I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Monday, January 30, 2012

Writing Lessons Learned From a Knitter: Pick Up Dropped Stitches and Fill in Holes

BY Delores Topliff
I love my two sons. When they were young, I determined to make homemade, personalized gifts whenever possible. And so, I taught myself knitting from library books.

The first zip-up red sweater with two fun elephants on front and back for my oldest son --then age 3 -- is still in the family. For that kit, I faithfully matched every detail of yarn thickness, color batch, needle size and stitch counts per inch. Knit one, purl two, knit one, purl two. The end result? Perfect -- voted outstanding and still cherished.

But as I gained confidence I improvised more with yarns, thicknesses and needle sizes. Socks, mittens, slippers, head bands turned out great. Some were even from raw wool I carded and spun myself, experimenting with natural dyes. But younger son's orange and yellow fifth birthday sweater drooped around him. To make amends, I next tried a complicated orange and brown Fair Isle pattern that didn't fit him either. Through that process, I learned to choose and plan patterns well and stick closer to them.

Those lessons learned fit other pursuits, including writing.

  1. Establish a clear overall picture of the final product desired. Develop your pattern and stick to it.
  2. Assemble needed materials. Include interesting elements and pleasing colors.
  3. Follow design and faithfully count rows. Unravel mistakes and take time to redo steps correctly. Fill in missed stitches.
  4. Complete final details before showing off your quality piece.
  5. Present your personalized gifts to loved ones -- or your reading public.
  6. Enjoy basking in the joy of a job well-done.
  7. After resting briefly, plan your next project, assemble new materials, set fresh goals -- and repeat the process with joy!

What about you? What key lessons learned in any other field can you share that make your writing easier and more successful?



photo by juliaf/stockxchng.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Procrastination & the Writing Life: There's Always Tomorrow...

The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. (Mary Heaton Vorse)


At 12:00:01 on January 1, 2012, I promised myself this year was going to be different. I would get organized and be on time. I would meet every deadline, write at least 2000 words every day, and save hundreds of dollars a month on groceries by clipping coupons. All while keeping the house clean and the laundry baskets empty, effectively homeschooling my children, and having dinner on the table at a respectable time. I had high hopes for the coming year and I told myself I would succeed; I just needed to buckle down and be responsible.

Sigh. Here I am, 27 days into the New Year, and I’m already failing. I’m no more organized than I was in 2011, I have yet to write a single word toward my WIP, and I can’t even find half of my coupons because my house is such a mess. 

How did this happen? I bought not one, but two planners. I made a trip to Staples for pens and paper, a dry erase board with a rainbow of dry erase pens, and a giant desk calendar for keeping all of our activities straight. I even downloaded several goal-achieving and list-making apps on my iPod touch. And yet, here I am, falling behind. Why?

Am I lazy? Do I just not care enough about my family, my colleagues, and my writing to get my work done? Am I completely lacking in self control?

My name is Heidi, and I am a Procrastinator. And from the online searches I did today, it appears I’m not alone. There are hundreds of “You Can Beat Procrastination and Be a Super Awesome Parent, Spouse, Writer, Colleague, and Friend in Five Easy Lessons” type books on the market right now, and in this country, this problem goes back at least as far as Ben Franklin who warned us not to put off until tomorrow what can be done today.

We all procrastinate, in varying degrees and for various reasons. Some of us procrastinate because we are afraid; maybe of failure, maybe success. That last one sounds crazy, but I’ll admit that somewhere in the back of my mind, I know if I successfully write and publish one book, I will have to come up with more. And that terrifies me. 

Some of us procrastinate because we are perfectionists. We expect so much of ourselves that we worry we won’t measure up. Putting off doing a task means we still have the chance to do it perfectly. Writers, I think, are especially vulnerable to this mindset, especially when we know we will have to look over those first (and wildly imperfect) drafts.

There are many ways to procrastinate; sometimes on purpose, other times by accident. There are times when we simply under-estimate how much time or how difficult a task will be. For instance, last night I wanted to make a pot roast for dinner. According to the directions it needed to cook it for a total of 2 ½ hours. I figured if I started at 3:30, it would be done in plenty of time for dinner. I got caught up watching Dr. Phil, and decided I could wait to start until 4 and still have dinner on the table by 6:30. Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of time it would take me to actually prep the roast and get it into the oven. We didn’t sit down for dinner until almost 8 pm!

Other times we tell ourselves that something else is actually more important than the task we are avoiding. I can sit down at my desk with every intention of writing but my desktop and drawers are so messy I can’t find that one pencil I absolutely have to have. Two hours later, I’ve completely reorganized my desk but all my writing time is gone.

Or, we tell ourselves we’ve earned a short break. Television or Facebook for 30 minutes, we tell ourselves. The next thing we know, we’re half asleep in bed when we’re suddenly struck with the horrible realization that we never finished writing the blog post that was due three hours ago.  (Yes, true story. Last night.)

So how do we fix it?

First we have to recognize we are procrastinators. I read one writer’s checklist for the things we tell ourselves to avoid writing, and I’ve said every single one of them. In the past week!

  • “I cannot write until my desk/room/house is completely clean.”
  • “I haven’t done enough research/planning/prewriting.”
  • “I do my best work under pressure.”
  • “I need two/three/five/eight uninterrupted hours to write.”
  • “Every word has to be perfect, even in my first draft.”

After spending a great deal of time researching the topic of procrastination (translation: putting off actually writing this post) I found several helpful suggestions I am going to try.

  1. Find a procrastination accountability partner.
  2. Stop making excuses for, or justifying procrastination.
  3. Avoid distractions/temptations.
  4. PRIORITIZE! 
  5. Be more realistic about how long tasks actually take.
  6. Break larger projects into smaller tasks.
  7. Set reasonable goals with sensible deadlines. 
  8. Reward yourself for completing a task with time to spare.

Those of us who procrastinate are not going to change overnight, but we have to make every effort to improve if we are going to be happy and successful, and maintain our sanity. 

After all: “There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back.”Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, software engineers)


Which, if any, of the above excuses have you used to avoid writing? Which suggestion do you think would help you most?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Win Book Therapy for Your Scene!

Face it. For an unpublished author, it’s hard, if not downright impossible, to get constructive criticism of your work-in-progress. You summon the courage to show your story to your mother, your best friend, your spouse. They love it . . . Or they hate it. But they can’t tell you how to improve it. Unfortunately, contest feedback isn’t always helpful, either. Where can an unpubbed author get professional advice?

Actually, right here!

Hi, this is Roxanne Sherwood. We’ve had some great guests and given away fabulous books. Now, I’m excited to announce our Absolutely Best Contest--Ever! Here’s your opportunity to win a critique of your scene from Book Therapist and multi-published, best-selling author Rachel Hauck. (Plus, it’s great prep for contest season.)

To enter the contest, simply leave a comment on why you deserve--or need!--book therapy for your work-in-progress. Just be sure to be creative, maybe even a little bizarre. (Make it tough to choose a winning entry.) And please leave your email address.

The winner will submit a scene of no more than 1,000 words, plus a log line, or a hook, to Rachel Hauck. (A log line is sentence or two that hooks the reader.) Here’s the log line for Hauck's upcoming release, The Wedding Dress.

One dress. Four women. An amazing destiny.

Book Therapist Rachel Hauck
is an award-winning, best-selling author. A graduate of Ohio State, she spent 17 years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full-time. She is the past president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and now serves as an advisor. She’s married and lives in central Florida. For more information and for private book therapy, go to http://www.mybooktherapy.com/.

To enter this fabulous contest, leave a comment on why you deserve/need book therapy, along with your email address. (Believe it or not, but we've had contests where we were unable to contact the winner. If we can't contact you, you won't win.) The deadline to enter is midnight, this Friday, January 27, 2012. The winning entry will appear here on February 6, 2012. Good luck!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Two Years before the Mast Or What to do When Your Writing Gets Beached




Each writer goes through his or her time of shipwreck. Times where you cannot squeeze a word onto paper for any price.

Note that I am not speaking of writer’s block.

I am speaking of that time in your life when circumstance takes over and writing not only takes a back seat, but becomes a distant dream.

In Richard Henry Dana’s book called Two Years before the Mast, he journals the miserable years he served as a common sailor aboard the brig ship Pilgrim. In it he describes hunger, scurvy, storms, beauty and misery of all sorts.

This journey would only last two years, but what he saw would change his life forever.

 Like Dana, your time in a dismal situation will pass. When it does, a new normal will take its place.

Many people will tell you to be thankful for the new experiences you now have to enrich your stories. That may be true. I want to give you something else to consider:

Your shipwreck had purpose.

The Bible says:

Ecc 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

The time to write will return but remember:

Don’t allow fear to grip you over all the conferences or contest deadlines you missed, or the blog posts you should have written etc.

Don’t feel like your career has passed you by and all that time you spent building your platform is lost.

These times of trial are ordained by God. If we read down a little further we see why.

Ecc 3:10  I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.



Webster explains exercised as: trained; disciplined; made skillful by use…

Dana didn’t just write a book destined to be a classic. His trials as a common sailor opened his eyes to injustice in a new way. Dana became a prominent anti-slavery activist and helped to found the FreeSoil Party.

To this day, Dana’s book is still considered valuable as a historical resource on 1830’s California.

We may never fully understand the purpose of these rare times of tribulations, but we can be certain of one thing

God is a redeemer of time. Step out in faith. Sit in your chair and just write. Allow God to restore. Allow what He has done in you to produce good fruit, like it was intended.

Joel 2:25  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…


What’s your story?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tweaking the Lines: Revising Your Writing

One of the fastest ways to flounder in writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, occurs when a writer thinks every word they write must be preserved in stone. Only the Ten Commandments merited that status.

We have erasers on pencils and delete keys on computers because almost every sentence we write can improve with a tweak or two. (Believe me, I’ve already used the delete key in the first three sentences!) The Ponderers boast of our own “evil editor”, Beth Vogt, who keeps her figurative red pen hovered over our blog. (We call her that with great affection, and I’m already wondering if two parenthetical statements in one paragraph will make the cut.)

Let me show you a few examples of taking a sentence and tweaking it into something better.

First try: He saw right through her. (Too commonplace.)

Tweaked: Her emotions were a glass house for him. (A little trite plus a being verb.)

Second tweak: The man used x-ray vision on her emotions. (Still didn’t sound quite right.)

Third tweak: The man read her, lingering over every emotional hue like a poet. (Better.)

Here’s another example.

1.  Ben knew involving his emotions was playing with fire. (Cliché.)

2. Involving his emotions, ranked right there with handing a 9-year-old boy a fist full of matches.
 (Same general metaphor, but a bit more vivid.)

I’ll show you one more example of some lines I’ve tweaked.

1. He clenched his teeth, prepared to get this over with.
2. He clenched his teeth, prepared to endure the storm with Lisa.
3. He clenched his teeth, prepared to last out Hurricane Lisa.
4. He clenched his teeth, prepared to brace for Hurricane Lisa

I’m not saying any of these sentences will win a Pulitzer, but I hope you can see an improvement. Most of the time, you should concentrate on revising sentences with "being" verbs and generic nouns. A strong action verb adds a spark of vitality to our sentences, and a specific noun zeros in on an exact picture.

I’d love for you to help me! Take any of the examples above and tweak it. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

~Teri Dawn Smith

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Check engine light?

I knew we should have gotten a green one.

Three months ago, our car lease was up, and we needed a new vehicle. Knowing baby was on the way, my hubby insisted on “family size.” After diligent searching, we finally ended up with an SUV. As we finished signing the papers, the car dealer says, “So, you know I might not be able to get you the earthy green color you want.”

Wait, what? I thought that’s what I just bought?

Turns out, he couldn’t get a green one with the specifications we were looking for. So, we ended up settling for my least favorite color SUV. White.

Fast forward two months in my white SUV. The traction control light in my brand new SUV is constantly flickering on and off. The engine is making a whining noise. It’s idling terribly. Then, the check engine light chimes in. Perfect.

So, I bring the new SUV to the dealership. They look the vehicle over and say something about a coil in a cylinder somewhere deep in the engine that may be the problem. But, of course, they’re not really sure.

The proposed solution: Can I take it home and continue driving it, paying more attention to when it “acts up?”

Me: Um. Sure, I guess. And if it continues?

The answer: Well, if it’s what we think it is, next your ABS will go out as the computer compensates and shuts down systems one by one. Then we’ll know it’s the cylinder thingy.

Me: Hm. That sounds dangerous. Maybe we should just get the cylinder thingy checked out now.

Dealership: Oh, no, we’d have to pull the whole engine out, and that usually causes more problems down the road. We’d rather narrow the cause down first.

(At the expense of an eight-month pregnant lady’s anti-lock brakes during a Minnesota winter? Really? That’s the best solution?)

Apparently. Two days later, the check engine light and the traction control light begin blinking in tandem. Back to the dealership it goes…hopefully to get it’s cylinder thingy checked out.

We all have circumstances in our lives and in our manuscripts where we're tempted to patch things up, or hold out to see if they get worse. Sometimes it seems simpler to ignore a critique buddy’s feedback than rework the engine of your manuscript. But just like my SUV, if you ignore potential “check engine lights” that critique buddies point out in your WIP, you may just get stuck overhauling it later, like my SUV that’s in the shop now.

Have you ever had a situation where you made a quick fix instead of meeting the challenge head on? How did it impede your progress down the road?

Amy
Image from freefoto.com

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Writer's Life: Being Instead of Doing

“But Martha was distracted…And Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed and Mary has chosen that good part…” Luke 10:40—42


Most mornings I hit the floor running with a million things on my to-do list. I have pottery orders to fill and jewelry to make, abstinence classes to teach, emails to check, appointments to keep, people to take care of and of course, I have to find time to write…people who know me say I’m the busiest person they know.

Sometimes I remind myself of a juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air.

Just like Martha, I get so busy I lose sight of what’s most important. I’m not saying all the things I do aren’t worthy activities. They are, just as Martha’s activities were, but I’m convinced the greatest enemies of God’s best for my life are the good things I’m involved in.

I want to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet. I want to camp out in His presence and feel His love, doing that best thing He has planned for me—writing the story He’s given me. I want to be into being instead of always doing. And the only way to do that is to STOP:

Sit quietly in His presence…
Take time to listen to Him…
Open my ears instead of my mouth…
Pray for His guidance and seek His best for my life…

…AGAIN.

You see, I’ve been here before. Burned out and frazzled because I took on one more thing…

“Can you…?”
“Sure, no problem.”


And each good thing I agreed to do chips away at my quiet time as well as my writing time. I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that He’s given me a task to complete, and I can’t finish it if I don’t choose that best part.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Pat Trainum
www.lovefaithandmurder.com
http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 13, 2012

Need a Change in Your Life? Just dream.


The hardest thing about a dream is the process. The series of events that lead up to the realization of your dream that rips your life from its moorings and changes you.

It takes work to fulfill a dream and sometimes we have to stock up on supplies of courage, determination, and grace just to get through.

A year ago this week I had my first interview for the job that moved me across country to Nevada. Even as much as moving west had been a dream of mine and my husband’s, there were days I wanted to run back to the shelter of familiarity, much like a child runs home to their mother. Thankfully, those days are becoming less frequent.

My adventure in writing has been like that too. A dream I've had since grade school--to write a book. Be published. Be an inspiration to one lost soul.

Yeah right.

Much to my dismay, there were days I threw up my hands and stomped away from my computer unable to put together one coherent sentence.

Whatever made me think I could write?

Then hours or days later I’d slip back in front of the keyboard and much to my amazement punch out a whole chapter or scene.

The human spirit is undeniably strong when faced with adversity and change. To achieve a dream we need to embrace change and grow. But it’s painful, exasperating, and emotionally challenging.

As writers we are dreamers, we do our best then often fall on our face. The key is to pick ourselves back up and start over. Look at Olympians that train for hours a day for one race, one game, one chance at the gold medal.

What if they had given up?

You have a dream. A chance to change. Don’t give up.

Teddy Roosevelt is an inspiration to me. Here is one of his quotes: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

Hold the course, keep on keeping on, don’t give in, don’t give up. We’re in there with you, rooting for your success.

This month is all about change. So what was the dream that changed you?

Jennie Atkins

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Elementary, Dear Watson

This is Jenness here, (well, not in the picture...) writing from my couch and wishing I could just sleep for about a month. You see, last weekend was pet adoption weekend. So for my birthday, we went to find the new addition to our family. We’d done research beforehand. We knew the size we wanted, the gender. We even had a particular dog in mind, and I was trying to come up with a new name for her, because well, she didn’t look anything like a Pinky.


Two hours after arriving, we left the shelter without Pinky. Instead, we had Watson—a dog that didn’t fit our expectations, but stole our hearts anyway…even if he is currently stealing some of our sleep while he’s at it.

Sometimes shaking things up a bit can result in something surprising. This month we’re blogging about change, so here are a few I’ve experienced in my writing journey:

~ Thanks to the suggestions of a Genesis contest judge, I rewrote a scene of my debut novel, Double Take. Because of her advice, I had a much better scene as well as a new, vital thread to weave throughout the rest of the book, making it stronger.

~ Years ago, I tried to write a romantic comedy. It amused me, of course, but the editors? Not so much. Then I tried writing with a very funny friend, and lo and behold—people other than me find us amusing! (Until January 14, our first book together—Bliss—is on sale for $2.99 for the Kindle and Nook. Feel free to see if you agree. :-) ) .

~ Currently, I’m working on the Story-That-Won’t-Go-Away. Do you have one of those? This WIP has scared me for years. It’s not a romantic suspense, really. Not a comedy, for sure. It has a lot of the things I don’t usually care for in novels. And yet, it’s the one that won’t let me go. The one that has challenged me the most, that has the most potential. The one that’s changing me—my perspective, my craft, my appreciation for God’s amazing grace.

It’s the one I am going to finally finish in 2012. That’s a resolution you can hold me accountable for! (The fifteen pounds, not so much.)

Your turn: What is one thing you’re planning on changing up this year in your journey?

~ Jenness Walker
http://www.jennesswalker.com/

Monday, January 9, 2012

Don't miss the 2012 MBT Deep Thinkers Retreat!


Hey folks, Melissa here, and I am about to say something which makes the sad face emoticon feel woefully inadequate:

I can’t go to the 2012 My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers Retreat this February. L

See what I mean? Donald Trump would totally fire that emoticon.

But it’s true. After two years of loving every second of the MBT Deep Thinkers Retreat, this year several factors are keeping me home.

But I definitely think you should go. And here’s why:

1)   Because it’s just plain one of the best retreats ever…and in beautiful Florida of all places. The Deep Thinkers retreat is a focused, five-day workshop with the goal of helping you take your manuscript the next step toward publication. In the mornings, you’ll learn about specific topics – like emotional layering and word painting. In the afternoon, you’ll apply those lessons to your current WIP with hands-on mentoring. And in the evening, you’ll discuss publishing issues, brainstorm, etc. And then there’s the whole hanging out in Florida thing!

2)   Because if you’re from anywhere like Iowa, where winter likes to throw temper tantrums fairly regularly, there’s a very good possibility your return flight will get postponed due to weather and you’ll have to stay an extra few days in Florida. Oh snap!

3)   Because Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck are the dynamic duo of teaching. I’m serious. They will make you think, look at your story with fresh eyes, employ new techniques and tools. It’s also quite possible they’ll make you laugh hysterically.

4)   You will meet cool people. Of all ages. From all different places. You’ll bond through both shared and varied experiences as writers. (Well, and it’s pretty much impossible not to bond when you’re sharing a bathroom.) And you’ll stay connected after the retreat. The very existence of this blog is proof.

5)   You’ll discover something new about yourself as a writer...or about your story…probably both. Both years I attended the Deep Thinkers, I really did, well, think deep. I walked away with not only renewed excitement about my story, but also my faith.

But the main reason I think you should go?

Because I can’t.

Huh?

Yep, I’m bummed I can’t make it this year, but that means there’s a spot open for someone else…someone for whom God is going to open the door. Someone God has been prompting. I pray you’ll listen to His voice, invest in your writing dream and have an amazing week.

Get all the details on the 2012 Deep Thinkers Retreat (February 24-28) here.

Are you thinking about attending the retreat? If you’ve got questions, ask in the comments and I’ll try to answer. Have you been to a My Book Therapy or other writing retreat before? How did it impact you?  

Melissa Tagg
www.melissatagg.com

Friday, January 6, 2012

Change Equals Growth

Photo Source
I work with children on a daily basis. One of the most amazing moments of being an early childhood educator is seeing their physical and cognitive skills development. I praise my infant Little Darling for learning how to clap her chubby little hands. I praise my preschool Little Darlings for their letters and spelling their names. I praise my toddler Little Darling for sharing toys with her friends. One of the saddest things about these precious Little Darlings is they outgrow me. Their changes as they develop and grow older require higher levels of learning than what I offer.

And don't even get me started on my own boys. Our older son has chosen to leave his current university and course of study to enroll in culinary school ... three hours away. Our younger son is a senior in high school this year. In June, he will graduate and begin a new adventure as he studies photography. His flight from the nest will leave another empty place at the dinner table. 

While we may take out a leaf and make our dining room table smaller, this change equals growth in our home--growth as Hubby and I rediscover ourselves as a couple, growth as our boys study their passions and soar to reach their dreams, and eventually growth in our family size as they find a wife and start their own families. 

These changes don't come without bittersweet tears and tugs on the heartstrings. But we can't keep them children nestled under our wings forever. We need to encourage them to take flight and spread their own wings. With tissue in hand and memories of their childhoods scrolling through our minds like a Sunday afternoon matinee, we need to gently push them in the right direction to find their own ways in the world. And continually pray for God's protection and provision as they stroll down the paths He has laid before them. 

Proverbs 22: 6 reminds us, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

On Monday, Beth K. Vogt posted the MBT Ponderers are pondering a phase of discovery to see how we can meet our readers' needs. After all, our purpose is to touch our readers' hearts. Heidi Geis posted the following comment: "Personally, I've always sort of resisted change, but the older I get, the better I understand that change equals growth." Her words of wisdom stayed with me all week long, showing themselves in many ways. 

Change happens. And yes, it often comes with growing pains. We can resist change and grow stagnant, or we can embrace it and look forward to new opportunities and blessings.

Your turn: What changes are affecting your life right now? How do those changes make you feel? How are those changes helping you to grow?

Lisa Jordan
www.lisajordanbooks.com



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What will you do with the New Year?

It’s 2012, and change is in the air. Everyone is setting new goals and looking forward to making those goals happen. Expectations abound.

But what if last year’s goals resulted in dismal failure? As some of mine did. My goal was to get an agent, then an editor. I got rejections. So this year I was a little fearful about making new goals.

Until I thought about…the farmer.

Yes, the farmer. Think about it. Every spring, regardless of past failures, he plants a new crop, hope and anticipation mixing with the fresh turned dirt. He plants his seed in faith, and then he waits. He’s done all he physically can do. He can’t make the seed grow or control the amount of rain that falls. Those things are in God’s hands.

Like the farmer, we set our goals, do the preparation and look forward to seeing the harvest. But sometimes our goals don’t get the needed rain or they stagnate, and we perceive that as failure. So we quit trying. We become afraid to try new things.

What is fear keeping you from doing? Not writing because you fear you’re not good enough? Maybe you’ve written the story God laid on your heart, but you don’t send it out because you fear rejection, or you’ve been rejected. Or maybe there’s something new you want to try, but the fear of failing holds you back.

A few years ago, my eighty-something mother learned how to program a VCR. Last summer she wanted to learn how to use a computer but was afraid she couldn’t do it. I told her anyone who could program a VCR could learn how to Google. In a short period of time she was Googling and doing Face Book. She even has her own FB page. This past Christmas, she learned how to text.

So, if my ninety-year-old mother can risk failing, so can you. So can I. This week, my proposal goes out to a new agent and a new editor. Then I will wait. The harvest is in God’s hands.

Here at MBT Ponderers we’ve pondered and prayed about our new goals, and now we’re stepping out in faith as we implement a new look.

What new thing will you do this year?

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

Pat Trainum
www.lovefaithandmurder.com
www.ptbradley.com
http://mbtponderers.blogspot.com/
@PTBradley1

I asked God to teach me patience and He gave me a book to write

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: A Time for Change

In the midst of all the caroling and celebrating and worshiping and feasting and wrapping and unwrapping and even the occasional napping, the MBT Ponderers ... um, pondered during the last month of 2011.

In a flurry of emails and Facebook posts, we wrestled with the age-old question: Who are we? Why are we here?

The MBT Ponderers.

We're well aware we're not the only writers on the blogging block. We've been at this since July 2010. We've done some things well. And there are some things, quite frankly, we need to change. Improve. Mix up.

Let the change begin.

For the next month, things will look pretty much the same. But don't let that fool you. The MBT Ponderers are determined to refocus, reframe, rework this blog.

Why?

This year is not just about change for the MBT Ponderers. Nope.We could do that just by mixing up the font and the header photo.

While continuing to focus on Fiction, Faith and Friendship, the MBT Ponderers want to purposely focus on you -- our followers. Readers of fiction. And, yes, writers of fiction because writers read fiction too.

We'll be blogging about change for the rest of the month and looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Keep your eye on this blog come February.

Change is a-coming.

You tell us: Is there anything you'd like to see change here at the MBT Ponderers? What works for you? What doesn't? And if you'd like to share any changes you're making in 2012, we'd love to hear about those too.