American Christian Fiction Writers Conference

keyboard- by Mary May Larmoyeux -

The 2014 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (ACFW) is almost here! It will be held on September 25-27 in St. Louis, Missouri. You can read all about it here:  http://www.acfw.com/conference

Although I won’t be going this year, I have attended this conference in the past and it was outstanding!

And here’s some news. The 2015 ACFW Conference will be held in Dallas.

If your budget is a little limited like mine, you might want to consider ordering a flash drive with all of the conference sessions. Here’s the form for last year’s ACFW sessions:   online form for flash drive of the 2013 ACFW Conference

Post and photo copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

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I Wish I Could Google God

Karen Jordan:

I wanted to share this post with my StoryWriting Studio readers in case they missed it on the WordServe Water Cooler in June.

Originally posted on WordServe Water Cooler:

Photo/KarenJordanIf only I could “google” God for answers to life’s problems. Then, I could just type a question and get one right answer—the Truth.

As a writer, I don’t always come up with the best questions to ask to find the solutions I need. And at times, I don’t know what to pray when I’m burdened by life challenges.

So, I wish I could enter a word or phrase into my Internet search engine, trusting that God would grant me the exact direction I needed.

As I share in my family’s struggle with their painful issues, I don’t even pretend to know how to help them manage their lives. How can I intercede for someone else, when I don’t know how to pray about my own problems?

Many days, I can’t even express the concerns of my heart. But I’ve discovered some powerful promises in the Bible that help me navigate through the turbulent waters…

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Free Resources to Help You Build Your Platform

fireworks

- by Mary May Larmoyeux -

Do you ever feel frustrated and overwhelmed with all that a writer seems expected to do these days?

Have you ever said to yourself, “Why am I doing all of this? Does anyone care? Is God using me to make any difference in the lives of others?”

Today there are not only things to write, but also websites to make, tweets to send, and platforms to build … The tasks can seem endless and overwhelming!

In addition to my day job, family, church, and community responsibilities I write a blog, Legacy Connection, and am in the process of reprinting a book for grandparents. I truly want to help connect not only the hearts and lives of generations in my family, but also in the families of others.

But how can I get the Legacy Connection messages out? How can you let others know about whatever it is that God has put on your heart?

To be quite frank, I don’t really know the answer.  So, when I got Michael Hyatt’s email about some free videos about platform and a step-by-step downloadable workbook for doing your own platform makeover, I was excited. (Hyatt is a best-selling author and the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

I’ve already watched the first video and downloaded the workbook and thought you might want to do this, too. How? Go to http://platformuniversity.com/yourmakeover/

After watching the videos and going through the workbook, hopefully we’ll both be encouraged and reminded of why we are writing today.

Post and photo copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Read more:

The Platform Builder

Check Out Michael Hyatt’s New Book: Platform

Lyndie Blevins: How I Reached 1000+ Twitter Followers

Hot to Get Speaking Gigs

5 Promises for Christian Writers

Photo/TaraRoss

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. (Jn. 14:26-27 HCSB).

I discovered this promise in John 14 one morning, as I began to work on a book project.

I often wonder why I even bother with book proposals. I’ve faced a few rejections in the past. And I’ve been unable to follow through on several book projects because of a myriad of reasons. Yet I can’t seem to let go of the desire to share the spiritual lessons I’ve learned as I applied the principles and promises of God to my life.

Peace. For awhile now, I’ve been praying about how to find spiritual rest and peace. And I’ve struggled with the thought of compiling the lessons I’ve learned to help others in their struggle with fear—especially with worry, anxiety, and depression.

I’ve often voiced a question to God, as I’ve wrestled with my own doubts and fears concerning direction for my next book proposal: How can I write a book about finding spiritual rest, when I’m still one of the most anxious people I know?

Promises. So, as I go forward with my next writing project, I’m choosing to seek God first in the writing process and hold on to His promises along the way. And I’m reminded of these fiive promises today.

  1. Jesus is the perfect author role model. The Bible encourages us to keep our eyes on “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2 NKJV).
  2. Jesus promises to complete the work that He has begun in us. “… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion …” (Phil. 4:6 NLT).
  3. God’s Word promises that our heavenly Father will send His Holy Spirit, our Counselor, to teach us everything we need to know. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” (Jn. 14:26 HCSB).
  4. Jesus promised that His Holy Spirit would remind us of everything that the He has taught us. “The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you” (Jn. 14:26 MSG).
  5. Christ also promises to give us the strength we need. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13 NLT).

Prayer. This is my prayer for you today.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit … And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully … (Eph. 3:16-19 NLT).

Thank you for joining us here in the StoryWriting Studio, as we share bits and pieces of our writing life with you. We welcome you, and we hope you will share your stories and comments with us.

What promises from scripture have meant the most to you? Be sure to leave your comments below.

Let’s Write!

- by Mary May Larmoyeux -

Writing LifeEvery once in a while a writer comes along who speaks to your heart and helps you become a better writer. Linda Apple is that kind of person for me.

Apple was one of the speakers at last weekend’s White County Creative Writers Conference. I have heard her speak several times, and always have left feeling encouraged. Her newest book, Writing Life, was sold at the conference. Of course, I just had to buy a copy.

Although Writing Life is only about 100 pages, it’s packed with writing tips and exercises that make it a book well worth reading, over and over again.

At the very end of the book Linda says: “Today is the day to begin. Write the rippling circles of life around you. Do it for our future. Write about your failures, your mistakes, trials, and disappointments. Tell us how you mustered the strength to overcome. Share how you resisted the temptation to allow adversity to darken your perspective but instead used it to deepen your character. Tell us these stories so we can learn from you when we find ourselves in similar circumstances. No one can help someone like someone who has been there.”

As the Storywriting Studio and Linda Apple so well know, stories matter — yours, mine … the world’s.

Let’s write!

© 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

 Read:

Birthday Letters

Stories Shape History

Writing Your Family Stories: Family Photos

The Power of Story

 

Encouraging Aspiring Writers

Karen Jordan:

Hope this encourages you as a writer and helps you inspire other writers! Keep writing!

Originally posted on WordServe Water Cooler:

Photo/CCWCAs a freelance writer and writing instructor, I’m often asked to edit the work of my peers and of aspiring writers. And I love to encourage others to tell the stories that matter most.

Grammar cops. I also appreciate the editing skills of my writing peers, as they wield their red pens and hack on my “shoddy” first drafts. But at times, I observe grammar cops attack insecure, fragile writers, who approach them for encouragement as they tiptoe into the waters of writing for publication.

Now, I’ve been known to whip out my red pen from time to time, when someone asks me to do that kind of editing. But I try to use a little discernment and discretion when a novice writer approaches me with their work.

Aspiring writers. Sensitive, aspiring writers need our empathy, since they trust us with some of their most intimate tales. These newer writers pour…

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7 Writing Tips We Learned From Our Dogs

Karen Jordan:

Whether you’re a dog lover or not, you’ll LOVE this article by the Writing Sisters (Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers) on the WordServe Water Cooler! Enjoy!

Originally posted on WordServe Water Cooler:

samson-at-computer

We have always loved dogs. Over the course of our lives together we have owned over 27 dogs. It is not surprising that some were our best teachers. Here’s what our four-legged friends have taught us about writing:

1. Sit and Stay. These are the two most important commands for writers! If you don’t sit down and begin, you will never get started. Staying is important, too. No, you don’t need another snack.

2. Dig!  Sometimes the facts that we need are buried deep, like a good old bone. The best writing requires some digging–in the library, on the internet, in your heart. Sniff it out. Then dig. If you don’t find it, dig another hole.

3. Know your territory. Writing takes good boundaries and good boundaries mean saying no. One important lesson for both of us was to protect and guard our writing time. We put the…

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