Defining Moments

Defining Moments

by Megan DiMaria

I’ve been thinking about defining moments lately. As an author, they populate my books. As a human being, they have shaped my character and my choices.

I’ve often heard good fiction characterized as real life without the boring parts. That’s very true, and both fiction and real life have defining moments.

Defining moments can be good as well as bad. The good — the day you know you’ve found “the one,” or the birth of a child. Some defining moments are obvious, like the death of a parent or when a loved one gets in a car accident. But there are some defining moments that come to you quietly in a crystallized realization while you’re simply taking a walk, or else they can seep into your bones when you overhear a conversation not intended for your ears.

The funny thing about defining moments is that they may not be honest interpretations. What if someone perceives a situation differently than it is? What if a misunderstanding causes someone to have a defining moment? It’s easy to see that happening in a child’s life: I didn’t pick up my room, so mommy and daddy are divorcing. That kind of thing.

A friend told me of a defining moment that occurred at the birth of her first child: “Oh, my goodness. I can’t die for at least 20 years.” The realization that flooded her brain shocked her, but then she knew it was because her dad died while she was a very young woman.

Libby, my character in my current WIP (work in progress), is experiencing a defining moment. I’m having fun playing with the way she reacts to it. After all, fiction is real life without the boring parts.

**

megan dimariaMegan DiMaria has been a freelance writer for 20 years and is the author of two women’s fiction novels, Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands, both of which are set in the Denver area. She is a member of several writers’ groups and enjoys encouraging other writers in their pursuits. Visit Megan online at http://www.megandimaria.com/index.html or at her blog at http://www.megandimaria.blogspot.com/

1 Comment

Spoonerism Day

There’s a holiday for everything these days. But what writer would want to pass up one that honors accidental turns of phrase? Yes, July 22 is Spoonerism Day.

For those of you unsure, Spoonerisms are words or phrases in which letters or syllables get swapped. They are named after Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844-1930), who was Dean and Warden of New College in Oxford, England, and is reputed to have made these verbal slips frequently. Some classics of his reportedly include calling Queen Victoria “our queer old dean,” telling those in chapel that “Our Lord is a shoving leopard,” and accusing one of his students of “hissing my mystery lecture.”

Of course, there are hundreds of others (you can see some here). We often speak in MY house of “shaking a tower.” And who hasn’t called a butterfly a flutter-by?

And so today, on the 170th birthday of Rev. Spooner, let’s celebrate – by working a Spoonerism into our conversation, creating a character that uses one, or creating one of your own. Trust me – it’s lots of fun!

What’s your Spavorite Foonerism? ;)

No Comments

Will You Still Be Fruitful in Your Success?

Will You Still Be Fruitful in Your Success?

By Marie Grossett

I’m not talking about material success, rather your attitude. When God opens the door to your ‘big break,’ will you still maintain or strive for the fruit of the Spirit to be manifested in your life?

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.’ Galatians 5:22

When we first start something – it could be a business, book, or a church – we tend to make promises such as ‘Lord, if you bless me I will never forget you,’ or ‘I promise I will remain kind humble and loving.’

Then the big break comes and guest what? All those promises seem long forgotten. We tend to become more money oriented , thinking we can treat people any way we want.

In the industry I am in, this unfruitful attitude is extremely common. It has become so economically oriented that showing the fruit of the Spirit is non-existent. Though God’s name is mentioned in books or mission statements, people’s actions are speaking louder than words.

I have witnessed authors slandering authors, authors against agents and vice versa. Some publishers focus more on the selling aspects of a book than the author’s potential.

If you want to be in this industry then you would need to pray for your forgiveness levels to increase. There have been many times I had to forgive. I refuse to stoop down to the fleshy level but rather be led by the Spirit. ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ Romans 8:6

Continue Reading…

2 Comments

Help, I’ve Been Hacked. Now What?

Help, I’ve Been Hacked. Now What?

By Edie Melson

Many of us have experienced the sinking feeling that comes with the realization that one (or more) of our social media profiles have been hacked. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it can sure wreck an otherwise blissful day.

The easiest way to get hacked is to click on a link that contains a virus allowing hackers access to your accounts. When you click on the link, you may see a message telling you the link is broken. That doesn’t mean you’ve dodged the bullet. If your firewall or virus software doesn’t catch it, you’ll still be infected.

Some of the most common messages that spread viruses and allow hackers access are:

Did you know your friends are spreading nasty rumors about you?” 

This is a hilarious video of you.”

So what’s a social media professional to do, cancel all accounts and slink away in shame?

Never.

In this post I’ll give you the steps to repair the damage.

First,

change your password for the social media profile that’s been compromised.

Twitter:

  • *Go to your home page and click on VIEW MY PROFILE PAGE under your name in the top left of the screen.
  • *Click on EDIT YOUR PROFILE.
  • *Then click on PASSWORD and follow the directions to change your password.

Facebook:

  • *Go to your home page and click on the arrow to the right of your profile name in the solid blue header.
  • *Click on ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
  • *You should land on General Account Settings. From here click PASSWORD and change your password.

Next

you need to check and make certain the damage hasn’t spread. Changing your password is just the first step. For this, you’ll need to visit the app section for Twitter and Facebook. Here’s how:

Twitter:

  • *Go to your home page and click on VIEW MY PROFILE PAGE under your name in the top left of the screen.
  • *Click on EDIT YOUR PROFILE.
  • *Then click on APPS. Here you’ll see a list of apps that have access to your Twitter account. I recommend you revoke access to any you don’t recognize or haven’t used in a while.

Facebook:

  • *Go to your home page and click on the arrow to the right of your profile name in the solid blue header.
  • *Click on ACCOUNT SETTINGS.
  • *Click on APPS. Here, too, you’ll see a list of apps that have access to your Facebook account. Again, I recommend you revoke access to any you don’t recognize or haven’t used in a while.

The fear of getting hacked shouldn’t keep us from exploring social networking, anymore than the fear of identity theft should keep us from using a debit or credit card. But we all need to play smart.

How about you, have you ever been hacked?

***

photo-1 copyEdie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

No Comments

Meet Best of the Best Runner-Up Gerald Shuler

grahampic

Graham and his wife

First of all, have you seen the interview with our Best of the Best winner, Graham Insley? Check it out at the Challenge page – and learn about his winning entry A Horse’s Rear End, the benefits of a challenge buddy, and his love for FaithWriters (and his Aussie home). Don’t miss it. :)

And now, let’s move on to the interview at hand.

Gerald Shuler has been a member of FaithWriters since 2007. And this year, his entry for the Expire challenge, Use Before…, was the second-highest rated entry the entire challenge year. Wow! Read on to learn about his reaction to being second place in Best of the Best, his love of FaithWriters, and how his little sister inspired him to create his first ebook – and more!

JOANNE SHER: First of all, Gerald, congratulations! Can you tell me what your reaction was when you learned that you got second place in Best of the Best this year?

GERALD SHULER: I knew my simple entry didn’t stand a chance of winning because there were so many super choices this year. I was just curious which one of those marvelous choices won. When I saw my name I thought “No, this can’t be… it should have been…” Then it dawn on me that I was the choice. But I actually decided NOT to tell my wife just in case it really was a mistake. (I finally told her I placed two days later.)

JOANNE: You are lucky you weren’t MY husband, Jerry – you’d be on the couch if you waited that long! ;) Your winning entry, Use Before.. resonated with quite a few people. I think many of us – especially those on the older part of the spectrum – have felt ignored or rejected because of our age. And you approached the issue masterfully. What was your inspiration for this piece? Do you remember how it came together?

Continue Reading…

1 Comment

Need a Contest to Enter?

FaithWriters has several contests going on this summer – ones for just about every type of Christian writing – from short to long, from fiction to nonfiction.

Let’s start with short writings. With the success of FaithWriters’ first testimony book (click here to see it and purchase), FaithWriters is planning to put out a second one. If you did not have your testimony in Trials and Triumphs, and you are a gold or platinum member, why not write it up for the new book? Check out details here (scroll down a bit) – but don’t wait too long. The deadline is August 15. You could be published – and receive royalties!

Also, the FaithWriters Writing Challenge comes back from its short break in just two days. Here is an opportunity to practice writing to a deadline, a topic, and a word count – and get feedback from fellow writers. Be sure to check the challenge main page on Thursday for the new topic!

If novel-length writing is more your cup of tea, we’ve got a couple contest for you -whether you are working on a novel or a work of nonfiction.

For non-fiction writers, be sure to enter the 2014 Page Turner Contest – open to any platinum member at no charge. All you need is the first chapter of your non-fiction manuscript, as well as a synopsis of the entire book (no – the book does NOT have to be completed to enter!). The winner will receive $800 cash, free editing of your manuscript,  and more. But don’t delay – the deadline is October 31, 2014, with winners announced in December.

And all you novelists, we have a contst for you as well! FaithWriters and Xulon Press are giving away a Xulon Bestseller Package and free premium publicity and marketing on all FaithWriters’ sites to the best platinum member submission of a Christian fiction entry with a sound biblical message. Just submit your first chapter and a synopsis/outline of the book and you could be the winner of this package, worth over $2,000. Check here for more details on this contest.

Which contest will you enter?

No Comments

New Challege Book -Mixed Blessings Simple Pleasures- Is Out!

At last! The long wait is over. The first of the new “Writing Challenge” books, Mixed Blessings Simple Pleasures, has been released, and what a book it is. With one hundred bite-sized stories, articles, and poems, by over fifty fantastic FaithWriters Challengeers including the talented Jan Ackerson, Kenn Allan, Teri Wilson, Beth LaBuff, Melanie Kerr, and a whole lot more, this makes a perfect bedside book or gift. There really is something for every Christian reader in a Mixed Blessings book.

Simple-Pleasures-Cover_Final-200x300Simple Pleasures is the first in the constantly growing Mixed Blessings series from Breath of Fresh Air Press. Each book is compiled almost entirely from our Writing Challenge Editors’ Choice winners over the last seven years. To date, there are over 460 authors involved in this massive project, with 2,900 articles in 29 books. Each quarter of the Writing Challenge will add more authors to the list, and another hundred articles.

Writing Challenge Coordinator and owner of Breath of Fresh Air Press, Deb Porter, says, “These books have been a long time coming, but I wanted them to perfect, and our first book, Mixed Blessings—Simple Pleasures, is worth the wait. I love everything about it. It is a delight from start to finish. I have too many favorites to list.”

Deb also mentioned that through the preparation of this first book, she has rediscovered the amazing talent of some old FaithWriters members, and is now working on book projects with three of the authors featured in this first book.

Continue Reading…

1 Comment

Congrats to 2014′s Writing Challenge Best of the Best!

Out of the thousands of FaithWriters Writing Challenge entries submitted over the past year, only forty were first place Editors Choice winners and contenders for Best of the Best. And of those, only one entry – and writer – can be chosen and crowned the 2014 Best of the Best. That person wins a cool $300 in cash, and the proverbial BoB crown. Second and third place winners get $100 and $75, respectively.

FaithWriters has crowned its new Best of the Best, as well as second and third place winners. Drumroll, please… :)

1ST PLACE  ($300)
The Horse’s Rear End by Graham Insley

(Topic: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth)

 

2ND PLACE  ($100)
Use Before… by Gerald Shuler

(Topic: Expire)

 

3RD PLACE  ($75)

Nature Speaks by Kenn Allan

(Topic: Example)

 

That’s right – for the first time in the ten-year history of Best of the Best, the guys have swept it! Watch for interviews with BoB and the runners-up on the site and here on the blog. The Writing Challenge starts up again on, July 10 – in just over a week. Plan to enter – YOU could be 2015′s Best of the Best!

Congratulations, Graham, Gerald, and Kenn!

2 Comments

Congrats to Spring 2014 Writing Challenge Cash Winners

(I’m not generally one to toot my own horn – especially on this blog – but it looks like I have no choice :::blush::: )

The FaithWriters’ Writing Challenge is on a break right now, with the last winners of the “Evolution of Language” quarter announced just last week. And that means it’s time to announce the four winners of the quarterly level awards. The highest scoring entry in EACH LEVEL over each entire ten-week quarter receives a $50 cash prize.

And the winners for the second quarter of 2014 are:

Level 1 – Beginners: The Misanthrope’s Practical Guide to Avoiding Close Friendships by Diane Bowman (Bestie Challenge)

Level 2 – Intermediate: My Side of the Wall by Gracie Sparks (First World Problem Challenge)

Level 3 – Advanced: Digital Despair in Denmark by Gregory Kane (Digital Detox Challenge)

Level 4 – Masters: An Ode to Technology (Or Not…) by Joanne Sher (Digital Detox Challenge)

Watch this spot (and others) for the winners of Best of the Best – the top three challenge entries of the entire challenge year (July 2013-June 2014) – they will be announced on July 1. AND the new challenge year will start up on July 10 – make a point of entering (and YOUR name could be here in a few months!).

Congrats!

1 Comment

Deadline for Blog Contest a Week Away!

Have you entered FaithWriters’ latest blogging contest? You could win paid writing assignments – or a free gold membership. But the deadline is coming up fast – so don’t delay!

The current contest is for the Pocket Testament League, a 120+-year-old organization whose main focus is leading people to a saving knowledge of Christ and equipping others to do the same.

To enter the contest, you need to write a 750-word-or-less promotional review of their site/ministry whose goal is to encourage readers to click on the links to PTL’s website. Your article must include at least four links to the PTL website tied into certain key words (contextual links). And it must be posted in at least three places – on the “What’s In Your Pocket” post in the FaithWriters forums, in FaithWriters’ regular articles section, and one other place. See this page for the general guidelines, tips, and instruction on entering these contests, and this page for more details on this particular contest.

The deadline for this contest is 6pm ET on June 30, 2014, with winners announced as soon as they are determined. That’s this coming Monday!

So, are you wondering about prizes? Well, here they are:

1st Place (Upgraded member): Two paid writing assignments from Pocket Testament League ($150 total) and publication on 100 Christian blogs.

2nd Place (Upgraded member) One paid writing assignment from Pocket Testament League (worth $75)

Best Silver member entry: free one-year FaithWriters Gold membership

So, check out their website for ideas (or see the winners of the last PTL blogging contest a couple years ago) and get writing! You can do it :)

Comments Off