Calling all AtoZMom Subscribers & Readers!!! This Blog Needs Your Input!!

Hey all!

I believe God has put upon my heart to grow this forum and reach more for Him.

Some of you may have noticed a few changes.  Lissette Trahan was added as a contributor with her amazing, God-inspired poetry.  I’ve started a Saturday Snippet column with sage words of advice.

Now I’m wondering what’s next?

So I’m asking you, my amazing and gifted readers and subscribers what would you like to see?  Guest authors?  More contributors?  A different area of ministry?  Affiliate groups with book suggestions?  Some kind of event postings?  An advertising forum for your business?  Some kind of question and answers feedback on the lessons or any area of spirituality you are struggling with?

These are just some ideas I’m having.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions for this site.

I would also like to invite feedback on how this site is doing.  Helping?  Hurting?  What can I do better?  What am I doing right?  Wrong?  Lay it all out!

You can either leave me a comment below or email me at atozmom.wordpress@gmail.com

Any ideas are appreciated!  This is your blog as much as mine, and I want to serve you!  I look forward to hearing from you all.

God bless and have a blessed and merry weekend!

Advertisements

New Feature/Page to My Blog…

Hey all!

I hope you all are enjoying Romans as much as I am!  Powerful, powerful stuff!

I have added a new page/feature to my blog, featuring amazing, Godly poems by the highly-talented Lissette Trahan.  She is inspired by the Holy Spirit who leads her to write from the heart.

You can access her work from the menu bar at the top of my home page or from the sidebar under “Lissette’s Lyrics.”  She will be contributing three times a week (baring breaks and such) so look for her God-given words to touch your heart!

Please feel free to comment on her poems!  She’d love to hear feedback!

God bless you all and have a truly wonderful weekend!

Old Content Made New?

Hey all!

I’m looking to write for a local newspaper again, so I approached the editor and he asked for samples.  Naturally, I came to my blog to search for some.  And what I found was this:  amazingly good stories from long ago.

What I’m wondering is this:  would you be interested in me re-posting them?  I was thinking maybe a link at the end of my devotionals or something?  Then it wouldn’t be a separate email/post and you could visit it only if you were interested.  Maybe once a week?  Fridays perhaps?

Thoughts or suggestions?

Advice on Query Letter

Hey all,

Below is my query letter for my newly-completed New Adult Novel.  Any advice and improvements would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Dear Agent,

When nineteen-year-old American college student Suzie Smith overhears a plot to blow up a building in London, her fun-filled year abroad now becomes a race against time to discover the details and stop the bombing. The main problem: one of the bombers is her boyfriend, Edward Long.

Convinced her unassuming, gentle boyfriend could not possibly be involved, Suzie pushes the knowledge out of her mind, chalking it up to the exorbitant amount of alcohol she has been consuming lately. Until the talk continues and escalates. She learns the building is none other than the Palaces of Westminster and the bombing is happening soon—less than a fortnight.

She reports what little she knows to the police who promptly dismiss her as a naive American—except for one hard-nosed Irishman, Inspector Reilly. However, he is unable to convince his bosses without more information, which he presses Suzie to learn.

Overwhelmed, Suzie decides her best strategy is to spend as much time as possible with Edward in hopes he’ll open up to her.  Along the way, Suzie has the time of her life, traveling to Paris and Scotland.  And Suzie does learn more—she learns she’s falling in love with Edward.

As the line between real and not real becomes blurred, can Suzie choose? If she betrays Edward, he may die. If she keeps her mouth shut, scores will die. How will she choose? And when she does, what will it cost her?

This is a contemporary new-adult novel and the first in a planned series. It is complete at 82,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

End Note:  Character names have been changed and details in paragraph four and the title omitted.  Also, any technical advice as well would be greatly appreciated such as are the stakes clearly shown?  Would you ask to see pages?  Why or why not?  Anything else you all see that I’m too close to see?

P.S.  For those non-writers out there, a query letter is the first step into landing a literary agent who sells your work to publishers.  It’s a critical component in getting published.

I Never Thought I’d Say This But…

I like editing.

I used to hate it.  Despise it.  Curse it.

Now, it’s a challenge to me.  To make my writing better.  To find the awkward wordings and sentences.  To tighten up my story.  To eliminate repetition.  To make my story the best it can possibly be in hopes of landing an agent and getting published.

What Keeps Me Going...

What Keeps Me Going…

I’ve set an unofficial deadline for myself of June 1st to finish this novel and begin querying. It’s finished. But I’m not sure if I’ll be done editing it by then.

But it’ll be close.  Very, very close.

Oops!  Shouldn’t use the word ‘very’ now should I?

I Can’t Quit (Even Though I’d Like To)…

I was in the middle of my second novel re-write when I got a critique back from a writing contest I had entered.  The critique was bad.  I was missing an “inciting incident” (which I had to look up. It’s the central conflict of the story and the moment the main character is forced to act and we learn what he or she wants the most).  The plot and dialogue were shakey to put it nicely.  But my novel “has a ton of potential” and “could be interesting”.

Seriously?

So I immediately stopped work on it and thought what else I could do with my life instead.  Read my books instead of kids books.  Teach (didn’t get that job either).  Or piddle-paddle around through life.  I was depressed about it to say the least and ready to quit altogether.

Finally, I realized while swimming the other day that God keeps closing doors He doesn’t want me to go down, but this writing door remains open.

While searching the Internet aimlessly (something I’m wont to do when I’m feeling down in the dumps), I read articles on writing.  One article said that a writer is someone who can’t quit writing.  Someone who feels compelled to write no matter the amount of rejection or the lack of success.  Someone who can’t do anything else but write.

That’s how I feel.  Something inside of me is still pushing me to write even though I don’t want to.  I can’t kill it.  It’s a desire that’s there and won’t go away.

Sigh.

So I guess I’ll keep writing (not that I have a choice about it).  And maybe some day this novel that will enter its third (and God-willing final) re-write will go somewhere.  That’s my prayer at least. While the door is still open…

Why Is It We NEVER Give Ourselves Enough Credit?

I just applied for a homeschool writing position with another blog.  They asked for a brief list of credentials and three writing samples related to homeschooling.  They offer a bit of compensation so I thought “Why not?”

So I list my resume per se:  I am almost done with my YA edit.  I write novels.  I wrote a newspaper column.  I blog.  I homeschool my kids.  Used to be a public school teacher.

Then I begin a search for my writings on homeschool.  I have a few here on this blog but they are old.  Then I suddenly remembered my newspaper columns I wrote.  I wrote a ton of homeschool stuff then.  So I drag all those up and copy and paste.

While I am copying and pasting, I am reading them.  I think, “Wow, these are pretty good!”  Then I think, “Actually, these are REALLY good.”

It made me realize:  I can write.  I am good at something in this world besides changing diapers and chauffeuring kids to soccer practice, music classes, swim lessons, etc.  I do have something to say that’s not kid-related.  And I have something important to say that doesn’t begin with a negative i.e. “No!” or “Don’t!” or “Stop!”

I think we as women and moms get so caught up in the outside world validating us that we forget that we don’t need validation from the outside world.  We forget God has stamped us as His from the moment we were born.  We forget we have everything if we have Him.  And we forget that we are enough; we are good; we are important.

God knows this.  So why don’t we?

Easy:  It all comes back to Him.

I forget this every day of my life.  I have to constantly remind myself of Him and the Cross.  And when I do, when I acknowledge Him in my mind, then I can acknowledge myself in my mind and it becomes a little easier to believe I am important after all.  I stand a bit taller.  I believe in myself a bit more.  And I give myself credit where credit is due.

Whether or not the outside world ever recognizes me is unimportant.  It would be nice, don’t get me wrong.  But in the end, it doesn’t matter.  All that does matter is Him.  I work for Him, through Him, and by Him.  Period.