Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

Is it possible that another year has come and gone?

Time - it's been on my heart and mind lately. What am I doing with the time God has given me? I cannot retrieve the time that has passed, but I can make the most of the time He's provided this new year.

In Psalm 31:15, David says, "My times are in Your hand..." Even though he was referring to his current trials, I think David's words apply to us now. We are nothing without God. What a blessing to know our lives and times are in His hands.

How do we make the most of our time? MaryAnn Diorio's Focus on the Majors over at The Write Power might help. MaryAnn's post outlines key points regarding time and priorities. It's a good breakdown to help focus goals for 2010.

So tell us, what will you do with your writing time this year? How do you order and set your goals? I pray 2010 will be a year of spiritual growth as He leads and guides us.

New Year's Blessings to you!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kreative Blogger Award!

Imagine my surprise when 
Susan J. Reinhardt's post
announced that I had won the Kreative Blogger Award. 

What can I say? I am honored and humbled and just plain excited! Susan's blog, in my opinion, is a must read for writers. She shares great writing tips, interviews, and book reviews all while working to connect and encourage writers. It's a hard act to follow, but I aim to be a blessing like she is. Thank you, Susan! You are a treasure.

Now I have the privilege of passing this wonderful award on to these blogging friends.

Carol Alexander of Everything Home With Carol is one creative blogger. A Christian wife, mother, and homeschool mom, Carol shares everything from project and homemaking ideas to little gems that make me think. She's a blessing, and a special friend in the blog world.

Everyday I Walk with You features Raymonde Newman's thoughts about this and that and life in the United Kingdom. It's always a treat to stop by her blog. When I visit, it's like I get to sit and have a cup of tea with her! Raymonde is a kindred spirit from across the pond, and a brave soul who has tackled one of my writing prompts.

Kathleen of Sassy Granny  is one of my newer friends whose blog is always worth reading. I love her posts, full of stories and heartfelt, thought provoking insight. She makes me laugh, and more importantly, reflect on where my perspective needs to be.

Another new friend, Carla Gade of Writing to Distraction, has a lovely blog full of wonderful goodies. Carla wants us to come and "share the journey as we converse about the writing life." Indeed we do, and it is interesting, challenging, and a lot of fun.

Katt's Comments is penned by Kathryn Neff Perry. It doesn't take long to see that Kathryn has a servant's heart. She shares about writing, daily life, and the spiritual truths that connect them. It's always a pleasure to stop at her blog.

The Kreative Blogger Award encourages winners to share interesting facts about themselves. Bear with me; what I think is interesting may not appeal to you...but here goes.

I like chocolate. But if you read my blog, you know this already. Thought it was worth mentioning again, though. :)

I love hockey. Ice or roller, it matters not. My sons used to play both, so I was officially a hockey mom. I know quite a few rules and can name more professional hockey players than my husband.

When my sons played hockey in a local league, I considered volunteering as a referee. I decided against it because I don't skate very well. Kind of hard to referee while being concerned about falling down.

My daughter gave me the gift of being a swimming mom. She took lessons for years, so I went from one climate extreme - cold with hockey - to the other - warm with swimming. You'd think I'd remember not to wear a turtleneck during winter's lesson days. Sitting in the bleachers by the pool with a million percent humidity watching her swim was fun, except for the turtleneck part.

I love to blog. I started in early 2009 because I wanted to say I had 'blogging experience'. Well, I've gained a little of that and a whole lot more. I've met wonderful new friends (that would be you) and have been abundantly blessed getting to know you all. You are treasured friends, each one, who have enriched my life. Thank you!

What about you? Tell us some interesting, but little known facts about you and your life. We're all ears!

Blessings and hugs:)

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Vacation

I've made an executive decision; I am taking a short blogging break and will return on December 28. The fun part about writing your own blog is that you can make such decisions. But then, you are also in charge of the end of the year bonuses. Hmm, will have to give that some thought. Perhaps my bonus will include chocolate. What do you think? :)

Hope you take time to rest and refresh too. Enjoy family, friends, and fellowship. Have a blessed week. See you soon!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tips on Writing for Children

A friend and I recently had a discussion about writing for children. We were comparing notes; she is nearly finished with a course from the Institute of Children's Literature, and I took two courses from ICL several years ago. Through our little meeting, we decided that writing for children is more difficult than writing for adults.

While this may not be everyone's opinion, nor the final word on the topic, many would agree that there is more to writing for children than meets the eye. Targeting specific ages, choosing the right market, keeping the appropriate tone and not being preachy, making the tight word count yet telling an appealing story - the list goes on. Sure, these are things that we must consider for adult writing, but writing for children seems to include more angles. One reason may be that the market is slim. The general children's market is large, but when you pare the age groups down, such as 8-10 year olds, it narrows the field. Writing for adults can include a bigger slice, like 30-45 year old women.

Another thought along these lines - some think that it's easier to write for children, for, after all, they are ONLY children. Only children? Yes, well, these children are tomorrow's parents and leaders. They grow up to be adults, and how these adults turn out affects how things go in the world. Writing for children provides the opportunity to have a part in that future, and to make a difference. A good difference! Now if that doesn't cause a writer to take care, then I don't know what will.

Other than approaching writing for children with prayer and discernment, there are basic guidelines that help put a good children's story or article together. 5 Tips for Writing for Children, written by Tracey Dils, author of You Can Write Children's Books is one example. Ms. Dils shares five key points that help a writer navigate these waters. Writing for children is an awesome opportunity, but like writing for any other group, we need to do our homework.

What are your thoughts, have you ever written for children? If not, do you plan to in the future? What tips have you found helpful? Share them with us!

Blessings, and Happy Writing!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend Fun

Pardon me while I post something off schedule...
Check these out:

Giveaway Lady 
Silver Savings

These sites have all sorts of fun giveaways, freebies, and other nifty goodies. Found them through another blog. I'd give credit to this blog but I forget which one it was! It'll come to me eventually, and I'll try and remember to let you know which one it was:)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Big Rocks

Christian Writer/Reader Connection's
Susan J. Reinhardt shares an interesting story about prioritizing. This thought provoking little treasure makes you think. Questions that came to my mind were, well, let's just say that you need to read the post first. I don't want to give it all away! No doubt some of you have heard the story before, but it is a good reminder of what's important.

Following My King shares similar thoughts in this post. It's an appropriate time of year to reflect and reassess goals, desires, callings, and priorities.

One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (NKJV) One translation says "For I know the plans I have for you"; either way, it speaks so much in regard to our Heavenly Father's love and plans for us. May our priorities align with His calling for our lives.

What have you learned about your calling and priorities this year? We'd love to hear about it. Blessings to you:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Novel Titles

A recent Writer's Digest ezine included a link to this interesting article:

7 Tips to Land the Perfect Title for Your Novel

Author Jacob M. Appel offers great tips for choosing the right title. Mr. Appel notes common pitfalls and encourages writers to think outside the box. In doing so, a title stands out and avoids the editor's reject pile. I'm all for standing out, in this respect, anyway. He also points out that our books are judged by the title, at first at least, so why not spend time making it great?

These tips are fabulous for book titles, but I think that they apply to articles too. Who isn't in need of a snappy title for that next article query or draft? I say we take advantage of things like this, no matter what we write. What fabulous titles have you come up with recently? Share your thoughts on how you find great titles. We're all ears!

Blessings to you, and Happy Writing:)

Friday, December 4, 2009

And the Winners Are....

Congratulations go to Sharon and Dee Dee! You are the winners in the Double Book Giveaway! Winners will be notified via email this afternoon. Thanks to all who participated.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Plays, Skits, and Scripts, Anyone?

I don't know about you, but I've never considered writing a play or script. Until now. A recent issue of Writing for DOLLARS! featured an article by Susan Sundwall that covers the topic. The title is Plays, Skits, and Scripts - Are They for You?

Ms. Sundwall shares great tips to get you started, and even adds some market links for good measure. That way you can get an idea of what each publisher prefers, which is quite nice.

This looks like a fun way to do something a little different. I'm thinking about giving it a try. How about you?

Happy Writing!

P.S. Don't forget, today is the last day to enter the Double Book Giveaway. Two winners will be chosen, so check out Monday's post for details.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Book Review

Though Waters Roar
by Lynn Austin
Bethany House Publishers
Christian Historical Fiction

Harriet Sherwood has a problem. She was arrested for transporting liquor in her grandmother's car. Grandma Bebe, or Beatrice Monroe Garner, just happens to be Roseton, PA's leading champion for Prohibition.

Harriet's story unfolds as she reminisces about the irony of her current state. The female side of Harriet's family tree includes strong, determined, and Godly women, and Harriet longs to make the same impact that these ladies did. But how can she, if she is in jail? Harriet knows that Grandma Bebe and the rest of the family will be less than pleased about her situation. Arresting Officer Tommy O'Reilly puts an interesting spin on things too. Turns out Tommy is the bully that a young Harriet stood up to in grade school. Whatever will Harriet do? Can she extricate herself from her situation without causing too much shame for her family? Will she live up to the legacy Grandma Bebe and the others left for her?

I love Lynn Austin's books! She tells a wonderful tale, leading the reader through history and the complexities of life, while keeping Biblical principles and priorities in line. I highly recommend this entertaining and stirring story of a young woman who wants to make a difference doing something right.

Happy Reading! :)

This book was a free review copy provided by Bethany House.