Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Isn't it amazing how God does this?

A beautiful gift he gave me 14 years ago
just keeps blooming into ever bigger and more
beautiful bouquets. 

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.
I would marry you all over again!

Monday, October 8, 2012

9 Ways to Tell You're in the Writing Groove

A picture's worth a thousand words...










Anything look familiar?

What else would you add?

Praying for you to be in the groove,


Saturday, October 6, 2012

The big Five O

Ready or not...

Before the end of this year I'll turn 50. Believe it or not I'm actually a little excited about that. I have this theory that this is the beginning of the second half of my life and it's going to be amazing. 

What if I live to be 100? I'll have 50 more years in which to be creative, share and experience life, and that's exactly what I want to do. I'm adding to my bucket list (which I'll share another time) and making plans to tackle that list with gusto - or at least a great deal of enthusiasm. 

But first, the birthday. I'm trying to decide on a memorable way to celebrate the occasion. My husband wants to take me to Biloxi to introduce me to the world of gambling. I've never been in a Casino and it might actually be great research for a future book. 

I want to learn to shoot. For some reason that makes my husband nervous!  Hmmm... Well it is my birthday and I think I should get what I want. Right? 

Okay, we're still working on plans, but you can help. 

If you've arrived at the big 5-O (or any other milestone birthday) how did you celebrate? Would love to hear your stories and suggestions. (I really do want to learn to shoot! )

So answer this question: For my 50th birthday I...

Following the plan,


Friday, October 5, 2012

31 Days of Focus for Christian Writers

The first book I ever read about writing was not so much about the craft of writing as it was about God in your your purpose, your inspiration, the object of your worship and the maker of your dreams. 

For the Write Reason, by Marybeth Whalen is a collection of 31 profiles of people in the publishing industry sharing their thoughts and experiences in the business, and always pointing the way back to the Creator of our talent and the maker of our dreams. After each entry there is a brief Bible study by Marybeth making this book an ideal one to use as a month-long devotional. 

You will find entries by Allen Arnold, Lysa TerKeurst, Mary DeMuth, Sharon Jaynes, Rebecca Ingram Powell and Janet Kobobel Grant to name a few. And you are certain to find several that touch your heart and speak to your personal journey, no matter where along that road you may find yourself. 

You will hear the authors write of success, failure, rejection, inspiration, managing life and using your writing as ministry.  This collection is one that I will continue to read again and again as a reminder to me of the One who directs my path and my writing journey. 

You don't have to delve too deeply into the world of publishing - even Christian publishing - to know that distraction and misdirection wait around every corner. The desire to succeed, the constant temptation to compare yourself to another writer, and the overwhelming amount of information available can quickly become the center of your world and that road leads only to disaster and heartache. 

If you need some encouragement on your journey, or have been looking for something to remind you of your priorities I encourage you to pickup a copy of Marybeth's book. Read it, mark it up, pray over it. Then pass it along to someone else who needs it. 

Let me know what you think. 

Following the plan, 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

9 Craft Books on My Reading List

  1.  Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne & Dave King
  2.  Characters & Viewpoint, Orson Scott Card
  3.   The Making of a Christian Bestseller, Ann Byle
  4.  Conflict, Action & Suspense, William Noble
  5.  Plot versus Character, Jeff Gerke
  6.  Conflict & Suspense, James Scott Bell
  7.  Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint, Nancy Kress
  8. Plot & Structure, James Scott Bell
  9. The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, Andrew McAleer
What else should be on my list? Please leave a comment with your suggestions.

Following the plan, 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Would You Go to Jail?

Today as I was flipping through Facebook I came across this article that just made me stop and question:
  • how far would I go for a cause I believe in?
  • how seriously do I take religious freedom?
  • how concerned am I that our religious liberties are being taken away - without much protest?
  • would I take a stand that could end in my arrest?
Working in the mental health field in emergency services I spent more than my share of nights in jail... doing assessments and commitments. I know what it's like to hear that heavy metal door slam shut behind you leaving you at the mercy of the officers to let you out again. It was a little unnerving - and I could ask to be let out whenever I needed to go. I break out in a cold sweat at the thought of actually being locked in a cell because I committed a crime. 

So...this  article made me think about what I might be willing to go to jail to protect - or protest. I'm trying to be honest. It's a hard question for someone who really isn't comfortable bucking the system. I'm the peacemaker. That's not a bad thing, but I wonder if sometimes keeping the peace means too much compromise. 


Following the plan, 


Monday, October 1, 2012

A Year of Writing Goals

Let's see,
  first I want to...

Well I'm freshly back from the 2012 ACFW writer's conference in Dallas and using the weekend to regroup, organize and make a plan. 

The conference was amazing! For me it was primarily a time of spiritual renewal which I desperately needed. Every workshop and main event seemed to sharpen my focus on God, his plan, his timing...HIM. 

Now that I'm back home in the day to day reality of life I know I need a plan to keep me on track so here is my list of goals for the next year. It's a work in progress, posted on the bulletin board by my desk so that I can see it and pray over it every day. Here goes:

  1. join a critique group
  2. have my MS professionally edited
  3. get an agent
  4. enter the Genesis contest next year
  5. attend ACFW in 2013
  6. develop other writing opportunities: magazines, newspaper articles
  7. read one craft book a month
  8. set and keep a daily writing schedule
  9. do NaNoWriMo this year 
  10. get involved in my local ACFW group
I'm sure there will be others, but those will keep me working hard for the next 12 months. There is one more... I hesitate to write it, but it is what I'm working toward and I believe that I need to 

so here it is...

 11. sign a book contract

Wow. It takes a lot to write that. It will be a God thing, but isn't every dream we have? I trust God to use what he directs me to write and I will be happy and honored if he will do that, but I will do the happy dance big time if I can sign my name on a contract one day! 

I will do my part: study, practice, work hard, learn, and trust God to do what he does best when the time is right. 

What about you? Have you set some goals for yourself for the coming year? What is it that you want to accomplish to move you closer to your ultimate writing goal?  

Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Following the plan,