Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Angels, Demons, and Mortals

I have often spoke of my experiences that led me to write "The Guardians: Angels, Demons and Mortals," but I have not written it down in words, until now. Usually, it is hard for someone to confess that they have experienced something not of this world, but that never really occurred to me. It seems lately I have been telling anyone who will listen. I truly believe in these angels that watch over us when we need them. I don't pretend to understand why, it's just a feeling, but I am pretty sure I will believe it until I am no longer of this world.

The first time I experienced this I was in high school. I was heading to my part-time job and as usual I was running late. I was heading downhill in a residential area. I wasn't going extremely fast, but I am sure I was above the speed limit. I veer over and spot a group of children walking home on the sidewalk right next to the road, then all of a sudden a white piece of paper went flying before my vehicle and a small girl darts from the sidewalk right in front of my car to catch her drawing that had blown out of her hand. Anyway, I was heading downhill, gravity already against me. A look of horror crosses my face as I see a tiny face in my front of my windshield. I hit my brakes forcing my car to a halt, and I stop breathing. I knew I had hit the girl. Shaking, I climb out of my vehicle and everything is a blur. When I get out, there is a woman screaming at me. I start to scream back, but I don't know what I am saying. And then I see the girl who was in front of my car standing in the middle of the street. She is fine. She tells me she is fine. She then points to her shoe which in the commotion had fallen in the middle of the road. The shoe was right about where I had seen her. I can't believe my eyes.  I could have sworn I hit her with my car. She was right in front of me. I kneel down and she looks at me pointing at her shoe as someone brings her shoe to her. The woman who has been screaming at me calms down after seeing how upset I am and tells me that everything is fine. The little girl seems to be fine.

I would have been devastated had I hurt that little girl. I am not sure, but I remember crying out right before impact. I said "God, please don't let me hit this little girl." And somehow she was no longer in front of my car. She had been moved to the middle of the road. Miracle? I would say, yes.

The next time I was newly married and still attending the local university. We lived in an old apartment building in a busy part of town close to the university. I pulled my car up in front of our apartments and for some reason checked my side view mirror. In the mirror I saw a man looking around the apartment building at the end of the block. Well, we lived on an extremely long block and I felt it was safe for me to leave the security of my car and head to the front door, which had to be opened with a key. Being young and naive you sometimes have these lapses in judgement.  Anyway, I get have way up the sidewalk and I have a tapping on my shoulder and I turn around and the man is right behind me. He starts asking me questions that I do not know the answers too. All of a sudden, he becomes furious with me. At this point I know that I am in trouble.

There were large hedges hiding me from the side view and a parking lot of the back of a restaurant across the street. I look around and there is no one in sight. At this point, I start to think about where I am going to run. All the while the man keeps yelling at me, becoming more and more angry by the minute. All of a sudden the apartment door flies open, and I literally see a bright light emerge from the doorway. Standing in the doorway is the teacher who lives on the lower level. She asks me if I am coming in and I say, "Yes."

I go in the door and she looks out and asks the man a few questions and closes the door. She said it was strange because she never ventures to her front window that overlooks her front porch, but for some reason she walked over there today and looked out and saw me outside.

Well, these are a few of the occurrences that inspired me to write my eBook.  People will call it nonsense and explainable, but I will always call them miracles. And so "The Guardians: Angels, Demons and Mortals" was born.

I hope if you have had miracles in your life you will share them with me today. I know I am not the only one. Have you had an unexplained miracle happen to you in your lifetime? Let me know. And I hope you will find joy in reading my new eBook, "The Guardians: Angels, Demons and Mortals." It can be found at and Barnes & Noble. It is also offered through Links can be found at my website, 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

There is no Fear Like the Fear of Submitting... If You are a Writer.

People always ask me how I find the time to write. I always wonder about that question. I know it is cliche, but writing is like breathing to me. If I couldn't do it, I would be tremendously saddened. It has become a part of me. My answer is always, "It's because it is what I love."

I am sure you have been on the negative end of someone criticizing your work. Or opened that letter that said we appreciate you submitting, but your work is not what we are looking for. These used to devastate me when I first made the decision to submit. I have to admit they still are no picnic to get, but I have moved forward. I think about each new rejection as an incentive to submit somewhere else. And really that's all they are. It just means your work wasn't right for them. I doesn't necessary reflect badly on your writing. Your piece just wasn't looked at by someone who connected with it. The rejection doesn't mean that the next submission is going to reject you too.

I remember when I first started writing every negative comment threw me for a loop. My husband would always say, "Dear you are going to have to get thicker skin." And he was right. I had to look at the negative as a way to move forward.

I have met many writers on my literary road who don't submit their work for fear of being rejected. I guess I never even considered this. I am writing to help someone. My stories are ones I hope will bring encouragement to the reader. The thought of no one seeing my story depresses me. After all, if I don't submit my writing how do I expect to get my work out there. Isn't that the real reason we all are creating this crazy, wonderful art.

I wrote this post to encourage other writers. I encourage you to get into a good writers group. My hope is that you don't just let your material sit on our computer hidden from the world. Take a chance. After all your first publication may be just a click away. And today it is so much easier to get your work into a publisher's hands. You don't even have to met them face to face. So what are you waiting for. Get out there.

Do you have a submitting story to share, good or bad? We would like to hear about it. Let me know what you think and good luck submitting. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Faith, Encouragement and Love...Everything a Writer's Conference should be...I found at this years ACFW Conference.

As I was driving to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the American Christian Fiction Writer's Conference thoughts went through my head contemplating how this conference would be different from any other writer's conference I have attended. As we all know, there has been an unrest in this area for quite some time due to rioting in Ferguson, Missouri. Family and friends warned me not to go, the area is to unstable they said, but I was determined to attend the conference I had felt might be the place that my work finds a home.

As you know, I have attended other conferences in my pursuit of a writing career. And I just have to say, all the conferences I have attended have allowed me to meet people I connect with as a writer and just really good people in general. And thanks to our good friends at Facebook and Twitter we have been allowed to stay in touch and support what is happening in each other's writing careers. But, I had not been to a conference where I found such a wide spread willingness of people who were there to love on me and support me as a person, as a writer and as a friend.

I had people sitting with me and praying with me. They prayed that my work would reach the right hands. I had people giving me encouragement when they saw that look on my face, a look of despair, of fear of failure. They just seemed to know. As if God had placed them on my path for that very reason. I had people reach out to me and encourage me to go and meet that agent I needed to speak with. I had people answering my prayers at every turn when I questioned what I was doing there. I had people walk up and tell me exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I  had people telling me that I was doing the right thing by being here. They came up and told me I  was writing what God told me to write. It was truly amazing.

I also ran into people of the community of St. Louis and through all the unrest and confusion surrounding this community, I found people taking the time to love on me. People of all races and nationalities, in this area, taking the time to say, hello, or open a door for me. It might have been a time of turmoil for the community, but in our small, section of this city we were coming together to show faith, encouragement and love for one another. It was eye opening, and it was inspiring. 

The ACFW put us in touch with agents, publishers and mentors that understood our roads as christian writers. I write to inspire and hopefully help my readers. I do it because I love it, but I also believe there has to be a greater reason. A God reason. The people I met with understood this, which was unlike any other conference I have attended. 

The ACFW also offered classes and continuing educational sessions that were targeted to help us grow as writers in general, from learning the basics to Scrivener to how to get and stay published. Most of the meals were included and they always made a special effort for attendees to get in touch with other writers who write in our genres and  have us get together and share our knowledge.  

There was also the worship time which included phenomenal music that lifted ones desperate soul and took us away from just thinking about ourselves and what we wanted to achieve and made us look at what it was God wanted us to achieve. This time was completely optional and was used as a way to clear our heads before we headed out to face the unknown. 

All in all, I would have to say this was one of the most positive experiences I have ever had at a writer's conference. I am still waiting to hear back from agents and publishers, but I have to say either way it was a very educational and encouraging experience for me as a writer. I  am already looking forward to next years conference.

So until then, keep writing and let me know your views. Why do you write? What is the message you hope to get out there to your reader? Or are you driven by a different set of rules? Let me know. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Write What You Know

I had some good advice swing my way when I was an up and coming undecided major in college. While maintaining my inability to chose a major I attended a meeting the English Department arranged featuring a successful magazine writer as the guest speaker. I am sorry to tell you I don't remember his name, but you have to give me a break, it was several years ago. He came in and informed us of how he reached his level of success and explained that there was no reason we could not accomplish the same.

At the time, I am afraid I was still more of a pessimist about my writing career, but did take a lot of his advice to heart. The most significant thing I learned from him was when he told me (and it seemed like he was speaking directly to me) "Write what you know." The words for me seemed to resonate around the room and echo in my mind still today.

Now for those of you who do not quite understand this phrase it means to simply write about what you have experienced or about characters you actually know. We all have thousands of experiences to chose from, even if it is just something on a television show or on a movie scene we have seen that made us feel a particular way.

My characters are always someone I know, or someone I have seen on television, or someone I ran into on the subway. I have to visually see this person in order to give them a believable essence. I have seen this person walk, talk, laugh, yell, and cry and that is what makes him come to life on my page.

It has been my experience that writers who chose to guess or write about things they know nothing about usually end of with a piece that is cold and uninviting. Why? Because they never truly experienced these emotions in some way themselves.

Now there are exceptions such as writing fantasy. You have never slayed a dragon or been bitten by a vampire (not yet anyway), but if you are like me we use emotions that we have experienced in our own life such as, fear, rejection, terror and joy, to name a few, to relate these emotions through our story.

I have written some of my best pieces from writing "What I know." I am not saying that great pieces can not be written by simply hearing about someone else's story, a story we did not experience, but I am saying we usually write most stories by pulling from our own experiences and emotions or by witnessing other people go through similar experiences and emotions. We do not pull these emotions and experiences out of thin air.

One story I had been told and did not actually experience was my story The Gift.  The story can be found in The Greensilk Journal, an online literary magazine. It is about a boy who is asked to leave his home and his family at the young age of 14 years old. His family is struggling at the time to make ends meet and his father has decided it is time for the boy to make it on his own. With The Gift I pulled from my own experiences of rejection, anger and fear to relate what I believe the character would have been experiencing during this traumatic experience. My characters in the story are all people I either know, or have seen on television, or have met on the street. It is one of my most treasured stories.

This is not the absolute right way to create the perfect story for every writer, but it does seem to work for me. When I was a beginning writer I tried to write about people I didn't know and circumstances I had no idea about and the stories tended to be colder and had no depth.  I am sure there of those of you out there who can accomplish this with no problem, but for me this system seems to work and I am a better writer for the advice.

Give me your thoughts. Is this all nonsense? Or do you tend to "Write What You Know."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Writer's Groups...To be or not to be...That is the Question!

I will never forget the first time I attended my first writer's group. A fellow classmate in college was talking about her writer's group in class one day and I happened to be listening in. Being a somewhat introvert, I did not share information about my writing very often. This, as I am sure you probably have already guessed, is not good for an up and coming undiscovered writer. So I climbed out of my shell, desperate for someone else to read my writing besides my family, and asked her if I could attend.

Lucky for me, my classmate, who now is now a friend of mine, encouraged me to attend and made me feel very welcomed. I won't say all writer's groups will be this welcoming but my first experience was a positive one. I received true feed back on my writing. It is amazing the small things that the writer does not see that a new observant eye can. It can be as simple as a misspelled word, to punctuation or grammar. Whatever it is a new eye on your piece can never hurt.

Now, you have to take the good with the bad. Most writer's groups are going to be truly honest with you. Some very blunt. And you won't always like what they are going to have to say. They are going to suggest changes that you may think are ridiculous, but that is okay. You say, "thank you," and "I will take that into consideration," and you go on with your work.

I have to say my writers groups have made me a much better writer. These are our people. They understand what we are going through. They get that each piece we write is a little piece of ourselves. I can honestly say my writing is better because they review it. They see things I never would have. But again, I don't make every change they suggest. From a creative aspect it is still your piece. You have the last say, but their comments make you look at your piece in a different way and from a different point of view. Sometimes they are right and other times they are dead wrong, but the best part of it is that it is up to you, the writer, to decide.

I know how hard it is to commit to a group, but honestly I don't find it hard to make it to my meetings on a weekly basis because I love what I do. I love sharing my work with people who understand what it takes to create this type of art. So what does all this mean? Well, it is just my way of telling you that if you are debating on whether or not to join that writer's group you have dismissed, you might want to rethink it. It never hurts to get a different prospective of your work. And best of all you can take it or leave it. And if you are lucky you will make some great friends and contacts along the way.

If you would like to get connected to a writer's group I suggest you contact a writer's organization in your city or state. They are usually easy to access through the internet. Otherwise a new site has been started for certain cities to help writers get connected and it can be found at or if you are interested in starting your own group you can find some good tips at

Have you attended a writer's group before? Let us know how it went. Is it a yay! Or is it a nay!  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Submit, Submit...Oh, did I say Submit?

If you are like me, well, I mean an undiscovered (brilliant) writer, you slave over your computer day after day pouring out your heart and for what! Well, this is what I wanted to speak to you about today. As writers we tend to fall into valleys were we say to ourselves: this is not ready to be seen, it's not good enough, or I can't take another rejection. I'm here to tell you no one is going to show up at your front door and ask to see your little short story about your grandmother or publish that poem that took you three months to write, so SUBMIT IT!

I know it is hard to take that first step, to put yourself out there, but if you don't, no one is going to know your brilliance. No one is going to see all your hard work. Isn't that what we are going through all this for? But I can relate. I still find myself falling into those sink holes that suck me in. I receive refusal after refusal, and I start to think, "I'm just not good enough." But, if we want to be writers someday, we can't give in to these temptations. We have to keep trudging on. We have to get our work out there.

I have found a few sites that I wanted to share with you that help keep me motivated. The first and foremost is This site is amazing. Unfortunately, they do charge a monthly fee, but it is a small one and it is so worth it. Here you will have access to journals that are currently seeking our work. This site will tell you if they are currently open or closed to submissions. Duotrope tells you if it is a paying or non-paying market. It gives you sites that are looking for themed submissions. I have had most of my success with this site. I just go through and review what each different literary journal is looking for, and if I feel that I have a piece that meets their requirements, I submit it. I am not saying that it is easy. You will still be getting those rejection letters, but at least you are putting yourself out there. Wear those rejection letters with pride. Duotrope answers most of the questions you have about each different literary journal, so you'll have to check it out on your own. I could list all their benefits, but we would be here all day.

Other sites that are helpful when looking to submit (and these are just a few),, where you will find various contests, but they are usually all connected to Writers Digest, but they also offer a lot of other good information for writers. There is also
 Poets & Writers, which is also an amazing source when looking for various journals to submit to.  You can find them at Last, but not least, is a contest website that lists various contests where you can submit your work. And these are just a few, so remember, "Submit!"

Please let me know if you have any success at any of the above sites. I would love to hear your stories. Do you have other sites that have helped you? Let us know.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Howdy! Heading south to the friendly town of Norman, Oklahoma for the 2013 Oklahoma Writers' Federation Annual Conference!

I couldn't write this blog without sending out a heartfelt prayer for the people of Oklahoma that have been affected by the recent tornadoes. I was in Norman, Oklahoma on May 2nd through the 4th for the Annual Oklahoma Writers' Federation Conference and you couldn't ask for a more friendly community. I was really struck by the beautiful surroundings in Norman and I hope that you all will be spared any further heartbreak.

Well on to the Conference, as I said this years conference was held in the quaint little town of Norman, Oklahoma. I fell in love with the serene surroundings and the small town atmosphere. The conference was held at the Embassy Suites in Norman Oklahoma. The hotel was beautiful and spacious. The Conference area was extremely accessible and offered a wide range of meeting areas. I wanted to give you a small tip for booking a hotel room during these conferences. Although the hotel where the conference is being held is extremely convenient, and if you can afford it by all  means it is probably the best way to go, but I usually am working on a limited budget, so I usually book a hotel that is in the vicinity of the hotel that the conference is being held at.  I did this when I went to New York and I ended up being only a block away, but a saved almost $100.00. In Norman, Oklahoma I was about ten minutes away, but I had my car so it was very easy to drive back and forth from the conference and again I managed to save a substantial amount.

I went to Oklahoma to try to find an agent or publisher interested in taking on my novel. Originally I signed up for the conference because it was being held close to where I live. The Oklahoma Writers' Federation Conference only allowed me to sign up for one pitch session with an agent or publisher of my choice, but stated that if there were open sessions after the conference started that we could sign up for additional sessions. So immediately upon arriving on May 3rd, the first day of the pitch sessions, I went to the sign up table and signed up for extra pitch sessions. All in all I ended up meeting with three agents and three publishers. And I was not the only one that gained additional pitch time. As soon as the word spread that they were allowing additional pitches, other writers were flocking to the sign up table. After all, that is what we were there for. The agents and publishers were also there to meet as many writers as possible in search of new talent.  So we were just giving them what they wanted. The pitch session was extremely organized and allowed me about ten minutes with each representative.

The other sessions the conference offered were all very informative. You can find out information about each session on the conference website before the conference. Be sure to take time to look the sessions over beforehand. You will be glad you did. I attended an agent and publisher panel session which gave me an insight into what each agent and publisher was looking for in a query letter and synopsis, and they gave us tips on what to avoid sending to them. They also let us know what type of genres they were currently looking for. I have submitted my novel to one agent and one publisher thus far. I have one rejection and I am still waiting to hear from the other. I haven't given up hope. But I fear I may have jumped the gun a little to soon and sent off my work before it was perfect. So, I am slowing down a little to do some additional editing before I send it off again.

This conference I believed to be well worth the time and money I invested. It was very affordable, mostly because it was close to my hometown. So, don't be afraid to venture on line and find out what is happening around your small neck of the woods. You may be surprised what is going on right under your nose. I was.

Let me know if you were also at this years conference, I would love to hear from you. Are there any conferences you would recommend? Let us know.