Tuesday, March 27, 2012


by Connie Almony  

Do writers have a God-Complex?
Well maybe.

One of the things I love about writing is how it gives me a glimpse of what it is like to be God. No, I do not have the power to alter realities … but I do have the power to alter “unrealities.” And oh what an exciting prospect. I can make new worlds and tweak them to be just what I want. I can control the weather, making it rain when the crops need water, and clear for the picnic. But one thing I still have no control over is … the human character.

Of course, I could create nice little robotic people who do what I say and treat everyone nice, including me. But that’s like when your husband says he loves you right after you ask him to. Like kissin’ your sister.

Though, I’m not going to say I know what God was thinking when He gave us Free Will, I can understand how He might want us to choose Him on our own, and not because He told us to.

So, I end up with these characters who, even though I want them to do one thing, I scratch my head and say, “He’d never do that.” It just doesn’t fit with who he is. But what if that thing I want him to do would really help? I might have to prod him in some way. Give him some sort of life-changing event that will make him want to do that one thing … even if it hurts. 
I do it. Sometimes I cringe as my character traverses this difficult land, and I have even shed a tear as I read through the scenario, but I know it’s necessary. My character needs it to grow. So I let it happen.  
I suspect God does the same thing.   
Connie’s experience includes working as a Christian Counselor in Columbia, Maryland. She has been married almost twenty years to a man who graciously encourages her writing obsession, and has two beautiful children who inspire her.
            Connie hosts the blog Living the Body of Christ and also writes book reviews and short fiction (Fiction Fun) for InfiniteCharacters.com.
Here is Connie Almony.

Please welcome her to Writers Rest by leaving a comment. Thanks in advance. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

OCTOBER BABY -- A Movie Review

by Molly Noble Bull

“Christians don’t know how to make movies.”
At least, that’s what my former pastor said after several poorly made Christian movies hit the dust, and that might have been partly true in the past. However, October Baby was different. It could be the best Christian movie I’ve seen, so far.
Nineteen-year-old Hannah (Rachel Hendrix) collapses on stage during a play she is starring in, and her parents finally decide it’s time to tell Hannah the truth. Her health problems stem from the fact that she was adopted after her birth mother attempted to abort her. 
October Baby is about forgiveness and might well be the first movie ever made that talks openly about abortion from a Christian worldview. I hope more movies on the silent holocaust called abortion will follow so everybody will know that a baby is a human being from conception and not a blob of flesh.  
(Jeremiah chapter one and verse five.)
Regardless of the deep storyline, I laughed in the funny parts of the movie. At other times, I cried. More than that, the story moved me—encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and do something to stop a terrible wrong.
It is my prayer that the subject of abortion will be discussed again and again until hearts melt and abortion is removed from the face of the earth forever. 
Click below to see October Baby, the movie trailer.
To find a theater near you that is showing the movie, click below.
I give October Baby five stars, and I hope all of you will go and see it. The movie is in theaters right now. And tell others to see it, too. When we buy tickets to good movies like October Baby, we are sending a message—telling Hollywood that this is the kind of entertainment Americans want and certainly need—now more than ever.
I would like to introduce Connie Almony, a talented writer who will be writing articles for Writers Rest very soon. 
The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities by Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Jane Myers Perrine, Ruth Scofield and me, Molly Noble Bull, is a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith contest for writers. The winner will be announced on March 31, 2012. 

The Overcomers is available in paperback and as an e-book. To find it online and at walk-in bookstores, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stormy Weather

The best thing about the month of March is you never know what you’re going to get. At least that’s how it is here in southern Ohio. This year we’ve experienced some crazy stormy weather just like every other part of the nation. This March may also see you facing stormy weather in other aspects of your life—whether in your marriage, work, friendships or the lack of friendships, with your kids or in financial situations.

We often face stormy weather in our writing too. Maybe that’s where you are right now. Because of work and family obligations you haven’t started a new book in two years. Or you’re struggling to finish the story languishing on your hard drive because you don’t have the passion for it you once did.

The first thing to do is stop blaming yourself for the storm. You’ve heard the quote; “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The only thing we can do about the weather is prepare for it and deal with it. If you’re facing a storm in your writing, don’t lay blame. Instead figure out where you are now and deal with it.

Maybe you need to ride out your storm. Maybe the best option in an evacuation plan. They have them for hurricanes. Why not your writing? Perhaps God is calling you to do exactly that for a season.

Maybe you need to approach your storm in a different way. Maybe you’ve spent so much time struggling with the one place in your book that has you stymied, you’ve given up hope of ever finishing it. Try a totally new approach from a different angle. Breathe new life into it. It could be something truly simple holding you back.

You could be complaining about the weather when the weather has nothing to do with it. Maybe you’re just looking for excuses not to write because writing is hard and thinking about writing is a lot more fun than actually sitting down and doing it. (This is usually where I find myself.)

Examine your weather patterns. Control the areas you can and survive the ones you can’t. Don’t just complain about the stormy weather in your writing. Figure out what’s causing those highs and lows and battle through them.
Here’s to a blessed and productive writing week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


by Molly Noble Bull

The Heavens and the earth were created by my Heavenly Father. But I had an earthly father, too.
His name was Sam Noble.  

                                                                Sam Noble

After over a year of planning and building, the Sam Noble Park was dedicated in Sarita, Texas on Wednesday afternoon, February 15, 2012. The next two photos were taken at the park on the evening the park was dedicated. 

However, the original park was started years earlier when my father was a county commissioner in Kenedy County, Texas.

I called Sam Noble Papa, and there is nothing Papa and Mama liked more than church, children and ballroom dancing. I only wish they could have been there on the night the park was dedicated to see the children, their parents and others enjoy that wonderful park.
Papa was born on December 18, 1904 in Hallettsville, Texas, the youngest of eleven children. His father was a county sheriff, and Papa was eleven years old when his father died. His widowed mother moved her younger children to Kingsville, Texas. Some of Papa's older brothers and sisters lived in Kingsville and worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and my grandmother bought a home in Kingsville where Papa lived during his early years in the area.
My father was always interested in cowboying and had worked on a ranch near San Antonio, Texas before becoming a Kingsville city fireman. It was while he was working for the Kingsville Fire Department that he met and married my mother. Mama was the daughter of a Texas cowboy and ranch manager who ran the Santa Rosa Ranch in Kenedy country Texas for almost forty years. 
Papa became interested in serving his community while working for the Kingsville Fire Department. At the same time, he began spending weekends and summer vacations working cattle with my grandfather on the Santa Rosa Ranch and gaining still more ranching experience. 
When I was five years old, Papa moved us to the Santa Rosa where we lived for one year, and Papa worked for my grandfather, punching cattle. My grandfather retired from the ranch around 1952, and Papa was hired to run the Santa Rosa. Soon after that, the Santa Rosa Ranch was divided between the owner's three sons, and Papa became the first foreman of the La Paloma Ranch where he worked until he retired at age sixty-five.
While working on the La Paloma, Papa was elected Justice of the Peace and then County Commissioner of Kenedy County, Texas. He continued as county commissioner after he retired. 
I am an only child, and I married my college sweetheart. We have three sons and six grandchildren, and all three of our sons are involved in ranching in Texas today. Our grandchildren are involved in 4-H and FFA. 
My father died in a nursing home in Kingsville on December 25, 1989, and he and my mother are buried in the cemetery in Riviera, Texas.   
The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities by Margaret Daley, Ginny Aiken, Jane Myers Perrine, Ruth Scofield, and me, Molly Noble Bull, was published by Westbow Press in late 2011. Recently, we learned that The Overcomers is a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith contest for Christian writers. The Overcomers is a popular book title right now; so when looking my book, write in the entire title. The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities.

To find all my books and novels, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot at online and walk-in bookstores.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


 by Molly Noble Bull www.mollynoblebull.com/

Cattle come in many sizes, colors and breeds. Some are bulls; some are cows. Some are calves, and some are heifers.
The dictionary states that a heifer is a young cow that has not borne a calf. As a ranch manager’s daughter, I always think of a heifer as a young cow yet to be bred for the first time, in other words—a virgin.

Moses wrote in the Book of Numbers, chapter 19, about the mysterious sacrifice of the Red Heifer. According to the Bible, this red heifer must be unblemished, without defect and one that has never been yoked. To be the Red Heifer, I understand that she must be born in Israel. Today, cattle are shipped around the world. It would not be difficult for a young heifer or an American bull to be shipped to Israel before the breeding process began.

Click below to see a photo of a red heifer born in Israel and learn more about these interesting Bible facts. http://bibleprobe.com/redheifer.htm


As I mentioned, I came from a ranch family. My late father and my maternal grandfather were ranch managers--real cowboys. I spent part of my growing up years on a sixty thousand acre cattle ranch in South Texas that we didn't own but lived on, and today we live near the world famous King Ranch.
In 1920 the King Ranch formed the Santa Gertrudis breed of beef cattle, and an exceptional bull by the name of Monkey was used in cross breeding Brahma and the Shorthorn cattle. The result was beautiful, all red, Santa Gertrudis cattle.

Some cattle are black or brown with white faces and all combinations in between. However, pure Santa Gertrudis cattle are dark red with no white hairs on them that I am able to see, and those dark red cattle are pure to the breed. Could one of the all red females one day become the Red Heifer mentioned in the Bible?

Only God knows. But Santa Gertrudis cattle sure do look like the red heifer bred in Israel. If you clicked on the website above, you know what I mean.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What's your problem

Last time at Writers Rest Molly Noble Bull posted how to create a one sentence plot for your novel. I’d like to follow up and discuss how to create a problem for your hero. I’m not talking about the obvious problems like finding true love or conquering the villain. I’m talking about deeper, internal conflict that makes publishers offer contracts and readers beg for your next book.

Sometimes we write half the book before we realize we don’t really know what the heroine’s problem is. Sure, we know she wants to find true love. We even know she can’t have her true love because he’s engaged to someone else. Or he’s in a coma. Or he’s a terrorist. Okay, maybe not that one, but you get the picture.

Or our hero is going to save all the little children who fell down a mineshaft. Or he must stop the killer before he strikes again.

Good problems to be sure, but our characters need a personal problem as well. Something besides the killer breathing down his neck or threat of a mine collapse or the love of our lady-fair’s life lying in a coma.

Let’s have a little fun here. Instead of how-to tips to teach how to come up with that inner conflict, let’s post examples.

For my current work in progress, my heroine wants a little respect. Yup.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. No one takes her seriously. Not her husband or her sons or the man who rams into her car. Everyone walks all over her. She allows it, thinking it makes her a submissive, godly woman. In reality she’s a coward. She doesn’t want to face her son’s drug use or her husband’s apathy or her own lazy parenting. As the story progresses she finds herself in a position that requires true courage. Yes, a real bad guy who wants to kill her. When she sees she can overcome an external giant, she knows, through Christ, she can overcome the lies Satan has made her believe her whole life that she is ineffective, insignificant and unworthy of respect.
What about the hero/heroine of your current work? What’s her problem and how does she overcome it? Sharing your character’s obstacles may help another writer develop growth in his own characters. 

March 6, 2012. 
The Jewish feast of Purim starts today at sundown and last until tomorrow at sundown. Though Purim is not mentioned as one of the seven Feasts of Israel, it is said to be a happy celebration based on a time when Persia (present day Iran) had a Jewish queen, Esther, and Queen Esther was helpful in keeping the Jewish people from being killed by their captors. 
I plan to read the Book of Esther today and tomorrow.