Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Jen Daiker, the winner of last week's giveaway. Thanks to all who participated; I appreciate your support.

Have a good weekend.


Monday, November 15, 2010


 In Loving Memory of Wendy Susan Esher 
We'll miss you, Wendy. Looking forward to seeing you again in heaven.
Love you, Karen. xo

My sister passed away Sunday morning. This sad and unexpected news has my family and me feeling as though we are walking about in a surreal world. Am taking a break; will see you soon.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Boot Camp & A Nifty Giveaway

Basic Boot Camp for Writers

Starting November 15, I will be teaching another session of Basic Boot Camp for Writers over at the Coffeehouse for Writers. Basic Boot Camp is a four week workshop that reviews helpful basics, such as sticky grammar issues and keeping things sharp. Hop over and check it out. I'd love to have you along!

Other Coffeehouse workshop offerings include historical fiction, blogging for profit, fiction and non-fiction, and lots more. These workshops begin November 15 as well. Their site also hosts critique groups, offers writing resources and links, has cool gifts for writers and other fun stuff.

Celebrating Followers With a Giveaway

Finally! I think I've been chattering about celebrating reaching 150 followers since August. And now I have nearly 200! Hooray! Thanks for your patience. My apologies - multiple projects, book reviews, birthdays, anniversaries and other things were the culprits that detained me. Oh, and sleep too. I'm funny about that; I like my rest.

I appreciate my followers. Without you, Write Now would just be a blip on the Blogspot screen. I am especially grateful when you are able to stop and comment. I understand when you can't; believe me, I do. My commenting has slacked off due to the above mentioned events - but it means a lot to me when you are able to slide by and say hello. Thank you!

The Prize Is...

A writer's package that contains a handy journal, a package of cute post it notes (or, for you guy followers they're convenient travel size), a set of pens, two highlighters, a copy of In Every Heartbeat by Kim Vogel Sawyer (read my review here), and of course, chocolate. What's a follower giveaway prize without chocolate? :)

Giveaway Details - Please read carefully. 

Giveaway is open to followers only. I am grateful to everyone who stops by, follower or not, but it's my followers who provide support and keep me going. That's why we're celebrating with a giveaway, after all! Here are the rest of the details:

  • Leave a comment to this post, include your email address. Entries without email address are not eligible.
  • Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter. Please be sure and comment telling me so.
  • Deadline to enter is noon Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday, November 17, 2010. Winner will be  notified via email and announced in Thursday's post.
  • Open to followers everywhere; allow extra mailing time if you live overseas.         

What are my happy followers doing this weekend? Thanks and blessings to you all! :)

Happy weekend,

Photo credit: merlin1075

Monday, November 8, 2010

Within My Heart Book Review

Within My Heart 
Timber Ridge Reflections Book 3
By Tamera Alexander            
Bethany House Publishers

As a widow, Rachel Boyd must be both mother and father to her young sons. Her dream is to raise the boys on the ranch she and her late husband worked hard to build. Life in post-Civil War Colorado isn't easy, and dreams and reality often take different paths. Debt and dying cattle hinder Rachel's goals. Can she turn things around? Only time will tell.

Civil War veteran Dr. Rand Brookston has goals of his own. Setting up his practice in Timber Ridge, he hopes to bring modern medical services to the area. Some of the townsfolk are thrilled to have a resident doctor, others are skeptical. He dreams of building a state of the art clinic in town to better serve the public.

Rachel is determined to make it on her own, but her pride threatens to trip her up. She's not about to entertain the thought of remarriage, even though friends and family have gently suggested it for the sake of the boys. Rand wouldn't mind settling down, but the only woman who catches his eye happens to be the stubborn Mrs. Boyd.

Rachel and Rand's paths cross in unusual ways, and they settle on a truce of sorts. Rand requires Rachel's assistance with medical procedures; she has experience from working with her late father who was a doctor. Rachel needs Rand's help with the birth of a calf. They both struggle with fears that continually lurk in the shadows. And so it goes until...?

No spoilers here! It's a lovely tale of winning the trust of others, facing fears, and trusting God. I enjoyed Within My Heart as much as the first two books in the Timber Ridge series. Even though they are part of a series, each book can stand alone. I prefer this, as you don't spend half the book trying to catch up on who's who and who did what in the last book. If you need a good book to curl up with on a chilly day, this might just be the one.


Stop back Thursday for the long promised 150 followers giveaway. As you can see, that mark has come and gone, so now there are more followers to celebrate! Stay tuned! :)

What books have you read that encourage you to grow beyond challenges you face?

This book was provided by Bethany House for review purposes. No compensation was received.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Practicing Tight Writing

Keep it Sharp!

Concise writing sounds good in theory. But how do we keep things tight and still communicate well? Word counts mean sharp, effective writing. Here's what Strunk and White have to say in The Elements of Style:

 “Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” 

Love that! Are there unnecessary parts in your writing? I've tossed many words over the years, and continue to refine each time I write.

Someone else weighed in on the topic:

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”  Thomas Jefferson

Editors would love Mr. Jefferson. Excellent point, and wise words to remember, don't you think?                                              

How do we tighten our writing? Develop a keen eye for unnecessary words and phrases. And practice, practice, practice!

Here Goes...

A telegram is an excellent way to practice concise writing.

Write a telegram, limited to 15 words or less.  Small and unnecessary words are left out. The word STOP is used as the punctuation between sentences. Don't count STOP in the 15 words. 

Here is an example:

Grandma joined circus STOP  Mom upset STOP Dad angry STOP Circus your town Saturday STOP Bring Grandma home STOP Karen

So, are you up to the challenge? Share your telegram with us! What techniques do you use to keep your writing tight?

Happy weekend,

Text copyright Karen Lange 2010. No text may be used without prior permission.
Image credit - Ambrozio

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mother May I?

May I?  Might I?

What's the difference? Which is used when? It seems that may provides a stronger possibility of something happening than might does. Brian Klems of Writer's Digest outlines the finer points in the Questions & Quandaries post May vs. Might. Good thing. We might have been wandering around wondering if we may use might. Or vice versa.

Reign it in?

Here's another sticky one, deftly answered again by Brian in Reign vs. Rein. Does the king reign his horses with leather reins? Thankfully, the answer's supplied, along with an easy mnemonic to help remember.

Writing Right

Find yourself derailed by long winded phrases? Need help with commonly misspelled or misused words? Do you know what Puffspeak is? Nikola Hartmann's guest post at Pen and Prosper helps us out of that ditch.

It's so nice to have great resources! What trips you up and sends you looking for help? What are your favorite grammar resources?

Happy writing!


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