Showing posts from October, 2010

Inspiring You Challange - The Final Day

If you've tried to reach me and landed at, please forgive, I'm trying to make some changes here... I should know not to start any remodeling until after the guests leave...

Today is the last day of the challenge, so everyone who participated, please confirm were you are with your goal...

My challenge was to start a new book. Goal Accomplished. Never mind that Chapter One looks horrendous. A lot of revisions needed her.  My challenge also included to have the rough draft completed by October 31st.
Ouch! Goal Not Met.

I did learn that I did not have a good enough handle on my characters. I also had not done enough research on the issues I plan to address through these characters. It seems I wanted to write about people I didn't know all that well. Back to the drawing board....

Here are some of your stated Challenges:

~Dianna - wanted to get through revisions on her completed book as much as possible.
~Lindi - wanted to write 1,000 words a day.
~Rebecca - wanted …

Inspiring You: Days 20, 21, 22

Hi All!  We've already had one person meet their goal, so I know she will be getting a gift card from me for participating! How about the rest of you. Dianna and I haven't done so great, but I think part of this challenge is remaining accountable no matter the progress. This is something I need help with because I am the queen of deciding not to follow through with a goal.

Maybe writing is such a passion, I'll learn to change my ways through this avenue.

Nothing more written since I checked in with you all on Sunday. Last night, Author Amy Wallace, spoke at our local chapter meeting (ACFW's WORD). I was certainly inspired by her discussion on story structure, character voice, and character lies.

I had never thought about my character in this manner. Do you know what I mean? Is your character believing a lie about themselves? You may be wondering, what is a lie?

Your character may believe, "I'm helpless," yet they find themselves in a situat…

A Season of Miracles by Rusty Whitener

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingA Season of MiraclesKregel Publications; Reprint edition (August 3, 2010)byRusty Whitener


Rusty Whitener is a novelist, screenwriter, and actor. His first screenplay, Touched, won second place at the 2009 Kairos Prize at the Los Angeles Movieguide Awards and first place at the Gideon film festival. That screenplay soon became A Season of Miracles. The movie version of this book is now in production with Elevating Entertainment. Find out more at and Videos and book club discussion questions are also available at


“A Season of Miracles is a must read for anyone who has ever played youth baseball. I read the book, and was reacquainted with my childhood. In the midst of an enjoyable read that took me down memory lane was a touching, challenging and beautiful story about how God can use the unlikeliest among us to draw …

Lydia's Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingLydia's CharmBarbour Books (September 1, 2010)byWanda E. Brunstetter


A Note From Wanda:

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. When I was in the second grade, I wrote my first poem about a moth. Luckily, I received encouragement from my teacher. During my teen years, I wrote skits that my church teen group performed during special holidays.

It wasn’t until 1980, that I took a course on writing for children and teenagers. I became serious about a career as an author. Soon after that, I began to write stories, articles, poems, and devotionals, which appeared in a variety of Christian publications. Later, I had 5 books of puppet/ventriloquist scripts published. *These books are currently available by contacting me. (

My first novel was released by Barbour Publishing’s book club, Heartsong Presents, in Dec. 1997. I have now written nearly fifty books, with over 4 million…

Inspiring You Days 17, 18, 19

Checking In late...

Writing Done on Friday - Day 17 of this challenge - ZIP, ZILCH, NADA... but I did clean the house... and usually I become creative while cleaning... Not so today.

Writing Done on Saturday - Day 18 of challenge - ZIP

... however, I did make a really tasty banana pudding. I've posted the resume on FAITH, where I blogged today.

... and this brings us to Writing Done on Sunday - Day 19 of challenge - ZIP... and I can't count the words for the FAITH blog post, dog-gone it!

I'm so excited to read the comments of how far everyone has come! Keep it up, obviously I need a little inspiration...

Inspiring You Days 15 & 16

Yesterday I woke up and wrote. I tweaked what I'd started on my first chapters and had to cringe at how bad the writing was. Thank the Lord for revisions!

This morning I woke up and made a layered dip for the food day we're having at work. It felt strange getting up and heading to the kitchen to make something edible, beyond coffee. Then, on to the story...

But I'm having issues with this WIP. I love the story, of course. It's just I haven't been able to get a good handle on it yet. I also reworked my GMC chart yesterday. I can feel a tug where the story is concerned. A tug to move forward but also a tug in the other direction. When I feel this way, I do tend to go back to the GMC Chart to see if my goals and motivations are strong enough and if they work with the conflict.

On a positive note, hop on over to the FAITH Blog, where Missy Tippens is talking about dreams. She's also giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to put your name in the hat AND…

Inspiring You - Day 14

What's In A Name?

A lot, as far as I'm concerned. You see, I'd come to almost the end of plotting my story, but there were a couple of main characters that I had not named yet.  I really wanted to begin Chapter 1, but I could not let myself take that step without completing the final steps of the story. 

I love baby name books. I discovered these books long before I became a mom. These books give you the first name, the name's origin and its meaning. For me, the meaning of a name matters. Sometimes, the meaning doesn't make sense in relation  to my character.

For my current book, I have a villain. I tried to think of all the names that I wasn't fond of, but when I'd think of a name, I'd think of someone in the world I'd heard of that had done something good. Well, that crossed out the use of that particular name. I searched the baby name book and found the first name Holt. Its meaning is "wood."

When I think of "wood" I think of …

Inspiring You, Days 11-13

It was a very busy weekend. Another six day work week for me pushed aside my desire for getting any writing done and housework. I am seeking better ways to accomplish my goals both for writing and for household/family issues.

My report for this weekend is an increase from 3,119 words to 3,657 words. I wrote some of those during church... just jotting down quick notes about the story while jotting down scriptures and listening to the sermon. I feel bad admitting that... and I promise, I did hear the message. I suppose when I am able to be still and sit quietly, that is when my thoughts can increase and become productive. Another plus of the church service was that we sang The Solid Rock. Within that hymn is the potential title of my book, Sinking Sand... Love that hymn although it is not the easiest to sing with all of its change in tempo.

Anyway, I'm so excited for all of you who wrote so much this weekend. Keep it up!

What's your current report?

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingWhile We're Far ApartBethany House (October 1, 2010)byLynn Austin


It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her nov…

Inspiring You - Days 9 & 10

It's been a busy week...

Hubby has been away on a fishing trip he claims is a lot of work. Yeah, right....

Hon, you are fishing, something you love to do. It may be a lot of work, but it isn't work.

I've been doing a lot of work, at work, and managing to do some laundry here and there while somehow managing to get the kids bathed, homework done and gulping down coffee at certain intervals of the day to keep myself going...
Have I done any more writing?


And this has got to stop!!!

No proposals or contest entries have been mailed out.

I do not like all work and housework days with no writing involved.

This week, I plan to turn over a new leaf. I must rise early. I must stop emails/blogging/facebook/twittering at a certain time so that my time can be put to good use. No more wasted days. No more feeling sorry for myself that not only did I get a rejection from writing this week but also one at my place of business.

I refuse to put my head down.

The chin will remain up an…

Inspiring You Day 8

Today I received a rejection letter in response to one of the manuscripts I submitted. I must say, receiving this agent's kind, "No, thank you," to the project was an easier pill to swallow than the ones I used to get when I was simply mailing out blind queries. On those query letters I would describe my book and offer it to the agent or editor I was targeting. The responses I received on quite a few were simply form rejection letters. However, I will never forget that one agent simply wrote his/her response on my letter and mailed it back saying the story was "too contrived, melodramatic. I'll pass."

A good way to view that rejection is that the agent was already trying to conserve paper and figured he/she wouldn't waste a tree on something she could say in a few words on my recycled letter. That was about 10 years ago. That person was way ahead of his/her time.

With this current rejection and the one from the past, I know that God has a plan for my pr…

Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Embers of LoveBethany House (October 1, 2010)

byTracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a var…

Inspiring You Day 7

Day 7 was not so lucky... no progress made on the book - Uh!

However, if I am not going to write, I need to mail that proposal out and mail out my entry and enter the Golden Heart. Anyone with me?

Inspiring You - Day 6

Oh, Monday, Monday, Monday...

It was a good Monday, overall, but not a good Monday for writing on the manuscript. I managed to squeeze in less than an hour before work, but no work was done on it outside of my thoughts for the rest of the day.

My combined word count for this draft, including a GMC chart is 3,119 words. I'm impressed that I have that much and must have written more this weekend than I realized.

We have some who have started new stories and some who are revising existing stories. Some of you we have not heard from, but I know you are with us in spirit!  The key is to keep your head up and keep moving forward no matter where you are in the process of writing.

If you all will remember, just a few short months ago, I was pushing hard to finish a manuscript I'd worked on far too long. It was hard work and I had many road blocks, but each road block helped me reach my final destination.  My ultimate goal was to finally submit it to a publishing house that had request…

Snow Day by Billy Coffey

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Snow DayFaithWords (October 11, 2010)


Billy Coffey


When you’re raised in small-town Virginia by a redneck father and a Mennonite mother, certain things become ingrained. And when you marry a small-town girl and have two small-town kids, all you want to do is pass those ingrained things along.

Like believing the best life is one lived in the country enjoying the pleasures it provides—summer nights beneath the stars, rocking chairs on the front porch, deer grazing in the fields. And believing that no matter how iffy life can get sometimes, there are some things that are eternal and unchanging.

But above all else, believing that in everything there is story waiting to be told.

That’s where I come in.

Billy Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who writ…

Inspiring You Day 5

I can't believe we're on day 5 already! 

Unfortunately, I didn't get much writing done today. I enjoyed the day playing with my children and helping my husband on a project. We started the day at church. I was amazed by the passion our pastor conveyed when he shared about a new outreach he's leading us toward. It's all about helping those that are in our neighborhood... those just beyond our backdoor. Very eye-opening.

My daughter sat with us in "Big Church" today and did really great. She was well behaved, colored during the sermon and stood and sat when the rest of us did. She's only 5, but I can tell a huge change in her. Still, I look at her and I'm amazed at how fast she's growing up.

Back to writing... I'm continuing to think through the story. I decided that I may go ahead and write a major scene that's been on my mind. This is jumping waaayyyy ahead, but I must remember I can perfect the scene in revisions that come later.

I h…

Inspiring You Days 3 & 4

I was off work on Friday, however that does not mean I rest. I cleaned floors, washed clothes and managed to run a few errands while chasing my 8 month old son around the house. My 5 year old daughter also keeps me busy, although she's a great help.

However, the busy-ness of the day kept me from posting my progress yesterday. Though minimal, I did manage to continue plotting my book and I started two charts for my 2 main characters.

That progress continued this morning. I'm happy to report I've gained another 500 words to my draft as of yesterday. Today, my total is 2,423. I'm approaching the middle of the book. I'm working between reviewing some brief plot points I made a few weeks ago when I outlined the book. I used Michael Hauge's Six Stage Plot Structure. I've got to say, this tool really helped me visualize each major part of the story.   

I also use a GMC chart that Debra Dixon teaches in her book: GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. You can actual…

Inspiring You: Day 2

I'm so excited about this challenge. I ended up sleeping in later, but knowing I had all of you working with me and working on your own projects, I knew I had to accomplish something!

This morning, I began what I'm calling my STORY DRAFT. I'm letting myself free write, I refuse to worry - at this time - about how badly I'm telling, or what words do or don't sound right. I am drafting as I see the story unfold in my head. I've got about 2 subplots going and the one major plot working. I've found I need to give some of my character's names and need to work on the background for them. All of this I plan to come back to. Right now, I'm drafting and I'll worry about everything else later.

This is the first time I've approached a story in this manner. Or, maybe in my earliest drafts, this is what I did, but I thought I was properly writing the story. I'm hoping this maneuver will help me as I work toward the completed manuscript and will bette…

Inspiring You Challenge: Day 1

It's time. 

Time to light a fire under your butter bean.

It's time for another At Split Ends Accountability Race.

I need you. You need me. Together, we will inspire each other and keep each other accountable to reach our goals.  Earlier this year, you helped me finish my book. Rebecca finished hers and Lindi and Dianna worked on theirs right along with us...

Well, folks, it's that time again...

For this challenge, I'm inviting anyone -

Writer or Not - Come Forth and Declare Your Goal

Are you assisting a loved one and need support or prayer? Do you want to reorganize your closet? In the middle of renovation of that one room that you can't seem to finish? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to make it to the gym daily? Are you trying to finish writing your book? Are you planning to start a new business?

Whatever, your need, let's declare it here on ASB

But wait! You're not done. Declaring the Goal is ONLY the first step!  Then you have …

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe by Irene Brand & Anita Higman

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Love Finds You Under the MistletoeSummerside Press (September 1, 2010)

byIrene Brand & Anita Higman


Irene Brand has written Sunday School curriculum, edited a two-year series of mission curriculum, and her works have appeared in five program-material anthologies. Her publishers include Zondervan, Standard Publishing, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Fleming-Revell, Barbour Publishing, Kregel Publications, Steeple Hill (inspirational imprint of Silhouette), and Summerside Press. She has had 4 non-fiction books published, and 43 fiction works. Her first inspirational romance was published in 1984.

Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-six books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month for Houston. Anita has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Her favorite things include exotic teas, movies, and…

Cancer Fighting Foods

Earlier this year, I thought I'd join the Weight Watchers program and give that points counting program another try.

Once again, I ate a whole month's worth of points in a week. Oh, well. I do understand how the program works, but I rebel when faced with certain restrictions.

Despite the fact I don't do the program well, I do respect the program because if you follow its guidelines, you'll definitely eat healthier. I still receive their newsletters in my inbox, and I wanted to share with this article that can also be found on the Weight Watchers Website.

Foods That Help Fight Cancer
Article By: Megan Gressor
Eating well to lose weight can have some hidden benefits. Here are some scale-friendly nutrition facts that could also help you ward off cancer.

Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, either personally or by watching a loved one's battle. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, claim…

Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Within My HeartBethany House; Original edition (September 1, 2010)

byTamera Alexander


Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Her second historical series, Timber Ridge Reflections (From a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart), penned in her style with deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.

These awards include the 2009 and 2008 Christy Award, the 2007 RITA for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2009 and 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Na…

I Believe in Spaghetti by Kari Smith Murphy

Today, my Author Spotlight is my dear sister in-law, Kari Smith Murphy. Kari is a full time college student pursuing a degree in Forensic Psychology. She enjoys spending her free time out of the classroom with her husband Blake and their 4-year old son, (my adorable nephew ;) Landon.

Kari won my Author Spotlight today because of her essay I'm about to share with you. Although she is not pursuing publication she's taking English and the instructor allows her creativity to flow. I think Kari may be on to something here. She has a unique voice and the subject matter is very special to Kari, and to me, too. I was thrilled to read her most recent essay. I wanted to share this with all of you...

I Believe in Spaghetti
by Kari Smith Murphy
I can’t cook. It’s true. When I do the whole house smells like someone lit the stove on fire then tried to put it out with burnt rags. One may think I am exaggerating, but unfortunately for us, it’s true. I do however have one go-to-meal that seems t…