Monday, May 18, 2015

Spring Writing Links


How has the weather been in your area? I hope you are enjoying spring and finding plenty of writing inspiration. Here are a few links that might aid your journey.


Whether you write fiction or non fiction, Writer's Digest offers help with 50 Articles on Writing to Help You in 2015. Link categories include plot, structure, characters, grammar, publishing, article writing, freelancing, and more.

Have trouble staying on track? Jennifer Brown Banks at Pen and Prosper offers help in 5 Ways to Stay Focused to Finish Those Projects!

Do you know how to use the word "couple"? It can be trickier than you think. C.S. Lakin explains its proper use in this post

Time management on your mind? Seth Godin provides an interesting take on productivity in Five Steps to Digital Hygiene.


What helps you manage your writing time? Do you have any new spring writing projects?

Happy writing,

Karen



Photo credit: Free Images

Monday, May 11, 2015

If Everybody Did




If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover is a delightful children's book that ponders what happens if everyone did things like leave muddy footprints in the house or toys on the stairs. The results are humorously illustrated in this little treasure, carrying, of course, the bigger message that our actions affect those around us.

The content always makes me think. (My grandson and I read it recently.) The writer's mind is rarely still, right? :)

What if writers never:

Wrote anything?

Assisted a fellow scribe?

Took time to learn something new? 

Pressed through writer's block, doubt, and insecurities?  

Would the world be a different place?

Entirely so, I'm thinking.

What aspect of the writing life are you most grateful for? Which ones could you live without? Have you ever thought about how your actions as a writer affect others?

Happy writing,

Karen

Monday, May 4, 2015

Meet the Blogger with Patti J. Smith








This month's Meet the Blogger features author and blogger Patti J. Smith. This sweet writer is an avid football fan and has traveled the globe. Her books include devotionals and fiction including The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series III. 

Welcome Patti! Thanks for stopping to see us. Why did you start blogging? 

My publisher suggested blogging after my first book was released as a way for readers to get acquainted with me, not just as a writer but a person. 

That is good advice, it is an excellent way to do that. How long have you had your current blog

My first blog post went “live” on October 2, 2013.

What is your blog about? 

If you look up “variety” in the dictionary, the link to my blog should be there!  I write about personal experiences in all aspects of my life … faith, family and, of course, FOOTBALL.  I throw in book reviews, interviews with authors and even a mini-concert or two.  

It sounds like a good reflection of you. What better way for readers to get to know the real you! What benefits have you gained through blogging? 

I find myself paying more attention to what is happening around me. Life is full of blog-worthy moments if we take the time to observe and listen. 

I agree; ideas and topics are everywhere. What project/s are you working on right now? 

I’m finishing up Unholy Vengeance, Volume IV of my Christian Suspense series and setting up scriptures for a devotional about grief.  

What might people be surprised to learn about you?  

I shouldn’t be alive!  I wasn’t expected to live past the age of one due to a mystery illness which turned out to be a heart defect.  Diagnostics in the early 50’s weren’t as advanced as they are today.  I had open-heart surgery in 1964 and was given a 40% chance of surviving.  When I was twenty-three, I was hit in the head with a baseball bat, resulting in four skull fractures and a laceration on my forehead.  Once again, my parents were told I may not make it through the night.  Then seven years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and after a thyroidectomy and radiation, I remain cancer free.  Evidently, God had other plans for me. :)

Wow, I would say so. I am glad you are still here. :) What advice would you share with a newbie blogger? 

Be fearless, diverse, and speak from the heart. 

Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Patti. Wishing you all the best with your books! 

Thanks for inviting me, Karen! 

More About Patti: 

Patti J. Smith writes devotionals, light romance, and suspense.  She was born to a military family in Wimpole Park, England and traveled extensively during her childhood. She is a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, serves as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats.  Patti publicly shares her story of redemption in a variety of venues and appeared in the newly-released documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles”.  Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three beautiful granddaughters.  She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Visit Patti



Is your blog fearless and diverse? Do you have any questions for Patti?

Happy writing,

Karen 


Photo Credit: Free Images

Monday, April 27, 2015

National Poetry Month




April is National Poetry Month!

Do you like poetry? I enjoy reading it, but was never a big fan of writing it. Not sure why, guess it just wasn't my thing. 

Several years ago while tutoring a student, our studies included a unit on sharks. For the writing portion, we dabbled in poetry, including limericks. (Who says you can't write poems about sharks?) 

If you promise not to laugh, I will share the shark limerick I wrote to illustrate the principle in our lesson.


The Shark From Cancun

There once was a shark from Cancun,
Who could jump as high as the moon.
One night he took flight,
And had quite a fright,
When he leapt in a hot air balloon.

 
Care to try one too? Feel free to choose any theme - not just sharks - and share in the comments.

Here is a quick refresher:
  • A limerick has five lines
  • The rhyming pattern is AABBA, also called anapestic.
  • Please keep it clean; this is a family friendly blog :)

More Poetry Info
 
Find additional Poetry Month info here.

Visit Brownielocks & the Three Bears for limerick info and examples.

Read Jennnifer Brown Bank's post entitled 7 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month.


Do you enjoy writing poetry? Are you celebrating National Poetry Month?

Happy writing,

Karen


Photo credit: Free Images

Copyright 2010, Karen Lange. All rights reserved. No portion of this may be used without prior written permission from Karen Lange.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sacred Idleness






"Work is not always required. 

There is such a thing as sacred idleness, 

the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected."

George MacDonald  



Must idleness always be thought of as unproductive or lazy? Or can it be sacred, as Mr. MacDonald suggests? 
 
Years ago, one of my writing instructors at the Institute for Children's Literature stressed the importance of being idle. It gives the brain and body time to rest, for one thing, and can also produce fresh ideas and a new perspective.

In this age of 24/7 activity, I think there is a great need for cultivating idleness. In the long run, the fruit of inactive times can be great.

Do you agree with Mr. MacDonald? Is there idleness in your schedule?

My Dad is coming to visit later this week, so I'm taking a break to spend time with him. I'll be back on April 27. See you then!

Happy writing,

Karen 


Photo credit: Free Images

Monday, April 6, 2015

Meet the Blogger with Susan J. Reinhardt






Welcome to another installment of my new series, Meet the Blogger. Susan J. Reinhardt is here to share a little about her blogging adventure.  

Susan is the author of The Moses Conspiracy and The Scent of Fear. While each book can stand alone, they comprise a series set in the future in the scenic Amish countryside in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The last book in the series, Out of the Mist, should be out later this year. The collection also includes a heartwarming novella, The Christmas Wish.
 

Welcome Susan! Why did you start blogging? How long have you had your present blog?   

Hi, Karen! Thanks for having me on your blog today. I began Christian Writer/Reader Connection to start building my social media platform. May will mark the blog's 7th anniversary. 

Congratulations on 7 years! What is your blog about? 

It's all about connecting writers and readers. There's something special about drawing those who love to write and those who love to read together. I've met so many lovely people during my blogging years.

I agree on both counts. :) What benefits have you gained through blogging? 

The biggest plus has been the relationships within the writing/reading community. As a result of visiting other blogs, I've discovered authors and books I would never have otherwise known about. Posts on the craft, encouragement for the journey, and helpful links have educated me and helped me progress in my own writing.  

What projects are you working on right now?  

My fourth novel, Out of the Mist, will be out soon. I'm so excited to have The Moses Trilogy completed. (The 4th book, A Christmas Wish is a novella that gives a peek at what happens between the first two books.) I've also begun my 5th novel, which is a Contemporary, a new experience for me!  

What might people be surprised to learn about you?  

I didn't start off writing novels. Non-fiction was my first love. I might still write a non-fiction book or two down the road.  

What advice would you share with a newbie blogger?  

Start small and build your following. If you try to post five days a week in the beginning, you'll burn out. I began posting Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which worked nicely for me. The important thing is consistency. People will get accustomed to finding a new post on a certain day. Don't disappoint them. Also, visit other blogs and ask the bloggers to exchange links. This will give your blog greater exposure. 

Thanks for visiting, Susan! 

Thanks for inviting me, Karen!  


More About Susan: 

Susan's publishing credits include numerous devotionals, articles, and some anthologies. In 2003, she began writing fiction. The Moses Conspiracy, The Scent of Fear, and The Christmas Wish were published in 2013. Her latest book, Out of the Mist, released in 2015. A Christian, widow, stepmom, daughter, and friend, she makes her home in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she enjoys couponing, reading, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

Susan's Blog - Christian Writer/Reader Connection
Susan's Facebook Page  
Twitter - @susanjreinhardt


Do you have any questions for Susan? What advice would you share with new bloggers?  

Happy writing,

Karen

  
Purple rose photo credit: Free Images