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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Holiday Conflict in the Stories We Write

by DiAnn Mills

Adding a twist to a story’s setting gives it a psychological zip. Holidays are no exception. As your characters enter the season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, place them in scenes where they are caught off guard—where they believe their mental, emotional, and physical world is safe until they are hit with conflict from unexpected places. What about a holiday is unpleasant for your character? What does the character appreciate about the holiday that hits him/ her blindside?

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Reasons I Might be Struggling as a Writer

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Choosing to be a writer can be a daunting prospect. It involves courage, creativity, and yes, commitment. When we’re unwilling to make that commitment, we can doom ourselves to failure before we’ve had a chance to succeed. 

This post isn’t meant to beat anyone up, but rather to make us aware of some of the things that could be holding us back on our writing journey.

Monday, November 23, 2020

What to do When a Writer Gets Stuck

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

I read a post I'd written for TWC in February 2019 about letting go. I had the location. I had the story. But the setting had a strange effect on my writing. The tale turned into something I don’t write—dark fiction. I write uplifting stories. I write about friendships. And I write with humor-colored glasses. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

What Am I Really Afraid of as a Writer?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, 
turning people away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27

We writers are a fearful lot.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Writing Truth in a Secular Society

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

“What is truth?” Pilate posed this question to Jesus after hearing His proclamation of His divinity. Rather than wait for an answer, Pilate turned from the Lord of the universe and walked away, deciding to come to his own conclusion.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Those Pesky Little Pronouns

by Crystal Bowman

Some of the shortest words in the English language can be as annoying as a mosquito in your bedroom when you’re trying to fall asleep. I’m talking about pronouns. They do not add creativity or emotion to your writing. They do not enhance the suspense of a plot. They simply give us an alternative to using a person’s name too many times. At first, they seem pretty innocent. But when you begin using them in your stories, they can mess with you. To cover the entire spectrum of pronouns would take numerous blog posts, so let’s just look at a few that tend to trip up writers. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Improve Your Website’s Domain Authority

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Domain authority is a scoring system to determine how high your website ranks on search engines like Google. The higher the domain authority, the more likely you can obtain paid sponsors for your website. These paid sponsors could be in the form of ads or keywords added to blog posts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Stepping Stones of Our Writing

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Clunk, clunk, clunk. 

I hopped to each stepping stone and landed with a thud. This would be fun if I were five years old. The stones I had spaced were so far apart that crossing the yard felt awkward. Sometimes I had to leap. How unnatural. What was I thinking?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Writing to Felt Needs

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

What are your readers feeling these days – anxiety, fear, anger, confusion, despair, anticipation, celebration, emptiness, loneliness, and weariness? Our souls are full of emotions and needs, longing for someone to reach out in encouragement with answers, or at least something to point us in the right direction.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Holiday Marketing for Authors

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Tis’ the season for promoting books as gifts! Ideas of what to do abound, so consider the options and start planning and implementing holiday promotions.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A Writer’s Accolade of One

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I finally entered a contest I finaled in. And the crowd roared, well, the crowd of one—and maybe my biggest fan—my hubby. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Choosing to be Grateful in the Face of Uncertainty

by Beth K. Vogt

COVID-19 continues to affect so many different aspects of both our writing and our real lives. The pandemic also has placed a huge question mark on the upcoming holiday season.

Friday, November 13, 2020


by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

Christian writers feel called to take part in the creative nature of God, emulating the greatest author in (or outside) history by changing the lives of others with words. 

But God writes more than words. In fact, Scripture says you are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He’s authoring your life story, skillfully weaving a chronicle of hope, purpose, and transformation.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

What’s on your table for a Thanksgiving launch?

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

The month of November is a great time to celebrate the launch or recent launch of a book, because November encourages hearts and minds to be grateful for every small blessing and all those monumental ones, too. And what could be more monumental than launching a much-awaited book? 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Tips for the Shy Author-Marketer

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Many writers feel that once they put the last period on their manuscripts their jobs are finished. All they have to do is email it to the publisher. 

But that is not quite the case. If you have written a book lately, you know that one of the sections on your proposal included how you were going to help market your book. Market your book? Isn’t that part of what the publisher does?

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

How a Writer Overcomes Discouragement

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

There’s not an author around who hasn’t experienced it. Not one. From the most prolific writer to the newest beginner. Every single one has fought discouragement on some level—be it a critique partner/group, a paid critiquer, or a bad article/book review. None of us are immune.

Monday, November 9, 2020

A Different Kind of Birthday Month

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

My Plans for 2020

A year ago, I planned my birthday month for 2020. My birthday was October 30. I would fly to Myrtle Beach and attend Shari Braendel’s Fashion Meets Faith Beauty Camp October 15-16. My plans at the camp included appointments to get my hair styled and eyebrows shaped. I would also go to the mall and find a new outfit. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Take a Slow Ride

by Martin Wile @LinesFrom God

Rarely did the speedometer register over twenty-five miles per hour in any old pickup he drove.

As long as I knew him, my maternal grandfather—Pappy we called him—never got in a hurry. He didn’t have to punch a time clock—he was a farmer. But he did have somewhat of a schedule. He got up at five every morning, dressed, drank a cup of Sanka instant coffee, and went to the wrap-around porch of his old farmhouse—the house he and my grandmother had once rented, but now owned. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

5 Tips For Writing In A Crowded House

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Virginia Woolf

I think that for most writers, having a room to themselves where they can work is a dream. I have a book on my shelf with pictures and descriptions of the different places writers work. Some have beautiful views overlooking the ocean or something off a post card. Others work in a room without a window, so they won’t be distracted. Some have impeccably organized desks while others work from piles.

Friday, November 6, 2020

What I Learned When I Failed NaNoWriMo

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time last year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, it refers to National Novel Writing Month. It’s a massive writing event that happens every year in November ( and supports authors around the world in a goal to write a novel in a month.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Thoughts on Writerly Gratitude

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

November is the time of year in the U.S. when it’s become common practice to focus on what we’re grateful for. People will share gratitude posts on social media every day. Children will write down things they are thankful for on leaves that will be attached to tiny trees or made into decorative garlands that will adorn tables at Thanksgiving. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, but I think because it’s so common, it’s easy to forget how important it is. But writerly gratitude is vital to a writer's well-being.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Four Ways for a Writer to Think Like a Reader

by Sarah Sally Hamer

Why does a reader buy a book? What is it that attracts them? Of course, that's the $64,000 question that we all ask. But maybe we need to think like a reader instead of a writer. If we can create a "need" in the reader, they will be much more likely to pick up that book and lay down their money. Readers have expectations of what a book is, usually based on the cover, the title and the back-of-the-book blurb. So we use our pitch to hook the reader by accentuating the work’s POINT OF DIFFERENCE. How is our story different than all the rest of the millions of stories out there?

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

In Notes a Wise Writer Trusts

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

My first interview as a reporter, I arrived armed with a recording device and a cub’s notebook containing strategically prepared questions.

The subject of my feature story was gracious and generous with his time and information. Back at my desk, I set about writing the profile, only to discover that the recorder had fritzed. Not a single word from the hour-long conversation had been preserved.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Daniel, the Thankful Prophet

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before (Daniel 6:10).

Pray to anyone except the king, and you will be thrown to the lions.

Write for anyone except the King, and you may well be thrown to the lions also.