Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday Wonders...ironing out the W's.

If you're anything like me, you tend to worry - and I usually Worry with a capital W!

Sometimes I catch myself thinking "God, don't you see this problem over here? Why aren't you doing something about it? What is your plan here?"

Sometimes, wrapped up inside that Worry are a whole bunch of other capital W questions. "What". "Why". We naturally crave answers, we want to know what is going to happen and when it's going to occur. We want to see our problems smoothed away on an ironing board, right besides our husband's button-down shirts and our own khaki pants. But when we doubt God's "what" and "why", we're ultimately doubting the Who behind it all - and that's where everything falls apart.

Matthew 6: 25-30

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

Today, will you join me in casting your Worries aside? Let's fight back against the destructive force of worry by prayer and praise.

Financial trouble? Marriage strife? Children giving you grief? Concerned about making your pending deadline, or afraid you're never going to get far enough in this industry to ever HAVE a deadline? Dump that burden on the Lord's capable shoulders and focus on the good in your life. You have blessings, probably more than you can count. Why not start trying, and give the enemy a little grief, instead? Hey, its much more productive than counting sheep. =)

1. 2. 3. 4...

Join me at the foot of the cross today, and let's lay these problems down to the One who has all the answers already ironed out. If we focus on the Answerer, rather than on the answers, we can see past the wrinkles and know that in His timing, all will be pressed and revealed.

And our mouths will drop at the Wonder of it all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A bowed head prevents a stiff neck

Do you pray before your write? Do you praise before you write?

These questions recently went through my head as the result of a recent online conversation of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Unfortunately, I've neglected to do both, far more than I care to remember. Yet it's only through prayer and praise that we will ever truly find success, not in the world's eyes, but God's eyes. Through prayer we humble our hearts before Him acknowledging that we can't do it without Him, and through praise, we humble our hearts before him acknowledging that we didn't do it without Him. (Like we did it at all!) Both bring us closer to him...and after all, that should be the primary purpose behind everything we do, including our writing.

Today I will praise God...for the beautiful fall colors that the Michigan weather brings. For the life and friendship of my grandmother, who passed away 10 years ago today. And for my many online friends that compose my writing community.

Finding a Different Place to Bloom

Sometimes, creativity flows like barbeque sauce at a tailgate party, like mullets at a Nascar race, like coffee at a writer's conference . . .

And sometimes it . . . doesn't. For those delirious, dull-eyed moments, I would like to offer a helpful little tool: juxtaposition!

Think of the tenderness between the desperate characters in Les Miserables. Charlotte's death during the county fair in Charlotte's Web. Two opposing elements find a way to work together. Whether it is in a theme or a moment, juxtaposition infuses ordinary stories with exquisite tension.

So what about your story? What if your character confessed her undying love at a funeral? What if he's composing his resignation letter at a birthday party? What if the dormant flower garden signals life instead of death? What about slow dancing in the emergency room. Journaling at a bus stop. Childbirth in a stable. Lovely trash.

Try one of these:

1) Write a scene where two seemingly opposite things occur at the same time. Or,
2) Describe something generally thought of as ugly in a beautiful way.

How can you have fun flipping stereotypes in your story? How will fitting opposites together push you to imagine differently? What connections might materialize?

So let that creativity flow . . . like . . . dishwater after a week-long writing blitz, maybe?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Intentions

Ugh. It’s Monday.

I suspect that this morning, millions of snooze buttons are being pummeled, a bazillion groans are being emitted and oodles of covers are being pulled over heads. Anything to prolong the agony of facing a brand new work week.

But not me. I love Mondays. It’s true! And it’s not only because it’s my day off and the kids are back to school and I have the house to myself for the day (what writer doesn’t relish that silence?).

I love Mondays because I have the whole week ahead of me in which I will make huge progress on my novel. I will write my little heart out….10,000 words, minimum, by Friday. I will develop blisters on my fingertips from all the writing I will do.

I am novelist. Hear me type!

Unfortunately, my intentions will probably fall a little short. And I will blame it on the laundry, message board forums, and the new fall television season.

And then on Friday, when serotonin levels all over the nation are skyrocketing, I will likely be sulking when I look at my weekly word count and realize I have only typed 1,000 words—nowhere near the 10,000 I projected. And I will berate myself for failing. Again.

So today is Mission Impossible Monday. And we all know that God is the God of the impossible. But as cool as it would be for Him to pinky-pin me to my computer chair and force me to write my book, He normally doesn’t work that way. I will need to decide to stick my buns in that chair and write. Not just intend on doing it. But do it.

I know. Bummer, right?

Proverbs 12:11 says, “Hard work means prosperity; only fools idle away their time.” (NLT)


I suppose I could reread this verse to say, “Actually sitting down to write my book will get my book finished (and hopefully published!). But wasting time with unimportant distractions that take me away from writing…well, um, I guess that would make me a— gulp—fool. Not to mention, keep me an unpublished novelist.”

Double yikes.

I recently heard the saying, “God won’t do anything for you that you can’t do yourself.” I suppose it wouldn’t do much good, then, to request prayer for pages in my novel to get supernaturally written this week (but I bet those pages would score well in the Genesis contest!). But it might help to ask God to give me a little extra discipline and focus and a little less propensity for distraction and procrastination.

And if CSI is a repeat this week, that will help too.

So what about you? Do you need an extra dose of discipline? Are you like me and want to actually reach a goal this week instead of just setting one and falling short? It IS possible, you know.

Would you care to join me in praying for a little more focus this week?

Heavenly Father, forgive me for idling away my time. Help me to focus my thoughts and actions in the right direction today. As I begin a new week, show me how to manage my days so I can finish the things you want me to do and toss aside the unimportant things that get in the way of achieving my goals. May everything I do honor and glorify You and bring me closer to fulfilling the possibilities and purpose You have for my life.

In Jesus’ precious name,


Throw those covers back. Replace that groan with a shout of praise. It’s Monday -- there’s a possibility with your name on it! Maybe even 10,000 words by Friday!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rest Is Creative

Like any other job, writing takes a lot of creativity. Creativity is exhausting. What do you do to refill that creativity you are pouring out?

I think we automatically assume that the word "rest" means sleep or sitting down doing nothing. But true rest is something that takes you away from the norm and reenergizes you.

I love taking photographs of Montana. I love blogging about it so I carry my camera everywhere with me. It's fun and makes me feel joyful. The photo above is one I see often driving in and out of my hometown. I realized I look at that scenery every single time I drive by it. I watch it change by the seasons.

This is a view of the same field, in June, a little closer up.

It thrills me to see it. I'm never bored. And every single time, I feel lighter. I feel God's glory, power, and amazement at His creativity. Whether deep green grass or blue mountains and golden cottonwoods, the wealth of color stuns me.

Somehow seeing things like this...I realized one day that God is the creator of creativity. How funny! How long did it take me to figure out that the Creator was creative?! I just think that's hilarious! The best thing is that soaking in God's creativity never fails to recharge me.

My camera stays with me for fun, play, and hobby.

What do you do to recharge? What hobbies keep you relaxed and playful?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a restful moment here:-) If you'd like to visit with me more, please hop over to my personal blog:

May God bless you with a joyful recharging today,
Psst, and a good rest:-)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What we think we don't need

Yes, I know it's Saturday and technically we're resting here at Writers' Rest on the weekends, but I just had to post something anyway. :-)

I'm under deadline for my devotional book and planned to get in a good bit of quality writing time last night and today. Then I started feeling ratty around suppertime last night, spent most of the evening on the couch and collapsed in bed by 9. So much for a productive night! I felt guilty for being a slug, but just couldn't make myself sit at the computer and string coherent thoughts together.

Then today rolled around, bright and beautiful. My husband had a breakfast and work time at church, so the kids and I had a pow-wow. They're old enough now to understand when I really have to buckle down and work, so I told them that's what I really needed to do this morning. God was with us, because they played nicely together and managed to not really interrupt me for almost 2 hours. And when that happens with my kids (who are 6 and 8), God is definitely involved! :-)

As I prayed before starting to work, I realized how rested and ready I was. I didn't feel sleep deprived (for once!) and just knew that the words were about to flow. Our God is so good! I've been focusing on Scripture verses and devotionals and jounaling activities. Most of all, I've been focusing on the ever-looming deadline. But God was focusing on ME, and what I needed -- namely, rest.

It's such a privilege to have His words burning in my heart to share with the world. It's so refreshing to know that when I'm worried about the writing, He's more worried about the writer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Free For All Fridays!

What exactly does this mean, you may ask.
Are we giving away free stuff?
Well, that's a great idea, but no. Not today anyway.
Free? What's free about it then?
Nothing in life is free anymore!
Oh, quit yer moaning. Yes, I can hear you.

So tell me, what IS free?
I'll start with my list, you send yours in, and we'll just be amazed at what we've come up with.

Air. Air is free. Technically, we don't pay for it. Some of us get a better deal than others.
I wouldn't want to be sucking air in New York City for example.
And right now, some of that Cailfornia air is pretty nasty - we need to remember those folks in our prayers.

Aha! Prayer - prayer is free.
You can come before the Father any time, any day of the week, any second. And you can open your mouth and pray. You can even pray in your head, and nobody knows. You can pray for Joe Schmuck while he's standing right in front of you bad mouthing you and he won't even know it! How cool is that?
It's awesome. Did you know you can tell God anything? It's so much better than trying to talk to your husband, or your mom or your dog. Sure, they might listen, give the occassional nod between snores, but come on, who wants to blabber on to mere mortals and animals when we've got the Creator of the Universe leaning in, just waiting for us to speak to Him.

The beauty of the earth. That's free. What a gift!
I'm sensing a theme here...
Yes, God has given us a wonderful place to live. Yeah, we're ruining it, but that's another post.
Get out there and spend some time admiring your gift this weekend. Go play in the ocean, walk in the woods or do what you do in whatever part of the world you are that gets you close to nature.
Get out there and give thanks to God while you're at it.

Gifts. Gifts are free. They're given to us for a variety of reasons, but hopefully all the gifts you've ever received have been given to you by people that love you.
God gave us the ultimate gift, didn't He?
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." Yes, we all know the verse.
But think about it.
His only Son. To die.
For you. For me.
So that we might not perish but have eternal life.

I don't know about you, but that's the best gift I've ever been given.
It came at great cost to the Giver, but it is free for all to accept. Any time. Any place.

If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, please contact one of us and we'll gladly share our gift with you.

Have a wonderful weekend in Him!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Introducing Erynn Mangum

I’m not a coffee lover, although I’ve made attempts at becoming one. (The attempts generally call for massive amounts of chocolate syrup, French vanilla creamer, AND whip cream. Oh, and a smidgen of coffee.) But when I saw the cover for Miss Match, with a giant coffee cup front and center, I couldn’t resist. Good thing, too, because when my husband and I stopped at Home Depot forever, I had something to entertain me. And entertain it did. I finished Erynn’s debut novel around 2 a.m or so. (Don’t worry—we did leave Home Depot a few hours before that.)

Though I’m still wary of coffee, I am addicted to Erynn’s stories about her coffee-chugging main character, Lauren Holbrook. (Click the books link on to read my review of Miss Match.) And now, without further ado, let me introduce Erynn Mangum.

JW: Erynn, first of all, I have to know. How much coffee do you REALLY drink?
EM: Really and truly? Not half as much as Lauren Holbrook does. I drink a lot more when I spend the day writing than when I’m working, but usually between two-four massive cups a day (seriously, my mug holds about three and a half cups of coffee!). Hey, the caffeine is half my personality!

JW: Maybe the coffee is the secret to getting published so young. Speaking of which, how did you get into writing?
EM: I’ve loved to write since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t write. My mom always loved books and would read to us a lot, so I imagine that got me started in this crazy make-believe world called fiction.

JW: Do you have a specific purpose for writing?
EM: I like to quote 1 Peter 5:12b – "My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that the grace of God is with you no matter what happens." I have this posted above my desk just to remind me.

JW: That’s awesome. Speaking of your desk, tell me about your writing space and routine.
EM: Well, my writing space is on a laptop and I sit at my desk in a very uncomfortable desk chair. I’ve got lots of pictures, quotes, comics and just sticky notes everywhere on the wall I’m facing, and even more pictures and postcards on my desk. My routine is that I don’t really have one: I write when I can and hope I make the most of that time!

JW: The wall sounds fun—very inspirational. So what does inspire the ideas for your stories?
EM: I get a lot of ideas just from things that happen to me. I love hanging out with friends and going to college Bible studies because weird things always happen there! Sometimes a conversation will spur an idea, or a movie or a book.

JW: Hm. Sounds like I missed a lot in college. Now for my favorite favorites questions. List some of your favorite things, doesn’t matter what. Food, hobby, author, book, verse, whatever.
EM: Okay, favorites are in no particular order: Daisies, 50s music, singing loud in the car when it’s just me and God, singing loud in the car when I’ve got some of my girls from the youth group and we’re playing Christmas carols, coffee!, caramel Frappucinos, homemade chocolate chip cookies, staying close with God, beaches, anything ocean or water related – that includes snow, s’mores over a campfire, starry nights, sunsets, hanging out with my family, spending time with my boyfriend, meeting friends for coffee, watching movies, reading, reading Psalms, dressing up really nice but also having days where I just wear sweats… oh my, the list could go on forever.

JW: I happen to know that Cheesecake Factory is your favorite restaurant. As it is also one of mine, I wanted to compare notes on the cheesecake. What’s your favorite?
EM: I absolutely adore the Chocolate Pecan Turtle cheesecake! I plan on living near a Cheesecake Factory at some point in my life. I’m thinking maybe the sooner the better, because my metabolism isn’t going to get any higher.

JW: Well, if you’re ever down in my neck of the woods, er, beach, we’ll have to get together and go. Although I must say that my Chocolate Tuxedo Cream has got your Chocolate Pecan Turtle beat all to pieces. Ha! Okay, last question. I would love to hear two bits of random advice—one writing-related and one not.
EM: Writing Advice: If you have the talent and the desire to write, don’t ever give up! God doesn’t gift where He doesn’t expect it to be used. Also, try really hard to not edit yourself as you’re writing, but wait to go back through the next day or even after you finish the manuscript to edit. Editing while you’re in the thick of it just disrupts the flow. General Advice: Don’t play 3-on-3 basketball in flip-flops.

JW: I’d love to ask the story behind that last bit of advice, but I won’t, just in case you’re going to use it in one of your novels. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview!

To learn more about Erynn Mangum and her books, check out her adorable website at . She is the author of Miss Match, and the JUST RELEASED sequel, ReMatch from NavPress. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Valley of Praise!

In the midst of all our struggles, the daily battles of discouragement that we as writers face, we sometimes forget that our primary purpose in life is to glorify God. The Bible speaks much of praise, but perhaps the most unusual scenario is shown in 2 Chronicles 20. Israel's enemies were camped around them, and it seemed like a time to gather the weapons of war. Instead, Jehoshaphat went to meet his enemies knowing that the battle had already been won:

"After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
"Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.
"As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated . . . So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day."

Wednesday Wonders is our Valley of Praise. Here we come to share with each other that God's love endures forever. As Jehoshaphat showed, praise is not only based upon past events, but on future hope. So let's share our praises with each other, and give thanks to the Lord because his love endures forever.

What do you have to praise the Lord for today?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fighting fuzzy-mindedness

Is your brain feeling befuddled, or are your creative juices congealed?

The next time you need a jumpstart to kick your creativity in gear, reach for a lollipop. Research shows that something about the sucking action helps stimulate your brain and get you thinking again. So the next time you need a writing break, run to the store for a bag of suckers (preferably not Dum-Dums since you know you’re way smarter than that :-) ). Add them to your secret stash of snacks (because don’t we writers all have one of those for emergency situations?) and get ready to kiss your fuzzy-minded moments good-bye.

Enjoy (and if you don’t like the cherry Tootsie Pops, feel free to send them my way)!

Worry, fear, doubt...

When Cathy first mentioned this blog idea, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Then when I found out, I'd have the first post, I thought, no pressure. 8) Then, Cathy broke the ice with Friday Free For All. She posted a recipe involving chocolate. How can I compete with that?

Now I say this in jest, but the truth is, writers are often faced with worry, fear, doubt. What if I can't finish this story? What if I think this novel I wrote is pretty good, but everyone else thinks it's awful? What if I never get published?

"But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42 NASB

This passage has been written about quite a bit and there's a reason for that. BECAUSE WE FRET! We give up our peace and we play the what if game. Only one thing is necessary! Sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach. That's it.

Keep your focus on Jesus and let Him bring about what He has planned. It may be the words you are writing are meant for you and you alone. Or maybe for your critique partner. Maybe for the agent or editor. Maybe for many readers. Or maybe for Jesus. And that's all that matters. Writing for Jesus.

Quick Exercise:
Take a moment and substitute your name for Martha's. Then lay the fears, the worry, the doubts down.

Next, substitute your name for Mary's. Now choose to sit at His feet and soak in His words. Choose the good part. Rest in knowing you are right where God wants you.

It's not easy. Nothing about this walk in faith is easy. But it is GOOD.

Today is Monday Mission Impossible, but I say nothing is impossible for our God. Share what seems impossible in your life and let's give them to God in prayer.

"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Matthew 18:20 NASB


Sunday, October 21, 2007

An Ordered Day of Rest

This photo is one of my Awe Attack moments. It's a beautiful and restful view of Montana. I pulled over on the side of the road and stood up in the door of my car to snap this on my digital camera. I look at it often for a restful moment.

But sometimes we don't listen to our need to rest. Sometimes we keep plugging along until we are exhausted. Then our doctor tells us to stop because we are experiencing medical exhaustion.

God had it all planned out. He said, "And on the seventh day-rest." He knew our bodies needed time to recup. But just like we ignore the Ten Commandments (that were meant for our protection) now adays, we ignore the wisdom of the ages.

What does medical exhaustion look like or feel like? Inability to concentrate, dizzy or light-headed, unable to absorb your food, fatigue, shortness of breath, and racing heart/pulse.

How do I know? Ahem, um...

I guess even I need to be reminded to listen to my Creator.

So today, listen to the Wisdom that created you-rest. And stay tuned for ideas on how to incorporate rest into your life. What it looks like and how to practice refreshing rest. (Hey, the best way to learn it is to teach it, lol.)


Another introduction...

Angela Breidenbach (Angie) is a multi-published award winning author/speaker. She is a member of the ACFW, RWA (and several sub-chapters), volunteer for ACFW Conference Planning Committee, a Stephen Minister, and a candidate for Mrs. Montana America.

Ah heck, let's go to first person since I'm learning how to write it in fiction...I'm married with a combined family of 6 (yep, Leigh we're tied-and I used to homeschool) and live in Montana. The kids all feel it is their sovereign duty to continue to bring home all the pets they can find to fill our 2 acres in the country. To date, we have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 horses. We've managed to make one of the kids take his fish, another take her birds, and yet another take his puppy and 2 kittens as they moved out.

I love to write devotionals, non-fiction, and women's inspirational fiction. I love to do inspirational public speaking. I'm working on building my speaking career as we "speak" by talking to groups locally and entering the Mrs. Montana America Pageant.

Interesting tidbits, hmm, I am a synchronized swimmer and assistant coach, Assistant Minister (liturgist/cantor) at my church, Past President of my Toastmaster's club, and a heating business owner. My kids range from 16-23 and we are adding a Japanese exchange student to our high school menagerie this year.

What do I hate? Coconut and fish.
What do I love? Music, good books, great food, cats, chocolate, and travel.
Favorite color? (My son says this is a necessary part) Periwinkle blue.
Why do I write/speak? I can't help myself! I believe I am called to this field.

What's an Awe Attack? When I am struck by the beauty or wonder of something God has created, I mention how amazing it is, and my hubby says, "Are you having another awe attack?"

What am I passionate about? Supporting family members of the mentally ill, helping abused women get safe and learn skills to protect and support themselves, and promoting Montana. I believe that all the experiences we go through create a unique opportunity for God to work through each of us in His plan. It's our brokenness that makes us able to help others.

How would I put all this into 4 words? God Uses Broken Vessels.
And that brings me to: How would I read more or connect more with Angie?
So glad you asked... :-D

PS I am also passionate about travel because it opens our minds and hearts to the people and places God created. My motto: Designer dreams not designer jeans.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another round of introductions

Lynda Schab has written greeting card copy for Blue Mountain Arts and DaySpring cards. Her work has also been published in various print and online magazines. In addition, she is a contributing author to
Peculiar People's first collaborative book project, Struggle Creek, which is in the final stages of publication.

Lynda works behind the scenes at, where over thirty of her Challenge entries have placed in the top ten and have been published in their quarterly anthologies.

While she's felt very blessed throughout her writing journey, Lynda's lifelong dream is to write a novel. She is getting closer to realizing her dream, as she is on the homestretch of finishing her first Mom Lit, Mind Over Madi, the first twenty-five pages of which recently finalled in, Get Your Stiletto in the Door contest.

Lynda recently discovered a new addiction (in addition to chocolate and eBay)...blogging! She's thrilled to be a part of Writers' Rest and looks forward to this new adventure.

Jenness Walker lives in Florida with her webmaster extraordinaire husband and Iggor, her laptop computer. She writes romantic suspense, romantic comedy, chick lit (with a co-author), and women's fiction. She has a minor in creative writing, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and has a newly acquired addiction to writers’ conferences. Jenness has been published in Marriage Partnership and Grit magazines, and her chick lit placed third in the 2007 Genesis Contest. Her goal is to write all the novels in her idea file before she dies…which could be a challenge, considering that with the size of the file at this moment, she’s booked for a couple decades. Unless, of course, she has to brand herself…

Hi, y’all! I’m Leigh, and I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Georgia. I have a degree in journalism and worked in the marketing/publications world before shifting to the work-from-home/freelance world in 1999.

I’ve written devotionals, children’s Sunday school curriculum and Bible study lessons for years. My first devotional book (Work-from-home Moms’ Devotions to Go) was published in 2006, and I have 2 devotional books for teen/tween girls in the works. I’m counting the days until the first one hits my doorstep!

I thought I would always write those same kinds of things … until the fiction bug bit and inundated my feeble little mind with ideas. I joined ACFW in Dec. 2006 and have learned so much in such a short time. I have much to learn but am thrilled with the journey and am having a blast!

My husband and I have been married for 17 years. He’s incredibly supportive of my writing and my crazy schedule (which is saying a lot, considering I usually live on about 4 hours of sleep). My children (ages 8 and 6) just think it’s cool that Mama can usually shift her work around to go on field trips or eat lunch with them. (Just don’t ask our daughter about the Christmas stocking I’ve still not managed to finish … that I started cross-stitching before her first birthday.)

I love to write, love to speak and love to teach. Most of all, I love being able to meld those things together in ways to serve our awesome Lord! I’m honored to be part of this group and hope you’ll visit often for some well-deserved Writers’ Rest.

Tap, tap, tap – is this thing on?


I guess it is, so on with my speech. What was that, Cathy? Oh, ah, I’m not giving a speech? Just an introduction? Well, if you’re sure?

She’s sure, so I guess I’ll shelve the wonderful speech I’ve prepared.

Cathy, can I at least get a drum roll? No drum roll? What was that? Oh.

She says I’m taking too long, so I’ll have to wing this and make it brief. Writers usually edit out wordiness later, but I’ll attempt to do it first time around for my introduction I suppose. Here goes to the point:

Name – Audra Silva
Married – Yes

Ack – I’ve lost my voice! Not good for a writer to do at all. Let me try again:

I’m Audra, married to an amazing man (who finds me entertaining though I’m not sure what he means by that), and we have six (not a typo) kids. I’m a home schooling (who teaches who around here?), camera wielding, music listening, dance wiggling, novel reading, prose writing kinda gal learning to overcome my weaknesses by God’s AMAZING GRACE.

Sing with me. . .oh, no time for that. Cathy says I have to wrap this up now.

I’m excited to be here at Writers’ Rest where we hope to encourage, inspire and challenge you to write for His glory – that’s really all it’s about, right? Right. So let’s get to it.

P.S. A quick shout out to ACFW – I have learned so much from you all! THANK YOU!

Small print: Any errors in punctuation, grammar, etc. were intentional to see how much you were paying attention. You may point them out, but there’s no prize. Sorry.

Friday Free For All!

Okay, if I'm getting bored coming back here with nothing new to look at, I'm sure you all are too.
Technically speaking, we'll be up and running with the regular schedule starting Monday. However, for today,
I have something wonderful to share.
You're so going to thank me for this.
I will accept cash, fresh flowers or a publishing contract.

Martha Stewart I'm not, but I can get away with a few miracles in the kitchen. This is one of them. The recipe I'm about to reveal has been known to make grown men weep and have the most tenacious teenager purring at your feet like a kitten. You might even get a full sentence out of them. (the men or the teen? You decide). It's a great bargaining chip too.
I do have to say though, I think the secret is in the Bermuda bananas. If you have to use those Chiquita or Dole things, well, I just can't guarentee success. And yes, since you asked, this does include chocolate. What? It's a writers blog for crying out loud!

Here you go...

Cathy's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

1 3/4C Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Shortening
2/3 Cup Sugar
2 eggs well beaten
1 Cup mashed bananas
Chocolate Chips - totally up to you, I usually use about half a regular size bag, Toll House or whatever. And maybe a little extra banana mash too. Yes, I am the Queen of Improvisation.
That said, here's what I do. Chuck it all in a big bowl and turn on the electric mixer and mix until there's no chunks.
If you must do it the proper way, have at it:

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Beat shortening until creamy in mixing bowl. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with bananas a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Turn into a well-greased bread pan and bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees about 1 hour 10 min or until bread is done. (DUH)

If you seriously have time to do it that way, please come to my house I have many jobs for you to do...
Chuck it and run kiddos...

Happy Baking! Let me know how it turns out!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just A Note!

While we're getting set up, if you leave us a note, I'll add your url to our list, either under friends,
or authors. If you don't see your name up yet and would like to be listed, give me a shout!
On the other hand, if you do see your name and DON'T want to be listed...well, let me know that too!

More Intros!

Meet three more of our Contributors, Betsy and Lori, and Janice!

Betsy Ann St. Amant, an inspirational author in North Louisiana, has a heart for three things - chocolate, red polka dot shoes, and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her writing. She has a bachelor's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University and contributes monthly articles to Her first Christian Fiction novel, Midnight Angel, is now available on Amazon! You can contact her at

Hi! I'm Lori (also a proud ACFW member)... I spend most of my time as an evil villain chasing my beautiful princess and handsome prince around our castle. My long-suffering husband helps me sneak writing time in between nefarious deeds and occasionally orders take-out for the sake of the cause. I write contemporary women's fiction, but I love reading any book that shows me something more about who God is and who I am. I want to keep growing so I can write my own books that way.

I like thunderstorms, recycled textiles, Anthropologie and Jacques Pepin. I dislike pickled fruit, the sound of brooms on concrete and the Oakland Raiders.

I can't wait to join you on your own writing journey--it looks to be an adventure!

Coincidently, or not, Janice LaQuiere started writing the day after she received her first computer, and tapped out her first novel, a gun slinging western, 3 months later. Since then she's completed 9 novels. She is an active member of ACFW, and her byline has appeared in Purposeful Singleness,, and Spirit-led Writer. Janice won first place in the 2006 Dixie 1st Chapter contest, and finaled in the 2005 ACFW Noble Theme Contest, and the 2006 ACFW Genesis contest. She's served as a judge for ACFW's Book of the Year contest, and the 2007 Christy Awards. You can vist her online at

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Introduce Yourself!

Okay, I'll start!
I'm Cath or Cathy or Hey You! Whatever...I answer to pretty much anything as long as it involves money or chocolate.
I live in Bermuda. Yes, I was blessed to have been born and raised there, and my hubby of 21 years have been back here since 1993 with our two wonderful kids. One has just started college, the other has three more years of high school.

I'm a domestic engineer and I write Women's Fiction. I am not yet published, but I'm sure working hard at getting there!
I love writing and my dream is to be able to make it a career. I have been patient thus far and still pray it will happen, but
only if it is God's will for me at this time.

I'm a proud member of American Christian Fiction Writers. I would not be where I am today in my writing journey were it
not for this wonderful group of people.

I look forward to hanging out with you all and getting to know you better!

Who What, When, Where...

Who - that's us, and YOU! This is your invitation to let us know who you are, what you write, where you live (if you want) and give us your credit card number...Okay, just kidding about the credit card!
Just introduce yourself in the post that says Introduce Yourself.

What - Here's how we'll run the blog:

Mission Impossible Mondays -
Share your struggles. What are you wrestling with in your writing life or personal life? How can we pray for you?
Let's lift those concerns to the Father and watch Mission Impossible become Mission Accomplished!

Tuesday Tidbits -
Writing related articles, tips, publishing/agent info. Anything goes. If you want something discussed, email me or one of the other contributors.

Wednesday Wonders -
Today we're going to praise God for the great things He's doing in our lives! And if you're not seeing any great things, we're going to praise Him for the great things to come!

Thursday News 'N' Views -
Got an upcoming conference you want us to know about? A writing contest? A book review to share? Today is the day!

Friday Free For All -
Whatever you want. Brainstorm, send in the first paragraph of your wip, share a poem or scripture passage that's inspired you. Give us your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Tell us about your dog. We don't care, just share!

When: Monday - Friday
Where: Right Here.

Let the games begin...


Welcome to Writer's Rest! We're so glad you stopped by!
We hope this will be a place of community for writers.
A place where you can put your feet up, relax, rejuvinate
and recharge those batteries.
Share with each other.
We all have hopes and dreams, and we're all in different stages
in our writing career. Everyone is welcome here, whether
you're still plowing through your first manuscript or working on your fifth.
Let's encourage each other, pray for each other and spur one another on to good deeds.

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, we're writing for the King!

Come on in and sit a spell...