Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Celebrate with Me!

I've been a professional storyteller for a quarter of a century. To celebrate, I'm offering some special deals to clients who qualify for my "Great Rate" pricing. Click on the tab above for more details.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm Out of Breath!

Follow-up on preceding post: 
I'm out of breath. Cheryl Klein, senior editor with Arthur A. Levine Books, must surely be, as well. That was a rapid-fire 90 minutes, with no time for questions from attendees. However, Writer's Digest promises that no question will go unanswered, so submitted will be answered and sent to participants along with a recorded version of the webinar in about a week. 

Though we were told we needn't take notes, I tried to capture some of the more salient points. But I'm happy that we'll get to ruminate further and at our leisure via the archived event.

Klein's presentation was very thorough. At this writing, I'm twenty-five minutes  past the webinar's conclusion and cannot think of a single question. She provided contact information, in case some arise.

Do I recommend the WD webinars? Absolutely, if the subject under discussion is pertinent to your writing. Was it worth the price? Yes. I am a frugal writer and tend to weigh at length value against cost, which is why I waited until today to register.

I can't attend nearly as many conferences as I would love to. Thank you, Writer's Digest, for offering opportunities like this through Writer's Digest University.

COMMENT QUESTION: Have you participated in a webinar through WD, ACFW, or some other venue? What was your experience?

50 Minutes and Counting!

I'm registered! In less than fifty minutes, the Writer's Digest webinar with Cheryl Klein, senior editor with Arthur A. Levine Books, begins. The topic is "How To Plot and Structure Your Novel." Can you tell I'm excited?

I've considered participating in WD webinars before. Fellow writers who have highly recommended them. This one is especially appealing because Klein pubs my genre--middle grade. I'll report back in a few hours, Lord willing. It's down to 46--no, 45 minutes, now.

Twiddling thumbs. Getting notebook. Pencils. Looking at clock. Twiddling thumbs. Humming tuneless tune. Forty-four minutes . . .

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day! (Can You Help Me?)

I hope all you fathers have a day full of the Heavenly Father's blessings.

Readers, can you help me, please? As I embark on a new writing project, my third middle-grade novel, I'm gathering ideas on what makes a great dad great. What are his attributes? What things are important to him? How does he interact with his children when they're young? What about when they become teenagers? Was your father great, or do you know one?

I really would appreciate your feedback. Please click the "Comment" button. Thanks!

Linda, Blogger won't let me post a comment, so I've found that this works. Thank you so much for your comment. Would you be interested to expand a little? Any examples?  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Cross-Eyed Writer

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3, Polonius bids farewell to his son Laertes, who is bound for Paris. The father says: 
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
canst not be false to any man.
Far from the New Age self-knowledge liberal mindset that this quote would seem to support, Shakespeare had in mind a far more Elizabethan ideal when he penned the words. Polonius actually is warning Laertes against a debauched lifestyle of gambling, money borrowing and lending, carousing with women of loose reputation, and other intemperate pursuits. Such behavior would sully Laertes' reputation, proving him untrue to self.

The writer who is a follower of Jesus the Christ, while being concerned about her own reputation, is far more careful about how she reflects Christ through her writing. Whether she writes for the secular or the Christian market, she remains "Cross-eyed"; that is, she keeps her focus on the crucified and risen Savior.

I did not set out to be a Christian writer, per se. When I was in high school, I went through a phase of reading many of the Grace Livingston Hill romances. They were old even then, being set in the early twentieth century, but if one wanted to read fiction that was "wholesome," especially romances, Hill was about the only choice. Even then, however, I disliked the predictability and "preachy-ness" of her books. Nonetheless, I respect her for being one of the pioneers of Christian fiction. Janette Oke can claim credit for bringing the genre of Christian romance into its own for today's readers. Christian and non-Christian readers alike enjoy Oke's novels.

In recent years, the works of writers such as Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Jerry Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, Max Lucado, Liz Curtis Higgs, and others have joined the ranks of C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien to write fiction that appeals to both Christian and secular markets. Some of the stories are overtly Christian, while others convey the saving message of Christ as a subtext or an allegory. These days, Christians write in nearly every genre and for all age groups. While their styles may be diverse, they have one thing in common, if they are true to their calling: they are Cross-eyed. They filter everything they write through the Lord's lens.

Are you a Cross-eyed writer? How does that affect what you write? Has the Holy Spirit ever called you into check for something you've written or were about to write? What steps do you take to make sure you remain a Cross-eyed writer? Please leave a comment telling about your experience. Thank you.