• Writerly Wednesdays

    Envy: Destroyer of Worlds

    The writer’s journey is an individual path. Comparing your career to other writers is dangerous because envy creeps into your heart and threatens to hold you back. Here are three warnings and three points of encouragement as you travel your writing path. Don’t:1.  Compare careers. Writing journeys vary. Your unique experience is yours alone, and your trials and circumstances show in your work, creating a work of passion that only one person could write—you. Comparisons are entirely fruitless, for if the experience is different, then the outcomes must be distinct. Of course, you will have different characters and stories, a unique book cover that doesn’t look like theirs, and various fans.…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Show and Tell in Your Novel

    In our novels, we share forbidden secrets and mists of the heart. How? My best friend from high school, Brandon, lived five miles from my house. He was considered a bit of a loose cannon, and his exploits are legendary in my family. His car, The Blue Beast, was as famous as he is. When he opened his car door (the lock didn’t need a key) and turned the ignition (which also didn’t need a key), we could hear the engine roar from our house. One night, I hosted a sleepover, and as young men are wont to do, we craved food at 2:00 AM. Brandon and my brother decided…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Grammar Police: You are Under a Rest

    What if there were grammar police? Imagine having a bench warrant for your arrest based on the syntax you murdered in your Facebook post. Perhaps you robbed the preposition store because you couldn’t afford a direct object? Or worse, you played Hallmark cards and cheated using a split infinitive. The rules are in place for a reason. There is a minimum expectation that you will understand what I write. The entire enterprise is pounded into our brains, starting with some must-watch viewing: Sesame Street. This blog is brought to you by the letter W and the number 6. When we follow the rules, our idea or story is clear. Stephen…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Historical Novels: You Can Write One!

    Epic historical fiction comes in many shapes and is usually the same size—long. They are challenging to write, and many readers find the genre an acquired taste. But what sets aside these tomes of sagacity from other categories? And can you find them in the Christian market? Let’s take a moment and define epic historical fiction. The novel is about crises. Society cannot tolerate disorder, so we give power to specific groups of people so that order can be reached and maintained. In other words, in the United States, we vote for a president and give the person the power to send off our armies or write a check to…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    The Well-Read Writer Becomes an Author

    What tools are vital for an author? Mine are a laptop, headphones, caffeine, a canvas grey jacket with a white T-shirt, faded jeans, Olukai Hawaiian shoes, and two-day stubble I’ll shave soon. I can’t write without them. However, no tool is more essential than my writer’s library.  Every great writer has curated a personal library. Their library is so valuable that when they die, people take down the titles and publish the list so we can read what the author studied. So, as a famous writer, you must collect books and be the curator of your library. Need better justification? Ten Reasons Why You Should Have An Extensive Home Library 1…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    Change Can Work Wonders

    Change the format you use for your writing, and watch it work wonders. During my writing journey for my first book, I initially struggled with the format. I began with my journal entries, and collaborated with my sister via Google Docs for long-distance editing. I could see her edits, and I made the necessary changes in my manuscript. We spent hours editing the raw material, and then creating the manuscript in the form of dated journal entries. One day, a divine revelation struck: Transform the manuscript into a story. My challenge was to figure out how, especially as my sister continued to edit journal pages. One day, I ran across…

  • Writerly Wednesdays

    From The Heart

    “…and Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Most mothers love to tell about the day their children were born. These are some of our best stories, overflowing with life-threatening suspense, transformation, the miraculous and in the end, joy. As with all our stories, we make choices about what to include and what to leave out, depending on the audience, depending on the purpose in the telling. But none of our stories can match Mary’s. How happy she must have been to sit down with Luke and have a chance to tell her account of Jesus’ miraculous conception and dramatic birth, which she had been…

  • Monday Meditations

    Christmas Moment(s)

    Part of what is overwhelming during the holidays is spending 24-plus days planning for a single day event. Or if you are one of the lucky people to start Christmas the night before, two days. It’s similar when you plan a novel. The characters, plot, editing, theme, formatting, reviews, marketing… There’s so much to mange that you might freeze instead of start. Interestingly, both Christmas and new releases have a similar letdown on the day after. Christmas is intense focus on gifts, meal, food…a perfect minute. And the more expectation you have, the greater the chance of disparity between want and reality. Instead of trying to see and plan the…