A “God Book” Review from the Sweetest Source: A Child’s View of Jesus

I’ve had the privilege to write books, read incredible works by many authors, and the honor of reviewing them on my blog, or vendor sites like Amazon, Goodreads, etc. However, my reviews have NOTHING on the book review my little girl gave last night of her “God Book.”
Absolutely PRECIOUS. MELT MY HEART PRECIOUS. A TREASURE to hear the gospel coming from her sweet voice. What a beautiful sound from a child’s simple perspective. To view the wonder of who Jesus is through her eyes caused such awe & wonder…amazement in me! And there’s a new-ness, even a sparkle in the way she presents Jesus—an almost giddiness! I love it, I want it! It helps me remember what it was like when I first became a follower of Christ, and how exciting it was!
I went to bed smiling, and watched her review at least ten times!
“That was fun, mommy. Can we do that again?” She’s hooked on video book reviews, and I had to nod my head.
I’m POSITIVE this child’s review of anything she reads will be better than what I could ever write. PLEASE ENJOY this absolutely beautiful “God Book” review.

One proud Momma here!

RELATED ARTICLES: 
The Theme of Your Life & Writers Conference Take-Away
A Captive Impsoter by Dawn Crandall: Book Review! 
Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof: A Book Review!

ABOUT HANNAH: 
Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, and speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns sure to thrill, and encourage. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee

A / IBook /BN / K )

CLICK the Links Below The Image to Download Your eCopy of WEDDING A WARRIOR



Historical Fiction: Researching Your Novel Successfully by Sara R. Turnquist

Hello, this is Sara R. Turnquist. I fight dragons off when they scare my daughter, I mop up milk

messes when my little boy spills his cup, and I dry many, many tears throughout the day. To top it all of, I write Historical Fiction. I know Hannah has a passion for history, so she can relate to my own heartbeat after this genre. Today, I want to delve into some of the pieces that make Historical Fiction unique among other genres.
RESEARCH. Writing may be a bear, but writing historical fiction is a whole different animal. Not that it’s more difficult, just different. All writing requires research. But, as you can imagine, the research for historical fiction is on another level. Not only do you have to dig into the settings, for example, you have to find out what it was like during the time period you are writing in. That can be tricky. Is that information even available? Thanks to the internet, there is more information at your fingertips, but there are many, many rabbit trails awaiting you. And a lot of false information out there. Contrary to popular belief, not everything on the internet is true 🙂. So, you are researching setting, weather/seasons, along with facts and events. But, again, you must be careful what resources you use. Wikipedia is a great place to start, but I wouldn’t hang my hat on that information. Look at their references at the bottom of the page and utilize those sources. They are likely better places to get the ball rolling on your research.
Author Sara R. Turnquist

REMEMBER IT’S STILL ABOUT YOUR STORY. Now that you’ve got your research under your belt, how do you weave it into your story? The historical information should support your story, not the other way around. Your story is the reason people are reading your book. If they wanted to learn about the Ptolemaic Period in Egypt, for example, they would probably seek out a textbook. But they are more interested in your characters and the challenges they are facing, their plight. The twists and turns that you, the author, have waiting for them. So, stay true to your story. Let the research guide you and inspire you, yes, but not to the point where it becomes overbearing in your story. Again, weavethe details into your story. You want to be as historically accurate as you can be, but do not lose sight of that spark, the initial nugget, the gem that started you on this journey – your original idea.

IT’S ABOUT REAL LIFE. The other thing about Historical Fiction that I find is unique (and I might be overstepping here) is that these happenings that you discover along the way are real. These things occurred. Real people suffered and died. For me, it pulls at my heartstrings and can make it challenging to write sometimes. Because I want to respect those who endured such hardships and be responsible with the information. One of my works in progress is about the Trail of Tears, for example. What a struggle it has been to write about the atrocities the Cherokee faced! But their story needs to be told. For so many reasons.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Generals-Wife-Sara-Turnquist-ebook/dp/B01A9FDT9E/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=sasde06-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=DGJQFSEETVP4VISP&creativeASIN=B01A9FDT9E
I truly could go on and on. My novel that just came out, “The General’s Wife” takes place during a

period in history that holds particular fascination for me – the Ptolemaic Period in ancient Egypt. That is the backdrop and the support for the story of a young woman torn from her home and her first love, an arranged marriage, a journey of self-discovery, and this woman’s strength of spirit against those who would despise and resist her very presence among them.


Was there a lot of research? You bet. Was it a dance between information and story? Yes. Were there times it was harder to write? Well, in a sense, yes. Not the same as for the Trail of Tears novel. Capturing the combat aspects of “The General’s Wife” was challenging because I don’t have the military experience that Hannah does 🙂. Yet, as any other writer, I strove to hone my craft through the process. That is what it’s all about.
                                 ~   ~   ~
The Fun Continues as We Chat a Bit More with Sara!

As a parent, I know it can be hard to find and make that time to write. So how do you do it? Do you have a favorite time of the day to write? 
Sara:  I schedule my writing time around my kiddos. When they are in “quiet time” (thank you, Jesus!) or when they’re at preschool/school.
Also as a parent…well, sometimes the messes to clean up and organize are endless! Are there things you put off doing because you dread them? (ie I can’t stand to fold socks. Supreme Torture!) 
Sara:Ugh! The dishes!
As a fellow writer, I think we can both agree that storylines of different genres kind of float around in our heads. If were to switch writing genres, which one would you choose to write your next novel? 
Sara: Maybe Science Fiction?
Before we go, let’s play a game of Sara’s Favorites!

Favorite Dessert: pie
Favorite Restaurant: Liberty Park Grille
Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army, lol ) : Marines
Favorite Genre of Music: Christian
Favorite Subject in School: Drama
Sara, thanks for being a guest with us today and for providing EXCELLENT information on researching material that can be applied to many genres. THANK YOU! 🙂 
Readers, enter to win an e-copy of Sara’s latest novel, 
“The General’s Wife” below:  

CONNECT WITH SARA:

http://saraturnquist.com/

Twitter:  @sarat1701

The 1888 Journal: Mysteries & Entries Part II


We’re picking up where we left off in the 1888 Journal entries. 
Since the last post (Part 1), a reader took it upon herself to dig into this mystery writer, and found some interesting info that leads us to believe this girl, Siena, or Siera, or Sirra, is from Vermont…we think Dover. That’s a great start to putting together the pieces of this young lady’s life!
Hopefully we’ll have more to share soon!
Enjoy the entries below, and feel free to comment at the end of the post with any info or insight you’d like to share. 🙂 
Tues. Jan. 10, 1888
Snowy.
Went to school.
Wed. Jan. 11, 1888
Stormy
Went to school. 
Thurs. Jan. 12, 1888
Pleasant & cold.
Went to school.
George Piper [pretty sure it’s piper] and George Prouty here this evening. [Here we find out Geo. Prouty from the Jan. 5th entry is George Prouty…now I wonder who George is…both Georges. Family? Suitors?]
Fri. Jan. 13, 1888
[no entry]
Sat. Jan. 14, 1888
Snowy.
At home, helped do the work, finished a pair of wristers [I think wristers are similar to mittens]. 
Sun. Jan. 15, 1888
Rainy.
Couldn’t go to meeting today. Went up to the Baptist meeting this eve.

Mon. Jan. 16, 1888
Cold.
Went to school.
Scottie & I went to Ann Knapps this evening, a few minutes.
Tues. Jan. 17, 1888
Snowy.
Went to school.
Wed. Jan. 18, 1888
A beautiful day.
Went to school.
Scottie, Will, Sucian [not sure about the name…] and I went up to meeting this evening.
I weighed 137 ½, and Scottie 102 ¼ . [I wonder if they were weighed at church? Strange.]
Her entries stop for a while, and do not pick up until Feb. 1, 1888…which makes me wonder why the long silence. Was there a winter storm? Sickness? Did her brother Scottie play a joke and hide her journal?
Will post again soon!
Related Posts:

The 1888 Journal: Mysteries & Entries part 1


Awhile back I came across this pocket-sized journal at an antique store in Nashville, dated 1888. HAD to have it! It inspired the post The Journal and the Journey: The One Who Knows the Way, but it hasn’t stopped inspiring or intriguing me. 

I’ve kept the little book on my writing desk, and looked it over many times thoroughly enjoying the entries—as close to time travel as I will ever get.  

 It wasn’t difficult to picture the owner—a young lady, mid-teens more than likely, modest attire. I picture her hair done up in a neat bun, custom to the time period. Educated, church going, and cares for her family, even helping out neighbors. Her evenings are spent working on stitch-work, and visiting with family. Peaceful really.

I’m not certain of the owners name, or residence, only can I speculate given the clues she leaves, but I’m certain many people will find her entries, and the mysterious abrupt ending, interesting.
Her writing is soft, elegant, and often times difficult for me to read or make out, so bear with me as I translate the entries, and feel free to look at the images and help me figure out some of the words.
The plan is to post her entries on the actual day she wrote them, but of course, this year has begun, and I’m behind—imagine that!
Please share this post. Perhaps we may be able to find out more about her, her life, or even locate living descendants.

Let’s begin! I think this journal once belonged to Sirra Hunt (That’s what I see…do you see another name)

Name: Sirra? Hunt?

 Sun. Jan 1, 1888

Cold, storming, and lonesome.
At home, all day. Aunt Maria stayed here last night and went away this morning.

 Mon. Jan 2, 1888
Pleasant.
Went to school this forenoon, and stayed at home, “dumphed [not sure what that word is] up”  this afternoon.
Tues. Jan 3, 1888
Pleasant.
Went to school

Wed. Jan. 4, 1888
Pleasant.
Went to school & went to meeting this evening [I can’t help but wonder what kind of meeting!!]
Thurs. Jan. 5, 1888
Pleasant.
Went to school.
Geo. [not sure if this is correct] Prority [again unsure of name] here this evening

Fri. Jan. 6 , 1888

Pleasant.
Went to school.
Mother, Scottie & I went over to Ona [not certain of name] Knapp’s this evening.
Sat. Jan. 7, 1888
A little stormy.
Helped do the work and wash. Cornmal [unsure of word]—
Need a pair of whislets [unsure of word] this evening

Sun. Jan. 8, 1888
Snowy.
Went to meeting twice. [What meetings!!???]
Mon. Jan. 9, 1888
Cold.
Went to school. Received a letter from B. M. H [oooohhh…a secret crush? Or something to do with the meetings?]

Confessions of a Writer: Nearly Six Years into the Journey


This past Sunday, our Pastor preached a sermon entitled, Confessions of a Disciple: Nearly 40 years into the Journey. Highly recommend listening. Here’s the audio link.
 
Wow, these confessions were so real, and raw. His transparency was like a gift. We as Christians live messy lives as we work to live out real faith in real life. Sometimes others like Pastors or Best-Selling Authors seem to have arrived—got it all together, but that’s not the case. 
So, as a gift to fellow writers starting out, here are my confessions nearly six years into the journey as a writer.
1: If I wrote when I was inspired, the project would never get finished. 
Most, if not a great majority of things in life require discipline—an intentional action repeated on a consistent basis. 
I make a writing schedule and stick with it until one of the kiddos gets sick, or the back porch roof starts to cave in, or an after school practice or program takes precedence. I’m learning to apply an Army Wife Motto to my writing life: roll with it. If my schedule gets out of whack, I find the time I can write. 
Oh how I wish I had 4 or 5 hours of sheer uninterrupted time to write when I wasn’t exhausted from a day of adult-ing, but then again, I may be prone to wonder from the page and end up sucked into Pinterest or Facebook, or something else equally and wonderfully distracting. 
The point is, I’m learning to set writing goals to keep me on track.  Even going as far as to set a timer for 90 minutes, 4 times a week, and bust my chops to get in 1,500 words each session…which leads me to the next confession:
2: Embrace grace when goals go unmet.
There are some days when I don’t get a single word written. Ugh, that’s another confession that stands on its own. 
Sometimes life happens in the strangest of ways and sucks up your day. The oddest, most unpredictable things can occur…quite peculiar, really.
And then there’s just the day to day conflicts. I work part time, take care of my kiddos, juggle their schedules with mine and my hubby’s, volunteer, teach Sunday school, lead a writers group, cook, clean, market, blog…yikes, I need some chocolate just thinking about it all. 
But God reminds me of who I am. I’m His. And I can plan and schedule all I want, but each novel is His, and He will give me the grace, and strength to finish…even if there’s a day or a week when I haven’t typed a single word.
And that leads me to my next confession: 
3: Prioritizing time is a challenge but a necessity.
Yes, I set writing goals. Yes, I carve out and prioritize that writing time, but my first priority, even before family, is God.  Perhaps strange for some to hear, but it’s a way of life that works well for our family, and a multitude of other followers of Christ.
It’s almost become routine to wake up before the family and spend that time reading the Bible, praying, and listening. It’s a routine I like, and crave. It’s become a priority. 
That priority extends into the way I live, how I treat others, how I spend my money, and how I spend my time.  And I need daily reminders, helpful nudges from God to keep Him first. Family second. Friends third. Writing fourth. 
It’s a struggle, not gonna lie, but I remember that writing is just a part of my life, a good part, but not the whole. 
4: There’s more fear involved in the writing process than what I ever imagined. 
It hangs out beside my desk, in the corner, sometimes on my shoulder. It takes me a bit to acknowledge the fear…that my first draft is going to be probably the worst thing I’ve ever written…that I will probably get some bad reviews…that some people may never like a single thing I write…that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer. 
Fear acknowledged, then swallowed, because I know that fear doesn’t come from God. So, I press forward and write anyway, because I’m writing for another reason, and that reason is more powerful than a bit of fear hanging around.
And the last confession:
5: The first draft is gonna be terrible.
Ugh, I can’t stand this confession because I don’t want to embrace it. I want to write the perfect novel the first time. 
To help assuage my little writer heart, I asked MANY, MANY, MA NY other authors light years ahead of me in experience about their first drafts. Every single one of them either laughed, rolled their eyes, or grimaced, each stating there’s was terrible. Good news for the rest of us writers! 
But, after guidance, input, rewrites, and edits, that raw rough copy becomes a polished novel worth the struggles. Even better news!
So keep going, fellow writer! I pray these confessions help encourage you in your writing journey.

3 Steps to Finding the Grace to Chase a Dream by Cara Putman

http://www.amazon.com/Stars-Night-Cara-C-Putman-ebook/dp/B00EV56C4S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440123709&sr=8-1&keywords=stars+in+the+nightHello Dear Readers! Today we welcome Award Winning Author Cara Putman! Cara has some great advice to share with us today & will be giving away a copy of her novel, Stars in the Night. Enter to win below!


Without further ado, let’s give Cara a warm welcome!



 

~    ~    ~
ONCE there was a 14-year-old who quickly realized her favorite authors simply could not write books fast enough. Because she was young, she decided she could write books, too. Her mother smiled and allowed her to write as part of her English. Slowly two novels grew on an old computer, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. She loved creating ideas, research, writing. The process delighted her soul, and she wondered if she’d found what she was created to do.
        Then life got busy. College, a career. A husband and a family. Writing was pressed to the perimeter of her life by the busyness of a full life.
                Most days it was enough.
                But some days, the whisper to write became a roaring ache to try. When this occurred, this girl grown into a woman would take the dream to God, hold it in open hands, and ask Him if this was His dream for her. If not, show her so she could kill the dream and focus on His will for her life.
                In due time, He announced it was time to follow her dream. Nine years later she’s awaiting the publication of her 18th and 19th books later this year.
                You may have already guessed: I am that girl. I know what it’s like to have a dream burning inside me and wonder if anything would ever come of it. I want to encourage you. If this is you. If you’re convinced your dreams have disappeared under a pile of laundry, dirty diapers, and grocery lists, that there are ways to live with grace until the appointed time for the dream to burst to life.
                Here’s what I learned on the journey:
1)      Hold the dream loosely. Pry your tight grip from the dream and offer it to God. Ask Him for wisdom to know if this is the time or the dream. Seek Him first. A dream without Him at the center is simply not as fulfilling.
 
2)      Prepare when you can as you can. For me that meant continuing to read voraciously. Through that I had a core understanding of what made a story and characters work. I might not have known all the lingo, but I intuitively gained an education. It also meant I read how-to write novel books. Each time the itch would resurface, you’d find me in the stacks looking for another book, so I could get structural understanding.
3)      Be prepared to run when God gives you the go-ahead. The years since God told me it was time to test the dream have been a whirlwind of work. It has required immense discipline and stick-to-it-iveness. I’ve had to let go of things to make room for the dream. Are you willing to do the same?

Waiting for a dream is hard. But with God’s grace, the waiting can be a time of preparation and drawing closer to Him.

Cara Shares Some of her Faves!

Favorite Dessert:                           Apple pie
Favorite Restaurant:                     Runza   
Favorite Branch of the Military (I won’t judge you if say anything other than Army, lol J): ARMY – My dad flew Heweys in Vietnam and Desert Storm
Favorite Genre of Music:              Praise and worship
Favorite Subject in School:           history


Author Bio:

Cara C. Putman, the award-winning author of 20 books, graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. FIRST for Women magazine called Shadowed by Grace “captivating” and a “novel with ‘the works.’” It received the Christian Retailing BEST award for Historical Fiction and the HOLT Award of Distinction. Cara is active at her church and a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. Putman recently received her Master’s in Business Administration at Krannert. She serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization she has served in various roles since 2007. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.

Shadowed by Grace:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Grace-Story-Monuments-Men/dp/1433681781/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440123649&sr=8-1&keywords=shadowed+by+graceShadowed by Grace is a dramatic story inspired by the Monuments Men of World War II by acclaimed author Cara C. Putman. Desperate to save her dying mother, Rachel accepts her newspaper’s assignment to travel to Italy to capture images dangerously close to the front lines of WWII. Her real motive – to find the father she never knew — an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive. It’s an unlikely situation for love and faith to flourish, but soon Rachel not only finds herself, but also her long-lost earthly father, and ultimately, the man her Heavenly father created to cherish and provide for her

Connect with Cara:

 

Enter Below to Win a Copy of  Stars in the Night: 

Supreme Court Ruling: Being a Christian Author in a World With an Opposing Message

Being a Christian Author in a world that no longer wants to know Jesus — in a world that no longer wants to hear His message, but desperately needs it.
I’m still soaking in the Supreme Court ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage in all 50 states. I’m saddened, not shocked. For Christians in America, our faith just became more difficult to live out. The implications of the court’s decision are heavy, and the ripple effects will be seen for generations to come.
To redefine an institution that they did not create — the gall, but then, that’s where we, the church and state, differ. With a slam of a gavel, the distinction between church and state has never been made clearer, and I feel as if I have witnessed our nation turn its back on God. Yes, my heart hurts…
I’m hearing love wins from supporters of same-sex marriage, but love already won when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that’s what homosexuality is—a sin, just like any other sin. Yes, I love my gay friends, but I in no means support their actions. Whether born gay or not, the act of homosexuality is a sin. If a person is born with an alcohol gene, or a tendency toward alcoholism, does that excuse their behavior as an alcoholic? No.  In the same way, a person born with same sex tendencies can choose whether or not to act out on their desire.
Maybe the definition of sin is the issue here. Perhaps we can’t agree on what sin is and isn’t. I personally don’t like being told if I’m sinning. It’s offensive to hear. No one wants to be corrected, but God corrects us for our own good. He knows what’s good for us, and only wants the best.
God is very clear on what sin is. It’s outlined in His Word – the Bible—the very Word our nation used to construct its Constitution. We cannot pick and choose what the parts of His Word we will follow, and which we will ignore. This isn’t Burger King, we can’t have it our way. This is God’s world. It’s His way.  
And that’s the problem. Our nation doesn’t want it God’s way, but their way, and God, being ever so loving, will never force Himself on anyone, yet He wants desperately for us to choose Him.
For the first time in my life I’m hearing Christians being called ‘haters’ for taking God’s side on this same-sex marriage issue. Haters. Haters because they are taking a stand for what God, The Great I Am, The Creator of the Universe says? The message of Christ is anything but hate. In fact it’s the exact opposite. It’s overflowing with love, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. Perhaps this message is offense because accepting it, means admitting fault.
Following Christ begins with admitting you’re a sinner (we all are), turning away from that sin, believing Christ is the son of God, that He rose again, and confessing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior –meaning the Lord or boss of our life.
Why is it important to invite Jesus to be the boss of our life? Because He says we’re all sinners, born into it actually, and the punishment for sin is death and eternity in hell after we die. We can’t save ourselves, so Jesus came, took our punishment for sin, died, rose again, and anyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Here’s the thing, God is begging us to walk in His way. He says in his Word that there is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death, but Jesus came to give life.
So what am I to do after the Supreme Court’s ruling? How do I live out love? How do I be “in the world, but not of it”? As a Christian Author, what am I to do in a world that rejects Christ with their words and actions while I write books exclaiming His message of love and redemption?
So many questions, but I know The One who has the answers, so that’s a plus. I know my words, actions, and intentions need to be saturated in love no matter who I’m interacting with.  I know love is very much an action—a choice, so I’ll choose to be patient, kind, gentle, selfless, and humble. I will choose not to keep a tally of wrongs. I will always choose to hope, persevere, and rejoices in truth—after all, that’s what Love does.  I know that I will not deny or defy God’s Words, and I’m thankful to be surrounded and supported by followers of Christ who will stand with me. And as a Christian Author, well, I find that one a bit easier to answer…I’m going to do what Jesus did so many times, and tell a story that’s filled with love, mercy, forgiveness, and redemption. A story where God is the hero, where truth and love win without ever compromising God’s plan, and His way.

#lovewins #lovealreadywon

Grand Prize Giveaway!! $50 Visa Gift Card & More!!!

THANK YOU for helping launch my first novel,

The Wounded Warrior’s Wife!!

http://www.amazon.com/Wounded-Warriors-Wife-Hannah-Conway/dp/1939603587/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415938924&sr=8-1&keywords=hannah+conwayIt’s been an amazing seven weeks and the support you’ve shown me fills my heart with gratitude! I pray that The Wounded Warrior’s Wife has blessed you. Though this novel follows a military couple dealing with a variety of battles both on and off the battlefield, it was never intended to appeal only to those affiliated with the military. We’ve all had battles in our lives. Maybe no bullets were fired, but we’ve experienced the ups and down, highs and lows, and walked those dark valleys of life. God is there. Always. Forever. He never lets go of us and carries through life’s difficulties if He must. The Wounded Warrior’s Wife is a tale of love at its finest, but most importantly, it’s a story of how God restores all things…even those things we thought to be broken beyond repair.
 This novel was a pleasure to write and I’m looking forward to releasing the Novella Prequel: Wedding a Warrior very soon!! Make sure you you’ve subscribed to my mailing list. A FREE copy of Wedding a Warrior will be sent to those on my mailing list when it is released!
Now it’s time to show my appreciation with a GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!
 
 

What’s in this Grand Prize Giveaway!?

Who Can Win?
Anyone!!! Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.

How do I Enter to Win?
Simply enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.jsWhen Will the Winner Be Announced?
The giveaway will end on the 21st of November and the winner will be announced on November 22nd via social media. If an email address of the winner was provided, the winner will also receive an email notice. Please make sure you are following me on facebook and twitter to keep up with giveaway updates.
 
Can’t wait to see who wins this big-ole-grand-prize!!!

Fearless Faith: Lesson Learned from a 3 Year Old

Fearless Faith?

Isn’t faith void of fear? Maybe for you, but for me, faith is more like looking down at a canyon bottom knowing the only way to cross is to jump, believing I can make it–if I can work up the courage, but so scared to try.
 
As I’m wrapping up my first novel, preparing for the final edits (if there really such a thing as final edits), and looking forward to publishing and all that entails, I find myself doing a lot of that whole fear thing again. It’s pretty unattractive. I stand in the mirror, hair frazzled, coffee stains on my t-shirt, eyes wide. Can I do this? Who am I to write a novel? Why would God want to use me, and who in the world would ever read something I wrote? Then I start doing this weird deep breathing thing, and thank God my husband is at work so he doesn’t have to see this. What if someone actually reads my novel, hates it, and writes a terrible amazon review? What if I completely fail and people use the pages of my book as toilet paper!? Or what if I succeed, and I can’t respond to their emails in time, and tick off my readers, and they start badmouthing me all over the place? What if everyone starts thinking I’m like this super Christian that never messes up, and I completely blow it, fall off a pedestal they’ve put me on, and ruin the message of Christ for everyone!?
 
Wow. I really need to get it together. It’s crazy how I’m afraid to fail and succeed!
 
My daughter, God bless that little free spirit, is fearless. She knows no bounds, and I deeply admire that characteristic. Just the other day, she was jumping from the swingset landing area–about 3 foot high–, and loving every minute of it.
 
I ran over to her. “Honey, don’t do that. You’ll get hurt.”
 
She smiled, bobbing her head. “It’s okay, Mommy. After I get hurt, I’ll get better.”
 
Her answer stunned me, cracked me up, and then hit me to the core. My child was speaking God’s truth to me!
 
I’ve lost count of how many times God’s Word says, “Don’t be afraid,” “Be courageous,” “Do not fear.” Apparently fear is a common theme throughout humanity. Ugh, it’s tough being human. By the way, I still made my daughter get down from the landing–ain’t got time for a trip the emergency room.
 
Here’s the deal. It’s okay if I fail, ’cause after I get hurt, I’ll get better. And it’s okay if I succeed; God will keep me…I’ll ask Him to EVERY SINGLE DAY, pestering Him all of the time with my request to keep me from being a stumbling block to others in their Faith.
 
My conclusion?  This is what I will tell myself in the mirror when I start having a highly unattractive freak out moment:
1: I am a daughter of the King, and He says I have value no matter if a million people read my book or if no one reads it; no matter if people love it or hate.
2: God has given me a desire to write, and a story to share, so I’m gonna do just that.
3: I have faith, and even if I get hurt, it’ll be okay ’cause I’ll get better.
 
What about you? Ever had issues stepping out on Faith? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂
 
 

My Life in Deep POV: Sharpening My Writing Craft

 

Welcome to the world of writing. 

I’ve always loved a good story. Loved to read one, loved to write one, listen to one, dream one up. Good times. Good times.

When it came time take that step to cranking out a novel, I soon found out I had some learning to do about writing.

So, I began asking for advice from authors and writers, who by the way, were all very kind and willing to help people in the world! Francine Rivers and Beth Moore even took the time to respond to my questions (SQUEAL!). Everyone kept telling me, “Keep writing. Join a critique group, and read craft books.”

Me: “Okay. Keep writing. Check. Critique group. Got it.” Fist pump. “Craft books? Um, like knitting or soap making?” How was that going to help?

The confused author answering me probably rolled her eyes into the computer screen.  “No. Actual books on the craft/process/skill of writing. Not soap making or knitting.”

Me: “Oh.” Blush. Head scratch. “Did I mention I’m a natural blonde?”

So. Needless to say, I hopped onto Amazon, ordered me some WRITING craft books and dug in. Deep POV, or Deep Point of View was one of the writing craft concepts that had me pulling my hair. I could tell a story, I could, but how did I make it deep? What did that mean??? Oh the insanity!!

After much hair pulling (metaphorically speaking, of course), I learned that Deep POV is simply writing as if you were the character, so much that the reader will actually experience the ups, downs, ins and outs of the book as if he/she were the character. Deep POV attaches the reader to the novel, and it may or may not cause the writer/author to need therapy after typing The End. 🙂

Deep POV is cutting out “he said, she said” as much as possible. It’s inserting comments, and snippets that the character would say, think, feel. It’s expressing mannerisms, physical and emotional responses and reactions. It’s A LOT OF WORK, especially since I’m just learning how to wield this new writer’s weapon.

Practice makes perfect, so I’ve been practicing, and practicing. And practicing. STILL not perfect, lol! But I keep on keep’n on!

One of the tools I’ve found VERY helpful is a short little book by Jill Elizabeth Nelson, called Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View. She offers several exercises on learning to write in Deep POV. Using her exercise template of Shallow POV vs. Deep POV, I’m going to show you examples of my life in Deep POV. Afterward, you can show me your own! Fun, FUN!

Shallow: With smug satisfaction, she tossed the empty laundry basket aside.

Deep: She smirked, and tossed the basket aside. Take that empty laundry basket. Conquering Mt. Pile O’ Clothes was quite an achievement.

See the difference? I’m not telling you what I’m feeling, I’m showing you, letting you experience it as if you were me!

Let’s do another!

Shallow: She knew the toilet ring wasn’t going to disappear by itself, and she sighed knowing she’d have to be the one to clean it.

Deep: “It has to be done.” That toilet ring was severe. She snapped on a pair of gloves and sighed. With any luck, it wouldn’t take too long.

Okay, my Reader Friends! It’s your turn! What are you examples of Shallow vs. Deep! Make me laugh! 🙂