The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, library
Loveland Public Library
Author Showcase

In the first article of this series, When the Book Worm Is the Wedding Planner, we established that I am first and foremost a book worm, whether it be reading or writing books. It’s reasonable for the book worm to go to her local library, peruse the wide assortment of books, and select two of the most comprehensive books as a guide toward a successful wedding. Right? That’s just what I did, but as I was reminded, never assume anything. A noted law school professor wrote the word “ASSUME” on the board the first day of class and then added hyphens after the second “s” and the “u” and said, “That’s what assuming does.” And, that’s just what it did. Hence the title, “The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm.”

Why Didn’t the Books Work?

If I suffered from panic attacks (which thankfully I do not), I would have had a big one. Yes, these books were thick, detailed, and quite comprehensive, but that was just part of the problem. The other part was that according to the books, I was too late…

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The Wedding Planner — When Books Don’t Work for the Book Worm
Too late to book
  • the church
  • the ideal setting for the reception
  • the DJ
  • the photographer
  • the videographer

And, too late to

  • have formal wedding invitations printed.

Whew. What a downer that was. Next, I returned the books, but not before I made my checklist.

A Critical Tool

wedding, wedding planner, books, Hidden Bloodlines, wedding budget, Stanley Hotel, Christmas, Christmas wedding, budget, checklist, timeline, organization, organization tips, libraryThe books did prove helpful to give me an idea of what I was up against. As a business lawyer, checklists are my strength. Checklists are critical to make sure deadlines are met and nothing falls through the cracks. Since I already missed the boat for their timeline, I had to create my own and pray it would all come together.

Additionally, most of these books assumed (there’s that word again) an unlimited or large wedding budget. Since our focus was always education, I got creative in finding ways to get the best out of our limited wedding budget.

What’s your preferred organizational tool?

Lemon Oil: Clearing Out for a Clean Start By Kathryn Ross

Welcome back Kathryn Ross for January’s The Write Spice Series — Lemon Oil: Clearing Out for a Clean Start. **

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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words

Did you eat too many sweets over the holidays?

I did. And far too many second helpings of festive foods prepared and enjoyed only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though my taste-buds have been blessed, my body cries out for relief from all the celebration. The post-holiday lethargy sets in as my digestive system attempts to process the influx of sugar, cheese, and carbs consumed.

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The Lemon Oil January Principle. Clearing Out for a Clean Start

That’s when I reach for the little miracles in my essential oils cabinet—and one in particular: Lemon Oil.

When I first saw a demonstration of this powerful little therapeutic grade* oil, I made sure I was first in line to get a bottle and make it a regular go-to remedy for internal cleansing. The demonstrator put one drop on a Styrofoam plate. I watched in amazement as it virtually disintegrated the plate, promising to do the same to all manner of artery and intestinal-clogging enemies in my body. SOLD!

Lemon oil remains a daily part of my nutritional regime. Just a drop in my morning water and evening tea keeps the pipes clear and clean. In January, I tend to double my lemon oil intake, to compensate for all my jolly holiday no-guilt feasting in December. The lethargy of stressed digestion is cleansed. The mental fog of too much busy and Christmas cake clears, energizing my body for the new year to come.

If only those little drops of lemon oil could make quick work of cleaning out my office and desktop in January. Like a healthy digestive cleanse, I need to collect myself after a busy year, clean the debris left behind, and see clearly my path for writing goals in the new year.

You, too?

It’s a common malady for all of us—but especially writers. We tend to begin each year with a plan. As winter turns to spring, new inspirations and opportunities arrest our attention. We collect ideas, layering them in random computer files and hard-copy folders on both our virtual and physical desktops. Working on new projects battle the monthly writing deadlines we’re already committed to, for our time and creative energy. The busy of home, family, church activities, and school responsibilities shift into hyper-drive once September rolls around, and spins into warp speed come Christmas.

It’s no wonder I can’t see an ounce of wood grain on my desk and have only a path from the door to the printer in my backroom office. I’ve stuffed myself full in my life and work and need to apply some lemon oil to clear the way and make a clean start for a healthy and productive new year. To accomplish this, I schedule a week early in January to purge and purpose.

Purge:

  • Toss or file all paper items that are unnecessary. Be wise and selective.
  • Clean out desk drawers. Be brutal.
  • Remove unnecessary objects from your work area. Everything has a place—put it there.
  • Delete random images and documents saved on your computer that are no longer useful. Watch the temptation to get sidelined with distractions.

Purpose:

  • Re-think the use of your work and storage space. Think outside the box.
  • Re-organize how you use your work and storage space. Plan for your new projects.
  • Chart the new year with all monthly deadlines, project goals, conference plans, and personal/family aspirations.
  • File random images and documents saved on your computer in new folders that are better organized for easy access. Create a folder marked Inspiration 2017 for anything you can’t quite categorize but want to keep.

Once you clear and clean your work spaces, you’ll find the new year lethargy dissipates, replaced with fresh energy and insight for stepping into a new season of activity and accomplishment. Drink a tall glass of lemon water and get to work for a productive new year! Do you have any specific tips or annual rituals you use for clearing out and making a clean start each year?

*Only ingest quality certified therapeutic grade oils. Do your research before buying!

** Please speak to your physician before making any changes to your health care regime.

clove, lemon oil, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, thesaurus
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.

When the Book Worm Is the Wedding Planner

I confess to being a book worm, not a wedding planner. When my daughter announced her engagement and followed it with, “You’ll have to handle everything Mom, I trust you…,” my voice crackled and I had difficulty breathing. “Are you sure you want ME to handle it?”

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Medical Student

As a fourth year medical student on rotations that kept her in the hospital most of each day, she had no time. My sister inherited those event planning skills from our mother, not me. The problem was that the wedding would be in Colorado, and my husband and I with our son were the only ones here. My daughter had no choice, and neither did I.

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Wedding Planners
                           My Sister and My Mom
A Little Background

So that you can better understand my dilemma, I’ll share a brief story of a time when my daughter was just 4 years old and I was the Senior Attorney for a national organization located in 33 states.

A Little Background

I typically wore a suit, however, on this particular day I wore a knit sweater/skirt set. Although my daughter and mother had spent the day together, my daughter was dropped off prior to us leaving for a family dinner at an upscale restaurant. When my mother left, my 4 year old turned to me and said, “Mommy, you’re not planning on wearing that tonight are you?” When I answered in the affirmative, she responded, “No, mommy. That won’t work. Follow me.” She led me to my closet where she picked out a suit for me and I changed. “That’s better… .”

When we entered the restaurant, the first thing out of my mother’s mouth was, “Thank God you changed that awful outfit.”

The Start of Planning a Wedding

This is the daughter that trusted ME with planning every detail of her formal wedding. “God help me!” I prayed… . The first thing I did was go to the library and check out 2 of their best books on planning a wedding — what else would a book worm do, right?

With the most popular month for weddings just 6 months away, I thought this was the ideal time to share those do’s and don’ts of planning the perfect wedding, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. And just as important, is planning that elegant wedding within a smaller than desired budget. Stay tuned for those essential tips, tricks, and money saving ideas…

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The Engagement
Photo by Laura Grace Photography

What do you think is the best month for a wedding?

Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

So many mistakes … so much time wasted. Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes is the first in the Common Mistakes Series geared to help you save precious time getting that book published. I have first hand experience on making most if not all of them. With this new year upon us, my goal is to share my journey to make yours smoother and easier with quicker positive results.

The Story
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Save Thyme and Avoid Common Mistakes

As I mentioned in my article, Never Give Up!, I am a writer by profession. Although I have more than 100 published articles (most of which were ghost written), my heart’s desire was in the story. I yearned to write that novel and see it published. Even though I was an experienced writer, I quickly learned that fiction writing was a totally different “animal” and I set out to garner the necessary skills.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Hidden Bloodlines started as a story triggered by a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. After this story brewed in my mind for two years, I decided that the time was now and I attended my first writers conference.

A Conference Mistake

I successfully pitched my story to agents and publishers during that first conference, but made my first mistake as an conference newbie — I pitched a story that wasn’t written. It was in my head, but not on paper. Every single one of the editors and agents I pitched to, wanted to see a manuscript that did not exist. By the time I wrote it, revised it (I can’t remember how many times) and had it ready, 5 years had passed. Oops — a little late for that group of agents and editors who were either with different publishing houses or made career changes.

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

During those 5 years I worked on learning the craft and developing my skills as a fiction writer — essential if you want to be taken seriously and get published. I highly recommend attending writers conferences even if that story is not written. There are workshops and sessions geared toward honing your skills. Appointments are usually available with not just editors and agents, but writers, and other writing professionals. If you want to pitch a story idea, let the agents and editors know that it’s not written yet, then get on the horn and write it. They may be interested now, but not a year from now.

Do you have a story brewing?

Burnout? with L.A. Sartor

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Burnout? by L.A. Sartor

Welcome L.A. Sartor as our guest today on Thyme for Writers! L.A. Sartor is a bestselling, award-winning author. She began telling stories around the age of 4 when her mother, at L.A.’s insistence, wrote them down and L.A. illustrated them. As an adult, she writes suspense and action-adventure novels with a dash of romance, and screenplays—she’s had a contracted adaptation! She lives in Colorado with her husband whom she met on a blind date. L.A. loves to travel and thinks life is an adventure and we should embrace the journey. She has a blog and a mailing list.

Burnout?

Karen, thank you so much for having me as your guest. You’ve had a great line up of writers so far, I hope I keep the trend going. 😊

I thought burnout was for everyone else but me. I was on a tidal wave of producing books. Then something hit me while I was writing my seventh manuscript, Prince of Granola.

Nothing about writing intrigued me. Nothing. Not my blog, not my book. Nada.

Why? I still loved the story and my characters. I was super proud of what I’d accomplished with my writing so far.

My reaction: panic. I didn’t want to sit near my laptop, didn’t even open it for days. And when I did, I forced the writing. We all know that’s not a solution.

So, I basically ignored the dread of writing and fear of not writing, pretty sure other stress factors in my life were the cause. I couldn’t have burnout, writing was my ideal job.

Hmmm, job. More on that later.

Nevertheless, I avidly read articles on burnout or writer’s block as they appeared on my horizon; how to cope, how to push it aside, what it was. And I came to the conclusion that nope, I didn’t have burnout. I had something else. I think the word for that reasoning is denial.

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Burnout? by L.A. Sartor

Months later, I faced it head on. I was experiencing burnout. And oddly acknowledging, even saying the word out loud to myself, then close friends and outward from there, made it seem fixable.

Fast forward a couple more months. Still not writing much and whining yet again to my buddy, Audra Harders, about how long it was taking me to get this blasted first draft done, she gently interrupted me and mentioned a concept. A very cool concept.

Writing in chunks.

The concept immediately hit me as right. You all know the feeling. It’s almost euphoric. Moments later my email dinged and I was gifted by her The Chunky Method Handbook by Allie Pleiter.

Immediately after opening the book—well, after I emailed a thank you to her—my anxiety began to dissipate.

And then I realized a few things. I had been writing as though it were a job. I’d retired a few years earlier and hadn’t fit in well with the retirement scheme of no schedules. So, I wrote as if it were a job instead of a gift and a joy.

I pushed through hours of computer time, knowing I had a goal and had to make it. Doing that served me well until it didn’t. I sold a lot of books, made it to #1 on Amazon, both on free and paid books and felt on top of the world…until I didn’t.

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers, Burnout, writers block
Reach Your Goals!

I knew instinctively that setting limits to my goals wasn’t me. I’m a goal oriented person. But changing my perception of goals, in this case allowing myself to write 400 words in a chunk (you learn what your chunks are), and meeting that chunk (goal) really changed me. It set me free. I was successful again when I hit my chunks and I could write as many chunks a day as I wanted. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t beat myself up, because I knew I would another day, or even the next hour.

I started being productive, and again loving what I was doing. The concept allowed me to be … me.

Back to the job issue. I also realized is that writing isn’t a job for me. And no, I’m not a full-time writer. I don’t want to be, nor frankly, do I have to be. I am a writer who believes in her story and her characters one chunk at a time.

And believe me, the chunks add up quickly, far faster than I could have dreamed. I don’t force it, I let it flow good or bad from my fingers.
Because we all know, if it’s not written down, you can’t fix it and make it better.

Prince of Granola will be out in the spring.

L.A. Sartor, Christmas, Best-Selling Author, job, goal, burnout, Prince of Granola, The Chunky Method Handbook, Thyme for Writers
Believe In Me This Christmas Morn by L.A. Sartor

LA Sartor
Love the Romance ~ Live the Adventure
Bestselling Author and Winner of the International Digital Award

Believe In Me This Christmas Morn

Amazon
http://amzn.to/1Ui8Y6t (shortened)
iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/believe-in-me-this-christmas/id1147295728?ls=1&mt=11 (full)

Titles published:
Dare to Believe (2012)
Stone of Heaven ( 2013) Carswell Adventure Series Book One
Be Mine This Christmas Night (Holiday 2013) Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book One
Forever Yours This New Year’s Night (Holiday 2014) Star light ~ Star Bright Series Book Two
Viking Gold (July 2015) Carswell Adventure Series Book Two
Believe in Me This Christmas Morn (Holiday 2015) Star Light ~ Star Bright Series Book Three
The Prince of Granola (Coming 2018)

Social Links
Website
Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

If Writing Is Your Passion – Never Give Up!

If writing is your passion, never give up! So many things may get in the way — time or the lack of it, discouragement, the need to earn a living, life …. The list goes on and on, especially if your goal is to be published by a traditional publisher.

Resources
The Author Toolbox

Candee Fick talked about the time issue in her article, So Little Time to Conquer this Mountain where she shares her tips and strategies in her busy life and offers a very helpful tool, The Author Toolbox. This article is about perseverance —  keeping that goal in sight so that we never give up.

 

 

The Journey

As writers, we all deal with discouragement whether we are trying to get published, or are already successfully published. Our journeys may be different, but the difficulties are similar if not the same. In today’s publishing industry, the age of the ebook and ease at which someone can get published independently has changed the course of the industry.

Hidden Bloodlines, romantic suspense, Colorado Rockies, Karen Van Den Heuvel
Hidden Bloodlines

Why do we write? For me, it’s a passion for story. There is a story I can’t get out of my mind until I put it on paper. That’s how Hidden Bloodlines started — it was a story that perpetuated itself for two years before I attended my first writers conference in Estes Park, Colorado.

As an attorney and dietitian with multiple articles and one published nonfiction book, writing was my life, but my passion was fiction — a story to share. However, I quickly learned that writing fiction is a totally different “animal” than nonfiction. It is a different art and it was important that I learn the craft. Future articles will talk about this craft and how to achieve the necessary skills for success.

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Thyme for Writers
The Journey

For those interested in becoming published by a traditional publishing house, the road may be long and bumpy with uncertain forks. If you are not interested in the years usually involved with a traditional publisher, you may want to go the Indy way. Regardless of which avenue you choose, when you reach that publication goal , it doesn’t end. There are millions of books out there and you may ask:

  • “How will anyone find me?”
  • “Can I make a living writing?”
  • “How successful can I be?”
  • “Is it even worth it?”

Thyme for Writers will help you discern the path that’s right for you. It will hopefully answer your many questions and help you avoid time consuming mistakes. I for one made mistakes that cost me years. Keep your eyes open for future posts that will steer you clear of these mistakes and make your road smoother.

Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet By Kathryn Ross

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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth by Kathryn Ross

Welcome Kathryn Ross to Thyme for Writers. Peppermint Bits — Words Spun, Broken and Sweet is Kathryn’s third in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series! What better way to bring in the Christmas season than with Kathryn’s words of wisdom…

Like a good book, the sense of smell possesses the power to whisk a person into another time and place.

 

Memories

Memory connects a life experience stored in the brain to our senses, ready to unleash it upon our being should we come in contact with that particular sense trigger again. We flood with remembrance as nostalgia works a spa-like treatment upon our hearts—if the memories are sweet.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

Christmas may come but once a year, yet when I smell pine and peppermint in July, I have a momentary urge to string lights and plug A Charlie Brown Christmas into the DVD player while consuming sweetness in a cup of hot chocolate stirred with the red and white swirl of a fragrant peppermint candy cane.

But, what if the scents that stir us connect to less than sweet memories? Brokenness. Heart sick moments in our lives we’d rather not return to even in the fleeting imagery of the mind. Sometimes, we don’t want our memories stirred. We don’t want to return to painful moments.

As writers, our words act like the power of scent whisking us to another time and place—both broken and sweet. We stir within our readers either a curse or a blessing. How we balance the ingredients of the words we write and the messages we convey by knowing and targeting a specific audience, determines the value our work is to those we hope to influence.

Powerful vehicles, our senses. Much like trigger words in a story. Swirled together like the red and white of a candy cane, they become effective communication tools for the writer and speaker, spun wisely.

The Blessing Comes through the Broken
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

In the late 1800s, America was growing with European immigrants from many diverse Western cultures. Christmas was a holiday marked by all, though celebrations differed. One thing many did hold in common from the Old World was to see the pig as a symbol of good health and prosperity—something all families hoped for as the new year approached. A candy maker in Saratoga Springs, New York created a unique trinket, to bolster his sales, built on this commonality. He mixed sugar and peppermint into a bright pink concoction and poured it into small molds of a pig. Then, cleverly, he packaged it with a cloth bag, a little metal hammer, and directions for instituting a new family Christmas tradition. After the meal on Christmas day, the pig was placed into the cloth bag and hammered to broken bits. Emptying the bag onto the table, chucks of fragrant peppermint candy poured out—enough for everyone to eat and enjoy,making memories bathed in the scent of peppermint and a wish for good health and prosperity in the new year. Only in brokenness came the blessing.

The Sweetness Comes through Consumption
cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, peppermint, Christmas, peppermint oil, words, spun, blessing, broken, memory, sweetness, candy canes
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
Peppermint Bits—Words Spun, Broken and Sweet
By Kathryn Ross

The scent of peppermint has long been connected to Christmas celebrations. As far back as the 1670s in Germany, folkore tells us about the choirmaster petitioning a candy maker to come up with a sugar stick to keep noisy children silent in the solemn part of their worship service. The clever candy maker designed the peppermint flavored candy cane we still use today in the shape of a shepherd’s crook. He swirled the sugar mixture with red and white colors in remembrance of the blood of Jesus shed to make us all whiter than snow. Story spun with tangible stimulants for the senses spoke directly to the youthful audience it was meant to still, as they consumed the sweet. Sticky and forever connected to Christmas, we consume tons of peppermint candy cane confections each year. Only in consumption comes the sweet.

As a writer, I compose my most effective words from a place of brokenness because of the bitter, and the consumption of a sweet remedy discovered. Memories I prefer to tuck away must be stirred to the surface to remember well the sour moments in time, so I might write the way to find the sweet blessing there. For me. For my readers.

Scent, like words, heal. Medicinally, peppermint oil is used to invigorate the mind and senses. It tingles the skin with coolness, aids digestion, comforts stomach upset, and washes over one with an inspiring a sense of peace.

Do the words you write and speak do the same? Are they flavored to draw to the surface bitter things and so heal with the sweet? How can you add a dose of peppermint to your work and minister peace to your readers?

clove, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, pumpkins, cloves, Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key, Pageant Wagon Publishing, The Writers Reverie, publishing, thesaurus
The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.

Chasing Genesis with Sheri Carmon Miller

So many events in life inspire us as writers. I would like to welcome Sheri Carmon Miller to Thyme for Writers. Chasing Genesis is how the eclipse touched this writer’s life… .

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ECLIPSE August 21, 2017 
Observation location: Bar Nunn, Wyoming (Rural northern edge of Casper, Wyoming)
watching the eclipse from the site of an officially deactivated WWII Military airfield
Eclipse reaches totality: 11:43 am

ECLIPSE August 21, 2017 
Observation location: Bar Nunn, Wyoming (Rural northern edge of Casper, Wyoming)
watching the eclipse from the site of an officially deactivated WWII Military airfield
Eclipse reaches totality: 11:43 am

Chasing Genesis
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Thyme for Writers
Chasing Genesis by Sheri Carmon Miller

Chasing Genesis, we drive across Montana and Wyoming to experience what our LORD created, in the beginning, (Genesis 1:1) when he set the sun and the moon in the sky. “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” (Genesis 1:16) We travel to see the two fantastic lights, the greater and the lesser, together, in time and space and to feel the movement of the moon, on its steady orbit, placed with precision since the birth of the universe, at the command of the LORD–for us, for our benefit. We come to be touched by the cool chill sliding around our bare ankles, that deepens into cold, as the sun’s radiance slowly diminishes.

The Eclipse

Bite by bite the moon blocks the sun, air temperature quickly dropping, as the sun’s life-giving heat no longer reaches the earth. The bright day slowly dimming… until swallowed entirely. The scene, suddenly in silhouette…surreal…a different darkness. Totality! The moon fully eclipsing the commanding, fiery, life of the sun.

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Chasing Genesis by Sheri Carmon Miller
Eclipse

The sun becomes a charcoal ball surrounded with a burning crown of thorns that recedes into a glowing rim. In the darkness, a 365-degree thread of luminous pink glimmers on the horizon. For an instant, total quiet– the world stilled. In total awe, humanity stands– heads tilted back, mouths slightly open. The human race, united for one perfect moment. All are focused on the heavenlies, like a motionless sea of periscopes breaking the surface of the ocean. Then the unified shouts of joy and astonishment. The wonder! I hold my arms open wide, and turn slowly, in a full circle, drawing it in. The stars come out in the black, noonday heavens. I run and hug a stranger.

I gaze into Genesis. “The heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)

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The Eclipse

Suddenly, 2 ½ minutes later a fierce, piercing-white light, like shards of glass, shatters the darkness, stinging the blackness. “Let there be light…” (Genesis 1:3) Spectacular and jaw dropping. Instantly the light overcomes the darkness, pushing it back with a power I’ve never experienced. The dark was so big, but it was no match for the POWER of the light.

I stand in amazement, reliving the scriptures—like Doubting Thomas, who put his hand into the Lord’s wounds, to more fully understand and believe that Jesus was alive and had risen—so I stand in reverence and wonder– and believe as I experience the scriptures—alive.

For a few brief minutes—gazing so intimately into the heavenlies, I more clearly understand my life on this spinning planet. I feel one with the scriptures and the peoples of this earth, and with all that the LORD has created. The eclipse opened my eyes to just how big the LORD is and how long range his plans are, how powerful he is and how massively he loves us. He created this astounding planet specifically for us and protected the Holy Scriptures across the centuries so that we could clearly know the way to Jesus, our salvation, and our path home to heaven. The 2017 Great American Eclipse—The people poured out of the cities into the wilderness and saw the hand of God. We chased Genesis and remain in total awe from the experience.

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Chasing Genesis
by Sheri Carmon Miller

Sheri is published with Boulder, CO based publisher, Blue Mountain Arts (BMA), in their inspirational collection Always Follow Your Dreams, Wherever They Lead You, and has also been published in BMA’s individual greeting card line. The Group Publishing in Loveland, CO published Sheri’s writings in the compilation of their 2012 devotional book, If I Can Do All Things Through Christ…Why Can’t I find My Car Keys? She recently completed a children’s manuscript, Kate and the Ladybug, An Allegory about God’s Generous Provision. Her work in progress is Cookies from God: 52 Yummy Devotional Stories for Kids. Sheri’s life verse is John 21:15-18 “…Feed my lambs…Take care of my sheep…” Sheri is passionate about promoting daily Bible reading, as the vehicle of getting to know the LORD on a ‘heart’ level, and for many years has partnered with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, a non-denominational evangelical Christian ministry headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.  She and her husband Brad, have helped facilitate whole church Bible-reading programs in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. www.BibleJourney.net Sheri and her husband, live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

 

A Writer’s Journey with Tracy Krauss

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Tracy Krauss to Thyme for Writers. Tracy is a multi-published and award winning author and playwright with several books and plays in print. She lives in Tumbler Ridge, BC with her husband of 35 years and teaches secondary school Art, Drama and English.

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Tracy Krauss, Author or Conspiracy of Bones

When I first started writing over thirty years ago, I was just happy to clack away at my typewriter (yes – typewriter), dreaming of the day I’d see one of my books on a library shelf somewhere. I was in no hurry. Good thing, since it took me sixteen years to finish my first novel and another seven to finally find a publisher! Those were the days of researching at the library with a pen and paper, and filling actual (as opposed to virtual) wastebaskets with crumpled paper.

By the time I’d finally signed that first contract, this writer’s life had changed. Drastically. And in the past nine years, it hasn’t stopped changing. Although the traditional ‘agent-publisher’ route is still an option, it is no longer the only scenario. I’ve pretty much done the entire gamut – agent, traditional deals, royalties, fee for services (vanity press), and self-publishing using Create Space and Lightning Source. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but gone are the days of ‘just writing’. Modern authors have to be savvy business people, too.

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Thyme to Write

The biggest wake-up call for me after my first book came out was learning I was expected to do 90% of my own marketing. Beyond a word document, I hardly knew my way around a computer, let alone the internet! And social media? Phth! What’s that? But… necessity is a mighty teacher, let me tell you! The learning curve is still steep at times, but it feels more like a mildly paced yet enjoyable roller–coaster than one of those horrid spin-you-around-until-you-puke rides that nobody actually likes.

What’s my point? If the call is there, you’ll stick with it no matter what. Even after 20 plus books and plays in print, I feel excited about sitting down to write. I can’t imagine a day when I will say, “That’s it. I have no more stories to tell!” It just ain’t gonna happen.

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Conspiracy of Bones by Tracy Krauss

Speaking of that first book, I got the rights back to it after seven years and decided to revamp and re-publish it, and I’m giving it away on amazon absolutely free – no strings. (My way of thanking my readers.) CONSPIRACY OF BONES (formerly AND THE BEAT GOES ON) is available on amazon as an ebook for free. (Sorry – the paperback still costs money, but totally worth it!) If you’re interested, here’s the blurb:

Canadian born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.
But scepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as Mark’s very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the bones.

I’d love for you to check out any of my other novels as well. My work strikes a chord with readers looking for thought provoking, faith based, romantic suspense that is authentic and sometimes ‘edgy’. (Although not overtly, in my opinion.) All my books can be found by going to my website’s ‘Books’ page.

Thanks to Karen for having me here on Thyme for Writers.

Visit with Tracy or purchase her book at:

http://www.tracykrauss.com -fiction on the edge without crossing the line-
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon Author page

The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth By Kathryn Ross

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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth by Kathryn Ross

In Thyme for Writers, The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth is the second in the The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words series by Kathryn Ross.

Thanksgiving

The pantry, fragrant in Thanksgiving spices, overflows with all the ingredients for holiday baking. Not the least of which are the cloves necessary for flavor-filled pumpkin pie, succulent hams, and first aid should the need arise.

In fact, with diets thrown out the window in the season of family feasts and horn-o-plenty holiday entertaining, a bit of clove oil on hand, rubbed on the tummy, aids digestion and stomach upset when over-eating overtakes the merry-maker at the dinner table.

The chill in the air outside impels us to seek warm things, and clove is the spice to warm traditional dishes this time of year, as well as symbolically impart the inviting fervor of affection in gift-giving.

Victorian Times

In Victorian times, the simplicity of homemade gifts from the kitchen or treasures crafted by hand found a warm welcome. Popular gifts were aromatic pomanders made of tiny, stick-like, brown floral cloves inserted into an orange, like beads studded on a ball ornament for a tree. They, too, hung by a ribbon or nestled in a bowl, releasing the citrus scent of the fruit, mingled with the clove’s own pungent passion. A room enhanced by such fragrance stimulated the human senses, mind, and heart, inviting intimacy.

Puncture your writing with clove to inject warmth and the fragrance of human emotion into your descriptive writing.
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The Clove Principle: Puncture Your Writing with Warmth
By Kathryn Ross

When I write my first drafts, I’m more concerned with laying out the meat and potatoes of the work without garnished language. Facts must be represented accurately if I’m writing non-fiction; the scene must be played out if I’m writing fiction. Technical language in early drafts, though properly in place, often lack the visceral quality necessary to arrest the senses of the reader and inflame heart and mind with the story material. The select insertion of spicy words help draw out the full flavor of a manuscript.

Use the thesaurus tool in your writing program to locate quality words:

  • Keep the thesaurus window open throughout a writing project to have ready access.
  • Find descriptive words that connect to one or more of the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) to engage gut responses from your reader.
  • Don’t overuse words—one evocative and intimate descriptor can do the job more efficiently than a handful of mediocre modifiers.

Clove adds stimulating, warm flavors to the traditional Thanksgiving menu fare, as it aids digestion when eating generous portions. Help your reader better digest your inviting words by applying The Clove Principle to your manuscripts.

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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bite
By Kathryn Ross

Writer-speaker, Kathryn Ross, ignites a love of literature and learning through Pageant Wagon Productions and Publishing. She writes and publishes homeschool enrichment and Christian living books for home, church, and school. Her passion is to equip women and families in developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle, producing readers and thinkers who can engage the world from a biblical worldview. She blogs and podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and PageantWagonPublishing.com. Connect with Miss Kathy on Facebook.

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The Write Spice: Writing Tips for Flavorful Words
When Cinnamon Bark Editors Bit
Kathryn Ross

Writer, speaker, teacher, and enrichment artist, Kathryn Ross, sweeps readers into the story-worlds of Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Hannah Hurnard, Marguerite de Angeli, John Bunyan, and others, exploring powerful truths to fulfilling God’s plan for your life in her latest publication, The Gatekeeper’s Key. Discern your place and season, with encouragement to see purpose in boundaries, find comfort in trials, and gain fortitude in going forth. Short story, personal testimony, excerpts from classic literature, visual imagery, challenge questions for discussion, and journal prompts for writing assignments draw you before the Gatekeeper. It’s quite a journey—but you’re never alone. Always in His Presence, with an Invitation, a Gatekeeper, and a Key. Perhaps more than one. Purchase on Amazon or direct from Pageant Wagon Publishing.