The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Monday, September 27, 2010

Help Get the word out!!!

As writer's we are called to get the truth to every living creature!  When there's a storm coming it is our job to let people know about it.  The following is a post I wrote on my other two blogs.  I hope that you will find a way to pass this discussion on and to get as many people talking about it as possible.  Let me know if you are inspired to write something about this.  I would like to know your thoughts.

Why would anyone want to have children now?

Our country is in chaos! Our world is on the verge of another world war! Murder, drugs, crime - it's all over America and the world. Why would any young couple want to have children now?

What if your child will be the person God had designed to bring this country back to Him? What if your child was destined to be the next Billy Graham or the next great gospel singer or the mother of the minister that would show millions to Christ? What if your child was God's pick for the president of the United States in 2040? What if your child is one of many that will join together to fight against the loss of our religious freedoms? Maybe she's to be the next great missionary and will have the powerful words that will change millions of muslims or atheists or buddist or whatever to God. What if your child may face danger....but his/her heroic acts will destroy the next Hitler?

"But Debbie, is it fair to bring a child into a life where he may suffer?"

"Suffering is a part of life. We all suffer in many ways. The only thing that makes our measly little lives count is that we Overcome suffering and that we get through those hard times with grace and with honor and with dignity. Avoiding pain while others suffer is the coward's way out. It's sad that even if your child isn't've still made him a coward. You've made the choice for him."

"I'm not making that choice just because I don't want to see him suffer!"

"Yes, you are. You are saying to the world that your bloodline has nothing to offer. You couldn't possibly have a child that would be a strong hero or that would offer ideas and plans for a better future. Your only hope is that you give your child an easy enough time so he wouldn't have to work hard. You have said to the world and more importantly to God that you will not allow your future child the opportunity to be a major player in God's plan? Do you have that right?"

I hope you will watch this terrifying video and tell all your friends about it. The best way to conquer any country or any religion is quietly - by simply over populating them with another culture. God have mercy on us! While we play church and go about our selfish lives....the enemy creeps closer. you hate muslims?  Asolutely NOT!  But...I do think their religion or cult or whatever you want to call it is a threat to freedom of religion and other social freedoms.  They believe that they have a right to kill infidels and they define that as anyone who is not muslim.  When they enter a country it is not with the intent to blend in but rather to force their lifestyle and opinions on others.  That is the danger.  I have a link in the sidebar that will take you to a website Islam - Religion of peace? that will not only explain what they believe but will also list the ways they intend to carry out their missions.  The most striking thing for me was to learn that they believe in lying.  Lying to the infidel is not only taught it is rewarded.

I simply think we need to be informed and we need to be pro-active.  I can't be the frog that thinks he's soaking in a nice hot tub only to find out too late that he's being boiled to death! 
God loves you and has called you to write,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Practice for a heavy load....

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time

How do you build a skyscraper?  One brick at a time

How do you become successful?  One step at a time

How can you carry a personal heavy load and still manage to write?  I practice....

We moved to Ohio around 20 years ago.  We bought a lovely home that had a lot of room.  It had a nice yard and a very special bonus.  It had two apple trees.  The one in the front was in full bloom when we looked at the house.  The one in the back had a few blooms on it.  Since I had tried to cultivate an apple tree at our last house, I was excited to be the proud owner of two healthy apple trees. 

Unfortunately, their fruit wasn't that good.  The apples were very small.  The backyard tree looked a bit battered, the apples had brown spots and the fruit was too tart to eat.  We managed to use a few of them to combine with other apples and make cider - but most of the fruit was never used.   The front yard was a little better.  We made apple sauce and used some of the fruit for pies - but it was so pitted with bad spots that the yield was very small. 

We talked about spraying the trees and having someone look at them but life was busy and we never seem to get it done.

Last year we had a company fertilize and work on our grass.  The wonderful side effect was that the trees exploded with fruit.  The bad spots were better and the taste was better.  In fact, the front tree had so much fruit that one of the branches broke. 

This year the same explosion of fruit began.  With my daughter's wedding and all the preliminary things to do, we didn't have time to cultivate the trees.  After returning from her wedding we noticed that the tree in the back was so laden with fruit that two large branches were bent to the ground.  It didn't take long for us to hear a large crack.....and then another.  We used 2 x 4's to hold the branches up enough to allow the fruit to continue to mature. 

I took pictures of the tree and wondered.  Why would doing the thing you were created to do cause you to break?  These trees had always produced fruit.  It may not have been edible or the best....but it was fruit.  Why break now?  Was the tree just too old?  Or...maybe just maybe, the limbs had everything necessary to produce excellent fruit but the limb itself was not strong enough to support excellent fruit in large quantities.

Isn't that like life?  Have you ever watched someone go from obscurity to abundant success and then break from the pressure or lose their personal life because they were went wild with success?  Even when we are on the receiving end of blessings - if we aren't ready....if we haven't practiced or prepared - we will break. 

Pressure doesn't know the difference between good stuff and bad stuff.  If we have practiced handling all the stuff that's thrown at us along the way, it won't be hard to handle.....a larger career.....more demands.....constant movement......concentrating even during a personal storm.....keeping up with deadlines.....knowing when to say no or when to get involved.

For those of us that still consider our writing careers in the "beginning" stages - I would suggest that you take a look at all the stresses in your life.  Don't see them as deterrents to a writing career.  Instead, see them as a chance to practice being a writer in all circumstances.  See them as a chance to see how well you can work or survive under pressure.  Use your current circumstances to build a life of commitment to your work.  Learn how to develop the Habit of Writing even when it is under attack or not as pleasurable as you would like.

Then when success comes and your publisher wants you to handle your family, write the second book in your series and go on a marketing tour - you can smile and say...."I'd be happy to.  I can handle that load with ease because I've practiced and I'm ready for the job!"

God loves you and has called you to write,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Why we do what we do....

This blog is dedicated to the "psychological" health of the writer.  That statement seems like an oxymoron.  Writers do what we do because we've been through some trauma or overwhelming event and we have something to say to the world.  I personally don't understand the popularity of twitter. (Even though I sold an article on it - coming soon!)   I don't really care that Suzie just brushed her hair - unless of course she's my daughter and even then I'd wonder why she's writing about it instead of rushing to meet the bus.

Most writers read a lot!  We love those 300 page books.  We love the smell and the touch of a favorite novel or the comfort of a worn non-fiction.  We drum our fingers on the desk while we chew on a subject, tear it apart and hopefully have each little piece figured out.

We are no different from our readers.  Life can be just as demanding and often just as painful as it is for anyone else.  When life hits full force robs a writer of peace and creativity it also hurts our work.  I recently had another one of those hurricane months.  I wrote my dear friend Jim Denny and asked for writing help.

"I feel like someone painted a bulls eye on my back.  I sit at my computer and instead of it being something that I feels like a huge weight.  For the first time in my writing career I find myself sitting at the computer wishing I was somewhere else....anywhere else....  What should I do?"

Jim is the author of hundreds of books and articles.  I love his book Quit your day job!  It has been a featured book in the sidebar since this blog was created.  Be sure and check out all his books.  He's a talented author. I took Jim's class during the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference.  His class literally changed my writing style.  To receive such an informational return e-mail from him was not only exciting, but seemed to bump me out of my slump.  I asked him if I could also share it with you.  I hope it helps.

Hi, Debbie—

So sorry to hear what you've been going through. I was thinking I've had a tough year (bad economy is squashing my industry, among other things), but I sure haven't had a near-death experience or a job loss in the family! I'm sending up a prayer for you and your husband right now.

I'm rarely excited about the writing process. Like you, I do love to write, but the engine never wants to turn over in the morning. I just sit down by habit, and try to lose myself in the process. I reread and edit some of the previous day's writing or do some other writing-related chore. Soon I'm writing without really thinking about the fact that I'm writing. Habit is the main thing.

There is one thing that gets me excited about writing, and that is reading my favorite writers. When I read good writing, the kind I read just for the joy of it, it makes me want to write. I don't know if that will work for you, but sometimes I will read a short story or an article by a writer talking about the writing process, and that will get me charged up.

I'm not sure I ever successfully block out the emotions of life. For example, if something makes me angry or depressed, the most immediate effect is that those emotions will keep me from writing. You can't be creative when there is emotional crosstalk in the brain.

But after some prayer, reflection, reading the Psalms, and taking a few minutes to recover from the emotional hit, I try to USE that emotion to fuel my writing. When I'm angry, I pound the keyboard or shout at my voice dictation software.

So, if possible, USE the emotions, don't try to shut them out. Write what's real. Write about what you are going through as a way of getting through it. Not necessarily as a way to write something that would help someone else, but just to process it with brutal honesty (maybe C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed would be a model for this approach). Getting a saleable article or book out it might be a byproduct, but that's not the goal. The goal is just to unleash the honest and creative engine within you.

I remember having to write my Timebenders science-fantasy books for kids right after 9/11, and that was tough. I had writer friends who said they just stopped writing for weeks or months after 9/11. I didn't have that luxury, because I was on a very tight deadline. So I pushed through it and tried to use my emotional turmoil to add depth and feeling to the writing.

Also, don't feel you have to write in a straight line, chapter 1, then 2, then 3 or whatever. Write the section that appeals to you at this very moment. If you can't write whole chapters or articles, write patches. You can stitch it all together later, but just keep writing, and write what you are really passionate about. Getting those sections accomplished will increase your positive feelings, and will cause your love of writing to reignite.

Check out this article:

I identify with a lot of what this writer says. You may, too.

Also you might want to try the "Write or Die" writing software. You can test-drive it online at:

It forces you to write quickly and uncritically by setting off alarms if you pause too long in the writing process. If you try it, let me know what you think. I bought the desktop version, which is only $10. I use it for producing raw, first-draft fiction. I like to set it to the lowest, least-threatening settings and write in 20-minute stretches.
Hope something in all this was helpful.

God bless you,
Jim Denney

Ahhhh.....that helped so much!  I took his advice and I'm writing again. 

You can find a wonderful interview with Jim that gives even more insight into his writing at Absolute Write

His personal website is

God loves you and has called you to write,