May 30, 2020

Lingering Low - Guest post by Brenda J Wood

Yes we all do it. God calls us to higher living, yet we linger in the basement making excuses.

I have yet to teach a writing class where the participants are happy with the time allowed for writing. It wouldn’t matter if they had the whole two hours to write, it would not satisfy them. The constant complaint on the review sheets remains the same.

“You did not give us enough time to write.

A less polite person than I am would tell them this.
 “Why should I waste my time because you have wasted yours?”

I know you waste writing time and I know this because I do too.
Oh friends, let us count the ways.

- multiple email checks per day.
- bunny trails on line.
- postponing the extraordinary in lieu of the ordinary.
- excusing oneself from our God-given talent of writing.
- not understanding how important our writing is.
- selling our talents short.
- running down our writing before it even hits the page.
- fear, whether of success or failure.

Do you understand the power of your words? The company you keep when you write?

God, (See Exodus 32:16) Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24) Kings,( 2 Chronicles 2:11,36:22, Ezra 1:1) were all writers.

People wrote when they had been ill. (Isaiah 38:9) They interpreted writing. (Daniel 5:17) They wrote royal decrees. (Daniel 6:9)

Jesus qualified writing this way.

 Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”(Matthew 13:52)

People wrote when they couldn’t talk. (Luke 1:63)

Jesus said you must believe Moses’ words or you cannot believe me. (John 5:46-47)

People wrote to correct others. (Acts 15:20)
Paul was defended with writing. (Acts 25:26)
Paul wrote to defend himself, (1Corinthians 9:15) to test our attitudes, (2 Corinthians 2:9) and to remind us repeatedly ((Philippians 3:1)

I could keep writing these things and lots of others for your remembrance. But what is the point?
It is up to you. WRITE; Even if it is only your grocery list. WRITE.

Do you think these folks had a comfortable writing life, sitting in easy chairs, coffee at hand and words flowing onto their screen; of course not.

Every writer struggles to get the right words on their page. The trick is first to get your thoughts down; words, any words, lots of words on the page.

Then and only then do you start searching for just the right words. That’s when you search out the editor you need. You see, an editor can’t help you if you have nothing on the page.

So when the dishes beckon and the floor sobs…let them cry out. They will be there after your prime writing hours.

Shall we make a list?
  1. Know your prime hours. (Mine are mornings but necessity sometimes cries out p.m.)
  2. Set a standard number of hours or words per day.
  3.  Stick to your schedule.
  4.  Set deadlines.
  5.  Determine to publish, even if only for your family reputation.
  6.  Write for others’ blogs. This creates deadlines and exposure.
  7.  Never quit unless God tells you to.
  8. Stop lingering low. God has called you to a higher standard.
  9. Pick a ‘writing ‘verse. Mine is Psalm 45:1.
  10.  I am willing to share it. In fact I pray it for you.

My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalm 45:1)

So friends, stop telling your instructors that they don’t give you enough time to write. You and you only are the ones in charge of how much, how often and how hard you write.

Brenda J Wood
Author, speaker and contributor, Brenda J Wood has been an author and motivational speaker for more years than she cares to admit. She is known for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments. She calls herself the ‘ABC girl’ because she’s survived and written about the ‘ABC’s of abuse, bulimia, cancer, death, entertainment, food, gluttony and humour. Since she’s written books on each of these topics, she hopes the ‘E’ word of her next book stands for something like Energy or Entertainment, but definitely not Exams or Epsom salts!

A few of her favourite things include grandchildren, guest speaking, writing, sewing, a warm fire, a good book, and pounding the pavement on early morning walks. Brenda has authored many books but is very excited about the upcoming - My Affair with Cancer, a fund raiser for the Georgian Bay Cancer Centre in Penetanguishene. Her other books include:
The Food Lover’s Devotional, food for both body and soul
Gentle Humour with Jesus, devotions for the light-hearted
The Pregnant Pause of Grief, the first trimester of widowhood
Meeting Myself, snippets from a binging and bulging mind.
Heartfelt Devotionals, 366 devotions for common sense living.
God, Gluttony & You
Brenda’s Children’s books include:
The Big Red Chair –a book for grieving children
Mother Peebles Problem Pebbles
The Plate Family Dishes Up

May 29, 2020

InScribe Press Easter Anthology

Call for Submissions for New 2021 InScribe Anthology
Eligibility: Open to writers who are current members of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
Book Specs: Trade paperback book (6” x 9”) with roughly 200 pages, possibly also an e-book.
Target Audience: Christians, Churches, Christian schools; suitable for general gift-giving
Theme: Easter
  1. Fiction, poetry, non-fiction, drama/plays, devotionals, meditations, recipes, crafts/decorating, black-and-white photographs or artwork
  2. Only unpublished work (text or illustrations) will be used. That means your work must not have been published anywhere else, including on the Internet.
  3. Submissions (excluding images) should be sent as a Word document attachment.
Length: Maximum word count for written pieces: 2000. There is no minimum length. Illustrations (photos, art) must be submitted in high resolution (300 dpi) jpeg. You may enter up to three written pieces and six pieces of artwork/photos. 
Payment: Each contributor will receive one copy of the book per accepted submission.
Buying Print Copies: Authors have the option of purchasing additional copies of the book at reduced cost for resale or gifts.
Submission Deadline:  August 31, 2020
Additional notes:
  1. There is no cost to enter a submission.
  2. All submissions will be reviewed and authors will be notified of acceptance.
  3. Accepted submissions will be edited.

May 28, 2020

Tuning the Cracks - Bruce Atchison

Remember The Monkees? I remember when Micky, Mike, and Peter showed up at a man's house. When he asked why three men came to tune his piano, Micky gave him this answer. "He tunes the white keys, he tunes the black keys, and I tune the cracks."

Do you ever get the feeling that you're typing the cracks? These "cracks" seem to get us when we're writing drafts. That's why we need to edit and edit until we're thoroughly tired of our work.

I find these "cracks" between chores are the best time to edit. Our minds aren't focused on the topic as much as finding goofs. Therefor it's easier to spot mistakes.

Beta readers are also a big help. I once assisted a woman in correcting a huge boo-boo in her book by listening to my computer read it aloud. She wrote "a women" instead of "a woman." Her spell checker missed the mistake but I heard it loud and clear. Like a wrong note in a tune, it sounded jarring to me.

One book which never needs editing is the Bible. Other so-called holy books are riddled with mistakes but not the Holy Scriptures.

I don't know if all those whom God used to write the scriptures were writing between work and other obligations. Even so, divine books in the Bible were compiled under the guidance of the Spirit.

Even the writers knew that they were writing sacred words from the Lord. Check out what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:15 and 16 (Bible in Basic English). "And be certain that the long waiting of the Lord is for salvation; even as our brother Paul has said in his letters to you, from the wisdom which was given to him; And as he said in all his letters, which had to do with these things; in which are some hard sayings, so that, like the WREST of the holy Writings, they are twisted by those who are uncertain and without knowledge, to the destruction of their souls."

I capitalized the word "rest" because it shows that these men knew they were writing under the power of the holy Spirit. Therefore we can be assured that quoting those writings needs no correction.

Though we have no such scripture-writing privilege, we do write for our Master. We edify others and call the sinners to repentance. May our Lord use the work of our hands to free many from Satan's grip.