FaithWriters Going Mobile-Responsive – Pardon Our Dust :)

417720305At the request of members, and to keep up with technology, FaithWriters will soon begin a gradual conversion to a mobile responsive site. Much of the hard work of individual page conversion has already been done on a duplicate site designed for development. We will gradually be replacing the current site pages with pages that will automatically re-size based on your viewing device.

This has been a very large and time consuming project due to the size of the site. As we convert, you should not notice any interruption on a normal sized laptop or larger screen. We are hoping for no issues on mobile devices, but there could be issues at times with links not working and misaligned formatting on pages.

If you are using a mobile device, for a time you may experience pages that respond correctly to your device size and other pages that display in their current full size format. A gradual transition should avoid any huge issues that might occur by transitioning all at once.

We thank you for your patience.

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You Are What You Read?

You Are What You Read?

By Randy Ingermanson

Years ago I was talking to a fellow novelist whom I’d just met and I asked him what his Top Five favorite novels were. This is a question I ask writers a lot. I’m always looking for great books, and one place to find them is on the Top Five list of another writer.

This guy’s answer just about knocked me over. He said, “I don’t read fiction.”

I couldn’t believe it. I asked him if he meant he didn’t read much fiction. No, he didn’t read any. He was a nonfiction kind of a guy.  He wrote fiction, but he didn’t read it.  That was years ago, and I haven’t seen anything from him recently.

To put it bluntly, I don’t see that as a recipe for success. If you’re a novelist, you need to be reading fiction.

There’s a saying that “you are what you read,” and I think this is partially true.  If you read great fiction, you’ll absorb some of it, and you’ll become a better writer. You’ll learn what’s possible to do in writing, and it can’t help but expand you as a writer.

But I think it goes beyond that. I recommend reading widely, even if it isn’t great fiction. Because the fact is that you are MORE than what you read. What you read is fuel for your mind—it’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient.  Novelists need to be reading fiction. A lot of fiction. Not just the bestsellers. Obscure stuff. Good fiction. Great fiction. Horrible fiction (not too much of this—if you do manuscript reviews at a writing conference, you’ll see more than you need).

When you read other people’s fiction, you learn things that you couldn’t learn any other way. Because when it comes to the craft of writing, you don’t know what you don’t know. The only way to learn what you don’t know is by reading other people’s work.  For starters, you should read widely in your category. You need to know the rules of your genre—which ones are ironclad and which ones can be bent.

Continue Reading…

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Congrats to Winter 2016 Quarterly Cash Winners!

A HUGE congratulations to EVERYONE who entered the FaithWriters Writing Challenge this past quarter.  Just by submitting an entry, you are a winner. But some pieces rise even higher than that to place – while others go even higher than that.

And that is what the quarterly cash awards are meant to recognize. The highest scoring entry in EACH LEVEL over each entire ten-week quarter receives a $50 cash prize. This past quarter  had a variety of topics – from smear to delicious to call – and these four entries (one from each level) came out on top. Be sure to check them out!

LEVEL 1        The Pea-Sized Problem by Belinda Peoples (Resolution Challenge)

LEVEL 2        Taking it to the Mat by Wanda Draus (Resolution Challenge)

LEVEL 3        ASSAM by Pat Small (Resolution Challenge)

LEVEL 4         Who Kissed the Teacup? by Francy Judge (Smear Challenge)

The new challenge quarter starts up THIS WEEK – with the new topic announced this Thursday, April 7. Be sure to give the Writing Challenge a try – YOUR name could be here in a few months!

CONGRATULATIONS, BELINDA, WANDA, PAT, AND FRANCY!

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For Passion Week: Contemplating History

Contemplating History

By Joanne Sher

A man – jaw set, countenance firm – looked out in the distance
contemplating history, recalling events of the past.

They said they loved the Lord, that God was their Father.
Yet Adam and Eve disobeyed, eating of the forbidden tree.

And the man pursed his lips.

He said he would follow God, that he trusted His direction.
Yet Abraham bedded Hagar to sire a son his own way.

And the man cringed.

They praised the Lord for miracles, declaring their devotion to Him.
Yet the Israelites built an idol in the desert, bowing low to a calf of gold.

And the man wept.

He said he would rule for God, that he would lead His people righteously.
Yet Saul took power into his own hands, offering an unholy, forbidden sacrifice.

And the man clenched his fist.

He said that God was his shepherd, that the Lord would meet his every want.
Yet David sent a man to his death to satisfy his own lust.

And the man sighed.

He said he wanted Godly wisdom, that he would serve Him only.
Yet Solomon took wives by the hundreds, and followed each of their gods.

And the man shook his head.

He was a prophet of the Most High, speaking His pronouncements far and wide.
Yet Jonah turned from Ninevah and entered the great fish’s belly.

And the man bowed his head.

They praised God with singing, celebrating their return to the land.
Yet the remnant neglected His temple, letting its gates disintegrate.

And the man closed his eyes.

They taught God’s Word to the masses, rebuking those who defied their authority.
Yet the Pharisees hated His Son, and worked to destroy Him.

And the man grit his teeth.

He marveled at Christ’s miracles, following and speaking for Him.
Yet Judas betrayed Jesus, sending Him to death with a kiss.

And the man grimaced.

He said he would never leave Jesus, declaring Christ was the Son of God.
Yet Peter turned his back on Him, denying Him thrice in one night.

And the man scanned the crowd.

They said they were God’s chosen, following His laws and precepts.
Yet the crowd rejected God’s Son, condemning Him to death on a cross.

And the Man examined His hands and feet.

“It is finished,” He cried, and He gave up His spirit.
At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

**
Based on Genesis 3 and 16, Exodus 32, 1 Samuel 13, 2 Samuel 11, 1 Kings 11, Jonah 1, Nehemiah, and the four Gospel accounts.

The direct Bible reference is taken from John 19:30 and Matthew 27:50b-51.

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Writing: The Logical Approach

Writing: The Logical Approach

By Linda W. Yezak

We authors get to rolling in our manuscripts and sometimes forget to pay attention to what we’re putting on the page. Don’t ask me how this happens, I don’t know. I’m as guilty as anyone and often have to giggle at my own silliness as I delete words and phrases from the previous day’s session.

And that’s precisely what I’m talking about–the silly things. These little giggle-producing jewels are actually the big ol’ chunks of coal that increase wordiness, loosen what should be tight writing, and sometimes, simply defy logic.

What do I mean? Well, let’s see if you can recognize the coal in these sentences:

He nodded his head.

She raised the pitcher with her hand.

He gave her a silent smile.

He sat beside her bed. As she drifted into dreamland, she could see him playing with the phone cord.

In the next few minutes, she cooked and served dinner, cleaned the kitchen, bathed the kids, and read them a bedtime story, before collapsing into bed herself.

The first three are silly, nit-picking little things, but if you’re trying to control your wordcount, they’re things you should look for. “He nodded his head.” Think about it: what else would he nod? The same logic doesn’t apply to “He shook his head,” because other things can be “shook”–he shook hands, for instance. But the nod? That’s a head thing, no point being redundant.

Same approach to “She raised the pitcher with her hand.” Uh, opposed to raising it with her foot? Her teeth? “He gave her a silent smile”–as opposed to a noisy one, right?

The last two are tests of logic: How could she see him if she was drifting to dreamland, unless she slept with her eyes opened? Of course, she could see him in her dreams, I suppose. Depends on the context.

How about that last one? Can all that be done “in the next few minutes”? I guess in the overall expanse of a person’s life, the four hours, more or less, that it would take to do everything listed there could be considered “a few minutes.” However, when we’re thinking in terms of “minutes,” we’re thinking in terms of five or ten clicks of the clock’s big hand, not two hundred forty of those suckers.

When you’re reviewing your work or are in your first edit, hunt these little culprits down. Use the logical side of your brain. Think like an editor–because that’s what editors do. They take everything literally. And good thing they do, because you never know when one of your readers has a keen sense of logic and catches all these things that you didn’t.

Logic. It’s not just for philosophers and mathematicians.

**

lindayLinda W. Yezak lives  in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She holds a BA in English and a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies. Thirty years later, she’s finally putting her degree in English to good use, combining it with her natural inclination toward story-telling to create fun, unique novels, which include Give the Lady a Ride, The Cat Lady’s Secret, and The Simulacrum. Her major non-fiction title is Writing in Obedience, cowritten with Hartline literary agent, Terry Burns.

Facebook Fan Page: http://dld.bz/LWYFacebookPage

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyezak/

Twitter: @LindaYezak

Amazon Page: http://dld.bz/LWYAmazonPage

Goodreads: http://dld.bz/dSPmg

777 Peppermint Place: http://lindayezak.com

Newsletter: http://dld.bz/CoffeewithLinda

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FaithWriters Gathering Registration Open!

It has been a few years since FaithWriters folks have gathered in person – but that will be changing – and SOON!

In just five months, FaithWriters from across the US (and even around the world!) will be meeting in McDonough, Georgia for the Ignite Your Passion Writers’ Gathering – and registration is now open!

This year’s FaithWriters Gathering is not another writing conference, and it’s not quite a writing retreat. It’s fun, encouragement, fellowship, and hands on workshops. You will write.

WHERE: First Baptist Church, McDonough, Georgia. (Thanks to the amazing Cathy Baldwin and her church for opening their arms to welcome us.)

WHEN: Friday, July 15, 2016 at 5pm to Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 9pm

WHY? In the words of Ms. FW Deb Porter: “In July last year, a number of old FaithWriters members began seeing photos from the FW conference held a few years ago. They were popping up as memories on social media, and it brought home how much we miss one another. It was then I realized that the most important thing with a FaithWriters gathering is the fellowship. We’ve known for years that Christian writers lift one another up (and have fun together, too). That’s when the idea of a completely different ‘gathering’ came to mind. A time for writers to retreat from all the busyness of life and relax while learning new tools or honing the old, fellowshipping and having fun (and eating … can’t forget that).”

Registration (which does not include transportation or room charges) is only $50 through the end of May, and includes hands-on workshops, Saturday meals, and snacks.

Check out more details here – and register here (details on accommodations, payment options, and workshop choices are also here).

Register Now!

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Characterization: Journey to Awareness

Characterization: Journey to Awareness

By Gail Gaymer Martin

Every novel moves the main characters toward growth on their journey from unawareness to awareness. This happens in any genre from suspense to romance. And it happens in real life. We all make mistakes and, hopefully, learn from them.  So do all the main characters in a novel when they are confronted with a situation or an individual whose demands cause opposition that results in change.

Change can be positive or negative. Negative change creates doubt, discouragement or anger while positive change results in understanding or confidence through evaluation, new perception, and decisions. Weighing and judging new evidence provides wiser choices as characters face their weaknesses or deficiencies within their own thought processes or abilities.

The character’s past strengths and weaknesses can be reevaluated and understood, giving options for how the character might succeed or fail in putting two and two together. This helps wiser choices to be applied to the situation they face.

In life and in fiction, sometimes growth is a pattern of failure and success. Success can be achieved when a character digs deep inside to evaluate those patterns by organizing and evaluating what has been learned and then chooses the best answer to his dilemma. When a character ignores a friend’s warning about a bad investment or ignores a job offer that sounds questionable, the character faces a loss. If this happens, he can learn from the mistake and realize that not listening results in consequences. Next time a friend’s warning will have greater value and can result in a wiser decision. This means the character’s journey moves from unawareness to growth and progress and then awareness.

Still some character may have to ignore numerous warnings before he faces his weakness, the inability to weigh and judge choices wisely. This can add conflict to a novel by two partners or friends dealing with this issue when the result affects them both.

By understanding the process of growth through understanding the positive and negative attitudes and the abilities of a character, authors can use this knowledge to deepen the characterization of the individuals in the story and add realism and anxiety for the reader.

In your next novel, challenge characters by overlooking or ignoring other’s knowledge and have them act on their ignorance. When they admit mistakes, gain awareness and grow, the change will add credence to the characterization and the reality of the story.

© Gail Gaymer Martin 2015

Question: In what way have you allowed your characters to make mistakes and then face their errors and grow as a person? Share your thoughts in the comments.

**

gailmartinMulti-award-winning novelist Gail Gaymer Martin writes Christian women’s fiction, romance and romantic suspense. Gail has six-three published novels with four million books sold. She is the author of Writers Digest’s Writing the Christian Romance. Gail is a co-founder of American Christian Fiction Writers, a keynote speaker at churches, libraries and writers organizations, and presents workshops at conference across the US. She was named one of the four best novelists in the Detroit area by CBS local news. She lives with her husband in a northwest Detroit suburb. Her latest novel is Romance By Design released by Winged Publications. http://amzn.to/1IrCXXR Visit her website at http://www.gailgaymermartin.com/

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How Are Those Goals Going?

Well, we are a month and a half into 2016 – a time when many people have already fallen flat on any New Year’s resolutions/goals they may have made last month. It is easy to get discouraged when we look back and see what we hoped for – and realize we haven’t gotten much closer. And if you are on MY side of the globe, the winter doldrums that may or may not have hit certainly don’t help.

But it’s okay. If you are plugging away and on track – good for you. If you aren’t – that is fine as well. For a few reasons.

  1. God knew what the circumstances of your life were – knew what you would achieve and wouldn’t. He knew the goals you would set, and the goals you would abandon. And He knew WHY you would achieve or abandon them. And He loves you anyway.
  2. January 1 is completely an arbitrary date. Sure, a lot of people turn over a new leaf at the beginning of the new year, but nobody said you had to. Reset your goals today. This is as much a new day as any other.
  3. God is in control – and He made every day of this year, and every other year, past or future. If you have stepped off the track, so to speak, just step back on (whether it be goals or your walk with Him or anything else). His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Great is His faithfulness!

How ARE your goals going? How will that change today?

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Making Something Out of Nothing

Making Something Out of Nothing

By Delia Latham

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God put His “Seal of Approval” on creativity from the start.

He brought forth the earth and seas and sky and everything above, below and in between – out of “thin air,” as the saying goes. But it wasn’t magic. It was creation (the act of producing or causing to exist, according to Dictionary.com).

And it wasn’t easy. God needed rest after he’d finished His work. The first verse in the Bible is most likely the ultimate understatement of all time. I’m convinced those six days of intense creation entailed far more thought and planning than scripture reveals. Is it possible there might even have been a “do-over” or two?

We’re allowed to see only the finished product of God’s original creative process. He kept specific details – the “making of” the making of the world – to Himself. Just handed us the complete, finished work to enjoy.

Isn’t that what we do as writers?

Our Father taught us by example, and we’d do well to follow the Leader:

Start with a blank canvas. Nothing there. Just an empty page and the desire to turn it into something magnificent.

Continue Reading…

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Smother Them with Kisses (A Valentine devotional)

Smother Them With Kisses

By Pam Ford Davis

I just had a light bulb revelation. A thought shed light on a much-used expression, ‘Smother them with kisses.’ Okay, to smother is to leave one breathless. Hey, that was a hit song. [Jerry Lee Lewis, 1958]

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. I’m a hopeless romantic; will I smother my sweetie with kisses and shower him with love? Nah, the customary “Happy Valentine’s Day” will suffice.

Inwardly, all blossom when receiving outward expressions of love. The simple touch on a persons’ cheek or firm squeeze of their hand lifts spirits. We cannot start sharing those actions too early; as recipients, we never outgrow the desire for hugs and kisses.

Once upon a time, there was a woman with a scandalous reputation

“A woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil (Luke 7:37-38 HCS).”

Was Christ offended? No, He was befriended and deeply loved. Praising her, the merciful Lord seized the opportunity to teach valuable lessons on love and forgiveness. (Verses 39-50)

I close with a recollection: S.W.A.K. ‘Sealed with a kiss!’

With God all things are possible! Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITER

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