Friday, September 30, 2011

Writing Goal Update - Dawn

September 30 Goal - Write one chapter of The Library Chronicles Book 2 -- Kingdom Treasures. I am happy to say, I completed this goal tonight. Whew!  The book has officially been started! Woo hoo!

Next Goals:
October 15 -- Write one chapter
October 30 -- Write one chapter

How are your writing goals coming along?

Card = Care

Today, consider writing a card to someone who needs lifted up.

Writing Exercise: Think of someone who needs lifted up. Pray over what to write to that person. Pull out a blank card, or make a card out of card stock, and write an encouraging note. Mail or deliver it today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Writing Resources: The Christian Writing Academy

TheWriting Academy is a community of Christian writers who share a passion for telling the story of God's good news for a hurting world. The Academy offers a ministry of encouragement to Christian writers including a unique at-home study program in writing, which provides instruction, feed-back, encouragement, and growth. Writers can choose from a menu of ten courses taught by trained professionals and published writers. Among the courses available are the following:

Writing Basics—fundamentals of crisp, clear, marketable writing
Short Stories—story perspectives: point of view
Devotions—how to write for devotional magazines
Poetry—contemporary cadence and subject matter
Memoir—your life story, your legacy
Individual Writing Project-- a critique of your own writing project

To register for a writing course, simply go to The Writing Academy and click on “Classes by Mail”. Then follow the links in the middle of the page to sign up for courses, read course descriptions, check out the Q & A about the writing courses, or to read bios for the instructors. The curriculum arrives by mail. You will be matched with one of The Academy’s  professional tutors who will offer constructive criticism and encouragement.

So, if you long to impact your world through the power of written communication and need guidance in finding your writing niche and developing your own unique voice, the Writing Academy's professional staff can help you identify your strengths and hone your craft.


Monday, September 26, 2011

See * Photo * Write

See*Photo*Write Challenge - Every Monday!

An interesting, amusing, or startling photograph has the power to spark creativity and arouse the writer within.
Photo by Lecia Phinney

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Man by Cheryl Andreus

Cheryl  Andreus, a member of 1st Writes, wrote this poem for her husband Frank.
Frank has a rare, treatment-resistant form of multiple myeloma
and will begin the three-week process for a stem cell transplant September 26th.
Please keep Frank and Cheryl in your prayers.


by Cheryl Andreus

Through all the years that we’ve been wed
I’ve truly felt God’s plan.
I know that Frank was meant for me.
God gave me quite a man! 

His gentleness belies his strength

He’s humble and he’s kind.
A man with more compassion would
Be very hard to find.

At night when we lay down to sleep,
His arms surrounding me
I realize how blessed I am
And just what love can be.

He is my caring husband and
I am his loving bride.
There’s nothing that I treasure more
Than being by his side.

We’ve had the normal ups and downs
That couples often do.
But, thankfully, our challenges
Have certainly been few.

Now we are faced with this great ‘beast’
Our world is torn apart
These are the times we learn to trust
And take God’s Word to heart.

As He has shown His love for us
By sending us His Son
We’ll love each other faithfully
Until our lives are done.

Together we have been so blessed
We’ve had the perfect life.
I thank my God for each new day
That I can be Frank’s wife!

God gave us quite a family
We love the way it’s grown
We pray that into each one’s life
A seed of faith’s been sown.

And now I ask your healing touch
Upon this man I love
Surround us with your Presence, Lord
And HOPE from up above.

©2011 Cheryl Andreus

Saturday, September 24, 2011

1st Mentions...

Our Favorite Blog Posts of the Week!

Pam's Favorite: For lots of laughs and some great writing advice visit James Watkins blog, hope & humor. I especially like his "1 Corinthians 12 for Writers" which he includes under The New Living Paraphrased King James Watkins Version. It's a hoot!

Dawn's Favorite: A Day That is Dessert.  
I am really enjoying Lecia Phinney's everyday photos. Her blog title really says it all.

Brianna's Favorite: 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Joke of the Day

Why is writing like a Plantar's Wart?

A: It grows on the inside and is sometimes painful!

Ever feel like this with your writing? Well, I recommend you just get it out!

Well, that's all I have for today. Remember to laugh!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Writing Resources: Ed2Go

One of my absolute favorite writing resources is  A network of more than 1500 colleges and universities, Ed2Go provides hundreds of inexpensive online courses, ($80 to $100 each, depending on which college you take them through). Geared to adults, the courses cover topics from accounting to Wordpress.

Ed2Go online courses are interactive and intriguing. Each course includes areas for discussion with fellow students, quality, practical information, challenging yet do-able assignments, and an encouraging, expert instructor.

Lessons are released twice a week, Wednesdays and Fridays; students are given two weeks to complete them. There are quizzes at the end of each lesson and a final at the end of the course.

Writing courses available through Ed2Go include:

  • Advanced Fiction Writing
  • Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published
  • Beginning Writer’s Workshop
  • Breaking into Sitcom Writing
  • Craft of Magazine Writing
  • Creating K-12 Learning Materials
  • Forensic Science for Writers
  • Grammar Refresher
  • Intro to Internet Writing Markets
  • Introduction to Journaling
  • Keys to Effective Editing
  • Mystery Writing
  • Pleasures of Poetry
  • Research Methods for Writers
  • Romance Writing Secrets
  • Travel Writing
  • Write & Publish Your Non-Fiction Book
  • Write Fiction like a Pro
  • Write for ESL
  • Writerrific: Creativity Training for Writers
  • Writerrific 2: Advanced Creativity Training
  • Writer’s Guide to Descriptive Settings
  • Write Your Life Story
  • Writing for Children

All of the Ed2Go classes I have taken have been practical and helpful in my writing endeavors. However, my favorites are those taught by Eva Shaw (highlighted above). In addition to having the feedback from peers throughout the world, Eva gives personal instruction and motivation in every class and mentors every writer personally, responding to questions, assignments and comments with helpful tips and encouragement. Eva invites people to reach out and interact with class members; her online Discussion areas have been some of the most spiritually uplifting places I have ever been a part of—seriously!

To hone writing skills, jumpstart motivation, solidify a call to a particular genre or to try a taste of an unexplored aspect of writing, Ed2Go is the place . . .  well . . . 2 Go!

Happy learning!
Pam Williams

©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Monday, September 19, 2011


See*Photo*Write Challenge - Every Monday!

An interesting, amusing, or startling photograph has the power to spark creativity and arouse the writer within.

Please feel free to join us and use this photo to stretch and tone your writing muscles!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1st Mentions . . .

Our Favorite Blog Posts of the Week!

Pam's Favorite:
Many of you may know about FaithWriters, the number one place on the web where Christian writers are encouraged to learn, grow, discover resources, showcase their work, and gain feedback. FaithWriters also has an official blog! Among the many good posts to choose from, I zeroed in on Annie Glasel's article Read Less, Listen More . Annie talks about where writing ideas come from and her insights will make you think.

Dawn's Favorite:
Stuff You Missed in History Class

When we go for a drive, my husband plays a "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast by We learn interesting little-known facts and theories as to what really happened. We have fun deciding for ourselves. I highly recommend you check it out. You can download them free on iTunes!

Brianna's Favorite:
I liked this article and thought it would be a good link to add to our Series for New Bloggers.
Confident Writing is full of useful and practical information, like 9 Steps to Developing a Writing Practice. Be sure to have a good look around when you visit!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why? Why? Why?

Why Join a Writer's Group?
In our writing group this week, Pam opened with the main reason for the 1st Writes Writing Group: To encourage each other as writers.
Therefore encourage one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Our writing group also critiques, learns writing tips, practices with prompts and exercises, blogs, shares devotions, writes testimonies, helps one another be accountable to write and to meet writing goals, prays, and builds friendships. 

Writing is often a solitary task, so interaction with other like-minded writers is very important. We each need to be strengthened by each other.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
What Does It Mean to be a Christian Writer? 
To me, it means to write in a way that is pleasing to God, no matter what you write (Christian or secular). 
Why Write?
Do you feel passionate about writing? If so, it is because God gave you a gift or talent.
Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to
the grace given us, let us use them... Romans 12: 6
You should write because it pleases God when you use the gift/talent that he gave you. It  also will bring you joy to do something you were meant to do!
Why do you write?  What are your "Why? Why? Why?" questions?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Fortune To Write About

Tonight during the first official 1st Writes meeting of the fall, we did a fun writing exercise to warm up and get to know each other better.

Pam brought in fortune cookies and we wrote for 7 minutes on the message in our cookie.

The words on my slip of paper weren't proverbial, enlightening or inspirational, but nevertheless I wrote for 7 minutes.

After time was up, we took turns sharing our writing. After the third member read her fortune, I thought, "boy, did I get a lousy cookie!"

And that's exactly what I told the group before I read my fortune:
Learn Chinese - Roast Duck

Well, it turns out that I should have read the other side of the slip of paper, which never occurred to me. In my defense, I rarely eat Chinese food and my husband usually eats my fortune cookie. But still, how dense could I be?

Despite my moment of absentmindedness, it was a great meeting. I'm looking forward to all we are going to learn and write this fall.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writing Resources: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

My friend and fellow blogger, Dawn Hamsher of The Write Soil has been reading Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. When she read the chapter on Dialogue Mechanics, she decided to create visuals exemplifying the fantastic tips she has found in the book. She is posting her illustrations on her blog as a series based on the book, so you might want to stop over there for a sample of what Renni Browne and Dave King have to say on editing.  I think Dawn should be on the marketing team because she sure sold me on this book!

It just makes sense that, by correcting problems before submitting a manuscript to an editor, writers can increase their chances for publication. While hundreds of books have been written about writing, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers teaches the techniques of editing, including the mechanics of dialog, exposition, interior monologue, characterization, point of view, etc.

Renni Browne and Dave King are experienced and professional editors. They cram a ton of practical information into each compact lesson, illustrating their points with examples drawn from the hundreds of books they have edited. And, at the end of every chapter are checklists and exercises to help writers apply the editing techniques and boost their WIPs a step closer to publication.

If you are a fiction writer, you will find Self-Editing for Fiction Writers a valuable addition to your library. It’s a book that’s been around for a while so check, or for a used copy and save lots of green!

Happy reading!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Monday, September 12, 2011

See * Photo * Write

Do to busy schedules we are extending last week's See Photo Write one more week! Below is the photo. Click this link to go to the original post with linky. We'd love to have you join in the writing fun!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1st Mentions...

Our Favorite Blog Posts of the Week!

Pam's Favorite: Attention fiction writers! "Setting and Background in Fiction" is an eight-part series by Cec Murphey on his blog Writer to Writer. Murphey's posts reflect lessons he has learned from a lifetime of writing.

Dawn's Favorite: Daily Writing Practice

There is a reason I really like Marc's is after my own heart! Marc posts a writing prompt everyday and encourages writers to share  what they write in the Comments. He also shares what he writes on the prompt. So, go over and do a prompt! Write something today!

Kickstart Your Writing This Fall

Sorry, I'm a day late posting. I've been a busy girl. I've been working on Kamy Wicoff's Five Steps to Kickstart Your Writing This Fall, which is a group within the She Writes writing community. I'd like to share some of it today.

1. Write - Take some time today and write about anything.

2. Check Your Calendar - Note things on the calendar that you will need to take into consideration when planning your writing time this fall.

3. Set Your Writing Goals for the Fall and assign due dates. 

4. Break down these goals into three smaller pieces. What will you accomplish specifically this week?

5. Find someone to hold you accountable.

Here are my goals: Begin working on The Library Chronicles, Book 2, Kingdom Treasures. Due dates: Sept. 30 -- 1 chapter.  Oct. 15 -- 1 chapter.  Oct. 30 -- 1 chapter. Nov. and Dec. are too busy, so I'm not going to schedule any writing then. Pam and Brianna -- please hold me accountable!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing Resources: The Successful Writer's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles

All serious writers work hard at improving their skills. Just look at the popularity of blogs like Lynda Young’s W.I.P. It and websites like Writer’s Digest.

However, being honest, we sometimes use studying a huge tome about writing as an excuse for not writing. “How-to writing books can be a powerful form of procrastination for writers,” Reverend Deborah Tinsley Taylor, poet and pastor says.

The Successful Writer's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles by writing teacher Eva Shaw, PhD, is different. In just 168 pages Eva provides the essentials to compete in the magazine writing marketplace. She leads the way through the maze of submitting material—from the inception of an idea all the way to seeing articles in print.

Through her book, Eva challenges, equips and encourages the tentative writer to submit. Writer and columnist, Dera Williams of Oakland, CA, says, “This book is a must for anyone interested in writing magazine articles and selling them. Dr. Shaw writes as if she is sitting down and talking to you directly.”

The Successful Writer's Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles  covers the nuts and bolts of writing. Chapters offer tips and instructions for setting goals and priorities, where ideas come from, business practices. writing terminology, timelines for submissions, how to approach an editor, how to gracefully handle a rejection, query writing musts, and research tips and reference guides.

I consider Eva Shaw one of my best writing mentors. Eva teaches classes on writing through, including a class based on this book! Eva’s God-given gift of encouragement shines through, motivating and nudging every writer to exert the time and effort to reach publication.

Happy reading!

Monday, September 5, 2011

See * Photo * Write

See Photo Write Challenge - Every Monday!

An interesting, amusing, or startling photograph has the power to spark creativity and arouse the writer within.

We would love to have you join in and write whatever story the picture inspires.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

1st Mentions...

Our Favorite Blog Posts of the Week!

Dawn's Favorite: She Writes
She Writes is a community, virtual workplace, and emerging marketplace for women who write, with over 15,000 active members from all 50 states and more than 30 countries. Leveraging social media tools and harnessing women’s collaborative power, She Writes is fast becoming the destination for all women who write. To learn more read Getting Started.

Especially useful for those of us preparing for an upcoming writer's conference.

Pam's Favorite: Do you have some scenes that won't behave? What do you do? Cut them or keep plugging along until they submit? Zan Marie over at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree has a great post to help sort it all out called Farewell Darling Scenes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

No Greater Gift

There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.  
John 15:13 (NLT)

I have been asked to do a skit based on this scripture. So far, I have no ideas.  I've been thinking about this passage and a true story from my childhood came to mind. I'm going to write about it here and pray for inspiration for the skit.

Saving Helen --
My family came home to Pennsylvania to visit my grandmother for a couple weeks over the summer. I was 12. One hot day, Grandma and I went to her next door neighbor's house for a swim. There was always an open invitation even if they weren't home. Grandma invited another neighbor, Helen, who was in her early 70's, to also swim. 

Helen did not swim. She just liked to walk around the shallow end of the pool. I practiced my diving and had just gotten out of the pool to go to the diving board again when I noticed Helen acting strange. She was at the place in the pool where it slopes down and her arms were straight up to the sky. Half her body was still out of the water, but slowly she was walking down the steep slope. She was so calm, going deeper and deeper. Then her head began to go under. I knew she couldn't swim. What was she doing?

"Turn around! Go back!"

She seemed to not hear me. My grandmother was shouting. She also could not swim. I had taken pool safety, but everything I learned completely left my mind. I had to save her. I jumped in, swam to her and grabbed her, but instead of letting me pull her to the side, she was pulling me down, clinging to me, pulling my head under. Now I was struggling for my life. I swam as hard as I could and finally we reached the ladder.

I found out later that when Helen's feet began to go down the pool slope, she just knew she would drown, so she gave right in to it. 

Do you have a story? Do you have any ideas for my skit?