What Does it Take to Get Published?

Hi! I published my latest blog at 12:00 a.m., so once again it may look as though I published this blog on the same day. I didn’t get to let that one rest as I try to do when I have the time. A piece of work often looks different a couple of days later when the author gets back to it. Then after an edit or two or three, it’ll be much more polished.

Image result for writers editing image

Writers Digest Books offer a variety of topics to help people craft better articles, books, characters, market their work, etc. If it has to do with writing, they usually have excellent books on the subject you’re looking for. There are great books on writing from other publishers, too. I’ve bought a handful of books from Wiley Publishing, Inc. One of their titles is Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy copyrighted in 2010 that’s helped me understand the ins and outs of writing a novel.

I keep learning the craft of writing, even after all of these years. There’s so much more to it than I ever imagined. Sometimes I’ll read an instruction that I’ve read many times before, and suddenly it makes perfect sense. I feel able to do it or at least make an effort that seems plausible!

My latest read is Writer’s Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing: All New Second Edition, copyrighted in 2005, edited by Michelle Ruberg with an introduction by Ben Yagoda, published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH. Yesterday in the library I read a section on writer’s guidelines and when they quoted Jeff Ayers, a former editor of “U.S. Kids” and a seventeen year freelance writer veteran, it seemed as if a light bulb lit where previously it seemed dark, and muddled. He said, “Using writer’s guidelines is essential to narrowing the focus of what a freelancer should write about. You’d think that would be a pretty obvious first step. But….”

Focus is one area I tend to lose track of in a 1,000 word article or longer. Then try writing thousands of words for a novel and keeping the train of thought in a logical progression. Mr. Ayers comments helped me. 🙂

Following writers’ guidelines is an important step on the road to publication. To get quite a few more insights into getting an article in a magazine, I suggest you read the whole book by Writers’ Digest and try to absorb as much as possible and then follow their suggestions. When experts give detailed advise, the closer you do as they say, the sooner you’ll find the way. It takes talent, but it’s more than that to break into publishing. I hope this helps. If you market carefully and write appropriately, you’ll be ahead of eighty per cent of the competition that sends their writing to the wrong market, according to Jeff Ayer’s experience.

So polish and don’t give up. 🙂



Writing at the Library

I am a library junkie, I have to admit. If I pass through a town on my way somewhere and I see a library, I want to stop in. If I’m alone sometimes I do. Even at the end of a doctor’s appointment last month, I drove ten minutes out of my way to a library in a city I’ve only seen the outskirts of.

(Rhydyfelin Library photo by http://www.bbc.com)

They had a couple of books by one of my favorite authors, Davis Bunn, so I had to take it out.

I met Davis Bunn when he wrote under the name T. Davis Bunn at Montrose Christian Writers Conference many years ago. He’s a writer that brings the reader to the scene and usually made me want to stay there way past my bedtime. He doesn’t shy away from controversial subjects and creates great action stories. I found him because of his co-authorship with Jeanette Oke, Canadian author that pioneered Christian fiction with strong female lead characters. He writes more than one kind of book well!

Lately, I’ve ordered Western books written by Brock and Bodie Thoene – their last name is pronounced Tay-nee. These books come from inter-library loan. It’s a stretch for me to read Westerns, but from what I’ve heard, writers should read outside of their genre. I read a secular Western and it was appalling the way they treated the women in that one particular novel. Probably other writers are not as bad, but I decided to choose Christian authors to avoid reading degrading depictions.

I discovered the Thoene authors many years ago. Bodie wrote and her husband researched wonderful novels about WWII and events surrounding it. The impact on Israel captured my attention. I’m not giving their books justice here. I guess the fact that they are best-selling novelists speaks for the rich detail in their books. The characters sweep the reader away with them. The history fascinates me but I don’t feel as though I attended a lecture on it.

So, as I lingered in the library today in my home town, I read my Bible and did some Bible study. I read a book on magazine writing. I visited with friends. I re-read an assignment for a copywriting course I’ve been working on. I paid a bill in a secluded corner that’s due January 6, and I took out an autobiography by a father that happens to be a literary agent named Henry Dunow.

All in all, it was a good day. I put cards in the mail, vacuumed the rug in case I decide to put up the Christmas tree tomorrow. An elderly lady gave me a poinsettia plant via her friend. How’re your days going? God bless!

Don’t Hoard!

A couple of weeks ago during my time in the Word and prayer I felt as if the Lord was speaking in His still small voice to me, “Don’t hoard.”

Since writing was the topic at the moment, I felt sure He meant that I was hoarding my words. I have a file cabinet with a long drawer in it filled with creative writing. A few items have been published by magazines and newspapers and one devotional made it into a compilation book. I also have a portable file holder with more creative writing in it.

Image result for file cabinetphoto from dawnreader.blogspot.com



I know God doesn’t want people to hoard stuff, but it never occurred to me He doesn’t want me to hoard words. There are many more secular voices in the world than Christian ones, I think. There are also many writers that write for other religious viewpoints than Christianity.

I happen to believe Christianity is the one true way to heaven because Jesus said so, even though believing in Him did not cause His followers to be labeled as Christians at the time. Jewish people that believed Jesus was the Messiah were called Nazarenes, another sect of the Jewish faith.

So, between the prompting I felt in my spirit and the admonition of writing teachers, I’ve been blogging every day. Although Friday night, my blog didn’t get sent out until 12:07 a.m. so it’ll look like two blogs in one day when this one gets sent out. Oh well. It’s Christmas time and I’m in a card stuffing mode. Company came over and plans shifted some. That’s life and I’m content with it. Most of the time. 🙂

So I finished the cards up the next day, (today) after a few minor frustrations. I thought I deleted my address list. Then when I got instructions, they weren’t complete, so that didn’t work. They’re all ready to go, but now it’s late, so they’ll wait. That too, is life. Things don’t always go the way I think they will. 🙂

My mom used to say, “This too, shall pass,” when she ran into difficulties. She also loved the Serenity Prayer. God bless! Perhaps we’ll converse again on Monday when I expect to be at the keyboard again.

Christmas Preparations

I’ve been trying to write my Christmas letter to include it in Christmas cards for days now. What to say, how to say it? I kept it short, I didn’t point out a fault like I’m about to do here.

Our Thursday night Bible study “Peacemaking: Responding to Conflict Biblically,” by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee and Brad Rymer is based on the book The Peacemaker written by Ken Sande. Tonight’s lesson talked about not having idols. If we put other things, even ourselves before God, we can go to war at home, at our workplace, at school, as we drive our cars, etc.

Why? Because it’s all about us, all about getting our own way. God help the person or people that get in our way if we need to have that thing that makes us feel shiny inside. Even if that thing is totally unnecessary, possibly addictive and not good for us, even steps on others toes. We need it, we want it, get out of our way!

I was humbled thinking about this concept. Last night I sucked the joy right out of my husband by letting him know that one Christmas gift he gave me didn’t make my heart shine even though his face shone as he gave it to me. I kept it inside all this time and then when I told him, I wished I could be a time changer and just move the hands of the clock back two minutes. I apologized and he seemed okay, but we had a quieter night than usual. Why do we hurt the ones we love? Who cares if a Christmas gift is perfect? Since when do things matter more than people and their intentions?

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(photo from newbrighton-connect.com)

I blamed it on Walt Disney today with a group of women. 🙂

He gave us fairy tales and somewhere along the way I decided I needed to be treated like a princess. My husband doesn’t demand to be treated like a prince. Why didn’t he get sucked into the fairy tale world of make believe? I’m glad he doesn’t hold grudges and he accepts apologies. On my way home from tonight’s Bible study I thought of telling him not to get me a Christmas present. I don’t really need one.

Then I thought, No, I don’t want to go that far.

“Help my attitude, Lord I pray.”

Before I blogged this, I told him I was going to blog about our discussion if it was okay with him. He said it was fine with him if it was okay with me. I love my husband. He cares.




I watched a recent episode of The Chapel on video because my daughter downloaded it so I can access their sermons easily. I chose the December 13, 2015 one today. They are doing a “Keeping Christ in Christmas” series.

The Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville, NY reaches a multitude of people. Their college and young adult group pastor, Wes Aarum spoke for Pastor Jerry Gillis on this day. I got intrigued with his presentation of “selfie” products out there. One is a toaster that will toast your image into bread. LOL.

Stop taking selfies and get this, America”

We live in amazing times. What I love about the Word of God is that it stands the test of time. It is relevant even today with all the advances in technology.

Some of the prophecies of end time events say that knowledge will increase abundantly, that people will travel to and fro over the earth, all of creation will groan with expectation waiting for Jesus’ return. Some signs of the times will be an increase in earthquakes and natural disasters. Men’s love for others will grow cold. There will be a great apostasy and a multitude will leave the Christian faith. Persecutions will arise big time. There will be a great revival and many others will come to faith in Jesus Christ. This is happening in non-Christian parts of the world, I’ve heard from missionaries that visit our Assembly of God church.

If you get a chance to watch The Chapel’s Christmas sermon from December 13, 2015, please do. He’s got a great way of talking about the Christian faith. Pastor Wes said, “Unlike other religions, Christians don’t have to earn their way to heaven.”

He’s young, so he speaks in a way that appeals to young people and older ones. We are a unified body in Christ despite some differences when the Bible is our manual for life. 🙂

Curses Can Be Broken

Americans may not believe in curses. Depending on their religious views or what section of the country they live in. Years ago, I read books from an author traversing the country on foot: Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins; and the second tome, A Walk West: Walk Across America 2 by Peter and Barbara Jenkins.

If I remember the following ideas from one of his books correctly, in the bayou of Louisiana, a woman cursed him when he went by her house. He was a Christian so he relied on the Scripture: Proverbs 26:2 (ISV). “Like a fluttering sparrow or a swallow in flight, a curse without cause will not alight.”

Image result for sparrows in flightThis photo is from ordinarysparrow.wordpress.com.

Bible quotes are taken from e-sword.com.

I believe the verse in Isaiah 54:17(BBE): “No instrument of war which is formed against you will be of any use; and every tongue which says evil against you will be judged false. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness comes from me, says the Lord.”

I also take comfort from the verse in the epistles of the New Testament: Galatians 3:13:

(KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Whether you believe in curses or not, Jesus said in John 10:10 that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to give life and that abundantly.

So, I’ll choose Jesus. His love and care for me overwhelms me at times.

He delivers us from curses in our past and our present and our future. How about you? Have you looked to Jesus for relationship, for provision, for redemption?


Blog Every Day

I listened to a CD I purchased at Montrose Christian Writers Conference maybe five years ago of a class taught by Bonnie Calhoun. She suggested writers blog every day. EVERY DAY! “Aargh” – Charlie Brown might say. Charles Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip probably worked every day except Sunday if I remember from the excellent book on writing edited by his son, Monte Schulz and the co-editor Barnaby Conrad entitled, Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life, copyright 2002, published by F + W Media.

Image result for writers typing(image from qoutesgram.com)

So, today is my first day blogging every day except Sunday. Lord, help me. 🙂

I love to write. Joy wells up within me when I write. How about you? What hobby or chore puts a smile on your face when others may say, “Are you kidding me? Yuck!”

Time is Precious

Wayfair.com’s delightful picture of an antique clock:

Nutcracker Figure Clock

I had a birthday and the older I get, the more interested I am in doing things that have value. I enjoy a game on my cell phone, but sometimes afterwards I feel like I wasted valuable time. I know some folks that are older than I am. They can’t read as well from failing vision, or they can’t type as well from carpal tunnel syndrome. I don’t want to spend valuable time wasting assets that I can’t guarantee will be there tomorrow.

When I was younger, I thought my children would always be nearby. Sometimes I needed a break! Now when they come by, I try to take time to listen and carve out precious minutes to enjoy, even if they think differently than I do or like things that I don’t.

My grandson knows I don’t particularly like all the death symbols that are on Halloween buckets – skull and crossbones. He bought a pair of pajamas with skulls and crossbones to poke fun at my dislike. 🙂

I’d rather he visit and poke fun than stay miles away. I surprised myself by telling him to please bring his latest drawing so I can put it on a gallon jug of water that I needed to add more soap to. I thought I was putting minerals into the distilled water. My mineral bottle was near the concentrated soap bottle and I was distracted. I noticed immediately. So I drew a skull and crossbones on the label, added a touch more concentrate and put it on a cupboard just below the ceiling in the bathroom.

The label is not very clear. He sounded happy to help Grandma out and then I had to tell him I just read a book about pirates and that really made his day.

As a writer, I’m expanding my reading to areas I might ignore. He really liked that. Kids are great!