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Sunday, May 25, 2014

We will take a break this week from our devotionals in honor of Memorial Day.

Thanks to all for their service.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week Thirty-Two: Paula Moldenhauer

My Teacher

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.” John 14:26 (NIV)

If I’d known how much I had to learn, I may never have started my first novel. But, full of naiveté, I plunged into the process, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me. The first draft was fun to write. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to see what would happen next. I laughed and cried as I typed away, causing my husband to shake his head in disbelief.

I wrote that draft during every spare minute I could find. My husband graciously took all four children to baseball practices that summer, giving me precious moments alone with my book.

Concerned it might become an idol to me, I knelt and asked the Lord if I shouldn’t be talking with Him or reading my Bible during alone times instead of rushing to the computer. I felt Him whisper
to my heart, “I thought we were writing this book together.” Joyful, I turned on my CPU. I finished my first draft, all 130,000 words, and bravely attended my first writer’s workshop where I learned a whole list of things I needed to do to improve my book. Excited, I went right to work and applied what I’d learned. During that second draft there were incredible moments of inspiration when I felt the Holy Spirit combine my life and my writing, whispering His truth into my book.

Months later, a second draft complete, I attended another seminar. I learned some technical things I’d done wrong and called my husband weeping. I’d have to rewrite the whole book to fix the problems.
After the initial emotion, I felt encouraged. The Holy Spirit had taught me, inch by inch, exactly what I needed to know. If I’d been given all the teaching in one big lump, the task would have been too overwhelming.

Incrementally, the learning continued.Another teacher helped me find my own style. A book pointed out the mistakes that made me look like a beginner. A professional came alongside of me when I lost heart, helped me contact editors and pointed out ways to improve my book and proposal. At a conference a famous author took a red pen to my first chapter, showing me little things, nuances and pacing, which improved my story.

Sensing God’s involvement in my life has made the writing process worthwhile, whether or not I ever become a best selling author. I’ve felt Him stir my heart as words pour onto a page and
can catalog His tutorage. He never sent new information before I could receive it. But, He always gave it just in time. While learning to be a novelist, I’ve discovered something even more important: the Holy Spirit is my Teacher, ever near, ever involved in my life.

Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets. Her first novella, “You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch,” included in the collection Postmark Christmas, and her first historical novel, Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal, released in 2012. Paula serves as Colorado Coordinator for ACFW. Visit her at

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week Thirty-One: Brandy Brow

Happy Mother's Day to All!!!


“But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the hand to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,” 1 Corinthians 12:19-23 (NKJV)

I hate to admit it, but even though I looked up to editors because they had the power to give me publication, I used to think writers were better than anyone in the business. I reasoned that since we developed the content and our names were on the work, we were most important. And God forbid that an editor should change my words. As I continued to write, however, my sight widened.

Things became especially clear when I became editor of a web site. Suddenly I was on the other side of the desk. As I sought good writers to fill my content quota, and polished their work so little would prevent readers from getting the information they wanted, I realized that publication is not about the author. It is about the readers, and to give them what they need and want requires effort from several venues, including people like agents, publishers, editors, authors, copy editors, proofreaders, graphic
artists and marketers. We all work like a symphony to deliver quality thoughts and emotions. I felt like smacking myself for trying to be a one-man band.

As writers we don’t see all sides of the business and it’s easy to make the same mistake I did. We need to be wise authors who will not say to editors or others in the publishing business, “I have
no need of you.” Our symphonies will work best only when we recognize them as important as ourselves and give them the greater honor they rightfully deserve for being the necessary in-house workers readers rarely see.

Lord, thank You for the wonderful group of people we authors get to work with, all of whom share our visions to reach the reader. May our vision remain strong as we submit with joy to being part of this wonderful symphony. Amen.

Brandy S. Brow lives in Vermont with her husband and seven children. She enjoys entertaining, teaching, and encouraging through the written word, and loves to help writers via freelance editing and mentorship.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Week Thirty: Sally Stuart

     ~~~~This week starts Section 3-- Publishing and Networking~~~~

Finding The Right Address

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’and it has simply come back stamped
‘Not at this address.’ Just keep looking for the right address.”
—Barbara Kingsolver, author

Because of my long involvement with the Christian Writers’ Market Guide, I Have talked to a lot of writers about marketing over the years. I know how disappointing and frustrating those rejections can be. What it takes some writers a long time to learn is that rejection is just part of the publishing business. In our insecurities, we always assume the rejection is an indication our piece is bad or at least poorly written. While this might be the case if you have not taken the time to learn your craft, more often it is just a matter of not finding the right editor or the right publisher.

There are many reasons for rejection, including: having already done something similar or having it in the works from another author; being overstocked with good manuscripts; tight budget this month or year; piece doesn’t fit their guidelines; wrong slant- or the editor just had a fight with his wife. Some of these reasons we can avoid; others are inevitable.

In today’s tighter market, it is even more critical that you carefully study the guidelines and sample catalog or book catalog of any publisher you plan to submit to. With many more writers out there competing with you in the marketplace, it is vitally important you study the publisher carefully and follow the guidelines for each one exactly. Never assume your book is so special you have to send five sample chapters when they clearly asked for three. With something like a book proposal, it may mean you need to tweak the proposal between submissions.

It is also important that you keep up with the changes in the industry, especially in regard to submitting electronically. Publishers tend to vary widely as far as their involvement with e-mail, Web sites, and the like. Some have embraced the new technology whole- heartedly, while others are still reticent. However, these days most publishers will prefer to receive those query letters, articles, or book proposals by e-mail. And even if they don’t want the initial contact to be through e-mail, many will prefer to correspond with you that way over the length of your involvement with them.

Most publishers now also have a website, and many of them have their guidelines available on the site, as well as a lot of information about their company. You can learn something about their ministry or denomination, find lists of the books they have published or samples of articles from their publication. Such resources improve your chances of getting that manuscript to the editor who can appreciate your work. It’s your job to find the right address.

Sally Stuart (Aloha, Oregon) has been writing for 41+ Years— full-time for the last 23. She has also put out twenty-three editions of the Christian WritersMarket Guide, published a dozen other books, and countless articles and columns. As marketing columnist for the Christian Communicator,TheAdvanced ChristianWriter, and Oregon ChristianWriters,sheisconsideredtheleadingauthorityontheChristian market. Website: (