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Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”  Psalm 139:16 NLT

 

This is a favorite verse of mine. I not only have the page marked with a Post It flag, but I have it underlined and highlighted. Why do you suppose that is? Why do some Bible verses and passages speak to us more personally than the others? In the case of this verse, I know I derive great comfort knowing God is in charge of my life—He has been even before I drew my first breath of air. There is no greater comfort to me than knowing the awesome God of the universe who made heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible, knows me and cares for me as if I was the only creature in the world.

Wow. That just blows my mind and humbles me to my knees.

The entire chapter of Psalm 139 sees David pouring his heart out to God, acknowledging how God made him, knew him, formed him and how not a moment of David’s life escapes Him: How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God!(verse 17). David seeks and adores God’s hand on his life. He is comforted in knowing: You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.(verse 3).  David, the greatest king this world has ever seen, drew strength and conviction from the knowledge that God walked beside him, along each path and turn his life took, and offered him guidance.

Sometimes I wonder if anything I do makes a difference. My job, my marriage, my writing – does it matter? The answer to that baffling question can be found in this chapter. God knew me before I was born. He had a purpose for me. He made me a wife, a mother, a daughter…

A writer. He put the desire to write romantic novels in my heart.  He nods at my ah-ha moments and smiles at all the tender feelings that well in my heart and make me want to spill them across the pages of a book. He made me to write about His glorious gift of love.

Whenever I wonder if I’m doing the work of the Lord, I try to imagine my life without writing stories that demonstrate the need for a man and a woman to fall in love. I can’t do it. I can’t find the passion or the purpose. All the stories lines that run through my mind include a hero, a heroine, and our Lord who knits them together as one, overcoming obstacles and uniting them in His perfect love. As it should be : )

Yep, that’s what God made me. A dreamer. A Christian fiction author. A romance writer.
 
He knew me before I was born and created me to become…me.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. (verse 14).

 


Have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, encouragement, inspiration | Comments Off on Sunday Inspiration for Writers

Alan Schleimer in Seekerville today!


Bounce on over to Seekerville today and visit with Alan Schleimer as he recounts the road to success in his publishing career. Share his excitement over the release of his debut book, The Q Manifesto. He’s offering a copy to a Seekerville visitor, so stop by and say hi!

 








 
The Q Manifesto Disenchanted with his profession, Jay Hunt gave up a lucrative Wall Street career to become a backcountry tour guide. Soon after, an ancient manuscript is uncovered that reveals the Gospels were an orchestrated fiction written by a first-century sect at Qumran. Though its revelation stuns the world, Jay ignores it until his father, a retired Dead Sea Scrolls expert, gets in over his head investigating the scroll. Suspicious of numerous accidents, Jay follows a trail of clues that uncovers evidence of a grand plot that will tip the balance of world power. Marked for death by unknown assailants, Jay soon learns that the world’s only chance to survive Armageddon depends on him deciphering cryptic messages in his quest for the truth.



An award-winning thriller that sprints from Arizona to Jerusalem, Paris to the Caribbean, and Houston to Amman. Your fingernails don’t stand a chance.

Posted in Alan Schleimer, debut novel, suspense, The Q Manifesto | Comments Off on Alan Schleimer in Seekerville today!

As The Pieces Fall Together…

Jane Choate is my guest in Seekerville today. Her topic is Writing Cut and Paste Style.
 
I can relate to that. My writing is all over the place needing to be hauled together and affixed with duck tape, LOL!
 
Jane is the author of 32 books and over 400 short stories and articles, including 11 for Chicken Soup, and she hosts two blogs. The Gratitude Project offers daily inspiration and The Patriot Pages recounts the adventures of our founding fathers, highlighting the great foundation of our nation.
 
Check them out! 
Posted in craft, Jane Choate, Seekerville, writing | 2 Comments

Check out the Seekerville happenings in March!!
 

 

Posted in March, Seekerville, Seekerville happenings | Comments Off on

Welcome Pam Hillman!

I’m so excited to have Pam Hillman as my guest today! Pam is a fellow Seeker whose talent for writing historical cowboy romance is amazing! We met as unpublished writers entering the same contests (along with all the other Seekers–please visit Seekerville to find out more) and taking turns at earning the top spots. Tyndale House Publishers recognized her incredible talent and scooped her up to be among the first authors of their Digital First program. The launching of Digital First was very successful and Im proud to say Pam’s debut novel, Stealing Jake, was one of the first 5 titles published, earning amazing reviews and awards.

Now it’s Claiming Mariah’s turn. . .



Molten Chocolate Lava Cake: An Author’s Best Friend!

 

I stopped by Audra’s blog ahead of time and read in the sidebar that she had the coffee pot on and the cookies cooling. And I noticed that she said, “Life is at its best when its slow and simple.”

 

I’m SO all over that!

 

I dream of slow and simple. I dream of homemade white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies and a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks…


So why is it that I have a schedule a mile long and enough lists to paper the dining room wall? Why is it that my tax returns are due, and every time I dump 50 emails out of my inbox, 100 more pour in to replace the ones I just filed? What happened to my carefully laid plans to be organized and ahead of the game months ago, but I’m still scrambling to play catch up?


What happened is me…combine my habit of over commitment and overachiever with a bad case of procrastination and you have a blood pressure cooker waiting to happen.

I figure since I’m blogging with Audra, I can just relax a bit and see where this goes. After all, she’s the one who gave me leave to take life slow and easy!

So, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think about cookies, and cakes, and chocolate. Ahhhh….I have a new revelation…

 

Baking is good for the heart, and baking anything chocolateis good for the soul!

 

Don’t believe me? Just hop over to Pinterest, search for chocolate and let your eyes feast on the amazing array of chocolate cakes, pies, brownies, and lava cake. Come to think of it, just skip searching for chocolate and go straight to the chocolate lava cakeinstead. I had chocolate lava cake a few weeks ago and obviously I have not forgotten it.

 

I do believe that Audra’s sage advice to bake cookies and slow down, and my little jaunt over to Pinterest solved all my problems, or at the very least made me completely forget them.

I’m headed to the kitchen to bake!

PS. Seriously, I just cooked two Molten Lava Cakes in the microwave. Goofed the first one up, but the second one looked perfect. I wouldn’t know. I had to eat the goofed up one, but my son vouched for the pretty one. Sorry I didn’t get pictures. We were too busy eating lava cake!

 

A multi-published author in short fiction and non-fiction, Pam Hillman continues to stretch her wings as a writer of inspirational fiction set in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Code of the West has always resonated with the internal fabric on which Pam was raised: that of hard work, honesty, and being a good neighbor to someone in need.

Born east of the Mississippi and a hundred years too late, Pam still boasts of wrangling calves, milking cows and putting up hay, first as a child growing up in Mississippi, and later with her own personal hero, Iran, on their family farm.

A voracious reader as a child, Pam especially enjoyed stories involving the great Westward expansion, and television shows such as Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Gunsmoke. The western writer, Louis L’Amour, kept Pam mesmerized with his tales of cowboys and Indians, outlaws, prim schoolteachers, hot dry deserts and boom towns.

Pam’s love of the old west and her personal knowledge of country life bring authenticity to her work and depth to her characters, something that has been recognized many times in the industry through writer’s awards.

Her work has placed in dozens of writer’s contests, including being a four-time finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest for unpublished novelists with Claiming Mariah, her second novel, winning the coveted Golden Heart. Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, is a 2013 Epic eBook Awards finalist. www.pamhillman.com

~

 

Pam is thrilled to announce the release of her second novel,

Claiming Mariah

 

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

 
 
Claiming Mariah Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/apnzl5n

            Claiming Mariah B&N link: http://tinyurl.com/ays6fq7

            Claiming Mariah CBD link: http://tinyurl.com/bvjx3m7

            Claiming Mariah BAM link: http://tinyurl.com/a7fnwlv

Claiming Mariah Goodreads link: http://tinyurl.com/d9u2k6j

Claiming Mariah 1st Chapter: http://tinyurl.com/ageh54r

 

To celebrate, Pam is giving away two eReaders

(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, or Nook Simple Touch)

Two Winners: One on facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.

 

Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’


Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.

 

And….that’s not all! There will be prizes offered randomly throughout the tour.

 

(3 Pewter Bookmarks from Deirdre’s Handmade Jewelry PLUS 40% off coupon at Deirdre’s online store. Click link to register and for coupon code)

 

PREVIOUS STOPS ON TOUR:

February 28th: Tina Pinson and Johnny Donley

 

NEXT STOP ON TOUR:

March 4th: Ashley Clark

 

Posted in chocolate, Claiming Mariah, Kindle, nook, Pam Hillman, Tyndale House | 9 Comments

Book In A Month

 
Can you believe it’s Speedbo time again?
What is Speedbo, you ask?
Speedbo is Seekerville’s version of Book In A Month. Stop by Seekerville www.seekerville.net and check out the hype. AND stop by and sign up on the Seekerville blog to receive a certificate and badge to post on your blog. You’ll find all the info you need to participate in Speedbo and have a great time. Oh, and did I mention prizes…?
 
Don’t forget to stop by the Seekerville blog all through March for posts from Seekers and guests designed to help you on your novel writing journey.
 
See you there!!
 
 

Posted in Seekerville, Speedbo | 4 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers


“We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God’s holy people, who live in the light.” Colossians 1:11-12 NLT

Do you ever ask friends and family to pray for you? For your health, your prosperity, for wisdom in difficult situations? Do you ever think to ask them to also pray for your writing?

As authors, we are entrusted with the task of writing the stories placed on our hearts by the Lord. We’ve been chosen to spread His word through the art of storytelling. This may sound easy to those who have never attempted to write a book. What’s so difficult about writing a story?

I assure you, it’s plenty difficult. And, the responsibility of interpreting the message intended can be–at times–overwhelming. God assures us He will never leave us, nor will He give us more than we can handle. Still, piecing together the fragments of a fictional character’s life—the pain, insecurity, choices – can be a daunting task, even as we call to our Father for wisdom and direction. Do we really want to go on this journey alone?

Friends are there for one another. Ask your faithful friends and family to include you in their prayers so that you might be strengthened and granted endurance in your writing. May the Lord fill you with joy, blessing the creativity welling within you so that you will be articulate in your sharing of the salvation that comes only in faith in Jesus Christ.

Now THAT’S a story worth telling!

Blessings and have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, encouragement, inspiration | 2 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT

Though the context of this verse refers to Paul asking God to take away the thorn in his side, I couldn’t help but apply it to my WIP and my life. Oh how so many try to be so strong, so smart, so “on top of our game.” Strength is viewed as superior and heaven forbid you reveal any hint of weakness.

But isn’t that exactly what we’re supposed to reveal in our characters? What is their deepest fear and how do we take and use that fear to create the black moment where life as they know is about to shatter? A fear so devastating it’s a wonder the character…and the book for that matter…will survive and find that happily ever after? Isn’t that the moment the character (and the author) turn to God and plead for His intervention?

HELP!

If it isn’t, it should be. We endeavor to breathe life into our books. What is life without the same faith you instill in your own worries, your own prayers? Do we trust God to lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil as we walk with Him every day? Why shouldn’t our characters call on the same Almighty presence?

The bottom line is they should. I must confess, when I try to outline the path of my stories, I try to figure out the resolution of each calamity. If I can’t, I tend to try some other obstacle I know Ican overcome. So therein lies a question for me: Where is MY faith? Am I willing to write a character into a corner I can’t get them out of, praying the Lord will? Most of the time, I don’t.  Forgive me Lord, for my faith is weak.

My challenge to myself is to overcome my propensity to go the easy route. The good Lord gifts me with ideas for books. I pray I turn to Him for guidance so that I always write the book the Lord placed on my heart.
 
Blessings and have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, conflict, inspiration | 4 Comments

Scrivener workshop

Have you signed up for Scrivener For Windows workshop, yet? No? Well, there’s still time!
 
If you’re like me, I downloaded the program and played with it, but never used it properly. I ended up more frustrated than pleased.
 
Gwen Hernandez is offering a 6 week workshop designed to help users reach the full potential of the Scrivener novel writing program. If you haven’t downloaded the program yet, go to Literature & Latte and download your 30 day free trial.
 
Come join the fun! I’m signed up.
 
Workshop beginning February 19, 2013 for 4 weeks plus an additional two weeks for questions and answers.
 
Scrivener: Outline. Edit. Storyboard. Write.
 
If you need additional aids, try the Scrivener For Dummies book. I have my copy earmarked from end to end : )
 
 
BTW, this IS NOT a paid endorsement. I’m simply all kinds of excited about learning how to use this excellent program properly. Nothing worse than having a gadget with 101 uses and not even knowing how to turn the thing on!!
Posted in Gwen Hernandez, Scrivener | 3 Comments

Sunday Inspiration for Writers

“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

Ever feel like the world is just passing you by? Recognition is given to those who might have only striven a short while towards the same goal as you; choices for teams or projects are made that don’t include you; you are excluded from an event you’d been anticipating for months-maybe even years.

It’s so easy for us to forget that God is well aware of everything detail of our lives. Everything happens according to His plan. Envy is a sin that burns too readily in our hearts as our emotions war with God’s plans. We want recognition for that which we’ve worked hard for. We don’t readily understand how someone who has not put in the hours, paid the dues, worked their way up the ladder can reap the rewards we’ve striven so hard to attain.

As writers, maybe we’ve poured over a plot that just isn’t gelling together for us, yet our critique partner can pop viable GMC concepts off like 4th of July fireworks. Maybe we’ve entered contests only to receive feedback and scores that hold our entries back just short of making the finals again and again. Maybe you have 10 unpublished manuscripts looking for a home and someone in your local writing chapter announces at the meeting they sold their first book…the first book they’ve ever tried to write…and it’s taken them a whole year to do it.

Putting it in all too human terms: Life isn’t fair.

But God is. God has perfect timing for us.

God knows exactly what he’s doing. We need to trust in His Divine judgement. As another verse, Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind — “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — remember God doesn’t forget a thing. He knows our hopes and dreams. He loves us. Wait on Him.

Have a great week!

Posted in Bible verse, inspiration | 2 Comments