Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

h1

Ten Things Writers Are Thankful For

November 21, 2017

1. Our characters—all the precious details about them and their lives, how they entertain us, and how they keep us company at all times.

2. Coffee/tea/cocoa/wine…our writing beverage of choice. Also SNACKS!

3. That non-writing friend or family member who asks how our writing is going. Sometimes we feel like nobody in our lives cares about this massive part of our reality. Thank you for being that person who asks.

4. Those lines and scenes we secretly go back to read over and over again, amazed that it came out so beautifully.

5. Reviews! Even that 1 or 2 star review, because it means a reader with criticisms was kind enough to leave us feedback anyway.

6. The fact that the rough draft doesn’t have to be perfect.

7. The fact that edits and revisions do, in fact, eventually end.

8. Good editors. We’d be lost without them.

9. Writing friends who support us, cheer us on, and listen to us rant and rave about how Character A is all the feels today and Characters B and C aren’t getting along, and Character D is being a spoiled brat. 😛 Thank you for understanding and welcoming the chaos that is our brains!

10. And lastly, we are thankful that our antagonists and villains do not actually exist. Amen.

h1

Guest Post at Brianna Merritt’s Blog

March 25, 2017

Brianna Merritt invited me to guest post on her blog today. I wrote on how having a “thick skin” isn’t the most important thing when it comes to sharing our creative work:

What if, in spite of all my logical mental preparation, I can’t handle negative reviews? What if I’m a pathetically oversensitive snowflake after all, and bad feedback breaks me??

 Formerly so excited about debuting a story, I began to have second thoughts…not about the value of the story or my decisions in revising it, but about my ability to put such a raw piece of my heart in front of the world and open myself to inevitable criticism.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized something.

Read the rest here.

Also, Laura A. Grace interviewed me on her blog yesterday to celebrate the release of my short story, Threadbare. Check it out!

h1

Simmer Starters and News – December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

Hello, friends!  My blog has been rather quiet lately. Awhile back I stopped posting the Simmer Starters because I noticed not a lot of people are interested in them…but I found that I miss sharing cool links! 😛 I’ve decided to pick up the practice again, but post only when I have a collection of links gathered, or maybe monthly.  I also hope to start blogging more again soon.

I have some Simmer Starters for today, but first, some general news…

Writing!

My newest writing project, Until She Dies, has been unfurling slowly. The story is taking its sweet time to ravel together, but that’s okay! I’m allowing it to marinate and trusting it will all fit in due time.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-12-14-15-pm

Click to see my Pinterest board for Until She Dies!

Reading!

This month, though, I’m taking some time off writing to recharge – I’ve been in “writing mode” so long that my reading side has suffered and I’ve felt my creativity starving for fuel.  I would love to make reading more of a habit and read many more books in 2017.

I’m hoping, too, that giving my mind a break from fiction writing will help unlock more bloggable thoughts and I’ll have more musings to share here. 🙂

15369279_712709445563421_8160587603378260467_o-1

Tentative TBR for the month, to finish or start for the first time: a beta read for a friend, Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke, A Time To Speak by Nadine Brandes, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, and Unblemished by Sara Ella.

Party!

Tonight, I’m being featured as one of 12 authors in the Twelve Writers of Christmas Facebook party! It’s my first time being a “special guest” at a Facebook party, and I’m pretty excited about it. 🙂 Stop by tonight at 7 p.m. EST, and you might win books or an Amazon gift card!  (Click the picture below to go to the party page.)

14859886_321893411522923_9014136170416238109_o

#WIPjoy

Writers, don’t forget that the next #WIPjoy is coming up in January! Throw me any ideas you have for the next one in the blog comments! 🙂

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-12-33-19-pm

Future Giveaway!

On the subject of giveaways, too, keep your eye out for a giveaway coming here to the blog sometime this month! 😉

Pssst, there shall be pretty handpainted bookmarks!

Pssst, there shall be pretty, hand-painted bookmarks!

Simmer Starters!

And now, as promised, some inspiring writing links!

Speculation and Christmas (Rebecca Luella Miller) – “Perhaps sin has hardened us or perhaps it has given us a correct understanding—apart from intervention, we will live without hope and help. We will remain alone and lonely. We will not find fulfillment in our selfish pursuits. But our Christmas stories show intervention. The supernatural comes into the world in unexpected ways, and it changes everything.”

Storytelling Saves Lives (James Scott Bell) – “Stress relief can extend life. Entertainment can make the present life better. Sure, we can have challenging fiction of various kinds, but the real power comes from the ‘lostness’ of a reader inside a compelling narrative.”

Why Your Writing Matters – Even if You’re Not Famous (Janeen Ippolito) – “Writing is a hard field. Never let anyone tell you any differently. But while it has unique challenges, it isn’t any harder or easier than many other career choices. It takes guts and passion and drive. It takes focused creativity when you’re ready to quit and the ability to see new possibilities and opportunities–or even to create them.”

How To Identify Your Story’s Premise (K.M. Weiland) – “It’s not enough just to come up with a cool idea for your book. You also have to make it work on every single page. Otherwise, no matter how cool it is, it quickly becomes the wrong premise. The key to solving this problem before it even gets started is learning how to identify your story’s premise—and more specifically the most important aspect of that premise—right out of the gates.”

What’s up with YOU lately? What books are on your December TBR?  What books are you hoping to get for Christmas? Have you ever been a host or featured guest at a Facebook party?

h1

Let the September 2016 #WIPjoy Begin!

September 1, 2016

Time for another month of celebrating our works-in-progress and encouraging one another in our writing!  I’m thrilled to see many, many new faces tweeting and sharing this time.  What a joy! 😀

If you’re a writer with a work-in-progress, you’re invited to join the party!  Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, or even Instagram it!  Just make sure to include the hashtag #WIPjoy in your public social media posts so other writers can find you. 🙂

Here are the daily challenges for the month of September.

WIPjoy Sept. 2016

h1

Simmer Starters – July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016

Brace yourselves!  After missing it last week, I have a ton of Simmers to catch up on. 😀

Hospitality and the Holy Imagination (Zach Franzen) – Some fascinating, worthy thoughts here (it takes a bit for the article to really get going, so stay with it). “Artists should be good hosts. At the very least they should serve a meal they are willing to eat themselves.”

How Worry Steals Your Magic (K.M. Carroll) – “I’ve spent the last decade learning to be afraid. Learning to worry. Learning all those dark, negative things that help you survive adulthood–but they cut off your shining Neverland. In its place, I built a narrow, dystopian world of darkness and fear.”

Thinking Biblically About Worry (Paul David Tripp) – Speaking of worry… “Worry and rest always reveal the true treasures of your heart. You will rest the most when what you treasure the most is secure, and you will worry the most when what you treasure the most is at risk. What does your world of worry reveal about the true treasures of your heart?”

Teaching Jaded Characters How to Trust (Angela Ackerman) – “[Our characters] have suffered pain, emotional wounds that leave them paralyzed when it comes to trust. Somehow, we must help them move past their pain. We must convince them that a willingness to being vulnerable by trusting another will lead to something deeper and more meaningful than they ever imagined.”

Homosexuality in Christian Fiction (Elijah David) – Whether you agree with this post or not, I believe this is a very important conversation for Christian writers to have. “Thus we approach this issue as we approach any other delicate issue regarding a character’s traits and motivations. We write them with excellence and complexity. We show these people are not forced to represent all women, all people of color, all blind people, all the LGBT movement. Stereotypes and generalizations get us nowhere as writers, as storytellers, as students of human nature.”

When Motherhood Squashes Your Talent (Courtney Allison) – This is applicable beyond the topic of motherhood! Comforting words for those who yearn to write but are “stuck” in a difficult phase of life for it. “In the middle of my nausea. When my life was reeling with surprise and sickness. When my chief avenue of processing, thinking, and meditating (i.e. writing), was cut off to me. God knew that would happen. So, I quietly closed my journal, logged out of my blog, and walked into my every day.”

Women, Trade Self-Worth for Wonder and Awe (Jen Wilkin) – YES! “You can tell me that I stir the heart of God, that I am sung over and delighted in, that I am beautiful in his eyes, that I am set apart for a sacred purpose. You can tell me these things, and you should. But I beg you: Don’t tell me who I am until you have caused me to gaze in awe at ‘I Am.’

Why Single is Not the Same as Lonely (Sam Allberry) – Because friendships are a blessing! “A friend is someone who knows your soul. Someone who doesn’t just know lots about you, but knows you. And, Proverbs shows us, we cannot hope to live wisely in God’s world without such soul-to-soul friendships. All of us need them, not just those who are single.”