Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Heroes, Heroines, and History: How to Write Like Austen? (Maybe, Maybe Not)

Heroes, Heroines, and History: How to Write Like Austen? (Maybe): by Linore Rose Burkard           Looking through some old newsletters from JASNA (The Jane Austen Society of North America), I came across...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ann H Gabhart - One Writer's Journal: Author Rose McCauley Shares Some Thoughts with Us

 Ann H Gabhart - One Writer's Journal: Author Rose McCauley Shares Some Thoughts with Us:   My Friend, Rose                               A 2 book giveaway from Ann Gabhart and Rose McCauley

One of the best things about writing Christian fiction is the people I meet. Not only readers, but other writers ...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Journal of Life.

Do you keep a journal? Journaling is one of those things that I toy with now and then. I used to be a diary-keeper when I was a teen and young adult but life got busy with five kids and I fell out of the habit. Now, with all the writing I do I find that I have a kaleidoscopic journal that is in colorful pieces here and there. I keep a blog and journal on many of my trips. We're in the habit of making a photo book when we get home of our best pictures.

Here and there in my writing I am influenced by my grandchildren. Usually it is because they have provided a good laugh. Case in point: One night we got a 1-800-Grandma call from our oldest grandson, Tyler. It went something like this:

"Tee-hee. Grandma? Can you come and give my Daddy a spanking? Tee-hee-hee."

"A spanking? Why? What's Daddy doing?"

"Well, he's your son and he keeps teasing me."

"Yes, he's my son, but what's he doing?"

"He flipped me with his sock. And it smelled, Grandma! Tee-hee-hee."

"Tyler, is this a 1-800-Grandma call?"

"A what?"

"Never mind. But if your Daddy needs a spanking, you better call 1-800-Grandpa."

Guess I still subscribe to the just-wait-until-your-father-gets-home threat. Tee-hee-hee.

And then there was the time when Kotomi, who was about four, walked up to Cinderella at the Disney World Castle and asked, “So, where’s the prince?”

I could go on but then I’d just be taking advantage of your listening ear—or make that reading eye. The point is that these are precious memories worth noting somewhere because along the way, they are often forgotten and too soon these little people will be grown up with little people of their own. What fun to be able to share the memories of their young lives with each other and their parents who may not have the time to write it down. And what a precious treasure for the future generations.

Journals come in all sizes, shapes, and price-points. When I was younger, I used a diary with the lock that had a one-key-fit-all to open it. Then I advanced to a seventy-nine cent spiral notebook when I figured out anyone could get into the locked diary.

Whatever type of journal you may choose, a clothbound fancy parchment-papered book with a raffia ribbon or a spiral notebook, put it in a place where you will see it often and remember to record those warm fuzzy moments with grands. And even if they aren’t so fuzzy, it may help you to see them in a different light. A journal is a map of a journey. Not necessarily where you are going but where you have been. It’s nice to look back once in a while.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


I've been going through some old files trying to clean up and reorganize my computer. Trust me, it's worse than spring cleaning! But I have run across some interesting essays and vignettes of life that I've written and scattered about in my computer's memory. Here's one from 2007 that might bring a smile to those of you who have a speaking ministry as well as writing.


A few months ago I contracted to speak at a ladies retreat in a nearby state. Since it was a five hour drive and my husband has “semi-retired,” he offered to drive me to the campgrounds where the retreat was being held. It was a beautiful spring day and we had a wonderful trip.
            As we pulled into the campgrounds, we noticed a huge building in the middle of it. I thought perhaps it was a large indoor gymnasium or track and field house and wondered at the organization that could afford such facilities.
As we got out of the car, I asked someone where registration was.
“In the tabernacle,” she said and pointed in the direction of the large building.
Tabernacle? In the process of planning, I never thought to ask how many women might be in attendance. My experience had been with groups of 100-150 and I assumed this would be the same.
I opened the door to an auditorium with seating for 2,000. The stage that stretched across the front was bigger than my backyard. I gulped, composed myself, and walked forward to introduce myself to the organizer of the retreat.
            “So,” I said after we got acquainted, “you never mentioned how many you expected.”
            I held my breath.
            She looked around the room and replied, “Oh, about a hundred, I think.”

            “That’s a nice number,” I replied and turned to look at my husband who was still standing in awe at the door thinking his wife was going to address 2,000 women. I let him down gently.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Setting The Scene

Are you a reader? I am. I don't think there are many writers who weren't readers first. I read about a book a week and keep a list from year to year because, let's face it age aside, I never can remember all the books I"ve read except for the ones that really stood out like Gone With The Wind.

An interesting thing happened to me as I was reading John Grisham's Sycamore Row last week. I was reading more for pleasure than anything else but suddenly something got my attention. I think I actually heard a click in my head. It was when Grisham moved his story from one scene to another. There was hazy light filtering through blinds and with the obvious break from one scene to another, my brain decided it was morning and I was expecting the characters to be rising from their bed. But then he hit me with something that made me realize it was afternoon. I can't remember what right now--should have marked it. In my head the picture he had painted with words suddenly shifted. I adjusted but it did something to the continuity of my read.

It reminded me that I need to go back and see if my shifts from one scene to another are such that there is continuity. That my reader can easily place herself there not only in physical surroundings but in time. What sounds, sights, smells will lead her to picture in her mind the scene I'm creating without drawing it specifically in words. My job is not to confuse but to allow my reader to intuit the scene in her head, to create a picture that my words have painted.

How about you? What kind of tools do you use to produce scenes? How do you keep those descriptions from detracting from the story? Does your reading of others' books improve your writing?