Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Write a Freelance CV

A CV, or curriculum vitae is a necessary part of any freelancer’s arsenal. What exactly is a CV? It’s essentially a modern writer’s resume. It differs slightly in that it has a short introduction and includes relevant training that enhances your experience. It also doesn’t necessarily include references.

Here are the steps to make your CV top notch. 
  1. Contact information. Include your name, physical address (it can be a PO box) phone number, email and your website
  2. Objective. This will change according to what assignment you are specifically applying for. For example, I would have a different objective for a health writing assignment as opposed to a financial writing assignment.
  3. Writing/Editing Experience. Here I would highlight some of my assignments and include URL’s when possible. As you gain experience this will be a partial list.
  4. Employment History. Include this section only if relevant to the assignment you’re seeking – or if someone has employed you as a writer.
  5. Education. Include this section if it’s a positive to your application. What I mean is if you don’t have a college degree, but have tons of experience, don’t highlight the information that you don’t have a degree, just skip this altogether. I don’t have a college degree so I just don’t mention education.
  6. Professional Training. I have attended years worth of conferences, workshops and classes so I include that here.
  7. Professional Organizations. Include any relevant organizations you’re a current member of.

The biggest thing to remember about writing a CV is to make it relevant. If you’re applying to write blog articles for a dog grooming site, then include your job history as a dog groomer — otherwise leave it out.

Here is my CV so you can see how it plays out in real life.

Edie Melson 604 S Almond Dr • Simpsonville, SC 29681 • 864-360-5003 • emelson@charter.net
Objective
As an experienced freelance writer and blogger, I’ve written content for numerous blogs and websites, including CBN.com, TheWriteConversation.blogspot.com and Woman’sDay.com. I’m familiar with SEO and keyword formatting and available for quick turn around and tight deadlines.

Writing Credits
In 2010 I published over 700 articles in print and on the Internet. Publications include Focus on the Family, Crosswalk.com, CBN.com, Centered Magazine and ChristianDevotions.us. I’ve also written for numerous business clients, adding copy to everything from websites to brochures. (Comprehensive list available upon request)

Editing Experience
2007-present                                        Independent Freelance Editor
May 2010-present                               Assistant proofer for 
                                                                My Book Therapy Voice E-zine
March 2009-2010                               Editor ACFW SE Zone 
                                                                newsletter - www.acfw.com                                                                 
April 2009-March 2010                     Managing Editor 
                                                                Centered Magazine
                                                                www.centeredmag.com
March 2010-present                           Assistant Proofer/editor Voices
                                                                E-zine an affiliated  publication
                                                                of My Book Therapy
May 2010-present                               Book Doctor on 
                                                                thebookdoctorbd.blogspot.com

Experience
2010-present                                      Assistant Director of the Blue 
                                                             Ridge Christian Writers 
                                                             Conference and Southwest 
                                                             Christian Writers Studio
Responsible for all social networking as well as assisting in all areas necessary to providing an event of this size.                                   
2010                                                    Southwest Christian 
                                                           Writers Studio
One of eight faculty members presenting a continuing education class and mentoring students in the freelance writing/devotion track.
2010                                                    Blue Ridge Mountain 
                                                           Christian Writers 
                                                           Conference
Presented one continuing education class (4 sessions) and two additional workshops at this 4 day conference.
2010                                                    Foothills Writers 
                                                           Guild Conference
Keynote and taught three workshops at this two-day conference.
2002-present                                      The Christian Writer’s
                                                          Den Writing Retreat
Co-director/Instructor, responsible for planning and executing an annual 4 day retreat.

Professional Training
Glorieta Christian Writer’s Conference –             1999, 2004-2005
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian
 Writer’s Conference –                                           2000-present  
Christian Writer’s Den Writer’s Retreat
 – co-director – Teacher                                         2002-present  
CLASServices Conference                                     2003
American Christian Fiction Writers Conference    2009-2010

Professional Memberships and Organizations
American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)
The Christina Pen Professional Editors Network
The Christian Writers View I (TWV I)
My Book Therapy

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Worship — Preparation

Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. II Corinthians 8:14

“That makes no sense at all.” The lady sitting next to me broke through the drone of the stewardesses instruction monologue.

When I looked up to see what set her off I saw the oxygen mask dangling from the stewardess’s hand.

“If I was traveling with a child or someone who needed help I’d put their mask on first.”

I smiled again and returned to my magazine, but my thoughts were on the instructions and possible scenarios. At first thought, my seat mate’s opinion seemed unselfish and even vaguely Christ-like. But the longer I considered the instructions the more I began to see how that wisdom was rooted in truth — spiritual truth.

It is not possible to share something I don’t possess.

I had to ask myself about my priorities. There I was, representing Jesus as a Christian writer, yet not spending consistent, daily time with God. Ouch. So my challenge to you is the same as me that day—make Christ your priority and then hold on and watch what He can accomplish through you.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clash of the Titles Conquerors!

Delia Latham
They say every novel reveals a bit of their author, and that is certainly the case with Clash of the Titles’ Conqueror, Delia Latham’s Destiny’s Dream. Although Delia has never ran a Christian dating service, giggled at a funeral, or finagled a coffee shop date with the handsome man she met during the eulogy, she and her heroine, Destiny May, share a passion for prayer and a love for Christ.
Delia competed in our Best Conversion Scene category, which many assume would come easily for Christian authors, but in actuality, it is very difficult to weave authentic faith issues into a novel. Authors typical swing from one side of the pendulum to the other: Either their stories are filled with long-winded sermons or they’re “clean” novels that mention Christianity in passing. To write a believable and impacting conversion scene, you need to understand the human heart and our deep longing for the things of Christ. Then, you need to let the scene and your characters’ actions and reactions speak for themselves. 
As authors, it can be very tempting to tell our readers how our characters feel, but doing so actually gets in the way. Basically, when we tell, we negate what we’re telling, if that makes sense.
Here’s an example of Delia’s scene flipped—telling instead of showing:
As Pastor Paul Porter extended an altar invitation, Destiny worried. She wanted Clay to go forward. He appeared anxious, perhaps even convicted. It was almost like he wanted to go forward. An old hymn that told of Christ’s love and tenderness, played.
Miss Willard was consistent in her preference for the old hymns.

Right now, Destiny had no objection.

She wanted to reassure Clay, and perhaps even encourage him to step forward, so she laid a gentle hand over his. He was tense, and deeply moved. Without a word, he nodded, and they stood. Destiny walked with him toward the front of the church, overjoyed that he had taken the final step of faith.
Now read the real scene, taken from Destiny’s Dream. Notice the increased emotional intensity in the following passage:
As Pastor Paul Porter extended an altar invitation, Destiny sneaked a peek at Clay’s face. His hands had been fisted into white-knuckled balls for the past twenty minutes. Now a muscle worked in the strong line of his jaw as the familiar, sweet notes of “Softly and Tenderly” played in the background.
Miss Willard was consistent in her preference for the old hymns.

Right now, Destiny had no objection.

She laid a gentle hand over one of Clay’s hard fists. He opened his eyes and slanted a misty look her way even as he unfurled his fingers to wrap them around hers. Without a word, he nodded, and they stood. Destiny walked with him toward the front of the church, joyous tears dimming her vision.
This is a perfect example of “show not tell”.  Delia didn’t tell us Clay struggled, she showed us through his body motions. Clay’s entire body tensed as his inner battle raged. His hands clenched in white knuckled fists, the muscles in his jaw tightened and his eyes grew moist. Until…the battle is over and faith wins.
Having read both, which is more intense? Often it is our fear that the reader will somehow “miss” it that motivates us to oversell things, but in reality, our telling works against us. A good rule of thumb: avoid adjectives like the plague. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but any time you’re tempted to tell an emotion, use body language instead.
Last Thursday April Gardner, Clash of the Titles Senior Editor, gave some excellent tips on how to use “action tags” to intensify dialogue. Expanding on some of her examples, I’ve developed the following to help you intensify your scenes by making your readers feel what your characters are feeling:
  1. Determine the emotion you are trying to describe. (This is a no brainer, but it leads us into step two, so…) But seriously take time to ask yourself, “How would I be feeling right now?” Often a slew of emotions are involved, as you noticed in Delia’s scene. Clay was tense and teary. Destiny was nervous and encouraged.
  2. Spend a moment recalling a time when you felt that emotion. Jot down all the physiological responses that occurred. For example, when I’m frightened, my legs feel prickly, as if a bolt of electricity shot through them. When I’m happy, I feel giggle and energized. When I’m sad, I feel physically fatigued and might even get a head-ache. When I’m stressed, my muscles tense, my heart rate increases, and my jaw tightens.
  3. Spend some time researching that emotion. What happens when we are afraid physiologically? Our body releases adrenaline which causes our blood vessels to expand, our heart rate to increase and our pupils to dilate.
  4. Spend time remembering the physical appearance of people who have experienced the emotion you are trying to describe. If necessary, watch movies and television and jot down what you see. Do they lift their chin and square their shoulders? Do they fidget? Do their eyes shift back and forth rapidly? Try to go beyond the easy, frequently used, “She frowned.”
  5. Another, duh, but once you've got your list of physiological responses and descriptions, weave them into your scene.

The result will be intense, authentic scenes that grip your reader to their very core, enabling them to see themselves—their fears, their hopes, their struggles—in your characters. Then the truth presented in the scene will cement deep in their heart, because you are no longer talking to your hero or heroine, but instead, to the reader.
Next week Delia will share a bit more on her Clash of the Titles winning novel, her journey to publication and how her relationship with God affects her writing.
Jennifer Slattery is the marketing representative for the literary website Clash of the Titles. She is also a freelance writer, novelist and columnist. Visit Clash of the Titles to find out more about this fun, author friendly, reader-driven website. Visit Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about Jennifer Slattery.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeling Emotional—Don’t Tell Anyone!

instead show them

Telling the story, instead of showing it, is one of the most common mistakes beginners make. During the first draft almost all of us, no matter how advanced, tend to tell a lot of the story. It’s only natural. This is the time when our manuscript comes together and telling allows us to develop the bones or structure of the story before we refine it into a compelling work of fiction. But beginners often stop the refining process too early. So how do we take a story from just bare bones? One of the best ways is to add depth by showing how our characters feel without naming the emotions.

Now, I know a lot of you are probably having the same reaction I did when I first heard it wasn’t a good idea to name an emotion. I had a rather loud conversation with the writing book that first shared this nugget of information.

“You have got to be kidding me! Who made up this stupid rule? How can I tell the reader what’s going on if I don’t use words like scared or angry?”

And there is the crux of the problem—beginning writers always default back to telling the story. Writing fiction is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a book and write it well. You already know this—after all that’s why you’re taking the time to read and study about how to improve.

Like I mentioned, I didn’t have a positive reaction to my first exposure to this convention. But now it’s an aspect of rewriting that I enjoy and even look forward to. I look on this as a challenge—a game of sorts. The best part of this game is that when I, the author wins, everybody else does too. Am I nuts? Absolutely, but I am, after all, a writer!

Let me give you some examples. I’ll start each out with an excerpt where name the emotion. Then, in the second, I'll let you see how I changed it to let the reader name the emotion by interpreting the character’s actions.

Example 1
Emotions Named:
She began to cry as shame and anger warred inside. “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Her voice sounded hoarse as she tried to control her frustration.

Emotions Implied:
Tears flooded her eyes, making his features blur as she lifted her head and tried to focus. “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Her voice came out like a croak and she tried to clear her throat, but choked on the unshed tears.

The first excerpt tells the reader what’s going on. Granted, the writing is clear, but we’ve all heard the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words. The second excerpt is that picture. It invites the reader into the action and leaves them to draw their own conclusions.

Here’s another one.

Example 2
Emotions Named:
Manaen rose, her anger giving her strength as she faced her brother. “Do not think to intimidate me.” His arrogance amazed her even as it infuriated her. “I am not a child to be bullied. My Lord’s Spirit speaks to me as clearly as to you.”

Emotions Implied:
Manaen rose in response, her eyes almost even with his as she drew herself up to her full height, oblivious of her feminine garment. “Do not think to intimidate me.” Her jaw worked as she gritted her teeth. “I am not a child to be bullied. My Lord’s Spirit speaks to me as clearly as to you.”

And a final one.

Example 3
Emotions Named:
Rage sent Josiah shooting to his feet. “I tell you, Manaen, I’ve never witnessed any Elder behave in this manner.” Josiah paced, feeling like his world was collapsing. Confusion made him restless. “I just don’t understand.”

Emotions Implied:
He shot up from the desk, upsetting the chair. “I tell you, Manaen, I’ve never witnessed any Elder behave in this manner.” Josiah prowled through the briefing area of their quarters, picking things up and setting them down again. “I just don’t understand.”

Now it’s your turn. Take one of these two sentences and show us the emotion in place of naming it.

Example 1
Susan’s agony flooded through her as sorrow mingled with guilt. “What have I done?”

Example 2
“Hello? Who’s there?” Jenny’s fear reached a crescendo as the footsteps above moved toward the stairs.

I can't wait to see what you come up with - so
Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday Review—Booklife, Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer

Today I'd like to welcome back regular guest blogger, Renee' Cassidy. She's found a new writing book to love and I just can't wait to share it with you.


Booklife, Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer,

I couldn’t put this book down until every page was flipped!
This complete eco-system for authors brilliantly guides the reader through both the public and private lives of an author. A rare find, Booklife is an easy first time read and reference all in one.
 
The book is divided into two main parts—the private and public life.

Public Life
In this section structure and technology is unraveled into a clear concise manner. From goal setting to creating your platform, the how-to as well as the pros and cons about the myriad avenues for creating a public presence are made simple. Effective ways to get involved and manage that public life are also suggested.

The communications chapter is an indispensible read, providing everything from public relations and tools, to long term maintenance of your life as an author. The public relations opportunities and aspects were followed by even greater information. Long term insights were outlined in chapter three and provide the reader with marketing in terms of branding and perception. Positive survival skills are suggested at the end this book’s section.

The Gut-check
This section was a beautiful segue-way from the public to the private way of life. It challenges the reader to search for balance between hectic public demands and the quiet demands of creativity. The sounds of white and dark noise are highlighted in this section and suggestions for effective ways to manage multitasking skills are suggested,

Private Life
Back to basics
This section sums up the second part of Booklife, the private life. It is the summation of a writer’s education—from classes and conferences to writing books.  How to live your writer’s life effectively start with inspiration, mastery of the craft and ways to manage distraction.  How to retest your work and resources are available in this section. There were insightful tips within this section on how to schedule your time to handling rejection.  My favorite part of this section deals with the Permission to fail with a WOW factor line that hit home to me.

“ to be great, we must attempt so much that we not only are in danger of forever failing, but we do fail,  and in that failure create something greater than if we had set our sights lower." 

This book is for every writer who dares to build a successful career and covers every imaginable topic in a writer’s life from creating the project to promotions. It is a brilliant 300+ page navigation system that leads a writer through all of the faucets of a successful career of being an author-not just a writer. Jeff Vandermeer covers each topic in reader friendly language. He has the ability to organize his explanations in a way that helps the writer embrace technology—while keeping the basics of a writer’s craft.

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

Renee Cassidy is an experienced freelance writer and photographer. In 2006 she won the Writer's Digest Short Story Contest and has gone on to write for multiple publications. With a degree in marketing she brings her varied experience to the benefit of her clients.
She has two grown children and currently lives with the two men in her life - Fritz, her German Shephered and Australian Cash, her quarter horse.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clash of the Titles Conquerors!

Clare Revell's Journey to Publication
by Jennifer Slattery

Last week Clare Revell, author of Season For Miracles, challenged us to see every aspect of our writing, even writer’s block, as an extension of our relationship with God. The idea that perhaps God uses a blank computer screen to draw us closer to Him is certainly thought provoking. And yet, it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately for me, I tend to draw closest to God during times of trial. Similarly, my celebration on top of the mountain is always greater when the climb was particularly treacherous.

Clare might breeze through stories now, but that does not mean she didn’t encounter a few discouraging boulders along the way. God has been working in her and her writing since she was a young child.

“[I have been writing] since I was seven. I was always doing it—still am,” she said. “We’d go on holiday to Scotland or France and I’d sit scribbling away during the picnic lunches.”

But publication didn’t come easy. It took years. “I finished my first draft of my original story when I was fourteen,” she said. “That’s still on my computer doing nothing.”

Okay, wait a minute. How old are you?

“No, computers weren’t around when I was fourteen. Well, room sized ones were, but when I got my own PC, I spent ours rewriting and typing it up.”

Why is it so hard for authors to toss out that first story? Likely because of the personal growth experienced between page one and 310. The tears shed when the computer crashed for the tenth time and our most eloquent words vanished into cyberspace forever. The hours of frustration fighting for words that refused to come. The pages and pages of research notes that were never used. Clare’s first novel never did make it print, but she didn’t let that stop her. Over the years, she honed her craft, persevered, and drew closer to God, knowing He would fulfill the plans He had for her.

I love this quote from Dale Carnegie, “Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” I’ve often wondered how many people gave up one step, one submission, one draft before publication. Sadly, we will never know. And neither will they.

If you are halfway up the mountain and having trouble seeing the glimmer of sunshine peeking just over the rock-covered horizon, here’s Clare’s advice to you:

“Don’t give up…I write because something compels me to,” she said. “Because I want to honor God in what I write. And don’t let others tell you how or what you should write.”

So basically, the secret to Clare’s success is:
  1. She draws near to God on a daily basis and gives Him full control of her writing.
  2. She perseveres regardless of the set-backs.
  3. She maintains her audience of one and does not allow the opinions of others cloud her thinking.

Jennifer Slattery is the marketing representative for the literary website Clash of the Titles. She is also a freelance writer, novelist and columnist. Visit Clash of the Titles to find out more about this fun, author friendly, reader-driven website. Visit Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about Jennifer Slattery.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Put Your Reader to Sleep

Yes, you read the title correctly. Put your reader to sleep

Okay, maybe not completely to sleep, but at least allow them to dream. What does dreaming have to do with writing? Everything. The dream I’m referring to is the fictional dream. If you’ve never heard the term before, don’t worry. I guarantee you know what I’m talking about. I think author, John Gardner says it best. 

“What counts in conventional fiction must be the vividness and continuity of the fictional dream the words set off in the reader’s mind.”

A fictional dream occurs when the world in the story you’re reading becomes more real than the physical world around you. We’ve all be there at one time or another—transported into another time or another place by an author’s well crafted words.

This experience is one that we try to create for our readers. And it’s one of the biggest differences between a good book and a great one. So how do we create this dream world? We do it by paying attention. Notice where you are right now. Are there sounds? Smells? Even if you’re not overwhelmed by your setting I bet you’re aware of it. The same thing is true for our characters. If we've written them as three dimensional people then they should notice and be affected by what's around them. However, if we neglect those details, we deny our readers the chance to be transported.

Even more important than what we do to put our readers to sleep is what we DON’T do. I think writers are far more often guilty of waking a reader up. We, as the author, have an obligation to not jolt our readers out of their fictional dream world. So what are some things we do that interrupt pleasant dreams?
  • Bad Grammar—I’m not talking about a missed comma or two. I’m referring to sentence structure that’s difficult to read, modifiers that modify the wrong thing or even complicated punctuation. All of these things can cause a reader to stop and ponder what you’re trying to say. Once they stop you’ve lost them, they’re awake.
  • Confusing Dialogue—This can include things like long sections of dialogue with no speaker tags or beats. If the reader has to go back and figure out who’s speaking it means you’ve either not put in enough tags or your characters don’t have unique enough voices to be identified. One word of caution, overuse of ‘said’ instead of interspersing with speaker beats can be just as jarring.
  • Creative Speaker Tags—Anytime you use a speaker tag other than said or maybe asked you run the risk of making your reader stop. The word said is so common place in literature that it’s almost invisible. The reader skims lightly over it, uninterrupted. If, on the other hand, you pull out your thesaurus and try to find other words to use in its place you end up with jarring prose that tells the story through speaker tags instead of dialogue.
  • Characters who don’t act right—I’m not referring to moral actions. We’ve all read stories where a character does something and we find ourselves shaking our heads. Know your characters well enough to keep them from acting out of character.
  • Overwriting a dialect—I’m not against allowing your character to speak with an accent or in a dialect, but be careful how you do it. When the character is first introduced you can use a heavier hand with the spellings that denote dialect, such as learnin’ instead of learning. But after the reader gets to know the character they can hear the character speaking in their head and you don’t have to use spelling to convey their voice. In fact, if the reader has to work too hard to decipher your intent they will never even make it into the fictional dream.
  • Head Hopping—This is when you switch POV (point of view) from one character to another without a good reason. The rule of thumb is that each scene should have a single POV character and that should be the character with the most at stake.
The storyteller who can invite the reader into his world and make him believe it's real has captured the essence of what it means to be a great writer.

Now it's your turn. Have you ever read a book where you were jolted out of your fictional dream? What about one where you were transported to another world by an amazing author? Share your experiences and we'll compare notes!

And, don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Worship—An Uncomfortable Situation

“What do you find hardest about being a writer?”

Situations like this, was the answer on the tip of my tongue. 

Fortunately I had prayed for God to put a guard over my tongue and I managed to stammer out a less revealing answer.

What situation? It was an interview with me as the focus instead of me as the interviewer. You see, I’m a background sort of girl and any kind of attention makes me desperately uncomfortable. And, in my mind, I’ve always thought that was the way it should be. After all, I’m only where I am because of God’s blessings—not anything I’ve done. So situations that bring attention to me seem to be diametrically opposed to bringing glory to God.

Today, I was told differently.

Who dared to argue with my supposed biblical point of view? Nobody very important—just GOD!

Here’s the verse that stopped me in my tracks.
They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. 
Revelations 12:11

There it is, one powerful word—TESTIMONY—that little word is causing me a death of sorts. The death of my quiet, comfortable, life-in-the-shadows life. You see, my testimony is what God has done in my life. And God wants to use that to defeat the enemy.

Uh, have you ever tried to share a personal testimony without talking about yourself? Don’t bother trying—trust me, it’s just not possible.

So what am I going to do with this information? The only thing I can do—try to be obedient—no matter how uncomfortable it makes me. Because the one thing I do know is that this life isn’t about me.

Blessings,
Edie 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Clash of the Titles Conquerors!

Clash of the Titles Conquerors
by Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery is the marketing representative for the literary website Clash of the Titles. She is also a freelance writer, novelist and columnist. Visit Clash of the Titles to find out more about this fun, author friendly, reader-driven website. Visit Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about Jennifer Slattery

Meet Author Clare Revell
Some authors live, eat and sleep in their stories, pounding out words faster than a newspaper reel-fed printer. Clash of the Titles conqueror Clare Revell, author of Season for Miracles, is that kind of author. From start to finish, it took just over three weeks for her to complete her first draft. The second draft was finished in two. All total, it took six weeks from first word to final draft for Season for Miracles to bloom.

“Writing is something I've always done,” Clare said. “Right from when I was seven. It started with rewriting fairy tales, to fan fiction to putting my own characters in fan fiction, to finally writing my own original stuff.”

For those of us who eek out a couple thousand words per day as we juggle work and family demands with our passion for words, this might sound discouraging, but perhaps Clare’s success lies in her method. When discouragement hits, she quits…for the day.

“I tend to stop writing,” she said. “At least for a while. The muse packs his bags and leaves. So I read or clean the house.” But that doesn’t mean she’s not frustrated.  “[I] even ask ‘Why? I thought this was what you wanted me to do? Isn't this meant to be my gift?’ But writing is such a part of me, that I can't stop for long. The characters bug me until I pick up the pencil and start again. I guess the answer to 'Why' is that God doesn't want Big Headed Authors working for Him.”

Wow, that’s a profound statement. Can writer’s block actually be a God-send? A gracious, loving gift provided to draw us to something even better than that perfectly crafted novel or a multi-book contract? What could be more intriguing, more impacting, more enduring, than the story crafted by God Himself, and whispered softly in your ear…once you’ve come to the end of yourself?

Clare reminds us that God is sovereign, in the good and bad, in moments of rapid-fire creativity and heart-shriveling brain-block. This is the message she hopes her readers will take away from Season for Miracles. “[I want] readers to know that no matter what happens in life - serial killers, losing loved ones - God is right there alongside us. All we have to do is turn to Him and let Him help.”

In Clare’s excerpt, she focused on the hope of Christmas, evoking a sense of anticipation in one simple act: that of making a wish.

* *
Holly shoved her hands into her pockets. "The tree's beautiful. It puts mine to shame."

Kyle raised an eyebrow. "I think your tree is awesome."
"Uh huh. Not compared with this."

"Compared to mine it is."

"That's because you don't have one."

He hesitated for a moment then pointed a gloved finger at her, his breath hanging on the frosty air. "That'd be it."

Holly tugged her hat down over her ears. "Probably."

Kyle picked up two of the cards and offered her one. "Make a Christmas wish."

"Wishes are for children." She refused to take the card.

Kyle's brow creased. "Then I guess I'm a child." He put his card on the table and picked up a pen, refusing to let her dampen his spirit. "Come on, what's the harm?"

"It's a waste. Not like I'm going to get anything I want. I told Stacey that Santa doesn't exist so there is no point."

"Maybe not. But it's Christmas, Holly. A time for miracles." He could see her wavering and persisted. "Do it for me. Please. It will shut me up."

* *

I love how simply and seamlessly Clare revealed the hope of Christmas in that passage. We at Clash of the Titles are passionate about Christian fiction because we know every word typed draws the reader one step closer to the Divine Author, Jesus Christ.

Find out more about Clare and her writing at Clare Revell’s Corner of the Net.

Her book can be purchased Here