Friday, October 25, 2019

Free Stuff!

In celebration of a coming release of Glimpses of God, the authors, Harriet E. Michael and Shirley Crowder will be sharing inspirational thoughts through November 6.

My publisher is offering these as a free mini devotional serial, no strings attached. The 1st is out today. Sign up for them Here

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Christmas in October?

Look what I got in the mail the other day! It was a box of 10 complimentary copies of the soon-to-be-released Chicken Soup for the Soul book, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". I wrote a story in it called, "Angel or Alien?" about an adorable but at the same time sort of hideous Christmas tree-topper angel my daughter made when she was in kindergarten … that ended up on the top of my tree year after year after year! 

I know it's October and frankly, here in Louisville, it still feels like summer. Nonetheless, the holidays will be upon us soon. Books are a great way to enjoy the season. This year, you might enjoy this one or if you want a good seasonal devotional, I suggest Glimpses of the Savior

And of course, don't forget that books make great Christmas gifts too! 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019

A Stand for Truth

“A Stand for Truth” is the title of a book co-written by my husband, John R. Michael, and me that is on the verge of publication. It is about to be released and very soon I will be able to show you the cover. I can’t wait to give a big “Cover Reveal.” We have seen the cover and are quite excited about it but right now it is under wraps at the publishers awaiting some final tweaking.

So, what is the book about?  

In 1984, John was 28 years old, our life together was new, and our family was young. Also, in 1984, John recieved a phone call that would change our lives … and others’ lives too. It was a phone call from a man who wanted to interview John for possible appointment to the Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the world’s largest Protestant denomination. During the 1980’s and 1990’s the SBC fought an historic battle over the truth of scripture and the basic doctrines of the Christian Faith. As the flagship seminary of the SBC, Southern Seminary sat prominently at the heart of this conflict.

In 1984, John was elected to the Board, making him one of the youngest to ever serve on that Board. Though na├»ve and inexperienced, he dramatically stood alone to challenge the President and officers of Southern’s Board when they attempted to cover-up heresy during a national investigation of alleged theological problems.

Though his initial challenge was turned back by the seasoned and powerful leaders, John continued to stubbornly resist. Even as he fought that battle, John also foiled a deceitful plot by a group of liberal Trustees as they maneuvered to steal the seminary and take it independent from the denomination. 

 At its essence, this is a story of how God used a persistent and often lonely young man to play a crucial role in the restoration of a prominent institution to its historical, biblical roots.

So, why did we write our story—the story of John’s travails as a foot soldier in this historic Holy War?

Even while John was still a Trustee and the controversy far from settled, people would come to him and ask for updates and details about the struggle. In the years following, though he was still despised by many, there was growing appreciation for John and his fellow Trustees. At church, or sometimes while he was on campus for Foundation Board meetings, someone would point him out as “the first conservative,” or the Trustee who stood up to the liberals. Soon he would be surrounded by small groups of students, wanting to meet him and ask questions.

John often invited them out to our home for grilled pork chops, or to his business office for pizza, where he spent the evening giving the highlights, and lowlights, of his Trustee experience.

The students were always riveted. Without fail, at the end of the evening, the students would say that they had heard a lot about the years of controversy, but most of what they knew was from the beginning of Dr. Albert Mohler’s presidency. They had no idea that all this had happened before Mohler’s arrival. They would often urge John to write a book about it.

For years, John just accepted the compliments, but had no intention of writing a book. Aside from the time and energy it would take, there was no way that he would write about himself. That was just too awkward.

However, many years after John left the Board a seminary student came out to the house with some friends to hear the stories. Like others before them, the students said John should tell his story in a book. But unlike others, this student stayed on John’s case about it. He was a member of our church at that time.

Then one Sunday, in the aisle after a Sunday worship service, the student once again pressed John about writing his story. When John gave his usual excuse, the student asked if John was willing to give his testimony. Was he willing to tell others about his faith in Christ, how God had forgiven his sin, and changed his life? If so, then why wasn’t he also willing to share his testimony about how God used him to help change Southern Seminary? That little exhortation had an impact on John. He couldn't get it off his mind, and realized that, somehow the story should be told.  

Friday, June 28, 2019

Online Submissions

Yesterday I received an email from "War Cry", a magazine I occasionally write for. The email came from their Electronic Communications Specialist letting me know that one of the articles I sent them was live on their website. This was a pleasant surprise to me as I sold it to them a year or more ago and at the time they did not know which issue they would be posting it in.

The article was actually a reprint that had been published a few years ago in a different magazine. All if this prompted me to write today's blog post because this experience highlights something freelance writers encounter.

This article (on War Cry's website) is one of only two that sold almost as soon as I pressed "send" on my submission. I heard back from the editor on the other article in about a half hour but this one was almost immediate, less than five minutes from sending, anyway.

That is not usually the case and thus this blog post about making online submissions.

Most freelance writing submissions are made online these days, though there are a few exceptions. Some magazines, devotionals, or anthologies let writers know one way or another but some only respond to you if they select the submitted piece for publication. Some let you know quickly and others after weeks and months. I keep a record of all submissions I make by title and date. If six months go by and I have not heard back, I assume the piece was not selected. This isn't sure-proof. There is one devotional magazine taking freelance submissions that can still choose your piece even a couple of years later. I have had one instance when that happened and I had to e-mail them and let them know it was now a reprint, instead of first rights since it had been published elsewhere since I had submitted it to them about three years earlier.

I like to share pieces of my writing journey on this blog. This is one of them. As a freelance writer, sometimes I get acceptances, sometimes rejections, sometimes I hear back within days and weeks, sometimes its months or not at all. And sometimes … once in a while … its immediate. :)  

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Writing Updates

I have not posted in a while, mostly because I am waiting with bated breath for some updates on "A Stand for Truth", the soon-to-be-released book I co-wrote with my husband, so I could pass that on to you. But the publishing process always takes longer than authors like. Frankly, authors would like a publisher to complete his work in mere days but in actuality, publishers put an awful lot of work into a book and I am just thankful to have found one brave enough to publish this tell-all book about the conservative resurgence at Southern Seminary.

So, instead I will give you some freelance updates. Coming out in the next few months:

SEEK: this magazine is closing soon but they published an article by me on May 19. I sure am going to miss them!

Green Prints: is a gardening magazine who has contracted with me for a humorous article about weeds which will appear in their magazine sometime this summer.

The Secret Place: I received notice (and a check) from them for a devotion they will be publishing in their fall issue.

Bible Advocate: I have an article on missions coming out in July titled, "Catch the Fire."

Blue Ridge Country: Contracted with me last year to publish a memoir titled, "High School Football and the Age of Innocence." It is a regional magazine and I am thrilled to have a cross-over piece in a secular magazine. It will come out late summer or early fall.

Many of these pay on publication. The work is done and now comes the fun parts--complimentary copies coming in the mail and payment!

In addition to these, I have received word from Purpose Magazine and Bible Advocate of acceptances for articles coming out in 2020 and apparently am still in the final cut list for a story in Chicken Soup's Christmas book.

I also still speak and have book signings. I just spoke to an amazing group of girls and their mothers at a Mother-Daughter dinner at a local church and held a book signing at my mother's church in Augusta, SC. (Btw, I welcome speaking invitations, if any reading this are in need of a speaker.)

And I keep busy writing and mentoring. In fact, on my agenda today is to edit a piece that a new, unpublished writer hopes to submit to Chicken Soup, post two blog posts, and work on a freelance submission to another magazine.

But meanwhile, I am still super busy with book-writing. On the docket are two books to be released this year (one of them being "A Stand for Truth") another manuscript due to my publisher by my co-writer and me this August, and one we are just starting that is due next Feb. All of these will require a lot more work requested by me from the publishers before the books actually make it to press. Whew! It's a good thing I love what I do!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

He is Risen!

I most often use the blog to let my readers know what is happening in my writing life. It's been a while since I have posted and I apologize for that. I have a co-written book that I am very excited about coming out soon and have been waiting in hopes that I would have a release date or at least a cover reveal to show you, but so far I still do not. And it's Easter, which is basically the reason I write. As a mostly Christian, nonfiction author and writer, I would not do what I do if not for the fact that I serve a risen savior. So, in honor of the season, instead of posting information on what's happening in my writing world, I am posting the words to one of my favorite Easter songs.

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross
The emblem of suffering and shame
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain

Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world
Has a wondrous attraction for me
For the dear Lamb of God, left His glory above
To bear it on dark Calvary

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross
Till my trophies, at last, I lay don
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange it some day for a crown.