A to Z Devotions for Writers

A To Z Devotions For WritersToday I’m happy to welcome Pamela D. Williams author of A to Z Devotions for Writers. Her book is a must have for any writer. Not only is it full of inspiration, it’s full of great tips and writing exercises.

Pam August 2012

Pamela D. Williams, Author of A-Z Devotions for Writers

To start off, who is your favorite author and is your writing style similar to theirs?

My two favorite authors are Gladys Taber and Jan Karon. My writing style is similar to Taber’s and my life is similar to the one Karon writes about.

What’s your favorite part of a book?

The ending is always bittersweet for me—I love the resolution to conflict and the time to reflect but I miss the characters.

Who are your target readers?

For A to Z Devotions for Writers, my target audience is writers, of course. My other writing is mainly aimed at the average adult who is a Christian.

What are the major themes of your work?

God’s grace and His power to change us is the foremost theme of my work.

What is your writing process?

I usually jot down a few sentences that capture the gist of what I want to say. I pray about the direction to go with it. Then I flesh it out, followed by edit, edit, edit.

How do you get your ideas?

I really feel God plants them in my mind and heart and I just write them down.

How many hours do you write each day?

It varies. Some days I write nothing; other days I write for three or four hours straight. If I averaged it out, it would probably amount to about an hour a day, usually in the early morning.

Who inspired you?

One Christmas my mother gave me three books by Gladys Taber. I feel in love with her style, read ALL of her books, and decided I wanted to write like she did. However, I truly feel, writing is a call from God—He just happened to use Taber to get my attention.

Did you always want to write?

No, I always wanted to read; writing grew out of my love of reading.

How have your personal experiences affected your writing?

My personal experiences provide fodder for my writing.

Finally, do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Pray, edit ruthlessly, and research the markets very thoroughly before submitting.

Thanks again for dropping by! Here are the links to order this must have book!

Amazon

Barnes And Noble

Crosslink

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response (Father’s Day Edition)

Daddy’s Girl

My daddy hung the moon, at least in my eyes. I love both my parents, but can’t deny a special fondness for my father.

Growing up, there was nothing my dad wouldn’t do for me or give to me, but it wasn’t until I was leaving for college that I remember him speaking the words, “I love you.” Oh, I knew without question my entire life that he loved me; he just wasn’t the type of guy to say it all the time. If I said those three little words to him, he grunted. To this day, he still grunts in response to words of affection, although he is more likely to return the sentiment in words now than when I was a child.

To avoid making my dad uncomfortable, I decided several years ago to share all my really mushy feelings and thoughts in an annual Father’s Day letter. It’s an almost perfect form of communication. Through my gift of writing, I get to tell my dad how much he means to me without worrying about his reaction.

Therein lies my one and only regret –that I never see or hear his reaction to what I’ve written.

So what are the questions I want to ask my father?

  • “How did my father’s day letters make you feel, Daddy?”
  • “Did they tell you how much I love you?”
  • “Did they touch your heart?”
  • Do you still have each letter?”

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Are you ready for the challenge? Visit 1st Writes today!

See*Photo*Write Challenge Response

I’ve been neglecting my writing exercises lately. When our writer’s group (1st Writes) meets weekly, we do a timed writing exercise together. It’s so fun and a great way to keep the writing muscles working. When we don’t meet, I slack off and rarely do any exercises, even though we have a weekly photo prompt exercise on the 1st Writes blog. For some reason, I spend way too much time thinking about what to write, rather than just sitting down and writing. So this week, I was determined to sit down and write for 15 minutes on the See*Photo*Write prompt. I did not waste time over-thinking it. Here’s the photo and my response –

Tea Time

“You’re crazy, Edna,” Louise held her hands up in exasperation.

“Crazy? I am certainly not crazy!” Edna looked away from her best friend of 30 years. “I may be old. I may loose track of the days and I may forget where I put my teeth at night, but one thing I’m not is crazy!”

“Now, Edna,” Louise leaned forward to pick up her teacup.

“And furthermore, when you invite a friend over for tea, it’s the height of rudeness to insult their sanity,” Edna took a quick, angry sip of her lukewarm tea.

“Don’t get your dander up, Edna. I wasn’t insulting you. I’m simply pointing out that you’re crazy if you think your husband looked like Gibbs! Robert was short, round and bald. He looked more like a bowling ball and nothing like the handsome and debonair Mark Harmon.”

“Well, I never,” Edna pressed her lips firmly together, unwilling to admit that Louise’s description of her beloved Robert was spot on.

26.2 – The A-Z View

Last year, in my 2011 ‘Reflections’ post, 26.2 A Different View, I likened the A-Z Challenge to running a marathon. Continuing with that metaphor, I admit I had my doubts about my ability to finish the Challenge this year. I had really hoped to write my posts before the Challenge even started. When April 1st arrived, and I only had outlines, rough drafts, and notes for just some of the characters who would be ‘blogging’ @ Bible Bloggers, I thought I was doomed. I was sure I’d hit the wall and collapse before making it to the end.

I’m happy to admit I was wrong. Unlike last year, I trained for this year’s challenge. I read, researched and contemplated possible entries. I may not have written the full posts, but I was prepared to write them when the starting whistle blew. When training for a marathon, I don’t run the full 26.2 before race day; instead, I prepare by gradually building my mileage. Around letter ‘R’ I realized that was what I did for this year’s A-Z. And the training paid off. Every ‘blog’ was posted at exactly 8am every day of the Challenge. There were even some letters I wrote two entries for! And as the miles, um, letters passed, I managed to pick up my pace and get a few days ahead every once in a while.

Of course, like with running, I ran this race mostly on my own. Busy concentrating on my own pace, I only briefly looked around at those running beside and in front of me. Of the new blogs I did get a chance to visit during the Challenge, there are three stand-outs I want to encourage you to visit too:

Inspiration Art and Creativity ~ Amanda’s theme for the challenge was dementia. I found myself relating to her thoughts and feelings and connected with her pain. Despite the painful topic she explored during the Challenge, her blog is full of hope, encouragement and inspiration for the creative soul.

Overcoming Loneliness ~ Jody is an amazingly powerful writer! Her passionate words reached right into my heart and stirred the passion of my own faith.

Here to Find Him ~ Megan is writing her first Christian fiction novel and shares all the ups and downs of the process. As a Christian and a writer, I felt an instant connection with her.

Finally, to this year’s A-Z Team, I’d like to say, ‘Thank you!’

Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Author Elizabeth Mueller(Elizabeth Mueller)
Pearson Report (Jenny Pearson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)
Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)
Coming Down The Mountain(Karen Jones Gowen)

Proverbial Meditation (An A-Z Challenge Extra)

Throughout the month of April for the A-Z Challenge, 1st Writes, my writer’s group blog, has been meditating on Proverbs. Each day a member of our group writes about a Proverb containing a word corresponding to the letter of the alphabet for the day. Even members who don’t blog have written interpretations of the Proverbs. The entries in the series are short, inspiring and refreshing to the spirit – with the possible exception of today’s entry!

Today is the letter ‘V’ in the Challenge and the word of the day at 1st Writes is ‘Vomit’ – found in Proverbs 25:16 (If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit). Surprisingly, nobody in our group volunteered for this word! So I gladly reluctantly signed up. Even more surprising, I actually came up with two (maybe one and a half) different meditations on a word so repulsive, just hearing it triggers my gag reflex.

The first meditation posted on 1st Writes ponders gluttony in blogging. Is it possible to be a ‘blog glutton’?

My second contribution is shorter and quite possibly more of an observation rather than a reflection.

 

At times in our writing, using a word with negative connotations is the best way of attracting an audience and getting our point across.

To me, the best use of the word ‘vomit’ in a title is  – Comment Vomit: How Not To Leave Comments by Melissa who manages two blogs – Adventuroo and Momcomm.

It’s one of her most popular posts ever, in part, I’m sure, due to it’s title, which doesn’t repulse, but shocks and intrigues. The post was so popular it spawned a badge that reads – This is a comment vomit free zone. The graphic on the badge is a cute little cloud opening its mouth and spewing forth a cute, colorful rainbow. The pleasant graphic helps soften the harshness of the word while maintaining its power. It’s so wrong and right at the same time.

While musing about the word ‘vomit’ for only a few seconds, after thinking – ‘pregnancy’ and ‘gross’, I remembered this post, which proves it’s a memorable title!

Messages From Heaven Book Giveaway

From tales of people visiting Heaven and coming back, to dreams and visions, to clear messages, the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, February 28, 2012, 978-1935096917, $14.95) illustrate how accepting what may seem like the unbelievable can provide comfort and peace after a loss. The 101 stories of miraculous signs, amazing connections, and love that doesn’t die will comfort and encourage anyone who has experienced the loss of a beloved family member or friend.

‘Strawberry Fields’ is my contribution to this amazing collection of encouraging, comforting and hope-filled stories. My story is about a dream and the beloved memory of walking barefoot through fields of strawberries with my Grandma Bone.

In honor of the letter ‘M’ in the A-Z Challenge, which I am participating in- just on two different blogs, I’m giving away a copy of Messages From Heaven. Simply leave a comment on this post to enter. Comments will close at midnight (eastern time) on Monday April, 16, 2012. I’ll draw a random name from the comments on Tuesday and announce the winner.

ETA –
Congratulations to Alana from Writercize! Your book will be in the mail shortly!

Young Isaac’s Blog (A Bible Blogger Extra)

Today an older Isaac shared his blog on Bible Bloggers. I thought it only fair that young Isaac get to share his blog too!

Scripture Reading Genesis 22: 1-19

Blog Title – Child of Promise

Blogging Niche – Christian and Boy Bloggers

About Me – I’m the son of Abraham and Sarah, some even say I’m the favorite son! I like to play outside, help with the animals and hang out with my dad.

Blog Excerpt

 

A Funny Thing Happened On Mount Moriah

So Dad and I went to the Land of Moriah to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. Dad and I have offered many sacrifices together before, but this trip was different. Something seemed off. First of all, Dad was quiet. I’d tried to talk to him, but his answers were short, as if his mind was full of other thoughts – thoughts he didn’t want to share with me.

Second of all, we didn’t bring a sacrifice.

“The fire and wood are here,” I said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” he said.

Cool. I trust in God’s provision. As Dad built the alter, he seemed sad. He put the wood on the alter, and when the time came to offer a sacrifice, I got a really funny feeling in the pit of my belly.

Dad reached for me and began to tie me up. It hit me then that I was the sacrifice! At first panic seized me and terror filled my heart, but almost immediately those feelings were replaced by a peace unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

Dad was repeating over and over, “God is good. He keeps his promises.”

I believed his words and they surrounded me with calm. As I lay bound on a pile of wood, I felt no fear – only trust in God.

Suddenly an angel shouted from the heavens, “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

Dad lowered the knife he had held over me. He caught sight of a ram and we sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead. Then together we worshiped.

The whole experience was weird, almost like a dream, but too real. I can still feel the wood scraping against my back.

On the way back, Dad was in good spirits again. The whole way home we praised God together! Dad’s unquestioning faith is so awesome! I hope I can always be as faithful to God as he is!