Wednesday, November 15, 2023

I Love to Write Day 2023



Just in case you didn't know, today is I Love to Write Day! Matter of fact, November 15, 2023 is the 21st anniversary of this fun and fabulous holiday. 

Created in 2002 by author and freelance writer John Riddle, this creativity boosting celebration encourages young and old alike to write something long, short, or somewhere in between. Whether someone is an "official" writer or not, they have a writing voice all their own, worthy of sharing all kinds of wonderful things.

When asked about the origin of I Love to Write Day, John said,

"My goal for I Love to Write Day is simple: people of all ages are encouraged to write something: a poem, a letter, an essay, start a novel, finish a novel...the possibilities are endless!"

For all the I Love to Write Day history, info, and fun facts, visit the I Love to Write Day website. Connect with John Riddle on Facebook and Linkedin, and feel free to share about it on your blog or social media. You're welcome to use the ILTWD site link and #ilovetowriteday.

Quick Book Review

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of contributing to another of John Riddle's books entitled,

The PAC Method for Writers: How Prayer, Attitude, and Confidence Can Lead You to a Successful Writing Journey.

This inspiring book includes a collection of personal essays by writers of all genres. Its offerings also include encouragement, guidance, and wonderfully rich insight into the ups and downs of the writing life. These creative professionals share their advice and the pearls of wisdom that helped them stay the course.

John Riddle provides the framework from which writers can gain a better perspective to move ahead in their writing journey. Prayer, attitude, and confidence - these three elements are the keys to help develop not only one's writing skills, but the assurance that their words can and will make a difference.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading my fellow writers' stories; their candor was refreshing and encouraging. No matter where one might be on their creative adventure, there is always something to learn. Whether it's a matter of refining our character or attitude, sharpening our skills, or simply being quiet and trusting for the revelations we need to forge ahead, we can walk in our divine purpose. All writers, I think, would benefit from the support and sage advice within these pages. Highly recommended!

The PAC Method for Writers is available in paperback or ebook on Amazon.

What Have You Been Up To?

How have you been? What have you been up to? Hope all is well! 

Been busy with freelance work and hanging out with the grandkids lately. Enjoying an absolutely lovely fall, and looking forward to Thanksgiving with family.

What are you looking forward to as 2023 winds down?

As always, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you!

Happy writing,


Friday, November 11, 2022

I Love to Write Day


                                                                                                            Image credit: Pexels                                 

I Love to Write Day

Hello friends! Hope this finds you all doing well. I decided to step out of "blog retirement" to share about an important upcoming holiday for writers.

You may already be aware that November 15 is I Love to Write Day. But did you know that 2022 is this fabulous holiday's 20th anniversary? 

Author and freelancer John Riddle, founder of this great celebration, had a light bulb moment in 2002 and started a movement to encourage everyone to join in on the fun. 

John says,

"My goal for I Love to Write Day is simple: people of all ages are encouraged to write something: a poem, a letter, an essay, start a novel, finish a novel...the possibilities are endless!"

For more I Love to Write Day details, history, and fun facts visit the I Love to Write Day site. You can also connect with John on Facebook and Linkedin, and if you're so inclined, share about I Love to Write Day on your blog or social media. Feel free to use the ILTWD site link and #ilovetowriteday in your posts.


A Special Book to Celebrate

Since celebrating a 20th anniversary is a must, John decided to write the I Love to Write Day Creative Journal. This book is packed full of writing advice and tips to get those creative juices flowing. It contains 30 fun and inspiring challenges as well as contributions from 87 creative experts from around the globe. They include writers, authors, musicians, artists, and photographers who share about their creative journey and/or their favorite creativity tips. 

(I'm excited; I had the privilege of being one of the contributors!)


This book was released on November 1, 2022 and reviews are starting to come in. One reviewer called it a “fidget spinner for the creative mind that will inspire you to move from dreaming to doing…more than once!”

For more info on the Creative Journal, visit Amazon.

Speaking of Creative Boosters

What do you do when you're frustrated with your writing or the ideas don't seem to flow? Or maybe I'm the only one who has this happen sometimes? 

There are a few things I do to refresh the creative process. Maybe they're your go-to solutions too.

  • Take a break - I exercise or go for a walk, get a snack, do laundry, call or text a friend, or watch a movie. It helps to get out of the writing zone and change my perspective.
  • Read - In addition to being a great distraction, reading generates ideas, gives opportunity to observe other writing styles and teaches us new things. It takes us places that we otherwise might not go, and that can be such a refreshing change of pace.
  • Create - Whether cooking, gardening, home improvement or small decorating projects, or crafts and experiments with my grandsons, it's always nice to feel creative along other avenues.
  • Just write - When a deadline looms, I push through to get something down. Easier said than done, right? But it has to happen sometimes. Then I step away for a bit and upon returning, there's something to work with. Usually it's not as horrible as I think, and I can revise and work from there. 


What Have You Been Up To? 

What does November 2022 find you doing? How have you been? I'm certain that you've all been writing and creating and doing wonderful things, and I would love to hear about it.

Still writing here, primarily creating content for a web designer. Since much of that is in-house, I can't always share. But I do have a bit of advice about couch covers on the Bob Vila site, and a recent article on freelancing at Writers Weekly. Spending more time on LinkedIn lately too, so if you're there and I'm not among your connections, please feel free to connect with me.

What will you be doing for I Love to Write Day? How do you push through those sluggish writing stretches and get creative again?  Don't forget to share what you've been up to in the comments! 

Happy writing,




Wednesday, October 24, 2018

3 Things I've Learned From Freelance Writing

If you've been writing for any length of time, you know that it has its ups and downs. One day your inbox might hold an acceptance letter for a magazine article query, the next, a rejection letter from that client you'd hoped to gain. One thing remains consistent; there's always something to learn. From sharpening our research or marketing skills to polishing our fiction writing, we can always improve. Every portion of this writing journey has value, for it brings us to where we are today and beyond.

Reflecting on my recent freelance work, it occurred to me how much I've gained. Three things stand out:

  • Greater Writing Efficiency - In the early days, I wrote copious amounts of beautiful prose. Or so I thought. Actually, much of it was okay, just sorely in need of tightening and prudent editing. It was hard to cut those precious words until I saw the value of crisp writing and editing. Practicing word economy yielded more efficient work, with less to edit. This means higher quality writing, faster results, and greater productivity.
  • An Expanded Skill Set - Freelancing has offered opportunities to write on various topics and in different formats. From lesson plans for K-adult to articles, ads, and web content, I've learned much. Recent freelance pursuits include the home improvement industry and drug addiction programs. This experience offers knowledge and skills I can offer to future students, clients, and publications.
  • People Skills - If we're writing for publication, we must deal with people, whether in person, by phone, or email. As writers, you'd think we'd be naturally good at communicating like this. But that's not always true. Even sales and other business experience didn't fully prepare me for the freelance world. What I've gained through freelancing provides valuable insight for communication in other areas of life as well.  

We all know how to cultivate these results - by doing what we're likely already doing, but perhaps with more focus, awareness, and purpose toward our goals. I've hardly arrived into the famous writers' arena, but here are the things that have facilitated my progress in these three areas.

Greater writing efficiency takes time and practice. This doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen in a writer who has a heart for gaining knowledge and growth. Keep learning, always. It's helped me to take classes, webinars, read books, blog posts, and articles, observe others' work, and utilize all the great resources available. Further pursuits include getting a few critique partners, learning to self edit, developing a sharp eye for flaws and cluttered prose.

Expanding a skill set comes in many forms, and ties in with writing efficiency above. I continue to stretch through reading, research, continuing education, and practice. Other things that have helped are writing in other genres, ones that aren't as comfortable. I started a blog and experimented with Blogger and Wordpress. Writing lessons for my teen students offers opportunities to write examples, like mock ads, fiction, and news stories. I keep an informal log of interesting words, phrases, and quotes. I'm often thinking about writing ideas, and am an observer of people, events, and good books, both fiction and nonfiction.

As time allows, it's also helped to stay current with marketing and freelancing trends. Though it's not essential to know all the practices and jargon, it can be an asset to your writing journey. For example, I learned recently what onboarding is and how it'll help with freelance clients. To better target customers and editors, it's also important to know your USP. And all freelancers can save time and money knowing how to avoid scope creep.

People skills are shaped and influenced by our background, experience, and personality type. Good interaction with clients, editors, publishers, and fellow writers is often contingent on how knowledgeable and confident we feel about our skills. How do we improve and stay sharp? Practice good etiquette and common sense. Observe others (what to and not to do). Talk to other writers and business owners.  Read. Research. Learn by doing.

As an introvert, public relations can be a stretch. You might recall this post that discusses things this shy writer has learned about social media interaction. Extroverts, too, experience their challenges building these skills, as I've observed those who've come on too strong or directed energy in the wrong direction. No matter where we might fall in that regard, it's important to enhance our skills and find a good balance that works for us.

Writing is a grand adventure, isn't it? It cultivates valuable growth and wonderful potential for all of life's future pursuits.

What stands out among the things you've learned on your writing journey? 

Time for a Change 

After more than nine years, I've decided to step away from my blog. This decision comes as I pursue new projects and commitments that require more time. I may return someday, and will still be out there writing guest posts and all that good stuff.

Blogging here has offered blessings beyond what I'd imagined. Thank you for offering your wisdom, kindness, and friendship. Will do my best to visit your blogs as I can. Love you all! :)

Happy writing,

Image credit: Pexels

Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Spotlight with Jeanette Levellie

Jeanette Levellie is here to celebrate the second edition release of The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul. It's a wonderful book, full of insight and humor that does exactly what it says, nourishes the soul. (Check out my review below.)

As you might have guessed, Jen and I met through blogging, and she's since become a good friend. So I'm excited to help her spread the word about this wonderful book.

Welcome Jen! Can you give us an overview of The Heart of Humor?

By all means! Here is the back cover copy, which took almost as much time and thought to write than the entire book:

Welcome to a vacation from stress, worry, and global whining. Learn the secrets of how laughter can help you:

  • Live healthier & longer
  • Deepen your relationships
  • Trust a God with the sense of humor that gives a 90-year-old lady a baby

In her sassy yet down-to-earth style, award-wining author and speaker Jeanette Levellie takes readers on fun trip through 45 short stories with titles like An Outhouse to Celebrate, Confessions of a Jailbird, and Swimsuit Shopping Stress. Accompanying the stories are comical drawings by a professional animator, articles, and lists revealing the superpowers of humor such as Got Pain? Laugh it Away, Everybody Loves Dummies, and Ten Ways to Help Yourself Laugh.

I can vouch for the fact that Heart of Humor is a fun and encouraging read. How did the idea for it come about?

I’d been writing humor columns for a Christian magazine for five years. I had so many on file, I decided to compile the best ones into a book. After writing articles about the benefits of humor and compiling lists of humor quotes and the best funny movies, The Heart of Humor was born. In this second edition, we’ve added 8 cartoons and a new cover, which has a laughing redhead who looks suspiciously like me!

Yes...I noticed that - the cover does somehow resemble you. :) What other books have you written? Can you share a bit about them?

Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, my best seller, is a humorous devotional focusing on God’s bottomless heart of grace. Comical drawings from my son accompany nine of the chapters.

Shock the Clock is a fun time management system that focuses on different personality types. A great feature of this book is the list of time management tips by well-known Christian authors, agents, and editors.

Touchable God, features 25 personal stories about how I developed friendship with God through talking to him. The final 20 chapters are actual prayers for friends in crisis.

Thanks for stopping by, Jen! I know others will be blessed by your books. May you enjoy much success through every facet of your life and writing.

Thank you, Karen!

Find Jeanette 

Jeanette's Books 

The Heart of Humor  
Shock the Clock 
Touchable God

My Review of The Heart of Humor

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Jeanette Levellie’s gift for humor is evident, and shines through every chapter. Readers will appreciate her down to earth style, and will laugh (maybe cry, too) as she shares personal anecdotes and lessons learned. For example, one of my favorite chapters, “I Love My Hips”, reminds us that our worth goes beyond physical features. Ms. Levellie is the real deal; she understands how important it is to laugh at ourselves and keep a good perspective. I am sure that her wit and wisdom will entertain and lift you up.


Congratulations to Cecelia Lester! She's the winner of a copy of River to Redemption by Ann Gabhart. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for last week's post and interview

Do you think that humor helps us through the hard times? What questions do you have for Jeanette? What are you reading this week?

Happy writing,