Wrenches and Writing

Today’s featured article is an inspiring one.

The day may come when life throws a wrench at the back of your head. I am talking about one of those wrenches that is the size of your left leg and flies at you from across the void. You won’t know where it came from, but when you get hit with it, your entire life feels smashed into tiny pieces. December 2014 was when I became the target of one particular wrench that had the word cancer etched into the handle. The earth tilted and my daily focus in life became pinpointed on cancer and getting rid of it. Writing exploded out the window. Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

Words to Learn

Command of the English language is important for writers. This article is a great reminder for authors.

Tom’s an articulate physician, totally able to speak his mind and express a strong point of view. But when he repeatedly says “between you and I,” that grammatical error has the same effect as a big splotch of mustard on the front of his suit and tie.

Words matter-particularly, the wrong ones. Or the right ones used in the wrong way. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

Working and Writing

Working a job and writing can be very demanding. This article provides some helpful tips on doing both.

People often ask me, “How do you work a full-time job and write books?” I resist the urge to roll my eyes, and instead I sweetly reply, “I just make it work.”

Unlike many authors, I work a full-time for a local government, in addition to writing four books per year for HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

While other authors may write for 14 hours straight on a Monday, I pop out of bed 5:30 a.m. and rush to a job located 20 miles from my home.  Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

 

Goals for Writers

Goals for writers and works in progress are important to the writer journey.

So the new year has been and gone, and now we’re faced with twelve months ahead that have never been lived before. A new calendar can be as daunting as a blank page, however. Where to start? We don’t want to dilly-dally and waste time, because as we know, time is precious and the time for Jesus’ return is short. We also don’t want to fill in so much stuff that we are running around like a chicken with our head cut off.

With the new year stretching before you, here are some steps to take to ensure a successful year behind you this time next year:

Learn more.

http://www.acfwcolorado.com/inkwell/a-new-start/

Writing and Rejections

Writing is such a journey. Rejections come.

How many rejection letters did you get in 2015? Ten? Thirty? Sixty? Three-hundred?

If you have more than zero, you’re doing something right! I personally racked up more than sixty rejections for two different novels during the course of 2015. That’s not counting the slew of emails I received declining short stories I’d submitted to various markets.

Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

 

Awaken: A Soul Scents Devotional

Guest Post from the author of Soul Scents: Awaken 

God’s timing: Terrible or Perfect?

Paula awaken

“It’s all about God’s timing—and honestly, God’s timing is typically terrible,” my nineteen-year old son said as we talked yesterday.

We laughed, but I get it. Life can feel like one long waiting game, especially when you catch a glimpse of where you want to be in the future and discover the journey there is longer than you dreamed.

But this week I’m standing in the glorious position of experiencing (not just believing by faith) the perfection of God’s timing.

I’ve dreamed of publishing a devotional book for many years. Last January I believed God released me to get serious about it. I’ve published both traditionally and non-traditionally with good experiences, but this collection was so intimate I wanted to publish it myself. I compiled devotionals I’d written over the years and began penning new ones, hoping to release for 2016.

That’s when it got rough. Writing about spiritual discoveries of recent years required digging deeper into a seven year period where life was really tough for my family. Instead of making progress I found myself sobbing at the computer. Eventually, I sensed God leading me away for healing time alone with Him. For several months instead of feeling like a productive author I curled up with my journal and some Bible study material, asking Him to give me insight into the journey we’d traveled. As winter turned to spring and summer I chose quiet days over work. Sometimes I prayed and processed. Some days I took walks and talked to my flowers!

And I healed.

Then fall came. I felt released to work again. Wouldn’t you know it? Suddenly writing devotions was almost effortless. Even stories of the hard times were no longer painful to tell. It didn’t surprise me my “unproductive healing season” was actually full of writing I now shaped to share with others.

Still, I assumed the “time off” meant my year devotional would release in 2017 instead of 2016 as I’d hoped.

That was before God swooped in and moved at a breathless pace.

Less than a month ago I suddenly realized the word count on the project was too much for one book. What I actually worked on was four separate volumes which collectively offer a year of devotions—and book one needed very little editing to be ready for publication. The same day I pondered this I “happened” to have a conversation with novelist Lisa Samson. When she learned I was working on a devotional collection she offered to design the artwork for it. She is launching a new art company which offers original illustrations, adult coloring pages, and other unique designs under the brand Lisa-Joy

Within 48 hours of this conversation, the Lord put together a talented creative team—artwork, book cover, editing, proofreading, formatting, and business consultant–who were committed to seeing the book to completion. Less than three weeks later we uploaded it to Amazon’s Kindle for a pre-launch celebration. The print version releases by Christmas! I’m still stunned to think my dream of offering others a devotional journey for 2016 has come true. I call it as my Christmas miracle.

And that’s why, at least today, God’s timing feels absolutely perfect.

Soul Scents: Awaken  is available now on Kindle and in print. 

Bio:

Paula headshot

Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to be released into full potential through freedom in Christ and the empowerment of God’s grace. Published over 300 times in non-fiction markets, her first devotional book series, Soul Scents, releases in four volumes beginning with Soul Scents: Awaken. Paula’s first two novels released in 2012. Sometimes empty-nesters, Paula and her husband, Jerry, enjoy four adult children and a wonderful son-in-law. Paula loves peppermint ice cream, walking barefoot and talking to her flowers. For inspirational articles, book information, and speaking topics visit: www.paulamoldenhauer.com

 

Editing A Book

Editing a novel is an interesting process. This article helps writers edit better.

You just crossed the last “t” and dotted the last “i” and now your current book draft is finished. Many a brand new writer wants to think they’re almost at the finish line, but if you’re a published author or a writer who’s been on the journey for a while, you know that you’re at the starting gate. The next three-stage editing process is where the next hard work is done because it’s when you will edit your book to perfection. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

 

Plotting A Story

Plotting a story can be a fun process. This article helps the writer be more organized.

To imbue your writing with the full power of outlining, you need to approach the process from a mindset of flexibility and discovery. When you do this, you’ll end up with a road map to storytelling success. Road maps are there to show you the fastest and surest way to reach your destination, but they certainly don’t prevent you from finding exciting off-road adventures and scenic drives along the way.

At their best, outlines can help you flesh out your most promising story ideas, avoid dead-end plot twists and pursue proper structure. And the greatest part? They save you time and prevent frustration. Sketching out your plot and characters in your first draft can take months of trial and error. Figuring out those same elements in an outline requires a fraction of the time—and then allows you to let loose and have fun in your first draft.

Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

 

Interesting Article

Here’s an interesting article we wanted to share with our readers.

Whenever I pitched Terms of Use to an agent, publisher or book reviewer, I was always quick to point out I’d been a reporter for almost two decades. They’d have to take me somewhat seriously because everyone knows journalists can write. Right? If only that were true. Learn more.

Several years back I remember attending workshops on ebooks and the promise of new e-readers at BEA. While most of us could hardly wrap our heads around the promised technology and the plethora of proposed delivery systems, our industry futurists were already prognosticating the future. We heard that the new technology would replace the traditional book entirely. We were told that while older readers would cling to their books, the younger generation would embrace ebooks. After all, they already spent much of their lives interacting with screens. Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly

 

A Great Writing Article

Here’s a great writing article we wanted to share with our readers.

So, how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? We’re one week into 2016. That’s seven days you could have been writing. Six, if you take a day off for Sabbath rest.

In one week – working only 10-20 minutes each day – you could have written several scenes, completed a chapter, or edited thirty pages or more. You could have finalized an outline. Or submitted a query letter.

What have you accomplished? Learn more.

Nancy and Kelly