Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Review—Unsolicited Writing Advice You Should NEVER Follow

Announce you're writing a book, and you're in for as
much irritating advice as any first-time pregnant woman.

Have you noticed the phenomenon that occurs when you confess you’re writing a book? It doesn’t matter if you’re an established author with thirty-plus books under your belt, or someone working on a first novel. Announce you’re writing a book, and you’re in for as much irritating advice as any first-time pregnant woman.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—When did the Grammar Rules Change?

by Kirk Melson

It's my nature to appreciate rules.
As most of you know, I’m an engineer. It’s in my nature to appreciate things that fit within given parameters. So it’s probably no surprise to know that of all the English classes I’ve taken, I enjoyed grammar the most. All those hard and fast rules make writing correctly something easy and more importantly, success definable. It’s the closest someone can get to math in the English department.

At least that was my belief…until my wife entered the world of publishing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writers Are Artisans of Words

By Laurie Epps

Writers are artisans of words.  Simply stated this might seem like a very straight-forward thing to say. But it is an advanced concept, and has been deliberated by Philosophers for centuries. 

But what is Art? My definition of art is anything that completes the creative process, and yields itself to that process. If I've learned nothing else by going to college, I've learned that everything in life has a process.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life, Part Four—10 Tips to Help You Get More Twitter Followers

A lot of you have done the basics and now you’re sitting back waiting for your Twitter account to explode with followers. Well, if you’ve followed the previous three posts you’re in a good position. But, today I’m going to share10 tips to help you get more Twitter followers. Click to Tweet

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Worship—Transparency

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

I'm just not comfortable in the spotlight.
The past few years I’ve been doing a good bit of public speaking, and as many of you know, it’s way out of my comfort zone. As a matter of fact, if I wasn’t certain God was asking me to share what He’s doing in my life, I wouldn’t be doing it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Images of Writing—Hope

Every week I post an image for you all to use online for free. I also took this photo while we were on vacation in late January.

As always you're welcome to use this image as you wish, online. You may post it to social media, your blog, or website. It's my gift to you. I only ask that you not remove my website watermark or use it in print.

Blessings to you all!

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all
~ Emily Dickinson

Friday, February 22, 2013

Life Lessons—Notepads in the Shower

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

Can anyone tell me why my best thoughts come when I'm lathered in soap and shampoo? Honestly, I've butchered my legs each time my terrific idea came to mind while in the middle of a shave stroke.

Actually the answer to that question is simple, really. When we're away from all the interruptions vying for our attention and our only concern is keeping the suds out of our eyes and washing off the trail dust, our well of creativity is allowed to bubble up to the surface.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Review—Stay Private & Safe on Facebook by Reviewing Your Settings

I talk to so many people every week who worry needlessly about their privacy settings on Facebook.

I talk to even more who should.

When anyone opens up a Facebook account, Facebook has certain default settings that that are the same for everyone. Some of these are ones that make me uncomfortable by allowing too many people to see my information. And that’s saying something because I really try to get found on the Internet, even with Facebook.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—My PRINT!

By Kirk Melson

My first byline!
Did you notice my byline? Pretty cool, huh.

Today I’d like to share something that’s happened with my wife’s writing. It turns out a lot of her inspiration comes from us—her family and friends. While that sounds good, on the surface, after you begin to unpack the real-life application it’s a little messier than you might imagine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Writer's Guide to Nothingness

By Laurie Epps

We all have something we do even though we don't like it about ourselves. Some have no sense of direction, and have to allow extra time to be lost when going to a new place. 

I don't have time perception. I have to place prompts in my phone to make sure I stay on task. While this can be perceived as the worst flaw imaginable, it can be an excellent tool for us as writers. There is definitely a real upside to this malady, and I'll show you how to harness this idle time.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life, Part Three—Twitter Vocabulary & Etiquette

You may have noticed that Twitter has a language all its own. It’s not hard to learn though, once you get the basics.

There are four ways to utilize Twitter:
  • Tweet—This is also called updating your status. It’s something everyone can see.
  • Reply—This answers an update and is directed to a specific person, but everyone can see your answer. You do this with the @followed by the person’s name. Example @EdieMelson. This is actually a clickable link so others can click on @EdieMelson to get to their feed.
  • Direct Message—This is the Twitter version of a personal email. It only goes to the person you’re addressing.
  • Retweet—This is a play on the word, repeat, and is when you repost or repeat something someone else has tweeted.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend Worship—Sometimes You Have to Go Back Before You can Move Forward

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me. Lord, Your love is eternal; do not abandon the work of Your hands. Psalm 138:8

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m directionally challenged. Oh, I can usually follow written directions. But give me a map—or even worse a compass—and I’m liable to wander around for hours before I find my way.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Images of Writing—Water

Every week I post an image for you all to use online for free. I took this photo the last of January while Kirk and I were on vacation. It truly is from the back side of a waterfall. Anyone want to guess where exactly I was when I took it?

As always you're welcome to use this image as you wish, online. You may post it to social media, your blog, or website. It's my gift to you. I only ask that you not remove my website watermark or use it in print.

Blessings to you all!

Deep calls to deep, at the noise of your Waterfall ~ Psalm 42:7

Friday, February 15, 2013

Life Lessons—A Moment in Time

By Reba J Hoffman
Snippets of Time
Last Wednesday on my blog, FindingTrue North, I talked about being productive in little snippets of time. In the world in which we live as writers, we don’t have the luxury of secluding ourselves from life while we hammer out a word count for months on end. It’s just not possible.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday Review—Award Winning Author, Alton Gansky Shares His Latest Publishing Venture

Today I'm excited to have my good friend, Alton Gansky on my blog for an interview about his latest publishing venture. I know you're all as familiar with his books as I am, but today we're going to hear about an opportunity to revisit some of our favorites!

EM: For those who don’t know you, give us a little of your publishing background.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—No More Normal Bedtimes

Kirk, lookin' Writer-Chic!
Hi, Kirk here again. I'm beginning to enjoy this taste of a writer's life. How do you like my new look?

Today I want to find out if any of you have the same problem as me—no more normal bedtimes.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I like a rhythm to life, a schedule. It’s the sort of thing my engineering brain craves. But once my wife began writing, schedules became a thing of the past.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Selecting a Writing Program for College

By Laurie Epps

Choosing a college program is a daunting task for anyone, and with the recent surge of interest in Mathematics and Science degrees you may think that writing positions are obsolete. But yet, someone is writing all the media mail trying to attract you to these colleges, and someone writes the textbooks you are reading.... Surely, somewhere out there is a college waiting to be discovered. Where do you start? Look down at the keyboard, the answers are out there, just start typing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Social Media Monday—Can I Have Multiple Facebook Accounts Under Different Emails?

UPDATE: Although Facebook has NOT updated the user guidelines, they appear to be ignoring those who have infringed on this part of the agreement. I still stand by this post, but the risk may be worth it for some. 

NOTE: Comments have been disabled for this post.

I know, you've already received one post from me today. But this Facebook issue has come up so many times recently I really want you to know the truth before you take any action!

I have seen a lot of advice lately encouraging writers to convert their personal profile to a fan/author page. That advice alone won’t necessarily get you in trouble, but the follow-up comment definitely will.

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life Part Two—Take Advantage of Your Twitter Profile Settings

Last week I started again with the basics of Twitter. Here’s the link to Why Bother With Twitter, in case you missed it.

Today I want to concentrate on how to take advantage of your Twitter profile settings. There are several parts of your profile settings that, when utilized effectively, can net you more followers. When done correctly, your profile will enhance and establish your brand, as well as give potential followers a clear picture of your passions and what they can expect when they follow you on Twitter.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Worship—Irrational Fear

“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26

It was our first night in Disney World as husband and wife. There was hardly a more magical place on earth to spend our honeymoon, yet I had just awakened with one of the worst nightmares ever. 

I shook my husband of two nights awake and began to babble hysterically about an ax murderer whom I was certain had gotten into our cabin. The more he tried to reason with me, the more inconsolable I became. It was only after he physically got out of bed and checked all the doors and windows that I began to calm down and realize how ridiculous I’d been.

As I look back thirty plus years on the woman I’d been it’s easy to shake my head over the irrational behavior. I mean I’m much more mature now, able to look at any and all situations with calm, logical eyes, and sound judgment.

Don’t I wish…

Truthfully, I can still find myself as trapped by the irrational as ever. But just like my patient husband so many years ago, God is always there to hold and comfort me. He leads me to the solid ground of sound judgment just as patiently as Kirk did. God is always close, no matter how dark the night or scary the situation.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Images of Writing—Fire

Here is another image you're welcome to use anywhere online you wish. It's my gift to you. My only stipulation is that you don't remove my website address from within the image.

If you're curious, I took this photo last weekend while I was speaking at Writers Advance! Bootcamp at The Cove, in Asheville, NC.

Thank & Blessings,

Genius is talent set on fire by courage ~Henry Van Dyke

Friday, February 8, 2013

Life Lessons—The Biggest Roadblock Writers Face

by Reba J Hoffman, Ph.D

It’s not that agent who won’t represent you. Nor is it the gate keeper editor at the big pub house. It’s not even the critic or book reviews. The biggest roadblock writers face is that mugshot we see in the mirror each and every morning.


Writers stand in the way of our progress down the writing road more than any other obstacle. And, since we writers are blessed with great imaginations, we concoct all sorts of horrible endings for us along the journey. They’re just waiting to derail us around the next bend. Or are they?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday Review—Rumors of Water

by Lynn H Blackburn

Right after the first of the year, I suffered a painful injury.

I sliced the tip of my thumb. 


I won’t share the photos. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty and it seriously messed up my writing plans.
There was an upside—the injury also resulted in several weeks away from ironing, cleaning, and anything else I could use my overactive imagination to describe as “potentially painful.” Care to guess the one thing that was not off limits?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Writing Ruined my Wife—Help, I’m Hearing Voices!

More Thoughts from a Writer’s Spouse

I’m enjoying getting to know you through my wife’s blog. You’ve all made me feel welcome, and even helped me as I get to know what to expect with a writing wife.

Many of you may not know that by day I’m an engineer. I have my own business and work out of our home. Because of this, Edie and I have shared an office for almost fifteen years. Lately, I’ve noticed a new symptom that appears to have come from rooming with a writer.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Focus: Cultivating the Message Within

by Laurie Epps

You have a deadline, you have to turn something in to your boss or professor and you're running out of time. 

What do you do? How do you fight with the blankness in the recesses of your mind? You can't think.... You have no ideas, or too many ideas. Mentally you are swimming, but the deadline is there. That looming deadline is staring you in the face, and sticking it's tongue out at you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter?

Twitter and Facebook are just part of the new digital paradigm—and they’re here to stay. But deciding how to integrate them into your writing life can be tough. Today I’m going to give you a few pointers that should help.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekend Worship—A Gentle Reminder

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

The day had been just one more drop in the bucket of chaos that described my week. My email inbox overflowed, I’d missed a deadline, my dog threw up. We’d been fighting car issues, appliance issues, and just all-round insanity.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Images of Writing—The Moon

On Saturdays I will be posting an image that you are welcome to use and share. All I ask is that you give me credit for the images. 

These will be pictures and graphics that I create, and will be shareable on Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, whatever medium you wish to use.

They are also great to use for writing prompts, when you need a jumpstart for your creative engine.

Enjoy the gift!

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to ~ Carl Sandburg

Friday, February 1, 2013

Life Lessons—The Worst Mistake a Writer Can Make

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D

The worst thing a writer can do is
compare their journey to another's.
I know what you’re thinking. Reba is going to talk about head hopping or lack of conflict in the story. Those definitely could derail your efforts of getting published, but they aren’t the worst mistake a writer can make.