Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Discovering Motives

I live only an hour from the University of Texas in Austin, so the shooting on Tuesday hit close to home. Police say UT Student Colton Tooley, 19, fired shots on campus with an AK-47 assault rifle, then killed himself inside the library. So far, no one has any idea why Tooley fired those shots. According to the Associated Press in Yahoo! News, those who knew Tooley say he was "intelligent and incapable of hurting anyone." A relative named Marcus described Tooley as "an excellent student who 'wouldn't or couldn't hurt a fly.'" Tooley's high school principal said teachers remembered him as "brilliant, meticulous and respectful." Yesterday, the young student acted completely out of character and no one knows why.

I'm thinking, not many folks have assault rifles stashed under an old army blanket in their closets. At what point did this careful student decide to buy the AK-47? What caused his character to change so drastically? Yet, even as he carried out his plan, even as he fired the weapon, he failed to injure anyone but himself. Even if the campus was still waking up and not many students were around, even if Tooley had lousy aim, he fired an automatic weapon
toward people. Wouldn't he have hit someone if he were trying? In the end, the young man who "couldn't hurt a fly" only hurt himself.

As writers, we always need to know what motivates our characters. Does their motivation make sense? If not, the lack of a proper motive will take the reader completely out of the story faster than almost anything. But with the proper back story, your villain can be believable, your story can be powerful. Your tragic young hero can make serious mistakes, yet your story will resonate with your readers and may change lives.

In the days ahead, I'm sure investigators, psychologists, and profilers will draw a clear picture of what motivated Tooley. Meanwhile, my heart goes out to Tooley's distraught parents on the loss of their son. I'm thankful he didn't take any innocent lives during the shootings and his parents aren't dealing with that additional tragedy as well.

~Roxanne Sherwood

Monday, September 27, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe on Writing

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way things I had no words for.”—Georgia O'Keeffe

You want to write. The kids demand your attention. What’s a writer momma to do? Coloring Pages, a search engine for thousands of websites, provides online coloring pages to print out and hand to your child to color.

As this quote from their website states: “Educational and fun for your kids, peace and quite for you!” And yes they misspelled quiet. So when your words clamor to paint your page, print out a creative distraction to bring out your child’s inner Georgia O’Keeffe.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Everybody's Talking About It: ACFW Memories

The 2010 ACFW conference in Indianapolis ended last Sunday night--and I'm still trying to catch up on all my lost sleep! From the time I met up with my roomie, Roxanne, in the Denver airport, until we hugged goodbye four days later, life was all about friends and writing and friends and writing and friends--with occasional meals, where I ate with friends and talked about writing.

Yes, I attended workshops and heard some insightful comments, like author Tim Downs' definition of a writer: "Writers need to be weird. They need a computer, a printer, and a whole lot of paper."
And while his comment that a writer lives in an alternate universe that resembles the manuscript you're working on made me laugh, he also challenged me when he said that we experience life as story.
"Story is inherently spiritual," he said," and heaven is the place where God will tell you your story."

To be honest, I came away with very few notes--and a whole lot of memories tucked in my heart. I had the chance to encourage other writers, as well as being motivated by watching other writers pursue their dreams. I met online friends face to face and shared hugs and laughs and prayers that will get me through the "it's just me and my computer" times.

We often talk about the expense of getting to a writers conference. But when I look at the photos of my friends . . . when I think of our late-night chats . . . the times we gathered together and prayed for one another before we went off to pitch our books . . . how we celebrated our lives as writers . . .

well, times like that are priceless.

Watch Susan May Warren and Friends Line Dance at the My Book Therapy Pizza Party during the ACFW Conference


Monday, September 20, 2010

Paraprosdokian: A cliché with a twist

“A true leader [writer] always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public [readers] excited and breathless.—Charles de Gaulle

Consummate wordsmiths strive to hone their craft. Write in active voice. Vary sentence length. Ban the adverb. Don’t mix metaphors. Avoid clichés. However, one underused figure of speech, the paraprosdokian, gives the lowly cliché new life. And what pray tell is the paraprosdokian twist? Paraprosdokian comes from two Greek words "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation". A paraprosdokian (a figure of speech that uses an unexpected ending to a phrase or series):
  • sets up the reader's expectation, then delivers a surprise
  • changes or reframes the meaning of the first phrase or sentence, giving it a new meaning
  • plays on the double meaning of a particular word
  • links two incongruent ideas to a word, providing the same effect as a great metaphor
  • are employed by comedians and satirists
  • is akin to a punch line
  • can start with a cliché, and then startles the reader with different ending
  • results in a humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

This paraprosdokian links the brand name “Guess” with two different thoughts: I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with "Guess" on it...so I said "Implants?"

Fiction writers can relate to these paraprosdokians:
  • The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas.
  • Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

What if one of your characters only spoke in paraprosdokians? Or this technique revealed the dark side of your character. Jeremy, a refined gentleman farmer, landscaped his lush yard, cooked gourmet dinners, read the classics, and enjoyed sitting atop rooftops taking deadly aim at his victims through the scope of his sniper rifle.

Examples of paraprosdokians
  1. He was at his best when the going was good.—Alistair Cooke on the Duke of Windsor
  2. There but for the grace of God—goes God.—Churchill
  3. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.—Henry J. Tillman
  4. I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. —Will Rogers
  5. She got her good looks from her father; he’s a plastic surgeon.—Groucho Marx
  6. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. —Groucho Marx
  7. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.—Groucho Marx
  8. It looked so good out this morning, I thought I’d leave it out. — Paul Benjamin King
  9. I haven’t slept for ten days. Because that would be too long.—Mitch Hedberg
  10. You know, I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ‘em later.—Mitch Hedberg
  11. There’s a bunch of different crunches that affect the abs… my favorite is Nestle.—Shmuel Breban
  12. I like going to the park and watching the children run and jump around, because you see, they don’t know I’m using blanks.—Emo Philips
  13. Actually, my CD was released in 1985, in return for two German missionaries and a Dutch urologist.—Emo Philips
  14. I discovered my wife in bed with another man, and I was crushed. So I said, “Get off me, you two!”—Emo Philips
  15. Mark my words. No, Mark, I really need my words.—Stephen Colbert
  16. If all the girls at Vassar were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised.—Dorothy Parker
  17. It’s too bad that whole families have to be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs.—Jack Handey
  18. On the other hand, we have different fingers.—Jack Handey
  19. The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face. — Jack Handey
  20. The car stopped on a dime, which unfortunately was in a pedestrian’s pocket.
  21. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  22. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.—Groucho Marx
  23. I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my father, not screaming and terrified like his passengers.—Bob Monkhouse
  24. A modest man, who has much to be modest about.—Winston Churchill (of Clement Atlee)
  25. If you are going through hell, keep going.—Winston Churchill
  26. Take my wife—please.—Henny Youngman
  27. It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.—Winston Churchill
  28. You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.—Winston Churchill
  29. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  30. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
  31. War does not determine who is right—only who is left.
  32. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  33. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’ and then proceeds to tell you why it isn’t.
  34. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  35. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a workstation.
  36. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
  37. If I am reading this graph correctly—I would be very surprised.—Stephen Colbert
  38. I sleep 8 hours a day. And at least 10 at night. — Bill Hicks
  39. Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
  40. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  41. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  42. I am most disgusted that you were not rewarded for your wonderful work.
  43. Take my hand, I don’t want it.
  44. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  45. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  46. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
  47. If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
  48. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
  49. The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  50. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  51. A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.
  52. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR”.
  53. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I list “9-1-1”
  54. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  55. Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
  56. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  57. Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
  58. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  59. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  60. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  61. Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
  62. A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such away that you will look forward to the trip.
  63. Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
  64. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  65. I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
  66. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
  67. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  68. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
  69. I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
  70. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  71. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  72. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  73. A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
  74. If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  75. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  76. Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.—Groucho Marx
  77. Ninety percent of the game is half mental.—Yogi Berra
  78. A friend of mine invented a new parachute; it opens on impact, never fails...works for everybody that uses it the first time.
  79. She looks as though she’s been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say when.—P. G. Wodehouse
  80. Have you ever tried just sitting down with your children, turning the TV off, and hitting them.—Homer Simpson
  81. Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and he won’t have any shoes.
  82. I don’t have a girlfriend, I just know a girl who would get really mad if she heard me say that.—Mitch Hedberg
  83. I weigh 135 pounds naked, if that scale at the train station is to be believed.— Emo Phillips
  84. I’ve never seen him so sad, or ever before.—Scruffy in Futurama
  85. If I could say a few words, I would be a better public speaker. — Homer Simpson
  86. My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.
  87. You are such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and there was only one life jacket... I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.
  88. Hallmark Card: “I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost like you’re still here.”
  89. It was a book to kill time for those who like it better dead.—Rose Macaulay
  90. To commit suicide in Buffalo would be redundant.—Harold Arlen
  91. One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.—Oscar Wilde

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book Review: Coffee Shop Conversations

Authors: Jonalyn and Dale Fincher
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310318874
ISBN-13: 978-0310318873
Coffee House Conversations
A 2008 study released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life notes that the number of people creating their own interpretations of faith and culture is growing. Seems like there are as many different styles of faith as ways to order your latte. How does a Christian have normal conversations about Jesus without accidentally sounding offensive, bigoted or intolerant?
In Coffee Shop Conversations by Dale Fincher and Jonalyn Fincher, readers will find the tools they need to speak plainly and honestly about their faith, avoid speaking “christianese” and have meaningful, tolerant and respectful conversations with friends who don’t share their views. Coffee Shop Conversations is written to an audience of 18-35 year olds interested in articulating their faith throughout their everyday activities.
Coffee Shop Conversations provides a commonsense approach to sharing faith with others. It exposes what some Christian’s agenda to save people from hellfire and damnation looks like in the context of “witnessing.” They examine “Who is our neighbor?” encourage readers to look beyond outer labels and get to know the hearts of their neighbors—whether it be associates that worship other gods or live immoral lifestyles.
This book offers practical, commonsense ways to create an atmosphere of loving discourse.
·      Respect one another.
·      Step into their shoes.
·      Wrestle on your own by asking others questions rather than offer “expert” answers.
·      Never judge authentic religion by its abuses.
·      Get to know others. Update your opinions about others.
·      Share your personal experience.
·      Allow others to remain unconvinced.
The authors offer conversation stoppers:
·      When feeling cornered by someone’s question, offer a spiritual cliché, for example, “Just take it by faith.”
·      Don’t fallback on that’s-the-way-I-was-raised answers.
·      When feeling fearful or threatened, lash out hatefully.
·      Show your disgust for the other person or his views or situation in life.
·      Sniff out their sin, and then club them with shame and blame.
Other tips the authors offer include:
·      Get to know the Bible for yourself and the context of the verses you apply to life.
·      Avoid arguing about perceived errors in the Bible.
This book also addresses other sticky topics:
·      Is the Bible sexist?
·      Why does spiritual abuse masquerade as spiritual leadership?
·      Why are there so many hypocrites in the church?
·      How do I love my gay friends?
And if you want to know the authors' answers to these sticky questions, read the book.
About the Authors
Dale Fincher and Jonalyn Fincher speak and write nationally as a husband-wife team through Soulation, a non-profit dedicated to helping others be appropriately human. They are energetic and experienced public speakers, and their previous books include Living with Questions and Ruby Slippers. They make their home in Steamboat, Colorado, with corgis, snowshoes and a colorful library of books.
Learn more about Jonalyn and Dale at http://soulation.org/.

Zondervan Publishers provided a free copy of this book for review on this blog. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Crafting the One-Sheet.

One sheet designed by Martin Graphics

A writer's one-sheet is a marketing tool for pitching your book to editors and agents at conferences. One-sheets are generally printed on white paper. Color is judiciously used for emphasis. Be careful because using too much color or too many type fonts are marks of an amateur. A desktop publishing program like Macintosh Pages or Microsoft Publisher will give you a professional look. A great touch is to add photos reflecting the book's setting, prominent symbols or theme.

Your one-sheet should include:

Title. Place the book's title at the top of the page in bold letters. Put the author's name directly under the title.

A Tagline.
Or hook. Also, called an elevator pitch. In 25- (precise, witty, catchy) words or less, tell what your novel is about.

Brief Synopsis.
Look at back cover copy for examples. Susan May Warren calls this The Big Bang. When constructing the big bang, think of these questions: What's at stake for the characters? What's the climax? What's the Black Moment? What's the spiritual takeaway?

Contact Information.
Author's name, address, phone number, email address, blog, and website.

A Current Author Photo. This will help the agent or editor remember you and your project.

Author Bio. This is a brief resume of your published works or experience pertinent to your platform. You may be a school teacher writing about bull riding. If you grew up on a ranch, that experience should be included.

Other. Genre. Word count. Status of work. Is it complete or a work-in-progress? Series or stand alone? Agent, if you have one. Target audience.

~Roxanne Sherwood

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tonight: Batter Up for ACFW at MBT PitchFest Online Chat

photo by justino307/stock.xchange.com

I leave for the 2010 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in--gasp!--four days! I've got to pack. But first I have to figure out what I'm going to wear. And I've got to make sure everything's settled on the home-front before I slip away from motherhood for a few days and focus on being a writer.

And while I'm packing and preparing, I've got to practice my pitch for my novel!

Actually, I'm not stressing about my pitch, thanks to the MBT (My Book Therapy) Polish and Promotion conference I attended last May. The insights from bestselling author Susan May Warren and literary agent Chip MacGregor helped me craft a strong pitch for my contemporary romance.

What about you? How are you feeling about your pitch for ACFW--or any other conferences you plan to attend?

If you're looking for a chance to polish your pitch, join us at the Batter Up for ACFW PitchFest at the online MBT Chat tonight at 8 p.m. ET ( 7 p.m. CT). Spend two hours--or however much time you have available--interacting with other writers as you polish your pitch to perfection! Learn how to zero in on your hook--that first sentence that grabs an editor, agent or publisher. And then discover how to write a premise that feeds their interest, while focusing on the most important elements of your story.

For some warm-ups, read the following blog posts:
Pitch Practice by Susan May Warren
Pitch Fest: The Why and Why Not by Beth K. Vogt
Pitch Fest: The Hook: How Ironic! by Teri Dawn Smith
Pitch Fest: Premise Practice ... and a Promise: It's Really Not So Hard!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pitch Fest: Why? Why Not?

Learning about verbal pitches from Susan May Warren and agent Chip MacGregor at the 2010 MBT Pitch and Promotion Conference

As bestselling author Susan May Warren mentioned in yesterday's MBT Pitch Practice post, at the heart of every good pitch is your passion for your story.

Thanks to Susie, there is a marvelous method for harnessing your passion and crafting an a-ma-zing pitch. That's what this Blog Fest is all about!

The Why: the plot element driving your character through the story
To focus your pitch, you must return once again to your main character(s).
No groaning and thinking, "I am so over trying to get inside my character's head! I want a book contract!" Crafting a compelling verbal pitch helps you present yourself confidently, which brings you one step closer to your dream.

1. Ask you character, "Who are you? What is your identity and why?" Then delve into their answers--yeah, that whole conversation with imaginary characters we fiction writers do--and look for their core values. Things like freedom, loyalty, family or honesty. Their core values move them through the story.
Example: Your heroine values safety/security--and she's got her planned/canned happily ever after with her "Safety Patrol Boy" fiancé .

2. Ask your character, "What are you good at? Why?" Look for unique skills, abilities, personalities, physical attributes, legacies or knowledge. Competence = uniqueness.
Your heroine, a graphic designer, is a bit of a control freak who makes sure she doesn't color outside the lines in her personal life.

The Why Not: what prevents your character from accomplishing his/her goal
One of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Why Not is equal in menace and strength to the character's Why.

The Why and Why Not war against each other. To discover the Why Not look at your character's goal--security? to protect someone?--and turn it inside -outside-upside-down into the opposite goal.

Your heroine buried her love for her adventuresome, daring father--ever since he abandoned her. Being with him was her happiest time--but all she wants now is security. (Funny, how her fiancé's appealing brother reminds her of her father.) Does she really want security--or does she want a man she can trust enough to risk with?

So you have your Why and Why Not, the building blocks of your pitch. How do you weave this into your pitch? Why + Why Not = essential elements of your plot. Use these to discover the dramatic irony in your story. To learn about irony, go to MBT Ponderer Teri Dawn Smith's post: Pitch Fest: The Hook: How Ironic!

After you read Teri's post, find out why MBT Ponderer Melissa Tagg promises writing a premise isn't that hard--even though it initially freaked her out! Then join Susie and the MBT Ponderers on Monday night, September 13 at 7 p.m. (Central) for a Pitch Practice Chat!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Raining Calicos and Dalmations

I slowed down to pass a two-car accident on the way to my son's speech therapy session. The cars weren't damaged too badly, and no one seemed to need an ambulance. Still, I prayed for the people involved, who I'm sure didn't have "collision" penciled-in on their calendars today. Even minor damage would be a major inconvenience in the pouring rain. I was thankful timing allowed me not to have been part of the accident.

The rain slowed to a drizzle, while my son and I got out of the car. I dashed inside with him in my arms, leaving my purse and umbrella on the seat of my car. While I chatted with the therapist, the deluge started again. Did you notice where I'd left my umbrella and cell phone? Rats! My day continued just like that. I dodged a few raindrops getting my son to preschool, then got soaked when the wind turned my umbrella inside out on the way to pick him up. Home again, I stuck him in a tub of bubbles, then hopped into the shower stall next door. Once we were warm and dry in flannel pj's, I settled down to write.

Since I didn't have an immediate idea for a blog entry today, I began perusing a book on writing that sometimes generates ideas. As I pondered what to write, out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly spied shadows on my ceiling. Stripes of shadows. No, more like stripes of water. Probably running along the beams in the attic. Oh. My. Goodness! Not more water damage to my house. Since last November, this will be my third water repair, each time due to a different problem. Once, the upstairs A.C. drip pan cracked, leaking to my downstairs laundry room/pantry. Then, my dishwasher line cracked. I didn't realize the problem until the surrounding cabinets were so saturated, they could hold no more water.

Life is full of surprises, both good and bad. Our readers depend on us to create suspense in our stories. Beth Vogt promises Double Take, the debut novel by Jenness Walker, startled her so badly when someone snuck up on her that she tossed the book across the room. Great tension, Jenness! But in my real life, enough is enough! I'd like to make a motion to keep bad surprises confined to the pages of my fiction for awhile. Do I hear a second, anyone?

~ Roxanne Sherwood

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Check the Tone of Your Writing Voice

“We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
Just like Spell Check…but for Tone
The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 2006 revealed that studies show e-mail messages are interpreted incorrectly 50% of the time. ToneCheck™, an e-mail plug-in, flags sentences with words or phrases that may convey unintended emotion or tone, then helps you re-write them.

Tone influences what we say to communicate the right message. However, when we write, our tone leaves room for misunderstanding. ToneCheck™, an emotional spell-check, is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook  How can a writer can use this to critique an article? Copy and paste your article into an email.

  • Avoid wasted time editing.
  • Prevent unnecessary conflict.
  • Bypass sending passive aggressive emails.
  • Works like the spell check.
  • Gauges words and phrases against eight levels of connotative feeling.
  • Identifies the emotional definition of words and phrases to improve the clarity.
  • Provides suggestions to tone down or ‘lighten’ potentially rude or emotionally-charged sentences.
  • Allows writers to make real-time corrections.
  • Provides an easy-to-use menu system to adjust tone.
  • Works in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Will soon expand to facilitate users of Gmail, Thunderbird, and Mail.app.
  • FREE and downloadable.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Be An Encouragement!

I got an unexpected email today from a family friend. He's not someone I normally correspond with. I mean, we've never exchanged a text, a letter, or a Christmas card. We aren't Facebook friends or phone buddies. Our families just happen to be friends and he had to ask for my address from one of them.

Apparently, a chance conversation between us lingered in his mind. He wrote to encourage me about our discussion. His words poured like water on parched land. I soaked them up and read them again. The power of the written word is that I was able to do that, to savor his thoughts.

Years ago, when people corresponded by letters, many of them saved their mail. My grandmother cherished her letters and never threw one away. She was buried with all the letters my grandfather ever wrote to her. There was an art to letter writing that has been largely ignored today. And that's a shame. My friend brightened my day when he sent those thoughtful words.

The New Testament is filled with exhortations to encourage one another. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Paul writes, "Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another."

How many times have you thought of praising someone only you got too busy and never followed through? How many times have you brushed aside good intentions?

While you're pursuing publication, don't let a daily word count cause you to forget to encourage the people in your sphere of influence. Don't get so caught up with the people (characters) who only live inside your head that you fail to encourage those you live or work with. Write words to personally inspire those you love and admire.

~Roxanne Sherwood

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A bit of writing humor

Photo from lolcats.com

My daughter Amy shared this photo with me, knowing both the editor and writer in me would appreciate it.
And now, I share it with you.
A mid-week dose of humor! Happy Wednesday!