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

Friday, January 31, 2014

How important is following the rules?

Nick Harrison posted an excellent blog on "Five Rules About Writing I (Sorta) Disagree With." Check it out. Is one of them never ending a sentence (or title) with a preposition, Nick?

Keep writing,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why do I write?

Yesterday, Jerry B. Jenkins, author of the bestselling Left Behind series, posed the following question on his Facebook page: "Fill in the blank with ONE word: I write to __________."

"Scratch an itch," I responded.

"ONE WORD," he wrote back.

Oops. If all else fails, read the directions, right?

The problem is, I can't condense into one word the reason why I write. 

There are many reasons, hence many words. 

Why I write depends on what I'm writing.

If I'm writing an article, I write to inform or instruct.

If I'm writing my column, God, Me & a Cup of Tea, it's to inspire and encourage.

If I'm writing this blog, I write to inform, instruct, inspire, and give insight into the world of the writer. 

If I'm posting on my daily blog, God, Me & a Cup of Tea Daily for 2014, it's to encourage and inspire.

If I'm writing fiction . . . now, this is a whole new ballgame. I write to scratch an itch. I don't write fiction because I have an agenda, a message to get across. I want my readers to enjoy reading as much as I do and for the same purpose: simply to lose themselves in a fictional world and enjoy it. 

But, when it comes down to it, I don't really write for the reader. Oh, my! A cardinal sin when it comes to writing! Shouldn't we writers write for the reader? 


And no.

Yes, we should keep the reader in mind as we write. Make sure the story makes sense, the characters and dialogue realistic. 

But, no. I don't sit down and say, "I think I'll write a novel so someone could read it."

It's not like that at all.

It's more like, well, scratching an itch. And if I don't scratch it, it's going to drive me crazy.

An idea will pop into my mind. And wiggle and niggle and grow. 

When I finally give in to it, I struggle to wring the story out, to understand the characters. 

Writing isn't always easy. It's like an itch in a place that's hard to get to, like in the middle of my back.
But when the story takes over, when the characters finally take on lives and personalities of their own, and the fiction world becomes as real as the tangible world around me, the itch is satisfied.

I'm getting the itch to finish Getaway Mountain. Only four or five more chapters to go.

Time to get scratching.

Why do you write? How would you complete the sentence, "I write to __________. "

Post your answers in a comment below. Remember, ONE WORD! ;-)

Keep writing,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Let love and faithfulness never leave you; 
bind them around your neck, 
write them on the tablet of your heart. 
~ Proverbs 3:3 (NIV)

Forty years after meeting, falling in love with, and marrying Dust Off pilot Seth Martin, then losing him when he’s declared MIA during the Vietnam War, Evangeline “Vangie” Martin decides it’s time to move on. After having him declared dead, she heads to a mountain resort for her fortieth high school reunion, hoping to reconnect with her high school sweetheart. But fate has other plans. The resort caretaker is none other than her Seth, but with no memory of his life before being shot down. When he refuses to acknowledge his true identity, Vangie must make a decision: If she is to have the love she’s waited for so long, she must forget the past and accept Seth as he is now. But can she?

At long last, my novel, The Heart Remembers, has found a publishing home! Helping Hands Press will  publish it as an e-book first, then later as a print book. 

I'll let you know when it's available. So keep checking back! 

If you want me to email you when it's available, please email me at .

Keep writing,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One word

Welcome to 2014!

Eight days into the New Year, and I'm feeling overwhelmed -- and I didn't even officially set any resolutions or goals for the year.

Oh, I made a mental list: eat right, exercise regularly, lose weight, be prompt in sending cards, keep my blogs up-to-date, write daily, finish my novel, write a memoir, find a way to make about $500 more a month, declutter my writing room, my email accounts, my house, my mind . . .

See? I have goals and resolutions. I just don't like writing them down. Looking at them everyday through the lenses of yesterday and reality, is just too overwhelming.

So I'm taking it one day at a time, one activity at a time.

Which of the above are the most important? What are my priorities?



Ministry (writing, speaking, mentoring).

Then I read Rachelle Gardner's blog, "The Year in a Word."  She writes that choosing one word as a focal point for the year helps her to "distill the theme of all [her] goals into one simple expression."

Boiling all those goals and resolutions down to one word.



"Come on!" I thought. "Me? Choose one word to focus on in 2014? Yeah, right."

That was too much for my brain to process.

Then, out of the blue, it came - my one word: STEADFAST. defines STEADFAST as

1. fixed in direction; steadily directed: a steadfast gaze.
2. firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment, etc., as a person: a steadfast friend.
3. unwavering, as resolution, faith, adherence, etc.

4. firmly established, as an institution or a state of affairs.
5. firmly fixed in place or position.

I think that pretty well sums it up:

I need to be steadfast in making healthy choices, such as eating the right foods and exercising regularly (my exercise of choice is walking).

I need to be steadfast in spending time with my loved ones.

I need to be steadfast in getting my work done, which includes my writing, my mentoring, my blogs, and my household duties.

I need to be steadfast in caring for the needs of others.

I need to be steadfast in spending time with God, setting aside time daily for Bible reading, study, and prayer.

I need to be steadfast in praying for others.

The list could go on and on and on.

But if I just focus on that one word - steadfast - in all I do, from the time my feet hit the floor in the morning until the time I slip between the sheets at night, one activity at a time - I won't feel so overwhelmed.

Steadfast doesn't mean I'm not flexible. Life demands flexibility.

It means that I'm focused on the things I need to do to work with God as He "fulfills His purpose for me" ((Psalm 138:8).

What about you? What is your one word for 2014?

Keep writing,