Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Write on (Almost) Everything

Awhile back when we were going on a road trip to visit my in-laws, I figured out a marvelous system for having access to my current writing projects no matter where I am. (Obviously if your WIP is in a notebook, you just have to grab it and go.) I thought I'd share the system I've worked out. It involves these two components... 



 And of course whatever technology I could forsee myself using to write. For me that would be my computer online or offline, my Android tablet online or offline, and someone else's computer--hubby's, my parents', my inlaws'--whoever. (You might use your phone instead of a tablet; I haven't done this because my phone is currently having a bad attitude.)

So... how does this work?

Basically, my writing projects are all saved as .txt files--a very "vanilla" file type allowing them to be easily created, viewed, and edited by any of my available technology options.

My Computer - Online
So, if I am sitting at my computer at home when I begin a new document, all I have to do is use my text editor (You'll have Notepad or Wordpad if you're on Windows, or--what is the Mac equivalent?). I create my document, and save it as a .txt file in the Dropbox folder on my computer.

There it is! The one with the handy little check mark telling me it's synced!
I can type some more, and whenever I hit "Save," it will sync those changes to my Dropbox account.

My Computer - Offline
Now... what if I'm not connected to the internet? Say my connection is down but I have work to do. Not a problem. I can still access the file here on my computer. I can work on it and save it, and then--tada! Whenever my connection is re-established, the changes will automatically be synced!

My Tablet - Online
(This option would totally work for a smartphone that doesn't have attitude problems like mine does.) I've downloaded Dropbox's free app from the Google Play store. I can access the latest, synced version of my WIP, work on it with Dropbox's built-in editor, save it/sync it, and the changes will instantly be reflected everywhere--even on the file stored on my computer back at home! 

My Tablet - Offline
Since my tablet is wi-fi only, there are plenty of times (like during road trips) when I don't have an internet connection. That's okay, because before I leave for my trip I can, from within the app, "star" the documents I will need offline access to and--voila! I will be able to work on them even without a connection. Again, next time I have a connection, changes I made while offline will automatically sync across the board! WOW!

(A quick note: If you're like me and you hate typing on a touchscreen for large amounts of text, you have a couple options. There are all sorts of cool Bluetooth keyboards out there: tiny ones, roll-up ones, fold-up ones... the important thing is to find one that is comfortable to type on. Otherwise, it's no more convenient than the touchscreen. The other thing that works well is handwriting recognition input. Some phones and tablets come with this feature. If your device does not, you can buy a handwriting recognition app called 7notes with Mazec, allowing you to write on the screen with your finger or a stylus. It will convert your handwriting to typed text. There's a little bit of a learning curve, but it's a great input method.)

Someone Else's Computer - Online only
Let's say I want to work on my WIP and the only device available to me is someone else's computer. Not a problem. All I have to do is go to and sign in/link my Dropbox account. There are all my files and a handy online editor! Hitting Ctrl-S will sync the document as will clicking the "Sync" button at the top of the page. When I'm done, I can click the menu button (looks like three bars stacked), go to "Account," and Unlink so the next person to use the computer isn't able to access my Dropbox account. (It's like signing out.)

Writebox online app. New blank document ready to go. Simple, isn't it!

(A quick note: I even like to use Writebox when I'm on my own computer because of the distraction-free, clean look. If you hit F11--or whatever the equivalent is for your computer--the window will go completely full-screen, hiding from view all the other distracting things on your browser. It's pretty handy!)

(Another quick note: Writebox has apps for iPad and iPhone as well as Chrome. I don't have experience with any of these, but they might work great for you!)

With this set up, no matter where I am, what I'm doing, or how many miles are left of our road trip, I can keep writing!

Perry is a Christian homeschool graduate who has written and published three books-- "The Heavens Declare: Five Children, Eight Planets, One God," "Light of the World," and "Pearl's Practice." She lives in beautiful Oregon with her best-friend-turned-husband and their sweet baby boy. Find her books and other writings and connect with her at her blog:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's All About the Environment

Well, no, not really. I suppose my title confused yah a bit! After all, what does protecting the environment have to do with writing?

Ah, hah! Not that sort of environment. Your writing environment. I'm not exactly into tree hugging. Moving on.

What is your writing environment like? My mom pointed out that mine is centered within laughing kiddos, barking dogs, and banging dishes. But, in general, what sort of environment do you try to create?

For me, as long as I am on my cozy bed, with my coffee/tea at my side, and headphones in with great music playing, I am happy. But there are extra steps we can take to create a good writing environment. Here are a couple I thought of:

  • Is your environment cluttered or organized? If you are like me, clutter is a major distraction. Now, you might not have time to clean up a whole lot, but there are little things you can do. Is your laptop dusty?Wipe it off. Shut that closest door. Tidy your research books, pick up the clothes off the floor.
  • Light a candle. It creates a serene setting with a beautiful scent!
  • Open a window if the season permits. A fresh breeze is delightfully refreshing and having a nice view as you glance up from your screen is even more inspiring.
  • Get comfy. Maybe you are like me and have to write spur-of-the-moment, in between piano lessons and loads of dishes. But you can get as comfortable as possible. If it's evening, pop into your pajamas.
  • Think about what stirs your creative juices. If it is chocolate and coffee, make use of it! :)
  • Do what your characters might do. Experience to the best of your ability what they might experience. Spray some perfume in the air and think about how to describe the scent. Stand up and stretch. What might your character think and feel as he/she performs that simple movement? A fellow author recently wrote about how she went shopping so she could think as her fashion designer character did. (Hey, what gal among us doesn't like that idea?!) Remember to take in all the senses. 

Oh, and about the photo. Official disclaimer here:

The person in the picture is definitely NOT Joshua Hoppman, and if it was him (Which it isn't), he would most certainly NOT recommend hugging trees as a daily activity, ESPECIALLY if you're allergic to bark.

What can you do to make your writing environment better?

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Run The Race? Why?

Running is hard. It's tiring, exhausting even. You get sweaty, and often times it takes away from what you would rather be doing. You might wake up and find that it is raining. Well, who wants to run in those conditions any way? Nah, climb back in bed and wait for a sunnier day.  

My biggest failing, I believe, is that I have hard time finishing and pulling through. See, in today's society we are taught that when we get bored or discouraged with something because it's too hard, we just simply quit. Marriage getting tough  Ah, just get a divorce. Your boss being a pain and not getting paid enough? Ah, just quit and find something else. It's much too easy to quit. Although I have not been raised in that society so much (being Home schooled), I am still surrounded by it. The more I get out in the world, the more I see it. It certainly is an easy out, and rather a pleasing one if you find yourself in a 'too hard' position. With writing, I sometimes get my 'brain freeze'. Can't think of what to write next. Nothing is coming along with my story. It's too hard to try to think of something anyway. So, I just give up. I don't finish what I started. Instead, I just stop writing and wait until some other brilliant idea comes along. If you were to go and search through my folders, you'd find about 15 documents. All manuscripts for some book or other. All half done. 

Sad, isn't it? I'm learning, painfully, that writing isn't something that can be given up- not if you want it to become something. If you want to sell books, then you're going to have to get them written. If you want to flood the market with wholesome, encouraging, good literature, then you have to write! There is no shirking, and, believe it or not, you may be shirking one of your greatest duties. 

I believe writing is a ministry. Did you know that in 2005, 3.1 BILLION books were sold on Amazon alone? Now, with eBooks, there are about 4-5 thousand a day sold. That's a lot. There are that many people reading books. What sort of books are they reading, though? Unfortunately, there are many books out there that are trash, plain and simple. Whether it be just bad story lines and terrible writing, or else just inappropriate things happening inside the story. However, there are many wonderful books out there as well. The only problem is, the generation that writes those books will soon be gone. Who will be the next generation to step up and lead the way towards good literature?  I look around and see so many young authors popping up. The question is, though, will you take this ministry seriously? God doesn't call everyone to be a foreign missionary. However, we all have a ministry. Whether it be going to your local nursing home on a weekly basis, babysitting your neighbors children, being an example to younger siblings, or writing. Nothing is too small to be considered a ministry. 

So, with writing, I find that it is a ministry. If you can get your books read, and you're pointing to Christ with your example, then you are indeed in ministry. Yet, if we fail to take this seriously, then it will not work. We will fail. 

Now, I do want to say that I need to listen to my own words. However, no one is perfect. I do find, though, that it varies when/how you are learning. Sometimes it is from those who are in front of you in the race, other times from the ones behind. Yet, it often seems to be from those who are running beside you.

Run your race! Stay true to the tasks the Lord has given you- whether it be writing or not. Encourage one another always. 

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you might win." 1 Cor. 9:24

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writing - A Lost Art?

Will my children find some treasure,
Hidden in the attic?
Love notes written long ago,
Tied together with a bow.
Letters faded, dusty and worn,
Yellowed, wrinkled, some even torn.
Each holding a promise of tomorrow,
Now become today's stories of old.

As you can see from the poem above, the lost art I am talking about is not the art of simply writing a story. My topic today deals with an issue that is close to my heart. I have a sinking feeling that something beautiful is going to get lost in this age of technology. Cell phones, texting, emailing, and other electronic devices are replacing hand written notes and letters that once filled our mailboxes (outside our homes). A tender letter written to a loved one far away; a welcoming note to a new neighbor in town; a thank you card expressing how grateful a new mom was for a meal after having a baby; a child's opportunity to meet and learn about a pen pal across the country, even the world, like I did. That is the beauty of a piece of paper, a pen, and the hands that God has given us. As long as we have those three items, we can sit down and write pretty much anywhere we want. We do not even have to use electricity, or search for a nearby outlet. Emails can get lost in cyberspace. Texts are deleted when the inbox gets filled up. Yet, a letter can be kept for years, carried from generation to generation, telling the story of an individual by a few simple words written on a page.

I have noticed as I drive through town, shop in the nearby stores, and even at restaurants, that there are people all around me carrying these electrical devices, barely talking to the person next to them. In a world of silence, everyone sends texts these days in acronyms and briefs clips of words that are almost like a foreign language. The attention spans of our children grows less with each new technological device that comes out, making their ability to communicate faster than the last one did. The value and power of words is gradually fading into the past, leaving our children with nothing to show for their time and effort of writing, except for maybe a few sore fingers from texting so much.

I am not against these devices. I have a cell phone of my own, as well as a computer, but I see that I do not write notes and letters like I did when I was younger. Granted, with a husband, five children, a home to tend to, as well as a class to teach full time, I do not have the time I did when I was younger to sit down and send my friends a long letter. Yet, I do have a supply of cards in my room so I can write a quick note in five minutes and encourage someone who is having a hard time, or simply needs to know that I am thinking of them. As a writer from the inside out, I am determined to never let that part of writing go. I have encouraged my daughters to write to girls they meet in different states and now they each have five or six pen pals. They love to open up the mailbox and find a letter with their name inside. They are getting to know the joy of writing and receiving a blessing back.

I have had many pen pals growing up and to this day I still communicate with two of them. They have become my best friends. One gal is from Israel and I have been writing to her for over twenty years now. We have even visited a few times and we keep each other in prayer, especially when she tells me neighboring countries are sending rockets (bombs) into her city. The other gal lives in the states and we have encouraged each other over the years as we shared teen woes and issues of life again and again. I have a gigantic box of letters I have kept from all the writing I have done and every so often I pull them out and read a few, just to remind me of how I have grown over the years. It shows me how precious the written word is and those memories will always be there. Why else did God give us the written Word to follow? His way is perfect and His way is always the right way. We must follow His example and make sure we keep writing those letters. Even when the schools around us stop teaching cursive writing and begin using tablets in all the schools, we must strive to teach our children what an honor it is to handwrite notes and keep that old practice going. Writing will never become old fashioned, nor will it ever grow old. So, keep a stack of blank cards, pretty pens, and stamps handy, and send someone a letter today. Do not ever let writing become a lost art.

Want to read more like this? Visit her blog at and see what else lies on this author's heart.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greetings from John J. Horn

I should probably say "howdy" since I live in Texas, but for the time being I’ll stick with my East Coast roots and give you a simple "hello."

I’m happy to join the team here at Word Painters and share thoughts gleaned from my experience with and study of the art of writing. Painting is a good metaphor for writing. It’s a constant struggle of finding the right colors, the right brushes, the right concept — even the right canvas — but if God blesses, the final picture can be a thing of beauty.

I’m the youngest of three and the uncle of two. Since I can remember I've had a passion for books, and it seemed a natural progression to move from reading them to writing them. 19th-century authors have a special place in my heart, men like G.A. Henty, R.M. Ballantyne, Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, James Fenimore Cooper, and more. They were flawed men, as we all are, but they generally espoused Christian morals and concepts such as honor, courage, and duty, which I draw upon for my own books.

Having been born in New Jersey, I now live in sunny South Texas. My hobbies are mostly limited to reading and writing, which I fit around a full-time job.

Most importantly, I’m a Christian, which affects every aspect of my life and writing.

What I Write

I primarily write historical fiction centering around British characters during the 1830s. There are currently two books in my Men of Grit series, with #3 coming soon.

I've also adapted the first album of the popular Jonathan Park creation radio drama into three novels.

What I’ll Be Writing About Here

The craft of writing is a deep well whose bottom has not yet been reached. Life is a constant journey to improve my craft, and I hope to help you by detailing techniques I've learned along the way, as well as writing about bigger picture concepts such as why Christians should be writing books, what genres can be most impactful today, and more.

I also work in the publishing industry, so I have the unique privilege of both creating content and being in the behind-the-scenes process of packaging that content and delivering it to readers. I’m an editor and proofreader and interact with global book retailers and distributors, so I've seen the author-publisher relationship from both sides and hope to be able to provide you with tips and ideas for succeeding in the publishing world.

You can learn more about me and my books at my website,

Here we go!

Until next time,


Friday, September 13, 2013

Hi! {A Somewhat Rambly Introduction}

I'm Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick, wife to my best friend, Tyler, and mommy to sweet 10-month-old Kellen and another "in the oven" as they say. I'm 21 years old, the oldest of 8 homeschooled kids.

I'm an insecure, second-guessing writer who publishes a book whenever I gather the courage to plow--and pray--my way to the finish line. And then I freak out every time I crack open the finished book, worried that it's all a piece of silly junk! But at the same time, I love every minute of it. (Is that weird?)

I love developing a book idea, making a plan, pounding it out line by line. I love getting feedback from my family (the best part is making my parents cry with a poignant ending!!). I love getting the book polished to the best of my abilities. I love designing the cover, making the layout stylish and professional, and finally uploading those files to the publisher. I especially love feeling the glossy finished product in my hands.
(By the way, my first two books are getting a makeover with improved covers! )

When I'm not in one of those phases of book-birthing, I enjoy sewing and knitting, playing piano and a handful of other instruments, doing freelance book design, playing with my hubby and our munchkin, absolutely DEVOURING books, and rambling about theology, politics, and social issues while doing housework. (Usually the baby is the only one listening. Makes me wonder if one day he'll wake up talking about the sufficiency of Scripture or something...)

Anyhow! I always have a terrible time introducing myself, but hopefully that gives you an idea of who I am. I can't wait to begin sharing writing and self-publishing encouragement here on Word Painters every other Friday. And I'm definitely looking forward to meeting you; I love hearing from fellow authors--aspiring and published! Drop me a line any time!

God bless!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reality, Discipline, and Maturity - Oh My!

Ah, good old reality. You just have to love it. Or not.

Let's see if we can get this straight. Most of us are normal, busy, hard-working individuals. We live regular lives and try to pile writing on top of it. How does it work?

My day is comprised mostly of this:


I can make a bet your day is too. (Not that I am a betting person. Moving on.)

What comes after all that? When it's 4:00 PM and you are dead tired?

Yep. Time for chocolate, a nap, and a movie. And, if you are like me, an iced coffee. You don't feel like doing this:

Trust me, you don't. Writing is the joy of my life, and I still hit the I-don't-want-to-write-today downs 4 out of 7 days a week. So how do you balance the necessities of life and still follow your passion, your dream?


Awwhhhh! That horrible, scary word!!! Pretend I didn't say it.

But it's true! Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to write. It isn't always easy. That episode of Richard Greene's Robin Hood is calling you.... (Ok, confession there.) But you have to do it.

Make a point of getting a word count in every single day (with exception; see below. And Sundays off.). Even if it is a mere 25 words, get it in there. Just a few words can stimulate your brain. More often than not, you will find yourself with a word count of 200+. Why?

Because the first step is always the hardest!

Take that first step. Set a goal. Try rewards. (I have found that allowing myself to get on Pinterest or Goodreads after a set word-count is a wonderful motivator. Chocolate would work too.) 

I will add, however, that there are times to take a break. Sometimes God calls us to rest. The point is knowing when. How? Maturity. Ah, another scary word!  But it's true. You need plain old maturity to determine whether God and legitimate circumstances are calling to you take a short break. If you don't have maturity, you will fall for temptation. Taking a needed break and having let's-fritter-away-time-on-Pinterest are two very different things. (Ok, personal confession there.)

But, back to focusing on discipline. Leave a comment saying what your goal for today is. Sharing is a great motivator. Nothing like good old accountability. (Hey, and that is another method of getting your word count in!)

Ok, what are you still doing online? Go write something! ;) I am going to...

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Welcome to my side of the blog!

Hello there! My name is Cara Simmons and welcome to my side of the Word Painter's blog. I am very honored and excited to be a part of this site, though I am a little nervous at the commitment it means, simply because I am a very busy person and my schedule is quite full. I will do my best to fulfill my side of the task of writing and hopefully I will bless you in the process as we both learn from our experiences of daily living.

I am the author of a three part series of fictional Christian adventures books for children, written with children 9-12 in mind, though all ages have enjoyed the stories. I am a homeschool graduate, having gone through six years of homeschooling back in the day when it was unknown and not really accepted yet. I was a quiet girl, often living in my own imaginative world where I thought of myself as the main character in my favorite books and movies. Other ideas and stories stemmed from those dreams and my imagination created all kinds of new characters and plot points, which I began to write down. Around the age of ten years old, I remember sitting in a pine tree (Oh, the sticky sap!) with my best friend and I told him that my dream was to become an author when I grew up.
I grew up, met my husband, and got married in 1998. The next nine years were busy with raising four children and trying to make Connecticut feel like home. After coming from the beautiful mountains of Vermont, the stuffy air and attitude of CT was very hard to adjust too, but overtime everything settled down, meaning me, and I accepted where God wanted me to be.

In 2005 I began to remember my dream of becoming an author, which my husband encouraged me to follow after that dream. I started writing in my spare (ha ha!) time, which mainly meant grabbing a few minutes here and there, as well as late into the night. After two years of working on my manuscript, editing, searching for a self publisher, editing, tears, and more editing, I finally held my finished product in 2007. The entire process was a learning experience for me, teaching me to have patience, wait on God's timing, and be humble. God was good though, and He helped me through the entire journey.

My fifth baby was born in January of 2008 and I took some time off of writing so I could enjoy my newborn. I resumed writing that summer and at the end of 2009 my second book came out. I will not go into detail here of everything that transpired between publishers and whatnot, but I will save that for a future blog. Maybe my ups and downs of publishing will help others in their own journey of writing. There were lots of them and once again, everything that transpired was a learning process. Do we ever stop learning in our lifetime?

To make a long story short, my third book came out in 2012 and I had a complete set. God had, and still continues to be, so good to me. He has guided every step that I have taken and taught me some valuable lessons that I hope I never forget.

I did homeschool my children for many years, but we are currently attending our church's Christian school, much to my oldest child's chagrin. God opened up a door for me to teach kindergarten there, in which my youngest child is a part of, and I pray this year is filled with blessings and good changes as God takes us down a completely different road.

My hope and prayer for this blog site is to be a blessing to you, to encourage you in your writing, and to show you that yes, you can really do this. The writing is the easy part. Really, it is. :) And, as long as I can continue to find that little bit of time to write, I can do this too. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in future blogs. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment in the box below. Lord bless you all and have a wonderful day!

Cara Simmons

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hello and Welcome!

Hello! With the launch of the Word Painters blog, I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself! My name is Alicia A. Willis. 

Giving you a glimpse of my different guises..... ;)

Rising to the Challenge (Coming 2014)

I am a historical-fiction author. My trilogy, The Comrades of Honor Series, is set in the Middle Ages (obviously) and centers around the escapades of English noblemen, particularly knights and squires (although there are many other ranks included!) Each tale is packed with adventure, perils, a sprinkling of clean romance, and twists and turns that will keep you guessing! Lord willing, the third installment, Rising to the Challenge, releases in 2014.

To sum it all up, The Comrades of Honor Series are tales of Christian historical-fiction, portraying courage and heroism in the Middle Ages.

I've also published a novella to Kindle. God of Her Fathers is a historical-fiction western, detailing the struggles and adventures of a young widow on the Kansas Plains. She is torn about accepting the assistance of a dashing young man. Is he Tyler Nichols, as he claims? Or is he Dan Crudwell, outlaw of Kansas City? 

Praise God, this novella was in the top 100 on Kindle during the month of August after it received roughly 130 downloads.

Now that you know what I write, allow me to share the other juicy details about me. ;) 

  • I love dogs, chocolate, coffee, spicy New Mexican food, and music. 
  • I am a church pianist, choir member, vocalist, and piano teacher. 
  • I am a historian, focusing mostly on the Middle Ages and the Roman Era. 
  • My dream is to tour Europe someday.
  • I love the South-East area, particularly Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Southern food is awesome, sweet tea is good (but it will never replace coffee), and I love the atmosphere of the Bible Belt.
  • And, last but not least, I am a Independent Baptist and am getting my three year diploma/degree in Biblical history and theology through Faith Bible Institute.

To be honest, I have to say this. (I may make some enemies, but that is a risk I have to take.) Are you ready? *Exhale slowly*

 Folgers is not coffee. White chocolate is not chocolate. And green or red is an important question. (Long live GREEN chile!)

So thanks for allowing me to introduce myself. Why don't yah leave a comment and let me know who you are?!

Monday, September 2, 2013

In Which I Introduce Myself

I fear I shall have to use this first blog post as a bit of a confession. I have been scheduled to do my 'intro post' for almost 2 weeks, yet I'm a procrastinator and I failed to get this written up ahead of time. The result of this laziness? I'm now quickly scrambling to get this written up. So, learn from me, my friends. Don't ever procrastinate! :-)
   Seriously, though, I did have some computer problems this weekend (Internet down several times) and then I was just simply gone from the house and, therefore, couldn't write.

Well, now that you know I'm a procrastinator, I shall properly introduce myself. As most of you know, my name is Sarah Elizabeth. I have authored one children's book (another coming soon!) this past year. I'm 20 years old, a home school graduate, and living on a cattle ranch with my family in New Mexico.

My different hobbies would include crafting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, film making, costuming, acting in our local drama group, blogging, painting, gardening, playing instruments, and the like.

I have been writing for about 8 years, but never got serious about it until two years ago when I really felt like the Lord was calling me to write children's books. I didn't really like the idea, actually. I procrastinated and didn't get around to doing it until last Fall. That whole ordeal is another story, so I shall have to share it in my next post. However, once I did get my book published, it was quite fun to see how God used it in so many different areas.

Although I have published in the children's story genre, I do enjoy writing in other genres. I just haven't published those... yet! :-) I'm a rather optimistic person and sometimes think that I can do more than I really can... however, I also know that when the Lord is guiding you to do something, you won't fail- unless you choose to disobey and not follow His lead.

What else is there to tell? Hmm... besides writing, I teach fiddle/violin, am currently playing the role of Elizabeth Bennet in ABC Drama's production "Pride and Prejudice", and do quite a bit of cattle rustling. ;-)

I believe that's all that I can think of for this little introduction. However, I'm pleased to be here and am looking forward to all the posts by the other authors here, and also "meeting" all of you wonderful followers! If I've forgotten something that you'd like to know about me, drop a comment in the comment box below and I'll do my best to answer. :-)

God bless and Write on!!