Friday, March 30, 2018

My Journey to Publication—and Why Yours Will Look Nothing Like It - by Lindsay Harrel

Lindsay Harrel

Fridays at Seriously Write are devoted to chatting about personal roads taken to publication and offering encouragement to writers at any point in their own journeys. Lindsay Harrel shares her story with us today. ~ Dawn


My Journey to Publication—
and Why Yours Will
Look Nothing Like It

Like many of you, I’ve dreamed of being a published author ever since I was young. But in high school, I decided that being an author was too competitive. So I pursued a degree in journalism and become an editor.

Fast forward to 2009—I was working full time and getting my MA in English. There was only one online course that happened to be available when I registered, and that was Fiction Writing. I needed an elective, so I took the course. If ever something was “ordained” and not a coincidence in my writing journey, I believe it was this moment for me. My love of writing fiction was reborn during this eight-week course. I started thinking seriously again about pursing publication.

A month after I graduated, I dove into writing my first novel. I finished drafting it within four months and boy, did I think it was good. (All of you can relate, I’m sure!)

When I realized that most certainly was NOT the case, I settled into learning craft hardcore. I was married and worked full time, but didn’t have kids yet, so I had the luxury of learning craft and writing during my lunch breaks and in the evenings and all day on Saturdays. In the course of my pursuit of publication, I also attended several retreats/conferences (totally recommend My Book Therapy and American Christian Fiction Writers for this).

After writing my second book, I finaled in a contest and landed my agent, who asked me to rewrite the book because the premise was “flawed.” Double groan! But I did it, and I learned a lot in the process.

Then, I wrote another book (One More Song to Sing) and it was contracted and published by a small press in 2016. While I was thrilled to be published, a part of me was bummed I wasn’t the “raving success story” I’d always dreamed of being—you know, one of those rare people who gets a huge multi-book contract out the gate (a bit unrealistic, right?). But I had a WONDERFUL experience with that book. I also found that starting with a smaller press for my first book was exactly what I needed to feel more confident in the whole process. I love how God knows what we need even when we don’t.

After publishing my first book, it began to look like I might not ever be able to break into one of the larger publishing houses (I loved my smaller house experience, but was looking for a house that could help more with marketing, etc.). I even took a break from writing for several months and prayed about whether to set aside my writing for a season, since I had a toddler and was pregnant with my second son. But God had other ideas.

In late 2016, I was offered a two-book contract with HarperCollins Christian Publishing, my dream publisher, and my second book (The Heart Between Us) just released on March 13. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a well-known publisher and to improve my craft with the help of the amazing team of editors there.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Well, good for her. But I’ve been writing for x number of years and nothing is happening.” I would just encourage you to keep going. Keep writing one book. And another. And another. You learn by doing.

One of my mentors says that if this writing thing doesn’t change you, then what’s it all for? Your journey WON’T look like mine. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, different ways that God will choose to stretch us. Instead of worrying about the destination, let yourself lean into the journey and be changed by it. Write on, friends. Write on.






Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.




Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with at the following places:







Thursday, March 29, 2018

Journey To The Cross by Terri Weldon




This post first ran in 2016. But since this is Holy Week, I felt it was appropriate to run again. Have a blessed Easter. 

Easter is one of the most glorious days on the Christian calendar. Take a minute to stop and reflect on exactly what that means to each of us. Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified. He died on the cross bearing our sins. On the third day He rose again. Death and the grave were defeated. Because of His sacrifice we have eternal life. No wonder Christians all over the world celebrate Easter. 

For most of my life I celebrated Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and then fast forwarded to the empty tomb on Easter morning. I never stopped to think about what happened on the days between. 


Then one year I finally heard our Pastor say you can’t truly appreciate Easter if you haven’t traveled the road to the cross. Now there are two things to understand here. The first is I use the word finally because I’m sure he had said it before but it went in one ear and out the other. The second is that he said it much more eloquently than me. 

So now I travel with Christ on His journey. On Palm Sunday I stand in church and sing Hosanna in the highest as I wave my palm branch. In my mind I can imagine Jesus riding on the colt and the people welcoming Him as King. 

From there I go to Maundy Thursday. I sit at the table in a candlelit room and dine on food such as fish, nuts, bread, cheese, and fruit that Jesus and His disciples might have shared at the Passover or Last Supper.  And as the meal concludes and the services progresses I’m reminded that one of Jesus’ own disciples, Judas, had determined in his heart to betray Christ. If I had been there would I have been a Judas or a John? 

On Good Friday I enter the church for what has become one of my favorite services – Tenebrae. The lights in the sanctuary are diminished as the services progresses. Scriptures are read, the choir sings, often times there is a brief reenactment of how Christ was betrayed, the crowd having gone from calling Him King to yelling crucify Him in one short week. And some years there is the horrible sound of the nails hammering Christ to the cross. 

How you ask, can this be one of my favorite services? Because it drives home how much Jesus sacrificed and suffered for me. Those were my sins that nailed him to the cross, my shame and guilt that put Him in the tomb. As I leave the service in darkness and quiet I realize what His death means to me.

And on Sunday the sanctuary is dark when I enter. But in just a few minutes the shout of Christ is risen, risen indeed is shouted out. The lights are turned on and we rejoice because the stone has been rolled away!

For me the journey to the cross makes Easter morning all the more precious. Deciding whether or not to take that journey is a personal choice, but I hope it is one you will at least consider this year.

What about you? How do you prepare your heart for Easter? I hope you will take a few moments to share with me. 



Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing. 

Readers can connect with Terri: Website: www.TerriWeldon.comBlog: Seriously Write



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Don’t Wait, Dream Big by Carrie Lighte


In order to write, I need to walk. Particularly, I need to walk outdoors. There’s something about the rhythm of walking and the openness of landscape that releases my imagination, especially if I have writer’s block. I rarely return from a walk thinking the same thoughts as when I began.

A year and a half ago, I was out walking and thinking about a plot for an Amish romance novel. I’d never written a story with Amish characters, nor had I ever written a romance novel. But I could “see” the entire novel in my mind and I’d read about a publisher who was actively soliciting Amish romance novels—no agent required.

At the end of the hiking trail lay a small collection of stones painted in various colors. Some were decorated with faces and flowers, some were inscribed with words. Walkers were encouraged to take one or two and to paint and bring back a few for someone else to find.

I chose a blue rock with red lettering saying, “Don’t Wait.” A few days later, I took a green rock with the words, “Dream Big,” written in silver paint. I chose those specific rocks because they mirrored how I felt about writing the Amish romance novel.

I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I dreamed big by working hard and soon I’d finished the book. I was very excited but a few people familiar with the publishing business listed all the reasons I shouldn’t get my hopes up. They also suggested I wait to submit the manuscript until I’d done X, Y, and Z.

I knew they had my best intentions in mind, so I carefully considered their advice and prayed for God’s guidance, just as I’d done all along. Then I submitted the book. Long story short, the publisher offered a contract. A year and a half later, I’ve completed three books in a six-book miniseries contracted with that same publisher.

I often wonder where my novel would be now if I’d taken the advice of those who told me to wait. I understand the publishing journey requires a lot of patience; without it, writers will neither survive nor progress. But sometimes we’re so thrilled to get our first awards/agents/contracts/etc. that we allow others to make decisions about our writing for us. I think that’s a mistake.

I’m not suggesting anyone should send out a first draft manuscript, nor do I think waiting to submit one’s work is a bad idea. The fact is I don’t know what’s best for anyone else’s creative process or road to publication. I only know that after much prayer and consideration, I was confident about my direction, despite the “expert” naysayers.

If I could decorate two rocks to give to the writers reading this, the stones would say, “Pray hard” and “It’s your path.” But I’d understand if you chose a rock with flowers on it instead, and I’d wish you joy and success along your way.


What would you paint on a rock encouragement?



~~~~~~~

Carrie Lighte is the author of the Amish Country Courtships Love Inspired miniseries. In addition to romance novels, she’s written and published poetry, short stories and greeting card verse. When she’s not writing or reading, she can be found hiking, kayaking or body boarding with her family on Cape Cod.


Anna's Forgotten Fianc
é

An accident leaves Anna Weaver with no memory of her Amish hometown’s newest arrival—her fianc√©! After a whirlwind courtship, their wedding’s in six weeks…but how can she marry a man she can’t remember? Carpenter Fletcher Chupp takes her on a walk down memory lane, but there’s one thing he wants to keep hidden: a secret that might just lose him the woman he loves.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Solving the Pressure Problem Once and For All by Emily Conrad

I’ve spent approximately eight hours working on a 45-second video you probably won’t see.

The lost time and wasted effort sadden me.

The trouble is, I tend toward perfectionism unless I’m consciously warding it off, so when I set out to make a video talking about my debut novel, Justice, it turned into this big scripted ordeal that didn’t appeal to the few people I showed it to.

When I’d hoped they say, “Yeah, this is fine,” instead they came back with suggestions that would mean redoing it from the start.

More work to look less scripted.

I cut my losses. If looking unscripted was going to take even more time, I was out.

Instead of the video, I posted a picture of the real-life setting that inspired the Main Street in Justice, a picture that took all of ten seconds to snap. I’m calling it good.

I can’t do everything. Or rather, I could do a video, but that’s clearly not where my strengths are. As sad as I am about the whole fiasco, I don’t see myself ever being comfortable with anything I produced, so I think I’ve recognized what is, for me, for now, a healthy limit.

Healthy limits don’t come easily for me in Book Launch Land.

Let me just say that I’m super-happy to be launching a book. But even good responsibilities need to be handled correctly, and I’ve found that after working toward publication for years, I now feel years’ worth of pressure to make this book a success. I feel compelled to take advantage of as many opportunities to promote my work as I can find.

So, if I share something on my Facebook page, I should probably also post it to all kinds of groups. In fact, why am I only doing free posts? Why not sponsor some ads? And while I’m at it, I ought to spruce up my site for when readers visit. Oh, and I should figure out how to make a book trailer. And why haven’t I done a Facebook book launch party?

Honestly, it’s not because of healthy limits that I avoided most of these things. I avoided them because of the ugly feeling that grew as I considered taking on yet another task. And still, I had a lot on my plate. This is the way it goes, and having a book out there is an honor. But…

After a couple of intense weeks of promotion, I was fading as I went into the weekend. Instead of continuing full-speed-ahead, I took a break and read a book for the fun of it.

That was more refreshing than I can say.

But the break wasn’t really a solution of the pressure. After the weekend, it was back into the fray, prepping for a Facebook group takeover that will be history by the time you read this post. And once again, compulsion and pressure had their way with me. I complained to a friend about how stressed I was, and her reply put things back into perspective.

God makes things happen, not you.

Can we all breathe a collective sigh of relief at that?

Pressure lurks at every step of the writing life, whether you’re drafting your first novel, rewriting your fifth, approaching agents and editors, or publicizing a book. And though I haven’t gotten further than this yet, I’m sure there are tons of pressure still in store.

But there’s a solution for that pressure. There’s Someone strong enough to take it off my shoulders and yours: Jesus.

We can do our work with excellence and then rest assured the final result is in God’s hands.

It’s time to send perfectionism, compulsion, and self-reliance packing.

A weekend break isn’t enough to fix the mindset that leads to perfectionism and unhealthy striving. We can only be saved from this I-must-do-it-all compulsion by faith.

After all, the Bible doesn’t say the righteous will live by effort.

We live by faith. 

About the Author
Emily Conrad lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her debut novel is set mostly in a coffee shop!) She offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.
www.emilyconradauthor.com
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Emily-Conrad-ebook/dp/B0792HGXQN/
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/justice-emily-conrad/1127841580

Justice
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. Brooklyn can’t bring herself to name the father as she wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake. If Harold Keen, the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop, has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Write What Makes You Happy by Mary Manners

 

Write What Makes You Happy

by

Mary Manners

 

Happy spring, everyone! After a close call with a late-season snow storm, my favorite season is finally off to a beautiful sprint. Listening to chirping blue jays and watching cardinals soar through sunny skies makes my heart happy. I don't know about you, but the signs of spring renew my desire to both curl up with a good book and to write, write, write.
 
I love the mountains of East Tennessee and all that nature surrounding them brings. Some of you may know that, following my retirement from a fulfilling day-career of teaching, my husband and I spent eighteen months in Jacksonville, Florida, enjoying ocean views and year-round warmth. It was a lovely experience, but the Smoky Mountains kept calling to me. So, last October we returned to Tennessee. We found a piece of property that is perfect for us--a small slice of heaven--and have made it our sanctuary. Two cats, fourteen fish, one dog, and thirteen baby chicks later, and our new post-retirement family is complete--for now, at least.
 
So, what does this have to do with my writing journey...or yours? It comes down to thinking about the little things that make us happy...and how those little things are reflected in the details of our stories. What you love will be richly and incomparably detailed as you write. The experiences, landscapes, sights and sounds of nature, etc. will become inspirational as they relate to the stories you long to tell.
 

 
As springtime settles in, I challenge you to pause and reflect. Give yourself a writing tune-up. Take inventory of those experiences, landscapes, and little things that make you happy. Think about how they might also impart happiness to others, and use that as a springboard to a wonderful and productive writing season.

 
Happy spring and happy writing!
 
~~~~~
 


One shattered wish can lead to a beautiful dream come true…
Vanessa Pearce has returned home to Honeysuckle Cove from the runways of New York, where she enjoyed a charmed life as a plus-sized model until an accident brought that career to a crashing halt. The opening of Sweet Tea and Summer Dreams, a children’s tea party boutique, provides an escape from the heartache of shattered wishes.

The recent adoption of his niece Lanie has taught Colton James to appreciate the simple things in life. Everyone in Honeysuckle Cove seems to have forgotten Colton’s rowdy past—everyone except Vanessa. But when a visit to Sweet Tea and Summer Dreams causes their paths to cross once again, it’s Colton’s opportunity to prove to her that one shattered wish can lead to a beautiful dream come true.
 
~~~~~
 
Mary Manners is a country girl at heart who has spent a lifetime sharing her joy of writing. She has two sons, a daughter, and three beautiful grandchildren. She lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, two rescue cats, Colby and Jax, 13 chickens and 14 fish.
Mary writes stories full of faith and hope. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Mary loves long sunrise runs, Smoky Mountain sunsets, and flavored coffee. She enjoys connecting with reader friends through her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Alone Syndrome by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

Our pastor, preaching on Matthew 26 recently, mentioned that when we sin, it usually happens when we are alone. That’s when the decisions are made. That’s when the actions are carried out.

He gave the example of verses 69-75. Confronted by a young girl about his relationship with Jesus, Simon Peter fell into the sin of denying His Savior…when he was by himself. James, John, Matthew, and the rest of the disciples were not around.

It made me think about King David. As he stood on that roof, watching Bathsheba bathe. There was nobody there to grab him by the shoulders and shake him into his right mind.

The same goes for the believer in Christ, our pastor said, who falls prey to temptation. Like porn, for instance. Nobody watches it while the family is in the same room.

Or what about the person who “cooks the books” of a successful business in order to bilk Uncle Sam out of tax revenue or drive up the stock price? This person probably is not going to share this with the rest of the company’s employees or stockholders.

The point is, our most egregious sin usually occurs when we think nobody is watching.

Sadly, what an affront to God that is.

Acting like He’s not around.

And that may be the most appalling part of it all.

***

So, what’s this got to do with writing?

As writers, we may commit similar sins, probably often do, when we are alone.

For example, when the mail arrives, and the rejection letter tells us our work isn’t good enough. So, we sit in our office with the computer monitor staring at us…fully engrossed in a pity party, questioning God’s call on our life….and everything to do with this writing life…

Or when life happens, and we resent our family members, our neighbors, our colleagues, or even strangers because their unscheduled visit or catastrophe has impinged upon our writing time.

Or when we finally get what we have prayed for (a contract, a slew of good reviews, you fill in the blank here), and it suddenly isn’t enough anymore.

We may “discuss” (because complaining is a sin, too) the rejection letter with our friends, but we don’t discuss our lack of faith or sequestered anger. We just want them to tell us how brain dead that editor who rejected us must be.

We may tell those we love how much we adore them, but we never tell them how frustrated we are when they show up in the middle of a hard deadline…although it may come out in our actions.

We may be thankful for that first contract or that great review from a notable entity that is certain to boost our platform prospects, but we’d never admit to anyone that’s really not enough to make us feel fulfilled.

Yet, is God watching when we get that letter from the editor? Is He there when the family members unexpectedly show up? Does He even care about your contracts, reviews, or your overall career?

Of course He is.

Of course He does.

But He also gave us each other.

To help us focus on the bigger picture.

In Acts 2:42-47, you have the blueprint, the prescription for how to be the Church. Nowhere in those verses do you find anyone doing anything alone.

And there’s a reason for that.

We’re less likely to sin when we are together, provided we are truly living for Christ (which was our pastor’s point).

In the world of Christian writing, there are a myriad of ways to connect with other writers, readers, and those within Christian publishing. Between critique groups, writers conferences, online groups, church groups, and social media, there has never been a time where connecting with someone has been easier.

If you’ve ever been to a good conference, been a part of a great writers critique group, or simply meet a fellow believer for coffee and shared your lives as followers of Jesus, you know how uplifting and energizing it can be. Especially when we help each other, pray for one another, and do all the other “one anothers” mentioned in the New Testament.

There are twenty-four “Marks of Christian Fellowship” besides those found in Acts 2:42-47. I challenge you to read through these verses, spending some time within their own contexts. I think you’ll see how applicable they are to you as a writer (and obviously as a believer in Christ).

I think you’ll also find that offending God will be much more difficult in the future.

The Marks of Fellowship

Mark 9:50
John 13:34-35
John 15:12, 17
Romans 12:10, 16
Romans 13:8
Romans 15:7
Galatians 5:13
Galatians 6:2
Ephesians 4:2
Ephesians 4:32
Colossians 3:13
Colossians 3:16
1 Thessalonians 4:9, 18
1 Thessalonians 5:11
Hebrews 3:13
Hebrews 10:24-25
James 5:16
1 Peter 1:22
1 Peter 3:8
1 Peter 4:9-10
1 Peter 5:5
1 John 3:11, 23
2 John 5






A Clandestine Mission. A Cryptic Message. A Chaste Promise.

Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction—a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy family life.

But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in his London flat, Blake's secretive past propels him into the middle of an international scheme so twisted and sadistic, it will take everything Blake possesses—all of it—to save the United States from a diabolical terrorist attack.




C. KEVIN THOMPSON is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a kid at heart. Often referred to as “crazy” by his grandchildren, it’s only because he is. He’s a writer. Need he say more?

The first three books of his Blake Meyer Thriller series are out! Book 1, 30 Days Hath Revenge, Book 2, Triple Time, and Book 3, The Tide of Times, are now available! Book 4, When the Clock Strikes Fourteen, is coming soon!  Also, the second edition of his award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, is now available!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too. It’s quite elementary, actually.

Website:                                www.ckevinthompson.com/
Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:         www.ckevinthompson.blogspot.com/
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson







Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reading, Writing, Reaping by Sally Shupe

Thank you so much for inviting me to Seriously Write! It’s an honor to be here. I look forward to talking with you today.

Did you pick a word for 2018? My word is reaping. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this word. It sounds like a non-active word, a passive word, one where you sit back and wait for something to happen. How could that be my word, as the whole point to a word is doing something, learning more about it, and putting it into action?

I discussed this with a friend of mine (Hi, Sherrinda!) and she encouraged me to look into this word further. So I did. 

First, I looked in the dictionary. The definition of reaping is: to cut, to gather a harvest, to get as a return. 

Sherrinda had commented: I love the thought of gathering in...taking in what is good...what is best...what is fruitful, and leaving behind the stalks, the chaff, the unnecessary. It's like culling out while harvesting the bounty. 

So far, reaping meant to me, to get as a return and leaving behind the unnecessary. Now the word is active! It’s something I can do and act upon. I’m supposed to be writing, but I can’t reap (be published) without actually writing. And I can’t be distracted by what is going on around me. Each journey is personally specific. 

Then, I looked up some scriptures that talk about reaping. I found a bunch of scriptures but two stood out: 

Ecclesiastes 11:4-He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. If you spend your time watching what’s going on around you, instead of working, you won’t reap. 

2 Corinthians 9:6-But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Your reaping is tied to how much work you put into it. If you put in a little work, you get a little back. If you put in a lot of work, you’ll get a lot in return. 

Finally, a song has been speaking to my heart. Take Courage. “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.” In our Christian walk, God is in the waiting. That’s where we learn who God is. It’s the same with our writing. When we’re waiting to be published, it’s not an inactive time. We’re busy writing, getting the next story ready, and the next. Studying craft. Making connections. Making our story stronger. So when publishing time comes, we’re ready. 

One thing that keeps coming back to me about my word reap is when Boaz reaped he left some for Ruth. Not the scraps but stuff she could reap as well. In our writing journey we do the same when we reach out to help others either with inspiration, encouragement, or sharing knowledge. I’m eager to see how God uses this word in 2018 in my spiritual walk and in my writing. 

This word also ties in with my word from last year: expectation. When you’re expecting company, you clean house. When you’re expecting a baby, you prepare the nursey. You’re not sitting around doing nothing. You’re planning, strategizing, setting goals. You can’t read 300 books in a day. You have to plan throughout the year to do that. You can’t write a book in a day. You’ve got to break it down, tackle it throughout the year. Once you have those daily, weekly, monthly goals in place, and DO them, then you can reap. But you have to put forth the time first. 
 
I have been writing consistently, setting clear goals, and now have three critique partners in place. Just as I’d make a grocery list in order to get groceries to prepare dinner, I write now to become published later. 
 
What about you? What’s your one word for 2018 and how has it affected you so far? What do you do during the waiting times before reaping? How have you been working toward your goals so far this year?

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She writes contemporary Christian romance, with two completed manuscripts and three more in progress. They are part of a series located in small town Virginia.  

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor for Desert Breeze; a content editor for Prism (became part of Pelican); performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews on her blog and with Valley Business FRONT’s monthly magazine; is a member of ACFW and just recently became a PRO member of RWA; loves genealogy, running, and crocheting. 

Sally uses her love of words to write about God’s amazing love.

Connect with Sally:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sallyshupewritings/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SallyShupe1
Blog: http://sallyshupe.blogspot.com/
Email: sallyshupe1@gmail.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sallyshupe1/
Website: http://sallyshupeseditingservice.weebly.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-schreiner-shupe-8217a639?trk=hp-identity-name
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Getting Unstuck by Amberly Clowe

So…what are you passionate about?

What sends you into a fit of excited giggles?

What keeps you up at night, wrestling villains and turnings pages?

For my dad, it’s anything Clive Cussler.

For my husband, it’s a fact-filled read of historical fiction.

For me, it’s children’s fiction.

I love to read it. I love to write. It. Each genre has its own fascinating elements. Picture books can inspire the imagination yet eviscerate the heartstrings. Chapter books introduce zany characters in wild situations. Middle grade stories are close friends in one of the most traumatic times of life. YA fiction can turn the world as we know it upside down in mind-blowing and delicious ways.

I devour books. I love to absorb twisting plots and enlightening perspectives. I love to sit back in awe at the world an author has woven. And like so many others, I love to be inspired.

I have found that, as a writer, if I’m not completely enthralled by a project, there’s no point. Apathy will always show through my storytelling. For years, I’ve read and heard that a writer should write what he or she is passionate about. Guess what?

I totally get that.

The cool thing is that through reading I have discovered which genres and topics to pursue in writing. It’s fascinating how the two go together. So, if you get stuck in your writing, if you ever feel at a crossroads, walk—no run—to your local bookstore or library and pour through those shelves. You may quickly find that you’re not stuck at all.


What is your secret for finding your writing passion? 


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Amberly Kristen Clowe has loved literature since she was a little girl. The elementary school Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash due in April of 2018. Amberly is kept wonderfully busy by spending time with family, along with tackling her many writing projects and teaching children at her church.
teacher now has three published children’s stories and


You can find Amberly online at these websites.

www.twitter.com/AmberlyClowe