Thursday, May 18, 2017

Writing Quotes

A lot of people like to collect things--I collect quotes. Here are a few for the writers out there:


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” --Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”  --George Orwell, “Why I Write”, 1947


"Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed." --P.G. Wodehouse


“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.” --Mel Brooks


“That’s what we story tellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.”  --Walt Disney character in the movie, “Saving Mr. Banks”


"...once I began writing, it became clear to me: This is not a foreign language; this is my native tongue." --Elizabeth Gilbert 


"...don't demand that your art supports your life. Instead, make a promise that your life will always support your art." --Elizabeth Gilbert 















Thursday, April 6, 2017

On Mentors and Mentoring

In the last two days I have been impacted by both my writing mentor and a young writer I have mentored.

The one writer whom I credit with launching my writing career, Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress, has seen many sorrows in her life. Her first husband died many years ago from cancer, her only daughter (she has four sons) lived life handicapped and passed away quite young, and her second husband suffered a severe major stroke five years ago. Yesterday, he passed away. My heart has been heavy for Lettie and her family.

In 2009, when I was still unpublished, I attended a writer's conference where Lettie taught a workshop on freelancing small pieces like articles and devotions. I went home and successfully applied the information she taught in her very informative workshop. Without her willingness to share what she knew, I would have never known the basic how to's of freelancing. She opened up the world of writing to me.

Though my heart is heavy for my mentor, today it filled with joy over a young Nigerian writer I have mentored. Some years ago, a Nigerian man sent me a FB friend request. I am very selective in accepting friend request from people I do not know, especially men. I checked out his profile & saw that a) he was young enough to be my son, and b) his statuses we're very Christ honoring so I accepted his friend request.

His statuses kept grabbing my heart. At Christmas he wrote that he walked into work & all his coworkers were downcast & dejected because they had not been paid in two months, he told them, "This is the season that we celebrate the birth of our Savior! Be of good cheer!" 

That along with some other similar statuses prompted me to send him a private message telling him he would make a good devotional writer. Via email & FB, I mentored him in devotional writing. And I also sent email inquiries to the various devo magazine I write for. Sadly, the only one that could get a payment to Nigeria was The Upper Room. 

Today I received my complimentary copy of The Upper Room (because I am a contributor.) To my joy, not only was a devo in there by him but also by a young woman in his church whom he has mentored. 

On the heels of these two very different events, I am left pondering the joys and sorrows of connecting with others, of mentoring and being mentored.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New Release

It's release day!!!! YAY!! My debut novel, published by Olivia Kimbrell Press, based on the lives, love, and calling of my parents is now available on Amazon. Woo-hoo! Amazon will eventually combine the paperback and kindle but for now there are two links. Both can be found on my author page

The two characters in the book, Kyle and Ali, are very like my parents, Keith and Alice, and many of their adventures come straight from my parent's lives. However, Ali and Kyle also have adventures of their own which came from my imagination rather than stories I've heard my parents tell.

When I embarked on writing their story, it soon became clear to me that it would be easier to write and make a livelier read if wrote it as fiction. Had I chosen nonfiction, I would have had to make sure every little detail was absolutely as it happened. In fiction, I had more leeway ... and well, I took it. I combined some characters into one in a couple of places and added made-up adventures in some places.

I sent the manuscript to my mother, chapter by chapter as I wrote it over the past couple of years and she loved it! She once called me up and choking back tears, she told me how much she liked the way I was writing her and Daddy's story She added, "It didn't all happen this way, but it could have."

This book was written from my heart for my parents and it has their stamp of approval.
😊

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cover Reveal!

I am so excited to share the cover of my upcoming novel! The book will be released soon from Olivia Kimbrell Press and I will share the links with you at that time.

It is my first novel, a fiction based on fact. In it I tell many stories from my parents' childhoods, love, and their calling to the mission field. It was a labor of love, a work from my heart. But as I began to contemplate writing it, I quickly realized it would work better as fiction. So, though it is based on my parents' lives and much of it actually happened just the way it appears in the book, other parts are completely made up.

It is the story of Ali Blackwell and Kyle Edmonds who grow up in very separate worlds--she the daughter of a poor farmer, he the son of a wealthy doctor. Though based on the lives of Alice Blankenship and Keith Edwards (my parents), Ali and Kyle's story is their own.

This book was so much fun to write! I discovered I love writing fiction. It felt like I was a kid again, playing make-believe. At this point I do not have any future fiction projects in the works, and am juggling several nonfiction ones, which will keep me busy for a couple of years. But I do hope to write another novel some day.

Here's the cover:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Welcome 2017!

In my home of Louisville, the year greeted us with a few inches of snow. I always love the beginning of a new year. The upcoming year seems to stretch out before me like a large, open field covered in fresh snow. It beckons me to walk forward, to see what lies ahead, leaving tracks as I go.

This year looks to be busy and exciting for my writing career. I already have several things on my calendar:

Articles and devotions that will be coming out include:
3 articles in Standard Publishing's Student Magazine--Jan, March, and April
6 articles in SEEK Magazine--January, April, May, August, September, and November
7 days of devotions in Reflections Magazine--October 29-November 4
and devotions in The Upper Room on January 24, and in The Secret Place on February 17

Guest blog posts at various times for:
The Upper Room Blog
Write Integrity Press Blog
Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas ... Oh, My! blog

And as for book writing, I have these irons in the fire:
My friend Shirley Crowder's "Study Guide on Prayer" a companion to my book, "Prayer: It's Not About You" is in the process of being released. Her kindle is up already. (Both are published by PixNPens)
I am anxiously awaiting the publication of my first novel, "The Whisper of the Palms" which is coming soon from Olivia Kimbrell Press.
My husband and I have been collaborating on a nonfiction for many years that is finally in the editing stages. We will be seeking a publisher for it soon.
And now that I have finished writing my novel, and the collaboration with my husband, I will begin co-writing another devotional with my friend Shirley (this one will be on prayer) and I will pick back up a nonfiction anthology I have been writing / compiling for about 2 years. My goal is to have the devotional finished by the end of 2017 and the anthology by the end of 2018.

Whew! That open field before me looks challenging ... but beautiful!