerleader of the Month.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010, Cheerleaders-Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs

Every month, I aim to post a "cheerleader" to encourage Christian Writers in their publishing journeys. 

Today, I found a secular website that lists the "Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs".  I visited a few of the links already and thought  it a good site to pass on to my readers. 

I don't often run out of things to write about ; I run out of free time to write about them or information on where to submit them after I write them. Nevertheless,  all people get writer's block at times and a website so full of ideas from other writers might help to cure that. 

 On the TOP 100 Creative Writing Blogs, you will find writing challenges, contests, information on getting published and many miscellaneous writing pointers. It's great for beginning and intermediate writers, especially. There's a cute blog on apostrophe abuse. (Who'd a' thunk it?)

Some of my readers self-publish, write e-books or write for their churches. I've had a few things published in the non-fiction category (articles, poetry, songs, etc.) but one of my goals as a writer is to be published in many genres since I like to write about many things. I am sure that non-fiction writing is my niche but diversification is a good thing too and it never hurts to try. One never knows where he or she will strike gold. 

Meanwhile, I intend to continue to write and learn. A few months from now, my whacked out schedule will slow down to a reasonable pace and I will have more time to blog and write. I look forward to that day. This has been a very full season of my life. My season of rest is en route. When it arrives, I will write to my heart's content.

Meanwhile, I plan to keep working my craft (writing) and learning new skills.  I read many, many blogs. Some of them are about writing but many are about life in general.  One must live life to write about it. 

Despite that, it's my aim to read more blogs about writing. The above-mentioned website is a wonderful resource. Maybe you have  writing blogs that inspire you that are not mentioned on the above mentioned site or in my sidebar links. Check them out. I have some excellent writing websites and blog links.  Here's a link to one of my absolute all-time favorite websites/blogs.

What writing websites or blogs do you read on a frequent basis? What do you find helpful about them? What  tips would you, as a writer, give my readers about visiting writing blogs? How important do you think it is to writers?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Writing Opportunity for Leading Homeschool Magazine

Last year, I became an independent contractor to write reviews for +-75 vendors who contract with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to gain exposure for their products. Most of the items are Homeschool Curriculae but there have also been products for family fun and household use.  One item we received was a sampler basket  of natural soaps and laundry detergent fragranced with essential oils and natural scents.  Oh, it smelled so scrumptious, I would have eaten some if it hadn't been soap. Other fun things we received were a: Hank, the Cowdog board game along with some CD's and books, Sarah Books a historical novella series based on the time period when the Underground Railroad began to rise as a help to slaves, music instruction, educational games for the computer, curriculae for every school subject including special education materials, college preparation guides and a Bible Study Course for kids using stick figures to make the stories come alive. I still have several months left to receive these products for free as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. You can read my reviews here at: Leaders In Learning blog.   It has been QUITE an experience and I have met MANY wonderful writers and publishers in this process.

The reason I tell you all of this is not to boast on my great treasures nor to brag up my own talent as a writer.  I am not the only person who has this priviledge.  In fact, there are MANY moms and a few dads working from their homeschool program to write excellent reviews for the TOS magazine and what's more? The time is here again for tryouts and you too can try out for a position on the crew. Click here for details.  Your compensation is not in monetary return but you will receive awesome products for your family to try and help bringing traffic to your blog where the reviews you write are hosted. I have received enough curriculum to use for several years, free of charge. As well, I have had my exposure to homeschool materials expanded by leaps and bounds. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity this year and so have three of my friends across the states. I know there are people outside the state who participate as well. To read their reviews,Click Here.  While you are there, look for a ship that says, "Blog Cruise" where crew members answer common questions asked about homeschooling in general.  If you ever wanted to homeschool or are simply curious what all the hubbub is about regarding homeschooling, then you won't want to miss all the blog links that will give you a widespread exposure to why many choose to teach their children at home instead of a public or private school. I have one in public school and another at home but homeschooling is no longer a fringe movement. Numbers are rising across the world, thanks to early pioneers who paved a path to show the world how much sense it really makes.

So, what do you think? Are any of you good technical writers or wonderful conversational writers? The reviewers are ALL styles from a simple straightforward scientific sounding report to elaborate or funny reviews. If you are a homeschooler who likes to write, and would benefit from an opportunity to receive great things for your family, then this opportunity might be for you.

If you tryout, please let me know and tell the editors I sent you, too!

I try to publish helpful articles on this site. I've been a little busy lately and not posted devotionals or market opportunities so I thought I would let you know about this one.  It could be really a good fit for some of my readers. Check it out!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christian Writers, Contend For the Faith!

"Beloved, ... it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." JUDE 3

Whatever genre in which the Christian writers flourish, we have a high calling to exhort our Christian readers to contend for the faith and to bring in those yet to be found. 

It's so much easier to be a generic Christian. By that, I mean, to blend in with the world and not share our faith. However, I believe that we, as all believers, have a call to share the Good News with a lost and spiritually dying world, not to cram words down anyone's throats but to shine the light through our witness so that people will ask and we will be ready to answer.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying it's wrong  for a Christian writer to flourish in the secular market. When God gives you a seed to plant, He will bring the harvest in the ground where it should be planted. Let's not forget though, when the baskets are full of monetary proceeds from the sold harvest (or when they are empty), there is a spiritual harvest ready and waiting for us to come and pick. We are not called to be sheep in wolves clothing but to fit nicely in our sheepskin and to wear it with honor and humility. 

 I exhort you and me both to contend for the faith as the early disciples did. There may be a time when we won't have this freedom that we now hold dear- our freedom of speech. It is happening all around us. I received an email recently about an author who is being imprisoned for using his free speech right here in America. These instances are few and random in our country but not so elsewhere.

It doesn't costs us much in comparison to what our brothers and sisters in Asia and third world countries suffer when they preach the Gospel. Many of them give their lives; all we get receive is a little flack here and there from people. 

Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, (make disciples of all nations) baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen." Matthew 28:19-20

Christian Writer, remember who you are. Don't forget your call. Remember you have fellow sheep spread across this continent and further. Use your freedom as a Christian writer to contend for the faith and win souls whenever God gives the opportunity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We Are Works In Progress

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

I've been discouraged periodically about all of the dreams and goals that have yet to be realized as a writer.  Life gets in the way. I see my imperfections and struggle with self-worth. Missing the mark can make a goal-oriented person feel like a failure.

 In reflection, I have discovered that sometimes I set the mark too high. Other times, I don't work hard enough at the goals but allow distractions to deter me. I'm the stereotypical moody writer, who thinks she can publish a library one day and another day, fills the trash can with crumpled paper.  I don't want to feel like I'm not accomplishing my goals.

I asked the Lord for a Word on which to stand. He gave me the above passage. It was an immense comfort. Here's why:

I am not perfect. I fail. Failure reveals my humanity and somehow, in that state, I see the steadfastness of God. Jesus, the Perfect One, is performing a good work in me--to sanctify, to cleanse, to save, to make whole and to enable for service. He began that work in me and He will not quit working until I am perfect in Him.  When He returns to take me to Heaven and gives me a heavenly body which will no longer struggle with weakness and imperfection, then all my earthly expectations will fade and I will know what was His perfect will for my life and hopefully, hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord."  All the rest won't matter any more.  In order to hear that I need to finish what He called me to.

He  finishes EVERYTHING He starts and that good work in us  that only He does is a work in progress with many stops and starts. I think it's because we are sometimes like the characters in our books or stories that try to make suggestions to the Author. Our suggestions are one dimensional just as our characters can't know what each other are up to but must discover through the plot where they all fit in the story. It is the Author that keeps everything straight and makes the story turn out right. The characters think they would die in the process worrying about their struggles if the Author didn't have it under control.   How amazing is that!

With that in mind, I look at my plans. I'm only one character in the story God is writing of my life. I can't see ahead or how God is going to use every detail of the story to accomplish the plot. I think I'm just going to die of heartache or exhaustion at times when my dreams aren't working out as I'd desire.  Hearing Philippians 1:6 reminded me once again to trust the Author. He is at work on my life. I am a work in progress.So are you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When The Path Branches Off Like a Pile of Pretzels Intertwined...

  Life is incredibly full for me right now. I realize I have a tendency to be addicted to that "busy" and not to clear my path enough to where I can see a straight line. Instead, rather, the moment I empty it, another idea comes cropping up in front of me. There is always something begging for my attention. If I let it, life could dictate my path for me and I could be caught in a labrynth of activity and never follow the path to the hopeful end and the future that God has mapped out for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)

This year will be different. I aim to be more intentional. I'm seeking the Lord in all my ways and looking for His guidance daily in my home, ministry and career paths and for the future. I might have to stop cycling on the maze from time to time--to at least stop in the midst of it and ask for direction more than just in the beginning.

The truth is that we only have so much control over our own lives. Some of us micro-managing multi-taskers think we can conquer the world in a day but really, when it all spins in front of us, our lives could become like the cat's cradle gone askew if we don't let the Master Designer take control of it.

I love writing. I love all the pursuits life holds.I love teaching...
and visiting.... and encouraging.... and counseling and most of the time, parenting.

Somehow I need to strike a balance. Not just what I think is the right balance but what He determines is my position and station in the world.

I've been called to all these things but where the difficulty lies is in finding where they all fit together.

I've decided to stop trying to figure it all out myself. It's time to ask, seek and knock. Every day. Every hour. Every moment. I'm on a new journey to pray without ceasing. About everything. Everyone. Every day.

When I wander, as I am prone to, then I will tune in again and say,

"Speak Lord, for your servant is listening" and I will hear His voice saying,

"This is the way; walk you in it."

Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow. Psalm 25:4.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Cheerleader #2 for Your Christian Business

In the last post, I mentioned Faithwriters as the first cheerleader for Christian writers. Each month, I will highlight one or two more at Rather Be Writing.

Although none of the "cheerleaders" posted on this blog come dressed in pleated skirts and letter sweaters nor do they do cartwheels and wave pom-pom's in the air, they stand to provide a periodic pep-rally to encourage us to work at and market our businesses and/ or writing endeavors.

Today's pick was an "accidental" find. One of my New Year's resolutions is to study the great prayers of the Bible this year. As soon as I decided that in early December, I figured "Why wait?" I began right away. Searching the web, I found several studies to use as a guideline. Dr. Ralph Wilson's study was one of them. I've only just begun to receive his daily email studies but so far so excellent--I cannot vouch for the whole thing as far as expositional consistency and doctrinal accuracy but from what I've seen this far, I've been impressed.

As with any Bible study in which I partake, I wanted to know from which denominational viewpoint it would come. I decided to look up the author and read up. Although I didn't find any specific denominational leanings, I did note that he is a notable Christian businessman and international expert on Internet marketing. He has been identified on one site as Dr. EBiz. He seems to be an example of a very well-rounded person as he not only has a business and a ministry, he also enjoys playing the guitar and auto harp and is a Civil War history buff and a woodworker. Wow. I thought my plate was loaded!

If curiosity has the best of you, you can read about Dr. Wilson here: http://www.wilsonweb.com/speaker/bio.htm
Or you can check out his Bible study here (remember to use discernment and compare everything by the WORD in context): http://www.joyfulheart.com/

I signed up for his marketing newsletter as well as the prayer journey newsletter. Newsletter #1 comes with SIX free e-books for your business! If you know more about him than I do, please share!

I'll try to keep you posted about the outcome and my opinions of his ideas. Although what works for one might be different than for another, I figure it can't hurt to read what brought success to a Christian businessman.

"Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established." Proverbs 4:26.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Motivation

First of all, thank you to any returning readers who have faithfully stuck by me on my silent hiatus from this blog. Please accept my apologies and a resolution to write more on this blog. I can't promise a post everyday but at least once a week should be do-able. (Between my other writing responsibilities, therapeutic parenting, volunteer work with non-profits, and furthering my education, the plate gets pretty full! I'm not the only one who juggles life like this. Many more famous authors have done this and more.)
It's been QUITE a while since I posted anything on this blog since those real life events seemed to have upstaged the business end of my writing for a while. As life settles down and the new year unfolds, I have new motivation and more specific goals to get back on track. I found some inspiration today regarding writing. I suppose that a break was essential to bring me back to the love of it. I've always loved it but it seemed that my overloaded brain couldn't focus for a while. I guess that all writers and artists go through that on occasion. To commically misquote the Queen, "We are not immune."

Today, I watched a re-enacted biography of the life of Louisa May Alcott, one of my favorite authors. I relate so much to the characters in Little Women, her most well-known novel. My sisters and I used to write our own newspaper and act our plays in the living room just like her characters. That was before we read the book or watched the movie. I was most like Jo who went off on her own to write and was always trying to match mate people in my mind. I loved reading people. I just wasn't very good at keeping my nervousness from making me act silly when trying to connect with them. Of course, I didn't quite understand why people weren't enthused about me reading dictionaries in my spare time and sharing the words I discovered nor why they thought me a strange bird to borrow library records--yes, records--that featured opera like the HMS Pinnafore, foreign language lessons or radio theatre comedy from my dad's and grandparent's generations. I was an old soul for my age. (This is the inside scoop-Dr. Wordwielder and I have much in common).

I digress here. Sorry. The show about author L.M. Alcott brought out some interesting similarities between her and I and gave me a few ideas for writing that I would not have otherwise discovered. It also gave me encouragement that it is possible to do well in a writing career even with many life interruptions--if one only follows the dreams in his or her heart to write. This brings to my mind a quote I've heard my friend, JoJo, say, "I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers all written," or something like that.

Sometimes, we have dreams and even begin on our goals but something keeps us with blank pages. It's time either to throw it out and start fresh or get to work! I'm going to do a little of both with my works in progress.

I sent a few children's stories out the other day and intend to keep doing that and sending off articles and short stories while determining which of my larger works in progress to finish first. I plan to complete at least one of them by June this year. Giving myself a deadline will help tremendously. I'm good with deadlines when it comes to writing, not so good with open-ended-unless I have a strong, clear vision about something that must be shared with the world.

That being said, I hopped on over to Faithwriters to see what new designs they came up with for their webpage. I found it much easier to navigate and read a tutorial on making the most of my membership. I've participated in some of the challenges this past year and knew that it is possible to have other articles posted on the site but didn't use the site to it's fullest potential. I did receive offers from a publisher but hope to gain more exposure for my writing by contributing more to the various aspects of what they offer. There is a critique circle, discussion boards, writing lessons and all kinds of opportunities. They're still the same offerings but they seem more user-friendly on the new page. To look at them or browse the articles there, (You might see a couple of mine in the challenge entries), visit this link. http://www.faithwriters.com/index.php
I've posted the previous link before as a place where I receive encouragement to write. My resolution is to find more cheerleaders like this and to interact more with them, especially since the in person groups locally didn't seem to work out for my schedule.
What or who inspires you as a writer? What book, blogger, author, forum, critique circle or other resource helps you? Maybe we can share resources and cheer each other on to doing better in the business end of our writing. Feel free to leave your comments. I'd love to hear from you.