Wednesday, May 24, 2017

3 Ways to Add Punch to Your Story

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

In the boxing ring of every story’s aim to receive five-star reviews and thousands of sales, some novels emerge as winners, rightfully claiming a “golden glove” award in fiction. We all want to be there and not just for one novel but every one we create.

We writers analyze the hows and whys of bestsellers while incorporating new techniques into our writing. So here’s my challenge—Slip into a pair of writer boxing gloves. Get the adrenaline going and maybe a little caffeine. The following are three of my favorite ways to move closer to a championship title.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Giving Yourself Permission to Rest

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

“Even God rested, Eva Marie,” a fellow writer exclaimed to me.

True, I reckoned. But is God a Type-A personality, I mused …

You know … constantly driven with a sense of urgency, always up against the clock with a tendency to overbook or overlap in the booking, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, unable to do only one thing at a time?

Wait … yes. God is a Type-A. Which means He gets me.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Keeping Social Media Personal

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

Have you ever gotten excited when someone you admired friended you on Facebook, retweeted you on Twitter, or asked to be a connection on LinkedIn? For at least one millisecond, that person knew your name.

There were times I was so thrilled that I printed out screenshots for my smash book, which is simply a fun way to scrapbook without trying. It’s a nice feeling.

Unless the only reason they followed you, liked you, or friended you was to spam you.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

My Momma’s Best Advice: How to Keep Going when You Lose

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee


I was in fourth grade, and the opening day of the Tillman County Fair grew closer by the minute. Excitement kept me up at night as I tossed and turned and day-dreamed in the dark of winning blue ribbons.

Competition didn’t pump through my veins on the basketball court or baseball field. An athlete I was not. But give me a sewing machine, recipe, or a speech contest, and I could win with the best of them—humbly of course.

But this county fair was different. My offerings to the contests did not fare as well as the year before. The chocolate chips in my famous chocolate chip cookies melted into the batter turning the golden delights into brown ones, but there was no time to bake another batch. Those would have to do. I hoped their taste would overpower their looks.

And my Thanksgiving table cloth with appliqued napkins and stuffed pumpkins was not perfect. Sewing a straight line never was my strength. Yet, it was creative. I thought.

So needless to say, after the judging was done, the ribbons adorning my entries were not blue. One was red and the other white. First place would not be mine to attain that year. My ten-year-old competitive heart crumbled. Disappointment hung thick in the car as we drove home down highway seventy passed Rhonda Rollin’s daddy’s Dairy Freeze. Not even an ice cream cone could make me feel better.

Wisely, my mom gave me time to grieve. She didn’t impart her advice until we pulled into our driveway. The blue Ford slowly rolled up to the house. Mom braked gently, put it in park, turned the ignition off, and turned toward her pouting, freckled face daughter. That’s when she gave me the advice that stuck with me for the rest of my life.

No rebuke.
  
No “You’ll do better next time.”

Just.

“Andy, in life you have to be a teeter-totter. You can’t always be on top. Others win. That’s just the way life is. Sometimes you’re on top, and sometimes you’re not.”

Time and time again that wisdom has softened the blow of defeat granting me grace for myself and the one who won. It even helped me recently when I learned that I had not won a writing contest. My initial disappointment wasn’t graceful. The loss stirred up that ten-year old girl who decided she would never enter another contest.

I even thought, Maybe I’m done writing! Maybe I should do something else.

I began second guessing everything I’ve written.

But after a short-stack of pancakes with a lot of butter and syrup, the memory of a my mom’s advice drifted through my mind.  It lessened the disappointment, silenced the doubts, and placed it all in perspective.

Andy, you have to be a teeter-totter.

Such wisdom. Her words reminded me that life is not about blue ribbons or being an award-winning writer. No, life is about using our gifts and passions for the Kingdom of Light.

And taking turns.

If my turn on the ground gives someone else the chance to be in the air, I’ll take my turn. Honestly, God didn’t tell me to win an award-winning book. He just told me to write a book.

And I did.

What was the best piece of advice your mom gave you?

TWEETABLE

Andy Lee is a Bible teacher, blogger, and author of A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called (Leafwood, 2016) and The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study: A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise (AMG Publishers). Visit her site, www.wordsbyandylee.com where Andy digs deep to live fully and join her daily with hundreds of viewers on her Bite of Bread Facebook Live broadcast at 8:20 AM ET to start your day in the Word. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

At the Intersection of Life & Writing

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
Writing is a filter for my life, probably yours as well. That's why this quote from Thoreau resonated with me. So how do living and writing intersect in your world?

How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live... Henry David Thoreau
Share your answers in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Amazon's New Policy Change, From Play It Again Sports to Read It Again Books

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Beware Amazon's New Policy Change!
In 1983 Play It Again Sports launched in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and within five years the store burst on the national scene through franchising opportunities. The stores' used sporting equipment resale concept found quick success as many customers looked to cash-in on low prices.

Many sports require equipment that has a lifetime much longer than the average participants age or developmental phase which creates an ever-growing pool of used sports equipment.  The chain soon blossomed to over 400 stores nationwide because of low product investment and high profitability. This same business model has allowed many movie and video game resale stores to find similar success.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

7 Things To Remember When You Host a Guest on Your Blog

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Copy and paste is technology’s gift to the writer. But that’s not all that is involved with using a guest writer’s post on your blog. Last month, I talked about how Friends Don’t Let Friends Blog Alone. This month I want to follow up with a simple but needed checklist for using guest blog posts. Not only do we want to enjoy blogging with other writers, but we want to make their posts for us as beneficial as possible to them.