Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NEW BOOK A MUST READ!!!!



My friend, Linda Glaz's debut book will be available 12/5/1211! Read all about it here! 

PolarBearPlunge_w5082_300.jpg

Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier, when hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understood how God could bring him through being a captive in Iraq, when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widow, Aleni Callan, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan, with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Ty, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And while the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.


untitled.jpg





About Linda:


I’m a wife and mother of three. I balance being a child of God while also being older than God. Hmmm, scary, but almost true. I’ve been blessed to have had an amazing life so far: Air Force meteorologist during Vietnam era, teaching karate and self-defense along with soccer for 25+ years. I sing and direct in church and community theatre musicals where this little old lady sounds more like the guys than the gals. Also scary, but true. I work in a physical therapy clinic three days a week to earn money to keep my writing afloat. My writing life is a 24/7 proposition. When not writing my own stories, I am an agent for Hartline Literary Agency. I wear so many different hats I’m surprised I wasn’t invited to the Royal wedding. Blessings to everyone, may your writing dreams all come true.




Purchasing Information:


  Polar Bear Plunge, White Rose Publishing will be sold for $1.00 during the month of December! You can also purchase it from Amazon.com for $2.99. A sweet deal either way! 

http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/polar-bear-plunge





Saturday, September 24, 2011

HEAD, HEART, HAND



“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

The words stir in my head. They are matter-of-fact. Logical. Informative. Sterile. But they need to be written. I don’t like them, they bore me and if they bore me, they will bore my reader.

No connection.

Still they swirl and build, demanding to be written. What can I do? I send them into my heart. There those matter-of-fact, logical, sterile words are bathed in compassion, warmed by mercy, polished by experience—good and bad—and made shiny with hope. They return to my head ready to connect.

That is when I send them to my hand.

An inspirational writer isn’t one who is unrealistic, sappy, or overtly religious. It is a person who writes with the end result in mind. And the end result is leaving our readers with information they can apply to make their lives better, to encourage them, affirm them, or make them smile.

We have plenty of “Head & Hand” writers. We need more “Head, Heart, and Hand writers.

How about you? Ready to take the plunge into your heart? Are you ready to write with the end result in mind? 

Are you ready to inspire? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NOW WHAT DO I DO?




“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”~ E.L. Doctorow

Thirteen years ago I decided to be a writer. Little did I know what this decision would cost me. Little did I know how this decision would enrich my life.

I entered this world of words ignorant, hopeful, expectant, and maybe just a little bit cocky. It didn’t take long for me to be humbled. To my great astonishment, the world wasn’t waiting to hear what I had to say! I kept writing trying to find the right recipe, but most of my efforts failed.

Thank goodness for my writer friends who encouraged me to keep at it. However, I’ve found that words get into the writers veins and really, I couldn’t have stopped for long.

I’ve heard about writers who say they have to write because the stories in their heads demand to be told. I didn’t have such stories or demands. But what I did have was the desire to connect with people and encourage them. It took several years of writing to finally discover this was my niche, my voice.

The reason I’m writing this blog is for those of you who are just starting out. It is so easy to compare your writing experience, style, success—or lack thereof— with others. Let me assure you that there will always be someone more successful and always be someone less successful than you. That is the journey. As you write you will discover yourself, your style and voice, and just where you fit in.

Don’t get confused by other writers. At conferences you will hear a broad spectrum of advice, which is often contradictory. Treat this abundance of information like a buffet. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Take small steps until you feel ready to run. The burst out and sprint. If you fall, that’s okay. This may be a sign to try a different path. Above all, be patient with yourself.

Explore, Learn, Write! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thoughts From a Contest Judge

My friend and writing colleague, Jen Nipps,  is my guest blogger today. She is the author of Devoted to Creating, a devotional guide that illustrates the creativity surrounding us and shows how we can use this creativity in God’s service in unexpected ways, as well as, sparking creativity in the reader. In addition to being a writer, Jenn is also a “promotion guru” on social networks. She is a wealth of knowledge on using various sites including Facebook and Twitter. Please visit her website:  www.jenifernipps.com

In February and March, I was honored to serve as a judge for the OWFI writing contest. Specifically, I judged the Nostalgic Prose category. I overheard a few comments that I would like to address. I figured this would be the best way to do it.
Why didn’t I get any comments?If you entered Nostalgic Prose, you did get some comments. In addition to individual comments, I included a letter detailing common mistakes. I understand why some judges would not give comments, though.
It’s time-consuming. We’re volunteering to do the judging. (Personally, I like it because I get to see some of what people I consider to be my colleagues are doing. The contest is blind, so I have no idea who wrote what, though I guess at some of them.) Some judges feel like it takes enough time to read and rate the entires and don’t have time to give additional comments.
How can a manuscript score 99 points out of 100 and not place?
Ideally judging is an objective process. The guidelines that are provided aim to keep it objective. However, in my experience, doing this could result in a 12-way tie for first place and an 8-way tie for second place.
The judging guidelines mainly focus on mechanics and readability. Going on those criteria alone, scores were in the high 90s. I had to get subjective then.
Which one did I like the best? Which ones resonated with me the most? That’s the one that got first place. I went down the line this way until I had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places and several honorable mentions.
That’s how I had honestly more than one that scored 99 points out of 100 and didn’t place.
I just want to quit writing after that judge’s comments.(This was not said about me, as far as I know.)
I only have one thing to say about this:
DON’T QUIT!!!!!!!
At the end of the general letter I sent to those who entered the Nostalgic Prose category, I put, “Regardless what I or anyone else says, keep writing.”
That’s pretty much what it boils down to regardless if you write for publication, write to enter contests, or write for yourself. All are valid reasons for writing. I’ve done them all. A writer writes. If you are a writer, if your heart says you are and your midset proves you are, YOU ARE A WRITER!
I’ve heard people say that you’re not a writer until you have x# of rejections, until you’ve published a book, until you have 3 articles in print, or until this, that or the other. Do you know what I say to that?
BALONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you think you’re a writer, then You. Are. A. Writer. regardless of what anyone else says.
If the rejection or judge’s comments bother you, do what I’ve started doing. Either rip it up or put it through a shredder. It’s surprisingly cathartic and lets you physically move it out of the way so you can start again, whether on revising the submitted manuscript or writing something completely new.
There you have it. These aren’t all what I thought of, but it’s a start. I might use more of them as future blog posts.
Remember, above all, keep writing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DIGGING THROUGH GARBAGE TO FIND THE GOLD FOR WRITERS


DIGGING THROUGH GARBAGE TO FIND THE GOLD

“Don’t mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.” ~ Anonymous

I’ve been writing professionally for thirteen years. Criticism and rejection are the weights that strengthen the writer’s muscle. In order to survive, we must develop a thick skin. New York Times best-selling author, Steve Berry, addressed this while speaking to the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. conference. He advised us to be teachable and listen to the critiques on our prose. Seventy percent may be garbage but thirty percent will be pure gold.

This is a good word for when we enter contests. I sponsor a contest for the Ozark Creative Writers Conference. I've had 24 entries, all of which were first place quality pieces. However, I could only give one first place award. It bothered me that those who won 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mentions would think their writing wasn't good enough. Even more so, those who won no mention at all probably thought their work wasn't good at all! 

It was, believe me, it was!

Conversely, I've judged contest where not one single entry merited any mention at all, but I had to give a first place. It bothered me to give the impression that the piece was publishable. 

It wasn't, believe me, it wasn't!

When you do not place in a contest, take an honest look at your piece. Invite critique. Be teachable. That said, be selective like you are at a buffet. Most of us do not load everything offered on our plates. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. 

As Steve Berry advises, dig through the garbage and find the gold!





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TO ENTER CONTESTS? OR NOT ENTER CONTESTS?


Dusty Richards giving Velda Brotherton her award at 2010 OWFI Conference

As the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) conference looms, there is a certain excitement and dread among those who have entered the contests. They have visions of hearing their name called for the first place award, and maybe, just maybe—oooohhh they hope so much— for the crème de la crème award.
I remember refusing to read my entries after I sent them off because I just knew I’d find mistakes. Even so, I’d mentally go over what I’d submitted and anguish over imagined spelling and grammar errors.
Contests are emotionally draining.
That said, they are also a good thing, if for no other reason than they inspire us to write. Not only that, they motivate us to try different genres. Nearly everything I’ve entered in contests, whether they won or not, have been sold and published.
I rarely enter contests now, simply because I’m too busy writing. But as a beginning writer, contests were excellent writing exercises. They helped me find my niche and by constant writing I also found my unique voice. Winning money sweetened the experience, but I actually learned more by losing.
Over the next few posts I want to explore the contest experience with some helpful advice and encouragement.
What is your experience with contests? What are your feelings about contests? Do you have a contest story? I invite your comments!

Monday, March 21, 2011

MUSIC FEEDS CREATIVITY



Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent” ~ Victor Hugo

My husband has a condition known as “extreme left-brain.” When he is working he needs absolute silence!

I, on the other hand, am an extremely right-brained person. Silence sucks all the oxygen out of my creative flame. I must have music. But my music needs vary with what I’m writing.

If I am researching I need upbeat music like what I’m listening to right now, “Hey Soul Sister” by Train. A real toe-tapper.  I really like Jason Maraz too!

If I’m writing a first draft, nothing will do put classical music, preferably strings. Words interfere with my thought process.

If I’m editing my first draft I listen to music that fits the mood. For dark or intense scenes I’m back to classical—Pachelbel, Bach, Mozart. Instrumental works beautifully if you are not into classical. John Michael Talbot or Phil Keaggy are wonderful! If it is a romantic scene, Sinatra and Michael Buble set a great mood. If it is high emotion I like David Cook, Daughtery, or Kris Allen.

You may think that I spend my time changing CD’s or scanning my iPod for every scene. I don’t. I have something much better. It is called Pandora. It is free Internet radio. However there are a limited number of hours of free play. I subscribed for unlimited hours and I love it. I can build my own stations, so when I need a change of scene, I just click over one screen and click on the station that suits my mood.

Why not try it?  www.pandora.com

How about you? Do you listen to music while writing?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WRITING ACTUALLY






"If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire must be not to write." ~ Hugh Prather

Are you a writer, or are you someone who talks writing? Do you attend conferences to rub shoulders with writers and talk the game or are you there to network in hopes of promoting and selling something you have already written?

It's so easy to talk the lingo and play the game. But what does that accomplish? 



Nothing!



I know some writers who experienced rejection in the beginning of their efforts, so they picked up their pencils and went home. Then there are those who refuse to accept constructive critiques. They argue defensively and eventually, when no one wants their work, they start talking the talk instead of writing the words. 


Rejection and critique are not the writer's enemies. Quite the opposite, they are the gym where the writer grows stronger. Avoiding the computer or pen and paper is the writer's true enemy. 

Gene Fowler is attributed to saying, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit, staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." 

It feels that hard sometimes, but it doesn't have to be that way. Get in the writing habit. Write a paragraph every day. Perhaps an observation about that day or something you heard on the news. Start writing for contests. Even if you don't win, you have written. AND the entries that do not win are the bones for ones that WILL win, if you don't quit!

My agent, Terry Burns, makes this promise: "There is only one guarantee in writing. If you don't write, you won't be published.

So don't be a talker, be a writer! 

Don't give up! Keep it up! 

Write!