Category Archives: Humor

Ask the Agent: What 10 Editorial Mistakes Do Most Novice Authors Make? And Kudos!

This is Chip.

This is Chip.

If you’re not following agent Chip MacGregor’s blog, I have three words for you: You need to. Chip is a literary agent and president of MacGregor Literary. He works with both the Christian and general market and loves sharing his snarky-laced words of wisdom with writers. I’m telling you now, you don’t want to miss his annual Bad Poetry Contest every May–what a fun way to celebrate his birthday!

Today, I’m thrilled to share a recent question submitted to Chip’s Ask the Agent blog series. Great advice for those who are serious about writing. But watch out, you must have your humor hat on or you may not get it.

Thanks, Chip!

Excerpt from Chip MacGregor’s blog series, Ask the Agent: “What 10 editorial mistakes do most novice authors make?”

I suppose if you asked this of ten agents, you’d probably get a hundred total answers, but here are my pet peeves with newbie authors:

  • Too many exclamation points!!!
  • A proposal that has not been proof-red
  • Overpromising, as in “This proposal will sell a billion copies!”
  • FEELING A NEED TO PUT LOTS OF WORDS IN ALL CAPS.
  • Random numbering in an outline.
  • I did this, I did that, I did this other thing, I, I, I.
  • Random commas, that make no, sense.
  • A failure to understand how to properly use “quotation” marks. (Also parentheses. And their attached punctuation).
  • Failing to understand the difference between its and it’s (or there and their and they’re).
  • The manuscript is passive due to the author.

From Chip: Hint for the humor impaired: There are intentional errors in that list. If you see one, don’t send me a scolding note or you’ll be banned from the blog. It’s a joke. I know you don’t get it. Just trust me – others find it funny. 

Friends, I hope you learned something about agents and what they’re NOT looking for. And if you’re a writer interested in finding out more agent answers to your questions, check out Chip’s new book, How Can I Find A Literary Agent? And 101 Other Questions Asked by Writers .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Kudos must have taken a vacation!

It’s definitely summer. We writers are too hot, too busy, too far away to worry about writing or reporting successes. For that reason, I’m especially thankful that Sandy Quandt and Kristi Woods had a lot to celebrate this month!

1.  Sandy Quandt (TX):  1)Won the 1st place award in the unpublished Children’s Literature category at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. 2)Contracted to write 20 devotions for Worthy Inspire’s Seeing God in Nature devotional. 3)Article, “How to Write a Devotion in 300 Words or Less,” was published on WOW! Women on Writing*.

*(Vonda here: I’m so sorry, but Sandy notified me today that I had already run her kudos last month. Please know this was my mistake, not Sandy’s! But I have to admit, she has enough good stuff going on that it SHOULD be repeated! 🙂

2.  Kristi Woods (OK): In July, Kristi Woods was published on Proverbs 31’s Encouragement for
Today devotions and Crosswalk.com. Additionally, she became a contributing writer for Life Letter Cafe and Blessed Transgressions. It was a busy, fruitful month full of thanksgiving to God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, that does it for another 2nd Tuesday. I hope you’ll come back next week when I’ll have a collection of writing opportunities, contests, and conference collected just for you!

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts!

Vonda

 

Read entire post »

 

Interview & Gift Set Give-Away with Judy Bone & Debra Paulk and While My Soldier Serves Book Give-Away

Cookie ladiesChristian Writer’s Den friends, do I have an exciting post for you today! I had the joy of meeting Judy Bone and Debra Paulk when I spoke at First Baptist Church of Macclenny, FL this spring, and my goodness, did I fall in love with these ladies and the precious women of their church! Then when I read their delightful book, Stir Up Some Sweet Life: Lessons From the Cookie Jar, I just knew I had to share it–and them–with you. If you want to peek at the funny craziness of these sweet friends, just check out their Facebook page and their website. These are the kind of girls you want to hang around and go to the beach with. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re good cooks, too. 🙂

And listen to this, these dear ladies are giving away a gift set of both Stir Up Some Sweet Life and a cookie cookbook! To get your name in the drawing, simply leave a comment for Judy and Debra and you’ll automatically be in the drawing. Be sure to return next Tuesday to see if you’re the winner.

Now, let’s get started! Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den, Judy and Debra. Let’s begin with the question most writers are interested in: What inspired you to write your book, Stir Up Some Sweet Life: Lessons From the Cookie Jar?

Judy: Set your imagination to this scene: two women share an uncertain night in an after-surgery ICU. The patient, barely awake in a tangle of tubes and needle drips, is rolled into the room from recovery. Medical equipment beeps and hums. The mood is somber, right? Serious and grim? Well . . . it might read like that in a novel, but not in our real life experience! Minutes after Debra’s breathing tube was removed from the cancer surgery, we were giggling.

Debra: At one point I thought if the cancer didn’t kill me I would surely die of laughter. But in a matter of scant hours Judy and I realized that the Holy Spirit was rolling out a work for us, which eventually became crafted into Stir Up Some Sweet Life.

What an awesome story! So can you tell us how you got from that hospital room discussion actually coming up with the Sweet Life idea?Stir Up Some Sweet Life cover and ladies

Judy: During our hours in the hospital we talked about all kinds of things we love, like scriptures, and baking, and cookies, and Jesus. And it just clicked and we said, ‘We should write a book!’ So we did. As we brainstormed, our ideas developed into a cookie-themed set of Bible studies based on how we experience the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

Debra: The book is our testament to the sweet life moments believers can find in the worst circumstances. God gives us just what we need when the cookie crumbles. That’s the book in a quick mix. Each chapter represents what we like to call a “lesson from the cookie jar.” For example, the title of the Joy chapter is: Joy Is Like A Cookie . . . It’s the Sweet Reward.

So was this writing journey a new venture, or have you written books before?

Debra: This is our first joint book project. When Judy and I brought our experiences together, we snapped with a crazy kind of synergy. We both brought skills and experiences to the table, and that made the process less overwhelming. Judy is a pastor’s wife with 30 years experience as a Bible teacher. She is comfortable developing lessons. For most of my career years I was a jack-of-all-trades editor in a creative niche publishing company. I had written technical books and magazine articles, but nothing like this.

Judy: Writing a book like this and bringing it to market is new for both of us. We don’t always know what we’re doing so we rely on God’s continual help to keep this testimony growing.

Interest in self-publishing has grown tremendously the past few years. Since you self-published Sweet Life, do you have any advice on taking that route?

Judy Bone and Debra Paulk photoJudy: After getting encouragement but no bites from agents and publishers at a writers conference we decided to launch the book on our own. Life is short; we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. With that thought, it didn’t seem wise to wait on a publisher. We believe God has called us to deliver a message so that’s what we’re doing.

Debra: Self-publishing is tough, though. Even with my experience as a publisher, learning a new market is hard and expensive. This is a mission for us.

Yes, self-publishing certainly has its own set of learning curves, as does any worthwhile thing. I’m thankful you hung in there and brought this book to the public! So what’s next for you?

Judy: We’re walking through every door God opens, sharing lots of laughs along with our testimonies at events and workshops, and ministering to groups that cannot be served by major speakers.

Debra: Yes! We tell people, “Don’t worry if your group is small because we work for cookies!”

Oh, y’all make me laugh! I think know that’s why people fall in love with you just as I did! I’ve read Sweet Life, and I know my readers would enjoy it. How can people order your book or get in touch with you?

Judy: They can contact us through our website, www.stirupsomesweetlife.com, through Facebook, or visit our booth at some of the Christian conventions and events.

Thank you for bringing us Stir Up Some Sweet Life: Lessons From the Cookie Jar today, Judy and Debra! And thank you for your heart for others through sharing that life.

Friends, be sure to leave a comment for Judy and Debra and you’ll be in the drawing for that free gift set! This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! (Don’t forget to come back next week to see if you’re the winner.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And who won Edie’s book, While My Solider Serves: Prayers for Those with WMSS, final, high resLoved Ones in the Military, in our Special Memorial Day drawing?

 

First of all, thanks to all of you who honored the military in your comments. They deserve it, and so much more, don’t they?

Deanna Stalnaker, you’re the winner! Congratulations! Simply contact me with your snail-mail address and I’ll get Edie’s book right out to you. I know you’ll enjoy it!

And readers, I want you to know that both Deanna and her husband served in our military during the Viet Nam era, so it’s a special joy to honor them with this book. Thank you and your family for your service, Deanna. We thank God for you.

Here’s the direct Amazon link to While My Solider Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military. Would you please got one for that friend or family member who has a loved one serving our country? You could make their burden lighter by helping them pray. Thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you, sweet friends, for joining me today. I’m sorry I was late getting this out, but I’m blessed to be teaching at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference this week and I’m running behind on everything else. But what a blessed time this week is year after year.

And we have the largest number of attendees this year than ever before! What a blessing. Hope you can join us next year!

Enjoy the sweet life of living for our Savior…

Vonda

 

Read entire post »

 

Parting Words From The WORD…The New Me

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

About ten years ago, my granddaughter, Ellie, and I were passing the time on a family road trip by playing one of our favorite travel games, I Spy. It was Ellie’s turn and she had me searching high and low for something purple, our favorite color.

It wasn’t the beach towel, the flower on her shirt, or her purple nail polish. I had a good view of the entire van from my back seat location, but it wasn’t helping. What else could it possibly be?

“You’ll never guess this one,” the seven-year-old announced. That was all I needed to hear. As I was being transported down the highway at 70 miles per hour, my competitive streak went into overdrive.

But there was nothing purple left in the car. “Are you sure you mean purple?” I asked, eyeing Christina’s sweater. “Could it be pink?”

“No, MaMa, it’s purple. I promise.” She crossed her arms. “You might as well give up. You’ll never guess it.”

“You know me better than that.” I crossed my own arms. “I never give up!”

Five minutes later, I gave up. “Okay, what is it?”

She pointed. I leaned over and scanned the floorboard. “There’s nothing purple down there.”

“Not there,” she said, pointing again. “There.”

I followed her pointing finger straight to my leg. My spider-veined leg.

Purple is no longer my favorite color.

This story is true, and one I love telling as I travel around the country. But even though I laugh every time I tell it, I must admit, there’s a little part of me that misses my former self. Maybe I need a new me.

I occasionally catch a makeover show claiming to create A New Me. The recipient of the makeover gift is usually thrilled with her New You results. She sports a new haircut and a new wardrobe and new lips. But regardless of how good this “new” person looks, underneath the surgery and the make up and the packaging, she’s still the same person, with the same baggage, the same struggles, and the same sin.

I’m thankful that when God created A New Vonda, He made me new inside and out. No make-up, no surgery, no fake body parts. He made me fresh and new, clean and white, forgiven and free. Truly a make-over gift.

And that’s why I write and speak. I know what it’s like to be spiritually wrinkled, walking around on spider-veined legs. I know how it feels to be covered in guilt…and I know how it feels to be free.

I can’t keep the Good News of this free gift to myself.

I have to speak.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15b (NIV)

Grace and peace,

Vonda

Read entire post »

 

Parting Words From The WORD…Your “Write” Role, Part 1

Jim Watkins headshotVonda here: Okay, friends, today kicks off four Parting Words Fridays that will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen here, or probably anywhere else for that matter! As many of you know, I just returned from teaching at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, where one of the highlights of my week was hearing author, speaker, and threat to society, James Watkins deliver his keynote, “Your ‘Write’ Role.” Another highlight was when he agreed to let me share the message with you over the next four Fridays!

So pull up a chair, put on your creative-thinking-and-real-life-application-hat, and hear Jim’s heart for Christian writers and speakers, Part 1.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your “Write” Role, Part 1
by James Watkins

 

Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 12, as I read from the New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version for Writers:

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If a writer should say, “Because I have not been published in Charisma, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be a part of the Body. If the whole body was writing for Guideposts, who would write for take-home papers?

But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many kinds of writers, but one body.

1. You have an important role in Christian writing

How many of you truly believe that you have an important role in Christian writing?

Writers’ conferences are the absolutely worst place for you to feel important! Here’s what happens. You visit the website or look at the brochure, and there they are: “important” writers who have written fifty New York Times best-selling books, won “major awards” and spoken to thousands around the world.

And there you are having not written fifty New York Times best-selling books, not having won “major awards” and not speaking to thousands around the world.

And to be perfectly honest, I look at the conference faculty bios and wonder What am I doing here giving a keynote address?!

Okay, I do have books with Zondervan, Tyndale, HarperCollins, but most of my books are with small houses. Yes, I’ve spoken around the world, but mostly in cement-block churches with tin roofs and circus tents (no editorial comments, please, about clowns). And, while four of my books have won national awards, but not one has been a best-seller.

“Hi I’m Jim. I’m critically acclaimed, but commercially ashamed.”

So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and underqualified, I feel your pain. But my most “painful” event was a book signing in Seattle sitting next to Frank This Present Darkness Peretti. Frank had a line as far back as Nebraska; I had one or two people at a time in line. He was frantically writing “Frank.” “Frank.” “Frank.” I was writing little essays: Jim Watkins cartoon headshot

Dear friend, thank you for stopping by. If you can just stand there for just a few minutes until someone else comes, I won’t look like a complete loser. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, here comes another person.

3 John 2, Jim

So, you’re not alone if you’re sitting here at this writers’ conference feeling less than important. But here’s that verse from 1 Corinthians 12 again.

But in fact God has arranged the parts of the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 1 Corinthians 12:18

In your Bible, circle that name “God.” Then underline that verb “arranged.” God has arranged the body of Christian writers. He has you right where he wants you to be right now!

I hope and pray you feel safe here this week. It is so easy to feel all alone as a writers among people who just don’t get you. Here, you’re with your fellow peculiar people.

And most important, you are with fellow parts of the Body of Christ.

When you speak at churches in India, “honored guests” are outfitted with a gigantic floral arrangement around your neck, so you look like a Kentucky Derby winner. Plus, you have to take off your shoes when you’re on the platform. So there I was, the only white man in the entire church, dressed like a winning thoroughbred, in my sock feet, and they started singing “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” and suddenly—I felt right at home. I belonged!

I felt that same way in our two trips to Africa. I was with my brothers and sisters! Okay, I was white brother who can’t dance, but I was family!

But it is so easy to lose our sense of importance with three deadly C’s:

Comparison: Back to the conference website or printed brochure. Maybe you’re thinking I haven’t had 50 books published. I haven’t been interviewed on national TV. I haven’t spoken to a stadium filled with fans. So I must not be an “important” part in the body of Christian publishing.

So, we move on—and down . . .

Copying: I’m going to write like Max Lucado. I’m going to get on the national talk shows. I’m going to be a great Bible teacher like Beth Moore.

And when we all, inevitably, fail, we move to the third level:

Criticizing: We move from feeling inferior to them to feeling superior to them. I can write better than E. L. James. Okay, anyone can write something better than Shades of Grey. I’m a better, deeper speaker than so and so.

Communicate to Change LIves Jim Watkins coverI love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Galatians 5:4-5:

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life (Galatians 6:4-5 MSG).

Comparison is a killer of creativity! And worse, a killer of your unique design as a writer. (We’ll talk more individuality later.)

For now, you may want to write this down:

I am important not because of who I am,
but because of Whose I am.

Give that a second to sink in, because it just may be the most important thing you’ll hear all week. More important than “Write tight,” “Show, don’t tell” and “Avoid adverbs.” Even more important than “Develop your brand and platform.”

My very funny friend, Jeanette Levellie, who has written two hilarious books reminds us, “God has already defined you. You don’t need others to tell you who you are.”

And from the founder of the Christian Missionary Alliance, A. B. Simpson:

Many Christians are in the place that the Lord has appointed them, and yet the devil is harassing their lives with a sense that they are not quite pleasing the Lord. If they could just settle down in the place that God has assigned them and fill it faithfully and lovingly for Him, there would be more joy in their hearts and more power in their lives.

So, you have an important role in Christian writing. But the enemy is ruthless. If he can’t convince you you’re not important, then he will try to make you feel you’re more important than you are! Look at verses 15-18 (New Living Amplified Paraphrased King James Watkins Version for Writers):

A writer for Decision cannot say to a writer of a church newsletter, “I don’t need you!” And a best-selling author cannot say to the one who writes letters to the editor, “I don’t need you!”

On the contrary, those writers who don’t command six-figure advances are indispensable, and the writers who don’t appear on the cover of Today’s Christian Woman deserve equal honor as those who do. And the writers who are never interviewed on Christian talk shows are just as necessary as those in the spotlight.

Paul is incredibly honest in acknowledging that there is an earthly hierarchy in the church and in Christian publishing. So, we need to maintain that careful balance that, “I am incredibly important, but I’m not any more important than anyone else . . . despite what the world may say and, particularly, despite what Christian publishing says!”

Moving on to verses 24-26:

But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

If one part receives a rejection slip, every part suffers with it; if one part signs a contract with Tyndale House, every part rejoices with it (1 Corinthians 12:24-26)

Copyright © 2015 James N. WatkinsJim Watkins real headshot

Bio: Jim wears more hats than his Aunt Luella!
*Associate acquisitions editor for Wesleyan Publishing House
*Conference speaker throughout the U.S. and overseas
*Director of programming for St. Davids Writers’ Conference
*Editorial advisor for ACW Press

You can reach Jim through his site at www.HopeAndHumor.org or www.JamesWatkins.com.

Vonda again: Thank you, Jim! Now friends, isn’t that a powerful application to us as Christian writers and speakers? Be sure to come back for our 1st Tuesday post next Tuesday and then return for more insight next Friday from Jim Watkins’ Your “Write” Role, Part 2.

Thanks for Tweeting…Sharing is sweet!

Hilarious–but real–writers’ take on 1 Cor 12 by @JamesWatkinsCom via @VondaSkelton #amwriting (Click to Tweet)

Read entire post »

 

It’s Time for Agent Chip MacGregor’s Annual Bad Poetry Contest! Enter There and Win Here!

Laughing horse morguefile

Okay, I know you’re not supposed to be getting a post from me today, but I couldn’t take a chance that you might miss out on this ab-so-lute-ly amazing writing opportunity and chance to win.

It’s time to join in the fun going on over at Chip MacGregor’s Bad Poetry Contest to celebrate his birthday. And if you enter there, you could win here!

For those who’ve been around writing conferences for a while, you’ll recognize the name, Chip MacGregor. For those who don’t know him, Chip is owner of MacGregor Literary, one of the most recognized agencies in the business. He’s spoken at writing conferences in over 100 locations. And I can promise you, once you’ve been around Chip, you won’t forget him. He helps writers around the world with his snarky voice and big heart. (Don’t tell him I said the big heart part. He likes to protect his image.)

Now, this is how it’s gonna work here at The Christian Writer’s Den. Please read Chip’s intro below and then finish it at his blog. Then write your own bad poetry and leave it as a comment for Chip at his blog. BUT THEN…come back here and post a comment that you left an entry at the contest, and I’ll put your name into another contest HERE! I’ll go to Chip’s blog and read for myself how bad your poem is. I hope it’s really bad! My husband will select a winner from among the Christian Writer’s Den submissions.

Here’s Chip’s introduction to his 7th Annual Bad Poetry Contest:

This is Chip.

This week is a special, heart-touching time of year, when all young writers turn to thoughts of bad poetry. That’s because, each year at this time, we take a week to celebrate my birthday — not with cards, not with songs, not with cutesy memes on Facebook that will make me want to gag. Instead, here we do the more creative thing… we create bad poetry. The badder, the better.

A note about bad poetry: Some people just don’t get it. They seem to think we’re making fun of great poets. No indeed. We’re making fun of ALL poets. Those who think they are deep. Those who want to show they’re smarter than you. Those who rhyme “love” with “dove,” “glove,” and “above.” And most of all, those who call out, “Hey, look at me! I’m sensitive!” So the time has come once again to your bad poems. Stop the wordsmithing madness and start constipating on wrong rhythms and awful word choice. The 2015 Bad Poetry Contest is here! Read more from Chip…

I hope you’ll head on over to Chip MacGregor’s Annual Bad Poetry Contest and read the rest of his post, then post your bad stuff and make me proud!

THEN come back here and post a comment letting me know that you entered, and you’ll be in the running for a FREE DOWNLOAD from my writing workshops! ($14.95 value!) Be sure to come back next Tuesday to see if you’re the winner!

Remember, to be included in HIS contest, you have to post your bad poetry AS A COMMENT ON CHIP’S BLOG! And to be included in OUR contest, you have to leave a comment here that you entered Chip’s contest.

Clear as mud?

So go on now…get started. Show off your bad self and make me proud!

Thanks for Tweeting…Sharing is sweet!

Time for #Agent @MacGregorLit Annual Bad #Poetry Contest! Enter There & Win Here! @VondaSkelton #amwriting (Click to Tweet)

Expecting great things from you…

Vonda

Read entire post »

 

Chip MacGregor: Ask the Agent, Kudos & MoGo7000 Call-Outs & Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book?

Chip MacGregor headshot2If you’re not following agent Chip MacGregor’s blog, I have three words for you: You need to. Chip is a top-notch literary agent and president of MacGregor Literary. He works with both the Christian and general market and loves sharing his snarky-laced words of wisdom with writers. I’m telling you now, you don’t want to miss his annual Bad Poetry Contest in May–what a fun way to celebrate his birthday!

Today, I’m thrilled to share a recent question submitted to Chip’s Ask the Agent blog series. Great advice for those who are serious about writing. But watch out, you must have your humor hat on or you may not get it.

Thanks, Chip!

Excerpt from Chip MacGregor’s blog series, Ask the Agent: “What 10 editorial mistakes do most novice authors make?”

I suppose if you asked this of ten agents, you’d probably get a hundred total answers, but here are my pet peeves with newbie authors:

  • Too many exclamation points!!!
  • A proposal that has not been proof-red
  • Overpromising, as in “This proposal will sell a billion copies!”
  • FEELING A NEED TO PUT LOTS OF WORDS IN ALL CAPS.
  • Random numbering in an outline.
  • I did this, I did that, I did this other thing, I, I, I.
  • Random commas, that make no, sense.
  • A failure to understand how to properly use “quotation” marks. (Also parentheses. And their attached punctuation).
  • Failing to understand the difference between its and it’s (or there and their and they’re).
  • The manuscript is passive due to the author.

Hint for the humor impaired: There are intentional errors in that list. If you see one, don’t send me aHow Can I Find A Literary Agent cover scolding note or you’ll be banned from the blog. It’s a joke. I know you don’t get it. Just trust me – others find it funny. 

Friends, I hope you learned something about agents and what they’re NOT looking for. And if you’re a writer interested in finding out more agent answers to your questions, check out Chip’s new book, How Can I Find A Literary Agent? And 101 Other Questions Asked by Writers .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Call-Out for Kudos…I Want to Brag on You!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!

mogo7000 logo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Call for MoGo7000 Totals

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in March, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2015 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your March results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in March. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2015 challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 10 months and you’ll have 10 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And Who Won Cindy Sproles’ Book, Mercy’s Rain?Cindy Sproles Mercys Rain cover

The winner is…drumroll, please…

Cindy Patterson!

Congratulations, Cindy (Patterson)! I’m so happy for you and I know you’re going to love this book. Simply contact me with your snail mail address and Cindy (Sproles) will get the book right out to you. (Hmmm…could this be a Cindy conspiracy?) 🙂

Well, for those of you who are not named Cindy, here’s a direct Amazon link to Mercy’s Rain. I know–and you know–you want your own copy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for Tweeting!

Ask Agent Chip MacGregor, Call-Outs & Cindy Sproles’ Mercy’s Rain winner. #amwriting @MacGregorLit @VondaSkelton (Click to Tweet)

Well, that does it for another 1st Tuesday. I can’t wait to see you back next week to meet another author and to celebrate our successes together!

Happy writing!

Vonda

 

Read entire post »

 

Top Ten Things About Being a Writer, A Contest, And Kudos & MoGo7000 Totals!

I love my job fdp pakorn

Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A while back, my friend, Jolene Philo, posted her Top Ten Things to Love About Being a Writer and I immediately knew I wanted to share it with you!

And since this is Kudos and MoGo7000 reporting day, I think it’ll be a great time to have a fun little contest. After reading Jolene’s list below, please post a comment of your own top things (any number) about being a writer. Then I’ll have an independent judge choose the most interesting or unusual or just plain funny answer, and the winner will receive a set of Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks!

Then read on to celebrate with our successful friends this month. 🙂

Let’s get started!

Top Ten Things About Being a Writer, by Jolene Philo

 

10. Writing often feels like Show and Tell felt in elementary school…when you knew your show and tell item would be the talk of the playground at recess.

9.   Having our books on library shelves is as exciting as meeting Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, or Derek Jeter is for basketball, tennis, or baseball fans.Jolene Philo headshot

8.   Writing in the afternoon produces a sweet feeling akin to when elementary teachers read aloud to their students after lunch.

7.   Writing in the evening is akin to snuggling with our kids when reading them a bedtime story.

6.   Writers who work from home never stress about drive time weather.

5.   Writing is one Bilbo Baggins adventure after another: “Go back?” he (Bilbo) thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

4.  We writers absolutely must travel to unusual and interesting places to conduct research.

3.  We have to remind ourselves that we are working when “work” involves hours and days of reading.

2.  People buy our words. How cool is that?

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

Photo courtesy of Cyn Rogalski

1.  Writers meet the most fascinating people in unexpected places.

So, what do you think? What are your favorite things about being a writer? Post your answers below and you could be the winner of Cyn Rogalski’s Writer’s Blocks! Be sure to come back next week to see if you’re the winner. 🙂

Bio: Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream Parenting series. Her new book, The Jolene Philo cover Different Dream ParentingCaregiver’s Notebook: An Organizational Tool and Support to Help You Care for Others will be released in November of 2014 by Discovery House Publishers. Over 100 of her articles have appeared in publications including Focus on the FamilyParentLife, and Home Cooking. She speaks at conferences and events throughout the United States. Her blog, www.DifferentDream.com, provides resources and encouragement for parents of kids with special needs. She also blogs about life on her dusty gravel road  at www.jolenephilo.com. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitter,  and Pinterest. She is slightly addicted Netflix. With their two children married and on their own, Jolene and her husband are kicking up their empty nester heels in Boone, Iowa.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kudos to YOU, Cathy Baker!

 

I think this is the first time this has ever happened, but we had only one report of Kudos this month. Yes, it has been a long, cold winter!

So this month, let’s all join together to celebrate with Cathy Baker as she shares TWO exciting reports this month:

Cathy Baker (SC): My blog has been revamped. It’s now “Fragrant Ink.” (same blog address) It has a NEW name, format, and focus. Also, I’ve been asked to lead a workshop on Writing to Heal for mothers who’ve lost children of any age. For more information on the retreat, please contact Cathy at tea4thee@charter.net.

Congratulations, Cathy! Congratulations on two jobs well Done!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Who MoGo’d in February?mogo7000 logo

 

These CWD writers have earned a February entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100 in cash!

#5: Eddie Snipes – 7,300 words#6: Jeanne Doyon – 7,378 words

Congrats, Eddie and Jeanne! Keep up the good work and you’ll earn even more entries into the drawing.

Writers, want to know how you can qualify for the $100 challenge? Check out the MoGo7000 Challenge here. It’s free and open to everyone all year long!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, I think that does it for another week at The Christian Writer’s Den. Thank you, friends, for visiting with me week after week. As we celebrate our 6th year of meeting together, I’m reminded again I am blessed to have you joining me in this journey called the writing life.

Writing is hard enough without doing it alone. It’s my goal to encourage and challenge and lift you up for the journey. Please let me know any time you have a new book coming out and I’ll be happy to highlight your success!

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

Read entire post »

 

Interview & Book Give Away with Motivational Humorist Jane Jenkins Herlong

My goodness, are y’all in for a treat today! Please welcome my funny friend, author, singer, and speaker, Jane Jenkins Herlong, as she shares the scoop on her new book, Bury Me with My Pearls: Humor with a Spiritual Twist. And let me tell you, I have this book, and it is hilarious!

Be sure and read Jane’s full bio below, but let me just preface her interview by letting you know her tagline is Finding the Fun in DysFUNction! How’s that for a set-up? Okay, ready for some fun? Read on!

And friends, don’t forget to leave a comment for Jane and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Be sure to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Read entire post »

 

Who Are The Characters in YOUR LIfe?

(I know many of you recognize this photo. I used it just last week in my Christian Communicators Blog post, The New Me. I hated to reuse the photo so soon, but when I decided to revisit this blog post from 2010, I knew I HAD to run this same photo again! I hope you don’t mind.)

The more I teach at writer’s conferences, the more I realize how blessed we are as writers if we have home-grown, ready-made characters in our families. You know what I’m talking about…the eccentric grandpa who buys moonshine along with the eggs, the prim and proper aunt with the colorful past, the entrepreneurial dad with the can-do attitude and the can’t-do bank account. Yes, I am blessed as a writer.

Read entire post »

 

Pet Peeves and Grace

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhoto/IdeaGo

Hello, friends! Greetings from Alaska. Today’s guest blog post comes from Carol Barnier. You may recall another post she shared with us a while back: She Never Had a Rejection? It generated a lot of comments and I think you’ll find this one equally thought-provoking.

Pet Peeves and Grace

By Carol Barnier

If you’ve been in a writer’s support group for any length of time, you’ve certainly seen it before. It’s an evergreen discussion that makes a pass every year or so. When a professional association has covered all the topics they can think of—Saying No to a Mentor Request, Keeping Social Media from Eating Your Time, How to Have a Book Signing that Doesn’t Look as Though it Occurred Post-Rapture, there eventually comes a lull in which no one can think of a fresh and original topic to pose to the group.

Read entire post »