Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Beth and I are signing off until the new year. When we return in 2008, another writer will be joining us. We are confident you'll enjoy her voice and insight. Together we plan to create a blog that is most beneficial to you as a writer.

We look forward to developing more friendships with fellow writers. And we anticipate hearing about your writing success along the way.

Check back with us for our third giveaway in January.

God bless you all!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Word Play and Free Rice

As writers, we love words.

Here's a chance to play a word game and help end world hunger.

The game is simple:

Go to FreeRice and start testing your knowledge of word defintions. For every word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated through the United Nations World Food Program. Five words equals 100 grains of rice. As of December 19th, 10,238,535,870 grains of rice had been donated.

The game is addicting. If you answer correctly, the words get harder. If you answer incorrectly, you get an easier word. It's fun to see your little bowl fill up over and over again with virtual grains of rice!

(With thanks to my writing friend, Linda, who first pointed this site out to me. And for my son Josh, who is also a writer, for reminding me about it!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winding Down the Writing Year

There are 13 days left in 2007.

I'm figuring that, unless you are on a deadline like I was last week, you are not thinking about writing.

Writing has been pushed to the backburner, thanks to the holidays and celebrating with friends and family and traveling and shopping and writing Christmas letters and baking cookies ... whatever it is you do that makes this time of year special.

Sometimes life isn't about writing.

And that's okay.

All too soon it will be January and you'll be looking at a new list of Writing To Dos or Want Tos.

Don't miss out on the reason to celebrate the Christmas season. Don't feel guilty if you're ignoring your novel or magazine article. It will still be there in 13 days.

Let writing be the one thing you let go of--just for a little bit--so you can embrace now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pick One Goal for 2008

If you're like me, as the new year approaches, you start thinking of what you want to accomplish over the next twelve months.

I'm a member of The Writers View, a Yahoo group of professional writers, and this week we are discussing goals. I thought it would be fun to throw the question out to you.

What one writing goal do you have for 2008?

(There is another group of Christian writers for beginner and intermediate writers called The Writers View 2. Consider joining one of these groups.)

And since we are all busy this time of year, we may ask this question again in January. It's a question worth repeating.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's the Word? W00t!

Merriam-Webster word of the year for 2007: w00t.

That's w-zero-zero-t.

The hybrid of letters and numbers is used by online gamers as an exclamation of happiness or triumph.

John Morse, Merriam-Webster's president, called "w00t" an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology.

"It shows a really interesting thing that's going on in language. It's a term that's arrived only because we're now communicating electronically with each other," Morse said.

Other words in the running for word of the year: The use of "facebook" as a verb to signify using the Web site by that name; nuanced terms such as "quixotic," "hypocrite" and "conundrum"; and "blamestorm," a meeting in which mistakes are aired, fingers are pointed and much discomfort is had by all.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Agent's Blog Worth Visiting

Thought I would recommend another blog today again. Rachelle Gardner is a new literary agent for WordServe Literary and a friend of mine. She's been in the publishing industry for 13 years and her experience and wisdom is helpful.

Please stop by Rachelle's blog, Rants and Ramblings, and let us know what you think. I also enjoy the links she has for writers. More sites that encourage and inform.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's the Most-Busiest Time of the Year

Writing gets squeezed out this time of year--unless you have a lingering deadline or two.
And if you are wrapping up an assignment--Congratulations!!
But writing is trumped by other things right now: hosting my husband's office party, which was postponed because I got the flu; shopping for presents; trying to craft the annual Christmas letter; attending a few other celebrations ... and so it goes.
Connections, the magazine I edit for MOPS, goes to print tomorrow. One more thing to cross off the To Do list.
I'm sure I'm not the only writer who's finding real life is dictating how much time is spent in the alternate universe of the writing world.
I encourage you to go with the flow. Put writing on the backburner--unless you too hold fast to the annual Christmas letter tradition--and enjoy the season of celebrating a reason to sing Joy to the World.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Praying for the Victims of the Colorado Shootings

I live 8 minutes from New Life Church, the site of one of the shootings yesterday in Colorado.
Sometimes life is ... unexplainable. Painfully unexplainable.

I don't know why I tend to watch the news over and over. Maybe it's the journalist/reporter in me. I know what it's like to be on deadline and to need a story--the details, the quotes. And I remember the dance between the media and the police: How much information will they give out? (Answer: not much.)

I think sometimes I'm waiting for a bit of good news to come out of something so, so horribly tragic ... and I keep praying for the victims who've been injured, and for the security guard who saved so many lives by confronting the shooter at New Life Church.

And, yes, I know this post has nothing to do with writing--and yet, in an odd way it does. We write from our hearts, don't we? And all that is in my heart at this moment feels like unshed tears for all those who were killed yesterday--and their family and friends.

I pray for God to comfort them.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Where Have All The Writers Gone?

I'm at a conference all day today, so this will be short and sweet. Plus I'm under a deadline for an article due Monday and I've had my daughter home from school for almost three weeks now. Her school discovered they had a mold issue. Anyway, I'm juggling like most mom writers. And I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. I try to tell myself I work better under pressure. But actually I feel like a bag of microwave popcorn popping all over the place. Someone let me out. Okay, enough of me.

One quick question: Where are you, writers? Are you busy with Christmas baking and shopping? I've noticed no one is commenting on our blog the past couple of days. Beth and I miss hearing from you.

Do you have any burning questions we can discuss? Chime in anytime. No rules. Feel free to write on or off topic. Remember we are in the beginning phase of this blog. We'd love to know what you want to talk about.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words # 5

What would you write for this photo?

We started this blog feature during NaBloPoMo, consigning it to Sundays. We decided to bring it out during the week, hoping to get some more involvement. (Things get quiet in the blogosphere during the weekends. )

So, post some comments--fiction or non-fiction.

You could always start by humming "Walking in a winter wonderland ..."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Find Your Voice

The first time I heard about my writing voice I had no clue what it was or why it mattered. The term sounded almost mystical. The word "voice" made me think of audible sounds. High and low pitched tones. Obviously my writing voice is silent and yet readers can hear it.
So how can you discover yours?

I recommend writing from your heart. Your writing voice stems from within deep you. How you think and express yourself will eventually come out through words and phrases. If you focus on trying to have a certain voice you will get stumped. I think the best way to find your writing voice is to write daily. Even if you write in a journal. And don't worry about the fact you have fragments. Put them in. And keep writing. Writing rules can be broken when it comes to incomplete sentences. I love using them. So do others like Max Lucado. Obviously too many fragments is annoying to any reader. Balance is key.

Here's a quote worth pondering from On Writing Well:

My commodity as a writer, whatever I'm writing about, is me. And your commodity is you. Don't alter your voice to fit your subject. Develop one voice that readers will recognize when they hear it on the page, a voice that is enjoyable not only in its musical line but in its avoidance of sounds that would cheapen its tone: breeziness and condescension and cliches.

Monday, December 3, 2007

And Our Second Winner Is:

Anna J!

Congrats, Anna, for entering our second giveaway. You won. Beth and I are happy to send you Jerry Jenkins newest book on writing. Please visit the link on the side called Contact Beth and give us your address. We'll ship out your book right away.

Thank you to all of you who commented during the last couple of weeks. We're glad to have new writing friends.

Be sure to post your thoughts to Beth's post earlier today. We want to know where you are.

God bless!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Okay, You Tell Me ...

X marks the spot, right?

So, where are you along the writing road?

Is it where you want to be?

If so, how did you get there? Did somebody help you? Did a particular book or workshop at writers conference help you?

If you're not where you want to be, what are your plans to get moving in the right direction?

Just curious.

Where are you?

We'll post the contest winner later today!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

NaBloPoMo is Over!

All done with National Blog Posting Month!
Now, why do I still hear the sound of my fingers typing on my computer keyboard?!?!

Tiffany and I will announce the winner of our Let's Get This Blog Started Part 2 contest on Monday!