Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts (and a Giveaway)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I know I should be writing the third part of my publishing journey, but I decided to take a break from that and do something different today. For the last twenty-eight days, I have been posting different things that I am very thankful for this year, and I have enjoyed it a lot. It has made me think back to all that the Lord has done in my life, particularly over the last year, and it never hurts us to look back and see the works that God has done. He is an amazing God, powerful, loving, and always working behind the scenes to perfect us in a way that we cannot understand. He is writing between the lines, so to speak, creating a story with each of our lives, like an author does with the character's in his/her book. Just like we sit down and plan out each step of the journey each character will make in our masterpieces, He is already three chapters ahead of us, writing every line with loving care. I take great comfort in that. He knows the future and has my life in His control. I look ahead to the coming year with fear and trembling, because I do not know what lies ahead for my family. One of my family members is battling cancer, while another has MS and her marriage to my brother is quite rocky. My heart is heavy with the unknowns, but I trust that God knows best and is working behind the scenes, never leaving, always loving and encouraging. And so I write to remember, to build myself up, to remember that God is good, has always been good, and will never change. I write to recall the good times I had as a child, to bring back memories, and pray that I will continue to have a long time with my loved ones on this earth. Write for all it's worth, friends, because words are like pictures, and will always stay close to your heart, bringing a smile to your face, and a warmth to your heart.
     As a Thanksgiving gift, I am giving away the first book in my series, The Orphans of Mordecai's Castle:  The Haven to one person who's name I will draw at the end of next week. All you need to do is comment below with your name, email address (only to use to contact you if you win), and something that you are thankful for this year. Share with others what God has done for you this year and bless others with your good words. God bless you all!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Month of the Novel

Before we get started, allow me to announce the winner of the giveaway! Congrats to Katie.
Would you please email me at writerforhisglory@yahoo.com so I can send your mailing address to the author? Thanks!



November is drawing to a close. And, for many of you, that means NaNoWriMo is almost over. For some of you that may be another thing to give thanks for tomorrow! ;) For others, it is the end of a breathtaking challenge that has uplifted, inspired, and...totally exhausted you!

And some of you may be thinking: Now what?

What are you going to do now that your word count challenge is over? And what are you going to do with those 50,000 beautiful words you labored over?

Sorry. You sweated over.

For the month of December, here is my challenge for you: find something you are going to do with those words. You may have only embarked on this writing quest as a good exercise or for bragging rights or simply because. But you still shouldn't let your hard work go to waste.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Publish your work to Kindle. Hey, the experience of publishing and the few bucks you'll earn is definitely worth the effort. 
  • Type your story up nicely, print it out, and seal it with a bow. Viola! Christmas present for some lucky person.
  • Host a party. Gather your writing buddies and all of you exchange your stories. Maybe read them aloud. Invent a game. Eat plenty of writing foods, like coffee, chocolate, and... coffee and chocolate.

Ok, folks, I'm off to scribble on my novella (due on Kindle on February 23, 2014!) and dream of a White Thanksgiving. Adios!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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, November 25, 2013

Motive: The Why Behind Your What

Motive: What's the Why Behind Your What?

When people hear that I'm a writer, many times they say, "Oh, I'd love to write a book one day," or "It must be amazing to see your own name in print!" or "Where do you get your ideas?" or "Would you tell me what you think of my first chapter?"

It's not always easy to sum up an answer in the short window of attention you're given to respond, but sometimes that answer is so important you know you'll have to get to it some day. As Christian writers, we have a great responsibility to give weight to the hard topics.

Motive

We know how important it is that characters have motive---as readers, we must understand the why behind their actions and words in order to relate to them, make sense of them, and maybe even root for them. How often, though, do we consider that each one of us writers have motives too?

I started writing Summer of Suspense as an English project a few years ago, without an outline or plan of any kind. As you may guess, I got very stuck. Not knowing how to push the story forward, or where it was even heading, I was in a position to really consider why I was writing at all.

Now, if you're like me, you've been taught that man's "chief end" in anything should be "to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever" (Westminster Shorter Catechism). And while this is easy to say, it's not so easy to walk out.

Too often our desires are more in the direction of
  • making a name for ourselves and becoming famous,
  • proving how good we are,
  • enjoying ourselves,
  • living up to others' expectations, and
  • finding a suitable route for ambition
than we'd like to admit, and less in the direction of
  • glorifying His name and growing in grace,
  • delving into God's Word and increasing our understanding of its applications,
  • providing godly reading material, and
  • showing that actions have consequences
than we ought.

Writing, like music and sketching, is an art form. It requires creativity, imagination, thought, and problem-solving skills. And, like anything artistic, we "artists" are tempted to say, "Look! I created this. Isn't it good?" Since the heart is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9) we soon desire to create something purely because of the glory we'll get out of it.

This desire for praise is the wrong motive I'm talking about. It's hard to explain this in a short space of time. This makes writing a process of hours of heart-searching and prayer, not the glamorous occupation popularly perceived.

If you still want to write a book . . .

. . . then please do. We need much more Christian literature that raises the banner of God's standard. But when you do, I encourage you to have a long look at why you want to write it. Motive can flavour anything you set your hand to, and a discerning reader will catch the scent.

We are all flawed and sinful human beings, and this makes our simplest actions . . . complicated. But by God's grace, we can crucify the flesh and be used as instruments to bring forth the message He wants us to, touching the lives of others, hallowing His name, building His kingdom, and doing His will.

This is why we should write.

"Not unto us, Oh Lord, Not unto us, but to Your name give glory, 
because of Your mercy, because of Your truth." 
Psalm 115:1

C. R. Hedgcock

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Christians Should Write Historical Fiction

Greetings all, this is John J. Horn writing about one of my favorite topics — historical fiction.

I have a passion for historical fiction, have read hundreds (maybe thousands) of books in that genre, and write it myself.

But why is historical fiction impactful, and why should Christians be writing it?

Here are several reasons why I believe that Christians should write historical fiction.

Historical Fiction Is a Teaching Tool


There are two main ways to learn about history. The first is textbook/lecture learning, memorizing facts and dates. The second is what I call “enhanced history,” where you learn history in the context of stories. That second method is where historical fiction comes in, and I think it can play a key role in giving readers an understanding of our past.

You can feel the past in a historical novel. You can hear the cadence of the characters’ speech, imagine the smells, and connect with the fear, and agony, and triumph of the story’s heroes. Historical characters become more than names — they become people.

As a boy I learned much history by reading the works of G.A. Henty. His books aren’t perfect theologically or story-wise, but they’re packed with greatness, and they introduced me to history in a way that a textbook simply can’t.

For example, when I think of the Punic wars I think of young Malchus and his bravery as a soldier of Hannibal in The Young Carthaginian. When I think of the wars in Spain and Portugal between the English and the French, I think of Terence O’Conner from With Moore at Corunna and Under Wellington's Command.

You get the idea.

True, there is potential danger in learning history through fiction. Because fiction is untrue there are parts of historical fiction which are necessarily also untrue. The line between real and fake may become blurred, and the author’s bias will certainly affect his or her interpretation of fact. But as long as you recognize that danger and approach historical fiction wisely, I believe that the result can be overwhelmingly rewarding.

Christians should be teaching history. Historical fiction is a great way to teach history. So that’s one reason why I think Christians should write historical fiction.

Historical Fiction Is a Mirror for Today


Mirrors are funny things. They tell you that the hair on the back of your head is splayed in a ginormous cowlick. They tell you that your teeth need brushing. They tell you that you have blemishes.

Historical fiction is a mirror which tells us about our ideological blemishes.

Every reader has a set of preconceived notions about reality. It’s called “worldview.” A reader's worldview will always affect the way he reads, but when a story is set in modern times, the reader will have a far more nuanced worldview and will interpret the story’s message differently.

Sound confusing? Let me explain.

In my book The Boy Colonel I wrote about the concept of just warfare. I could have written a novel about Iraq and posited the same question: What is a just war? But modern readers already have preconceived ideas about the war in Iraq, and this would have affected their receptivity to the answers I give in my book. The reader would be biased by political affiliation, by the way the war has been conducted, and by a thousand other things which are inherent to that specific conflict.

By creating a fictional war in Siberia between the British and Cossacks, I distanced readers from their bias. I was able to focus readers on the question — what is a just war? — instead of the complicated circumstances surrounding the war in Iraq.

Circumstances change, but principles remain constant.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have any problem with novels being set in modern times, and I wouldn’t have any problem with a novel set during the war in Iraq which asked the question: What is a just war? But I think that historical novels give us perspective which modern novels can’t quite match.

Christians need to write about today’s problems. Historical fiction can explore today’s problems with needed perspective. That’s another reason why I think Christians should write historical fiction.

Historical Fiction Gives Hope


In the 1600s, Scottish Covenanters were persecuted for not recognizing the King of England as the head of the Church and not worshiping God according to High Church principles. They were hung, drowned, and tortured.

In the same century, the Waldenses in Piedmont who would not join the Catholic Church were massacred in what is probably one of the most brutal persecutions in world history.

Douglas Bond novelized the plight of the Covenanters in his Crown and Covenant trilogy. James Byron Huggins wrote about the Waldenses in his novel Rora.

Why do I mention these times and novels?

Because these historical novels give us hope.

They give us hope because they show the levels of persecution which God’s people have been subjected to in the past. This should not only make us thankful for the blessed freedom Christians enjoy in America today, but when times grow tougher it should give us hope that all has seemed lost before, but God has always preserved a remnant of believers.

Historical fiction gives us hope by reminding us that no matter how bad life is, it’s been that bad before. The circumstances of this particular “bad” may be different, but its extent is not. As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Christians should write books that give hope. Historical fiction can give hope. That’s a third reason why I think Christians should write historical fiction.

Why do you think Christians should write historical fiction? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective!

Disclaimer: I have linked some of the book titles I referenced to Amazon.com, with which I am an affiliate. I've mentioned the books because they're relevant to my article. If you want to buy any of them, so much the better!

John J. Horn is a Christian writer from San Antonio, Texas. You can learn more about him and his Men of Grit Christian Fiction series at johnjhornbooks.com.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Journey (Part Two) - Editing the Manuscript

I finally had my story out of my head and onto the paper. Phew, what a relief! Yet, even though it had seemed mentally draining at times, the next phase of the publishing process was even more challenging and patience testing for me. I had no idea how to go about the next step of finding a publisher, but before that, I had to make sure my manuscript was up to par and had no mistakes in it. It was not easy having to listen to comments on what needed to be changed. Nobody likes to hear criticism and I was no different. I felt like my soon-to-be-born baby was being smudged and rearranged in a way that should not be. My story was my own and I felt it should stay that way!
For my first book, I had a friend of mine, as well as my husband, look over the manuscript. The English teacher from the church's private school also looked it over for me, plus a few other young people I handed the story out to see what their reactions would be to the story. As I mentioned in the previous blog, it took a total of two years to see the final result, and one of those years was spent in just editing. It was a long time in coming, but a necessary thing in the journey of writing. 
With my second book, I went through a different publisher than the first (that will be the next part of the journey) and in that process I hired an editor from the company to edit my manuscript. I must say I will never do that again. I was not happy with the result and I feel like it was not worth paying for that service. He did not make many changes (maybe he did not find any???) except for completely changing all my Bible verses to a different version than I wanted. In the end it became more work for me than I needed and I had to undo all that he had done. Maybe he should have checked with me first? 
It was an easier decision for me when it came to my third book, because I knew what I did not want to do. I had my friend look over it again as well as a few other people. The whole process was tedious and boring, at least to me, but one that was well worth the effort and definitely needs to be done.
So, when you are ready to edit here are a few things to remember:
Be prepared to read your story over and over again, up to the point where you think you know every line by heart and do not need to even look at it any more. This is the time when you need to put it aside, give it to someone else to look over, and take a breather. As the author, you will never reach the point where it is perfect. You will always find something you can write better, something you can describe more colorfully, or some sentence or scene that you can tweak to be a little more exciting. New eyes are necessary to see what you have learned to overlook. When we see something too much, we tend to see what we want to see and no longer notice the mistakes. Always remember to write what is on your heart, letting God speak through your words. You never know who's life you will touch or who you will bless by following His path.   

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Giveaway!

Today, we have a special treat! Author Sarah Holman has offered to give away a signed copy of her very first book: 

The Destiny of One!

Destiny – it's a word that plagues Maria Morris. What does God want her to do with her life? Should she go to college or does God have other plans for her? When her parents go missing during a business trip, Maria embarks on a quest that will change her life forever. Trying to fight against an overbearing Milky Way Government, Maria travels to earth in search of a lost prince and some crown jewels. Her faith is tested, however, when a new law is passed. Will Maria be able to find her parents and the crown jewels before it's too late? Is she strong enough to stand up for her faith even if it means never seeing her family again? Most of all, will Maria discover her true Destiny?


I've had the wonderful opportunity of getting to know Sarah better over the last year and a half. She is the administrator for Homeschool Authors and is a self-published author. I had the pleasure and opportunity of endorsing her during this month and am currently reading her newest book, Adventures and Adversities.

To find out more, visit Sarah at her blog!

To enter the contest, leave a comment saying what your favorite book genre is. To double your entries, join Word Painters and leave a comment saying you did. To triple your chances, head over to Sarah's blog and join it. Again, leave a comment. The contest will run for two weeks. 

Good luck to all and thank you, Sarah!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Little Encouragement

'Tis the season for super-adventuresome people to try writing a 50,000 word novel in just one month. (This phenomenon is called NaNoWriMo, in case you didn't know.)

I am not one of those super-adventuresome people. I'm just trying to get a little writing in during my baby's naptime.

Whether you are or aren't participating in NaNoWriMo, I thought I'd just encourage us all by sharing something I'm really glad I'm NOT attempting...



Now quit hanging around watching goofy videos on Word Painters, and go write! ;)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Follow-Up

Two weeks or so ago, we discussed "Show, Don't Tell". I wanted to follow up and see if you had any questions. If you do, please leave it or your comments below. I'll be happy to answer them!

Also, here is my personal conclusion to the story I started! Enjoy. If you want to read the story at the beginning, click HERE.


Emma looked up. The scent of masculine cologne hit her nostrils, and she immediately met the bluest eyes she had ever seen....

"Uh, yes," she stammered. A prickling sensation ran up her spine and she realized she was blushing. Stop acting like a schoolgirl, she scolded herself.

Blue-eyes seated himself opposite her. His grin was warm, almost, well, flattering. "Well, enter your hero of the day. What can I do?"

Emma bit her lip. Something about this guy was too friendly, too confident. Her instincts shot warnings into her mind. Don't accept candy from strangers. Don't talk to strangers... 

Wait a minute. She was an adult, not a tot. Those rules didn't apply. Or did they?

"You wouldn't happen to have a laptop charger, would you?" She forced herself to ignore the prickles of warning and speak calmly.

Something like amusement flickered in the face of Blue-Eyes. "Of course. I always carry one for emergencies like these." He wriggled a cord out of the bag at his side and coiled it on the table. Everything was... snake-like.

Emma looked sharply at him. "Thanks." She paused. "Why are you helping me?"

"I told you. I'm your hero of the week." He laughed. "Seriously, though, I just can't stand to see a writer in distress."

Emma blinked. "How did you know I am a writer?"

"Intuition. I get this feeling when I see a writer. You know, warm and kind of acidic, like ink." Blue-Eyes held out his hand. "I'm Kyle."

Warm and acidic? This guy was getting stranger - and friendlier - by the minute. "I'm Emma." Emma barely rushed his hand. OK, hero. Time to hit the road. "You know, I appreciate your help, but my older brother is supposed to meet me here any minute now."

Kyle's eyes flickered. "Older brother? Sweet. But don't worry, I don't mind waiting. Charge your battery."

Emma bit her lip as she plugged her laptop in. This dude was not intimidated by the mention of her older brother. Maybe she should hint he was a black-belt? She could see the headlines now: Writer abducted by Blue-Eyed Assassin. "So what do you do for a living?" she heard herself ask.

"I am an agent."

"Literary agent?" Thoughts spun rampant in Emma's mind. 

Kyle smiled. "Is there another kind?"

"Well, I've heard of drama agents."

"True." Kyle sipped his own cup of coffee. Emma peered into the cup. Black. Deep black. Hopefully it wasn't a mirror of his soul. "But, you know, being my kind of agent is pretty fascinating. You always meet new people."

Yes. Emma squirmed. Your point, dude? Oh, why had she always been too polite for her own good? "It does sound fascinating."

Kyle studied her. "Hey, you want anything? A piece of lemon bread, maybe?"

"No. Actually - I'd rather have the money." Emma immediately felt stupid. That remark always worked in the movies. She waited for Kyle to get mad and storm away, leaving her to her peaceful writing.

Instead, his eyes warmed. He actually threw back his head and laughed. "Gotcha. I sympathize, Emma. Writers don't make it big, do they? Royalties, splitting commissions with agents... I have to applaud you for struggling through it."

Emma sunk in her chair. This wasn't working. Kyle was determined to be charming. A cold breeze whistled around her ears as the door opened behind her. She felt a shudder run down her spine. Writer Forced Out of Warm Coffee Shop. The headlines were getting worse.

Kyle leaned closer. "Hey, will you excuse me a moment?"

"Absolutely." Emma fairly gasped the words. 

She watched as Kyle strode casually across the shop. The guy who had just entered stood at the counter, apparently perusing the menu. Kyle stood just behind him. Too close. His hand brushed his pocket.

Emma's heart thudded. What was he doing? Hey, what's going on...

"Turn around slowly." Kyle pulled a Glock from beneath his coat with ominous swiftness. His voice was low, dark. His finger touched the trigger, ready. The man obeyed, shock written all over his face. Kyle's gaze narrowed. "I'm Agent Nikolai Thompson. You're under arrest."

The coffee house seemed to shake on its hinges. From the behind the counter, through the door, from the back room, sitting on couches, Secret Service agents sprang to their feet. Ominous clicks sounded through the room as a dozen firearms were aimed at the man.

Swallowing, the man raised his arms. Before Emma's stunned, bewildered eyes, he was handcuffed and led out the door. She put a hand over her heart, feeling it thud straight through her chest. This could only happen to me. Only to me.

Agent Nikolai Thompson aka Kyle paused by her table. "Sorry to break up our little chat, Emma. I enjoyed it."

Emma blinked. "W-What about y-your charger?" How stupid she sounded. 

"Keep it, cutie." Nikolai flashed her a grin as he holstered his Glock. He laid a hand on the door, and again Emma felt the cool wind caress her cheeks. "Give you something to remember your literary agent by."

He was gone. The coffee shop lapsed into silence.

Emma laid her head on her laptop. She had gotten absolutely no word count in. But she did have story plots for a lifetime.

OK, folks, my imagination just went rampant there! Hope you enjoyed it. Remember, everything is copyright of Alicia A. Willis. Until next time!


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, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo

Many of you have probably heard about "NaNoWriMo".... and some of you may not have. I heard about it several years ago and honestly had no idea what it was. I figured it was some sort of group that you probably had to pay to get into. Where all the cool kids hung out. Yeah, silly I know, but there it is. Well, I happened to receive an email from a publishing company talking about NaNoWriMo. I decided I'd look and see what this was all about. Come to find out, it stands for "National Novel Writing Month". (as if that wasn't easy enough to figure out...)

For the month of November, hundreds of thousands of writers join up to take the challenge: write 50,000 words in just one month. One month? Impossible! Yet many have succeeded. I decided I would join up this year. I mean, why not? It would be a good challenge for me. I tend to be the writer that only writes when I get 'inspiration'. Not good, especially if you really want to become a good author. You have to constantly work at it.

Well, as it goes, four days into NaNoWriMo and I realized that I just bit off more than I could chew. What was I thinking, joining up for this?!? I have so much going this month between drama performances, being down in Arkansas for close to a week, and having friends from California staying with us for almost two weeks. I was going to be gone almost all month! Well, a good part of it anyway. So my first thought after all that? Well, I guess I'm going to fail this year.

Isn't that terrible? At the first sign of being 'too busy to write', I'm already writing myself off as a failure (excuse the pun). I'm awful this way, I guess. I tend to give up easily, especially on things that are easy to give up on. I enjoy a good challenge, yes, but sometimes it becomes too much for me and I just simply back off instead of facing it. As a writer, this is a terrible, terrible thing to have. It's something I've been learning to over come these past many years.

As I was visiting with my mom, I was telling her something that I had already learned from NaNo. Even though I am so busy, I really am glad I joined up. You see, because I joined, I now have something to hold me accountable. Several friends of mine have also joined and they can see my daily word count. It definitely keeps me wanting to write- if only not to fail in their eyes. Funny how that happens. In any case, I am glad that I joined up. See, if I hadn't, I would have looked at our calendar and seen that I had too much going on. Writing would have come to a complete stop. I wouldn't have even bothered with it. However, since I joined up with NaNo, I realized that I just HAD to keep going! I couldn't just give up. It gave me something to work for. Trying to keep up with the daily word count of 1,667 words a day. It has actually really helped me, even in all the chaos of this month. Sure, maybe I don't end up getting all the way up to 1,667 words a day, but even if I just sit down for 15 minutes and write out 500 words, I'm still getting somewhere.

If you haven't already joined up with NaNoWriMo, I strongly encourage you to do so! Sure it's already 4 days into it, but that's ok! You can catch up! Or, if you think 50,000 words is maybe just too much right now, why do you start up your own challenge? Grab several friends who either also like to write or you know will hold you accountable, and give it a go. Set a word count, ask them to email/call you twice a week to see how its going, and start writing. Having someone who can constantly be on to you about your writing can help you go SO much further.

I recently asked a mentor of mine (you know, one of those Titus 2 women in your life) to be my writing buddy. She also writes, so it was a good match up. I send her bits of my book, she 'edits' and sends it back. Mostly it's just suggestions or tips, but all of them are wonderful! It helps to have a 'second pair of eyes' looking at your work. However, the biggest thing that has helped me is knowing that she will text/email me about once a week asking how my writing is going. It holds me accountable. However, when you pick a writing partner, you need (yes, this is a MUST) to find someone who isn't going to 'let you off the hook'. You need someone who, when you say you haven't written a single word because you are 'too busy', will tell you to get to that notebook/computer and type a few sentences. Someone who doesn't fall for your 'oh I just haven't had time' excuse... So, in other words, it probably isn't a good idea to get your 'bestie' to be your writing buddy. Someone older and wiser who can really push you.

I know I've probably written on this before, but I really can't say enough about how much it really helps me, as a writer, to do more than I would if I were on my own. Now, I'm off to work on my NaNo novel, and I hope you are, too! Or if you aren't, I hope you start making plans for doing your own either this month or next. Remember, never ever let yourself stop writing for schedule's sake. There is always time in the car, or while you are waiting at the dentist, or right before bed to scratch out a few paragraphs. I have a notebook that basically goes wherever I go. Rarely have I ever gone on a trip (even just the drive to church!) with out it. I'm constantly coming up with new ideas for stories and I want to write them out before I forget them.

Find that writing buddy who will encourage and challenge you, then hop to it!

Happy Writing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Journey - Part One: Writing the Story

     For me, the easiest part of publishing was writing the actual story. When I was a young girl, I would lay in bed and think out the stories in my mind, always putting myself as the main character who would get into some sort of trouble. It always had a happy ending of course, but most of the time it was some extreme plot line that led to me getting kidnapped or having to deal with some impossible situation and prince charming would come along to save me. Other times it would be a different ending to a movie I had just watched and I would put myself in the heroine's shoes and change it to what I think should have happened. It was from those ideas and day dreams that my written stories began to take shape. 
     Oh for the days when I could lay in bed and be able to plan out my stories! Now, as soon as my head hits the pillow it is dreamland for me. I wish I had that time once again to daydream, but finding the time just to sit down and write, with  my busy family running around demanding my attention, is hard enough. So, I had to make that time to write.
     For my first book, I began writing in 2005. I had four children, my oldest being six years old and my youngest was under one year old. It was during the summer when I began my journey of writing, when the children were playing outside in the kiddie pool. I had my notebook and pencil and thus began the makings of my first book. It was during their naps and in the evenings when I transferred what I had written onto the computer. It took me a year to get that story written, and another year to edit the manuscript, find a publisher, plus save the money to get the final product into my hands.
     I began writing my second book shortly after the first one was published and once again I had to make the time to get what I had in my head onto the paper in front of me. The children were older and growing a little more independent at the time, plus my youngest was out of diapers too, so I wrote furiously during naptime and once again in the evening. If I managed to write even ten minutes I felt like I had accomplished something good that day. I can remember feeling bad about leaving my characters though, because many times I had to walk away from the computer while they were stuck in a situation and I felt like I was abandoning them to a fate unknown. That was how real the people in my mind had become to me. I was the one giving them life and they were depending on me to get them through each step of the way. Hmmm....must be how God wants us to feel about Him, and our daily walk in life, right?
     Once again it took me two years to get my second book finalized and in 2007 I held my newest book in my hands. What an awesome feeling that was! I like to relate the process of writing a book to having a baby. Many of you gals on here are still single and living at home so you do not know what it is like (yet) to have a baby, but birthing a book is very similar. You hold the story to your heart, not sure what the end result will be like, but a feeling of excitement makes you hold your breath in anticipation of what is to come. People ask you questions about it, but you are not ready to share it with the world because it is a secret hidden inside your mind. And finally, when the book is birthed, you can freely share with the world what you held inside you all that time and oh, what a wonderful feeling that is!
     Two years later, we had the funds to redo my first book with the publisher who published my second book, so in 2009 we republished my first book. I will go into details about publishers and editing in the next few weeks that I will be writing, but what a painful part of the journey that was.
     It was not until 2012 that I saw the end of my three part series finished. I determined in my mind that I would have my story written by the end of that summer and though I had started it in the spring, I sat down during that month of August and wrote most of the manuscript in a month. Again, what a feeling of accomplishment it is when you hold your finished manuscript in your hands, praying and hoping your readers will enjoy the story as much as you did writing it.
     As I look back I see that God was working on me in many ways to get to the end results. He's still working on me, rings in my mind. Patience and many tears make up a lot of that journey. Do not be scared of what lies ahead of you. If you have a story then get it onto the paper. That is the first step of your journey and schedule the time to do it, even if it means ten minutes a day. It will get done in God's perfect timing and nothing is ever too late when you are on His schedule. God bless!