"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/31/12

Finds for Fridays: August 31

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and I at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

Lying with Dragons (or Sometimes a Story is a Sword) by Lori Stanley Roelveld at Deeper With Jesus in Rhode Island (about children's stories and evil)

The Fire by Laura Lee Groves at The Outnumbered Mom (about struggles and God)

Finding The Strongest Climax by Martha Alderson at Seekerville (about the importance of the end of the book, and plot whispering)

Perspective by Krista Phillips at the Writers Alley (about what REALLY matters)

Hope these posts bless you - thanks for stopping by!

 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/29/12

Guest Mandy Kniskern - Growing Deeper - God is So Good



Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Those of you who follow/read the encouragement blog Jewels Of Encouragement (one of my "pet projects" and favorite group blogs), this post may be familiar. It posted there a bit over a week and a half ago. It totally overwhelmed and blessed me in a way few posts have, and it seemed to fit perfectly with my Wednesday theme. So I connected with Mandy Kniskern (daughter of a JoE poster) over cyberspace and asked if I could use it here. She graciously said yes. I hope her thoughts, and her journey, will bless you as they did me - and remind you of His presence.

Growing Deeper
By Mandy Kniskern

I've been pondering some things lately, and wanted to go ahead and share my discoveries as I know we all struggle with disappointments and hurts of some kind or another, and maybe it can help encourage someone else. If not, that's okay too.

I had an epiphany several days ago. I was cleaning our kitchen, praying and asking God to give Ken wisdom and discernment as we’re contemplating some things. I asked God to protect us, to close any doors that we shouldn’t go through. Then I stopped short. I thought, I always ask God to protect us... and there's still junk that comes up. And I realized, God and I have different definitions of what “protect” means. He is still going to allow us to experience hurts, frustrations, injustice, unfairness, uncertainties. But He will walk with us in the midst of it and give us strength, perspective, and peace.

He has a plan that is far greater than what’s happening in our own little corner. I don’t know if I can define what the word "protect" means to God, and how it’s different from my own interpretation, but I understand it. And if I have to pick between protection the way I see fit, or protection the way God sees fit, I choose God's way.

My prayers have changed a little now: I ask God to protect us the way He protects us. I'm learning to trust that He IS protecting us, no matter what comes our way. I've let go of my own expectations of what I think the results of that kind of prayer should be. Because He sees the whole big picture when I just see the disheartening part around me.

As we go through each trial, through each fire, becoming more and more refined, and we continue to believe that God is Who He says He is, and He does what He says He will do, our faith only grows deeper and stronger, which I’m learning is the whole point.

"I posted a song from YouTube several days ago, 'My Father's World,' and I loved the album cover. The album was entitled, 'Roots Run Deep.' We feel our spiritual roots growing deeper and stronger with each worldly trial we face. The storms may come and break a few branches and strip some leaves, but we stand firm because we are deeply rooted in the Truth of who God is in our lives.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord 
And whose trust is the Lord. 
For he will be like a tree planted by the water, 
That extends its roots by a stream 
 And will not fear when the heat comes; 
But its leaves will be green, 
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought 
Nor cease to yield fruit." 
 Jeremiah 17:7,8 (NASB)

Mandy Kniskern currently resides in Ada, OK.  She is wife to Ken and a stay-at-home mom to Barrick (3) and Brendon (1). Mandy has a Musical Arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and has been a piano teacher for 16 years. She is exploring some new territory now as a Pampered Chef consultant as well. Mandy feels her calling to ministry is simply to be available to God in whatever capacity He chooses. She finds tremendous joy in serving God alongside her husband, even amidst great challenges. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."  Galatians 6:9
**

The storms may come and break a few branches and strip some leaves, but we stand firm because we are deeply rooted in the Truth of who God is in our lives. AMEN - He is SO good!
 Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!   
 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/27/12

Money Matters

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all 
these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 

He's just like his mama - in one way, anyhow.

When I was young, my pockets, wallets, and purses all had holes in them. The amazing thing, though, was that only one kind of thing seemed to find its way out of them.

Money. Can you relate?
Photo credit

My allowance was spent the same day I received it. Birthday money? Unless my parents had it for safekeeping (or I couldn't get anywhere to spend it), the same. I loved money – but not enough to hold onto it. Save? That was for OLD people ;)

My 11-year-old son is the same. If he has a dollar in his wallet two days after allowance day, it could be a miracle. Money is for spending.

And then there's my 8-year-old daughter. For her, money is, generally, for saving. For what? Usually, she doesn't have a clue. But more in her wallet, it seems, is better. I often have to convince her that it's all right to spend a few bucks on something she'd like (a necklace, for instance).

When we went on vacation last week (yeah – that's why there weren't very many posts here), the hubby and I gave each of them an amount of our money that they could spend – anything after that would come from their allowance. My son spent all our money, plus a bit from his allowance. My daughter spent all but $2 of ours – and saw something she wanted for about $5 – but since she didn't want to spend three dollars of her own money (which, by the way, is about a tenth of what she has saved), she passed.

 By the way, since I've grown up, I've become less like my son and more like my daughter. Not sure I've found the perfect balance yet, but I know neither of my children are where they're supposed to be. God doesn't want us to be greedy (Proverbs 15:27), but he also condemns wasting what we have and encourages saving responsibly( Proverbs 13:11). And everything we have – including (and perhaps especially) our money – is only on loan - a gift - from the Father anyway (Deuteronomy 17-18).

So seek Him first. And if you listen, all you need will be provided – whether you're naturally a spender, a saver, or somewhere in between.

**

We're chatting about this here, and  at Living By Grace on Facebook. Hope you'll join the discussion!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/21/12

The World




We live in it. It's all around us. We can't avoid it. It is part and parcel of just about everything we do.

But we're not supposed to love it.

Join me at the Internet Cafe today, where I'm talking about that verse from 1 John, and what it means. What IS the world? And how are we supposed to interact with it, but not love it?

Hope you'll pop over :)

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/20/12

Your Redeemer is Strong


I hate to admit how often I feel frustrated and even hopeless when my life isn't rosy. I grumble and complain. I wonder if I will ever get out of my current funk. I have myself a full-blown pity party, and invite everyone I know to join the celebration.

I forget, in a word, that I'm God's, and that He is fully able to pull me through, and even get me out of, my situation, whatever it may be. Despite the countless times He has done it in the past, I think that this time, He's just gonna let me suffer, or that He's (gasp!) not strong enough to get me out of whatever my issue is (whether major or minor). Well, I may not say it - but my actions certainly make it look like I believe it.

I was having struggles with this a bit ago, as related to at least three different issues--all incredibly minor. So, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when my daily Bible reading found me lingering on a couple of verses in Jeremiah that I'm certain were not there the last time I read that book.
This is what the LORD Almighty says:
"The people of Israel are oppressed,
and the people of Judah as well.
All their captors hold them fast,
refusing to let them go.
Yet their Redeemer is strong;
the LORD Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
so that he may bring rest to their land,
but unrest to those who live in Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:33-34 NIV
Photo Credit
A paper jam, delayed mail, and writer's block are nothing compared to what the people of Israel were going through during the time of this writing. Babylon had just taken Judah captive and had removed them from their beloved land. Note - "all their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go." Now here, it seems, was a time to be hopeless, to whine and wallow in self-pity.

But that's not what happens. In this time of hopelessness, "their Redeemer is strong." What other hope do they need?

You know, their Redeemer hasn't changed. He is never too weak to handle what I am going through--and He always will. So leave the whine in the cellar, and cancel that pity party.

Your Redeemer is strong.


**

How do you handle discouragement? Are you a pity partier? What helps YOU remember how strong your Redeemer is? Comment below, and/or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!



 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/19/12

A Different Kind of Fellowship


I, along with many of you I'd imagine, will be spending a good amount of today in fellowship with believers - at church. I'm sure it will be full of joy and worship and praise and learning.

 But not all fellowship is like that. Would love it if you'd stop by Jewels of Encouragement, where I talk about a different kind of fellowship - the Fellowship of Sharing in Sufferings. It can also be sweet. Hope to see you there!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/17/12

Finds for Fridays: August 17

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and I at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

Children and Service by Patty Wysong at Patterings (about teaching your kids to serve others)

Burnout or Balance by DiAnn Mills at the ACFW blog (about getting your perspective back)

Beyond Busy? 20 Tips to Boost Your Productivity by Janalyn Voigt at AuthorCulture (about just what it says!)

Craft, Story, and Voice by Rachelle Gardner at Books and Such Blog (about the three elements that make a book stand out)

Hope these posts bless you. A nice variety this week. Check them out!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/15/12

My Gift from Him - God is So Good



Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
Today is a very special day for one of God's most precious gifts to me. Though he will joke that he is one of the CAUSES of trials in my life, he is the Lord's comfort, presence, love, mercy, and strength as well. It is partly because of him that I am the woman I am today. It has not been an easy time, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thank You, Lord, for blessing me with this man.
NOT a recent picture :)

Our backgrounds are eerily similar. We were born within twelve days of each other (me first - so yeah, I robbed the cradle). We were both raised Jewish. Both of our mothers died when we were kids (I was 7 - he was a few weeks shy of 14). Both our fathers remarried women with two sons - one a few months younger and one a few years older than we were.

And we lived 2,000+ miles away from each other. But that didn't stop God. He put us together in the same place (and THAT's a story for another day) on January 1, 1993, and we were married a year and a half later.
Photo Credit

It hasn't been an easy time all the time. There have been trials, struggles, difficulties - some tougher than others. Many of you know at least some of it. Do I wish we hadn't had to go through some of it? Of course. But I can honestly say if my husband hadn't been born 45 years ago today, I would not be the person I am today (at least not the good parts LOL).

We're a pretty good team, I think - me, my hubby, and our Lord. Not sure how I could have made it through the last several decades without either of them.

Happy Birthday, Marc Stephen Sher. Thank You, Lord, for giving me my husband. You are SOO good!
 Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!   
 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/13/12

Where is God?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Many of you know I read through the Bible every year. I've done it annually, save once, since I came to Christ over a decade ago. Most often, I either read straight through from Genesis to Revelation, or do a bit of Old Testament and a bit of New Testament each day.

Almost every time I've read the OT book of Esther, I've followed it immediately with Job. And not until this weekend did I notice one incredible contrast.

In the former, God's name isn't mentioned. Not once. Not even in passing reference. Esther is completely void of any reference to the Lord - or even prayer.

Yet in Job, God speaks, practically uninterrupted, for FOUR CHAPTERS - over one hundred verses of words directly from the Father Himself.

But God's footprint is unmistakeable in both of these ancient texts.

Because, you see, sometimes God speaks out of the storm (Job 38:1). Sometimes, when our situation is dire, when we've lost everything we think matters, when our friends turn against us, when we'd do anything to ask the Lord why we have to go through life, when all seems hopeless, our Heavenly Father appears and speaks to us in a way that could only be Him. His presence, His power, His proclamation cannot be missed - by anyone.

But sometimes He doesn't. Sometimes he puts us in difficult - maybe impossible - situations to show His glory through us, rather than to us. When we're far from home, hidden, ignored, and set up for  persecution, we must be His hands and feet - not just look for them. For who knows but that we were put in this position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

And who would put us there but God?

He's there, my friends. Whether you can see Him or not.

**

Do you see God in both of these ways? Which do you see more? Are you more likely to forget He's there in an Esther situation? Comment below, and/or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!


 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/10/12

Finds for Fridays - August 10

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and I at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

Getting Past Perfectionism with Freee Writing by Karen Schravemade at The Writers Alley (about slaying writer's block)

Is That What I Think It Is? By Shelley Wilburn at The Barn Door (about a VERY cool ministry that grabbed my attention!)

Thoughtful About...Stalled Dreams by Roseanna White at Writing Roseanna (about giving it to God, trust, and aspirations)

Dealing With 50 Shades of Grey Areas While Writing Christian Romance by Diana Dart at Thistle  And That (VERY thought-provoking)

Understanding Goals and Dreams by Scott Eagan at Babbles from Scott Eagan (about the difference between the two)

Hope you are blessed by at least one of these posts. And thanks for stopping by!


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/9/12

Some Amusement at the Barn Door

The Barn Door

This past Monday, the kids, Marc, and I went to Michigan's Adventure an hour or so from here in Muskegon. We all had fun (though we're still recovering from the exhaustion LOL).

Stop by the Barn Door to see and hear a bit more about Some Summer Amusement. Pictures included :)
 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/8/12

My Garden - God Is So Good



Welcome to my Wednesday feature God is So Good. Here I will share stories - true and fiction, mine and others' - of the Lord's presence in the midst of trials, struggles, and difficulties.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
I'm sharing some fiction with you today. I wrote this piece a little over three years ago for the FaithWriters Writing Challenge (which I REALLY want to start entering - at least occasionally - again).  I hope it reminds you of the blessings to come.

My Garden

Photo credit
Looking at the wispy white clouds against the sky, I am reminded of my garden of long ago. As I glance out over the horizon, I smile, recalling the lush, colorful foliage, the beautiful and diverse animals, and, yes, the deep blue of the firmament. Clouds were scarce, but the peppering of them in assorted places made the blue seem that much brighter, that much deeper. The loveliness and peace of that place was nearly unrivaled.

It was perfect.

I sigh, focusing on what is before me here rather than my recollections. The ground beneath my feet is a reddish-brown and feels rough, a complete contrast to the lush green carpet of the floor of my garden. The plants here are sparse, and many have thorns.

I approach a small patch of poppies. I inhale the scent (it is quite lovely), but it is the petals that grab my attention. Though their edges are generally smooth, I notice irregularly-shaped holes in each one, made, no doubt, by a hungry insect or two. They are still beautiful, but not perfect.

I run my tongue over my front teeth and look up again. In the distance, I see another cloud, larger and darker than the others. Clearly a rain cloud. It appears to be heading this way. Soon, the sky will darken, the red-brown dirt beneath my feet will turn to mud, and these beautiful, but imperfect, flowers will be weighed down by the falling rain.

Yet, I remind myself, the rain will also bring refreshment to the people, a touch of color to some of this drab land, and continued life to all who need it.

I grin and look, not toward the sky, but down the path I am walking on: the road to the temple, just within my sight.

Yes, it will get worse before it gets better. Much worse, in fact. But, it will get better. Better, even, than My garden.

Of this I am certain. For that is why I have come. That is why My Father sent me.
 *
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:19-21 NIV

It WILL get better. We must never forget. God will make it so. He is SO good! 
Do you have a story you'd like to share about God's goodness in your struggles? Drop me an email and we can talk!   

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/7/12

I'm Not Here

It's that time again :)
Yup - the first Tuesday of the month, as many of you know, is my tech-free day, when I refrain from using my computer, texting on my cell phone (which is about ALL I ever do on it, by the way), and using my Kindle Fire. It's been a great discipline for me, and a wonderful break.

My plans? Well, we'll do open gym at For the Kidz Gymnastics in the afternoon, and swimming lessons after dinner (to make up for classes my kids missed while they were at camp last week). Other than that? Cleaning. And does my house EVER need it.

See you tomorrow! :)


 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/6/12

The Best-Laid Plans

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Wrigley Field
Attribution: Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia
I can't remember exactly where I picked up this tidbit, but it grabbed my attention right away. Just a few days ago, I learned that Wrigley Field, the home to the Chicago Cubs, didn't play its first night game until August 1988. It wasn't until then that Wrigley got lights. Before then, any games that went too late were called on account of darkness. And all games were day games.

The first major league ballpark to get lights was Crosley Field, the then-stadium for the Cincinnati Reds - in 1935. Within thirteen years, every other stadium in the major leagues had them - except Wrigley Field. They waited, well, a bit longer.

Finally, on August 8, 1988, ninety-one-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman turned on the lights, and the game between the Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies began.
But it got called anyway - at the bottom of the fourth inning. Not on account of darkness - on account of RAIN.
I hope I'm not the only person who finds that funny. Can you imagine the bigwigs, excited about being able to watch their first Cubs game at night, only to be sent home six innings too early because of a bit of precipitation? All the publicity and planning that went into that game, and they didn't even get to finish it.
It reminds me of me sometimes. 
I have some big idea - something I'm sure will be amazing. I do everything I can to make it happen - I dot my "i"s and cross my "t"s, invite the world, and start believing my own hype. And then something happens (maybe my fault, maybe not) - and it doesn't turn out just as I was hoping. In fact, sometimes it's a colossal failure.

It's then that I can remember that it's not my plans that are important: it's God's. No matter how many plans I have in my heart, God's purpose prevails (Proverbs 19:21). And His plans are always - yes ALWAYS - better than our own.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
The Cubs didn't have to wait much long for their first official night game - rain held off the next day, and the Cubs beat the New York Mets 6-4 on August 9 of that year. Sometimes our plans are just a bit off - and sometimes we miss them by a mile.

But it's good to know God's plans are always right on time.
**



How hard is it for you to watch your plans fail? Do you need the perspective of Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 19:21 as much as I do?  Letting the Lord guide your steps can be tough in our self-centered society, where many just want to prove themselves, but it is always the best answer.






Comment below, and/or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!



Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/3/12

Finds for Fridays: August 3

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and I at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

The Perils of Procrastination by Nikki Turner at In Truer Ink (a post/reminder I absolutely NEEDED)


Fear, Hit the Road! by Jan Drexler at WordServe Water Cooler (about The Wizard of Oz, Joshua, and being strong)

Is God Wasting Your Time? By Lori Stanley Roeleveld at Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island (about being a drink offering)

What to Expect When You're Expecting (a book) by Krista Phillips at The Writers Alley (about how getting your book published is like pregnancy. HYSTERICAL!)

Hope you take the time to check these posts out. They definitely blessed me.

 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/2/12

Writing Craft Recap for July

Photo Credit
I have declared 2012 my year to learn the writing craft better. And once a month, generally on the first Thursday of the month, I will share some of the highlights of what I've learned.

I took two different online classes this month and learned so VERY much. Plus I read some wonderful writing magazines (learned from them too!).

So, here I go.

From the Summer Issue of ACFW Journal:
  •  Really, REALLY wish I were going here in September (kinda knew that already, but it was brought home even more going through this issue).
  • There is a difference between character history and backstory.
  • All six senses (including "intuition/the Holy Spirit speaking") can enrich your writing and add depth.
  • A great quote by Athol Dickson: "When you turn away from God, having known Him as He truly is, what you're turning toward is nothing."
From the September Issue of Writer's Digest:
  • Waiting for inspiration to hit may just cause you to wait forever (actually, I knew that before, but apparently needed the reminder).
  • Some people are getting published with NO ONLINE PRESENCE. (thud)
  • When in doubt, abandon the complicated for the simple.
  • You can actually practice being creative (and I'm gonna do that :D).
  • It is often best to do "big picture" revising first, and hold off on the nitpicky stuff.
  • Aim for professional, not perfect.
From the ACFW Description, Dialogue, and Dirty Words online course by Jeff Gerke:
  •  Description is not telling. The reader wants and needs it so that the story can advance. It’s part of your job as novelist to convey not only what the people are saying but what everything looks like.
  •  A good rule of thumb might be limiting description to what the character sees/acknowledges/processes through the senses and mentally.
  • Having a picture of your setting in front of you makes a HUGE difference in how descriptive you are.
  • If the writer doesn't describe it, it doesn't exist for readers.
  • The goal of description is to reveal for the reader everything s/he would notice if s/he were really in this setting.
  • Be sure all the images you point out or the viewpoint character notices are consistent with the mood you're trying to create.
  • All the mechanics of fiction—vocabulary, punctuation, formatting, dialogue, and prose—ought to not be noticeable in and of themselves but should rather become vehicles ushering the reader into the middle of what’s going on in the story.
  • Great dialogue is realistic, layered, and appropriate for the character and the moment.
  • Let your characters communicate and respond via the subtext beneath their words, not their words themselves.
  • It is quite possible to create the feeling of profanity without the use of profanity. In fact, doing so is superior to using profanity in your fiction. It’s the better way, in my (Jeff Gerke's) opinion.
From the Savvy Authors Writing and Researching Historical Fiction Class, taught by Cindy Vallar:
  • Writing historical fiction is basically a two-stage process – first comes the research, then the writing. (Confession time - I did this BACKWARD)
  • Cindy Vallar is a HUGE source of historical information/links - and so gracious with her time!
  • In historical fiction, the historical aspect of the story propels the story rather than any romance you incorporate into it. In historical romance, the opposite is true.
  • A reader’s sense of time, place, and the world s/he enters depend on you, the writer.
  • There are WAY more different kinds of librarians than I ever imagined.
  • The best time to begin your research is prior to completing the entire story line of your novel.
  • When researching history, writers should access primary resources whenever possible.
  • In crafting your story, you must decide whether it will have a history-driven plot or a character-driven one.
  • Whether your character is fictitious or real, make certain you don’t judge that character based on today’s standards and morals.
  • Nothing destroys a story faster for a reader than anachronisms. They have the potential to stop a reader and damage your reputation as a writer. 
Like I said, a VERY productive month of writing craft learning in this brain of mine. Watch for my post next month, when I'll share, among other things, what I learned from a month of membership in the Bestseller Society.

Questions? Comments? Observations? What was most interesting/helpful to you?

    Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

8/1/12

A Full Brain - A Goals/Progress Update

Can hardly believe it's August.

Truly. I have to say that July was a GREAT month for me on the writing front. Not only did I take, and learn A LOT from, two different online writing classes (watch for my writing craft recap post tomorrow!), but I got some exciting news regarding my nonfiction manuscript, Ailing Body Nourished Soul.

Photo credit
My manuscript is one of five finalists in the Write Integrity Press One Hope Contest for Non-Fiction! I now have until the end of the year to submit my complete manuscript for final judging. The winner will receive a standard publishing contract (!!) and a cash prize. So, yeah, I'm excited :)

But how did I do in July? Let's see. Here are my goals, directly from last month's goals/progress post.
  • Keep up in the FREE ACFW online course, Description, Dialog and Dirty Words by Publisher Jeff Gerke (sound intriguing, doesn't it?)
  • Keep up in Writing and Researching Historical Fiction (runs July 9-August 5) at Savvy Authors - sounds like one I can use. Yathink?? ;)
  • Fix up and send out the proposal for Jennifer Slattery and my tween bib fiction devo book to Write Integrity Press.
Both classes were AMAZING (the Historical Fiction one is still going on - I think one more lesson). I HIGHLY recommend you come back tomorrow for my writing recap post. LOTS to share! And I did submit that proposal to Write Integrity. Waiting :)

So, a good month. And what's in store for August, you ask? Glad you did ;)
  • Do a complete read-through/fix of Ailing Body Nourished Soul to prepare it for two dear friends to look it over/submission to the contest..
  • Look through many of the resources I learned about from my Writing and Researching Historical Fiction class last month, doing some research for Handmaiden to a Princess.
  • Take full advantage of my my one free month at www.bestsellersociety.com (a perk of taking the Jeff Gerke class last month!). Looks like an awesome resource!
 Sounds like a bit, especially considering there's a bit of a vacation in there, and it's SUMMER, but I think it just may be doable :)

Thanks for reading!
 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

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