7 Days of Great Canadian Giveaways – Day 1

I am excited to be a contributing author to the “7 Days of Great Canadian Giveaways,” taking place February 6 to 12, 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to win an amazing prize package donated by outstanding Canadian Christian authors and recording artists. Please note that Canadian citizens living in Canada ONLY qualify for this particular promotion.

For each day you comment on the blog AND click on the link to go to the author’s Facebook Page, you will be entered into both prize packages for that day. You can enter any time during the contest period for any or all of the days. Contest runs from 8:00 am CST February 6, 2017 to 10:00 pm February 12, 2017. Entries submitted prior or after that time period are ineligible for the giveaways. For complete contest rules, please go to the event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/614924578714278/.

My prize package is featured on Monday, February 6, 2017


Thank you for your interest in this contest and for supporting Canadian Christian authors!

While it is not a requirement to enter the contest, you are invited to sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share my work in progress, some helpful tips, and pictures.

Much of my time in the past few weeks has been taken up with starting some projects that are very exciting for me. Last year I started coaching some writers. I am continuing that this year. Along with the coaching, I am working with Janis Cox on publishing some of her books.

RLS Creativity Coaching Logo

 

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What is in your hand?

This blog has been silent for a while. I’ve been taking time to be still before God and ask Him what direction He wants to me take in my writing/blog/business. I don’t know about you, but I’m more like Martha than Mary. I’d rather be busy doing than be sitting still listening.

I’ve been thinking about things that I’m passionate about, things that energize me, things that are fun for me to do. These include:

  • Taking pictures
  • Creating graphics
  • Encouraging/mentoring people
  • Hearing how God is at work in people’s lives

For some people, social media is a waste of time, frustrating, confusing. That’s definitely not the case for me. Looking at the points I mentioned above, that makes sense – pictures and interaction with people are key on social media. In the new year, I will be sharing more. 

Melanie Fischer, one of my InScribe friends, wrote a great post about The Power of One. That reminded me of the poem above which was given to me when I worked as a school board trustee. 

What are you passionate about? What energizes you? What is fun for you? Are you participating, helping, practicing, being kind, working, inspiring, enriching, serving, growing, acting, and being good for something? 

 


Author Profile – Janet Sketchley

Today I’m happy to welcome Janet Sketchley, a fellow Canadian author, to my blog:

Janet Sketchley lives in Atlantic Canada, where she writes Christian suspense novels and blogs about faith and books. She loves Jesus and her family, and enjoys reading, worship music, and tea. You can find Janet online at janetsketchley.ca, and fans of Christian suspense are invited to join her writing journey through her monthly newsletter: bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews.

Tell us about your upbringing and early memories.

I grew up in a Christian home, sheltered by loving parents. We lived in the city but spent weekends in the country, where my brother and I were free to roam and explore. I loved to read, and started writing some truly awful fiction in my school years. None of those projects made it very far.

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

Sunday School was part of my life from a young age. I always believed in God, but as a child it was a pretty superstitious faith in some ways. You know, giving God all the details in a prayer request, because otherwise He might not “get it right.” Still, I knew He was my source of help. For me the growth has been learning what it means to follow Jesus as Lord of my life as well as Saviour, and discovering more about His character.

When did you first become interested in writing?

Playing at writing as a child, and enjoying teacher-assigned short stories in school, showed me I was interested, but university papers and then marriage and a job put it out of my mind. As an at-home mom with a toddler, I joined a local writers’ group and dabbled in some life-experience type essays. Then a fiction idea sprouted and I started writing just to get it out of my head. Novels have been my passion ever since.

How would you define a successful writer?

There are different aspects to that, including, one would hope, some level of earning more than one spends. No matter how many people read our work, or what our bank accounts look like, I think what marks genuine success is this: are we true to our calling as Christians and as individuals? Are we speaking with integrity and love from the heart, with thoughts informed by our faith, with a desire to serve other people rather than to push anything on them? Whether we’re writing news articles, technical pieces, poetry, fiction, songs, notes to shut-ins… the list is endless. Are we using the gifts God has given us in the way He’s leading? In the end, will we hear His “Well done”?

What advice would you give a beginning writer?

Make this one more facet of your life with Christ. Write prayerfully, and cultivate an enjoyment of the process. Don’t be in a hurry to “arrive,” whatever that means for you at this moment. You have talent and interest, but we all need to learn the craft as well. Be diligent, persevere, and grow toward excellence because what you’re writing is for the Lord. Give Him your best. 

Tell us about your current work in progress.

I’ve just completed book 3 in my Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense series, Without Proof, which releases November 10. (NOTE: the Kindle edition is on SALE now until the release on November 10th. Pre-purchase your copy from Amazon and it will be sent to your Kindle on the 10th!) It’s the story of an artist’s assistant who lost her fiancé two years ago in a plane crash – and who now suspects that crash was sabotage. Her questions find no proof – only warnings and threats.  

How has being a Christian impacted your life path?

It’s shaped the friendships I’ve made, and it definitely shapes what I write. I don’t know if it’s affected career choices or anything like that, but it must have, behind the scenes, because I know God has been shepherding me. What being a Christian has done is keep me from wrecking my life. Faith, prayer, and surrender to the Lord’s care and authority have kept me stable (mostly!) through big and small times of stress. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without that, and I thank God I haven’t had to find out.

What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?

“She loved Jesus.”

7 Essential Habits Cover

Janet has two pieces published in 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers:

Writer. Ready. Pen. and The Writer’s Newsletter: Do you Need One?

Purchase your copy of 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers at  myBook.to/ChristianWriters1Please remember to leave a review after you’ve read the book 🙂


Harvest Haiku

This morning I received this invitation from my friend, Lisa Evola, who moderates the blog, A Beautiful Life:

I’d like to invite each of you to write a harvest haiku.
In case you don’t know what a Haiku is, it is a japanese poem that follows  this structure: 1st line – 5 syllables, 2nd line – 7 syllables, 3rd line – 5 syllables : and creates a word picture.  I wrote two in response to a post on the Steve Laube Agency blog. Create one too. I’ve posted them on my personal page, and would love it if you could leave them in the comment section of my personal blog.  You can see mine here: http://lisaevola.com/2015/10/23/harvest-haiku-too/
I decided to participate, so I wrote a Haiku and then added it to a picture I recently took during harvest here in Alberta.
 
I encourage you to join in the fun and let me know where you shared your Harvest Haiku

 


Author Profile – Tracy Krauss

Today I welcome my friend and fellow author, Tracy Krauss, to my blog.

Tracy Krauss writes contemporary Christian romance with a twist of suspense and a touch of humor. Her books strike a chord with those looking for a hard hitting yet thought provoking read – no sugar added. Her work has won multiple awards and has been on Amazon’s bestsellers’ lists. She also writes stage plays tailored to a high school audience, and has contributed to several anthologies, devotional books, and one illustrated children’s book. Tracy has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and teaches secondary school Art, Drama and English – all things she is passionate about. She and her husband have lived in five provinces and territories including many remote and unique places in Canada’s far north. They have four grown children and now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. For more information visit her website at http://www.tracykrauss.com“Fiction on the edge – without crossing the line”

Q: Tell us about your upbringing and early memories.

A: I am the youngest of five and was raised in small town Saskatchewan. My mom was a teacher and my dad was an ‘entrepreneur’ – in other words, he had lots of different jobs and we moved from house to house about 15 times before I left home. I think it made me adaptable. I loved drawing from an early age and could usually be found with a pencil and paper.

 

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

A: I made a decision for Christ the year I turned twenty, but previous to that, my mom had become a Christian and relentlessly prayed for all of us. I had some knowledge about the Bible because she had read to us as children and I also went to youth group in my Grade 12 year because there was a boy that I liked that went. J It wasn’t until I was in University and involved in the party scene that I accepted Christ. It was an unlikely looking biker who witnessed to me. He had just accepted Christ and even though he still smoked and probably did other things, as a baby believer he took witnessing seriously. His testimony, combined with my mother’s witness, finally got through to me.

 

Q: When did you first become interested in writing?

A: I wrote my first play in Grade Four and I always did well in composition at school. My English 12 teacher encouraged me to go to a writing camp one summer but I didn’t go. I was more interested in the visual arts as an outlet. It was after I had my first child that I started clacking away at the typewriter when she was down for her nap. I was hooked. Thirty years later, I’m still at it.

 

Q: How would you define a successful writer?

A: I try to measure success in the impact I have on people’s lives. Obviously, money would be nice, as would sales numbers, but the best feeling for me is when I find out one of my books resonated with another person.  

 

Q: What advice would you give a beginning writer?

A: Never give up. Keep on writing, keep on learning, keep on growing.

 

Q: Tell us about your current work in progress.

A: It’s a sequel to Wind Over Marshdale set in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It follows the life of Thomas Lone Wolf’s niece Tanzi, whom we meet in a previous novella, Lone Wolf. She is determined to rise above the rough circumstances of her childhood, but is dealing with an alcoholic mother, a rebellious teenaged sister, the injustice of her brother’s wrongful incarceration, and an unexpected romantic interest in a man she isn’t sure she can trust.

 

Q: How has being a Christian impacted your life path?

A: It’s been everything. I honestly can’t imagine my life without Christ. I sometimes wonder how people manage otherwise.

 

Q: What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?

A: Dancing with Jesus.

7 Essential Habits Cover

Tracy is one of 28 contributing authors to 7 Essential Habits of Christian Authors. You can purchase your own copy at http://mybook.to/ChristianWriters1.

What question would you like to ask Tracy?


Author Profile: Sally Meadows

Today I’d like to introduce you to another InScribe friend, Sally Meadows, who is an author and recording artist:
Sally Meadows is a two-time national award nominated singer/songwriter and author. In 2015, she released two children’s books, Beneath That Star and The Two Trees. In addition to 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers (2015), she is a contributing author to Hot Apple Cider With Cinnamon (2015), Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada (2014), and Organized Obstacles: An Underdog Anthology. Her two CDs, Turn the Page (2012) and Red & White (2013) each include a song shortlisted for the Canadian national The Word Awards. Sally is a recent empty nester and lives in beautiful Saskatchewan, Canada. You can connect with Sally at sallymeadows.com and https://www.facebook.com/SallyMeadowsMusic.”

Tell us about your upbringing and early memories.

I was born in England to Canadian parents; my father was an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. I was about 15 months old when we came to Canada. I was the youngest of four for 6 1/2 years until my little brother came along. I have few memories of when I was young, but my strongest impressions are of being much loved by my mother, to whom I was especially close. In turn, I was close to, and took care of, my little brother. I am incredibly proud that my father was in the military, but it was not an easy life for my family; we moved frequently and my father was gone for long stretches of time. My life growing up was definitely tough at times. But it did make me resilient.

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

My mother taught me to pray every night before I went to bed, and I intuitively had a personal relationship with Jesus from an early age. But in my teens and early 20s I stopped going to church. Yet God still had a hold of me. During our engagement, my fiancee (now husband) and I started attending a Spirit-filled church which brought me back into the body of Christ. I would say my most defining moment was finally fully giving myself to Christ while pregnant with my first son.

When did you first become interested in writing?

Writing was a passion and strength from when I was a little girl. I won the English award in high school and decided that I wanted to become a science writer, opting to get a science degree rather than going into journalism. My first job after graduating with an MSc was as a scientific editor. After successively running a home-based science education business and then teaching, I decided in 2006 that it was time to do something with my writing. I started with occasional freelance writing while holding down a professional job, then finally left the corporate world in 2013 to focus full time on my writing and music ministry.

How would you define a successful writer?

It doesn’t really matter if you are a bestselling author or write in your own personal journal: As long as you are writing to, about, or giving the glory to God, He is pleased.

What advice would you give a beginning writer?

Start small. Set goals. Don’t look at anyone else’s journey but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. I have full confidence you will find your own pathway.

Tell us about your current work in progress.

On October 1, 2015, I released my second children’s book, Beneath That Star, about a young Jewish girl who longs to be a shepherdess. When God speaks to her in a dream to look out for and follow that star, what she finds underneath it is of far greater value than anything she could ever have imagined.
I am also working on several short stories as well as two more children’s books. In the midst of all that, I am trying to find time to write songs for my next CD!

How has being a Christian impacted your life path?

Accepting Christ fully, and then moving to Saskatoon, dramatically changed our lives. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be doing the things I am today if those two life-altering events hadn’t happened.

What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?

That I lived and loved well. “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)
Book Contributors who attended the ICWF Fall Conference

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


Author Profile: Marcia Laycock

Marcia LaycockToday Marcia Laycock is my guest:

I’ve lived a short distance from the Arctic Circle, in Dawson City Yukon, and two degrees off the equator in Papua New Guinea. But I now make my home in central Alberta Canada where I live with my husband and two rambunctious Golden Retrievers, Jorja and Jaxon.

Tell us about your upbringing and early memories.

I was raised in northern Ontario, mostly on a island in Lake Huron so my early memories are all about water, being in it, on it, beside it. How I ended up in landlocked Alberta I’ll never know! 🙂

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

I was 31 years old when God showed me how much He loved me by giving me the one desire of my heart – a baby girl. The “experts” said it couldn’t happen so she was my first miracle baby. Two more followed. 🙂

When did you first become interested in writing? 

My mom used to say I was born with a pencil in my hand because I was “always scribbling something or other.” When I was 11 years old an aunt gave me a copy of Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maude Montgomery. It was then I discovered I could call myself a writer and was determined that someday that’s what I would be.

How would you define a successful writer? 

One whose work has had a positive affect on someone in some way. If your words have moved a heart you have done your job.

What advice would you give a beginning writer? 

Persevere; don’t get sidetracked with all the marketing hype. Just write, pray, write, pray, write, pray.

Tell us about your current work in progress.

I have a few things on the go, as usual. I just started the Advanced Playwriting Course through Rosebud School of the Arts. I’m also working on the play I wrote last year for the intro. course (at my instructor’s nudging) and hope to have that one ready to send to a production company early in the new year. Book 3 of The Ambassadors, my fantasy series, is in the final edit stage. I also have launched into the realm of publishing with my own company, Small Pond Press. My first release will be a devotional journal for writers, Abundant Rain Journal. I hope to have copies available at InScribe’s conference at the end of this month. Small Pond will be the publishing arm of a mentorship program I hope to start up in the new year to help devotional writers publish their work.

How has being a Christian impacted your life path? 

Becoming a believer in Christ flipped my life around 360 degrees. I truly believe if it hadn’t happened I would have ended up dead. It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me and continues to be a stimulating challenge that keeps my heart, mind and soul alive.

What epitaph would you like on your tombstone?

Love Lifted Me.

Marcia is one of the contributors to 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers. Check out Marcia’s post today on her blog!

 

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