Aspiring to be published — Destined to be read.

Here we are at the end of another year. We’re on the brink of crossing over into a new season, a brand new year. Thanksgiving is a happy, delicious memory. Christmas lights, glitter, and tinsel still twinkle as another merry holiday flies by in celebration of the birth of our Savior. It’s such a busy, miraculous time. Still, it’s a time to reflect and look ahead . . . all at once.

What a unique opportunity — The New Year. It’s when we let go of the old as we embrace the new. It’s the only time really that we can do that with the whole entire world! We can revamp, revise and resurrect hopes, dreams, and unmet goals for 2011 — with an eye on the prize for 2012 . . . whatever that might look like. Enjoy the big and small victories in the fast approaching New Year.

Choose just the right title for your book, achieve a certain word count, send query letters, find an agent/editor or publisher that believes in you, and find the courage to believe in yourself. Find God. Discover that He believes in you and has a plan and purpose for your life. It could mean writing the next great American novel or simply writing a right ending to that current work in progress. On the other hand, it could mean writing a right beginning. Try writing a note of encouragement to someone. Whatever the goals, whatever the hopes or dreams look like to you, go for it. Go all out, give it all you got, don’t stop, don’t quit. As the late great Winston Churchill said, “Never, Never, Never give up.”

In the coming year, may you allow your hopes and dreams to take flight. In faith may your words dance across the pages into 2012 on the wings of the wind. As for me, I will press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. After all, I am aspiring to be published, because I am destined to be read. How about you?

And no matter what happens in 2012, keep on doing the write thing children,


. . . down the dusty road.

Ten lepers, the outcasts of society doomed to cry, “Unclean, unclean,” wandered in despair, until hope broke over the horizon and walked down the dusty road. All ten healed by the Master’s touch — miraculously healed. Yet, only one turned back to give thanks. Only one. Overjoyed, nine turned their backs and ran toward the shadow of a life they once knew. Only one turned back to praise Him. Only one.

Plagued with an issue of blood for twelve long years, doctors gave her no hope and society shunned her. She heard of a healer coming down the dusty road into town, the crowd push in around Him, his closest pushed back. She, taking her life in her hands crawled through the tangled masses and touched just the hem of His garment. Withn the throngs that came that day, she was one that recognized He was the only way. Her only way to healing, her dusty road to life. He was her only hope.

Food was being prepared and the finishing touches applied. Everything had to be perfect. Just Perfect. Guests arrived dusty from the road and Martha was swamped — frazzled to be exact. Things were not going as she had envisioned. And where was that sister of hers. Mary! She should be serving! How dare she sit in a room filled with men at His feet! At the feet of Jesus. Humph! Scandalous!

I say, "Be the one to turn around on the dusty road and praise Him for healing. Be the one to push through the crowd just for the chance to touch the hem. Be the one that does not worry about the dishes and the dinner party and allow the King of glory to sit in your living room — ignored . . . but is the one that has “chosen that good part. . .”'

I say, "Just be the one."

This Thanksgiving be the one to give thanks to the Lord for all He has blessed you with this year. If nothing else, you are still breathing — hello. Now, that’s something to shout about right there. Be the one to take time and thank others. Be the one to be Jesus, to someone along the dusty road.

I would like to give a special thanks to my pastor, Pastor Troy Evrin for preaching the sermon series entitled “Be The One.” Thank you for your obedience and dedication — "Love you pastor."  I am inspired to be the one to praise, worship and give thanks to The One — Jesus.

Oh, and be the one to write. Write your thoughts, feelings, a note to someone, a letter, email — something. Anything. Write in a journal. Write down your dreams, your hopes, wants, desires, your hurt, pain . . . all of it. Write a blog, write a book, just write. The good, the bad and the ugly. Whatever comes down the dusty road — write about it all, because that’s what writers do . . . we write.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be the one to keep on doing the write thing children,



In the spirit of Thanksgiving . . . give thanks and BE THE ONE.

Yes! It is that time of year again. It’s the season for giving thanks, reaching out to others, and reflecting. Ponder all the reasons you have to be thankful in your life and in the spirit of Thanksgiving . . . give thanks. Thank the Lord for all the many blessing in your life.

Take the time to commit as many random acts of kindness as you can. It feels good. And, it is addicting. Time. It is short, we have to be about the Father’s business, and He is pleased when His children reach out to help each other. Give your time this busy holiday season.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of holiday magic, turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie take time for yourself (write something awesome) and take time for each other. More importantly, take time to be the one that praises the Lord for what he has done in your life. Be the one that takes time to tell the Lord how thankful you are for what He has done in your life and the lives of your family. And lastly, be the one, be the one that sets everything aside and worships the One. Be the one who loves the One who gave His all for you.
So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving . . . give and give thanks and BE THE ONE.
And in the spirit of give, give, giving . . .

As a writer, I love books. My favorite, of course is the Bible — not just because I am a Christian, but because of its beauty and strength and truth. There is no other book like it. Not too long ago I read something and thought . . . I want to write like that! It literally brought me to tears, I didn’t know it was from the Bible. It is a beautiful book. I thank God for His word. Thank you Lord.

Next would be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is based off the book of Hosea in the Bible. I finished this book in one sitting in a storm by candle light and a dim flash light. I could not stop reading. I prayed for my candle and flash light not to fail me as I finished this incredible book.
Take the time to start reading your Bible this season and pick up a good book. Writers need to read.

You’ll be glad you did.  
How would you like the chance to WIN . . . 19-signed-books-plus-swag-and-more! How? Easy . . . click on the graphic on the sidebar and follow the directions.

And remember, thank the Lord for your many blessing, and keep on doing the write thing children,


Help me I’m editing and I can’t stop!

There comes a time when enough is enough. Right? But exactly when is that? Here lately I think it might be when they pry my cold dead hands off my manuscript. Am I having separation anxiety, I wondered? Then I realized, “Duh,” you have to “separate” before you can have that condition. Or possibly, I have some form of neurotic-perfectionism . . .  is that even a thing?

Maybe it is normal to edit and rewrite, and rewrite and rewrite . . . then edit some more. Maybe. Listen, I’m all for perfecting your manuscript, polishing it and making it shine but there comes a point when you just shouldn’t change another word. Back away from the keyboard, and no one will get hurt. Although I will say if you are a “seat of the pants” writer sometimes, it is to your advantage to edit/rewrite because a better story develops.
Still, there comes that time when we have to let go and let the powers that be help us with our manuscripts. They are like doctors or midwives that step in when it’s time to give birth. Sometimes we need to push . . . at other times, it is time just to breathe through it and edit some more.

So, where are you in the process? Me, I just finished all the edits and rewrites I could possibly handle and mailed my precious “baby” off to my editor. I paused at the post office door, held the package tightly saying a little prayer and took a deep breath. Then, not wanting to make a scene I handed it to the postmaster . . .  reluctantly. His smile was evil as he ripped it from my hands. He then without mercy took a hammer like stamp and wacked it across the front and threw it into a dirty bin. I stood stunned. Again he smiled leaning toward me, “You did want to mail that package,” he said snapping me out of my stupor. I was speechless, I nodded and paid the postage and glanced one last time at the dirty bin as I walked away traumatized.

Well, there you have it. What’s done is done. I cannot change another word and I don’t have another opportunity to make my editor proud of me, to wow her, at least not this go round. Now I wait, and hope, and pray, and . . .   

Again, there comes a time when enough is enough. Right?

Right. So, keep on doing the write thing children,


And the Winner Is . . .

The winner of the "First 20 Pages Critique Giveaway” is, drum roll please . . . Barbara Meyers Underhill, with her MG manuscript The Beatles Fan.

Congrats goes to Barbara. I am sure she is thrilled and thank you DearEditor for the contest. But wait there's more . . . THE GIVING ISN’T OVER! Two e-book editions of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies are being given away today at The Writing Nut. Click over and enter: hurry don't delay.

Oh, and keep on doing the write thing children,



“Free First 20 Pages Critique” Giveaway!

Check out The Editor is celebrating the premier of her book trailer WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES. Hello! They are giving away a FREE CRITIQUE OF THE FIRST 20 PAGES OF YOUR FICTION MANUSCRIPT. Wow! What an opportunity. This is an awesome site. Can you believe it, I mean... free a 20 page critique. Oh, yeah!

 You can see the book trailer and get the all rules to enter at

 Oh, and keep on doing the write thing children,


KICKN’ IT . . . The writing habit

The writing habit, the addiction — the overwhelming desire to put words on paper . . . Do we kick it? The habit? That part of us that cries out to be heard. I think not! Some of us have it too badly. A professional editor or publisher must step in to intervene, at the very least a good critique partner or group can help talk us off the ledge from time to time.

It starts innocently enough. A thought, an essay, a poem and before you know it — Bam! You’re hooked. A blog, a novel, you are writing and you can’t stop. You have stopped interacting with coworkers, friends and family and started making excuses to stay at home to write. Your personal relationships have begun to suffer for the sake of the craft.

You read everything you can get your hands on about writing and when you do talk to other people . . . that is all you talk about — writing or what you want to write. Even the movies you watch are about some lonely quirky writer or killer writer. Yeah you’re hooked all right, you got it bad. And, you don’t even care! (Sigh)

So, now that we have identified the culprit — the writing bug (a self-inflicted monkey on our back as it were) how does one go about managing such a condition? Write. Write with free abandonment. Write until you fall over. Write until you get it right. Write until it feels good. Just write. Let the words flow and dance and then wrestle them onto the page if necessary. Do it every day, write something, anything and refuse to give up. Write it right — one beautiful word at a time.
Keep on doing the write thing children,


Ready. . . Set . . . Write!

Summer is over. I know, I know, “The sadness is upon us,” as my sister would say. (Use Eeyore’s voice when you read that line for dramatic effect.) You know, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. However, it’s time to get back into the swing of things and settle down into a routine. The kids are in school, some of us are back in school (I’m in “comma” school) and even the weather is changing.
Let’s blow the dust of the proverbial typewriters, (sounds better than computers) polish up our manuscripts, and query letters until they shine. Let’s find a “good” crit group — you know you need the feedback. You know you want it.
Decide that now is the time for you to take the plunge and enter a writer’s contest. You can do it. You can’t win if you don’t enter. Let us vow to be unafraid when it comes to tackling that synopsis and one-line sentence that explains our entire 80,000-word manuscript and whatever else our editors and publishers need from us.
Let’s stand together, look this enemy in the eye, and declare — I will not be defeated. I will not go down without a fight. I will not back down or give up. I will eat, sleep and breathe the craft. Words will swirl throughout my dreams and consume my every waking thought. I will become a walking, living, breathing, thesaurus. And if I shed a tear, may my tears fill pages that would inspire the masses. And if I be wounded in the battle, I will bleed words until . . . the last edit is complete.
Sooo? Are you with me? Too much? (Sigh) Do I have to take off my writers Captain Encourager super-hero cape now and give back the silver bracelets? Fine. The point is . . . dun, dun, dun, dun; WE are in this together. (Hum, did a semicolon belong in that last sentence?) Writing is a lonely business. But be encouraged. There are a lot of resources out there. We should find them. Utilize them. Then share them. And if anyone has seen my other silver bracelet let me know, I lost one in a battle against the colon versus the semicolon.
Oh, and speaking of writers contests — I found a few. We should enter. No really, we should. Check out the list see if anything interests you. Let me know if you enter. I plan on it.
Keep on doing the write thing children,

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A Rose by Any Other Name is a . . . Book title?!

Question? How is it possible to write an entire book, and get writers block when it comes to naming the book? That’s like carrying a baby for nine months, giving birth, then having no clue, what to call it except baby, or in this case, the Book.
What constitutes a good book title? Does the book title come before the book is written or after? You know, kind of like, what came first the chicken or the egg? It’s true that a good title will catch the eye. Sometimes it is what makes us stop and reach for the book on the shelf in the first place. The title  It’s a powerful thing. The title certainly sets the tone. Like the opening line, the first five pages, or the ending, it has to be just right. I’m just saying, a child’s book about fluffy bunnies called THE EDGE OF EVIL not good. Unless the bunnies were possessed by a supernatural power, and it wasn’t a children’s book at all, but I digress. That’s just some food for thought.
There is a lot that goes into naming a book and then in the end, the publisher will probably change it anyway. Still, we need to call it something besides “The Book” while we are working on it and patiently waiting to be published. I don’t have the answers. I’m searching for them, looking, listening, and praying. But nothing yet. I’ll let you know if I find the elusive answer. I vow next time I am going to name my baby I mean my book, before I start writing it not after I’ve finished.
I am still wrestling with a title I love for my first book. THE DARK SIDE OF “GRACE” or JOURNEY’S EDGE  you choose your favorite. In the meantime, I am hoping to write a right title for my next novel. I’m hoping you do the same.
P. S. I’m still working on my commas and other dreaded grammar enemies. Check out Whitesmoke Writing software, it double checks your sentence structure and grammar for you. The link is A thank you shout-out is in order going to T. Rommel Blossom from the Write On Con writer's conference. Thanks for the tip!

Keep doing the write thing children,


Commas . . . Take two and call me in the morning??

So, I have decided to go to “comma” school. I have prayed and prayed for comma wisdom. I have fought comma demons and secretly wished for comma fairies — all to no avail. Finally, I prayed for comma angels to come, simply gather all my commas in baskets, and sprinkle them as needed throughout my manuscript.
Maybe I need a comma doctor to prescribe commas. You know the same way a regular doctor prescribes medicine . . . take two and call me in the morning or apply liberally to affected area. I cried out in the darkness, “Help me I’m comma-ing and I can’t stop.”
 A friend gave me Diana Hacker’s, A Writer’s Reference. I thought, eureka! Now I can conquer the comma dilemma. However, alas and to my dismay, that would not be the case. While this is an awesome reference book, it seems overwhelming. I felt myself flunking “comma” school and F7on my trusty Sony VAIO was of no help.
I was good in English class in school . . . at least I thought I was good. Yes, my sister was better, she was better at everything it seemed, but I got good grades. I felt panic as I continued to make more and more comma mistakes, unable to figure it out. William Struck, Jr’s The Element of Style talked me off the edge long enough to get a cup of coffee and take a deep breath.
Which leads me to say . . . there are so many different opinions on where a comma is to be placed it is no wonder I am confused. However, there are strict rules. Several well-meaning friends said that I should be placing commas where I would naturally need to take a breath. Well, at certain parts of my book, I was so excited and in the “zone” I would be writing furiously (thus, breathing heavier.) Also, I have asthma, if I was having asthma issues, well — enough said. (I think there might be too many commas in that last little sentence. What do you think?)
Anyway, I have said all of that, to say all of this, a good editor is priceless. Priceless. A critique group is also priceless. Anytime you can get good feedback, take it. Suck it up let someone tell you where that evil comma goes! Or doesn’t. And, I do wish I had paid more attention while I was in school.
So, to comma or not to comma that is the question. I say it is better to keep writing a right first sentence, an awesome ending or finding just the right word you were looking for . . . you know the one I mean, than to stop the creative process over a “,” — comma. That is until, the final edit. Humm, that sounds like a good book title . . . “The Final Edit.” I may just use that someday. I think I’ll put that on my title list.
Keep doing the write thing children,

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