Be A Quitter by Sherry Chamblee

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Sometimes quitting is good. Let me explain.

I decided to quit all coffee this last week – cold turkey. For some that’s not a big deal. For me it is. Fifteen years of at least two cups a day – and big cups, mind you. If I went anywhere overnight I had to know where the closest coffee machine was for the next morning. Seriously, it was part of my planning for when we went on trips…where’s the coffee. Couldn’t be without coffee or the headaches would start, and I’d get all foggy.

I’d thought of quitting before, but the time never seemed right. I didn’t have time to suffer the headache that would come, or I didn’t want to work at non-crankiness for whatever was happening in the coming days that week. I didn’t want to be sans caffeine for church, because I wanted to be awake for the preaching. I didn’t want to be sans caffeine during the week because I have people to take care of. I didn’t want to have blinding headaches for a week, or to be cranky from now to a coffee-less eternity. After all, it’s my personality in a cup, right?

So I stayed on it.

Then, one Sunday night, I ran out of creamer. Now I take my coffee with lots of creamer, and sugar, no straight black coffee for me. So no creamer means no coffee.

I decided, right then and there, that this would be where I took my stand. I prepared like a general planning for overtaking a difficult enemy hill. I had my headache meds, my schedule cleared, and my family braced.

I don’t remember Monday.

Well, seriously, Monday was sort of a blurry day of brain fog and headache. Family was just fine, but they left me to my fate for the most part. Tuesday and Wednesday were much better, still a little fog, but not as much pain and I could talk…which is nice.

Then by Thursday I felt human again – and caffeine free. Weird.

Seriously, I’m fine now.

So…I got to thinkin’…

Sometimes we get stuck on things spiritually, too. We have these holdups, these addictions that aren’t necessarily sin, but they weigh us down. They make us stop and have to plan for them, make us go out of our way to keep them in our life, and they can interfere with ministry if we let them take control of us. Sometimes things we hold on to, habits, schedules, distract us from what we should be doing for God.

So what’s distracting me spiritually? What’s getting in the way of ministering to those around me every day?

And why am I not giving it up yet if it’s a distraction from what God wants?

Am I afraid of the consequences? Afraid of the possible pain? Afraid of the hassle it’ll create to let it go?

Am I afraid of getting that weight off because I think the disaster that will follow is more than I could bear?

Look, the headache may come. The hassle might happen. There’ll be a struggle most likely. But didn’t God say He’d be there for us in trials and temptations?

So while there might be a bit of a struggle to get out from under the things that distract us, in the end the struggle is worth it.

I’m clearer now, able to pick up and go when I need to without needing to find the nearest gas station coffee machine and able to say I’m honestly not controlled by caffeine. I’m not letting it control me.

Let God be in control. He does it better anyway.

Sherry Chamblee can also be found at her blog http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com where you can now sign up for her newsletter.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can also be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com or her Facebook page, Author Sherry Chamblee.

You can also follow her on Twitter @SherryChamblee

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Ps. 37:8 Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others–it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

Let it go. Whoever or whatever you are angry at, stop it! Letting anger control you does nothing but hurt you. The more you lash out, the more damage it does to your soul. Anger that is not self-controlled can only damage or destroy. Righteous anger moves us to act to right the wrong. Any other anger moves us to do wrong.

Watch out so that you don’t envy others. The world is full of people different than you. Many people are better at what you do, have different gifts than you do, are more successful than you are, look different than you do, have better jobs, have it easier than you do; the list goes on and on. It makes no difference at all as to how we differ. Everyone is on equal footing at the Cross. Everyone stands before God equally to account for their living. God treats all people the same. Everyone will be judged on the righteousness of their heart and how they have lived. The only one you will ever hurt by envying others is yourself.

If you are carrying around a spirit of anger or envy today, do something about it before they destroy your spirit. Confess them to the Lord. If you need to, let your emotions drive you in your confession. It’s okay, He can handle it. Get it out on the table so that God can help you. Ask Him to help you gain control over your emotions (after all, self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit) so that you don’t let anger or envy control you. It is sin to not do it. Don’t put it off, do it now.

C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Writing About Life Experiences by B. J. Robinson

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I am inspired to write through life experiences, God, and nature. For instance, for The Belle and the Officer, I remember my early Mississippi days spent in the red clay at my grandmother’s fascinated by the little doddle bugs that rolled up their tiny bodies and reminded me of Volkswagen cars. My father had a brother who had a cotton farm years after the Civil War. There were no slaves. He paid people to pick his cotton and gave me a smaller sack telling me I could pick, too.

He paid me twenty-five cents a bag, and I soon played out, so I didn’t make much, but I can say I’ve had the experience of picking cotton. I think I earned a dollar. Remembering this, made me want to set a novel in the small Mississippi town where my father grew up and their college became a hospital during the war. Until I conducted the research for this book, I had never heard about Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Mississippi.

Blurb for The Officer and the Belle

The Belle and the Officer

Historical romance. A Mississippi plantation. A southern belle. A Union officer. The turmoil of the Civil War rips a country asunder as lives are transformed. Four brothers. Three reared in the South, the other the North. Would they ever see eye-to-eye? One decides to cultivate souls instead of cotton.

Alice Caldwell is young and in love in the midst of the raging war that disrupts her world. She hopes to soon be married when the Civil War destroys her plans, and her beau leaves to fight. Her heart aches for the simple times before the war came to Brookhaven. A cold, metal key is all she has to show for their love.

Bert Russell, a Union officer, invades her life when his wounded men are moved to Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and he turns it into a hospital for his soldiers. When there is not enough room for his men and the Confederate soldiers, he confiscates Cotton Grove Plantation, Alice’s home, as a hospital for his remaining men and encamps on her front lawn.

Working in the hospital with wounded and dying men changes Alice’s once-sheltered life. She’s no simpering southern belle batting lashes behind a sandalwood fan, but becomes a woman who finds the courage to go on.

Through it all, the magnolia trees continue to bloom, majestic live oaks curtained with Spanish moss wave their limbs, the great Mississippi River continues to flow as the North and South battle for its control, and somehow, people go on with their lives.

Sonny, Lonnie’s brother says, “I changed the name and added the word plantation so this place will be a different type of plantation, one to cultivate souls instead of cotton. I think Lonnie would like that.”

A reviewer said, “I feel that I experienced the life of Alice rather than read about her in a book. The Belle and the Officer is a well-written book with a great story but also so much more. To me, it is an authentic experience of a woman in the Civil War era South trying to make sense of life, grow and love in an unsteady and dangerous world. I highly recommend this book, regardless of which genre you normally are interested in, to anyone that appreciates quality writing and storytelling.” P. Brown http://www.amazon.com/Belle-Officer-Battlefield-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B00YQB58BK/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433280984&sr=1-2&keywords=the+belle+and+the+officer

Except from Chapter 10 of The Belle and the Officer

A tall, slim officer with dark hair and brooding blue eyes barreled in the front door followed by his raging sea of men in blue. She stood to the side and looked on as the kindly old doctor tried to speak on the wounded soldier’s behalf. “Please don’t cause any problems here. We have sick, wounded, and dying men.”

“Good.”

“What?”

“No, I don’t mean it’s good that you have sick and dying men. I mean I’m glad I’ve discovered a nearby hospital for my own injured men. As we speak Brookhaven is being captured. I’m Colonel Edbert Russell, and I’m confiscating this hospital for the Union.”

“You can’t do that. What about our soldiers?”

“I won’t turn them out. They can all heal together.” He turned and noticed her. “Nurse?”

“I assist the doctor.”

“Then please help me by preparing beds for about fifty more soldiers. I have men by the wagonload, but sadly some are beyond our help.”

Alice gasped. “I don’t know if we have fifty beds. The hospital is nearly filled with so many nearby battles surrounding us.”

“Make room. My men need and deserve help just as much as yours.”

“I’ll do what I can.” Alice strode off to see how many beds were available and wondered what he’d do if she had to report there weren’t enough. Russell. His last name is Russell. There are Russells in Mississippi, but he’s dressed in Union blue, and he’s on the wrong side. Must not be any relation to our Russells. She gave his name no more thought as she found bedding for the beds they had available and made them. She sighed. Now, she’d have to inform Colonel Russell that the hospital lacked at least twenty beds. Alice didn’t look forward to how he’d receive the information.

As blue-coated soldiers toted others into the hospital and asked where to place them, she sought out Mr. Russell. He stood in the hall speaking with the doctor and turned when he saw her approach. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have fifty beds.”

“How many do you have?”

“About thirty.”

“What do you propose I do with the other twenty or so men? They all need help.” He sighed and rubbed a hand along his jawline as if in deep thought. “Is there another place that can serve as a makeshift hospital?”

“Not that I know of.” Alice twisted her hands in front of her and noticed the fire in his cobalt blue eyes and the way his blue uniform brought them out and made them an even deeper blue. She shook her head. What was she doing thinking about a pair of blue eyes? She loved a man with hazel ones. At a time like this with so many men desperately needing her help, she shouldn’t be thinking about anyone’s.

Colonel Russell stepped to the window and gazed across the street. “What’s that looming white building?”

Alice’s heart turned cold with fear. “That’s someone’s home.”

About the Author

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson loves reading and penning Civil War era historical romance as well as various other genres to provide choice for her readers. You’ll find romantic suspense, sweet contemporary romance, mystery, short stories, novellas, and full-length novels from which to choose when you check out her Amazon page. She’s an Amazon best-selling author of over twenty books. Blessed with children, grandchildren, and pets, she pens her Christian, inspirational fiction from Florida where she lives with her husband. Visit her at: https://www.facebook.com/BJRobinsonHistoricalRomance, http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com, or at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBJRobinson

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Lady and the Scamp by Patricia PacJac Carroll

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The Lady and the Scamp

Lady and the Scamp Now out for your Summer enjoyment.

Hank leaned his chair back, set his feet on the sheriff’s desk, and tried not to think of Lilly, but her memory and words persisted. “You’re worth it.” He could hear her voice as clear as if she were still in Hickory Stick.

Shrill barks and loud knocks stole his attention.

“Now what?” Annoyed by the yipping dog, he threw open the door. “Shut that dog up.”

A beautiful woman stepped away from him while her jade, green eyes flashed alarm. She recovered. Her head went up, her shoulders straightened and her face set with an expression that said he wasn’t worth her time.

She’s not a lady. He’s not a scamp. No one is who they appear to be, but love happens as they strip away the façade and discover who they really are.

A Christian novella of a mail order bride set in 1869 Colorado Territory in the town of Hickory Stick.

~~~

Chapter 1

The stagecoach stopped.

Lady Elizabeth Victoria Windsor peeked out the window. A small one-street town stretched out in front of her. No carriages. No bricked streets. Only one store amidst a cluster of buildings. Well, what should she have expected with a town named Hickory Stick. She fluffed her skirt, righted her hat, and awaited assistance.

The driver opened the door. “End of the line.” He turned to her with the slightest of scowls. “You can get out now.”

Elizabeth extended her hand, and then gasped when the driver walked away. “Why of all the rude behavior.” She grabbed her dog and scooted to the edge of the seat. Unsteadily, she stood, bent over, and placed a foot on the step.

Genevieve barked and squirmed to be let go.

“Shush now.” Elizabeth took her hand off the door and tried to muffle the animal although she knew that never stopped the little dog’s nasty retorts.

Genevieve wriggled out of her grasp and jumped down. Off balance, Elizabeth grabbed for the door, slipped, and was left hanging on the side of the stagecoach.

“If you needed help, you should have said so.” The driver put his hands on her waist, lifted, and set her down.

Embarrassed, she slapped the man. “How dare you manhandle me?”

The driver narrowed his eyes. “Well, since I am a man, I don’t know any other way I could have handled you.” He pointed toward the jail. “I got your bags and trunk on the boardwalk. But I think you might want to call that little dog back before it gets ate by a rat.” He left her and strode to the livery.

She walked to her belongings and looked around. There were no porters to haul her luggage, and the boarding house was at the end of the street. “Well, Genevieve, let’s see if we can find someone to help us.”

Stoking her courage, she raised her head up, set her shoulders back, and walked to the door of the jail. She knocked, fervently hoping there were no hardened criminals inside. The little Papillion backed up and barked.

The door flung open and a rough looking scoundrel with a patch over one eye stormed outside. “Shut that dog up!”

About the Author:

Patricia PacJac Carroll

Patricia PacJac Carroll~ I am a writer, Christian first, and blessed beyond my imagination. I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area of Texas with my wonderful treasure of a husband, my spoiled dog, Jacs, and my awesome son, Josh. Did I say I was blessed? The PacJac is from my initials and my husbands. I wouldn’t be able to write if it weren’t for him. I love adventure and the open road. The stories of the western era have always been a favorite of mine. I enjoy writing, and my goal is to write stories readers will enjoy.

~~ Sign up for my newsletter for a heads up on my new books. Newsletter Sign Up.

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Writers Who Are Christian or Christian Writers? by Parker J. Cole

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This year marks the second year anniversary of my show Write Stuff which airs Tuesdays at 7 pm Eastern time. I have been privileged to interview authors from around the world of different Christian faith walks, life experiences, and genres. To say “It’s been rewarding” is not adequate enough to express how I feel. During this time, I have come across several discussions about Christians who write – are they Christian writers or writers who are Christian? The question is nuanced in such a way that it seems to suggest you have to choose one or the other. In these discussions, some writers are adamant they are Christian writers; however, what does that mean? Others proclaim they are writers who are Christian. Is there a difference or is it simple word play?

There isn’t a right or wrong answer to be honest. So I’ll attempt to quantify this and then leave the answer up to the author.

In my opinion:

Generally speaking, a Christian writer is an author whose works are foundationally Christian. Their works are geared toward a Christian audience with familiar messages and content a Christian reader should grasp. (I say should because sadly in the West, biblical illiteracy is at an all-time high) Due to the diversity of Christian readers, these books range from mainstream to edgy but the characteristics shared are: the salvation message, a conversion of some sort, Christ-centeredness (overt or subtle), and faith is interwoven throughout the story. A Christian writer seeks to have books that point to the gospel in some way.

Once again, generally speaking, a writer who is Christian may have books that do not necessarily fall under the umbrella of Christian. They may choose to write mainstream or ‘clean’ books. These books may not mention anything about Christianity at all or may have some elements of the faith. They may even be secular. To muddy up the waters further, they do not “write” for the Christian audience but they pen what they choose based on what they want create.

And yet, we still have a problem: I can easily switch those differences and still be correct. After all, some Christian writers DO NOT write for the Christian audience and some writers who are Christian write for the Christian audience! How do we nail it down?

We don’t.

Our backgrounds, lifestyles, denominational teachings, worship styles, and other secondary minutiae all affect how we write. And it goes without saying that we would never change the nature of God, His power and omnipotence, the work of Christ, Biblical teachings on salvation issues or anything like that. Those are non-negotiable and immovable.

At the end of the day, no matter what we call ourselves, Christians are accountable to the Lord for their work. Whether it’s writing, singing, playing an instrument, mission work, pastoring, and thousands of other things we do, we will all have to give a reckoning of ‘why’ we did such-and-such to the Lord. His opinion is the only one that matters. His stamp of approval is more desired than man’s accolades.

To conclude, I‘ll say this. I thank God for the gift of writing. I thank Him for the opportunity to interview and showcase authors because they love the Lord no matter how they define themselves. You can always catch my shows at my show blog: http://thewritestuffradio.wordpress.com. Go through the archives and see what we’ve been talking about with Christians who write.

As a final thought, I’ll leave you with this. Colossians 3:17, “ And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Ps. 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Be still in the presence of the Lord. For some of us, this may seem nearly impossible to do. We cram our lives so full of stuff that we don’t have time to be still. We are on the go all the time and the Lord gets shoved off to the side. Some of us are simply wired in such a way that stillness just doesn’t fit well with our make-up. For some, there is a sense of guilt associated with being still. Yet, we are told to be still.

Stillness before God is absolutely necessary if we are going to benefit at all from being in His presence. Stillness quiets the soul so we can hear the heartbeat of God. It changes our focus from ourselves and busyness to the Lord. It enables us to appreciate who our Father is and our relationship to Him. It enables us to worship the Lord instead of using Him. It enables us to appreciate what really matters in life. It makes the concerns of our lives pale in light of His glory and grace.

Wait patiently for Him to act. If you struggle with this, ask the Lord to help you. We have to learn that God doesn’t live within our time constraints. He is in no hurry. He acts when it is the right time to act and He will not be pressured to act any sooner.

When we spend quality unhurried time with the Lord, we are not as likely to worry about those who don’t share our faith. We understand that whatever they may do or say doesn’t really matter. The Lord gives us the strength to overcome. He helps us to keep things in perspective and to realize that when all is well with Him, that is all that we need in life. Whatever happens on earth pales in light of what is going to happen for those who are still in the presence of God and wat patiently for Him to act.

C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim HughesSpending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Writing In First Person Suzanne D. Williams

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I have a friend who hates first person. When I told her I was writing this article, I asked her what made it so bad, and she said, “The first person aspect.” I admit I laughed, but digging deeper, it seemed the problem was that a lot of times writers who choose first person don’t inject enough personality into their character and it becomes a series of “I went here. I went there. I talked to him.” Boring.

First person gives you the opportunity to put the reader inside the main character’s head and as such, affords a chance to inject thoughts that third person does not. There is, of course, a caution to this. Some stories are not made for first person. There is no hard and fast rule pro or con using it. I usually ask writers how they hear the tale. I also ask how putting it into first person would change things. This is actually a very good exercise. Take a book you’ve written in third person and read it in first. You’ll find aspects of the plot and the characters’ personalities change dramatically, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But it’ll help you reaffirm your choice.

When using multiple points of view, I stick to my main character being in first. I put all the secondary characters in third (he, she). I read a book once that used first person for both the male and female point of view, and I was hopelessly confused. Mixing first with third gives a good perspective for the story and, if done well, is seamless between scenes.

Making it seamless requires understanding how to use both. The rules for first often do not apply to third and vice versa. To put it simply, you can get away with more in first than you can in third. You still have to watch for instances of telling, but it isn’t as concrete. Injecting personality into first person, however, is a must. A lot of my characters are Southern, so I like to use slang and accents to make things more interesting. I also inject opinion. Characters do, in fact, have opinions on their world, and that’s a great way to not fall into the mundane-plotline trap.

Here’s an example from an unreleased story entitled “How To Love A Cowboy”:

I did have to fight with long-standing prejudices. Case in point, my neighbor Rattlesnake McClean. Now, I’m sure Rattlesnake was not his actual name, but what it was no one knew; and it didn’t matter anyhow because his nomen fit his character – all coiled and ready to strike. He didn’t see any need to ever change things from what they’d been to what they are, didn’t care that I had fences around my property to keep his cattle out, and certainly, didn’t think a woman had any business holding herself all hoity-toity over a man.

He routinely disobeyed legalities, letting his herds wander where they will, and, as a result, butted heads with me, a gleam in his eye, a spring in his step. I think our sparring kept him alive. Rumor said he was eighty-two, that he had eighteen siblings, all dead now, and the heart of a thirty-year-old. I believed it. I figured he’d see one hundred before his constitution ran out.

… By reading just these two paragraphs, you can already figure out the woman speaking is strong-willed and from a Southern background. It seems like a conflict is going to arise between her and her neighbor, and I’m betting she’s going to win in the end.

A more trivial thought on writing in first person involves authors who ONLY write in first person. As a reader, after a while, all the characters blend together for me. If you find first person easier to write, then challenge yourself and do a book in third. The same applies in reverse. If you never write in first, try it and see how it helps you grow as a writer.

That is, after all, the purpose of writing, to become better at it.

99 cents for a limited time!

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1I7oDha

Wolfe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/scw1217

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Ten Ways to Begin or Enhance a Writing Career By Ada Brownell

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1. Know who you’re working for or with. As a Christian writer that probably should be the Lord even if you aren’t doing distinctly religion articles or books. Draw closer to God and make the Bible your first reading choice. Being a dedicated Christian makes you a more sensitive author or reporter in the secular market as well.

2. Where do you plan to go with your talent? What genre? What are your goals? What does your heart cry to do? Think. Who are you and what are you qualified to write? Those two things create your brand. If you’re not qualified, be qualified through study, seeking out those who are qualified in that area, and experience.

3. Who is your audience? What age group? Why? What are their interests? What do they need or want to know? What does your writing help them to achieve?

Get to work. Study publications, market guides, and accumulate ideas, illustrations, facts, and a list of people you would like to quote or interview. Decide what market you’re aiming for. Look at articles or books similar to what you intend to write and start putting words on paper.

4. Prepare you bio, which is a short resume. Every time you guest on a blog, you need a bio. It’s good to write a vitae, too, that details not only your experience, success, background, education, but also who you know and things such as writers conferences or other training that establishes expertise in doing the writing you wish to do.

5. Create a signature that will appear on your e-mails. On your e-mail page, click the little square at the top left corner with an arrow on it. Click “mail” on the drop-down menu. On the options menu that comes up, click “signatures.”

You can add your brand, blog, website and Amazon links.

6. Study publications, market guides, and accumulate ideas, illustrations, facts, and a list of people you would like to quote or interview. Decide what market you’re aiming for. Look at articles or books similar to what you intend to write and start putting words on paper.

7. Complete a writing project and then submit the work to a print or online magazine, a blog, or to a newspaper. Start with publications you read. Yet, if you’re really serious, check out publications that assign articles. The easy way to do get assignments is to attend writers’ meetings and conferences that editors either are a guest speaker or attend.

8. If you want to write books, first look for a traditional publisher. The place to meet agents and publishers is at writers’ conferences. Younger people are more apt to find a traditional publisher than an older person who is doesn’t have a lot of publishing credits.

Beware of “vanity” publishers that promise great things, charge a fortune, don’t fulfill their promise to edit or don’t have anyone who is qualified to edit, and often charge outrageous prices for the books that usually end up unsold in the writers’ garage.

Today the best subsidy publishers don’t prints thousands of books at once. Publishers such as Amazon’s Create Space do print-on-demand. A book often isn’t printed until it’s sold.

Another thing to look for is a publisher that will market your book online. Some small legitimate publishers have trouble getting their books online and in bookstores.

The interesting thing about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is that you can publish an e-book for free. Amazon even has cover templates. Unless you are a great writer and can find a beta reader, hire a qualified editor who has solid recommendations, background and experience with writing and publishing. It’s risky to put poorly edited or unedited writing out with your name on it.

9. How will you reach your readers? The No. 1 way to find readers, in my experience, is speaking. A blog is another great method. Marketing through social media is an excellent way. News releases, interviews and paid advertising also are helpful.

10. Join a critique group and be open to suggestions, criticism and compliments.

About the Author:

Ada Brownell

 

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers, and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is the author of six books. She is a member of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers.

She and her husband have five children, one in heaven, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com/Stick-to-Your-Soul-Encouragement
Ada Brownell Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06

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Radiqx Press: Support Center for Comitted Christian Authors by David Bergsland

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For over a decade now, I have been focused on helping Christian authors publish their books. With the advent of the new 21st century self-publishing this has become an even stronger vision. To that end I founded Radiqx Press early in the new millennium.

Yes, Radiqx is an invented word.

It uses radical with its original meaning of going back to the roots. It puts the focus on holiness and 1st century “acts of the apostles” Christianity. Our goal is to assist and encourage Christian authors to write books that can change lives and help bring in the final harvest.

The most recent move in that direction is our Christian speculative fiction book review group.

So far we have four reviewers signed on, David G. Johnson, Peter Younghusband, Mary Campagna Findley, and myself. We’re committed to being a resource producing book reviews for the new Christian speculative fiction authors which have been emerging over the past few years. We are having many new and old books submitted for review.

The goal is to develop a vetted resource for readers looking for Christian fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, horror, political and/or military thrillers, and so on.

Toward that goal, one of the unique things we do is talk about the spiritual level of the books. A clean read is not usually a Christian book. As I said, we want to encourage authors to write fiction which demonstrates Truth and shows reality to the reader. Bible-thumping and preaching rarely do that.

Hence the name of the blog: Reality Calling

Our hope is to find books which touch us spiritually and build us up. We are looking for books that will not only entertain but realistically help and encourage the reader on a deep spiritual level.

The time is getting short. The Lord is coming soon. He has reaffirmed that to many in these last days. We need to be focused on helping with that

effort, as the Lord leads us into a deeper with Him and the holiness which results from that effort.

Here are the five spiritual levels we talk about when reviewing our books. There is no judgement intended, just a simple analysis of the spiritual level to help readers know what to expect—especially parents looking for books to recommend to their children, mentors guiding those they are helping, and ministers safeguarding their sheep.

  • One star: A clean read gets our lowest rating spiritually. There are actually Christian clean reads, but they are very rare and they’d get a spiritual rating of 3-stars, at least.
  • Two star: Old testament level, there’s no savior, no Holy Spirit—except to prophets, priests, and so on. And even then it’s not a personal relationship with a living God.
  • Three star: Basic religious Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Characters find all their support from church youth groups, and the like.
  • Four star: Here we have believers with a personal relationship with God and a radically transformed life. There’s a tendency to only hear from God via the scriptures, but believers have been born from above as Jesus talked about in John 3. This is the major expectation of believers as discussed extensively by Peter, Paul, and John.
  • Five star: A deeply personal, moment by moment relationship with the Lord. God speaks, gives advice and encouragement, plus the believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit, as seen in Acts. The Lord’s presence is actively part of the character’s life, day on and day out. This is what Paul and John the Baptist calls the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The books may be edgy or not. What they must be is real!

If they go beyond the norm, we’ll let the readers know. But reality is what we are looking for—neither titillation nor shock, nothing gratuitous. Some of the new, edgy Christian fiction is truly excellent, some is mere rebellion. The well-done works are truly superb.

In the future, we may carefully add reviews for romances, mysteries, and the rest of the more popular genre

Reviewers in these genre should contact me. This is all based upon personal relationships, as always.

About the Author:

David Bergsland

I was born outside of Buffalo New York, graduated high school in 1961 in Stillwater, Minnesota, and was graduated with a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Minnesota in 1971. I worked as a lyricist and drummer from 1967, an illustrator from 1971, a graphic designer from 1979, an art director from 1983, a digital printing instructor from 1991, a font designer from 1994, an author from 1995, and a self-publisher since 1997. My writing career began with several traditionally published textbooks on digital publishing, graphic design, and typography from 1995-2004 focusing on FreeHand, Photoshop, and InDesign. My current best sellers in digital publishing are “Practical Font Design, Third Edition”, closely followed by “Writing In InDesign Expanded Edition 2.5″, and “InDesign Ebook Conversions”.

However, my Christian writings have become more popular. My current best seller there is “How to Teach the Bible”. I’ve been a Christian and scripture teacher since 1974, a teaching pastor in a small Foursquare then non-denomination church in Albuquerque throughout the 90s ’til 2005. I’ve written several verse by verse Bible studies, topical studies, and a couple Christian political thrillers.

I also consult with and design books for other Christian authors. This has become a real focus of my ministry. It’s been a real joy to be working on my own. I can finally express my convictions, responsible only to you, my readers, and my God.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes
Ps. 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Be still in the presence of the Lord. For some of us, this may seem nearly impossible to do. We cram our lives so full of stuff that we don’t have time to be still. We are on the go all the time and the Lord gets shoved off to the side. Some of us are simply wired in such a way that stillness just doesn’t fit well with our make-up. For some, there is a sense of guilt associated with being still. Yet, we are told to be still.

Stillness before God is absolutely necessary if we are going to benefit at all from being in His presence. Stillness quiets the soul so we can hear the heartbeat of God. It changes our focus from ourselves and busyness to the Lord. It enables us to appreciate who our Father is and our relationship to Him. It enables us to worship the Lord instead of using Him. It enables us to appreciate what really matters in life. It makes the concerns of our lives pale in light of His glory and grace.

Wait patiently for Him to act. If you struggle with this, ask the Lord to help you. We have to learn that God doesn’t live within our time constraints. He is in no hurry. He acts when it is the right time to act and He will not be pressured to act any sooner.

When we spend quality unhurried time with the Lord, we are not as likely to worry about those who don’t share our faith. We understand that whatever they may do or say doesn’t really matter. The Lord gives us the strength to overcome. He helps us to keep things in perspective and to realize that when all is well with Him, that is all that we need in life. Whatever happens on earth pales in light of what is going to happen for those who are still in the presence of God and wat patiently for Him to act.
C Through Marriage
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