Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Check it out!

Click on the cover to get to the Amazon page.

Check out the latest how-to book from my favorite how-to-write-fiction author, James Scott Bell.

As soon as I skimmed the table of contents, I downloaded the book on my Kindle Fire (for only $4.99). I've already devoured the first couple of chapters, highlighting and taking notes as I read. Down-to-earth, practical, and easily grasped , Bell's writing on writing gets me itching to write, to put into practice the concepts he explains so well. There are a lot of great books on writing out there, but, IMHO, Bell is the BEST!

Here's the description of the book from the Amazon page:

Learn the inner secrets of selling fiction to an ever-increasing audience of readers! Bestselling author and writing coach James Scott Bell brings you powerhouse techniques and strategies in this collection, much of which is from his popular posts at The Kill Zone blog. PLUS, interviews with some of the best writers working today, including: Sandra Brown, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, Joseph Finder, Peter Straub, Steven Coonts, Katherine Neville, Andrew Gross, Lisa Jackson, Kathy Reichs, M.J. Rose If you’re serious about selling your fiction, Fiction Attack! is your battle plan for breakthrough. Praise for the writing instruction of James Scott Bell: "I had a novel with problems I didn't know how to solve. After James Scott Bell's class, I knew the solutions. This was easily the most practical writing class I ever attended. I sold my novel using what I learned." — Darrell James, author of Nazareth Child

OTHER WRITING BOOKS BY JAMES SCOTT BELL (all recommended by Yours Truly):

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year, New Directions

I realize my attention to this blog for writers has been sorely lacking. The past two years have been unique and  challenging. In 2011, I underwent three surgeries in 11 months, including carpel tunnel surgery and surgery to repair three neck discs. 2012 was a year of recovery and restoration. It was also a year I filled the pulpit for a small, local congregation until they found a pastor. I miss what I came to call "my little flock." Preaching every Sunday had me delving in God's Word and gave me a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment. 

I continue to write my award-winning newspaper column, God, Me & a Cup of Tea, for the Indiana Gazette and post the column every Sunday on my weekly inspirational blog. In March, the column will celebrate its sixteenth birthday. Imagine! I would have never dreamed when God gave me the vision in the mid-1990s to write a weekly meditation column for the local newspaper that I'd still be plugging away at it 16 years after it first saw print! But "He who calls me is faithful" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

On January 1, I launched a new daily blog, God, Me & a Cup of Tea Daily, to offer "a spoonful of encouragement" with a Scripture verse and a brief poem or prayer.

Since 2010, I've served as the director for the Punxsutawney Christian Women's Conference, being blessed to have been involved with the launching of this fun and inspiring ministry to women.

I continue to mentor developing writers through the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and The Writing Academy. In 2010 I was honored to be a member of the writing team that rewrote two of the Guild's writing courses (the Writing Essentials and Apprentice courses), along with Julie-Allyson Ieron, Karen O'Connor, and Roger Palms. It was definitely a high point of my writing career.

from left: me, Karen, Julie, and Roger
from left: Julie, Karen, Jerry, and me
After writing two novels, which were considered by several Christian publishing houses, and starting a third, which sputtered out in the wake of the three surgeries, I enrolled in the Christian Writers Guild's Craftsman fiction course. I'm excited to have Sandra Byrd as my mentor as I work through the course and my work-in-progress. I'm excited about attending the Craftsman four-day residency program in Manitou Springs, Colorado, in March.

Although my speaking and teaching schedule is wide open, I will be teaching a writing workshop at the 2013 Writing Success one-day conference near Stoneboro, Pa., on Saturday, April 27.

And I continue to pray for God's direction.

As for this blog for writers, I'll post information of interest from time to time. Do check the links in the sidebar to various blogs, web pages, and skill-building opportunities for writers. These links stay updated even when I don't!

One thing different I would like to try this year is a Q & A format. Sometimes looking for information about proper grammar, style, formatting, and other such information for writers can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you're just starting out. 

In addition to the helps I've listed in the sidebar, you can pose your question to me by either typing it in the COMMENT section below this blog, or emailing it to me at I'll post an answer as soon as I can. 

Blessings as you seek and fulfill His purpose for you!