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.

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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
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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
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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.

eclipse, Genesis, writing, publishing, Wyoming, Bar Nunn, Casper, World War II, military airfield, light, darkness, heavenly, skies, Scriptures
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.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
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.

Tracy Krauss, British Columbia, novels, marketing, Conspiracy of Bones, books, writing, publishing, writer’s life, journey
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

Kathryn Ross, cinnamon, writers, spice, fall recipes, editors, healing, manuscript, When Cinnamon Bark
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.

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.

Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered with Dena Netherton

Dena Netherton is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. She writes Christian suspense designed to keep readers “up all night.” Dena loves the Cascade Mountains and loves to set her characters in small towns nearby. She and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her article addresses what can paralyze all of us … fear.

Fear is a powerful foe. It can distract you from your day’s work, make you irritable, steal your joy, and rob you of peace-filled slumber.
Sometimes fear in the form of worry, can be so pervasive it can lead to illness.

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton

Like many of you, I’ve been there. I remember feeling so crushed by worry, I had to stop performing in public for awhile. For a professional singer and pianist with a busy teaching and performing schedule, I felt like a complete failure.

“How could I let fear overwhelm me?” I asked myself daily. “Where is my faith? I’ve asked God to help me, but why, then, doesn’t He give me immediate relief? I thought I was strong; now I feel horribly weak. I’m such a coward.”

For a couple of weeks I sat around, doing nothing, berating myself, feeling helpless, waiting for God’s miraculous healing. Then one day it dawned on me as I read scripture that God expects me to act on my faith.

Biblical Encounters
fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered, by Dena Netherton

I thought about Moses, (Exodus 3 and 4) hiding from the Egyptian Pharaoh. God told him, go back to Egypt. And Moses went.

Gideon (Judges 6) was threshing wheat while hiding in a wine press, afraid of the dreaded Midianites. God told him, go, be a warrior. And Gideon went.

In the book of Acts, we read about the godly Ananias, praying in the morning. God said to him, go. And Ananias, though he resisted at first, went to visit the arch-enemy of all Christians, Saul.

And of course, there are tons of verses in the Bible where angels, or God, Himself, tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” That admonition comes with a promise: “I will be with you.” (Hebrews. 13: 5)

I have that same promise, as does anyone else who trusts in the Lord.
I am so grateful for all the biblical accounts of fearful people whom God strengthened. When I went through my period of fear, those accounts—and other stories about both real-life and fictional characters— helped me immeasurably.

I returned to performing—literally with fear and trembling—and discovered God’s faithfulness.

As a Christian writer I have a sacred opportunity to encourage readers through my stories about men and women who face fear in their unconquerable circumstances, yet emerge victorious. I hope you read a little bit of yourself in my novels, and find hope that you, too, can conquer your own fear.

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Haven’s Flight by Dena Netherton

For a limited time, Haven’s Flight, the first in my three-part suspenseful series is available for a discounted price. This is the story of Haven, a talented and beautiful pianist who witnesses her mother’s murder and now struggles with PTSD. While attending a wilderness therapy camp, designed to help her conquer her emotional struggles, she becomes the object of a dangerous man’s delusional attention. Alone and injured, Haven must find her way in the wilderness and elude the man who has promised to never stop hunting her. During Haven’s flight, she re-discovers God’s faithfulness and power.

Find out more about Dena on her website and social media:

Dena’s website: https://denanetherton.me
Dena’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denanetherton
Goodreads: Haven’s Flight
Amazon: Haven’s Flight

 

 

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

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Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Website: www.donnawichelman.com
Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:
www.facebook.com/DonnaWichelmanAuthor
www.twitter.com/DonnaWichelman
www.donnawichelman.blogspot.com
www.linkedin.com/in/donna-wichelman