Friday, July 3, 2015

The Big Cs of Writing

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Tomorrow we, as a nation, celebrate the day our ancestors declared their independence from dictatorial government. The monarchy increasingly pressed for greater control over their lives until they’d had enough.

Political pressures continued until tensions reached a crisis. Colonists knew they were called to establish a new country—one that would allow its citizens to freely worship God and create a new form of government that serves the people. Like David, they faced their giant, committing themselves to sever their bonds with their oppressors. No matter what.

Recently, I found myself facing a crisis. I listened to my doctor say, “You have metastatic prostate cancer that has metastasized to your bones. We can’t cure it. All we can do is manage its growth and your pain.”

The Lord instantly blessed me with an awesome peace. Knowing I was in good hands whether I live or die kept me from plunging into depression. I did, however, begin concocting reasons I can’t finish the novel I’ve been working on for well over a year.

I’d like to be traditionally published but there’s a good chance I won’t live that long. Writing is hard enough for healthy people, now I have the added complication of being unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes before I’m racked with pain. Many publishers are looking for a long term, multi-book relationship. That’s not looking too good for me.

Hey! These were great arguments. And I had plenty more. God didn’t buy them. He reminded me that I was called to serve Him through the written word. He also reminded me that He controls when I die.

I responded by committing myself to finishing the novel, even if it’s never published. I’ll do it for the readers without regard to financial rewards or professional accolades. I’ll trust Him for the words and the results.

So why am I writing this? Because I know that if you’re reading it, you’re called to write for Him also. Whatever crisis you may or will face, remember your calling. You may not receive instant peace like I did. Don’t give up. Your voice is the only one that will reach some readers. Others may come close, but your words are the exact words they need to read or hear. Never lose sight of that.

Armed with your new resolve, commit yourself to finishing what you started. Instead of looking for reasons not to write, visualize your audience and press on. Do as much as you can whenever you can. Forget about whether you’ll get published or if anyone will like it. If you never make a dime and only reach one person, so what? Stay true to your calling and follow through. It will greatly improve your outlook on life and your situation.


So what crisis are you facing? How are you handling it? Let’s keep this conversation going.

TWEETABLE

Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, www.ChristianDevotions.us, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

One Writing Book Every Writer Needs, Super Structure

by Lynn Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

Every time I see a book on “structure” or “story” I find myself bracing for the inevitable battle. If you’ve hung around with writers for long you know why, don’t you?

Someone is about to get in an argument about THE way to write. In my mind, I see a group of literary protesters. “Structure Leads to Perfect Stories!” shouts one side. “Structure Leads to Predictable Stories!” counters the other.

I see myself standing in the middle of the crowd singing, “LET IT GO!”

Don’t get me wrong. If someone has figured out how they write, I want them to tell me how they do it. I really do.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Calendar Days—July’s Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions—Idea Starters for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. These are just fun to read. They’re also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also a fun writing prompt idea. 

In addition, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, especially when two contrasting holidays fall on the same date. Here are some that tickled my funny bone this month:

July 7 is Tell the Truth Day and Global Forgiveness Day, I guess we can ask forgiveness for the telling the truth on the same day.  July 11 is World Population Day and Cheer Up the Lonely Day – have anyone looked at how many people are on this earth? July 20 is Get out of the Doghouse Day is the same day as Ugly Truck Day, hmmm I think I see the connection.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

While My Soldier Serves—Book Signing and a Chance to Win

I rarely use this blog for any kind of direct promotion. I want to make sure that almost all the things I post fall under the heading of information. 

But today I'm breaking my rule and asking for your help. This Friday, July 3, I'm having a big book signing at our local Barnes and Noble. I'll be signing copies of While My Soldier Serves.

What I need your help with is sharing the information on social media. Below is a graphic you can share on Facebook.


If you're in the Greenville, South Carolina area, I'd love for you to join me! But if you're not, don't despair, I'm including you in the fun. To all those who comment, telling me they shared this on social media, I'll add you to a drawing. 

I'm giving away a $15 Barnes and Noble e-giftcard, and 2 Patriotic reusable shopping bags. So there will be 3 winners in all.

Be sure to share this info through your social media and leave a comment saying you did. You don't have to leave a link or anything, we work on the honor system here!

Thanks & Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLE
Honor those who serve by supporting their families - Share & be entered to win (Click to Tweet)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Social Media Basics for Writers, Part V—Dealing with Facebook Spam

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

This past week the unthinkable happened. I was tagged in a horribly, sexually explicit Facebook post. I wasn’t the one who discovered the post, either. It was my good friend, Angie Arndt. She saw the post, with my name attached, and was a good enough friend to contact me and let me know.

Let me say right now, bringing a post like that to someone’s attention is difficulty and the most loving thing you can do. Please do not ever hesitate to let someone know if they’ve been tagged in an inappropriate post.  After Angie contacted me, even as social media savvy as I am, I did the same thing most of you would have done, I panicked.

I immediately did the wrong things, in the wrong order, and then spent the next hour undoing them, and doing the right things.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

We’re Lamenting the Wrong Things & Asking the Wrong Questions

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Psalm 119:136

Everywhere I turn I see believers crying out against recent legislature. And while I do have personal opinions about events of these days—what I’m truly mourning is the fact that we’re no longer looking to God for morality, but to man.

I don’t believe it’s possible to legislate morality.

Don’t misunderstand me, we need to have laws and penalties for lawbreakers. But those fall under the headings of consequences and deterrents.

Each of us carries a foundational idea of right and wrong. It’s something that God has instilled within us.

You see, our conscience comes from God. It was created within us when we were formed in the womb. If we were just products of Darwin’s theory, then our conscience would be weighted with a foundation of kill or be killed—survival of the fittest. Instead, we have a different foundation.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at our laws. Take a look at our day-to-day interactions. We don’t reward bullies and those who look out only for themselves. Our belief system reflects something more than that. It reflects God.

We can stifle our conscience by ignoring it, and trying to re-educate it. But it’s still there, and when we once again turn our ear to that pure voice, it will spring back to life.

In these days, we each need to turn back—to look to God to dictate what is right and what is wrong. First as individuals, then as a country. When we make God our priority, then the other things will fall into place. We’ll interact with one another in love.

No, I’m not suggesting some type of hippy nirvana filled with a false sense of anything goes. Or that God-is-Love, watered down message.

I mean real love.

The hard kind.

The kind that calls for
  • Loving our enemies.
  • Forgiving those who wrong us.
  • Holding one another accountable.
  • Turning the other cheek.
  • Standing up for what is right, whether it’s the law or not.

When we look to God for the answers, we’ll find unity.

Not uniformity, never that. God created each of us unique and special. But He gave us traits in common—with Him—and with each other.

So today, I’m praying for our country. And I’m not praying small. I’m not focusing on individual sins. I’m first praying about my own short comings and asking for forgiveness and a renewed sense of right and wrong. I want God to clean out the junk and put me back on a track to be more like Him. Then I’m asking God to reclaim this country as His—with His definition of right and wrong.

Can one person make a difference?

Maybe not at first.

But for a difference to be made, we must all begin alone, in a one-on-one conversation with God. Then, when all those individuals come together and return to God, absolutely.

Will you join me?

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Strength in the Storm

One thing I've learned over the years is this. The greatest growth of my faith takes place during the darkest storms. How about you?

"If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities
where our faith may be tried and strengthened." -George Mueller





Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

I also invite you to use this image any way you like online. Post it to your blog, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere you'd like. All I ask is that you keep it intact, with my website watermark visible.

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie