Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Idea Starters for Writers - Calendar Days - 30 Days of Crazy Holidays & Special Occasions in September

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s time again for Calendar Days. 

These are fun to read and also a great way to jumpstart our creativity when looking for ideas for articles and blog posts. They’re also excellent writing prompts to help get your creative juices flowing.

Finally, calendar days are great conversation starters for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Blog Numbers Dropping?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’ve had a number of similar conversations this summer. They always begin the same way, with an inquiry about how he/she can improve the numbers that are dwindling at an alarming rate. These worried bloggers are certain they’ve either done—or not done—something to cause the drop in views, comments and shares. And my answer is always the same.

A drop in blogging numbers is normal during the summer.

My one-sentence assurance is rarely enough to calm a blogger’s nerves. And that’s understandable from someone who’s seen consistent growth through out the first of the year. So today, I’m going to break down the normal ebb and flow of blogging numbers throughout the calendar year, to help you evaluate the health of your own site.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Actively Erupting Good Thinking

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

A lot of my friends have adopted a more active lifestyle and started new workout routines of late. When they all do it at once like that I’m usually shamed into joining them. This time, I’ve decided to do resistance training. Because nobody resists training like I do.

People are always talking about how important it is to have a strong core. And even though I’ve heard from all different directions that I should exercise my core, I’m having a hard time getting past the fact that it sounds just plain dangerous. I try not to disturb my core. That’s because under the various layers of fat cells, I’m not altogether sure what I’m really made of. Hey. What if my core is made of molten lava? Anyone ever think of that? Activity is one thing. But volcanic activity? That’s a whole different ball of magma.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing a Book was only the Beginning

Edie here. I'm really excited to introduce you to Susan Baganz, one of my fellow authors at Prism Books. Be sure to read about her latests novels, out soon! 

by Susan M. Baganz @SusanBaganz

In October 2009, I had a strange dream. I sensed I was supposed to write a novel in November for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). I figured it cost me nothing, wasn’t illegal and if I didn’t finish the 50,000 word goal in November, I would have at least tried.

So I wrote a story that I’d been too afraid to write for more years than I can count.

Friday, August 26, 2016

3 Good Reasons to Disagree with an Editor

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2


Because I’m an editor as well as an author, you might be surprised to read the title of this post. Aren’t editors always right? Won’t you doom your writing career if you disagree with an editor? Won’t they stick the dreaded difficult label on you if you dare to question one of his or her edits?

It’s important to keep in mind that disagreeing is far different than being disagreeable. Your relationship with your editor should be one of mutual give and take, characterized by dialogue and interaction. This is the reason for the Accept and Reject Change button in Microsoft Word—you have the power and right to reject editorial changes, but only for very good reasons. And be prepared to defend yourself.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Myth & Management of the Multitasking Writer

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverbendSagas

When I was in public service and in ministry work, especially involved in hiring, it seemed every job description called for the ability to multitask. And every candidate listed multitasking as one of their strengths if not their greatest strength.

Watching how others and I performed our job functions over the last too large number of years, I’ve learned we can really do only one thing at a time if we want it done well. Multitasking is really knowing the status of where everything else on our plate is so we can quickly pick it up when we get back to it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tips for How to Hook Your Reader

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

The best compliment a writer can hear is, “Your book kept me up all night. I was hooked from the very first line.”

We’re pumped! What wonderful affirmation for our hard work. All the hours, tears, rewrites, digesting critiques, and muscle-cramped fingers just paid off. A lovely nap is in order.

But in addition to all the effort it takes to write a dynamic story, a wise writer understands her readers have certain habits. Those peculiarities and preferences are vital to creating a novel that leaves the reader satisfied and wanting more. Our desire is for our books to be shared with others, via word of mouth and social media.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting Creative with Fiction Publicity

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

Nearly 20 years has passed since I walked into this world of publishing, whether I knew it or not. Twenty years ago (March 1997) I began writing what would become my first published novel, Shadow of Dreams. As I wrote, I knew—somehow, deep deep down—I knew this book would find itself onto bookstore shelves.

Monday, August 22, 2016

13 Social Media Rules Every Writer Needs to Know

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media is a tool. But like any tool we need to know how to use it and not be overwhelmed by it. Here are some basic social media rules every author needs to know.

1. Be consistent in posting social media updates. Small regular steps get you much farther, much faster. By posting 4 to 6 social media updates at day, 3 to 4 days a week can help you build a powerful platform much faster than any other way.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Ways to Write Using the Five Senses—Touch

by Cyle Young @CyleYoung

Different body parts experience the sensation of touch in unique ways. Fingertips have heightened levels of sensitivity, but the tip of an elbow is desensitized. 

Depending on how you touch on object with certain body parts the feeling or experience will be different and should be described relative to the sensation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10 Tools for the Bible Study Writer—Hunting for Treasure

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28


I have a confession to make. I love to stop at tourist traps and pan for gold. It’s like a mini-adventure when I get to sift through a pan of dirt and discover treasures for myself. 

Sifting through lumps of mud, shaking the pan anxiously, waiting for the moment when a piece of gold or pyrite catches my eye. A little work, a little waiting—and then the reward! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On Writing a New Book

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

Today I began writing a new book. I gasp as I realize this is number thirteen to be published under my name (I’m not superstitious).
           
Did you think I would be calm with this process by now?  The truth—I am in awe. That a fine publisher has offered me a contract. That amazing people actually buy the books I write. But mostly, friend, I am in awe that the God of the universe would deign to offer me a part in helping to further His kingdom here on earth.
           
Through words.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tips for Tromping Trolls on Social Media

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Social media is one of those love-hate relationships. There’s a lot of good buzz it can create, but there’s also a bitter aftertaste if a troll decides to attack your territory.

It’s important to understand the difference between trolls and someone who just doesn’t like you. You have every right to delete inflammatory comments and keep peace on your pages, but be careful to not manipulate the system so you’re only seeing the sunny side of things. If a person voices their dislike, let them know it’s okay and different people have different views.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Life in Words

by Sarah Van Diest @SarahVanDiest

My words rest on the page as if sleeping.

They are worn out from their journeys and struggles. The stories they would tell if they weren’t so tired are of an epic nature, I am sure. Where they have traveled, what they have seen and endured, how they have suffered and triumphed, and what miseries and hopes they have carried! They are weary, and for good reason. “The road has been long” is an underdeveloped expression of their experience.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Loved or Understood?

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Loved or understood? Do we have to choose between the two?

I don’t think so.

When we take the time to understand someone else, isn’t that a form of loving that person? Understanding someone demands concentrated effort. Sometimes we must set aside prejudices and preconceived ideas about a person. Understanding happens when we listen. When we consider someone else more important than ourselves — when we let their story take precedence over ours.

It’s not so much which came first: loving or understanding? It’s more that you can’t have one without the other. If you understand someone, you can’t help but care for them in at least some small way. And if you love someone, then you are willing to put in the effort to understand them — to ask who are you and why are you who you are

In Your Words: If you had to choose, would you want to be loved or understood? Why? And what do you think of George Orwell’s quote? Is it a matter of choosing one or the other — or are being loved and being understood intertwined?

TWEETABLE
Loved or understood? Do we have to choose between the two? @BethVogt (Click to Tweet)

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” 

A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Specifics on How My Street Team Marketing Has Worked, ThunderClap Marketing, and Winners Announced

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

A ThunderClap for While My Child is Away!
First, a THUNDERCLAP!
Before I get to the update on my street team, I want to share something else that my publisher is doing to get the word out about my book. They have set up a ThunderClap. This wasn’t something I’d heard of until they introduced me to it, but I’ve done a good bit of research since then and see how it’s a great marketing idea.

The idea stems from a flash mob, only it takes place online.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Musings on the Future of Books

Edie here. I'm excited to share the news that best-selling author, Warren Adler has a new series out! Be sure to click on the book trailer at the end of the post and look for the special offer of a free audio download of the first book in the Fiona Fitzgerald series.


Musings on the Future of Books
by Warren Adler @WarrenAdler


In my imaginative life as a writer of fiction, I have always strived to come up with some idea that might invest my novels with something so unique, original and insightful that it could plant the seeds of durability and ensure that my books attract readers beyond my lifetime.

Like all inventors, the works of fiction writers are measured by their uniqueness and the benefits to those who consume them. Broadly defined, those benefits can be insight, elucidation, pleasure, a new path to assess motivation, character, destiny, death, luck, love, hate, evil, greed, cruelty, empathy, sacrifice, pain, war, sexuality and, as Hamlet put it, “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

5 Tips When You’re Struggling & Juggling to Meet Writing Deadlines

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden


Some weeks the writer’s life bring some pretty hefty back-to-back and sometimes overlapping deadlines. 

Here are a few tips to make the struggling and juggling a little easier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Writing Scam—Don’t You Dare!

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted


Yep, it happened to me. Scammed. Me, the cynic. The one who is overly cautious. Stingy with information. Me. I was scammed because I let my heart get in the way of my head.

Thank goodness I had the good sense to stop the incident before it could go very far, but the fact remains. . . I got took, as we say in the mountains. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Lord Weighs the Heart

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar


All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart. -Proverbs 21:2, NIV

The old merchant piled the plums high on the brass scales, carefully adjusting the rusty weights to achieve a perfect balance. With a theatrical flourish, he rearranged the succulent purple fruit like an artist with his brush, adding the finishing touches to his masterpiece. It was now my turn. I nodded and smiled and showered him with the appropriate blessings and expressions of gratitude as I counted my coins carefully in my right hand. With the agility of a magician, he whisked the coins away and placed the plums in a bag. Our transaction was complete.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What Do You See?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

"It is not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. -Henry David Thoreau




















As writers, we have a unique opportunity to focus our reader's attention on something different. Share some of the authors who have done that for you, and inspired you to do that in your own writing. 

Leave your answers in the comment section below.

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


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

Friday, August 5, 2016

Writing Success—Writing Against the Grain

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy. ”But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me!” (2 Kings 5:10-11)

How many times do we miss God’s miracles on our lives because He doesn't do things the way we expect?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Price of Books—Still the Best Deal Around

by Lynn Huggins Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I am a book lover. Always have been.

I realize that not everyone is. (I don't understand these people, but I recognize they exist).

But one thing I do not understand is anyone who complains about how "expensive” books are.

Really?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

While My Child is Away—Praying For Our Kids Isn’t Always Easy

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson




Today I’m deviating from the norm. I’m not posting specifically about writing, but about what led me to write my latest book, While My Child is Away, Prayers for When We’re Apart.

I've discovered that God uses the things I struggle with to bring comfort to others. It's not always an easy thing—sharing challenges—but I've learned by being transparent I disappear and God's power comes shining through. 

Prayer Doesn’t Always Come Easy
In spite of the fact that I now write books of prayers, praying didn’t always come easy to me. Early on my lack of prayer power didn’t bother me. It wasn’t until I began having children that the urgency hit. Then my prayer life became vitally important. I wanted to be the type of mom who prayed powerful prayers that protected her children no matter what happened.

I worried that my prayers weren’t good enough. Maybe I hadn’t spent enough time on thanksgiving or confession. Or perhaps I was saying things in the wrong order. Truthfully I was looking for a formula that would infuse my prayers with power enough to get God’s undivided attention on my child’s behalf.

Turns out that what I believed about my role in prayer was all backwards.

I was looking for power in my words, instead of focusing on the power of God. And I was forgetting that each of us has God’s undivided attention—always. He loves each of us, and more importantly to me, He loves each of my children even more than I do.

Even when I discovered the mistake in my thinking about prayer, I still wasn’t quite sure how to frame my prayers. Then I revisited one of my favorite passages in the Bible. So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11. That was what I needed to redirect my prayer life and get me on the right track.

That journey became While My Child is Away.

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

But today I'm breaking my rule and asking for your help. This Saturday, August 6, I'm having a big book signing at our local Barnes and Noble on Woodruff Road in the Shops at Greenridge. I'll be signing copies of While My Child is Away.

I need your help with sharing this information on social media. 

If you're near the Greenville, South Carolina area, I'd love for you to join me! Even if you're not, don't despair, I'm including you in the fun. To all those who comment on this post, telling me they shared this on social media, I'll add you to a drawing. I will cut off the comments on Friday, August 5 at midnight.

To sweeten the pot, I'm giving away a 2 $15 Barnes and Noble e-giftcards and 2 $15 Amazon e-giftcards. So there will be 4 winners in all.

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

Thanks & Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLES

WhileMy Child is Away, learning the hard lesson of #prayer - @EdieMelson (Click toTweet)