Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Haiku Challenge

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This time of year, between Christmas and New Year's is a sort of no-man's land for me. It's a time to rest, reflect, and get ready for the year to come. I have good intentions of working this week, but life—and laziness—seems to intrude.

Today I'd like to offer a something fun to do. 

Join me in a Haiku Challenge.

The rules are simple.
  • Follow the standard Haiku format
    • 5 syllables
    • 7 syllables
    • 5 syllables
  • Explore the subject of Why Do You Write?
  • Post your Haiku (or more than one) in the comments section below along with your name.
  • I'll leave the contest open until midnight on Friday (EST)
Here are three I wrote, just to get you started:

Why I Write
A Life speeding by
Chaos buries me alive
Writing resurrects

Why I Write
Words flow from fingers
Images captured in ink
Black and white colors my world

Why I Write
God gave me a gift
Sharp words cut into my soul
Bloodletting brings peace

Stretch your writing muscles as we get ready for the new year. Oh, and just to entice you a little bit more, I'm going to draw a name from those who leave a Haiku in the comments section for a $15 Amazon gift card.

Don't forget to join the conversation!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Make Progress on Your Writing Journey in 2016 by Taking Time to Look Back

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The writer’s path is a journey of a lifetime—one fraught with discovery and discouragement. We can avoid some of its pitfalls if we define that path early on. Today, I want to share some insights into my writing journey and the markers I look for to help me stay at least in the vicinity of the path.

This time of year, between Christmas and New Year's, my thoughts turn backward. I use this time to evaluate the past year and prepare for the next one. I've given up New Year's Resolutions completely and find the freedom from those expectations (and failures) a major relief. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Setting Goals for Your Writing Career

by Brenda McGraw @BrendaMMcGraw

Setting Goals for Your Writing Career
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. Can you believe it is the end of another year?

How did you do with your goals and plans this year?

The end of the year is the time to evaluate the current year 2015, before heading into 2016, so we can begin with a fresh start.

Sometimes this can be difficult. We can make excuses of what we didn’t get accomplished or we can resolve to execute the plans we will accomplish the upcoming new year.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Power of Small

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

Have you ever attended a writers’ conference where they gave an award for “Smallest Blog in the Blogosphere”? How about a gold-embossed certificate for “Fewest Pageviews”? “Lowest Royalty Check”? “Subterranean Amazon Book Rating”? “Facebook Post with No Shares”?

Some of my writer friends have blog posts that have gone viral. Others have subscriber bases numbering in the Ks (15K, 20K). Some have dozens of books to their credit, and others actually get advances on their publishing contracts (I know, what’s a publishing contract?). They have editors pitching books to them instead of the other way around.

But they are exceptions.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ride the Wings of Morning

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

In my prayer time recently, I found myself meditating on Psalm 139:9,10 (NLT).
If I ride the wings of morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

My first reading of this focused on no matter where His plan takes me, He will be with me, guiding and supporting.

Then my spirit reminded me of something our pastor said when we were thinking of moving to Texas: “If you’re going to miss God’s timing, it’s better to be behind Him instead of ahead of Him.”

And I realized that even if I were so far ahead of God, I was as lost as a goose in a blizzard, I was not alone. It might feel like it—like I’m lost, without hope or anchor.

But it’s not. Because He’s still there. He’s waiting patiently for me to come to my spiritual senses, to wake up to the fact I’m living in disobedience. He’s waiting for me to recognize it, to admit I stepped out too far or I stepped out on my own strength or my own will, not His.

He’s waiting with loving eyes and forgiving arms.

He’s waiting with His eternal patience.

He’s waiting to guide me with His hand and support me with His strength.

All I have to do is turn to Him.

Have you ever felt so out of God’s plan it seemed like there was no way back?

Feeling like there's no way back to God's plan? Ride the Wings of Morning - @RiverBendSagas (Click to Tweet)

Henry’s debut novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel contest. 

He serves as Associate Director of North Texas Christian Writers. 

Henry edits novels, leads critique groups, and teaches at conferences and workshops. He enjoys mentoring and coaching individual writers. 

Connect with Henry on his blogTwitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Novelist’s Christmas

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Up on a bookshelf
A reader’s list
Filled with Christmas
Novels as gifts.
Down through the aisles
With lots of books,
All with metaphors and crazy hooks.

Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Oh, up on a bookshelf
Click Click Click
Down through the aisles
Comes a bestseller’s pick.

Grab me a Kindle
Writers heed.
Download multi-books to read.
Some with bad guys
Some with romance
All a reader’s adventure
Filled with mystery and suspense.

Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Oh, up on a bookshelf
Click Click Click
Down through the aisles
Comes a bestseller’s pick.

Writer note Pinterest,
Google Plus too,
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter stew.
Tumblr, You Tube, 
Instagram, Blog
How can I keep up 
With the social media fog?  

Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Ho Ho Ho
A writer would know.
Oh, up on a bookshelf
Click Click Click
Down through the aisles
Comes a bestseller’s pick.

Christmas is nearly here! What would fill your writerly stocking?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Little Writing Experiences Lead to BIG Writing Experiences

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Little Writing Experiences Lead to BIG Writing Experiences
I could not help but admire his courage. His ingenuity. There he sat, along the sidewalk of one of the busiest shopping avenues in Central Florida, with a folding TV tray in front of him. Atop it, an old typewriter. The kind you honestly don’t see any more, unless you’re a collector.

I immediately thought of a few of my writer friends—our precious Edie Melson being one of them. I almost stopped to take a photo with my iPhone for her and Alton Gansky, but then I noticed the sign.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Are You on the NAUGHTY or NICE List for Social Media?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m in a holiday sort of mood, so I thought I’d carry it over into my social media post today.  

I hope you enjoy my impromptu quiz. To stay on Santa’s nice list, no cheating allowed. 

Take the quiz first, then look at the answers below.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas—The Time of Christ's Sacrifice

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Recently, I've begun writing regularly for Putting on the New. It's a blog for women, by women, and shares encouragement for all the challenges we face. Today I'd like to share an excerpt from my post i wrote yesterday, with a link to read the full post. Enjoy!

I’ve always celebrated Christmas as the time of Jesus’ birth. It’s a joyful time—after all, when is the birth of a baby not a reason to celebrate? It’s marked with angel choruses, gifts of the magi, and celebration to end all celebrations.

In contrast, I’ve always approached Easter as a more somber time—certainly a time of ultimate triumph. But one that was preceded by the agony of Jesus on a cross. To me, Easter was when Christ laid down His life for us.

Now I’ve begun to look at things a little differently....

Read the rest on Putting on the New

NOTE: The first Tweetable directs people to this blog, the second sends people directly to Putting on the New 

Christmas—The Time of Christ's Sacrifice - via @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
(Sending people to this site)

Christmas—The Time of Christ's Sacrifice - via @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)
(Sending people to Putting on the New)