Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Senses of the Season Writers Challenge

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Ah, the scents of the season. 

One of my favorite childhood memories is of waking up to the fragrance of turkey roasting in the oven on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. I love the spiciness of cut pine, the yeasty aroma of homemade bread, and even the whiff of cardboard and paper from a freshly opened tube of wrapping paper.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Bane of Backstory in Your Novel

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

No character was born the moment the book starts – just like humans, characters have history: joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness, good times and bad times. The sum of our experiences make us what WE are and, ultimately, determine the choices we make. Characters are exactly the same. Backstory makes characters “breathe” – to come alive. Without backstory, there is no character. 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Gift-Giving Basics for the Non-Writing Spouse

From Edie, I apologize for the repost that went out in email. This is the real blog post for today. 

Gift-Giving Basics for the Non-Writing Spouse

by Kirk Melson

Because it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share one of my challenges as the spouse of a writer.I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to be a little on the dense side when it comes to buying presents. I have great intentions, but I could never remember what my wife wanted when it came time to buy her a gift. Think I’m lying? I blogged about one of my most spectacular boo-boos here in My Life…In Print

Sunday, November 29, 2020

A Tribute to My Daughter-in-Law

I have three sons and as they’ve married, we’ve also added three precious daughters to our family. Each girl is as special to us as if they’d been in our family for their entire lives. 

This past week we lost one of our girls in a tragic accident. 


Katie was our oldest son’s wife and they recently had their first child. Baby Van is only three months old. 


It’s been the hardest week of our lives, but it’s been precious too as we’ve pulled together as a family. Our community has lavished love on us and buried us in an avalanche of food. We’ve cried, laughed and tried to figure out how we’re going to go forward with a huge hole in our lives. 


Katie was our first daughter. She’s been in our lives for fourteen years. She began dating Jimmy when he graduated high school and entered the Marine Corps. She was a year behind Jimmy and spent her senior year coming to our house after school three or four days a week while he was deployed. 


When she and Jimmy decided to move up the wedding date her mother was in Germany and she allowed me to go with her to pick out her wedding dress. Her caring heart and infectious laughter have added so much to our family. 


We all miss her so much.


She and one of our other daughters, Weslyn (Kirk’s wife), went through their pregnancies together. Katie delivered Van first, but Weslyn followed soon after with Rivers. The boys were born two weeks and two hours apart. 


And eight weeks later, we added our third daughter when John married Tiffany. Now it felt like our family was complete.


Oh the plans we had with these new additions—from beach trips to family photo shoots. 


Then the accident and the unthinkable happened. We’ve learned anew that nothing in life is certain and there are no guarantees. Nothing, except the faithfulness of God—even in the midst of the unthinkable. 


Many of you have reached out to us and I can’t thank you enough for this outpouring of prayer and love. I’ve tried to thank you, but it’s just not possible. Death brings with it a myriad of details. There are so many things that need to be handled just when your brain is incapable of processing information. 


But we’ve found that’s when God steps in—using friends and family to keep you going. There have been practical boots-on-the-ground help and there has been spiritual offensive help as prayer warriors place a dome of protections and peace over us. 


Each of you have eased our burden by sharing it and we cannot thank you enough. 


I do want to let you know about one way you can help our son and grandson. In the midst of this, Jimmy has started a GoFundMe for their son Van’s college education. If you’d like to donate, we’d be honored. And if you can share the GoFundMe, that would help as well. 


Here’s the link to our GoFundMe for Van’s College Education.


And thank you for allowing me to take one day to share this tragedy we have in our family. 



Edie Melson


Saturday, November 28, 2020

In The Studio: Recording Your Book

by Cathy Fyock @CathyFyock

These past months I’ve spent some time in the studios, recording the audio book for On Your Mark, and video-taping the video book for Blog2Book and The Speaker Author (stay tuned for more information on this exciting project I’m working on with National Speakers Association member Chuck Gallagher). 

Here are my insights for those of you who are thinking about recording your own book.

Friday, November 27, 2020

5 Reasons to Be Thankful for Your Day Job

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

In the early days of writing, I envied full-time authors. If I didn’t have to divide my time between my day job and writing, think how much more I’d accomplish. And how wonderful to have the freedom to write for days when the muse struck. No more getting up early, staying up late, and writing a hundred words at a time during my lunch hour. I could put in an eight-hour writing day and reserve my evenings for friends and family.