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3-2-1 … WRITE!

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s been an enjoyable week at the 3-2-1 Write! blog party hosted by Read Another Page. On Monday we discussed 3 favorite books on writing, and on Tuesday we shared 2 favorite pieces of writing advice. Yesterday we talked about a favorite writing tool, and each day we’ve had a fun quote game.

Today it’s time to wrap the party up and find out the three special giveaway winners! These three days have been informative and motivational, and as the party draws to a close, I’d like to encourage you to not let it end here. A whole world of writing continues to stretch ahead of you, and you can continue to walk forward upon it.

We all encounter obstacles on our writing journey. There’s not enough time to write, or the ideas aren’t coming, or our draft is stuck halfway through. (I’m presently dealing with all three of these issues on various levels.)

I’m here today to tell you that these obstacles are not insurmountable. Not enough time to write? Carve out a tiny slice of time somewhere in your routine. (One paragraph before breakfast! 100 words right after lunch! 500 words after work!) Make it a habit, and stick with it. If you miss a day, don’t get hung up on it – simply get back on track the next day. Little bits of time taken regularly truly do add up.

Ideas aren’t coming? Maybe it’s time to step away from your project and view it from a new angle. Or maybe it’s time to sit down and let your pen move across the paper or your fingers move across the keyboard, writing nonsense or something outside your normal genre. Maybe it’s time to brainstorm crazy “what if”s. Maybe it’s time to take a break from writing and simply observe the world, letting real life soak into you and inspire you for future projects.

Stuck halfway through your draft? Maybe it’s time to revise your outline – or time to create an outline! Maybe the last several chapters need to be rewritten. Maybe you need a new character. Throw something into your story to get the plot moving again . . . you can always revise or delete it later.

Above all – pray. Seek your Father’s face regarding your writings. He knows the words He would have you pen. Your writing is nothing apart from Him. Abide in Him and meditate upon His word day and night. He is the Perfect Author, and He loves you so much that He wants your stories told even more than you do. Delight in intimate relationship and fellowship with Him, and He will direct your writing steps.

What writing project are you currently working on or hope to begin soon? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat!

Last but not least . . . hop on over to Read Another Page to find out if you’re a winner!

May God bless your writing!

3-2-1 Write! Party: Writing Tools

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s Day 3 of the 3-2-1 Write! Party hosted by Read Another Page! Welcome back to my conference room here at Resting Life where we’re talking about all things writing. There are also fun games and giveaways (including an important piece of a giveaway game in this post), so don’t miss out!

Watch for the secret phrase in this post, and be sure to write it down. Combine it with the secret phrases from today’s posts by other writers who have conference rooms at the party and you’ll find the secret quote that will qualify you for a giveaway!

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On Monday we discussed 3 favorite books on writing, and yesterday I shared my 2 favorite pieces of writing advice. Today is Day 3 of the 3-2-1, and I’m here to talk about my 1 favorite writing tool.

Is it Microsoft Word?

Is it Pinterest?

Is it a notebook for outlining and character development?

Is it the Spelling and Grammar check?

While I use and thoroughly enjoy all of the above writing tools (Microsoft Word for easy typing and formatting! Pinterest for character inspiration and plot ideas! Notebooks for easy brainstorming! Spelling and Grammar check to come alongside my inner editor!), today I’d like to talk about a different sort of writing tool that I believe is essential to every author.

Books.

That’s right. Books. After all, if you’d never read a book, how would you ever think to write one? If you’d never read a book, you’d have no pattern, no guide, no goal in mind.

Books can teach you the proper use of the English language.

Books can show you examples of the diverse styles available for you to write in.

Books can help you break outside your boxes and write something entirely new and unique.

Books can train you in formatting and publication standards.

Books can demonstrate to you the difference between poor writing and excellent writing.

Books can reveal to you what you like best for styles, genres, poetic word usage, point of view, language, description, plot types, and character development.

If All you have is a bookshelf full of books, you can read them, become inspired, and create anything else you want to read. In a sense, it doesn’t matter what other tools you might have – you can write in the sand with a stick, on parchment with charcoal, in a notebook with a pen, on Open Office on a laptop, or on your wall with your blood. If you have a book, you can catch the vision. Your imagination can be fired up. The seeds that books plant in the brain and in the heart are all it takes to sow and harvest a crop of beautiful stories and inspiring non-fiction.

For example, here are a few books that have shaped my writing style:

  1. The Bible – continues to shape every part of how I write
  2. The Five Little Peppers series by Margaret Sydney – demonstrated to me the intricacies of beautifully developed characters and relationships in a realistic day-to-day setting and revealed to me how characters truly make the story
  3. Storybooks by Rod and Staff Publishers – showed me how humdrum daily life can form a pleasing and uplifting tale
  4. Elsie Dinsmore series by Martha Finley – revealed to me how the spirit of Jesus Christ and godly character can permeate a story through and through while still telling a riveting tale; also planted in me a love for historical Christian fiction
  5. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder – gave me a spirit of adventure as well as demonstrated how down-to-earth tales of simple daily living can be powerful bestsellers
  6. Annabeth’s War and Captive of Raven Castle by Jessica Greyson – showed me it is possible to write entirely realistic stories set in a fictional world
  7. The King’s Daughter and Other Stories for Girls; Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys; Stories Worth Rereading – gave me a sense of how even a short story could pack a punch and deliver spiritual encouragement in a well-educated and interesting way
  8. Ishmael by E.D.E.N. Southworth – a novel written in high language with a complex plot and characters that demonstrated to me how to explore the depths of character motivations
  9. The Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight – an excellent example of highly polished writing mixed with a deep Christian message, unforgettable characters, and a dramatic and compelling plot

And here is the Big Giveaway! Be sure to enter for a chance to win an amazing writer’s package!

Paper copy of The Emotion Thesaurus

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Free Cover Design by Victoria Lynn

$30 Blog Tour Orchestration by Faith Blum

Free Edit of up to 5000 words by Erika Mathews

Because we’ve had 40 different people enter the giveaway, we’ve also added a second and a third prize! If you don’t win the grand prize, you could win one of two Amazon gift cards!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What books have influenced you most as a writer? What’s your writing tool of choice? Comment below – I’d love to discuss our favorite books!

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Did you find the secret phrase? Click the button above to visit Faith’s blog and find the next phrase, or return to Read Another Page to start the trail from the beginning. Be sure to return tomorrow for the final day of the 3-2-1 Write! Party where we find out the winners of the giveaways!

3-2-1 Write! Party: Writing Advice

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s Day 2 of the 3-2-1 Write! Party hosted by Read Another Page! Welcome back to my conference room here at Resting Life where we’re talking about all things writing. There are also fun games and giveaways (including an important piece of a giveaway game in this post), so don’t miss out!

Watch for the secret phrase in this post, and be sure to write it down. Combine it with the secret phrases from today’s posts by other writers who have conference rooms at the party and you’ll find the secret quote that will qualify you for a giveaway!

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Yesterday we discussed 3 favorite books on writing, and today on Day 2 of the 3-2-1, we’re here to talk about 2 favorite pieces of writing advice. While a plethora of writing advice is available to anyone with a quick Google search, two pieces of advice have proved particularly helpful in my writing career.

  1. Read.
  2. Write.

Although it might seem trite, obvious, or simplistic, these really are the keys to great writing. It’s my passion for reading from age five that shaped not only my love of writing but also equipped me with the skills to excel. The more we read, the more of essential and beautiful techniques and styles of the written word we assimilate. What we read is what we think about in our minds and meditate upon in our hearts; it becomes part of us. And who we are determines how we write. What is inside comes out.

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To authors, the benefits of reading are many:

  1. Reading aids in developing a love of books.
  2. Reading immerses the reader in proper grammar, style, and word choice, which in turn strengthens the inner editor and makes an author a better writer.
  3. Reading familiarizes the reader with a variety of plot styles and devices, demonstrating the most effective uses of each, which in turns impacts the author’s work.
  4. Reading fosters the imagination, which in turn aids the author’s creative process.
  5. Reading exposes the author to a variety of genres and styles, allowing the author to choose pieces of their favorites and incorporate them seamlessly into her own unique style.
  6. Reading is inspirational. How many times have you read a book and wanted to know more about a minor character, or wondered what happened after “The End”? There’s a reason fan fiction is popular. Other authors’ stories can form the jumping-off point for our own.
  7. Reading saves the beauty of the English language. When reading literature and old classics, vocabulary is enriched – something that doesn’t happen through reading social media posts.
  8. Reading gives authors the opportunity to see how a scene can be vividly visualized merely through words. When words are put together just so, the reader is transported from the printed page to a colorful life-like reality in her head, complete with settings, sound, and motion. The engaging powers of printed words at the hands of a skilled author can’t be fully appreciated until experienced.

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Second, write. Write often. Write nonsense. Write partial scenes. Write whatever comes to mind. Sit down and let words flow. Even though you might feel that your words are worthless, write anyway. Every “worthless” word you’ve written in the past has brought you to this point as a writer. Few people write a bestseller the first time they sit down to write; just like every other area of life, practice makes perfect. Every story you pen, every draft you type, and every journal entry you record will teach you a little bit more about writing, being a writer, and your writing style.

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And here is the Big Giveaway! Be sure to enter for a chance to win an amazing writer’s package!

Paper copy of The Emotion Thesaurus

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Free Cover Design by Victoria Lynn

$30 Blog Tour Orchestration by Faith Blum

Free Edit of up to 5000 words by Erika Mathews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What have been some benefits of reading that you’ve experienced as a writer? How do you motivate yourself to keep writing when you don’t feel like it? And what are some of your favorite pieces of writing advice? Comment below – I’d love to have a conversation with you!

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Did you find the secret phrase? Click the button above to visit Kelsey’s blog and find the next phrase, or return to Read Another Page to start the trail from the beginning. Be sure to return tomorrow for Day 3 of the 3-2-1 Write! Party where I’ll be sharing my favorite writing tool – and another game!

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3-2-1 Write! Party: Writing Books

3-2-1 WRITE! party

It’s party time! Read Another Page is hosting a 3-2-1 Write! Blog Party for all writers, and I’m thrilled to have one of the conference rooms here at Resting Life. For the next four days, we’ll be talking about all things writing. There are also fun games and giveaways (including an important piece of a giveaway game in this post), so don’t miss out! 

Watch for the secret phrase in this post, and be sure to write it down. Combine it with the secret phrases from the posts of the other writers having conference rooms at the party and you’ll find the secret quote that will qualify you for a giveaway!

Day 1 Party graphic

Today’s Day 1 of the 3-2-1, and to kick things off, we’ll be talking today about 3 of our favorite books about writing. As writers, it’s important to hone our skills and educate ourselves on techniques. Obviously, a plethora of resources exist on the subject of writing, and the more we read, the more we learn and the better quality writings we produce. Here are three books I recommend strongly.

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

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There’s a reason this book is currently a #1 Bestseller on Amazon – as well as remaining a favorite with writers since its publication in 1920. Small and slim at a mere 104 pages, this book packs in style and grammar rules and tips in concise, clear format.

On a more personal level, this book has been a favorite of mine from a young age. During my childhood and teenage years, I’d read sections of this book simply for enjoyment. While penning stories and reports in the days before Google, I’d consult this book to find the answers to tricky grammatical questions. Every writer ought to be thoroughly familiar with this book – grammar and style are key qualities of excellent writing.

Where Do I Start? An Overview of Indie Publishing, by Molly Evangeline

51sm3k4l2btlThis book is also small – only 60 pages – but it’s filled with a wealth of information on the publishing process, formatting, cover design, marketing, and navigating the many options of indie publishing. Simple, practical, and to the point, I found this book very helpful as a comprehensive introduction to the world of publishing. If you’re looking for a detailed tome, this book isn’t what you want, but if you’re just getting your feet wet in the Indie Publishing process (or even if you’ve done it a few times), you’ll find this book both informative and helpful.

Student Writing Intensive, by Andrew Pudewa

This book and DVD set propelled my writing techniques f517dgsgywjl-_sx400_bo1204203200_orward like no other. Andrew Pudewa’s fast-paced, humorous, informative, and pointed lessons help the writer analyze every word, sentence, paragraph, and part of speech and learn the proper way to put together and use each one. Although I don’t write in “Andrew Pudewa” style outside of the assignments in the book, the exercises of incorporating a certain number of adverbs into a paragraph, using all six sentence openers in every paragraph, choosing a variety of prepositional phrases, and varying sentence structures expanded my borders as a writer and enriched my natural style. In addition, learning to outline through this book has proved to be a valuable skill as I outline books in preparation to write them. These materials may be geared towards students, but I believe all writers can benefit from this book.

Despite my passion for both reading and writing, I haven’t read many books about writing, and I’d love some recommendations of books that you’ve found helpful in your writing journey. Comment below: what writing books are your favorites and why?

And here is the Big Giveaway! Be sure to enter for a chance to win an amazing writer’s package!

Paper copy of The Emotion Thesaurus

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Free Cover Design by Victoria Lynn

$30 Blog Tour Orchestration by Faith Blum

Free Edit of up to 5000 words by Erika Mathews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Did you find the secret phrase? Click the button above to visit Victoria’s blog and find the next phrase, or return to Read Another Page to start the trail from the beginning. Be sure to return tomorrow for Day 2 of the 3-2-1 Write! Party where I’ll be sharing my favorite writing advice – and another game!

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All the Way My Savior Leads – Tour & Review

Thanks to a certain book, I have a hymn singing itself in my head these past few days – a beautiful reminder from our Father:

All the way my Savior leads me. What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living bread.
Though my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me, lo! a spring of joy I see!

All the way my Savior leads me – O the fulness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal, wings its flight to realms of day,
This my song through endless ages – Jesus led me all the way.

Rereading the words once again, I’m in awe of the beauty of this simple song and the power of the lyrical truths contained in it. Faith Blum has just released a beautiful Western orphan tale centered on this hymn, and I’m grateful to be a part of her blog tour. Check out my review, information about the book and author, and an excerpt. And don’t forget to take advantage of the 99 cent sales and join the giveaway!

All The Way My Savior Leads

Erika’s Review

Refreshing. Simple. Spiritual. Inspirational. All the Way My Savior Leads is a down-to-earth tale of Henry, an orphan with a big heart for his sisters, a love of farming, and a protective instinct. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for orphans, and this sweet story was certainly refreshing to read.

A few aspects I especially enjoyed:

  1. The repetition of the titular hymn as the center point of the story. I appreciated that the hymn wasn’t just tacked on the end or mentioned once in the book but rather it truly was the theme. This hymn portrays such deep, powerful, beautiful truths, and I enjoyed hearing Henry singing various verses of the hymn as it applied to different situations in his life – a powerful portrayal of how meditation upon God’s truth shapes our character and behaviour. The incorporation of the hymn was very well done.
  2. The non-standard plot. Instead of a structured plot in the background-build-conflict-climax-resolution format of many modern books, this book tells the simple story of Henry’s life from his parents’ deaths as a child all the way through to middle age. I found the unique style refreshing and beautiful, and I enjoyed reading the details of his early years and his later years.
  3. The sweet cleanness of the story. It’s real, and sin is discussed, but in a way that promotes godly and wholesome meditations, rather than dwelling on sin and its details.
  4. The characters. The young people are well-written and easy to relate to.

I would recommend this book to readers of all ages who enjoy Christian stories that refresh and uplift the soul.

About the Book

Caroline and I walked out the back door and went into the barn.
“What are we going to do?” Caroline asked.
“Head out on our own. Saddle Whitey, please.”
Caroline’s mouth gaped open. “They’ll find us.”
“I know.”
Caroline sighed. “What can we do then?”
I shook my head. “We can stick together. Always.”

AlltheWay_KINDLErevisedTragedy stole everything from him … except her …

Three years ago, an illness orphaned Henry and Caroline Salisbury. The harsh years at the orphanage have forged a strong bond between the pair.

But Henry’s about to age out.

He must choose whether to leave his only family behind in relative safety, or take her with him as he pursues dreams of owning a farm. Henry trusts that God has a plan for him, but little does he know that others have plans for him and his younger sister as well. He will need all his faith to find the right path.

Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071DL3Z9T

http://books2read.com/alltheway

About the Author

Author Picture 2015-2016 croppedFaith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family. She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.

Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her Monthly Newsletter so you can get an email with fun facts, giveaways, and so much more every month. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Double Sale

Double Sale

For May 26-31 only, get both books in the Orphans of the West series for just $0.99 each! They are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more.

http://books2read.com/saviorlikeashepherd

http://books2read.com/alltheway

Giveaway

Giveaway

Three prizes, three winners! The grand prize is a Savior, Like a Shepherd notebook and paperback. Sorry, but the lantern isn’t Faith’s to give away. For second and third prize, the winners will receive a free eBook of All the Way My Savior Leads.

Note: The grand prize is open only to those in the continental US, but the other two are open to all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

May 26
Bookish Orchestrations: Intro Post
Annie Louise Twitchell: Review

May 27
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima: Book Spotlight
Zerina Blossom’s Books: Review

May 28
Rachel Rossano’s Words: Guest Post: How I Pick Hymns
The Book Corner: Review

May 29
Sarah Allerding: Review
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections: Character Q&A with Henry

May 30
Frances Hoelsma: Book Spotlight
Purposeful Learning: Review

May 31
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae: Guest Post: Why Henry?
Written Rest: Review

June 1
Bookish Orchestrations: Giveaway Winner

Excerpt

Emily stood up from the rocking chair when we arrived.

“Hiya, Mama!” Jimmy said. “You’ll never guess what I did!”

She smiled at Jimmy. “What?”

“I swept the jail! I even got to go in the cells.” His voice was full of awe. “Mr. Henry teased that he should lock me in, but I was too fast for him and got out before he could. Then I scrubbed the floors and washed the stove.” He held his hands up. “See? My hands are black.”

Deliver Facebook Party!

Yesterday, I posted a book spotlight and book review for Deliver, Book 4 in The Blades of Acktar.

Tomorrow, Tricia’s hosting a Facebook party to celebrate the release! There will be prizes, a live video chat with the author, and one activity I’m especially excited about: a character chat where all the characters from the book get access to Facebook to chat with fans in person. Tricia did a character chat for Defy’s release, and it was so much fun – even though I hadn’t even read any of The Blades of Acktar books at the time. I’m looking forward to this character chat even more, since I know and love each character.

Hope to see you there!

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