Monday, October 20, 2014

Write Angles Conference 2014

Another Write Angles Conference has come and gone. It's amazing how months of planning is done in an instant.

Here is a list of this year's panels:

Doing What You Love: Sustaining Your Writerly Practice
Panelists: Liz Bedell (moderator), Áine Greaney, Christian McEwen, Holly Wren Spaulding
Do you ever struggle to find time to write, or to make best use of the time and space you have to write? Do you wrestle with burnout, writer’s block, or the muse’s fickle attention? This panel will explore what is really at the heart of the matter: how to nourish and sustain your writing self, amidst the perils of both external responsibilities (job, family, community) and internal distractions (self-doubt, dithering, curiosities).

The Essay: A Genre for All Reasons
Panelists: Daniel Jones, Alison Lobron, Bill Newman, Darlene Smith-Ash (moderator)
We read them everywhere – op-eds, reviews, on-line commentary, and profiles of the famous and the unknown. The length varies as much as the subject matter. This panel promises to be scintillating and surprising as we consider the many facets of the essay.

“Who’s Speaking and Why Does it Matter?”
Workshop leader: Ellen Meeropol
Choosing the point of view(s) for your fiction is critical. Through discussion and writing exercises, this workshop will consider who speaks, to whom, and at what distance from the action. Bring pen and paper!

Building a Platform: What Is It, Do You Need It, and How Do You Create It?
Panelists: Linda Cardillo, Avital Norman Nathman, Jean Stone, Julie Winberg (moderator)
In the evolving publishing climate, it has become more and more important for authors to engage with their readers and create a “platform” that demonstrates visibility, creativity and reach to a defined audience. Panelists will discuss what it means to build a platform, whether we need one, and how to develop it?

Pen in the Sickroom: Getting the Illness/Caretaking Experience on Paper
Panelists: Jeanne Borfitz (moderator), Joanna Lillian Brown, Jan Freeman, Nell Lake, Suzanne Strempek Shea
Why does experience with illness and caregiving turn ordinary folks into writers, novelists and poets into memoirists, and writers of prose into poets? What pulls at us from the depths of our souls and compels us to translate intensely personal experiences and conflicted emotions into words? How do we unload such heavy emotional burdens while continuing to hold their meaning close? How can our words provide inspiration, strength, and hope to readers? Panelists will discuss why and how they write about their own and others’ experiences with illness and caregiving.

Read & Weed: Critiquing for Growth
Workshop Leaders: Liz Bedell, Cheryl Malandrinos, Jean Marie Ruiz, Darlene Smith-Ash
Plucking through garden weeds and flowers takes knowledge, tools, and a gentle hand. This applies to writing as well. Some words or phrases are unnecessary weeds, while others are exotic, beautiful flowers meant to blossom and enhance a narrative. In this experiential workshop facilitators will guide participants in the art of helpful critique. Using one-page, blind samples of participants’ writing, we will focus on the writer’s words and concept, resisting the temptation to re-write. Honest critiquing, like earnest weeding, is beneficial, but knowing where to stop can be tricky. This session focuses on the art of giving constructive critique, giving you strategies you can apply to your own writing to become an active editor in your own garden of words. You will be asked to submit a single page of writing (in any genre) immediately after registration. Please be sure to mark the box on your registration form, indicating your interest in this workshop. The workshop size is limited to 24.

Muse or Method? The Poetry Process in Perspective
Panelists: Sally Bellerose, Terry S. Johnson (moderator), Gail Thomas
A lively presentation about how poets work, and an opportunity for the audience to try out various approaches. A handout will be available with options and prompts.

The Agents
Literary agents tell what they look for in a publishable manuscript.

I took in the panel on essay writing first thing in the morning. Then I worked with a group of others on the critiquing workshop panel. After lunch I sat down and listened to what the agents had to say. This is the first year I didn't leave with a handful of books--only because of the limited space in my office.

The planning committee wrapped up the fun by going out to eat.

I can't wait to see what we do next year!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blogging at Christian Children's Authors

I'm blogging about writing through changes today at Christian Children's Authors. This year has brought a great deal of change in our family's lives. Here's how I'm helping myself and my kids to deal with it:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Blogging at Write2Ignite

Today I am blogging at Write2Ignite. The Write2Ignite Conference For Christian Writers of Literature for Children and Young Adults is for those Christian writers who desire to write for Children’s and Young Adult markets. Now that it's October, my mind is on reviewing my goals for 2014 and plotting out my goals for the new year. Today's topic is "Be Positive about Your Writing Goals." It encourages writers to think positive when assessing their writing year. Hope you'll visit at

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blogging at Christian Children's Authors

Even though it isn't my regularly scheduled day, I am blogging at Christian Children's Authors. You'll find my review of the middle grade adventure story, Saving Samuel, at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness by Jim Greene

Title of Book # 1: Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness

ISBN:  978-1-105-46980-0
Genre: Spiritual Maturity, Christianity, Discipleship Training
Publisher: LuLu Enterprises, Inc.
Publication Date: 2005, 2011

Just like there are specific physical exercises that are good for physical conditioning, there are specific spiritual exercises that are good, in fact, essential for our spiritual conditioning and growth. If you want to grow spiritually, you have to do spiritual exercises. (1Timothy 4:8)

This book looks to Jesus for “duplicate-able” activities for the model for our growth. For years Christian writers have identified specific activities regularly evidenced in his earthly life and called them Spiritual or Christian Disciplines. I believe that if it was useful for Jesus to be disciplined in his worship and praise to God, then it is useful for us as well. Further, I believe that the inclusion of Christian Disciplines in our lives, or what I call the Disciplined Training Approach places us in obedient submission to God and that is where we are supposed to be. 

Book excerpt:

God has outlined a plan for living that when followed will bring us into a closer fellowship with Him. All the treasure in the world will not purchase it, but God will provide it for free to whosoever really wants it. No matter how worthless you may think you are, you can become one of the greatest treasures in the world.  You can become the person God wants you to be, equipped with all the supernatural power for the Kingdom work He wants you to do!  

Simply put, if you hear what God tells you, trust that He will not lead you astray and do what you’re told to do, you will experience the peace God planned for you. More than that, the consequences of ignoring God can be anxiety, frustration, depression and even eternal separation from Him.

People, however, are not simple.  In fact, we go to great lengths to take something simple and complicate it.  Our relationship with God should be personal, based on the time we spend with Him.  We can’t manufacture a relationship with Him, but we can come to know him based on our personal experiences.

If you want to be blessed, comforted or reassured in a small way, then exercise a small amount of faith.  If however, you need your life changed… it may take more. It starts with regular prayer, regular meditation and regular listening. It continues when we do things outside our comfort zone and that’s exactly where faith begins.

Your life will change when you realize God’s ability
zone is greater than your comfort zone.

Purchase at

Title of Book #2   God’s Answer, Praying the Scriptures Back to God

God gave us the Bible as a constant reminder of His love and plan for us. More than a historical document, it is truly alive. As we read His Word and become heart-linked with Him, a supernatural transformation begins to take place in us.  God’s Word is alive and we can’t comprehend it all at once. That explains why you can read a passage several times over weeks or months and receive a different message from the same verses.
God gave us prayer as an avenue or vehicle that He designed for us so we could be in constant communication with Him. God’s Answer seeks to bring you to His Throne of Grace, where prayers are answered, (Hebrews 4:16) so that you can claim the promises God makes about today’s problems. That’s a tall order, so let’s look at what He said about prayer in His Living Word, the Bible.

Several times He promises us that He will hear and in fact, answer our prayers. It would be great to think that we always get what we want or that we could just name it and claim it, but that simply is not the case. What we can claim is the promises God makes and we will be exploring those. Let’s examine a few passages and see what they reveal beyond God hearing us and answering our prayers.
Purchase at

Title of Book #3        A Place of Faith, When There is No Place Else to Go

What or where is the place of faith?  Is it a physical location? No, it is where we are when we step out into the unknown in a blind, yet obedient faith because that is all we have left.  Our Christian vocabulary is filled with ideas, quotes and even promises from God that are meant for comfort and reassurance. As real as God’s Word is, what happens when all has been recalled and rehearsed and we still find ourselves alone at the place of faith. A Place of Faith defines faith from a real and practical viewpoint, then develops it’s progression from a measure of faith, to a step and then a leap of faith.  Most importantly, time is spent on the Enemy of Faith and the Trial of Faith and finally, The Results of Faith. Each chapter concludes with a hymn that reinforces the points made in the chapter and a few reflection questions.

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Title of Book #4  Living on the Dark Side of Faith

While faith has two sides, they are both sides of the same thing. The word faith cannot be substituted for the word belief or theology. It is more than a collection of thoughts about religion. It is more than simply believing in the existence of God, the demons in Hell do that. The faith we speak of is in God and how, though we may not see how, He will provide for His beloved. The faith we have is certain; it is the evidence of things to come. It begins with a measure and increases with experience and that often means a trial or test of our faith.

Purchase at

About the author:

Jim Greene makes his home in Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. An avid backpacker, his countless hours in the outdoors have often blessed him with many topics to write about.
As a layman Sunday School teacher, he challenges himself and his class to strive for and enjoy a closer relationship with God. Each of his books look to God as the ultimate authority in our lives. He is the author of Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness, God’s Answer, A Place of Faith, When There is Nowhere Else to Go, and Living on the Dark Side of Faith. His next book is entitled, When Waiting isn’t Working.
Jim feels God speaks to him personally through journaling and his books primarily came to answer a question in his life. They may just help you too.

Pump Up Your Book and Jim are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
§  By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
§  One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
§  This giveaway begins September 2 and ends on September 26, 2014.
§  Winner will be contacted via email on October 1, 2014.
§  Winner has 72 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, September 12, 2014

VeggieTales Movie: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything DVD

Our Sunday school kids loved this one. We have a diverse age group, but there was something for everyone: a bit of action, a bit of humor, and a great message behind it all.

The VeggieTales gang goes on a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas! Larry the Cucumber, Mr. Lunt, and Pa Grape star as Elliot, Sedgwick, and George--the loveable Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Working as busboys at the Pieces of Ate Dinner Theater, our three heroes dream of doing something big, like starring in the show. Their wish is granted in a very unexpected way when a mysterious orb transports them to a faraway time and place where they help a brave princess rescue her brother from pirates and become the most unlikely heroes! Includes approximately 90 minutes of bonus features.

Format: DVD
Vendor: Big Idea
UPC: 025193240729
Ages: 4-14
Available from CBD