Saturday, August 18, 2007

Breaking the Block

You know, I thought I had it licked. That ugly thing called writer's block.

I was in a time where the words were just flowing. I was waking up early, before anyone else in my home, and writing everyday, exceeding my daily word goal. And the stuff was good! I even went in a direction I hadn't expected, which definitely seemed like a God thing.

Then one day, it just STOPPED. I woke up, and there was nothing. I read over what I'd written the day before, and had no idea where to go next. Maybe it was the distractions. My husband is between careers right now (long story) so he's home all the time, and so is my son. Yep, it's easy to blame it on them. So when I found out that they were both going to be gone for a weekend (another long story) and I'd have the house all to myself, I was elated. This was it, my chance to really get back on track.

The weekend came. I sat at my computer and... NOTHING.

This made no sense. I was completely alone for 3 days, yet I couldn't come up with a thing to write. I finally gave up, and watched a few movies on TV (for the record, The Bone Collector and Shall We Dance, two very different movies, but both very good.)

This dry spell lasted for almost 2 weeks. Finally, I did write the devotions I needed to get done (chronicled in the I Made My Deadline blog). But still, the WIP was stuck.

Today, I decided it was time to get unstuck. I opened up my WIP file, determined to write something, ANYTHING, just to get some words on the page. And it worked.

Praise God, here I am, 5 pages and 1200 words later. The best part is, I think it's actually stuff I can use, not just page filler. At any rate, I'm feeling good.

So what happened when I couldn't write? Was it God's way of reminding me that I need to trust Him? Was He trying to remind me that all the words come from Him, anyway? Or was I just lazy? I really don't know. I'm just thankful that today, the words flowed, and the block broke.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Made My Deadline!

There's nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a writing project and meeting a deadline. Come, share in my joy!

The project was 7 devotions for the Concordia Publishing House "My Devotions" quarterly magazine. I've been writing these for a while, but didn't realize how long until I pulled out my file to check... 13 years! It's hard to believe, but I've written nearly 100 of these. Yowza!

A lot's changed in 13 years. The editor I started working with has retired and I work with another great editor, the magazine went from monthly to quarterly, and now there are four authors featured per month instead of three. (And did I mention I've got some gray hairs now? This in no way is a result of the work!) But I love the fact that it gives me the oportunity to share the Gospel and the love of God with kids.

So now that one project is wrapped up, I move on to the next one... my WIP. I work much better with a deadline, so I've given myself one. My goal is to have my WIP completed before I leave for the ACFW conference in September. That means I have 34 days to write about 20,000 more words. Can it be done? Yes, but only if I keep my butt in my chair and do the work!

How about you? Any goals you've set for yourself? Any projects you're chomping at the bit to finish? May God give us strength!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What's New In Christian Fiction - August 2007

There's always something cool going on in Christian fiction! Here are the August 2007 New Releases:

1. Abomination by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson. A young woman flees from a serial killer who leaves his victims at geocaching sites.

2. Family for Keeps and Sadie's Hero reissued as one book by Margaret Daley, from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. This Love Inspired Classic captures two touching stories that were favorites of readers.

3. Jacob's List by Stephanie Grace Whitson from Bethany House Publishers. Facing the challenge of their lives, the Nolans learn that their son's list is about a lot more than youthful adventure. Jacob's List: a story of reconciliation. . . against all odds.

4. In His Dreams from the Michigan Island Series by Gail Gaymer Martin from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. Two widowed in-laws meet again on Beaver Island after a few years absence and find joy in the sense of family, especially the hero's emotionally impaired pre-teen daughter, but the familiar friendship goes far beyond what they expected.

5. Massachusetts Brides by Lisa Harris from Barbour Publishing. Three old-fashioned romances bloom in the heart of New England.

6. Missionary Daddy Book 4 of A Tiny Blessings Tale by Linda Goodnight from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A single missionary battles to adopt two boys from Africa and discovers the woman of his dreams is not who he thought she was.

7. Murder by Mushroom by Virginia Smith from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. A potluck on the lawn of Heritage Community Church brings out the usual pests: ants and flies, gossips and murderers.

8. Off the Record by Elizabeth White from Zondervan. A hidden past with journalist Cole McGaughan could end Laurel Kincade's judicial career...Or will the truth set them free to love again?

9. The Restitution 3rd book in The Legacy of the King's Pirates series by MaryLu Tyndall from Barbour Publishing. When Lady Isabel Ashton's only son is kidnapped, she is forced to enlist the aid of the boy's father, the pirate who ruined her life and stole her virtue.

10. To Love Anew Book One of Three by Bonnie Leon from Revell. When Hannah Talbot is banished from London and transported to Australia on a prison ship she's certain God has turned his back on her.

11. Trusting Him by Brenda Minton from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. A woman learning to trust, a man longing to be trusted, and a love that takes them by surprise...

Happy reading~

REVIEW - A New Promise by Julie Eller

What would you do if you made a promise that you couldn't keep? Scott Parnell finds himself in this position after his wife, Rachel succumbs to Huntington's disease. Scott can't bring himself to carry out the DNR order, so Rachel lingers on life support while her family struggles to cope. When Rachel's sister, Celeste, comes home to assist them, the reaction is mixed. Gradually, it becomes clear to everyone in the family that our plans aren't always the same as God's plans.

New author Julie Eller asks the compelling question: when you're faced with circumstances beyond your control and comprehension, will you still keep your trust and faith in a loving, all powerful, all knowing God?

Julie doesn't back away from the hard questions. I appreciate the fact that her characters are quite human, with faults and sins, just like the rest of us. They can't work this out on their own, which she makes quite clear in the pages of this emotional first novel. To quote from the back cover: A New Promise exemplifies the truth of Proverbs 16:9, "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps, with an assurance that His ways are higher than our ways," and that His ways are always best.

To find out more about Julie Eller and her book, A New Promise, visit her website at Also, to read an interview with Julie, visit Stormi Johnson's blog at