Author Profile: Loretta Bouillon

In the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to some of my author friends who also contributed to 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers, published by InScribe Press. Today’s guest is Loretta Bouillon (https://lorettabouillon.wordpress.com/) who says:

I am a homeschooling mother of 3 amazing kids and also a writer, hoping to publish a book in the near future. I am married to an awesome man who has supported my vision to homeschool and raise our kids against the grain of the world. I am an advocate of excellent coffee (freshly ground beans daily!) and a sweet homemade treat daily. I am a city girl living a country life that just sort of happened. We live in a small town in Northern, British Columbia, Canada. Some day I hope to retire in a condo in downtown, Vancouver! For now, I am truly blessed to live on 4 acres, with a horse, 2 dogs, a bunny, a cat and a huge garden. My kids have space to create, roam around on dirtbikes, ATV’s, and horses. They have the freedom to explore, build, and grow. They know they are how good they have it! I am truly thankful to God as without Him, my life would not be this life.

Welcome, Loretta! Tell us about your upbringing and early memories.

I was raised in Kitchener, Ontario by two loving parents. I was brought up Roman Catholic and went to an all-girl Catholic high school. Being the oldest of 4 children, I have one sister and two brothers, all who still reside in Ontario. My siblings and I remain close despite the distance (as I now live in British Columbia).
Some of my earliest memories include happy times of going to my Grandparent’s home on Sundays and sitting at their kitchen table, drawing and writing stories while the adults played cards. We would entertain ourselves for hours with only a pencil and scrap paper!

Describe what led you to accept God’s gift of salvation. How old were you?

Growing up Roman Catholic, I had a basic understanding of God and Jesus. I went to mass weekly and had to take religion class in school from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Even though I would pray to God, I never understood that the necessary step to knowing God was having a personal relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. I realized my need for a savior when I was 32 years old. After trying most things the world had to offer and struggling with addiction for many years, I met a young man in my Alcoholics Anonymous meeting who was a Christian. He was blonde and looked angelic, but he was actually an ex-santanist (and also a pastor’s son!). I was drawn to the light of Jesus in him and asked him all sorts of questions about Christianity. He told me to just read the book of John, and he gave me his bible.I accepted the Lord on my own reading the bible. I met another friend in AA, a young woman who was also a Christian. She had many tattoos and was an ex-prostitute, not practicing however still living on Hastings street in Vancouver. These two people were influential in the beginning of my journey with Jesus. Although I have completely lost touch with them, I will always be grateful to how willing they were to share their faith with me.

When did you first become interested in writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing stories as a child and would enter all sorts of writing contests. Creative writing and English were always my favourite subjects in school. I have kept a diary for as long as I can remember. My adult version of my diary is now a prayer journal.

How would you define a successful writer?

My definition of a successful writer is not by the world’s standards. I would define a successful writer as one who communes with God through their pen and writes to become closer to God. I believe that all of our talents are from God and ultimately we are to use them for Him. For example, I also dance, however, I have never danced for the world. God has given me the gift of dance and when I dance for the Lord I feel closer to him and have been told my dance draws others deeper into worship. This would be the same for me as a writer. If my words impact others to ultimately glorify God then I am a successful writer.

What advice would you give a beginning writer?

I like to start my day by asking God for direction and writing in my prayer journal. It is a way I talk to God, and it unloads my heart so I can focus on other things; writing included. Set yourself a doable amount of time to write every day. That varies for me with the season of the year as well as the season of my life. I find it best to do this before I check my emails or social media as that way I avoid time-sucking rabbit trails.

Tell us about your current work in progress.

At the moment I am looking to publish my children’s picture book called, “Mommy, Why Don’t You Drink Beer?” It is a light-hearted conversation between a six year old boy and his mother about addiction and sobriety. I am also writing a novel about a woman’s journey with addiction and relationships, searching to fill that hole in her heart that only Jesus can fill. I also have a parenting book peculating in my mind but at the moment that is a testimony in the making.

How has being a Christian impacted your life path?

Being a Christian gives purpose to everything I do. Being a wife and mother, a daughter, a sister, a writer, an employee…..I can’t imagine doing any of these things without God at the center. It is hard for me to believe that I lived 32 years without the strength of Jesus by my side!

What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?

You know, I honestly never think about that. I guess I think about what would be said at my celebration of life and I would like the words spoken to say that I was a loving mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend.

7 Essential Habits Cover

If you’d like your own copy of 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers, you can purchase it at http://mybook.to/ChristianWriters1. Many of the contributing authors are currently participating in a blog hop. I invite you to follow along:

Ruth L. Snyder  http://ruthlsnyder.com/blog/ Monday, September 14th
Brenda Wood http://heartfeltdevotionals.com   Wednesday, September 16th
Janet Sketchley http://janetsketchley.ca/tenacity-blog/  Friday, September 18th
Jack Popjes http://www.jackpopjes.com/category/blog/ Monday, September 21st
Kimberley Payne http://kimpayne.wordpress.com Wednesday, September 23rd
Marcia Laycock http://www.writer-lee.blogspot.ca/ Friday, September 24th
Steph Nickel https://stephseclecticinterests.wordpress.com Monday, September 28th
Sally Meadows http://sallymeadows.com/blog Wednesday, September 30th
Tracy Krauss http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com Friday, October 2nd
Glynis Belec http://www.glynisbelec.com/blog.html Monday, October 5th

 


Announcing: 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers Blog Hop

In July I told you about the launch of a new e-book called 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers. I appreciated the opportunity to not only have my article, “Fit Writing Into a Busy Schedule” included, but to also help put the book together and see it through to publication. On Friday evening, September 25, 2015, InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship will be launching the paperback edition of the book. You can still join in the celebration by purchasing a ticket for the banquet (http://inscribe.org/product/fall-conference-banquet/). Better yet, come join us for the whole conference! (http://inscribe.org/events/fall-conference/) You can also purchase your own copy of the book in either e-book or paperback format at http://mybook.to/ChristianWriters1.

I love the variety this book contains:

-Written by 28 Canadian authors

-Poetry, articles, devotionals, and short stories

-7 themes: time with God, healthy living, time management, honing writing skills, crafting a masterpiece, submitting your work, and marketing

Here’s a sample poem for your enjoyment:

Why Do I Love Shakespeare?

(With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

By Alvin Ens

 

Why do I love Shakespeare?

Let me count the ways.

I love his characters

To the fidelity of kindred souls.

I love his vocabulary

To the deepest well of coining.

I love his humour

To the soul of comic relief.

I love his poetics

To the great expanse of the iambic.

I love his wisdom

To the heart of a philosopher’s wit.

I love his plots

To the height of the double cross.

I love him to the far reaches

Of heroes like Hamlet, Olivia, and Romeo,

To the villainies of Shylock, Cassius, and Lady Macbeth,

To the purities of Cordelia and Brutus,

To the entertainment of Falstaff and Sir Toby.

And if God choose, I shall but love him better

When I meet him after death.

You are invited to follow along as many of the contributing authors of 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers  participate in a blog hop. I encourage you to click on the links below to see what each author shares. Comments would be appreciated, and if you like what you read remember to share the post on your favourite social media sites 🙂

Ruth L. Snyder  http://ruthlsnyder.com/blog/ Monday, September 14th
Brenda Wood http://heartfeltdevotionals.com   Wednesday, September 16th
Janet Sketchley http://janetsketchley.ca/tenacity-blog/  Friday, September 18th
Jack Popjes http://www.jackpopjes.com/category/blog/ Monday, September 21st
Kimberley Payne http://kimpayne.wordpress.com Wednesday, September 23rd
Marcia Laycock http://www.writer-lee.blogspot.ca/ Friday, September 24th
Steph Nickel https://stephseclecticinterests.wordpress.com Monday, September 28th
Sally Meadows http://sallymeadows.com/blog Wednesday, September 30th
Tracy Krauss http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com Friday, October 2nd
Glynis Belec http://www.glynisbelec.com/blog.html Monday, October 5th

A New Arrival: 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers

 

I’m very excited to share one of my latest projects with you. As many of you know, I serve as President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. Just over a year ago, during one of our executive meetings, we discussed the possibility of putting together an anthology with contributions from members of InScribe. We organized a volunteer committee and set our sights on having the book published and ready to launch at our InScribe Fall Conference September 24-26, 2015.

The end result is a book with contributions from 28 Canadian authors, dealing with seven key areas for Christian writers: Time with God, Healthy Living, Time Management, Honing Writing Skills, Crafting a Masterpiece, Submitting, and Marketing. The contributing writers, who come from all walks of life and write in various genres for a range of audiences, are all members of ICWF. Through fiction, poetry, and non-fiction such as devotionals, essays, and articles, they generously share their own discoveries, success stories, and hard-won lessons to encourage and support other Christian writers.

The e-book is now available on Kindle:

7-Essential-Habits-Cover

The paperback version is in process and will be released during conference.

Thanks to everyone who had a part in making this book possible!

Endorsements

“I love seven things about this book: It is practical. It is affordable. It is encouraging. It is worth highlighting, underlining and dog-earing. Plus it made me forget about my toothache. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran writer, you’ll discover 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers to be jammed with instantly actionable advice that will make you a better writer. Dig in.”
Phil Callaway (www.philcallaway.com) is the best-selling author of more than 25 books, a popular speaker, the host of Laugh Again Radio, and a grandpa.

7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers is an absolute gem! I love that it covers all the basics a writer needs to know, making them simple and practical. I also love that the book has many authors, giving us ideas and suggestions from their own writing journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone seriously considering writing as a vocation or even an avocation, particularly those writers who see their work as a ministry—which it certainly is!”
Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) is an award-winning author of more than 50 books. A wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Kathi lives in Southern California with her husband, Al.

7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers is loaded with actionable advice that will make you a better writer. Whether you are a multi-published author or a beginning writer, this book will benefit you.”
Shelley Hitz, author coach and best-selling author
www.ShelleyHitz.com 

“This book is a beautiful blend of faithfulness and craft. It will help you answer the practical questions of what it means to be a writer while honoring what you believe. I wish I’d read this when I got started.”
Jeff Goins, Best-selling author, The Art of Work

“There are hundreds of how-to-write books on the market, but none that I know of touches BOTH of the vital aspects of writing as a Christian better than this anthology from InScribe. The practical AND the spiritual are woven into a whole by a remarkably creative group of writers who are in the trenches as we speak. I intend to snack on this fare again and again.”
Nancy Rue, best-selling Christian author and creator of Shadow to Shelf, a mentoring program for writers.


Update and future direction for ruthlsnyder.com

Tragedy and goalsIn January I shared my writing goals for 2015. I haven’t finished anything on that list! But I am still focusing on non-fiction, specifically the Author Social Media Mastery Series. After I finished Kindle in 30 with Kristen Eckstein, I decided to take the Author Audience Academy course with Shelley Hitz. I can’t say enough about this excellent course. The first month we focused on Publishing:

  • Week 1 – Strategy
  • Week 2 – Writing
  • Week 3 – Publishing
  • Week 4 – The Launch

I followed Shelley’s hints and helpful tips and my book, Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps, is now available on Kindle!

This month we are focusing on Platform:

  • Week 1 – The Foundation
  • Week 2 – Author Website
  • Week 3 – E-mail Marketing
  • Week 4 – Social Media Marketing

Month Three will focus on products to accelerate our business.

While I’ve been taking this course I’ve also been:

In my non-writing life:

  • Parenting our five children ages 7-17
  • Teaching four Music for Young Children classes (and substitute teaching four classes for two weeks)
  • Teaching private piano lessons to four students
  • Hosting a piano recital for all my music students
  • Playing piano for the Glendon Community Church
  • Helping select a digital piano for the church (This was FUN! I had the opportunity to play pianos most of the day, including a $200,000 Steinway and a $240,000 Bosendorfer – concert grand pianos. Of course those instruments were WAY out of our budget.)
  • Writing a grant application and doing other paperwork related to a playground project for the Glendon Playground and Park Society

Hmmm. No wonder I’ve been busy…and haven’t written too many blog posts for my own website!

As I’ve been working through the Author Audience Academy, I’ve been thinking about what I should be focusing on here on my website. What do I need to keep doing? What do I need to stop doing? What do I need to start doing?

That’s where you come in. I need some feedback from you, my readers. Which topics are you most interested in (Devotionals, Family life, Parenting, Writing, Twitter, Marketing, Publishing, Other)? How often would you like me to post? (I want to post consistently!) Any and all feedback is welcome! Please leave a comment below. Thanks 🙂


New Bestseller from Canadian Author, Ruth L. Snyder

Beginnging Steps 1

(Glendon, Alberta – April 27, 2015) Ruth L. Snyder, an author from Glendon, Alberta, hit Amazon’s Bestseller List with her book, Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps the first day the book was available for pre-sale and it remains there. In Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps, Snyder explains the benefits of Twitter for writers and leads readers step by step through the process of setting up an effective account. Using this manual, readers learn the lingo, find their way around the Twitter dashboard, and start building relationships with their worldwide audience. She shares many tips and tricks to engage an audience and build a solid marketing platform in minutes a day.

Author Michaelann Smith says, “When I started reading this book, I had a Twitter account, however I had no idea what to do with it or how. Since I read this book and followed its very easy steps, I have a lovely Twitter homepage and have figured out whom to follow. Thanks for making the overwhelming world of Twitter understandable and very doable. I can’t wait to read more books in your series and learn how to tweet with the best of them.”

Snyder ventured into the virtual world of Twitter in 2009. She says, “Authors are busy people. Not only do we have to write, but we are also expected to connect with our readers. At first it can be overwhelming, but I’ve learned to do it by spending an average of ten minutes or less a day on Twitter.”

Ruth L. Snyder has had numerous articles, three novelettes, and one devotional book published. She has hit the Amazon bestseller list with all her published books. This is her first book in the Authors’ Social Media Mastery Series. She is working on Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps, which is scheduled to release later this year. Ruth is a member of The Word Guild and The Christian PEN. She currently serves as President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship

Twitter-Book-Free

Download the news release    Download the Kindle book from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com

Twitter-Beginning-NR


Launch Day for Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps

Twitter-Book-Free

It’s here! My official launch day for Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps. (Due to the number of links included in the book, I decided to launch it only on Kindle. My plan is to publish two more books in this series – Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps and Learn Twitter: 10 Advanced Steps. Once all three books are available on Kindle, I may combine all of them and publish a paperback version.)

I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to download the book for free from April 27 – May 1, 2015. Please leave a review on Amazon if you like the book. Thanks 🙂

I’ve had very positive feedback from people who’ve already read the book:

-A great, quick read with TONS of resources. Marie Cole

-Well done! I can see how these techie help books may open doors to our ‘heart’ writing later on down the path. Melanie Fischer, Authorpreneur

-Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps is an excellent how-to guide for Twitter newbies, or those who use Twitter but don’t quite “get” it. The book is to the point (like Twitter!), very practical and helpful. Beth Jones, International Speaker/Author of The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VN77IXQ/

-Great stuff! Many people will benefit from this resource. Kimberley Payne

-Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps is written in clear, concise language. Although it’s very basic, I discovered new concepts throughout the book. I recommend this helpful book. Elma Schemenauer, Author of many books including Consider the Sunflowers.

Download your copy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com


Writer’s Blog Hop – Sample from Hope: Reflections to brighten the Dark Days of Life

31 Days of Hope231 Days of Hope1

One of the major projects I’m working on this year is a series of Kindle books (31 Days of … Series). The first book I’m putting together is Hope: Reflections to brighten the Dark Days of Life. I’ve worked on the cover design and received feedback. Now I need to finalize which colour scheme I’m going with. Which cover do you prefer? Left or right? Or is there a different colour you think I should try for the main title? (Let me know in the comment section below.)

Below you’ll find Focus, one of the devotionals I’ll be including in the book. I’m also learning to make podcasts, so listen in if you prefer 🙂

NOTE: to see what other authors are working on, go to the blog hop.

Focus

By Ruth L. Snyder

It’s 8:03. The bus comes at 8:25. My daughter wants me to read a story to her and her brothers are looking at the latest Scholastic book order forms, trying to get my attention so they can tell me what they want to order. I want to tell them we’ll deal with the book order after school, except today’s the last day orders are being accepted. My daughter opens her book. I start reading. While she’s flipping to the next page I find one of the desired books and circle it on the order form. I read the next page. One son pushes his way closer so he can listen too. I read the next page then cut out the order form while the page is being flipped. This process continues until 8:11. The book is finished; the order forms are half filled out. It’s time to get jackets, backpacks, and mitts. I still need to add the order up, write a cheque, and write the book down on my daughter’s reading list.

“Get your jackets on. I’ll finish here.”

The children rush to the entryway. I add the order up, write a cheque, staple everything together, and write the book down on the reading list. I’ll clean up after the kids are on the bus.

I take the order and reading list to the entryway. Two boys are on their way out the door. My daughter is having trouble with her zipper. My other son is nowhere to be seen. I put the order and reading list in her backpack and help with the zipper. Then I go in search of my MIA son. He’s just coming out of his room.

“Hurry! It’s time to go.”

As I’m talking to him, a glimpse of the sky takes my breath away. The sunrise is beautiful. For over a week temperatures hovered in the minus thirty range. Today it’s warmer and the sky is showing evidence of the change in temperature. You know the saying: “Red in the morning, Shepherd’s warning.” I race to grab my camera and snap a picture. My daughter’s ready, and my son is close behind.

As we walk to the bus, my focus is on the beauty of the sunrise. The busyness of the morning rush is forgotten. I breathe deeply, smile at the antics of our Husky dog, Olaf, snap pictures, and pray with my children before they climb on the bus. After the bus leaves, I continue to snap pictures as the sun rises and colours change. I revel in the moment, knowing it will soon disappear and the hectic pace of life will be back, clawing and whining for attention.

Focus. We can choose our focus. We can allow all the ugly, dark, discouraging events we all face to drag us down. Or, we can instead focus on the glimpses of beauty that surround us.

In Matthew 14, we read about the disciples crossing a lake in the middle of the night. It was stormy. They had to work to keep the boat going in the right direction. Then, just before dawn, they saw something, someone, walking on water towards them. Some of them cried out in fear, thinking it was a ghost. Peter responded by calling out:

“Lord, if it’s you, tell me come to you on the water.” (verse 28)

Jesus tells him to come, so Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water toward Jesus. Verse thirty tells us:

“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’”

Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter, rebuking him for doubting, and helping him climb back into the boat.

I don’t know what you’re facing today, but Jesus does. He’s there for you: the same Jesus who spoke the world into existence.

Are we going to focus on our circumstances today? Or are we going to choose to focus on Jesus and trust Him?


Writers’ Blog Hop – My Writing Goals for 2015

Writers Blog Hop

Welcome to my 2015 Writers’ Blog Hop! This week’s topic is writing goals for 2015

When I reviewed my writing goals from 2014, I noted that I had a few unfinished projects:

I thought these would top my goals for 2015. However, a week or so later, I joined the Kindle in 30 Challenge with Kristen Eckstein. One of our first assignments was a brain dump where I set the timer for 10 minutes and jotted down anything and everything I could write about. Next I put the topics together into groups (e.g. marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads). I wasn’t overly impressed with what I had come up with, but I wasn’t able to continue the process until the next morning. When I woke up, I was amazed at what happened. By writing down all the topics, I had cleared my brain and made room for my creativity to kick into high gear. I realized I could create a series of non-fiction books combining several of my interests and passions.

31 Days LogoThis year, I will be focusing on writing, publishing, and marketing a series of books (31 Days of . . . ) on Kindle. Each book will cover a specific topic. My first book will be Hope: Reflections to brighten the Dark Days of Life. In these books I will combine devotional thoughts, Scripture verses, quotes, and photographs I’ve taken. With my Brain Dump topics (Praise, Encouragement, Thankfulness, Prayer, Joy, Love, Peace, Comfort, Healthy Eating, Family Fun, Leadership, Time Management, Parenting) I have enough titles to publish a book a month and still have some topics left over. We’ll see how far I get!

Once I get the books published on Kindle, I’ll see about getting paperbacks printed as well. I need to decide whether I’m going to publish these as individual books or in groups.

If I find myself with time left over (which looks highly doubtful at this point!) I may return to some of the projects I was going to work on in 2014.

What are your writing goals? Please share them in the comment section or join the blog hop and link in below. On your mark, get set, GO!

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Note: You’re welcome to put the Writer’s Blog Hop button on your website. The code is

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