Confessions of a Writer, Mother, and Pastor’s Wife

Confessions of a ...Every time I share that I’m a writer, I have people look at me and ask how do I do it all? How do I balance raising four kids, being a pastor’s wife, and writing?

Confession time: I haven’t always done a good job juggling all three. Honestly, I think the only person who could is Supergirl, and even then I think she would struggle. But what I have learned is to have priorities, and those priorities have changed as I went from writing as an unpublished writer to an author with a deadline, and from having four kids under four to kids in the double digits.

When I first started writing, I was home with babies and toddlers, snatching bits of writing time during naps and nights when my husband was at church meetings. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to be published. I think this is the desire and goal of most writers (after all, we write so that we can share with the world). There were moments where I grew discontent with just being home with kids. I wanted more. I wanted to be an author so bad I could taste it. But that wasn’t where I was in life. So instead, I took the time I had to learn all I could about writing, then continued writing during those spare moments I had.

That period of my life taught me the value of waiting, of putting aside my desires, and to put my family first. As a pastor, one of my husband’s goals was to never have our children grow up and feel like the church took their daddy away. I had a similar goal: I never wanted my children growing up believing writing was more important than them.

New FotW coversNow, as a published writer, I am thankful for the boundaries I set earlier on around my writing and around my family. I write when my kids are in school, but when they are home, I put my writing away. There are those few weeks every year when I’m on an edit deadline, but because I have invested into my children and husband, they help me out during that time instead of resenting mommy disappearing into her office for hours on end.

As far as being a pastor’s wife, honestly, I’m not any different that other women in the church. I just happen to be married to the pastor, other than one thing: the more he is gone, the more I need to be home so I can hold down the fort. I serve where time and gifts allow, and in some ways, my writing is also part of my ministry. As a shy introvert, it is hard for me to be around people. That’s why I love writing! I can communicate my heart and faith with people in a way that bypasses my weaknesses.

So what advice do I have for mothers? Enjoy the time you have with your little ones now. The writing will always be there, but your children will not. They grow up and before you know it, they’re gone. Also spend time with your husband. Your marriage needs you to be a part of it. It might mean you only write a book a year, but your relationship is worth it. If you want to be writer, you need to write. But find a time and a pace that allows you to be a mother and wife as well.

Tainted_Hi_ResAlso, saying “no” is okay. You can’t do everything. That is something I learned early on in ministry. I can do a couple things very well, but if I spread myself out, my effectiveness diminishes. In order to juggle the role of mother, writer, and wife, I’ve had to use “no” many times in order to say “yes” to a few things so I can do those few things well. That might come in the form of saying no to writing three books in one year (no!), or heading up three different ministries at church (no!), or having each of my kids participate in three sports, piano lessons, and drama club (no!).

So how do I do it all? By giving each area the time in needs, and saying no to everything else. My kids and husband get time with me, my writing gets its share of time, and I serve the church when I can (and sometimes that means being home for our family and allowing my husband to go off and do everything he needs to for the church).

How about you? Do you struggle juggling everything? How do you prioritize your time, obligations, and relationships along with your writing? Share below!

 

morgan-busse-NLR-5Author Bio:

Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the West Coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com

 

Website: www.morganlbusse.com

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5827587.Morgan_L_Busse

My books: http://www.enclavepublishing.com/authors/morgan-busse/

Confessions of a Collaborative, Role-Playing Writer

Mug-Design-279-_2_1024x1024Hello. My name is Janeen Ippolito, and I am a collaborative writing addict.

I blame it on the extroversion. For me, writing has always been about connecting with others. My teenage years were spent happily engrossed in online play-by-post roleplaying games where I built crazy story worlds with my fellow gamers – X-Men and Lord of the Rings being my favorite fandoms. I’d post my section of the story and eagerly await to see what other writers’ characters would do in response. I’d spend hours crafting intricate plotlines in OOC threads or plan spinoff threads to write side stories in collaboration with other players.

By the way, in terms of characters? I had thirty-seven at my maximum, each with their own backstories and purposes. I always wanted to be able to play the games and go on the adventures.

There’s just something about the electricity of connecting with others through stories that is compelling and fascinating. Even now, my first fiction novella (due out October 29 through Uncommon Universes Press) was created in collaboration with an illustrator, with whom I also built the story world, planned all plotlines, and shared characters.

In short, my brain is super-happy working with other brains to make incredible speculative works together.

What does this look like in practice? A ton of communication with co-writers. A lot of mutual respect and trust regarding plotting and different writing styles. A great deal of sharing over Google docs. A hefty dose of humility as two visions need to be braided into one cohesive whole.

normalfriendsOh, and specialized agreements about the nature of collaboration to eliminate confusion and define the terms of the work. This is absolutely essential for the health of all writers involved, especially when actual publishing comes around.

At first, I was a little sheepish about my love of collaboration. After all, you always hear about the purity of authorial vision. The need for authors to sequester themselves in absolute solitude to hear their own thoughts and purposes. Whereas if I try to stuff myself away in an office, I get distracted by all the quiet and lack of outside stimulation. Hopping online to chat with friends actually jumpstarts my writing gears, because they yell at me to keep writing and, even on solo projects, my lovable-yet-snarky critique partners will ‘sit’ on Google Docs and check in to make sure I’m actually making progress. Me, distracted by shiny new marketing tools and business ideas and meme creation? Never!

I can only conclude that before the invention of internet I’d need some kind of telephone system where friends periodically called me to jar me into work. Or some kind of specially-trained parrot to pull my hair whenever I came up with a new and must, must turn it into a shiny image with Pixlr or Canva (or in pre-internet days, good ol’ fashioned doodling).

After all this time, I’ve gotten used to my need to collaborate, and I see a lot of benefits in it, especially in my work at UUP. Because I’m passionate about entering the author’s world and understand their vision, I enjoy making long-term marketing plans and goals for their work. In UUP we’re a team and my enthusiasm for connecting with authors and their stories helps foster that sense of community for mutual benefit and growth.

Houses of the Dead coverDoes this mean I always collaborate? Actually, it did until recently, when a story idea came out of a dream (where a lot of my ideas come from—my brain is busy at night). This story quickly turned into a Thing that I must now faithfully write out or else suffer the consequences of distraction and mind-clog. It’s been a fun challenge to work through it solo and spring new, completely finished scenes on my crit partners, instead of having everything out in the open. I’m not even outlining this one, so there’s no preparation paper trail!

In the end, I’ll always come back to collaboration in some form, because my heart is for building bridges between all of us crazy creatives. We all build fantastic visions and those visions are just too shiny to keep within our own heads.

 

DSC_0649Author Bio:

Janeen Ippolito is an idea-charged teacher, reader, writer, book reviewer, and the Fearless Leader of Uncommon Universes Press. She writes speculative fiction laced with everyday humor and cultural tension. Her co-written illustrated novella, Thicker Than Water, releases on October 29th and the first eight chapters are available online at bloodmercy.wordpress.com. Go to JaneenIppolito.com for world-building resources and off-the-wall insights from this sleep-deprived author.

 

Confessions of an Overly Extroverted Writer in an Introverted World

Author Head Shot Amy copyHi. I’m Amy, and I’m an over-the-top extrovert.

(This is where the support group says, “Hi, Amy!”)

I love people. I love talking. I love being right up in the middle of all the action. I make friends everywhere I go. I have no fear or reservations about talking to anyone, anywhere.
I’ll have complete strangers in the grocery store laughing and giving me a hug before I leave them. I feed off of the energy from crowds. I love parties and concerts and festivals. They are some of my happy places. Occasionally I like to be alone, but for the most part, I’d rather be around other people.

So why in the world would I choose a profession like writing? It’s mostly solitary. You spend hours upon hours alone with your thoughts and characters, and the majority of your colleagues are introverted, to one degree or another. And, when you’re with them, you’re typically the one starting the conversation and trying to bring people out of their shells or place them at ease.

My answer as to why? There are a few.

  • I can’t NOT write. The stories boil in my blood, seep into my brain, and refuse to let me be until I’ve gotten them out. A writer is who I am, not just what I do. If I have to spend lonely hours alone, so be it. It’s worth it. I’ll get all the people/talky time in later.
  • Sometimes, I do get a craving to be alone. Shut in a room with my music and my laptop, creating characters and worlds. If you know me, I know this may seem
    hard to believe, but it’s true. Some days I’m even quiet, hardly saying a thing all day long! (Gasp!)
  • This career chose me. I went to school for something else and practiced in that career for years. A career perfectly suited to me. It required me to utilize all of my communication skills on a daily basis, to deal with strangers and coworkers constantly through the day, and to continually be thrust into situations that required me to take the lead and make first contact. Basically, an extrovert’s dream job. But things changed. God was leading elsewhere. After pointlessly fighting Him for a bit, I gave in and did a complete turnaround job wise. Turns out, He was right. I’m happier than ever.

 

Amy's book Rebirth is the reason I found and fell in love with this quote.

Amy’s book Rebirth is the reason I found and fell in love with this quote.

But my writing life is a little different than that of many other writers I’ve met.

Those preconference jitters because you’re meeting new people? The fear of being in the middle of a massive crowd all day long? Being afraid to talk to someone because of who they are or what position they hold? Yeah, I honestly have no idea what that’s like. Even when I’m writing, I’m either out in the living room where everyone else is, or in a busy
coffee shop or pub.

The fact that most of my colleagues are introverted? Doesn’t even phase me. I love being the one to help make them comfortable and bring them alive. I love learning about them; what they like and dislike, how long they can handle the crowd, learning their cues that signal they need to go decompress for a bit. I love eliciting thrilling conversation from those who tend to not talk a lot. Just because they may not say much, doesn’t mean they have nothing to say or that they don’t like you. They are actually very kind and gracious, and extremely opinionated and well-spoken.

I’ve learned so much from my introverted writing companions. Namely, how to dial it back a bit and really listen instead of constantly running my mouth. I’ve learned that quiet is good, it is healthy, and I actually like it. Sometimes. And I’ve learned that the old clichéd saying is true: still waters do indeed run deep. My quiet, solitude-needing, prefer not to be the center of attention friends soothe me. They teach me. They anchor me.

I, in turn, have been told by some that they like having me around because then they don’t have to try and start conversations, or feel as awkward meeting someone new, because I’m there to break the ice. They’ve said I make them feel comfortable and welcomed. To me
that is a very high compliment, because one of my goals throughout my life has been to make sure those around me feel a part of things, that they feel welcome and wanted and loved. I can’t stand having anyone around me feeling pushed to the side or overlooked.

So you see, being highly extroverted in a mainly introverted world isn’t really a bad thing at all. It’s just like most other things in life: there must be a balance. And I am more than happy to provide my own special brand of outgoing craziness to all who find themselves in need of an icebreaker.

Or comic relief.

 

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How does that affect you in your chosen career path?

 


Author Bio:

Amy Brock McNew doesn’t just write speculative fiction, she lives and breathes it. Exploring the strange, the supernatural, and the wonderfully weird, Amy pours her guts onto the pages she writes, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process. Nothing is off-limits. Her favorite question is “what if?” and she believes fiction can be truer than our sheltered and controlled realities. Visit AmyBrockMcNew.com to learn more about this intriguing author.

 

9781943788040-Perfect.indd

 

From Ralene:

Amy had her first novel debut back in May. You may remember me singing its praises here and here. If you haven’t checked it out yet, hurry over to Amazon! (And, Amy, how long until book 2 comes out?)

 

Confessions of a Rejected Author

BelieveWe are told that if we pray hard enough … long enough … that you will get what your heart desires. Added to that is the phrase “if it is a Godly desire”. I’m fairly sure this is a cultural teaching, but that is not the point. The point is, we pray, expecting to get what we pray for. The “God is a vending machine” mentality. This idea goes hand in hand with the idea of God making us prosper. That we will have a happy life with no issues, other than where to spend our money, because he has made us so prosperous.

Somewhere in all of this, the idea that we are tested and that the enemy attacks us is lost. Maybe because we don’t want to hear it, or maybe because, too often, the bible verses “Ask and it will be give to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:8) and “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24), are taken out of context and used as a one shot to bolster the spirits of Christians and non-Christians alike.

If you actually read further in Matthew 7, you will see that Jesus is actually talking about being given what is GOOD for us by our heavenly Father. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11)

The verse in Mark is taken out of context as well. If you read several verses before this one, you find out that Jesus curses a fig tree and the next morning, Peter expressed amazement that the curse Jesus spoke came to be. It is there we find the meaning of this story. “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. (Mark 11:22) Simple, precise, and to the point. This verse is not telling you that YOU demand of God, but instead, trust that God’s promises and God’s will will be carried out.

Does that mean we shouldn’t pray for what we desire?

Of course it doesn’t. But if you ask people if they got every desire of their heart, the answer is going to be no.

But doesn’t that mean it wasn’t a Godly desire?

Not necessarily. I prayed long and hard that my son would be healed and get to come home with us a happy, healthy, and normal little boy. I even took comfort in the idea that Godly desires are granted. It took our family preacher at the time telling me that just because I prayed, doesn’t mean I would get it. As much as I didn’t like to hear it then, I am SO grateful he spoke that truth into my soul at that time. Because when I DIDN’T get the desired answer from God, I didn’t lose faith. I kept the knowledge that God’s will doesn’t necessarily translate directly into what I want. But I also don’t believe that my desire was not put there by God. I fully believe that He, as our loving Father, would never want that type of pain to be given to one of his children.

I had a Godly desire, but God still said no. I do not have all the answers to the “why” behind it. And the day I finally do, I don’t think it will matter, since I will be with God and all of my lost babies.

Prayer will not always give you what you want. Sometimes, there is a “no” answer. And that is okay.

At the end of 2015, I submitted my first story to be considered for publication. (It was my “first” in terms of it was more than the rough draft. I actually worked on refining it and having others read it to help me fix big mistakes.) It was part of a contest and I was nervous and excited. I hoped I would win, but told myself I didn’t hold out much hope. (That was a lie to myself…I’m working on that!) But I would pray. I prayed long and hard some nights for God to let me win the contest and my my story be one of the five chosen. I even went as far as laying out why I wanted to win. (I realized later that this was only half the truth … but more on that in a bit.)

So February of 2016 came around, and I saw a post that made it seem like the winners had already been notified and I hadn’t been contacted. I was devastated. I felt like the best I could give wasn’t good enough and there is no way God intended for me to write because I wanted to win so bad. I didn’t do much other writing in February, telling myself I needed the time to recoup from my disappointment. I had really given up on myself at that time.

Towards the end of February, hoping for something I missed, I re-read the blog post that I THOUGHT said the winners had already been notified. I read and re-read the wording of a certain part and realized that I had been initially mistaken. The winners didn’t know who they were yet. There was still hope! But I still had about a week and half of anxious waiting before I would know for sure. The wait was going to do me in!

I prayed again that I would win the contest. But this time, I focused on a part of the prayer I had missed when I was praying in January…I prayed that God’s will be done. I was a lot calmer and a lot more focused on the fact that with all the entries in the contest, the chances of me winning was slim (there were only 5 winners of who knows how many … but it was more than 100).

So March 1 came along, and I read the announcement page. Sure enough, my name wasn’t listed as the five winners. Nor was it listed in the 5 runner ups. I was disappointed, but this time, I started thinking of the why.

Why was my desperate desire not granted. I had a Godly reason behind it. I wanted my story to touch and impact a person positively. So if I had a good reason, why was there a no.

I did a lot of soul searching the days after I saw the announcement. I finally realized that me wanting to impact the people who read my story was only part of the reason I wanted to win.

If I won, my story would be published, and I could figuratively thumb my nose at all those people who told me I couldn’t do it (even myself).

If I won, I would get money and my name in print … on a real life published book, published through a publisher that, while small, was an actual publisher that gave out rejections. This publisher is not a vanity press! It is the real deal!

If I won, I would be able to go to my library and tell them, “Hey I have a story that is going to be published.” I would have my name out there!

None of these reasons are inherently “bad” reasons (except for maybe the first one that hits a little too close to pride…). But they are all reasons that I lied to myself about. I’m sure there are other reasons I’m still keeping from myself, too.

My point with this, though, is to say that even though I prayed and had a good desire…a desire that, I believe, was placed there by God, it wasn’t my only desire. I would venture to say that it probably wasn’t even my STRONGEST desire.

I’m sure, like my prayer of healing for my son, there are multiple reasons why God said “no” to me having my story win, I think I’ve figured out a few.

One reason is I needed to learn a bit of humility. We all do, but I was so caught up on what I would do or say when I finally got published, that I started to think of myself as better than others. I spent some time reading other stories that were similar to mine after I submitted my story. “Mine was better than that one,” was a strong thought I had in the three months between when I submitted the story and when the winners were announced.

Another reason is I needed to look deep into my own reasoning and my own thoughts as to the “why” behind my desires. I only spoke of my “other” desires to, really, my husband. I kept them well hidden from myself most of the time and tried to “hide” them from God (that never works because He always knows …). If anyone would have asked me my reasons behind wanting to win, I would have whipped out my “I want to impact someone who reads my story” excuse.

If I had won, I would have never thought on my other reasons. I would have been prideful and arrogant and would have pushed my agendas, without much thought to the reason I told everyone about.

God answers prayers. I have seen it happen. I have witnessed it happening. But sometimes, the answer is “no.” We can’t ever know the full extent of the reason behind the no, but there is a reason. And we need to maintain our faith and belief that not only does God want to give us what we ask for, but he wants us to actually have better than we ask for. And this means, sometimes, He has to say “no.”

20150808_074211Author Bio:

Jill Fortriede is a stay-at-home-mom and future homeschooler. She has three beautiful girls here on Earth and three babies in heaven. She loves fairy tales, Narnia, and most things speculative.

Confessions of a Type A Creative

Confessionsof aType AYep. That’s me. I’m a walking oxymoron. I’m a spinner of tales and dabbler in acrylics and watercolor and digital media. On paper or walls or computers, I love to create. I get a high just by walking into the craft store. So much potential! Yet, I have a dark side. I’m a Type A personality. (AND C! The classic stuffer of emotions!) Sometimes I wonder how I can create at all.

Art needs to flow. Be free to express our inner struggles and reflect the beauty around us. To explore. Be spontaneous!

Which. I am not. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. I have a color-coded planner and a weakness for volunteering for everything. I don’t make left turns if I can help it, and I take life way too seriously. I need to be DOING something at all times. And we all know if we can’t relax and refuel, our creative wells dry up. My perfectionism paralyzes me and I can’t create. Plus I deny my feelings and shove them under the rug.

And why am I in the creative field again?

Because it’s in there. It’s screaming inside to be set free. And I am learning to do just that. And when I do? Glorious peace!

As a mom to two young kiddos, trying to pen epic novels and dabble in art, I have to choose my battles. There is only so much time in one day. So . . . My house isn’t always as clean as I would like it to be. Oh, you say, that’s normal. Artsy people aren’t known for being neat freaks. Bah! My eye starts twitching when the bookshelves aren’t in order or when the toys aren’t in their labeled bins and on their appropriate shelves. I usually stay somewhat on top of it. Otherwise I freak out. My brain freezes and my writing suffers as well as our household. Sorry, so sorry, kiddos, I should be saving up for your counseling sessions.

You should have seen my house the past two months when I was getting Darkened Hope ready for publication and planning all the epic awesomeness that comes with launching a book out into the wild. On second thought  . . .  maybe you shouldn’t.

Another perfect example, as Ralene so kindly pointed out . . . (See, she’s my sanity anchor and encourager in Type A activities. SHE’S the one who suggested that I label my confession as a Type A Creative. Ha!) Anyway, my favorite planner was ending this month. I had been checking Amazon for the next one since the end of April. NOTHING. I tried not to freak out. My brain was hung up. I couldn’t think beyond my need to start scheduling things for July and August and beyond!

But by June 8th, it STILL wasn’t available. So I decided I would create my own. I spent the entire day at the computer. And I would have succeeded too, if it hadn’t been for my desire to maintain the connection between the template automatic update and my desire for a two-page monthly spread.

I am pleased to say that the new planner was FINALLY available mid-June and my order placed. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have the cover design that I wanted. 😛 By the time you read this, I will be drooling over it and marking it up. Ha! That said, this company keeps changing things, so I might just end up creating my own.

I’m sure I’m not the only Type A Creative. Right? RIGHT??? Looking at you, Ralene. (Ralene insert: *cough* I have no idea what she’s talking about. *hides lists and calendars*)Maybe we need to create a support group or something. But here is the good news! Personalities can be changed! According to my googling while I was writing this up.

I am trying to loosen up a bit. Relax a little more. Indulge freely in my creative pursuits.  Eventually. I am learning to choose my battles, set boundaries, and ignore my twitching eye. Otherwise I would not get anything done. AND I can’t forget to hang out with my friends. Sorry, so sorry guys! I am working on it!

I may be a mess, but I’m a work-in-progress. I’m a Type A Creative. (And Type C!)

Have you found your personality to be in conflict with your calling/talent/dream?

 

jlmbewe-profile-editedAuthor Bio:

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, and wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete. She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children, who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and swords, among other things. Here, between reality and dreams, she is busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril. She has two short stories published in The Clockwork Dragon anthology, and four short stories set in the world of Nälu. Her debut novel, Secrets Kept, was nominated for the 2014 Clive Staples Award.

Confessions of a Publisher/Editor/Author

confessions of aThank you for having me on your blog today, Ralene! Let’s see … the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hmmm …

The Good:

As a publisher, I am constantly on the prowl for the next amazing story that will rock my world and be a good fit for my publishing company. And I love delegating tasks to my team. Especially marketing. While completely necessary, marketing is just the worst. (For me, anyway! I still learn everything I possibly can about it.) I love having a professional marketer who relishes promoting our books and is an expert in her field. It frees me up to be an expert in mine!

As an editor, I thrive on making other’s words succinct and captivating. I love hacking sentences to pieces, celebrating especially captivating phrases, and gently explaining the rules to my authors. (There are so many!) Being an editor is my favorite of the three.

As an author, I make myself giggle. As in, all the time. I especially find my new release, Zombie Takeover, hilarious. I’m quite certain it isn’t as hysterical as I think it is, but I mean, come on! If I don’t enjoy myself, what’s the point of writing? (Then again, I may be exhausted from all of the publishing and editing and writing and … zzzzzzz.)

Oh! Right! The Bad:

As a publisher, I get cornered at every opportunity and told about “this amazing book idea” an aspiring author has rolling about in his or her head. Write it down, people. I can’t read what hasn’t been put on paper, and neither can anyone else. You shove it at me; I will most likely read it. (I will. I love reading new material. So much.) But I can’t publish your ideas. I’m so sorry. Write. It. Down. End of rant.

As an editor, a comma in the wrong place gives me ticks, and I’ve been known to yell at my computer screen when an author gets “that” happy. (You know: “The thing that I wanted” instead of “The thing I wanted”—see. Nervous tick. Right there.) 😉 Also, I now constantly edit every. single. word I read. Books just aren’t the same anymore. Sniff. On the other hand, a well-turned phrase can send me into squeals and happy dances, and I have to read it to everyone in sight. I am so sorry, random stranger. Yep. That was me. You just had to hear it.

As an author, I’m always being bombarded by these amazing story ideas—that I’ll write down as soon as I’m done editing this other person’s book right over here …

The Ugly:

As a publisher, my pet peeve is a grainy or low-resolution image or a less-than-professional post for all the world to see. The ugly part (and this is all on me!) is I’ve been known to ask my authors to take down a post or re-upload an image that looked like it was taken off the internet at 1kb. (Only if it applies to marketing. I wouldn’t dream of asking them about a personal post—I hope! Just their professional image.) And watch. Right after this post, I’m going to accidentally upload something with the grainiest picture there is with three typos and not find out about it for a week. 😉

As an editor, I have actually cried over jobs that were so bad, I wondered why in the world I took them. (This was ages ago, way before publishing, not anyone who knows me! Completely random, anonymous jobs. No, I’m not talking about you. I loved your book, whoever thinks I’m talking about them. I’m not.)

As an author, I’ve been completely baffled when my own book comes back from my editor and has—red marks on it. Gasp! I’m an editor! How on earth can my stuff be swimming in red? Sob! I don’t handle it well. At all. (But it must be done! Even editors shouldn’t edit their own work. Sad, but true.)

Let’s end in “The Good” again, shall we? “The Ugly” there is giving me the shivers. It sounds so terrible!

As a publisher, my drive, my dream, and my passion is to bring quality books to life in this world hungry for the very best fiction. It’s important to me to have a professional cover, professional editors combing the manuscripts, professional formatting and interior design—notice the word professional? Quality matters, and I only hire the best. I want each of my authors to succeed.

As an editor, I want each manuscript perfected, not a mistake in sight. That’s my goal every time I edit. I reference the CMOS, CWMS, Proofreading Secrets of Bestselling Authors by Kathy Ide, and Merriem-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary often to stay on top of industry standard. And I take editing courses at every opportunity. (The EFA rocks!) Whether an author is published through my company or not, I want to give them my best. They deserve it.

As an author, I write the stories I adore and want to read. I strive for quality, and, even though it’s extremely hard to have my own work edited, I love learning new things and refining my manuscripts. I also love to hear if I’ve made a mistake (weird, but true)—how else will I learn?

Thank you so much, Ralene and everyone, for letting me share a slice of my world with you today! I loved spending time with you more than I can say!

What about you? What is your favorite gift with which our Creator has crafted you?

Author Head Shot MicheleAuthor Bio:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a stay-at-home mom and her nights typing
away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… A member of the Heartland Christian Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, as well as the treasurer for the Indiana chapter of ACFW, Michele has her bachelor’s degree in History and can most often be found with her nose in a book when not chasing her two rambunctious boys or cuddling her new baby daughter. Visit her website at www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com to learn more about her.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/love2readlove2write/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/razersj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14554353.Michele_Israel_Harper
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/razersj/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michele_israel_harper/
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Israel-Harper/e/B016YW4Q6Q

Zombie Takeover_Kindle editionMichele has a new book coming out in a few weeks. You can find out a little more about the book at the below link. I’ll also be reading/reviewing the book in July!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Yo9yUf

 

Confessions of a Daydreaming Scatterbrain

Welcome to my new series “Confessions.” I’m trying it out this summer to see how y’all enjoy hearing from writers and other publishing professionals as they share about their ups and downs–many we can all relate to. Some will be funny, some will be more serious.

Up first, my friend and client, Desiree Williams is sharing some insights into her life as an author, mom, and all the fun that comes with that! Take it away, Dez . . .

 

First off, a big thank you to Ralene for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with you all, and of course to share that I, Desiree Williams, have a problem.

No one ever likes to confess to their faults. I mean, who wants to admit there’s something wrong with them? However, honesty can be quite freeing. Like right now. I’m ready to shine the light on some of my weaknesses. Are YOU ready? But you have to promise not to laugh—at least not until the end. And probably not to my face. =D

DaydreamingScatterBrain

 

14. You make a pot of coffee, but then forget to grab a cup.

13. You throw clothes in the dryer only to remember two days later you forgot to turn it on.

12. You have countless unfinished projects strewn through the house or on your computer.

11. You space out while driving, and then find yourself in random places far from your intended destination.

10. You can start five conversation topics at one time. (Notice I didn’t say you finished them.)

9. You have regular chats with the voices inside your head.

8. You’re easily distracted by all things shiny.

7. You find yourself in a room and forget why you had to be there in the first place.

6. You space out when someone is talking and then scramble to rejoin the conversation before they notice.

5. You burn dinner even though you’re standing three feet away.

4. You can tune out a packed room.

3. You meet someone new and can easily picture them as a dagger-wielding ninja.

2. You walk smack-dab into a sign that anyone else would’ve noticed.

 

And the big number 1:

You have a kick-butt imagination that takes you on amazing adventures.

 

Yes, I confess I’m guilty of every single one of those and so much more. My daydreaming-scatterbrain gets me into quite a few pickles, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It makes life an adventure. Plus, once I get over my initial embarrassment over said events, I have a few more stories to tell. =D

So my brain doesn’t work like normal. That’s okay. Normal is boring anyway. (Ralene italicized that line because she absolutely loves it!)

Daydreaming-Silly faces

But now I must know.

Are you guilty of any of these?

Please tell me I’m not alone in this crazy scatterbrain world. Feel free to share your own confessions below.

Virtual hugs to you all.

~Desiree

 

Author Bio PhotoAuthor bio:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com

Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

 

Thank you, Dez! You know I suffer from all of those a lot of the time. Too much stuff going on in my head.

If y’all love romance in a fantasy setting, I highly recommend Desiree’s books. She tells some pretty engaging stories.

Confessions of a Writer/Doodler

by Bonnie Lacy

Confession #1 ~ I am so grateful I didn’t get published when I thought I shoulda. One novel under my belt. Oh. I. Had (and still have) so much to learn. I am reading a book on writing/publishing/story at all times, whether print or ebook. Conferences like Realm Makers and others have put me in touch with more than my editor! I am determined to take some kind of class every year. This year I took David Farland’s online workshop, The Story Puzzle. (He enticed with $100 off! Money talks!) Last year I took Kevin Kaiser’s Storyseller University and I still need to apply more of his suggestions than I have. Next year? Any suggestions?

 

Confession #2 ~ I am so grateful I didn’t give up. I know I’m not where I want to be, but I have come so far from that first novel. I have a firm belief that some of the best writers/talents/artists give up. I am not the best, nor the worst. But I’m still here. Did I ever feel like giving up? Heh. Yeah, me too. Apply the Dori principle—keep on writing, keep on writing … Now I have six novels and over fifty short stories. And still so much to learn.

 

Confession #3 ~ I am a doodler. And the doodles are weird. But as I write this, I realize why they are a great lead-in to a writing sprint. I tend to doodle a little at a time—a little each day. I don’t plan–I play. Add a little here, a few lines there. Bubbles. Organic. Structure. Each day adds a little more to the mystery of the finished doodle. Just like a story. Whether you’re a pantser or plotter, a story grows upon itself, adding to the mystery of that story.

 

Examples: Check out bonlacy on Instagram. Most times the first day/first doodle is baffling. What is that? But as I let myself play (Grandson Eli always tells me, “It doesn’t have to be perfect.”) and … doodle, I let it grow and be and laugh and … well, I let the strangeness grow. Some lines are smudged—I’m not a machine—then they’d be … perfect.

 

Same for me in the story. That old rough, first draft. Ick. What is that? But the second and third … well for me, that’s where the magic happens.

 

And the strangeness grows …

 

bonnieBonnie Lacy is the author of six novels, one fiction book, devotionals, several children’s books, and over fifty short stories. Her first published novel, Released, can be found here. Rescued, Book 2 in The Great Escapee Series, is due out Fall of 2016. Visit her at: www.bonnielacy.com. Twitter: @BonnieLLacy. Instagram: bonlacy.