Thursday, December 31, 2020

A Cup of New Year’s Tea for Writers

By Kathy Neely @NeelyKneely3628

There are very few things as delightful as a tea party. Porcelain cups on delicate saucers. A decanter of loose-leaf Darjeeling. Sugar cubes and demitasse spoons. Lemon scones and clotted cream. 

When I retired a few years ago, I had a tea party for my staff. We talked about many tea words (…ty) that would serve them well in the face of change. Today, as we usher the old year out and transition to a new calendar year, many of those same words are applicable to writers. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

31 Biblical Affirmations for Writers to Begin the Year

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I'm on social media a good bit, and one of the things I'm seeing more and more of is lists of affirmations. These are things that are supposed to help us when we believe these truths about ourselves. 

The problem with most of these is that they're based in MY strength and ability. If I've learned anything this year, it's that without God, there's no making it through. 

Thankfully, I don't have to walk this life relying on my own abilities. God is with me—through the good times and the bad ones. 

So I decided to come up with my own list—specifically for writers—to help us focus on God and what He's doing in us and through us. We deal with insecurity, fear, trust, doubt, discouragement, and weariness. I've tried to include verses that pertain to all of these things. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Get Your Blog & Website Ready for the new Year

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

2021 is barreling toward us. With a difficult year behind us, and changes still to come, I find myself in a period of introspection. Actually, it’s a good thing. It gives me a chance to look back over the past year and decide what worked and what didn’t. It also gives me a push toward trying something different.

Monday, December 28, 2020

The Keeper of Dreams

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

Have you ever traced God's hand through your life? 

When I did, I found the most amazing thread. It began long before I was born. On one side of my adopted-family tree, it began with my grandparents. From New Jersey, my grandfather, who was a jeweler for Tiffany's, decided to go to Alaska and be an assayer. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Enough, My One Word for 2021

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.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Friday, December 25, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Remembered

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

As the day of Jesus’ birth draws closer, I’m reminiscing more and more. I’m not sure how accurate the memories are but they’re bringing back feelings of warmth and some head-shaking reminders as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Writer, Christmas wasn’t Created for Stress

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writer, please don’t open the unwanted Christmas gift of stress. The black paper and black bow with an attaching-grabbing tag, Open Me First will spoil your celebration. You’ll recognize the items inside:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Dipping the Quill Deeper—Sitting Alone, With God

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I sit down alone,
Only God is here;
In his presence I open,
I read his books;
And what I thus learn,
I teach. ~~ John Wesley

I recently went away for five days to study God’s Word and to write on a particular focus concerning it, all of which will assemble to be, I hope, my next work of nonfiction. For the better part of each day, I sat with four large books open—three versions of the Bible and one Bible commentary—a yellow-paged, lined legal pad, a pencil, and two pens. I’m not sure why I felt the need for two pens; I just did.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Forward Planning in Marketing and Writing

by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

We need to always think about future possibilities. In writing and getting contracts, this can mean developing an idea into a series or listening to needs around you and brainstorming ideas to full the needs. In marketing, it means building your platform continually and developing new marketing strategies. If you nurture ideas and contacts, you will move forward.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Writer’s Loss of Words

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As writers, we have an affinity for words. Whether written, or even spoken, we are most often so full of words itching to be written or shared in some way we don’t have enough time each day to get them recorded or said. 

Until we aren’t found with any words left. 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Writing From a Grieving Heart

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

That beautiful time of year is upon us. Christmas. The holiday we all love. For Christians, Christmas is more than presents, gathering with family, and traditions that go back many years. It’s the celebration of the greatest Gift—our Savior Christ the Lord. 

While the overwhelming sacredness of God’s act of love is ever before us, Christmas is also a time of remembrance of Christmas past. A time when we look back at tender moments we shared with those we love. It’s also a time of profound sadness when their seat at the table is empty. And that can affect our writing.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Value of Poetry

by Crystal Bowman

At a writers’ conference several years ago, I sat in a room with a handful of aspiring poets, eager to share the words they had collected from the depths of their souls. As I facilitated this critique group, I was impressed with the variety of themes the poets presented. Some of the poems were serious and metaphoric, while others were inspiring or humorous. Though the poems varied, the poets all had one thing in common—they wanted to make their poetry available to readers. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Writer’s Shield of Faith

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

The door creaked, and another ounce of hope leaked from my heart.

“I’ll never get this done. Too much editing. I’m so tired.”

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

4 Ways to Support Your Writing Friends

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

As this year draws to a close, I find myself so incredibly grateful for how my fellow writers have come alongside me during tumultuous times – to comfort, encourage, and challenge. 

I hope you are part of a community of fellow writers – people who quite literally know what your life is like. No matter where each of us is on this writing journey, we have something to offer, and we are also in dire need of what others have to give us as well.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Speaking Opportunities for Authors in December

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

Speaking opportunities for authors abound in December. You may raise your brows in disbelief. After all, live events are minimal with strict policies for masks, social distancing, and sanitizing measures. Let’s look at the reasons why you can still speak in December.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Christmas Silence

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

The message disturbed her.

Had her eyes deceived her, or had an angel just told her she would birth the long-awaited Messiah? But wait! She wasn’t married, although she did have a fiancé. She shivered at the thought of the ridicule and possible religious consequences ahead. How would it look when her pregnancy became obvious to others? What would they say? Would she have to leave town? The questions competed with her other thoughts.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Finding Hope When Our Expectations are Disrupted

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

We’re all adjusting our expectations for Christmas this year, aren’t we? 

With an ongoing pandemic, we’ll experience a “socially distant” holiday season, whatever that looks like in our states, our towns, our homes.

Friday, December 11, 2020

For Writers Trudging Through the Woods

by Joshua Master @JoshuaJMasters

My greatest Christmas memory came when I was12 years old. I can’t tell you what I got for presents that year. I don’t remember what we had for Christmas dinner or what ornaments we put on the tree. The reason that specific Christmas means so much to me is that I regard it as our first genuine family Christmas. Because that twelfth year was the one I met the man I call “Dad.” 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The 12 Ways of Christmas to Gift an Author

by Julie Lavender @JLavenderWrites

Want to be a not-so-secret Santa for fellow writer friends? Here’s 12 Ways of Christmas to gift an author. Pick a friend (or more than one friend) with a recent release and give one or more of the gifts below. Or, pick a dozen author friends and share one gift with each author. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Follow the "Writing" Recipe

by Linda Gilden @lindagilden


“Yum! This is the best turkey ever.”

“Oh, my goodness. This is delicious.”

I agreed the turkey was exceptionally good this year. But what was the difference in this one and all the other turkeys we had eaten for holidays and birthdays?

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tips for Presenting Your Best Work as a Writer

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

There is no perfect work. Regardless of the number of eyes on a manuscript, someone will miss something. For example, my first novel went through edits, and three – count them – three proofers. and still, a conferee came up to me at a conference where my editor and I were talking and pointed out that my one-armed man was clapping his hands. 

Though we got a big laugh out of the mistake, it was still frustrating knowing we’d worked so hard to catch all the little details. Begin right now, to give yourself and your editors grace. There is no perfect manuscript.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Joseph, The Grace Giver

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” …When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus (Matthew 1:18-21, 24).

Joseph, the husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus, was a grace-giver.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

It’s Not About What We Don’t Have

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

This time of year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, is my favorite season. Everyone just seems to be a little nicer to each other. The food, the music, the parties. The hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts. Christmas decorations, toy drives. Hearing ‘Merry Christmas’ shouted on the street, Christmas movies, chocolate. Families, churches and communities coming together, and—


Friday, December 4, 2020

Hope in the Warm Fuzzies for Writers

by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless

Happy December, world! ‘Tis the season for spiced cider and sparkly lights and jingle bells and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. At least, that’s been the tradition every year for my lifetime, but this is 2020. And everything is different. 

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.