Are you old school 3-D or digital?

I think I live in an awesome time to be a writer. What used to take months, even years, to research, I can learn now with just a few clicks. I don’t have to travel anywhere but to my writing cave to go all over the world. I don’t even need a thesaurus, dictionary or encyclopedia at my side. Click. Click. A plethora of resources appears at the command of my fingertips. As I’ve shared before, I really do wish it were possible to read the entire Internet. Then again, sometimes I read so much of it I’m left with even fewer answers than before. The reason? Not every expert agrees. Our knowledge on this earth is finite, and our faith, work and lives extremely complex. There’s simply no way to know everything. And then there’s the issue of digital versus 3-D. Print book vs. e-book. Hard copy versus virtual. I find myself unable to commit to one or the other. Fact is, I’m a hybrid consumer when it comes to using resources. When organizing your thoughts while writing and planning, do you lean more toward digital or 3-d? I find myself doing both. I still haven’t completely committed to a digital calendar. I record both in my hard copy planner and my digital google calendar. For some reason, the hard copy planner is like a security blanket for me. Maybe if I’d grown up recording my life in the virtual world I’d be more willing to let the hard copy calendar go. For now, though, I have it on my phone, computer, on the wall on a whiteboard and in my planner. I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting older and am afraid of being forgetful, or if I just enjoy planning. As for planning a novel, I find myself using both Kanbanflow, WriteWay software and a 3-D notebook for storing ideas, outlines, characterizations and research. I found a really awesome little notebook that I wish, oh wish, they’d make in a 2″ binder. In this I keep all sorts of notes, such as my Pixar graphic organizers, character charts, names, research and more. I like being able to reach for the notebook instead of having to figure out where I stored the info online or on my laptop. And while WriteWay has given me a great tool for storing research and ideas, too, I still like having that back-up of a 3-D notebook. For now, both 3-D and virtual/digital planning works for me. I know I’m probably working at it a little harder than the next person because I use redundant methods. But it makes me feel safer somehow. Plus, I’m an extremely visual person. Not being...

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An open letter to friends and family from a writer

Dear Friends and Family: (Note: This letter is not in any way a reference to my darling Mr. Himself!) There have been some rumbles lately about the time I spend writing. To help us all get on the same page about this wordsmith-ing gig I’m into, I thought I’d write this letter to set a few things straight. Few people understand the sacrifices a writer makes other than other writers. Especially writers with full-time jobs outside of writing. The perception most of the public has of people who write books, is that their work is easy and effortless. Authors sit down and *POOF* out pops a book. When you’re a writer, people assume you don’t have a “real” job with “real” hours. Deadlines, to them, are just excuses to say no to things you don’t want to do, when the opposite is true. People also assume writers who are published get big royalty checks each month. Um, no. Not unless you’re a national/international best-seller. So far, no one is banging down my door offering me movie contracts or begging me to publish with them. And if a big royalty check arrived in the mail, someone stole it. Some of you wonder how I juggle so many things and wear so many hats. It boils down to three basic things: I don’t watch TV. Think of how many hours you watch TV each week and add it up. That’s probably several whole days of writing for me. I get several whole extra days a week others don’t because I spend my spare time writing and researching instead of passively frying my brain on drivel. (As you can see, I have a high opinion of television these days.) Writing for me is as much a part of me as breathing. I must write. It’s been such a part of me, from such a young age, I simply can’t imagine not doing it. Ducks swim. I write. You hunt. I write. You are a car enthusiast, I’m a writer. I’m different from you. Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different. I’ve learned to say no. It upsets people. They call me names. They hurt my feelings by saying things like, “I’ll be sure they put ‘I have a deadline’ on your tombstone.'” (More about that in a minute.) But I’ve learned that no one will respect and protect my writing time but me. No one understands it, or wants it, as badly as I do. I’ve learned that there’s no way to please everyone, so I’ve stopped trying. My aim is to please God and God alone. This has taken me far too long to learn. I wish I’d have done so many years...

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Announcing Blog of the Year Winner!

Last year I held a contest in which I featured a different blog each month. The following blogs recieved the Brilliant Blog Award in 2016 and were in the running for the Most Brilliant Blog of all 2016: 1. Camels and Chocolate by Kristen Luna. My favorite secular blog. It’s a travel blog and the photos and layout of this blog are impeccable. 2. Miss NiNi’s Food Blog. There’s nothing I don’t like about this baker and writer’s blog. Her writing voice is just as delicious as her delectable pastries. Meet Miss NiNi here: 3. Zoe M. McCarthy’s Blog on Writing.  This is probably my favorite blog right now for practical, simple, easy-to-grasp advice on writing. I have printed out pages of this blog to file in my writer’s notebook, and have created graphic organizers with some of the tips she shares. I highly recommend this blog. 4. Grace on Parade by Karen Wingate. Karen inspires me with  her fortitude and commitment to leading a life dedicated to her Savior.  Her life as a pastor’s wife is intense, but there’s a peace and serenity to her blog that I favor. Her struggle with legal blindness and the miracles attached to that experience are riveting. You really must visit this blog, and often! 5. Kristy Cambron. This blog is not only pretty, it’s rich in encouragement and spiritual food. I fell in love with Kristy after reading her first book. I also like the way Kristy incorporates video into her blog. You’re missing out on something very special if you don’t subscribe. Kristy is a consistent blogger and you can count on her posts each week to inspire you to draw closer to Jesus. 6. Bob Hostetler’s One Prayer a Day Blog. I love getting these prayers in my emails each day. (I subscribe to his blogs by mail.) He also has other blogs you can check out here. Bob’s a former pastor and a best-selling author. I can hardly wait to dig into his latest book: The Bard and the Bible.  7. Books & Such Literary Agency. Everything you need to know about working with a publishing agent can be found on this blog. Read and digest! 8. Shelley Wilburn’s Walking Healed.  Ever since Jesus healed Shelley, she can’t stop speaking and blogging about it! Her blog is delightful. And anyone who wears mismatched socks is just okay with me! You’ll love her. She now has a companion study guide to go with her book. You’ve got to check it out! 9. Tom Threadgill’s wit and satire on his blog are second to none. I always giggle when I read Tom’s blog. He is also an editor and you can acquire his services over on...

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Countdown to Christmas Day 24

Welcome to Countdown to Christmas Day 24! Tomorrow’s Christmas! Today’s Random Act of Kindness Go to a Christmas Eve Service and give a family a treat. Today’s Scripture, Isaiah 9:2-7, TLB The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light—a Light that will shine on all those who live in the land of the shadow of death. 3 For Israel will again be great, filled with joy like that of reapers when the harvesttime has come, and like that of men dividing up the plunder they have won. 4 For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the vast host of the Midianites by Gideon’s little band. 5 In that glorious day of peace there will no longer be the issuing of battle gear; no more the bloodstained uniforms of war; all such will be burned. 6 For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” 7 His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven’s armies has dedicated himself to do it! Today’s Song: My Soul Magnifies the Lord   Tweet this: Christmas Eve is a great time to spread random acts of kindness! Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry...

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Christmas Countdown Day 23

Welcome to Day 23 of our Christmas Countdown! Today is my Mother-In-Law’s 82nd birthday! Happy Birthday, Ellen! Today’s Random Act of Kindness Do a secret act of kindness. I did one today and it felt awesome. We think doing a kindness only benefits the ones we are kind to, but actually, I beleive it energizes us in ways we can’t comprehend. Not only that, but God sees all we do in secret. I like that. If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy.  Today’s Scripture: John 3:16, TLB For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Today’s Song: Winter Storm Tweet this: Join me in spreading secret random acts of kindness! Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry...

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Countdown to Christmas Day 22

Welcome to Day 22 of our Christmas Countdown! Today’s Random Act of Kindness Pray for a stranger’s meal or coffee. If you’ve never paid for the person behind you in a drive-through line before, give it a try. You’ll smile all day just thinking about it! If you’d like all the random acts of kindness in one list, email me and I’ll send you a copy.  Today’s Scripture: John 6:48-51, TLB “Yes, I am the Bread of Life! When your fathers in the wilderness ate bread from the skies, they all died. But the Bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. I am that Living Bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread shall live forever; this Bread is my flesh given to redeem humanity.” Today’s Song: Born to Die Tweet this: Who wants to join me in spreading random acts of kindness? Leave your comments below and let me know if you’re participating! Have fun and Merry...

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